"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

Monday, May 30, 2011

Thank You

Thank you to Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit. I had the opportunity to meet him last July at a Tea Party and he is as kind and personable in person as he is on his blog.

Welcome to the farm Gateway Pundit readers.


Happy Memorial Day


The Double Nickel Farm Family

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Price of Things

Of course the gasoline prices are drastically higher- yet it still doesn't come close to the price of freedom.

I am forever thankful to all those that gave their lives~your sacrifice was NOT in vain.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sometimes being a facebook friend of your kids...

makes for some incredible finds. This is Third and I remember he showed this to Bill and I awhile ago...but I did not see it with outtakes and credits. Boredom perhaps, but creative-you bet.

Making Chorizo * corrected recipe!

Chorizo is sausage that we eat often. There are many types of chorizo but the kind we eat most is made with a ground meat with chili powder(as well as other items) which we squeeze out the casing and then cook it like ground hamburger.


I decided to try and make chorizo...I used this link as my start for my recipe-

The ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
2 minced cloves* of garlic(I neglected to put garlic on original posting)
1 TBSP diced very fine-onions*I photographed minced onions and opted to use fresh.
1 1/2 TBSP New Mexico chili powder
1 TBSP paprika
1/2 TBSP kosher salt
1/2 TBSP oregano
2 tsp red pepper flakes-which are hard to see as they are on top of the paprika
1 tsp black pepper( not photographed)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 cup ice water


Mix all the ingredients first then pour over and mix thoroughly with the ground beef-we use Double Nickel beef.


I rolled them like meatballs for spaghetti, put on wax paper-then covered with wax paper.


I then used a cup to press the meatballs into patties. I froze them for a bit, then put six per freezer sandwich bag, labeled and froze. I made 29 patties from this.

The results:

I made breakfast for dinner last night. It was a wonderful hit. Last night I shredded potatoes, made over medium eggs (Double Nickel Farm eggs) and cooked the meat patty up as is. Thumbs up all around...oh and the smell of the chorizo-heavenly!

Bill made himself more chorizo this morning.
He cooked it by chopping up the chorizo while cooking, adding eggs and onions and scrambling until cooked. He then put on the mixture on a tortilla and had a burrito.

The time involved in making a breakfast sausage meat- less than thirty minutes, which was thirty minutes well spent!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday on the Farm

As usual the busyness of the farm continues.


This is Cuatro. He is a Navajo Churro ram, and has four horns. Navajo Churros are native to the southwest and have a very pleasant personality. Cuatro is a four horned ram(the left side is fused) which is somewhat a rare characteristic of sheep. We are praying to have another four horned ram this season. As I type Ruth, one of our ewes is in labor.


Here are some of the ducklings devouring some cantaloupe. Four of them are Blue Swedish, one is an Idontknowyet and the other is a black Runner. We took a huge hit over the winter and so we actually ordered the 4 ducklings(and bought two random) as our drake was killed. Both the surviving adult females are broody, so we are going to buy two more ducklings to place under them to raise.



I am thankful for our northern neighbors as Prime Minister Harper refuses to "embrace" the 1967 borders of Israel. He is seen as odd man out, and by reading the comments on the link, I really wonder. Well actually I don't as this is all explained in great detail-here.


For the day, aside from checking on my Ruthie, I plan on making some beef sausage and beef chorizo. I am not using any casings and will instead make patties to freeze. Although we raised and butchered a pig, we are trying not to eat much pork, so I want to make an alternative. The recipes seem fairly easy, and I will photograph and then share in another post.

We also need to get the 11 chicks that remain in the inside brooder outside. The ducklings have been moved to a more permanent pen so we should be able to move the chicks today or tomorrow. I know that Fourth will be pleased as this is the loudest bunch of chicks that we have ever raised and the brooder is outside her room!

The slow and steady pace of the farm is ongoing. I had planned on a far greater garden but due to the time I spent back east, I am slow to this, so at this point I have zucchini, yellow squash, scallop squash, mint and tomatoes in. Since we have incredible weather here, I have at least 5 more months of growing, so all will be fine. I do plan on the herb garden, the flower garden and some more veggies. It seems that slow is the best so slow it is.

