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~

Friday, October 29, 2021

More Stocking Up and Random Chit-Chat


Stocked up more on broccoli, asparagus and bell peppers.

Stocked up on a few more of these disposable pans.  They have come in handy for delivered dishes.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Random Tidbits

It's been a busy few days for sure.  I took advantage of the weather and washed bedding and quilts and dried them outside on the line (smelled so good after bringing it in).

I pulled the bedding from the camper and got that on the line too.  My wonderful husband dismantled the dishwasher (cleaned it too) and fixed it.

Our trash pick up left me a "nasty gram" on the handle the other day.  Literally our mail system is a total mess right now.  I typically remember to pay regardless of a bill, but I did not get one this month.  At all.  They left me a nasty note with a late fee stating they will not dump our trash until it's paid.  Keep in mind the bill with the late fee was $24.00.  It was not like I didn't get a bill for two months.

I called and explained.  They are taking the late fee off, but I'm switching any bills I can to paperless for now.  I'm also using my planner religiously, marking due dates for utilities etc. so I don't get slammed with late fees for not getting my mail in time.

I finally got an email from my Aunt M.  She said it took 2 weeks to get my letter I wrote her.  We live an hour apart.

Something probably boring to you, but I signed onto our insurance points program the other day.  In order to keep our insurance at the current price, my husband and myself are required to earn 1,000 points.  The programs range from boring online classes (health related, financial related etc) to tracking steps with a fitbit.  

Well, my fitbit disconnected and I could not re-connect it to the program.  My device is so old they don't even make it anymore.  I sent a request via live chat (which takes more than a day) to get a new one.  I am still working on that, but it took much of my precious time.

Update on my last grocery shopping.  I could not find most of what I had on the list, but froze some fresh spinach, and froze some squash.  I have more produce to freeze today.  I can tell you the section in the store that had anything tomato canned, was almost bare.  Same with the canned beans (like garbanzo, great northern).  I'll be stocking up with dry beans from now on.  The bread section was fully stocked, although that was not on my list.  I typically bake that myself.  I could not find cauliflower, and bacon was almost $7.00 (I have another resource to check for that later).

The dairy section was fully stocked, but cream cheese was very limited.

Sadly, another bad news text I received yesterday.  The stepdad to one of our niece's passed away from covid.  He was only 49 years old.  I was asked to make a dessert for the celebration of life.

Just found out this morning a good friend of ours lost his brother as well.  Lord, help us all!

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Putting Up Peppers

Froze the last of the green bell peppers.

Jalapenos and green bell pepper went into this breakfast, topped with freshly cut chives.

Froze the last of the mad hatters and some more hot banana peppers.

Made hot sauce with some of the habaneros.  New recipe.  I'll let you know if it's good or not.

Filled the dehydrator with a mess of peppers for more fire powder.

Dinner last night.  Something I haven't made in a long, long time - pumpkin/ricotta stuffed shells (recipe is still online with Country Living) with basil and sage.  I sliced home grown carrots and put them in the crockpot with honey, butter and thyme.

Sadly, another extended family member on my husband's side of the family, had passed away from covid.  

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Random Tidbits

I took this sunrise photo about 3-4 days ago.  The weather has changed.  It's colder, rainy, windy and dreary outside.  The kind of weather that makes you stay in PJ's all day or sweatpants and putter around getting whatever you need done.

We are also dealing with flooding.

My kitchen has been busy for sure.  While I am trying to put up what was pulled from the garden, Daughter K keeps piling up Halloween treat stuff all over.  Ugh.

We decided we are doing Christmas different this year.  I will not be buying new PJ's for our traditional Christmas Eve.  We all have enough, and I don't want to spend the money.  I'd rather stock up more on food.

It's getting worse and worse.  I went to the store to pick up one item, and saw 3 bags of potatoes in the produce section.  Ham is difficult to find as well.  Organic anyway.  Canned milk?  Good luck with that.  Now the radio is stating there are more shortages of paper products and now alcohol.  Who knows what to believe, other than what I see in the stores right now.

While at the store, we picked up a loaf of organic/non-gmo bread.  There were two loaves on the shelf.  When we got to the check out, the clerk noticed a mouse chewed a hole into the bag.  The carry out/bagger went back and got us the very last loaf.  I just haven't had time to get homemade bread made, but we don't eat it that often either. She said that the store was having issues with mice.  Great.  Just what we needed to hear.

