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~

Monday, November 29, 2010

Leftover Turkey

I'm blessing the family today with a modge podge soup of sorts.   I'm not using a recipe.  I simply took some organic, free range broth, added leftover turkey, and several items I froze from garden.  I hope it tastes good!  I even added some frozen yellow squash, and swiss chard.  Yum!

The weather is chilly, which is perfect for enjoying hot soup.  The sun is shining too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Frozen Towels and Wall of Thanksgiving

It's just another weekend laundry day around here.  I literally had to yank my towels and washcloths from the clothesline.  They froze to the line, where they were pinched by the wooden clothespins.  Even if I had a million dollars, I would still hang my clothes out when ever possible.  Even in the snow.

The barn cat's water bowl froze over, but the chicken's did not.  It's pretty cold and by 1:00pm today it felt like bedtime.  The cloud cover, and lack of sunshine is a bid depressing.

My 14 year-old daughter cut leaves from construction paper and each of us wrote something we are thankful on them.  The hall way wall is now the "wall of Thanksgiving."  It's another memory we'll share together.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Sales ~ Stay Home or Go Out?

Yesterday, my husband plopped the local newspaper onto the bed.  I picked it up, and for a minute, thought he had brought home a Sunday newspaper.  There were so many ads in the newspaper, I don't think there was much of the "news" in the paper to read.   Really?  Do we need to have so many ads in our paper?

Well, as many people take this shopping experience seriously, I stay home.  Far, far away from the pushing and shoving and name calling.  Many moons ago, I too joined the crazy group of shoppers.  Only for me, I shopped for half-price toys for my kids when they were younger. 

A few years later, my husband couldn't understand why I didn't shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving anymore.  He decided he would get up at 5:00am and head to Wal-mart.  Well, he arrived, turned out and went to a Bob Evans for breakfast, and returned home.  He tells his story each year now, telling people they have to be "crazy" to shop during this day.

After his experience, he too, will never shop for "Black Friday" sales again either.  I can say that most items go on sale later anyway.  As for me and my family, for now anyway, we will be staying out of the stores.

Just because it's on sale, doesn't mean a person needs it to live.  Many sales ads that drag folks to the store cause them to spend frivolously.  It's more about the thrill of the hunt for a "deal" and not so much for providing basic living essentials.  A shopper really needs to have self-control during the holidays.  Don't get sucked into the sales ads this year.  You may need those extra dollars next year, after the holidays.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Laundry Soap Making Day

Today I making another batch of laundry soap.  This time I am making it with Zote, but it's still not turning out the way I'd like it too.  I may have to switch containers and store it in a plastic bucket with a lid. 

The sun is out and the wind is pretty strong, so it's a good laundry day for drying my bedding outside.

My kids are cleaning house for a school break/movie night party.  The rules have always been that if they are doing the inviting, then they do all the cleaning.   They are mixing up a bottle of vinegar/water to wash down the bathroom.

As for me, I have writing to finish.  It's day 23 of the NaNoWriMo and I've been able to keep up despite household chores, kids and hurting myself.  Yep.  I managed to pull a muscle or pinch a nerve or something and my head is throbbing.  I can't lean my head back or to the left either.  It's been pretty painful.   I better take something for it, because I have a school conference tonight. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hummus ~ And and another blanket

I made homemade hummus today and I'm having a hard time keeping my 8 year-old out of it.  I like to let the flavors infuse, while allowing it to sit in the fridge for a few hours.  I have to admit, after I tasted it on a cracker, I had a difficult time putting it away too.  We love homemade hummus and it's healthier too.  I use real lemons for the juice and natural tahini in it.


2 - 15 oz. cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
4 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup of roasted tahini (not raw)
juice of one fresh lemon
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add additional water if it is too thick (depending on what size your lemon is).    Place in refrigerator for a few hours before serving.  Add more garlic for a stronger flavor.  Serve with fresh vegetables, pita chips, or reduced fat crackers.

