Banner

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mid-Summer Garden Update

Fruits of our labor...ok, veggies...but you
get the point. Watermelon, squash & cucumbers.
I can empathize with the heat wave moving across the country this summer. We have a "heat wave" every year here in the Arizona desert. Temperatures of 109 degrees settle in for many weeks and it is just considered the norm around here.

I didn't expect much of the garden to last through the heat and since we're still relatively new to gardening, I was curious to see how the different crops fared. The corn has been picked over and is already dried up, withered and brown. I'll be pulling it out of the ground in the next few weeks.

I'm leaving the potatoes in for a little while longer. I'm not sure when they come are ready to harvest but I've read that I should leave them until the part above ground withers and looks to be near dead.  I pulled some a week or so ago and they were little golf ball size potatoes. About eight of them were dangling from one root.  I microwaved them for about five minutes and served 'em up with butter, cheese and salt. They were tasty and I was now sure that in times of need I could grow potatoes for food.  I'm hoping that they grow much larger as I leave them in the ground to grow.

The butternut squash and cucumbers are producing nicely.  Wifey has learned how to bake the squash into what I'll call long squash fries.  They are quite delicious with a little butter and salt, similar to a mashed potato consistency or maybe a baked yam. We've had one sitting on the kitchen counter for a few weeks now and it doesn't show any signs of going bad yet. We're still learning the shelf life of different organic items. Wifey's homemade bread starts to mold in under two weeks. She made a batch of eight loaves a few weeks ago so some actually sat around for a bit as opposed to her usual four loaf batch that gets eaten in four days.

The cucumbers are growing great but I don't really have a taste for them. Never have. That is, not until we recently started to juice produce.  Now, for breakfast, Wifey goes out to the garden and picks a fresh cucumber and tosses it into the juicer with apples, plums, kale and broccoli or celery and I'm able to enjoy a smorgasbord or fruits and veggies in a refreshing morning beverage. I'm thankful for finding the joy of juicing as it allows me to consume the things I normally found unpalatable but yet wanted to grow in my garden.

Growing fewer than I thought based on
all the vines & smaller than I expected too.
The watermelon and pumpkin are growing but don't produce as much as I thought they would. I mean, these things vine out all over the place. You'd think I'd be able to feed half of our block with the amount of leaves and running vines that are busting out of our gardening area and running onto sidewalks and non-garden areas.  But it seems they are producing few and far between.  We got ahead of ourselves and picked a watermelon that we THOUGHT was ripe.  Turns out...not so ripe. A little bite indicated it was certainly sweet enough but the pinkish color just hadn't quite settled in yet.

We only have a few pumpkins that are in the grapefruit size range.  The rest a just little golf ball sized fellas.  I was hoping that my Halloween we'd be up to our knees in pumpkins and each child would be able to carve their own as well as having plenty for pie making.  Not so sure it's going to work out that way. We'll have to wait and see I guess. At least they're growing. I'm happy about that.

Strawberries have made it this far so they should continue to grow. They sprout out a little red gem every now and then.  I pick them whenever I see one in hope that the plant can focus it's energy on growing stronger for next season, as some have suggested.  Out of five strawberry plants purchased from home depot, three remain and one had a runner creating a daughter plant. So I still have four plants growing. I'm happy with that ratio too.

This watermelon wasn't quite ready yet :-(
Grandpa Neff's Beans are flourishing wildly but no bean pods yet.  The French horticulture beans looks like the took a beating from something. Either they went without water unknowingly or the sudden heat blast that is our desert summer was too much for them.  I've lost an estimated 70% of that raised garden bed.  Some are still struggling though. So we'll be waiting a little longer on any bean harvesting.  I should note that my Neff beans are right next to a sheet metal storage shed. At the beginning of our hot summer I noticed they were taking a turn for the worse.  Gardening neighbors advised us to put up a trellis with a vine type plant to help absorb heat radiated from the shed.  I draped a blue tarp down the side of the shed and the Neff beans made a terrific comeback.

All in all, our gardening experiment is proving to be a success.  We've learned the beginning stages of what it takes to grow our own food (tilling, planting, watering, hand pollinating, pruning, predator proofing, heat shielding) and found it to be both entertaining and enjoyable.  The children ask to be involved and have picked their own corn and planted seeds. We set out to add self sustaining skills to our knowledge base this year and gardening certainly leads the pack in usefulness. Now if I could just find some affordable farm land.

How much land do you think is enough to support your family's gardening needs?

~OJD

Friday, July 29, 2011

Money Seeds and Anti-Banking Fertilizer

Bella's first day of Kindergarten.
A full day of sleep yesterday afforded me the ability to stay wide awake for my entire night shift and into the mid-morning hours.  Usually I get home a little after 7am and drag myself out of my Jeep and limp towards the front door of my house.  Working the night shift gets old after a while...or maybe I'm getting old.  But today I felt fully charged when I drove up the driveway.

Instead of longing for the comforts of my bed, I was energetic enough to take my kids to school.  Only two have started: my 5th grader and kindergartner.  It's always heartwarming to take a child to their first day of school.  The thoughts of the new friends they'll make as they embark on their new lifelong journey of learning.  Wifey and I are blessed in that we have found an elementary school that does a terrific job.  As much as we like the idea of homeschooling, we have seen tremendous work done with our children at this school.  It's junior high and high school that we haven't found what we're looking for but that was already blogged about here.

Anyway, as I was driving my girls to school this morning my 10 year old asked "Dad, why didn't we buy the Erecksons' house?"  We had received a call from some good friends in our church who informed us they would be moving in about six months.  We had always admired their house and the work they had done with it.  It was a beautiful two story house probably close to 3500 square feet.  Mr Ereckson discovered he had quite the knack for woodworking and over the years added beautiful wooden accents throughout the house.  Large hand carved wooden beams bordered the entrance to the main living area.  A cozy wooden kitchen nook brandished a hand made wooden bench seat stained a dark cherry with what had to be so many layers of gloss that it looked wet every time I saw it.  He took months laying flagstone around the pool in just the right patterns.  Yes sir, this house had character and comfort.  A man could be proud of that home.

I began to explain to my pre-teen that unless you have lots of money in your pocket, which most people don't have, you have to borrow money from a bank to buy expensive things like houses and cars.  Right now, in our recession, banks just aren't lending much money to average people.  I shared with her that our house cost about $140,000 when we bought it ten years ago.  Since we didn't have $140,000 in cash, we had to borrow it from a bank and in turn, pay the money back over time.  Then I briefly explained interest and how the bank makes a profit from loaning money, careful not to get too deep into the boring stuff.

