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


They always get creative when I’m puking.

Several weeks ago I woke up feeling like death.  My head was pounding and my stomach was churning. I went to the bathroom and puked my guts out.  I know!  You all love puke stories.  I have no idea what I caught or may have eaten,  but I was the only one that got sick.

Clay was headed to work and asked if I needed anything.  I groaned and went back to bed.  I slept most of the day and most of the evening.  It was so quiet in the house.  I thought my children had disappeared.  It wasn’t until I came out of my sick fog that Clay had told me that he threatened the boys within an inch of their lives.  They were not to make any noise or come bother me.  I’m thinking I need to fake a sickness every once in a while, because those boys were amazingly quiet.

The next day, I realized why they were so quiet.  They had spent the day doing this:

This is one of 798 photos on my camera.  Seth had set up a stop-motion set for the boys to play with all day.  And that’s exactly what they did.  They made several short stories using oil based modeling clay.  In this scene the little balls are rolling together to form a big ball that explodes.

Here’s one where the clay guy kicks a little ball.  The little ball becomes a little guy and then the big guy steps on him.  Yes, all the stories involve someone kicking or exploding.  Destruction is the key to my boys’ happiness.

At the very end of the photos Seth and Isaac finally allowed Levi, my 7 year-old, to have his turn.

Most of Levi’s photos have his hand in them and clay crumbs all over the place.  The camera lens started getting cloudy when he took over the claymation.  I had to clean off the greasy, dried clay bits on my lens.

The stories end with a little piece of paper to note the ending.

I had to admit I was impressed by their creativity.  The table and floor were a mess with clay crumbs and my camera looked terrible, but those boys didn’t bother me a bit.  So, I was grateful.

Now the real bummer.  At some point during their film festival they lost my camera battery charger.  I have looked EVERYWHERE for the darn thing.  I keep thinking it will show up in the most obscure place, like everything else we lose.  But, so far….nothing.  I even did some serious deep cleaning and still it hasn’t shown up.  I’m thinking when I told the boys to clean up their mess that they may have thrown it away with all the other stuff on the table.

So, what do I do?  Should I just replace it?  Because, you know if I do that, the old one will show up.  Maybe I’ll pretend to buy a new one.  In any case, I can’t use my dang camera until I find it.  Oh, and I did ban the boys from using my camera until they found it.  Their reaction was….okay.  They had their fun and had moved on to the next destruction project, they didn’t really care if they couldn’t use my camera.  Grrrrr.  I love my boys.

The First Day of Work and School at Home

It’s lunch time here at Coal Creek Farm.  Today is our first day of school.  So far, so good.  And by that I mean, one child got a little teary eyed….but no REAL tears.  I call that success on the first day.  But, we still have a few more hours in which all three of us could be in a puddle of despair.

What is all looks like:
Isaac and Levi are outside sitting on the porch swing while they finish their lunch.  I told them to go run around and get sweaty, but avoid the mud.  I’m positive they will come inside muddy.

Seth is in the little office that we now call the school room.  He’s on his computer dialed into his history class, every now and then I hear him answer a question or type something to his classmates.  It’s pretty cool.

Clay is in his office which used to be the school room, occasionally we call it the library.  He’s in a lunch meeting with people far-far away.  I took him his lunch so he could eat while the other people were eating around their conference table.  He thinks I’m his secretary and waitress.  I think I’m the CEO and head chef.  It’s all in the eyes of the beholder, isn’t it?

Ellen should have just left her office to head to the bus stop to go to her classes and track practice.  She’s totally missing out on all the fun at home…..or is she?

I am sitting at the table eating lunch, listening to Salt the Barn Cat who has never spent more than a few seconds in the barn, talk to her baby who is now five weeks old.  We have yet to name this baby.  We call him, “Baby Kitty”, “Walnut Head”, “Mon-chi-chi” and”Bloop”, but nothing has stuck.  I’ve never heard a cat talk so much as Salt does, she kind of drives us nuts at night.  It’s not the normal mewing that a cat does, it’s like a short purr-meow-huff.  She’s a Chatty Cat-thy.  Get it?  Chatty Kathy, Chatty Cat-thy?  Never mind.

And that is what our new life looks like around here.  It’s quiet and peaceful and weird and wonderful…for now.

Twenty Years of Wedded Bliss

Clay and I celebrated 20 years of wedded bliss on August 15th.  That’s what I wrote on the calendar, “20 Years of Wedded Bliss”.

Clay tossed his phone to our daughter as we headed out the door and told her to take some photos of us.  It is EXTREMELY difficult for us to take a serious photo.  But, I think most of you already know that.

Twenty years is quite a while to be married to a person.  The other day I said to Clay, “Hey, I’m the age my mom was when you met her.”  And he sat in silence just staring at me.  It was one of those WHOA! moments.

Twenty years is probably long enough to decide if you really like a person.  I’ve decided I really like Clay.  He’s decided to tolerate me liking him.

Hopefully that should get us through another twenty years or so.