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


Simmer Till Done Guest Post

Marilyn over at Simmer Till Done asked me if I’d write a *short* post about a food memory.  Short?  What?  Why?  Maybe it’s because I took over her blog once before, never before has poop been paired with cooking so much. Poor girl, when will she learn?  And what is wrong with me?  Why do I always go to bodily functions?  Why?

Moving on…

It’s been unseasonably cool here.  I’ve worn jeans and thought about making soup.  Fall is just around the bend and that means some of my favorite foods will start being stirred around in pots and baked in the oven.  I think some of you will be familiar with the beloved baked good that I talked about.

Painting A Wood Floor


I need your help.  Yesterday my mom and dad came over and helped remove the carpet in my upstairs hall and Ellen’s room because it was white carpet and after nearly two years of us living in this house we had trashed that carpet.  We do not deserve carpet.  Carpet is for people that take their shoes off at the door, have no pets and never take food or drinks out of the kitchen.  We are not those people.  I had peeked under the carpet last fall and discovered that all the wood floors had been painted.  Okay, so I’ll just paint over them I though.  Easy peasy, right?


Oh.  Well, that looks like I’m going to have to sand a bit or a lot.  So now the question is; Do I paint or do I refinish?  I made the mistake of getting my daughter all excited about painting her floor in a checkerboard pattern like I saw in This Old House magazine.


If I do paint, what color?  I was thinking off white and chocolate brown checked.  Or just all brown, or just all off white.  I don’t know.  Please help.

And thanks Mom and Dad for your help in starting this project….now how about you get your hineys back over here and finish it?

The Houston House


This is The Houston House located in Rexford, Kansas.  The house was donated to The Shepherd’s Staff by the daughter of Philip Houston, who was born and raised in this house, I can’t remember her name.  Mr. Houston owned the bank in Gem, Kansas where the house was originally located.  Someday, I’m going to paint my house yellow, because I believe with all my heart that yellow is the perfect house color and all will be perfect in the world if I had a yellow house, amen.


This is Mrs. Joan Dingworth, she’s the director and founder of The Shepherd’s Staff and she loves renovating historical buildings as is evident of every building she has touched in Rexford.  Joan is in her late seventies and has more energy than I do, she’s also one of the most humble, diligent and generous people I’ve ever met.  Joan is a native Texan and has a very soft Texas accent.  Joan had the house moved from Gem, Kansas to the location it is now which is on the corner of the downtown main street, I believe she told me it was eight miles.  When I went to camp in June I asked Joan if she could spare the time to give me a tour of the house that is currently under renovation.


So much of the original details of the house are in perfect condition.  This is the etched glass on the front door.  The building you see reflected in the window is the bank building which was converted into The Shepherd’s Staff offices, so Joan has a lovely view of  The Houston House out her window.


This is the built-in china cabinet in the dining room.  The back side of the cabinet opens up in the kitchen and is painted white with the same detailing.


Joan keeps her eyes open for antique fixtures that will fit well into the house.  She found several chandeliers at an auction and had them installed in the house, they look like they’ve always been there.


I love this one.


Luckily the woodwork in the house had never been painted or broken by the children who had grown up in this house.  I know for a fact if those fragile wood details were in my house, my boys would spend hours launching missiles at them.


This is one of Joan’s personal pieces from her vast collection of antiques that she had moved into the house.  The floors on the main level had just been refinished by one of the many volunteers that give up their time to come help at The Shepherd’s Staff.  In fact most of the renovation being done to the house has been volunteer labor.  You can see Joan’s account of the group that worked on the floors on her blog.


I wish I had a better picture of the side of the house.  I know it looks like two houses, but it’s just one.  That little window on the dormer above the screened porch is fake, it’s just a little framed piece of wood painted to look like a window.  The house has two bedrooms on the main level and three upstairs, walk-in closets, two huge pantries, one bath on the main level and a room that was supposed to be a bathroom upstairs but the windmill was never strong enough to pump the water up that high, I know, how cute is that?!

I wish I had more photos to share with you.  Rechelle was with me, so if you go bug her enough she might have some more to post too.

DSC00349When the house is completed it will be used as a bed and breakfast and to host small events like tea parties, women’s gatherings, business retreats and the like.  If you’re ever around or near Rexford give Joan a call and ask if she has time to give a tour of the facilites.  She can tell you all the historical facts of all the buildings.  Then make a reservation to stay in The Lonesome Dove Hotel.  If it was closer I’d schedule lots of field trips to this fascinating little place.