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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


The Birthday Saga Part III ~ The Minuet

If you want to start from the beginning of this story click:
Part I
Part II

I had 15 minutes to drive across town to meet my friend at this appointment. When I got in the car I was thinking to myself how incredible this morning had been and how much work Clay must have put into all the little details. I was a bit stunned.

I started to look at the address numbers on the buildings looking for the number Clay had printed on the card. I turned into the parking lot of Perkins Restaurant and pulled into a parking space. I scanned the the strip mall beside the restaurant for the number and figured Clay was sending me to buy a new appliance or there was a technical center I could be trained to become a medical biller.  Hmm, I decided to call him.
“Hi Honey, I’m sitting in the parking lot of Perkins and I’m just wondering if you were thinking I needed a new career or a new appliance? Maybe the address is one of those invisible things like in Harry Potter and I should just drive the van straight into the side of the building.”

“Okay, hold on a second….”

This is how Clay and I communicate when I need directions.  I can’t tell you how many times I have called him from my van and said something like, “I can’t find it.  I’m headed west on 12th street, passing Elm and I can’t see it.” Without complaint he always responds, “Okay, hold on a second…” And then he immediately does a map search for me and dictates my route.  He’s like my own personal OnStar.  By the way, I don’t have a GPS or OnStar….I have a Clay. I would surely be lost without him.

“Look across the street.  Do you see a Thai Restaurant?”

“Yes, am I going to eat Thai food now?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, just drive over there and I think you’ll figure it out.”

“Okay, thanks Honey.  Thanks for doing this, I’m having a lot of fun.”

“You’re welcome, now go.”


When I drove across the street I saw under the Thai Food sign a smaller sign for a little nail salon.  Oh!  I was going to get my nails done.  I knew exactly who would be there to get her nails done with me.  For one, Clay would never have found a place like this without her help and two, there would be only one friend that would know about a little place tucked in a hideaway spot like this.  I saw her the second I pulled into the parking lot.

It was Beth!  I’ve called her Poodle on this site.  Beth is my tiny friend that is up for anything/anytime as long as it’s cheap and we can take all our kids.  She is so good for me for many reasons.  She tries so very hard to get me to the gym every morning.  She has six kids and an endless amount of energy.  I love Beth because she’s real.  She doesn’t hide anything from anyone, she just lays it out on the table.  Beth is good for my budget.  She totally understands how to be frugal, but have fun.  She’s one of those women that doesn’t let things get in her way of accomplishing a goal. She’s got great kids too.  I really love having her in my life.

Beth and I didn’t experience the fabulous effects of a pedicure until we were in our early 30’s.  We were both moms with a bunch of kids and much too strapped on time and cash to consider our toes. I think this was the first pedicure I’d had in four years.  Every girl should try to go do this at some point in their life, it’s just too wonderful not to experience.

Beth and I were the only two customers in the little salon.  We laughed and told stories with the owner as she worked on our feet and hands. During my pedicure is when Beth announced that we really need to start couponing.  And now, we’re couponing.

Beth and I have pinky promised that the very second all our children are out of the house we are going to take pottery classes and knitting classes and get pedicures more often.  Then we laugh because by then we’ll both probably have six or more grand kids and knowing how we are with our children, those grand kids will be by our sides all the time.  We plot strategy on how we can get our kids to live close to us, but not too close and also never borrow money from us, or mess up our houses.  We’ve thought about moving and not telling them where our new house is even though it’s in the same town.  We’ll visit them, they just can’t visit us!

Beth and I both chose to get our nails buffed instead of painted.  Why?  Because we don’t have time to keep our nails painted.  I’ve learned this from experience.  I might paint my nails once every two years or so and it freaks out everyone in my family.  It’s best just to leave them unpainted.

I asked Beth how long she had known about Clay’s little plan and she said, “Oh, you know.  A while.”  When I asked her who was watching her youngest which is the same age as my youngest she said, “Clay has her and Levi, he picked them up from school and took them out for lunch.”  I stared at her and at that moment I thought, I married a Saint.

This picture cracks me up, because it looks like I could eat Beth in one bite.  She’s pretty much a bite-sized person.  I love her, I’m so glad we got to spend this time together getting a little bit of pampering.

Then Beth had to go get her kids and she handed me another envelope.

I was thinking, okay this will probably be my last surprise.


I had to laugh when I read the apology about driving around.  Really?  I’m being treated like a queen I think I can drive a few miles.  Maybe I should complain about the driving and then he’ll hire me a chauffeur.  I’m kidding!  No, not really, he should totally hire me a driver, how could he leave out that detail?

So there were more surprises.  I was really in a state of shock at this point.  I couldn’t believe this day was going on like it was.  First breakfast with Kiana and her gift for me and then a little shopping stroll downtown and purchasing my favorite mug and then a pedicure and manicure with Beth and now, now I get to have lunch with another friend?  This was an amazing, unforgettable day.

I was rolling through my friend index wondering who would be at the restaurant.  I was wondering if Clay had thought about a couple of my St. Louis friends, but then that would be too much for them to travel.  So, who would it be.  My other girlfriends would be busy working, but it could be them.  He did say him/her, maybe it was Clay.  He was going to meet me for the grand finale and we’d share lunch together.  Okay, that was really thoughtful of him.  I couldn’t wait to give him a big hug and kiss.

…to be continued.





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