"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

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Present

I am so thankful for my nation. I love the United States of America and cannot put words together to completely share my gratitude. It has been a costly thankfulness, as my family(like many others) has paid the ultimate price to preserve the freedoms we have enjoyed. Every year I get deeply reflective this season. We have so very much to be thankful, yet quite often we ignore what we have and turn into needy whiners.

Why not change this Thanksgiving? Are you out of work? Have you lost a loved one? Are your worried that the United States as we know it, may be lost forever? Are loved ones stationed far from home and you miss them? Then this is the time to change.

If you are blessed to have plenty of food for Thanksgiving, go over those that you know to see if someone in your circle is as blessed. If not, invite them to dinner. It is amazing when we break bread with others, and you can celebrate what our nation is, and pray for its longevity.

If you have lost a loved one, please- please- please take this time to remember them and be thankful that you had them in your life. We never take the time when we are all together to remember that each day, each moment is a gift. For all of us that have not lost a loved one, read the previous sentence, as each day is precious, love them today, and forgive and forget.

If you have been watching the economy be driven into the tank for something most of us do not desire, then pray for our country. Be thankful that we are {still} allowed to protest and have our voices heard. Be thankful that we have had so much for so long. Oh and ask for forgiveness for not appreciating our freedoms. I know, we all have been flippant on these freedoms, most likely because we assume that they will always be there. Pray for our voices to unite and cease the spending, or next year things may be quite different.

If you have someone stationed far from home be thankful, as they are still in your thoughts. Pray for them. Many times while my husband and I were stationed all over the world we invited single soldiers to our home for Thanksgiving. I will never forget those days, and now I know someone else will be doing the same for my son. We must never forget that families and connections are important and even those who stand in front of us and protect us need to celebrate the holidays that we all hold dear. Pray for these soldiers as they need us more than ever. Pray that our president in all his rush to make a decision(over 80 days now) is for our troops more than against them. Pray that his actions are due to an inexperienced man instead of one who is leaving these soldiers out in the cold, and ignoring the field generals report. Pray for our troops as they have paved the way for us to celebrate so many Thanksgivings under the red, white and blue. And for my soldier, you will be missed again, but oh we love you so much.

We must reprogram how we think, as we have seemingly forgotten how much that we have to be thankful for. I pray that the United States of America never looses her light to the world. I pray that this Thanksgiving is the one that we, as Americans stand tall for the land that has given us so much. I pray that we are not too late.

And here is the Double Nickel Farm Menu for Thanksgiving(I wish my table was huge and bloggers all over could be here with us)
mashed potatoes
vegetable tray
olive and pickle tray
deviled eggs
cranberry sauce
savory sweet potatoes
pumpkin pie
apple pie

Happy Thanksgiving from the Double Nickel Farm Family
Bill Jen
and kidsThe kids just before oldest went into Army(Oct. 2008) White Sands, New Mexico

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Past- Enough

I find myself deep in reflection this Thanksgiving season. We have had so much to be thankful for as a nation. I wonder have we forgotten the trials and tribulations that have made us so great? I see our nation on a slope that appears to consume us. Sadly, I believe that so many of us have gotten so cozy in our lives that we look only at the sores and blemishes in our nation instead of the good. We have so much time on our hands that we nit-pick on every little thing that is wrong.

It is shocking to hear Americans apologize to other nations- nations that we have been allies with, about things we perceive as wrongdoings.

It is shocking to hear that our president and his wife have been ashamed to be Americans. When the rest of us all graduate from Ivy Leagues Schools we will be *smart* enough to understand this shame.

It is shocking to hear Hollywood folks(and the MSM-which I consider theatrical) call Americans who stand and voice their opinions- as teabaggers.

It is shocking to see our elected officials acting as whores.

It is shocking to see that our nation, that has been and still is a beacon to millions, crumbling because an internal squabble has been aired worldwide.

We are an intimate family and know all the ins and outs of everyone and everything. We also have allowed our government to go unchecked on ridiculous spending which allow community organizing to hold us hostage. When a spoiled child misbehaves what do you do? You spank him and put him in the corner. No more political correctness. Time to stop these spoiled children taking over our nation. We need to recapture our government by voting out EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF CONGRESS.

