The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tangible Assets, Re-Posted

This weekend seems like a good time to re-post an article that we wrote last year at this time. The goals it talks about are still in place. We have learned a lot since last year and continue to do so. With our stay in the hospital, I haven't had much time to devote to the blog, so here is something that I enjoyed re-reading.

Tangible Assets

Originally published July 6, 2013

Tangibles. What are tangibles? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines tangible as 1) capable of being perceived especially by the sense of touch, 2) capable of being precisely identified or realized by the mind or 3) capable of being appraised at an actual or approximate value.

So. If I have a packet of bean seeds that I can touch, identify and appraise the value of, then in my opinion, I have a tangible item. Many people would refer to their wealth as tangible assets. The things they surround themselves with indicates their status among those who share the same ideology. Take gold for example. Many would categorize gold as a tangible asset, a means of maintaining wealth in these times of economic volatility.

Now, let's go back to the title of this piece - Real Assets. How will one ounce of gold help you survive? Can you eat it, heat your house with it, grow food with it, wear it, drive it.....? What good will it do you if the dollar is devalued to the point of no return? How much is gold worth if the dollar is worth nothing? We always think of gold as worth X number of dollars. If the value of the dollar is equal to zero, what is gold worth then? Can you protect your family with it? The precious metals you need to protect your family are brass and lead. In the long run they may end up being much more precious than any other metal.

Tangibles. While we were in Alaska we were able to increase our savings. When we moved back to Oklahoma we invested our savings into our homestead, one of our most important tangible assets.  One of the first things we did was upgrade the older house we bought. We put on new siding that will not burn and added porches on the east 
and west sides of the house for increased ventilation if the power grid goes down for an extended period of time. We also installed a storm cellar, had two water wells dug and put in stainless steel hand pumps, had a barn built and had the fencing dozed and rebuilt. We bought a tractor to help us work the land and invested in many tools for gardening and animal care.We acquired goats, chickens, cats and a dog. We consider all of these to be very important tangible assets and key to our survival.

We have often talked about tangible assets in the past few years. Our discussions have included pondering what else we may need if we were never able to obtain another thing in this world. What if the 'things' we have are it? Can we make do? Patrice Lewis from Rural Revolution has written a World Net Daily article titled Tangible Investments.....That Breathe. Patrice talks about her cows being a tangible investment. Her family depends on them for food and income. We feel this type of investment in tangible goods is not only prudent but necessary for our future survival given the economic condition of our country and our world.

With that in mind, we continue to learn as much as we can about food production, processing and storage. Our new pond is just one example. How does a pond represent food production? First, it is another way to store water - that most precious necessity of life. Second, we stocked it with fish. What better way to store meat than in it's own natural habitat?

We have a flock of laying hens that also provide us with meat and
eggs. In the past, we traditionally have frozen the fryers we butcher
each summer, but we have begun to can our meat to decrease the dependence on electricity for the freezer. Our goats provide us with milk, butter, cheese and wethers (castrated males) each year that we butcher for meat. So far we have frozen the meat from the goats, but plan to can the next batch we butcher.

We are working on a rain catchment system that we can utilize for watering the animals and the garden, thus decreasing our dependency on city or well water. A greenhouse with solar panels and a 12 volt well pump are also in the plans. 

One of the things we feel is very important at this time is to obtain items now before the prices rise even more and we can no longer afford them, or the items are just no longer available at all. This includes the materials for future projects that we have not had the time to complete, but would like to if we were to rely totally on our own means to survive.

We have been learning more and more about gardening and canning food. We have had gardens in the past, but have not been as serious as we are now about how to grow different vegetables. It is important to know which ones grow well in your area, how well they keep and if you can save the seeds in a manner that keeps them viable until they are needed. We now grow all of our seedlings which has entailed learning when to start them so they will be ready to plant at the appropriate time. Do you have enough seeds and in a large enough variety to grow what your family and neighbors will need to consume to remain healthy and able to work hard every day? We continue to buy and feed our livestock commercial feed, but are in the process of trying to grow feed for them as well. There is so much to learn and not enough hours in the day to learn and do all that we would like.

Frank has read recently that if you have a minimum food storage of six months, within that time you can grow some food to eat if the season and conditions allow. Six months. That is a long time to wait for something to grow to the point that it can actually add nourishment to your diet. Can you wait that long? Have you stored up for a long winter or summer or downturn in the economy?

Tangible assets. Have you had a talk with God lately? What do you and your family need to do to be ready?  Do it now while you still can.

Blessings to you all,

Frank and Fern


  1. Your mindset on gold, is advanced, but typical. Remember, dollars were valued by gold. Not vice-versa, as you are doing now.

    Gold has always been THE store of value. It sits in a unique place, throughout history.

    Your well, although certainly an asset... suffers from a lack of mobility, universally-understood value, and the ability to be corrupted (broken) and rendered value-LESS.

    1. Our well, though not mobile, has redundant back up systems in the form of a 12 volt pump that can be powered with a solar panel, extra parts, and if all else fails, well buckets. With the assurance of life sustaining water comes the opportunity to invest in other assets that are needed to survive, such as seeds. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I've been researching hand pumps for the well here. What brand did you settle on and is it holding up as expected?

    1. I'm sorry it has taken me a few days to get back to you, Julie. If you click on the link beside the picture of the well pump above, it will take to to the Simple Pump website where we bought our pumps. There is a lot of information as well as videos on their site.

      The pumps are holding up very well. We aren't using them very often for now, but initially, we pumped water for the animals at the barn everyday for quite a while. We are pleased with the quality and the ease of installation.

      Thank you for the question.


  3. I enjoyed this post very much. The ability to grow food may become the "Gold" of the future. Basic skills for carpentry and cooking, animal care and gardening are tangible in this modern era where so much of the population just goes to the store for food and pays HOA's to keep their home in good condition.
    We hope Frank is recovering well with his "Investment" God Bless you both.

    1. There are so many different ways to look at it, Fiona. I still think the most valuable asset you have is your mind and the skills you have stored there.