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:

I’ve had a very quiet week. I did get into town once (in mask and gloves), to pick up mail, ship out orders, and buy some welded wire fence panels as well as some 6-foot heavy duty T-posts. I’ve also done bit of firewood work. As a precaution, I’ve been staying in our guest cabin. This is because I had been traveling for three weeks in a state with a high infection rate. Lily has been dropping off hot meals on the cabin porch. This is using up paper plates and paper bowls at an alarming rate. (In normal times we only rarely use them.) All of our brief conversations have been outdoors at a 10- to 15-foot distance. We’d talk longer, but we get chilled. There have been light snowfalls twice since I’ve returned to the ranch. The afternoon high temperatures have been in the high 30s and low 40s. My time in the gulag ends in eight days. This quarantine within a quarantine is frustrating. I’m getting a lot of writing and editing done, but this seems like the longest 14 days of my life!

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

Poor Jim!  I’m sad about his quarantine-within-a-quarantine, too. I, too, am frustrated with our lack of conversation time.  But, if Jim turns up sick, we don’t want to get it, too.  Last week, I went out into the public, too, with all the proper precautions, so I too could still be carrying it and not have symptoms, yet.  I have a few more days, before I know that I am in the clear,  so…   we need to be patient.  Psalm 91.

I will say that we do goof around a bit.  I walk up to the cabin and shout to Jim and knock on the door and then bounce backwards off the porch into the driveway.  He opens the door, I smile and put my index fingers up to my face making the cross symbol, and say, “Stay back, Jim”, (I back up further), and say, “You might have the Covid cooties” and bounce further back and do a little dance.  That little bit of play from me puts a smile on his face.

This week saw us do some new activities that I hadn’t done before.  This past week was Miss Eloise’s birthday.  She requested an orange sponge cake. So she and I, made it for her birthday cake for the very first time with orange glaze frosting.  The family reported that it was a wonderfully yummy cake. (I didn’t eat any, because, I don’t eat eggs.) Miss Eloise saved a piece for Jim, who tried it when he arrived home from CA a few days later.  Also for the first time, I dehydrated the orange peels, (after scrubbing them/the whole orange before squeezing the juice) with warm soapy water and rinsing well.  I then powdered them in the Vitamix blender.

Also for the first time ever, I baked a whole chicken in our cast iron dutch oven inside our wood stove.  First of all, I cleared out all of the ash from previous fires.  Then in the far side of the stove, I started a fire with very dried kindling and wood, leaving about a square foot of open floor on the door side of the stove.  I opened up the air vent.  When the wood was burning well, I put the cast iron pot with the chicken and lid onto the floor of the stove and closed the door.  About twenty minutes later, I checked on the cooking status of the chicken. It was cooking fast. So I rotated the pot around to the other side, so that the other side of the pot would receive the heat from the fire. I didn’t think to close the air vent.  Therefore, the chicken cooked through well, but the skin was a wee bit blackened. The chicken tasted great, but wasn’t as tender as it could have been if it had cooked more slowly at a lower heat.  In the future, I will let the fire burn down to hot coals, and will keep the vent closed, and will cook the chicken slower.

In the main garden, I cleaned the asparagus and rhubarb beds.  Per a comment from a reader, for the first time ever, I tied up some of my leaning raspberry canes with twine.  I only vaguely remember ever hearing about doing this or seeing it done?  It kinda rings a bell way back in the recess of my mind, but I hadn’t ever done it until this week. 🙂

I added composted manure to five of my large planter pots and mixed it up with the soil that was in them in preparation of planting veggies in them.

The girls and I spent more time cleaning up manure around the ranch.

Holy cows and horses!   This year, we have such a huge abundance of manure unlike I have ever seen before.  Seriously! I really think God caused our animals to go into over drive manure production this past year specifically for this dire season of lack of food approaching…

A gardening story of Providence provision

At the end of February, I planted in my Indoor bathroom greenhouse, of what I later discovered was my last packet, of celery seed.  Fast forward three weeks, the celery seed has appeared to fail to germinate, except for maybe two or three plants. I didn’t realize that I needed to order more celery seeds three weeks ago when I placed three orders for seeds. After discovering my oversight, for the past six or so days, I was feeling very remorseful with this omission, feeling as though we might be facing this long-term TEOTWAWKI event without enough celery, once it runs out.

To be clear, currently, I do have two quart jars filled with dried celery stalks and leaves, but we do use a lot of it.

And I had bought three celery bunches the last time I went to the store, from which I have cut off the stalks and put their butts into jars of water to grow more celery on the windowsill…

As I was ruminating on this lack of planning and inwardly panicking and chastising myself for this oversight for a few days, one day this week, I was walking down the pantry hall, this hall is filled with stuff, so I forget what I have if I’m not looking for it, in particular.  My eyes dropped to a paper bag with some dried plants inside.   I picked up the bag and reached my hand in and pulled out the dried flowers and was greeted with the odor of celery.   Instantly, I remembered and became excited…  Two years ago, I had planted several rows of celery. Come that fall, I had harvested most of it except, about four bunches on the edge of a row.  I had let them over winter.  Last spring I saw that they were coming back to life, so rototilled around them and let them grow all summer.  I only harvested a few stalks from them. They produced flower fronds, but it was only one of the plants that did so. I saw honey bees all over the flowers, but because it was only one plant, I’m not sure if the seeds were pollinated and will be fertile… Come fall, I decided to cut the flower fronds and put them in the paper bag and there they sat forgotten all winter until this week.  So, I rubbed the seeds off the flowers and put them into a jar, and planted some of them into the seedling trays where the other celery seeds failed to germinate.  Now we will wait and see if they were viable.  If they are viable, then we will have lots of celery this coming summer and, I will allow some of them to over winter next winter to produce flowers and seeds next summer.

Oh, I just remembered, that last summer when I was buying spices and herbs in bulk, that I bought a pound of celery seed as seasoning for making relishes.  I’m not sure if they are viable, at this time.   I am currently trying to germinate them between two damp paper towels.  I will let you know as soon as I see if they germinate or not.

After watching more videos from Adapt 2030, Ice Age Farmer, Yanasa Ama Ranch, and Peak Prosperity, the Hagmann Report, and others.  I have to admit, I have a bit of anxiety and panic going on inside my heart, though I know that God has specifically promised me that “my children will never be begging for bread” — Psalm 37.  I have been claiming and proclaiming that verse out loud to the Lord a lot lately.  But in light of all of these warnings, the rising global panic has served as a great motivator to get me going during a day in continuing my garden preps.

This week, the nights are still below freezing but the days are in the 40’s and partly sunny, so, I put all of my cruciferous seedlings outside in the greenhouse, (They handled the two very cold nights out in the greenhouse under a second layer of plastic, well.  So I am not worried about them surviving until I can put them in the garden.)  This freed up floor space in the Indoor bathroom greenhouse to start seedlings of all of the squashes that I wish to grow and cucumbers.

I planted 8 trays of 18, 4 -nch pots.  These seedlings, I hope will give me a jump on an earlier harvest of the squashes and cukes.  I also intend to plant these same squash seeds directly in the ground come warmer weather for another later harvest.

Dear readers, we need to pray for all of our medical personnel from around the country.  We are hearing reports of a lack of personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses, and lack of testing of Doctors and nurses. That is beginning to be remedied, though, probably too late.  It’s almost as though the PTB are not taking this virus seriously enough and want to sicken our front-line of defense…  We’ve seen articles being published where nurses are being told not to wear masks to protect themselves, so as not to alarm patients, (What???) and other non-logical behaviors.  Please, please pray for your local nurses and doctors. They really need them.  If you have friends and relatives who are doctor’s or nurses and you have extra PPE gear to spare, consider donating it to them to help them stay safe.

Despite all that is going on, do what  you can to keep yourself healthy, isolate as much as possible, Pray and read God’s Word and Trust the Lord God to keep you safe. 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. Be afraid be very afraid!!!!! Nomorefakenews.com by Jon Rappoport and Martin Armstrong’s blog, amongst many others expose this for what it is…. A giant diversion to cover the already collapsing economy and the banker bailouts. Come on folks grow some courage. I routinely work for 4 different doctors (rental homes and their personal property) and all of them tell me this is being blown completely out of proportion. Do you really trust a government that has lied to you about so many things for so many years??? The people that routinely mention the Flu numbers for a comparison are right. What we are going to see on the other side of this is not going to benefit us and we are going to realize that we have been played like a fiddle. Chuck Baldwin has also done some excellent work in this regard.

    1. You are correct sir.
      Qui bono?
      Fear feeds demons. The light of God, dispels darkness and fear.
      All the “news” and mouthpieces are mouths for darkness…continually spreading fear and lies.
      Anyone who continues on this path, (Wuhan China Killer Kung Flu) needs to assess what side they are on, and their relationship with their Higher Power

  2. We have been in isolation for two weeks but will be making a trip Monday to deliver some rabbits to a customer. On the way back, we will stop at our local grocery store for some fresh veges. Our county has only one case of COVID19, the county south of us has 0 cases and the county north has two cases. But we will be using masks, eye protection and gloves. Then we will go back into isolation for another two weeks.

