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~

Friday, June 28, 2019

Back to Weeding ~ Window Peeper who was almost dinner ~ From Pile to File Recipe

Wednesday Hubby and I got the air conditioner in downstairs, so the electric bill will start soaring, but we'll be comfortable indoors - humidity will hit us like a ton of bricks early next week.

As for the long work hours, it's felt like eternity.  There is no talk as to when it will end and Hubby is completely worn out.  We are just exhausted from it - lack of work done here, so much to do that can't be done, him being exhausted beyond belief, me trying to do late dinners so we can all eat together, and so much more.  Keeping up with the weeds has been so stressful on me, as I'm doing it myself, and there has been no tilling done either.  

Good news:  Mower guy showed up about 10am
Bad news:  Hubby messaged me - they are now forced to work 12 hour days, 7 days a week. Just not what we needed.

Oh, farmers are out in the fields now.  Thankful to see that, as the deer are increasing in numbers, and they are looking for food (it'll help keep them off our property).

Thursday was another hot day.  I am now spending the mornings dragging 100-some feet of garden hose (early morning workout) from way out to the garden to back to the front of the house, watering everything.  There were possibilities of thunderstorms, but only a slight chance. 

In the midst of weeding, I brought in some cilantro to dry.  I was grabbing the door handle to go back out, and a ground hog was standing up looking in.  It was almost dinner.  I do have a friend who I believe knows how to butcher and cook them, so it's not out of the possibly realm.  In all honesty, I am wondering if he came to the door to enjoy some barn cat food.

Weeds.  Weeds everywhere.  No end to them at this point.

Tasted the rhubarb vodka.  It's more of a cinnamon flavor than rhubarb, but good.

Also strained the strawberry vodka, and tasted it too. It's smelled great, but the flavor was so-so.

Made the Garlic scape-Radish spread.  This time I put it in the food processor so it looks different, but it tastes the same.  Thankfully, our radishes that were planted late, are not hot in flavor, but delicious.

I laughed when I saw Tiger sleeping in a heep of packing paper.  Poor guy must of worn himself out playing in it.

Dinner - bourbon marinated steaks on the grill.  New recipe we tried (Americas Test Kitchen, video online).   An 8:30pm dinner no less, sigh.  His 12 hour shifts started yesterday (which turned into a 14 hour day and never saw him until this morning), and we are now told that it will continue into the July 4th weekend, and possibly beyond.  I'm so beyond this work schedule, I thought I'd retire last evening with a little adult drinky drink. 

By the way, that was only the second time to grill anything.  Hubby is the grill man, but guess who is the grill gal now.  I grilled the steaks to perfection.   

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Hot Mess

Tuesday evening, I must have been as tired as my husband.  Late at night, I realized I didn't lock up the chickens.  I had them in their run.  Hubby went out and put them away, but by morning, I also realized I left a load of laundry in the washing machine.  Wednesday was not only a very hot day, but I was a hot mess.

Due to an appt. for our youngest daughter, weeding was delayed (appts always mess up my plan).  It was already up to 83°F by the time we got back home.  I debated and debated.  I watered the flower pots and gave up.  The bugs were terrible and the heat horrible (like any summer).

I put ribeye steaks in a boozy marinade, looked online for any deals on carpet shampooers, purged clothing in my closet, and started a box for the goodwill.

Dinner was easy peasy - grill night.  It was a hot, hot day.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Garden Work Day!

Tuesday it was dry, sunny and hot.  I spent as much time as I could in the garden.  Hoe in hand, and a lot of weeding.  I noticed once again, some of my zinnias didn't come up, and they were purchased seeds.  Darn birds.

The to-do list is off the charts right now.  I feel like I'm going in circles right now.

It's been a HUGE struggle to plant the little bit we planted this year, but my heart sang after seeing the radishes make it through the flood.  Not sure on the potatoes, but I got enough garlic scapes to make garlic scape and radish spread.  My scapes are not that big this year, and garlic doesn't look that great, but they are alive for the most part.

This my friends however, is the herb garden.  Weeds are growing faster than the herbs and it's on the to-do list.  

Here is what I tackled first though  - tomato patch.  Ain't it purty (with a sarcastic sing-song voice)?  I planted them different this year, so I have to hand weed or hoe between plants, and till in the rows.  The plants are closer together with a wide row in between, using up less space for more plants and an easier tie up method.  We'll see how it goes.
I got about 15-16 plants weeded, stakes secured again, and tied up.  By then it was too stinkin' hot.  I'll resume today and the next day until it's ready to till.  Just a hot mess.

I dug up two roses from the north of the property - pain in the bum to keep weeded/watered and to mow around.  Moved them to the flower beds.

