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, March 30, 2011

Whirley-Pop Vs. Microwave Popcorn

We have converted.  We have stopped buying microwave popcorn and purchased a whirley-pop popper.  I can remember my mother making popcorn for us that way as a child.  My kids love the flavor much better than the microwave popcorn.  I’ve never been they type of person to “cook” or “bake” food in the microwave, but have reheated foods a lot.  For us, the purchase of the whirley-pop was well worth it. Now, the next step is to find organic corn for the popper.

Today is another laundry detergent making day.  It will fill a 5 gallon bucket.

Fallen tree branches and Twigs

The Top Five Ways to Use Fallen Tree Branches and Twigs

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

End of Winter ~ Ideas for Next Winter

HeliumIdeas for a winter picnic in the snow

Kid Funny

"Mom I had a terrible dream last night," said by my 9 year old daughter.


"Yes, I dreamed that I had to share my slippers!"

I am busy crocheting, and previously tried a new pattern.  I'm wanted one that would last.  The ones I made her 2 years ago have already split open in the toe and are not too thick on the bottom.  As soon as I finished the pair in her size, she had them on her feet.

I like the fact that these have an inner insert for added thickness.  Who knew my daughter would be wanting them?

I have to say though, I will be trying other versions of slipper patterns.  I am sure they will all be wanting a new pair next Christmas too.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Inspiring Flowers

My dear husband surprised with me these gorgeous, brightly colored flowers.  Then a few days later, my oldest daughter brought home 2 roses for me.  I placed them in an old canning jar in my kitchen window.  I love fresh flowers in the house, and can't wait for summer to cut them from my own gardens.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Additon to Our Farm ~ Meet Misty and Orion ~ Dairy Goats

1 week old La Mancha doeling

~ Orion ~
9 month old La Mancha buck

Orion only has one horn, because the people who originally had him, dehorned him.  One horn grew back.  A woman rescued them and we are blessed to add them to our farm.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Code "Coaster"

We have discovered a way to keep the family from using a bazillion cups in a day.  We now keep coasters in our cupboard.  They are all different, with different colors, and some crocheted.  When a person takes a cup, they take a coaster to place their cup on, and it's a code to me that they are not done with it for the day.  Less dishes = less work and less water and less detergent. 

The kids will typically get a glass of juice in the morning and were getting new cups throughout the night, causing me to wash dishes more often.  Now, we have a "code" to reduce use.  Yea!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cutting Costs

Bartering is not forgotten

Bartering is still being done today.  In fact, our families have been bartering services good and other items, without even realizing it.  I made my first crocheted throw to barter with another farmgirl.  I'm amazed at the talents of this woman.  I sew, but don't really enjoy it, and have not mastered the art of it.  I am thrilled to be able to barter with her for our homemade aprons, which I'll post pictures of later.  Here is the first item I made for her.

We all have talents.  I think most of us are afraid to commit to it, take time for it, or lack confidence in our work.  I challenge you all to barter one homemade or handmade item this month.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Growing Chicks

Lola's tail feathers have shot out overnight.  They are growing very quickly and starting to show their personalities.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Glass half full or half empty?

The other night, when we were all seated at the dinner table, a discussion came up.  Typically, our tradition is to go around the table and say one “high” and one “low” of the day.  

(Borrowed from

This time, the topic of a half glass of water came up.  Our 11 year-old asked what it meant by saying “half empty” or “half full.”  When we finished explaining the meaning to her, our 9 year-old daughter asked a question.

“So, Mom? Am I a glass half empty or half full?” she asked smiling up at me.

We both busted out laughing.  

She always has the funniest and unexpected things to ask or say.  One day she came to me and told me she “was in a pickle” and couldn’t remember when pajama day was at school.  School had a snow day anyway.  However, the school planned a “wish winter away” pajama party, and on that very same day, they had another snow day.

Today, she was tickled to be able to wear her pajamas and her hand crocheted slippers for the make-up day, for the “wish away winter” party.

Kids Nutrition

Book Review

HeliumBook reviews: One Lane Bridge, by Don Reid

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bean Baking Day ~ Chickpeas

Today is another bean baking day.  Although I should be cooking up more navy beans, I decided to cook 2 pounds of dry chickpeas.  These freeze well after they have been cooked, rinsed and drained well.  Typically, I use them for hummus, but these are nice for other recipes as well.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Merriment

Last night the kids told me that school was closed for an in-service day today.  I didn't believe them.  The calender did say it was closed for that reason, but why not use it to make up all these snow days?

