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~

Monday, December 4, 2023

Last Craft Show


The weekend went pretty fast, and with ugly weather.  The rain never stopped.

The craft show is over with, and we did okay.  I have also sold the blanket yarn I have in stock (what I had left), that I used only for the water balloons.  I have emptied a few totes thankfully.  However, like my husband said, no one has money right now.  Most of what was sold, was very low priced items.  

The cost to participate with a 10 x 10 foot area, was a whopping $45.00 this year.  It will be marked as the very last craft show for us.  It was a dreary, rainy day, and not many people went out, plus there were a ton of other area craft shows going on during the same day.  So many people, who told me they were coming to the show, never even showed up.

I gifted hats to a few of the kids, and packed up displays to put up for sale at a later date.  

A local lady, who ordered 6 knitted dishcloths picked them up at the show.  She was thrilled to get them.  She said craft shows are not "craft" shows anymore.  She is right.  There are so many other vendors using cricut machines to sell shirts/mugs/bags, pampered chef, Tupperware, and the like.  There were about 4 booths with crochet work there.

Now the abandoned, unfinished projects will resume.  There is much to work on yet around here.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Chit Chat


Beautiful sunrise we had here a few days ago.

Have you heard?  There is a mysterious dog illness nationwide right now.  We still plan to install a dog fence, but it's a scary time to adopt a dog. 

Have you been heard about all of the cantaloupe recalls lately?  There are many.

The weather continues to cause delays on the coop build.  The joy of homesteading.  It's raining here again today.  It rained all day yesterday.

Are you an evening tea drinker?  What is your go-to tea to wind down at the end of the day?  Is it something you grow perhaps? 

My husband asked why the Christmas tree didn't have ornaments yet.  I laughed.  I have told him over and over, that we never organized the garage, so he has his "things" blocking my access to the Christmas totes.  He has promised to clean that up soon. 

Do you give yourself rewards for good behavior?  Ha!  You know, like rewards for goals met?  Or breaking a bad habit, starting a new good habit, and rewards along the way?  Or for finishing a project you have dreaded to finish?

Do you pamper yourself to perk yourself up on days you are just dragging through it?

Friday, December 1, 2023

Paperwork ~ Pricing Continues

 Goodness, we went from snow, to freezing conditions, then up to the 50's and then more rain.  The weather is all over the charts.  The outside work awaits us.  

I turned on the outside Christmas lights, the small light up fixtures and the tree now.  My husband is very into Christmas decorating for the first time.  I am still not ready for Christmas spirit. 

Now a days, everything is online, so I spent almost 2 hours on the computer accessing several accounts, downloading forms, scanning them, uploading them...just for getting medical bills paid.  Good gravy!   The worst part is that since I had to print stuff, then I have to file it until the year is over with.  Oh I do not like paper work days like that.  It doesn't help when a site is down or having issues with a claim or what not. 

The good news, is I'll be caught up at the dentist, only to rack the bills back up again.  Long story short, when we first moved here we had to go to a chain dentist due to insurance.  After they ruined teeth on two of my kids (literally verified by another dentist), we got back to our original dentist, but they are still fixing everything they did wrong.  One of my kids had an emergency visit this year, only to find out her new dentist was angry at how the chain dentist so called filled cavities on her teeth.

So after several visits this summer, guess who is having a problem that stems from a crown done by the chain dental location?  Yep.  Me.  An expensive one, but they (my current dentist) say they can do it without replacing the crown with a brand new crown.  Geeze.  Merry Christmas to me!  

Pricing continues.  Golly, I think I started making these over 5 years ago.  Honestly, I don't even know if I still have the pattern.  These are the last of the last of these.  I will not be making anymore.
  They are crocheted mug covers, with matching coaster, and come with a mug or cold beverage travel cup (100% cotton yarn).  Pricing continues. . .

I love the pink and gray one I made.  Totally forgot what colors they were, until I unpacked them to price.

We used to have a pop up camper.  When we went camping with the kids, I had crocheted a specific color for each kid, so the cups/mugs were duly noted (as the camper mugs/cups were all the same).  Plus, the hot cocoa (or coffee) stayed warmer longer.

I  finished this Monstera leaf cup/mug coaster set, that fits in a "clay" pot for a fun look.  I have another pot crocheted.

I had already loaded up and packed a tote with these, and found more in another tote.  I counted 36 more!  These are those fun water balloons that are eco-friendly.  Oh boy.  I think I may gift some to the grandkids.   I doubt I'll sell any during winter time, but these need packaged up yet. 

How do these work?  You soak them in a bucket of water and toss.  Wash, dry and reuse. Summer fun for kids on a hot day.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Frigid ~ New Crock Pot Recipe Tried

 We warmed up from an 8°F wind-chill to 18°F.  I had the brainy idea it was great weather to muck the coop.  It was a bit windy, but half the coop was cleaned anyway.  Nothing like fetching one frozen egg in this frigid weather.  

Although the sun was out, the chickens wanted no part of the outside world.  They wanted to huddle inside.

I have been lazy with cooking, so it was a recipe to try from this cookbook.

Chicken Chickpea Tortilla Soup

I love my crock pot, but I'm not a big fan on "soups" for dinner.  It typically is not a substantial meal, and my brain immediately associates it served with some sort of bread.  Then I think a side sandwich.  What do you serve with your soups?  Another vegetable side sounds good too.

The recipe suggestions for serving it, say try yogurt, cheese, crunchy blue tortilla chips.  By the way, the nutritional information is included with the recipes in this book.

Anyway, the above recipe was easy and quick, and the results of test tasting were good.  Delicious!  We loved it.  I used a full 4 cloves of garlic (recipe says 3-4), and I only had one can of regular diced tomatoes, so the 2nd can was fire roasted (organic) tomatoes.  Also, the recipe states for 6 cups of stock.  I used 4 and it was plenty.  The photo is deceiving, as it shows very little broth.  Otherwise, I followed the recipe, and did not top it with anything, it was that good.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

This and That


Detoxing after the holidays, as well as mentally. 

Not what I expected to show up, but shoveling for the first time of the winter season was therapeutic.  Not just the physical activity, but getting outside for a while.

It's "shot gun" week here in our state for deer season.  So far, it's been pretty quiet.  It has also been very cold too.

The dreaded moment - hand pricing all of the jewelry I made.  It's done.  Those are just the crocheted bracelets, and the beaded crocheted bracelets.  I organized the keychains, and priced them too, along with earrings and necklaces.  Pricing stuff continues....

A funny for you all.  I just found out that that piece on the top is magnetic for a reason.  It's so you can remove it to clean the lid.  I have wanted to find out why the lid was magnetic for a long time.  Every time I washed it, things stuck to the lid.  My husband got this Yeti from work, and gave it to me a while ago.  Oh boy, so did you know about this?

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Just the Bits


We are into cold weather now, and it's been snowing off and on here lately.  Woke up to a wind chill of 8 degrees.  Yep, that cold (and more snow).

Still not in the mood to decorate for Christmas.  I have yet to turn on the porch Christmas lights.

A morning moon.  

I got frustrated with the chicken watering units sold in our stores.  They are either too big, or I can't hang them, or they don't let the water out as they should.  I ordered a new one online.  I am hoping it does the job.

We have hit another hiccup with the coop build.

All I can say, is I am thankful that Thanksgiving is over with. 

I've been experimenting with different ingredients for beef and bean breakfast burritos.  Eggs are far and few this time of year, so it's been sort of fun to take it slower in the kitchen.

Sugar alert!  There is cane sugar in your Randall's cooked and ready to eat pinto beans.  I keep these on hand for when I cook for a large group of people, and I never realized there was cane sugar in them.  

Best way to avoid that is to just cook your pinto beans from dry beans.  I do that in my crockpot (soaking the night before), and adding onion and garlic to them.  I call them the unfried refried beans.  I cook them all day in the crockpot with a bit of water and watch them so they maintain enough moisture.  I do not add any salt until the end.  The beans cook much better.  The beans end up versatile for many dishes.  I have  also frozen them after cooking them.

