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.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New ROW Post!

Sorry to say that I don't have a WIP post for you today. I'm still working on my cross stitch project, the kiddo is sick today and the rest of my time has been consumed with getting the camper in order. However, I do have a new post over at the Real Oilfield Wives website so go check it out!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trailer Livin' Tuesday- Camper Tour

It’s Trailer Livin’ Tuesday and, as promised, this week I’m going to be giving you a tour of our camper. As far as Bakken campers go it’s a mid to lower range specimen. It’s a far cry from the “Fuzion” camper that probably costs as much as our house in Kentucky, but it’s not the tin can campers that you sometimes see around here either. Most importantly, it’s paid for! A fact I often remind myself of when I see some of the behemoths with dishwashers and laundry facilities that I sometimes lust after. So without further ado, here is our camper in pictures.

The first part of the camper you see when you pull up in the camper lot is this lovely picture of the sea. It goes well with the sounds of seagulls screeching that we wake up to every morning. I will never be able to wrap my mind around the idea of seagulls in North Dakota, but here they are!

Should you decide to come for a visit, you will be greeted at the door by Thor barking loudly and annoyingly at you. Don’t worry, he’s all bark and no bite. He will expect you to pet him though.

As you can see, it’s not a very big camper, but it’s not too small either. It’s works for the three of us and that’s enough. Also, we are not the tidiest folks around so please excuse our messy camper yard.

You may also notice my few potted herbs around the backside of our camper. Buying herbs anywhere is expensive, more so here. It also gives me a bit of earth to dig around in when I’m missing my gardens at home.

Now let’s go inside! The first thing you see when you come inside is the kitchen. It’s small, but it does the job and I have enough room to fit at least a few of my appliances.

Now, to your left, is my little desk space. I need a chair that sits higher before I can really use it, but for now it makes a nice spot to put my computer and office supplies.

Beyond the desk space is our dining area. This is where I do most of my work right now and it’s a nice cozy space for dinner and for Will’s painting and art projects.

Behind the dining area are two bunk beds where Will sleeps and plays. I’m sorry I do not have pictures of them. Getting them in order to photograph would have been an epic undertaking. I will be doing some decorating work on them so you will see them at a later date.

At the very back of the camper is the bathroom. Hot water is in short supply for showers and the camp toilet is less than ideal, but somehow I’ve manage to get all my beauty and hygiene products put away.

Moving forward on the opposite side of the camper is our sitting area. I can set a few tchotchkes on the window ledge and the space above the cabinet makes a nice shelf for the few books that we’ve brought with us.

Had you turned right instead of left upon entering the camper you would have climbed up four steps in our bedroom bunk. It’s small, but adequate.

Having this lovely view on the back side of our camper certainly makes things nice though. 

So, there you have it, mid-range living quarters in the Bakken. It’s an adequate living facility. Although, I do plan to do a lot of redecorating because I find the textile choices and mini-blinds abhorrent, but it has it’s own charm and lots of potential. Wanna come visit? J

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Rundown - We're Back!

It’s Monday again and we’re back in North Dakota! I’m always a bit nervous making a two day trip with a kid and a dog by myself, but our trip went incredibly smooth. Upon our return I found that I have a lot of work ahead of me to put into making the camper look like home again. As I figured, six weeks of feral Jacob has turned it into a man cave wreck. Once I get everything cleaned up and put away I’m going to begin working on some of the decorating projects that I have planned. I will make this trailer look nice!

I did manage to put together a meal plan for the week and we went into Minot to get groceries and a new coffee maker. Jacob failed to tell me that he hasn’t had a coffee maker for the last several weeks and has been getting his coffee at the Cenex every morning. This irks me greatly because we have two coffee makers at home and had I known I would have brought one.

Speaking of home we have had a new turn of events in our house selling saga. As in, we aren’t selling. Despite our realtor’s best efforts, the house just wasn’t getting the showings and listing views like we had hoped it would. Our realtor did everything right. It just wasn’t the right time for the house to sell. It actually works out better this way because it gives us a place to go to if we want to go home for the winter. While we are in North Dakota some friends of ours will be staying at the house in preparation for their new baby that’s due in December. It works out best for both parties as it allows us to keep the house, but it won’t sit empty and it gives them a place to prepare for and care for their new baby.

Now that we’ve made it back to North Dakota, tomorrow I am going to take some pictures of our trailer for Trailer Livin’ Tuesday. Don’t judge it too harshly. It may not be pretty, but it’s paid for!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday- Odds and Ends

Last week I posted about the cross stich project I was working and it was coming along nicely until I nearly finished an entire leaf two inches from where it was supposed to be. Yeah. Now I'm in the process of ripping it out. So, it’s on hold for right now.

