"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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Baa baa Black Sheep

Have you any wool? Of course! And look at what I found today in town at an antique store...to help us in the spring...sheep shears

Photo courtesy of ebay

I am very happy at our find, and look forward to our shearing season.

Simple Morns

If you have read this blog for any amount of time you know that we are on a path of living more simple. How does one accomplish the daily meals when everything mainstream is filled with preservatives and is so wasteful, and so pricey?

So today I will start with our morns, and what we do. With the animals the morning comes early and regardless of how one *feels*. For Bill his day begins after his usual night of trying to catch an hour or two of sleep. He is nearly 4 years out from the day that changed his our lives forever. As a result of the accident he begins his morn early and in His Word. He has turned pain to gain, and has dove into opportunity when he fails to find comfort in sleep. Often I find Bill in the family room reading the bible(at all hours of the night) as he is not in as much pain when he reads the Word.

For me, I wake and iron Bill's clothes for work and we visit. The kids do the morning routine with the feeding of the animals...and the ducks never seem to sleep. Often a morning discussion occurs around the trunk(coffee table) about something one of has read. For example, today we discussed 'avoiding the very appearance of evil' and the scriptures that accompany this.

Breakfast is so different now that we do not eat cereal...it is either a morn of egg sandwiches, arroz con leche, oatmeal, or first come first serve over leftovers(last night we cooked over the fire pit-and there was yummy meat leftover-the boys split it this morn)...each of the dishes is from scratch and so much better and filling then the cereals. As it continues to get colder we add hot cocoa for mornings. Currently the guys drink coffee. We gals are not coffee fans, so water or the likes is our quencher!

We then have a break, and I get on the computer(after Bill leaves) and the kids disappear. Around 9 we begin house chores, and I clean the kitchen. After house chores we have school and it is based on where we are in the lessons. The kids as a group are working on memorizing something, they also have written and drawn up plans to make something on the farm work more efficiently...Second has an idea about salvaging gray water and directing it to a tank. Fourth has a design to access the fenced in areas of the property. Everything on our farm was modge-podge when we moved in and some things are not too high on priority...Fourth and I struggle to open and close the gate, and the dog actually can manipulate it to open...go figure. Third has not revealed his project, but you get the idea. Hands on ideas and solutions offered by the kids...my favorite way to learn(trial and error).

As morn slowly comes to and end around noon, my daughter or I take out the slop bucket to our little friends. It is a scramble to get something/ anything from the bucket. The chickens go goofball to get any morsel. It is fun to watch, and as a parent I realized that this is the life that I am happy that the children have. I am glad that they are seeing farm life/no living farm life, as it is making all the difference to us all.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Compost for Orchard site

I am moving our original compost piles(2) to one area we plan to plant apple trees. The best advice for moving to a climate so extreme as the desert southwest, was to check out the neighborhood and see what the neighbors are growing. Then you know what you can grow.

So we know that apple, pecan, pistachios, and pomegranate trees grow for sure here. So we are going to plant the above listed trees. I do know that some friends in town have a peach tree, and another has a cherry tree, but in the canyon area we live in are the 4 listed. So our orchard is no longer on the drawing board but in the soil/ground prep stage! Yay!

What is on YOUR backporch?

Our chickens have three pens. We have the flocks segregated based on production and age. The newest egg layers just moved to our backyard. Funny as this sounds our backyard is about 1/4 of an acre fenced. The chickens have had fun foraging and 'free rangin' the yard. We have native greenery(dull green), which I call weeds, which the chickens love to tug at. So the back yard is their new domain. And to explain the title question... what do we have on our back porch?

Chickens...off course!!

{image courtesy of google images}

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Isn't it funny how the mind works? One moment we are nearing the end of one season and approaching another and in the same moment are planning for the spring season.

Our new plan has been inspired by a visit to Mesilla Valley in Las Cruces, New Mexico. We are planning our garden beds as dual purpose, due to the farm animals and varmints wandering around. At Mesilla we saw this:
Photo credit, Mesilla site.

Notice the way the tires are stacked ? We did, and decided that with the fill and the way the tires were set that we could go up in our gardening! Of course not this high, but still this was such a neat idea that we immediately began planning.

Tires are free for the picking up! And after much research, we have discovered many people have used tires in their gardening and all works well. Here is a neat link that I found to give you a visual of what I am describing.

So for the night I will retire with the Double Nickel all in bloom in all sorts of tires...I guess our farm motto should be "Don't TRED on me!"

Name Your Nest

Here is a link to enter a neat contest. I entered as it seemed cute. I followed Deby and entered why the Double Nickel is named the Double Nickel... head over to Blueberry Cottage to enter.

Pioneer Week

Here are the rest of the rules for Pioneer Week- my comments in green...

3. Conserve water: Since we don't all lug our water from the stream for home use, we'll have to do a few things to help conserve water. Besides taking shorter showers (5 minutes or less or take a military style shower) and flushing less often, you can create a great reminder about water usage by turning the water off on most of your sinks so when you go to use them nothing comes out. Conserving water in the Southwest is critical. We really do try to remember this at all times. Before we begin I will plot out an estimate of what we use...and set a goal to lower our daily use.

4. Transportation: Walk as much as possible. This will force you to support more local stores if you can't drive across town. If this isn't feasible, then drive or take public transportation. Most importantly, try to combine trips and if you really don't need to go out, stay home!
We have no public transportation out here in the sticks...but we can reduce the trips and have Bill bring in anything that we need...kind of how it is now=)

5. Rethink your entertainment: Instead of spending the week passively watching television or movies, try to engage more with the people you live with or neighbors within walking distance. Get the family back into playing games, music or just sitting around talking and telling stories. If you aren't in the mood for socializing try picking up that long lost craft hobby or start a new one.
This one is a neat rule and I think that we can incorporate some neat projects and games...all the while spending time together.

6. Watch your wallet: Think of this as a Buy Nothing Week. Since you'll be pretty much eating at home or at home all week, you don't really need to buy anything, now do you?
Again this is so easy as we are so careful with every penny.

I guess that this Pioneer Week would have been harder a few years ago...but for the past three years we have been building up to this and I am sure we will be fine. Life on the Double Nickel is most certainly unique but probably not much different than many small farm families across the world.
When we begin the week I will update as needed.