"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, September 30, 2013

Quenching the thirst

of the farm family.    I am sure on the world stage sharing or reading what we drink on the farm may not be too important but I am without words about everything else.   So pull up a glass of your favorite quench buster and enjoy!

First up: Lemonade 

The kids call this kicken aid.   It is so easy to make.
Mix about 1/2 cup of lemon juice, fresh or bottled
a bit under a half cup of sugar(for 32 oz)
3 mint leaves
then chill!

Cream Soda

 2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
Heat the sugar and water together until the 
sugar dissolves.  Add the vanilla, and then

pour the mixture in a cup with ice
about 1/4 a cup...then fill with 
the carbonate water and stir!

cinnamon sticks 
Boil the cinnamon sticks in the water
until the water is a reddish brown color.
Serve hot and enjoy!
I prefer canela with no sweeteners as I 
usually drink canela when I am coming down 
with a cold.  It is the perfect feeling sick
pick me up drink!

Lime Salt Water
 On the hottest of days this is such a 
refreshing drink.  Squeeze fresh
limes into a glass of cold water and add
about a tsp of salt.

Vegetable Juice
This is a thick Veggie juice.  I can my juice 
and sometimes I strain it and other times I puree it 
and can without straining.

For this batch 
tomatoes, carrots, celery leaves, kale,
pattypan squash, zucchini, onions, beets
and parsley.

Sun Tea
I make this in the morning and by noon
it is ready to chill.  
Water, tea, and the sun.


 This should be the first drink as we
drink so much water.  I fill up old juice bottles
and keep the water chilled in the fridge.

Knudsen Drinks

I buy Knudsen Just Black Cherry from
the local supercenter.  It is unsweetened
and we make a breakfast juice with half from this
and half water.  
I also buy other Knudsen juices if they go on
sale at the stores or from Azure.


Believe it or not, coffee was the inspiration
for this post.   I do not drink coffee.
Bill and Fourth do.  I have pondered for weeks 
what to do with the remaining cup of coffee.

I think I have a great solution and hope to share
at another time.  As for now...do you like my Army
Mom mug?  Thank you again First!!!

Cherry Fizzy Drink
 I make this exactly like I make the cream
soda concentrate except I use cherry flavor from
Azure Standard.  
2 cups water boil with 1 cup sugar
add 1 tbsp cherry flavor.  Add to ice cup with
mineral water. 

Watermelon Drink
Cut the watermelon into bit size pieces.
Fill several mason jars.  Store in fridge.
For midday snack drink juice, then eat the 
watermelon chunks!

Spinach Pineapple Smoothie
1 can of pineapple and liquid in can (mine is water)
1 cup of fresh spinach
1 cup ice
and blend!
Lovely and refreshing!

Hot Cocoa

 7 1/2 cups instant powdered milk
1 1/2 cup sugar(not pictured!!)
1 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. salt(not pictured)
Mix together.  
Stir 1/2 cup of mixture to 1 cup boiling water
dress it up with some marshmallows.

Group Photo*

Back row~ lime water, water, sun tea, cherry drink
Front row~Vegetable juice, lemonade, cream soda
Yep, I do love the Mexican Coca-cola and have that
a few times a month!  I love the look of the bottle with
the cork so I repurpose Coke bottles to hold homemade 
fizzy drink concentrates!

*well a group photo of some as I put some away before I thought to snap this photo!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Morning

After a weekend of rain, overcast skies, and sunshine, I thought I would share two photos I snapped.
The Whites Sands Balloon Invitational was this weekend.

Only one balloon launched Saturday.   Bill and I were able to 
follow the balloon around town and I will write about that in 
an upcoming post. 

Saying only one balloon sounds awful.   In truth, one balloon
in the sky made for a wonderful time with my sweetie pie.

While waiting to see if any balloons would
launch, the sun would peek in and out.

While driving around, I was able to snap this 

I am going to share more about the weekend and meeting
a local photographer...soon.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Request for letters, prayers and more...

a blog that I read is Mystic Mud.   Michele, the blogger behind the Mystique gave birth to a preemie boy named Finn.   If you have read my blog you may know that my baby~Fourth was a preemie, born ten weeks early. 

