Friday, June 26, 2009


Pete kick'n tires and checking out the '66 Dodge flat bed with Steve the mechanic who was selling it.
Pete pretty much sold on the look of her, envisioning the possibilities

I have christened her "BERNADETTE"our workhorse, VardoForTwo mobilizer. Named after a very special guardian angel in my life our 1 ton '66 Dodge 300 flatbed truck is now parked next to Scout the Subaru. She is on the Ledge. I could not wait to post these photos, slipping in the good news before the 'ole moon starts tomorrow. She's a lot of truck with greater gas mileage than the new trucks, with a lot of towing power for VFT. There's work to be done to her ... isn't there always something. This is a simple engine truck that has parts Pete and I recognize from 'back in the day" ... this truck was born just a year after I graduated from high school. That says something about the steel-hull of a truck still working after all these years.

So, we celebrate a positive move in the right direction and welcome BERNADETTE!

Have a great weekend.

Walking Backward, Looking Forward ... 'ole days coming up, WorkHorse coming soon

Tomorrow the newest 'ole days on the Hawaiian Moon Calendar begin ... it's a four day and night 'ole cycle prior to the full moon. We use the 'ole cycles as times to fix, repair, restore, review and reconsider our decisions, thoughts, beliefs and relationships with All. Rather than start new projects, plant new crops or make new decisions these 'ole days are a weeding and fixing your nets-time. VardoForTwo continues to teach us what it takes to live simply. The wee space gives us a restoring oasis, and soon a new oak bench and door trim will be ready for milk-painting, then airing in the great Ledge mountain air before we move them inside. Everything takes a little or a lot more time to be complete. If at any point I thought 'immediate gratification' was a lesson to unlearn or learn differently, I'm learning the differently part often.

Summer is just starting out and yet with our lifestyle an eye toward the future, even while we walk backward is the sort of old dear-wisdom that we must employ to build resiliency ... and be prepared. It is very likely we Vardo folk will need a different encampment during the winter, so while we live one day at a time the future asks as to be keenly aware of needs. Living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities brings you do to Earth with the basic needs rising to the top of the 'list of priorities.' To be mobile, VardoForTwo will need to have 'horsepower.' We rented a truck to get us to the Ledge and yet when we look for another rental truck in this area the choices are few and the distance to any available truck great. So, we have found a great old 'work horse' to make us mobile. Soon the next step in making us portable will be in our lives and on the Ledge. Come visit after the 'ole days and Gods willing we'll have pictures of our WORKHORSE.

Here's a fun find from Beijing I bumped into this morning while surfing. I felt the need to 'walk backward' and this is what I found. Take care and have some laughter and gentle times. We'll be back on Wednesday, check out our newest links to 'Sourcery' on the sidebar. Come back and visit. A hui hou!

Walking Backward - China’s ancient Mountain and Sea scripture records the exploits of an itinerant immortal who could walk backward faster than the eye could see. Walking backward has been popular ever since. The movement exercises muscles that are not used in ordinary walking, especially in the back, waist, thighs, knees and lower legs. Some people believe walking backwards is akin to a karmic reverse, allowing you to correct mistakes and sins of the past. A version of the walking backward exercise is the walking-backward-while-rolling-magnetic-balls-around-your-hands movement. The magnetic balls electro-magnetically massage acupuncture points in the palms and give aging wrists good exercise.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Today I'm using the o'o

Facing West ... Makua O`o

I've gone to Makua O`o to share a blog post. Come visit if you'd like.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

BEING where we are

I am blogging from The Big House, perched on a tall stool in our friends' home the day is unfolding. I hear the washing machine downstairs and the ice maker roars on from the freezer. These good friends share their lives, their land and their home with us and we try to be where are and do what can be done. Anna is spending a few days in the hospital, getting the attention she sorely needed to root out a problem that just would not go away. Josh and Jane E. are on their way to visit her with a load of fresh clothes and I have promised to restrain from eating all the luscious berries turning to ruby globes. The gardens in front of their home are filled with ripening strawberries the taste of which can only come from a well-loved home garden. We've been waiting for them beauties since we pulled up in April.

