The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sinus Dilation & Other Stuff

Last Friday, five days ago, I had a sinus dilation procedure in the office of my ENT (ear, nose & throat doctor). For about six weeks prior to the procedure, I had terrible headaches almost everyday that nothing would help. Not nasal steroids, sinus washes, antibiotics, Tylenol, pain pills, nothing. You should really feel sorry for Frank. One, for having to put up with me and two, because I have just not been myself. I have never been one to have headaches, especially not ongoing, seemingly never ending, headaches. Am I healed? Not yet, but I am well on the way. Has this procedure taken care of my sinus problems? The verdict is still out since I still have some occasional pain from the procedure, but the never ending headache seems to be gone, for which I am truly thankful.

Until recently I had never heard of sinus dilation. Here is a site that explains what it is and how it is done. We have a neat doctor that let Frank stay with me and watch the whole thing. Some things hurt and some didn't. The doctor dilated both of my frontal sinuses and both maxillary or what I call cheek bone sinuses. He calls it bone cracking, and sometimes it sounded like that was the case. When he got to the left maxillary sinus he poked and prodded and poked and 
prodded and couldn't get in. He said something about a flap in the way, so he cut it out. I think he actually had to cut a hole to get in and when he did, a stream of white, creamy ick came out, which he expected. The CT scan they did prior to the procedure showed the left maxillary as solid instead of with any air in it. He cleaned everything out of there he could.

So now I am healing. It is still uncomfortable to bend over to do much so the garden is patiently sitting out there waiting for me, just doing it's thing all on it's own. I think the aphids are having a hey day. By next week, I hope to diminish their population greatly. We have made cheese a couple of times, it doesn't take much physical effort, I just had to concentrate more to make sure I didn't skip a step.

The new online program I am using for my contract work with the school district, which is statewide, is really taking a lot of time. Since it is new, there are many, many data fields that have to be populated for each student, and of course with school starting and families moving around, there are many new students to contend with as well as the ones that are returning. I have spent so much time on the computer today, at one point I had this picture of a ball and chain coming out of the laptop attached around my ankle. Silly, huh? It's not hard work, just time consuming. 

It's always good to use your mind to learn new things, but right now it would be more fun to research greenhouse plants for winter. Soon enough the school work will calm back down and I will do just that. Frank and I are already talking about the plants we want to experiment with over the winter. It will be exciting to be able to walk out there and harvest fresh food for the table in December or January.

Since I have been in recovery mode and busy with school work, we are behind on answering the comments and emails on the blog. Please bear with us, we will respond, it just may not be quite as timely as it has been. We really do enjoy hearing from you and appreciate the time you take to share with all of us.

I know you are watching the financial news, the news of yet more hatred and murder being splashed in our faces, the news of countries flexing their military muscles and the news of natural and man made devastation around the globe. Ponder long and hard what you need to be doing for the near and far future. We sure are. We think about it, talk about it, and pray about it every single day. 

Until next time - Fern

Monday, August 24, 2015

Daddy, I'm Hungry........

Hi Everybody, Frank here.

Folks this is not going to be a pleasant article. It's never pleasant when your neighbor calls and says there is a tornado coming straight at your house. It's never pleasant when your house is surrounded by forest fires. It's never pleasant when you get news of a loved one passing. And it's never pleasant when your four year old boy comes up and says, "Daddy, I'm hungry."

Okay. Let's talk for a minute. I'm going to ask you to read an article by Michael Snyder from The Economic Collapse. His article today is just like one of many, but I like the way Michael writes, so I'm going to encourage you to read what he wrote today.

Back to that little four year old. If your neighbor called with imminent danger approaching your house, you would probably do something. Let's see, what are some things you could do? Now remember danger is imminent. Pick any scenario you want, tornado, forest fire, hurricane, death, economic collapse, civil unrest, rioting, pick any one you want. Now, you've got your phone call. Your neighbor is not some whacko, weirdo, you've known him for years and you trust him. There is danger coming directly toward your house and your family.

Here's what most people are doing right now. 

"Well, let's go out and have dinner. We will put it on our brand new credit card, and after dinner we can go shop for a brand new, big screen television. We need one more to go along with the five we already have. We'll put it in the back of our SUV." 

Is this what you would do? Is this the scenario you see your family doing when there is imminent danger?

