"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

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Army Mom Gazette

We went to Fort Bliss to attend our First's graduation from WLC (Warrior LeaderCourse).
The graduation was held here~

 We had a moment before the ceremony to greet our First~

There were 160 graduates. First(seated 6th in) was ranked #2 in class~ hooah!
 The Double Nickel Farm family/Go Army Family are very proud of this soldier!

The guest speaker was Command Sergeant Major Coleman. He said something that I thought was pretty amazing, he said, "If you walk past it, it just became your standard."  Thank you for taking the time to share this wisdom~

As blurry as this is you can see First in the middle. These soldiers were in motion!

Good job son~we are very proud of you!
 
Second and Fourth went with us. Third worked from 7pm to 7am at ER and could not attend. Love you Third and thank you for working so hard!
 

As we left Fort Bliss, I snapped a photo of the gate photo and think that this is a great reminder for us all, don't you think?

As I have had several emails about this I thought I would give a brief explanation. We live just a bit north of El Paso, Texas, in New Mexico. Traveling to El Paso is a hop, skip, and jump for us~and we are VERY thankful that our son is stationed so close to us!

From the Great State of New Mexico!


 
 
 
 
 
 
  video platform
  video management
  video solutions
  video player


Yep, she is my governor!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday Window

Another window into my life!
Spinach/Pineapple smoothies. 
I canned pineapples a few months ago~in water.
So use 1 can pineapples and the liquid
About 1 cup of washed spinach
and I added another 1/2 cup of water.
Blend like crazzzy~
then

Enjoy.
All I can say is this~around 3:30 in the afternoon this is the get up and go I need!
Let me know if you try this~
 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

24 Post 2

We had a wonderful 24th anniversary. Here is a montage of our day:

We borrowed our son's car for the day. 
 
We spent time here...

We drove here and there.

We admired this couch set while at Costco~perfect for tall and short. Of course, this was a lovely place to rest for a moment then we headed home...did we covet it? Kind of...as I am embarrassed to admit~yet, life is far more than a sofa set. In 24 years we may not have had a new sofa, but we have have lived a life that has no price. To my handsome taller half...thank you for so very much!

  
We came home and a picnic awaited us~made for by the beautiful Fourth, with a bit of help from her brothers. (I do love this note as it is so very true)

The basket was filled with homemade bread made into sandwiches, a lovely carrot and spinach salad, olives, delish cake made by Fourth, pie, a candle and cards! (each item had a sweet note)

We had our picnic in the park in town as we had to do a quick errand...so we enjoyed the view of the mountains while we ate. I confess I had tears in my eyes at such a lovely gesture made by our children. 

All because is absolutely correct...and because of 24 years ago~


We have had a life that has made all the difference as these four joined the family!
I love you Bill 
I love you First, Second, Third, and Fourth~
I am ever so thankful for so many things and you five are at the top.
Love you always.

Monday, August 27, 2012

24 Post 1

 I am 365 days away from celebrating my silver anniversary.

In light of this news, I am reposting some August 27th blog posts I have written over the years. To my taller half-I hope you know how very much you have made my life so incredible~and I can't wait for year 50!

Today in History...

August 27, 1988 had an extremely important impact in world history.

A young woman married a young man. Not different than what happens all around the world except for one very little fact. That young woman was me.

Today is my anniversary. I married and felt a little grief on my wedding day. I was afraid to walk down the aisle without my dad. But I did, and here I am today.

I am the person I am due to my husband. He stood beside me, supported me, and loved me even at the times I may not have been too lovable. He watched me go to the hospital for months on end for problem pregnancies. In fact we had only been married eight months when I went in the hospital with First. I guess we "dated" when he would get off from work and come over to the hospital to sit with me. I was frightened to be in the hospital, so far from my family, and so young.

I would have never guessed that my husband and I would travel the world. I never could have foreseen traveling around Europe or Mexico, let alone about 35 states. Through our marriage we have had hardships, and trials, and joys and life. We brought 4 beautiful children into the world. Four pregnancies that nearly killed me. After the delivery of the fourth baby, he had to wait in the waiting room wondering if his young wife would live or die. My heart stopped on the delivery table, and I nearly died. He sat and prayed and felt comfort. I, of course, knew nothing of this. But I had been married to him for awhile, and I had come to know his upbeat attitude. Nothing ever gets Bill down.

