Living Large In Our Little House Blog

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.


The Organized Kitchen a Book Giveaway

Who doesn’t strive to be more organized?

In a small space, it is essential or I would drive myself crazy.  That’s why I was so excited when Brette Sember announced she was writing a book on kitchen organization.

“The Organized Kitchen: Keep your Kitchen Clean, Organized, and Full of Good Food – and Save Time, Money (and your Sanity) Every day!” is now available.

You might remember that Brette also wrote “The Parchment Paper Cookbook,” which has all kinds of yummy recipes that can be cooked in parchment paper. A great book, especially for those of us who don’t have a dishwasher but still would like to have a nice meal after a long day without all of the clean-up.

“The Organized Kitchen” combines all of Brette’s kitchen wisdom, organization talents and even some good recipes to one book.


Happy New Year

Ah, another year coming to a close.

Time for resolutions and for some of you, black eyed peas.

Like most of you, I find it fairly easy to make New Year’s resolutions, but it’s much harder to stay on point and keep them throughout the year.

For the past few years, my resolutions have been few. I try to remember that each day is a new one and that we need to work toward our goals each day, not just at the turn of the yearly calendar.

I always resolve to read more and set a book goal. I haven’t reached it yet, but maybe one day I will.