Monday, December 22, 2014

Letting go

Chloe left for her new home yesterday down near Belen, NM, a place I have always wanted to go. Today, I miss her little grunts and snorts as I do my chores outside. I hope she finds love and happiness in her new home. There are a couple of potbellied pigs there and some goats and chickens to keep her company. It certainly is warmer down that way, which I am sure she will appreciate.

Frosty the llama has a new home as well, but we will be keeping him here for a few months until his new owners get their alpacas, which he will stand guard over. I don't have to let him go just yet. It is emotionally draining to re-home the animals I love so much.

Things change quickly when you no longer have the income to take care of your homestead. Of course it is never supposed to be this way. The whole point is to become self-sufficient and have to rely less on outside income. As we continue to bounce around from rental to rental, it becomes more unmanageable to work on our land. As it does when you have to work so many hours to make a living. And there just isn't the money for permits and supplies to build. Not now.

I have tried to enlist others to join in our homestead, to create a community, but there isn't enough real interest, and I probably wouldn't really like living so close to other people anyway. Maybe they sense that.

As a result, we have decided to sell our land. We have both properties listed on Craigslist:

I have decided to go back to college and pursue my Masters since there is a college in Alamosa that has an online program. I will be studying Cultural Resource Management and hope this degree will enable me to actively defend the historical sites as well as ideas and traditions of indigenous and historical peoples. I start in January.

We are considering another relocation, perhaps somewhere north, although I am still inclined to stay in this area, but a little closer to the mountains. In any case, we have a couple of years to decide as I work my way through Grad School.

There has to be hope. I continue to look for it in the dark corners of this crumbling society and my own crumbling dreams. There is no time to give in or give up.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Old woman in the desert

I thought she would be waiting for me somewhere, the old woman of the desert, the old woman in the soul cards. She was calling me back to the desert, bringing me home, but I haven’t found her yet in my search for the perfect place to be. Wouldn’t it be something if she was waiting somewhere, like the mother I have never known, standing with open arms to embrace me as she whispered “I have been waiting for you, welcome home.” Is it possible that this crone is a future me, leading me back to the place I need to be?

As I grow older, I begin to realize how futile it is to change anyone’s mind, and yet changing their minds is the only hope I have to creating a better world for my children. If we, as a society, do not bridge the gap to our higher selves, we are doomed. Humanity, along with thousands of other species will face extinction as the planet warms to an unlivable climate that no longer supports life as we know it.

I am a mother. I watch my youngest children grow and play, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. How long before that is no longer possible? Will they see the end of human civilization in their lifetimes? Will I see it in mine? I am forty five and by several of the newest scientific predictions, the catastrophic end times may begin as soon as 2030. I may very well still be alive to witness a suffering of life that we can only imagine.

I am also a shamanic healer and I notice the shamans are witnessing a dark shadow falling upon the earth that no one can explain. Is this darkness a reflection of the human condition? In America, it would appear that people are sleepwalking, already the zombies they love to fear in the coming dark times. I fear my older children are already lost, victims of consumerism and a mainstream mindset that may cost them their lives.

We are a nation with blood on our hands. Our government has trained living beings to be brainwashed killers against people they do not know. It’s all in the name of what they like to call terrorism. And yet, the terror perpetrated upon this earth is mostly by an imperialist mindset, a holy manifest destiny that America hides behind its patriotism and consumerism. It is this way of thinking that is killing the earth and it is this stubborn close mindedness that will lead us all to an unhappy and miserable end.

No, I can’t seem to change their minds. I try. They argue. They call me names. They disown me. But the last thing they are willing to consider is how their own beliefs and behaviors are creating this sickening spiral, sucking everything into its path, creating a black hole, the likes of which we have never seen before. Perhaps it is this darkness that is reflecting back at us. Maybe it is this shadow of our own hatred, racism, greed and fear that hovers over our Mother Earth, threatening to engulf her in the filth of negativity.

