Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Friday, September 29, 2023


 Everyone at my husband's work is sick.  My husband doesn't have a fever, so he goes to work not feeling well.  That is the problem with sickness.  Now it has spread to me despite keeping things clean, and hand washing around here.

I didn't even have the energy to let the chickens out.  Literally.  I slept in late.  I did not work out of course.  

I sipped a hot cup of yarrow tea.  Funny how I had just put some in the dehydrator too.  

I'll be back when I'm feeling better.  I hope to have the energy to make some homemade ginger-ale today.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Pie Crust Crumbles

I put this re-stock job off until winter, as I did some other projects.  I have mostly used these to bake pies to take to potlucks or family get togethers.  I know you can bake pie shells and then freeze them, but I do not have the space for that.  It's easier for me to find space for pie crust crumbles, as they are mostly flat in the freezer bag.

I followed a tip on the recipe site - freeze butter and use the food processor to dice it up, with just a bit of the flour mixture.

I use a scale to weigh out the final mix.

We are not able to eat an entire pie ourselves, but I like to have them on hand for when the kids are over for a meal or holiday meal as well.  They also come in handy if a family is in need of a meal.

It uses less freezer space vs. an entirely made pie crust, and simple to make when I need it.  I triple the crust recipe, and bag up enough for 6 pie crusts.  I also freeze my unsalted butter in freezer bags, so it's already in house for this to be made.  I do need to re-stock my butter.

The recipe is on King Arthur Flour Blog.  You can find it:  HERE

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Using Apples and Kitchen-ness ~ Soup for the Sick ~ Hot Peppers

I tried a new apple oatmeal breakfast dish to change up breakfast.  It's called Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, and if you have canned applesauce from last year you need to eat up, this recipe is for you.   I used one apple from our trees as well. The recipe is online with "The Real Food Dietitians" and honestly, I have no idea how I found it.  It has 1/4 cup maple syrup/honey in it, but in moderation, it did not bother my husband's sugar levels.

I made these banana muffins a second time.  I noticed the recipe does not call for salt, but calls for baking powder.  I added 1/4 tsp. salt this time.  They contain organic quick steel cut oats and Einkorn flour, and no sugar/sweeteners.

Homemade Granola.  I think I used every measuring cup and spoon I own ha ha!

I used one of our apples to make a mayo free slaw salad.  It was pretty good too.  Simply juice from a lemon, some olive oil and salt.  I added chives from the herb garden.   It was 1/4th of a cabbage, one carrot, one apple, and some chives from the herb garden.

I was prepared to whip up a mayo free dressing, if needed, but we like it this way.  Just something different to try, and healthy.

Meals were adjusted again, off the meal plan.  I had some barley that needed used up, so I ended up making a vegetable barley soup.  My husband was still not feeling well.  I roasted a rutabaga and added it to the soup.

I went out to pick jalapenos for our next meal this week, and it was slim pickin's.  Not much.  I was hoping for a round of "fire powder to end the season, but there is not much out there.  

We are to have a few cooler days, but we warm back up to the 80's soon, so I'm am hopeful, but I guess we'll see.  I did not check the bell peppers, but will today unless it's raining.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and words regarding my husband being sick.  He came home with a runny nose.  I brewed up a few cups of hot yarrow tea, and he was feeling much better this morning.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

...from the handiwork journal

 I have not ordered or purchased yarn in a while, because I am trying to use up my supply I already have.   However, at some point in the past, I purchased cotton yarns from Herrschners online.  

Beware, that the Village Yarn they sell, is made in China.  They do not tell you that on their online store.  They simply say "imported" and I somehow missed this.  Luckily, I only have a few balls of their yarn, but wanted to let all of my crochet/knit people know.  I also feel it is thinner than the typical 100% cotton yarn from Peaches & Creme/Sugar & Cream.

. . . I am back to knitting dishcloths for a winter Holiday craft show.  I thought I had a bunch of dishcloths already made, but when I looked through the totes, I did not.  I have a lot of cotton balls of yarn, as it was one item my Mom always liked, and purchased from me (she was always gifting someone).  It takes me almost 3 hours to knit one of these.  I make mine 52 stitches.  I will not offer a 3 for $ price on these this winter.  They take took much work to make.  Or am I just a slow knitter?

. . .I have had a request from someone for an XL hot pad, so that is on the afghan hook.   These are crocheted, and my own pattern.  I am limited to colors for this, as I need my cotton yarn to be on a cone.  They have discontinued many of their yarn colors that are sold by the cone.

We are getting rain.  I think the rain will not end until Friday this week.  Sunday looks great though.  I changed the menu a bit, and we had home canned tomato soup and grilled cheese last night.  My husband wasn't feeling all that great.  

A co-worker that works with my husband came to work sick last week, and now my husband has a sore throat, feels fatigue and not well.  Wonderful.  He has been taking Four Thieves Vinegar.

