Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kawika Brown plays music at Bicyclette Cafe, Paris, March 11, 2011

Our son is playing music at the Bicyclette Cafe in Paris
March 11th, 2011

March 11th is his Tutu Lady's (grandmothers) birthday. 
She would have been 93 on 3/11/11.
What a great kani ka pila to be at!

If you're in Paris on Friday the 11th of March, go see Kawika.  We'd love to be there with him.
Hauoli La Hanau, Ma.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

MCS Uncovered ... lest I forget what "Toxic Drift Disease" is

Eva Cabella, Spanish blogger and "Canary" sister living with MCS, the illness/disease I have begun calling "Toxic Drift Disease" has recently completed a new MCS Awareness project.  It's this poster she calls "MCS UNCOVERED."  Eva authors her blog NO FUN.  Eva's poster showed up on Susie Collins' The Canary Report, I'm sharing it here.

The many masked faces of men and women across the Earth are a reality we know; masked is sometimes the only way to be out in the public-world.  Living here in the forest of South Whidbey Island, USA clean air, compassionate neighbors and tiny safe havens of space make it possible for me to believe I can thrive.  In spite of the odds, I write from a chilly Quonset Hut with hot water, shelter, and loving support.  Sometimes, I get impatient with the smallness of my life, wishing for access to the rest of the world.

Then, I see Eva's poster and I am reminded, there is still so much more work to do before I can easily step from my tiny world in the forest into the public.  Solidarity! 

Friday, February 25, 2011


Is snow a foreign language to you?  Leap over to The Heap and write about it.  Prime the Pump an on-line Writer's Group is meeting, and growing over at ItsAllCompost.


Imagine credit:  http://www.havecoffeewiththat.wordpress.com/

Monday, February 21, 2011

Uranus moves into Aries, March 10th ... life will rocket

Where will Uranus be? 
What is Uranus?
Why attend to Uranus?

Uranus planet of sudden change will be in the sign of Aries (the 1st sign of the zodiac; characterized as aggression, self-directed)  beginning March 10, 2011.  I checked in with Elsa P. this morning.  It's a common practice on my part to get a feel for the planets and stars.  Pete and I have been talking a lot about our commitment to remaining here in the forest, here in this community where for the first time in many years a sense of safety feels possible.

Environmental refugee was not a description I'd have chosen for myself, consciously.  Life has led to years of discovering that both, the choices others make:  for example, whether your neighbor decides to spray Round-up instead of pulling weeds; whether the state you live in decides to spray Round-up instead of maintaining public roads and parks using safer methods; whether scented laundry products are a need; and, the .choices I make:  such as, forgetting to remove a drying shirt left on the heater; or not having a shower to wash the scents of the world-at-large from our hair, head, skin do make me physically sick.

The pages of VardoForTwo are filled with the process and the journey of two environmental refugees.  Pete and I have charts (astrology) that point to our sensitivity to the environment.  We have that predisposition as a couple.  It helps me to recognize that, and yet it does not discount the reality of the chemical and debilitating effects of the industries that create Round-up, Bounce, Lysol Hand-sanitizers et.al.  We live a life from two very small spaces built portable, because we know the possibility of needing to move quickly exists.  Our home is on wheels and this Quonset can be disassembled and moved.

Parked here in the forest we have planted ourselves with two women, nine ducks, three hens, two dogs and three cats.  There is growing understanding and respect for the needs each of us has.  Why do I look to astrology and ask where Uranus is?  I do it because life is changeable, and I need to attune to not just the position of heavenly bodies.  I need to know that my life, Pete and my direction is pointed in a direction that we can maintain or adjust with skill and wisdom.

Our years of being refugees has weathered us, wiped us out and made us stronger and more accepting of who we are.  The position and influences of planets, gravity, the sun, the moon these factor into the collective environment ... and as I've already said Pete and I are predisposed to be sensitives.  We will feel intensely.  That's why it matters that I check in, and tune-up our direction, our commitment and our readiness for life rocketing.  I come to this blog to put things down before I forget.  Like a huge post-it note that is not easily lost I blog to keep on track.

I did some research and gleaning for this post, collecting information that might help you prepare for the Aries take-off come early March.  I am already feeling the excelleration, so others are too I'm sure.  Uranus transits my 3rd house, so it serves me well to be open and willing to learn new things, upgrade my knowledge from others and technology (group info and more about the internet).  Uranus transits Pete's 7th house of interaction and relationships.  He's a man out in the community, people are attracted to him, he gets to grow, more.

Wherever Uranus will be come March 10th, that is ... what House Uranus will be in will give you clues about being ready and prepared for the ride.  If you don't know where Uranus will be transiting, click here for a free astro.com chart.

I gleaned the articles written by Dana Gerhardt once again, to give you House by House clues to use during this Uranus in Aries transit. 

To read the complete set of articles by Dana Gerhardt click here
  1. The work of the 1st house is to keep birthing yourself, which means to keep separating, to keep honoring what’s different about you.  
  2. The 2nd rules both what money can buy (possessions and material resources) and what it can't buy (talents, self-esteem, and values).
  3. The 3rd house brings opportunities to keep updating ourselves.
  4. The 4th is where we go when we collapse. It rules home and family, ancestors and homeland. It provides a literal retreat.
  5. One of the greatest gifts of the fifth house is its invitation to moments of unself-consciousness. This is the divine self at play, moving with spontaneity and joy.
  6. In the 6th we notice life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We can drown in our failure. Or we can do something about it. We can change our approach, acquire new techniques. We can either suffer or grow. 
  7. The 7th house is where we yearn for, and receive, "the other." We strive to harmonize here, one-on-one, with not just one but a parade of significant others—teachers and counselors, business colleagues and lovers. They provoke us to grow.
  8. Survive an 8th house transit and you’ll be reborn. Valuable lessons will be learned. Eventually you’ll regard the 8th as a kind of spiritual master who only shatters you for your higher good. In this house greater forces run the show.
  9. The 9th encourages our quest for meaning in life. But generally we don’t go there until life falls apart. The 9th rules the literature of spirit, the metaphors, symbols and myths that bind a culture, its moral codes, its shared ideals and visions. 
  10. What you make of yourself is a 10th house matter. The 10th describes your career, your public reputation, your worldly status.
  11. The 11th house brings us allies, the comforts of shared experience, the strength of a collective stand. It also turns a critical eye on our behavior, makes us vulnerable to group opinion, and defines us as "out" or "in."
  12. Pay attention to what irritates or frightens you “out there,” because it’s quite likely this enemy lurks in the shadows of your own nature, described by your 12th house planets or signs

There are other wonderful astrology sites to help with this, too. Here are a few of them:


Buckled up, buddied-up, ready?

"Rocket Man by Elton John"  listen here:  http://s0.ilike.com/play#Elton+John:Rocket+Man:33558:s155085.13663.10946193.1.1.77%2Cstd_5b135a51613b8eb6cc2fdc1f0fd173f6

Image credits:  http://www.designedtoat.com/

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Owl hoots

"In this home of the imagination, there is room for both the Sun and Moon. This 4th house nurtures us like a lunar mother, it sustains us like a father Sun. It invites us to sing and dance to its shifting rhythms. It holds that castle where we are king."
-The Fourth House, Dana Gerhardt

It's cold in the Quonset.  Not yet dawn, the stars and the moon create just enough light to make the sound of owl calls an eery echo.  From the warmth of the futon, pueo called.  JOTS is still comfortable curled under the warm lamp.  The slant board is no more.  We moved it out to make a bit more room in our tiny arched cooking-writing-hanging out hut.  The G.Jots (Girl form of Johnnie-On-The-Spot) is a Traveller's familiar.  A feline that has moved a thousand miles, a dozen places.  Still, she is annoyed, and was just that, when she saw us shuffling things in the Quonset.  Three days later she is adjusted and content to sleep on the orange pillow now atop one of the two bright yellow metal folding chairs.  A picture would be such a beautiful thing, but we are not yet camera-ready.  Our abilities to load photos still stymies us. 