Makes about 3 cups.

And yet I have started another crocheted blanket, using the same colors as the last.  It is an easier pattern and will have a different edge when it's finished.

Friday, November 19, 2010


My 16 year old was inducted into the National Honor Society yesterday.  I had no idea what a huge thing this was, until I saw the ceremony myself.  She is the first of my kids to join.  In honor of her celebration, I baked Trapper's Oat bread and made homemade hot cranberry punch.
I dug out my old nut chopper to chop the walnuts.  I laughed when I heard that one of my kids was asking the other, "What is this thing?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NaNoWriMo ~ Day 17

I plan to exceed 28,000 words today, possibly 29,000.  There are definitely days when I doubt and wonder why did I do this?  Is it worth the messy house?  Is it worth the headaches and sore body from sitting so long writing?

My novel is crazy, outrageous and downright close to reality.  I have to keep chugging along and do this.  It's even causing my family to become absorbed into the government conspiracies that I have included.  We laugh about it, stretch our imaginations and laugh some more.

My husband is even talking to his co-workers about my novel.  They are giving him ideas to include, and he had even called home to share the ideas with me.  To humor him, I have included most of them.

This is an "anything goes" novel, editing not allowed, and no backing out allowed.  No matter how bad my head aches.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Migraine and Running Buck

Woke up with a migraine this morning.  We have to split more wood tonight and I am hoping I get over this before my husband arrives home. 

I have to share with you that our oldest dog ran after a buck the other night.  We had a laugh over it, because we are wondering what he's thinking he'll do if he ever catches one. Ha ha ha!

We are also experiencing night poachers around our property.  It's bothersome to know that they are out there, as we walk our dogs nightly, and in the dark some times.   We are not sure what they are hunting, but the gun shots are pretty much a clue they are hunting deer.  This is just one of the things we have to deal with by living in the country.  People that can't follow the law are the people who encourage the government to place more restrictions on gun ownership and freedom to protect oneself.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin-Apple Butter

I managed to make my very first batch of Pumpkin-Apple Butter, and we all love it.  I had been buying Apple butter from the orchard, but have now taken the time to make it myself.  I like the pumpkin in it too.  Who knows, maybe my family will be getting a small jar for Christmas too.
I made 4 1/2 pints to give this recipe a try.  I will definitely be making this recipe again.

The recipe is a crock pot recipe, and is in the book Creating the Happiest of Holidays, book 2, by Leisure Arts.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No luck convincing my husband to go camping ~ Splitting more wood

I almost had him convinced, but the weather is changing rapidly and wood is needed for winter - chicken feathers!  It's going to be in the upper 60's today, but after that drop back down.  Today is a very sad day here.  The front porch furniture must go into storage.  We'll take one last view from the front porch and treasure it until spring.  Meanwhile, I'll have to dream about camping until the work is finished.

If I have time, I'll freeze more chopped green onion for winter.  I am really going to miss my garden this winter.   I already brought my rosemary and starter of lemon verbena inside.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Camping Weekend

I can't believe the weather this November.  This weekend is perfect for camping.  Now if I can just convince my husband we don't need to split wood, and to go camping spontaneously, life would be even better.   Maybe I can convince him of camping just one night.  Either way,  I would love to enjoy some campfire cooking and time alone.  A hike in the woods would be wonderful too!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Freeze, Fog and Writing

We've had fog delays for 2 days, but today it's worse.  I just put my towels on the clothesline and had to laugh because there was a layer of ice on my line.  The sun is out, and I am every so thankful for the sunny days this November.

I managed to cut and freeze several jars of green onion before it was too late.  I've been so far behind this year.  I may take a look at my chives today and see if I can cut some of that too.  We can use it all winter long.

