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~

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Garden ~ Cleaning and other Tidbits

I'm back back to gardening, weeding, and indoor clean up.  We haven't had rain, so my week started with watering everything before indoor cleaning started.

The weather has been a beautiful fall like weather.  Cool mornings and gorgeous evenings.  We went on a bike ride last night with two other bikers and I slept like a baby last night.  

However, we may be heading into very hot weather again.

More blooms to share.

I finally had some ripe blackberries to pick.

The egg basket filled up over last weekend, so I may be putting some aside to boil again.

My husband fixed the problem with the camper hot water heater.  Big hooh-rah to that!  I tried to get us a campsite for another park this month.  They are booked solid (as most are this year).

Our hometown fair is in full swing.  First time in two years.  I am so happy to see it happening.  Not sure if we will actually get to go, but happy it's going on this year.

I'm still unable to view my blogger reading list. I sent a message for help on this.  We'll see if they can fix the issue soon.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

I can't make this stuff up! Camping Trip, Adventure Mishaps and other things that went wrong


First, our first camping trip this year in the pop-up camper was our last.  It was getting too much for us two (all that cranking up and down), and too much bed space for the two of us.

Our nephew and his wife were selling their hard sided camper, and said they just don't go camping anymore.  They had not used it for a year.  We went and looked at it, but next time we buy a camper we'll make sure we double check some things.  We simply trusted their word ("everything works" but again they had not used it for a year).  Thankfully, we were able to simply transfer our camper plates.  Oh, and it only sleeps 2 (he he!)

We sold the pop-up the same day it was for sale, and made back half of what we paid for the hard sided camper.  Oh boy.  What a difference in camping.  Just back it in, put up the jacks, pull out the awning and relax.  I do like the fact that it did not keep us inside, and we still did campfire meals.  We do have a propane stove in case of bad weather while camping. 

Anyway, here is the saga of our story.  My husband put the hitch in, backed up, hooked up the camper and we started to pull out of the driveway.


We stop, get out and guess what he did?  Again, I can't make this up.  He put the pin in behind the hitch, so the camper pulled the hitch out, then bounced of the bumper of the truck (now he has another thing to fix, ha ha!).  Our first maiden voyage didn't start out that great.

We get to the campground, set up and start hooking up water and electric.  This was our first time to use water with a camper and we were excited to have hot showers etc.  Well, he hooks up water and water starts spraying out of the handle of the kitchen sink and down to the floor.

We scramble to use our towels to mop up up the floor.  We didn't have the right tools to remove the faucet, and we needed the hot water tank drained to remove the faucet (or water would come out of the faucet. 

The next morning, we got our campfire breakfast made, but were exhausted with the issue with no water in the camper.

We had met our neighbors, and in conversion, we were told who to ask for help.  We walk over a few more campsites and low and behold we got help.  Water tank emptied, faucet taken out, we headed to the hardware store.

Thankfully, we found help and found a new faucet for the camper.  Back at the camper, we install it, check for leaks again, and we were back in action.

We however could not get the pilot light on the hot water tank to light.  Frustrated we decided to go for a drive and get some delicious local chicken.  


Nope.  We went to larger restaurants and found lines out the door with anywhere from 30-50 people standing in line.  After trying two, we headed back to another town and tried a brewery.  Nope.  30 minute wait and we were starving.  We went next door to another one and after a short wait got in.  We were exhausted just trying to get a meal.  I told him next time we camp in Amish country, we cook all meals at the campground.

So we finally get back to the camper and get the pilot light going and the hot water tank kicks on.  Shortly after?  It kicks off.  This went on all evening and the next day.  

No hot showers for the either of us, because we used our towels to clean up the earlier mess (shower house was there, but we didn't want to drive out for more towels).  We just dealt with no showers, packed 'er up and headed home.

By the way, the campground was packed full, and on the way home, we stop at a gas station that had a dump station - jam packed with campers.  Everyone and their brother was camping (best weather ever for it).

Now for the rest of the story.  If you are still reading this ..ha ha!  Long story.

