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~
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Friday, January 29, 2021
I grated and froze some romano cheese. I am constantly putting up as we take something out of the freezer. The way this world is being run, I'm working on preparedness constantly.
I am cleaning out one binder I had on my bookshelf with writing prompts. I have no idea why I saved this one, but I am sharing considering the lack of sunshine this winter. I have no idea where it was from, but I am sure I've had it for over 15 years.
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Although I thought winter would be a restful time and much handiwork would be done, it hasn't been. We have been prosperous with starting small on remodeling. It however, puts me behind in regular chores.
Instead of snow, we got something in between, like a mix of freezing rain/sleet. There was a layer of ice on everything.
Tuesday was a busy day in the kitchen. First on the list - infuse a hearty nettle tea. Second, clean up the kitchen to boil chicken for our dinner casserole. I had to boil eggs, make a breakfast scramble with greens, and make organic pudding for a side dish.
There was laundry to do, kindling to fetch, firewood to fetch, chickens to tend, rugs to spot clean, carpets to vacuum.....long day.
By the way, fetching the firewood was a bit tricking with the driveway a total sheet of ice. I have spikes on my boots, but I still had trouble getting the cart back to the house.
Dinner was Mexican Chicken Casserole, so I pulled some homemade creamed soups out of the freezer to make it. I used organic Chia/Quinoa tortilla chips.
More lists were compiled - craft store, dollar store, groceries, a trip to Aldi's etc. Aldi now sells organic white quinoa.
Today we have leftovers, so I'm truly happy for that. Also, I heard back from the museum gift shop. They want to sell my dish scrubbies (another happy moment).
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
Woke up to a stone cold wood stove. Hurumph! We both worked so hard Sunday, we woke up feeling like we just spent the first day in the garden kind of feeling. I feel like I'm feeding an army of animals too. Thankfully our daughter K has a flight home today.
I sent an email to the one place in the "Big City" I sell my soap saver bags at. I'm inquiring on selling another item there, and crossing my fingers. I miss having craft shows, and the cash it brings in. I received a check this past week for items sold on consignment there (happy for that).
I have another project for us to do. More on that tomorrow.
Sunday, January 24, 2021
It's been cold here lately. Like waking up to 16°F cold. Brr. Saturday was a wash as far as working on the hallway. We finally had a Christmas with the grandkids. There have been so many close calls with the virus at my husband's work, we haven't been going around too many people.
While out looking at new trim, I picked up new toys for the dogs. I laughed so hard upon walking in the door. King literally jumped up and grabbed a long stuff dog toy I had in a shopping bag. He is so happy.
Saturday morning, my husband and I had breakfast at a local restaurant that has been open for 75 years. Good food, homemade and delicious. We thought we wouldn't get a table, as it is small and a dinner type setting, but we did. So good! The best part? I didn't have to cook nor do any dishes.
I got rid of 3 of the boxes of books I purged as well, while we were in that particular city. Woohoo to that.
We picked up a blade to grind down any uneven cement areas, and some new LED lights for the garage. Now we are in business to cut flooring and other wood in the garage. We may need to do a propane exchange for the heater, but otherwise ready to work. I will need to do something for a long window by the door. I may also put sheers up over the blinds, but excited to do the upgrades. I'm already thinking of some changes to do in the kitchen too.
Saturday, January 23, 2021
I decided to take a break from purging Friday. I did a few tidy up areas, but focused on a day without dust (ha ha!). I can't believe how many books I really had. Oye.
I cleaned up part of the other kitchen table. We have two tables, because I use them a lot during tomato season. One way or another I want a Christmas gathering here too. They are saying with the vaccine now, we should be back to almost "normal" this year.
Anyway, I made room to cut more netting. I've had a few requests for scrubbies and needed netting cut first.
I'm thinking about doing a give-away soon. I think I can part with some things I found that I've just decided I don't want, need or will make. Maybe that will boost my spirits by making someone else happy? I just ordered some shipping boxes from the usps store, so when they arrive I will post pictures of the give-away.
Friday, January 22, 2021
(old photo, but you can see I'm working from bottom to top)
.. . . Up to row 81 (out of 84) on the crocheted cardigan, with the sleeves getting started after that. Just a basic pattern, but my first clothing for adults to even crochet.
. . .started new Christmas tree ornaments for the 2021 Christmas (using up wine corks in my stash).
. . .got one "scrap" Christmas ornament crocheted.
