Showing posts with label community. Show all posts
Showing posts with label community. Show all posts

Friday, April 15, 2011

Heavenly Hawaii - The Dream Continues

As I mentioned in my last post, Hawaii is on our radar for our shared-resources community. We have found the Upcountry of Maui suitable for growing food, especially the Kula area, which produces much of the island's organic produce. The tropical weather is cooler in the Upcountry and heating is mostly by fireplace or woodstove. Few homes have forced air heating/cooling. The down side is expensive land prices. But not to be deterred, this is my dream after all, so I have envisioned this community to start with my family, and then to grow from there.

I loved these houses, some of which were manufactured in Bali, made of coconut wood, and sold through a company on the island. Coconut trees do not have branches, so the wood is very strong - able to stand up to the fierce winds that occasionally blow through the island. The homes are very small and beautifully carved. Emphasis is on outdoor living in Hawaii, so the lanai is very important.

I would like to start with 5 to 10 homes on about 2 acre parcels, for a total of 10 to 20 acres. The land would be owned by the association, but individual homes would be owned by the occupants. Between the homes would be fruit trees, organic gardens, edible flowers, native flora and fauna, and pathways. A gazebo-like structure would shelter exercise equipment, with a yoga studio on the top deck that would be open on all sides. Of course in this dream we have a (salt water?) pool, (it is Hawaii after all,) and an outdoor cooking/eating/meeting area. The property would have chickens, and possibly a barn for horses and other animals shared and cared for by the inhabitants.

Barter is very important, especially with the larger island community. My background qualifies me to run a pre-school and my younger daughter will be qualified to teach older students. Maybe we have a school on the property, and if we get paid in fish, then so be it. I see daytime retreats and other possibilities - Reiki, holistic nutrition classes taught by my older daughter and her husband who enjoys cooking, a spiritual center, or possibly a place serving healthy, organic lunches in a serene atmosphere.

I would hope that many island friends would live here and/or visit often. One of the problems for the Hawaiian people is affordable housing. The Hobbit houses are very inexpensive, and dirt can be found anywhere. This community would grow and utilize many designs, especially those that are eco-friendly and blend into the environment.

Of course I will write a book about the experience, providing a template for what works and what doesn't, which would be one of my contributions.

Okay. I'm done. Care to throw out an idea or two?

Here are the two companies used in this post:
Mandala Homes (Balinese)
Mandala Custom Homes

Friday, April 1, 2011

I AM - The Movie

(Portland opening - at my favorite deli with some of his fans, I'm sure.)

Sometimes a story comes along that you know is still in the making, but it makes you smile, and you can't wait to tell someone about it. I think the movie I AM, The Shift Is About To Hit The Fan, which is just now being released in limited venues, is going to be a must-see for 2011.

Director Tom Shadyac was wildly successful with hits Ace Ventura - Pet Detective, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor and Bruce Almighty. Then he had a bad bicycle accident, which started him on the path he is now on - giving his fortune away to those less fortunate, doing away with the private jet, going from a three-home estate to diggs far less grand in a trailer park, and making a movie that just might matter. The money will benefit his foundation. It opened to packed houses in Portland, with standing ovations for Shadyac, who was in the audience.

Here is the trailer:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Women In Step With Themselves

I really enjoyed watching two of my favorite websites come together in one interview. Lilou Mace, of Lilou Mace Web TV, who shucked it all to follow her heart, interviews Regina Meredith of Conscious Media Network, who just happened to do the same thing! Women doing exactly what they feel is the right and perfect thing for them to be doing during these energetic times. What's not to love?

Cooperation, higher intelligence, resonance, coming together, true wisdom, changing the world.

Here is Regina's story:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I know what I don't want...

Many of you that follow my blog know that we have moved around a bit over the last six years. We raised our family in a normal neighborhood, in the same house for sixteen years, K-12, with the same families around us. Since that time we moved to Portland, Oregon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and then to our small place at Lake Tahoe for two years. I'm currently sitting in my favorite chair at the Lake, looking out my favorite window (picture above). And something came to mind after reading Linda's post on My Own Velvet Room.

As many of you may know, we rented our current house in Reno, where my husband is working. We simply did not want to buy another home until we know where we want to retire, which is only a few years away. This neighborhood was known to be very, very nice. Completely out of our price range when we lived here six years ago. I had often thought how pretty the houses were when we would go there for some reason or another. It is a gated community, and the houses surround a golf course. It is only in this market can one find a rental in this area. Our house is lovely, looks out over the entire city and the golf course. The problem? It is the most sterile environment I have ever lived in. There is no one on the streets except landscapers. I have never met, in five months, my neighbors on one side, the other side is for sale and has eight bathrooms. Yes, eight bathrooms. Now if that house isn't the Age of Excess poster child, I don't know what is.

A couple of days ago I had a contractor out to fix my dishwasher. Yes, you can now get a contractor to fix your dishwasher in Nevada.... Anyway, he said he had built seven houses in the area before the bubble burst. He would live in them a year or two and then sell them. You have to remember, Nevada was one of the fastest growing states in the country for twenty years. Anyway, he asked me if I liked the neighborhood, and I answered honestly by saying no. He laughed and said he felt the same way. He asked if anyone had turned their face away when I waved to them yet. I snickered and said no - because no one had ever looked my way, except to tailgate me in the 25 mph zone.

