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, February 28, 2023

Fun Finds: Battery Operated Farmhouse Light ~ Dish Towels


I found this battery operated light for the bathroom re-do.  I just love it.  I'm trying to find another one the same color for the other bathroom.  They will come in handy during power outages vs. lighting a candle.  It was the only they had, and not sold online.  I am having my daughter check stores, as I am so dang super busy in the garden.

Snagged these for $.50/each

I love this one!  I could only find one, but for $1.00!  And of course the last one they had as well.  I like this one the best.

I found this post in my drafts from last year, ha ha!  Well, it's getting posted.  Oh, and the battery operated lights have come in handy.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday

We sort of had shopping plans, and ended up at another Wal-mart first.  I finally found a lot of white ribbon, and a few other colors, but still need pink and peach.  Only $.47 a roll, but only 20 feet per roll.  Anyway, I was very happy to locate some.  Now this means the next crochet project ha ha - baby booties.

The weekend went by way too fast.  A lot work that we planned to do on the house did not happen.

Today I will be joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

I will link up when she posts.

The weather . . .

Thunderstorms today, and a possibility of snow this coming weekend.

As I look outside my window . . .

The sun is starting to come up.

Right now I am . . .

Brewing another pot of coffee.

Thinking and pondering . . .

We are considering removing the bedroom carpet next.  Not sure when, but next on the list, as I get back to painting.  I have a door to paint in the utility room (for a cubbie) as well.

On my bedside table . . .

Water, two framed photos, and a few lozenges.

On my TV Today . . .

We just finished watching 1923, so not sure what will be next.

Listening to . . .

80's while I do housework.

On the lunch plate . . .

I have no idea yet.

On the dinner plate . . .


On the menu . . .

-burgers, veggie

-chicken fajitas


On my reading pile . . .

On the to-do list . . .

-make homemade turkey sage sausage
-make a breakfast
-run dishwasher
-water seedlings
-take yarn, craft supplies upstairs
-start cleaning up bedroom to prep for carpet removal (probably will take a few weeks or more, as the carpet is in the walk-in closet too.

Plans for this week . . .

No plans, other than to get back to home repairs/renovations

What I am creating . . .

I'm still working on a blanket for us.  Trying to finish a scarf.

My simple pleasure . . .


Looking around the house . . .

I need to take some yarn upstairs that I have collected from around the house.

From the camera . . .

Bible Verse, Devotional, Prayers . . .

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Seedling Heat Mat

 First time to try using a seedling heat mat to start the hottest of the hot peppers.  I typically do not have any problems starting my jalapenos, but the hotter peppers like the Serrano etc. I do.

I bought my heat mat online, and about $10.00 less than at our hardware/garden store (be sure to check reviews).

The one I bought was a simple, plug it in and put your seed tray on it.  There were a lot of "don'ts" so I put my mat and tray on my wood stove hearth (we are not using the wood stove right now).

In 6 days the serrano pepper seeds started to sprout.

In 7 days the cayenne started to sprout.

In 9 days the Datil started sprouting.  Did you know these are native to St. Augustine, FL?  I just learned this fun fact.

In 10 days the Cherry Bomb peppers, and Anaheim peppers started to sprout.

My hot banana have not sprouted yet (those were saved seeds), so I will keep an eye on that.  So far, it's helped the hot peppers to sprout much better than without the mat.  My jalapeno are not on the heat mat and have all sprouted.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Sprouts for my Chickens

I'm growing sprouts for my ladies (chickens) right now.  So easy to do, healthy and fun for the chickens, and in expensive to do.

I bought a large splatter screen at the nearest Dollar Tree store.  You can of course, order a seed sprout lid online as well.

I then used my quart jar to draw a template, and then cut those out to match the tops of the jars.  Simple right?

Fill your quart jar with water to the top.  Each day, soak, dump and rinse.  You can get complete instructions online (never leave them soak over night).

After each day of that process, I let it sit upside down on a towel for a bit.  I wanted to make sure all of the older water was out before leaning the jar on it's side, and covering with a towel.  It gets air flow, and sprouts grow this way.  They have gadget kits for standing your jar(s) tilted.  I'm just easy peasy, use what I have right now.

