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, June 30, 2021

Garlic and other gardening


Two varieties and they are all pulled from the grow bags.  Some roots where 6-7 inches long.  Just need to top off the grow bags with more soil and put new cardboard under the bags.  

I tied up almost all of the tomato plants, and some already re-tied do to good growth.  Some tomatoes are already on the plants.

It was too hot and humid to stay out in the garden, even though there is one more flower bed to weed.  I managed to plant two parsley plants and one more rosemary.  One rosemary died for some reason, and it's getting watered.

I was walking on a small sidewalk we made between two flower beds, and I almost stepped on a slithering snake.  In my flip flops.  I am sure anyone driving by, got a kick out of my dance in the yard trying to avoid it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Another Re-Stock ~ Chicken Freezer Treats ~ New Recipe Tried and other random tidbits


Although on the "rainy day" list, I got a batch of meatballs restocked and in the freezer.  I like to do this early in the year, before the freezer is too full to put trays of them in there to freeze.

To help cool off the ladies, I filled a muffin pan with veggies and water and froze them for some delicious freezer treats.

Our internet has been working, but it's slower now.  I hope they get all the bugs out soon.  Several people are having issues.

More stores and restaurants have been closing numerous day.  They cannot hire enough employees, as no one wants to work.

We tried another new recipe - Slow Cooker Jalapeno Dip.  I used frozen jalapenos from the garden (vs. canned as the recipe called for).  

How did it taste?  Very good!  You can control the amount of heat by the amount of jalapenos too.  When I freeze my jalapenos, I leave the seeds in.  We topped this dip with freshly diced green onions.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Happy Homemaker Monday

We are still getting rain daily, but the heat is back too.  The garden is doing great, but the weeding is hard to keep up with (with the rain).

We had a relaxing weekend. Sunday we played cards on the porch, and grilled steaks and corn on the cob.  Believe it or not, the organic ribeyes were way cheaper than buying other non-organic steaks at the grocery store.

Once again gas was out at the other grocery store.  I am hearing it is due to lack of drivers to get the gas delivered.

My to-do list is right back at it this morning.  We deserved to have a relaxing weekend, so it's back to work

-master bath
-restock freezer (that's a list of itself, ha ha)
-dishes, run dishwasher
-laundry before it rains
-muck chicken coop

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

The weather . . .

I'm told it will "feel like" 94°F today.  More rain in the evening.

How I am feeling this morning . . .

Frustrated after getting some news I wasn't expecting.

On the breakfast plate . . .

Sausage, bell pepper, onion scramble with other goodness added.  Coffee.

On my reading pile . . .

Pioneer Grit

On the TV . . .

Heartland, Netflix

On the menu this week . . .

-Breakfast for dinner.  Not sure exactly what yet.
-baked walleye (haven't made this yet)
-grilled chicken fajitas

From the camera . . .

Banana bread with extra mini chocolate chips.  Yum!

Looking around the house . . .

Zuri attacked a dog toy again.  Fluff everywhere.

To relax this week, I will . . .

Crochet or read.

Something I want to share . . .

A while back I learned something new watching a cooking channel.  Here is what I learned and I tried it last night, and it works!!  

You know those pesky hairs on corn on the cob?  Well get one of these bottle brushes.  I bought this one for a buck at the dollar store.  Just run the brush gently over the corn.

The corn hairs will come off so much faster and easier than trying to hand pick them off.  

I am thankful for . . .
The rain.  Motorcycle ride days.  My husband.

I am hoping to . . .
Get the cement slab cleared this coming weekend, for the new coop.

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

Prayer  list, Daughter E.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

More Flower Bed Blooms

I took some photos while weeding flower beds a few days before we lost internet.  You are finally getting to see them today.  

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Buttery Peas ~ Rainy Day Stock Up ~ Something I Learned


We were watching a movie one night and they were talking about dressing up canned peas for a delicious side.  One day I came in hot and tired from garden work and didn't want to run to town for fresh veggies, so I dumped a few cans of peas (drained and rinsed) and dressed them up with butter, onions, thyme and salt and pepper.  Yum!

We have also mixed in yellow squash relish, but I don't can that anymore.

 I have a list of items that need made and stocked back up.  I save these to-do's for rainy days.

Pizza dough was restocked in the freezer. 

