"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

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Farm? Only a Vision(at first)

Growing up in Ohio tainted my interpretation of what a farm was. I envisioned red barns, white fences and well green grass, trees, and a ditch or two. That is not the case here in New Mexico. Nearly every operation out here is referred to as a ranch. I was determined to be unique and therefore decided that we would live on a farm. But truth of the matter was that this humble piece of property that we have was never a farm, and most certainly only scrub desert. We saw beyond the thorns, cactus, sand, rocks and envisioned a FARM!

We are only one year into the operation, and it has left permanent scars on our arms, as the mesquite is not forgiving as you try to remove it, trim it, or work around it. Yet we continue. Our time line is at year 4 to look like the farm we envisioned. When our agent showed us the property we could not walk through and see much as it was overgrown. It took three weeks to realize that the back had a fenced in area for the yard!

So here are the lemons we have(you know-when life gives you lemons- make lemonade)

Clearing mesquite...click on the photo to see the thorns...I saw the beans growing on the trees(bush) and began to harvest them, and we dried them for the animals. Boy they love dried mesquite beans.

When the monsoon season flooded parts of the property and the native grasses grew...we harvested the grasses with homemade sickles...and had Jen sized bales for the animals!

We still have much of the property that is nearly impassible. Oh and shoes do not stop the thorns...one thing we have purchased excess of was tweezers and peroxide!!

Here is a photo near the front of the property with one of my sons wandering. We have clearings here and there that more dry, desolate things will grow in...
So although one may believe that we found a great deal on a fixer upper (former) farm, that is not the case. We just knew that often to make what you desire takes much more mental ability then actually things that are real.

Don't ever believe that you can't achieve something, as we here on the Double Nickel Farm know that with God-all things are possible.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Road Forks

When we went to Arizona last year I saw this sign and quickly snapped a picture. It really caught my attention as it said so much with 2 words.

Road Forks-this is life. The decision then becomes which path do I take? Do I take the easy path? Do I take the hard path? Pretty cut and dry, yet as when one is driving, the fork comes and goes so quickly that the decision is a split decision, so one must be ready at a moments notice.

My whole life was preparation to the Double Nickel Farm. As the seventh of eight children I was able to work well with others, eat whatever managed to survive the first pass at the table, and well wear Toughskins(the two directly above me were boys, so hand me downs were~ well what they were!) I attended a small school in Ohio and enjoyed living in a rural environment. My early years in marriage were of being an Army wife, and from that I learned that no matter what, no matter where, home is where you put your boots! We lived in 4 states and 3 places in Germany(on the economy) and assessing the surroundings and blending with the locals became second nature.

So although my story, or more clearly my family's story that Michelle Malkin shared makes us look so atypical that we seem to be a dying breed in today's America...well that is not the case.

We have the ability and the determination because before the fork in the road was upon us we were prepared. This is not saying that we haven't had our ups and downs mentally and physically. No, what I am saying is that while we were in our comfy lives we have tried to look ahead and prepare for any scenarios. We committed to one another and the roles we each had, then we looked to carry any slack for another. We never forgot that we had a Creator either. We have always known that a wise man builds his house upon a rock, not because he expected life to be grand, but that when the storms came in, his house stood. So our preparation has included the knowledge that we can do all things through Him. We are not dismayed at adversity but know that with each day we learn something new.

And in case others feel that they too may be nearing a fork in the road, I offer sincere advice: if you stand united as a family, when you hit the fork, you all travel as one. Bill and I have become even closer on this journey, as have the children.

Oh and one other thing, I love Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken...

Snowy Saturday

Well not really. This is the season that this former Ohio girl misses snow. Living in the desert southwest is a daily vacation filled with views that still take my breath away, but once in awhile I do miss the snowstorms of my childhood.

When I first moved west in the summer of '88, I remember thinking that the desert has much more color than I believed. Now I know that is true. I often hum in the evening as the sun sets behind the mountains and they appear purple(purple mountains majesty), and laugh when I see the types of bugs.

But as quick as my longing for childhood memories arrive they disappear, as I know that we all bring our past with us. We all take a bit of every experience that has made us who we are to the present. My mother's family is part German and I see that in my cooking. As we put the Christmas tree up, I see snow drifts, and sleds, and ice skates, and really remember the Blizzard of '78...and all the gear that went with it-hats, mittens, boots, scarves, rosy cheeks, and near frozen toes.

As my longing comes and goes, I realize that the first photo is like having snow, without the hazards of driving that comes with it. I wonder what the first settlers must have thought when they moved to this region of New Mexico? They must have rubbed their eyes in shock seeing what appeared to be snow in the desert, and combined their memories of snow, to this new environment! Instead of lacking, the snow and sand melded...at least for those who may never really experience snow. Perhaps one wonders what I mean? It is the desert, the children must sit inside longing for a cool day to go out and play(not).

As you can see the children of the desert suffer immensely, and miss out on the true purpose of sleds. Oh and instead of having to come inside to warm up and have hot cocoa, the kids have to come under a sunshade and drink water-sunblock is a necessity!

Here is one of my sons(Third) trying out a new move...

So as I momentarily longed for something of my childhood, I quickly came back to the present. My memories are lovely to visit, and helped build the character that I have, but my children will have memories of this life. Fortunately the past and the present blur when White Sands National Monument is at your back door!

For all of you enjoying *real* snow this weekend, I pray that you take the time to really enjoy it, and in return I will take my sandals off and wiggle my toes in the sand[of the warm beaches that you are thinking of].

{the photos were all taken at the White Sands National Monument}

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thank You

As the day comes to a close I thought I would share a photo of the very reason I am who I am. This lovely group of people are my soul. In blogland they are known as(L-R) Fourth, Third, my sweetie Bill, Second, and First. As many readers are new here, I thought perhaps you would like to put faces on our farm family!

*this photo was taken just down the road from our farm*

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the Double Nickel Farm Family! Welcome Michelle Malkin readers!


Click here to read the post that Michelle wrote sharing our story. Thank you Michelle! I truly desired to share with others that nothing is impossible, and with conviction and determination one can achieve anything.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am not the President but...

I did grant one pardon in light of Thanksgiving~

Yes, you guessed it, Turk will not be the focal point of the Thanksgiving table as she was not big enough in October when we celebrated our early Thanksgiving.

In case you missed why we celebrated early this year(click here)...it all had to do with this cutie...
who is now at Basic Training back east.

Photo of oldest son was taken at the White Sands National Monument, which is nearly at my back door=)!

May you have a safe wonderful Thanksgiving

Monday, November 24, 2008

Good For Nothing

Did you ever have something that when it first came to light was "good for nothing?" Well for the Double Nickel farm, this kitty was good for nothing. He showed up a few months after we moved in.

But we didn't need him as we had two cats already. No matter, this kitty remained faithful to the family, coming around and well~ being a lap cat. Although we never allowed him indoors, he took up residency on the front porch. His persistence convinced us to give him a name. Thus Good For Nothing, became Bandit, and we begun to feed him. He is afraid of the tom cats that cross the property so he will flee, but he always returns.

Funny how in life the things that seem to have no real purpose end up having the most value. Being a conditioned materialistic American, I had little or no purpose with God. Funny thing was no matter how much I ignored or placed God on the back burner, He remained faithful to me, a sinner. It turned out that I was the good for nothing, that had a faithful Saviour who knew everything about me, and paid for my worthlessness irregardless. It kind of makes me look into the mirror in a new light. It seems as if I too have a name, and He knows me.