Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why do we do this?

This is where most peoples chickens come from at a store

Well we have around 34 lambs the last count I had did and 7 didn’t make it because of either complications or the mother rejected them. I tried to save one of them with some special milk from my next door neighbor but after 3 days of trying to keep it alive and getting up every 4 hours to feed it, it just didn’t make it.

It died in my daughters friends arms she was trying to feed it she was devastated about it. I didn’t want to put my kids through that again, plus we had lost so much sleep. Some of my family don't seem to understand that nature will keep the strong and the weak will not survive its just the way nature works.

They don't understand that we need the genetics from the stronger sheep, why would we want to keep weak sheep in our herd?
They wanted me to go out there every day to try to save any that were rejected, they say why have them if I am not going to go out there and save them all? Sigh....One of the ones they wanted me to save they kept telling me to go after it because the mother hadnt claimed it yet. After a few hours she finally did what would have happened if I took it from her overreacting?

My family/friends have a kind heart I don't blame them at one time in my life I might have been like that too, especially when I had the energy.
However when you become a farmer/rancher you see a lot of births and deaths and you have to know the difference between pets and food. Do people actually think their meats grow on trees? At least we try to be humane about it and give them a good life till its time to butcher a lot better then the factory animals.

It’s hard for outsiders to understand our life, they think we are a hobby farm, just doing it for a hobby. I try over and over to explain to them but they don’t seem to understand, they won’t eat a chicken egg from my chickens because ....well I don’t know ...I guess the chicken in the factory who has never seen natural light and its beak is chopped off and injected with who knows what to keep from getting diseases is a much taster egg ???
They just don't want to really know where the food comes from...or they might say...well let someone else do it why do you have too?

They want me to over feed them, To give them more food then what the experts say to give them. This gives us a profit how by over feeding them so they won’t breed because they are too fat? Then there is the people who really understand our way of life that we have been doing for over 8yrs now, the ones that buy our products the ones that come to our farm once a year to show their kids where food comes from, the ones that care what goes into their body’s.

I have to keep remembering these people most I see seasonally except for like my eggs. The people who get my egg are always so thrilled, each week as I clean the many many eggs I get I think why am I doing this? Then I see the smiling faces of my customers coming from miles to get my eggs and products telling me how thankful they are for me doing this because not many do.
I smile yah it’s worth it

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Feburary at the ranch 2009

Our hay we bought locally for sheep/goats small pic sorry

Quote for the day:

"We are all cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." -Ray Bradbury

Well its dry here on our ranch, so dry the grass is dying whats left of it, there is no leaves on the trees either so its pretty depressing. Tom and I had a chance recently to maybe by a 21 acre piece of land near us it was beautiful coastal land near the canal but we turned it down.

Greedly we have always wanted more land but when it comes down to it we are only 60,000 left on our own property our payments are only around $650.00 a month and its worth $250 thousand if not more in the future when the realesate goes back up so do we want to add more on to our debt?

Recently we read a book called, "Ten acres is enough" and we got really inspired on what he did on his little 10 acres and we thought, "hey we got 5 more acres then he does plus a pecan orchard we can do the same thing"

So instead we decided on trying to focus on building up our land here instead which I think is a good plan who needs to get more in debt especially right now. We were blessed this year to get a bonus and a 2% raise for my husband. I was just happy that he has a job now with so many around us losing them we were tickled to get it.

Recently I have heard of two people that I know that may be losing their houses, both didnt make wise choices the last few years in their financial life and they know this..., I feel so guilty that we are doing so well now and that in May we are planning a real vacation something we really havent done in years.

I feel like the ant and the grasshopper, while this May we are going to go off on a week vacation up to disney world with the kids and fly up there, they may be losing their houses. In the past three years we have scraped and sacrifised to get where we are now. I am so blessed that we heard about Dave Ramsey back then so we wont be hurting so bad now with our budget. I feel so guilty I dont even like telling them about our plans about our happiness about finally able to do this with my family.

This is the first time in years that we are getting a bonus from his work and our income tax return that we can use it on ourselfs instead of putting it towards our debt. We plan not only to go to Disney world, but also to get a new fridge and a new bed for our aching backs. The rest goes to fixing up our farm and adding to our emergency fund of 6/9 months worth of savings.

Of course we are doing this as frugal as possible even though we dont have too old habits stick with us. We are going to compare shop for our items (bed/fridge) and we are looking for the best airline tickets up there to Orlando which I found for $99 one way what a deal! Of course Disneys is offering a great deal buy 4 nights up there and get three for free!

I guess this is the best time to get discounts and buy things because of the economy sales are good for us at least. The craig listing is wonderful right now so many things for sale that people are getting rid of right now to get some extra cash. We picked up a huge chest freezer usually around $400-$500 for $130.00 it was brand new still it just stunk hehe we cleaned out with bleach smells good now.

We recently bought some beef (half a cow) for $1.99 a lb how good is that and it was pastured raised too. Right now our freezer is full of turkey, lamb and beef. Getting a generator is another thing on our list to do for the ranch.

I feel so happy I want to shout to family and friends of our accomplishments but I keep quiet because most our hurting really badly right now I really pray things would get better for everyone.