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


Battle of the Insults

Several years ago we were having a birthday party for my oldest son in our backyard. Clay and I were busy setting up an obstacle course for the boys to run through. We were using all manners of junk for the kids to crawl over, in, out, over and basically to exhaust any energy boost they might obtain over the copious amounts of sugar we were going to inject into their bodies.

I usually have a well thought out plan in my head for everything I do, I just don’t always like to communicate it to those helping me. So, when Clay started laying the course out all wrong, I did what any good woman would do, I started to whine and complain and call him names. Clay, being a man of great patience, took my belligerent attitude for as long as he could before telling me where he thought the PVC pipes we were using should go and then added that it would be a mighty uncomfortable ride for me to the hospital to extract them.

Once the insults start coming, it takes quite a while for us to get them out of our systems. We are constantly asking the question, what if people heard us talking to each other like that? Would they think we were serious? I mean I don’t really want to impale you with a plastic pipe and I really don’t mean it when I flip you off and of course you’re not as irritating as poison ivy.

We were still in the heat of our one-upping each other when I stepped in the house to get the next load of party favors. I turned to shout over my shoulder, “Clay, you’re a MORON!” and as I turned around there stood my church elder and his little boy…..”Oh, uh, hi, Joel..” I stammered. He smiled cautiously asked me if they were too early. Then there was a bit of an uncomfortable silence while my mind was replaying the past twenty seconds over and over and wondering how much Joel had heard of our conversation. He never mentioned hearing anything and somehow, he trusted us enough to leave his son at our house. Although, I think he may have been the first parent to pick up their son and from that point on I detected a bit of a wince when I greeted him at church.

When I went back outside to tell Clay what had just happened his response was to laugh hysterically and spend the next five years using, “Honey remember…Oh, uh, hi Joel” to remind me how he won that little battle of the insults.

Third Pottery Class

I made these two things in my third class. The big bowl was made with five pounds of Clay, I mean clay…the mud stuff, not my husband. I used a different wheel and it had a profound effect on me. I also, think I throw better with larger amounts of Clay, I mean clay…the mud stuff, not my husband.

I jumped the gun a bit and put a handle on my batter bowl, cuz I thought I knew so much about pottery, but it turns out I didn’t apply it correctly and most likely my handle will fall off when it’s fired in the kiln. That will make me very sad.

I call this my batter bowl and big-honkin bowl

I’ve learned that you can’t get attached to anything you make…because it will break. I broke my first pot last week when I was learning how to trim. Trimming occurs when your piece has dried to a leather hard stage, you put in on the wheel and use tools to take off the extra Clay, uh I mean, clay…the mud stuff not my husband. My teacher told me I was very good at trimming during the throwing stage, that’s when you shape the mud stuff on the wheel, so maybe I’ll not learn how to trim and just do all my finish work on the wheel. But, then how will I become the greatest potter in the world? Maybe I’ll be the greatest non-trimming potter in the world.

I need a new term for clay…..the mud stuff, not my husband. How about wet earthen material and I’ll shorten it to wem. Okay? From now on when I speak of pottery and clay it will be wem.

A Hotdog

I’ve lived with my husband longer than I’ve lived without him, so you would assume that he would know my likes and dislikes. For the most part I think he does, but every once in awhile he comes up with a whopper of a a misjudgment that leaves us both dumbfounded and wondering who exactly are we married to?

Last week we had tickets to the Cardinals game. Most native St. Louisans would be giddy and decked out in red from head to toe, they would call their family and friends to tell them to watch for them on T.V, they would take a ball glove in the off chance that a foul ball would come their way and they would participate in The Wave, the hat dance on the jumbotron and any other number of fan participation gimicks. I am not a native St. Louisan so I was wearing a green and white shirt and was happy that we missed the first inning, I would probably duck and scream if a ball came my way and I sat leisurely clapping while stuffing another bite of my son’s cotton candy in my mouth when the Cards made their first homerun. I go to the game for the hotdogs and crackerjacks, period. I like a hotdog the moment I get to the stadium. I find my seat and then one of us goes after all the goods. This time my husband and my father-in-law made the journey to the concession stand. As I sat through an inning thinking about my hotdog smothered in ketchup and relish, my mouth watered and I had a hard time concentrating on my son’s repeated questions about how cotton candy is made and his amazement that it came in multiple colors.

Finally, I spied my husband loaded down with six hotdogs and I sat on the edge of my seat excited and drooling. Three of the hotdogs went to my father-in-law, yes, I said three. His hotdogs were smeared with a big glop of mustard. I thought, huh, well, to each their own, the guy obviously likes mustard and a lot of hotdogs. I saw my husband grab his two plain hotdogs, the guy has never put anything on his hotdog, I know this because I pay attention to what my husband’s likes and dislikes are, it’s important to me to know all the little trivial things like that. It’s nice to know these things, so when we go somewhere we can just gaze at each other and know what the other person wants and no energy is spent actually speaking. So you can imagine my surprise, my utter astonishment, my annoyance, my disappointment, my “are you kidding me, how long have we been married?” when he handed me my hotdog slathered with mustard and he said, “Here, I put mustard on it, thought you would like that.” Since when?

Later, he explained that he saw his dad putting a bunch of mustard on his hotdogs and he knew that I would want something on my hotdog and the mustard looked like a good idea, so that’s the direction he chose.

I didn’t want him to feel bad, so I pretended to enjoy the hotdog by gagging and coughing and sputtering and panicking for a drink of soda. But to really drive the point of his stupidity home I said, “I’m going to blog about this.”

Honey, FYI…..Hotdog with ketchup and relish, that’s how I like them. Never just mustard, never.