It would be nice to come up with something profound and deeply meaningful for my first post in 2015... I'd have to find it from someone else's writings as it is not how my head is working. I am in a very practical mode of plodding along without any deep thoughts beyond things I want done in the house, how the livestock are faring, what happens next in the current short story, my obligations for January, or hope the kids are having a good time wherever they are.
For a few years I would spend time, during this season, writing down goals for the coming year. For awhile, I even had it broken down into different areas-- spiritual, emotional and physical. I don't do that anymore. It isn't that I don't know what I'd like to be doing but more that I feel the same urges months ahead of a year end. I am constantly thinking of goals in a loose sort of way. What do I want in my life? Who do I want? Am I doing the things that will get me where I want to be? Did I make a mistake in something that I should be fixing? It's an ongoing thing and no different now than it would be in July.
Last year I had my calendars ordered months ahead of time. This year because of time in Tucson getting that house where it needed to be (it looked great when we left), I only ordered my calendar for my desk a week ago which means the new one will be here the second week of January-- if I am lucky. I liked the quote for December 2014 on the calendar that I am leaving behind.
"There is in every person an inner altar that has a guardian angel standing over it. This is the center of your concern, your connecting to the eternal." Howard Thurman
The idea of a muse is a big part of my life and has been since childhood. I remember always the feeling something or someone was there. When I was small, my parents were concerned by my imaginary playmate. I had named him and although I don't remember what he looked like he did seem like a boy to me.
But then I guess I quit seeing him-- social pressures dontchaknow; however, I didn't quit hearing him or feeling he was there. There have been times in my life where I thought I knew who he was. I gave him names more acceptable to my culture. Now I don't try to name him but I do listen and pay attention to the inner voice and to dreams. If I had one goal for every year, it'd be to always listen and be aware of serendipity. It has played a big part in my life-- all of my life.
So in a practical sense, what we did the last week of December was multifaceted and all very practically minded. When we were at our daughter's house for Christmas I saw several things I wanted for our house. Ranch Boss saw one he wanted. As soon as we got back up here, we bought them and began the process of setting them up.
The weather station is very practical and ideal for a ranch. We now know what the wind is before we go outside, how the animals will be impacted by more severe conditions like wind chill, and can react accordingly with feed. Besides which it's kind of fun. Although I follow an online site that gives weather fairly close to our actual location, it's nice to have it be more exact as rainfall in the area where we live can be very different from valley to valley. The inside gauge is set up in Ranch Boss's office to make it easy for him to keep track of what he will find outside. Knowing actual rainfall will help with irrigation choices.
What I most wanted is something I've wanted for quite some time but had put off. It's one of those hangers that lets your TV be flat against the wall or angle out depending on where you are sitting. We added another purchase to it-- a sound bar that we saw at the kids' home. We don't watch very much television as such but pretty much every night Ranch Boss and I decide on a film we would like to see and watch one. Currently it's usually our own DVDs, but we are thinking of trying out Netflix streaming. When I used to rent DVDs from Netflix, by the time they got here, I often had limited interest in them. Streaming will be better-- if we can figure that out. Given the other changes we recently made, that won't be happening right away.
As it is with many things in life, changing the TV changed the bookcase that held our DVDs, it changed chairs, a small buffet was moved to a bedroom and replaced with a small table. When it was finished, the room was more functional and looked very different, more open and spacious.
When we bought this house, it had a sliding glass door outside and a big window that looked east, another good sized one that looked south. We began adding windows, closed in a porch to make a solarium, traded the glass door for a french door and pretty much gave up wall space for windows. I love windows.
Our home is made up of things we have found through the years. Like the Tucson house, it's full of art, Navajo rugs, pottery and very eclectic. A small example is the table that now is under the television. Years ago in Kanab, Utah, in a secondhand store with an upstairs full of old furniture, we came across a very cool mission style table, made on a nearby reservation (currently it's in our Tucson home). We also bought a small table with a drawer. $20 and we had to shove this all into the back of our van and give up sleeping there until we got back to the ranch. The table with the drawer had no real place to go, but I used it by the phone in the hall (even though it was too large for there). Now it has a place. The drawer is a space for needed instruction sheets and the small table doesn't visually take up room.
After the furniture was rearranged, the art had to be adjusted. Besides a lot of paintings and several Navajo rugs, we have three Deacon Sharp bronze masks (four actually but one is in Arizona). Although I don't always do it, I think art ought to be moved every so often as it can be overlooked if it stays in the same place. I know I am more aware of these masks in their new locations.
I don't know how many photos I have shared of our Oregon home but the following are all from the living and dining area. More may be changing here (I have a few ideas), but that's no rush. Step by step :)
Deacon Sharp's ram's head is alongside a poster by a painter again where I could never have afforded this painter's original work nor have ever had space for them as he paints huge-- and when I say huge, I mean huge. I'd have to give up furniture or a window to hang one, David Devary. I got this poster in Tubac some many years back. These are both on the wall above our wood stove and facing the kitchen... no photos of the kitchen. It's still recuperating from travel and not everything has been put away-- that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!One thing I like about both our homes is they are simple structures. They aren't fancy houses. What we have put into them is what has made them have the energy they do. I can tell you the story of everything in this house and knowing where we got each thing adds to the joy and gives me memories of the first time I saw them. That's about the only way I favor looking backward.