Winter of Our Demise

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

Saturday, for no particular reason, is a slower day around our house, and it just seems to be a good day to post an older article. We’re going to try this on Saturdays in the future and see how it works.

The information included below is still relevant to our times. I would appreciate your comments, words of wisdom and thoughts about how we can improve our society. That should keep everybody busy for days.

I hope you enjoy this Saturday morning, leisurely read.

Originally published May 2, 2015

A month or so back, Fern and I were driving down some long, lonesome highway somewhere, going to a place that I can’t remember where we went. But while we were traveling, I observed some of the changes that occur during the seasons, and at that same time, it dawned on me that

there are lots of seasonal changes. Plants in the garden for the most part grow one year and are gone. Some come back the next year and some don’t, but there are other types of seasonal events that happen. In my neck of the woods, folks grow and harvest pine trees. They just seem to have a longer season, somewhere between 20 and 30 years. There are also people. I’m approaching 66 years. I might have 10 more days or maybe 10 more years, God willing. But see, my season started with conception, and my season will end when I take my last breath. Let’s guesstimate and say 70 years. In 70 years, I’m a spring chicken compared to some in the tortoise world. So, you get my idea here. I’ve read about some insects that only live a couple of days. That’s their entire season.

Now, so much for the trip down memory lane. What I’d like to talk about is the season of our demise. You see our country, like all other countries, is controlled by a beginning, a middle and an end. Like some fruit flies that live for two days, and some trees that live for hundreds of years, everything has a beginning and an end. I raise goats. A good, solid, productive goat will produce somewhere around 10 years. I’ve seen baby goats born, and live 10 years, and I’ve seen baby goats born that never see another sunrise.

So, in the history of our developed world, our country, the United States of America, is a relatively young, thriving nation. I know some would question that, and in a moment I’m going to explain what I mean. But as nation, we are showing growing pains. Like me, we’re starting to show our age and things are starting to slow down. That is part of the process of being mature. One of the things that I have accepted is that someday I am going to die. Sad as it is, someday our great nation will cease to exist as we currently know it. 

Let’s step back in history a little bit. Not many of us around today actually remember the Great Depression. There are a few older folks around that still do, but not many. I would venture to say that most folks under 30 know very little about the Great Depression. Like the depression we’re in right now, back then there was a debate as to when it started and when it ended. But have no doubt, we are currently in a financial depression. Play any word game you want, or do the semantic shuffle, but we are in a depression, because we have been in a severe recession for over six years.

Let’s get back to the Great Depression. What caused it? Who knows? Who knows what’s caused the depression we’re in right now? Remember, the winners write the history books, and we are only taught what very influential people want us to know. But are you aware that in our great nation we have had multiple severe depressions? Actually it’s really no big deal, because most people

back a 100 or so years ago, were extremely poor. This affluent society that we live in today, and you quibble, “We don’t live in an affluent society!”. You might say, “I only have one SUV in front of my house.” Well folks, 100 years ago, let’s say 1915, there were no SUVs. If you had a covered type chariot for daily transportation, you were wealthy. Now remember 100 years ago, 1915, few, very few people had electricity. That same few did not have running water and there was no such thing as a Wal-Mart Super Center. Credit was unheard of for the most part. Few, few people owned firearms. You can see the pattern here. By the way, in 1915 we were in one of those severe depressions.

What do you think got us out of that depression? It’s the same thing that got us out of the Great Depression. It’s called war. But right before we got into World War I, a private group of the very wealthy and influential folks created the Federal Reserve banking system. You hear about it occasionally on the news now days. Ever heard of quantitative easing? Or liquidity? Have you ever heard that

 the dollar has been devalued to just about nothing? Some people think this is a direct result of the creation of the Federal Reserve system. Which, by the way, the word Federal is just a name, like Federal Express is just a name. It is convenient, though, that it was started right before World War I. Okay. A depression before World War I, the Great Depression before World War II, and I don’t know what history will call the depression we’re in right now, we’ll have to wait and see on that one. But can you guess what’s coming? Good guess. Let’s back up one more time.

While Europe was fighting, back in the late 30’s and early 40’s, the United States became the industrial base for the world. Remember the winners write the history books, and we were the good guys, along with western Europe that we were providing war supplies to, so that they could fight the bad guys. You know, Hitler and the Nazis. During this period before we were involved in World War II, our industrial base was ramped up to full capacity. But the war in Europe didn’t go too well. 

