Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

New ROW Post - 7 Things I Love About Living In An Oilfield Camper

Don't forget to check out my new post on Real Oilfield Wives!

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
 If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your "moment" in the comments for all to find and see.

Ritual courtesy of soulemama.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kabocha Squash - Baking in the Bakken

Alright, so apparently these things are not native North Dakotan squash, but for some reason they are in every small, local store around here. I have no idea why. I've never seen one before, but they are called Kabocha Squash and must be related to buttercup squash. 

They aren't the prettiest things in the world, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.

After seeing them in all the local stores I decided to be brave one day and try them out. I figured I'd just cook them up the same way I've cooked acorn squash. I cut them in half and scooped out the seeds.

I put them in the oven with some butter and cinnamon and hoped for the best. 

This is what the final product looked like and it tasted very similar to a butternut or acorn squash. They were delicious! 

Now, I'm pretty familiar with different kinds of squash, but I'm puzzled by this one. Why in the world is it so popular up here if it's not even grown locally? Anyone have any insight on this one? 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Deadwood Weekend

Sometimes you just have to get out of the camper. Two weekends ago we decided it was one of those times. After watching the HBO series Deadwood and reading about the stagecoach line from Medora to Deadwood in the book Spooky Creepy North Dakota I was itching to pay a Deadwood a visit.

I'd feeling bummed out and really needed to spend some time away from the camper. For some reason Deadwood popped into my head on a Friday afternoon while I was making a trip from Stanley back to Parshall. (Let's face it, there isn't much to look at out here except oil pumps and plains so the mind tends to wander on these trips.)  When I got home I started looking up hotels and driving directions and when Jacob came home from work I pitched my idea to him and we decided that we would leave the next day.

Deadwood is a 6 hour drive, but by now we are so used to making long drives that it seems like nothing. We never would have done an overnighter like this while living in Kentucky. It's funny how your perception of space and time changes out here.

I'm so glad we decided to go on this road trip! We absolutely loved Deadwood and we are planning on going back again at the end of September. I will have some more pictures then, but for now here are some of the highlights from our first Deadwood trip.

North Dakota Badlands
This was our first stop on our trip. 
These hills are truly breathtaking and pictures simply don't do them justice.

Here is Will at Painted Canyon in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. 
We stopped in Medora after this to take a stagecoach ride on our way to Deadwood.

We took such a long time stopping and meandering through North and South Dakota that we didn't make it to Deadwood until night fall, but we got to see this gorgeous moon above the Black Hills so it was totally worth it. 

The hotel we stayed in was just outside of Deadwood and nestled against the hills with a stream running in front of it. The setting was beautiful!

After packing up our things we headed into Deadwood proper. They have these awesome signs with Wild Bill Hickok at both town entrances. 

We decided a tour would be the best use of our time. Here's a shot of the main Deadwood drag from inside our tour bus. 

The entire original city of Deadwood burned to the ground, but this is what is believed to be the site of Saloon No. 10 where Wild Bill Hickok was shot. The building is for sale. Anyone want to buy it?

This little blue building is the oldest building in Deadwood. It was built immediately following the fire. It now has a really great jewelry shop inside with all kinds of awesome stuff. 

Next we visited Mt. Moriah where many of Deadwood most famous residents are buried. This is Wild Bill Hickok's grave. It's situated a bit oddly, but Jacob managed to get this great picture by climbing on a wall beside it. I was horrified and told him to get down immediately. I have to admit he got a great shot though. 

Folks like to leave little trinkets for Ol' Bill. There was even a hand of Aces and 8's, known as the Deadman's Hand because legend holds that is what Bill was holding when he died. 

At her request Calamity Jane was buried right next to Wild Bill. 

I don't know anything about this gravesite, but I was fascinated by the tin cup and pipe that someone had so carefully placed on top of it .

The view from the top of Mt Moriah overlooking Deadwood is absolutely breathtaking. 

Off in the distance is a goldmine. I can't recall the details, but I remember they were pretty interesting. 

The last picture I have is of a roof that is covered in cyanide can lids for shingles. Apparently this was a common practice in the area at one time. I have to admit they do make lovely, if not deadly, roofing shingles. 

So, I hope you enjoyed my photo tour of Deadwood, SD. If you ever get a chance to go, do it! The Black Hills are gorgeous and Deadwood is such a quaint little town. It was definitely worth the 6 hour drive!

Friday, August 23, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
 If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your "moment" in the comments for all to find and see.

Ritual courtesy of soulemama.

New ROW Post! Self-Care Spa Day

Check out my new post on Real Oilfield Wives. I share some great recipes to create your own self-care spa day and talk about how I've been a bit depressed lately which is why I've been neglecting this blog. I'm feeling much better now and will be back to working on this blog again next week!

Friday, August 9, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
 If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your "moment" in the comments for all to find and see.

