The Birth of A Family..

    Thank you for all the many blessings and comments, both private and public, we have received ! I am finishing up a few details and waiting on some photos from my friend Jackie, then will be posting a detailed birth story.

    We three are doing very well and enjoying our new lives together. I have to say I am shocked and surprised at how in love I am with this little girl! The intensity of what I am feeling is beyond anything I could have imagined. I thought for sure I would take a long time to bond and that I would be horribly depressed and unable to cope with the demands of motherhood. I was convinced I would have no idea what to do with a baby and that breastfeeding would be a nightmare. I imagined myself sleep deprived and suffering from severe post partum depression. I made sure moss was well versed in the signs of post partum psychosis and knew where to get help for me if need be.I think it is precisely because I read every post partum horror story and imagined every conceivable difficulty that I am having an easy time of it. I prepared myself for how difficult it can be,as well as what to reasonably there were no surprises.

    Yes, I know this flies in the face of now conventional wisdom, a la "The Secret" but I do think it played a part in my easy adjustment. That and the fact that I am the luckiest woman in the world, as I have a husband who is incredibly supportive. He is as good or better than any postpartum doula. The other thing I think may have helped is the two fish oil capsules I take every day (it definitely helped with stretch marks !)

    The truth is, my post partum time has been a joy and a delight, and motherhood has been, so far anyway, purely natural and instinctual ! Sage is a great nurser and breastfeeding couldn't be easier. She has also been sleeping well through the night (as much as can be expected of a newborn anyway) . We have been co sleeping, meaning she sleeps in the bed with Moss and I. This is, I believe, where babies are meant to sleep. It is where they feel the most secure and comforted, snuggled in next to mama and papa ! When she wakes in the night hungry, I simply roll over, offer her a breast and go on sleeping. I barely need to wake up. It is no wonder most folks with newborns get little sleep, as it is customary in this country to put baby in a separate room in a crib. When baby cries mom needs to get up and go into the other room, calm baby down and nurse her to sleep, or worse, go in the kitchen and fix a bottle. Finally when the baby is sleeping, she is placed back in the crib again only to start screaming the minute she is put down..starting the cycle all over again.

    If only more people in this country would embrace co sleeping, as do cultures all over the world and, as our species has done since the beginning of time, parents - and babies - would sleep much better !

    In an effort to be reduce landfill waste, save money and for Sages health (avoiding synthetic plastics) we have chosen to cloth diaper. We are using a mix of pre folds and fancy fitted diapers. So far that has been easy as well, though I have been warned that when she starts solids we may really consider going with disposables. Moss has been a wonderful dad and partner and is doing most of the diaper changes, helping fold laundry and just being the amazing nurturing person he is. We have an agreement, I take care of what goes in and he takes care of what comes out. I do my share of diaper changes, but he has been doing most of them and really enjoys spending that time with Sage, being silly and having fun. He is also a master at calming her down using infant massage/touch ( Moss is a natural healer, very good with reiki type energy work) when booby, wet diapers or gas is not the problem.

    I do have my weepy moment's from time to time now, but not for the reasons I thought I would. I figured I would be in tears and berating myself for having thrown my life away. Instead I am in tears thinking how quickly she will grow up and leave..

    Anyway, our plans are to remain here at Moss's folks house for a few more weeks. We need to install belts in the bus for Sages car seat, fix some problems with the electrical system and do some other last minute baby proofing things. Once that is done we can move back into the bus and begin our new life as a family. Hopefully, we will get things done in time to make it to the Faerie worlds festival in Eugene, on July 21. If not, the plan is to head to Santa Barbara for the summer, where we will sell some art and save up a bit of money for the fall and winter.

    In the meantime we are are at the folks house, counting our blessings and enjoying every second of Sages babyness, as I know it will pass all too soon....

    Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

WHAT IS PEACE AND WHERE CAN I FIND IT? Or get me out of here quick!

    "The traditional political definition of peace and the very word itself originated among the ancient Romans who defined peace, pax, as absentia belli, the absence of war...the absence of violence"

    Okay, I won't kill the cats.

