"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, March 30, 2011

Life Of A Frugal Farm Wife

Here is a window to how my life is at the most basic level as a frugal farm wife. This is a sneak peak into frugality so beware as it is contagious (or maybe certifiable)!

My afternoon began as I planned dinner. So I went to the pantry and took out the gallon can of whole peeled tomatoes which cost me around two dollars at the local mega club.
Nice lovely tomatoes, what shall I make today?

First I will peel the label off as the label has several uses. One is as fire starter for the woodstove on a winter morn, but I am working on another decoupage project so I will store it with the other labels until I have enough.
This is a previous project that I did. This is my kitchen pantry. It took about 18 months to save enough labels to decoupage it from floor to ceiling.

Next is the lid. This is a large lid and I save this for odds and ends projects around the farm. It is good for many things. Pictured with the label is the actual # 10 can that the tomatoes came in. Now these are pretty amazing once emptied and cleaned out. You can store anything in these cans and the lids for the #10 cans can be purchased for .25 each here.

Now to the contents. All of the juice in the can are drained and put in a soup pot for a bean rice soup.

Here is the rice which I precooked in the juice, then added some kidney beans.

I had this much of the soup leftover after dinner.

Now to the tomatoes. I usually make an icecream container of salsa. For tonight I stored them in the pickle jar, and will make salsa tomorrow.

Here is a photo from December salsa. We use salsa like many use ketchup. A gallon last about a week unless my oldest is home, then I need to make two gallons a week.

One gallon can of whole peeled tomatoes is much more than food for a frugal farm wife. It provides juice for soup, tomatoes for salsa, labels for a project, and can for storage. When one can really see what is provided in a simple can of food one appreciates that being frugal maximizes a dollar, lessens waste, and increases creativity in craftiness as well as in cooking.

And as you ponder whether I am certifiable or not in my frugality, ponder this~ I evaluate every single item that comes to the farm this way! Every single item!


Slowing Down

If you have followed my blog(s) for any length of time you know that we moved to New Mexico, and then bought a piece of desert to create a farm so we could continue to live as we had prior to the accident. New Mexico's cost of living is very low, in fact, I would venture to say that many of the residents are quite poor, based on the data of how many receive food stamps. (source)

When we moved here, we did not have any direction except one that I now see as more of a worldly direction-everyone else is on that band wagon program-which was that college tuition was very reasonable. With four children I wanted them to have that opportunity if they so desired, and I wanted to be like all parents and help out if we could.

After a bit, and thanks to the blog world we honed in on a lifestyle of self sufficiency of sorts. No, we did not plan on doing everything, but we did plan on making do, and making sure we had what we needed in the way of food, shelter, and clothing. On a Sunday drive Bill and I stumbled upon this out of the way house on a few acres, that looked so poor and run down that I knew we might just be able to afford it! The pleasant surprise was that it faced the most amazing mountain view I could ever describe. After a bit we were moved into our new home that we named Double Nickel Farm-because once we bought the farm we didn't have two nickels to rub together. Oh and it was not a farm, especially as those in the east envision a farm, but it was a start.

We began to tear out Mesquite and scrub desert plants outside and on the house slowly began to gut it...and we continue to this day doing both as we live on this crazy thought process of low cost -no cost. Everything is salvaged, thrifted, second hand found, or bartered for, even the animals(aside from the chickens). We slowly began to see a life of hard work but much in return.

Eggs became so numerous that we found a small source of income. And goats provided milk, sheep-meat and wool, and it all has come full circle. I have gardens and vast garden plans with water bath canners, pressure canners, and solar dehydrators to preserve the harvest. I have beef, pork and elk in my freezers, and could go every day with a choice cut of meat for nearly a year, and I am humbled.