Ritual courtesy of soulemama.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Rundown- Kindergarten & Harvest

Happy Monday, folks! Hope this past week was awesome for you! We had our ups and downs, but for the most part it was a great week.

We finally got our Kindergarten homeschool curriculum from Oak Meadow and today is our first day of Kingergarten at our Camper Roamschool. I spent most of the past week working on lesson plans and questioning whether or not I'd be able to actually do this homeschool thing. We've been using Oak Meadow's Preschool curriculum for a while now, but it is mostly play and rhythm based. This is the first year we've done anything academic, so I'm a little nervous, but ready to start.

Last Wednesday we had our first negative experience related to being here in North Dakota and living in a camper. In preparation for our homeschool studies we tried to get a library card. It turns out that the qualifications to get a library card in both New Town and Parshall are so stringent that, because we live in a camper, we can't ever meet them. I understand their rationale, but it's still a bummer and it's the first time I've actually felt unwelcome here. But, instead of dwelling on this let down, I am going to try to turn it into something positive and see if I can create a Little Free Library here at the camper lot. Wish me luck!

Thursday marked the start of the harvest season with the first harvest of the three harvest festivals, Lammas (Lughnasadh, Loaf-Mass or whatever your bent may be). Will and I celebrated my making corn dolls and braided bread.

Although the rolling pin was not necessary, Will really wanted to use it!

Ready to go into the oven

Looking lovely just out of the oven

 I also attempted to utilize the wheat from the field behind us to make a braided wheat decoration. Turns out I'm not so great at braiding wheat, so I settled for twisting it instead. It turned out okay, I guess. I may try again later, but for now I'm satisfied with the results.

Friday and Saturday were spent doing cleaning and shopping. I love taking a day just to go into Minot and do the shopping, but I sure am tired by the time we get home.

Sunday I sent Will and Jacob out to have some father/son time. With Jacob being gone for the better part of the past year it's been a while since they've spent some time together and although it meant that we are going another week without finishing the sewer line, I think it was well worth it. They got to spend a little bit of time swimming in Lake Sakakawea despite the cold temperatures. Apparently, the locals were looking at them like they'd lost their minds, but they had fun all the same. Then they went on a nature walk and brought me back some leaves and rocks for our nature shelf and even some lovely flowers for our table.

Now it's time to start our day, so I'm off! Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WIP Wednesday- The Attack of the Sewer Line

This week's WIP is quickly turning into a DIP. That is, a Disaster in Progress. 

In case you did't know, when occupying a camper you typically have a hose that connects to a sewer hook up at your site, or if you are camping at a site that does not have sewer hook ups then you simply use the camper holding tanks until you can get somewhere to drain those tanks. 

Around here it's a little different. Since folks actually live in their campers year around and the winter's get pretty nasty, something more substantial than a mere hose is necessary. 

We've been using a hose all summer with the intention of putting in a PVC sewer line when it got colder. We had wanted to delay the project for awhile longer, but this past Wednesday when the water went out, our sewer line hose decided it was time to give up too. 

I thought to myself, "Hey, no problem!  I'll just run into Menard's tomorrow while I'm in Minot and we'll finally get the stuff to put in our PVC sewer line. It's just a PVC line. It should be easy, right?" Yeah, not so much. 

 So I spent some time at Menard's, (Whose employees, I might add, were absolutely useless. But that's another story.) where I bought what I thought were the necessary pipes and fittings.

On Friday Jacob had a half day of work so he came home and started building our sewer line. Will donned Jacob's hardhat and declared himself project foreman. He then set about making a black construction paper blueprint to guide the project.

Putting the camper hook up piece together with the PVC piping was supposed to be the most difficult part. 

Unfortunately, figuring out the angle from the camper to the sewer hook up proved to be far more difficult than anticipated. Here is Foreman Will overseeing his dad's work.

Jacob spent a lot of time staring at the line out of the camper and cursing the angle at which it was set. It's not an easy angle to work from and it's made worse by the fact that the amount of room we have to ensure that the pipe goes downhill to the hook up is minute.

After staring at the line out for awhile this is the point where Jacob figured out more fittings were necessary and that the project would have to be shelved for the day. 

So, as it stands our sewer line is still a work in progress. I think we have all the fittings now, but we don't have access to the tools that we need. To make matters worse, we now have to empty the tanks manually when they fill up since the sewer hose is broken. 

This whole exercise has been exceptionally frustrating for Jacob since a large part of his job involves putting together metal pipe. He was just sure this PVC line would be a breeze. At the outset of the project he made the comment that if he couldn't put this together easily he might as well go work at McDonald's. I think he's ready to go work at McDonald's now. 

Ah, camper life. Never a dull moment! Hopefully, for next week's WIP update, I will be telling you that our sewer line is complete and just how wonderful it is. Good sewer line vibes are appreciated, if you've got any to spare!

New ROW Post! - Wash Day Beans and Rice Recipe

Be sure and check out my new post over at Real Oilfield Wives! This week I'm sharing my Wash Day Beans and Rice recipe.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday Rundown- So What If It's Tuesday?!

