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, February 28, 2018

Mid week already

Are you wondering if I got anything new done yesterday?  Or if I put a chair on the porch and split open radish pods?


Not a thing.




Why?  How did this happen?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Oh my land.  The weather is absolutely gorgeous.  I got so much done yesterday, even though it was a bit too brisk to sit in a chair on the porch.  Although I got a lot done, I didn't complete my "to-do" list.  

Today?  Well, today should be even warmer, and no rain.  We are so ecstatic about the change in weather. In our parts, we've had so much rain and cloudy days, that we should all be happier this week.  The rain will return, so I'm going to get some outdoor time today (again).

Monday, February 26, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday

It's back to the "grind" Monday.  I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  This past weekend was a heavy one, and I am so glad I put on sweatpants Sunday.  Sweatpants give me permission to be lazy, and to be less likely a busy crazy woman.  It was a detox tea day too.  After waiting two long weeks, my car brakes are finally replaced.  Now the muffler on Daughter's car is hanging low.  I noticed it Sunday morning, so Hubby did a quick tie up job on it.  She could win a "best jalopy" award if there was a contest.  Seeing the sun up, brighter and earlier today, motivates me in a pleasingly way.  It's getting me in the mood for early morning garden work, so bring it on Spring.  

On the breakfast table. . .

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Weekend Update


Bedding washed.  Deep cleaning projects completed.  One kitchen window, woodwork washed, plant pots wiped down, coffee bean grinder taken apart and scrubbed until the glass was shining.  Washed the dishes, dried and put them away, sanitized the counters with homemade (tea tree oil) wipes, and washed down the stove top.

Yarn stash put back in the closet.  All of it.

Then I got some back out.  

I have a problem.  

I put it back.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Tincture Time ~ Eye Strain Relief

In the past, I have used a poultice to place on my eyes for eye relief.  I believe I made it from chickweed. I'd have to read over my past blog posts, or read my homesteading journal to be sure....

I'm now experimenting with a tea with a combination of goji berries and chrysanthemum buds.  

Friday, February 23, 2018

Seeding ~ Finished! ~ Filling my Cup

I spent another hour seeding pods.  Don't worry, I won't be posting this daily, ha ha!  It was a long, quiet day, so I seeded some more.  One daughter, that's in high school, stayed after school for her musical practice and was there until 9pm.  The other daughter babysat for my brother, then had a date (I was the last to know).  So, it was me and the dogs for the day.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rainy Days ~ Popcorn "pop" test #2 ~ Radish Seeds

I'm starting to think I need to get the canoe out to get around outside.  It's raining so often, the puddles are now like pools of water (which are frozen today).  We are going through many towels to wipe dog paws this week.

Popcorn "pop" test #2

It's taking much longer to dry out the popcorn this year.  We haven't used our pellet stove all winter (which heats the other end of the house), on account of it needing parts (and we all know about the medical bills).  In the past, I would put the ears of corn in front of the pellet stove, and it would be ready by December.  Not this time.  

I started tackling the first type of radish seeds.  It will take many more days to complete this chore.  It took almost an hour for that little bowl of seeds, and it doesn't look like much, right?  I'll be asking for some help this next weekend.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Non-Porch Projects

Wow!  We had a high of 71°F on Tuesday, but rain, rain and more rain.  

Breakfast  ~ Two eggs over easy, over leftover Mexican Quinoa.  A favorite lately.  The hens were oh so happy yesterday with weather change. I hope egg supply increases today.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Afghan Donation ~ Radish Seeds ~ Whipped

I finished the ripple afghan, which will be donated to the family benefit.

Best I figure, it's value is about $100.00.  Maybe $80-100.00, so I hope they fetch a good amount for it a the auction.  

The one surviving bag of germinating radish seeds sprouted.
Looks like I break open pods this week.   I decided, for kicks and giggles, to plant them (inside) too.  I have no inkling as to which pile of pods are cherry belle or french breakfast.  Either way they'll both be kept separate and planted.  I'll see if I can grow some of the surviving indoors to do a double check on which seeds are which ones.

