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

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The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


Getting Senior Pictures

This is my sweet, dear friend Kiana giving Ellen some pointers before she started shooting her Senior pictures.  I can’t believe this is her last year of high school.  It’s crazy!

It made such a difference having Kiana take the photos simply because Ellen was at ease with her.  I can’t wait to share some of them with you, they are absolutely fabulous!

I’m not sure where the past 18 years went, but it has been a great journey watching Ellen grow into a young lady.  I hope this year slows down a bit so I can enjoy her a tiny bit longer.

I’m at 90%

If he wasn't so cute...

This is my little slice of Hell year.  Today I reached my melting point.  I knew it would probably come, but I thought I might be able to power through it.  Right now is the busiest time for just about everything.  Everyone needs something from me right now.  I can’t concentrate on one thing for more than a few moments or something else will cave.  It’s a little nutty, but I knew it would be, so…so what, right?

I had been working with one of my boys on their math for what seemed like the beginning of time or maybe even since before the beginning of time and then, all of a sudden, it was noon.  Where the heck did the morning go?  Did we seriously not get even one subject done before lunch?

Clay came home to eat and as I looked up from the table I said something like, “We’re still doing Math.  We have been doing Math since you last saw us in 1972.  We’ll be here doing Math when you return from your space travels in 5075.  We are suspended in time forever on problem 7 we are the impenetrable fortress, the permanent post,  we will not move or change…WE WILL BE RIGHT HERE DOING THIS SAME DAMN MATH PROBLEM FOR ETERNITY!!!”

And then Clay told the boys to go outside to play.

I started to melt, “I can’t do this.  I’m a terrible mother.  Why do I always choose the most difficult path? I’m never going to get everything done.  Whose idea was this?  What lunatic convinced you that I could do all of this?  I’m out numbered. I can’t work all these jobs.  This is crazy.  I’m crazy. I am losing my mind one math problem at a time.  Do you know how many emails I sent that were wrong to all the volunteers?  I can’t read my typing.  It’s like a lunatic has taken over my brain. I wish I looked as thin as I’m spread….”  And on and on about the kids, the house, my job, my other job, my hair, the animals, the ripped carpet, the broken dishwasher, the list of stuff I have to do before November, the holidays, all the stupid people in the world (which is all of them) and a whole host of other things that decided to belch their way to the surface.

And then the voice of reason.  Clay.  He took me by the shoulders and said, “I’m going to tell you something and it might make you mad.”

I hate it when he says that.  It makes me mad.  I need to remember tell him that someday.

“You do this every time you get to about 90% of what you need to get done.  You start to panic and you just need to push through to the end.  You know you’ll get it done.  I’ll help you.  That’s why I’m here, to help you finish that last 10%.”

And then I cried on him trying not to get snot on his dress shirt.  I’m certain I was supposed to be pissed at him for saying something stupid, but I can’t remember what it was.

So, I’m at 90% and I can smile about that.  The end is in sight.  I’ll live, the kids might live, we’ll eat Corn Nuts and oatmeal for the next few weeks,  the house will most likely crumble, and I swear to GOD we are still going to be doing that same damn math problem!!!  But, I will get my job done 100%.




Salt of the Earth


This is Salt.  My kids found her and another kitten abandoned in our barn when they were about 3 weeks old.  I very reluctantly agreed to nurse them.  Her brother’s name was Pepper because he was all black, but sadly Pepper didn’t make it.   So now we have a little fluff ball named Salt and she has all six of us wrapped around her little tiny paw.

She’s proven to be quite useful.  She spent one Saturday helping Clay build the brick path.  She supervised his every move.

She helped hammer in the big nail things that hold the bricks in place.

She measured all the rocks to make certain they were the right size.

She held the landscaping mat so Clay could cut it and made certain it was straight.

Then she posed for some photos so everyone would know how pretty she is….just in case they forgot.