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Connecting Some Dots

“There’s a story about an old man who always loved to listen to a clock strike, so one day he went out and bought an old clock and hung it on the wall in his living room. Each night, when he retired, he would lie there half awake and listen for the striking of the clock. When the clock would strike, he would count. One night something went wrong with the mechanism in the clock. It began to strike as usual and he began to count. He counted up to ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen – then suddenly he realized something was wrong. He quickly reached over, shook his wife and said, “Wake up Ma! It’s later than I ever knowed it to be!”

“It’s a lot later than a lot of us realize. We must realize there cannot be security without labor; there cannot be progress without experience; there is no prosperity without adhering to sound advise and counsel of wise leaders. Wealth and security seem to grow whenever people exert energy in the right direction.

“If we want to be self-sustaining, we must first look to ourselves for the genius to provide our sustenance. Careful preparation is the only method by which this task can be accomplished. The preparations need not be elaborate, nor be made all at once, but must be a continual process with watchful planning and timely execution. (Making the Best of Basics; James Talmage Stevens, Penton Corporation, 1977, p 1-2)

“I find it ironic that we talk about the Internet ‘connecting the world.’ The truth is we have never been so disconnected from life, from the world, from the soil, the trees and other animals and our souls.

We have lost the power to look after our loved ones and ourselves. We are so reliant on others, often faceless corporations, to address our every waking need, that many of us can barely cook a decent meal – we resort to take outs and canned food. Our health, both mentally and physically is suffering too because of our child-like dependency on others.

Humans need to connect again. Connect to each other and connect to our world. We need to learn the skills of our grandparents, skills that allowed them and their children to survive wars and famines.” (The Lost Ways, Claude Davis, Claude Davis, 2016, p 17-28)

One of the benefits of living a long time is the potential to see and connect the dots of our lives. I think that connecting the dots is increasingly important with each passing day. I would like to share one example.

The first dot is national energy policy. The Biden administration has made it publicly clear that they desire to replace our carbon-based energy system with what a renewable energy system. They have embarked on this path and seem committed to pursue it aggressively. Unfortunately (for those who depend upon the carbon-based energy system) they don’t have a working replacement. They are betting that by shutting off the carbon-based system a new infrastructure of renewables will be created. Unfortunately, this policy is being pushed by people who have little if any technical expertise and even less interest in the required science and engineering required to produce a solution.

The second dot is the terrorist action by extortioners who shut down the largest petroleum pipeline system in the country. Fuel stopped flowing with real world results for hundreds of thousands of people.

The third dot is the federal government’s response to this event. There was absolutely no concern from the government on this matter. This dot is understandable in the context of present national energy policy.

As you know from other documents on this blog, I believe that we are headed toward a time when the transportation system will experience massive disruption. I don’t have many insights into what that disruption will look like. I do not believe that the dots referenced above are the disruption. I believe that stringing multiple dots together will eventually produce a real consequence. Two or three dots may not ultimately define a trend or direction, but a thoughtful person should be watchful to discern dots and make connections to understand direction and expected consequences. I think it is likely that the disruption I expect will the normal result of a long string of dots that seemed to be unconnected individually but together form direction and consequence.

Interestingly, in the case of the pipeline, the government left the company to negotiate with terrorists alone. To my knowledge, this is the first time the government officially sanctioned negotiating with terrorists. The ransom was paid and life returned to “normal”. But one thing I know, when you submit to bullies, the bullying intensifies. Prepare to see similar dots.

I want to share something I heard from Steve Deace, a radio commentator. I do not have the exact quote, but the essence of his comment was:

  • Faith is the foundation of our beliefs.

  • Our beliefs are manifest in our actions.

  • Our actions display our faith for all so see.

I am trying daily to connect my faith, my beliefs, and my actions. This blog is an example of that effort on a personal level. It was Steve’s strong assertion that these three truths form the basis for all action in all people, regardless of anything else about them. We all have faith in something. For some it is faith in science. For some it is faith in government. For some it is faith in business. For some it is faith in social structure. For some it is faith in God and His system. For some it is a combination of several of these and potentially other things that they have faith in. However, remembering that our actions display our faith, I suggest that each of us spend a bit of time evaluating the connection to see which actions show the dominate things upon which our faith is based.

This is the point where we connect everything that in this week’s blog. If our actions are a display of our faith, then what do you learn from your individual actions about your individual faith and belief. Action that cements our dependence upon “faceless corporations” should tell us a lot about our faith and our belief.

For those who want to break that dependency and become more self-sustaining I want to spend a bit of time on gardens this week. Gardens do not have to be large or complicated. Your garden should be a reflection of your needs and your beliefs. In fact, all or your efforts toward self-reliance should match your needs and beliefs.

Some documents suggest that a garden of 200 square foot would be sufficient for a family of four. That translates to approximately two garden spaces of 4 feet by 8 feet per person. I strongly believe that if you are just starting you should start with one 4x8 garden patch. Gardening is a process of experimenting and gaining experience and knowledge. If the starting point is too large, the experiment can be overwhelming and be stopped before it even gets a good start. With careful planning you can grow an amazing amount of food in such a small space. Remove some sod. Put in some topsoil mixed with sand and compost or manure. Stir it up and call it a garden.

Try vertical gardening. Wire mesh mat (used in concrete) makes an excellent vertical support for peas, beans, cucumbers, and zucchini. Cut the mesh to the size you need, stand it vertically and hold it vertical in place by pounding rebar through the wires and into the ground. Your vegetables will get more sun, take less space, and be easier to harvest with this arrangement.

Tomatoes grow nicely in pots. They are functional and decorative. If you plan to grow tomatoes in your garden space, consider growing them on a rope.

Carrots, radishes, beets, and lettuce make nice borders or can be incorporated into flower beds. In fact, some flowers will help you increase yields and reduce insects in your vegetable.

If you want to grow corn, be sure to plant multiple short rows instead of a single long row. Corn needs neighbors to pollinate. Always have at least three rows of corn. My corn this year will be 8-10 rows that are just 4 feet long. Compactness is your friend with corn. Corn stalks should be about 15 inches apart but all of the stalks need to be compacted in a block area not a row. While you are at it, plant melons so that they fill into the corn.

Start small and simple. Try something. If you get started now, then you will have a foundation for the future. If you already have a small garden, evaluate whether it is sufficient in size and variety to meet your household needs if you no longer have access to the corporate food network. If you need to make adjustments please start now.

There are many useful blogs and YouTube sites. Here are a few that I have found helpful.


  • Tam Bartels

  • The Provident Prepper

  • Black gumbo

  • Dave the Good

Web sites





Every person gets 24 hours a day. Our actions are basically how we choose to use our time. Be sure that how you use your time is an accurate reflection of your faith and beliefs. Personally, I am convinced that how we use our time is always a reflection of our individual beliefs and faith. If you say you believe one thing but your actions indicate something different this is the time to make some changes.

Now is the time to learn and to expand your skills in gardening so that you become more self-reliant and can be a greater service to your family and those around you.

If you are not a member of the Self-Reliant Community, click on the link on the top left of the home page and become a member. If you are a member of the Self-Reliant Community, log on and share your thoughts. Tell what you are doing and what you have learned in your garden.

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