"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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Drastic Changes

Both Orange Jeep Dad and Mystic Mud are on a journey similar to what we on the farm have gone through.  Our journey began as a result of an auto accident and both of the above mentioned bloggers experienced financial downturns with jobs yet we are all united because of the drastic changes we all have endured.

What happened to the three of us is not new in the history of America or even in the history of the world.   Situations happen that cause things that we can either deal with or flail through.   Either way, unless we die, a response occurs by us whether through inaction or action.

I am and have always been a verb~meaning I am in motion.  This does not mean I am a super amazing, always in control person.  I have my moments of tears.  I have my moments of shock and grief.  Then I press on.

When our journey began our kids were 10, 12, 13, and almost 16.   Seems like yesterday even though the baby will turn 18 in a few months.   We wondered how we would go forth all the while moving.  I began doing the only thing I knew how to do~I began cutting back and learning how to make money a way that perhaps one a few generations ago knew how to do without thought.

We moved to the most out of the way place we could find and called it a farm.  It is not...it is still more desert than farm.  But we looked to what we could do in spite of everything and of course all the while knowing we had our Lord and Saviour as our strength.

I cannot remember life before in simple terms of how I live now.  By this I mean how much I re-purpose everything.  Waste is crazy here because it means I haven't come up with a way to use it again.  I cringe now when I see people with paper napkins in their carts because I remember when I would buy so many and then toss them away.  I do not cringe because of the environment...oh don't get me wrong I am one that believes we should be good stewards...I cringe because of the money tossed away.

I make pretty much everything.  In fact, on my ironing board are the cloth napkins I am making for the County Fair.  I did not rush out and buy new fabric.  Instead I bought second hand fabric and thought long and hard about how to use it.   The third dress from the left after the space is what I am using.  I wrote about these dresses here...and the dress could not be repaired and I wanted to re-purpose it.

My cleaners are organic and healthy for the environment although my reasoning for making them in the beginning was it was far less expensive to make laundry soap then having to buy it.  Drastically changing our lives did not mean I wanted to live a less quality of life.  I realized I must roll up my sleeves though and solve problems that I had taken for granted before.  I make nearly all my cloth products for the home~dish towels, dish scrubbies, pot holders, washcloths, and mop pads. I didn't do this to be quaint or crafty.  I did this because I needed the items and it was  less expensive to make each item.  I am not Martha Stewart.  My items have that rough around the edges feel but they work just fine.

My blog is our journey.  We have had many ups and many downs along this path and I know that Mystic Mud and Orange Jeep Dad will as well.  It is not easy to transform our lives in a society that is portrayed as wealthy and keepin' up with the Kardashians.

It is not easy to opt out of things and live a simple life as it makes one different and boy oh boy it seems we are a nation that says being unique is wonderful unless one actually is unique.

Bill and I are now seeing that in spite of the hardships we endured as a family that our children are doing just fine.  In spite of life where we hand washed clothes for a while and did without almost everything in the sense of material items all was well. We may not have had a lot but that did not usurp the items that one cannot place a price on.  We were able to stay united as a family.  We worked together in our hardships and the kids learned so much about farming, about animals, about finances, and about how Bill and I were human and had weaknesses~and it made them as well as us stronger.  As a family we remained focused on God.  He was our anchor and still is.  I think each day about how I am able to get through is because of Christ and I repeat this verse many times:  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Phil. 4:13.

Our children are almost all adults.  Two are nearing marriage.  All three sons are in the service oriented occupations and in case I did not mention it before, First is now a civilian again!   Our children hang out now as much or more together than they did as kids.  Bill and I see them many times throughout the week as they all live in the community nearby.  We see that our hardships most definitely impacted them but in ways that show that they understood it was not totally bad.  They all work hard to pay cash for what they want and appreciate that this is something that gives them complete control even if something tragic happens.

And for Bill and I...well I get giddy sharing this.  No, not giddy, I am crying.  On January 1, 2005 I thought I lost him.  Oh to type and sob is not so easy.  He is my best friend.  He is my everything.   And in 28 days he and I will be celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary!   Many people suffer hardships daily in the world.  Maybe you will too.  Others have hardships thrust upon them in a natural disaster or terrorist act.  I am here today sharing that no matter what...one will endure and I challenge you to reflect about how you choose to endure~with Hope or dread? 

