Sunday, January 1, 2012

I cleaned the yurt.

I had the time and inspiration to clean the yurt this week, with the idea of preparing myself for the new year. I moved into the yurt with much more stuff than I needed, which created clutter and frustration that I could never find anything. I'm storing and giving away a lot of things, which feels incredibly freeing. With less stuff, there is less choice about what to wear or read or do. For me, who often gets paralyzed by choice, less choice equals less stress.

Starting with the kitchen, we made big changes. We ordered two clip-lamps to make it look less like camping. We ordered a bigger refrigerator to replace the previous dorm-sized one. I put a teetering pile of dishes into storage. It is much easier to improvise with few dishes than have excessive dishes collecting dust and taking up space.

In the yurt, the key to staying sane is to embrace the challenges. I've learned this lesson from the field mice. When we first noticed their scampering, I was dismayed and a little revolted. We cleaned everything, and they came back. So we cleaned again, deeper this time, and still they returned. Finally, I set out to buy traps--I had enough mornings waking up to little drops of poop.

When I got to the store, though, I couldn't bring myself to buy the fatal traps. Luckily, Ace Hardware carries a trap with the persuasive name, "HavAHeart," that captures them alive. I've caught three cute field mice like this three nights in a row and we've driven each one about a half a mile away, hoping they won't be able to find the yurt again. In the trap they look so scared and innocent that I can't feel disgusted anymore.

Now, I appreciate the mice. Their presence just means that we are living very close to the outdoors, with less separation between us and nature. They find the yurt warm and inviting, just like we do.We can have a clean, pleasant space yet still coexist with these creatures.

Here are some pictures so you can see our warm, cozy home:

Stella, Molly, Grushenka...and our first Christmas tree. I'm usually too cool for Christmas trees and Christmas music but something about the yurt required both. We decorated with hydrangea blossoms. A rose hair clip was the star on top.
The yurt looking very much like a cottage in a storybook. Doesn't it seem like there should be talking animals somewhere? Foxes carrying baskets and rabbits who drink tea?

Stella and Molly resting together today after the festivities. May your New Year be this heartwarming.

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