She's starting to understand that we need money to pay bills and that is why Dad goes to work.  This is where I started planting seeds.  I told her that if I had it to do all over again, I would have done things differently.  I impressed upon her that she should do business with banks as little as possible.  "They are a business", I told her. "Their sole purpose is to make money...off of you and you're hard work."  I explained how the Jeep we were riding in cost me around $24,000 when we bought in five years ago. Since I didn't have that much in savings, I had to borrow it from the bank. Now I have to pay $430 every month just to drive it.  Her eyes got big and she asked "How long do you have to pay them Daddy?"  I could see that she was understanding the debt obligation and it's longevity.

Out with the old (beige Yukon), in with the new (white, Suburban)
Goodbye $24,000 debt, hello 100% Ownership for $7.600.
I told her that if I could do it all over again, I would buy an older Jeep for much less money reducing the amount I would owe the bank considerably.  I reminded her of the 2001 GMC Yukon that we had last year.  "The one Mommy totalled?", she asked.  "Yup, good thing too", I replied.  In a strange twist of fate, Wifey was t-boned in an intersection when the driver of a PT Cruiser decided he wasn't going to turn after all.  He may have been in a turn only lane...with his blinker on...but he decided to change lanes and drive straight after Wifey had pulled out into the intersection. She got her first ever ticket and it was for failure to yield. 

Our Yukon was worth about $8000 at the time.  Since we didn't have much cash in savings, we financed that vehicle for $23,000 for our local blood sucker, I mean, banker.  The world of buying cars still amazes me to this day.  A car can be worth $8,000 "wholesale" but have a lending value or "retail value" of $23,000.  Of course, our bank had no problems whatsoever loaning us $23,000 on the vehicle worth only $8,000.  Here's the strange twist of fate.  I was smart enough to add GAP insurance to the vehicle when I bought it.  GAP insurance means that if the vehicle is totalled or wrecked beyond repair, if there is any loan amount NOT covered by the auto insurance company, the GAP insurance company covered the balance so you wouldn't be left owing money on a car you no longer possessed.  So, the $23,000 Yukon was paid off almost completely.  The insurance I had at the time (Geico) paid $12,000 to the bank as that was the estimated value of the vehicle.  Another $10,000 was paid by the GAP insurance leaving me with about $1000 which I settled with the bank for $500. (I pitched a HUGE fit about them lending so much money that auto insurance AND gap insurance wouldn't even cover the balance. Greedy turds.)

So I tied this all together for my daughter by explaining that after we got rid of the big bank loan for the Yukon which cost us about $450 a month, we had enough cash to go and buy our 2001 Suburban (almost the EXACT same vehicle but with less miles) for $7,600.  Now we OWNED the vehicle because we were able to pay cash instead of borrowing money from the bank.  We'd never have to make another payment on our Suburban, we owned it 100%.  She smiled and it made me smile.

"Avoid the banks as best you can", I told her.  Not many people will be able to buy a house without a bank loan though.  The trick there is to buy what you can afford.  You don't want to be "house poor" which was a term I hadn't heard until the last decade.  I told her my folks and Momma's folks didn't warn us about the banks.  We grew up thinking that when you needed a car or a house, it was normal to go borrow money.  Then that led to getting credit cards when we needed more money.  "Stay away from all that sweetie", I said.  Only pay cash for the things you need.  Make what you can for yourself.  Like the way you've learned to knit scarves and stocking hats. 

She stared off into the distance digesting what I said as we bumped along in the unforgiving suspension that Jeeps are built with.  I had planted a field of money seeds and anti-banking fertilizer in the garden of my daughter's mind.  When she grows into her twenties and thirties and experiences the natural yearning for nice homes and automobiles, I hope she remembers this talk and avoids the debt trap that ensnared my entire generation.  Of course, I'll continue planting with every chance that the good Lord gives me.

As my cousin Stephen would say: "Can I get an Amen?!"

~OJD

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Obama's Speech to Bypass Congress

King Obama
(Prediction:) News Flash. Camera pans to Obama at the podium. "My fellow Americans. During the recent debt ceiling negotiations, my back has been pushed against the wall.  I have been asked to make a decision.  Do I give in to the Republican Congress and sign their bill which would leave troops around the world in harms way by being unable to afford them the supplies that they so desperately need to operate on a daily basis or...do I cut critical spending in life saving programs such as Medicare and Social Security. It is clear to me, that it would be in this country's best interest, at this time, for me to act swiftly and invoke the 14th Amendment (or Presidential Directive 51) to temporarily bypass the deadlocked Congress and proceed in the country's best interest until such time that a true bipartisan effort can submit a real remedy to our debt ceiling crisis."

I suspect the dog and pony show that consists of the Republicans squaring off against the POTUS on the debt ceiling limit will not last much longer.  Not because there is an actual Doom Date like August 2, as the pundits have been proclaiming whereby the US will go officially bankrupt. The latest reports I have heard show that there IS enough money coming into the government coffers to push the deadline back by weeks, perhaps months.

I think the vigilant stand that the Republicans in the House are taking is a smoke and mirrors attempt to redeem their worth in the eyes of their constituents all the while knowing that behind closed doors the President intends on invoking Amendment 14 or Presidential Directive 51 to declare a state of emergency and bypass the Congress all together.

Some are asking why the Republican Congress is taking a stand on such a routine issue as raising the debt ceiling when all the world is watching the U.S. for some sign of financial stability.  Being the currency of the world, when the foundation of our dollar is shaken, so too is the rest of the financial world. We're also at war with troops in the field and it does nothing for troop moral to hear that there might be a disruption in supplies if we can't fund our budget.

Why would the Republicans take such a staunch stand?  I think it's to win back some much needed public support.  I also think they fully intend on (dare I say expect) the President to bypass them.  They get to put on a good show as if they haven't forgotten who they are representing or who elected them with no REAL intention on their suggestions being acted upon.  They'll force the President's hand and in the end, the President will keep issuing debt and the Republicans can say they tried to stop it. Keep voting for us, we're still in the fight.

Let's not forget that George W. Bush paved the way by writing Presidential Directive 51 that gave the President the power to act without the approval of Congress in the case of any emergency, including economic, and allow the Executive Branch to set Congress aside for six months. Leading Democratic politicians like Rep. James Clyburn, the 3rd ranking house Democrat have publicly urged the President to bypass Congress already. The mere fact that Obama stated he will NOT use such a tactic is sufficient evidence that he will.  He has not fulfilled any promises that he said he WOULD do, therefore, we can predict that he most likely WILL do the things he says he WON'T do.  Reductio ad absurdum (proof in contradiction).

