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’m finally back into my normal springtime routine at the ranch: writing and editing in the mornings, and ranch work in the afternoons. This week, I dropped a dead-standing red fir that measured about 24″ across, at the butt. I also dropped a healthy white pine that measured about 22″ across, at the butt. That latter was much too close to where I plan to erect an outbuilding, next year. Limbing them and cutting rounds to stove length was time-consuming, even with a sharp chainsaw chain. My kids helped me drag limbs to slash piles. I’m giving those limbs the full summer to dry. The piles will be touched off–after some rains–most likely in October. I should mention that in the past, I did some spring slash burning, but found that getting them started required too much “Woof.” (Dyed Off-Road Diesel.)  So now I do nearly all of my slash and garden waste burning in the fall.

Our life here in the midst of the pandemic is remarkably similar to as it was before. We just have far fewer trips to town, and no face-to-face Bible study meetings. That is what I really miss.

As usual, Lily has a far more detailed report than mine. Sorry that my portion is often written in the terse Joe Friday (“Just The Facts…”) style.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This has been a normal week at the ranch, yet different in many ways.  Weather-wise, the sun has been out most of the week with lots of warm sunshine.  But it is a holiday week for us so things have been a bit different.

In preparation for the Passover, the girls and I cleaned the house. I took the yeast out of the refrigerator and put it into the garage freezer, so it’s out of our living space.  Actually, we very seldomly eat leavened bread.

On Wednesday, we prepared food to celebrate the Passover meal that evening.

We used to do the Seder (means “Order”), and is a meal with prescribed order of readings and actions during the course of the meal which remembers the Exodus.  There is a Rabbinic Seder as well as a Messianic Seder for those who believe in Jesus.

Our family has learned that many practices and traditions of the Seder meal are based on Rabbinic thought which comes out of Babylonian Mystic practices.  So we have dropped the “order” of the Seder and just read the actual Exodus account before the meal, Exodus 7-13. Since Jesus IS the Feasts and the Law,  He fulfills them. He is the Lamb of God. He is sinless (sin is represented by yeast. Thus, He is the unleavened bread.  His blood more than “covers” our sins. His blood takes away/removes the sins of the world for all who will trust in his works.  He is the fulfillment of all of the actions. Therefore, we also read of the Passion of Christ.  This year we chose to read John’s account, chapters 13-20.

The Seder meal is a Memorial/Remembrance of God’s miraculous saving power and deliverance of His people from Egypt and from sin. Being in Egypt represents the state of separation that sin causes from God.  A Holy and Just God cannot tolerate sinful people, therefore He provides a method to cleanse us so He can fellowship with us. He separates those of His out, brings division, from the general population, He protects and cleanses us from our sin with his blood sacrifice, and He brings us out to the Promised Land, His kingdom.  Egypt is this world and belongs to Satan. We are not of this world.  The Promised Land is God’s Kingdom which is not in this earth but is in Heaven.  When Jesus returns to the earth, He will bring the New Heaven and the New earth with Him, the New Jerusalem.  And all who call upon His name and trust in His Blood Sacrifice and have had His blood cleanse them from all of their sins/washed their robes in the blood of the lamb, will have a part in that heavenly kingdom.

We did have the representative Seder plate on the table with the items prescribed in the book of Exodus.  That one is to eat unleavened bread, roasted lamb and bitter herbs, and we did talk about what each item’s symbolism meant.

So I baked Matza, we have a lamb Shank bone that I have kept year to year. (I just freeze it, immediately after use. ) I kept it in a plastic bag on the plate this year.  It is out of the freezer only for about two hours. For bitter herbs, since I didn’t have horseradish on hand, we used onion shoots  and parsley from the greenhouse, and chopped garlic. One Rabbinic food tradition that we did keep was the charoset, which is chopped apples and walnuts mixed with Knudsen’s organic Concord grape juice, yum! And I made a beef stew.

