August 2012

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8/1

It cooled off for a couple days but it is hot again, 100 degrees today.  Sometimes people outside of DR aren’t really sure how we survive the heat without temperature controlled thermostats and all. This is how we do it~ Our buildings are built to be very well insulated, sometimes from cob and straw bales.  We open our windows at night to let in the cool air and we close them during the day to keep out the hot air. Our buildings also usually have concrete or earthen plaster floors so it is like having cool stone for your whole floor. The floor keeps cool because it is closer to the ground or very well insulated so it stays a constant temperature. Having good thermoregulation, insulation, and stone-like flooring is important at DR. And just to let out a little secret, there are a few rabbits who have acquired air conditioners, but they can only have them if they are hooked up to the village power grid co-op, BEDR (Better Energy @ Dancing Rabbit). There are, of course, some rabbits who highly disagree with having air conditioners so I think we are more concerned at DR with building our buildings right so we don’t need air conditioners. The common house doesn’t have air conditioning but stays about maybe 20 degrees cooler than the outside and has fans so it is fine to sit inside all day. I leave my mansion dome tent in the morning and don’t go back until I sleep.

The Browns are experimenting with their eating scene so Chris and his kids are going to eat at home for the month of August. He’s already starting to explain to them why they can’t eat food out of the common house anymore this month, can’t drink milk out of the refrigerator, can’t eat raisins out of the bucket, things they are very used to doing. Things like honey and sugar are available, sitting on a shelf in the Sunflower Kitchen, but now the girls will have to trade tokens to obtain things that contain such things so that the kids can be more conscientious of eating sweets.

I’m trying to arrange a movie watching with some friends, but there is so much happening around here that we’re not having an easy time just finding a time where we can all hang out with each other. Over yoga, Kirtan, women’s circle, men’s circle, song circle, blue’s band practice, and so and so’s party, evenings are out. Maybe we’ll find some other time in the day or maybe we’ll have to schedule a couple weeks in advance. There’s a lot happening around this village right now.

8/7

This is the first time since I’ve lived here that I’ve made more money than I’ve spent so far this month. It’s only the beginning of the month but with preschool and a windows job, I’ve actually made money.

I think my relationships with other people feel positively blossoming at this time as well. Residents are supposed to be evaluated at four months and one of the questions on the evaluation is “How well do you know this person?” I realized that I wasn’t really asking people if I could hang out with them, even though I wanted to. I think my friends have helped me realize for myself that it is ok to ask people even though you might be shy or feel like you’d be inconveniencing busy people by asking for hang out time. I think I want to spend more quality time with  people before I leave in the winter.

The weather is cooling off too. It’s going to be in the 80s and 90s during the day and the 50s and 60s at night for a couple weeks. It’s going to almost feel cold at night compared to how it has been, which is funny because it’s not really even “cold” at all.

We have a visitor to DR who came all the way from Uganda. I think I was told he is a social and environmental activist that wanted to see what DR was like. He taught an African Drumming Class today in the Casa. It was really fun to learn different ways to play the drums which I’ve been mindlessly beating on in the past. DR has lots of communal drums so there was enough for the class.

8/11

One of the kids has a 10th birthday today. Her grandma is visiting and she was going around with her grandma’s camera taking pictures of all sorts of things. She said she liked taking pictures but never really got to do it, unless she uses her parent’s camera, which she doesn’t get to do very much. I had an old digital camera I never use so I gave it to her for her birthday. It is so nice to feel like something that was no longer valuable to me could be a really awesome present for someone else.

Today we’re also having lots of meetings taking place in the common house. There is facilitation training to teach people how to facilitate meetings, there is a meeting about forming the Village Council, and there is a discussion surrounding violent play and media in the village which was probably sparked by all the kids playing violent video games as often as they do.

It is a lot cooler this week than it has been recently. It’s only supposed to get into the 90s one day this week. It’s been quite cool at night, but I have lots of friends that I can have cuddly sleep overs with who don’t sleep in a tent. I haven’t slept at home for a week so I haven’t noticed if sleeping in a yurt tent would feel cold right now.  I feel like I’ve come a long way since I first moved to DR.

Today I was talking to a prospective resident about my experience with moving to DR. I reflected on how I often felt like I didn’t really have good friends or that I had felt really left out of the circle of friends I had made before coming to DR, sometimes I didn’t really feel like I could talk to anyone about how I was feeling, even though I had a liaison, and that this was a big contrast to where I am at now where I feel like I have really close, nice, emotionally supportive friends and I now have the courage I didn’t have before to ask for a hug if I feel like I need it. I told her that that there are a lot of really nice people around to talk to who are really emotionally supportive and like hugs. Even if you feel like you don’t know people very well here and it seems like they are too busy to bother, people really are nice and want to talk to you and be your friend and help you if you do feel like you are having a hard time in your transition.