. . .finished a set of hot pads
. . .started another set of hot pads
. . . got more dish scrubbies made to sell.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
I am taking this dog watching as a test to see if I really do want one of my own then the girls (if they ever) move out. One morning it was 20-something, but felt like 13°F. Of course the two dogs of hers woke up at different times - two trips out in the dark early morning cold and snow.
Two blank journals went to each of the girls. I found them on my other bookshelves. One was a holiday journal I haven't used since 2007. It basically had a few comments, lists of foods, guests and a few photos - it went to the trash. I don't keep up with it. Photos go in albums now and journal in one main journal. Two or three were empty, and one was short stories
I've donated 2 boxes of books and now filled 10 more. I had so many handed down, some I still had from homeschooling, and other topics that needed to go to a new home. I parted with a few series that I bought from library book sales too. I just have to find places to donate to other than our Goodwill. The charity place has strange donation hours and a long walk in and out. I'm too old for that, ha ha! I need a drop off at the door kind of place.
Many were from a Humane Society book sale. During the last hour they had a big sale and I guess I went nuts. Another time a library book sale and the same after that.
A few were my husband's old books and he said get rid of them. These I may put up to sell. Not sure. I did a search on some other books, but found several copies for sale (low prices) and no bids on ebay. These however, are oldies and goodies. They are not in great shape though. He read them a lot and have been stored in a closed book case.
I took an inventory on canning supplies. I am set on jars and rims, just not the lids. I will be on the look out each trip to town. The last pectin I bought was expired (didn't see it until I got home).
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
I had to laugh at this. I took the photos, because of the odd snow formation. As Youngest's car sits to be looked at, the car grew a mustache! Ha ha ha! I just thought it was pretty cool (and funny).
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
I'm so glad we are getting rid of what carpet we can. Man the dust! Cough, cough! My allergies will be so much better.
I had to laugh about the whole thing though. Hubby said, "no problem, we can knock this out in a few hours." Ha! That didn't happen, but we are glad we are going it. We have two steps in the hallway, and those take a bit more work to get it right.
We haven't done anything like this for almost 15 years. I'm so, so glad we dove into into it. I have no idea what made me all the sudden want to do the updating on the house, other than it keeps me busy and my mind off of the world and what horrible things the government is doing to us.
My husband is back to work today, so we will be working on it on weekends. Unless we install better lighting in the garage anyway. We have been relying on daylight to cut the flooring, wall pieces and trim.
Monday, January 18, 2021
I'm up at 5am to stoke the fire and brew the coffee. We are continuing to work on the downstairs hallway flooring. It's looking great too.
It snowed most of the day Sunday. Big soft flakes that pretty much melted away as they fell. We had zero sun sadly.
I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.
I will link up later when she posts.
The weather outside is . . .
On the breakfast plate this morning. . .
Egg/cheese sandwich with Ezekiel bread and a sprinkle of herbs we use that goes great with eggs, adds flavor and a touch of healthiness.
As I look outside my window . . .
It's still dark out. Posting early.
As I look around the house . . .
It's a mess, but it will look that way until we have things back in their places and the flooring done.
What I am wearing today . . .
PJ's and robe right now.
Currently reading . . .
Expiration dates. Yep. On food supply and on medical supplies - store bought and homemade. For those who can cowboy candy, I found a few jars from 2018. Gulp. Safe to eat or pitch. I do have plenty from last year.
On the TV . . .
Live Free or Die Hard
(interesting that they talk about the government controlling us in this movie).
On the menu this week . . .
Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Green Beans
....have no idea for the rest.
Something fun to share . . .
Favorite photo from the camera . . .
The new flooring. I love it so far. Sorry for the glare, I took it at 5:30am this morning. Will get better daylight photos when we are all done. I feel like I'm doing an episode of my own "This Old House" ha ha ha!
Prayers, Inspiration Quotes, Devotionals. . .
Prayers for daughter K, and her friend A, who are flying to NJ this Wed (20th) to visit a friend. Nothing we could say to either one would change their mind on going. I just pray for safe travel and safe health.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
We have started ripping out the carpet in the hallway. We started on the lower level due to the baseboard heater. However, once the carpet was out, we realized the builders put the heater flush with cement, so we'll have to do some cutting that we didn't expect (of the flooring). Also the tack boards were installed with nails into the cement, so it took a hours to pull them all out. King says "Hello."
