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~

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tea Time in Tanganyika

When tension brews, I brew a cup of Holy Basil tea.  I'm now growing Holy Basil in my garden.  I'm patiently waiting to harvest it.

We are tea and coffee enthusiasts (if you want to call us that), and love to try new varieties.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Time for Teriyaki . . .

With some fresh cut broccoli, and sugar snap peas, I thought it would be a perfect time to make a chicken stir fry (over organic brown rice).  I whipped up a batch of homemade teriyaki sauce for it.  And there really is organic soy sauce.  Check for it in the organic section of your store, or near the regular soy sauce.  Not all stores carry it.  

Also, I use one brand (Wholesome Sweeteners) of light corn syrup that does not contain high fructose corn syrup.  It is organic and non-gmo verified.  I do have to order it online from a healthy living store.  Our stores here do not carry it. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Raspberry Picking Time ~ Getting Silly with the Thyme

On Wednesday I noticed a few ripe wild black raspberries.  I picked those, and later checked another location.  It took a while to cut down brush to get to them, but I found many more ripe ones.  It was hot, humid and I was picking them in jeans and muck boots.  I wasn't taking a chance this time on getting poison ivy.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Weeds Anyone?

Hubby had this brainy idea a few years to till up this lot, which is south of the largest garden, and north of yet another newly tilled garden lot (which has popcorn and pumpkin). 

As you can see, there is a ton of grass and weeds in there.  We used plastic the last two years to plant our squash and the vegetables did terrible.  This year there is no plastic, so there are tons of weeds.  

In that one garden (photo above) is zucchini, yellow straight-neck squash, spaghetti squash, and cucumbers (at the fence).  Really, they are in there.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Random Stuff

Everyone needs a "watch cat" right?  Ha ha!  I guess Sapphire thought the top of Hubby's truck was the perfect spot for watching.

Good kitty.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Tidbits and Homemade Ricotta

We had a nice visit from my older brother yesterday.  I gifted him 1 dozen fresh eggs to take home and fed him some lunch.  

He brought us boxes from my sister-in-law (his wife).  One full of cloth napkins and placemats, one of ceramic cats and one of ceramic dogs.  Oh, and some bottles of nail polish.

I absolutely loved these antique rose napkins.  Snag!  Those were mine.  The kids and I went through them, saving some for their hope chests too.  Anything left will be used in the camper.  The kids went nuts with the dogs and cats, running upstairs and chattering on, and setting them in place in their room.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Our Entire Saturday

Would you want this in your backyard?  For well over 10-11 hours straight?

Saturday, June 21, 2014


It was a race against the rain, but I had a pretty successful day.  I did have to bring in the laundry, because the rain arrived a noon and my laundry was not dry.

I got the watermelon mounds weeded, and a tiny bit of the strawberries.  The peas are finally on the fence, but not ready to pick just yet.  Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Me, Turtleman and a Treadmill

Thursday was a normal inside chore day.  I am having a bit of difficulty coming up with an interesting post that doesn't have to do with sweating through 3 pairs of underwear, or chasing chickens. Or scrubbing a toilet or two.

I did make a batch of homemade ricotta that will be used for a few dinners this coming weekend, but the highlight to share is our trip to the gym.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Garlic Scapes ~ Storms

My garlic needed the scapes cut off, and although I was tempted to walk them over to "Big Boy," I ended up making pesto with them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Random Tidbits

I said I was not going to use my stove yesterday, but I did.  Hubby brought home some ginger root and club soda yesterday, so early in the morning I made a double batch. This is so refreshing on a muggy day too.  This is one of the recipes I most likely will have ready for when my older two are home.  They have been writing home about recipes they want me to make.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Picking Strawberries ~ Wild Turkey

I picked over a cup of strawberries, and decided to make muffins with them.  I had a few last bags of blueberries in the freezer to use up too.  They are so good.  I was so happy to find a jar of applesauce in my pantry too.

It's the extent of my work yesterday, other than washing a load of laundry.  Storm clouds moved in, but no rain, and just more humidity.  Hot, muggy and uncomfortable.  The kind of weather where you have to peel off your clothes at the end of the day.  My tummy was back to normal about bed time.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Spent Sunday weeding rose bushes.  Good thing I waited to do it last.  I was going to pull an entire rose bush, that I had thought died over winter.  After weeding and cutting it back, I found one tiny new sprout of growth.  Oh happy day!  It's my most fragrant rose bush I have so far.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fire Starters and Random Tidbits

There were a few requests on how I made these fire starters.  I do write another blog regarding the use of scraps of just about anything, and creating something new, useful or even art. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Scrap Yarn Fun and Other Tidbits

It rained, and two kiddos left for the day (and night), and when that happens.....

