Living Large In Our Little House Blog

Girlfriend’s Getaway to Branson

This past weekend was the weekend for our now annual slumber party with Lora and Shelly, two friends I went so school with.

Last year, I wrote about the Slumber Party at Campbell Town, which we held here overnight. I hadn’t seen either of my friends since graduation 27 years before.

Last year was all about getting to know one another again and getting caught up on a lifetime of living since graduation night in 1982. I’m sure all of us were a little apprehensive about what to expect after so many years. When we settled into our friendships as if we had never been apart, we realized how much we still enjoyed each other and decided to expand it to two nights and make our reunion an annual event.

This year, it was less about catching up on old times and more about making new memories. But it was also about getting away from the stresses of adult life and there’s no better way to do it than with friends I knew before responsibility and stress.

We decided to take our slumber party to Branson, Mo., where we could enjoy the holiday lights and festivities. The city is a great one for a girl friend’s getaway anytime of the year, but the holidays just makes it quite magical.


The Glass is?

Upon first glance, it may not appear as such in the picture, but this is actually a glass half full story.

Take one wet mountain road, darkness and a slick curve and you have the recipe for potential disaster.

I’m not happy about my 22-year-old Baby Blazer, which was in near mint condition before I left home Tuesday evening.

I’m thankful this is the worst of it. I wasn’t going fast when I hit the other truck and he was also not injured. (Our friends tell Dale and I we drive like old people and one friend even refuses to let me drive because I go “too slow”).

It wasn’t until we got home Tuesday night that Dale said, “Well, it could have been worse. That truck may not have been there at all.”


Television at Our Little House

Last year, I wrote about learning to share the remote with my husband in Our Little House.

That hasn’t changed; we typically don’t have a lot of time during the evenings or even on weekends to watch much.

The problem seems to arise after hours, when I want to go to bed and Dale decides he wants to stay up and watch a movie or finish a show he’s already started.

This becomes a problem because I have trouble sleeping through the night; I’ve become an ultra light sleeper and have had this issue since we moved. It becomes worse when the lights or television are on, even on a low volume.

Close the bedroom door?


To Stop Doing List at Our Little House

When I read the USA Weekend article about making a “To-Stop-Doing-List,” I thought about my post last week and my inability to make traction on my own to-do list.

The article, which quoted Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Non-Conformity, suggested that the list would help people eliminate the things in our lives that prevent us from doing what we wanted in our lives.

Our lives thus far haven’t been cast in the mold of cookie cutter conventionality. We made the conscious choice not to have biological children, I walked away from corporate America, we never upsized our house, but downsized and Dale took a giant leap leaving a job he held for a quarter of a century to make that move.

So, why am I routinely frustrated that I cannot get to the things that would really make me happy on that to-do list such as going back to yoga, getting farther on my reading list and getting back to daily walks with the dogs?


We all Need a Pack to Call our Own

This time, I only intended on sponsoring a dog from the shelter to rescue, but as Living Large readers have quoted John Lennon so many times: “Life is something that happens when you’re making other plans.”

We have a new member of our family at Our Little House. Right now, she is officially a foster, but well, you know….

The rescue doesn’t name their dogs, as they don’t want a dog to get familiar with a name and then have it changed, but I can’t stand not naming them, so Abbi it is. I wanted to name her Annabel Lee, after my favorite Edgar Allen Poe poem, but Dale thought it too creepy.

Abbi is a fence jumper/digger. She was given up because she wouldn’t be contained in a suburban yard and when she got to rescue, they had to build her a special run as she wouldn’t be contained there either.

Last week, she got out of her special run and killed the son’s duck. In addition to dealing with her son’s grief, the owner of the rescue knew now that this poor dog couldn’t be in the suburbs or on a farm.

Our Little House, situated near neither, is perfect.


A Week to Forget

You know when you’re having one of those weeks when it just doesn’t seem anything is working out as you planned and you’re not making any traction?

Welcome to my week.

When I went to sleep on Sunday, relaxed from having spent the full weekend with Dale doing things we like to do, I had all kinds of energy and things on my to-do list for Monday and beyond:

  • Get back to yoga classes
  • Finish all of my assignment deadlines on time and get ahead in my work
  • Start at least our afternoon walks again with the dogs
  • Organize the kitchen
  • Finish washing clothes and rotating the closet


Halloween on the Lake at Our Little House

Ducks taking off from the lake on a Halloween flight

The weather at Our Little House on Halloween was anything but scary. It was sunny and we had temps in the 70s.

I’ve always loved Halloween, especially as a kid, of course. But when I grew up, I loved it as well. My mother usually came over and helped me hand out candy after I fixed our family’s traditional pot of Halloween chili.

When Mom became too ill to come over, I didn’t enjoy it as much and with the dogs, the trick or treater thing wore thin after the first couple of hours.

I didn’t expect missing getting up every 2 minutes handing out candy or trying to calm the dogs from the commotion of trick or treaters.

Being this far out in the woods definitely has its advantages, but there isn’t a whole lot going on in terms of celebrating Halloween. We didn’t have guests coming and Dale and I have been so busy working, so I didn’t even get out my Halloween décor or shirts to wear this month.


New Green Cookware at Our Little House

Our new “Green” cookware

I was interviewed yesterday for a story on how to live large in a little house and one of the questions the writer asked was about how living in a little house makes us more environmentally aware.

Prior to moving to Our Little House, we had been using cloth bags for nearly 20 years and recycling, but it pretty much ended there. Since we’ve moved, I’ve become more aware of not only how we can make more changes to help the planet and protect the beautiful landscape that surrounds us, but also for our general health.

It’s been a goal of mine to do away with our non-stick cookware. I’ve read plenty of horror stories about the chemicals that goes into making it easier for us to clean up after cooking and how those chemicals leech into our food and their link to cancer.