    The weather has been mixed this week, but we did get some work done in the hoop house. Planted new seeds and transplanted starts from the house. Can’t plant outside yet even though the temps are right, the heavy rain will wash away the seeds/plants. My prayers for the farmers who are again suffering from spring rains and snow melt.

    Had to do some vet work with a couple of my bunnies; one got ear mites and needed a ear good cleaning and anti fungal treatment and he did not like it. Also had to trim some nails on various rabbits. We moved two old breeding rabbits to their new retirement condo to be pets for the grand-kids.

    Early in the week, had one instance of poopy butt on the chicks so got that taken care. Moved the chicks to the transition coop as they have feathered quickly. I found it better to move them all together as they have their pecking order already established.

    I dropped off some beef stew and eggs to my elderly neighbors, keeping my social distance, as it seems they are not wanting to cook much at their age.

    I have to say, that in spite of having sufficient for my family’s needs, I have had an anxious feeling. While I like to stay informed, I had to stop watching/reading the news reports and switch to the animal channel for a while.

    May you have a healthy and productive week.

  3. Good morning,
    Busy week! Took care of Mom and Dad. They are doing relatively well despite all that is going on right now.
    Talked to their downstairs neighbor, he told me they are desperately trying to drag him out of retirement to help (Chicago PD) He says it’s really bad and the guys are getting sick.

    The mayor and governor of Illinois are on radio and TV freaking out every day threatening to arrest people for being out.

    So far, no cases in my county, but all the surrounding counties have cases.

    Received in the last of my Silver Eagles purchased earlier when the price was down around $12 oz. Yay!!

    Spent all day Thursday making Lasagnas and meatballs, other dishes for my family . What a great day of cooking!

    Putting together a package of supplies for my brother who has not been able to shop due to his railroad job. Was planning on going over to his place today but they are calling for severe storms/tornadoes in my area today so I will have to wait till tomorrow.

    Checked on my Aunt and Uncle in Ohio. They are doing well.
    Also checked on my Aunt a few towns over (she is in a wheelchair and has severe asthma). She’s doing well also with the help of her live in helper.

    Best of all I got to talk to my daughter (USMC, Pendelton) She is doing OK, I worry about her, she’s only 18, sounded really congested but insisted she’s OK. They are on lockdown, no one is allowed to leave base. She is in charge of gathering supplies from the commissary for her unit. Said they haven’t had any sanitizing wipes in about 2-3 weeks (I find this rather disturbing). I have not heard from my son yet (USMC, Miramar). Maybe today. I was at Mom and Dads when my daughter called so they were so excited to get to talk to her!!

    Today I’m going to tend to my lettuce seedlings and also get some tomatoes started.
    I hope everyone here is safe and healthy, praying for all of us and our first responders everywhere.

    Have a Rockin great day!!

    1. You are such a thoughtful caregiver! Praying for your stamina as you reach out to help so many loved ones. I hope you get to hear from your son soon!

    2. RKR, I have been wondering about your beloved Marines. I appreciate the update. I’m glad your daughter and mates still are able to get food from the commissary. Fifty years ago, my infantry training unit was cut off from the rest of the base by torrential rains washing out roads and bridges. Two cold meals a day. Living in uninsulated Quonset huts, “heated” by a small oil-burning stove, one wool blanket per man. Temps in the low forties, March in California, brrr. I trust your daughter and son have better accomodations. Sending my prayers for their safety and for the well-being of your parents.

      Carry on in grace

      1. Once a Marine
        I am humbled by your story! I am also so thankful and appreciative that you think of my children and my parents. Yes, I am sure that my children have better accommodations. I am so proud of both of them for choosing to serve our country.
        I hope you and your family are doing well also. You are one of my favorite people to hear from on this blog.

        Thank you again for thinking of us
        Rock on

    3. You should mention your son first and your daughter second. A male marine is more important than a female marine. As men provide for families (women do not assume full equality in supporting a stay at home husband whilst making equality of pay and benefits and retirement plus men pay the child support 91% of child custody cases ). Men also are exclusively in ground combat and fight all our wars for us.

      God bless

      1. Ole Granny,
        Yes, you are right and normally I do list my son first (he is also my firstborn) however I was so excited that my daughter called (AND she called while at mom and dads) that I relayed her information first.

        Hope you yourself and your family are all doing well


        1. RKRGRL68, I believe this is a blog about freedom! As such, please feel free to continue expressing yourself through your stories, as 99.99% of readers are not judging, condemning or telling you how you “should” speak. I am proud of your kids for serving and love to hear updates, in any order! I am sorry you were put on the defence and had to explain yourself, when, imo, no explanation was needed. (I, too, believe the Lord made men to be the head of the household, so please do not dismiss my perspective by assuming otherwise) I respect each individuals right to their opinion; trying to force it on others, not so much. After being in an abusive marriage, I instantly pick up on control and blame over nothing. With respect for you and each commenter, Krissy

  4. Mostly here at home working on some projects. Got my seedling shelving with LED lights set up- started basil, onions, tomatoes, eggplant and pepper seeds. Still a long way from gardening due to the snow and cold but heavy rain is expected Sunday-Monday and that will help with some snow removal. Getting into the low 40’s during the day a lot but cold at night. Got a big dump of snow earlier in the week.

    Picked up some canning jars(had given all of mine away before I began traveling); found that I can’t get any wide-mouth jars(only have 1 box of pints) but at least got regular mouth quarts. Also got a few garden tools I needed, a plastic compost bin for winter use arrived and I connected with a neighbor re: tilling up a garden. He also sells unwashed organic eggs so that’s great. Unsure if I want to start chicks or not now; would have to build a coop and I have zero materials to do so. So weird moving into a new place with no stockpile of useful “stuff” on hand!

    I’ve been ordering online and getting things shipped here as much as possible, even kitchen items as no way I’m braving Walmart etc. at this time. So very thankful to the delivery guys who are continuing to work so hard. Got my small order of wheat from Augasons; was pleasantly surprised as they thought it would be several more months before they could ship it. That’s pretty much it; settling in, making lists and wishing for the snow to melt! The ice fishing shacks are off the ponds now and there is a little bit of ice break-up so that’s encouraging.

    1. It takes a while to settle in to a new place, doesn’t it? Hopefully you can find some wide mouth canning jars once the thrift stores open up again. Ours are closed anyway. Who decided thrift stores are non-essential???

    2. Get chicks now before they are gone. That’s what I’d do. You will figure how to house them later. You do not have materials now, but that can change. I just got a phone call and someone is giving me fencing so I can expand my garden.

      If you can only find a large cardboard box, you are good to go for now. Give them the spare bed room for now. Pick up 4 sheets of 1/2″ plyboard and eight 8 foot 2×4, and 1/2 pound of 2 1/2 inch torx screw, a bit, and a 1/2 pound of 1 1/2 inch torx screws and a bit, and two heavy hinges, and you’ll have most of the materials to build an expedient and a small chicken house, basically a box with a plyboard roof that opens to allow you access to the inside. Or order up a small shed and have it delivered. However this is not the cheap option, but it will last.

    3. Pick up 5 sheets of 1/2 plywood instead of 4, and you’ll have a floor. It can be used as an equipment box latter, or taken apart to be used for a full size chicken coop.

      I tried to find plans and instructions on the net, but most of them are complicated, and this is simple to build thing that can be assembled quickly, less than an hour for myself, as there is only 6 cuts that have to be made, and 3 cut for a door opening. You’ll have to find some thing to make a chicken size door that is hinged or slides. Another opinion is mentioned by 3ADScout, and that is a 40 gallon watering trough, but you’d need a roof on it, later when the chicks are grown, and a door. This box does both jobs, and is easier to build. I would last for years if painted….

      1. My car can’t handle any lumber(tiny subcompact) so it would have to be delivered if i can find a place that’s open and doing this(most everything has shut down here by state order). It would have to have a sloped roof due to snow load. I’ve considered a basic framed cube with a shed roof. In the beginning they can live in a large box with a heat lamp inside the house of course. Dunno. I may just wait and see what happens. It’s probably better to focus on getting the garden set up(new place). A neighbor has plenty of eggs right now. If this continues I can probably acquire some chicks hatched locally. If things calm down, at least for a while, I bet some who acquired chicks will be ready to part with their young hens. Miss my building supplies “stash” I had in my barn on the farm!

          1. On egg shortage — If there is truly a massive attempt going on to create a vaccine for the most recent scare, then eggs are going to become even more scarce. I wish I had the reference, but I recently read that it takes 900,000 eggs PER DAY, for 6-9 months, to make the flu vaccine every year.