I am humbled because in this nation we assess life and quality of life on a monetary scale, and miss out on the reality of what life can truly be. I see how much meat costs in the grocery and to be honest in our past life did not purchase a lot of meat because it was pricey for our family then, although we did have meat every dinner. Now our freezers are filled with meat that breaks down to about 1 dollar a pound for the beef, and 2 dollars a pound for the pork. We learned much with our pig, and next time will stock up more to reduce costs, as we bought slops(rotten produce from grocery) at minimal costs. I will this time start buying and freeze as the piggly wiggly ate and ate and ate. Back to the point. If I had realized how inexpensive it would be to raise my own animals, I think I would have done so years ago.

The success ladder lifestyle that we lived before tickled our pride and vanity, but did not really challenge us, which is what this ladder is all about. I make my point by the degree one receives. Our elite ladder climbers look down upon anyone that does not have that piece of paper from the right university...not whether the person is honorable, intelligent, or of noble character, but where on earth they went to school. When one gets on that ladder, home becomes a leaping place, that one hits and sleeps in after being gone 12-15 hours or more a day. Family and time with our family is discussed in psychologically warm terms such as quality time vs quantity time. Yep, these all were things I rationalized before Bill's accident.

The simple life that we live here in New Mexico was at a huge expense. It cost us our pride and tons of sweatequity, and in return we have become a farm family that provides for our own, that has raised children that are willing to serve~thus far the oldest two are doing just that. This price we have paid for to have peace and contentment was so hard to obtain that we nearly missed out on it, as it takes more than money to have. As I look at my mountains today I am thinking about the years it has taken to wind up here on the path of simplicity, and smile.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Indiana Jen's Adventure in Motherhood

I am reminded of when I used to have theme's for my kids rooms. Winnie the Pooh, Dinosaurs, America, Cars, Trains, Zoo life, flowery lovely things, and the likes. I would hand make decor and sew matching curtains, bedding and throws. The storage in the closet would match as I would decoupage boxes to follow the theme. I loved those days and loved how the house would feel. I never fast forwarded to the period of time post little child yet prior to adult...NeVeR*.

Now I am shooting for the theme of I can see the floor-or better yet Jimmy Hoffa's remains are not here. Sometimes I consider conducting an archaeological dig to see what I unearth. Today I am overwhelmed by a mountain of laundry and have decided that I will not burst any young mother's happy go lucky peace, as her infant coos in his Noah's Ark bedroom. I will not tell her that there will be a time in the not so far future where you cannot find one of the soup bowls and you work up the courage to cross into no mans land-and find a moldy, icky bowl that had something that resembled something last served at Thanksgiving!

I will not tell her that the mattress will be elevated by laundry tucked to the side, the front and even in the pillow case. I refuse to share the newsflash that toes will be dinged by ten, twenty and thirty pound weights. Movie tickets will clutter the desk top, books will fill in the space under the bed until space under the bed does not exist. Phone chargers, batteries, nail clippers, deodorant, unmatched socks and a remote to a television no longer owned litter the edges of the room, and the curtain rod that once adorned the window with homemade curtains is tossed to the side, while a sheet will be the new window dressing.

Swords, BB's, a workout mat, and military BDU's are part of the "dig." I will not tell her how many words she most likely will mutter as she stands outside the door considering heading in..I will not tell her that she will hit a point of no return and will go in or at least go in and die trying to clean the room. I will not tell a young naive mother that while muttering these words and wondering where the Lego's, cars, and blocks went, she will also choke back a sob, as she knows time is ever so near, for her precious wee one, that seems to have aged overnight, will fly the coop and go off on his own.

Nope, I will keep this to myself as I wipe my tears and head back in!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Break 2011

The most incredible thing about Spring Break seems to be the inability of the chicks to not act in bold or rash ways.

I mean it seems like things that have never been done before will happen on Spring Break. I had to go to campus yesterday to take care of some things and because it was Spring Break was able to park at the library and not have to walk very far.

I took care of what I needed to (about 10 minutes) and headed back to the truck, and I caught a glimpse of a roadrunner, very close to me! I have never seen one so close, and thought, wait a minute...that isn't a roadrunner, it is Blue-one of our best broody hens!!

There I was, on campus, a good distance from home, and a chicken not only came to town with me, but must have had an incredible ride to town as it was so windy yesterday. I tried to catch her, and had some crackers in a plastic container-since I had babysat last weekend but she was a bit skittish. I had to call my Bill. He was driving in town somewhere and he told me he nearly ran a red light because of me telling him to come help, I am trying to catch one of our hens, at the library! Blue was very quick, but with Bill herding her to me and the corner of a wall, I was able to grab her, and the story is not over. I had nothing to put her in and Bill saw my purse. So I dumped the contents out, he put my truck garbage bag (grocery sack) in the bottom of the purse and put her in and zipped it up~yes, in my purse, a chicken.

As the purse is suede and I did give Blue water as I was worried about her, I may have some issues with my purse, but for the readers, I know you need a visual-Campus may never again have such activity during Spring Break, as the Double Nickel Farm family will forever check the back of the truck for wayward or party chicks, hoping to catch a ride to the big city and the chance to paint the town red, no strike that, Blue!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Unload the Patches

Funny how life is, one day we we're all shiny and new and the next day we walk with a limp and see only gray hair. As I sat to once again mend this pair of work pants for my youngest son, I had some thoughts.

We seem to enjoy patching up our troubles and worries alone. We know that Christ died for us and will carry our burdens, yet we rationalize things all the times. Perhaps we think that the sin or burden or worry is nothing, no biggie, not anything to ask our Saviour to cover.

Take a good look at the photo again, because this is how we carry all the burdens. A patch here, another there and the seams won't line up anymore. A five minute hand fix one day, and another machine fix the next. No matter what, the patches we do(sin) not only look like the pants, but cause us to carry our shoulders a tad lower and to reduce eye contact. Satan wishes for us to carry our burdens. If I could suggest that he would have joy or that he could have joy, I think it would be when we believe that we can carry the load alone.

Once again I had a life lesson in my simple life of being a wife and a mother...don't forget to unload the 'patches'

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11: 28-30

*This is a post I wrote on 9/6/08

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's Not The Loch Ness

but was almost as elusive to photograph!

Yes, the little ruggle rat is spending time with the Farm Family...as his momma had his baby brother at 4:08 am! Bill and I drove into town to pick him up and he has been enjoying farm life!

Toys, diapers, and all around chaos woohoo!

Welcome Gavin to proud parents Gabe and Devina!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Six Things

*This morning as I was reading Hosea I made a few index card notes. Not of scripture verses. When I looked at these notes I realized that I had the basics of a marriage reboot session. So here are my notes which are both in question and statement form. Ponder your relationship with your spouse for each question/statement.

1) Do you know him?
2)Do you love him?
3)Do not be ungrateful to him.
4) Do not fail to recognize him.
5) Do not be unfaithful to him.
6) Do not forget him.

Part I
Now my thoughts on our spouses:
1) Do you know him? This is a very important question. I mean this quiet seriously. Do you know him in every area? Have you tried to get to know your spouse. Dating didn't end when you married. This is a daily thing. And this is not just about the trivial things either. This is about how your spouse feels about God, love, life, children, and even how he sees you...truly(not how you see yourself)

2)Do you love him? I mean deep down, heart stops for a moment when you think of the moment that you will have to part(as one dies).

3)Do not be ungrateful to him. Are you purposeful spiteful, when he seems to have more down time, or because he is not home when you have to address issues with the children? Do you go out of your way to make sure he understands how much you appreciate the fact that you have food, shelter, clothing, and love? Make sure that you implement the very same things you did when you dated, romantic notes, hugs for no reason, and hold his hand. This is very important.

4) Do not fail to recognize him. Are you sometimes so busy with the children or home that you forget his importance when he arrives home? Do you make decisions then seek his advice? Always place your spouse in the role of senior adviser. They are your spouse. You selected him, and he therefore is who you lean on in every situation, not a girlfriend, nor your blog, or your parents, but him. Trust in him, make him the one you all stand and greet when he arrives home.

