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, August 29, 2019

Thursday's Thoughts

So, I went and did it again. 

I'll be taking a small hiatus (I typically post a blog post daily) from my blog, but hope to be back soon.  Meanwhile, I'll have my foot elevated. 

About a week and a half ago, I was inside the garage, putting it up, to put camping chairs and tables away.  Daughter's friend put the table against the outside of the door and it slammed down on my foot.  Apparently, if you have varicose veins, an injury (not always, but I'm the lucky one...sigh) can cause pressure in the veins and more injury.

Weeds will be growing and I just don't care.  I hope Hubby and Daughter will help pick from the garden, tend my ladies and gent, get the mail, etc.

I have no idea how to manage a breakfast for the both of them, nor dinner, so we'll see what happens.  I'll manage something.

My survival bag over the next six days.  Praying I don't need it much after that.  Possibly down the road for definite vein surgery. Meanwhile, I'm downing my elderberry tincture for the immune system, and placing an order for real vitamin C.  There will be a prescription picked up today, along with a topical cream, so probiotics are on the grocery list for Hubby to pick up.

Say a prayer, send up good mojo, and good thoughts.  Another decision by my doctor will be made next week after this long holiday weekend.  I'm just glad we didn't have plans, ha ha!  I guess Hubby will be busy, but I'll not be much help to him.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

This and That ~ First Day of School

We enjoyed the weekend weather.  Gosh it was so nice out.  Sweatpants and sweatshirt weather.  Oh my.

The sunrise Monday morning had so much color to it.  Just beautiful!

We got more checked off the to-do list - installed another dead blot and two more new door knobs, replaced all the broken drawer brackets, cleaned up two kitchen drawers and reorganized, cleaned one upper cabinet and reorganized, cleaned up a ton of recycling in the garage and delivered it to recycling, got laundry done a day early since rain is due, Hubby fixed our car, installed a new window switch in one daughter's car, got one hour of mowing done and cleaned down all the cobwebs in the chicken coop.

Here is my new thermometer I was telling you about.  It's made by Thermoworks, and is called the ThermoPop.  It can check temps up to 572°F (not that I need that), but this will make grilling steaks so much easier than my non-instant read thermometer.  The ThermoPop was highly recommended by America's Test Kitchen, and it's not too pricey either.  I'm not an affiliate for this, just sharing in case you are needing one.

Speaking of cooking, here's some of this weeks menu:
-grilled fajitas

-crock pot sweet potato chili and possibly cornbread
-chicken/rice/broccoli casserole, beets
-meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn

-Breakfast, blueberry whole wheat pancakes

Question:  For those who buy Gotu Kola from MRH, where do you buy it when they are out of stock?  I found some at Starwest Botonicals.  Any suggestions?

Also Arnica is sold out at MRH and Starwest Botonicals.  I would love to find some ASAP for making a tea to apply topically to my swelled up ankle (more on that later maybe).  Right now I have to use Epson salts and it's not working all that great.  I have tried to grow it here two years in a row, and both times it didn't like our weather.  If you now of a resource for Arnica I'd love to hear about it.

Finished two bracelets.  No picture.  They went into a shipping box immediately after finishing them.

Daughter picked up my books that were in at the library.  Not sure if it'll be cheaper to build our own bat house or just buy the kit.  I guess Hubby will determine that.

Debby Flowers, I was flipping through my Rosemary Gladstar books and there are tea recipes in them that contain rose hips.  One is the beginner's guide book and the other is the Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health.  Maybe your library has them?

Our 17 year-old starts back to school today.  I'll lose my helper, but Romeo is starting to get into a routine now. I'm definitely getting him a playmate soon. 

We got some rain yesterday and will get more today.  I sure hope the jalapenos are all ripe at once.  I am down to the very last jar of cowboy candy, and jalapenos are anti-inflammatory and aid healthy blood flow.  We love this stuff too.

Sorry for the long ramblings.  I've been away from my blog for a few days.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Crock Pot Jalapeno Creamed Corn

Our jalapenos are starting to roll in.  I picked a few to make crock pot jalapeno creamed corn.  Here is how I make mine.

In a crock pot, heat 6 cups of thawed frozen corn (off the cob - see recipe here).  This corn works great since it already has butter in it.

Add 1/4 stick of organic butter, 8 oz. of organic cream cheese, about 1-1 1/2 cups of organic shredded cheddar cheese and jalapeno to taste.  I just depends on how hot you want it.  Let cook for at least 1 hour, but I have had it in the crock pot for up to 3 at times.  Just watch it and put it on warm if you need to.