My pricing "station" is under way.  The more I price my crochet items, the more I am dreading the craft show.  Here I wanted to do this, and now we are talking about how we can't wait for it to be over with ha ha!

My husband has offered to pay me to stay home vs. set up at the craft and vendor show.  I'll be honest, I may take him up on that offer.

While I priced items the other day, one of our nephews came over to help us mow, but ended up repairing our dishwasher.  We ended up taking the inside of the dishwasher apart, and giving it a deep clean, so that job is done.  Did you know your dishwasher has a filter, that needs cleaned about once a month?  I guess I forgot, but it's super-ity, duper-ity clean now.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Homemade "Jiffy" Corn Muffin Mix


The very popular "grocery" item during the holidays contains "bioengineered" ingredients. It's a new word for "gmo" (genetically modified) on so called food products now.

You can make this homemade.
Find the recipe for it HERE.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Refrigerator Rolls


This is the first year I did not make the rolls.  
These are very good, and I passed the recipe on to a grand niece.  She is made them this year, and forgot how many I told her they make ha ha!  They freeze pretty good too.  The recipe comes from another blog I follow.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Just the Bits

 We are on the hunt for a wider ridge cap for the chicken coop.  We will need to be creative and resourceful, if we cannot locate one.

We have another leak in the kitchen, but it's under the floor, so yay us.  We may have to cut out the bottom of the cupboard and check under it.  Not what we need right now at the holidays.  It could be another issue.  

The  weather turned much colder and brought rain.  Lots of rain.  

Has anyone who crochets, noticed that the "I" hooks are getting made now with new handles, but the measurements are not the same as the original hooks?  Top one says 5.50mm and the newer one says 5.25mm.  Both say they are an "I" hook.

Yay!  The photo upload function works again on blogger!

The kids were over for Thanksgiving, and two mentioned that medical workers would buy "boot" cuffs for their 40oz. Quencher Stanley cups.  It keeps the tumbler from scratching surfaces, but I do not own one to measure.  Does anyone have one to measure the width of the bottom, and the height up to where it goes wider?  I may just take this one to Wal-mart and try it, ha ha!

Homemade seasoned salt was restocked.  I don't use this very often, but I do make it homemade.

I am thankful the library gave out 2024 calendars for free this year.

I found a project to use up scraps of cotton yarn.  Particularly solid colors, but we'll see.  It will be gifted, so I can't share it if I am successful (just been too busy to crochet much).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Handiwork ~ Baby Washcloths ~ Crochet


Top yarn is 4 ply cotton yarn, the bottom is the Honeysuckle cotton yarn.

Tucked away in one of my yarn totes is yarn from a store closeout.  I think I bought it, thinking I was buying cotton yarn the thickness of a 4 yarn.  It is very thin cotton yarn, and about a thin 2 maybe?  the label doesn't even say what hook size to use or even the thickness.  It is USA made, and I think the company closed back around 2011.  I've had the yarn that long.

Not that I need another project right now, as we have so many going on, but I wanted to find a use of this yarn.  I'm trying very hard to get stuff made for the last craft show.

By the way, I was invited to another craft show, and once again the cost would be $50.00.  This particular show was $20.00 for a 2-table space the last time I participated.  Crazy high prices, unless you sell high priced items.  It just takes the "fun" out of fun.

Anyway, back to the subject of this post, which I apologize if it's boring.

Funny, how I can get hooked onto a new project.  I was moving my binder project to another area (for a winter snowy day project), and a pattern fell out.  It was for baby washcloths (crochet pattern).  I him-hawed, and left it sit on the end table.  Well, I had written the source of the pattern, and borrowed the library book again, just for fun.  

I had the pattern, but not the photo, so hence the book borrowing.  The color of the yarn (to me) was perfect for something "baby" so I gave it a whirl.  I figured 100% cotton was just right for a baby washcloth with the thin cotton yarn.

I think they are turning out nicely.  I used a "D" hook.  I have yet to try them myself, so I may be asking a friend to try them first, but I may have found a purpose for the yarn, and will make some up for gifting or donating.

