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~

Friday, February 28, 2020

Just Bits


We were told we'd get beaucoup amounts of snow, but we didn't.  Roads were very bad yesterday, so it was more of a stay-in-pj's kind of day.  

Woke up to 17°F (wind chill makes it feel like 5°F).

I put 15 more rows on the baby blanket and got another order for cup coasters (thankfully those are already made).  I sold all the bookmarks, so I have zero in stock right now.  That'll be restocked once this baby blanket is done.


I brewed nettle hair rinse.  


Today I need to make homemade "lysol" wipes with tea tree oil.  I am down to the last one.

School is delayed today, but for some reason neither one of us got the phone call.  

What's the cheapest, yet most useful tool available on Amazon to make zucchini noodles?  There are so many options and I don't want to buy something so big I have to make a new place to store another appliance.  I would love to hear your recommendations.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Parsley Sprouted

It took forever, but some of the parsley seeds have sprouted.  Makes me feel like Spring is just about here.

This morning however, it's snow covered and frozen slush everywhere.  School is closed.  It's 8°F out.  I'm thinking it's a crochet-PBS/Netlfix sort of day.  I got about 12 rows done on the baby blanket, maybe I can get 12 more on today.

Last night we had grilled cheese sandwiches with cowboy candy and Ezekiel bread, and home canned tomato soup.  I didn't need the cheese, but it was nice on a cold night. 

Our county is under a level 1 road emergency, and some a level 2 (which is the worst it's been this winter).  I'm ready for porch time, bare feet and sunshine. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Snow Returns ~ Cleaning Finds and Other Rambling

First, we got rain, then it turned cold and the snow returned.  I spent a few hours doing more cleaning, and purged a bit more. 

The snow will fall all day today, and freeze, and then turn to rain.  Glory be.  Mother Nature is on a drinking binge.  Daughter had school, but some closed.  Speaking of school, it was "80's" spirit day.  I dug out my very antique 80's double wrap belts and she pulled out her mini-skirt.  We had her in a rockin' outfit in no time.  By the way, the only reason I had my belts, is that I had put them into the kids Halloween costume totes.


In the process of cleaning, I found my lost fold-able (making them so portable for travel) readers for the Harley.  I also realized I am storing more yarn under the bed (yikes!).  More!  It's thread yarn.  I need more hours to crochet, ha ha!




What do you all think about this corona virus?  I came across a list of suggested medicinal herbs, but they are all Chinese herbs, which I have never heard off.  I am making sure we have Four Thieves Vinegar on hand, as well as homemade "lysol" wipes made with tea tree oil, a good supply of ginger root in the freezer, and many tinctures.  Not to mention real vitamin C and D.  I'm starting to also wonder if this will cause tourism dollars to drop to an all time low this year.  I'm not so sure I want to be traveling.






Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Egg shells ~ Garlic in Grow Bags ~ Three New Recipes

I took some egg shells out to toss in the garden (where the tomatoes will be planted), and took a look-see at the garlic.



I am thrilled to say, that some of it has green tops.  Not all, but I'm hoping it all comes up.  The only downside of grow bags - squirrels.  I had to plant a garlic clove that a rodent dug up.  Otherwise, I am a happy gal to see this.

Tried three new recipes yesterday.  Due to lack of ingredients on hand, each one was adjusted.


Cod in the crock pot with seasonings and onion.  Didn't have red onion, so I used white.  It cooked perfectly and tasted great.


Veggie quinoa in the crock pot.  Didn't have carrots, so I just made it without.  Cookbook said cook 4-6 hours on low.  It cooked in 4.


Low carb chocolate chip cookies (almond flour).  I didn't have maple syrup for these.  I didn't have any eggs, so this recipe was fitting to try.  These were so good!

The first two recipes are in the cook book, "Fix-It and Forget-it Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook.  The cookie recipe is online (Almond Flour Cookies with no eggs, Detoxinista).

Monday, February 24, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday




Our Monday morning sunrise this morning.

We warmed up over the weekend.  Perfect weather to cut wood, but Hubby had overtime.  Again.  It was warmer, but windy and not comfortable enough for porch time.

Weather was great for putting laundry on the line, but we had one obstacle.


Birds.  Hoards of them.  

Sunday my husband went to work on the car.  I went out and cleaned up all the trash that drivers tossed into our yard (all beer cans and pop bottle), and cleaned up the front porch a bit.  There are more problems with the car, so it's still not running.

