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~

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

New Tea ~ Down Memory Lane


Giving this new tea a try.  It is similar to the Traditional Medicinal teas, and it is good.  I have also ordered something new to try.

The carpet is all out upstairs.  It is almost completely out of the stairway as well.  It may be an all year long project, but at least the carpet is gone.

I got my stand for my starter seeds moved.  I'm starting seeds two weeks earlier than last year.  I do need to check the grow lights today.

There were a total of 9 deer out early evening last night.  I heard my husband talking and looking out the window saying, "you all better stay over there."  Ha ha!  They were all out eating the winter wheat.  The temperatures have dropped to the single digits, so it is back to cold here.

Down memory lane:   

I was looking for a specific photo and remembered I made flan for a fiesta/salsa party/tasting night.  That was the first and last time I made flan, but it was good!  You can read about the year I canned several different salsas and our fun food fest  HERE.

Our first goats!  Golly what a memory!  Reflections of 2011 can be read HERE.  We haven't had goats now for many years.  I do miss the milk, soap and cheeses.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday

Good Morning this Monday Morning!  Yes, I still have laryngitis, but it's a bit better.  I am now told to try Oregano tea, and I do have oregano dehydrated from the garden.  I'll be trying it later today.

I missed our family get together (my side of the family), due to still not having my voice back, but not talking has helped speed up recovery.

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

The weather . . .

We are going in the direction of cold.  It will get down to the single digits this week.

As I look outside my window . . .

It is still pitch dark.

Right now I am . . .

Drinking coffee and waking up.

Thinking and pondering . . .

The other day, as I was upstairs trying to find my embellished paper clips, I was digging thru many totes of finished items prepared for a future craft show.  There is a lot up there.  A lot. 

I haven't had a good show in many years, and it got me thinking.  Am I ready to retire from doing craft shows?  Everyone is selling and no one is buying?  Times are tough, so wait it out?  I was up there going thru stuff, and felt an overwhelming feeling of being burned out for trying. I love crocheting and knitting, but I just felt like it wasn't the same anymore.  Maybe it's because I am burned out making the blanket?  Maybe it's because Mom is not here to give me ideas?  I don't know.  

The blanket could be the reason.  I am not one to sit that long.  Not even in winter, but it has given me the reason to rest to get my voice back.

Also, the museum gift shop (where I sell 3 different items), emailed and wants me to come pick up my stuff.  They are closed permanently right now.  The building suffered tremendous damage from water lines breaking during that last cold spell we had (frozen water lines damaged many businesses).  So...there goes my business resource, and it was a pretty good one too.

On my bedside table . . .

-a mess of crochet hooks, needles, throat drops and bottles of water 

On my TV today. . .

What catches our interest.

Listening to . . .

Mostly 80's.

On the lunch plate . . .

Have no idea yet.

On the dinner plate . . .

Oh golly, I have not decided.

On the menu this week . . .

-need to work on this today

On  my reading pile . . .

On my to-do list . . .

-finish up last week's to-do list first
-wash bedding
-make homemade baking mix

Plans for this week . . .

Set up stand, grow lights and start garden seeds.  I went out to the barn and collected my seed trays.  I wanted to buy a few new ones, but the ones in our stores are being sold without the clear tops.  I ended up ordering some online.

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

I crocheted myself some pink heart earrings.  We are fast approaching Valentine's Day.

I spent quite a bit of time crocheting this blanket, and hope to get it finished soon.

My simple pleasure . . .

A walk outside in the sunshine.

Looking around the house . . .

I wrote out a short "honey" to-do list.  On the weekends, he can do small jobs, that will in the end clean up chaos created from all these repairs/remodels (but so worth being done).

From the camera. . .

Prayer list . . .
Our friend Hope and her family as they grieve.  She last updated he was saving many lives (organ donation).  She and her husband were married 24 years.  So sad for their family.

Me.  I would love to have my voice back completely, and be back to "normal" once again.

Bible Verse, Devotional . . .

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Putting it in Perspective ~ Crocheting a Blanket ~ Mini Heart Update ~ Question

I don't usually keep track of hours spent crocheting a blanket, but I did over the weekend.  I wanted to humor myself I guess, or find out the torture I'm enduring for this blanket.

I timed myself at making one color row in this blanket, which consists of 4 rows single crochet, 2 rows of double, and this pattern requires counting, skipping chains etc.  I takes 1 hour and 37 minutes to make each color section.

I measured the width, which is also something I haven't done on a blanket (never took any orders before).

It measures 53 1/2 inches  wide, and I am using worsted weight yarn with an "H" crochet hook.  It's not thick yarn, so it takes longer to make a blanket.

I counted the sections of color so far, and have 18 sections  - 29.1 hours of labor so far.  I have about 6-7 maybe 8 sections of rotating color to go.