A little history here. We had huge convoys of supplies leaving our ports and going to Europe as fast as we could make them, and as fast as the supply ships that we were building could carry them. Well, remember those horrible Hitler Nazis? They took out full page ads in our east coast newspapers advising the American public that they were going to start sinking those supply ships. And they did. But they warned our country multiple times. Remember we were supplying western Europe with bullets, beans and bandages. So they did start sinking some of our ships. Soon the war cry went out and we sent our good, homegrown, American boys to Europe, and we helped defeat Hitler and the Nazis.

Let’s skip over to the Pacific now. We all know that the Japanese government bombed Pearl Harbor. Did the American government know that Pearl Harbor was going to be bombed? History now shows that yes, absolutely, they knew. But do you know why the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor? It’s because we put an embargo where the Japanese could not import oil. Japan was a quasi modern, industrial nation and we shut off their oil supply. We know what they did. It’s called Pearl Harbor. 

Okay, now we have a war on two fronts. Our industrial base really kicks in now. Everybody is working. My mommy worked in an aircraft plant. All the men, or most of them anyway, went to fight in

the war. My dad and his brother went to Europe, and my mother’s two brothers went to the Pacific. Why all this history stuff? Because this is the beginning of the “spring” of our nation. We destroyed, and I believe rightly so, the industrial base of most of Europe. What we didn’t destroy, the German’s took care of before we got there. The same thing happened in Japan. So, World War II is over, all of our soldiers are coming home, and everybody needs jobs.

Jobs were there. We had passed the Rural Electrification Act, so all those back woods, country, hicks could now get rid of their icebox and get a refrigerator, and every other modern convenience that their citified cousins had. At the same time we’re also rebuilding Europe, Japan and England, which Hitler pretty much

took care of destroying. Let’s take a look at things now. The British economy along with it’s infrastructure and industrial base, was pretty much destroyed. The same with most of industrial Europe and Japan. Britain was the reserve currency, but now their economy was in shambles. The reserve currency now becomes the U.S. dollar. This means that most international trading is done with dollars. At that time the United States had beyond a doubt the strongest economy, the strongest industrial base and the strongest military. You say, “What about China?” China was still closed to outsiders, so at that time, they did not figure into the picture. 

Guys like my daddy are now helping build appliances, or automobiles, or any of the thousand items that our new, blossoming industrial base can produce. The

good folks in Europe and Japan want these products also. People are leaving farms by the droves to go get the citified jobs, so they can live and work in a town, buy a little house, which they’re building by the thousands, which means more jobs, so the cities are expanding, infrastructure has to develop, neighborhoods and streets need to be built. Don’t forget your rural country cousins that now have electricity, they’re in the process of getting water and sewage to every house. Times are great. Times are wonderful. Everybody is working and everybody is happy. We are coming into the “summer” of our content. 

Southern California is growing like a weed, the valleys of California have been turned from desert into the most prolific producers of food the world has ever seen. Highways are being built, along with hydroelectric dams, and now the common man can get credit. You see, everything is growing. Except the farm population, that is. But, no big deal. The farmers now have larger pieces

of equipment, stronger credit, which means companies like John Deere can produce more jobs. The growth just never seems to stop. The whole world is trading in U.S. dollars. Europe is getting back on their feet. Japan has made some shifts from their Imperial based society to a more democratic based system. Japan is ready to take off on a financial venture that has never been seen or replicated since. But in the modern world, as of today, Japan’s financial system is in serious dire straights. They are the fast track of what we are. Their economy will never survive.

But, back to the good Ole’ U.S. of A. During all this time, we the happy Americans, are becoming a huge consumer based society. We now have more junk than we will ever need or use in our lives. We bought so much stuff from Japan that they had to outsource their work to the Philippines and then Malaysia. Japan can’t produce enough, fast enough for our insatiable desire for consumerism.

Something we haven’t talked about yet is that during and after World War II, we are the largest oil exporting nation on the planet. Imagine that. We were the largest oil exporting nation on the planet. It’s not that our oil production abilities decreased, it’s our oil consumption increased. Even though we’re still producing huge amounts of oil, we have now become an oil importing nation. Most of that oil comes from various countries, but primarily Saudi Arabia. Things are still good, things are still happy, but we should start seeing a pattern here. It was about 1957 when we shifted from exporting to importing oil. As mentioned earlier, credit had opened

up for the common man, but things were still not growing fast enough. Our currency was based on the gold standard. The same gold that in 1933, President Roosevelt legally and conveniently stole from the American people. But, in a brilliant financial move, President Nixon removed us from the limitations of the gold standard, and the U.S. dollar was now free to grow as fast as it could. We’re looking at the end of our summer season here.
Going off of the gold standard, with the unfettered dollar, the common man, through changes in banking policies, now could comfortably put that piece of plastic in his wallet. We are still a consumer nation. We need more, we need to feed that addiction toconsumerism. Madison Avenue has now become experts

  at convincing us that we need more. Don’t worry about it, you can pay for it later. Just put it on your credit card. But everything is still LOOKING good. We not only have one SUV in our driveway, we now have two! Suburbs are growing at a phenomenal rate. People are now escaping the cities, that 20 or so years ago, they were leaving the farm to move to. More expansion, more infrastructure, more roads, more electricity, water, and so forth. Don’t forget, since 1945 up to the mid 60’s we had a huge population growth in this country. Why not? Life is good, we are living in the lap of luxury, and we are the envy of the world. But there is a sickness brewing. We are addicted to consumerism. I want more. Everybody has two cars, and a big, cheap house out in the suburbs. Gasoline is cheap. I can drive anywhere I want to. I have earned that right. Debt just continues to build. 

I can remember in 1978 when economists said that the Dow Jones would never cross 1000. Well, obviously, they were wrong. That phenomena hasn’t changed any. For the most part, economists are just talking heads. You see, we’re starting to go downhill. Abortions are now legal. Marriage is starting it’s decline. Man is rich, he doesn’t need God anymore. We start to see financial bubbles coming up and collapsing. We get involved in the

Vietnam War. Remember the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution? Supposedly some of their little bitty boats fired on one of our ships, and Johnson agreed to escalate our involvement in Vietnam. Ten years later, about 79,000 of our soldiers are dead, and who knows how many of the Vietnamese we killed. We find out later that the Gulf of Tonkin never happened. It was a lie. Or as Hillary Clinton would say, somebody misspoke. It never happened. The Vietnam War tore our country apart. Some think that’s when the rapid social decay of our nation started. Remember Hanoi Jane? To this day I don’t understand why she is not in prison for treason. 79,000 young men and women died for some unknown reason. But we do know historically, that the Gulf of Tonkin never happened.

The military industrial complex made fortunes, and it did provide jobs in this country. The undertones from the Vietnam War left an indelible mark on society. During this time we saw the Civil Rights Amendment, which in theory was probably the right thing to do. But in application, it’s the Civil Rights Amendment that is now allowing same sex marriage in our country. So, be careful what you

wish for, because I expect pretty soon, we will see sisters marrying sisters and fathers marrying daughters. You see, it’s their civil right to do so. We got the peace and love movement, the suburbs are still packed, society is decaying at a phenomenal rate. We have a couple of little crashes here and there in the financial sector. A lot of retired folks get their 401k wiped out. But, ironically, the first chance they get, they put their money back into another 401k, because they’re going to make a fortune. Now everybody has three SUVs in their driveway. Ten year old girls are wearing $50.00 blue jeans that make their hips look curvy, not to mention their skin tight t-shirts, then people at church sit around and comment about how pretty they look. 

You see, ladies and gentlemen, we have entered the fall of our society. It’s been a good ride. My grandfather got to leave the farm, and go to work for an aircraft plant building airplanes. At that time women

earned their place in the workforce, even though there is no one home to raise little Billy now. So we have a new industry pop up called daycare. Everybody after World War II has a good job, if they want one. Everybody works, and we are going to have growth forever. Well, anybody with a half a lick of sense knows that is impossible. Our infrastructure is now decaying. Water lines and sewer systems in every major city need to be completely replaced. That’s never going to happen. Our electrical grid system is a fossil just waiting for a collapse. Our schools have become institutions of putrid vile. Our industrial base we have effectively crushed by sending our jobs to other countries. 

