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.
"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Friday, December 30, 2016
Made some headway with getting better - laundry, cleaned the wood stove, picked up some some clutter, making the coffee every morning, washed the bedding, etc.
Don't ever try to write a blog post when your 17 year-old daughter is up making you breakfast - chatter, chatter, chatter, chatter.....
....she's still talking, ha ha!
Hubby has been asked to work so much overtime. I think there is a lack of knowledgeable workers for the parts that need fixed, and he's plum tired every night. I told him he was a grouch last night, and he slowly warmed up to being home and in peace. Not on "work" schedule.
Bought this book from a used book store a year ago. I'm finally reading it, and about 1/3rd of the way through it. I had no idea what the book was about, and so far, it's been pretty good.
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Here is a photo of me in the hospital at my worst I think. Or close to it (after 3 ER visits and the ambulance ride).
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
I let the mashed potatoes cool, while the butter came down to room temperature, and took to filing away my last "file" pile.
Using the directions on King Flour's blogpost, I divided them into 16 rolls, and froze them.
How did they turn out? Well, I forgot to take a photo, but they did not rise enough. I'm wondering if I should have thawed them in the fridge the night before vs. the same day we baked them. Anyone have tips on this. I used my dehydrator to help them rise too.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
It's true. My grand kids will be 4-legged and furry. Oldest brought along her dog Mia, and a German Shephard she is is fostering. She saw it in a kill shelter and immediately went into action to rescue it. She has had many people say they'd adopt her, but many have backed out. We got to meet her on Christmas and she is such a good dog (better than my 1 year old pups). She loves toys and she never growled or barked when she was here. In fact, she favored our "vet-tech" daughter and kept curling up on the sofa with her, ha ha!
And yesterday, Hubby and I made it through our 18th wedding anniversary. We are now heading into year 19 folks. We got showered, dressed and went out to a restaurant. We were gifted a gift card by one kiddo, so that was very nice to have. I felt like a real person getting out, even if it was walking in and out of a building. It felt weird, but great at the same time. I felt horrible I had no gift for Hubby, as he had prepared one gift for me. He said the only gift he wanted was me healthy and home.
After we ate our anniversary lunch, we drove to the box-store and picked up a few odds and ends. I pushed the cart around and got a bit of exercise, but was pretty tired upon arriving home. My head is still groggy, and my walk still a bit unstable (frustrating, but getting better every day).
Hubby was called into work, but we were all okay with that. I rested, and had one kiddo to help me at home with animals.
Not sure if I shared this, by my "nail tech" in training daughter, gave me a long foot massage soak (we have a foot bath thing that vibrates), a pedicure (much needed after the long hospital visit), and a manicure. Since I can't do much work, she took advantage of the time and painted my fingernails too. It felt so relaxing and rejuvenating.
Today, however, I plan on doing laundry. It's a step up, and don't worry, a slow step. I'm using drying racks inside vs. the line outside. I also have my first doctor check up later today. I cannot wait to talk to her either. I have a long list of medications I cannot take, and can't wait to get back on some probiotics for good gut health. So far, all the good food that Hubby and the kids are feeding me has helped every single day. I even get up and make the coffee now too. Although we are using a back up pot, that takes a half hour to brew, I am very thankful for it.
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Courtesy of my 20 year-old "Vet-Tech" in training daughter - happy photos of the goats. She dressed up all of her animals and took fun photos of them playing (including her rabbit!). This brought smiles to my face, as I am unable to walk to the barn yet. Gosh I just love these guys. They are sporting their Christmas collars and bells, ha ha! Of course they were not left on, but they seemed to enjoy playing around with them.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
First goal, wash a load of laundry, and put it on drying racks. In a day or two anyway. Second goal? Mix up a frittata for Hubby to take to work (easier than standing to mix up a scramble). That may take a few more days longer. Bills are an entirely different big job. I had it all under control, but with being gone so long, we are very far behind on daughter's college. This part worries me, but I keep praying. She is doing so well, and now they are giving us a "cut off" date if we don't pay by and if we do not, she can't go to college. Our medical bills just quadrupled. Thanks to me. Ambulance ride, xray by the ton, medications, hospital room, etc etc. I have to keep calm and pray and pray and make some calls. I haven't put a dent in Hubby's hospital bills yet either. Anyway.....
