Airstream Storage

After a wonderful day visit with my Mom, we made our way back home to Southwestern Ontario. Time to pull Airabella, our 34 foot Airstream beauty, out of the storage she was safely nestled in over the winter. Boy, did I miss her! Considering she weathered the storm in a storage barn for 6 months, she fared very well. Albeit dusty with cobwebs, I was extremely pleased to see that mice hadn’t found a nesting place during our time away. I SWEAR by my dousing of spearmint oil throughout the trailer (I probably used about 30ml of pure essential oil and the smell is still strong, lingering in it’s wonderful scent). Luckily we managed to keep any and all pests at bay during our time away ~ I am incredibly relieved. I was worried …. rodents and barns tend to go hand in hand, especially in the winter.

Spearmint essential oil strikes again. Brilliant! Rodents dislike the smell of mint and it seems to keep them away. So very important in maintaining a clean and healthy living space. Nobody wants vermin burrowing in the walls of their trailer, especially as these pets have a tendency to chew away at anything along their path, including electrical wires. Any access given to food, water, heat and shelter is a huge bonus for vermin. The key to rodent-proofing an rV (any home for that matter) is to prevent them from entering in the first place. Steel wool stuffed in small places is another deterrent to mice biting their way in through narrow entryways. Here’s a great article on other ways to keep the rodents at bay, away from your home and rV.

Decompressing: After Alumapalooza

The final day of Alumapalooza: time for everyone to pack up camp and move on down the road. Some people would decompress in the Airstream Terraport (usual that would be us), but we are on a mission to return to Canada asap for the skydiving working season. It’s time to supplement the funds and take our newly minted AFF ratings for a spin :).

So off to Lou & Larry’s for the evening before winding our way back home. Decompression with some Rockband guitar and relaxation, enjoying the sun and friendship of our Ohio friends. Life sure is grand!

I Married Up!

This would be our final morning yoga class of Alumapalooza 2013. With 23 people in attendance (many of whom are returnees from their first-time yoga experience here in our yoga tent this week and from previous years), we felt very privileged to build and share in the community that has grown at this field location each Spring in Jackson Center Ohio, end of May. For three years running, we’ve volunteered our yoga services to the greater Airstream collective, cultivating a sense of yoga solidarity and exploration that didn’t quite exist before in Jackson Center. We have always enjoyed the prospect of returning to the Mothership of Airstream’s birth and revisiting with our Airstream family (once a year gatherings it seems). It’s amazing how an aluminum home can draw such reverence, interest and pride.

I was thrilled to be offering a yogaFLIGHT class for kids with slaDE, once again. But in actuality, it’s more of a giant play session. My husband has such a wondrous knack with teaching children, skilfully weaving an engaging and spellbinding varying story that has us adults enamoured with his style of yoga play. This year, we taught something near and dear to our hearts … the 12 young participants learned how to skydive, from exiting an airplane, teaching them how to ‘steer’ their canopies, to landing with a finesse and flourish. And of course, slaDE took them all for an ‘airplane’ ride afterwards. A few of the children stayed around afterwards to try out some of the more involved yogaFLIGHT moves that we play around with … ‘4 Step’ and ‘Shoulder Stand’. The boys did marvellously! I had to laugh when the one young boy, who was being spotted by our friend Kelly (while I roamed to take photos), exclaimed rather independently: ‘I’ve got this’ ~ translation = “Don’t spot or support me. I want to try this on my own”. 🙂

Antsy Maclean finished off a magnificent day with a rip-roaring spellbinding evening of 3 hours of raw wicked talent, interlaced with many an Airstreaming song. Antsy is definitely a favourite with this rVing crowd :), especially when he sings songs like: ‘I Married Up’.

It being the final farewell evening to spend with friends here at Alumapalooza, we chatted and cuddled, sang and laughed until our weary bodies begged for rest. Oh how I will miss our friends! Until next time, fare thee well ….

Amuck at Alumapalooza

Another spectacular morning yoga class with 25 people making the effort to attend our 7:30am class. I wasn’t sure how people would respond to the earlier time slot (last year we started at 8am each day). But it seems to be working out just fine, with those who really want their yoga morning fix, making the effort to join us under the big top, breathing and stretching on the luxurious tall grass. How wonderful indeed.

However, all is not champagne and roses on this windy, schizophrenically rainy day. The weather was failing to ‘cooperate’ as requested :). Backup Derby in the rain … not the best idea, especially with the threat of an impending torrential downpour with 50mph winds. Today, the winds started out much milder than yesterday’s stormy schizophrenic weather (although the skies threatened with their similar tempestuous character). It was actually perfect kite flying weather!