It is wonderful to take to cook outs or family gatherings. 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Romeo ~ Life

While picking up chicken feed, I couldn't help but spoil Romeo with a new dog bed.  It's supposed to be on the floor or in his kennel, but obviously it's on the couch, ha ha!  He loves it though.

I got those green beans blanched and put into the freezer.

Just my luck.  Just when we get daughter a car, and I get a vehicle to myself, the car breaks down.  Life.

We canceled our weekend camping  trip to stay home and do the car repairs.  

The weather is absolutely wonderful this weekend too.  Windows are open and air is off. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Whew! Lots Checked off the "To-Do" List!

Lately, it's been puttin' up, stocking up and just plain busyness in the kitchen vs. housework and garden work.  That time will come soon.  Cleaning that is.  We've been getting rain at night, so weeding has halted.  We got more storms last night again.  

Although not all from my garden, I canned one batch of hot banana pepper relish.  It's Hubby's favorite and we did not grow cucumbers this year, so I won't be canning sweet pickle relish.

It should last the 3 of us all winter too.  The jalapenos in it came from the garden and they are good!

I got some organic asparagus blanched and in the freezer.  Three bunches and the ends were saved for soup this coming winter.  I had 1.6# of ends, and my soup requires 2#, so it was labeled accordingly, and I hope to put up more this week or next.
Got more dandelion greens in the freezer, but I need more chard, collards and kale yet.

I made a pan of homemade granola bars with oats, almonds, blueberries and hemp seeds.

I also made 2 trays of homemade beef bouillon cubes, using real ingredients.  These come in handy for soups etc. when I am out of broth/stock in the winter.  They can flavor any sort of beef dish/casserole, soup or stew.

I even checked on the green beans (shocked I had any to pick), and got some laundry on the line.  I also finished a crocheted bracelet and counted beads for another one.

Hubby and I both have come to the realization, that we'll get no tomatoes this year.  There are some here and there, but there is most likely no way we'll be canning one thing this fall.  Sadly.  The worst garden year in 11 years.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hot and Humid

It was so hot and humid yesterday.  I had a smoothie for my lunch.  There was spinach and kale in it too.  Yum.

I put together another emergency crochet kit too.  Most items were only $1 each.

Oh what a mess it is.  It's the last thing to try and save.  The potatoes.

Day 1.  It doesn't look like I weeded much of it, but I un-buried about 8-10 potato plants.  

Day 2.  Not gonna happen.  If anything grew I'll know when I go to dig it all up.  Just not worth the aggravation right now.

It's back to the herb garden and flower beds.   All depends on the rain.  We got more last night.  A lot of it.  The herb garden is a total mess this year.  I don't have enough green onions to keep the grass down.  I'm about ready to dig the entire herb garden up and start over.  Hubby said no, but I'm tired of dealing with the grass. All of my thyme died too.  Maybe it is time to dig the entire thing out  and start all over.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits

Before more morning fog rolled in Tuesday morning.  Pretty too.

I'm using a new method of natural remedy for my bite.  Still not sure what it was or where it happened, but the new method is working good.  I'll post what I did if it heals as fast as I as told.

I armed Hubby with wasp spray last night, and made sure doors were open so he could run in if he had too (last time he ran in a wasp followed him in).  We are hoping this kills them all off and we can start working on the old truck.

It's been difficult to locate hot banana peppers.  Even at local produce stands.   They are never sold in the stores either Tomatoes are slime pickin's too.  It's just limited almost everywhere due to the weather here.

I didn't get my homemade laundry detergent made yesterday, so it's first on today's list.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday

We were so thankful to see the rain arrive.  The garden and flower beds were so dry, not to mention the herb garden (I now call the "weed" garden).  The beets and carrots are very small right now.  I hope we have a good fall season to fatten them up.

We had a family breakfast Sunday morning. On our way there we had a major storm, taking out our power for 3 hours.  It was 86°F but a heat index of 97.  

We came home and Hubby worked on one daughter's car (in the heat no less.  I was watching out the window and saw him running.  Wasps had made a nest in her side mirror and one stung him.  Funny thing is, is that I had just picked plantain, and had fresh to grind up and put a poultice on his bite.  Anyway, car is finally fixed and delivered.  One more "to-do" checked off the list.

Hubby has been pretty good on his to-do list lately.  He even installed a new dead bolt on one door, and has more to go.  His priority now is fixing the old truck.  He plans to pick up a new drawer bracket for me today too.  Another job hopefully checked off this week.

Somehow, over our recent camping trip (best I figure because I woke up Sunday with a red spot on my ankle that was sort of feeling like a burn).  Not sure what it was but most likely in the spider family.  Plantain poultice to the rescue (and homemade neosporin).  Guess I'm going to start wearing tall socks under my jeans next camping trip.  I had shoes on with short socks.  Lesson learned.  We will also check under the camper mattresses each time we pop up the camper.

I finally ordered my instant read thermometer.  It's been a long time waiting on doing this.  I have one, but it's not an instant read.  I was watching America's test kitchen and they recommended it.  Once it arrives I'll share a picture of it.

Today I'm joining Sandra at Dairy of a Stay at Home Mom.  I already have a lot crossed off my to-do list.  I'm up early every day.

On the breakfast plate . . .
Breakfast burrito with scramble made with dandelion greens, and a homemade cinnamon roll.  Cup of organic coffee.

The weather outside is . . .
High of 86°F, Sunny with a chance of thunderstorms again tonight. Possible rain again today too.

Right now I am . . .
Trying to get my daughter to get out of bed.  It's almost 11am.

On my reading pile . . . 
Sorting mail and filing recipes if that counts for reading, ha ha!

On my TV this week . . .
Eat My Dust  and Urban Cowboy- movies on Amazon

On the menu . . .
Cabbage/potatoes and sausage
Cheesy pasta broccoli bake
Blueberry pancakes and sausage


On the to do list . . .
Master bath
Fold towels in laundry basket
Dishes/kitchen clean up
Run dishwasher
Water porch pots
Take clothes off drying racks and put them away
Make a bucket of homemade laundry detergent
Pay school fee 
Make a trip to the store for wasp spray
Place order for drawer brackets
Place order window switch for one daughter's car
Order a new spray nozzle for homemade bug spray
Take recycling
Call for Septic (might actually and finally get done)
A few things need canned this week
Clean up computer area

What I am creating . . .

Finished these two sets of pot holders and started another one.  I hope to have time to start another bracelet - got two more orders.

Looking forward to . . .
Our next motorcycle ride, camping trip - just anything relaxing.

Looking around the house . . .
I'm getting some ideas for different storage items in the kitchen.  Already ordered some containers for my canning rims

From the camera . . .
A picture that daughter took when Romeo had a sleepover weekend with the kids at their apt.  Zuri is warming up to him.  What a happy sight for sure.  King is too, Romeo just curled up with Zuri.

Thinking about . . .
Building a bat house.  We really need to get the bats out of the barn.

Prayers . . .
The world in general, private requests, super quick healing of my darn spider bite.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Weekend Work ~ What's Growing and What's Not

Sunrise from a few days ago.  We are finally getting rain this morning.  Even thunderstorms.

Now that we have car shopping off the list, we can get back to other jobs this weekend.  Youngest daughter now has her own car and can drive to school.  No more long bus rides and she's very very happy.

What was on the weekend work list?  Well, cutting more trees.  That's done.  We had to put a new part in our other daughter's car and pray it's the fix for it.

I had to make homemade cinnamon rolls too, for a breakfast with the family.  Why I volunteered rolls is beyond me.  Sigh.  I know they'll appreciate them, but I'm cutting them all in half so I (he he) don't have to make two pans for the entire clan.  I also had to make 2 pans of over night baked french toast.  

Schools are starting, so it's already an onslaught of fundraisers for youngin's in our family.  I'm only going to do a few this year.  They are getting too expensive.

Among the weeds, my gladys are starting to bloom.  I'm getting a few pink and white right now.

Second picking of beans.  Pretty pathetic.  Just a rotten year.  Probably our worst ever.  I'm about ready to pull tomato stakes too.  I am pretty sure, unless we have a warm fall (and a wet one), we'll get nothing from the 50-some plants and it just makes me sick.  We didn't get more than a few red raspberries this year, and now the blackberries are dying off before even ripening.  

Has anyone ever put scrambled eggs in a crock pot for a group breakfast or brunch?  Just wondering if they dry out or if it can be done successfully?  

Friday, August 16, 2019

This and That

We are gearing up for another heat wave.  It'll be in the high 90's early next week.  No rain here.

Another coyote.  This morning.  It crossed the road and over the country highway.  Urgh.

As for moving, it all depends on location, new job and of course daughter's schooling.  Her school means the world to her and to us too.  Speaking of her, her internship is over with now.  She'll get a few weeks with her pup before school starts.

I did a meet and greet at a rescue with the pup.  The dog was about 1 year old and it was not a good match.  There will be others.  

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Stocking Up ~ Possibilities

Located some organic pork, so a batch of meatballs went into the freezer, and provided dinner recently. Gotta do this before the freezer fills up. 

Picked up 10# of blueberries, but almost didn't get them.  I lost track of the season.  Oops.

Got a bit of yellow squash in the freezer (again, not from my garden)

Got a bit of green beans in the freezer (again, not from my garden this year).

