Editors’ Prepping Progress November 16, 2019

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

I was quite busy writing this week, so I only had the chance to get out and do just a bit of deer hunting.  I also managed to to get our pickup ready to plow snow.

I hauled out another 50-pound salt with selenium block for our cattle and horses, to our east pasture. These blocks only seem to last a few months. I should mention that selenium blocks are only needed in regions that have soil that is deficient in selenium. (Generally, less than .20 ppm. But I’ve read that the selenium content of soil must be higher, if you have acidic soil–which is common in coniferous woodland areas. This is because grasses growing in acidic soil have less selenium uptake.) Our local soil is marginal for its selenium content, so I err on the side of caution, and buy the salt blocks with selenium.

This weekend, I’m at another gun show. I’m still gathering an inventory of pre-1899 guns, in anticipation of the planned launch of a web-based sales company, in February or March of 2020. It will be called Elk Creek Company. I plan to post some details about that in January.  I won’t have an FFL and won’t be selling and modern guns — only pre-1899 attiques.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This past week has been rather cloudy and cool at the ranch.  I had another quiet week of not much prepping.

I have been busy in our indoor greenhouse — a seasonally converted guest bedroom.  I will have some details on that in a feature article which will appear in the blog (Deo Volente) on Tuesday, November 19th.

I spent two early mornings walking around some trails and fence lines of the ranch, pruning tree branches and dead saplings, mostly pines, to open up more trails for Cross Country Skiing/Hiking/biking/horseback riding.

And I did go for two-one hour power walks this week on the the same trails that I had just pruned.

I added a baggie of Himalayan salt to my Bug Out bag.  It entered my mind to add it, so I did…

Most of my time was spent doing school with Miss Violet, writing the article on the indoor garden, studying the first nine chapters of the first book of Kings in English and Hebrew, translating, and doing the same with Chapters 18 and 19 in John. I also discovered the Red Alert Israel App that lets one know when rockets are being launched.  I downloaded it onto my i-Pad and spent time praying whenever I’d hear it go off.   And in general, I was maintaining the status quo of the ranch life: cooking, cleaning, feeding animals, organizing, etc.  Some weeks are going to be quiet.  I’m sorry that I haven’t given you something more interesting to read about…

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) bubbled up to 28,000 points by the closing bell on Friday.  If and when that blows…  …it will be spectacular, but not in a good way.  Please continue to prep, and pray, and watch.

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.


  1. If we look at how Roger Stone was treated, we have a view and warning of how Trump’s impeachment trial would be run. They went to extremes, to the point and beyond insanity. There were no limits, and little that resembled ‘due process’. It was openly, and unabashedly, a ‘kangaroo court’. They do not care how it looks, if fact they wish to use it as an example to intimidate others who are in their sights. It is therefore possible that Trump could be impeached, and convicted as the same persons would orchestrate another such theater of the absurd, that would ignore ‘due process’ entirely. I would not rule it out. And, should Trump be only impeached, yet not convicted, markets around the global should likely correct as they historically do with such news. Of course markets are no longer free, but managed. It may continue defy gravity, and all laws of nature, and it’s history, until that day when market forces is so built up, that it overwhelms the best of efforts of the PPPT, the President’s Plunge Protective Team, or in actuality, the Treasure Dept.

    The extraordinary heights it has risen to, break with historic precedent in order to attempt to restore and maintain confidence in a broken system. Stock market numbers no longer have anything to due with the real value of a company and their stock, but now represents a device used to manipulate public, and financial industry sentiment. It is merely a con-game, a shame, just like Roger Stone’s trail. As does all things, it will end. If Trump is impeached by the Congress, and he will likely be, the news could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  2. The artic blast hit us Monday evening and has stayed with us all week. The cold weather came a month early this year and our temps have been averaging (+/-) 10°F lower than this time last year. We have water heaters for the small livestock but the rabbits use water bottles which freeze. It is quite a chore to replace them every day with warm water. Then I have to thaw the frozen bottles and ready them for the next change out. Not hard, just time consuming. At least the sun is shining, which keeps our spirits up.

