Pioneer Momma

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Pioneer Momma
Pioneer Momma

After Much Deliberation…

I have decided to close my blog, permanently.  This decision wasn’t taken lightly, and I had some pretty thorough conversations with Hubby about making sure it was the right option for us at this time.  Our moving plans have jumped up, and we are officially house hunting now.  We also hope to have another baby this year, and begin life on our new homestead.  I will be focusing more on the shop (handmade crochet, embroidery, jewelry, etc.) to bring in another source of income.  By making this change, I will be able to spend more quality time with Hubby and Bubba, and we will get our dream lives that much sooner.  Unfortunately, with everything we have planned, something had to give, and that something is the blog.  I am sad to see it go, and have met many great people along the way, but we feel it really is the right decision for us.  I hope you all understand, and sincerely appreciate the support and friendships along the way.  Thank you all so much, for this past year and a half has really taught me a lot.  I will still be around, but as a reader of your blogs.  Just cause I’m stopping doesn’t mean I’m disappearing!  Again, thank you to everyone, and this will be the last post, until I close it completely, this weekend.  I will still keep my social media accounts, but the focus will switch to a more personal and shop related theme.  Hope y’all have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you around :-)

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Book Club Friday: Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Book Club Friday on PioneerMomma.comThis month we are reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed. Today will be the discussion on the first quarter of the story.

First off, I didn’t know this was a true story! Since I am listening to mine, and don’t have a hard copy in my hands, I guess I had assumed it was a work of fiction. The author’s note explains otherwise, and it made me all the more excited to hear about it. My actual first thought was, “Holy cow, someone really hiked that far alone?!”. I was am amazed.

The first quarter if the book gives some background about Cheryl’s family life. Leading off with the diagnosis of her mom’s lung cancer, we learn about the dynamics of her family and childhood. Modern pioneering was a big factor, it seems, and a very natural way of life. Cheryl describes her mother as being a very loving but strong woman, and firm in her ways of thinking. For example, the peppermint oil, rather than Deet for mosquitoes, leading to the nighttime game of “count the bites”. The author does such a good job of bringing the reader into their lives that I totally cried when her mom passed away. Being a nurse, I have somewhat of an idea of how hard it is to lose someone.  From the very beginning, when Cheryl went with her mom and Eddie to the “real” doctor, it was difficult to know what was probably coming, and it was incredibly sad.

The fact the the family sort of falls apart after her mothers death is sometimes expected, but unfortunate. Hearing about each person’s grief from the perspective of the writer somehow makes them seem all the more distant. Cheryl goes through such torment trying to find ways to feel something else, it seems, and it leads to the separation of her marriage.

We leave the first quarter of the book as she is leaving her motel room, “ready” to begin her trek across the PCT.

Here are some thoughts I had:

1. Oh my, that’s a lot of gear. But I like how the writer pretty much gets what any new hiker would get, such as backups for the backups. The whole time, I was thinking that this lady is way stronger than I, seeing as she’s going to be able to walk so many miles with all this on her back. I like the realism that the pack was insanely heavy when she tried to pick it up, but was wowed that she continued to work with the weight, and start her journey.

2. Every person’s grief is different. When her siblings wouldn’t come visit their sick mother, it sounded harsh, but sometimes that’s how people grieve. It’s unfortunate, but we can’t change it. Nobody knows how they’d react to losing a loved one, until it happens (God forbid). I was so happy when she found her brother, but devastated when they got to the hospital too late. By only an hour! That must have been unbelievably upsetting.

3. I’m a little scared by the dreams Cheryl was having. I’m not sure I would be able to continuously have those without some sort of therapy afterward.

4. I think that, regarding Cheryl and Paul’s divorce, their friends took it way harder than they did. This is just my opinion, but while both parties hurt over the separation, they remained “best friends”, and still stayed close. They just couldn’t be together. In the way that her friend tore up a picture of her and sent it in the mail, and by another friend making out with Paul to “show her what she deserved”, I don’t think that’s the type of friends if want. The reactions seemed a little harsh, for people that weren’t a direct part of the relationship equation.  Not only was she losing her husband, but also her friends, which must have been very hard.

Now for a question:

Like I said above, everyone grieves differently. Cheryl’s grief led her down a path of reckless infidelity and heroin use, and resulted in her marriage breaking apart. Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve grieved differently than you’d expected? What is your opinion on the family distancing themselves from each other? Would you have done the same? What would you do the same or differently? How do you think the first leg of the trip will go, seeing as she is starting the hike in one of the dryest stretches? Would you have the courage to leave everything behind and hike 1,100 miles by yourself?

Ok maybe that’s a little more than one question….this book is good!

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Accidental Chowder (for Eyes on the Source)

Accidental Chowder by PioneerMomma.com for Eyes on the Source

Ever start out making a meal that ends up completely different than you’d thought it would?  This happened to me recently, while I was attempting some creamy crock pot chicken.  I had sides planned out and everything.  Lo and behold, it ended up a whole new dish!  The end result is more of a chowder-type soup, but with chunky carrots and a whole chicken thigh.  Because it’s made in the crock pot, the chicken stays moist and delicious, and can easily be broken up with a spoon.  The meal gained the title “accidental chowder”, since that’s what the family kept calling it.  It is definitely a favorite around here now!

 

Want to check out the recipe?  Head on over to Eyes on the Source, where I’m sharing it today!  Happy cooking!

Eyes on the Source Contributing Writer

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What’d You Do This Weekend? #61

You guys, we are this much closer to spring!  While I am an avid fan of winter, I can’t wait for this year’s planting season!  After everything we’ve learned since starting the garden Easter of last year, I am confident that our harvests will be exceptional this year.  Especially the tomatoes!  Oh, the plans I have for those!  Lots of different varieties, and nights full of canning everything from salsa to chili to spaghetti sauce.  I’m totally excited!

This month marks the return of Book Club Friday, and the first book was announced!  Will you be joining in? :-)

On to the features!  As always, I love to see what everyone’s been doing, and Stumbled, pinned, and shared many of your posts.  Be sure to check out Tumbleweed Contessa for her favorites of the week.  Here are mine:

MOST VIEWED:  MAKE GARDEN TAGS WITH DR PEPPER CANS BY WOODS OF BELL TREES

Make Garden Tags Using Dr Pepper Cans by Woods of Bell Trees

Make Garden Tags Using Dr Pepper Cans by Woods of Bell Trees

FEATURES

New Year's Eve Chalk Paint Pinata by Kid Friendly Things To Do

New Year’s Eve Chalk Paint Pinata by Kid Friendly Things To Do

Crock Pot Honey Glazed Chicken by Table For Seven

Crock Pot Honey Glazed Chicken by Table For Seven

Mushroom Enchiladas by Soup Spice Everything Nice

Mushroom Enchiladas by Soup Spice Everything Nice

Now, let’s get on with this week’s linkup!  To old, new, and future bloggy friends, welcome to the party!  I can’t wait to see what y’all bring to the table.  Link up as much as you want, and those ideas will be shared on BOTH blogs.  Be sure to say hello!  So share, mingle, create, and have fun!  Feel free to grab a button at the bottom of the post.

By linking up, you agree to let Pioneer Momma use the picture linked by you, in the case of a feature.  If I am unable to grab the pic from your page, you will get an email from me in the couple days ahead of the linkup requesting a pic file to use.  Each feature pic includes a link back to your original post.  The features are pinned and shared on various social media, each linking directly back to your original post.  Thanks for linking up with us!

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The Return of Book Club Friday!

Book Club Friday on PioneerMomma.comThis holiday season I learned that having a book club running at the same time as party planning, gift wrapping, and family visits probably isn’t the best idea.  Now that we are starting into the new year, it’s time to get reading!  I’m excited to start reading these first three books.  Should be very entertaining, and some good company snuggled under a cozy blanket.

One more change:  After the first three books (so starting in April) there won’t be a huge emphasis on picking new books.  I have decided, in the spirit of saving money, to cancel my membership with the audio book company I was using (as much as I loved it!) and make the switch back to using the library.  It is such a wonderful resource available to everyone, for free, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it.  There’s a treasure trove of good reads in those buildings!

Each month I will lay out the book club schedule on the first Friday.  The last Friday of the month will always be the final “meeting”.  If you’d like to be a part of the post, there are two options.  You could look out for the book club question included at the bottom of one of the week’s regular blog posts, or you can comment on Fridays to share your opinion.  January’s schedule will look like this:

January 9:  Discussion on first quarter of book.

January 16:  Discussion on second quarter of book.

January 23:  Discussion on third quarter of book.

January 30:  Final discussion on book as a whole, and announcement of February’s book of the month.

Ready to find out what we’re reading this month??  Let’s start out 2015 with an empowering read, in the spirit of personal growth and our new year’s resolutions.  This month’s book of the month is Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed.  This book has amazing reviews, and you may have seen the trailers around for the movie based on it, starring Reese Witherspoon.

credit: nytimes.com

credit: nytimes.com

I chose this book, not only for the interest in seeing how someone with no serious hiking knowledge can make such a long treck on their own, but also because I have made most of my resolutions this year about healing myself (including self image), and learning how to better myself and my interactions with others.  Of course there are others, but they don’t pertain to the book :-)  Wild seems like a great start to the new year, and I’m excited to get started reading it.

Happy reading, and be sure to look out for the question at the bottom of one of next week’s posts!

 

 

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What’d You Do This Weekend? #60

How was everyone’s holiday?  I took the week off from most of blogging, to spend some much needed time with my family.  We had a wonderful Christmas, and were lucky enough to be able to spend it with some of my favorite people.  How did you spend the holiday?

This week I’ll be planning out our spring garden, and scoping out some seed catalogs.  We stopped by the garden today and met another friendly neighbor, who taught us all about removing nut grass and planting potatoes.  Even gave us some spicy jalapenos to take home!  One of my favorite things about being part of a community garden is all the great people you get to meet.  Probably the majority of what we’ve learned has come from them!

On to the features!  As always, I love to see what everyone’s been doing, and Stumbled, pinned, and shared many of your posts.  Be sure to check out Tumbleweed Contessa for her favorites of the week.  Here are mine:

MOST VIEWED THIS WEEK:  THE MOST UN-CHRISTIAN WORD IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE BY STUFFED VEGGIES

The Most Un-Christian Word in the English Language by Stuffed Veggies

The Most Un-Christian Word in the English Language by Stuffed Veggies

FEATURES

Eggless Eggnog Recipe by 3 Boys and a Dog

Eggless Eggnog Recipe by 3 Boys and a Dog

Peppermint Cocoa Almond Milkshake by It's Yummi

Peppermint Cocoa Almond Milkshake by It’s Yummi

Before and After Pantry Makeover by Cheaply Amused

Before and After Pantry Makeover by Cheaply Amused

Now, let’s get on with this week’s linkup!  To old, new, and future bloggy friends, welcome to the party!  I can’t wait to see what y’all bring to the table.  Link up as much as you want, and those ideas will be shared on BOTH blogs.  Be sure to say hello!  So share, mingle, create, and have fun!  Feel free to grab a button at the bottom of the post.

By linking up, you agree to let Pioneer Momma use the picture linked by you, in the case of a feature.  If I am unable to grab the pic from your page, you will get an email from me in the couple days ahead of the linkup requesting a pic file to use.  Each feature pic includes a link back to your original post.  The features are pinned and shared on various social media, each linking directly back to your original post.  Thanks for linking up with us!

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What’d You Do This Weekend? #59

So how many of you have already had your first Christmas visits of the season?  We went up to my aunt’s house yesterday for an amazing family get-together.  Almost a reunion, of sorts, since most of the family was there.  It was really nice catching up with relatives we haven’t seen in years.  Great night, and Bubba had a blast playing with all of his cousins.

Are you ready for Christmas yet?  I’m still working on a project for a present (psst…I know you’re reading this, so I can’t tell what it is!), and need to pick up a few things for Christmas dinner.  It helps having the menu planned out beforehand, and now that hams are back on sale, I can get started with prep.  What do you have left to do?

On to the features!  As always, I love to see what everyone’s been doing, and Stumbled, pinned, and shared many of your posts.  Be sure to check out Tumbleweed Contessa for her favorites of the week.  Here are mine:

MOST VIEWED:  DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHUNK PEPPERMINT CREAM CHRISTMAS COOKIES BY UPSTATE RAMBLINGS

Double Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Cream Cookies - Easy Cookies for Christmas Baking

Double Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Cream Cookies by Upstate Ramblings

FEATURES

Southern Style Granola by Best of Long Island and Central Florida

Southern Style Granola by Best of Long Island and Central Florida

Roasted Delicata Squash with Arugula and Dried Cranberries by Take a Bite out of Boca

Roasted Delicata Squash with Arugula and Dried Cranberries by Take a Bite out of Boca

Tiny Cardboard Gingerbread Houses | littleredwindow.com | Make these adorable little Gingerbread Houses out of cardboard, they even light up!

Tiny Cardboard Gingerbread Houses | littleredwindow.com

Now, let’s get on with this week’s linkup!  To old, new, and future bloggy friends, welcome to the party!  I can’t wait to see what y’all bring to the table.  Link up as much as you want, and those ideas will be shared on BOTH blogs.  Be sure to say hello!  So share, mingle, create, and have fun!  Feel free to grab a button at the bottom of the post.

By linking up, you agree to let Pioneer Momma use the picture linked by you, in the case of a feature.  If I am unable to grab the pic from your page, you will get an email from me in the couple days ahead of the linkup requesting a pic file to use.  Each feature pic includes a link back to your original post.  The features are pinned and shared on various social media, each linking directly back to your original post.  Thanks for linking up with us!

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ReSqueeze Giveaway Winner!

