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~

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Monday Fun

Monday flew by fast for me.   For one, it flew by because I overslept.  I guess I needed it.  However, I overslept the bus arriving too, and found a daughter still in bed (yikes!!).  I had to get her up and over to school, although late.   She woke up not feeling well either.

It rained all day long.  I just wanted to crawl back into bed, put on warm cozy clothes, and binge watch netflix.  Seriously, I did.  

But alas, I got some things done.The TV stayed off.

I didn't do much cleaning per-say, but I deep cleaned one bathroom drawer.  It holds most of the medical supplies, bandages, gauze etc.  It was a mess I tell ya'.  Only one drawer left to clean now.

The rest of the day was pretty much fun stuff.  Low key, and relaxing.  I vacuumed, and did other mundane chores, but was limited to some due to finger injuries. 

By the way, after putting a plantain poultice on the tips of those two blistered and bruised fingers, it's much better today (but still tender to use).  The swelling reduced a lot.

 Although my sage supply runneth low, I used some (amongst other herbs, spices) to make my first "Four Thieves Vinegar (Rosemary Gladstar recipe).  It'll be done in 4 weeks.  

I also refilled my lavender antiseptic and calming spritzer bottle.  Also a Gladstar recipe.

And, because someone was trying to convince me to make biscuits and gravy the other day (after a long outdoor work day), for dinner....I did.  Just a different day when I was not worn out.

I snapped this gorgeous photo when I went out after dinner, to pick kale.  The sun was shining so brightly over the ornamental apple tree (planted here before we moved here).  The rain stopped for a bit, and boy it was just so pretty.  Cold, but pretty.

As for "ill" daughter, I made her a hot cup of mullein tea and put fresh ginger root on the shopping list.  

Monday, October 30, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday

I am joining Happy Homemaker Monday with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  I had a very busy Sunday (just flip back one more post to read about it), and I am very happy to see it raining this morning (or it may be snow, not sure, could be snow showers again).

On the breakfast plate. . .
 Coffee and a piece of toast with Ginger-Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Butter.

Right now I am. . .
Taking a break, sipping more coffee

The weather outside . . .
Cold, rainy, and dark, so it's a much slower "work" day for me.

Looking around the house . . .
I sigh as I look at my large kitchen table, still covered with sweet potatoes, white potatoes and red potatoes.  I need to get the bin cleaned out and get the potatoes put in storage.

Today's to-do list . . .
~Wash bathrobe, I got it dirty somehow.  Most likely from taking the dogs out early morning
~wash and bleach bath towels
~scrub master bath toilet
~bake biscuits

~crochet mug sets for up coming bazaar sale
~make iced tea
~dinner prep
~deep clean something

Currently reading . . .
 Old magazine I found stuffed in a drawer.  It's mostly recipes.  It may get me into trouble this time of year.

 The same novel - The Bones of Plenty.

On the TV today . . .
Nothing, listening to music, maybe some netflix tonight.  By the way Hubby and watched a movie called "Black Butterfly" and it was very good.  I have to give the writer credit for a very mind boggling movie.

On the menu this week . . .
Again, it's "fly by the seat of my pants" week - most likely homemade biscuits and gravy with fried potatoes, stuffed bell peppers, soup or stew of some kind, something using turkey maybe.

If I have a few minutes to myself today I will . . .
 Write in my personal journal.

New recipe I tired or want to try this week . . .
Well I made homemade hairspray and will be trying it later today.  You can find my source for the recipe in yesterday's post.

I also made calendula cream for the first time.  Easy recipe, almost like the homemade hand lotion, but using my calendula infused oil, and different essential oils.  I am using this on my pinched fingers.  Again, this is on yesterday's post too.  The recipe can be found online. 
I want to make homemade make up wipes.  I have everything but one ingredient, so it's on the list for this weekend.

A chocolate pie.

A new sweet potato dish.  Again, need one ingredient. Adding it to my shopping list.  

A rosemary foot soak recipe.

Looking forward to this week . . .
 The weekend.  

Favorite photo from the camera . . .

Devotional, Scripture Reading, Key Verses. . .

Psalm 27:6 (NIV)

"Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord."