In about 3-4 days your sprouts will look like this.  Fun for the ladies and healthy for them too. 

Has anyone sprouted other grains or beans for their chickens? So far, I have only used green lentils.  

Friday, February 24, 2023

Freezer Clean Out ~ Finds ~ Frozen Tomato Line Up

Painting  has been paused.  I wish I could be in the gardens, getting them ready, as the temperature warmed up to the low 60's.  It's so wet out there from the down pour we got.

I, instead, did a freezer clean out.  It wasn't too bad actually, but I rotated some, so the older was on top in the meat drawer.  I did find a small bag of jalapenos from 2021 (sheesh).  Oh and some homemade sweet potato butter that didn't make the cut.

I made a list of what was in stock, and meals will be made as I rotate items out.  I noticed I still have a good amount of tomatoes in the freezer, so I may be focusing on that first.  I hate to have them wasted.  

What's cooking this weekend?  First, walleye.  It's the last bag in the freezer.  

While digging around for a box of homemade vanilla (I need to refill my kitchen bottle), I saw a grocery bag with stuff in it.  Odd.  Ha!  Not sure how it ended up in my closet, but I found boxes of canning lids and some bond tape.  I decided to do an inventory check on canning lids when I put them away.

I had plans for that tape last summer, but last year was a bit stressful.  I hope to get that done this summer and share.  I noticed it is 3/4 inch width, and I need about 1/2 inch.  It went in my sewing box.

(seedlings under a grow lamp)

Anyway, I mostly had a mundane day, but feel good I got the freezer in order.  I feel  like most mornings I do not get to enjoy my coffee, as I am either unloading the dishwasher, baking, cooking, doing dishes, laundry, taking care of floors, the trash, the chickens. tending to my garden, I make time for coffee, crochet....

...the cooking channel.  I have been learning a lot on here, and have taken down some notes on tips and tricks.  With all of our upcoming repairs/builds and renovations, I feel like I should be watching "This Old House" ha ha!

What I learned:

Use a whisk instead of a spatula when folding ingredients.

Brush oil on your tortilla when making a stove top quesadilla vs. putting oil in the pan. Use 8 inch, fold, and sprinkle oiled sides with salt to make them crispy.

I wrote up a list of menu ideas for my frozen tomatoes, frozen tomato sauce and canned sauce.  I'm sure there are recipes I make I'm not thinking of right now, but...


Crockpot Sweet potato Chili


Crockpot Fiesta Chicken and Black Beans

Slow Cooker Chicken Bolognese Pasta

Crockpot Enchilada Shredded Chicken (Healthy Fix-it and Forget it Cookbook)

Taco Stew

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Wandering Thoughts

Last weekend was a bit rough.  It's been one year since Mom's passing.  Doesn't seem like it's been a year either.  Rough weekend, but glad the kids came to visit.  I'm getting flowers together to take to the cemetery, but still need a base with styrofoam for them.  I forgot to check dollar tree for those, but on the to-do list.  Anywho, missing Mom hit hard.  

Oh boy did we get rain yesterday.   I had to run around the house and check all the drain spout extensions.  Sheesh, talk about squishy, flooded yard.

I, like a dummy, rammed my little toe and I got a very nasty bruise.  I should have taken before and after, because the bruise is almost gone in 3 days using my homemade comfrey salve.  I believe the salve was also made with some plantain in it.  Anyway, the power of medicinal weeds is mind blowing.

Fun Fact:  Did you know a "chipotle" pepper is a ripened (red on the vine) jalapeno, smoked and then dried?  I looked into making my own canned chipotle peppers in adobo, and learned this.  Anyway, we do not own a smoker, nor a charcoal grill.  I'm putting making these on the back burner for now, but definitely on the try it list.

My progress on our blanket.  I absolutely love how I rotated the white between the black and gray yarn.  Love it!  I measured it, and if I am correct, I need about 8-10 more sections of each color to finish it.  Since I started with soft white then gray, I would like to end it the same on the top of it.

