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~

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Lemon balm lip balm ~ Sage Sausage Egg Muffins (Use leftover Pizza Toppings)

Remember all that lemon balm I harvested last summer?  Well, I made the infused oil with it, and got around to washing up containers and getting lip balm made.

I used the same recipe (Mountain Rose Herbs blog) for Calendula / Shea butter, but swapped out the oil for lemon balm infused oil.  I prefer to use the metal tins, but summer brings motorcycle rides, and the tubes are smaller and easier to carry (and less messy on very hot days).  I ended up making a bit of both - tubes and metal tins.

Something I learned - lemon balm prevents the breakout of cold sores.  I'll be giving this to someone to see if if will work as they state it does, and I'll be using it all summer.

I had a bit of sausage, bell pepper and onion leftover from our homemade pizza's, so I whipped up a small batch of Sage sausage/egg muffins for breakfast.  I used jalapeno's from the freezer to add some zest to them too.  So good.  I'll be tweaking my recipe and hope to post soon.  They need a bit more herbs/spices.  

The peanut butter cookies didn't last long.  Hubby has no self control when I bake them.

So...I baked German Chocolate Cookies.  This time I flattened them just a bit.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Random Tidbits ~ Pickled Red Onion

Pizza night was another huge success.  I froze the Einkorn dough for the first time last year (preparedness), and it worked out great.  We love the pizza sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes.  They make the best sauce so far.  I'll be sure to grow them again this summer.

I should have started a temperature afghan last spring.  With the hot days followed by this very strange and nasty winter, it would have been one interesting afghan.

I'm scanning my recipes for our oldest daughter.  Not that she's settling in her new apt. she wants to take advantage of her crock pot and cook good meals again.  I have a plan for that too.

I pickled red onion for the first time.  It'll be used for salads, although I am leery to eat fresh kale out of season, we can typically find organic in our grocery store.

Pickled Red Onions
Using organic/non-gmo ingredients, thinly slice enough red onion rings to fit in a wide mouth pint canning jar.

1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
2-3 splashes of home canned hot sauce*
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. red wine vinegar

Shake.  Store in the refrigerator

*any hot sauce will work

My husband is really having a stressful time at his work place.  Even though the vote was like 170-something (no) to 50-something (yes), the higher up's are making them vote again on Thursday on the contract.  They are using their power to manipulate them into voting yes, and from what I see, threatening them in the process.  He, and the others, could surely use prayers, good mojo, and good thoughts right now.  It is a very hostile work environment.   Both mentally and physically.   

The only thing I can do to help him, is clean the house, cook good food, pack his lunch and coffee and listen.  I'm afraid this however, may affect our income (depending on the outcome).  Remember they went on strike one year, and he had to take work out of state?  We are preparing however we have big ticket jobs to get done this year no matter what.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits

Thankfully, the only damage we sustained from the high winds, was in the garden.   The plastic we put down in our garlic bed was ripped up.  I'll have to wait for a warmer day to fix.  

What's your preference when canning jams - frozen or fresh fruit?  I'm contemplating making a jam, but in the past I wasn't pleased with the end results of strawberry jam, using frozen.  It was not as thick as using fresh.  Maybe wait until summer?

I attempted my role as plumber, but failed. I could not wash dishes until Hubby was well rested to fix the pipe under the sink.  I was okay with that, but hate looking at chaos in the kitchen. Dirty dishes everywhere, ha ha!

Sunday, not one, but two daughter's came out for a visit.  Both stayed and raided the fridge, and made numerous pots of coffee.  Both normal.  Monday was a bit strange being home with no kids again.  But....housework resumed.  It's sort of like exercise for the mind.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom today.  I will link up after she posts.  It's 6:41am, and I have to get my day started. 

The wind advisory was extended until 1am Monday morning.  Canning didn't happen on Sunday as planned.  I didn't want to take the chance at the power going out in the middle of canning, after they predicted "widespread" power outages.  We had power, but our internet went out often, same with TV, and even mobile data went out.  By bed time, all was back on thankfully.