I was recently accepted into Grad School. At my age, I am going back to further my degree so that I can spend the remainder of my life trying harder to convince them to change their minds. I am a mother. I have to try as hard as I can to make this world a safe and livable place for my children and for all children. As parents, we have betrayed our youth, taught them to compete in a dying world for things that do not matter, when instead we should be teaching them to love and nourish a planet that keeps them alive.

As a parent, I can only say I am sorry I did not begin this fight earlier. I should have been trying to change their minds a long time ago, instead of trying to fit into a culture I don’t belong to. I have wasted a lot of time, distracted by shiny things, but now that I have awakened, I can’t just turn it off and go back to the illusion and delusion that is the American way of life. It no longer exists. The empire is toppling and it will drag down every single person who is not paying attention.

The last grab of resources by greedy corporate hands is their last resort to try to fill their coffers to the brim. They have to get it while they can, not realizing nor caring that these resources they pull from the bowels of Mother Earth are her very life blood, and ours too, as her children. Nature sustains us and when we destroy the earth, we destroy ourselves and our home.

Is there any hope then, when the masses do not listen and do not care? They pretend to care, but they are more concerned with who is right and who is wrong, the color of skin, the lines of ownership. They are defined by their stuff and their loyalty to a country that would destroy the entire world population to retain its power and control over the very resources that are creating an inhabitable home for all of us. It just doesn’t make any sense.

I can’t change their minds. Or can I? A spiritual master once said that once we awakened, it was our obligation to awaken others around us and that if we had reached just one other person, we had done something meaningful. In that light, it is all I can do to keep talking, to keep shouting, to keep making noise in the hope that someone, anyone, will shake their head free of the cobwebs of conformity and look around at this mess before us. We have so much work to do and there is so little time.

I am a mother. But I am also a spiritual being placed in this body at this time to accomplish something. This is my something. My father always told me I had a big mouth, and that used to make me cry. Not now, not anymore. My voice is my gift and I will use it until I can no longer speak or write or create. I will be the voice of nature, of Mother Earth and the creatures who call her home. I will be the voice of a humanity, so caught up in its own ego, it can’t see it has cut off its nose to spite its face.

And the old woman in the desert? I will meet her one day, of this I am certain. I can only hope that when she asks, I can tell her I did my best, I fought the good fight, and I gave my everything to saving Mother Earth in the hope that humanity could continue on. That is my duty and my legacy. How does this story turn out? It’s hard to say. In thirty years we can look back and say, it was  a good thing we woke up in time, or too bad we missed our window of opportunity. Which will it be?

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Star is born

Patty finally dropped her cria sometime early this morning. I have my suspicions it might have been around 6am when the dogs started barking like crazy in their kennels in the sun room. Of course it was still dark and we couldn't see anything out there. When the light came, Richard saw an extra set of baby ears out there, so we ran out with towels to investigate. Sure enough, a little llama was already following mama llama around. We found the afterbirth frozen, so it must have been a little while since the actual birth.

New Baby, still covered in gunk.

Patty's little girl.

Star in the sunshine.

We pulled a lot of the dried gunk off of her...the dried up birth sack, but she was still wet and I was worried that the tips of her ears had been frost bitten. So Richard gave the girls some hay to distract them and we took the new baby inside to let her dry in the warm house.

Star in the sun room, inside the house.

The kids had a lot of fun hugging and petting the little cria. You can do that with girl babies (at least, that is my hope). Boy babies will go nuts when they get older if you cuddle them.

Star with a jacket on, getting ready to go back out to Mama.

She's pretty darn cute. 19 pounds. She's actually bigger than Leonardo was when he was born, but she sure seems tiny next to him now.

Leo has gotten so big in the month he's been around. And, he's kind of a brat, always trying to get out of the yard. Just yesterday he climbed through the electric wire, again, and was running around on the boys' side of the pasture. They didn't know quite what to make of the pint sized llama. I chased him back through and Richard put up more wire. He's is certainly testing his boundaries.

So, on this cold, fine Fall morning, we welcomed little Star to our farmstead. She is the second huarizo born here. Thankfully she has the thick fur of her Alpaca daddy, which will help keep her warm these cold nights and mornings.