We didn’t have any store-bought Matza, so I made some myself.  It was very easy.  I used three cups of flour, three quarters cup of olive oil, a teaspoon of salt and about a cup of water.  I mixed the dough up quickly, and quickly kneaded it, rolled up little balls that I flattened with my rolling pin, stabbed it with a fork and cooked it on my heated rectangular cast iron skillet.  It looked like proper Matza with the holes and brown stripes, but the pieces were round and oval shaped, instead of factory square. We were all very excited about it and it tasted wonderful.

Matza represents Jesus.  He is the bread of life. He is unleavened/without yeast/without sin.  Jesus in His last hours was brought to trial, and was convicted of supposedly “blaspheming” God.  He was whipped, stripes, beaten/bruised and stabbed in the side/pierced. His blood was shed like the lamb which is slaughtered for the sins of the people.  He was crucified, nailed to the cross and lifted up, like the snake in the wilderness and all who looked upon the snake and believed were healed of their snake bites, like so all who look upon Jesus and believe on Him will have their sins forgiven and will receive eternal life. They will be accepted by God the Father the creator of the universe because Jesus is our redeemer and will present us to the Father and will tell the Father that we have believed in them and therefore we are accepted into His kingdom for all of eternity.

Isaiah 53:4-6 says:

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Who did the Lord lay the iniquity of us all on?  Yeshua!

Jesus is the the First Fruit, of the Resurrection.  He is the first one who has been risen from the dead and brought to heaven.  When He rose from the dead on that day first day of the week, Sunday, many who were dead and had been God Fearers rose from the dead with him.  When He returns again, in the clouds of heaven.  He will raise the dead of the ones who have all died since after the First resurrection.  Those of us who remain alive up to the day of His return may not have to taste death, but will be transformed, immediately into our heavenly bodies and will be caught up to meet Him and all the saints with Him in the Clouds.  I so look forward to that Great and marvelous day!  Come Quickly Lord Jesus, please!

Early in the week, I squeezed and froze more lemons. I also peeled, sliced, and froze all 72 of the avocados. The oranges were washed.  We lost about a third of the case to mold and serious soft spots. 🙁  They must have been rather old to begin with, before they shipped…

Miss Violet and I, and a little bit with Miss Eloise, shelled the French beans that I grew last summer and dried over the winter.  Almost all of them will be planted in the garden this summer.

I just watch a video and learned that I could grow Sweet potato slips by cutting a sweet potato in half and putting tooth picks near the cut side and submerging the cut part into water. So I cut three potatoes in half, and put the six pieces in water an put them on my windowsill. I hope this year, I will have success growing them.  I will put them under plastic.

All of the squashes took off in the Bathroom Greenhouse and are growing like gangbusters, as well as the tomatoes, peppers, and a few others.  We have a very bad cold spell coming through this weekend, but by mid-week next week, the weather should be above freezing temps, day and night, so I will be moving most of the seedlings out to the main greenhouse.  Just a few more days…  I really need to transplant those tomatoes and peppers.

So, I have been a tad bit in the gloom and doom mode for quite a while. I guess you could say that that was an understatement…   I think we all have been quite worried about the corona virus and the lock down and government control/overreach…. What else may be coming down the pike towards us…??

One morning, I was watering some greens in the greenhouse, suddenly, I saw a pair of tree swallows flying around my garden.  They must’ve just returned that very morning. They like to nest up in the eaves of the roof our our house and were checking it out.  Shh!  Don’t tell Jim!  He is not evicting them!!!  I love having them nesting so close.  They’ve been nesting there, for at least the last five years…  I was sooo happy to see them.  I was so excited that I talked to them and welcomed them back.  I kept saying, “Hello, hello, You’re back, welcome. I AM SO glad to see you”.  They flew up to within three feet of my face and looked right at me, while I spoke to them. I’m sure they recognize me and I recognized them.  I’m thinking that they were saying “Hi” back to me.  I laughed with such joy in my heart that it surprised me, on how strongly I was feeling about seeing them again…Such beautiful little birds. My bird friends!  Now I am looking for our Humming birds, who should be here sometime within the next two weeks.

