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, October 31, 2018

The Green Tomato Thief ~ Tidbits

We woke up Tuesday morning, to find most of my green tomatoes all over the kitchen floor and living room.  Mia, the hairy green tomato thief stole them during the night.  There were teeth marks in all of them, and it appeared she didn't eat one.  

Yesterday's start of the sunrise.  Our temps got up to the lower 60's!

The sorghum cookie recipe I used (posted in a previous post), is found online called "Sorghum Syrup Crinkle Cookies" by Golden Barrel.  I used my local sorghum, and regular ol' sugar.  They were delicious and the family has requested them again already.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits

I have lost my notes on our pear wine. Sigh.  I found a recipe in my County Wisdom and Know How book though.  I may have to adjust it depending on how many pounds of pears we have.

Thanksgiving plans are falling into place.  We are not going to the restaurant like we did last year.  We are having two meals this year.  Once with Hubby's family here, and one at my younger brother's house.  I am just trying to figure out what to make for each get together.  Pies do better with our Christmas meal, so I doubt I'll bake one.  

I devoted Monday Madness to paperwork.  Got so much done, and have a pile to burn now.  Now if I can just keep it that way.

Unfortunately, the wife to a very good friend of Hubby's had a bad stroke a few weeks ago.  She's close to my age.  We got word last night that she is being moved to hospice today.  We are so emotional today, and feel so badly for them.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Weekend Updates

Youngest Daughter had her Halloween party.  She even had candles that drip "blood."  Orange lights were up, blinking light candles going, scary movies playing etc.  With all the company over, and another daughter here for a visit, Mia got a case of the "zommies."  Every rug was turned up, ha ha!  I wish I got it filmed for her Mom.  So funny.

Saturday morning we woke up to cold, rainy, and windy weather.  Hubby had to work all weekend, so I couldn't even do the major deep cleaning projects (need the extra muscle to move stuff).  Oh darn (ha ha!).

Daughter had one friend sleepover, and Hubby was working his double shift, so I whipped up some larger homemade biscuits and cooked some homemade sausage patties for egg/sausage biscuit breakfast sandwiches.  I used my largest biscuit cutter and it worked great.  I just have to make the patties thinner next time.  Yum!  I even saved some for Hubby.


Had a long talk with the ladies and gent first thing, and told them if they don't start giving me some eggs they're gonna be in the stew pot soon.  Then again, they do deserve a night break after all that work this year.

I then had to fetch wood from the barn, one arm-load at a time.  All the wood on the porch was wet.  The wind blew the rain under the roof and "poof" saturated the wood.  Oh well, I got extra steps on my fitbit.

I fired up "Big Red" and drove to the library and did a major book drop off, and majorly big pick up.  Daughter picked out some movies for the weekend.  Free movies are the best kind of movies you can get.  We love supporting our little library too, and love to see me (ha ha!).  Hubby loves it, because I am not filling the house with purchased books too, however I do love my own little stash and need some crochet and knitting books yet.

I lugged 3 full tote bags inside to return, and only took one filled bag home this time.  On the way in, I saw a huge rack of free magazines.  On the way out a lady was standing in front of it (small enclosed entrance-way), so not wanting to stand around and wait, I talked myself into walking right out the door.

I baked sorghum cookies, giving us a dose of iron, copper, vitamin B-6, magnesium, potassium etc.  The sorghum I buy is locally grown and sold at an apple orchard we get some supplies from (not apples, they spray).  Anyway, they were delicious.  I'll bake them one minute longer next time.  These do not taste like gingersnaps.  Almost like a sugar cookie maybe, but no strong molasses flavor either.

I cut strips of netting to embark on restocking the most requested item I sell - dish scrubbies.  Each one takes 20 yards of netting (cut into a couple of strips) to crochet.  I'm all out of blue, so these are the colors getting made.  Next requested item is knitted dishcloths, then the pot holders.

Sunday the dogs woke me up at 3:30am.  I checked all the perimeters and saw nothing, but 20 minutes later I heard a 4-wheeler of some sort pull out of the field and ride past the house.  The temperature was about the same - 38°F and more rain.  No wind in the morning though, so that was nice.  The sun was even out in the morning hours.

Hubby slept most of the morning, as he worked the graveyard shift all night.  Mia missed him so much she slept at the bedroom door until he woke up.  

Today it's a warmer 40°F thankfully. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Random Tidbits

When I woke up, took the dogs out and stoked the fire (again), I realized I hadn't cleaned my vegetable scrubber the night before.  It went into some water and vinegar first thing, while I puttered around early morning.

