"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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Nitty Gritty Farm Life

 Well kind of!
The previous owner of our little house in the desert was one that owned a kiln.  We know this because she wired the back room for it.  If I did not ever see the heavy duty outlets, I would still know this as I find tons and tons of pottery shards and every now and then an unfired piece. 

I smiled when I saw this boot. As crazy it is to find this in an area that we walk on daily and poof today it appears...it is fun to find a cowboy boot.  As the wife of a man that wears cowboy boots ALL the time, I feel as though it is a tribute find!

Front side.  Bonus for grossing out factor, bird poo on the board.  I did not notice that until I uploaded the photos!
Speaking of birds (not their poo), I raked the back yard yesterday and left one pile for today.  Those henny penny cluckies moved the pile all about.  They do this often, so I suppose they thought I left it for them.  I guess I did.  Pile removed so now they have moved elsewhere to cause chaos.  As I went up the back steps I discovered the chaos in pile much like the previous photo...so I did not begin with poo for this image, but I end with it!

I shall close with my final view of the world before I turn around and enter the farm.  
The end.

My weekend

was busy with this and that projects.   I didn't get much done on the inside(including dishes), and here I am on the computer instead of cleaning up.  It seems like my mind is working through something and I am waiting.

While in my reflective or pensive mood, I thought I'd share two photos that I took this morning.
The sheep pen back in use.  In rear is the slide(click here to see it in use).
The middle right is my shabby sheik transformation for the sheepie sheepie!
It was an old bench, and we needed to make a trough for the hay and viola!
The heart bench was re-purposed. I think 4 ewes need a girlie touch~don't you?

They are tied with rattlesnakes as one of the worst things that we experience
while living in the scrub desert close to the southern border. 
The thorn in the center is a bit longer than my pinkie finger. 

Okay, all I have been thinking about since I wrote tied with rattlesnakes
is a list of worst things since we moved here.

Let's see-be sure to read all the way to the end...
Worst Things List:
  1. Rattlesnakes-oh my how I am always in a keep an eye out for rattlesnake mode.  I know I drove the kids crazy~EvErY single time they went outside, whether to do chores or walking to the vehicle, or playing~because I said watch for snakes. 
  2.  Thorns-hmm.  My feet have been punctured MaNy times.  One night when out checking the sheep with Fourth, I remember the pain of the stepping on a thorn, then quickly a wet feeling as my shoe filled with blood. I have scars on my arms from a Mesquite branch slapping my arm as I walked by.  I know, I know~they don't slap~ they attack full assault!
  3.  Flooding-The flash flooding (for this former back east girl) is shocking still.  Fortunately it dries quickly.
  4.  Scorpions.
  5. Tarantulas. This is my last worst thing.  All of these bad things although bad aren't as they remind me that good exists and if I have good, why can't I have bad?  
 In Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
 I share the verse from Job because life and experiences of life can be found in His Holy Word and those verses are very much applicable to all we experience today.   With that here is my best things list.

Best Things List:
  1. The Bible-Salvation-Truth.
  2. Bill.
  3. The kids, their loves.
  4. The grandbabies.
  5. My mountain views~The farm.
I could go on and on and on for the best thing list.  I do accept the bad as it really allows for the good to be extra good.  I hope that makes sense, as I am still reflective.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Never Forgotten

Memorial is defined as preservative of memory.1

Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.2

This is a very sobering day.  
 Since I have been blogging here is my Memorial Day post:

Our nation has Memorial Day set aside to remember those who died while serving in the armed forces.

The price is sometimes heavy.

And although time marches on, the families never forget.   Time freezes the soldier in the age that they were killed. 

Yet the family continues on.

The weeks following the loss of a loved one must seem like 
But time marches on.
Children grow up.

I love America.
I am thankful to be living in this nation.
I hate knowing exactly what is sometimes expected
from those that are in our military.

No matter how old I get, no matter how much time passes
by, I am, and always will be the baby that was born too late.
The reality of Memorial Day is that even though I am now
 a grandmother... in my heart, I am always the little girl
that wishes ever so much that she was a daddy's little girl.

