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~

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Banging on Pots and Pans ~ Bringing in the New Year

My 17 year-old helped a lot with this year's cookie tradition.  She also wanted to add a "lemon" cookie to our baking this year.  We searched the internet and found Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze (Giada, Food Network).

These were delicious.  We will keep this recipe for future holiday baking (and more).  We will however, make them half the size next time.  And of course we used organic lemon juice too.

During summer, I plan to bake these using our homemade ricotta cheese (made from our goat's milk), and organic (or homemade butter).

Tidbits . . . 

It's a whopping 2°F wind chill today.  We got a bit of snow last night too.  Thank goodness my son re-stocked the wood pile.

I went and got myself a head cold, and am sorry I didn't get my elderberry elixir made yet.  I best get on that.  Nobody likes it when Mom is sick around here.  I tend to get grouchy.

I was actually up early this morning, searching pattern sites for a baby blanket for my brother and his wife.  Unfortunately, the best patterns (in my opinion) are in pattern books at the library. They however, are closed.  They actually closed from Dec.23rd, and will not reopen until Jan. 6th.  I guess it was to help with cut backs that they are still dealing with.  Unfortunately for them, my kids (and myself) would have visited often this Christmas school break, and gave them business.

It's hard to believe it's the last day of 2013.  I picked up my new 2014 planner and hope to chill-out later and work on it. More on that later.

Tonight I plan to stay safe, and hang out at home with the kids.  I wonder if they will grab my pots and pans (like I did at their age), and run around the house (outside) and bang on them with wooden spoons, screaming "HAPPY NEW YEAR!"  Of course back then, I lived in the city and it was much more fun to make noise at that time of night, ha ha!  Who knows, if I feel better, I may just join them for ol' time's sake.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Just Snoozin' into a New Year

Alias, who was said to be "aggressive" is far from that.   He's a teddy bear.  He's a loving, funny, and hug-able pup.  He's a wonderful watch dog too.  He may be about 13 years old, but he sure doesn't act like it.  He loves my blankets.  In fact, the higher the pile it is, the more comfy he thinks it is.  He had his first Christmas with us and really liked those pig's ears he got.  I think he's enjoying his new home quite a bit.

Jesse and Tiger curled up together, and Winston was not far away.  Aren't they cute?

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Reflections of 2013

I enjoy reflecting on the previous year, as we bring in a new year.  So grab of cup of coffee, tea, or your favorite beverage, and join me.
Made my first hay net. 

Click on "read more" for more reflections in no particular order, and definitely not all of them. . .

Friday, December 27, 2013

Oven Overtime

( mugs that were a gift from my 19 year-old)

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I knew I was in trouble, when I heard the coffee cup hit my nightstand at 6:00am, and the curtains where carelessly tossed open (despite it was pitch dark outside, ha ha!).

Thursday, December 26, 2013

15 Years

Today is our 15th wedding anniversary.  We made it this far now, and can still talk about it, ha ha!  Raising six kids in today's elements, environment, influences, and social media bombardment, is no picnic when it comes to keeping a marriage alive.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Traditions

We have a family tradition here on Christmas Eve.  Although it's too early to post a photo (and I am not sure the family would appreciate it if I did photograph them, ha ha!), but I gift everyone with new jammies.  

We open them before bedtime, and wake up to open gifts in brand new jammies.  It's fun, and one thing our family enjoys every Christmas.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all and God Bless

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Flooding in December

We've been getting several days of rain here, and sometime during the night, our country highway was flooded over again.  This time the city came out and posted signs on each side of our property, warning drivers.  At 55mph (and most drive over that), a vehicle can easily become air born, when hitting this water.

The problem is that the drain in this field is not being kept free of debris. . . .

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter and Work are Synonymous

This morning's sunrise was beautiful. The pink stretched for several miles.

The recent 9 inches of snow is about to leave us.  In fact today.  Crazy as it sounds, the rains are due to arrive today.

Winter does not give us a break in physical work here.  My son, the feed and pellet lifter, is working a much unwanted third shift job right now. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Homestead and Family Tidbits

The kids took advantage of the snowfall, and did some indoor creative artwork.  And, as you can see, I shoveled out my clothesline.  It was actually nice in the sun that particular day.  We've had 2 days of school delays, but no closings.  Last night my son's car went off the road on his way to work (3rd shift), but thanks to extended family, we got him safely back on the road (without injuries).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snowed In and Loving It!

We did get snow on Friday night, but most of it came down all day Saturday.  Thank goodness there was no wind, so drifting was not a problem.  We are getting more snow today too. 