Shut up and drink the coolaid!
Presidents Clinton and George W. both set precedents on this "undefined dictatorial power" such as when Bush meandered around Congress to start wire tapping on private citizens without warrants. Yes sir, enjoy the show folks because that's all it is.  The Congress might soon be completely written out of Constitutional power and maybe even replaced by a new and improved Super Congress.

We've got to vote them all out. It's a one party, two headed system and it is beyond corrupt. The only option I see at this point is Ron Paul.

~OJD

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead...the movie.

Wifey and I were searching through the NetFlix previews late one evening and came across an unusually titled movie: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  It had a SuperSize Me feel to it and whether it was a good movie or not mattered little to me, I'd surely be nodding off in no time.

Turns out the movie is based on an Australian named Joe Cross.  At age 36, Joe had become the typical overweight, junk food junkie that so many people worldwide have become.  He had visited several physicians, acupuncturists, natural healers and the like to no avail.  He was on several medications and suffered from a skin disease called Urticaria (similar to a rash).

I'm not quite sure where he got the idea but Joe decided that his drastic health condition called for drastic action on his behalf.  He loaded up his luggage and headed for America to do the unthinkable.  Joe embarked on a 60 day juice fast.  For 60 days, Joe used a Breville BJE510XL Ikon 900-Watt Variable-Speed Juice Extractor to create a drinkable meal made solely from fruits and vegetables.  No meats, no dairy...for 60 days.

Joe Cross before and after 60 day juice Reboot.
Joe not only lost 100 pounds but completely got rid of his high blood pressure medication as well as his skin disease meds.  He utilized a physician to track his progress and had routine blood tests every couple of weeks to make sure he wasn't deficient in any category.

What made Joe's movie enjoyable was his choice in animations woven throughout the show and his man-on-the-street type interviews with average Americans.  Many people concured with Joe that we are what we eat and that we know we eat poorly.  The solution to the world's obesity problem lies in confronting our love for junk food.  Joe's travel across America on his 60 day juice fast, or Reboot, as he calls it inspired dozens of people. 


Joe was the inspiration for this truck driver.
 A small side story of the movie revolves around a truck driver Joe met who was severely obese and shared the same skin disease as Joe.  Since Joe always offers to share his knowledge of juicing with everyone he meets, it was only a matter of time before someone called him out.  The truck driver Joe had met called him after the Reboot was completed.  He contacted Joe in Australia and asked for Joe's help in starting his own Reboot.  You'll have to watch the movie to see how the truck driver's juice diet turns out but rest assured, the truck driver is now inspiring people all over his state.

Overall it was the type of movie that left me and Wifey smiling.  And for full disclosure, I'll go ahead and admit it:  Within a week, we bought a juicer.  We've talked about juicing for years but never could afford it.  Well, things are little better for us these days and Walmart had a Jack LaLlane juicer for $99.  We haven't attempted a Reboot ourselves but in all honesty, we're REALLY digging this juice stuff. I can now eat vegetables (drink rather) that prior to juicing, I couldn't stand no matter how you cooked it.

So, thanks Joe...if you're out there.  I now get a daily dose of broccoli, bok choy, and kale. Juiced with apples, strawberries and peaches, you wouldn't even know there was yucky stuff in that drink...except for the color!

As a side note, this turned out to be a great way to enjoy the fruits of my labor...literally.  I'm a new gardening fanatic (second season just finished) and I have mostly grown things that I knew I would enjoy like carrots, potatoes, corn and watermelon.  But Wifey and I also grew some things I wasn't too sure about, like cucumbers (she loves 'em, I can't stand 'em).  But with juicing, you can mix and match the good with the bad and still come out with a delicious beverage.

Here's the juicer used in the movie:
. .             .

Either one will work just fine.  If you like the "best of the best" then get the one for $299.  For me, you can't convince me that the difference between 900 watts and 1000 watts is THAT big of a deal.  At least, not big enough to merit an extra $100.

I've begun a juicing journal with pictures and recipes on a dedicated page here.

Have you ever tried juicing? Have you seen the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead yet?

~OJD

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Writer's Block...Is This Trendy?

My QWERTY's broken.
This whole debt ceiling thing reminds me of the American animated sitcom called Doug.  Like a Dallas Cowboys quarterback, John Boehner (which will always pronounce in my head like Boner) is leading the pack in Congress like it's the fourth quarter with seconds to go against the Philadelphia Eagles (or was it the Baltimore Ravens?).  He has a point to make and not even the newly available Kristin Cavallari can distract him from his plan.

Tonight during his Obama speech, President Obama didn't mention the NFL or the latest trading of NTFL stocks (although that would have been WAY more interesting) but he did read from his teleprompter smoother than George Carlin trying to sell his "stuff" on BIDU.  He wishes his words were as anticipated as much as the NFL lockout news but his small screen performance pales in comparison to the anticipation of Gina Carano's big screen debut. 

I know, I know. This doesn't make any sense. This is a writing exercise that I use when I come across writer's block.  It seems silly but it helps to unfocus from what I WANT to write about and refocus on something completely different than my usual topics.  On occasion, when I'm having a really hard time focusing on my writing, I'll pick random words and attempt to connect them (loosely, in this case) into a story line.  This particular set of bold words are from the Google top Trends for today. 

Google Trends lists the top 20 most searched words or phrases for the day and it makes for a nice list of random words for this exercise.  So when you want to blog but just can't quite get the words to roll off your fingers (I'm making a typing gesture with my fingers, you just can't see it), consider this exercise as a way to get you blogging again. Who knows, you might even learn something...like Gina Carano was an MMA fighter who got the bejeezus kicked out of her by another female MMA fighter nicknamed the "Cyborg".  Ok...that tidbit will NEVER come in handy...but at least my fingers are moving!

What do you do for writer's block?

~OJD

This Just Isn't Making Sense to Me.

Anders Breivik, Oslo massacre.
Recently I've been getting a little break from work and enjoying a few days with my family at the end of each week. I steer clear of the computer knowing that any attempt to focus on a blog post will be met with a barrage of "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" from my little ones.

It does give me time to think, however, as I spend my days roaming the house looking for things to fix. I come across interesting topics that appeal to my blogging taste and file them away in my mental rolodex. This past weekend was no different and I had several topics in mind to blog about. Until this shooting massacre happened in Norway.

It could be my degree in psychology or perhaps my growing distrust in the media coupled with an increasing awareness of a global elitist one world government monster but this horrific event just isn't making sense to me.

It has already been admitted that the shooter's Facebook page was changed to include Christian and Conservative AFTER he was arrested for the shootings.  As if he was being branded...or re-branded as a certain classification of person.  Who can do that and why?

I'm hearing that the shooter is only looking at 21 years in jail for this crime "and could be on weekend parole after seven years".  How does that punishment fit the crime of killing 71+ people?