            We must put our trust in the Lord, and not in man. The Lord has given us instruction in His Word, especially regarding cleanliness, both in body and soul, and we have to do as He says, then trust His promises that if we live according to His Word, He will protect us from evil.

            Genesis 50:20; Psalm 91, Psalm 46:10, and many others

        1. Consider trading in your car for a small 4WD pickup truck. Also, keep in mind that many poultry shelters can be improvised from pallets, which you can often find free for the asking.

          1. I’ve thought about trying to get a 4WD truck instead of my car as that would make sense but 4Wd trucks here go for lots of money and due to the road salt, in not too many years they have serious problems. So one that’s affordable(to me) is gonna be old and a real problem due to rust and condition. The amount of salt(and brine) used on the roads here is insane.

            My son has a 4Wd vehicle(not a truck) but bigger than mine so he can at least haul pallets in it which he has been doing when he can find them. I need a bunch of them to stack firewood(major important). Have considered using them in building a poultry house but just see too many issues with it and still need supplies. I used to always have enough stashed in the barn to build stuff etc. If I’m going to get chickens or ducks again I need to make it critter proof; had so many issues before on the farm and that was an actual building! Raccoons, skunks, fishers, weasels; never ending parade of wanna-be predators! Will see…..

          2. JWR! This is a great suggestion, and you’re right. Poultry shelters can be improvised with materials both reasonably accessible and either free or at very low cost.

            If the neighbor has fertilized eggs, an additional idea would be to incubate eggs using either an incubator or a setting hen the neighbor might be willing to contribute or share as a “loaner”. It takes some time to get from hatchling to egg-layer, but this might be worth considering as a strategy.

            Ani’s sharing about settling into a new home during this difficult period speaks to the challenges of building infrastructure during a time of crisis. Time is limited from day to day, and may be short as we look to the near or intermediate term future. Financial resources may be scarcer. Physical supplies may or may not be available. Constraints related to public health orders may be in place, and may remain for some time.

            The good news is that Ani is solution focused, resourceful, and part of a community full of people with experience and ideas to share. She was also well on her way to settling into her home place with ideas and strategies in mind before this crisis hit.

            With this in mind, what becomes especially clear is how overwhelming it must be to come from among the many, many, many who have never even considered the need to prepare. There are going to be a lot of people for whom the development of ideas is very new, and the learning curve is steep.

            Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

  5. Most of the first part of my week was spent in inventory management. I continue to meal plan to make the most of what I have. I want to make sure it is tasty, healthy and there is a wide variety to menus. Hubby suffers from food fatigue more than I do.

    And speaking of hubby, he woke me up the other night at midnight. His blood pressure was very high and he was having a lot of abdominal pain. He was worried about having a stroke, so he took some aspirin and we hotfooted it to the ER (NOT where I want to be given our current crisis). They ruled our perforated or obstructed bowel (thank God!) and finally landed on gall bladder. It had to come out.

    We live in a tiny town and our hospital is basically just a transfer station. Even at that, they would not let me in to the ER with hubby until the other patient was discharged. I sat in the car for 1.5 hours. It was 31*. I was grateful for the blanket that is always in the car and a full tank of gas.

    They transferred hubby to the next largest hospital yesterday morning and performed surgery late yesterday afternoon. No visitors allowed. Hubby has stage 4 cancer has had radiation, hormone therapy and this is his 4th surgery in two years. Poor guy!

    I will pick him up this morning, I was afraid I would have to go to the store first but decided the only thing I would need for his liquid diet for the next day or two is popsicles. I can make those. I don’t have any popsicle molds so I put a strawberry lemonade slush in half pint jars. He will enjoy that.

    Now he will be even more laid up the next few weeks. Just when the snow is starting to melt and we can be working outside (we still have a foot of snow tho’).

    Seedlings and cuttings are doing pretty well. Once it is easier to shop, I am making a note to self to have some post surgery type preps on hand. I have bullion and broth, ginger ale and the ability to make popsicles. I have all kinds of OTC stuff, essential oils, first aid supplies. What else would you recommend?

    Sounds like you and JWR are making the most of your situation, AL. Hubby and I will too.

    1. OMG! I’m wishing I could come help you folks right now.
      I will pray hard for you.
      Do you have ice cube trays and some toothpicks? You could make little popsicles that way?

      I’m so sorry this is happening to you
      Please give us updates, I will be thinking of you.

      1. Oh, thank you so much. You are so sweet. We got home a bit ago – he is doing very well. Right now he is returning calls to well wishers. He got really great care in the hospital because hardly anyone else is there!

        Looking forward to surprising him with his ‘un-popsicles’. It’s the little things.

        1. Our prayers are also with you… We are so thankful for the news that you’re on the other side of the gallbladder surgery, and hope you are home safely and recovering. The struggles you are facing now put a whole lot of life into perspective, and remind us all of what remains important above all else.

      1. Thank you, Ani. We are choosing to keep a good sense of humor about this. Plus hubby really got top notch treatment. One of his nurses gave him a massage and brought him pudding in the middle of the night. I told him not to necessarily expect that kind of treatment now. LOL

    2. When anyone is sick, we try using gatorade and ice in the blender to make a slushy. The kids like it and it encourages them to drink. I use it also. Can sweeten it with a packet of stevia. God bless you.

    3. Wormlady
      I am praying for you and your husband. I’m so glad he was able to get his gallbladder out before serious infection or other complications. My the Lord give you strength.

    4. Dear WormLady,

      I’ve been praying for you and your husband. I was wondering if his stomach symptoms are feeling much better since the surgery? I hope so. I pray the Lord will give you husband grace, strength, peace and steadfastness in his faith to endure the race that is before him. May he be healed and come out on top.

      Much peace and safety to you both,


      1. Thank you so much everyone, for your prayers. Hubby is home and had a good night’s sleep last night. We are so grateful.

        Although he is sore, primarily from the umbilical hernia repair they did before they could even get to the gall bladder, he has been up and moving around.

        We were able to sit together and listen to our church service and then to our #2 son’s service. J. is the worship leader at his church and to listen to him sing praise to God is a very good cure.

        So grateful. Thank you!

  6. planted squash, and radishes, set out tomatoes and peppers. got new water tank set up to collect rain water at barn. spoke with nurses in the er, wearing n95 entire shift. advised them they would take off or change in front of me if I were a pt, otherwise they are cross contaminating when they go from room to room with different pts.

  7. Last Sunday I had to go out for work. While out I decided to hit tractor supply for chicken food and a water trough (will House the chicks until I put them in the coop). While out I stopped to get gas. Guy in front of me was filling up Military style gas cans and a few plastic ones. I was watching him. Had black nitrile gloves on and when he was all done he deconed the gloves, took them off then used instant hand sanitizer on his bare hands. I was impressed.

    Tractor supply was uneventful, however Walmart was deeply concerning. As everyone has mentioned bare shelves. some things I noticed- ammo was decimated except for shotgun ammo, which I find odd. Dry Beans, and even the baking isle was hit very hard. Canned goods hit hard too. Frozen Pizza was available if you were a Yuppie or needed gluten free. Even Hot Pockets (kids wanted them, too much salt for me) only had less popular varieties available. People were hitting the “Butt Wipes” hard since there was no TP. Wonder how many clogged drains there will be among those who run out of TP?

    So here is a brainiac idea I had – while at tractor supply I picked up a quart of denatured Alcohol- basically Ever-Clear (moonshine) what has an additive that makes it un-drinkable. Should work as instant hand sanitizer, will dry your hands out bad however!!
    Monday through Friday I have been working 12 hour shifts. I’m in the “essential” category. Wife has helped pick up the slack since she is home. The new Kubota tractor is being delivered on Monday and the fuel company will be coming to fill the diesel tank too. Chicks are all doing well and we haven’t lost a one. We have been helping friends and family when asked, TP and masks. I talked with the neighbor and gave him the run down. He is Mennonite so he doesn’t have a TV and only listens to the radio infrequently. I told him we were good on food and bluntly asked him if he was okay. He said they were good. We agreed that should one of our families need something we reach out to the other for assistance. I was driving home and saw that our new neighbor was out getting firewood, so I stopped and introduced myself. Oh course we didn’t shake hands and stood far apart. Did not make the same inquires on food and preparedness.
    The community I work in has 9 cases with only one being hospitalized.

    1. Be careful on what compound was added to denature the ethanol.
      In particular, watch for methanol. Might want to check and see what was added – and be sure that is safe to put on your skin – as many compounds are absorbed through the skin to some degree.
      God bless

    2. I will echo Tom’s concern about other additives. Basically anything that is not considered a food item can have hidden ingredients in them (trade secrets) and not be shown on the label. Also any non-food item is not held to the same purity standards as something intended for human consumption. Be careful.