It was a bit of a challenge, but I got the post up on my S.C.R.A.P. blogspot, in regards to crocheting the mini hearts to glue on jumbo paper clips.

Also, as I was creating a new mini heart for the post, I realized they would make cute earrings.

The embellished paper clip instructions are finally posted  HERE.

Thanks for the challenge.  I first made the heart embellished paper clips in 2015.  It was a chore to not only find the ones I made to sell (which I never did, we'll talk about that another day), find the hook I used and how I made them.  Whew!  Anyway, enjoy making them!


If you were to find a crocheted random act of kindness item, left purposely somewhere in your path, would you prefer something useful, or would you enjoy a worry worm/pocket hug etc.?

I'm asking, because I feel people would be more surprised if it was useful, like a cup coaster, or the embellished paperclips I make, or a keychain?  Just looking for more ideas using up scrap yarn this summer. 

Items are placed in a bag or other protective clear packaging, with a note or rhyme etc.  Something in the realm of cheering someone up, and putting a smile on their face.  An unexpected surprise.  If you google images for "random acts of kindness" you can basically see all of what people make right now.

What I have on my list for ideas so far:

-embellished paper clips
-cup coasters or mug rugs
-fridge magnet (?)
-Christmas ornaments during the holidays

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Cheddar and Chili Egg Casserole ~ Recipes Going Back in Slot

I used some of my homemade skillet bread to make some French toast.  My husband got special bread that is low carb, but I also made sausage patties and this.....

One of our favorite egg casseroles - it's Rachael Ray's Cheddar and Chili Egg Casserole.  I keep cans of organic chili peppers in the pantry for this and other recipes.  We love how the cottage cheese and cheese fluff this up to a light dish.

Does anyone else do this?  Pull a recipe and just put it on top inside the recipe box in a hurry (while baking/cooking)?  
Breaking this bad habit today.  I will be spending some time putting all those recipes back in their proper slot in the box.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Homemade Everything Bagel Seasoning ~ New Snack and other Ramblings

I make this smaller batch recipe of homemade everything bagel seasoning,  but you can increase it for larger spice jars. There are many recipes online for this seasoning.  

I use 1 tsp of each of the following:

-kosher salt
-dried minced garlic (I make mine homemade)
-dried minced onion (again you can make this in a dehydrator)
-sesame seeds
-poppy seeds
(all organic)

I like to spread cream cheese on snack sized bell peppers, sprinkle the seasoning and sometimes add a few pieces of turkey pepperoni/cooked bacon or other choice of meat on top.  I gave my husband one the other day, and he is in love with this snack idea.  He put his nose up when I mentioned organic cream cheese, but he loves it.  The seasoning is the ticket for flavor.  So good.  I cannot wait for a fresh garden bell pepper this summer.

My husband loves it so much, that he asked for his own seasoning shaker to take to work. You could top these with cooked bacon pieces, turkey pepperoni, or other choice of meat as well. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Snow Update ~ Crochet Embellished Mini Heart Paper Clips ~ Cabbage Stew and Baked Bread (using dehydrator to raise dough)

I took this photo at 9am yesterday.  There was hardly any snow on the ground.  It looked the same in the evening.  They predicted 4-7 inches, but it was a wet and heavy snow.  Roads are clear from what I hear, so I'm hoping the upstairs carpet removal resumes today.

As mentioned, I wanted to also share that I also make crocheted mini hearts for embellishing paper clips.  I made homemade cards and gifted the kids with them one year.  They are great to tuck into cards, letters, or surprise gifts.  They make great random acts of kindness gifts as well.  They are easy and inexpensive to make for Valentine's Day gifts too.  I thought I had a post for making these, but I do not see one.  I may just have to get one up.

I changed up the menu yesterday.  I tossed together a cabbage/sausage soup and baked skillet bread.  I know my husband has to watch the bread in his diet, so I sent some to work for co-workers.  I linked the skillet bread recipe.  It is the next best to baking rolls, and tastes like soft rolls.

I also let my dough rise in my dehydrator.  If you have a dehydrator with pull out trays, check the top for the suggested temperature to do that. My tip for today.

 I switched from herbal teas to hot cocoa and enjoyed some schnapps in it.  It was perfect for a "snow" day with some afternoon crochet time.  I'm still working on the crochet blanket order.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Snow Storm

The snow is starting to blow.  Many schools closed even as early as yesterday, but there is just a dusting out there so far.

I got around to trying a cake recipe I printed back in (gulp) 2019 and it over baked.  I went online and read the comments.  Sure enough someone posted the bake time was incorrect.  It was not what I was looking for in a go-to cake either.  

When our grandson passed away at 4 months old, someone brought a butterscotch chip topped cake.  I could not get the recipe, so I wanted to try this one.  Nope.  It's not the same.  

Anyway, I'm still on the hunt for this particular cake.  It was one that would be great to take to help out a family or friend dealing with loss of family.

By the way, thank you if you prayed for our friend Hope.  Her husband passed away.

Our handyman has started to remove the carpet upstairs.  It's not looking that good as far as saving the original flooring.  I'm going up there today to take a look.  We may have to sand it down, but the most important part was getting rid of the ruined carpet up there.

My seeds have all arrived.  I'm still trying to put the house back together, and I still have laryngitis.  I did manage to clean the chicken's roosts and give them fresh straw before all this snow (if it does) arrives.

Do you have a "go to" cake for taking to grieving families?

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Tuesday Tidbits

As hard as I try to put balance in my day, I find myself in the kitchen for hours.  First, breakfast prep, then dinner prep, then snack prep, then dishes...just seems endless.  Some days I love it, other days not so much.

I sliced up some carrots and bell peppers for my husband's lunch/snack, and realized he may want a dip.  Then I found myself making hummus, and more dishes to wash.

During our weekend shopping trip, we could not find borax.  We had to go to two stores to find ground pork.  It's beginning to look like more shortages or lack of product (or lack of employees to get the product on the shelf?).

While we were at Wal-mart to get supplies, I walked down the yarn aisle to look for Caron Simply Soft yarn.  They have completely taken all name brand yarn out (other than some redheart), and replaced it with generic brands.  Frustrating.  It seems the only place to get a good selection is JoAnn Fabrics anymore (higher prices though).

We called the dept. of transportation in our county, to have them pick up the dead deer.  They got rid of it yesterday thankfully.

We are gearing up for a snow storm tomorrow.  I'm not sure how much we will get, but I have a lot on the to-do list, and I could always take it as an excuse to crochet for the day.  

I still have laryngitis.  I've switched to sage tea (sage I grew, and dehydrated), and taking Four Thieves Vinegar.  I slept better last night, but we'll see what happens by the end of the week.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday


We are finishing up the wall decor in the living room (see photos below), and moving onto the next painting/repair/remodel project soon.  

I'm still dealing with laryngitis.  I'm told there is a virus that causes this for 3 weeks.  If that it true, I'm rounding week 3, and still sipping hot teas - ginger, sage, thyme, lemon and honey.  Today switching it up with 4 thieves vinegar.

We were invited to trailer our bike again to FL for Daytona bike week.  We declined.  Personally, I do not want to go on trips where there are babysitters and kids (that was a recent disaster).  I'd rather hunker in and get this house in order (greatly needed and deserved), as garden season will sneak up on us.  Plus, there is the cost to go.  We spent too much on the last trip.  We also want to save vacation days for camping this year.

I have to call ODOT today.  Someone hit a deer in front of our house yesterday.  We called the Sheriff and they would not come out with their "list" for someone to remove it.   Basically, they said it was on our property, so it was our job to take care of it (eye rolling here).  ODOT should be able to come remove it today.  

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

The weather . . .

Looks like we'll be in the 30's the next few days and 100% chance of snow again mid-week.  Schools are delayed today due to snow.

As I look outside my window . . .

There is a layer of snow out there.

Right now I am . . .

Drinking coffee, writing up this post, and trying to wake up.

Thinking and pondering . . .

My husband and I are considering adding more chickens to the coop, with a promise to build a new coop (he promised as the coop they are in is a hot house in summer with no relief from heat, and no protection from flying beasts when out in the run).

On my beside table . . .

It's a hot mess and needs cleaned off.

On my TV . . .

Whatever we find interesting.

Listening to . . .

80's music.

On the breakfast plate . . .

Eggs, bacon, coffee.

On the menu . . .

-roast, veggies
-one pan chicken and veggies
-crock pot pork chops and oven roasted veggies
-Soup of some kind, possibly sausage/sweet potatoes and kale
-meatloaf and side crockpot root veggies

On my reading pile . . .

On the to-do list . . .

-clean master bath
-bake a breakfast, prep dinner and do dishes
-dehydrate garlic
-finish putting shelf liner in cupboards (an abandoned project for some reason)
-re-pot the cactus plan (still need special soil for it)
-empty dishwasher, load it

Plans for the week. . .

*see to-do list

-moving all the paint supplies to hallway, and others to a storage spot, put all flooring tools back to their home, filling a box for donation, re-organizing family videos, and to-do list.

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

Not quite halfway done with the blanket.

Made these embellished paperclips for two of the girls for Christmas, and just found them the other day.  These are nice to make for "random acts of kindness" as well.  The top ones are mini dog bones and the bottom ones are flowers.

My simple pleasure . . .

Peppermint schnapps in my homemade hot cocoa (or coffee)

Lesson learned this past week . . .

