Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

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~

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

It's Strawberry Season!!


Just when I said there was "nothing" going on here....BAM!  Strawberries!  I'll be busy over the next few days.  I am cutting back on how many jars of jam I can for us this year.  I canned too many last year.  I do can our jam reduced sugar, so it's more fruit to the jar.  I freeze some for smoothies, crumbles, crisps, and pancakes.  Of course we eat some fresh too.  

It'll keep me entertained indoors, as the Canadian wildfire smoke is choking us out in our state.  I noticed it two days ago.  The smoke is moving south, and we are in it's path, and it is very visible in the air (hazy).

On the extreme clean front, I am now pulling boxes out of my tiny office.  Keep in mind we boxed up the kitchen a year and two months ago, and some boxes from that job were still in there.  It's the last room with carpet too.

I found dishes from Mom's place, a lot of paperwork to shred or toss, 4 cones of black cotton yarn (gulp!), stuff that needs re-homed, some possibly donated, books to donate, and even toys the grandkids out grew already.  Sheesh.  Yeah, I will not be bored this week.

Oh, we finally delivered 5 boxes and one full bag of craft donations.  They were greatly appreciated, and my home has less "stuff" in it.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Solar Powered Rodent Repeller ~ Motion Activated


In desperation, my husband told me to order a set of these.  I'll have to go back on my Amazon and get the actual brand, but there are several on Amazon (not an affiliate).  He's been working 16 hour shifts and we have no help to get the garden fence up.  These were charged and put in one of the gardens.

The next day, I did not see one squirrel.  I typically see about 3 going around munching on maple tree helicopters.  I have not seen any of them since these went into the garden.  I have not lost any more bell pepper plants either, and some are coming back (where something bit the tops off).  

If they continue to work, I will buy two for the other area we planted.  The ones I ordered stated they were also waterproof of course.

We continue to remain in drought conditions here.  I'm running out of blog content, so don't worry if you don't see daily posts. There is nothing going on but my husband working his bum off, me watering everything, and back to purging/organizing.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday

 Although the weekend was another hot weekend, and no rain, most of the garden was tilled, and all the tomato plants were tied up.   I think we are on about day 15 of no rain here.

Sunday was our Monday.  Hubby worked, so I got most of my regular "Monday" stuff done already.

I worked up another hat pattern, but this time using some Red  Heart yarn I had, and I asked my husband for his opinion.  He said he did not like the "feel" of the yarn.  He preferred the Bernat yarn I used.  Do you all have a preference?  I have a lot of Red Heart in my stash.

By the way, the above pattern is free online from the Friendly Fox, called the Mountain Ridges Hat.  It uses more yarn, and is thicker than the last hat pattern I used.

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  I will link up when she posts.

The weather . . .

Whelp, a possible rain this coming weekend.  We shall see.  It's going to be cool at night and highs in the high 70's or low 80's.  60% chance of rain Sunday.

As I look outside my window . . .

Honestly, it looks like it could rain.  It's dreary looking right now, but the sun is not up either.

Right now I am . . .

Making coffee, and posting this blog post.

Thinking and pondering . . .

Changing our watering sprinkler system next season.  Adding another house to water both areas at the same time would speed that job up.

Listening to . . .

80's rock

How I am feeling . . .

Just frustrated with my husband's long work hours.

On the breakfast plate . . .

Steel cut oats with apples/raisins/cinnamon

On the lunch plate . . .

Either chicken salad or a turkey/cheese sandwich

On the dinner plate . . .

Pork Chops, Beets

What I am wearing . . .


On my reading pile . . .

On the TV this week . . .

A Simple Favour on Amazon Prime

On the menu . . .

-chicken salad (a new recipe from Mom's cookbook)
-crock pot pork chops, roasted oven beets with rosemary
-Apple/Pecan salads with chicken and roasted asparagus for a side

Looking around the house . . .

I still have a pile of craft supplies to donate.   I have more to go through though.

On the to-do list . . .

-water gardens
-purge another craft box
-muck coop (on any non-windy day here)

From the camera . . .

Devotional, Verse, Thoughts. . .

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Crocheted Washcloths ~ Review Over the Years


Ten years ago, I crocheted my first washcloth for selling at craft shows.  The photo above is from a camping trip in 2013 (that is a store bought black dishcloth to the right).  It's cotton, but over the years, it is not a favorite, and I stopped making them.  They where two thick, and too small, especially after several years of washing them.  

