Living the Vision

Darrington, WashingtonLast June my world was transformed by a seemingly simple event.  I woke-up to an e-mail from Dear Friend Amy passing along a Craigslist ad advertising eight traditional Mongolian Yurts at the insane price of $500 a piece.  I was certain they’d be gone or there’d be some crazy catch, but I immediately grabbed for the phone.  A day later I was sitting beside my husband in the front of a large U-Haul truck, making the eight-hour round trip to Darrington to pick-up our new yurts.  It felt like winning our own private lottery.  We thought we’d be lucky to find one traditional yurt for under $10,000 – but we’d just bought three for under $3000, the entire cost of the trip to retrieve them, included. 

A few months before this moment we’d arrived at the conclusion that a traditional Mongolian Yurt – the type with horsehair ties and no proliferation of metal parts – was the answer to an equation that would get us onto land and closer to our sustainable, intentional community dreams more quickly.  From that conversation we’d both agreed to add a traditional yurt to our individual vision boards.  We didn’t realize until a few days after we’d actually brought the yurts home that both of us had drawn a semi-circle of 3 yurts on our board – not because either of us had anticipated being able to purchase three of them, but to depict the community spirit underlying the vision!  To us this seemed to be a strong confirmation from the Universe to dive into our dream.  Strengthened by a new faith, we sped-up the timeline of our plan and made some bold decisions.

Yurt DoorWe left the great job, the house we loved, the region we loved, the son in college, the dear friends;and dove in.  It took six-weeks to pull off what we’d been dreaming of for eight years.  Without any significant savings.  Without any clear idea of how it was all going to congeal.  We only knew the general location of where we were heading (we’d narrowed it down to a county, 3 1/2 hours to the east); and that we had three yurts to make it happen.

We started out looking for raw, off-grid land on owner contract, with the side agreement that we would explore any option that presented itself.  We ran ads in the region’s papers, posted to Craigslist and perused land auctions.  We made day trips on days off to explore our findings, the clock now ticking toward a deadline.  Though there was a ton of great off-grid, raw land for homesteading selling on contract, the responses we kept receiving were mostly from other homesteaders heading back to the city and eager to sell.  All of our best options were turning out to be developed properties with amenities we hadn’t anticipated starting out with.  So we changed gears.  A simple shift of focus and we were no longer in the position of just needing to find a place and trust that it would be right; we were now searching for the right place for us.IMG_1656 (1024x768)

We finally decided on a rustic A-frame cabin, on 20 wooded acres with a year-around creek.  The payments were really low and the cute factor was high.  Yet our excitement seemed overshadowed by a sense of reluctance we couldn’t put a finger on.  It wasn’t perfect, but two weeks before we’d been eager to live on land with only the most primitive amenities so “issues” seemed more like “resources to work with” to our eyes.  That wasn’t the problem.  For my part of it, I didn’t want to admit that either of us were feeling a “bad vibe” when we’d been riding so high on following our Hearts and feelings of faith and gratitude; I just wanted to stay thankful and receptive for what was coming our way.  But of course the listening was a necessary part of the following (our Hearts)!

We made one last trip.  We looked at the A-frame, several other properties and then the A-frame again.  It still looked like the best option and we still couldn’t put our finger on the source of our reluctance.  As we drove out of town it seemed clear we’d be signing the final papers for the A-frame in the morning.

Although we were running late, it was still light enough out that we decided to try a new, supposedly more scenic route back home.  It was because of this that we stopped to get gas at a new place; a small junction about 15 miles further into the mountains than where we’d previously ventured.  And it was at this gas station that my husband found the ad.  When he read it to me, the proposition seemed insane.  I protested vigorously.  It appeared to be off in some other county.  We were already further out and the wrong direction from where we wanted to be.  We were already running behind schedule.  The property was still another 17 miles away.  For the price it had to have some horrible quality about it.  I guess I wasn’t being as receptive to exploring options as I thought!  Thankfully he persisted and this is how we found our dream property.

The place had sat empty in the mountain woods for several years, but 30 years ago it had been the flourishing homestead of a bona fide Master Gardener.  Better still, it had been shaped by back-to-the-land intentions and born from community dreams.  It came with producing fruits, nuts, grapes and herbs and amenities like a greenhouse with a seed starting room.  This is where our three yurts have ultimately led us:

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We pulled out of Wenatchee in the early morning hours of August 1st, 2011 – and the adventure has yet to stop.  In fact it’s only just beginning.  We’re enjoying the love affair with the ever-changing beauty that surrounds us.  We’ve seen animals we never imagined seeing (think – a sky full of eagles, an elk taller than our truck, a jet black wolf slinking across the snow).  Filled up pantry shelves with the products of our own land that were simply here, ready for harvest in the weeks following our arrival.  Learned what it’s like to “take a trip”  just to get to the store.  I wouldn’t change any of it.