So far it's been 3 trips to Home Depot. I know there will be another one, but this morning we will be cutting and splitting wood first. Then it's back to the hallway if we have time.
We will be replacing the blinds in both large hallway windows as well, so I must add that to my list or it'll be yet another trip to town. The blinds are broken (just old).
There was a request for the recipe for Hot Pepper Mustard Sauce. Here is the recipe link. I was given this recipe by a family friend's mother who has since passed. It truly is a good recipe to have. Makes cooking so simple and delicious. I have left half the seeds in for a spicier sauce and left them out for a mild sauce.
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Old film containers left too. I can't believe I still had these. I, yes again, went to pinterest to see if I could make anything before tossing in the box. I think I had saved them for when my husband was a leader for boy scouts.
Friday, January 15, 2021
The best time to sanitize my washing machine is when it's colder outside. I actually have a "sanitize" cycle on my washer. It uses the hottest water and bleach.
In order to do the remodel in the utility room (adding a bathroom), I will need to purge. There will be a trip to the antique store and the thrift store this weekend.
My utility room/craft storage is a fairly large but oddly built room. I'll lose my coat rack, so I may talk him into building an room over the side porch for coats and boots etc. An enclosed area before entering the side door.
Anyway, what's getting purged?
-antique sewing machine
-antique sewing chair (that has a compartment in the seat for storage
-antique table for 2, 2 matching chairs
-2 antique travel cases (from Dad's place)
-antique small TV (from Dad's place)
-egg carton lamp (I will never use it and no one in the family wants it and I can't be the one who saves everything just because)
-two boxes of books, one of odd stuff and clothing
I literally took me almost 3 hours to clean out the drawers of the antique sewing machine. I haven't been in it since I last used it over 13? years ago. Mom gave me her portable new one, so the antique Singer has to go.
Once these items are all out of the house, I'll be purging more storage drawers we had under the counter in the utility room. The kids had one just for the pets, so that one will go for sure. We don't store anything in it. I think we used it for portable watering units for walks etc. Anyway, I have much to purge yet in there.
No snow here so far. They predicted some, but nothing yet. The sun was out yesterday and the chickens loved (and I as well).
Thursday, January 14, 2021
I love January. A new beginning for the year, a new start and it's the best time for me to deep clean. I am more excited this year, as we are starting to update the flooring etc. Most of you are excited to sit and read, relax and whatnot, but I can't do all my deep cleaning over spring, summer and fall. There is simply too much work with the garden, as I am the only person on weekdays to work it.
We located some flooring on sale, but need to see if other stores have more of it. My husband is super fired up and motivated now. I'm so happy for that.
However, my house looks like a hot mess. Boxes of books in three rooms right now, ha ha! I know it will all piece back together when we are done, but boy oh boy.
My hometown is starting to crack down even more regarding this virus. It's becoming a less appealing town to visit anymore. They also have their own mask mandate they continue to update. It's so frustrating to shop there. Okay, off my soapbox about that.
Back to my extreme clean. While waiting on the flooring, I am purging my writing materials. I have loads of file folders that I have not opened for 10-12 years. I know it's not something that they eye will see first, but doing it as it is much needed.
I also dumped out a drawer in the bathroom. The kids have destroyed my organizing. It's the drawer for things like chickweed salve, band-aids, medical tape etc. Man it was a total mess. Not really exciting news to post, but maybe I'll motivate someone to dump a drawer and clean it.
Although we recently canceled our out of state trip with biker friends (one has 5 stents), we are concentrating on in state travel for ourselves. We don't want to be stuck in another state if anyone should get sick. Anyway, short in state trips, including camping are our escapes. We will not stop living our lives during all this going on in the world (hopefully it won't get worse).
No one answered my questions about planting mullein and comfrey in the same raised bed, so I guess I'll be doing some research this week. With the lack of snow this spring, I'd like to get outside work started early on days it's warm enough. Yesterday was a chilly 21°F in the morning.
On a last note, I weighed myself this morning. Since we bought our first Harley, I have lost 48.6 lbs. I can't say my exercise was regular in 2020, but I'm back on track. Just putting laundry on the line, I can rack up 10,000 steps on my fitbit too.
Here is a photo of my embellished Valentine's Day paper clips. I have also made small flowers as well. One year I made a set for all the kids for Valentine's day.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
I had to get back to the kitchen yesterday first. I had dishes to deal with, books all over one table, and of course the meals for the day.
