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~

Friday, April 26, 2013

Taking a Break

I am taking a week break from my blog.  It may be longer, but I will be back. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Not Just for Dogs

Dog beds in our house are not just for dogs. Ha ha ha!  Tiger took over Jesse's bed.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sister Mail, Jesse's Surgery, and Missing Eggs

I came home, after a long day of driving everywhere yesterday, to find this in my mail box.  My sister, who visits India often with her family, sent me these.  They are from India.

Jesse's surgery didn't go completely well.  The vet found a hard and soft mass that was all the way to his bone.  They could not remove all of it, without risking damaging nerves etc.  The mass is being sent out to a lab, and will be checked for cancer.  We are praying that it was a result of an embedded foreign body, but the vet could not tell for sure, and thus the lab work.   

Jesse is not doing too well either.  Last night he could not open one eye, and could not walk on his left foot.  Today, his eyes are not bothering him, but he continues to favor his foot.  With today's rain, we have to wrap up his foot when he goes outside, and he's not too happy about that either.

Three days ago, only 4 eggsTwo days ago 1 egg.  Yesterday 0 eggs.  I am betting we have another rat in the chicken barn.  Grr!  Later today, I will need to check their coop for new holes anywhere. 



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Garden, Handiwork and Family

. . . planted peas late last night, rain is due tonight.

. . . started yet another new project.  This one is for my youngest daughter.  I'll post an update when it's finished.

 . . . on my 3rd skein of yarn, crocheting my shawl.

. . . checked these books out from the library.  When our egg production increases, I hope to share our reviews on some of these recipes.  I think I may even invest in buying the book on vegetables.

 . . . put up an inexpensive net for badminton and volleyball net.  Future plans are to install 2 - 4 x 4's with eye screws in the future.

. . . our 13 year-old earned two 1's as scores on her choir contest pieces.

. . . Jesse (youngest dog) goes in for surgery today.


Monday, April 22, 2013

From the Gratitude Journal . . .

Today I am thankful for:

. . . for Hubby cooking me breakfast on the weekends

. . . for my washing machine and clothesline

. . . for soft pillows

. . . for our coffee maker that brews in 3 minutes

. . . phones

. . . for fragrant candles my Mom gave us

. . . good ol' fashioned, to-the-mailbox, mail

. . . the sun shining today and warmer weather

. . . God's availability, always there, always listening

. . . pens and pencils

. . . for my 19 year-old daughter getting a job yesterday.  She's officially employed.

. . . for locating an alpaca farm not too far from here.  You may hear more about this later.

Today, the weather is to be up in the 60's, so the washing machine is getting a workout.  So are my clotheslines.  The kids have not been counting eggs, so I may skip the egg count this year.  I have a few new tulips and hyacinths to plant today, and add yet a bit of more pink and purple to the gardens.  Bills need paid today too.  

The herb garden is looking nice already, and my green onions need divided out.  I am replanting a new rosemary plant, since I left mine out all winter (oops!).  The chives are looking great and my sage is doing good (lost them the previous winter).  Even parsley has popped up here and there, and the same with cilantro.  We may be planting peas tonight.



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stress Baking

I bake when I am stressed.  However, there is a level of stress, that I should remember to never attempt bakingI baked a batch of Walnut Coconut Cookies, but accidently doubled the butter.
After I realized that, I realized I only had 3 eggs in the house.  I sent my 16 year-old out for one from the coop, and luckily she brought one it.

While she was out there, her youngest female goat (Prim) came up behind her.  Somehow she got out of the fence again.  Lucky for her she discovered it.

...back to the cookies.  I had preheated the oven at 400°F, but read over the recipe for the ump-teenth time, and realized that I needed the oven on 350°F.  

With my mistake of doubling, and by the way was only baking to use up some homemade goat's milk ricotta (in place of sour cream in this recipe), I was able to double the amount of ricotta too.

By the way, the last time I baked these cookies, I used sugar in place of honey.  The cookies were a delicate shortbread cookie flavor.  With this batch, I used honey, and they are a soft cookie texture.  We also used pecans again.  I do favor the texture and flavor of baking them with sugar.

Now, I have 10?  11?  Maybe 12 dozen of these cookies. 

But, I have one less cup of ricotta to worry about getting wasted.  Next time, any small amounts of ricotta are going in the freezer.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

From the Homesteading Journal . . .

"Snow!? Are you kidding me?!"

That was first thing out of my mouth this morning.

It's a small layer is here and there, but seriously.  It's April 20th!  Look at all that green from our recent rain too.

. . .  obtained my fishing license for this summer (Hubby too).

. . . one of our last two red hens pass away. For some reason all of our red hens consistently became egg bound and died. This is why we chose to invest in barred rocks this year.  We lost one to the great horned owl, but they seem to be larger and don't get egg bound or sick as much. 

. . . made another batch of goat's milk ricotta cheese.  I plan to make ricotta pancakes, stuffed shells and even cookies.  

Here is the link to the recipe we useHow to Make Ricotta Cheese with Goat's Milk, Mother Earth News

. . . added meat grinder and pressure canner to the homesteading wish list.  I was iffy on buying either one, but I can see the use for them.  We can grind the chicken we raise for meat, and eventually beef.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Jesse and a Road Trip

(Jess with his sore paw last winter)

Poor Jesse.  His paw is just not healing.  Sometime last fall he stepped on something (or something bit him, or something is still embedded in his paw).  He was put on medication twice, but it's not healing and once again, I took him to the vet.

He's scheduled for surgery next week.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Turtles Bookmarks

I am working on crocheted turtle bookmarks

This turtle one, was eye-spied by my 11 year-old, who loves turtles.  Guess who got this one?  Yup.  She got it.  I was too tired to argue with her.