I have been following Mystic Mud pretty much since the beginning.  If you wish to read about a family that began again...her blog is one to read.   I have not mentioned how many other children Michele has.  I think you need to swing over and visit her to learn that and to offer your prayers, your support and maybe even something to help the family during this time of crisis. You see she is staying at the local Ronald McDonald house so she is near Finn, while her husband is up in the mountains with the rest of the children. 

If you wish to help you can click here  Project Finn. 

I really do not sponsor many things.  I keep my charitable donations and actions private~YET some things are so important. 

I know her walk.   I have cried reading the entries since little Finn was born.  I know the fears, the turmoil, the pain, the loneliness, the sheer hollowed out ache she is feeling.   I know what it is like to see a wee one so tiny, so frail, so faint, that one thanks God for each hour that you are granted with the precious one.  My baby has scars from her early arrival and then heroic efforts by the N.I.C.U staff.   It is a very hard journey that Mystic and her family have begun, but I can tell you she is not alone.  I pray that anyone that visits this blog swings over and lets her know she has folks all around that are cheering her on.  I am so thankful that the internet can do this.   I cannot express to you how hard spending months on end in the hospital was thousands of miles away from my mother, several hundred miles away from Bill's family and two hundred miles away from our children.  I would go for four days and then Bill would go for two and thank God for senior volunteers that would hold our Fourth when we were not there. 

Oh and one more thing...for those that are praying people, I ask you to pray for this family, the NICU staff, the wee one, and well the momma in particular, as she is separated from her other babies while she is caring for Finn. 

To Michele and family,

We are praying for you all.

Love Bill Jennifer and family

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Randomness of a Monday

The rain and flooding in Colorado is heavy on my mind and in my prayers.  When one prepares for things to happen many do not realize that losing everything that one has is the possibility.  I pray for those that are enduring the hardships they are, and I pray that we remember them in the months to come.

We have had several days of serious rain here on the farm.   The garden is happy.  Everything else is drenched.   Plans for building a sukkah seems to be tabled at this point as the wood is saturated, the ground is gooey, and the weather is hit or miss. 

A wonderful friend even offered her dryer as she knows we have the solar dryer and nothing else, and we haven't had much sun time to dry anything.  I told her I have my indoor lines full bore~but I will say I am VERY thankful for her gesture.   If it keeps up, I am going to take her up on this offer!

Second completed more training in Socorro, New Mexico for his ongoing career in Fire Department.  He came by this morning to share about his past week.  It is so good to hear about my cuties as they go on in life.

Third is renovating a rental-with landlord granting deduction in rent.  He moves in October and is really looking forward to living in a house instead of an apartment that he shared with anywhere from two to three roommates at any given time.  He is also taking some classes to strengthen areas in his field and to open other doors.

First spends the weekends here-well with his roommate~Second, and the week is spent at training.  He is in the police academy.  I can't remember if I shared that he was honorably discharged from the Army in June and began the academy in July.

As to those that emailed as well as asked where Fourth works~I am always a hovering mom.  As our community is pretty small I will not go into many details aside from the fact that this was her dream job as it offers her the return she has wanted since she was 15.  My Bill went to see her the second time she worked and was so humbled that our preemie, our wee one, the baby~is moving forward.  I am smiling as I type that.  She is also working on continuing with classes as well.  

Bill and I are the same.   I enjoy the time I can sit and visit with him, and how we are still plugging along with our farm.  Steady pace~and a million projects~keep us going.

The kitty is doing well and is on a blanket beside me as I type.  I am in her world~momma~and that kind of makes me smile too!

For dinner~soup.   The weather begs for soup of some kind and like this post, it will be a randomness of the fridge.  I know it will have zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan squash, carrots, peas, and tomatoes in it.  It probably will have turkey as the meat, but the final decision is not locked in!

For my visitors~have a lovely day. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

My Little Girl

begins her very first job today.

Although I want to write a million things, I will not.  Instead I will share what Bill shared with Fourth this morning...he sent her the link to this song. 

Can you hear me sniffling?  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Today's Post is Brought to You by the Number 3

Today I went to El Paso, Texas and while driving I had some time to think.   This post is a result of too much time on my hands and my mind swirling around everything and anything.

Three.  3.  Three.  3.  Three.  3
My dad was one of 3 brothers. (he was the middle son)
My mom had 3 brothers.
Bill is of one 3 brothers. (Bill is the middle son)
I have 3 brothers.
And because Bill and I are not ones to rattle the pattern~we have 3 sons!

