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~

Monday, November 30, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday

The porch is fully loaded with split wood for the upcoming colder nights this week. We also moved the splitter inside the barn, and more wood, so we can split wood despite any weather.

We got more stuff taken off the porches and put in storage, all garden hoses put away (I use a lot to get out to the gardens). Got Youngest's car fixed.  Thankfully, she did not blow the transmission.  Got the larger air conditioner out and put in storage (been after Hubby for a few months on that job).

I'll try and remember to post an update on handiwork.  I'll have time this week, as the snow and rain are keeping us inside for now.

I'm finally back to cooking.  Since the passing of my Dad, I had zero motivation/mental capacity to cook or bake.  We had no meal after the service, nor any meals delivered from friends/family (we lived on take out).  First dinner we had was a ham, potatoes and corn.  The family is elated.  As for baking?  Well, that may happen in a week or two.

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  I'll link up when she posts.  I need to run out to the barn and fetch kindling.  

The weather outside is . . .

40°/27°F, Raining early this morning, turning to snow, with 1 inch expected.  Snow all day Tuesday.

On the breakfast plate this morning . . . 

Omelet with sausage and cheese, coffee.

As I look outside my window . . .

Cloudy, dreary, raining, cold

As I look around the house . . .

My front room is a mess, but one daughter can't lift her laundry basket and take it upstairs with her hand healing either.  I'll try and help take stuff upstairs for her.

What I am wearing . . .

As of posting this, pajamas, robe and slippers.

To do today or this week . . .

Taking it easy today.  Long mentally/physically exhausting week.

For the week?

-split wood

-clean masterbath

-vacuum carpets

-extreme clean the kitchen hutch 

Currently reading . . .

I haven't picked out a book, but will be posting in a day or two.

On the TV this week . . .

Night Shift on Netflix

On the menu . . .

-BBQ turkey cutlets, crockpot veggies

-Sweet potato/lentil soup

-Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala and Basmati Rice (new recipe to try, including homemade garam masala)

-white bean and ham soup, homemade bread

-a healthy breakfast dish with greens for the next few days

Something to share . . .

A story about my Dad.  When I was raising 3 kids as a single parent, and helping build my first home (Habitat house), I was a full time travel agent.  I was going on 10 years of that profession, when a woman was hired, did a dirty deal on my boss (a boss who I absolutely loved ), got her demoted and moved to another store, and didn't like me because I could sell travel better than her (never pushed higher priced packages and we were on commission), and I would go home with headache after headache, hating my job . . .I got sick of it and literally walked out.  When I told Dad, he smiled, raised his hands in the air and said, "Hallelujah!" (Mom said, go back and get your job back).

Biggest risk I ever took, but I found a job within 30 days, made twice as much money, holidays off, weekends off, where I met my current husband (he worked maintenance and I was an office girl). and now married 22 years and 6 kids, 3 grandkids (one passed).  

Favorite photo from the camera . . .

Just a dog and his wine bottle.

Prayers, Inspirational quotes, Devotionals . . .

Continuing to pray for our K (21 year-old) and her hand to heal quickly and good recovery, for Youngest (Romeo is no longer with us, and I am not sharing details, just know she is in a very mentally stressed state), for our daughter with Covid, our nephew with Covid, Our state, my family and health, Mom (she's been mentally worried since Dad passed), any personal requests.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Resourcefulness Tidbits ~ Wood Splitting


The other day I suddenly realized I got my "resourcefulness" from my Dad.  Years ago, he gave me a container of craft supplies from my Grandmother.  Somehow I was the new owner of a bag of medicine cups. I think I should have added some bird seed to that medicine cup.  Anyway,  I think this trait I inherited had something to do with my S.C.R.A.P. Blogspot.

I was literally searching through my crafting supplies for a container I kept old keys in.  I caught myself laughing, because I realized how much I don't throw away - container of bottle caps, old jewelry, wine corks etc.  Oh boy.  Stay tuned for some future posts on my S.C.R.A.P. blog.  I have a few up my sleeve right now.

We were back to wood splitting yesterday, but we were delayed with repairs on the splitter.  We finally got some split about 1pm, after a full morning of running our for parts etc.

We are back at it today.  Snow is in the forecast for Monday.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Depression Era Hanging Lamp and Dad

My Grandma and Grandpa (Dad's parents) lived through the depression.  They were very resourceful people.  Never threw anything away, dug stuff out of trash bins that could be used to rebuild new items to sell (many times lamps).  I am the owner of one my Grandma made using egg cartons.  It still works too.  My Dad gave it to me to use in an apt. many years ago while raising my first 3 kids.

I found this when we cleaned the garage last.  My Dad made it for me many years ago when I had my first house.  It shows his humor as well as resourcefulness.  Best I can figure, it was a key to our shed at the time, and I am sure I lost the key once or twice, so hence he recycled wooden piece in large form, sanded and polished it too.


I went through my photo albums and found these.  It's my Dad, his dad and Mom visiting when I gave birth to my first born child.  Precious moments.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Random Tidbits ~ The Car Saga

Thanksgiving yesterday was spent much differently, but so much more less stressed and way less dirty dishes.

We started off the day with ordering 7 meals online from Bob Evans.  We went to the "Big City" and delivered 2, then headed out of town to our daughter who is in quarantine with a total of 5 people.  We placed a box (5 meals) and bag of extra food in the driveway, and then called her.  She was ever so thankful, but still can't really taste food.  

By the time we returned home, our 21 year-old was off work and we broke out our take out meal.  I was literally back in my PJ's by then and we just hung out in the kitchen until we were all done eating.  

Porch weather returned for a short bit, so we spent some time chatting on the porch too.

We had to stop at the grocery store for an extra pie, the day before Thanksgiving.  Our 21 year-old daughter is constantly buying Christmas decor (which I told her "save your money")

Guess what she bought for me?  

Camper ornaments.  They are so cute and she insisted the tree needed them, as we are not putting up our bigger tree this year.  We are using her tree that she put up (a bit smaller).  I love them, but still told her she better be saving her money.

On Tuesday, the day before my Dad's funeral service, 3 of us went to town to take care of all of the last title/plates (deadline due to pandemic was Dec. 1st.).

We were at the title office, and I watched my daughter and husband walk back to the truck.  I said, "uh, she has to go next door and get plates."  

My husband looked at me and said, "your daughter is broke down on the highway (our 2 lane country highway).  It was raining and we drove all the way back to her.  Her car wasn't going anywhere.  My husband and I pushed her car off the road, drove her home, gave her the keys to my car and she went to work. 

We drove back to town (this is about a 25 minute drive), got the plates for the other daughter's car, went back home to get help to tow the car back home.  When we got home, we saw transmission fluid all over the driveway.  Ugh.  We have yet to look at the issues and I'm praying the transmission isn't blown.

So, guess who is back to having no car again.  I never even got to drive it again.  Sigh.

Our family needs a break from all things bad.  


Thursday, November 26, 2020

This and That

Let's talk about English Muffin rings.  I had no idea these things even existed.  Do any of you have them and use them, and if you have them, do they help in the rising/baking process?

Where is a good place to purchase a wool pressing mat?

Let's talk pie.  Does anyone have a really good homemade butterscotch pie recipe?  I will be checking my cookbooks, but I really don't want to use a pudding to make it.  I'd like to try a homemade one.

I found another use for my home canned pizza sauce.  One day last week I made chicken parmigiana in the crock pot.  So easy and tasted awesome.

I sliced two organic chicken breasts in half, making 4 filets of chicken.  Dipped them into an egg beaten with salt and pepper, then dipped them in Italian panko, seared 3 minutes on each side in butter in a stove top pan.  Transferred them to the crockpot, poured a pint of home canned pizza sauce over it.  Put the crock pot on low for about 7-8 hours, then hand shredded mozzarella cheese over it at the end until melted.  Delish!

My 21 year-old daughter bought me a very cute camper blanket.  She also bought me a box of Christmas cards she found at the dollar store.  So cute!

I finally figured out what I can make for Mom for Christmas.  I will be digging out my sewing machine for part of the making.  I haven't gotten it out since I sewed goat coats for our baby goats.  I'll update as I work on it.  This should be fun.  I never figured out how to thread a bobbin with it, so I sure hope YouTube has some videos.  The book that came with it doesn't have directions.  Mom gave me the sewing machine, so I am thankful for that.  I still have her old one that I used for years until it just got to the point of not being useable.

Dad, Mom, me and my siblings with my Dad's horse Sugar.  We lived in the city, and his horse was kept at a barn nearby.  I remember us driving home one time and Dad road Sugar into town to our house.  The first kiddo on Sugar is me at the age of 2.  Such precious memories.

His service was Wednesday afternoon.  It was graveside.  It started with an honor salute, as Dad was in the Navy during the Korean war.  It was very cold and raining the entire service, but we shared many, many funny and happy stories (and we all had different ones).

By the way, not sure if I shared, but our daughter (who has our grandkids), was tested positive for covid.  She got pretty sick.  We are really worried about her family, as her husband has many health issues.

We plan to do a driveway drop today for my Mom and one daughter (meal).  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Egg Souffle (aka Christmas Morning Casserole)


(note:  you could use ham or bacon or any mix of meats really, but we've always used breakfast sausage)

The original recipe was given to me by a co-worker many, many years ago.  She had brought the dish in for a potluck, and it was amazing.  We've been baking this for Christmas morning every year since then, because you can make it the night before and bake it in the morning.

Brown one pound of organic (or homemade) breakfast sausage.  Drain. Set aside.

Recipe calls for "8 slices of white bread"
I use homemade white bread, and use about 6 slices, because my loaf is much larger than one from the store.

Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.  I've also used a thin layer of organic olive oil.

Dice the bread with kitchen sheers or a knife. Layer the cubed bread into the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle the cooked breakfast sausage evenly over the cubed bread.

Grate 1 cup of organic sharp cheddar cheese.

Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top of the cooked sausage.

In a mixing bowl with a spout, mix 2 cups of organic milk (I use whole milk), 1 tsp. organic ground mustard and. . .

6 large eggs.  Whisk.  I used 7 as my layers are still laying small-ish eggs.

Pour the mixture over the ingredients in the baking dish.
Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until eggs are cooked.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday


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

The weather outside is . . .

Cold, sunny, 40's, lows tonight 30's

On the breakfast plate this morning . . .

Egg Souffle (again)

As I look outside my window . . .

It's sunny.

As I look around the house . . .

Not really looking.  Things can wait for now.

What I am wearing today . . .


To do today or this week . . .

-pick out an outfit for Dad's graveside service

-try and get a hair cut

-get through the week

Currently reading . . .

Nothing this week.

On the TV . . .

Operation Christmas Drop

On the menu this week . . .

So far it's been take out.  Chicken noodle soup is in the crockpot and after that most likely take out.  To mental stressed to even want to cook/bake.

Something I want to share. . .
If you go to Cookies and Cups website you can copy and paste and print this chart.  We may all need it if things get bad.

From the camera . . .

Miss Thelma thought the food tasted better inside the feeder.

Prayers . . .
Our family (Dad passed away), Youngest, for the healing of our 21 year-old's hand surgery, Mom (staying save from the virus), our country, our daughter who has grandkids (she is sick, doctor today said he's 99% sure she has covid), and other personal requests

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Random Tidbits

I placed another book order.  I also ordered a few western movies for my husband for Christmas.  We are not really exchanging gifts this year, but it gives us something to watch Christmas day too.  We still plan to buy for two younger ones. We've just had too many car repairs expenses, and one daughter we co-signed for and moved out of state, stiffed us with 3 months of car payments then blocked us on social media.  I can't make this stuff up.

I just don't go to the library anymore.  First, without the car, had a horrible time getting help getting them picked up and dropped off.  Second, you can't just go and browse.  You have to make an appt, ring a doorbell and they come let you in.  I just caved and bought the book I need.

I heard back on the dehydrator part.  It's not in stock right now, but they suggested another door - $30.00 and no answer yet if it will work for my model.  So frustrating, considering this is not a cheap dehydrator.  I'm now told that my part will not be in until 2021.  For now, duct tape it is.  At least unless my husband can do anything else for me to rig it.

I've been successful at tackling (deep cleaning) one kitchen corner at a time.  One longer counter I keep my recipe boxes on was the one I dreaded.  I have a huge stack of papers to sort - recipes tried, recipes to try, receipts, patterns for crochet....just keeping busy, considering all that is going on in our homestead.

I added new recipes to this binder, but will re-print the cover and leave the year off of it.

Thanksgiving will be just the 4 of us.  Three of the older kids don't come around anymore, and we told our other daughter it was best she stayed home with her family and the grandkids this year.  Hubby's family invited us, but we declined.  Taking it safe and praying we all get our lives back to normal next year at the holidays.

I really don't have the mojo to stay busy today, nor focus on reading or crocheting, nor anything much.

Thank you all for your prayers, kind words and thoughts, and well wishes yesterday.  It's hard for me, as my Dad babysat my kids, mowed my yard when I was at work, built things for me, supported me when I was single raising 3 kids and working full-time, and even babysat until 1am one night so I could help stain trim that was going into my first house. I'm just happy that he was able to live his life out, while living in his own place.  I'll probably go through photo albums today and put something together for my family to see.  Those photos are precious and not loaded to the computer nor on a device - printed the old-fashioned way.

Today I am thankful for my husband's support.  He knew I was mentally suffering and brought us all dinner home last night.  He is even working all weekend and did that for me, so I wouldn't have to cook or do the dishes.  I just love that man!

Saturday, November 21, 2020

My Dad

Sadly, my loving father of the age of 89 passed away last night.

My heart is very heavy.  Please send up prayers.  Our immediate family has had one h-e-double-hockey-sticks of a year in the way of grief and loss. 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Christmas Traditions

We have had many fun and memorable Christmas traditions in our home.  First, I loved (loved!) being classroom Mom for the class Christmas parties.  I would literally try to sign up for them when school started.  I loved it!  I always made some sort of treat bag/treat container that was filled with fun.  By fun I mean a handmade ornament for each student, candy, and fun activities or toys.  Here are a few treat bags I made for Christmas.  Also, most years I hand wrapped each handmade ornament so the kids had something to unwrap.

Classroom treats were also made.  One year I dipped large marshmallows into melted butterscotch chips on a stick.

I had so much fun coming up with creative treat holders.  The one above was made from a toilet paper roll (bottom piece), and the top was an ornament that sat into the top.

Long time blog followers already know that I have a passion for making homemade ornaments for my family every year.  Well, every year until I got some comments that they "had too many."  Then I stopped, but I am making one this year.  The above one was made with gumball machine capsules.

I made so, so many ornaments over the years.  Many are on my S.C.R.A.P. blog, and if you search my blog here, I posted many photos of some.  Search handmade/homemade Christmas ornaments.  The posts should pop up for you.

Another tradition when the kids were younger - sugar cube castle building with frosting and candies.

We still have a tradition of gifting new and wrapped jammies on Christmas Eve.  We are now down to just the 4 of us, out of a family of 8.  This year I will gift everyone a few days earlier, so we can all wash them before wearing them.

I'm going to start a new one this year, just different from the idea of it all.  I will share when that happens.

Of course when the kiddos were young, they would leave cookies and milk out for Santa.  Making all sorts of cookies and candies was a family tradition, and saving some of them for New Year's Eve.

Over the years, trying a new cookie/candy recipe for the holidays became a tradition as well. One year we even tried an alcoholic breakfast beverage (adults).

Overnight breakfast casserole has been a long time tradition for us.  We only make it for Christmas morning.  I thought for sure I shared my recipe on my blog, but can't seem to find it.  I guess when I bake it this year, it'll get it's own post.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Chicken Coop ~ Dog Fencing ~ House Cleaning


If you have been following along with my blog, you read about the coop massacre and the emergency purchase of a used coop.  Well, although it is keeping my ladies safe and sound, it is a pain in my royal rump.  Literally.

I have no idea why someone in their right mind would build it that way, so I have printed out what I want built in the spring (above photo).

The fenced side will be on the other side of the coop itself, but you get the idea.  

So what's wrong with the one we have now?  Well....

The inside is not conducive to roosting nor cleaning.  It's not that big either.  The lower sides are where they are to roost and lay eggs.  They tops of those extended parts have no way to get the eggs (does not lift up).  I have to crawl inside to get the eggs.  The door?  If it swings back closed, I'm locked in.  The heat lamp is inside and wired so we could wire it to the garage for heat, but the chickens have flown around inside and already broken the lamp that it came with.  The photo was taken before we got the ramp out and fenced it, but anyway....the ramp is slick in rain, frost and snow and I have to climb up it to get inside.  To do that, I have to (which we added)  a hook and eye screw to hold the door open so I am not live streaming from inside the coop for help.  When I do that, the hens all come outside while I get eggs.  So, come winter, I would have to deal with this and hope I don't slip off the ramp and fall.

Unless we figure a way to be able to lift up those lower sides.  We were going to cut a hole in the very back for a small door, but they are laying all over the coop now.  For a long time, they all laid their eggs in the very back corner.  Not anymore.  Sigh.

Again, shaking my head why they built it this way.  It's almost impossible to clean. I can't stand up in it at all.

So....working on getting my husband to agree to build a better design and sell this one.  Crossing my fingers.  Sounds like I'm ungrateful, but I'm very grateful, just frustrated.

This may be a repeat, but my husband found a 10 x 10 x 6 foot high metal panel dog fence.  The price?  Three cases of beer.  Seriously.  A co-worker is bartering it to us.  We have to go pick it up yet.  Once that is up, I will be a very happy dog Grandma.
(just ignore that wrinkled tablecloth)
(still searching for a shade for my oil lamp)

(ornaments on display hooks, candles inside them light up)

I've been tidying up the kitchen this week.  One small area at a time.  I've explained to the kids, that if they see an area cleaned up, keep it that way.  Once I have order in the house (again), I'll restart at decorating for Christmas.

Done!  My computer/bill paying station area in the kitchen is cleaned up, papers filed, cookbooks put away, craft and crochet patterns filed, one recipe filed, counters sanitized.

Gulp!  I found printed recipes to try.  I.  Have. Got. To. Stop. Doing. This.

I purged one cookbook and one kitchen utensil.

Sad and glad I didn't book a cabin for Christmas.  I am sure, the way things are going for us in our state, travel bans will be put in place by then.  We are now under a mandated curfew.  All retail businesses must close at 10pm, and everyone must be in their homes from 10pm to 5am.  It doesn't apply to 3rd shift manufacturing jobs, take out services, ER, Pharmacy etc.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Full Day in the Kitchen

I have two kitchen tables.  We use both during tomato season then potato season.  They are perfect for feeding family during get togethers (which I miss dearly).  Anyway, my larger table has become he spot to drop stuff and not put it away.  Yesterday I cleared it off.  Everything went to their home.

New tablecloths were put down, and yes that one on the table behind it is a Christmas one.  I really want a Christmas cloth for the smaller table in blues.  The one I have works for now.

I also tried a new bread recipe.  First, I wanted to try it due to the lesser amounts of ingredients and it didn't require bread flour.  Second.  I needed bread to make a french toast breakfast.

The recipe for the bread is a 4 ingredient recipe, which makes 2 loaves.  It's online (Simple Amish White Bread Recipe, Donna Elick).  I used all organic ingredients.

I was skeptical at first.  It uses all-purpose flour and no eggs. I used the full 7 cups of flour, and felt it should have had a bit more, as the dough was very soft.  Well, the bread rose nicely and tasted good. Now, when I cannot locate bread flour, I have this recipe to fall back on.

Dinner was a bit of work, but I decided on Chicken Spaghetti and corn.

Guess what?  My car is finally back home. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Shopping Trip and other boring stuff


Hobby Lobby goodies.  I picked up some tiny Santa hats for a craft, more stitch markers, a new porch sign (which is adorable with a metal hanger like you'd see outside a general store), and some chicken stickers for my thank you cards when I make a sale of my handiwork.  All was 50% off.  I also bought my husband a funny sign for the garage, but haven't had time to take a photo.  I'll share that later.

Oh I came home with blue netting this trip for scrubbies.  I still cannot find lavender.  The woman measuring it told me that business for her dept. has really reduced.  If they don't shut down non-essential businesses, I'm going back for more netting.  I'm very low in my supply of scrubbies to sell and gift.

The car did not come home last night.  Story of my life.  It very well may happen later today.  I guess we'll see.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday

In the beginning of the year, I accidently knocked my dehydrator front cover off and broke it.  I could not order another due to the business shutting down as well.  Well, it's beyond using, and I went online to order it.  Guess what?  Not available for the model I have.  I have sent an email, so I wait and see what they say.  So frustrating.

When I said we were trying to hang on to sanity, I didn't mean totally this lockdown stuff going on and our Hitler of a Gov.  I had to drive our 21 year-old to have emergency surgery on her hand.  She will be back to work tomorrow thankfully.  She does however, have 3 pins in one finger and will have it that way for 6 weeks.

I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom (very late today)

The weather outside is . . .

Still a bit windy, 45/33 degrees, partly cloudy

On the breakfast plate this morning . . .

Sausage, potato and egg burrito, coffee

As I look outside my window . . .

There is a lot that got blown around outside, so I will be taking a look at what I need to pick up from the horrible wind storm we had Sunday.

As I look around the house . . .

It's a hot mess.  I had to drive my daughter to her bone specialist for bandages to be changed and to be looked over to make sure she doesn't have any infections.  

I'll get around here, since I'm posting so late, and get busy on the dirty dishes I left, and figure out dinner for tonight.

What I am wearing today . . .

Long sleeved Harley Davidson top, jeans, and pull on black boots.

To do today or this week . . .

-Drive a daughter to her doctor

-Stop at Hobby Lobby (taking advantage of being out of the house)

-Go pick up the car (YAYYYY!)

-wash dishes

-clean master bath

-blanch and freeze zucchini and kale

Currently reading . . .

On the TV this week . . .

DVD - White Lightning

On the menu  . . .

-Stove top Tuna/noodle, mashed tades, corn

-Crockpot chicken noodle soup

-chicken spaghetti, asparagus

Something fun to share to share. . .


This is the butterscotch pudding we tried.  I am not totally sure, but I think I ordered it off of Amazon.  I could not find any organic online from the health store we buy from.

Photo from the camera . . .
Popped open a jar of home canned tomato soup (minus the basil in this batch apparently).  So good!

Prayers, Inspirational Quotes, Devotionals. . .
Prayers for my daughter's hand to heal, our State, the election, Youngest daughter