Something I learned . . .

Add cornstarch to your roasted vegetables for a crispier roasted side.  Suggested amount is 1 Tbsp. per pound of vegetables.  I'll update, regarding this new tip, after I try it.

July is booking up fast with parties, gatherings, travel plans and get togethers.  July also is the month in which Daughter E's boyfriend and his best friend were killed in a car accident.  There will be a large gathering to get with all of both families and friends to remember them both and enjoy each other's company.

Friday, June 25, 2021

I'm Back! ~ Foraging ~ Improvise

I'm back!  I have discovered how much I can get weeded when we have no internet, ha ha!  Woke up to no internet on Wednesday morning.  Five phone calls later we were in town getting a new modem, only to come home and not have internet.  Again.  

I got a text message yesterday that said "your system was restored etc."  It was not.  Ten minutes later I get a phone call to make an appt. for this coming Sat.  Last night the dogs alerted us and we find our internet provider in our driveway.  Hubby ran out to see what was going on.  He said something happened with their "system" and it sent a power surge to many homes knocking out their internet (hm?).  He was sending a ping to the modem.  Internet is back on finally.

Got another text message.  It was correct this time, and to reply to cancel our Sat. appt.  Sigh.  Anyway, glad it's back on, but it made me realize that if we all went out, our quick and easy communication system is back to the old fashioned way.

My muscles are aching, but most from weeding.  I have more of course to do, but it rained last night.  My hands are so dry, but happy to get so much done in a few days.

So....what did I get done while I had no internet?  Updated my garden journal, my book reading journal, and my book quote journal (a journal I keep to write quotes from books that are inspirational to me). I update my recipe book (I write down any recipe I throw together that works great).  I made a chicken chili with home canned sauce and it was delicious.  I also whipped up some canned peas (sharing soon).  I got inside cleaning done, but mostly garden work, although it was hot, hot, hot.  I worked on crochet work, and we got a short motorcycle ride in.  The rest of the weekend forecast is rain.

Thanks to the rain, I've been picking wild black raspberries, and our berry bushes look great.

On our trip to the "Big City" to exchange our dinosaur of a modem for a new one, we noticed a few things.  More restaurants closed (lack of employees or lack of product), and our grocery store gas station was out of gas (and had been for 3 days we were told).

In a conversation last night, Hubby said he's ready to clear the cement slab in preparation of building the new coop.  I'll let you know if that happens, ha ha ha ha ha!

We all got a chuckle.  Yes he did.  When parts are hard to find and you can't borrow a mower you improvise (gas can for a mower) .  It works too, ha ha!  I have lots to write, but will save it for another day.  I'm just glad to be back to writing this blog.  Boy did I miss it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Garlic Scape Powder ~ Spiced Peanuts

Woke up to a brisk 49°F (feels like 47°F).  Brrr!  Not good for the garden.  Sheesh.  Yesterday the wind was blowing so hard I chose not to use the clothesline in fear my bloomers would end up in the next county.

Garlic scapes are part of the garlic plant that gets cut off to help the plant continue to grow.  By the way, if you do not grow garlic, check your local Farmer's Markets for garlic scapes.  Many gardeners sell them this time of year.  

They are edible and we love to make garlic scape dip with radishes we grow as well.

They also last a long time in the refrigerator, but this year I tried something new with the remaining scapes.  I dehydrated them into garlic scape powder.

Dice scapes and use the temperature on your dehydrator you use to dehydrate vegetables. Once they are dried, grind to a powder using a coffee mill and store as you would garlic powder.  It's a milder flavor, but I'm excited to have it in my pantry this year.  I've never dehydrated garlic scapes before.

I had a jar of dry roasted (unsalted) peanuts that needed dealt with before expiration, so I made spiced peanuts. 

So good!  It's just a 16 oz. container of peanuts, 2 Tbsp. organic canola oil, 2 Tbsp. of sugar (I used monk fruit), 1 1/2 tsp. organic cumin, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. organic cayenne, 1/2 tsp. homemade garlic powder.  Mix in a bowl, spread onto a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 300°F.  Cool on waxed paper.  I bake mine on my pampered chef stoneware pan.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Happy Homemaker Monday

We had a very muggy and hot weekend.  The humidity was so thick you felt like you were swimming in the air.  

