"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, May 30, 2012

Hmm...

 

I wonder what outer city murals create?

Wednesday Window into my World

Otero County Courthouse 

  
On 10th street across from Lowe's Grocery Store is Maria's.

We also have the Best Food in Town on 1st street in the Granada Shopping Center.

But for the weary traveler-all is well! A taste of home awaits, as Mom's Home Cookin is on 1st street near the supercenter.

A short drive from the Double Nickel is Three Rivers Petroglyph Site! 
There are over 21,000 glyphs...

Viewing the White Sands from east of NMSU-A.

I am always amazed at what is in my neighborhood.  Whenever I hear someone say they dislike living in this community, I wonder how this is possible. There is so much happening, so much history, so much to see and do if one wishes to see.  I challenge my readers once again to take some time to visit places close to home this year not only to save money but to support your region. Take the time to see why others travel or vacation near your home and look at the area in the way of a tourist...and I promise you will be amazed at what you discover.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pyrenees Pups

Hello Blogland from Pupland!
We will be 8 weeks on June 3 and are looking for our forever home. We will grow up to be excellent livestock guardians.

 We love the water
ps-those kiddie pools are super awesome for us!

We love to travel

 We play well with others

and adore the elderly.

If you are interested in allowing one of us to become your next best friend~ please
  email for more information and keep in mind we are in Southern New Mexico north of El Paso, Texas.

penofjen(at)yahoo(dot)com
subject Pups 

Way Out Yonder

in the middle of nowhere where the average annual rainfall is about 8 inches, is the Double Nickel Farm.  When we bought this property we began calling it a farm, although it did not resemble any farm I had ever known.  We had a dream and desired to make a go of things even if it seemed impossible.

When we began plotting a garden we realized that water would be key.  After a year of research and a few trial and error attempts, we settled quite comfortably in using old tires for raised beds for our plants. The tires, filled with soil and stacked a few high, would keep the water exactly where we wanted it.


 The plant roots would get the water needed.  

 
The first year we left the tires as is, no color, and bought potting soil from the local stores.  We planted about 20 tires.

The next year we collected more tires and I began to paint a few tires with the leftover paint from our house. 
 
We were amazed at the yields from each tire-more exact-each plant. Our squash plants were incredible. One tire held about 2 plants, and we collected about 70 summer squash per plant in a season!
 

We began expanding tires and had over 70 tire stacks used last year!  As we continue to garden in the desert we are experimenting with different seeds to see what we can grow here.
 
This is a photo from last year.  The bags are feed bags filled with our own blend of compost/soil to make the perfect potting soil.  The tires stack outside as we know we want all the tire stacks to be 3-4 high when we are finished. 
  
This is the view from this year, with a compost mixture in the center of our own blends with a few bags of soil bought from the store. As we live southeast of nowhere and north of the sticks, we have to protect everything from varmints, so we have this area fenced and the rocks are to keep the rabbits from burrowing under the fence(as we learned this from the first year).  It may seem bizarre to many as we are all about the perfect image and to be kind to the farm-this may seem eccentric to many. If you note the areas around the garden-there isn't any vegetation as nothing grows without watering, aside from Mesquite, which is what that stack is on the far upper left of the photo. We are constantly removing Mesquite and most likely will until we die!


We are planting trees for the farm, and our goal is for our pomegranate trees to take off so we can wind them around the garden  Pomegranate trees are like weeds out here and can grow several feet high, and spread like wildfire.  When the pomegranate spreads Bill and I will have a retreat from the blistering days of New Mexico weather in our very own oasis. 

 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day

It is hard to put into words what Memorial Day means to me. As I reflect upon those that gave their all, I think of a 29 year old woman that was handed this flag. Pregnant with her sixth child, tending to the needs of her five children, the weight of this flag must have nearly crippled her. Never forget that behind every soldier that paid the ultimate price, his or her family carried on.
My mom holding me, with my brothers and sisters (Peter-2, John- 3, David-4, Liz-4, and Cathy 5).

Captain David P. Gibson...thank you.
I have loved you all my life and missed you just as long,
Love,
Jenny
 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday After Photos

I shared Tuesday the before photo of the chairs I was redoing. Today I am sharing the almost final project!  I planned  the makeover using items on hand. We had cocoa brown paint, so I sanded the chairs (after removing the seat cushions), then painted them. Bill and Second then applied a stain. The fabric I used on the seats was from remnant tapestry I picked up a few years ago.
I had a limited amount of the tapestry, so 2 chairs ended up in the black print
 
and 2 in the red print~
 
And here is the dining room with a bit of help from LunaPic. I found LunaPic after Picnik closed, and have been learning my way around their site.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Before Photo

While on an outing with my sweetie, we came across 4 tired, worn, and dirty, dining room chairs. A sign had been crudely painted that said Free for the Takin. I made Bill turn about and we loaded the four chairs in the back of the truck. I finally am working on the chairs and thought I needed to post a before photo.

I am sure that when Bill saw the chairs he translated the sign to say what the owners most likely intended: We are hoping some fool will pick these up, so we do not have to haul them to the garbage dump. At times I had wondered this myself as the chairs have sat and taunted me for several months.

I can't wait until the chairs are completely finished so you can see the Before and After Photo!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Simple Story

I have a simple story that has changed me.  I went to a local antique store over the weekend and found two hand sewn quilts that were lovely. As I was looking at them the owner of the shop told me that the section I was in was all brought to New Mexico by a woman that picked the items up in Happy, Texas.

The shop owner told me the woman that brought the items in would be in town on Monday if I wanted to hear more, and believe me, the items I saw made me think of a time capsule of a home from the 1940's/1950's. I wanted to learn more, so I went back to town this morning and am so glad I did.

Although I am not mentioning names or the exact year, I will say that this is based on events that occurred in Happy, Texas a good many years ago. It seems that a young bride and her husband had built their dream home on the family ranch.  It was a two story home with simple touches that made the home her very own. She went all out decorating as she was quite the seamstress, and made curtains to hang over her kitchen sink and a good deal of her clothing.

She was thrifty and saved all the feed sacks that were once filled with nourishing grains for the animals they raised as she could see purpose beyond one use.  She also saved flour sacks to make hand towels for the kitchen, aprons, dresses, and even for quilts.


She loved cooking and right beside her dishes and bake ware was a child's set of cooking dishes and china, so her daughter could grow up doing as her mother did. When this housewife of Happy, Texas sewed her precious little girl would sit beside her and sew on her child's sewing machine.


Then in Happy, Texas something happened that seems impossible. Sadness happened. This young wife lost the love of her life. She couldn't go on the way she had before, and instead of giving up she sealed up the home like a time capsule and built a smaller house further away on the ranch. The quilts she was working on were placed into boxes and stored away. The clothing she had for her husband remained in dresser, some with the price tags still on them.

Happy, Texas would remain her home until her death but the memories she shared with her love were too much for her to walk in those rooms without her husband. She continued on raising her daughter, and when they wished to store something, they would take it up to the big house, so the house became the attic for the child as she grew.  As we fast forward to 2012 I want to share that I was emotional when I first saw the quilts, and had no idea why. I needed to buy the quilts. When I called Bill he agreed to swing over and meet me, and I told him that the woman that made these quilts needed to be honored even if I did not know her name. I felt connected to her as I am thrifty and make so much for my home.  When I heard the rest of the story, things made sense.  I love my husband so very much and could appreciate why she couldn't walk those halls without her love. 


In 2005 I nearly lost my love and things have drastically changed since then. I pray that the changes have been in ways to appreciate life yet know I am not perfect. I have worked hard in the past several years to create a home that is ours through serious thrift, and all the while become less out in the world and more of a stay at home housewife than ever before. I am busy making this and that, canning, baking, gardening, all the while knowing that my efforts will most likely only be seen by my family.  I have been somewhat reflective of things, and realized that when I picked up those quilts, I knew that I was in a way, paying homage to myself.

I wish I could have met this woman because in the world of the Kardashians, she is far more important, yet her Happy, Texas world is only known but to a few.  As I am thinking of how thankful for my time spent learning about this woman, I discovered one thing about me: even if I am not personally known by many besides my family, I have been able to encapsulate my life on the Double Nickel. Anyone that visits the blog sees my life as it happens.  I thank all of you for visiting and wish to share that I am humbled by your visits, your emails, and your comments you leave me here. I can never put to words how deeply my gratitude goes as you have made my corner of the world more

Jennifer

I will be sharing photos of the quilts in upcoming posts!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spring Guest!