5) Do not be unfaithful to him. Now this is one that most of us will say, well I am not unfaithful. Friends we are unfaithful when we share all our troubles, fights and woes with the outside before we give him a chance to work it out with us. We are unfaithful to him, when we fail to recognize that he needs more than a hug, he needs intimacy. He needs you to believe that he is the greatest human to live. He is the most handsome, the most noble, and the most brave. When you slip in comments about another man about his characteristics, then you are inadvertently being unfaithful to your husband. Now I am not saying that when I see a young man acting heroically that I cannot point this out. I am saying that when you point out others and what they have, you are offhandedly telling your love that he cannot do this for you. Give him a chance to be the Noble man and he will not fail you, not when you are there behind him supporting him and cheering him on.

6) Do not forget him. This is so sad. We get so consumed with our life and the busy things ongoing that we forget the very person we love so dearly. The world will not cease if you miss one meeting, or an activity. But if you continue to seek the outside the very inside(your home will suffer). Let him know that he is first in your life. Make sure that you take care of his clothes so that he goes to world, clean and pressed. Serve meals that he loves(you can have your favorites for lunch), and make 2-3 special desserts a week. Now for health reasons, maybe you make something that is a treat to him. Write a short note and place it in his wallet for him to find. Let him know that sometime during the day, you thought of him. Not only call him, but create a haven for him to know that if you are with him that you are going to be just fine.We get so consumed with *rights* and I am somebody, that we forget that being a wife is a God given design(husband too). We are no less because we stay home. We are important in the role of being a wife. Now some of you have to work or worked during the younger years, and I am not saying that that was incorrect. What I am saying is that marriage is covenant given by God. We must never minimize it, nor 'worldize' the sacredness of the union. Please take a moment and try out some of these methods(kudos if you are on this track). Even if your spouse does not reciprocate, he will notice. It may take time to change attitudes, but he will then start placing you, his wife on a higher plane.

Part II
Even though I realized that this was a great marriage lesson the real reason I took the notes was because I was thinking of God and where we are with Him.

1) Do you know Him? Meaning have you received Him as your Saviour? You cannot begin relationship unless you actually take the gift He freely gave. He died on the cross for your sins. Once you know Him, then the rest can fall in place...

2)Do you love Him? This is a big one. I mean do you love Him? Really truly? Well as best as you can as being man. Remember the love you have for your spouse, doesn't the Saviour deserve this and more?

3)Do not be ungrateful to Him. Wow, each and every day we are ungrateful to Him. We ignore His word, His sacrifice for the world. To remedy this, make time to read His word, to pray to Him, and to live by the pattern He set up in His book.

4) Do not fail to recognize Him. Another big one. This is not in what we do, as no works can achieve this. This is by admitting how much we cannot do anything without Him. I mean the money the home, the clothing, the food, the breath you take is because of Him. Do not for one moment think that you have something because of your doing. Give God the glory.

5) Do not be unfaithful to Him. Well the television in the United States is pulling so many away from our Lord and Saviour. The TV is placed in the family room...not God. We strive to emulate what we see on TV(like it or not we do) and we allow this to become unfaithful to the Lord. Our barriers are broken down, and we hear language that is foul, and the immorality and we do not shut it off. We are unfaithful to Him by the way we strive to accumulate, thereby implying that it is the here and now that maintain your focus. We are unfaithful to Him in another sense too. Sometimes we portray ourselves as the perfect ones obedient to the core. This really shows our unfaithfulness. You see when one is to get right with God it is always portrayed by wearing sackcloth and ashes. So being faithful and dressing and living a modest life is faithful until you allow this to be YOUR stumbling block. And friends none of are immune to feeling as though we are the only correct ones on the planet. Remember this...Jesus Christ church is not only full of Methodist, not Lutherans, not Baptist or an Independent, but it is filled with believers, who have received His gift.