I haven't seen any footage of the shooter actually speaking to a camera himself.  There's no footage of him saying he did it, he didn't do it, nothing.  But there are lots of reports talking about what he has said.  No offense to the reporters out there but I'd like to see the man speak for himself.  Let's see his countenance as he speaks.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

Why would a man so seemingly hell bent on proving his point by plotting and then killing so many people, be so careless and lazy as to plagiarize his manifesto from that of another idiot such as Ted "The Unabomber" Kaczynski? I've read that his "European Declaration of Independence" is close to 95% copied verbatim.

Could one man really kill 90+ people? I suppose, with enough reloads but it would be much more believable if there were two gunmen.  As a matter of fact, there are news sources still reporting that there were two gunmen.  This smacks of the shooter on the grassy knoll.  Are they keeping it hushed to keep from spreading fear?  Fear that there might be another shooter roaming freely in the public?

Could it be that Norway isn't towing the line for the NWO Police State agenda? I'll be soaking up more information on this story as it develops.

Friday, July 22, 2011

He Tells the Truth, Who is Listening?

I am embarassed to admit that during the last Presidential campaign I voted for the Senator from Arizona, John McCain. I was not comfortable with his ideals and fell into the paradigm of voting for the lesser of two evils (McCain vs Obama).

I allowed the media to censor what I knew about Ron Paul by means of NOT seeking his truth on my own.  I had heard the "powers that be" were not letting him participate in public debates which other "popular" candidates had been allowed to speak.  My gut told me that Dr Paul might be onto something geniune but failed to search for his youtube channel or official website and listen to what he had to say.

I have yet, since the miserable failure of the last Presidential election, listened to or watched a speech or television interview given by Dr Ron Paul that DID NOT make total sense.  He has a firm grasp on the role of government, the military, the Constitution, the national budget and every other important topic I have heard him speak about.

Here, once again, is Dr Ron Paul telling Congress in plain English what needs to be done by the American Government:



My vote next time around will be undoubtedly for Dr Ron Paul.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stay a Patriot or Ex-Patriate?

I lost several hours tonight wandering through the internet. I read scores of information bantered about offering suggestions and viewpoints about worldly affairs.

An initial blurb about ex-Governor Jesse Ventura's lawsuit against the TSA and their molestive groping procedures we've all had blasted from every media source led me to investigate what it is he's planning to do about it. It appears, according to Alex Jones, that if his lawsuit fails to uphold his constitutional right to freely travel the country without unreasonable search and seizure by the TSA that Mr. Ventura will expatriate and become a citizen of Mexico.

He talked of all the freedoms we're losing as a country and how other places such as Mexico have so much to offer at a much lower cost of living. I started to wonder if I could even muster the courage to move my entire family out of the only country we've come to know and love. The only country Wifey and I have ever seen, except for a brief trip she took to Australia in high school.

The idea of expatriation somehow filtered in to my navigation through the internet and I began to find a series of other Americans whom have left their country. I frequent the blog of Lew Rockwell and sure enough, he too had an article titled "Escape from America".  In this article, the author realized as he wandered his favorite blog rolls that all their respective authors were also expatriates.  I began to reflect and realize that some of the people I had become familiar with had also left the USA.  Like Art Bell who moved to Manila and was able to continue his popular radio show from home.

Is this the trick I'm missing? Find out a way to make a living utilizing a mobile environment (blogging, radio, etc) and move somewhere that the government can't reach you? Maybe. Or maybe it would be just as smart to simply move away from the big city far enough that I can still breathe fresh air and hear a little peace and quiet from time to time.  I can supplement my amateur attempts to farm for my family with a few days of work at a local hospital each week until I figure out how to be 100% self sufficient.  I'm not ready to throw in the towel on America.

Rawles "redoubt" states.
JW Rawles recommends voting with our feet and moving to the mountain states. Ventura and others are suggesting it might be time to get out of the country all together. All I know is...I don't want to be as close to a major US city like Phoenix with neighbors parked five feet on either side of me.  I'm tired of driving around in the smog and tired of the traffic. 

The best thing about driving around in my orange Jeep is that 99% of other Jeep drivers wave as they pass.  I want to find a town where everyone waves. Am I asking to much? Friendly, courteous people, fresh air and open land with a small hospital looking for a hardworking family man trained in multiple Radiology modalities.

I feel like this is turning into a resume write up. Time for a break. Think I'll take a little drive around the block in my Jeep. That always puts a smile on my face.

Have you thought of leaving America?

~OJD

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Declaration of Independence

The Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913 right around Christmas time.  Conveniently, several anti-banking Senators had already left for the holiday vacation after being assured the legislation would not be brought to vote until after the first of the year.   The rushed passing of The Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1912 allowed the United States Government to turn over all of their our money to the Federal Reserve.  In exchange the Fed would offer to "loan" the US Gov't all the money it needs in the future.

This was the beginning of the end for our economy.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the United States bankrupt.  Specifically this meant there was no longer more money coming IN than what was being paid OUT.  This caught the attention of the bankers controlling the Federal Reserve.

So the Federal Reserve, being only concerned about the money, asked how the money they (the Fed) was loaning the United States Gov't was going to be repaid if the President was now declaring the U.S. was bankrupt? Forget that it is the American Taxpayers' money that they are receiving in the first place. Once they "loan" it back to the U.S. Gov't, what guarantee do they have that it will be paid back to the Fed?

So a new scam was born. It took three years to craft the scam and put it into a bill.  It was passed in 1936 under the misnomer The Social Security Act.  It was packaged and presented to the American people that this would be a retirement fund for the citizens.  As a citizen, you can supplement this fund with money from your own paycheck and together with contributions from your employer, this fund would be available to you upon retirement.  Each citizen received a unique number and this social security number would be used to pin a retirement fund to a specific individual. 

The truth is that this was a mechanism to control the collateral that the Federal Reserve wanted to secure the promise made by the United States Government to repay money received from the Federal Reserve.  So the mega banks, not only coerced their way into passing laws legalizing the passing of all funds from the United States Government (our tax money) into the hands of the greedy bankers, aka the Federal Reserve, but they also coerced their way into securing repayment of our money with the future earnings of every legal resident in America by way of privately or publicly stealing retirement funds. 

This has been going on since 1936. It is now 2011. For 75 years, the retirement pension plans have worn a very large bullseye target.  In 1993, President Clinton was advised to take $4 million from pension funds for "rebuilding the nation's roads, bridges and highways and give the economy a lift".   In May of this year, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner stated he will begin to "borrow" money from the retirement funds of federal workers if the debt ceiling isn't raised by Aug 2, 2011.