It may be a good day for me to get some more crocheting finished.  I'd like to at least, get the larger projects done, as they are more difficult to crochet when the weather turns hot.  It's not too comfortable crocheting a blanket across my lap in 90°F temperatures.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the snow to disappear and take a few camping trips.

It's pretty isn't it?  My  17 year-old daughter snapped this photo behind our property.  We may possibly get more rain and snow this week yet.

I'd rather be camping, however with all these extra helpers (hence my merriment) today, I can get chores completed faster.  I've already started gathering materials to get my book writing goals written down.

Our new baby chicks are doing great and our white tetratint has been named "Lola," which is short for Lolita.  She is loud, sings a lot, runs around the cage with vibrant energy and loves attention.  She is definitely a "show girl."  Yesterday she had a really thin, and darker colored piece of wood shaving in her mouth.  It was hilarious to watch.  She was running around in fast circles, with the barred rock chicks chasing after her.  She thought she had a hot little snack, and was going to keep it all to herself.  They are so funny to watch.  Our one dog, who is "mother" to all babies, is already giving them "kisses."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Newest Addition to Our Farm ~ 5 Barred Rocks and 1 Tetratint

The barred rocks are straight run, so we are taking our chances at a few more roosters.  The lady at the store showed us a way to hold them up, and if they are calm, chances are that it's a female.  If it goes crazy, it might be a rooster (an elderly man told her this).  Three were calm and 2 flung their feet around.  Hmmm.  We'll see what we end up with, and see if the elderly man has an old-age secret on sexing chickens.   The white one is called a tetratint.  I have no idea if I am spelling it correctly, but she will lay a light brown egg.  I believe she is a hybrid. 

The kids are already working on a name for the tetratint.  She is very loud, active and funny to watch. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Down Side to Writing On-line and an A-musing Story

Times have changed.  I've been writing for on-line Web sites, for extra freelance work.  However, it's not always the best income.  Rules change, companies buy out one another, and through it all, income is more difficult to make.

Writing on-line has it's ups and downs.  It requires more articles, and pays less than you think.  Another site I write for recently made changes, and of course, they want "all rights."  To a writer, this is the last thing you want.

After participating in the NaNoWriMo last November, I realized that I've spent countless hours writing, and rating on-line articles, and could have put that energy into a novel.  I keep saying I'll sit down and do it, but it's the deadline that I don't have, that motivated me before.

I think I need to prepare myself with a real deadline that will motivate me to spend more time on a project that will benefit my family more, than spending countless hours writing Internet articles for such little pay.

And above all, I need to get physically in shape.  I can tell a difference in my mood, and with my children's and husband's moods, when we miss more than one day at the gym.  It really does make a difference.

It looks like I need to make a trip to the office supply store for a new writing tool (fun pen), some super sticky notes, teas and coffees, candy (gotta have a jar of something around), and good music.

Speaking of all this writing, I have to share a funny tidbit about my 3rd grade daughter.  All this talk about writing made me think of it.  A while back, she was having difficulty thinking of a story to write for a school paper.  They were told the prompt, but she didn't like it (had to do with something scary for Halloween), and she expressed her pain to me.

We talked, and discussed how to write a "scary" story that was not about ghosts, goblins etc.  She still wasn't accepting my ideas, and still appeared flustered, frustrated and in tears.  I went into my bedroom and came back with a large fashion ring.  I explained to her that when Mommy can't write, she puts on a "bling ring" and gets busy with a story, a journal entry - any kind of writing.  She smiled the biggest smile, and wore that ring until her story was finished.  To this day, she takes that ring to school for any writing assignment.  She even explained to her teacher why she was wearing it.  Since then, her stories get more creative and detailed. I believe my daughter has discovered what "muse" is.

Cooking Up Kale

I've been playing around with Kale recipes lately.  While trying to add more greens into out diet, I found this recipe that we tried last night.   It was delicious.

Roasted Red Peppers Stuffed with Kale and Rice

And thank you momdrinkstea for the soup suggestion.  I'll be searching the Internet for a recipe.

We grew winter Kale in our garden last year, for the first time.  It mostly went to treat the chickens, as we did not grow a large amount of it.  I think we will have a much larger selection this summer.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Reviews: One Lane Bridge, by Don Reid

The genre of this book is Christian Fiction.  If you, or your book club is looking for suggestions, this book contains group discussion questions for your convenience.

Read my review: