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


Effects of A1 vs. A2 Milk

This past winter we drank regular store bought, whole milk for about four or five months, because all of the goats were pregnant and not producing milk. After a few months, Frank and both started having more and more head congestion, drainage and ick in our throats. Frank also developed a mild, daily cough of sorts, especially in the mornings. I was constantly having to clear the mucous from my throat, worse in the mornings, but it lasted all day long.

After a few months I really began to wonder if we were developing some kind of allergy, but I couldn’t figure out what it would be. Then one day I remembered that there are many people that react to milk with allergic type symptoms, and I began doing more research on A1 vs. A2 milk. I wrote an article explaining the A1 vs. A2 milk controversy a year ago. If you’re not familiar with this information, I encourage you to stop here and read the old article to provide a knowledge base. This will help the rest of this article make more sense.

As I began researching more and more about A1, or most regular, store bought milk, I came to the conclusion that our consumption of this milk was probably the cause of our symptoms. This made me even more anxious for the goats to have their babies and start producing enough milk for us to drink. I want to stop here and share some of the information I read as part of my research. Each quote contains a link to the source I found. 

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 I used to think I digested A1 milk as well as the A2 milk, but I have been rethinking this recently. In just the past couple of weeks we switched from milking our A1/A2 Blossom (who is my favorite cow) to our A2/A2 Emma Lou. I have noticed two things:

  1. My lower back has not been as stiff in the mornings.
  2. I used to avoid drinking milk in the evenings because it would make my legs jerky. I have consumed A2/A2 milk in the evening several times and that has not happened. The other night I had symptoms again and thought that maybe it is not the A1 after all. Then I remembered that I had feta cheese on my salad that was made from A1 milk.

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The inflammation from A1 casein causes lymphatic congestion, metabolic suppression, and weight gain. A1 milk can worsen acne, eczema, upper respiratory infections, asthma and allergies.
It causes digestive problems, and not because of the lactose. Because of the massive histamine release from casomorphin.

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My family and I all took cautious sips and waited. [of A2 milk] Amazingly, no symptoms! No mucous or congestion for my husband. No lactose intolerance for my daughter, who couldn’t have even one tablespoon of regular milk. My son, whom we used to tease if he ate dairy today he went to work with his dad tomorrow (as he would become very much like a bear, and not a fuzzy sweet one), did not react to the raw milk at all.
Not only did we not react adversely, but we felt so much better and more satisfied once we started consuming raw milk on a regular basis. My daughter, who in spite of almost no sugar and frequent brushing could not get her cavities under control, has not had one new cavity in the eight years she’s been drinking raw milk.

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When my in-laws moved from India to the United States some 35 years ago, they couldn’t believe the low cost and abundance of our milk—until they developed digestive problems. They’ll now tell you the same thing I’ve heard a lot of immigrants say: American milk will make you sick.

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Milks containing mostly A2 proteins are often said to be better for ‘allergies’ (such as gut, skin rashes, hayfever, cough). There is also research to suggest that A1 beta casein may be associated with serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes type 1 and autism.  

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Although it may be inconclusive as to the exact dangers of A1 milk and the resulting BCM7, we feel the precautionary principle should be invoked. Humans have been consuming cow milk for 10,000 years, but A1 milk and the BMC7 that comes with it are a relatively recent development. Only in very modern times with the supremacy of the Holstein breed in US Dairy (accounting for more than 90% of all dairy cows today) has so much A1 milk been consumed. Realistically fluid milk is a minor concern compared to A1 cheese where the lactose carbohydrate and whey protein components have been removed and the casein proteins are further concentrated. Imagine how this has become even worse in our ‘fat is bad’ culture where even the fat is also removed in low and no-fat cheeses leaving only the casein. For example 2 slices of fat-free American singles made from A1 dominant Holstein milk would likely have nearly 3g of A1 beta casein or more than 2.5 times the amount found in a cup of our raw milk.

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I have been dairy free for several months, but decided to give the raw A2 milk a try.  I have been drinking it daily for two weeks now and have actually noticed some improvements in my autoimmune symptoms.  This gives me a lot of hope.  I still consider myself dairy free when we are out and about and I’m not eating cheese or anything pasteurized, but so far the raw A2 milk has done me a body of good (literally!). 

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Interesting, huh? Now that Frank and I have been drinking our raw, fresh, A2 goat milk for around two months, our symptoms are gone. Frank no longer coughs at all. I still get a little drainage sometimes, but it comes when there is a change in the weather. We have also had a tremendous amount of rain this year with constant standing puddles everywhere. 


Can I say conclusively that our symptoms were caused by consuming A1 milk? No. Can I say conclusively that no longer consuming A1 milk alleviated our symptoms? No. I do not have any specific testing or scientific proof, so keep that in mind. But what I can tell you, is that we feel much better and our symptoms are gone. I find this to be unscientifically conclusive based on personal experience. That doesn’t mean everyone will react the same, or react at all. The articles and experiences of the people I quoted above are very good examples of that. If you find this interesting, I would encourage you to read the original article, it has more links that help explain what A1 and A2 milks are, and the differences.


There are so many things that we consume or are exposed to everyday that man has altered or created for ease and profit, that we have no idea of the impact upon our bodies. If you have read here for very long, you know we are trying to eliminate as many chemicals from our bodies as possible, whether ingested or topical. I have no doubt that everything we need to be healthy human beings was created and place here for our use, we just need to figure out how to use them wisely. 

I find this information to be just fascinating. Now, I wonder what we will discover next? There are times we discover new information that makes us wonder why we didn’t see/learn/discover it sooner. There just aren’t enough hours in the day or years of my life to learn everything I would like to learn. I truly hope I am able to continue to learn everyday that I am given. Now, on to the next great adventure.

Until next time – Fern

What’s Wrong With The Food?

We have a question for everyone. What is wrong with the food? We did a post a few days ago about what eating out does to us, and we were surprised at the responses we have had. I guess we just didn’t think that there would be many people with the same problem. So, we would like to get a conversation going. The more information we all have, the more informed our decisions can be.

Let me share a little background. When we moved here from Alaska, one of the first things we got set up were our appliances which included two freezers. We located a local butcher and made arrangements to get a beef. The local ag teacher provided a hog. In the meantime, until the meat was processed, we stocked up on some chicken, pork chops, ground beef and round steak from Wal-Mart. While in Alaska, we had purchased a side of beef and ate moose, caribou and salmon from the local wildlife menu. The meat we bought at Wal-Mart surprised us. This was in 2008. The texture of the meat, especially the pork chops didn’t really resemble what we would consider meat. It was almost like it was processed in some way and stuck back on the bone. It was almost scary to eat it.

When we first arrived here, if we ate out, we would go to a Western Sizzlin’ (similar to a Golden Corral or other buffet restaurant) because there was a buffet with salad and other vegetables. But before long we realized that every time we ate there, we felt bad. It didn’t seem to matter if we varied the content of our meals, we just felt bad, so we quit going there as well.

With Frank’s recent stay in the hospital, we have had more than our fair share of food prepared by others. Now that we are home we are trying to detoxify our systems of all of the chemicals we have ingested, as well as all of the medications and anesthesia that Frank has been exposed to. We are eating many fresh things from the garden, as well as our own meat, milk and eggs. The kefir is not perking along as usual since it didn’t get regular daily

attention while we were gone, but it will be back up to speed in a few days. We are having dandelion root tea daily to help cleanse the liver and keep the digestive tracts in good working condition. We hope to have our systems back to ‘normal’ in a few more days. One day while in the hospital, we had a very interesting conversation with Frank’s surgeon. He indicated that most doctors and nutritionists

really know nothing about food and nutrition. This doctor was aware of the benefit of goat’s milk over cows milk, the negative side effects of pasteurization, and he even knew the difference between A1 and A2 milk. It was a very interesting conversation.

We have written before about GMO food, MSG additives in foods and trying to avoid chemicals. Our sense of ‘illness’ after eating out, or eating processed foods has brought this to our attention more than ever. What is wrong with the food? Is there some kind of intentional scheme going on to affect the health of the population? Is this an intentional act our government is forcing upon food producers? Or is it just simply a matter of profit at any cost? If the food producers have any kind of business relationship with the medical industry, they have the perfect racket going. Produce food that makes people sick, send them to the medical folks for more treatment, and it is a financial win in both directions. Why is it the government appears to be attacking family farms when people are just trying to raise their own food? Are they going to regulate nutritional dependence upon the government? It appears to be one of their goals. A few years back Frank came to the conclusion that our government is going to release some type of toxin into the environment. This toxin itself will not be harmful to the individual, but when it interacts with other chemicals, then there will be a reaction which could cause an instant depopulation process. All the while, it would just look like a simple virus. Most medical people that I know do not get flu shots, but our government gives them away free. You can even get them at a drive through and not have to get out of your vehicle.

Our question for you is: What are your experiences? What is it about the food supply that is making people feel bad or sick? What has happened or is happening that is increasing health problems in the general population? When people that eat processed foods 24/7, and go to someone’s house and eat fresh grown food, does it make them feel sick? Is it a matter of what you’re used to? What are we missing here? We are trying to wrap our heads around this one, and haven’t come to a viable answer yet. Just food for thought. Let us know what you think.

Until next time – Fern

Quality Homegrown Milk

Several months back I was reading something over at Oak Hill Homestead, but I don’t remember what the title of the article was, maybe Kathi will let us know. Just in passing she mentioned A2 or A1 milk, which made me think, “What in the world is A2 milk?” I really didn’t think there was an animal called A2, maybe a robot or something, like C3PO or R2D2……that really was a good movie. I have always felt like the force was with me…..

Never mind, back to milk. Since we milk goats and consume the milk, I wanted to know what Kathi was talking about, so I looked it up. Don’t you just love the internet? You can look up just about anything, even things you didn’t even know existed. It would be easy to get into the raw vs. pasteurized milk debate here, but that is not what this article is about. To explain the difference between A1 and A2 milk, I will use excerpts from other articles. I don’t want to inadvertently word this wrong.

According to Handpicked Nation, “A1 is a mutated beta-casein protein found in milk.”…….“Milk that does not contain this mutated protein is called A2 milk.”……..

At Mercola.com we find this information. “All proteins are long chains of amino acids. Beta casein is a chain 229 amino acids in length. Cows who produce this protein in their milk with a proline at number 67 are called A2 cows, and are the older breeds of cows (e.g. Jerseys, Asian and African cows). But some 5,000 years ago, a mutation occurred in this proline amino acid, converting it to histidine. Cows that have this mutated beta casein are called A1 cows, and include breeds like Holstein.

Proline has a strong bond to a small protein called BCM 7, which helps keep it from getting into the milk, so that essentially no BCM 7 is found in the urine, blood or GI tract of old-fashioned A2 cows. On the other hand, histidine, the mutated protein, only weakly holds on to BCM 7, so it is liberated in the GI tract of animals and humans who drink A1 cow milk. 

BCM 7 has been shown to cause neurological impairment in animals and people exposed to it, especially autistic and schizophrenic changes. BCM 7 interferes with the immune response, and injecting BCM 7 in animal models has been shown to provoke type 1 diabetes. Dr. Woodford’s book presents research showing a direct correlation between a population’s exposure to A1 cow’s milk and incidence of autoimmune disease, heart disease, type 1 diabetes, autism, and schizophrenia. (Dr. Mercola is referencing the book The Devil in the Milk, written by Dr. Keith Woodford.)

Simply switching breeds of cows could result in amazing health benefits…….Raw goat and sheep’s milk is another option, as these types of milk do not contain BCM-7.”

I had to read over this several times to understand the specifics of what it is saying. A mutated piece of protein found in much of our nation’s milk supply, has been linked to some serious health issues for some people. This is known as A1 milk.


According to Lara Briden, a Naturopathic Doctor, We cannot get around the fact that one of the proteins in milk – A1 casein – is highly inflammatory for some people.  In susceptible individuals, A1 casein is cleaved to form a powerful immune-modulating opiate called casomorphin.” She goes on to discuss several different health issues some people face when consuming A1 milk.

In all of my reading, I found that goats, sheep, and what they are calling the ‘old fashioned’ breeds of cows like Jersey, Dexter, Asian and African, are A2 milk producing animals. There are some others but the recommendation is to have them tested before you buy them to use for home milk consumption if you want to avoid A1 milk. We have read a lot about raw vs. pasteurized milk for years, but I did not know that the breed of cow you choose to milk could have an impact on the human body in an adverse way.

My knowledge on this subject is not very deep. I just felt like it was something I wanted to share in case there are other folks out there that didn’t know about A2 vs. A1 milk. There are many things around us that impact our health in so many different ways. Knowledge is the key. Knowledge gives us the power to make informed decisions. You can never have too many books and you can never learn enough. Go find out something new today that will impact your life and the lives of your family members in a good way. You never know when it may be of vital importance. It may be sooner than you think.

Until next time – Fern