"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, May 9, 2011

Home Made Dog Food ~The Results!

I made homemade dog food on Saturday. We have the two new pups that are important for the security and safety of the farm and I want to feed them as inexpensively and as nutritionally sound as possible. They love the new food!

I looked around on line and found some varieties of recipes that I blended to come up with what I made. I also factored the price up with this so I could see how much actually costs.

2 lbs pork diced up into small pieces (farm raised about $1.50)
1 cup lentils ($.33)
1 cup pasta ($.33)
1 cup veggies( I used carrots, celery and tossed in some cut up cabbage after the fact)($.50)
2 cups rice ($.15)
(Chicken stock) ($1.00)

Total- $3.81 for 22 cups

I serve the pups 1 cup in the morning and one in the evening. So 2 cups a day times 2 dogs equals about $21.00 a month. As the dogs grow, this price most likely will be around $80.00 a month. I am shocked at how inexpensive this is.

I froze the servings 1 cup per bag and dated the bags. In the morning I take out enough for the next day.

***I must put a disclaimer that I am not a vet. My recipe is something I catered for my dogs that eliminates ingredients that I cannot pronounce let alone identify. I love that it is something I can make for pennies a day.

I spend about $20.00 a month on cat food and I am researching the how to's on making food for them too. Cats seem to require a bit more research to ensure that they receive all they need nutritionally...so I will write about this after I have completed my study on what is needed and then my testing with the cats.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blast From the Past

Photo circa 1973. From left to right John-a cousin, my brothers Pete, John, David, sister Liz and Caroline(Carrie) with me tucked in between them.

The dog is Papason he was an Akita.

I am standing on the sandbox. It is good to note that I was comfortable using things to raise me up, as the height thing is pretty much the same(non existent). Short and I are still best buddies.

Happy Mother's Day

Aside from being the wife of an incredible man, my greatest role has been the role of mom. On this day, I thank my husband and children for making me Mom!

To my oldest, who just returned from Afghanistan~thanks for breaking me in, you were my first sweetie pie. I love you.

To my second, who is in training for his career as fireman, you were my second, and with you my role doubled in joy. I love you.

To my third, who is working 70 plus hours a week, with a zillion options for your future, you are my third blessing! I love you.

To my fourth, my precious sweet angel that came ten weeks early, you have changed my life. No, with you my life became complete! I love you.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Floral Bouquet For Mother's Day

As I said in a post I wrote the other day, I sent my mom homemade gifts over the years for the holiday's. This is what I sent her for Mother's Day 1997. What is amazing is that the flowers did not wilt! I confess the boxes of gifts and things I sent to mom have been like a time capsule of my life. She kept every letter I wrote her while stationed in Germany, so even though blogging did not exist, I have a day to day window into my life as a young wife and mother living overseas!

Back to the lovely floral bouquet:

I sent these with a small garden pot so she could plant the flowers!
Such a precious floral bouquet for me to have, as it takes me back to the moment the children were this small.

I made a seed package for each flower. First is the Whimsical "First" flower.

Second is the Regal "Second" flower.

The Treasured "Third" flower

The Cherub "Fourth"

On the back side of each seed package I wrote their name again
The Whimsical First
Color: Bold Blue
Hybrid Develop Date: 6-6
In the desert of St. George Utah

bar code-first born range- any place he plants his feet

The Regal Second
Color: Raspberry Red
Hybrid Develop Date: 6-18
On the banks of the river in Frankfurt Germany

bar code-second born range- any place he plants his feet

The Treasured Third
Color: Pleasant Purple
Hybrid Develop Date: 4-7
Where the finest bier in Europe is brewed, Lich Germany

bar code-third born range- any place he plants his feet

The Cherub Fourth
Color: Perfect Pink
Hybrid develop Date: 10-9
On the pacific coast in San Diego California

bar code-fourth born range-any place she plants her feet

I am so thankful that mom kept these lovely flowers! I have shared a bit about my mom before, yet I am not sure I have shared that my love of creating and crafting come from her. Mom thanks for my floral bouquet...it is made of the most precious of flowers I have ever known, and I will cherish this as well as the blooming flowers for the rest of my life!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Simple Life: Pickling Eggs

As we have an abundance of eggs it was time for me to implement another method of food storage. So here is the recipe I jotted down- I modified it from a few cookbooks the canning and preserving books and on line bloggers.
And with everything I do, pickling eggs is an example of utilizing everything. We love Claussen pickles and so I saved the pickle juice for this moment. This is another method of pickling in addition to the above recipe I jotted down.
I also save the pickle jars to store leftovers. I am that frugal!

One dozen fresh farm eggs. They are not from this week...so that I can hard boil them and peel them with ease. I actually hard boiled 3 dozen eggs.

Note the jars!! The jar on the left is for the pickled eggs in beet juice and onions with beets, the right jar is for the pickled eggs in the pickle juice which I added onions to.

Pickled Eggs in the pickle juice. I just shook it to mix the spices and onions together with the eggs.

The pickled eggs in beet juice. The smells were incredible and I confess I had to eat a hard boiled egg during the process. So what else before I share the recipe?

Oh the eggshells...

The eggshells can be crushed and dried and tossed to the chicks or chickens.

And once again nothing goes to waste!

Pickled Eggs in Beet Juice
1 can beets (about 15 oz can)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1 onion diced up in thin slices
12 eggs hard boiled and peeled
Juice from beets
beets from can
boil the juice, sugar and vinegar

place layer of onions and beets in jar then add hard boiled eggs cover with boiled juice, cover and store in fridge. Will be fine to eat in 3 or so days, but a bit longer will allow the flavors to blend.

For the pickled eggs in pickle juice
onion slices
pickle juice
bring juice to boil while putting onion slices in jar, add eggs, the boiled pickle juice...the same goes for these eggs as I wrote above for the pickled eggs in beet juice.

Mother's Day Gift from my Mom

Mom passed away in February and last week I was able to pick up some things that she had saved over the years from me. I could not really go through the box in February, but I did last week and it was so wonderful. Early in my marriage, when Bill and I were having the children, we were a young enlisted family, so finances were not top of the line. I created simple presents for mom for her birthday, Mother's Day and other holidays. My surprise was that she had kept my gifts!

I recall having index cards on the island in the kitchen while putting this one together. I was making this for her and wanted to remind her of all the reasons that made me love her...and so I added cards for a few weeks. I then folded the index cards up in a piece of paper and shipped it off to her.Here is the folded page~not so neatly folded and seems to have been read a bit.

A quick sneak peek to the contents...a 'Jenny' I love you!

The cards written in pen, with red marker simple embellishments.

The cards:
I confess at the time I felt sad I could not send something store bought, and worried about my notes...believe me as I have become an older mom and perhaps a bit more aware of things, my attitude towards this~well breaks me down into tears.

The notes are simple and I thought you may like to hear what a young Jennifer(in her late 20's) had to share with her mom. Each card is a thought about why I loved my mom.

~You overlooked me sliding down the railing.
~You let me eat many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when I did not like dinner.
~I always got to sit next to you in the car.
~You made me a flannel pin up board.
~You let me play on a boys baseball team.
~After I ate shampoo, thinking it was honey, you cut an apple for me and wiped away my tears.*
~You made so many cookies year after year for me to decorate.
~You took me to Put-in-Bay.
~You bought me my little brown bear coat.
~You made me feel like I was the greatest person in the world.
~You let me be a "tomboy."
~You bought me all my baseball cards.
~You let me sit/lay/sleep/sail in your boat.**
~You gave me sugar(as in kisses).
~You bought me ice skates so I could be Hans Brinker on the road.
~You let me run around the backyard with sprinklers on the 4th of July.
~You overlooked me sliding down the laundry chute.
~The thumping day after day of a tennis ball hitting the shop did not drive you crazy.
~You made me pumpkin pie with cool whip (in June) for my birthday cake!
~You didn't kill me during my teenage years.
~You bought me Revco skis!
~You gave me life.
~You took me past the glass window to the stairs nearly every night, so I could get to bed safely(scary to see outside and have to walk past it all alone!)
~You watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers with me for the very first time. It is now my all time favorite show.
~You waded through miles of laundry to keep me clothed.
~You saved our Pepper(a little Cocker Spaniel Mix from someone who tossed her in a ditch).
~You let me climb into bed with you.
~You were my strength through 4 difficult pregnancies.
~By watching you I've become a wonderful mother.
~and a billion more things you have done to create the person I am. My foundation was solid and always will I remember you and your sacrifices to me.

Thank you mom for keeping this...I am really thankful that in my life I took the moment to make this. Seems like often, especially as I blog, I am hesitant to share something not picture perfect...and these notes make me wonder, why should I not? The truth is this-life is a simple note jotted down, a trip across the country in chaotic weather, a silly evening with an older sibling making Ipad voice-overs and playing Scrabble in your pajamas, with the family at 4pm on a Sunday. Life is not in the movie image of a family...nor is life this perfect religious family, where all are pious, perfectly groomed and say all the appropriate things.

