Living Large In Our Little House

A Day Away to Rejuvenate

On occasion, someone will ask me if I ever get claustrophobic in Our Little House.

Most of the time, I don’t, but sometimes, like anyone, I need to get away.

It’s been an especially rough couple of weeks with all of the illness and trying to stay on top of work around the house and the work I do to make money.

The truth is, that no matter what size of a house we live in, we all need a little break now and again.


Seeing the Beauty Around us Through the Eyes of a Photographer

Kevin Pieper's Book, "Connecting with Nature"

Dale and I both are on the mend. Thank goodness for modern day antibiotics that help kick infections a little too ornery for our immune systems to handle on their own.  Thank you, dear Living Large community, for the well wishes.


One of the reasons we moved to this beautiful paradise was to enjoy the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains. Of course, we do that as often as we can, but when we cannot, we have the wonderful photography of a famous Ozarks photographer, Tim Ernst to enjoy.

Now, however, we also have a wonderful book of photography by Kevin Pieper to enjoy as well. Kevin is the local photographer Mother Earth News hired to photograph Our Little House for the story I wrote for them last year.

On Saturday, we had to get out and do some errands, so we stopped by a book retailer where Kevin was hosting a book signing. Kevin is one of the photographers I highly admire and I only wish my nature photography was as beautiful as his.

While his photos use no words, like every good photographer I know, his photos tell a story just the same.


Down for the Count

Alas, the bug got me. I was up all night between Tuesday and Wednesday with a sore throat.  I lost my voice on Wednesday.

It’s very frustrating for me to be ill. I feel it a waste of precious time. I did what had to be done on Wednesday, but didn’t fight it if I needed a break.

Of course, I don’t know if the germs were airborne or if disinfecting with vinegar just didn’t work.

Dale should be on the mend soon. He came home Wednesday night from the doctor’s office with three prescriptions. He waited so long to see the doctor, the infection from his chest had even moved into his eye.

We’re quite the pair. He can’t see out of one eye and neither one of us can talk.

Thanks for stopping in. I will be back as soon as I find that darned voice…what could have happened to it!?

Biting the Bug in Our Little House

It’s amazing to me how many new things keep cropping up about living in a small space, even now 3 years after our move.

Dale and I aren’t susceptible to a lot of viruses, so aside from a couple of small colds, we really haven’t had to deal with many germs.

That is, until this past week.

Dale’s luck ran out and he has been very ill with whatever crud is going around town. Bad cold or flu, we’re not sure.

Living with someone who is contagious is challenging for anyone, but the germs are almost impossible to escape in close quarters.

A week ago Sunday night, when he started sniffling, I asked, “Are you getting a cold?”

He said, “I don’t know.”

I’m not sure why men don’t know that tingling feeling in the back of the throat, that most women I’ve talked to associates with a cold, but I wasn’t taking any chances.


Our Dear Deer

It really is starting to feel a lot like fall, not just here in the Ozarks, but my friends across the country have been commenting on the cool mornings and warm afternoons that signal a change in seasons.

It seems that it is during the change of the seasons that I stop and do a little self-reflection, as well as take time to notice the changes around Our Little House.

There are the more noticeable changes. Since spring turned to summer, we lost Emma, a beloved family member, but also gained Chloe at Campbell Town.

The days are also growing shorter, we have to take our walks now by 7 p.m. rather than 8. The county fairs are over and the weekends in the Ozarks are busy with fall festivals.


Shaking and Then Shaking it Off

Some people may think that being out here at Our Little House in the woods saves me from having to deal with people in the outside world, but the truth is that I have a lot of interaction with people as a freelance writer.

I’m constantly calling people on the phone, if not meeting with them in person. I love learning and consider someone I’m interviewing a subject matter expert on whatever topic I may be writing about on any given day. I would even characterize most of my interviews as fun.

However, I am somewhat secluded from the outside world and I wrote last month about how I believe that quiet and peace has hopefully, made me a better person and a better friend.

I’ve also found that peace and seclusion works both ways and has made me less tolerant of the 1 percent of fools I have to call who aren’t very pleasant. Friday started off with one such phone call. An attorney returned my call, so I was not expecting his call at that time and was working on another piece when he decided to grace my day with his presence.


Bottles vs. Cans at Our Little House

Bottle vs. Can

It took me over 20 years, but I believe I finally have my husband in the recycling mindset.

Score one for the environment!

I’ve written before about how, when my mother and I started using cloth bags, Dale, who then worked as a mechanic for a large landfill in the Kansas City metro, told me it wouldn’t help at all.

I used them anyway, participated in recycling programs and switched to as many organic and free-range foods as possible.

Last weekend, it was he who educated me about something we could be better about recycling.


The Boat at Our Little House

Our 1979 Sea Nymph, built the same year we met

Dale and I have never been early season boaters. From the first year we had our boat, when we bought it in July 1996, we usually didn’t get it out until at least July.

Life – or more accurately – work usually got in the way of the maintenance and cleaning it needed before being launched for a new season.

However, we’ve never been as late as we were this year, but given our track record of going against the grain in life, leave it to us to be getting our boat onto the water when most people are pulling theirs out.