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 17, 2018

Weekend Updates

Friday I was stuck home due to a dead truck battery, so it was a full-blown house cleaning day.  It needed it anyway.  I got laundry caught up, woodwork wiped down, bathrooms cleaned, clutter tidied up, dishes washed etc etc.

I left myself "me" time despite the work load. 

Saturday morning we had a very sick cat.  He got allergy medication this time of year last year, and I finally figured it out.  Geraniums.  They are poisonous to cats and dogs.  I started bringing them in last year.  Not anymore.  Out the door they went, and off to the vet we went.  I caught him eating one and looked it up.  I feel horrible.  I'm always so spot on, when it comes to "pet safe" around here.

We had lots to do Saturday as well - groceries, hardware store, library, and all the other stuff around here.  Including test the truck battery, pick up parts to fix the pellet stove (electric bill arrived at a whopping $500-some amount), and put the last string of Christmas lights up outside.  We hauled a load of wood to the house, fluffed up the chicken coop with what little straw I had (still waiting on Hubby to get our order picked up), and more.  A total of 8 stops.  And we forgot to stop at the library.

Sunday we got up and ran 3 more errands.  Visited Mom, and drove back home to finish trimming the tree, and put all the totes back in storage.

What's off the hooks and needles right now?

One hand embroidered kitchen towel for one daughter.  Nothing fancy, but yet cute and something useful.

One hand embroidered kitchen towel for another daughter.
Cute for a "dog" person, and daughter who is struggling to keep her bills paid on a budget (who just shoveled out $80 for a vet visit, and $150 for new tires for her car).

I'm not done with handmade gift just yet, but I'll get back to work on them, just after another long day of cleaning.  I'm looking forward to a tidy house once again.  How was your weekend?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Big Red and other stuff ~ Crochet/Knit/Crafting neck lamp

Big Red has now been dubbed "Ole Unreliable" by Youngest.  Hubby worked over and the truck for some reason wouldn't start for her to go do volunteer work.  It worked fine for me early in the day.  Hubby believes it just needs a new battery.

A funny to share about Big Red (truck).  I had so many library books to return that the truck kept telling me my "passenger" didn't have a seat belt on.

We will be looking for a new, better, TV antenna.  The one we have doesn't always work depending on the weather.  While Hubby worked over, and I wanted to watch TV and crochet, I had a horrible time.  Three clothespins and maneuvering a curtain, I was able to get three more channels, ha ha!

Check this out!  I had been debating buying the crochet hooks that light up, or a neck lamp.  After talking to someone who had the hooks, I went with the lamp.  She said the hooks are light weight, but sometimes too bright and can cause headaches.

So far, I love it.  It's rechargeable, so no batteries needed.  I'm not an affiliate for this product, but I found it on Amazon.  Now I can work on dark colored yarn projects much easier.  Just thought I'd share.

In preparation for the big gathering with two combined birthdays, I started on one homemade gift....

. . .a kids scarf, Buffalo Bills colors.

I also started on a few more handmade gifts - photos to come soon.  Just a bit late on getting them started.

I've also collected patterns for new items for craft shows, but the main focus is cleaning up the house.

I've now created cow Christmas tree ornaments.  What's next?  I guess we'll see.  Hubby told me to create some (cows) a while back, and low and behold, someone asked if I had any at a recent craft show.  Now I do.

It's a warm 42° this morning.  Feels like a heat wave compared to the 20's.  

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Lights are up . . .and one light went off

I sorted through the old outside lights, and found a few strings still working.  I managed to hang some on the front porch without climbing a ladder. So happy about that, and the other table is mostly cleaned off and ready to don a new Christmas table cover.

Never run out of batteries.  Sigh.  I do believe the reason Jesse has gotten us up so early, is that he refuses to do his business late the night prior, due to his collar light not working.   The battery died, but alas, we have replaced them, and will have flashlights on backup.  Now I find him sleeping soundly at 5:30am.  What a relief.  Getting us up at 2:30am was not fun.

We've been sipping hot herbal throat teas here lately.  Warding off whatever germs have come home from Hubby's work and Daughter's school.  

Speaking of Daughter, she is now the understudy for this school year's musical - Drowsy, in the Drowsy Chaperone.  She had hoped to land the main character, but landed the main character's understudy.  I told here she has one more year to try and get the star lead.  We are pretty proud of her.

We enjoyed some garden comfort food the other night - tuna and noodle with homemade condensed mushroom soup, garden sweet potatoes with "full throttle herb/spice mix" and green beans (sadly not from my garden but good).

New item for next Christmas - hat and scarf for dressing up a bottle of wine, herbal oil, etc.  This will be topping a bottle of wine for one gift this Christmas.  So cute too.  

Daughter came home from school, and announced they are doing a gift exchange in her cosmetology class.  She asked me to whip up a handmade gift (so proud she is all for handmade).   I was up for the challenge now that the craft shows are over for the year.  These will be added to craft show events soon.

I also had a customer ask me to crochet a different type of ornament.  Gulp.

It's getting packed up and shipped to her ("f" bomb).

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

So much to do. . .