I took advantage of the snowfall, and stayed in and cleaned my bedroom.  I was just getting a table ready for Hubby and I to have a candlelight dinner in there, but work called him away. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Handiwork Tidbits ~ Winston

Here are the "scrap" dishcloths I crocheted , using leftover yarn from various completions.  I have no business working on a new mission (I am starting to dislike the word "project" ha ha!) They turned out pretty nice.  I'll admit, I did try to color coordinate them, but scraps are scraps.  I found the pattern in a book I borrowed from the library.  It was actually a pattern requiring a different sequence of colors, but I simply used scraps.  Once I have the name of the book, I will update it here later.  Here's more to read......

CHRISTmas is a time for Love, Joy and Peace!

It's bad enough that my inbox is filled with over 20 advertisements selling something - Free Shipping!  One day only!  Cyber......blah, blah, blah....

Don't let the hype of buying, buying, and buying get you sucked into having to have it all, or give it all.  Sheesh.  The newspaper must weigh 10 more pounds now that December is here, and the ads are overflowing.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pampering Day

The girls and I had planned to have a pedi/mani day, along with a hand heat wax treatment, right after we completed Monday's housework. They were home from school, and we were going to reward ourselves. 

We ran out of time.  With my trip to town for pellets, then making dinner, and then time with Hubby, we just plain lost track of time. Oh, by the way . . . .

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


(he's much bigger than he appears here in the cat carrier)

School was canceled yesterday, and the roads thawed out.  In fact, we put bedding out on the line. And if you are wondering, it dried. 

After a successful "all-out" cleaning day (with some blessed help), we ran out for chicken feed and wood pellets. After we arrived home, one of my daughters saw the stray cat run from barn to barn.  She went out there, and he came to her. Here's the story. . . .

Monday, December 9, 2013


"Yikes! She caught me!"

Jasper has been more skittish than before, ever since the propane "boom" we had.  He walks around looking startled by any little movement or noise.  I have such a hard time getting a photo of him.

The other day, before the school bus arrived, I was able to snap this photograph.  He was actually playing until he saw me get down to his level and snap a few shots. Ha ha!

As for today's weather here. . . . .

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Baking with Booze

This year may be a "booze infused" Christmas. Ha ha!    Hubby brought home a 4 oz. back of "Whiskey Stix" made here locally in our state.  They were spicy, they were delicious, but way over priced.  I, like most days, said "I can make this myself!"

I found a recipe for Whiskey "Sticks", and made them for Hubby's game day.  They are easy to make, healthier than most snacks they take, and delish!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Oh Maybelline! (and other tidbits)

I never thought it would happen.  Not before the snow arrived, nor afterwards.  Okay, so I named my dryer - Maybelline.  Don't you?

She's back to work!  Yay!  No more fighting weather and birds.  I, of course, will use the clothesline all winter when I can, but it is most comforting to know I have a way to dry large items now.  Phew!

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Library Run

Remember those 25 library books I had out?  Well, one of them was Stop the Clock Cooking, by Cheryl Forberg, R.D.  This cookbook has many healthy recipes, which are full of age-defying ingredients.  I had to try a few.  There is even a grape jelly recipe that uses sorghum in it.  So what did I try?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Let the Baking Begin!

My Christmas baking has begun.  It's official.  Drum roll please....

"You made buckeyes and you didn't save me any?!"  cried Hubby.

"Yes," I firmly replied.  "Out of sight, out of mind."


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Reclaiming some "Z's"

Even Tiger was giving me the "eye to turn the lights out early, and I did.  Hubby was surprised.  "It's like six o'clock?" he exclaimed.  Really it wasn't.  It was about 7:30pm.  Still a shocker for everyone.  Me in bed early?  Ha.

Although Hubby and I made it to the gym yesterday morning, we both had upset stomachs, and I with a headache.  I did get my "all-out house cleaning" finished, and even brought in a jug of rain barrel water (to water house plants).  However, after getting Leftover Turkey soup in the crocky (which I spiked with some ground super chili pepper for health reasons), I was starting to run out of fuel.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Apron and Bookmark

Here is the photo I promised, of the apron Mom gifted me with.  We use a lot of aprons here. Thanks Mom!

I also wanted to share a cute bookmark that blessed my mailbox recently.  I participated in the Farmgirl Sisterhood prayer day back in October, and this bookmark was a thank you.  A  nice, and unexpected surprise too.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Break

"Honey?  Remember I told you I felt the driver's side was lower than the passenger's?"