By the way, Bill and I give Bibles away and if you would like one sent to you please click here. 

The Simple Journey

of recycling on the farm.   First items are stored in my room on a desk...awaiting a new purpose. 

Then when enough items accumulate the re-purposing begins
 
then stops and starts again as old items are gathered again.

Then finally the journey ends with something old,
something new, something borrowed, and something
blue...

As In:
something old=cotton tee shirts
something new=I bought the last tee shirt at the thrift 
store (25 cents on sale).
something borrowed=I borrowed one of Bill's tee shirts
(don't tell him...but yellow was not his color!).
and something blue=the other blue tee shirt.

Ten tee shirts now are fashioned into a bedside rug
measuring 26" x 32"!

Not bad at all!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Little did I know

when I shared about one son getting engaged what would happen with another son.   I have not revealed which son is engaged...but I will say this: within a few days of the announcement another son told Bill and I something.

What did he tell us?   Well he took us to the back yard and said in the most serious of voices that he had met the girl for him...and he would be married pretty much by the end of the year.

Well hotdog! I was surprised and quite happy.

As to the second couple...here is a photo of them.













And I am so happy.

I wish I could share their photo but at this point...
the shoes are the main attraction.

For the record, Bill and I always wanted a large family.  We actually wanted 8 children.   It has been a lovely understanding that I will have my 8 children...and oh how happy I am.

The other neat thing...Fourth is gaining  something Bill and I could never give her~ Sisters!
How wonderful is that?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Day in the Life

of me. I tried to take the camera around with me on Friday to share what I do out here in the middle of nowhere.
As Bill walked out the door I began the first load of laundry.
The dogs played around me and expected me to stop every few minutes
and give them the proper attention.
 
I then began to weed.  We have had a tremendous amount of
rain~well for us, and the weeds are crazy.
By the way...I am a snake fearing person~big time.
As I would prepare to pull weeds I would smash the area
with the shovel...and then wait for the dreaded rattler to attack.
If I survived-I would continue to weed. 
So I survived long enough for my first load of weeds
what should I do with them?
 
 I gave them to the chickidoodles
They love the bugs and greens!!

Second load...and I was ready to take a break
the humidity has been crazy for us desert folk!
Not to mention I had had it with anticipating a slinking snake
waiting to scare me.  Oh the anticipation of seeing
a snake is as bad as the actual encounter!!
 
So I came inside and washed the dishes.  
This is a favorite chore of mine as I love watching the birds out the
window.
This year we have had so many quail, road runners, and pyrrhuloxias. 

and then washed the fresh herbs from the garden to dry
left to right
lemon basil~spearmint~peppermint~cilantro
I had parsley ready to take down and store from the drying rack 
so I did this and removed the stems

I took the garbage out 

I folded the first load of laundry and then

I put the next load in the 'dryer'

I had time to study Hebrew.  I am beginning and fortunately the Internet
has tons of places to assist anyone that wishes to learn another 
language.  

During my day I have time to read and study the Bible, read 
the news, and blog! 
 
I began prepping items for dinner
This is a cucumber snack with fresh picked cucumbers
2 limes squeezed, NM chili powder and salt
ps...the ends were applied to my eyes for a bit of rest 
and relaxation time.  Oh the pampered life!!

I washed and sliced the zucchini, crookneck squash, 
and the scallop squash to be ready to cook

 I washed the Red Russian Kale and cut out the stems
to prepare to make Kale Chips

I then mixed the Kale with 1 tsp of olive oil, sea salt,
and kelp granules. Bake at 350 F until crisp.
Kale chips in bowl ready to be served.

Dinner Menu: Burrito wraps
Squash medley
Kale Chips
Cantaloupe

And back to the day 
 I made cinnamon rolls

 Let them rise and then baked them

These were dessert and have been ALL weekend!
My work was done and so the rest could begin.
 Bill and I took the blankets and went to the backyard 
and enjoyed the sunset and the coolness of the evening.

The dogs were content, Fourth was walking with them
and the day was another day in the simple life
of ME!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Fotos

Well hotdog! It's Friday Fotos once again!  Time for a bit of randomness from the farm family life!
My view as I walk into one of the gardens. 
Can you see the Zinnia from this post?

