The Incredible Pinto Bean

In these times of food uncertainty, nutrition and calories are paramount in my books. What I am going to write about pinto beans could generally apply to most shell beans, such as lima or navy. I have had some questions about canning pinto beans so I will include what I know and have experienced here.
First off, if you can find dry beans, I would recommend you buy them. As many as you can afford and find available. I tried to look up bulk pinto beans in preparation to write this article and find that many bulk providers are out, or only have one pound bags or like Amazon, who has a 24 pound bucket for $63.92!! or a 25 pound box for $57.69 or a 20 pound bag for $54.25. I am afraid most people cannot afford these prices. If you have waited this long to try to stock up some long term nutrition, I am afraid you probably waited too long.
We received an email with some information about bulk food items that may be useful to you. We appreciate the effort this person made in sharing a resource with all of us. Here is the email in part:
You mentioned, however, that bulk foods are getting difficult to find. I am LDS and have used the LDS Home Storage Centers for years. You may know all about them. But in case you don’t, they are open to everyone and carry bulk items. You can choose to buy 25 pound sacks of wheat or you can buy #10 cans of wheat in cases. You can buy it In a home storage center or you can buy it online and have it shipped to your home. They just want people to have food storage, so there is not a huge markup. Most of the packaging is done in Salt Lake by missionaries who are donating their labor. The older couples who run the centers are also donating their labor.
All of their locations are listed here:


Here is their product and price list:

Many of their items are out of stock with all of the crazy buying that has been happening over the last few months, but my local center has restocked many of the products that I use and my brother, who uses a center close to his home in Virginia, tells me they have many items back in stock as well. I just bought more white wheat, red wheat, elbow macaroni noodles, and spaghetti. So if you are interested, it is worth calling the center nearest to you and asking what they have in stock.

I don’t know if this is of any interest to you, but in times like this we should help each other however we can. 
Nutrition. Everyday, but now more than ever, I turn to foods I know will provide good nutrition. This will be crucial as food supplies continue to be impacted by the Plandemic and resulting economic disruptions. I use this website for comparing nutritional values on many foods.

As you can see, one cup of cooked pinto beans with water and salt packs a powerful punch, thus our preference for it. It is often said that beans and rice make the perfect protein. We don’t eat rice, but we do eat wheat in the form of sourdough bread or tortillas. We prefer wheat to rice for the comparative nutritional value the wheat provides.

We have a number of buckets of pinto beans that we have had for at least 10 years, which by the way, came from the LDS Home Storage Center in Oklahoma City. We bought in bulk and stored in our own buckets with Gamma Seal lids. If you’re not aware, LDS stands for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or commonly called Mormons. I have long thought theses beans would be too hard to cook and eat, and that is true. I also thought they would be too hard to can. This is one of those instances that I was more than happy to be wrong.

Last winter I wanted to get more pintos canned and on the shelf for everyday eating, and to have if the country and world went south. I bought several four pound bags from Wal-Mart, before the virus when they were still available, and we canned a batch of 32 pints. Then recently, we decided to find out if those old beans were still usable. We put three pounds of beans in eight quarts of water and brought them to a boil in the late afternoon. Let them boil for five minutes, then let them sit until morning. I turned the fire on low when I got up around 6:00am and let them simmer until morning chores were done and we were ready to fire up the canner. Here are both types of beans. Both great, on the shelf and ready to eat. The 2010 beans turned out great, good texture and flavor. The older beans are on the left and the Wal-Mart beans are on the right in this picture. Some of the benefits of having beans canned and ready to go is that if you want a quick meal, or the world doesn’t allow time to cook a pot of beans, you have nutrition, water and salt ready to nurture your body.

This summer one of my goals is to grow, harvest and can as many pinto beans as possible. In a survival scenario we need calories for energy and adequate protein. Pinto beans provide 245 calories per cup, a healthy form of carbohydrates that does not cause an insulin spike with a quick drop off in energy, and a good level of protein. In my books, an excellent form of nutrition any time.