We attended our grand niece's graduation party.  So proud of her.  She's about the same age as Daughter E.  She has 2 jobs, bought her own car, and has bought her own trailer to live it.  Most kids her age are living on unemployment these days.  Oh, and she graduated with honors, just like Daughter E did.

(hubby took a photo just after slicing he was so happy to get a blueberry pie)

Anyway, about the only other thing I got done, was bake a blueberry pie (didn't get that crust pinched together though) for my husband for Father's Day.  He was overjoyed.  It was completely spontaneous too.

Father's day was just us two.  It was also my first Father's Day without my Dad. The girls had to work and the others kids made no contact, so we took off on a motorcycle ride.  I thought it would be hard to get into a place to eat due to it being Father's Day, but that wasn't the case.  

It was difficult to find a place due to lack of employees.  First place had a long wait time, second place was closed, third place we got right in.  However, outside bar and seating closed and a slim staff.  I heard one guy tell a customer that they couldn't get anyone to work.  Even the cook was serving and seating people.  So sad.

Oh, and prices are up.  

This was posted at our table.  It's happening everywhere.  They can't get what they need, and when they do it costs double or more for them to get it.

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

(will link up when she posts)

The weather . . .

78°F/48°F, Thunderstorms this morning so far, and so glad to get the rain.  We needed the humidity gone, and the gardens watered.

How I am feeling this morning . . .

A little overwhelmed with chores, but ...

On the breakfast plate . . .

A breakfast casserole - sausage, yellow squash, shallot, eggs and green onion.  Oh and some fire powder in it.

On my reading pile . . .

I finished reading this book, and it was so worth buying.  If you didn't see my post, I finished it in 3 days.  A record for me.  It was that good.

I'll be picking up another book I never finished.  Apparently, I have more than one to choose from.

On my TV . . .

Heartland ( I think we are in season 8)

On the menu . . .

-chicken chili
-baked walleye, steamed broccoli
-BBQ Pork chops, roasted brussel sprouts
-tuna/noodle, mashed tades and corn

On my to-do list . . .

-tidy up bedroom
-sweep/mop kitchen
-clean master bath
-bake a breakfast dish

What I am crocheting, knitting, sewing or creating . . .

Honestly nothing the last few days.  I spent my free time reading this past week.  Hopefully the rainy days will give me more time to pick up a hook.

Looking around the house . . .

(see to-do list)

To relax I will . . .


From the camera . . .

(see previous post for flower photos)

Something fun to share . . .

The only thing I can come up with for this prompt, is that I'll be dehydrating something new.  Stay tuned.

On my prayer list . . .

11 year-old Annabelle, Daughter E, personal requests, for the judge to rule in favor of keeping the pipeline open that runs thru MI to a state oil refinery.  If they shut it down, it will end thousands of jobs and really hurt the economy.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Storms ~ New Blooms ~ Comforts of Reading

Nothing real exciting to post today.  First thing I did yesterday morning was check laundry, run the dishwasher and wash any remaining pots and pans.  If the storms took out the power, we have no running water.

Cell phones were charged, and water was put up for the animals.  Just in case.  Oil  lamps- check,  lamp oil - check, candles and matches - check, emergency lamp/radio - check.

I also decided not to do more freezer cleaning, and to not use both dehydrators.  I didn't want to risk a freezer that wasn't shut and cold, nor have any electrical issues with any outages.  Those jobs remain on the to-do list.

Early morning a steady rainfall began, followed by wind and thunderstorms.  

The temperature dropped and it was too chilly (and not safe) to read on the porch.  Soon, around noon the rain stopped and the sun came out.  Two o'clock arrived and guess what?  No rain nor a bad storm.  In fact, no rain the rest of the day, but it appears it'll rain today.

Before the rain arrived I took a few pictures of some colorful snapdragons starting to bloom.

I have a short Honey-Do list for my husband today. I have a few indoor jobs he could do, that won't require a lot of time.

Regarding reading...

I have not read an entire book in 2020, due to just feeling down, depressed and disgusted at what was happening in the world.

The past few days I picked up my newest book and finally opened it and read.  It felt fantastic.  I finished the book in 3 days.  A fascinating story of a woman growing up in Vietnam and moving to Ohio.  I met her at the flea market when we bought her book.  

