Living Large In Our Little House

Storms Rattle Entire Country Even When We Aren’t There

January 2009 ice storm by Mary Nida Smith

As of this writing, the East Coast of the U.S. is still there. By the time you read this in the morning, who knows.

At least that’s what the weather stations would have us believe.

For days now, we’ve been watching the impending monster, or “Frankenstorm” make its way to the Northeast. Friends have been posting on social media with increasing hysteria.

Not to minimize the fears in any way, but if people have prepared as much as possible and evacuated areas in which it was recommended, they’ve done the best they can.

Still, I know the worry and anxiety that builds during such an event.


Bella’s Tale

I know when Dale calls me on his way home from work and says, “I have something for you,” that the local grocery store’s bakery is selling carrot cake by the piece, or he’s found another dog.

When he called with that message on Tuesday evening, I knew he hadn’t been to the store.

Last week, on a trip into town for an appointment during my medical drama, I was on my way home when I spotted a big black dog lying in the grass.

Knowing this is a place near a boat ramp where people inexplicably like to dump dogs; I stopped and called the dog over.

Wary, but friendly, she came over to me, it was a hot day and she was soaking wet from a dip in the lake.

I could tell that she was most likely left there; she was skinny, but not too bad. I tried to coax her into the Baby Blazer. I almost had her once, but scared her when I tried to shut the back tailgate.

Even with bones starting to show, she was too big and heavy for me to lift and with groceries – including frozen goods in the car – I finally had to leave her.

I called Dale when I got home and told him to pick her up if he saw her on his way home.

He sighed. “She will probably be alright,” he said.

We had promised ourselves and each other that we were at our limit; that the 6-pack we currently have is more than enough for us, financially and emotionally.


Finding Your Happy Spot to Live Large

The Belle Writer's Studio solved our issues regarding work space and privacy


We’ve been going through some “stuff” here at Our Little House.

What we’ve been dealing with here is a serious medical scare. A routine mammogram on August 28 turned up something “concerning” and I subsequently had a battery more of mammograms and a biopsy.

It was a 6-week ordeal that ended as I hoped. The results were negative. As I exhaled that sigh of relief though, we’ve also been dealing with my mother-in-law’s terminal illness and coming to terms with her mortality, which of course, always makes us think about our own even more.

I’ve learned a few lessons, though, from the stuff we’ve gone through in the past several years.


Feeling and Looking a Little Like Fall

Today, a couple fall photos for you from last year. Our leaves are just starting to change this year and we saw our first (brief, non-sticking) sleet and snow about 10 days ago. This week, we’re having temperatures in the 80s. Go figure. We aren’t expecting a very pretty autumn this year thanks to the ongoing drought.


How is the weather in your neck of the woods? 

Just Because ‘Whole’ is Part of the Name…

No GMOs in our Garden


This past weekend, Dale and I got hungry for some good old fashioned vegetable soup. I like to cook with organic fresh veggies whenever possible, so I went to our local natural food store and bought everything I needed – all organic – for the meal.

The other day, a couple of friends posted on their personal Facebook accounts the link to this “news” story about Whole Foods selling products it knows contain GMOs.

My first reaction that I posted on this link my friends posted was, “Why is this news? I’ve been boycotting Whole Foods for years.” (Although we do not have WF here in Arkansas, I never shop there even when we go back to the city and I stock up on organic products).


If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

I know I need to lose weight, tell me something I don't know!


Did you see the story about Jennifer Livingston, the news anchor that received an email from a viewer who essentially told her she was not a good role model because she is overweight?

She essentially took him on during her broadcast for his bullying of her, and I say “Good for her.”

I’m overweight and I know it. I gained 12 hard-lost pounds back this summer after developing a horrible case of plantar fasciitis.

That just put me 12 more pounds away from a goal to lose at least 25 by the end of the year.

PF is a very painful stretching of the tendon between the arch and the heel. I probably developed it due to the fact that I have very small feet and have to wear children’s sized shoes, which tend to have poor support. My weight most likely didn’t help either.

It came on one morning this summer while walking the dogs. I got about a mile away from home and didn’t think I was going to make it back. I  thought it was a stone bruise at first, but the pain intensified to waking me up at night, and when I have to be on my feet for long periods, I know someone taking a sledgehammer to them wouldn’t hurt any more.

Walking even short distances was out of the question for a good two months.


Laughter is Good for the Soul and so are old Friends

Lora, Kerri and Shelly at the 1886 Crescent Hotel

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.


Falling for Fall


We had some great fall weather last weekend. Cool mornings and sunny, warm afternoons. When this time of the year is upon us, my nesting instincts kick in and I decided to make some homemade comfort food.

I can always tell when summer is coming, as my mother-in-law will always tell me about her last pan of lasagna for the season. I decided to kick off the beginning of fall with some yummy vegetarian lasagna.