A pot of water is working itself into a boil, a supplemental heat source.  A metal building with minimal insulation is still a draft tunnel.  The Radiant Electric Heater is pumping warmth to the right side of my leg, but my knees are cold.  From head to toe I am layered in the clothes that can keep me warm.  When I talk with my son I hear the activities of a busy young man preparing for a journey of crossing oceans and cultures.  I hear the joy of being with masters of Hawaiian music and Hawaiian healing.  He describes the latest change to the retaining wall overlooking our favorite Makapu'u view.  I yearn for the warmth of Hawaiian sunshine and the company of music, lilting voices, warm ocean swims.

The boil is on.  Steam starts to rise.  Pueo has moved on.  Yet my knees keep me present.  The owl hoots in trees rooted on a big rock island in a Pacific Northwest waterway.  I am here, Hawaii is there, and we are on the same planet the pueo, the Quonset, and my Hawaiian memories.

My venture over to Its All Compost is also rooting itself with focus and effort, my writing blog begins to take shape.  There are writing and creative projects to warm my need to express life as I find it:  two short stories are growing for submission into contests due in mid-March.  A dream of producing an audio-recording of my book Wood Crafting is making its way into flesh.  There is so much to learn, and with resourceful and adaptive methods Multiple Chemical Sensitivities does not wall off my dreams, but does instead structure my approach with real-life.My first gathering of PRIME THE PUMP an on-line writers group met on Friday, February 18th.  We are now 6 writers just begun to get to know one another, sharing the writing stimulated by a single tickle line.  The line this week was:  "She'd never thought of herself that way before, but ..."  Or, the alternate tickle line was "I'd never thought of myself that way before, but ..."  The writing was surprising, delightful, powerful, funny.  Click on PRIME THE PUMP (above) to read the stories.  Join in if you've an itch to write in community.

I miss being here at VardoForTwo, so I've stepped back here because ... I can.  It's fun to have options, and with the tinyness of my world where ventures out of the forest are few, it's nice to know I can always come back to home by walking the dozen steps here, and clicking http://www.vardofortwo.blogspot.com/.

To listen to the Spotted Owl click here


Where do you call home?

Imagine credit: http://www.susty.com/

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Willing to be empty While waiting to fill up ... the astrology of it

It's one of those nearly perfect days in the Pacific Northwest America.  The air is clean, the wind present, sky blue and though it's not warm it's pleasant.  Pete and JOTS and I are making changes here in the forest.  The blogs are changing and it's an organic progress.  For me, I am challenged to let there be empty space.  Pete is busy with lots of other things.  He is responsible.  He works out-side (tending to the poultry residents, washing his clothes in the Gals' house, maintaining everyday life which is substantial); he volunteers at the local Food Bank garden, and he has a 'job.'  His blog 'schedule' is his and we have one laptop between us, so sharing is a big part of life in a vardo and a Quonset.  Waiting is a big part of sharing.  Seems obvious but there have been times, too many, when I have either lost track of why I was waiting (some say that's the place where I had slid into denial) or forgot that I was waiting it had been so long. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Proclamation: May, 2011 is MCS Month in the state of Washington

"May, 2011 is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Month in Washington State."

Read the fine print. 
What will you do to make a racket about Multiple Chemical Sensitivities?

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Relationship with the Revolution

Pete here.
It has been a great winter for being in a mild climate and yet my aversion to cold temperatures is as strong as ever and I will remain layered up with long underwear, sweaters, coats, scarfs, smurf hats, long hair and gloves for the rest of this lifetime. Only when it is necessary do I dare venture outside leaving  plenty of time inside to pet the kitty while reading about the today's rapid pace of information sharing  matching the intensity of severe weather around the world. Searching for and finding incredibly well  written factual reporting has provided me with a daily dose of hope that.the Revolution I expected to have taken place in  the 60's has reemerged on the shoulders of a spirited,  focused and  well connected populace. I am also very fortunate to have Mokihana's awareness of the Stars and  Planets as a guide to explain the possibilities and yes She is a Star.

 So now what may seem spontaneous is in fact designed with tools that allow for a boiling degree of intensity and speed beyond the comprehension of  those believing their appetite for power is absolute. Weighted down by decades of accumulating weatlh beyond any one person's ability to spend by subjecting those living under their care with starvation, torture and death, these despots will drown in  misery knowing they are being rejected by all of humanity.  The resulting void will embrace relationships full of equal rights, earth justice and shared resources fueled by love of life.  There is time to release the accumulations of the past that will allow new Relationships to blossom and give fruit to a future our ancestors expected of us.
Are you coming along for the ride?   

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Change and Creativity--

From The Courage to Change
 January 3rd

" I am writing my life story with every single today.  Am I moving in a positive direction?  If not, perhaps I needtomakesome changes. I can do nothing to change the past except stop repeating it in the present.  Going to Al-Anon meetings and practicing the principles of the program are some of the ways in which I am already breaking out of unhealthy and unsatisfying patterns of the past...I believe that my life is built upon layers of little everyday accomplishments...When I face a new challenge, I try to take my beginning wherever it may be and start from there." 
February 10th
"One of the effects of alcoholism is that many of us have denied or devalued our talents, feelings, achievements, and desires...Creativity is apowerful way to celebrate who we are.  It is spiritual energy that nourishes our vitality.  It is a way to replace negative thinking with positive action...Every one of us is brimming with imagination, but it often takes practice to find it and put it to use...Every original act asserts our commitment to living...When we create, we plant ourselves firmly in the moment and teach ourselves that what we do matters." 
Hi,  my name's Mokihana...
It's been several years since my last meeting in a room with the fellowship of others recovering from the effects of alcoholism.  Well, that's not true.  I did attend a meeting near us last fall.  It was my first meeting in five years, and the first one with my oxygen tank.  Going with my tank was not the reason that made it challenging ... I have made my way slowly out into the world with the tank.  The challenges are being in any room; and being in rooms with people who are 'scented' with all manner of fragrance.  I made the choice to drive myself because the need for program was powerful.  I was going 'to all lengths' to get to a meeting.

I did what I could to be there, shared when it was time to share, declined invitations to join people by holding hands and coming closer.  I let my story speak for itself.  The effects of being IN a room is long lasting though.  We have no laundry 'facilities' though I do hand-wash my clothes two-four things at a time, winter is not an easy time to get things washed and dried.  It took several days to recover from the meeting, and longer to reclaim my clothes.

I learned from that experience.  I'm not yet able to attend meetings and that attempt was another testing the waters.  The answer, "not yet."  At least not yet.  Life, and life with the Al-Anon principles of patience, practice not perfection have taught me to see that trial as an act of courage -- faith in action.  The program remains a tether of goodness for me, but the rooms were still a no go.  That's where CREATIVITY came knocking.

I know my limits more clearly than I have in times past.  Building the vardo, and learning that simple pleasures and progress take many, many steps I turned the meeting thing over to Ke Akua.  I lived my life.  Then the idea of bringing the meeting to the vardo came to me.  It wasn't MY idea, it was an idea sent.  Divine E-mail. 

I don't get around or out much any more, these days.  That might change tomorrow.  But, I have no control over tomorrow let alone any future.  What I could do, I did.  This AL-ANON post-journal is a creative way to keep my program of recovery alive and present.  Like the reading said, "I am writing my life story with every single today."