In the evenings, Bill and I have been building a porch fence. I love the southwest and the fence we are creating. I could never envisioned how neat it looks, and in a few weeks I think we will be done so I can photograph that.

As to other news we are praying for my older brother David and would love for the blog family to lift him up too.

Jennifer

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Did you ever wonder...

why my labels are not labels but more of the post or even cheesy love notes? It just happened one day and in my mind I liked it. I am that way. I enjoy my own way, my own path, and making the label my own seemed to fit!


I was reading some of my labels this morning and thought I would share some of them. Here goes~

*Help my laptop has fallen and it can't get up.
*I could not imagine living anywhere else in the world.
*A friend of ours saw First and said oh my he is gorgemous!

*April 1 is the holiday of politicians as it is the day for fools to shine.
**

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Window

Welcome to a small glimpse into my kitchen...I wish I could share the aroma of our simple dinner:

Quesadilla's-cheese filled tortilla's toasted on a comal. I used mozzarella cheese and sliced up some beef as a filler.


Cucumbers... It is a delicious side or a cool snack on a hot day. Slice the cucumbers and squeeze lemons or limes over them(you can use lemon or lime juice too), season with chili powder and salt. I use Kosher salt.


Now for a mini tour~
Inside the China Hutch in the dining room:
I love cookbooks. Reading the older ones give us a glimpse into food trends. I recently bought a Jello cookbook from 1963. It took me back to grade school and vegetables shredded and chilled in Jello. Definitely not a tasty memory but a glimpse. For the record I went to school in the early70's to mid 80's. I am not sure if schools do this anymore~not sure I want to find out!

This is the wall I worked on today. We have slowly been redoing the kitchen. You may have heard of the plan-the ten or twenty year makeover, anyhow...I went to Lowe's hardware over the weekend and bought some yardsticks. Each one was 60 cents. I painted them, then nailed them to this wall as my new gadget center. Now all of my kitchen doodads are neatly or better described as eclectically arranged in one place!

Thanks for visiting the Farm
Jennifer

What to do...

when a catastrophic event happens?

If you cannot send money, items, or help, you can pray. The people in Joplin, as well as all of those that have been impacted by the tornadoes this year, need prayer. They need to know that we are praying for them. They need to know that we are thinking of them and that we have them in our thoughts often.


What to do...in preparations for a disaster if it hits your region?

Have a family member or friend outside of the region as your point of contact. In times such as these, communication is difficult, as well as locating anyone or anything in the impacted area is nearly impossible, as the disaster is of such a magnitude. If you can break free and call this outside contact, they can compile all the information and orchestrate a regathering or reconnection for those of you in the disaster region.

Remember that everyone else in the region is experiencing the same thing. Hugs, words of comfort and tears are fine. Any preps such as food storage, emergency candles etc, would be long gone...so prep skills must include where in your region would an emergency shelter be? Another one is to have a basic understanding of your area if everything was leveled. Could you find your way around?

Make sure you are aware of the dangers in a crisis such as a tornado. Glass, debris and so much more are everywhere. People will be shell-shocked, or even opportunists.

What to do...today?

Donate locally. Larger organizations are taking collections to head to tornado hit regions. Give items that you would like if you lost everything. Clothing, bedding, blankets, toiletries, infant needs are extremely important...If nothing else, donate in your community to a shelter, food pantry or church. Every day in every state people are experiencing their very own catastrophic event. It may not be as obvious as a tornado, but they have lost everything and need a helping hand, a bit of compassion and hope. We all can do that~today.

Monday, May 23, 2011

44 years ago...in April

This year I did not share about what happened 44 years ago on April 8, 1967. For those that have followed my writings for awhile know that I have shared what happened on that day. My dad was killed in Vietnam. I am able to write that now with a matter of fact-ness that I have not always had.