We spent the first 114 days without internet (yes, I counted each one) and only started watching a spot of TV again last week.  Cell phones don’t even work out here.  But I guarantee you that my from-scratch baking and crafting adventures have gone through the roof (a slice of fresh bread or a soy candle, anyone?).  And every single day since August I’ve had something new or interesting to report to my journal.  (Example:  “Day 15 – A clear sky full of the brightest stars I’ve seen since Arizona lured me out the front door.  Found myself in the midst of a yard-full of skunks digging for ground hornets.  Can’t get over their size!  They all immediately raised their tails but thankfully fled the scene without a smell.”)

In the next few months we will have the yurts set up on their floors and others will join us here.  I’ve turned the page from living and envisioning to living the vision.  And because these changes accord with the original intents and purposes underlying this blog, I now hope to turn the same page here as well; documenting and sharing this new lifestyle with you.  Follow your dreams!  Namaste.

Spiritual Sustainability: Save the Earth Without Killing Yourself

I found this thought-provoking article posted to a sustainable communities forum under the title Something to Think About: A Death-Blow to My Sustainable Living Ideal.  Having my own sustainable living ideals, it grabbed my attention; I wondered what a death-blow might represent.

It turns out that in this case the death-blow is a loss of two-thirds the author’s income.  As Amanda Rooker contemplates the discrepancy between her good intentions and the reality she’s faced with, a powerful transformation unfolds – her belief of being too poor and too busy to live sustainably is replaced by the realization that it was, in actuality, her “product-based, practice-based ideal of sustainable living that was not sustainable.”  This leads her to some intriguing revelations about what sustainability truly implies.  In the end, Amanda comes to see sustainability as a spiritual practice and process in parallel to the natural world –

Even if the body is deficient in many areas, it will only take in what will address the primary deficiency.  Pouring supplements into your body (or in this case adding sustainable practices) to address visible symptoms, is a waste of time, money  and energy.  Only when the core deficiency is met will the body be capable of absorbing what it needs to address the next core need.”

Very refreshing!

Collective Intelligence in Small Groups

My DH works as part of a small, intimate team.  They provide intensive outreach for those with severe mental illness and most of their time is spent on the streets, monitoring and assisting patients who otherwise wouldn’t get care or know how to locate important resources available to them.  This involves a great deal of coordinated effort.  In fact, he often remarks that every aspect of his team’s success relies on superlative coordination;  “We’ve learned to think as one brain.”

burak-arikan-os-realtionships-ad-collective-intelligence-2005Being that I am passionate about Community (the Intentional sort), I am fascinated by collective intelligence and its inherent synergism.  I knew I had to share this article on Collective Intelligence in Small Groups over @Kurzweil as soon as I read it.  It’s based on a study performed by MIT and published by Science that found that the Collective Intelligence Factor in the performance of small Human groups is not correlated with the intelligence of the group members, but with how well the group works together.  Maximum collective intelligence is not born from cognitive ability but from “social sensitivity”, which the study defined as the willingness of the group to take turns and apply their individual skills collectively to solve challenges.


H2O2 Oral Therapy Update

Day 10 and we’re up to 28 drops in 8 oz of water 3x per day.  I still haven’t grown accustomed to the taste but I find myself looking forward to the next cup almost as much, if not equal to, my morning coffee (which is saying a lot).  No surprise, then, that my coffee consumption has gone down by half this past week!  I generally feel a noticeably heightened sense of clarity and vigor for about an hour after ingesting.  I say generally as there have been a few times where it left me feeling rather ill.  When they say not to lay flat for an hour after the dose, for example, that’s actually a good idea and not just obscure advice (apparently it can increase the “bubbling” that sometimes occurs in the stomach).  And you definitely want to leave a space between consuming the diluted H2O2 and eating anything.

That long-lasting bruise that disappeared?  It was replaced a few days later with three tiny blisters that are now almost gone themselves; the only evidence that my leg was ever injured in that spot.  Also, the pronounced improvement in my breathing continues.

Frankly, I expected to feel poor during this initial 10 days and was fully prepared for the “crisis period” many described, but which neither my DH or myself experienced.  Our plan is to get to 50 drops 3x per day and stay at that level for 3 weeks (the cleansing phase), before reducing it to a daily 50-drop dosage for 3 to 6 months (the restorative phase).  After that our maintenance routine will be a weekly 50-drop dose.

I’ll update with developments or changes.

H2O2 and Oral Therapy – the First Day

 

Two weeks ago I would not have necessarily known that H2O2 was another name for Hydrogen Peroxide, and I had never heard of H2O2 Therapy in any of its guises.

Then a friend let me in on the trick behind her noticeable green thumb (really, her garden is easily triple anything around).  She explained that each plant receives a certain periodic dosage of Food Grade H2O2 in its watering schedule and went on to extol the many (and seemingly quite visible) benefits.  I had never heard of doing this, but delivering more oxygen to the plant’s roots (which is what it does) both sounds like a good idea and looks rather effective.

My interest was piqued.  Especially by her suggestion that the clear benefit of providing additional oxygen to the plant is replicated in Humans.  In fact, as I’ve since discovered, most medicinal plants, nutritional supplements and new “miracle” programs (such as the Alkaline Diet) work by increasing oxygen intake and/or supply in our body in some regard.

