Got Wheat? Fern’s Sourdough Bread

I had to look back at some of the previous articles on sourdough to see what we had written, and how this particular journey has evolved since that time. One of the last articles for bread is here if you want to do a comparison. Pull up a chair and a cup of coffee, this has turned out to be a rather lengthy article. Hope you enjoy it.

There were two small boxes of ground flax sitting in the cabinet, that I bought for some forgotten reason (You don’t do that, do you?) and wasn’t sure what to do with. The research on cholesterol and blood pressure we did lead me to flax. There are many, many articles about the benefits of flax, this one is an example. After reading the research, those two lonely boxes of flax got put to use after checking to make sure no weevils or other bugs had set up residence. 

By the way, when we moved here we had some weevil issues the first year. Then I found some traps (similar to this one) for the weevil moth, and other critters of that kind, that I hung around the area we had grains and food they prefer. After trapping them for two years, we have never had another problem. Our bulk grain is stored in five or six gallon buckets and transferred to a canister as needed.
Once we began using ground flax in our bread recipe, we stocked up on some from Wal-Mart, picking up a few bags each time we went. Then we researched online and found some bulk flax seed that we could store in some of our empty five gallon buckets that have gamma seal lids. The first time we tried the flax seed in our wheat grinder, we thought we had killed it. The flax is too moist and oily for our WonderMill. Frank was able to work and work and work on it. He ran through some wheat that removed the gummed up flax, and it still works like a charm. We have had this grinder for at least ten years and would highly recommend it.

Flax

You see that piece of blue tape on the bucket? That is a date, which will help us determine how long our stock will last at the current use rate. When we’re trying to prepare for the long haul, estimating how long our supplies will last is critical. They may not last as long as we do, but if we have a rough idea, we can plan accordingly. 

Wheat

Next, we found a grain grinding attachment for the KitchenAid mixer, which is designed to grind oilier seeds like flax. It works well. Which mixer? Well, the KitchenAid is okay, but we now have purchased three of them since moving here. The first red one died after a couple of years so we got the yellow one. After a year the gears started grinding and we thought it was dying as well, so we ordered a second red one. In the meantime, Frank removed the top cowling to see if there was anything he could do for the gears, there wasn’t, but since looking in there and putting it back together a couple of years ago, it still works. The red one is just sitting in the wings waiting it’s turn. I guess we could put it away, but as you can see, we haven’t. Do any of you have stand mixers like the KitchenAid you would recommend? What are your experiences? We also have manual back-up grinders in case the grid goes down. You can read about it here

 And speaking of grinders, see that cord coming out of the bottom? Frank has given up trying to figure out how it wraps up and stores in the bottom of the grinder, he just leaves it for me. He just can’t see how it works anymore than he understands how yarn (he calls it a piece of string) can turn into a sweater, or thread keeps fabric together after it goes through a sewing machine. Now, Frank is a very intelligent man and can fix just about anything I ever bring to him. He can wire, plumb and build a house, learn and install a solar system and a myriad of other things, but he just can’t see how these things work. Our point is, different people have different talents and it’s no sin or crime to not ‘get’ something. Me, physics and the realistic interaction between things – I just don’t get it. Things that are simplicity in itself to Frank are like kryptonite to me. Sometimes this causes friction (another scientific term, right?) and sometimes it causes laughter. There is nothing wrong with not getting something, or understanding things at a different rate, it’s the blessing of being individuals instead of robots.

Okay, so, making sourdough bread. Our starter lives over here in this corner away from the kefir and jars of oatmeal. We discovered years ago that most cultures don’t play well together so they have their own ‘areas’ of the kitchen. Our starter now lives in a half gallon jar with a piece of cheese cloth over it to keep the little gnats out that show up here a few times a year. It also has a sprouting lid on it. Why? Well, we had a catastrophe with our starter a few years ago. I was keeping it in a ceramic pitcher in this corner. It had

cheese cloth over it held in place by a rubber band. One morning when we got up there was a hole in the cloth. Upon removing the cloth we could see a live mouse looking up at us trying to keep his head above the surface. The catastrophe of the situation is that I had not kept my backup starter in the refrigerator fed and it had died. I was left without any starter. I was upset. Then Frank remembered that I had shared some starter with a friend, Grace, down the road, who was happy to restock our supply. Lesson learned. Now the starter lives in a jar that is mouse and bug proof. One of those experiences I would never have thought would happen. You know that old saying, “You just never know.” I think there is a reason it is an old saying. And remember, two is one and one is none.

The bread. Warning. I don’t measure much, so everything will be estimated amounts. I will list everything here then show you the process.

3 cups starter
1/4 – 1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 – 1 cup filtered water
Approx. 2 tbsp. sea salt – no iodine
1/4 – 1/2 cup honey
2 cups ground flax
5 – 6 cups fresh ground wheat

 

We start with the 3 cups of starter, then to that add the oil and water. The amount of water I add depends on how much liquid is in the starter. Sometimes the starter is thicker and sometimes it’s thinner, just depends on how much water I put in when it is fed. 
Here is how the salt and honey are measured. Very precisely……..
 
