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~

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Stocking Up Day

 Saturday I woke up feeling very depressed.  I will not lie, I pouted for a while. My husband's work hours have been extremely miserable this year.  While our friends were all out on an all day charity bike ride and rib fest, my husband worked a double shift ( 16 hours), which left me home alone.  I don't think we've been on a motorcycle ride since March, and Saturday was the perfect weather for one.

My saying this year is, "well, I won't run out of things to do" and I got back to the long to-do list.

It was a freeze and stock up kind of day.  I froze asparagus, watercress, zucchini, and more green/wax beans.  My husband worked a double shift, so there was no "fun" weekend time for the both of us.

I had one bag of shredded zucchini from last year that had to be used up.  I baked us a double chocolate loaf of zucchini bread (King Flour recipe).

Saturday, July 30, 2022

This and That in a Big Way

I took a day off of weeding flower beds in order to run to town.  I have been cleaning up our mess of a house though.

We put stuff everywhere to clear out the kitchen and bathroom, and so in order to move stuff upstairs it's a juggle of room to room purging and putting stuff where it belongs.

I'm finding out in order to move this to there, I have to put there to here and back to the beginning.  

I finally moved Aunt J's plates out of our bedroom and back up on the wall.  Corner trim still needs installed.  Anyway, I have to find where I put my aprons next.  I think those ended up in my utility room (ha ha!).  Oh boy.  So much to purge and get back in place and organized again.  

The bathroom shower is finally in, but not complete.  I was truly hoping it was done, but that may happen next week.

I took advantage of the weather and put a lot of laundry out on the clothesline.  I have more to do today.  I'm washing up the old kitchen curtains.  I'll most likely donate them.  The kids do not need any, and I don't see a reason to store them.

The vegetable garden is calling me today.  No rain in sight for at least a week.  

Friday, July 29, 2022

In the Jungle....The Mighty Jungle....


My front flower beds are a jungle of weeds.  I put on my garden work clothes and worked until the heat was unbearable.  Let's just say, it's not completely weeded as of today.  That's okay.  Life happens.  I'll get it done, and we need mulch too.  It's been rough this summer juggling everything including running around for parts and supplies for the bathroom.

By the way, the handy-man had personal business, so there is no shower yet in the bathroom.  Possibly today?  Maybe.  Who knows anymore.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Just the Bits

 Although late, and due to rain again, I planted some shasta daisy seeds in the flower bed.

I also planted basil, cilantro and parsley for indoors.  

Made Einkorn pancakes and blueberry sausages for breakfast.


Baked another peach crumble, and a chicken/brussel sprout/carrot sheet pan dinner.

I love rainy days and yesterday was one of those.

I also printed another new crochet pattern.  Like a need another pattern...ha ha!

Daughter E came over and raided my closet.  She is attending a country concert soon.  She left with some cowboy boots, a summer dress and a jean's skirt.  Well, she helped purge my closet anyway, ha ha!

Our smaller bathroom now has a functioning toilet and sink.  The rest of the shower goes in today.

I filled a box with old dvd's, and it's ready to be taken to donate somewhere.

The green beans, cucumbers and squash are rolling in now.  Thanks to the rain, and the bell peppers are on, but not ready to harvest.

My errand day lists are growing, but today it's back to weeding the flower beds.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Tomatoes and other Chit Chat


I spent the entire day re-staking and tying tomatoes.  They out grew their 4 foot stakes and the last rain gave them some growing juice.  Good gravy.  I was out there from 8am to a little after 2pm.  My muscles are sore today.  I had enough 5 foot stakes to get  them all upright, and now we can actually walk thru that jungle, ha ha!  I picked off 3 tomato worms, but I will have to check for any more daily.   One paste tomato is already turning red. Gulp!

When my husband got home he weed whipped around the garden and around the flower beds.  We paid our mower guy to trim the last two times, and he has not.  We will not hire him unless there is a horrible work schedule again.

Update on the bathroom.  Well, we will have to re-center the bathroom light fixture and mirror, and remove all caulk and re-do it ourselves.  I could have told the guy to re-do it, but it's obvious he doesn't know what he's doing.  You can bigify the photo to see how bad it looks.  Sigh....

My husband and I both agreed, that we just want the shower installed completely, toilet installed and sink in and hooked up.  We are just so frustrated with everything.  This is the 3rd time we've been dealing with expensive and terrible work, from hiring someone.  We only hired someone due to my husband's horrible work schedule the last two months.

Two days in a row, I did not get the pancakes made.  I was sweaty, hot and tired by the time I came inside.  Today, I decided the rest of the flower beds can wait a day, so I can catch up inside and get a real breakfast baked.  We do have a slight chance of rain in the afternoon, which we do need.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Weeding ~ Tending Tomatoes and other ramblings


I spent the better part of the day weeding this part (my muscles reminded me this morning) of the front flower beds.  I have a lot more to do, but today I have to be in the tomato patches.  As you can see (sorry for the bath photos, I took them on my phone), there are no annuals. It just didn't happen in this bed.  Next year we'll get landscaping stones and it expand it out where we put tarps to kill the grass.  It will make mowing much easier.

During my husband's crazy long hours, we ended up with two different trims for the bathroom.  We had to run to the other "big city" and get the right trim so the bathroom could be finished up.  

We had a beautiful sunset last night.  Mom used to text me every night there was a beautiful one, because our sunset view is behind the house and behind the woods. I would not see it unless I was outside.

We ended up walking around the garden at dusk, to check on our motion sensor solar lights.  All are working, but one look into the tomatoes and I let a big sigh....I have more staking and tying to do.  Plus, the handyman used up the last of the gas, so if I will have to go get gas in order to do the tilling (again).

Today is one of those days I wish I had help.  Flower beds need finished weeding, tomatoes are in dire need of securing, beans need picked.....and oh, I have to paint one piece of floor trim this morning before I even go out the door.  I never got pancakes made yesterday.  I literally got the grill to the counter and that is as far as I got.  It's one of those whirlwind days today.

Speaking of the handy-man, since he changed his tune on payment amount regarding the bathroom, we are going back to doing the mowing and trimming ourselves.  However, the mower needs a new battery.  

Monday, July 25, 2022

Happy Homemaker Monday

We thankfully got rain all weekend, however it is too wet to work out there this morning.  I'll be weeding from the sides fo the flowers beds however.  

I finally found where I got my washcloth pattern.  It's from Cream of the Crop Crochet.  There are ads on the page, but I absolutely love this pattern for a washcloth.  Left is my old pattern, and the one on the right is the new pattern I found free online.

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.
I will link up when she posts today.

The weather . . .

Looks like we stay in the 80's with more rain this week.

As I look outside my window . . .

Flower beds look horrible!  Full of weeds.

Right now I am . . .

Making a 2nd pot of coffee.  

Thinking and pondering . . .

Apparently we bought two different shades of corner trims (for the bathroom), so we have to return 3 pieces and pick up 4 more.  Trying to figure out if we can go do that tonight, or pay the handyman to go do it (would have to pay him for gas).

How I am feeling  . . .

Ready to get some weeds pulled.  But first the coffee...

On the breakfast plate . . .

Einkorn pancakes and blueberry sausages, coffee

What I am wearing . . .

Work jeans, tank top - weeding day.

On the reading pile . . .

Does the mail count? Ha ha!

On my TV . . .

Virgin River

On the menu . . . 

-sheet pan chicken, brussel sprouts, carrots

-have no idea on the rest yet.

Looking around the house . . .

All of the trim, other than the bathroom floor trim has left my living room.  I still need to clean off a kitchen table, and start packing up the living room for that floor repair.

To-do list . . .

-weed flower beds
-check tomatoes for worms, check beans
-plant indoor cilantro, parsley, and basil
-work in living room 

From the camera . . .

New sign for the kitchen.

Devotional . . .

I still haven't moved all of my "office" back, so I haven't found my devotional book yet.  I need to get that done this week.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

...from the handiwork journal


. . .I've changed my handmade washcloths.  The one on the left is my original pattern.  I absolutely love the new on on the right.  Stitches are not as tight, larger and love it for a "make up" washcloth when needed.  I hope to get more made to sell this winter.  The last time we stayed on the island, the owner had black washcloths with the word "Makeup" stitched on it.  Brilliant idea.