I'm working on giving my blog a new look.  What is your favorite site to create a blog banner or collage photo etc?  Pic Monkey charges a monthly rate to use now, and that is who I used for free in the past.  

My brain needed a boost, so I made a nice cup of Rosemary-Lemon Thyme Tea (recipe is in Rosemary Gladstar's book - Medicinal Herbs).  Speaking of her book, has anyone made her recipe for honey onion syrup for colds?  It is not written if the syrup can be made and stored in the fridge for any period of time.   Or would you simply consume this often during winter to ward off a cold?  Thoughts welcomed on this.  

We all needed a boost of iron, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and so forth.  I whipped up a gingerbread banana bread.  It is made with spelt flour and some blackstrap molasses (packed with goodness).  I used parchment paper, used real maple syrup and homemade vanilla extract.  

The taste?  Pretty good (loaded with flavor), but my bread was on the dry side.  Not enough bananas?  I don't typically measure my mashed bananas, but I would for this recipe.  Next time it will be better.  I like this recipe, because it freezes well.  If you want the recipe, it's online at Chocolate Covered Katie - Gingerbread Banana Bread.   I bet this bread would be warm with some honey-cinnamon butter on it.  

Deep cleaning returned - washed down more woodwork, sorted and tossed many, many magazines, put things back in their homes etc.  Did my weekly anti-ill spray down (an essential oil mix to prevent germs). Sorted bills, did a small tidy-up at the kitchen computer area.

Sorted through a ton of library books, made another library run and came home with these.

Made a list of possible handmade/homemade Christmas gifts.

Friday, October 26, 2018

.....from the handiwork journal

Finished a navy headband for my oldest daughter.

Finished these knitted dishcloths to sell.  They are almost restocked for the next craft show.

Finished another mug/coaster set.

Finished a set of elf boot cuffs for Youngest daughter.  I'll most likely adjust this pattern for a shorter top on it, and round the top round in white vs. green yarn.  Small bells will be sewn onto the tips of the red part too.  Or possible leave them as they are, and give buyers an option prior to a craft show.  I guess you could glue on pom poms too.  It'll be interesting to see what Youngest wants on hers.  She can't wear them to school, but can elsewhere.  This pattern is for sale at Etsy by AllieCatsHats (not an affiliate, just sharing).

Started this scarf for an order for a Christmas present.

Current dishcloth on the knitting needles.

Current lapghan on the crochet hook.

I got a set of boot cuffs crocheted to sell.  New pattern.  I started a second set for a Christmas present as well.  This pattern is online for free at Crystalized Designs.  The only problem selling boot cuffs?  Not everyone can wear the size they make (most have one size).  I love the elf boot cuff pattern, because the designer included a size chart, so they can be made for calf size.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In light of my panic attack (coyotes lurking) yesterday morning, and yes I was in my PJ's and bathrobe, I let my ladies and stud muffin Sparta (chickens) in the coop.  I didn't even take the chance to put them in their run.  They were pretty mad at me.

Tater Tot wasn't happy with me either (Jesse).  He loves to roam, and is never on a leash.  He was on a leash all day and hated it.

Most of the morning I was out looking for one of the barn cats.  I hadn't seen her and that worried me, but she later showed up.

Cheeta Puff (Tiger) has had so much anxiety with dogs (Mia is a cat chaser) in the house again, he was throwing up all over, and would not leave the utility room.  I felt so bad for him, so I snuck him into my room to get some lovin' time, while I crocheted.

I baked a new recipe.  It's from a healthy dessert site online.  I'll be sharing if it tastes good or not.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Hunter's Moon

In case you missed the Hunter's Moon Wednesday, here you go.  We woke up to 33°F yesterday morning.

Here is the moon this morning.  We woke up to a chilly 28°F.  I got up at 5:30am to take the dogs out and stoke the fire.  Typically, I put Mia on a leash and let Jesse go do his business within sight of our pole light.  However, after I called for him, a group of coyotes moved through, and they were close.  Loud too.  I had to yell "treaty" to get him running inside.  I will be taking him on a leash now when it's dark.  They were across the street somewhere, and the corn is still up there.  My hands were literally shaking, they were that close.  Coyotes were always an issue when we had kid goats.  Thankfully, they are not around our area as much as other areas.  This is the second time we've heard them this year.

I only worked outdoors yesterday for about 30 minutes yesterday - too cold.  I can't function pulling weeds etc with too many layers on.  This week is going to be interesting.  Rain is in the forecast, so I'm yanking weeds and dead plants as fast as I can.  I'm not sure when I'll be out there today.  It'll have to warm up first.