Try this scenario. It's the day after the danger. You had dinner last night and you got your brand new big screen TV. You know, it's one inch bigger than the man's next door. You're sitting there on your couch, which is financed, by the way. Your little four year old boy walks up to you and says, "Daddy, I'm hungry." 

What are you going to tell your boy? Are you going to tell him, "I'm sorry son, but we don't have any food in the house, because Mommy doesn't need to cook. That's why we eat out every night."

"But Daddy, I'm hungry." 

"Well, son, I would go to the grocery store and buy some food, but I don't have any cash. The banks are closed and the ATMs don't work. You see, son, your daddy is a blind, fool. I have put all of my faith in a world that I cannot survive in, and son, neither can you. You see son, I didn't listen or pay attention to the warnings. They were there, but it just wasn't cool to prepare for the obvious. I'm sorry son, but you're going to have to pay the price because of my stupidity. I know your Uncle Henry has been warning us for years to at least have a little bit of food, water and cash set back. Remember all those times that Mommy and I laughed at dinner about how silly Uncle Henry was?"

"Daddy, can we go visit Uncle Henry?"

"No, son, the SUVs are both out of gas. I don't have any cash and all of the local stores are closed. We can't go visit Uncle Henry, he lives too far away to walk. Besides that son, that sound you hear that I told you were fire crackers, that's actually gun fire."

"Daddy are you going to protect us?"

"Well, no son. Your Mommy and I always thought it was a waste of money to buy one of those dangerous guns. Besides, I always needed a new set of golf clubs."

"Daddy, I'm hungry."

"Well son, you know that somebody from the government will bring us food real soon."

"Daddy, there is somebody banging on the door and screaming!"


Ladies and gentlemen, what are you going to tell your four year old? Look at what is happening in our financial world. There are people that actually believe that since that they do not have direct investments in the stock markets, that a financial collapse will have no effect upon them. How naive. When the financial system goes belly up, banks will close, trucks will quit rolling, store shelves will go empty and there will be utter chaos and devastation. Somebody please tell me how that will not affect us all.

We are on the verge of the greatest financial collapse of all times. Nobody knows for sure how it is going to play out. But if there is no food on the shelves, don't kid yourselves that everything is going to be peachy. That is a child's view.

"Well, the electricity will still be on," you say. How? How is it still going to be on? Are the workers going to drive to work with the imaginary gasoline that is not in their cars? In the last few weeks all of the world's major financial markets have dropped sharply. All of the major financial markets have their respective countries printing money out of thin air. Don't kid yourself that this can continue and have no effect upon us. It's like a heroin addict increasing their intake of heroin everyday. It is fatal. 

So, really, what are you going to tell your four year old? No joke. What are you going to tell your four year old when he looks at you and says, "Daddy, I'm hungry." And what are you going to tell him when there is somebody banging on your door? It's your choice. Most of the readers here are adults and you better pray to God that you don't have a teenage daughter, or otherwise the unthinkable is about to happen.

Read the article by Michael Snyder and then put it into an adult perspective. I'm sorry I write these things, but there is nothing pleasant about calling your neighbor and telling them a disaster is heading directly toward their house. A prudent person would already be prepared. Your time is very limited. Use it wisely.

We'll talk more later, Frank

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Please Enjoy a Review - Too Big to Fall

My sinus dilation procedure went well yesterday and I am recovering nicely. I think. But since I am not quite up to speed, I thought I would share a post with you from about a year and a half ago.

The dramatic drop in the stock markets yesterday have made headlines around the globe. This is yet another example of the roller coaster ride that will eventually grind to a halt, or go out with a bang. It reminds me regularly of James Howard Kuntsler's book The Long Emergency. If you haven't read it, I would highly recommend it. Even though it is a novel, it is great food for thought and may give you some ideas of things you may want to acquire that you haven't thought of, or purchased yet.

The current state of the world economies continue to reinforce our decision to invest in tangibles instead of increasing our savings. There are still a number of things we are considering and weighing. Things that will not only increase our comfort, but the ease at which we can perform daily tasks that will be necessary for survival. Because once the final curtain closes and the end of life as we know it arrives, it will no longer be how to survive, but how to live. We talk often of surviving the coming collapse and that's exactly what we plan on doing. If we are blessed with the option then life will go on and become a new normal, a new kind of life.

Consider your life, when all else about you has changed. That's what it will continue to be. Life. There may be many things about that life that have changed dramatically, but it will still be your life. What you make of it will be up to you.