Would you like to share your experience, strength and hope?

Shifts and Changes at Vardo For Two ... tell me something new

We're making some changes here. 

The focus of the blog and the writing will evolve. Pete will be doing more and more of the writing, and posting of photos (he's working on the camera and computer) . I'll keep my Al-Anon posts-journal newly begun, as a way to work my program of recovery as a way to 'be in the Rooms.' My Astrology posts will continue, too. These two forms of 'superpower' save my life over the long haul, so I'll keep coming back to writing these types of posts/articles.

More of my attention will shift to writing and creating fertile ground over at my writer's blog It's All Compost. Thanks to the process of blogging, living and learning here at VardoForTwo, I have fueled myself with enough healing to focus on writing for a living, again. In a new and composted version of myself, It's All Compost will take the fertile ground made here to plant new seeds of writing and sharing.

To read the whole story about our Shifts and Changes please go to the side-bar "Shifts and Changes"

Tell us, is there something new and exciting in your life today?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


These are the 'Ole Days and Nights of the Hawaiian Moon Calendar, beginning Tuesday, February 8th lasting through Friday, February 11th.  Our practice is to refrain from new posts to our blogs, spend time reviewing the information and experiences since the New Moon (counts as First night of the moon) and weed through our goals and commitments (make changes to what's been started if needed) to maintain fertile ground for seeds newly planted.

A hui hou,

From the site The Native Hawaiian Moon Calendar
"'Ole Ku Kahi, 'Ole Ku Lua

'Ole Ku Kolu, 'Ole Pau

(Seventh to tenth nights)

This is an unproductive time, for `ole means 'nothing', 'without', 'unproductive'. The tides are dangerous and high. The sea is rough and fishing is poor. Some recommend that planting be minimal until `ole pau which ends this unproductive period."

Monday, February 7, 2011

When in doubt, don't ... an AN-ANON share

From The Courage to Change for February 6th
Today's Reminder

"When my thinking becomes distorted by trying to force solutions, I probably won't get the results I seek.  As the saying goes, "When in doubt, don't."
So many examples of distorted thinking.  Okay, this is not about perfection and getting all of it down, it's just for now and what comes from my heart. 

Being affected by alcoholism has left me with second-hand toxic thinking.  I was the older sister and the go-to girl by the time I was able to talk and walk.  I started believing I could fix things because I was good at reading the environment:  What's Daddy like when he opened the car door?  Read his face and listen to his voice?  With the read, we either did the duck and cover or mask up with the listening ears and absorb the sadness/madness.  That was such a long, long time ago and even with the years of re-covery and unlearning, when I am under siege or weak from recovering from toxic drift today old survival skills like distorted thinking leap up.

Waiting Room
It's difficult to sort out the old from the new triggers when my MCS symptoms are in high-level.  I have learned to reach out to my trusted friends, and my sponsor.  Through them I hear the love and reassurance of people who know me, and aren't bent on 'fixing' me.  It helps to call people who live with both diseases, but that's not always my reality.  Few people I know live with Al-Anon and MCS, so I turn to Ke Akua for extra care when I'm in doubt.  I've learned to wait, better.  No, I'm not always a good waiter but I've gotten so much better.

Building the vardo has been Ke Akua's gift of waiting and perseverance wrapped in one small package.  One day at a time we built it from scratch.  Sometimes we had to take two (or three) steps back before we could make forward progress.  Since its a vardo for two, we get to practice waiting for patience to come and it might take twice as long.

Care to share your experience, strength, and hope?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Success! Pages on the side-bar

Progress, progess, progress.  There are two new pages on the sidebar now, and new content will slow be linkage through the pages.  It's SuperBowl Sunday in America, and Pete's gone to cheer The Packers on.  I'm loving the small changes to be made here on the blog, and cook'n up some supper to warm my tummy.

Oh, I was chatting over at  Planet Thrive on Friday night for the first time in a year.  What fun that was.

While there I heard (AND REMEMBER!) this joke:

Definition of The 'SUPER BOWL'?
Answer:  Bowl for Superman's gold fish

Silly, funny, just my kinda goofy and a joke I remembered.

What's for dinner at your house?  SuperBowl fan?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Courage to change

tis an experiment in experience

I'm in the middle of trying to build a page that links to posts.  If anyone's reading, go over to the SIDE-BAR and click on the new PAGE "Al-Anon ... a power greater than myself".

How this will work, I'm not sure.  Gonna make some oatmeal and give it a go, again after food.

Blogspot bloggers:  Any ideas about setting up PAGES that link to posts, or posts that link to PAGES?  Let me know, I'm off to make oatmeal, thanks!!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Saturn in Retrograde ... chew and spit, chew and swallow

working to maintain relationships with everyone under the sun is just plain stupid.

Saturn has become my main guy in the stars.  I've said that Saturn-rules my chart and plays a major and minor role in my life.  The task-master and task-maker is now retrograde in the sign of Libra.  Libra is very much about relationships, and relationships in balance/fair-trade/fair-play.  Saturn sees to things/lessons over time.  For those who are new or unfamiliar with astrology, another way to see the value of Saturn is to consider how we chew.  Like learning how to chew on things.  When we're babies, there's mother milk, warm, smooth and it goes down easy.  We get fed, and feel the love. Maybe the lesson of Saturn early on is to note how we suckle and appreciate the milk and the mother, or the bottle.  Not too much chewing involved.

When the solid food makes its way to the mouth, the gumming and the swallow connects with the provider of the goods in another way.  Appreciation and storing up the love goes somewhere.  Baby remembers.(actually, babies always remember)  Tick, tic, time passes and not every little thing tastes as good to baby and around 2 years old, the chew and spit, or chew and swallow scene starts to show up some likes and don't like.  Sometimes the terrible two might like the spoon-ful coming from the one with the smiling face and not the one with the big red eyes. 

Time passes some mo' and food and people, smells and sights start to impact the Saturn in us and our life lessons become a little clearer. 

"I like how she plays." 
"I don't like the way she takes all the toys." 
Photo credit

Questions come up.  "Why don't they share?"  "Why ain't I gett'n no respect?"

We notice what we do does something to the other kid.  We learn to be a friend, or we learn first who we like as friends and figure out how to keep 'em friends.  With Saturn in Libra at whatever age we are today, it matters that we look around and notice who likes us and who we like. 

If it smells like 'rat' it probably is.  If you have a sinking feeling in your stomach when you read something in your inbox ... it's probably a 'rat in' your messages.  Chew and spit!  Or, if you have a choice don't chew at all.

I'm an old woman with a few less teeth to chew with, and still I chew on somethings I ought not to have picked up in the first place. A recent experience had me fuss'n over something stuck in my old teeth.  An ally helped me spit it out.  I count that as a lucky thing:  the spitting out!

Saturn in retrograde is a rewind button on the friends, allies and wanabe associations in your circle.  If you've got old friends who continue to have your back, that's a great place to start.

Listen to Simon and Garfunkle sing:  "Old Friends/Bookends" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRJSoTbwzDk

Are you making good use of your chew and spit/chew and swallow reflexes?  Do you know who your true allies are, and are you keeping them happy?

It's All Compost

The new year begins.  I cooked up a pot of Chicken Long Rice for my family here in the woods.  This is a dish that is commonplace and familiar to folks back in the Islands.  It's a comfort food and a food that symbolizes long life (the threads of transparent mung bean threads) and to me, memories of eating the warm food touches all the right places.  The recipe I've linked to is a little different than the one I made:  I used organic shitake mushrooms, fresh ginger, green onions instead of Boy Choy or Chinese cabbage ... it all works!