It was not a good selling item at the craft shows.  Ten years later I still have these in my inventory.   I still have 7 sets (one washcloth and one face "scrubbie").  The size is perfect for camping or traveling.  I know a friend who takes her own washcloth on vacation.  I got this pattern online for free, but her page is loaded with adds.  

Above 3 photos were taken a few days ago.  The bottom one is showing you how my first washcloths held up over the years.  It also shows how thick the stitches are, compared to the "make up" washcloths (most current pattern made).



Baby washcloths - 2017

I purchased some thinner yarn, that was going out of business and was never made again.  I made hand towels and washcloths for personal use, and some baby washcloths to sell.  They have held up over the years, but the baby washcloths did not sell.  My Mom bought them for using to wash up her grandkids, after a meal.  Mom was my best supporter.  Oh, and those were the only colors in that yarn they had in stock.  A yarn that takes up my stash space, so I may be looking into finding a way to use it up.

Current photo (2023)

Next, I made these to try them out.   I first made them in 2015.  They also held up, but too think and too big.  I feel they will be put to cleaning rags.  Also, these did not sell.


I made, what's called, a "makeup" washcloth, using a new pattern and using black cotton yarn.  These, so far, are my favorite of all the tried and used crocheted washcloths.  They are just the right size, hide any black mascara stains, and dry fairly quickly.  The stitch creates a not-so-thick washcloth.

Sorry if this was a boring post ha ha!  I literally just came across them in the wash, and thought "man these are really holding up."  Thought it deserved a post.  Washcloths are also small projects, which are great to stitch up during hot summer days.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

This and That ~ Score at the Store

The heat continues.  We had a high of 92°F, so I was out pretty early to water the gardens.  My sprinkler decided to work when it wanted, so it has to be replaced now.  It will not rotate all the time, and handling the hose to water everything is a 2 hour job.

I let the chickens out pretty early now as well, put frozen water bottles in their watering units and then later re-do it again when the heat hits the worst.  Let's just say, there is no porch time going on right now.  We could use a nice breeze.

We had some excitement in our parts.  Two inmates escaped the jail in my hometown.  I was on alert, and yesterday they caught them in a town I go to often.  Anyway......

I'm finally all caught up with dental appointments.  It took them a month to get my permanent crown done.  Glad that is all over with.  I went in for a cleaning, and they found I had chipped a tooth, which ended with 4 total visits.  I went ahead and booked my next cleaning, as they are booking almost a year out.  I'm not kidding either.  

I went into town to get new hand weights, and a few other things, and came home with these beauties.  I bought three for the flower beds (perennials). I may go back for at least one more.  I have always wanted to add "blue" to the flower beds.

I also scored some good deals I was not looking for.   First, 2# organic ground turkey for $3.49.  I cooked them up, and froze them for this next week.  I also got 3# organic baby bella mushrooms - all dehydrated.  I paid $1.34/a pound for the mushrooms.  

I finally got my eggs boiled.  I have a dinner dish to use them with, and I wanted them on hand for snacking.  Now I need to start stashing more fresh eggs in the carton for the next time, but they are not all laying in this heat.  One is slacking out there.

It looks like we will have to replace our main AC.  We are hoping it will last this summer, but the buttons on the front will not work anymore.  Thankfully, I found the remote that went to it, so I can at least change the settings from that.

I found a recipe book with Mom's notes on it.  There are a few strange ones that I will try soon.  By strange, I mean different.

Friday, June 2, 2023

. . . from the handiwork journal


. . .remember the scarf I finally finished?  Well....

. . .I had more yarn in the same color, so I started a hat to match.

I did ten more rows and realized I was reading the pattern wrong.  I was reading the part about the "3rd loop" incorrectly, and had to frog the 10 rows.
It now looks like this.   It's my "kitchen" crochet project, when I'm roasting something that needs turned every 15 minutes, and I shouldn't leave the kitchen.

Update after drafting this post:  It's done, but it feels a bit larger than it should be.  Not snug enough.  I used this pattern from 5 Little Monsters, and it says "I" hook.  I will make it again, but with an H hook to see if it fits a bit more snug.  I used a worsted weight yarn too.

By the way, if you make this hat, she has a full video tutorial on how to do this hat.  There is a stitch I was so confused about, so I had to hence frog it.  Video is HERE.

More updates!  Ha!  Guess what got crocheted?

