Working from home in the mornings

This morning I got a call from a client I hadn’t seen in a while, wondering if she could get an appointment for bodywork sooner rather than later because she had been experiencing the misery of muscle spasms.

She lives somewhere in south Austin, and I live in Manchaca, and depending on how far south someone lives, it can be more convenient to come to my trailer rather than drive to my downtown studio.  Continue reading

Spartan Carousel for sale in S.F. Bay Area

An anonymous reader posted a comment on this blog’s About Me page with a link to a Craigslist ad for a Spartan Carousel.

I’m posting the link here as its own post so more readers will see it. No, I don’t know why a Carousel in the Bay Area is posted in the Los Angeles Craigslist… Bigger market, more demand? Film productions sometimes offer luxury Spartans for movie stars to use on location.

Anyway, this Carousel looks to be in cherry condition, and the ad includes several photos.

This extremely rare coach has also been completely restored inside, all systems are in working order, including a brand new on-demand water heater, and is ready to move into and be lived in. That is, except for the floor covering which has been left undone intentionally, so that it’s new owner can choose between vintage looking linoleum, carpet or laminated hard wood, and which will then be installed at no extra charge. To see more photos of this amazing coach please click here: or contact Scott Lockwood at 510.412.0495 for more information.

Asking price: $75,000. That’s heartening to learn.

The interior paneling and kitchen cabinets look great. I’m curious about what kind of refrigerator it has, and whether it has central heat and air.

If I hear that it’s been sold, I will add a note to this post.

Spartan Carousel for sale (and it’s not mine)

A reader just sent me a link to another Carousel that’s for sale. These don’t come on the market often. I still don’t know how many were actually made (and how many are still around). Judging by the serial number, mine was the eleventh one made in 1959.

Check it out here:

I don’t know any more than what I saw and read here, so if you want more information, please contact the seller.

Laura, thank you so much for letting me know about this. I’ve gotten at least a half dozen inquiries asking where you can buy one. Here’s an answer.

So if you are impressed with this real once in a lifetime opportunity to own a superb and ultra rare Spartan Carousel, please contact Robert at for more photos or call him at 916-222-2613 with any questions.


Update on 3.24.2013: I no longer post anyone’s ads selling Spartan trailers. Sometimes they’re bogus, and I don’t have time to check them out.

There are several vintage trailer sites where you can advertise or check out what’s on the market. People also do nationwide searches of Craigslist looking for them, or so I hear. Good luck buying and selling Spartans!

Now offering bodywork & changework

I offer bodywork and changework sessions in my Spartan Carousel trailer in the Manchaca area of Austin, Texas.

These sessions combine massage (mostly Swedish and deep massage with a few enhancements, more as I learn new skills) and changework (NLP, EFT, Byron Katie’s The Work, and more as I learn new skills).

If you are a new client, I’ll do an intake on your first visit, and we’ll talk about the changes you might wish to manifest in your life. We’ll decide up front how best to spend our two hours together each time you visit.

I offer two-hour morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend sessions.

While I complete my internship in massage school, there is no charge for massage/bodywork, and you may pay what you wish for changework. After I receive my massage license in February, sessions will be $108 for two hours.

Please email (mareynolds27 @, phone, or text me (512 507 4184) to set up an appointment.

You may view an FAQ on the Bodywork & Changework page of this blog.

Looking back on a year full of changes

This past year, 2011, held a lot of change for me. The previous year, 2010, was a year of sitting in meditation daily, and I very nearly accomplished that. It was a year of contemplation, exploring my identity, waking up, and getting clear.

The changes in 2011 helped my external life — how I live in the world — match up better with how my energy and identity had changed after all that meditation.

Changes to the blog

This blog had gotten 5,000 views in January and is ending the year with nearly 27,000. Readership really accelerated. I felt like I hit my stride in the second year, and I want to keep getting better. I currently have 156 followers, which includes WordPress and email subscribers as well as Twitter followers.

