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, July 31, 2019

From Pile to File Recipes ~ Other Random Bits

The baked french toast was a hit.  The idea was to find a recipe for "picky" eaters, to take to the next breakfast.  Hubby's family has many "picky" eaters.  It'll go on the "potluck" take it list now. Sorry for the dark photo, but it was pretty early in the morning when I took it.

Speaking of garden work, Hubby told me I could have the day off and to "do nothing."  Hm.  I told him the tomatoes still needed a bit of weeding, but I'd try to stay indoors if I could.  It was a hot day out while freeing up the green peppers and jalapeno plants.

I did get 40 cups of sweet corn put in the freezer.  I have more to do today.

Husband:  "What are you making?"
Me:  "Washcloths for us."
Husband (all excited and smiling) "Wow, you are really gonna make something for us?" 

Ha ha!  I really do create and sell more than for us, when I should keep up with us too.  We need them anyway.  Like I said, I hope to have a handiwork post soon.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits ~ How to Freeze Sweet Corn off the Cob

Yesterday's sunrise before I got started on the garden work.

Rain was due at 4pm.  Time was cut short outside.  It was also already 83°F by 9:30am, but I went back out after another load of laundry and un-buried the green pepper plants. All but one.  A swarm of wasps continued to gather water and mud to make a nest somewhere, and they were around the very last plant I needed to weed.  I'll get it done this morning.

Tried a new recipe for overnight breakfast - baked french toast.  I have made it before, but with cream cheese and blueberries.  I just wanted cinnamon/brown sugar ones this time.  We'll all do a taste test this morning.

I have been asked about how we freeze our corn.  Here is the link to my post with the recipe for freezing it off the cob:  Puttin' Up Sweet Corn.  It is very good, and when I thaw it to cook, I do not add water. Just the salt (you can also add salt before freezing).  As the corn cooks, it will produce it's own water.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday

Baby red-headed woodpecker.  We are thinking of leaving this dead tree for the birds.  The woodpeckers love it.  We have seen 3 of them now.  

Saturday we hit the garden early.  However, after a lot of curse words from Hubby's mouth (I warned him), we pooped out early as well. 

We showered, sipped down more coffee, and went on a long motorcycle ride.  Boy it felt great.

Sunday we hit the garden early again.  Tomatoes are dug out, and some of the potatoes.  Green beans were tilled and a lot of weed whacking accomplished.  All pepper plants look good, and we have blossoms on the squash (crossing our fingers).  

Potatoes.  Nope.  Not doin' it!  Hubby weed whacked the tops, I'll water and see if I can find the plants.  If not, we are mowing it down.  

We won't be planting a garden next year at all.  Not until we can hire someone to mow the pasture or purchase a tractor and bush hog ourselves.  It's just dumb and so much work, especially when we have the heavy spring rain followed by a heat wave.  It's ridiculous.  I'll really miss my home grown food, but I do agree.  No garden until the pasture can be controlled.  Hubby has agreed that we may just only plant in grow pots if we plant anything next year.

We picked up corn finally.  There are no deals this year as of yet.  I don't blame them with the season we've had.  We are down to our last 6 bags of corn in the freezer.  We bought from a new source, and will boil a few cobs to taste test.  Corn was not so tasty from anywhere last year.  We picked up 2 bushels.

We had another get together for a niece's birthday party.  The party was mid afternoon thankfully.

I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom today.  I'm up early.  Working in the garden again this morning, so I can get back in early.  It's gonna be a humid day.

On the breakfast plate . . .
Have no idea, it's 5am right now as I'm posting.  I have to get out to the garden early.  Don't worry I'll eat something.

The weather outside is . . .
High of 89°F, 40% chance of rain tonight and tomorrow morning.

On my beside table . . .
Readers, notebook, pen, water glass

On my reading pile . . .

Movies I watched . . .
Not much, heading to the library for movies this week.