Two daughters came out for a visit, and raided the fridge.  Hubby worked all weekend, and 16 hours on Sunday.  He was a tired man this morning, so I made sure his breakfast and lunch was packed, including a tall mug of coffee.

On the breakfast plate. . .

Strawberry pancakes with candied ginger, and sausage.  No scrambled eggs due to a shortage (again). I'm lucky to get one a day right now.

The weather outside is . . .
Sunday the weather started out in the low high 40's and gradually plummeted again.  Winds were so bad yesterday, semi's were not permitted to use the state turnpike.  Our son drives a semi for a living. By 10am yesterday, winds in our area were 35mph. It's a chilly 19°F with a windchill of 4° this morning.  Thankfully, the wind has stopped.  What a long day it was yesterday.

Right now I am . . .
Listening to Jesse, whining, trying to trick me to feeding him twice or take him out twice.  Naughty dog.

Thinking . . .
I'm having a "Mommy" moment after hearing that one of my daughter's plans to move away with her boyfriend when he graduates college. First, I don't know when he will, and second, this is our 19 year-old.  Oh, a crying moment for me, but it is only about 2 hours away.  Then again, we are talking about moving out of the state in the future (we want to get away from these sprayed crops).  I'm also proud of our 25 year-old daughter.  She sent me a video of her setting up in her new apt.  She's in need of a kitchen table and some other furniture, but she's set up pretty nicely. 

Looking around the house . . .
Sighing...everything from under the kitchen sink is on the kitchen floor.  A plastic pipe broke (just regular wear and tear), but I think I can rig it to get many dirty dishes washed.  I'm in no way asking Hubby to fix it tonight.  He is very, very tired.

On the to-do list . . .
Fix a busted pipe under the sink
sweep and mop
make lip balm (still on the list)
ship a package
dinner prep

On the menu . . .
Salmon Romanoff (made with MI salmon), carrots
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn
Homemade pizza with home canned pizza sauce
Zucchini Linguine with Walnuts
Soup beans and corn bread

Snacks:  strawberry/blueberry muffins, peanut butter (Einkorn) cookies, home grown popcorn and possibly hummus.

On the TV. . .
Netflix - When Calls the Heart (I have read the entire series years ago, and Hubby loves watching this)

Reading. . .
I'm considering a magazine subscription.  I haven't done this in a long time due to watching them pile up, but it looks interesting enough that I just may subscribe.

What I am creating . . .
I'm making a bit of progress on the baby blanket.  I finished the last two soap saver bags, and have many other projects in progress.  As it gets larger, the rounds take much more time to do.

From the camera. . .
Getting the stare down when it's just a few minutes before dinner time, ha ha!  Like he is saying, "Well lady?  Get some food in my bowl will ya!"  He's got an internal clock.

Praying . . .
Us, the kids, no special requests at this time.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday Chit Chat ~ Bring a beverage

We thankfully still have green beans in the freezer, and more canned corn relish.  By the way, mixing the relish with green beans is pretty good too, as well as topping fish.

I am completely out of home canned tomato paste though.  I opened the last jar to make a large crock pot of chili on Friday.

Our high winds were said to be the worst from 4am to 10am this morning.  I had water bottles filled, jugs filled for flushing toilets, candles and lamps ready, and a portable phone charger ready.

Hubby earned this charger free at work with a program, and I had it ready just in case the winds blew down power lines.  Something handy to have during a storm.   You could also use a car charger, but for some reason my phone won't charge on the one we currently have (Hubby's phone will though).

Saturday morning, I was up at 5am (naturally like a robot).  I got Hubby's breakfast and lunch packed up and coffee in this Thermos while he dressed to go to work for a day of overtime.  

The weather is really dragging me down.  I went from feeling like a hermit to a prisoner (truck and car are still un-repaired).  I make plans to run errands, and get excited I get to leave the house, when I'm hit with "honey I have to work."  I decided to get over my pitty party and get busy.

Before - Baking utensils drawer.  This is what happens when kids are washing the dishes.  Nothing goes back the way I organized it. 