Grumble Grumble Grumble

That’s okay though because this week I’m trying to get all my hobbies together in one place for the trip back. I’m also trying to cut out some fabric odds and ends fo projects I plan to work on when I get there. This way I only have to take what I need.

Hopefully, next week I’ll be able to show you some of the improvement projects I plan to do inside the trailer. I can’t wait to get back and get started on them!  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Trailer Livin' Tuesday

Next week when I get back to North Dakota I am planning on doing a tour of our camper for my TLT post. However, this week I am focused on getting everything together to go back. So, while I have nothing exciting to tell you about the trailer, I am pretty proud to announce that my first Real Oilfield Wives post went live yesterday! Yay! I’m so excited! You can check it out here:

Hope you like it! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Rundown- Holidays and Visiting Family

Well folks, it’s Monday once again. We’ve spent most of this past week with family in Indiana just enjoying time in the country and celebrating the 4th of July holiday. We got to set off fireworks on the 4th of July which ended up being a lot of fun. I was unsure how Will would react to the noise, but he handled it beautifully.

So Peaceful!

Thor has been having a blast as well. This is the first time he’s ever really had a chance to be off leash to run around. We had a bit of a rocky start when we first got here, but after things settled down and he got into a rhythm of being off his leash with rest time on his tether he is doing well.


It’s been nice for me as well. I’ve had a chance to get things done and attend to the business of coordinating our return trip. We are planning on staying here a few more days and then it will be time to go back to Kentucky and gather our things together for our return to North Dakota. I am hoping to leave this coming Friday, but I have a feeling that it will be more like Saturday before we are actually able to get it all together. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 5, 2013

{this moment} 7/5

{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.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Ramble On

While I am spending most of this week finishing up all the projects that I’ve been working on throughout the summer, I did indulge myself a bit by starting one new project. I’ve been playing around with cross stitch and after a foray to the craft store I fell in love with this pattern for falling leaves.

In a moment of unbridled cheesiness the falling leaves brought to mind the Led Zeppelin song Ramble On. Ramble On was Jacob’s theme song when he left for North Dakota last October so I decided to write a pattern to put those words in the middle of the leaves. 

I haven’t gotten too far with it, but I’m hoping that I’ll have a monumental burst of effort that will allow me to finish it before we get back to North Dakota. 

I figure it will be the perfect gift for Jacob upon our return and the perfect little phrase to hang in our camper. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Trailer Living Tuesday - An Exciting Announcement!

Since we aren't back in North Dakota yet, I don’t have a great Trailer Livin’ post for you this week, but I do have an exciting announcement!

 I was chosen, along with two other ladies, to be a writer for the Real Oilfield Wives website! I can’t tell you how happy and honored I am to have a chance to write about our experience as an oilfield family on a site with such a large readership.

I rarely, if ever, hear about the experiences of oilfield families living in campers, so I plan on focusing my ROW posts on the camper living aspect of oilfield life. The few times I’ve actually heard it mentioned, the tone has always been rather disparaging. As in, “How could you do that to your kids?” or “This type of lifestyle is what’s wrong with kid’s today.” Seriously. I’ve read these things. So, I hope that by writing for the ROW website I can show that it is possible to maintain a healthy family life and raise well-adjusted children who have a sense of structure and rhythm.

Wish me luck! My first post will go live on July 8th! I can’t wait!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Rundown - We're Going Back To North Dakota!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Will and I finally got a chance to visit the zoo. He had a wonderful time and I’m so glad we finally found the time to make the trip. It was simply magical watching his eyes light up when he saw all the animals. I have to admit though, while I enjoyed watching Will, I felt a bit sad for the animals. I think I must be getting more sensitive the older I get as I don’t remember having had that reaction before.

In other news, after a shaky start to Jacob’s job with a new company, things are finally starting to take off. Oilfield families, let this be a lesson to you, save every penny you can! The work may pay well and may be plentiful, but the down time and between time will drive you crazy if you’re not prepared!

Now that things are moving again, we are preparing for our return to North Dakota. It looks like we will be leaving on July 14th or thereabouts. Will and I are both so very ready to get back to Jacob and we’re even ready to get back to our little camper on the prairie. So, it looks like the two weeks are going to be filled with packing and prepping. I’m hoping it will be easier this time than it was last time!

I think that covers everything for now. I've got a few more announcements for the coming days, but for the time being I wish you a great week!