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


3 Amigos, Sushi, Ballroom Dancing, and Damn Ramsey in that order.


This is Clay laughing at Gary and the dude on the end that you can’t see is Todd.  You can read more about these three amigos in Clay’s Life.

Clay and Gary have known each other since second grade, they lived across the street from each other when they were children.  When they’re together the laughter never stops.  Gary is one of the funniest human beings I’ve ever met.  When we visited St. Louis we spent one evening hanging out at Gary’s house.

Todd came over with his wife and three boys too.  Todd, Gary and Clay have known each other since 7th grade.  These three friends may go long stretches without seeing each other, but they keep in touch via email and occasionally we get to see them.

While they talked and laughed, Levi slept on my lap which is the excuse I’m going to use for all the sucky photos, but I’m sure you all know that’s a big fat lie.  So, day one of St. Louis came to an end, but the fun was only beginning.

The second day we were in St. Louis, Melanie (who had broken her foot the day before, but was swearing that it was just a bad sprang) and I went shopping.  I love shopping with Melanie because she’s my friend that knows all the cheap places.  I bought Ellen a bike for $25 at Goodwill and a wool rug for $15 then we went to the $1 jewelry store and I spent a whopping $10 on bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and hair clips.  It was a fun day.

That night we met a group of old friends for sushi in downtown St. Louis.  I’ve eaten sushi before, but I’ve never gone out to eat just sushi.  This was one of my all time favorite meals and it was priced well at around $8 a roll.  Clay and I tried to re-live it on our anniversary a few weeks ago and we were so disappointed, the St. Louis sushi was supreme, the Kansas sushi…not so much.



After dinner we headed to the Casa Loma Ballroom where Clay and Richard took this rather awkward photo before going in and setting fire to the dance floor with their fancy-prancy feet.

This is Richard with his wife Anne.  If they could teach the whole world to two-step like they do, the world would be a much happier place.

Clay took Melanie and her broken foot out on the floor.  She wore wedged flip flops, danced, shopped and walked around the city….WITH A BROKEN FOOT!  She danced one dance and then sat and drank beer the rest of the time.

We all danced the night away and were mighty hungry and thirsty when we headed back to the country, so I begged Bryan, who was driving, to stop somewhere.  We finally stopped at Krispy Kreme and the four of us aet all but 2 of the dozen donuts we ordered.  I felt like I was in college again going on a midnight donut run.

The next day we got up and went to church and then had lunch at Richard and Anne’s home.  Bryan and Melanie came along too.  Guess what the topic of conversation was?

And yes, I had to post this photo of Melanie because she always looks way too cute in all the other photos I take of her.

Did you guess?  Did you say DAVE RAMSEY!  Yep, we talked about Damn Ramsey, as I like to say.  Richard, Ann, Bryan and Melanie are hosting a class this fall.  Every one of us has been through the Financial Peace class.   If you don’t know what I’m talking about check out Dave’s site.

If you’ve taken the class and are” living like no one else so that later you can live like no one else” then you know EXACTLY why I call him DAMN Ramsey!

Are you getting tired of all my, “We went to St.Louis over a month ago” posts?  I think I have one more and then I AM DONE!

What can I say?  I’m not very organized when it comes to this blog….or anything else at the moment.  However, I did clean out our little office a couple days ago and it is like living in Paradise.  I won’t let any of my children enter it.  The room is MINE!  It’s full of coupons at the moment, but it’s still organized.

Okay, line up all your chickens and give them a big hug and peck for me!




If You Take a Girl to a Ranch

If you give a girl an apple peel…

She’s going to want to play Lady and The Tramp with it and then…

She’s going to want to jump rope with it.

If you give a girl a piece of pie…

She will want some more to give to Cowboy Josh as a Peace Offering.

If you give a girl a bar of soap and a roll of toilette paper…

She will draw prissy pictures and sayings all over Cowboy Josh’s truck like Unicorn and Rainbow and Sparkle and Josh hearts Ponies and Teletubbies and lots of flowers, stars, rainbows, clouds and of course hearts.

And she’ll tie a bow around the hydrant for a final touch.

Then she will carefully slip a “Peace of Pie” into his mudroom.

If you give a girl a weekend at a ranch, she will need Cowboy Josh to take her riding…

If Cowboy Josh takes her riding she will need to swear never to touch another bar of soap to his truck.

If you take a girl to a ranch…

She will fall in love with a horse.

Pie Prep

“OMG! I get to eat pie all day!”

After staying up way too late on Friday night talking and laughing and being ornery (that story later), we all got up to see that Pam was already up getting everything ready for the pie workshop.

This is Meseidy from The Noshery, she is a culinary student in Tulsa.  Her instructor and she are friends with Ree and they came down to help prepare everything for Pie Fest 2011.

This is what Pam and her daughters had prepared on Friday.  Pam made little cut outs of different pie crusts using different fats for everyone to taste.  Ree has a post on it today.  I thought this was such a great idea, we all got to taste the different ways people make pie crust and there is a HUGE difference when it comes to using different fats.  I will never stray from butter and Crisco, that’s what I’ve used and I’ll continue to do so.  Pam uses a really high end butter that she orders from a restaurant, I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point in my pie making.

Pam makes slab pies for many of her customers.  They are just beautiful.  I informed Ellen that she will have pie at her graduation in the spring, because who wants a cupcake tower when you can have slab PIE!  Pam made an apple pie which won her $1000 in a contest, a summer berry pie which I thought was hands down the best pie I’ve ever eaten and a chicken pot pie.


The table was set with all the ingredients the guests could use to make their pies: fruits, cheeses, herbs, olives, meats, and Ree Drummond were just some of what could be plopped in a crust and baked.

Little Evan and Charlie were busy swapping slobber stories.

This is Pam with Tiffany talking pie strategy.  Tiffany is a chef from Tulsa, she teaches culinary classes at a college.  I really enjoyed talking with her and Meseidy about food and about what famous chefs they enjoy.  Tiffany is not a food snob, she just loves good food whether it’s 5 star cuisine or made in grandma’s kitchen.  She told me she rarely cooks for her family unless it’s something simple and rustic.  Kind of like when you’re married to a landscaper, but your yard never gets mowed.  Guess what Tiffany’s husband does?  Yep, landscaper.  I had to laugh, good thing I’m not married to an architect, cuz it would be a little embarrassing if our porch was caving in or if only one light bulb worked in our dining room.  Wait.  Never mind.  I guess it’s true that when professionals come home, they leave their work at the office.

The girls and Evan waited by the window eagerly awaiting the guests.  No, not really, they were watching ranch dogs, Charlie and Yo-Yo, bounce around in the yard.

The guests started trickling in around 8:45am.  Ree did introductions, “This is Ellen, she thinks she lives here.”

After everyone was properly introduced, Pam started the workshop with an eager class awaiting their pie instructions.

Pam is the mother of 7 children and she’s home educated most of her kids through high school.  She’s also a profesional potter and baker.   Fleur Cakes is the name of Pam’s wedding cake business.  I think she makes the most beautiful cakes I’ve ever seen.  She decorates them with natures bounty, check out some of her cake photos.  Pam also makes pies for a lot of weddings and parties and in her spare time she makes billions of apple turnovers for a farmer that sells his apples at a farm stand, the farmer gives her all the apples from his orchard.  I don’t know when she has time to breath.

Alyssa, Tiffany, Meseidy, Katie, Ellen and I worked in the back ground cutting more apples, making more pie dough, prepping lunch and washing dishes.  The benefit was we could sneak in and out of the kitchen as much as we wanted and take nibbles of food without having to make a pie.

We may have goofed off a little bit too, I’m just sayin’.

Okay, that’s all I can share today.  I think Ellen dislocated her shoulder yesterday playing basketball, so I need to get her in to the doctor.  I started chopping trees down yesterday and I have a huge mess to clean up in our yard.  Clay took half the day off to catch up on farm work, so I better get off this computer and save the world!