And I really hate to say this next item, but if you believe that our government is working for us, The People, then you are delusional. Our elected officials, for the most part, are the most corrupt group of people ever assembled. But most people don’t care because things still appear to be good. Look at the crime in our

cities. Look at unemployment. Look at welfare. Turn on that great educator called the television and compare it to 50 years ago. If you can’t see the progression of filth and trash, then you are taking way too many psychotropic drugs. Look at the way mother’s dress their little girls. Listen to what comes out of little boys’ mouths. If you are a decent individual, you are a minority. If a person tries to live a humble life and raise their own food, then they are labeled a terrorist. Can you imagine that? Our government has systematically managed to associate decency with terrorism. 

Let’s review. We had a spring. It was a good time after a long-term bad time. We had a lengthy summer. Now we have crept into the fall. We are a mature nation, and some day we are going to relinquish our

world domination to some other country. This is a natural progression. Are we going to do this peacefully? History would say no, we’re not. Is our government going to become more tyrannical? Absolutely. We had better learn to accept the fact that martial law is just around the corner, because if you believe that your life is private, then you’re both delusional and taking psychotropic drugs. As usual, the future is not here yet. But it’s coming. 

Let’s take a look at some things that we do know and can forecast with some degree of certainty. Are our schools going to start teaching American values? Well, actually, they are teaching American values, because we have allowed them to teach trash and filth. So the schools are going to continue doing what they’re doing. Is our obvious moral decay going to make a turn around? No, it’s not. The answer to that one is obvious. Is our economy going to improve? Well, that depends on who you listen to. If you think rising unemployment is an improvement, if you think more people being serviced by government social

programs is an improvement, then yes, it’s going to improve. It’s been improving for years. Do you think our corrupt government is going to start telling the truth? I don’t think that’s possible, because if our politicians were to tell the absolute truth about what’s coming in the future, then we would have anarchy in the streets. They can’t tell the truth. But that doesn’t mean that they are still not corrupt. And that is only going to worsen. What about our financial system? How are they going to continue to feed their need for more of our money? You can only tax so much. So why don’t they just take our money? You say that will never happen? I would have never thought that a man would let an airport agent feel

up and fondle his wife while standing right beside her. But that happens everyday. They also do the same thing to his teenage boy and daughter, and that’s okay too. Because remember, Roosevelt stole gold and silver from the people. If you don’t think that our government will not take all of our savings, then you’re not paying attention to history at all. All they have to do is issue you a debit card, or an EBT card, or whatever name they want to call it, and try to convince you that your money is now secure with them. 
Okay. So. Now we know a little bit about what to expect in the future. How are we going to get out of this conundrum? War. We’ve been at war for the

last 20 years. But I’m talking about big war. People fight different than they used to. A fellow sitting in front of a keyboard can shut down a plane in mid flight. I’m talking about a commercial jet liner here. They can shut down our banking system with the punch of a key. They can shut down our power grid with the punch of another key, and it can’t be stopped. This next war is going to look a whole lot different than the last few wars. I’m not sure that some of those keys might not be punched by our own people. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done it.

Folks, we’re getting older, our time is expiring. Hold your grandkids, hug your spouse, keep your powder dry, for winter is at the threshold. It is inevitable.

We’ll talk more later, Frank

Winter Greenhouse Salad

The greenhouse has turned out to be bountiful, and a good learning experience. I have tried to grow a number of things that were failures, but in the process we learned a lot. We have also been able to eat fresh greens for the past few winters that weren’t available to us before.

Since we have changed our diet to healthy low carbohydrates and quality proteins, our meals have become more simple, with less ingredients, and contain as much homegrown food as possible. Actually, we have gotten to the point that we have to be very careful what we eat from the store, because most of it makes us sick. But that’s another article for another day.

We are far enough into the winter growing season that the spinach and lettuce in the outdoor, back porch bed is slowing down and buried in oak leaves, while the greenhouse vegetables now provide a good plate of salad fixings.

Small garden bed by the back porch. We have wanted to use this area for a long time.

For these salads I picked…..

Romaine, Buttercrunch and Black Seeded Simpson lettuces
Simpson lettuce

Bloomsdale spinach

Pak Choy cabbage

Cress

The cress is still pretty small. I transplanted it from the back porch bed about a month ago since it had really slowed down it’s growth from the weather.

Kale

We have finally found a way to eat kale. All of the other ways we have tried, we don’t like because of the strong flavor. Here I pick the leaves when they are about the size of a quarter to half dollar. They are starting to get that kale type of flavor, but mixed in with the other greens, they aren’t noticeable.

