And…my trailer now has sliding glass doors!

If you’ve been keeping up with progress on my Spartan Carousel trailer, when I bought it in February, it had a set of non-original sliding glass doors at the entry-way. They were too small to fill the space, and a previous owner had put a piece of particle board in the gap to fill up the space.

You can see them in the photos to the right.

The aluminum frames for the original doors were inside the trailer when I got it. Unfortunately, through some miscommunication, a helper that my handyman had hired to help him did not know that the frames were original, unique, and valuable, and he discarded them, thinking they were junk, before we got around to working on that particular problem. Just trying to help, you know.

I felt sad about the loss, but what could I do? Forgive, because he really didn’t know any better, and move on. Ian let him know it was a mistake to assume he could discard anything, and he was properly abashed and worked really hard after that.

I’ve been using the back door to get in and out this whole time, since late June.

This past week, Ian found a pair of wide sliding glass doors at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. They seemed to be a little bit too wide for the door frame in my trailer, which is riveted into the metal frame and shell and can’t be adjusted without huge expensive work being done.

He asked me if I wanted to take a risk for $60 that he could make the doors work. Heck yeah! If they didn’t work, we would have learned something, and I could redonate them as a charitable deduction.

Between measuring and re-measuring, consulting with the pros at Binswanger Glass (who could have cut the frame but not the safety glass), and trips to The Home Depot for the right kind of rollers, Ian got the doors in. They fit almost perfectly and are completely functional!

The latch is in the right place. There’s a little bit of overlap (half an inch) where the doors meet in the center, and with weatherstripping, it’s good enough. I can live with that. The only problem remaining is figuring out what needs to happen so that the doors can be locked and unlocked from the outside.

To have new custom doors made and installed would have cost about $2,000. This solution cost under $350, with most of that being labor. Ian is now a magician in my book who can do just about anything!

The photo shows the mixed border I planted with purslane and greens, the pots of aloe and basil, the solar lights, and the stand of ligustrum that was here when I moved in and seems planted catty-wampus to me. They aren’t native, so I didn’t water them during the worst of the drought, and one is dying. I’d like to eventually do some more pleasing landscaping with native plants out front.

So now about half of my living room walls is windows. I’m still working on getting window coverings. I have a call into Budget Blinds — big thanks to Katie Ford for that referral.

And an entry deck will be built soon!

So, progress. Yay!

Massage, brainwaves, NLP, work, yoga, women in prison, Gurdjieffian book group, trailer, and more

Life is going pretty well. Knock wood, right?

I’m doing well in massage school. Got in some great practice on three people outside of school this past Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s practical exam. I have a major written test next week and then a week off. It’s hard to believe that I’m about halfway through!

Tomorrow it will be three months since I finished brainwave optimization. I am glad I did it. I feel more centered, my memory is better, and so is my focus. It’s been worth the expense, and I can still go back for individual sessions if I feel the need. It’s been helpful with juggling school/trailer/moving/remodeling/working and so on.

I’m looking forward to doing some gamma wave enhancement when my trainer Gigi Turner at NeuroBeginnings is ready and I have time.

Also, I can have a drink now! You are warned not to drink alcohol during the training and for three months afterward. Kinda makes me wonder what alcohol actually does to the brain. Any drinking I do will be very light — my alcohol tolerance is low.

I did an NLP session with a friend today and picked up a freelance writing/editing job for her website! This is my second recent website writing job. I love doing this for people who have created and are running their small businesses that make the world a better, healthier place, people who are living their passions. I’m looking for more work like that.

I posted my technical writing resume on Monster.com a couple of weeks ago. I’m looking to work 20 hours a week at most, flex-time and telecommuting preferred. Meanwhile, I’m open to doing freelance writing and editing, as well as more yoga and NLP coaching.

I’d love to teach yoga out of my trailer to individuals or small groups (up to 4 max). I’m putting this out there so if you know anyone in South Austin who’d like a small class with more personal attention, you can refer them to me.

I’m considering teaching a donation-only class on Saturday mornings until the weather gets cold. I plan to check out Searight Park in my neighborhood as a possible location. I have Sun Salutations on my mind!

I’ve been attending a weekly class in Anusara yoga at Castle Hill taught by Brigitte Edery or Liz Belile, both great teachers who stimulate and challenge the mind and body. It’s a natural segue from my Iyengar-based training. Love the attention to awareness.

Next week I’m going with Keith Fail into the state prison in Lockhart to teach some basic NLP to women in prison, as part of Truth Be Told‘s Exploring Creativity program. We’ll teach triple description — first, second, and third position, like first, second, and third person in English class, only applying it to your real life. Perceptual flexibility is a fabulous skill to teach, and I’m looking forward to it.

I’m participating in a book group, reading Life in the Labyrinth, by E.J. Gold. This is my first foray into the Gurdjieffian lineage, not counting my longtime interest in the Enneagram. The group has been meeting for a while, and I’m honored to have been invited. We take turns reading aloud, covering a chapter a week, and enjoying some stimulating discussion.

I’ve signed up for a one-day workshop at Lauterstein-Conway later this month on cranio-sacral massage. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I received CST every month for 2-3 years from Nina Davis. It is a fascinating branch on the massage family tree.

Week after next, I’m trading two hours of Swedish massage, with all the extras, for a two-hour lomi lomi (Hawaiian style) massage with James Moore. Really looking forward to that! I haven’t had a lomi lomi massage yet but have read about the Hawaiian healers who have kept this art alive.

Last, the trailer. I’m working on finding the best weatherstripping for the aluminum jalousie windows — something that will last that I can buy in bulk for the 48 windows, which have had the old, melted weatherstripping painstakingly removed.

Then, I hope to replace the nonworking sliding glass doors at the entry with something that works and build an entry deck. I’ve been using the back door to come and go.

Oh, and I must share this! August 2011 was the hottest month in the hottest year on record in Austin. It was also my first full month of having AC in the trailer. Friends have been telling me about their outrageous electric bills — as much as $400.

My AC ran nearly all day every day in August. I worried about my bill being outrageous.

The August bill was $100. Whew! Jon Esquivel at Austin Star Services did a good job getting a good unit in this trailer. For that I am grateful.

Other tasks coming up include plumbing and wiring my shed for a washer and dryer, getting some good window coverings and installing them, and planting more trees and a fall garden with some edible landscaping.

I am really, really loving my life now and the direction it’s going. It’s scary to make a big change in direction like I did, and it is working out well. Knock wood!