Pray for America

Hello Everybody, Frank here.

Most of us are paying very close attention to what is happening in the political world. If you’re not, then I’m sure you have a good reason why. It can be overwhelming at times. Everyday there appears to be a new crisis. Sometimes real, sometimes not. Sometimes true, and often times not. So, if someone has shut down paying attention to this political circus, that is easy to understand.

I’m going to ask you, all of you, to watch a video. It’s a little shy of 30 minutes long. It is taken from the homily of a Roman Catholic priest. His subject matter deals with the upcoming election. Whether you’re Catholic, Christian, Agnostic, Atheist, or one of the many other world religions, please watch this video.

 Yes, it is from a Catholic perspective, because this man is a Catholic priest. If you are a Christian, as the vast majority of you reading this are, it applies to all of us. It applies to all of us, everybody. 

Here is the link to the video – 

We are in perilous times. There is a lot of mud slinging going on right now. Fern and I will take a political stand. We will be voting for President Donald Trump. Is he perfect? No. Please name me someone that is. If you are going to vote for President Donald Trump, then you need to pray that your candidate wins. Pray hard.

Evil has been around since the beginning, but I believe that evil has seized the opportunity to overtake good. It has happened many times before. So is that a self righteous call? To consider myself good? Well, maybe. But if good does not win this election, then evil will be dancing in the streets. 

A slightly different topic.

Several of the people that we read have had their sites taken down. This is a form of censorship, and it’s been happening in the news media for a long time. We here at Frank and Fern are small fish in a small pond. Could we be taken down? Sure. In our personal data on this site, is an email address. It’s always been there, but here it is for your convenience.

thoughtsfromfrankandfern@gmail.com

If for some reason this blog is gone tomorrow, you can try that email address. 

Back to the topic at hand. The video. Please watch it. If  you choose, share it. We have less than three weeks to the election. If your vote has ever counted, it will certainly count this time. A little humor here. If you live in one of the states that allow you to vote multiple times, well, a little humor there.

If former Vice President Joe Biden wins this election, then boys and girls, good is doomed and evil will prevail. 

 

We’ll talk more later,  Frank


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


Fare Well, from Frank & Fern

We have reached a major milestone on the blog. Since we began writing here on May 30, 2013, we have had 1,000,000 pageviews. Yes, one million, because an unbelievable number of folks have dropped by, and for that, we wish to thank you. These words hardly seem adequate. We are humbled by the number of folks that stop by to read and comment.

 

The time has also come for us to say farewell. The condition of our world is such that, if you’ve been reading here long, you know our efforts are focused on completing projects that will hopefully make our lives a little easier when the collapse occurs. Time is precious and there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish the things we see as imperative to our survival. Thus, this will be our last article for the foreseeable future.

We have long been fans of Jeremiah Johnson and wanted to share this clip with you.

It does seem like far, the distance we’ve come and the amazing amount we have learned since starting this blog. The knowledge and experience shared by readers has enriched our lives in innumerable ways. As you watch Jeremiah and see the facial expressions caused by the difficulty of survival, know too, this is coming to all of us. The challenges that await us are unknown, but the sure knowledge of their arrival is clear. 

We encourage you to apply the final touches to your preparations. The events unfolding in the world appear to be creating the perfect storm. How that storm will come crashing down around us, we do not know, but it is no longer way out there on the horizon, it is at the door. The wind is blowing in our faces, bringing with it the still small voice of warning which gets louder everyday. Time is short, get everything accomplished that is in your power.

What thoughts can we leave you with in parting?

  • Pay attention and be vigilant.
  • Don’t be distracted by things that are not important.
  • Sift through all the fakery of the world and focus on what is important, not what others tell you is important.
  • Hold your family close and prepare them for what is coming.
  • Mental preparation is the most important part of your preps.
  • The will to survive can overcome many seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Always remember, humor is the essence of survival. 
  • Don’t get on the bus, or the truck.
  • Ask God for direction and inspiration.

We pray that God will bless and keep each one of you in the coming days, that He will give you strength and guidance. We pray that you will Fare Well.