We return Sunday, unload the food from the camper, and unhook it.  Our new mattress and box springs were in.  Our daughter got us a very good deal and ours were almost 20 years old (springs sticking out of my husband's side of the box springs).

First, Hubby insisted our bed was a California King.  I told him no, it's a King.  I ordered it his way, we haul it home, haul it all into the house.  Nope.  Too big.  We call our daughter who luckily was at work, and they had a king in stock.  We load that heavy pain in the rump all back up (a LOT of work there), drive it back, unload it, do the exchange, load the new one in, drive home and unload.  Mind you, this is all way late evening and we had not had dinner, nor had either of us had a shower since Friday morning.

It fit perfect.  Thankfully, daughter K got off work and rescued our hungry stomachs with some dinner.  Thankfully, we have the proper electrical outlet to hook up the camper's electric and water to work on the hot water heater.  Another job for him to work on ha ha!  What a weekend!!  I never did get my shower until Monday morning, but boy oh' boy did it feel good.

At least we can laugh about it, and my husband is already telling people the story too (and laughing while telling it).

Monday, August 2, 2021

Happy Homemaker Monday


It's been a whirlwind of a weekend, although we got our 2nd camping trip squeezed in.  I'll have the full report on that tomorrow ha ha.  Oh boy it's too much to fit into today's post.  It's not just about camping, but the entire weekend, returning home and stuff I just can't make up.

However I have photos down below for you all.

By the way, blogger is still not working correctly for me.  My reading list is zero.  It keeps telling me no posts to read at all, and it's frustrating.  I have found a way to search for your blogs one at a time, but it's easier for me if you comment. Then I can click on your blog (if you have one) and read updates.  Hopefully they will fix it soon.

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  I'll link up when she posts.

The weather . . . 

Absolutely gorgeous!!  What I call perfect camping weather.  In the 70's and so nice out.  

How I am feeling this morning . . .

Well, rested yet exhausted and feeling grimy.  Read tomorrow's post to find out why ha ha!

On the breakfast plate . . .

Coffee so far, ha ha!  Most likely a few eggs and toast. 

Looking around the house. . . 

What a mess!  Daughter K worked long shifts so nothing was done, and she put all her dirty dishes in the sink vs. the dishwasher.  It'll be a long day cleaning up everything.

On my reading pile . . .

A campground magazine that contains all of the campground in our state.

On my TV . . .

Nothing in particular.  However, today after I clean, I plan to have some down time watching cooking shows and doing some handiwork.

On the menu . . .

-fried cabbage, buttermilk cornbread
-grilled philly's
-possibly chickpea stuffed shells
-hummus (a meal on it's own and perfect for very hot days)

From the camera . . .
Herb garden at the campground for anyone to use for cooking.  I thought this was pretty neat, considering I love foil pack campfire beets with fresh rosemary.  

Just a few photos of our camping trip.   We had to go to Wal-mart and buy a grill cover for the campfire ring.  All campfire rings did not have a grill grate on them to do any campfire cooking.

I am thankful for . . .
Music.  I love to have the radio playing while cleaning the house.

I am hoping to . . .
Get some more camping trips planned.

Prayer list . . .
Niece A, who is pregnant and nearly passed out for some reason yesterday and niece L who was in a single car accident near our house (while we were gone), totaled her car, but is okay.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Organizing and more purging

Sprinkles arrived early yesterday morning, followed by thunder and lightning.  I decided to pull out all of my totes of items I sell at craft shows, take an inventory, write down what needs re-stocked, and price everything that wasn't.  I need to package the remaining items, and print labels for them, but now I need to replace my printer first.  

In the process I was looking for salt and pepper shakers a Tupperware dealer gifted me (mini one's) at show we did.  I did not find them.  They were for the camper and as of yet I have not found them.  Hm.

Either way, I filled yet another large box for donation.  I now need a storage container for all the camper bedding I am keeping to use for rag rugs.

In the process of looking for the salt and pepper shakers, I have found more areas to purge and re-organize.  