Then we need to stop watching HOLLYWOOD HATEMONGERS. If they want my money...then show a little bit of respect. Because you are soft from the fat of Americans wanting entertainment you perceive that you must be so great that we wish to hear your political thoughts. How insane is that? We pay you to lie to us, how on earth would you think that we would believe ANYTHING that you have to say?

Oh and by the way, we need to REMOVE those in our educational systems that teach an ideology that would be better fit in The(former) Soviet Union than here.

And Christmas- IT IS BACK. You see we need to stop this squabble, and put the whiny children at the children's table. You all know what I mean. When we were children, during the Thanksgiving dinner we sat off with a bunch of other snot nosed kids away from the adults. Let us send these spoiled children off. This is better than what we should do. We should buy them tickets to their favorite nation- CUBA(but this is a reality that I couldn't even wish on them).

And so I can close with some thankfulness, below is a picture of a Thanksgiving past of the Double Nickel Farm Family. I am thankful for my nation, that has provided me with so much. I am thankful for my family that I hold so dear. I am most thankful that in my country I am able to profess praise to God and not be imprisoned or killed.

Thank You Deby!

Thank you Deby for the Link! I am happy to see that others see the writing on the wall with television.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

But as the Days...

The times we live in have been rapidly changing.

When I was a girl bra commercials were new, and the woman(older and well not too attractive) wore a turtleneck shirt under the bra. This was scandalous, but the people tolerated this commercial and now we have commercials that are about increasing sexual feelings, skimpily dressed people advertising everything from cars to vacation destinations.

You see we slowly have been cooking and did not realize that we were even in a pot. This works for frogs, and is working well for us.

How is it acceptable that we have allowed sexual enhancement commercials into our homes? How is it acceptable that we have allowed commercials that increase a woman's "moment?"

Are we too afraid?

Did you pause for a moment and think that I am pathetic?

Children watch TV.

We have allowed those who could care a less about anything but $$$ enter our homes and break down our morals.

Commercials enter our home with soft-porn, sexual disease, alcohol glamorization, the need for men to enlarge themselves, the need for men to "be ready" when the moment is right and with actors and actresses willing to wear as little clothing as possible to be employed.

Oh commercials are what the inner city drug dealer has- a corner on a specific market. We are the addicts- we don't slink over to the dealer, but relax in our home, all the while allowing poison to enter our homes, just for the "fix" of people lying to us(translation- actors and actresses- acting). We are addicted because Hollywood has perfected lying so well- that we believe it.

The times we are living in have been rapidly changing.

We have tolerated the undressing of our society in ever level of life. Women wear shirts that are see through, to high, revealing, or unbuttoned to the navel. No one complained, because- hey she is allowed to wear what she wants. Plus no one wants to be a prude and mention that it makes them uncomfortable to see a woman's breasts- daily, everywhere- old breasts, young breasts, makes no mind to the one who is sharing with us a portion of her birthday suit.

Are we afraid to conceal parts of the body?

Children are exposed to all this-sexual awareness for ones that are not physically mature yet. Why then is this okay? Are we prepping children to be open and more free with their sexuality?

Are we really okay with this?

You see the now next step has happened...and because we have slowly been cooking(or should I say lowering our standards). We have accepted every step of the way, and for fear of being perceived as a goody-goody. We looked the other way at first, then were a bit nervous when exposed to the reductions of our morals...and soon we had forgotten why we were bothered.

Aren't we so progressive as a society? Vegas may be first but this is coming to every city:
It's akin to a small U-Haul truck but with Plexiglas surrounding the brightly lit cargo area instead of walls. In the middle is a gleaming stripper pole. Swinging around the pole is a scantily clad young woman. Two of her fellow strippers are in the back of the truck too, awaiting their turns.

Mobile Strip Clubs. Wow- aren't we so grown up? No longer are children and teens left clueless as to what occurs in a strip club.

For the past 60 plus years our schools have been telling us that we evolved from animals. As I live on a farm I will tell you what has happened. We as a society have gotten the message loud and clear. We rut everywhere, not because of a connection to the other person, but because we are equipped to engage in sex. This is how our buck behaves(male goat). He sees the doe(female goat) and rushes over and mounts her. This is how our roosters act. He sees a hen and rushes over and mounts her. Neither the goat or the rooster hangs around, but rushes off to the next "session."