I also have some cotton blend baby yarn I mistakenly ordered several years ago, and forgot to return.  I made a few washcloths with that too to try.  It's not 100% cotton, but I found a pattern online where they used the same blend for dishcloths.  I mean, if it's a "washcloth" you would not be re-using it, so I believe I found another way to use up another "oops" yarn purchase.

Just in case you crochet, this book has the pattern for the baby washcloths, and there are 3 patterns.  I have only made one so far.

Also, a pattern in this book.  I made these to sell at craft shows.  I am sold out, but it takes two strands of cotton at a time to make it.,

A cute and very easy pattern also in this book.  I made these one year for gifting.  They did not sell at all at the craft shows.  I tucked these in with other gifts. Sometimes the ribbon can be found at the dollar stores.

Sorry for the long post.  I never intended that, ha ha!  I have one person trying both washcloths with their baby.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday

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

 The weather . . .

We went from 60-70's to 50's and rain, and this week we'll barely see 50°F with lows in the 30's.  I was successful at crossing off "wash rugs" and they dried outside before the weather turned.

Right now I am . . .

Posting this blog post and sipping coffee.

Thinking and pondering . . .

Well for starters, I'm searching to see if they sell metal ridge caps that are wider than 10 x 10 inches, and possibly covering the coop with a tarp until we figure things out.

We have another set back with the chicken coop roofing.  He hand built the rafters, and the roofing he cut is too short for the ridge cap by about 2 inches.   Not what we needed with the holidays and such.  Otherwise the ridge cap would have been up last night.  

How I am feeling . . .

Tired.  However, I taught my granddaughter how to crochet.  In the amount of time she was here, she learned to chain stitch and by the end of the night, I taught her how to go back the second row using single crochet.  She left with a bag of yarn and a crochet hook, and a happy kiddo.  I  fear though, she will drive her Mom mad with questions now (ha ha!).

On the breakfast plate . . .

Egg, bacon, and cheese breakfast sandwich.

On the lunch plate . . .

Have no idea yet.

On the dinner plate . . .

Leftovers thankfully.

On the menu . . .

-have no idea yet

What I am wearing . . .

PJ's - still sipping coffee and getting this posted.

On my reading pile . . .

On my TV this week . . .

Christmas on Mistletoe Farm (Netflix).  I picked this randomly, when I my husband worked overtime, and found it quite fun to watch.  Very quirky, and at one point you'd think of it as a musical.  A father with 5 kids inherits a farm and the animals with it.  The town is very small, and the funny part is there is a woman in the town who crochets/knits for everyone and everything, including kid goats.  Everything in this movie is surrounded by something crocheted in the scene.  Family friendly.

Looking around the house . . .

Update on the home renovations/repairs/improvements:

When we moved in this house, the entire kitchen, and master bath had zero hardware on the cabinets.  I bought plain wood knobs, and hand painted them with acrylic paints to appear like weather paint.  They have lasted 14 years, and still look the same as the day I painted them.  

I've been installing new hardware in the master bath.  I've had it in a box since last year, and we got so far behind, painting in there did not happen (yet).  I decided to install all the new hardware, and will beautify as the weather sees fit.  Now I'm not shuffling the box around to sweep and mop.  

To-do list . . .

-make a breakfast dish
-finish cleaning out the fridge (started it, but didn't finish)
-put trash out, including a lawn chair I keep forgetting about
-work on menu/grocery list for the week
-work on pricing craft show items

From the camera . . .

Marinated cheese.  A first time trying, and why I wanted a basil plant indoors.  You can't buy fresh basil this time of year (atleast here anyway).  Delicious.

Something to share . . .

Nothing to share today, but asking if anyone has a tried and true crock pot, good, macaroni and cheese recipe to share?  Or an oven baked recipe that re-heats nicely.  One that travels well, re-heats well or stays heated in a crock pot.

Devotional, Quote, Prayers . . .
Our friend Jill - her Dad is in a nursing home due to a fall, but now they discovered cancer, and there are health issues with her daughter's pregnancy.