Ready for the red pill?  The bankers aren't just doing it to us...they're doing it all over the world.  Hungary, December 2010, citizens were offered a deal they couldn't refuse.  Either give up your pensions to the government or lose your right to the pension fund (but still be FORCED to contribute). The Bulgarian government came up with a similar plan to steal state pension funds.  This Irish government was late to the party but they caught on.  In 2001, a pension was established to help citizens of Ireland to retire in the years 2025-2050. By 2009, $4billion of this fund was used to rescue failing banks.  By the end of 2010, the rest of the funds were seized to bail our the rest of the country.  France did the exact same thing to the tune of $33billion Euros.

It is all about The Golden Rule. He who has the gold, makes the rules.  Once the bankers are allowed to control the government and our economy, everyone outside the banking system becomes instant peon fodder.  It is our money they're after.  Money we earned with our lives, sweat and blood, time spent away from loved ones in an attempt to make OUR lives better in the end. 

So what do we do? I'll tell you.  Take the gold away from the bankers.  There's two ways to do this: buy physical gold (and silver) for keeping at your home AND start trading and bartering locally.  Use your continuously diminishing Federal Reserve Note to buy physical, tradeable precious metals. But do so responsibly.  Don't spend all you earn on precious metals. Use some of your meager notes to purchase tangible assets. Assets that will have a return on investment to you and your family. Begin to work and trade locally and barter for the exchange of goods.  The bankers can't take what they don't have control over. If you sold your old stereo on CraigsList for cash and used the cash to buy vegetables from the local Farmer's Market, the bankers will get none of it!

I opted out of my company's 401K years ago.  I cashed in my 401K two years ago.  The only money left on the table for the bankers now is the social security tax that is forcebly withdrawn from my paycheck every two weeks. But every day I inch closer to being debt free.  The less debt I owe, the less hours I work.  The less hours I work, the more time I spend at home tilling my garden for my own food, educating my own children about self sufficiency and reducing the bleeding of my life through taxation and misappropriated funds.  There will be one less indentured servant on this planet and I will teach my children...and their children about the wickedness that has become our United States Government.

I may not be able to physically close the doors of the Federal Reserve but there will soon come a day when they will no longer be able to take MY money and loan it to Too Big To Fail bankers.  I will thrive on self sufficiency.  My children and grandchildren will thrive on self sufficiency.  And once again, as a nation of farmers and manufacturers of our OWN goods, we will TAKE THIS COUNTRY BACK!

Rant over.

~OJD

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How To Have A Successful Blog Contest

Having just concluded my first blog contest with (what I consider) roaring success, I'd like to share what I learned.  I've also had a few questions regarding same so although I am by no means a "blog contest expert" I will still share what I've learned because that is what I believe to be the crux of blogging: sharing and learning.

I've blogged on and off for several years tiptoeing around many different topics.  I've finally settled in to Blogger with a pouch full of topics that I am comfortable writing about. Don't get me wrong, I'll deviate from time to time as my interests can be quite varied but nonetheless I have a basic core: family, survival/preparedness, and medicine.

At some point, I decided to commercialize my blog in an effort to earn a little money on the side.  I don't expect to make much. Wifey and I had more than a few chuckles over my first month's earnings of $0.44. Yep, 44 cents. But I didn't start blogging to make money, I started blogging because I like to write. I always have enjoyed it and used it to my advantage in assisting roommates and bosses...but we'll save that for another day...maybe.

Point is, I write because I like to write but if it makes enough income to say...pay for my monthly internet service, then it is a win-win situation.  Now that's still a pretty lofty goal. My internet runs about $70 a month. Having never made more than $5 in any given month means I have a long road ahead of me.  That's where the commercialization comes in to the blog.

Blogger makes it very easy (being a sibling of Google) to advertise on a blog.  A few clicks and you can add Adsense advertisements seamlessly integrated into your blog content. Now, ads are great at generating income for your blog...but only if a substantial amount of people are seeing them.  To give you an idea of how they pay, I average 1-2 cents per day when I have 100 pageviews. All that means is that my blog homepage has been seen or refreshed 100 times in a given 24 hour period.  Nobody clicked an ad, this is just a basic flat rate for "impressions" of the advertisement. Your results may vary, of course, and there are rules and restrictions (the 100 pageviews can't be me hitting the refresh button 100 times).

To increase the number of ad impressions, I need more visitors to my blog. To increase the number of people that visit my blog, I chose to have a blog contest. From my research on this topic, here's the basic rules to having a successful contest:

1- Decide WHY you are having the contest. Do you want more blog followers, Facebook followers, or Twitter followers? Do you want more comments posted or perhaps some guest articles submitted? I, of course, wanted all of it! Wifey helped bring me to my senses.  Since I didn't really know how Facebook and Twitter would benefit my blog substantially, I opted for "follow my blog" and "advertise my blog" as a means to get more exposure. I chose to ask folks to advertise my blog on their blog or facebook page.  I can't deny the power of Facebook so I created a "fan" page just for my blog knowing full well that not everybody uses Facebook. In fact, some of my favorite authors are anti-FB (sorry Claire).  I completely understand the reasons people steer clear of the all-intrusive-information-sharing websites like FB. For the other 200 million that DO use FB, I submitted.

2- Decide what the GUIDELINES will be.  I laid it out: Do one of these four actions, then leave a comment letting me know you did the action.  This gave me a record of eligible entries into my contest.  I was able to verify each action to make sure it was completed. If you have a huge list of entries, you could wait until you draw your winners and THEN verify the actions of the winners.  If you find that a winner wasn't truthful, discard that entry and draw for a new winner. Set a start date and an end date. Use one of the many random name or number generators on the internet to help select a winner.  If your comment section is numbered, use a random number generator. Whichever number is selected, correlate it to the same comment number and there's your winner. I took the names of all the entries (equal to the number of times they had entered) and input them into this random name picker.

3- Pick some GREAT prizes.  This stumped me at first.  I didn't know what to do or offer.  I decided to purchase a $10 Home Depot card with my own money and offer it as a prize.  I justified that this was a small amount to pay for an insight into blogonomics.  Then I decided to email a company that I reference a lot in my blog (hello Seed For Security!).  I bought a seed pack last year and have had great success growing my garden from it.  I sent them a simple email telling them a) I bought your product and love it so much that I've blogged about it (and gave my URL for proof), b) I'm thinking about having my first ever blog contest and wondered if you would be interested in sponsoring it, and c) if you aren't interested, I totally understand.  These three things told the company that I truly cared for their product, I blog about it, and I will have no ill feelings should they choose to not participate in my contest. I sent emails to three sponsors and all three replied that they would be happy to participate. I made it a point to let them decide what product to offer as I made no attempt to presume anything.