Daughter K told us that at the business she works for, less and less are being delivered to sell.  I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but their store is not even able to order furniture for customers.  The manufacturers said no.  They can only sell what is in their stores.  America has been ruined.  Keep praying and looking out for one another.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Happy Homemaker Monday

Just 2 days after finding out we could set up meals on wheels for my Mom, the newspaper printed an article about food shortages and "problems" getting meals to seniors.  I sighed.  Just when we found a solution, the darn covid issues stomped them.  The article mentioned bulk food prices for them went 4 times higher than in 2019. They are making adjustments.

Our local schools are experiencing the same food shortages, and now they lack enough bus drivers due to covid and sick drivers.  They had an emergency meeting.  They may have to go back to in-home schooling again.  Currently, they are asking parents to share rides.  Some parents are not able to do this.  We gave family and friends with kids in that school system.

My husband worked all weekend.  We were up early drinking coffee and I realized I need to get the garden hoses off the house and put into storage.  It also meant I needed to pull the beets and carrots (need the hose to wash the dirt off as we have a septic and cannot run dirt down our sink).

I got that done, and realized there was more to do outside than I thought.  Beets did not do well this year.

We got a good chuckle with Daughter E last night.  Ha ha! She called and said she didn't know how to turn the heat on in her apartment.  We had her send photos and she didn't know what a furnace was.  So funny.  Her heat is on though.

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.
I will link up later when she posts.  I'm an early bird.

The weather . . .
62°F/45° Rain all day

How I am feeling this morning . . .

Tired.  We both didn't get to sleep in over the weekend.  

On my mind . . .

The kitchen floor project.  I hope our crew is all healthy when we finally set the date.

On the breakfast plate . . .

Sausage, potato, eggs, swiss chard, bell pepper, and jalapeno breakfast burrito, organic coffee

Right now I am . . .

Posting this, then jumping in the shower to get my "power shower" and get this day started.

On my reading pile . . .

Honestly, I haven't been reading anything lately.  I need to get back with a good book.

On today's to-do list . . .
-freeze bell peppers and more hot peppers
-make more fire powder
-laundry, and get it on the drying racks
-sweep and mop
-pull bedding from the camper and start winterizing it
-take more totes upstairs
-change light bulbs
-dishes, dry and put them away

On the TV. . .

You Bet Your Life (Jay Leno) Love this new show.  The show makes me laugh and I have fun guessing the answers.  Cooking shows when they are on.

On the menu this week . . .
-Grilled chicken kabobs, baked smashed brussel sprouts
-pumpkin/ricotta stuffed shells, crock pot carrots
-Cheese sandwiches, home canned tomato/basil soup
-Turkey, carrots

From the camera . . .

I picked a lot more hot peppers than I thought. 

Looking around the house . . .
Looks like I need to buy a few storage totes.  I washed up the towels from the camper, and some hot pads.  I will store that, and the linens in the house this year.

New recipe I tried last week . . .
I tried a baked donut recipe.  It was good.   We are going to try a new grilled chicken kabob recipe this week.  I also have a new crock pot recipe with chicken to try.

To relax this week, I will . . .

Something I want to share . . .

Fun fact I learned:  you can eat the tops (pesto, sauces etc) and they have more vitamin C than the root itself.

On my prayer list . . .
Mom (heart health issues), Mike's family (passed away from a car/semi accident), the world, the USA

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Grilling ~ Fall Photo and Handiwork


We grilled out the other night.  I did not have red bell pepper and used mad hatter pepper.  Delicious!  They have hardly any heat, but add flavor and color.  I call it Christmas in a pan.  So good.  The foil packets contained turkey sausage, red potatoes, and green beans (with olive oil and butter).

Fall photo from our last camping trip.

I crocheted a set of "pretty in pink" pot holders.

Crocheted 4 more jar openers.  I'm still waiting on the General store to call or email me back.  I've called and left messages 2 times now.

We woke up to a brisk 37°F this morning.  More rain is moving in and will be hanging out for a few days.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Garden Work ~ Rain Barrels and other Tidbits


I pulled all of my hot pepper plants and brought in 2 strainers full of hot peppers. I brought in some swiss chard and one small bell pepper, which went into breakfast.   Our weather is changing and evenings are getting pretty cold.  We will be picking up some free ash that is already split too, as we'll need to fire up the wood stove soon.

I drained the rain barrels and have them flipped over for winter storage.  One has the spigot completely ripped off.  Our mower guy must have gotten too close.  It's fixable though.

Daughter K went back to work.  She's feeling better thankfully.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Dirty Dishes and Tragic News


I think I did about 5 rounds of dirty dishes, but then turned around and made homemade lemonade and a pot of homemade ginger-ale syrup for Daughter K.  She is sick.  Her throat was very sore, thus the extra dirty dishes.

Lemon juice can help break up the mucus and help a sore throat, plus it's packed with vitamin C.  Homemade ginger-ale has a lot of healing properties too, and helps with nausea as well.  

