Journeys Have Begun

While it’s true that I don’t yet have my home built, I have begun to take the journeys that I will be taking in my home – even if I don’t always take my home.  This post is about my first journey which was to go back East to White Rose Farm to participate in the energy of the farm and create a performance together with Sally Voris, a biodynamic farmer and the caretaker of the land, and Cynthia Hoven a eurythmist from the West Coast.  I was there a week, from June 4 to June 11.  So the empty space from Dan leaving and not being able to work on my house has found some purpose.

The time there was truly magical.  Sally has seen the purpose of her farm as a place of beauty, balance and bounty and more recently as a place where agriculture supports community.  She sees the relevance and importance of connecting people to the earth and to honoring the spirit of the land.  She knows how this feeds more than our bodies and as we are fed in body and spirit by being on the land we give back to the land our love and respect.  This relationship is something that is sorely needed at this time.

Sally, Cynthia and I created a wonderful performance (even if I say so myself) that centered on a poem “This is the story of the Mother who comes collecting hearts through the sky.”  There were other poems and songs and the involvement of the audience.  In the end there was a chance for everyone to express their own calling.  One audience member played the native american flute which sounded like water dancing over the rocks in a stream.  There were people of all ages from a baby to an 80 year old, men, women, parents and children – both young and grown up.  It was a very moving experience.

The whole week was a wonderful time of renewal for me and an impetus for continuing down my path.  I share some photos of the place and the people:

The Weight Tally is In

On Thursday, July 5th, I took Gyrtle for a spin and some truth-telling on the scale.  I had the help of my new wonderful aide, Michael Ring.  We even have a video of Gyrtle’s virgin voyage to the scales.  Why don’t you watch this while I run out to my car and get the exact figures.

I’m back.  Here are the figures:

My truck originally weighed 4680 lbs. on the front axle and 3200 lbs. on the rear axle for a total of 7880 lbs..  I don’t remember if the gas tank was full or not.  That can make a difference of around 200 lbs. from full to empty.

When I weighed the truck together with the empty trailer the front axle of my truck stayed the same, the rear axle went up to 4340 lbs. (an additional 1140 lbs.) and the trailer axles were holding 2840 lbs. together.  That makes the full weight of the trailer 3980 lbs. (nearly 2 tons) but only 3000 lbs. (1 and a half tons) on the trailer axles, leaving room for 4ooo lbs. additional on each axle.  The axles are rated at 7000 lbs. each.

The new measures with the basic structure of my house on the trailer are: Front axle of the truck is 4900 lbs. (an increase of 220 lbs.), rear axle of the truck is 6060 lbs. (an increase of 2860 lbs. on the rear axle of which 1140 is the trailer and 1720 is the house).   The trailer axles are now carrying 7760 lbs which is an increase of 4920 lbs. due to the house so I’m a little over halfway to my maximum load on the trailer.  In other words, I have about 6000 more pounds that can go on the axles.

In terms of my truck, the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) is 23,000 lbs.  My current GCWR is 18,720 lbs so I still have 4280 total pounds I can put on my house in terms of my truck.  If I end up over that (or anywhere over 4000 lbs.) I’ll have to get a bigger truck :), so I’m aiming for no more than 4000 lbs.  I may still get a bigger truck.

My energy systems (4 propane tanks, a generator, 4 solar panels and 8 batteries) are about 1200 lbs, leaving me about 2800 lbs. for interior finishing and furnishing and my personal belongings.  That doesn’t seem like much so I’m going to sell a major portion of my music (13 bins worth) and let go of a lot more books to start with.

That’s the skinny on the heavy.  TTFN (Ta Ta for now)

No Gyrtle Tire Soup!

Hey, hey, hey – we have launch.  As with everything it took a little longer than anticipated to get Gyrtle off of her jacks.  And, I had problems with two tires – one on Gyrtle and one on my truck.  In order to take care of things my wonderful assistant – Mike Ring – and I had to set up the compressor to fill the tires.  This entailed going to Lowe’s to get “fixin’s”.

Once we had the tools we needed we noticed that the air wasn’t really filling the tire – and then we heard a faint hissing from the valve.  In a way it was good to find out right away what the problem was – a bad valve.  So then we needed to get the tire off and put on the spare.  I thank God for strong young men – specifically for Mike.  Even he tore up his hand applying the needed pressure to loosen the nuts on the tire.

The tire on my truck wouldn’t fill completely so I’ll go today to where I can get more pressure.  But that tire is holding enough pressure to drive Gyrtle to a station.  Or maybe Allfleet will be able to fill ‘er up for me.

So, the truck was attached to Gyrtle with no problems.  We saw the flat and the low tire and took care of those.  We moved all the materials that had been stored under the trailer and then we completed removing all the other jack stands and supports until my home was settled onto terra firma via her own wheels and the truck!  You will see from the photos that the springs held up and the tires didn’t squish.  Yaaay!

Of course, I’ll still be adding a number of thousands of pounds with my batteries, generator, propane tanks, solar panels and interior finishing, and of course my personal belongings.  But, I feel all is well.

Yesterday was a different sort of 4th of July here in Colorado Springs.  After the tremendous Waldo Canyon fire and it’s devastation things were pretty quiet – no fireworks anywhere, no barbecues allowed.  There was a big concert at the World Arena with the symphony, the cowboys from the Flying W Ranch (which was burned out) and a number of other local musicians to raise money for the displaced people.  I must give a shout out to the amazingly virtuosic yodeler – I’ve never heard anything like that before.

The great work of the firefighters is hailed over and over.  Many homes were saved by their good work and the fire now is 80% contained (or more).  It was kind of nice to have quiet acknowledgement of freedom, community, the importance of paying attention to and caring for the earth and lots of gratitude.


How Heavy Is That Thing!?

“How heavy is that thing?” is the disturbing question I’ve been asked numerous times over the last couple of months.   Usually it is followed by one of the two addendums:  “As soon as you remove the jacks your tires are going to explode.” or “As soon as you remove the jacks the tires are going to sink into the wheel wells and you ain’t goin’ nowhere!”

Well, tomorrow we will see just what it means that my trailer is rated at 14,000 pounds and the tires are rated to carry that load as well.  I know the framing of my house is around 7,000 pounds and my question to all of these doomsday prophets is, “What the heck does it mean to have a trailer that is rated at 14K pounds if it doesn’t mean it’s rated at 14K pounds?”  The same goes for the tires.  Geez, what do we have all these regulations and standards for?  I have actually had someone tell me that just because the rating says such-and-such, it doesn’t mean that it will perform that way.

So tomorrow – actually later today – I’m taking my trailer off of its jacks and taking it to be weighed and then to get the radiant flooring and water heater installed.  Wish me well and stay tuned for the triumphant report that the sky didn’t fall.  TTFN (Ta-ta for now)

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