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~

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Lemon Balm Popsicles ~ Rain

I made some lemon balm popsicles for when I get out of the garden all hot and sweaty.  They are so refreshing after becoming exhausted in the heat.  Recipe is online from Edible Wild Food.

Friday we had rain, and it was told it would be heavy at times.   It was not.  We got rain, but not really enough. It was nice to have a change in my routine and get some indoor stuff done.  Not to mention free time to play with the yarn.

It's perfect camping weather here this weekend.  To bad we can't go camping.  It's beautiful, but too cold at night for tomatoes and other plants.  The peas will love it.  Thankfully, I do not have my other plants in the ground yet.  We are to have cooler nights over the next 3 nights (40's, and it can stunt their growth).

Yesterday morning I watched 2 coyotes in the wood across from our place, and this morning we watched deer crossing the road in two places.  

Friday, May 29, 2020

Chicken on the Loose ~ No Thyme or Spearmint ~ Home Baking ~ Romeo

While out doing garden work, a hen got out of the run and was following me around.  I found it so funny.  I got her back in, as she would tear up my garden. 

I planted more flowers.  I finally filled the driveway pots with flowers and beautified a bit more.  I found non-gmo catnip seeds but not spearmint.  I guess I'll break down and buy them on Etsy.  I could not find one thyme plant either.  They had way less to pick from than any year I've ever seen.  The ones I put in the ground didn't make it through the onslaught of rain we had a week or so ago.

Hubby has been begging for apple crisp.  He got it.

I baked a new breakfast casserole.  Sort of made it up.  I cooked onions and organic red potatoes, then added bell peppers and garlic.  I poured it into a baking pan, layered in some cheese, cooked bacon and eggs/milk.  I topped it with home grown green onions.  It turned out delicious.  Sorry for the bad photo.  I was in a hurry to try it, ha ha!

Romeo is finally "cone" free.  We had to put a cone on him to keep him from licking himself.  He is so happy and relaxed now, but this was the most dramatic neutering I've seen. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

New Book ~ Garden Update

Our library is only open for appointments, and they are not interloaning anything.   It's a small library.  I finally broke down and purchased a few books.  I added this needle tatting book to my bookshelf.  

The tiller is finally fixed.  It needed a new belt, which lasted 12 years.  However, while putting it back together, Hubby had a spring he didn't know what to do with.  After dumping out our container of manuals (that's another purge job), we found a free manual online.  Boom! Tiller fixed.

We are a bit behind in tilling, so I haven't planted more yet, and it may rain this morning.  Time will tell what gets done, but we are more ahead this year than last year.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

This and That and a baby duck

I hope you all had a nice Memorial Day weekend.  We spent most of it in the garden and on the Harley.  We now have to do a repair on the tiller and the mower to resume work sadly.  

We have decided we will do our motorcycle rides before or after our meals at home.   No more eating out unless we can order ahead of time.  It is taking us 2-3 hours to get food inside restaurants and then good luck getting them to give you your bill timely.  It's not worth it to help a business, unless like I said, we can order ahead.  The wait time is awful.  One day we put over 300 miles on the bike.  I am now sun burned, but will be outside again today.

The plants are hardened and ready to plant though.  I just need my awesome husband to repair the tiller and get more tilled.

We are getting more asparagus from the garden. Yum.

The green beans, carrots and beets are coming up now.

Our daughter who works, was outside on her break and somehow a baby duck showed up.  It had no family anywhere, so she caught it, boxed it up and brought it home.  Thankfully, the animal sanctuary took the duck. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Weed Growth ~ Pot planted vs. Ground Growing ~ Mullein and Burdock

Mullein planted in a pot last year and survived winter, but it's small.

Mullein that popped up in a bed close to the house, along with burdock.  Big difference in size.  I think this bed will be my weed bed now, aside from the mints.  I need a bed in the ground somewhere for those.

Burdock.  I never planted this in a pot, as it grows wild all over the place.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Spicy Apple Crunch Cake

Yesterday I shared a blast from the past recipe, from my Spanish class (High School Days).  Today, I am sharing another blast from the past recipe.  It's funny and somewhat frightening that I saved these recipes.  When I was hunting for the sopaipilla recipe, I ran across a binder full of recipes from my Home Ec. class in Junior High School.  It uses applesauce vs. apples.  It was a very moist coffee cake, and apparently the family loved it, as it went very fast after I baked it.

Spicy Apple Crunch Cake (adapted with organic ingredients)

2 Cups All purpose flour
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs, farm fresh
1 cup home canned applesauce
1/4 cup milk
1 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup flour, all purpose
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease only the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan.  

In large bowl mix all ingredients except the walnuts and  topping ingredients.  Blend on a low speed until ingredients are moistened.  Beat 3 minutes at medium speed.  Stir in walnuts.  Pour batter in prepared baking pan.

Mix all topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly on top.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Note:  For muffins, bake for 20-30 minutes (24 muffins)

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Fair Food Craze ~ Homemade Sopaipillas

Apparently, in this pandemic time, people are going crazy over "fair food."  One restaurant started it.  They dedicated one night for serving a drive thru with just fair food.  I didn't go, but the entire town (Big City) went.  I heard there was a 3-4 hour wait in line.  

The next day, the town announced that fair food vendors will be set up this weekend at the fair grounds for selling food.  I am sure that will end up a crowd too.

I decided to do a fair food night at home.  I made homemade corn dogs with real beef dogs and homemade batter.

We also made hand cut fries to go with them, but that's not all.  I started us out with a batch of homemade sopaipillas, an old, old high school recipe from Spanish class.  We used to make them and sell them at lunch at school to raise money for our Spanish class.  They are like mini elephant ears you'd get at the fair.  Just for the update, all the fairs have canceled their fair this year.


2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tbsp Baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp. shortening
2/3 cup lukewarm water
Fat for frying
Cinnamon and sugar to coat

Stir together, flour baking powder and salt.  Cut in the shortening until mixture resembles corn meal.  Gradually add the water stirring with a fork (dough will be crumbly).
Turn onto floured surface, knead into small ball.  Divide dough in half and let stand 10 minutes.  Roll each dough into a 12 ½ inch by 10 inch rectangle.  Cut into 2 ½ inch squares (do not re-roll the dough).  Fry a few at a time at 400°F in hot oil.  Drain on paper towel.  Roll in cinnamon and sugar.  Makes 40

Friday, May 22, 2020

Rose Bed Progress

We split hostas a while back and added them to the troublesome rose bed.  These are very large hostas and will crowd out the grass, but we have much more work to do on it.  Hopefully, I'll be back with a good update.

Yesterday I planted 23 sweet potato slips, but the rain returned and the garden is swamped.  I could only plant from the edge.  More rain fell last night and I am so sad that it may be another year of battling the rain.

We now realize how important a greenhouse is.  It may go to the top of the list if the rain continues.

On a good note, the plants have had 4 days of hardening, and we pray next weeks (predicted the entire week ahead) is wrong.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Everything but the "to-do" list

It was breakfast for dinner.

Biscuits were baked for sausage gravy, scrambled farm fresh eggs (thank you chickens), and fried potatoes.  I forgot to see if I had enough apples for fried apples though.

I also cut all the yellow netting up, and got them the strips rolled into balls for future dish scrubbies.  I have a few more colors to cut in strips, so I won't run out of things to do on rainy days (as well as deep clean totes in my closet, which I discovered high school stuff I can clean).  

I finally felt like crafting after I cleaned up some rooms around the house.  Got the last two of these painted with white paint.  More work needs done to finish them.

I think I did everything that was not on my to-do list this week, so I need to get back on track ha ha!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Frustrating Weather

The water receded this morning, but we had horrible winds, and our lamp post that was propped up in a tree was blown down again and looks broken this time.

The ground is saturated and I fear it'll be another year like last year.  Not sure, but the weekend is the only good weather time to till more and it all depends on if this ground dries up.

The library is open but curbside, and next week by appt.  Not sure I'll be going for a while.  I do miss it, but too many restrictions - no interloaning at all.  Our library is very small, and doesn't have many choices and can only loan out from their library to city patrons with their library card.

Next week's predictions of weather do not look good for us at all.  Thunderstorm after thunderstorm.  Not only is this a problem for putting in the rest of the garden and the condition of the garden for growing, but for hardening of my plants indoors.  They got two days outside, but the wind and colder weather today are not conducive.

On the upside, we have talked about how the last two years have made it very difficult, and the importance of a greenhouse now.  I could have them all hardened by now (plants) and made it quicker to plant.  Time is the issue.  When your husband works full time, it's hard to have the energy to work at night after a full day of work of climbing ladders etc.  Say a prayer we get one built this year, so it's ready for next year.

I hope your weather is better and your gardens are doing good.  I'm just very very concerned again this year.  We need the food from it too. 

I'm also frustrated with our Governor.  Yesterday he lifted the ban on non-essential travel, but I'm so confused if he lifted the stay-at-home order or not.  When the media asked questions, he never answered them directly - is it an order?  is it strongly recommended? is it an advisory?  There was no direct answer to it.  He also lied.  He said 95% of Ohio would be open by the end of May, and that is not true.  Restaurants running at 50% capacity and some not even open.  Even the library is only doing curbside, and that is not the same for them either.  He said churches were never closed.  Huh? Like I said, I'm so confused and what they are doing, but he did say no groups of 10 or more and yet we can sit with 50 strangers in a restaurant.  It's so messed up in our state, and they are still pushing the wearing of masks.  That's been an argument from the beginning.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

More Rain

My radishes are already coming up.  I picked a bit more asparagus, and dropped some zinnia seeds.  I also planted my thyme and rosemary plants, and dropped some cilantro, parsley and basil seeds.

By noon yesterday, I had only accomplished that, plus 2 rounds of dishes, some of the laundry and had taken the trash out.  

We are getting more rain today, but my recently planted seeds and flowers are loving it.  I need another day indoors anyway.  In between rain storms or rain, I'm hardening my pepper plants and tomatoes.

Woke up to this today.  The planted field across the street is completely flooded.  They need to clean the drain out that drains it to the river.  A sheriff is out there warning drivers to slow down, so they do not hydroplane.

I have yet to check the garden, but will later.  I am sure it's okay considering we haven't tilled the wetter part of it yet.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday

Sunday's rain that was predicted all day changed on us.  Thankful for that, as we had time in the morning to plant more flowers.  

(just a few snippets of our work)

We had 4 bags of mulch leftover from last year, but we still need to go get a truck load of it to finish the flower beds and add some pine mulch to my herb garden.  We worked the good part of the day beautifying the front of the house.  I'm debating on dropping some zinnia seeds today or not.  They keep saying torrential rain, but we are not getting it and so far completely wrong on when we are getting any and how much.

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

The weather . . . 
99% humidity, 73/59°F, Thunderstorms

How I'm feeling this morning . . . 
Ready to get back to a regular work out schedule.  With Hubby's crew off two weeks and on two weeks, I've been off track.

On my mind . . .
Just my to-do list, and making preparations for days to work more on the garden.

On my breakfast plate . . .

Sweet Potato/Black Bean Frittata

On my reading pile . . .
Call of the Wild

On my TV . . .
Re-watching The Ranch

On the menu this week . . .
-Spaghetti and meatballs, homegrown asparagus, homemade coconut flour garlic muffins
-Biscuits and gravy, potatoes, eggs (didn't make this last week)
-Turkey breast (crock pot), 
-4 beans and sausage (crock pot)
-maybe sweet potato and black bean chili

From the camera . . . 

Looking around the house . . .
There is a lot to clean up since we devoted most of our time to anything outdoors (veggie garden, flower beds, etc.)  There is a lot on the to-do list today. . . putting it here to stay on track this week.
-make a breakfast dish
-master bath
-tidy office area/pay bills
-clean windows
-clean up utility room now that the chicks are in the barn
-water plants
-re-pot lettuce starts
-drain Four Thieves Vinegar
-freeze bell peppers, freeze cauliflower
-make homemade foaming hand soap
-call vet (other two dogs need shots)
-make a list for the garden center
-restock freezer pizza dough and pie crust crumbles
-things need made, lip balm, and many other needs (homemade)

Chore I am not looking forward to this week . . . 
Mucking the coop.  If the weather is good, it'll be getting a clean sweep from winter pile up.  

To relax this week I will . . .
Journal, maybe handiwork.  I have Christmas tree ornaments  that need finished up as well.

On my prayer list . . .
My friend's eyesight, for this virus to go away, and personal requests.

Devotional/Bible Verse . . .

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Random Tidbits

We started planting flowers yesterday. It rained, so we have more to plant.  We found hanging baskets too, but could use a few more to brighten up the front of the house and porch.

We woke up to fog this morning, and cooler weather due to the storm front coming in down in FL.

Our daughter who is graduating is getting her yearbook made by us.  The school declined the photo I took, saying it was not "professional" and her dog was considered a prop.  She told the school if you don't use the photo, I don't want in the school yearbook.  So sad that she had one more disappointment added to her senior year.

Mom got her hair cut and colored and is a happy gal.  She plans to grocery shop herself soon.

I am still getting new asparagus shoots, so that makes us all happy.

No sign of the raccoon for the last few days, so I hope it moved on.

Not much else going on here right now.  Sales for my "farm" store have been zero since last early March.  Farmer's markets are still going on, so I may join up and sell at least once if they are allowing more than food.  I haven't been making much due to the lack of need either.

For fun, we've been playing cards on the front porch.  It's been nice too.    I ordered myself a few books as well.  The library is opening, but with curbside service.  I'm not going yet, and will see how they get operating (wondering how they will clean the books, and what chemicals they'll use).

Hopefully, I will have a more exciting post soon, and possibly with photos.  I hope you are all safe and healthy right now.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Freezing Green Onions ~ Vegetable Garden ~ Raccoon ~ Chicks ~ Homemade Shower Bombs

I decided to freeze some green onions.  I think they are pretty hearty in cold weather, but froze some anyway.

We had two good garden days - tilled up more, decided to keep two raised beds, and rip out the other two, layered cardboard between them and piled it high with mulch the county workers left us from the tree they cut down.

Tilled even more, planted the radishes, carrots, beets, and green and wax beans.  The kale bed is weeded.  I just need to add some soil and get that planted.

Due to the weather my mini velociraptors were moved to the smaller coop finally.  So glad to get them out of the house.

Whelp.  I saw a raccoon for the first time in a few years.  It came right up to the door looking for cat food.  I'll be on the look out to see if it was passing through or hunkering down in a pile of old barn wood or in one of the barns.  

I made homemade shower bombs to lift my spirits.  I used sweet orange (builds up immunity) and peppermint.  They were a fail.

They turned out nice after they dried, but they did not give off any aroma from the essential oils.  You'd have to add a ton of  essential oil to it, so I won't be making them again.  It was fun to make, but disappointing it didn't work.

Rain is arriving soon.  One rain barrel is already flipped over, and flowers have been moved outside to plant later.  If the rain lets up to a light rain, I can start to harden my veggie plants today.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

On the Hooks ~ Frost Warning (again) ~ Spearmint Seeds Inquiry

Crocheting a rag rug.  This project is on hold for now.  I am having to use all my spare sheets and pillow cases to cover my asparagus, rhubarb, etc.  We had another freeze/frost warning.  Once the cold wave passes, I'll make more strips of old sheets to finish this rug.

Knitting a dishcloth in red/white and blue.

A set of pot holders.  Sorry for the bad photo.

Off the hook. . .

A new dishcloth pattern.  I learned the waffle stitch this year, which is very easy to do.  I however, feel this is way too thick for a dishcloth.  It also uses twice the amount of yarn than a regular crocheted dishcloth.  It's going in my stash of cleaning cloths and will be used for that.

I dug out my tatting, but haven't yet got back to it to see if I even remember how to do it.  Could be fun.  Who knows.

Does anyone have extra organic spearmint seeds?  My potted plant died and I cannot get the seeds from High Mowing, Territorial, Baker Creek, Sow True,  PineTree or Strictly Medicinal Seeds.  A packet costs about $3 so I can barter as well.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday

Over the last few days I made a double batch of onion soup (ball recipe) for the freezer. I'm happy to restock on such nasty cold weather days here.

Our grad daughter has now mailed out 13 letters of positivity, and has received two special delivery baskets full of grad gifts.  Graduation will happen the end of May.  We will all line up outside 10 feet apart, be called into the gym one at a time so each can receive their diploma and it will be filmed live on social media for others to watch.

Even though I covered my plants, the asparagus got hit hard with the low temps.  Several new stalks are completely wilted over.  So sad about this.  Not sure yet if I will get any more and I'm worried about the ones just coming up now.  We will get more cold weather today and tomorrow.

I got a "honk, honk" ditch the other day.  We don't have a door bell (instead we have the dogs).  A friend dropped off a bag of birthday gifts for me and it included an adult beverage.

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

The weather outside is . . .

High of 49, low of 33°F

How I am feeling this morning . . .
Tired, yet can't sleep.

On my mind . . .
The garden plants that are suffering through this strange cold May weather.  

On the breakfast plate . . .
No idea.  I may be back to update this.

On my reading pile . . .
I haven't been reading lately.

On my TV . . . 
Whatever we find on Amazon Prime lately.
On the menu this week . . .
-corn chowder, homemade garlic muffins
-chicken salad sandwiches, 
-beef enchiladas, corn (still on the menu, never got made)
-sheet pan dinner with smoked turkey sausage and veggies
-snacks, banana bread, coffee cake

From the camera . . .

Looking around the house . . .
I have been blessed with many birthday and Mother's day gifts.

To relax this week I will . . .

On my prayer list . . .
Our country and for this virus to end so we can all get back to a normal, healthy life.