Our Journey to Better Health

Hi Ladies and Gentlemen. Frank and I have been trying to put together some thoughts lately. It’s an odd topic, it goes back 20 to 30 years, and we’re going to try to take you from there to where we are today. I’m going to share with you some of the changes we’ve made in our lives recently, and a little history about where these changes are coming from. We all have different learning levels, some are right in our face everyday, sometimes we ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I see this years and years ago?” We’re all human, or I believe we are all human anyway, we all make mistakes, and I believe what separates a lot of us is how we acknowledge and handle our mistakes. Here goes.

Back in the late 80’s or early 90’s, Frank had a persistent pain in his shoulder blade. He went to the doctor, and was given a prescription of Relafen for the pain, which he ended up taking for years. He would go back to the doctor with pain in his shoulder, and after awhile, he was

also getting an upset stomach. Finally, at one doctor visit, he asked if the upset stomach, pain in his shoulder, and the Relafen were somehow related. The doctor said yes. It turns out that the Relafen, though it worked on the pain, was causing the stomach upset, which can be manifested as a referred pain to the shoulder blade. So we asked, “Why didn’t you tell us this years ago?” Frank had been taking a medication for a pain that had probably always come from his stomach, that made the problem worse in a vicious, Catch 22 cycle. Frank stopped taking the medication, took care of his stomach and miraculously the shoulder pain was cured. 

This was the beginning of our realization that most doctors are only able to see, or diagnose, or treat, what they have been taught to see, or diagnose, or treat. Very few of them are able to gather data, i.e. symptoms; synthesize that data; evaluate all aspects of treatment, i.e. something besides “Here. Take this pill.”; and come up with an effective treatment plan that doesn’t just mask the symptoms, but treats the underlying cause of the problem. 

Fast forward a few years, and now we live in Alaska. Frank starts having problems with his armpits being dry and chaffed. He goes to the doctor. They gave him this cream and that cream, none of them worked. They 

gave him a shot, they gave him some pills. None of them worked. He looked at the chemical composition of some different deodorants, and he changed what he was using. The problem still persisted. Alaska is notorious for low humidity, sinus problems are prevalent. Somebody mentioned to him it may be dry skin, try some lotion. Wa-la! Put lotion on, wait a little while, put on deodorant, and the medical mystery was solved. Dry skin. Makes you wonder why the doctors didn’t tell him that since they see the effects of dryness everyday. A couple of squirts of Vaseline Intensive Care, problem solved.

Fast forward to about four or five years ago. After we moved to our homestead from Alaska, we began an earnest effort to eliminate much of the chemicalized food, chemicalized toiletries, chemicalized gardening techniques and feeding our animals chemicalized products. We haven’t been able to totally eliminate them, but here are some of the things we have done.

Frank went first in the no deodorant at all arena. I followed a few years later. Now, neither one of us apply anything at all to our armpits. Nothing. If we work real hard, there may be an odor of sorts temporarily, but we don’t go around stinking all the time. It took a few weeks for our armpits to ‘withdraw’ from the chemicals we were applying daily. They felt a little funny for a bit, but now, I don’t notice them at all.

Next we quit using toothpaste. This time I went first. I have had a problem with bad breath at times for years and years, especially if I was taking any medications. But, we’ll get back to medications in a minute. I really

thought I would have even more problems with my breath when I quit toothpaste, but you know what? My mouth felt cleaner that it ever had. I was totally amazed. It was then I realized all that taste good, fluoridated, poison stuff I brushed my teeth with every day was leaving a coating in my mouth that lead to bad breath. Amazing! Actually, my reaction was more like, “You’ve got to be kidding!” Not long afterwards, Frank stopped using toothpaste as well. Now we use plain baking soda. I’ve looked at many sites that make their own toothpaste with essential oils and other stuff, but I like plain, simple baking soda. It works great.

We’ve already written about our lip balm and lotion recently, so I don’t need to explain that again. I also stopped using any shampoo and conditioner about a year ago, along with commercial panty liners. All of these steps have helped to eliminate more and more commercially made products and chemicals that our bodies were absorbing every single day. 

Now back to some more medications. Over the last couple of decades, Frank and I started having some reflux problems, so we went to the doctor. I think this started sometime shortly after 2000 when we were in Alaska. They put us on Protonix and Nexium which we took for years. Years.