After.  Hopefully with only one kids living here now, it'll stay this way.

It took my mind off things and I accomplished in clearing chaos from my day.  I also sold a pair of baby booties.  Woohoo!  But.  I'll have to make more.  An opening became available for a March craft vendor show.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

My Word (s) for this Year

One year the word for the year for me, was "patience."  I even made myself a sign on old barn wood.

I won't be making signs for these words, but I think the words for this year are preparedness and giving.  I want to be more prepared for just everything.  For example, I want the deep cleaning completely done, so I can be rested mindfully when the gardening time arrives.  I want to be well stocked with natural remedies, oils, balms and lotions.

I also want to have firewood stocked up and other prepared items.  As for giving, I just want to be more giving.

I have been asked to make a donation to an auction, that will raise money for a wing to be added to a church for children.

I have decided to donate one of the Harley Davidson inspired lapghans.  Value is $45.00.  Harley related items typically auction off at high prices, giving the fundraiser a boost.  The person who asked me, dedicated herself to run the fundraiser for our nephew's funeral.  She is a very good person, and this is a good cause.

We are gearing up for some more bad weather.  Wind gusts on Sunday may bring gust up to 50mph.  The temperature was said to be up to 60°F and you know Hubby was looking to take a ride on our sanity saver.  Not happening.  Once it's over, I'll be out to check on the plastic that is over the garlic.

Speaking of garden, Hubby and I have some plans to add one or more raised beds.  I just hope he has time to help me get them built.  And that the weather holds up for us to get them done before planting season.

Youngest is feeling very good now.  So happy for her.  She has a "spirit" week at school next week.  One is Hippie Day and one is Rock Day.  She raided my closet and jewelry and even my biker boots for rock day (my tall ones with laces).  She's happy and all set for the week.  I even had a very nice tie dye hippie inspired top, ha ha!  

I have so many books on "hold" at the library, I am unable to put any more on hold until some start coming in, ha ha!  I do keep them in business.  Some times I get my best information on a remedy, instructions to build something, new recipe, or pattern from a library book vs. the internet.  I went through a large stack of books yesterday, so deep cleaning must resume today.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday Finish and other Tidbits

Finished 4 soap saver bags.  Two more to go.  I have another possible outlet to sell certain items, but first must get these delivered.

It was a beautiful day to finally hang laundry outside again.

Deep cleaned the bedroom dresser.  Hubby just has to purge clothing.  One more finish in the bedroom.

I had to make another frittata to finish out the week, but ran out of onions (phssst!).  I just used zucchini/potato and spiced it up with jalapeno and other flavors.  I sure miss green peppers in the freezer.

It makes me smile inside, when a kiddo comes to the homestead and immediately asks for a "tea" for a remedy that's ailing them.  They used to make fun of me, but not anymore.

It makes me smile ever more when I get a text the next day, asking for the tea because it worked so well.  

Due to running out of onions, chili has yet to be made for dinner.  While eating homemade meatballs (made with organic ingredients and oats) with homemade mushroom soup over it, on a bed of organic quinoa, and garden beets, Hubby thanked me for cooking so healthy.

Youngest is feeling more rested now that she is not in musical.  I'm glad too.

I've depleted our green onions in the freezer, but still have chives thankfully.

Today is colder.  Woke up to 28°F.  Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Extreme Clean ~ Blanket Progress

Thanks to another wintery blistery day, the bedroom extreme clean made great headway.  The bed was moved, everything cleaned underneath and put back (and some removed). Cough, cough.   The woodwork on the bed and night stands wiped down, the decor on the wall taken down and dusted, spider webs knocked about dust.  

I found a container of yarn I didn't even know I had, books, magazines, and a container full of tote bags.  Some bags had store tags on them (ha ha!).  They'll be spread out to the girls or used for projects and this year's trips.

I also found my collapsible travel tote, I've had since I went to Spain and Africa while in high school.  It's in very good condition.  It's out from under the bed to be put to use now.