      1. JWR is correct in his warning. Heet is an automotive product, not in any way shape or form intended for use on humans or animals. My best friend is an auto mechanic and has been one for at least 70 years. He had throughout his career immersed his hands in strong cleaning solvents while rebuilding motors and he has paid the price for not wearing any protection at all. To make a long story short, he is a cancer survivor. He lost two wives to cancer. He now takes precautions and uses a brush with the solvents and does not get his hands in the stuff. I’m not trying to be hard on you, but just to give a little fair warning that saving a little money now on a cheaper product can be very costly in the future.

  8. I so enjoyed this article. I never thought of cooking Inside my woodstove. I have cooked using the top surface. Just wondering, have you ever tried substituting duck eggs for the chicken eggs. We sell both and many of our customers have found they can tolerate the duck eggs as they have a different type of protein. Just a thought.

    1. Hi Sis,

      Supposedly, I have a better level of tolerance for duck eggs, but I haven’t tried them, yet. I’m kinda nervous about it.

      Also, I, personally, don’t like ducks around the place. I don’t like duck meat. It’s another type of animal to need housing for, of which the cleaning and caring for it and them, is another time sink.

      We have a lot of wild ones, which I like, very much, out on the river. But, because of the threat, in the past, of wild ducks possibly carrying Avian flu…and if we had ducks, the possibility of “our ducks” finding their way to the river and mixing with the wild ones…

      Eh, for now, I’ve decided against ducks. Maybe I’m being unwise? I could revisit the idea, in the future…

      Our academic responsibilities are just about completed, freeing us up for more other activities.

      I’m thinking that I would like to get sheep. We ate some store-bought lamb hamburger recently and we really enjoyed the strong flavor. My taste buds have changed over the past few years and now, I really like stronger flavored meats. The real meat! 😉

      1. I loved my ducks when I had them but I found their eggs to be “rubbery” when eaten. Sis you have any words of wisdom cooking duck eggs? I would like have them again but I can’t justify the expense/work/poop everywhere for rubbery eggs.

        1. I forgot that the eggs were rubbery. Ducks are like goats and pigs. You either love them or not for different reasons. I love baby goats. Goat meat is fine, too. We are not too fond of goat milk, though, I can tolerate it more than cow milk. Goats will wreak havoc on all of the vegetation on your ranch if you let them free range. Which means you have to buy feed if you fence them in. Pigs are cute, but not kosher. Though I grew up eating pork, as an adult, I’ve decided to keep Biblically Kosher and not eat, unclean animals…(I am not Jewish, so we do not keep Rabbinic kosher Laws). There is a big difference between the two. So, there are pros and cons to every farm animal out there. One just needs to choose for oneself that which is best for them. Happy farming everybody! 🙂

          1. @Lily

            Should you decide to keep ducks, I really recommend Khaki Campbells. They are sweet, pretty quiet, lay even better than chickens, don’t fly and are just awesome. I’d get some now if I could but would have to order in larger numbers from a mail-order company as local stores don’t sell them, only chickens.

            That’s so cool that you’re keeping the Biblical kosher laws; yeah, big difference between those and what the Rabbis did with them!

          2. You are wise not to eat unclean meats as they can be the source of many diseases as well as creating acidosis in the body. There is an interesting book called Alkalize or Die by Dr. Theodore A. Baroody that has charts and other helpful information regarding this. The following is a link to this book:


            I purchased this book at a local health food store and am nearly done reading it. It is available to order online through the above link.

          3. You are so right! Each animal has its pros and cons. I seriously wanted to get ducks a couple of years ago and I purchased supplies, etc… then I realized how dirty they are… LOL and I stuck with chickens. But I love duck eggs, best eggs for baking, and they’re twice the size of a chicken egg. Last year I purchased some turkey eggs at the farmers market, and some quail eggs. I was totally grossed out at the turkey eggs. The shells were really thick and hard to crack and they were coated with some kind of chalky scaley something. They tasted different too. The quail eggs were quaint and too much trouble. But I do wish to have ducks. Maybe one day.

        2. @3AD Scout, about cooking duck eggs

          My husband’s favorite sandwich is a duck egg sandwich on dense bread. I fry the duck eggs in butter until medium done (the yolk is a bit soft), add a light sprinkle of garlic salt, and a slice of cheese. Very simple but pretty yummy.

          I don’t really care for them as “scrambled” eggs. If I want scrambled eggs then I prefer to use chicken eggs for that dish. However, that dense “rubbery” duck egg texture you mentioned does lend itself to absolutely beautiful quiches. I make “traditional” quiches but also make crustless versions using a springform pan.

          Finally, duck eggs create lots of loft in baking so they are my preferred egg to use when baking cakes.

          1. GritsinMT- thanks for the tip. Wasn’t there a book in the late 80s called real men don’t eat quiche? Are we allowed now? 🙂
            Baking with the eggs makes a lot of sense. Wonder if you could mix a few chicken eggs with a duck egg for scrambled eggs?

          2. @3AD Scout….

            I think real men eat quiche because

            (1) let’s face it, most of them aren’t picky (or they are extremely gracious?), so they will eat just about anything you put in front of them and —

            (2) the wives of real men notice that slightly soft yolks (like those served in egg sandwiches) result in egg yolk sticking to their husband’s beard. It’s a mess! A lady can only bear so much of this, so then we make quiche. 😉 (Plus we get to sneak in healthy vegetables this way.) We ladies are already about to faint when real (real hungry?) men tromp through the kitchen in search of food while having mud and other unspeakables on their boots, so we have to limit any additional messiness where we can. LOL! 🙂

            I’ve never tried mixing the two kinds of eggs together so I’m sorry… I don’t know how that would work.

            Ok…. I’m off to bake some bread for my crew then bundling up and going outside to the garden! Have a nice weekend!

        1. Also better to keep the bucks away(or off farm- just borrow one when “needed”) , make sure all milking containers are immaculate and chill the milk immediately. This always worked for my goat’s milk when I had goats. Also, use the milk within a couple of days or turn into cheese, etc.

  9. It’s been a productive week. My work has restricted overtime so I’m home earlier. Started germinating tomatoes, cucumbers, and jalapenos. Got the two of the three garden beds turned over. The city came and cut down three trees in the backyard so there is more garden space now! Need to build more garden beds. Cleaned out around the hops trellis; and some hops have already started sprouting.

    Almost done with the chicken coop. Did pick up 5 Mystic Maran chicks. They seem to be doing well.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t buy enough disposable gloves. I still have some but they will have to be used sparingly. Traded with a friend some small bottles of hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and isopropyl alcohol for gloves and small alcohol wipes. They were not very well prepared but they did have what I needed (gloves) so it felt like a fair trade.

    Made another run to the store; partly to but some goods for a family member who has no transportation. It was my first time in a grocery store in 2-3 weeks. It’s one thing to see barren shelves online but to see it in reality is depressing and scary.

    This weekend is rainy so it’s more indoor projects for now.

  10. Quiet and sane week here as the family are essential workers (so far). Trusting God that they will continue to be able to help others and that they can get to work. Too early to plant any seedlings as we still have 3 feet of snow. In fact, it’s snowing here now. Love your idea of baking in the fire indoors. I always figured I could make a fire outdoors in any season and have kept the Dutch ovens accessible for such a time. I’ll keep your idea in mind!

    I’ve been working on sewing projects here this week. A quilt for my son (still) and pillows for the deck chairs. Supplies on hand, so it’s just time to get them done. Just discovered an entire bolt of flannel I forgot I bought a few years back. Good find!

    Otherwise, the focus is on exercise. We need to keep getting stronger after a long winter. Otherwise, we’ll overdo come spring and could hurt ourselves.

    Keep safe and well. Concern for our country and our countrymen weighs heavily. Praying continuously and trusting. Standing on Psalm 91.

  11. I spread Milky Spore in the orchard this week. I then spent the entire day yesterday watering it in as there was no rain in the forecast to do it before the optimal time expired.
    I started tomato and pepper seeds in paper cups and most of them have already sprouted. I have my makeshift greenhouse in the upstairs bathroom. I put an oil heater and fan in there to circulate air and keep the temperature up.
    I was getting a little anxious because I had wanted to order more day old chicks at the beginning of the month but with my husbands surgery up in the air and then rescheduled, I postponed ordering chicks. Now that my husband is healing (BTW the Dr. called with results of the pathology report – the cancer did not spread to the lymph nodes!) I went ahead and ordered chicks. The hatch dates for brown layers (minus rare breeds that cost more) was all the way out to April 13 with limited breed availability. If you want day old chicks you better order right away. I’ve never seen the availability so low like this. I want to let all of you know of a great place to get chicks if you don’t mind straight run. Glenn Drowns is a former Idahoan that lives in Iowa and started Sand Hill Preservation. Not only does he raise heritage and rare breed chickens and poultry but also has a very large sweet potato and seed catalog. He has some very short season vegetables (corn and watermelon) that grow well in the northern states. Please check his website out. https://www.sandhillpreservation.com/

    1. Dear CD,

      Praise the Lord for your husband’s good report of clear lymph nodes! That is an answer to prayer. May he continue to heal quickly! Blessings,


  12. We got several trays of snap peas, lettuces, broccoli raab, and other greens planted both in the field and greenhouse. Still harvesting from our winter greenhouse crop (our best winter yield ever). It’s great being able to eat fresh healthy greens everyday! Pruned and fed the fruit and nut trees. Everything in our hybrid berry greenhouse looks great! Expecting good yields this year.

