"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Sunday, August 31, 2008

From the Kitchen


I have been learning to make everything from scratch. Part of this learning curve is to use what is on hand, and not to rush out and buy the needed ingredients. Well I made homemade rootbeer the other day(5 gallons) and so I had an abundance of rootbeer. So I sat at my favorite computer and looked up recipes using rootbeer. The above photo is my first attempt at rootbeer bread. I made four loaves and only have three bread pans, so I had a lovely round bread. We loved this bread. It tastes like a honey wheat bread. I froze two loaves and we are enjoying the rest.

These two are pinto bean bread. I made this first as an entry for the county fair. As I said making things from scratch is my new life, and using what is on hand. We have lots of beans...so again what to make? Well yummy bread. This bread tastes like a wonderful nutty wheat bread.

This was my first attempt at raisin bread. I did not let it rise enough, but thought I would share the skills are learned through practice. This toasted well though and was a great side to oatmeal!

If interested in the recipes, I will email them if you leave your email in the comments in this format...penofjen(at) yahoo(dot) com.

And as a side thought I froze 3 quarts of rootbeer, so I can make 12 more loaves as it was so yummy!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Golden Goose and Fearless Feline

Here is Buffy the goose and he is very afraid of the ducks! What we have learned in our small time that we have been farming...is that you need two of what ever. He paces back and forth and acts bizarre. So this one is the test dummy. If we get more geese, we will get at least two.

This is Bandit and he has decided that we are his people. He eats scraps like the chickens and is an avid hunter around the pens and property. He has earned his table scraps time and time again by liquidating the rodents, lizards and snakes that scurry and slither around the farm.


Here are the Turkens(brown) with the turkey in May.(Turken) We have a male and a female, and I must confess that they are the weirdest looking creatures that I have seen.

We have decided to raise these to sell as they are so curious to look at that many feel drawn to them. The kids named them Otto and Gretchen. When they finish the separate yard for them they are going to call the Turken home the Grotto.

I tried to take pictures of both Otto and Gretchen yesterday, but Otto would not stay still. So here is Gretchen.

Here's Christmas...(Thanksgiving died as a result of the flooding in July). He is a midget white turkey, and perhaps can get as big as 15-20 pounds.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Remember these guys? May 14...cute and we could not tell if they were male or females...as we bought straight runs(meaning not sexed could be either). They have grown lots since May.

Here they are today. They are free range I suppose, as we let them wander the back yard at will. It turns out we have three males and one female, as their adult feathers are coming in nicely. We are going to keep a male and the female, to give us more, and we will put the other two in the freezer around November. They eat the bugs, and many weeds. I have been amazed at how much I have learned watching them wander. I confess that Pepsi the Basset Hound avoids them.

Just another view of the ducks to see the feathers. We discovered something big about the ducks...they are brutal! We were given a gosling around the end of June, and I put her with these four. Let's just say that after the co-mingling, the goose has wing issues. So we separated the goose in her own pen. During the flooding we had no choice but to let her wander the entire yard and not her pen as it was unreachable.

Then the attack... My sons barely made it in time to save the goose(Buffy), one duck had the goose's neck in his beak. The others were attacking her with their beaks...

so after this the kids call the Ducks- the Mafia...here's the duck house

Can you guess who's house this is???

Thursday, August 28, 2008

cHeCkErs ANyONe?

well I am going to continue to blog...long story...and too long to bore any once again. Thanks for the kind words you all left in the comments.

Remember how I have described my home as a humble...............humble place. Well the carpeting was residual of the Jimmy Hoff*a murder I am sure. I spent the first three months ripping out these horrific things and then scrubbing down the sub-floor. {We have not budgeted for flooring...we do see real wood planks in the future...slow and steady.} Oops back to the project. When we bought the property I bought 3-five gallons of paint in my favorite three colors...and so I used the color that I have painted the outside on the sub-floor. It solved the problem but I still thought it needed more.

So here is the floor in the dining room before I painted the sub-floor...
Sick, gross, and disgusting...who spills so much stuff without blotting to clean up? I struggled with this as I wanted something to cover this. I first covered it with a RID-X paint. Then I painted it...and it looked like I painted the sub-floor.

Two nights ago I dreamed I painted it...this way:

So I did...on my Anniversary.
I gave us a new dining room floor.
My sweet blind kitty is just checking out the digs. I will have to by something to seal in...so for now - just think it is shiny...(oh and ignore the footprint left by any one of my sons(oldest home too) or Bill!!!!!)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Trash to Treasure

Have you ever looked at something and thought -oh I can make that into something neat? Well today I was helping clean up some barns and found some old wood:

and some other things that I think are electrical gizmos:

So I washed the items. I took the wood and then without measuring attached the knob things and have a farm shabby sheik utensil holder!
What do you think?

PS~ It is Worth It

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24

August is my anniversary month, and as I reflect over my 20 years with my Bill, I thought I would write about marriage.

-Marriage is so important to God that it was the first of three divine institutions and was patterned to illustrate Christ’s love for the church.

So God sees my marriage important. Powerful to wrap my mind around, yet incredibly awesome to realize I need to change my attitude towards my marriage. I need to place my marriage upon a divine pedestal. I need to constantly reflect that God designed this for me. To think about marriage in these ways, begins to raise its importance.

Do you dress up for your role? Do you place the finest china out as a wife? Do you monitor your speech and keep thoughts pure and clean? Do you see your marriage as a union that is unbreakable?

-God’s pattern for marital happiness is evident when a man leads his family, with children who obey and reverence for their parents. (Ephesians 6:1-4), with a wife who respects and supports her husband’s leadership (Ephesians 5:21-33). A mutually supportive attitude must characterize both husband and wife if they are to succeed in building a harmonious home.

This is the perfect example. What happens when only one part follows God’s pattern? Well to be honest as a sinner, none of us is the ideal spouse or child. But attitude does make a home. The role of a wife is complementary. It is easy to bake a meal, when you know it will bring a look to you over the heads of your children. It is easy to make the bed each morning, knowing that when your husband walks in the room he feels good. Could he say why? Perhaps not, just that he sees the home front as the reason to continue on in the daily grind.

Happiness and joy are contagious.
One does not need to be pious to be the wife that the Lord desires you to be. A wife can bring reduce the heaviness of the world from her husbands shoulders by being silly. She can put up her hair in a fun youthful way. She can change the rules one day and involve the entire family to participate (for example take over the chores of the children for a day). Wives have the control switch on ambiance in the home. Wives can organize a family checkers play off. Wives can take the children aside and learn a fun song and have after dinner theatre. Or have a poetry reading contest, and close with a simple Roses are red love poem for her husband.

I am a woman in case you are wondering. I am not always bubbly, fun, silly, in love, and charitable. But I do know that I can quickly sour the mood as easy as I can brighten the mood in the home. Marriage is not easy. It never has been. See the book of Genesis…Adam Eve, Abraham Sarah…and that is just one book and not all the examples it entails. But to reduce marriage to a talk show or to Hollywood’s standards has been damaging to the foundation. Second marriages are equally hard. I know as my mother remarried when I was three. I saw the competition between the relationship, the anger in his kid, or her kids…and on and on. I do not have the perfect solution for what one should do. My thoughts on marriage in this post were to reveal the importance that God places on marriage, and one can begin to change the atmosphere by lifting the mood. We cannot ever control the mood of our spouses…but we can control and then improve ours.

I do say that I love my role of being a wife and could never have imagined that I would have 20 years ago. I love that my job never ends, and that it is constantly growing with the children, and in a decade will be a role where it is just my sweetie and I.

I am saddened when I read or hear women debasing their husbands. I am sad that a woman in the 21st century feels the need to compete with the man, instead of recognizing that we are different and that this is a blessing. I challenge wives to refuse to participate in dialogue such as this. I challenge wives to not speak ill of their husbands.

I also challenge wives to date her love. Giggle with him, sit close to him, and whisper in his ear. Squirt him with a water bottle (not a lot) and runoff laughing-bring the youthful fervor back. It is worth it as the Lord designed it for you.

And to give you a peek in my youthful love (in my 40’s), I sat next to Bill in the front seat while on a trip to see our oldest yesterday (in our truck it is a bench seat in the front with seatbelts!). The youngest three (all impressionable and prepping to pick their mates) were able to witness the fun and joy that a couple can have. In fact the kids got involved in the silliness, as it is infectious.

So love your husband today like you did the day that you married him. He is worth it, because God told us.

PS...I love you Bill

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Applesauce Bread

Sandra in NZ asked for my recipe for applesauce bread, and here it is:
Applesauce Bread
Makes 4 loaves
Blend together
2 ½ cups sugar
5 eggs
3 1/8 cup applesauce
1 ¼ cup oil (I use olive oil)
½ cup milk

Sift and Add
5 cups flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoons nutmeg(rounded)
½ teaspoons allspice

Mix together then fold in 1 ¼ cup chopped nuts. Make topping mix of ½ cup chopped nuts, ½ cup brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle over tops of unbaked loaves. Bake in four well greased loaf pans at 350 F(176 C) for 50-55 minutes.

(my notes: I found this in a pioneer cookbook…I do not make the topping as it is perfect without. I also use round or fun shapes with a few of the loaves…)

This is by far one of the best recipes for unleavened bread that I have ever tried! The kids consider this a snack and even have it crumbled with vanilla ice cream! I love the smells while baking and especially love that it reminds me of Thanksgiving and Christmas with the flavor! So enjoy, oh and the photo of my applesauce bread is in the previous post with my fair entries:) Thank you Sandra for asking!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Simple Rewards at the Fair

Second's first place entry in the cookie category(center). He created a new recipe that he called Desert Dust!

The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. Isaiah 35:1

My entry in leavened breads category. On my first attempt at making Pinto Bean bread, first place!

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

My entry in the unleavened bread category...Applesauce bread.

And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

Here are Bill's entries! He entered the dried beans from last years final harvest in November. He won first place for the Anasazi beans, and second for the pinto beans, and second for the green beans.

Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof. Ezekiel 4:9

I made this for 2007 Christmas. I listed all the places we have lived, and where each family member was born. I entered this in the Handcraft division.

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. Ruth 1:16

I love the book of Ruth. When I married Bill, I became of him and we became a family. No children ~yet we were a family. So when I read Ruth, I loved this passage. Our family began and off we went together where ever needed. One child, two child, three child, four

. This game that I made shows our triumphs together all over this wonderful world that the Lord created. As we circle the board time and time again I reflect on each step that we have taken. I reflect on the state that I lived in when I was born again...I reflect on the town we lived in when I thought that I lost my beloved in an auto accident...each time I was comforted...as the Lord has been with us all along...and thy God has become my God.

Fair Things

{the three yellow roses with the blue ribbons are from the Double Nickel}

For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then we were all dead. And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

{a lovely neck scarf crocheted by Fourth}
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6

{Third made tortillas for his first place entry in the Unleavened bread category}

Seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread: even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses : for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. Exodus 12:17

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing a few things that we entered in the County Fair. Yesterday I thought that I would share some of the items that we entered in the fair, and a scripture with it. It rained every evening of the Fair, and in fact we helped take down a booth that Bill's office had set up at the fair, during heavy rains. We had to use the heaters in the truck, as we were cold...in August...in the desert!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why the Cryptic post?

My previous post was cryptic...I will confess. I have been quite busy in several things, but most importantly in preps for the County Fair!

In the journey of simplicity many things change. On our humble farm we have used many methods to create products to support animals outside, or to make the inside lovely. Our hands have become practiced in woodwork, sewing, handcrafts, baking, and gardening. I have made curtains for nearly the entire home, placemats, cloth napkins, dish scrubbies, soaps, a rag rug, aprons, pillows, paintings, drawings and much more to make our home have a charm. This charm is not store bought, nor could I explain it, except to say that our home is decorated and filled with our works. We see daily the crafts we made because we had a need and no longer rush to the local Supercenter or mall to buy it.

Last year we were not deep on this path, but had a hearty garden and for the first time ever had one entry in the County Fair. Fourth entered a crookneck squash that looked like a swan. She won Reserve Grand Champion!

{photo from August 15, 2007}

Since this we all realized that we have a venue to show our handiworks. And this year we entered 31 things that a member of the farm grew or made. Only 3 of the 31 items did not receive a ribbon! I will post photos...the ones we took have names and I guard this, but photos will be coming...

And to get in on the Olympic fervor, here's a breakdown of the ribbons:
First place-blue ribbon=11
Second place-red ribbon=10
Third place-white ribbon=7

I will have photos soon. Due to the flooding we missed the deadline to enter the animals. Our county has about a 4 hour entry per division. So next year we will enter the animals!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I was going to write something insightful about how I have been continuing my journey of simplicity but...

then I was going to write about my family and what we are doing, but...

I was then thinking of the animals and what we are doing to track egg production...but,

in my typing I planned to jot down some points on low cost family activities...but

and then I was going to write of homemaking...but

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Sheep day! Here are 3 black Navajo sheep. The plans changed a bit. One of the lambs is male and one female. But the male is a great one! He has four horns, and this is not too common, so we are pleased to have this guy named Quatro(of course). The female has been gracefully named Maryanne! The ewe is awaiting a name.{Maisy the goat on the side}

Click on the picture to enlarge.

Oops not all are black sheep!

This is Boaz the ram. He is by far my favorite and the most docile. The white sheep is Ruth(can I say of course again?!) I named these two after two of my favorite people in the Bible. I love the book of Ruth...:p

I am adding these 2 lower photos- here is Fourth with *her* lamb Maryanne!

Here is a better picture of Quatro!

Internet Explorer Woes.

I received a few emails telling me that my blog would not open...and at first I ignored it, as I could go to everyone's blogs and my own. I am sorry, I do not use IE , I use Mozilla, and had no problems.

I have removed the site meter from a few of my blogs. I hope that this helps my friends and readers.