Last night I made breakfast for dinner - homemade sausage in sausage gravy, over homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs and fried potatoes.  By the way, I made the eggs first, cooking them almost done.  I then put them in a crock pot on low while I cooked everything else.  It worked great and freed up my stove top.

Mia literally put her bone in my lap yesterday, while crocheting, ha ha ha!  Funny dog.  However, she goes after cats.  Urgh.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


Although the weather is now in the 40's and not the 60's, I'm back out to the garden.  It's going much slower.   I hope to have a post on the garden, as I attempt to get it ready for next year.  Of course it depends on the weather too.  I was super irritable Monday evening.  I am trying to once again find the humor in all of this.  You could say this garden was a complete success if all you wanted to harvest was foxtail.

Mia must not like my knitting needles.  If I sit to knit she starts up with her need to play.  If I crochet, she naps.  Hm.  Coincidence?  I do need breaks in my day too.

I started my infused oil, but I had to heat up the kitchen too.  I am smacking myself for starting it so late.  However, the sunny window where it sits, is right behind my dehydrator (which about to start heating up too).

Mixed up some more handmade foaming hand soap.  This time I used my 18 in 1 Hemp lavender castile soap.  I am completely out of  the plain version of castile soap.  We're trying to tidy up the house for a bonfire/Halloween party for Youngest and her friends.

I've been splitting my time 50/50 with indoor and outdoor work.  I hope to have some order indoors in case weather outside for the party is poor.  I still have a table full of tomatoes, and those however, will stay where they are.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits

Nothing more creepier than hearing something crunch through the tree line, while hanging laundry out at 8:30am.

Meal ideas come to me and the oddest times.  While washing the morning dishes yesterday I decided dinner would be Sloppy Charlies (organic ground beef and homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup), corn and zucchini saute and roasted brussel sprouts.

Speaking of the weekly menu, here's what else I came up with so far:

Breakfast (or dinner):  Homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, fried potatoes and scrambled eggs

-Creamy mac n' cheese, sweet potato hash browns, BBQ green beans with bacon, Chicken with home canned hot pepper mustard sauce, quinoa, broccoli, a spinach/parsley pesto pasta....still working on it....

Even though I wrote out a list for Sunday errands, I realized I forgot to buy borax and washing soda.  Urgh.  So cleaning the bathroom was put on halt until today.

Breakfast today is a sweet potato (thank you Garden Gods), and black bean frittata.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Happy Homemaker Monday

Good morning!  I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom today.  It's been quite a long time since I joined.  I have a long list of possible "to-do's" so it'll be interesting as to what I actually get done.  I'll link up as soon as she posts this morning.  I was up at 5:20am, so hence my early post.

The weather outside is . . .
This isn't from today, but from yesterday as the "winter" rain and wind rolled in.  It's cold again today.  

On the breakfast plate this morning . . .
Blueberry pancakes, sausage and eggs

As I look outside my window . . .
See that broken window in my one barn (in the above photo)?  Yeah...gotta cover it with thick plastic for the winter, so I can get it replaced in the spring.  
Clear and sunny skies today, but cold, cold, cold.

Right now I am . . .
Folding towels.

As I look around the house . . .
It definitely needs cleaned up.  We took the day off of work yesterday and ran errands.

On today's to do list . . . 
. . . in not particular order ~ my week long list
-feed and water the chickens, open the run
-feed barn cats
-feed dogs
-start oil infusion for a lotion
-slice garlic and put it in the dehydrator
-stoke fire, empty ash pan, fetch more wood
-dig up remaining non-useable beets and carrots in the garden
-bake a frittata
-clean a bathroom
-fix the sweeper
-freeze more of the ripening tomatoes

-change out the front room curtains
-go through more library books
-start on homemade Christmas gifts for the kids
-restock crafting items for a possible Nov. craft show
-dinner prep

Deep clean list
-clean more woodwork
-move bedroom furniture, dust, vacuum, shampoo
-kitchen desk clean up, shred papers
-reorganize two kitchen drawers
-clean the study, dust, vacuum etc.

Currently reading . . . 
"Snow, Stars and Wild Honey," by  George P. Morrill

On the TV . . .
Movies we rented from daughter's work place

On the menu this week . . .
Ha ha ha ha!  Oh, I have no idea.  Maybe chicken in the crock pot with mustard sauce and roasted brussel sprouts one day.  

What I am creating at the moment . . .
A crocheted headband for my oldest daughter.