    My focus has been on putting up meats/poultry, stews and high nutrient vegetables. Locally, turkey has been on sale for $.59/pd; I can’t raise my own for that price. Will be FDing lots of turkey. Also FDing mixed veges to make up dry soup mixes. Working on storing grains which I don’t grow (like rice, oats, wheat) and obtaining other items which would be difficult to grow or get during an emergency/disaster event.

    According to the Ice Age Farmer (youtube) there is a warning of our food system collapsing. He claims the world’s food system is also in trouble. For us, if there are consecutive bad years for ranchers and farmers, product availability will go down and prices will go up. All of us remember the bad weather last year and floods this spring and the food recalls, lack of produce and slow food delivery systems.

    Have a safe and productive week.

  3. I spent most of Veterans Day in town shopping.

    Had several coupons for Harbor Freight and Tool so I made a trip and dropped about $150. Mostly on expendable supplies like paint brushes, 2 part epoxy mixes, male and female electrical cord ends, wire brushes, reciprocating saw blade, and the like.

    Tops Markets did a special 11% off for veterans on Monday so we took advantage of that and stocked up. Because of our move we had let our stocks of canned beans, tomato sauce, paste, pasta, etc go down so we didn’t have to move it all. Our basement cabinets are very full now. While putting it all away I reorganized the cabinets. I went over the receipt later that night and noticed the cashier did not apply the 11% discount. I called the store and the manager was very helpful and said to bring my receipt in on Tuesday and they would refund the 11%. It did mean an extra trip into town but that was okay. Thank You Tops.

    Worked overtime a few nights this week so didn’t have a lot of extra time for prepping.

    Have lots to do today so I better get at it.

  4. Thank you Lily in advance for an article on indoor gardening. It’s new to me, and I will relish your insight.

    Quiet week here as well. We had a girls visit with a dear Godly friend and returned from the day out refreshed and renewed. An entire day away from the house seemed so long as there is still much to do, but breaks are so needed too.

    Still training the dogs on the long walks. I’ve been thinking about adding weight to the mini pack I carry. Build a bit of endurance.

    Dehydrated more produce and piled up more wood. Stopped at the thrift shop and found a much needed warm yet attractive hooded winter coat for myself (I have lots of work clothes, but needed a town coat), a men’s wool button down work shirt, and a pair of very well made hiking sandals. The prices on these have definitely risen (as with those in the grocery stores!). Still cheaper than new and I don’t have to research where they are made. My daughter did buy me a pair of wellies on a super sale as I’ve worn out mine to the point of having wet feet. Just hadn’t found them secondhand in my size. They are large enough to add warm socks for cooler weather but still be workable in warmer weather.

    Took stock of the nonelectric lighting situation and am confident that we are on track. We just don’t have blackout curtains. I don’t want to be the light in the woods for all to see should we not have electricity.

  5. Our efforts to clean house and sell off nonessential items is paying off. We are doing this in weekly rounds, and only listing what we can ship without getting too buried with packaging and post office trips. By the conclusion of this week’s sales we’ll have sold several hundred dollars of stuff locally and via Ebay. We have several more weeks of selling to go. We’re putting the money away in our emergency fund, to be held in cash and precious metals. I am still surprised at how much extra stuff we have that we will never use. The added benefit is de-cluttering our house. Things can change very quickly with our economy, and while I am not so worried about losing my job, I don’t want to be selling stuff into a dead market. People have money now, so we are selling stuff now.

    We are also using this time to offload unwanted pistols and standardize on a specific brand and caliber in a couple of different sizes (compact and full size). I have a few favorites I’ll be keeping but much of this is modern polymer wonder stuff that has no collector value. We are trading into something my entire family can shoot, strip, clean, maintain and repair and that is important for us.

    Thanks to all of you for posting your comments. This is a very polite community – I really appreciate how everyone here stays positive and helpful.