We cleaned off the tops of our nightstands and got the other matching lamp working.  We bought them at an antique store years ago, and love them.  We both have some more cleaning, but not much thankfully.  So happy that big job is almost done.

Thanks to "Old Man Winter" I have made a bit of progress on this baby blanket.  I love it so far, and did not have a kit for this, I just put it together with some colors I liked.

Oldest daughter stopped in.  We fed her of course, and she devoured it.  She'll be taking a look at her apartment today, so here's hoping it all looks nice.  It wasn't ready to even view until today.

It's a wonderfully warm 35° this morning and will continue to rise today.  It's nice to see everything melted outside.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Pizza Sauce ~ Sheet Pan Dinner

Yesterday's sunrise.

We had a beautiful, sunshiny day. 

Yesterday I tackled this - 25# of tomatoes I froze.  I still have more, but not much.  These  took forrrrrrever to slice.  Last year we got very little harvest.  The tomatoes were also small and didn't ripen at the same time.  In desperate measure, I started freezing them, but this takes a lot of space in the freezer.  When all was said and done, my back was pretty sore.  I have forgotten the hard work this takes, but so worth it.

I canned 8 glorious pints of this goodness.  Now Hubby wants to have pizza for dinner, ha ha!  Boy, it felt good to actually get something from last year's garden.

Last night's dinner.   Sheet pan dinner night, and Hubby was very happy and surprised with it.

Youngest Daughter, drove to the school last night.  She politely departed from the musical, but we know it hurts emotionally.  We'll be supporting her, and guiding her along the way.  She was just too worn out and sick from not getting any rest at all.  

The snow is coming down, but no school delay for us yet.  The roads will be bad again with more freezing rain.  Maybe it's a good day to clean under my bed.  Thanks to Mama Pea and her cleaning bug, it may just get done lol!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits

What's on the breakfast plate this morning?

Cauliflower/potato/pea frittata with dandelion greens and other garden goodies.  It was my turn to spoil Hubby and Daughter.  That, and a side of toast with homemade pumpkin butter made with our pumpkins.

Diagnosis for Youngest Daughter? She didn't have strep, but a cold.  She's being dosed with elderberry elixir, and she even took the 4 thieves vinegar.  She is exhausted to the max, and we even convinced her to stay home from rehearsal yesterday.  She is downright worn out from school and rehearsal.  She may drop out, due to it infringing on her sleep, rest and health.  She's taking difficult classes related to math and science and has much homework too.

We are not sure of her decision to drop the musical, but we've shown her our support.  Her health is more important than the musical, and it is truly wearing her down badly.  She can still try out next year if she wants to.

Thanks to watching some cooking shows (again), I have more recipes to try.  It'll require a trip to the grocery store though.  Next week, you may see some updates on those.  I have this week planned out already.

As for the daughter who asked to move back in?  She reneged in the move and decided to stay with her boyfriend.  We are all disappointed.  This guy is the worst guy ever, no job, no car, no license and a user.  We realize she feels she is in love with him, but for the entire family not liking him?  This speaks.  As parents we can only do so much, but it's one of those situations where you wish you could drive there, pull her out, wiggle the shame on you finger to him and save her from being used and lied to.  Parenting is such a difficult job.  She is 21, but still we worry and have that natural instinct to protect.

As for our oldest?  She finally landed her own apartment that will allow large dogs.  She moves in this week.  So proud of her getting into another college as well.  Now I need to wash all my blankets in the living room - white dog hair everywhere after watching her dog.

There may be good news regarding union negotiations.  The employees voted no on the new contract.  This could be good.  The new contract had regarded to concessions, meaning they wanted to take away from them vs. offer new and better deals.

Not sure what's even on my agenda for the day.  Oddly.  The weather looks pretty good, so I hope we get a warm up soon.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Oldest Daughter brought Mia for a day so she could go snow boarding with friends.  She ended up staying the night due to her falling and hitting her head and the lateness of her return.  She plopped an ice pack on her head and relaxed.  