Yesterday, the weather was so nice, that I finally got out my bike and began riding around the ranch.  Within 15 minutes, I was feeling so much better and chipper and even playful…  I have NOT felt playful all winter.  Not a once!  Bike riding is great exercise, now that we have better weather, I will be out on it far more often.

Happy Passover Week and Happy Resurrection Day to all of our readers! HE HAS RISEN INDEED!

Much love to you all!  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. Potatoes are the easiest, and perhaps the most important, so it would be good to know how to get the most out of them. Started potatoes in buckets. Some are in the green house, and some are taken inside at night to keep the soil warmer. They’ll be put out in the sun during the day. After watching many videos on potato growing, I finally ran into this fellow:

    Effective POTATO Growing Tips for Astounding Results

  2. We stayed home for the first 15-days then went out to deliver some rabbits. I live in a freedom state and while the two big cities in the state are under lock down orders, the rest of the state is using common sense. There are more essential businesses open than non-essential businesses, but most of the “social gathering” establishments are closed. In the closest little town to me the local pharmacy and grocer and employees are now wearing masks and gloves, at the feed store majority of folks were protected, even the drive thru bank teller had mask and gloves. The gas station people are protected as well as the hardware store and it seems almost business as usual. We have not gone out for the first part of this 30-day stay-at-home, simply because we don’t need anything and we get plenty of exercise just doing chores. I just don’t understand why some states are arresting someone who walks the dog alone down the street or the one person on the paddle board in the ocean needs to be arrested by two boat loads of police.

    We have been keeping our normal routine of planting spring herbs, radishes, collards, spinach, lettuce, peas, onions, potatoes and various squash. We’ve had a lot of heavy rain and two nights of 39⁰ so we delayed our row plantings for another week. Still waiting on an order of meadow seeds and more corn seeds. I also ordered some Mennonite sorghum slips which are new to me. Always learning new things keeps the brain active.

    We have three does delivering this weekend so my son is building another rabbit condo for expansion. I brought five new meat bunnies into my rabbitry to keep the existing blood line healthy. They have a few months to go before they will be bred but needed to get them now. Much higher demand for rabbits now.

    Made a big pot of vegetable beef soup and got that canned up. Still distributing bulk food purchases into buckets and trying to find places to put them.

    The joy of Easter is glorious to celebrate especially with loved ones; however, our weather forecast is for severe storms outbreak, wind and rain. We will rigging for bad weather today and securing the animals.

    May your week be safe and productive.

    1. Animal House,

      Praying that the weather forecasted for you doesn’t get to severe. We have had really crazy weather here too. 70’ couple of days, then it dropped about 30-35 degrees, rain & possibility a little snow for Easter.
      A couple weeks ago we actually had a tornado touch down a couple miles from the Byron Nuclear Power Plant. Thank God it was a small tornado & we live around 50 miles or so from it but the pictures on the news of the downed power lines with the Reactors in the background were pretty scary.
      Hope the Reactors can withstand the largest of tornadoes.!?

      Have a Rockin great day

    2. Our state also has not mandated everyone stay at home. We too have a couple counties/cities making that choice, but not where I am. I’ve noticed that where we live has a huge impact on our way of life right now. So glad we moved from one of the east coast police states even though I miss where we were in the country on family farming land.

      1. Los Angles just extended our original 4-week shutdown (thru Apr 19) to 8 weeks (thru May 15), announced yesterday. So if I’m correct, we’re now officially under the longest shutdown. Effective today – and for the duration of the Order – it’s now mandatory to wear masks while out in public areas or in the presence of others (you may only be without a mask if by yourself, such as jogging). It’s angering that the County Health Officer all by himself has the assumed power to dictate which companies (and their unfortunate employees) must close, and which ones may continue to operate.


        1. We have friends in LA and I just sent them masks as they only had a couple paper ones they were reusing and cannot find any for sale. From what they tell me, it’s like they live in a different country with all that is going on. Hang in there! Praying for y’all.

