Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day 42: The end of this sequence

Yesterday was the last day of my חדל meditation sequence. I think it was a relative success, as I've remained sane and taken time out to rest, relax, fish, and do numerous other things.

It was also the day I signed the loan papers for our new house. I've been rather excited about all of this.

We were told by our landlord back in March that he wanted to move back in to his house, on May of this year. We asked him to hold off until June 15th, as we'd been house hunting, and needed 60 days to close.

Yesterday, we signed loan papers. The sellers sign papers today, and on Friday we will be the new owners of our home.

It's been quite a journey. We started with about $1000 in the bank, and through the blessings of The Most High and various other spiritual entities, the generosity of our friends, the hard work of Paddy and myself, and a couple of wonderful pieces of good fortune and magical finagling, we're at the end of that portion of the journey. Now, the next leg begins: Moving!

I'll be moving for the next several weeks, so posting will probably be light. Until then, I leave you with a set of pictures of our new home. They're several years old, but the house doesn't look that different. It won't until we get into it, and start putting our mark on it.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day 37: Wow, take a day off

It's been 10 days since my last post. I've been keeping up with the meditation. We celebrated the Eucharist on Sunday in our new space, which was wonderful. Saw some new faces.

This move is kicking my butt. We sign papers on 5/22, and close 5/29. It can't happen fast enough. Our landlord is moving back into his house, so he's chomping at the bit to get back up there. It's causing stress and complications as he tries to move animals in before we've moved our animals out. Animals are always unpredictable: they have their own behaviors, diseases, and issues, and they rarely stay right where you put them. I just want to kick the dust from my feet and get to our own place.

When I'm already stressed, complications cause me more stress. So rest, relaxation, etc are difficult to come by. Work is gearing up for our next phase of the project, the phase that starts letting the whole company in. I'm gearing up to help support the whole system once the contractors start to gear down. It's a fun time at work, a fun time at home, and the stress is just... stressful.

So I've been letting the writing slide. And the meditation. And the meditation, at least, I should be keeping up. That will help the most in the days ahead.

I cannot wait to be through this hurdle.

I have many things I want to start working on: Woodworking. Permaculture. Growing things. Building things. Modifying our house so it's our house, not just a rented space we stay in. It reflects more of our personality, reinforces our ideals, values, etc. Soak in the hot tub. It will be a talisman to what we believe, I think. I hope.

That hurdle is coming. Eight More Days.

I think I'm also a little down, because my brothers and sisters are all meeting at the Apostolic Johannite Church Conclave in Harrisburg. I was supposed to leave on Tuesday. Then all this came up. I miss them all, hope they have the best time, and I will see them all again soon.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Day 27: Permaculture

Today I've been thinking a lot about the Permaculture. It combines a lot of ideas that I am interested in: renewable energy, greywater and rainwater storage, soil regeneration and restoration, food forests, trees and garden design. Careful use of resources, respectful approach to life, and thoughtful planning. It provides for the needs of human beings, and other forms of life. Waste becomes resources, productivity increases, work is minimized, environment is restored.

Holy cow is that a paradigm shift.

I've been raised in a culture, a business culture, of resource extraction and efficiency. That science, rationality, and engineering will produce the best life humans can have. While that may be true, it seems mainstream science has actually stopped with principles developed during the industrial age. Efficiency, redesigned as the least amount of work, became the goal. Waste was discounted.

Now, though, I've come to a new business, with a new understanding of waste. In my new workplace, waste is defined as: Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-Use of Capabilities, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Extra Processing.

So, suddenly things like packaging, or manure, become resources, not waste. What can I do with extra cardboard or junk mail? Things like transportation and inventory become waste: Where do I store manure? What do I do with the cardboard?

It's interesting stuff. I can see in our current set up where much of what we do is work intensive and not sustainable. As we move into our new farm and location, we'll have to make some observations as to what's possible to make the most of the resources we have, to the greatest benefit of the creatures that live on our property.  Given that it's a forested area, with good drainage, we'll have some interesting opportunities.

Of course, one of the appealing things for me is the fact that the work is reduced by building relations into the systems.  We'll see how it turns out, and how closely I stick to it.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Day 24: Resting, and upcoming plans.

On Day 23, I did manage to meditate, but writing was not in the cards.

This making myself stop and take time to relax is hard. 9 hour work days, child care, dinner prep, etc. make things tough. I have no idea how single parents do it.

We've been without internet for 3 days now, which is a mixed blessing. I've done a bit more around the house, got some packing done which is good. I've been out walking twice this week, and the second time was easier and of longer duration than the first. Today, I may take the goats and sheep out for a walk as well.  We'll have to see what happens.

The service provider will be up tomorrow morning to check the internet. It doesn't seem to be an issue on our end. We'll see.

I've given up on reading the Hugo nominees. I'm not that interested. I may come back to them later, but right now there's just too many other things on the plate. Perhaps I should buy a supporting WorldCon membership, and get the voters packet, which has electronic copies of all of the books.

Speaking of books, I have in my hands the first draft of The Illuminated Circle 4: Scorpio Angels. We're looking at a July release date if all goes well. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can find the Illuminated Circle 1-3 here. Once I figure out how to set up pre-orders, I'll do so for IC4.

