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, February 8, 2023

....from the handiwork journal

Crocheted plant leaf coasters that fill a "pot" when not in use.  It turned out super adorable.  I used what colors I had on hand and think they were perfect.  I may or may not make more of these.  Daughter E's suggestion.

Finished this blanket finally.  Only 40 hours of labor (love).

I'm back to working on our own blanket now.  My husband is happy about this one.  I have not made us a blanket in years.  The dogs destroyed the last one I made when we first moved here.  I'm so happy to work on it again.  I decided to rotate soft white in between the black and heather grey yarn.  I'm  hoping to get it done before winter is over.  Summer is not an ideal time to crochet a large blanket.

Future possible project - a crocheted Valentine Tic-Tac-Toe game.  Is it not adorable or what?  On the possibility list for next year.  I have a house to get in order this year.  Pattern is free online HERE.


Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Collecting Recipes Addiction ~ Deep Clean Continues ~ Tea Healing Trick ~ Longest Egg Laying Hiatus Ever!

 I've been going thru a box of recipes from Mom's house.  I know where I get the collection addiction from now.  Golly.

It appears that Mom started to create her own cookbook many, many years ago, in a binder (by typing it up).  She saved every recipe the local newspaper printed, and she used to sit and listen to a radio show where they shared recipes.  There were notepads filled with recipes she wrote down from that radio station.

I found her recipe for Chop Suey.   When I was a young kid, Mom made me sit at the table until I finished chop suey, and I hated it.  I remember being forced to sit and finish another meal I did not like, but chop suey was on the top of the list.  Not sure why I did not like it, but the memory of that was traumatic.  I never forced my kids to sit and eat something they did not like.  Anyway, the box has been delivered to the next sibling.

I copied only two recipes that involved rhubarb.  I think this box has cured me of collecting recipe, ha ha!  Now I need a cure for collecting crochet patterns.  Sheesh.  Do you have a "messy" habit of collecting something you really don't need? Or something you collect, and then neglect?

I got one more kitchen cupboard shelf cleaned and lined, and one more drawer.  I have more to do, but I feel better if I do at least one a day (or every other day), so I can still rest up after regular chores.  

My laryngitis is still hanging on, but slightly better.  Trying a trick my Dad taught me about curing sinus infections (but will also help laryngitis) - add a few drops of oil of oregano to my teabag before brewing (food grade oil).  I rememebered this hack, after someone suggested I drink oregano tea.  As you can see, the cool mist humidifiers are going, plus one diffuser.

My washing machine was giving a code again, so my husband took the filters apart and cleaned them (both water incoming and water out going).  He found a quarter blocking the out going.  

This winter was the longest hiatus from egg laying in history.  Not one egg since last October.  So it got me thinking.  I checked the ingredients on the organic feed we buy.  I am pretty sure they dropped the amount of protein in it, so we switched it up, and I picked up some black sunflower seeds.  Of course they get kitchen treats from me too.  Never, have we ever,gone this long without fresh laid eggs.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday


The museum gift shop has closed their doors.  Water damage from back in December.  I sold my jar openers, dish scrubbies and soap saver bags at the museum gift shop, and with success.  I picked my inventory up over the weekend.  They will be seeking fund raisers to repair the historical building.

The weekend, which was to be one full trip for errands, ended up two days.  We had to stop at the feed store, pick up groceries, make a drop, donate stuff, get my hair cut, and so on.

I also saw a doctor at our Urgent care.  I wanted to make sure there was no infection.  There was not.  She said to "not talk" and that would clear the laryngitis.  So frustrating.  The only possibility is it was stress induced in Jan (makes sense).  

We have put a larger humidifier next to my bed, but now we may put one in near the living room as well.  It should help.  Anyway, no infection.  I asked the pharmacy for suggestions, and came home with two different throat lozenges.

Update:  all of the stairway, upstairs carpet has been removed.  We are deciding on how to sand and paint the stairs, and flooring for up there.  I have a dresser in storage here, I still need to sand and stain, but have come up with some other ideas to get it nice and pretty this summer.  It will go upstairs in the spare bedroom.  It's been added to the "get'r done" list.

I'm slowly clearing up the mess we made by moving stuff from one room to another, putting paint cans away, and the tools away.

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

The Weather. . .

We are getting up in the 50's, and several days of rain.

As I look outside my window . . .

It's still dark out.

Right now I am . . .

Sipping hot coffee, trying to wake up.

Thinking and pondering . . .

The menu this week, what needs done, and cleaned.

On my bedside table . . .

New throat lozenges to try.  Hoping to get relief this week.

On my TV . . .

Right now the weather.

Listening to . . .

Rhythm and blues today.

On the breakfast plate . . .

Scrambled eggs, blueberry sausage and french toast.

On the lunch plate . . .

Ham/cheese sandwich.

On the dinner plate . . .

Mexican chicken most likely.

On the menu. . .

Breakfast - crock pot steel cut oats/apples/cinnamon


-Mexican Chicken, corn or other veggie

On the reading pile . . .

I was cleaning up more piles of stuff that were shoved into the office, and found a stack of old magazines.  Don't laugh!  2019 is the date on them.  I'm reading thru them now.  Not like I need more recipes, ha ha!

I'm also reading some books on my homesteading shelf, and looking over chicken coop building plans.  I'm also looking up how to mix up my own chicken feed. 