As for the National Novel Writing Month, I have written 17,004 words as of yesterday.   Woo hoo!  What a triumph as a stay-at-home mother.  Because stay at home has been synonymous with lazy, we don't get the credit we really deserve.  Ask my husband and he'll tell you why he'd rather have me home than at work all day, including that he's eating a healthy piece of baked Tilapia for his work lunch today (no fast food).  I do admit, that some housework goes undone to participate in NaNoWriMo, but it's only one month out of the year.  In five years no one will care if the bathroom was a mess or if the bed was not made.  Live life, and do what you have wanted to do.  Don't wait like I did.

Homemade Crochet Christmas Gift Ideas ~ Giving Homemade This Year

10 Ideas for Crocheted Christmas Gifts

This is a list compiled from 
the Internet.  Check
Your Local Library for Books and Magazines for
More Patterns and Ideas

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Reading Room

The weather was in the 60's yesterday so I took my favorite lounge chair and hiked it out on the property.  Within a few minutes of reading my book, our black lab wanted to play catch.  After I told her to "go get a stick" she proudly brought me a stick just short of 6 feet in length.  She even played fetch with it!  Ha ha!  The barn cats came to my chair to get a rub down, purring up a storm.  They love attention.

The sun is shining again today, so the laundry is already hanging outside, Black Bean soup is simmering in the crock pot, and my Trapper's Oat bread is cooling for after school and lunch packings.  I have a busy day today and plan to write my 1700 words for NaNoWriMo novel, and freeze green onion for the winter.  I still need to mix up a large salad for dinner and bake Tilapia also.  My kitchen is already filled with joyful smells (and Christmas music - he he he!).

Monday, November 8, 2010

First thing my 8 year-old said to me this morning

"Mom, I think it's about time we played some Christmas music."

Ha ha!  That's my girl!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I broke 10,000 words by noon!

The NaNoWriMo Web site is once again experiencing overload, and I am unable to access it to post my word count.  As of now, I am up to 10,002.  Despite a dog whining to go out, a daughter running into my writing room to scream, "We're getting a 23 pound turkey for Thanksgiving!" my 11 year-old dropping and breaking a glass that I had not even put into cupboard 2 hours ago and from my mother, my 8 year-old later stepping into the glass with bare feet and running tip toe to me crying, the very load Colbert report my 18 year-old son insists listening to while washing dishes, and a beeping of the washing machine signaling that it needs to put put outside on the line, I am still reaching my daily word count goal.  

Wood splitting day is approaching, so by bedtime, my goal is to double today's word count.

I think the kids will be cooperating from now on.  Two of them have been added to my novel.  They've been warned.  Bwahahaha!!!

Starting Saturday ~ Living Life!

What a gorgeous sunrise we had this morning.  I am sitting in my writing area, in front of two open glass doors, watching the peaceful sunshine, trees blowing in the breeze and the bright green winter wheat fields.  KennyG is as loud as I play it.  What a wonderful, and uplifting way to start my Saturday. The corn burner is keeping me toasty while I sip a steamy cup of soothing coffee. 

Yep.  Life is good!

Marathon cleaning day today.  I'm waking up the kids and putting a rush on chores.  It's too gorgeous to spend the day inside today.  My word count for NaNoWriMo is double today. 

Despite a cat fight outside my bedroom this morning, waking me up at 7am after I fell asleep, after my husband woke me up at 5:20am, I am starting the day fabulously.  We do really need to do something about that rat of a stray that won't go away. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

I have my first dedication!

This morning my 8th grader showed me her 18 page poetry project.  She was to collect poems, and write some herself.  She loves poetry.  As a child, I loved to write poetry, but my poems had to rhyme.  She dedicated her poetry project to me.  Check it out!

I feel so honored, and had to laugh too!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hope Chests ~ Leave a Legacy

At one point, I actually had an article published with suggestions on what to put into a child's hope chest.  Today I read through this book from library, and felt it was worth sharing. 

Day 3 ~ A Good Start

Although I have a raging headache, I've managed to write this morning.  Despite laundry, sick kids and baking trail bread, I've written 957 words so far, and it's only 10:22am here.

My writing area is adorned with empty plates, an empty coffee cup (which needs filled up right now), and lots of old clipped magazine and newspaper articles.  It's actually been quite fun these first 3 days.  It's definitely a huge change to my daily routine.

Daily Word Total: 1800
Word Total to Date:  5361

There are a lot of people writing novels this month.  Today, I could not access the NaNoWriMo Web site at all.  Busy, busy, busy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2 - Go Mom Go!

Daily Word Count: 1974
Total Word Count to Date: 3561

It's day 2 of the month long novel writing month.  I've been able to write through leaps of dirty laundry, mounds of dirty dishes, and administer love and medications to 3 more sickies in the house.  It's only one month and I deserve to do what I've wanted to do for my entire life, so they will just have to deal with the mess or pitch in.

I almost forgot it was a school day, until my 6th grader's bus pulled into our drive.  With so many home sick I lost track of everything.  Thank goodness the youngest is feeling better, and that means one more goes back to school tomorrow.  Woo hoo! 

Writing today was much easier than the first day.  I went into this with a blank mind, no story at all.  I started out spending the first day tinkering with story ideas.

We have had our frost, so cleaning out the garden, putting porch furniture away, and splitting more firewood will be a challenge for November.  I have however, told my husband he is not allowed to read my novel until the month is over.  He's acting like a baby.  Too bad.  A writer Mom needs her space to some extent. Ha ha ha!  Who knows, I could include something related to him in it.  Now that would be a hoot!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Word Count ~ NaNoWriMo's Web site very slow

I have been unable to access the NaNoWriMo Web site this evening.  There must be so many people writing this month, the site is extremely slow and won't even load for me.  I attempted to log in my word count.  No such luck.  It took me until 11am to even get a plot, characters and setting.  It took me two stories to figure out what I wanted to write too.  This is hard work, but I'm glad I did it. Next year it won't be so difficult.  My goal was 2,000 words today.  I found it very difficult to concentrate after the older kids started arriving home from school.  I better get up earlier tomorrow.

Today's Word Count:  1,587 
Total Word Count to Date: 1, 587

The Count Down Begins ~ Day 1 of NaNoWriMo

I signed up for National Novel Writing Month yesterday despite child kids.  Today is day one of novel writing in 30 days.  I have one child home sick, so this will be a challenge for me. She's been vomiting for 2 days and from what the school is telling me, "it's going around."

I did start the day early by washing the laundry and hanging it on the line before 8am, however I think I will need to get up earlier this month.  I did get the joy of watching the most beautiful sunrise while putting the clothes on the line.  The colors were bright pink and blue. It was a pleasant way to start the day.

Other obstacles I have this month, are dogs and cats and housework.  The housework I can delegate, and will, but the dogs are another thing.  Right now one is whining to go out, and he's already been out.  I am sure it will be interesting on how well I do write.

Meanwhile, my daughter who is not able to keep down liquids, is full of anxiety due to a school story she was to write last week.  It's been bothering her for days now.  So she is now propped on the bed, with a clipboard, pencil and paper.  I guess after explaining what I am writing, and how important it is to me, she decided to start creating a plot for her story.  To inspire her, I gave her an over-sized ring for muse.  I told her that bling on her fingers will help her get her story on paper.

She had squares drawn on her paper to section out her characters, plot, and setting.  She's trying a Popsicle right now, so I hope it stays down so she can start recovering.  Even though I have encouraged her to sleep a bit more,  she is holding tight to her pencil.

The weather is also an obstacle.  It may be too cold to write where my "writing area" is currently located.  We don't have the corn burner ready, so we may have to move to the living room, were I can put a fire in the wood stove.

Thank goodness the sun is shining.  It sure helps keep me motivated.  I will also need to get my daily exercise to stay healthy.  I'm not sure which one I will do today, but my options are the treadmill (needing a new motor), the heavy bag, speed bag, free weights, and stretches.  I may start with exercise to warm up these young bones.