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, April 19, 2021

Happy Homemaker Monday

Garden work has started.  We had a busy weekend too.  We added another roost to the existing chicken coop.  Plans for the new one involve using barn wood from the knocked down barn.  

We replaced the bottom board in one kitchen cupboard and purged what was under it.

Installed the new wall towel rack in the smaller bathroom, installed new solar lights outside, and repaired a part on the dishwasher, and Hubby mowed all weekend.

We ended the evening by grilling burgers, and toasting the buns on the grill.  We mixed in chopped garden jalapenos, garlic and onion, and topped them with homemade thousand island dressing and blue cheese (we were too exhausted to fry bacon for them).  Oh so good and great way to end the day. 

On this week's to-do list:
-boil eggs
-sweep/mop kitchen
-start back at the craft purge 
-pick an extreme clean project
-make homemade lip balm
-make homemade "neosporin"
-write out a shopping list

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

The weather outside is . . .

67°F/38 today, but tomorrow?  44/31°F and then Wed? 42/23°F

1-3 inches possible Tues./Wed.

How I am feeling this morning . . .

Tired, although tickled pink we actually got some things done on Sunday.  

On the breakfast plate . . .

I'm going to make a breakfast bake, but use the very last bags of frozen zucchini and yellow squash vs. potatoes.  I tried a new way to bake the bacon - twist and bake on a foil like rimmed baking pan for 35 minutes.  Super crispy.  Recipe said 45 minutes, but my bacon was starting to burn, and 35 minutes at 425°F worked great!

On my reading pile . . .

On the TV . . .

Westerns on Amazon Prime

On the menu this week . . .

-two new recipes to try, roasted asparagus from the garden

-grilled cheese, home canned tomato soup

-baked chicken, sweet potatoes, green beans

-maybe an overnight casserole vs. a crock pot dish

-a new crock pot recipe

Looking around the house . . .

I feel so much better getting so much done.  I have a good to-do list, but the kitchen will be less cluttered after cupboard repairs.  I'm already making plans to get it all re-organized and purged under the kitchen sink.

To relax this week, I will . . .

If it warms up later in the week - play cards on the porch with my husband.  Otherwise, before he gets off work, most likely crochet.

From the camera . . .

This morning's sunrise.  The clouds sure scream weather change.

Something I want to share . . .

...because I'm an organizing I whipped up a way to store my dish gloves.  It's a GM hook and a curtain rod clip that slides onto a curtain rod to clip on curtains (tea towels etc.).  I will be picking up some cheap placemats to put behind them on the door and under them to protect the wood.  It felt great "shopping" from the "junk drawer."

Something else to share - early birthday present from my husband.  I LOVE these!

Devotional, inspirational, prayer list or Bible verse . . .

Friday, April 16, 2021

Good Vibes ~ Pushing Positivity


I saw this at the store and thought, why not give it a try.  I mean it can't hurt to try.  Not sure if it will really elevate my mood and energy, but I could use it.  

Sweet Tangerine Positive Energy Cookies (found on Yogi online).

These are buttery and a hint of citrus flavor.  The tea itself smells amazing.  Great way to use up teabags if they are needing used up.

I also ordered a copy of this book.  I just gave up on the library for now.  I can always pass on one book to make room for this one.  Also giving it a try to lift my spirits.  I'll let you know if it's any good.

Bringing fresh cut flowers indoors helps boost my spirit. So glad I have an abundance to cut from.

Having something "good" to look forward to lifts my spirits.  Tending my seedlings give me something to look forward to - growing the garden.  My thyme has sprouted.

Taking affordable, spontaneous getaway trips has really helped boost our spirits.  We didn't get to go camping at all last year, and hope to this year.

Taking  beautiful photos (or of things that make me smile) boosts my spirits.  I love a good sunrise.

Baking makes me happy.

(chowder before the milk/cheese was added)

Crock pot dinners make me very happy.

Keeping a tidy house keeps me happy too.  It's been hard.  The hallway project is not finished yet and is driving me crazy.  I have now moved everything out from under the kitchen sink to replace the bottom piece in the cupboard.  Seeing all that stuff on the floor drives me nuts too.  I keep a list to try and stay on task, but getaways are needed too.  I'm trying to keep a balance and removing the chaotic feeling when the house needs tidying up.

It's been too much on us in our state, that depression has been taking over many of our friends and family.  I made the mistake of listening to the Governor's briefing yesterday.  He could not answer anything.  Won't change his mind on the "number" we need to be at in "cases" in order to lift restrictions.  He was speaking at Toledo University, and 3 local news people asked the same question about mask mandate because he didn't answer the question. He never did.  One asked if that number is even obtainable because his daughter has an health issue.  Never did answer anything completely.  Just went around them with blabbering. His only answer to any question was more need the vaccine and more mask wearing, and even though he put out numbers that 95% of people are wearing a mask, our state has been increasing in "cases" in a bad way.

