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


Un-Proud Moments in St. Louis History

The first time someone invited me to their home after we moved here I was in such a funk that my conversation was bleak to say the least.  This wonderfully hospitable woman invited me and my children into her home, fed us and tried desperately to have a nice conversation with me, but I was not capable of reciprocating.  Here’s some of the highlights;

Nice Lady- Do you like to travel?
April- Um, yeah, if I can sleep while someone else drives.
Nice Lady- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Now let’s pause for a moment in this conversation to do some ‘splainin‘.  We had been living in the moldy basement of Clay’s grandmother’s home for a month or more, we were in the process of buying a house “as is” which is the nice way to say “it’ll never pass an inspection” and we were broke.  I couldn’t think about traveling farther than the next tank of gas so any visions of world travel were not on my radar.  I couldn’t even be bothered to pause and dream a little.  So my answer was….
Uhhhh, Chicago I guess.
Chicago?  That’s where I would go?  Chicago?!  I’ve been to Chicago, a few times.  Oh, if I could take that moment back I would.  I’d have been happy, perky, winsome and I would have said Europe!  For the love of God I want to go to Europe!  Not Chicago!
Then after eating lunch and watching the children play for a little while it was time for me to go.  I watched as she set her toddler down, the same toddler I had watched play earlier with my children and I asked, “Oh, is he walking?”  Uh, yes he had been walking all over the place the entire time I was there.  I tell ya, I was checked out.  The bad thing is those are the parts I remember, who knows what other dribble came leaking out of me.  
Our little playtime ended with her spraying Febreze in the trunk of my car because I had complained about the wretched smell of some spilled milk.  You know the old saying ‘don’t cry over spilled milk’, well I think I was doing plenty of crying-whining-complainig and all around negative vomiting all over everything.  I wish she would have sprayed me too.  She never invited me over again and I don’t blame her.  
I’ve wanted to apologize for that day for many years, but I think the damage was done.  So now if she reads this blog, which I don’t think she does….but in the off chance….I’m sorry I was such a negative piece of poop when you first met me.  Thank you for inviting me over and feeding me a wonderful bowl of soup, which you didn’t know and of course I didn’t tell you, is my favorite food.  I did learn something that day and I’ve tried to use it a couple times, hospitality to a stranger.  Hopefully, I’ll get to use it again real soon.   

Battle of the Insults

Several years ago we were having a birthday party for my oldest son in our backyard. Clay and I were busy setting up an obstacle course for the boys to run through. We were using all manners of junk for the kids to crawl over, in, out, over and basically to exhaust any energy boost they might obtain over the copious amounts of sugar we were going to inject into their bodies.

I usually have a well thought out plan in my head for everything I do, I just don’t always like to communicate it to those helping me. So, when Clay started laying the course out all wrong, I did what any good woman would do, I started to whine and complain and call him names. Clay, being a man of great patience, took my belligerent attitude for as long as he could before telling me where he thought the PVC pipes we were using should go and then added that it would be a mighty uncomfortable ride for me to the hospital to extract them.

Once the insults start coming, it takes quite a while for us to get them out of our systems. We are constantly asking the question, what if people heard us talking to each other like that? Would they think we were serious? I mean I don’t really want to impale you with a plastic pipe and I really don’t mean it when I flip you off and of course you’re not as irritating as poison ivy.

We were still in the heat of our one-upping each other when I stepped in the house to get the next load of party favors. I turned to shout over my shoulder, “Clay, you’re a MORON!” and as I turned around there stood my church elder and his little boy…..”Oh, uh, hi, Joel..” I stammered. He smiled cautiously asked me if they were too early. Then there was a bit of an uncomfortable silence while my mind was replaying the past twenty seconds over and over and wondering how much Joel had heard of our conversation. He never mentioned hearing anything and somehow, he trusted us enough to leave his son at our house. Although, I think he may have been the first parent to pick up their son and from that point on I detected a bit of a wince when I greeted him at church.

When I went back outside to tell Clay what had just happened his response was to laugh hysterically and spend the next five years using, “Honey remember…Oh, uh, hi Joel” to remind me how he won that little battle of the insults.

If only I lived in Europe.

Because I feel that the best way to deal with my inadequacies is to air them on the internet, I give you this post. It’s my gift to you. You’re welcome.

I’ve hit an all new low. I cut myself shaving. I know, you’re saying, so? But, I didn’t cut myself on the ankle or the knee or the back of my thigh. I stopped shaving above my knee a long time ago, it takes away too much time in the shower. I’d rather be standing under the steaming hot water staring at the harvest gold shower liner.

If your thoughts have ventured to the knicks and scrapes I must have inflicted to my armpits, your wrong again. What’s left? The ever sensitive bikini area? Ah, but if I don’t shave above my knees, well, then that would just be ridiculous and please, I haven’t worn a bikini since I was in highschool and I think I’ve mentioned before that I wear a swimsuit that could second as an outfit to wear shopping or at least play tennis.

I cut myself shaving. The cut is on my ear. The older I get, the hairy I become. You can start calling me Ape-ril.