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~

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Wacky Weather

The weather is just like any other year here in this state can you have a thunderstorm, hail storm, and snow in 24 hours.  Tuesday it was 52 and warm, no wind.  Suddenly we had a major thunderstorm, which quickly turned into a major hail storm. 

Wednesday morning the snow rolled in, along with cold temps.  I woke up to a stone cold wood stove.  Not good.  Took me forever to heat up the house again.  I think Hubby and I both were just too tired to remember to do the last stoking of the fire.

Dinner has been "on the fly."  One night it was breakfast for dinner - biscuits and sausage gravy, fried potatoes and scrambled "farm fresh" eggs.  

It would have been homemade pizza last night, but someone forgot to restock the mozzarella cheese.  

Here is a better look at my new candy dish.  We joked we'd put celery in it, ha ha!  Not sure what I'll put in it just yet.  Maybe organic mints.

(click here for the instructions)

I started making these ornaments way back in 2014.  Yikes.  As I removed the ornaments from the tree, I realized I had never finished them for some reason.  I will be adding this to my winter list.  First, I'll need to locate the box they are located in, ha ha!  I just may get them done this year.

There has been many breaking and enterings going on.  One recent one was a Cashland not far from home.  Oddly, the driver's ed used to be in the same building but moved over the years.  The guy probably drove past our homestead.  Either way, I'm always on guard and house kept locked.  I have two dogs here too to alert me.  I'm babysitting Mia again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Warm up ~ Christmas Deconstruction

Tuesday we woke up to a warm 52°F.  It felt wonderful, but the forecast keeps telling us we'll be dipping into very cold temps soon. I love seeing the sunshine this time of year, and we are getting it off and on now.

Christmas deconstruction is finally done.  There were 4 more totes not in the photo and the trees of course.  These all went back into storage.  Whew!  See that red candy dish on the table?  I bought it at an antique store while on our recent trip. I love it!

I don't have to worry about putting gifts in places.  We did not get anything from anyone but one family member - Hubby got flip flops and a tape measure and I got a ceramic angel.  The angel went in the Christmas totes for next year.

The packing up and taking down wore me out, so no crochet work was done.  Hopefully I will have time today, after tidying up and cleaning one bathroom.  I still have more to get done off my to-do list this week too.

I got my thank you notes written, but need to get them in the mailbox today.  These were written to thank one local lady that makes chocolate truffles where we vacationed, and one to a local business not from our our home. 

As for the mysterious opening of the chicken coop run...I had doubts until the other morning.  I found the bottom of one of the heavy sliding barn doors pulled out, as if a large animal went in.  Those are heavy doors too.  Hubby and I doubted a raccoon could get that latch open, but we considered it.  I got out my handy dandy small animal trap and will set it.  We may or may not find out what it is.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Question ~ Tidbits

Question:  I use organic whole cloves often.  Where is a good place to buy it bulk?  And what's the best way to store it (freezer?)?  

Can raccoons open a barrel-slide style door latch?  I went out yesterday to find all my chickens outside.   The horror!  All were accounted for, but only 2 eggs.  I got 7 the day prior, even in this cold weather.  Only I let them out or in, and it was getting cold (so the ladies and gent stay in).  Someone or something opened the latch on the door to the ramp that goes outside.  It's a tough, tight latch and you have to lift the door slightly to get the latch all the way open.  We heard gun shots out there the evening prior, and hunters were stopped by a Sheriff yesterday not far up the road.  

I'm going to talk to Hubby, but a game camera should be put up for now and I may have to secure the outside (and the inside).  

New item over at my Rooster's Crow Farm Blogspot.

Ship's Helm dishcloths/doilies.

Also available are headbands/ear warmers.
More colors are being added soon, so check back often.

By the way, hot banana pepper relish is fantastic in a grilled tuna/cheese sandwich.  Yum!

Nothing like hunting for hours for a paper cutter, then realizing a kiddo took it when they moved out.  And that was just the case, and she forgot to bring it when she came over too.  Ugh.  Kids.   That project can wait I guess.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Happy Homemaker Monday

I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  I'm so missing the hot tub right now.  Hubby is actually looking for one to buy now, but I doubt we will.  It takes lots of electricity to run one, and we have the highest electric in the county.

It's been a nice break in busyness, and we are all ready to tackle the week.  Lots to do. 

On the breakfast plate . . .
Farm fresh eggs over easy, organic toast with organic butter and home canned candy apple jelly, and of course organic coffee.  I'll admit, it felt weird cooking after not cooking for almost a week.  Hubby did all the cooking over the last week.

The weather . . . 
It's cold out and windy.  Rain is in the forecast. Currently 34°F and 46-48mph winds are expected.  I emptied my ash pail very early to avoid that blowing everywhere.

Right now I am . . .
Listening to the radio station as I zip around the house.  They are doing a contest to help pay bills.  They are giving away $1,000.00 to each winner when they announce to enter via text.  Wouldn't that be nice?  To win $1,000 to pay off some bills?

Thinking . . .
Ugh.  I have been so relieved to have the holidays behind us, but I got a message there will be another on my side of the family.  I'm thinking I am not up to cooking in mass amounts and do not want to make one more cookie recipe.

On the reading pile . . . 
Lots and lots of library books that I have had before the Christmas gatherings.  I really need to take time to look through them and check return dates.

On the TV . . .
The Ranch

On the menu this week . . .
Have no idea.  I have to clean out the fridge first, but I know I have asparagus and brussel sprouts that need cooked.

On my to-do list . . .
-clean out the fridge
-empty ash pail
-make garlic powder
-start organizing the Christmas totes
-clean bathroom
-start crocheting 11 "f" bombs
-put ceramic Christmas tree away
-sort mail that arrived while gone
-write two thank you notes
-pack up nativity set
-make dog food
-send a reminder to daughter to return my paper cutter
-wash bedding
-finish other laundry
-sweep kitchen
-put away dry dishes
-empty dishwasher
-post items for sale on my other blog
-organize office area
-dinner prep of some sort (wish me luck)
-unpack totes we took on the trip
-unpack our bags from the trip
-clean off tables and wash Christmas tablecloths

What I am creating . . .

Lots of stuff.  I got an order for 11 "f" bombs so that's first on the list.  I'll have photos soon of the other items

Looking around the house . . .
Hm.  Not sure where to start first, but I'll get started.  One thing at a time.

From the camera . . .
My favorite (one of them) photos from our 20th anniversary honeymoon.  

On my prayer list . . .
Our kids.

Home again.....home again.....

One of the last stops on the way home from our honeymoon trip.  Best chicken yet.

There were two things that we didn't like at the cabin.  One - the money game.  The first cabin we ever stayed in did this and we first found it fun, but it took much of our time looking for the hidden money, hiding it again, and leaving clues in a journal.  This cabin had the money hidden so we could see if without hunting for it.  We didn't re-hide the money, just left one or two and wrote down the clues.  We wanted to spend our time with each other and taking off on adventures.

Two - they could use another large skillet.  We almost bought one, but when we return we will take one for this cabin.  I guess not all people cook a homemade meal like we do.  Breakfast time we had difficulty (or should I say Hubby) in getting eggs, french toast, bacon, fried potatoes all done for one meal.  I have however, learned how to cook my bacon in the oven now.  Saved so much time and space cooking too. We found a grocery store like ours, but it was very limited with organic food.  I forgot to take rosemary and cinnamon, and found that, but it was very expensive.  Next trip, I'll remember to take my herbs and spices.

Back to homesteading and self-sufficiency, I got another quart jar of 4 thieves vinegar started...

...and another jar of sage tincture.  We ran into so many people who said their spouse was sick or someone they knew.  We of course shared our remedies, but had the oddest looks given back to us.  I swear by them.  

During that time, Hubby fired up "Big Red" and brought me a load of wood for the wood stove.  The old barn "rubbish" has supplied us well.

It's taking a bit of adjustment to get back to reality at the homestead.  I will be working on responding to comments now that I'm back home.  We rarely had phone service (relying on road signs and maps), so I couldn't access my blog via the internet on my phone either.  To be honest I sort of liked not having service most of the time (ha ha!).

With the trip right after Christmas, our Christmas trees remained up.  Those have to come down this week, along with outside lights.  I have lots on my hooks and needles and will post photos soon I hope.

I'm excited to try new things in 2019, and can't wait for more 20th celebrations with Hubby.  Of course I'm looking forward to more new motorcycle rides as well, a bountiful garden year, hoping we can raise meat birds and new homesteading experiences.  Time (and money) will tell, but I'll give it my all.

Here's to a new year, and lots of new experiences.  And finding yarn sales (ha ha ha!). I am very relieved for the holidays to be over now, and the baking and cooking back to normal at the homestead.  

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Getting Away ~ Anniversary Celebration #3

My husband is so awesome.  You haven't seen a post here for a week, because we once again got away from home.  I packed up champagne, organic coffee, filters, and yes my rolling pin (well one of them).

Hubby booked us a cabin about a 3 hour drive from home.  I brought the rolling pin to make homemade biscuits at the cabin (although a beer bottle works great in a pinch too).  Even so, Hubby cooked every single meal we ate at the cabin.

We spent 4 nights and 5 days in the hills.  Our cabin was way up in the hills.  We visited three falls.  One involved many, many stairs.

This was the last hill up into the cabin.  The road was a bit scary, but we were so glad it wasn't snowing.

We visited a tiny pencil sharpener museum located at the welcome center.  Motorcycle pencil sharpeners!

Had the best bruschetta in the area, and even had pizza that was voted best in the state.  Visited a distillery that made local moonshine, a local winery and a brewery.

I had my project bag with me, so on day one when Hubby wanted to watch the football game, I whipped up some cup coasters, which we left for the next guests.

We had a hot tub on our back deck and oh my gosh we used it morning and night.  No kidding.  We were in it at 6am.  

Roads were pretty much like the sign.  Up and down and every which way.

Our back deck had a bird feeder, so while in town we picked some bird seed up and the birds went nuts.  We saw lots of red headed wood peckers too.

White reindeer!  These were in a fenced area next to a putt putt golf course.  Goats were in there too.  We fed them for $.25 and made a few pretty happy.  I have never seen white reindeer.  One of the highlights of the trip.

When we arrived home, a box had arrived.  A late anniversary gift from Hubby.  He even brought the island to me!!  A set of 4.

Beautiful scenery, peace and quiet, good food, and a lot of relaxation and rejuvenation.  Hubby knocked it out of the park.

When he asked if I wanted to go to NYC or FL, I had said "heck no."  I wanted seclusion and quiet time.  He did an amazing job.  We'll definitely be back.  Celebrating 20 years married has been so much fun.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Year in Review


Our family lost 3 family members , one friend, and a dedicated barn cat in 2018, but we have some positive memories to share too.  Although, I would love to go through every single new thing we did, or how many rides, trips we were able to take, camping trips, or new recipes we tried, I'll keep this short.  It's always nice to go back and look at the positive things that happened over the last year.  

We pickled garlic for the first time.

We pickled eggs for the first time.

Pickled turnips for the first time.

Made a new homemade deodorant.

Tired morel mushrooms for the first time.

Baked my first strawberry pie.

I canned wild violet jelly for the first time.

I made radish hash browns for the first time, and they were fantastic!

The best part of the year?  Celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary.