Me, Pioneer Woman?

This post was originally fed to the 50 readers I had back in March.  So much has changed since then, including my writing.  I have to tell you, I had to edit this one a bit before re-posting.  Trust me, you should be thanking me for that.  I’m sure most of you have NOT read this one yet, so enjoy.

Today Farmer Bob put me to work stacking firewood.  At first, I was NOT excited about this task.  Why yes Farmer Bob, I would LOVE to spend my Sunday doing manual labor.  Trying to find some positives out of this, I started thinking and thought of two things: 1) I’m getting in some cardio AND weightlifting all at once, BONUS and 2) could I have been a pioneer woman?  I have to blog about this.

I am one of those people that loves to drive around and picture what the landscape looked like before the power poles, the roads, the fences, the housing developments.  I look at rotted out old houses and imagine what it would have been like to live there.  I dig it.  I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was a girl.  It is when I wake up and come back to the now that  I realize I am nuts.  I couldn’t live like that.  N-E-V-E-R.  I am way too spoiled with my modern conveniences.  Here are just a few of my justifications as to why I could NOT be a pioneer woman.

every morning.
I like being able to say this!

1.  I like to cleanse myself.  I don’t like nasty week old funk.  I don’t want to smell it or smell like it.  I don’t want to see the fungus growing on you or your teeth.  I like deodorant, and toothbrushes, and soap. Smell good soap.  With matching lotion.  I like to wash my hands before I eat and wash my face before I go to bed.  I don’t have the time or patience to have to heat my water over a fire in order to make it warm in order to take a relaxing bath.

2.  I love refrigeration and ice.  Ice makes the world go round, especially the little rabbit turd ice that you get at restaurants. What is it about that ice?  I love ice cold water, soda pop, tea, coffee (not really coffee, but I was on a roll). I love being able to eat my food without the lingering fear of suffering through an intestinal armageddon.  The thought of eating something that has not been properly stored makes me shudder.

Uh…no thanks

3.  I love indoor plumbing.  #2 made me think of this one (pun totally intended).  Just imagine having a bad case of food poisoning and having to set up camp in an outhouse.  Take a port-a-potty and multiply the grossness level times one thousand.  We actually still have an outhouse here at casa de YKIHAYHT. It is not functional at this moment, but I keep threatening the littles that I’m gonna pop the top on that sucker if they complain again about not having enough bathrooms.  I could not imagine having to walk all the way over there when, to quote the Bridesmaids, “It’s coming out of me like LAVA!”  Dear Lord.

4.  I like automobiles.  Just picture yourself cruising cross-country to claim your little patch of heaven in a covered wagon.  I like air conditioning and soft seats. I like having music to listen to and heated seats in the winter.  How would I get by without being able to roll down the windows and crank up the music on a nice day?  Not to mention I like to get from point A to point B in a timely manner, with no bruises on my ass.  Let us not forget all the perils they would encounter.  Indians, thieves, not to forget they didn’t have coolers.  All their food for the entire trip was in that wagon, refer to numbers two and three. It isn’t like they had easy access to doctors or health insurance.  At least they didn’t have to pay for gas I guess.

Can you turn up the radio??

5.  I like pants, shorts, and flip flops.  I could not wear a long sleeve dress and bonnet every day.  While not having to worry about doing my hair and makeup would be quite lovely, the thought of being confined in a full coverage dress gives me the shakes.  I would have preferred to be in jeans, boots, and carrying a big gun.  These days if you ever find me wearing a dress, chances are it is summer, the dress is sleeveless and there will be a one hundred percent chance that there will be flip flops on my feet.

Yeah, I think not.  Especially while gathering buffalo dung.

6.  I L-O-V-E my bed.  If I wanted to sleep on hay, I would live in the barn.  I like snuggling down under my blankets in my bug-free comfort zone.  In my house, with locks on the doors and windows. Heat and air conditioning.

And the main reason…

7.  I’m WAAAYYY to lazy.  This is the bottom line.  These women busted their humps just to survive.  They couldn’t just run to Target to pick up some milk.  If they were lucky they had a cow, which they had to milk.  Farmer Bob keeps teasing me that he is buying me a milk cow.  No. Farking. Way.  I am not milking three times a day.  How ever would I have time to do that?  In-between phone calls,  laundry loads, and games of Candy Land?  After I check my Facebook account but before I get on Pinterest or check my email?

They cooked their own food, from scratch.  No box mix. Throw in some lard, some flour, some eggs if you had some and turn it into something spectacular.  They may have had the screaming shits after eating some bad meat, but they didn’t whine about it.  Life went on.  They had things to do, like gathering buffalo dung  for fuel and skinning those rabbits for supper.