Some things change, and they do.  Some things need to change, but we resist, and in time, time makes the changes.  Yesterday I wrote about the 'unmasking' of disability, and put into words something that washes all denial from my definition of Self.  To embrace 'disability' I move forward however slowly, or voluminously toward a more authentic me. 

It's not easy to embrace being unable to go to the Friday night dance, or get into a car, gather with friends or take a plane to support a loved one going through a health challenge.  "I should be there!"  shouts the voice in my head.  And my real voice says, "I would if I could."  Acceptance is a human action, easier written than done and yet that's what it takes to assess a person's real life, and make decisions that fit the real you.

I've begun a new blog that will be a place to hone my love and my craft as writer.  It will be a different version of the writing I've done here or on the other blogs birthed because I needed to write to save my life.  IT'S ALL COMPOST is the next generation of blog space.  The title says it all for me.  If you're a writer, or have been dangling phrases or toying with seed ideas, come visit.  It's a whole new heap (compost that is), so there's plenty of room if you don't mind the rot. 

Ever look at the compost of your life?  What's it like there? 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don't get around much anymore ... uncovering the stigma of disability

"Don't get around much anymore."  That's the name of an old song that old women like me remember.  Nat King Cole sings that one, but I've linked to the gravel-voice of Rod Stewart to fuel this post.

Listen here:

The lyrics start ...

Been invited on dates

I might have gone but what for

It's awfully different without you

Don't get around much anymore

Awfully different without you

Don't get around much anymore
I've been learning to live with the toxic drift of everyday/everynight Earth for seven years.  Diagnosis of MCS confirmed the things I knew were happening, credence to the things that made me more and more phobic and isolated. 

Writing and then blogging allowed me to tap into the well of resilience that comes from the Universe.  I discovered or remembered new and ancient sources of resilience to deal with my new life.

There are 4 Personal Super-powers  I call on one day at a time:

1.  Astrology
This was a source I'd tapped in years ago, but in such a different and passive way many years ago.  An ancient art and navigational tool came alive for me when I began to rebuild a life from a dream of a Gypsy's wagon.

I discussed Astrology in Real Life through the blog pages of a woman named Elsa P.  She has helped me navigate in unexpected ways.  I credit her here on VardoForTwo often because like the song says, "I don't get around much anymore."

Being affected by another's choices is not a new experience for me.  I was born into a family disease of alcohol, and found my way into the rooms (when I was still able to be in a room, and a roomful of people with fragrance and chemicals) of 12-Step Meetings.  When my disability escalated in 2007, my 12-Step life took a spiral.  My connection to the one day at a time practice had to be done one-on-one with my Higher Power and my sponsor of many years via the cellphone.

This practice sustains me still.

3.  Blogs and blogging
We had a very old Sony laptop that made blog world happen for me.  Ruby, the Laptop hung in there to chronicle the building of a safe haven through blogging.  I learned to reach out through other bloggers who also lived with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.  I slowly built a support network, and we built VardoForTwo with a few internet friends who watched us reassemble a life.

I birthed blog after blog.  Therapy at the keyboard.  And then, Ruby passed on worn from the road and the wear.  It isn't easy to replace a piece of equipment when you live with sensitivities to material and new product.  It took a year to find this laptop ... a hand-me-down from our new friends Eileen and Mary.

Thank you for the connection.
4..  Masks
Covering up is both a process and a survival technique.  Thousands of us seek out the protection of masks that we can wear to make exposure to the environment possible.  Some of us wear 'em on the outside, some wear 'em on the inside.  I think that's part of the lyrics to (another) song I love ... Bette Midler?

The mask I wear, and often have dangling off one ear is the I Can Breathe Mask.  The one I have now is a 'designer lace' get-up prettier than many I've had.  It is outfitted with a carbon-filter that can be replaced, and the lace is polyester that I can tolerate.  There's always a mask tucked into my pocket or purse.

With the New Year of the Rabbit starting today, I'm hopeful and energized by the alignment of planets in the sign of Saturn.  I'm a Saturn-ruled old woman and count on the ancient charts to offer me signals.  It's not easy, I gotta tell you, and I keep digging through the ashes looking for the next ...

How do you cope with disability?  Can you relate to wearing your mask on the inside as well as on the outside?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quality, content, connection, community ... why comment on blogs?

I'm back from a beautiful walk along a newly discovered trail in the woods with JOTS.  She's on my lap now, content to have sniffed through tall stands of ferns, clambering along a leaning tree covered with moss making it easy to reach great heights. 

We were out on the trails because I needed distance from a difficult question:  "What makes you comment?  Or, more specifically "Why do I get so few comments on the blog(s)?"  I've been blogging for two years and four months (and who's counting ha?). 

I've been brainstorming ways to refresh and reinvent my writing, feeling the need to  have more community and conversation on the blog (this one or a new one).  This post from Pen and Prosper describes "7 Reasons Why People Don't Comment"  and it's got me thinking about what I'm doing, or not doing.
Jennifer Brown Banks of Pen and Prosper calls these the7 'Deadly Sins' 

1. They have to jump through hoops!

          2.  There are too many comments.

3. There are too few comments.  
4. You're asleep at the wheel. Your content is not "connecting."
          5. You didn't ask for input. For instance, there was no question posed at the end of your post. Or
          there was no problem to be solved, or no "ah-ha" moment of which to relate.
6. You're not cultivating good karma in the blogosphere. From my experience, when you stop by and say hi at other sites, typically folks will reciprocate. But not always.

7. There's not enough "take-away" value. Consider--Did you make them laugh? Teach something

 I talked with Elsa P. from ElsaElsa.com behind the scenes about why people do or don't comment on blogs. She posted a question to her Boards.
 It's so helpful to get feedback.
Do any of the reasons for not commenting resonate with you?  Which ones?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Let the sun shine in ... Aquarius dawning ... revolution, evolution

The view from the Quonset window is a stand of tree skins streaked with light.  Sun.  The morning is cold and clear. I was up earlier this morning, and came into a very cool cooking hut.  JOTS was huddled by the heater and ready to escape the premises for her natural duties. My thoughts were swhirling thinking about my family back on O'ahu. We are gathering our energy to aid in the healing of one of our dearest, and it's important for one like me who absorb energy at such deep levels to attend to what is 'mine' and maintain connection without collapse. All easier said than done, but it counts to pay attention ...

I checked in with Elsa in time to attend to the stellium of planets congregating in Aquarius.  Here's what she had to say: (click on the link to read the whole post)

The Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Neptune and Ceres all gather in Aquarius on February 3, 2011. This is on the heels of the new moon the day before. Talk about a revolution!

There is a nice wrinkle here in that Saturn (ruler of Aquarius) is in in the sign of it’s exaltation, Libra, which trines Aquarius.

I see this as an extraordinary opportunity. To take advantage, note the house where the stellium falls in your chart and brainstorm how you can innovate and liberate yourself or others as it relates to that house.

The stellium of planets in Aquarius will be in my 1st House.  The Aquarius party will be in Pete's 5th House.

 Dana Gerhardt at Astro.com offered this for our 1st and 5th House Brainstorming:(Click on the link for the complete articles, and more about the houses that might trigger brainstorming of your own.)

