Living Large In Our Little House

Do Cell Phones Damage our Cells

Every other month, it seems, someone else is coming out with some new study with regards to cell phones and whether they may cause cancer.

This past week, The World Health Organization released a report saying it believes radio frequency electromagnetic fields may be a carcinogen and maybe lead to an increased incidence of glioma, a certain brain tumor. The organization placed it in the same classification of lead, DDT, engine exhaust, and chloroform.

Now it seems that everyone is talking or writing about the possible dangers of cell phones, even a Living Large community member, Sheryl Kraft, on her blog, Midlife Matters.

Some scientists even believe that electromagnetic pollution is one of the most threatening things in our environment.

I’ve been a long-time cell phone user. I still even have, somewhere in one of our storage buildings, my first bag phone. Prior to that, I had jobs that also required me to wear a pager.

I guess it is a good thing that although I’ve had pagers and cell phones for over 20 years, I really never talked on the cell phones much.

The reason lies in the same principle that makes me believe microwaves are not good for us: I listened to my body.


Curbing Unwanted Snail Mail at Our Little House

Junk mail is the bane of anyone, but especially when you live in a small space.

We have to find a spot for anything that comes through the door of Our Little House and that includes mail.

I’ve recently written about our new mailbox, which is being painted this week and hung at The Belle Writer’s Studio, where the mail is sorted and either kept or shredded.

In the past four years, I’ve learned how to greatly reduce, and in some instances eliminate it all together.


Our Little House in Tornado Alley

Last week, I posted that spring has finally sprung at our house.

This week, it is summer. We already have had to turn on the air conditioning.

The heat may bring more of a chance of severe weather. Last week was a particularly deadly week in the Ozarks. As we now know, on Sunday a rare, monster EF5 struck Joplin, Missouri. By Tuesday, 14 others had died in tornado outbreaks in Kansas, Oklahoma and in Arkansas to the southwest of us.

A few times, I saw people posting on Facebook, “I’ll take hurricanes over tornadoes any day, at least with hurricanes, we get notice.”

I was reminded of a conversation my mother always had with her cousins who lived in California. They would inevitably ask, “How can you stand living here with the threat of tornadoes?” and she would respond, “How can you stand living out there with all of those earthquakes?”

As a life-long resident of “Tornado Alley,” who spent my early years in a little bungalow that sported a tree in the front yard with an oddly twisted trunk, I guess it’s all a matter of perspective and a matter of how you prepare.


Spring Cleaning (Finally) at Our Little House

Winter clothes out, summer clothes in

This week has all about organizing.

Well, in between the numerous tornado warnings (we are fine).

I have never been the greatest organizer and although living in Our Little House demands better organizing, it just isn’t happening.

Maybe it is too many years of having a larger house that had numerous places to throw things, such as an empty bedroom, stairs and a larger kitchen table.

At any rate, Our Little House, as well as The Belle Writer’s Studio, had become a disaster since my last seasonal cleaning.

Mail cluttered the kitchen table, my table I set up in the studio for taxes took overflow and books were stacked on every available surface.


Giddy at Our Little House


That’s the word my husband used to describe me last week when I was finally able to have DSL installed at Our Little House.

Before Thursday, it was that old dial tone, high screeching, low screeching, ultra slow dial up on which the Internet was born nearly 20 years ago.

Yes, we did know this was all that was available at Our Little House when we built more than 7 years ago. We also knew this was all that was still available when we moved here 4 years ago.

But I did figure that it would have to come, sooner rather than later. Besides, the small rural telephone company that owns a monopoly on the lines they installed in this part of Arkansas just 25 year ago, had been telling my aunt for 10 years that it would come “soon.”


A Stinky Problem at Our Little House

It’s never good when this conversation takes place:

Me: “I don’t think my new all natural deodorant is working very well.”

Dale: “I’m glad you noticed.”

Alexandra Grabbe, a member of our Living Large community that also runs a green B&B on Cape Cod and writes the  B&B blog, Chez Sven, is my anti-chemical hero and after learning a lot from her writings, I decided to embark on my own quest to eliminate as many chemicals from our lives here at Our Little House as possible.

That includes ones we ingest and that come in contact with our skin. I’m using the fabulous all natural Indigo Wild products and some all-natural skin care products.

I decided to try an all-natural deodorant last month.


Justifiable Spending in the Second Degree



Dale and I found our way into another thrift/antique store this past weekend. You might recall that I’m on a quest to find the remaining antique red wooden handled utensils.

I didn’t find anymore utensils to complete my set, but instead found this old/new mailbox.

I know. I’m supposed to be whittling away by getting rid of the mountains of stuff in our storage building – or at least not purchasing any more stuff – but there really is a method to my madness here.

As a former cops and courts reporter, I’m calling it “Justifiable Spending in the Second Degree.” First degree, of course, would be planned. This was not planned.