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~

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Purge Party ~ Grandma's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I finally did it!  After talking about it for a year or two, I finally dug through my semi-good jewelry and held a jewelry purge party with two of the girls. 

They had so much fun too, and I cleaned out my stash.  There was even more that didn't get into the photo.  Felt so good, and they are "happy campers" to say the least.

I even made my Grandma's oatmeal raisin cookies for the get together.  Hubby's been asking for them, and since I only made one cookie at Christmas - wa-la!

Monday, December 30, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday

I apologize in advance.  This post is long today.  Grab a cup of java or tea.  Maybe grab your breakfast too?

I'm not the only one organizing and purging.  Daughter is making the spare bedroom upstairs into her "study" room.  It would have made a wonderful craft room, had it not been "upstairs."  

Game day we made a new recipe.  I've been wanting to try it for a while now, and it's a crockpot recipe - Spinach-Artichoke Dip.  It was good, and mostly spinach, but it lacked garlic.  I think it's because I'm buying it, and our homegrown (more flavorful) is gone.  I'm keeping the recipe, but will tweak the garlic for more flavor.  It's perfect for get togethers or parties.

We successfully cut the remaining piece of the tree.  It wasn't fun either - so many knots in the last piece.  It's ash too.  It took wood stacking to a whole new level.  The pieces split into all sorts of shapes and sizes.  It will still heat the same though.  Now there is a mess of sawdust, bits of wood that I'll save for kindling, and lots of bark to toss in the burn pile.  Oh, and holes in the yard we need to fill where the tree fell.  We'll cut one more ring off the stump, then burn it out.

Sunday we dressed up and stole away, walked through a very large antique store, then had dinner at an upscale Italian restaurant.

I had my first old fashioned.  The food was amazing! We were so tired after that meal, ha ha!

My only antique score, and I love it.  Romeo loves it too, ha ha!  The antique mall is larger than it was before, and took a while to walk through.  I only found 2 tea towels, which were boring looking and expensive - $15 /each.  I'm keep looking for them elsewhere.

This morning I am sleep deprived.  I was woken up by a dog pouncing on me at midnight, then precisely at 3:43am by the cat who was wanting out (who was shut in the bedroom by mistake), then again at 5:15am, by the cat wanting back in and fed.  There was a bangity, bangity, bangity going on by sticking his paw under our bedroom door.  I tried to go back to sleep, but the wicked wind outside kept me up (see cloud photo below).

Today I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. I missed out joining last Monday due to our daughter's birthday and Christmas prep.

The weather outside is . . .
High of 51°F/low 32°F.  Cloudy/windy.  Winds in neighboring towns have been up to 50-60mph, with blown transformers and power outages.  About an hour north, near the lake shore, they reported winds at 64mph.

On the breakfast plate . . .
Nothing at the time of posting this yet.  I needed to down a pot of coffee and get a "power shower" before breakfast.

As I look outside my window . . .
It looks nasty.  Raining as well.

Right now I am . . .
Getting ready to check the hours at the Humane Society.  I need them to trap the stray cats, and we now have a 3rd stray (which needs to leave, as it fights with our barn cat). 

I'm also updating my "Christmas" binder.  I'm writing down items to buy early for the holiday.  This year I noticed organic cream cheese sold out very early.

As I look around the house . . .
I'm writing a "home" wish list.  Sounds like I have too many "lists" going on, but I want to update some things in the house for next year.  Like a new ceiling fan for one.  Those may even be in clearance right now.  Just thinking ahead, pre-planning and shopping out of season could save us some cash.  The kitchen needs cleaned up.  Daughter did the dishes, but they need put away, and there is much to put back in their "homes."

On the to-do list . . .
-clean master bathroom
-vacuum carpets
-sweep/mop kitchen
-clean entire kitchen, put things away
-possible trip to the "Big City"  - all depends if one of the girls comes over for a visit.

On this week's to-do list . . .
-purge 3 items from the garage (so I stay on track)
-purge/organize bedroom closet (almost done)

-take whatever I purge and donate to the thrift store (the kids have been told to come get their stuff, and if they didn't - it all goes.  I'm not a storage unit, and sadly they have not come to fetch their "stuff" in my garage). I'm also getting rid of an antique typewriter.  I bought it years ago to go in my "writing" room, but it's a dust collector.  I have no idea what I was thinking.  I'l replace it with a houseplant.

-trip to the library for pick ups and returns

On the menu . . .

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans

Chicken noodle soup

Sweet potato Chili

Currently reading . . .
Craft books from the library (to finish off UFO's)

On the TV this week . . .
Oh my, a lot.  Maybe too much.  We purchased a gizmo, sort of like a fire stick, but not.  A family friend set us up, and now we get all sorts of channels.  

What I am creating . . .
A newborn baby blanket - using up some yarn stash.  When it's finished I'm tackling this project:

I started making them for gifts in December of 2014 (gulp).  I put them in a shoe box and it was labeled (Our Tree).  I always put one of any new ornament in a box for our own tree, but this box contained not only unfinished ornaments, but a half finished crocheted bookmark too  (double gulp).  

Oh man, I'm so glad I'm getting the closet organized.  The ornament in the photo went onto our tree, but there are a few to finish and this year, I have a correctly labeled box. It'll contain only finished gift items.  By the way, the "how to" on this ornament is on my S.C.R.A.P. blogspot.  I found the embroidery pattern in a library book, hunted down the embroidery paper and used scrap fabric for the yo-yo's.

Now that I think about it.  You could use wine corks to make a similar ornament (note to self - write it down, and do NOT start another project).

Favorite photo from the camera . . .
A new coffee mug, gifted to me by my 20 year-old daughter.  It came in a gift bag with a camper on it too.   Just love it!

This was the first time to see this type of cloud.  First the news called it a "stretch cloud" but later called it a "roll" cloud.  It's a sign that the next storm would be worse, and they were right.  The photos were taken in front of our house Sunday evening.  That cloud stretched for miles.

Prayers . . .
Continued prayers for my mother.  She has her first appt. set up for early next year.   Prayers for my Dad, as he's not hearing very well, and some days refuses to put his hearing aids in. My good friend who recently lost her mother, and is now having to go through her mother's belongings to auction the house.  Us.  We always seem to have something get in the way of getting things done around here.  We need to remove one pellet stove and install a newer one (smaller) so we can turn off this expensive electric heat.  It was on the list Saturday, but football got in the way (rolling my eyes).

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Filling up the Planner ~ UFO's

I dove in.  Again.  Although overwhelmed due to lack of space, I worked in my bedroom and closest all Friday.  If I didn't devote the entire day to get a good start, it wasn't going to happen.

Daughter was finally home all day, so I didn't have dog duty either.  When I came across something that required more work, I wrote it down and went back to focus on the re-organization/purge.  I can get so off track in that closet.  Like a bunch of bags with half finished projects.  

Oh my gosh, you would not believe (or you would if your yarn space is small and cluttered), how many UFO's I found.  Sigh.  I found a Christmas project I started several years ago and never finished it.  I'm writing them all down to get them out of the closet before the end of March.  

I found a book I bought for a Christmas present, and totally forgot about.  It was for our youngest daughter.  Sigh...hence the binder and writing down where it is, ha ha!

Our plans to celebrate our anniversary won't be happening today.  Rain is coming tonight, so we'll be cutting wood.  Looks like we'll be celebrating sometime in January depending on weather.

Friday, December 27, 2019

The Purge Begins ~ Random Tidbits

Increasing the numbers.  So happy about this.

Yesterday, I was sort slipping into "oh poor me" mode.  Youngest got up, ate and left immediately, leaving all the holiday dishes to me (and there were a ton of them).  I didn't feel I should be doing so much work on a day I should have been celebrating, but Hubby worked as well.  Anyway, I worked myself through the dishes, and the laundry, and got busy.

Keeping to my word, I purged the Halloween totes.  All costumes (hand made by my mother) are going to the grand kids.  Woohoo to that.  One full tote leaving the garage.

By the way, my new planner has been so helpful.  There is a section to write in my monthly goals!  Woot!  I can use it to plan daughter's grad party too.

The weather has been so warm, I've been enjoying hanging the laundry outside vs. racks in the house.  It's so warm, one could go camping right now.  Literally.

Also, keeping to my word on handmade gifts finished before March, I started on those too.  I'm keeping a list of what's made in my "Christmas" binder, and where I stored them (just in case, ha ha!).

Feeling so good at moving on and into a new year of many possibilities, I updated my blog header yesterday.  Feeling a bit optimistic.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Random Tidbits ~ Holiday Burn Out ~ Power Outage Prep (camping lantern)

I made a few Christmas goodies and delivered some to Dad, and then to Mom.  Sadly, Dad was not out of bed yet, so I didn't get to see him (it was 11:35am).  Mom was tickled pink.  She wasn't home, but we left it at her door.

First time to opt for biscuits for Christmas vs. rolls.

Christmas was nice with 3 (of our 6) kids and the grand kids.  However, I won't be cooking on Christmas day next year. I just felt like that is all I did on the holidays this year - cook and do dishes.  I'll be tweaking the schedule next year for sure.  Although, I do love waking up Christmas morning with an overnight casserole already made and just needs to be baked in the morning (which we did this year, along with sunrise mimosas).

Romeo had fun opening his presents - his first Christmas.  We were smart enough to not put the presents under the tree until Christmas morning, and we made sure he had his own to un-wrap while his Momma was opening her own.  He's got a stuffed latte that has a squeaker in it.  

Hubby and I plan  to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary later, as he had to work today.  It's just me and one daughter.  Trust me, there is much to clean up today from Christmas.  At least I have extra help today, and I don't have to cook tonight (lots of leftovers).

New camping, hand wind lamp for us.  It not only has a lamp, but a flashlight at the bottom, a radio, alarm and can charge cell phones.  I just have to figure out how to set the alarm if needed.  We already checked the radio and it works.

Hubby loved his hat, but he won't need it for a few weeks.  Yesterday it got up to 55°F and today they say we'll hit 60°F.  Very strange weather this December, but we'll take it.  We need to cut wood.  Feb. is the month we tend to get the most snow.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Monday, December 23, 2019

Warm Weather ~ Birthday ~ Goals ~ Eggs

We had weather in the lower 50's and the laundry went out on the line.  Felt so good to do that too.

Our youngest child turns 18 today.'s gonna be so strange when she moves out, so I'm not even thinking about that right now.

My goals are being set and I am so ready to complete them this winter.  #1 is get all my crafts restocked by the end of Feb. this year (for next year's show).

#2 is clean out and reorganize the garage

#3 is clean out the utility room and organize

#4 clean and re organize the bedroom closet, which involves organizing my patterns into binders, more purging and organizing yarn and craft supplies.

#5 is to be determined.

Hubby's goals are to buy wood and repair wall where we cut it out last winter to fix cracked pipes, to install an electrical outlet in the kitchen (or not, depending on if it can easily be done).

I'm super excited!  The ladies are laying again, after several long months and a coop burglar to deal with.  You have no idea how happy this makes me.  Woohoo!

Finished this set of hot pads for an order.  It's been over a week, and the check has not arrived.  It'll be interesting if these go back into my craft tote or not.  

Sunday, December 22, 2019

First Christmas

Normally I get up about 5am.  Not today.  Woke up at 7:30am.  Could be the warm, new cozy pj's I opened last night.  We have a tradition of new jammies Christmas Eve, but we opened them last night and do not regret it.

We had our first big Christmas yesterday.  I think we had 30-40 people there.  However, they forgot about beverages other than coffee.  Good thing we brought water bottles to refill.

I lack photos today, we were so busy yesterday.  The grands opened their gifts and were very happy.  Our daughter (with the grands) is married to a guy with two of  his own, so we gifted 4 grands.  

Today baking officially starts.  However, it starts with a trip to the grocery store.  We had planned on going last night, but we were zonked.  Literally so tired.  I'm glad we slept in. 

Last year we still had Jesse with us.  I miss him so much.  I know there is nothing we can do about a visit, so I may just get photos printed and put on the wall.  I pray every day we'll get to see him again.  This was a photo taken on Christmas day last year.  Hubby is in the background, sitting on a lawn chair, stoking the fire (we hosted last year and brought in all the lawn chairs).

I hope you are all enjoying the days before Christmas.  I love Christmas time and it's flying by way too fast.  

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Christmas Shopping ~ Friday Finishes

Even though Hubby didn't want to exchange gifts, I took advantage of a 50% off sale and got him some joggers for the gym, a new pair of slippers with rubber soles (he wanted some to take the dog out), and half price snow boots.   He hasn't had a pair for a few years.  I got them half off and another $10 off that.  A very good deal.  I already gave him the snow boots.  All things he's needed, but never took the time to get himself.

Hubby asked me to write up a list of things to get me. I told him "I have no idea."  

Finished the double wrap infinity scarf.  It's ready for delivery.  She previously ordered the headband, and wanted a scarf to match.

Finished Hubby's hat.  Got it wrapped too.  He has no idea.  I've been working on it while he's at work.  Very warm too.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Baby it's Cold Outside ~ "Sugar Plums in my Head"

Thursday the "feels like" index was 0°F.  It was frigid for sure.  I did the water exchange for the chickens, but the door was froze to the ground on the barn.  After a few minutes I got it free.

I've been dreaming of a better garden year more so then ever.  I sure miss my bounty.

I've also be dreaming of the days when I can dry my laundry outside again.   It's been so cold, and not very windy, nor sunny lately.

We are planning our daughter's 18th birthday party now.  Hard to believe it's arriving already.

I'm just about done with my scarf order.   Hopefully I will have time today for that.

Today is the last day of school for Christmas break.  Daughter is taking her teacher gifts in.   I ended up putting together 3 nail polish crochet ornaments and they each got some strawberry margarita jam.  I hope they like their gifts.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Snow ~ Conversations in my Head

I had plans to make a trip to the "big city" yesterday, but snow squalls moved in, making roads slippery.  I decided to stay home and work on orders and cleaning the house.  

I cleaned up the kitchen, did the dishes, some laundry, put together Mom's Christmas gift, and started on the bedroom closet (again, and a daunting task as it holds my yarn and crafting items).

Pantry Score!  Last jar of home canned BBQ sauce.  It went into the crock pot with organic chicken breasts.

I'm going to try my hardest to stay on track this coming year.  Is it bad I have a 3 ring binder for next Christmas (gift ideas, recipes, ornaments to make)? 

I want to get stuff done during winter so the garden(s) will have my full attention next year.  It also means I need to organize and purge the rest of the bedroom closet, re-organize my patterns (the two I have are a mess and out of order).  

Even if it's getting rid of one item or putting one thing back in it's home, my goal is daily cleaning of the closet to get it done and off my list.  What got done yesterday?  In the closet?

A conversation in my head that's for sure . . .

"I can get rid of this"

"That's where that went"

"This is such a mess"

"I need a craft room all to myself"

"Where in the world am I going to put that?"

"I better get a trash bag"

"I can donate that"

"Daughter can have that"

"Oh my gosh, I DO have yellow yarn"

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Snow ~ Crochet ~ Hot Cocoa

Most schools ended up closing yesterday.   Our school eventually closed too. Vehicles were traveling slow past our house, and I never saw one snow plow.  Although I wanted to go out for one last Christmas present, I enjoyed the thought of staying home and crocheting.

I whipped up a batch of homemade hot cocoa for gifting two people.  The gift-it list went down considerably this year.  My side of the family set a gathering date mid-January - no gifts, no Christmas traditional food, etc.  I guess you would call it a winter gathering (same thing happened last year).  They want a taco bar, so with Hubby not allowed to eat carbs we'll just take some low carb spinach or tomato wraps (or stuff for taco salad minus tortilla chips).  I love Christmas, and making homemade gifts, so this sort of depressed me.  I feel like my side of the family lets life keep us from celebrating Christmas anymore.

I indulged with a hot cup of hot cocoa myself.  I'll admit it was delicious.  Hubby can't have the sugar, so most of the batch will be enjoyed by our youngest daughter.

I also used up the last of the apples and baked a dutch apple pie.  I was worried it wasn't enough apples, but the apples needed used up for something.

I spent some time doing some handiwork as well, and finished the nail polish ornaments.

Sold an XL hot pad - more $$ going into the coop fund.