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.
"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~
Friday, July 31, 2020
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Update on the pandemic in our state and county: We went down a notch on his scale he made, putting us out of the mask mandate, but then put one state-wide. He actually said that more people were wearing them, but yet the numbers keep increasing in our county and he's expanding day care (but today he may start shutting down bars). None of this makes sense. We personally know people who got notices of testing "positive" yet never tested at all (one person 15 times). The numbers also include probable, so we again are not getting true facts and it is disturbing as to what they are doing to destroy this country.
Our Governor also closed down our fair, which was next week - from what I read, only 4-H. Now the local health dept. is chiming in to place orders on how that happens. I'm sure they were already set up too, so all of those vendors, rides, games etc. have a worse financial burden. I do know people already paid for their camping spots for the fair, and some plan to camp anyway.
Also, not sure if I shared this, but I know of one large area business that banned homemade cloth masks (saying they are not medical). Now lawsuits will start on those making these masks. So if they don't work, and the paper ones clearly state on the box they don't work for this virus, why the mask mandate. Control? Like I said, none of this makes any sense at all. Other than to try and lock us all down, so they can force mail in voting (which would be bad). By the way, we had a lady ahead of us at the grocery store talking to the clerk. She looked back at us and literally told us who to vote for in November. Next time it happens, I will NOT keep my mouth shut.
I'm digging out my camping journal to see what our best camping sites were, and where. We need a camping trip badly, as we won't be back to the island this year. I feel bad for the island too. Their season to make money is very short of over there. Anyway, we shall see if we get a camping trip in soon. Then again, if they start shutting more down, we'll all be in lock down before a camping trip happens. All of us need some camping therapy, to go off grid, to get with nature, so please pray that happens. Camping is true isolation at it's best.
I tried to make a visit with Mom yesterday too, as we did a "pay it forward" for someone in that town the same day. I tell ya' it's hit or miss with a visit. She is out and about most days, ha ha! I don't blame her. She was in lockdown a lot longer than the rest of us here.
We haven't caught anything in the live trap, and so far no more casualties. I have one goal (okay two) today - pick beans and do the dishes.
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Monday we got a glorious pour down from the Rain Gods! So happy to have that happen. We were getting worried about the well and no rain lately. However, in the morning, you could never tell it had rained (it's been that dry here). Youngest was gifted a butterfly bush and a rose bush. She planted both just before it rained.
I canned. It was a half batch of hot pepper mustard sauce. A success, even though splitting all the ingredients in half taxed my brain. Thank goodness for google to make sure I was accurate.
In total, I have now lost 3 hens and 2 roosters. Trap has been re-set, and only time will tell.
Somehow I scratched up two of my pairs of readers. I ended up ordering some on Amazon. I didn't want to go to the store and most likely I wouldn't find them. The last trip to town I noticed (one store) they were all removed from the stand.
My hair dryer blew up on me. Not exciting news there, lol! I most likely will order a new one online as well.
It's a beautiful 68°F this morning, but will heat up to 90°F, so watering resumes. I spent about 5 hours in the garden yesterday and brought in another 2.5# of green and wax beans. I also had to tie up the tomato plants (thrilled they are looking great so far).
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
I put an SOS out on social media asking for friends and family to come help build a coop. One person answered. My best friend from high school, who was also kind enough to come to our daughter's grad gift drop off.
She sent photos and offered a price of $75.00 for her chicken coop. Getting it here and off the trailer will be a job though. We have a trailer and we also now have a person with a skid steer to load and unload.
It will take a few tweeks to ready it before moving them into their new home. It needs windows or a fan. It has no ventilation. They have to unhook their electric to it. They had a fan system, so we'll have to either put it near the barn or house to hook up electric, or invest in solar operated fans, but windows for sure (of course covered with wire and 2 x 4's to keep the critters out).
As for the coons, let just say we fed a few to the vultures. There are more. I saw a very large one out about 4pm, but couldn't get it before it ran into the pasture.
Monday, July 27, 2020
Sunday, July 26, 2020
I'm looking for a free pattern (crochet) for this. I haven't had the ambition to search much online, but if you see one, please let me know. I have a request for one. I found a pattern on Etsy for $6, and haven't yet checked Ravelry.
Update on the drive thru we held for our daughter: It was a fail. Although 7 of the 87 people drove thru, the ones that did made a difference in her day. She was so sad and depressed that not one of her classmates came. About 3 hours later after the set time, 2 girls pulled in and they talked for almost a half hour. These 2 were not even girls she hung out with, and we were so happy they came. We were trying to help her have something for a graduation, but it didn't work out so well.
