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


Run Preacher Run


I am a mental-basket-case type of runner or in my case slow jogging, but from now on we will call it running and then laugh later. In my head I am both the patient and the psychotherapist.  It’s like two crazy people hop in my brain and start playing tennis with my brain.  Sometimes, I am the woman who can’t be beat, I can do anything, GET OUT OF MY WAY!  But, that only happens when I’m yelling at my kids to do their chores, never when I’m running.  Then there’s the other woman in me, the one that needs a lot of attention from myself and *anyone around me that will notice my needs.  And my needs are many.

I need a lot of prep to go run.  I have to make sure my stomach isn’t full and that I’ve had a nice big drink of water.  Then there is the bathroom issue.  Do I have to go again before I leave?  Will I need to go while I’m running?  I’ll just try to go one more time.  It’s pretty amazing that I ever get out the door.  But wait, there’s more.

I’m a spitter.

I know, it’s gross, but I can’t help it.  I ALWAYS have too much saliva in my mouth when I’m exercising.  It was really annoying at the gym.  I so badly wanted to spit on all the tiny women around me that were bouncing around smiling…..but I didn’t.  I just kept my water bottle close at hand.

I don’t take water with me when I run, so I HAVE to spit.  I’ve discovered that the longer I run the drier my mouth gets and I HATE having dry mouth.  Too much saliva, too little, I can’t seem to get it right.  So, I chew gum, but when I don’t have gum I go to the stash of cough drops.  I’ve learned that one cough drop will last one mile, so I have to carry a dad-gum cough drop in my hand and unwrap it while I’m running! Because no pockets.  Why didn’t I have pockets?  And the whole time I’m saying, “Don’t stop, keep running, don’t look at the road signs or you’ll figure out how much you’ve run, keep going, get the wrapper off, but don’t throw it on the ground….where should I put the wrapper?  Don’t stop running!  The wrapper?  I can’t possibly just carry it, it’s so heavy.  And itchy.  Is it itchy?  I think it is.  Could I shove it in my shoe?  Don’t STOP!  Okay, into my waistband, it should stay there.  Yes!  Okay, do I feel it there?  Is it bothering me?  No, it’s okay.  KEEP RUNNING!”  Yeah, and that’s just a 10 second conversation, this goes on for a good 30-45 minutes.

And my nose runs.

Like all the freaking time.  Today I forgot to bring tissues, because of the no pockets, so I kept wiping my nose on my shirt.  I know, I am a vision of elegance when I run.  The spitting, nose wiping woman.  I have issues.



Today, I needed to watch some dance videos to get me pumped up to run.  Because, much of the time when I’m running and listening to fun dance music,  I just WANT TO DANCE!  Why the running?  Why?!

Since I run out in the middle of nowhere I will occasionally start to sing and flail my arms around, but then the needy voice starts to talk, “Don’t do that!  You’ll get tired!  You have to run!  Keep RUNNING you idiot, don’t STOP!!!”  somebody needs to tell that needy voice to shove it.  Do you all remember Phoebe?  You know, Phoebe?  Oh, come on….you remember….

The Phoebe and Rachel Run

The real April in me wants to run like Phoebe.  But the April that’s running just needs to finish the run without dying.

Did I mention I can’t run alone?

Yeah, it’s like I just can’t do it.  The times I’ve gone out to run by myself have been awful.  I totally cave.  I get all mental and talk myself out of running too far or too long.  It’s nuts.  So, I need accountability.  That’s why I begged Clay and Seth to start this program with me.

Today they were both gone.


I asked Preacher if he wanted to go running with me.  He’s always up for an adventure.


Too bad I failed at providing any fun for him.  Yes, that’s him yawning beside me.  He’s not the best running mate for my fragile self-esteem.


I spent the next two miles looking at his butt.  And when he would stop to sniff something I would think, “Maybe I should stop. Should I stop?  I could stop.  I could smell something.  Oh no, he’s peeing.  Maybe I need to pee….should I pee?  Do I need to pee?  I peed before I left, twice.  I’m okay.  KEEP RUNNING!”


*people with a healthy state of mind should avoid running with me

Hog Heaven and Preacher

This spring I enlisted my three boys and hired two more boys to tear down our old pig pen which was built out of reused materials we found around our farm.

Clay and I decided we wanted to raise more pigs and that meant we needed a larger pen for them.  We salvaged what we could reuse from the old pen and moved it to where the new pen was being built.

Clay first started with the cross braces on the outside of the pen, but then he realized that was going to be a pain when it came to mowing so he wisely relocated them inside the pen where the pigs now used them as scratching posts.  We used the old posts and purchased hog panels.   The pigs now have plenty of room to play and grow.

This is the site of our old pen which is located next to our orchard.  I’d like to plant some more fruit trees and bushes here in the future.  I’d also like to cut down that tree on the end before it falls and kills a hay bale.

It bothers me that the posts aren’t even, but I can’t complain, because the pen is built and the pigs have a nice new home.  Preacher, Head of Farm Security, loves this pen.  He hops over the gate to make his daily rounds.  I’ll let him give you the rest of the tour.

Ah-loh, my leetle pink freends!  Welcome to the Coal Creek Farm.  My name is Preesher, I am de Boss.  You will call me, Mr. Preesher.  Scuze me?  Are you hearing my words?

Okay, jees, I see you are a tiny baby, but could chou pleeze stop sucking on my collar?

I tink I might be a leetle out numbered by thees leetle pink piggies.  Why do dey like my shiny rrrrrabies tag so much?

Come over here chou leetle piggies.  Lookie at what is on de other side of de fence.

No! No!  Geet off my shiny leetle tag!  Pleeze, I beg you, leeve it alone!  Lego me tag piggies!  Look!  Look you leetle pink piggy heads, look down at the leetle kitty cat.

Oh, dees little pink piggies are goin’ to be a lot of work fer me.


Pig Kisses

This is Rosalie giving Preacher a big kiss.  Preacher LOVES the pigs, loves them. I’m pretty sure he thinks we brought them home just for his enjoyment.

I’ll share more photos later, but right now I have to run to school because my daughter forgot her lunch and my son forgot all his homework…like all of it…it’s spread out in two rooms, his backpack has to be empty and I can’t even start talking about all the sport uniforms that are still popping up in their rooms and the laundry.  Thank God, Jesus, Joseph, Mary and Aunt Dandy this is the last week of school!