Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

2015 and some simple changes

Wahoo! We made it over the hump, that's the longest night of the year. We made it into a new year. And that all is kind of exciting. We have winter to get through but spring is on its way. A new year is a fresh slate-- kind of. It's a time many people decide on goals for what they want to have happen in the coming 365 days.

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.


Tabor said...

Moving art is a good idea. Most of my art is folk art or drawing from the grandchildren. I love those! I also love windows and I have lots! Not much wall space for art when the windows frame the art of the outside.

Linda Kay said...

That weather thingy is really a great idea when you are out a ways. Your home looks very warm and cozy. We have one long hallway with pictures we have collected. And I also have stories about most things in my home. Happy 2015.

p_zenmind said...

Your art work collection of the Southwest Art reminded me of my time spent on Papago, Navajo and Hopi reservations while building schools for them. I don’t know how and why but somehow I connected with the native people and their folklore stories so well with my culture and stories from India. I got to meet with some interesting people on the reservations and exceptional artists making Hopi potery, Navajo rugs and Papago baskets. Ted Degrazia passed away after a year when we moved to Tucson from New York. I always wanted to meet him in person after visiting his Campbell avenue studio but like any other thing, you postpone it because it is in your home town. Although I was fortunate to meet his widow Marion who was also accomplished Artist who managed The Gallary in the Sun on 1o acres in the foothills. I was not a starving artist but his story of traveling with a trumpet and $15in his pocket from Bisbee struck a chord in my life when I came to this country in 1970 with my Engineering degree in civil/structural and $5 in my pocket. How fortunate can you get to live in a city that has such a rich history. Later on I learned that Alexander Caldor the famous sculptor was a Professor at UofA ,not in art department or sculpture but Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department. He also had a degree in Mechanical Engineering
Well, in an effort to reconnect with the place that I loved so much I am contemplating a trip to Tucson. You have mentioned in your blog that your home will be marketed for rental. Can you provide the details when, how long and what rates it will be available and terms and conditions of rental?
Thank you so much for your blog and Tucson Pictures.
Wish you A Happy New Year 2015.

Rain Trueax said...

We were just saying we wished we had gone to his studio again this time, p_zenmind. Time got away from us. We have three of his prints in our Tucson house. We were fortunate enough to meet him when he was still at his beautiful studio. I think I still have a slide of him in his garden but would have to look-- slides are hard to sort through. The chapel he built there was really something to visit for the feeling inside it. Yes, he was unique and his work the kind that speaks to the heart of a region and people :)

Rain Trueax said...

Our home has been on VRBO as a vacation rental since 2011. It generally books January through April sometimes a year ahead of time. There is a calendar there to let you know what is still open. VRBO is online, free for the renter to use, and an excellent place to find rentals of all types for anyone who prefers to stay in a house rather than motel.

I have my email here under profile; so why don't you email me and I can give you more specific information on the house and how it works.