The 1st House

..."Writing about the 1st house, astrologer Dane Rudhyar stresses the need to separate yourself from its early influences, the personal, social and cultural conditioning that mothered you.4 The work of the 1st house is to keep birthing yourself, which means to keep separating, to keep honoring what’s different about you... it’s about accepting the gift of being distinct. On a deeply spiritual level we may recognize we’re all one, interconnected and interdependent. Yet it’s also true that the whole does its most productive and creative work through individuals. When you embrace your individuality, you come closer to fulfilling your destiny. You gain access to more inner resources. You become more authentically formed.
The 5th House

"Within your 5th house lives a wild spirit too. It wants to shake up your sleepy life. It wants to stimulate your ecstasy for being in the moment ...It is well known that when transits or progressions energize the 5th house, people do uncharacteristic things. They have affairs. They buy flashy new cars. They dream of running away to the circus. They behave, in short, like children... There is vital life force energy in the 5th house. When the emotional life is thus nurtured, power gathers. There is energy to create. Or procreate. There is enthusiasm for life. One is vibrant and radiant... "

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dreaming of water, hearing of sun

It's still winter.  We're layered up here in the forest and clean long johns and freshly washed bedding make  for comfort and pleasure wrapped in a nice package.  Last night one of my dreams had me out in the ocean waiting for the wind to pick up my kite.  I guess it was a wind-surfing kite though there was no board to skim the water tops, just me totally immersed in water with my son near by.  Never did get up out of the water, but when I woke it was to laughter (mine) as I thanked my lucky stars for giving me a salt water swim without leaving the bed.

A couple hours ago I was on the cellphone to my pal JT who is on a fabulous road trip to sunny places.  A wondrous trip.  I could hear the sun in her voice, her glee unmistakeable.  She and her partner LW are headed for a bead show, and more than that they are sunning themselves and getting the Vitamin D that I must find in a tiny bottle dosed by the drop.

The new year coming up is giving me an infusion of joy.  Chatting with JT the Earthy, hearing her relish the company of beaders and potters playing in the sun, I want to be there, too.  I'm a deep-water Scorpio with transcendent connections to make lots of lemonade from lemons or funky homes from bits of dream-work and star-dust, but I do love the warmth of the sun.  Hawaiians are sun-people after all. 

Hearing my friends are thriving on their RV trek from the wetlands of the Pacific Northwest gives me hope:  we could trek again in our vardo or in the trusty Subaru which is more aired and off-gassed by the day.  Though we are settling here on Whidbey, there is room for short, sweet ventures.  All is not struggle and work. 

The Year of the Rabbit (or "Hare" as my dear friend Glenda prefers) is a year to catch your breath, and as I've mentioned before 2011 is a "4" Year numerology-wise for the collective and me personally.  It's a year of process and hard work.  As the Bunny is poised to hop forward, I begin to see where my focus will need to be and prepare to work.  There must be time for rest and relaxation or the bunny will be worn and far from a happy, health hare.

Dreams of water, and the voice of sun call me to places where I could refuel and play.
Where you will go to refuel and play?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ho'oponopono and the Kane Moon

Ho'oponopono is the ancient Hawaiian practice of setting things right.  Literally the word could be looked at as "ho'o" to make or the act of "ponopono" setting right or regaining harmony (pono).  The link included in this paragraph will take the reader to one kumu (teacher) of Hawiian healing practices, Maka'ala Yates.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


The moon must still be in deep-feeling Scorpio.  JOTS is comfortably asleep on the slantboard, Pete is in the vardo in exactly that same place.  I've been asleep earlier in the cycle of things.  It's very early morning here in the forest.  The dark sky hiding the stars brought instead a fine mist of rain.  Tucked under the ease of the quonset I sat with a hot mug of water and felt the all.

We have received news from home that unsettled me.  Even though I'd already been alerted by the stars of the possibility, I am human with a gigantic capacity for feeling or feeding on feelings so you could say I'm composting.  Sitting outside, the rain gently caressed.  It's easy to be in prayer when the darkness is sweet and the quiet a soft companion. 

Distance becomes less physical when I am being with all of it, comfortable with the present the grief of vulnerability moves and that is good.  The thick soft cotton pancho kept me warm and dry, the
 air precious I felt thoughts rising or digesting and it was worms that came to mind.  Compost, worms, composting worms.

Back inside the quonset, the laptop took me here to string together these musings about Compost:

First,  a few WORM FACTS
Earth workers work at depths in the soil. They generally move and create burrows in a horizontal fashion but may come to the surface to gather food, hence distributing surface nutrients to various depths. Often quite large, their burrows channel water and air well below the topsoil. While earth workers have an important role in the soil, they are not suitable in your compost.

What you need are compost worms. These worms thrive in a rich environment and usually live near the surface creating burrows vertically between the surface litter and the safety zone of the soil under.

The conditions you need in your compost are simply the appropriate safety zone, breeding conditions, moisture and predator protection for worms that will thrive on the varied diet of domestic waste.

Worms are basically a very efficient digestive tube. Food (your waste) goes in one end and comes out the other as plant food (castings). They have no eyes, ears or nose but a rather large, toothless mouth which inverts itself over a piece of food, then retracts to push the food directly into the digestive system.
Worms have an in-built ability to sustain the optimum population according to the available food and space. While conditions are right, they will breed at full potential until the desired food and space ratio is reached. This is an excellent scenario in a compost situation as the more food you add, the more they populate.
A worm's circulatory system is controlled by several simple hearts pumping blood to a ventral vessel, a dorsal vessel and capillaries. They have a very sensitive nervous system of which the setae are major sensors and a tiny, insignificant brain.

Although their anatomy is very simple, worms are one of the strongest animals on Earth for their size and have been around for 600 million years!

Source:  http://www.compostworms.com/id4.html

Next, a bit of Synthesis (human compost)

Friday, January 28, 2011

MORE Star-Reporter SATURN In Libra ... responsibility, partnerships, fair-play

Ever have a night where it seems the stars are screaming for you?  Well, it was one of those nights for me.  We had unplugged the vardo of electricity, and Pete was out in his deep sleep space.  I climbed out and off the futon, pulled on my robe and beacon hat and opened the door.  The umbrella roof shielded the sky, but I knew they were out there, waiting.

Ka Makani returned after a day of hiding somewhere else.  The tall trees that are our companions were doing their hula e, e.  Graceful and powerful I watched the pines thick heads move.  When I rounded the corner of the house, there they were.  Millions of 'em. 

Quiet was loud, and the lack of electricity running through the thick extension cord pervading.  Ever feel the lack of electrical current?  Years ago I used to travel to Yachats, Oregon a coastline town that has long been a favorite place for me.  I lived on O'ahu and made these trips to join Amy and Arnie Mindell in workshops.  Those were the days of my life when I facilitated or joined large groups of people to explore social change, healing potentiality, and on and on. 

Back to the point of Yachats and this Star-Report ... one thing Arnie Mindell encouraged us to do was to get regular doses of STAR DUST and STAR LIGHT.  We are star dust and we need to be refreshed on it was message.  I've never forgotten that, and can still recall my star light walks alone in Yachats, Oregon.  The star dust within me are the finings and those million stars are the magnet. 

So ... last night I was out there with the stars and went back to sleep refreshed as well as a woman sleeping unplugged in her snug home.

STAR-reporting  Saturn (long-term character building) is in the sign of the Scales (Libra) until 2012.

From CafeAstrology this bit about Saturn in Libra

"...Saturn will be looking for balance, integrity, and fairness in the sign of Libra. We will be redesigning our definition of "self" that includes an "other". Our ability to commit comes into question. Our ability to play by the rules in partnership also becomes critical. This is a time during which we explore our personal boundaries in partnership. Just how much a partnership limits us becomes glaringly apparent, especially in terms of our own fear of losing someone, or fear of rejection, and how that fear might limit our personal freedom.


Boundaries and partnerships are playing hard in the 2nd House of Ways of Making Money/Income and the 9th House of Higher Education/Philosophy and World-view for Pete and me.  "Our ability to play by the rules in partnership also become critical..."  Pete and I have been sharing our world of building and living from a tiny safe-for-us home for more than two years.  In so many ways it's been a naked to the world sort of expose (Scorpio depth coupled with lots of Capricorn/Saturn character-building on my part). 

If we've been giving more than taking, or taking more than giving, in an existing partnership, Saturn's transit through Libra will point out the flaws in that type of arrangement. It's all about responsibility and doing our share. If we've been unhappy with a partner's contribution to the relationship, Saturn's transit might magnify that problem in our minds.


Sharing information is one thing. At some point (and we believe the point is now) we will put out THE POI BOWL and ask for a bit of nourishment in return. That's what the bowl is doing over there on the side-bar.
We notice how our journey has inspired others to amplify their dreams, and recently saw a vardo so similar to VardoForTwo.  The internet allows all manner of virtual gleaning, and 'stealing our ponies' is easy. 

We have invested nearly every resource we have to build our life from VardoForTwo.  We have shared uncompromisingly every step of the way, and will continue to blog and blather in our unique and quirky style.
What we can't do is share without contribution. 

So ... in the future as Saturn remains in the sign of the Scales, and goes back-ward (retrogrades) just to make sure we're learning the lessons, we will be mindful of what the stars are shouting and attend to character-building in the best possible ways.

Any questions?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Team Up and Inventory your Tools

Moon Time and Prayers

The old moon is in its final stages.  Yesterday and last night was 'Ole Pau.  I remembered to say my prayers of thanks to Akua Kanaloa and Kaloa, mindful of the gods as I went about my repairs (washing pillow cases and our futon cover by hand in a dishpan, and drying them over the heater; recovering from an exposure ). 

"Mahalo Ke Akua, I repeated over and over."  When the sun came up the light from Ka La shone bright through the tall standing trees.  I chanted "Ea La e, ea La e," over and over again.  If during the course of the moon I forget the deeply restorative nature of my ancestral roots, it is during the 'Ole Cycle when I am consciously slowed that I partner with intuition and attend to repairing and patching, reevaluating and giving thanks.

The  exposure during the 'Ole cycle was a self-imposed one.  We have had the distraction of a tiny television and a DVD player upon which we could watch favorite movies, over and over again!  The DVD player began sticking weeks ago.  Pete figured out how to make it work.  But, the 'fix' involved opening up the player and priming the disc like priming a pump or turning the handle on a Model T auto.  The innards of the player got warmer and warmer and finally the smell was toxifying, and my lungs and brain were frazzled.  Re-visiting your decisions and choices ... that's what 'Ole cycles are about for us.  Where is the TV and DVD?  Banished for the while under the tarp house. 

I am recovered with the help of my NAET practices of moving qui down my spine and out the bottoms of my feet; nebulizing glutithione, and using glutithione in a nasal spray.  In addition, we unplug the vardo of electricity at different times and slept for six hours last night without EMFs and it was a very different kind of sleep.

Monday, January 24, 2011


The 'Ole Cycle of three nights have begun.  Like I said in the previous post, it is sometimes hard to catch my breath ... and I miss dates and 'ole nights, too.

Our practice here on our blogs is to refrain from new posts during the 'Ole Cycles.  There are three this time, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. 

In the Hawaiian Moon Calendar these are named: 
'Ole Ku Kahi, 'Ole Ku Lua, 'Ole Pau

(Twenty-first to twenty-third nights)

First, second and last `Ole nights. This is a time that is not recommended for planting or fishing. It is windy and tides will run high. Farmers use this time for weeding. `Ole pau and Kaloa kukahi are the kapu periods of the akua Kanaloa and Kaloa and offering are made with pule(prayer).
A hui hou.

ON THE HORIZON: Chinese New Year, February 3, 2011 ... welcome the Year of the Rabbit

The Lunar New Year has long been simply "Chinese New Year" to me.  Long before I knew that the moon affected the start of a new year, I remember Chinese New Year as a girl in Kuliou'ou Valley on the island of O'ahu.  I think I write about those times somewhere every year around this time. 

Who do I see and what is happening?  I am a shy and observant big-eyed girl, barely five years old and I have already begun to love letters and stories.  Mrs. Quon is my teacher.  She lives right next to the school.  Paint easels and tables with primers with big black letters and pictures of children and their dog (that would be the famous Dick, Jane and Spot).

Amazingly, the memory of climbing into the jungle-gym with long threads of white coconut candy covered with hard sugar stays with me all these nearly 60 years.  It was only one Chinese New Year in my life, that year as a kindergarten girl in the valley school.  Joy is like that though.  It lasts.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What is Sequential Access?

In the 'geek-world' Sequential Access is defined this way:

The phrase sequential access simply refers to the fixed order of access. As well as being fixed, this order is pre-determined and follows a logical progression. Some types of sequential access are unavoidable, such as when playing back a cassette. Other types are a deliberate choice. This can include computer data stored as a linked list, in which each piece of data contains a reference to the following piece.

Three years ago the phrase Sequential Access became our mantra and the password for the process of building Vardo For Two, and reassembling our lives. In no way did the geek-world's definition enter our consciousness, but then all definitions are one in the greater dictionary so who could have known.

I've just finished a post over on Q and A from Vardo For You ... It's an answer to that question "What is Sequential Access?" and hopefully a source of hope for those who are in the process of deciding to build small and MCS-safe. 

Link here to read what Sequential Access is about in our world.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

PART TWO of Relationships : The potential of The Composite Chart/Report for a couple living with MCS

What is a Composite Chart?

Elsa Panizzon, author and creator of the astrology blog Elsa Elsa.com describes a Composite Chart this way,

"As for calculating a composite chart, there are various ways but most common is to take the midpoint between the two Suns and that becomes the Composite Sun. The midpoint between the Moons becomes the Composite Moon, etc. I like this method probably due the Libra in my chart as the two individuals meet in the middle and this becomes the relationship. :)"

Why Astrology?

The short answer is why not. 
Astrologer Liz Greene from Astro.co presented a seminar given on April 27, 1997  "One and one equals three Relationships and how to survive them."  I found the seminar in print while researching this article for VardoForTwo.  The entire seminar on The Composite Chart by Liz Greene can be found here.  Part of Greene's work is used here to set the stage for viewing the relationship that includes the challenges of living with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities).  Greene said:
The composite doesn't seem to describe what either person feels about the other...When we are looking at a composite chart, we are not exploring what two people activate in each other or feel about each other. We are interpreting the energy field they generate between them. The composite chart is like a child, a third entity which carries the genetic imprints of both parents but combines these imprints in an entirely new way and exists independently of either of them...
My motives for digging into the composite chart as a form of navigation stem from the very real and often times confusing cross-roads Pete and I find ourselves at over and over again.  One of my favorite readings from the book Courage to Change reminds me that confusion can sometimes be a gift. "Looking back on instances when I felt desperately in need of an immediate solution, I can see that often I wasn't ready to act. When I became fully ready, the information I needed was there for the taking."

We are not a young couple starting a new relationship.  We are instead a couple in our 60's who came together late in life, and with us we brought a life-time of energy and history, and modes of thinking and behaving.  Seven years ago, a boatload of challenges pulled up with our names on it.  The boatload is often more than we can understand or tolerate without help. 

It has been my choice to seek out astrology as a compass when inner guidance seems mis-placed.  Since the intent of the Composite Chat/Report is to 'interprete the energy field (two people) generate between them' I saw this as an opportunity.  All relationships generate an energy field between them.  The added dimension of a relationship coping and managing the effects of MCS with its changing manifestations deserves all the insight available.    Astrology and the Composite Chart of two people living with the choices of others (and who among us doesn't) is a means to make sense of things that are beyond our control, and like all spiritual paths, there are so many ways to get there from here. Rather like redirecting the energy we have used trying to fight the illness, tools like this Composite Report aids in recovering and shoring up from the effects of the illness.

