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, November 29, 2012

Cat's Favorite Places, Health and Knitting Update

Tiger loves to hang out on my writing chair, but since I've been using it more often, he's found another location - in front of the corn/pellet burner.

I keep a clothing rack in front of my corn/pellet burner, to dry clothes, when I cannot hang them outside, or when they don't dry completely (after being outside).  Tiger loves to stay warm there.

 I'm down to the last 10 rows or so, and adding the fringe, on my knitted shawl.  

 Although I found "In Defense of Food" interesting, I am enjoying this book more.  This book explains the content and benefits of specific foods that folks should be including in their diet more.  Growing up, I can't remember being served brussel sprouts, Kale, or Swiss Chard.  We have started growing these in our garden, but there are so many other foods we should be eating too.  Watch out kids, Mom's adding more vegetables!

Tonights frugal dinner - Ham Bone Soup and homemade corn bread.  I have a few ham bones in my freezer, which come in handy for an inexpensive, but healthy dinner.  I am thankful I have one bag of soup beans left.  

My ham bone soup:  Wrap a ham bone in 2-3 layers of cheese cloth and tie with cotton string.  Place in a crock pot and fill with good water about 1/2 full.  Add a mix of soup beans that have soaked over night (I just buy the dry bean mix at the store and discard the flavoring packet).  I toss in what ever I have - frozen garden tomatoes, dehydrated green peppers, chopped onions, chopped celery and sliced carrots.  Today I added some potatoes.  I salt and pepper as needed, but the flavor is so good with the bone, I don't salt it sometimes.

I remove the bone about 3-pm, and continue cooking for another hour or so.  I typically cook on high 1 hour, then lower the heat to "low" for the rest of the time (if the beans are pre-soaked and rinsed).  I think I cook mine about 7 hours or so.  I serve it with corn bread. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pinching Pennies

It's that time again, where we have to "pinch" pennies to keep the bills paid.  It happens when the income is reduced.  This means meals without going to the store. 

For a different lunch, I took leftover turkey, added home canned zucchini relish (a bit of spice to it), and some lite safflower mayo.  I grilled it between 2 slices of bread, in olive oil. Yum!  The relish adds just enough flavor too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

14 Hand Crocheted Scarves

Most are made from leftover yarn from other projects.  These are being shipped to New Jersey, for folks in need.

I had a moment the other day.  I was complaining about cleaning my bathroom, and here there are folks on the East coast that don't even have a house at all.  Shame on me.

These scarves will help a few more folks this winter.

Monday, November 26, 2012

From the Homesteading Journal . . .

. . .unloaded one truck full of split wood and stacked it on the porch, split another load and stacked it in the wood barn.  Hubby and son drove to split and load another load, and we helped upload and stack.

 . . . got our first snow on Friday, and a light dusting on Saturday.  The weather went from 60's on Thursdays to the 30's on Friday.

. . . sprouting another jar of mung beans to feed to the chickens.  They love them, and we are getting an ample amount of eggs.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Farmer's Market Basket.....

I borrowed my Farmer's Market basket to hold a current knitting project, but one of the cat's had another idea.

See her (Mattie) all curled up on top of the knitted blocks inside the basket?  I guess that means the blanket will be nice and cozy when it's finished. Ha ha ha!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday Husband Funny ~ More so My Own Funny

If you follow my blog, you probably already know I detest Black Friday.  I detest the overload of wasted paper stuffed into my Thursday newspaper.  I detest the stores attempt to lure in the craziest people, and today, you are liable to get shot while shopping on "black Friday."

"Look honey!" he laughs throwing the entire ton of store flyers at me, "look at all those black Friday deals!!"

Literally, the flyers weighed down a sink hole in my bed.  I was trying to crochet and rest before retiring, and he has to do that to me?

(He laughed, and laughed)

The rest of the night, while sipping our loose leaf organic sleep tea, and attempting to relax with a good TV show, we were bombarded with blurps of black Friday songs, commercials and more commercials - blech!  What a way to ruin the night, I thought.

During every commerical, I'd look at hubby.  He'd be smirking and holding back a chuckle.

I could not sleep after that, and for other reasons.  Finally, I fell asleep about midnight.  Then my son woke me up by taking our lab out at 2am.  I fell back asleep.

Then it happened.


My cell phone woke me up. It was 4:30am.  I looked at the phone.  A text message.  I better check it, you just never know if it's an emergency.

"Seriously!!" (after checking the message)

I wanted to throw that phone at the wall and smash it, or stab it with my knitting needles.

When hubby woke up, and made us eggs for breakfast, I told him about my night.  When I got around to sharing the part about my text message, he burst out laughing.

"That is SOOOOO funny!" he laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

You see, the text message was an alert from some store, telling me about the first black friday deal they were having.


Oh, he's still laughing about it.  



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Sunrise ~ Bringing in the Christmas Season

Up early, to start the cooking, I glanced outside to see the most beautiful sunrise.  

While taking a few photos, I noticed a jet flying right through the clouds.  Imagine what those passengers saw in their window.  Gorgeous.

 I put together a cute clothespin ornament over at S.C.R.A.P.  I hope to have a few more before the special day arrives.

