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, October 31, 2019

Rain ~ Cold Temps

Rain moved in yesterday as predicted. Our temperature is to drop considerably tonight.  They say the rain will go on for 36 hours.

I went from "I'll just clean the hallway" (where people just drop stuff on the floor coming in and the boot pile is a mess), to "I think I should make...." and here is what got done . . .

Homemade English Muffins were made.

Einkorn Peanut Butter Cookies were made.

Einkorn pizza dough was made for the freezer.

I would have made pie crust crumbles, but I need to get some flour.  It remains on the re-stock it list.

I got zero cleaning done, other than dishes.  Our 20 year-old daughter came out for dinner, and helped with making it.  I was totally excited she wanted to help.  Although I told my husband he would only get homemade corn dogs once a year, he got them.  I told them no "french fries" though.  They got oven roasted potato wedges and they were fantastic.  I used a recipe online (Tasty) with homemade garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, etc.

Update on our SIL - he's still in ICU due to experiencing Afib.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Fall Colors ~ Tomatoes are Out!

We are seeing some beautiful fall colors right now.  Yesterday, we were blessed with another dry, but cooler and cloudy day.  Dry is the key word.  I put on snow boots (still can't get my ankle in my muck books, and high tailed it out to pull tomato stakes.  Rain arrives today, and for about 24 hours straight.  Inside work resumes today.

Yesterday I finally (finally, as my family patiently waited), got homemade (organic) sausage put into a dandelion/egg/jalapeno/potato and egg scramble.

Speaking of potatoes, I pulled the sweet potatoes from my grow pot.  They are pretty long, but only the diameter of about a quarter or less.  They needed a longer growing season.    I'm saving them for another breakfast.

The tomato stakes and wimpy tomato plants have been yanked.  I was utterly and fantastically surprised to see jalapenos.  I'm not sure how hot they are, but we are about to find out.  Yum.  I was just pleased to make a bit of progress in the deconstruction of the garden.

Whiskey - Bacon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.  Oh so good.  I sure missed them, but now it's the season, we are enjoying (just not homegrown this year).

We have a stray young cat coming around.  It responds to "kitty, kitty, kitty" and came somewhat close to the house.  It also comes to the cat food bowl.  I'm trying to get close so we can give it a safe place this winter, but it's slow going.

We tasted "Cowboy Beans" and they are somewhat like Four Beans and Sausage.  Similar taste, just different beans and meat.  It was good, but nothing to rave about, but a good hearty one pot everything meal. 

We have decided to put getting a rescue puppy/dog on hold until next year.  I need my leg healed first.  Medical bills are rolling in, and will roll in more if the surgery is approved.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits ~ Homemade Croutons

I had my first yarn stolen by Romeo.  Sigh.  Goodbye Blue Hawaii crochet thread, and hardly used.  A chair was left out and not pushed in and in a millisecond, he was up on the chair and out with the yarn.

Got three sticky notes taken down and off the to-do list.  Woohoo for that.  Propane is on the way.

I got one of our 3 porches cleaned up.  Flower pots dumped, coolers put away, and other misc. items.  One down, two to go.  I do need to re-do the outdoor winter cat house.  It needs cleaned out and re-packed with straw.

Homemade Croutons
6 slices organic whole wheat bread (or baked bread)
2 tsp. homemade Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. homemade garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup organic olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.  I like to put everything in a bowl and toss as I drizzle the oil, but you could also do it all on the baking dish.  Bake 14-16 minutes or until crisp enough.  

Freeze until needed.  We add these to soups and salads

Tip:  I used these for "bread crumbs" in recipes.  I bring them to room temperature, from the freezer, and grind them up in my food processor.

Tip:  Too lazy to bake bread?  Or no time?  Look for day old marked down organic bread at the grocery store.  I got one loaf for $1.29 and sometimes they are $.99.  I was able to get two batches from one loaf.  The last few pieces were tossed to the chickens.

We were very blessed with sunny weather yesterday, and a high of 67°F.  I took advantage of it and cleaned the side door porch completely off.

Guess what I saw on the front porch?