Our first harvest of beans yielded 10 1/2 pounds from about two 30 foot rows of plants. Now this is not equivalent to the same weight of dry beans because they were fresh. Some were partially dried, but most still retained a lot of moisture. We canned 32 pints with enough beans left over for another 3 pints. I was very pleased with the yield and hope the plants will continue to bloom and provide another harvest or two before fall.

To can fresh or dried beans, we bring them to a boil the evening before, then let them sit overnight. In the morning, simmer until ready to can. We use the liquid from the pot to fill the jars. In pint jars, fill with beans about 2/3 full, add 1/2 tsp. non-iodized salt, fill to within 1/2″ of the top with bean liquid, then pressure can at 10 pounds for 40 minutes. This timing comes from our Stocking Up canning book.

Jacob’s Cattle Beans

Something I learned about canning fresh beans as opposed to dried beans. Fresh beans tend to be much softer when you cook or can them. I prefer a bean with a more firm texture, like the old beans and the Wal-Mart beans. We grew Jacob’s Cattle beans a few years back. It’s another shell bean very similar to a pinto. We also canned them fresh and they were much softer, just like the pintos we just harvested and canned. I always thought the softness was just the nature of the Jacob’s bean and never thought about the difference in canning fresh instead of dried. Accidental learning can be a very interesting teacher. Now, instead of canning our next harvest fresh, I will dry them first and see if I can get the type of canned bean I prefer instead of the softer variety. One benefit of the soft beans is the ease at making a type of refried bean for tortillas. By the way, if you have trouble finding pinto bean seed to plant, the ones from Wal-Mart work just fine.

A few years back we tried a different method of canning beans we had read somewhere. In quart jars we added dried pinto beans to half of the jar, filled with boiling water and 1 tsp. salt, then canned according to recommended time (I don’t remember now how long.) They were tough and crunchy. I don’t know how old the beans were or any other details, but we found out for us, this process didn’t work.

Ground pork, pintos & salsa with sauteed cabbage

There are many different ways to add beans to a meal for a nutritional boost. I’ve already mentioned refried beans and a bowl of beans. You can add them to soup or to just about any dish. Like this. But folks, nutrition and energy is, and will be the name of the game as our future continues to unfold. I pray the day never comes that I can’t sit in my comfortable, air conditioned home and type on a computer on the internet. Just how much infrastructure has to remain in place for me to continue doing this? How long will it last?

We will never forget someone asking us why we go to all this work to raise and preserve our harvest. Why do all that work when you can just buy it at the store, they asked. Because now you have a hard time finding or affording the humble pinto bean at the store. Grow it or buy it, food is of utmost importance right now for everyone. Like I’ve said before, regardless of the events surrounding us, peace or anarchy, without food, you are dead.

Until next time – Fern

What You Know Might Save You

We received a very interesting and informative comment yesterday that we feel is worth posting for all to read. I have said something similar to this opening statement, that I was born in the wrong century. Frank and I have long known that our varied life experiences have brought us to this place and time with a plethora  of skills and perspectives that may help us as the current crises of the world unfold. It really doesn’t make any difference when we were born or where we live, this is where we are and what we have to deal with. The events of the world will continue to unfold, whether we are ready or not. Please share your thoughts. Enjoy.

I feel as though I am a person born out of my time period. I am not yet sixty but my childhood experiences include using an outhouse, drawing water from a well, and taking baths in a tin bathtub after heating water on a wood cook stove. My parents grew corn, peanuts, and other vegetables in a five acre field. I grew up helping to harvest and can what we grew. We milked cows and my mom made butter from the cream. I was the last born of my siblings, and born late in my parents’ lives. They grew up in the Depression and married at the beginning of WW2, so I am a tail end of the Baby Boomers. 

My experiences were embarrassing as a child but came back to help me cope many years later in the aftermath of a hurricane that plowed through our area. We lost power for about four weeks. I tried to do what my momma did and found that I was not the woman she was. But I did learn some very important lessons. I relied too heavily upon electricity and on my freezer for food storage. I had a pressure canner and had canned some vegetables, but I still had a lot of vegetables and meat in the freezer. Now I try to keep plenty of jars empty for emergency canning of meat and most of my vegetables go in jars. 

 I was given a dehydrator several years ago and found that drying vegetables and sealing them with a food sealing system in jars takes up less space that fresh. 

Since I did and do most of my cooking on an electric stove, the lack of that power has stirred me into looking into other ways of cooking without power. I have since discovered an interest and love for cast iron, especially Dutch ovens. My first experiment with one was in the coals of a burned brush pile from a tree blown down by a hurricane wind. Food burned on the bottom and was raw in the middle. But my daughters have taken up my pursuit and they cooked much of our Thanksgiving dinner last year in Dutch ovens outside over a wood fire. 

I liked your article because it fits my lifestyle of gardening, canning and enjoying the fruits of my labor. I live in a climate that allows me to grow food almost all year round, but for the past several years, I have had an urge to save seeds from the vegetables we grow and to try to save extra possibly for neighbors in the future since I can’t feed them all and they may need to have something to plant. Most of us “country folk” live like city folk now because we buy fresh seed from the feed and seed stores each year and there are fewer and fewer of us gardening and growing our own food, because it is quicker and easier to run by the grocery store and get what we need or want. It is a lot of work to grow and process your own food. I have heard comments to that effect. 

After reading the Woodpile Report, I found someone giving voice to some concerns that have been in my heart for a couple of years…namely, what would happen if we could not grow food for a year or so because of outside circumstances. And what would happen if the stores that sell seeds are no longer open or stocked? About three years ago, I saw a clearance sale of end of summer goods at a dollar store. Included in those goods, were packets of flower and vegetable seeds. I bought quite a few for pennies a packet and so I have been collecting these seed packets and storing them in my freezer for my own use and for future giveaway seed. To my surprise I even found a few heirloom seeds among them. I have other seed that I have saved in glass jars using the food sealer system and jar attachment. I opened a few jars of seeds this spring and was amazed that most of the seeds were viable. Only one of the jars of seeds failed to germinate. 

Anyway, my next canning experiments are going to include oranges, lemons, and butternut squash. By the way, have you heard of okra seed being roasted and ground to be used to stretch coffee grounds? I have heard that such a thing was done in the Great Depression, but I would like to know if anyone else has knowledge of this. 

Thanks for sharing your experiences with others.

[Name removed]

Please share what you know and have experienced. We’re all in this race to survive together. The finish line is simple. It’s your life.

Until next time – Fern
 

Plan Three Times, Measure Twice, Cut Once

Hello Everybody, Frank here
I received an interesting email from the Frank & Fern site and I wanted to share it with you. This man is giving thought to relocating and has some good questions. I hope you will enjoy reading his questions and I hope you enjoy reading the response that I gave to his good questions. This is just the way that I saw it and the way that I still see it. You see, I love watching the movies Jeremiah Johnson and Never Cry Wolf. Yes, I have read both of the books associated with them, and they are very good books, which I would also recommend. Both of those stories influenced my wanting to go to Alaska, and explore and live that type of life style.

Well, Fern and I have been lucky. You see, I got to live a dream and I am still living a dream. Now, I’m not what you call a dreamer. These dreams have come from lots of study, research and hard work. I hope you get to live your dreams, too.

I use a saying which I’ll share with you now, “Plan three times, measure twice, cut once.” So for your dreams, Plan. Then plan again. Have a back up. Do what you need to do to be successful, but always plan for failure. Then live your dream. Someday I will tell you my whole story, but not today. 

If you don’t believe in God, that is your choice. But I do and that’s my choice. God has been good to me and I thank Him for it everyday.

I hope you enjoy the email I received and I hope you enjoy the response. Please tell me and this gentleman what you think. We’re all in this ballgame together. So get off your hands and tell me what you think. Good or bad. Remember, we are ladies and gentlemen. Plan three time, measure twice, cut once.