We decided together that I would stay home with the children, while he supported the family. He never has come home ready to relax. He comes home rolls up his sleeves and tackles the kids. He comes home and gives me a break. You see, with the kids home 24-7, I do get a little tired. Bill knows this and steps in.

My husband has been my partner in all I do. I have seen him save a 15 year old girl's life after she was run over by a train. I saw the blood on his hands, listened to her screams from yards away, all the while he was holding her comforting her, and performing life saving measures on her.

I have cried with my husband when the doctors told us that our daughter would not survive the night, yet she is still here.

I have stood united with him in parenting. We are the parents. We are to set the example. We are to show the children how to be married.

I almost lost you too. I sit here weeping thinking of that night. I could not lose you. You are my life. I must say that that day nearly tore me apart. Driving to the accident scene with Darcy, so I could say goodbye was so hard. I thought you were dead, and I had to tell you one last time how much I loved you.Then as Darcy was taking me to you they had life and started transport. I absolutely had to be with you, so I was taken to the high school football field to wait with you until flight arrived. The weather was not agreeable so the ambulance set off to meet flight, and I sat in the ambulance with you. We traveled nearly 80 miles all the while awaiting the weather to clear so flight for life could go out. Finally 20 miles from Las Vegas, you gave me hope. The radio traffic had the captain ask where your weapon was, and as you were and always will be a cop, you responded. Groggy but clear, you told us to tell the captain where the weapon was...and I was able to calm down. I thank God for this extra time. We must never forget how precious we are to each other.

I guess I am rambling, so I will close with a few thoughts. It is a good thing to still be in love with your husband...And Bill I am ever so in love with you! It is a good thing that you still can make me blush, in fact when I see you my heart still flips. Do not ever forget that I love you.
I am sharing with all my readers, my blog friends and the world, that I am more in love with you today than 24*(*) years ago. I can not imagine life without you, but I know that someday we shall part. I am so thankful that I know where we are headed.

I love that you are the father of my children
I love that you have set such an honorable example to the boys on how to be real men
I love that you are such an incredible cook(although it does show for the world on me)
I love that you sing in the shower
I love your smirk, it really does give you away
I love the rules you have for Monopoly...kind of!
I love that we tried when the kids were little to out fake who was asleep...I am sorry that it is my specialty!
I love that you have taken the time to share with each child some thing each and every day.
I love that you were patient with me and my cooking skills, I know in the beginning it was blah
I love that you will listen to every thing I have to say
I love that you have given me the world
I love that you have given me your heart
I love that you call me sexy...and the young kids don't get it!
I love that you love short
I love that when I see something neat, that I can't wait until I share it with you
I love that you do not need perfection
I love the fact that you love me.

I could never have imagined the life that you have given me. I stand in awe of you, I am in love with you. I am so happy that tall and short are great balances. Thank you so much for working with me so that we could have such a great marriage. May we share another 50!

I love forever my dear sweet best friend!
Jennifer

* date changed to reflect 21 years!

(*)now date changed to reflect 24 years!
I wrote this post in 2007 and find that I cannot even come close to expressing myself any better. Happy Anniversary Bill!




Sunday, August 26, 2012

Things that make me wonder

 If our nation is as divided as it seems by political leanings, then why on earth does the Republican candidate(presumptive) have one of the most divisive things on his resume-that actually aligns him with President Obama?  (mini quiz: which candidate as governor enacted healthcare for all his state's citizens?)

I wonder here in blogland...as we the people are battling some pretty ugly public battles for candidates that are far more similar than different.  Please think about this...as the War on Women has been shouted from the rooftops, yet is not a rally cry of truth in 2012. My mother's generation understood this, yet in truth from my generation and younger women actually reign as gender numero uno. Be sure to check out the ratio of college grads. Check out which gender has the right to choose life( or death), and has pretty much broken the glass ceiling. No head shaking as you read this~I mean, Hillary Clinton seemed to be the candidate in 2008, until something happened, the democrats flipped mid~stride, but Hillary was a powerful candidate and in truth would have been a far better president. And let's not forget Condeleeza Rice if we are counting, that has broken numerous barriers. The war is over folks and it is time to get back to loving the fact that the genders do compliment each other quite nicely.