    As a builder, under section 9 of DeWine’s stay at home EO, Im essential so it’s business as usual. My guys are glad to be working while everyone is being laid off. Traveled to western Ohio several times this week- shocking to see the effects of this shut down. So many people are embracing the fear. People are so willing to give up all of their rights in the name of “safety”. To me, this is a bigger threat than this virus. We all need to resist this massive power grab by .gov.

    Its raining here so Today I’ll be installing my new Argo boiler for the radiant subfloor heat in our master bedroom remodel.

    Prayers for our nation.

  13. I am hunkered down and holding on for a bumpy ride, pray that the Lord will keep us covered in the palm of His protective hands. I went out last week and picked up the mail, slipped it into a grocery sack and tied it off, probably not truely helpful but it made me feel better. When I opened the bag I ironed the letters before and after opening them . Wrote checks for bills and got them ready to mail, used a wet tissue to seal envelopes, I have done that for years, I hate the taste of envelope glue and the thought of handleing or making someone else handle licked envelopes kind of makes me queezy. Have been borderline germafobe for human contact, now may just jump the fence and go full blown after this is over. Won’t mail letters until after the 3rd, so can sit back for now and relax.
    Wanted to ask if anyone knows how to disinfect non-washable stuff, cell phones, lap tops, hand held radios etc, I have seen the UV light things but don’t have one, any ideas for non-electric ways to do this.
    Prayers for all out there, stay safe .

    1. VCC: Power down your device before cleaning. You can wipe the exterior surfaces of your electric devices, including the screen, with alcohol or disinfectant wipes. Be careful not to get inside openings like charging and earphone ports. If you don’t have wipes, a damp cloth with just water or a mild soap solution also works. Wipe with a dry cloth when done.

  14. Thanks for the response. We actually have our “layer” ducks in a large enclosed pen , due to predators. We have netting over it. In order to keep them laying all winter, they need at least 14 hrs of light. We have an inside shelter with a light and a light on the outside as they like to be outside. We use led lights so the electric load is minimal.It’s set on a timer that also turns on and off the lights to our 2 chicken coops. I use 2 rubber feeders ( aprox 6″×18″ . I just bang them around to knock the ice out in the winter. It’s Way too messy to keep the water inside and they have to be able to wash their beaks. I could use a smaller tub in the winter but believe it or not, they like to dip in the tubs even when it’s freezing out. But of course, they do take time and care. I just really enjoy watching them play. They’re very sociable and don’t like to be separated and actually share their food, unlike the chickens . Oh, and my last set layed well for at least 5 years.

    1. I may very well “bite the bullet” and order some ducklings. Looks like they’re still available and I can get them to arrive in early May which will give me some time to figure out housing for when they outgrow the “cardboard box in the house” stage. I did love my Khaki Campbell ducks; more so than my chickens. I lost mine due to a racoon that got into the chicken/duck house. Maybe it’s time to start again…… And if the system has fallen apart by May and they can’t be shipped here then I’ll do without……..

  15. Hey, JWR and AVR, just two things; first, keep up the good work as it is God’s work and the most important thing we can do on this Earth!

    Second, on the survivalrealty.com listings, can you highlight the property taxes? That’s a very real part of the home-buying equation many people forget about…just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you can afford it!

    Also, it may be helpful to break out whether or not there’s an ag exemption on the property. That’s certainly a help when it comes to deciding what to buy.


    1. I love ducks but I sold all my big ones last year. They ate a lot and are messy. I got call duck and black East Indie (also a small duck) hatching eggs on ebay last year. They are the bantams of the duck world and fascinating to watch. They eat minimal food. I have a lot of their eggs in the incubator now and am looking forward to more tiny ducks soon.
      As far as preps. I drove six hours to the new place taking all the needed items for defense for my daughter and son-in-law. Took stucco wire and stock panels for erecting a chicken run and the top of the 13×13 coop building which was open all the way around the top. Built the run area and enclosed the top for the first round of chickens that I took with me. Also took some of the stored and dehydrated food to add to the food storage there. We have a whole building dedicated to that. Also took a Costco run of food for use now. Took 2000 feet of irrigation tubing and 100 sprinkler set-ups for the olive trees and English laurel we have planted on the road. Took more seeds to add to the stash. I have many here also. Stayed two days (to get the chicken pen set up and then drove home yesterday. Will start packing for the next load. I am going to take 2×6’s and rebar to set up the forms for the steel building that I will have built. ( the price includes installation). Will also be taking more chickens. We had a wonderful afternoon at a beautiful beach which was a welcome outing to two daughters and kids who had been nowhere for two weeks. Just two other families and one couple at the beach while we were there for several hours.

  16. I still work, delivering medications to local hospitals. My work load has spiked, with the pharmacies stocking up to give out 3 month supplies of medications to patients. No panic here in NM, we are pretty rural and most of us stock up as a matter of course.

    My faith is complete in Christ, as I go into the lion’s den, so to speak, on a daily basis. People now speak more of God, heaven, and faith than previously. A great time to witness.

    Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Rawles, you give hope and inspiration thru Survival blog. See you at the southeast corner of the new Jerusalem!

  17. Working as an AEMT. 25 hospitalized in my county; none yet in the local hospitals I frequent. I will be informed if a patient I attend tests positive. All patients now get masks regardless of complaint; we mask on every call as well. Short on PPE supplies, especially masks and gowns. However we have enough for now. Coughing/sneezing is the big warning sign: we always take precautions for the oral/nasal/eye route. Only the very rare TB case requires mask precautions. As a result we are coming up to speed on mask discipline. Present policy calls for me to quarantine for two weeks if I attend a Covid patient: this is impractical since an outbreak of virus patients will quickly result in no one left to man the ambulances. I am borderline high risk (over 60), but i do not believe the threat to those who are prepared is unacceptable: time will tell if i am underestimating. Trusting in the Lord, acting with prudence, and going to work.

  18. Two days of glorious weather here. Many are working in the community garden. I do believe they all feel a sense of urgency. Seed starting is going well, tomatoes, lettuce, peas. Some potatoes in grow bags and some in the garden. I am interested to compare. My dear brother is dying in San Diego, but has lived long enough for his new granddaughter to come into the world yesterday. A real blessing.
    Today our community is having a bear hunt for the children. Paper bears on the trails, some with a dollar attached. Some are in yards or trees. I put out a bowl next to my bear. The kids have to make a choice: lettuce seeds, jam, a dollar, some change, a toy car, fancy pencils. I’m interested to see what they will pick. They will be worn out by the time they finish. Sold an old phone on eBay yesterday and gave the neighbors a lighted globe to keep their kids occupied and clear up more space around here. Another neighbor is going to help plant fruit trees next week, with appropriate social distancing, of course. Got my new cultivator from Hoss Tools. What a great company. Lots of info on their website. Keep in mind the end result of all this money printing will be hyperinflation, added to the supply line shortage we already have, so I would buy ahead on any item needed in the next few years. The local mill and farmer both sold me more “stuff” if I called ahead and came and picked up. All prepaid so no real contact. “It” hasn’t even started yet so I am all in continuing fervent prayer, especially Psalm 91 as some have suggested.
    In Him

  19. P.S. Our area has reduced property taxes for seniors so check that out too. We had to inquire. It looks like Social Security recipients will get an extra check so we can get whatever we still need. FYI Even the Appalachian Trail is now closed!

    1. Thank you for that information. I pay my parents property taxes every year. I’m going to inquire on this as they live in a 55 + community.
      They don’t get much for Social Security because my Dad gets a Police Pension but an extra SS payment would help!
      Rock on

        1. VT,
          I will see what the “glorious “ State of Illinois has to offer for them. Last year was the first year I started paying all of their bills for them. (I had to step in as I realized dad was no longer capable of doing this).

          I quickly learned that they qualified for the 65 & over property tax exemption however, For those of you that are 65 + or going to turn 65, PLEASE check with your county assessor office on what paperwork you need to fill out as when you reach this age they don’t automatically give you the lower amount.

          (I think it should be automatic, but it’s just another example of Illinois ripping people off). I don’t know if it’s this way in other states .

          BTW, they don’t retroactively go back either, I checked!!!

          Hope this helps someone, Dad lost out on a lot of years of a lower property tax base.

          Rock on

  20. Spring is finally arriving in the Northern Rockies. The bluebirds are back, and the Canada geese flying overhead every day at sunset are just remarkable! I don’t recall ever seeing so many, and boy are they noisy! I love the sight and sound though.

