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, May 31, 2013

From the Handiwork Journal . . .

. . . played around with a new "flower" dish scrubbie pattern.  I am making some to sell at the next Farmer's Market.

. . . finished my 11 year-old's tablet cover.  Finally.

. . . started another pot holder set, and dishcloth.  These are my "to go" projects.  When I need to go somewhere, and I am not driving, these go with me.

. . . got around to embellishing the crocheted cat bookmark.

. . . spray painted chalkboard paint on a clip board to make a sign for Farmer's Market.  

. . . crocheted 1 rag rug for the master bath (sheets and pillow cases).

. . . crocheted another bookmark for the store/market.

The weather is hot and humid here.  I collected 70 pints of water in my dehumidifier.  We have been running it in our master bath, to help the the tile project dry completely.  Rain is in the forecast today, but you never know anymore.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013


There is nothing worse than waking up to screaming kids, or worse, reaching into the kitchen sink to be greeted by a big hairy wolf spider.  Do you like my spider trap?  I'm not sure if I saved my 11 year-old or saved myself from this hairy beast.

Last night it was my 13 year-old who was screaming about a big scary garden spider, crawling up to the top of a door jam.  And yesterday, while weeding my herb garden, I was greeted by a baby, black and yellow orb weaver.  The rain has woken up the spiders here.  

My son, aka the "Spider Man" pulled a joke on me.  He enjoys catching these hairy and scary beasts and releasing them outside (just so they can come back in again, ha ha ha!).  He does this with his bare hands.  Ewwww!  So, back to the story.  He walked towards me with his hand curled up and smiling.  He continued to approach me while I screamed bloody murder, and none of the kids came to my rescue.  Hmpf!  After torturing me, for what seemed like hours, he opened his hand in front of my face - empty.  Another "not cool" moment.

Things were not going smoothly in regards to the tile project in the shower.  The saw we had was not cutting straight cuts, so the guys had to go rent a saw (thankful for renting vs. buying).  They ran out of grout, etc. etc.  

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, kids bickered about who was going to clean what, and the tension levels were high.  Screaming, yelling, you name it.  

And in it all, I was trying to crochet a new doily pattern, to see if it would sell at the market.  You noticed I said "try" to crochet?  

I not only fastened off too early (which is fixable), but skipped one row completely.  I was not able to concentrate with all the hoopla here that day.  

However, as it turns out, it made a nice cup coaster.

So now I am reading this book.  When I finish it, I should be able to crochet anything in any "storm."  

The beginning chapter (Escape the Lunacy) starts out with, "Somewhere along this frenzied journey called modern-day life, we've lost our sanity."

Any suggestions on how to clean this ball of yarn?  I received it in a farmgirl barter, but when I took the wrapper off, I discovered it was pretty dirty.  I may just have to make something for using here vs. selling, and then wash it after it's finished.  Otherwise, I can't use it.  I may try tucking it in a sock to wash, but I'm afraid it'd end up in a knotted mess.  I'm thinking, knit or crochet, then wash.

The tile project continues.  The grout has not dried, and today will be 48 hours.  It is still soft.  I have put a fan in there to speed up the process.  The grout to fill in, has not yet been applied.

Today, is the last day of school for the younger two.  They are excited and have jabbered all morning after the spider incident.  Weather is humid and blah, and thunderstorms are expected possibly.  I was secretly hoping for rain, so I could work inside again.  Yesterday, I managed to weed my largest herb garden, with the help of my son.  The tarragon and basil seeds have sprouted, and now I just need to plant curly parsley.  I thinned out my lemon balm, and brought some in to make freshly brewed tea with my spearmint and lemon.  Yum!

Yesterday, I was complaining that I had not done "a thing" all day for the next Farmer's Market.  My 16 year-old responded with, "Mom you are always doing something."  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thrift Store and Flea Market Finds ~ Oh My!

Over the weekend, a thrift store was having a customer appreciation sale - 50% off store wide.  I got all of this (two bed sheets, 3 vintage tablecloths) for about $8.00 total.  The bedding will be saved for camping, and possibly a few of the tablecloths. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Rooster's Gone Wild and Other Farm Frenzies

I found this cute garden rooster, and it has a flower pot in it.  I admit, I didn't get very creative with the pot of flowers, but at least the grass in it looks like feathers.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Honey Roasted Pecans ~ Chilly Day

We are very much enjoying roasted pecans on our salads lately, so I started making my own (vs. buying them already roasted).  Here, a 3.5 oz. bag of honey roasted pecans costs $3.99. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

All In A Day's Work

Yesterday, while planting, watering and weeding, this little guy came to visit me.  There is a small hole in my garden hose, and he came to get a drink.  I do have a bird bath filled with water, but he chose the hose.  I'll have to do some research to find out if this is a he or a she.  I'm still not getting a pristine photo, but working on it.

