Off the Grid

Over the weekend we went out to our friend's cabin for a few day get-away.  I had been up there before, but this was the first time I was to actually stay at the cabin.  Ahh... it was GREAT.

It is pretty much as "middle-of-nowhere" as you can get without driving a long way, north two hours by car and west an hour by snowmachine.  I LOVE riding on the snowmachine and haven't been able to go out much this winter.  We haven't had a good amount of snowfall around here until recently.  Up north, they have quite a few feet of snow, though a lot of it has been compacted from the warmer temps and wind.

We left early on Friday to go out, gathering all of our stuff to load into the snowmachine sled, and off we went.  It is a beautiful drive, normally, but grey skies filled our driving view.  Clear skies were in the forecast, so it was only slightly disappointing that we didn't get a good view of the mountain.

Halfway down the off-road, the sky became crystal clear.  It was amazing how within just a few miles, the sky could go from the dreary "ruin my good weekend" to "hello blue skies."  We, then, even got a small peak of the top of Denali (Mt. McKinley).

The ride in was not bad, as we both had on enough gear to probably sustain us at about 30 below.  Even with temps in the positive, if we happen to run into wind, with the wind chill it could drop the temps to 5 or 10 below, which is cold riding on the back of a snowmachine!!

Our friend's cabin sits on a nice lake about 50 miles off the main highway that runs north to south here in AK.  It is a nice little two room cabin about 40x40 with a loft, kitchen, and a nice large hoopable living room (look for the cabin hooping clip in my up-and-coming 1 year Hoopiversary vid).  Being so far off from the main highway, the cabin is completely off the grid and self sustainable, no running water or electricity.  And yes, that means so toilet or shower.  Hell-o outhouse :).  When you go out there to stay, you tote enough water in jugs that will last for the length of stay.  The cabin is heated with a wood stove that keeps the place nice and toasty; way warmer than even our heating system at home (and cheaper!!).  It is, however, furnished with a generator for if you want to watch the TV and propane for the stove and non-powered lights.

It was great to go out and not have to worry about anything, just the two of us.  There is only two other cabins out on the lake, so we weren't expecting any company.  The guy who has a house across the lake is also a friend, but he wasn't there.  He actually lives out there in a real house and not a cabin.  He is also completely sustained on a wind turbine that generates his electricity and charges up these huge batteries that turn on the generator if he is using more power than the wind turbine is creating.  His place is AMAZING.  He has a complete view of the Alaska Range out of his living room window.  Since this lake is out in the middle of nowhere and only accessible by snowmachine or four-wheeler, he owns a plane in which he flies back and forth into town when he wants.  He invented this thing called Mr. Funnel which extracts water from gas in air crafts and has become a multi-millionaire off of it, hence how you has all of this stuff.

We came back pretty early because the temperatures were supposed to be in the negatives and we wanted to make sure our old truck was going to start up.  Anytime a temp is in the negatives, it takes a lot more energy to start anything, including the snowmachine, and with my hoop jam going on today, we didn't want to get stuck being there is no cell service out there.

With this new job I just got, I thought this may have been the last weekend we could do anything if they started putting me on the weekend.  My BF might be having some out-of-town jobs which would keep him away during the week and only home on the weekends.  Hey, at least the new job is closed on Sundays, so I will always have that day I can spend with him.  He enjoys working in remote locations, so as long as he is happy, I am happy.

The days are starting to get longer (it is actually light when I get up and when I get off work!!) and I can just taste the spring coming.  I. cannot. wait.  There is much to do this summer and I can't wait to get started.

So the Hoop jam is today and I am so excited.  Hopefully I will have a good turn-out.  I also have pics from the Iron Dog I am going to post.  Next weekend is the start of the Iditorod and I will definitely have some pics and good information on dog mushing.  Have a great week everyone!!


Updates in KellyLand

I am finally getting settled into our new place, finding our some-how accumulated crap a home.  It was definately a chore to get everything situated.  It is completely amazing how much you can aquire over a year.  The place is nice, though we have had a few problems here and there (living without water for three days sucks!!). 

Over the weekend, my boyfriend made us a big table to put in our craft room.  That means I can now start to work on those projects that I have been dying to resume on my sewing machine!!  I also have some goodies I am working on for my shoppe, which include some awesome gypsy hair accessories.  Yay.  I wil post a pic of the ones I am making for myself soon.