The bones of this article is the Composite Report prepared for Pete and me by Elsa Panizzon from the astrology blog ElsaElsa.com.  Elsa did not calculate and narrate the report personally. She uses the software available to her to do the composite, and provides this service at a price affordable for many, including us.  I have culled the report and used particular aspects, planet positions and narration to shed light on the way our relationship might respond to episodes, exposures and challengres specific to our journey with MCS. 

Our journey in VardoForTwo is a boatload of experiences that could benefit  from insight we might otherwise mis-understand as oppression without cause.  The Composite Report that follows points out and lays out the combined energy and talents from a broad view.  It helps to see what others see in you, sometimes it's tough to get that vantage point when you're busy bailing water. 

Woken for the pause

Sometimes, like this morning, I am woken.  Life is full, busy with effort.  Woken from sleep, the pain cries to be felt.  What? Am I hungry?  Can't be hungry ... eating causes pain.  Tired? How can I be tired, I was sleeping?

Sometimes, like this morning, all the effort to transcend is just too much and I wake.  If  I am still I might find pause.

"As with any addiction, the escape from pain of our shadow self only increases our suffering. Our strategies amplify the feeling that something is wrong with us and stop us from attending to the parts of ourselves that most need our attention to heal..."

-from  The Sacred Paus  By Tara Brach

Sometimes, like this morning, God wakes me from the fog and I listen.  In the quonset, while JOTS sleeps, I found that article and paused..

Ever happen to you?

Friday, January 21, 2011


     Well, it is time to make it up as I go along.  A term I often use to describe my method of building something from scratch. New, used, sometimes borrowed materials and tools in hand plus the belief that it's possible to do.  I did not say when such a proposed idea will be finished because my life has yet to succumb to any ruler, yet finishing can make life more comfortable and fun.
     So Mokihana's and my Relationship includes the life skills, love, early childhood training, compassion, exciting possibilities, trust, individual and mutual choices, care and share,  willingness to be attentive, supportive,  belief in continuing education, kindness, occasional goofy/crazy, joyful,  plus love of the universe.   Keeps us busy and it turns out prepared us to live with EI and MCS.  Like a swinging pendulum,  living in a world saturated with chemicals/smoke/mold/cat dander/incense/perfume and cold,  we travel back and forth everyday from involvement with everyday life to isolation from it. The impact of an unexpected sudden exposure is unpredictable and often confusion reigns. I use the overly protective response and Mokihana will establish her boundaries while we muddle through when the world is swinging the pendulum faster than normal.  With our love and all the above, we rely on our Relationship to slow the reactionary responses, smooth the unevenness into calmness and resort back to taking all the increased  amount of necessary steps living with MCS demands.  Time consuming to the point of  it having a life of its own  because short cuts will restart the cycle all over again. The Relationship is the arbitrary/solidified, go to/fall back and expected/fulfilling life's gift, that together we have nurtured  with Akua's guidance.

     Borrowing from other chemical sensitve's life stories and learning through our daily experiences, I trust Mokihana's decisions of what is healthy for us and what is harmful.   In return I had to gain Mokihana's trust that the choices I make will not compromise our fragile existence. Lots of good intentions has posed the most challenges to our Relationship. I have become more sensitve from living this chemical/fragrance free life so I also participate in occasions of brain fog,  sometimes causing unnecessary exposures to us both.  These episodes have had a devastating effect me and I struggled to recover when most often  time would heal. Trying to determine the meaning of being dependent on each other and responsible to ourselves requires a calm open way of communicating with each other.  Knowing we can settle into a time for listening and sharing our feelings makes life so enjoyable for me, "time it is  time it was  a time of innocence"         

     The lessons have been learned only now waiting to be followed like me wearing a mask when subject to an exposure.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Full Moon in Cancer, January 19, 2011 and the Rune of Possesions (FEHU)

Pete and I are still working on the two-part article about The Relationship, in a way it's a new start for us because we've put the IN THE WORKS post up and that's the truth. 

We talked about some of the ideas and thoughts running through Pete's head, and I said something like, "That's so good you talk about the things that happen.  Expressing them will.happen.." 

He finished the sentence said, "When the right words come I'll know it."

We're working on this article together and we're committed to letting the words come in time.  The Full Moon in Cancer is a perfect time to commit or recommit to the people who are your people.  I was on the cellphone over the past two days socializing with three people who have been long-standing clan.  We have been through hell and high/low waters over the years.  Friendship stretches and some of them splinter like glass.  Maybe those are the kinds that were made for a purpose, a season/reason and the splinters fly out there to be stepped on again (those hurt, we bleed on the fragments).  Learning to step away becomes the lesson until amends, reconciliation or letting-go the order of the way.  Other friendships stretch and retain their resilience.  Some of those friendships go limp for a time, like a clothesline left in rain they still work when you need to hang up a load of laundry finally washed out and ready for another go, mattering not that the former taunt quality is now a bit different from the wear.

There is need in my life to be social, and yet that need to be with people has been redefined.  Being with people physically is still challenging, I suit up as best I can, and yet the party is still in the making. Fragrance-free gathering places and people is a slim experience. The phone call remain a line of connection that makes for time of committment.  I can call my people and we can 'see' one another.  Pete has a dear pal who called him this weekend and I can always see the glow that comes through when that phone call is over.  It's a lasting link!

I feel lucky to know who my people are, and what they mean to mean (and in turn what I mean for them).  Full Moon is a ripe time, when what you focus on is magnified.  Full Moon in Cancer is all about FAMILY, HOME, CLAN, YOUR PEOPLE.  Here's a link to ElsaElsa for another view of this lucky Full Moon in Cancer.

Do you feel lucky?

FEHU The Rune of Possessions

This Rune is the stone that remains me to be conscious of my present definitions of material values, possesions and all that nurtures me.  I pulled it late yesterday as I considered the up-coming Full Moon in Cancer.  From the outside my life is limited:  no car, a tiny home, socialization a reassembled reality.  What does nurture me is changing and when I am able to go with the flow and see what sustains, I am surprised.

What happens when your priorities and values get turned upside-down?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here and There

Waimanalo, Oahu

Wishing we could be there ... warm ocean bath on the Windward-side

My legs warm against the heater ... Quonset in the woods is where we be

thanks, CKB

Monday, January 17, 2011

IN THE WORKS ... A Two-part Article about THE RELATIONSHIP

I wrote something flippant the other day about the meaning of the 'Ole Cycles in the Hawaiian Moon Calendar. 

" So basically in a 30 day period, 'Ole cycles give you 7 days and nights to chill-out and regroove."

The truth of things is that many of the 'Ole Cycles are rarely times of 'chill-out' and most definitely a time to regroove and reasses the conditions of our life.  Pete and I began the process of envisioning Vardo For Two in 2007.  That Christmas my son helped to design and create Kaulana Mahina (the Hawaiian Moon Calendar). That calendar was our Christmas gift, and a major source of balance, structure and reliability at a time when all three were non-existent.  When we were without a home, identity or comfort we turned to the healing regularity of Nature's cycles and began counting on the moon.

Change we experienced individually and as a couple in the years of being homeless and without safe shelter made its way onto pages of blogs.  Someone else must be living these times, yet the need to describe it was my own doing and Sam and Sally became the characters who'd save our lives for something yet to come.  Our life together now is different nearly four years later, better in many ways.  The effects of MCS change us in unique ways because we chose to rebuild a life in a tiny space that can be moved.