My husband put in dibs for this one.

I used up more yarn in my stash!  These whip up pretty quickly!  I had the yarn, and the pom's, so I'm feeling pretty resourceful with my ridiculous amount of crochet time here lately.  These match scarves I crocheted over winter too.  I think I have a few skeins left, and then the remaining leftover yarn will be put into lap afghans to donate.

Mom was always my inspiration to make new items to sell.  She encouraged me to make some mask strap thingy's (can't explain other than it made it more comfortable for her, which required buttons).

I thought of her when I found my buttons in my stash.  I will put them to use with these hats, or any hat with a faux pom on it.  The pom has an elastic band that goes around the button, so it can be taken off to wash the hat.  I

   These Bernat Stripes I have in my stash made great hats with this pattern, and I used an "H" hook this time, and got a more snug fit, so H it is for this yarn.

. . .I found this free pattern on a yarn label, that came from yarn I am using on the blanket project.  It's a shawl pattern.  I am making it for a gift.  I'm not sure I like it just yet.  We'll see.  It may be a "porch" project, since the light outside is better for crocheting black yarn.

. . .the blanket is still progressing.  Old photo.  It's been tabled again due to hot weather however.

. . .these are new to me as well!  Lucky Penny! I made one and it turned out so cute.  I'm making one for a wedding.  They suggest the bride to be can pin it inside her dress, or to her flower bouquet.  I just made a yellow one, because that is the color of thread I had downstairs (ha ha!).  They would make cute keychains, and even cute random acts of kindness. 

 Anyway, another new crochet project in the books!  Now to find the poem to gift with it for a wedding.  Does anyone know the poem by chance?  I'll have to google that, and see if I can find it.  

If you are interested in this pattern, I actually found it via a video  -  HERE.  I'm not affiliated with any of these patterns.  I am just sharing them in case anyone is interested in them.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Book Finished! ~ Just the Bits

 First, I was in a book funk, where I have not been wanting to read at all.  I used to LOVE to read.  I'd fit it in anywhere I could.  

One of my cousins recommended reading "Atomic Habits" as one of two books she mentioned.  I bought both. 

My goal was to read 2 pages daily.  Small habit to start, but showing up to read made it a good habit. 

I was pretty impressed with this book.  There are some powerful quotes, so it's just not that same ol' self help type book.   If you want to get back to good habits, or ditch bad habits, this book is for you.

I haven't started the other book yet, but when I do, I will update on that one too.  Atomic Habits was highly recommended, and is a great book to take a review of your daily life.  We all need a review every once in a while.

It's day 11 of no rain.  It's great to dry laundry on the line, but I'm running that electric bill back up with the water pump, by watering what we did plant.

I'm glad we didn't buy annual flowers (yet).  I'd be watering those daily right now.

I've come to accept we just won't get everything planted in the garden.  I'll be going to some Farmer's Markets.  I have a bad feeling the voles got my 100 spring planted garlic cloves.  I dug into one grow bag and found one clove.  I plan to dig up the rest to concur that is a fact or not.

I finally finished painting kilz on the upstairs larger room.  I'll be moving on into the smaller room next.

I finally got someone to drive out here, and help get one AC unit in.  At least part of the house feels much better.  I am patiently waiting to get the upstairs one installed. 

We are on day 9 of my husband's double shift hours.  Every day he says it's the last, and then there is another.   There is hope that it will get back to normal soon.

The heat here is no joke.  My chickens have been panting.  I had to chip ice for them, and today will take frozen water bottles out to put inside their watering units.  

My husband had me order two solar motion activated rodent repellers.  They send off a sound to repel rodents such as rabbits, skunks, raccoons, squirrels etc.  He's feeling badly something got my bell peppers and hot peppers, and he can't help me get the fence up yet.  The units have been delivered, have been charged, and I will update on if we have anymore activity in the garden.

I had another "wing it" Wednesday dinner.  I loaded this up with lots of vegetables (onion, bell pepper, asparagus, zucchini), herbs from the herb garden, a bit of kale and spinach (because I didn't have enough kale), home canned tomato sauce, quinoa pasta, and a small bit of Monterrey jack cheese.  So good!  Oh, and I used ground turkey for the meat in this.  I really like this pasta too.  I does not get mushy like most chickpea pastas do.  Unfortunately, it's is also not sold in stores around here.  It's sort of a "treat" for us here lately.  It's on the re-order list for now.