Yes, it is time for the annual Tarantula migration in Southern New Mexico. 
Although I have always professed that I am unafraid of any kind of spider, I did let out a small scream with this one!  I have been working in the garden and this little one was in a tire. Anyone that has been a reader of the blog knows how much I fear snakes...so the movement the tarantula caused made me believe a snake was there.  Oh I pray not to see a rattlesnake for a while~

And Finally Announcing the April Cookbook Winner

After making 61 tickets to account for those following=plus five, those that share about the contest=plus ten

I placed all the tickets in this lovely case.

Neat isn't it? The morning sun was streaming in, so without changing to sepia, it was hard to see!

And the winner is....

Vickie-the #2 is for the ten extra comments she received for posting about the giveaway. Woohoo Vickie. Please leave a private comment with your address and I will head to town on Monday to mail off your cookbook!!

Thank you all for being so patient with me!

Jennifer

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sad News

We have had some very sad news on the farm this past week.  We have had tremendous thunder and lightening storms and during one storm the dogs were so disturbed they took off running. By the time we rounded up the boys and they went driving for them, we could not find them. It rained heavily the entire morning this happened. Samson came home 22 hours later...we could not find Delilah.  Today Bill went to El Paso for an appointment and discovered her south of our home a few miles...on the highway.  It has been devastating for the family, especially for Fourth. She raised the dogs and has been grieving. As a parent this makes me grieve even more as my child is in pain.

For my baby I would like to share Delilah here again.  She was a sweet, gentle dog that made Fourth's eyes shine. I called Fourth her momma and me grandma. Fourth trained both Samson and Delilah and made a bond that will carry with her throughout all her years. Delilah was one of those dogs. We have all had one that comes to mind when we think back.
Fourth sewing and Delilah thought she should let Fourth have a break for a quick hug!
 
Delilah out with us as we were working. She is on the trailer with some cattle fencing.
 
Beautiful~gentle Delilah
 
Fourth out on the property with her babies. Samson is laying down and Delilah is in the back.
 
  
Oh my precious baby and her babies. I love her so much and am very sad myself. I think this photo is one of the best as both Samson and Delilah have no idea how large they are and sit on Fourth's lap often. 

We will miss you dear Delilah for always and a day.
 
I guess that is where I begin, and I will resume posting soon. I have been very reflective for the past few weeks which has added to my lack of blogging or internet time. Rest assured life will continue on and most surely the blog will.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Five

Long time away! I will announce cookbook winner over the weekend~for now a window to life on The Double Nickel Farm.
My view hanging from the laundry room was amazing this afternoon! Sometimes I can't believe how incredible my laundry room is! ps~this is the new roof...open area on left is for the honeysuckle to grow and weave through.
Spring on the farm has been full of littles. We have had 5 lambs, 2 kids, and six puppies. Cleaning Cluck service comes by daily to take care of puppy poo and of course, to acquaint the next generation of working dogs to the critters they will care for. And for the record~these pups are iron tough as they do not need pillows but cinder blocks to rest their weary heads(or maybe the blocks are so I can climb out over the bales of hay-who knows!?)
I saw the kitty up on the shed and it made me think of the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof! This roof seems to beg to be climbed even though it is about  6 feet high, as the goats in my header are standing upon this very shed!
Pardon the dust on the blog as it is spillover from the construction on the farm. We have been truly busy replacing the floors along with other things. At this point we have the kitchen, indoor laundry, dining room, front hall, family room, and school room finished minus the trim. I confess I am pretty thrilled with how it looks and cannot wait to get to the bedrooms and then the bathrooms. Oh and yes the farmer and his wife most definitely love each other!
And for the end, I share my Esther. She is a very sweet ewe that makes me smile every time I go to the sheep pen. I love her long wool and really enjoy her little ram she had this season!

Hope you enjoyed looking through the window with me~time to close it just in case a rattlesnake thinks it can slither in(heck that creeped me out just typing that!)~have a great weekend my friends.
Jennifer