A wheel bug.  Apparently, after asking what it was, I found out it's a wheel bug.  It was put to it's death quickly.  I am told they come form TX via semi shipments etc.  Lovely.  We had our share of semi's this summer with another highway closed.  It's back open, but now I'm wondering how many more I have around the front porch.  I read it's bite is nasty and worse than a bee.  Can anyone verify this?  I have never seen this bug in the entire time we've lived here.

I called the surgeon's office finally.  They re-sent the "under the knife" procedure to the insurance now.  Not what I wanted but I will update once insurance takes their good ol' time answering this request. 

Update:  Our son-in-law is now in ICU.  I will update as we get them.  Thank you for good thoughts, vibes and prayers.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday

It's now cold weather handiwork, winter coat weather, but more so hurry-up-and-get-it-done outdoor work weather. 

A recent conversation on the porch with Hubby got us talking.  We talked about what we would never do again as a homesteader - deal with black walnuts.  

The other day workers were going up and down the country highway, and cutting back trees near the power lines.  Our black walnut tree is one of them.  I looked out the window and saw the guy on the ground throwing black walnuts at the guy in the bucket.  It gave me a chuckle.  I thought to myself, his hands are gonna be black when they drive off.

I then remember my hands after peeling those walnuts.  Yeah, with two pairs of gloves, my hands burned for days after that.  The tree is getting old, so it may become firewood.  Who knows.

Another thing I won't do ever again - buy straight run chickens. 

We have a plethora of grasshoppers. I mean a plethora, so much that when I took the dog out in slippers I felt something up in my jeans near my thigh.  I shook my pants twice and out popped a grasshopper at my ankle (but it was in panic mode as you know I was bitten by a spider - note to self - boots on always).  There was some chicken free-ranging going on to reduce the bug population.

You never know what works for your homestead unless you at least try it, so there are no regrets of trying.  I still would like to raise either angora goats or alpaca in the future, but who knows.

We canceled our camping trip that was for last weekend.  The weather went to a low of 37° one night and 90% chance of rain all day Sat.  It wouldn't be fun to camp and not cook over a campfire (we do all our meals over the campfire).  I was okay with that.  It would not have been fun to put down the camper in the rain either.

I started more deep cleaning again.  Let's hope I get it done this time, and before the holidays. 

I got a bag of clothes and hangers donated to a church, and passed down some tops and shoes to Youngest Daughter.  

Today I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. 

On the breakfast plate . . .
Have no idea yet.  It's 6:04am right now.

The weather outside is  . . .
Should be 65°F and sunny

As I look out my window . . .
It's pitch dark out right now.

Right now I am . . .
Drinking coffee in my PJ's and trying to wake up

As I look around the house . . .

This arrived!  Thank you so much Rebecca!  Can't wait to use it too.

On the to-do list . . .
-make a 2nd batch of homemade croutons
-make homemade sausage
-continue to deep clean bedroom/bedroom closet
-continue to deep clean hallway
-re pot a houseplant
-clean off driveway side porch
-make a trip to the post office
-go to the library
-purge Halloween totes

On the menu . . .
Homemade Corn dogs, and (gulp) homemade fries
Sausage sandwiches with home canned cabbage/beet relish
Cowboy Beans (Crock pot)
Mama Pea's Lentil Burgers
Leftovers in there somewhere....

Snack:  Hummus and Einkorn Chips

Breakfast:  Homemade English Muffins or Bagels, Homemade Sausage for patties

Currently reading . . .
Nothing right now, just blogs right now when I can

On the TV . . .
We finished Goliath, so we are looking for a new series to watch.

What I am creating . . .
I finally had time to dig through my yarn stash.  I am making a scarf for a daughter (had the colors wrong, but now they are correct).  I also got an order for an XL hot pad, so that's started.  

I also got more netting cut, so I'll have yellow dish scrubbies soon too.  I'm looking for more fall craft shows, now that the November show has been canceled (due to it being the same day as the OH/MI game.

New recipe I tried or want to try . . .
Cowboy Beans, Crock Sausage/Pasta Dinner, Baked Spaghetti, Taco Dip

Favorite photo from the camera . . .

Prayers . . .
Our son-in-law (married to our daughter who just lost their infant son) who is having open heart surgery today, myself (leg, insurance denied the easier procedure), our daughter and grand niece who lost their babies, a friend's mother, our older two daughter's (they seemed to have left the universe), and other personal requests

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Weather ~ Memory Lane

We woke up to extreme wind outside.  The rain has stopped, but it's too dark to see if we got damage to the trees or barns (or house for that matter).  

Romeo is up crying on a squeaker toy this morning.  He misses his Mom again.  She went to an overnight Halloween party.  I wish I could film him, but when I get to a point to film him, he stops.  Poor guy.

As I sit here, waiting on the sun to rise to go outside, I went through some old photos on the computer.

Remember when I made these?  April 7, 2016.  2016??? I haven't made bagels since then.  They are somewhat "tricky" to make, or time consuming, but good.  I think they will be on the list this next week if I have time. 

I love going through old photos, and speaking of that, does anyone know how and where a person can get a (mine) blog published into a book.  I'd like to have it done.  

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Weekend Work

Friday morning I realized I was completely out of onions, so dinner plans changed quickly, but easily.  I grabbed a container of frozen french onion soup, a bag of homegrown frozen carrots, some corn off the cob frozen corn, and a handful of homegrown potatoes - a last minute version of potato/carrot and corn chowder.  Believe it or not, it was delicious with some added milk and a dab of shredded cheese at the end.

The weather went pretty cold last night, and rain and wind will kick up today.  Again, we are glad we canceled our last camping trip.  It would not have been fun putting our pop-up down in the rain, wind and cold.  Sad we couldn't take off, but we took last weekend off.

I spent most of my day in my office (kitchen) area.  It was a paperwork day for sure.  Boy, am I the queen of sticky notes.  I finally devised a sticky note station, which is a string tacked under a cabinet and the notes are held on with mini clothespins.  It's all nice and tidy, expect for some papers that need shredded today.  It feels so good to finally see it in order now.  I am storing my mini clothespins in a small spice jar.  I even updated my canning journal, filed patterns and other paperwork. I still need to purge the filing cabinet, but I'm saving that for a snow day this winter.

Although we really need to be outside working, the weather is forcing us indoors, which is also badly needed (still, even though I've been cleaning).  I'm hoping for a few breaks in the rain, to put items back in their rightful places in the barns this morning.

The sunrise this morning started out beautiful before turning to clouds.  We have 100% chance of rain, and flood warnings.

Friday, October 25, 2019

This and That

Okay, what's your "go-to" crock pot dish for a Thanksgiving meal?  I need two sides to take to a gig on the day after Thanksgiving and someone is already bringing green bean casserole.  I love to bring BBQ green beans, but that would be a lot of green beans then.  Hm.  Any ideas?  Glazed carrots?  I don't want to do mac n' cheese.

Has anyone bought and used the crochet hooks that light up?  I have read reviews that some give you a headache from the light.  I would love to buy some, but I though I'd ask here and see if any of you who crochet uses them.

Short post today.  

Thursday, October 24, 2019

More Tomato Soup (Yay!) ~ Proud Parents

The last of the tomatoes weighed in at litteraly ounces over 10#.  I got one last batch of tomato soup canned.  So happy right now.  It ended up about 45-50# of tomatoes - 6 pints tomato sauce, 10 pints tomato soup.  I am a happy gal!

I had to get dinner in the crock pot before canning.  I was stressing about having to dice and dice before canning (which required dicing carrots, celery and onion as well).

I decided to pull a quart of frozen homemade french onion soup for the "broth" and "onion" in the lentil soup.  Pulled celery cubes and carrots from the freezer.  Worked perfectly.  I am now adding that on the re-stock list for the winter as well.  It always comes in handy.  I also pulled rolls from the freezer, making dinner way easier after a canning day.

My waste funnel for my food strainer is on it's last leg.  Why can't they make these with a thicker body?  I do not know.  I went online and ordered a very expensive replacement (even with 10% off), only to get an email back that they are out of stock.  Sigh.  I cannot find one anywhere else but their parts store either.  It did last about 5-6 years (maybe more).

A small yarn order came in quick.  Now I want to work on a project for myself, but guilt will kick in.  The change in weather has made me realize we are running out of time for everything outdoor related.  

I finally got the call, but from the insurance company, and not the surgeon's office.  GRR!  Insurance never got the paperwork until the 21st, even though I called prior to that (way prior), and now I'm told I have to wait another 15 days.

The big news?  Our youngest daughter was selected as the "Student of the month" in our entire county.  We are so proud of her.  I'm pretty sure it'll be printed in the newspaper too.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Dinners ~ More Canning

I woke up early looking like a cross between Medusa and Heat Miser.  Literally.  Sigh.  Hubby walked in the door last night about 4:30pm, and said, "I love you Honey" in a way in which it gave him away.  He took on the night shift last night and will work through first shift today.  I could not sleep and....well I'm up early.  Let's get this post posted and may the coffee and a hot shower give me super powers today.

Dinner Monday night after canning.  Homemade sloppy joes using home canned ketchup (the best), and sweet potato fries (white sweet potatoes and they are so creamy, and organic). 

Tuesday nights dinner . . .
Chicken enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce, and crock pot fried rice (both new recipes, actually 3).  I know "fried" rice is not a Mexican dish and Spanish rice is, but wanted to try it for a possible vegetarian potluck dish.

Guess what?  We did not like the rice recipe (hence no photo), but loved the homemade enchilada sauce (recipe online at "Gimme some Oven" and adapted with my home grown dried herbs, and organic ingredients).  Yum.  Sauce keeps up to 3 days in the fridge too.  My dinners have been based on what's in the freezer and pantry, so that helped make a decision for the next meal.

Tonight's dinner was voted in for a lentil (if I have lentils, I forgot to check) crock pot soup.  I need a crock pot something.  More canning is going on today, and I am not complaining either. We are so blessed to be able to re-stock some pantry items.  I just have to figure out what I am canning after I weigh the last of them.  

Have you heard about the orchard heists?  Two states near us have had apples and pumpkins stolen.  I read the apple orchard was picked completely clean.  Just sort of scary that this is happening.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Tuesday Tidbits

Yesterday started with a beautiful sunrise.  We won't see many more as we crawl into winter.

I was a hot mess myself Monday morning.  It was madness I tell ya'.  First, I was so tired Sunday night we decided to leave the blanket and towels on the line and get them down in the morning. 

I was so tired I wasn't thinking that they'd be covered in dew and damp, and we hired our biker friend to come mow before it rained.  I ran out and took it all down after getting tomatoes cut and in the pot, only to find out the mower is not running.  All the hydro static oil leaked out and something is very wrong (adding to the to-do list).

I had to put away all the dishes Hubby washed before I could even start the tomatoes, and after that, had to wash dishes again and put them away so I had the counter free to can soup later.  

I opened the dishwasher and couldn't tell if Hubby unloaded just the bottom and forgot the top, so I re-ran it too.  Later in the morning I unnecessarily freaked out when I heard the water pump kick on, only to remember the dishwasher was running.  By 11am I seriously needed a good long nap, but that didn't happen.

Ground beef had to be prepped for the crock pot.  I had to get that done while the soup reduced or dinner wasn't going to happen.

5 pints of delicious Lemony-Tomato Basil Soup Canned.

Once everything was done in the kitchen, as far as canning and dinner prep, I had washed and dried dishes 4 times.

Something I've noticed - when I make homemade lip balm with calendula oil, it grow mold within 6 months.  When I make it with lemon balm oil, it last much longer.  What infused oil do you use?

Monday, October 21, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday

I was so tired Thursday morning I just took the day off.  I literally did dishes and made dinner.  Oh and froze more jalapenos. 

Thursday evening it was predicted to reach close to freezing temps in the evening, so I went out to check the garden (because I've not had time to be outside right now with the condition of the inside of my house).  I saw a few green bell peppers and jalapenos, so those will be eaten with meals vs. frozen.

Small, but not wasted either.  Time needs to slow down so I can actually pull the garden and be done with that.

I've been promising biscuits and gravy for days now, so I baked biscuits and made it for dinner, along with scrambled eggs and fried potatoes with onion.

Friday I canned tomato sauce (happy dance).

The weekend was more of a "stay-cation" for us, and well worth doing too. 

(that wasn't even all of the bikes)

Saturday we joined up with a biker benefit/memorial ride with some friends.   The ride started out pretty cold, but for a good cause. The ride was local, but about 75 miles of riding.  Money goes to help with the funeral etc. for the student that was hit and died (still haven't found the driver).  Over 100 bikers rode and it was a great way to help someone.

Sunday we took the grand-kids to a pumpkin farm for the day.   We were exhausted by Sunday night, but in a good way.

Both Hubby and I have stuff that needs done, but we had planned this for a few weeks now.  

Today I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

The weather outside is . . .
High of 67°F, rain 80% at 2pm today

On the breakfast plate . . .
Have no idea yet.  Here is what we had for breakfast Sunday morning.
Omelets with steak.  So good.  

As I look outside my window . . .
It's pitch dark.

Right now I am . . .
Still in pajamas, sucking down coffee, hoping for super powers.

As I look around the house . . .
It's still a hot mess.

On the to-do list . . .
-Can more of the tomatoes
-sweep and mop kitchen
-start putting away the front porch items, dead plants etc.
-dinner prep
This is my "weekly" list.  If you have canned with tomato, with a sauce or soup, you know how much time it takes.   I will have to do the laundry around the weather.  I did most of it Sunday before leaving, since it was 71°F and sunny.

On the menu. . .
In no particular order
Chicken enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce, crock pot fried rice and beans
Hamburger Lentil Soup (crock pot)  Or Chili
Sloppy Joes and sweet potato fries
Bolognese Pasta Bake (a make ahead meal)

I'm probably not going to make all of these this week, as we have lots of leftovers typically.  I guess we'll see what gets made this week.

Currently reading . . .

On the TV . . .
Goliath on Amazon Prime

What I am creating . . .
Another pot holder set in blueberry, and more dish scrubbies.

New recipe I tried or want to try . . .
Bolognese Pasta Bake (a make ahead meal)

From the camera. . .

Prayer list. . .
Myself (leg), our daughter and great niece who both lost babies, a friend's mother, and other personal requests

Friday, October 18, 2019

. . . from the Handiwork Journal

✔Spray painted more clipboards.

✔Booked two craft shows.  One in Nov. and one in Dec.

✔Cut up 10 yards of blue netting, cut up 10 yards of netting, then pink is next.  It's quite a job too.  I have to cut 10 yards in 3 inch strips.  I found an easier way, but it's still time consuming.

I want to add items to my craft shows for men.  What else besides these items would sell?

Cup cozy
Slippers?  Not sure these would sell
eyeglass cases

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Barter ~ This and That

I finally met Hubby's cousin "C" and she bartered with me - tomatoes for me and strawberry margarita jam for her.  She is a hoot too.  We are planning a meet and greet meal soon to meet more family members.  First up?  Tomato sauce.  If I have more after that, tomato soup or crushed tomatoes maybe.  I guess I'll find out when I weigh them.

I also bartered with our 20 year-old daughter.  She came out yesterday to help me do more cleaning and picking up, and she got strawberry margarita jam and lunch. 

Organic grilled cheese sandwiches and organic tomato soup with a dab of organic butter.  I miss my home canned tomato soup. 

We got the living room back in order, some carpets vacuumed, master bath completely cleaned but the shower and tub (it's an overly big bathroom) and wood work still needs wiped down, finished the laundry, picked up stuff in the bedroom (oh my, craft stuff everywhere, which was still everywhere because we ran out of time), and swept and mopped the master bath.  So happy to have her help too.  Romeo loves her visits too.

We got rain, so laundry was put on drying racks yesterday.  It was much cooler too.

I ordered our traditional Christmas Eve pajamas.  I waited too late last year, and paid the price.  I got them at great prices and the colors and styles I wanted.  So glad I remembered.

I had to make a run to the store for vinegar to make another container of homemade lysol wipes, so I stopped at the dollar store and picked up these kitchen towels.  I got a few other fall designs too.  Just $1/ea.

I'm on the hunt for book sales now.  I want to buy 25 books for the grand kids for a countdown.  We'll see if I make it happen.  I have over a month to do that.