On the menu . . .
-Spaghetti with homemade sauce using the last 3 bags of homegrown tomatoes from the garden
-Tacos - didn't make this last week
-Sloppy Charlies and Melting Potatoes (new potato recipe), corn on the cob
-Baked French Toast and sausage for a few breakfasts
-Leftovers  ( all in no particular order  )

On the to-do list . . .
Bake bread
Work in the gardens - it's a daily thing
Clean fridge out
Sweep off porch
Clean up kitchen
Shuck and freeze corn
Make some campfire fire starters
Write up a camping menu - hoping to have fresh homegrown green beans by the time we go (foil packet dinner)

What I am creating . . .
Washcloths for us.  Pattern is free online.  These are larger than the ones I sell and a different pattern.  I think I will make a few and try them out first.   Then it's back to bracelets if the people decide on colors for the remaining orders.  Check back soon for another handiwork update.

Looking forward to  . . . 
Right now, I literally am looking forward to having the entire veggie garden weeded and tilled.

Looking around the house . . . 
It needs cleaned up, but on dry days, the garden wins.  It's just how it is.

From the camera . . .

Not the greatest pictures, but we have lots of deer this year.

One of my simple pleasures . . .
Slipping into PJ's by 4pm, and eating dinner in bed watching a movie.  Usually this happens if it's been a crock pot dinner day and I've been outside working in the garden, and come in hot, sweaty tired and needing another shower.

Praying . . .
No particular friend requests, us, the kids

Saturday, July 27, 2019

This and That

The babies are hatched now, and being fed constantly.  I'm sure they'll be flying out soon.  Doesn't take them long.  Hopefully before my plant dies.

Our neighbors, about 3-4 fields away got solar panels installed.

My zinnias are finally blooming, and they are feeding our hummingbird and the butterflies.

Our dinner one night - crock pot beef stroganoff.  I didn't have homemade noodles, so those were Amish made.  I just haven't had time to restock noodles but dinner was fabulous.

TIP:  To make the beef very tender I learned this from a cooking show.  Although in the show they used soy sauce for their particular sauce recipe, here's what I did - add a bit of baking powder and corn starch and a bit of liquid to meat and let sit 20 minutes.  I used Worcestershire sauce and the beef literally fell apart.

Another night's dinner, but I was not feeling the whole heat up the house at 450°F thing.   Biscuits and sausage gravy, fried organic potatoes, scrambled eggs, and baked apples.  I did it somewhat early.  Once again, daughter used the puppy as an excuse not to learn how to bake them.  Sigh.  I don't think I get any of my kids to learn anything about baking from scratch. 

I am always asked, "how do you get the layers in those?"  I use only organic ingredients, and add the milk last, cold from the fridge (whole, organic).  I also slice the butter in half, flip it once, cut in half again (long way), and then make slices.  I drop the dots of butter, and hand cut them into the dry ingredients.  I also roll the dough the least amount I have to.  The last biscuit is typically the one that doesn't have the layers.

Baked the apples in my crock pot this time, and it was delicious.  I'll have to remember this for a breakfast with the family.

My butterflies now have a water source.  I picked the "chip and dip" dish up at the grocery store, 70% off.  Works perfect.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Good Gravy!

Everywhere I looked, there was a job to get done.  UGH!  It was also intern day, so outdoor time was limited (again).  Puppy duty day.

Dishwasher needed emptied and reloaded.  Laundry needed done, crockpot dinner started, yard picked up, puppy pool emptied and brought up, hose pulled in (mower guy showed up), etc.  

Bathroom needed cleaned.  Kitchen table cleaned off.  Carpets needed vacuumed.  Dog needed brushed.  Beef needed cooked for Jesse.  I needed to mail in a paper for daughter for her intern work.

Trash needed to go out.  Chickens needed tending.  I got more orders for hot pads, but need to make them also.  Library books needed to be returned.  I needed to figure out what to make and take to a cookout this weekend, and the following (when is a girl gonna get time for a motorcycle ride with all this stuff going on?  Just say no?).

Recipes needed written and filed.  Senior pictures needed taken (again, day 2).  My tote that I store my garden starts in, with shelving needed put back in storage.  Boxes needed broke down and stored to use in the garden.  Flower beds and herb garden still need weeded.  Fridge needs cleaned out still.

Cake decorating doo-dads needed put away, the rest of the radishes needed pulled....list is endless right now.


I just said no after 2pm and took a long break on the porch.  Cold coffee with a splash of goodness did the trick.

Ignore.  Ignore.  Ignore that list for now.