Anyway, I'll be passing the book on to my Mom or whoever in the family who wants to read it.  One book in, one book out.   A fantastic read!! I believe my husband wants to read it next.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Storm and Random Tidbits


I hammered the tomato stakes in good, but decided not to start tying the tomato plants up to the stakes until the storms pass today.  I was in fear that if the stakes go down, the plants would go down with them.

Today's weather?  Possible thunderstorms, hail and possible tornadoes.

First coyote sighting yesterday morning.  It headed away from our property.

We discovered we still had a half of a quart canning jar full of home grown popcorn.  It was still good, popped almost all the kernels and was as delicious as ever.  I will be planting it again next year.

Broke my hoe.  They never last long.  It says 15 year warranty, but I have no idea where I bought it, nor saved the receipt.  Tomatoes got weeded anyway.  We have 62 tomatoes, but two may not make it.

New blooms in the flower beds.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Santa Fe Chicken Fajitas and Chit-Chat

 Santa Fe Chicken Fajitas

1 lb. organic boneless chicken breast, sliced in thin strips

1 red onion, sliced thin

1 organic green bell pepper, sliced

1 organic red bell pepper, sliced

1 organic orange or yellow bell pepper (optional if you want more veggies), sliced

3/4 cup home canned salsa (or picante sauce)

6 Tbsp. organic lime juice

3 cloves garlic, minced (we use home grown)

2 tsp. organic chili powder

1 tsp. organic oregano (we use homegrown and dried)

1/2  tsp. organic ground cumin

1/4 tsp. natural smoke flavoring (optional, see note)


Black pepper

1 Tbsp. organic olive oil

10 homemade tortillas

Mix everything in a bowl with lid, except the tortillas of course.  Marinade the ingredients for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.  We like to let it sit overnight.  You can then cook the chicken and veggies in a pan or in a grill pan on the grill.  Top tortillas, and any toppings you'd like.

Note:  Natural smoke flavor typically contains a color added.  There are so many Youtube videos on how to make your own flavoring, but sometimes I just add a drop of molasses and vinegar and grill the fajitas. I have also found organic smoke flavor online.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The weather has had us yearning to go camping, and we even joked about putting up the camper out in the "back 40" this week.  However, the forecast changed those spontaneous plans.  A storm is brewing up and heading our way tomorrow.

I had so much to put away in my chaotic kitchen yesterday that my fitbit was reading over 10,000 steps by dinner time.  I got word that Wal-mart had put a clearance price on their mulch, so we headed up to the Big City to check.  Nope.  We came back home with one bag to mulch Daughter E's butterfly bush.  We needed a few items anyway, so the trip was not a waste of gas.

Our mower guy nicked the butterfly bush with the lawn mower and it both irritated me and made me sad.  I'll be making sure the bush is surrounded enough with mulch to keep the mower far away from it.  I asked my husband to make sure he mentions it to him next time he is here.

My clothesline was full yesterday, so first thing today is the remaining laundry and getting it on the line.  Porch clean ups are in order, while we wait for the garden to produce a harvest.

I also have a to-do list for in the kitchen again today.  My list remains for stocking up the freezer, until I begin cleaning it.  I hope to get one shelf done today.

I already woke up to gritting my teeth after seeing my kitchen sink.  I already started charging Daughter K rent due to her horrible housekeeping skills.  I reminded her twice last night to put her dishes in the dishwasher.  Guess where they are at?  In the sink.  She'll be 22 this month.  As hard as I try and change her ways, I can only hope she is better when she moves out with her boyfriend (which may happen this year).

I hope to get some time to "surf" the internet for some alternative recipes for baking walleye vs. frying it.  I'm trying to watch over my husband's sugar intake (breading is bad for him).  I found one already, but it uses boxed potato flakes and white potatoes are on the list to avoid.  I may try it with parmesan cheese though.

I hope your summer is returning to normal, and things are well for you all.  I do appreciate your comments.  Things here are coming back to life.  It was so nice to see our friend's bar completely full of people and even a birthday party going on (they have wonderful food there). Farmer's Markets are going on everywhere, so I hope to make it to one for vegetables we did not plant this year.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

What sitting down to read a book did . . .


Monday was a very busy day, and there was much that didn't get done, however I boiled eggs.

