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Friday, September 11, 2009

A Day in the Life: Part 1

Sunrise over my mountain

5:00 a.m. - No alarm clock goes off~the baaing of the sheep and the crowing of the rooster is all we need

Bill starts the coffee...becoming a prepper one must understand that coffee is something that you may not have in a crisis. Perhaps a situation will arise that you will have to adapt and create something new. For us, we reduced appliances(uses too much electricity) and use this coffee potFunny thing about learning to use a coffee pot like this every day ~ is that this will work over a campfire, a woodstove or even on the stovetop. We live near a pecan orchard and so I have played around with different styles of coffee if I cannot have the "real thing". I crushed the pecans and we add this to our base for the daily coffee.(we trade labor for pecans by the way~ we rake the orchard of the leaves(which we keep for the goats) and then any pecans on the ground are ours...and they are still edible- last year we harvested three large plastic outdoor trash cans full of pecans which we supplement feed for the animals and for us)
The tablespoon is coffee and the bottom of the plate has the crushed pecans. The flavor is lovely in case you are wondering. We call our coffee three day coffee because each morn Bill adds 1/2 tbsp of coffee to the grinds left in the pot and water is added. So we stretch the coffee two ways, one by adding the pecan grinds and two by using the coffee grinds for three days.(we then toss the grinds into a bucket to add to our garden...compost). By the way one can make a Mesquite bean coffee as Mesquite is native to my region- I have not made it yet, but here is a blogger that has)

Living the life of prepping is making do. A definition of a prepper is not in concrete, but for me this a pretty accurate. If you lose power can you still have your coffee? If the situation changes in the world and buying coffee becomes impossible, can you stretch your current stockpile?

5:30 a.m. morning feeding is finished- all the teens take care of thisBlack Spanish turkeys are some of the critters around the farm-this guy is Krut(Turk spelled backwards). Be careful with Toms...sometimes if you turn your back to them they jump you. It is pretty intimidating the first time! The turkey is an incredible bird to watch. If you have never been around a male, you will be very impressed. They have a deep vibrating rumbling sound that they make as they perform their "dance" for the gals!

We also raise Navajo Churro Sheep. They are native to the southwest and thrive off the vegetation here. This was a selling point for us, as a prepper must think long term about how to secure feed for their livestock in addition to themselves. In climates where it rains you have grasses etc, this may not be a concern. But we get minimal rain here so animals native to the region only make sense. Each year, we gather Mesquite beans for us and to supplement the sheep.(Mesquite beans come off the Mesquite tree and grow wild here) An excellent book for you if you are beginning to raise sheep is Sheep and Goat Medicine, by D.G Pugh.

In addition to feeding the sheep and turkeys, the goats, chickens, ducks, geese, and cats have been fed.(we started our herd of sheep the same way as we started the turkeys~ ranchers and farmers are always looking for hands- ones that will work hard- and to trade an animal instead of money can always be suggested- believe me...work hard and do your best and you will be rewarded)

All the waters are checked and then everyone comes inside and gathers in the family room. I have begun breakfast. We eat one of three things every day. Egg burritos, oatmeal, or arroz con leche(rice with milk). The egg burritos are 100% farm product. The flour tortillas have been made fresh-usually on Tuesday. The eggs are from our birds. The favorite egg for breakfast is a turkey egg...just our preference. Oatmeal and arroz con leche are just low cost and easy to make. We stopped buying the typical breakfast foods a few years ago(nutritionally this was a wonderful thing for us to remove from our diets).

While breakfast cooks Bill reads three chapters from the Bible. It is a simple time that unites us all. Even if your family does not do this, you should not minimize the time set aside for you as a unit. Being connected and strong in each other is vital in my opinion. It lets those around you know that the day begins with time for another-

7:00 a.m. I iron Bill's clothes for the day, and he showers and heads to work...while I iron Bill and I visit. This is borrowed time in my book, and every moment I have with him I maximize. I believe that a prepper should understand that sometimes in the best of prepping that loved ones die...so we should appreciate everything and everyone while we have them.

So far this is my morning and it is only a bit past 7....here are some pictures below of some of our farm -A few of the goats last spring with my third son...we call him Third in blogland!

Here are Otto and Gretchen- they are Turkens...but are not turkeys at all. They are chickens that have no feathers on their necks. The kids raise these birds to sell...kind of weird to look at but the novelty is big!! I think that they look like vultures.

This is Daphne she is a La Mancha mix goat and she is a great milking goat...we get 1/2 -3/4 of a gallon of milk a day from her.

Here are some of our mixed flock of birds. We raise chickens that are dual purpose birds- this means that they are heavier birds(more meat) and lay good eggs...it just takes a few weeks longer for the hen to begin laying eggs. That is George the goose in the picture. He is a great barnyard watchdog and he sounds the alarm if the coyotes come to close to the pen. Dogs are great, but a goose is equally good as an alarm.

This is a typical morn thus far in the life of this New Mexico Prepper...
(c) Double Nickel Farm

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Window

After rereading my last post I realized that I need to focus on the positive. It has been weird to see the government remove controls slowly but surely over every area of my life. But I cannot change what is going on, my voice isn't even a squeak, as those who take care of themselves and choose not to receive assistance are treated as if they are too ignorant to know any better. Perhaps I am an idiot, but in my little carved out portion of the world idiot is just fine. I have an entire mountain chain that I renamed just for me. No map reflects the name I have given my mountain but it is mine none the less. The picture on the sidebar is my mountain, and I am looking off to it as I type this post!