We have gradually increased the amount of ground flax in the recipe. I started off with about half a cup, waited to see how it tasted, then gradually added more. Now it’s about 20% of the recipe, not quite, but almost. 


Once these ingredients are in the mixer, we start it up and start adding the wheat flour. I usually start with five cups and add the remaining amount as needed until the dough clings together in a sticky ball. Sometimes I need more than others, it just depends on how fluid the starter has, and how much water and oil I put in, since I don’t measure precisely.

After enough flour has been added, I set the timer to around seven minutes (it depends on how long it took to get it to the right consistency) and let the machine do the kneading for me. 

 

 We mix the dough in the morning while fixing breakfast, put it in a glass bowl and set it on top of the frig for the day.

One time when we made bread, Frank noticed this glass lid, that goes with the stock pot, fit perfectly on the bread bowl. Up until that point I had been using plastic wrap. Interesting.

 In the evening after doing the chores, it’s time to bake bread. I start with pouring some (about this much) olive oil on a large cookie sheet and putting it in the oven to warm as it preheats to 450*. We use virgin olive oil, not extra virgin. We just don’t care much for the extra virgin taste.

As the buns or rolls are made, I coat one side with the oil, then turn them over. I’ve tried a number of different ways to do this including using lard, which works fine, we just prefer the taste of olive oil – while it is still available.

Unbaked

We have tried loaves as well as buns, but we prefer these for the crusty nature of a bun. They also travel very well when we have to be out and about. We take four buns, a couple of boiled eggs, a piece of our cheddar and a quartered apple. Lunch on the go. Besides that, it has been over a year since we have eaten out anywhere. We just don’t like any food but ours and if we eat anything ‘off the home menu’ we feel sick. Part of that may be age, but it’s also an indicator of what we’re used to, what our bodies are accustomed to dealing with. Another thing to consider if a collapse occurs. Store what you eat and eat what you store, otherwise your body may not cooperate when you start feeding it ‘foreign’ objects.

Baked

Most other rolls or buns I have baked with past recipes bake for about 20-25 minutes. These take 45-50 minutes. The bread comes out fairly heavy and dense, plus, we like the crust on the crunchy side. If you try this you will need to adjust the time to your personal preference. Upon removal from the oven, I coat the tops of the buns with olive oil.

On bread nights, we usually have a lighter supper because regardless of the meal, we always have bread for ‘desert’. One for me, two for Frank. It’s tradition. Buttered, of course.

We just finished pouring the last wheat from a six gallon, 45 pound bucket into the canister when we made bread a couple of days ago. This bucket of wheat will last us approximately 12 weeks, which means we consume about 3.5 pounds of wheat per week. More than we thought, but it gives us a baseline to use in estimating how much wheat we want to store. It’s interesting collecting data on yourself.

How do you make bread? We always enjoy hearing other versions of our recipes, it makes good ‘food for thought’.

Well, I’m sure your coffee cup is empty by now, mine is long gone. And I think Frank is wanting another piece of bread. We have one every afternoon for a snack with a cup of coffee. Another tradition we have started.

Until next time – Fern
 

Name One Good Leader

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

A friend of mine recently sent me an article about how we as Americans will stand up to the left wanting to take our guns. This was my response to him. 

This may not set well with a lot of people, but here is what I think. Most Americans will not fight. They have become too fat, lazy and stupid. A small example. TSA gropes our wives and children everyday. What do we do? Nothing. Imagine, a government agent, while smiling at you, has his hands all over your teenage girl. When I was a teenager I would have died for that opportunity. Now, some sleaze ball government employee is paid to do it and look at you while he is fondling our daughters and wives. We as a nation are fat, lazy and stupid. We will never fight. Something has got to change, otherwise we are destined for failure.

In the following article, Fern and I were trying to find one good leader, anywhere, and this was three and a half years ago. Have things improved? No. Not even close. I hope you enjoy the article, it is from our past, but it is still extremely relevant today.

Originally posted November 28, 2015

Frank and I were having a discussion over lunch today involving the immigrant invasion in Europe. Frank asked me how the leaders of these countries could continue to make such poor decisions. Decisions that will ultimately lead to the demise of their countries and populations. My response? Name one good leader of one country in the world. We couldn’t think of any.

Name one leader that is making sound financial decisions.

Name one leader that is protecting the rights and freedoms of the citizens.

Name one country that is making decisions that are boosting free enterprise and the independent businessman.

Name one country that is providing healthy food that is not laced with pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers and GMO poison producing seeds.

Name one country that has enough jobs.

Name one country that has maintained it’s infrastructure so that it can withstand the onslaught of population growth.

Name one country that can produce enough food to feed it’s people.

Name one country that can withstand a major cyber attack of it’s electrical grid, financial institutions or military infrastructure.

