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


Cheerleaders Unite!

What happens when several high school cheerleaders get together 25 years after they graduate?  They try to remember all their cheers of course!

I’m sorry.

This little cheer session happened Saturday night at my house.  The tiny woman in the middle is Carmen, my BFF from high school.  The lady on the end is my sister Rechelle and the guy that you see for just a moment is Eric.

Here’s the short version of a longer post that I should write:  Eric was my next door neighbor, Carmen was my bff, Rechelle is my sister.  We all lived in a neighborhood just on the outskirts of Goodland, Kansas.  We grew up playing in a large pit dug by the highway department and hoping that Eric would invite us over to swim in his pool, which he did, but not nearly enough.  He had the only pool in the neighborhood which forced us to always be nice to him even when he was a giant pain in the ass.. We all had a lot of adventures and tons of fun getting into mischief together.  Carmen, Rechelle, and I had not seen Eric for 22 years.  We decided that was long enough to be pissed about not letting us swim in his pool.

They Played Aunt a re-run

Tomorrow I’m spending the day with two friends. One friend I haven’t seen for 22 years. I was searching to see if I had ever written a story about this old friend, and I found this post from 2009.  I’m re-posting it because it made me smile. My sister will hopefully be meeting up with all of us sometime tomorrow too. I can hardly wait. Let the laughter begin now!

When we were little we played ‘Aunt’.  Sometimes we were both the moms and hauled our babies around with us in giant purses that we had swiped from our mother.  Rechelle always had Tiny Tears, which was a rubber baby-doll that cried real tears when you fed her a bottle of water and squeezed her tummy.  I had Winnie the Pooh and Danny.  Winnie the Pooh was made for me by my babysitter, Mrs. Reid.  I loved him until he was a flat piece of matted fur fabric and then I still loved him.  Danny was a big doll with a cloth stuffed body and rubber arms and legs, he had black cropped hair, sometimes Danny became Kimmy.


Kimmy was the little girl that one of us would play while the other one was the mom.

So, let’s review:  We played ‘Aunt’; sometimes we were both moms and sometimes one of us was the mom and one of us was Kimmy.  We also had Tiny Tears and Winnie the Pooh and Danny/Kimmy the big doll.  Got it?


The Aunts were chain smokers.  They would smoke on a drinking straw while yelling at Kimmy.  They would smoke on an invisible cigarette while talking about which party they should attend.  Occasionally, they would enjoy a candy cigarette and then, well, then they talked about how much they loved to smoke and how good that cigarette tasted.


The aunts loved their big vinyl purses.  They were huge and lined with dark blue bandanna fabric.  When Kimmy was being a pain in the ass, which was nearly always, her mom would start swinging the giant vinyl purse at her and most of the time Tiny Tears was in that giant purse getting whipped around adding to the pummeling Kimmy was getting on her back side.  This caused Kimmy to fall down in fits of hysterical laughter.  Also, you should know that Tiny Tears, being a newborn baby, could talk and pummel people.  She was quite amazing and spent most of her time yelling at Winnie the Pooh.


Sometimes the aunts would have a falling out and not speak to each other for six whole minutes.  Usually, their falling outs had to do with someone not getting to play the role of Aunt or Kimmy or more often, Tiny Tears was being too mean.  Tiny Tears was a very bitter baby.


One of the sisters would eventually get tired of being pissed off and come up with a way to entice the other sister to resume playing ‘Aunt’.  This usually involved great feats of silliness that the mad sister couldn’t resist.


Then like a magical spell had been cast, the sisters were back in their imaginary rolls of Aunt and Kimmy or Aunt and Aunt.


Let’s play ‘Aunt’.  I’ll be Kimmy.


No.  Let’s both be aunts.  Wanna smoke?


The aunts had a very busy social calendar.  They were constantly being asked to parties and often those parties required them to perform some sort of dance number and sing a song.  The aunts would dig through their mother’s closet and find her highest heels and most luxurious polyester party dresses and adorn themselves with costume jewelry and holler at the kids to get in their big purses, because they were going to Grandma’s house.


The aunts would drop off Tiny Tears, Winnie the Pooh and Danny/Kimmy at Grandma Martha’s house, which most of the time meant they would be stashing them under their Mom’s desk at their father’s business.


Then the aunts would run off to practice their performance for the evening’s big gala.


They always incorporated lots of difficult tricks that only the aunts were able to do and the whole world was amazed by their abilities.

DSC_0572They’d write a few songs and choreograph the steps.

DSC_0550Of course each of them had to have a solo.

DSC_0645-2After the party had died down and they had sung their last song and danced their last dance and smoked their last cigarette they’d head back to Grandma Martha’s office where they would ask if she had any money so they could run across the street to Taco Grande and buy a sancho for themselves and some cinnamon-sugar tortilla crisps for Tiny Tears, Winnie the Pooh and Danny/Kimmy.

Grandma Martha would hand them some cash while cradling Tiny Tears and say, “Yes and get me a Pepsi and a sancho with extra hot sauce.”

photos by All Astonishment

The Social Media Child Rearing Blogger, that’s me.

I recently attended a class for parents of teenagers.  The topic of discussion was media and social networking.  I decided not to participate in the discussion and opted to listen to the input from the parents.  I noticed that the parents of younger children were very against their children ever participating in any social media and the parents of older teens discussed how they carefully try to navigate monitoring their children’s involvement with their devices.

I decided I was the teenager in the room.

I have a blog, I love Facebook, I was on Twitter before it became the hot hang-out for teens, I have Snap Chat and Instagram and I text.  What am I missing?

Obviously, I wasn’t going to stand up and say, “Dudes! Yo! Screens forever!”

Because that would be bad and I might lose my reputation as overly-protective-slightly-ignorant-homeschooling-pansy-Christian-blonde.  And that would be, well I could stand to lose a few adjectives.

So, I sat there listening to the parents give their input about the trust they have to put into their teens when they walk out the door and hope that they aren’t assaulted with images on Joey Nogood’s phone on the bus or in the hall or wherever.

And that made me want to hide my children in a hole until they are 25, but then they would be super pale and socially inept……wait.  Uh, erm, might have that going on without the hole.

Still I was not opening my mouth to say anything, because I was enjoying the banter of these parents.  Some of them were wise to the fact that FaceBook is so yesterday and if you want to know the real kid just follow their Twitter and if that shocks you then you can only imagine what that kid is Snapchatting and Instagramming  and none of it would be Pintrest worthy, I promise.

Do I need to insert that as I type this my 19yo daughter is laying practically in my lap while surfing Pintrest and my 8yo is shoving a Calvin and Hobbes book in my face every few minutes, “Mom! Read this. Read the whole page.  It’s really funny.  Read it.”  I have yelled, “NO Get that out of my face!” several times to no avail and I’m passed kindly asking my daughter if she could choose any of the other three chairs in the room, “GET OFF ME CHILD!” 

Obviously, my family does not have issues with being together.

I gained some insight from the class and decided there were some things I could monitor more closely.  Hopefully, my children will have a strong moral compass by the time they leave the confinement of our home, but there is always the chance that they could be sucked into the dark world of selfies and hashtags.

I’m not going to tell you how we manage/monitor/control the use of social media in our home.  I think it’s wise that we talk about it with our kids all the time.  Hopefully, they will learn discernment and keep their head on straight without causing their parents to worry about them constantly.

I need to go update my status.  Snapchat you later!