~ our egg supply is about 5 dozen right now (ha ha ha!). With Hubby staying at the hospital (then going to work) and me not cooking, the eggs are piling up. We are boiling them for me for one "soft food" and the kids are planning to bake up some holiday fare (I get this year off).
~my araucanas are now laying of all times. Lol! They must have listened to me about going into the stew pot.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
I have not been sick for years, and well, the Z-pack as they call it tore me up literally, after getting over the pneumonia. I tried telling the ER people that the first trip. They sent us home with more pills, even stronger than the last (blooting my innards to a point of non-function).
Second trip to ER - more xrays, more everything, they put in an NG tube (a tube they insert into your nose and down into your stomach to "deflate" it, and you must be awake and participate to get it in correctly) and ambulanced me to another hospital. There, they continued the higher, more potent drug, and added yet another.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Long story short - low immune system allowed me to pick up walking pneumonia, doctor prescribed a pill that ended up killing all my good bacteria, hence the trip to the hospital. I ended up more sick than I was in the being, more pain, and agonizing nausea (the just repeated a process that was painful and exhausting). It felt like the antibiotic was trying to kill me.
I'm not even close to being back to normal. The trip to recovery is very very slow. My energy level is the lowest of all lows.
While I was in one hospital getting treatment, and pumped with sodium and other things (my sodium was low from not being able to eat), our son was in another hospital getting tests for being sick. He however, will involve a surgery. Either last night or tonight he had/or will have surgery for appendicitis. Hubby is going up there later. Unfortunately, my health is on conducive to that much moving around yet. As you can see, my brain is not functioning on even one cylinder yet.
Oh, to top that off, our 17 year-old called Hubby as we were returning from the hospital. She was screaming she was bleeding all over the floor and had cut her foot. He raced us home, only to find a few drops of blood on the floor. Crisis averted. She doesn't like the site of blood.
By evening, I asked my 17-year old to mix me up a special smoothie. I needed food in me, and crackers and toast were not tasting good at all. She brought me the best tasting smoothie, and probably my first meal in 2 weeks. I ate it all. With a spoon, to avoid gas. She mixed organic non-gmo probiotic juice mix with organic yogurt, some banana, and lots of ice. Oh my gosh it tasted so good. I most likely will have one for breakfast, if my nausea med kicks in. The are giving me stuff they give to cancer patients, the nausea is that bad. This antibiotic really is/was the pill that tried to kill me.
As for the doctors at the hospital, in the end they would not confirm nor deny that the antibiotic made me sick. They did every test they could, including a CT scan, and came up with nothing that would cause it.
I hope this doesn't take too much longer to recover from.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
If two girls of mine want to bake, it'll happen. Otherwise they'll go without it for the big meal. I'm not sure I'll be eating anyway.
Why, oh why?
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Vet-tech Daughter said she'd cook everything, and just wanted a lot of food. My Oldest Army-college Daughter stopped in and asked for us to save "a lot of leftovers" for her as she has not had time to cook. No pressure there.
I really didn't want to cook. We only had one day to have the dinner. Thanksgiving day. Oh, and on top of that same day, Hubby's family is having their big meal. So he wants to go there, and have the meal here too. In one day. No pressure there.
Of course the one volunteering to cook, doesn't care what's in processed food, and said to buy it vs. make it.
Yeah. That's not happening.
Monday, November 21, 2016
I have just a bit more of this yarn to make myself a few more, so that's now in a "to-go" project bag. Trust me, I have very, very little handiwork time right now, and when I do, I am too tired to do it, ha ha!
Sunday, November 20, 2016
It's not hard to believe, in our state anyway, that were were out on the motorcycle on Friday, with a high of 73°F. Saturday, we woke up to very cold temperatures and had flurries all day long. I honestly thought we'd wake up to a good amount on the ground, but....
...this is what it amounted to this morning. Sorry for the blurry photo. It's cold out there and I snapped it pretty quickly.
I almost didn't think I would get up to blog today either. I fought a migraine all night long, and my lavender freezer pack was not re-freezing fast enough. I am pretty sure I kept Hubby up all night fetching it, etc. and so here I am attempting to kill off the last of the migraine with caffeine.
Hubby and I spent the morning cutting, and splitting wood. We got a good amount done, but we'll need a few more good long days to get it re-stocked. We have not yet fired up the wood stove.
It's football season, so while Hubby watched his game, I cleared the front porch of furniture. My college Vet-tech-in-training, had been on the computer doing homework all day. She saw me outside, and offered to help. There are just a few small items I need to clean up, but the big stuff is all back in storage. Cushions are all inside awaiting a good day to wash and then dry outside. I still have to cover the back porch furniture yet. I need one more tarp.
It was finally time to set up a heat lamp in the coop. I generally put two, but last year we used one and it worked fine.
We still have lots and lots of things on the "big job" to-do list. We have a kitchen floor joist that needs replaced. That's next if we can manage it with weather. Say a prayer we can get it done. I actually saw Hubby staring at one of the trees we need to cut down too. He's getting a plan, so I'm all for that. It's been a long time coming. I caught him looking in the big barn too. Another plan? Perhaps. We are considering pulling the entire barn down on a good day, and cutting up the hard wood for for the wood stove. Thankfully, he has a few nephews that have helped tear a barn down over summer. Time, the right help, and good weather. That's what we need.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Looking up the benefits and healing properties, it fit the bill.
It's not as strong as fennel, and not over-bearing in flavor. I crushed a teaspoon, poured boiling water over, and infused. I have a reusable tea infuser.
Friday, November 18, 2016
She rounded the big barn, and through it, she heard a noise and saw the fox on the other side. King freaked out, pulled backwards, completely freeing himself from his collar.
The chase was on. King barreled after the fox, as she watched the weeds sway. She screamed and screamed, then sobbed horribly.
King ran straight into the woods.
After moments of shear panic she had lost her "baby" he ran back out of the woods to her.
We've now switched from collars and leashes, to harnesses and leashes. The fox has to find a new home.
I'm hoping the chase has run the fox completely off this time, but he/she seems to come around when the chickens are out of their coop and in their run. When they are inside there is no sign of Mr. fox.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Those are roasted and in the freezer now too. I have 6 more cups now.
Guess what else I'm doing?
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Hubby and I made it to the gym at 5am this morning. Slowly, but surely, we'll have a regular routine in place. I myself, had been up since 2am.
The usual stuff needs done, and I'm still trying to get some foods stocked up and processed etc. It's a fight this week.
My swiss chard is not looking too good. I plan on visiting it today and getting the last of it in the freezer.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Rain barrels are all emptied, flipped over and in place for winter now. Expandable downspouts are in place, but I need a few more pieces to complete them.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
The frittatas, and other dishes fill up the remainder days. I made a zucchini- tomato frittata recently. The roadside produce stand still had some
Saturday, November 12, 2016
I used my crock pot this time, so I didn't have to watch the stove. I just put a dishcloth in the bottom, to make sure my jar didn't break.
Once the oil was infused with the comfrey, I strained it, added melted beeswax and poured it into the container.
I made a small batch - 1 cup dried comfrey and
Friday, November 11, 2016
I've been happy with the taste of my homemade applesauce, using gala, even though other types are suggested more often.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
I used a portion of a head of cabbage to make a carrot/cabbage/potato frittata (loaded with fresh chives). I found 4 pea pods while gutting the garden, so not to waste them, they went in too.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
He asked questions, we got answers. We explained that the two locations we can purchase supplies as, would not provide recipes. They said, we provide a kit, you find the recipe "there are tons on the internet." We knew this. We found one, and well, we found another store that provides a recipe with full instructions. Do your research folks. Or just follow blogs like mine, with trial and error, ha ha. So far, no error.
He said we needed an acid to keep this from turning into vinegar. We removed the bag of fruit. Squeezed it and poured it into our 3 gallon carboy (glass).
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
I could write a book about this goat. He became more of the goat from h-e-double hockey sticks. He jumped out so many times, I got tired of putting him back in.
We built up the sides of the stall, north and south (the west wall is the barn wall where we have slide gate for them to exit and go into the fenced area).
