She’s a Grand Old Flag

We salute Old Glory. Long may she wave over America’s shores, a beacon of Liberty and Freedom to all of us. Listen, and she will tell you a story of the struggles and bloodshed that have kept this country free. She will tell you about the men and women that gave all in defense of the light of freedom found in her stars and stripes. She will tell you of sacrifice, deprivation and loneliness as soldiers, far from home, missed their families in only the way a soldier can. She truly is a Grand Old Flag and we are honored to find her in many places around our homestead. Like Frank said in a recent comment, Did I tell you I love my flag? It flies everyday, 365, 24/7. Rain or shine. It’s just like our soldiers, it’s there everyday. Rain or shine.” We thought we would share her with you so that she might inspire you as well.

Do you have a flag flying? What are you waiting for? Don’t wait until it is too late.

Until next time – Fern

A Product Review, Baofeng UV-82HP

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

This is a product review of the red Baofeng UV-82HP. In this article I’m going to tell you about the radio, my likes and dislikes, a little bit of technical stuff from my perspective, and how I got to this point in life. Ready? Good. But first, some legal stuff. To do this review I was sent the UV-82HP and was told that I could keep it, so there was some compensation, a free radio. Let’s understand that upfront. Otherwise I have no affiliation with any product or link mentioned in the post, except that I have bought and used some Baofeng products. 

Now, a friend of mine sent me a link to a radio dealer’s site that I was not familiar with. He mentioned that they were looking for people to review radios in exchange for a free radio. He uses this radio as his primary handheld, so he thought that I might be interested also. By the way, he belongs to a group of people that use radios in their activities, and this is 

the one that he recommends to all of his colleagues. He is highly pleased with the UV-82. His is not an HP, but the only difference between the UV-82 and the UV-82HP is the power output. I emailed the company, they had a certain criteria that needed to be met. We did the paperwork game back and forth. The main stipulation was that I would include a link to their website. Here it is: BaofengTech.com  Again, I have no affiliation with this company at all, except the free radio. Now for the review.  

First the negatives. Let’s understand that this is not a $200 – $300 radio. The HP version sells for about $60 – $70. The regular model, non-HP, sells for $30 – $40. This is a basic, inexpensive, commercial radio. I found nothing negative about the radio at all. Yes, that is nothing. For it’s intended purpose, it does a great job.

Now for the positives. It will do anything that any of the low cost, handheld radios will do. One large positive, the speaker puts out more power, therefore, more volume. This is important if it’s windy or you’re in a noisy environment. This radio puts out more power, therefore, the transmitted signal goes farther. I could not tell a major difference in 4 watts and 7 watts of power. I have two repeaters that are 20 and 25 miles distant from my house. I could hit both repeaters with 1 watt comfortably, with some white noise, but 4 watts was more than adequate to reach both repeaters with zero background noise. I did not use this radio during a torrential downpour, but I’m more than confident the 7 watts would drive better than the lower wattage.

Not mentioned above, but the transmit button has a built in toggle allowing you to transmit on Band A or Band B. No extra buttons to push, nothing to unlock, just push the top of the toggle and you’re on Band A, press the bottom of the toggle and you’re on Band B. For my usage, this feature doesn’t mean much, but for folks that need immediate contact on two different frequencies, this feature could be a life saver. My buddy mentioned up above, he loves being able to switch between Band A and Band B. So, I would seriously look into this feature if you think you might need quick accessibility. 

So, let’s see. Inexpensive, loud speaker, more power, instant access to 2 bands. These are quality features, but there are other features also. Cosmetically, they come in different colors, so if you’re fire department, EMT, or S&R types, different colors can come in real handy. It is a semi duplex radio, which means you can hear on Band A or Band B, but not both at the same time. I’ll be glad when Baofeng comes out with a full duplex radio. This is the one I’m waiting on.