As you guessed, I am whipped.  Woke up with congestion a teensy bit.  Downed my Four Thieves Vinegar, and taking it easy today.  And the rest of the week.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Our last Christmas gathering

Yeah, you read the title right!  My side of the family didn't get together in December like normal people.  Then again, what is normal?

Thursday afternoon, our 18 year-old daughter drove to one of the "Big Cities" and had a 2nd job interview.  She wanted a new phone, so while she was there, she stopped at the area mall and phone store there.  

Big mistake. 

They had a rookie employee, and the boss.  The boss left, after trying to push sales onto her first. 

Next, the guy had no clue what he was doing.  After almost five hours, with us trying to call and text her in panic as to where she was, she came in the house crying like a hot mess.  A serious hot mess.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Frugal Tips for Buying Organic Ingredients

I may be repeating information in this post, but I was reminded how wonderful it's been by adding dehydrated organic mushrooms to soups, pastas and stews this winter.

Of course this is in addition to all the frugal tips I've shared.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is expensive if you are buying it organic and non-gmo.  Olive oil should taste like olives. If it says it comes from more than one source, you are not getting true olive oil.

If organic and non-gmo are important to you and your family, consider buying it by the gallon.  Especially if you thrive to be self-sufficient, and use it for infusing (to make homemade lip balms, lotions, creams, balms, etc.).

Thursday, February 15, 2018

"Fire it Up" Herb/Spice Mix (aka Full Throttle Herb/Spice Mix ~ Good/Bad

We woke up to all the white stuff melted.  All of it.  I am so glad to see that.  It was an ice rink walking to the barn, to fetch wood and to get the mail.  It'll be sloshy out there, but I'll take warmer weather and mud over ice and freezing temps at this point.

There are so many nutritional and medicinal benefits of herbs and spices, so I won't go into detail of each one.  However, I mixed the following together for their benefits, and tried it on eggs, on sandwiches, meats etc.

Although I called it "Fire it Up" we like to think of (or call it) "Full Throttle" because it fires up our "engines."

A body boosting, immune boosting, sickness fighter, overall health boosting mix.

First I picked dehydrated garden parsley, and my home ground garlic. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Random Tidbits

It's beginning to look brighter, earlier in the days here.  Sunrises are pink and beautiful,and it does help with rising earlier now.  This cold winter has made me lazy in the mornings.  Happy Valentine's Day, by the way.  

Hubby had to fix the gas line on our daughter's car (18 yr.).  Luckily, it's was fixable without buying parts.  However, my car needs back brakes now.  Not sure when or how it'll get done (too cold to work outdoors, and with his hours).

I've been reading "sheet pan" dinner cookbooks from the library lately (when I have a few minutes).

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Hot Pepper Pickled Eggs ~ Trial #2

I decided to make the second trial run, using Bragg's organic apple cider vinegar (vs. white organic/non-gmo vinegar).  I have access to it by the gallon, and white organic vinegar is not available in stores. And it more expensive by the gallon.  So...

Here is what I did for this jar of hot pepper pickled eggs.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday ~ Grab a beverage, snack or even a meal today - it's long.

I am taking the morning a bit slower today.  There is a reason for this too.  I know it's unusual, but trust me, things will be slow today.   I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a stay at home Mom.  

Hubby and I worked our bums off on Sunday.  We spent the morning cutting, splitting and stacking wood. It rained on us, so there was a layer of ice over the top of the snow, making it most difficult to walk in.  I woke up so exhausted, although we retired early.  I can't imagine how he feels today at his full time job today.  Especially, since I over slept, and never heard his alarm go off and slept through the time I typically get up and fire up the coffee pot, get his breakfast and lunch around etc.  I didn't even hear him leave this morning.

My teabag, after we came inside from wood cutting work.  Sort of funny if you ask me.

That's not all we did.  Or I should say I did.  I made a 5 gallon bucket of laundry detergent, so I could get right back to "busy" again today. 

Then I paid some bills.

