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, November 23, 2016

Not Expected

Well, I didn't feel well yesterday morning, and at 2am woke up to a fever of 102.3°F.  I had to wake Hubby up.  Today was pie baking day, along with two other dishes, which required a trip to town.  Yeah, I just wasn't expecting this.    I sipped herbal tea all day yesterday, so I hope it just sped up the burning out of the fever and sickness, but my stomach says no.

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

Thanksgiving Prep ~ Keep on Truckin'

I'll be honest.  I am not feeling the "family" thing for this coming holiday.  It's been a long month for us, and the thought of spending the entire day baking has been taking a toll on me. 

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

...from the handiwork journal

Now that it's cold out, handiwork needs to resume.  I made these crocheted hand towels back in March of 2015.  they are still looking good.  Other than a bit of faded color, they are holding together nicely and work very well for bathroom hand towels.

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

First Snow ~ Winter Work

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

Anise Seed Tea

Waking up on Friday, with my stomach churning, and in digestional-mahem, I was the "guinea pig" of trying the anise seed tea.  

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

Mr. Fox is back ~ Tidbits

Homesteading comes with not-so-pleasant moments.  The fox is back.  Maybe he/she never left?  Our 17 year-old daughter took King out yesterday afternoon.  On a leash.

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

More Pumpkins ~ It's Walnut Time ~ Feeling Festive

My go-to produce stand had a few more pie pumpkins, so I stopped in and picked them up. He's getting to close it up I think.

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

What's Cookin'?

My lunch yesterday, and this morning it's Hubby's breakfast.  It was one of those throw-it-together scrambles.  I had just enough chard in the garden to make it, and used another jalapeno to flavor it up.  My sweet potato stash is dwindling quicker than I want it to.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

It's been a long week....

...and it's only Tuesday.

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.

I canned 8 more pints of applesauce.  

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

This and That

The moon was nice and bright last night.  I haven't looked this morning, but they say it will be visible like this today too.

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

Zucchini - Tomato Frittata

Every few days I have been making a crock pot of steel cut oats, so Hubby can take his breakfast to work (or we enjoy it after the gym, and before he leaves for work).  


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

Comfrey Salve

It's time for some salve making to happen.  Ideally this would be much easier in the summer when the coconut oil is already melted in the jar.

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.
(Some of the beeswax started to harden as I poured the warm oil into it)

I made a small batch - 1 cup dried comfrey and

Friday, November 11, 2016

Apple Time

We lack orchards that do not spray in our area.  The only way I'll get organic apples, is to wait for my trees to produce or buy gala organic apples from the grocer (and hope they are really organic).

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

Random Tidbits

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

Pear Wine ~ Update

Our pears have been sitting in a bag in this brewing bucket for 6 weeks now.  Just the other day, Hubby had a conversation with a co-worker who makes wine.  We got some tips.

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

Dallas ~ The Cantankerous Jumping Goat

Way back in the summer, we ran out of hay.  Dallas got mad.  He soon learned to jump out of his stall and eat up the tidbits where we store the hay.  

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

Biker-Farmgirl Banter

Hubby and I took off on a few motorcycle rides.  One ride we did on our own, and one with a few of the guys.  It's not yet cold enough to put my insulated half chaps on, that Hubby is trying to steal from me.  They are unisex, so he now wants to make a ride back to get a pair for himself.  We've had some wonderful weather.  However, it's wet and cold out when I want to work in the garden early.  We shouldn't even be riding the Harley in November either.

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

Hype about Hemp

I've been looking for something unique to crochet, to add to my stash.  Just in case I build enough up for a craft show one of these winters (ha!). 

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

Clove Mouth Wash

I've had this on my to-do list for the entire summer, but I'm just now getting around to making it.  And trying it.

Homemade mouth wash.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Swiss Chard Frittata and Fresh Herbs

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

On the home front....

Although I don't have a photo of the soup, we recently enjoyed some crusty baked bread with some homemade potato leek soup.  Our leeks did not do well, but we found an organic source this fall. Leeks provide cardiovascular support, and we love the soup.   Homemade bread baking has resumed.

Two chairs now have a fresh coat of paint on them.  One more job off the to-do list.  Although, the wicker sofa remains to be painted.  We had a few days in the lower 70's.