Dad was killed two months before I was born. Oh I grieved as a child...not having Dad around. He became more than a man. He became my superhero. I placed him on a perfect pedestal and I often felt like a failure because I was not something that I thought he expected of me. How strange it is to share that, but that is how for many years I had lived.

I made him my out when times were tough. When I was a girl I used to pray that he was not dead and that perhaps a Chuck Norris type would rescue him as a POW, and my perfect life could begin.

I tried to do all the things I thought he would have expected of me.
I ran track because I recalled a story about how fast dad was.

I would collect rocks which gave me alone time to ponder about my life if only dad were there with me.

I did not understand how many lived having their dads.

When I married I missed my dad-oh so much. I wish he could have been there with me.
When I had my first child-I missed dad in a whole new way. It was surreal, as I no longer wished for dad to be there for me, as much as I wanted him to see my children. I wanted him to be there for my precious babies.

I had a hard time watching grandfathers playing with their grandchildren...as I felt the loss of my father in a way that hurts more, as it was something that my kids missed out on.

My fourth pregnancy fell during a terrible year. Dad was 28 when he was killed and I was 28 during this year and I was confused. Now what? It seemed like this man, this hero I built up so very much had left me without a blueprint past 28 to go by. The baby, my daughter, that came so early we were not sure she would live. When she began to thrive and I knew she would survive, I made a decision. I needed to get to know my dad.

I headed to Oklahoma(dad's childhood home). I lived in the west and so I had to plan to go, leaving my children with my husband so I could come to grips with my emotions. I had no idea how mom could not share much about him, until I married. I understood then, as I love my Bill so much I could not breathe if I lost him,and doubt I could speak much of my love...but I needed to go to where my dad grew up so I could get to know my dad, so I could move on.

I spent two weeks in the small rural community that my dad grew up in. I went to the high school and was shocked that the principal was a former classmate of my dad's and 29 years later this man wept while sharing about my dad. He shared with me that every fundraiser that was ever held someone bought a brick, a tile, or a plaque in my dad's name. Dad was a well liked, well loved, man of noble character. But he was a man. I went to the home he grew up in and the owners took me through the house and I connected with the past, by walking the paths that he did. I held the railing he had to have held. I looked up and down the street he certainly looked at when he was a boy.

I went to the courthouse because the principal wanted some of dad's classmates meet his daughter. I went and was hugged and welcomed through tears. I felt that in the two weeks I went back in my past, I met my dad so I could do the hardest thing I needed to do. I knew when I began this journey all those years ago, that I would then have to bury my father. I knew I needed to have a mental funeral so that I could move forward. I needed this, I needed to put my father and his death in my past, instead of allowing it to intertwine into my future.

Dad has an incredible place in my life not as a perfect man, but of a noble man that served his nation with honor, with character and with pride. I know my dad loved his wife, his children and his country. I was able to finally put my dad to rest. It took nearly 30 years after his death to do so, but I did.

And with that I was able to move forward.
I was able to see my mother in a way I had never seen as I was too caught up in my world, my loss to realize what she had lost. I was able to see how absolutely amazing my mom was. She raised us without dad and did an incredible job. She was the superhero under my nose that I had missed because I put my dad on the perfect pedestal.

This year I lost that incredible woman. This year I was able to be there with mom as she died. I was able to reflect upon her life and where and who she is now with...and so this past April I also missed mentioning it was my mom's birthday, as she is forever 72, and 44 years ago in April she was told that her husband of 8 years had been killed in Vietnam on April 8...but they informed her on April 14...her 29th birthday. Oh, I never realized my mother's journey, because I was too wrapped up in my own.

I will forever stop counting the years since my father was killed. I am finished.


To all those families that loose a soldier in combat, I know you understand my words.

signed,
David and Dee's daughterMom and Dad on their wedding day August 27, 1960

In Honor Of Captain David P. Gibson

What to do...

to make your wife smile...

Take old wire-leftover from a project on the farm.
Form it into a heart and attach it to the chicken wire on the garden gate.
And just wait until she takes note.

