Living Large In Our Little House Blog

It’s Fur Trapping Season Again

Sade usually lays on the deck. She's pictured here with Chloe and in the background, our late Emma

One of our neighbors called yesterday to let us know one of his dogs had gotten caught in a trap along the shore below his house.

“If one of your dogs goes missing, you might look there,” he said.

I wrote about this last winter when Dale encountered a trapper along our shoreline. We live along Corps of Engineers property and trapping for fur is allowed during the winter on these public lands.

Although he was well within his rights, the trapper picked up his traps when Dale told him there were homes all along this road, all of which have dogs.

Our neighbor said he had been running his dogs along the shore; it was an unusually nice day here, in the 70s.


Hindsight and Insight on Little House Living


Front of the house showing the covered porch

I didn’t do a “favorite” post last year. I figure what might be my favorite posts aren’t necessarily that of our community.

Instead, I asked on the Living Large Facebook page yesterday what our community would like to see more of on the blog this year.

Kathleen Winn, a regular reader, asked to know, since we’ve lived in our house for a few years now, would we like to add more space and if so where.

I don’t like to dwell on what’s done, but since you asked, yes!


Our Steamy Nights

There is nothing like the heat from a wood burning stove to completely warm the bones on a cold winter day.

There is also nothing like the dryness that permeates the air inside the home when heating with a wood stove.

When we built Our Little House, we were mainly using it during the summer as a lake house, but we often came down during Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations.

Knowing we would not be putting in central air, at least at first, we decided to choose a really good wood stove, just in case.

The mild Arkansas winters allowed us to keep our wood stove new for the first four years we did not live here full time.


Pet Treat Recalls Have Us Making Our Own

I know many of our Living Large community are pet lovers.

Since 2007, when ingredients traced back to China began making pets in the U.S. sick and killing some, I’ve been doing the same thing for our pets as I have for our own food: Reading labels.

If we didn’t have a 6-pack of rescued dogs, I would definitely make our own pet food, but that is nearly impossible both financially and logistically with so many animals in the household.

I do read labels on our commercial dog food, trying to keep it grain free and organic, with companies I know source their ingredients in the U.S.

As for treats, I haven’t bought commercial dog treats for at least two years, when stories started surfacing about those making animals sick.

Stories such as this one from NBC that reports as many as 500 pets have died from jerky treats made in China, scare the daylights out of me.


Our Wild Entertainment

I would like to thank everyone for participating in the giveaway for “The Organized Kitchen!” Nanci Bliss-Kelley, please contact me at with your snail mail address, you’re our lucky winner! Congratulations!


A Rabbit with the Deer


OK, the secret is out. It really doesn’t take much to entertain us.

We haven’t bought each other “big” Christmas gifts for a long time. There was a time in our lives when we would spend hundreds of dollars on each other on gifts.

One Christmas during my corporate years, Dale gave me $500 worth of gift cards. I did have a really good time with them shopping the sales after Christmas, but we just don’t need “stuff” anymore.

Since moving to Our Little House, during the holidays we could afford it, we decided to spend only moderately and get something we both could enjoy.

We do love watching television series and movies on DVD, so last year, it was a small (because who needs a big screen in a little house?) flat screen.

The only two things I really wanted is a 4-wheeler to go up and get the mail and a wild life cam.

Since we didn’t win the lottery, the wildlife cam won.


Organizing the Kitchen and a Book Giveaway

little house blog, living little, living large, organized kitchen, organization tips, tiny house blog

Organization in a small house isn’t a resolution, but more of a way of life. I try to spend at least 10-15 minutes each day organizing some part of the house, but main areas such as the kitchen need a good reorganizing at least a couple of times a year.

Last year, when Brette Sember’s book, “The Organized Kitchen” came out, I got it and thought it was a great resource for anyone needing a little organizational help.

If your New Year resolution is to organize your home, particularly your kitchen, you’ll want this book, and Brette has generously offered to give one copy away to one of our lucky Living Large community.

Entering is simple. Just make a comment on this post before noon US CDT on Monday, January 14. Please make sure you check in on the post on Tuesday, January 15 to see if you won. If you want automatic notice of posts, go to the bottom right and click on “Entries RSS” and sign up for RSS Feed. If I announce that I drew your name, you must email me at by noon CDT Wednesday, January 16 with your snail mail address to claim your book. Sorry, international readers, this one is open to U.S. residents only.

Tell us why you would like to have this book!

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.