New recipe I tried or want to try . . .
I have a long list of try-it's, but have very little time to do that lately - chocolate rum truffles, homemade chocolate marshmallows...the list is long.

Favorite photo from the camera. . . 
A recent sunrise view from the front porch.

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes, or Devotionals. . .

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Mark Twain

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Went straight from summer to winter...

We've had a few beautiful sunrises at our place lately.

Mia, wanting to play as soon as I sat down to knit a bit.

Made my first Einkorn chocolate chip cookies.  I didn't have whole wheat, but they tasted great!

Started up the wood stove once again, but had to use my clothes dryer for the first time in a looooong time.  It was cold and it rained.  At least the garlic is getting a good watering.

Cleaned all the straw out of my emergency chicken coop (adjacent to the main one), because the rat (or something) came back and starting chewing a new hole. Grr!  Re-set the trap.

While embarking on the mission to do the dishes, I found 45 other things that needed done (while mentally making a list of other things that needed done).  Isn't that how it always goes.  I walked into the garage to see if we had newspaper, and noticed garlic hanging.  Oops.  Brought that in right away.

Got the mail, and my beautiful bling wallet arrived!  Thank you so much for the give away Goatldi!

Snow was predicted, along with the rain and wind, so I trimmed the tops of the zinnias (no time to pull the plant), and brought in what little bit I could of green onion and chives to freeze.

One of the books I brought home from a recent library loot trip.  Once again, gaining more recipes.  There may be a few gems in this book.

Overall, Saturday was sort of a strange day after 3pm.    Our oldest daughter called to check in her dog Mia.  She's out of town for a few more weeks.  One daughter and her boyfriend came out to pick up her mail, and drop off some bandannas for her dog Jesse.  After they left, my youngest daughter left for a birthday party.  

I was home alone with the dogs until Hubby got off of his long 10 hour day work shift.  It was sort of strange.  Too quiet if you ask me, and that was when the weather started to change.  I got another arm load of wood and kept the house toasty.  I brought in a few things off the porch and stored them for winter, but I'll need reinforcements to put the larger items away.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Tidbits ~ Ham and Pea Pasta

I'm very concerned about Hubby.  His long hours have totally exhausted him and he's not feeling well. Wednesday night was the first time he would try one of my tinctures for sinus pressure (and it worked and he wanted it this morning).  I brewed a tea infusion for him, for exhaustion.  He was willing to trudge out to the coop and help me fix that hole, but I could tell he didn't want to do anything but eat dinner and lay in bed.

As the holidays approach, I thought it would great to share this comfort food recipe we love.  Although homemade noodles are wonderful, I made it this time with organic/non-gmo macaroni noodles.

Have leftover ham?  Make this delicious garden to table casserole!

Ham and Pea Pasta

1 cup diced  home grown onions
1 Tbsp. of organic butter*  
Saute together until onions are clear, then add 1 cup diced ham, and cook about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

3 cups organic/non-gmo pasta (cook and drain while you saute onions).  I like to use homemade pasta if I have it on hand.  Lately, I've found inexpensive organic pasta at our local store.

In a large mixing bowl mix the following ingredients:
1 "can" of homemade cream of chicken soup*
1 cup of home raised milk, or organic milk
2 1/2 cups organic shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup homegrown garden peas, cooked and drained*
1/2 tsp. homemade onion powder
1/2 tsp. homemade garlic powder
 - thyme, to your taste
 - salt and pepper
Add the cooked onions and ham, and cooked and drained macaroni noodles.  Mix well.

Pour into an oiled or sprayed (non-stick organic spray) 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle homemade dried onion flakes on top (optional).  Bake 10 more minutes.

Optional:  add 1/2 cup organic sour cream to the mix

*organic cream of chicken from the grocery can be used, or you can make your own (Simply Scratch online recipes)  You can also substitute with homemade condensed cream of celery soup.

*frozen organic peas can be used, simply thaw prior to adding

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Brrrr! ~ Chicken Coop Repair ~ Carrots

To all of you who read through yesterday's long post, thank you for your dedication and patience to read through it.  Today's post will be much shorter.

It's was gonna be a cold night last night (second freeze warning), so I trudged out to the barn and brought in more wood.  Hubby is already starting to show the signs of sleep deprivation and exhaustion.  He's a grouch.  He apologized, but he'll need a lot of rest after this long work week.  

It was a chilly 30°F this morning, and the wood stove was going strong.  In October.  So odd.

