My GPS Must Hate Me

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When I’m not working, I like to explore the local area…

Our current location is in the middle of Amish farm country, so just going to the local farm stand can take me to parts unknown! Especially if I decide to take the scenic route!

It’s on these outings, that I like to use my GPS. This way, if I do get lost, I can find my way back to the campground!

However… I swear it sounds like she gets mad at me when I don’t follow her instructions to the letter! But sometimes, she wants to take me down a road I’ve already seen and know where it leads!

I want to see something new!

She doesn’t seem to appreciate my curiosity of the unknown!

My GPS seems to get especially terse with me, after I have ignored the directions for the third time to go one way, and I’ve chosen to go the opposite!

By the 5th time, she sounds exasperated to the fact that I don’t listen to her advise… and eventually she starts to sound like she’s resigned to the fact that I’m not going to follow her directions!

However, our goals are different. My GPS goal is to get me back home. My goal is to explore the local area!

If I listened to her directions all the time, then I would never have found this beautiful old barn… I obsessed with old barns!

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Or these beautiful creatures grazing in a field…

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But when I finally do decide it’s time to head home, I am certain that she sounds delighted! At least that’s what it sounds like to me!

Let’s see where the road takes us next!

Until then,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

Camel Milk?!? Really?

Camel Milk

While heading out to do some shopping, I decided to take the scenic tour of our local farmlands. It was a beautiful drive!

I stopped many times to take pictures of cows, chickens, corn fields and old barns!

Red Barn

As I was turning on a bend in the road we came across a sign that said “Camel Milk”

I nearly ran our truck off the road as I said to my mom, “What did that sign say?!?

When I think of camels, I think Egypt… I think Saudi Arabia… but Pennsylvania?!? You don’t tend to think of camels when you think of good old PA! So, of course, this sign caught me off guard!

Camels milk!

Can you even milk camels?!? Cows, yes! Goats, yes! But camels?!?

We turned around to further investigate this mystery!

I took a picture of the sign, just to make sure I wasn’t seeing things… and to prove I actually saw it, just in case no one would believe me when we got back to the campground!

The sign was at a small farm that had a small store… however, the store was closed and no one was around to ask about this phenomenon!

We continued driving around to see if we could find the allusive camels in question… but alas, we did not find any!

When I got back to camp, I decided to google ‘camels milk’ and see if camels could actually be milked!

I’d found an article from a local newspaper dated 2019. It said that yes, camels can be milked! However, camels will only give milk for about 90 seconds at a time. They limit how much they will give, because they are saving this life giving elixir, for their little ones!

How cool is that! I learned something new today!

Upon further research, I found a not so local Amish farm that raises camels for their milk, which supposedly tastes like skim milk…

The farm’s more than an hour away… so no more investigating today! But I do have a day off coming up! Think I will do some more exploring for this elusive creature and its potion!

Camels can be milked… and in Pennsylvania?!? Who knew!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

Food Shopping and a Small RV has its Challenges

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All RVs are not created equal!

Our RV is a small 22 foot travel trailer that has a fridge the size of a bread box! Okay, maybe a little bigger than a bread box, but not much bigger!

It is an ‘under-the-counter’ model, and after you get a dozen eggs, a quart of milk, a bottle or two of dressing, and a packet of luncheon meat, our fridge is full. The freezer holds even less… a pound of ground beef and a small bag of frozen veggies and it too is full!

Needless to say, wanting to eat healthy and having the ability to keep food fresh till you’re ready to use it is a challenge!

We could go to the store every day, or we could find a way to stock up our ‘home on wheels’ another way!

Our answer was to add in a 55 quart cooler to our list of items we allow ourselves to take on this journey. This gives us the ability to expand our refrigerated items, thus allowing us to have more fresh fruits and veggies at the ready, without the daily trek to the local market or farm stand!

We like it because it’s lightweight (remember, we have to watch our payload during travel). It also has an easy to drain spout, a 7 day ice retention, which is pretty nice in itself, because it keeps us from having to buy ice everyday! AND it is supposedly certified to withstand a bear for up to an hour!

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So far, we have yet to meet any bears in our travels! Let’s hope we don’t have to test that ‘bear theory’ any time soon!

Now that our pantry, fridge, cooler and freezer are stocked, what should I make first?

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

P.S. And as always, thank you for using my affiliate links. By doing so, you show your love and support for us and we appreciate it! But what does this mean for you, my readers? When you purchase anything from one of the links, our little homestead on wheels makes a commission, at no extra cost to you! And, I will only share items that pertain to our journey and that I think you will enjoy and use! So, again, thanks! ❤

Meal Planning – Ready, Set, Go!

Food Photo - Half Chicken and Green Beans

When it comes to meal planning, having a well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer is your best defense – especially when trying to eat healthy!