From the humble hearts of,

Frank & Fern

Homestead News, Volume 11

Outside of butchering seven of our ‘teenage’ roosters a couple of days ago, there isn’t much new to report. We were glad to get five of these roosters in the freezer since our meat supply is literally down to nothing in there. We have quite a bit of meat walking around on the hoof or foot, but the freezer is looking very bare. It reminds me of stories about folks that went out and grabbed up a chicken when meat was needed for a meal. It was killed, dressed and cooked for that day’s food. Refrigeration has really changed the way we are able to live. I have given quite a bit of thought to what it will be like to live without refrigeration again. It sounds much more difficult and not near as convenient as we have it now. Something to ponder. How will you keep things cold or cool that need refrigeration to prevent spoilage and extend the life of your food?

We’ve had a nice little rain today which has helped cool things off. We had planned to butcher the last seven teenage roosters today, but it was 96* by 11:30 this morning. This evening we will have a cold front come through that will make the temperatures much more comfortable, thus it will be easier to work outside.

Our dear friend Faith, that bought some of our goats, took a very bad fall last week. She will be undergoing some reconstructive surgery to her face this week and we would appreciate it if you would keep her and her family in your prayers.

Frank and I have had many conversations about how to set up the greenhouse and all of the possibles that go with that process. As the temperatures start to cool down, it will be easier to work in there. It’s very interesting to see how quickly the temperature rises once the sun reaches over the tree tops and touches the walls. Very interesting. 

We have had a question or two about the exterior sheathing on the greenhouse. When Grace came to visit after we had the sheathing up she looked at it, looked at me and said, “What are you going to put over it?” She explained that she wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but it was something more than what it is. The exterior of the greenhouse is a product called Tuftex. Frank did a lot of research on this product before we decided to use it. The type we chose is called Poly Carb which is described on their website like this: “TUFTEX PolyCarb corrugated panels are our toughest building panel. Made with a polycarbonate thermoplastic polymer in an octagonal-wave profile, TUFTEX PolyCarb corrugated panels are 20 times stronger than 5 oz. fiberglass corrugated panels and are designed to withstand a wide range of surface temperatures: 270° F to -40° F.” Lowe’s carried some Tuftex, but we had them order what we needed to have enough of the right type, colors and lengths. We used the translucent white on the roof and clear on the sides. Until we put the barrels in there, from some angles you couldn’t tell the walls were up. It will be very exciting to look at it and see plants inside, especially when we get it full of plants! I know I have said this before, but it will be a real treat to walk out there in the winter and pick something to eat. I think I will be worse than a kid in a candy shop.

It’s about time to make cheese since the frig is filling with milk. It will be mozzarella this time since the cheese frig is full of cheddar. We still haven’t tried to make cottage cheese again yet, but we will. It’s about time to make bread, too. I have set out the whole wheat sourdough starter to feed and lower the acidity level before I use it. Now days after I feed the starter for a few days, I pour half of it into the pig bucket instead of the chicken bucket. The chickens never did like it much, but you know what they say about pigs, they’ll eat just about anything. Except jalapenos. They don’t like them very much. Or really big, hard okra pods. Either they don’t like them, or they are just too hard to eat, I’m not sure which.

Since I tried our milking machine and didn’t like what it did to the goat’s teats, I haven’t tried it again. What I have done is really pay attention to my milking technique. Over the years I had developed a certain rhythm that was comfortable and seemed to be effective. Now I pay more attention to making sure I get as much milk out with each squeeze as I can. This is causing me to slow down some, but requires fewer squeezes per doe. I don’t know if this has made a difference with the arthritis in my hands or not, but I do know that I can straighten my bent finger out more than I could without working on it to do so. Interesting. I have also been told I have trigger finger on the same hand and same finger. Does anyone know of a natural way to deal with this? Grace told me her sister had it and wore a finger guard for a week and that fixed it. I haven’t tried that yet.