No one told us that these types of medications were initially produced for people to take no longer than six weeks at a time without causing side effects and problems. It was only a few years ago we found out, through our own research, what a huge impact proton pump inhibitors can have, not only on the production of acid and the whole digestive system, but on your entire body at the cellular level. It changes the chemical composition of your body and how it reacts to acid. That’s part of the reason it is so difficult to get off of this drug, or it was in our case. We just followed doctor’s recommendations and continued to “take this pill.” Once we found out just how much damage long term use of these pills could have on our bodies, we decided to wean them down and quit. The only problem is, that once your body has adjusted to having these drugs for a long period of time, it goes through a major increase of acid production trying to compensate for the lack of medication. Most people cannot tolerate the withdrawal symptoms of intense heartburn and stomach pain, so guess what? They go back on the medication thinking there is something wrong. We did. More than once. I even ended up with

ulcers in my esophagus accompanied by serious chest pains (they even did an entire heart work up in the hospital and found nothing), gastritis and h-pylori. Then I did some very serious research on Nexium and found out one of the complications of long term use is ulcers in the esophagus. I was angry. Very angry that I had been allowed, even encouraged to take this medication for years! When I was sick with the esophageal ulcers they had me double the medication. We have now successfully quit these medications and have no reflux, no stomach pain, and don’t need to take any over-the-counter antacids. I feel like we have finally been able to heal our bodies from the damage these medications did.

Some time when we were living in Alaska, one of the doctors recommended Frank take a blood pressure medication since his readings were just borderline high. He didn’t take anything for years, but started taking one off and on after we moved here. But his blood pressure was

never really high. So, we bought a little blood pressure machine. Well, a number of months back Frank’s blood pressure was what we thought was really high. We have a couple of nurses in the family, Frank called and we went to visit one of them. To her, his blood pressure was no big deal. She’s an active, participating, veteran nurse. We all have stressful days, and Frank had a major surgery recently, and before that was in a tremendous amount of pain. But the words of our in-law nurse, “That’s not bad.” So, Frank quit his blood pressure medication. Nothing happened, and his blood pressure went down. The next time we visited the doctor he wanted Frank to take a beta blocker along with his blood pressure medication, and we said no. He has since quit taking the blood pressure medication altogether.  His blood pressure is now fine.

I haven’t mentioned it, but Frank and I have our blood work done twice a year. Each time we have it done, our doctor wants to put us on medication to lower our cholesterol. Frank has a long term running joke. “If you want me to lower my cholesterol, just give me a pencil with an eraser.” He has found that, believe it or not, what you have to eat the day before affects everything that is tested in your blood work, especially the biggies, like cholesterol and sugar. But the medical folks will tell you that your diet the day before doesn’t make any difference. Hogwash! If he has a bowl of ice cream before he goes to bed the night before his blood test, the next day his sugar is elevated. We keep all of our old blood test records. Frank started experimenting to see if what he ate the night before affected the tests and it does. So, what you’re told and what is reality, don’t always fit together.

There seems to be a pattern. I have a headache, take this. What you’re taking for the headache upsets your stomach, so take this. What you’re taking for your stomach causes your blood pressure to rise, take this. And then take this. And then you don’t know why you’re taking anything. It’s a difficult thing to see and figure out.

We have all been taught to do what our doctor tells us to do and we want to believe that the medical profession has our best interest at heart. Speaking of heart. A number of years ago, back in Alaska, Frank had a stress test done on his heart. Everything was great, except for one spot they couldn’t see and it was a dark spot, or sometimes called an artifact. This lady doctor was going to schedule surgery, Frank told her no, and she was appalled that someone would question her. Follow me here. A couple of years ago, Frank had another stress test here in Oklahoma. His heart is just fine, except there is another dark spot, or artifact, in a different location, and the doctor wants to schedule surgery. Now isn’t this ironic? That there is a dark spot, or artifact, a place they cant’ see in two different parts of his heart on two separate tests. I don’t want to think that this is some kind of high level con game, but if you can’t see it, then I guess you’ve got to go in and look, don’t you? Makes you wonder. So, does the medical profession have your best interest at heart? Makes you wonder. By the way, Frank never had any surgery. The answer was still no.

Moving on. When Frank went back for his five month check up after having back surgery, we had a pleasant conversation with the surgeon. Earlier on, Frank had asked him if weight was a factor, related to his surgery, and the doctor’s response was, weight is always a factor. Now, Frank and I are both big people, and we’re also overweight big people, which boils down to we’re both fat. You know, corn fed. And we’ve both been told for years by

assorted doctors that we needed to lose weight. We’ve done the token diet thing a time or two, but something was different that day with the back surgeon. He introduced us to a program where you cut carbohydrates sharply. We talked about it in his office some and when we left that day at around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon, we walked out to the truck, and sat there for a minute. We both agreed it is time, and that we can do this. That was December 2, 2014. I cannot tell you what is different. There was no strike of lightening or epiphany, but we both knew it, and we both felt it, and we both agreed that the time is now. So, like we do most things, we came home, got on the internet, looked up the books,

downloaded the ebook version, and the next day we started our diet. And I’m reluctant to call it a diet, we just changed the way we eat. If you eat food in any form or fashion, you’re on some kind of diet. We just changed the way we eat. This is the way we plan to eat from now on. It’s not a starvation diet, I eat more and bigger plates of food than we ever have. Frank the carnivore has learned to like the color green better. In 10 weeks now, it has made some dramatic effects upon our lives. You know that humble turnip we have talked about for months? That accidental, experimental animal feed project? It has been a major part of our diet. I can’t help but believe in my mind that this is all part of some master plan. But that’s kind of getting out there, I guess. But for those of you that feel and see that way, then you know what I’m talking about.

A long time ago, seven or eight years back, we came to the realization that things are changing profoundly in our world. This could be one of those times where we wonder why it took us so long to see it, or we can be thankful that we saw it a number of years ago. But the deal is, we did see it, and there are changes
happening. On the chemical issue, I’d rather

get off the chemicals on my schedule, than get off chemicals on somebody else’s schedule. Withdrawal is not always a pretty thing when you don’t have access to what you’re used to, whether it be illegal drugs or legal prescription drugs. And then there are the chemicals that we are just exposed to daily, whether we eat them, drink them, breathe them or absorb them through our skin, if we have to have them, then when the time comes that we don’t, things may not be pleasant at all. If you have things in your life that you’ve been wanting to change, I hope you find the inspiration and the motivation to do so. Even if it’s not a chemical, or a pharmaceutical, what about behavioral things that we have become addicted to? Picture television. The winds are changing, and the winds may change at your house soon. It might be time for you to give thought to change also. 

We’ve taken the time to share these personal notes, and some of them are very personal, in the hope that they will help someone in some small way. If you can find any motivation or inspiration in some of our trials, please use them. We hope these stories and views will give you something to think about.

Frank & Fern

Musings From the Farm

The first thing I want to say is Thank You. Thank you for all of your prayers and well wishes. I am recuperating very well, and the best part of all is that I don’t feel nauseated, run down and sick all of the time anymore. Hallelujah! I expect to make a full recovery very soon and be back to work around the homestead. Today, even though I am very slow and feel drained fairly quickly, I have been puttering around a little and enjoying every minute of it. The garden continues to produce in spite of it’s continued neglect. We threw out about a gallon and a half of jalapeno peppers I had picked a while back, but was just unable to process and preserve. We sure hated to do it, but sometimes some things just can’t be helped.

Today’s harvest

Turnips

Kale

Swiss Chard

Broccoli
Carrots
Mangel beets
Potatoes

There are things all over the world that give us all cause for great alarm. And there are things right under our noses that give us all cause for reflection and great joy.

I am blessed with friends that I can talk to about the things of the world, and what else we can do to prepare for the future. I got to talk to two of them today. Our conversations covered many topics from gardening, to an adequate water supply if the collapse comes, to aging parents, to keeping our preparations private from our everyday worldly connections. I always come away from these conversations with something more to think about. What else can we do to be more prepared? What else can we do to ease the hardships of life when things get difficult and stressful and every task you under take is geared solely for survival? Yesterday we ordered laundry wringers to go on our galvanized tubs. I think that would make life easier when the time comes.

We’ve dried up the goats, so now we are buying milk. The small, local store sells it for $6.00 a gallon. Six dollars a gallon!! Like Frank said, we can buy 50 pounds of feed for the cost of two gallons of milk. We think we might have located someone at church who has a Jersey that just calved. Maybe we can arrange to buy milk from them until two of our does kid in February. I know the milk would be better for us, and we could still get some cream for butter in the process.

  

A while back I made up a couple of batches of casseroles in small foil pans and froze them. They are always nice to have on hand in case the need arises, like taking them to someone who is ill or lost a loved one. Well, this time, they turned out great……for us. Since coming home from the hospital, it has been very convenient to have something we only needed to heat up in the oven. It’s good food, homemade and something we like. We started off with a breakfast casserole since it is fairly bland. Then enjoyed the green bean casserole. There was also a small Apple Cake in there that just hit the spot.

I will still have to give my body time to adjust to digesting my food without the aid of a gallbladder regulating the addition of bile to my intestines. I’ve heard all kinds of interesting stories and have read a fair amount about it. I have been drinking quite a bit of kefir throughout this whole process and continue to do so as part of my healing routine. I think it will help to keep things a little more balanced than they otherwise would be.

Times are changing along with the seasons. What used to be good, old fashioned common courtesy and kindness sometimes appears to be all but extinct. There are folks that try to find a reason to excuse anything to make their opponent look bad, whether it is politics, racial violence, differing religious opinions or that it is perfectly okay to go out in public and share known, highly contagious Ebola virus with anyone unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity. Just when you think it can’t get any worse….it does. Allies across the world are realigning into new financial and militaristic pacts that are changing the way the world will do business in the future. The leadership of our country continues to get weaker and weaker until it appears to be all but nonexistent. Where will it take us? What shape will we be in when we arrive? There is no way to know. Just continue to do all you can to prepare you and yours. And if the time never arrives, and you don’t need the preps you have prepared, Hallelujah! But if it does, you will forever be grateful that you took the time and the ridiculing to do something about it. 

Until next time – Fern
 

The Times, They Are A Changin’

An announcement: Frank’s usual weekend post has been postponed because he is under the weather. He will be back with you soon.
 

The times, they are a changin’. There are so many things happening in the world, and especially in our country now that it is hard to keep up with them. I will only list a few here, since to address them all would take a book, and by the time the first few pages were written, there would be many more to take their place. Many of these events I feel are distractions, simply a means to constantly engage the populace in meaningless drivel, so that they can be surrounded and devoured when the time comes. That sounds harsh, I know, but I see this happening everyday. Let me explain.

There are many of us that go out in the world everyday to make a living, visit friends and family, acquire the things needed for our daily sustenance, or for entertainment. More and more everyday I feel that there are two

colliding worlds, worlds that are becoming more polarized everyday. There are those that are aware that something evil this way comes, those that know something is amiss but don’t want to know what it is or deal with it, and those that are totally oblivious. I guess that’s three groups instead of two, but I think you know what I mean. The demands of life appear to be compressing into an avenue that is increasing the stress and ability of regular families to provide for their daily accustomed necessities and luxuries. And among these three groups, there is distrust and accusation that the view of reality the other holds is wrong and sometimes downright evil. Such as, Christians are now considered a possible terrorist? What? That veterans are somehow now to be considered dangerous instead of our heroes? How in the world could that possibly even be uttered let alone broadcast out as realistically true? Have people lost their minds? Sometimes I think so.

In our area, in a few short weeks propane has gone from under $2.00 a gallon to $5.50 a gallon. For the many older folks that use it, that is unsustainable. The cost of a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk continue to rise. The cost of everything continues to rise. And yet the misery index and true unemployment rates also continue to rise. Of course, there is no inflation, and all is well in the stock market and banking industries, so all is well. Right? Wrong. If you watch the markets, which Frank does, then all is not well. In fact, there are folks

watching the stock market very closely this weekend because of the quick, sharp drop it took on Friday. Do you know what a bank holiday is? If not, that is something I would recommend you educate yourself about. I pray that if it happens you will not be one of those that tries to use your debit card, ATM machine or checking account and find that you cannot access any of your money, buy food or fuel or pay your bills. This is just one aspect of our changing times.

I have grave concerns about those that have had, of a necessity, not by choice, come to depend on the government for unemployment, food stamps or welfare checks. I fear there will come a day, intentional or otherwise, that this money will cease or be reduced to the point that it will not be enough, or that the cost of food will increase to the point that it will not be enough.

I feel when I am out ‘in the world’ that I am a stranger in a strange land. All around I hear talk of the latest _______________. Fill in the blank. It could be the latest food item created for quick, easy, pleasure; the latest scores; the most recent behaviors of a media personality, be it movie, television, sports, whatever; the reckless spending of the government; clothing styles;

crimes; prices; and the list goes on and on. I see the stress on the faces of the parents and families I work with. This appears to be increasing more and more. I read about people fighting at stores over parking places and checkout lines. To me, this is all a sign of the times. We read about attacks on people for no apparent reason, accept maybe just for fun. And amazingly to me, the media no longer publishes basic information about the people that are the victims or the perpetrators. Somehow, basic everyday information has now been censored or deemed hateful. What? We are being divided by the very source that we used to depend upon for basic, unbiased, everyday information about our country and our world.

I fear most for the people that see nothing wrong with the way our world is changing. There are many, many places to find information about the signs of our times. But they have to be sought out, because the television and standard media outlets continue to put out the message that all is well. I see the quote, “Move along, there is nothing to see here.” being used more and more and more. I

know from personal experience that there are people that have a gut instinct that all is not right with the world, but for whatever reason, they just can’t or won’t deal with it. They deny the fact that things are quickly changing for the worse. They deny the fact that our freedoms and rights are being stripped away even as I write this. They deny the fact that they will soon not be able to access their money, or even if they can, they will not be able to afford to heat their homes or buy a loaf of bread. I understand that there are some that just can’t wrap their minds around such a drastic change in our world and I think it has ever been thus when great cataclysmic events have occurred. I mourn for them. But I understand. I do not condemn. 

The times are truly changing, of that I have no doubt. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you reading here get tired of my consistent encouragement to learn something new and do something to prepare for your family, but it is the message I have been given. I believe the sole purpose of our blog is to share what we have learned in the hopes that it may benefit someone, somewhere, that we will never meet or know, to prepare themselves for these changes. For they will come, whether we are ready or not. I have no idea what venue they will take or how devastating it may be. I only know they are coming. 

Please do everything in your power and within your means to prepare. This time has been given to us for this purpose. You too, may feel like a stranger in a strange land, but know that you are not alone.

There are many of us. We are just quiet. There are those that are being schooled to ‘see something, say something’ when they see things that they don’t understand or make them uncomfortable. There are those that would happily bring us to ruin. There are many reasons for anonymity and a quiet, calm demeanor. Be diligent in your preparations. Be vigilant with everyone. Always remember, whenever possible, wolves will arrive in sheep’s clothing. 

I don’t know what our roles will be when the time comes, but if you have been given the time and means to prepare much, you may in a position to teach and share with many. It could mean life or death to them. Ponder what you should do, pray always, and with His guidance, act. Don’t postpone or delay. Don’t procrastinate. Times are changing and you need to be ready to flourish in the midst of that change. Don’t be left behind. My prayers are with you all. May the Lord bless and keep you.

Fern

Changes in the Wind?

We have had some very interesting experiences lately that not only indicate we are on the right track in preparing, but feel as if we are being warned that the time is soon coming that life as we know it will no longer be the same. It is hard to put into words the feelings we have, but I will try.

We’ve had unusual conversations with people from many different walks of life – doctors, grandmothers, friends, neighbors, people we barely know

……conversations that we’ve never had with them before. Conversations that very plainly indicate that these people see extreme changes coming

to our country before the end of the year. In no way are we trying to predict anything – we just want to share what we have been hearing and feeling. Most people don’t have a specific catalyst or event in mind when they talk about what is coming. They just know something is very wrong – terminally wrong – and soon life will change. Not one person we have talked to feel this change will be for the better. The reactions to this coming change range from fear, to confusion, to dread, to anger, to an almost overwhelming urge to deny it is possible. Not here. Not to us. Everything will be alright.

We all live in the lap of luxury regardless of our actual financial circumstances. Do we have electricity? Refrigeration? Air conditioning? A vehicle to drive anywhere we want to go? Cell phones? Televisions (for most)? Computers? Internet? More clothes that we will ever wear? Food at our fingertips? And on, and on, and on. Can we afford to fail at gardening, raising livestock, making cheese, canning/freezing/dehydrating food? Can we always go to the store to get more? For now…..yes. For how much longer? Who knows?

We don’t write about the changes coming to our world and nation to point fingers and place blame. What good would it do? Would it change the fact that sooner rather than later our lives will all be very different? Would it change the fact that soon we will have to rely on ourselves in ways we never dreamed of just a few short years ago? Will it provide a loaf of bread for our family to eat? I feel our energies are better expended learning, practicing, doing and sharing – and working very hard at it.

Because of these conversations and feelings we’re trying to wrap up all loose ends. We want to make sure all of our bills are paid. When the time comes, we want to be even and square with man. If we owe anyone, we 

want them to get their money. We are trying to acquire what we feel we may need to complete some projects that are in progress or in the planning stages. We are trying to learn everything we can. And those things we want to know, but don’t have the time to learn? We are getting books and other resources so that we can learn them later as time allows. When we shop, we do so with a prayer and a desire to be open to inspiration in our purchases. More than once we have been in a store and Frank or I have picked up an item, pondered, then decided to buy it. Sometimes Frank asks me what I may use the item for and I can’t always tell him. I just know it will be useful to us or someone else at some point in time.

I feel our blogging career will be a short one because the internet will not always be, or at least not always be this way. I am grateful to have entered the circle of bloggers that share their skills, talents and perspectives in such a way that has enriched our knowledge and willingness to try to do more to be self-sustaining. For that I am truly grateful.

The reason we blog is to share this warning with everyone we can. We have prayed for guidance since the day we began writing 79 days ago. We bring you these messages with the hope and prayer that it will help you and your family to prepare in whatever way you can.

A man that has been warned is tasked with warning his neighbor. Share the blessing of what you know and what you can do with as many people as possible. You just never know the impact you can have.

Blessings to you all.

Fern