This concludes today's post. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Always turn the light on

when you go to the bathroom.  Well at least for those of us on the farm. This is what we call a child of the earth.
He decided to crawl out of the toilet paper roll as I was tearing a sheet off.  No it was not a rattlesnake, so I did not attach myself to the ceiling, but I did jump.  He is gigantic as you can tell from the scale of the one square of toilet paper underneath him!  Okay maybe he is not as big as the tarantulas that we see outside but in the bathroom~he seemed like the Jolly Green Giant! 

Here's another farm tip, in case you needed another~always shake the clothes out in the laundry basket~ as scorpions love to set up camp. 

Efficiency Tip Friday

How to efficiently pump fuel for your vehicle.

Step 1:  Contact your handsome husband.

Step 2:  Let him know that you are going to the gas pumps after you finish shopping.

Step 3:  Shop, walk to vehicle, unload groceries to vehicle and then drive over to the pumps near grocery store.

Step 4:  Husband shows up and parks behind you and pumps your fuel~efficient isn't it?

Step 5:  I almost forgot~walk over to husband and xoxoxo him because he is so kind.

Yep.  That is what life is like when one lives life on the edge.

Please stay-tuned for more Efficiency Tip Posts~as they make me smile!

The week before my mom died she

told me something that I have opted not to listen to.   I know that sounds horrible.  I have thought deeply about what she told me and I understand why she said it.  You see, I told my mom and sisters and brother that I was not going to color my hair anymore. 

Mom grabbed my hand from her hospital bed and told me no.  I should not stop coloring my hair.  She was so serious. 

I am not trying to go against my mom.  I just decided that gray had finally won.  I was coloring my hair once a week and it did not help.  I realized that things changed for me the moment the door knock came and the young deputy told me about Bill.  My life in a moment had changed, even though the initial report was wrong. 

Since then the gray seems more earned.  Not sure if that makes sense but that is kind of how I feel.  Anyhow I look back to how very serious my mom was about not going gray and I have realized why this troubled her so much. 

You see, we live in times where the worship of youth reigns.  This is such a bizarre notion, yet thanks to Hollywood, this is truth.  We demonize growing old and all that comes with it besides wealth.   Everything on the big screen is perfect that mainstream America has taken to the perfect image of life instead of living life. 

People age.  Houses are not always clean.  Accidents happen and there aren't always miraculous recoveries. People live in trailers.  Children are disobedient.  Laundry piles up.  Clothes wear out.  Vehicles have dents, dings, and junk rolling on the floor.  Most of this happened without Hollywood taking note.  Even in 'reality shows' scenes are staged.   Thanks to Hollywood many live in denial. 

 We have created a hollow people that focus only on the external.

I am 46 years old.  I am not in the grave yet, but I am no longer the twenty something either.   I am aware of the fact that I have knees now.  In my twenties, I had no idea that they existed.  Now I do because of the creaks!  I am the mother of twenty somethings now.  I do not want to be told I look young enough to be their sister.   I have lived 46 years and when I look in the mirror I see a woman that has gained experience in each year that has passed.  Much of the experience I have gained is through misses and bumps along the way, but each year has brought me to the Jen of today. 

I look in the mirror and I see the gray hair and realize that I have lived life and although my hair has changed I have not.  I do not need blond hair to be me.  We hastily judge one by the physical appearance we see.  This is a great shame and is totally against the way we were designed.  God designed each of us and knew we would age.  If we wish to live we will age.  God has shown us that to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).

I have been a baby, a child, a teen, a young bride, a young mom, a mom of teens, and now a mom of kids in their twenties(and one almost 18).   I have lived in two countries and 8 states.  I have held a variety of jobs and rose to pretty much every challenge in front of me.   I am a woman who has embraced the life I have been given. 

I also am embracing the gray hair I have.   I think it is time for many to realize that we all come in different shapes and sizes and all the crazy things we do to ourselves to fight time and the inevitable really don't accomplish anything at all for us, but give something to another.  You know~$, your money~to the tune of billions of dollars a year is wasted on making us look young, feel young, and in truth actually make many look freakish and fortyish or fiftyish. 

