The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Friday, March 27, 2020

We Were Born For Times Such as These

We had a very interesting comment the other day that said, "We were born for times such as these." That struck us at the time and has stuck with us.

You, all of you that read here, were born for times such as these. That's why we're here. That's why we write, that's why you write and share your thoughts and experiences, and try to get those around you to wake up and smell the collapse that is pounding them in the head. Where does that headache come from? The pounding of reality slamming into your head, you idiot. But then, it's too late for you to wake up and smell the collapse, notice all the shortages everywhere? Too late. The train has left the station and you missed it.

Just some observations from our neck of the woods and our personal analysis of all of the information.

Frank and I keep saying - there is something sinister going on that we're not able to see, read about or discern yet. Unfortunately, we may not be able to do so until it's out in the wide open staring us in the face.

Yesterday Frank looked around online to see if there were any rifles available that shoot 223 ammo. Most major sites were sold out of almost everything, even the Ruger 10/22 that shoots 22LR were sold out. 223 ammo? Forget it. Not available. There are some places that have the ammo, just no longer in bulk.

Some of the young family men we have talked to recently, both 30 somethings, are scared. They see the world falling apart, collapsing. They both have young children and wonder if they will be able to provide for them and protect them - from the virus and the violence of the world they see coming down the road. And did we mention shortages? You know, food.

The virus? There is so much conflicting information out there, who knows what is real and accurate. Are the numbers actually reflecting the number of people that died from the virus or from their underlying conditions? We don't have the statistics of people that die of the flu with underlying conditions because they died from the flu. We don't have the number of people that were tested for the flu, or strep throat, or any number of conditions and how many died or recovered. Those statistics are not kept and correlated. So what is real? 

The government is lying to us. We understand that there are times when the government needs to keep things from the public, that is understandable. But don't tell us that because a company that once in the past made ventilators, is going to retool in a number of days to manufacture complicated medical equipment. This is impossible. They're just blowing smoke up our skirts. Listen carefully, it is impossible.

Let's try on another lie for size. We need to get back to work as soon as we can. But, we're also told that the peak of this virus may not be for six more months. It's the government that shut down the work place and we're hearing stories of we'll be back to work by.......maybe Easter? Somebody, ladies and gentlemen doesn't know what the left hand is saying because the right hand didn't tell them. Somebody is lying. We've talked about it before here, lying has become the norm. We are being told things on a daily basis that we know is just not going to happen. They, the government, are the one that shut down business for our protection. Every day that we are shut down, will make it much, much more difficult to restart. It has taken our country a couple of hundred years to grow and develop the economic system we have. We have effectively crippled supply and demand. You can't restart this in a day or two. It is impossible. 

Who is going to pick the food? Who is going to can the food? Who is going to label the food? Who is going to drive the truck that carries the food? Who is going to maintain the truck? Where is that truck going to buy diesel? How is that truck driver going to eat on the open road? Who is going to stock the shelves, operate the cash register? And on, and on, and on. They are lying to us. There is something much more sinister going on here.

Why are the governments of the world shutting down the world?? What is really coming that needs to have the world population shut down, at home, contained? What is coming? Why do we all need to be so controlled? What is going to happen that would cause people everywhere to be out of control?

Food shortages?
Total economic collapse worldwide?
Anarchy?
Mass rioting?

How else could governments across the globe convince mass numbers of people to peacefully give up and sit at home awaiting the coming storm? Scare them to death with the threat of death, that's how. Not violent government take over kinds of death, but death by the invisible enemy. It's got everyone quaking in their boots. Literally. Yes, people are getting sick and dying and I mourn their loss. I mourn that I cannot go see my mother in the nursing home and I worry about her. 

We have voluntarily contained ourselves, curtailed our activities and in some cases our livelihoods. For what? Why do they need us locked down, in fear. Something truly evil roams the land.

Prepare accordingly, for the unprepared are going to take from the prepared. They will do it in an official manner, after all we are in a national emergency. Those of us that have prepared by the sweat of our brow, will now have it taken by the brown shirt thugs. They will take what is ours, mine, yours and give it to the fat, lazy and stupid.
 


Years ago we read about the golden hordes pouring out of the cities in search of food and trying to escape the violence erupting there. Is that what is going to happen? I don't know.





We're going to reopen the economy? When? How? What kinds of work can be deemed essential? Everything accept entertainment? 

Why do we have to wait for the FDA to approve a drug that's been on the market for decades? What kind of insanity is that?

Please chime in and and add your thoughts.

You were born for times such as these. Stand up to the plate and swing away. This is our time. This is why we have lived this life, prepared, trained and learned for decades.

This is your time. Make it count. Follow what your mind and heart gives you to do. Fight the good fight. It's what you were born to do. Prepare to do the unthinkable. It's here boys and girls.

Now we're going to go work in the garden. We have food to grow, for it's going to be a very, very hot summer and you can't print food.

We'll talk more later. Until next time - 

Frank & Fern

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Just in Case

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

This morning after breakfast and having a second cup of coffee, we were reading Bison Prepper. Yes, I know at times he can be a tad bit salty, but I've never had problems with salt, I actually have to add it to my diet even though I have had heart surgery.

What I'm getting at here is at the bottom of his daily rant, which I thoroughly enjoy, I think the man is brilliant, he gave us a list of other ways to stay in touch with him just in case things go dark. We all know that your computer can get a virus, just like you and I can. We all know that our government is doing the best it can to control the proliferation of viruses. I guess the key part is - the best they can, but I'm getting off track here.

What Bison Prepper did was to give out other ways to stay in touch with him and his writings. Just in case, in his case, things go dark, we're talking about midnight in the back of a cave, he took the time to say thank you for this time we've had together. 

It's kind of like Bob Hope singing Thanks For the Memories. I got to see Bob Hope. It was the winter of 1970-71 in northern South Korea. Great show. If you never had the chance to see Bob Hope, you really missed a classic. And it was free, my uncle paid for it. Did I say it was cold that day?
You may get a virus on your computer, and you may get a virus. I could walk outside today and have a tree fall on me, or the Big Guy could just say, "Frank, time's up. Time to come home." I believe that my temporal world in that case would go dark, but I'm not really sure, well, pretty sure.

Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, if that happens today or tomorrow and I don't take this opportunity, then I would be remiss in my duties and responsibilities. Now, I don't have any plans of immediately checking out, so don't read that into this. But I do want to earnestly and wholeheartedly say, "Thank you."

Fern and I have had a different form of communication with some extremely interesting people. It has been a blessing and a gift to our lives. I mean that. I really mean that.

So, from the bottom of my heart, which does have a couple of extra connections now, I want to genuinely say, "Thank you."

If today is the day, or tomorrow, somebody pulls the plug on the internet, or the Big Guy pulls the plug on you or me, "Thank you."

May God and Peace be with you.


WE'LL talk more later,  Frank 
 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Hope Springs Eternal

In this time of increasing uncertainty, stress and anxiety which brings with it a gambit of emotions, never lose sight of the fact that there is always hope. Spring is upon us. Despite storms in the weather with tornadoes that cause destruction and loss of life, storms in the biological attack upon the planet (whether coincidental or man made), impacts upon the world's ability to plant and grow enough food (whether from climactic events or lack of labor due to illness and quarantine), life does go on.
Mud and more mud
A month or two from now, life may not have continued for all of us. That is a large portion of the uncertainty. A month or two from now, the world may be under lock, key and the big boot of government with the freedoms we had a fading memory. Whatever life looks like a few short days, weeks and months down the road, one thing holds true. Hope springs eternal.

Balsam










If those of us that read and write here out in cyber world didn't have hope that our preparations, training and skills would make a difference in our ability to survive and provide for ourselves and our families, we wouldn't even try. Why would we? What difference would it make? Why not just join the eat, drink and be merry crowd, for tomorrow we die?
Why? Because that is not the cloth we were woven from. We have hope and determination in the face of impending doom. Is is easy? No. Are the times upon us scary and uncertain? Absolutely, resoundingly yes.