We’ll talk more later, Frank

Email received

Hello, My name is [omitted]. My wife of 40 yrs. and I have lived in Alaska 39 years. I see you also have lived here, so I thought you might have some insight for us.

We are 60 and done raising our children, and are entertaining ideas about moving south. We are Christians for 40 years too. We had a 40 ac. farm [omitted] [between Valdez and Glenn Allen] yrs. ago, and have learned the harsh realities of self-sufficient living here, and feel it is not really possible due to climate. We cannot grow grains for feed, nor fruits for ourselves, vegetables are limited, winters are so long and harsh our goats, pigs, chickens and rabbits all had difficulty. 8 mo. winter is simply too hard with firewood, water hauling, long, dark and cold, etc.
So I have a few questions.

In Okla. are summers too hot? We don’t mind 4 seasons, but 3 months to each would be fine. We have looked in west Montana, mid-Idaho, and east Washington. prices seem higher due to higher demand and scarcity, but 20 ac. is approx. what we’d like, ½ pasture for grazing & hay, ½ woodlot for ongoing firewood harvesting. Must have water of sorts, i.e. pond, creek, lake, etc. Definitely a rural forested area is our goal. A house is not necessary as I do construction, but cost is always a factor, so $50k or less is our price range for land as we need to develop the farm. Does this seem like a reasonable amount?
Also with all the instability in the country, dollar devalue etc. do you feel you are in a ‘safe’ place should civil unrest, depression etc. cause roving gangs from the city to seek nearby rural food sources? Or do you wish you had moved to  “the Redoubt” area? 

Thank you for an time or info you can provide. Also, I thoroughly enjoy your blog as I recognize experiential farming and all the added trials shared realistically.

Thanks again, and God bless.
[omitted]

Frank’s response
Hello [omitted],
Congratulations on 40 years of marriage. 
Up front. Our time in Alaska was temporary every place we were, so we never gardened or raised any form of livestock, period. Here is a list of the places we lived, starting at the top and coming around and down. Barrow, the Kotzebue area, Nome, mouth of the Yukon River and Dillingham. We had a condominium in Anchorage for a few years, but it was only used a few days out of the year. So, again, we had no experience in gardening or livestock while in Alaska. We did have a church garden in one location, but it was really not very successful. That was in Dillingham, the lowest latitude that we lived.

Somewhere over the tundra about 500 miles from Anchorage
The reason we left Alaska, which was about 11 years ago, was my fear of the economy collapsing, which I still believe will happen. I did not want to be in remote, bush Alaska when the planes quit flying. We were there during 9/11 when the planes did quit flying, for 3 days I believe. That scared me then. Most people didn’t have a clue what it meant, because all supplies there came in either by plane or barge during the warm months.

Nunam Iqua, Alaska 2006
We looked in the Redoubt area, western Montana, Idaho, eastern Washington, just like you mentioned. At the time we left, I was about 57 or 58. At that time I had had several surgeries and after leaving Alaska, I had lower back surgery and open heart surgery. But one day it dawned on us that we were not getting younger, not trying to sound funny here, but I was really tired of shoveling snow. The places where we could have a car, I was tired of shoveling out the car. I was tired of ice, and dark, and cold, and I mean really cold. -50 is chilly. -20 was a good day. When it broke 0*, we celebrated. You should know what I’m talking about. And dark? I never realized how much I missed sunlight until it wasn’t there. And light? I never realized how much I missed dark until the sun went in a circle for 24 hours in the sky. I take it you put foil paper or something on your windows in the summer.
Right now, I am 69. Two plus years back I had open heart surgery and about six years ago I had lower back surgery. I am as active now as I was then, if not more, but I don’t think I could shovel snow if I really needed to. So, therefore, the Redoubt is out of the question.
 
