Author: Kerri

Being the Person my Dogs Think I am

Chloe and Molly after a good game of "gotcha" in the office


Here we are in 2013. I love the meme that says by this time, people in the 1950s and 60s thought we would all have flying cars, but all we have is blankets with sleeves!

The one thing that never changes is our obsession with resolutions. Many of us mark each New Year with the resolution to be healthier, to safe guard our finances better, pay off credit card debt…things we should be thinking about throughout the year anyway.

Still, the New Year gives us an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start over.

I typically don’t make resolutions; I have goals for myself that I revisit several times a year. This year, I had to write a couple of resolution articles for my work.

One of them had to do with making resolutions for our pets. One of the things I started doing a few weeks ago was to quit trying to work through my dog’s morning play time, which can get quite loud and distracting.


A Repost of my Cold Cocktail

I hope all of our Living Large community had Happy Holidays. I took a much needed rest, but I’m glad to be back and glad you’ve checked in on the blog.

I heard on the local news recently that there are so many cases of colds and the flu in one Arkansas hospital, they are not allowing visitors unless they wear masks. Everyday I sign on to Facebook and see another friend posting about being sick. Yesterday, my friend who cuts my hair said she was sick.

I originally posted this last year. I have still only been sick once since we moved here 5 1/2 years ago, and I attribute it to my cold cocktail:

I didn’t think much about it for most of the day.

I sneeze often and have sinus issues and at my age, regulating my body temperature is a regular struggle.

By afternoon on Halloween, though, I felt that familiar tickle in the back of my throat;  that one that signals impending fever, chills, runny nose and a few days on the sofa.

Not long afterward, a chill ran through my body, the kind that comes with fever.

My one pet peeve in life: Being sick. I don’t like being miserable and I don’t like wasting precious time when I could be living.

I practically ran from The Belle Writer’s Studio back to Our Little House and started my “cold cocktail,” the one that has guaranteed me 99 percent of the time, if I start it right away, I can kick a cold before it ever takes hold.


The Lazy Dumping Spot

Every home has one: a dumping place we lay stuff down when we come in the house.

In our house in the city, it was the stairs, as the foyer was perched between one set going up and one going down in the split level house.

I also dumped mail on the kitchen table, and Dale put his stuff on a ledge in the family room.


Three Huge Boxes and a Cedar Chest Down

Slowly, we are clearing the clutter

Dale and I took advantage of the great December weather (in the mid-upper 70s) this past weekend by staying on the continuous journey of cleaning the storage building of all of the stuff that was once part of our lives in the city, as well as the stuff that was part of my mother’s.

It was clothing boxes this past weekend. Unfortunately, some of the clothing was ruined from almost 5 years sitting in boxes. Mice and mildew got one box. Fortunately, I got some great stuff I had been wanting back and it almost feels as if I have a new wardrobe.

What else I didn’t want was bagged to give to charity.

While we only got through three huge boxes, it is a start and we began to make a plan for the rest that needs to go to free up our physical lives of the clutter, as well as freeing our minds of it.

Last month, we attended a wedding of a dear friend of the family. He is my Godmother’s grandson. His father and I grew up together and Dale and I also went to school with his mother.


Christmas and Cookies Go Together

Today, we have a guest post from Brette Sember, author of the new book, Cookie: A Love Story: Fun Facts, Delicious Stories, Fascinating History, Tasty Recipes, and More. Brette also authored “The Organized Kitchen” and “The Muffin Tin Cookbook,” both excellent kitchen books for small house lovers. She has an excellent gift guide on her website, pairing all of her books with other great gift ideas for the holidays.

For lots of people, it’s not Christmas without cookies. Our kids leave cookies out for Santa, we spend weeks baking and decorating our cookies, and there’s always a cookie plate at any party. The gingerbread man has become synonymous with Christmas. But how did cookies come to be such an important symbol of Christmas?


Decorating a Small House for The Holidays

We typically put up our Christmas décor the Saturday following Thanksgiving. We did not make it this year. We spent too much time relaxing for the first three days of the holiday weekend.

When Sunday rolled around and it was 70 degrees that day, we decided it was the perfect time to run the gasoline out of the boat for the season. It was, but it was also more fun than cleaning before putting the decorations up.

As with anything in a little house, there is a trick to decorating for the holidays without it looking overdone or cluttered.


Don’t Act Your Age

I’m a pretty serious person most of the time. Like many, I need to be.

I run my own business, I’m responsible for the care of six dogs on my own for most of the day, 10 acres with a house, studio and barns and I also take care of the family finances.

That’s all pretty serious stuff.

Two weeks ago, I went on a trip, not far away to Branson, Missouri, for work. The idea is to experience some of what the town has to offer so I can better write about it.

I signed up, along with two other writers on this trip, for a go-kart adventure one afternoon, something I used to love as a kid, but hadn’t done in a long time. Dale isn’t a go-kart adventure type of guy – he really isn’t into risk taking with much of anything – and even told me to be careful on “those things” before I left.

My go-kart days can be traced all the way back to when I was about 8, visiting my aunt (who now lives down the road) and cousins in the rural Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky.


We all Lost on Labeling Initiative

I was very disappointed that Proposition 37 – the bill that would have required all Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) to be labeled– did not pass in California last week.

Why, you might ask, since we live in Arkansas.

It’s simple. Food companies likely wouldn’t have developed special packaging just for California and would have labeled all of their brands to the state’s standards.

Therefore, if we wanted to know if we were buying GMO food, we all lost last week.