I found a dozen books at the library, and then researched everything I read on-line.  Even the rather disappointing Snopes article that merely suggests it’s common sense to stay away from it, citing only a case or two of poor judgment.

What started as an interest in developing my own green thumb became an interest in the potential of H2O2 for personal use.  Especially when I read that farmers use H2O2 in their animal’s water supply to decrease the need for antibiotics.  Shouldn’t that be a clue to its potential?  Yet the FDA says H2O2 isn’t fit for Human consumption.  How can this be?  Of course this is the same FDA who wouldn’t approve ammonia-washed meat products for animal food, only to turn around and rule that the same was fit for Humans instead.  Not to promote conspiracy theories, but I don’t believe they have our best interests at heart.

Especially when you take into account that many European cities treat their municipal water supplies using H2O2.  Some since 1901!  The water-on-tap is said to be revitalizing and invigorating.  This, while America treats most of its supply with known carcinogens like Chlorine and Fluoride!

What is H2O2 in the first place?  As I said at the beginning, it is more commonly recognized under the name Hydrogen Peroxide.  More accurately, Hydrogen Dioxide.  In essence, water with an extra oxygen atom attached!

Perhaps because it has been in commercial production since 1890, most people I talk to don’t seem to realize that Hydrogen Peroxide is a naturally occurring compound found in all oceans, lakes, rivers, rain, snow and in all life forms.  It is in all fresh fruits and vegetables we consume, especially concentrated in those grown in the open air.  It is a natural disinfectant.  The Human body creates and uses H2O2 as a free radical to destroy bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.  White blood cells make hydrogen peroxide to oxidize all infections and invaders.  Vitamin C helps us to stave off infections by producing hydrogen peroxide.  The colon, bladder and vagina all produce hydrogen peroxide to stay aerobic and healthy.

When used chemically, H2O2 is up to 5000 times more effective than Chlorine as a sanitizer and antiseptic.  It is used to pasteurize milk in most countries.  It is said to be the “miracle” in the healing waters of Lourdes, France, given the high natural concentration in the spring…

Ok.  So you get my drift.  No surprise, given all of the above, that H2O2 therapy is wide spread.  Especially in Germany, where apparently there are IV therapy stations one can go to wipe out the on-set of ailments.  It is important to know that most strains of harmful bacteria and viruses, all internal fungi and parasites, and cancer cells – all of which are anaerobic – cannot survive in the presence of oxygen, and thus IV therapy using H2O2 shows astounding results across hundreds of thousands of test cases, across several decades, in Europe.

While I would love to participate in the IV therapy, that option isn’t readily available to me at this time, so I decided on the next best option – oral therapy.

I have had chronic asthma since I was 13 (over 20 years), and have a blood disorder similar to Sickle Cell Anemia that, without a spleen, leaves me with a serious immune impairment.  The asthma, I am told, is directly related to the inability of my misshapen blood cells to circulate appropriately through my smaller capillaries.  It stands to reason that increasing the oxygen supply to my body would be a good thing.

After my research I decided to order 17.5% Food Grade H2O2.  Most oral therapy programs call for starting with a 35% solution – but it is considered hazardous to transport, comes with additional fees, and ends up diluted for the therapy anyway!

At this point I am only 24 hours into it, so I will be reporting back on this topic.

I started with 6 drops in 8oz of water, taken three times through the day and at least 1 hour ahead of meals.  I will increase this until I am taking 50 drops per 8oz, if I can manage that.  Even with the mere 6 drops I highly dislike the feeling of the water, so right now that seems like quite a bit!

I had no expectation of immediate results.  In fact, everything I read suggested that there would be a period of crisis in the body as the unhealthy organisms were sloughed away due to the presence of oxygen.  However, both my DH and myself could feel it instantly!  Vitalized is the only word that seems to accurately describe the sensation!  Every part of my body felt suddenly very alive and awake.

But more than that – an injury to my right leg in May that left an enduring deep bruise, completely vanished after my second dose and I am breathing better than I have in 20 years!  In fact, I had no intention to sit down and write this but after such astounding results I feel like singing from the rooftops!

Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.

The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook

My son is a Page at the local library, and brought The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook home for me the day it was put into circulation.  He almost skipped it due to its lack of interior gloss, but I’m so glad he didn’t!

If you are a vegetarian living in the Pacific Northwest this is a must have book, for all its insight into local products, traditions and seasons of harvest.  The only thing that could make the book better is if its pictures were in color and included some shots of finished products.

If you are a vegetarian living elsewhere and simply want to indulge in some of the 200 recipes from Oregon and Washington, than this is also your book!  The Pacific Northwest produces a wondrous bounty of unique ingredients!

Last night my family enjoyed the Wild Mushroom Soup with Sherry, using the Garlic-Mushroom Stock recipe also found in the book, and it was superb just like everything else we’ve tried!  And after this, I’m sending the Bake Bean with Hazelnut Bread recipe to my Step-Dad!