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, January 30, 2014

Simple Solar Oven ~ It's a Heat Wave! ~ Sunflower Hot Pads

(the building of her oven)

Our 12 year-old is participating in a second science fair (in two years).  

This time, she chose to make a model (they have to pick specific categories, and they cannot repeat the same category from the previous science fair).  Her model?  A solar cooker.  Okay, I admit, her choice made me smile.  I can dig a solar oven. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Old Commerical Songs

School closed today.  I am pretty sure they will be going tomorrow. We are to get a high of 15°F today and at around 6:00am tomorrow it will only be a low of -4°F.  Timmy, our barn cat did come to the door last night.  Thankfully he's okay.  He must have found a good place to hunker down for the night, and stay warm.
I'm showing my age with my kids this week.  For some reason I was singing the (1973) old Oscar Mayer song, which led me to the Tic Tac song (from 1974), which got us talking about how much our meal choices have changed.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Teabag Tidbits ~ Temps and Snow ~ No "Pretend" Food

Is your tea talking to you today?

Looks can be deceiving.   This morning we have a wind chill of -27°F and an actual temperature of -8°F.  One barn cat is still out there in the elements, and had not made an appearance.  We are hoping he's okay.  Just looking out the window this morning, it looks nice can cozy. Don't forget to click one "read more". . . .

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sorghum Candy ~ Yet Another Arctic Blast

I had some extra dark chocolate melting wafers leftover from the holidays.  And with the snowy weather, and slippery roads we are getting, I decided to stay inside. 

I decided to make these delicious candy pieces that are made with sorghum. Sorghum, if you haven't heard of it, is sometimes called "poor man's sugar." 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Movie Madness and Snowed In ~ Propane Shortage?

Hubby and I borrowed several movies from the library, and recently watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  It was different, but we really did enjoy it.  There are advantages of being snowed in.  Ha ha!  I know this is not homesteading related, but stay with me here......

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bavarian Crochet ~ Deep Freeze Day 5 ~ Turkey Chili ~ Goats and Chickens

I can't let January pass by without learning something new.  I didn't even plan it either.  I had just been flipping through a huge pile of borrowed library books, and opened this one.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 4 - Brrr! Wanna Join our Pity Party?

Freezing temperatures again today - a cool -23°F wind chill.  And no we do not have any water in front part of the house - meaning no laundry, no washing dishes and one toilet not flushing (putting water in manually).  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

No Hot Water ~ Day 3

The heater we borrowed is not working.  We do have cold water in my utility room sink, so I can water the chickens and goats and so forth.  However, no hot water.  No cold (or hot) water at all to the washing machine.

Last night we heated water on the stove for washing dishes and washing up.

....just like camping.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Baby Bath Cloths ~ Elixir ~ No Hot Water

There are 3 crochet patterns for baby bath cloths in the book 150 Weekend Crochet Projects, by White Birches. I used one of the patterns for these two.  I think I'll include a bar of unscented handmade goat's milk soap too.

Hubby's fever broke last night.  I did drain off a jar of elderberry elixir for him too.  Today, the doctor diagnosed him with walking pneumonia.  Hubby said that particular sickness has been getting passed around at work.  Now, he wants to start growing our own elderberries.  In other words, the elixir works pretty well.

Today is day 2 without hot water.   Thanks to family and friends, some of us got (or are getting) hot showers elsewhere today (I left Mom a bar of goat's milk soap in thanks for the hot shower).  Yep...pipes froze again.  We are borrowing a salamander heater, in hopes to thaw us out.  Say a prayer.  The dishes are piled high, and if we can't thaw out, we'll be heating lots of pots of water.  Besides, Hubby could use a hot steamy bath for his recovery too.

Now that the baby gifts are finished I can dive into my closet and pull out all of those started-but-never-finished projects.  Some may not get finished.  Decisions, decisions.  Then again, I may just crochet a set of baby booties first.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sunset ~ Sick Hubby ~ Another Cold Blast

Sharing a sunset photo from Sunday evening.  Just a few minutes after taking the photos, the beautiful pinks completely disappeared.

Thankfully, I have some loose leaf elderflower tea on hand.  Hubby is home sick. You know when men get sick (at least mine), they turn into blabbering babies.  I may even drain off one of my jars of elixir early (if the tea doesn't help).  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Teabag Tidbits

I had an upset stomach, and was searching for a peppermint teabag, and got this one.  My youngest daughter said I should share this.  It's pretty funny.  It's comical.  It's entertaining.  At least to me it was.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

I lost my . . . .

I have lost my blogging mojo.  

In fact, I've lost my writing mojo altogether.  

When I find it, I'll be back.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

More Cookin' from Storage

I pulled a bag of frozen blueberries yesterday, and baked the family a buttermilk-blueberry coffee cake.  Yum.  To top it off, I surprised them with a 4 lb. meatloaf (Hubby's favorite, and I don't make it that often) that was made with organic beef, and veggies.  I also made garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans.  I really miss my own potatoes.  I bought a bag (they now sell organic potatoes here), and about 3-4 of them were rotten only two days after buying them.   

Blueberry Buttermilk Coffeecake Recipe:

 I added cinnamon and nutmeg to the topping.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

From the Handiwork Journal . . .