    1. Chris,

      We move this past summer and had to get rid of stuff since the house we were moving into was one third the size of our old home. We did 3 truck loads to the local auction and several trips to Salvation Army to donate. I too was amazed at all the STUFF we had that was pretty much useless. Hardest things to get rid of where things that had memories attached to our parents or grand parents. We tried to pass those off to relatives. We had a butter dish from the mid 1800 that was a wedding gift to a great great grand mother. That was hard to give up but it found a nice home with my niece.

      Also looking at the firearms we have and thinned them out. I had a CZ 52 and it was a great design but that was about it- a curio or relic. Was looking at selling the M-1 carbine but I just can’t do it. What a great little gun. I really wanted to standardize calibers at the very least. Took much of the money from the gun sales and put into Beans, rice and pasta. I thought about putting some into precious metals but we have a good amount of those. We wanted to keep enough to pay off at least 2 years of property taxes with the assumption that a true financial collapse may take a few year and we didn’t want to lose the house to the tax man.

      1. 3ADScout – one of our biggest challenges is finding decent holsters for some of our pistols. That is a factor in the decision to sell some of them as well. Thankfully we live in a state that recognizes the right to sell without requiring FFL transfers or background checks on private sales.

  6. This week I had my antique rifle inspected by two gunsmiths. Next step is to do a safe test fire.

    I’m searching for sources of ammo components for an 1878 Enfield Mk II. If anyone has sources or suggestions, please send me a REPLY.

    I finished a ten-day food test on our guardian outdoor cat. Rodent control is a critical asset on the farmstead. She never accesses our home. I set up a heated pad for her so she will have a longer working live and stay in her work building.

    We normally give her small portions of wet and dry food, and a little milk now and then and she stayed excellent shape and actively worked the barn and big shop, venturing into the garden and orchard.

    To test her LT Food supply, she got only dry food, fed free choice, for 10 days. Naturally she lived like someone on welfare. Litter box got full, never went outside that we noticed, and rodent noises are heard now in the barn. The guard cat got skinnier, with shedding hair.

    Test done, Welfare state is over now.

    I went to the flea market and found a 15 gallon aquarium with lots of spare components for 10 bucks to set up winter quarters for our mosquito fighters. As I type this, a skeeter is bouncing against our window, but I’ll have the aquarium to winter over all the goldfish until March when they go back into our water troughs and water catchments for mosquito abatement.


    Rabbit owners: please be aware that Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD)… confirmed on Whidbey Island On November 7, 2019, rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD), a highly contagious viral disease with high infection and death rates in domestic rabbits, was identified in a feral domestic rabbit on Whidbey Island. This is the first report of the disease on the mainland. Some rabbitrys in our area report 100% death loss. It has been moving east, from the island of Vancouver BC last year, hopping from one island to the next, and now is on the mainland.

    1. Dear Wheatley Fisher,

      Thank you for the heads up on the hemorrhagic disease in rabbits. Your mention of it, is the very first that I’ve ever heard!? It doesn’t sound right…part of the Bio Warfare against all food supplies….


      1. I am concerned because I don’t raise rabbits yet, but my parents fed me home raised bunns when we were very poor, and I barter now for kaninschenfleische our neighbor raises.

        The reports of RHF have gone from island to island across the Puget Sound from Vancouver Island, heading east just in the past year.

        I dont know what vector moved it, since raccoons, a recent black bear, and deer swim among the islands but not rabbits. It may be the disease has been widespread for a long time and is just getting noticed or identified.

        Now would be a good time to set up a network of isolated rabbitrys.

        1. I am concerned about this rabbit disease also, and thank you for sharing, as I planned on raising rabbits when I move to the Redoubt. Interestingly, my childhood wealthy grandmother cooked Rabbit often. It was sold at the Piggly Wiggly in a lb package just like hamburger. It is a childhood comfort food for me. Did you know it can be found at four or five star restaurants now? Who knew? I’ve had rabbit in restaurants in Vancouver, BC and at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. I think both chefs were German. Anyways, just saying you were eating organic five star meals as a kid. Smile.