When one car gets fixed, another breaks down.  Hubby is lucky to get his truck back home.  I can't remember the part he had to replace, but he (and my son) got it completely fixed by nightfall. Yay!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Past December Months

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner yesterday.  I thought we were going to have coon for the meal too.  My son took the dogs out for their walk, and Alias sniffed out a sleeping raccoon (in one of the barns).  He actually woke it up, went after it, but thankfully backed off with my son's calls.  He did get cut in the mouth area, but it's healing nicely.  So, needless to say we set the trap, but we haven't caught it yet.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Make Fried Egg Candy

Items you need:

I did not specify amounts for this recipe, as you can pretty much make how many you desire.  It doesn't take a lot of white chocolate to make each candy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Pro's . . .

The pro's of not having a working clothes dryer?  Getting to watch the sunrise every time I do laundry. The con's?

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Dog's Life

 (Alias, very tired and wanting to take a nap, but yet at the same time wanting to play ball)

Have you been wondering how Alias is adapting to his new home here at Rooster's Crow Farm?  Have you been wondering if this 13 year old dog, put into a brand new atmosphere, has been a wee bit naughty or just down right loveable?

Well, he's been both.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Maintaining a Healthier "Busy"

I have fallen in love with this color combination, and finished this set (bookmark and keychain) for Hubby's sister, for Christmas.  I've already started another set.   

Update:  The yarn I used is Aunt Lydia's cotton #10, Passionata crochet thread. 

We had some interesting weather over the weekend. It feels like the tornadoes were weeks ago, but that was only one week ago.  We are speaking to more and more people, who lost their homes, or parts of their homes in the recent storms.  The weather turned cold, and even some snow on Saturday, but that doesn't stop my chores that need done. Laundry went out on the line, and as you can see, we had a wonderful wind to dry it with.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Healthy Breakfast Sides

I'm cutting breakfast costs down, by eliminating organic/natural boxed breakfast cereals.  That cuts down on buying organic milk as well.  

That leaves breakfast to some type of egg dish, because our faithful chickens are supplying us an abundance right now.  So, in search for a veggie side (that was not a bread or meat, or a vegetable mixed into the eggs) that I can add to scrambled eggs, I found several.

It's tough to find time to roast vegetables, so I roasted them for dinner, making extra for leftovers.  Then I simply re-heat them as a side for breakfast.

What did we try?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Homemade Hot Chocolate

"What's that?" asked my 19 year-old daughter, pointing to the large jar of mix on the kitchen table (and very curious to try whatever it was).

"It's homemade hot chocolate?" I responded with a smile.  "Want to try some?"
Growing up, my mother made large batches of homemade hot chocolate, but I was determined to find one that was healthier.  Sorry Mom. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Me? Tweet? Nah....

"Stop tweeting Mom!"

According to the kids, I have a twitter account, but I just don't know it.  I guess, and this is from my son's version, that I "tweet" out loud.

Ha. He just confirmed that twitter is annoying (even though he may not have realized it).

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Crazy Busy by Kevin Deyoung

Do you find yourself constantly checking your e-mail, playing games on your cell phone, or absorbed in the internet for hours at a time?  Is your house a mess, because you are too busy attending other commitments?  Are your days productive at all?  Do you go to bed stressed-out? Are you constantly frustrated with your kids, and/or yelling at them?  Do you feel spiritually drained, but never go in for a refill?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bad Storms

"Be careful what you wish for," my son said as we were all enclosed in my bedroom, including all the dogs and cats.

"Whaddaya mean?" I asked.  

"A day without electronics?" he smirked.

My kids can make me roll my eyes a lot around here.  He was referring to my suggestion that I recently presented, that was as a family to toss our electronics in a basket and purposely do things the "old-fashioned" way for a night.  Did you hear them whine all the way at your house?  I got the idea from a book I am reading right now titled "Crazy Busy" and you will soon be reading a review.

Anyway, the photo above was taken just as the storms started rolling in.  It was fast.  The power went out very quickly after the high winds (some as high as 85 mph) started pushing through here.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sold to the Amish

A neighbor sold out his woods to a lumber company.  I know we burn wood for heat, but I can't help feel sad as they clear out these trees.  At least when we cut wood, it's an already downed tree, or a dead one.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

From the Family Journal . . .

. . . my brothers surprised us.  One gave us a truckload of wood, and the other picked up some writing books at a recent book sale for me.  Woot!

