Map out your life; but do it in pencil.

 Map out your life; but do it in pencil.
                                    -Jon Bon Jovi

Everything is a challenge these days!  
I have had to make some adjustments to my everyday reality. I have to think of the money first. It doesn't matter what our feelings are about anything (politics for instance), the first rule is that we must eat.
The bleak economic outlook means that our future can hardly be ‘planned’ anymore, it can only be based on scenarios that might come to pass (plan A, plan B and C...)
And if none of that were true, there is always just “life gets in the way” and Murphy’s Law to contend with, right?

For instance, I have had to put all plans on hold for revamping my bedroom (see Golden ) and my “Farmgirl Office” has been officially delegated to an in-home care situation room (a sitting room/reading room/kitchenette). 
This is after my Atttic Room (for art projects) was taken over for necessary storage (to clear space in the real office of our home business).

I don't mind that- the pull-down ladder is scary, lol.

OK, time to look at doing something else. This how reality shuts a door. It’s how life goes & that’s how it is!
I’m waiting for another door to open. Another one always opens... that's a rule.
Meantime I continue to refine the ‘dream’ ideas. The map I have (in pencil)... are ideas appropriate for our circumstances and can be accomplished, but all are not likely, just some. It’s not so much a matter of pick-and-choose or even of priority, but of time and money (of course).

This year -by fall:
Laying chickens (via a freshened flock), 9 kinds of dry “soup” beans harvested, property prolifically infused with propagated Russian sage (for bees and to beautify), container garden w/ tomatoes and herbs (on the deck away from deer and grasshoppers), a harvest of bowl gourds, and produce from one or two deep square-foot gardens (again, on the deck), which will be an experiment as this is the type of growing container for future indoor growing under lights. Successful compost pile (it’s tricky in this dry climate, and I’m learning).

By next summer:
A bee hive started (crossing fingers), and red worms/nightcrawlers (vermicomposting) for poultry and for fish, a picnic table under a shade tree for lunches & art projects out in the air, art to sell, and eggs (to support their poultry feed), regular use of homemade cleaners and a routine of line-drying clothes, self-reliance for dog food (store-bought is risky), 400 sq ft of indoor square-foot gardening set-up w/ grow lights (our downstairs living space with cement floor), in conjunction with a hot-tub converted for raising tilapia fish (aquaponics set-up).

2nd-year plan ( the following spring):
Berries! Hair rabbits (we’ve raised house rabbits for years and I could never butcher them), a pantry full of storage buckets full of: dried beans (Pinto, Red, Navy, Black, Anasazi, etc), sunflower seeds (for crops), rice, peas, popcorn, salt, coffee, sugar, peanut butter, SPAM, cans of milk + powdered milk, and jars of dehydrated produce- herbs, veggies, fruits, honey & molasses, a fenced 1/2 acre and begin to amend the soil for orchard trees & assorted birdfeed grains grown (an experiment) for poultry feed (& grain mill), raise ‘worms’ for poultry feed supplement

And some time (3rd year?):
Fiber, milk and meat goats (hopefully this doesn’t mean 3 different breeds), property fenced, harvest of honey and beeswax (enough for dipped candles), add dwarf fruit  trees (2 each:  fig, cherry, pomegranate and persimmon, 4 each: apple, peach), get ducks, maybe geese and a small pond (risky- could bring predators!) WITH waterfall feature for aeration - solar pump.

I would love an orchard growing AROUND the pond! It would look like a park! Ok, that’s a dream for sure... but something is better than nothing.
Beyond that, it will all depend on how far over the edge my husband will let me push him. I’m really, really, hoping for a pony...

(For more on this topic, check out: “The Progression of Becoming” (January)

For times like these, a poetic verse that I find especially heartening -edited to shorten it:

No one is beat till he quits,
No one is through till he stops;
No matter how hard Failure hits,
No matter how often he drops,
A fellow's not down till he lies
In the dust and refuses to rise.
Fate can slam him and bang him around,
And batter his frame till he's sore,.
But she never can say that he's downed
While he bobs up serenely for more.
                                                            - by Edgar A. Guest

You know, we're seriously considering going vegetarian if we don't start growing our own poultry/fish/goat meat. It's so expensive to buy organic and grassfed meats. I'd sure like to find out the cost benefits to raising our own! It should not be so hard for people to raise their own food -a little security in such an insecure world. I'll let you know what I find out...

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