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Showing posts from 2015

Pomme de Terre State Park

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What was the weather like this past weekend in your part of the world?

Here in Missouri, it was one of the most beautiful autumn weekends ever!

I was sooooo happy to go camping!  It was one of the first times I can remember ever camping beyond Labor Day weekend.  I remember tent camping one year for my birthday (November 1) but other than that, we rarely camped after Labor Day.  It can and did get pretty chilly at night.  I have a hard time sleeping if I'm cold!

Camping in an RV is so luxurious!  Heat and air and a fire place!

We went back to our favorite campground - Hermitage at Pomme de Terre.

We love Hermitage because it is relatively flat, has lots of shade but also has great views (and access to) the lake.



















































Babler State Park

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It is my goal in life to camp and/or visit as many state parks in the United States.

Recently we crossed off a state park in Missouri we had never camped at or had even visited - Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park.







































Camping at the Branson KOA

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I am super excited about this coming weekend!  We are going to camp at a (new to us) state park outside of St. Louis - Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park.  I'm excited about trying out a different state park but I'm equally excited about attending the Taste of St. Louis food festival!  Babler State Park is just 15 minutes away from the food festival.  Combining two of my favorite things - cooking and camping - is a weekend made in heaven!

I certainly can't go camping this weekend without first catching you up on our Labor Day camping trip.  We had not made reservations anywhere since we did not buy our RV until the end of July.  When you don't make reservations 6 months in advance, you won't be staying at any popular state parks in Missouri!  So we started looking at other campgrounds in the Branson area since we had some family visiting there.  We called several other places but they were all booked.  We called the Branson KOA - we've stayed at other KO…

Stockton State Park Part 2

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Howdy!  Hope you all had a relaxing weekend!  Clinton and I did - we thought about camping but our puppies got "fixed" Friday and they needed some R&R.  It actually felt really good to totally unplug for the weekend and just be lazy with them.

Since we didn't go camping, I am going to show you the rest of Stockton State Park.

Stockton State Park has two really nice picnic shelter areas.  The first one we visited is close to the marina and to the campground - the South Shelter.







































Camping at Stockton Lake

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Have I mentioned after 26 years of marriage, Clinton and I bought our first RV?!  I might have mentioned it once or twice!

One of the reasons why I wanted an RV so badly was because I was hoping it would allow us to go camping more often, especially after school starts.

This past weekend was our first time just hooking up the RV and heading to a state park without any prior planning.

It was awesome!  I came home from work, threw some clothes and food inside and away we went.  We decided to camp somewhere we had not camped before and settled on Stockton State Park because it was less than two hours away.

We left our house around 5:30 and got there at 7:15 Friday night.  It probably took us 15 minutes to set up our Forest River Rockwood Ultra Lite.








































Our First RV!!

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I can't really tell you where my love for camping came from.  My family never went camping when I was growing up, neither did my husband's family.

After our son was born, Clinton and I took up camping because it was an expensive way to "go on vacation."  We bought a tent, an air mattress, a couple of coolers and we started camping.  
I guess that's actually where this deep-seated love for camping occurred.  There's nothing better than setting up camp, then sitting around a campfire - cooking, eating, and laughing.  Then you wake up, usually early and watch the sun rise.  You hear birds, crickets, and other sounds of nature.  You smell bacon and coffee wafting across the campground.  It's so peaceful and helps to clear your mind.  
We have tent camped at various state park near us in Missouri and we have also tent camped in other states, like this one trip we took around the Great Lakes.  
Last year we finally upgraded to a pop-up camper.  It was like a t…

Purpose of Happy Camper Life

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Last week I attended an educational conference in Atlanta, GA.  When I originally agreed to attend this conference, I assumed we would fly since it is an 11 hour drive to Atlanta from here.  I assumed wrong!  But I'm always up for a road trip so I stuck with it.  All those hours in the vehicle and all the hours waiting in lines for various things at the conference (sessions, food, even elevators!) gave me a lot of thinking time.

What did I think about mostly?  My blog of course!  Mostly I kept thinking about why I'm doing this.  I decided I want to constantly remind myself and anyone who takes the time to read my blog that the purpose is to stay true to its name - Happy Camper Life.  In other words, regardless if I have any followers at all or if I make a cent off this blog, I want to share my life and how I stay happy through the everyday ups and downs.  Whether that's through remodeling a house, cooking a great meal, camping at a beautiful state park, or even attending…

Key to Happiness {Be Flexible}

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There are a lot of self-help books out there telling people the keys to happiness.  Really the only self-help book you need is the Bible.  I'm serious!  True happiness comes from giving up what our selfish nature wants and listening to that still, small voice telling us what we should do instead.  When we follow that still, small voice, we get want we truly need which makes us happy.

Sometimes doing this is easy and sometimes it's REALLY hard!  Like Wednesday.....it was our anniversary.  Last year we celebrated by going to Alaska!  This year we were so overwhelmed with the house and new puppies, we had no plans.  Yet I was determined to do something fun.  Besides I'm writing a blog now and I have very few posts about the joys of the great outdoors lol!

So I quickly planned a day of outdoor fun at a couple state parks about 2 1/2 hours away.....Elephant Rocks and Johnson's Shut-Ins.  We hadn't been in there in years - our son didn't really remember going and h…

RV Shopping

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Saturday we took a break between painting and drove to Camdenton to do one of our favorite things - look at RVs!  Seriously we could do it all day!

