We have moved in to our new home—on the seventeenth of December—but we are taking a break from finishing all of the rest of the details…I’m sure that we could work on it forever, but we won’t. On some day, we will say, “It is finished.” And so be it!

There are so many things that I like about this home. It is larger than the home I grew up in. It is not too big (1000 sq. feet.) There is gardening space, where I have already started harvesting kale and turnips; the next crop is sown.  My dogs and cats are happy, and so are we.

We turned the back patio (which already had three walls) into a sun room. Actually, it functions like a solar heat collector—all we have to do is paint and tile it darker colors to generate heat. The roof is made out of glass, like a hot-house or a green house. The windows on the north side of the room open, so that all of the heat that we collect during the day wafts in to the house. Wow. It’s like living in a tropical climate here in this cold-zone. I don’t know why people don’t design their homes like this…south facing room with a glass roof, and windows and doors to access the heat to the rest of the house. It’s so simple and it’s free.

We don’t have many “things,” but we are quickly finding out that there is not so much storage space. Many of these boxes I packed over 1 ½ years ago, and we don’t miss them at all. So…looks like we will reduce our belongings…Don’t worry Mom, no heirlooms will be imparted. Ah, the story of my life…reduce and give away, cleanse and purify.

My husband designed a beautiful brick oven and stove. Wood fire. This is one source of fuel that we use here. Natural gas is expensive and easy to become dependent on…so we have a distant plan to build a methane gas unit. But immediately, we will bring up my solar cooker from Trivandrum. I am very familiar with solar cooking—so this will also become a large part of the cooking routine. It’s very simple and less time consuming, because you can’t burn the food (in this kind of solar cooker.) And because I have so many greens growing in the garden, I will be making a lot of green drinks.  

But the dust is still settling, literally. Every day I wipe away dirt from objects, which makes me apprehensive about bringing out the “things.” Today I took out the power drill to make holes in the walls to counter-sink screws for hanging up my spice rack and a few photos. Ahh….the cement is so hard, and even with a special cement drill bit, I can’t penetrate the wall. I usually am more independent than having to wait for my husband to come around to help me with such things.

We have paint for the back room, and it depends on how much effort I want to put out today to do this…still in resting mode after the big “push” to get moved, settled, along with other activities. Yesterday the mason was here to finish the floor. He does a beautiful job with his work, is kind, and speaks about good things. We bought different colors of a cement coloring agent—red oxide, blue oxide, and black oxide. We mixed all three colors in equal parts to make a beautiful deep and dark purple…since I am partial to purple/deep magenta to attract the heat from the sun rather than black. The kung bed is coming along, it runs along the west wall, and is an ancient Chinese design—one that uses the chimney chambers to run through the length of the bed and out, creating a good and warm space when the stove is lit, and long after. I’m looking forward to its completion and to making cushion covers and truly using it for a place to relax and rest. Hubby is too!

My husband is off to Kerala again. Clients arrived.  And while we are grateful for the business, we also are looking forward to making our business “remote” –so that he won’t have to travel. My “babysitter” friend and helper arrives in the evenings and stays until the morning. In India, it’s not safe for a woman to stay alone, not to mention sleeping behind unlocked doors (Where I grew up, we never locked the doors of our house.) I pray that this will someday change.

Also, where we were living just before our move had 5 different houses under construction—a fairly remote area and ours was the only inhabited house. There were more than 20 men in the close vicinity of my house daily, and my housekeeper urged me, “Don’t go outside, and lock the door.” Having the fear of rape isn’t a healthy way to live, and so I didn’t carry it around in my heart. Although, I did do as my housekeeper said, and for the most part of 2012 I was locked inside of my house. The fact that I have four dogs, two very unsocialized and vicious ones, is also helpful. Over the years, I’ve become “street smart” and have used my spiritual guidance to keep me safe—although for some, and it’s not reported in the news, the problem is not outside of the home, but on the inside.  It’s very strange, and I know that this kind of thing has been in the news recently. Because I choose not to take in so much news of this kind, I only heard about the highly publicized Delhi incident less than a week ago. My prayers are with all people who have committed such acts, that they turn around their thoughts, violent urges and actions—please God, please send them the right thoughts. And equally, I pray for the people who have been on the receiving side of this violence. I have direct understanding of this kind of violence against women and children, as it also happens from where I come. I only beseech that this stop, that each person become aware of their participation—whether it be to cover up such an event in a family or living situation, or that they choose to bravely speak out about it—that it  does matter how to deal with this.

I hold the belief that such things won’t be an issue in the future, because the Good always prevails. If enough of us believe in the Good, and implicitly trust in it, then the great turnaround in this world will come more smoothly. God is only as powerful as you believe his force to be.  His force will transform your reality when you deeply accept it into your heart. The question is, how positive, how healthy, how free do you want to become? It’s all based on your beliefs and your limitations. Change your beliefs; change your life. God is so able to transform our lives beyond what we can even imagine. At least, this is my personal experience. But, don’t believe me, test it out for yourself.

Sending warm regards to you, your family, and your friends, a very Happy New Year 2013.