4- Double check your final contest blog post.  Make sure all rules are clear.  If something unclear pops up in a comment after the contest starts, address the comment in a reply AND go back to the blog post and clarify for future readers.  I actually made a mistake that could have been costly.  I forgot to put in the rules that prizes could only be shipped inside the USA.  If someone from Pakistan had won, I would have had to cover the cost of shipping a package. Luckily, all my winners were fairly local. Check any links you provide in your contest such as links to a Facebook page. You don't want contestants giving up on your contest because your links are bad. Always include pictures of your prizes on the contest page.  We are a visual society.

5-  Keep it simple.  I started with a laundry list of ways to enter. I wanted guest posts and trackbacks, FB and Twitter followers, RSS feeders and on and on.  Wifey finally said "You know, all the contests I see are WAY easier than yours".  After much consulting, she helped me whittle my contest down to the basics. Some experts in the contest field will suggest giving great detail on all aspects of your contest to reduce the chances of a sore loser.  "Contest ends at midnight" and "must reply to winning email within 24 hours" are some details that get more specific.  I reduced the contest length from one month down to two weeks.  Seems most contests only run 1-2 weeks from my research. A quick "blog contest" google search will provide a fountain of information.

6-  Have fun.  Enjoy the comments that come in.  Reply to them.  Follow the poster back to their blog and read about them. Leave a comment on their blog thanking them for coming by.  The great thing about blogging is connecting with other bloggers of similar interests.  I have found several new blogs that I have chosen to follow now thanks to my contest. 

7- Advertise your contest.  If this is your first contest it will be difficult, as it was for me.  Since I didn't already have a big following (like my idol Rural-Revolution), I asked the sponsors to mention the contest and emailed a few select bloggers.  The sponsors were by far the biggest source of traffic (thanks Patrice & Don!) and as the word spread from bloggers posting on their blogs, the traffic increased.  I put a banner in the top right corner of my blog advertising the contest.  This position allowed anyone who visited my blog to see that a contest was underway. I made sure the banner had the contest start and end date on it and the banner linked to my blog post page that described the details.

So, for the most part, that's what I've learned regarding blog contests.  Here's a link to my contest page if you want to see exactly how I wrote it out.  I also had the great fortune of having two guest posts that I wrote (here and here) go "live" right around the start of my contest.  Guest posts will typically have a link back to the author and will generate some traffic. It has been a great experience hosting my first contest and I look forward to many future contests. Thank you to my sponsors and the many great folks that participated. My family and I will be toasting you all, as we each eat ONE taco that will be provided by the income generated this month on this blog ;-)...I call the baby's leftovers!

~OJD

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Congratulations Blog Contest Winners!

I awoke this morning with Chloe's (my three year old) knees buried in my back. I distinctly remember hoisting her out of my bed last night and gently laying her in her toddler bed. As luck would have it, sometime during the wee hours of the morning she snuck back into my bed. Of course, being IN my bed isn't enough.  She has to have at least one elbow or knee piercing my kidney at all times.

So as I lie pondering my ability to go back to sleep, I realized it would be much more fun (and less annoying) to come sit at the computer and figure out the winners to my first blog contest.  I plugged everyone's entry into the random name generator equal to the number of times they had entered the contest. I enjoyed once more the funny comments left by many and began the selection of winners.  Thanks again to everyone who entered.  

The First Official Orange Jeep Dad Blog Contest Winners:

First Place Prize: Super Survival Pack from Seed for Security goes to....Gwenivere McCourry!

Second Place Prize: An Autographed Copy of The Simplicity Primer goes to...@SLHaynes!

Third Place Prize: Sport Berkey Water Bottle from Directive 21  goes to...Kris!

Fourth Place Prize: $10 Home Depot Gift Card goes to...mollyonviola!

I'll be sending out emails to the winners shortly. If you are a winner and didn't leave an email address with your comment, please send me an email so I can get your shipping address for you prize: OrangeJeepDad@gmail.com.  Congratulations to McCourry, @SLHaynes, Kris, and Mollyonviola and a big THANKS to everyone who participated in helping me to grow my blog. A special thanks to the Sponsors who were kind enough to offer support: Patrice Lewis @ Rural Revolution, Directive 21, and Seed for Security.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our First Contest Has Ended

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to everyone who participated in our first ever blog contest! We had a terrific response and I'll be using a random generator to pull out winners.

I should have it posted by noon tomorrow (July 17th) and will notify all winner by email as well.

Thanks again to all of our sponsors:

Directive 21

The Simplicity Primer

Seed For Security

You guys/gals are the best!

~OJD

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ron Paul Makes Bernanke Look Foolish

I asked last week where we can find an American counterpart to Nigel Farage. When Nigel takes the floor of the European parliament, he harpoons all those knuckle-draggers that are blatantly causing the downward economic spiral in the E.U.

Much like watching an old John Wayne movie, Farage tells the bad guys exactly what he thinks of them and that they'll get what's coming to them. Bad guys never win in the long run...at least not in a John Wayne movie. I'd like to see the same outcome for the malaligned governments and crooked bankers of the world. But who is going to take them down?

Well, today's tongue lashing came from none other than our own Repulican from Texas Ron Paul. In a monetary progress report to Congress, Bernanke attempted his usual diatribe regarding how profitable the Federal Reserve has been in the past two years ($125 billion in profits) and how the Fed doesn't "spend" money, it "loans" money. Sounds like "the rich get richer" to me.

Paul points out from the onset that consumer spending makes up 2/3rds of the American GDP but yet the Fed keeps printing money and giving it to the "too big to fail" companies. This doesn't help consumer spending at all. It simply puts more profits back into the pocket of big business (again, rich getting richer).





Paul even points out that if the Fed had wanted to boost consumer spending and spur the economy, the $5 trillion that went to big business could have been giving directly to the citizens of our country to the tune of $17,000 PER CITIZEN. Who in their right mind would argue that the citizens woulnd't have spent the $17k on consumer goods and services? That would have been a HUGE boost for the economy. Instead, we saw minimal job creation and massive bonus increases to CEOs (who also didn't pay corporate taxes: hello General Electric?).

Bernanke, clearly taken aback by Paul's comments as noted by his long pause of silence, let's it be known that he doesn't think gold is money. Really? Perhaps this gives an insight into what Ben thinks money is. Since he can't double or triple the gold supply, therefore devaluing everyone else's gold while causing inflation and printing more gold for himself...gold can't be money...at least in his world.

So I'd like to thank Senator Paul for not only interupting Bernanke at least four times and making Ben look like an ass, but for also standing up to these cretons and letting them know that we are all aware of the shenanigans they are pulling and that their time is coming. I will be donating to Paul's campaign today as a thank you for his efforts.

The answer to 1984...Pilgrim...is 1776.

~OJD


If you just came out from under a rock, here's a quick comical tutorial on our government:



.

THE Authority in Bug Out Vehicles: The Marauder

My next car purchase:



...as soon as I can afford $300,000 Euros.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Follow up: Oh no! Its here. What would YOU do?

Last week I published a post about Jennifer Jones, a public speaker, who was arrested at her own town hall meeting while trying to exercise her 1st Amendment.

This story has exploded nationwide. I found it on Alex Jones' site:



It an interesting turn of events, the Quartzsite Town Council held an emergency PRIVATE meeting whereby all council members voted unanimously to put the town in a "state of emergency" ie, evoking martial law.

This means the town Mayor, who out ranks the police chief, is now cut out of the loop of town administration. During martial law, the police chief is in charge.

Here is a comment left on Jones' blog:

"I do not want to see you get hurt there & they will come if they declared a state of emergency saying that you are inciting riots. It is only a matter of time until they come to arrest you & during a state of emergency, I do not think you have any rights before summary judgement is issued, and God forbid there is a sentence of death by summary execution. There is no playing around under martial law. As far as I know, immediate public executions for failure to instantly or accurately comply with orders are acceptable. Marital law/States of Emergency are no laughing matter-even the Constitution is suspended including a writ of haebus corpus is suspended meaning you are guilty because you are charged & no evidence can exonerate you."

This makes my skin crawl! I hope there are some guys in white hats coming soon...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back to School or Homeschool?

Where did this painter get educated?
As we near the end of summer, the thoughts of sending our girls back to public school is on the forefront of our minds. We've discussed homeschooling for a few years now.  To be completely honest, we just aren't sure we're confident enough in ourselves to do it.  We've read numerous blog post replies of encouragement from folks who are homeschooling their own children. Kudos to you folks. I am truly amazed at the responsibility you have undertaken.  Educating our children is such an important task, I just don't want to screw it up.

Possible results of my inadequate teaching?
I don't know of a much more noble cause than to take on the responsibility of making sure your children are educated in literature, mathematics, science...well, you know...knowledge.  Wifey and I have talked about several things that get under our skin, so to speak, regarding our local public school system.  For starters, we're peeved at how much time is wasted in the public school system.  Just the time lost to changing classrooms between subjects is staggering. Ten minutes between classes multiplied by eight class subjects is an hour and twenty minutes LOST every day just walking around. Don't forget the 30-40 minutes for lunch.  Oh, and the commute time is a big loss. I insist on taking my girls to school. Not that I have anything against riding a bus but this is good communication time I get to spend with my girls. An hour before school every day is priceless, whether we're talking, listening to music, or studying up on some last minute test questions. Wifey usually picks them up. But it is this nonproductive waste of time that makes us wonder just how much time is actually spent teaching and learning?

Which leads me to one of my gray areas in regards to homeschooling: I can't tell how much time would need to be allotted for teaching. The easy answer is "how ever long it takes" but I am the type of person who needs a schedule. Is it possible to teach a junior high or high school student all the proper subjects in say...five hours? Could we have an 8:00a-1:00p schedule with the remainder of the day available for free study? Now that I have a more manageable work schedule (working three 12 hour shifts per week gives me four days off) I could actually teach my girls two to three days during the week. 

Math is my strong point...
Having the ability to teach half the week means Wifey would have the other days.  This presents problem number two: what does she do with the little ones while she teaches the older ones? How do you keep toddlers occupied for several hours a day in order to focus on teaching your older kids?  I'm sure I'm not the only parent who has a toddler which possesses the potential to destroy planet Earth if left unsupervised. My three year old Chloe is such a toddler. She gets into so much trouble, I've considered writing a weekly post called Chloe's Calamities whereby I document all the things she's done the past week. Unbelievable this kid. But that's for another day.  How to juggle the little kids during home school hours is the question.
My last concern about home schooling is the end result. My research has shown me that there are numerous ways to home school. From full-on lecturing to 100% self study from manuals and guides. I would prefer to have a mixture of the two. I don't want to spoon feed or ramble Bueller Bueller Bueller all day. Just provide the meat of the subject, make sure the topic is understood, then allow for individual self study to expand on the topic and further investigate. So back to my question on the end result.  How is the quality of what I have taught going to be evaluated and who is going to do the evaluation?

Upon successfully completing whatever final exam comes with the study package I choose to teach from, does my child then go take a public GED exam from the state? Once the GED is successfully completed are we then free to apply to college? Do I have to show evidence to anyone that my child completed a home schooling course? I'm just wondering if all you home schoolers out there keep homework like bank records. You know, in case some authority figure from the state comes along and demands a paper trail that your child actually was being educated and not just goofing off?

One thing I am NOT concerned about is extracurricular activities. My girls have plenty going on outside of school that there is no need to worry about socialization skills nor staying busy. I've read the lame perspectives that home schooled children are maladjusted socially and I don't put an ounce of credence into such claims.  Heck, the last set of statistics I read showed home schoolers were more likely to score higher on college entrance exams than traditionally schooled kids.

Any thoughts? Were you homeschooled or are you homeschooling your children? What was/is your schedule like? What curriculum worked best for you? Did an organization help you along that you can recommend?

Disclaimer: I was raised an only child. I now have six daughters. I can use any help I can get :-)

~OJD

Time Flies

My motto for the past week.

Wow, time really flies sometimes. I've been posting daily for over three months (many times more than daily) and all of the sudden, I look at my blog and I haven't posted anything in three days!
I should've planned that better but the problem is...I didn't plan at all! Starting last Friday, I stayed busy with several projects around the house:
  • added more shelves in Wifey's craft room.
  • added more shelving in my garage (more tools have a home now).
  • did some church service Sunday after church (amazing how good that feels).
  • made the trek to Ikea again (looking for more home improvement ideas).
  • and the usual mundane stuff: haircut, gasin' up the cars, yardwork, etc
So, time to start firing up some blog posts. I have at least three days worth of blog reading to do from all the blogs I have subscribed. 

Don't forget there's a few days left in our contest so if you haven't clicked "Follow" or "Like" yet, don't miss out! There's some terrific prizes up for grabs.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cheap Food Prep Item: Kraft Mac & Cheese $0.65 per box + Free Ship

Hasn't changed it 100 years ;-)
It may not be the healthiest food on the planet but I have fond memories of making Kraft Mac & Cheese as a kid. I'm also amazed at how long this stuff lasts in the pantry without changing the flavor or consistency. Pretty basic food item and about as easy to make as it gets...especially for kids.

So, this deal popped up on my radar today and I jumped on it.