Clinton wanted to look at the swanky Cedar Creek RV - it was sweet!  It actually had sliding doors at the back that closed the living room area off from the rest of the RV.  This would be really nice if you have others with you - giving them privacy while they sleep.  


It had a bigger refrigerator than the new one we bought for the house!

Weekend Wedding Reception

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This is the third and final post of our weekend at Bear Creek Bed and Breakfast Lodge.

This post will focus on the reception.  After the wedding, we had set up a popcorn bar on the tailgate of this old truck that is permanently parked there.  That gave guests a chance to snack while the wedding party was getting pictures taken.



































On one side of lodge is the wedding garden.  On the other side is a long reception building.  It has the look of a cabin on the outside with french doors lining surrounding it.  Inside it has a French country look.

Bear Creek Bed and Breakfast Lodge

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As I shared yesterday, this past weekend hubby and I stayed at Bear Creek Bed and Breakfast Lodge outside of Branson.  We were there for our good friends' daughter's wedding.

Twenty-six years ago when we got married, most people got married in the church they attended.  It cost you nothing except for a small gift for your pastor.  You had cake and punch in the basement and that was usually it.

These days, everyone is looking for a cool destination to get hitched.  Some people go far away, like Florida or Mexico.  Others looks for wedding venues a little closer to home so more family members can attend.

The Bear Creek Bed and Breakfast Lodge is a perfect choice for a modern day wedding for anyone near southwest Missouri.  The grounds are beautiful and romantic and require very little decoration.



Romantic Cabin

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This past weekend, hubby and I spent Friday night and Saturday night at Bear Creek Bed and Breakfast Lodge.  We were there for our good friends' daughter's wedding.  Bear Creek is right outside of Branson, just a few miles off of Hwy 65.  It was super easy to find, even though it was off the beaten path.  We drove through shabby chic metal gates down a gravel road with beautiful lanterns lining it and then past a couple of cabins, the beautiful shaded garden area for weddings, and the main lodge to the cute little check-in cabin.




Tessa checked us in and took us on a tour of the grounds and then met us at our cabin.

We stayed in the Tree-house cabin.  We parked a short distance away and walked the mulch path into the woods and down a steep little path to the cabin door.


I loved the private walk to the cabin!



The kitchen was on the left when you walked in.  Notice the healthy snacks of Fiddle Faddle and chips!


Down from the kitchen was the dining area with a cool antler chan…

Throwback Thursday {Memorial Weekend 2014}

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One of the main reasons why I started this blog was to share one of my favorite things  - CAMPING!!

Hence the name lol!

I know it sounds crazy but I have a goal to visit and/or camp in every state park in the country!  Seriously!

Camping is usually one of those things most people either love or hate.

I hope I can inspire some of the haters that camping might not be so bad after all and I hope I can share camping tips with the lovers {insert winky face!}.

We probably won't get to do much camping this summer.  The obvious reason is our home remodeling project but also we sold our pop-up camper {we plan to buy a bigger one} and our tent supplies is at the very back of our storage unit.

So.......in the mean time........I will occasionally share some past camping trips.

Like this one we took last Memorial Day weekend.

We have had the tradition for several years to go camping at St. Joe State Park near Park Hills, MO on Memorial weekend.






















St. Joe's State Park is a park where you …

Thoughtful Thursday

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It's the Little Things

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I truly believe the key to peace and happiness is to focus on the wonderful, little things all around you and not the overwhelming, negative things.

Here are a few things that have made me happy recently. 

A beautiful little plant that we had totally ignored until it bloomed these beautiful bleeding hearts!

A beautiful blue sky and trees budding out green leaves! 

Watching the trailer for the newest Star Wars movie coming out in December!  

A cute little gift from a thoughtful friend who supports this crazy idea of starting a blog!
Find your Happy Camper Life! Michele

From the Field to the Table

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This weekend has been busy but rewarding.  I picked up litter in our town for Earth Day Saturday and that evening we took our son and his girlfriend out to eat.  Sunday my hubby got to go turkey hunting in the first time in years.

I do enjoy watching my feathered friends strutting around my house but they are very plentiful.  So hubby went out with a friend (no not in our back yard lol!) and he got a fine one!  There's something about your man being able to hunt for your dinner!

As soon as I got this picture from him (those are decoys in the background), I started Googling fried turkey breast recipes.  I found one that was unique.  I found in on myrecipes.com.  I had to tweak a little since I didn't have some of the specific ingredients.  It came out very good!


Hubby cut the breast into strips and then into chunks.  

When he was cutting up the meat, I made the marinade - 1/4 cup honey....

Here was drew me to the recipe lol!  It called for Wild Turkey Bourbon.  I didn't h…

Date Night

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I firmly believe you cannot have a happy life without having a happy marriage.  Having a happy marriage takes work - sometime it takes a willingness to get off the couch and out of the house and do something different!  Hubby and I did just that the other night - we got dressed up and went to the big city of Springfield, MO - ate out and went to the Pat Benatar concert!


We tried out Big Whiskey's downtown.  It had a cool downtown vibe to it.  My chicken parmesan was very good!

We had time to kill before the concert started and I didn't want to stand around in my heels lol so we ordered dessert - fried cheesecake!  It was cheesecake wrapped up in a flour tortilla, deep fried and served with ice cream and caramel sauce.  It was delicious!

The concert was held at the Gillioz Theater.  The Gillioz is a beautiful theater built in the 20's with lots of charm.  I really enjoy going to concerts there - it is smaller and more intimate.  You feel like you're right there with the…