          1. It’s certainly making for a very awkward environment. Within the span of only four weeks, we’ve gone from a very open and social community to one that’s afraid of its own shadow. Upon my daily jog earlier this morning, I happened upon several other people separately walking/running. For the first time, as I approached them head-on on the sidewalk (albeit allowing ample space out of courtesy), *every one of them* each made a theatrical show of moving off the sidewalk and onto the street itself, directly in the path of oncoming vehicles and causing the drivers to slow down or move over to avoid hitting the pedestrians. All this for a passing that would have lasted less than one second on the sidewalk.

            One of my LAPD friends reacted to yesterday’s shutdown extension (and accompanying mask mandate) by simply saying, “We’ve lost our minds.” The economic damage to so-called non-essential businesses in our County is going to be massive.

      2. PJGT, would you mind sharing hint more about where you are? We are stuck in the fascist state of ILL, and have been planning to relo to MO, but this “plandemic” (Catherine Austin-Fitts) is giving us an opportunity to evaluate how individual communities and counties have reacted. We are hoping that will give us some insight on who will enforce the mandatory vax and other freedom-limiting regulations that most of us see coming. Your area seems reasonable!

        1. There are, if memory serves and things haven’t changed in the past couple seconds, 9 states whose governors have not mandated that their state citizens stay shut in. Although, that being said, I do not know of a state that allows sit down meals or large gatherings at this time. All our restaurants are takeout only. We are in the Intermountain west region.

        2. captnswife,

          We’re stuck in Illinois too! Don’t you just love Governor “Pugsley” (Pritzker) and Larry (Lori) Lightfoot’s daily meltdown’s ?!

          Did you also hear how many shootings there were earlier in the week when it was 70+ degrees?! Not really surprised that the gangbangers are still at it but it’s unfortunate that it taxes an already fragile health care system.

          I’m glad we’re around 100 miles from the city of Chicago and around 70 miles south of Rockford but by the grace of God we are trying to make the best of a bad situation and hopefully move in the next couple of years.
          I’m betting that they extend our lockdown also.

          Take care and Rock on

    1. Same with some meat producers. I also read that some dairy farmers are sending some of their cows in for butchering
      I think we’ll see a huge slinky effect in our supply chains.

      1. Yes, one of the main reasons why cattle prices are so low is that there are now a record number of dairy cattle being sold to feedlots for slaughter. When the dairies can’t sell their milk, they can’t afford to keep the cows. It will be very interesting to see what happens to the price of milk when the corona virus clears up and the demand goes back to its normal level.

  3. Good Morning,
    This week was rather busy. I received in some items that I had ordered a few weeks back such as some hand made garden tools from Homestead Iron. Thank you St. Funogas for that recommendation, these two tools I received are truly beautiful and works of art. I am proud to own them.

    I also received in a large order of canning jars that I was able to order from Farm & Fleet. (I think the Fex Ex driver is NOT happy with me)! He practically kicked the large boxes out of the truck before he roared off. I then had to roll each box over until I got them where I wanted them and unpacked them. (Thankfully they were bubble wrapped really well & not one was broken)!
    Got a fantastic deal on two raised garden beds that I found hidden on the floor at Farm & Fleet, can’t wait to experiment with these.
    Ordered some extra antibiotics from the fish place we all talk about on here.
    I also have an order coming from Harvest Guard so can’t wait to get that.
    I’m also patiently awaiting my new Freeze Dryer that I ordered!! Super stoked about that!
    Harvested our first set of salad greens from a small hydroponic unit that I had gotten for my birthday. The greens are sooo good!! I’m a new gardener so I was so proud to get my first harvest! I’m getting ready to try Heirloom tomatoes next.

    Husband woke up with Pinkeye on Wednesday! Called Doctor right away, got eye drops & he’s now on the mend. His boss is being really great, they are paying him for the days he had to take off since he is an Essential worker. (Repair & Maintenance of Gasoline/Diesel equipment).