8/14

Today Tereza went with some of the rabbits on a trip to Maine. We’ll have one less person eating in Sunflower for a few weeks and when Nathan takes a weekend trip to Chicago soon, we’ll only have three people eating in the kitchen. The co-op seems so small when just one person leaves for a bit and we miss our Sunflower family when they’re gone.

Today was a bug frying adventure this morning. Some of the kids had found some tomato hornworms on the tomato plants in front of the Mercantile. They fed a couple of them to the chickens and gave me a few to fry up and eat myself. I fried up three hornworms and I, Nathan, and one of the kids tried them out. They were pretty good. I am so glad that some of the other hippies are adventurous enough to eat fried bugs too.

8/17

One of the rabbit’s grandpa died the other day and in his honor she had a party for him that included things that reminded her of her grandpa. The party consisted of peanuts, country music, card playing, and cigar smoking. It was quite a difference from the regular hum drum of rabbit life, especially smelling cigar smoke. Cigarette smoke is something I rarely smell in the village. Nathan dressed up like a hick for the party with jeans, a plaid shirt, and a hat with a gun brand on it. I told him he looked like one of the hunters in Brüno, which we will be watching tonight.

The weather has been so wonderful this week in the 70s and 80s. Not too hot and not cold, except it’s a little chilly at night. I slept in my own tent for the first time in two weeks last night, but with a down blanket and a buddy to snuggle with, it wasn’t cold. I feel like I am at a nice, but different place than I ever could have been in my life before rabbit land. I don’t have any romantic relationships right now, but I have lots of close friends that like to snuggle and cuddle and have sleepovers. Intimate romantic relationships are nice, but having close friends that like to hang out a lot and sleep over seems to fill some sort of emotional and physical closeness with people that only romantic relationships fulfill in concrete jungle land.

More bug frying today. Yum. I spent a couple hours catching grasshoppers for not very many, only about ten, but I fried them up and ate them with some nutritional yeast. They were yummy! Nutritional yeast, now that’s something I am going to miss when I go back to the cruise ships. I’ve started a list in my Looking Forward To section of my blog about all the things I’m going to miss when I leave for the winter.

Nathan is helping me get started with link building for my Meditation Retreats website. I feel like I should be working on it more and writing more articles, but I know it is going to be a lot of work and I know how I get with projects. I feel like I’ll probably hibernate away on the computer for days on end and not want to do anything else but the necessities. I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that because all I want to do is draw and make art all day too, I might be displaying or selling some for the 15th Anniversary coming up in October. I guess I decided that if I draw for three hours a day and link build for three hours a day, that will be sufficient, but I need to start blocking off this time in my calendar so I will actually focus on doing it for the time I want to each day. That means I will be “working” for 30-40 hours per week (and not getting paid $ currency, yet), that means I will be very busy, aahhhhh, nooooo, well at least it will be fun work that I want to do for myself.

8/26

It is raining for the first day in quite a while. It’s funny how quiet the village gets on a rainy day. Saturdays are quiet too. If it is Saturday or raining, you might walk through the village thinking, “where did everyone go?” I’m right at home in the rain after growing up in Seattle, but here the rain is nice because it is usually warm even when it is raining. Sunflower is quiet too with Nathan and Tereza gone, sometimes we usually end up fending for ourselves without a regular cook signed up for meals.

I haven’t been doing much for the past week except drawing, working on my website, and hanging out with the Browns. I’ve been hanging out with them so much in the past couple months, they’re starting to think of me as part of their family. It’s nice to have a family. When I lived at home, my mom would always say, “when you grow up, you usually end up finding new parents.” She meant the teachers and mentors you usually find when you no longer live at home. I guess people can end up finding a new family too. Some of my blood family lives in Texas, Seattle area, and California. Being so far away from them, it’s nice to find new family and something that is different than the regular get-married-have-kids new family that people usually end up finding after living away from home.

I’ve joined the Kid Committee and have been going to meetings. I’ve also signed up to help be the Fun Coordinator for DR’s 15th Anniversary. I also volunteered to be a visitor liaison for the next visitor session that is starting tomorrow. Having more community responsibilities is fun, especially when it is something you like doing, but it is also more work.

8/31

I’m really enjoying interacting with the visitors as a visitor liaison. We have one visitor that came all the way from Switzerland, just to visit Dancing Rabbit.

There is a mushroom workshop near La Plata in October that I signed up to take. I am very excited about it because one of the things I want to do is grow a lot of shiitake mushrooms at DR.

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