Monday, November 7, 2016
I put it off long enough. I spent some time in the garden anyway. Again. Pulling all the green bean plants, and bringing in a handful for Jesse's dog food. Pulling the last cabbage, and bringing in some small-ish cauliflower heads. I pulled 6 foot ragweeds that grew in the carrot row, bringing in a few teeny tiny carrots, so the tops could go to Daughter's pet rabbit.
Saturday, November 5, 2016
I noticed that hemp is the new thread for crocheting dish scrubbies, so I finally got around to getting a few balls of it.
Oh, does it smell too. Just FYI. I had it in my bedroom, and it took us a day to figure out what "that smell was."
I crocheted mine somewhat following a free pattern online. I also checked stores for the colored hemp (contains chemicals, so I didn't buy it).
I went ahead and simply crocheted the two pieces together, and skipped the extra edging. Then we gave it a "whirl" at the kitchen sink.
First thing we discovered - water will rinse out green after first use.
Second thing we discovered
Friday, November 4, 2016
I decided to whip up a swiss chard frittata, since I was already blanching some to freeze. It was my lunch, and Hubby's breakfast for the next day. It was kind of an "end of the season" and "just toss it in" kind of meal. I read up on chard and it's good for the heart, as well as fresh thyme. The eggs were topped with fresh chives and thyme. The recent rain and warmer days are providing fresh herbs. Mmm, was this tasty. Did you know thyme helps the body prevent heart attacks, strokes and coronary disease? I didn't. Until I read up on it.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Monday, October 31, 2016
The weather outside is. . .
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Hubby's snack at work is a combination of non-gmo nuts - walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cashews and raisins. In moderation of course.
Friday, October 28, 2016
...and all while the laundry went on the line. It was still a dark, dreery, cold day. However, it was windy.
We tasted the chutney on the turkey breast that was cooking with sweet potatoes and onions in one crock pot. Delicious!
Thursday, October 27, 2016
I roasted the last two pumpkins for making pumpkin butter - delicious!!! One container for the fridge, and two went into the freezer.
We'll use it to top waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, biscuits, toast and more. Maybe use it in a dessert if the need arises.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
I brought in 17# of green tomatoes before our frost, so I canned a simple green tomato chutney.
There are so many recipes, I just wanted to try a simple one first. It filled 6 half-pints (tripled recipe), so I hope it's tasty. This came from the book "Foolproof Preserving." It appears I could have thickened it just a bit more, but it was already sticking to the pan.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Monday, October 24, 2016
I typically cut them and clean them all, and roast them all in one day. This time I roasted two a day, until I was done. I have a dog that likes to steal food, so I made sure I didn't have a lot going on. Funny how all the dogs don't touch the tomatoes. Anyway...
I used parchment paper this year. I usually add water and cover, but not this year. It works pretty well too. Parchment paper isn't cheap, so I buy it at our dollar store for $1 a box. It gets me through the holiday baking season on a dime as well.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
I got 8 1/2 pints of crushed tomatoes canned. Not bad for the last bit of tomatoes. Ripe ones anyway.
While the canner boiled, I started washing down the kitchen cupboards. The fall cleaning has started.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Friday, October 21, 2016
It's the thing a hard working, gardening, self-sufficient mother wants to hear from her kids - an appreciation for home grown food.
The problem with health issues today, in my opinion, stands on the fact convenience kills (when it comes to food). I can only hope that my kids will understand the importance of eating real food. Even if they have to buy it vs. grow it.
I should have done this with the tomato soup (much chopping involved), but I'll entertain some folks with the art of making tomato salsa. Mind you this is only one thing to can with tomatoes. Imagine all the work into our 500# this year. This shows you how crazy us homesteader/self-sufficient nuts are, ha ha!
First: You have to prepare the garden, till it, weed it, plant it, weed it some more, then wait for the bounty. Then harvest those beauties and wash them first with a vegetable scrubber and cold water. Then fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.....oh and for me it involves planting, weeding and harvesting of the hot peppers, garlic onions, pre-making the tomato paste from our tomatoes, and growing the cilantro.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
I took time, after the tomatoes were all boiled and ice bathed, and draining, to eat breakfast on the porch. It was nice to get some Vitamin D. Then it was back to the sink and stove. By the way, that was leftover sweet potato/black bean frittata (Mmmm!)