Here is what I did get done, and it wasn't on the list.....

This is where I planted the radishes, sweet potatoes and other potatoes.  Grass is about 4 feet high.  I got half the radishes dug up.  Some are still small, so I'm weeding out the grass now.  Plants look good despite.  I got all the garlic but what I couldn't find dug up, and all the green beans weeded.  One row was a fail.  I just dug up the plants that lived (about 5 sadly) and moved them to the other row.  Hubby has permission to mow it down for me.

I got the radishes trimmed and scrubbed, and garlic in an area to dry.  Bulbs are much smaller.  

I am mowing down the garlic bed and saying goodbye to it.  We will not be using it, and downsizing.  I'll plant the garlic in the other garden.  We have plans to rip up all the raised beds and rebuild and do it differently as well.

A tractor just went to the top of the wish list.  If the pasture isn't mowed down, we have this issue every year, and the spring rain made it worse this year.   We may look to hire someone this year though.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Hi Ho, Hi Ho It's Off to Weed I Go!

Yesterday's sunrise and guests that came by.  It wasn't the prettiest sunrise, but still pretty.

Due to excessive rain, followed by a heat wave, this happened.  To no fault of myself either.   I blame the weather.

Green beans are in there somewhere.  Oh what a mess it is.

Three hours of work, before I had to take care of the puppy (not happy about missing out on my work time when she interns).  Not all survived, but I should get a good amount.  One plant already has starts on it.  The last row is iffy.  Tall grass everywhere.  I put an S.O.S. out to one daughter who I know will come help withe either puppy or garden.  I hope to get that help soon.  

I hope to have a photo when it's tilled, but no promise.  I must move onto the potatoes or tomatoes next.  They are a hot mess too.  Row of wax beans looks great.  Beans on the plants too.  Second row (green beans), about 1/2 survived.  First row is a lost cause - only 4 plants survived.

It rained after I took those photos, and too wet to weed.  I will be heading out there again today.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Good Weather

The weather turned absolutely beautiful.  First things first - weed.  Oh where to start? The garden of course.  Woke up to a very nice, camping weather, of 59°F with a high of 80.  This week will be so much better than last week's heat wave.

By the way, daughter's school uniforms were free this year.  Woohoo to that!  She got two of them too.  I didn't have to fork out $180.00 like last school year.  

It's sort of bittersweet this coming year.  Last year for her and last kid to finish high school.  They are growing up way too fast.

We have bats in our chicken barn.  I found a baby dead on the floor by the door.  I guess they love our place to come nest and have their babies.  I just hope they leave soon, since the babies are getting born.  We've talked about building a bat house.  We may need to now.

My husband has been hankering for corn dogs, and I caved.  I don't fry anything, so he was a very happy man.  I have to admit, they were so good.  Much better than fair food.  All organic ingredients, and non-gmo beef hot dogs.  He's still talking about them this morning.  I told him he can only have them once a year.  His response?  "Can we have them every three months?" Ha ha ha ha!  Nope.  By the way the recipe is online with Stay at Home Chef  - Homemade Hand Dipped Corn Dogs.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits

If you saw yesterday's post, I was up pretty early. I had to laugh when daughter came downstairs, and actually put her pup in the kennel.  She said, "he's been out but wake me up at 8am."

Of course I let him out, fed him and loved on him until 8am.  We needed to kennel him to go to the school and do the "school" thing, which was a good half hour drive just to get there.  Poor pup.  I so wanted to take him with us.

The school stuff messed up my day at home.  Add to that a trip to Michael's and the Dollar Tree.  My last yarn order came with half missing.  I had to see if I could pick up at least one ball of black.  I emailed about the missing items, but haven't heard back yet.  

We also had to stop at my Mom's house.  She wanted milkweed plants so I pulled some from my flower bed and dropped those off.

It was almost a perfect day to weed.  It drizzled all morning long. but by the time we were back home, there was no time.  It was also hot again.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday

Romeo just love Jesse so much.  We snapped this photo quickly, as it was such a precious moment.   Jesse is starting to tolerate the little ball of energy, and we are loving it.  He is such a good puppy.  We'd like to get a fence up now, and get another puppy to grow up with him.  