By the way, I am not suggesting one roll up and give up after 40.  I think I am more in tune with maintaining and improving my health than ever before.  Although I am a housewife I am not sitting around idle.  I read and study a variety of topics weekly if not daily at times.  I have a skip in my step,  especially when my handsome love is near and I know that life is best at the very age one is and not the age one attempts to be.

To the young, stop trying to look and act older.  To those not so young, stop reaching back for life. You are missing out on so much trying to obtain something that is fleeting for all of us if we wish to live a long life.

As to not listening to my mom, I think I finally heard what she really said.  We frown upon the aging, old, and infirm, and she did not wish for me to experience what she had experienced near the end.  Near the end of her life, she was ignored by professionals as they looked to my siblings or I for information about her.  She was mentally sound until the last moments of her life, but she was a woman in her 70's.  She held two degrees, raised 8 children, buried two husbands far too early in her life, yet in the end, she was seen only by her age and was pushed aside.

I know what she said is real.  I know that because people offer me a senior discount until they look at my face.  Then they back up a bit as gray does not mean wrinkled!  I know that very few American women under 70 leave their hair go gray and that I am seen as something of an oddity as I am me~as is and gray.  I have many women my age or older tell me with a straight face that they do not have any gray hair...yet pretty much every time I see them they have a different hair color so, how would they know? Other women tell me that they can't go gray as they are not old yet!?  It is so interesting how much we as a society place value on youth to the point where so many fear the most natural of things in life. 

I am thankful that I have had a few years to ponder my mother's thoughts as well as applying getting older with the Bible.  I am not dishonoring my mom by allowing my hair to gray naturally.  I am a woman with much life left, perhaps many years left to live, and I am also a gray haired person.  Such is life, and instead of running from age, I am thankful I am 46.  If only, if only my dad had been able to live to 46. 

To my readers~I am not suggesting that coloring ones hair is evil or sinful.  I am suggesting that we as a people return to reality and appreciate that we are not stationary but are migrating towards aging and that is not a bad thing. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Appropriate Gifts for a Silver Anniversary include

a simple ring and necklace set from Avon, a new cowboy hat from Sheplers and of course a teeny kitten!

 Sure.  Why not?  The animal rescue on the farm never ends!   Second called Bill and I a few days before our anniversary because he had found a nearly dead kitten under his steps.  It was clearly not weaned, her eyes were infected and I doubted she would survive.  I told him we would take her if he could catsit when we went away on our Anniversary.    She required complete attention.  Her mew was inaudible, and we had to clean her eyes every hour or two.

I opted to create a feed program to get her back to health.  I gave her fresh cream, tuna, and shredded chicken.  It took a week for me to be certain, but she seems to be doing pretty good so I thought I would share her here. 
I mean, she can launch herself, grab for dear life, and claw her way up to the dining room chairs...and then look so proud~so I better share her here!

As to her name?   Well I really end up calling the cats all Kitty, but we decided at first to call her Silver, for our 25th.  I am certain she will respond to Kitty and that will be that!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Feast of Trumpets

is here! 
Leviticus 23:23-25

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.

As a family that believes in Jesus Christ as the Messiah...we have been slowly learning about the Feasts that are in the Bible. The feasts have been largely ignored by Christians, us included.  For the past few years, if you have been reading for that long, you may have noticed we have been marking Biblical Feasts and that may give an appearance that things have radically changed.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It has been a wonderful journey reading the Bible and realizing the more we read, the more we uncover. 

In the New Testament in the book of Colossians 2:16-17  these verses opened our eyes.
 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (emphasis mine)

We live with the knowledge of Hope and Faith in Him.  We celebrate in the feasts not by bonds but by looking for what is coming~and if you have read the Bible~you know it is Christ that is coming once again.  

Did You Guess

what the photo was in this post?   The people below correctly guessed that it was the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone and need to leave me their name and address so I can mail them a little care package from the farm.  

Glenn B.
Pam R.-pretty near close enough!
Deb R.
One of the something somethings in the care pack is seeds from our organic basil plants.

Before the Green Crowd

and global warming and save the planet folks, there have always been people that live a simple life.  These people aren't governed by the Al Gore Chicken Little's of the world, but are instead living a life based on basic economics and stewardship.

I came across a blog that has a challenge of dressing for a year in second-hand or thrift store clothing.  While the goal is to reduce the landfill, save the planet, and impress upon women that new need not be necessary, I find the entire notion condescending.