She was dealing with a very bad headache as well.  I surely hope she feels better this morning.

Tragic news.  My husband's first day back to work was not good.  He was told that a co-worker, 41 years old passed away.  A semi trailer crossed over the center line and landed his semi on top of my husband's co-worker's car.  I was told that it took 75 minutes to get the semi off of the car.  Mike (his co-worker) died at the hospital.  He leaves behind his high school sweet heart (wife) and two kids (7 and 9).

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Life can change in an instant.....

We got our sad news about Patty while we were on a camping trip last weekend.  We relied on our cell phones to make arrangements from the camper.  We are thankful we visited her the day prior.  Enjoy your family and friends.  Life can change in an instant.  Although her nurses took precautions (mask, gloves the whole sha-bang), Patty contracted covid from a nurse in her home.

As for the camping trip?  Well, it was interesting for sure.  It was so windy we had to put the awning back up, and could not make a campfire until the morning we left.  We were thankful that the campground had a cement slab for our door way and chairs (we moved our chairs to the campfire the morning we cooked a campfire breakfast).  It rained the entire first night, but we still had a good time.

I made a few things for the meal for Patty's celebration of life.  It took some work, but we got someone to do the main meal for us (so very very thankful for that help). I baked a double batch of honey roasted caramel corn, a double batch of chex mix, and made two pans of cherry delight.  I'm glad I did though.  Only one other family member made 2 pies and all desserts went fast.

In fact, Monday we were so busy that we both forgot to eat lunch and dinner ended up refried beans and organic tortilla chips.  If someone had offered to deliver us a meal, I would have gladly accepted. It didn't happen though.

We are all totally mentally and physically exhausted.  In fact, daughter K left the meal early, and upon getting home felt sick.  She immediately, based on her symptoms, went to Urgent care.  She tested negative, but has a random virus.  We are keeping her upstairs, sanitizing and what not.

I joked that I'd tie her medications on the collar of her dogs and send them up to her.  Meanwhile, I'll get the diffuser out and have it going downstairs (now that we don't have a cat down here and we put a curtain on the stairway).

We had a beautiful weather day for the funeral.  Today, the thunder is rolling in with rain.  It's been over a week since I have been in the garden, and it can wait now.  There are still plants to pull, and hopefully some greens etc. to harvest and put up.

Now we are back to homestead work, and sadly my coop door broke.  It's been one thing after another.  My sink is over-flowing with dirty dishes, so it's first on the to-do list today.  I told my husband let it sit until today.  We just needed a bit of rest.  He is back to work today.

Thank you for all your kind words, thoughts and prayers regarding the passing of my husband's sister.  Had covid not been here, she would have probably out lived us all.  She has been through a lot in life, but also brought much love and laughter.

Monday, October 18, 2021

In honor of Patty, I will be out for a few days.....

 My sister-in-law, Patty, has passed away.  I will not be posting for a few days.  Patty is in heaven now.  

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Baking Donuts and Tidbits


I dug out the donut pan and baked some pumpkin/cardamom donuts.   

The results?  Well, they were good and dense.  However, I felt the recipe I tried, lacked in flavor.  I'd add more cinnamon and nutmeg to it.  They were very easy to make, and I'd consider trying other recipes, just for kicks  This recipe used a small amount of butter, and I used half whole wheat flour.

It's something "fun" for a gathering, or when you need individual servings and don't want to bake bread and slice it.

(Recipe is online with Kitchen Addiction)

I sat down yesterday and wrote a letter to my only living Aunt.  I realized I have not been in touch with her.  I am glad I kept stationary now.  Although it's much quicker to type a letter, I do love the ol' pen and paper.

The weather is beautiful, but it appears rain is possible towards the weekend.  I don't have much to pull from the garden.  The rest is in grow bags.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Mom and Patty

 A big thank you to Vicki at Mom's Scribbles.  Your help was much needed.  We are in the works getting meals delivered from the local hospital (specifically designed for Mom's health), and she'll be getting a home health aide to come help with her legs and do blood draws in her own home.  

Mom's memory is not that great, so the extra "eyes" on her and medical help will be great! 

Update on my husband's sister.  Not good.  She has covid pneumonia as of yesterday.

Sorry for the short post.  I baked English Muffins yesterday to distract my brain, but they didn't turn out that great.  I should have been cleaning and prepping again for the floor project instead.  Anyway, I'm working on perfecting those buggers the next baking day.  I'll update on that when it happens.