Saturday we heated up to 95°F with a heat index of 104°F.  It got up to 110°F just 20 minutes north of us.  We needed to go to town for some odds and ends.  Mainly, because we ran out of organic coffee.  I did NOT want to go.  I did not want to get dressed, no go outside for a darn thing.

Sunday we cooled down just a hair. We had a long day in the kitchen Saturday.  I baked homemade cinnamon rolls for a planned family breakfast.  Sunday morning came, and people changed the time to a brunch, so we couldn't go.  Oh darn.  We got all those rolls to ourselves.  We also baked a birthday cake for my step-daughter.  Actually, Hubby and our youngest daughter did.  Hubby dropped one pan out of the oven, but the cake survived (ha ha ha!).

I told him I am done baking cakes for the kids, so it was his job this time around.  Nope.  Not doin' it.  I also reminded him to never volunteer my cooking/baking time before asking.  He did not ask this time, so I was a bit on edge Saturday.  The heat didn't help either.  Youngest Daughter was to frost the cake and backed out.  The cake was put in containers and left to frost Sunday morning.  He slept in.  She slept in.  I had puppy duty.  I was not about to frost it either.

I'm up at 4am again. Sigh.  We had a tornado warning for the town just a short drive south of us last night.  Thankfully, no tornado. 

I'm joining Sandra this morning at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  Hopefully you'll enjoy this post.  I know it's a doozy of one.  

On the breakfast plate . . .
I can show you what we ate for breakfast the other day.

Hubby made us his famous omelets.  English muffins with home canned strawberry margarita jam.

The weather outside . . .
It's 69°F and raining, and a high of 80 today.  Much cooler.

Right now I am . . .
In my PJ's sipping nice hot coffee posting this.

On my bedside table . . .
Water cup, homemade lip balm, stuff that needs put away.

On my reading pile . . .
Nothing.  No time despite the heat we just had.

Movies I watched . . .
Canceled our Hulu, just what ever is on Amazon.

On the menu. . .
Biscuits and gravy, fried potatoes and scrambled eggs, and baked apples
Homemade corndogs, corn on the cob, homemade baked beans
Grilled chicken kabobs with veggies on them.
Crock pot Beef Stroganoff, broccoli

On the to-do list . . . 
Sweep and mop kitchen
Start shampooing carpets
Wash rugs
Mail wedding response card
Clean up computer area
Wash winter coats and hang on the clothesline
Weed, put down more mulch in flower beds
Go to daughter's career school for registration/uniforms
Library returns
Make sauerkraut
Cook up a breakfast scramble for the next few days
Do more spray painting of mini clipboards
Hopefully get a rooster delivered this week too.
Try a new recipe if I remember to do it (ha ha!)
Freeze more dandelion greens
...yeah it's a long list, but for the week, and it all depends on the weather.

What I am creating . . .

More crocheted beaded bracelets.  I have 7 more to make after this one.

Here are some of the finished canning lid Christmas tree ornaments.  I'll have it up on my S.C.R.A.P. Blogspot later this fall.

Looking forward to . . .
Our first camping trip. Soon.  Very soon.  Puppy may go on this trip too.  We'll see.  Depends on weather.

Looking around the house . . .
New dog gates need unpacked and put up.  House needs toddler proofed.  I'm running round the house telling Romeo, "drop that" and "what you have now?"

From the Camera. . .
Made homemade cinnamon rolls for the first time in over 15 years.  Even taught my 17 year-old now.  Well, sort of.  Kind of.  She had to take the puppy out, so she missed a few steps.  These take time to make, so they will never be made early in the morning for breakfast.  Lots of rest times and rise times, but oh so good!  If interested, I'll post the recipe next time I make them, and I will be making them again (promised one daughter).

What I am wearing . . .
PJ's.  It's only 5am right now.

Prayers. . .
Friend requests (one person in hospice)

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Beating the Heat

We woke up to almost 80°F at 5:30am yesterday.  Yeah, it started out hot, and continued.  I could only hope we got more rain.  We hit a high of 106°F heat index yesterday.  

Woke up to the sweet sound of rain early this morning.  It'll be hotter today than yesterday, so I'm sure I'll be taking crushed ice to the chickens.