It seems like our political class has really blurred both sides and invigorated the far right and the far left into a frenzy, and we no longer wish for an America with the other party. Why have we permitted this to happen?

We have a system that has been amazing and it is looked to by nations world wide as it has been quite successful. Every 8 years at least half the nation used to cheer. If it wasn't our choice we knew we only had to wait a small period of time.

Then something happened. I think hate happened.

It stirred deep and wide and caused people to really take note of differences. You know the type...for example I am a Vertically challenged-American. And Bill is a ruggedly handsome-American. Everyone needed a hyphen and everyone needed assistance of some sort.

Our grandparents would be shocked at how weak we have become as a nation. Hand outs were from churches or community kitchens and guess what~some people actually made soup daily to serve to the less fortunate. People were hired in trade for meat, produce, or for shelter. Now in our hyphenated nation we cannot call those that come here as illegal immigrants as illegals because this is offensive. We must provide loans to Americans that cannot afford homes which has translated into those of us who have been paying our home loans also paying off those who stopped paying and the government assisted them. Believe me, I know people have lost their homes. Many should never have been loaned the money. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac duped the people with the politicians hands all over it. Bill and I could not qualify for a home when we first married as we had no credit. Did this hurt our feelings? I am not sure~as I have been one of those people that has believed in the America where anything is possible and with hard work we could buy our own home(ps...we are in one of the homes we have bought over the years-all is well that ends well).

Now we demand free this and free that~Uncle Sam owes me a free college education. Uncle Sam needs to provide birth control for college women(hey I have an idea-if you want to be sexually active, cover this yourself). Uncle Sam needs to provide summer lunches to poor American children in the summer. I have written about this before on the blog...and photographed the food thrown away. Hungry children do not throw food away~and actually dig through garbage for food. Uncle Sam has been a pretty good uncle before the entitlement America took over.

I mean, anyone can call 911 and pretty soon responders arrive. Anyone can go to an ER anywhere in the nation and have emergency treatment. All children are granted an education from K-12 and we do have care for our seniors, disabled, and poor. But this entitlement mentality has made college students put their hands out for food stamps...holy smokes. And here in my town, a young family that makes only $800.00 a month and is on pretty much EVERY assistance program available, were just financed in their very first home~ no kidding.

My in-laws had that dream and immigrated to America to make a life for themselves that they could not dream of in their country of birth. They worked to make their dream come true. My husband was the first born in his generation in the United States. He was not raised to take from this country and between his 7 siblings you would be amazed as all but one are college graduates. By my children's generation two have served in the military. Bill was the first his generation to serve in the Army, as he deeply loves this nation and appreciates that America used to be and should be a nation where we are not told to serve, but where one volunteers. Each generation used to understand this, and many have served in occupations that are truly for others. I would venture to guess most Americans prefer less government and more of the freedoms that still today, millions upon millions around the globe covet. I pray as I type this post that our nation can realign herself as we are no longer 8 years from one side or the other. We are now so deep into debt that recovery seems almost impossible.

But here's the good news. I believe in America. I know my neighbors believe in America. I know my fellow New Mexican's believe in America, and I know my fellow Americans believe in her. We need let our politicians understand two words~NO MORE. If they cease to represent the common sense values that we as a nation cherish-they need to be voted out of office~oh and one more thing, it is time for term limits for our Congress. We fought a war to remove the monarchy, so why did we allow a reigning class to take over?

So with these things that make me wonder on this lovely New Mexico evening, I thought I would share some photos to give you a smile.
This is a  Double Nickel Farm Welcome Basket that we put together for our newest neighbors. It is a bit of our farm and we also included 4 eggs fresh today as well as Cranberry Pumpkin muffins. It is nice to see others that seem to have fallen in love with the beauty that the desert has to offer.