The non-sunset, Barrow, Alaska, September 2000
Why Oklahoma? Lots of reasons. Fern’s mother lived in southeastern Oklahoma. We went to school in Stillwater, Oklahoma which is where we met and were married 36 years ago. Fern is ten years younger than I am. For various reasons we bought a house and piece of property that joined her family’s property. About 40 years ago, back in my Mother Earth News days, I researched property all over the country for survivability. Southeast Oklahoma, southwest Arkansas and north a couple hundred miles, and south a couple hundred miles is a survivable area. Lots of hills, some small mountains, creeks, rivers, forested areas, and not many people to speak of. Country folks for the most part, a higher unemployment rate, lots of churches, not many bars, and the issues of positive and negative that come with this type of area. 
A small example. The closest westerly nuclear power plant to us is Glen Rose, Texas. The closest easterly nuclear power plant is just west of Little Rock, Arkansas. Our prevailing winds are from the west. I am not concerned about a melt down at the Little Rock facility. Glen Rose, Texas, a melt down would not reach us here. Tinker Air Force Base, just southeast of Oklahoma City, if something nuclear were to occur there, it would not reach us.
Next topic. Neighbors are neighbors, and Bubba is Bubba. This is the same everywhere. 

The rolling hills of southeastern Oklahoma.
Summer heat. Well, it gets pretty hot in interior Alaska during the summer. I don’t know where you live right now. We have mosquitos, but nothing like the ones we had in Alaska. We have no no-see-ums or white socks. Heat is relative. We get the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico that provides us with our thick forests, which allows us to grow just about any plant we want to. Fruit trees can be grown, but they struggle because they just don’t have the same conditions they do in the southeastern Washington area. Because of the gulf stream, in the summer time there is high humidity and high heat and sharply fewer bugs than Alaska. Yes, the heat and humidity can be an issue. We never had air conditioning in Alaska. We had a pretty nice condo in Anchorage, but it didn’t have air conditioning. In the summer here, we start much earlier in the day and much later in the evening. That’s the way we do it, and we do have air conditioning. In the winter, if need be, we can use wood heat. And I truly pray to God, that if the electricity ever goes off, it’s during the winter so we will have at least a little time to acclimate.
Land price and costs. It’s this way everywhere, you get what you pay for. If you were to look around with various real estate agents, I think you could find what you’re looking for, for around $50,000. Now there are places here that are covered with rocks. That’s part of being in a mountainous, hilly area. Some places have good well water, some places have poor water. $50,000 depending on the quality of land, could get you a lot more than 20 acres, or a lot less. In Oklahoma, building codes in the rural areas are just about non-existent. I cannot speak for Texas, Arkansas or Missouri. We don’t have silly laws taxing rain catchment, but there are laws about damming up creeks and streams and affecting your neighbor down stream. A competent real estate agent should be able to answer most of this type of related questions.
You addressed roving gangs. Civil unrest. The farther away you are from towns, I believe the less this will happen. As far as the instability of our country and the devaluation of the dollar, the dollar has been devalued before. And instability? Just look at Washington, D.C. Look at that circus. As Ol’ Remus says, Avoid crowds.

Buckland, Alaska 1990
I’m about to wrap this thing up. You ask, do I wish I had moved to the Redoubt area? Outside of the romance of a few novels and films? No. It’s not survivable unless you are very young, in excellent condition and have skills that very few people have. It has a lot of the same features Alaska does. People struggle with gardens there, they have hard water issues. You know, ice. It gets as cold in Montana as it does in most of Alaska. We have ice here for a few hours, or a few days a winter. I am more than happy with where I live. If I were to ever move again it would be 30-40 miles farther east, therefore, I am extremely happy with where I am.
If you would like a recommendation, and I do not live in that immediate area, but I am about 60 miles away from Mena, Arkansas. Or come right across the border into Oklahoma. I do hope this helps.
You know bad times are coming and we are going to have to do the unthinkable. I hope that you and yours have your heads screwed on right. I would gather food storage and a realistic way to protect myself. Some day this thing is going to break. Most people will move to the cities and the vast majority will succumb within a few months. This is a horrible thing to think. You will need to protect yourself. This is the part where it’s important to have your head screwed on right. I don’t believe that God wants us to put our hands up in the air and just give up. God made us fighters and He expects us to do so.
Peace be with you,
Frank Feral

