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~

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Reading Back in Time, Sunglasses and Other Tidbits

Here are two copies of our local paper.  The one in the back is from 1995 and the smaller version is from this week.  Over the years, the pages have gotten smaller, and the newer paper even has less pages.  The price?  Today, this paper will cost $.75 an issue.  Back then?  I'm not sure yet.  The first half of the 1995 issues are missing.  I know it would be less than $.50/issue.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

High Winds Rip Barn Roofing Off

The opposite side of this barn (same end) has roofing missing from the tornado winds that came through about 2 years ago.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jiffy Corn Bread Mix from Scratch and Canning Stats

I am sharing a link for a homemade recipe that is a great substitute for the boxed Jiffy Corn Bread Mix.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Picture Post

Have a blessed weekend!
We have lots of work to complete this weekend.  Today is a bit cooler than yesterday.
(Still haven't found my flash drive case)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Shock, Horror, and Despair

Imagine that you are a writer.  You just wrote two novels back to back.  You don't have an extra flash drive, so you are saving it to one you have hundreds, possibly thousands, of short published articles on.

You have it in a case with your only other flash drive, because you are in a hurry to get it to your editor.  It's thunder storming and you are running across the street to the door to deliver it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Porch Pals

Barn cats Sapphire and Aurora.  They join me at the porch every day.  If fact, if anyone is on the porch, they arrive in a few minutes to join.

Gus.  His favorite place is the rug on the front porch.  Here he's been drooling.  We were grilling out and having dinner on the porch.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Peace and Serenity

There is nothing more peaceful, at least for a mother of a large family, to be able to sit and relax knowing that her work is done.  Or the the most part, know that there are no other "projects" to be finished, and no piles of clutter that need attending.

My goal is to declutter the clutter, no matter what or where it's at, one day at a time.

Current (and ongoing) project:  Recipe Organization
Each "work" day, I take the time to copy, or cut and paste, at least 5 recipes.  I have a bad habit of printing of or making a copy of a recipe, then clipping it to my fridge magnet.  It got so heavy, it fell off (sigh).  

Step two to this project, is to take the recipe titles and record them on a word document, so that I can simply access it for dinner/meal ideas when planning my meals.  It's hard to remember every good recipe we use or try.

Current Bible Verse:
Philippians 4:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

I have a bad habit of borrowing worry.  Yep.  I do it then beat myself up for stressing myself out.

The vet was here yesterday, and after he spoke to us about our billy goat's horn situation, I did it again.  I worried.  Worried all night, and worried this morning.  

I know that we are doing what we can, but yet I still let myself worry.  You see, his horn is almost touching his head (and had I been told this by our last vet I would have de-horned him at that exact moment in his life...) and the vet cannot cut anymore off.  The only option now is to watch it and wait.  If it continues to grow, we are looking at the possibility of driving him several hours away, and having him dehorned surgically.  His horn span is large and there are many risks.  Cost for surgery is also an issue.  Again...worry.

Worry brings anger and a whole kaboodble of other emotions....."why didn't that lady tell us"  "why didn't someone suggest this earlier" .....why, why, why?

Today, I am reading and praying, and putting my trust in the Lord.

"Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm."

~ Anon.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Making Jelly

I've started making more jellies earlier this season.  I'll be ready for when the wild black raspberries and Queen Anne's Lace are in season now.

The organic section at my store had organic juice on sale for buy one-get one free.  I got a few and got busy canning.
Apricot Nectar and Tart Cherry Jelly
More Dandelion Jelly
 Grape Jelly
 Orange-Mango Jelly
....and this is only the beginning.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Before and After ~ Water Jug Alley



This is the entrance to the kitchen from the hallway I just cleaned up.  Everyone trips over empty water jugs and sends them flying across the kitchen.

Now, the jugs are nicely stacked on a wooden (eco-friendly) stand.  We have a well, and the water doesn't taste good.  We stock up on water jugs, and have it on hand for coffee, tea etc.  It's also nice to have extra on hand for power outages when our water pump isn't working.  We can then water the animals too.

It's nice not to hear water jugs getting kicked around.  Or people huffing and puffing from almost falling down from tripping on them too.

 . . . . on to the next organizing project.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

First Season to Bloom

Two years ago, I planted our first lilac bush.  This year it is finally blooming.  

....bringing new life to the farm.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Before and After ~ Changing of the Seasons



This is the door we use the most.  It's on the side of the house and in a portion of the house that the last owner added on.  The original farm house is very small.  There are no closets in the house, nor a window or fan in the original bathroom.

From where I took the photo, was the original back door. It is now the entrance to the kitchen.  There is very little space for a "mud" room, so I desperately searched for a solution to our pile up of mucking boots etc .

The homesteading wish list contains the adding on of a porch just outside the door in the photo.  We'd screen it in for boots and coats and rags to wipe down the dogs.

I found a nice shoe rack to stack boots on top, and garden shoes underneath.  Now...if the kids can only keep it this nice.