These angel books are a wonderful stretch for me. I generally do business, code, and technical writing, so I sometimes feel in a rut, and my own personal writing seems too straightforward and businesslike. Encountering non-corporeal phenomena helps keep one's writing from becoming too grounded. There's a time for straightforward, a time for off the wall symbolism and deep diving Jungian weirdness.

In many ways, I feel like things are on hold, which is not restful. Yet, that fallow period of being on hold is a time of preparation, of making sure the foundation is laid for a new home base. I have big plans for that base, and getting it laid down correctly is of major importance.

Just so my readers are prepared, the week of June 1-6 is probably going to be a light posting week. If all goes well, that will be moving week.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Day 22: International No Diet Day

Apparently, May 6th is International No Diet Day. Given my health issues to date, I think it's a load of crock.

From Wikipedia:

International No Diet Day (INDD) is an annual celebration of body acceptance, including fat acceptance and body shape diversity. This day is also dedicated to promoting a healthy life style with a focus on health at any size and in raising awareness of the potential dangers of dieting and the unlikelihood of success
The unlikelihood of success. Just what I needed to hear right now.

Success is vitally (get it?) important to my life right now. I'm 42 years old, I'm overweight (40-80 lbs depending on which chart I look at), I have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and the weight all rests around my middle, which studies say is a result of high cortisol levels (Stress). Does the weight cause the stress, or is the weight a result of stress? I'm sure there's a relationship there, and it may be becoming a self-reinforcing one.

These chronic diseases (HBPD, Diabetes, Obesity) will eventually wear out my body and kill me. If history is any guide, unless they're under control it won't be a long weight.

There's only two things I can control: My exercise, and my diet. And here we have INDD, which I'm sure is well meaning, but incredibly unhelpful as I'm trying to figure out how to combat these issues.

Two things I've found I'm doing wrong, right off the bat: 1) Always wash your hands before testing blood sugar, as residue on the hands can affect the readings. 2) Drink more water. With my cpap, I feel like I'm parched in the morning, so it's possible that I'm dehydrated when I'm taking my reading.

Also, with the move and various other items of stress, I've been slacking on watching my food intake, and on making sure I exercise. Now that the move is starting to resolve, I need to begin watching those areas of my life. International No Diet Day seems to be a great day to look at my diet.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Day 21: On to other things

Since we have figured out the house stuff, I've been able to start concentrating on other things. one of the other things I need to concentrate on is my health.

Today, I took my blood sugar reading for the first time in a long time. The value was 200, which is about 80 higher than I want it to be. So, diet reform is on The Horizon, and I am starting to exercise more. For now, I'm just going to add a walk at lunch. as we finish the move, I'll put something else in.

A conversation on Sunday got me thinking about the political process specifically, the idea of an esoteric political action committee. The rules surrounding PACs are surprisingly loose, and it's fairly easy to start one. My only question would be, what sort of issues would be of interest two people with an esoteric bent?

Lots of ideas and things are whirling around in my head. We'll see what comes of it.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Day 20: Initiations, Rites, and dirt

This weekend was quite the whirlwind.

Friday we went and saw the Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was a treat for the family, and a lot of fun. I really recommend the movie if you're following the Marvel franchise.

Saturday was a wonderful day. Newberg Rugby went undefeated, and we're the only undefeated team in the Divisions, although we're apparently behind on points, because Union is leading the division with 10 wins/1 loss, while we have 7 wins. The parents put on a great feed for the kids and others. I played a lot of frisbee during the down times with Seamus. Fun stuff.

Then, we went to dinner with some friends, and they gave us $10,000 to help buy our house! We have the best friends ever. With this gift and all the previous amounts people have given us, we're within $4000 of our down payment amount. It's amazing and wonderful news, and we cannot express our gratitude enough to the folks who gave us that gift.

Sunday was a magical day. I did a Friary initiation, then the initiate and a small group did the Juno Working from Jason Miller's Strategic Sorcery Course. Then Lunch at the Portland food carts, manual labor unloading dirt a yard of dirt with Kurt and Dan, then back home for short ribs, baked beans, and Settlers of Catan with the kids. Tommy won, quietly building his empire while the rest of us were all squabbling about this and that.

Quite a busy weekend. Lots of wonderful, life affirming things: Affirmations of generosity, of prosperity, of community, of helping each other with no or little desire for compensation. Lots of family, both chosen, biological, and spiritual.

Life is good.


So, today marks the Full Moon in Scorpio. That explains a lot:

Scorpio is about shared values and resources, sexual intimacy, and emotional depth. While Venus-ruled Taurus likes everything beautiful, the Mars and Pluto ruled Scorpio is not afraid to delve into the darkness. Scorpio is a complex, mysterious, and intense sign. Through this intensity it has tremendous power to facilitate powerful transformations. Metaphorically speaking, Scorpio likes to “take out the trash,” especially when there is a Full Moon in this sign. 
So, shared values and resources, check. Sexual intimacy, check (didn't talk about that, but trust me). Emotional Depth (rites, love, etc) check. Full Moon in Scorpio is a go!