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, July 29, 2017


I made a loaf of bread using the recipe Sam I Am shared at her blogspot - farmgirlsam.

How did it turn out?

Pretty darn good if I say so myself.  Thanks for the recipe!

Hubby and I were to be meeting up at 7am this morning, and riding the Triple Nickle Ride today.  Last night those plans changed.  It takes great concentration to ride a curvy, twisty road, with hills and surprises at the top.  He came home in pain from the dentist last night.  That's okay.  I think we'd rather go do that ride, and stay the night vs. ride the motorcycle back late, and so tired.  It's about a 60 mile ride, but first you have to get there.  Getting there takes about 3 hours. I had accounted for the loss of gardening time for this ride too, but taking advantage of being home now.

Guess who is driving now?  Youngest just went to the "Big City" and obtained her driver's permit.  Last one to learn to drive.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Rain arrived....

Humidity arrived.  Then rain arrived, which we needed. But we got too much.  I think we may get more rain today.

I took advantage of being indoors, and started a crock pot of  black beans with onion and garlic.  We use this for snacking, adding to a breakfast burrito, etc.  Once they are cooked, I mash them.  I have cut this recipe in half now.

Cucumbers continue to roll in. Despite some getting mold on at the wet end of the garden.

Using only the best ingredients.....

Thursday, July 27, 2017

This and That

When I said I was down for the count with a bum shoulder, I took Tuesday completely off.  However, farmer's picked the very moment to spray their poisons, right after I sat down at the porch.  He sprayed for almost 3 hours and the wind was blowing our way.  The very next morning, the airplane crop duster was out dumping his poison on another nearby crop.  Soybean fields around here are sprayed several times a season (sadly).

I am refraining from heavy lifting and lifting above my head, which means the girls have to put laundry on the line, carry in garden bounty, water high hanging porch pots, vacuum, etc. etc.  I continue to use my comfrey salve and with resting my shoulder.  Yesterday, Graduate Daughter had my car the entire day, cleaning Grandma's carpets and shopping with her.  She arrived home at 6pm, only to tell me that work called her in to work at 8pm.  There was no going to the doctor.  I may have to have Hubby drive me after work, to the Urgent care, which I don't want.  I'd rather see my own doctor.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Kitchen is in full swing ~ Handiwork

Zucchini has over-flow-eth-ed.  I know that is now a word, but it's the truth.  

The freezer is well stocked - 4 more pint bags of sliced and 8 cups of shredded into the freezer.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cucumbers ~ Yellow Squash ~ Cleaning

The cucumbers are starting to roll in this year.  Last year we didn't get many.

I pulled out my old recipes and whipped up a Fresh Dill and Cucumber Salad.  Hubby and I love it.  I have fresh dill that grows back in the flower bed every year thankfully.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Garden and other bits

Zucchini continues to produce nicely, but our yellow squash has mold. 

And since it was 90 degrees with 70% humidity, and outdoor work slowed for a blip in the week, I made a cake. 

Zucchini snack cake with lemon butter cream frosting.  

Hubby's favorite, and made only once a year.  It requires fresh blueberries.  We haven't found them in bulk form yet either, so these were not cheap.  This cake requires fresh blueberries, hence why it's only baked this time of year.  Although, as Hubby has graciously reminded me, we sometimes find organic blueberries later in the season.

Here is a close-up photo of the drying radish seed pods.  We are tickled pink.   It's the first year our plants went to seed.

What we'll do without this season?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Weeds are Winning....

.... and I am Not Worried

For once. 


Food wins.   I put more beets and zucchini in the freezer, and more beet greens.  I believe I am up to 40 servings of beets right now.  I may pickle some.  I haven't decided yet.

I do not like to mess with browning meatballs on the stove top, so I went in search for one online that is baked (and for the sole purpose to use up zucchini).

We love lots of zucchini right now, and so far I haven't had the need to give any away.  I still need to freeze more in the shredded form, and slices.

Back to the meatballs....

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

More tidbits - mostly garden-ish related

Zucchini is on in full force, so it's been the typical recipes, freezing etc. Zucchini was chopped into teeny tiny bits.  I canned our first seasonal 10 pints of famous zucchini salsa.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Books, Books and Books!

.....from the library
This one is interesting.  

Who has eaten a peanut butter and pickle sandwich? 

Random Tidbits ~ Zucchini

I pulled all of my garlic (somewhere between 175 and 200), despite the humidity we were having.  It needed done, and the remainder of the garden is still too wet.  One job done, and only a few bulbs didn't come up.  And thankfully only a few rotten bulbs.  

It was wet I tell ya'.  I hosed a ton of mud off the garlic, but rain was due again (which we got late afternoon yesterday), and I wasn't losing it.  I had to hose off myself and my garden gloves.  That one in the photo was a Russian Giant variety, but my new variety and my own were not much smaller than that.  I have to admit though, the variety I've planted for years, had the most smallest ones too.  I may do away with it, and only plant the other two.  I guess we'll do a taste test first.  Hence, the area I planted is the best area to grow it.  And not far from the peach tree (which helps ward off bugs and what not).

My first ever, quart bag of blanched shell peas made their way to the freezer.  Even if it's the only one, it's one step ahead of last season. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Deserving Day Off

This bird is annoying the heck out of me, and trying to take over my front porch.  I have no idea what type of bird it is, but the beak on it is longer than most birds.  The sound it makes is sooooo annoying.  It would come all the way to the door when I was inside, squawk, and fly off before I could get a photo. I keep ringing my dinner bell to keep it away.

....just another day in the life of our homestead.

So?  Did we get more rain? 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Funny ~ Flooded

I have to tell you all about this.  Sort of a family funny in a state of complete worry.

The last time we went up to see sister "L" they wouldn't let us in.  The nurses said "give us 30 minutes." So we visited with family and waited. 

At the time to ring the desk again, his BIL said, "tell them you are Donald Trump." 

Well, he did, ha ha ha ha!  The desk was closed, so you had to call the nurses and they would open the doors etc.  A couple sitting close to the desk starting laughing and it just made everyone's night.  They let us in too, ha ha ha! 

Also, I have an update on her at the end of this post.

So about the flooded part.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How does your garden grow? ~ SIL Update ~ Meatballs

This was a post that was to get posted a few days back, and got lost in the shuffle....

The zucchini is on, and the straight neck yellow squash is also on.  I've already started harvesting it.  Cucumbers have blossoms now.  If I planted as well as I think I have, we won't have to plant pickling cucumbers next year.

My 40-some foot row of pumpkins are doing very well  (they have doubled their size since I took this photo).  You don't see the entire row, because I am still weeding it.  Vines are about 4 foot long - two varieties of organic non-gmo pie pumpkins.  Last year, I planted the pumpkins in with the popcorn, and we didn't even get blossoms on them.  That was disappointing, so this year, I planted them in their own area.  There are no squash mounds in the tomatoes this year either.  Hubby tilled them up last year, so I don't even take those chances anymore.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Baking up a little love ~ Einkorn Snickerdoodles

I felt so awful that Hubby had no breakfast to take to work yesterday, and no lunch.  Literally.  We haven't been home but one day I think. 

So, as soon as I could, I baked up a swiss chard/zucchini frittata topped with chives.

Monday, July 10, 2017

SIL updates ~ ...from the handiwork journal

We did a lot of hospital hopping in the last few days.  During our visits I couldn't read, and like to keep my hands moving.  I took along a bag of handiwork, whether we went by car or motorcycle.  I visited with family/friends while we all took turns visiting sister "L."  She is still in ICU.

Quick update on the sisters.  Sister "L" was getting her heart balloon removed on Sunday, and weaned of heart pump.  They removed the vent Saturday night.  The procedure for the heart pump took several hours, so we didn't get to visit.  The plan is for two stents to go in on Tuesday.   Sister "P" is doing much better and might be going home soon.  Everyone is back to work today, so sister "L" gets a day of rest before the procedure.  However, even though we were called last night and sister "L" was doing well, we got a call at 5:49am this morning.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

We interrupt this blog....

...with a short announcement.  Hubby's sister "L" had a heart attack and we've been running back and forth between two hospitals.  Sister "P" is also in a hospital.

Sister "L" is the same one that was diagnosed with pancreatitis, which we now know was incorrect.  Her pain was due to blockages and doctors never looked.

Thus, she was ambulanced to the same hospital that Hubby and I were both in.  Once there she stopped breathing.  They brought her back, but could not do a bypass emergency surgery.  Her heart was shocked by the CPR, so it has to rest up for possible stents.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Enjoying the Garden Goodies

Although the dogs love watermelon, you rarely see a cat who loves it just as much.

 Tiger loves it.  Jasper, not so much.

The peas are still rolling in.  I am planning on putting up a second pea fence next year.  We are getting enough for dinner, but not enough to freeze (shell peas included).  With four of us to feed, it's been a blessing for dinners, but zero shell peas are getting frozen so far this season.  We enjoyed buttered snap peas for dinner last night, and I made Pumpkin-Sage Macaroni.  

The macaroni dish uses fresh parsley and sage from my herb garden.  Mmmm!  Love this dish. 

What's going on in the garden?  Weeding.  Lots and lots of weeding.   Lots. Of. Weeding.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Back Porch

 (Me and my more off than on again book)

Although we love our front porch, we do have a back porch.  More like a side porch.  The front faces east, while the other one faces south.  Sort of a boring post, but Hubby gave me a bloody nose this morning, so I'm hurtin'.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Bits of Barn Wood and other random tales

Happy 4th of July!
We stayed around the homestead for the holiday weekend.  Well, most of it.  We visited family and friends at the Lake, and stole off on a few motorcycle rides.  But.  We started on the big barn.

We've managed to move one barn door from the ruble.  It wasn't moved very far, and is now waiting it's next move. They are heavy by the way.  It'll take more than two of us to get it up and on the other barn.  Hubby and I dug through the debris and started pulling out barn siding.  We took the saw to a few, made them look nice, and delivered them to the folks who knocked the barn down.  They loved the "samples" and we'll be back to this mess.

All that siding laying down is weighed down by beams, so we have to get equipment to take care of that to free up the siding.

See that siding up on the old straw?  Well, I removed the fungus covered wood, and crawled up there.

I got what I could without putting myself in danger, and my legs got stung by stinging nettle.  It hurt the entire time we were out there, and my legs were red.  However, by the the time we retired that day, the rash was completely gone.  Seriously.  Could I be immune to it now due to drinking nettle all the time?  I know my hands broke out with a rash before, but my legs seem to have a reverse situation.

I planted zinnia seeds 3 times this year.  The first planting, 3 places popped up.  And a pot of them.  However, all the remaining plantings did not.  I replanted.  Nothing.  I bought seeds and replanted.  Nothing.

Then I saw them.

Birds.  They have multiplied this season. 

The robins and chickadees in the exact locations of the plantings (I put markers so I knew where to water).  Grr.  They were eating them so no flowers.  I will have to start seeds indoors next year, or if you have a tip to keep birds out of the flower beds (without looking gaudy) please share.

We may be eating ground hog as well as rabbit for dinner this summer.  I now have a ground hog issue. I've seen him before, and thought he was just passing through, but no....

June bearing strawberry season is over, and it's the end of our radishes too.  The radishes left in the ground, are already going to seed.

This is the last of the harvest.  I won't be getting another batch of radish relish, but I will be roasting these.

The peas are still rolling in thankfully.  Both snap and shell peas.

Bread was baked again over the weekend.  Just our regular 'ol every day stuff going on here.  Nothing spectacular, nor exciting.  Other than I lost 4.2 of the 10 lbs. I gained since the stint in the hospital last winter.  Proof if you lose weight fast, you'll gain back over what you lost, and it is very (very) difficult to get it back off.  The scale has moved and I am very (very) happy about it.  Only 5.8 more to go, and I'm down to my lowest weight of last year, then it's onto a new goal.  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Crisis in the Chicken Run

The weather was hot, humid and downright miserable.  Mother Nature kept teasing us with a sprinkle here, a sprinkle there...

...and dark clouds everywhere.  Ha.  Sounds like a poem.