The lifestyle of VARDOFORTWO is the sort that has no long-term scheme. We have three months into the learning process, adjusting to the effects of the environment, practicing building an intentional community and still have more to finish on the inside of our wee wheelie home. "We're starting to have a routine, aren't we?" Pete said as he turned the light out in the Vardo last night. "Hmmm...I guess so." We measure time by Josh's car engine starting up: if we hear it it's near 8:30 in the morning. When he comes home at night it could be anywhere between ... We don't chop wood for heat, but we carry a lot of water. Everything we do that needs water --washing up the dishes, filling a kettle for tea, general washing up of the hands, fingers and face means we walk to the Big House faucet and fill our glass jugs, walk back and empty the water we need.

Pete is in town alone, driving to places I don't go into and thanks to the shared resources arrangement we have going on with Josh and Anna Pete uses Josh's truck so I have Scout if I need to get off the Ledge for any reason, or for a whim. It's a luxury and a blessing, something we can't and don't take for granted. In return Pete fixes things ... installs a railing for Anna's safety up and down the front steps, finds out what the electrical outlets don't work on the porch, clears the walkway down to the basement. I water the gardens, pick the juicy berries and prep the bounty for freezing so Anna will have her berries in a fresh blended smoothie.

We're adjusting to a new form of living that includes sleeping and resting in VARDOFORTWO. The time outside that wee wheelie home spreads differently than some lives would spread. Anna is in her hospital bed getting an arm massage and I've just seen Josh's truck pull into the drive way. Our lives include routine and that levels out some of the steepness to the climb. For the moment there is a hum that is easy. That's something.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Solstice 2009 ... Ocean Time, Celebration, Anniversary

We have been on a long journey to create VARDOFORTWO, and yesterday on Summer Solstice 2009 we packed up Scout the trusty Subaru and drove three hours to the ocean. We were in need of restoration, appreciation and celebration.

Two years ago come this August Pete and I were on this Pacific Ocean shore with barely a drizzle of a dream of what we were doing, where we would live, how we would create a different reality. Yesterday we came to the ocean to say: We have VARDOFORTWO, we have each other and life continues to unfold. We came to say mahalo, thank you, yippee. Two old dears endure and we have reasons yet to smile.

The day was beautiful, cool to start ... those are our winter clothes we've donned. But the Ocean was calling us and we were so happy to be with the ocean air, the roar of surf and sand that stretches for miles and miles. It was as close to Hawaii as we could get without a good ocean-going canoe and oxygen masks.
Pacific Ocean beaches in Washington state ... roaring surf, long sandy shores, water too cold for swimming and gulls ... lots of gulls.
A new walking and digging stick gave me permission to keep company. With my o`o (digging stick) I am chanting my delight to the ocean. It was a delightful feeling. I loved the misty sand clouds that rose from the shore ... soft, whispy and mysterious.

Pete made us sandwiches made from turkey and veggie meatloaf spread with organic yogurt and lettuce from Claude the Greeman organic grower from near-by Shelton, Washington. We ate sandwiches, walked and walked and then ... we took a wonderful nap leaning up against a well-chosen log, stretched out on my paleau on the sand. We slept with bare feet and bare bellies. When I woke, with my bared belly warm and happy the sky above seemed to be joining us for a Solstice smile. Great day filled with joyful moments all day long.
The ochre colored banks that edge the ocean are magnificent. Layers of color and curves gave us a change of view from the tall green enclosure that is the land around The Ledge where we are encamped. There was a yurt and a second building in the making perched on the bank. Adventurous living happening there, too.

On the way to another ocean beach we wandered through the town of Moclips, a fishing town on the Washington coast. It had been more than twenty years and more since either of us had been in this town. This is the prize discovery of our Solstice day in Moclips. This train car drew us to it's curved roof like a perfectly shaped Dairy Queen dipped cone. This old beauty has the lines we love ... only it's much much bigger than VARDOFORTWO.
The back end just as beautiful as the front, and the railings are curved so elegantly. Parked there in Moclips we learned the townspeople envision restoring the old Moclips Train Depot in time to come. We were thrilled to see the car and envisions different things.
That's where we found the beautiful red train car.

We are thankful for the beautiful day at the beach, celebrating process and progress we return to the Ledge refreshed and appreciative.