I got another bracelet done (requested colors).  Seven more to make yet.  I actually got 10 orders.  They are turning out so nicely too, but I'll be raising the price.  It's a good way to use indoor time, but the bathroom needed cleaned too.  Youngest was home, so she helps count the 196 beads for me, and helps string them.  I may need to raise the price after these 7 are all done.  I hope to get some made this summer for the fall holiday show I do.  I think they would sell very well.  So glad I tried the art of crocheting with beads.  

Carpet shampooing will happen after this humidity leaves though.  The dehumidifier is going strong, and I have to empty it several times a day right now.

We are invited to a family breakfast, and they are super picky eaters.  They won't eat onions, bell peppers, jalapenos - nothing but plain stuff.   I had no idea what to take, until I remembered my very old homemade cinnamon rolls.  Then again, they take walnuts.  Wasn't sure if anyone didn't like walnuts, so I asked first.   Next time, I'll take overnight blueberry french toast (if I can find my recipe). Photos to come soon.

I also dug around for a recipe for the crock pot using chicken.  I did NOT want to leave the house in this heat, so I used homemade ranch dressing (dry mix) to make crock pot "crack" chicken casserole.  Thankfully, I had frozen peas and bacon in the freezer.  It was good too.  Easy and delicious.

I infused nettle tea for the both of us, but Hubby needed it the most.  He came home from work feeling very sickly from the heat.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Friday Finish and Other Random Stuff

Another new pattern to try out.  I love it!  Kitchen hand towel.  It however, takes 2 balls of yarn, and the kit it came in, uses yarn made in China (75% cotton, 25% polyester).  I couldn't make and sell them for a good price, so this one goes in my own kitchen, and some may make it in Christmas gift baskets.  Just depends on if I can find 100% cotton at a good price.  I don't like Herrschner's yarn  (Heritage Cotton) they sent in the kit.  Like I said, made in China, and so far every ball has had imperfections in them. 

Our 17 year-old daughter wants one for her Hope Chest, but said she's "never moving out" ha ha ha!  She's gotten the chance of many trips this year, and she's loving it, so it's on the "winter" to-do crochet list.  

The heat is now rising upon us.  I packed salty nuts and watermelon in Hubby's lunch.  It's so bad outside.

I baked a new breakfast casserole early in the morning to avoid heating up the house.  I'll let you know what the taste testers say.  It's hashbrowns, spicy sausage, eggs and seasonings, milk, chilies and cheese.  Recipe is from Allrecipes, adapted with organic ingredients.

I also boiled eggs for a cold egg salad sandwich.  We ate cold apple/pecan salads again the night before.  Just trying to keep us fed, but with colder options.

Don't mind the dirty house, but a wren literally made a nest in the flower pot near the front door.  I have to deadhead it and water it and well....may have to tap it to have her fly out to get that job done (daily). Photo was taken early Thursday morning.  That's why the temp on the outdoor thermometer is not to high.

We got a rain storm in the afternoon yesterday, and it was random and much needed.  If we don't get a random storm today, I'll need to water to cool down the expected 115° heat index on the garden today.  Chickens will get ice 2-3 times if needed too.  This is the worst heat we have ever had.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Heat Wave Rolls In ~ Puppy Cuteness Continues

Wednesday we heated up to 86°F by 11am, and the heat index was 95°F.  Just the start of our pre-warned heat wave.

This is from this morning's sunrise.  The haze is so thick from the humidity.  I'll have to water the heck out of everything today.  At least we have well water, so they'll still all get a good soak of goodness.

I went to town and Romeo finally got his pool!  Thanks Mother Em.  Farm and Home still had some.  He's not on board with it yet, but with a bit of training he'll like it.  He didn't mind standing in it in this heat.   After a soak in the pool and some running around....

....this happened, lol!

Up until about 2pm, I was up-and-at-um, cleaning my much needed bedroom.  Try putting away umpteen things that were never put in their home during the night shift ordeal.

I do love my new sweeper.  Boy the carpet needed it.  With the heat wave and energy crisis notices to conserve, I stopped by 2pm.

I enjoyed a nice cold wine slushy and then trotted out to ice the chickens and gents.

I'll resume cleaning in the early morning.  Right after I get the flowers and garden watered.  Then it's off to ice the chickens.  Again.