The Kraft Macaroni & Cheese 15-Pack is currently $9.76 if you use subscribe & save. (You choose Subscribe & Save simply for the cheaper price. Once the item ships, you go back and cancel the Subscribe & Save "subscription"). I use the SS option to save money frequently, never had an issue canceling it.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

This is among the cheapest I have seen for it. Comes out to $0.65 per box.   It sells for at least $1.00 per box at Wallymart AND you have to spend gas and time to go get it.

This deal has free shipping on orders over $25. I ordered 5 units (75 boxes total) for $48.79.



Item(s) Subtotal:
$57.40
Shipping & Handling:
$0.00
Promotion Applied:
-$8.61

-----
Total Before Tax:
$48.79
Estimated Tax To Be Collected:
$0.00

-----
Grand Total:
$48.79


Hope this helps someone prep with some cheap and easy food. If you have a recipe to make it yourself, for cheaper than this (or equivalent), please share :-)


~OJD

Product Review: Sentry Safe Gun Safe

Sentry G0135 Gun Safe
Time to review my new Sentry Gun Safe. Specifically it is the G0135 black five long gun safe.  It surfaced on my radar as a Survival Deal a few weeks ago and I jumped on it for $151. It came with free shipping and was hand delivered right to my front door. Driver was nice enough to roll it into the house for me on his dolly. It now sells for $249.99 + shipping.

At 76 pounds, it isn't the hardest safe to move but you won't be getting it out the door easily.  It comes with mounting hardware to secure the safe to both wall and floor.  I particularly like the eight lever, double bit security key. Reminds me of the old "skeleton keys" from the old days but this one has a shiny chrome finish. The safe comes with two keys and instructions on how to obtain more if the originals are lost. In short, it requires $12 and a notary letter with proof of ownership.

Fully stocked, pic from Amazon.
The solid steel door has two hidden hinges on the inside of the safe and is roughly 2mm thick. The outside dimensions are 55 x 12 x 11.5 inches and the inside measures 53.5 x 11.8 x 9.5 inches (H xW x D) inside to deliver a capacity of 3.5 cubic feet of carpeted storage space. 

The slotted gun rack holds up to five long guns and has a convenient shelf at the top for ammo, cleaning supplies, etc.  While the rack holds up to five rifles, if you have larger scopes on them you should count on only fitting three comfortably.  If you have a 24" barreled rifle, you may want to modify the top shelf and move it up a bit.

It has a near 4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon (51 votes) and is brought down mostly by buyers who received their safes without keys. Let's be honest though. For $150, you can't expect a 300 pound Liberty safe.  This will, however, keep my shotgun out of reach from my little ones.

Thumbs up from me!

~OJD

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Oh no! It's Here. What Would YOU Do?

I couldn't believe what I saw and it's here in my state of Arizona.


Quartzsite, AZ – The Mayor is challenged under a recall election beginning next month. Accusations have been made. The city council is persecuting the Mayor for giving the people a voice. The Chief of Police is also involved in the scandal.

Jennifer Jones is given the floor at a city council meeting open to the public. While she is speaking the council realizes she’s about to air their dirty laundry and quickly beckons their henchman to cart her off.

The Mayor steps in and says Jones has been recognized to speak and has not violated the council’s rules, but the council ignores him and has the woman removed even as the Mayor continues to contest. The police officers ignore the Mayor of the city and remove the woman. It’s obvious who those cops work for, and it’s not the people.

Helps me out here folks, it's at my doorsteps. What would you do, legally, in this situation?

Where is the American Counterpart?

If you are reading this blog, odds are that you are aware of the grave economic situation looming over our country. You have an idea of how corrupt the American government has become. I, personally, am struggling with an answer to how we, as Americans, are going to overcome our economic problem and oust the government officials who have made it clear that our wants and desires as American citizens are NOT what they are voting for in Washington.

I am constantly looking for that ONE person who is going to stand up to this Administration and lead the Average Joe to victory in taking back our country before it implodes.

Where is the American version of Nigel Farage? Check this guy out:


Bosch Homemade Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Enough with talking about Wifey's homemade wheat bread, here's the step by step recipe...

You will need:

  • around 10 cups of ground flour
  • 3 tbs Saf instant yeast
  • 2 cups high gluten bread flour or 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 3 tbs dough enhancer
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbs sea salt
  • 6 cups warm water (~115 degrees)
She used her WhisperMill to grind her wheat. High on our lists of "wants" is a hand grinder, we just haven't found one we like that fits our budget yet.

WhisperMill filled with wheat berries.

View of ground wheat.


Added Vital Wheat Gluten

Added dough enhancer

Added yeast

Added honey

Added 6 cups of flour and salt.

Using Berkey filtered water for best taste, brought 6
cups of water up to around 115 degrees and added to Bosch.

Turn the machine to speed 1 and continue to add wheat flour only until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. When you can see the sides pull clean, as well as the dough coming clean from the bottom of the bowl, you know you have enough flour. Be careful not add too much flour.  The dough should be very sticky and does not come together at this point, but the bowl is clean.

Knead on speed 1 for 8-10 minutes or until the gluten has been developed. If you feel your dough is too dry, simply add a few tablespoons of water to moisten, always pulling the sides clean.  If dough starts sticking simply add a little white flour to take up the moisture.


Consult a YouTube video if you start to question whether
or not your dough looks right, like we did ;-)

Grease your bread pans. Wifey used a ziplock
baggy as a glove to spread butter.

Oil your hands, remove dough from mixer onto a slightly oiled counter, divide your dough into 4-5 large loaves depending on your pan size.

Shape loaves, and place in a well greased or sprayed (pam) pan, never use oil. Cover with a dry towel and let rise until dough has risen double or approx. 2 inches above the rim of the pan. This will take from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the room temperature.
Divide up the dough into five equal sections.

Put the dough in your greased pans.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until the inside temperature is 200 degrees. An instant read thermometer is very useful in telling whether your bread is done. Test after baking time is complete by taking bread out of its pan and pushing the thermometer into side or bottom of loaf. If not 200 degrees, place back in pan and bake another few minutes.

Cool on cooking racks before putting into bread bags. The recipe says the bread can be frozen up to 30 days without freezer burn but we've haven't had a loaf last 2 days before it gets eaten ;-)

Fresh out of the oven.

Bread fresh from the oven. Fluffy and airy. Delicious.


We bought our ingredients from a local store called Shar's in Gilbert, Arizona. This was the recipe they recommended and we are glad they did.  We've had red hard wheat and white hard wheat in two different batches. While the red tasted good, the white tasted better. I think next time we'll try more honey to sweeten the bread a little more.

How do YOU make homemade bread?

~OJD