"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.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's Not Good

Here is the road to the east of us about 2 miles away. My sons are 'posing' but the reality of the canyon and the rain and flooding is very real.

This is the pecan/ pistachio farm near us.

Here is the rail line that borders the back of our property. It is about 4' deep here, and the rail road workers are actually pumping the water.

Same rail crossing heading east.

Same crossing facing west...sorry the pictures are out of order.

This water is crossing the road and we backed up and turned around.

Almost closed in, where we live.

Our property had much flooding on the back and we have been busy working and salvaging and trying to keep animals calm as can be. We heard last night that we got over 2" yesterday. New Mexico averages 9 inches per year. So you understand how devastating that this has been for us.

More later.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hurricane in the Desert?

As I wrote on my other blog, we are feeling the effects of hurricane Dolly this far inland. Although I did not take pictures this time, here are some of the chicks and one of our Ameraucana's from flooding that happened earlier this month. Clearly all were sopping wet!

The goats are not water creatures. I cannot say that I am surprised, but poor Daisy and Maizy!

More when time permits.

Friday, July 25, 2008

This and That

Friday's post topic is usually a home school tip, but for this post, I have a few things to write about.

In my previous post, I wrote about going through the freezer to make a meal, to rotate items and use what is on hand. I used two drumsticks for the meal. I boiled them earlier and then pulled the meat off the bones. The pot of water was perfect to then add a few items and bring it to a simmer to make some chicken broth. For the meal I peeled a carrot and used some celery, so the peelings and the ends of the celery went in the pot. I also threw back in the bones and the skin of the chicken. I then added salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and Italian seasoning.

Instead of canning this small amount of broth, I decided that I was going to freeze the broth. My simple freezer jars? I buy frozen juice in reusable plastic containers, so that I can freeze other things.
Here are the containers:

Here are the veggies and chicken bones that I used. I am straining them.

Here is the broth.

Cooled and ready to be frozen!

And the scraps of food?

These will be tossed to the chickens! So full circle, everything will be used to the fullest capacity!

Now to the tip:
Years ago we bought the net and paddles for ping pong. My table is not standard ping pong table size but it is perfect for us. We have championships and challenges that are so fun. As a society, we seem to believe that entertainment and fun require money and outings. This is not the case. Children are only in our care a small period of time. We should maximize our time with them, without placing them on a pedestal but raising them the way God lays out for us.

Just for fun while playing- play with the opposite hand...or with two paddles...or with the cat sitting by the net! Last weekend the playoff match(believe it or not)was between Bill and I!!!

~~you can pick up a net and paddles at the local supercenter...in case you are wondering~~

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Books...as I wander

I love to read! I read while doing nearly everything else, except driving, yet I do read the horizon and all that God has created.

I haven’t been as diligent to my blog schedule since the flooding, but I thought that I would get back to what I wish to write about weekly. If I insert an additional post here and there I am fine, but the schedule will keep me and my loved ones in tune with what I am thinking and what I find important.

I do consider blogging to be such an incredible peak into our thoughts, more so than journaling ever did before. You see we can see instantly things occurring and place our viewpoint on it. I delight in knowing that my children and grandchildren can and perhaps will, be able to know me…my thoughts, my serious side, my humor, my passion for my husband and family, and my total love for my Saviour. Just ten years ago this blog journal was not really as possible as today.

So with that introduction I would like to share a book that I have completed that was a wonderful read. I just read The Remarkable Record of Job, by Henry Morris. Henry Morris is a wonderful author and I have truly enjoyed every book that I have found written by him. Job is a wonderful book in the bible, so before you delve into Henry Morris’ book read Job if you have not done so, as the first place to read the scriptures and of the scriptures is in the bible. That said, this is a wonderful read.

What books have inspired you lately? What book in the bible has the Lord used to speak to you this week?

My answers: The above book has been inspiring me, and in the bible I have been pressed to really read John, and I know that the Lord is working on me by using this book. I have been really urgently feeling that in addition to reading His word that I myself need to study the bible diligently...to define terms I do not know, to locate places on the map, to identify the people mentioned, and to memorize scriptures in this chapter by chapter study. I know that this will be a project that will take the rest of my life...and love this thought.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Farm Menu

Did you ever wonder what the average weekly menu was of the Double Nickel Farm?

Well hold on to your horses, here goes:
Breakfast: arroz con leche, oatmeal, or cereal

Lunch:(always the same) ramen noodles and peanut butter and honey sandwiches

Gumbo, bananas
Ground beef burritos, Spanish rice, beans, salsa, cantaloupe
Breakfast for Dinner-scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, and orange juice
Spaghetti, spinach, garlic bread, carrots, applesauce
Homemade chicken pot pie, peaches,
Homemade meat pizza, Hawaiian pizza, spinach salad
Chicken Enchiladas, beans, Spanish rice, salsa, cabbage

Desserts this week: Brownies, oatmeal cookies, pudding, sugar cookies, homemade pretzels

Of course this menu lasts for 2 weeks then I switch things about. I make enough of each dinner so that I can send 1 meal with Bill to work each day. The daily drinks are water, homemade lemonade, a rare Koolaid mix, or milk.

I was pondering things that we do and wondered if others were curious to the foods eaten here. I am a pretty simple person and these menus are flexible and interchangeable. One of the first things that I do after I return from the grocery store is brown the ground beef. I pre-season it with cumin, onion salt, garlic salt, and a dash of cinnamon. Then I take each one pound of meat and put it in three freezer bags. Yes, for every recipe that requires 1 pound of meat, I use only a third. It can stretch and I do stretch it. By having precooked ground beef, I can quickly make a number of meals depending on if one of the kids or Bill is craving something else.

Did you know that you can freeze cheese? Or milk? If these go on sale I buy extra and then freeze them. Milk needs about one cup taken out, before you freeze it, and it takes around 10 hours to defrost. It goes from yellow in frozen state back to white and it tastes exactly the same.

Most of the fruit is fresh that I serve and we have become spinach salad junkies!!!In off season...I try and use frozen fruits.

Planning your monthly menu is a tremendous savings to your home. By being organized you free yourself from rushing out and buying pre-made meals that are loaded with preservatives.

Now what about you? If you write about your weekly menu and some tips let me know so I can zip over and see what you do!!