This was a nice thank you to our local hospice volunteers that was displayed at the county fair. I am so thankful for those that volunteer for Hospice and I will never forget those back east that came and helped  when my mom was dying. They were so amazing and some day, when I am a parent of all adult children I will step up to volunteer as it will be my turn to help another family as my family was helped.

To my friends and readers around the world please have a safe week!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Dinner that would make

Popeye proud!  Of course, this meal was less about Popeye and more about delicious eats!  Spinach is an incredibly healthy food that I am not going to lecture you on, instead if you wish to read how healthy it is,click here!  For me, Spinach is not about being healthy. It is about enjoying the food that is served~silly, I know, but it is true.
 First we had spinach with carrots.  I wish I could say we served it fancy on a plate and ate it with homemade croutons-but we didn't. I actually ate the carrots and spinach as is...raw and wonderful.
Simple is sometimes very good!

We also had spinach pie. I found the recipe on a cottage cheese container and decided to try it. 
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg slightly beaten
1/3 cup fresh spinach chopped
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
Mix and bake at 350 F

We also had spinach pizza...if you remember this post I shared a recipe for making a very simple bread. My pizza idea was inspired by half of the bread leftover. You can't really tell from this photo, but the crust is my Blue Ribbon bread recipe. The pizza sauce is tomato sauce with parsley, garlic salt, minced onions, basil, oregano, and marjoram. I topped the pizza with mozzarella and baked it at 350F because the oven was already in use with the Spinach Pie.

I thought maybe you could see the shape of the bread better in this photo. I did make one half plain old cheese...in case you are wondering~I kind of like a lovely cheese pizza, just for me sometimes! 

That was dinner here on the farm...kind of reflective of who we are. Simple, not so elegant, totally relaxed, and able to create diversity with one item as the theme!


Friday, August 24, 2012

This, That, the Other, and Let's Never Forget

In the category of this~Being thrifty can stretch a tight budget. I canned 7 pints of chicken stock. I will be able to cook Spanish rice, Mole(pronounced molay), and even soups with the chicken stock. It is really very easy to stretch the budget when you realize that things usually seen as waste are actually still usable.

Chicken stock is very easy to make but you do need a pressure canner to can it. 

I began making chicken stock on Sunday when I boiled 8 pieces of chicken for dinner that night. I boiled the chicken in 2 quarts water, with 1/2 an onion, 2 garlic cloves, and a bay leaf.  For dinner I baked the chicken in a lime seasoning that Bill made. The kids had an outing so 6 pieces of chicken remained. With the 2 eaten pieces, I reserved the bones in the two quart pot and covered it and stored it in the fridge.

On Monday night I made twice baked chicken with the remaining 6 pieces. I made a barbecue sauce and baked the already seasoned chicken in the sauce. I served the chicken with scalloped potatoes,  buttered squash, salad, and peaches. I tossed all the bones from this meal into the two quart pot and left it in the fridge overnight. Tuesday morning I began making stock. I save the celery leaves so I tossed celery leaves, a few stalks of celery, carrot peelings, a green onion, a bay leaf, and some peppercorns in the pot and cooked it over a medium heat. I then turned it off, let it cool and put in the fridge so that the fat would be easy to skim off. After a bit I skimmed the fat off, then strained the stock and had a lovely stock to can. I brought it back up to medium heat...then  I prepared the pint jars, lids, and rings, I pressured canned the stock for 25 minutes at 10 lbs pressure.

I do love to be thrifty and with 8 pieces of chicken I will be able to make an additional 7 meals~

In the category of that~Here's a recipe that is delicious: 

I made a pie the other night. What kind of pie you ask? 
It kind of looks like an apple pie~but it is not. One of my zucchini's grew like crazy and when I found it, the zucchini was about 16 inches long. So I peeled the hard outside, cut out the seeds, and sliced the zucchini like apple slices.  I boiled the zucchini with cinnamon,  nutmeg, and allspice. Then I drained the zucchini and followed my recipe from my 1963 Betty Crocker cookbook for making an apple pie.  

 To say it was delicious is an understatement.
It actually was superb! By the way, this is how I eat apple pie/now zucchini pie~ warm out of the oven with milk and sugar.
My family prefers pie with ice cream.

