Editors’ Prepping Progress

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:

This past week was a challenge, but with the help of my incredible wife, I got through it.  As of Friday morning, I was up out of bed and dressed for the first time in nine days. Bronchitis is never fun. Whilst ill, I fell behind on my blog writing. And I foolishly launched my Internet mail order biz (Elk Creek Company) last Saturday, because I falsely concluded that I would soon be well. (Why do I set self-imposed deadlines?) Oh, and to top it all, my publisher in England asked me to make some last minute changes to my book manuscript. Fun, fun, fun. Thankfully, I have an incredible, amazing, lovely, and gracious wife who was able to manage everything else around the ranch, and play Florence Nightingale, and cook tasty meals.  I must say that Avalanche Lily is The Complete Package. I feel truly blessed.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
Gee, How am I supposed to follow that, except to say that Jim is my Complete Package!  He is my Manly Man!  And I am truly doubly blessed to be married to him and to share with him the life God has given us to live in this beautiful American Redoubt valley, on our own land, with our own gardens, and livestock, surrounded by gorgeous mountain vistas and rivers, dreams come true… We are truly blessed of the Lord!  God gets all of the praise and thanks!

Despite all of our colds and bronchitis, I did get to accomplish a few things in the area of prepping:

Last week, while shopping at Costco, I noticed in the freezers, bags of frozen avocado.  I took the bag out and looked at it and thought that if they were freezing avocados, then I could freeze them, too. I thought,  “I love eating Avos fresh and I love putting them into my smoothies.  I will be very sad when and if the day comes that they cannot be a part of my diet,  because they are unavailable because of poor harvest or transport issues due to a TEOTWAWKI event.  I also dislike the fact that they tend to all ripen at the same time and I can’t eat them all fast enough. From each batch I buy, I need to throw out one or two because they over ripened, which has been upsetting me. Therefore, why can’t I buy a few large batches of them and let them ripen and freeze the bulk of each batch?  Then I would get to eat them fresh and frozen and have them on hand all of the time, instead of just when we can get to town and buy them.”

So, I put the bag of Frozen Avos that I was examining back into the freezer and bought a large bag of fresh Avos.

I mentioned it in the blog, last weekend that I had the bags of avos and intended to freeze them once they had had a few days to ripen.  GritsInMontana wrote in concerning freezing the Avos and told us how she freezes hers. She slices them into chunks and pours fresh lime juice over them, puts them on trays, covers them with Saran Wrap and freezes them.  The lime juice and Saran Wrap keeps them from oxidizing.  She also makes Guacamole with lime juice and a little bit of salt and covers the bowl with Saran Wrap.  The Saran wrap is in contact with the Guac. So I followed her example.  The only thing, I did differently was not add salt to my Guac, and I put my Guac into an ice cube tray.  It worked beautifully!  I now have a gallon bag full of frozen Avo chunks and another gallon bag of frozen Guac cubes.  I did several batches this week after returning to stores to buy more Avo.  I will be continuing to buy Avos and freezing them, until I have a very comfortable long term supply.  If we lose power, then they will be put into the propane freezer. The meat in the propane freezer will be canned!

Also this past week, I bought a large amount of fresh spinach.  I dehydrated it and ground it up into powder in my new Vitamix blender.  This week I returned to some stores and bought another large amount of Fresh Spinach and am dehydrating another two batches that I will blend into spinach powder.  The spinach powder joins the beet green powder and Kale powder that I made this past fall.  These Greens powders are put in my smoothies when we do not have fresh greens in the house.

I bought more limes, squeezed them and froze another two ice trays worth for my frozen lime juice supply.

I am thinking of squeezing oranges and freezing that juice, too.

The girls chopped up two big Costco bags of sweet peppers for me, and froze them.

I did several post office runs this week, to mail out our first Elk Creek Company antique gun orders, for Jim.

Well concerning the Coronavirus: You haven’t heard much from us concerning our personal opinions of this virus.  This is because Jim as a real Journalist wants to be really sure of his facts and sure that they are coming from reputable sources and are the truth of the matter before commenting.

There are many opinions and theories circulating out there.  We are developing our personal opinions.  But cannot comment on them, yet.

For now the best thing we will say, is take it seriously, prepare accordingly, and be ready to self-quarantine (isolate), at the drop of a hat.

My opinion in general is, that we are in the very Last days of the Age of Grace/Salvation.  The coming of the Lord Jesus in the clouds of heaven will bring this age to an end. See the book of Daniel 7:13,14. He will catch up all who believe on Him and will pour out His wrath on the rest of mankind who took the Mark of the Beast. This will be a chip or something that will allow people to continue with buying and selling when they crash the economy and go cashless/have a digital currency. If you take the Mark and join in with this economic system, then you will be eternally separated from God the Father.  There will be no hope for you.  Don’t take the Mark!  We may starve to death, but death by starvation and maintaining your soul and fellowship with God, is far better than being cast into hell for eternity.

The book of Revelation Chapter 6 talks about the four horses of the Apocalypse.  We think they are beginning their ride and this is just the beginning and will be quickly followed by many more pandemics, famines, war, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, terrible storms, droughts, floods, etc. Therefore, we must all repent of our sins, and read the Word of God and Trust Him to protect us, or bring us home to Him. We must always be ready to testify of Him even if doing so will bring persecution to ourselves.