    This has sparked me to think about how much more efficient “Telehealth“ has become and now I am going to investigate if this is something that could become permanent? The efficiency alone warrants this. Imagine everyone being able to have this ability either with a phone visit and/or a video visit! I know it’s not possible for every case, but we have found the two times we’ve had to do this in these last couple of week extremely quick and efficient. The doctors even seem less stressed out. (They can probably see twice as many patients this way).
    Anyway, just a thought !! Anyone else have this experience?

    Prepared and packaged up food for mom and dad and my brother including a nice Easter Dinner. I went out and brought Mom and Dad their food and they were so excited! I also brought mom some flowers. They are handling all of this rather well. My dad did have a fever yesterday but when I talked to him later on he was feeling better, just tired. (Definitely keeping an eye on this) He has already expressed to me his absolute refusal to go to the doctor or any kind of clinic/hospital.
    Stubborn 83 year old (Retired Police, USMC)

    I hope everyone has a good holiday weekend. I am reflecting on my growth as a Christian. Thank you to those that have responded to me personally with encouragement and guidance.

    Have a Rockin great day!

    1. Hey RKRGRL68, I hope you will enjoy your diamond hoe half as much as I love mine. You are right, it is such a beautiful work of art I kept mine in the living room for a few weeks and just admired it. I hated to take it outside and scuff it up! lol. Now that it’s older and broken in, I put linseed oil and beeswax treatments on the handle and sharpen the blade once a year. It’s a wonderful, wonderful tool and should last a lifetime. 🙂

      1. St. Funogas,

        That’s so funny because I’ve kept mine in the dining room for the past week admiring it also!!
        Thanks for the linseed oil tip! I will be sure to treat my new baby with it at years end.

        Can’t wait to use it!
        (I might just keep it in the house all year, maybe give her a name like guys do with cars)!

        Rock on

    2. RKRGRL68, our health insurance com has been offering TeleDoc which sounds like Telehealth, for 4-5 years, although we have not yet used that option. I have heard several positive comments from people who have used TeleDoc. I had an acqaintance for years, who was a dr who used something similar in his practice. He did it b/c he lived in a small town area & didn’t want to move 2 hours to the city, to continue practicing medicine after his sm town medical practice closed. If you google (or use a different search engine) Telehealth, you may be able to find comments from people who’ve used it & be able to tell you the pros & cons. Best wishes.

      1. Hey Chris,
        Thanks! I’m going to research this more, maybe contact my senator, Ect. I’ve known about Teledoc for a few years, I had just never used it till this virus came along and upended everything. Our family doctor will only use this now while all this is going on. For us, it’s extremely convenient, saves hours out of the day not having to block out the time to actually drive to the doctor, sit in the waiting room and hope you don’t catch something from the other people in the waiting room, and also, I know fuel is rather inexpensive right now, but the savings on that and wear & tear on your vehicle all seems like a win-win to me!
        I do however have an appointment with my Surgeon regarding Cervical Spinal Fusion that I have scheduled in June. I have an appointment coming up late April for a check in and to see if I need more current MRI’s, Ect.
        I’ll let you know how that goes but I’m really curious to see if this Teledoc Emergency Expansion could become permanent.