    Have been working to halter break some critters around here and that is going well. (A few treats help them realize I am their friend.)

    Tulips and irises are peeking through the soil. It’s time to hook the trailer up to the ATV and start shoveling and hauling aged manure for the gardens. I had purchased a cherry bush on sale at the end of last year and wasn’t able to get it into the ground before our early frost. Am happy to see buds, indicating it survived the winter! On the other hand, some of my new starts of rhubarb haven’t appeared through the soil yet, which makes me think they didn’t make it. I will try again. Fortunately I have other mature rhubarb and these new starts were only intended to be my “back up” plants. Decided that I really wouldn’t want to be without fresh ginger so I sprouted some in an effort to be self sufficient in that regard. (The ginger sprouted even though it had been sitting in the refrigerator for a week!) I hope to successfully grow it indoors in the spot I used to reserve for a different tropical plant.

    Checking on all the neighbors and have repeatedly offered to do the grocery shopping for those who are elders. Everyone is fine right now. I love my neighbors and am blessed to have such wonderful ones. They bring a lot of joy into my life.

    It is not too late to move to this part of the world… It took me a bit of time to get to know folks but I have to say that they were no more cautious about me than I used to be about others who moved into my hometown when I lived down South. Property prices are going up everywhere here, so if you want to move, it may be best to join us sooner rather than later.

    Prayers sent for all of you to stay healthy and safe.

  21. We have been putting in some strip gardens with cattle panels supported with fence post in the center. We are experimenting with a variety of different small gardens close to the house. Once we overcome some tractor challenges we plan on putting in about a 1/2 acre of corn for animal feed and a large vegetable garden, not only for ourselves but also for family and friends to come and use. A lot of folks don’t have Room for gardens so we’re going to plow up the ground and let them come use our ground but we’re not going to grow it and give it to them. 🙂

  22. Avalanche Lily, loved, “You might have covid cooties!” Totally made me laugh.
    Also loved,
    “Holy cows and horses! This year, we have such a huge abundance of manure unlike I have ever seen before. Seriously! I really think God caused our animals go into overdrive in manure production this past year specifically for this dire season of lack of food approaching…”
    Don’t cha love that God is into the details? I love that you shared this. It makes me feel loved. If He cares about your garden’s manure, how much more me?

    As JWR mentioned he had a quiet week, so have I.
    Well, that is excepting for the intermittent screams of pain brought forth from my lower back. Literally, 0 to 10+ pain threshold if I tried to move 1/2 an inch. (Came on suddenly. Why?) Just trying to adjust in bed, let alone get out of bed brought on excruciating pain and back muscle spasms, paralyzing me in pain until they stopped. This had me instinctively crying out loud to the Lord for help, over and over… I got the phone number of a neuro spine specialist, but they need 72 hours to call me back… Now it is Sat. and I am somewhat better, not screaming in pain nearly as much. Learned to move very little, very slowly in bed or hunched over like Quasimodo when I am brave enough to get up and endure the suffering. Even though I new better, fear of the pain had me cut back my water intake so as to reduce need to get up. Yep. Got dehydration headache on top of back pain. Did I mention I haven’t had back problems at all? Just once in 1997 for three weeks.

    I share this, because it is not in anyone’s prepper plan A, B or C! (smile)
    As the nation falls apart and smart folks preparations are put into full steam ahead, I have been in bed. Now that’s funny to me! Who wouldv’e thunk it?
    I have been in awe at what God is doing and amazed at how different His plans were from mine. As a believing woman, I have always been inspired by Mary telling the angel, “May it be as you have said.” Reading about all of you has also been an encouragement. Keep posting! Oh, I was able to order reusable canning lids on sale from Harvest Guard, though. 🙂

    Lily, your following comment has me forwarding a link concerning a great ER doctor.

    “It’s almost as though the PTB are not taking this virus seriously enough and want to sicken our front-line of defense…”

    Bellingham doctor loses job after criticizing hospital’s virus response | Q13 FOX News


    Oh, and CD, thanks for update. Made me smile. Prayed many times for that outcome. God is good.

    1. Oh Krissy,

      I’m glad you found me funny and that I gave you a good laugh! It sounds like you needed one this week. Back pain is no fun at all. I’m sorry. May it heal quickly. Maybe God wants you down to be in His Word and praying? I’m hearing from many sources that God wants us to be still, calm and pressing into Him, during these hours. I need to be, too.

      Yep, the more articles that come out concerning the PTB, not protecting their front line doctors and nurses, is infuriating me. I am shaking my head in disbelief!!! I am praying that doctors and nurses Will take their own safety into their own hands, regardless of what Leadership says, that would endanger their own health. I pray that if their leaders don’t listen that they’ll pray and ask god what He would have them to do, and however the Lord will lead, they would have the courage to do it, knowing that God loves them and will provide for their every need.

      Yes, our Lord God is into the details. I am finding, when I think back over the past few years, how God directed me in specific areas and with my gardening, and purchasing, to put things into the place for the time we are now at. He has provided and put things in place that put us in a better position to help our family and whomever He will lead here. It’s amazing. I am looking forward to Him showing me where else he has already providentially lead us to do things for the future that we will need. It’s exciting to see how He has faithfully lead and directed us for our futures.

      As painful as it is, the best remedy for back pain is to keep moving, albeit, gently. May the Lord give you the courage and fortitude to do so, and heal you very quickly. Said a prayer for you.

      Thank You Krissy for all of your encouragements, too. I appreciate them.



      1. “God wants us to be still…” too funny; that part I have down!
        but seriously, yes, am pressing into my Father; thank you for the response and encouragement!
        Please keep sharing the amazing things the Lord has done, even if it’s mass manure production.

    1. SOG, You saved my bacon!!!
      Thank you for the reminder. After reading so many of Tunnel Rabbit’s wisdom, I had decided to use this brand for my fish, but I had put it on the calendar to buy in January. Then when January came, I delayed my purchase to buy food instead. Again, thank you for the reminder. I appreciated that you both listened to the Lord to admonish His sheep. I have a couple fish that do not respond well to penicillin, and I was still able to get several kinds of fish meds for them. Sweet. I love that God used you to help me.

      1. I took the advice weeks ago and got my supplies with them. Checked just to maybe get some more and GONE, All gone.

        I wonder if their remaining supplies were re-routed for hospital use?
        Just a thought

        Rock on

        1. Hi RKRGRL68,

          Shop around for it is all gone. Thomas Labs is perhaps the best, yet not the only one. Dr. Steve Pieczenik reported in his latest video, to have used 2000mg of Zithromycin (azithromycin) for 7 days. He believes this sped up his recovery from what he believes was Corona Virus. https://youtu.be/hfeDhYQaGwU

          The normal adult dosage and protocol for azithromycin, if memory serves, for most bacterial infections is 500mg/d for 6 days. A loading dose of 1000mg on the first day is optional. The idea is to kill the bacteria containing and providing the virus a convenient place to replicate, thereby reducing the viral load dramatically in early on. This would presumably reduce the severity of the onset of ARDS (Acute Respitory Distress Syndrome) and other symptoms. The Chinese also use azithromycin immediately during treatment.

          The more azithromycin one can safely use, is good to have. However, erthromycin is progenitor to azithromycin and much less popular. It requires a much longer time, twice as long, to act, and does not act quite in the same way, yet it is similar. I suspect the reason azithromycin is much more desirable, is it very fast acting unlike most other antibiotics. However other broad spectrum antibiotics such as doxycline and cephlaxin (Keflex) would be be my third and fourth choices after erythromycin. Erythromycin is sold in a powder form, and is very bad tasting, so put it into a capsule by weight. Understand that there are significant risks associated with taking antibiotics, and we should see a doctor if one is available. If forced to treat yourself because hospitals and doctors are overwhelmed and not available, If you do not know if you are allergic, use a small starting dose, and see if there is an unpleasant reaction. Severe diarrhea is not acceptable, and the antibiotic should be discontinued. Only use one type of antibiotic at a time unless protocol for a particular disease is followed. I would also run out and get Dr. Alton’s book, Alton’s Antibiotics and Infectious Diseases, and cause I ain’t no doctor and it is almost YOYO time!.

          1. Hi Tunnel Rabbit,
            Thank you for all of the information you provided for us. I received all of Dr. Alton’s books weeks ago and have been studying them voraciously.
            When I put my orders in with Thomas labs weeks ago I ordered multiples of several different kinds of their products as stocks were really quite good.
            I was just browsing last night to see what they still had.
            I’m extremely grateful to you for your heads up on so many topics weeks ago when we could all get items so I feel good about the stocks I have, I hope others here have done likewise.

