I'm officially a homesteader!

How did that happen?

Basket of farm fresh eggs

I'm finally getting settled in at the homestead. I've got most of my things unpacked and organized. It's been just over a week since I arrived, and I am so loving it here! My only complaint is that just as it has in much of the Midwest, winter has peaked it's ugly head out a bit early this year. And, from what my son has told me, it is even colder than the “normal” winters here. So, I'm hoping that means that once winter actually hits us it will be a mild one. I know, wishful thinking, but I like to try and stay positive. After all, one of the many reasons that I moved down here was for the milder winters.

So, this morning I did my first homesteader chore. I suppose that makes me an "official" homesteader, doesn't it? You may be wondering what it was that I did that would make me an “official” homesteader. Well, I had to don a hoodie, wool hat, scarf, and gloves to go outside into the chilly 20 degree (F) weather and fill up the wood chips pail. The previous days, when it was 40-60 degrees, my son had been filling the pail. But I had to go and tell him to put the wood chips where I could reach them and I would fill up the pail. So, today was my first time filling the pail and it was freezing out. Go figure, lol.

Compost tpoilet with wood chips bucket

Why do we need a pail full of wood chips? For the compost toilet, of course. We may live in an RV (camper), but we use a compost toilet that my son installed around the beginning of this year (2019). And, we have a wood burning stove that he recently installed toward the end of this summer and beginning of fall.

Wood burning stove

The wood burner stove heats the camper very well. Almost too well for me, lol. I'm used to inside my home being around 64 degrees (F) and the wood burner stove keeps it at a steady 72 to 74 degrees (F) in the camper. (Which is really an ideal temp for most people.) Even in the frigid weather. So, I think it's going to work quite well for the winter.

Come to think of it, I have manned the wood burner stove for a few hours when my son was away. I had to add wood to it and keep it burning. So, maybe that would be considered my first homestead chore. The only thing with that is that I don't think I did a very good job of it. I wasn't really familiar with using a wood burner stove at all and I may have used a little more wood than necessary. The good thing now is that I've had a chance to watch more and see how it's done that I might do a better job next time I have to man the stove.

I have had fun with learning how to cook on a gas stove all over again. It's been many years since I've used one. Factor in using the cast iron cookware and it's like I'm learning how to cook all over again! I truly am, sort of. After all, I've been used to cooking with my air fryer, microwave, and Instant Pot for so many years now. But, we just don't have room in the camper for those appliances; plus they use too much electricity and that kind of defeats the ultimate goal of living “off-grid”. So, I will continue to practice cooking the old fashioned way...on the stove top. I do want to try my hand at cooking over the fire pit once the weather warms back up a little. I know, I'm a wimp. But hey, it's my first winter here and I'm used to staying indoors when it's cold out.

The last couple of nights the temperature has been in the teens here. Which I'm sure wasn't quite as cold as where I moved from. Anyway, I've had an excellent opportunity to further test my Homemade DIY Dry Shampoo! As I mentioned before, this weather has been colder than the previous winters that my son has lived here. And, that equaled to our water tank, which is underneath the camper, freezing up. Which meant no running water in the camper. That really isn't a big deal since it was only for a couple of nights (it should thaw out today) and we have everything we need to get by for more than a few days of such. However, for my hair...that is a whole different story! I'm so glad that I had been “prompted” to find a recipe for the dry shampoo before I even knew I would be moving here! It has been a life saver for me, for sure! Well, not “literally” a life saver, but you know what I mean, right? Just another example of how the Lord helps us to prepare ahead for things coming our way.

Well, that's all I have for today. A lot of the past week has been spent unpacking, organizing, and getting used to being back at my new home and the homestead. I will be working on creating a new meals in a bag recipe this coming week. Its ingredients will include chicken, noodles, broccoli, and some sort of sauce. I can't tell you exactly what it is just yet. But, if you want to be notified of the recipe once it has been published, make sure you are signed up to receive emails from me. Just fill in the form below. I won't spam you, I promise. You will only get notifications of when I publish a blog article, upload a video, or send out my somewhat monthly newsletters.

Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!

- Joy