  I typically don't like to do housework on the weekends, so I took advantage of being home alone and crocheted.   One of my simple pleasures is to watch Create (cooking shows) while crocheting.  However, they had the same chef (Kevin Belton) on Saturday and Sunday.  And.  It was a repeat show on Sunday.  Ugh.  I finished crocheting all the "f" bombs, and started on the baby blanket.

The last chance I had to get into the "Big City" I dropped off 7 crocheted bookmarks.  I am not for certain just yet, but I believe I sold all of them, which included all of the remaining heart ones.  I'll update when I know for sure.

I also read a bit.


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

The weather outside is . . .




We warmed up over the weekend, but you can see we are all over the board.  All the time.

How I am feeling . . .
Like any Monday.


On my mind . . .
A lot of stuff right now.  We have a lot going on in March, so don't worry if you don't see a daily post.  April is filling up now too.  The car.  It would have cost us a fortune to take it to a garage.  I'm going on week 4 of no vehicle and it's driving me nuts.  Now I really am complaining.  You'd think my house would be spot-less right now, but it's not.  It'd be different if it was garden season.  I guess I'll walk an extra mile on the treadmill to boost my spirit.  Meals are getting very creative too.


On the breakfast plate . . .

A sausage/broccoli breakfast casserole. Another new recipe.  We loved this!  It can be an overnight casserole too.  I had to blanch broccoli ahead of time for this, since we have zero in the freezer, but worth the time to make.  I will most likely cut the cheese in half and use Parmesan for half of it.  So good!  And no potatoes in it.


On my reading pile . . .
Speaking of this book, it's due back and I haven't finished it yet.  The library system has 14 copies of it (and I'm the only one with a copy checked out, so 13 others are available), and someone put a hold on this one.  It's the only problem I have with using the library.  One time I went to pick up my books, and a librarian had taken one of my books home with her and hadn't brought it back.  Many times a librarian will see the book I borrowed, and put a hold on it, so I can't renew it.  I love the library, but it also has interference sometimes.


On my TV . . .
Good Girls


On the menu . . .
White chicken chili, garlic muffins
Sweet potato and black bean enchiladas with veggie wraps
Stuffed Pepper soup
Cod, Veggie Quinoa
BBQ chicken sandwiches, thyme sweet potatoes

What I am creating . . .
A baby blanket (order).  Specific colors - navy, gray, mint, tan, peach and orange.  The lighting was not great for the photo, but you can see the color rotation.  I picked a granny stripe for this blanket.


From the camera . . .


Looking around the house . . .
It's looking better and better.


Chore I am not looking forward to . . .
Nothing really.
To relax this week I will . . .

Read.



Prayers. . .
 - for extended family who is trying to sell their house.  They have been paying two mortgage payments, since they already moved.
-for Mom, her health
-for a grieving close friend
-Us and this darn car situation, not to mention getting the repairs done on the pellet stove - the electric bill is overloading us.
-our BIL, who is in the hospital (pneumonia)

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Random Tidbits

My 20 year-old made a visit to do laundry, but first took me out to lunch (getting me out of the house) and took me to the store.  That was so sweet of her.

Hubby had overtime and more overtime today.  The car sits and waits.

I'll be getting some crochet time today, so that is good.  

We were invited to go to Daytona and they even have a trailer to trailer our Harley, but we have declined.  It's sort of on the expensive side and we need a back up car here for our daughter.  The bands were similar to our Bike week here anyway.  Besides, they want to drive straight down, and we are just not up to that long of a drive.

Hubby returned my library loot, paid my late fine, and brought home 2 full bags of  books.  I just may have to spend a bit of time to look through them today as well.

I'm collecting new grilling recipes for summer, so many of the books are cookbooks.  Some books are pattern books, some gardening (building) books and so forth.

Our youngest has mentioned now that she does not want a graduation party.  She'd rather just go camping and have friends join us, or go on a vacation.  I'm okay with that.  We'll see if she changes her mind on or not.

Not much else going on at the homestead.  We had plans, but overtime changed that.  


Friday, February 21, 2020

Wacky Weather

Tiger has the right idea.  I may just join him. Had it not been for Romeo and the chickens, I would have stayed in PJ's all day yesterday.  Woke up to 6° and today it'll be 46°F tomorrow.

The Almond Butter Chocolate Chip cookies didn't last long.  We are fighting over the last of the last.  I had not made them for years.  Not sure what made me think of them, but surely enjoyed them.

Nothing much to post - wacky weather, car still not repaired.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Good Day ~ Imponderabilia

Yesterday went much smoother.  Thankful for that.  The sun shined, although pretty cold.  Before Hubby left for work, I loaded the back seat with 3 large bags of library returns.  I texted him late in the day to remind him to drop them off.  Of course, I had a load to pick up as well.  I've decided not to order anything from the library until the car is fixed.

By the way.  Just my luck.  Hubby worked overtime last night, so the library books are still in the truck. 😟

I worked a bit in my office area, and even completely cleaned out a drawer. Much of it went into the trash, but some will be donated.  



I am finally getting the tinctures strained and bottled.  I had to do this one day at a time, due to lack of strainers.  I had to wash and dry completely, so I didn't contaminate the tinctures with any water.



The only other thing I needed to do in the kitchen (other than a big dinner), was make blueberry syrup for the pancakes.  The pancakes will get us by, while the eggs re-supply.

My latest choice of rooster that's in with the ladies is doing well. So far, he's picking up on my cue to treats and being a nice gent.  Hopefully, he'll stay that way.  I just need to give him a name.

The fate of the car - imponderabilia.  We are getting frustrated trying to "ponder" about this situation. There is a possibility we may have to trailer the car home.  Sigh.  They want there garage space back and the car isn't running yet.   And....and...the only way to back it out, is to push it out.  Sideways, into a muddy field.  Their camper is in the driveway.  To be honest, the first thing I asked Hubby (when I saw the car) was, "how in the heck did you get it in here?"

It'll be up to 52°F this weekend.  There is no way they can get a truck, trailer and car through a muddy field (adjacent to the driveway).  The camper will have to be moved if we trailer it.  What a mess. 

This morning however, it's a chilly 8°F.  Just love this up and down stuff.  Not.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Wide Awake Hot Mess ~ Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

On top of being a hot mess on Tuesday, so was the weather.  We got boat loads of rain, so everything is a muddy mess.  It's cold now again, and nights in the teens.  Stupid, crazy weather.

By the way, when I post things that are just not going our way, it's simply reality.  I'm not complaining, just pushing through.  I don't post that life is all posh in the boonies if they are not.  Although winter is a time to rest, we may be cleaning up the garage this coming weekend.  Not willingly though.  I guess we'll see.

I checked off my to-do list as best as I could yesterday, which started with washing the crock pots for another two crock pot dinner - turkey meatballs/marinara sauce in one, and veggie quinoa in another.  However, I realized I was completely out of quinoa, so glazed carrots went into the other crock pot.


By the way, I had cauliflower to blanch and freeze, but decided to "rice" it with some onion and parsley.  We topped it with the meatballs and it was actually very good.  Recipe is online from Food Network - Healthy Cauliflower Rice.

...after downing a lot of coffee, I just became a wide awake hot mess.

I was literally still in the kitchen at 2pm.  I never got much of the laundry done - 2 loads.  I washed and dried dishes twice, emptied, filled and emptied the dishwasher. In between all that, I prepped dinner, made a batch of homemade ginger-ale for Mom, baked almond butter cookies (I was needing some chocolate) and a big batch of Einkorn blueberry pancakes.  The rest of my chores just might get done today.

Romeo was pretty needy, as he was in his kennel all day Monday (which never happens).  He was by my side all day long and sort of in my way, so I treated him to a carrot here and there to keep him occupied and offer a peace treaty for not being home.

Now, I'm home all week without a car and it's driving me nuts.  In reality, to most people, it would be a good thing, but I have stuff I need to do.  I have my library loot to return, so I'm filling up the back seat of daughter's car (or Hubby's truck) to drop off for me.  I put an S.O.S. out to another daughter to come out and pick up homemade ginger-ale syrup, which I made for my mother.  She'll have to pick up the club soda for me as well, since we are fresh out.  I also placed an online order for quinoa and other items, and it should be here in a day.  Hubby is still working on the car after work, and the last thing he needs is his Wifey texting him a grocery list.