Until next time - Fern


Originally published February 3, 2014

I was reading over the news and ran across a link from the Drudge Report that went to Alex Jones. The gist of the article was the small scale rioting after the Super Bowl, none of which was of much interest to me. At the very bottom of the article was this quote.

"While their entire country is being bankrupted, hollowed out, and flooded with illegal immigrants as Obama announces that he will ignore Congress and pursue his agenda via dictatorial executive fiat, Americans remain unmoved.

The only things that get them in the least bit animated are Black Friday sales and NFL football games. When a civilization reaches this point of decadence, a Roman Empire-style collapse is soon to follow."

As the day went on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell over 300 points, today alone (February 3, 2014). This was after the "worst monthly loss since May 2012 on Friday." I don't pretend to know much of anything about the stock market, but I do know that is not the norm. Frank follows the markets very closely. I have also read enough to know that the stock market is being propped up in our fragile, artificial economy, somewhat like a house of cards. When, not if, will a strong enough wind come along and blow this house down? Remember the story of the Three Little Pigs? Is 'your house' built in such a way that the Big Bad Wolf will not be able to 'huff and puff and blow your house down'?

The events in the world comprise a complexity that is impossible to comprehend in it's entirety. "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke" Is this where we are today? Is that why many people don't take notice of the more significant events going on around them? Or is it an escape of sorts? Or are people afraid to say or do anything due to retaliation from our government? When things are too big to accept and conceptualize, is it better to distract yourself with the fantasy world presented on television or at the ballgame?

We have read many people that talk about those they know who think everything is fine. Prices may be higher, health insurance may be changing or disappearing, but everything is fine. We've had these types of things happen before and everything turned out fine, you'll see. Really? I don't think so. But I only mention some things in passing to some people because, otherwise, I will draw too much attention to myself, which I do not want to do. I would rather be somewhat un-memorable. Plain, simple. Do not talk, act, dress or live in a way that draws attention. I definitely do not want to be part of the 'look at me' crowd. I would rather be somewhat invisible.

There is a growing stress in the world. People on the phone at a variety of businesses are becoming rude and condescending. Why? Don't they need the business? Most businesses I frequent in person are hurting. Does management want to say something to these rude employees, but feel
their hands are tied? Are they afraid of being charged with some kind of a hate crime in court? Or, does the person answering the phone think this is normal behavior since that is the way it is on television? You know, that big make believe screen that for the last 50 to 60 years has been teaching Madison Avenue values and morality. For the life of me, I cannot understand why anybody would want to watch television. I can find no value in that big make believe screen. But everybody I listen to, asks the same question, "Did you see ______ on television?" Just unbelievable to me. Not to mention how hypnotizing it is. Just look at a room with a television and see how everyone is drawn into staring at it. You can't hardly keep from it. It's creepy.

The Roman Empire didn't collapse overnight. I'm sure there were many, many people then that couldn't conceive the fall of that mighty Empire. It was just TOO BIG TO FALL. Hmm...doesn't that sound familiar? Too big to fail. What does that mean for us? It worries me when I read that many of our government agencies have stocked up
on millions of rounds of ammunition and weapons. It worries me when banks start questioning why people want their money. It worries me when executive orders become the standard way of running the government. It worries me when lying and cheating and spying become the norms of our day. It worries me that many police forces appear to be more concerned with controlling and intimidating people instead of serving and protecting them. It worries me when there are millions of people running around singing 'All is well' when I know there is no chance of our nation recovering and resuming our previous 'eat, drink and be merry' way of life. It is impossible. It will never happen. We are in for a major correction in the way we live. It is inevitable.

The almost instant availability of everything from donuts to pedicures to brain surgery will soon be a thing of the past. We now live with a new
generation of people that have never even considered living without cell phones, computers and big screen TVs, not to mention refrigeration and air conditioning. We live with a generation of people that have been taught it's okay not to work, but don't worry, we'll feed you and house you and make sure your standard of living is better than many who still choose to work hard every day for the clothes on their backs and the food on their tables. I cannot even begin to imagine what this generation will think when there is no longer anyone there to 'take care of them'. This worries me, too.

"When a civilization reaches this point of decadence, a Roman Empire-style collapse is soon to follow." How soon? I don't know. I only know that God has given us the task to warn our neighbors. Please heed this warning. Hold your family close. Try to get them ready. 

