Friday, September 25, 2009

Reality hits, and hits hard. :P

As I lie awake worrying about the unpaid power bill, upcoming mortgage, the collections calls from all the medical bills, etc. I realized that it is easy to feel trapped in this vicious circle, this toilet flush of circumstance. I know we are not the only family dealing with these worries.

I realized this chain of events increases the challenges exponentially:
Serious health condition = I can no longer work (significant drop in family income) = disability application = long wait (1400+ days currently and awaiting a hearing with a judge) = medical bills = collection accounts = lower credit score = higher interest = more money owed = wider gap between resources and needs = skimping on medical care = higher medical costs = no money to fund a garden or other means to self sufficiency = continuing high cost of nourishing and raising 3 growing boys ....

Well, you get the picture. Thankfully we don't have the typical consumer debt on top of that, and no car payments, etc. Of course there are so many additional areas of our families lives that are impacted that I try not to consider them all at once. How overwhelming!

As I was rattling on the other day to my husband about the most economical way to do our raised beds, and what recipes I have collected that I can use when we grow xyz, and other plans for our self-sufficiency project; he had a bit of a breakdown. He said "You just don't get it."
Now, I thought I did 'get it'. Our situation has been precarious for a few years now. I thought that he didn't 'get it'... I thought "We just need to persevere, plan, execute, keep going one foot in front of the other, day by day, as we have these past years."

The realization that he is right, I don't GET IT, hit me square in the forehead about midnight.

Maybe it is all that conditioning from my Nana (THANK YOU NAN!), or that indomitable spirit finally kicking in, but I refuse to give up or give in. We CAN do this. I may have to be patient. Things may come in steps, small baby steps even. But they will come. Time is the one thing on our side.

They will happen. I know this to be true. To the very core of my being. I will not short-change our dreams just because there are challenges.

I have also seen that this 'Economic Crisis' has given other people the desire, freedom, and passion to pursue paths that they hadn't felt open to them before. My wish is for everyone to be empowered to pursue their passions, endure and overcome whatever challenges they face, and love themselves and their families for every ounce of potential there is in their being.

Wishing many blessings, and relief from stresses (even briefly),

Mojave Momma

Thursday, September 17, 2009

About our project - The Mojave Homestead

I am a disabled, unplanned stay-at-home mom, and attempting to start our own sustainable urban homestead. We are a low-income family of 5, in NW Las Vegas. With a 13, 12 and 4 year old boy, our family of five has no lack of ideas and plenty of hard working dedicated hands. Currently I am taking classes at the community extension service through the Master Gardener program.

Our vision is to have a low-water use, ecologically minded, sustainable urban homestead, complete with edible landscape and native plants, providing proper backyard habitat for some of our species (working with The Tortoise Group, BatCon, the NV chapter of the Center for Biodiversity, and other resources), that is also a NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat™.

It seems that many major cities have a prominent Urban Homestead (such as Pasadena’s Path to Freedom). My dream is to create awareness of our unique environment here in the Las Vegas area and Mojave Desert through the development of our own Mojave Homestead, educate ourselves and share that knowledge and expertise with others, and to become THE Example of responsible sustainable urban green living in our unique climate, as well as provide education and support for other hopeful homesteaders, disabled, and would-be gardeners worldwide.

This project has been slow in development due to lack of resources, as right now we are on very limited budget and do receive financial assistance while awaiting my disability determination. Thank you for your patience and understanding of our challenges. We appreciate deeply the knowledge-base and companionship we have received from our family, friends, and fans. I know with your love and support, we will be successful as long as we persevere.

I think of this as my "Planning Phase". This is the first step towards self-sufficiency in the desert. After all, "You are who you Choose to be." ~ The Iron Giant

Thank you for your support, and for sharing our Journey!

Best Regards,

Mojave Momma

On the Mend

I have been down a little longer than I had expected following my hernia repair surgery. Everything went well. As I am high-risk, having Antiphospholipid Syndrome and a history of blood clots in my brain, they took every precaution imaginable. I am still on the mend, and not yet 100%. Sleeping in my own bed, instead of the rocker in the living room, was a PAINFUL but special treat the last two nights.

Joe was kind enough to share his stomach flu with me, so needless to say those stomach muscles are especially sore this morning. I may end up in the ol' rocker tonight.

This experience has really brought to light the amount of necessary daily maintenance that I do to keep things going here. Well, at least in the yard and kitchen. Because we have no irrigation/sprinkler system, I must water our few precious plants by hand. Thankfully the weather has cooled a tiny bit, and so nothing has died on the days the boys have forgotten to do this for me. Carrying that water can back and forth is my exercise most days. With so few plants growing right now, I have the time to water and tend by hand. Realistically, I won't be able to do this once we have the garden and edible landscaping in.

The Landscape Design class taught by 'Mojave' Mel Hengen at the extension unit will cover irrigation (week 8 I think). I can't wait to get that far. Knowing that my plants are getting the necessary water, even when I am sick or recovering from whatever, will give me so much piece of mind.

Thanks for all of your support and interest! I wish you and your families blessings and love.

Best regards,

Mojave Momma