Spring into Action

Howdy Time Exchangers and prospective Time exchangers.

Are you a crafter/artisan/maker? Do you have a project you want to launch? Perhaps you’re starting a business and want to get the word out. There could be a cause you are passionate about. Maybe you have a skill to share.

The Austin Sustainable Swap for Micro-Farmers, Crafters, & generally Skilled Folks meets at Hot Mama’s Café 2407 E. 6th St. on the 3rd Saturday of each month. This is a great time and space to see and be seen.

ATEN has previously had Creating Commerce Circles where each person in attendance gets 5 minutes to promote themselves/their cause. Beginning in April we are combining the commerce circle with the Swap! The Swap is from Noon till 4pm giving you much more time to promote.

We would like to see folks sharing skills as well as promoting. You may bring wares that you made yourself to sell with no vendor fee in exchange for sharing your skill.

We also love to hear about nonprofits. Come educate the community about what you are involved in.

We set up general swap tables for clothes/shoes/house wares/etc. What’s left at the end of the day is donated to Safe Place and sometimes to Treasure City Thrift depending on the items.

This is an exciting opportunity to expand our “alternative currency” by sharing and swapping our resources. Learning something new or passing on something you have learned is priceless.

If you have questions about the Swap please visit our website at www.austinsustainableswap.net

Bring the family we have crafty things for the kids and Hot Mama’s has great food if you get hungry!

This event is open to everyone so please spread the word.

-Jennifer J. 



See you at the Pot Luck

by Jen Patterson

This spring weather feels so freeing! I want to get out there and DO things in a way I really didn’t in December. To those who love the cold, you have my greatest respect. For the rest, please join us! Let’s share our labors and get started now if we’ve been hanging back.

If you’re new, here’s a great way get started. The AUSTIN TIME EXCHANGE NETWORK POTLUCK GATHERING is coming up: Saturday March 1st from 4 to 7 pm, at Chuck Wimbrow’s place, 2420 Wilson Street, 78704. Chuck will be grilling fajitas. RSVP soon – by February 27 to Chuck at silverbacker(at)netscape(dot)net. Please list a side dish too so Chuck can estimate how many fajitas to purchase. Bring a drink and a chair. And most of all, please come; it should be a great time. We’re more likely to work together if we know one another!

In April, ATEN is merging the Creating Commerce Circle concept with the Austin Sustainable Swap, really a most natural partnership. Every third Saturday from 12-4, folks gather to exchange produce, crafts, skills and services, even excess toys, clothes and supplies. Meet people, share what you do, take free classes, plan projects… It all takes place at Hot Mama’s Café. Learn more at www.austinsustainableswap.net.

Outstanding requests show the kinds of interesting things we’re up to — mentoring, gardening, web design, car maintenance, even hosting a concert! Offers for current members include a past-life regression workshop – coming up soon – 2/23/2014 and at-home massage therapy. Those sound too good to pass up!

For new members, don’t forget, there’s an orientation every Sunday (barring holidays) at 2pm at MonkeyWrench Books. Head on over and meet Elton Hammock there. He’ll be happy to show you the ropes!

Mapping the Movement of Sharing

(EVENTS of the recent and near Past / Present / Future + Lots of Links.)

The recent MAP Jam happened outdoors on one of the most beautiful fall days that we’ve had this year so far.  ATEN participated along with people in over 50 cities world-wide — mapping the many “Sharing Resources” in our area – from credit unions, public parks, and community gardens, to co-ops, thrift shops and co-working spaces – onto an interactive Google map.

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But it’s not done!  You can help finish the map by adding resources that you know about and we missed, and/or editing the descriptions of the resources to explain what’s awesome about them.  In addition to resources that have a physical address that can be mapped, we included online-only resources in the list.  You can too by simply creating a point anywhere on the Austin map and linking to the resource. (click on the map image->)

During the course of the map jam, which was held at October’s Austin Sustainable Swap, ATEN got two new members and learned about some other exciting projects.  From Ellen F. we learned about CommonSpark, a collective of commons activators who are working on a global atlas of different kinds of commons and threats, as well as keeping track of activism going on to reclaim the commons around the world.  We also found out that Margarita, who hosts the Swaps each month, has a back-burner project called the Community Support Volunteers Network, which is a website created to help people come together to accomplish big volunteer projects together, no matter where they are.  (Bookmark csvn.org.)

