Open Thread, October 3, 2020

Well, folks. The world still turns and gets stranger every single day. There are many people that daily outline the events taking place around us – political, criminal, availability of everything from food to ammo to canning supplies to baby chicks to anything, you name it. 

Right now, and all day everyday, we request your prayers beseeching the Almighty for the quick, total recovery of our President and his beloved First Lady, President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.

The turmoil, unrest, and uncertainty of the future of our country appears to grow everyday. Every single day. There is something that happens, information that comes to light, or the placement of one more piece of a puzzle that is so deep and wide that it truly seems beyond the human mind to fathom.

So we step back, take a breath and attempt to decipher what is real, what is conjecture, opinion or outright lies and fabrications. Then we go outside and enjoy what we have been blessed with. A beautiful place to live. Flowers. Hummingbirds. The final harvesting of the garden. 

The sweet potatoes are dug and curing in the greenhouse. We grew three varieties to compare productivity and flavor. We will use those potatoes and plants for next year’s crop.

The only other things left in the garden are okra and peppers, which are declining since we are already having lows in the 40’s and 50’s. The turnip greens are growing well, they like the cool weather. The spinach is trying to grow, something killed all of the lettuce and it needs to be replanted. Yes, we are still growing some food stuffs. But it’s going to be an early winter this year, or so I have been feeling for about a month now. I would recommend you stock as deep as you can and prepare for a long, cold winter. Just a feeling.

We are canning chicken today. Baking the last dozen we had in the freezer and getting them all on the shelf. Next week we will start butchering our older laying hens to can as well. The young hens are laying well and we are over run with eggs. We also have another batch of young chicks that will start laying in January. So we have meat and eggs on the menu for part of a future food supply.

The goats are drying up. Three does are due in January. One more doesn’t seem to be bred or show any indication of doing so. We don’t know what is going on with her. Braum’s (an ice cream store in our area) has started selling A2 milk which is a very pleasant surprise. Our vet is drinking it with great success. He hasn’t been able to drink milk in years due to a gut issue. That proves to me that there really is something to the A1/A2 issue. We are buying milk from Braum’s to get us to January and our own fresh supply again.

Just walking into a store now days is a strange, eerie experience. Half of the people look at each other like they are scared to be around anyone, another half is wearing masks and doesn’t like the ones that aren’t, the other half just tries to act normal, but hardly anyone talks. It’s quiet and suspicious. I know that’s three halves, but you’ll just half to deal with it.  Just like living in this dystopian virus controlled world.

My mom is now on hospice and continues her slow steady decline. I haven’t been able to go into the nursing home to see her since March 12th. It kills me to go see her through the window and not be able to touch her and hug her. Knowing there are hundreds or thousands of others in the same predicament doesn’t make it any easier, but I am very empathetic to the pain it causes so many of us in these days and times. A person we know just lost a healthy, active parent with underlying conditions to this virus. It hits close to home since they were younger than Frank. 

Pray for our President and First Lady for there are those that take joy in their sickness. These people that wish our President and First Lady harm are part of the deep, entrenched, putrid, decay of our country. If they win the election, if they take over, we are doomed. If you are not prepared for either outcome, I fear for you. 

Please share what is going on in your neck of the woods. We are all in this together and we all need help from each other. Please share. Be safe. Stay healthy. Be extremely vigilant. Use discernment in all you read, watch and believe. Pray for guidance always.

Until next time – Fern

36 thoughts on “Open Thread, October 3, 2020

  1. Vickie, I am so sorry for your loss! We lost our home, beautiful forests, and gardens to wildfire 7 years ago. It is so much work to rebuild but we have done it with the help of our church, friends, neighbors and God! I wish to encourage you as you embark on this journey that God holds it all and you have nothing to fear! Blessings!

  2. Dear Fern and Frank, I pray for you mom. I work contract labor in the nursing home, so I know how painful it is, and I pray for you. It is a terrible situation. I believe there could be better solutions, but I am not in charge. Hang in there. God bless you. Like others have said, our garden was ok, but not our best, or worst. Working on building better compost now. Near the end of our growing season here in the Ozarks. Covered my sweet potatoes and squash as it will be cold tonight. Mostly it has been a mild fall. Deer season approaches. Life and death go on. I have been doing more reading. Especially the bible. Get out and vote, if the dims win we are doomed. Take care,

  3. Every day is a little stranger than the one before,for sure. With only 24 days to election day and the speaker of the House of Representatives going all out to get President Trump out of office things are getting just plain crazy.With all the looniness going on we have been trying to fill any holes we see in our preparations. Prices are going up so we are buying ,within our budget, things that we know we will use or need . I was fortunate to get a free cord of firewood to add to the storage and also about 15 yards of manure.Our garden did okay but not real well this year. We canned everything we could and there are still some tomatos,peppers, squash and carrots to harvest. We also bought a whole hog and it is now resting in our freezer.This is 2 years of pork for us.The situation with your mother is a heartbreaker . We pray for your peace and comfort in this very difficult time.We are planning to hunker down for awhile around election time. The storm clouds are fast approaching us and we will do our best to stay as dry as possible . We wish everyone good health,safety and comfort as we all move forward in our lives.Bluesman

  4. We had a really hot summer out here in the Wild, Wild West. On top of that, we had a late rainy season, which pushed the start of the garden back until almost the \”why bother\” point. On top of THAT, because of the late rains, the brush grew well, producing a bumper crop of rabbits, which had their way with much of the garden. The brush also fed fires, pretty much all summer long. Am I lamenting? No. God told me a while back that something was coming, and that I should prepare. This year, as a whole, has taught me much about what I should expect; lousy growing seasons, widespread sickness, and government overreach. God is teaching me, and I'm thankful!'Sorry to hear that you couldn't be with your mom. We've had relatives end up in the same situation; not in hospice, but stuck in nursing homes, only to find out that the place is infected, or that THEY are infected. God be praised, we've not lost anyone. We've had state-mandated mask requirements pretty much since the start of this thing. Our \”governor\” is power drunk, and loving every minute of it. For the record, his hair is perfect… just like his Aunt Pelosi…I, too, pray that God's people will return to Him.. before it's too late… I'm praying that he will save us, even if there are only ten (righteous people) found here (Gen 18:32)… God bless and stay ahead of things!

  5. Vickie, Prayers are going out for you from out here in the Wild, Wild West, where the fires have been going almost nonstop for months. God will prosper you. Don't lose hope…

  6. Thank you for sharing Diwaker. It is always interesting to hear from people around the globe. And thank you for your prayers for our President and his wife. We need him to continue leading our country.Blessings to your congregation and their efforts. Stay safe and healthy.Fern

  7. Vickie, I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your home and all you poured into it. That has to be a very difficult situation, from home to hotel. I can't imagine.You and your future are in our prayers.Fern

  8. Now, CQ, I would rather you didn't agree about an early, hard winter. I would rather just be wrong. (-:Bursting at the seams is a good thing when it comes to your food supply.I'm very sorry you haven't been able to see your grandchildren. It's another part of the cards we've been dealt. Blessings to you and yours, Fern

  9. Please see the previous reply. Our state's rules and regulations do not allow in person visits.I'm glad you've been able to see your Mom. It is a blessing for you and her.Fern

  10. The regulations of our state prevent an in person visit until my Mom is in the process of dying. Regardless of my feelings or opinions, these are the laws/rules of our area. It's a strange situation, but there are many, many strange situations happening around our area, our country and the world.This is just a small part of what we all have to deal with right now and probably for years to come. It's part of the survival aspect of being prepared and being able to deal with whatever situation comes our way. These are the cards we have been dealt and we will play them the best we can.Fern

  11. North GA, sounds like you have your food supply in a continuous rotation which is a very valuable skill. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Avoid the choppy waters, stay dry.If there is anything you need to obtain that is available, get it while you can.Fern

  12. My sentiments, too. We try to enjoy each and everyday while continuing to improve our food supply, being vigilent and keeping our wits about us.We have been harvesting and drying pepper and okra seeds. Almost ready to bring the sweet potatoes in. They have been curing in the greenhouse. The turnip greens in the garden are going to provide the first harvest today. Next up is to begin butchering our older hens. We put 48 pints of chicken out of the freezer and onto the shelf last week and really enjoy looking at them and all the meals they represent.Keep your eyes peeled and avoid all bus rides.Fern

  13. Hello Frank and Fern. I am a Pastor fro Mumbai India. I am glad to stop by your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I am also blessed and feel privileged and honoured to get connected with you as well as know you as christians and about your life on the farm. I have enjoyed going through your post and specially liked the display of picture of a praying woman seeking God save your land from those who seek to destroy it. It is a very moving picture humbling to seek Him,pray, humble and trun away from wicked ways and then the Lord says I will hear from heaven and forgive your sin and heal your land. We as a church have before this virus started playing havoc and destroying lives of people that is right from the beginning of this year took 2nd Chronicles 7:14 as the verse for the year and started focusing on this verse as if God told us before the out break of this Pendamic. I am sure the Lord is still waiting for His people from around the world to turn to Him.Be assured of our prayers for your President Trump and his wife. Pray also for the re-election of your President in November. Also be assured of our prayers for your mother who is in Nursing Home whom you did not meet since March and did not have opportunity to hug her. I love getting connected with the poeple of God around the globe to be encouraged strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 41yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted. We also encouage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. We would love to have young people from your family, friends or church circle to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. God's richest blessings on you your family and friends also wishing you a blessed and a Christ centered rest of the year 2020. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)scom and my name is Diwakar Wankhede Since you have your email id is given, I will drop a line and so that you will be able to visit your blog post.

  14. Thank you, ma'am. Every time I start to feel a bit cocky about my gardening skills, I am quickly put in my place. I write The Southern Agrarian blog – SouthernAgrarian(dot)com – and that forces me to dig a bit deeper than I otherwise might. I try to limit the number of different varieties to just a few that I have proven in my garden, so that makes it easier also. Being very active in our local prepping group also helps.

  15. I am scared. I have spent the last six months preparing for what I feel is going to be a very rough winter. I had canned enough protein and vegetables to last until at least April. I had purchased rice, flour, beans, sugar, salt, etc., and sucked them all up in Foodsaver bags. I had a good supply of paper towels and toilet paper, laundry detergent, toothpaste and body soap. Then, on September 8th, a wildfire took our home and everything we owned on this earth. We are living in a hotel at the mercy of FEMA. Though I know we are blessed to be alive, I'm still mourn the loss of our off-grid home, the beauty of our forest, and the security I felt just the day before the fire. I pray for our president daily and that our country will heal, but when I hear someone say that the president gets what he deserves, I am saddened and angered at their total disrespect for our country! I also pray that my husband and I will find a way to a new life, though we are both in our 60's and starting all over again will be hard. I will pray for your mom, that she will be strong enough to live a better life post covid!

  16. I am so sorry to hear the illness of your mother. I have lost both my parents long ago and it is a truly difficult and heart breaking part of life. My prayers as always are with you and your entire family. Autumn has definitely arrived here with cooler temperatures and I share your thoughts of an early and particularly hard winter. Both my freezers are bursting at the seams as is my pantry. Most of the summer spent canning, freezing and dehydrating everything I could get my hands on helped to keep my mind off of not being able to spend time with my grandchildren this year. I continue to pray for better times.

  17. Oh Fern, I am so sorry to hear this. Please ask the nursing home if they'll let you in. I've been able to see my Mom at her nursing home in Virginia since May. They have separate arrangements for every level of care – but those on Hospice have been able to have family visit them in their rooms. We've had outdoor visits with my Mom. I'm hoping we get to move indoors soon. Prayers for both of you.

  18. In Oregon, once a person starts hospice, facilities are required to allow family members to visit. Masks are required and only one family member is allowed at a time & must be escorted to & from the resident’s room. Perhaps your state has something similar. The visits where we could touch & hug my Mom brought great comfort before she passed last month.

  19. Oh my gosh Fern! I think the point of not being able to see your mom was to not put her at risk of getting Covid 19. Now that she is on Hospice does it really matter? When my mother-in-law was put on hospice her daughter wanted to take her in to get her teeth cleaned. We only had 3 weeks to be with her and there were better things to do than get her teeth cleaned. Can you reason with her care takers and go in and hold her hand for a few minutes? This is all so very heart breaking.Shirley

  20. I'm sorry to hear about your mother and the visitation restrictions. In institutionalized settings, individuals lose the ability to make their own decisions about risk tradeoffs, to at least some degree. The people who set the policies are often not impacted by them. It's a dilemma.I do not have tomatoes this year, but in years past, I have often gotten a fall crop. They faded in the mid-late summer and stopped producing, then would set more in September. Frost would come before they could ripen on the vine. This year, the weather here has been relatively cool, as well. An early frost, followed by a cold winter, would not surprise me.I have new laying hens (hatched early May) who aren't laying yet. They have what seems to be a good rooster with them–he's not at all aggressive toward me. Hopefully they'll be producing soon.After 6 months, freezers have started coming back into stock, so I picked one up, which has expanded my food storage options (albeit in a more vulnerable way).Many things have come back into stock, but choppy water is just ahead.

  21. Fern, both my parents are living on a \”memory unit\” and, while it's really much better than some places, there is still the forced physical isolation. It's caused my father to become much worse, terribly aggressive toward my mom and the caregivers. I pray for all those trapped in this situation.

  22. My husband introduced me to Dr Coleman's videos. VERY insightful, timely, and helpful.Thanks for sharing the link. I got so wrapped up in things here, I neglected to share it out.

  23. Good to hear from you! Sure wish you could hug your mom — you both would benefit. The biggest change for us is that we finally found a church. Praying and watching services at home cannot compare to being physically present and engaged in worship! It has been an enormous blessing! We also began a friendship with a couple we sort of knew from our beekeeping club. They are like minded in all ways and we have a great time in their company. Of course we are still working on all things physical, but spiritually and emotionally I think we are in a better place than we have been for a long time.God bless us all! God bless America!

  24. I am doing the opposite of most folks now. I quit growing any vegetables in the garden, and am now focused on renewing and building up the soil for a time when my family will depend on the garden for food. For now, there is still food in the grocery stores and food in our pantry.The garden is now growing cover crops to build the soil and kill off the pest population. The cool weather crop will be rye, and the Sunn Hemp that is growing now will be mowed and tilled. I plan to keep doing that over and over for the next year – or until I see the real need to go back to planting food.The storm that we've been watching in the distance is almost upon us now. Even in the midst of the storm, the chickens still provide us with eggs, the roses still smell sweet, the grandchildren still play croquet in the yard, and God is still good to us.

  25. I encourage you to watch the video by this English gentleman named Vernon Coleman. The video is on “Brandnewtube” which is completely separate from youtube. He discusses a bit of everything bad going on in the world and offers methods of fighting back. Watch the video and pass around please.Everything that Has Happened Was Meant to Happen

  26. So good to hear from you. I do appreciate the time you spend writing these articles. We need to hear from each other. The time since March and the shutdown has affected my speech. Common words and well-known names are sometimes hard to think of on the spot. A close friend said she is the same way. I think it’s partly because our circle of communication and time spent communicating has been drastically curtailed. We don’t use all the words we once did. A short text takes the place of a leisurely conversation now days.There is still plenty of food in our grocery stores for the most part. I have noticed the store isles are wider now and my main store, Kroger, has a very wide isle in the center of the store. This change was made just this week. The openness looks great but a whole row of shelves has been removed. The store had just remodeled this summer and made the isles wider at that time and now a whole section removed. Usually at this time of year all kinds of seasonal goods would be brought in filling every available space.Would you explain A1/A2 milk? Clothing stores are running great sales. Houses are selling faster than they can be built. A friend just financed a house for 30 years at 2 ¾ percent. There are some bright spots but somehow this just doesn’t seem real and we wait for the other shoe to drop.We pray daily for our country and our president and first lady. I try to not get too bogged down with all the dark souls trying to destroy our way of life and our country. Of course I pray, vote and donate what I can. Speaking out at this point seems useless since most people have already made up their minds. BJ in GA

  27. Your post accurately reflects life as it has become. There are so many things we would normally do that can't be done now. I am glad to hear that your harvest is till going on. It is a blessing to live in your climate, isn't it. Her in northern Iowa we are digging up the very last of our potatoes. That is the end of it all for us. We experimented with growing potatoes in 5 gallon buckets. What fun that has been. Lots less bending over. It looked funny to see thirty white buckets lining our driveway. We over watered and rotted a few bucketfuls but the others are yielding well. All in all, we are happy with how it turned out. Bless you two this harvest season. Meary

  28. Fern, I am very sorry to hear about your mother. I have actually – somewhat ironically because of Covid – been able to travel back to my parent's at The Ranch one week a month to work for there, which has been quite a blessing.Our seasons are starting to turn as well – my okra is about done but the sweet potatoes and walking onions grow on. The beans and black eyed peas have completed what they are going to do.More cheese is to be made. I have ordered some reusable canning lids and seals from Lehman's and will start experimenting with preserving store purchased items (since my gardening skills are less than ideal).

  29. Certainly well written. I am sorry to hear that you can’t be with your mom. I think it’s criminal (my opinion) that we can’t be with loved ones when they need us most.

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