She's okay. Her ears are fine. Richard washed them off and found it was just dried fluid on the tips, not frostbite. She was completely dry when we took her back out. We left the jacket on her to give her a little added insulation from the cold. Hopefully it will warm up fast this morning.

She's really cute and we are all in love with her already.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Leo and mama

We had a llama escape this week, when little Leonardo climbed through the electric fence and his mama followed him. After running around where he wasn't supposed to, mama llama herded him back through the fence, with Richard following close behind. It turned out the fence was not electrified due to a broken insulator. Richard fixed that and added another wire for good measure.

As he was fixing the fence, Richard met one of our neighbors, who turned out to be really nice. They got to talking and Richard asked him about the pigeons that hang out on one of his outbuildings. Not his, he said. Wild pigeons. He explained how he and his young daughter tried to raise chickens once. They came out one morning to find headless chickens all over the yard. Coyotes, or neighbor dogs, he didn't know which. My guess? Dogs. Coyotes don't leave the kill behind. Dogs kill for sport.

Yet another reason to fence your dogs and not let them run. Unfortunately our other neighbor believes his dogs should run free, regardless of their resulting behaviors on anyone else. It is the country, after all, he tried to explain to me. And a free range state too, he said happily. Are you from the city? He asked several times. Maybe that means I can read and actually know my rights, even if my family and our eight llamas just recently relocated from the suburbs(?). If only he was educated enough to know the actual laws. In Colorado, free range livestock never, never includes dogs. In most Colorado counties, dogs are required to be on a leash when not contained behind a fence. Certainly in this county, I know. Dog owners are entirely responsible for the trespass of their dogs and the damage done by them. And property owners are legally entitled to shoot said trespassing dogs, no questions asked.

Too bad I don't own a gun. Oh, no it isn't, or I'd be one of the "armed" and dangerous, ready to shoot an innocent dog because his owner is an idiot. I'd be more inclined to shoot the owner, but that is simply not allowed. Good thing I don't believe in gun ownership, or killing.

But, I do believe in my right to enjoy my home and land. And, even if we are renting (that moron tried to explain that as a landowner, he has rights...implying, what, I don't? Oh, wait, I do, and I'm a landowner too, in fact we own too much land right now, but he is the ass in assume.), we have as much right to the land use as the owners do. Therefore, dogs harassing me, my kids, and my livestock are a problem and I will involve the law (too bad it comes to that) if need be.

Maybe the country bumpkin neighbor finally looked up the regulations and instead of spouting more crap out of his butt, has realized the error of his stupidity, because the dogs have not been on our side of the fence since my yelling match with him when I caught his dog chasing back and forth along the llama fence, on our property.

Needless to say, the landlords of this wonderful rental sided with tenant rights, as they should, and are standing behind us in the event more idiocracy arises from this.

And, down the road a ways...neighbor Larry and his sweet wife were out when we headed over to the land to drop off boxes in our storage shed/tiny home. (Tiny homes are NOT allowed in this county.) They had been away, spending time with the grand kids. They were worried something had happened to us since we and all of our animals had vanished from our place. We were in turn concerned about them, and wondered if they had headed south for the winter. But no, everyone is fine, except the dog, who had one major, never-ending seizure and died. Up until then, he had not had a seizure at all -- the Magic C oil was working. It turned out he had a brain tumor, and the medicine was too little too late. Too bad. He was the only dog I didn't mind coming onto our property.

I miss being out there, in the quiet and solitude. I miss the coyotes and the big, open sky. I miss my labyrinth and not having to worry about what the neighbors are doing. I think ultimately, I do better without neighbors.

But I do love this warm house. The passive solar is still working well and we are at 70 F inside when the morning temp outside is 13 F. And with no additional heat...just the house itself.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Settling in to Alamosa

So we are about a month into the new rental now. The llamas are all here with us as is Chloe, the pot belly pig. We sold one turkey and the rest went into the freezer. The same for the chickens who haven't laid for months.