This year, slaDE and I decided to register for the Backup Derby. This truly is a tough event where a driver can show off their backing skills.  Teams of one or two can sign up to participate (note: married teams are coached to be prepared for marital-disharmony potential). You can find the 2012 rules here. The other 3 years I had been completely intimidated at the thought of pairing up with my husband in a trial run of rVing communication skills that would test the most skilled of rV marriages / friendships! Somehow 3 couples (including ourselves) managed to weave our way backwards through the seemingly simple track before the skies opened up in a heavy rainfall that had us scampering to the Airstream factory’s safety and dry interior.  The Derby looked deviously easy with the supplied single-axle trailer, until you saw that the supplied truck had ‘blacked out’ rear + side windows and mirrors, and that the traffic cones were strategically placed considerably close together. Aha! This would indeed be interesting. slaDE and I were 2nd up to bat. And managed to finish in 2min 3 seconds with two penalties (we hit the cones twice ~ slaDE was driving and I was outside with a walkie talkie), giving us a final tally of 2:23 minutes. By the time the first rain hit, our score was indeed the best of the three. However, there were 6 other couples to compete in the finishing round tomorrow. Wonder if we’ll win ourselves another set of ZipDee Alumapalooza special edition chairs for this year (we won the Rivet Master contest last year, with 2 chairs as our special prize!)?

The rest of the day was awash until ‘Happy Hour’ and then things started to really liven up! I announced that we would be offering a yogaFLIGHT workshop as a Roving Happy Hour pitstop, but we needed all participants to be sober. That caused quite the funny heckling ruckus, until I stated that we would be having a wIne & cheese afterwards. We in turn received a huge hurrah! 🙂

Three couples showed up to participate in the hugely successful and playful class. Turned out that afterwards, we had a really amazing happy hour under the big top tent, dry and tucked away from the fickle weather. Food and wine kept showing up after our supply ran short. It was a wonder to witness!

Josh Rogan finished off the night with a wonderful 2 hour set of rocking great tunes. What a fabulous day :).

Day 2, Alumapalooza 4

Another gorgeous day at Alumapalooza! So wonderful in that I slept soundly and solidly through the night, waking just minutes before we were to be teaching our yoga class in the tent beside us. YIKES! Nothing like rolling out of bed and stumbling to work :). Luckily enough, I’m a morning person and I can hit the ground running as soon as I wake up. Usually, LOL. The 23 attendees were gleeful at my tension-taming, easy-does-it morning class of stretching and breathing. And I threw in a bit of Pranayama and Meditation before stretching it out with yang-like asana postures. Lucky for me, slaDE was a wonderful assistant and allowed me the pleasure of teaching the class, for the most part anyway. We’ll try to switch roles later in the week.

Today’s highlights beyond the yoga tent ….

  • A vigorous countryside bike ride – very WINDY with the added bonus of a front-seat visual of the lovely Ohio countryside, topped with a big side of kick-butt exercise
  • A revisit to the Airstream factory tour. Nothing like being called to the Mothership :).
  • The ‘Aluminum Gong Show’ was a fundraiser where anybody could offer up their talents, and during their act, people who wanted the act off the stage could speed up the process with donations of large sums of money, after the gong was . Oddly, enough, if one liked the act, people were encouraged to give money as well! slaDE and I offered up a yogaFLIGHT routine to wow the crowd, Cirque Du Soleil style :). No gong was initiated for us. BONUS!
    • Over $800 was raised for the Red Cross to help with tornado relief in the midwest (in light of the recent Oklahoma disaster). Talk about generous Airstreamers! What an amazing community. Brett and Rich pledged to match dollar for dollar of the donations, leaving the grand total at $1,636!
  • Sitting around Colin Hyde’s trailer with fellow Airstreamers, shooting the breeze and podcasting via Colin’s cell phone (Colin Hyde is the Panel Pro) with VAP host Tim Shephard. The VAP usually discusses the weeks vintage topics , but tonight, everyone hanging out at Colin’s trailer spoke mostly about their Alumapalooza week thus far and how each individual found themselves at this venture in their Airstream life. You can find ‘Episode 186: Live from Alumapalooza 4!‘ VAP here.

Yoga and Alumapalooza 4

Alumapalooza 4: Our 4th year of returning home to the Mothership! Airabella’s birthplace, 22 years ago. Oh how we love to return home. I liken a trip to the Airstream factory as a trip to the ultimate candy store. 🙂

Our first official day as this years Alumapalooza Yoga Instructors started out beautifully with our 7:30am yoga class … 20 people in total! The weather was pure perfection, and with a freshly raked mown lawn under the big top tent, the earthen carpet for those to practice on was soft, clean and so very compelling in its true connection to Mother Earth, in every sense of the word. I love it when  people who are new to yoga, make the effort to come to our morning classes, never having attended any sort of class before. From the outset, we were very clear that these classes were purely a practice of breathing and stretching where we learn to listen to our bodies. Becoming attuned to one’s senses and connecting with in the inner world can be a very new experience for many. Any of the extra benefits of yoga (such as flexibility and strength) are just that … additional perks rather than goals. No excuses necessary or allowed! We had 7 new attendees, 4 of them new to Alumapalooza. YAY!

I learned a lot today from the multitude of discussions being offered in the main tent …. many great tips on rV Organization by a new friend Ramona Creel, the tech tips behind axle replacement on the Airstream by our friend Colin Hyde (we are possibly due to replace all 3 of our tandem axles). I had a tremendous amount of fun learning how to fly a trick Revelation kite (‘The Rev’), with Joe and my hubby. Roving Happy Hour was a wonderful success! We’ve been hanging with a similar group for the past 3 nights, and I’m thoroughly enjoyingWe were very blessed to have lent to us the wide variety of personalities, talents and knowledge base of these various new & old friends. It’s been such an amazing day of weather, warm sunshine, a cool breeze and endless blue skies. We topped off our day with sunset kite dances. Spectacular! Life is pretty incredible and amazing.