Again we encourage you all to continue Prepping.  Continue praying and asking God what more He would have you do to be ready for what is coming upon the earth.  Please continue to warn the ones the Lord leads you to warn.

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. Corona Virus

    Economic collapse as a result of the outbreak, is the second and biggest reason to stock up given the economic impact that this virus will create over the next year or two. I am already self sufficient and have begun to isolate myself. I need no interaction from the outside world to sustain myself for many years. Just because I am poor by most standards, doesn’t mean that I am not capable. Other poor people should not be discouraged by a lack of funds that they often perceive as a barrier to becoming self sufficient. The Lord is faithful. 2 Corinthians 5:7 “…For We walk by faith, not by sight…” Isn’t it also mentioned somewhere in the Bible that the meek shall inherit the earth? Yes it does. In my experience, if there is a will, then there is a way. If there is no ‘will’, then there is ‘no way’. The Lord will help those who help themselves. We must strive to do our best, and the Lord will make up the difference. He is indeed faithful. These are not simply words to me, I have lived it for years. It is part of my testimony.

    For what it is worth, as kind of Forward Observer, I believe this virus might be a bio-weapon under development that escaped. Yet does it really matter? Perhaps. It resembles mostly Bat Corona virus 98%, and 79.5% SARS Corona virus of 2003. Some well informed ‘experts’ believe it also has a HIV-1 genome insert that is not HIV, but a characteristic of HIV that allows the virus to better infect via mucus membranes, such as the eyes. And there are tell tale finger prints in the DNA that indicate that tampering occurred. Enzymes such as unziperaze begins the process of separating the DNA. This may in part explain why it has a very high infection rate, perhaps as high as 83%, and a 2 to 15%, to possibly 30% CFR ( case fatality rate). The rate that it spreads is estimated to be 2 to 4.2 persons infected by a single carrier. A disease only needs a minimum R0 of 1.5. It is represented as the
    ” ‘R’ naught” number (R0). At my age, and with my risk factors, a battle with this virus, especially without modern medicine, would be difficult. Even without oxygen, Antibiotics could prove very useful at fighting off secondary and opportunistic diseases including MRSA, and bacterial pneumonia’s, that could finish off the patient. This is another reason to isolate the patient, so that you do not infect them with opportunistic diseases. Doxycycline, and all the rest are in my arsenal.

    In an interview with Stefan Molyneux in the last 24 hours, a Hong Kong man reported the deaths in China to be 1.4 million. If true, this properly explains why the Chinese government has gone to extremes in attempt to stop the spread of the virus. Public facilities such as stadiums, and make shift emergency hospitals built with in days, are being used as death camps for countless thousands rounded up by force. These actions speak louder than Chinese government lies. My numbers represent a range, a consolidation of educated guesses, and reports, and are not scientific, or established in any way as fact. As a former student of the Scientific Method, I am thoroughly familiar with the rigorous process that establishes what is scientific fact, that should not be confused with medical opinion. Medical opinions are educated guesses. Although questionable, the numbers represent the extreme low and high estimates of various sources. The virus is mutating, and the numbers will change. Only history will determine the facts of the matter. Because of the potential severity of the threat, we should not wait for science and history to establish the facts, we must attempt to measure, or *gauge* the threat as best we can in order to make decisions sooner rather than later. We gather the available information and develop intelligence. If the process is lengthy, or too slow, the window of opportunity to take action may close, and the battle is lost. In a potential crisis, or emergency situation, as this is proving to be, it is better to swiftly gauge the situation, and be decisive. Delaying in attempt to make the perfect decision, or to ideally measure a situation, is not as good as making a decision sooner rather than latter. A threat assessment that is only 80% as accurate as the best assessment, is far better than a delayed, and 100 percent correct assessment that is rendered latter. Without an assessment, we should not make a hasty and uninformed decision. We should stay inside the OODA loop (orient, observe, decide, and act) to adapt to rapidly changing conditions in the threatening environment. “Paralysis by analysis” is not an option.

    IMVHO (In My Very Humble Opinion), the virus will effect the rest of Asia in a similar way as it currently is China. It may ‘peak’ in the spring, and that is why China is panicking. It will likely be less severe in the western world for a variety of reasons, including modern mitigation efforts, but I would not trust the government to act in a timely manner. We are on our own. It is usually too slow to act. In this country, the virus may be at least as devastating as was the Spanish Flu that is known to have a CFR only of 2 to 5%. In this least threatening scenario I see, one that is comparable to the Spanish Flu of 1918, we still face a serious pandemic that can compromise our fragile high tech world. Historically, viruses tend to propagate better in warmer regions, and should be strongest in southern states in larger cities, with large numbers of homelessness, and with larger Asian populations. The Southern California metropolitan area comes to mind, yet Seattle will also be hit hard. And then there is Calgary, Canada that is has Asian immigrants, and is just across the border, from Lincoln and Flathead counties in Montana that is their popular summer destination. Sparsely populated areas in the north, should be least effected if the border is closed. In Lincoln County over half the population receives government checks or assistance, and may be able to self quarantine, or isolate themselves at least some what, and reduce their exposure in a variety of ways. Already the threat that this virus poses is being discussed in this population of less than 20,000. I have assisted in this processes, and will continue to do so, but now at distance. Readers of this blog can also do their part to alert and educate their communities.