Until next time - Fern

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Homestead News, Volume 9

Time continues to fly by and autumn will be with us before we know it. We are finally out of the 100+ temperatures. It was 59* here last night! I don't think it will last, though, we are supposed to be back up into the low 90's by early next week, and that is fine. It is much more manageable than the 100+ stuff with high humidity. With the cool weather this morning, we were able to use our new double hung windows to fill the house with cool, fresh air. They work great.

We want to send our thoughts and prayers to those that are being affected by the wildfires around the country. We have friends in the northwest that have had to evacuate their home, and we haven't heard from them since yesterday. It must be very difficult to leave your home not knowing what you may return to. There are many different types of challenges we are all given, but many times on the other side of it, we are stronger for having been tested and refined.

We continue to pen up the youngest kids and accumulate milk for cheese making. The last batch of cheddar is ready to wax, but I ran out of steam before I got to it today. Two more wheels of cheddar are now in the cheese press and will be ready to remove and start the drying process tomorrow evening. Since I won't be able to wax these two wheels until Saturday, I put them in a plastic storage bag in the refrigerator. I will be having a sinus dilation procedure tomorrow morning, so I don't expect to get much of anything done for the rest of the day.


We continue to eat our cheddar at room temperature, but have found that it gets too oily if we leave out the whole wheel. This time we cut it in half covered the open end with plastic wrap and put it back in the cheese frig until we are ready for it.


We also filled up the fermentation crock with four heads of cabbage today. The last batch of sauerkraut stayed in the crock for a month and it was the best tasting we have had so far. We still have three quarts of it in the refrigerator that we are eating, and wanted the next batch to have plenty of time to ferment. It's interesting how quickly things like making sauerkraut becomes routine.

Today was also bread day. The sourdough was still doing it's thing and predigesting all those carbohydrates for us on top of the frig while I was writing this. We didn't get the dough mixed up until about 11:00 this morning, so I didn't bake the rolls until 8:30 this evening. I wanted to give it plenty of time to ferment and digest beforehand. They sure are good.


I've tried to make cottage cheese twice by leaving the milk on the counter. The first time it didn't really curdle, so I thought I hadn't left it long enough.

The second time I left it for about four days and it was definitely soured, but still didn't really make curds like it was supposed to. That's too bad, I was really hoping it would work. Now it will be back to the cheese book and making another stab at modifying the recipe so I can get good cottage cheese.

We still have roosters and wethers to butcher, and we hope next week after my sinuses clear up we can get a lot of butchering done. That and get some fall crops planted. My headaches and general feelings of sickness have put everything like that on hold for way too long. So I hope to have more to report in the butchering department very soon.

The pigs are doing much better in the behavior department. There are some folks at church that have raised pigs for years and Frank was quizzing them on 'normal' pig behavior last week. We are still learning, and they are still growing. It will be very interesting to see how they do in the long run. I'm also very interested to see how Lance and Liberty behave once we have butchered the barrows. I think the interaction will be different then. We pay a little more attention to them since they are our breeding pair and the barrows will end up on our dinner plates. I have a question for you. Does a pig's tail continue to grow longer and get more curly as they grow up?
The whey produced from making cheese goes to good use as pig food. They get upset with me if I take them a bucket of scraps without some kind of liquid in it. I can't help but laugh at them when they fuss at me. It's a funny little squeal.

By the time we got most of the day's activities completed, the kitchen was really a mess. 

As the week has progressed we have watched more major fluctuations in the financial markets around the world. It is just another indicator of the instability of the underlying foundations of economies everywhere. We continue to discuss what tangible items we can invest in that we will be able to use in the future, come what may. An example of one of our acquisitions is a stainless steel water bath canner. We have two like the one pictured above that the whey is in. One of them, after three or four years of use, has chipped and has a place trying to rust on the inside of the bottom. Knowing they won't be durable for long term use, especially if we get to the point that we can't buy or trade for another one, we chose to invest in stainless steel. As you can tell, it's still in the box. We'll keep using the enameled version as long as we can.

We continue to pick peppers, tomatoes, cowpeas and carrots from the garden. I really hope to write another garden article before long with the things we have been able to plant for fall. 

Thank you for all of the great comments. It's neat to be able to share. Frank and I have learned a great deal from other folks experiences. Please keep sharing. 

Prepare for the fall of the year and the fall of the world. They will both be arriving soon.

Until next time - Fern