I really miss the island life. No service....just normal life, live music, the beach, waves, good friends, and peace of mind. It was so hard to adjust when we got back home. How hard?
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~
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Front Porch Musings
Monday, August 30, 2021
Happy Homemaker Monday
We had a superb weekend on the island. Our last sanity saver trip over this year. Maybe. If they have an opening, I'm taking it. We were literally off grid. There is no service where we stay, and we like it that way.
On the way home we stopped at a large produce stand and brought home some green and wax beans. I will be stopping there every year we head to the island from now on. They have a large variety of everything.
Came home to find out one of my chickens died.
We literally unpacked the truck, threw everything on the bed and kitchen counters, ran out to pick a tomato, and headed to the "Big City" to check on Mom. We took her some chocolates a woman makes on the island, one tomato (only one turning red that was a beefsteak type), and some popcorn she loves.
Mom looks much better, but has a long way to go to recovery. She still cannot drive herself anywhere, so between our Daughter K, her neighbor, my younger brother and I, we are trying to do our best, but we all have jobs/work/kids/garden to put up etc. It's been rough, so hence the trip to the island.
Friday, August 27, 2021
I decided to freeze the last of the picked tomatoes. I didn't have enough to make or can anything, so they went into the freezer until the next harvest.I canned another round of hot pepper jelly. My mad hatter peppers are finally turning red.
On a good note, I talked to my Mom about Life Alert, and I think she will be getting an Apple Watch that detects falls, and calls so many phone numbers when it happens. I'm just happy we have come up with a solution. The cost is way less than Life Alert too. In the meantime, her insurance is delivering her 14 free meals (great news)!
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Taco Sauce ~ Seed Saving
I canned a batch of homemade taco sauce. I picked fresh jalapenos for it, and boy are my hot peppers doing great in this heat. It has zero corn starch and only 1/4 cup of sugar (no corn syrup) and only real food.
10 glorious jars of taco sauce done. Checked that off the list. Hoping to get more tomatoes.
Seed saving has begun. I have bell pepper seeds drying and a bit of jalapeno seeds. It's harder to save my hot pepper seeds, as I freeze and can with the seeds in, but will get them dried as well. I have some Amish paste seeds drying as well.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Heat Wave ~ Canning ~ Tidbits
The water hose was working overtime due to the heat and no rain. In fact, schools closed and will not be open until the 30th for now (due to the heat).
However, we woke up to thunderstorms. Glorious rain is falling on the gardens this morning.
My first batch of hot pepper jelly was done, but I will need to do more canning today with a small amount of tomatoes.
Froze more bell peppers and jalapenos, and made egg salad for a cold meal.
Mom was released from the hospital a few days ago, but since then has had a bad fall, which required stitches. I'm very worried about her health right now. She is a very stubborn person and we keep telling her to take her cell phone with her when she is outside.
She was even out shopping prior to the fall, which I need to get after her to use the scooter in the store from now on.
First, we scolded her for being outside in 90 degree weather doing yard work at 8pm. Second, I need to see what phone she has to get her a holder or shoulder strap to carry her phone. Somehow during the day we managed to get a meal ordered and delivered to Mom. She was very very happy.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Monday's are Tough
Mondays I typically try and do the entire house, so I can enjoy it the rest of the week. Didn't happen. I started out making egg/sausage/cheese and chickpea tortilla quesadillas for breakfast (next time will add jalapenos), cooked up ground beef for sloppy joes and had a mountain of dishes after that. Dinner was crock pot sloppy joes on Ezekiel bread and sweet potato fries (baked).
Laundry got started, but our mower guy arrived, so I couldn't put it on the clothesline. I started on floors, but had to do other stuff too. Just hard to keep up with. I haven't even checked the garden yet.
I got another corner area of the upstairs carpet shampooed, but when Daughter E moved out she left trash and belongings. Good luck getting her to come and clean it up, so guess who is doing it? Yep. Me and my husband. I am gonna have one big party when the last one moves out. These kids, and I didn't raise them that way, are so selfish and lazy right now.
Anyway, it was stinkin' hot yesterday. I'm glad I don't have a lot in the garden to deal with right now, but I may be canning this week.