6) Do not forget Him. How much time do you devote to personal grooming? To television, to your family? To your hobby? To your job? How much time to you devote to Him? 30 minutes in the morning? 20 minutes? 10 minutes? 5 minutes???Well now you can see why I wrote these 6 things down? I really came to the conclusion that I have so much to do. I need to be in His word, I need to be praying and fasting. I really was amazed at how easy it was for me to think of things for my spouse and then ashamed to be lacking in what I have for the Lord. I pray that this helps you.

* I originally posted this February 22, 2008*

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Simple Day

Val the six toed cat(on her front paws) reclining at her day job, which is guarding my bed.

Whistle near a tom and he will gobble! It is pretty amazing!

Played Clue with the teens today. I lost both games!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Think Green!
I went through some photos of the kids to add some green to this St. Patty's Day post!

Second thinking green a quarter of the time

Second with Third thinking, let's see...green?

Fourth at the local bouncy place with some green...

And what about my first born? Will I find any green? Well he tried to help me out...but it is Fort Drum, NY after all

Yep, way down here under the snow, First is thinking green!

Happy St. Patrick's Day
from The O'Double Nickel Farm

My sister has a new name


I shamelessly stole this photo from Facebook

Did You Ever Realize

what another thinks of you, and what they think is wrong/right, and yet it really is shocking? I have been pondering some things since going back east that made me realize how very different I am, and how little some folks seem to think of me.

Why should I write about it? I mean life is exactly this, some will like us, others won't and so we go on and not sweat about opinions. But I have been thinking about the topic so here goes.

Here I am in a nutshell:
I believe in a Creator that created all things in six literal days and then rested on the seventh day.
I believe that Jesus Christ is God the Son and through Him we can have eternal life.

I believe that marriage is an institution established by God. I believe that every effort possible should be made to ensure its survival. I believe that the relationship between a husband and wife should be so close that without the other life may seem bland. I also believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman as the way God established it. As to the rights of a person and what and to whom he/she grants insurance coverage, medical coverage, benefits etc, should not be established by anyone but the person earning those benefits. I do not have any problem with recognizing a civil union and have stated that here on this blog, as well as on other blogs of mine.

I believe that children are a blessing. I am against the wholesale slaughter of our next generation (especially minorities) in a blind eye of "choice." I grieve for those that never took a breath and for their mother's who chose something, whether out of fear, finances, shame, rape, or the government telling us that the baby is a fetus(and not viable)...folks neither is the entire ward of babes wanted in the nursery at the local hospital, unless someone provides care for them.

I believe that men and women are uniquely made and quite different.
I do not believe that the earth is suffering from anything other than natural, normal periods of cold and warm cycles. I am saddened for those that have bought into this nonsense and the dollars that they have wasted to buy green, to have a smaller carbon footprint, and so that they can save the planet-As I am not surprised by the money-hungry folks that are more than happy to provide clothing to the emperors(in this case the climate change folks).

I also believe that there are peoples and nations that do not like Americans. I believe that some folks are evil and wish nothing but harm for Americans. I refuse to molly-coddle the we are the world mantra...and believe that like a Texas Long Horn, we should have some defensive measures to let others know that "hey, we want to live and let live, but these horns are to make sure you leave us alone" as the Long Horn eats grass alone...yet is armed to the hilt.

I believe that my kindness or my living the way I do has been and most likely will be seen as an idiot subjugated by a religiosity and for that I have failed. I need to not worry how I am viewed, but that His light shines through me. I need not worry but instead pray for those that I know and those I don't as time is dwindling, such as in Japan, none of us, know the hour or moment that we will pass on.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Happy Birds are from New Mexico

What are the birds of the Double Nickel so interested in? What is keeping their attention?

Well it all begins with this bucket (pot). It is the Slop Bucket. And it almost never looks so empty or clean!