I didn't want to deal with yet another strainer full of hot peppers either.  I sent them with my husband and he gave them to a co-worker.  We saved a small amount of fresh jalapenos though.  We've been chopping them and adding them to the beans I cooked up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Some things I learned and other ramblings . . .

 I was watching a foraging video on making dandelion pesto, and the person mentioned using "soaked and dried" nuts (unroasted) or seeds for the recipe.

I had to google it, and yes there are video's on doing this process.  Apparently, it helps you digest them, brings out their flavor and nutrition.

I did not even know that re-usable freezer bags, that use a handheld tool, existed.  The tool removes the air from the bag.  They re-seal and are washable.  I bought one (not the one I wanted, as I don't think it is being made anymore), but trying it out to see if the bags keep the air out after months of being in the fridge.  I hope it works out well.  I just put hot peppers in the freezer.  I can take out a bit, re-seal and put back in the freezer.  I love the fact that it will cut back what I spend on ziploc bags.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Happy Homemaker Monday


Beautiful sunrise this morning.

I had to frog the second cardigan sleeve.  Not sure what is wrong with my brain, because I know how to crochet.   I will put it off for another day and get back to it.  

An odd sighting on Sunday - a man jogging down the country highway with a USA flag.  A car was behind him with hazard lights on, but I couldn't read what was on the side of the car.  I'll admit, I lifted my spirits to see him doing that.  I would have had a photo if I had my phone in my hand, but I had a cup of coffee in my hand instead.

Daughter E came out for a visit.  That was a blessing, considering my husband and Daughter K were both working.  She took more of her belongings, and we chatted for a while.

I called the General Store, where I may be selling one of my items.  They have not yet emailed or called me back.  I know they are busy with fell festival stuff, so I may need to call again this week.  Or I may stop in with the items.

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

The weather . . .
86°/65° F, sunny

How I am feeling this morning . . .
Exhausted, but mostly because my husband worked all weekend, so I worked at the house.  Not having a weekend to sleep in is exhausting.

On the breakfast plate . . .
Frittata, coffee.   Lots of coffee.

On my reading pile . . .
Nothing, again oddly

On today's to-do list . . .
-boil pinto beans for bean dip and freeze most of it
-pick peppers from the garden
-freeze more hot peppers

On my tv . . .
Whatever we find interesting on Netflix

On the menu this week . . .
-Leftover Chicken Spaghetti
-Baked walleye, veggie
-honestly, have no idea yet, ha ha!

From the camera . . .

The rain gave us more hot peppers.  Maybe fire powder for Christmas gifting?  I really don't want to can, but I may be canning hot pepper mustard sauce.  I guess canning first.  There won't be any family holiday gatherings again this year.

Looking around the house . . .
My kitchen, for once, is beautifully cleaned, tidy and a fresh breath of air.

To relax I will . . .

Something I want to share . . .

Look what I made!  Oatmeal/vanilla soap.  I can add soap making to my craft show days next year.  I'm so excited I tried a kit first.  I think the smaller bars will be great for people who rent out homes for Airbnb or similar.  Question.  What is the best source to buy a goat's milk soap base?  I found some on Amazon, but wondered if there is a lower priced base elsewhere?  

New Recipe I tried or one I want to try. . .

I've printed this out for the next time I need it. Thought I would share.

I also tried a homemade "fritos" recipe.  I adapted organic ingredients.
I want to try a smashed brussel sprout recipe soon too.

Devotional, Inspirational, prayer list or Bible verse . . .
Husband's sister Patty (covid), Mom (she's getting a bit better)

Sunday, October 10, 2021


My husband surprised me by getting off work early.  We took the hot rod out and visited Mom and took her dinner. My younger brother was there too.  Mom is doing better, and walking more.  It'll be a while before she is completely back to herself.

We visited Patty too.  We went around her house and waved in the window.  I guess we are allowed to go in with a mask, but we did not want to with her having covid.  She was happy to see us, especially her brother.  We didn't stay long.  The excitement of seeing us gave her a coughing fit.  She is doing okay though, so thank you all for your prayers.  I believe my husband said she is 74 years old.

Oh, and Michael?  He is doing very well now.  He had to get those antibody injections, but is recovering very well, so thank you for all of your prayers.  Their baby is doing well too.  Unfortunately, he was not paid while home sick.  So sad to hear this when they are a newly married couple with a baby to care for.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Fall Blooms ~ Sunrise


The recent rain has brought us some beautiful fall blooms.

A beautiful sunrise.

I've been washing a lot of dishes.  Our dishwasher is on the fritz.  My husband will look at it when he can.  Not this weekend.  He is working all weekend.

Egg production is low.  They are molting.

I'm still putting hot peppers away.  I have not pulled the plants due to the daily rain we have gotten.