    However spare the population, the colder weather may allow the virus to remain viable for up to 10 days, and perhaps longer. Preserved by the cooler weather and revitalized by a nice warm host, the actual time it might be viable on surfaces is unknown. Unfortunately there is no way to verify any of this information, yet given the best educated guesses, there is reason for caution until proven otherwise. I am naturally conservative and careful, yet sometimes it is better to risk embarrassment, than allow others to risk death. Think for yourself. I claim no expertise. The bulk of my college education was in the biological sciences. I turned down an offer from the University of Copenhagen Medical school in Demark. There was no scholarship for me! I have no credentials, but I still speak Danish…. Arm yourself with education, and common sense. Get right with God, and learn more where the topic is freely discussed. We still have one or two months to stock up. When the last boat from China arrives, there will be no more for an indeterminable period. Half the population on the planet is in Asia and India, and it will be a mess for quite awhile. Protective gear and medicines cheaply produced over there will dry up first and there will be no more once the last container ship arrives. Yet self quarantine is my plan and I have what I need already. Most, however, do not have enough food. I would rather have waaay to much, than not enough. Get it now, and reduce your exposure to crowded stores, now and in the future.

    1. Tunnel Rabbit,

      Some good comments and observations concerning the coronavirus. My job allows me the opportunity to talk with our county and state health department officials as well as be on some of the calls with the CDC. I think the folks in the health departments are all kind of scratching their heads as they have yet to confirm the “reservoir” source of this virus and as you point out some of what they are seeing doesn’t add up to being “natural”

      With the heavy handed response and crack down on the internet via the Chinese government, I could see this virus being the catalyst for a change in government, especially if the Chinese people think this was a bio-weapon by their communist government. What are the ramifications of a civil war in China??? You think we have supply chain problems now, a Chinese civil war would probably stop 80% or more of exports. I could see Taiwan and Hong Kong spear heading the charge.

      If the way this virus is spreading I think it is all but a foregone conclusion that it will make its way to the US infecting large numbers. I think the CDC is doing a “Hail Mary” play with the travel restriction trying to slow the spread into the US while frantically working on a vaccine. Hope is that the virus will go dormant at the end of the “flu season” thus buying some time to manufacture a vaccine and get it ready for the next flu season. One issue with this is that many (if not most) of the novel outbreaks do NOT go dormant at the end of the traditional flu season. They may slow some but they for the most part do not stop. They then have a tendency to be even more wide spread the next season. So if the cases start to slow don’t get complacent since this fall might be the real issue. Prepare NOW

      1. Exactly, it is a novel outbreak and not a flu. Having worked for government for 20 years, I have zero faith in it. They do not need to know the source to make a decision. Few are willing to stick their necks out. They got a guaranteed check coming. Government employees do not hold their jobs by being ram rods, innovators, or self starters. They thrive by being politically correct, and doing as little as possible while ‘looking’ busy. We are on our own.

        And we have not even discussed in depth the economic ramifications even if it were to go dormant, and it will likely not go dormant. 8 major ports in China are closed. Big name car manufactures are already stopping production. Most of our life saving medications are from China I would get into ‘it’, but I don’t see enough interest to bother. But I would get the book Dr. Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Diseases, ASAP. Learn what to buy and how to use it, as antibiotics can cure the bacterial pneumonia, MRSA, Staph and Strep, one or more, that can kill a weakened patient. Supply disruptions from China will not only make prices go up, but availability might be zero. Fortunately I also have bottled oxygen, and an oxygen concentrator, and I continue to strive to be a better off grid medic…. time permitting.

        This is going to cause us to go into a severe depression, and possibly finish off the teetering banking system. We may have only 2 months to grab the cheep Chinese stuff and medicines, top off food and fuel supplies before the virus begins to hit here. For those who do not have money and assets, the time to buy is now. Antibiotics and other life saving medicines, will be worth more than their weight in gold. This event is probably the Black Swan, the Big One, and more folks should be concerned than they are. We have perhaps a 2 month+ window of opportunity. I am done, and good for years, and need not follow events, but do so for others. And because I am already in isolation, I might as well, when I get bored.

        1. This is correct… This a major test for Uncle Sugar. There has not been federal quarantine for more than a few people at a time, since the ’50’s or early ’60’s. The government is trying to figure it out…things as simple as use of perimeter fencing to help control the quarantine zones was compromised from about a 9′ fence, to traffic cones with rope attached, and now at a 4′ sections fencing (like to keep folks on the sidewalk during a parade) since it looked too scary. And no masks on screeners since it makes them too scary for travelers. Or a major left-cost public health organization refusing to work with the feds, because Trump.

    2. Hey Tunnel Rabbit, Japan has 86 cases as of last night and that number is growing quickly so we should finally be able to get some good reliable mortality and age group numbers in the coming weeks. I agree with you, we won’t get any good guesses on Chinese numbers until the historians are sorting it all out later.

      I’m still hopeful this is an ACE2 receptor site issue which makes Asian men much more susceptible, and therefore, won’t be as bad here in the US, but only time will tell. There should be more teams testing that hypothesis by now.

      Also glad I live in the middle of nowhere where I can self-isolate very easily if necessary and shoot my .22 at water balloons on my gate post if any neighbors ignore my sign: “QUARANTINE: Sorry Neighbors, Come Back Another Day.” 🙂

      1. MedCram update 11 or so addressed two tiny studies that indicate 48% of the males smoke and only 1.6% of females smoke, and the greatest mortality effect is tied to smokers, not Asian male per se. Makes perfect sense.