Aloha, Mokihana

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

REMINDER: The reasons we built VARDOFORTWO


The past few days have been the kind of days that reinforce the reasons we built our oasis of a safe place VardoForTwo using the methods and materials we did. The beautiful wooded glen of a place that is the Ledge blossoms with things that cause me grief. Many of them I didn't recognize as 'issues' or forgot their inciting potential. We learn from the experience and I am reminded once again of the MANY reasons for a place like this:

  1. It is a restoring space where I can shut out the toxic (chemicals and manufactured ingestants) and toxin (the volatile world of things like pollens, grasses and the natural process of trees off-gassing) triggers that over-burden my dear self.
  2. I can sleep restfully for as long as I need, and make no excuses for my in-the-cave-for-nowness. (the process of healing takes time ... it will not be rushed ... I remember the Hawaiian word "hoomanawanui"--easy, take it slow and easy!
  3. My priorities distill (clean air, safe space, time to mindfully reassemble)
  4. My appreciation for my mate, husband and friend rises to the top. Thank you Pete. (There is no substitute for a partner who continues to support my changing level of wellness. I am blessed and experience "All you need is Love ... The Beattles were right!)
Sending wishes for a day that is gentle and loving to your dear self,

Friday, June 12, 2009

'OLE Days begin today: Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Three days of restoring, weeding, mending and resting start today. New visitors and voyagers to our blogs may like to check the side-bar for links to the Hawaiian Moon Calendar. We use the calendar and the practices of my ancestors to stay connected to the cycles and rest from new news and viewings. A hui hou, until Monday.

Mokihana and Pete

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ORGANIC Compost Gardens

We bought organic broccoli and cauliflower starts a month ago and set them in the compost. I water them daily, sometimes twice a day when it gets real hot ... using our dish-cleaning soap water alternating with just pure sweet well water (with no fluoride or chloride added). I talk with them on the way to the big house, cheer them on to 'grow happy' and LOOK AT THE VOLUNTEER company that showed up.

The bed is filled with organic potato plants and organic squash of all sorts (we don't know and can't wait to see who shows up in come harvest time.)
This bed has the one organic marigold flower we just brought home from Seattle. More potatoes and squash, and silly us we buy zucchini starts ... and now there're all kinds of squash cousins tay boot! A few sunflower seeds have sprouted too so we hope for a riot of compatibility and deliciousness.

We've been on the Ledge for nearly nine weeks ... nine weeks! The pic above are the raised beds Pete built from the scrap lumber (fir untreated 2X4's) left over from the building of our friends' home.

Beneath the black plastic bags split in two was the beautiful year old organic compost we collect and tended while we lived in Seattle. The wonderful worms truly did dig it ... Because look at those garden beds NOW (two top photos).

Growing our own organic food is a major bit of our dream come true. The time it takes once you have a raised bed or two:

5 minutes a day take food scraps to compost pile
5 minutes every week turn the compost
5 minutes every week wet down the compost pile if it hasn't rained
15 minutes a day water and chat with the veggies

I add lots more time in any given day every chance I get.
Living on the ledge has slowed time down for us.
The quiet, the sound of winds and the sight of tree skin makes time timeless.
Earth is good. We find our place with time and find there is space for us.

Thanks Akua, thanks dirt, thanks seeds, thanks bees, bugs and fairies.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Leaving the Ledge for a day in the city

Yesterday was a city day. We live on a ledge that is such a leap from Here to There. The city we called home as we built VARDOFORTWO is now a two hour commute ... driving and riding a ferry to cross Puget Sound to Seattle.

These are full days and with MCS the possibility for a toxic exposure is ever present, we prepare ourselves as best we can carrying a jug of sweet well water for drinking and dousing my mask against pollens and fumes, pack the coolers with ice that will keep our delicious slabs of salmon cooled (we continue to eat salmon thanks to our friend Dylan from Loki Fish on this link to find out more about this terrific NW Washington family business), bring extra clothes for the exposure possibility, say a hui hou to Jots and say our prayers.

Along the way and while in the city we are always drawn to the trees. Above is a precious reminder of the Tall Ones who were here in times not long again. This giant fir is perhaps the largest of the Tall Ones left in the area not far from the Ledge. We stopped to take this picture showing the size of him next to the old building still left in the fields. Oh my. Tree cutters came to get him, the story is told, and one man stood in front of it and would not let it happen. The man is a hero passed on to another life, the tree stands and we thank that man.