    ...Mahatma Gandhi's conception of peace was not as an end, but as a means: "There is no way to peace; peace is the way. "

    Great! I am supposed to find my own calm and tranquility amongst the chaos of my office, surrounded by Yuppies, two disgusting cats and the endless negative energy of the media. Where's the peace? Where's my Zen?

    After two cats (that were brought into my home without my consent) destroyed the last of 12 plants, knocking over a iron screen with six potted plants with delicate ceramic pots and breaking the vase my daughter gave me, my stress level has reached a peak. To those around me I have remained a pillar standing serene, with a smallish smile painted across my face trapping all the expletives trying to escape. Inside an explosion is about to be detonated.

    "...More generally, peace can pertain to an individual relative to her or his environment, as peaceful can describe calm, serenity, and silence. This latter understanding of peace can also pertain to an individual's sense of himself or herself, as to be "at peace" with one's self would indicate the same serenity, calm, and equilibrium within oneself..."

    Oh shut up! I have found the road to peace, it is in my car with my tent trailer bouncing behind me up the road to the mountains while counting to one million and five!

    Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

    If only they were fish! FLUSH!Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

Enviornmental road block...

    Hey all

    We've hit a little road block: how to deal with the holes in the floor in the least toxic way possible.

    Jerry's - our local giant hardware store - had lots of suggestions...glue flashing down over them with liquid nails, coat the whole floor in tar or some other roof sealant, fill in the holes with some kind of putty. Upon further investigation, we found that all of these ideas involved applying toxic crap to our home so we kept looking...

    Turns out that Eugene doesn't have a green building supply store. The closest one is in Portland - 2 hours away. We went there yesterday and discovered that they have a lot of the stuff we want.....and that only a fraction of it will fit in the Honda. F*&$!

    While we were there we were only able to get some no-VOC paint for the ceiling (a nice sandy mellow color) and some low-toxic caulking for the holes. After talking to the people there, we decided not to coat the metal floor with anything. Yes, there's a ton of toxic concoctions on the market that claim to deal with your rust for you. David visited us a few days ago and suggested that we just get the rust all the way off the old fashioned way: by sanding the crap the out of it. He clued us into the fact that there are neato attachments for our drill that would do this for us - imagine that! Lol....this is turning out to be an awesome learning experience...goodbye hand-held bristle brush. Before his visit, we spent an afternoon sanding the floor by hand and our progress was pitiful.

    Long story short -we're going back to the green building supply store on Tuesday. This time we're renting a U-Haul. (Of course we would take the bus but it's not registered or insured yet and it can't be until it has been converted into a motor home.)

    That way we'll be able to get the 4 bundles of this R-13 Bonded Logic insulation that we really want. It's made out of recycled denim and has none of the toxic stuff that other insulations do. You can even touch it with bare hands and install it without a respirator. It's old blue jeans! As a fiber-loving person this was a no-brainer for me. :)

    We'll also probably be picking up 6 sheets of low-toxic plywood for the subfloor...unless we find another solution. For a while we toyed with the idea of foregoing a subfloor for our T & G and just putting the joists (no, they're not called studs when they're on the floor!) closer together - like maybe a foot apart instead of the usual 16". Then we got to thinking and we decided that if we were going to be bolting stuff like the our gorgeous 350-pound woodstove down that we'd better be biting into more than just some 3/4" T & G. This is still up for debate.

    Anyway, these last few days have been frusterating but very educational. Once you start learning about how nasty modern building is its hard to stop thinking about it. I realise every other place we've ever lived in - or shopped in...or worked in - was built using lots of toxic stuff. We've found that most people are very sensitive to this fact and that they do NOT want to be reminded of it. Rightfully so - its freaky and people feel that its out of their control (often it is...). And yeah, toxic stuff is a bit cheaper than non-toxic stuff but since we're building our housebus from scratch and we've been lucky enough to have saved up a bit of cash for this project we feel good about trying to do it right the first time. There's something really vital about green building, it won't "save the world" by itself or anything like that but it sure is more fun and reassuring to work with stuff that you can feel solid about.Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

Phantom Las Vegas One Year!

    Okay, so yea I'm excited! Phantom is having their one-year anniversary celebration tonight for the cast and crew (and spouses!!) after the show. That means I must have a new outfit. Right?

    These are usually great affairs, the opening night party was so, so cool. Andrew Lloyd Weber, oh excuse me, SIR Andrew Lloyd Weber and Hal Prince were there, plus many celebrities in attendance. This may not be as big as all that, but it will be great food, drinks, music and all in all pretty fancy smancy! So, new outfit!!

    I probably should have been thinking about this way before tonight. But, gee with work, tennis, Father's Day, I sort of forgot about it until this morning when I was trying to figure out what to wear to work. Something about looking in the closet made me think "Oh, crap! What am I going to wear tonight?"

    I made it to work by 8am so I could get off at 4pm and hit the mall. OOHH, I just remembered! My tennis team gave me a gift certificate for the mall. How cool is that? Okay, off at 4pm, 30 minutes to get to the mall, one hour to find the perfect ensemble, half hour to get home, hour to shower and get ready. Show starts at 7pm. Crap, that doesn't work. Hmmmmm. That means drive fast shop fast! Hmmmmm. If I skip lunch I could leave earlier.....NAW...couldn't ever skip lunch! Dang!

    Shoes? I probably need new shoes too! And a bag! Why do girls love to dress up?

    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

This One's For My Dad

    I know my Dad will probably never read this, but as it is almost Father's Day I have him on my mind. I know without a doubt I was given the best Dad in the universe. Never did a more unselfish man walk on this earth. My Dad turned 80 this year. Not a tremendous accomplishment in itself, many other men have turned 80 or more that is true. However, 10 years ago my Dad suffered a major heart attack. During surgery to put in a stent the Dr found that Dad had suffered a previous heart attack and because he didn't go to the hospital he had lost more that 40% of his heart. He also indicated he didn't think my Dad's condition was as bad as it was because Dad was conscious when the Dr. saw him in the Emergency room and after seeing the extent of the damage to his heart was surprised that he had been.

    We all knew the reason that Dad didn't pass out was because he wouldn't ever want to do anything that would worry our Mom. A hero in her own right for winning a very tough battle with colon cancer.

    My Dad quit school in the eighth grade, lied about his age so he could get a commercial drivers license and sent his money home to his family. Two years later he would be drafted into World War II because of that lie, as it appeared he was 18 but he was really only 16. When he went home and asked his dad to go with him to the draft board and explain that he really was only 16 his father wouldn't do it, telling him "That's what you get for lying." So he went to war.

    He was on the front lines in Japan. He fought in muddy trenches. He saw friends blown apart. He caught malaria. He was just a boy. He doesn't talk about that experience much, but of the stories he will tell makes us realize that there were many horrors witnessed.

    Dad was 23 when he married my Mom, just two days after she turned 16. This was 1950. They are still together. They are still in love. They still say "I love you" every night before turning off the lights and going to sleep.

    I look at everything I have now, what I was able to provide my kids, all the luxuries. I think of my dad's family losing their farm in Oklahoma, driving west trying to reach other family in Oregon, but running out of money outside of Las Vegas in a small town called Searchlight. They found a cave to live in and his dad found work in a mine. In time they built a porch in front of the cave. His mom would sweep the dirt floors, it was their home for a long while. A cave.

    My dad only has an eighth grade education. He impressed upon his four kids that education was so important. His older brothers all had college degrees. Dad was the baby and when the depression hit there wasn't the money to send him to school and so he quit to help support his family. He always felt like he was not as intelligent as his brothers or even us kids. He couldn't spell very well and was very self-conscious about that.

    However, this same man built a brick house from the ground up. He did all the brick work. He put in all the plumbing. He did all the electrical work. He built the cabinets from scratch. He showed us how to ride a horse, how to feed it, take care of it, and all the responsibilities of having pets. We had horses, goats, rabbits, chickens, cats and dogs over the course of our childhood. He took care of all the maintenance on our cars from changing the oil to rebuilding the engines. He could figure out the angle of the trusses for a roof and the yardage needed in pouring concrete. He is smarter than anyone I know.

    Dad's only concern has always been first for Mom and second for all of his kids. He always wanted us kids to have a new pair of shoes for school, because he remembered how embarassed he was going to school barefoot when his family couldn't afford them. He worked so we could live a better life, an easier life than he had. He went without many times so we didn't have to.

    Dad took us camping and taught us how to fish and appreciate the great outdoors. He loves having his family around him. His greatest pride and joy is his kids and grandkids.

    Dad is no longer the same strong hero that I have branded in my brain. The guy that could break a wild horse, build a house for his family, take virtually anything apart and put it back together again. His arms look weak and no longer show the strength of his many days of toil and hard labor. He is shorter by inches and walks slowly. His voice is soft and weak and sometimes I have to strain to hear him. But he always has a smile on his face, he still loves his kids and grandkid and great grandkids to be around him, and his still always says "I Love You", whenever we leave.

    As with all of us, the days fly by, work and everything else seems to get in the way of taking the time out to stop by the house and see my parents. I know there aren't really too many days left to waste any chances to somehow pay back to this man all he has done in his life, for his family, for his friends.

    I love you, Dad.

    Always and Forever.Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

Finally - pictures!

    A stack of bus seats - bubble gum and ketschup packets everywhere.

    Bus before floor demolition....

    and after...

    Here's the gear we used for ripping up the floor...screwdrivers, mallets, crowbar....elbow grease and goggles highly recommended....

    Our technique: wedge screwdriver under plywood w/ mallet. This prys it up just enough to bang the bent side of the crowbar under there. Now rip that thing as hard as you can. Repeat all along sides of each piece of plywood....

    Twinky broken crowbar vs. new burly crowbar.

    Stay tuned for floor sanding and priming....Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

Dancin' Bears! What ???

    Any Grateful Dead fan, or even if you are not a fan but any aging hippie from the 60's and 70's (worth their salt or pot) would know that the Dancin' Bears are just for FUN! One of several symbols of the Dead---the rose, skelton, VW Bus, bumper stickers (Picture Whirled Peas!) are some other things associated with that group.

    "The dancing bears symbolized the fun-loving aspect of the Grateful Dead and their fans. Over the years these bears have appeared on multi-colored bumper stickers, T-Shirts and posters.

    The origin of the bear was taken from the Bob Thomas album art cover (Bear's Choice). The back cover of History of the Grateful Dead, vol 1 (recorded Feb 13 and 14, 1970) showed multi-colored marching bears. Bob's inspiration for the bear came from a 36 point lead slug of a generic bear that was a standardized figure from a printer's font box."

    So there you have it! Straight from the Grateful Dead fan site!Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

Floor Part 1

    We're back from vacation!

    It was hard to leave the bus for 2 weeks but it was really refreshing to get out of Eugene and see our very dear friends and family.

    Even though we've only been back for a few days, we've already made a lot of progress. We scored a Honda Civic-full of recycled red oak tounge and groove flooring from Bring Recycling for $70. We spent an afternoon sorting the flooring into three piles: perfect boards, fixable boards and totally hopeless boards. We think we might have enough perfect and fixable boards to cover the whole floor! Of course, since it is a used floor there are big long staples sticking out of it that I think we'll have to cut off. Tounge and groove flooring is delicate and I worry that trying to bang out the staples will destroy the joins.

    Today we finished ripping out the rotting plywood that was nailed and screwed into the metal floor of our bus. It was really hard! In the middle of the day I had to bike down to the hardware store because I actually BROKE a crowbar trying to get this stuff up from the floor. Yikes. We prevailed in the end, though. We also took up the rest of the heater encasement and we finally ripped the pole-dancing poles out from the front of the bus, too.

    Next: sanding the rusty floor down and plugging up all the holes with some kind of putty stuff. Pictures of all this and more to follow. :)Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

Showing My Age--Bus Dead!

    I thought I wanted some cool decals for my new sunflower yellow Xterra. I came across this cool online site:

    Lot's of peace signs, dancin' bears and other Grateful Dead standards.

    This one I thought was way cool, called "Mother's Embrace."

    I'm wondering if there is anyone in the audience that can relate to "Deadheads" and "Dancin' Bears?" If there are, Peace Out!Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

The Legend of Hippie Hollow

    Okay, so my daughters have read my blog.

    Daughter: "Mom, you didn't really go to a nude beach did you?"

    Me: "Well, yes, I did."

    Daughter: "Why would you want to go some place like that?"

    Me: "Well, Hon, I wasn't really aware of what Hippie Hollow really was, nor did I know that there would be naked guys walking around with their weiner wangers hanging out." (Because if I did, I would have gone up there on the first day of my trip!)

    Daughter: "You, didn't really see any nekked guys did you, Mom?"

    Me: "Nay"Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

The Car is in the Driveway

    Yes, the deed is done. I cleaned out good old OTRA One Kanobi and drove my last drive with him (her?) to the car dealer. My nice and shiny very mellow yellow Nissan was waiting for me. Just had to sign a few gazillion papers, give them a few pints of blood, sign over the title for my faithful friend, gave them the keys and that was it. I only had one moment when I got misty-eyed and thought I was going to start SOBBING! "Think good thoughts" I told myself, "think camping trips, road trips, Sunday drives with Garrison Keiller."

    I drove away, and never looked back. I did hide a card in the van with a note to the new owners letting them know his name. I mean I wouldn't want the car to get all confused if someone was telling it to "Come on Nellie, get going." I also told them that it drives much better after being washed!

    It's a little strange, I can't find the door handle, or the window buttons, the AC, but I think we got along just superbly for our first day together. And she looks so very cute in the driveway. It's for sure the brightest car on the street.Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection

Farewell OTRA One Kanobi!

    The car dilemma continues. My dear husband is now giving in and letting me get the SUV I prefer over the one he had researched and found to be acceptable by all Consumer Reports standards. Mine is recommended wth the only check mark being fuel economy. This is a BIG DEAL with my sweetie. I do understand that this means I will spend more money a year in gas. I should be feeling guilty, I do a little, but hey, okay, I'll skip lunch one day a week, won't that make up the difference?

    I was getting really excited about the new car, as of tonight that would be a sunflower yellow Nissan Xterra, but then I started thinking about cleaning out the stuff from the Safari van. The van that had taken the kids and I safely to and from Oregon on many, many camping trips. It's taken me to many places to hike or to just sit and ponder my existence. A zillion trips to Tonopah the middle of nowhere Nevada to attend State PTA meetings. And up to Caliente, to cut Christmas trees and haul them back. It's been a faithful friend. And then there is all the sentimental attachment.

    It's almost as if I could hear the kids laughter when I sit quietly in the van and close my eyes. They are all grown and on their own now, so the sound of that laughter is precious. Then all the stuff. I keep my fold up camp chairs in it just in case I ever have a flat, or come upon a situation that I just might need to sit down for a while. In the door slots are file folders containing maps, camping information for all the states I tend to visit on a regular alpha order of course. (Did I mention the folders are lavender?) Several umbrellas, first aid kits missing some items from those many, many camping trips. There is a piece of a arrowhead, and other small rocks/shells in the ashtray. And somewhere hidden in one of the compartments is a small old bottle my dad and I found during a weekend trip to Yerrington, NV. Lots of memories with that van.

    I named the van OTRA-One-Kanobi. OTRA stands for On the Road Again and One-Kanobi is so the force would always be with me where ever I traveled. I know. That is the coolest name for a vehicle for all times! Melancholy is me. I feel like I am taking my faithful dog to the dog pound to be put asleep.

    But, it is becoming the money pit. Sorry, old friend. We must part. I hope you find a nice family and aren't sold to the parts yard. But, if so, think of it as being an organ donor of types, living on in other vehicles! I will keep the memory of all our good trips in my heart and you keep the memory of the same in your........radiator? Carburater? Whatever!

    Farewell Otra One Kanobi! May the FORCE be with you!

    Hello, SunFlower!Source URL:
    Visit Future Design Interior for daily updated images of art collection