"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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last post of the year...I think

My year in review is pretty simple.

All of my children have graduated from McBenning High.

Oldest son was in Afghanistan and came home safely. I thank God that I was able to see him once again and have him stationed right next door(almost) to the farm.

Second son continued in his training as fireman, and expanded training to included first responder and working on EMT. He can drive all the bright red firetrucks as well as the ambulance. He was on several wildfire crews and looks forward to next summer. I pray for no fires even if it means no work for him...He also begins as a reserve officer in a few weeks.

Third son worked so hard saving for his first vehicle then switched jobs to work in the ER all the while expanding his education thanks to a program offered at the hospital. He loves his job and moved closer to work as the realities of paying for his gas kicked in. He also made me a grandmother for the first time~~kidding, he got a cute puppy he has named Athena. Photos will follow, but keep in mind all American mutt and you already know what she looks like!

Lovely daughter graduated and began a full-time summer job saving as much as she can. She also took a trip back east and met many of my siblings and cousins for the first time. She is taking online courses and dreams of having her own photo studio. I see this coming to fruition as she is very goal oriented.

Bill had major surgery in October and is recovering quite well. He is still able to take the breath away of one short farmer's wife with his smile. With his partner in crime he plans on making the farm more productive in vegetation implementing some dry farming and water preservation skills learned over the years. Only in the mirror can I see the years pass, as when we are together it is as if we are back in 1988.

For me, let's see. My mother died this year. I am without words to how I feel and can only say that His grace is sufficient for me. I am thankful once again to be the mother of my children. It is a delight to see the kids move on to their own lives and seek out their dreams. I am smiling because my dreams led me directly into the life I am living matched up with a man I had only known 2 days. Yes, it has been worth it. I never realized when Bill told me he would give me the world that he meant it. I cannot believe we have lived in so many places and seen so many things. Only thing I wish we could have filmed that we didn't would have been that traffic circle in France with the three boys in the back seat! That makes me laugh aloud every time I think about it. I am thankful every day for my husband, my children, and my simple life on the farm. I would not have changed one day, one hour, one moment that brought us to this point.

My blogging has taken me around the world and I have met many people that I would most likely never have met. Today I want to make sure I thank everyone that reads the Double Nickel Farm and leaves comments here or in the email. We are very thankful and appreciate the support the kind words and prayer sent our way.

May 2012 be a year we all seek Truth, find Hope, and have Peace...all available through Jesus Christ.

Happy New Year from
The Double Nickel Farm!

This is an outtake from December 31, 2009 being shared for the first time~ as it is hard to orchestrate an annual photo and the patience of the natives is often pushed to overload...As a result this is what happens!! From left to right Third, Fourth, First, and Second.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Something to Think About

Farm families take care of their animals 365 days a year...Remove Formatting from selection
In the snow...

After catastrophic flooding *

During sunshiney days...

Have no paid holidays. No sick days... Kind of makes you think the next time you feel tired, under-appreciated and feeling like not getting out of bed.

Now we on the farm chose this life. I wish to make this very clear. I am not complaining... we began this life because we choose not to become a statistic. We opted to learn how to provide for ourselves as much as possible when times got tough for us, and during the first year it was very hard.

Yet,I read something along these lines today and had to share. Life is unique for each of us. And it is important to remember that nothing is free...hard work pays off, and if you want freezers filled and eggs each day, you give up a wee bit of me time.

Stay tuned for the Year End Post~coming soon, as there is but one day left to post it!!

*Flooding damaged much of the farm (except the house)...pens leveled, coops destroyed, pens broken...yet not one animal died.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Before and After Post!

The moment I snapped the photo of the fence post, I knew what project I was doing next on the farm.This plain old post seemingly missing fence wire was exactly what I had been needing even though I had no idea! I loved the television show MASH. I have not seen it in years, so I am not sure if I still do, but I did love the sign post in the center of the camp.

Photo credit Wikipedia
I did not check to see what the sign post looked like and created it from memory, as I have been painting signs for awhile. In fact, every time I find a board I wash it off, haul it inside and paint it. I finally had enough locations and needed a post or pole. I had thought maybe I would have one of my sons put the post in the garden...but my random farm photos gave me the location of the Double Nickel Farm Post!
I have some on the back side too. Oh and yes this is how it usually looks in the winter in southern New Mexico.
My daughter wanted me to give the post an old feel so I tried this. No matter how I change the photo, I confess I love it!

And the answer is yes, I am pretty free with making the farm my own. I am not sure how things are done anymore mainstream as I kind of live eclectically. I have a small error on my mileage on one sign and edited the local city distance so I could keep the farm location between me and the sign.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Simply Life...