        Take care and Rock on

  4. Fixed the small chicken coop. Wind storm blew one of the roof panels off so I reattached it and the beefed up the entire roof with corner braces. Moved logs from main chicken coop build site. Chicken almost have all their feathers. I want to move them out to the coop soon, but considering we have snow on the ground that will have to wait for a little warmer temps. Moved non-temperature sensitive equipment/supplies into barn loft. Items included a small cast iron stove, extra barrel pump, wood, glass and metal roofing/siding. Started cleaning off rust and taking busted handles out of a bunch of picks, sledge hammers and axe heads that I picked up at auctions last year. Put on new handles to a splitting maul, sledge hammer, and carpenter hammer. Put on a new hose and nozzle to the diesel fuel tank rotary pump. I have been on a search for where our surgical masks are. I found the tote that they had been in before the move but they were not in there. Tore through 4 totes of medical supplies and no surgical mask, but boy do I have 2×2 and 4×4 gauze pads. Ordered additional replacement handles for picks, hammers etc. Hung up about a dozen protective mask (gas mask) from the floor joist in the equipment/supply room in the basement. Hanging them up freed up a tote and a half. We still are trying to organize / find stuff from our move, goal now is to get the re-loading bench set up and ready for the fall which shouldn’t be a problem. Since I can remember I have always re-load with my dad, it was just great to have his wisdom and advice and of course it was great spending time with him. He turns 80 this year and he has hinted that he doesn’t want to reload anymore because he doesn’t trust that he can do it safety. I understand but I don’t like it.
    Tuesday evening the remaining staff in my operation at work were told to work from home for continuity of operations. I felt we should had done that a week ago but was over ruled, what a difference a week makes.

  5. I really enjoyed the self inflicting moniker, JFR. So JoeFriday it is.
    We too enjoy all you share and ask God to continue humbling Our people to turn from their worldly ways & be Christ followers; free in deed!

  6. Thank you for the uplifting post, Avalanche Lily.

    Made 20 face masks. After I ran out of elastic, I used bias binding (homemade), twill tape and hair elastic. I would have used toilet paper but it is too valuable. I mailed most of them out to the kids and grands along with some fun activities for the grands.

    Inventoried my sewing supplies to see what I have – we are in good shape for now.

    Went to the grocery store to replenish what we have eaten the last month plus get ahead. I did not go down the paper product aisle, so I’m not sure how the supplies were there. The flour aisle was picked over, but there was still plenty of flour to be had. Speaking of yeast, there is not a speck of yeast to be found in our county and the next. I still have some, but not as much as I’d like. Time to actually make a sour dough starter instead of just intending to do so. I read that yeast sales are up 300-600%.

    I shopped at 6 am on Monday – seniors only. The store was not crowded at all, about half of the customers had on masks. A mix of homemade, surgical and N95. Only the self-serve cash registers were open. We did not have to sign, which was good news/bad news as far as I was concerned. I didn’t have to touch the screen or a pen – but how do they guarantee security? We watch our credit card statement like a hawk and thankfully nothing weird as shown up yet.

    Once home, I wiped everything down and put it away. Inventoried freezer again and am feeling blessed.

    Did another seed inventory. We are fine for this year but I will be saving seed from what I grow and from what I buy from the farm share/farmer’s market. Thankfully farmer’s markets in our state are considered essential. I’m grateful for that.

    Got quite a bit of yard clean up done now that the snow is beginning to recede. We had a gigantic oak taken down 6 weeks ago. That will allow more sun into the area behind our house. We hope to put up a fence and do a lot of vegetable container gardening. We live in pretty dense woods so sunshine is at a premium. I will be planting in every container we have.

    Washed out baggies. I’m putting the ‘waste not’ strategy into high gear.

    Am just about done with two batches of homemade apple cider vinegar. Starting another (found more peels and cores in a bag during freezer inventory).

    Washed potatoes and carrots for stew the other night. Saved the peels in the freezer for vegetable stock when I have a bag full. Again, waste not.

    Had 3 Zoom calls this week – my ladies’ Bible study, the kids and grands, and my sibs. I sure do miss my grands. This is a fun way to connect, though. #2 son and family got a puppy. A COVIDK9.

    Called a dozen ladies from our church – just to make sure they are doing okay.

    My daughter-in-love was expressing to me the difficulty they are having in managing things at their home. They are two full time workers working from home and an active three and five year old. In an 1100 square foot apartment. Of course, we are all grateful they have jobs – but this is not easy.

    Hubby is feeling better and better. So thankful! I cut his hair and trimmed my own a bit.

    We watched two of our sons lead worship last night at their respective churches. This has been a beautiful bonus of the current situation. They did not have online services before. We have now ‘attended’ two Good Friday services and will view our own church’s service this evening.