Scored a free book from the post office.  It's a small post office, and only open 2 hours a day.   They now have free books inside if you are lucky to get there during their hours.

We are talking about moving now.  Maybe within the next year or two.   We've been talking about it for a few days now.   We are sick of the weather issues here.   We are serious about it too.  We are also talking about some winter adventures to get out of the house this year, but if it's as bad as last winter, we'll be stuck here.  I guess we'll see.  

There is also the possibility of pulling the tomato stakes and mowing the darn thing down.  Seriously.  I picked tomatoes and all were rotten but one and there were only about 5 to pick.  

Our 20 year-old daughter came over to watch a movie with her younger sister.  Of course to play with the puppy too.  I had to laugh as I heard her moaning over her dinner.  I know she doesn't cook much and eats poorly, so I'm glad she comes over for dinner too.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

....from the handiwork journal

It's a long shot, but if any of my crocheting followers have this yarn, and want to get rid of it (could barter too), I am looking for more of it.

It has been discontinued.  Pisgah yarn and dye, #198 Black Cherry (cotton, a variation of pinks, gray, black and white).  I've had a request for a set of hot pads, but I don't have enough of it to make another set.

....working on this beaded crocheted bracelet now.

. . . finished these two orders and got them shipped.

. . . and this bracelet.  I'm working on bracelets to stock up for the fall holiday craft show.  One person had to back out of her order (left her husband and doesn't have the money), and the other hasn't responded).

....spray painting more clipboards.  If you are making these, now is a good time to buy the pens for them.  They are on sale for $1.00 with school starting.  They need a few more coats of paint, and then I start painting a few more.

....still working on a set of hot pads.  Last piece to finish before I crochet them together.

....starting to make us some new washcloths, but with a new pattern.  The pattern is free online - Moss Stitch Washcloth (The Stitchin Mommy). I'm going to make more this winter for the camper too.

(old photo, but you get the idea)
....cutting up more egg cartons for campfire fire starters.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits

Not from our garden, but organic.  I got 4 pint bags in the freezer so far.  Organic is pretty difficult to locate, so when I see it right now, I'm buyin' it.

Our first picking.  It's a meal, but nothing yet to freeze. Poo!  You can tell how horrible of a year it's been for us. 

It's still raining.  Yay!  The garden will love it.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Camping Trip!

Got back from our first camping trip last night.  Puppy spent the weekend with his buddies Zuri and King, and with the kids.

We really needed a weekend of camping too.  I took along some home canned hot pepper relish too.  We had guests Friday night, so I made some foil packet dinners to cook over the campfire with sausage, potatoes and beans.  Breakfast was easy to pack, meats, eggs, potatoes and bread for french toast.

What's your favorite "go-to" natural remedy to take in your "first aid" kit when traveling.  I take chickweed salve and homemade neosporin, and sometimes mullein tincture.  Would love to know what you suggest and why.  I'm considering digestive bitters next trip.

Friday morning I also baked us some Einkorn peanut butter cookies to take with us.  Mmm!

Before we left I made sure the bedding was already washed and back on the bed, Hubby's work clothes washed and dried, and so forth.  It really saves a headache of rushing around when we get back home.

Speaking of heading home, just before we got on the highway, someone rolled down their window at a light and told us a piece of metal was dragging.  Sure enough it was a jack on the camper that somehow came apart (can be easily fixed).  Thank goodness I took a yarn project.  We tied it up with some pretty cotton yarn (ha ha!).

Caption this . . .

Hubby not only left my garden hose in daughter's car, but left his coffee mug.  Although we have many half finished projects like this, we are getting some done too.

I dug out some home canned caramelized onions and home canned pizza sauce.  Guess what we had before going camping?  

Einkorn crust BBQ pulled pork pizzas with home grown green onions (which are limited in harvest this year).  Crust recipe is online with Einkorn Flour's website, caramelized onions recipe is from the Blue Ball canning book, and I hope to post the pizza sauce recipe during our tomato harvest.  San Marzano tomatoes make the best sauces.

Tip:  I was gifted a set of thin, flimsy cutting boards a few years ago.

They are great to slide under the pizza crust to move it to the pizza pan.  Works like a charm.

Update:  We let the rhubarb vodka sit longer and boy the next tasting was very good.  Hubby loved it.
As for the garden, we are lacking rain terribly here.  We go weeks without it, and I'm watering with well water right now.  The tomato plants are growing, but at snail's pace.

We are however, getting rain early.  I can't put the laundry on the line as planned (rain wasn't due until 4pm), but I'm thrilled we are getting rain.

I have much to do today.  I better get off the "Procrastination Station" and get to work.