Daughter K came in the house from running errands, and I had just put the eggs on the back burner with the lid on and timer going.  I literally was so exhausted I went to the front porch to read for the first time in a long time.  I typically don't read in summer with the garden work, but I wanted to take a break and not crochet or knit either.

I came back inside after reading for an entire hour and the timer was going off.  One hour later.  Daughter K was upstairs and couldn't hear it.

I felt so frustrated that I let that happen.

I do not regret sitting and reading.   The yolks were not that green either, ha ha!  I later got dinner baked, but I forgot how enjoyable reading was.

Woke up to the most gorgeous weather.  I asked my husband, "why is the weekday weather always the best weather for camping, and come weekends it's not?"  Just for kickers, I checked the campground and there was one spot left this coming weekend.  I then checked the weather?  Guess what's coming this weekend?  Thunderstorms.  Urgh.  We joked about camping right out back next to the fire pit after that.

I think we'll be taking more motorcycle rides during week until the garden becomes crazy busy. We took off on one last night with gorgeous weather, and we slept great.

My kitchen is a bit chaotic, so it's on the to-do list first thing today.  Dinner will be easy - grilled Santa Fe Chicken Fajitas.  I prepare them in advance and marinate overnight.  I just dump it into a grill pan and wa-la!  I will get the recipe written up soon for you.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Strawberry Vodka and a busy Monday

I started some strawberry vodka.  It's good too, and it's nice to have an adult beverage in the winter (this recipe lasts up to 6 months in the fridge, and tastes better after it sits after straining).

I had a lot on my plate yesterday.  Boy oh boy.  I had to water everything first (garlic was bone dry),deadhead flowers/roses. I had laundry to do and hang outside, bake a breakfast bake, wash dishes, get oregano out of dehydrator, marinate chicken/peppers, boil eggs, freeze strawberries....make dinner.  Long day for sure.  I also made a pitcher of spearmint/green iced tea.

Breakfast - sausage, sweet potatoes (organic Hannah ones), garden green pepper, garlic, thyme, salt pepper, eggs.  It was so creamy with those sweet potatoes.  Yum!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Happy Homemaker Monday


We've had a few days of fog here lately.  We are moving into a cool down weather-wise.

Saturday we got the entire rose bed weeded, weed whacking done, and mailbox flower bed planted.  We also planted an ornamental apple tree that was growing in one of the beds.

Yesterday was beautiful.  We finished up outdoor garden work, showered and took off on a motorcycle ride.  We went to a new town and a local eatery.  Delicious, but not cheap.  We'll go back, but to try their breakfast next time.

Once home, we made a fresh strawberry pie, and played cards on the porch with adult drinks.  Great day for some R & R. 

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

The weather . . .
80's, slight chance for rain, sunny

On my reading pile . . .

On my TV . . .

Heartland (long series for sure)

On the menu . . .

-Salmon Romanoff, green beans, fresh strawberry pie
-grilled fajitas
-walleye, not sure on a side yet

On the to-do list . . .

-water garden
-bake a breakfast casserole
-dehydrate oregano
-boil eggs
-freeze more strawberries
-sweep front porch and get more furniture put out

What I am sewing, crocheting, knitting or creating . . .

Working on the XL hot pad in this color, still crocheting water balloons too, and getting some yarn back on the knitting needles.

From the camera . . .

More snapdragons are blooming, but I am a bit disappointed that they are mostly white or yellow.  I hope they produce more color as they continue to bloom.

Something fun to share . . .

Fun for us anyway...found another Mom and Pop eatery to take a motorcycle ride too.  I'm so happy we found new rides to take this year.

On my prayer list . . .

A young girl named Annabelle with health issues, Daughter K who got tonsillitis

Sunday, June 13, 2021

This and That

I finally got to our post office.  Well, the one that is closer than our town post office.  It's only open 2 hours and day and quite a struggle to get there when they are open.

New blooms in the flower bed.  The roses that are blooming were planted in memory of Daughter E's boyfriend that passed.  They were gifted to her and planted in the flower bed.

Work resumes in the vegetable garden today.  The rain has stopped and watering by hand is needed.

Yesterday we had a nice visit with my Mom and gifted her some strawberries.  She was tickled pink for our appearance and for the berries.  We retired our evening with playing cards on the porch and grilling burgers.