As for the photo of the children and mom...
 The update is this.

Pictured front row left to right
Peter age-2~49 years later married 27 years, 2 sons. John age 3-49 years later single and busy in Texas.  David age 4 in the photo-49 years later 4 children, 1 son-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law, 7 grandchildren. Liz age 4 in photo-49 years later, 3 children, 1 son-in-law, 1 granddaughter. Cathy age 5 in photo-49 years later married almost 32 years, 2 children.  
Back row-Mom-age 29 in the photo.  Remarried had one more daughter and a stepdaughter.  From these two daughters, 2 sons-in-law, 5 grandchildren.  And the baby...me, Jenny to my family~married almost 28 years, 4 children.  2  daughters-in-law and 2 grandsons.

Dad...remains forever 28.  
In memory of Captain David P. Gibson
KIA April 8, 1967

* I forgot to add that Mom passed away in 2011.  She outlived Dad by 44 years.

1 "Memorial." American Dictionary of the English Language.  Webster's Dictionary 1828-Online Edition. Web. May 29, 2016.
2  History.com Staff."Memorial Day." History.com. A&E Networks. 2009. Web. May 29,2016

Friday, May 27, 2016

Day in the Life 27,527

My day today.  It is pretty much an ordinary day in my life. 

I woke with Bill and we talked for a bit.  He was going to have breakfast in town, so I walked out and opened the gate for him and then went and talked with all the animals.  Bill had fed them before he left so I did not have to. 

I came inside and did the dishes and ate.  Guess what?  I have a new favorite breakfast!  I cook Brussels sprouts with diced onions and a diced corn tortilla.  I cook it in butter and salt.  I love this!
My day usually begins with a list of sorts.   I may not accomplish everything on my list and I may, it depends on the day. 
I actually did more than what I wrote down.  The only thing I did not accomplish on the list was bathing.  I will do this before I go to bed (maybe).
Instead of an hour by hour of the day, since you have seen the list, I thought I would share a few photos from around the house.

 This is in the second bathroom.  I salvaged the drawers from a dresser that lived a great life then decided to no longer work as a dresser.  I didn't do anything to them aside from having Bill hang them up over the toilet.  Easy storage space in a very small room!

An oil pastel I did that hangs by the treadmill.  I just realized that while I am walking I am tempting myself with bread and drink!
I did not make the bed completely after the nap I took today.  Val the silly kitty would not move so I folded the blanket off to the side.  Yes, she took a nap with me and yes I took  nap!

 Butterfly marker drawing hanging in the laundry room.

The cookbooks~the New Cook Book and the not so New Cook Book. The cookbook on the right is from 1963.

 The beef pot pies I made today for the freezer lunches.  I also made stuffed mini peppers.

Repopulating the house plant supply.  These plants are in the front room.  I need to transplant those in the containers on the front left. 
 See my work gloves?  They are the small ones in the middle!

 Still working on this rock garden. I am going to spray it with something to kill the pokey weeds~which are the only things that will grow on this north side.

 Occupied.  Birds have returned to the largest tree we have on the property~the non producing Mulberry tree.  I think I saw five nests up there.

I have created a rock display.  I mean why not?  Of course it is not in the main area of the house and it is for me~the crazy rock person~but I do like rocks, and many of these rocks are fossils. 

Well that is a window to my world on an average day in my life.  

The Understanding of the Role of the Help Meet

In Genesis 2:18 it says:
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

For those unfamiliar with this, it is when God made Adam and then outlined that he should not be alone so God was going to provide a help meet for him.  What on earth is a help meet?  We read in the rest of Chapter 2 in Genesis exactly what(who) the help meet is and how God made her.

God made Eve the first woman.  Immediately we then learn what the intention is for man and woman:
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.  Genesis 2:24
Even before people had parents God told us we are to leave them and then the man is to cleave to his wife and they shall be one.  Marriage is what God wants the man and woman to enter in to and he defines the participants clearly.  It is between a man and a woman.

