It has been pretty quiet around here, mostly just moving in and setting up my house. I am so relieved to be home. I still think it is pretty every time I walk in the door. I love being able to play loud music again. I can't wait to have people over again. My cat and I are at ease again; she has escaped overamorous two-year-old worshippers.
I am very slowly unpacking. I had high ambitions for this return to my house. I will choose every single thing that remains in my house when I'm done. Nothing will be left over from a previous life, a default or compromise, an unwanted gift or clutter. I like it a lot or it goes. I threw out a lot of stuff when I moved out and I'll throw out even more now. I emptied the attic, brought everything I've stored up there for ten years down to the first back porch. Every day I empty a box or three.
Still, it is hard. Last night a small box had all my tkd gear, a bridesmaid dress and a chador. Throw out my tkd gear? I’ll never use it again. But I earned those belts and not everyone was allowed to wear the uniforms with the Cal insignia. The bridesmaid's dress? Well, it is too big now, but it might be great for a guy friend in drag or Burning Man or as yards and yards of pink satiny fabric. The chador? Well, when we had the Iranian stepfather we did get visas to travel there. I still want to. Why buy another chador when I have a perfectly fine one? One luxury of having a house is that you can conveniently hold on to stuff. I kept that box. But it was close.
Anyway, the key to this slow settling in and choosing is that I don't have internets at home. I knew full well that if I came home and checked my email, I'd go to bed hours later without having cracked open some dusty box. Instead I empty a box, go to workout, cook dinner and am usually too tired to face the stack of boxes again. I read something trashy and go to sleep at 9:30. The internet costs me chore productivity for sure, but I am entirely certain that the overwhelming trade-off of home internet is sleep. At least in the winter, when it is so dark for so long, having home internet costs me about two and a half hours of sleep a night. You know what feels really great? Reading trashy fiction every night and getting nine hours of sleep.
I have one little project and one big concern for moving back home. My project is to cook a batch of beans every week*. A little bit because I need protein for my stupendous muscles and lots because beans are so tasty and useful. If you have cooked beans in a yummy sauce, you can eat them with rice or you can put a spoonful over scrambled eggs or you can wrap them into a burrito or add them into a soup or serve them with greens or on toast. They make a lot of meals better. It feels all Depression-thrifty and winter-comfort-like. So that's my little project.
My big concern is that it is too easy for me to be alone in my house in my routine. I ride home in the dark and enter my dark house and I don’t turn on the heat if it is just me. I cook for me and read in the quiet and go to bed. I'm not complaining; I do this because I like it. But I know I'd be happier if sometimes the lights were on when I got home. And if I were talking about my day with someone and if someone were eating my food. I was thinking I'd wait until my house was unpacked and perfect before I got a roommate, but perhaps that is the wrong order of things. Perhaps I should get a roommate sooner.
*Mmmmm, yum, beans in onion-y tomato-y sauce. Here’s what you do: You go to the bin food section of your hippie grocery store and buy some beans that look pretty. Soak them overnight. I think I read somewhere that if you change the water a few times, they’ll be more digestible. Fry up an onion in the bottom of a saucepan. Put the drained beans on top of that, and canned tomato sauce in there too. Salt and cumin. Always cumin. Add other spices if they get in your way when you are reaching for the cumin. Pour water over all of it, about double the height of the beans. Cook over low heat for several hours, making the whole house smell good. Next time, use different beans and a different style of tomato and different spices and it will be totally different. If you are feeling wild, you could choose a nice white bean and do onions and garlic and some green herb-y thing picked fresh from your garden, but no tomato sauce. Crazy, I know.
Also, I would like you know that I am familiar with the concept of mittens. That is what you name a tuxedo cat if you do not name her Socks.