They made their own clothes by hand.  No machines, no patterns, no Old Navy, Gap, or Gymboree.  If something got a hole in it, they fixed it because they didn’t have access to new.  If they were lucky they had shoes.  One pair.  Better hope they fit and they had better last.

They had how ever many babies they were blessed with.  They were not aware of their bodies.  No Tampax or Kotex.  They didn’t have access to birth control, or medical care.  They birthed until they just didn’t anymore.  No epidurals, no doctors, no maternity leave.  Squeeze that baby out and get to cookin.  They didn’t get nights out for drinks with the girls or dinners out at a nice restaurant.

Could I have been a pioneer woman?  Not only no, but HELL NO!!  Not now, I’m spoiled.  Sure, they didn’t know any different, that is just the way it was.  We (I) have become too spoiled with all our modern conveniences.  Would I like to give it a shot?   I’m not afraid of a little old-fashioned work.  I think I could survive until I had to gut the pig or dig a new hole for the outhouse. I would most likely go through some sort of social media withdrawl and would miss all of the comforts of home so I think I could only make it for a few days. I’m a pansy like that and of course by then, I wouldn’t be able to stand my own funk anymore.

What about you???




  1. Ha! I love it! And yet isn’t it hip to go back to the old ways – homemade food, cloth diapers, and natural baby products. I’m not saying I could do it but we are pioneer women now, aren’t we? :) Women are always pioneers. We blaze new trails in business, social ventures and politics all the time!

  2. I hate – HATE – to admit it, but everything in this post completely applies to me. :-/ And yet, somehow, I can’t shake my back-to-the-land fantasies! They will probably be with me forever! Maybe I’ll get a kerosene lamp and light it for a couple of hours once a month and read a historical novel. Ha.

  3. #8 – central heat and air. Don’t want to be without either.

  4. Oh sister. You and me both. How I long to be Laura Ingalls. Like on weekends only. I can’t imagine the things they did to survive. And you know what? I like chapstick and hand lotion. Two things I don’t think they bothered with. Can you imagine their chapped-ness? Oh, and by the way, I added your button to my fancy new bloggy blog. <3

  5. My husband once told me his idea of “roughing it” is to stay at a hotel that doesn’t have room service. I knew in that moment he was the one for me. :)

  6. No, not ever!!!! No soft toilet paper either if you were lucky you could use catalog pages. The absolute worst (other than the funk) was the “home made” i.e. rag sanitary products that had to be boiled and sterilized and re-used. Ugh!

  7. No way! I even have these delusions of being this earth mothery chick who grows all her food in her garden and stuff. HA HA HA! Yeah, I think I’ll stick with going to Target.

  8. Hmmmm…interesting….

    There is no way I could be a pioneer woman, I lack the proper plumbing.

    Almost all of the bullet points you mentioned, I lived for eight weeks out of the year for six years…but that’s a post for another time.

  9. Are you kidding? We lost power for five days last year, and by Day 3, I almost found God.

  10. I definitely COULD NOT/WOULD NOT be a pioneer woman. No, thanks I’ll pass. I am not even going to bother imagining what it would be like! I couldn’t agree more with you about the reasons!

  11. OMG you totally hit the nail on the head with this one!! If I’d lived back then… well I wouldn’t because of asthma and having 2 kids, I wouldn’t have made it past my teen years. Well done!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I think i could do it. Back then basic things was what you worried over. Not what the latest hair style or fashion is. If some liked you or not. You worked together as neighbors out of need to survive. Yes there was hardships no doubt. But in some ways i think the rewards were greater.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I used to have a conversation with my boiss at the Historic Site we worked at. She having a Masters in History and me just beginning my educational journey, we disagreed on one issue. Her contention was that people adjusted to the ‘funk’ as they new nothing different and therefor expected nothing different. My contention was that “neccesity being the mother of invention,” deodorant, inddor plumbing etc. were invented because people found the hygeine levels unacceptable. All through history we have examples of folks bathing, using perfumed waters and spices to get relief from the funk, I believe some refused the status quo – and I woulda been one of them! I’da washed some parts daily and chewed any twig and saved for a hair toothbrush. Yup, I would have! As for the rest, you do what you have to do but darn these luxeries we have are wonderful.

  14. Oh, man. I am soooo with you on this. The “frivolties” that we have are now necessities. No way do I wanna be funky either. And, if we birthed in the same manner as back when, I would have left this earth four years ago. That is a true story. God bless the women of the old days but God bless the women of today for getting better showers.

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