Clematis
Iris







HOPE springs eternal. And with that, spring with it's new life and promise of a future (of some unknown sort) is upon us. Take the time to breathe in that hope (but not the virus! You do remember that humor is the essence of survival don't you?). Look around. Notice what is happening to the earth and join in that renewal with a determination that you will continue to do all you can to insure that the hope of life is instilled deeply into those you love and care for.
Bridal wreath
Will it guarantee that you and they will make it through this time? No. If you or they don't make it, will you give up hope? It's a tough question. One we all face. Don't turn away from mentally planning for that possibility, as hard as it may be. Frank and I have long said that mental preparation is the most important. If you are not trying to be mentally prepared for whatever may come your way, including death, then you have neglected one of the most important aspects of your preparations.

Basil
Beet seed just beginning to sprout.









Hope is the basic foundation of any preparedness plan. If you didn't have hope that what you are able to learn, practice, acquire or produce wouldn't make a difference in whatever scenario plays out in your life, you wouldn't have bothered to even try.

Nasturtium

Hope springs eternal. Breathe in the new life of spring. Share it with those around you. Use it to bolster your mental preparations, for the storms of life are truly upon us. May the Lord bless and keep you.

Until next time -  Fern

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

What are you doing NOW?

Hopefully, the holes in your supplies and preps are filled like Frank talked about in the last post.

We have all been reading/listening/watching the data and advice on how to avoid/diminish the chances of infection from COVID-19 and taking every precaution available to us. Some are still going to work, some aren't. So now what?

During President Trump's press conference yesterday [Monday, March 16th] one of the reporters asked him to reassure the American public. She said people are scared. How true. We all are. Not only are we worried about our own personal health, the health of our families and friends, but the nation and world as a whole. One thing is certain. When we see the other side of this, we being whoever is left, things will not be the same. We will not be living in the same world we left behind just a few short days ago.

The economies of the world are and will be changing. The manner in which people physically interact with each other will have changed. So many other aspects of life will be changed in ways we can't even begin to imagine or fathom at this point.

Frank and I have been describing events as 'unbelievable' for some time now. You know, our political sphere, the anger and division among the peoples of our nation, etc. We had a brief laugh yesterday when I reminded him of this, because the situation we find ourselves in NOW is truly UNBELIEVABLE!!

Frank has long thought some type of contagion or plague would be the mechanism TPTB use to bring down the world, bring down the population numbers. So far, the death rate from this virus has not greatly diminished the global population, but in the long run, will it? At the beginning I was one of the people saying the standard, run-of-the-mill flu was killing many, many more people, what's the big deal? Obviously, something is very, very different than the average flu or the whole world wouldn't be shutting down. 

So what are we doing? For one, we are not going anywhere except for a few select places in our general area. We have to go 25 miles to make it to a town that has a big box store, a pharmacy and regular grocery stores and we are just not going. We are stocking up on more animal feed.





We have baby chicks hatching and more coming in the mail in the next day or so.






The garden is tilled and partially planted with turnips, kale and cabbage. We have a few carrots out there that have overwintered. We are in a heavy rainy period, so it's mostly mud, but it's good, healthy, fertilized mud.

 












The tomatoes, peppers, carrot and beet seedlings are planted in the greenhouse. I cut the tops off of the large tomato plant that has been growing out there all winter and put them in water to root. I also ordered more seeds. Seeds are gold, better than gold. They represent more food. Food that may become more precious than any 'thing' we can have.

 


The garden? Well, with age and aches and pains, it was going to shrink quite a bit this year. Now? I have altered that plan quite a bit. I will be adding more human and animal crops to the garden in the hope we will have enough to eat.




We have revisited our plans if we lose power and water. They have changed somewhat over the last few years. And as always, we discuss the protection of our home and each other.

My thoughts go always to keeping us fed and healthy. Frank's are of protection and safety. We naturally focus on our own strengths, talents and areas of responsibility.

The uncertainty of our times and the outcome on the other side of this event, for lack of a better description, is a daunting experience. So, tell me, what do you see for our future six months from now? A year from now? What do you think the world will look like? Do you see riots and anarchy around the corner? Food shortages? There is a lot of hype about medical supplies/services being inadequate for a pandemic. 

Please share. What are you doing now? And what do you see for our future? I agree with President Trump. We're all in this together. 

Blessings to you all. Stay safe and healthy.

Fern

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Time to Fill the Holes

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

I'm not really sure where to start this, and I'm certainly not going to start off with some stupid joke, even though Humor is the Essence of Survival.

Fern and I, as I'm sure many of you are praying for our country and our world. There is nothing new that is going to be said here that you probably haven't heard somewhere else. You are all aware of the coronavirus. It's got a couple of other names, but for uniformity, we are just going to call it the coronavirus. As stated many times before, I do not believe or trust my government, and I certainly do not believe or trust a communist, dictator's government. I trust even less, the news media.

That being said, the information we have to go on, which is sketchy to say the least, would indicate that perilous times are upon us. A few reminders here.
  • As Ol' Remus says, "Avoid crowds". This is critically important.
  • Wash your hands.
  • When Fern and I leave the house, we now carry a sealed sandwich bag with a washcloth in it that is saturated with 91% alcohol. We also carry surgical gloves. We have not started wearing masks yet, but yes, we have them. These are very basic and simple things to do. You can find a more detailed list in several other places.
  • The NBA has cancelled it's basketball season. College conferences all around the country are cancelling tournaments. Here in Oklahoma, they have wisely cancelled the state basketball tournaments. They waited a little late to make this command decision about the state tournaments, but how can you justify the NBA and college conferences cancelling and you still allow high school games to be played? But my hat's off, somebody finally made the command decision.
  • I'll get to the point of this in just a minute. Even before President Trump's statement last night, airlines were cancelling flights, both international and domestic.
  • Cruise ships are also cancelling.
The point of this? This thing is real. People a whole lot smarter than I am either know something is coming or can see that something is coming. Our country is effectively, very slowly, shutting down. I hope you got to watch President Trump's talk last night. It was direct, to the point. It appears that this thing is going to get out of hand.

Did you hear what he said about nursing homes? Fern's mother is currently in a local nursing home. Now, think about this. I am 70 years old, I have had open heart surgery. When do we decide not to go see Fern's mother again? I am in that high risk target. Tough decision.

We have already filled all of the holes we need to fill in our supplies, and if push comes to shove, we could probably not leave our house for a year or more, with or without utilities.

I keep hoping this thing will just pass over like a blip on a radar. Is this the apocalypse we read about in the Bible? Is it the end times? Is this another Noah type event? I really don't know. 

But I do know that our government is taking some extreme measures. Let's give credit where credit is due. Extreme measures are needed during extreme times. I've got the distinct feeling that extreme is about to get significantly more extreme. 


Maybe a bank holiday? You are familiar with the repo market? Are you aware that the Federal Reserve, which is not a government agency, has been pumping billions of dollars every night into the banking industry just to produce some stability? That is about to increase significantly. I know you've been watching the stock market the last few days. The world markets are collapsing. Some will say, oh this is just another blip on the radar, and it might be. I wouldn't bank on that.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we are in uncharted waters. I am glad, genuinely glad, that President Trump is our leader. Is he perfect? No.

NOW is the time to fill holes in any supplies you need. Use diligent precautions when doing so. We still don't even know exactly how the coronavirus is transmitted, and it truly doesn't make any difference how it started. If you are standing at the bottom of a hill and an unoccupied automobile is rolling toward you, it doesn't make any difference whether it was intentional or unintentional, man made or God made. It doesn't make any difference, you need to move out of the way before it runs you down.

Hopefully, this thing will pass. But with the preparations our government and other world governments are doing, somebody knows something that is not being released to the general public. Prepare now. That storm is here. Those dark clouds are upon us. Whatever analogy you want to use, use it.


