Jim and Jill

Jim and Jill

Monday, November 17, 2014

Whow, an awful lot has happened in our lives since my last post in January of this year.

Jill and I have moved into our little cabin and almost completed the addition.  We enjoy the space and really find it accommodates our needs very well.  Ethan and Evan spend nights with us and they are also comfortable.  There are two more things we would like to add to our little "homestead" and those are a water well and a geothermal heat source.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014, a new year with new challenges and opportunities. Jill and I look forward to the adventures that await us in 2014.

The grandchildren are a constant joy. The make us laugh daily and teach us so many of the important lessons that time will erase if we aren't careful.

We have added goats to what our daughter says is our growing little farm. I think she has named it “Green Acres” from the 1960's television show of the same name.  

The goats are sharing their pen with the chickens and so far no problems - other than - the goats want to live in the chicken coop which really upsets the ladies.  We are going to raise the goats (meat goats) for their meat.

Christmas went well and the kids really enjoyed the family time and the presents.  There was lots of family present this year because we celebrated Jill's daddy's 80th birthday early this year because he was going to be out of town in January on the day of his birth.
Jill baked the case with a western theme and it was enjoyed by Eddie and all those present.  Jill is a very talented lady.  She put an eatable wanted poster on the case which had him wanted by the Mississippi Fish and Game Commission for all the illegal fishing he did as a boy.

Ethan got a tablet computer, very safe and kid friendly, which he will us as he continues with his home-school lessons.

The adventure continues.  We hope to sell our home this year and move into our cabin.  Like many others we need to downsize and we are adding an addition onto the cabin to enable us to be comfortable as we go about our day to day activities.  Included are some photos of the cabin addition under construction"

As you can see, I had some really great help.  I could not have, or would not wanted to have, doe it without them.

The siding on this is old (70 year old) telephone poles.  Neither the bugs or the weather is pose a problem for this new addition.  The wood will eventually (about 2 years) turn gray as it weathers.  When it has changed it's color we will apply a stain to match the front of the cabin and it will all blend in nicely with its new surroundings.  We have planted lots of dogwoods to replace the ones we cut down in order to make a place for the cabin.

We will post additional photos as our progress continues.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Be Thankful for your Liberty!

As we reflect on the many things we as Americans have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season, surely at the top of that list is our individual and collective liberty.  Sadly, each day brings evidence that our liberty is under attack and at risk of being irreparably eroded.

We, the American people, are at a cross-road in our ongoing struggle to maintain our liberty and equality of opportunity so enshrined in our founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, and the United States Bill of Rights.

Once before in our history we stood at just such a cross-road.  The ideals of liberty and equality were threatened. The nation was in danger of being torn apart.  The nexus of that threat, to our new republican democracy, was slavery.  The union was divided then - just as it is today.  The moral issue of that day was slavery. Slaves were considered property and were essential to the economic future of the southern states.  Lincoln held that all men were entitled to the protections of the founding documents and were entitled to enjoy their liberty and equality of opportunity and that this basic natural right was denied to slaves.  President Lincoln position was that slavery was wrong and must be abolished in all states of the new union.  It took a war to decide the question, of that day.

Today, we struggle with an epic conflict of incompatible ideologies.  We find the ideologies of progressivism on the one side, and the liberty and equality enshrined in the founding documents, on the other side.  These two ideologies are diametrically opposed, and we, like those before us, must make a decision concerning the direction our ongoing experiment in representative democracy will take.  Do we want a welfare state where half of our society is dependent on the other half for their sustenance and quality of life, or do we wish to support and encourage individual responsibility where all are free to exercise their natural right to enjoy liberty and opportunity.  Welfare enslaves the spirit and creative ability of all human beings.  Individual responsibility frees the human spirit to thrive and take advantage of that “opportunity for all” so enshrined in our constitution.  Today 47.1 million people are on food stamps.  That is 1 out of every 6 people and 1 out of every 5 families on food stamps.  (USDA - August Food Stamp Report)

Pierre Samuel DuPont, a supporter of the French Revolution, observed: "Any man aspires to liberty, to equality, but he cannot achieve it without the assistance of other men, without fraternity."  James Madison, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, frequently, in his contributing essays to the Federalist Papers, talked about unity of purpose and resolve of principals, if we were to accomplish the goal set out for our new nation in our founding documents.

In 1931, Alexis de Tocqueville, the French politicl thinker and historian said: "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

Today we are compelled to make an honest and informed decision about the direction we are to take as a nation, and we must do that in concert with others who seek to restore liberty and equality for all.  We must by intellectual arguments, not with guns and bullets, persuade those who would embrace progressivism as the way we are to go that their position is self-destructive.  We must resolve to be guided by the ideals and principles found in our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and our Bill of Rights to propel us forward into the 21st Century as free men and women - enjoying the blessing of liberty that is the birthright of every American citizen.