Name one country that gets along with all the other countries.

Name one leader that is not a power hungry, control freak.

Name one country where the freedom of the people has increased instead of decreased over the last decade.

Name one country where bigotry and hatred has not increased over the last few years.

Name one country where privacy has not been given away in the name of protection and security.

Name one country where the leaders have not done all in their power to disarm the populace.

Name one country where the government doesn’t have an us against them (the people) attitude.

Name one………..

I wish we could.

Where does this leave us? We have yet to find out, but it won’t be long. It really doesn’t matter who the leaders are anymore. They all belong to the same club, drive the same cars, eat the same food and spout the same mantra. Some of them try to put their own special, personal twist on the message, but it’s all the same. Everything else is a distraction. You have to dig down really deep to get beyond all of the everyday lies and deception to see what is happening to the world. What you uncover is unbelievable, gets worse every minute of every day, and unfortunately, there is nothing we can do but watch it unfold and try to prepare for a survival scenario of unknown origin. Don’t be fooled by the stupidity and distractions placed before you. Keep your wits about you or this thing that is coming will devour you. Don’t get on the truck.

Until next time – Fern

A Fidget Blanket

I had never heard of a fidget blanket until a few days ago when I was visiting my Mom in the nursing home. She has been there for about a year and a half because of her dementia. I go to see her a couple of times a week. Mom is non-ambulatory now and spends her time in a wheelchair or in bed. She is still able to feed herself, although the food is pureed because of choking.

The last time I was there she kept touching my hair and the buttons on my shirt as we ‘visited’. Mom doesn’t talk much anymore. She does say some old familiar phrases during a conversation and some of them are in the appropriate places. There are times when she tries to express something that she gets a few intelligible words out, but usually they are all nonsense words, so there is not a lot of meaningful conversation.

This quilt was made by Mom’s mother and sister.

My career was teaching special education, most of it in the elementary grades. Interesting enough, this has probably prepared me better than anything besides a medical career, to deal with Mom’s decline. She gets an ‘evaluation’ on her performance every time I see her, comparing abilities on speech, movement, alertness, etc. When I leave each time I seek out a staff member and give them my ‘report’ of what I observed.

This is where the fidget blanket comes in. When I reported the concentration on fingering my hair, shirt and buttons to the nurse on duty, she said they had discussed how to help another resident that morning in their staff meeting, that had the need to fidget with things. They were thinking if they could provide this person with something to feel and ‘do’ that may help them be more comfortable and peaceful. The nurse pulled up these pictures on her phone.


I asked her to send them to me so I could make something for Mom. She was surprised when I said make, so I explained that I grew up sitting next to Mom at her sewing machine while she made my clothes.

Mom made this for me when I was a baby.

 When I got home and explained the blanket to Frank, we got to work picking out fabric and items of varying textures to put on the blanket for tactile and visual stimulation. Here are some of the things we came up with.

By the way, this light that Frank put in for me is great. There just wasn’t enough light under the shelf for me, even with the light on the machine and the room overhead light. It’s great having a husband that can provide the help I need.

 

I put four layers of quilt batting in between two pieces of fleece for the base layer. 

 
The edges of the batting were rolled up and tacked down to make a bump or edging kind of thing around the edge.

The edges of the fleece were fringed, then the blocks were cut out and hemmed to prevent fraying. I have these small totes of sewing ‘stuff’ I have collected over the years that yielded lace, ribbon and rickrack for the block trim and to attach other items.

 

This yarn came from Mom’s house.

It looks kind of funny to me, but I hope Mom likes it. 

 

 

I went through a long time of mourning when Mom first went in the nursing home. You see, for over eight years, she lived about 200 yards away across the pasture. Her illness and the regular 60 mile round trips to the nursing home have impacted our lives in ways we never thought of or planned for really. 

When this disease started to unfold in earnest, there were serious disagreements with other family members about Mom’s help and care. Unfortunately, by my choice, some of these differences have lead to permanent disconnect with some family members.

In the effort to understand and help Mom, Frank and I have read several books on dementia and dying. We have also made plans for our own mortality. Many things have come and continue to come from this ongoing experience.

We hope to hear from others how they have, or are dealing with dementia in their loved ones. There have been many people that have told us they are so sorry we are having to go through this, and we appreciate the sympathy, very, very much. What I am hoping, through writing about this, just like about preparing for anything, is to share experiences and glean some knowledge and insight from others, because I sure don’t have many answers about this uncharted path. So, I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time – Fern

Lacto Fermented Oatmeal

Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, it did to me when research about fermented oatmeal lead me to try something different with our breakfast cereal.


Two years ago when we found out Frank needed a double bypass, research about natural ways to lower cholesterol and blood pressure went into high gear. The soluble fiber found in oatmeal, as well as apples, carrots, flax and a number of other foods, is thought to help lower the LDL, or bad cholesterol, in the bloodstream. The initial blood work indicated Frank’s cholesterol was within the recommended overall level, but his LDL was 142. The doctors recommended 100 or below, so I went to work on our diet.