Back to help meet.  It is defined in Blue Letter Bible as helper or one who helps, succor.  Succor means to
Literally, to run to, or run to support; hence, to help or relieve when in difficulty, want or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering1

Therefore a help meet is one who helps, supports, relieves when in difficulty, want or distress; to assist and deliver one from suffering.  I see nowhere in this definition anything that is oppressive or dominating over a woman.

The help meet, in case it isn't obvious yet, is the wife. In 1 Corinthians 11 we learn God's order and covering:
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1  Corinthians 11:3

This drawing I made gives a visual of 1 Corinthians 11:3.  Before I go any further because we live in a fallen world, this is an image of how God established things.  We live in a world filled with divorce, abandonment, death as well as those that never marry.  The Bible often shares the example of how things are to be.  Please do not think I am attacking anyone if they did not grow up with a father and or mother, or if one has been divorced and this doesn't apply.   My dad was killed 2 months before I was born and my step-dad died when I was 12.  My mom was unable to have this covering the way God intended because of the very fallen world we live in.

But the image does share how God sets up the roles for each of us. Combining 1 Corinthians 11:3 with Genesis 2:18, we see that the woman is to be the help meet of the man and the man has a responsibility as well as he is the covering for the woman. 

I am a help meet to Bill.  This does not mean that I am not my own person with my own likes and dislikes.  It does not mean that at times during the marriage that I have not held a job to help out a bit financially.  What I do as a help meet is basically the support staff.   Without me, Bill would not be able to function as successfully as he does.  Now he could function.  No doubt about that.  But my role in the marriage allows for him to not worry about the care of the home, the laundry, the meals and when the children were at home, he could work knowing that they were cared for. 

God does not define work by how much income one brings in.  God also reveals many women in many roles but the covering or design of the marriage is the most successful when it follows God's pattern for marriage.  Women my age and younger, for the most part, work even if they have children.  In many cases, financially these working women can't stay home.  The role of a homemaker/housewife is not one that is accepted as something that has meaning or purpose.  The Bible tells us differently.

I am the help meet.  It is a perfect title for my role in the marriage as God defined it for me.  I help Bill.  I assist him the venture we have taken because we are married.  The success of our marriage begins when we put God as the head or the top covering.  

This post will no doubt leave some thinking I am suppressed by being a stay home wife.  Many people will think I am controlled or even abused because I cook and clean.  When I was sharing with Bill that I was going to write about this, I laughed as I asked him when he last changed the toilet paper, or washed the dishes.  He said that maybe once each in a year he has done those jobs.  You see those are my jobs.   He knows how to do them, but this is my part to ensure that our goal of living happily together until one of us dies (sigh...tears filling my eyes), is accomplished. 

I am Jennifer, the help meet of Bill and as such am living in a way God established.
1 Succor. Webster's 1828 Online Dictionary.  Web. May 27, 2016  

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

In the air

Simple Butterfly
And black and white filter. 
Pencil drawing full-figured Road Runner doodled.

Pencil drawing of Gambel's Quail~once again doodled. 

The Freezer Craze

I have packed Bill's lunches for years.  Usually he will eat three or so meals a week that I pack.  The other days he has lunch with our kids or coworkers.  Now that I am making meals for only the two of us, I do not have leftovers to pack.  With the 30 day freezer meal craze going on, I was able to look into the idea of making a variety of lunches and freezing them, so Bill has lunches for work.

What I decided to do though, was plan meals that I hadn't ever made to give him a variety and newness as if he was at a restaurant.  I pulled out some recipes and I let Bill pick which ones he wanted me to make.

Below are photos and recipes from some of my first month of freezer lunches for Bill.

One Pot Cheeseburger Casserole.
1/2 TBSP olive oil
3/4 lb ground beef
1/2 onion diced
salt and pepper to taste
14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
4oz. tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/2 lb rotini pasta
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, sliced

Cooking Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add ground beef and onion and cook until the beef has browned~be sure to crumble the beef as it cooks.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, drain off any excess fat.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, ketchup, mustard, pasta and 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through (10-15 min).
Remove from heat and top with cheese.  Cover until cheese melts(about 2 min).
Put in freezer container.  Allow to cool then put lid on while forcing out excess air.  Label and freeze.

