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.
This past week, I attended the annual slumber party with two of my friends from school. We’ve been doing this since reconnecting three years ago here at Our Little House.
I’ve known Shelly since Kindergarten. My dad was good friends with her grandfather where they both worked on the railroad. When my dad passed away, it was her grandpa who brought my mother money collected from all of the co-workers to see us through until her survivor benefits kicked in. He was also a pallbearer at the funeral.
Shelly and I met Lora when our grade schools merged into junior high in 7th grade. My photo albums from that time always have Shelly and Lora in the picture.
Every year, we’ve had our reunion slumber parties in a different place since we all live in different states. This year, we were back in Arkansas and we stayed at the fabulous 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa in Eureka Springs.
We wanted to get a little spa action in, as well as ghost hunting.
I have another nature post this Tuesday, one you will either love or hate.
Dale came home from work the other day and said, “I got to see a tarantula this morning on the way to work.”
Before we built Our Little House, we had never seen a tarantula outside of a pet store and really didn’t know they were here in Arkansas.
When we were building, we drove up to the construction project and saw something on the side of the foundation. “Is that mud?” I asked and as we got closer, I could see it was a huge, hairy spider.
We had a great weekend this past weekend as my friend, and Living Large community member, Kathleen Winn, paid us a visit.
Entertaining in a tiny/small home is always a challenge – especially when there are six dogs underfoot – but I think Kathy had as good a time as we did.
She good naturedly allowed the dogs their “wild time” as they always get very excited to see people other than me and Dale (although I gave her free reign to tell them, “enough”) and said Our Little House didn’t feel as small as 480-square feet sounded and didn’t feel cramped, but rather, “cozy.”
As well, we didn’t spend a lot of time at Our Little House, as I wanted to show her around the area too. We took long walks on our road, visited a couple of my favorite retro/antique stores, ate a nice Asian lunch (I had sushi, Kathleen had Chinese at the same restaurant), spent some time on our beautiful lake, ate a nice dinner of bacon wrapped shrimp and even did some target shooting.
When we were home, we made use of the Party Deck. It’s always good to have outdoor living spaces in a small home.
It’s also great that we have The Belle Writer’s Studio, which is equipped with a fold down futon and its own bathroom, which gives us and guests plenty of privacy.
We don’t entertain overnight guests a whole lot, maybe a couple of times a year. I like to give our guests a B&B feel when they’re here, which means setting them up with refreshments in the studio, complete with coffee for the next morning and cold drinks in the mini-fridge.
Unfortunately, I think the biggest glitch to the weekend was that we forgot to turn on the hot water tank to the studio before her arrival. We use it so occasionally that we typically do not pay to keep it on, which also saves energy.
She described her shower on Sunday morning as “tepid.” Oops.
I love having guests come and stay with us at Our Little House. Last week, I wrote that our first five years here had been full of mixed emotions literally rooted in feeling homesick for our hometown.
Showing Kathleen around Our Little House, the beauty of our area and what our new home has to offer made us appreciate even more our move here. This is a side benefit of seeing good friends again. Acting as a tour guide, it allows one to see their home in a new light too.
I also immediately made a master “to do” list of everything that needs to get done before someone else comes to visit. Maybe they’ll even get a hot shower.
Do you have a small space? How do you accommodate guests or what is the biggest benefit, aside from seeing friends and loved ones that you’ve found when they come to visit?