Category: Small House Living

A Treasured Day

Antique bracelet

Dale and I have always loved to go “junking,” that is to antique stores and flea markets. I’ve always loved vintage stuff.

Since we moved to Our Little House, of course, we don’t buy a lot because of space issues.

But when we need or want something, we always ask ourselves if we can get something old and give it a new life.

I’ve always loved history; I had the most fascinating history teachers in college that I chose it as my minor.

I not only like having my mother’s antiques, many of which bring back fond memories of my childhood – or even the day my parents scored the item at an auction – antiques serve an environmental purpose as well.

They allow us to recycle and reuse, giving a home and new purpose to something that doesn’t require more materials, draining the earth’s resources of more energy and creating more greenhouse gasses in packaging and shipping (typically from China).


Deck Lighting

This photo shows our current post cap lights

I found myself fantasizing about putting up the Halloween decorations this past weekend – and it isn’t even August yet.

As I’ve written about several times this summer, everything seems at least a month ahead of schedule this year with all of the warm weather we had in the spring that turned blistering hot at the end of June, it really feels like it should be the end of August already.

The oak trees dropping their leaves all over the Party Deck, which makes it look like fall, doesn’t help either.

It is only mid-July and our 100 degree weather has returned, but I am looking forward to cooler temps in the next couple of months, which means more time spent on the deck.  It’s even too hot and humid to sit out there for very long at night.


Reflecting on Marital Bliss at Our Little House

Today is our wedding anniversary here at Our Little House.

For 26 years, we’ve lived our lives as a married couple. Since we began dating when I was 15 and he was 18, we can hardly remember a time when we weren’t a part of each other’s lives.

Many people have asked me how we can stand living in such a small house with so much togetherness.


The Time the Housekeeper Came to Clean

The house after I gave it a top to bottom cleaning /photo by Kevin Pieper



I faced a truth about myself a long time ago.

I’m not the world’s best housekeeper. Despite having chores around my mom’s house from the time I was old enough to remember (I used to have to stand on a chair to do dishes and dust those endless knick-knacks in the formal living room and my bedroom was my chore on Fridays), I never liked housecleaning and I am not good at it.

My mother always used to say it was because I’ve always had to work and didn’t have all the time she did as a housewife to concentrate on getting really good at it.

That’s partially true, but it’s also true that I just don’t like it. I don’t see a real purpose for having floors that shine like mirrors and a house that either feels like a museum or as clean as a laboratory.

I would rather always be doing something else, almost anything else.

That’s one of the main reasons downsizing to Our Little House fit our lifestyle. Dale hates home maintenance almost as much as I hate housework and having less of each allows us to do more of the things we actually want to do.


We Could use a Lot of Rain

This tree I took a photo of last fall is already turning brown and losing its leaves this summer


This past weekend when my father in-law was visiting from the Lake of the Ozarks, he noted that many of our trees here are already shedding leaves as if it is fall.

Indeed, it has been a terrible year for any living thing here in the Ozarks.

While we had a really nice and mild spring, something we haven’t had many of since our move here, it has been blistering hot for weeks.

The weatherman predicting the forecast the other day had the same thing to say about Thursday, Friday and Saturday. “Mostly sunny and hot, lows in the mid 70s and highs near 100….” He sounded like a broken record.


Summer Reading List

The dog days of summer are here. It was 104 degrees here on Monday and today, they say it will reach above 105.

In these kinds of temperatures, it’s even too hot to go out on the boat, so what is a writer and book lover to do?

Well, first thing is write. I’m under contract to write a true crime round up of some of the most shocking murders in the history of Kansas.

Strangely enough, there are a lot of them. The book is tentatively titled, “Blood on the Prairie: The Most Shocking Murders in Kansas History,” and it is due to be released winter 2013.

All work and no play is no fun though, and reading helps me keep my skills as a writer sharp.


The Sights, Sounds and Smells of Summer at Our Little House

The tomatoes and pepper plant (middle) look good


The other morning, I put on my new $2 flip-flops I bought for watering, turned on the garden hose and got more than water flowing.

When the water spurted out, that smell that accompanies hose water caused me to flashback to my childhood.

The distinct smell of that water, whether we were playing in it or I was helping my mother drench her vast flower and vegetable gardens, is one of the true signs of summer.

Yesterday was the official first day of summer, the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Sites on the Internet had been posing the question: What makes it summer for you?