I am still in the works of trying to get some stuff started with hooping.  I have been dealing with some personal issues lately and have thus made me somewhat slacking on doing anything.  The hoop jam is still on, though no one has really gotten back to me.  I only invited friends out for this one and am in the planning stages of creating a nice flyer to disperse for the upcoming jam in March.  It is kind of hard living in such a small place and not having very many friends (a result of a small town where there is nothing to do, meaning it is VERY hard to meet people and make friends).  This was one reason I wanted to get something started with hooping, in the hopes I could not only give myself a place and opportunity to meet people, but also present the same for others.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for it all to fall into place.

Tomorrow (or well late, late tonight for us Alaskans) is a Full Moon.  This February Full Moon's focus is for advancements and personal achievements; sounds like exactly what I need.  Not only is the Full Moon pulling my way in this aspect, but opening in Leo, this gives it extra oomph for the ushering in of new desires and adventures.  With all this Lunar alignment, our sun entering into Pisces (a time of release and guidence), and the start of the Celtic Ash month (time to for action and manifesting change), it seems like a perfect night to do a dedicated hoop Moon practice.  I really need all this positive energy the Universe is feeding out to all of us tonight/early tomorrow.  It is literally FREEZING outside (single digits), but supposed to be clear, so I have to woman up and go outside tonight for a sesh under the Full beautiful Luna, atleast for the beginning.  I am going to infuse my practice with this intention of changing my life to start creating one I am blissfully happy in (which I am very close to, mind you). 

Another "happy-go-lucky-insert-personal-name-for-fate-here" act has landed me a second job!!  After the move to the new shindig, I had been looking for a supplement job to give me some extra spending cash (hello vacation and yoga teacher training fund) and to also help pay more into our doubled bills.  I have been sending out resumes to all of the locally owned restaurants around town (no big business for me; sorry Chili's and Red Robin) and no one is hiring.  I understand, it's freaking winter.  So anyways, I wanted to go to this awesome restaurant I had heard about for my birthday that have a lot of local, organic, seasonal, and made-from-scratch food.  With the move, extra expenses to buy needed stuff, and the like, I didn't feel right on spending a quite bit of money on dinner instead of buying things we needed for the house (like baking supplies, hell-oo).  So we skipped out.

Well Bill asked me last week if I wanted to go to this place for Vday, which we usually don't do anything for to go against the brain washing of the country during this time (oh, if you love her, you'll spend your entire pay check on some diamonds some poor 8 year old kid dug out of a crummy and dangerous mine somewhere).  But, I couldn't resist going to this place so I agreed.  Well, funny thing, his mom sent us a gift card to this fancy smancy place down in Anchorage that has the best food and we thought "what the hay- let's cancel our reservation and try to go to this place."  I called gift-card restaurant and they were full.  So we went with going out to the original place.

So we get there and lo and behold a much needed sign from the Universe was staring myself in the face at the door:  "Server Position Available."  Well, I be damned.  The whole time during our Vday dinner, I am talking about trying to get a job at this place.  I am sure Bill was annoyed (well, I know he was when he told me to stop talking about it LOL).  Anyway, to make a short story long, I turned in a resume that night (had extras in my car from all the job searching), made the follow-up call the next day, had an interview yesterday, and got the job!!  I was so happy, considering the place is right in line with my values being an environmentally aware establishment and all.  I am meeting with the scheduler sometime in the next few days to figure out my training.  Hopefully, this will work out.  It is only part time for the current until business picks up in the spring, which is PERFECT because I still get to keep my doggies at the daycare (which BTW I have an awesomely cute video I am going to share in an upcoming post to show everyone a few minutes of what it is like at my job).  So send me those much neede postive vibes out there.

This weekend, along with much needed stuff I am avoiding (taxes, PFDs, cleaning), Iron Dog is going on up in Big Lake and we are planning on making an appearence for.  It's supposedly a big thing, so hopefully it will be fun.  I am taking the hoop in hopes of running into some other hoopers, though I am sure it is going to be freezing, therefore making it somewhat hard to do anything in a million layers of clothing.  I am taking the camera, so maybe I will have some pics to post next week if I don't bum out (which is possible haha).

Well happy Full Moon to you all and until next time...


How to Keep a Dream Journal

I have been studying my dreams since I was a little girl.  Dreamwork has been something that is very interesting to me.  A very sure way to help you in your dreamwork is to keep a dream journal.  Recording, reading, and analyzing your dreams can aid in the advancement of dreamwork.  The beauty of becoming conscious in your dreams is that once you are lucid, you can begin to work with fears, addictions, problems, etc. within your subconscious.  This then can overflow into your waking life.  So, I wanted to share here how to keep a dream journal.  Though there are numerous sites to aid in keeping an organized dream journal, such as dreamjournal.net, I highly advise to use a paper journal, then entering it into a web-based one.  Memory is deepened by writing; they say that the brain is more cognitive when not only are your hands processing the thought, but your eyes and ultimately your mind are then also assisting in this process.