ReSqueeze Review and Giveaway on PioneerMomma.comA big congrats to our ReSqueeze giveaway winner:  Heather!  She will be receiving a four pack of 9 oz. size ReSqueeze reusable food pouches.  These pouches have made quite an impact in our snacking, and you can still snag your own!  Be sure to check out what they have to offer here.  Thanks to everyone for participating!

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So This Is Christmas….

I heard the song So This Is Christmas, by John Lennon, yesterday and it made me think of everything we’ve accomplished this year. 2013 was a substantially productive year, and led to an interesting ride through 2014. But, with all the ups and downs, it’s better to focus on what we have accomplished, and learn from what is left undone.

Hubby had his surgery this year. He was home a total of 7 months, when we had originally expected only two. It was tough for a while, but when we really look at it, we got to spend tons of quality time all together and he is now fully healed. It was much better for him to have the surgery done, than to wait until worse happened. His knee was already shredded, imagine if they had to replace it! But because we held out, he finally got the surgery he needed and is back to his old self. The doctor says he shouldn’t have any problems with it for another ten years or so. Yay!

Bubba is still on track, and is doing exceptionally well in the fifth grade. We’ve still been working on safety rules with him, and now gradually incorporating basic living skills, such as doing laundry and using the microwave. These are great accomplishments for him. He still needs step by step instructions, but is able to follow them relatively well, with few distractions. He absolutely loves math, and has learned three digit multiplication using the lattice method. Once his teacher taught him this way, he took off. We are very proud of him!

This year, I have successfully completed my first year of blogging. It is the longest amount of time I’ve stuck with a project, and I am quite happy with that. It has been hard at times, and there were a few instances where I had to step away for a few days. But overall, I stuck with it, and am very happy with the results. I have tons more growth to look forward to, and can’t wait to experience it. I’ve made some really good friends along the way.

I’ve finally decluttered the house. I used to be a pack rat. Saving things because “oh, I’ll use it someday”, kind of thing. In the past twelve months I have been donating, throwing away, or organizing everything we own. There is finally a place for everything, and I couldn’t be happier with it. Once I realized that stuff is just that: stuff, it was a lot easier to get rid of things we didn’t need or use. Not only does it open up the space, but it creates a soothing and calm environment for us to enjoy.

So this is Christmas, and we’ve done a lot. How about you? Any accomplishments you’d like to share?

Don’t forget to enter the ReSqueeze giveaway going on this week!

ReSqueeze Review and Giveaway on PioneerMomma.com

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What’d You Do This Weekend? #58

So apparently south Los Angeles had a tornado this week!  I figured until we get to our forever home it would be the usual sunny skies, but ferreals, y’all!  A tornado?!?  Here?!?  It was about 30 minutes away from us, but still, not really something I’d like to see in person.  Be on the lookout, you may see me flying up in the air soon!  Which prompted me to start looking up the Michigan/Wisconsin areas (where we are currently looking) to see if they have tornadoes…

Guess what is happening right now??  I’ve got a really great giveaway going on this week, and one lucky reader will win a  4 pack of ReSqueeze’s reusable food pouches, in the 9 oz. size.  Check out my review and enter to win!

ReSqueeze Review and Giveaway on PioneerMomma.com

On to the features!  As always, I love to see what everyone’s been doing, and Stumbled, pinned, and shared many of your posts.  Be sure to check out Tumbleweed Contessa for her favorites of the week.  Here are mine:

MOST VIEWED:  PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE THUMBPRINT COOKIES BY COOKIN AND CRAFTIN

Peanut Butter Fudge Thumbprint Cookies by Cookin and Craftin

Peanut Butter Fudge Thumbprint Cookies by Cookin and Craftin

FEATURES

Practical Gifts for Frugal Friends by Letters From Sunnybrook

Practical Gifts for Frugal Friends by Letters From Sunnybrook

Pallet Wood Rustic Christmas Coasters by Scrapality

Pallet Wood Rustic Christmas Coasters by Scrapality

A Week of Repurposing….Decorating the Front Porch with Poinsettias by Lucy's Nashville Nest

A Week of Repurposing….Decorating the Front Porch with Poinsettias by Lucy’s Nashville Nest

Now, let’s get on with this week’s linkup!  To old, new, and future bloggy friends, welcome to the party!  I can’t wait to see what y’all bring to the table.  Link up as much as you want, and those ideas will be shared on BOTH blogs.  Be sure to say hello!  So share, mingle, create, and have fun!  Feel free to grab a button at the bottom of the post.

By linking up, you agree to let Pioneer Momma use the picture linked by you, in the case of a feature.  If I am unable to grab the pic from your page, you will get an email from me in the couple days ahead of the linkup requesting a pic file to use.  Each feature pic includes a link back to your original post.  The features are pinned and shared on various social media, each linking directly back to your original post.  Thanks for linking up with us!

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