How wonderful for Christina Dean to wear "dumped, discarded, or donated clothing."  What makes me find the 365 Challenge condescending is one simple nugget~Christina Dean has "12 illustrious fashion stylists", to help her inspire others to shop second-hand.


Can you imagine that?   Needing twelve people to style up used clothing for one person!  Hmm, how in touch with the real women of the world...

Even before Bill's accident, I shopped in thrift stores.   I bought baby and children's clothing as it was so much less expensive and the kids wore it so few times before they outgrew an item.

Since Bill's accident, I have bought clothing for the entire family from thrift stores.   We did not purchase undergarments because we could afford to buy once a year, as stores have sales just before the school year begins.   Bill is so tall that I also had to buy his pants new, as I only found two pair of pants his length in seven years of thrifting.  Bill works in an office setting and I have been able to prepare his wardrobe without the aid of 12 fashion stylists.  His clothes are clean, neat, and I iron them daily.  Oh and when his clothes wear out, I cut them down and make rugs, save the buttons, make potholders, and such.   Second hand does not mean that its use is gone. 

Much of my wardrobe is second hand as well.  I love the fill the Walmart bag for $4.00.   Oh and although the rule of thumb is to never buy used shoes...I have bought used shoes as well.  You see, when one lives the life, one does what one must.   Having someone shop for 365 outfits from the thrift stores to prove that one can be fashionable while saving the planet makes me laugh.

Do you want to know something that may be a reality check for Ms. Dean?  When I shop at a second-hand shop, I am not thinking of the planet.   I like to look my best, but my situation of shopping second hand puts my mindset in a place that many on the Left seem to miss.   I am thinking about how to make a fixed income appear to be more.   I am striving to have a happy, productive, loving home and I am not focusing on some up to date current trendy now hot button topic of the day.   If this was the 1970's we would have been talking about a global cooling...then what?

As to showing women how to be stylish, I smile, and will come back to this thought.   For now I wish to share about my family's journey to the simple life and how it is more authentic to preserving the planet than those that showcase a woman having an additional 365 outfits(as she had clothing before this 365 Challenge).  Christina Dean is giving a double standard in her attempt to enlighten women everywhere how to save mother earth.

The earth is fine.  We should be good stewards of what we have.   We should reduce the waste our home has-because if one has so much garbage it means one has too much stuff each week~seriously, think about that.   Turning lights off isn't about saving a planet at the Double Nickel...it is about saving money.  Every penny saved is truly a penny earned.  We use less in utilities so that the paycheck lasts longer.

We use almost zero chemicals on the farm.  We live this way after learning how to make our own cleaners also brought us to an awareness of how toxic the cleaners are that most Americans have in their homes.  The bonus of saving money while making homemade cleaners is that we are living a healthier life with less toxicity in our bodies.  I spend less a year on cleaners than one family spends a month on laundry supplies!

Although I think it is quite a grand gesture to share with women how to dress sharp while shopping at a thrift store, I find the idea upsetting at what the real consequence will be.   You see, when the save the planet crowd takes over the thrift stores to buy shabby sheik wardrobes-women in real financial need will be pushed out.  The second hand stores will raise prices as they have consumers with money, and the nice clothing that was generously donated will go to someone who then can make a photo journey of her incredible finds.

If you wish to really make a difference, and save the planet~enter your own closet.  Hire those stylists to come in and freshen up what you already have and you will bring the clothing you already selected back into style.   Pay for alterations to make your clothes new again and leave the second hand stores for those that need them.   That is what will  make a woman really stylish-by making over what she already has. 

Here is the closet situation after a summer gutting.  I cleaned out
the ripped, torn, or super well worn clothing to make rugs.
 Items we did not wear I ended up taking back to 
the thrift stores. 

Los Lunas Decalogue Stone

 is the answer I was looking for in the previous post.
I will share more about this stone in upcoming post...as well as the controversy.  In addition I will share how very much it requires to locate the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone as it is not marked on highway, roads, or side road to the stone.  In fact, I had my doubts that we were actually in the correct place.   We hiked for almost a mile in the scrub desert uphill.  No snowstorm though!!

If you entered the contest in the previous post and guessed the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone or something that mentions the ten commandments and the stone...then please leave your address and I will be sending you something from the farm.  Don't worry-I won't mail critters in the mail :).