It is the New Year, and my life is full of good intentions. Thank goodness I was given an amazing book, Acedia and Me: marriage, monks, and a writer's life to encourage me to act on those intentions.
Yesterday I began such an intense cleaning of the yurt. I will hopefully finish it today, and already, the orderly freshness of our home is filling my heart with enthusiasm. It is sometimes difficult, living in such a small space, to find a place for everything that is both reasonably attractive and easy to find. I tend to try to shove all the uglies out of sight, only to mess the house up completely trying to find them again a week later. The primary intention of this cleaning is to find a place for everything that is actually attractive, and unhidden. I think I'll be getting rid of some things.
Some people have wondered about our own ability to keep clean in a house that lacks running water, while I mentioned that we bathe in our big metal tub, or shower at the gym, what do we do on a daily basis to keep clean? The primary help in this attempt is my "body brush," with which I can dry brush my skin, both cleaning and exfoliating. It's a great habit to pick up, even if you do have regular shower access. It smooths the skin, encourages blood flow, and takes off that layer of dry-skin that can make winter skin so dull. It's especially helpful now, as my body is expanding on what seems like a daily basis, to allow my skin to continually renew and refresh.
We've also discovered the joy of "traveling" face cleansing cloths, it is a wonderful way to wash off make-up, in my case, or just the dirt of the day, without water; and with witch-hazel and face cream, a clean face is easier than ever.
The best thing about winter though, is the over-abundance of water for washing. We can always scoop up enough snow to melt and heat on the stove for full bathing, and since the stove is always on, the snow melts quickly and warms while softening the dry winter air.
All the joys of "roughing it" aside, we are very excitedly planning a weekend trip to a hotel with a deep bathtub, for a night of bathing, television, and electric lights. It's such an indulgence now, and we can't wait to fully appreciate all the comforts of the modern world!