Tackled the tall weeds in the rose bed until something hissed at me.   Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  Most likely a snake, and if I can't see it, nope, nope, nope.  Hubby's job now.

After showering and moisturizing for a second time, I sprayed myself down with homemade bug repellent and grabbed a wine slushy.  It was truly "island" time for me at that point.

Had a brief revival break, and was back inside to do dishes and start laundry.  In the midst of doing dishes had to go out to the driveway, where a man was approaching my daughter as she was leaving to go swimming.  Nosey people need to stay off my property and stop worrying about when and how and who I give barn wood too.

Laundry was done much later than normal, but I had expected our friend to come and mow.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits

I finally finished up the strawberries I purchased.  Most of the remaining went into the freezer.

I saved some for Strawberry Delight.  It's the same as my Mom's "Cherry" Delight, but with strawberries - a cheesecake type dessert.

I also started some strawberry vodka.

Although I'm behind in weeding the flower beds and herb garden, the flowers continue to bloom.  

Motherhood can sometimes be a very exhausting.  Our 21 year-old daughter finally made her appearance.  

She was cited for this accident, driving the wrong way in a one way road.  The guy that hit her was on a motorcycle, with no helmet, but thankfully he got back on his bike and rode it home.  Not sure what this will cost her, but I was shaking my head.  Thankfully, she kept up on her own insurance, but the guy still hasn't produced his own proof of insurance.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Homesteader Happiness

The weekend was beautiful.   No rain.  I spent Saturday doing loads of laundry that went out on the line, taking advantage of the weekend weather.  We had a graduation party Sat. evening, so Hubby was able to get off work at his normal time (thank goodness).  Unfortunately, that meant no alone time with him.  It also meant he was too comfortable in his new camping rocker chair, so we didn't get to bed until midnight.  

Sunday Hubby had a day off finally, and I was up and at-um (against my will) at 6am like clock work.  I could not for the life of me sleep in, but he could.  Outdoor work didn't happen due to really needing time together.  There wasn't much we could do - ground still wet, nothing to harvest, other than cut trees down.  We cooked a late breakfast, and took off on a somewhat, long motorcycle ride with two biker friends.   Our 17 year-old joined us too.  So happy to have some "fun" time in the sun.  Talk about happy souls.

Jesse wasn't eating his food over the weekend.  I heated up the meat and sprinkled in some cheese.  He finally ate.  We haven't seen his "Mom" since last Friday morning.  I've already expressed my opinion that it would be better for him to stay here when she moves.  Some times I just don't understand my kids.  Some of them anyway.  

Speaking of kids, our 19 year-old turned 20 yesterday.  I'll be getting in touch with her to possible treat her to lunch or something.

I have lots to do today, but rain is in the forecast today.  We'll see what I can accomplish anyway.  Hubby is back to his 10 hour work shift.  We thought they'd be done with that last week, but nope.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Rainy Day Work ~ Flooded Out

Dirty dish pile started early Thursday morning.  Sausage/potato egg burritos with cowboy candy.  

I canned more strawberry margarita jam.

Froze more strawberries.

The rain just poured down on us.

I also diced up a bunch of onions and popped them in the dehydrator - homemade onion powder.  My supply is getting very low.  Also for winter, when I we get a lot of snow and I need onions to cook with.

I had herbal infused oil to strain, and a tincture to strain.  I had dishes to wash of course too.

I made an iced coffee for an afternoon "pick me up" since Hubby gets home so late now.  It was organic brewed coffee, cooled, a bit of milk, a splash of Bailey's and ice. Mmm!

It' literally poured and poured all afternoon.  I had to turn the dehydrator off until the thunder and lightning stopped.  I also couldn't feed the chickens until it stopped.   The front of our yard flooded and the field across the street.

When I did get out to the barn, and to the mailbox, my heart sank.  My potatoes and radishes were completely underwater.  By evening,  the field east of us flooded, spilling over the highway and into our front yard, flooding the road.  City crew came out with signs, just as I was calling them.  Didn't matter though.  I literally poured a glass of wine and sat on the porch.  I thought I would be calling 911, since idiots ignored the signs.  I saw a truck fish tail and a jeep just about wipe out.  Just a few people slowed to drive through it, but almost every other one plowed through it, throwing water twice the height of their vehicle.

Friday morning, the sun came up brightly, and we had zero rain.  Whew!  I checked on the potatoes when I fed the ladies.  Oh, speaking of the ladies, I am pretty sure out of the 7 chicks I bought, I have 2 ladies and 5 gents.  So, I'm planning on keeping two, giving one to a friend, and offering 2 to a family member who mentioned they want to start raising chickens.  We'll see how it goes I guess.

I got the new grill parts were installed and we fired it up for dinner Friday night.  What a beautiful day!!  The weekend will be dry, sunny and beautiful!  