So many titles for one person. Of course any title with mom is a pretty great one~

Project 875,321 on the Farm: Here is a before photo of the front hall. I have to add the trim as well as a few minor things, then I will share an after photo.

Dishes await while I post. I made turkey yesterday for dinner as well as for individual freezing packs (ended up with enough for four more meals and leftovers for today in lunch as well as turkey stew). Then I boiled the bones not for broth for us, but for the dog food. This was amazing because I ended up with enough meat and stuff we don't eat for 4 large batches of homemade dog food. As a result, more dishes await...full circle and all!

My three sons.

I call my biscuits Tin Can biscuits, because the best biscuit cutter I found is the tin from tomato sauce can.
The lone post. This post is the part of an old pen that we have not removed. I kind of like how it is alone on the farm. I have a feeling it will find a new purpose!

This photo was edited with the brightness and color augmentation suggestions by Third and Fourth. Ignoring the color and how the butter is whited out, don't you love having breakfast for dinner? The other night we had bacon, scrambled eggs, homemade chunky apples, homemade waffles, and country potatoes~yum!

This concludes what I call Simply Life on the farm for today~ have a lovely day.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Five

Photo 1: Sunset on the Double Nickel!

Photo 2: County road to the front gate of the Double Nickel
someday we will have the Double Nickel over the gates!

Photo 3: A bit of Rummy 500 on the kitchen table.

Photo 4: One of us works for an elite organization-or someone may have had a wee bit of time with an old deck of cards!
Photo 5: Delilah on the porch. I think she wants us to come out and play as yes, once again, we are having snow, oh and for anyone new to the blog, the farm is located on the southern US border in the desert of New Mexico. Really, no joke~

That is my five, but I would like to share about Jesus as many are thinking upon His birth this weekend.
1. We have been given eternal life through Jesus Christ.
2. We have been given comfort through Jesus Christ.
3. We have been given Peace through Jesus Christ.
4. We have been given Grace through Jesus Christ.
5. We have Hope through Jesus Christ.
He is coming again.
May we take one day that we think upon Christ and turn it into 365 days a year, as He is far more than a season, or a wee babe in a manger, He is the Alpha and the Omega(the beginning and the end).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cranbars Made simple: Updated

I made fig bars yesterday. Instead of fig filling I made it with dried cranberries.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup each granulated sugar and firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup wheat flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp each salt and baking soda
Mix butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla stir well, set aside. In separate bowl combine the flours, salt and baking soda. Mix wet and dry ingredients wrap and put in fridge for about an hour.

fruit filling:
1.5 cups dried fruit
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup almonds
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1tsp grated lemon peel
2 tbsp lemon juice

Cut the cranberries into finely chopped pieces and crushed the walnuts and almonds. Then combine all ingredients and put in pan and cook over medium heat. Stir until it becomes thick(5 minutes or so). Let cool completely.

After an hour roll out the cookie dough, and use a ruler to make shapes like the photo, then spoon on the fruit mixture, fold over sides and cut into 4 inch or so cookies, invert and bake at 375 for 6-10 minutes. When cookies are baked cut into 2" cookies.

Updated: And here are the remaining 4 cookies!

Top View!
Side View!

I really cannot express how delicious these cookies are. I am not the biggest fan of sweets, but these cookies could be the life changer!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday evening on the farm

Evening update: Teen girls all delivered to town, and I picked up 20 pounds of potatoes for $2.00 at the local grocery~yay!

The girls made graham cracker houses and chatted until around 2 this afternoon. It was a good deal of fun, but I am a wee bit tired!

Teen village 2011!

Ham the ram in the rain this afternoon. Ham comes to the truck when we return home. I think he believes that this is his farm and he needs to oversee everything that happens.

Oh and the weather outside? Well it is frightful-and definitely not delightful, as it is rainy/snow and far different from my traditional New Mexico day.

Stay warm and snugly or cool and refreshed(depending where you live!)

Red, Brown,White and Before

Red: This is Second with his new rig! He has a Dodge Durango that he now has here on the farm to respond to calls. I have to remind myself that he is only 19~because to those in need whether from an accident, fire, or emergency call he is able to handle a scene and do what is necessary. As I look at Second I smile, because he is only 6 months younger than Bill was when we married!

Brown: Yes it is always a good idea to wash the eggs. I do not think we have any white egg layers left after the bobcat frenzy of a few months ago. Oh and the bobcat-well it is no more. Now we are back to the coyotes, which aren't as stealth and are quite fearful of the dogs.

White: Delilah checking out the abundance on the trailer as our neighbor is packing up his ranch and heading off to Texas...and he kindly offered some supplies to the Double Nickel. Samson and Delilah had to get up on the trailer and take in the smells of the other ranch-as they were a horse ranch and well we do not have horses.