Daughter K and her fiancĂ© came and picked up this blanket. 

The only blue pair of baby booties I currently have in my inventory.  They are on their way to a Mom in Hawaii.  Very thankful for the sale.  I still cannot locate more satin ribbon in white, baby blue, pink and peach.  I use white a lot.

Over the weekend, I came downstairs with about 4 skeins of yarn.  My husband laughed and asked, "do we have a store up there?"  Ha ha ha!  I may actually run out of yarn for our blanket.  Knocking on wood that I have enough, because the last trip to Wal-mart they had zero of all three colors, and I bought the last gray one at another Wal-mart at another store.  I'm going to do another check on my stash this week.  I'm just preparing for another blanket if I have to pause our blanket.

The last few years have been a whirlwind, and I missed some comments on my "store" blog.  Mother Em, if you are still reading my blogs, I have gone thru my boxes of inventory and have the items below:

Scarf:  $20.00, Hat:  $10.00
Cross bookmarks in the colors that are in the photo:  $5/each
Wine bottle gift bags in the colors that are in the photo:  $5.00/each.
Shipping depends on where you live and how much I am shipping.  Also, payments can be sent via a check or paypal.

Let me know if you'd still like any of these.  And again, so sorry for missing your inquiry.  Last year alone was a whirlwind with Mom's health.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Barbacoa Beef ~ Sausage Gravy Dutch Baby

 I sort of followed a recipe for the crock pot Barbacoa beef that my husband requested.  I didn't brown the meat, but used a technique to help create a tender meat at the end of the cook time.

(How dinner turned out and topped with red onion and cilantro - delicious!)

While the meat was cooking in the crockpot, I made a breakfast, using my smaller cast iron pan - Sausage Gravy Dutch Baby.  I completely forgot to top it with green onion.  I have some in the freezer.  Our outside green onion is not weather ready yet.

I don't think I have ever made one of these before, but it is soooo good!  I would add more scrambled eggs next time on top, and I used my own homemade sausage gravy (vs.  just sprinkling the sausage and drizzling gravy).  Plus, it's only a 1/2 lb. of sausage, so I have the other half already cooked now for pizza this week.  We will freeze half of the beef we made too, and that will be great to have on hand for another meal night.

I think I used every utensil, bowls, pans, and even my food processor and blender, but I got a it all done, and it will last for a few days thankfully.

Funny thing happened.  I watched America's test kitchen while I took a break and crocheted.  I learned some things on frying fish in a pan, and the funniest part was that they gave tips on cooking Mexican dishes.  They also shared a recipe for fresh salsa (not news to me), but funny it was the same day I was cooking a Mexican beef taco dinner.  By the way, they said when you make quesadillas, brush oil on the sides after you fold it over for a more crisp tortilla vs. putting oil in the pan.

We have rain today, and warning of freezing rain.  Lovely.  Not what we needed, and they are saying the wettest day we've had in 2 years.  It's gonna be a muddy mess out there.  My fall planted garlic will love it though.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Mexican Corn Bread


I had all the ingredients to make this (for a potluck that I did not make it to), so I did, and sent most of it to work with my husband.  It is not diabetic friendly.  It is very good however.  I saved some for my own lunch (comfort food).  It is "corn bread" however.  There is a layer of bread then meat/veggies then more corn bread on top.  It's more of a side dish for your next Mexican meal night or potluck.

Anyway, you top this with sour cream, or whatever you'd like, and is perfect for a potluck dish for a Mexican food meal.

The actual recipe is online, but we adjusted it with organic ingredients.  Recipe is online with "Bake it with Love."

Did you know you can make homemade "jiffy" mix?

I also make homemade taco seasoning.  I have been doing this for years now.

"Rotel" can be substituted with home canned tomatoes and added organic chilies.

You can add more flavor by adding diced jalapeno to the ground beef mix as well.  So good, but not good for you, ha ha!  Perfect for a Mexican Fiesta!  

I'm making a new recipe tomorrow for a Mexican dinner.  It starts with a chuck roast in my crock pot.  I'll update after we taste it.  My husband requested it.