Monday, August 23, 2021
Hot but Productive Weekend
We were very productive over the weekend. Got more taken out of the upstairs, weed whacking almost caught up, all flower beds but one weeded, herb garden weeded. Picked up more totes and got more yarn and crafting supplies moved to the upstairs. Started another box for donations, tore down more boxes, made a trip to recycling and more.
It's been ridiculously hot here. No rain in sight. Watering is happening, but only on certain parts of the garden now.
Hubby finally looked at Daughter K's car. The AC is not working. Unfortunately, it needs more work than he thought.
Speaking of working on her car.....weird things happened on Sunday. While he was out working on the car, and I had just got out of the shower (after working in the herb garden), a woman literally (kid you not) walked out of the woods behind our property, walked up to the driveway and asked for water and use of a phone. We were like "what is going on?" She had some sort of story that didn't make sense, had make up on from the night before (clearly), and her boots where soaking wet from walking in the creek. We both took her to the nearest gas station and dropped her off. I was so strange and odd. We are out in the country and our closest neighbor is 2 fields away one way, and further away the other direction.
Then, we saw a elderly guy walking up the country highway, pulling a cart full of stuff with a sign that said "Alaska" on it. It was strange and odd.
We hot more hot weather ahead, but I sure hope it rains to cool it off.
Friday, August 20, 2021
Lost Recipe (again) ~ First Bell Pepper
I found a recipe I lost once, but lost it again before trying it. Urgh. All I can remember is that it contained tomatoes, was baked and had kelp powder in the recipe. I swear I had it in a recipe book I had, but so far I have not found it (again). Story of my life, ha ha!
I have gone through the pile of un-tried recipes, my scanned recipes, recipes in my document folder etc. However, I believe I have figured out what cookbook the recipe was in. Stay tuned. Hope I am right.Brought in our first harvested bell pepper. Golly, I love the smell of freshly sliced bell pepper. I grew them from seed as well. First one to go in the freezer.
No rain here for a few days. Hot and humid again.
Mom is still in the hospital. No changes since Wednesday. She will be going home today if all goes okay.
Daughter E left a lot of boxes, so I spent much time breaking them down for the garden and recycling. Much of my day was reclaiming the kitchen. My husband and I were like sloths Wednesday due to being at the hospital so late and then back up early of course. It pretty much caused me to delay much kitchen work until Thursday.
I hope everyone is safe and healthy right now. There are two cases of the virus at my husband's work (one was vaccinated, not sure who the other person is).
Thursday, August 19, 2021
Pie Pumpkin ~ A Funny ~ Tidbits
I'm thinking, she is mad it's so loud. I didn't want to touch any buttons and later my husband walked out and realized he left it so loud. He turned it down and the elderly lady in her vehicle now, drove up to us. She said we reminded her of her husband and their times riding around on their bike. She literally said, "we need more of that" pointing to the bike with the radio on, ha ha ha!
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
More Squash ~ Crazy World and No Cashiers at Wal-mart and other Tidbits
I've been pretty good at keeping my cell phone charged and on me. Mom's blood pressure dipped and when she couldn't get ahold of any of us kids, she went into panic mode. I'm making sure she has all are cell numbers in case she has to call from her house phone. Last time I called, she was feeling a bit better. (I drafted this post before the event at the end of this post happened)
I had to order new shelves online. The stores are pretty limited (again). Daughter K could not even get them at her store. I have more totes of yarn waiting to be moved upstairs.
Not sure what's going on in your neck of the woods, but here it's back to restaurants going curbside. Meanwhile this coming weekend the National Tractor Pulls is happening with thousands of people gathering from all over. I'm not sure if the Canadians will be there, but it's crazy. I have a bad feeling the gathering will be a super spreader and that is not good. There are fairs still going on in our area as well, and a big street event in the "Big City" next month.
Daughter E went to the local Wal-mart and bought a lot of stuff for her apartment. She said every single cashier manned check out was closed. Everyone had to use the self-check out. She was not happy, because her cart was very full. Crazy times we are in.
We have a few more camping trips booked, but we are monitoring the parks to see if they close.