    2. Henry Martini ammunition, Part 2


      How to:


      My thoughts:
      I’ve never attempted something like this, so it was an interesting study. Reading up is the first thing to do. There is a fair bit to know before deciding on components. Purchased bullets would likely require the paper patch method, and result in less accuracy. Casting your own requires more equipment and effort, yet results in better quality ammunition. Slugging the bore would best before going down that route. BTW, FFg or a BP substitute are the only propellants that should be used.

      1. Thanks for the links
        I’d like to have that operational capability but it seems very pricey.

        I’ve not invested in reloading equipment, with 9mm for $0.17 and 5.56 at $0.27 per each buying in bulk made much more sense.

        1. To Wheatley Fisher,

          One option is an antique Finnish M39 (Mosin Nagant). It’s not the razor, but the blades that git ya. It shoots the least expensive ammunition available, as low as .25 cents/rd, 7.62x54R military surplus. It will also be an accurate hunting rifle with modern ammunition that is reasonably priced, and powerful enough for big game. However, a lever action in .32-20, .30-30, .44-40 etc can be a better home defense weapon, and play essentially 2 roles, therefore justifying the higher price for a reliable example. I would much rather bring a rifle to a handgun fight.

          Reloading is for those with more time than money, and for those who need thousands of rounds for a precision rifle at a lower cost. Reloading .308 is usually the least expensive. Because I’ve found lots of high quality M2 .30-06 brass, and my powder cost is amazingly low, my cost per round is very low, around .42 cents per round for precision ammunition that will run 200 to 300 fps faster than 7.62 Nato with the same weight bullet that drops 10 inches less at 500 yards than .308. This means fewer sight adjustments to stay on target. This is very difficult do for most folks to achieve. And this did not include the cost for the reloading equipment, the precision rifle and optics, or countless hours of time. However, anyone attempting to attack my friends, will be at a disadvantage. It’s the first layer of a defense that is good to have. A good marksman can keep many attackers pinned down, and so, in trained hands, it is huge force multiplier. It is huge advantage, because few can develop such capability. It is not easy.

          If you the have the terrain, a long range rifle such as the M39, using only iron sights dialed in for a know distance of at least 200 yards out, on a barrier on the main avenue of approach, you could have a decisive advantage. What would that be worth?

        2. Fisher asked: Where do you find an M39 older than 1899?

          JWR is in the business, and might still have one of these, or something else. One can also check Gunbroker.com, or other sites.

  7. Avalanche Lily,

    When you post your article at Deo Volente blog, please provide a link to the blog. I’ve looked and can’t find anything that makes sense to me. Or am I just confused?

    1. Oh Dear Charles K.

      Deo Volente means “Lord willing” in the Latin Language. My dearest Husband Jim, when he edited my Column of Editor’s Prepping Progress, added it in. He really likes to quote certain Latin phrases. He is rather brainy, Ya know!? 🙂 I love this part of him. He amazes me continually with what he knows and with incredibly obscure facts that not many people would know about. It keeps my life VERY interesting.

      Much Blessings to you,


  8. Why is it that every up and down of the market is declared the end?
    It’s just the market.
    Aren’t we all supposed to be in a terrible recession or depression right now according to everyone? Yeah bout that…. still making money

  9. Does anyone know of a source of completely American made oxygen absorbers ? All that I have found come from India or China. I found one place that supposedly makes them in the USA but the iron filings they get from out of our country. My family and my sister’s family only eat organic food. We are worried about putting oxygen absorbers in the food we dry that may have been processed with unclean water or have added lead (to increase weight). We store in 1/2 gallon and quart mason jars that we suck the air out of with a foodsaver. I have found some things are darkening or turning completely black in the case of dried pineapple and dried tomato paste. Thank you for your suggestions.

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