I redesigned and renamed the blog (from The Zafu Report) at the beginning of 2011 and stuck with the same template, albeit changing the photo often, for the entire year. I broadened the topics from mostly posting about meditation and yoga to posting about wellness and aliveness. I began including posts about healthy eating and reviews of movies that I’ve found inspiring and expansive.

My intent for 2012 is to be more personal in my writing. I noticed that those are the posts that get the most views, likes, and comments, not the reposts. I will still share the juicy information I come across, but I’ll also tell you why it’s meaningful to me. I’d love to have more comments from you.

Selling my house and moving into a trailer

My house went on the market in January 2011, and I closed and moved out in late February. I immediately bought the vintage Spartan Carousel that I’d had my eye on online for months. I put my household stuff in storage (what remained after paring down) and moved in with dear friends until I could get the trailer here.

I found my trailer park in March.

But then, I waited to get a title from the state of Washington, and then I waited for flood waters to recede so the trailer could be loaded on a trailer and hauled here from the farmland where it had been sitting for years, unoccupied.

That finally happened in June. We got it set up, repaired, installed cork flooring and an HVAC unit, and I moved in in August. A friend donated a washer and dryer, and I got them set up in my shed in October.

Trailer life is good! I am enjoying living in this trailer park a lot, and it’s great to have a paid-for, portable, recycled, streamlined, mid-century vintage home. I’ve had friends do two house blessings here, and I’ve done some landscaping. I’ve seen deer and a fox in the park, as well as lots of birds. My neighbors have been very unobtrusive.

The only sad part is that my cat, Mango, did not adapt well to trailer park life, and he went back to live with my former roommates, who love him, and we all have joint custody. I see him every week, and he still loves me.

It’s also been a bit of an adjustment, moving from the center of the city to the edge. It’s quieter and feels safer. I do more driving. I listen to music now while I drive.

My intent for 2012 is to install more window coverings, have a deck built, and get a chimenea and some bird-feeders for viewing pleasure. I look forward to doing more landscaping and gardening. I’ll see what my budget allows in terms of further improvements.

Teaching and studying yoga

I taught restorative yoga weekly through July at an acupuncture clinic. Although the class size was small, that teaching experience was invaluable. I worked with private students and substituted at a lunchtime yoga class — the one I took when I was working — and taught a restorative class in a studio for Free Day of Yoga. Did restorative yoga by invitation on a friend’s moving day.

I did two workshops in 2011 with nationally known teachers, Shiva Rea in January and Judith Hanson Lasater in February. In the summer, I began taking classes from Anusara teachers and later picked up a sweaty vinyasa flow class for a more challenging workout. I love working with accomplished teachers — I’m there to learn more about teaching as well as about yoga.

I’m signed up to take Yoga Anatomy with Leslie Kaminoff in January 2012.

I’d love to combine my love of yoga with my love of massage to work on yogis and help prevent and heal yoga injuries.

Practicing changework

I started this year serving as an assistant for NLP master practitioner training by Tom Best of Best Resources/Texas Institute of NLP. That ended in April. I served as program director for the Austin NLP meet-up for a few months and later co-taught an NLP class to women in prison. I attended Metaphors of Money, a workshop with Charles Faulkner, in the fall.

I offered NLP changework sessions this past year, and some of my clients had some wonderful outcomes, reaching major milestones and fulfilling long-time dreams. The sessions played a role in their success, which is pleasing, of course, and my clients already had a lot of resources when I worked with them. It was fun.

I attended two weekend sessions with Byron Katie in which she demonstrated The Work. I use her method of inquiry on myself often and with clients.

I did a lot of reading and personal experimentation with two healing practices, the trauma releasing exercises of David Berceli and shaking medicine taught by Bradford Keeney. Each has tremendous value.

I practiced the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) every day in January as I waited for my house to sell and found it helped keep me calm and centered. I’ve since taught it to others.

Going to massage school

In April, I learned about hands-on healing from giving it (I did 3 levels of Reiki training last fall), and that steered me toward massage school rather than acupuncture school (although never say never). I began studying at The Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in late June (the same day my trailer arrived!) and finished my academic work in early December. I’m currently working in the student clinic, gaining the required 50 hours of internship to get my license.

