Just a look around our house...
We lived in the space, with no furniture for more than a month after leaving the RV. The only soft spots where the beds. Remember that I was 6 or 7 months pregnant with Simone during this time.
Those are fermenting jars on the shelves which contain a batch of kombucha, smreka, gingerale, and pear beer. The books are all sorted by color, because with 8 full bookcases it can be difficult to find or return books quickly. With this system I rarely have to look for a book for long. The only deviation is that some complete sets, like complete author sets like Anne Rice, Carlos Castaneda, or our herbal medicine collection are kept together on a bookcase just for sets.
In the evenings we pull out my great grandmother's folding card table and play some cards.
It is a piece that I have always loved and hoped that some day it would find it's place as a useful piece again, and it has!
On one of the alters. This one features family and nature. Included on it are two masks from a friend, one being male and the other female.
The dining set and shelf have completely changed the feel of our home. They came from my father and have become well loved as we now spend a lot of time in a space that previously felt more like a hallway than a family space. We now eat all three meals together and often sit talking or reading for a while when we are done. It's become a very happy space for us.
In the kitchen 2012
In the master bedroom 2012
This is a dresser that I inherited when my grandmother moved to Virginia many years ago. Someday, when Nichola is grown it's meant for her. Though we kept almost nothing when we moved onto the RV, there are pieces (along with my books) that were too special to let go of and family has held them for us for nearly 5 years. I still don't have all of my books back!
It is a definite trial to find the balance between simplicity and unnecessary minimalism. We try to manage it by keeping few things in our drawers, cabinets and single storage space: the closet. If it's not used regularly, a much loved piece of decoration, or a book, it probably won't last long in our house.
The kitchen and bedroom photos were all too dark and blurred, so I'll have to try again for those.
Our home smells lightly of spicy earth which comes from the incense we burn twice per day. There is also a light mingling of wet earth from the damp house plants. After years in the desert, anything wet or damp smells strongly to the dried out nose.
There are stacks of bookmarked, and left open books on nearly every surface, including the car seats. Every so often I go around and clean them up, figuring that we will find what we need when we need it. Quinn and Jeff tend to read two books at once, but always to completion. Right now Quinn is reading the translated Neverending Story, and Hero, with Moby Dick and Treasure Island waiting on the table. Jeff is working on The Resilient Gardener, The Art of Fermentaion, and Basic Home Butchering of Livestock.
I tend to be a less focused reader these days, leaving books everywhere and often not finishing them for months or at all. On the table beside me I have a David Sedaris book, a Carlos Castaneda book, and The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric, Understanding the Nature and Function of Language. These three are actually nearing completion after almost a month on the tiny antique table beside my green chair. Elsewhere I have Making Herbal Medicine, Soul Retrieval, The Complete Chili Pepper Guide, The Law, Unschooling... there are more, but who can keep track! Every week I make a new resolution to choose two and finish them, but I can't seem to stick to it and so most books take months to be completed.
Nichola is reading Bob Books and Quinn is helping her with it because when I try to help her with it Simone starts piling her books on top of my legs and trying to climb in my lap. It's just easier for Quinn to help Nichola while I read to Simone.
Our life is slow and repetitive in the winter. Care of the animals and preparation of meals dictate how the day flows, usually ending in a game of 500 Rummy, or Sorry, while the girls play dolls in their bed forts, watch a movie, or jump on my bed.
I tend to not be hungry during the day because of the cups of broth and tea, so by 10 pm, the kids are in bed and I'm feeling cozy and hungry. I crawl into bed with an unfortunately large bowl of rice pasta, with chili flakes and parmesan. Terrible I know, but what can I say? It's my ritual. Jeff is usually finishing up some computer work and doing the evening chores. By 11pm we're both done. We light the candles and a little sweetgrass cone, and share a movie, read a little, or play a game of Gin in bed.
It's life in ritual, and it keeps us sane while we fight against the tide.