Then we had to buy store eggs. I didn't mind paying the cost for the  organic eggs, it's what we charge when we sell eggs. But one day no one in town had any, and this last time, I just decided that the "organic" eggs are not living up to my expectations. So I began the search for laying hens. Found some too. I hope they are only one year old as the woman we got them from believed them to be. I traded a box of children's board and picture books for a bunch of chickens. We got three roosters in the mix. Mostly they are Houdans, which is not a breed I am familiar with, so we will see if and how they lay eggs through the winter. So far, they aren't laying at all.


We cleaned out the shed on the rental property. Then Richard fixed it up a little and now we have a working chicken coop for the new birds.

shed turned coop

Patty still has not dropped her cria. Leo the haurizo, Taylor's cria is doing great, testing the boundaries of his freedom in the big field that is now his home, along with all of the female llamas. Leo runs circles around his mom, jumping and kicking and having a grand time, I think I even saw him trying to spit, posturing to mom, trying again and again. It sure seems like she was encouraging him...a lesson in llama spitting perhaps.

Llama girls

We have been considering re-homing some of the llamas. And downsizing many things. Richard's new salary is starting to catch up to us and we are not fairing so well financially. I have listed the camper, and both parcels of land for sale. I don't want to give up the dream, but I'm not sure how else we can pay the bills off that we can no longer afford. I'm trying to find like-minded people to perhaps buy into either piece of land and help us form sustainable communities, but interest and funding seems to be lacking.

Llama boys

We did get our first recycle customer this past week, but at $2 a month for his pickup, that will not go far. I hope more people sign up and we can get this thing going. It seems like a good idea for us, for others and for the planet.

We are still trying to sort and clean up our lives in boxes. Some of our stuff we have not seen for years. It's been packed up and stored away. As a result we are purging everything we don't really need or have outgrown. It's a process. It seems I just finish emptying boxes, sorting and cleaning up and a new batch of boxes shows up. On the positive, our storage rental in town is almost empty and we will be done with that at the end of the month.

We have managed to raise a few dollars by selling off some of these bigger items, which has helped a lot.

I passed my first level shaman course and Richard just got his Permaculture Certification. We are always continuing to educate ourselves as the funding allows. It may be a while before we can start anything new.

I have acquired two clients in my healing business, and I expect that will grow over time.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The new rental

We moved into this great rental on five acres.

Rental house outside of Alamosa

It has this lovely passive solar design that heats the entire house. We have not used the heat yet, nor the wood stove. I think we will be just fine in this house over the winter.

We still have to set up fencing for the llamas and get them moved. It's depressing having so much to do and not enough time to get it done.

We are also struggling now with trying to find a new balance with Richard's new income level, which is quite a drop from what it was before. We have both applied for pizza delivery jobs to no avail. Sad, with all of our pizza experience.

I am trying to sell art, trying to get my healing practice up and going, and writing when I can. The kids' online school is taking up most of my life now. And they told me it would be easier. We have been struggling and have decided to move our daughter back into 1st grade with our son. Her ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is wreaking havoc on our schedule, on her attitude and on my patience. Hopefully we can get it sorted out and this adjustment will be better for all of us.

We are trying to decide what to do next. We may have to sell our Taos land, if not our Alamosa land too. It has been a trying time and I suspect we have a ways to go before we figure out our new life situation.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Leonardo the baby llama

We just had a baby llama/alpaca...huarizo cria. A mix between an alpaca and a llama is a haurizo.

New cria

Taylor our black female llama had her baby this morning, or about noon. He just showed up in the field. No problems, no stress. Llamas give birth so easily. It took him about an hour or so to get to his feet.

Baby llama/alpaca born in the sand

He's so cute!


We relocated Taylor and baby to a separate pen and put Patty in there with them, expecting her to give birth any day now. I think they are early though. 350 day gestation. I think we got Alonso last October, but I suppose we are within a couple of weeks of due date.

Staying close to Mom.

In any case, here he is...Leonardo, the newest addition to the farmstead. 26 pounds of legs and fluff.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

One loft done, but winter is coming fast

One loft is done in the shed/tiny house. The sub floor is down, and now we need some kind of cheap but clean flooring. We may be looking at making our own hardwood flooring our of 1 x 6" boards. While pallet flooring seems like a cool idea, it would be a lot of work, and yet that may be the only real option.

lumber for the loft and wall

building the bath/kitchen wall


Richard putting down subfloor.

loft with bath/kitchen underneath

Richard and the kids have been painting the shed. It turns out our leftover paint is a Mauve sort of sand color. Was the Earthship we rented really that color? We bought it to paint our tin barn roofs as the covenants in that community would not allow reflective material of any kind. It was Oops paint with some added color, so it is interesting.

Kids painting the shed/tiny house

Richard painting the shed/tiny house

So, I have been on the hunt for cheap, re-usable building materials. We may have a new source for some things.

We are seriously considering a rental farm/house with acreage for the winter. Things are just not moving as fast as I would have hoped. Richard has had a job change with a 20K pay cut. Yes, really. I have to get out there and find a job. Unless by some miracle people start buying my art. Check it out at these links.(

So, we are looking at the rental property on Tuesday and will make our decision on that. Otherwise, we keep plugging away on the tiny house, hoping to find some money to get insulation in. That's a big one. $1500+ for the spray foam for the roof and walls. Good stuff, but expensive.

We are most likely going to process our remaining 6 chickens and turn them into soup stock. They are molting now, two plus years old and not laying. It is too expensive to keep feeding them high price organic feed with no return. Plus trying to keep them warm through winter. Not worth it. The same may be true of our 4 turkeys. If we get the rental, we can turn our freezer back into a freezer, instead of the fridge it is now, and freeze the turkeys. We will even have a working oven for a turkey on our Day of Gratitude.

The rental is sounding pretty good right now. And, I'd really like a nice long soak in a bath. We could eliminate our storage, I could find my art stuff and maybe begin painting again...or whatever.

The kids have started the online school this past week. It has been a nightmare, trying to figure out schedules and share our one laptop, which will not download any apps. We are supposed to be getting two laptops, one for each, but they have not arrived yet. In any case, the volume of stuff they have to do, and even worse, the volume of stuff I have to do... is intense. I'm beginning to wonder if this was the better choice. I thought it would make things easier with a schedule and actual assignments. Poor kids these days. The crazy stuff they have to learn to be indoctrinated into a society that is failing. But, I'll give it some time before I bail on it. I am pleased the kids seem to be about where they are supposed to be as far as grade level.

And, in my spare time, I'm still sorting hemp seed, trying to clean it out of the other plant matter.

The neighbor dog has been to visit a few times. He's a sweet thing, but I worry about him chasing chickens. My dogs don't like him coming around and neither do the llamas. It turns out he's been having seizures and just wanders off in confusion. So, I gave neighbor Larry some Cannabis oil to give him about two weeks ago. I also did an energy healing on the dog and walked him through the labyrinth when he was here one day. The dog has not had any more seizures, but still comes to visit. I worry, as Larry said if he has another big seizure, he will have him put down. Sad. Please let the natural medicine work for him. I believe in the power and healing properties of the Cannabis oil. So far so good, as long as they keep giving him the oil.

We also picked up the stove that was in Larry's barn. It needs some work.

the stove

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The tiny house has arrived.

The shed/tiny house came yesterday. That was exciting. I could see it rolling down the road about a mile away, and shouted "here comes our house!"

Thankfully Richard put a new sign at the end of our road, where previously there had been none. We didn't want our house to get lost. (The driver still got lost...turned down the road I told him specifically not to. That's happened before.)

But, the tiny house arrived and it was interesting watching the driver unload it. That trailer had all kinds of bells and whistles and could move independently of the truck. With special hydraulics, and another cross axle, he placed the house exactly where we wanted it.

Our gravel pad was perfectly level too! The house is sitting in its new home now, waiting to be finished.

Since we opted not to get any extras, we have a lot to do. The first thing Richard did was install electrical outlet boxes and light switch boxes. We have to run the wire before we can insulate. Someone is coming today to give us an estimate on spray foam insulation for both the tiny house and the office.

Interior (Exterior dimensions: 14' x 20')

We are going to try and install another door on the west side, in what will be the tiny kitchen. We already have a nice glass door (actually we have three of them) that we have been moving around with us. With a little bit of lumber, some hinges, some cutting and building (a header, footer) we can have our second door in. Ultimately this door will lead to an enclosed porch that will wrap around the west and south sides, giving us passive solar heat, and expanding our living space.

We also have to start building the lofts. But first, the bathroom wall has to go in, which is pretty dependent upon finding a bathtub, so we can make sure it fits. I guess we can build to spec and buy the tub from a box store later.

Actually, we have to paint the outside to make it weather tight. We skipped the paint for a savings of $175. We have a five gallon bucket of paint we used for the roofs and barns at the rented Earthship a couple of years ago. We can use that and some stain we having been using on the wood trim of the office. That needs to be done in the next few days.

I know it's not much to look at now, but we are all super excited. It is so much bigger than the RV we have been living in for three months. We can't wait to get in there.

We are also going to pick up an old woodstove from Neighbor Larry and see if we can get the north/east corner fitted to hold it (fireproof walls and flooring) plus get some stove pipe. We will probably have to paint the stove too, but it would be nice to get it in and ready to go. Then we can at least move our beds in and sleep in a warm space.

Windows. We also need windows. Not much to choose from at the local restore. I'm still looking.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hemp Harvest

It is time to harvest the hemp. All week it has been time. I have been filling paper sacks with the stuff and then laying it out to dry on screens in the office (which is still not finished).

Hemp drying on our freezer converted to fridge.

Hemp drying on screen.

After the leaves and stalks dry, we get to collect those tiny seeds. This is the same stuff they make hemp oil out of. If we had an oil press, we could do that too.

Industrial hemp seed --Finnola

But, we will save the seed to plant next year, and maybe save up for an oil press. I am going to try to make Hemp CBD oil out of the stalks and leaves. Which means, I get to collect all of that dried and pulverized material as well as the seeds.

The Forest


We went to the forest today to collect firewood. Even though we don't have a chainsaw. Even though we don't have a wood stove. Yet. One of the gated woodland communities was doing its yearly fire mitigation and offering firewood for free, already cut into five foot lengths. Easy. All we would have to do was pick it up. Ha ha. Nothing is ever easy and it didn't quite work out that way.

These trees don't look angry. Or do they?

The narrow dirt roads were filled with pickup trucks and trailers. There was hardly room to drive by on the road. In addition, there were people cutting down trees, which fell mostly next to and into the road. If you were smart enough to bring a chainsaw, it was easy pickings. If not, you had to wander around looking for cut pieces that no one had claim to yet. Guess which group we were in?

Tall trees.

That only worked for so long. Then, we met our landscape guy, who has a cabin up there, and was cutting his share of wood. He told us he would cut some for us. Very nice. But even better, another guy came along with a chainsaw that we got to borrow for a couple of hours--until we filled our trailer. Then we helped our landscape friend load his wood while we chatted about local garlic and covenanted communities. He's trying to sell his cabin up there.

Thick Forest

I thoroughly enjoyed our time in the trees, although, I have to say it scared me a little bit at first. What, me, nearly raised in the mountains, afraid of trees? Well, it has been a long time since I have been among trees, and I mean big, tall pine trees and Aspens you can't put your arms all the way around. That forest was thick. I couldn't see my kids when they wandered fifteen feet into the trees. I was intimidated by the enormity of it all. And it was amazing (but not like the forest in Portland, Oregon, by any means), like a giant cathedral constructed by Mother Nature. You could worship there. Give reverence for the majesty of trees, of the forest, of Nature.

Am I sensing some distress in there?

It was overwhelming though, as if the trees were all yelling at me. (Talk to trees, uh-huh.) I know they weren't really yelling at me. Maybe they were just angry trees. Maybe they were sending out unhappy vibes because annoying humans spent the weekend chopping some of them down. Don't tell me trees don't have emotions.

It was a beautiful forest, but the homeowners association of that place is hardly making a dent in their attempts at fire mitigation. There were dead trees everywhere. Standing, leaning against live trees, fallen on the ground, and the few they cut next to the road isn't going to do squat when that forest starts to burn. Rich out of state people beware, your pretty little log cabins will burn just as well as the dead trees.