Some things, like this bird visiting me, make all the all the hard work of self-sufficiency and good living hard labor worth it. 
Speaking of birds, a vulture came to visit us.  This time, he/she was right behind the goat barn munching away.  I was just zoaming my lens, and then "SLAM" went the side door on the house.  Off went the vulture.  Hmpf.  Anyway, when the pasture was mowed, he ran over a large black water snake, and that was the vulture's meal.  He never did fly back for the rest.

Yesterday, I managed to get 40 roma tomato plants in the ground, along with 8 more peppers.  Rain never did arrive, but we had strong winds.  Cucumbers and squash are up now.  Even though it seems like a lot of tomatoes, we had enough home canned taco sauce all winter, that we didn't have to buy any, and I still have 2 more jars.  And we have 2 more jars of home canned ketchup too.

I planted flower seeds in this new planter, but went ahead and added a few flowers yesterday.  My comfrey is doing better now that the cats are not using it for a bed too.

Days are long still, but I continue to stop garden work by noon to exerciseMy 16 year-old continues to add up her driving hours.  I had her drive me to town for some needed yarn, and goat feed, and back again - logging in just short of an hour of driving.  She needs a total of 50.  

Somewhere in those hours, I made another large salad.  We've gone through 7 bags of organic romaine in a week.  I top it with organic carrots, celery, red bell pepper and green onion from my herb garden.   Then the kids and I either put tuna or organic chicken in it, topped with pecans or/and dried cranberries.  I can't wait for my lettuce to be ready for harvest.

I never did get time to work on my short story.  Today, I plan to take paper and pen to the porch.  Some times writing by hand is more productive than using the computer.

It's dark and dreary out this morning, and they are still forecasting very strong storms later today.  I am heading back out to plant more tomatoes.  Hubby couldn't help me again last night, as he was asked to stay over at work again.  This time getting home about midnight, and back up at 6:30am.  We are both very tired.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rue and Heat ~ Hubby's Long Work Days

Rue, short for Rudy, does not like the early heat we are getting.  I took some scraps out to my daughter, to feed her goats, and saw her giving Rue a hair cut with her trimmers.  He was panting miserably.

The lamancha goats handle the heat better, unless they are babies, but generally their breed can handle heat better.  Poor guy.

Here is an updated photo of Primrose.  I had trouble getting a good photo, as she thought my camera was food.  When I went into her stall to get the water bucket, that little stinker got out twice.  Good thing she has a collar on her.

Well, the joke is still on us.  No rain as of this morning.  Hmpf.  The weather continues to forecast thunderstorms, yet we get nothing.  I did read that tornado type weather was coming our way around Tuesday.  They are forecasting storms around 2pm today.  Should I believe them? 

Hubby was so happy that he was not working over 8 hours yesterday, and could come home to help plant tomatoes.  However, 15 minutes prior to quit time, they told them to stay until a job was finished.  He got home around 1:00am, and was back up at 6:30am this morning.  

The heat is making us miserable.  The house cats are laying around on the floor, which is not normal early in the morning. The typically rub all over us, try to trip us, and meow for their breakfast. Today, they could care less.   One of the dogs, enjoys cooling off with ice cubes, and the other has her own pool.    

I guess I'm going out in this humidity and planting more tomato plants.  Then I am coming in to work on my short story.  I promised myself to make more time for my writing, so I better get crackin' at my chores.  Plus, Martha (the scarecrow) was blown down by wind yesterday.  I better get her back up too.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, May 20, 2013

From the Homesteading Journal . . . Homemade Goat - Milk Lotion

....all within the last few days

 . . . Hubby and son rigged up the dog kennel for the meat chicks, and the layer chicks are outside now (we got the kennel for free, covered the top, and sides with chicken wire).  The barred rock layers are finally outside.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

From the Gratitude Journal. . .

Today, I am thankful for:

~for the wonderful lilac aroma wafting throughout the outdoors (and which I brought indoors too).

~for God's guidance, and giving me the knowledge to know how to cut back on my stress with gardening by doing a little every day vs. all of it in one long day, and leaving the dirty dishes for the kids and looking the other me the strength to get up extra early to avoid the me a bountiful garden...

~for the colors that are reappearing on the front porch.  

~for the spearmint in my garden and iced tea made with it.

~for the pounds I'll lose this summer with all this garden/yard work to do.

~for our dogs, who alerted us of a group of people on the highway (at 2:30am), who had some sort of driving mishap.  

~for Timmy, the barn cat who showed up on our porch a year or so ago.  And who always makes me smile.  He plops wherever he wants, as if he has had the most grusome work day and is needing a nap.

~for the water in our well.  I've drained the rain barrel, and have been watering the garden, due to the lack of rain here.  Thankful for that rain barrel too.

~for my hubby being home today, and giving me a hand with garden work/yard work today, and for getting my breakfast. 


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Random Writing

5 Random Things

1. I Got "Notered" 

My 11 year-old often leaves me notes that are special.   We call it getting "notered." She left me this one recently, in my inbox:

"i love you mommy. anyway, you should take the day off and go return your shirt,wear it with your new skirt  and wear some new mother's day jewelry, the ones i bought you. by the way... I Love You!

and just so you dont forget about me... i throw it on thee grownd!!!"

