"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, June 30, 2012

And her name is


I suppose a better photo is due...but this will work for now!  Thank you all for your lovely suggestions but the name I tossed out a week ago seems to be the one Bill picked.

ps...I love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the lead female in the movie was Milly~played by Jane Powell!

Saturday Six

Time for Saturday Six once again~so here goes:

I read on a blog someone made pumpkin ravioli.  I must live in the sticks to not have heard of this before. Well I do live in the sticks, but how did I miss a recipe with pumpkin? I am going to make pumpkin ravioli next week and I can't wait as pumpkin and I are BFF's!   For now the above photo is a photo of the computer with the recipe I am going to use.

I also have this tab up. I have been studying the Old Testament and really enjoying what I am learning.

I thought I would share my desktop this morning.  I have a ton of images saved. Many are for inspiration and ideas. Every Sunday I go through the desktop and either file the photo or trash it. Yes, this is my brain on desktop!

Early morning garden harvest. Love zucchini and one idea I saw this week was to make a zucchini type pizza!  I think I may have to~so look forward to a post on that!

I visited a friend in town and was able to take this photo of the moon coming up over the mountain(well you know what I mean)! Pretty amazing isn't it?

Since I taunted you with my desktop, I thought I would share one item from the desktop. I lifted this from a Face*book friend who said she found it~so I am not sure who to credit. The image is of making Bisquick individual pot pies, so maybe it is from Bisquick. I think this is a great idea and am going to make these for lunches.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Before and After

I shared in March the photo below of the empty olive jars in the post titled In All Things and I asked if anyone had any ideas as to what I was going to make with the jars. 
DebbieO guessed correctly! Thanks to Fourth loving olives I had the idea to save the jars and make a spice jar set to match the home.

Here is a photo of the jars today! The larger olive jars on the left house the peppercorns, the minced onion, and the bay leaves. More detailed photos of the shelving unit to follow as the construction continues!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Is this Poverty? Part 2

I wrote Part 1 of this series the other day. If you haven't read Is this Poverty? Part 1, click here to read it first.  When I began this series I had no idea of the response that I would receive both here and in the email. I am heading in a certain direction and decided that I am going to need to write one more part for this series.

Below are a series of photos and once again I am going to have a few questions at the end.
1. Is this poverty?  
Note the lack of any utility line, the lack nails to secure roofing, the lack of actual roofing.

2.  Is this poverty? 
Note the lack of walkways or roads, and see how the walls and fencing are held up. 

 3. Photo Credit
Note the gas stove,the microwave, the running water, the medications on the window ledge.

4. Photo Credit
 Is this Poverty?
Note the bottle that the child is drinking from, bedding,
 the room that the family is sitting in,and the cup with a drink in the woman's hand.

5. Photo Credit

Is this Poverty? 
Note the structure for a home, the automobile in the background. the AC unit in the window, the pets, the garden around the house,and the toys on the ground and about.
6. Photo Credit
Is this Poverty?

7. Photo Credit

 Is this Poverty?
8. Photo Credit

Is this Poverty?

America is having some hard times right now and I wish to make it very clear that I have no disrespect for those that are having tough times. We have been in a recession or a depression or something that is being ignored by our government for a few years. Times are very bad in many places and millions upon millions are struggling. 

When I began my series on Is this Poverty it was triggered by a conversation I had with one of my siblings. I have been on a journey for several years that has opened my eyes to things I never totally appreciated at any other time in my life. Our family and our life on the Double Nickel Farm are the theme of this blog to share what it is like when you basically have to start over with nothing. I am not writing these posts to be condescending, although I have been treated quite differently on this side of my journey. I have been challenged because I live in a structure that did not cost me what the average price home in the United States cost. In fact, my home cost a bit under half the national average, and it is a modular home. In case you are wondering what that is, it is fancy talk for a trailer. At some point my home was driven to the property. It was run down when we moved in, but having this house up a bit saved us tremendously during the hundred year flood that hit our farm a few years ago. (see here, here).

As I reflect upon poverty and ask the question is this poverty or is one poor, I need to be very clear: The Double Nickel Farm is not a representation of poverty nor of a family that is poor. I did not write my post hoping that folks would defend the farm and me. Instead I was writing this with a very serious point I wanted to make. I wanted readers to note the photos from my life to help with the conclusion I am heading towards with this series.

The photos from Is this Poverty? Part 2, are different than my farm photo montage. These photos were all drawn from sites that were writing about poverty and the poor.  The last two images are graphic yet brutally honest. American poor is far different than world poor.  America does have the genuinely poor but we also are the nation with the most resources to assist them. We have a net, tons of churches, and of course restaurants everywhere that throw away tons of food-for the taking. 