Monday night was not so fun.  We still have the car one daughter wrecked, and it needed a new tire.  We fired it up and I drove behind Hubby to go deliver it.  First we jumped it.  Then while on our way, she called and the car she was borrowing needed a jump.  Hubby went to do it while I went to the store.  She took off, and he went to start up her car and it wouldn't.  I stopped and he got another jump.  We finally got her car there, but noticed a light on her rear view mirror not going off.  Finally figuring out what was draining the battery, we took off and went home.  What a night.

Shopping is basically a horror.  Long lines, crazy busy....I'm all for a no present Christmas.  Oye.  The dollar store, was once again out of parchment paper (for the umpteenth time).  I will have to visit another store, as they are never stocked properly anymore.

Our current internet provider has already raised their price.  I have one last company to call and see if we can get service from them way out here in the boonies.  It would cut our costs more than half if we could switch.  I do not like the one we have - horrible service.

I have so much to do, to get this house ready for the gathering we will be having.  I also have to grocery shop.  I hope to make homemade rolls again.  I have one kitchen table cleaned off and ready, but the other is another story.  It's piled with outdoor lights, extension cords, un-cracked walnuts, and other stuff that needs to be put away.

It's a day for list making too - list of seeds needed for next year's garden, a list of items needed at the store, a list of new items to make for spring shows, a list for what needs handmade yet for Christmas.  Lists are terrifying some times, but much needed for my brain that can't remember much on a busy crazy day.  I need to pull out all of my recipes for the upcoming holidays too.  

Here's how crazy our gathering week will be - on the gathering day we'll have a gift exchange, a kid gift exchange, a baked good exchange and two birthdays that fall on that very same day.  Yeah, I will be baking a birthday cake for Daughter, while another will bake one for the other family member.  As you probably guessed, we opted out of all the gift exchanges.  We have an upcoming anniversary to celebrate, and we don't need gifts.  We just want to spend time with the family.  Of course we'll be gifting birthday gifts to our youngest.

Guess what?

I'm finally getting eggs again.  It's about time.  Woo hoo!  

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Tuesday Tidbits

We literally went through 3 pots of coffee before Hubby was off to work and Daughter off to school.  Hubby asked me not to decorate the tree, and wait for him to get home.  He wanted to do it as a family.  He hates Mondays, so I was skeptical.

Breakfast scramble this week - sweet potato/potato/bacon and swiss chard.

The lights blink slow then fast.  Battery operated.  Just love these new additions to our Christmas this year.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Monday Teabag Tidbits

Sunday morning we gathered for breakfast with Hubby's family.  It's a tradition every now and then for someone to host.  We eat, talk, mingle and enjoy time with the family.

We were all exhausted, so we had only one plan, or should I say two?  We drove to the orchard and restocked my cinnamon sticks, and sorghum, but I still need honey in a bad way.  They wanted $14.00 for a little bear, and we've gotten a 1/2 gallon for that price.  Hmpf.

We also needed to pick up straw.  We made arrangements for a family member to order it along with his hay for his horse.  Hubby drove out and low and behold - no straw.  Another hmpf.  He paid, re-ordered, and will pick up another day.  

The rest of the Sunday?  Relax.  

It's a brisk 22°F here today, and they say we'll not see the sunshine.

I do believe it's time to get back to cleaning up, organizing, and getting this house ready for Christmas.  I still need to put more ornaments on one Christmas tree.

Our new ornament on our blue tree.  A long time couple, we stayed friends with, from our workplace (where I met Hubby), gifted us this.  Love it!  

One of the kiddos came out with her boyfriend, for a visit. 

I've gotten some word of mouth orders, through having participated in the last craft show.  I've sold a necklace, two scarves, a hat, and now possibly two ornaments.  I'm pretty happy with our progress this winter.

On a last note, we lost "Annie" yesterday.  My auracana that had broken her leg.  Such a sad day for us, but part of homesteading too.   

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sunday Wrap Up ~ Elixir Inquiry ~ Tidbits

I succeeded in restocking all of these for a craft show yesterday.  They were the hot sellers in the previous show, and sold out of all the camper ornaments and scrubbies, and most of the headbands.   This last show?  Well not one camper or headband sold, but I sold other items.  As well as an opportunity (would be my second location) to sell my soap saver bags on consignment with a local business.  I made one outside sale, possible two more as well.  So all in all, a pretty good December.  However, I am whooped.  Tired.  Worn out.  Looking forward to the rest of the month off and enjoying family and friends.

Question:  Does anyone have a recipe for elderberry elixir?  I have lost mine.

We woke up to a brisk 15°F.  Our pole light would not even come on, it's that cold right now.  Of course I woke to no wood on the hearth, so once I got that job done, it was coffee time.  I was up at 4:30am.  Not sure why I can't sleep, so I'm going to down some Valerian tea tonight.

My hen is in isolation now.  She has a new splint, and is by herself in the "emergency" coop.  She is eating and drinking, so hopefully over time she'll heal up like Sparta did when he broke his leg.  I have no idea how she did it, but glad my daughter was out to help the other day.