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~

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Chimney Sweep and other homestead happenings. . .

The chimney and wood stove has finally been cleaned.  This year the cost was $199.00. Last year it was $179.00 and the year before $159.00.  I see a $20 hike pattern here, but there are very few companies that do this in my area (and who are reliable).  Self sufficiency comes with it's own price, and there are no short cuts when it comes to responsibility.

Hubby graced me the other night with a pair of jeans in a plastic bag.  He walked in saying he needed the oil washed out.  Somehow he managed to spill about 2 gallons of some sort of oil on the legs of his pants and that was my challenge.  A good soak in the utility sink with dawn soap did the first wash.

We are jumping hoops and hurdles to get the insurance company (driver at fault) to put a rush on the claim regarding the recent accident with Son's car.  They told us they would look at his car yesterday, and did not. We finally got a call, after calling them 4-5 times, saying it would be today.  However, they could not tell us a time.  We are running out of time.  They are refusing to give him a rental car right now as well. It might be time to involve an attorney.  

Puppy nap time.  Zuri was laying on top of King.  Both sound asleep and Zuri snoring.

 I'm still cracking nuts here.  This is a bowl of the English walnuts.  I've put one pound in the freezer so far.

 I have a pretty large amount of English walnut shells.  These will be made into fire starters.

I mixed up another bowl of homemade garlic butter. 

Just in time for topping homemade bread, and

... served with spicy corn and sweet potato chowder.  I will try to post this recipe soon.  I tossed in a few white potatoes too.

I have not restocked my tote of crocheted items yet, but crocheted another soap saver bag for the other bathroom.

I made a trip to the big city and delivered Dad more meals last night.  He was thrilled to get homemade bread too. 

I put off my intentional exercise this week, so I must get this posted and get busy walking, doing push ups and free weights.  There is no way you'll catch me in the gym from January to March.  That's when it gets flooded with all those people who make resolutions to lose weight, and you can't get a treadmill or any other machine during those months. 




Mama Pea said...

Those dogs of yours live such a tough life! (Do you think they would share their "bed" with a human inhabitant of your house for a little nap?)

I baked three loaves of bread yesterday, too, and more is on the schedule for today. Hubby was working outside while it was baking and he stuck his head in 2-3 times just for the aroma!

If you have a way of crushing the walnut shells, they make a great "stuffing" for hand-crafted pin cushions.

Is it possible for your hubby to clean your chimney? We have three that my husband does 4 times each year. You have the initial cost of the brushes but they last forever.

Oh, the vehicle problem! Here's hoping something can be worked out for your son PDQ!

Do you get out and walk or run for exercise? Bike riding? I would avoid the gym if some other way of burning calories could be found. (But where you find the time for scheduled exercise, I can't imagine!)

Happy New Year to you, Kristina, and all your family!

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Mama Pea, the pups are sure spoiled here. The other night the kids were watching TV in the dark, and Zuri woke up. She couldn't see Son and her hair went up and she started barking. When she got closer, she saw who it was, and started wagging her tail, so funny!

I love the smell of baking bread! Mmm!

We hope someone calls ASAP this morning. There is no point in buying a new car if they are going to repair it.

I do a lot of walking, and sometimes jogging. During summer we go for long bike rides in the country. I do miss the outdoor exercise I get during summer.

Happy New Year to you too!

Kim said...

Those are also the months that the Gym is full of germ. I steer clear as well. Good Luck with the car.

Susan said...

My chimney sweep bumps up his costs every year, too. I only have one to clean, so I am thinking about doing it myself. Something else to add to my resume! There is something so adorable about puppies (at any age). My youngest does wild running around and leaping and then collapses in a heap. She loves to be covered from head to toe in her fleece blanket. I LOVE the smell of fresh baked bread. LOVE it! I'd love to know how to make fire starters with walnut shells. I rescued three buckets-worth from my neighbor and will have to deal with the shells at some point. Here's hoping that the insurance company comes through for a change - and here's hoping that you and your family have a wonderful, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Dawn said...

I hope to start cycling again in the coming year, wishing you a wonderful 2016

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Dawn, Have a wonderful new year too!

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Kim, you are so right. I completely forgot about that.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Susan, I think I put it on my blog or my scrap blog. I will look it up and re-post the walnut fire starters.


We sweep our own Chimney in the UK. I didn't know about burning Walnut Shells. What a good idea as they take forever to rot in our Compost Bin. I put some Walnuts in our Greenhouse to dry. Some Rats nicked the lot ! HAPPY NEW YEAR. Marion x


I forgot to say that cycling makes me so hungry ! I have put on weight since I started cycling to work but I do feel fitter. Marion x

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Marion, I have to eat some sort of protein before I even exercise. Then I try to maintain my water too.