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~

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflections of 2014

Over the past few years I have managed to post reflections of the entire year.  I apologize in advance for the length of this post.  I had no idea how many steps we have taken this year in successfully living a more sustainable, morally earned lifestyle, removing nasty chemicals from our lives, learning more about natural remedies, herbal teas, and so much more.  This lifestyle is not for everyone.  Although splitting wood is both physically and mentally challenging (our source of heat), I would not trade it for a switch on the wall any day.  And I could not have gotten this far without the partnership and support of my husband.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Re-Stocking Supply ~ Flourless Brownies (Oh My!)

We used the last "can" of homemade mushroom soup in our freezer, so I'll be spending the day mixing up more and re-stocking the supply.  

This time I will make a few cream of chicken soups as well.

Yesterday, I spent the morning in the kitchen making breakfast.  I started by cooking a shallot, red pepper, and chopped kale. Later I added one small minced garlic.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Rest and Relaxation (kind of) ~ Whiskey Butterscotch Sauce

Sunday we finally sat around and simply enjoyed ourselves.  We tossed around the idea of going bowling, but the more we relaxed and took time for ourselves, the more we wanted to simply hang out (in pajamas no less).

It's hard for me to sit around and do nothing, which was what we told Mom to do (she had another ER visit) for the next few days. 

I was reading through a library book, on handmade gifts and decided to not let the year end without a "bang." 

I went to the kitchen and made Whiskey Butterscotch Sauce.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

All things are possible.....

Hubby and I went to one last Christmas family gathering.  We ended up going by ourselves, but brought home leftovers.  The kids gobbled them up last night.

Although I was tempted to crochet, and had another unfinished project in my hands (I found several as I was cleaning a few days ago), I put it away.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Beautiful Day . . .

It sure feels good to get some order restored.  The tree is still up, and the lights are still up outside, but my bedroom (aka Gift wrap central) is cleaned up.  

The girls went shopping with their Christmas gift cards, so I cleaned and dusted and re-organized.  I even found a few items to give to the thrift.  And before they went shopping, they cleaned up the dishes for me.

Friday, December 26, 2014

After-Christmas Clean Up ~ Tidbits

We did not get a nasty storm as predicted.  In fact, we did not get as much rain as I thought we would, and we got zero snow.  Today might be the last warmer weather day for a while, but no snow.

In fact, the sun is already shining here today.

I'm worn out with running here and there for gatherings.  We all sat around the front room last night and watched a movie, sipped hot cranberry punch, and nibbled on leftover food and cookies.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A bit of baking ~ Dog Pile

Our 18 year-old was not agreeing with my cookie "cut back" and is busy baking in the kitchen.  She made the dough yesterday, and is already baking them.  At least she is agreeing to a select few, as I suggested.

She insisted on a few of our favorites.  One is a recipe called "Angel Cookies" but we use it for our "cut out" recipe every year (butter frosting).  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Storm Prep ~ Second "Pop Test"

Sunday was a full work day here - wood pellets restocked, wood cut, split and stacked, animal feed restocked, and  chicken coop cleaned.  Water jugs were also filled. Around here any type of storm can cut out our electricity, and we have yet to buy our generator.  That's next on the preparedness list.

Tonight we are re-securing the snow fence, in anticipation of bad wind, rain and maybe snow.  We may even have a white Christmas this year.

Although they are talking about "storms" they are also saying it is not the worst storm to come through.  So we are praying for good travel weather for friends and family.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week of Events

We had a computer blooper yesterday morning, so I did not get anything posted.  Sorry.  Not much going on here anyway.  Nothing exciting, funny, or interesting.  Although youngest had a duet in a recent school (in-school) choir concert. 

We haven't baked one Christmas cookie recipe this year, and I'll be honest.  I'm not missing it.  The sugar that is.  The girls tell me they will make a few recipes to take with us to gatherings, but we'll see.  I do need to get buckeyes made, as it is the only thing my Dad asks for, for Christmas.

(2012 cake I baked and frosted)
Youngest has a birthday in a few days, and we haven't baked a homemade birthday cake for two years now.  She's opted for alternatives, and this year asked for a peppermint pie. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

In Search of . . .

Yesterday, right after I posted, I went in search for something on the internet.  I can't even remember what I was searching for at the time, but remembered clicking on "images" for another search and wound up finding another crochet pattern I want to make.   I'm pretty sure I was not looking for patterns.

Sigh.  Another pattern that requires a color I do not have.

Double sigh.

And then there was the triple sigh for finding another project when crafting journal if full already.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Count down . . .

Here's a few more Christmas items around the house this year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jingle Bells ~ Tidbits

I'm glad I did all of our laundry last Sunday.  It's been raining here for a few days now.  I'm starting to wonder if we'll even have snow on Christmas this year.

I, once again, had a busy day in the kitchen.  I did not make it back into the closet as planned.