      2. Even if only China was effected, the economic ramifications will be severe.  It could destabilize the geo- politic and start wars.  Ignore what the stock markets do, they are pumping it up with hopeium.  The ACE2 is said to be race specific by Alex Jones, but I have reason to doubt that. I doubt it would be specific for Asian males, as it would more likely be for all Asians.  And why would China engineer such?  If it were a bio weapon, it would be engineered for the mix races that comprise the western world. There is a doctor who made the case that it was predominately effecting Asian males who smoked. I cannot recall the actual numbers, but about half of Chinese males smoke, but only 1.8% of Chinese females smoke.  A huge risk factor is smoking, or those who are prior smokers.  This virus scares the lungs, removing protective epithelial tissue, and make persons susceptible to secondary infections. Smokers would already have damaged lungs and would naturally much more susceptible. I believe this explanation has far more merit, than the gene specific explanation. The simplest explanation is usual the correct one.  One can kick the virus, but come down with pneumonia that actually causes the fatality. 
        While everyone is waiting for verifiable numbers, the clock is ticking.  I only need to look at what China is doing to know that this is serious enough to have a major impact on our lives, and in number of important ways. In addition, the early data, although approximate, is adequate to determine that the minimal threshold to be a serious pandemic, has been crossed. Intelligence should drive defenses.  If one not willing to act quickly to intelligence, and accept the risk of acting on a false alarm, or too soon, then the odds that they will survive a * kenitic * situation, or any emergency is lower.  I also use to be in the emergency business for 20 years, and know how that works.  Although it might seem be unnatural and impossible to do, one can develop a warrior mindset.  If you haven’t considered preparing to ‘bug out’ by now, it might be time to tighten up the ‘trip wire’. The last ‘slow boat from China’, a cargo ship, may have sailed, if the Chinese do not successfully eliminate it. It can also be reintroduced after it mutates, and can run through the population again. It can be a very dynamic situation, and last up to 2 years. I’ve prayed that it is not.

  2. It’s amazing how one week can change your whole focus. Last Friday my husband had a routine colonoscopy and was diagnosed with cancer of the colon. Followed by blood tests, a CT scan and an upper GI scope. They all indicate the cancer has not spread as of yet. Wednesday is a visit with the surgeon.
    After much prayer and tears we both are in a very good place right now trusting the Lord and at peace with the future no matter what happens.

    We did our monthly Sam’s Club visit and I purchased wild caught salmon, cod, and flounder. The prices on wild caught fish have been too high for our budget for awhile and we hadn’t had them in some time. I also bought plenty of pineapples, mangos, avocados and lots of fresh fruit. I spent 2 days making fermented salsas and chutneys. I have also been preparing healthy cancer fighting meals every morning and evening. I’ve made some nutritious bone broth soup from beef shanks from our own steers.

    I’m so thankful that God arranged the timing of this in the way He has. I have been busy preparing the new garden and the old with a deep mulch layer, I have ordered fruit trees and raspberry bushes, garden seed, seed potatoes, onion sets, and sweet potato slips. The apple trees arrived last week and I planted them. The onions arrived yesterday and I’ll put them into their prepared space the first rain free day we have, probably Sunday. All of these things were done ahead of time and will take little time to be planted as they’ll trickle in in time for optimum planting. God is so good to us!

    I also cleaned the chicken stalls (we converted 2 stalls in the barn for the chickens)They have increased laying now the Winter Solstice has passed and the days are getting longer. It is so nice to have plenty of free range eggs everyday.

    Part of everyone’s preps should be taking care of their health first. We already were eating a low carb diet with very little “convenience” foods, sugars or flour. Now we have added more Omega 3 fish and probiotic foods, additional supplements like turmeric and herbal teas.

    May God bless each of you.

    1. Our prayers are lifted up for you and for your husband. We believe and trust that God will see you through this trial, and that He will restore you both! We’re looking forward to news of your testimony unfolding even now…

      1. Thank you Telesilla of Argos. God has been working in each of our lives since last Fall and sooner. We are so aware of His presence and care for us. We are humbled by His love.

    2. CD – sounds like you know this … but I would be derelict in not informing you that Andrew Wommack http://www.awmi.net has a wondertful package of information re: ” God Wants You Well ” – that might …. at a minimum give you peace of mind , as a maximum provide the healing that your husband needs.

    3. CD,

      My brother-in-law had colon cancer about 13 years ago. They caught it before it spread outside the colon. He is still with us and is doing well. Take heart.

    4. Blessings to you both. Being ill is awful, and caretaking is really intense and stressful. I pray instant healing, or strength for the journey through the fire. I am just finishing up the final week of radiation treatments that followed months of chemotherapy for a blood cancer. Because of the intensity of the treatment for this aggressive disease, I was put on full isolation since the beginning of the summer except for a little break over Christmas (between treatments). Secondary infections are problematic with a high temperature a hospital visit and a temperature of 100 degrees as an airlift to the Cancer Institute. I never developed a secondary infection even though the family interacted with hordes of people daily.

      If you would be interested, I’d be willing to provide the logistics of how we kept me from getting contaminated and ill when everyone was out and about daily….and with only one bathroom. Of course it has to be said that plans do not work if not followed.

      I do believe I’m as prepared as possible for avoiding the upcoming spread while those in the house continue to work. I wish we could all just hunker down, but bills have to be paid.