Sunday morning we had another relaxing day other than doing dishes.  I literally hung out in my PJ's until the mood hit me.  Guess what?  I found more beets in my freezer - waahhooo!  So happy to find them.  Who knows what else I will dig out as we empty it throughout the winter and spring.

On the breakfast plate. . .
Hubby made this for breakfast for all of us yesterday morning.  Yum.  Candy apple jelly on the toast too.  We both got a chuckle Sunday morning.  Oldest stayed the night, and the girls usually sleep in very late.  Both were up by 9am, with the smell of bacon and coffee in the air.

Today's breakfast?
I'm getting spoiled by Hubby's breakfast creations.  Mmm good.

The weather outside . . .
Snowing and cold.

Right now I am. . .
Still in my PJ's and loving it.

Thinking . . .
I'm thinking the people running the school musical are very thoughtless to make the kids drive in the weather today, for a rehearsal.  There are reports of flipped over cars, cars in ditches, semi's jack knifed, and more.  Roads are slick and they still haven't canceled it.  I think this is just wrong putting young kids in danger.

Reading. . .
Nothing right now, but library crafting books

On the TV . . .
Library movie - Ocean's 8

On the menu . . .
Monday: Sheet pan dinner, smoked sausage, potato, carrots etc.
Tues: Baked flounder, home canned corn relish, green beans
Wed: Chili (never made it last week), corn bread
Thurs: Meatballs with homemade mushroom sauce, quinoa and beets
Fri:  leftovers
Sat and Sunday?  Who knows yet. Possibly creamed peas and toast.

On the to-do list . . .
-sweep and mop kitchen
-clean master bath
-vacuum carpets
-make 4 thieves vinegar
-make nettle hair tonic
-clean bedroom
-fold dried towels

What I am creating . . .

A baby blanket.

Recipe I tried. . .
Thanks to Susan, I was able to try this new recipe.  Super easy to make, but it takes ingredients that most people may not have on hand.  If you eat healthy and from scratch you will have the ingredients.  With vegetarians in the family, we have nutritional yeast on hand too.  The recipe is online - Super Savoury Veggie Millet and Hemp Nuggets with a cashew butter/maple syrup/garlic dip.  It was very good and I will be sure to make this again.  I have many more new recipes to try too.

From the camera . . .
 The snow is beautiful, but very dangerous to be out in today.

Praying . . .
Us and the kids

Sunday, February 17, 2019


Speaking of long waits, the line at Basspro yesterday was horribly long.  They finally opened new registers, but even those lines filled quickly.  The store was packed full of people

After a long exhausting Friday, we let Youngest Daughter sleep in.  Hubby made us french toast and bacon for breakfast.

We had no plans on Saturday, but to make a quick trip into our own little town.  We went to the post office, library, dropped off my Tupperware to be replaced, and visited the gas station.

Back home, we took care of the animals, did the dishes, laundry and stoked the fire.  Then we relaxed the rest of the day.  It was a pretty chilly day.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

I Do Not like Waiting.....

Whew!  Wedding is over.  Daughter's contest is over.  She had won first place to be sent to this competition to compete with many other schools, but did not place.  We are very proud of her to even get to the competition, but it was a long, long day.

We had to have her there by 8am, and it's a 35 minute drive.  Too far from home, we stayed in the area.  We first visited a local coffee chop.

Best Mocha ever.  Not too sweet and the sweets were freshly baked before 8am.  We will be back for sure.  They also make their own kombucha, which I plan to try next time.

Oh, we had lots of time to kill, so we did a lot of looking and shopping.  We also had $200 in gift cards for BassPro shop.  If you don't have that store, it's an outdoor supply type store - hunting, camping, fishing, boating, clothing, guns and ammo, food etc.  

It didn't take long to spend our $200.00.  Especially if you are buying ammo.  We were lucky to pick up a cast iron griddle for the camper.  The other side is flat.  I think to keep the underside from getting scorched from the campfire, we'll line it with foil to see if that works, but we are eager to use it now.  