In these images which ones genuinely reflect what you imagine of poverty or of the poor? 
How do these images impact you? Compare the first post to these images...

The politicians of the United States should be ashamed.  We are electing officials that are dumping billions upon billions of dollars into programs addressing those that are 'poor.' In truth, many of these dollars are buying votes and doing nothing but prostituting people to ensure an election. There are 45 million Americans on Food Stamps(SNAP-supplemental nutritional assistance program).  Most certainly there are those in this program that need food assistance, but when we allow students in college to receive SNAP, we no longer are assisting. The students are being used and/or duped in promise of voting for the enabler(the politician). In fact the government spent 80 billion dollars for the program but will NOT reveal how the money is being spent. 

Think long and hard about my next question.  
If you know a person or family that is receiving benefits, or a family that you believe to be poor, do they look like people in the last two images of this post?

Part 3 will wrap up why I began this series. Be sure to stay tuned.

To read the rest of the series:

From the Drafts...

This post is from 2010 and was in the drafts...here it is. My final paragraph makes me think I know why I did not publish this post. So today's post is an oldie but shares some thoughts of a farm wife/mom!

The original title was Did You Ever Notice?

Did you ever notice how things are? On the farm we toss hay to the animals with a giant "fork!" Well a pitchfork, but in truth as one sits back and reflects about life silly thoughts come to mind such as the pitchfork.

Other thoughts ramble around my brain too:

I mean - as a kid if we did not want to be held to our word, we crossed our fingers...as an adult we run for political office.

Here's another one:

A young woman who visited the farm, told us she gets her chicken from the store- she had a shocked tone, that our chickens would eventually be in a pot...I wonder where store chickens come from? Suicidal chickens?

And what about this:

Many people request brown eggs, so many in fact, that I asked what the reason was for the request, to which nearly all of the people told me that brown eggs are more nutritious!!

My thoughts aren't always so humorous as a mother hen that has one of her chicks so far away, causes me to have many moments a day of thoughts on that wee one. It is much different than when he was in NY at Fort Drum as well...anyhow, perhaps you understand.

June 27, 2012...As you see my last paragraph shares that my oldest was in Afghanistan. It was so hard with him there and as I type this wish to remind everyone that our troops are still in harms way in several places around the world. Please keep the soldiers in your prayers.  I know I was sidetracked when I wrote that last paragraph and I left the computer to pray for my son and to ponder.

Monday, June 25, 2012

In case you were wondering

we decided to keep a female pup.  It was a hard decision, as Delilah was such a love and her loss is still so fresh in our minds. Last Friday we decided to keep the one that reminded us most of her.

On my Face*book wall I have opened up to my friends to get suggestions for names and decided to do the same thing here. If you have any ideas for names please share. 
She was a guest at my party~ but would not sit still!

I can't wait to see some of your suggestions and if we pick one of the names suggested here on the blog~I will send the person that suggested the name an all expense paid vacation to~

Well nowhere...but if I could I would pay for an incredible trip! How about this? If we pick a name suggested here, we will send that person a box of handcrafted goodies made by none other than me!

What's on the Menu Monday with a Recipe and a Review!

I made corn cakes a few days ago and thought I would share my thoughts about the recipe I tried.

I found the recipe for corn cakes on Mennonite Girls Can Cook. 
Corn cakes cooking on the comal!
Recipe copied from Mennonite Girls Can Cook.


1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard ( I forgot to add dry mustard )
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups corn, cooked and drained
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a medium size bowl combine dry ingredients with grated cheese and set aside.
In another bowl whisk together corn, buttermilk, egg, and melted butter.
Pour corn mixture over dry ingredients and stir just until moistened, like you would for a muffin batter.
Scoop batter for each cake on a hot grill (350ยบ) which has been lightly greased.
They will spread a bit so no need to flatten them.
Cook for 4 or 5 minutes on one side, until brown at the edges, flip and cook another 4 minutes.
Yield: 7 cakes

Results:  I loved the corn cakes!  I forgot to take a photo of the cakes when they were finished so please click over to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook recipe link  and see a lovely photo of how they look when they are cooked.  They truly tasted like a corn tortilla with texture! When I made the corn cakes I served them with a spaghetti pasta, carrots, and watermelon.

I have two ideas on how I want to serve the corn cakes in the future and I will be sure to update this post when I do.   First I want to serve them with salsa on them(as the recipe suggested) as they have such a flair in flavor. My second recipe I want to make with this is a corn cake made into a pie crust topped with cooked taco meat covered in cheese and baked until cooked. I then will use salsa and sour cream on top. Oh and I think I will replace the parsley with cilantro!