As it is filled with the food waste of the farm. The egg shells are crushed and dumped in the bucket, a slice of lunch meat that was lost in the fridge, onion scraps, the dark outer leaves of the cabbage, banana peels, plate scrapings after each meal, chicken bones, bones from any meat, the broth or juices from any food- you get the idea. Nothing is thrown to the garbage and garbage disposal? Well they are the garbage disposals!
And because of the slops that we take out every mid day, we are given a gift in return from our happy birds. Now we do have to hunt for some of the eggs as a few of our hens are fickle, and need absolute privacy, but look...

Happy Birds lay beautiful, lovely, tasty, wonderful eggs, and we are on year three of not buying any eggs!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

No Kidding

the song we all sang as children is about a real place! We went to Old McDonald's Farm while we were in New York! Sadly, in freezing cold temperatures, Old McDonald does not open so we parked took some photos and then sang~you guessed it E~I~E~I~O!

This was an inspiring visit even in the off season, as someday I hope that we can make the Double Nickel a place for visits to learn about small scale farming and living a simple life. Perhaps even a small store to sell the crafts, produce, and creations that are made here on the farm. I am sure that my goal is doable, and time and hard work are the costs.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Mexico Welcome

Lovely welcome don't you think?

Saturday on the Farm

Time for updates on the farm!
Our garden has grown larger this year.

The Mesilla Gardens/Maze in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the above photo, was our inspiration initially! I loved the way the tires were used and in an area where water is scarce the tires contain the water. So we began collecting tires, and two summers ago we had a garden with about 60 tires filled. It is a tedious process of preparing the tires as we need to import soil in addition to the tires.

Here are some photos from previous years:
I plant marigold every ten or so tires to keep the bugs down. I had read that this worked, and after planting am confident it works. The marigold can be used in shampoo so it is a win win!

We made the tire rows wide enough to run a wheelbarrow through.

Yum, fresh spinach!
This year as the farmer and his wife are getting a tad older, we added two more tires to each tire so we do not have to bend too much!!(kidding-it will assist in keeping varmints from stealing the greens, as this is the desert!) The total of tires thus far in the garden is 227! Our garden faces the east and today Bill and the kids added the water line to the garden. No more rolling and unrolling the hose the distance that we had done! I am so pleased that each year we see a bit more done that increases our comfort.

Funny, but when we bought this property, so much work had to be done, as it was pretty much raw land. Now it is taking on the look of a settled place(finally)! There are projects for many years to come but these I see as tinkering projects that Bill and I can do over the years and a few projects that we will need the kids for.

We tinkered with one of our chicken coops, as the coyote is winning the stealth battle and until we hang him on the fence as a warning, we need to contain the birds and reduce the *free range* life they have. Currently we have two flocks, one in front and one in back-that free range all day long, then hit the coops at night. The flocks can go from front to back but seem content with the flocks they are in-it is so amazing to watch the dynamics of the critters on the farm.

Sun fresh laundry is nearly put away.

Dinner was enchiladas! I am so glad to be home! Made my homemade enchilada sauce and a gallon of salsa.

Teens-one worked all day at job A, then to job B. Other two worked here and then Second headed out-Saturday evening plans.

That is day in a nutshell...I am content to be able to work and enjoy the simple tasks of the farm. In times that we live in we all must appreciate that every day is a gift...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Simple Tasks

Taking care of simple tasks ensure that the farm runs smoothly. I have learned so much on this path of simplicity and have come to the realization that tending to things that are for my family give me great pleasure.

It is warm on the farm and we do not need the shirtjacks each morning and evening when the chores are done, so the shirtjacks need to be washed and mended for next winter.

The shirtjacks during the cold months hang by the back door.

I washed the shirtjacks and put them on the clothesline to dry.

As you can see on the shirtjack on the far right, some holes have appeared over the season. This is where the simple task of mending the shirtjacks for next season comes in to play. These are our work clothes and we have used them for three years so far, and I plan on making sure that they last for many years to come.

"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

A photo of my sweetie wearing his shirtjack and holding my goose George...
I love this photo!