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup organic non-gmo almond butter
3/4 cup organic brown sugar
1 farm fresh egg
1 tsp. homemade vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup organic non-gmo mini chocolate chips

Mix together all but the chocolate chips.  Fold the chocolate chips into the batter.  Drop about a Tbsp. on parchment paper lined cookies sheets and bake at 350°F for 12 minutes.  Do not flatten.  These spread nicely.  Allow to cool before removing from baking sheets.  Cool completely on wire racks.  

Note:  I am thinking about adding slivered almonds and leaving out the chocolate chips for my husband, and reduce the sugar to about 6 Tbsp. next time.

Here's to another day of getting things back on track around here.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Good Grief! The Car Saga Continues

Sunday, while Hubby worked on the car the entire day, I got 3 "F" bombs done for my current order.  Just 3 more to get done.

Monday, I went with Hubby to work on the car again.  His exact words were, "it'll be 1/2 hour tops and we'll bring her home."  It didn't happen.  She's still not running after putting her all back together.  I was starving and we were thankful for leftover turkey and sweet potatoes when we arrived home late.   

Sadly, we didn't have any time to cut wood.  Hubby is going work on the car every night until they figure it out.  We didn't have the boys help yesterday, and Hubby is stumped.  It starts, but won't stay running.  They will hook up a code test and see what comes of that next.

Since we have been super busy with the car, I have a full "to-do" list today.  Over the top long.  The sink is filled with dirty dishes and the housework is so far behind.  Daughter had a full day of musical practice Monday and that continues after school, so the entire to-do list lands on me alone.  

My computer area in my kitchen is a total mess.  Papers need shredded, papers filed, mail opened and sorted, and printed recipes laying around.  Sigh....I'm gonna need a lot of coffee today.

Send good mojo that Hubby and the boys can get my car running, and soon.  They are needing the garage to work on their skid loader next, and we are hogging up their garage space.  

Everything is just a hot mess today.  Every room a mess.  I don't even know where to start today.  Please be patient as I respond to comments when I can.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday

First thing on the agenda was go through my library loot.  I didn't get any really good gift ideas from these garden gift books.

I'm looking through this one for new recipes.  I've ordered another one for the slow cooker for "diabetic" recipes.  I will wait and see which is better to buy.  There are several recipes for this next recipe online, but I really like using crock pots for dinner (trying new recipes for easier days this summer).


One recipe from the above slow cooker cookbook - Thyme Roasted Sweet Potatoes.  Yes, those are sweet potatoes (different organic variety).  Loaded with garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes.

A second crock pot was filled with a turkey breast, loaded with seasoning and a few homemade beef bouillon cubes.

Both were delicious, and it was the first time I ever cooked a turkey breast in a crock pot.  I'll definitely make them again, and I'll be doing a turkey in the crock pot next Thanksgiving.

Homemade Beef Bouillon Cubes
3 cups organic celery, finely diced
3 cups organic carrots, finely diced
2 onions, organic, finely diced
2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 lb. organic ground beef

In a saucepan, on low heat, combine all the ingredients.  Continue to cook this on low heat, covered for about 60 minutes.  Cool.  Process ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Spoon mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until sold.  Remove from freezer and place cubes in freezer containers.

Use to flavor meats, soups, stews, or other recipes.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 




My husband, after cooking us his famous omelets for breakfast yesterday morning, went to work on the car again.


I made a small batch of homemade seasoned salt.  I don't use it too often, but we were running low.

I'm working on another rooster name now.  Russell Crowe was removed from the coop, put into the coop with the other roosters, and another one put in with the hens.  So far, this one is not mean.  We'll be watching to see if Russell Crowe attacks the other roosters or not.  

I took advantage of a 25% off essential oil sale at MRH.  I restocked a few items too.


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

The weather outside is . . .


Beautiful. We'll get into the 40's today.

On the breakfast plate . . .
Have no idea just yet.
How I am feeling this morning . . .
Pretty good.  Hubby and Daughter are both home today.

On my mind . . .
Nothing really.  Just waiting for my husband to get out of bed to get this day started.
On my reading pile . . .
I came across this author, and so far it's much like the murder series written by Joanne Fluke.  The setting is a flower shop vs. a cookie bakery, and the main character has red hair (like he Fluke books), and there are more to the series.  This is the first book.  So far, I am enjoying it.

On the TV . . .
Whatever we find interesting on Netflix.

On the menu . . .
Crock pot cod, carrots
Turkey meatballs/marinara sauce, Veggie Quinoa (both crock pot dishes)
...not sure what else just yet


What I am creating . . .