This concludes What's on the Menu Monday! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Forty Five Things List

It is time for a list so be prepared.

1. I love sunflowers.  2. I love eclectic purses and own a purse that looks like a saddle.  3. I am scared of the dark, but love the open expanse of the night sky and the stars that fill it.  4. I love the song Edelweiss from the Sound of Music but prefer the version where Christopher Plummer actually sings it...check You*Tube~it gets me every time. 5. I have 15 tabs up as I type this post  6. I love onions-and eat an onion nearly every single day~poor Bill I suppose. 7. When I drive I have to tilt the seat forward a bit so I will be able to reach the gas peddle. If one does not adjust the seat before sitting-after I drive they may get stuck! 8. I love walking barefoot even though I do not have much opportunity to do so. 9. I love movies that promote family, happiness, and the possibility of good...and rarely watch anything else.  10. I love the smell of coffee, but do not drink coffee.

11. I can put my feet inside Bill's shoes while I am wearing shoes. 12. I am Texan through marriage. 13. I loved baseball as a little girl and my favorite team was the Philadelphia Phillies. 14. I love Seven Brides for Seven Brothers...and have watched it many times 15. Bill and I are neither the oldest, nor the youngest, nor the middle child amongst our sibling groups. 16. I love fossils-and have many all around the farm. I gather rocks of all sizes with fossils. My property could be an archaeological site...although my rocks come from all over. 17. I do not wear any jewelry to include wedding bands. I have explained why I do not have wedding rings before...quite simply they were stolen and we have never replaced them. Am I less married? Do marriages last longer or less because of a ring? 18. At this very moment I am thinking of how long it has been since I have eaten a Heath candy bar~or how long it has been since I have seen one. I wonder if they are available at any stores in my local town-guess I will check. 19. I have ice skated on ditches and roller skated on roads. 20. I am the shortest amongst my siblings, my in-laws, and even my own children.

21. I love Ireland although I have never been there~perhaps someday I will see it first hand instead of in books, magazines, and the computer. 22. I read all the time and have neglected my sidebar in updating my reading list. 23. I loved a goose named George...yes, this is true. 24. I dilute anything I drink besides water...by adding 50% water. 25. I love playing games. 26. I am an eternal optimist and see possibility in all things and in most people. 27. I will always be a momma bear about my kids-even though they are mostly grown! 28. I just knew when I met Bill he was the one. My how shocked my mom must have been. I understand why many may not have believed that we would remain married. I mean come on~who gets married after only knowing each other a small amount of time? Well I did...and happily ever after is not completely written, but happily with lots of effort is the theme. 29. I loved my first grade teacher. When I was in high school she died of cancer and I cried for several days. 30. I am not going to share in my real life this day or list.

31. I have talked with chickens daily for several years. I smile when I scrape the dishes as I save the waste for the henny penny's. 32. Tomato bugs creep me out! Oh my...and they nibble on me. Ugh. 33. Bill has the key to my heart. 34. I wear kitchen gloves when I cut the hot peppers...yes I am sure this is a lovely image. For the record the gloves, size small are too long for my fingers-it drives me a bit crazy! 35. Whenever I say that makes me crazy-Bill corrects me...and tells me er. As in you know, not crazy but crazier! 36. I love giraffes. 37. I love reading  poetry. Not all poetry but some. 38. If I have read something I can find it once again in a book. Open book tests would be a breeze for me. 39. I am one of those people that returns the shopping cart back to where it goes. 40. I always park in the same row...yes, this is true. It is my effort to help me in my continued aging. If I have this as a habit, I will not look like many I see walking around the parking lot looking for their cars. All I have to do is walk up the row I park in.

41. I like playing Double Nickel Farm ping pong. Our way is on a smaller table and with intense play offs which leads to 42. I am very competitive. 43. I would like to think I am a compassionate person, but realize I fall short often. 44. I wash my dishes in number counts. You see I clean in non stop motion. So I will wash 20 dishes, rinse then head off and do another task. I zip back then empty the dishrack and repeat the action. Constant motion gets the house clean quickly~now last of all...I am sharing 45. I love pumpkin pies. I cannot tell a lie. Today is officially known as Pumpkin Pie day in my house. Today you see is my 45th birthday and so I thought I would share 45 random things about me.

I pray on this day that all my friends in blogland have a wonderful day...I wish we could all gather and share some pie together~as long as you appreciate that I am a pumpkin pie junkie!! Thank you all for visiting as your stops make my day!

Jennifer the really old blogger~ that is now half way to 90. Holy smokes...
This is last year's pie~which was my very own pie and I am not ashamed to say I ate it all.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

On the table

red jalapenos
jumbo garlic
reg tomatoes
Roma tomatoes
yellow hot peppers

60lbs of produce averaging  just under 40 cents a pound!

I love summer!!!

Saturday Six

Yes, it is Saturday Six time again!

Here goes in no particular order:

Fourth at her friends on the hammock...

The falls in High Rolls, New Mexico
Father's Day Dinner Request...simply burritos with a side of tomatoes and avocados
Cell phone photo of Third and Fourth from autumn 2009 when we worked at the local orchard

Cell Phone photo March 2011 Niagara Falls with Second and Fourth
Toppings for beach cake to jump start summer using Tootsie Rolls, Life Savers, and Teddy Grahams

That's Saturday Six for today!  Stay tuned for Part 2 of Is This Poverty coming soon.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Is it Poverty? Part 1

I had a conversation with one of my siblings the other day that really made me think. The media has bombarded us with images of what life is to be, all the while photoshopping whatever is needed to have the 'perfect image.'  During this election season we have been and will continue to have politicians standing behind the poor and what needs to be done.  The Occupy Movement, which has been applauded by some in the Left, including the White House, is an entire movement calling foul to those that have to balance with the 99% that supposedly don't.

As an American in the 21st century I cry foul.  I wish to know when it was acceptable to covet what another had? Or in non-religious terms when did our society stop understanding the saying the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? Meaning that the other side of the fence always looks better, but in reality it was no different than the side of the fence you were on.

Through photos I would like to take you through some things..and then ask a few questions, so be sure to go to the end.
Is one poor because they like something and although they cannot buy it new have figured out how to make themselves this item?

Is one poor because they can built a house for chickens using campaign signs, that are then painted into a mural?

Is one poor because they saw potential in someone else's castoffs?

Is one poor because they grow their own foods? Or are they poor because they grow them in old tires that must be recycled in some measure?

 Is one poor because they cannot afford lovely throws for their sofa but they can afford yarn to make the throw themselves?

Is one poor because they desired a kitchen that had a farmhouse feel and repurposed a 1950's sink to do so?

Is one poor because they deconstruct items that are sold, so they can make them...as it it far less expensive? (this is a photo of ingredients in Mole)

Is one poor because they created something to eliminate that all to embarrassing situation of running out of tp when it is most needed?

Is one poor because they make a large portion of their personal care products at home?

Is one poor because they see old and broken as something awaiting a fresh coat of paint?

Is one poor that has the world at their fingertips?(look beyond the 2009 goof troop photo)

Is one poor because they understood that the exterior of an item may be bruised and in need of covering, but the appliance still works wonderful?

Is one poor that has these jars and knows how to refill them year after year? 

Is one poor because they work with their hands?

Is one poor because they patch an item instead of spending valuable money on new?

Is one poor because they bring the world to their doorsteps in such a manner?

Is one poor because this is the method used to heat their home?

Is one poor because the heating method to warm a home is $5 a cord and that the wood used is deadfalls? 

What is the answer to these questions? What is your answer to these questions?
The Occupy Movement would like you to believe that having the items above make you poor and deserving of more.
The media would like you to believe that having these items suggest perhaps you may be married to a near relative or that you are in need of a home makeover.
Some may say that this is a misrepresentation of poverty.

And the government would offer programs to this family.

 My question for this post titled Is this Poverty? Part 1 is:

Is this poverty?
Read the rest of the series on poverty~
Is This Poverty Part 2
Is This Poverty Part 3

Thursday, June 21, 2012

For Bill

Father's Day 2012 has come and gone yet the specialness of a father should never go away.  My sleep last night was of my children's father. I often dream of him but last night I dreamed of him in the role that gives him a universal name, Dad.

My husband is a dad. He has worn this title with strength, courage, honor, and most importantly with love. Being a father was not something he trained for, yet he had a few examples that helped him become who he is today.  He was fortunate to have his dad as a child. His dad, although very old school traditional, has been a softy for his children. If I were to say anything about my father-in-law, that would be first. He was not afraid to hug his kids and tell them he loved them. This has gone a long way in my home...all because a very old fashioned, traditional man, was able to be nurturing and loving.