Now, in my humble opinion, besides all the features mentioned above, the best is the location of the transmit button. It is at the top of the left hand side of the radio. Well, most transmit buttons are on the left hand side of the radio, but not at the top. I have a large hand, I use my radio in my left hand, and I use my thumb to push the transmit button, which means I have to hold the radio farther down toward the bottom. With the transmit button at the very top, not on the top, but at the top of the side, I can hold the radio more comfortably, and more securely. To me this is the biggest asset of the radio for my purpose.

When the radio came to my house, I took off the factory antenna and applied a 2 1/2″ stubby, or sometimes called a highly flexible, rubber ducky. Reason being is, we use our radios not just for emergencies, survival or ham radio purposes, we use them for everyday work around the little farm here, which includes birthing animals, moving hay, gardening, chicken house and assorted chores like that. So, I wanted it to function under realistic conditions, which means it got dropped, it got dirty, but it did the job and it worked real well.

It also has a nice little light on top, it will receive FM commercial radio, comes with a belt clip and all the stuff you expect a radio to come with. The manual for the UV82-HP is far superior than the previous Baofeng manuals. That doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to hand program, but it does make it a whole lot easier to figure out how to do it. If you’re going to program with the computer, you will need the programming cable which is a standard type. My buddy mentioned above, uses the Chirp radio programming system, and finds that more than adequate. For my purposes, I use the RT system, which I bought from the RT folks for this purpose. I like the RT system, I use it for all of my radios. This is not an RT review, but if you want a system that is easy to use, works well and has excellent technical support, check out the RT folks. Now, they do charge for their product, that’s the way the free enterprise system works.

Back to the Baofeng UV-82HP. It is a good radio, solid performer, aesthetically pleasing, and well worth the money. I currently use the Baofeng UV5R+, but if I were starting out new, I would seriously consider the UV-82 series. I like the way it fits in my hand. It’s like a lot of things, when you pick it up, you want it to feel right.


So there you go, Ladies and Gentlemen, this is my review of the red Baofeng UV-82HP. I would recommend the radio. By the way, a man down the road from me liked the radio, so I gave it to him, along with the RT system, in exchange for a used stainless steel sink to use in our outdoor kitchen. Great trade! Please look at the UV-82HP if you’re looking for a good radio. Thank you for your time.

We’ll talk more later, Frank

The Line Has Been Drawn

We are going to have a war. War is imminent in this country. How do I know? Because it has already started. This is not going to be your usual type of war. The following statements are not racist, sexist, religion based or based on anyone’s national origin. In past wars that our country was involved in, the enemy, as I will call them, either looked different or sounded different. Let me give you some examples of what I am talking about. This is in no particular order of precedence or suspected possibility.

Is the upcoming conflict going to be just between Americans and foreigners? No, it is not. Is the upcoming war going to be between primary religions in this country and religions of other countries? No, it is not. Is it going to be based on the color of one person’s skin as opposed to the color of another person’s skin? Again, the answer is no. Is it going to be between the rich, or the have’s, and the poor, or the have not’s? No. Will it be between the working class folks and the group of people that choose not to work? Again the answer is no. Are there other groups where there are going to be inherent conflicts and difficulties? Are these going to be the primary combatants? No.

All of the areas mentioned above are agendas that are ready to spark and explode at any time. Just pick any one. Our government over many years has fostered and encouraged hatred between all of these groups. This hasn’t just been going on for four or five years, it has systematically

been developed and created for just the right season, and that season is here. There is serious contention with all of these groups. So is this war going to be between just the north and the south, with a clearly defined line? Or between the color of one’s skin? The shape of one’s facial features? Religion or language? No. This war is going to be all of the above. The stage is set. All it will take is an ignition, or spark, and the fires will quickly grow out of control in every area mentioned above. We are just one spark away from national, world wide chaos. This will be a war of the likes that mankind has never seen before. This type of war will not be survivable for the masses.

What will our government do? Control. Control is what they specialize in. So, how will they control every facet of chaos known to man? Force. Force people to relocate. Force people into camps. This is not a new technique. If you relocate someone from their homeland, they lose all support. Sparks are already starting to flare. As we speak, the 1st and 2nd Amendments are under constant attack by the same government sworn to protect them. Our elected representatives are, for the most part, traitors. The major news medias are liars. Pretty picture here, isn’t it? 

Force will be the weapon of choice. We’ll have no choice, they will silence the majority of people. This war has already started. We see the sparks every day, and soon it will appear to be an inferno. Rational thought will be gone. Martial law will take effect. Communications will be controlled, and what’s not controlled will be outlawed. Guns will be confiscated. Food will be confiscated for the good of the order. People will be confiscated for their own good. This is what’s coming, Ladies and Gentlemen. Most of us are not going to make it through this transition.

We have many conversations here about the coming collapse and chaos, wondering how it will play out. Knowing that things will be drastically different, but not sure what that will bring to our lives, is a frequent topic here. There are many that have written about what to do in the case of an EMP, an economic collapse, rioting, looting, etc. There are many that have written volumes of useful information about supplies to keep on hand, locations to live, how to garden, etc. But we haven’t read very many articles that talk about what happens when a group of men, whether government or freelance, come knocking at your door, kicking in your door, or heading down the road to your place. 

We’ve heard folks that express concern about being able to defend themselves, their families and their property, including the food that will keep them alive. There are those that have made plans to bug out to a safer, more survivable location when the time comes. There are some of us that have concerns about certain groups of people being rounded up and taken to location ‘X’ for their well-being and safety. Hence, Frank’s motto, “Don’t get on the bus.”

We were discussing some of these very topics yet again this morning. We are fully aware that most people will not survive the coming collapse, and since that is the case, we could very well be among the people that

do not survive. We have no illusions about somehow being able to beat the odds. Our plan and hope, regardless of how things come down, is to live to survive as long as we can. Circumstances may be such that we could live a long time or only a short time. Either way, we won’t have the struggles of this life any longer and will be in a much better place, so it won’t matter to us anymore. What does matter is our desire to do all we can, for as long as we can, and be able to ‘die with our boots on’ so to speak.

I’m sure this message is difficult for some people to read, comprehend, or ponder, but one thing is certain in this life, we will all die. We do believe our lives are inspired by God, if we but listen. We have no doubt that we are here for a reason, so don’t think this message is some fatalist, death wish, it’s not. What we’re trying to do is be realistic, and sometimes that involves some very difficult conversations, like this morning.

When the collapse does happen, and we’re all living in survival mode, there are no guarantees about tomorrow. One morning I may open the door to go out and do the chores and get shot by someone wanting what we have. It’s that simple. But there is a scenario that, as a women, Fern has given long thought and prayer to, and has drawn a line. Some of you may not agree with her conclusion, but we have all been given the freedom to choose, and she has made her choice.

If the day comes that a group of men come to our house and expect us to get on the truck, or have the intent of taking all we have, we don’t expect to survive the day. If we have enough warning to flee by whatever means, we will, but if we cannot, we WILL fight. If we are outnumbered, the end of this scenario is obvious.

Ladies, as a woman, Fern refuses to be taken alive and used by a group of men. She would rather be dead and meet her Creator. We have discussed this more than once, and she refuses to submit. She

has drawn a line and will not accept what is on the other side of that line. She has pondered, prayed, and we have talked, and then she pondered and prayed some more. She is at peace with her decision and with God, and is grateful for that. As difficult as it is to even think about, she challenges you to do the same. Talk to your family. It’s a very difficult thing to even contemplate, but we all know what will happen if you, as a woman, are taken by a group of men. It’s just the way of this world. There may be something else that is your proverbial ‘line in the sand’, like the lives of your children. Think about it. Talk about it. Mentally prepare for it, whatever it is.