My game plan for this journey is to stick with lean proteins, veggies and fruits. I will also add in some healthy oils, nuts, seeds and legumes – as my digestive system will tolerate!

Sugary sweets are my downfall. Having fruits on hand will help me beat those sweet tooth cravings! Raisins paired with Carob chips will help curb that hankering I get for a sweet and chewy candy bar!

While planning out my meals for the next few days, I am finding that a number of my recipes contain the same ingredients. Here’s a few of my favorite pantry staples:

  • Oils – Olive, and Coconut are my favorites for sautéing.
  • Dried herbs and seasonings
  • Salt
  • Butter (or ghee)
  • veggies – all shapes and sizes – and don’t be afraid to try something new!
  • homemade bone broth (chicken, beef, veggie or pork)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • eggs and lean proteins

When going shopping, I always try to make a list before I go. This helps me to stick to my healthier choices. When I don’t, all bets are off! I am sure to add in some cakes, pies, or ice cream! Curse those sweet tooth cravings!

I also hope to be creative with any leftovers!

My thinking is this.., If I mix and match my leftovers, I just might come up with a quick and easy meal to take to work!

This should help fight food boredom, and keep me from noshing on all those cookies, cakes and donuts that seem to find their way to the employee lunchroom!

Planning ahead of time has always been a challenge for me! I never know what I’m going to be hungry for!

All the same, I do plan on doing some prep work ahead of time, maximizing my time in the kitchen!

Things like washing, chopping and slicing up my veggies beforehand allows me to cut out a few steps when I’m ready to start cooking! Less time in the kitchen means more time with family and friends!

Speaking of friends… one even suggested roasting a few veggies ahead of time! This way I can simply toss them into a salad before I head out the door to work!

Same goes for eggs – hard boil a few ahead of time – toss into a salad or simply salt, eat and enjoy!

Now that I have my meal time game plan all set, it’s time to go shopping!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

What We Eat Effects How We Feel

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Yesterday, I shared with you that I was beginning to… once again… start a journey to a healthier lifestyle!

I truly do believe that good health comes from the farm!

For me, my relationship with food was, and still is, an emotional one!

Food has always been my comfort… my reward for a job well done… a trusted friend… food never called me names or told me that I would never amount to anything!

Because of this relationship, my health took a hit!

I would eat because I was depressed… and then as I ate, I would feel discouraged with myself… only to find comfort in food… It was a vicious cycle!

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Photo by Andres Ayrton on Pexels.com

As the numbers on the scale started to rise, my health went down hill!

It was at an all-time low, while sitting at home, I began to have severe pain down my left side. I thought I was having a heart attack!

After going to the hospital… and many, many tests… I was released and told that it all had to do with my digestive system!

It was no longer working properly!

I was given a medicine that only made matters worse!

It was at this point, I came across a book – Digestive Health with REAL Food – I started following the plan, and within 24 hours, I was pain free!

Will this happen with everyone? Only God knows the answer to that question! I can only share what happened in my case!

What I do know is this… it’s a good place to start! And it starts with REAL food! Not the processed stuff they call food!

I started eating the easiest of foods that our bodies can digest – such as chicken, carrots, green beans, spinach, and zucchini!

I even learned about the benefits of homemade bone broth! You can find my recipe for homemade chicken bone broth here!

Once my body began to heal, I started adding in other foods and continued to eat healthy! The weight came off and I was feeling better than ever!

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However, after beginning this RV thing, with traveling and my workamping schedule, my old habits began to sneak their way back into my life!

Instead of planning and preparing foods at home, it was easier to stop at the local drive-thru and pick up a burger and fries!

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Naturally, the weight has found its way back… my jeans are tighter… I feel tired and listless… and I’m always feeling ‘under the weather!’

What we eat affects how we feel!

It’s time to start feeling better!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

(Thank you for using my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and really appreciate your support ❤)

Good Health Comes From the Farm

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Now before you start yelling at me, and assume I am telling you not to take your medicine, trust me, I am NOT doing that!

I too, take life sustaining medicines and would in no wise stop taking them without my doctors consent!

No, what I AM saying, is that good health begins with what we eat!

However, changing the way we think about food is hard.

For me, my relationship with food is an emotional one. Food is my comfort… my reward for a job well done… a trusted friend… it doesn’t call me names or tell me that I will never amount to anything… my habits and traditions go as far back as my childhood! And, my health has taken a hit because of them!

But all that can be changed! And, it begins with food!

Food is that stuff that either grows or grazes in the field – and yes, even swims in the water!

I’m talking about REAL food! Not the processed stuff they call food!

When we change the way we think about food, and start eating REAL food, our bodies start to transform!

But the transformation doesn’t stop there!

Our sleep starts to improve. Our energy levels improve! Our mood… our attention span… our motivation… our self-confidence, and overall quality of life improves!

