The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Friday, May 30, 2014

We're One!

There was a comedian once that had a real funny line about being one. We all wanted to become teenagers, then 21, but never 50 or older. He said something like, wouldn't it be funny if babies went around announcing to everyone, "I'm one!" Well, I guess that's what we are going to do, because today Thoughts From Frank and Fern has now been out there 'on the air' for one year.


It has been a very interesting year. We have learned a lot about blogging, but more importantly, we have learned more about other people out there. People that are doing what they can to be more self-reliant. People that are very disillusioned with the direction our country is going. We have 'met' some very good folks over the last year. 













We've shared a lot about ourselves, and we would like for you to share something about yourself in the comment section. Please, no personal information like names, locations, or company names. Tell us about your activities that lend toward self-reliance, radio communications, livestock, gardening, or anything else you would like to share.

Pearl and Copper as a baby

What you know about us? Our names are Frank and Fern, which are pseudonyms. We live in southeastern Oklahoma, are now both retired educators, we lived in Alaska for a number of years, and we garden a lot.
This is one of Frank's favorites.
We have a Great Pyrenees named Pearl, who is a working dog. We have goats and their babies. We have chickens, and we currently have a pecking problem. Frank and Fern both do ham radio. Frank much more than Fern. But we do carry radios and communicate with them around the farm all the time, everyday. All the stuff mentioned above, we do because we enjoy it. But we also believe that someday it might be needed in a collapse or survival scenario. We thank God daily for everything we have and for many things that we don't have, like a television. So, now, if you would just provide a little information about yourselves, we will promptly share it with the NSA. [He has been making me laugh for more than 30 years, and shows no sign of slowing down yet!] Remember, humor is the essence of survival. 

Please share with us. We would really love to hear from you! 

Thank you for a great year. 

From the humble hearts of Frank and Fern. 


34 comments:

  1. Oklahoma PrepperMay 30, 2014 at 6:29 AM

    Well I'd like to say Happy Birthday! Since day one I have read every one of your posts and look forward to many more years! And Frank... he's a funny guy! Just ask him! Thank y'all for a great informative year! OP

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  2. I enjoy your blog :)
    Happy 1 year!!
    From a fellow homesteader :)

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  3. Happy Birthday, and many more. I live in the South , but also in the Foothills, so I am very blessed. Like ya'll , my husband and I pal around with goats and chickens,guard dogs, but also hogs. Our preferred mode of transportation is a tractor,and going to" town" is real treat! We Love Creator, our children,our country, our land, and each other, and respect our animals. We both enjoy your blog, and find it helpful and informative, a sincere thank you for your efforts. Our fondest wish and pray is for every citizen in our country to find purpose through hard work,respect for themselves and each other,loyalty of family ,recognizing our true blessing, and being thankful, and always giving a hand up not a hand out. Be We'll.

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  4. Happy first birthday! We live in central Oklahoma with our goats, chickens that don't provide eggs, horses, and Cracker, our coyote-chasing dog. I'm thankful to have found you.

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  5. Happy one year! I enjoy your blog immensely, which I found through a link from Rural Revolution, which I enjoy also.

    My husband of 38 years and I have been "preppers" all along, we just didn't know it. We have always lived out in the middle of Nowhere and know the value of being prepared.

    We've had hogs, sheep, cattle, horses, goats, and chickens. I can and preserve, cook homemade meals, and sorta wish I was born about 200 years ago. ;-)

    We're getting ready for the last move of our life to 20 acres and it's been exciting to plan our new farmstead.

    Best,
    Miss Violet

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  6. Happy 1st Year! I have so enjoyed your blog since I found it last year through Patrice's Rural Revolution blog.

    We have lived on our 5 acres in the Redoubt of Washington for the past 15 years. We have enjoyed raising our kids along with dogs & cats, horses, goats & sheep, chicken & ducks, and soon some Miniature Herefords for our small acreage. Love preserving food we grow in our large garden as well as the bounty from local farmers in our area.

    Keep up the good work.

    Blessings from Creekside Farmstead

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  7. Happy anniversary Frank and Fern! We really enjoy the blog! it always seems to be the encouragement that I need to push a little further. We have been trying to homestead for about 15 years now. Our children are all on board and love the lifestyle, thank the Lord! Homesteading started perking in our minds after we listened to a "Lake Wobegon" about hog slaughter. I don't think we even had children yet. But it led us to talk about the fact that so many people don't understand that a burger doesn't come from McDonald's or even wrapped in plastic from the grocery store. We wanted to be aware and for our children to be aware, that an animal gives it's life for us to eat that burger. Those conversations and then years later, y2k gave us the little push we needed to get out of suburbia. We have honey bees, milk cow and calf, pigs, dogs, cats and of course, a large, beautiful, almost good for nothing, family member in the form of an equine. I made soap and toothpaste last week. I'm learning about wild edibles and medicinal plants. And we are trying to improve the soil in our garden. My husband would love to come home from corporate America so that's what we are working towards. And we are both studying for to get our ham license.Thank you Frank and Fern for the encouragement!
    The Lord's blessings on you both!
    -Kim

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  8. From somewhere in Montana, we are suburbanites longing for a forever home in the country. While we wait on God, we have chosen to bloom where we are planted. Thanks to a local community garden, we have huge garden plots. We also grow as many fruit trees as our yard can hold. We can and preserve all of our organic fruits and vegetables. We homeschool our special needs son, and look for any opportunity to be self-sufficient.

    Thank you for the post on baking soda shampoo. It works so well on my husbands dry scalp, that we have not had to buy the expensive medicated shampoo. Yay!!! Just started using it on my son. So glad to keep chemicals away from him.

    Thank you for your wisdom and encouragment.

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  9. Happy 1st Birthday! We homestead on 71/2 acres in Texas. All we have right now are 3 dogs but we garden and can and preserve. We believe in being prepared. We care for our neighbor's donkeys and goats. We live a full and inspirational life! We also love Alaska and named our Great Pyrenees puppy, Tok.

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  10. Congrats on your one year birthday!! I have been reading your blog for some months and enjoying it very much. Your down to earth sharing touches my heart & soul. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing and enjoy your lives together while doing it.
    I am a farm gal who said would never marry a farmer/well, it has been 47 years, 5 kids and lots of trials since then, but I love it here on the farm in So. MN (even our horrendous 2013-14 winter) Our oldest son farms, but hubby still "helps". We have a garden that seems to get bigger every year...may have to start going the other way as we are getting older and more arthritis is showing up EVERYWHERE...Hubby cuts wood for our big wood stove and that is a big job to get enough for a season/we ran out in Feb this past winter. We raised hogs in the past but that is all gone & the buildings are getting torn down. I don't miss anything about raising pigs except the meat in the freezer!! But we know farmers who will sell us a hog to take to be butchered when we need meat for the family. Life in the country is peaceful and close to the good Lord.......I pray that we all will be able to enjoy our freedoms & peace for many more years to come. God bless us all and our country. Donna
    PS: finally got warm enough to plant the garden. we went from winter to summer....has been in the 80's for a week now!

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  11. Happy 1st year! Here's a follower from Finland. I'm a mom of 8 year old boy. I've created an interest for prepping, unfortunately my husband hasn't. ;)

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  12. Congrats on one year! Only been reading a short while, but LOVE your blogs, they give me so much inspiration. I live near Denver, CO and am lucky enough to have a 1/2 acre lot (RE in CO is expensive!!). I have 7 alpacas, 2 dairy goats, 3 kid goats, 11 chickens, 1 cat, 2 little dogs (oh yeah 2 human kids and 1 grandkid, too). I love the pics of your dog-I used to have Pyrs and hope to again someday. Dabbling in gardening for only a few years-this year hoping to get more and learn to "put away" for winter. I believe times could be tough in the near future, so pushing towards better self sufficiency. God bless you and all you do.
    Jen M in Colorado

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  13. Love the blog! I think one great thing about you guys is you don't come across as gardening experts, but are honest about failures and things that do well. I have been a decent gardener for years, but some years are not good for everything you try. We must all learn from the experience and keep striving! The hubby & I are in our early 50s & live in southern Ky. We have 10 acres here, with turkeys, chickens, ducks, dairy cows & a few cats. We are sustained & uplifted daily by God. We are not preppers. But we are very aware of the downhill slide this country is in. We can, hunt, fish, and do quite a bit of foraging. It is mind boggling to me the free food available for the taking that people are too proud or lazy to pick/ask for/pick up. I asked a guy today if he would sell me some rhubarb..... he would not, but he gave me 6 grocery bags FREE! This can be frozen, canned made into jam. How many types of nuts grow where we live that can be picked up for the asking or a barter. We got pecans last year on a repair work barter the hubby had 5 minutes in. After shelling them I got 7 gallons full!!! We have gotten fat this winter on pecans! What kind of berries are available?? Old homesteads abandoned.... we got 2 bushels of apples, peaches, cherries, raspberries, & blackberries off one of these grown up places. We have permission from the heirs, the old guy who planted is passed on, never saw much reward from all his work/planting, but I know he is glad I am saving some of that fruit from rotting. Something else we have in our area.... pokeweed, this can be harvested from fencerows in the spring, frozen or canned, a years worth of greens (similar to spinach) for free. Why do we do this at our age?? For higher quality food, food safety,, and honing our skills. I hear all kinds of people say "Mom and Dad lived that way, I can do it if I have to" Well, no we can't! You have to have a working knowledge of self-sustaining practices, knowledge comes by doing, and we can't remember every detail of what we saw granny do 30 years ago. Frank and Fern & the growing sustainability community......... you all encourage me about the future of the USA! Plant some food producing trees/bushes....encourage/grow a YOUNG GARDENER, teach someone to forage. Keep up the good work people! Beth in Ky.

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  14. I read your blog daily. I have joined a local farm co-op and now enjoy tending to chickens, hogs & rabbits. I will retire from teaching in about a year and hope to become a real homesteader with my husband (who has joined me at the farm co-op and we now consider our twice a week chores as a "date"). You both inspire me -- bless your humble hearts.

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  15. Congratulations!!! Wishing you both many more years.

    Here's my share:

    Been at this homesteading/intentional living business for many, many years.
    In my lifetime I've mastered just about every homestead skill except for forage work (blacksmithing), horse shoeing and bee keeping.

    I'm no spring chicken.
    It took me better than 50 years to acquire the knowledge and skills that today I possess and take for granted. I was a city girl and got a late start.
    My passage to self-reliance was often a bumpy road with plenty of failures, hard work and self-sacrifice. But I never once felt like turning back.

    For now I'm fairly self-reliant - in fact more so than most of my Amish neighbors. I'm in my 60's and in very good health.
    But I imagine things will begin to change for me once I'm in my mid-70's or if a health crisis comes knocking sooner.
    I'm making preparations for a time when I may not have the good health and stamina that I have today.
    Not a lot has been written about the inevitable devolution of a homesteaders life. For now I'm keeping notes and paying very close attention to the changes that old age will bring to me.

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  16. ♫♪♫♪♪ Happy Birthday/Anniversary to you! ♪♪♫♫♪ I have enjoyed reading your blog this past year. My husband and I are of a similar mindset, though we are certainly not as far along in self-reliance as you both are. But we are trying! We bought 5 acres in the mountains of California, not so high that we can't grow fruits and vegetables. We plan to have chickens for meat and eggs and bees for honey, beeswax and pollination. We are toying with the notion of aquaponics to grow our own trout. Along with rainwater collection and gravity flow irrigation, we are looking for every angle possible on this future homestead (we start building the house next spring) to be as self-reliant as possible. I started my blog about the plans we have and the ways we are making them come true last year, so blogging is pretty new to me also. I still can't figure out how to do some things, especially on Facebook, and I refuse to be a twitterer (if that's a word), but I do enjoy Pinterest. Thanks for all of the instruction and inspiration I have garnered from your blog this year, and I hope to be reading your blog for many years to come!

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  17. Happy one year anniversary! I love reading your blog, you make me laugh or nod my head in agreement, or make a note-don't do that! I feel like you are our friends and we enjoy hearing what's going on. We have a 1/2 acre in southwestern Idaho, huge garden, lots of canning - we were forcibly retired in our late 50's by layoffs and are very fortunate to have been able to move and find this place, spent the 401k and paid cash! Food prices are going up, government is getting worse, trying to be prepared for what comes and enjoying the camaraderie that blogs and blogging have brought to our preparations! Hope to wish you several more happy anniversaries!

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  18. I'll share a few things I realized recently: Onion dip was on my grocery list... I get to the store and realize, why not just purchase sour cream and add my own chopped onion as needed? Sour cream is about half the price of commercial chip dip. Yesterday at Walmart, I stood in the hair care department looking for just one elastic band for my ponytail. Of course, they are sold in packages of approximately 4 or more. The price was about $2.60. I didn't want 4 elastics, I wanted !. Then it hit me, I have yards of elastic at home in my sewing basket. No need to purchase anything from the store.These may be simple, no-brainer ideas, but at least I the wheels are turning and I'm thinking along different lines. Another a-ha moment: Why purchase packaged, sliced, preservative soaked lunch meat when I can cook a roast, or fry or bake chicken, or cook a ham and and slice THOSE up and get much more food for the price to save on lunches. So many of us are just conditioned to purchase what is packaged and convenient and not think about how we could eat literally for pennies by purchasing some food and cooking it at home. I'm going to be trying a cornstarch and baking soda shampoo recipe soon. I want to place some in my tornado backpack--which is filled with all sorts of short term survival and comfort items.

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  19. Happy one year anniversary! I'll be honest - from the quality of your writing I would have assumed you had been blogging much longer.

    We live in urban central Texas which prevents us from doing a lot of things - but I try and garden and make cheese. My livestock consists of three rabbits, who at least keep us in hay and manure for the garden.I do Highland Athletics and Iaijutsu and running for physical strength and endurance. I keep a blog at www.thefortyfive.blogspot.com.

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  20. I have so loved your blog ! And learn so much from you .
    Im grateful to live in the country . Im new to gardening , and learning as I go . I just started canning last year , and love the feeling of satisfaction of seeing the jars on the shelf . And knowing , no matter what may come , I can feed my family .
    Oh ! Did I mention that I got chickens for Christmas !
    Anyway , thank you for teaching us all . Your friend , Grace

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  21. Hello Frank and Fern,
    I certainly enjoy your outlook and comments on this blog. Probably because my views parallel yours so much. I too have lived in Alaska for quite a few years and still have a cabin on acreage on the edge of Fairbanks. I have a homestead in the Appalachians that I've also had for quite a few years and spend most of my time there. Getting it so it is very productive (in a subsistance sort of way) large gardens (organic) that I will use to go commercial one of these days if the economy holds together and feed my family and some compatriots if it falls apart which I believe is very possible.

    Also have a standing interest in Ham Radio and actually started a course in it last year in Fairbanks at the University from a guy you might possibly have communicated with while you were there (for the life of me I can't remember his name without looking it up and I wouldn't want to put it out in public anyway). It turned out that I was way too busy with other intensive course work to absorb enough of it so I ended up just auditing the latter part of it to learn what I could and still not subtract from my grades and time in my regular courses. I did not absorb enough to justify taking the test and mean to start studying again to get started on my license etc. I like your approach of just learning the basics to take the test so that is the approach I'll likely take.
    No livestock here yet (except bees and a dog) because I still travel too much to keep critters. I've had them in the past and am getting set up for them again when I can spend the necessary time. I could make the transition very quickly and I don't want to get caught short if a crash happens quickly.
    B

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  22. Hi, I enjoy your blog. I don't check in here very often, but enjoy your down to earth content when I do. I also am a ham operator and live in the Stillwater, OK area. I have been inactive for a while, but am planning to get back on the air soon. Earl
    BTW. happy 1st birthday!!!

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  23. Happy Birthday to you both! Ralph and I consider ourselves blessed to have stumbled upon your blog! We have learned a lot and I hope our comments have been helpful and constructive. Your belief in trying things and learning things encourages us a great deal to continue our plans for a small farm to Live On and in tune with. Thank you and Bless you both.

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  24. Happy 1 yr! I read your blog more often than I comment. I think it is that way on mine too with others.
    I do enjoy reading your blog learning new ways like the hair care ones you did. I have long long hair and finding what works is difficult sometimes. I am one of those people allergic to most things that touch my skin but I am not a slave to it unless it becomes an annoyance like itching all the time like a crazy person.
    Thank you for sharing do look forward to more.....

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  25. I've suffered with itchy scalp for many years. (I mean severe.) Fern, since using your soda / vinegar recipe, the itch is gone and my hair has never looked better. I will never forget you for this blessing. Keep up the good work. It comforts me to know that there are others who feel the same way about things that I do.

    p.s. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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  26. Congratulations on making the 1 year mark. I have a question about the radios you use to communicate. If we get hit with an EMP, will you still be able to use those radios as a form of communication, or will those too be wiped out? I know nothing about them, but my family and I have been talking about how we will communicate if we ever get split up.

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  27. Congratulations on turning one. Best wishes to you both. 6 element Yagi

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  28. Hi, Frank and Fern. I will add my congratulations to the others. It has been a very successful year (from out here at least)! Also, congratulations on retirement, Fern. One more year and my daughter will retire from teaching 1st grade and will move to SW MO and live with us. We are all excited. Me because I look forward to help around here. We have only 1/2 acre but have three garden areas, 10 young fruit/nut trees, various fruit bushes, 8 hens, 1 cat and next year, 1 dog. About three years ago we decided to try to grow all the fruits and veggies our family would need. That is a big task but we are well on our way; learning as we go thanks to you and a few other bloggers we follow. We can heat with wood and this summer we will begin to harvest rain water. Can't grow a garden without water. Even with all this we are no where near able to do what our grandparents did.

    Sharing your experiences with us must take a lot of your time but it is so very much appreciated. I have read (and re-read a few) all your articles. We thank our God for you both and ask that He protect and guide you. Marilyn in SW Missouri

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  29. Your blog has a way of calming me when I start to panic about how much more I need to do to be prepared. We have a third of an acre in southern Indiana. Each year I make a bigger garden and try to grow more of our own food. It's not easy. Three years ago I raised 89 pounds of food, last year over 400 (I'm still eating the 89 pounds of zucchini). I need to do so much better. Then I think about Frank and Fern and calm down enough to see that I am making progress. Your blog means a lot to me. Thank you for sharing.

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  30. Hello Frank and Fern,

    Congratulations on finishing your first year!

    I found your blog through the Rural Revolution site and greatly enjoy
    reading what you all write here. It is sometimes hard to look around
    us at what is happening to our Country, but this is the time we live in,
    so we need to trust in God and persevere. God has not forgotten how to
    take care of folks who trust in Him. Thanks for the effort that you put
    into your blog! I certainly find it encouraging to hear of others on
    the same path. Keep up the good work!!

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  31. We live in Central California. Not where we want to be but where God has us for now. We live in a small town on a 1/4 acre lot. We have completely transformed it. We have a dozen chickens and are trying to grow as much as possible. I have tons of fruits and veggies mixed into the flowers in the front yard that faces south. Doing everything possible here to be prepared. I have been reading since the beginning and I can't believe it has only been a year. I have learned so much. Thanks for your time and knowledge!

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  32. Hello from NZ. I enjoy reading your blog, particularly about your garden.
    We are nearly in the middle of winter, but the weather is still quite mild.
    Snow is definitely not an issue where we live in the upper part of the North Island, but it is for people down South. We do have to deal with humidity and increasingly dry summers.
    I am looking forward to gathering seaweed to put on our garden. The soil on our section is solid clay and needs every bit of mulch, compost etc that we can put on it.
    I like making compost and maintaining a worm farm.
    All the best for the next year.

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  33. Congratulations!!! I feel like we have become friends by reading each others blogs. I hope to read many more years. You give us all the "kick in the pants" that we need sometimes. Just wanted to say THANKS!!!!

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  34. Congratulations on your one year birthday/anniversary! I love reading your blog and find it very down to earth and friendly. I also found it from Patrice's Rural Revolution site. We have approximately 60 acres with a house and 2 barns/sheds in a very rural farming area. We also have a pond full of fish, wish I had more time to fish! We raise pigs, goats, chickens, and Royal Palm turkeys and have a Great Pyrenees. I raise a small vegetable garden which I try to increase each year, but need to do much better, my husband and I work so I never seem to be able to garden like I want to between kids and taking care of animals. I can, dehydrate and love to cook and sew. May you both be blessed and continue the awesome work you do on this blog for many years to come! :)

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