Key Components of a Dream Journal:

-a book, notebook, or journal that is small enough to fit on a bedside table, on the floor, or under your pillow.  It could even have a dream or sleeping theme to it like my Hello Kitty dream journal.

-a book light.  Even if you have a night stand light, I highly recommend a book light.  The reasoning behind this is because a bright light can not only interfere with recollection, it can also hinder your ability to go back to sleep.

- a pen, of course, to record (duh haha).  Make sure that you have a good working pen.  It really stinks sometimes if you are trying to write down details of a dream and your pen won't work, causing you to loose important information.

The Entry:

-first thing in a journal entry is write the date.  I usually use a format like 2/2 pm (which would be last night) or 2/3 am (which would be this morning).  If you are unsure whether you dreamt a dream last night or this morning, it doesn't really matter.  This is just the way that I have always kept my entries.  You can always begin writing and then come back to this step.  It's up to you.

- next begin to tell the dream as far at the beginning as possible.  You don't need to write in sentences like a story, sometimes it will come to you like a stream of consciousness.  If it doesn't make sense, that is fine.  After writing the entry, we can go back and try to make sense of it all.  Be sure to include ALL details, no matter how minuscule or unimportant they may seem; these can be the ones that really mean something.  Also, if something seems odd in your dream, like you are eating dinner and you are sitting at the left side of the table and then, in the next sequence, you are sitting on the opposite side, write it.

-describe your feelings.  Begin with your feelings inside the dream.  Were you scared, aroused, confused?  Try to best describe them.  Then, write your feelings when you woke up.  Many times these feelings are different, even opposite.  If you have no remembrance of strong feelings, make a note.

-go back, re-read the entry, and make as much sense out of it as possible.  Sometimes when you go back and read an entry (even in the future!!) you will recall something else.  I have even had flashbacks of a dream later in the day that I didn't remember upon waking.  Record that if at all possible.  It doesn't hurt to have some journal to record things in your life everyday, in this you can record any dream recalls you may have during the day.  The mini sketch books that you can get work wonderful for this.

-organize or re-record your entries.  If desired, you can also go past this point and then record in a large three ring binder or in an online journal.  That way it will look neater and you can even sometimes find specific dreams, if you organize them in that way.  I know when I record my dreams sometimes, it can be very illegible.  Re-recording can not only help this, but also building up recollection by yet again writing the thoughts.

Ways to increase Lucidity:

Lucid dreaming is realizing within a dream that you are actually dreaming.  This is also called dream waking.  Practicing lucid dreaming can sometimes become frustrating, as it can be hard to achieve lucidity, especially if you are overwhelmed, stressed, or depressed.  Here are some ways that will help you recognize and achieve lucidity (this is taken from an entry on lucid dreaming I wrote on hoop city).

-be conscious of everything around you in your everyday life:  look at things more closely; remember the placement of furniture, items, pictures
-flip light switches on-off a few times (light switches usually do not work in dreams)
-study your hands (this is a big one- a lot of times your hands look monstrous.  I remember the first time I trained myself to look at my hands in a dream- crazy!!)
-repeat to yourself a lucid dreaming mantra before bed.  A few are "I will be conscious in my dreamstate," "I ask to be aware within my dreams," "please allow me to recognize my lucidity tonight," etc.
-the best times for lucid dreaming are a) times when you are usually awake but continue to sleep and b) right after briefly waking up.
-take the time to research dreams if this is something you are interested in.

On a side note, these are only suggestions.  In no way is this entry supposed to be taken in literal sense.  This is just my way of journaling.  Please take from this what appeals to you.  If you have other suggestions or ways of recording dreams, comment!!  I would love to hear about it. 

Here, I leave you with some interesting words in the book from Ram Dass I am reading (and, wow, does he touch on a lot of subjects that are occurring in my life right now).

Another way to understand the space you approach through meditation is to consider dreams.  Perhaps you never experience awakening from a dream within a dream.  But when you awaken every morning, you awaken from a dream into what?  Reality?  Or perhaps another dream?  The word "dream" suggests unreality.  A more sophisticated way of saying it is that you awaken from one relative reality into another.

We grow up with one plane of existence we call real.  We identify totally with that reality of absolute , and we discount experiences that are inconsistent with it as being dreams, hallucinations, insanity, or fantasy.  What Einstein demonstrated in physics is equally true of  all other aspects of the cosmos: all reality is relative.  Each reality is is true only within given limits.  It is only one possible version of the way things are.  There are always multiple versions of reality.  To awaken from any single reality is to recognize its relative nature.  Meditation is a device to do just that. - Ram Dass Journey of Awakening