. . .finally found a simple pattern for offering an inexpensive item for kids.  Kids are always coming up to our tables at the craft shows, so these be perfect.  Friendship bracelets.  Crocheted with embroidery floss.  Pattern is from Whistle and Ivy online (she has 4 different bracelet patterns).  I got them free, because I am an email subscriber.  I used a simple style and with the tie on method (better for more sales to fit more sizes).

It's not much of a handiwork update, but an update no less.  It's been a busy summer here at the homestead.

Friday, July 22, 2022

This and That

The blueberries are all done for the year.  I canned a small batch of blueberry cinnamon jam, and froze the rest.  I picked more green beans, tied up more tomatoes, and had a mound of dishes.  I mucked the chicken coop, and boy was it a hot day.  I did a check on all of the tomatoes and thankfully, only found one tomato worm.

I came inside and snapped a photo of the flooring going in for the bathroom.  Sigh....look at those seams!!  I sent the photo to my husband how immediately got in touch with the men doing the work. They were putting the seams way too close.  Oh my gosh, by the way, the two men were arguing the entire time.  


It was taken out and fixed.  Sorry for the bad photos, I took them with my phone.

It's hard to get a good photo, due to lighting and time of day as well, but we discovered there is matching trim, so we'll possibly be returning the trim we did buy and buying matching trim.  Hopefully, the bathroom will be done next week.  There are a few more pieces of flooring to install, the rest of the shower needs installed, more work on the walls (we are doing something different), then vanity, mirror, all trim, and toilet needs installed.

Daughter E had an outdoor yoga class, and they had a you-pick flower farm near by.  She drove all the way out to our place to gift me them.  I love flowers!

We finally got rain last night.  I do have to fix one tomato stake, but it may be too wet to walk in the garden this morning. I guess I'll find out.  It will be another scorcher of a day for us.  I do not lack weeding work, so I may be weeding flower beds after this rain.  I have several areas that badly need it.

There is a chance my husband will be stuck working 2nd or even 3rd shift due to work.  I am praying he is off at his normal hours.  We are so over this already.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Blueberry Season and Chit Chat

Yesterday was horribly humid and hot.  We had a heat index over 100°F.  There were sever thunderstorm warnings and we literally got a few drops of rain.

I drove my 62 minute round trip to pick up 10# of Michigan blueberries.  I did not get the chance to plant potatoes this year, so I also picked up some potatoes, more peaches, and garlic.  If you read my blog, you'll know that we are pretty sure I forgot to plant my garlic last fall.

Anyway, I spring planted my garlic and two entire grow bags have zero garlic, so yes, I could have, and yes it may be a squirrel problem.  I'll be picking up some 1/2 in. wire to cover the grow bags this fall.

Daughter K sent me a message she loved the zucchini I sent home with her, and we decided to use some for our favorite side dish (to also use up corn in the freezer).  The recipe is no secret.  It's online with AllRecipes called Corn and Zucchini Sauté I think.

Wednesday, my day completely changed gears.  I was heading out to the tomatoes and saw our handyman getting the mower out.  Back inside I went.  It was a day of putting blueberries in the freezer, making Einkorn blueberry pancakes and a pitcher of spearmint iced green tea.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

How I Re-Seasoned My Cast Iron Pan

A few asked how I restored my cast iron skillet, so this post is about that.

It's been a long time since I had to restore cast iron, but I did some research online.  Never soak your cast iron more than 8 hours (some Youtube videos I found said to soak overnight, do not do that).

I placed the pan in a large tote big enough to fit it.  I had the larger skillet so I used a plastic tote.

I filled the tote 50/50 with water and white (5% acidity) vinegar.  The vinegar helps loosen the rust (if you pan is rusty like the one I was given).  Completely cover the pan with this mix.  I soaked my pan about one hour, then tested it with the scrubber, and soaked about a half hour more.  

You'll have to wash out your tub or sink after soaking. There will be a residue of rust left behind.  I washed my tote outside, using the water hose.

