Living Large In Our Little House

A Big Box

Our Big Box

Our Big Box

Out in the sticks, a Big Box means something other than a great big store. We have bigger boxes than I had even imagined existed – and it’s our mailboxes. The Internet might be putting the U.S. Postal system out of business, but for those of us here in rural areas, the mail is still an anticipated event each day.

News that the post office might stop delivering six days a week and cut out Saturday delivery means that we are isolated from the outside world one more day. When we used The Little House as a weekend getaway, we didn’t need a huge, rural mailbox, as all we ever received here was the weekly Shopper. After we moved here full time over two years ago, we quickly found out that unless we wanted to make multiple wasted trips into town, we needed a Big Box.

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My Free Day

The Belle Writers Studio the Best Place I've Ever Worked

The Belle Writers Studio the Best Place I've Ever Worked

Saturday, October 31 was my Free Day.

I think it’s fitting it’s on one of my favorite holidays. There’s been times when being on my own is a little scary, but mostly it’s a treat.

Eleven years ago, I walked away from a good, guaranteed salary, about 50 days off per year, a great healthcare plan, a 401K, and the financial ability to stop at a travel agent on a whim and walk out with tickets to anywhere for the weekend.
I also walked away from a 40 minute commute, gray pod walls that surrounded my gray desk, an online time clock that would drive anyone mad, an environment that told me when I could eat, what I could have at my desk to drink, what I could use to decorate my pod walls, the pressure of making quotas, a job that was turning the creative side of my brain to mush, a night guard I wore every night because I was grinding my teeth so hard I would literally break them off in my sleep (I lost 2), and a prescription for anxiety and depression.
Yes, I walked away from a lot of material things, but I also walked into a world that’s afforded me experiences I never could have imagined otherwise.

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The Season Begins

Halloween TreeFirst, a drumroll…..

The winners for the magazine drawing are: Kathy, who won a subscription to Mother Earth News and Kim, who won a subscription to Country Living! Please contact me with your contact info. Thanks to everyone who participated by visiting me at The Little House Blog and commenting on the posts.

Now, back to regularly scheduled programming…

Holidays wouldn’t be holidays without the food that goes along with them, and at our house, Halloween isn’t left out.

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The Little Things in Life

Me and my mom could turn a small outing into a memorable time together

Me and my mom could turn a small outing into a memorable time together

I have several books of quotes, a must have for any writer’s office, and several mornings a week, I open it just to see if I can find a new and inspirational one.

I think the one I found yesterday is appropriate for the Living Large Blog.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” -Robert Brault

Isn’t that so true? How many times do we dismiss the little things in our life, not thinking they will matter much in the end, when in reality, it may be something that will stick with us for the rest of our lives?

I’m reminded of one of the many times my mother and I were driving home from an ordinary trip to the grocery store. It was a beautiful spring day and the car in front of us had a message waxed onto its’ back window: “Seniors, we’re outta here!” (more…)

A Friendly Face on the Road

Sunset behind The Little House yesterday

Sunset behind The Little House yesterday

There’s a feeling I get on Sunday evenings. It’s a sort of lonely feeling that occurs after I realize that we’re just hours away from a set routine again.

When the alarm goes off on Monday morning, my husband will be gone for most of the waking hours of the week and I’ll be here working and keeping the home fires burning (literally, if it is cold outside) with just the dogs for company.

Yesterday evening felt particularly lonely as we also had to say goodbye to our good friends and neighbors down the road. They’ve become our second family down here.

They still live in Kansas City full time and usually commute down here every other week. However, they have a full family social calendar this fall and will not be back until sometime in December.

We had a really good time meeting their son and daughter-in-law this past weekend and sharing a meal with them on Saturday night. Their home overlooks the lake and provides spectacular views at sunset.

Late yesterday afternoon, Dale and I took the dogs for an off leash romp toward their end of the road, where vacant vacation homes stand overlooking the vast blue waters of Bull Shoals Lake, and met our friends as they were pulling out of their drive. Theirs is the last occupied house at that end and once we pass their driveway, it is very secluded.

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The Plant

The Plant. What is this thing anyway?

The Plant. What is this thing anyway?

This plant doesn’t exactly fit into a small space. It’s way too big for The Little House and by the time winter is done, I’m ready to be rid of it from The Belle Writer’s Studio.

In the summer, it thrives on the party deck on the house (apparently loving hot, humid weather with direct sun), which is at least 50 yards from the Belle Writer’s Studio.

This year, Dale backed the truck up to the deck and rolled the plant out as far as he could and got it onto the tailgate. He then only had to lift the 200+ pound plant onto the covered front porch of the writer’s studio and we rolled it via a plant roller the rest of the way.

Sometimes I think I should have found another home for it, maybe a nice big atrium in one of those huge hotels or office buildings in the city, but how would I know it would have been taken care of?
My mother-in-law gave me this plant over 23 years ago as a wedding shower gift when it was just a wee tike in a small container. When she “showered” me with this gift, I had the distinct reputation of not being able to keep any plant alive.

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A Shot in the Arm

Flu Vaccine

Flu Vaccine

I awoke one day last weekend with possibly the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life, and Tylenol wasn’t helping, so by mid-day I was afraid I might have come down with the H1N1 flu. It is rampant in the Ozarks right now and schools throughout the region are closing.

Luckily, the headache finally subsided when my husband finally brought me my sinus medications and I was able to down some.

Keeping germs confined to one person is pretty tough in The Little House, that’s why I still insist we both take the flu shot. We got into the habit when I was caring for my elderly mother, who had a chronic lung disease, and we’ve continued taking it to keep our immune systems strong.

I might be a little more paranoid over the flu than the average person.

The deadly effects of the disease was all too real for my family as my father, who was the youngest of 13 children, lost a majority of his older siblings to the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918.

They too lived in a very small, 2-room house in rural Clarksville, Arkansas.

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