An order of "F" Bombs, another cross bookmark (an order)


From the camera . . .



Looking around the house . . .
It's not looking too bad.
Chore I am not looking forward to today . . .
Not sure what our plan is for today.  All depends on how long it takes to finish repairing the car.
To relax this week I will . . .
Read and journal

Prayers . . .
Mom, no other special requests






Sunday, February 16, 2020

Temporary Plan ~ Random Tidbits

We literally sat around until almost 11am Saturday morning, tossing around what we'd do and when.  It was that cold out. Saturday we went shopping for more car parts, picked up chicken feed, made a quick stop at Mom's, and spent time on the phone seeing if any of the boys could help work on the car today.

The stop at Mom's was quick due to her not feeling well.  Her friend wants to look at my crocheted bookmarks, so I did a pick up of cash for some already sold items, and handed her the bookmarks.  I hope she feels better soon.  This weather is hard on us.



Check this out!  If you crochet, these are on sale at Mary Maxim for $3.99!  At least they were on sale. I haven't gone back to see if they are still at that price.  The heart charm comes in any color of birth month.  I know it's not "silver" but I've never seen this before.  I left it in my online shopping cart for a few days and him-hawed (shipping was awful).  I got an email for a free shipping on anything, so I bought myself one.  Happy Valentine's Day to me.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Snow and Cold ~ Proud Parents



We cut all but this much of one tree over the years, and this will come down for our winter wood.  We'll get a lot from it too.


The snow was so beautiful.  It was a fluffy snow with no wind, and gorgeous.  The kind that makes you curl up by the fire, under a blanket and with a book.

We slept in until 7:16am this morning, and with due diligent, but not without a cat alarm clock.  We woke up to a furry feline sliding his paws under our bedroom door and clankity-clankity-clankity.  He was ravenous and wanted fed so badly, he was yanking the door back and forth.

It's a cold -3°F.  First order of business was to feed Tiger, then Romeo, who for the first time was lifting his paws on he first outing outside.  It's too cold for him too.

Next order of business was coffee.  I knew to wait until we both had our coffee before bringing it up in conversation - Russell Crowe.  The rooster is so mean, it's leaving the roost today.  








(Far right is a red headed woodpecker)

I had over a dozen cardinals visiting again, and other birds this time around.  I tossed seed out for them too.  I think they are very appreciative as well.


Friday was a whirlwind of regional competition for our 18 year-old daughter.  Competition went until 12:30pm with awards promptly at 1:30pm.  

We killed some time visiting a local used/new book store.  I found it cute, but overpriced.  I quickly picked a few books of my favorite author (used), and proceeded to the checkout.  There, before me, was my worst nightmare - a lady yapping.  She yapped about books about WWII and would not stop.  Twice she turned around and made comments that she'd be out of my way.  Not so.  I was the only other customer.  Hubby said, "I'm going to go wait in the truck."  I was about to say something rude, when she finally stopped yapping and got out of my way.  Urgh.

We arrived at 12:30pm, only for them to tell us we cannot go in to sit for another half hour.  The program, and the parent letter stated "doors open at 12:30pm.



We sat in those uncomfortable seats until almost 2:10pm, in which the awards started.  Thankfully we drove separately, and they go in alphabetical order.  It only took a few minutes for them to get to "Cosmetology."  She won!!  She placed Bronze.  We high-tailed it out of there, congratulated her and left.

She is going to State competition in a few months.  The school is paying for hotel and busing them.  If she places at State (which is difficult), she move on to National, which is held in another state.  

We didn't get home until almost 4pm, in which I was undressing and ready for PJ's, only to get a text from Daughter that she wanted to go out to eat to celebrate.

Hubby and I groaned, but went out anyway.  We were so tired from sitting around, we just wanted to retire.  We also got cheated out of Valentine's Day.  Not sure why competition was held on Valentine's Day either.

No wood was cut, no car worked on, and I didn't even get chocolate or bottled adult beverage for Valentine's day.  What's up with that??  Not even a card.  Hmpf.  I'm declaring the weekend a "Valentine's Day Weekend."

We have no plan yet for this weekend, which scares me.  We need plans when it comes to wood cut, and weather so cold it makes transformers blow (which happened last night, but thankfully didn't affect us). I'm going to go down more coffee and see if we can come up with a plan.