Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Speaking of "The Body Burden" and Rewards for a day lived well

The skies are clearing, puffy white clouds and a blue canvas background make for a beautiful looking Pacific Northwest morning.  Nearly noon and there have been conversations to clear the air of misconception (relationship building Saturn in Libra), mending bones and bonds and the work of building our new business as well.  I have toasted the millet, steamed it up with raisins and poured the freshly-made sesame seed milk to make our breakfasts.  Pete has boiled clean our water jugs, filled them with filtered water and washed the dishes upstairs in the kitchen sink.  My arm is allowing more time on the keyboard ... I listen for indications of 'enoughness' ... work a bit on a this post and plan for a walk on the beach as reward.

Our new business is in the early stages of marketing and advertising:  we have our ad in local papers, Pete's cards are being posted on community boards and handfuls of friends are passing more cards still.  Yesterday Pete began his personal calls to naturopaths and environmental medicine clinics, introducing himself and the business of fragrance and chemical free cleaning.  Today he continued his neighborhood campusing leaving off cards and information at a friend's office, two naturopaths and a yoga class.  I've posted an interesting and information link on FRESH AIR CLEANING about determining the amount of toxic and pollutant material your body carries.  Link here  and give Pete's blog a little traffic.  And if you're a Snohomish or King County Washington state home ower looking for some fresh air cleaning, we are here to do the job.  Yes, this is a bit of shameless self-promotion!  Spread the word!!

P.S. The beach walk was magnificent.  A perfect reward.  Pete and I talked to folk who were so ready for conversation.  A treasure hunter using high tech sweeper scrapped up a piece of old shipwreck and he was rewarded with a huge old square nail still completely intact.  We chatted and I learned not only can he know how deep a bit of metal is below the sand, he can also be told whether it be silver, gold or iron(?).  A young Filipino man was paddle boarding (stand-up long board with single oar) in the water just off shore in Mukilteo State Park.  As I sat tucked between boulders on the rock pile far down the coast Pete and the young man struck up island-connection conversation.  What treats to chat, connect and be with water-fresh air.  Reward indeed, and we are grateful.

What rewards have you given yourself recently?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I am healing from the fall to the sidewalk just across the street from our vardo.  Two weeks, and oh so many moments and emotings.  I feel the healing take place ... where there was gut-bending pain, there is ache, the bone containing marrow now more sensitive to the cold I wrap her in a wool sock with toe cut off and soothe her.  "There, there old friend.  I care for you."

The storytellers of times long ago, not so long ago, and tellers now awake to the similar sentences that string together in my mind all come to the Waking.  I cry the tears and comfort the painful memories that show up to be acknowledged.  The old ones (memories) entwine with the present and tears make a salty bath salve.

If I could, would I be a woman who does not describe herself as 'living with a chronic condition/living with MCS?"  Probably, though the experiences are teaching the lessons of care for the self like nothing I could imagine.  "If I could be ..." is also the wonderful question and post with delightful comments on my friend Joan Tucker's blog A WILD PATIENCE. Joan lists a long and vivid sort of prayer bead poetry reminiscent of the workshop activity she encourages in her coaching life.  Joan is writing wakened poetry that infused with hope and spring-like joy after visiting her blog; just the emotions I would be "if I were an emotion."  And if I could be an element of nature ... I would be the morning dew.

Here's just a teaser of the list of "If I could be ..."Link to read the entire post ... you'll love it!

If I were a gem stone I’d be an emerald

If I were a tree I’d be a maple

If I were a tool I’d be a hammer

If I were a flower I’d be a lady slipper

If I were an element of weather I’d be a spring rain

If I were a musical instrument I’d be an oboe

If I were a color I'd be purple

If I were an emotion I’d be joyful

Another spring inspiration came from my DIY and wild places friend Leslie Richards author of the blog THE OKO BOX.  The inspiration Leslie shares is ongoing, as she dishes up a southern simmered kind of funniness and artistry that is Cajun at the bone, and Leslie unlike others.  Leslie has recently moved from one rural world to another.  She is newly home in her Luck Cottage ... in the town of Luck, North Carolina. 