I need to pick green beans and try and make some sort of order in my kitchen today. The dishes never did get done completely, and they are piling up even though I have not cooked or baked since last Friday.
There is yet another raccoon. This time it killed one of the extra roosters I have. Trap will be re-set. Again. There is no chance for getting help from Hubby's family to help build the new coop either. Not even one of them showed up for the drive thru grad gift drop off. One said she was coming and never showed up. Well, I take that back. One son of a nephew came for a brief time. That was it.
I had been very good about doing "happy" baskets to make others happy prior to the death of the boys, and now I have zero ambition. Zero. If I didn't have the garden or the animals, I would probably not be out of bed, so I can't imagine what our daughter's pain is like. It's gonna be a long road for her and their families.
I hope your Sunday finds you well.
Saturday, July 25, 2020
We have arranged a drive thru graduation gift drop off for our youngest (since we canceled her grad/prom party). We asked her first and she loved the idea.
My new project! Jar Gripper/Jar Opener. I'll be making more and getting them up for sale soon. It's about 6 x 7 inches.
I caught the raccoon. I have a bad feeling there are more so the trap is re-set. Sigh.
Our favorite organic coffee beans have been swapped with something else. We just brewed a bag and it tastes horrible. I guess we switch coffee now (after years of buying it). Blech.
It's back to watering the garden again. No news there.
I have been trying to catch up on laundry, but I keep forgetting I have it in the washer. My mind is just all over the place lately.
Friday, July 24, 2020
I hadn't washed dishes since last Friday, so we are taking turns on the rounds to catch up. Movement helps.
Project supplies arrived, so there is more that can keep me occupied, other than the garden. The chicken coop needs mucked as well.
Black beans are finally climbing and the blossoms are on. We got rain, but not enough. Just enough to give them a dose of goodness. Many people who are watering with city water are losing their gardens in this drought.
On another note, I have been trying to order a replacement part for my sauce maker since last fall. I pulled up their site, and it's still out of stock. I emailed them, and guess what? They asked for my address and shipped me one FREE! How awesome is that?
My side bar bible verse has been changed. It's our daughter's boyfriend's favorite verse.
Despite the drought, and with diligent watering, my tomatoes look good. So good, we needed to buy more tomato stakes, as some stakes were broken and shorter. I needed 25 new stakes and could only find 17, so we'll just do with what we have and deal with it.
It's everything under the ground I'm worried about right now.
Another raccoon tore another hole in my coop and this time killed a hen. I'm so mad right now. I re-set the trap. Please pray I can summon the energy and time to build my new coop and right away. I wish I could have a coop building party and feed the crew, but family hasn't been around at all. The boys are adding an addition to one of their houses too, and are pretty busy.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
What is your preferred way to can green beans? Raw pack or hot pack? I think I will can the next picking to save room in the freezer.
I watered and watered, and then went back to weed. The garden is full of weeds, but plants look great so far. We need a good soaking rain to get things flowing out there.
Speaking of a hot mess, my house is a hot mess. That happens when garden work takes over. I'm not stressing over it, and I'm putting the girls to work when they can. One daughter works a lot, so that leaves one.
What's your favorite way to use turnips? How do you store them as well (I don't have a root cellar nor basement)?
I have some Kamut flakes I need to use up. What's your favorite way to use them (other than granola)?
Well, it was a raccoon in the coop this time. I caught it. Lets hope that was the end of that. So tired of re-wiring the coop. Pray we get the time to build a new coop and soon. All chickens are accounted for. He must have been after the eggs. Urgh. I sort of had a feeling it was a raccoon, based on how things were knocked all over in my barn the last few days. Now to go hunt for some spare chicken wire. There will be zero chicken wire on my new coop. I have found two locations nearby that have free sheds or small shed like buildings. Not sure what route we'll take yet. We have some things to get done this weekend and next.
The trees are starting to lose their leaves, and my berry bushes look terrible.
We spent most of the day with our daughter's boyfriend's family. We took them dinner and went to the funeral home with them. Long day, but I know they appreciated us being there.
It's another hot day here.
Monday, July 20, 2020
We got spit on yesterday. The storm came through and it literally sprinkled for less than a minute. I am so sad on top of everything else. We are in drought conditions and now I am worried about the garden.
Hubby is out watering flowers. When he's done I'll start on the garden. My root veggies are not getting what they need. I can't remember a year like this. Ever.
We had visitors all day yesterday, and even had a meal delivered. Our daughter is not okay. Youngest. We are doing our best to keep her around someone. She is not allowed to drive herself anywhere right now either. She is having the most horrible time right now.
Sunday, July 19, 2020
Our yard. It's so dry here, but Queen Anne's Lace is growing all over it. There is a possibility of rain later today.
Something fun for me. I wanted them for stitch markers, but the coffee cup one and camper are a bit to heavy (larger than I though). I will find a use for them though.
Saturday, July 18, 2020
Her love of her life and his best friend were killed in an accident last night about 7pm. The jeep malfunctioned and they rolled in a ditch then hit a tree. Both did not survive.
He was her rock. Her everything. When I say everything I mean everything. He was like our son. We were helping him get a vehicle. His best friend treated us like his parents. My heart breaks for both families and our daughter.
It feels so unreal. Party of course was canceled, and we'll be taking food to her boyfriend's parents house later today.
I will not be posting for a few days as we get through this. I don't know how long this will take, as it feels like a bad dream...a nightmare. So unfair. They would have married and had kids. I cry just looking at the shoe pile and not seeing his shoes there, so I can't imagine what the families are going through. Nor what our daughter is feeling right now.
My heart breaks....
Friday, July 17, 2020
However, I was on top of it, and brought home 10# of blueberries. We cannot grow them here, so I'm tickled pink we can re-stock them.
I made this the other day. It's a side dish, but I made it a "main" dish for a hot day. It has black beans in it, so that counts as a protein. So good too. It's Tex Mex Pasta and the recipe is online at Spruce Eats. You can utilize your garden goodies for this recipe. Oh, I forgot to add the fresh cilantro from the herb garden. Will add that today too.
Do you know what these are? Hard to see in the bag, but Hubby surprised me. French waffles. A country nearby town had a food truck. Woohoo! We helped someone out financially, and filled my tummy with some yummy fair food (I know it's not healthy, but it's once a year ha ha!).
Got up early (again) and watched the sunrise. We have some patchy fog here and the heat returns today. We didn't get that much rain yesterday. As my Mom said, "we got spit on" basically.
I have much to do today. First water, then weed, and a lot of other stuff today. Have a great weekend!
Thursday, July 16, 2020
It's not the new project that I was talking about though. That is yet to start, but will share when I have it made.
Once I have the size figured out on this project, I'll most likely be selling some. I know many people have to wear a mask the entire day, and it's uncomfortable. One person who has one already told me hers measures 6 1/2 inches. I think that would be too large, but we'll see.
Rain is due here today, but we've only had a sprinkle. I sure hope we get more today. We badly need it. I spent the morning tying up my 100 some tomato plants. They are looking great and tomatoes are on. Bring on the rain!
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Garden bounty is starting to roll in. Jalapenos and bell peppers are on the plants now too.
I went out to the coop yesterday, and low and behold, another hole in the chicken wire. Just like the last two holes and I'm getting tired of it. Live trap is set again. Deer camera is up too just to see if there is more or it's something different doing it.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Thanks to the only rain we have gotten, I have more new blooms at the homestead. I am picking green beans almost every other day now.
Well, the mask mandate is causing so much chaos in our county. I simply shop in another county. So sick of this stuff. What will they come up with during the next 5 months to keep everyone fighting and dividing? Who knows. I'm glad I have my garden to keep me busy. Our state is being watched by counties now, and have a level grid. Our county was put in a level to put a mask mandate in place. They only change status by the week as well.
Cases are escalating in our county daily. I'm starting to wonder if it's not a virus and rather a bacteria now. It won't be long before they close everyone again.
We have no plans to return to the island. Three businesses have not closed to quarantine. If campgrounds do not close this fall, we do have plans to go camping.
People are buying up all the ball canning lids. Regular lids are so hard to find. I'm having family check their Meijer stores for me, as other stores are out or highly inflated pricing.
Happy gardening to you all. I'm about to go work in mine. We have a cool morning, so I'm taking advantage of it.
I have to repair a hole in my chicken coop (again). After one day of repair I set a live trap. I caught a pretty old opossum who was the suspect. He however, ripped another hole in the coop. Building a new wireless coop has now been moved up on the to-do list. We are just tired of the trouble with the wire, and I've spotted a raccoon last night too.
I found 3 boxes of lids with rims at our grocery store, but that's it so far.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Short post today.
On another good note, thanks to my Mom, I have a new project to work on soon. Once my supplies arrive, I will have show you.
Friday, July 10, 2020
Thanks to the tip from Goatldi yesterday, I froze corn for the chickens cool down treat. They loved it!
The heat is just sucking the positive mojo and energy right out of me. One daughter is depressed (the salon called yesterday and told her they can't afford to keep her on staff). Hubby is agitated when he gets home. Who wouldn't be? He works in this heat and next to 600°F equipment off and on. Yesterday he had to work where it was 120°F.
I need a motorcycle ride or camping trip. Both will not happen in this heat either. I need a sanity saver and am stuck inside, but at least we have air conditioning.
I finished the patriotic dishcloth. Not big news there, but it's off the project list now.
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Speaking of lack of rain...everyone is on edge here at the homestead. Not sure if it's just the heat and drought, or what's going on in the world. Lots of agitation, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and lack of patience. I know I am tired of all of it.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Tomatoes are starting to come on, but again, plants are short.
I am emptying the dehumidifier 2 times a day, the humidity is that bad as well.
I had peaches that were getting soft, so I whipped up a peach pie before it got too hot. People are asked to conserve electricity from 2-6pm this week.
Look who stopped long enough for a few very quick photos? They are not in focus, but I was quick to snap a few while the sprinkler watered the garden(s).
I'm re-doing the menu. We had taco salad last night. Too hot to cook. Egg salad sandwiches sound good too. What's your go-to meal on a very hot day?
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
. . . patriotic dishcloth still on the knitting needles
. . .finished this crocheted dishcloth
. . . started another thin dishcloth in bright coral and white (my to-go project)
. . .another dishcloth/washcloth on the crochet hook
I have a lot more in project bags etc. I am just concentrating on these first.
Monday, July 6, 2020
I still haven't been able to get a photo of the wrens. They are small and quick. I didn't see many out at all this morning. I think they know it will be hot and getting hotter as we go into the week.
We spent all of Saturday on the Harley, and I never got sun burn oddly. Had a fantastic weekend, with another ride yesterday. Although we went to one of our favorite restaurants and won't be back. They changed their menu completely, and nothing looked good. They took away the perch, and many more items including my favorite Philly.
One burger was served cold, with toppings that were asked to be left off. It was raw, and when they brought toppings, the BBQ sauce was as thin as water. The service was horrible, messed up one drink. They switched perch out for cod and over priced it. It was horrible too.
I'm sure they changed it due to this pandemic, lack of employees returning, and possibly food resources available. I feel bad for them, but I can't support a place that serves awful food either. Or awful service. No one wants to sit and wait an hour just for a drink, then wait another half hour for appetizer and another half hour for the meal.
Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.
The weather . . .
High of 96°F, but the heat index will rise into the hundreds as we go through the week. No sign of rain until possibly Friday. We can only pray for it. We need it so badly.
How I am feeling this morning . . .
Tired. Exhausted from the mask mandates going in place in areas around us. Just sick of it. They are saying that if Trump wins in November the virus will last until 2025, but if Biden wins, the virus will disappear in November.
On my mind . . .
Well, I have lost many friends during this virus. Not from the virus, but because of the divide it has put between people over personal opinions. I am thankful for the friends that have stayed friends regardless of opinion.
On the breakfast plate . . .
Have no idea.
On my reading pile . . .
On my TV . . .
On the menu this week . . .
-meatloaf, mashed tades and corn (didn't get this made yet)
-breakfast: Biscuits/sausage gravy, potatoes, eggs
......have no idea because it will be so hot here and I hate to heat up my kitchen every day.
From the Camera . . .
I pulled my garlic, but it's sitting on the table waiting to be tied and hung up. It did pretty good, but only one bulb was pretty large. I'm happy with the results, and will probably plant in grow pots again. The house needs cleaned, but that's normal. It will get done since we can't be outside for long the rest of the week.
Chore I am not looking forward to this week . . .
Mucking the chicken coop, but that's not happening until we get a rain and cool down.
To relax I will . . .
Watch cooking shows while I crochet.
On my prayer list . . .
Our country. It seems that so many Americans have lost their pride and willingness to fight for their civil rights. All the fighting and judgment and finger pointing has caused a divide, and I'm sure it all has to do with November's voting. The mask mandates are a huge fight between most in our area. Half wants it and the other half thinks it is dumb. Please no negative comments. It's so out of control.
I will say this. When you went to the doctor, they had a box of masks. It said if you are sick and with a cough, to please wear one. The sick. Not the healthy. The sick. Just do you research on this. There are many articles and Youtube videos that make you wonder what's really going on.
I'm so disappointed in Americans and the behavior and the violence etc that is going on right now. All for a vote or no vote? There is so much more behind all this virus than we will ever know. Keep praying!
Praying for rain for us. My root vegetables are suffering horribly and I really don't want to hear my husband say we are not planting a thing next year. We have suffered a struggle to garden for the last 3 years and I don't want to deal with it another year here.
Praying for the law enforcement. It is truly a crazy, scary, and frustrating year.