Parsley

The parsley wasn’t growing well back in the herb bed this year, and neither did some of the other herbs. I’m not sure why, but I ended up transplanting them into pots and growing them on the porch instead. Now all of those herbs have moved into the greenhouse to see how they do over the winter. We had a bit of parsley in some of the salads, but it didn’t set well in Frank’s stomach, so it’s just growing in here for now.

When the forecast is in the teens at night, like it is tonight, we cover everything with some frost cloth and turn on a small electric space heater. Tonight is the second time we have used the frost cloth and space heater this winter. I don’t worry about 22*F and above. The water barrels seem to keep everything warm enough and most of the things growing in here are cold hardy plants. The space heater and frost cloth seems to help and we haven’t lost anything yet. Not even the yellow squash, believe it or not, or the flowers.


I never thought this would grow. We haven’t done anything special for it.

It’s nice to be able to tell Frank I’m going to go pick some lunch, even in the winter. I feel like I am providing some good nutrition and at the same time, get to enjoy the process of growing things, something I have always enjoyed.

Until next time, Fern

Places We Read with a Rant

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

Over the last few years, we have picked up some sites, blogs, websites, that we enjoy reading. There are a few that over time have faded away. We thought we’d share with you some that we find enjoyable. Maybe enjoyable is not the right word, because some of the things we read are very disturbing. Some of these sites have new recipes, for the most part, these are enjoyable, unless of course it involves cauliflower. Living in the land of the free and the home of the brave, I do not have to eat cauliflower. I remember the older Bush president stating one day, “I am President of the United States, and if I don’t want to eat broccoli, I don’t have to.” Well, I will eat broccoli, if Fern makes me, but I have drawn a line in the mud about cauliflower.

Getting back reasonably close to what we’re talking about here, some of the sites we read are by no means enjoyable, they display the events that are happening in our world, that I would like to believe are a relative rendition of the truth. Speaking of the truth, or lack thereof, I am astounded by the behavior of not only the ‘mainstream’ media, but the sub-mainstream media and the unbelievable perversion and distortion of the truth. An example. This morning President Trump tweeted that Senator Chuck Schumer is already criticizing his State of the Union speech, and Senator Schumer has not read the speech yet. I’m not picking on the Senator here, this is just an example of the way the news is betrayed in our country.

Now, I’m not making reference here to a natural disaster, or the tragedy, of let’s

say, a plane crash. The mainstream news media gives a relatively honest depiction of what happens during these types of events. Or, they do initially anyway. When the blame game starts about why things happen, the news media gets lost in it’s feeding frenzy of filth, always trying to blame somebody for something. It appears the mainstream news media has an agenda which involves obvious destruction of the decent values that most Americans cherish and hold dear. Maybe I shouldn’t have had that extra cup of coffee this morning.

Fern put out an article recently called Unbelievable. I find the news media to fall in that category. Let’s break the word down. UN-believable. So, what is their true agenda? What do you think is their

agenda? Do you think there is a way to change this? I’ll go ahead and say it now, I believe in God and a Higher Power, but besides God, is there a way to stop this decay? Are we going to have to hit total bottom before this thing can be restructured? Have we crossed the line of no return where there is no recovery? And do most people even have a clue what is happening around them?

Let’s get a grip of reality here. When a college professor in a New York Times article states that ‘Mary Poppins is racist’ because she has soot or dirt on her face from coming out of a chimney, and the majority of her face is not covered in dirt or soot, just small patches. This person obviously has some type of destructive agenda. I cannot believe that anyone of reasonable intelligence would imagine this scenario to be racist. It doesn’t make any difference who they are, how can anybody of normal intelligence see this as racist????

In my own humble opinion, I don’t think we can recover. Yes, this

is doom and gloom, call it what it is. Let’s call it reality. I do not think this divide can be conquered, therefore, things are going to get real nasty. I would guess that tonight at the State of the Union address, there are going to be disruptions. So, let’s wait and see.

Moving on. Below is a list of sites that we currently read. Most of them are of an adult type nature. Some use language that people may find distasteful or offensive. Others, the content area maybe a little heavy for people to find palatable. Some deal with recipes. Some deal with life and death. We’ll give a brief description of each one. There are sites that we don’t read as often anymore. Sometimes people just grow apart for various reasons.

You ready? Here goes. These are in no particular order, by the way. Let’s just start with a list.

Fox News
This is where we go for our mainstream news. Some of it is questionable, but of the mainstream news, I enjoy this site the best.

Drudge Report
Drudge is a good source for mainstream news. Some of it is also questionable.

Breitbart News
A relatively honest site, but has some questionable stories also.

Donald Trump Twitter
It is what it is. 
 
DailyMail
Fern reads this one to see a different perspective on some of the news.

Western Rifle Shooters
Adult content. One of my favorites. Some stories can be real hard and very graphic. Viewer discretion advised. My favorite site.

Zero Hedge
A lot of financial news and some other just what’s happening.

Bison Prepper
Adult content. Language on occasion is salty. Fern reads this to me every morning. A different level of analysis that we enjoy. Also one of my favorite reads. Again, adult content.

Woodpile Report
Ol’ Remus is a weekly. Late Monday night or Tuesday morning. Quality content. A first class read.

Rural Revolution
Homesteading blog. Good information. Fern has enjoyed reading Patrice for years.

5 Acres & A Dream 
Another homesteading blog. Leigh is an author and is very enjoyable to read. She and her husband work hard at being self-sufficient.

Mom’s Scribbles
Vicki lives in an apartment and still tries to prepare for what’s coming. She has some interesting perspectives Fern enjoys.

Confessions of a Crazed Cattlewoman 
Fiona and Ralph have a homestead and occasionally share their adventures. 

Gabe Suarez
Articles about home safety, shooting. Adult content. Always proper. Some good advice.

The Z Blog
A different perspective from a higher thinking level about events happening around us.

The Burning Platform
News stories, various topics.

Bushbeater
I use this site for radio information. He has other information from a military type perspective.

These are just some of the sites that we read, and there are probably some that we’ve missed. That happens when you get old. If you have some favorite sites, please share. If you find some of these to be offensive, I genuinely apologize. I don’t expect everyone to like what I like. I hope you find something here that you enjoy. Please share, really, sites that you like whether it’s recipes or news, and we’ll all take a look.

We’ll talk more later, Frank

Homestead Delusions

It takes a long time for a big ship to turn around, or even change course. So, let’s look back at some thoughts we have posted before. What’s coming is still coming. That ship is still coming. Here is an article we wrote a while back. Hope you enjoy.

Originally posted November 25, 2013

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

You think you’re going to move out to the country and be totally self-sufficient? That is not going to happen. We do many things that decrease our reliance on the ‘things from the world’ but we cannot do it all. Here is a reality check.


So you’re going to move out into the woods and build you a cabin. You’re going to trap that fresh spring water. Hunt and live off of the land. What a great life! It is if you’re on a Hollywood set somewhere. I’m sorry. Hate to burst anybody’s bubble. But it’s just not going to happen.

1972 on Pinterest | Cabaret, The Godfather and Helmut NewtonMost of us have seen the older movie, Jeremiah Johnson. It’s a great movie about a man that is not happy with the way life was and, “It should have been different.” Like I said, great movie, beautiful scenery, good story line, but that’s the Hollywood version of it.

The book version, Mountain Man, by Vardis Fisher goes into more detail about the story. In the book, on occasion, he has contact with and trades with the Indians. He goes to a town for items like flour, tobacco, whiskey, black powder and the whole gamut of things that a person cannot make for themselves.

When I say cannot make for themselves, yes, most things can be made. An axe head, for example, can be manufactured. But it’s one of those skills that takes years to acquire, and you’re not going to carry the equipment necessary to forge

  an axe head on the back of a horse heading up the side of a mountain. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to be totally self-sufficient, but man has been trading with other men since the times of Cain and Able. 

So. I think a person could do it for a couple of years. But it’s still going to be real, real difficult. You have to have vegetables. What I mean by that is a lot of us tend

to think that man lives by meat alone, and I happen to be one of them. But I remember reading an account of Lewis and Clark when they were just shy of the Pacific Ocean and were holed up for a winter. The men complained about only having elk meat to eat. In our time right now, elk is considered one of the finer meats of the deer family. But can you imagine eating it for every meal for weeks and weeks? These guys weren’t a bunch of little, sissy boys. The Lewis and Clark team were veteran, experienced outdoorsmen.

A number of years back, we were camping with another couple in an extremely remote part of Alaska. This guy was a biologist with the Federal Fish and Game in the area. I was about to drink from a fresh stream flowing from the melting snow when he advised me, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” It seems that most wild animals have been exposed to man and the viruses and parasites that he carries, and that there are very, very few safe streams to drink out of anywhere. So I took his advice and filtered my water.

Now what about that log cabin you’re going to build? Do we even need to talk about nails, screws, windows, doors, flooring? So, let’s say you don’t build a cabin and you have a nice little homestead. Do you know how to garden? I know it seems that you stick a seed in the ground and when it grows up it will feed you. But did you know that rabbits like squash? And so do deer. And I’m not sure, but probably even elk like a nice, tasty squash. Not to mention the gazillion bugs that also like squash. Okay. So. Too much water. Too little water. Too hot. Too cold. Give it some

thought. What kind of fertilizer are you going to use? Are you going to buy it by the ton at the local co-op? Are you going to scrape it out of your chicken house? Oh, by the way, chicken manure has a very high nitrogen content and you can’t apply it directly to your future squash plant, it will burn it. That’s assuming you have a chicken house and you have chickens and you have chicken feed. 

Yesterday I doctored a chicken’s hiney. There is a gland right at the top of the tail of a chicken’s hiney. And for some reason, I don’t know why, chickens like to peck

this area. Occasionally, when pulling out a feather there will be a little blood spot. The color red to a chicken is similar to a matador’s cape to a bull. Which is the reason you don’t see ranchers wearing red shirts, but that’s a different story. I just made that up about the rancher. But the chicken blood, is real. Chickens will obsessively peck at the color red until they eat that chicken. So, do you have Pick No More in your pocket to treat that chicken’s hiney? Didn’t think so. What are you going to do?

Okay, but, back to the chicken manure that you can’t put in the garden because it will burn the seed. What are you going to use? Compost? Yep, compost will work.

 I’ll just get me one of those little green barrels and fill it up with organic matter and twirl it around once a week. Through the magic of mother nature and decomposition, you have compost. But you open up your little plastic barrel and it looks just like it did when you put it in there. Well, gee willickers! I guess mother nature is smarter than I am. I have tried to compost unsuccessfully for decades. I know the guy on the TV gardening show makes it looks easy, but remember they have the ability to edit, I don’t. Could I learn how to compost? Probably. Have I ever been successful? No. 

That squash looks a little tougher to grow all the time, doesn’t it? When I’m spending all day long trying to forge that ax head, I’m probably not going to have a lot of time for that squash seed. And I’m getting real tired of eating elk meat, but by golly, I’m going to get that ax head made if it’s the last thing I ever do. And it might be the last thing you ever do.

Okay. So we decide to give up and we’re going to drive down the hill in the car where the gasoline came from the Middle East, transported in a super tanker

made somewhere in Greece, with an electronics navigation system made by a Japanese company outsourced to China. And what about the tires on that car? The good Lord only knows where the tires were manufactured, but the rubber for the tire came from somewhere in some jungle that I can’t say. Gettin’ hungry yet? By the way, the Lewis and Clark expedition was complaining about eating boiled elk, not barbecued. So, how is that squash seed doing?

You want to be self-sufficient? Are you going to develop a photovoltaic cell for your solar panel? Okay. So you don’t have a photovoltaic cell for your solar panel, and you’re going to eat off of a wood burning stove. Where are you going to get the wood? I know, I know! You’re going to chop the tree down with that imaginary ax head that you never got forged. Then you’re going to cook boiled elk and squash for dinner.

Now what I’ve done here is taken two items, a squash seed and an axe head. Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of items that are in our houses and cars everyday that we take for granted? Nuts, bolts, thread, wires, metal, plastic, wood, and the list is endless. If you want to read a good series, read Laura Ingalls Wilder – about seven or eight little books. It will give you a pretty good idea and perspective about a self-sustaining type of living. These were tough, tough people.

Okay. So. Let’s say you have a house, a chicken pen, you’ve got some goats, your garden’s growing, you’ve had some water wells dug and they’re producing. Now you’ve got a chicken pen for your chickens. For your goats you’ve got a barn, corral and adequate fencing. And you’re good at repairing your fence that your neighbors cut during deer season. Life is good. 

Then one day here comes walking up the tax man. You will never, ever be totally self-sufficient. Not to mention all of the items that you use every day of your life. At some time or another, most will need to be replaced. And that is if you have good health, no problems, you never need to go to a dentist or doctor or a psychiatrist. Okay.


But I want to let you know that it is fun trying to be self-sufficient. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

We’ll talk more later. Frank