Do you have a favorite dish for a Mexican meal?

Monday, February 20, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday

 Our weather keeps going up and down, which is typical for our state.  We had snow a few days ago.  If you didn't see the post, my stove burner is working again.

It's a good thing I baked banana bread.  We had company on Sunday.  My freezer is out of home baked cookies right now.

We've taken a few short road trips lately, and I once again dropped my crochet hook in the truck.

Funny story.  I found a crochet hook necklace online (Etsy), but you can literally put one together yourself.

(Penn State Ind.)
It's a 35inch necklace with magnet, that hooks to a magnet on the interchangeable hook.   I read reviews.  Not sure it's ideal, so I didn't waste my money, but still funny it exists.  I think I will just keep a spare hook in the glove compartment for now.  Fun gift idea for the crocheter who has everything ha ha!

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

The weather . . .
We are having sunny weather in the 50's, but will dip again mid-week, and then rain moves in.

As I look outside my window . . .
Sun is out.  I slept in for once.  Like really slept in. 

Right now I am . . .
Brewing coffee.

Thinking and pondering. . .
...about the next breakfast bake, a possibly road trip to Amish country.

On my bedside table . . .
Same as last week.

Listening to . . .
Nothing right now, but possibly country later.

On the lunch plate . . .
Ham sandwich maybe, not sure.

On the dinner plate . . .
Sloppy Joes, Sweet Potato Fries

On the menu. . .
-Sloppy Joes, Sweet Potato Fries
-Barbacoa Beef Tacos with toppings, leftovers for nachos
-Pasta bake using ground beef, asparagus from the freezer, and home canned tomato sauce from the pantry, home canned spiced beets
-Chickpea crust pizza, home canned pizza sauce, bell peppers from the freezer, and possible homemade sage sausage for it
-Breakfast:  Sweet potato hash and eggs

On my reading pile . . .
working on this pile of magazines.

On my to-do list . . .
In no particular order
-prime kitchen entrance way trim
-sweep/mop hallway
-clean roosts
-make a breakfast dish
-scrub/sanitize bathtub

Plans for the week . . .
Gosh, golly, have no idea.  My husband's work schedule is not the normal routine, so it's day by day really.  They are doing what's called "start up" and all machines are going "on" at the refinery.

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

Still working on the crocheted blanket for us.

My current road trip project  - finishing a crocheted scarf.  Plus, I also some times take a set of unfinished pot holders. Oh, and the owner of the Health store wants a red set of pot holders, so I hope to deliver those this next weekend.

(will get a photo soon)

Started a new blanket (gulp), because I ran out of one color of yarn on my own, until I make a strip to town.  It is a new pattern, and I am playing around, using up yarn in my stash.  I thought popped into my head too.  I may enter one in the fair this year.  Just for fun.  Using this pattern, and different colors.

My simple pleasure. . .

Sleeping in, ha ha!  I hardly ever do this.

Looking around the house . . .

Our living room has just last minute touch ups and lamps.  We bought one for the corner, so I now have light to crochet at the couch.

From the camera . . .

We need a few more of these cup coasters.  I wanted to put crocheted ones in the living room, but we decided these matched perfectly, and I had an extra two.  Hence, thinking of a road trip soon.

Bible Verse, Devotional, Prayers . . .

Prayers for the residents in and around East Palestine, Ohio.  A large train accident involving hazardous chemicals is causing fish and animals to die and get sick, and cause sickness for the residents in and around the surrounding area.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Einkorn Banana Bread ~ Slippery Elm Throat Lozenges


Crazy stuff here.  I could have sworn, that I had a banana-blueberry bread recipe some where.  If I did, I cannot find it.  Not with Einkorn flour.  I searched Jovial's recipes too.  I ended up making banana bread. 

Does anyone have an Einkorn flour bread recipe with bananas and blueberries?

I made a short road trip to the health store. I am still dealing with hoarseness.  I'm getting better, just not all the way yet.  The owner recommended slippery elm lozenges.  