It made me laugh.  You see, when she went to camp, she told me how the "mailman" came to visit them and deliver letters we wrotePrior to camp, the teachers allowed us to write our kids letters, and they would be delivered.  Anyway, the mailman would come in and do a funny act while delivering the mail.  He'd throw it on the ground and say "I throw it on theeee groouuunnnnd!" enunciating it in a hilarious fashion.  When she got home from camp, she re-enacted it for days.  She'd run to the mailbox, and re-enact the "mailman" from camp each time.  And of course, it was funny.

2. With my new fitbit, I joined a community group, and pledged to try to loose 16 pounds by July 4th.

3.  My 13-year old is at an all weekend sleep over.  However, she's my "chick" keeper, so I now have "chick" duty (watering, feeding, and cleaning their boxes).  My goal is to get them outside next week.

4.  My allergies are in an uproar, due to farmer's out in their fields.  The dirt is flying, and my nose is finding it.  Thankfully, I stocked up on nettle tea.

5.  Sapphire has been sleeping in my herb garden.  The other day, when I leaned over to cut some chives, she stood up and scared the livin' poo out of me.  After my run-in with the raccoon, I am on edge every time I am outside.  She blended in with the dirt so well, I didn't even see her.  She was all cozied up between the chives and green onions.

Linking up with Nancy atA Rural Journal

Friday, May 17, 2013

Snapshots Gone Cynical ~ Having a "Martha" Day

I intended to take "happy" snapshots of my day, but as work proceeded, I became cynical.  Maybe I already was.  I spent the early hours planting a half-flat of purple salvias, watering everything from vegetable garden, to flower garden, herb garden and then pots.  I got more items out of the garden barn and so forth.  I had to drag about 300 feet of garden hose from one end of the property to the other.  I know it's good exercise, but blah, blah, blah.  This may be where my cynicism started. 

I continued to dig out flower pots and put them in the places, all ready for more planting.

Put another one up and filled it with soil and flower seeds, and had a few happy thoughts pop in my head (pretty flowers make me happy).

But then I looked at the one end of my herb garden - weeds.  They are all over the herb garden.

More weeds.  This time it's grass in the raised strawberry beds.  This is what happens when your Hubby tells your kids to blow the grass into the flower beds when they mow - "Blow it into the garden, it's great for it!"  Sure doesn't look "great" to me.

And the mower can't fit through all the raised beds, so I have to get out the trimmer and cut it all down that way.  

Martha isn't looking so well this season.  She needs a re-do.  She was barely standing up when I found her.  She was left out all winter.  Her clothes are tattered and sun bleached, her shirt is not tucked in, one sleeve is up and one is down, her wood is splitting, birds have pooped on her, her head is smooshed down, and her hat is looking worn out and torn up. 

Ever feel like you are having a "Martha" day?

Got Tea?

My kids (and I) love to drink tea and coffee both.  But lately, they have gotten funky with both.  Mom sent over some vanilla chocolate truffle teabags, and guess what my 16 year-old did?

She put that very same teabag into the coffee maker, along with the coffee grounds, and brewed it.  Not bad too.

I wonder what else they will come up with, now that most of my tea is restocked.

What would you call that anyway (brewing coffee with tea)? Coff-tea?  Tea-Fee?  Ha ha ha!  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Farm Logo and Other Farm Occurrences

Last night my son finished his drawing of our new farm logo.  It was a gift to me.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Not Cool!

You won't see a photo of it either.  I'm scarred for life (as the kids tell me, with a hidden evil smile).

I was on the south side porch, drinking from my water bottle and taking a look downward at a smaller flower bed.  I had already done some front yard weeding and planting, and even planted vegetables in the vegetable garden.  I had been wondering where to start next (thinking to myself and not making any noise).  The small flower bed was pretty haggard looking.  So, I stood and contemplated.

To my left the bathroom juts out from the house, and out of the corner of my eye, I could see black fluff moving across the grass towards me.   It was within 8-10 feet of me.

I screwed my water cap back on, and was about to pet Aurora, when I stepped in that direction, and screamed.   It had walked directly toward me, and stopped at about 8 feet (or less) from me.

That black fluff was not Aurora our barn cat, but a very large raccoon, who by now was looking straight at meOf course, I screamed.  I never once have had a raccoon visit me in during the day time.  

Shaking like a crazed lunatic, I ran inside and yelled for my kids who were home.  My son ran out and it had already disappeared.  

And to think I was about to get down on my knees and weed within a few feet of that thing!
It may be hunkering down in a hole under the house.  Hubby probably laughed his rear off, while listening to the voice mail I left him.

I'm thinkin' we need to buy a trap.  Good thing my chickens were not out.  A sick raccoon is a dangerous raccoon.  Why else would it be out roaming during day light?  It was noon when it showed it's ugly face to me.

Not cool.  Not cool. 

I asked Hubby, "how am I supposed to plant today?"

"Take a ball bat with you."