I thought they would be fun for kids to shop for, on "Kid's Day" at the Farmer's Market.  They are so cute, adults may even want to buy one.   I am still working on more ideas.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thrift Finds

As I mentioned in a previous post, Hubby and I walked through a thrift store last week. Although prices there were higher than I would like, I brought home. . .

. . . a cookbook for grilling fish

Saturday, April 13, 2013

From the Gratitude Journal . . .

Today I am thankful for:

 ~ Organic bath salts for sore muscles

 ~warming, organic coffee

~for the library, and it's free access to books

~for God's Promises

~for hugs from my kids

~for the milk our goat's produce

~for the wrens singing outside

~for radio stations that continue to play uplifting, and inspirational music

~for soft cozy slippers

~for the pink carnations, and pink and white daisies on my kitchen windowsill    

Toxic Toothpaste? ~ Vaccine Update

The holistic professional I speak with, explained to me once, that she does not use manufactured toothpaste.  She said it is too toxic.  

I too, started making my own toothpaste, but wanted to share this article about it, for those interested:  Is Your Toothpaste Making you Stupid?

And for a long time now, I have had my doubts about some of the vaccine's that are pushed on us.  Here is an article on the update:  Vaccine Legislative . . .

And why I buy organic (anything, not just rice), or grow/raise it myselfLead levels in rice. . . 

Just sharing for those interested.

Friday, April 12, 2013

From the Handiwork Journal . . .

. . . started my crocheted shawl, and love this pattern I received from another farmgirl.  It looks like the one from Little House on the Prairie.  I had trouble deciding on color, so I may make a second one in a red.  I will post a photo when it is completed.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Giveaway ~ Another book

This month's used book giveaway is The Cat Who Went Bananas, by Lilian Jackson Braun.  This is a used paperback that I purchased at the all-island garage sale days last fall.

Simply be the first to post that you want it, and it's yours.

Fun Trivia I learned from this book:

Mulligatwany is a soup, and it is mentioned in a Dr. Suess book.

Skuunk water is basically a local mineral water found in Moose County.

Indefatigable means:  "persisting tirelessly"

Ailurphobe means:  "a person who hates or fears cats"

*definitions are from on-line dictionaries


From the Homesteading Journal . . .

 . . . installed our very first rain barrel (USA made).  We plan to install more, but want to check out more options on styles (and making them ourselves).  This one holds 55 gallons and will be close to the garden for watering it.  I also have a recipe to make this water drinkable, if ever it was needed in an emergency.  I have been doing some research on rain barrel care, and recently read that you should paint your barrel a darker color, in order to keep the sun from affecting the water inside.  This one can be hooked to another barrel, and we do plan to consider making our own.  Our goal is to install 2 (possibly 3-4) more in the next few years.  Here is a link to information if you are considering installing a rain barrel:  The Redeemed Gardener:  Maintaining a Healthy Rain Barrel.

. . . made a batch of homemade goat's milk ricotta cheese.  I used it to bake Lasagna Ruffles and some cookies.

. . . started cleaning out my flower beds. 

. . . Misty (our youngest goat) gave birth to a baby boy. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

First Day Back in the Gardens and a Backyard Snapper

After a long day working at cleaning out flower beds (more to clean yet), I went inside to clean up.  I glanced out the window and saw something in the yard.

At first I thought the hawks killed one of our chickens and it was just laying there, by the ditch that runs off the creek.   Then it moved.  Check out all that mud on it's back.

By golly, this guy (or gal) had a shell of about 12 inches or longer.  Yesterday was an interesting day for me.  I saw two hawks, two low flying geese, and this turtle.  I also heard wrens singing.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

More Auntie Mail

In the recent box my Aunt sent me, there were a few more items to share. 

... a loom for No-Needle Knitting.  The instructions she sent me are the original pages from a 1978 Woman's Circle Magazine.  How cool is that?

...and she sent me some vintage stencils for decorating fabric and such.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Camping Capers

If you have been a follower on my blog, you may remember our Camping Funny Post.

Well this time, this is what happened this past weekend. Yikes!  Look at picture #1 and then at #2.  See anything odd?

We left to do some fishing and when we got back, the awning was completely blown on top of the camper.  

Hubby I took the younger two girls camping, and once again, the weather man was wrong.  Instead of warm, sunny 60's, we had cold, cloudy, and very windy weather.  We fought the weather every day, until Sunday.  Cooking over the fire was a bit of a challenge.  I am glad we could borrow the camper, as it had electric heaters that we did have to use.  It was that cold Friday night.

Either way, and although we did not catch any fish (had a few tugs), we still had a good time.  Festivities were cards, glow-in-the dark Frisbee, and journaling.  The girls spent quite a bit of time writing stories and journaling (when they could).  I of course took a book, crocheting, and a journal.

About the card game.  I played go-fish with my youngest, but was instructed that when I would say "go fish" that I had to say "meow."  And it couldn't be just "meow."  It had to be enunciated in different tones and vocals. Ha ha ha!

We are back home today, and already have one load of laundry on the line.  Hubby and I do not own sleeping bags, so our home bedding went with us.  I think the kids sleep better with their own pillows too.  

Today is Hubby's last day of vacation, so we may go fishing this afternoon yet.  Although the camping trip was for relaxation, it was also a good time for the girls to practice their fishing skills.  We hope to catch a lot of fish to supplement our meals this summer.

Someone asked what fish we catch in our area.  Depending on where we go, catfish, bass, bluegill, perch, and in some areas trout. 

I hope your weekend was great too!