I also found this unfinished set of pot holders.  I didn't find the crocheted rug I was looking for.  Something in my foggy brain thinks I finished it and gave it to Daughter E for her hope chest last year.  I found an unfinished lapghan too.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Blogger ~ Blooms ~ Garden ~ Road Construction

I don't know if it's my internet or blogger, but I'm unable to read anyone's blog.  Hopefully blogger will fix it soon.

More blooms from our glady's.  Oh, by the way, we were sitting on the front porch late evening and two hummingbirds were enjoying my tall purple phlox for the longest time ever.  It was fun to watch them.

Rain is in the forecast today, but as of waking up we have zero.  I sure hope it does rain.  My garden actually needs it.  the mosquitoes are horrible this year, but we do need the rain.

Road construction has started out in front of our homestead.  They literally just did this in 2012, and it really doesn't need done (there are worse routes that need re-surfaced).  I'm not looking forward to it, and the dogs will bark and bark.  Sigh.

We had plans to go to another "big city" and then those plans changed and then we ended up not doing either.  The heat was horrible, and after Hubby worked in it all day, he just wanted to get home and into the AC.  Thank goodness for egg salad.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Heat Returns ~ Day 2 of Battle with the Rabbits

The heat returned and watering everything resumed.  The rabbits are horrible this year and have eaten the tops off most of my beets (so mad about this).  I've dumped cayenne pepper on it to deter them, but it may be too late.  Next year I'll have to fence it in.  We've never had this problem in 12-13 years.

My mother's neighbor told her a trick - sprinkle cayenne in the garden.  I did this with the grow bags, sweet potatoes and other problem areas and so far it's working!!  So happy to see growth vs. chewed down tops.

The green peppers are on thankfully.  So are the green beans.  I'm still waiting on more zucchini and yellow squash, but the tomatoes look great.

One zucchini, last year's jalapenos, and last year's green peppers went into making a breakfast scramble for breakfast.  We are on the very last bag of frozen green peppers - just in time for this year's harvest.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Cleaning ~ Garden Day

Monday was a catch up all day.  Kitchen needed cleaned up, garden needed weeded etc.

My hot peppers are loaded and I'm already putting some in the freezer.  The rest of the garden is slow going for some reason.

One family member may be raising meat birds for extended family.  We will definitely be in on that, however they want to process them all themselves (we are talking 100-150).  Not sure if it'll happen, but we'll see.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Happy Homemaker Monday

We had a busy weekend, but sheesh, these birthday parties are taking over all our free time.  We have a lot of nieces and nephews that have lots of kids, and again, had a birthday party to attend.  I however, love that we can see family this year.

Sunday the weather was awful.  Humidity was over the top. 

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

The weather . . .

88°F/64°, sunny

How I am feeling this morning . . .

Not ready to take on the week, ha ha!  

On the breakfast plate . . .

Leftover French toast, coffee

Looking around the house . . .

I have a lot of extra camping stuff I need to either donate or put away.

On my reading pile . . .

Nothing this week, nor last week.

On the TV . . .

Virgin River

On the menu . . .

Honestly, I have no idea.  I'll need to take a look in the freezer and pantry and come up with some ideas.

From the camera . . .

I finally got around to try an Aperol Spritzer.  Not bad, but not cheap either.  It was a welcoming cold refresher on a hot weekend.

I am thankful for. . .

A bit cooler weather today.  Sunday was miserable.

I am hoping to . . .

Get to town for a few items I forgot over the weekend.

Prayer list . . .

No personal requests, but prayers for our country

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Pop Up Camper ~ Garden

My first day of the camper purge was pretty successful.  Rain was in the forecast, but very little.

The table in the camper folds down, and is a bed for 2.  Under one side of the table bench is a storage area. It's the biggest storage other than the outside front storage bin.  

I tackled that area first. I kept extra pillows in there, because we often forgot to pack pillows for camping trips.  Lots of stuff went into a box for goodwill.  Some sheets were washed a saved for those spring frost blasts we get late in May (when we have to cover plants).  I also saved sheets for rag rugs, gave some enamel plates to one of my brothers.