I have also started drinking apple cider vinegar with the mother in it, with local honey in warm water. This should help some of the sinus issues I have been having, as well as the arthritis. I hope. I used to do this everyday for years until it made my teeth hurt. The vinegar I used back then didn’t have the mother in it, though. This time I will make sure I rinse my mouth well with water after I drink it to protect my teeth. I’ve even thought about adding a bit of the canned garlic we have to the mix. Vinegar, honey and garlic are all very good for the body, so it couldn’t hurt any. I don’t mind the taste of vinegar and honey at all, I’m just not sure how the garlic would taste with it. Probably pretty good if you ask me.

We continue to eat our sauerkraut everyday. The portions are bigger than they used to be, and if there is a day we don’t have any, we miss it. When we first started eating it, there were several people that commented about how our taste preferences would change and that we would really enjoy fermented food. You know what? You were exactly right. We do really enjoy the sauerkraut and the health benefits it provides as part of our daily diet. 

We will be starting another project later on in the week that I will be showing you before long [it’s not the outhouse]. It is very exciting to have so many long term plans coming together. There is also a feeling that time is short to get some of these things completed. Frank and I talk about making plans as if there isn’t a collapse coming also, just in case. But at the same time we know it is coming, so we have to plan for that eventuality. Like I said last time, wishing won’t make it so. Just the other evening as we were getting ready for bed I asked Frank, “So where are we going to put the outhouse?” Another one of our recurring discussions. We still haven’t decided on a location.

Hello everybody, Frank here. The immigrant issues that are happening in Europe will soon be knocking on our doors here at home. There have been mass forced immigrant movements all through history. One of my grandfathers came to America around 1900 as a very young boy. His family was forced out of Russia. It has happened for centuries, and it could happen here just as easily as it has happened there. It’s easy to be cynical, but the fact is, people are being dislocated and they are willing to die or drown to escape wherever they are. It has to be horrible. Don’t kid yourself that it can’t happen right here. As we speak, there is a quiet exodus from the drought ridden areas of California. Towns there are shutting down. No joke. We are about to see many people, many more than are already coming here, from the areas affected by this forced relocation. It’s just one more thing that is happening. Is it a diversion? Could be. You decide. But you’d better get prepared. Frank

Now take Frank’s commentary and apply it to a collapse scenario where thousands of people are trying to escape the riots and starvation of our major cities. People that are desperate for water, food and shelter for themselves and their families. What happens when there are hundreds of them walking down the road where you live? I see the pictures of the Syrian people walking through Hungary, and that’s what I see. Hungry people, desperate to escape the carnage behind them, with hopes of assistance awaiting them at their destination. In a collapse situation there is no assistance awaiting them. I really think some people in smaller towns will actually go to the cities in search of government assistance. We’ve all heard the stories about FEMA camps and the rounding up of people to ‘keep them safe’. Don’t get on the bus. 

What I keep seeing when I look at the Syrian refugees are groups of people at the gate demanding water, food, shelter and assistance. There is no way we can feed them. We’re far enough off the beaten path that there probably won’t be many folks walking down this road, but I can see it happening all over the country. What are you going to do if a group of demanding people show up at your door or gate demanding the things you have prepared for your family? If you turn them away angry they will just come back with reinforcements. It is something Frank and I discuss regularly. If you feed one group they will tell the others and the next day there will be 10 groups, then 20, then 40, then 100. Before the last group arrives you will be out of food and desperate yourself. Then what? We can only pray we will never be faced with this situation. But part of being prepared, probably the most important part, is being mentally prepared. You need to have an answer to that question. What are you going to do?

Frank will be doing another article before long that will address some of this mental preparation. What he will discuss is a very difficult topic that will require very difficult decisions and actions from all of us, but one that should be discussed and thought about. Do all you can to have your family ready for what is about to befall us all. Remember, we would rather be prepared fools than unprepared fools. One minute too late, is just that. Too late.

Until next time – Fern

Neighbors & Friends

As some of you know, I recently had major back surgery. Even with the best laid plans, there is always a gap, and sometimes a large gap. A couple of examples. 

