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~

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tomato Explosion ~ Goat's Drying up

Okay, so I played around all day in my home, decluttering, creating new piles to file at my computer, and just getting some overdue cleaning done, when I realized I forgot to pick the tomatoes.

With rain in the forecast (which as of this morning we still have not gotten), and well overdue, I decided to seek help from a kiddo.  My 15 year-old and I gathered tomatoes. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Five for Me and Other Tidbits

Five minutes for Me ~ This morning's sunrise, sipping coffee on the front porch.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fried Cabbage and Squash Cornbread

Although very tired from preserving all day, I managed to get photos of my "Southern Fried Cabbage" and Squash cornbread.   Although the recipe calls for "mashed squash" I do make it with grated zucchini too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tomatos and More Tomatoes

Yesterday's to-list was all completed.  Every day now is different.  Warning:  this is a get-your-cup-of-coffee (or tea) and sit a while post.  It may be my longest yet.  I brought more tomatoes in yesterday too.

Waking up before the sunrise, the barn cat's food and water is checked on my to the kitchen, and then the house cats.  If I don't they will be under my feet when I try to make my morning coffee.  I let a few dogs to let out too.

Coffee made.  A must for my early rise......

Monday, August 25, 2014

Homesteading Tidbits ~ Canning Potatoes

Although I  took Saturday off, yesterday I was busy with preserving (again).  The tomatoes are once again back in the kitchen.  As soon as I free up table space, I fill it back up.

Yesterday, Hubby and two girls went out to pick tomatoes, while I worked on another batch of canned tomato sauce.

Once I had that reducing, I went outside, but did not have intentions of sweating through my clothes again.   I did.  I ended up helping Hubby dig up one entire row (long rows this year) of potatoes.  I think we ended up with maybe 30 pounds.  Less than expected (should have gotten 3 x that amount), but still a good amount.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


My heart breaks today.  My Aunt passed away early this morning.

 This was a shock, and completely unexpected. 

She was an awesome Aunt, and I often told her she was my favorite.  She always made me laugh.  She was so fun to be around, and so positive.  I will miss writing letters to her. I will miss getting letters from her.  I will miss our chatter about books, and I will miss sending her books.  I will miss sending her home canned jelly and jam, and I will miss her text messages I got when she received anything from me.  I will miss her love,  her love for life, her advice, her family stories,  her laugh, her voice, her generosity, her everything.

If you are a praying sort of person, please keep my mother in your thoughts and prayers.  She is missing her sister pretty badly today.  It will be a very difficult day for us all.  Mom especially.

Friday, August 22, 2014

They're Back. . . .

"They were all gone, and now they're back," said my 17 year-old daughter looking around the kitchen.

"Uh, yeah," I sighed. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The "How to" on Home Canned Ketchup

This is how I make my ketchup.  

I do not peel my tomatoes because I use a sauce maker (you could also use a food mill).  Wash, trim and slice up 10 pounds of paste tomatoes.  I simply cut my paste tomatoes in 4th's and toss them in the pot.

Cream Cheese ~ Dirt, a Dyson, and a Tomato ~ Hubby Funny

Here is another coffee cup.  Again, from a trip.  I'll make this story short.  This cup is special.  Java Jo's is now longer Java Jo's (although there are still other locations in the US).  It's been changed into a new coffee house with a new name.  Way back in the day, Mom and I took a trip and we stopped in for coffee.  Year's prior to that trip, Java Jo's had a fire, but rebuilt.  When the rebuilt, it changed.  The original was so fun and original.  I miss the old Java Jo's.  I just remember the old look, and the real feel of a coffee house.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kitchen Madness

We finally got some rain.  It's back to humid and hot.  

I've been busy in the kitchen - freezing green peppers, jalapenos, more green beans, some tomatoes, and cauliflower.  Our popcorn is on, and looks pretty promising (although small), but my watermelon is questionable.

What else have I been up to?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'm still around. . .

I'm up very early today, to get started in the kitchen.  I was up an hour ago, but needed a few cups of coffee to jolt me into work mode.

I have much to do today, and hope to get it done before Hubby gets home.  We have more work to do after he gets home.  I know I am lacking on blog posts, but will make up for it later.  We've been under more stress here at the homestead....

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Marriage Booster Weekend

Hubby and I, on a last minute whim, hooked up the camper and went to the cheapest and closest campground. 

We set up camp to enjoy each other's company for a marriage booster weekend.  We really wanted to ferry over to our favorite island, but work told us a different story.   

 Hubby and I try to get time with each other several times a year. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Salsa Tasting

Okay, I lied about letting the zucchini salsa sit.  We popped open a jar already.  Now, I did pretty much follow the recipe, but I diced up 2 jalapenos and 2 hot banana peppers and added them (to the marinade early on). 

If you like medium to hot salsa, definitely add some hot peppers.  We loved this salsa.  It's very thick, so I think I can safely leave the corn starch out next batch (if I get enough zucchini to make it again).  I drained the veggies very well and I also drained my roma tomatoes after I chopped them up, before boiling everything.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Zucchini Salsa ~ Yellow Squash Hash Browns ~ Tidbits

I have really enjoyed the tiny bit if porch time I've been able to get this week.  I'm soaking up the cool weather, because I am sure it will turn hot and humid (again).  Then again, it's very nice this morning. 