            Rock on

  23. A BIT OF GOOD NEWS (to balance the bad):

    As some of you may recall, on March 14th (just 2 weeks ago) I listed the following COVID-19 stats as they relate to the NW and American Redoubt states.  These were taken from the Johns Hopkins website:

    *  US as a whole:  2726 confirmed cases  (54 deaths)
    *  WA:  572 cases (37 deaths)
    *  OR:  32 (0)
    *  ID:    2 (0)
    *  MT:   5 (0)
    *  WY:  2 (0)

    As of today, March 28th, the picture has changed quite dramatically.  The U.S. has overtaken China and Italy in total number of confirmed cases (though the U.S. fatality rate is currently lower).  Here are the latest stats as of a few minutes ago.

    *  US as a whole:  121,478 confirmed cases  (2026 deaths)
    *  WA:  4030 cases (188 deaths)
    *  OR:  479 (13)
    *  ID:    234 (4)
    *  MT:   129 (1)
    *  WY:   82 (0)

    We are now seeing the exponential increase of cases in the U.S., with populated areas like New York City, Seattle and New Orleans being hit particularly hard.  While all of this can seem quite discouraging and overwhelming, there are some rays of hope in terms of possible treatment protocols.

    As JWR mentioned a few days ago, there are a couple of drugs that are showing some real promise.  Hydroxychloroquine (an anti-malaria drug) and Azithromycin (an antibiotic) have been used in a number of cases with some dramatic results.   CBN News (Christian Broadcasting Network) reported that a Florida man, who requested the “off-label” drug treatment, was brought back from the brink of death.  In his own words:  “It’s a miracle.”  Here’s is the link to the CBN report:


    I’m also hearing reports that IV protocols involving zinc and large doses of Vitamin C (in combination with these other drugs) are showing some real promise.  Let’s pray that these early reports are indeed a harbinger of better things to come.  In short, let’s keep believing for miracles!

      Blessings to all, and stay safe!
    Cliff (in Oregon)

  24. Really enjoyed Avalanche Lily’s sharing of the woodstove cooking adventure, and will be watching for news of sprouting celery seeds! Hope these next 8 days of quarantine move quickly for Jim, and know he will be so happy for release from the “gulag”!

    We are almost finished with a hydroponic strawberry grower, and we’re quite excited about this. Sweet peppers, zucchinis, and eggplants have sprouted. Cukes should sprout shortly. We’re watching for our early squash starts too.

    Inside the greenhouse we have arched cattle panels between our beds, and we grow vining tomatoes on one of these. What a treat these have been all winter long. Soon we hope to enjoy cukes from a similar set up. …and it’s almost time to start arugula, cilantro, parsley, and bok choy. Our current sweet potato run is probably nearing harvest too, and it will be time to replant those. What a wonderful time of year, even in the face of the great difficulty of these times.

    We’re watching the weather forecast and pray for the safe delivery of everyone in the path of the storms coming.

    Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

  25. Fairly quiet week here. We did get out a few times this week, but for the most part remain locked down. I had a doctor’s appointment (non-COVID related) and while out, swung by the grocery store for a few additional items and a bit of a recon, as well as some take-out from a local business for supper. There were some significant shortages of staples such as rice, pasta, flour, and beans, as well as fresh meat. There were plenty of comfort foods, bread, and milk, however. My lady went out later in the week on another errand, and also did a grocery run, as well as to our local butcher, who had some fresh foods available, but who’s frozen stocks were for the most part gone. All of our grocery runs have been to replenish fresh foods we don’t have available, deepen our pantry, and pick up a few luxury goods. We also put in a test order to Prime Pantry for some staples and a few luxuries…we’ll see how that works out.
    On the farm itself, we had some trees removed by a local service. The trees were too close to a power line for me to comfortably drop them (but not close enough for the power company to drop them), and they were blocking a lot of sun from our garden, so getting rid of them was a priority. The service was grateful for the work, as they’ve had several cancellations. We spent Saturday cutting up some firewood for next year, pruning back blueberry bushes and muscadine/ scuppernong vines, and planting some additional spinach. We also spent some time working on some home improvement and reorganization projects at the house. In addition, we found that our daughter, who we’d taken in late last week for testing due to her symptoms, came back negative for COVID. She’d been improving, and would have been eligible for release from isolation under CDC guidelines, but getting the “official” word was a comfort. Today (Sunday), we were able to attend “drive-in” church, and it was good to see our church family and worship together, even from a distance. I actually enjoyed the outside service more than the normal ones, but then I’ve had several opportunities to worship under rather, shall we say, unconventional circumstances. So my perspective is a bit different than most.
    I remain in a telework status for the foreseeable future. For the most part, I’m blessed in that we will see minimal financial disruption, though I realize everyone isn’t in that boat. Frankly, I’m more worried about the second and third orders of effects of this than I am the primary effects. This is likely to get better before it gets worse, and my prayer is that our Lord will minimize the impact on His people, and that the situation will awaken many, adding to His Kingdom.

  26. Lily, you made me laugh out loud.
    I think everyone is feeling that apprehension, even though we have deep faith in God’s plans for us. I got up at 1am one night this past week, just couldn’t sleep for the life of me, made coffee, prayed over everyone I could think of, and started organizing, cleaning, looking at lists, sewing more masks for the nurses, etc. ugh.
    In other news, transplanted seedlings into the greenhouse, more sewing (masks), canned up some chicken stock, trying to decide if it’s wise to be ordering backfill to my preps right now due to the strain on the transportation system. Everything is delayed by a week or two. In normal times, I wouldn’t hesitate, but for every order I make, it’s more strain on a system struggling to keep up. Glad I stocked up so heavily last year, especially on high quality ammo. Our weather has been bizarre, sunshine, then snow, then sleet, then sunshine… I’ve been praying for a slow melt off this year so our little farm doesn’t flood again. Maybe this weird weather is an answer to prayer? haha. Costco put out a notice that they are closing their stores, I think, monday thru friday, except an hour in the mornings for seniors and disabled only, open on weekends for everyone, reduced hours. I was kind of surprised, however, that really will give the more vulnerable time to shop without insane crowds, more time for restocking, etc. So far, everyone in my extended family is well. My mom is 85 and several family members are immunocompromised. I find myself praying out loud on and off all day long while I do chores, sew, etc. I’m sure I sound like some crazy old woman, but I don’t care. Me and Jesus, we go way back. This morning I listened to several hours of praise music and sang along. Set the tone for the day. I feel like the greenhouse is not near big enough. I think I’m going to plant wherever I can as soon as the snow melts off (our last frost date is mid-June). I bought a lot of organic fertilizer because I figured, hey, first it’s the toilet paper, then canned and dried food, cleaners, cold medicine, and now chicks???? People are all going to start gardens (yay!), so gardening supplies will be next. LOL. Glad I bought seeds a couple of months ago. I even sent seeds to family members. Blabber, blabber, stay safe and most importantly Keep the Faith. We’re gonna get through this.

    1. Yeah, I already grabbed my Pro-Gro fertilizer and some other garden stuff even though it is still winter here; figured that stuff will start flying off the shelves next. Got the only 2 bags of Pro-Gro in stock too- I think most places here haven’t gotten their supplies yet as it’s not planting time yet but I don’t know if they even will(this could be left over from last year but I don’t care). Will probably get chicken manure compost from a neighbor.

      I needed canning jars as I’m starting over again but they’re hard to find now- did get some at a hardware store. A guy watching them go into my car asked jokingly if I was taking up making moonshine. I said “Yeah, I am. Gonna trade it for Toilet paper”! 😉

        1. Nada. I have some regular mouth quart jars but can’t get the wide-mouth ones I want. They(Walmart) have outside “sellers” offering a dozen for upwards of $63! (price gouging anyone!). No one here can get them either(Tractor Supply, hardware etc). But it’s ok- I’ve got the regular mouth ones and they will do the job. Do have 12 wide-mouth pint jars I managed to score! Canning jars are the new TP!

  27. Hi SaraSue,

    Yep we are crazy “old’ women talking to the Lord all day long and sometimes very loudly. I want to ask and think i will ask next week in the column: How many had that feeling of urgency all last year that it was really time to pick up our prepping activities? Last summer I had that urgency. The feeling kinda took a bit if a break me in late November through Christmas, though I felt it imperative to stock up oldest son a bit during the time his mother-in-law was sick and dying. Then the feeling to make final preparations came on very strongly in mid-January and didn’t stop until two weeks ago. Well it’s not that the feeling stopped, it’s just that the buying was pretty much over. Now the urgency to garden more than ever before is within me.

    I too keep waking up between 4 and 5:30. And I stay up until about 11:30. I have to catch a nap in the afternoon, lately. This isn’t my normal sleeping schedule at all. Just during the past three weeks. I, too, try to pray, then search the internet for news and moderate the comments for all of those easterners that wake up much earlier than we do. Anyhow…;)

    May you have a blessed week. Looking forward to reading your comments this week.