We lived in a car for six months, and while learning what EI (enviornmental illness) is including the triggers, symptoms and solutions might be for me (who lives with the more severe level of the illness) it is my partner, and the relationship, that also factor into the whole picture of survival, evolving and accepting the journey.  I'm calling this the "1 plus 1 = 3 The Relationship" because it's the relationship Pete and I create together that is what makes or breaks us as we go through the many hurdles, challenges, decisions, adjustments and movement in our daily life.  Separately we come together with our stengths, personality and ways of thinking and acting.  We also come with our legacies, our history and the secrets we don't even recognize.

Pete and I are working on a two-part article that summons the human and spiritual feel for life as journey, and not destination.:

Part One, The effects of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) on intimate relationships sights the daily adjustments and (finally, sometimes) the adaptation that take place in an intimate partnership that grows from chronic illness, and specifically MCS. 

Part Two,  The astrological potential of the Composite Chart of partners who live with MCS offers another angle and navigational perspective based on the position of the sun, moon and planets at the time of their births as a "Composite".

Elsa Pannizon, author and creator of the astrology blog Elsa Elsa describes a Composite Chart this way, "As for calculating a composite chart, there are various ways but most common is to take the midpoint between the two Suns and that becomes the Composite Sun. The midpoint between the Moons becomes the Composite  Moon, etc.  I like this method probably due the Libra in my chart as the two individuals meet in the middle and this becomes the relationship. :)"
Come back later in the week for Part Two of "1 plus 1= 3 The Composite Report"  it might just give you something to talk about!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Winter slows things up.  I sat at the keys yesterday after a doozie of an 'Ole Cycle (it is not all cruise and chill-out, as I flippantly wrote in my last post) with an idea for a two-part article.  Pete was tucked back into the vardo and JOTS tended to herself with no particular interest in blogging.  Getting back into the  practice of writing on the keyboard takes a bit of retraining.  My solitary life sometimes freezes me up with over analysis, and no writing and that can simply defeat the purpose of being alive.  I feel the pressure of my the belt move against my belly.  Okay, there is life.I spent a chunk of time researching the topic for the article and began the 1st draft.

Some writing, most writing is done over time.  Good writing grows with practice, and the technology of blogging and social mobility of the internet would have me(us) believing writing just happens.  Well, yes and no.  Sitting here this morning, I write to get my fingers moving and my practice in place.  Winter does slow things down, and often the illusion that our tiny world lives from the vardo as 'less than____________" can dampen the soul. 

The late November ice-skid of an accident with our faithful 'Scout' the Subaru had the old gal in the auto body shop.  Pete worked with the repair man to be as careful about the methods of repair:  cautioning him to use no chemicals to clean, and to do as much of the body work outside the shop.  But after all of his best efforts, the hood and left-front of the car were painted and the VOCs from the job make it a no-go for me.  It's been almost three weeks since the car is back to us, and ten days for the work.  So the freedom of movement via a car has been slowed down. 

I notice the empty limbs of the apple trees and the cherry look bleak in the orchard beyond the wire fence.  Their old leaves rot into ground-cover turned over by the kick'n chickens and rooting ducks.  The trees don't seem to mind slowing down. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

These are the 'ole days and night of the Hawaiian Moon Calendar: no new posts Tuesday through Friday

A NOTE to any new visitors and readers:

As is our practice, we refrain from new posts and regroup, repair nets and review the past weeks, on the 'OLE CYCLES of the Hawaiian Moon Calendar.  On the sidebar you'll find links to Kaulana Mahina (the Hawaiian Moon Calendar). 

'Ole Cycles are the 7-10th days and nights using the NEW MOON as "1"
Then again the 'Ole days and nights are the 21st- 23rd nights using the NEW MOON as "1".

So basically in a 30 day period, 'Ole cycles give you 7 days and nights to chill-out and regroove.

A hui hou,

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Three-Rune Day and Musing on the Water Signs

The locals in the area began predicting a hard winter, or a long winter, or a cold winter.  The talk started in early fall among the farmers at the Saturday farmer's market.  I listened, and knew to pay attention.  The birds around the forest were making sure they took every last huckleberry and wild blueberry on the bushes around us.  We harvested some, but mostly the fruit was bird food and they would need it I figured. 

Our hoses are frozen again ... that would be the second or third time so far this winter.  The ducks(all nine of 'em) and our Crowing Hens (all three of 'em) stood at a stand-still this morning. Temperatures had dropped, snow speckled their feeding ground and Pete watched them through the small vardo window.  "They don't like it!"  Frozen water, no place to swim after the long night and grubbing for food will be tedious.  Oh well, they forage on and thanks to Pete the Poultry Man they have plenty of clean straw for bedding, fresh feed morning and night and the big ole rats that harass the ducks for their eggs are regularly thwarted by the tall white haired one with the elf-hat.

The cold temperature irritates my sinuses and I am learning to be on guard for the signals that trigger the migraine.  I note them and then I go to work:  moisturize my sinuses with saline spray, wear my mask outside to keep my face warm, sip on the Coke.  That last one is stretching my willingness to go to any length to care for myself.  The high fructose (most likely GMO) corn sugair!!!YIKES.  I went looking for an organic cola to replace it ... found it, and then when I got home found it was CAFFEINE FREE.  I had a good laugh with that one.  It's the caffeine I'm after.  Caffeined tea is another 'better' option, but I'm sensitive to black tea because black tea naturally contains FLUORIDE and that'sjust too much cross-firing of the thyroide for me.

Water, water, water signs
So, here I am back at the keys with my thigh warming up in my fleecy sweats next to the heater, JOTS is in her bliss-spot and Pete is working this morning.   Nota from Elsa Elsa got me thinking about the nature of water today.  My Scorpio-nature is feeling all manner of deep dark stuff and earlier my innate decompression mechanism 'CRYING' kicked in to let some of that 'stuff' out.  It works.  My Mom, the every transformative PISCES with the ability to let things flow used to tell me to let off steam ... more often.  Guess she must have known those long ago years past that she had birthed a steam engine with the need to let go her greatest challenge.  Pete is the CANCERIAN man, the third type of Water-sign in the astrological village.  He's the one with long-term memory, feeling every thing and caching it away for the long-haul. 

With winter setting into itself with freezing water a repeating experience we watery types must be getting an extra bit of 'feel.'  Frozen water:  frozen feelings.  For me, the deep-sea diver and miner of the depths it's no wonder my head goes Migraine when it freezes.  All that depth needs to be released or broken pipes.

Why a Three-Rune Day?

Pulling Runes (the stones) helps me ground and warm that watery emotional energy that needs to be released, gently, gently, gently.  On most days, one Rune is enough to give me direction, a tip, a voice of counsel.  This morning while the sky was still dark, I pulled three Runes to ask for inner counsel.  Some times one Rune is not enough.  The Runes I pulled came in the order picture above (from top to bottom).

The Rune of Growth, Berkana/Birch.  A Rune of new beginnings, health.  A Rune long associated with Woman. 

In the Book of Runes and the Healing Runes this is the Rune of "Prayer" and "Growth". 

I pulled this Rune twice in two days. 

The Yew, the Rune of "Turning Point"

ALGIZ, The Rune of Protection, and the Rune of Boundaries
I pulled this Rune just the other day, and posted about it.

I often wonder why I do this ... blog, blog, blog.  When I do this (wonder) I know I'm stepping into the freeze of looking out to see who is looking in (at me).  I know I'm navigating or trying to navigate others lives.  When I thaw-out, chill-out and get down to my innocent and quirky Scorpio Sun with oh-so many aspects of a Capricorn I suspect I blog because Expression is the game I signed up for oh-so many watery moons ago.  Long, deep, winding. 

Are you watery?