I received an email from a senior monk at Bhavana today (yes, monks do email!) advising me to have nothing in my meditation room aside from my cushion and the Buddha statue 'on a small table at eye level' in the room. I kind of wish he'd offered the logic for that, but he didn't and I'm not going to ask. He didn't reach the position he's in without knowing his stuff, so I'll take his word for it, after half a day of resistance to the idea. It wasn't the answer I wanted to the question I asked (which had nothing to do with this room), but I am fortunate to be able to ask questions of him at all, so I will accept what I received, with gratitude.
So, this afternoon I set about reorganizing the house so I could move the chair and ottoman back to the living room (!) and remove the other small items of furniture in there as well. I opted not to remove the heater, because the room is unlivable without it. It's the coldest room in the house, because of its northeast exposure, and I don't keep it particularly warm, but I do leave the oil-filled radiator heater on low, at all times. Warm it up when I want to use the room, and sit wrapped in my new, wonderful, wool meditation shawl to keep chills and drafts at bay.
It looks spartan, to be sure, and will no doubt be 'tweaked' a bit before the day is over. Now I really wish I had the curtains hung, but I'm just not brave enough to try putting the brackets into the sheetrock, and I don't trust my neighbor to do it well, either, after last summer's fiasco with the closet fittings. One of these days.
The little wrought iron table that once graced the front porch, then the living room, is now back in the kitchen, to make way for the chair and ottoman in the living room. Things change, and as the Buddha said, all things are impermanent.
Life still continues well enough here. Nights have been a tad cold for a few, but days remain mostly sunny and warm, perfect for walks or yard work. I've taken to using the greens in my garden for green smoothies, and find that suddenly I don't have too many greens out there at all. I can harvest a few leaves per day, whirr it up, drink it down, and I have my greens for the day, all chopped up in a way that the body can use the nutrients in their entirety, easily. Works for me.