The snow boots are all put away for the season and the gardening gear has been brought out.  Bed covers are also getting a good washing this spring.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dog (and Human) Tick Repellant ~

Yesterday I pulled a tick off of one of my daughter's necks.  I first used the dawn soap and cotton ball method, but it didn't release the tick.  Later in the day we found another tick on the couch.  The dogs will be getting a good shampoo scrub, then will be rubbed with this oil we make.  Ticks are very bad this year already.

I found this recipe in a copy of The Herb Quarterly several years ago. I lost it, then ordered a back issue of the magazine.

Tick-Repelling Oil

(for adults, dogs, and children older than 5 - otherwise they recommend using a gentle rose geranium hydrosol)

2 oz. jojoba oil
20 drops geranium essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil

Combine all ingredients, place in small bottle and label. To use: Before going outdoors, apply this oil to any exposed skin. For dogs, place a few drops on your hands and then gently smooth the oil over the coat. If you prefer spray, substitute 2 oz. of distilled water for the jojoba oil, and place all ingredients in a small spray bottle. Spritz over your hair, clothing and skin. Repeat as necessary. (From The Herb Quarterly Magazine, Summer 2009).

I do recommend organic oils. So far, this is working for us and for the dogs. I'm not sure if you can use it on other animals, but wanted to share. There is a concern for using it on young children, but you could research it for other animals. 

My son is constantly picking up ticks on his legs when he walks the dogs around the 6 acres here. He just rubs some on his legs and arms to prevent them from attaching.  It's a nice way to repel ticks naturally. 

Note:  It was recommended by my Herbalist to never store your oils in the refrigerator.  She recommended storing them in a cool/dry place.  There is too much moisture in the refrigerator.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Vintage Pearls

  (an antique store "find")

Whether these are real or not, I bought them.  They were only $.50 each, including the earrings.  Although I bought them for wearing, the girls are already fighting over who gets to wear them first, for play jewelry.  A girl has to have her pearls.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Better Butter

I told hubby, we could skip buying the cow and just make regular trips to the bakery that sells this butter.  It's a 2 1/2 - 3 hour drive, but we all need to get away right?  

I haven't convinced him yet, so we may just have to buy the cow some day soon.   I am already searching for a butter churn.

I am really enjoying the taste of this growth hormone free butter.  It's tastier than organic butter I find in stores here.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Disinfected, Sanitized, and Beauti-fied

Before:  $.50 purchased at a local thrift store (1 inch hoops).

After: A beautiful "new" pair of earrings to match my baby blue prairie skirt this summer.

Thank you Beansie Babbles Blogspot!  You were my inspiration.  If you haven't visited her site, you should.  Lots of inspiration there.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dandelion Jelly, Dandelion Root and Fun Mail

I canned this season's first dandelion jelly.  Last year it did not set, and I had to re-boil it.  This year, I used a different recipe, and it set.  Now....we just have to taste it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tulips and Weeds that Feed

It's so strange to see my spring flowers bloom so early this year.  Pretty soon I will have enough dandelions for dandelion coffee and dandelion jelly.

Early Garden Goodies

Our heirloom lettuce from last year re-seeded itself, and is up in several places in the garden.  I picked enough for a salad.
The asparagus is up too.  It's hard to believe it's up this early.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Thrift Store Mania

A few of nearby thrift stores offer a frequent shopper card.  Imagine that. 

This is only trouble for those of us with no self-control in shopping at such stores, ha ha ha! 

I recently earned $15.00 free at one particular store.

Tea Storage

Hubby and I have been looking on ebay to find a wooden storage unit with drawers.  We finally found one at an antique store, and the drawers are perfect for storing all the tea we drink here.  This was another great find on our recent getaway.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Finishing Up

I have been working like a mad woman (just an exaggerated figure of speech representing my speed of work- ha ha!) finishing up half started projects and other unfinished projects.

Crocheted dishcloth

Oversized pot holder and two small pot holders

Although I am still knitting blocks for my blanket, I finished up this kitchen set for a nephew on hubby's side of the family.  I like the colors, so I hope to make a set for my "store" also.

My crafting journal is slowly filling up with new ideas too.

With gardening season starting early, I am working even harder at getting Christmas presents finished early.

Hippie Coffee

My husband and I brought home a bag of Hippie Coffee from our recent weekend getaway.  We love coffee in this house, and it hasn't lasted long.  I really like the flavor.  Ever since Mom brought home organic coffee from Costa Rica, I fell in love with the flavor. 

Here is some interesting information on this coffee: The Coffee Company.

There are different blends of it also.  I'm sitting here sipping some of the mild blend right now.  Mmmmm!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's a Girl!

It's not an April Fool's joke either.  Around 3:00am Peanut gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

Peanut delivered without any problems.  She's such a good mother too.  My sleepy-eyed 10 year-old and I went out to greet her.  

She's black and white and her face has a tiny white dot on each cheek.  My 15 year-old is taking suggestions for a name.  Visit her blog to give her any names for this cutie:  Life as a Teen Farmgirl.