The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Control - The Noose is Getting Tighter

Folks, the world is getting stranger every day. There is just too much going on to even begin to talk coherently about it.

Here are two videos we saw today that really gave us the chills. The choices we will be making in the days to come may drastically alter our personal lives. In my view, we will have no choice because I am not getting on the bus, being taken from my home to a quarantine center, or eating bug meat for dinner.

Please watch these and share any new information that you have that can help all of us make wise choices about our immediate and not so distant futures.

It would appear that we are being driven or forced to accept a particular mindset. We're being told it's for our good. Maybe it is, maybe it's not. These things are moving too fast.

We've talked for years that all of our normal disciplines are under attack - religions, schools, commerce, customs - just to mention a few. Our freedoms are being eroded, not just a little bit everyday, but a whole lot everyday. We don't know where this thing is going, but have the distinct, gut feeling that it's not going to a place where most of us want to go. I'm sure there are some good people in government. We have to believe that. But our government is lying to us and we're not sure why.

There is so much more going on in the country and world that will play out in the midst of these two scenarios that it is impossible to see clearly the big picture. The only advice we have is hold on tight. It's going to get very dicey.

Be well, stay safe.

Frank & Fern




Friday, May 15, 2020

Got Seeds?

Grow them. Grow your own. One tiny seed can produce more food than you can imagine.

One tough Swiss Chard that keeps coming back every year.

It's not easy and includes a big learning curve. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes they are viable, sometimes they aren't. Guaranteed germination rate like store bought? No. But it can be done. Even by accident. That is how much of our learning takes place. We find there are times we learn more from our failures than our successes.

The small salad bed on the east side of the house.

Spinach going to seed.
Around here in the late spring spinach and lettuce go to seed. I will let the spinach seeds drop right in the bed where they are growing. I will harvest the lettuce seeds from the pot on the front porch and broadcast them into the "salad bed" where the spinach is growing. 
Back in February I spread some old spinach and lettuce seeds in this bed not expecting anything to grow since they were older. We received a nice surprise of an extended 'salad' season. I will remember this and broadcast seeds next February in hopes this will replicate.

 
This lettuce is growing on the porch in the same pot as some sweet potatoes.
Surprise spinach
Surprise lettuce and parsley

 
Last years sunflowers seeds have germinated very well and are growing great.

Turnips planted last fall went to seed and provided this seed harvest. We dried them in the greenhouse.




Last year's sweet potato plants probably aren't considered seeds, but we're hoping this experiment, planting them in a large pot, having them in the greenhouse all winter, and now on the porch, will show us if they will continue growing potatoes. The few potatoes we harvested last year gave us half a dozen sprouts that have been planted in the garden. They are growing well, so we hope to have replacement plants from year to year. Kind of like seeds, right?

You can grow some type of food almost anywhere with a sunny window, a porch, a sidewalk, with a bucket, a large tub or other container, a flower bed, the edge of a yard along the fence. You can plant nutritious, calorie rich foods just about anywhere, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, any type of cowpea (purple hull peas, black-eyed peas, etc.), to name just a few. If you can find them, buy a bag of pinto beans at the store, they will grow vines you can train on a fence or trellis. The potatoes you can store and eat over the winter, the beans and peas you can dry for cooking later. Neither has to be canned, so no need for canners, jars, shelf space, etc.


The Seed Starters Handbook is a great resource. I bought our copy back in the 1980's and still use it regularly. It's part of our resource library.
 



Got seeds? Got food? Grow some. Any amount you can provide for yourself will decrease your dependence on others, be it the grocery store or the government. It will increase your self confidence and determination to maintain or regain a small portion of independence for you and those you love.


Until next time - Fern

Sunday, May 10, 2020

A New Era of Individual Responsibility?

COVID19 will be a part of the world's vocabulary for many years to come. Discussions of the impact it has had on countries, cities, towns, neighborhoods and families will be ongoing for many years. We don't even know what those impacts will be, for they have yet to play out in real time. History in the making, right in front of our eyes.

If you or yours have suffered a loss as a result of this virus, our hearts and prayers to out to you. There have been many difficult situations and fears that have been heart breaking. I look forward to the time that I can go into the nursing home to see my mother again. Visiting through the window with someone in the advance stages of dementia is very difficult. She doesn't understand and it just breaks my heart.

After the initial scare of a raging pandemic that was predicted to kill millions and millions of people, leading to shortages at the store, and overwhelming the ability of the medical industry to cope, we are now in the stage of trying to regroup and regain a sense of normalcy. The resulting stay-at-home/lock down orders have highlighted some of the tendencies of governments to initiate and strengthen their desire to control the lives of the people they 'govern', showing they aren't in the position to serve the people, but to control them. Some of the serfs are not happy with this. Most of us initially complied under the false narrative of the severity of the virus and pending threat of death by a virus - the invisible enemy, President Trump calls it. 