    Every day as I pull food out of the pantry, freezer, fridge, I thank the Lord for our daily bread. I also ask him to multiply it as He did the loaves and fishes. Not just our resources but everyone’s.

    We are expecting a spring storm tomorrow into Monday. 40 mph winds with 8-12 inches of snow. Power outages are anticipated. I’m making sure all the laundry is done, all the dishes are washed and all the vacuuming is done. Later today I will be filling the ‘flushing buckets’.

    Praying you all have a blessed Resurrection Sunday. One of the gals in our Bible study said that her church is recommending that everyone go out at sunrise tomorrow and raise their hands in praise.

    1. My state(VT) just decided that Farmers’ Markets aren’t essential and banned them! The biggest winter market I know of was already holding it outdoors, restricted to only ag products and had major interaction restrictions in place. Why a grocery store is “essential” but a Farmers’ Market isn’t is beyond me, but this is from the state that decided that garden depts. in big-box stores were non-essential as well.

      1. Ani, as all this continues, find out who is getting “campaign contributions” and where they are coming from. My guess, skeptic that I am, is that Big Ag and Big Grocery, are giving hefty “contributions” to political campaigns all over your state, my state, and all around this country. These corrupt businesses just can’t stand the competition from the farmers markets or from private individuals who might grow some of their own food. For clarification, the word contributions can be reinterpreted as the word BRIBES.

        My governor, Gretchen Whitmer, D (Dictator)-Mi., is literally gloating over the dictatorial power she has given herself. This with little push back from our Republican legislature. When she is on TV giving her CoVID-19 update, as she issues her next dictatorial draconian decree, she is grinning from ear-to-ear, like the Cheshire Cat.

        I fear many of these governors are going to be hard-put to give up their newfound omniscient powers when this is over with, if it is ever over with. To hear the PTB, like Fauci, Bill Gates, Justin Trudeau, etc, this won’t be over for another year and a half, or longer.

        1. I also live in Michigan and it is troubling, how our Nazi governor is revelling in her dictatorial power. Last I checked, there are over 80,000 signatures in the online petition to recall her.

  7. Happy Easter to all. Thanks for the enjoyable read Jim and Lily. Jim, your suggested prayer rings true to me – well said:
    “May our nation repent of its wicked ways and renew its covenant with God. Heal our land!”

  8. Got my compost spread and the garden tilled once. It’s almost ready for planting. I’m so excited to have a garden again! (We moved in May of last year, so didn’t have one). Added bonus, less grass to mow. Spring has sprung here in the Willamette Valley!

    Ms. Lily, I got a huge smile over your bird excitement. We have a pair of Robins that are fiercely defending their brand new nest on a gutter downspout. The hummingbirds have been back for about 3 weeks now. Their feeder is right above my patio chair. They are so beautiful to watch.

    Shoutout and a “thank you” to Tunnel Rabbit for yesterday’s tip for caring for my fish. Since moving, I haven’t yet forged a really good relationship with my new Doctor, (I’ve only seen him once for my “new patient” visit),so my normal supply chain is not quite there yet… I suspect it will be in the future.

    He is Risen!

  9. I feel blessed just reading this post and comments.
    We are busy with our garden. We extended our garden space this year thinking it might be to our benefit with all that’s going on.
    All of my indoor seedlings are doing well except the peppers… the seeds were a few years old and not one germinated. That was a bummer, I will order some more seeds and try again – it’s a bit late to start them but nothing ventured nothing gained.
    God is good, all the time. He is worthy to be praised.
    May He continue to bless you.

    1. Pepper seeds have a rather short life expectancy as do parsnips, so that is possibly why they failed to germinate. The pepper variety called ‘Ace’ is an early maturing one, but it is a hybrid though. I can’t think of a real fast maturing heirloom pepper off the top of my head. Extending your garden is a very good move. I’m sure come this fall you will be glad that you did it.

