Author: Kerri

Woodworking, Rural Home Invaders and Coyotes

Dale is doing more with wood than stacking it these days


We had an interesting weekend at Our Little House.

Dale is getting into woodworking, so we spent part of the weekend going to the Big Box hardware stores where he could find the tools he needed to start a project he’s been yearning to do since we moved.

He’s wanted to build a utility table for the deck, one I could use as a potting table and that we could also use when we’re cooking outdoors.

He received some money and gift cards for Christmas, so he purchased some woodworking tools and went to work.

And he did an awesome job, although he didn’t want me to take any photos of it. He built it out of old pallets he had stored from our move, so it isn’t very pretty, but it is sturdy and functional.

A hobby for eventual retirement? Definitely.

A potential source of second income? If he continues on this track, most definitely. I hope he maintains his interest.

It was certainly great seeing him so content working in his garage on Sunday and then rushing home from work Monday night to get back at his table.


The Book is Calling Me

The first time I saw it in the store, Dale asked me if I wanted it and I told him I would get it on my Kindle.

He said, “Are you sure that will fit on your Kindle?”

I laughed and told him it would.

For me, books are as tempting a buy as candy is to a kid and when I saw “11-22-63,” the new book by Stephen King, it was like that great big lollipop, just begging to be devoured.

The events of that day in 1963, changed the course for America, not just during that decade, but altered our nation’s history from that day forward and made more than one person wonder what the world would have been like if President Kennedy had continued to be a part of it.

It was that generation’s Pearl Harbor and our generation’s 9-11. A day so horrible for our country that no one who was alive would ever forget where they were or what they were doing when they heard the news and a date even most of those who weren’t alive know.

I wasn’t born yet, but the events of that day helped begin my life.


Coyotes Just not a Danger in the Country

Congratulations to Bonnie, who won the copy of “The Last Place You’d Look.” Congratulations to Bonnie and thanks to everyone who entered and thanks to Carole Moore for providing the copy of the book for the contest! ___________________________________________________________________________________


Molly and Dale


In searching for material for a pet column I pen every other week, I found this story about a Maltese named Jake who lived with his owners in a suburban Washington state home.

They returned from work one night to find his decapitated body under their deck. Jake had access to the outdoors through a doggy door, a convenience many working pet parents have for their four legged family members.

Jake’s family home backed up to woods, according to news articles and although Jake’s owners first thought it was a human who had entered their yard and killed their dog, veterinarians who examined Jake’s body said it was coyotes.

Although I know coyotes will kill small pets, I had no idea that during mating season, they will kill animals they feel are rivals, taking the heads of their prey and burying them elsewhere.


The Last Place You’d Look Book Giveaway

I admit that I’m a true crime junkie.

As a Kansan, my mother became interested when Truman Capote released “In Cold Blood.” The horrific murder of a small town farming family in Kansas was so unbelievable to most people at the time that the book drew readers who wanted to understand how such a thing could happen.

The superb writing and commercial success of the new genre ensured it would continue long after Capote’s book was off the best seller lists.

It made a life-long fan of my mother of the genre and by extension, myself as well. “Helter Skelter” was the first “big” book I read as a 8 or 9 year old.

But it isn’t entertainment so much as it continues to be that need to understand what makes these monsters tick.

That is what makes “The Last Place You’d Look,” by Carole Moore, such an excellent read for people who enjoy the true crime genre in books or television magazine shows such as “Dateline,” “48 Hours” and “Disappeared.”


The Creep Show


Our rural road

A creepy thing happened on my way home from The Belle Writer’s Studio the other night.

Sunlight was waning, giving into darkness when I heard Sade, our pittie, scratch on the office door. I got up to let her in, only to see her walking up the driveway toward a vehicle parked by our gate.

Although it wasn’t completely dark, I turned on the porch light, thinking it may be a neighbor coming to collect Buddy, our once foster dog, who has been staying with us while his dad traveled for the holidays.

After a few seconds when the car neither advanced nor left the driveway, I stepped off of the porch and began walking up the hill.


Recipe Sharing and a Request

First, I have a request of Our Living Large community. I’ve been blogging now for over two years and have enjoyed every minute of it and I hope you have enjoyed Living Large enough to ask for a couple of minutes to help me out.

I’ve been told these Bloggie Awards are important to literary agents and publishers and since I am writing a memoir out about Living Large, I am begging for your nominations.

Before January 15, please to the 2012 Bloggie Awards website at and nominate Living Large in our Little House in the categories of “Best Topical Weblog” and “Best Kept Secret Weblog.” In the space asking for Nominee, please put Living Large in our Little House and the url is

You will have to provide at least three nominations – so you can nominate other favorite blogs – and also provide your email address so the system can verify you’re a person and not a ballot stuffing bot.

I will be forever grateful if Living Large makes it as a finalist in either category.

Now something for you.


Meatloaf Conquered

(Congratulations to Annette, who won “The Organized Kitchen” book! Thanks for everyone who entered!)


It began as a roast.

Well, it began as an idea to make a roast in the crockpot for  New Year’s Day. I removed a large chunk of meat from the freezer and began  thawing it on the counter.

It wasn’t until it was well into thawing that I looked  inside. This was free-range, grass fed organic ground round, not the roast I  thought I had grabbed.

Two pounds of ground round meant for a meatloaf. I scrambled  to find a packet of the Lipton dry onion soup mix I had always used to make my meatloaf.


A Good Year is one in Which we are Content


I see it on our dog’s faces every day, it doesn’t take a whole lot to bring it to them. A warm (or cool) place to lay, a soft bed, plenty of food and lots of love.

Humans aren’t so easy, though.

I had been contemplating friend’s questions on Facebook: “Had this been a good year and if so, why?” and another friend’s lamenting that “nothing good ever happens anymore.”

New Year’s Eve, while watching the dogs sleep and listening to my husband snore through an afternoon nap, I thought of all of the previous New Year’s.