I've decided to make a 3rd batch of Four Thieves. Just in case, as my husband reminded me. At least I have two and not three people here working full time.
We had plans to take a longer motorcycle ride for dinner, and at the last minute changed plans for a much shorter one. Thank goodness we did.
Mom called (and had we taken the longer ride, I would not have answered my cell phone) and we had to run up and take her to the ER. They admitted her. Three doctors (Heart, Kidney and Endocrinologist, for thyroid) will be called in this morning to access what she needs.
We were there for almost 4 hours and got home very late. We are running on 5 hours of sleep (or less). Please keep her in your prayers, send good mojo and good thoughts. Please keep my husband and I in your prayers as we are running on no sleep and he had to work today. We are running on zero energy and sleep and feel like zombies today.
We both literally left the house to get her wearing slippers. We went out the door that quick. When we got home around 11:30pm, I saw that my chickens were still out in the run. Gonna be a long day.
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Canning ~ Breakfast Frittata and other Kitchen Stuff
My hot peppers are rolling in like crazy. I'm thankful for that.
I canned some hot pepper mustard sauce with the hot banana peppers.
I also made fresh salsa, and now have tomatoes on the table ready to can more stuff. Feels strange to be canning again, but very thankful.
My zucchini plants are dying, but thankful I picked up some free zucchini.
Breakfast frittata with zucchini, leftover taco meat, jalapenos and cherry tomatoes from the garden.
Monday, August 16, 2021
Deer ~ Weekend
Sunday, August 15, 2021
Shopping Adventures ~ First Cruise In
During my last trip to the store (2nd attempt at another store), I bought the very last bottle of classic pectin. However, I am still unable to find a vegetable brush for the camper (3 attempts).
As far as produce? I have not found what I need other than I found a half dozen ears of corn to grill.
Although I have no photos to share today, I have a funny story to share.
We went out with friends to our first cruise in. It is where the town has all older cars drive up and down main street. People park along the roads and sit and watch. Well, we decided to eat out before that.
It's sort of funny, yet frustrating. First we asked for silverware while we were ordering drinks. Didn't get them. I got my crowne royal served without the "rocks" so I fished them out of my ice water and added them. We ordered 2 appetizers. One arrived cold. The other never arrived at all.
We asked for silverware again. He brought one set. We asked again. He later brought 2 more. We still need one more set.
Oh, and the complimentary bread they bring in the very beginning? He brought 2 on a plate and there were 4 of us.
So, the food arrives. Only one person got exactly what he ordered. My husband ordered steak and he got ribs. One ordered a burger and fries - no fries and over cooked burger. Me, ha ha ha! Here comes the funny part. I look at my plate and there are no mashed potatoes and no gravy and half of my plate is filled with fries.
I give half the fries to the one that got no fries, and lift up my dry chicken. I'm like what???
There is literally a piece of dry toasted Texas toast under it. And yes, it was listed on our bill.
My husband took a bite to see if it was garlic bread. Nope. Dry, toasted, Texas toast. Oh, and he served me with a tiny side of teriyaki sauce. Who puts that on their country fried chicken????
I have no idea what in the blankety blank was going on. Was the server not able to know what to write on our order or did the cook not read our order right? I don't know, but we'll forever be talking about the Texas Toast on my plate and getting charged for it.
We won't be back. Just too much waiting around for not getting what you want, but bless the kid's heart for working. Too bad they didn't train him well, but anyway, I suggested we pack a picnic or gather at one's house next event.
Oh, and getting the check? It seems to take forever to get it anymore. Then you pay at the table with a gizmo. Paying cash is almost obsolete or you have to wait and wait.
Oh boy. Today is a busy day, and all I want to do is sit and play cards on the porch. It's a beautiful (what I call) camping weather day.
Saturday, August 14, 2021
Our weather continues to swelter us. The storms continue, so weeding is not happening yet again today.
The world has gone mad (again). Daughter K was forced to once again don a face mask at work.
Daughter K's job involved loading and unloading heavy furniture in our 102°F heat index heat.
Although she found this very nice, rechargeable neck fan, she continues to struggle to breathe in the heat and of course out breath from her work. Within a week however, she is sick. Congested, runny nose, cough, etc. It breaks my heart that this is happening again. She does have the possibility to get a new job, but she plans to move in about 4-5 months too.