One of her most recent posts included the fabulous photograph now our banner pic here at Vardo For Two.  "Inter-species" trees sang their songs to me when I saw them over at The Oko Box... I live that song my heart said.  So, between my very long time friend Joan and my newer and no less loving newer friend Leslie, this old gal with the sock on her arm gives THANKS, THANKS, THANKS to the kiss of spring wakenings.  Link to Leslie's post about them trees and then stay awhile to visit her blog and read how her new Luck Cottage is becoming home to the Cajun Elfess.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Grateful for a Sunday


The name comes from the Latin dies solis, meaning "sun's day": the name of a pagan Roman holiday. It is also called Dominica (Latin), the Day of God. The Romance languages, languages derived from the ancient Latin language (such as French, Spanish, and Italian), retain the root.

French: dimanche; Italian: domenica; Spanish: domingo

German: Sonntag; Dutch: zondag. [both: 'sun-day']

 Both my hands lay upon the ergonomically designed keyboard, and with increased ease my fingers are nimble on the "j,kl: and space bar."  My right fingers are healing as my right arm heals.  The whole rest of my dear old kino (the body) is making adjustments to the fall I took nearly two weeks prior.  With the injury, the splitting apart of body-mind-and spirit happens.  I attend to those messages and though I am not always accurate in my tuning, I must commend myself for the commitment to stick with the atunement.  I am a seasoned seeker, not new to the process yet always humbled by the reality that being 'fixed' of my foibles is really not the goal.  Grateful for this Sunday, I work at the keyboard with an old favorite guide at my left-side--a book.  For years now, I have been void of books and found replacement satisfaction through the screen, when I could have one.  This Sunday, I have been savoring the tactile page and the promise of words on paper.  More from Gabor Mate ... about "commitment"  "Commitment is sticking with something not becasue "it works' or because I enjoy it, but because I have an intention that overrides momentary feelings or just have to do it and to understand that if you have lapsed, it doesn't mean that you have failed.  It's an opportunity to begin anew..." (p. 377 "The Four Steps:  Plus One" from In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts)

Friday, March 26, 2010

What to put where? Letting go and the process involved

The in between stage ... the 'ole moon phases ... that has just passed (four days of them) prove to be hard won times of reassembling life for me.  The broken bone in my arm is healing, I am writing this with both fingers on two hands.  Remedies and diagnosis helped:  noni fruit leather and ti leaf compresses eased the original pain, arnica montana a homeopathic blood thinner has helped with the pain too, and then a blend of comfrey and other botanicals concocted for tissue and bones soothes the aching joints and shock to the rest of my body due to the fall.  The sling given to me at the clinic is too stinky with dyes and petrochem smells to use, so it has been in milk and vinegar baths and now hangs outside on my bike handle airing out.  A thrift store table cloth bought and destinked last year serves as my sling.  And, after a week theNoni has turned my skin to rash...for just a while, and only for a time, the fruit did help.  Breaking bone and falling at 62 years is at best an inconvenience and a spiritual wakeup call ... at the other end of things as I mend physically and emotionally, I am met once again with old, old "hungry ghosts" who taunt me from places of long ago vulnerability.

Throughout my life, I have been a seeker.  Even now I am not always sure what I seek, I mainly know I seek.  Astrology has offered me the satisfaction of grand tools of explanation for things that I cannot undertand in the daily practicals.  For example, as I chatted with my friend Lois yesterday, about my progress with the fall, this old friend (Pisces) can lay out an explanation that would take me paragraphs to explain.  She is different than I, yet she can attune to me and to her self.  When we are chatting like this its primal nourishment ... I feel known and I know she 'sees' me.  The contradictory reality of our friendship (she uses many toxic cleaners and likes her fragrances) means being a self-regulating adult who can set limits and boundaries that are best for me .... I stay clear when the dryer is filled with bleached clothes and don't get near her when she's freshly from the salon or made-up.  Where do you put the differences between one and the other?  How does a person living with multiple chemical sensitivites learn to express needs and values while maintaining true support?  It's not a simple or one-dimensional answer.  What does matter though is the daily and real commitment to love one another.  There's no end to the things that one person does that is contrary to me.  I've lived more than fourteen years of trying to put distance of safety between others choices and the others I believed right for me.  Where has it led?

