Saturday, June 23, 2018

I Hope They Like Me

So I went to my interview at DR last week which was just a formality I was assured.  I'm still waiting to hear about the final outcome, but guess what happened while I was there?

I pitched my tent under a nice tree somewhat away from the rest of the village maybe 100 feet.  The weather was nice enough and I slept pretty well.  It was warming up that next morning, when something unpleasant and unexpected happened.  I pitched the tent on a slope.  Not steep but still a slope.  And not just sloping one way.  Sloping both ways.  An X and Y axis slope.  Probably a Z axis slope as well.  Not a flat thing about that campsite.

To compensate, I angled my sleeping pad to try and get aligned with at least one axis but this put me on a diagonal inside the tent.  I left the rainfly off my tent because no rain was expected so when morning hit and I'm looking up from my slopy vantage point on my back, the grid lines above me were all cattywhompass.  I got very dizzy like in a funhouse where the floor is slanted and your frame of reference gets wiggy and I got dizzy like I said.  Problem is it did not go away when I left the funhouse.

I went and had a little breakfast but moved slowly and was not much of a conversationalist.  I kept my breakfast down but had some big belches/dry heaves in that effort.  The world kept trying to slide off to the left and it was getting hot outside fast.  I kept drinking water thinking that would help, but then I kept having to pee so I was getting up and staggering around.  I was pretty miserable and just wanted to take a nap on a level surface.  I didn't want to nap on the couch in the air conditioned Common Room, and I did not want this spell to ruin my interview or worse yet my entire move to DR.

Thank goodness my liaison Liz came up with a suggestion that seemed to help.  She offered to do an acupuncture treatment with me.  I also decided to get a room in The Mercantile for a couple nights to have A/C and a level bed.  The acupuncture seemed to help as did the cold foot soak before and during the needling.  I felt much better late that afternoon after a nap in The Mercantile, but I was spooked.

I had one other episode like this over a year prior at Scott's house.  On that occasion, I drank a pot of coffee on an empty stomach and was kneeling and bending up and down working on a project in the garage.  I got lightheaded, dizzy, and nauseous.  A nap helped, but since that time I have had ringing in both my ears.  I'm worried these are mild episodes of Mennieur's like Dad has.  Dad's first episode occurred when he was only 35 years old on his way to Naples.  I thought his first episode was much later than that.  I'll consider it good news that it didn't happen to me until about 15 years later than his onset.

I left DR early for some R&R at Mom and Dad's.  More A/C and a level bed.  Allergy medicine was indicated as my eyes were a little puffy and watery and allergies can make the other issues worse.  Less caffeine is also indicated plus good rest.  I still have not been "normal", but the worst of the wooziness passed and has not come back as bad as it was last Friday.  My ears are ringing and my visual field tends to want to slide around a little but I'm not nauseous.  I've been able to do the things I want to do.  I've gotten some confidence back but this is something I'll need to manage by resting, taking it easy on caffeine and stress, and not sleeping in a funhouse.

Bottom line is I'm going to postpone my move to DR until September when the weather is more forgiving and get myself back in form and get some more confidence.

I want this move to have the best possible chance of succeeding!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Predictions for One Year From Now

Today is June 8th, 2018.  If all goes as hoped for, I will move to Dancing Rabbit EcoVillage in Rutledge, MO on July 7th, 2018.
Among some of my friends, it is traditional to suggest "if you wrote down today what your life will be like a year from now, you would sell yourself short."  We'll see.  Here's some of my predictions on my life a year from now.

It will help me to break this list down to the following categories:
  1. Food
  2. Friends
  3. Livelihood
  4. Entertainment
  5. Poop
  6. Lodging
  7. Exercise
  8. Spirituality
  9. Health
  10. Travel
  11. Sustainability
  12. Stuff

So about the food scene at Dancing Rabbit, it's not like I'll be going from cheesy puffs to carrots.  I already eat carrots.  In fact, I just microwaved a bowl of crinkle-cut carrots with some butter, salt, pepper, and cumin.  The source of my carrots will be different at Dancing Rabbt (DR).  My carrots a year from now will be grown by me and my friends within 500 feet of where we are eating them.  Very local carrots. And I will not be eating my carrots alone.  Most likely, I will be eating carrots with friends.  No more sad, lonely, imported, microwaved carrot meals for T.

More on Food.  I will be making at least two dinners a week for me and my friends.  I will be moderately impressed with the dishes I have cooked and the successes I have had.  None of my friends will have died from eating the food I cooked.  Just like in the suburbs thankfully, though I have done almost no cooking for my friends in the suburbs.


Food will be my largest monthly expense.  It will be money proportionally spent as the procurement, preparation, consumption and clean up of food is a big part of my everyday life.  I will weigh about 205 pounds down from the 215 pounds I weigh today.  My grandma will say I look skinny and need to eat more, and I will assure her repeatedly with a little irritation that I am eating better and healthier than I have ever eaten in my life.  I will have tried a few foraged foods from around the DR farm including Wild Spinach, Itch Weed, and Chickweed.