Meanwhile, I’ve worked on about 30 friends and family members and about 25 of my fellow students.

Besides my regular classes, I took a workshop on craniosacral therapy and learned more about a modality I received regularly for three years without understanding how it worked, only that it did.

I’ve gotten massages from my teachers as a way of learning, and I’ve been fortunate enough to trade Swedish massage for lomi lomi and reflexology sessions. The learning will always continue.

Once I’m licensed, I’ll officially start my practice.

Continuing my own healing

I continued to do acupuncture with Peach Sullivan and did my usual spring and fall cleanses, which I’ve posted about before. This year I finally cleared my liver and gallbladder of hardened bile!

I continued receiving applied kinesiology sessions from Chandler Collins and hands-on bodywork sessions from Bo Boatwright to free up even  more health into my body and life.

I began working with Fran Bell, who gave my walk a makeover. I had been walking as if I was still injured long after my injuries had healed. Sometimes it takes help to change habitual patterns. Now when I walk, my body feels good and has energy.

Also in the past year, I resumed my practice of ecstatic dance, which I fell in love with in 1995. My ecstatic dancing was mostly on hiatus for the past three or so years. My body craved yoga and more silence, stillness, and solitude. It’s good to be back. I feel like I’ve found a good community, Ecstatic Dance of Austin.

In May I had the initial assessment for brainwave optimization, and in June I did 10 sessions with NeuroBeginnings. The benefits continue to show up for months afterward. I feel more centered, more myself, and more content. I imagine 2012 will bring even more health and healing into my life.


I started the year jobless, living on my savings. When I realized I had no idea how long it might take to sell my house, I decided to do contract technical writing. The day I posted my resume, I was contacted by a recruiter. I worked at 3M for 3 months before I started massage school.

I’ve done some freelance work writing and editing website copy.

I’m holding a space for a part-time job in 2012 for financial security while I get my practice established.

Spiritual direction

In the spring, I joined dear Thomas in watching a group of Tibetan monks destroy a sand painting they had constructed painstakingly and then walk in procession to release the sand into Lady Bird Lake. Very moving, a reminder of impermanence. I ironically got a tiny bag of the sand to keep!

On the fall equinox, I realized that I felt as if I had finally fully arrived, or one might say, as if I fully occupied myself, as though I became fully present. Gratified. It’s hard to know that is even a goal until you experience it.

I joined a book group in the fall, studying the 4th way Gurdjieffian path as taught by E.J. Gold. I plan to continue with that in 2012.

I also began dating someone this fall after four years of not dating. I don’t know the future, but it totally feels very sweet and lovely to be in relationship at this time with this man!!

My second Saturn return occurred in December. My astrologer said that Aquarians like me, rather than age, we “youthen”. So far, so good!

So that wraps up 2011, the year of big changes. I don’t do resolutions, but I check in with my intentions, many of which I’ve shared here.

Wishing you all many blessings in 2012.

Two years of blogging, and happy first birthday, wellbodymindheartspirit!

Two years ago today, I posted my first blog post on this blog. Back then, this blog was called The Zafu Report. After the first year, I expanded its mission and changed the name to The Well: bodymindheartspirit. The blog has evolved as I have evolved, and it’s been a great journey of learning by doing.

I am grateful to WordPress for providing templates and widgets that make it look good and take the skill and decision-making that goes with that out of my hands, freeing me up to write.

I thought I’d celebrate by listing the most viewed posts and thanking all of you who have connected. This, by the way, is the 503rd post I’ve published, and the blog has now received 26,847 views with 156 followers. My biggest lesson: persistence pays off.