I snapped a photo of the puddle as it is something a bit rare
out here.  This is my view-although usually it is not so overcast.

I went to Cloudcroft, NM with these cutie pies!
The Old Apple Barn is a really neat place to stop.

We checked out the views-kind of overcast and rainy but still wonderful.

The girls took some photos and it reminded me of a photo I took 
 
This is the view. On the left you can see the white which is the 
White Sands of New Mexico.

I snapped a photo of this soap holder.  Do you do that?  I take
photos of things I would like to buy or make and then I think about
the item.  If it still seems like an item I would like down the road
I save for it.  This item is something I really like and think
it will go great with the cast iron claw foot tub I salvaged a few years ago.
 

 Afternoon garden grab!

I love fossils and I have tons on the farm.  I love to have fossils here, 
there, and everywhere as they remind me of the Flood and Noah.
 Seems like we should have things around us that keep our thoughts
and focus on what is important.  I guess every now and then we 
should assess what we have gathered around to see where our
mind and thoughts are~don't you think?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bold

is not a term I would usually use to describe myself.  I am more of the behind the scenes person.  I really am not one that tries to draw attention to myself.  In the blog world I am who I am in real life.  I take no measure to fine tune or create a character for me.

I am this basic.   Perhaps I am boring as my life is not a leading role but one of a supporting role.  I partner with my husband to maintain a successful marriage.   It is not easy and my job is to work on maintaining the homefront so our marriage can run smoothly.  I work to keep our home clean and neat.   I am the greeting committee upon arrival and the sending off committee upon departure.  I listen about the ways of the workplace, share my thoughts and opinions and then truly let those from the home know that here...in our home~they are important in a world filled with billions.  No matter what the work day brings, here at home, life is about simplicity, love, family, and our Lord.

I am the cook.  This title is an overstatement as at times the cook settles on an easy menu that requires little effort.  The food is not the star of the meal...the family is.   Conversation, laughter, and even comfortable silence among those that accept you exactly as you are reign in our home.

I am a person that has not earned any retirement in a financial sense.  I have worked for 25 years behind the scenes and in the terms of the world I am of little value or worth.  Please do not misunderstand my point here.  I am not seeking monetary rewards for being the wife and mom I have been.  I am thankful that I can do this in spite of the times we live in.  I am appreciative of the husband I have that he and I are united on our roles and supportive in every measure.

I am not quiet amongst my family.   I am quiet elsewhere.   I am not one to attend parties and affairs, but love to have family and friends over to the home.  I am most comfortable in my office which is in the heart of my home-the kitchen.   I type this post on my reclaimed kitchen table!

Many would consider me a bit of a reclusive or shy.   Perhaps this would have been a reality before the Internet.  Here I am bold.

In fact, I hope to be most bold in my faith.  I am one that is covered by the Blood of the Lamb.   I am one that can take my homemaker role to a level that surpasses anything before as I have potentially the world to share my faith.  I can freely give Bibles away to anyone that simply asks for it.   Many times the request is made in spite of my postings as the request is from simply clicking on the sidebar offer.

I can be bold as I am.  You see that is what being a Christian is all about.  Although I would never suggest I am even remotely like Moses, I can appreciate that in spite of his concerns about speaking, his voice was heard~through Aaron.   The blog is my Aaron.  Here I can share Him through my ever so humble life and I can offer His Holy Word.  I believe that  each one of us not only has purpose and worth (as we are made in the image of the Creator), but that we have a manual to follow on how to live.   I can be bold when I talk about my role as wife as He does in His word.  I can talk about how it is NOT suppressive or demeaning to fulfill my design as a woman.  I can share how His Word IS NOT racist and how my family that now is considered White Hispanic (thanks NY Times)...is only seen as this in a world that requires division to create chaos.  In times like these the racial divide is broadcast from our White House to our Main Stream Media.   I am bold when I speak about the womb as it should be a place that provides the passageway to a family.  Instead has become the most dangerous place in America for a black person and has made America a contender for a brutal  exterminating  machine claiming over 50 million of her most precious of citizens.