It was fun being in the trees, and forming some weird comaradarie with all the other folks who drove way out there to collect free trees to turn into firewood. I'm not a big fan of burning wood, but for this upcoming winter, I will do just about anything to keep my family from freezing, and that includes collecting firewood and even taking the old antique wood stove resting on cement blocks that Neighbor Larry has in his barn and offered to us for free.

Next weekend we are going back out there for more wood and to spend more time with the angry trees.

And on Tuesday our tiny house arrives, courtesy of the Amish.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hemp harvest time

We are harvesting our hemp daily by hand. We get a few plants a day and pick up the ones the rodents cut down. We are collecting a lot of seed. Can't sell it. We have to figure out what to do with it, besides save enough to plant again next year. We are thinking of trying to find a press to make hemp oil from the seed. I'm also hoping to experiment with making Hemp cbd oil from the leaves and stalks. That oil is supposed to be great stuff for health.

We got our Facebook page up for our recycle business. It'd be great if everyone could show their support by liking our page.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The bare minimum

We ordered our shed/tiny house this past week and it will be delivered on September 9, only one week or so from now. We are super excited, but know we have so much to do. The shed we are getting is much smaller than the one we wanted. Sort of. No porch. No lofts built in. Plus, we had to scrap all windows and all but one door to bring the cost down. So now we have more to do. I am on the search for windows and other cheap building materials. We are also looking for propane range and a decent wood stove. Whatever will get us through the winter.


We did get the glass in the office this week. This building is coming along now. As is the hay barn which Richard got a roof on as well. He is currently putting the masonite from the floors of the Jaroso farmhouse up in the turkey house. We used that masonite to protect the pine floors of the house we rented. Now it will serve as walls for the barns. We will most likely stuff the pallet walls with straw as insulation, but I have been toying with the idea of using llama wool too.

Hay barn

I'm still working on the labyrinth, as bottles and jars allow. I wish I could start planting the herb spiral, but it will have to wait until we move the cistern up next to the shed/house. I sure don't want to carry buckets of water the three hundred feet or so from the well, and I'm not sure we have enough hoses to run that far.


We are starting up a recycle pick-up business in Alamosa. There seems to be a need. Maybe. I hope. We are calling ourselves Recycle Roundup. We will provide bins and pickup at the curb for those who might want to recycle but never really have the time or can't get around to it. If you are in the Alamosa area and are interested, please e-mail me for more details.

We have been selling off appliances and other things we no longer can use in our off-grid living situation to make money for the tiny house conversion. I am hoping to run by the Habitat for Humanity store this next week to look for windows or flooring or even a gas stove.

In the hemp field, we have a rat problem. Either that or the chipmunks have been sawing off our hemp stalks and leaving the tops, with seeds all over the ground. I have been collecting the sawed off tops and whatever seeds I can rake off of the ground. It appears we might be growing hemp there next year too--unintentionally. I put the hemp tops in a large paper bag in the hope that it will dry and the seeds will develop enough to be viable. Blasted rodents.

Hemp stalks

Another chihuahua joined our farmstead this week. He's a cute little guy we like to call Pico. Pico poco. Little bit. He's only about three months old now, so we are house (camper) training him and trying to teach him to walk on a leash. The other animals just don't know what to think of him. The llamas are curious as usual and come to the fence with ears perked up whenever we walk Pico by them. Next week he is off to get neutered, because it is so important to spay and neuter all of our pets. There are just so many pets out there that get euthanized because they don't have a home.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Things to do before winter...

You know, I'd really like to get into vermaculture. That's the farming of compost worms. I just need to build a bin and get some worms.

I'd also like to have an apiary. If there's one thing people should being doing, it's raising more bees. (And planting more trees.)

I'd also like to get a green house up and finish the office.

Of course there is that pesky little problem of winter coming on fast. Maybe if we just ignore it, it'll go away? Hardly. We must get ourselves some adequate shelter before the snow flies. There is no other option.