I love my sweetheart. I added the writing, thanks to picnik.com because in my mind that is what I see when I see this simple heart made by Bill.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Have a Wonderful Weekend

We discovered fruit on our apple tree...each year has more growth, joy and surprises!
Praise God!

Jennifer

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Amazing But True

photo credit~ Halo Brown at Double Nickel Farm

Buying laundry detergents that try to capture sunshine~never come close!

Yet...you can capture sunshine.

Have a lovely day!



Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Thoughts

We had an incredible weekend on the farm! First a snake then a skunk made its way near the house! I went to the shed and heard a noise. I called to Bill and he came over and I backed up. He went in and thought he saw a jackrabbit and used his cane to move a box off to the side. Then he saw the skunk-which was facing him and it sprayed at that moment. Thank goodness the wall took most of the spray! For the record 3 small cans of tomato sauce wiped all over the body then a shower, remove the skunk smell!!

As I continue to blog, I wish to remind my readers that food storage and preparing for any crises that comes about is not only smart, but in economic times like we are experiencing~ critical.


Here is some of my dried storage. Please keep in mind to have some foods ready to heat up or eat, in case you are without utilities. Financially buying a one pound bag of dried beans equals almost five 15.25 oz. can of store bought beans. I have taken the time to count the beans in each store bought can and then average them out. To can beans you will need a pressure canner, and I have found that a pressure canner is an incredible investment as I control what goes in my foods...no words or ingredients I cannot pronounce for me and my gang!



Dusk on the farm is always lovely because the colors weave through the Mesquite and cast amazing colors all over. Clothespins on a break until this morning when another load of laundry is dried by the New Mexico sun!


The pups are doing wonderful. Here Bill is with Sampson and Delilah...ps Do not eat the raisins on the ground here!


Sampson beginning his training with the sheep. Martha is going nose to nose and Sampson did wonderful. He is only 8 weeks old and he will be fantastic as a flock guardian to our Navajo Churro Sheep.

Please remember as you go about your week that our economy is in a position that we have never seen before as a nation and that you should keep this in mind as you go about your day to day life. Pay off all credit cards! Pay off all debt! Pay cash for everything or don't buy it. Put up some food storage that will hold you over for any crises. I strongly urge you to have foods and such for a minimum of three months, and if possible to adhere to the Latter-Day Saint(Mormon) target of having a one year food storage.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Diet of a Chicken

Or Chicken Football! I was in the garden for a few hours this morning and just finished up when my daughter comes to the garden(right where I was the whole time) and said "Dad, A Rattlesnake!" Oh, I am not a snake person as I have shared many times on this blog!

Well Bill came over and took care of the snake- who was massive at about 13". After I made him take this photo(which he sighed about doing!) I hauled the snake to the back to the main chicken population. The chickens love snake and it becomes like a rough and tumble football match. The snake was run to the north a bit by a Dominique, then a Wyandotte came in and stole the snake...all the while the rest of the birds move in unison with the runner that has the snake in its beak!

After a few more laps around the barnyard, the snake was tore into enough bite sized morsels that the game had ended and everyone went back to their dusting baths and perches for a mid-morning nap. As the farmer's wife I smiled because I knew how much protein I added to the chickens diet and for the health and well being of a chicken they need protein!

Anyhow, here is the snake that was in the garden~kind of biblical when I say it that way, isn't it?

Because life in the southwest is a bit different than in much of the rest of the country, I thought I would share what Second found a few miles away at his fire station. It is a horned toad lizard which we call a horny toad!.

He is alive and well and wandered off as soon as the photo was taken. No chicken lizardry or anything like that happened to him!


In other farm news~the main gate to the property is nearly complete. It is getting a primer coat today and sometime next week the final paint will be on and all I need to complete is the sign to hang. Here is the post where we put the tall poles in. And here is the post where we finally fenced the entire property! It takes a good deal of hard work to obtain a dream...

Game Night

Fourth and I played the family version of monopoly last night. It was so funny because from the get go I had to borrow from properties I bought and I could never recover.