We never thought about a bedside toilet. We didn’t realize there are some made for smaller people, bigger people, taller and shorter folks. Not trying to sound crude here, but it would be nice if the people that designed these bedside toilets would actually take the time to sit on one of them. Sometimes it is apparent that these are not designed for use by a man. 

Next example. Bedpans. While in the hospital, I was advised to just use a bedpan. Okay. A short review here. I have 16 staples in my lower back, am in unbelievable pain and am told, just put it underneath and let it go. That just doesn’t work. I can see where a metal bedpan would be a tremendous benefit during a hail storm, or if you want to play pirate with your kids, but otherwise, I saw no practical use, with my accompanying condition and the use of a bedpan.

We did some modifications to the couch before my surgery. Instead of spending a lot of time on my back in the bedroom laying down, this gives me another option closer to where most of the living and doing occurs in our house. 

I had a good plan of building ‘legs’ to go on the legs of our couch. And in our opinion, that was one of those great plans, but the couch was just not meant for long-term sleeping right after surgery, as I quickly discovered. But in just a few days, when I could move around a little better, the raised couch became a very good resting place.
 

We discovered these small sliders on the bottom of the legs.

I got out my forstner bit and fixed that problem.

The real reason for this post is the utilization of your neighbors and friends. I am, by all serious nature, a hermit, recluse, loner, pick any term you like. And I’m also one of those types that seldom ever asks for help. But there are times that we adult males need to get over some of these things. When I arrived home from the hospital, there were more cars parked in front of my house than I have ever seen. One of my male neighbors and friends, was there to help me up my steps, which if you can’t hardly walk, steps are tough to negotiate. It seems that everybody and their cousin has extra medical supplies that were gently used once and are now available for loan.

But, let me back up a little bit. I have a neighbor, who is also a relative, and we share a common fence line. She was nice enough to come over and open up our chicken house every morning, then come back and close it every evening. Since the hospital is an hour and a half away, for Fern to make two trips a day, would be a minimum of six hours driving time, not to mention the time on site doing chores. So, opening and closing the chickens saved us about four hours a day.

The animals need feed and water. Other neighbors from down the road, helped feed and water our animals several times, which was an unbelievable help. This helped Fern cut down her trips to do chores to once a day. That puts us down to three hours drive time and 30 minutes chore time. 

As most of you are aware, if you let yellow squash get too big, the plant will quit producing and gradually die. So, what does that mean to us? We are not going to be using any of these crops right now, but after my back issue settles down some, we would still like to have harvestable crops. Some more neighbors of ours helped us by harvesting the mature crops in the garden. You think, well, that’s free food for them, and that is true. But the bigger issue to me is keeping our garden producing. It’s also good for the neighbors, because some of those crops did not do well for them this year.

Other relatives picked up our mail at the post office for us and drove to our closest pharmacy, 25 miles away, and had our prescriptions filled. It’s nice to be able to call the pharmacy and talk to the folks there on a first name basis. 

Our local preacher and spiritual adviser has called to check on me everyday. He also came to see me in the hospital. We have not always attended his church, but I have known this man for over 30 years and appreciate the time he takes to contact me everyday.

I know I’m going to leave some events out here, but it humbles me to know that there are people, good decent people, that will step up to the plate when someone is in need. Some of these are friends, some are neighbors, some are relatives, and some are combinations of the above. So, when I get over this, I will still be a hermit, but I want to genuinely thank everybody that helped and are still helping. I also want to thank everyone for their prayers, because I do believe in God and the power of prayer.

Well, it’s about nap time. Be appreciative of what you have, and for those around you. Now if I could just get someone to wash my car….

We’ll talk more later. Frank

 

Missing Kitten & Our Country

It has been a long day. Got up at 5:00, went to work, then found out later in the day there had been some strange dogs in the yard. Frank made sure that they would not be back. Now one of our 12 week old kittens is missing. Her name is Brave Cat. I spent time after work looking for her. If you are of a mind to pray for an animal, please remember her.

And while you’re at it, please say a prayer for our country, our men and women in the Armed Services, our leaders and all of the world leaders. There are many people waiting to see how this week will turn out.

Until next time – Fern