I think it important for me to describe the very real experiences that include facing and making peace, over and over again, if necessary, the hungry ghosts that are part of my life of origin.  Medical doctor, Gabor Mate of Vancouver, works with the addicts in the skidroad section of downtown Vancouver.  My life includes very early & genetic memory of addiction, so at low points I slide from grace and try again to change the unchangeable(the past/yesterday) and slip from the STEPS of a foundation of recovery that serves us who are family of addiction.  The links throughout this post will take you to more about Mate's work, and his recent book..  The first book I have attempted to read is his newest book In the Realm of  Hungry Ghosts.  Amy Goodman from Democracy Now (see our sidebar for a link) interviewed Dr. Mate on at least two ocassions and I listened to this man describe the interconnection of early adaptive behavior and on-going addiction in our culture today.  Astrology has other ways of spotting legacy or past life inheritance.  Among them, the nodes of the moon The South (the soul's baggage) and The North Node (where the soul seeks to evolve) offer clues and still I must act or think differently even after I am informed to evolve.  Anyway, flipping gingerly, since sensitivity to print and book binding limits my once obsessive love of books, through Dr. Mate's sizeable accounting of first-hand experiences with both his own addictive nature and that of his addict clients from the Downtown Eastside Vancouver clinic, I gleaned a bit of information to consider as part of my seeker's kit. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

making good the fall

It's EQINOX and after a week of falling...not very easily, the gifts of my lessons have shown up.  i have at least one hairline break to my elbow ... i took myself into a walk-in clinic 4 days after the fall, prepared as well as i could with an attitude of openness, a good mask, and showing up 1st thing in the morning b4 too many people filled waiting rooms.  the wost exposures for a person with chemical sensitivities is the 'hand sanitizers' highly fragranced and placed everywhere.  Pete helped, stood in line until it was my turn, then signalled through the waiting room window as i waited outside.

The experience took 1.5 hrs. and was a series of hurdles with my name on them. 
1.  FEAR. i don't like going into clinics...yet this was a necessity and was doable.
2.  FINANCES. we will pay oui-of-pocket in crements we can afford.
3.  RADIATION.  i am highly sensitive to xray.  to ck 4 breaks i needed xrays.  late in the afternoon, i went for energy work to move radiation through (NAET and accupuncture) and aid the trauma of the break.

4.  ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT.  i miss/mourn the loss of so many past successes.  futile really;  though this post is less pretty than some, it's an expression of aging truth that needs to be put down, valued for it's making good the fall.  Jots is stretched acoss my lap, slinged writing/writing hand immobilized i put this out to be part og the chronicle.  'OLE CYCLE of review starts tomorrow and EQUINO X...SPRING is now. 

There's a bonanza of gold happening astrologically  ... a blog-fest with articles to help us learn to appreciate gravity, among other thins.  The link that follows is wonderful insight.  The ruby of inspiration for me came with a long and healing phone chat with my 37 yr old son who is mirroring true 'gold.'  i'm at the end of this lap arounf the keyboard and i.m dizzy from searching for the right letters.

look to the night sky in the north heminsphere for a spectacular MOON AND PLEIDES partership.  HAPPY SPRING!  uNTIL after the 'ole nights (4 of them starting Sunday).

aloha, Mokihana

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I'M INJURED...arm in a sling made from my pareau, with my elbow wrapped in organic noni fruit leather from Kauai and ti-leaf for Manoa.  Missed the edge of the sidewalk yesterday, and came down hard on my right hand. So...this is asingle-finger leftie post.