I did some research and you can make these at home.  I found a recipe with Learning Herbs:  HERE  They are pretty inexpensive, so I'm not sure if buying all the ingredients, making them myself, is worth it.  I am wondering if they would be better for my throat if they were homemade.  

I also found a recipe for making them, and using my dehydrator.  They do have to dry out a bit after making them.

Has anyone made these lozenges?   I just hate to pay the high shipping costs from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Update on the home repairs/renovations:  Hallway is cleaned up and ready to paint trim.  I have the entrance way trim into the kitchen cleaned and wiped down, ready to prime.  We are still waiting on the solution for the pet urine (to clean wood floors), and I started another donation box.

We both decided to put the office off for now.  It is jam packed with book shelves, and more boxed up stuff from other jobs we did.  We still have other rooms, and the upstairs to keep us busy.  Spring is just coming too fast.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Stove Burner Over Heating Update ~ When the Burner you Can with Over Heats ~ Electric Stove

My husband is pretty smart.  He said it was the control from the knob to the burner causing the burner to over heat.  I watched some YouTube videos on replacing the control board.   Then we watched more YouTube videos regarding only one burner over heating, and saw that it may be the "switch" to the actual burner.  

I located our stove model number by pulling out the bottom drawer.  The sticker was inside the side of the drawer.

Once I found that, we ordered a new switch.  Note:  The switch to the larger burner is different than the one to the smaller burner.  Make sure you order the correct switch per your stove model/make etc.

Amazon had switches as well, but we read the model numbers, and our model was not listed.  We purchased our switch from a parts store online.

Cost:  $28.89 plus tax and shipping (shipping was $8.88)

We had a file for books like this, but that system was a fail.  We now put them all in a clear small tote, so we can find them when we need them.  YouTube was the best source for help, but it helps that my husband's job is electrical repair work.

Look at the upper right side of that switch.  There is a burn mark on it.  I now have it replaced, stove burner works great again, and I am thankful for my husband's knowledge and my persistence watching YouTube videos

Here is the How-to Video link I showed my husband.

There are YouTube videos to also help you find the model number on your electric stove.  You will need that to order the correct switch.  Then search the internet for part stores, that will accommodate your stove.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Coffee Hour and Computer Time


I've been spending morning coffee hour looking at paint colors for the next upcoming rooms/hallway.  It's not easy for sure.  I may buy samples again, as the color is never the same on the paint chip as it is on the wall.  Lighting can also change the color in a room or hallway.

By looking them up online first, it saves me a lot of him-hawing time at the hardware store.  It also helps me visualize the room/trim etc.  

I've also been pretty regular at devoting a few days a week to load any useable digital coupons from two stores, but thinking about starting up digital with a third.  The way things are going, any savings helps these days.

Boring post today folks.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Sunrises ~ Tidbits


We have had some beautiful sunrises this week.  It makes me want to be outside and enjoy the warmer weather.  The evenings have been cold though.  Yesterday we hit the lower 60's, but with a wind warning.  Today thunderstorms move in.

My wonderful husband had these delivered on Valentine's Day.  This is big!  We live in the boonies, so he paid greatly for these beautiful roses.

I tried a new recipe.  I forgot to take a photo of it, but took a picture of the cookbook.

It's in one of my fix-it and forget it cookbooks - Enchilada Shredded Chicken.  I served it over quinoa (with diced jalapenos, oregano and cumin - I didn't have cilantro).  A nice recipe for a Mexican Potluck Meal.  I honestly don't know how this would be good on a tortilla, unless you drain the liquid off at the end of cooking.  Anyway, we topped it with some shredded cheese and sour cream.  Delicious.

The part for the stove has arrived.  It most likely will be installed this weekend.  I'll update you on that when it's done.

Half of the hallway is cleared of flooring tools and what not, and swept and mopped.  The other half remains full of tools for my husband to deal with.  I started to clean woodwork, to prepare for primer.

It's been nice to see the egg basket filling up again.  We are so thankful for this.  We changed their feed, adding black sunflower seeds and more supplements.  I am working on adding more to their diet - more on that soon.