  1. Home Page has gotten 4,493 views. Of course, the home page changes with each new post, so if you click a link that takes you to the blog, Home Page is where you land.
  2. Update on my Spartan trailer has received 1,844 views and the second most comments. A lot of people using search engines to find information about Spartan trailers end up here. (“spartan trailer,” “spartan trailer for sale,” “spartan carousel,” and “spartan trailers” are among the top 10 search engine terms to steer viewers to this blog.) I feel kind of badly for them because this is not a blog about Spartans. I happen to have purchased, transported, remodeled, and moved into a Spartan Carousel in the past year, and it’s definitely part of my lifestyle redesign to a more sustainable, less stressful way of life. In that way, it fits into my main topic of wellness, and after some internal debate, I decided to post about it here. Some Spartan-appreciating readers have lingered, commented, and/or checked out vintage or, and I’ve made a few new friends whose interests jive with mine in a broader way. This particular post was added in April 2011 when I had purchased the trailer but was still awaiting title and delivery.
  3. Trauma releasing exercises has gotten 1,132 views. This post in May 2010 was written when I first revealed that I’d been experimenting with them. I’ve written a lot of posts since then about both trauma releasing exercises and shaking medicine, but this one has gotten the most views, mostly via search engines, because of the simple title.
  4. More yoga tattoos! has been viewed 566 times. That post actually links to Alison Hinks’ blog post of yoga tattoos. She’s awesome with the visuals! The internet must have many users who are hungry for tattoos relating to Asian spirituality, since “yoga tattoos,” “yoga tattoo,” and “buddha tattoo” are also among the top 10 search terms that landed viewers here. I have a yoga tattoo myself, a small OM.
  5. About me is actually a page, not a post. It’s received 500 views. I actually revise that page every so often because how I describe myself changes and will continue to change. Good for you for coming back. This page has gotten a few comments, too.
  6. Comparing trauma release and shaking medicine videos has gotten 336 views, and I’m pleased to have posted it. My exploration of these healing modalities included locating videos of each online and sharing. Curious viewers can see each modality in action.
  7. Book review: Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson is the next most viewed blog post, at 326 views. I enjoyed reading this book and writing this review. I especially liked the appendix to the book that lists supplements for optimal brain health, written by Rick Hanson’s wife, an acupuncturist. I wrote about that in Buddha’s Brain: Supplements for brain health (236 views). I take them.
  8. The left brain right brain crossover has received 322 views. That seems surprising for an anatomy topic, but I guess a lot of curious brain geeks out there are wondering about this too. I got a few comments, and it was reassuring that one reader told me, “just to let you know that you could study this for years and it would still remain an enigma. such is the complexity of the human brain – even at a macroscopic level!”
  9. Spartan Carousel has arrived! got 319 views. That was posted in late June of 2011, the day after it arrived from southeast Washington.  It has some photos, and it’s received more comments than any other post. Thank you for sharing my joyous relief at its arrival!
  10. The tenth most viewed post is Fantastic prehistoric cave art movie, posted May 17, 2011, with 307 views. I loved that film by Werner Erhardt. This post was written before I saw the movie. It included online research I did in advance of seeing it. Okay, I know I’m geeky like that! My actual review, Movie review: The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, was the 20th most viewed blog post.

So there you have it, the most viewed posts in two years of blogging. Thank you for reading.

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!

Trailer photos: bathroom and floors

Stopped by my trailer after class today. Wow, the bathroom is nearly done, and much of the cork flooring has been laid! A couple of friends stopped by to check it out, too. It’s fun to show it off.

Here are the latest photos. You see the new vanity and birch paneling in the bathroom (I want to replace all the old paneling with this eventually, reinsulating as I go), the marmoleum floor in the bathroom (and my foot), the cushy gorgeous cork flooring and register and yellow wall in the living room, the tub surround that Ian put in, and the connections for 3 hanging light fixtures over the counter in the kitchen.

I’m thinking about some green glass pendant lights I saw at Lowe’s. Check back for future photos — I may change my mind.

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Trailer remodeling photos

I took these photos yesterday. You can see the stacks of boxes holding the cork flooring, the newly painted walls and cabinets, the new heating and air conditioning system and dual-flush toilet in background, and the general chaos of remodeling.

Out of that chaos will emerge a pleasant home to live in and visit.

Hard to believe that I will be living in my trailer in a week! (If all goes well —  send up prayers, please!)