    5. CD, I’m sorry for this diagnosis, and will pray you and your husband through treatment and recovery. Please keep us posted on specific prayer needs and updates if you want…
      I’ve always pondered what were the best moments in life for Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego,(spelling?)? Probably when they were thrown into the fire, because there they were closer to the Lord’s presence than at any other time in their life. Blessings on this path you are forced to take.

      1. Thank you Krissy. You are so right about drawing strength from God in tough times. My Bible reading have become so interesting? I read Romans 8 right after we heard. SO much in this Chapter to claim and get strength from. I translated, Abba, Father to the southern vernacular- Daddy!

      2. You are correct in stating that the three Hebrews, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, “when they were thrown into the fire … were closer to the Lord’s presence than at any other time in their life”. Take a look at Daniel 3:25 where is says “… and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

        Some of the fiercest battles that Christians throughout history have faced have commonly been over worship. Revelation chapter 13 outlines this battle near the end of this earth’s history. Revelation 13:15 (last clause of the sentence) is a very parallel concept to Daniel 3:6, 11, 15, 20 and 21 where the three Hebrews were threatened with death if they did not worship the false god as Nebuchadnezzar, the king, had commanded them.

        Additionally, many theologians miss the fact that the Messiah is called the “Son of God” in the Old Testament as Daniel 3:25 does. Proverbs 8:22 describes Christ as Solomon was not and could not have been the one here referred to. Proverbs 8:23 says “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” Solomon did not exist “from the beginning” so it is obvious it was not him.

      1. Thank you Animal House. We can use the prayers and we’re thankful for them. “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”

    6. You and your husband are in my prayers. A dear friend of mine was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago, and it had spread. She lost all her hair during chemo but now has no detectable disease, her hair is back, she looks radiant and feels fabulous. She prayed a lot, as did all of us who love her. Stay positive, have faith!

      1. It is such a good feeling to know that The Body of Christ joins all believers together. Age, race, location doesn’t matter. We can lift each other up to our Father and He hears us and answers us. So glad your friend is doing well. Thank you Grits!

    7. CD…more prayers for you, especially as Wed. approaches. May you both feel the “Daddy” arms around you as a child being rocked, held and caressed close to His heart. (This pictured meditation is life-changing as one actually feels the rocking and comforting arms He wraps around you…such a loving Father we have!)
      Undoubtedly, the large community here will be a strength and support…spoken and unspoken thoughts and petitions on your behalf…

      1. Thank you Joyce. I feel very blessed and I feel how loving the Father is. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matt. 7:11
        My husband is an excellent and loving father to our children but our Heavenly Father is even better.

  3. Surely generations before us feared they were living in end times. But what means were available to administer the Mark of the Beast worldwide? The obvious difference today: Technology.

    God still controls the timing. But He has allowed man to finally posses the tools.

  4. I’ve been tending to rabbits and their babies and treating a couple of old dogs for arthritis and one of the younger dogs for adrenal imbalance. I made high-protein, high vitamin hemp biscuits for the dogs which are now their favorite and are working well on their arthritis. Made rooster chicken and rice dog kibble for when they need a little extra TLC.

    Last month we had a EF1 tornado come down our country road and it uprooted and threw trees around for about two miles. Our electric co-op trimming crew came down our road with about 6 different vehicles to trim any trees (left standing) close to the lines. Since I really like electricity, I did not mind at all. They trimmed up the big trees which might fall in direction of the lines and cut down about 12 of my pines which are part of a pine forest. They cut them down, shredded the entire trees and ground down the stumps. We asked them to leave the mulch, which they were happy to do. It saved me a lot of money;;; about $3,000 in trimming the big oaks, maples and sweet gums and though I would not have taken that many pines down, it would probably have been about $5,000.

    Put in a top-off order for pickup at a warehouse store so I didn’t have to wander the aisle gathering germs. I got 7.5 pds of dried minced garlic (I love garlic) as my garlic is not ready to harvest. Also got several bags of fresh lemons and limes to juice (thanks Lily). Added to bleach, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, medical antiseptics and other supplies. Continue to restock OTC meds, first-aide supplies, medicinal vitamins, herbs, etc. Certainly glad I already had sufficient amounts of pandemic supplies as some of them are not obtainable now at reasonable prices. Picked up an order at the feed store so now we have a 3 months supply of animal feed. I would like to have 6 months, but I don’t have enough storage space right now. Need to work on that.

    This situation in China and the coronavirus is just the beginning of world-wide problems ever country and every person will have to deal with. As Ms Lily stated “pandemics, famines, war, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, terrible storms, droughts, floods, etc.” will continue. In the Book of Revelation we are warned of the great earthquake unlike any known on earth; which will probably trigger the volcanoes, which would spew ash to darken the skies, contaminate the waters, destroy the crops of the world and kill millions of people and animals, etc. We are told that these are warning signs for all to repent and come unto Christ; but it is not yet the end of times. Assuming, we’re still alive, I’ve been pondering how will we grow anything, how will we feed the animals; what will we need and for how long? Remembering some of the ancients (Noah) who had to not only keep going, but start over…can we do this?

    Have a safe and productive week.

    1. To your comment: ” I’ve been pondering how will we grow anything, how will we feed the animals; what will we need and for how long? Remembering some of the ancients (Noah) who had to not only keep going, but start over…can we do this?” Of course we can because with God ALL things are possible!

  5. Jim,
    Glad to hear you’re getting back in battery. Nothing worse than having a lot on your plate and the utensils are taken away. Know what you mean about the “complete package.” The Lord has blessed my life with a similar lifetime partner that I’m thankful for every day. Just have to learn to comply with her directions when she puts on her “nurse” hat and not worry about the full plate.

  6. Went to the Kubota dealership and spec’ed out a new tractor for the homestead. With under 10 acres, I went with a B2650. Took the quote home to the wife and she is in agreement that we should buy it as speced.

    Went to a hardware store in a small town not too far away from the Kubota dealer. It is called Hanna’s Hardware and Sporting goods in Townville, Pa. It will now be my go to store. Place was packed to the hilt with a large variety of tools and supplies. When traveling, I like to stop at rural mom and pop hardware stores. They are a great place to stop and stretch your legs out while looking for apocalyptic accoutrements. So I have visited a fair share of stores over the years across the eastern part of the country and I can honestly say this place is in the top 3 hardware stores I’ve ever been in. As I was checking out, the kid at the register informed me that they had 3 other building full of lumber, feed, and other building/construction materials. I spent about an hour in the store but was rushed since I had to get home. I hope to spend some more time looking next time. Had Aladdin lamp parts, pressure canned parts, crocks, firearms, ammunition, knives, including a great selection of Made in USA knives. Prices were a little higher on most but not all things. I think some of the diverse selection was due to the Amish in the area. Great store to visit if your in the area. I picked up some replacement battery terminals (USA made), some toggle switches and a 12 volt dc cigarette lighter port splitter.

    I picked up a small plastic tote with latching lid, a box of 2×2 gauze pads and a box of band-aids.

    I had a great day at the Salvation Army, picking up a new pair of military woodland camo Gortex rain pants for a mere $7.99!! A meat grinder in the box (looked unused) for $5.99, a made in the USA percolator stove top coffee pot, a 3 D-cell mag-lite ($1.99), and a 2 burner propane stove for $5.99. I have 2 other propane stoves but this one seemed to be much better quality. Not sure the brand but very nice. I like shopping at the Salvation Army Thrift stores since the money generated goes to a good cause.

    Our prayers of been answered and our old house in the city is under contract. We got a “low ball” offer from a family who loves it. Perhaps the Lord answered two prayers with this one.

    1. 3AD Scout,

      I love your term “apocalyptic accoutrements” and think all your weekly acquisitions must have you pretty well on your way to having a barn hardware store of your own. Way to go!

      1. PJGT,

        I am striving to have a hardware store!! I often do “spontaneous” projects and it is nice to have on hand stocks to fulfill the unexpected needs that pop up during those projects. The hardest part keeping it organized so that I can find it when needed. I think I do a good job at it but it takes time. A friend of mine wants me to help him organize his “garage”, I tell him totes, tape and a sharpie- done. Peg board is another great way to organize and store stuff. Glad you like the line “apocalyptic accoutrements”.

  7. We were able to get into town on Thursday, just before the big storm hit here on Friday. Loaded up on fresh fruit, vegs, and n95 masks. Ordered some betadine from amazon. Worked on a few projects that had been put aside. Made a big batch of granola. Did a house cleaning. Caught up on some laundry. A family member was able to get to work on Friday morning but had to hitch a ride with a neighbor to get home. Hope to get to church this Sunday…….. was not able to get there last week. 27 degrees this morning and snowing……..again. Going to put a pot roast in the instant pot and continue to work on mudding and sanding the drywall seams on the basement walls.
    So glad Jim is feeling better. Be careful of relapsing. Take it easy and finish all the meds.
    Pray for our country and have a blessed week.

  8. Just a little perspective on the virus/flu….In the US 2018 flu season some 60,000 deaths related to the flu.
    2ndly, check out ID2020 Alliance. They have started and advocate the use of vaccine/inoculation delivery as a method of biometric identification…they really sell this as a way to insure the security of personal information (from everyone but the gubmint)…part of the alliance is Microsoft-Bill Gates, GAVI, and the Rockefeller Foundation…(getting any chills yet??)
    3rd…glad you all are getting back on your feet and the blessing of having a “help meet” like Av Lil. Like a Prov.31 lady…
    4th – My little preps….additional silver (Peace dollars) this time. Also, some VV N 140 powder and Sierra 77 gr hbpt, and spare bolt parts (ar). Finishing Hosea in handwriting a copy of KJV. Got the idea from a missionary.
    All right….blessings to you…

  9. It is snowing like crazy here in the mountains of NE GA. Several inches an hour – at least 6+ so far. Before that it was rain, rain, rain.
    We’re glad to hear y’all are on the mend. It is quite sobering to be so ill. Prayers, too, for the colon cancer diagnosis. My dear sister-in-law has won the battle for over 10 years now and you will too.
    This morning we finally opened a can of B&M Brown Bread, a New England favorite. It is quite tasty and can be served many different ways. I think we will order some more. One of our fears is a time when nothing will grow to fruition so gardening may be problematic.
    Dr. John Campbell on YouTube is a wonderful British gent who gives at least daily updates on the corona virus. He is so knowledgeable and calm.
    We work on many different projects daily around here. Still sorting and cleaning and rearranging and doing inventory on everything. This week we got more bags of potting soil and 10-10-10 fertilizer. Seeds and plants are out now so it’s a good time to stock up. We ordered some plants and trees that should arrive soon.
    This is odd, but our whole community these past months all seem to have become very aware of building good relationships and helping each other out whenever possible. It seems to be spontaneous and wonderful. Also had a few eBay sales and consignment shop sales. Stuff out, preps in.
    Masks are still very available around here. We grab a few more every time we are out. Did order some booties that we could take off and leave by the door if need be.
    Prayers for you all. We learn so much from this site.