On my to-do list . . .
-run dishwasher
-master bath
-work on cleaning a few more kitchen cupboards and lining with new shelf paper
-start sorting another box from the room projects
-look for a burn barrel
- pay a few bills
-make a few phone calls (or leave that to my husband, because I'm not supposed to talk)

Plans for this week . . .
*see to-do list, ha ha!
-start painting the hallway window trim

What I am sewing, knitting, crocheting or creating . . .
Still working on this blanket. First priority, but daughter E shared another new project with me...

If it works out, I will share soon.

My simple pleasure . . .
Painting my fingernails in the winter time.  I haven't done it in a long time though.  It's the only time of year when my hands are not in the dirt ha ha!  

Looking around the house . . .
It's looking so much better.  Whew!  I haven't gotten all of the boxes unpacked yet, but looking great!  Plus, I'm feeling so much better going into spring with clean cupboards (more to do).

From the camera . . . 

Prayers . . .
Continued prayers for healing of this laryngitis.
Our  handy man  Arron.  His dog got very sick with cancer and had to be put down.  He is struggling daily with his loss.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Elderberry Elixir ~ Immune Booster


I was given this recipe from a friend several years ago.  It is similar to the one online with Mountain Rose Herbs.

In a stove top pot mix:

3 cups of spring water 
1/2 cup dry elderberries
4 inch piece of fresh ginger sliced
8 - 10 inches of cinnamon stick

Bring to a simmer and simmer 1 hour.  Press juice from berries.

Strain and let cool completely, and add:

Juice of one lemon
2/3 cup of honey

Note:  To make this last longer you can add 1 cup brandy (after you stir in honey and lemon)

Store in a cool dark place.  Adults:  take 1 Tbsp. daily, or up to 3-4 a day when feeling ill.  

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Homemade "Bisquick" and other ramblings

In order to try a new recipe (thank you M. Meyers), I needed a new batch of "Baking Mix" for it.  Basically, it's homemade "Bisquick."

I've used the below (link is below photo) recipe often, and as she states, you can store part of the mix in our fridge or freezer if you don't use it within the month.

The recipe is from Lazy J bar c farm - Baking Mix.

She has other recipes I love to make, including the zucchini muffins with shredded zucchini (I like to freeze shredded zucchini over summer for this in the fall/winter/spring time).  It's a great go-do muffin recipe for taking to gatherings or potlucks.

The other day I threw together a soup, because I had expected leftovers on our meatloaf dinner night (kids came and devoured it all).

It actually turned out delicious.  I just threw it together with some organic Hannah sweet potatoes (they are white, not orange), ground Italian sausage, and kale.  I also added onion, garlic, basil, salt and pepper.  Oh, a bit of dry white wine as well.  We both loved it. I did not add any milk or cream, but that could be added possibly.  Either way, it turned out delicious.

We are noticing day light has been longer the last few days.  It is so nice to see that again.

I finally got back to lining more of the kitchen cupboards.  I got 4 more shelves cleaned, and now have new shelf liner.  I also have metal shelves in a few that also got a good cleaning, before putting back in the cupboards.  I have a few more to do.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Cold Day ~ Pouring Travel Soap

We are to have a very cold day today (yesterday's sunrise).  However, we are to warm up after that, so it's not staying long.

One more winter job off the to-do list - making travel soap.  

I am slowly working items out of my closet (total chaos).

The soap base was in solid blocks, so I grated it first.

I decided, after trying both sizes, that the rectangle soap makes a smaller soap, and better for travel.  the oval is perfect for a spare bathroom or gift giving.

I decided to get those made, and soap stored for any traveling this year.  Very easy to make and are great for adding to gifts such as a crocheted washcloth and face scrubbie pad.

Not all of the soap is in that photo, but the bars came out to about $.57/each minus adding essential oil.  I did not (obviously) add any coloring.  I am also sharing some with the kids, but perfect for travel trips/camping and gifting.

In hindsight, I should have made a few regular sized bars, but that job is done.  I have had the soap base for at least 2-3 years now.  The last few years have been rough, so I guess 2022-2023 is a "get'r done" year for us.

A reader asked about melting down slivers of leftover soap.  I do not know about store bought soap (non handmade).  I mentioned you could put your soap slivers into a soap saver bag made with 100% cotton.  

Once you add the essential oil and pour to a mold and then use, I don't think you can melt them down again (with the oil in them).

Photo of a soap saver bag:  HERE

I could not find a photo in my computer photos, so I went looking for a blogpost.  I do not have any here at the homestead.  What I have left is still at the museum gift shop.  There are several patterns online for them as well.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Finishing up homemade garlic powder ~ Growing Rhubarb Question


Using parchment paper on my dehydrator trays makes this grinding part easier.  I push the dried garlic to the center of the paper, and lift the sides to slide it into the coffee grinder.

The jar I use fits my canning funnel, making that part easy too.  You could use a smaller funnel for smaller jars.  We use garlic a lot, so hence large jar.

I dump out the older garlic powder into a cup with spout, put the new garlic powder in first, then the older on top.  All set for another year (maybe, ha ha!).

It's not exactly a quick job.  I wash all the trays after I dehydrate, so tastes and smells do not permeate into the next dehydrated food.  I wash the coffee grinder and clean out anything that blew off the trays inside the dehydrator.

Question about rhubarb:
Our rhubarb died last year, and we were going to move it anyway.....but...

I believe someone on here bought root starts online one year.  I can only find seeds (organic, non-gmo), and our local produce stand that sold them, closed their doors.

Where can I find them online?  If not, I need to order seeds or check our garden stores here.