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Trailer progress, HVAC learning

This morning my friend Barbara and I primed the living room walls’ dark paneling and prepped the bedroom walls for priming tomorrow. The lighter colored walls are already looking better.

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By the way, that awesome chandelier that Barbara is standing under works, although the brass is a bit pitted. (It came loose in transit and will probably need some soldering to secure.) I’ve replaced the bulbs — had to use pliers to remove 3 broken bulbs. I found 4 watt nightlight bulbs at Home Depot, perfect for a fixture with 16 bulbs.

Okay, I didn’t just buy the Carousel for the skylight and its chandelier, but they did help draw me in!

My handyman Ian fixed yet another water leak. Both elements in my electric water heater were burned out, and he replaced those.  He replaced the hose from the water faucet to the trailer — it acquired a bubble.

He built stairs to the back door, which is the only door that works now. (The replacement sliding glass doors do not open.) He patched more soft spots in the subfloor and shored up the subfloor under the corner of the cabinetry that holds the wall oven.

My biggest problem right now is that I’m having difficulty getting anyone to sell me and install a heating and cooling system. When the flooring arrives next week, it needs to sit at “room temperature” before it is installed.

So far, one HVAC company has told me that their insurance doesn’t cover mobile homes, and two companies promised to call me back and then didn’t call.

I called the first company back and was told the owner can’t get a unit that small. They recommended I go to Home Depot and get a portable 1 ton AC unit “and maybe you can get one with a heater”.

That’s not a good solution, in my opinion.

An HVAC company owner and his assistant even drove from San Marcos to look at the trailer Friday morning.  I expected to hear back yesterday afternoon. I left a call this morning, but so far haven’t heard anything. I do know they’re busy…

I did talk to one HVAC guy (recommended by a plumber friend) who says he can install a system for a reasonable amount, but I need to get what I need myself.

So right now, the paths available seem to be (1) get a portable unit and (2) figure out and get what I need on my own and have it installed. I can do both — portable now, HVAC system acquisition and installation later — but prefer just the latter.

Here’s what I know, and if anyone wants to further enlighten me, please do.

The space to be heated/cooled is 500 square feet. The system can use all electric or electric and LP gas (propane). The trailer needs a downdraft unit — it has 8 floor vents and insulated ductwork (14″ x 2.5″). I’ve replaced the registers.

There are two main brands used in mobile homes, Coleman and Intertherm, and HVAC companies often mix them, installing an Intertherm heater and Coleman AC, for instance, or vice versa. The condenser, which goes outside, can be any brand. I can get a good warranty on a condenser, but not on the other stuff.

I need a little less than 1.5 tons for cooling, and I need 17,500 BTUs to heat it. Obviously, the more efficient the better.

All in all, these are good kinds of problems to have. Research and persistence will pay off, chipping away at my frustration, and so will reaching out.

Small/tiny housing has been a trend for years. I wonder what systems they use.


Addendum: An hour after I posted this, I heard back from an HVAC guy with an estimate. Yes!

And…it’s a couple thousand dollars more than I thought it would be. $5,600.

Basically, my Spartan Carousel is bigger than the average trailer and smaller than the average mobile home, and there just aren’t off-the-shelf units for this size of space, as far as I can figure. Unless the small housing folks have discovered a solution… I’ll continue to research that.

If I go with Coleman with a conventional central heating and air conditioning system, the smallest furnace available is 56,000 BTU, and the smallest evaporator coil is 3 tons. Both are more than I need for 500 square feet, and there’s the possibility that the AC may cycle on and off.

I’m going to research adding an AC unit (or two) on top of the trailer for now and a propane central furnace before it gets cold. That may be my best bet.


A couple of hours later: I learned that my trailer needs 1.1 tons for cooling and 12,000 output/effective BTUs for heating. Good to know.

I plan to visit Crestview RV, a huge sales and service facility just down the road in Buda, on Wednesday, my next day off when they’re open. They sell and install furnaces and air conditioners and all kinds of appliances for RVs. I found them when looking at Atwood furnaces online.

I have a hunch they can help solve my problems!