Saturday, November 13, 2010

short video of lloyd kahn and his house

SHELTER from jason sussberg on Vimeo.



lloyd kahn is the publisher of shelter and homework.

also, some good news regarding bike routes.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

why are abandoned houses so appealing?


and now, looking at this, i'm noticing that entire trees are growing on the roof.

from here.

magical homes


A house built by a man named Lloyd House.

SunRay Kelley is another house builder.
Both from Lloyd Kahn's "Builders of the Pacific Coast" book. Click here.

Sunday, November 07, 2010



The Driftwood Egg Treehouse, created by Japanese treehouse builder Taka.

from here.

Monday, October 04, 2010



from an article here.
I was aiming at a pleasant, natural way of farming . . . which results in making the work easier instead of harder. "How about not doing this? How about not doing that?"—that was my way of thinking.

By taking this approach, I ultimately reached the conclusion that there was no need to plow, no need to apply fertilizer, no need to make compost, no need to use insecticide! When you get right down to it, there are few agricultural practices that are really necessary.

The reason that man's "improved" techniques seem to be necessary is that the natural balance has been so badly upset beforehand by those same techniques that the land has become dependent on them.

Make your way carefully through these fields. Dragonflies and moths fly up in a flurry. Honeybees buzz from blossom to blossom. Part the leaves and you will see Insects, spiders, frogs, lizards, and many other small animals bustling about in the cool shade. Moles and earthworms burrow beneath the surface.

This is a balanced ricefield ecosystem. Insect and plant communities maintain a stable relationship here. It is not uncommon for a plant disease to sweep through this region and leave the crops in my fields unaffected.

And now look over at the neighbor's field for a moment. The weeds have all been wiped out by herbicides and cultivation. The soil animals and insects have been exterminated by poison. The earth has been burned clean of organic matter and micro-organisms by chemical fertilizers. In the summer you see farmers at work in the fields . . . wearing gas masks and long rubber gloves. These rice fields—which have been farmed continuously for over 1,500 years—have now been laid waste by the exploitive farming practices of a single generation.

--Masanobu Fukuoka

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This tale comes to mind for me so often!



There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.

"Such bad luck," they said sympathetically.

"We'll see," the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses.

"How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed.

"We'll see," replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

"We'll see," answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

"We'll see" said the farmer.


from here.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

acts of kindness

I've been discovering that acts of kindness are valuable mostly for how they can transform us.

Often, doing "good deeds" left me feeling self-conscious and goody-goody, proud, and then loathing myself as I notice how awkward my thoughts got.

Recently Adam & I have been in his parents' pool quite a bit. Little bugs and bees fly in and get stuck in the water. Rescuing the ones that are still alive has revived a very tender part of me. Allowing an insect to sit on my finger while its wings dry teaches me patience. I study it, and see how beautiful it is. To my surprise, I realize that even loving insects is something I carry within.

The potential to be appreciate this little bee is within me, but it is the act of rescuing her that awakens that potential.

In the same way, killing insects strengthens my feelings of loathing towards them. (And I don't necessarily feel ready to be kind to mosquitoes and ticks.)

But the thought that remains with me is that acts of gentleness, generosity, and love are powerful for the transformation within me that they can create. The focus is no longer on what I am doing for others, but how doing these things changes me for the better.

What I do becomes who I am.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

our land

just before landing at salt lake city airport.


then flying north into southeastern washington--a rich agricultural region where my dad's family has their roots.


just the view out the window.
video

Sunday, July 18, 2010

more handmade shoes

i was looking for handmade shoes again today and came across some beauties.

my favorites right now are these from Aurora Shoes, made in Aurora in upstate New York.



These shoes can last for more than ten years. It seems that over time they evolve to fit your foot. The shoe I like (below) is about $160.

Here and here are pictures of someone's Aurora shoes from Flickr. And below is a picture of shoes someone has been wearing for 14 years. I think the shoe on the right has been polished so it looks darker.



Another company, Green Shoes in the United Kingdom, also has some beautiful handmade shoes.



These shoes are slightly more expensive but look just as good. I just think I'd prefer to support a company that is closer. So few good shoes are actually made in this country!

Finally, Glen Leasure of Healthy Handmade Shoes in Virginia makes customized shoes. You have to visit his workshop and he molds the shoe to your foot. These shoes cost $300 and up. They look great too.

I like these old-style historical shoes:


My favorite thing about this shoemaker is that he can make shoes for people with deformed feet that otherwise would not be able to wear any shoes at all. He literally has changed people's lives this way.

Aren't craftspeople such a treasure?

Friday, July 16, 2010

"living better than ever in an age of less"



I just finished reading this book by John Robbins. It addresses our relationship to money, and gives lessons and advice on how to become more aware of our use of money and how to become more free and wise with it. He gives suggestions on ways to reduce our needs and expenses and live more happily with less.

"Money, it seems, is a little like beer. Most people like it, but more is not necessarily better. A beer might improve your mood, but drinking ten beers not only won't increase your happiness tenfold, it might not increase it at all."

I particularly appreciated a section on household cleaning products. Many of the manufactured products are expensive and filled with toxic ingredients. By switching to using vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and borax, we can eliminate the toxins we are exposed to, save money, and have just as clean a house.

He particularly recommends Dr. Bronner's soap, which is made from organic and fair trade plant products. It can be used for soap, but also as a dish soap when diluted 1 part to three parts water.

Sprinkle baking soda in a sink or counter or stove top as a safe alternative to Ajax. Scrub, then rinse away. It will also clean your drains. Follow with hot water. Even a toilet can be cleaned by emptying the bowl and then sprinkling baking soda. Wait a while, then scrub and flush.

Vinegar can be used as a fabric softener. Mix half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of water for one load.

I have heard of using vinegar as a hair conditioner too. Try one part vinegar to 4 parts warm water. Rinse well afterward.

To clean windows use 1 part vinegar (white is fine) to 3 parts water.

Pure vinegar can be sprayed on moldy areas. Wait a few minutes, then scrub and rinse or wipe clean. It should prevent recurrences.

Add half a cup of borax and half a cup of baking soda to a load of laundry (in addition to a regular detergent, I guess) to clean clothes better.

Hydrogen Peroxide is a gentle alternative to bleach. You may need to repeat treatment to get it whiter. (I tried this once and didn't get a perfect white on the first try, but next time I'll repeat.)

I'm excited to try using these products.

As a side note I tried using baking soda as a shampoo on my hair but it was too harsh. My hair started falling out. Perhaps my solution was too concentrated. For now I'm back on regular shampoo.

Monday, July 05, 2010

two movies about water and life

This first movie is actually two movies; Jean de Florette is a father who moves to the country to make his way as a farmer, close to the land. In the sequel, Manon of the Spring, his daughter continues to be affected by the land, their neighbors. Water is central to these beautiful movies set in Provence. The tale is surprising, profound, and ultimately a spiritually uplifting experience.



Just today, we caught the second half of Flow on television. It is a heartbreaking tale of corporations polluting and stealing water away from the poorest people in the world.




Interestingly, Flow has much in common with Jean de Florette. People who only care for large profits will disregard the suffering and death their enterprises can cause to communities.

My parents lived in Cochabamba, Bolivia for 7 years of my childhood. Not long after we left, the struggle between the people and a foreign for-profit water company came to a head. Protests over large increases in water prices eventually led to the corporation being forced out of Cochabamba.

Stories like these don't always end well. In Flow we meet people from communities in India and Africa and even in Michigan whose water has been contaminated or stolen by corporations. Corporations have dammed rivers in order to harvest water that they then sell to citizens at high prices. Not only this, but dams have also displaced many millions of people from their family lands.

However there are tales of many years of struggle ending in an eventual victory for communities.

Watching Flow made me want to make sure that any retirement plan I benefit from does not make money from these unethical corporations. Nestle and Coca-Cola both show utter disregard for the impact of their practices on communities and the environment.

I feel like I am still finding out what it is I am supposed to do. For now I am taking in almost too much information about corporations and the terrible toll they are taking on our planet. I have come to believe they are the Beast, the insatiable appetite for money that doesn't care what it consumes, and leaves behind desolation, pollution, illness, and death.

Our government is giving these entitites immunity to devastate the environment and at the same time giving them massive tax breaks. When it's time to clean up the mess, the cost falls to tax payers.

