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~

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Egg on the Porch ~ Fun Happenings

Despite being the weekend I was up pretty early.  It's hard to sleep in when a cat is demanding food by sitting backwards in my bed, and flapping his tail on my face.  He's not even my cat per-say.  His master is Youngest, but he spends most of his time with me. And of course, barn kitty Timmy was at the door pawing to me for food too.  I just love that cat.  He is so loving.

The sun was shining when I let the chickens run free yesterday, but clouds quickly took over.  I'm not ready to see less and less of the sun, but I enjoyed what we did get yesterday.

I let the chickens out of their run yesterday, to have free roam of the homestead.  They typically huddle in their favorite mud bath dirt hole, or under their favorite tree.  Not yesterday.  They were everywhere, and it was quite nice to see them from every window of the house.  

I had to laugh at this.  I walked past the side door and saw few hens run off the side porch.  When one lady got up, there was an egg under her.  HA!  It was warm, so she must have been sitting there for a while and I didn't know it.  Just something funny to share.  Oh, and they didn't just leave me an egg, you can see they left chicken poo on the porch too.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Garden ~ Random Friday Tidbits

My home grown kale is still producing.  This is has been the most impressive year for kale, despite the rest of the garden.

 I brought in a large pot of kale and had enough to blanch and freeze for one meal, and fill the dehydrator with the rest.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Campfire Enchilladas

We made these the other day, and that is not my homemade tortilla in the photo (sadly).  I had purchased food supplies to go camping, so we ended up making "camper" meals this week instead (minus the camping).

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Freezing Mashed Sweet Potatoes

The grocer had organic sweet potatoes in stock, so I took advantage and brought some home.  I'm freezing them for winter meals.

Yesterday, I baked several, then allowed them to cool completely.   I added a bit of water and organic broth to the pan.  I pierced each sweet potato a few times before placing in the covered pan.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Random Monday

I spent a day reading and completely writing exercises on Sunday, and realize that every book that was recommended is not available at the library.   Although, I started reading two books that I've had on my shelf, I felt I had wasted away the day. 

I was already in a sour mood by Sunday morning.  We should have never cancelled our camping trip.  The rain and wind was nothing like the forecast stated.  And Sunday, the only thing to deal with was the cooler temperature.  Three of us badly wanted a retreat to get away from everything.  One was our college daughter, who was sad we cancelled it in the first place.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dehydrator Dog Treats

I shared this recipe once before, and since I was dehydrating more of our home grown kale, I'm sharing again.

First, you will need to cook the rice, and dehydrate kale and Parmesan cheese (see note) to make them.  Once you have these dried, you will then have them on hand to make the treats.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Cancelled Trip ~ Rain ~ Barn Wood Shelf ~ Tidbits

We booked our last camping trip for this weekend, but had to cancel it yesterday.  Why?  Rain and wind.  We've camped in rain before, but this time the weatherman predicts we'll get over 2 inches of rain on Saturday alone.

It is to start raining tonight, and it rained yesterday.  The temperature is nice, but cooking would be an issue.  We don't have an RV, with a full kitchen inside.  We cook all meals outside the camper (which I prefer).  When the wind is in bad, we can't put our awning out to cover the gas stove either.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Don't be shocked, but.... ~ Tidbits

I actually spent half a day on a project for myself.  Seriously I did!  One of Hubby's sisters went to the hospital and Hubby was called to go at 3:00am.  She is okay, and resting from the last update I got.

However, he was so tired, he came home from work early and slept.  I could not make any noise, so I opted to crochet for once.  Ha!  Felt good too.
 What did I make?

A pair of crocheted boot cuffs for one of my pairs of boots.

'Tis the time for ear muffs and boot cuffs, so I got out a pattern book that I've been wanting to try for a few years now.  There is a pattern to make a matching ear muff for the cuffs I crocheted too.  However, I ran out of the yarn I was using.  A trip to town is on the agenda sometime soon.  I used "off white" instead of "aran" yarn for this.

Now the girls have eye-spied the cuffs and want a pair.  I told them to tell me their color and Santa would gladly give them a pair for Christmas.

Update:  I am sorry to get this posted so late, but here is the book the boot cuff pattern is located it:



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Freezing Mashed Potatoes

Our grocer sometimes sells organic russet or red potatoes.  This week they has russet on sale for $1.99/3 lb. bag.

Although the grocer gal checking me out, insisted that staff on the TV show The Chew,  verified freezing mashed potatoes was not worth it (nor freezing any potato in any form).  I am doing it anyway, and hope they are wrong.

Our home grown supply has dwindled to about nothing, so this is my last resort to stock up potatoes.  Other than dehydrating, which I know works.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Random as ever....

Despite a frost, I have a few roses blooming.  The zinnias are pretty much done for the season, so those will be pulled before the snow arrives.  I have some work to do in the kitchen today, but the weather has warmed up enough for "porch time." 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Winter Prep Continues ~ Random Tidibits

Good morning world!

Starting the day a little slower today.  Good Morning Coffee!