  10. Re: the corona virus and trying to be vigilant.

    I have in my medical supplies, a very small amount of N-95 masks.
    Tried to order through various web sites including amazon.

    None, nada, zip. Finally spotted one box of 10 at the local Walgreens. The guy ahead of me with the shopping cart full of gloves, bleach, and masks missed one.

    Anybody have any hints on where to find any?

    1. Also, eBay has hundreds of auctions for N95 masks but prices on the secondary markets are now double retail. But at least they are available. Check the completed listings to see how fast they are selling at the now higher prices. Flying out the door. Big demand. Just imagine the demand in another 6 weeks.

    2. Ditto the hardware store option. Think Menard’s, Home Depot, Ace. Look in the painting and sanding supplies. I found a box last week at Sutherland’s. I always seem to have a pocketful of gloves when I leave work, for some reason, so I’m not too concerned about that. Especially since I’ll be self-isolating at home when nCoV gets into the general population.

  11. What brand dehydrator do you use? I am interested in purchasing one – I think this will be the best way to preserve produce.
    Any other ideas on adding vegetables to my food storage?

  12. CD, prayers for your husband and you. You are so right when it comes to quick changes our lives can take. Stay strong, take lots of tumeric and look into vitamin C use for cancers. Liquid vitamin C has been used very successfully for cancer treatment.

    Jim, glad you are on the mend. It seems you fell victim to what we all struggle with, namely placing constant burden on ourselves to achieve. Down South Homestead said it best in a recent post, when do we take time to still ourselves, be at peace and listen for our lord to be present in our lives? While illness is never what any of us want, it is often the only time we slow down.

    Certainly the corona virus has caused our family to retract somewhat from going to town “just for entertainment.” We are more purposeful about grouping our trips and minimizing them to the extent possible.

    Every dry day I continue to rebuild my garden beds. I am ripping down old raised beds, removing weeds and building new beds. I’ve neglected my property for so long, I’ve had to start over in many locations to revitalize the beds. It is interesting to look at the dirt and realize there are not enough worms in it. Lots more mulch is needed! Yesterday I finished dismantling three raised beds and built a hugelkultur bed of about 10 by 20 feet. I sectioned and transplanted some rhubarb and will use this bed for early plants that can stand the cold. As soon as I have more space cleared, out next step is to build a high tunnel. I am watching lots of YouTube videos on high tunnels these days.

    We also picked up orders of OTC herbs we use medicinally and several cases of can goods. We eat avocados every day so I am going to try freezing them as you have suggested Lily.

  13. A quiet week with a massive snow dump. We had a snow day yesterday with all roads closed and impassable till the afternoon. It was a nice break.

    I’m looking to buy a propane freezer and would love to have comments from anyone who owns one. Thanks in advance.

    Continue to work on adding to the quilt pile. Also expanded my soft cheese making skills from ricotta to a cream cheese type.

    We are planning one more big shopping spree at the end of my city visits next week. Taking inventory again. My ongoing system just isn’t working, so I’m exploring different options.

    This week I’m going to look through the OTC and prescription supplies and write out cards as to what each is to be used for. I’m beginning to get ready for a no-internet-access transition period. As an anthropologist and historian, it is the transitions that historically are the most problematic. During times of trouble, I just don’t believe we can count on having internet and electricity. Praying we do, but planning for not.


    1. PJGT…you are spot on with the transition period observation! Whether chosen or not, good or not so good, change is difficult at best. With the information and community here, one hopes to NOT be surprised by things taking a turn, (slowly or quickly.) My biggest concern for myself is that normalcy bias that might find me losing precious time for any last minute adjustments and precautions. Praying for clarity…

      Losing the community of likeminded “friends” here would be a hole in the fabric of information, encouragement, support, and much Christian fellowship we enjoy and depend on. Purchasing a blog archive of the past years posts, comments and information was encouraged by the desire to still access some of that if the internet service and grid is not available…good point PJGT. Hopeful but probably will not have for a time.

  14. I like to grow Swiss Chard and dehydrate that. It grows like a weed in North Montana and grows back every year surviving the snow and intense cold.
    I use it fresh in salads and use the dried chard in soups and stews to add those extra vitamins. It tastes good too. My kids said it tasted like spinach

    1. Ray M. …can you tell us the variety of chard you have coming back after the winter season please? It happened a few years back for me in the Midwest but i had planted a variety pack and never had it happen again. Thanks!

  15. Headed to the Big City to hit the annual winter clothing clearance sale at the feed store. They always have amazing prices. Before I left home I thought of everything I buy that might come from China and made a list so I could stock up on those. I’m puzzled as to why we’re not seeing disruptions in the supply chain yet. I guess they would normally just be getting back to work from their Lunar New Year vacations so it must be due to the fact that there’s not much production going on this time of year anyway? At any rate, I didn’t have a very long list but stocked up on everything on my list. I expect we’ll soon start seeing shortages of one kind or another of Chinese products in the stores, but hard to say which ones.

    Glad to hear the Rawles Clan is doing better. Speedy recovery to other posters who are having issues.