So, time keeps on marching along and there is still so much to do before the winter comes. Barns to finish and insulate, hay to buy and store, finding a winter safe place to live.

We have brainstormed and brainstormed and decided that if we take out all of the bells and whistles in the tiny house project (ie. doors, windows, lofts and porch) we can afford the monthly payment. Re-homing the goats saved us a bundle in feed costs, and we've paid off our car and a couple of credit cards too. There is a little extra money, but mostly it goes to building supplies. If we tighten up our budget, we may be able to make this work before winter comes along and we all freeze to death.

Now that is good news!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dinner with the Amish

Yesterday we went to an Amish dinner that was just a few miles away in the Amish country of the San Luis Valley. Well, part of it anyway. There sure were a lot of Amish folks there. And a lot of non-Amish folks too. I think this is a pretty popular local event, and I can see why. It was a fundraiser (by donation) for an Amish school.

There were horses and Amish buggies parked on one side of the fence and cars and trucks parked on the other. We pulled our black SUV in nose to nose with a couple of horses, harnessed to black Amish buggies. Our kids really enjoyed petting the horses. I really enjoyed the juxtaposition of a parking lot of horse and buggies on one side of the fence, and on the other side, a parking lot of cars and farm trucks.

Amish dinner, parking

The food was great...home cooked grilled chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, mixed vegies, salad, fluffy dinner rolls and several varieties of pies with a side of home made and churned on site vanilla ice cream. It was the best food I've had in a while, but probably not so good for my heart and digestive system. Still, it was a wonderful time, watching two (or more) cultures intermingle.

Amish farmers talked with non-Amish farmers...hay is hay after all. Kids ran around barefoot. As we waited in the chow line, there was an adorable little Amish girl in dress and bonnet, half hiding behind her mother as she looked at my little girl of about the same age and size with open curiosity. I can only imagine her thoughts, similar to mine, as we all encountered new people who live a little differently from what we have always known.

We ran into Levi, the nice Amish man we met at the shed store. We have talked with him at length about building us a custom cabin/shed, and if we had the money now, we'd be moving forward on that plan. He was very understanding about our delays though.

It sure was a lovely experience, and the anthropologist in me sat right up and took mental notes on a culture I have always romanticized but never come in contact with in any meaningful way. Big surprise, they are people too. They shop at local grocery stores. They ride in engine powered vehicles, although they get rides from the non-Amish locals. Some of them grow their own food in backyard gardens, and I suspect some of them don't. Some of their clothing is home and handmade and some of it isn't. They use some machines in their daily work, and I'm not really clear on the philosophy about that. But, you know, ultimately, it doesn't even matter.

What a refreshing moment in time when two cultures can come together in peace and simply enjoy each other's company and the shared abundance before them. If only we could extend these wonderful experiences out into the rest of the world.

People are people. They live, they laugh, they love. They experience pain and sorrow too, just like we all do. The one thing we all have in common is our shared human experience, and in that way we are related and connected. I am them. They are me. We are One.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hemp is growing!

We have hemp sprouts in our hemp field!

And a reminder to those who do not follow this blog much....we are registered with the state of Colorado to legally grow Industrial Hemp. We have a number and are on record. It's all legit.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Industrial Hemp is not marijuana!

Marijuana is not Industrial Hemp. Industrial Hemp is not marijuana. Industrial Hemp has little to no THC and will not make you high no matter how hard you try. In fact, the Industrial Hemp plant will render any marijuana plants within 3 kilometers useless!!! They will cross pollinate and turn them into marijuana plants with little to no THC.

Just sayin'....

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Hemp Time!

In celebration of Earth Day, tomorrow, we are officially launching our Indiegogo fundraiser today. Be a part of the Hemp movement and be a part of the change that will help save our blessed Mother Earth. Hemp rejuvenates the soil, can be used to replace petroleum in every way and is a natural chemicals needed.

Donate, share with your friends, and be a part of the future. Let's heal the planet, one Hemp field at a time. We can do this thing. Let's start planting!!!

Check out the Indigogo fundraiser here: