Has Reality Come to Stay?

The world is in a terrible mess, we all know that, but has the reality of TEOTWAWKI set in yet? Really set in?

This has been a recurring thought and conversation in our house for a while now. I know I’ve said this before, talked about it before, and written about it before. You may be thinking, “All right already, you’ve told us, now get on with showing us your greenhouse and stuff.” If you are thinking this, you’re right, I have. But when your mother taught you to look both ways before you cross the street, for your safety and well-being, did she only tell you once, or twice, or twenty, or a hundred times?

We’ve had several conversations with friends lately about a number of situations that have stuck with me. These are the kinds of conversations that make me ponder, think, and think some more, that’s why I bring them to you. Tell us what you think, and it will give us even more to ponder and think about. Mental preparation is the most important aspect of preparedness and survival. 

First situation. How are you going to deal with not knowing what is happening in the world when the power goes off, really goes off? Even if it is intermittent for a while, it’s doubtful commercial radio, TV or the internet will function normally, and what news is out

there may be spotty at best. Will that drive you crazy? Let’s face it, we are used to instant communications via cell phones and the internet, along with the utopian ‘reality’ television provides. How will you deal with not knowing what is happening around the world, around the country, in your region, or right down the road? One mile from your house is a very long way if you’re on foot. A half mile away from your house could be deadly depending on the environment you live in. If there were gun shots a mile from your house would you hear them? Would you wonder if someone was out hunting or being attacked? What would you do? How would you cope? 

This is the reason for our new antenna towers. There are many ham radio operators that are in it for the hobby. You would probably be surprised at how little Frank talks on the radio. He listens, he monitors, and he tests his equipment to make sure it is working. Yes, Frank has started the Survival Radio Relay Net in our area, trying to bring together some local folks so we will know what is happening down the road. The way we look at it, any 

warning is better than nothing. If there were gunshots a mile down the road, we may not be able to find out what is happening, but we would be able to contact some of the folks in our network, let them know what we hear, and find out if anything is happening in their area. This is just one example of how radio communications can help save your life or the lives of your neighbors. Frank knows that many folks don’t have ham radios. He firmly believes, once things go down, that the humble CB radio will be the main form of communication. Folks that have them in their trucks or stuck out in the garage, will get them out, dust them off, and fire them up in an attempt to find out what is happening. 

There are folks that are planning on relocating when things get dicey or the collapse is imminent. Unfortunately, not everyone can live on a homestead, retreat or in their bug out location. Even more unfortunate is the reality that most people won’t make it out of the major metropolitan areas. There are 

just too many people to deal with, on the interstates, on the streets, causing disruptions, rioting, looting, chaos. I really fear for those that need to relocate. If only there was a crystal ball that would give an accurate indication of the time to go, and go safely. If things get really dangerous, it will not be any safer for you to go get someone any more than it will be safe for them to come to you. We’ve read of family members that plan to gather when the time comes. We have family members in other locations, and the thought I have is that I will never see them again. Hard? Absolutely. Will I always wonder what became of them? Yes. Is there anything I can do about it? No. 

During this time in the history of our world, we have all made choices to be where we are, live the lives that we have, and to prepare or not. Many of you have commented on family and friends that just don’t see what

is coming. Some may see, but refuse to prepare. Some play a little at preparing, but don’t really believe anything beyond a temporary disruption from a natural disaster may occur, but they do believe the legendary THEY will come save us. It will all be okay, you’ll see. I’ve been told I always think the worst. That’s okay with me. If it helps me be prepared and live to fight another day, so be it. This reminds me of a scripture we added to the right hand column of the blog the other day. Proverbs 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool; for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Let’s say you are at your survival location, you have your preparations, the initial violent phase of the collapse has past, and you’re wondering how folks ‘down the road’ fared, or you wonder if there is anyone out there you can barter with since there were things you overlooked in your preparations. How are you going to find out? Safely? Let’s say you 

can’t drive anywhere, because even if you stored some fuel, it’s gone. Do you have horses? If you do, can you feed and care for them for the long haul, or will they end up on your dinner table? Do you have a bicycle with extra tires, tubes, patching kits, pump, etc? And how much can you haul with it? Do you have a wagon that your horses can pull? Are they trained? Do you have tack with a harness and everything you need? Have you practiced? If not, can you manufacture a wagon, harness, etc? If not, who can? If you leave your home, who will guard it? If you leave your home, who will guard you? If the person you depend upon for your safety leaves to find out information or barter, and never returns, will you manage without them? 

There are so many what if’s I could write about them for hours. The bottom line is realistic expectations. We have to be hard, realistic, no wishful thinking, and no holds bared about what is to come. Wishing never made it so, wanting to know what is happening won’t make it so, and even the best laid plans can come to naught when the unexpected or unplanned

happens. I challenge you to take a long, hard look at the realities that are coming upon us. It’s a very scary proposition. I think the hardest part right now is not knowing what quarter the collapse will come from. There are so many possible scenarios, some I would choose over others, but I don’t get to choose, I only get to experience. What I do get to choose is who I am, how I will prepare, and what I will do when the time comes. We practice this mentally everyday, all day long. There will come a day when I no longer sign off using ‘until next time’ because there won’t be a next time.

You know that feeling, like something is breathing down the back of your neck, and is about to pounce? Be ready.

Until next time – Fern

The Community Trading Post

Sometime, a few weeks back or so, Frank and I came upon the idea of a kind of farmer’s market trading post thing. We’ve heard about them, read about them, and recently someone left a comment about how they’re doing this very thing in their area on the article, Homestead News, Volume 14.


“You two lit a fire under me – yesterday Bruce (66) and I (65) drove 600 miles to pick up two AGH [American Guinea Hogs]/ Kune Kune six week old barrows. Hopefully the gilt and boar will come later. What cute tubby little guys. As I look off my back deck at the fences patched with baling twine (chuckle). I am grateful for all we have and will have to offer. 

The small community that is ours – boasts 180 souls. Some of us ladies of this burg started a small farmers market this past summer – small, social and we think needed. Those of us with incubators have shared eggs and hatched many chicks for those wishing to start flocks – all sage advice, good and bad, shared with humor. Our volunteer fire department – always in need of funding, will receive all the $ from our local chestnut harvest sold at the market. Time is short – Please keep blogging. Nurse Claudia”


She’s right, things like this are needed all around the country in many shapes and sizes, with formats to meet the needs of the

surrounding communities. It really struck me how simple something like this can be. I’ve also thought it doesn’t have to be only a farmer’s market with vegetables, eggs and the occasional rabbits or chicks. It could be anything someone wanted to sell, or trade or barter. Not a flea market, per se, but the time is coming that what you have is what you have, and if you need something, trading or bartering may be the only way to get it.

We’ve told you about Emmet digging ditches for us. This week he had worked enough hours that he went home with two radios. That is what we bartered for. We needed the help, he wanted some radios. Good trade.

Our questions for you are:

  1. Are you or have you participated in a trading post before?
  2. How did it go?
  3. What recommendations do you have?
  4. What didn’t work?
  5. Are there any draw backs or problems?
  6. Or anything else I forgot to ask

Frank and I aren’t looking to start a trading post, but the idea is there. Our small communities have places that could be utilized, so that could be worked out if there was interest. People could bring their own tables or use the tailgate of their truck to ply their wares. There is a possibility that tables and chairs could be used from a community center building.

One of the reasons this idea has great appeal to us is not to bolster the trading, bartering, buying or selling between people in our communities, but to bring people together, get people talking and possibly helping each other. We need to know each other better. This will familiarize people, not only with their neighbors, but with their neighbors abilities, or lack thereof. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it could showcase those who are the workers, the takers, the loafers and the givers. There is always someone looking for a handout, but there could also be people looking for a hand up.

Right now, Frank and I are just in the thinking, pondering, brainstorming stage. There are folks around we will start talking to about this idea and see what they think. We know the two of us can’t be an island in the coming storm. It’s time we take a more active role with our small communities. We all know that sometimes with just a little encouragement, someone will step up to the plate and help organize and support an idea like this. 

So this article is a little different. We would appreciate all of the input you can give us. And like Nurse Claudia said, “all sage advice, good and bad, shared with humor” can help make this possible venture more successful, not only for us, but maybe for a number of people and communities. We look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time – Fern

No Crisis Here, Move Along – A Re-Post

Folks, the words I wrote about a year and a half ago are just as true today as they were then, only now, things have continued to get significantly worse. I can’t even begin to recount the number of freedoms we have lost since this was written, or the growing resentment and anger that has festered to the boiling point all over the globe. We are a world in crisis, much of which has been brought on by design. We are about to see the culmination of many years of planning. For those that are taking control, it must be grand to finally succeed. The tyrants are on the lose and will stop at nothing to achieve each and every item on their agenda. 

I hope you enjoy this article and it provides you with food for thought. Fern


Originally published March 18, 2014

Remember when it took six months for the United States to amass the needed troops and equipment for Desert Storm? And then the storm came?

We are in the midst of many different storms and we have been given this time to amass our own equipment. Why is it that we have seen fluctuating supplies and sometimes shortages of everything from wheat grinders, to shovels, to canning jars and lids, to freeze dried foods, to ammunition? Because The People, many mom and pops, uncles, aunts, cousins, sisters and brothers are gathering what they need to weather the storm. There are so many things happening around the globe, and especially in our own backyard, that are adding impetus and energy to the storm.

How many troublesome things have you run across lately? They appear to become more numerous each day. The message seems to be hunker down, be ready, it’s coming. The harder we try to get things in order, the more obstacles arise in our way. But you know what? That’s okay. It just makes us more determined and focused …..because we know it’s storming all about us.

We talked to a medical doctor recently that told us he has a list of medications on his desk that he can no longer prescribe to Medicaid patients, I’m sure you know why. Digitalis is one of the most popular medications given for heart conditions and it is on his list. He is deeply offended for being put in a professional quandary. His hands are being tied when it comes to offering the best medical treatment for his patients. I can’t help but wonder if this is one of the ways TPTB (the powers that be) are going to save money. Not only will they save money on prescriptions, they will decrease the number of people receiving Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, by impacting some of the recipients ability to get the type of medical care that would have prolonged their life. I know that is a very harsh thing to say, but I think it is true. And I think it is part of the plan.

The people of Crimea that could see what was coming to their country, took their money out of the bank. Did you? Have you spent the time wondering how you will be able to ‘buy’ what you need when the money you have is worthless, or you can’t get it out of the bank because the banks are closed, or they just won’t let you have it? You say this can’t happen? Look at the number of countries which are modern, industrial nations, where it has happened in just the last few years. The dollar becomes worth less and less with each passing day. The dollar in your pocket buys much less than it did just six short months ago. How much less will it buy in six more months? Do you know how to barter? Do you have anything that will be worth bartering? Do you have skills that are worthy of barter? Rush Limbaugh has said something like, if just 1% more of the people in our country became aware of what is happening, then the store shelves would be empty. Empty. Think about that. Just imagine what it would be like if 10% more people became aware and tried to stock up. There would be nothing left. There would be panic and chaos. But that’s what we want, right? More people to be aware and prepare. I know I do. But do we have the resources for that to happen? No. So, how can we get more people to prepare? Teach them to produce more for themselves for their daily necessities, and stop being dependent on the corporate and government systems.

How many people have been affected by the weather and cold temperatures this winter? Millions. How many people have had to go without because of the drastic price increases and shortages of  heating oil and propane? What would we do if the supplies needed to stay warm were no longer available? That would be a major catastrophe. A crisis. But what do we hear? Nothing.

No crisis here. Just global warming. Ha! So we need to put more restrictions on the ability of people and companies to engage in good old fashioned commerce, you know, free enterprise, right? That will solve the crisis of global warming. Crisis, what crisis? Move along and drink the coolaid. You know, that is one thing I am not stocking up on. We don’t drink it, too much sugar.

Can you see where the people in Egypt are better off than five years ago? And do you really think the people in Libya are better off than they were? Let’s go down the list. How about the folks rioting or 

protesting in Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, Greece, Corsica, France and Spain? I’m not even going to mention central Africa. Don’t think it can happen here? What about the rising tensions in Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel? And don’t forget about Christians being murdered all over the world.  You don’t think it could happen in America as well? Then look at Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta. The United States military is removing God more and more everyday. I wonder when being a Christian will be some type of a crime in this country?

It seems that the ‘weather men’ that know the storm is here keep trying to placate The People with pleasant platitudes and the antics of the rich and famous, which include our illustrious bureaucrats. If that is not enough entertainment, then they fill the silver screen

with an overpowering, nauseating amount of filth, sex and mindless drivel. And to keep everyone’s attention riveted, every so often a false flag distraction is thrown in for good measure. Crisis of the day in any flavor you like. Remember, don’t ever let a good crisis go to waste. 

The bottom line folks, is that the less you are dependent on any other person or system for your health, wealth and well being, the better off you are. Don’t spend your time being distracted by the latest crisis or

non-crisis that is made to appear like another crisis. Don’t buy into the, “Oh, No! The sky is falling!” crowd. If you do, when the time comes that the sky truly does fall, you will be left standing there with your hands out wondering when the truck will show up with your next meal and bottle of water. Don’t ever get on the truck. It will be the last trip you ever make. Take the time to learn and decide for yourself. Don’t take the media’s word for anything, research, READ don’t watch, learn and come to your own conclusions. Don’t take my word for it either. Use your mind, heart and soul and pray for wisdom, knowledge and guidance.

I’m angry, I’m broken hearted and I’m determined. I’m tired of watching our world and our country go down the tubes. I cannot see living under the yoke of a tyrannical, socialist government that gets worse everyday. There IS a crisis here and we will not just move along, shuffling our feet to the beat of the wrong drummer. If you have not already done so, you need to open your eyes, truly look around you, and take the action necessary to provide for you and yours, because no one else will. If you think they will, you will have a long wait, and in the end, you will be sorely disappointed.

I pray God’s blessings on each and every one of you.

Until next time – Fern

Good Trade

Remember this?

Now fast forward to sometime in the not too distant future. Yes, fast forward. Remember when you could do that with a VHS tape? Most young people have never had the pleasure. Anyway, the not too distant future. What will buying and selling be like? How will we get the things we need? Like the things in all of our preparations we overlooked or outright forgot to get? What about all of the physical labor that will be necessary to live a collapse, survival life style day in and day out? Can you do that? 

Good trade. Bartering. I think this will become, and already is becoming, the new way of commerce. Commerce won’t end with an economic or societal collapse. Person A will always need something that Person B can provide. When there is no longer a monetary basis upon which to make that transaction, bartering or trading will be the manner in which commerce will survive.

There was a young man in Frank’s Survival Radio class that has begun developing his homestead. Not only is he interested in survival radio communications, he is starting a flock of chickens for his young family. Since we use pseudonyms here, we will call him Emmet, which is a German name meaning strong worker. The reason his name is associated with work is because that is what he did here in exchange for a flock of young chickens. We struck a deal of chickens for labor, and while he was here found out that Emmet works two jobs so his young wife can homeschool their children, making it an even better deal.

We have more than enough young hens to replace our current laying flock. From the two batches of eggs we incubated, we have already butchered the older set of roosters, still leaving about 40 or so young birds. From that 40 we kept about 8 hens. That still left many birds to choose from. When Emmet arrived, we first picked out 10 hens and 2 roosters for his new flock. Then the work really began.

It has been too long since our chicken house has been cleaned out. We planned to clean it out long before now, but my sinus issues have kept me out of the chicken house except during feeding time, and on a few occasions Frank was left to do everything on his own. When Frank came up with the idea of trading chickens for a clean chicken house, I thought it was a great idea. He contacted Emmet and the deal was struck.


It made pretty quick work for the three of us to get the house cleaned up. Frank brought down the tractor to haul the trashcans full of manure to the garden. We have several empty areas in the garden that received this wonderful fertilizer. The parts that suffered the most when the heavy, spring rains really washed away the topsoil now have a good start at renewing the nutrients for next year.


As we left the chicken house I looked at Emmet and said, “Good trade. Have you ever seen that movie? Dances With Wolves?” He had and agreed it was a very good trade. You see there comes a time when you have to ask for help to accomplish some tasks that you used to do with ease. Frank and I are no longer young whipper snappers like Emmet and it was a blessing to have his help. For us this was a very good trade, and it also helped Emmet start a larger flock of chickens for his growing family.

Once the chicken house clean up was complete, it was time for water, coffee and more radio conversation. Frank is a natural teacher and enjoys sharing information about setting up a shack, wiring antennas, or general knowledge about increasing the effectiveness of existing radio communications equipment or techniques. While they talked radio, I got the sourdough rolls ready to bake. I had mixed up the dough earlier in the morning so it would have time to ferment and predigest those carbs for us. After I went to the barn and finished up the chores of milking, feeding and watering the animals, it was time to bake and sample the bread.

There are so many different things we can barter or share, whether it is a tangible, albeit live commodity, or knowledge. The last article we wrote about books is another example of learning information and skills that can be ‘traded’ or bartered. As the time draws nearer to a total change in the way business is conducted around the globe, but more importantly in your neighborhood close to home, having tangible goods, skills or knowledge that can be traded for something you need or want, will not be a convenience, but a necessity. So how are your bartering skills coming along? 

Sharpen up your skills and senses. Keep a keen eye on what is in your midst and fast approaching over the horizon. Time keeps ticking along, sometimes almost imperceptibly, bringing us closer and closer to the inevitable. Don’t get caught in a stream of regret where you would ‘trade’ it all for one more day to prepare.

Until next time – Fern