And this all begins with what we eat!

Amazing!

Today, I am getting back on track! I am beginning again – my journey to a healthier lifestyle!

But first, I need to get my kitchen pantry in order!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels,

~ Sheri

Experimenting with Freeze Dried Foods

Food Photo - Pork Chop on Bed of Lettuce

We all know when it comes to food, ‘fresh is always best!’

However, when you’re living in a 22 foot RV, with a fridge the size of a shoe box, you don’t have the freezer space to keep foods cold. So, we had to look at other options!

Canned goods seemed to be the answer until we started considering two things,

First, we found that most canned goods have additives and preservatives that our bodies were never meant to digest! And second, was the added weight of the canned goods during travel!

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Canned goods add water weight…

For example – we have a 20 gallon fresh water tank… when that tank is full, we are carrying an additional 216 pounds of added weight! That’s a lot of excess weight! So, keeping that in mind, store bought canned goods was not a good option!

We did consider dehydrating our foods, but again, we had to think about storage space! We just didn’t have the space to bring along our favorite dehydrator...

Food - Excalibur Deydrator

So, we brought along our smaller dehydrator instead.

Be that as it may, dehydrating our favorite foods can take up to 14 hours at a time, and while a good option, it just doesn’t fit our current needs!

So, we found another option – freeze-dried foods!

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Yet once again, after doing some research on freeze drying, we found that the driers were way out of our price range! Not to mention, the size and weight of said driers was daunting, considering the size of our camper and the lack of storage space!

Be that as it may, all was not lost!

We found a company that offers simple, clean, freeze dried  foods!

Our prayers were answered!

Now, we have the option to enjoy REAL food, without all the additives and preservatives, or the added weight to our travel payload!

When we got our first box of freeze dried goodness, we were amazed!

But we had to ask ourselves, would these new found treasures stand up in the kitchen?

Thrive Life

Thus began our experimenting!

We first began with the simplest of meals… a baked potato topped with ground beef and broccoli.

Pretty tasty, and very easy to make, for a healthy nutritional meal on the run! The ground beef was a nice change up from the usual bacon bits.

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Our next experiment was a side dish of steamed green beans, onions, and red bell peppers! Also very tasty! You can find the recipe on our post Steamed Green Beans with Red Peppers.

Thrive Life Recipe - Steamed Green Beans

Another homestead favorite, is our Shredded Beef Sandwich Recipe. Just as enjoyable and very easy to make. You simply add together shredded beef, onion slices and red bell peppers with a few other ingredients, and viola, you have another quick, delicious meal on the table!

If you want to try it, you can find the recipe here!

Thrive Life - Shreaded Beef Sandwich

For my next experiment, I’m thinking of trying a cheesy, broccoli soup! I’ll let you know how it turns out! For now, it’s time to get back into the kitchen!

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

P.S. (Thank you for using my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and really appreciate your support ❤)

How to Make Homemade Chicken Bone Broth

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There is nothing better than the delicious and wholesome goodness of homemade bone broth!

Not only does it benefit the body by adding to your diet certain beneficial nutrients that aid the healing and sealing of your gut, it can also help your joint and skin health!

I once heard an old proverb that says that “Chicken broth resurrects the dead!” – I don’t know how true that is, but I have felt much better after sipping on some delicious chicken bone broth when I wasn’t feeling very well!

Food - Homemade Bone Broth

While bone broth is not difficult to make, it does require time…

The chief ingredients are bones, water, vinegar, and salt to taste!

When it comes to the carcasses, make sure you include it all – the bones, the skin, the neck and the gizzards! Don’t forget the feet if you are up to the challenge!

There are some optional items you can include to flavor your broth. Ingredients such as carrots, celery, onions, garlic and your favorite herbs can really make the broth your own creation!

Food - Homemade Bone Broth - Mom (3)

How to make Homemade Chicken Bone Broth

The Essential Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 1 large or 2 small chicken carcasses (don’t forget the skin, neck, gizzards and feet!)
  • 4-12 cups of water (1-3 liters)
  • 1-3 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar (Red Wine Vinegar works well too)
  • 1 Tbsp. of salt – adjust to taste

Optional Ingredients:

  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 celery sticks, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp whole or crushed black peppercorns
  • a few branches of your favorite herbs (my go-to choices; rosemary, thyme or parsley)

Let’s put it all together:

  • You’ll want to put all the essential ingredients in a large pot or slow cooker
  • Next add in any optional ingredients you desire.
  • Heat on high until the broth starts to boil, then reduce the heat to low. You should only see very small bubbles in the center of pot.
  • Cook at low temperature for a minimum of 6 hours, but as much as 24 hours.
  • Once the broth is ready, let cool for an hour or two.
  • Next, you’ll want to strain your broth by using a metal colander. Using a cheesecloth is optional at this step. I usually strain the broth right into canning jars with a wide mouth and a mesh strainer.
  • Once the jars are filled, you can keep them in the fridge for about 4-5 days.