Before: This is a before of one of the feeding troughs we ended up with. I plan on painting it and putting Double Nickel Farm on it with our brand. I will post an after soon. I actually am thinking maybe I will have a mini tour of the farm as well as the house-hope it sounds interesting...The Double Nickel Farm is in the heart of the desert and so to the eastern eye it may appear desolate, dry, and brown~but I promise it captures your everything when you see a sunrise over the mountain and a sunset over the White Sands.

Have a lovely week.

Thank You

from Bill & Jen and family.

4 Teens

Fourth is having a movie night with a few of her friends so we have 4 teen girls at the farm this early morning. The girls went to a late movie and now are planning on doing what they do best~visit, laugh, and probably not sleep at all.

I made up a few snacks: a veggie tray, pretzels, cheese and crackers, soda, and popcorn which I hope holds them over to the morning planned event of making graham cracker houses. It has been an annual tradition for us and sometimes we have others join in so this will be fun.

Oh and in honor of the breakfast for dinner meal we have once a month on the farm~I am making dinner for breakfast for the girls. I am making homemade pizza's~as life is but one slice at a time, and for these young women~I think a slice of pizza for breakfast is the perfect way to start the day.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sometimes reading the labels

is just as interesting as reading the post. Today I am sharing some of the labels I have used in my blogging. I pray you all have a wonderful day...oh and be sure to read the label!

Freddy Krueger has nothing compared to rattlesnakes in my yard

funny how nice weather does wonders for the soul

Germ a phobe Jen

help my laptop has fallen and it cant get up

history will repeat itself if we refuse to learn from history(note repeat history~)

I am amazed at how much i enjoy my life and the simple pleasure of seeing chickens here there and everywhere

I am so thankful that I was the daughter of this woman and that her life has been an example for me to live mine

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me Philippians 4:13

I choose less so I can have more

I have loved sitting around this old table while eating crafting doing school writing baking decorating cookies decorating eggs and enjoying time with each other

I know folks think one s crazy to be concerned about how much is going on but I kind of love being like the bull and have the protection I need to live a simple life out in the meadow

I love driving out west it reminds me of the drive that changed my life nearly 22 years ago when I ended up in a small town in Nevada and met my cutie(now almost 24 years)

I must think of a catchy jungle and the good one is already taken drat

June 24 began the great pumpkin shortage in the summer which has confused growers for years and NOW you all know the rest of the story as to why the pumpkins disappear in June

oh and Mr. Farmer you make my breath catch when I see you looking at me

oh I love snuggle bugging babies THANK YOU Bill for my babies and making me a mom

by the way Bill you and the kids are a daily joy that makes me wonder what I did to be given you somewhere somehow I will always think that, as life is so special with you and the kids

without today in history Double Nickel Farm would not be

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear

I am feeling a bit reflective today. It has almost been two months since Bill's surgery and I think perhaps I am a bit exhausted. I hope to come back to my thoughts but for now, I am thinking of Peter and Paul and robbing one to pay the other, and smiling, as I wonder what happens when neither has any more money to rob? Sigh.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

From December and BEYOND...to loosely quote Buzz Lightyear

It seems like most people in the Western World devote a tremendous amount of time and planning to orchestrate a successful Christmas and New Years Eve/Day. As sad as it is to think about it, many people have not paid off last years presents and yet are hurriedly buying new ones. Oh and the race to be the first to put up decor makes shopping from September to the end of the year bizarre as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, New Years, and of course Valentines Day decorations bombard every one's vision.

As I sit and look to my mountains to the east of my farmI think about December and have some thoughts that are more than what most see it as. December is not about caroling, although caroling is nice because as a caroler I feel as though I can sing-thanks to all those with me! No, December is about visiting those that rarely get another crossing their doorways. It is about making sure our neighbors that are elderly, infirm, or widowed are able to meet their needs. And as I borrowed from Buzz Lightyear, we should take this beyond December. We need to be sure if inclement weather hits, that the folks I mentioned are fine. This is something I have been reflecting this month.

As I look to my mountains which at times make me feel as though I have traveled to Ireland,
I think about all the baking and food planning and preparation that is going on this month. If you have read this blog any at all you know I love baking, and planning meals. But December should also be about the planning of more than for a day or a few dozen cookies. December should take us beyond to the entire year. I know for the average American, food waste is pretty high. In the food production areas waste can be over 10%. In an American home the stat can go up to 15-20% of food purchased is wasted(thrown away). It would be a great thing if we could make menus and shop accordingly to reduce our waste and therefore increase money in the budget-which will result in maybe paying off debt. As we reflect upon the 46 million Americans that are on Food Stamps, it is easy to correlate that 15-20% of money to help them is also being tossed, as the poor are not unlike the middle class or the wealthy, in the US. I do appreciate those that will argue with me on this topic. I am well aware of real poverty, I live in an area that is considered a Colonia and I also see the slums of Juarez weekly if not more. Truth be told though, we Americans are far wealthier than most of the world.

