Cold Water on a Hot Day

Today I am thankful for cold water on a hot day

or in other words…

Our water heater isn’t working.

It’s been going out for a while.

It is officially gone.

It’s not so bad, really.

Our electric bill is lower.

I am boiling water for dishes which I am actually enjoying…

it somehow makes dish-washing more intentional and important.

There is thought involved.

It is less of a task and more of meaningful ritual.

Showers aren’t even bad.  We are in our first heat wave of the summer.  Temperatures outside are slowly rising…an interesting reversal of the temperature of our water slowly decreasing.  A cool shower is a blessing in this heat.  Not first thing in the morning, but a pleasant respite in the evening.

Now, if this were winter it would be a whole ‘nother story.  I would be hard-pressed to find anything to be grateful for in this situation.

I could try.

You know, we have running water and we don’t have to trek 10 miles uphill in both directions to get water.

It would be a valid point, but nevertheless, you would not find me in the shower in the middle of winter without hot water.

But, for right now, it is good.

As is the de-cluttered and organized hallway and living room.  Another small box of stuff going to the thrift store and another bag of trash/recycling ready to go.  The empty plastic storage bins are still empty.

On to the kitchen (insert tiny sigh here)…

Peace

 

The Return of the Crud

I felt sooooo much better yesterday.  I got quite a lot done.  I made big plans for today.

Today, the “crud” returned.  Maybe the cold is gone and allergies have flared up.  The first cedar pollen bud watchers have reported that the buds are popping.  Yes, the allergies are so bad here that we have folks who watch out for this sort of thing.

In any case, the fever is back.  I lay down for a short rest and slept 3 hours.  Nothing much was accomplished…

– other than some school catch-up.

Math is killing us.  We just aren’t making noticeable progress.  I have a pretty stubborn kiddo and if I hear, “I hate Math” one more time…

I’m going to sweetly suggest that we give it another go.  Maybe.

I did spend some time reading blogs about folks who are decluttering and simplifying and reducing waste and growing and cooking all their own food.  No waste. No additives.  All from scratch.  While chopping their own firewood for the stove in the home they built themselves.  With their children who are already doing advanced calculus in 3rd grade.  After hiking in Nepal for summer break.  And making their own laundry detergent to wash their clothes that they make themselves – 100% cotton, of course.

I’m not judging.  More power to them!  I’d be right there with them if I could figure it out.  If I could declutter enough stuff.  If I could get out of debt.  If I had started 30 years ago. If I could remember to water the plants right by my front door, much less grow a garden.  If I didn’t take a 3 hour nap.  If.

But hey!  I’m in a better place right now than I was a year ago.  I’ve paid down over $2000.00 on our debt.  Loads of stuff has left and I’m not hauling it in anymore.  I’m not “running with the crowd” anymore without trying to be more intentional.

I’m thinking about it.

I’m trying.

I’m learning to be “me” and live my own life –

with what I have to work with.

More power to me!

Gone today:

  1. a piece of wall art
  2. two sweaters – one of which makes me look like a melting snowman.
  3. a worn-out pair of p.j. pants
  4. used up some hand-made paper that has been waiting around for years for the “perfect” project.  turned it into guerilla art cards
  5. 11 small bottles of colored glue leftover from an art class and the plastic box they are stored in.

What Would I Save?

Yesterday, I woke up to the sound of rain and a husband who may or may not have been cussing.  The words were indistinguishable, but the tone wasn’t.  Problem!  I opened the front door to darkness and the sound of rushing water.  The night before we got home late and parked the truck so that the headlights shone on the chicken coop.  That way we could see to make sure they were all locked up tight for the night.  We are having a raccoon problem – more specifically a raccoon eating chickens problem.

And now, the truck was stuck.  Very, very stuck.  Up to the hubcap in calf-deep running water stuck.  And husband is late for work.  And we have one vehicle and two different work schedules to deal with.  Yep, he was probably cussing.

He grabs the keys to our son’s Jeep and heads out to work.  I go in to check the news about the weather (I already know that it’s raining, of course).

Sure enough, bad situation around these parts.  We’re getting heavy rain and the yard is swamped, but farther south in Austin and beyond….holy crap.  We were flooded in by rising creeks and impassable roads, but that was minor compared to others.

We’d already had heavy rain the weekend before.  Rivers rose fast.  Massive flooding.  As I was watching the news coverage, I looked around and wondered what I would try to save if we had to evacuate?  That kind of news puts things in proper perspective.

So this happened…

IMAG1096 (1)…clothes, a lamp, games, towels, and I’ve already forgotten what else.  Two boxes stuffed full and I can’t even remember what I put in them?  Crazy.  Out of here, gone.

There is also a pile of trash on the porch waiting for the yard to dry out enough to haul to the can.  Yea!

In a small corner of my brain I’m wondering if I’ll ever be done.  How much stuff is enough?  How much needs to go?  Will our life be better if I get rid of the stuff.  The house cleaner? The stress reduced?  Is this a good plan?  Is the clutter a symptom or the problem?  More questions than answers for sure.

Our neighbor jokingly calls us the “bad-luck Barrows”.  It does seem to be one thing after another.  Mostly small, irritating stuff.  It’s the continual stress that’s hard.  Waiting for the next crisis.  Not a good way for me to live.  I’m trying to look for the next good thing instead.  A change of attitude is what I need.  I’m working on it.  I’m working on a lot of things.

My daughter is playing a song for me…”Hold on for one more day…break free from the chains…things are going to go your way…”

It’s true.  Good things are happening all the time.  A friend came and helped us “un-stick” the truck.  Lots of stuff has been de-cluttered this week.  I’ve made some art.  My daughter is home this weekend.  It’s Halloween and the kid’s costume is ready.  We’re going to spend the evening with some friends.

Oh yea – it’s 50 cent corn dog day at Sonic.  That’s a good thing!

Studio Re-do

Because my whole house is in perfect order and clean (HA) I decided to take apart my studio and re-do it.

Here’s what it used to look like:

Everything in one place! Studio redesign

And now:IMAG0773IMAG0775 (1)IMAG0774

I moved out the big black cabinet because my daughter needed the storage in her room AND I like to be able to see everything. If I can’t see it I tend to forget about it.

I also built a separate desk out of a long table and an old door to use as a journaling and art card station.  That stuff tends to spread out and stay out.  Now I can work as time allows and the big table is freed up for other projects.

It’s not quite as “pretty” as the previous configuration, but I like it.  I believe it is more practical and will be more functional.

I’m finding that I’m less and less concerned with the overall appearance and tidiness of the studio.  I think that it has something to do with my attitude and confidence with “being an artist”  rather than “looking like an artist”.

It’s a shift in thinking that I’ve been working on.  Before I used to think about how to be an artist.  Now, I’m thinking less and doing more.  I’ve really been working on looking ahead and not looking left or right. (I’m stealing that terminology from a blog I read, but I can’t remember which one and I can’t locate it to properly credit it.  My apologies and thanks to whoever wrote it in the first place).  It’s all about looking in the direction you wish to move rather than concerning yourself so much with what others around you are doing.

Anyway, I’m worrying less about what other artists are doing to be artists and finding my own way.

Now, what to do?  Deal with the piles of stuff leftover from cleaning the studio or make some art?

Maybe a little of both.