Another man that set a tremendous example was a man named Ether. He was older than the hills when I met him in 1988, but he was very soft spoken and kind. When Bill headed to Germany and I was staying at my in-laws until orders came for me and the oldest child, I ran into Ether at the business (1990). He was very frail but very determined to speak with me.  He came over and gave me a pat on my shoulder and said I will not be able to tell Billy this, so I need you to give him a message. He said, "Tell Billy I love him with all my heart." I can tell you that my eyes welled up and I choked back a sob when he said this as I knew he must be very close to the end of his life...and he wanted me to tell my husband how very much he was loved. How amazing that Ether gave me this gift and even though I am sharing about fathers, I want you to know that as a young wife, this made a lasting impression upon me. Ether loved my husband. This humble man that was well respected in the community had a deep love and compassion for my Bill...and for me it made me see Bill in a completely different way. Ether was a good man that through his humble life set an example for my Bill that allowed him to become the father he is today.

As I dreamed last night I realized I was dreaming of the rest of those people that set an example for Bill so that he could become the father he is.  The first of those was me, his wife of almost 24 years.  I lifted my husband up in a place of importance in the home.  As Bill would venture out in the workforce he would have to take anything tossed his way. In the early days when the jobs were mediocre when he was planning for law enforcement he went through several low paying jobs to support the baby and I.  At times he worked two jobs. No matter what happened at work, Bill could rest assured at home he was the hero of the day. He was the best at everything he did and all eyes would be on him as he told of his day. When he crossed the threshold, I would cheer and say "Dad is home," and I would take the baby and we would hug him and welcome him into his castle. Believe me the image of a castle we had was just as grand as those in Europe all because we believed in each other.  As a young wife, I made sure I would have his clothes ready for work.  I would iron what needed ironed and if necessary hand wash anything he needed. Things were not perfect as I was on the job training, but in our home he knew that he was important. This is key, because in the world a 21 year old is not top of the game and is often treated as a gopher. But at home he was valued, respected and loved. Bill became the father he is today because of the wife he has had beside him.

The other group of people that set an example for Bill to become the father he is today, are his children. Here in blogland I call them First, Second, Third, and Fourth, I know-not so creative but it keeps things easy in my blog.  These four kids have been incredible as children to cheer dad on in all he has done.  When Bill was in the army, they sat and listened to him share about the army in deep admiration that only children can give. When he became a civilian police officer, dad was more than a superhero-he was a cop! The kids loved to see him get ready for work with the uniform and the badge. When in the patrol car he would flash the lights and turn the siren on and the kids would shout with glee...even the neighbors would chuckle watching the kids as they laughed and cheered. The kids strengthened Bill as a father because they took their biggest fears, their greatest joys, and their humdrum every day run of the mill issues to him. They allowed Bill to help them work out issues, share in fun, and participate in everyday life...as a dad should do. When they would bathe it was a race to grab one of dad's tee-shirts to sleep in. When they would eat they wanted to have what dad was eating. When they would watch television they would toss themselves down on Bill and laugh and giggle. Bill was the greatest horse the kids have ever known and the funniest man on the planet. As a person you can't but help to be excited and work even harder in your role when you have your very own pep team cheering you on.  Bill became the father he is today because of the children he had loving and supporting him.

As I woke I thought of the Father's Day we had here for Bill, I realized how very blessed the children and I are to have Bill in our lives. He is the 1950's dad, he is the handsome dad, he is the sweetest dad, he is the kindest dad, he is the most compassionate dad, he is the most supporting dad, he is the most amazing dad, he is the hero that every child needs when growing up...and although not on Father's Day, I wanted to share with the world that I am so thankful that I have been part of this world in which a young man could become the very best Father he could be. I love you Bill and I thank you for being the dad you are and to me every day you are in our lives should be Father's Day~as you deserve the very best.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wherefore art thou?

Well we have been busy on the farm. So stand by for a bullet post of the happenings!
  • First was home on leave. Nice to have him home and wonderful to sit around with the kids.
  • We went to White Sands with all and had an early Father's Day last Wednesday night!
  • I have been canning...
  • and I have been sewing!
  • Oh and my second born son...that I wrote about here, turned 20 yesterday!

  • We have been gardening.
  • We have been preparing for winter.
  • We have enjoyed our time together.

Frank Jenson Jr. Photo

  • The Little Bear wildfire has been on our minds. And we have been able to see the smoke and at times the flames from our porch. It is up the road a bit but still visible.

Caroline Bruenn Photo
  • We had the farm overtaken by this massive dust storm-haboob. 

Halo Brown Photo

  • We saw this camo vehicle!  Note the detail and leaves. I confess I have seen many a sights in my community, but this one takes the cake for most crafty repurpose using paints on a vehicle! (Oh and not suggesting anything against any gender, but the driver was...female!)