I'm busy in the kitchen, but hope to get a bit of order back in the rest of the house.  I gave up on finding some grocery items I needed, and placed an online order.  It's frustrating, that I cannot find healthy ingredients in the stores anymore.

If the rain quits a bit today, I hope to go check on the hot peppers and bell peppers today.  I am trying to focus on getting the herbs either dehydrated or frozen before the fall frost arrives.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Happy Homemaker Monday

We woke up to a bit of rain, which was not in the forecast.  I am thankful for that, as the bell peppers are still producing, and the vines on the spaghetti squash are still producing more squash.

I have 90 drafts on my blog right now.  Sheesh.  I believe I will try and clean those up, or write them, on the next rainy day.  I still need to read my emails.  

I had a saved glass jar, so I made a jar of homemade taco seasoning for one of the kids.  We had them over for dinner recently, and her boyfriend loved the taco seasoning in the chicken quesadillas we made.  I buy most of my organic ingredients bulk, so they were gifted a jar.

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

The weather . . .

We are in the 70's all week with rain about 3 days this week too.

As I look outside my window . . .

It's still pitch dark.

Right now I am . . .

Sipping coffee and getting this post up.

Thinking and pondering . . .

Work on the chicken coop is hit or miss around here. My husband was sick Sunday.  I am wondering what day we'll go get more supplies to finish it.

I'm thinking about making a list of medical supplies. I want us to be stocked up for winter, and when I last shopped I could not find everything we needed at one store.

One store sells water-cress, and the leaves were all brown and looked terrible.  Check your expiration dates too.  Stores don't care anymore.  They had cottage cheese that has expired a month ago in their case.  So many things are just being sold old.

Listening to . . .

Country music in the kitchen, but about to put on work out music.

How I am feeling . . .


On the breakfast plate . . .

Leftover breakfast casserole.  Just something I threw together.

On the lunch plate . . .

Have no idea yet.

On the dinner plate . . .

I think I will make the sheet pan dinner tonight.

What I am wearing . . . 

Still in jammies.

On the reading pile . . .

Nothing currently.  

On the TV . . .

Movies on netflix.

On the menu . . .

-Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash
-Sheet pan dinner (Sweet potatoes, chickpeas, broccoli, and red onion)

Looking around the house . . .

I am still trying to get order back.  I have one kitchen counter that is driving me nuts.  It's on the list for this week.  Everything needs to find their home again.

To do list . . .

-make homemade granola
-make homemade granola bars (these two are for the week, as I need to grocery shop for some ingredients)
-start a jar of garlic/honey
-check garden for more bell peppers/hot peppers
-bake a breakfast  (something with our apples perhaps)
-make banana muffins (sugar free, flour free)
-work on upstairs floor in spare room

From the camera . . .

Devotional, thoughts, prayers . . .

Update on our friend's daughter who had a brain bleed.  She is up and sitting in a chair, and is able to run the TV remote with one hand.  So far, the progress reports are coming in good.  thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and good mojo!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Day on the Sanity Saver ~ More Green Bell Peppers


Posting late this morning, and after the sun is coming up.  We slept grand last night.  My husband set up a motorcycle ride with some friends and family on Saturday.  We were literally on the bike from 10am to past 7pm.  It was a long day, but a very nice ride, and we both needed it.

Although, the ride day put us behind on the chicken coop, it was great weather for us.  When we arrived home, the wind picked up, due to neighboring weather, and the island ferry (hour away or so) shut down.  The wind was that bad.

That's me on the left.  The homesteader with a passion for riding our motorcycle.  A friend took this photo.

Marble Lake, Coldwater, MI.  I thought we were in Quincy, ha ha!  That's the fun of a ride.  We did go through Quincy, but the ride ended at Marble Lake.  Beautiful trees, and blue water there.

I'm terrible at getting photos on a motorcycle ride day. My cell is in the trunk of the bike the entire time, as it should be.  It's just a time to relieve the mind of everything.

I have not even thought about meals today either, ha ha!  The wind has subsided this morning.  We are in the 70's now, which makes outdoor work easier and more comfortable. 

We are still getting some decent size green bell peppers.  We have not had rain in a while, and may get some later next week.  I am not watering anything that we left in the garden.  The 200 feet of hose is being reeled in and put away for now.  If the peppers produce more, we are thankful, and if the plants die off, it will be time to yank them for the season.  These 7 that I picked may be slightly small, but they are thick and nice and fresh.  I will use them for either a breakfast or dinner dish.

The weekend is not over yet, so we hope to get more work done, followed by some down time.  I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Bittersweet ~ Year of Changes (good ones)


The arrival of fall, and end of garden season (for the most part), is bittersweet.  I am thrilled to get a break from the work, but will really miss the fresh vegetables.  Next year I am planting cantaloupe and watermelons.  The price of fresh fruit this year was outrageous, and you can't really "clean" a cantaloupe from the store.  At least here, I know what is put on it or not put on it.  I may add honey dew to that list too.