Life is about capturing then sharing each moment. Being loved and sharing that love is far greater than a price tag. And for the record, these cards mom saved have been a burst of energy into my soul. They have made all the difference in my life, and here I thought I was sending them to mom. How amazing that the true gift of the cards has become clear nearly 15 years later.

I love you Mom.

*my older sisters had put some Breck shampoo into a cereal bowl(not sure why) in the girls powder room. As I walked in to brush my teeth, I thought honey, yum, and dipped my finger in and took a giant taste! Ugh it was horrible, and to this day I am not a big fan of honey!
**My mom would lay on the couch on her side, and her knees pulled up a bit would create a space she called her boat. When we would watch TV, she would let me sit in her boat. I have passed this tradition on to my kiddles.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Spring On The Farm

I am home! I had an incredible journey with my son, and yes, we encountered wild fires in Texas, barely missed the tornadoes thanks to an alternate route midway heading due north, and flooding while crossing southern Missouri.

We also picked up a buddy's dog that lives in NY and works with my son.

I was pulled over by an Oklahoma State Trooper for failure to use a signal, while in a toll plaza. I was not cited and I think that the officer was hoping to find some couriers of something, and when my son rolled down the window(yes his car is that old) the officer saw the dog on my sons lap, and the army gear, and well food wrappers and soda bottles from what seemed like months of a journey! Oh and we had no AC which does not matter in NY but in Oklahoma it gave us the well worn wind blown look!! He had me come back to his vehicle, which made my son a bit worried, but I knew what was going on as Bill is a retired law enforcement officer. He was very nice and friendly and laughed at me for getting hooked into taking a dog 1500 miles-and sent me on my way.

I turned right around after picking up a car to drive home in(my son kindly afforded me that opportunity). I am not a flyer, but was willing to fly home, but he knows his mom. I was able to swing back into my brother's and pick up some things that Mom had that I had sent her over the years. I honestly was humbled at how she had kept all the things I have made over the years, and am going to definitely do a post about that soon. When she knew she was dying she asked me to complete a task for her that she wanted to give to all of the children(my siblings). At the time I was agreeable because I wanted her to know I would do anything to grant her comfort before she died. I was able to bring back the three boxes of material back because I drove home. This has been a whirlwind of emotions year. I cannot wait to begin cutting and piecing together Mom's final project. I pray I will make it exactly how she envisioned and that each takes that the final moments of her life were on her children. I pray that this will be how I close my eyes for the final time too.
For a photo montage of spring~the winter freeze we had seems to have killed almost all the mesquite trees. We have new life on the bottom but all the tops are dead. I cannot believe how cold it was this past winter. My rose bushes have come back but they too, took a beating.

We went through St. Louis just after the tornado and tarps were up, but the path or swath of destruction was bad. I made my son take a zillion photos as I was driving.

Here is the photo used for my mom's obituary. My brother cropped it as it was a photo of mom with dad and their first baby, my oldest sister Cathy. As we celebrate Mother's Day this weekend, I am sharing a photo of my mom just after she became a mother for the first time.

This is a photo of Bill and Fourth fueling the truck. I suppose instead of listening to the conversation of a father sharing how to click the fuel nozzle so it does not need to be held, I could have cleaned the mirrors. No, I think that this conversation is a keeper, as it is how my life is...wonderful with a compassionate husband and father. Oh and that cutie pie Fourth makes life pretty amazing too!

By the way, aside from picking up some things from my brother's, I also picked up a couple of hitchhikers in Oklahoma. I know one should NEVER do this, but Bill was totally for it, and Fourth sent me some links as to where to pick them up...AND our farm needed a few hands, so I did.

Meet Samson and Delilah (Samson has the masked face). They are Great Pyrenees and are working sheep dogs. We have had trouble with coyotes, and have had a substantial loss in poultry, cats, dogs, etc. These little adorable things are just 8 weeks old and seem small but they will grow fast and can weigh over 100 lbs each. These two will be the farm protectors as well as a visible sign to anyone that it is a safe farm for the family. Fourth and Bill are training them, and they sleep with the Navajo Sheep.

I will also post a recipe on making dog food that is healthier, less expensive and not filled with unnecessary or unhealthy ingredients. With dogs so big, this is an important thing to factor in, and we are glad that by making our own dog food, it will be like everything else we have discovered on this journey. It is not more expensive to make your own...it is only more time consuming. I am grateful that I have the time to research then implement what I learn.

Back to springtime on the farm...so far awaiting some more lambs to be born.
4 turkeys
6 ducklings
6 chicks
and 4 geese due any day
and 6 more chicks!