Initially, we ate regular oatmeal with a little goat milk, sea salt and water, brought to a boil, removed from the heat, covered and let sit for about 5-10 minutes for absorption. A small pat of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few berries, finished off the bowl when served. We also cut out bacon from our breakfast at this time. For a number of years we had a strip of bacon, two eggs and berries for breakfast as part of our low carbohydrate diet.

The change in diet lowered Frank’s LDL from 142 to 103 in about three months. The doctor was very impressed, but still wanted him to take statins, which he did not, and still doesn’t, take. The side effects of many of the medications they wanted Frank to take for the rest of his life were many and wide ranging. Now, two years later, his LDL is 98 with diet alone. Of course, now the doctors recommend it be 70 or lower because of his bypass. The numbers are ever changing to benefit the medical industry, in our opinion.

Jar on the left is 48 hours old, jar on the right is 24 hours old.


All of this leads us to the research on fermented oatmeal. The addition of a carbohydrate heavy item to our breakfast was impacting the scale and waistline a little so I wondered if we could still reap the benefits of oatmeal, yet decrease the carb load through fermenting like we do wheat for our sourdough bread. That lead me to this site, which in turn, lead me this one that incorporated yogurt into the regimen.


Now we don’t strictly follow either of the routines depicted at these sites, but over time, this is what we have ended up doing.

In a quart jar I add:
About 1 cup of filtered water
2/3 cup regular oats
Approximately 1-2 tbsp. kefir

This jar will sit on the counter for 48 hours, swished around a couple of times a day, before we have it for breakfast. There is no cooking required by this time, the oats have softened, so it takes little time too heat. After I pour it in the saucepan, a good sprinkle of sea salt is added. It will thicken and bubble when it reaches a certain temperature, then the burner is turned off, the pan is covered and allowed to sit for a few minutes while the eggs are cooking.

This old broken spatula came from my Mom’s house when she went in the nursing home.

We serve the oatmeal with a small amount of butter, sprinkle of cinnamon and a few berries. No sweetener. It’s different. The kefir adds a different flavor which takes a little getting used to, but it’s good. By the way, I didn’t tell you the kefir I use has been strained and flavored with juice from the berries, cinnamon and honey, allowed to continue fermenting on the counter for a few hours before refrigeration to consume some of the carbs in the fruit juice and honey. I don’t really measure it out anymore either, I just pour some into the oatmeal jar.

Oat husks


 

I have discovered after everything is put in the jar and stirred up, the few oat husks there are float to the top of the liquid, so I fish them out with a spoon. A side benefit of fermenting.


Another benefit to fermenting the oats is adding another form of probiotics to our diet. Since Frank and I are retired, we don’t go much. This prevents exposure to the many germs, viruses and illnesses out in the general population, but we have also discovered that we don’t get sick near as often as many people we know. There is no way to tell how much may be lack of exposure and how much is diet and life style, it’s probably a combination of both.

Please share your experiences and ideas. There are medications Frank & I do take that we need, and are grateful for, but it’s our choice what we put in our bodies, as it is for you.


Until next time – Fern

P.S. Please enjoy this beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton.

Intolerance

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

This is the weekly installment of a previous article. It deals with a terrorist act that occurred in France a few years back, not the current events going on with the Yellow Vests.

Why the title Intolerance? Some of us believe it’s time to quit turning the other cheek and quit accepting that boot in the face. So, intolerance will be a new theme around ‘Frank & Fern’. If you agree or disagree, please let us know, because I am tired of turning the other cheek.

So, we’ll see where this goes. It’s time to take a stand. Hope you enjoy the article.

We’ll talk more later, Frank Feral

Originally published November 14, 2015

One More Wake Up Call

In the wake of the latest acts of terrorism, our prayers are with the people of France, and people the world over. One of the frequent comments we’ve read since last night is, where is this going to happen next? When will it happen here? Unfortunately, we live in a day and time where the expectation of a terror attack, an economic collapse, or a government take over of the country is common around the globe. No wonder there are so many people that continue to deny the possibility of these things happening, they are unbelievable. How can our world have come to this place and time? How could we have let this happen?

Giving in or appeasing has never been equated with safety or respect of power. Once civilization reached the point of meeting the demands of people because if they didn’t it was racist or a hate crime, all was lost. If someone shows up at your door demanding entrance and accommodations, can you deny them? Maybe on an individual level, but apparently it is no longer allowed on a national level. Why is that? Who decided to change the rules? Bleeding heart liberals, that’s who. People that never worked a day in their lives. People that think it’s okay to take something you have just because they want it. That is a generalization and may include some folks that don’t actually deserve to belong in that group, but if they don’t, they know who they are, and can exclude themselves.

We watched a video by Ann Barnhardt not long ago and the the statement that stuck with me the most is that she is no longer a nice person. Nice is weak, nice gives in to the demand of others whether they are valid demands or not. Nice gets people killed. Frank and I are no longer nice people either. Sometimes we offend people with the things we say and write. That’s okay. Sometimes things need to be said that others don’t want to hear.

Recently Frank had a conversation with an intelligent, professional woman. She has a gun, but won’t shoot it because she is afraid of it. Her husband now travels a lot and she is home alone with their three young daughters, all beautiful girls, and so is this woman. When Frank asked her what she would do if men broke in and had their way with her oldest 10 year old daughter, what would she do, she almost looked sick at her stomach. What would you do? Watch? Scream? What good would that do? There are things in this world that are not nice and getting less nice by the minute. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it but watch it unfold, and unfold it will whether we like it or not.

If you are someone that is preparing for an uncertain future, because you have no doubt it is coming, I’m sure the events in Paris have caused your heart to skip a beat or two. It has also caused you to review your preparations, and begin another list of things you would like to have, or need to have, before that time arrives. I can only hope that Christmas trees will find many, many useful instead of frivolous, items underneath them this year. Things like buckets of wheat and a grinder, extra socks that the kids will grow into, garden seeds and tools, anything that is needed for a serious survival lifestyle.

 
As Frank and I read the news about Paris last night, we began to discuss what we needed to get, before we can’t any more. That is something we have given much thought today. We are making serious plans to accomplish or acquire some needed things. Soon. Very soon.

One thing we need to keep in mind is the curfew or martial law that occurred in France as these coordinated attacks unfolded. It’s something to seriously think about. What would martial law do to your life? Your routine? Access to family or friends? There are areas of the country that are having difficulty dealing with law enforcement because of heavy handed, militaristic tactics. There are other areas that work hand in hand with their law enforcement officers, because they are all on the same page, protecting and serving their communities. Do you know which kind of community you live in?

There will come a day, that appears to be getting closer by the second, that we will no longer leave our home. Will it make any difference? I don’t know. Will there be folks that come to the gate begging or demanding? I don’t know for sure, but we expect them. Will we be able to defend what is ours and survive the coming catastrophe? I don’t know that either. What I do know is that we are no longer nice people. If someone comes demanding, it won’t end well, one way or the other. If someone comes to harm and take, that won’t end well either. Will we come out on the ‘winning’ side of any of these encounters? There will come a day when winning means living another day and losing means death.

What I do know is that resentment is building. There are people that resent the fact that some people worked hard all their lives for what they have. There are people that demand to have what everyone else has that haven’t worked a day in their lives. There are people that resent folks that can’t work through no fault of their own. There is a growing group of people that resent working hard all of their lives to pay for those that refuse to work. There is a national movement to divide the races that is causing groups of people to be a target just because of how they look or talk. This too is building resentment among different peoples. What good can possibly come of this? Will people band together and refuse to take part in the coming wars against those that aren’t the same or don’t have as much? We can only pray so. But it won’t be the case in many locations, that has already been proven over and over and over. What about where you live? Know what surrounds you.

So, will all of our preparations make a difference in the coming collapse of society, or not? There is no way to know that until it happens. We only know that if we are to die, by whatever means, that we want to do it ‘with our boots on’ working side by side to survive, doing everything we possibly can. Neither one of us want to have to look the other in the eye and say, “Well, things will be okay. The government will take care of us.” Or the neighbors, or the notorious ‘they’ will take care of us. There is no way on earth that we want to be dependent upon someone else to provide when we are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves. Dependence is weakness and when the SHTF, weakness is death.

The atrocities in France are one more wake up call for all of us. We don’t believe anyone can actually be ready for what is coming. We can only try to be ready, and try with all our might. If there are those among us that choose not to try, then they have sealed their fate. If a person will not lift a finger, or spend a dollar to provide for themselves, their children and their families, then I pity them and we’ll pray for them, but there is no way we will jeopardize our lives and safety for them. We will not be nice appeasers giving in to the demands of those that would not be satisfied with a crust of bread for a starving child, but insist their needs and wants be met just because we did prepare and have food on our table with a warm roof over our heads.

Folks, there are some very, very difficult decisions coming to all of us. If you have not given deep, serious thought to what you will do in the coming days, you need to. Mental preparation is one of the most important parts of being prepared. Discuss what you will do when someone comes demanding to be fed, housed, clothed and entertained. Come to a decision that everyone can abide by, and do it now before the scenario unfolds. Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.

I can only wish I never had to write these words. Wishing doesn’t change the condition of the world or the need to be prepared for what is coming. Evil walks the land and it has many faces. It laughs in the face of death, terror and horror. Plan, then execute your plans with unwavering determination.

Until next time – Fern

 

What Happened to My Hand

Somehow, during the initial surgery on my right hand for trigger finger release, I got an infection, actinomyces. Never heard of it? Neither had we. It’s a form of bacteria that is common in the mouth of humans and many animals. Normal old bacteria, they’re everywhere and usually don’t cause any trouble. Not this time.

The infection showed up in the palm of my right hand when the incision reopened and started weeping a clear, plasma type liquid about two weeks after surgery, about mid December, 2015. The surgeon had already seen me again and cleared me for all activities indicating it was healing very well. We went back to see him and his concern was there was some kind of particulate that was in there causing problems. The hand never got a nasty, pus-like infection, just this clear weeping. They ran blood cultures and all kinds of things, but everything came back negative.

My hand before it broke open and started weeping the first time.

We had scheduled to have the trigger finger on my left hand fixed in late December, so he went back into the right hand as well and ‘cleaned it out’. That seemed to work fine until about mid February when it swelled up and got very painful. Back to the surgeon we went. He was very concerned. You see, we liked this surgeon, he was young, very intelligent and a prepper. We had already discussed some of the books his dad made him read which started him down the path of preparing for a collapse. Interesting, huh?

Well, he put a steroid shot in the hand for the swelling, began to massage it in and the incision opened up again – six weeks after the last surgery. He knew something was very wrong and we scheduled another surgery for the next day to take a tissue sample and send it off to be cultured. That took about a week. Then we got a phone call on March 4th, three months after the original surgery in early December.

‘You need to come to the hospital right now and start a week of IV antibiotics’. What? And have another surgery for a debridement – removal of the tendon sheath material surrounding the surgery site of the trigger release. Well, we quickly took care of the animals, packed up some necessities and went to the hospital, 60 miles away. Needless to say, this was rather scary. The infectious disease doctor that met us in the ER scared us to death. He couldn’t tell me if I would lose my hand or that the infection hadn’t spread all over my body.

I was put on high doses of IV penicillin for the week I was there, had a fourth surgery on that hand where the surgeon roto-rootered out the area in the palm and up and down the finger to try to clean out every last bit of that infection. Frank drove back and forth everyday to take care of the animals and be with me at night. He was beyond exhausted and never complained once, not once.

Upon release from the hospital, I was sent home with a pic line in my arm and arrangements for home health to assist us in another three weeks of IV antibiotics. My loving husband got to change the penicillin and put another syringe of antibiotics in my line everyday. All of this made me very sick, along with

trying to recuperate the use of my right hand. Yes, I am right handed. During this month I was basically quarantined. I could not touch an animal and wouldn’t go around people to minimize the risk of infection through the pic line. Pic lines are scary things, giving access straight to the blood stream and heart if anything gets through the barrier. I didn’t take a shower, just did sponge baths for a month. Frank helped me wash my hair by spraying it with the shower head as I knelt beside the tub and used one hand. The release from that pic line was one happy day. After the nurse left that removed it, I went straight to the barn to see my dog and goats. Up until then I had only been able to look at them through the fence for a month.

All through this, we had weekly trips to the infectious disease doctor, with first daily, then weekly blood tests. This doctor wanted me to stay in the hospital for the whole month. We refused and went with home health and frequent 60 mile trips back to see him and run the tests.

Following the IV antibiotics, were five more months of very strong oral antibiotics that also gave me headaches and made me sick. Because of the long term doses of the medication I did a lot of research on digestive track damage and recovery. I took a probiotic capsule everyday, drank gallons of kefir and started adding inulin to our coffee. To this day, I feel that my digestive track hasn’t returned to it’s former state. We do what we can diet wise, but what is done is done. 

After all of the antibiotic treatment was finished, I had a bone scan, CT scan of my heart, MRIs of my hand, abdominal organs and brain. All to make sure the infection had not metastasized during the three months it was active before detection and that the antibiotic treatment had been effective. The constant blood work throughout the treatment was to make sure none of them were causing liver or organ damage. 
 

In the end, the surgeon was surprised how much flexibility I regained in my hand and finger. He said most people that have had four surgeries at the same site, don’t have near the range of motion. I told him it was hand milking goats that did it, along with hours of self physical therapy. It took a long time and I still don’t have full range of motion or a strong grip. I drop things a whole lot more, but after about a year my brain adjusted to the new ‘normal’ of my hand.

Now, life goes on. I can’t say I dealt with it very well at the time, I was angry for a while, felt so sick I couldn’t and didn’t do much, got fairly depressed while quarantined, but finally came out of all of that. Life is what it is and sometimes dishes up some fairly unpalatable experiences. I just had to remind myself that it is not the experience in and of itself that is most important, but what you learn from it in the process. Being a willing learner is sometimes the most difficult part. That is true of what is happening in our world and country. Take it for what it really is instead of what we wish it was. Learn and accept, this is where we are. Then get on down the road.

Until next time – Fern

The Deep State Government is the Enemy

The conservatives of our country cannot foment the ‘resistance’ that the left is currently doing, and most don’t understand the ramifications of how their actions are decimating our country. The left is following their Gramcian plans and it is coming to a head. This is not new, this has been going on since before the Civil Rights amendment ruined many lives by enslaving people to the government trough, and taking away independent ways of life. Question: Why can’t the conservatives ‘resist’ the left?

This article is very good. Read it. Ponder it. Then come back here.

What do we do? Somebody smarter than us has to come up with a solution. We need leadership.The Tea Party? The left demonized them as being teabaggers and they quietly faded away. We can’t say anything about people of color, that is hate speech. The left can do it because they are the government, so it is legal for them. Read the article again, then come back. Pay attention to the professional, purposeful organizers it speaks of and this quote “You can’t defeat an implacable enemy you refuse to name or willfully underestimate.”

Ladies and Gentlemen. The government is the enemy. You know what we’re taught? Vote. Look at some of those white shirted women that were elected by the people. Did the voters just stay home that day? Partake a bit too much of the ‘medicinal’ cocktails that numb the mind and blind the ability to see the end results? What happened to that powerful, career democratic politician in New York? How was he replaced by someone without any realistic connections to this planet? But that’s okay, the world will end in 12 years anyway if you listen to her, so don’t sweat it.

This next statement should discredit everything we say and will ever say. But here goes. If you believe the official government narrative of the following events, then you are naive and might as well quit reading anything we ever write. Here’s the list.

If you believe:

  • The Civil War was fought over slavery instead of economics.
  • The Gulf of Tonkin event actually occurred.
  • The Waco Massacre that incinerated women and children when David Koresh could have been arrested at a diner having a cup of coffee.
  • Ruby Ridge killed an innocent woman while standing in a doorway holding her baby because of trumped up charges on her husband.
  • Pearl Harbor could have been prevented. The government knew the Japanese were coming.
  • The 9/11 damage could never, ever have been caused by two planes. Impossible.
  • Oklahoma City Bombing didn’t affect some government workers, like the FBI. Somehow they were at a different location that day.
  • The Kennedy Assassination was from one magic bullet.
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq existed.
  • The Boston Tea Party was about taxes.


There are other events that just do not fit with reality either, it’s a long list. The official narrative on all of these stories comes from who? The government. Every telephone call, every email message, text message, social media contact, anything published on the internet – like this – all of your ‘private’ credit card transactions are monitored by the government 24/7. If you drive anywhere there is a government camera watching you – stop lights, banks, big box stores, Mom & Pop stores – government has access to all of these. 

There are exceptions to this, of course. Like when that big jet crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11 and then vaporized because the fire melted everything and there was not one camera view from anywhere, private, public or government that saw it. But, of course, we all know it happened, the government told us it did. Imagine the Pentagon did not have one camera view of that big jet hitting the building. Not one. But I’m sure they have a camera view of every person, every automobile, every movement anywhere in that area, except that big jet. Hogwash! But that’s the government’s story. A bunch of guys from Afghanistan and a few from Saudi Arabia put this whole project together.

We need a leader. Look at what happened in England. Tommy Robinson. He was warned not to say something, said it again, and went to jail. Look at Brexit. The people voted. It doesn’t matter what they voted, the government doesn’t want it.

Look at the problems with Italy and France. Italy is not responding to the bully, France. Europe has ruined their countries, ruined them by bringing in third world immigrants by the millions. And, guess what? We do it everyday. Everyday! Building a wall won’t stop it, but it will surely help. The left wants to flood us to the point that their control, through a dependent voting block, will be permanent. Can’t get enough red blooded American’s to vote for you? Import votes! Legal, illegal, immoral, unjust? Who cares, as long as power and control are maintained. The government is the enemy. All those people that come across the border? Send them back. But the government won’t do that. It’s illegal. See the connection here??? 

We need leadership. I said that earlier. WE need leadership. Conservatives don’t fight back, they just wait for things to ‘go back to normal’. Well, wake up folks, this is the new normal, or Realville, as the article calls it.We’re not going back to anything. The government will continue pounding on people’s doors at 5:00 in the morning with guns pointed at the heads of your wife and children. It’s too late to say, hold on there now, just wait a minute, my three year old Billy didn’t do anything wrong. Billy’s crime was being born into a family that believes in freedom, is the wrong color, whose parents don’t march lock step the way they’re told. You know, the ‘old’ freedom of anyone being able to say what they think, not just those of ‘the resistance’ on the left.

Until WE quit being afraid of saying what we think and standing up

for what we want in our country, the left will continue to pound us into submission which will grow and grow until there is nothing left but blank-eyed, moronic, submissive robotic, used-to-be humans. But this won’t happen, the sheeple won’t stand up for anything. Not as long people sit on their couch and stare at that box on the wall, nodding their heads in unison. You know. Robotic.

Folks, we have allowed ourselves to become enslaved, pacified and subdued through the many long years of attacks by the left, which means by our government. At first we believed it was reasonable to treat people with respect and accept others viewpoint and opinions, but it’s gotten to the point that if you don’t follow them, you are the enemy to be destroyed, outlawed and decimated by any means necessary. Legality, morality and fairness don’t play into the picture. The time is actually past, that action should have been taken and it’s probably too late. But if not now, then when? When will it be truly too late to prevent the total enslavement of us all? I know it’s unbelievable to many that other ‘Americans’ would enslave us for their own purposes, but it’s happening and has been happening for years. Remember! Don’t get on the bus! It’s just that now the curtain has been dropped and we can see what has been building for a long, long time.

Did you watch the State of the Union? Did you hear many people in our Congress stand and chant, “USA, USA, USA, USA!!” Did it tug at your heart strings? The USA they are chanting for is on life support in ICU. The heartbeat of the country is failing, and soon will be in arrest, and many of us under arrest, if there is not massive intervention. The heartbeat of our country is fading. Can you still hear it? We have allowed the government to become the enemy of the people. How do we crack open the chest of our country and repair that heart, bolster it’s ability to function again? CPR won’t do it anymore, we need a drastic, massive intervention.

What do we do? How do we resuscitate our lives, honor and sacred duty to our beloved USA? We need leadership and a plan. We can sit around and continue to type out complaints about what is happening, but that doesn’t change anything, it’s just whining on a computer while sitting in a comfortable, climate controlled building. Which is what we’re doing right now with this article. What good does that really do? 

It may possibly make a few more people aware. Okay, so then what? There are more people aware of what is happening. Many people believe it is too late, and we would probably agree. We always want to go back, we need to go back. To where? Why should we expect a different answer from the same problems that got us where we are right now. We don’t think socialism will work. Why would it? It never has. This country is somewhat of a socialist nation right now with many, many social programs, and that is not going to change. People are not going to turn off their TV and they are not going to get off their couch. Okay a couple might, but the vast majority are not.

WE, you and I, need to put our heads together and support each other’s efforts to impact the current events in our country. We, all of us, need to develop a plan. It has got to start now. Remember, all politics are local. We still need to vote, and we still need to be polite and courteous in our dealings, but we need to do what we can. We need a plan to defend ourselves, and we also need a plan to take back what we have lost. I believe that is the tough part. We need solid leadership. Where do we look for that? Not in the Swamp. Look at our founding Fathers. Yes, they had their motives, and not all of their motives were pure, but they were willing to sacrifice. How many of us are actually willing to sacrifice to change what we see is wrong in our country? Lives, fortunes and sacred honor. That’s what the Founders pledged. What about us?

Now is the time. How can we participate in impacting our local government? Yes, voting is one way. What kind of officials are in office in your area? School boards, county officials, city officials, all of them. Do they support your goals, dreams and wishes for the country? Are they working to reinvigorate the heart of our country or rubbing their hands together with glee at the prospect of the final, fatal hour? The current government structure that reigns in most communities is the enemy.

We live out in a rural, county area. We don’t have city officials, but we do have county. Each election we vote to remove everyone in office unless we have knowledge of an opposing candidate that doesn’t meet our goals. That isn’t much is it? Will it change the tenor of our country? No. What else can WE, all of us, do? If you are able, can you run for office? Can you be part of the PTA? Go to school board and city council meetings? Have your voice be heard?

Remember, the sheep don’t like the sheepdogs. They are afraid of them and therefore, despise and revile them because they don’t understand how someone could possibly be that way. Then at the first sign of danger, they run to the sheepdogs begging, and in some cases demanding, entry, protection, supplies and a way into the ‘safe’ areas, i.e. our country, neighborhood or property. The current cadre of sheeple hate us and want us dead. Period. At least until their theories, actions and ‘community organizers’ call for their demise because they no longer ‘fit’ into the latest, greatest call for uniformity, conformity and submission. 

This man took a stand along with the criticism and lost customers that it caused.

If you stand up and call for change, don’t conform to the Social Justice Warrior (SJW), cry baby, snowflake, pink hatted, white shirted sheeple agenda, you WILL be condemned, hated and in some cases outright attacked. You may be arrested for some trumped up charge of hate or abuse. That’s how they are winning, attack, attack, attack. Look at what they are doing to President Trump. Do you actually think it would be any different for you or I? We don’t have the position, power or protection the President has, so for us, it would probably be worse. The Trump phenomenon has taught us something. To affect a change you have to be willing to stick your neck out and take whatever comes your way. Then, when it comes, stand up for what is right. Don’t let others beat you down into submission.


We are much more comfortable staying in our nice safe cocoon, insulated from the world and all of it’s woes. Ol’ Remus’s advice to avoid crowds is still one of our mottos, and has been for years. So how do we blend these two perspectives or worlds together? So, the question remains. What do we do? What can each of us do? Will it make a difference in the end? We don’t know. The heart of our country still beats, faint at times though it seems. It’s audible, sometimes louder and stronger, sometimes almost so faint that we expect to hear of it’s failure, failure so drastic that it is fatal. Failure is unacceptable. Final. 

Frank & Fern