I did not stack the containers in the freezer while allowing to freeze completely through.
Bill's thoughts: He liked it and said it is a repeat recipe.  I sent a serving of this with peas and carrots as a side.

Recipe #2 Korean Beef Bowl
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 TBSP sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 TBSP olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
1 lb ground beef
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Cooked rice for serving.

Cooking Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and ginger.  
Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant.  Add ground beef and cook, crumbling beef as it cooks.  Drain excess fat.  Stir in soy sauce mixture and green onions until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Serve with rice.

I cooked white rice and served this on top of the rice and froze.  
I sent the Korean Beef bowl with a side of frozen stir fry vegetables as well.
Bill's thoughts(and Fourth's): Delicious! Definitely a repeat recipe. 

Here are the top two recipes packed and ready to go.  I also put index notes on the freezer so I would know what I have remaining, and what it is served with.  

 Recipe #3 Chicken Penne with Pesto
16 oz of penne pasta.  As you can see I used rigatoni pasta.*
2 TBSP butter 
2 TBSP olive oil 
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves-cut in strips.  I used shredded chicken from a leftover  whole chicken (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup pesto (I made my own with pine nuts, parsley, basil, and olive oil.
3 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese.
Cooking Directions:
Cook pasta until al dente, drain.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute chicken and garlic until chicken is almost cooked(mine was cooked so this was quick). Reduce heat stir in salt, pepper, cream, pesto, and Parmesan cheese.  Once cooked stir in pasta.  

I served this with frozen green beans.
Bill's thoughts: He loves this recipe!

I made two other freezer meals but forgot to take photos.  Here are the recipes of the other two meals.

Recipe #4 Tex Mex Casserole
4 cups shredded chicken
2 cups instant rice
1(10.5) oz cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 14 oz can tomatoes diced
1/2 cup canned green chiles (I used Hatch)
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1 packet of taco seasoning
2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar)

Cooking Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine the chicken, uncooked rice, cream of chicken, sour cream, and about half of the cheese.  Mix to combine.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly.  Bake for about 25 minutes (until rice is cooked), remove from oven and top with remaining cheese.  Let melt.  Cool. 
I put two cilantro leaves in every freezer container of this-placing the leaves on top. 
I served this with corn tortillas.

Bill's thoughts- EXCELLENT.  I was worried because it looks kind of well not so lovely, BUT Bill LOVED it!

Recipe #5 Hamburger Stroganoff
1/2 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic
1 lb ground beef
2 TBSP flour
1 tspsat
1/4tsp pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter
egg noodles

Cooking Directions:
Saute onion and garlic in butter. Stir in meat and brown crumbling while cooking. 
Stir in flour, salt, pepper.  Cook five minutes, drain off any excess fat.
Stir in soup and simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes.
Stir in sour cream.
Serve over cooked egg noodles.

Bill's thoughts~super as I did not make this with mushrooms as he dislikes mushrooms!

The first month of using freezer to lunch meals was a complete success.  I am preparing my grocery list for next month and the recipes I am planning for month 2 are:
1. Red Curry Chicken Skewers( I'll remove skewers to freeze:)
2. Tex Mex Casserole
3. Philly Cheese Steak stuffed peppers
4. Tamale Pie
5. Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

If I were a new wife or the kids were at home still, I would have really enjoyed this concept of making and having meals ready~what an easy thing to do to help with time and the budget!

*I made the recipes based on what I had in the house.  I wanted to make different things for Bill but I wanted to use foods on hand and not spend extra to provide him meals at work.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Girls

Introducing the farm's newest additions:  Violet, Verbena, Daisy, and for the oldest ewe I was going to call her Lily, but I heard a name yesterday and I knew her name was not Lily.  I changed the name after hearing the name Annabelle. The oldest ewe is Annabelle.   She has horns and one of the horns is off kilter a bit like a swinging bell, and when I heard the name Annabelle, I smiled and just knew.  When Bill came home from work I shared the name with him and he agreed. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

My weekend

was lovely.
Bill and I went to an appointment for him on Friday and then we enjoyed the rest of the day being together.

We went to church on Saturday and Bill presented a very interesting Bible lesson on Psalm 103.
Sweet Sofia and her family came to church and then we had them out to the farm.  I am so thankful that Sofia is recovering so well and she as well as her sisters are so kind and sweet~Fred and Sharon you are doing a wonderful job!

Sunday we woke up and repaired the sheep pen, took out a mesquite bush, and repurposed an old bench into a new and improved feeding trough.  Then Fourth, Bill and I went up the mountain and picked up our horse trailer (we had loaned it to a friend), and hitched it up and picked up four ewes from a small farm north of Alamogordo. 

Sunday ended with a gathering of the family at Second's house.  The only one that could not make it was Third who was at work, so at the end of the gathering, Second made a plate for Third, and Bill and I delivered it to him at work.
Grandest of grands! Third's son on left, Second's on the right.

The weekend was lovely.  I repeat myself because when Bill and I have an opportunity to visit with all of our kids~life is amazing.  When we get to visit with all our grands~life is amazing.  When we all visit together~and cousins play and giggle with each other~life is lovely, and I am ever so thankful.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Life of Lattice

Our porches used to have lattice around the bottom of them.  We added it when we first moved to the farm.  When we rebuilt the front porch the lattice, quite old and worn, no longer was needed as we are going to put a rock wall under the porch.

Being as frugal as I am, I could not throw the lattice away.  I thought, well I could break it up for kindling.  With that in mind I put the lattice pieces by the shed. 

The other day, I realized I had a new idea to transform the lattice, and it did not involve the woodstove! 

I made lattice frames.  Frames are more expensive than I would like 
to pay.  In fact, Bill had made a few frames for me, but with lattice
I can make the frames and I don't need any power tools.  

I am now going to be busy making lattice frames for all the drawings
that I have.   Some of the kids have claimed certain drawings, and 
I told them it'll will be a while, as I was going to buy frames for each one. 
Now it will only take under an hour to make two frames!   Being frugal 
pays off in many ways!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Project a Day

I have a personal challenge of trying to complete a project a day.  Sometimes I end up doing two one day and none the next but my goal is to have completed 7 projects a week minimum.   My projects can include a Bible study presentation to a rock garden, or an art project.  I have accepted that each day is a building of skills for the next day and as long as I am on this earth I can work on increasing the skills I have.

Here is today's project:
The drawing on a canvas with the beginnings of 
the under color. 

The under colors painted on.

Beginning to add more colors.

My pencil drawing that I am trying to paint.   I've 
added a neckline and shoulders to a dress. 

Getting closer to finishing.  

And here she is.  I have decided that she looks
like a carving of a woman that you see on the front of a boat. 

That is my project today.  It is hard at times to look at the project
and second guess or wish I could do this or that better.  Instead, 
I try and appreciate that the time I took to do this project was 
my time to be quiet and reflective.

*Ignore the time and date stamp on the photos.  I can't change it on the camera so it is off time and date!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Well Hail

I would have never guessed that I would have seen hail today but I did, and a good amount of it!
I began my day working on a rock garden area as it 
was sunny and nice outside... 
the work wagon no longer has rocks in it but hail.

We moved the bench off the porch to stain and seal the porch.
Now we will have to stain and seal the bench once again!

Back yard craziness!

Another view of my rock garden in progress.  I could never 
grow anything in this area, so I began placing fossils that 
I have collected here.  Now it is just a water/hail area!

I also moved the trees to be in the sun.  I did not get out
in time to get them, until I took this photo and remembered
them~poor things.  I hope that they survive.

The sand and gravel piles...that we used for the cement
and are still using for the rock wall.

My trees, one more photo and then I rescued them~
I know, I know, I am just like those that take a photo 
instead of responding.

One of the dogs loved the hail...one of the dogs is under
the desk as I type.
~I think it has been one hail of a day~
with that I think I better make dinner.