Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Shell peas ~ Icing the Chickens

Our shell peas are done for the season.  Sadly, we did not get what we should have due to lack of rain.  

Speaking of lack of rain...everyone is on edge here at the homestead.  Not sure if it's just the heat and drought, or what's going on in the world.  Lots of agitation, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and lack of patience.  I know I am tired of all of it.



I've been icing the chickens.  They are so hot they are panting in this heat.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Drought Conditions ~ Tomatoes ~ Peach Pie ~ Conserving Electricity

We are suffering drought conditions.  No rain, and I'm watering daily to keep the garden from burning up.  Green beans are on, so I must be keeping up with it pretty good.  I have to start really early so the plants can soak it up before the sun burns it dry.  I am concerned about the height of my tomato plants and the growth of our root vegetables.


Tomatoes are starting to come on, but again, plants are short.

I am emptying the dehumidifier 2 times a day, the humidity is that bad as well.


I had peaches that were getting soft, so I whipped up a peach pie before it got too hot.  People are asked to conserve electricity from 2-6pm this week.




Look who stopped long enough for a few very quick photos?  They are not in focus, but I was quick to snap a few while the sprinkler watered the garden(s).


I'm re-doing the menu.  We had taco salad last night.  Too hot to cook.  Egg salad sandwiches sound good too.  What's your go-to meal on a very hot day?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

...from the handiwork journal

The garden has taken most of my time out of my day, so very little handiwork is getting done.  I still have some items on hooks, that I had on them months ago.



. . . patriotic dishcloth still on the knitting needles


. . .finished this crocheted dishcloth



. . . started another thin dishcloth in bright coral and white (my to-go project)


. . .another dishcloth/washcloth on the crochet hook


I have a lot more in project bags etc.  I am just concentrating on these first.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday



I still haven't been able to get a photo of the wrens.  They are small and quick.  I didn't see many out at all this morning.  I think they know it will be hot and getting hotter as we go into the week.  

We spent all of Saturday on the Harley, and I never got sun burn oddly.  Had a fantastic weekend, with another ride yesterday.    Although we went to one of our favorite restaurants and won't be back.  They changed their menu completely, and nothing looked good.  They took away the perch, and many more items including my favorite Philly.  

One burger was served cold, with toppings that were asked to be left off.  It was raw, and when they brought toppings, the BBQ sauce was as thin as water.  The service was horrible, messed up one drink.  They switched perch out for cod and over priced it.  It was horrible too.  

I'm sure they changed it due to this pandemic, lack of employees returning, and possibly food resources available.  I feel bad for them, but I can't support a place that serves awful food either.   Or awful service. No one wants to sit and wait an hour just for a drink, then wait another half hour for appetizer and another half hour for the meal.



Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.





The weather . . .
High of 96°F, but the heat index will rise into the hundreds as we go through the week.  No sign of rain until possibly Friday.  We can only pray for it.  We need it so badly.


How I am feeling this morning . . .
Tired.  Exhausted from the mask mandates going in place in areas around us.  Just sick of it.   They are saying that if Trump wins in November the virus will last until 2025, but if Biden wins, the virus will disappear in November.  


On my mind . . .
Well, I have lost many friends during this virus.  Not from the virus, but because of the divide it has put between people over personal opinions.  I am thankful for the friends that have stayed friends regardless of opinion.


On the breakfast plate . . .
Have no idea.


On  my reading pile . . .


On my TV . . .
Not much.


On the menu this week . . .
-Leftovers tonight
-meatloaf, mashed tades and corn (didn't get this made yet)
-breakfast: Biscuits/sausage gravy, potatoes, eggs
-strawberry pie
......have no idea because it will be so hot here and I hate to heat up my kitchen every day.



From the Camera . . .
Porch view.


Looking around the house . . .
I pulled my garlic, but it's sitting on the table waiting to be tied and hung up.  It did pretty good, but only one bulb was pretty large.  I'm happy with the results, and will probably plant in grow pots again.  The house needs cleaned, but that's normal.  It will get done since we can't be outside for long the rest of the week.


Chore I am not looking forward to this week . . .
Mucking the chicken coop, but that's not happening until we get a rain and cool down.


To relax I will . . .
Watch cooking shows while I crochet.


On my prayer list . . .
Our country.  It seems that so many Americans have lost their pride and willingness to fight for their civil rights.  All the fighting and judgment and finger pointing has caused a divide, and I'm sure it all has to do with November's voting. The mask mandates are a huge fight between most in our area.  Half wants it and the other half thinks it is dumb.  Please no negative comments.  It's so out of control.

I will say this.  When you went to the doctor, they had a box of masks.  It said if you are sick and with a cough, to please wear one.  The sick.  Not the healthy.  The sick.  Just do you research on this.  There are many articles and Youtube videos that make you wonder what's really going on.