Some key points about homemade bone broth:

  • High temperatures can corrupt the gelatin in your broth, so make sure the water is barely simmering.
  • Beware! Some slow cookers do not have a low enough setting, so you may want to use a large pot on the stove or find a different slow cooker that grants you the ability to control the temperature better!
  • If your broth doesn’t gel, it could simply mean you didn’t let it simmer long enough… just try cooking it longer next time!

Here’s some helpful kitchen tips:

  • If you have more bone broth than you can use in say, 4-5 days, you can freeze it. Divvy up your delicious broth into small canning jars – making sure you leave an inch at the top of each jar to allow space for the liquids to expand, thus preventing your jars from breaking.
  • Use ice cube trays to freeze your bone broth into handy cubes that are easy to reheat.
  • Drink up the bone broth by the cup (or canning jar) or use it to make sauces, soups and stews.
  • Use water you’ve used to boil veggies to make your broth and make good use of the nutrients lost from the veggies – they’ll now be in your broth!
  • Each time you have chicken, keep the bones and freeze them. Before long you’ll have enough to make a new batch of homemade bone broth!

Here’s to your health! Drink up!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels,

~ Sheri

P.S. (Thank you for using my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and really appreciate your support ❤)

Making Our RV Feel Like Home

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Needing some inspiration this morning, I decided to peruse the other blogs I follow… I found a post from Live Laugh RV… and in the post Our RV, the author shares about their shopping for an RV and their needs…

It reminded me of our own beginnings about what to look for in an RV and learning quickly what needs we didn’t think about at the start

She also shared about the changes she made to her RV… simple changes that made their RV home!

This inspired me to think about our own little homestead on wheels and what I could do to make it feel more like home!

I thought about life back on our traditional homestead and what gave me joy… undoubtedly, it was our chickens!

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So, naturally, I started shopping for all things relating to chickens!

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I wanted it all!

However, living in such a small RV, I knew whatever I purchased, it needed to have a function!

No room for pretty dust collectors here! Not only did it need to be pleasing to the eye, it also needed to have a purpose!

So, since I enjoy cooking and spend a good deal of time in the kitchen area of our RV, I decided to start with this pretty little flexible cutting board!

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It’s almost too pretty to use! But use it, I will!

Now to start shopping for some curtains with chickens on them!

It’s the little things that make our RV feel like home!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~ Sheri

How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise

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Making your own homemade mayo is easier than you think!

Having to deal with digestive issues most of my life, I learned the hard way that not all things we call food are actually good for us!

Take mayo for example...

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and really checked the labels to see what goes into some of those cans or jars we call food?

Look at the ingredients on this jar… while there are items that are actually food, additives and preservatives have been added… some which are man-made and our bodies were never meant to digest!

Mayo Label (2)

In truth, real mayo only needs 3 ingredients! And if made with the right oils, it is an excellent way to add more healthy fats to your diet!

While this recipe is very easy to make, it does require patience. You want to pour the oil into the blender, very slowly...

I have used a standard mixer, but it does not seem to get up to the speed you need to create the fluffy, creamy goodness that you are used to seeing in the jarred versions at the store.

Using a blender (here’s my personal favorite) helps make lite work of this recipe, but since mine is currently out of commission, I use my ‘stick mixer.’ The recipe turns out just as great, but I do find that a third hand is helpful to hold the mason jar still while I hold the mixer and pour the oil into the jar!

Homemade Mayonnaise

What you will need:

  • 1  whole egg
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Here’s the low down on how to make mayonnaise:

  • Put the egg and apple cider vinegar in a blender. Keep the blender on and pour the oil into the blender very slowly. The oil should thicken with the egg as you pour the oil.

Cooks Tips

  • Some find that using extra virgin olive oil is a bit too strong in its taste. However, I personally like it, plus, I find that most light tasting oils are over processed.
  • To kick things up a notch, try using avocado or macadamia oil.
  • A third hand is always necessary when using a hand or ‘stick’ blender.
  • You can store your mayo in the fridge about a week.
  • Use lemon juice instead of the apple cider vinegar to make a delicious lemon mayonnaise.
  • Change up the flavor of your mayo by adding in your favorite seasonings.
  • Use your healthy mayo to dip your veggies, make a delicious salad dressing or make deviled eggs.
  • If it didn’t thicken as you would have hoped, all is not lost! Use it as a sauce over your grilled chicken, burgers or fish!

See how easy it is to make your own mayo! You can have so much fun with this recipe AND it’s healthy!

Until next time,

Peace, love and safe travels!

~Sheri