But this isn't an analysis of the advice given to the President by his task force members that are also trying to roll out their own agendas of control. Personally, I think this has been a bioweapon unleashed upon the world as a backlash for leaders and countries backtracking from the One World Government and attempt to control everyone and every country in it. Control. Ultimate control of everyone through the monetary system, the food supply, medical attention, the ability to work and provide for the family. All of it. The whole package deal. Life. And everything that it entails.

No, this article isn't about that. You can read many different articles and opinions about those topics. This is about the changes some people appear to be making in their lives. For instance. Why are the Mom & Pop mail order chicken hatcheries unable to fulfill orders until late summer now? Why are seed companies out of seeds? Why are gun and ammo suppliers seeing record all time sales and shortages? There are shortages of radios - alternate forms of communication. Why are the shelves at the store that hold beans, rice, pasta, flour and other staples mostly empty? Why are the news stories on the mainstream sites showing how to make bread, how to bake, how to cook?

Frank and I have discussed for years that if just a tiny percentage of the population of our country woke up one day and realized they would run out of food, went to the store and bought enough for a week that the shelves would be empty. Then along came COVID19. And it happened. And it continues to happen. And the prices of everything are going up, except for oil and gasoline. It appears they will continue to go up. Excuses for that? Supply chain disruption, it's China's fault, it's...... It really doesn't matter what caused "it" and what is going to continue causing our new normal to unfold. The fact of the matter is the future will unfold whether we like it or not, vote for it or not, or deal with it or not.

Frank and I chose our life style decades ago. We have worked toward this level of self-sufficiency for a long time and have realized many of our dreams. Now we are working on new dreams, how to maintain as much independence as we can, as long as we can, while we 'grow' into old age. We are in a time of change in our lives. The parallel is that now the whole world is in a time of change with no real sense of the direction it will take. A true time of cognitive dissonance where normal has flown out the window, never to be seen again. Where did it go? How did it leave so fast? Amazing, isn't it?

Now people are searching for ways to manage, ways to provide for their families, ways to continue to be independent without leaning on the government, food banks, or other means of income. Will this lead to a new era of individual responsibility or an ever growing population that expects everything to be provided? 

The few times we have been out and about in a very limited fashion over the last month or so, we have noticed more garden spots. Some large, some small, some in tubs or buckets. We find that to be very encouraging. We have heard of some folks that are focusing more on food and provisions, for the time being anyway. Will it continue? Will this be a wake up call for some that priorities need to be changed and focused on the real things in life? I think once the restrictions are lifted there will be a rush to regain the old normal, only to find it no longer exists. Some behaviors will be driven by fear of the virus and the effects it will have. Government overreach in it's many facets will be here to stay unless people stand up and install those that would reverse the heavy handedness that has shown up in some areas. At this point, I would say the future is an open book with blank pages. If things are allowed to continue the way they have been going it's just a matter of time before we are all locked down, tracked, banned and told to sit back and shut up. But that's not my focus here.

Take stock of your shelves. How long will your food last if you could never buy one more scrap of food? Without Food, You are Dead. I wrote about it not long ago. Control of the food supply can and will control you. Period.

What can you do to supplement, stretch, extend your food supply to the maximum extent possible? What do you need to learn to increase that supply even more? We have been writing here on and off for a number of years about our attempts to grow food and raise animals to increase our self-sufficiency. If you haven't been reading here very long, check the list of articles and pages that may lead you to some information that may benefit you. Frank has written extensive articles on radio communications that will explain how to set up a network of communication for your family or area in case cell phones are down. There are many articles on gardening, raising goats, chickens and pigs. We have written about reusable products you can make, like the masks that are being made around the world right now. If you have questions, ask. We and other readers are always ready to share our experiences in the hopes it may help another.

We're all in this together folks. Some days it looks like we have fallen over the cliff of no return to soon crash at the bottom with a resounding thud. Other days? It just looks real dicey. We have yet to see if more serious food shortages and economic calamities are right around the corner. At this point, I think the virus is the least of our worries. I can only hope it is a new era of individual responsibility which will lead more people to step up and take care of their own instead of holding out their hand for more while they scream about someone not wearing a mask.

Pay attention. Take notice and take stock of your shelves and yourself. No one is coming to save you. If They show up at all, don't get on the bus.

Until next time - Fern



By the way. Does anyone know why some of the pictures in our last few articles have disappeared? All of them were taken at the same time, none were downloaded from the internet. I haven't researched the problem, it just wasn't that important to me. It may be a simple fix.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Our Normal Abnormal Life

In many ways, our life hasn't changed much. We milk goats, make cheese, plant the garden, eat at home and don't socialize. This is pretty normal for us. Now that I cannot visit my Mom in the nursing home except through the closed, glass door, which we did for the first time today, we seldom go anywhere. While we were in town today we went to the store. Frank stayed in the vehicle while I went in to get apples. I wore gloves and cleaned my hands with an alcohol soaked wash cloth when I was finished. I took note of some of the store shelves while I was in there. The produce section was fully stocked. There was very little pasta, no spaghetti sauce in jars or cans, and only a few cans of spaghetti-o kinds of foods. There were no dried beans or flour of any kind. Many of the canned vegetables were sparse. I didn't go down any other isles, so that is my report for the grocery store today. It is a smaller, local grocery, not the Wal-Mart type.


A few weeks ago we stocked up on animal feed, filling every container we have to the brim. That will last us well into summer if not beyond. We stocked up on fresh apples and cabbage, too, but that's about the only store bought items we wanted/needed. The new air lock version of making sauerkraut has taken a backseat to the fermenting crock again for now. Even though it will take us months to eat the full crock that is percolating away at the moment, that's okay. It's nice to know we have months of nutritious, probiotic kraut awaiting our dietary needs.

Most of our routines haven't changed, so here is a pictorial of some of the things we're doing during this normal/abnormal life. We're still making cheese and sourdough bread, although we have started making tortillas out of most of the bread dough, just because we like them. We eat them fresh everyday with a little butter and salt. The dough freezes and stores well in the frig, so I can take out what I need for each day, let it come to room temperature on the cabinet, then cook them when we are ready to eat. If we do happen to experience a collapse, making small, daily batches of dough for fresh tortillas will be easier than trying to bake bread or rolls. Just a thought I have had when we transitioned to making daily tortillas.

Bread dough in the bowl, cheddar cheese in the stock pots
Some of the seedlings are now in the garden. If we get a frost, we'll need to cover the tomatoes and squash. 

Seedlings hardening off from the greenhouse
Tomato seedlings

The large tomato that grew in the greenhouse over the winter.

Whey from cheese making to water in the tomato seedlings.

Tomato seedlings


Carrots
Yellow squash

It's been very wet and muddy for about a month now.
This week we had record high temperatures in the 90's. This weekend we will probably have a frost. It reminds me of the challenges farmers are having with the food supply and the issues with the solar minimum and how it affects weather extremes. The Ice Age Farmer is listed on our blog roll. He has some interesting things about the solar cycle and food supply. The pepper and beet seedlings will have to wait for the frost to pass to be planted.
 
Peppers
Beets on my planting wagon.

We thought a few more hoses were in order.

Frank used a garden hose to fill our storage tank from the water well by the greenhouse. We can use it for the garden or drinking water if necessary.


The world? Our country? Outside of the virus, the economy is on the verge of imploding. The effects of the virus don't appear to be near as devastating as the hysteria and overreach of the government indicates it was 'supposed' to be. There is some underlying sinister plot in play that hasn't raised it's ugly head into the light of day yet. When it does, I don't know if it will have the ugly head of a fire breathing dragon or the boot of the man upon our throats. It is difficult to find any clues or facts (how to know what is true or not is impossible anymore) that lead to any logical conclusions at all.

And then there are the 'essential workers' that have received their "papers" for safe travel to and from work. When I hear the term "Papers, please." it makes me think of a World War with major restrictions and controls upon the activities of societies across the globe. We know a man that received his "papers" a few weeks ago indicating he works in an essential industry, then received a comment recently with the same scenario. Is there a time coming when all travel will be restricted without official "papers"?

Phone apps are being developed to track people that have been infected, are suspected of being infected, have been vaccinated (once it becomes available) or haven't, and probably who is using all of that 'dirty' germ laden money. With many, many people staying home or drastically restricting their travel voluntarily due to fear, those that are out and about will be easier to track. Why is this really desirable? I don't really think it has anything to do with a disease.

So, we will continue to stay home, order a few things online to be delivered and continue our normal/abnormal life. There are times when the vision of what we see coming down the road is almost paralyzing. Other times, we continue our daily routine, just like any other spring, only with the feeling we need to keep an eye out over our shoulder for that sinister overshadowing that creeps ever closer. We used to say the storm is coming, get prepared. Now? The storm is here and it's too late.

We would really like to hear what you think and what is happening in your area. When it rains, it rains on all of us. We are all in this together. Speak up now while you still can. You never know when something you say may help another.

Until next time - Fern
 

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