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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect



I’ve been reading quite a few books lately. My problem is I start a book and then start another and then maybe start one more just because I like to complicate things. My problem then is that I confuse some of the characters and what they are doing and then I get one big discombobulated story that might take place on a chicken ranch smack in the middle of Brooklyn to a very confused Presbyterian teenager that gets ship wrecked on a deserted island. What?

I’m currently reading Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I which is excellent reading if you love stories about Ma and Pa Kettle and other crazy woods people. She’s very funny and the stuff she lived through on her chicken ranch is just painful and inspirational if it’s possible for both of those things to happen, well, if you read several books at a time anything can happen and be somewhat true in your head even though it’s happening in three different books.

I recently finished reading Home is always the place you just left. A memoir of restless longing and persistent grace by Betty Smartt Carter.
A friend loaned me this book after I had one of my many “I-need-to-get-the-H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks-outta-Missouri” moments. It’s painful, but real. Betty Smartt Carter is the daughter of Kennedy Smartt the founding father of the Presbyterian Church of America. She writes about her life journey to Christ. Her overly sympathetic attention she gives to people, her need to be loved and her doubts that God is real and loves her. It’s an amazing and touching story.

We are reading Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. This is my second go around with this book. I must say I enjoy reading it much, much, much more this time with my son than I did with my daughter. My son loves the high sea adventure, the ship wrecks, the weapons, the wild beasts etc. We will read for about an hour before one of us cries, “Mercy, my throat is too dry!” I just remember how painful it was reading it with my daughter, she just couldn’t wait for it to end. It does take some patience to read the old style and deciding how you will pronounce “viz” which to us is an exasperated sigh.

My sister left A Tree Grows in Brooklyn on her last visit to my house. So I picked it up and have been reading it off an on. I need to get back to it, but not before I start….

Give Father A hard Knock by Ken Kraft. He is the author that my sister introduced me to. This book is about an object lesson in family turnabout. He and his wife Pat go to live with his father in U-City, Missouri just after they were married. Ken has a wonderful dry sense of humor. I got my neighbor hooked on him and now we are hoping beyond hope that we may someday just happen upon his Missouri farm, even though he hasn’t lived there for more than thirty years.

and lastly, but certainly not the least..

We are studying the Gospel of Mark by God. I’ve decided that the parable of the seed is my favorite parable. Am I the only person that thinks it was slightly funny that Jesus spoke this parable to the crowd, but didn’t explain what it meant and then His apostles were slightly clueless too? I’m sure I would have been saying, “Huh?” to a lot of Jesus’ parables too. I’m glad I get to read the Bible and have a study guide to lead me through it.

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