I'm so disappointed in Americans and the behavior and the violence etc that is going on right now.  All for a vote or no vote?  There is so much more behind all this virus than we will ever know.  Keep praying!


Praying for rain for us.  My root vegetables are suffering horribly and I really don't want to hear my husband say we are not planting a thing next year.  We have suffered a struggle to garden for the last 3 years and I don't want to deal with it another year here.

Praying for the law enforcement.  It is truly a crazy, scary, and frustrating year.



Sunday, July 5, 2020

Heat Wave ~ Garden ~ Weekend Work

The heat rolled in as they predicted.  No sign of rain is exhausting.  There is a caution of drought conditions, which will be an issue with the gardens.  We are still in the 90's here. We have been diligent with garden work and outside work, like finishing the pressure washing.





Peas are still rolling in with constant watering, but plants are not as tall as they should be.  Harvest amounts are lower. 

I've been much better at logging the harvest.  The numbers will determine what we will plant or not plant next year. 




Although I attempted to get pictures of our wrens, this guy wanted to be the star of attraction yesterday morning.

Thank you all who had concerns about my sciatica.  I have been doing my stretching diligently, because if I don't get better, the garden dies, chickens won't get fed and watered etc.  I can sleep without pain now, and that helps with a better start to the day.

We had the best 4th of July ever.  We ended the night watching fireworks off the front porch and they were fantastic.  Love our neighbors all around.  There were so many more setting them off this year and it was fantastic.  It end the day perfectly.


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Deer ~ Gifting a Friend ~ Extremely Dry Week

I watched a group of 3 deer cross the road yesterday morning, but they turned back and went back across to the river that runs behind us. Later another group of two crossed.

Early morning (which brought us home at noon) one daughter and I took Momma cat and her 2 kittens on a road trip.  We found a Humane Society open that would take them.  I gave them a bag of cat food and wrote out a check.  I'm so glad they took them, as our temps will reach up to 96°F this weekend.  It does anger me that I have to pay to have them get a new home, when they were not our cats and 99% sure dumped here.  I believe in karma for people like that.  Kitty's will have a nice place to stay now until they are adopted.


I have a friend who is the wife to a co-worker of my husband, who is so stressed over the possibility of another lockdown (and the recent loss of their long time dog).  I decided to make up a basket of goodies to lift her spirits - 4 pack of KY Bourbon Barrel Beer (they didn't have her favorite), bath salts, kitchen trivet, organic jerky, fireball, candy, a cosmetic bag that says  "This Girl Can," a notebook that says, "You Got This," heart shaped sticky notes, a fridge magnet that says "Lettuce be Calm," (for her kitchen) and other happy stuff.

It's hot here folks.  We need rain every so badly.  I am running the water pump all morning and sometimes at night.  Flower pots have to be watered twice a day or they will die.  It's getting frustrating, and our well isn't filling up right now.  I have one rain barrel of water.

I hope you all have a great weekend. 


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Strawberries ~ Strawberry Vodka ~ Pie Crust Crumbles and other Tidbits


I finally got strawberries at the last picking of the season (not mine).  I have yet to re-vamp our strawberry patch and sadly have about 4 June bearing plants currently (with plans to move them and add many more next year).   



I started a double batch of strawberry vodka.  We like this.  Recipes are all over the internet if you are interested.  I have more strawberries to freeze today.
I made a batch of freezer pie crust crumbles too.  It makes 6 pie crust crumbles.  I use the recipe on King Arthur Flour (available online).


My tip to do this recipe:  I cut the butter and put it in the freezer first.




I then measure out the flour etc. and add a bit of it to my food processor.


I toss in the butter and pulse it until it looks like this.



I then add it to the rest of the ingredients and measure it out using my scale, and freeze them.  All I have to do is thaw it a bit, and add ice cold water and roll the dough.  I have been using this recipe for a while now.


Anyway, that's what's happening. 


Standing and walking helps keep the worst pain away. If you have had sciatica, you know what I am talking about (and I have not planted Arnica this year - totally forgot about it {insert sad face}).

I want to bake and deliver another meal to our friends (wife of the couple had a heart attack).  Praying I feel up to it.  


We caught Mom and 2 kittens.  One kitten may have gotten taken by a raccoon (we have seen some lately).  We are on the job this morning, locating a Humane Society that will take them.  Cross your fingers we do.  It's not easy this time of year for any to take them, as it's kitten season right now.  One kitten is very friendly, the other and Mom are not happy with us.

Sadly, we are heading into a very hot week with no chance of rain until July 7th.  Watering is almost daily, so I hope the garden still progresses during this trying time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Photo shoot from the front porch




Baby yellow finch.  So happy to see that Mom and Dad had a baby.  I will have to keep an eye out for more.



More blooms in the flower garden.