Matthew 24: 37(KJV)But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

39And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

40Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

41Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

42Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

43But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

44Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

45Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

46Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

47Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

48But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;

49And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

50The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

51And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

(This is how the days of Noah were-Genesis 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't Laugh

When I parked the other day on a trip to town I looked down to the drink holder and this is what I saw:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Prudent Storage

Top items sold in American grocery stores:
  1. Carbonated Beverages
  2. Milk
  3. Fresh Bread and Rolls
  4. Beer/ Ale/ Hard Cider
  5. Salty Snacks
  6. Cheese
  7. Frozen Dinners
  8. Cold Cereal
  9. Wine
  10. Cigarettes
(source) Items in red are items I buy monthly. I do not buy these each grocery visit.

Why is this list bad?

What does this list tell us?

What do you think will happen if the economy tanks?

After seeing this list I realize that we are a society that spends billions of dollars on items that are luxury items. No problem there, but our economic health defies this list above. We are not spending wisely and as the economy continues to nosedive, those people who are not buying "real foods" will suffer immensely. I should note, that based on this list, I believe that most people will suffer far worse than those who lived through the Depression, as times during the Depression were much different. The people who lived through the Depression lived a more agrarian life and for the most part knew how to can, put foods buy, and garden.

One stat I read recently although I cannot locate it, is that only 3% of Americans have a garden that has enough food left to be canned or "put up."

I am not a pessimist, so keep that in mind as I write this: no matter what is reflected in the stock market, we are in a dangerous position as a nation. You can change things for your family- by changing what you buy at the grocery store, and stop frivolous spending. Do not cave this holiday season. Make a list of what you bought last year...and look around the house and see if it is still in use today. Then write a lovely note to the person that received that gift as to how happy the item worked for them(if still in use). If it is not in use, write a lovely note as to why you love/appreciate that person and DO NOT spend anymore money on "stuff."

If you have not been affected by this downturn in the economy, and feel that you have money to spend- think about this-
  • is your home paid off?
  • is your vehicle paid off?
  • are your credit cards paid off?
  • do you have any debt?
if you have any of these debts then I suggest you DO NOT spend any money on "stuff" but pay off your debts.

Here is the Double Nickel Farm top ten chart

  1. limes, lemons, oranges, bananas
  2. onions, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, avocados
  3. canned vegetables (canned in water with only salt)
  4. canned fruits(canned in pear juice or its own juice)
  5. dried pinto beans, lentils, honey, peanut butter
  6. tomatoes(canned and fresh)
  7. butter(real) milk cheese
  8. wheat flour, flour, brown sugar
  9. pasta(spaghetti noodles, elbow noodles, egg noodles, ramen noodles)
  10. ice cream,
I listed multiple items in the ranking as they tie or are the same type of item. Don't forget that the farm provides its own meat, eggs, and some items from the garden, as well as items from the local orchard that I have canned.

This is just a post to make you think. Please do not think my life or my choices are the best for you. I am just hoping that the first list is an eye opener for everyone. If you can't get to the store because of a blizzard, will you be craving cigarettes, but still able to eat? Or will you have ample cigarettes, half a bag of pretzels, three microwave tv dinners, some wine, three cans of mountain dew, half a box of Lucky Charms, two dinner rolls, half a loaf of Sara Lee white bread, and 1/2 a gallon of milk that expires tomorrow? The first list is worrisome as these items I mentioned above will last for a small amount of time. Last winter Kentucky suffered ice storms that resulted of long power outages, and no way to go out based on the black ice and extreme dangerous conditions.

Please put some foods by to hold you over for at least one week. I strongly urge more than that, but one weeks worth of food could be a good start.

For a family of 4 based on food storage calculator(figures below reflect one week of the one year storage on link)

4 pounds of rice
2 pounds of flour
2 pounds of oatmeal
2 pounds of pasta
2 pounds of cornmeal
1/4 pound of honey
3.5 pounds of sugar
1/4 pound of brown sugar
1/4 pound of jams
1/3 pound shortening
1 pint of vegetable oil
1 small jar of mayonnaise
1/4 pound of peanut butter
5 pounds of legumes(dried beans-lentils-split peas)
5 pounds of dried milk
20 cans of fruit
20 cans of veggies
canned chicken
meats frozen
pudding, cookies, cake mixes(snacks during stressful times make a huge difference)
good to always have on hand some fresh foods, frozen loaf or two of bread, tomato sauce, cream soups such as cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of chicken, pickles and spices.

It is always best to have too much food on hand then not enough! In your food storage area keep a menu or recipe file on how to make bread, rolls, tortillas, soups, or casseroles from scratch.

Have a great day, and remember to add to your storage today.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pallet Projects Photographs

Two days- almost two pens completed.

Here is the first pen we built(mostly Fourth and Bill) I helped but was amazed at my 14 year old daughter and her work ethic.

Momentary pause for curiosity to take place.

The gate made with a pallet and pin hook cut from a piece of rebar. So the pin will not drop it is attached by baling wire.

Close up

Quatro and the back of Ruth

Second pen is two parts. The white pole to the left can close off the back section for a birthing pen. We need to complete the trough and shelter for the front pen, close off the back side of the shelter and we will be finished.

This is Martha... she has always been difficult to photograph.

The cat must know what is going on...this is not Zane Gray, but Jericho-he is our oldest son's cat.(that most likely will always live with us!)

So that is an update on the pallet pens- total cost-$4.00 for the hinges. Everything else is salvaged. We still have a bit to do on the double pen as I said. Tomorrow weather permitting we will build one more pen. As you can see from the pictures we are overcast(although in the low 70's today- and there is a ten percent chance of rain tomorrow--so we most likely will have rain:) We also will cut all the poles to the same height when we have all six new pens complete.

So that was our week, how has yours been?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pallet Projects

We have been busy building fences and pens in a different area on the property. This is the building of the cow pen that we made in June. Note the tree pole post:

Pallets are free in most communities...they are usually found by asking at lumber yards stores and even building projects.

Here is the back side of the pen
We have planned to move the pens and make the entire back side of our pens pallets and so we can reserve the wire fences for the fronts(where we can see in). The look is a bit rustic, but is cost effective.

The flooding we had this past summer made us realize that we needed to raise coops and barns up about 20" to compensate if we have flooding again. No need to think that we will never have the problems again.

We planned on having this week to do the work utilizing the teens, but one is sick and one is working for a local business, so it is Bill, Fourth, and I ---pace is slower~

I know that many consider nonconformist buildings and construction problems as eyesores...

We are not building a fence to surround our property, nor are we painting the fence in such a fashion. We also are making the fence more solid by using the poles...yet I find this fence makes me smile. You see we are constantly reminded how to be ourselves, be unique and different, but when one does they are frowned upon. So many of us conform, and have the perfect lawn that we won't walk on- less we ruin it's perfection. We all dress pretty much alike as to not draw attention to ourselves, we color our hair so no one will *know*(wink-wink) that we are aging, and we work diligently with keeping up with the Jones'.

I say step out of conformity.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Thanks

I love this country. When I see the flag flapping in the wind I still get emotional. Each day that the flag continues to fly over my home I am reminded of those who have made that possible.

To all the veterans of the United States Armed Forces~ thank you.

The Double Nickel Farm is proud that three generations of our family have served or are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. It truly is the least that a family can do for a land that has given us so much. I say this as the daughter, wife, sister, and mother of the most incredible men that one could ever know.

p.s Son we love you so much

Monday, November 9, 2009

Snake Chronicles Part 2(warning dead snake pics)


Nine days after the horrific SNAKE chronicles- we had yet another rattlesnake. This one was not in the front(20 feet from front door), but up against the side of the house.


I know that my friend in NY has different feelings for snakes, and I try very hard to see the critter from his eyes, but I can't. I am still weirded out. In all my years of living in the southwest, I haven't seen as many rattlesnakes as I have this season. This one awaits the science lab jar too. It is too great of a risk to allow it to breed.

The most recent article I read on line about rattlesnake bites was a woman who was getting hay to feed her horses and a snake bit her. My mind is swirling thinking of a snake in the hay. Fourth fed the animals tonight-to include taking hay to the sheep and goats. Oh the dreams I will have because of the critters that slither in the southwest.

I still love New Mexico and would not live anywhere else in the world, but why oh why do rattlesnakes have to live here?

November Tips

November is such a good time to stock up on food storage as there are so many sales for the holidays. I recommend that all readers take a serious effort to have a pantry stocked so so that you have a few months of storage.