A simple thing to do would be to make a two week menu and plan all the items you need for your menu. Include snacks in this. Then buy according to what you eat. It is very easy to read a magazine or see a blog recipe and rush out and buy things that then sit and rot in your home. What is more realistic is to make foods you and your family eat and set one or two days a month aside for sampling a new recipe. This way you do not have a ton of Indian ingredients and realize that your children cannot stand curry. Another great thing to do, especially if you are a local reader of my blog(wink-wink) is to have a bucket with a lid, such as an ice cream bucket and scrape your food slops in this and donate it to the farm. It makes for a great compost and the chickens love food slops.

As I turn my head slightly to the north east from my front door I see views that take my breath away and I am reminded of the division this month has caused in America. We are between Jesus is the Reason for the season and Happy Holidays, oops and Happy Winter Solstice-Happy Hanukkah, and yes others...it has become the poster board month of holidays. You know why? Because money can be made folks. We sit and harp and moan about what the season is about and forget that it is from December and beyond. Many of the Reason folks accumulate so much debt that it is hard to see that they understand the real reason...and materialism has become the new idol that many of us bow down to, sometimes without realizing it ourselves. The Happy Holiday folks are the peacekeepers without purpose. Yes, I said this-you see like the UN Peacekeepers, the Happy Holiday folks really don't believe in the spirit but enjoy the proceeds of the celebrations. They are ill armed with any factual data and have no problem decorating a tree with beer cans. Nothing against how anyone celebrates the holidays because the truth of the matter is that ALL of us have divided ourselves from the Truth when we join in the battles of the reasons for the season. You see the Truth goes beyond December and literally beyond our scope of understanding. December is not about any of us, but about something far greater...

As I look at the rainbow over my mountains,

I am reminded of a promise that God made to all of us. He placed a bow in the sky to remind us that he would not flood the earth again. This simple reminder should also let us know that God is real and aside from the cutesy ark filled with animals that many collect or play with, the story of Noah's ark is of great sadness as all but 8 died as a result of wickedness of man that was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was of only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

As we go through the month of December please remember that from December and beyond is what the greatest gift is. Instead of giving gifts this year, receive the gift that is freely given, for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

And if you would like a gift from the Double Nickel Farm of a Bible leave me a message with your address and name and we will send you a Bible. I will not publish the comments with requests.

May you have a from December and Beyond month.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Planning My Day

It is always best if you wish to accomplish something to come up with a plan, as it will help you see to the completion of the project. So here is a rough plan for my Tuesday:

First: stay warm and cozy...

At some point can some more kidney beans and perhaps some pinto beans.

Do one or two loads of laundry. As it is rainy/dreary looking outside, I may only do one load and hang it inside.

Have a small serving of Kimchi. I feel like I am coming down with a cold, and eating kimchi makes me feel like my old self (of course my old self is almost half a century old so this isn't too high of a bar to come back to).

Prep some potato soup here as well as dinner. Dinner most likely will be stuffed manicotti.

Check the alarm clock and make sure it is still working smoothly.

Check the park and ride schedule in case I wish to travel. Be sure to chat with all those waiting to park and ride. Perhaps take a bucket of slops to those waiting.

Make sure that the power for the heat is raring to go.

Go to the grocery and pick up...

Some fresh eggs for tomorrow's breakfast.

Read His Holy Word...and be sure to check out the declaration in Psalm 19

Which is revealed each and every day.

So that should about be my Tuesday~What do you have planned?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Small Town America

Parking is available in small towns, pretty much all the time, anywhere.

Family and friends can visit and enjoy a stay reminiscent of the Route 66 days.

Small towns have places that are vintage or retro to city folk, yet are simply places where one can get the best dog, west of the Windy City while enjoying the simple open air dining on one of the main streets in town.

Small towns are to be peeled like an onion as one peels back a layer one uncovers a business that is a front for Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner.

In a small town one can get so comfortable being the other place that the name sticks.

Small towns understand that mom's cooking is something that everyone needs now and then, no matter how old they are.

I have lived in large cities and travel to El Paso, Texas often and realize that each city has neighborhoods that are comparable to small town America so this post is not against city life, but sharing small town America, because this is my window. Having a blog has been a great way to share something that many have only seen in the movies-which we all know is not always truth. So as I shared my small town in this post, I wish to say, I love seeing America and the world through other bloggers and am thankful that I do not have to travel in order to have a window to the world and eyewitness accounts everywhere, anytime.