Something I learned:  Cut potatoes in slices, when boiling to make mashed potatoes (rather than cubes).  They will cook evenly.  I've been cubing my potatoes, as learned from my mother, for years.  Who knew?

From the camera . . .

Guess how much we paid for that sign?  It is 24 x 42 inches and normal price $89.00, with sale price $64.99.  

We paid $6.48!  No kidding!  We had to drive way north for it, and it had a scuff on it.  Online is sold out.  The store clerk gave us 90% off and we literally got the scuff off with a Mr. Clean eraser. My husband fell in love with the sign, so hence the travel day, and in the end worth it.

Another wall project of my husband's.  He's having so much fun with "take back the house" project.

Sign was as gift from a daughter (ha ha!)

Decor went back up on the breakfast bar with framed photos. I finally framed the directions my husband wrote out for me 24 years ago (to get to his house).  I see it's upside down, so I need to turn that around in the frame ha ha!  Back then, we didn't have cell phones, and just had land lines.

My Aunt's chicken plates were put back up.  I have 3 more in my kitchen.  We are thinking of a reading chair at this wall.  Not sure just yet.
(a bit dark as it was a stormy day when I took these photos)

Prayers . . .
...for our friend Hope's husband Steve.  Not sure what happened, but she is asking for healing prayers (and a miracle) almost daily.

Devotional . . .
"As each of you received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God's many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]. -1 Peter 4:10

Sunday, January 22, 2023

A few of my favorite things . . .

 I've always wanted to make this post, so today it's what you will be reading about.  What are some of your favorite kitchen utensils, or other items?

(not advertising, just sharing) - small OXO spatula.  My absolute favorite for cooking eggs especially.  One curved corner, great for going around pan for sauces etc.  I love it so much, I bought the kids one for Christmas.  It's great for cookies too.

Not sure what the brand name is for these rubber gloves, but I found them at our Menard's in XL, and they hold up much longer than the yellow ones at grocery store.  They are a bit larger for the size, but hold up longer.

I love my neck light for crocheting/knitting.  You can see it's been taped due to a dog getting ahold of it.  I really need two of these.  I can use one, while the other charges.  The lights are bright and have 3 settings.  It's a Minger, but out of stock on Amazon.  My next light will be different, unless they re-stock it.  I love mine!  Especially during winter, when it's so dreary outside.  Like today.  It's snowing.

My favorite, affordable, kitchen thermometer.  There are nicer ones that cost more, but this one works great for now.  If it eventually dies, I will upgrade to the next best one.

My absolute favorite writing pen - Pentel Client.  Staples in town stopped selling them, but I can still order them online.  However, the last two I purchased do not write as smooth as they used to.  Time to find a new favorite pen?

Tea infuser (left in photo).  It's from ingenuiTea by adagio teas.  My Uncle got me hooked on this infuser, when he sent me one with teas included.  It is so easy to make any herbal tea that is not in a store teabag.  Here I made hot ginger tea using freshly grated ginger, and put honey in my cup.  You sit the infuser over the cup and the liquid drains into your cup, keeping the herbs etc. in the cup.  Easy to clean too.

The weather is not so great today.  Snow and more snow later this week - poor man's fertilizer they call it.  I had plans to at least clean the coop roosts.  We'll see if that happens.


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Kitchen Progress ~ Garden Planning ~ New Breakfast Recipe Tried

Our rain turned to drizzling snow.

The kitchen table is almost cleaned up.   I went with a neutral tablecloth.  I was tempted to get out a Valentine's Day one, but this will work until Christmas.  I just have so much on this year's to-do list, changing tablecloths is off the list.

I still need to dust chairs, sweep and mop under the table, but now 3 people can sit there, ha ha!

I have stuff on a few chairs to deal with, and of course the entire floor yet.  Paint will be moved to the next painting project (hallway, bedroom, and master bath).  Upstairs is going to wait until next year, but we will be removing all the carpet very soon.

Sort of a boring post today, but I have been crocheting and watching the cooking channel, in balance with purging and tidying up the house.  The other day, I tried changing the channel, as it was making me hungry (and wanting to write down yet another recipe), but the remote died on me.  I had to get up and do something while the remote charged, ha ha!

I actually have another garden journal, but found the simple notebook works fine for me.  Anyway, the other is a journal with graph paper to draw out where and what I plan to grow each year.  I go out and map it out then draw it down on paper.  It's sort of fun to plan it this way too.  My stand is already in place, with grow lights - gettin' excited for another garden year.

I changed things up for breakfast, and the ladies (chickens) got a treat out of it too.

I have, however, found a new baked breakfast recipe to try.  I'm always looking for something different, and something that uses less eggs right now.  The ladies are not back to normal laying yet, so.....