"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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

After the Flood(again!)

After having record rains for the month of July, we decided to find high ground for the animals. We thought after the first flood that hit in early July that we were ready for almost anything.

Well we weren't, and the Hurricane that hit the Gulf proved this to us. So we quickly built new pens on the highest part of the property. It just so happens that this was the traffic circle that the previous owner put in. It had ornamental cactus, and desert plants...sigh, we have those all over*! So we fenced this off and moved the 2 flocks of birds.

Instead of the neat chicken coops we had(which we couldn't move) we came up with handy dandy quick coops. True to our quest to use salvage materials for our humble farm, we created these coops.

The boys took 3 pallets(we pick up from businesses around town~ as they toss them) and 2 sheets of plywood that Bill's friend in construction gave us(leftover from construction job). They took the judges campaign signs for the ends.

The main perch is a piece of 3/4 inch conduit that we actually found on the property. I made the ladder perches from limbs and branches here and there(I copied the southwestern idea:-)

The nests are 2/3 of strawberry buckets that we get from the local custard shop. The boys cut the bottom third off-to be used for feed trays, and this is the top third. It allows me to scrub the nests and keep them cleaner than the wood nests, as I can use a bleach solution to wipe them out.(we made 3 like this)

Here is the new goat pen(and soon similar one for the sheep). Notice it is the same concept as the chicken coops. I do have more barn red paint and will paint the pens, in the next few weeks.

Here are Daisy, Maisy and want a be goat, Pepsi. We gave the goats this award platform that we had made for the homeschool field day from a few years ago. The goats love this!!(the white sign in the back is a campaign sign from the judge, and it is to patch a small area in the fence.)

Colonel Sanders...Third is taking him to the fair in August

3 from the mixed flock...

one of the Turkens

2 of the Dominiques...Fourth is going to take a Dominique, and an Ameraucana...Miss Scarlet to the fair.

this is McBobber an Ameraucana...Second is going to take her to the Fair in August.

Egg production this month has been slow. I know that the weather has had a huge impact. We still are doing well, and the Dominiques are due to start laying this month. We also have 10 that will begin laying in September and then ten additional ones in October.

Sheep arrive this weekend. 2 Rams, and three ewes(one adult 2 lambs) We have 2 pens set up, and the sheep we worked in trade for are Navajo sheep, and are desert dwellers. They will do quite well here. I have been researching wool and there is a fairly big market for it, although we are getting the sheep for a variety of reasons. 1) walking food 2) flock that can continue to grow(and sell for meat...$9.00 per pound) 3) wool to sell or card and spin into yarn bundles...

I really seek out multi purpose items and the sheep definitely fit. I cannot believe how easy this transition to simplicity has been. No, I better correct myself. This path that we are on has been arduous, starting from Bills life altering accident to his recovery, to the move from Nevada to New Mexico, to buying a run down beat up place that we saw as a farm in progress. It has been 3.5 years since the accident...the hardest part about all of this is the tremendous difference in salary that Bill made in Law Enforcement to what he makes while going to school.

I will be honest, I became comfortable in my spending. Now we ration and even spend change. But all of these things that happened to us have been an amazing witness to God and His mercy, and how we can do all things through Him.

The learning that we have done in these months has been incredible. I mean, chicks in the bathroom...under the heat lamp! Goats?! We will have milk and I am studying how to make cheeses and plan on making goat milk soap. Sheep?! Again who would have thought that we would be raising sheep? Ducks! Boy are they messy indoors...we had them inside when it was cold. Now that they are outside we do enjoy them, and plan on next year eating duck. These 4 will be used for breeding. Oh and the goose!? The turkey!? You better believe that one can provide for their own. It is a good work, like in Genesis and the sweat of ones brow.

So we chalk up this month as a learning curve and know that other things will hit, but we can and will continue on, simple, forward, and focusing on Him.


~~Deby said...

WOW....I don't even know what to say. I am so impressed and putting this with today's post I see that you *get it*...most of us do not...not really. I look at what you and yours accomplish and I KNOW I could not physically do the same even IF I HAD to. My body would not let me. Some weeks it is hard to even do light housework, which alone is so frustrating. Can I say that I am jealous, in that you are able to do this. I ask the Lord sometimes, what good am I?
Anyways, have you thought about rabbits? It tastes wonderful, I had a friend that raised them in her yard in suburbia, butchered them and that was their main meat.
They grow fast and multiply...don't know if they would do good on the desert...
Looking forward to buying some soap from you...
love these posts from you..and will pray that the Lord will keep you strong, physically and mentally ...

Penless Thoughts said...

I smile and I marvel as I read your journey of faith, Jennifer. I can only imagine what God is doing......saying "look, look those are MY kids!!!" I see our Lord as a very personal God and I feel He takes great delight in His kids when they are following Him and cries when we do not. Just as we, as earthly parent made in His image do.

You, and your wonderful family, are indeed an inspiration.

Kitty said...

I am so impressed as I read this, too. It must have been so hard, going through all these changes and adjustments. But you proved yourself to be a real adventurer!! And it must have taken an enormous faith in God, too. I bet your husband is so proud to have a wife who would rise to the occasion and when things got difficult. For some reason this reminds me of this activity book I read about the Ingalls family, how many "adventures" Ma went along with, with Pa and their family, and always made the best of.

My life has gone through changes too, and I don't know if I have always been such a trooper. But I am learning to make the best of things, too. I've watched my husband go from US Marine, to Correction's Officer, to (unexplainably, while I was pregnant) Wal Mart associate. And I fought the changes at first, but then somehow I learned not to. I used to go around saying "I was not raised to live like this." And then somehow I woke up and realized this is an opportunity and I am supposed to learn something here!!! =)

By the way, my husband grew up on the Navajo reservation and they raise sheep also goats. My mother in law not only butchers the sheep, she also processes the wool herself and knows how to make beautiful rugs and blankets with it. I wonder if there are any Navajo women living down where you are, who could teach you how to do it??

Anyway, I loved your pictures, the neat structures you all built, and your animals!! This was a fun post to read!!!

MightyMom said...

so, do you have a spinning wheel yet??

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

Oh My you do live close- I just saw the Elyse Beckman sign!!! Where are you friend?
:) mary