This and That ~ Homemade Hairspray ~ Calendula Cream

I have been reading my library magazines and books off and on, and recently read a nice article on motorcycle camping.  A future possibility for sure.  I'm reading through many magazines to hopefully find a muse and get an article sent off.

The dog flu has hit Ohio.  We are told we should vaccinate our dogs or keep them home etc.  Seems like this happened last year or the year before too.  Hubby thinks is a conspiracy to push another vaccine.  Hm.

I made homemade hairspray for the first time.  I have several new facial cleanser recipes to try over winter or spring.  One requires rose water, and I refuse to buy it (very expensive), so I will wait for my own rose blooms to make that myself.  It's a long wait, but I hope to cut the cost of such supplies that my girls use constantly.  

Back to the hairspray.  I found the recipe in the book "Homemade Beauty" written by Annie Strole.   The recipe calls for a bit of vodka.  However, Dr. Axe has the same recipe online too if you are interested.  There are other recipes as well, but I started with this one.  I'll be trying it out on the girls and see how well it works.  They use so many products that are full of chemicals and perfumes, it chokes me out as I walk through the house.  I hope I can convert them.  Slowly, but surely.  Especially make up remover.  Oye. That will be a spring trial, unless we find rose water on sale. 

I'm currently in the process of setting up a craft bazaar reservation.  It's been hard to get in touch with the people in charge.  One is already filled.  I waited too late I think.

Hubby and I got a lot done on Sunday as well.  

We reduced our barn pile debris, cut some of it up, and now have a start of this year's fire wood.  Oh, there is much more to cut.  But that's not all we accomplished.

Air conditioners were put away (finally), more of the garden tilled (cucumber and squash plants removed), some porch furniture stored, and . . . 

. . . an emergency batch of calendula cream was made (after I applied a plantain poultice to my boo-boo (s).

What my fingers looked like a 10am.  My hands look red, but it was pretty cold out.  Like about 41°F when we started.

What they looked like at 4pm.  Yeah, I got them pinched under a heavy board.  Hubby feels terrible.  I should have paid more attention, but with care I hope it'll heal up quick. 

After I got the cream made I had Daughter help me mix up some homemade sausage to set overnight.

Now I am out completely out of calendula oil, so I started another jar, although it's not really sunny today, nor this time of year.  I will need to keep it in the warmest room.  

Although cold, we are still getting some calendula blooms in the herb garden.

And after all of that work, Hubby got a call out for work, and went in for the extra hours.  I just love that man.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

An "off" day ~ Thrift Store Adventure (and dollar store)

The "more" on why I took the day off Friday, although I know my time is running out to gut the garden. . .

We all have days where things go haywire, off kilter, and just agonizing.  I had one of those days on Thursday.  Everything I did seemed to go wrong - I'd drop stuff, didn't have ingredients I needed, just chaos I tell you.  Or it felt like a chaotic day anyway.

I remember all too well, getting sick last December and so I ignored the garden for a day, and took the slower road on Friday.  It paid off too. 

I'm feeling better, more focused, and guess what? Hubby slept almost the entire day, so we both took the day "off" (on Saturday).   It's not like I run out of things to do, ha ha!

As for the barn rubble, we re-homed a mess of metal materials.  There is more to give to the happy taker too.  I'm always happy to see more rubble find a new home. 

The biggest challenge?  Coming up with a breakfast, that only used 2 eggs, but feeds 4.  I ended up making pancakes and fried up a small package of bacon.  However, the egg supply remains low.     

I was up at 2am and couldn't sleep, so after rolling around at 4am, I got up, and whipped up breakfast.  In the dark, ha ha.  Funny thing about this, is Daughter worked until midnight, and couldn't sleep until 4am.  I think we just missed each other in the kitchen.

At 11:30am it was still a brisk 40°F and about an hour prior to that, a motorcyclist went by.  Brrr!

Oh, and remember the nuisance neighbor making a road adjacent and along our south property line (between us and a crop field)?  Well, a person in a blazer has been sitting there, on the other side of our fence, in the area of our pear trees.  As soon as I go out to do my morning chores, he pulls out and leaves. 

Hm.  I'm not sure if he is bow hunting, the land owner now, or what.  But I'm the sort that doesn't trust the neighbor, so I'm watching him (could be a friend of the neighbor too).  As he passes the house, he looks directly at our house, while I'm watching him out the window.  Oh, and his vehicle is loud, so he can't hide in the trees either.   We can hear him plain as day when he pulls down that so-called lane before 6am too.  

My Grad Daughter and I decided to take a trip to the "big" city and check out the thrift store (so Hubby could sleep, and we could have a little fun).    We also visited the dollar store.  I brought home a new rooster kitchen towel, and two blue ones (the blue will be hand towels in my bathroom for winter first).  Many of my kitchen towels are so worn out they are turning into rags now.  These were washed and are hanging on my indoor clotheslines (yes I have one), to dry.

I had to come back and update this post.  While walking around the thrift store, two older gentlemen were talking about the bells for sale on a shelf.  One picked one up and said as he rang the bell, "I need to put this by my computer so I can ring it and holler for her to bring me more coffee."  Laughing proceeded.  Funny men.

Daughter found a few nice tops at the thrift store for wearing to work, and I found this gem.  I found a lot of other gems, but I can't take them all home you know.  This book is packed with 631 pages of instructions - firewood box, all sorts of things we could use.  I told Hubby "Merry Christmas" and he laughed, but he later wanted to look through it (he he!). All for the price of $2.00.  As for the other two gems of books I wanted?  Well, I wrote the titles down, and will just check them out of the library.  I have to keep a limit here.  Maybe.

Have a nice Sunday.  Typically we'd take it easy today, but we are fired up to get stuff done today, and the wind hopefully dried up the garden enough to work out there. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Random Tidbits ~ Snow Showers

So I made sweet potato ginger brownies for the first time.   I used a recipe online using coconut flour (Civilized Caveman Cooking).  I have to admit, it was not our favorite.  Everyone still ate it, but I was hoping for a "wow" taste so I could freeze some, utilizing the sweet potatoes.  One daughter said, "hm, they are interesting."  Ha ha ha!  They have the top like a brownie should, but they tasted more like a texture of a cake.  Moist.  Healthy too.

I took a day off from the garden (more on that later), and went through half the stack of library books I have right now.  Oh my.  I put a few on my "wish list" and found some Christmas gift ideas for 2018.    The above photo came from one of the books, and I just had to snap a photo.  Ya' know, considering I was bitten.

I took the day off from "hard work" but still did laundry before the rain arrived.  I also made a double batch of sweet potato chili.

 Why you ask?  Well, we had our "Vet Tech" in training Daughter over for a 21st birthday celebration (Army Daughter joined too).  Birthday Daughter requested it and is too broke to make it on her own, and of course I have sweet potatoes.  It's a family favorite and they will fight over the leftovers.  I sent some home with both girls, in canning jars.  And I sent home some homemade buttermilk cornbread.

My "Grad" Daughter baked her sister some birthday cupcakes with my Grandma's frosting recipe.  The kids love to play with all the cake decorating supplies she handed down to us.  I actually learned how to decorate cakes by simply watching my Mom.

Another magazine arrived.  It's not my subscription, but I get to read it too.

I know this post is mind-numbing.  Nothing spectacularly interesting.  It rained all night, so that limits my outdoor work.  Hubby pulled an "all-nighter" and isn't even home yet this morning, as I post this.  He'll sleep most of the day, so that puts more limits on splitting wood. 

Hm.  I've just about given up on the "extreme clean" of my utility room.  Hm.  I have some areas in the kitchen that need deep cleaned, and more carpets to clean, but I'll need quiet projects until about 2 or 3pm. 

It's a brisk 37°F this morning, with "snow" showers.

 My writing room, or our "study" is pretty cold.  There are no heaters in there, so I may toss some wood in the wood stove today.

Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Finish and One Liners

I got a little bit of time each day to catch up on handiwork. The rain helped me out, although I should have been shampooing carpets or something else, ha ha!

I was thinking "from stash to cash" for this project, but I'm not so sure about it now.  Maybe just the coasters.

I finished this coaster and cozy set for myself.  I was feeling the fall weather, with the dreary cold and wet weather we were getting early in the week.

My "Grad" Daughter eye-spied it, and exclaimed, "I want one of those!"  

She may get one.  In her stocking or for Christmas.  Maybe.  The only problem with the matching cozy, is that the granny square fits larger mugs only.  I didn't follow the pattern either.   Instead of two squares, I used one and then made the strap and added buttons.  I wanted an area to drink my coffee without getting yarn in my mouth.  I also used scrap, 100% cotton I had in my stash.

I used buttons from my craft stash too.  Hard to believe I only paid $.25 for them.  Glad I have a stash of them too.

I started to pull more scraps of my cotton yarn to make more coasters to sell at the market and possibly online as well.  I just wish I could make the cozy to match each one.  Sets sell pretty well, but the cozy needs custom made to the mug a person owns.

Not to worry, I make other items using the granny square, so other sets can still be created by buyers.

 I said goodbye to two more older magazines.

 Cracked more walnuts, and saved more walnut shells for fire starters.

Current library loot.

Started a jar of pickled garlic cloves. 

 I finally washed the gloves, hats and a few scarves.

More rain is on the way.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Pumpkin Stuffed Shells ~ Winter Prep

It's a chilly 32°F here this morning.  Brrr.  We have not yet turned on the heat (nor burned wood).  Wood....let's not be reminded we are so far behind on that chore (gasp!).

I recently used some pumpkin puree to try another new recipe - Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells (Country Living, online).

I purchased my pasta shells.  Barilla is certified Non-Gmo.  If you prefer, you could use homemade lasagna noodles and roll them, slice and bake in the tomato sauce too (for a completely self-sufficient dinner, adding a garden veggie for a side, homemade rolls etc.).  The basil and sage came fresh from my herb garden.  I had just enough of each herb.

We absolutely loved this dish, but to me it lacks a protein.  I think I'll have a side of meatballs or something with it next time, for us meat eaters. 

Tuesday night I went to bed completely e-xh-aus-ted.  I spent the day baking and mashing sweet potatoes, amongst other chores.

We had a freeze warning Wednesday night, so I froze the last of the chives, and green onions.  It was a humdinger of  a morning.  The parsley filled my 9 tray dehydrator.

I brought in more thyme to dehydrate, but not much.  It's recovering from the cat sitting in it all season the year prior, and is finally getting more growth.  It'll be used in another recipe very soon.  A recipe I should have started 4 weeks ago (gasp!).

I brought in my pots of rosemary, tarragon, and tulsi. I brought in one last geranium.

After getting the laundry on the line, I drained the rain barrels, and flipped them over for winter.  I started to put the front porch to bed too.  Sigh.  Just some small stuff - plant hanger pots, small furniture, wind chimes, bird houses, etc.  I pulled out all of my painted mushrooms from the flower beds.

The flags came down too.  I waited for the morning dew to dry them, and rolled them up for winter.  We fly the American flag, the Army and the Marine flag.  

I pulled all of the hot pepper plants, green pepper plants, and removed all the old squash and cucumbers out of the garden.  

There is much more to do, but rotten veggies are out.  I have dead tomato plants, beans, and other veggie vines to yank yet.  I did a quick check on the raspberries too.

That's not all I did though.  I brought in all the garlic hanging in the garage.   

I gave my ladies and gent extra straw for the cold nights ahead.  Just after I snapped that photo, a barred rock jumped up and pushed this blondie out of that roost, ha ha!


I washed and bleached the shower liner and curtain (both are fabric), and put up my Christmas shower curtain.  My pitiful attempt at the continuation of my "extreme clean."

I thought, "why the heck not?"  I don't have a fall one, and I need to steam out the creases.  So up it went, he he!  By the way, Hubby loves it.  Thought it was "cute" and laughed when he saw it.  I have never changed out my white shower curtain.  Ever.  This was the year to do it.

And I came in and vacuumed, before I declared it quits for the day.  Nettle tea to the rescue!

However. . .

There is always something I forget to do.  Pick the pears.  At 5:30pm, I tra-peezed out to the tall grass (in muck boots and with Hubby's help) where the pear trees grow, and picked them.  Just in time before that hard freeze arrived. 

Hubby agreed that we will try the wine making again next year (if we get pears next year).  We just have too many "irons in the fire" and we want this holiday season to be a happy and restful one.

 King and Zuri, waiting for their master to return home.  They sit at this door and watch for her (Grad Daughter).  They were also keeping a stray cat from coming up to eat our barn cat food.  Good Pups.