So what's my point?

I know what I don't want when we leave this house in 2-3 years. I don't want to live where people don't know each other, or in a neighborhood that has huge houses. I don't want to live where I can't be a grandma on the block as in Linda's post. I don't want to be isolated behind a gate, where my friends and family can't just drive up to my house.

I do want to have a small, cozy little home in an area of other small, cozy, well-kept homes. I do want people out in their yards, doing yard work, talking about flowers and what new herbs are at the local nursery. Walking their dogs, strolling their babies. I do want to get to know the children, and I do want a mixed neighborhood - with all age groups. I do want an environment of like-minded people, who share a somewhat common goal to live in a peaceful place, perhaps with a community garden. I know they're out there, and I have a feeling I'm not alone in my desires. I'll bet these places will grow, just as this neighborhood was once what people desired.

Maybe we have to experience, as a collective, what we don't want, in order to know what we do.

We are already downsizing - one box to Goodwill at a time. Lately we've been eyeing the furniture - what we will keep and what will go. In this new paradigm, we won't need about half of it.

The next place we buy will be our forever home. It will be carefully considered. It may not even be in this country, maybe it will be some other place our extended family might want to live. We are exploring all options. But wherever it is, it will involve a much simpler existence.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Have a Dream

Lately I have been ruminating on a new way of living. A lifestyle I have not even considered for the last forty years, since the 1960's, but has been a recurring thought that bubbles up with some frequency. I don't know if it's the state of the world, the economy, my age, or some intuitive thought processes that lives deep in my psyche. But I have the feeling that I should put together a "shared resources" community of like-minded people. I have gone so far as to find property. I have designed the perimeters in my mind. I have thought of the book that I would write as it progressed, giving others a template for their own community. They could learn from the mistakes we made.

In this community the land would be owned by all, like a condo project, and small, "green", homes would be built into the landscape. There would be open spaces for wildlife, marshes for migration, large organic gardens, and shared items, such as cars, trucks, tractors, etc. A common exercise room and maybe even a pool. Another possibility could be a child-care facility for working parents, a large common kitchen for canning and baking, etc.

Is this a waste of time?

It may be, but I'm not alone. It seems others have been imagining, and designing, a world based on Cooperatism. Phantsythat did a blog post on an economic system, already in place, that utilizes a system of sharing, as opposed to capitalism or communism. It was very interesting, and I plan on reading the book she recommended.

In the meantime, I continue to dream, look at property, and see a world that moves beyond greed, to one of sharing and cooperation.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Intention Experiment

I recently finished this book by Lynne McTaggart. It was not an easy book to read but the content was often really astounding. For instance, we have always heard that plants respond when you talk to them. But did you know that if you stress a plant (such as putting a needle through a leaf), that it will remember you and react when you come near it again? These and other very interesting experiments were discussed, in scientific detail, in the book.

I just recently visited the website associated with this book. The idea is to read and understand the book, then go to the website for coordinated intention experiments. I have not had the chance to participate yet, but I found the website to very interesting.

If you feel the call to learn more about consciousness, especially focused consciousness, you might want to visit Lynne's website.

What was even more interesting to me was the community that has formed with " A Call For Conscious Evolution." This is a very exciting group, in my opinion. It is discussing all the current issues we are facing with definite ways of dealing with them. I think most us of feel pretty overwhelmed and helpless with all the problems facing our world right now. Often we just don't know what to do about it. I think this is one way to utilize a group dynamic to understand and actually work toward solving some of the problems.

Anyway, if you have a minute, you might want to check it out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thinking Communal?

We have been playing with the idea of a commune. Yes, a commune. No this isn't 1969. Yes, I think it plays in 2009. Well, actually a few years from now, but in the not too distant future I think it isn't going to sound as far fetched as it does right now.

My youngest is talking about doing a commune with friends. Then I read an article in the New York Times that looked at a subdivision that actually encircles a working farm and operates more as a collective. The idea is to raise what you eat, in a sustainable, localized manner. But then I started thinking - why not take this concept a step further and combine other resources - such as cars, trucks, gardening equipment, workout rooms, pools, picnic areas, barns, corrals, pastures, along with a giant organic farm area, orchard, and a hothouse for winter growing?

Each owner would have their own property for their house, so they could sell it if that is what they needed, or chose to do. The community part would be owned by everyone with homeowner "dues", such as we pay our condo association to maintain common grounds. Of course, I see this like-minded group of people also sharing in most of the "grounds" duties, as they would be the type of people that would want, and like, that lifestyle.

In this dream I live near my two children, with the grandchildren's play area in the center of the three houses. Our house is small. If we are living near our children, we only need a small house. Small, green, and conducive to living in long after we would normally be shipped off to a retirement home.

I came from a big German family that actually lived this way in Sacramento. I grew up running over acres of land owned by our family, with my great-grandmother living in her own home, in the middle of several of her children's homes. Gardens were big, canning was communal, children were safe and free to roam. I would go from house to house asking what they were having for dinner before deciding who would have the honor of feeding me that night.

So I am keeping my eye open for land in Oregon and Washington. It's beautiful, often partly wooded, fairly inexpensive, and close to big urban areas. You never know, by the time this dream is even remotely realized, our children may want to live near us. Or maybe someone else will.

What do you think?