I have read that you can scrub the rust off with a waded up ball of foil, scrubbie, or steel wool.

I had a few of these on hand, and it worked great.  Heavy Duty Scour Pad (found at the Dollar Tree or your local Wal-mart etc).  You can cut these in 4 smaller pieces to make your supply last longer.

Using Mesh Food Bags - Scrap Article (this may work as well, but you'll ruin the yarn portion of the scrubbie).  If you have food mesh bags, I'd just use that to scrub off the rust, but I think the thicker one I used worked better.

Once the rust is removed, I completely dried the pan.  I then oiled the pan with a canola oil (what I had on hand, or use vegetable oil).  If you read the instructions from Lodge company themselves, they say to use the spray type, but I suggest you do not.  That leaves a weird coating.

I placed a piece of foil in the lower rack to catch any oil that may drip off.  I read you can set your oven from 450 to 500°F.  I set mine at 450°F.  I place the cast iron pan on the other rack above it, and upside down.

You may want to do this on a day when you can open your windows.  You will get a (smoke) fog in the house from the oil baking on the pan if you do not.  It may depend on the oil you use, but for me it smoked up the house a bit.

I heated the pan for one hour, turned off the oven, and let it completely cool inside the oven.  I also re-oiled it after it cooled.

I hope this helps.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Garden ~ Tick Repellent Oil and other ramblings

The rain brought us some garden bounty!  I froze 3 meals of green beans, and brought in cucumbers, zucchini and yellow squash.  So happy for that.

The ticks are bad this year, so I made us some tick repellent oil.

The bathroom is still under construction.  I'm trying to be patient, but....the new vanity light was installed.  There was an issue with the shower base being un-level (fixed), and then there was the issue with studs and where the shower will need to go (getting fixed).  The flooring and/or shower should be going up today or tomorrow.  Then again we thought that last week.

Daughter K called.  She isn't coming over today to clean the upstairs as planned.  Sigh.  One of her co-workers has covid, so she didn't want to take a chance coming here, considering.

The heat is returning, and today may be a very humid day as well.  It's been too wet in the garden to weed, till, etc.  I had to hose my boots off yesterday.  Tomorrow will be worse, and there is a possibility of more rain.

I will be putting the last two sets of sun-blocking curtains in the upstairs this morning.  The one long set I put up has really helped keep the heat out of the upstairs.


Monday, July 18, 2022

Happy Homemaker Monday

 Sunday I had plans to do some long distance errands, but decided to do them another day.  It was predicted to storm all day, and go figure, it did not.

I, however, cleaned up the kitchen, sorted cookbooks for donation, filled another box for Daughter K, caught up on laundry, and filled one box for donation.  I finally filled a tote with 50/50 vinegar/water to soak an old cast iron pan I was given.

I already have a few cast iron pans, but no one wanted to bother with restoring it, so it ended up with me.  It's always nice to have an extra pan in case we need to cook over a campfire too.  You never know with what's happening in our world right now.

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  I will link up when she posts.

The weather . . .
85°F/65°F, possible rain

As I look outside my window . . .
It's foggy.

Right now I am . . . 
Trying to figure out the plan for the day due to more rain.

Thinking and pondering . . .
Where the heck am I going to store that cast iron pan?  My computer area needs a new mug rug.   We need a getaway soon.  Camper still needs water lines checked.  

How I am feeling . . .
Although not ready to take on a Monday, I had a nice weekend.  Daughter K visited Saturday, and Daughter E had a sleep over with our grand daughter A and both came to visit me Sunday.

My husband is on another whacky schedule this week.  We will both be glad when it's over with.  He's working double shifts - 16 hour days now.

On the breakfast plate . . .
Coffee, part of a giant cinnamon roll Daughter E brought us.

On my reading pile . . .
Do bills count? Ha ha!  The mail?

On my TV . . .
Honestly, whatever looks interesting.

On the menu . . .
-pork chops, zucchini/corn saute
-chicken, brussel sprouts, carrots

Looking around the house . . .
The kitchen island is finally cleaned off, but the table needs a complete tidying up job.  Living room is slowing getting emptied.  Kitchen still needs a piece put back up over the sink area, and one blind installed.