I wouldn't expect our government to tell us the truth if they knew something was apocalyptic. Even if this virus only kills a few hundred million people, the world economy will come to a screeching halt. Anarchy will reign. As you've heard here, be prepared to do the unthinkable. 

By the way, Sam's and Wal-Mart are out of Spam. We are in trouble.

Fern and I are going to live everyday to the fullest. We have started planting the garden, I have re-purified my water well. We have inventoried and cataloged our medical supplies. We will do the best we can until the Big Guy pulls our number.

Remember, Humor is the Essence of Survival. If you have any doubt that God has a sense of humor, then go look in your bathroom mirror. Then go get your wife or husband to do it, or if you live alone, get your cat to do it.

Also remember that you and your immediate family come first.

If you have thoughts on this, or you have information about grocery store shelves, or who has what that others don't, then please share. After you read this, you need to get an alcohol swab and wipe down the screen on your computer.

I hope to see all of you again soon. Exponentially, we are on the uphill side of the hockey stick. Pay attention. 

DON'T GET ON THE BUS.

We'll talk more later,  Frank
 

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A Thought on Coronavirus

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

There is a lot of talk about the Coronavirus. Some say we're all going to die, others say it will be gone in a couple of months. Since we know that our government lies at every opportunity, I can only believe that other governments do also.

A former advisor to President Donald Trump did an interview. Fern and I found it interesting and we hope you do too. I like the man that did the interview, his name is Steve Bannon. He can be a bit abrupt, but I think he is brilliant. Does everybody agree with everything others say? No, but I did like his interview. If you have about 50 minutes to spare, watch Mr. Bannon's interview. Here is the link.


I would take this virus seriously. Do you have what it takes to be in your house for a number of days without going out? If someone comes to visit do you know how, and have the precautions to quarantine them for a couple of weeks? Remember, we don't know what is true and what is not coming from the news media or the government. As always, you are on your own. 

Nobody is coming to save you.

And as Ol' Remus says, "Avoid crowds."


There are a lot of things happening in our world right now. Our political arena has become a joke, even the Supreme Court has jumped into the fray recently. Now all three of our branches of government are not working together. I don't believe anything I hear anymore from anyone. We just don't know where this virus thing is going to go.


So, no joke. Have what you need to take care of you and yours. All they have got to do, a little humor here, is find a way to put this virus in a bag of Cheetos, and half of our population would be gone. But no joking, do what you think is necessary, and I would do it very soon, while our supply chains are still functioning. There is a possibility our just-in-time inventories could experience some serious hiccups soon. One little shut down leads to two, then three, then the dominoes begin to fall. The economy staggers a little. You get the picture, you've seen it before. The picture that is.

If you would, watch the video, and by all means, quit eating Cheetos. If you're of this type of persuasion, only drink American made beer.

So, maybe it's time to go turn on the TV to watch Oprah, and grab a bag of Cheetos, or maybe to do what you should have already done. You know what that is. Prepare. If you are prepared, good. If you're not.....it's your call.

We'll talk more later,  Frank
 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Homestead News, Volume 24

Life goes on here on the homestead, in the local area, in the country and in the world. Precarious though it may seem at times, the store shelves (here at least) are still filled with an abundance of frankenfood, the lights are still on and water still comes out of the tap when I turn it. 

We continue to adjust our lives for our current and future physical abilities while continuing to prepare our minds for what may be coming down the road one day. We have recently had two and a half acres of our ten acre pasture fenced off for our much smaller herd of goats. This still allows us to have four small pastures for animal rotation, but makes it much easier to manage. We are debating about trying to hire someone to brush hog the remaining acreage once a year, or listing it for sale. Our decision changes from day to day, so for now we are just going to let things settle. We are in no hurry.

Our four does - two adults, two kids

Buck and young wether
The eleven year old matriarch of our goat herd is no longer with us. One Stripe was part of the first herd we acquired when we moved here in 2008. She never met anyone she didn't like and loved to be petted. She gave us many babies, lots of milk and much affection. All of the does we have now are from her line. 

One Stripe

We also no longer have our wonderful Pearl. She was a one of a kind dog and we miss her. She was great with the goats and devoted to the two of us. We'll be dog-less for a while. We don't look forward to training another puppy, but one will come along again when the time is right.

Pearl

We're also preparing the acre surrounding the house for eventual use as pasture. When the day comes to really downsize the land, if we haven't already, we will sell the ten acres with the current barn. Then we will use this area around the chicken house for any pasture we may still want to use. It will maintain a couple of goats, although we would have to feed more hay year round.


In preparation for that we have had some overgrown brushy areas cleared out along with tons of pine needles.




This older storage shed has seen better days. We've been fighting a leaking roof for years. Now we're working on emptying it out so it can be moved out by a neighbor that wants it. In the process we are donating many things to a local church that works with individuals and families that are in recovery from alcohol and drugs. It's good to be able to pass on some things to people in need, but it's also difficult to start downsizing instead of building up. It's probably something most people go through as they age, and now it's our turn.

I have been making some simple cheeses since we are enjoying fresh goat milk again. I tried an herb cheese with onion and garlic, but it came out really strong. Frank doesn't even like to smell it. I tried a small wheel with fresh basil from the greenhouse a couple of days ago. We haven't tried it yet, but it smells much milder so I hope this wheel is edible.


 













As time goes on we find we eat less, quite a bit less. Our sauerkraut crock is wonderful, but is now too big. We recently got some air lock lids to make kraut by the jar. This is our first experiment. We had them in the pantry for a dark place, but I didn't remember to check on them, so I moved them into one of the kitchen cabinets. Two of the jars turned out fine, but the one that wasn't full didn't. I don't know if it was the amount of cabbage or if it was because we didn't include the rubber gasket in the lid when we put it all together. Another learning experience. It's always good to learn. I am going to try peppers this way this summer. I think that would be good. And maybe okra? I'm not sure if they will ferment/pickle very well. I will have to read more about that before I try it.




I have been working on a door hanging for my mother who is in the nursing home with dementia. She has been there for two and a half years now. I agree with all of the people that told me over a year ago that this is a very cruel disease. We pray for her peace and comfort every day, and I pray for her release from this world. I can usually still get her to smile and laugh. She even sang Happy Birthday to Frank (I got it on video on my phone) recently and she hadn't sang with me for months. It was very touching.

The greenhouse continues to feed us some nice green things a few times a week, and is now housing some seedlings, or the dirt that holds seeds that will soon be seedlings.


Two ages of cabbage seedlings

Will be carrots, tomatoes and peppers.

Carrots are just beginning to peek out.

Onions
I am going to cut the tops of these tomato plants, root them and start them in pots. I hope to get some big seedlings ready this way. We still have that one tomato that has been growing slowly all winter. I don't know if it's going to ripen or not. Frank thinks it will be really tough if it ever does.

 
















We are saving eggs to start the incubator tomorrow. These eggs will be hatching the same time the day old chicks we ordered will be arriving. We'll raise them all together, keep a replacement laying flock and butcher the rest. It's a good seasonal activity. Eggs to meat to the table. Wouldn't have it any other way.


For now, the garden lays fallow, but it won't be long before we will plant it once more. Hope is eternal when there is spring on the way.


Our country? The world? Viruses, plagues, pandemics, politics, food shortages, lies, corruption, greed? It just goes on and on and on. Every so often I get a small, tiny spark of hope that the world will keep on turning, people will come to their senses and we can continue to live in some semblance of peace, but then the next 'thing' appears and extinguishes that spark pretty quickly. So, life goes on. Until it doesn't. We do what we can and try to be realistic about what we can and can't do. We try not to play head games with ourselves and pretend we are going to go running through the woods chasing bad guys if the collapse occurs. Not going to happen. Reality. Sometimes difficult to deal with. Choosing not to? Not an option on our homestead. How are things going on yours?

Until next time - Fern