I am not sure how this beast will eventually fall. Do I need to re-read Revelation and interpret it as a message that somehow this evil power will be toppled in the end? Or perhaps my inspiration should simply be the small but beautiful stories of success around the world. Aquifers replenished, greenery restored, children playing in ponds that had disappeared and now are back again.

I highly recommend both these films. Watering your garden will never feel the same.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

potted beauty


from here

succulents are so lovely.

Friday, June 11, 2010

dreaming of green


from here

here is a bit of back yard i dream of. old bricks, wild greenery popping out everywhere, clotheslines, and a breeze.

today i worked a bit in the container garden i'm developing. Saved seeds from the last few years, a fortunate pile of dirt in the back yard, and old plastic containers from purchased plants. there is no thrill like the first glimpse of basil, cilantro, or mint pushing up quietly but with determination through the dirt. i love my plants like children. (hopefully when we have kids i will love them more!)

i think i shall begin posting more frequently with photos of beauty that makes me tingle. i need it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Saturday, June 05, 2010

shoes--my obsession

I've been extremely picky about shoes for as long as I can remember. As a child I was very upset when I had to wear shoes that I felt said something about my personality that wasn't accurate. Now, when I finally find a pair that is just right, I love to be stopped by a stranger who loves them too--a kindred shoe spirit.

Here's a little history of some of my more recent shoe purchases--the more obsessively researched ones, anyway.

When I was getting into carpentry, my new boss told me that the green sneakers weren't really right for the job site. I paid nearly $100 for a pair of very comfortable leather work shoes, wolverines. They were great for a while, and then a year and a half later the soles wore thin and cracked. Now my socks get wet when its rainy.

Lately, I've become a fan of long term commitments to my shoes, so this was a big let down. (Although I'll admit I was never crazy about how these looked--I bought them in a hurry and compromised on style--they were work shoes after all.)

I have a pair of doc martens that lasted me well, but ended up not being as comfortable as I'd hoped, so they aren't getting worn too frequently. I think they were really cute, though.


Another $100 or so purchase was some mephisto sandals which I think I bought in '05 or '06 and are still going strong, probably more comfortable than ever, if looking a bit worn.


Today I was looking at these, thinking maybe Birkenstocks would be a good reliable bet:

But really, I would love to have a pair of shoes made for me. I think I'm going to look for a real live shoemaker!



check out these made by guat shoes


and these too (i'm a sucker for pink or red shoes):



I know there's a huge lack of quality footwear available--I get super frustrated when I discover that formerly reliable brands are outsourcing manufacturing and their products just aren't the same as they used to be. Even the really good names! So I am going to keep looking for a 5 to 10 year shoe relationship in the $100 price range. Maybe handmade shoes will have to wait. Maybe someday I'll make a pair for myself. (Or maybe I'll try to re-sole those wolverines myself since the shoemaker said he can't.)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Story Water

A story is like water
that you heat for your bath.

It takes messages between the fire
and your skin. It lets them meet,
and it cleans you!

Very few can sit down
in the middle of the fire itself
like a salamander or Abraham.
We need intermediaries.

A feeling of fullness comes,
but usually it takes bread
to bring it.

Beauty surrounds us,
but usually we need to be walking
in a garden to know it.

The body itself is a screen
to shield and partially reveal
the light that's blazing
inside your presence.

Water, stories, the body,
all the things we do, are mediums
that hide and show what's hidden.

Study them,
and enjoy this being washed
with a secret we sometimes know
and then not.

--Rumi, the medeival Persian sage, translated by Coleman Barks.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

two books


This book changed my mind.
It got me to reconsider my gut feeling against nuclear energy and genetically engineered food by looking at the facts.

I'd almost become a luddite, rejecting all (or most) technology as essentially problematic and creating more problems than it solves. But our society is not about to give up its inventions and return to a simpler era. We need technology to solve the problems that technology has created.

While nuclear power generation has its dangers, Stewart Brand argues that they are far less than the dangers posed by the massive amounts of pollution created by coal burning power plants. And nuclear is safe until there is an accident, whereas coal power plants are unsafe even when they are running perfectly.

Brand also examines closely the objections to genetically modified foods and argues that genetic alteration is something that happens haphazardly all the time in nature, and that by intentionally creating varieties with specific traits we can optimize yields, and minimize the use of pesticides. Less land will need to be in in cultivation, and fewer crops will fail.

I still have reservations about whether the use of genetically modified seed will give too much power to the corporations (like Monsanto) that develop the seed. However Brand gives examples of situations where smaller organizations were able to develop genetically engineered solutions to local agricultural problems successfully.


I'm reading this book, Life, Inc., which Adam read first. We came across the author on the radio, giving talks on the influence that corporations have taken over our every-day life.

I'm only in Chapter two but I'd like to share a few excerpts:

"The American Revolution was less a revolt by colonists against Britain than by small businessmen against the chartered multinational corporation writing her laws."

"Leading industrialists funded public schools--at once gifts to the working class and powerful tools for growing a more docile labor force. They ...sought to produce 'mediocre intellects and ensure docile citizens' and...modeled public schools after factories, in which the raw product [the children] are to be shaped and fashioned...according to the specifications laid down."

"The rise of factory made products and a rail system to transport them meant that consumers no longer knew exactly where their goods came from, or more important, the people who made them. The "brand" emerged to serve that function, to put a fact on the oats, beverages, and automobiles we bought...."

"The more individualized consumers became--the more separated in their own suburban homes, isolated from their communities and totally self-reliant--the more stuff they would need to buy. Independence from one another meant increasing dependence on the companies that served us."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Corita Kent’s Rules & Hints for Students and Teachers.


* Rule 1

FIND A PLACE YOU TRUST AND THEN TRY TRUSTING IT FOR A WHILE.

* Rule 2

GENERAL DUTIES OF A STUDENT:
PULL EVERYTHING OUT OF YOUR TEACHER.
PULL EVERYTHING OUT OF YOUR FELLOW STUDENTS.

* Rule 3

GENERAL DUTIES OF A TEACHER:
PULL EVERYTHING OUT OF YOUR STUDENTS.

* Rule 4

CONSIDER EVERYTHING AN EXPERIMENT.

* Rule 5

BE SELF DISCIPLINED. THIS MEANS
FINDING SOMEONE WISE OR SMART AND
CHOOSING TO FOLLOW THEM.
TO BE DISCIPLINED IS TO FOLLOW IN A GOOD WAY.
TO BE DISCIPLINED IS TO FOLLOW IN A BETTER WAY.

* Rule 6

NOTHING IS A MISTAKE. THERE’S NO WIN AND
NO FAIL. THERE’S ONLY MAKE.

* Rule 7

The only rule is work.
IF YOU WORK IT WILL LEAD TO SOMETHING.
IT’S THE PEOPLE WHO DO ALL OF THE WORK ALL THE TIME
WHO EVENTUALLY CATCH ON TO THINGS.

* Rule 8

DON’T TRY TO CREATE AND ANALYZE AT THE
SAME TIME. THEY’RE DIFFERENT PROCESSES.

* Rule 9

BE HAPPY WHENEVER YOU CAN MANAGE IT.
ENJOY YOURSELF. IT’S LIGHTER THAN YOU
THINK.

* Rule 10

"WE’RE BREAKING ALL OF THE RULES. EVEN
OUR OWN RULES. AND HOW DO WE DO THAT
BY LEAVING PLENTY OF ROOM FOR X QUANTITIES." JOHN CAGE

HELPFUL HINTS: ALWAYS BE AROUND. COME OR GO TO EVERY- THING. ALWAYS GO TO CLASSES. READ ANYTHING YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON. LOOK AT MOVIES CAREFULLY, OFTEN. SAVE EVERYTHING IT MIGHT COME IN HANDY LATER. THERE SHOULD BE NEW RULES NEXT WEEK.

found here and here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

infinite mercy


Babette's Feast is a classic--a simple but profound experience that must be mulled over and watched again.

At one point in the movie the General makes a speech. Here's an excerpt:

Man, in his weakness and shortsightness, believes he must make choices in this life. He trembles at the risks he takes. We do know fear.

But no. Our choice is of no importance. There comes a time when your eyes are opened. And we come to realize that mercy is infinite. We need only await it with confidence, and receive it with gratitude. Mercy imposes no conditions. And, lo! Everything we have chosen has been granted to us, and everything we have rejected has also been granted. Yes, we even get back what we rejected. For mercy and truth are met together; and righteousness and bliss shall kiss one another.


I've struggled with fear when making decisions. These words are refreshing and comforting. They ring true to my heart, too. Our choices make a difference for our lives, but they'll never come between us and infinite mercy.

Monday, May 03, 2010

old opinions

has anyone ever experience their inner critic gaining strength as they get older? i'm not sure what has happened to me (negative experiences?) but it seems harder to write freely.

perhaps its just that i'm losing my youthful "know it all" confidence. and i believe more and more strongly that, well, you can't be too sure about things without later finding out you're actually dead wrong.

many traits i considered strengths have turned out to be unhealthy compulsions. it's been an eye-opener to find that my husband loves me not for being extremely efficient and hardworking, but because i'm me (even just sitting still, or sleeping in). i used to think i was really great at psychoanalyzing people, but now it seems that i'm just really critical. so i'm trying to learn to just appreciate people despite their strange or irritating behaviors.

i think if i wrote a book on what i believe right now, i'd be horribly embarrased in about a year.

things are changing so fast. i'm not really a reliable opinion to rely on. is there something reliable beyond me?

i know i'm supposed to say "God". yes, he is always there. but my beliefs about who he is, what he wants...those definitely can be dead wrong.

truth, love and beauty.

my quest for truth requires me to again and again open myself to new revelations. m. scott peck calls it revising your road map. every new experience is an opportunity to allow myself to learn, to correct course, or to erase and re-draw lines on the map.

love turns out to be something different than i thought it was. all those times i thought i was helping people were a disaster. turns out i was just supposed to enjoy them! martin buber says, look at your person as a thou, not as an it; as a living, feeling person in this moment, not the concept you have of them. of course they're not perfect, but that doesn't really matter.

beauty too isn't easy to pin down. what i find beautiful changes with time. styles change. i used to love the rustic furniture look but lately i see that some of it is fake rustic. and so i'd prefer to have a quality genuine piece of furniture. i used to want all my dishes to match in their antique battered-ness. but why not have some new things and some old ones and some in between? isn't that more like life?

---

all those cherished radical ideas...they're getting rubbed off like embarassing rough edges.

maybe i'm getting worn and a little rustic myself. i guess that's a part of aging i can appreciate.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Desiderata

Today, in a dentist's office, I spotted this poem framed on a wall. It's familiar to me--maybe I read it someplace before? I wanted to study it more closely. It expresses many things that are beautiful and inspiring to me.

I guess it's no coincidence that the dentist seemed to embody these ideals--he was so gentle, courteous, thorough, and unrushed. He took time to explain things to us, even making a sketch on a napkin. Unlike the dentist we saw earlier this week, he truly made us feel seen and heard. We left with lighter hearts, feeling that we were in the hands of someone who really cares if Adam gets better.

Good people are hiding everywhere. Later, we stopped at a store. As we parked, I said, isn't this the store where that great lady works in the bakery? Sure enough, as we approached the store, we saw her sitting outside, eating her lunch. I greeted her (even though I've only met her once before, months ago). She looks Turkish, beautiful, generous, and motherly. She wears a black head scarf and makes enthusiastic recommendations about different loaves of bread and how to enjoy them.

The Olive Loaf was delicious.

_______________________________

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann

Monday, March 29, 2010

pictures from our life lately


today was rainy and foggy--very peaceful.


yesterday, and again today, these friends came by to see what we were up to.


even when they don't come knocking, they are nearby.


i took this picture on one of the first wonderful warm days this spring.


a new journal for me--stitched up quickly and i'm enjoying writing in it as i read.


and finally, our big project, which is coming along well. it's been far more ambitious than we knew it would be, and yet somehow things have worked out well--a step at a time. i could write a long post on snags we've hit and things we've learned. i've had a hey day doing lots of math. i can't wait to be living in it!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Listen

Several years ago a friend recommended Frederick Buechner's books to me. Sometimes these recommendations simmer in the back of my mind for a while, but I've come to believe that if the book is important for my life, it will surface again at exactly the right time.

Recently I was browsing in the biography section of the library and came across The Sacred Journey. (Browsing is a good way to allow serendipity to send good books your way.)

Buechner writes a beautiful account of his early life and soul's growth. His family moved often. He experienced the loss of his father at an early age. His mother moved the family to Bermuda, then North Carolina. He attended boarding school near Princeton, New Jersey, and later was briefly in the Army. He studies his memories like old photographs, and searches in them for the glimpses of a presence that slowly and gently made Itself known to him.

This book comes to me at a time when I've felt intensely the need to look through the accumulation of many years of a bewildering variety of experiences. The many different lives I've lived all happened to this one person who often forgets who she is and where she comes from. Is it possible to reflect back and somehow see the larger pattern, the big picture of my life? I need perspective in order to move intelligently into the next phase of my life.

For me, and for anyone, Buechner gives this advice:

"...Listen. Listen. Your life is happening. You are happening....A journey, years long, has brought each of you through thick and thin to this moment in time as mine has also brought me. Think back on that journey. Listen back to the sounds and sweet airs of your journey that give delight and to those too that give no delight at all and hurt like Hell. Be not afraid. The music of your life is subtle and elusive and like no other--not a song with words but a song without words, a singing, clattering music to gladden the heart or turn the heart to stone, to haunt you perhaps with echoes of a vaster, farther music of which it is part.

"The question is not whether the things that happen to you are chance things or God's things because, of course, they are both at once. There is no chance thing through which God cannot speak--even the walk from the house to the garage that you have walked ten thousand times before, even the moments when you cannot believe there is a God who speaks at all anywhere. He speaks, I believe, and the words he speaks are incarnate in the flesh and blood of our selves and of our own footsore and sacred journeys."


I want to listen more. I need the comfort of that voice.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

lamb



from this site.

isn't it just so heartbreakingly cute?

Friday, March 05, 2010

Just a brief alert to anyone who reads this--my email was hacked into this morning and a bogus request for money was sent out. Also, I lost all my contacts, and my email history was wiped out. I am looking into another email account, although my gmail account may be ok for now.

It makes me question again the security of having an online existence at all. I got out of facebook for this reason. But at the same time I know that maybe what happened to me was preventable, if I knew more about things. Then again, I don't know how smart I want to keep on having to be!

So please, have good, strong passwords, change them from time to time, and log out of your email while browsing other websites, or choose the https setting if it is available for your email (google has it under general settings, near the bottom).

...

It's been fun getting phone calls from old friends, all the same.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

scanner

i've never used a scanner before (i know). since i'm married to an artist, and sometimes aspire to be one myself, it's a big deal to have one hooked up to the computer, install the drivers, and figure it out.

first scan: a coaster that was handy.


second: a poem by ursula leguin which i copied at the library today.

my brother told me to try gimp as an alternative to photoshop. i used it to play with the original scan.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

pictures of how the wall sections look in a completed yurt

the best thing about yurts is that they are collapsible and portable. our three sections fold up small (each less than 2 feet wide), but then open up very wide (about 16 feet long). when they are folded up, the sections are about eight feet long, but we will stretch them until they form a wall about 5 feet high.

(both pictures from here)
the two wall sections meet and are simply tied together.



"Their huts or tents are formed of rods covered with felt, and being exactly round, and nicely put together, they can gather them into one bundle and make them up as packages, which they carry along with them in their migrations, upon a sort of car with four wheels."
Marco Polo (1252-1329) The Travels

Thursday, January 28, 2010

working on our yurt


(one of the yurt's wall sections, partially completed, taken earlier this week)

we're making progress on our yurt. tonight, we finally completed the 3 wall sections. they are supposed to be the most time consuming portion of the project, and we hope they are, since we've been working on them steadily for the past 3 weeks. next up, door, roof, and canvas covering. each a pretty major project, but then again, it's a home we're building, so it's not supposed to be that easy.

in the video below, adam is drilling one of almost 800 holes in over 100 pieces of wood. we also sanded and then oiled each board, before assembling them into three wall sections. each of the wall sections (khanas) are made of 36 pieces of wood, and then fastened together with knotted ropes.

video

(in this blog, a girl very thoroughly documents her process building a quite similar yurt.)

we're excited to be moving forward with something that's been a dream for a long time.

standing still


if you travel a lot,


you will see a lot of different sights.


but when you stand still in one place,


the view is also constantly changing.