Games and doodle books went to Daughter E for her new apartment, along with a pizza pan (have no idea why that was in the camper), some cups/mugs, drawer storage tray, antique counter top mug holder, and other items.

Some items went in the trash, like a pot holder that was beyond it's lifetime.  I had 10 pot holders in that camper, ha ha!  Many that were in good shape went to Goodwill.  

A few things needed washed down, and a few screws for the door top needed replaced, but all in all, the camper is in good condition considering it's a 1999 camper.

I brought these mug covers in to wash.  I had a color for each person.  They are made to fit a specific mug, and we don't use them anymore, so I'm torn on what to do with them. I may see if they fit any of my mugs in the house.  If not, they may (gulp) get donated.

Of course with so much going out, I added a few new items - collapsible strainers for the camper.

I finally harvested our first zucchini of the season.  My yellow is way behind.  I have made notes in my garden journal to not only change resources for seeds, but to start the yellow plants indoors next spring.  I've had trouble with them the last few years.  Of course we've had weather issues, but for some reason the seeds from High Mowing (for yellow straight neck) have taken longer to harvest and less to harvest.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Camper Cleaning Day!


Today is camper clean up day.  Outside and inside.   There is a lot to sort from the inside, but super excited to get it done.  We've attempted to do this for the last 3 days, but my husband has spent every night working on the mower.  I finally convinced him to set the camper up before he work on the mower, so I can work on the camper while he works on the mower.

It's time to purge the camper.  We have bedding for 7 people and we don't need it anymore.  I'm sure there are kids games and odd stuff that will need to go to a new home.

Out with the old and in with the new.  I've had that tan strainer since pre-kids.  Seriously.  It's cracked, stained and time to replace.  My husband is gonna faint when he finds out.  I kept telling him it was my most used strainer. The new red one is bigger, which I do like.

Sunrise from a few days ago.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Busy Day

Yesterday I had more laundry than anticipated, so the clothesline was working over time.

Hot peppers are doing great again this year, but darn it all, the rabbits are killing my greens and beets.  I'm so frustrated this year. Oh, the cayenne must only be working to deter the snakes, not the rabbits.  I put two more flood lights out there now, but need about 3 more.  I chased off 3 deer the other morning too.

The first year to see wild grapes growing.

My mad hatters are getting big and plants are loaded.

The ladies are happy with their nicely cleaned up coop.  Yes, they need a new ramp, but it's not high on the list since we plan to build a new one for them.  By evening they had kicked half their straw out the door.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Mower ~ Trip to the "Big City" ~ Coconut Waffles ~ Baked Walleye

The day our mower guy came out to mow, he hit something and bent the mower blade.   New blades were purchased, but half the mowing was done.  It was a battle to repair, but hopefully it'll be completed tonight.  My husband had a heck of a time getting the old blade off.

I made it in to the "Big City" for some errands.  I needed more twine to tie up the tomatoes and other items.  I also needed some items to work on the pop-up camper.

Daughter K had the day off, and when she is off all day and home, it typically involves an adult beverage.  Ha ha!  We were just refilling out wine rack at home.  She put another bottle in the cart after I took that photo.  We wanted to try a new cocktail, but one ingredient has been hard to locate so far.

Arriving back home, I scrambled to get things done before dinner.  First, I made a batch of coconut (no sugar) flour waffles.  My husband had a to-go breakfast this morning.  In between each waffle, I multi-tasked unloading the dishwasher and loading the washing machine.  

I had a front porch visitor just before dinner was started.

Dinner was baked walleye and steamed broccoli.  We have a lot of walleye in the freezer thanks to friends of ours.  So good!  The Parmesan cheese made the fish delicious.  Normally, my husband would insist on deep frying, but this was a healthier alternative.

We him-hawed on putting the pop-up camper up, so I could clean it today, but we both lost our mojo later into the evening.  The plan is to do that this evening.