Pete and I were in the city because I had an NAET treatment with Chulan Chiong, I needed her attention and her skill to help my liver detox the leavings of toxic intake. Chulan did that and I remain thankful for NAET and the level of well-being I experience with these treatments. A two-hour drive once or twice a month for these appointments keeps Mokihana going.

Another reason we came to Seattle was to visit our dear friend who lives in a Seattle neighborhood. G. is one of our friends who lives with MCS as well. The photo above was taken from her luxurious urban backyard, a rarity of spaces in Seattle this backyard is truly an oasis. The ambling cedar fence that you see along the left needs a bit of attention ... the sort Pete can give. So along with a delightful sit and chat with cups of sparkling water Pete walked the fence line with G. and has a plan for repair with conscious and care.
This is a picture of tree skin ... tree skin on another magnificent Tall One ... a Black Locust growing in G.'s urban oasis. B e a u ti full.
Wild dill and skinned, water-worn limbs from trees that washed up on the beach, the same beach I used to walk every morning while we lived in Seattle.

That possible toxic exposure happened when I was least prepared. It's one of those incidents partners who accomodate a mate/spouse with MCS may recognize. A trip to the bank: Pete enters to simply deposit a check, within minutes he is covered with the smell of every fragrance in there. I am exposed and sick within another few minutes. We had no baking soda to neutralize his hair although he was able to chance his shirt. Fortunately, there was the beach air and my appointment was scheduled an hour from the exposure.

The daily twists that make a pleasant hour poisonous are difficult and happen within seconds. I feel ill and guilty for the shift that takes place in my brain capacity, temperment and disposition. Pete is doing everything he can to make the daily needs and challenges level-out. The NAET treatment was timely, the stress of the exposure existed and yet we worked through it and have learned something again ... bring baking soda and don't go into that bank again. Partners as precious and I appreciate Pete everyday. If in my haze and panic I lose my grace ... I level out sooner today than in times past. Apologies are important, and amends work, too.

A lot happens on the way to the city, and then that too passes.

Hope yours is being a day graced with the bliss of it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Considering a road trip

Pete will be having a birthday before too long, and we have been fore-warned FIREWORKS HAPPENS here in the woods on his birthday. Smoke and loud noises make us sick! So we are considering a road trip.

There's VARDOFORTWO on her maiden voyage from Seattle to the Woods. If things work out we may take her on a birthday wander.

We'll need a truck ... a 3/4 ton pick-up worked for us. If any readers and viewers live in the Bremerton-Tacoma area and would like to rent us your fragrance-free truck give us a shout.

We'd love to visit some new place for a day or two during the 4th of July weekend. If you've a good campground in mind on the Washington or Oregon coast we'd love to hear about it. If
we take VARDOFORTWO for a ride we'll just need one electrical plug in to keep us going.

We'd welcome getting into a smoke-free spot where fireworks is not legal or used for a birthday treat for Pete. We are a quiet pair of old dears looking for a bit of a get-away. If you have any ideas let us read your suggestions.

Sunshiny Sunday with a gentle breeze. A good day be yours today with kind people to share your dear self with ... Mokihana

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Finding the mean...ings.

This fir rises from the front window ... he shapes the view we see looking to the Pond. Like crusty bread he whets my appetite for Woods.

Every tree becomes a companion rooted to this place they sway even when it appears they are still. Unfretted by the inconvenience of a slope they find a way to live with it ... perhaps finding the mean or then again it may be the meaning they find that makes the difference.

VardoForTwo perches us on the Ledge and becomes cave, temple, sanctuary, love nest and oasis.

Care needs to be taken to keep toxic matter and meanderings outside ... offering them up to the Cosmos to recycle them for some better purpose. Weariness worn like wet wool slowly dries off and it too can be hung with our loyal leavings --our coats, hats and outside ware, on the neat pegs on the porch wall. For another day ... weariness can come another day.

A seat by the road to the garden, one of the few level spot on the ledge gives us rest from the edginess of ledge living. A simple thing a level seat ... could we have guessed the parcel of worth such a seat would have?