I have no new updates on the garden today. I'll be out to check it today though.
My husband's best friend's father's funeral was yesterday, and when we got home it was late and we were pretty tired. He's having issues with one eye contac and one eye, so I'm not sure we'll get a whole lot done today. I suggested he see his eye doctor today, but we'll see.
Friday, August 13, 2021
Weeds, Ticks, Mosquitoes! Oh my....
Now that we are getting a load of rain, there has been no time to keep up with the weeds in the gardens. They are full of ticks now, so repairing the weed whacker is on top of the to-do list. I went out to check tomatoes and got attacked by ticks. Literally. I forgot to put my tick oil on.
Anyway, the tomatoes are just now starting to turn in color. Nothing ready to harvest, but turning red anyway.
Green beans and zucchini are a joke this year. I don't know if I planted too late or it's just this darn weather. So frustrating. The rain could change that, but....
The rabbits tore my greens to shreds, so fencing is the only way if I plant next year. I have no idea if the potatoes have made it, due to the massive weeds in that bed as well.
Well shoot, I thought the year started great this year, but now I need to find zucchini and green beans to stock up. Sheesh.
Also, I planted 6 cherry bomb pepper plants ( that I started from seed) and was devastated to see one eaten to the quick. What eats hot pepper plants? I have no idea, other than grasshoppers. So sad and so frustrating.
I planted one single grow bag of carrots this year and the buggers are leaving it alone for some reason. I guess that is good news, other than I didn't plant enough to freeze.
My husband brought home one lonely yellow squash. Co-workers often bring in extra veggies. I sliced it and it's now blanched and in the freezer.
I am writing out another list for the next trip out. I plan on stopping at some produce stands as well. Gosh, I am way behind on winter stock up, but gaining.
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Kitchen-ness and other ramblings
I ran out of time in the kitchen, so I finally finished up with what I brought home from the grocery store.
Put a head of cauliflower in the freezer,
...as well as some broccoli (all organic of course).
Froze a bit of diced celery as well, and....
...filled the dehydrator with garlic to grind into garlic powder.
I boiled more eggs for egg salad. It's a great meal for our very hot days here. My husband works outside and next to very hot equipment and doesn't want to eat "hot" food when he gets home.
There are items I am still not able to find in stores, but I'm constantly checking other resources.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
I put more stuff by the road and it was all gone by evening. I'm so glad that someone can use it or scrap it, and it's out of the garage.
We hit a whopping heat index of 102°F yesterday. Hot and very very humid.
Prices are soaring. Daughter K bought a 2 1/2 oz. bag of cotton candy last week at the fair and it cost her $7.00!! Outrageous.
I made a trip to the "Big City" and restocked groceries and other items. We ran out of trash bags while cleaning the garage last weekend.
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Organizing my Yarn and other ramblings
The first thing I needed to do was bake a breakfast for us.I used the teeny tomatoes from the garden, asparagus and fresh basil for this one. Oh, and sausage on the bottom layer.
Next? I put up shelves upstairs and started the process of moving totes of yarn and getting that organized. It may be a week long job (or more due to carpet cleaning, which we do plan to replace when the last kid is out), but so excited to get started.
. . . meanwhile, in the garden.
Monday, August 9, 2021
Happy Homemaker Monday
Our morning yesterday started out with watering everything. However, we may see rain today or later this week thankfully.
We can mark one big job off the "to-do" list now. The garage is cleaned up, aside from a few totes the kids left (have to wash stuff up and donate). There are several bags of trash to go out to the curb, but I would say 98% is done.
Everything we put by the curb for free is gone except our old computer chair.
We are asking family and friends if they need softball, t-ball or baseball items. If they do not, it will be donated to our school.
Any tote that was emptied was saved, considering store have about zero on their shelves right now.
Looking around the house . . . .
Not my photo, but my husband did a thing, which prompted the garage clean up. We owned a Chevelle back with the kids were very young, and sold it, but he's got another one again now. He is so happy. It's not a '69, but he's a happy man. We've already taken her out a few times.