The to-do list . . .
-check garden
-freeze green beans
-paint the last of the bathroom trim
-put away dishes
-label and store the peach jam
-clean off kitchen table

From the camera . . .

Prayers/Devotional . . .
-I can't find my devotional right now.  I'm slowly getting my computer/bill paying station back in order.  It's probably in the office yet.  

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Daughter visit ~ More Painting ~ and other tidbits

Daughter K came for a visit to clean upstairs.  She filled the trash and her car thankfully, but more has to be cleaned.  She also cleaned out her car. It's not easy to do living in an apartment, so she did that at our house.  We grilled dinner and then she went home.

She did help me finally, after 6 months, help me move my computer back to the desk in the kitchen corner.  She said I should replace my keyboard and mouse, so I'm on the hunt for a wireless set that is affordable.

The clean up process is in progress in the living room. Daughter K helped me sort thru a box full of cables and wires and electronic game parts.  We found the correct cords to a DVD player left by the kids.  I moved the TV and the DVD player upstairs and it will be in the "guest" bedroom.  The room is still under a purge project, but at least it's out of the living room.

I have another problem however.  When I purged my old hutch, I boxed dishes and they are in my office.  They are dishes from one of my grandparents.  I have no clue on where to store those now.  Urgh.  

I found someone to give us a quote to clean gutters (family business), but now my husband said we'll do it ourselves after being over charged on the bathroom repairs.  I'm not sure I want to be on a ladder, and if I am, I have to do it when someone is here, so that is a problem.

I'm finishing up the bathroom trim.  I have one more piece, and the saw horses can finally leave the living room.

It looks like it will be raining all day today, so there will be no outdoor work accomplished, but thankful for the rain.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Fried Green Tomatoes in Breakfast Burritos


I decided to add some fried green tomatoes to our breakfast burritos this week.  You know me - waste nothing.  I trimmed some of the tomato plant, but have more to trim.  Hopefully, the tomatoes will start to get bigger.

We got a lot of rain last night, and they predict rain for the next 4 days.   We needed it.  We could use more.  It will make weeding much easier.  I've been keeping up with the vegetable garden, but one tomato patch will need it again after this rain.

I will be back to painting bathroom trim.  I had to halt on the painting yesterday, due to the handyman needing one of my saw horses, but that was okay.  I got a hot minute to crochet, but it's a new project for a fall craft show, and I barely got it started before needing to make dinner.

I didn't get a photo, but I made us potatoes, garden green beans and bacon for dinner.  Oh so good, and one recipe that I grew up on, and Mom used to make.

If the rain stops by Monday or Tuesday, the bathroom shower, and flooring will be going in (crossing my fingers).

Our handyman initially quoted us $10/hr. for the bathroom job (he has worked 2 weeks/ 8 hr or less days so far), but after we ran into so many more repairs, he changed his tune.  We know him, but now he wants much more, so the living room will be repaired by us and us alone (which will take a LOT longer).  He's asking way more than we expected, but he did do a lot and it's way less than any professional business would have.  Sigh....

We may ask the boys (nephews) for assistance, and I know they will refuse to be paid.  If we are lucky to get their help in any way, I'll be whipping up a lot of food to feed them and their families.  It's what we do.

Friday, July 15, 2022

No More Chard ~ Blips in the Bathroom and other ramblings

I went out to check the squash and beans and saw the rabbits ate my Swiss chard.  Let's just say that I cannot wait for my new raised beds next garden season.

We had a few more set backs with the bathroom.  When the old light fixture was taken down, we saw that they ran the wires thru the wall and screwed the light fixture into the drywall (not the wood).  Our handy-man had to go get us an electrical box and installed that.  Then when he went to assemble the new light fixture, we saw that one part of it was broken.  It's being returned, and another has already been ordered.

Now that I see how many short cuts the previous owners did, I will be checking the carpet upstairs to see if they even put foam under it.  One room has to be re-carpeted in the future for sure.  I'm trying to clean up the other room and wait it out for a year or two, considering all the repairs needed and costly expenses this year.

I got the herb garden fully weeded and put Mom's flamingo solar light in it.  I also got 3/4ths of the rose bed weeded, but so much more needs weeded.

Also, I am so frustrated with our one tomato plant for sandwiches etc.  It's fully loaded (put banana peel water on it), but it's so loaded the tomatoes are very small.  I'll be removing many green tomatoes later today, to try and let the plant have more strength for producing larger tomatoes.  Let's just say I'll not be pouring banana peel water on it anymore.

I finally got out my home owner's journal (yes I am a journal junkie).  I'm updating it with the repairs, and paint colors.  I'm taking photos of all the repairs and will print them off and tuck them into this handy journal as well.


Thursday, July 14, 2022

Chores and memories and other ramblings....

 While tying up the tomatoes I thought of Mom.  It didn't matter who brought her home grown tomatoes, she always told me that my tomatoes tasted the absolute best.

Also, bandaids and travel toilet paper brought Mom to my mind.  While cleaning her house, she had a good supply of travel toilet paper and bandaids.  I didn't think I would need them, but lately....found myself in a bathroom stall in a store and no toilet paper, and scratched the heck out of my arm removing hay from upstairs and have no bandaids.  I'm heading to the camper this morning in hopes to find more bandaids.

I don't want to waste gas for just one thing today, so I surely hope I find extras out there.  I have a travel tote we use when we go on car trips and camping trips, but I have yet to find it in this maze of a mess house right now.

In regards to the entire bale of hay I found upstairs, Daughter K left it in a tote.  When I inquired on the oddity of it, she said she "left it because Rosemary (her rabbit) didn't like it". Sigh....why an entire bale?  I have no idea.  Kids!

Daughter K called.  She wanted some zucchini.  Mom used to fry her sliced zucchini when they stayed over as kids.  Heck, she used to make it for us as kids.  So good too.

While cleaning green beans I thought of Dad.  He always told me I snapped the beans too big.  He said I needed to snap them in smaller bite size pieces.  Guess who snaps them in smaller pieces to this day?  Yep.  Me.

While searching for a new crochet pattern, I thought of Mom.  She was the one who always gave me an idea that ended up selling very well at craft shows.  The last item she asked me to make was the jar openers, and the first dozen sold completely.  I've since then made more, and have them for sale now at the museum gift shop.

The moon was very visible the other night.  Last night it was too cloudy.

My husband keeps reminding me that the flower beds need weeded.  I keep telling him, "yeah, and so do the hot peppers, kale, bell peppers, squash, cucumbers, and the herb garden..."  I'm only one person, and I have to paint to keep up with the bathroom project.

Speaking of the bathroom, we decided that it was best to change out the pvc water lines for the shower and put in a new shower handle/shower head.  We have no access if they bust down the road, so to ensure a good re-build, that was done before the last piece of drywall goes up (hopefully today).  One more thing to delay the finish, but better to do it, than to not.

The water was shut off for that last repair, so I am running the dishwasher very early, as it is completely full.

I cleaned out a 2 drawer filing cabinet, and gave the cabinet to a friend who is in the process of moving.  One more thing out of the living room maze of a mess (used to be in my kitchen under the desk).  We don't need that much file space anymore.

I brought down one more bag of trash from upstairs, as well as the tote with the remaining hay (why oh why??!!). More purged, and another box for donation.  I am also saving the very large cardboard from the vanity etc. and storing it for the garden next year.  I put it under my grow bags to keep the weeds down.

I purchased sun-block curtains for the west facing window and north and south in the smaller bedroom upstairs.  It made a huge difference in temperature up there.  It's cooler, although we are not running AC up there this year.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

This and That


It's been nice to watch the sunrise with my husband lately.

I went out to pick green beans and almost stepped on this guy.  Ugh.  The bugs are horrible this year.
The green beans are rolling in, but wax beans have yet to keep up.  I now wish I planted more, but they are coming in anyway.

The bathroom ceiling has been textured and painted.  Now the last piece of drywall goes up, but they are calling for rain.  I guess we'll see what happens today.

I printed yet another free pattern for a crochet project.  It's for kids, so I have something inexpensive they can buy at a future craft show.  If I ever get crochet time, I will post a picture of it.