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

On the Brink

The world has been forced to the edge of a cliff. Little by little the advance has been orchestrated and manipulated, whether by design, greed or avoidance it matters not, the outcome is the same. When people take

notice of the direction they are traveling and voice concern, distractions immediately appear, to the left, to the right, filled with mind numbing, wanton pleasure. Thus, the advance continues, one step at a time, until all of mankind stands on the brink of the abyss. The chasm is too deep and wide to see what is at the bottom, or if there is any way across. The view is murky and dim, limiting discernment of the coming fall. The only sure knowledge shared by those standing at the precipice is that their turn for the plunge will arrive all too soon. Ready or not, here it comes.

Folks, the preparations we are making for this future are deadly serious. They are not a game, a novel or a movie. The events that are unfolding before us are truly unbelievable at times, but are real, nonetheless.

There are people that ‘play’ at being prepared, with the latest, greatest, coolest ‘things’. They have learned all of the buzz words and know how to use them. They really believe that their ramming vehicle won’t get flat tires, fatally stopping them in their tracks. They believe that they will be the one to beat the odds, and bug out of the city in just the nick of time, with or without a destination. Sadly, these are the things dreams and movies are made of, not reality.

When the day comes that we are forced over that cliff, when TEOTWAWKI truly does arrive, the devastation will be unimaginable. For over the cliff we all will go. Some people will have parachutes to soften their landing, most

will not. Even if the fall is not fatal, the mental devastation may be. Several of our friends have recently voiced how the stress of current events are affecting them. Times are difficult now and pondering the unknown catastrophe that approaches is affecting all of us. I think one of the most difficult aspects is not knowing how the collapse will occur. We can only speculate, given the constantly changing conditions before us. We received an interesting quote recently, “and if the New Year isn’t a good one, let’s hope for the strength to survive a bad one.” Good sentiment.

I don’t say these things to make fun of or belittle people. I say them to try to bring as much serious reality to our situation as possible. You see, we aren’t preppers, we are hard core survivalist. Not in the manner that

survivalist were viewed before the prepper movement began, but in the sense that we are trying to prepare to survive the long term devastation of the world as we know it. Our future will be one of incredibly hard work, grubbing in the dirt for our survival. By the sweat of our brow, and the knowledge in our heads will we eat, drink and try to be safe. There will be no cavalry riding in to the rescue. If your good neighbor down the road runs out of food for their children, they will be at your door with a different attitude than you’ve ever seen before.

The very basics of life will rise in importance like no riches, gadgets or ‘things’ ever could. Food, water and shelter will be the things people die for. Literally. The ability to maintain these basics, is and will be paramount, for without them we die. A good supply on the shelf is a good start, but what about the ability to replenish dwindling supplies before it becomes critical.

We have said this before, and it is well worth repeating. It is time to get your houses in order with your final plans in place. Whatever you need to do to get your family prepared and ready, whatever they need to know or do, get it done. The regret of postponing a vital preparation until the day it is too late may be your undoing, physically and mentally. If we are wrong, then Hallelujah! We would still rather be considered a prepared fool, than an unprepared one. Folks, we are on the brink. One more step, and life as we know it will be over. Period.

Until next time – Fern

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

Antenna Tower Sneak Peak

Over the last few weeks, Frank has been working on upgrading our antenna towers. We’re still not finished, and hope to raise the last one today. There are many details that Frank will explain in a future article, but for today, you get a pictorial of our progress. Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section. We have learned a lot doing this project and are very pleased with the outcome so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer is healthy.

 
This has been, and continues to be, a big project for us. We are very excited about increasing our ability to communicate via radio, whether it is GMRS, MURS, CB or ham radio. This is a very important part of our survival plans. If at all possible, we want to know what is coming down the road before it gets here, and you should want to know, too. Don’t get on the truck.
Until next time – Fern