Seems like a valuable lesson about debt in a simple game!
We played on the game board I made a few years ago for the family and it has all the places that are/were important to the family. You can see which side was mine by the lack of cash! Slowing down on the farm includes what we do in our down time. Time with family is precious and even though it does not seem like it, the children grow up so fast and then they are out the door. Take the time while they are home to spend time with them. Oh and while spending time with them it is okay to lose as much as it is to win. I confess I am competitive, but so are the kids...so it is fun!

Have a lovely Saturday!

Jennifer

Save all your cards even if you have lost cards. Then when all the family shows up play Spoons or BS with the group. It is so much more fun with several mismatched decks and with a crowd!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Weekend Plans On the Farm

First take in some amazing sunrises and sunsets.

Be sure to walk around and appreciate the growing things on the farm. Stop and smell the roses.

Chat with the chickidoodles and little turkey's outside. Toss some watermelon slices to the duckies...and laugh when they gobble it down!

Sit with the puppies and cats and sigh at how fast they are growing!

Hug my husband and thank him for being such an incredible friend.

Think about the children young adults and how very soon a few more will fly away from the nest.

Thank God for His patience.


April 7, 2011
And smile because when Third had to work on his birthday~we took pizza, balloons, soda and a party to him. Third, Fourth, Second, and First(when he came home on leave)!!

So Weird:UPDATED

Blogger was down for a bit, and when it came back up some of my postings are gone. The last two of my posts are gone.
* POOF*

Update:And as magic is so magical~ *poof* ~the post are back!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ethic Studies Curriculum





I ask that you take the time to watch the clip in its entirety, with the fair warning that the text content used in Tucson Schools grades 3-12 may have content not appropriate for a school board meeting.


H/T Naked Emperor News

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dogs Cat Hens and Duck~oh my!


Every day we toss a bucket of slops around the farm. All the spring animals love the slops as well as the oldies...and my daughter takes the bucket to each area where the critters hang out. She came back to the front and this is what she saw...yes, the pups, one of the farm cats, a few hens and a duck were enjoying the slops! I love living on our little desert farm!


*as a note, the hen on the right is missing certain feathers...because our chickens are free range and the rooster is too!
**another note- it is as hot and dry as the photo looks-sigh!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Something to think about

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”


From Weasel Zippers.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Home Made Dog Food ~The Results!


I made homemade dog food on Saturday. We have the two new pups that are important for the security and safety of the farm and I want to feed them as inexpensively and as nutritionally sound as possible. They love the new food!

I looked around on line and found some varieties of recipes that I blended to come up with what I made. I also factored the price up with this so I could see how much actually costs.

2 lbs pork diced up into small pieces (farm raised about $1.50)
1 cup lentils ($.33)
1 cup pasta ($.33)
1 cup veggies( I used carrots, celery and tossed in some cut up cabbage after the fact)($.50)
2 cups rice ($.15)
(Chicken stock) ($1.00)
water

Total- $3.81 for 22 cups

I serve the pups 1 cup in the morning and one in the evening. So 2 cups a day times 2 dogs equals about $21.00 a month. As the dogs grow, this price most likely will be around $80.00 a month. I am shocked at how inexpensive this is.

I froze the servings 1 cup per bag and dated the bags. In the morning I take out enough for the next day.

***I must put a disclaimer that I am not a vet. My recipe is something I catered for my dogs that eliminates ingredients that I cannot pronounce let alone identify. I love that it is something I can make for pennies a day.

I spend about $20.00 a month on cat food and I am researching the how to's on making food for them too. Cats seem to require a bit more research to ensure that they receive all they need nutritionally...so I will write about this after I have completed my study on what is needed and then my testing with the cats.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blast From the Past

Photo circa 1973. From left to right John-a cousin, my brothers Pete, John, David, sister Liz and Caroline(Carrie) with me tucked in between them.

The dog is Papason he was an Akita.

I am standing on the sandbox. It is good to note that I was comfortable using things to raise me up, as the height thing is pretty much the same(non existent). Short and I are still best buddies.

Happy Mother's Day

Aside from being the wife of an incredible man, my greatest role has been the role of mom. On this day, I thank my husband and children for making me Mom!


To my oldest, who just returned from Afghanistan~thanks for breaking me in, you were my first sweetie pie. I love you.

To my second, who is in training for his career as fireman, you were my second, and with you my role doubled in joy. I love you.

To my third, who is working 70 plus hours a week, with a zillion options for your future, you are my third blessing! I love you.

To my fourth, my precious sweet angel that came ten weeks early, you have changed my life. No, with you my life became complete! I love you.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Floral Bouquet For Mother's Day


As I said in a post I wrote the other day, I sent my mom homemade gifts over the years for the holiday's. This is what I sent her for Mother's Day 1997. What is amazing is that the flowers did not wilt! I confess the boxes of gifts and things I sent to mom have been like a time capsule of my life. She kept every letter I wrote her while stationed in Germany, so even though blogging did not exist, I have a day to day window into my life as a young wife and mother living overseas!

Back to the lovely floral bouquet:

I sent these with a small garden pot so she could plant the flowers!
Such a precious floral bouquet for me to have, as it takes me back to the moment the children were this small.


I made a seed package for each flower. First is the Whimsical "First" flower.


Second is the Regal "Second" flower.


The Treasured "Third" flower


The Cherub "Fourth"

On the back side of each seed package I wrote their name again
The Whimsical First
Color: Bold Blue
Hybrid Develop Date: 6-6
In the desert of St. George Utah

bar code-first born range- any place he plants his feet
~~~~

The Regal Second
Color: Raspberry Red
Hybrid Develop Date: 6-18
On the banks of the river in Frankfurt Germany

bar code-second born range- any place he plants his feet
~~~~

The Treasured Third
Color: Pleasant Purple
Hybrid Develop Date: 4-7
Where the finest bier in Europe is brewed, Lich Germany

bar code-third born range- any place he plants his feet
~~~~

The Cherub Fourth
Color: Perfect Pink
Hybrid develop Date: 10-9
On the pacific coast in San Diego California

bar code-fourth born range-any place she plants her feet
~~~~

I am so thankful that mom kept these lovely flowers! I have shared a bit about my mom before, yet I am not sure I have shared that my love of creating and crafting come from her. Mom thanks for my floral bouquet...it is made of the most precious of flowers I have ever known, and I will cherish this as well as the blooming flowers for the rest of my life!

Jenny

Friday, May 6, 2011

Simple Life: Pickling Eggs


As we have an abundance of eggs it was time for me to implement another method of food storage. So here is the recipe I jotted down- I modified it from a few cookbooks the canning and preserving books and on line bloggers.
And with everything I do, pickling eggs is an example of utilizing everything. We love Claussen pickles and so I saved the pickle juice for this moment. This is another method of pickling in addition to the above recipe I jotted down.
I also save the pickle jars to store leftovers. I am that frugal!

One dozen fresh farm eggs. They are not from this week...so that I can hard boil them and peel them with ease. I actually hard boiled 3 dozen eggs.

Note the jars!! The jar on the left is for the pickled eggs in beet juice and onions with beets, the right jar is for the pickled eggs in the pickle juice which I added onions to.


Pickled Eggs in the pickle juice. I just shook it to mix the spices and onions together with the eggs.


The pickled eggs in beet juice. The smells were incredible and I confess I had to eat a hard boiled egg during the process. So what else before I share the recipe?

Oh the eggshells...

The eggshells can be crushed and dried and tossed to the chicks or chickens.

And once again nothing goes to waste!

Pickled Eggs in Beet Juice
1 can beets (about 15 oz can)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1 onion diced up in thin slices
12 eggs hard boiled and peeled
Juice from beets
beets from can
boil the juice, sugar and vinegar

place layer of onions and beets in jar then add hard boiled eggs cover with boiled juice, cover and store in fridge. Will be fine to eat in 3 or so days, but a bit longer will allow the flavors to blend.

For the pickled eggs in pickle juice
onion slices
pickle juice
bring juice to boil while putting onion slices in jar, add eggs, the boiled pickle juice...the same goes for these eggs as I wrote above for the pickled eggs in beet juice.

Mother's Day Gift from my Mom

Mom passed away in February and last week I was able to pick up some things that she had saved over the years from me. I could not really go through the box in February, but I did last week and it was so wonderful. Early in my marriage, when Bill and I were having the children, we were a young enlisted family, so finances were not top of the line. I created simple presents for mom for her birthday, Mother's Day and other holidays. My surprise was that she had kept my gifts!

I recall having index cards on the island in the kitchen while putting this one together. I was making this for her and wanted to remind her of all the reasons that made me love her...and so I added cards for a few weeks. I then folded the index cards up in a piece of paper and shipped it off to her.Here is the folded page~not so neatly folded and seems to have been read a bit.

A quick sneak peek to the contents...a 'Jenny' I love you!

The cards written in pen, with red marker simple embellishments.


The cards:
I confess at the time I felt sad I could not send something store bought, and worried about my notes...believe me as I have become an older mom and perhaps a bit more aware of things, my attitude towards this~well breaks me down into tears.

The notes are simple and I thought you may like to hear what a young Jennifer(in her late 20's) had to share with her mom. Each card is a thought about why I loved my mom.

~You overlooked me sliding down the railing.
~You let me eat many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I did not like dinner.
~I always got to sit next to you in the car.
~You made me a flannel pin up board.
~You let me play on a boys baseball team.
~After I ate shampoo, thinking it was honey, you cut an apple for me and wiped away my tears.*
~You made so many cookies year after year for me to decorate.
~You took me to Put-in-Bay.
~You bought me my little brown bear coat.
~You made me feel like I was the greatest person in the world.
~You let me be a "tomboy."
~You bought me all my baseball cards.
~You let me sit/lay/sleep/sail in your boat.**
~You gave me sugar(as in kisses).
~You bought me ice skates so I could be Hans Brinker on the road.
~You let me run around the backyard with sprinklers on the 4th of July.
~You overlooked me sliding down the laundry chute.
~The thumping day after day of a tennis ball hitting the shop did not drive you crazy.
~You made me pumpkin pie with cool whip (in June) for my birthday cake!
~You didn't kill me during my teenage years.
~You bought me Revco skis!
~You gave me life.
~You took me past the glass window to the stairs nearly every night, so I could get to bed safely(scary to see outside and have to walk past it all alone!)
~You watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers with me for the very first time. It is now my all time favorite show.
~You waded through miles of laundry to keep me clothed.
~You saved our Pepper(a little Cocker Spaniel Mix from someone who tossed her in a ditch).
~You let me climb into bed with you.
~You were my strength through 4 difficult pregnancies.
~By watching you I've become a wonderful mother.
~and a billion more things you have done to create the person I am. My foundation was solid and always will I remember you and your sacrifices to me.

Thank you mom for keeping this...I am really thankful that in my life I took the moment to make this. Seems like often, especially as I blog, I am hesitant to share something not picture perfect...and these notes make me wonder, why should I not? The truth is this-life is a simple note jotted down, a trip across the country in chaotic weather, a silly evening with an older sibling making Ipad voice-overs and playing Scrabble in your pajamas, with the family at 4pm on a Sunday. Life is not in the movie image of a family...nor is life this perfect religious family, where all are pious, perfectly groomed and say all the appropriate things.

Life is about capturing then sharing each moment. Being loved and sharing that love is far greater than a price tag. And for the record, these cards mom saved have been a burst of energy into my soul. They have made all the difference in my life, and here I thought I was sending them to mom. How amazing that the true gift of the cards has become clear nearly 15 years later.

I love you Mom.
Jenny


*my older sisters had put some Breck shampoo into a cereal bowl(not sure why) in the girls powder room. As I walked in to brush my teeth, I thought honey, yum, and dipped my finger in and took a giant taste! Ugh it was horrible, and to this day I am not a big fan of honey!
**My mom would lay on the couch on her side, and her knees pulled up a bit would create a space she called her boat. When we would watch TV, she would let me sit in her boat. I have passed this tradition on to my kiddles.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring On The Farm

I am home! I had an incredible journey with my son, and yes, we encountered wild fires in Texas, barely missed the tornadoes thanks to an alternate route midway heading due north, and flooding while crossing southern Missouri.

We also picked up a buddy's dog that lives in NY and works with my son.

I was pulled over by an Oklahoma State Trooper for failure to use a signal, while in a toll plaza. I was not cited and I think that the officer was hoping to find some couriers of something, and when my son rolled down the window(yes his car is that old) the officer saw the dog on my sons lap, and the army gear, and well food wrappers and soda bottles from what seemed like months of a journey! Oh and we had no AC which does not matter in NY but in Oklahoma it gave us the well worn wind blown look!! He had me come back to his vehicle, which made my son a bit worried, but I knew what was going on as Bill is a retired law enforcement officer. He was very nice and friendly and laughed at me for getting hooked into taking a dog 1500 miles-and sent me on my way.

I turned right around after picking up a car to drive home in(my son kindly afforded me that opportunity). I am not a flyer, but was willing to fly home, but he knows his mom. I was able to swing back into my brother's and pick up some things that Mom had that I had sent her over the years. I honestly was humbled at how she had kept all the things I have made over the years, and am going to definitely do a post about that soon. When she knew she was dying she asked me to complete a task for her that she wanted to give to all of the children(my siblings). At the time I was agreeable because I wanted her to know I would do anything to grant her comfort before she died. I was able to bring back the three boxes of material back because I drove home. This has been a whirlwind of emotions year. I cannot wait to begin cutting and piecing together Mom's final project. I pray I will make it exactly how she envisioned and that each takes that the final moments of her life were on her children. I pray that this will be how I close my eyes for the final time too.
For a photo montage of spring~the winter freeze we had seems to have killed almost all the mesquite trees. We have new life on the bottom but all the tops are dead. I cannot believe how cold it was this past winter. My rose bushes have come back but they too, took a beating.

We went through St. Louis just after the tornado and tarps were up, but the path or swath of destruction was bad. I made my son take a zillion photos as I was driving.


Here is the photo used for my mom's obituary. My brother cropped it as it was a photo of mom with dad and their first baby, my oldest sister Cathy. As we celebrate Mother's Day this weekend, I am sharing a photo of my mom just after she became a mother for the first time.

This is a photo of Bill and Fourth fueling the truck. I suppose instead of listening to the conversation of a father sharing how to click the fuel nozzle so it does not need to be held, I could have cleaned the mirrors. No, I think that this conversation is a keeper, as it is how my life is...wonderful with a compassionate husband and father. Oh and that cutie pie Fourth makes life pretty amazing too!


By the way, aside from picking up some things from my brother's, I also picked up a couple of hitchhikers in Oklahoma. I know one should NEVER do this, but Bill was totally for it, and Fourth sent me some links as to where to pick them up...AND our farm needed a few hands, so I did.

Meet Samson and Delilah (Samson has the masked face). They are Great Pyrenees and are working sheep dogs. We have had trouble with coyotes, and have had a substantial loss in poultry, cats, dogs, etc. These little adorable things are just 8 weeks old and seem small but they will grow fast and can weigh over 100 lbs each. These two will be the farm protectors as well as a visible sign to anyone that it is a safe farm for the family. Fourth and Bill are training them, and they sleep with the Navajo Sheep.

I will also post a recipe on making dog food that is healthier, less expensive and not filled with unnecessary or unhealthy ingredients. With dogs so big, this is an important thing to factor in, and we are glad that by making our own dog food, it will be like everything else we have discovered on this journey. It is not more expensive to make your own...it is only more time consuming. I am grateful that I have the time to research then implement what I learn.

Back to springtime on the farm...so far awaiting some more lambs to be born.
4 turkeys
6 ducklings
6 chicks
and 4 geese due any day
and 6 more chicks!

Jennifer