The coop got a good cleaning, and I stuffed the roost with extra straw.  I had to wait a bit for the temperature to rise, but it was still cold out there.  The ladies and gent will want the warmth in this cooler weather. 

I had to fix their coop ladder too, and as I fixed it I noticed a hole chewed through the chicken wire.   It's between the main coop and the emergency smaller coop (door is shut on it, so it must have a hole in the ceiling of the loft inside).  I haven't gotten eggs for about 5 days now, so do you all think this could be work of a rat?  Possibly living up in the loft?  Hubby and I set traps and fixed the hole.  I'm pretty sure it's a rat.  Just one more thing to deal with right now. First time for this to happen in 10 years.  We have plans to build a new coop, but we have a lot on the "board" right now. 

Carrots were blanched and put into the freezer.  I had to buy them this year, but I have a good start at a winter supply.  I got 5 lbs. put up so far - about 5 meals.

I replaced the smoke alarm batteries.

Feeling a bit off, but thankfully not "sick" Hubby and I have opened a jar of our Four Thieves Vinegar and taken it for the last few days.  I am also sipping fresh ginger tea.  I know we both need rest so I took the rest of the day off.   Tuesday was a check it off task-type day (long day).  I wish I could say the same for Hubby, with the case of a day of rest.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

First Frost ~ Sweet Potatoes ~ The Last Dig

Mia was intrigued with my yarn.  She was sniffing it and wondering what it was as I crocheted.  So funny.  I tried to get some photos, but they just wouldn't sit still, ha ha!  Jesse is with us now too, and they get along well.  Tiger is just not happy.  He comes in my room at night to his "safe" space and curls up right next to me to get his "love" time now.

Oh my gosh, it was cold yesterday morning.  I had a ton of things that needed done, and it didn't heat up very fast.  We had a freeze warning last night, so the last of the jalapenos were picked, and we woke up to a temperature of 31°F.

I got soup beans into the crock pot, got my breakfast, and washed the dishes, in hopes to get to the garden.  A freeze warning is upon us now.   I dug up all the sweet potatoes.

Here's what they look like.  .  .

I harvested about half of what I normally get, but they are larger than I thought they'd get.  I didn't weigh them yet, but I am happy I got what I got.  They won't last all winter, but it's less I'll have to buy.

Apparently I fed a few rodents.  Thankfully, only losing about 3 or 4 this time.  It was rabbits.  Thanks to one of the dogs for letting me know.  The rabbits were living right along the west side of the garden.  

Hubby has been working 10 hour days (6 days straight), so I'm a one woman machine in getting everything done - hence why I don't have a rinse stand built yet.  

I literally saturated myself with the garden hose getting the sweet potatoes rinsed.  I had to dump them all out on the grass to do it, due to the wet mud on them.  When I was done I washed out the watering unit for the chickens and let the sweet potatoes dry off before bringing inside.  

Although my sleeves and pants were saturated, I rinsed off the 2 inches of mud on my muck boots and trudged out to fetch fire wood.  Several trips back and forth, I was done with enough for a few days.

Back inside I stripped and tossed my dirty clothes and jacket into the washer, to start putting away the clean dishes.  Oh the work continued.

I took a short medicinal tea break on the porch, and soaked up more sunshine.

I needed to prep a cabbage for dinner.  We were not impressed, so the cabbage will be fried with potatoes and bacon grease tonight.

On a side note, I had plans to put Mia on a tie out (prior to knowing that we'd get Jesse too (while in the garden), but I left them indoors.  They are behaving wonderfully, so I am thawing homemade dog treats to give them when I come in from a few hours of garden work.

Youngest Daughter got me good with the plastic rat.  Sigh.  I have to get her back, ha ha ha!  Little stinker.

I got a mullein tincture started.  I am getting pretty low in supply of that.  

I found some nice broad leaf plantain growing in the garden, so back out I went hoping I didn't get dirty (other than boots) to gather some of it.  Despite a frost.

It was blanched and put into the freezer for soup and stew.  I sliced it Julianne style so I only have to thaw it.  Sorry for the bad photo. I was trying to take the photo one-handed.  I stacked the leaves and sliced them like you would basil.  I then blanched them for 2 minutes, and put them in an ice bath for 2 minutes.  Drained them and put them in freezer bags in the freezer.

That's now all I got done.  A large batch of double blueberry pancakes were made ahead for breakfast.  I got about 4-5 times the amount in the photo.  Just need some sausage to go with it now.

Finished!  Got it done while taking a second short break.  Man I was so tired at the end of the day.  If forgot how much work wood takes, as well as working back to regular hours in the garden.