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


Hunting and Gathering

One of the things we wanted to do when we moved to our farm was to grow our own food.  We felt it was important to use the land to provide for our family.  So, we grow a garden and we raise pigs and chickens and sometimes we find other sources for our food.

Take for instance Ellen’s truck.  Yes, Ellen now has a vehicle.  It’s as old as she is and has a lot of character and by character I mean duck tape has been used.  This little truck has been such a blessing to us and came just in time for basketball season when my kids need to be in three different places at the same time.  Now Ellen can get herself where she needs to go and I only have  to perform a small miracle to get the other two kids where they need to go at the same time.  I perform this miracle by yelling, “GET IN THE VAN!!!”  Try it, you’ll be amazed how miraculously things happen after you scream your lungs out to get those little butts moving.

Okay, so yes, the truck.  It came with a special gift.

A little furry gift that Clay had to fish out of the air vent.  Did I mention that Clay likes to go fishing?  But, he hasn’t really gone fishing for years.   And he likes to go hunting too.  But, he hasn’t really gone hunting for years.  Clay’s contribution to our table via hunting and fishing has been zero until the day he went fishing and hunting in Ellen’s truck.

Hello dinner.  The family eats tonight!!

“Mom!  I think mashed potatoes would be great with this!  I haven’t had one of these for…….have we ever had this?”

“Here, let me just take a nibble.”

“Mmmm, taste like chicken!  You want some?”

So, you want children?

Okay, but try this first.

  • Go to bed, get all comfy and warm….have the fire alarm go off unpredictably all night.  Repeat this every night for at least 17 years.
  • Take a bucket full of vomit and dump it in the back seat of your car, on your couch, all over your carpets, splash it down the front of your clothes and then put a few drops in the toilette.
  • Take another bucket of vomit and soak all the bedding, towels, your clothes, your neighbor’s clothes and the cat in it until you have enough laundry to fill the entire house and keep you washing until the the next round of vomit…which will occur right after you make up all the beds with clean sheets.
  • Okay, now you’re going to need some urine….put it in a spray bottle and have fun.
  • Grab a couple of puppies, set them loose in your living room…leave the house for a few days.  They will simulate what a couple of kids can do to a room in a few minutes.
  • Take a few of your precious collectibles and smash them to bits.
  • Stain all your shirts with blood, paint, boogers…whatever is in the fridge.
  • Cut a tiny hole in your curtains.
  • Get a permanent marker…get to coloring!  Walls, floors, furniture, the entire world is your canvas.
  • Buy all the Lego’s you can find in the world along with Matchbox cars, Barbie shoes, hair bows, tiny socks, candy wrappers, McDonald’s french fries, Goldfish crackers, Crayons and crushed granola bars: mix up in a tub and freely sprinkle the contents in your vehicle, garage, yard, under your bed, in your bed, under the cushions of your couch and every corner in your house….make sure you stand over floor vents and drop handfuls.
  • Have a friend hide your shoes, all of them.  Wait until you’re ready to go to an important event to try to find them.
  • Go on a long trip with a very loud and emotional person who will talk and cry and scream for the entire trip except for the quick nap they took right before you had to pull over to get gas…which caused them to wake up and be extremely irritable.
  • When you stop to eat at a nice restaurant your travel companion tells you they forgot their shoes.
  • Find a store to buy them some shoes.
  • They will lose those shoes at some point during the trip and you will buy them three more pairs of shoes that are so ugly and cheap that you’re embarrassed to be with the person.
  • They never lose the ugly shoes, they wear them everyday much to your dismay.
  • Have someone call you to tell you they forgot their lunch at least three or four times a week.
  • Put a sparkly unicorn sticker on the rear of your jeans and wear them in public all day.
  • Take something sharp and scratch the crap out of your vehicle.
  • Throw away three billion 5 dollar bills because that is what your children will need for this thing and that event and blah, blah, blah.
  • Say the following every single day, “Put your shoes away. Pick up your jacket.  Eat your dinner. Pick up your toys. Flush the toilette.  Be nice to your brother.  Stop talking.  Listen to me.  Be quiet.  STOP!  NO!  We’ll see.  Maybe.  Go get your shoes.  Find your shoes.  Where are your shoes.  Why?  Go ask your father.  STOP IT!  I said NO! What did Mommy say?”  add a please and thank you occasionally until you realize it’s just a waste of your breath.
  • Load and unload the dishwasher at least three times a day.
  • Buy enough groceries to last a month, take them home.  Invite a teenager to come over and help himself to any food in the house.
  • Go back to the grocery store…invite teenager….go back to the grocery store…invite teenager….
  • Yell at a wall that it needs to get its room cleaned, wait for a response.  Yell some more.  Walk away defeated that the wall will never clean its room.
  • Hope that the wall will move out of your house someday and have twenty of their own walls that never do anything you ask them to do.

If you can smile at the end of all of this…go start a family.

Thankful for Laughter

I’m not sure a day passes that I don’t have someone in my life that makes me laugh.

Laughter heals me.

I’m very thankful for a hilarious man to share my life with and four ridiculously funny kids.

Just recently someone said to us, “There is no room in a Christian’s life for sarcasm.”  To which Clay and I looked at each other with wide eyes and open mouths and….laughed.  Now we are constantly saying that to each other and our children in a very sarcastic tone.

Now, I have to admit that some sarcasm is just mean and it does hurt people, but if you can’t laugh at all the ridiculous crap that we do as people then you need to uncork the plug.  I have been hurt by mean sarcasm, but the best medicine for that hurt?  Laughter of course.  Laughing at yourself is a gift.  Why do we want to take ourselves so seriously?  Yes, there is a time to be serious and do serious work, but at the end of the day…go home and laugh with the people you love.  Find something funny in your day and be thankful.

Julian Smith recently made this video and took some heat for it.  When I watched it….I laughed.  How could I laugh at this and still be a Christian?  Because it’s funny.  We are so guilty of rushing through a prayer at meal time just to get to the food…”Good food, Good meat, Good God…let’s EAT!!!”

Fast Tube by Casper

Julian  eloquently replied to the negativity about the video on his blog.  I love when a funny person is also smart.  Here’s a snip of what he said and you can click on the quote to go directly to his site to read the entire post.

If Pre-Blessed Food were a real product, the people who bought it would be admitting that prayer is important, but not important enough to actually do it themselves. And although this is an extreme example, we do this. We do it with our faith, we do it with our relationships, we do it with our own lives. We do this because it’s easier, it’s quicker, and because we’re often distracted by something else.

I’m thankful for the funny parts of life.