We visited the Harley store and had a $20 credit, so Hubby let me get a top and new headband.  It was a fun day.  I even got some jeans on sale for $12 (normally $24) at another store.

The school kids were taken from the school to a large church, where the competitions were done.  We entered as soon as the doors opened for the awards ceremony, but we had to wait 45 minutes only for them to announce it'd be another 15 minutes, and then another.  I was so frustrated.  If she goes to this competition next year, I'll be sure to bring a crochet bag of projects.  It drove me nuts waiting there doing absolutely nothing.

After the ceremony we took Daughter to where ever she wanted to eat.  I ordered quickly as I had the dog at home to let out and was so worried about him.  Oh, at the restaurant we were so lucky (not) to get a new waitress.  Food took forever, adding to my worry about Jesse at home, and then she nearly dropped Daughter's grits into my lap.  I caught it before it landed.  Good save.  Oh what a long, long day.

Add to that, on the way home there was an accident, which backed up traffic for miles.  After a half an hour, I convinced Hubby to turn around and take another route.  Whew.  Home again, home again, and after taking care of all the animals, I was immediately in my PJ's.  

Then...yes there is more.  Oldest daughter dropped in to have us watch her dog for the night.  She had a good reason, so we have Mia for the day today.  

What's on our agenda today?  Maybe one errand and other than that we deserve a day of rest.  Our wood splitter was loaned out, so we can't split wood anyway.   My seeds are arriving, so I'm getting spring fever.

I have come to realize, I do not like waiting without anything to occupy myself.  I'm so used to crocheting or knitting, or even reading a book while waiting, I'll be sure to never leave the house empty handed again.

And to top off a long few days.....the rotating door may be rotating again.  Another daughter has asked to move back in.  We'll see what happens.  Until then, have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Busy Bee this Week

It's been a crazy week, and more to do yet.  Oye.  In the midst of it crazy weather.

I made sure there were no hanging icicles on the barn when I went out the other day.  I didn't want one falling on me, and it sounded like an avalanche with all the ice dropping to the ground.  There is flooding now everywhere and many people without power (we are talking thousands and it won't be on until Friday) due to downed lines.  Thankfully we were not one of them, although I was prepared for it.

We were bee-bopping around the kitchen getting breakfast, coffee started, animals tended, fire stoked, and Youngest went off to school.  Not long after that I got a message she was sick.  I got on the phone and finally found a daughter to pick her up for me.  I'm worried it's strep, and her speech contest is this week, so I wanted to get her checked out ASAP.  Right after I gave her tincture and teas of course.  I then wiped down the house with anti-ill oil.

I had to dig through my craft show stash, to get myself a scrubbie for the kitchen.  I do love these the best, but there is a request to make them thinner, so I'm on the hunt for a pattern.  If you know of one, I'd be delighted if you would share it or it's location.  These are super thick, but those with arthritic hands prefer a thinner one.  

I finally got contact with the business who wanted to sell my soap saver bags on consignment.  She asked for a smaller top on them, so I changed the pattern.

They now close up much tighter at the top.  I hope she likes them.  I have more to make before delivering them.

I had to laugh when our daughter was over for her birthday dinner.  She was doing college homework afterwards and it was a religion class.  She had to write a 2 page paper on meditation and her experience. 

I laughed because to earn points for our insurance program (pain in my rump), one way to earn them is to meditate 14 days of a 21 day program.  Yawn.

I literally, turn the ten minute session on, and do the dishes, ha ha!  Oh, and I helped daughter with her 2 page paper.

Union negotiations are over now, but the final draw is not clear.  The bonuses were taken away for the first time in 10 years.  Such a disappointment with this company.  However, they did vote out one thing - they wanted it mandatory for employees to come in on a call out.  Hubby is so stressed right now.

I can't wait for this busy week to be over.  I have so much to get done that I had on my to-do list, like make my lip balm, and can a few things.

I told Hubby that "Rooster's Crow Farm" is now rooster-less.  We will be looking for anyone getting rid of them this spring.  We really don't want to add more hens, so buying straight run is not on the plan.