I am sluggish and really want to go back to bed, but there is the possibility of an afternoon nap.  Maybe.  I am definitely taking the to-do list and delegating, and spreading it out all week.  Today's list is very short, just so I can recoup from yesterday.  Then again, my fitbit challenge is to walk 55,000 steps from the 12th to the 16th this week.  Which means 2 miles on the treadmill or it won't happen.

Plus, I woke up to a mess in my living room.  Zuri-raptor struck again.  This time she ate one of my baggies of radish seeds (why oh why??????) that I had germinating, then she had pulled trash from the trash and it was all over, and then (yes there is more), she some how got the bag of raffle tickets (for the fundraiser) off the top of my recipe boxes, which are at the back of a counter, and ripped them open almost ruining some of them. Why?????  That dog!  They both are the reason our butter is kept in a canning jar with a lid on it vs. a butter dish.  Irresponsible kids leave the dish too close the edge, and too many times the dogs ate the entire stick of very expensive organic butter. 

The weather. . . 

Sunday, February 11, 2018


I've made great strides in my goals of self-sufficient meals, even though I have to purchase real lard at this point.
Image result for personal goals quotes

Breakfast the other day, happened to be one of those happy moments. 

Image result for personal goals quotes

I pulled blanched garden kale from the freezer.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Crocheted Flower Cup/Mug Coaster Story

I used to participate, year long, with a local Farmer's Market.  We'd sell items every month, but as the years have gone by, kids have moved out, dairy goats were re-homed, and well, I got very very busy with my garden.  And we stopped making goat's milk soap.  I stopped selling jellies and jams.  However, I still crocheted and knitted.

At the beginning of our adventures, I wanted to have an item that filled a basket, and sold for $1.00 each.  I decided to make cup coasters with scraps of cotton yarn, and make them like flowers.

These sold every time we set up at the market.  Women loved them especially.  I was complimented on the colors and how fun they were to have.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Best Soup Beans Ever ~ Holy Basil Question

I'm not from the south, and my husband has family that is from (and still lives) in the south.  I have been under pressure to get some real soup beans made, and I did. 

I'm back to share how I made mine.

They are what I call a "Home Grown Recipe" as it can be completely homegrown, other than the tiny bit of brown sugar I used.  Although I may attempt this with sorghum molasses in place of brown sugar, but Hubby may say "don't mess with this recipe!"  We have been growing pinto beans for a few years now, but we don't grow enough I think.  Anyway, here is how I made them, and Hubby absolutely raved over them.  I am pretty sure I got the "southern" part of it down right.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Donation Blanket ~ Lentil-Swiss Chard Soup

The fundraiser folks have asked for donations to auction off.  Hubby wants to make something from barn wood, and of course my donation will be crocheted.  We are strapped for cash, so we can't spend money to create either.

Like a crazy fool, I took on this project, and have been crocheting like a mad woman (putting all other  projects on hold).   This is how much of it I've been able to do in 4 days.  It's wider than the photo shows, but get the idea of how many rows it will take.  And colors.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Getting Back in my Groove ~ Garden Planning

Tuesday was my first day back to regular exercise and back to a full day of house chores.  Did I want to exercise?  Nope, but I did, and I actually felt great while doing it.

The weather here has been cold, and frozen.  We continue to get more snow, which melts, and re-freezes.  It makes driving anywhere a true challenge.  We had very bright sunshine early in the day, but by dinner time it was all cloud cover.

I dug out all my seeds, seed catalogs, and my "garden list" for this year.  Then it dawned on me.  Where are my radish seeds I saved?

Well, little ol' me, accidentally forgot about them.  I left them in the pods (on the dead plants), in baskets in the garage all winter.  Oops.  I'm told that if they are not moldy, they should be good, so that's what I'm doing today.  However, I don't remember which basket is which type (ha ha ha!).  I guess I'll just mark them radish #1 and radish #2 and find out after I plant them.  I have a good guess though.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Quiet Kitchen Capers ~ Garlic-Honey Glazed Carrots

The house needed to be quiet yesterday, but dinner needed prepped too.  I spent my hours in the kitchen (making more dirty dishes, ha ha!)