The last of the last yellow squash was taken care of.  I know I said I wasn't going to freeze any diced, but I was at the point of just being "done" with it.

The last of the picked jalapenos were sliced and flash frozen for the up coming months.  I think we will have enough, although the hot peppers produced a lot less this year.

Order is resuming in parts of the house, and it feels pretty darn good.  It's funny how just having all the sinks in the house clean at the same time can make a person feel more at peace.  I absolutely love my coffee pot mat.  It soaks up the spills, and is washable.

A little at a time.  I have much to do yet, but I now carve out a "porch" time with some handiwork.

People often wonder what I will be doing all fall and winter, because I stay home.  Well, I won't run out of things to do.  We will be resuming other projects we abandoned this year.  We are still working on the chicken coop, and still plan to clean out the garage and re-organize it completely.  We still have interior doors to paint, the complete overhaul of the office (still has carpet), the upstairs in still in progress, part of the kitchen ceiling still needs a new coat of paint and so forth.

The chicken run door has finally arrived, and is solar charging for installing soon.

Friday, September 22, 2023

All Work and No Play? ~ Sittin' n Knittin'


I've been trying to enjoy the sunrise with my morning coffee, as these days are soon approaching colder weather.  It delays my start to my day, but worth it.

Lately, I feel like all I do is cook and clean.  Time goes too fast too. It seems like yesterday, that I was excited to bring in a bowl full of freshly picked green beans.

I tend the hens, collect the eggs.  Check the garden(s) and bring in whatever is ready.  I brought in another spaghetti squash.

Bulk spices were refilled.

Homemade taco seasoning made and refilled.

Someone in your household thinks there is a toilet paper fairy that magically restocks the toilet paper in the bathroom(s).

Bathrooms are cleaned weekly.

There are always dishes to wash, a dishwasher to load or unload, and then more dishes.  Cooking and baking from scratch, or preserving food will cause that.  I sometimes wash the larger dishes 3-4 times a day.

Maybe I just feel this way, due to the suffrage the house goes through during canning season?  There are always clean linens to fold and put away.

Sittin' n knittin' is much deserved time around here.  Handiwork is slowly coming back into action around here.

Chicken Castle is delayed temporarily.  The brakes on the truck need replaced.  

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Stocking Up ~ Using Up ~ Prepping Homemade Sausage


I finally got around to make a full batch of meatballs.  I like to get this done before the freezer fills up. One year I barely had room to flash freeze, and made a mess with meatballs stuck to the wire shelf above, ha ha!  

While the meatballs were flash freezing, I shredded up the very last of the picked zucchini.  I made us a batch of the most delicious chocolate zucchini muffins I have ever had.  I found the recipe this year online, and it is a keeper.  Yum!  I uses Einkorn all-purpose flour.

I had two pounds of pork, so I prepped it for homemade sausage with home grown sage.  I let it sit in the fridge overnight before cooking it, so the ingredients can produce good flavor.  I apparently have two different recipes for this, and I added extra seasonings, so this will be interesting.

I saved a few boiled eggs for snacking, and topped some chicken salad with them.  I may add boiled eggs to my chicken salad next time.  I make our chicken salad pretty simple - organic avocado mayo and home canned sweet pickle relish.  I added some hot pepper relish this time as well.

We are in the 80's during the day here, and pretty warm. Are you stocking up or preserving anything right now?

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Weather Heats Up ~ Hot Peppers ~ Eggs ~ Boiled Eggs

 It is tough getting the day started this week.  The cooler weather, just screams "sit, sip and enjoy the morning while you can" and then I delay the day ha ha ha!  It's worth it, as we are heating up now to the 80's again.  

I picked all of the hot peppers that were on the plants.  I don't think we'll get  anything more, as this could be the very last warm fall week we have this season.  There were zero Anaheim  peppers, two baby hot banana, no serrano, and just these jalapenos.  Not enough to can hot pepper jelly this year.  I could buy extra from a farm stand, but I decided not this year.  I will freeze these remaining jalapenos, and keep a few for cooking this week and next.

If you read yesterday's post, I forgot to pack my husband's breakfast for the day (2-day's prep in photo).  I decided to use up some of the smaller eggs, from the newer laying hens, and scramble them.  I added them to his breakfast (and mine).

I put some of the larger eggs in the fridge a few weeks back, and got those out to boil.  There are people who raise layers, and still do not think they can boil their own eggs.  You can, but you have to let them sit a week or two (in the fridge) before boiling, or they will not peel for you.  Also, I put the saved eggs out on the counter to come to room temperature before boiling them.  I do not add anything to the water.  If you want a boiled egg, and only have fresh eggs, you can poach your egg for the same taste.

I add enough water to cover the eggs about 1 inch before I set the pot to boil.

They boiled up perfectly, and I used some for egg salad, and save some for slicing on sandwiched or for snacking.  I sometimes like a few boiled eggs for a quick breakfast.  The chickens are earning their keep.