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~

Friday, May 14, 2021

Lilac Jelly Tasting ~ Bugs with Blogger ~ Herb Garden Work ~ Greenhouse Win!

I cracked open a jar of the lilac jelly I canned.  I can't explain the flavor, but it is very good.  It's not a perfum-y taste as is the fragrance of lilacs.

I am getting frustrated with blogger.  I noticed yesterday that half of my font changed after I posted it.  It's been happening a lot lately.  I'll try and remember to view it first thing, so the font is all the same size.

Green onion area (after photo)

My herb garden is a hot mess this year.  After running into ants in the flower beds, I moved to the herb garden.  Man oh man.  Thankfully the rain helped making the process easy.  I now have an area to plant my thyme seeds I started inside this year.  The oregano looks great, other than grass is now growing in it.  I ripped the grass seeds off and will weed the grass out after the next rain (more photos hopefully soon).  I have much to do, but it sure feels good (although work) to be outside again.

My veggie plants got a day outside to start hardening.  It has been way to cold to even start, and it's late for us this year.  

I found habanero, serrano, hot banana pepper plants and sweet potato slips at the Greenhouse yesterday.  No cherry bomb hot peppers.  Again. No one seems to have them this year.  I've tried everywhere, and seeds are not available in stores, so (I know it's late), but I ordered seeds.  We'll see how that goes.  Our neighbor who sells his veggies/fruits in a stand may have some to buy this year too.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

This and That

I went to book a camping trip, and wow!  They are booked solid for the next two months (one of our favorite ones).  Already.  I will have to book late summer now, but still going camping.  We did not get to go camping at all last year. Needless to say our first camping trip is now booked.  I'm tempted to book a fall one right now too, as everyone is getting out this year.

On another note.  A very disturbing note.  The Gov. of MI is demanding a pipeline shut down that runs from Canada thru MI.  If this happens my husband will be out of a job.  I'm so frustrated with how this country is operating right now.  It will put thousands more out of jobs. Not to mention threaten the economy once again.  We've had enough.

On a good note, the weather is finally warming up and the frost warnings are coming to an end.  Tilling the garden begins, and I will finally (finally) get planting started.  It feels like it's been a long wait this spring.  I will start hardening my plants this weekend.

I have started weeding out the flower beds, and I am hoping to be done by Sunday.  I have a lot to weed, and thought "do I have too many flower beds?" as I was weeding.  Well, I'm keeping them all the same, but boy it seems like a lot to me.  Flowers are slim pickin's too. 

The wild black raspberry plants are already getting their blossoms.

I have lots of things on my hooks right now. I am still working on the cardigan (husband was right with that project).  I plan on getting some pictures soon.  I finished Daughter T's hot pads, but forgot to get a photo before I gifted them to her.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Back to the Grind ~ Lilac Jelly


This was my "note to self" upon awakening.  I had two days off in the kitchen.  I technically had a complete two days off, so it was back to the grind, kitchen, name it.

I got more flowers on my birthday and many more gifts.  The day was truly special, and I did not do a lick of work.  

First, a breakfast needed to be made (made a scramble)

A two meat potato, onion, green bell pepper, garlic, farm fresh eggs and dandelion greens.

...and this crazy lady did this

I picked lilacs to try lilac jelly for the first time ever.  The infusion first turned a blue-ish, then purple color.

Once the jelly was made it turned into a beautiful pink color. I was expecting a yellow color (someone showed me their jelly they canned), but of course this color is pink.  Any thoughts?  My blooms were a brighter purple, so maybe that is why?  I will be tasting this in a day or so and let you all know if it's good.

I apologize for no printable version.  I tried one way I googled and could not figure it out.  It was written Feb. of 2021, but what pops up with the directions does not look like what her photos show. One of these days....

Lilac Jelly
2 cups packed lilac flowers
2 1/2 cups boiling water

I use a quart canning jar.  I add the flowers to the jar and pour the boiling water over.  I put a lid and rim on and let it sit overnight, but you should let it infuse at least 8 hours.

Strain infusion.  I use a coffee filter in a strainer over a glass bowl.

In a large pot, add:
2 cups of the lilac infusion
4 Tbsp. organic lemon juice
1 box sure-jell powdered pectin
Bring to a boil.
Add 4 cups sugar and bring to a rolling boil, constantly stirring. Boil one minute. Remove from heat and skim.
Pour into sterilized jars (1/4 inch head space), wipe jars, and add heated new lids and add the rim.   Boil in canner for 10 minutes.  Cool untouched for 24 hours.