Last but not least in this barrage of commons- and sharing-themed links, you must check out the site of Shareable, the organization which initiated the MAP JAM. They have a vast library of accessible, helpful how-to articles for transforming our society.  I found their article about how to reinvent the potluck very inspiring!

pumpkin-8-225x300If you are eager to connect with people who are involved in the permaculture/Transition movement and alternative building practices, you might want to make plans to join a Work Day at Pumpkin’s Garden on one of these upcoming Saturdays (weather willing, through Dec. 7th).  Pumpkin’s Garden is in the Decker Lake area (East Austin) and the work days run from 9 until 1:30.  Projects include gardening, compost bin creation, trail creation, and carpentry. You can get Exchange Shares for your labor, and even get oriented to ATEN if you have not already done so!  Contact Karen at 817-7two1-0249 if weather is dubious or you need directions.

The next fun and exciting thing that is going to happen is Cooperation Texas’s Co-op Fair, this Saturday, Oct. 26th: “In honor of Co-op Month, Cooperation Texas is hosting a Co-op Fair… at 5604 Manor” from noon to 5pm. There will be music, local co-op beer and a silent auction of goods and services offered by local co-ops such as Dahlia Green Cleaning Services, Red Rabbit Cooperative Bakery, and Wheatsville Food Co-op (among others).

ATEN orientations for new members are now every Sunday at MonkeyWrench Books at 2pm!  If going East is easier for you, come catch us at the next Austin Sustainable Swap at 1:30.

Next Social/Networking Event: Creating Commerce Circle at the Terrazas Library – 1105 E Cesar Chavez St  Austin, TX 78702 – on Friday Nov. 8th, 3:30-5:00.

Come if you are doing something that you want others to know about!  Geared towards small business owners, but grassroots organizers, non-profit campaigners, artists and educators are all welcome.  Be prepared to speak about your business/service/project for about 5 minutes, and to learn about other members of your community as well.

Upcoming Networking Opportunities

September holds several opportunities for Time Exchangers to meet and make plans together.

Do you have your own business, non-profit campaign, or creative project?  JOIN US Saturday, September 14th at 10:30am for a Creating Commerce circle at the North Village Branch of the Austin Public Library. This is a great chance to speak in a supportive group for up to 5 minutes about what you do or are passionate about, and learn what other members are up to as well.  We are very excited to get these networking meetings going on a regular basis to help encourage connection-making within our community!  Plan to spend about an hour at this event, and do invite friends to come along.

If you’re not really a morning person and would rather share food with new friends, then save this date for our next POTLUCK: Saturday, September 28th, 5-7pm. It will be held at the home of member Steven Jenner.  R.S.V.P. to stevenjenner AT gmail DOT com and he will send you the address.  Please bring some food or beverage to share if you can.

And, if you still need to get to an orientation, we will see you back at the Austin Sustainable Swap this month, as they resume at Hot Mama’s Cafe on East 6th St.  Orientation is at 1:30pm on Saturday, September 21st, and lasts about half an hour.

Upcoming Dates and a Story about Wasps

As we tumble into this hottest month of the year, August, ATEN offers a couple of exciting events held in a nice, air-conditioned building: the Twin Oaks Branch of the Austin Public Library.  If you want to become a member, come on out on Saturday, August 3rd at 10:30am for an orientation in Meeting Room 1, led by Jennifer.   If you are already a member and want to meet others to set up exchanges, we have Meeting Room 1 again on Saturday, August 24th at 10:30am for a Creating Commerce circle.  This is a chance to speak in front of a supportive group for up to 5 minutes about what you do or are passionate about, and network with other members, too.  We are very excited to get these business-oriented meetings going on a regular basis!

On Sunday, August 11th, Soma Vida is having a painting and organizing workday from 11am until 4pm.  If you are a member of ATEN, you can volunteer to help and get credit for your time; just r.s.v.p. to amanda@austintimeexchange.org.  Then at 4, there will be another orientation opportunity (at Soma Vida) for anyone curious about joining our time-banking community.   Show up promptly and you’ll get all your questions answered!

And now, for something refreshing and different: the first in hopefully many guest posts on this blog, this one by ATEN member Oakwalker.  His bio follows the story.  Enjoy!

A Story of Wasps and Resolution

by Oakwalker 

As an adept shamanic practitioner, one who experiences life on the planet as a continuous sharing of the life in everything that is created, finding myself apparently at odds with any species is a huge bell-weather of imbalance. It disturbs me to think that I am not in harmony with the elemental forces of nature, or at least more out of balance than usual. (It’s a process.) So when, back in May, we moved into our new, slightly smaller apartment it seemed a no-brainer to me to let the red wasps on the patio have the upper part of it, everything above my head, if they would let me have the bottom, which they didn’t seem too interested in.

This was a very anxious time for us. Laid off from my corporate job at the end of April, then downsizing by May 1st, then getting married on May 11th, we were really pushed to the limit. I did not have “remove wasps” anywhere on my lists of things to do.

Wasps are generally one of those critters that it would be best to leave alone. The stings they give when they are feeling threatened are very painful. That is reason enough for most people, but there are other good reasons that are often under-appreciated. Most species are generally very friendly to humans -those that are not thrashing the air, anyway- and they eat all kinds of bugs that you really don’t want in your garden. They are actually protective in both an environmental and a spiritual way, in the sense that their very presence repels your ‘enemies’ too. Red wasps, however, have a reputation for being a bit nasty and territorial, and I was relying on my “pure heart” to avoid any problems.

Until that night that I stepped out into the patio in the dark and pinned one’s wing to the ground. I howled and limped and felt that I had “paid my dues” to the wasp agreement. After all, I would have stung her too, given the tools, if she were standing on me. She died, I healed and I thought all was fine until one of them did a sneak attack on my hand during the afternoon break. This time, I swelled to the size of a small melon for five days, indicating that there is a progressive allergy around this and making it very dangerous for me to get stung again.

I do not use inorganic chemicals anymore. The solution would have to be organic. We found that soapy water, if it’s very strong, will drop them to the ground and smother them. We toyed with different essential oils to help repel them. But I still didn’t feel safe out there. I know that the Universe Loves Me. I know that no harm will come to me, because I am part of an Eternal Wholeness. But I don’t want to die of a bee sting. I want to ascend an invisible staircase, or go out defending a friend. I don’t want my last words to be “OUCH, what was that?” I don’t want my epitaph to read “The big things couldn’t get him.” or “Here lies Oakwalker, but for a swat he’d be with us today.”

With persistence and diligent nest removal -get them at the stem stage- their intrusions became less frequent. This was an improvement, because I had a lot of seedlings on the patio that needed attention. The patio is where I go to smoke and meditate on just how I am going to replace that honkin’ great income, or downsize even more, or both. I have been starting my healing practice on a full time basis now, and I need some way of telling people that I am so much more available. The Austin Time Exchange Network is a key part of my strategy for this. It is more than a great idea for exhanging goods and services. It is a network, and the buzz that gets generated along the network will radiate into the community at large with the message that money is not the only way to get what you need. I’m a believer. Yet I’ve found this start-up process to be overwhelming at times, and progress has been slow. It seems as if I’m being guided in one direction, then another, as if I’m trying to paint in a circle one ray at a time. Commitments were becoming difficult to fulfill, as the prep work required was being left to the last minute.

This morning, meditating on the patio about just this very subject, I had the breakthrough that I needed. It finally dawned on me that I was confusing the objective again. My Angel, caressing me with a warm, peaceful knowing in my heart, reminded me that it is about the Healing. Anyone can see that there is a lot of healing that needs to be done. A LOT. I sat up and announced “Well, here I am! Going Pro, now that things are weird enough!” Then I was seeing. I could see the future as if all of these possible lives went out as tubes all around me. As I finally made this firm declaration, a total commitment, then those tubes seemed to shift and run through my space as well, before going out into their own futures, a rest stop along the way. My guides and angels were flooding me with their own special brand of “It’s about time you put some heart into it!” messages that skittered along my skin like happy rain in a hot skillet.