I am bold when I stand for marriage as God defines it.  If our nation would remove themselves 100% from the first institution of God and require all citizens to have civil unions I would be most content.  If one wishes to grant their money or inheritance to another I will not stand in their way.  Give unto Caesar is a good reminder to me.  I do value giving an inheritance to my children.  I give them my stand in Him and His Truth.  With that they can find eternal peace.   Oh and marriage is like the rainbow.   God owns them and no matter who tries to hijack their meaning it will not change the truth.

I am bold in spite of the world.

Me...wife of  25 years.  Homeschool parent teacher of 19 years.  Mom of 24, 21,20 year old sons and nearly 18 year old daughter.  Me-the person who allowed the gray to finally consume the blond. Me the person that needs a step stool for pretty much everything...is bold when standing firm in Him.

And so can you!

Please leave me a comment here if you would like a Bible sent to you.


The Simple Life

began several years ago for Bill and I.   When we moved to the farm we really had no idea how to be New Mexican farmers.  Truth be told it was more of a personal challenge for us~could we raise/grow foods in the desert?  Whether our methods of frugality in farming are seen as shabby or green is of no concern to us as we are successful in the by gone era of small family farming. 

Below are some photos from one of the gardens we have this year.  For new readers, yes the plants are in a raised tire garden.  Here are some photos from previous seasons here, here and here-with aerial shots of the garden.
I love the flowers brightening the garden.
State Fair Zinnia
 
Mint
I use mint in so many things from flavored drinks
to dental care, to baking, and teas.

The squash are are big hit and I love the sheer volume each plant produces
 

Buttercrunch lettuce is a wonderful addition to a tortilla wrap.
I am a bit of a nibbler when watering the garden and buttercrunch
is a nice place to begin munching.

Red Russian Kale
I love love love kale...

Zucchini
The plant that makes even the novice gardener a green thumb!!
 

Jalapenos
Could a garden in NM lack peppers?
Nope!

Another scallop squash plant
So delish

Cucumbers
In our home cucumbers are a snack 
Cucumber Snack -peel cucumbers slice thin
take 1 or two limes squeeze fresh lime juice over cucumber slices
sprinkle with NM chile powder and salt~serve!


In addition to the above our garden has several herbs, more flowers, peas, tomatoes, melons, sunflowers, and WEEDS.  

I have found that the simple life is far more detailed and laborious than presented before we began...but it is a way of life that allows Bill and I to know what we are eating and to appreciate the efforts it takes to put food on the table.  The gift while gardening in the desert is to understand that the ground is cursed for thy sake (Genesis 3:17) Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee (Genesis 3:18) .  Appreciating this makes the mesquite thorn something to be aware of every step we take while transforming the desert into an oasis. 
The thorns we encounter are tough enough for every girlie shoe I own...

The simple life has brought us closer to our Creator. 


As I close I would like to offer two things-
First if you do not have a Bible and would like one please leave a comment here and we will send you one free of charge.
Second if you would like to share the link to the Bible giveaway on your website, please do so. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

It rained so

hard the other night that the present the dogs left the porch~a dead mouse, was reconstituted!

Keep in mind the farm is in southern New Mexico.
Rain is scarce.
Flash floods are common when it does rain.

Here are some photos of the after the storm. 
We had flooding in the canyon.

The frogs have been out since the flooding and the night is
filled with an eerie croaking

 We do not have ditches along side the roads like many may be used to
so the water spills over the roads pretty fast.

I do love that the sky brightened up as I drove about.

 It has been so humid this year.

I grew up in the Midwest and I am familiar with humidity
but folks~this is New Mexico.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Independence Day 2013

What can I say?  I love the Fourth of July!  Here are a few photos from the parade in Alamogordo, New Mexico
Some very special people are in this ladder truck

The mayor and the City Fire Department Chief are in the bucket

I love this young woman's boots!!

Entry # 35 made my heart melt
and how sweet that she walked to the cutie pie and handed her some candy!

The trucks and jeeps all 'climbed' up on the vehicle next to them.
It was the highlight of the parade and I confess I have never seen 
anything like it.


I wish we were closer to this display.
This is one of the best photos I captured

Cute cute cute

Watching and waving

I am so thankful for the volunteer fire departments in the county.
Hats off to the fine men and women that so willingly donate their time



It was so nice to see the number of floats in the parade as well
as the variety of other entry's.