    1. There are disruptions in the supply chain already. The reason you don’t see it yet is because it takes four to six weeks for containers to get here. We’re still receiving ones that shipped before the quarantine. Ones that were supposed to ship in the last two weeks haven’t, so expect there to be a few weeks of disruption, even if things completely clear up tomorrow.

  16. This week I attended to some medical needs and invested in a new pair of quality “cheaters” reading glasses. I also went to the doctor to finally “admit defeat” regarding how very tired I was… I explained that I had removed all grains, dairy, sugar, nightshades, red meat, coffee and alcohol from my diet in a last ditch attempt to “fix” things. After looking at lab values, my doctor was incredulous and said “Aren’t you **exhausted**?? How are you functioning?!” I smiled and replied “stubbornness”. LOL! I am blessed that my situation is easily reversed via an inexpensive medication. And, in the event I cannot obtain the medicine I need for optimal health, I should still be able to do all things required of me, just as I have been doing, only feeling perhaps a bit more tired. As a medical professional, I felt silly for not having gone to the doctor sooner. If you are chronically tired, achey, cold, “down”, “just not quite right”, or anything else out of the ordinary, please go get checked. We might as well go through life in optimal health whenever possible. Also, we don’t know what the Good Lord may call on us to do in the days ahead. We just might need all our vim, vigor, and vitality to get through it…

    I am personally looking forward to feeling more energetic soon, just in time for springtime!

  17. The big problem with going into isolation is knowing WHEN and that little problem with having to Work, maybe some shopping? You self isolate too soon and your Unemployed and eating into your food stocks early. Too late you’ve BROUGHT that Nastiness INTO your home.

    As a medical professional I have been through H1N1, Avian Flu, SAR’s, Ebola and now Corona Virus. I have to work in a Hot Zone as everybody sick goes WHERE?

    So currently my family is withdrawing from most of our “normal activities” like eating lunches out and shows. I am the designated “Outside” Person as I have to go to work at the Hospital or go shopping.

    At ALL times I wash my hands before touching my face. IF someone is looking sick or hacking I maintain LONG social Distance. I’ll change registers or turn around in a shopping lane.

    When I return from work and shopping I do a whores bath of my hands, face, hair. Shoes stay outside, clothing go into a plastic bag to washing machine. I don’t want to track that Nastiness into my home. I have a tarp to place shopping stuff on for a little sunshine and airing out. Every little bit helps.

    I BOOST my immune system with Emergency daily, Elderberry Zinc gummies (deer ate all by elderberry bushes recently. Hoping for recovery this spring) and live culture Fermented foods like Yogurt and Kimchee. Your GUT IS your Immune System.

    My GO TO when ever I’m feeling a bit low is Hot Kimchee Chicken soup. KO’s every flu I’ve ever suffered from STAT. It’s a basic whole chicken cooked bones with a dab of vinegar and all into a soup base with shredded meat. Add hot peppers and as much garlic as your family can tolerate. Heat it up THEN add the Kimchee as you DON’T want to kill off the probiotics of the Kimchee.

    If me and mine HAVE to go outside we carry masks, alcohol hand wash and Elderberry Zinc gummies for a right now boost..

    This protocol worked for me and mine through the earlier plagues that were threatening our families.

    Hope this helps somebody

  18. Jim and to all those recovering from the flu or any viral illness, especially if you’ve been taking antibiotics: replenish your system with vitamins and good bacteria

  19. Given the potential threat of the Wuhan Coronavirus, I checked our freezer and storage pantry and went to Costco to add a few items to our short-term storage program, just in case. I bought 4 pounds of ground meat and 6 pounds of dinner sausage (3 chicken, 3 pork) for our freezer; that’s at least 20 dinner portions for my wife and I. I also added 18 cans/jars of food and six boxes of crackers to our storage pantry.

    I saw absolutely no signs of panic buying. The shelves were well stocked, and the only thing I saw in short supply was 10-pound boxes of Quaker Oats oatmeal.
    (For all I know, they have another pallet stored up on the pallet rack somewhere.) All the customers in line appeared to be doing their standard shopping – no obvious stocking up. No worried or furtive glances. Far less crowded than before a Hurricane.

    Kind of surprised me.

  20. At the first hint of crud in my chest I start taking musinex and drinking gatoraide (green). Past the electrolyte issue there is citric acid in there. Good old vitamin C. Tough getting old. My kids call it bronchiasaurus-citus. I wonder if that implies I am a dinosaur? Stinkers.

  21. Been on the “bullets” part of beans bullets and bandaids. Installed and tested an adjustable gas port on my AR. Got it dialed in at the range yesterday. I was pretty satisfied with the results.

    I did this because full power XM855 ammunition seemed to be cycling the bolt too violently as evident from the dents in the brass being made as it hammers off the deflector. I decided to adjust the gas rather than the buffer because with some reload testing I have been doing the brass sometimes shows possible evidence that the bolt might be trying to unlock a little early and from my studies some say that is better addressed by limiting the gas a bit rather than adjusting the buffer.

    I expected the adjustment to be rather sensitive to ammunition but it was not. I was able to easily find a setting that was quite satisfactory for XM855, XM193 and some commercial 55 grain reloads that are running at a pretty mild 2600 fps. The light reloads are showing light evidence that the ejector spring is too strong and I think I will buy a few and experiment with trimming/tuning that system next.

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