Do not overlook foods that may require a bit of effort on your side. Oranges are on sale here in New Mexico-ten for $1.00! I am going to slice many into rings and dry and store in mason jars. Usually sweet potatoes end up selling for 25 -45 cents a pound. This is the time to buy and then can them. Canned pumpkin goes on sale too and you can make pumpkin soup which is so yummy. In addition to the soup you can make cookies, bread, rolls and of course my favorite pie. Turkey in my local store is 48cents a pound. This is a great bargain because you can make so many meals from a turkey. Can the shredded turkey(or freeze) for soups, casseroles, burritos, enchiladas and pot pies. The bones can be used to make turkey stock for soups or to use to sip when ill. Olives drop down to 30 cents a can, can sugar ends up under a dollar...and so much more.

I think we all understand that the dollar is weakening under the sheer weight of massive overspending, which makes our future look very dim. Preparing now will ensure comforts when times get tough.

Please take the time to add some items to your pantry this month.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Zane Gray

My little Zane Gray in a dog pile with the rest of the kittens.

Zane Gray cute as a button.

Zane Gray all grown up...still cute as a button(he is peeking at me in the window)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Things in the Apple Barn

Amazing paintings~ the owners wife is so talented!
Click on the picture to enjoy the paintings

Simple kitty cat! Scroll down to *see* him again!

Kitty with Coyote(not so Wiley?!) the owner shot both on his property.

The beginning of the sorting machine. We would fill the trough that would carry the apples up this

This is what I called the polisher-as it polished the apples after coming up the ramp.

Then the apples would roll down here and spin through the sorter...sized small, medium, large, extra large and teeny ones.

This was next as the apples would spin to the correct size ramp...all that was left was for us to inspect on last time place in the box, weigh and place on a pallet!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sometimes I Dream Apples

Yep, I do. I dream about Cameo's(a type of apple I had never heard of) red delicious, gala, Fuji and golden delicious. I have never eaten so many different types of apples all in one day(perk of packing apples!)

The yellow ones are still my favorites. Today we packed 1800 pounds of the yellow. I lost count of how many apples the kids and I have packed. In today's lingo I will guess Trillions!

The orchard that we worked at is a small family run business and so ingenuity was the most important thing. Where one could save money without compromising the product it was done...such as recycling banana boxes to pack the apples in to---

When we began the boxes behind Third were so many...more than in the picture. We had several refills of boxes, and even had to make boxes with a pretty neat(but old stapler for boxes). On average we emptied 4 bins in two hours- carefully so not to bruise the apples. We worked three days a week, two hours a day for several weeks!

Each bin has 900 pounds of apples. We sorted by hand or packed the apples on a machine that sized the apples. I believe that the three teens and I did 90% of the work this year. For that I am proud, tired, and dream apples. I cannot say that I will be sad to not pack apples anymore, as it was hard work. But it was wonderful at the same time and I had such fun with the kids!

Tonight I hope to dream of a little party tomorrow night. One where the kids and Bill and I celebrate a wonderful harvest season. I think I will serve apple chutney, applesauce, apple butter, dried apples and apple pie- boy maybe I don't just dream apples, but live them too!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday School (warning-graphic gross)

The neat thing about homeschooling is that everyday can and usually contains an amazing lesson! Today's lesson included caution as we do live in the southwest which is home to the rattlesnake. Now we come across snakes on the property often but today we had to kill the snake as it was next to the van poised to strike- as our kittens were~curious.
Head missing

The rattling was the loudest I had ever heard from a rattlesnake. Bill and the boys grabbed two shovels and Fourth ran to get cat food and shake the cup as that is the dinner bell for the kitties! Two kittens could not contain themselves and were under the van so Bill and Second killed the rattlesnake that was just under the passenger side of the van.

The snake was so thick that I suggested we cut it open to see the rat or mouse that I was sure it had inside. We did not discover any rodents, but did discover many eggs-snake eggs. So we then popped open an egg to see if we could see the little one...but they were not that developed yet.

As life is on the farm, we tossed the remains to the chickens for the infamous snake football that they play whenever they get a snake. Chickens love snake!!

Now to be clear here I am no snake fan. In fact, I absolutely dislike snakes. I am glad that this snake and all her eggs are not here anymore, especially so close to my garden and my house. The risk of a rattlesnake to the animals is there and so is the possibility of a snake stealing chicken eggs. I cannot think about a snake striking anyone of us, and often I say "Watch for snakes."

By the way, I do have the rattle to add to the bizarre section of our homeschool science museum. How was your Sunday? Did you have any interesting lessons where you are?