My new addition to the flower bed is blooming wonderfully.

I almost had a close up photo of a Boston Oriole, but by the time I got my gimmpie rear to get my camera, he/she flew off.  Hubby and I got to see it though while playing cards on the front porch last night.  That's about all I accomplished, other than watering everything.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday

We had another weekend retreat at our favorite island.  It was the best weekend ever.  We went alone this time.  We met more islanders and laughed and laughed and laughed.  Tried a Storm Cloud shot for the first time.  Hubby didn't like it so much, but I did.  Sort of on the sweet side.

It was pretty busy on the island and the place we rent is now booked until mid August already.  Our friends that own it, have a machine that they set inside and put a timer on and it kills anything.  Sort of like what the UV machines do, but different.

We were home early, unpacked, laundry started, lawn mowed, garden checked, catnip went into the dehydrator and potted plants watered. Sage went into another dehydrator.  It was hotter here than at the island (beautiful weather and nice breeze at the island).




We have six acres, but not all is mowed.  Our old goat pasture looks like this now.  Hm.  Time to locate people to bring the goats in to eat it down?  When our buck was in this area, he ate it down regularly for us.

We did some flower bed weeding, and cleaned one of the air conditioner filters too.  It's probably a good thing we did work on Sunday.  By evening, I figured out my sciatica was back.  At first I thought it was just a pulled muscle.  Not a good time to happen.  I'm digging out my papers on stretching exercises and will start on that first.  I will have to have the girls do my garden work for a few days until I can get back to feeling better.  I didn't sleep good at all last night due to the pain.  It's a horrible pain.



Here are my biker gnomes.  They are going back out. I'm just not sure where yet.


Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

The weather . . .
89°F/63°F.  No chance of rain.  Sunny.

How I am feeling this morning. . .
In serious pain.  Frustrated this happened, but I succumbed to this awful, off and on problem, due to falling on ice and landing on my back and hitting my head on cement over 13-14 years ago. It comes and goes when it feels like.


On my mind . . .
How am I going to get my work done today?  The timing is awful. Also, the health store where we buy our true organic/non-gmo meat from has closed permanently.  The produce stand where we buy our sweet corn announced yesterday they are also closing permanently.  What's not getting destroyed from idiot rioters, is closing due to lack of income (from being forced to close).


On the breakfast plate . . .
Sweet potato and black bean frittata with fresh cilantro from the herb garden.


On the reading pile . . .
Nothing this week.  I took the week off.


On the TV . . .
Whatever we find interesting on Amazon Prime.


On the menu this week . . .
Well, first I have to make out a grocery list, after checking the pantry and fridge.  
-Stuffed Shells, veggie
-Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn
-Chicken/veggie kabobs on the grill


From the camera . . .

I picked shell peas this morning.  They are doing great.  I missed these last year.  Lots more on the vines, and that makes this gal happy.


Looking around the house . . . 
It was cleaned up yesterday by one daughter so she could have a backyard cookout with some friends last night.  I will need to get the herbs out of the dehydrators and refill one with mullein leaves and flowers.  My wild mullein is 6 feet tall right now.


Chore I am not looking forward to this week . . .
Everything and anything I can manage to get done, like watering everything.  I will resort to my sprinkler for the vegetable garden, but I hate to run the water pump that long.


To relax I will . . .
Stay off any news on the TV, stay off any social media (getting so sick of it), crochet and maybe watch cooking shows to stay off my feet.  Although movement helps.  I will do my stretches however.  It's the only thing that helps get rid of the pain.

On my prayer list . . .
Well, for starters for this pain of mine to go away.  Our country, our President,  and law enforcement. 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Garden Goodness ~ Happy Heart

Pea picking is daily right now.  Shell peas are now on thanks to the goodness of rain.



Oregano is abundant this year (unlike my thyme and rosemary), but I'll take anything this year.  I filled the dehydrator, and may do it once more.




Although there are a lot of sugar snap pea recipes, I went with what I had - used homemade garlic scape pesto, tossed in pasta and snap peas, topped with grated Parmesan cheese.


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Rain and other tidbits

Tuesday morning we finally got some of Mother Nature's medicine for the gardens.  It was very much welcomed.



We also celebrated our one daughter's 21st birthday (she baked and frosted her own cake), and we celebrated it by going out to eat and buying her first adult drink.

Daughter and I went to the "Big City" to get our licenses renewed.  Her renewal was easy, but because mine expired during this virus mess, I had to have all sorts of information brought with me.  I dug through paperwork and actually found every single thing I needed for my renewal.  It took us an hour to get through the process.  We timed it right, with only 17 people ahead of us, but a very long line behind us.

We have purchased one car thankfully too.  However, we need 2 more to be completely functional, so we are car shopping for the daughter who turned 21.



View from our front porch last evening.