These past few days have been exciting around here.  The colder weather is getting me inspired to write a list of projects to do this winter.  Fun ones.  Like read a book.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Homemade Gift Ideas for the Holidays

I went back through my blog recently, and compiled a post today to share many handmade gifts I made over the years.  Hopefully, you will find an idea here, or have one to share.

What I gifted in 2015:  Christmas 2015

Handmade Hand Lotion (they loved this!)  I ended up putting it in 4 oz. canning jars to gift.  I do suggest adding the preservative for gifting too.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Door Decor ~ Tidbits

The changing of the wreath.

I finally took down my bright, floral door wreath, and put up my fall/winter apple wreath.  I've had this wreath for over 10 years and it still looks nice.  It covers the fall and winter seasons.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A day in photographs. . .a barter

 Well, some of my day anyway.....morning starts with coffee.

Folded Saturday's towels I forgot about.  My "linen" closet is a vintage laundry basket.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Harvesting Black Walnuts

 Yesterday's sunrise.  Just beautiful!

I took some time to pick up two five gallon buckets of our black walnuts.  They have pretty much fallen in the last few days here.  In fact, they were falling on me as I picked them up.  Black walnuts contain more protein than English walnuts and have a stronger flavor.

The hulling and rinsing process is underway, but these will need to dry in the sun.  (click on "read more" to see the remainder of the post).

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sawdust up my nose. . .

The Hubs and I split more wood, and have a pile we still need to stack today.

We used a wedge and sledge on about three of these huge pieces, then split them up.  We got our work out for a day.   They look small in the photo, but they are about 3-4 feet wide and larger.   And guess what we found under the  stumps?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Sage Honey ~ Tidbits

I started two jars of sage honey.  This year was a good year for my sage, so I'm drying more for tea and cooking as well.

I filled each jar about half way with snipped, fresh sage.  Then filled the jars with honey.  You can use a spoon to move the sage around to release air bubbles, but I let mine sit a few minutes, and the bubbles released on their own.  The honey level lowered of course, so I then added more honey.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Back to the Garden and other happenings

I'm back to gutting the garden, but will leave the greens in for a while yet.   It was a toss - clean the coop or head to the garden.  Tough decision.  School was delayed, and eventually closed (again) for fog.  I sure hope we don't run out of our snow days before the snow even arrives.

Instead of work, aside from laundry, I ended up "playing" first.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fascinating Tidbits ~ Garlic Butter

I threw in "Fascinating" for extra thrill today, ha ha!  It's not really that interesting.

Gladys were all pulled for winter.  The bulbs have grown bigger over the years, and have outgrown their box.  They won't survive the winter here outside.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall Blooms ~ Tidbits

The white mums I planted a few years back, are blooming now.  These were table decorations at my younger brother's wedding, and I have two that stayed alive and continue to bloom.  They add a color in the flower beds that I did not have before.

This past cold spell kind of took a toll on my zinnias.  They don't look like they'll be blooming for much longer, but boy have we enjoyed them.  We are already talking about where to put in new flower beds to add more color here.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Weekend Updates

It rained all day Saturday, but we split wood inside the barn.  I also tackled cleaning the last window blind, and Hubby helped.  We managed to get one air conditioner in storage, and a few windows washed on the inside as well.  It was cold, but I was not going to fire up the wood stove.  No way.  I need the chimney swept first.  We hunkered down with flannel pants/pajamas, and lots of blankets instead.

I've been stocking up more herbs, and getting more medicinal herbs put into jars as well.   I started a jar of plantain/comfrey oil that I'll eventually use to make a salve, and I got a batch of elixir made.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Wicked Weather

I spent the day doing some more stocking up, and got homemade condensed mushroom soup in the freezer.  I need several more made, so each trip to town, I pick up shallots and mushrooms.  I managed to get three article drafts done too, which was a huge relief to get back into my writing.

Hot chocolate is finally restocked for this cold spell were are currently in.  The weather is very fall-like, with a mix of storm-i-ness.  The wind is wicked due to the coastal storms.  I hope everyone is hunkered down and safe.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Brrrr! ~ Tidbits

Where did "Fall" go?  It went from summer straight to too cold.  Brr!  Hot chocolate weather is here now.

Yesterday flew by quickly, and I didn't get much done as planned.  Unfortunately, a senior at the school our kids attend, was killed in a tragic car accident.  Upon the start of school, the student was announced missing, and his car located in a ditch.  After school started, they located his body.  I had to go pick up one daughter, who was very emotional.  When I got there, the entire school was in tears, adults, teachers, kids....very emotional day.  Students were not allowed to drive home in the cars they drove to school with.  Parents had to pick them up.  Homecoming dance is postponed.  Just a very sad, emotional day for the his family, school and local community.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Recycling the barn siding.....

 A while back, I ordered a few stencils to paint signs for your home.  I'm painting sayings on the old barn siding we removed from the big barn.  The stencil above was a free sample, and I'm glad I had a sample to practice with.  Rough barn wood is not easy to paint.  I'm so glad I got the stencils vs. trying to freehand them as well.

This one had a few nails at the end, and even gently giggling the nails loose, they both broke.  It left the sharp end on the other side, so those had to be removed.  Just old stuff to work with.