I tend to be lazy.  I did get some dishes done, but I opted for porch time.  The rain cooled the weather so nicely, I could not resist.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Homemade Frozen Yogurt

I have one kiddo who loves frozen yogurt.  However the stuff you buy in the store is processed with unhealthy ingredients (high fructose corn syrup etc).  I decided to buy some yogurt, and toss in some honey and my homemade vanilla. 

The kids churned it in our ice cream maker.  As a kid, my siblings and I, always churned ice cream (on special occasions) with a hand crank ice cream maker.  I love my ice cream maker too.  We made goat's milk ice cream in it last year. 

The results?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

Once again Eating Well magazine provided a recipe that begged me to try.  My rhubarb is not ready to harvest this year, and I finally found some to buy.

I made pork tenderloin (organic), but decided to make it in a pulled pork version vs. baked (as the recipe instructed).  The sauce can be prepared ahead of time and frozen for future meals. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Porch Thyme

There is always time for the porch.  Last year I planted thyme all around in the flower garden surrounding the porch. We'll see if it deters more mosquitoes this year.  I have some by the back porch too. 

Weeded most of the day, did some laundry and blah-de-blah-de-blah.  Oh wait, we are supposed to be happy when we do that stuff.  What am I thinking?  Tsk tsk.  Actually, I was happy to see that most of my carrots came up.  I may have to replant some beets, but they look pretty good too.

A very short post today.  This blog-a-day challenge is really a challenge today.  There was only one exciting thing yesterday. 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Sign ~ Chickens, Herbs and Rodents

Hubby bought a new sign for the front porch.  I thought you could use a short post to read today, since a wrote such a long one yesterday.  Ha ha!  

After weeding the herb garden (or rather part of it), I tossed some lemon balm  I thinned out, into the chicken's nesting boxes.  I read that some herbs are great pest controls in the coop (Backyard Poultry Magazine, 2011, June/July issue).  

By the way, the author of that article, Susan Burek (Herbalist), also has an article you can read online. It's for making a natural  citrus disinfectant.  And it's for the chicken coop of course.  I found her article very interesting, because we do have a natural branch ladder in the coop, and I never thought once about the cracks and the possibility for mites to live and breed.  We don't have an infestation, but this is a nice preventative.  And it's natural.  

I have also found that my chickens don't eat my herbs.  They would rather have grass and bugs.  So for now, it will just make their nesting box smell good, and keep the rodents out.

If you don't like to see dead animals, don't click on the "read more" today.  

Sunday, June 8, 2014

From the Homesteading Journal . . .

. . .June 3, 2014, walked out and and checked the progress of the wild black raspberries.  Rain did not arrive.  I spent the better half of the morning watering the garden(s) and flower beds.  We really need rain.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Easy Steel Cut Oats ~ Go Kart Repairs ~ Chicken Alfredo

Sharing another steel cut oat recipe. This smells so good when it's cooking.  Sorry for the bad photo, it was not the best time of day to take one indoors.

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Peek at the Back Porch

Here is a back porch picture from 2009.  The orange colored flower pots are getting a make over this year.  The hostas have really gotten large enough, that next year I should be splitting them up too.  I did have to replant the one on the right last year.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Millet ~ The Secret Ingredient

Millet cannot be bought in stores here, so I did/do have to order this online.  Funny thing is, is that it arrived timely with Hubby's sugar issues.   This brand is non-gmo as well as organic.

Millet is what they call a "smart carb" so I wanted to try it for a healthy grain in our meals.  It is said to help maintain blood sugar levels.  And of course, it has a lot more benefits than that.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Flowers ~ Hubby and a Glucose Meter

This year I bought about 4 Portuluca plants.  They love the heat, and they are doing great in the pots I planted them in. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

Island Time ~ Another Marriage Getaway ~ Balance

Last Friday, I did not don my grubby garden jeans, nor pull my hair up into a bun and don my garden hat.  No siree.

I donned a nice top, let my hair down, wore make up, put on some jewelry, and even painted my fingernails.  Yep.  I even changed purses, taking my hot pink and black "out on the town, date-night" purse.