We have made time for Frank to be as involved as he can with setting up our Survival Radio Relay Net. We truly believe this may save our lives, and the lives of others one day, by providing us with information about what may be coming down the road. Advanced warning may make all the difference. If you have been inspired to do something that may seem a little unusual in your preparations, do it now. We’ve all been given certain tasks to do that may not make sense right now, but later on, we’ll know why. 

Remember, your mental preparation is more important than all of the ‘things’ you can acquire. If you are not able to cope with what arrives at your door, all the ‘things’ in the world will be for naught. If you can’t see what is coming, I’m sorry. If you can see, and you choose to close your eyes, then God have mercy on your soul. It is here, it is at the door. It is going to erupt sooner than any of us choose. The sun is still shining, please take advantage of it. Prepare, and prepare now. Don’t get on the bus.

God bless you all,

Frank & Fern
  

For Unto You A Child Is Born


Luke 2: 1-20 KJ 

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

We pray that you and yours have a blessed Christmas. 
May God and Peace be with you.

Frank and Fern

Please Take a Look at This One Again

A friend recently told us they had been reading some of our older articles and really enjoyed one titled Just Grow Up! They said it made them laugh, but it also made them think, so we went back and read it. Sometimes it’s funny to reread something you have written, especially when you don’t really remember what it was about, and sometimes it really doesn’t seem like we have written some of these articles, it must have been somebody else. This is one of those. If you’re relatively new to the blog, or if you have been reading for a while, we hope you enjoy this article, which we wrote about a year ago. One thing that struck me was the question about whether we are better off now than we were a year ago. Let us know what you think.

Until next time – Fern

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Originally published November 1, 2014

Just Grow Up!

You know, sometimes there are people that just won’t grow up. They want someone else to do everything for them, make decisions for them, make sure they don’t fail, tell them how and what to think, and just in general present themselves as whiny, sniveling, dependent pests. Fern doesn’t care much for whiners. Well, that wasn’t very nice was it? But it’s true. Sorry, but some people may find this post to be a tad bit irritating and others may find it to be offensive. If you find it offensive, then let us apologize now. If you find it irritating, good.

There are many people that just can’t make a decision. They waffle back and forth, and back and forth, until they’ve dug a trench in the ground deep enough to bury themselves, and still no decision has been made. One time Frank was in a staff meeting where the decision of the day was what color table cloth to put on a table for a student event. After 45 minutes of discussion, still no decision was made, and Frank was just about to lose his mind. Frank is a very decisive person. He considers the information presented, analyzes the situation and makes a decision. If it is something that is imminent, he has a decision made in a matter of minutes or seconds. If it is something that can wait, he will take more time to ponder things. The ability to make a decision is one of the things that made Frank a very effective school principal. He was once in a meeting where the athletic director was being questioned about something that had happened. We always admired the response the director gave when he was questioned. “It was my call, and I made it.” That’s it. Situation, analysis, decision. 

Folks that continually sway back and forth will be greatly taxed to decide what to do when faced with a life and death survival situation. That indecisiveness may be the death of everyone involved. Even if it is the wrong decision, in most situations a decision must be made. Hopefully if the wrong decision is reached, there will be time to correct it or recover from it, but standing by and wringing your hands is not the thing to do. Decide and take action instead of wasting precious time wondering what to do, or waiting for someone else to decide for you.

Frank has people contact him about radio information. “What is the best radio?” And he repeatedly responds, there is no best radio, there is no best gun, there is no best truck. Frank is always polite, of course, but in the real world, he is not always polite. He reminds people of the old saying, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” You see, he can’t decide what radio is best for someone. He has decided what radio is best for him. He has decided that multiple times. And next month, he may decide that there is another best radio for him. But, all of these are his choices. We all learn everyday. Sometimes we get new information, but we can’t always wait for that perfect, in this case, radio. New and improved is not always better. 

There comes a time when you have to decide what is best for you, your family and sometimes your community. Frank has been known to tell people, “Start at the shallow end of the pool and work your way in.” If you can’t swim, don’t jump into the deep end of the pool. Frank has a name for that, he calls it stupid. Start at the shallow end, take your time. No one says you have to go to the deep end any time soon. That’s your decision, and your choice, when you do that. Frank, in his gentle demeanor, has insinuated to folks that if you’re afraid to get into the shallow end of the pool, then go back and play in the kiddie pool. Everything is safe in the kiddie pool, because the kiddie pool always has adult supervision.

This might sound a little harsh. It might sound even a little bit cruel, but indecisiveness, especially paralyzing indecisiveness, can stagger any form of growth. So, what color of table cloth did they decide at that Christmas meeting? Red, green, red, green? Instead of being a two hour decision, in Frank’s mind it was a two second decision. Little background here. This was one day at school where they were going to show a video. There was a table at the back of the room, one table, with cookies and chips, in a semi dark room. Well, I can’t decide. Green or red?? Five adult educators, two hours later, and no decision. There are reasons why some people drink.

Okay. It doesn’t make any difference what gun you choose, because it is your choice. But people will debate to the end of the earth which caliber is best to stop a 190 pound deer. It’s an endless discussion. The Ford, Chevy, Dodge debate will go on until we go back to horse and wagon. I’m not even going to address sporting events. Making a decision is as easy as flipping a coin. Now this is from Frank. Grow up, man up and do what is right. And then you hear this whining sound. But what if I don’t make the right decision? Then call up your mommy and ask her! And if your decision doesn’t work out for you, you can always blame the former administration. I’m sorry, I meant to say, the way you were raised.

Like I said earlier. Grow up and man up, and make a decision. More people have been killed or hurt by indecisiveness, not by wrong decisions, but by no decisions. If your family is in danger, what are you going to do? Stand there and chew on your fingernails and wet your pants? Can’t you see the storms coming? Take a time frame of five years and look back five years. Look at every major factor that affects your lives, and tell me if any one of them is getting better. And you seriously believe that in the next five years that things are going to get better? 

It doesn’t make any difference whether you bug in, bug out, but you’ve got to get off of the fence and make a decision. And if you can’t make a

decision now, when are you going to? Well, I don’t know what my neighbors would think if I were to store food. Who cares?? It’s none of their business. Well, I’ve read that a 223 is too small. I’ve read that a 9mm is too small. Excuse me here, but there have been more humans stopped with a 223, which is a 5.56, in modern times than any other round. What is the debate? Well, I want a 7.62 x 39. Then get one! Quit reading and get which ever one you want, but decide! The 9mm issue. But a .45 has better stopping power. Can’t deny that, especially if a man is running at you with a spear. But the 9mm has sent more people to heaven than the .45 has. Let’s see, give me a choice, 9mm seventeen shots, .45 maybe ten shots. You decide, but do it today. And if you can’t decide, flip a coin and go with whichever way it lands. Do you need somebody to tell you what kind of coin to flip? Once you make a decision, don’t go back and second guess yourself. This activity is counter productive. Look forward, not backwards. Do this a few times and it will get much easier.

There comes a time in life where we have to step up to the plate, and I’m speaking to the men here primarily. You will never get on base, much less make it home if you are afraid to step up to the plate and take a swing. A boss of mine years ago told me more than once, “It’s time to put on your big girl panties and make a decision.” Or….there is the kiddie pool, but I guarantee you, the big pool is significantly more gratifying. Now what shall I have to eat? Scrambled eggs or fried eggs? Decisions, decisions!

Frank & Fern
   

Electric & Water Lines, Day 1

This was one busy day. It started about 6:00 am and hasn’t quit yet, since now I am sitting down to write this article. We accomplished a great deal today, and have ditches in the pasture, by the chicken house, through the branch in two places and into the yard to show for our efforts. Here is a glimpse of our work in pictures.

 

We started off with a real treat. As Frank left the house, right before the sun peaked over the horizon, he called me on the radio to let me know there was an eagle in the old dead tree in the pasture. He recommended I get the camera and head out, which I did. I waited for the sun to come up, but because I was on the west side of this tree, I still didn’t get the full effect of the light. Eagles are magnificent birds. We had the opportunity to see one up close and personal at a veterinarians place in Alaska one time. They were trying to return it to good health so they could release it. The size of the beak and talons are a sight to see, not to mention the wing span.

 

Frank and Henry went and picked up an excavator first thing this morning as the company opened so we could make the most of the daylight. Henry ran the excavator while Frank and I worked on the wire and conduit in the first ditch.

 

 

After a few hours, we had power to the barn, which is a goal we’ve had for seven years now. This is just in time for our next set of baby goats which should be arriving in about 17 days.

About this time, we discovered that our neighbor down the road had a hay fire. They lost a lot of hay, but had no other major damage.

After lunch, it was time to start working on the water lines. There will be two lines in the same ditch most of the way. One will be pressurized with the water from our rural water supplier. The other will be gravity flow from the rain catchment water tanks at the barn, down to the house.

Frank got most of the electric line covered up with the tractor while Henry kept digging and I went after more PVC glue. It turns out that we got two cans of cleaner instead of one cleaner and one glue.

 
As you can tell, there are lots of deep ditches and dirt everywhere. We ran out of daylight and energy, so it was time to quit for the day, do the chores, have some supper and work on the blog.

The places where the water lines will cross the branch are full of water. This will be an interesting challenge tomorrow when we lay the rest of the water lines.

 

It will still be a few days before we can install and connect the no-freeze faucets to the pressurized water line. We need to reopen the hole Emmet dug for us when we found the location of the water line. It had to be filled in temporarily because of freezing weather. Then we will need to get the water storage tanks plumbed and connected to their water line. Since both lines are in the same ditch, we’ll need to get everything connected before we cover them up.

We’re very tired and very pleased with the progress of the day. We’ll update you again in a few days. 

Until next time – Fern

Project Preparation Day

Our plans for today were to prepare for tomorrow and take it easy. It didn’t end up that way. After breakfast we checked the incisions from my hand surgery and discovered one of them was weeping. A call to the doctor’s office ended in a visit there, 60 miles away. That took a lot of our day that we had earmarked for other things, like taking it easy.


The next few days will be very busy. We are renting an excavator to dig water and electric lines. The electric line will go from the new pole the electric company set in the pasture for us a while back, to the barn. That will be the most simple installation we have planned.

The next line will go from the existing rural water line around the chicken pen, attach a no-freeze faucet at the chicken pen, then up to the barn where another no-freeze faucet will be installed.

 
The third line will start at the rain catchment tanks and run 400 feet down to the house. The two water lines will run in the same trench for the most part, so we will need to mark them to prevent confusion.

This is another long-term project that we have looked forward to for a very long time. I will probably give you an update tomorrow or Monday. We will get as much completed as we can over the weekend, while we have the excavator since it will be returned early Monday morning. These projects will meet several goals we have. We have wanted to have electricity in the barn since we had it built seven years ago. It will be very nice to have lights in the barn in the winter, especially since we have baby goats coming in a few weeks. These pictures will look very different tomorrow. I wanted to post these today before all of the digging starts. It should be interesting.


Running the rural water line to the barn will be very convenient. We’ve debated whether to do this or not considering the condition the world is in, but we will enjoy the convenience for as long as we can. Setting up the rain catchment system will provide us with a more sustainable water supply, than what is ‘bought’ from the rural water company. Not only will we be able to provide water for the goats, pigs and dog at the barn, it will provide water down at the house in the outdoor kitchen and garden.


Keep working on your preparations, whatever you need to have ready for your family. Time passes quickly, and there are never enough hours in each day. Make the most of it.

Until next time – Fern