First up?

Homemade sausage patties, for breakfast sandwiches for the next few days.  I used 1 lb. for Sunday breakfast, and saved the other pound for patties.

Next up?

Monday, February 5, 2018

Snow ~ Cold Temps ~ Random Tidbits

Saturday Hubby and I tackled the 2nd felled tree we left sit (bad decision).  It was frozen to the ground, but we managed to free up enough to fill the back of the pick up.

The only downside, I woke up Sunday with a rash on the backs of my calves, and I can't figure out if those limbs had poison ivy or not.  I was covered up fairly good, so I hope it's not.  I had jeans, work boots, long carhartts, a carhartt coat, short cowl, hat, work gloves etc.  The best I figure, it that it's a "heat" rash from all those layers.  I don't have any poison ivy cream, so I first tried chickweed salve.  It took the itch out, but didn't seem to help dry it up.  Today, I applied a heavy layer of calendula cream on.  Time will tell.

I don't give up that easy either.  I have back up ideas in line if that cream doesn't do anything - dandelion poultices, organic aloe vera gel, etc.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

. . . from the handiwork journal ~ The Finished List

There is an advantage of a few days of resting and bed time.

. . . in preparation for the next craft show, I thought it would be good to get a few sets of heart cup/mug coasters crocheted.  

Friday, February 2, 2018

Tuna-Corn Pie ~ A Meal from Leftovers

It's 13°F (feels like -1°F) this morning. The pups are sporting their winter coats and their hand crocheted dog scarves.  Brr.

I now have a slight cough😟, regardless of resting and remedies.  I am however, resting again today, although last night I was feeling good enough to resume my exercise today.  I will do a few yoga stretches.  In the mean time I have lots of handiwork, and many library books to look over and read.

I do have two good herbs here for coughs - mullein and comfrey, and will be adding more thyme to my soup today.  I will also either steam with eucalyptus or take a warm soak in the tub.  

After our 18-year old babysat, she did grocery shopping for Mom, and I explained to all that I would not be going out until I was much better.  Considering what happened the last time I visited a hospital.  The flu is horrible here, and two of the little ones (great great nieces to us) became sick at the meal after the funeral and now have the flu.  We heard from our missing in action daughter (my step-daughter) and one her her littles have the flu (she has two we are grandparents to, but never see her).  It's just a good time to stay home and out of places.  For me anyway.  

Thyme - 

Did you know thyme is high in anti-fungal properties as well as antioxidants?  It helps boost the immune system, and it helps break down mucus and remove it from your body.  Gargling with salt water helps put a stop to it draining down your throat, but you can gargle with a thyme tea as well. 

Thyme is very easy to grow too.  In our area, it is a perennial plant.  I do not have to bring it in during winter thankfully.  However, I do have to plant a lot of it, so I can dehydrate it for the winter months.  My first step into self sufficiency, and homesteading, was growing an herb garden when I lived in the city. I dug it up and transported it during our next two moves, which landed us here.

Back to the Tuna recipe. . .

I love to whip up leftovers into another entirely different meal, and especially around any given holiday, get together, or party.  I love dreaming up new meals, so the leftovers are not so mundane (as one child reminds me).

I whipped this up over a week ago, and wanted to share.  

Leftover creamed corn and mashed potatoes combined with a few other ingredients make one delicious "pie."

You can also simply make these to ingredients or buy creamed corn and mashed potatoes if you so desire to as well.  

Thursday, February 1, 2018

. . . from the gratitude journal

In light of yesterday's thrown together soup, I am posting a gratitude post today.  

I used everything I think  - home grown tomato juice, carrots, beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, habanero and jalapeno peppers, zucchini slices, corn...just about everything I had on hand.  It was an "everything but the kitchen sink soup" and spicy enough to clear out one's sinuses.

We may not have everything that I want, to maintain our homesteading lifestyle, or everything on our road to complete self-sufficiency, nor all the tools I need or want, or have the meat and dairy animals I would like to raise, but. . .

Today I am thankful for: