"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

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Rest of the Story

Yesterday I posted a Wordless Wednesday photo and realized that one may not get the perspective of the goats on the chicken coop. The coop is 5 1/2 feet high(on the shortest side) and Comet and Cupid have no problem getting on top.

So now you know the rest of the story photo!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20

Although today has an important place in American history, it also has a place in my family history. Today my older brother(yet sixth out of 8 children) was born. I send a Happy Birthday wishes to him in Kansas!

My brother Pete and I used to play Three Investigators along with our neighbor Tim. Do you remember the the series written in the 60's to the 80's? The three of us were often busy outdoors playing or investigating.

Pete taught me how to shoot a bow and arrow-not homemade, but a real set as that is where his interest was. He and I used to run together as we both were in Cross Country and Track.

My only giganto scar on my body is Pete's fault as I was in my room with a small black and white TV with the old antenna trying to get a channel- the antenna was broke so I will now refer to it as I mentally always see it-the sword of bloody death! Pete had a few firecrackers and decided to light them on the porch by my window. I jumped off the bed in fear, my leg caught the Sword of Bloody Death, and I was scarred for life. Interestingly enough I did not feel the pain nor notice the blood on my leg, the white wool carpets or the wall for minutes as my heart was beating so fast. I was a chicken liver kid and so I was afraid of the soft noises of the house so you can imagine what a real loud noise did to me! The scar is massive, nearing 4 inches on my lower calf, and often I have to use a cane to walk(kidding). But hey Pete...who would have guessed that 30 years later I would almost be smiling at the memory. Well I am smiling as I can see you this moment, climbing up the TV antenna tower(remember those?) and giggling to yourself- seeing me struggling to get the station, and then the strike of the match! I bet you jumped off the porch laughing!

Happy Birthday Pete...
Love Jenny

Monday, January 19, 2009

Where is Carmen San Diego?

I am not sure, but I think I saw her while we were out and about this past weekend having a grand time!

Blue has made us all BLUE...as we all love him and he was perfect-except he caught one of our heritage hens. So our vet offered to assist us find him a family with no hens to live with. Sad, but the reality of the farm is that all animals and people mesh. I am most sad for Bill as Blue made an instant bond. But the fervor of the hen once he made one grab was awful. Until we drove into town he paced the back windows howling to get to the pens in back.

We went fossil hunting today! Boy what a peaceful getaway just minutes away from the farm. Once again we collected many fine specimens for the school. For all of you having cold and winter blahs, I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I got a bit sunburned. It was a lovely sunny day and we had a picnic out in the hills.

I baked all day Saturday...4 loaves of white bread, 2 loaves of cinnamon bread, 3 dozen pumpkin cookies...made Bisquick mix of my own and my own taco seasoning. Then for dinner I made minestrone soup for the first time- yummy!

Discovered that our baby goats we received in exchange for wood can jump up on top of the chicken coop! I wonder if the names Comet and Cupid(named by my lovely daughter) may have been the jinx to grant these kids wings! Who knows, but for now we are pleased that they wish to stay with their mother, otherwise no fence we have would contain them!

Oh and as a wound salve for the loss of such a good dog, Bill and the teen scene came home with the kitten of the week- dubbed Abigail. Photos to soon follow as she is a cutie.

On my other blog I write about President Bush and the commuting of the Border Patrol Agents...click here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Titanic

Remember the RMS Titanic? Forget the movie drama, but think about the reality of what happened on that cold April night. The Titanic carried all classes of people, and typical of how things are even today, not enough precaution was taken. Over 1,500 people died. Not one person on that ship could even fathom the possibility that death in the frigid ocean awaited them, as this was the maiden voyage of an incredible vessel.

The Titanic has a great lesson for us all. We often view ourselves as something so incredible that if something tragic happens we sink. We are ill prepared to grab a life vest and jump in a lifeboat because we haven't allowed for any possibility of anything going awry. In fact in an area where something has gone terribly wrong, what is the first thing you hear from a witness? "Things like this never happen here." Think about all the school shootings, disasters, crime sprees that you have read about. Not one person in that region believed that it could be them that would be impacted.

I have been a Titanic follower my whole life, as my mother was born on April 14 and the ship hit the iceberg on the 14th and sunk on the 15th. So my mother shared the birthday tragedy with wisdom, why not us? Things do happen to each and every one of us so why aren't we prepared?

We must prepare for things to happen in life, as things always do. Clearly we all will die, so perhaps it will be today. Sometimes a great business idea isn't what we the public wishes for, so pull back and start over. We need to step up and be accountable for our failures as well as our successes. On the Titanic there were several extremely wealthy people. I will mention two of these wealthy men, as they had enough money to buy their way out of the situation: Isidor Straus and John Jacob Astor. Quite easily they could have offered their fortunes to those in the lifeboats...to be given to the recipients children or such. But guess what? They did not. John Astor is reported to have asked once to go with his young wife because she was pregnant, but when told no, he did not storm off, but gave her his gloves and went and lit a cigarette. Mrs. Straus refused to get in a lifeboat and is quoted as saying "We lived together, so we shall die together". I cannot imagine the chaos of today's mindset in a situation as the Titanic. Oh but I can...

You see businesses, banks, and people are sinking. Some because they were duped, or just because they are poor managers of money, and others because we no longer have a need for the service offered. Yet instead of stepping back and regrouping...they are all jumping into the lifeboats demanding to be saved. I am sure you know what happens when too many crowd into a lifeboat? It sinks and no one is saved. That is what is happening to our country. It used to be you had a story of your failures that then resulted in hard work, savings, and energy to relaunch you. Think about how many strike outs Babe Ruth had. Contemplate how many times a baby will fall in learning to walk. They may cry a bit, but up they go and forget that they fell.

Because we have chosen to not allow failures we all are doomed to sink in the lifeboat of the American Bailout. My question to you is then this, do you have a life vest to keep YOU afloat?

***something else to ponder when you wonder where I get my strength- of course the Lord first, but then my mother. My father was killed on the 8th of April but she was told on her birthday that he was killed. What makes one pick up and go forth? Well knowing that you have to. She continued on because there was no other option. That is why Bill and I ended up becoming farmers without any experience- as we had to pick up and go forth knowing that we ourselves must make our way.

I pray our country can recover from the incredible amount of debt we have taken on by not allowing the failing of mismanaged or what not businesses.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What is this? UPDATED

Can you guess what this is?

I have slowly been redoing my home in a way that requires little money and lots of creativity. This is something that is in my laundry room. I used a method of crafting that used white glue, water, and clippings from the magazine Popular Science (a favorite). The magazine was not just a random choice, but one that reflects what it is on.

Yes- it is a panel door to the Fuse Box(or electrical box). I just could not stand how dull and drab it looked and decided to give it a face lift. As it is an electrical box, I thought why not use pictures from a magazine that deal with electricity and science! Drab to fab in 20 minutes!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Russian Peasant?

I was emailed a link to a blog that compared me to a Russian Peasant! Can you believe that? The post was written as a commentary because of the story Michelle Malkin wrote about my family and I on the Double Nickel(click here to read MM article)

I must confess that my understanding of what a Russian Peasant is must be incorrect and here are a few reasons why I am wrong.

~I use organic bar soaps= 1 bar can cost the average consumer $3.99...my cost-pennies.
~I use organic liquid soaps= 1 bottle can cost the average consumer $9.98...my cost-pennies.
~I eat only organic free range eggs=1 dozen can cost the consumer $5.00...my cost-pennies.
~Eating organic free ranging goat=cost to the consumer is mind boggling...my cost less than $30 for the whole goat and her first offspring! Same with lamb.
~Organic free range turkeys= to the consumer $47.25...my cost...less than $10.00 padding feed cost.
~Organic free range chickens= cost to consumer $10.50...my cost... so below this!!
~Organic free range geese=can cost consumer $45.00...my cost...so below this!!
~Organic deodorant =can cost consumer $5.82...my cost $.25!

I always thought that the connection to being a Russian Peasant was derogatory. I stand corrected. Funny when I think of the financial crisis holding our nation under a cloud of doom, I wonder who is better off? The one that pays a ridiculous sum for a product, or one who knows how to provide the ridiculous product for her family and others.

By the way, have you seen the view from my front porch? Peasants do have the life don't they?

Oh and for the record I believe I should rightly be known as a German Peasant I am of German descent~
Guten Tag from the Double Nickel Farm!

Please feel free to click on any of these items as I provided links to products.
Vermont Soap Organics
Organic Eggs
Organic Goat
Organic chickens, turkeys, geese
Organic deodorant

Just Do It

This is a challenge to those apprehensive bread makers. Just do it! I had only made bread once or twice over the years, and secretly prayed I would someday have a bread maker. I am so glad that I didn't because it would sit next to all the other gadgets ...and never be used.

I began this journey of bread-making by making pizza crust, yes, pizza crust! Here is the simple recipe for you to try.

Part 1:

1 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup hot water(I run the tap for a minute or so...must not be super hot nor lukewarm)

First blend the sugar and yeast, then add the water, stir with a fork, and let rise. If it does not bubble up and make a mini dome then the yeast is dead, throw it out and start again. Once you mix it and it begins to foam, bubble, and froth start on the next step.

Part 2:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Mix together...wait until the froth bowl of yeast mixture is ready(about 5 minutes!) Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mix. If it is a bit dry add a bit of water. I usually have a cup of hot water by me, and if it is dry I dip my hand in the water as a little bit goes a long way. I then begin the kneading process on the table which I lightly flour. Scary word, kneading, that means take the outer part of the dough and fold to the center and use your heal of your hand to work it. I do this for about 5-8 minutes. Then I lightly grease the bowl that I had the flour mixture in and put the dough in it, cover it and let rise on the window ledge. Once it doubles in size(here in NM sun it takes about 10 minutes), I put the dough on a greased pizza sheet and pad it and stretch it to the edges of the pan.

I then take a fork and poke holes(dock it) so the pizza crust will not rise but stay crust shaped!

Pizza sauce that we make:
1 can tomato sauce
shake of Italian seasoning
onion minced
pinch of cayenne pepper(we live in NM:)

~~spread sauce on crust, add cheese and favorite toppings and YUMMY, it takes about ten minutes to cook.

Once I did this for nearly a year, I realized that making bread did not scare me so much anymore. I ventured into making bread using a 1963 Betty Crocker cookbook. I use the best ever white bread recipe. It is easier than I thought, and like with the pizza dough I have begun experimenting with new ingredients.

Before the farm, I was your typical every day suburbs woman. I would buy Schwan's frozen bread dough to let rise and cook and never made hardly anything from scratch. If I can learn to bake so can any of you in blogland!!!

From the pizza crust recipe, I now make bread sticks, rolls and even a bread that taste like a sourdough bread...

Here is the post I wrote about making pizza.(click here because I have photos of the froth and the not so perfect looking pizza's!) In the link post I even experimented by making hot pocket style pizza's. Please be encouraged to try. We have grown up in a media world where everything must be visually appealing, and therefore we refuse to try because things do not come out perfect. So what! Perfect is for but One, and all the rest of us fall short, so accept that it will be unique in its appearance and have fun!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Computer Bailout?

My laptop (aka my mobile life) has been having some issues and the screen is fading, so Bill tried to call the number that we have for the warranty. Guess what? The company is in Chapter 11, so what to do? Bankruptcy? Bailout?

We have set a very low bar for the bailout monies and we are on a very dangerous slope as EVERYONE is pleading for money.

My advice: Prepare for the worst, expect the best. Times are not rosy and unlike the Great Depression- we as a society are ill prepared. Most of us do not know how to survive without even the basics. Our grandparents knew how to can foods, preserve foods, butcher animals, and grow a simple garden.

One should consider stocking up on foods. As you know, here on the Double Nickel we have a large portion of our food storage free ranging. If this is not a possibility you can stock up on non perishables. Do not go crazy and go to a survivalist style place, instead stock up on foods that you and your family eat, and know how to prepare. I mean if you stock up on 200lbs of flour and have never made a loaf of bread then this is not ideal. In addition to stocking up, I suggest learning to make some items from scratch. This is not being a pessimistic gloomy Gus, as it is a wonderful thing knowing how to bake a loaf of bread, and the result is everyone will love you!

My prayers are that this is just a bump and our economy will recover, but I have come to understand that only so much self destruction is tolerated before the fall. Too many of our citizens have forgotten that the nation has been successful because we have had a spirit of self reliance.

My plans for 2009: To continue to learn as many skills as possible for my family and I too continue on.

Here are five of the six loaves of bread I made today. The sixth never had a chance as it was inhaled by the savages I like to call my family!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Love Being a Mom!

[ This is the post I wrote on January 2, 2008. I think that a year beginning with humor is always fun, so here is something that my son did that still makes me smile. Last year at this time we were finishing cleaning out the house we had rented in town, while jointly setting up on the farm...So here is the post- have a brilliant day!]

January 2, 2008 As I have written we are still slowly in the middle of the move. It has been days of repairing the well, replacing the water heater, cleaning, cleaning, weeding, and taking 2 loads of stuff in the van, each day.

Today was too cold, so we are cleaning the rental. I asked my second son to clean out the fridge. Now I am at a moment where I love...love...love being a mom. Maybe some readers can relate, my son found an onion deep in the back reaches of the neverworld of the land we call the Fridge. This onion was in a bag growing.

Here is what it looked like:
Last year was the year we read only biographies and autobiographies for school. So learning does pay off...because Second laughed and said that this is Einstein!

A few minutes ago Bill and I went in the kitchen and we broke into tons of laughter! Scroll down to see why we laughed

Things like this happen daily at our home. It really is such joy to be a mom to these kids!!! Next time you have onions think of Albert Onion Einstein!