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


10 Miles and Explosions

I distinctly recall informing my older two children that if they should get a detention this year they would need to figure out how long it would take them to either ride a bike or walk the ten miles to school since the new policy is that all detentions are served on Tuesday mornings at 7:15 sharp.  Which means they would need to leave the house at least by 6:45am to get to school on time.  And I ain’t never-ever-ever gonna get up and out of the house that early so my child can go serve a detention for something STUPID they did.

I also remember threatening my oldest son within an inch of his life if he forgot his gym clothes one more time which would cause him to have a detention.

Well, guess what?

Somebody is going to have to figure out if he wants to peddle or walk tomorrow morning and he’s going to have to get his arse up out of bed pretty early to get there on time.  Because if he’s even a fraction of a second late….he’ll get to do it all over again on Thursday.  ALL BECAUSE HE COULDN’T BOTHER WITH WASHING HIS GYM SHIRT!!  I can’t think of any better punishment for not dressing out properly in gym class than more exercise, so there you go.

Seriously, my children are killing me.  Slowly, painfully, one idiotic thing at a time they are KILLING ME!  I planned on living until I was well into my 90’s, but I’m barely skimming past my mid 50’s now.  That’s how many years they have shaved off my once long-happy-stress-free life.

Good grief.  I am turning into a grumpy old lady before my very eyes.  If any of you happen to see my giant son Seth tomorrow and he looks a little bruised and bloody, it’s because I am going to chew him up one side and down the other when he get home.  Can’t get himself organized enough to remember a stupid gym uniform!  All I can hope for is that he will have five boys to raise himself and that his wife is a better woman than me.


Next in line is my youngest.  He plays explosion.  I don’t know what else to call it, because that’s what he does, he hops around, making explosion sounds with a toy in his hand and then hurls his body into the couch then hippity-hoppity across the floor while exploding with the toy in his hand and then hurls his body into the toy chest.  Now, repeat that everyday for a good ten minutes and you have Levi playing explosion back and forth across the living room and library.  He gets all hot and sweaty and then he’s done, until the next day.  Sometimes, I have to tell him to go upstairs to play explosion or I have to tell him to stop because he’s being so LOUD!

So what, he’s playing, right?

Yes, he’s a little boy with a huge imagination and it’s wonderful to listen to him playing in his little world.

But he has left behind a war zone.  He has ripped the edge of the rug off where he twirls and hops, broken a board in the back of the couch where he hurls his body during one of the explosions and broken the hinge off the toy chest where it has fielded it’s last attack from Levi’s shrapnel.

My house can not withstand Levi’s explosions much longer.  I told him yesterday that he could not longer land in the furniture while he’s playing explosion.  So, now he’s upstairs playing explosion and I’m just waiting for the ceiling to fall…any second now.  I don’t think this house is going to have any walls left by the time I get these boys out of it.

But, I don’t need to worry about that because they are going to drive me to an early grave.  They can just bury me under the heap of broken furniture in my living room and maybe use a gym shirt to mark the burial spot.

*After Seth got home…..

So, what is the first thing Seth says when he walks through the door, “Hey Mom!  I was thinking it would be fun to ride my bike to school tomorrow.  I already asked Dad and he thinks it’s a great idea!!”

I laughed and told him his skin should be thankful that he’s funny and quick to save himself.

Review: Head & Shoulders $50 Giveaway


My family suffers greatly from dry skin, and it gets really bad during winter. The moment the heater is turned on, we all start to shrivel and flake. Finding the right remedies for our skin and hair is always a challenge, especially since none of us want to smell like a medicine cabinet.

When I was offered the chance to review Head & Shoulders Eucalyptus Itchy Scalp Care products I thought that would be a perfect fit for us. Here’s some facts I’ve learned about the scalp.

Did you now that one of factors of dandruff is a fungus? I did not know this. The fungus is called Malassezia globosa, combined with the oils in the scalp the fungus irritates the skin, and then you just have a mess of a head that’s itchy, red and flaking. I decided to give the Head and Shoulders products a try on my entire family to see if we noticed a difference in our dry heads.

Don’t worry! The shampoo did not cause my boys to be weirdos, they were like that well before we tried any products in their hair.

What We All Liked

I really like the light, fresh smell of both the shampoo and conditioner. They do not smell like the Head & Shoulders my dad used when I was a little girl. Even as an adult, I avoided using any sort of medicated shampoo because the smell is too medicinal. This Head & Shoulders smell wonderful, clean, not over powering at all.

I liked the consistency of the shampoo; some dandruff shampoos don’t have the sudsy feel, but this does. It lathers quickly and rinses. My husband and boys all commented that they thought they were using regular shampoo.

I love that there is a conditioner to follow the shampoo! I must have both; it is an absolute must. I can’t shampoo without following with conditioner or my head will fall off, I’m sure of it. I can feel the softness on my hands after I’ve used both the products; it’s obvious that Head & Shoulders works on dry skin.

What I Didn’t Like

I don’t think my hair was quite ready for this much conditioner. My hair was super shiny, but also a bit too soft and conditioned. I had flat hair, not to be confused with oily hair; it was just flat. I will use these products again in December and January when I’m a shriveled prune and my skin is starting to leave a trail of dust behind me and my hair is electrified and my scalp is itchy from dryness.

Now, for you readers, one of you will win a $50 Visa gift card, courtesy of BlogHer! For a chance to win, just leave me a comment telling me how you change your beauty or skin care routine during the winter months.


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Want more great tips for winter hair care? Check out the newest “Looking Your Best” post in the Life Well Lived section of

Picking a Favorite Photo

As we drove home from school she said to me, “Mom, why don’t you put on something cute and be in my pictures with me.”  I refused because this was her day, her photo shoot, it was not about me.  I even tried not to go with her during the photo session, but she insisted she couldn’t do it without me there.  I’m glad I got to go and that she wanted me there.  I was the hair comber and the prop holder.  My friend Kiana took this photo of me holding the sunflowers and trying to hide.  When we looked through the photos Ellen busted out laughing at this one and said, “THAT is my favorite one!”  And then she promptly made it her profile picture on Facebook.

This was my favorite.  I sure am proud of my girl, I don’t know what we would do without her.