. . . our 16 year-old daughter was featured in a school newspaper that is mailed out in our area.  She was featured for her artwork (a hand drawn piece).  She is also being inducted into the National Honor Society this month.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Soup, Pears, and Playtime

The temperature here dropped to the 20's last night, so I made soup to warm us all up.  I admit, I had my doubts that the kids would eat this soup, and I was pretty sure a few would refuse to even taste it.

I've been experimenting this week with sweet potatoes.  They were on sale, so I stocked up on some.  This recipe comes from Allrecipes, and contains sweet potatoes, carrots, an onion and an apple.  It also contains freshly grated ginger and red lentils too.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Seasons Change

Our first snow this winter.  Fall was here yesterday, and gone today.

I took Alias out this morning, and he slipped on ice.  His response was funny.  It was like he was asking me, "What the heck? Who put this stuff here?"


Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall is Still Lingering

The kids are out of school today and tomorrow.  We are all guilty of having the "sleepy head" syndrome.  All, but Hubby of course, who groggily went to work.  I, for the first time (other than when sick), slept in until almost 10am.  Yikes!  My 14 year-old actually thought something was wrong with me, ha ha!  Gracious, I am so far behind now.  But you know what?  It felt kind of nice to just take it easy.  Besides, we got a lot done over the weekend. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pen in Hand ~ Letter Writing

Although I have tried, and I am trying, I simply get side-winded and do everything but write.  Today I spent more time in my e-mail than anything else.   And I (gulp) am guilty of handcrafting this necklace for myself.  Cute right? It's the keyboard of an old-fashioned typewriter.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chutney, Chopping, and Random Talk

My 19 year-old daughter asked me what she could use to flavor her pork chops with, and aside from herbs and spices, I have now suggested apple-pear-ginger chutney.

I still have pears after all this baking and canning, so I made some.  It's great to flavor grilled sandwiches and other foods too. It's fabulous on ham.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Homestead Tidbits

Even though it's November, we are still seeing some color in our flower beds.  

"Huh, I haven't heard you say, I'm going out to the garden today, in a long time.  I think I could get used to that," said my 11 year-old early this morning.

Speaking of garden, my fitbit is reading 3,000 less steps per day, now that I'm not outside doing any outdoor work.  However, we haven't figured out our heating situation yet, so  that may change with splitting wood.  I'm going to have to do something to continue to get more exercise.  This may mean heading back to the gym, with a 5am workout.  Hubby needs it anyway.  They are warning employees about weight.  They are at a point now where they will not hire anyone that is over a specific weight, and will start looking for ways to fire employees, that weigh over a specific weight.  More and more employers are taking this route.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pear Berry Gingerbread Loaves

Pear Berry Gingerbread Loaves
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup molasses
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 brown sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. grated ginger root
2 med. pears, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Pear Frosting
1 1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. Pear Liqueur
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For bread:
Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease 2 loaf pan.

Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Combine eggs, molasses, applesauce, brown sugar, milk, and grated ginger root in a medium mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and pour the eggs mixture in, all at once.  Fold in pears and cranberries.  Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans for about 10 minutes before removing, and continue cooling on wire racks.

Stir all ingredients, and drizzle onto the bread.  Note:  if you do not have pear liqueur, simply use milk.

(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, Celebrate the Season 2000)

Overall family test tasting:  everyone said that they would not like this bread without the frosting.  We also used organic ingredients with our homegrown pears.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I unplugged for the weekend.  We've undergone some stress here at the farm, and well, I would just not be a pleasant person to be around. We are undecided about how to heat this place.  I will really miss my wood stove.  Although it was work, I will still miss it.  I also feel stripped of my self-sufficiency, which I do enjoy.  It's a freeing feeling to have less bills and debt.  Now, Hubby's  co-workers have convinced him that we need to install a furnace and not replace the wood stove.   I'll update as he figures it out.  My vote is for a new (or used) wood stove.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pear Walnut Bread

I adapted this recipe from a few other bread recipes.  It's family approved.  I used my homemade vanilla, locally grown walnuts, and our very own pears and eggs.  Yum.  Last year I canned organic applesauce as well.  I haven't yet this year however.  I sprayed my pans with organic canola oil spray.  I think the 3 pears I cut up, amounted to about 2 1/2 cups.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

From the Homesteading Journal . . . chimney sweep update

. . . . Peanut went into heat, and is now bred for a March due date.  She's so funny when in heat too. I heard her crying and crying and asked my daughter what was wrong with her.  Dumb question.  My daughter said that Peanut will flirt with Orion and even lay her head on the top of the fence to woo him.  So funny.  Misty will be next. (don't forget to click on "read more" to read more)