I decided that I needed to be open and clear to others wondering about preppers and fellow preppers. Prepping like everything else is only what you make of it. Some people prep for fun, and enjoy canning items they have grown, and the likes. Others prep because they have lived through an emergency or crisis that opened their eyes, so they devote a portion of their free time, learning new skills that can help them. Others had no clue they were prepping, this is just how they live.

I am a bit of all three, but am living this lifestyle as it is who I am. So over the next few posts I am going to share a window into a Day in the Life of a Prepper. Shelly left a comment that made me realize that maybe others are interested in the day to day events of one who lives this life.

I will open a window into my life for a wee bit- stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sick ---Unbelievably Sick---Health Care ---

I have been under the radar for the most part in the blog world as I have been following several things that make me physically sick.

All I am reflecting on now is this FINES proposed.

We live this life because it is where we landed post crisis. We are doing just fine and have stretched money like no other.

I have learned how to make shampoo...not because I wanted to have some in a end of the world scenario, but because I could not rush out to buy shampoo. I learned how to make deodorant for the same reason...and I have teens(deodorant is a needed commodity). I learned how to make cheese, because I love pizza...and missed it.

I learned how to make skirts, not because I only wear skirts, but I then have new clothing for almost nothing(combining this with the thrift store purchases). I learned how to make dish scrubbies, as I could no longer throw out old ones. I learned how to hand wash clothes and hang them to dry, as the washer and dryer use too much energy and well, died. I learned how to butcher a chicken, not because I am wanting only free range chicken...no it is because then we eat chicken. I learn to augment our diet with eggs to ensure teens have protein...not because I am a health nut no...because if I don't some days we are light on meat.

We sometimes play brownout days to reduce the electric bill. Life becomes a game to make things cheerful instead of gloomy.

We processed 47,500 apples to bring home extra money...all by hand and it takes on average 154 apples per box that you see in the grocery. This work is manual labor...and I am stronger for it, but we were paid .50 a box- you do the math. One does work like this because they need to.

So now I will tell you why I am SICK...If I could afford an additional 3600 a year my family WOULD have medical insurance. We can't therefore we don't have insurance. Now don't you go off and judge us. We have only gone to the doctor when extreme needs, and we paid off each visit in payments. In a catastrophic crisis- well let me humor you, just because you have coverage DOES NOT mean you will retain it in a major illness. I know far too many who lost it because of this...so

Forcing me to pay a fine, will put me or my husband in jail. We cannot afford an additional 4000.00 debt. By the way we had top notch medical insurance a few years ago...when my husband was injured we had the option for Cobra...one cannot get Cobra when the income is cut drastically.

I am and have been out of sorts because the legislation that is ongoing is scaring the he*l out of me. I no longer recognize my nation. By the way the solution IS NOT UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE...

Will I blog much longer? I am losing my energy. I am trying to be upbeat, but wonder which parent will they charge when we do not get health coverage? The mother? The father? Why on earth is this something I have to worry about is beyond me. I work so hard to make sure our family is above water...only to feel the vise above my head.

Where is my refuge? Where is the nation in the world that has open arms and says to me

"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

I am tired, I am poor and I am yearning to breathe ...which nation can take me in, when my own nation fails? Who in the world can do what our nation has done for so long?

No one and that is why I am weary.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wading through the Muck

Many times when we go through life we get bogged down in a world of muck. We believe that we are mobile and headed in the direction we need to go, when in truth we are just in cr*p city. Living as a prepper does not make us immune to this scenario, and in fact may make us more bogged down.

I am not a prepper because American Prepper asked me to be or because any other prepper told me to be one. I am a prepper because I learned that simple measures I had taken had prevented a bad situation from becoming a worse one. I began in earnest to then become even more prepared for any situation because I saw the benefits of being prepared for anything. I did join as a writer here because I know what helped me through can help another.

I am not here on the prepper circuit to make anyone feel that they are a better prepper or even a worse prepper than me. I am not on the prepper circuit to hope others will love me and become my best friend(yet many friendships have blossomed here:).

I am not on the prepper circuit except for one reason...if something life altering can and did happen to me, a suburban wife and mother of four, then it can happen to YOU. I am on a path that may help the readers of this blog out when they truly need it.

Life is not perfect and learning to live with self sufficiency skills will be a benefit. I pray that we as preppers can wade out of the muck long enough to post on topics that will help the readers and our fellow preppers.

Ideas that can benefit us all:
canning food
building pens coops etc
solar power
water purification
what to do in the event of(fill in-tornado etc)
health and healing
hunting and field dressing of animals
raising chickens turkeys ducks goats sheep pigs ...
fuel ideas
safe places in the event of(fill in- after Katrina a safe place would have been a home 200-300 miles inland)
radio uses
and many more

After several weeks of wading through this and that in my own life(from flooding to trip, to this and that) I understand that it is easy to get bogged down and nit pick this and that. I am here to reboot myself and begin anew.

(c) Double Nickel Farm
New Mexico Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. New Mexico Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.