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~

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Garden Gratitude ~ Rainy Day Handiwork and Housework

Saturday's weather leveled all of my squash plants.  Over two dozen of them.  

 Sunday, my muck boots sank 3 inches the first step into the garden.  I still picked peas, but left the garden after that.  In the evening, Oldest Daughter stopped in so Hubby could look at her car.  She joined our front porch cookout and we had a nice visit.  She left with a dozen farm fresh eggs and a quart jar of goat's milk.

Monday, I found the squash plants had straightened back up, but found one full row of broccoli leaning.  Many of the squash plants are yellowing and browning - too much rain. 

Today?  Foggy, and rain later.  It's pretty bad when the front page of your newspaper reads, "Rain Rain Go Away."

I am thankful for the broccoli I cut Monday morning before the rain arrived again. The family voted for broccoli salad made with homemade "marzetti" dressing.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Just sayin'

Note Unburied

The rainy day advantage was up for me once again.  I dug through a pile that was building and building.  In the process, I found a note written to me.

I know Mother's Day has passed by, but I wanted to share this note I got from my 18 year-old daughter.   This one was pretty amazing (not that the other cards and notes were not).

She wrote it in pencil, so I hope you can read it.  I darkened the print as best I could too.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Flood Warnings ~ Porch Time

We had pretty good day in the garden, and I am kind of glad we did not get the weeds out between the smaller pepper plans, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, nor the carrots.  

It's raining again, but today's forecast is 100% rain, heavy rain, windy, flood warnings, and flash flood warnings.  We are to get 1-5 inches of water.  Maybe the weeds will help protect the plants from the wind today?

I also successfully weeded half of the herb garden.  The green onions look terrible this time of year, but I do see little sprouts forming already.  

I picked more berries, cut some oregano, and had a daughter shell peas for me, and clean off the dried thyme.  Overall, it was a pretty good day, all things weather-wise, considered.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Apron Kind of Day

I've been having what I call "apron days" here lately.  Starting my day in the "garden" apron, then the "canning" apron, then my "housework" apron, and ending it in my "cooking" apron. 

Today's my day starts with draining more cheese.  Mmm!  Tonight we'll enjoy some with either hot pepper jelly, or port wine jelly, on crackers.

What we will get more of:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Drying Lemongrass ~ Herbal Updates ~ So You Know

Lemongrass is new to my herb garden this year.  I planted it in a pot, due to space, and because I did not want it to spread too quickly, like my lemon balm did.

It was time to cut some leaves, and dry them for tea making.  I love to add this to our summer iced teas with spearmint too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

First Homegrown Shell Peas

While checking the garden I saw one plump shell pea pod.  I picked it to see check the size, so I know when to start picking them.  We even tasted these gems of goodness.  I can't believe I haven't grown them before, but you can't grow everything.  Or can you?  Hopefully, in a few more days, I'll be blanching our first shell peas for the freezer.  I took the pea pod out to the goats, to see if they would like it, but they all turned their noses up. 
The berry picking continues.  I should have enough to start canning jam.   Looks like a dry day today, so maybe weeding will continue.  I saw one jalapeno on one plant yesterday, but no green peppers just yet.  One zucchini plant is dying.  Hopefully the garden will have the chance to completely dry out and catch it's breath.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Random Tidbits

Remember when I posted that we'd have a few "dry days?"  Well that same day (yesterday) we had thunderstorms roll in after 4:30pm.   The weather seems to have it's own mind these days.

Today, the sky is cloud covered, but I am heading out to pick peas and berries.   The sun should arrive today.

Here is our progress on just the cauliflower/broccoli/cabbage/brussel sprout garden.  First day weeding it:

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining the Happy Homemaker Monday today.  I have not done this for a while, so here I go...

Monkeys in the Kitchen ~ Flip Flops In the Coop

The rain brought the wild black raspberries into harvest early this year, and it's hot, humid and miserable to pick them (as always). 

Our first day picking was done together.  Most of the time we spent slapping ourselves (thank goodness for chickweed salve), hollering out at the prickers and blowing bugs off us as we picked as fast as we could.  One time I heard "Awww, I dropped it!"

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Weather and Weeds ~ Random Tidbits

You are probably tired of hearing about it, but it continues to rain.  I woke up to the same wet ground again.  It has rained either during the day or night here, every single day.

It was dry most of yesterday, but too wet in the vegetable garden to even step into it.  

You can see in this photo, how tall the weeds are in the broccoli and cauliflower garden.   If the sun stays out today, I may be able to get into that garden late today yet.

Halfway through the day yesterday, I started on the front flower beds.   This is one corner I was looking at from the porch. 

This is what I was looking at afterwards.  This is just a snippet of the front porch flower bed.

(just one corner of the front porch flower bed)
Here is how far we got with mulch, before we ran out.  I guess we'll get more.  We have already filled the rose bed, the mailbox bed, and two other rose beds with mulch.  There seems to be a lack of color right now, but zinnias are very slow to grow with all this rain.  They were buried in weeds and wet ground.  Once the zinnias bloom, we'll have all sorts of color to beautify the gardens with.