Birthday Wishes

It’s always kind of interesting to receive digital salutations expressing the ‘Happiest of Birthday’. I prefer a person-to-person connection, but regardless of the forum, I always appreciate the love shown me when people remember and honour this date in history, including the many of my online wishes.

Here is a favourite email felicitation that brings a smile to my face, from my Airstream Forum group. I can’t help but think about why I love the dreamy lifestyle we lead and my lust for all things aluminum:

Happy Birthday from your friends at AirForums; we wish you all the best in the year to come.
May your aluminum be leak free and shiny.
May your tires be round and always properly inflated and
May your days be filled with the exquisite pleasure of new adventures, fabulous destinations and excellent friendship.

Momentum and Mind Mapping

We literally live 10 feet away from our neighbours … our Airstream is parked in their Oshawa Ontario driveway (courtesy shared parking). But with all of us having busy lifestyles, Dawn spoke about never seeing us, regardless of the fact that we are pretty much ‘roommates’ per se. So in order to play ‘catchup’, we had dinner together. What a truly lovely way to spend a gorgeous summer’s evening. Dinner with friends as the warm sultry air wafts in through open patio doors.

It’s been a really interesting few weeks of working on our newly designed yogaFLIGHT website and blog. Coming up with entirely new content (a rough business plan of sorts I guess you could say) has been a challenging experience. Top that with trying to accelerate our social networking presence with yogaFLIGHT and rV There Yet (both on Facebook and Twitter, with appearances on LinkedIn and Google + in the works), and I am pooped!

I find myself stumbling through the days with a bit of chaotic splash and splendour, no concrete plan written on paper, going from instinct and ideas, excited at the cre8tive process as it evolves. As Annie Lennox would say, “at a certain point you can’t really tell whether you have created the momentum or it’s creating you.” Not the best strategy going in to this with no siteplan (aka a graphic representation) or mind map, I admit, but at least its momentum. I’ve been dragging my feet on this project for way too long. I’d say that I am 75% close to our relaunch … just have to put together a gallery and clean up the coding and stuff. I am so very happy that hubby sat down with me and spent a few hours going over the content with a fine-tooth comb! I really look forward to everybody’s input when it’s finally online :).

Enthusiasm is the energy and force that builds literal momentum of the human soul and mind.
~Bryant H. McGil

One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.
~ Michael Korda

So how do you make a mind map?

This article from Anthony Landale from the Illumine Training website lays it out really well. Why paraphrase him when he has it down pat? Go check him out … Thanks Anthony!

  1. Take a blank piece of A4 paper and turn it on its side.
  2. Start in the centre and draw an image that represents the topic you are working on.
  3. The main themes around the central image are like chapter headings.
  4. Draw thick lines which connect the themes to the main image and print one word associated with each of your themes in CAPITALS next to the line.
  5. Start to add another level of thought, using thinner lines, linked to each theme.
  6. These are your associated thoughts. Attach words or images.

Add your personal touch. Make your map artistic, colourful and imaginative. Add humour, exaggeration or absurdity wherever you can. Your brain will delight in getting enjoyment from this process.

Mind mapping is a technique that is proven to help learning, aid memory and is efficient in recording and storing information. Again let us consider note taking as an example. Typically note taking is a laborious process with an output which, let’s face it, is typically forgotten quickly if it is read at all. Why is this so? Because a page of text has almost no variety, no distinguishing features; nothing stands out and the brain goes to sleep.

Stylin’ Airstream lunchbox

This is a REALLY cool vintage heavy-duty lunchbox based on an all-time classic Airstream. Oh how I love our trailer! I would want to memorialise it as well as a piece of art if I could, and take it with me to work every day :).

I love how he made the propane tanks out fo 35mm film canisters. Talk about upcycling :).

It sits at 15.5″ long x 8.5 tall” x 5.5 wide”. Maybe not big enough for my lunch, but I wouldn’t care!

From Paul’s Flickr page ….

Crossing Ontario

Long drive from Montreal to Sudbury. It was actually quite tough leaving Montreal, all our new friends, a couple of spectacular turbine Otter drop zones, some killer RW jumps and an optimal home base behind. But alas, our dear old friend Jovan was getting married in Sudbury. There were no ifs, ands or buts about not attending. You see, Jovan was responsible for introducing me to my husband, and in turn, he was at our wedding. Now was the time to be there for our friend on his shining day. 12 hours makes for a long day. Luckily we found some lovely green patches to stretch and do yoga on!

Once we arrived, our Airstream (and slaDE~s innate ability to back in the trailer anywhere caused quite the excitement and stir!) found a neat and tidy home tucked away in the corner of their neighbour’s driveway. It was awesome. Great to finally meet Carrie in person and spend some time with their family and wedding party before the big day!