Yield:  8 - 4 oz. jars or 4 - 8 oz. jars.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Teeny Tiny Tidbits

The first thing I did Monday morning, was check on the asparagus and my rhubarb.  My medicinal plants are doing great.  I am really hoping my wild mullein comes back too.  I have burdock just about everywhere this year already.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Happy Homemaker Monday

 We had another fantastic weekend (birthdays/Mother's Day) getaway.  Why not.  We are doing much more travel this year.  We went to Amish country.  We really didn't have anything in mind, other than re-stock some organic/non-gmo items, pick up some cheeses, and maybe dine at the brewery.  You'd think they would have a big yarn store in that area, but they do not. They do have a fabric outlet.  Anyway, it was our first trip in 2 years.

The menu was changed at one of the restaurants we love to go to, and they took our favorite meal off of it.  

We came home to 37°F, snow and thunder.  What a messy day, but Mother's Day overall was nice.  We delivered flowers, 6 bottles of wine, chocolate, and a travel tote bag to my Mom's.

Came home to gifts and flowers from the girls.

Good thing I checked the rhubarb before we left.  I had to cut those blooms off.  I will however, need to cover it again for the next few days, as we dip into the low 30's (ugh).

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

The weather outside is . . .
58°F/37°F, cold

How I am feeling this morning . . .
Rejuvenated.  Ready to take on the day, but will try and relax.

On the breakfast plate .  .  .

I have no idea yet.  I need to bake something for the next few days.

On my reading pile . . .

I bought this book at the flea market over the weekend.  I met the author too.  It's her life story growing up and leaving Vietnam.  I'll let you know if it's good or not.

On my TV . . .

Whatever we find on Netflix

On the menu this week . . .

-baked mac' n cheese, green beans

-walleye (locally caught and gifted to us)

-have no idea. . . .will check the freezer/pantry later today

From the camera  . . .

Something new in Berlin.  We got this for dinner one night and took it to the hotel.  A local guy was in line just to buy their BBQ sauces.  

Traffic is always crazy in Berlin.  They don't have a light here, and so often they have an officer there to stop traffic and let people in and out.

Looking around the house . . .

One daughter actually cleaned up the living room while we were gone, but she did not do the dishes (no surprise there).

To relax this week, I will . . . 

Read or crochet

Something I want to share . . .

Our hotel actually had a breakfast this time.  It was not a brown bag breakfast, but biscuits and gravy, waffles, boiled eggs, etc.  The only thing they didn't bring back yet, was the scrambled eggs and bacon/sausage.

Devotional, Inspirational, prayer list or Bible verse . . .

Friday, May 7, 2021

Random Tidbits

The gloom and doom of gray skies here is taking the zip out of my zoom.  We are so ready for some sunny skies.  The weather has been rain and clouds lately.  Oh, and colder weather.

The rain however, is bringing up more asparagus for us.

It's been an exciting week too.  We have our birthdays to celebrate (5 days apart, husband and I), and Mother's Day.  I was actually born on Mother's Day.  We are focusing on our good times this week.  

Daughter E looked at more apartments yesterday.  Oh, she got a raise at work too, which is good news.

I replanted my organic/non-gmo habanero seeds.  Nothing so far.  I even looked for plants while I was out the other day.  Nothing.  It's not yet time to plant the garden/flowers, so I have some time yet.  I'm on the look out for two types of hot pepper plants.  I have many more places to check as well.

Normally, I can make a set of hot pads (including the edging) with 2, 2 oz. balls of cotton yarn.

I was stumped when I got the second piece done using the first ball of yarn.  I literally had almost nothing left.  I then weighed the other ball.  It was correct in weight.  I may need to edge them with another color.  Unless I can find the same color at the store I found this yarn at.  I'm sure the first ball was less than 2 oz.  I'll figure it out after I get the second one done.

I worked on the second hot pad last night and realized I didn't have enough yarn for the second one too.  I did some checking and my balls of yarn I used for the previous ones were 2.5 oz.  So....balls sold in stores now are smaller and higher prices.  I guess I'm ordering my next yarn online.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Sheet Pan Eggs


I finally got around to try out sheet pan eggs.  I baked them at 350°F for 12 minutes.  Yolks are cooked, but soft.  You could adjust temp and time for what you like, but it worked out well.   I used my organic shortening that had coconut oil in it to grease the pan.  It did not change the flavor of the eggs either.  Farm fresh eggs are so delicous.

Have leftovers?  These heated nicely for egg sandwiches for breakfast the next morning.