The weather is in the mid 70's today, and so comfortable.  However, it looks like rain could move in (not in the forecast).  My plan is to muck the coop and tie up more tomatoes, but we'll see what the weather has planned.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

. . .from the handiwork journal

 (since the last handiwork post)

. . . finished the XL purple pot holder.  It was made to match some hot pads I recently made.  Although, I used the solid color to edge it.

. . .spray painted two more mini clip boards for future gift giving.  I decorate them, add a pad of paper.  Instructions are on my S.C.R.A.P. Blogspot.

. . . spraying a clear coat on Daughter E's latest craft project.  I wanted her to buy the ladybug, but she insisted on this one.  It's a garden stone.

. . . crocheted a set of pot holders

. . .crocheted a matching XL hot pad

. . .progress on a knitted dishcloth.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Happy Homemaker Monday

My husband had to work all weekend, but we managed to get to the gathering regarding the loss of one daughter's boyfriend a year ago.  Oh my, we love those families/friends.  It was a good turn out, including classmates of his and daughter E's.  So many good laughs and good times and even tears, but so thankful we all got together.

Something I learned (although some of you may already know this). . .

I have never cooked with flank steak before (believe it or not).  I bought some last week and sliced it and grilled it for philly's sandwiches.  What did I learn?  Well, I was watching America's Test Kitchen (love that show) and watched them prepare a recipe using flank steak.

What did I learn?  I learned it has little fat and you must pound it before cooking, to tenderize it.  I literally did not know this until I watched the show.  

I will be buying flank steak again and giving it a try the right way. Ha ha!  It always makes me excited to cook when I learn something new.

I made a double batch of homemade taco seasoning.

I made a comfrey salve.

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

The weather outside is  . . .

86°F/66°F, sunny

Heating up and we are finally drying out!  

How I am feeling . . .

Rested.  Ready to take on the week.  

On the breakfast plate . . .

Coconut flour waffles, bacon, coffee

Looking around the house . . .

I have some boxes I need to take upstairs for Daughter E, for her big move coming up, but the kitchen is almost pristine.  I spent quite a bit of time cleaning yesterday while my husband worked (really stinks because weather was great on Sunday for outdoor work, bike ride, cards on the porch).

On my reading pile . . .

Nothing last week.

On  my TV . . .

Finally finished the entire season of Heartland.  Ending wasn't exciting either.

On the menu . . .

-Baked walleye, steamed broccoli
-Meatballs with homemade teriyaki sauce, asparagus
-something on the grill 
-have no idea

From the camera. . . 

The rain brought us some new blooms, and one glady finally bloomed.

I am thankful for . . .
A few dry days to allow the garden to recover, and give me time to do more weeding (not to mention get the grass mowed). I had more handiwork time over the weekend, which was a nice change (everything outside this weekend was soaked and road still flooded).

I am hoping to . . .
Get to the "Big City" to get errands done this week.  Maybe.  Nothing I need is an emergency, but needed.  The list is growing.

On my prayer list . . .
No personal requests, this country could always use prayer though.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Rainy Cleaning Indoor Day

I dug in my heals and got to cleaning Friday morning, but boy oh' boy did I keep getting side tracked.

I left dishes to soak, went to toss bedding in the washer, started to pick up the bedroom (camping clothes etc) and forgot about the dishes. 

Put biker boots in the closet and saw the bag of netting I needed to cut.  You get the picture, ha ha!

I got back to dishes and something caught my eye (or thoughts) I need to get my salve made.

Well, that didn't happen.

We woke up to rain again, and the road is starting to flood.  We had lots of rain yesterday and no time for it to dry up.

I've managed to write out some shopping lists for the first dry day we have.  I need twine to tie up tomatoes (again), and some items to do a complete cleaning on the pop up camper (more on that later).

Today is the day Daughter E's boyfriend and best friend were killed in a car accident one year ago.  The family is hosting a backyard get together, so both families can be with one another.  I sure hope the rain stops by then, but it's iffy.

I'll leave you with a photo of Daughter E's cat Tiger.  She plans to take him when she moves.  I on other hand have begged her not too.  He's old and would be better off in the home he knows.  We'll see what she decides.