I opened my eyes, and beheld the one of the most beautiful insects that I have ever seen. Irridescent blue from head to tail, it flew to me and really gave me a good look. It landed and let me look at it closer. It was one of those enchanted moments. What was this gorgeous symbol that Mother had sent? What did it mean?

Well, this wasp, the Cuckoo Wasp, lays its eggs in other wasp nests. It is a natural predator to the red wasp’s larvae. This wasp, named after crazy, is the balancing force of Nature that I’ve needed to keep the red wasps down. This secretive little critter was my visible message from my loving Universe that I can be at peace, that I will be provided for, and that it’s OK to sit on my patio again. I just LOVE this life.

Oakwalker is a Pachakuti Mesa Tradition Teacher and Shamanic Healing specialist. He is an initiated sound healer, Crystal Skull Meditation initiator, a certified clinical herbalist and a former engineer.  On the ATE Network he offers classes in Shamanic, Herbal and Sustainability studies.

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Where to find ATEN this summer

Second Sundays at Soma Vida are back for July and August!  We meet for new member orientation at 4pm on those two Sundays (7/14 & 8/11), plus work parties will be ongoing from 11am-4pm on those days to freshen up the paint in two of Soma Vida’s rooms.  They are offering Hours to helpers who commit to a 1/2 (2.5 hours) or full (5 hours) shift. (r.s.v.p. to amanda@austintimeexchange.org)


In August, we will add on a new South Austin venue for monthly orientations, AND a monthly Creating Commerce gathering that will meet at alternating North, Central and South venues.  Creating Commerce circles are fun networking events for new AND current members to get together and share what they do and are passionate about… 5 minutes each around the circle (kind of like Show and Tell, but for grown-ups).  And, get your recipes handy, because August is also time for our Quarterly Potluck.

And here are some picture from our last, the May Musical Potluck:

mmp-1 mmp=2mmp-3Yum.


HUGE THANKS go out to all the presenters, participants, helpers, organizers, and host(esse)s who made 2013’s EXCHANGE FAIR @ LEARNING MAN a success!  It was a beautiful day, with many new members, people learning new skills, facts and ways of thinking, delicious raw foods, and lots of members geting to meet each other for the first time offline.  We are filled with inspiration and ideas for the next time!

Coming up…

On May 18th, Cliff will be out at the Sustainable Swap, to orient you at 1:30 if you want to get started.

On May 19th, an all-community potluck will be held at Krishna’s South Austin home from noon to 2:30, with a musical theme!  Bring some food to share for lunch, and an instrument or song or two.  615 Clifford Dr. Atx 78745 — R.S.V.P.s (to info@austintimeexchange.org) welcome.  🙂

Exchange Fair @ Learning Man – Today!

~A Knowledge-Share Festivity Event for the Greater Austin Community~

Saturday, May 4th, 2013, 11am-4:30pm

Soma Vida Work-Life Center : 1210 Rosewood Ave.

Help us celebrate the Learning Man ideals of sustainability, cooperation, and passion, and expand your artistry and skills with free lectures and workshops from members of the Austin Time Exchange Network.

This immersive community event is a unique opportunity to learn more about your favorite subjects, and the “cost” is mere Hours (for example, a one-hour presentation “costs” you one Hour of service/assistance, which can be volunteered to any member of the Network (300+ members and growing!) at any point in time.

Choose from amazing topics such as: Bicycle Road Skills 101, Intro to Mariachi Appreciation, Creating a Personal Vision, Design Psychology, Natural Homebuilding Techniques, Swedish Massage, and MANY more!!

We will be holding ongoing orientations, too, so if you aren’t already a member, you may join at the event.  If you haven’t attended orientation, be sure to arrive at least 45 minutes in advance of the first class you want to take.

In addition, there will be life-affirming nutrients for sale by Roxie’s Rawkin Recipes (everything $5)!

Check out the full line-up of presentations here

and Pre-register (until 8:30am) to reserve a space in the class(es) of your choice by emailing atenexchangefair@gmail.com

We hope to see you there!

P.S.  You may also be interested in the rest of the LEARNING MAN Events that are happening May 3rd, 5th, and 6th


EXCHANGE FAIR @ Learning Man Coming SOON!

Imagine a day of free workshops, classes and presentations, all contained within one building and offered by fellow Time Exchangers…

Well, we’re going to make it happen on May 4th at Soma Vida!

Soma Vida will host our first ever Learning Man Exchange Fair.
Soma Vida will host our first ever Learning Man Exchange Fair.

With a speed-orientation available at registration and extra computers available, participants will be able to redeem ATEN Hours for tutelage in the subjects of their choice, all taught by “qualified experts” in their fields. (this is subjective, but we think your own opinion of yourself is worth something…)

Some of the subjects already being covered include: Creating a Personal Vision, Being a Change Agent, Understanding your Non-human Companions, Feng Shui, and Spiritual Healing.

What could YOU contribute to our smorgasbord of smarts?

  • Do you know how to make tinctures, ferments, home-made cleaning supplies, or beauty products?
  • Are you a professional with Saturdays off and a passion for sharing your experiences and expertise?
  • Holistic health, yoga, tai chi?
  • Know from experience about starting a co-op, using wordpress for websites, editing photos in Photoshop?
  • Have you traveled afar and brought back unique stories?
  • Know some tips for being a great babysitter?
  • Play an instrument and can show us how, too?

If you have a desire to teach, we want to see you there!  You will get Hours for your presentation + preparation time, plus access to all other class sessions.

Email a proposal for your presentation/workshop/class to amanda@austintimeexchange.org by April 14th.  Include a brief description of your presentation and your history with the subject, as well as an amount of time that your presentation will take (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour)

This EXCHANGE FAIR / KNOWLEDGE-SHARE is happening in tandem with Austin’s Learning Man 2013, which will include events on May 3rd and 5th as well.

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If you want to get oriented to ATEN before the event (and earn a one-hour “stimulus” credit), you can come out to the Austin Sustainable Swap on Saturday, April 20th and catch our 1:30pm orientation.

It’s Only a Matter of Time…


  • Tomorrow, Sunday the 13th from 4-5pm. Location: Soma Vida – 1210 Rosewood Ave.  78702
  • Saturday, January 19th from 1:30 to 2ish. Location: Hot Mama’s Cafe – 2401 E. 6th St. #1004  78702.
    This is part of the Austin Sustainable Swap (see below!)
Thanks to Thao Photography for the photos of ATEN’s reps. Cliff and Elton, at the December’s Swap.

Have you heard of the Austin Sustainable Swap?  Going on 3 months now, it has existed on Third Saturdays at Hot Mama’s Cafe and is a great addition to Austin’s alternative-commerce landscape.  From their website, Austin Sustainable Swap is:

  • a meeting space where folks can gather and exchange home-grown produce, home-made crafts, as well as skills and services.
  • an educational space, for individuals or groups to provide free workshops and classes to those interested in learning.
  • a space for raising awareness; for local non-profit organizations to educate us on how they contribute to our local community, and how we may help them to succeed.
  • a place for folk to gather and exchange ideas, plan projects, plant seeds, and gather each other–as resources.  Because when we work together, we can accomplish so much.
  • a place to let go of the tools or objects you no longer need: clothes,shoes,toys,books,excess supplies…and trade them out for ones that are new, to you, and may serve you better, now.
  • a space to play, and dance, and hoop, and spin.

ATEN is grateful to Austin Sustainable Swap for creating this space and the opportunity to reach out to potential new members.  Come participate!

And looking into the Future…

  • Want to get together for a potluck in February?  Okay!  In an effort to be more present in areas of town other than East, we would love to find a place (a home, or other free-to-use space) willing to host that is South or North.  Please get in touch if you want to host or have a suggestion.
  • This year we will be working on a new version of the ATEN web site.  It will also be open source and available for other time banks to implement.  We might have fewer features at the beginning but hope to scale it up over time and continue to add features according to what the ATEN community needs.  More info to come later, so stay tuned!

110315_SDG70868“I really appreciate how versatile ATEN is!  I’ve used it for everything from tutoring to building design and know I will continue to rely on it more for all the interesting things i want to know more about/be able to do, but am just not ready for DIY quite yet.  Thanks for being here!”  –Leta

Do you have a story about what ATEN has done for you? Please share with us at info@ austintimeexchange.org