Crocheted this fun, yet fancy, dishcloth.   I may make more over the winter yet.  This one is going in my kitchen.  It's made with #5 cotton thread.  My first time using that thickness.

Monday, January 13, 2014

No Schedule ~ Hubby Funny

The sunrise was beautiful for the kid's first day back to school.  Gorgeous pinks and blues everywhere.  

Yesterday was an easy dinner.  I simply cooked up pinto beans with onions, then mashed them.  We enjoyed bean burritos with all the toppings.  Some ate it in a bowl, taco salad style.  I do try to serve some sort of bean once a week, and now I am on the hunt for salmon recipes that my kids will eat.  We need more fish in our diet. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cooking from Home Storage ~ Homestead Tidbits

Remember all of this from last year?  Well, it's slowly dwindling.  However, the pepper mustard sauce (the yellow quart jars in the photo) will be a "keeper" recipe.  I canned the 4 jars using 36 hot banana peppers, and it's been wonderful.   How do I use it?  

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mixing Up Elixir

Over the years I have purchased elderberry syrup from organic health stores.  This year, however, is my first year to make my own elixir.   While doing more research, I have discovered that the "elixir" works better, as it is not heated like the syrup is.  Thankfully, the mail was delivered yesterday, and my elderberries arrived.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Is the Thaw Near?

And this folks, is how to prepare dinner when you can't use water (or your kitchen sinks) in you kitchen.  You put one of your grandmother's card tables in your utility room, and use the running water in you utility sink. Ha ha ha!

See that gray hose that goes into the sink?  That's because the drain to the washer is froze and I have to drain it into the sink.  Both the kitchen and the kitchen bathroom continue to have frozen drains, and no water at all in the kitchen bathroom shower.  The toilet won't flush until we hand fill the tank.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Getting By and Making Do

I finally broke out a new journal.  I thought I better jot down what's been going on here, with our record breaking temperatures.  I have been watching the news every night, in hopes to see that we are out of the worst now.

My daughter's work stayed open in a level 3, and she could have not only gotten in an accident, but gotten fined or jail time (here a level 3, by law, states you cannot be out driving).  Why do "non" essential businesses require employees to show up in dangerous weather?  Money?  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Record Low Temps ~ Dehydrating Garlic

Last night, we hit an all time record low.  When Hubby called me from work about 7pm, it was already -17°F (actual temperature), with a wind chill of lower than -35°F.  The dogs are not taking the cold well at all.  My son said their legs start shaking after a few minutes outside to do their business.  Some times they won't even go, and he'll have to go out again.   It's too early to tell how the barn animals handled it.  As soon as the sun is up, we plan to do a quick check on them all.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Homemade Cough Syrup

(the beautiful snowflake kitchen towel was part of a Christmas gift from my Mom)

Here we go again.  Cough, cold, and flu season.  However, I used my youngest daughter's technique with Google ("no time to shop" but it's really no way to get out of the driveway,  and the fact I need to make it with what I have on hand and stay warm inside), and came up with a cough syrup recipe.  We got dumped with snow, and today by afternoon the temps will be that glorious -20° to -40F.  Even banks closed today.  So.... 
(don't forget to click on "read more")

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winston ~ Blizzard of '78

On the 26th of December, the plan was to drive Winston to a humane society about 1 hour from here.  They said they would take any animal, from any county, and not charge a thing.   Perfect, right?  Well, he didn't go there.  He's still here.  Sigh....

He has been quite the entertainment here lately.  Oh, don't get me wrong.  There are still cat fights, and growling, and cornering him by the other two boys here (in fact, I hear growling right now). They've had a few pee wars too (most likely why his last owner dumped him, and I will spare you my thoughts on dumped animals, but you probably already know them by now).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 2 - No Hot Showers

I let Jesse out to do his "business" early this morning, and there was one single star visible in the sky.  Kind of a cool sight, so I took a picture.  A benefit if living in the country - I can stand outside in my pajamas, robe and slippers, and my neighbors cannot look out their window and gawk at me in shock and horror.  They'd most likely think I was a creeper with my camera at that hour too, ha ha!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Frozen Pipes

Today, despite our best efforts, the hot water pipes are frozen.  It's 3°F with a wind chill of -20°F right now.

Yesterday was a challenge to say the least - frozen chicken water, a 2 foot drift inside the animal barn, drifts all over the drive, freezing kitchen and front room, etc.  "Big Boy" (Orion, the buck) got another bale of straw to keep him warm.  We need to somehow insulate his house for next winter.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Snow Storm and Frigid Temps

I'm not sure how much snow we got last night, but they predicted up to 5 inches.  As you can see, it's extremely windy, and more snow is predicted.  Drifting will be a huge problem out here.

I can't complain about the -1°F wind chill, considering the temps that Minnesota is fighting right now.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Planner with Pizazz ~ New Year's First Day Tidbits

When my 17 year-old had asked me, "do we have to do anything today?" 

I responded with "eat, drink, and be merry!"

I got my crafting mojo flowing yesterday, and created a fun planner for 2014.  Thanks to Patty, at Lemon Lane Cottage, I dug out my scraps, decoupage and glue, and put some pizazz into a plain covered planner.  I'll admit, it felt good to craft without a plan, and without a deadline.  

Read more by clicking on "read more" below....