Drinking glasses of freshly-made sesame seed milk to aid bone-healing and using my Island-style first aid kit(noni and ti) to ease the pain and mend.  I've used noni in this way to mend a broken foot, and in the painful hours of night as I prayed uncessingly for help ... fearing the worst ... my 'aumakua and guides helped to allow me to believe, "I'm not afraid any father appeared, spoke in his voice...I remembered the noni in the basement and though I heard Pete finally breathing deep in sleep, I did wake him to help get the noni.  Ater a bit of the while to wake he said, "That's good thinking...NONI, of course"  I said, "That was prayer, not thinking."  There is a difference, for me, I need to shut down the worr-thinking with praying uncessingly...then unexpected solutions (Uranus) have room and I hear.

Send prayers my way, and they will be embraced.  Posts may be sporadic .... Equinox bringing balance ... watch out for uneven surfaces.

A Hui Hou,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fresh Air Cleaning

We've been busy getting the idea of an eco-home cleaning business into a working plan. Lots of collaboration with other MCS friends, small business owners and long-time friends helped craft our mission for a service that leaves fresh air and peace of mind behind.
Thank you all, very much for your help and support.  Pete's new business is now open!

The graphic here is the ad that appears in our local community newspapers

I'm proud to be the first to make it official on-line.  FRESH AIR CLEANING is available to clean your home in the Snohomish and North King Counties of Northern Puget Sound in Washington state.  Only fragrance free and toxic free simple cleaning recipes and processes are used in this home cleaning business. 

Our regular readers know the journey of Vardo For Two ... Pete and I have had to reassemble the way we live in every sort of way.  The way we live with the envirnoment has humbled us.  Like the Earth herself, we know first-hand how debilitating even miniscule amounts of toxics can be. The old ways of making a living need to change. The construction industry long the source of Pete's work is a no-go for him.  The toxic processes and products aren't healthy for the environment or Pete.  The years of moving from place to place seeking a safe home challenges us to look for solutions that will begin to really clean things up, and sustain us. 

Pete's new blog FRESH AIR CLEANING
includes lots of information about this "Canary Safe" eco-biz and links to the community locally and globally who have served us when we have been in need.  This quote from Rachel Carson inspires us to keep on ...
“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road / the one less traveled by / offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”

Rachel Carson

If you're a Washington state resident who is concerned and committed to create a habitat that will sustain you and the planet Earth ... FRESH AIR CLEANING can help with your spring cleaning. 
Congratulations Pete on your new venture!

Saturday, March 13, 2010


We are still here in the Mill Town ... attending to the business of helping to create Pete's new biz and resting deeply in between.  Adjusting to being in one place usually hits a "6 month cross-road" ... it's coming up ... a restlessness ... that now really needs to be reassured that it's okay to settle ... relax ... rest a bit more.  To create and build a business we will need to settle-in.

Tide pools

My homesickness for the Islands does nothing for that shift out of restlessness ... thankfully my son called a bit ago from one of my favorite places on O'ahu ... we chatted, relaxing ... silent for long moments so I could just ... be there.  Somehow that was just enough to take the edge off.

Know what I mean ?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Akin to the Beaver

American Indians called the beaver the "sacred center" of the land because this species creates rich habitats for other mammals, fish, turtles, frogs, birds and ducks. Since beavers prefer to dam streams in shallow valleys, much of the flooded area becomes wetlands. Such wetlands are cradles of life with biodiversity that can rival tropical rain forests. Almost half of endangered and threatened species in North America rely upon wetlands.

Besides being a keystone species, beavers reliably and economically maintain wetlands that can sponge up floodwaters (the several dams built by each colony also slows the flow of floodwaters), prevent erosion, raise the water table and act as the "earth's kidneys" to purify water. The latter occurs because several feet of silt collect upstream of older beaver dams, and toxics, such as pesticides, are broken down in the wetlands that beavers create. Thus, water downstream of dams is cleaner and requires less treatment.

From the comfort of the vardo, still wrapped in the quiet of night sleep, I heard the song of birds.  Small voices they did find their way to me inspite of the very manicured and humanly residential nature of the Mill Town.  On my feet I pulled the soft worn flannel curtains away from the windows, inspecting them for the moisture that collects after a night of being sealed against the sulfur of pollens and kiln from the mills.  Almost as a sleep-walker I wiped the moisture from the windows to keep mold from forming on the milk-painted oak frames.  Making up the bed waits for a time later this morning.

With my robe tucked about me and slipped into my boots and down the three short steps from our sleeping loft and onto the sidewalk.  There they were, a family of tiny sparrows looked from the roof ledge.  We talked a bit and I was happy to feel a smile gently taking over my sleepy face.  Inside, Pete had already been at this computer printing out insurance forms for his new business in the making...the legal trappings of becoming a small biz owner.  "I saw the sparrows on the roof...heard them chirping, too."  Busy with his focus, he said, "I don't feel connected to the outside."  Oh, I thought what a price to pay for beavering away.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring in the Mill Town

Spring is here in the Mill Town.  Evidence of the early arrival is everywhere:  great stands of pink trees in bloom line the streets, the sulfur dust of pollen covers the parked cars.  Daffodils are opened to the sunshine, a small fist of them begins to do just that on our tiny porch.

We are living here and the evidence of it is here in this snap of our wheelie home porch, a bit changed since we last posted with a picture.  There is an additional side wall, milk painted a soft and muted tone of green.  The same green that is the color of our ceiling inside.  A lamp lights the partnership corner, a small tea pot from Shirley, a dish of good luck oranges for the new year of The Tiger along with the beautiful red rose petals I saved when my Valentine rose was done with her weeks of brilliance.  A pottery vase filled with a dozen ti leaves from Manoa fan waxy beauty. The small square tiled mirror was a give-away gift made by one of our MCS friends ... part of our annual holiday festivities.  A mirrored view of our abundance is a nice greeting at the door, we think.

Behind the scenes Pete and I have been as busy as beavers let loose in a river with dams to build and water to dam.  Busy, busy, busy.  We have commmitted to creating a new business that will be Pete primarily beavering at an MCS-safe (spring and other seasons) cleaning service.  Many, many things to do to get this right and it is exciting to draw-in all the comments and suggestions from our Canary community who had ideas and experiences with hiring help who really 'get' how to do cleaning that leaves nothing but fresh air behind.  Thank you so very much, Canary Report Canaries for all your wonderful ideas and good wishes!

From the Mill Town we send wishes for a bit of sunshine in your day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lemme tell ya 'bout a friend ah mine ...

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose

ourselves at the same time.

~ Thomas Merton
We're up early, warm toast and hot tea in my tummie and the screw gun next door is at it. I've been blog hopping and found the quote above over at Auntie Moon's ... something to chant along the way during the first three days of March (while the Sun is in Pisces/Moon in Libra).  Before the dust stirred my mind my heart went to the joy of friends who do this very thing Thomas Merton speaks of:  ART.

I have friends who are making this sort of ART in there everyday.  In and around the daily slog life can dish up, Joan and Lana have been mess'n in the mud and having a grand time with ceramic bowls and beads.  I have known these women over the while.  Our journeys have been intimate, and then not.  Time and circumstance can do that to friendships.  It is the art of everyday that does invite one to 'find and lose ... at the same time.' And, it's the internet that weaves mending magic that does not come on its own.

Off Center Productions is the art my friends have crafted from their love of design.  A Ram and a Bull (an Aries and a Taurus) make ceramic beads and 'Mother Bowls' of porcelain. I see in the designs JT's love of global traditions and their love of dirt and growing things.   I have known these gals when we were all part of corporate jungle gymnastics. We are older now and look at what we have found to do with our lives

..."The tradition of forming beads out of clay is an ancient one and the magic of combining fine porcelain beads with crystals, silver, gold, and glass is ancient. Our pottery studio strives to create one of a kind, truly unique porcelain pendants and beads...
Joan and Lana's studio is in Lacey, Washington in the southern Puget Sound area near Olympia.  Their on-line shop is fun to browse and if you're shopping to buy, their new line of beads and doodahs are in stock.  Link to OFF CENTER PRODUCTIONS here.

Sending blessings for the maples who have given so much pleasure:  Aloha and Mahalo la'au maple.  Hugs 'round your stout trunks.