Upcoming Project

I found this photo online and I apologize that I did not save the link where I found it. I love this sink and am planning to redo my bathroom sink in a similar fashion. As we bought a fixer-upper, the projects are endless and all seem to be a priority, but this project is one I am looking forward to. I have the sink which I salvaged from a construction site (well a site where they were tearing three homes down). I think I will sketch up the base and let the teens run with it, as the photo reveals-perfection is not the goal!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This and That

I went through my cell phone photos of the past week or two and so this post is a This and That for sure. The photos are not in any order, so enjoy the random photos of a farmwife getting back into her groove!

Yesterday I went to town to get some groceries and went to a local Thrift store and found this neat bowl. I am a Pyrex fiend, and bought this one a its larger mate for $4!!

Second and Fourth in Texas

While I was gone our little piggle and lambs were butchered. Organic farm meats-Yummy!

Second and Fourth Lake Ontario

My sweet Jovahnni-15 months and waiting any day for his baby brother to be born. Love love love this cutie pie!

Second and Fourth in Illinois

Third, not wanting me to miss out on NM and my favorite critters of all (nOt)...Third was working at an orchard in the mountains and found this guy. He sent it the photo to me while I was back east. Funny how my goof troop loves to antagonize me! By the way, I know, I know- this is a good snake.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Amazing New York

Yes...nearly one month has past since I headed east.
I have missed my home(husband and Third) so much.
I have missed the sun.

I love this country and I could not pass so close to Niagara Falls with these cuties without stopping. So I braved the rain, cold, freezing wind, and muddy~snow covered grounds to have my breath taken away. I slipped and fell and thought it was entirely fitting, as I have always thought of Niagara Falls as "the honeymoon spot" so as I crashed into muddy slush...I laughed out loud! I thought of my Bill and realized I fell for him~here at the Falls! Corny, but this is from a woman who loves her husband so much and I miss him dearly.

Thank you New York for a wonderful week! We lost count of how many turkey and deer we saw on Fort Drum. We lost count of the rivers, lakes and bodies of water we saw, and we were humbled by the kindness of the citizens of the state. I will close with a cliche, but I must~


I am thankful that while my son is stationed far from his home and family, that he has many folks that will treat him as one of their own!


Friday, March 4, 2011


I have been away from home for far too long. My emotions have been up and down and all around. I confess I am deep in longing today...

The Wizard of Oz was a movie that scared me so much, yet I find my thoughts lingering on a line that all will recognize:

There's no place like home; there's no place like home; there's no place like home...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fort Drum New York

Fort Drum, New York
Snowy, downright cold, and home of one incredible man. A few of the farm family members were able to travel from Indiana(following death of my mother) and New Mexico to drive to New York to welcome home this incredible man. As with life, many times the sad are blurred with the joyful memories. It has been surreal emotionally with the week with my mother, her death, and now the bliss of having my oldest son home from Afghanistan. I am tired, happy, sad, joyful and cold(NY is even colder than Indiana). Here are several photos some organized in order, others just hanging out to view...

Fort Drum-yes that is snow, as we were welcomed with some light snow flurries!

The Barracks
Welcome Home sign. Photos welcoming First did not happen- too tearful and happy all at once!

Second cutting First hair
Could work as a barber. The boxes are from belongings of First. His stuff was in storage while he was in Afghanistan. His room is wonderful and has a mini kitchen and his own bathroom.

First Second and Fourth (we miss our Third-love you Third)

Chatting at TGIF's

Room in barracks. I love that the blanket I crocheted my son when he was six is folded on the end of his bed. Makes a mama smile!

First showing us photos from his time in Afghanistan. Must say I liked seeing Afghanistan, the people, the countryside, and the stories that First shared.

Back to food. TGIF squish the three together for mom to snap a photo. Boy they sure are patient with their mom! I love these cuties and am ever so thankful that my life has been as it has. I would not change anything.

We are going to stay here a day or so more to visit and to see a few sights so far north. Our schedule is going to be love this soldier, visit, and eat. Fairly simple things that I have missed and am enjoying so much now.