Now that Alias has a new tag to wear (his rabies shot tag), it sounds like jingle bells when he walks around the house.  He's now gotten the nickname of "Jingles."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Closet Update ~ Sharing Tea Knowledge ~ Homemade "Vaseline"

My extreme closet cleaning was 90% successful.  Okay, maybe 80%, but I am still pleased.  I listed all my current projects (which were way fewer this time) in my crafting journal, just to make sure this mind of mine didn't forget them again.  One empty plastic storage drawer is now labeled "current project" so I stay on task with one until it's done.  Then I can move on to the next.

Several things made it to the donation pile, one garbage bag was filled, and a few pieces of clothing were passed down.

I still need to go in and vacuum (yes there is carpet in there), and work on the rest, but it feels so good to get it done.  The sun was out all day too.  I even put on some music.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Spirit ~ Extreme Clean in December?

Hubby and I spent the night watching Christmas movie after Christmas movie.  We ended up watching three in a row.  I got a lot of handiwork done too.

Today the weather is to be in the 50's, so have a plan.  Normally, I'll do the all-out house cleaning, barn chores, haul wood thing.  Then I put aside time in the evening for handmade Christmas gifts to be worked on.

Today I'm taking advantage of the weather.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Handmade Christmas Ornament ~ Infused Honey Update

Although these can wait to be finished, I did get one done for photo sharing purposes.

Here's this year's next (I say next, because I'm always making more than one) newest Christmas ornament:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Lost ~ Door Knockers ~ Tidbits

My 15 year-old lost her scarf I made her.  She can't find it anywhere.  Hm.  Of course as the maker of it, I'm not totally happy about this.  I asked her if she left it at school.  Nope.  I told her she might need to clean her room up, and maybe she'll find it.  Nope, not there either.  She got a lot of compliments on it too.  I'm not even sure I have the same yarn colors in my stash.  Either way, I can't make her another one until after Christmas.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Friday Thing

When I worked full time (and lived in the city) I always looked forward to Fridays.   Now, Fridays are no different than any other day, because Saturday's start with barn chores.  That's okay too.  Although on Saturdays and Sundays I have Hubby home to help, and the kids too.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Catching up ~ Basic Collard Greens

Wednesday seemed like my "Monday" cleaning day.  I had a long list of to-do's, and we were out of chicken and goat feed to top it off.  As well as vinegar, a much needed agent for cleaning.  That meant two trips in two directions, or asking Hubby to help with the feed pick up.

Before I could put pork chops in the crock pot,

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Day of Tears

Yesterday we cried a lot.  Don't worry, they were all happy tears.  Guess who is home?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Handmade Hand Lotion ~ Tidbits

I've been wanting to try this recipe all year, and finally got around to making it.  I don't have the preservative for the updated recipe, and I used lemon essential oil (organic of course).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hubby ~ Critters lurking

Now I have two patients here to care for.  Hubby hurt his ankle and refuses to have it checked by a doctor or even have an x-ray done. 

Evidently, when he drove to the big city

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Goodbye Chemicals ~ Hello Grapeseed Oil ~ Surprise Mail

This is the list of ingredients in the make up remover wipes my girls use.  We can't afford "organic" or natural remover, but we found another substitute now.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Congestion relief ~ Tidbits

You would think the jalapeno's in the chili would have opened my sinuses but they did not.  I ended up brewing up hot ginger tea and that seemed to do the trick.

Sadie enjoyed her homemade dog food.  She devoured it.  I give thanks to the blog "With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart" for posting the references and information regarding making homemade dog food. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hot chili for a cold day

Considering I was on the go for the last few nights, we have not had a good hot meal. I opened the freezer and pantry, and whipped up a crock pot of chili.  

Over summer I did not have enough jalapenos to pickle any, so I sliced and froze them in baggies.  For the chili, I simply took out some, and finely chopped them while frozen.  They chopped so nicely too.

I am thrilled with the tomato paste I canned too.  I was saying my thanks for every item we where blessed with over summer, and stocked up, as I made the dinner.

Everything that went

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Good ending for a day

Yesterday afternoon, I waited for the girls to get home.  I told them we were all going to the animal clinic to visit Sadie.  Hubby had called them early in the morning, and they said it would be good for Sadie.  

We were also told that she could not come home until Thursday (today).  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dog Update

I'm up early, but I most likely will go back down for nap after barn chores.  Hubby and I were up most of the night waiting for a call.

After the vet called me (the first vet), and I was given the not-so-good prognosis, I was back in the car to go pick her up.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dog emergency. . .

This morning was completely different.  It's not my normal chore/work day here.  I woke up to one dog not herself.  I could tell by one look.

Instead of coming right back inside (when I took her out), Sadie simply laid down half way to the door.  Immediately I knew something was really wrong.  Yesterday she was fine when I walked her.  In fact, while walking her, I looked down and saw her carrying her leash in her mouth (walking herself).

Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining Sandra today, at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

Warm Weather ~ A Peek at Decor

Hubby and I got more wood split, hauled and stacked.  Our warm weather day was about to turn back to cold, so we worked hard.  We cut more than we typically do in one day, so I was happy.