Our liberty is being stripped from us daily by executive orders, judicial decisions, and administrative rules and regulations.  Our blotted federal government seeks to perpetuate itself by shackling our citizens, not with chains, but with a multitude of entitlements designed to keep the recipients dependent and voting into office those who will keep handing out the “free stuff.”

Today Congress has made that discovery.  I encourage you to act today.  Write, call, or visit your elected representatives and let them know you will be making an informed vote.  Let them know you will vote for those who support limited government and the principal of liberty and equality for all.  Together we can restore that for which we are most thankful – our liberty.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Much has happened since our last post.  For starters Jill and I are hosting two exchange students for the school year.  Youngtoe Choi (left) is from Soul, Korea and Fang Yan (right) is from Xiamen, China.  Both are in the 11th grade and both are doing very well in the academic and social life of the school.

We also began home-schooling Ethan using the curriculum of the K12 program.  The curriculum is very well designed and digital tools are very well (and appropriately) integrated into the course work.  Thus far, Ethan is doing very well and is eager to begin his studies each day.  The schedule is very flexible which allows us to fit the instruction to our time and Ethan's eagerness at the moment for a particular subject.  Some days he just needs for fun time before he begins his studies and some days he just is in no mood for spelling, and we can accommodate those things.
Then there is "T-Bone."  Like all the rest "T-Bone" was a throw away who found his way to our front door and instantly found a new home.  He and Jill were immediately attracted to each other and still are.  His personality will come very close to that of our dog "Bubba-D" who reciently died.
It's time to begin the day of studies so that's all folks until the next time.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Meet Thor

It was 6 A.M., very quiet outside, beautiful day when all of a sudden we heard someone pulling at the screen door and making a sound that was at first hard to identify.  Maybe it was two cats getting ready to fight, maybe a flock of geese flying just overhead?  We do have lots of geese that fly directly overhead, circling and joining up with other groups all headed to who knows where.  Whatever it was, we did not immediately recognize the sound.

Jill opened the door and there stood Thor ready to be held and spoiled.  Thor will forever be a mystery.  He is 6 week old Siberian Husky and when he arrived he had a full belly.  What makes his appearance a mystery is that we live 800 feet off an "out-of-the-way" county road. It just seems unlikely he would have found his way up our dive-way even if someone had let him out on the road, and it is even more unlikely that anyone would have brought him up our driveway.  Folks around here don't just walk or drive up someone's drive at 6 in the morning.  So, we will ponder the mystery while enjoying the puppy.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Bounty of the Harvest

Jill and I got up early this morning and went to the garden to pick beans.  Considering the beans were planted in "new ground"; I think we did well.  The photo shows a portion of our harvest - there will be more to pick next week!  The homemade sourdough bread (2nd. plate) will be enjoyed during our reflection time this evening when all the work around our placed if finished for the day.

We harvested 50 carrots all of which look like these. We found they grew just as big and straight when grown in 2" pipe as they did in the 3" pipe.  The 2" will conserve soil and space (in our window sill during the winter months).  We did find that the carrots were more difficult to remove from the 2" tubes because the growth compressed the soil around them, but just a few more shakes and they were released.

Monday, May 16, 2011

That Rascally Varmint

I saw a fox coming up from the woods this morning.  He/she approached within 50 feet of the house, looked around, and casually walked over to the property next door.  The sight of the fox gives me pause about the chicken coop and chickens I was planning.  I alerted my neighbor who does have chickens. All chickens in the neighborhood must be on the alert.   They must ban together for protection.  Perhaps the chickens could form a civil defense force to stand guard against the onslaught of the fox…that rascally varmint.

The days pass quickly and each one presents a new challenge and new opportunities.  The challenges of graduate school confront me daily and the opportunities to exert a positive influence on the lives of my grandsons are also present daily.

I just read a short essay by Leonard E. Read (I, Pencil) which is a study of the free markets in action.  If you want to understand the free market concept; I invite you to click on the link and spend a few minutes devoted to awareness.  I also recommend “The Law” by Frederick Bastiat for an understanding of what freedom means and how we can so easily loose it – not because it is taken from us by force, but because we give it away by our inaction.

Our grandson Ethan will graduate from kindergarten tomorrow.  He is a very smart young man and Jill and I look forward to doing so many things with him this summer.  We have new kites to be flown, and tree houses to build.  Evan is at the “Big House” today learning to use the telephone (he’s 10 months old and just about has that phone thing down pat).

More later as developments occur.