    1. Lily,
      The urgency last year was over the top in my head and heart. I followed my intuition. I prayed. I acted. As I purchased cases of canning jars, peeled potatoes and blanched veggies for canning, picked up 50 lbs of wheat berries, made Ghee, bought an extra (used) freezer, and a lot of other things I don’t “normally” do, I thought, “my word, you are a nut!!”, but I did it anyway. My adult kids all think I’m a genius now rather than crazy. And yes, in January/February it hit me again. I even doubted myself, but kept going. I gave good quality ammo for Christmas presents to a few of the men in the family. (They literally drooled over it. LOL). Not that all my girls can’t shoot, they can. I actually am still feeling the urgency, but also feeling like I need to chill for a few months and see how things go. I will most likely backfill my preps this summer once the delivery issues get sorted out. I totally hear you. There is a disturbance in the Force (lol) and us sensitive, intuitive, types feel it first. At least that’s what I think.
      Thank you for being such a good site monitor!!

    2. Yes, me too. I started writing about preparedness last spring which was partly my way of thinking about all that I was sensing(what I’ve posted has been just the ones I wrote especially for SB). Then I decided I had to get back here to the US where my son and the rest of my family is and made the wrenching decision to leave Israel and come back here. And since I returned in June I’ve been trying to find a home to buy with enough land to garden on etc etc. It felt very urgent to me which was interesting as I’ve been a mostly content nomad for nearly 3 years, overseas and elsewhere. All of a sudden I knew that had to end. And I’ve been working at stocking up and prepping, even before I had this house which hasn’t been easy but I knew it was important. Why I can’t tell you but it was really clear to me that this was what I needed to do now. So I’m trying to pay attention.

      Also finding myself mulling over the words to my favorite Leonard Cohen piece: “If It Be Your Will”. And when I light candles on Friday night, I ask Hashem as always, to make it clear to me what I am supposed to be doing.

      1. Hmm,

        I had never heard Leonard Cohen’s, “If it Be You Will” and just listened to it. Nice! Nothing happens unless it’s God’s will, even his permissible will, if we choose to do a bad thing.

        I do LOVE Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” both his rendition, and the two Christian lyrics given to it for “Christmas and Easter”

        We here, at the Ranch keep Passover and don’t do Christmas, any more.

        We do celebrate the Seven Feasts of Yod Heh, Vav Heh. 🙂 Yeshua is the Passover,the Afikomen, Isaiah 53,(Matza has stripes, it was pierced,(Killed) it was hidden, (buried, in the grave for three days) it was found (resurrected from the dead), it is especially taken during the Seder> He is The First Fruit (From the dead), the unleavened Bread, The Shavuot, the Head/King of all mankind/Trumpet, the Yom, Kippur (He is the Lamb that was slain, His blood being our final atonement for our sins) and The Succot, (He is our Tabernacle. He dwelled with man on earth for thirty years during His first comingand He will return again to dwell with man forever. He currently dwells in each and every person who believe on Him through his Ruach Hakodes.

        Yeshua full-fills, and IS the feasts. Someday, I am convinced, you will understand and your eyes will be opened.

        In the meantime, we here love you and your people very much, and are glad you are hearing from the Lord God, and are here at the Blog, and are preparing.

        God Speed, Shalom, safety and blessings,


          1. :;-)

            That’s the way we are all coping. Somewhat irreverent but using humor to make sense of it all. A lot of grief among people who will be alone for the seder as they can’t travel or it’s not safe for their family to be with them. But everyone, even the most religious are saying, hey, even if all you have is matzah and cream cheese and you do your own seder for one, it’s all good!

            Others are thinking about the plagues and what it must have been like to experience them and be delivered from that.

            RE: Leonard Cohen’s “If It Be Your Will”- my personal take on it is that he must have written this at a tough time in his life and he was basically saying ok Lord, do with me what you will. It’s all in your hands. If you don’t want me to have a voice or sing anymore I’m ok with it too. You tell me what you want. Powerful.

            Hope you’ve found matzah! In VT we wonder if they have such stuff in the redoubt but I bet they do.

          2. Ani,

            Matza CAN be found in the Redoubt. Have no fear. Yokes and Super One stores have it in their food specialty sections. But, I am out of it at this time. But, I can make it myself! It just won’t be Maniscehwitz’s and made to Rabbinic kosher standards. 😉 I do have Matza meal to make Matza Ball soup. Though, we are not a wine drinkers, we do have a few bottles of Maniscehwitz’s Concord Grape Wine, specifically for Pasach, in our pantry. I do have bitter herbs growing in my greenhouse. And a frozen lamb shank in our propane freezer that gets reused year after year. Hey, why not? It’s only out on the plate for a few hours and then goes right back into the freezer for another year. 😉 I would think that that would kill any bacteria that is trying to grow on it. I don’t let any other foods touch the shank bone. So we are all set to celebrate the Seder. Jim should be out of quarantine by then. That can’t come soon enough, trust me.

            Shalom and Blessings,


      2. Dear Ani,

        I am part-Ashkenazi (and all Christian) and for years I have joked that I inherited the “pogrom gene”. I just always have seemed to know when it is time to flee for safety… whether working in a third world country or sensing when an employer was about to go under.

        It sounds like you have the “pogrom gene” too. ;). I am so happy you have a home and are getting settled. You are in my prayers for continued safety in every way.

        1. “Pogrom gene”! Love it! 😉 You could be right. My maternal mitochondrial DNA traces all the way back to a woman who lived in the Middle East thousands of years ago- I figure my great great great…….grandma was at Sinai! My ancestors have been through a lot! Only way they survived was to have that little sixth sense………

  28. Whew! I am finally caught up on reading SB! So now I feel like I can update our progress down here in Texas.

    According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, our last typical frost date is the 6th of April. I have the garden ready and waiting, have already planted seeds for carrots, parsnips, radishes, have put onion starts around the carrot seeds, garlic cloves around some other varieties of carrot seeds, scallion and bulb onion seeds surrounding the parsnip seeds and have planted 8 feet of seeds for Black Spanish Radishes. They just sounded interesting. I have already put in seed potatoes for 4 varieties and I am waiting for a fifth variety to show up, one that is supposed to do well in the Texas heat. I have 10# of clover seeds and 10# of Dunsdale Spring Peas to get planted for the deer food plot, waiting for that last frost date to pass. Of course, we’ve had temperatures up into the 70’s over the past week or two, but I want to play it safe rather than risk wasting that much seed. I have already planted seeds along the edge of the food plot field for root veggies and some of them have started to sprout up. I am hoping they have a chance to grow before the feral hogs find them. And I have planted the first two trees in the orchard, a Damson plum and a peach tree. The trees I ordered last year did not survive. They came in as bare root twigs and the onslaught of the grasshoppers was just too much for them. This year, i bought slightly more substantial trees from the local Tractor Supply store.

    We have both spent the past two days mowing lawn grass, first time this season. We have one more yard to mow, over at the east property. The new grass seed is starting to sprout up in the horses’ new pasture. Once it grows long enough, we can stop buying hay for them, at least that’s the theory.

    I have lots of other seeds to plant in the garden but I am finding that there are too many projects that need to get done and only two of us to do them now that our son is staying down at his home for the duration. We discussed it and decided that, since he is working outside and in customers’ homes doing installation work, and since I am over 60 and DH has damaged lungs, it will be safer if he stays away. It puts a strain on us to get work done without him but having him up here to help out for quite a few weekends back in Nov, Dec Jan and Feb really helped a lot.

    All 3 of us were in Las Vegas in January and, as usual, DH and I came home with colds. We don’t know if it was CoVid-19 but it wouldn’t surprise us if it were, considering the germs that are brought into town from all over the world, both for the SHOT Show and just from the tourism. I don’t know if JWR has been to SHOT in the past but the fact that he brought something home with him didn’t surprise me at all, once I read that he was at the show. It happens to us just about every year. It is familiarly known as the SHOT Show Ick or Plague, depending on the severity of each year’s strain. Fortunately, this year it was quite mild for both of us, strictly a head cold that started out as a sore throat while on the drive home. It never went down to our lungs and we didn’t have much of a cough.

    The indoor “greenhouse” in the bedroom of the spare house at the ranch is doing well. I still have not gotten tomatoes or peppers to sprout but I have 3 pea plants growing, a wax bean plant has sprouted, two cucumbers are growing, some chives, a garlic plant and several pots of lettuce. it doesn’t sound like much but my theory is that if I can get those things to grow indoors, I might be able to get them to grow in the garden, too. I already put two kinds of peas in the garden that I soaked for a few days until they started to sprout. And I planted four varieties of Marigolds along the outside of the garden fence, hoping they will grow and help to keep the insects away from the food crops – also hoping the hogs and deer don’t decide they are tasty. Oh, and the foundation/floor of the new greenhouse is in place. We just have to find the time to assemble the building. (Way too many projects…. )

    Now, if the weather cooperates and we don’t get a repeat of last year’s grasshopper invasion, I am optimistic that I might have something to harvest his year.

    I hope everybody stays safe, healthy and secure.

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