In the category of the other~
Do you have this flavor of Doritos where you live?
They made me think of Good Times and Dynomite turning out to be a catch phrase for J.J a character from the show~
and

Let's never forget~our VA hospitals. If you have never visited one you should. The halls are filled with men and women that served our nation throughout the years. Many are old and one may never think about them wearing a uniform fighting a battle far from home yet life continues on and the brave do age.

The hardest part about our VA Hospitals is not seeing the elderly needing care. This makes me happy because our country does care for our veterans. What makes visiting the VA hospital hard is seeing the young veterans in wheelchairs-missing limbs, recovering from our current wars...


I was waiting for my Bill and sat and noticed this sign above the entrance/exit. I had not really noticed it before and I am glad I noted it yesterday.  From the Double Nickel Farm to all our soldiers around the globe as well as our veterans we say thank you.  We are grateful  for your service.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Some Questions

Today is a question post.  Feel free to copy the questions and answer them in your comments.
  1. If healthcare(Obamacare) for all  is supposed to make it  affordable, why will the purchasing of healthcare cause my family to need assistance or go without electricity?
  2. Why are we spending billions on a trip to Mars to find if life exists, but deny that what is gestating in a woman's womb is not a life unless SHE decides to carry the life to term?
  3. Why is it racist to question anything the President does, but this sticker is not racist although it lumps all Hispanics into one group and implies that Hispanics think in unison?
  4. Are unclean animals no longer unclean? 
  5. What does it mean in John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments?
  6.  Why is it racist to ask for an ID to vote, but not when we walk into a VA Hospital? Should veterans be upset and cry racism? 
  7. Why won't President Obama release his college records? I think Romney and Obama should both do so. I also think that we should see their tax returns and ALL of their work history in the private sector.  
  8. Why do women spend so much on purses? 
  9. How old is the vehicle that you drive? 
  10. Why is there a Christmas countdown and a huge war to keep Christ in Christmas when Christ nor the Disciples never kept this as a holy day and it did not become a hol(i)day for 300 years after Christ's death and resurrection?

    Prayer Request

    Friends of ours are having some grievous times. I ask that you pray for E as she has terminal cancer. I ask that you pray for her loving husband L as these times are heavy for them both.

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Final Wrap~up of County Fair 2012

    The County Fair is over for 2012.  The fair has been a wonderful place to share the continued workings of the farm. We are learning more and more each year and the fair allows us a chance to share our accomplishments.
    Here are some photos of the produce section. Our garden has been one of the most diverse gardens we have ever grown, because I wanted to see what would grow in southern New Mexico and what wouldn't.  We entered the traditional items such as chili's, squash, and pumpkins, to the not so traditional items of amaranth Hopi Red Dye. We did not have a great tomato year and so a sure thing ended up not entered. 

    Our cotton has not produced yet this season. I was happy to learn that when it produces I can save it for next year and enter it in 2013!

    Our transformation to a farming lifestyle has had many ups and many downs, but gardening has been a wonderful spirit booster to help us along our journey. Next year we are expanding once again in our gardens and can only thank Mesilla Valley Maze in Las Cruces...they have been our inspiration!
    Here is a photo of walking up to the fair. I love the mountains as a backdrop!

    I love watching the kids on the slides...note the blur on the left of the photo~woohoo

    I seem to post a photo of the Ferris Wheel every year, so I can't stop now, it is tradition!
    It's funny, because we never attended county fairs anywhere until we moved to New Mexico.
    Now I look forward to the fair every year!

    Here are two of the gourds cut and painted. I tried to make them look a bit like Native pottery. When I entered them, the woman taking the items thought that I had made them out of clay! I wrote about the gourds here. 
    I harvested the gourds in November and have been creating a few other things so I am sure I will post again about the gourds transforming into this, that, and the other!

    My Fourth entered two photos in the fair. This is her second year entering and she placed third(Ford Grill photo)! If you are from this area you know how difficult it is to even enter a photo. Folks line up hours ahead (we did this year)...and last year, as two years ago Fourth was seven away from entering and they closed the contest as only a limited number are accepted.

    Here is my cinnamon basil...the smell of cinnamon basil is heavenly!