Friends.  I will have three or four more very good friends.  At least one of these friends will be someone I meet in AA and the rest will be from among the DR residents.  At least two of my very good friends from Kansas City will have come to visit me at DR.  Overall, I will be in an even better friend situation than I am now!  I will net more than my current 154 Facebook Friends after additions and subtractions.

Livelihood.  I will have tried at least a dozen new enterprises at least two of which will be showing modest signs of success.  Some of these enterprises might be "Just Love People" online store, Simply Your Story personal history writing, this EcoVILLAGEVillagevillage blog, twig furniture building, custom BigFellaOutdoorChairs, book reselling, temping for other villagers, DRtist art/craft sales,  personal/business coaching,  Rutledge Flea Market booth, tutoring Chinese children in English online, a workshop on something at DR, reclaimed building materials, DR rickshaw, DR newspaper, crowdfunding carbon offsets, and tiny doll furniture.  My renters will have paid on time every month.  I will not have lost money for the year.  I have little notebooks full of other ideas, so who knows what could possibly happen!  I'd really love to start something at DR that new Rabbits could plug into and earn a livelihood for themselves.

Entertainment.  I will have finished and taught my DR song to the group.  I will have a new favorite singalong instrument like the spoons, or a soda bottle, or a cahon.  I will have attended most song circles and karaoke nights.  I will have sung a Tom Petty song at karaoke.  I will have sung a duet at karaoke.  I will have no idea what you are talking about if you ask me about the latest movie or television show.  I will have seen way more sunsets that sitcoms.  I will be able to name more birds and trees and bushes and flowers than celebrities and politicians.

Poop.  I will remain the regular, daily, morning pooper that I have been for years.  I will no longer poop in drinking water which is just a waste.  I will poop in a bucket with sawdust.  I will no longer waste good poop either.  I will compost my poop in the name of good, rich, healthy soil.

Lodging.  I will have have lived in my tent in both too hot and too cold conditions but only for a very few days.  I will have lived in another abode at DR like the Gnome Dome or Milkweed Mercantile to avoid more too cold or too hot days in the tent.  I would love to build a tiny, insulated, portable structure in time for this winter that could be re-purposed when I build my next permanent abode but that might be wishful thinking.  I will have a site picked out and a structure designed with a plan to start my new residence at the end of a year.

Exercise.  Most mornings I will stretch in the Casa.  This summer, I will swim in the pond daily and walk a lot.  I will do some strength training, and I will also do some bike riding.  Colder weather will mean finding an alternative to the pond.  Maybe I will extend pond swimming season with a wet-suit.  The buoyancy plus warmth would make that a good option I think.  Water walking is easier on my hip than land walking or biking.  My dream would be to be able to play Ultimate Frisbee without hip pain.  I'll take mild improvement or not worsening of my hip though.  Someone will look at me and remark, "There's no way you're 50."

Spirituality.  Unclear where this will go.  Ongoing reading and practice of Buddhist precepts will continue.  I will continue my morning practice of asking God to help me stay away from the first drink and give me knowledge of his will and the power to carry it out and saying thank you for same at night.  I can imagine getting into a new healing practice of some sort.  I've had an interest lately in going back to reading in the New Testament and Old too just started with Proverbs.  Heed wisdom and watch out for adulteress women is the gist so far.  I'm good on both counts I think.  I will continue to meditate some and mildly chastise myself for "needing to do more" or maybe the "should"-ing stops and the meditation increases.  I am curious to find out more about each person's spiritual history and current path at DR.  That will definitely happen!

Health.  I will stay out of the hospital.  I will take it easy on hot days with lots of fluids and rest when I need it.  The ringing in my ears will lessen again as it did on my first visit to DR.  The dizziness or "just off center" feeling I have much of the time now will not get worse and even improve with a healthier lifestyle.  I will have fewer "do no harm" days where my attitude is just pure crap.  I will seldom binge on sugar nor crave it.

Travel.  I will visit Mom and Dad for the holidays.  I will visit Kansas City in October to celebrate my recovery birthday with Mike.  I will make another trip somewhere else just for fun.  I will take the train at least twice.  I will have planned " a big trip" somewhere to keep things interesting.  Maybe for some continuing education or just sightseeing.  Maybe a bike trip?

Sustainability.  I will not have a personal vehicle.
A year from now, I will not have indulged in any fossil fuels for AC/Heating, warm water, or refrigeration, and I will barely notice the difference.  Travelling back to conventional society will be a little unnerving but I will resist any little urge I might have to consider my "carbon superiority."  I will grow my veggies without chemicals, and I will learn more about organic practices while doing them and not just reading about them.  I will get a solar panel and be part of DR efforts in contributing more sustainable energy back to the grid than we use.  If/when I use lumber, it will be reclaimed, local, or sustainably harvested.  I will have reclaimed and recycled all materials that can be.  I will feel good about all this while hoping to get a couple more electric vehicles with a longer range that we can keep sufficiently charged with our off-grid power for the DRVC.

Stuff.  Stuff tends to creep up on me.  Just when I think I don't have too much, I have too much.  I'll share stuff with others more mitigating the need to have all my own stuff.  I will still have at least 7 pairs of underwear.  My goal would be to have the right amount of clothes to be wearing my last clean outfit at the same time that have 1 full load of laundry to do.  I know.  I'm an ambitious little fella.