Friday, June 21, 2019

...from the handiwork journal

Got one of these made for the kids for next Christmas.  Instead of gluing scrap fabric on it, I found some cute stickers at the dollar store.  The "how to" is found on my S.C.R.A.P. blogspot - Magnetic Clipboards with notepad and pen.

. . . getting my knitted dishcloths restocked (big seller), but really need to double this amount before fall.  All a different color, and some with discontinued yarn.

. . . got a few more Teabag Travel Totes crocheted.  They can also hold a few packets of hot cocoa or other small items.

. . . found some "scrubby" yarn on sale and made a few of thinner dish scrubbies to try.  Already delivered one to my Mom to get her opinion.  She wanted a thinner one with her arthritic hands.  These sell for about 4 for $10 on Etsy (pretty high in price for my opinion).  I guess it depends on what you pay for the yarn.  Regular price is $4.24 skein.  Higher if you buy online.  These are so much easier to make vs. cutting netting, but those will eventually get done too.

. . . finished this hand embroidered dish towel.  Just need to iron it to gift.

. . .started on some Christmas Ornaments.  I may not post the final ornament until they are gifted, so you may have to wait to see them.  I actually got 5 of them finished.

. . .started on a Christmas present - Granny Square Scarf.  I just need to get 4 black squares done next.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Rain ~ Strawberries ~ Green Onions

I tried to enjoy the pretty sunrise just before it clouded over Wed. morning, but it wasn't clouds that sent me inside.  Darn barn cat Aurora, gifted me another rabbit.  Directly under my feet.  Had to leave the area until said animal disappeared.

(homemade flourless brownie, ice cream, homemade whiskey butterscotch sauce)

I didn't have to cook Wed. night due to leftovers, and they were delicious.  I have to stock up on chicken when I locate it again (true organic, locally raised).  I still want to visit a farm about 1 hour from home, but I'm waiting for Hubby's looooong work days to end first so we can go together.

Bad photo, but I got out to buy another flat of strawberries - 8 qts.  I figured the rain will delay their picking, and when that happens, they don't offer a deal on them, and they are limited or out.  

Before I tackled freezing some strawberries, I headed to the herb garden and unburied the green onions.  This was before.  Lots of rain, lots of weeds.  I was tickled to plant 7 starts though.  I got it 90% weeded out until I ran into more ants.  Had to stop anyway, it was getting very hot out.

Rain fell all night long and it's still raining today.  I hope to have a handiwork post for you soon.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Puttin' Up Strawberries and other Tidbits ~ Fun in the Run

Hubby tried the strawberry margarita jam and gave me the green light.  He loves it.  Said it was "amazing."  I will be making more if the strawberries are available again.  I do have to say though, it has a lot of foam that needs skimmed off, more so than any other jam I've canned.

Canned another batch of reduced sugar strawberry jam. Froze one quart.  Saving the last qt. for a surprise dessert for the family.

Washed two mountains of dirty dishes.  Only to start to dirty some to prep dinner.

We had a good dry and surprisingly sunny day.  I got the potatoes hand hoed, all but two rows too wet yet.  Green beans are starting to come up - so happy about that.  Two zucchini plants sprouted, along with the greens, and all the grow bags.  Radishes look great, so I hope the sunshine will speed up the process.  I'm hankering for garlic scape - radish spread, radish hashbrowns, and simply eating them.

Filled the clothesline up too, and it was a glorious feeling.  Got the coop mucked (not so fun with the heat now) and deadheaded the petunias I swore I'd never buy again.

Aurora, our only barn cat, brought us a gift to the porch.  Twice.  Two days in a row she has brought baby rabbits.  I guess she found a nest.  Good rodent control, but the front porch? Sigh.

Our 19 year-old came out for another "Father's Day" dinner.  Sigh.  

The meal?

Fried chicken
Mashed tades
Baked Mac n' Cheese
Jalapeno creamed corn
Homemade rolls
Homemade brownie Sundaes with whiskey butterscotch sauce

I would have had a photo, but we were all licking our fingers and Hubby and I were so tired.  Daughter showed up late and brought a friend and stayed a while.  We literally, went to bed afterwards and left the dirty dishes for morning.  All I can say is Mother's Day next year better rock all week long.  I haven't made fried chicken in over 12 years or more.  

Fun in the run, is chasing chickens.  My newbies are too dumb to go up and out the run.  I have to literally put them out, and chase them around and put them in.  I'm thinking I need two new runs with bigger rungs on them.  I know I at least have one hen out of the 7.  Not sure yet on the rest.  I can see 2 roosters though.

Bad news.  Rain arrives tonight, and with a vengeance.  Just what we don't need.  Possible severe storms with it all too.