Dinner was beef stew (another change in the menu) in the crock pot.
Breakfast was a sweet potato and kale frittata. I started that later, so I could get the stew in the crocky. I used the last of our home grown sweet potatoes.
My husband started researching new flooring last night. I'm praying we find enough of one type at a good price for the hallway.
I am not prepared for Valentine's day, as far as selling handiwork this year. I just realized how close it is, and I have sold all the heart bookmarks, almost all the heart cup coasters, heart dishcloths etc. I may have some embellished paperclips, but that is about it. I'm not going to rush into making anything either. If I get anything made, I will post it. I didn't realize how much work I'd be doing just to prep the hallway to be ready for a facelift.
My extreme clean pick was a dresser drawer. I dumped it out, purged and re-organized it.
Update: I just realized I posted this on a Wednesday, so think of it as yesterday's tidbits ha ha ha!
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Question for those who grow medicinal herbs in raised beds - can I grow comfrey and mullein in the same bed? Or should they be in their own raised bed?
Another question? Is there a difference in planting white or black horehound? Which is better to plant for medicinal purposes?
I've been busy beautifying the homestead, and so grateful I am out of my depressing "funk" I was in. I can't believe I didn't do any of this work last year when I was "stuck" at home. Anyway, I think my husband is happy, other than spending the money (ha ha!) on new flooring and possibly more paint. I'm looking forward to shopping for the flooring.
I haven't had much handiwork time, but I hope to get a handiwork post go up soon. Last nights dinner was changed to chicken breast and home canned mustard pepper sauce, over red quinoa (what I had), and a side of garden green beans. I needed something easy, as it took the entire day up until 1pm to go through and remove all the books on the other bookshelf. Oh my. I had spiritual growth/prayer journals, several that were new empty journals (note to self: do not buy more), and even found my review for work when I went to Argentina. I asked one daughter if I should just throw it out, read it and throw it out or what. She couldn't decide either. I hate to come across things like this.
I had a stack of magazines that needed to be read through and then off they go too. I have so many folders from my freelance writing days (haven't done much in years). I need to pull each file and go through them now.
I still have 2 full boxes of binders I need to go through. One I already decided was completely going in trash - stuff that was outdated and binder falling apart. I filled two boxes of books to donate. Felt great to get done.
I also have this oversized book. Why oh why I bought it when it's that big and difficult to put on a shelf.
While putting my Bibles in a box, I told my daughter that was home, I have a Bible in Spanish! I was about to put it in the donation box, but flipped to the very end and it was signed by Mom as a Christmas present way back in the day when my sister and I at the time, were going to Spain and Africa with a class trip. I'm on the fence, but I won't use it. I think it will have to go.
Speaking of Mom, she is deep cleaning too, but I told her I will only take her boxes if she doesn't send anything back in them ha ha ha!
Good news! The chickens are using the new nesting box, but Thelma insists on laying in the feeder.
Monday, January 11, 2021
The sun was shining bright Sunday. Woot! We got outside for more wood cutting and splitting. My husband also did some updates on one daughter's car (changed wires), while I emptied a bookshelf, dusted it and moved it to the living room corner. I have a box getting filled to donate to the thrift store soon too.
Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.
The weather outside is . . .
On the breakfast plate . . .
Have no idea yet.
As I look outside my window . . .
It's dark and dreary. Not like the sunshine we had the last two days.
Looking around the house . . .
I have about 4 boxes of books to purge and put away today, and get those boxes re-filled with more from the hallway. I still have Christmas stuff that one daughter needs to put away (her decor).
What I am wearing today . . .
PJ's, bathrobe and slippers as I post today.
Currently reading . . .
Nothing. Just purging books I won't use or read again.
On the TV this week . . .
Anything we can get on Netflix. Our internet hasn't been that great for wifi lately.
On the menu . . .
-Enchilada Casserole, steamed broccoli
-Homemade pizza with garden veggies
-Walleye, veggie and homemade tarter sauce using home canned sweet pickle relish
-Mexican bean soup, cheese sandwiches
On the to-do list today and this week . . .
-order medicinal seeds
-finish sorting books, dust and put back on bookshelf I moved
-start boxing books on the other bookshelf, sorting as I go
-get to town for errands
-start inquiring about flooring for the hallway (we are installing it ourselves for this job)
From the camera . . .
Yikes! I have nothing. I've been working more than playing lately.
Prayers, Inspirational Quotes, Devotionals . . .