    Here is my peppermint!

    Here is my parsley!

    Here is my dried squash medley!

    Here is my dried zucchini!

    And here are my pickled peppers.  I used some of my pickled peppers in the corn bread recipe I created and entered in the quick bread division. Let me say...oh boy the corn bread was delicious!

    I know that sharing these photos of the items entered and the ribbons may seem like bragging or being over the top and if this seems this way, I thought I would explain a bit to new readers why I share.

    On January 1, 2005 our lives changed. Bill had an accident that made us regroup and figure out what we were going to do.  We opted for a major move, and a major change in how we lived. We drastically adjusted our budget...and our goals.

    We bought a farm in the middle of the desert. In truth it wasn't a farm like anyone is familiar with. We mentally wrapped ourselves around an idea and have rolled up our sleeves to make this idea come to fruition. It has been an education as neither of us really knew how to raise any livestock or poultry, and we never really grew anything that could sustain us. My baking was taking frozen bread dough out, defrosting it, then baking it, and saying I made bread! 

    Since we had to adjust our lives because of  the accident we had to study to learn everything to make the transition  go smoothly. The county fair is the perfect place to share how much we have learned or accomplished in the previous year. It is a pat on our backs. If Bill and I can do this, anyone can. We hope we have shared this through the blog as life often brings hardships and even in hardships we should rejoice. I pray that I share that more than the downs we experience. 

    And since I it would take up far more space than I think you would like to see...here are the ribbons we received:

     
    First place-blue ribbons~ 11
    Second place-red ribbons~13
    Third place ribbons~16

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    The Year of the Flower and the Ribbons!

    This year on the farm has been the Year of the Flower. Each year we have tried to improve the property in some measure by continuing on our path but focusing on one specific item. I really wanted to add some loveliness to our farm.

    I ended up planting a good deal of flowers from seed and although some did not survive because of the weather, stealth chickens, or dogs that seemed to like to climb around in the garden, some made it through and truly changed the feel of the farm.

    I entered a few of the flowers we planted in the county fair~
    I entered my Aster's in two divisions(1 stem or two stem) and won two first and 1 second place ribbon.
     
    My Verbena looked a bit sad, but I brought it in and it placed third.
     
    My small zinnia's placed second.
     
    My large Zinnia's placed first.
     
    My Allysum placed first and second.

    In addition to these flowers I grew small sunflowers of three varieties, petunias of two varieties, marigold-two varieties, gazanias, and calendula. We had a very heavy rain Tuesday night and all of my petunias, and marigold were crumbled.  My gazania's weren't blooming when I clipped the flowers, the sunflower petals were looking very sorry, and I completely forgot my calendula. I will always plant a good number of flowers from now on. No matter how much we have worked to make this farm take care of us we do need to slow down and have some things that are simply to enjoy.

    Blue Ribbon Recipe

    Double Nickel Farm Bread
    1 1/2 tbsp yeast
    5 1/2 tsp salt
    2 cups bread flour
    2 cups whole wheat flour
    2 cups wheat graham flour
    3 cups warm water

    Mix the yeast with the warm water.
    Mix the flours with the salt.
    Add dry ingredients to the yeast water.
    Stir with spatula folding the dough into the center.
    Be warned~this will be very sticky.
    Let rise until doubled, then punch down center.
    Cut in half and form two round loaves folding the dough until the top is somewhat elastic or taut.
    A good idea would be to have some flour on your hands so the dough will not stick to them.
    Place dough rounds on greased cookie sheets. Let rise until doubled.
    Bake in oven for 400F for about 40 minutes. Around ten minutes after baking put pan of water on oven rack below the baking bread.

    This is a very delicious no knead style of bread. Each year I try and make a few things for the fair that I have never made, and this was one of the recipes I made. It is an artisan bread that I altered the recipe to make it my own.  We enjoyed the bread and it seems to have been appreciated by the County Fair Judges because I received a first place blue ribbon for this entry. 

    I snapped a photo of the bread before I delivered it Wednesday to the fair.

    And here it is displayed for those attending the fair, after the judges tasted it.
    The category for Double Nickel Farm Bread~Yeast Bread.