Wow! This past week has been busy! Guess that’s why I’m posting our Monday Rundown post on Tuesday!

First, in case you missed it, I had a new Real Oilfield Wives post go live this past Tuesday about our Oilfield Camper Homeschool. Go check it out if you haven’t already.

On Wednesday the water went out AND the sewer line from the camper broke. Thankfully, the water came back on later the next day. As for the sewer line adventures, I will be posting about that this coming Wednesday. Yes, the sewer line is still a work in progress. Sigh.

Thursday Will and I spent the day enjoying ourselves at the North Dakota state fair with some friends from Kenmare, the Potters. They are a large part of the reason we ended up in North Dakota and I hope to soon interview Mr. Potter for a piece on this blog. Also, I feel

 the need to mention that yesterday was Mr. Potter’s birthday and I hope he had a great one!

But I digress, so back to the fair! It was huge! I could have gone several more times and still not seen all there was to see. Will got to ride his first fair rides, first one with me and then one all by himself.

Will and I really enjoyed the Fur Trapper’s Village which reminded me so much of Rendezvous back in Vincennes. Will was enthralled by the blacksmith and it made me want to take up re-enacting again.
I was also quite impressed with the The Conservation and Outdoor Skills Park as well. It was, as far as I could tell, pretty comprehensive and very well presented. Will got to pose with Herbie the Moose and we both really enjoyed checking out the fish tanks in the fishing exhibit.

On Friday Jacob only had a half day at work and our afternoon was spent working on the sewer line. It's turning out to be a much bigger project than we expected. 

Saturday we went out to the main office for Jacob’s company, which is a cute little cabin just outside of New Town, to fill out insurance paperwork and had the pleasure of seeing these beauties on a hill next to the cabin.

Sunday was spent having lunch with journalist Blaire Briody who is currently working on a multimedia project titled The Oil Men. It was a fun spending the afternoon with Blaire and her cousin and I hope I was able to help them out with the project a bit. Hopefully, if all works out you will soon be seeing a post here from Blaire about this project.

I think that sums up my week. It was a busy one for sure. Now I’m off to start my day and then we get to go into New Town and pick up our fall homeschool curriculum. I’m so excited about it being here and I can’t wait to share our homeschooling adventures with you! Have a great week!

Friday, July 26, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
 If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your "moment" in the comments for all to find and see.

Ritual courtesy of soulemama.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Trailer Livin' Tuesday- New Real Oilfield Wives Post!

Instead of my regular Trailer Livin' Tuesday post, make sure you head on over to the Real Oilfield Wives site and check out my post on homeschool and living in a camper in the oilfield!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Rundown- Book Hoarding

Happy Monday, folks! Hope you all had a lovely weekend! If you’ve read my previous blog, you know that I like to do certain things on set days of the week. Since today is Monday that means that it’s laundry day. Laundry is one my least favorite chores so instead of gathering and sorting I’m using this moment of peace while Will is still in bed and Jacob has left for work to have some me time and to write this post.

We’ve spent this past week trying to get into a trying to get into our daily and weekly rhythm. Most of our activities have remained the same, but a few things have changed. We’ve added in a morning walk with the dog after our morning circle time. I find that if the dog gets his exercise early in the morning he behaves better throughout the day. We also switched gardening day out for library day since we can’t really spend an entire day fussing over a few pots of herbs. Other than that things pretty much remain the same, circle time in the morning, tea in the afternoon, post office day on Tuesday, movie night on Sunday and so on. I think that sticking to our schedules gives us all a sense of stability despite our periodic changes in living arrangements. I’m not always perfect with it, but if we happen to forget some important part of the day, Will quickly reminds me.

In addition to working on our rhythm, this past week Jacob has been trying to learn Spanish so he communicate more effectively with his co-workers. We have decided that we should make this a project for the whole family, so this weekend during my weekly trip to Minot I picked up some books on Spanish and I plan to make Spanish labels for our everyday items and stick them up around the camper.

Of course being the book hoarder that I am we couldn’t make it out with just those three Spanish books. Will got to pick out one book of his own, a Little Golden Book about the movie Cars 2, and I picked up a couple Frog and Toad books for him as well. I love the Frog and Toad stories and if we continue with the Oak Meadow Homeschool Curriculum they will later part of our lessons so they weren’t exactly a frivolous purchase.

For myself I purchased two books on North Dakota. One is called Spooky Creepy North Dakota and the other is Women of the Northern Plains. I’ve gotten through most of Spooky Creepy North Dakota and I’m really enjoying it so far. I think that learning about a state’s ghost stories is a great, albeit unconventional, way to become more familiar with it landmarks and customs.

Now, it’s time for me to cut this post short for today. There is much to do this week and I’ve got to get on it! Hope you all have a great week! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
 If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your "moment" in the comments for all to find and see.

Ritual courtesy of soulemama.