Before I share my canning results yesterday, I want to share a bit of other good news.  I finally heard from Daughter in GA.  She phased up faster than anyone in her platoon, and was promoted to PG (in charge of a platoon of soldiers).   She can now have visitors, leave post, and even wear civilian clothing.  We are very proud.  She is the only female PG.

A quick update on Son.  We received an invitation from Geiger, NC.  There will be another graduation for him after he finishes MCT (Marine Combat Training).  However, this time we are unable to attend.  I wrote him to tell him, but have not received a call from him (yet).  He may not even have time to see us if we do attend, and may be put on a plane to CA right after he graduates MCT.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Yellow Squash Relish ~ Random Tidbits

My sides with breakfast are garden potatoes with onion and green pepper, leftover squash patties, and a cup of organic wild thyme tea.  The only thing missing was a slice of homemade English muffin slathered in homemade Cinnamon blueberry jam.  I would be baking the muffins, but garden duty calls most days. 

This was yesterday's breakfast.  Today?  I'm not so sure.  It's my turn to not get any sleep.  I was woken up by Hubby at 3:30am, who was up for some reason and let a dog out.  In the process he held the door open too long and out went Tiger (youngest one's cat).  We ran around the house a few times and finally got him in.  I never fell back asleep until just before Hubby's alarm went off - 5:30am.   I have a long day ahead (more canning).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


We have been having some wonderfully cool weather.  The wind was perfect for drying laundry, but I often forget about it until I'm retiring for the night and see it (the laundry) staring at me through the window. 

It's perfect camping weather, but we are bogged down with duties.  The kids almost put up a tent last night, but they chickened out.  There were excuses too - no "camping" food, nothing to make s'mores with, too windy for a campfire, etc.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rain ~ Taco Sauce ~ Shopping Tip

We have had a few days of stormy, rainy days, so I took the time to slow down.  For some reason, the busy summer days tend to zap my morning time too quickly. 

Oh, and we got hit by lightening (again).  This time I think the only thing it got was the cable box.  It sounded like a 22 shooting in the living room, and there was a flash of light.  We have a few lightning rods on the barns, but I think it's about time to get a few on the house....sigh...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekend Update

Saturday we got a good amount of work done - one trip to recycling (huge load because for some reason we had a ton of cardboard), one trip to Goodwill, several bags to the garbage, swept up the back area by garage, washed curtains and windows. 

I found a cute tin for my tea, and for only $.50.  I just need to wash it up.

We finished up more work on Sunday. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mullein ~ Garage Cleaning ~ Hanky Dish/Drink Cover

The mullein leaves I ordered have arrived.  I mixed up a tea with dried spearmint leaves and a bit of honey.    I downed a cup immediately after it arrived yesterday.  Not too bad either.

Once I have a few more days of the tea, I'll let you know if it worked.   Also, the tea was shipped in a clear plastic zip bag, so now I am on the hunt for tins or amber glass containers to store it in.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Coffee Cups ~ A Story in Every One

Warning:  This is a "grab your cup of java" kind of post and sit a spell.

If you have noticed, I have been adding a photograph of a coffee cup/mug, to a few blog posts.  I have to share about this collection of coffee mugs/cups, that I never intended to collect.

Before I left for SC, on this past trip, my kids waved their fingers at me, and threatened I'd be in trouble if I brought home "one more" coffee cup.  Our cupboards are bursting at the seams and with two kiddos not here to use them, well, we are running out of space (ha ha!).

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Getting D and Z

Somewhere in this photo are chives and other herbs.  Sassy's favorite place to chill and cool down, is in the chives, on the cool dirt.  She has made herself a nice little spot too.  But after I took the photo, and loaded it, I realized how badly my herb garden needed weeded.  Yikes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Good Summer Food

The weatherman said we'd get rain, and they sky surely looked like it.  We got a few sprinkles here and there, but not what we really needed.  I started the day by spending some morning time on the porch, while the kiddos slept in.

I got a break from outdoor work, and canning, and cooked up some garden recipes.  First, I made Fresh Dill and Cucumber Salad (mmmm!).   The dressing for this salad uses a teaspoon of raw honey.

Then I made our cauliflower crust pizzas, topped with garden delights.  Planning meals has been pretty fun this summer so far.

Monday, August 4, 2014

State Of Emergency Declared ~ Are You Prepared?

While we were out camping, Saturday the state governor declared a state of emergency - the water was/is not safe.  I linked it above for anyone interested in reading it.  

I found this interesting, as I had just been reading another blog (The Way Grandma Does It) in regards to outbreaks of illness and how to prepare for it.

Do you think any of the half-a-million people were/are prepared to have no safe water supply?  Stores were emptied quickly.  Many stores closed due to this (and who could not operate without water supply), people got into fights, and then there were/are those who bought up and sold it at higher prices to take advantage of their demise.  Unfortunately, in today's world, I don't think we'll ever get rid of people who do that sort of thing.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Camp Out ~ Rubber Bands and Wooden Clothespins

Finally!  We got to take our first camping trip this year.  Although short, we made the most of the time - games, hiking, biking, campfire meals and just hanging out.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Library Goodies ~ Puttin' Up

My older brother shared several books with me, and these two came in recently.  As you can see, I have already started marking recipes to play around with.