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:

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  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 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:

Image credits:

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

To listen to the Spotted Owl click here


Where do you call home?

Imagine credit:

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"

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 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 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... "