 Yesterday, while crocheting in my reading chair, I glanced out to see two cardinals in the evergreen tree.  By the time I got out there, I only got this one photo.  They were singing and flying around together.

However, while I was out there, I noticed the lack of highway traffic, and the absolute peace and quiet.  Although I won't be able to drive south on the highway (due to the next little town hooking up to city water and sewer and roads closed) without a detour, I will enjoy this quiet time.  Every day, cars, trucks, and semi's pass on a constant basisNow, we have long breaks from even seeing a vehicle pass.  Oh, I am so going to enjoy this time.  Detour or not.  

Happy Thanksgiving! 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hair Cut ~ Write Out

It's a bad photo, but you can see the length of my hair.  I have not gotten it cut at a salon for two years.  Why? I simply put it off, due to expenses for the kids, school costs, car repairs, and household expenses and repairs.  Basically, I put myself last.  It's a bad habit.

I think my kids get one once a year, and then I try to trim their hair myself.  With such a large family, haircuts are not that often around here.'s the day.  I will donate the hair, as I have done before, if I have enough to cut off. If I get the chance, I'll have a photo taken of the length after it's cut, and update it here.

Today, I'll be roasting the Thanksgiving turkey a day in advance, baking a pumpkin pie and writing.  I hope to write all afternoon today.

Have a Happy and Peaceful Thanksgiving!   

Monday, November 19, 2012

One Woman's Scrap ~ Another Person's Winter Warmth

Simply Scrap ~ Scrap Happy Moments

....taking those, somewhat larger scraps of yarn, and putting them to good use. These will be shipped to New Jersey for those in need.  

Thanks to my son and telling me he saw clumps in the chicken feed, we immediately got rid of it (too late to return it), and started giving the hens apple cider vinegar.  We may still lose one hen, but thank goodness he noticed something wrong with the feed (worms, most likely came off the truck that way).

UPDATE:  The hen died. :(

The kids are helping me finish up a few ornaments to put up on my S.C.R.A.P. blogMy 16 year-old put the eyes, nose and buttons on the one I posted today.  

Is it worth it?  You know....those crochet projects you want to sell, but take 3 days to make?  These ornaments take about 2 days to finish (considering my chores I do in a day), and one day to block.  I'm not sure these are prudent to my time, in regards to selling.  

On another note, we tried a coffee mix, to test it out for gift giving.  It's called Merry Mocha Coffee.  I could not find the instant coffee I wanted, so this tasted a bit bitter.  We added a splash of peppermint creamer, and it tasted okay.  It's not the best, but then again, it could be the instant coffee.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Organizing ~ Setting Boundaries

To keep tabs on my organizing, I am putting limits on them now - one crate for recycled items that can be used for other uses, school projects and so forth.

I am limiting the height of how many magazines we keep for school projects and journaling.

It's easy to think we need to run out and buy the next best organizing unit, but I try to use what we have.  Organizing can become expensive if you don't watch yourself. 

I'm organizing my sewing supplies in recycled pill bottles.  Take a look over at S.C.R.A.P. to see how nice it's turning out.   


Thursday, November 15, 2012

What I am Reading ~ My Morning Coffee

This Way of Life
 Reflections of 800 country women who express a speical philosophy that comes from down-to-earth living.

A Countryside Living Book

Complied and Edited by Maude Longwell 

One person writes about the school bus being a "monster."  That one really made me laugh.

I was surprised to see my 10 year-old making coffee this morning.  She not only set the pot to brew, but poured me a a special cup, in my special cup.

The cup was bought at a village, where the school took a field trip.  They have demonstrations for glass blowing, basket weaving etc.

She added peppermint mocha creamer and topped it with whipped cream!  Mmmmm!  I just may have to make a second pot of coffee after they are off to school (tee hee!).  Don't worry, we switched to half-caff coffee recently.  So that means I can have twice the amount, right? (ha ha ha!)

There were a few requests to see more of my key chain collection, so I'll try to dig a few out next week. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kitchen Makeover Progress and Other Boring Stuff


After - In Progress

I got the second coat of paint on 2 cupboard doors and 3 drawers.  I also got a second coat on the cupboard front itself.  When we moved in here, the cupboards did not have hardware.  We bought cheap knobs, and those will be replaced also, as income allows it.

The dishwasher hose, under the sink gave way the other day.  The clamp simply gave up, spraying water everywhere.  The back door knob is needing replaced now also.

I made 3 quarts of organic apple sauce, but was too tired to can it.  It's going to be eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner for a fruit side.  I love making this, don't get me wrong, I just didn't have time to can it.  I love not having to recycle jars from store bought applesauce.

My son helped install new smoke alarms - all have been checked and have batteries.  He also took items to the recycling center and took the library returns in.  He also cleaned the chicken coop for me (YAY!)

All the chicken barn windows are now covered with plastic.  We just need to get the goat stalls going, and fast too.

I finished the last dishcloth for my Aunt, and working on scarves for those in need, next.

 Although we are still getting a few sunny days, some are cold and rainy.  I am still hanging my laundry outside.  This really helps on keeping our electric bill down, and it smells better anyway.