 There are days I can barely get thru.  What do you do to stay positive under a lockdown, that feels like it's taken your right to live your life away from you?

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Asparagus/sausage breakfast bake ~ Wild Violet Jelly


Wednesday's sunrise started out pretty nice, although they said clouds would move in.  I was slow to start the day, but put on some dance music and got to work.

Breakfast ended up a sage sausage/asparagus bake with some home grown basil, garlic, and kale.  I added a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese too.

I canned  jars of wild violet jelly.  I am so glad I picked the violets when I did.  Snow showers are expected today.  Wild violets are medicinal as well as making a delicious jelly.  I have a yard full of the white/purple ones too, but haven't picked any.

Wild violet jelly is a very fun process.

Violets are picked and steeped.  The color turns to a beautiful blue color.  Once the liquid is strained, and lemon juice added, it turns into a beautiful pink.  It smells wonderful and tastes even better.  A once a year jelly.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Spontaneous as it gets!

Just to warn you, there are a lot of pictures in this post.  I guess I'm making up for lack of posts, but we had a very fun, amazing, spontaneous three state, 3 night vacation.  It was perfect and took our minds off anything we didn't need to be thinking about.  

However, everywhere we went, they either lacked employees, were closed on Monday due to lack of help, or the employees were telling us that they can't get anyone to work due to the status of unemployment in these states.  Anyway, we still found things to do and see.

First, we rented a lake house for a few nights with a hot tub.

Driving around trying to figure out what to do on day two, my husband found an adventure park.  We rented this and our guide was in his in front of us.  We had walkie-talkies to talk back and forth on.  My husband has driving experience with these, and it was an hour and a half of full blown fun.  We left covered in mud, but it was so worth it.

After that we drove to another lake lodge where the food was said to be very good.  The windy roads were so beautifully dotted with redbud trees.  

The view over the mountain where the restaurant was, had an amazing view.

Out of the blue, we decided to drive to West Virginia and try the well known Hillbilly Hotdogs.  Did you know Guy  was here and did a review?  His picture is inside.  The seating area inside was closed, but when it's open it is all inside old buses.

They are known for their deep fried hot dogs and one that they serve with slaw on top.

Our spontaneous route to Portsmouth, Ohio took us through Kentucky.  In Portsmouth, you can view a flood wall mural that is very stunning.  These are not all the murals, but you can see the art work is amazing.

Back home, my husband wanted to mow before taking off on a bike ride in the evening, so I quickly went out to one area of the property.

I picked wild violets.  Although our vacation was coming to an end last night, it felt great to be back too.

We'll be eating some home grown asparagus soon too.  Tip:  I pick it and put the stems in a jar of water in the fridge until I have enough for a meal.  It will stay crisp that way.

Our weather was perfect for our getaway, but we are back to the 50's and the news this morning (via radio) said watch for a mix of snow.  I'll be watching that evening low, in case I need to cover the asparagus.

Today, I have lots of cleaning to do, and laundry.  I need to check the pantry and freezer to bake us a healthy breakfast and write a dinner menu plan.  After eating out most days, I need to get back to some healthy food.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Random Tidbits

A bit worried about the early asparagus, lilacs and violets, I re-checked the weather.  We'll dip in the upper 30's, but thankfully not low enough for a frost or freeze.

The warmer April weather has also brought our ornamental apple trees into bloom.  

My green onions are doing great but some nettle is crowding it out.   It's the worst this year.  I pulled some chickweed too, but left some for a fresh salad next week.  I want to dig the entire herb garden out and re-do it, but I'll painstakingly wait another year.

The purple dead nettle can be used like my stinging nettle in teas, but this year I learned you can also use it in a poultice like plantain.  I also found a new recipe I may try (uses purple dead nettle).

I started out with a much less work day.  The dishes were done, laundry done, breakfast and dinner all taken care of....porch time came first due to rain moving in later in the afternoon with thunderstorms.

I have a new recipe to try soon.  I have some organic angel hair pasta that I need to use soon, so hopefully I will have a recipe to share.  I hope to find my organic chicken sausage to make it.  The last few trips to the grocery store were not successful.

I'm not sure we'll get raised beds re-built this year.  Lumber has tripled in price (or higher).  

On a sad and scary note, there has been a recall in Canada for the blue/grey medical masks being issued in their schools.  Unfortunately, they look exactly like the kind distributed at my husband's work - toxic.  Made in China.  It's the only kind I can wear without feeling like I'm suffocating, so there goes my outings.  If you google medical mask recall, you'll see several recent recall articles about it.