If I wished for an adjustment it might be: to live the 'mean' of a usual cycle of time ... that level ground, the space that is neither super-excited by stimulation from the outside or conjuring of my own. Life on the ledge is sublime in the most beautiful of fashions. We experience calm, clean, quiet and the racket of life in the wilds ... both from the clans of creatures who were here way before us, the trees,shrubs, flowers and grasses that blossom and the humans who stir the silence with their motors, guns and machinery that cuts/blows/mows.

It may be I think in too small an increment, measuring too often and looking to closely. Oh for the mean of life where the level seat be ever available and the choice I make because it is my preference. Or, maybe not.

Be well where you find yourself.
A hui hou, Mokihana

Friday, June 5, 2009

All who wander are not lost ...

Not far from our encampment on the Ledge a wetlands park has preserved the nature of things along the lower Hoods Canal region of Washington state where we live today. We go there for a change from upland to lowland. This housing and feeding station of tiny homes for migrating and stay at home birds caught my attention.


What a wonderful recipe for beings who wander but are not lost.

May it inspire more of us.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

'OLE Days on The Ledge

Fairies come
to those whose dreams seem to be falling down around them,
often embracing them with the love gone missing. A tiny house resting on the skinned and down stumps of trees once tall, I have made room for Fairies, left four, five and six leaf clovers, tiny bits of freshly baked organic (fairies don't eat things grown with pesticides)
barley bread and an origami game folded from my tea bag wrapper.

Sit by the side of the road,
surround your feet in clover and listen for the talisman in the wind. The real Anna Paint (inspiration for the character from my neWly completed ... just yesterday...fairy tale WOOD CRAFTING) did just that during the 'ole days. She sat and found four, five and six leaf clovers in a matter of minutes .... something she has been able to do because it is in her genes to do so. Her mommy taught her so!
I have placed chairs and old tables with clipped words and alphabets dangling from fine threads along our paths inviting friendly fragrance-free folk and fairy types to be with us.
Here is "Anna" sitting in Polly's Yellow Chair placed along the path, a honey bee wind chime dangling with the letters S I T keeps her company.

Our gardens grow.

Although the 'ole days and nights are not productive for planting, they are wonderful for tending all the delicious food that will feed us in the summer and fall. Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and at least a dozen volunteer squash plants from our compost-filled raised beds are having a great time. The triangle raised bed got transformed into a mini-way station for our tomato plant and a delightful out post for the robins.

The lupine that grows so beautifully between the beds turns out to carry blossoms with a heady-smelling incense like perfume that knocks me for a loop ... ironic? So, Pete trims the potent wild flowers and sends them off to others who can love their smells without ill.

We have an outhouse in the making.

There is enough room on the ledge for an outhouse. Using material left over from the building of the Big House on the land, purchasing metal studs, a wooden toilet seat and a few tiles from Habitat for Humanity for our floor we will have an outhouse on the ledge for our composting toilet. Still stepping as lightly as we can ... recognizing that even this disturbs some creatures who were here first (many apologies chipmunk and squirrel) Pete uses his large beautiful workman's hands to craft a place to sit, release and look out at the Pond.

Word Tree

One of the trails near The Ledge leads to the Lake. The Big House looks east toward the lake. While out on a walk a couple weeks ago a beautiful worn branch leaned on a fallen log. A beautiful branch perfect for a Word Tree.

One of the losses that has led to transformation has been my love of reading books and print on paper. In a way perhaps Destiny has led me to The Ledge to discover ... or remember, books require trees to give their lives. In the process of reassembling my loss into something different I have cut words off of boxes and wrappers we do buy and use and begun stringing them onto the beautiful worn branch from the trail. There's one of those beautiful words dangling off a fine thread.

Plenty happens during the cycle of 'ole when the moon cycle suggests nothing new be planted, nothing be taken from the seas and for us mortals a time of weeding, completion and rest a fine option. This cycle of 'ole was particularly filled with completions ... I got so filled with completions I took an extra day by accident. If the internet fairies free up enough speed for this dear laptop to do it we will have views and pictures to show you. Cross your fingers, say a prayer and let's see ... Thank you ALL. Mokihana