The weather looked like this most of yesterday.  Today the sun is shining.  I have high hopes to get more work done in the vegetable garden.

If it rains again today (there is a 60% chance for thunderstorms at 11am....sigh), I always have deep cleaning chores indoors, handiwork, and a new Lucy Stone murder mystery book from the library.  And Hubby and I can always cut wood inside the barn too (maybe).  

It's just hard for me to shift gears so easily, and not worry about the garden.  I need to go read my morning devotion, relax a bit, pray a bit, and move out of my pity party.

The wild berries are ready for harvesting.  We had planned to pick today, but we are fighting the rain again.  It will be interesting if we get any wild black raspberry jam made this year too.

I just looked at the pollen count for today.  No wonder my eyes are beat red when I do get outside work accomplished.

 Today's reading is not a good report for someone like me.  

A heartrending update on Hubby's sister in the hospital.  She cannot swallow food. Not even pureed food.  They had to make the decision to have a feeding tube in place.  She's had two tubes down her throat, so we hope that over time (and healing) she'll be back to real food some day in the future.

Did you notice something today?  There is no "read more" to click on today.  

I better scoot out and pick snow peas quickly.  I hope your Sunday is peaceful, relaxing, productive, or whatever you want to accomplish (or not accomplish) today.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Puttin' Up Peas

I keep forgetting to share this new front door rug.  It's already getting a bit dirty.   I get to see it every time I have porch time.

Thursday I waited for the sun and wind to dry out the garden before I attempted to enter it.  It's a fight with thistle this year.  It's everywhere.  I have blisters, even though I used gloves.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Blooms ~ Rain ~ Library Visit

Despite the weeds multiplying here this season, I am still getting some new blooms in the flower beds.  I've been dodging the rain showers (and storms) and cutting flowers to bring inside.

You can see the bees are very busy this year in the flower beds too.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mushy Mess ~ And Yet More Rain

I'm afraid to show the world my vegetable garden right now.

All this rain...humidity, no sunshine....

Oh, why not.  

It really is in disarray this year.  

Although, so far I see only one hot pepper plant did not make it due to the excess rain.

Here it is...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Humid, Hot and Wet

Some days, okay almost every day, I forget to do something that should already be ingrained in my brain.  You know, the routine stuff?

I forgot to collect eggs one day, and the next day I got this full basket of bounty.  You can see the four araucana hens are now laying as well again.  I got two eggs from them.  However, the full basket indicates that our black araucana is not eating eggs anymore.  She very well could be eating her own, but I'll have to keep watching her.  Maybe all of her isolation, and feeding her mustard filled eggs worked.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Homestead Tidbits ~ Canning Radish Relish

Friday, Hubby had to get a required physical, to return to work (always some strings attached in that business), so I headed to the garden.  Lots and lots of work out there, so I took a nice big thermos of water, and covered my head with a hat and bandanna.  I went out there prepared to sweat.

It is very reassuring to know I don't have to babysit chickens this summer, while I'm running around working.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Just another work day. . .

I overslept this morning, but water is heating now to brew my nettle/oatstraw tea infusion.  Coffee is brewing to wake up my sleepy overworked body.

Another batch of cheese is draining this morning too - Fromage Blanc made with goat's milk.  We are enjoying it while we have it.
We continue to get more rain, thunderstorms, and wind here.  In between, we get spurts of sunshine too.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

More Rain ~ More Jam

I'm canning more jam.  More strawberries went into the freezer, but I have four quarts left.  It rained off and on, so I could not get into the garden early anyway.

After the first morning batch was made yesterday, I was summoned to take school photos (albeit a bit late this year).  We do not purchase many school photos, due to the high cost, and the girls like to pick out their background here on the homestead.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Canning Season Starts ~ Strawberries ~ Random Tidbits

Ideally, if we don't get any of one vegetable or fruit, we just do without.   However, we picked up 12 quarts of strawberries.  I took care of six quarts yesterday, but only canned jam once.  Many went into the freezer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Grilled Peanut Butter Banana Sandwiches ~ Tidbits

I've grilled many types of sandwiches, but this was a new one for us.  Delicious too.

I sliced my bananas, and put peanut butter on both pieces of bread (shown before I added the top bread), and grilled it in real butter. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Humid, Hot, and More Rain

Posting late today, due to those extra duties I have right now, but happy to to get a entire pot of coffee all to myself.
The recent storm brought us much needed rain, but also more weeds.  I'm not sure what hurts more, my back or knees.  The beets were so bad, I had to weed them out on my knees.  Even though I had gloves on, hands are blistered from thistle stabbing me through to the skin.

I picked a few radishes to taste, but they are not all ready yet for harvest for stocking up just yet.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Break Over

Our 18 year-old is now a high school graduate, and about to start her first job this next week.  We, as parents discourage our kids from working while they are in school.  From our own experience, it effects their grades, their energy level, and much more.

I finished a book over my week long break from the internet.  And just for the record, I am still reading a Hemingway book. 

I ran out of white yarn, and have yet to pick up more. Maybe this week I can.

It was nice to get a break, but reality sets in when the break is over.   I'm still weeding through 421 emails.  Most of course are just advertisements.  I am starting to unsubscribe to many of them this next week.