  10. My big debate with myself this week was how to approach Easter. It’s different not being in church. I’ve decided to go all out with a fully dressed table using the family china, linens and recipes even though it is just three of us! I’ve the time, and feel the need to fight this virtual enslavement. Like many here, our lives are going strong just as they have been. My husband and son are essential workers and go to work and come home as usual; however, with a pay reduction. But for millions of our fellow Americans my heart breaks at what they are going through. We get to choose to believe, to work, to build, to invent, to learn, to forge ahead, and choose our representatives. That, I believe, is the right of Americans. What made our country so great. We have the right to follow Jesus personally and we still do live in a Christian country. So good to have our president address us with prayer.

    What have we done around the place this week? Started on a different and more useful larder plan. I’ve had to search for the older foodstuff to use. Not at all efficient. It does feel different to be using some of the stored foods rather than saving for a rainy day. Keeping our focus on saving cash and looking forward to growing in the new greenhouse. We live up in the Rockies and will need the greenhouse year round to grow anything. So excited for the couple feet of snow to leave this year so I can get started.

    Washed and put away some of the winter clothing now that it is warmer out and winter activities are done for the year. I’ve dug out the seed starting heat mats and lights to get started. Next is to sort 8 years of seeds and see what’s there. I order seeds every year.

    Finished and mailed out the masks I made for friends and relatives in need. I researched and made more complicated ones that, with a filter inserted, are tested 93% effective. I also sent plastic gloves. They are on their own for eyewear. It would help if everyone wore PPEs and we were able to get on with life come May. The good news is that our nation finally seems to be heading back toward manufacturing and a more self-sufficient way of life. I’ve been annoying family and friends for years by pointing out that we cannot subsist as a nation of dog walkers. People need real work, and we need to be producing our own stuff. I believe we have an obligation to pass on self-sufficiency skills and have done so in our family.

    Praying diligently. Blessings to all in this Easter season.

  11. Dear Avalanche Lily and readers:
    This family also decided to read God’s Holy Word for our Seder instead of going through the Messianic booklet. I was filled with joy knowing that our God is revealing so much deception to us and that your family did the same thing! What a confirmation. I did learn a few things. Pharaoh’s magicians could create some of the plagues but could NEVER remove them! It took our God to do that. Moses always went to his prayer closet to petition God to remove the plagues upon the land. He didn’t do it in front of Pharaoh. There could be a variety of reasons for that and a whole Bible Study!

    Pharaoh actually repented twice (I haven’t found a 3rd time) and it was a false confession because his behavior didn’t change. He started thinking about it when his advisors started telling him to let the people go. (populism?).

    God protected His people in the land of Goshen. They saw from a distance the plagues but did not experience all of them. As a sheep farmer, they taught me so much about Scripture. Killing a beautiful lamb that was raised from birth and putting the blood on the doorpost (an image of Yeshua’s blood that takes away sin) meant a financial sacrifice and sustenance too. All of this was a prefiguring of the Lamb of God, Yeshua’s shed blood.

    Even the Hebrews weren’t convinced of leaving the land they knew for an unknown land. They wanted to know why they should leave? Wouldn’t you? In Ex. 8:26 Moses explains them that they should repent for the sins of Egypt. National repentance? But the Hebrews argued by saying if we do that won’t they kill us?

    There was so much that I learned about today’s Pharoah’s, their hardness of heart and national repentance. God has protected His people in the past and He is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow. “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace”. Ex. 14:14 May the Peace of God cover all the readers during this uncertain season.

    1. Dear Sheepdog,

      I want to share the lesson God showed us this year.

      On Wednesday morning, just before Passover Eve that night, for our family devotion we were reading Exodus Chapter 8. In this chapter God talks about the severing of Goshen, the dwelling place of the Hebrew children, from the rest of Egypt/the Egyptian people, and explains that the next plagues will not be affecting the Hebrew children/God’s chosen people in the land of Goshen.

      In verse 23, He states that, “I will put a division between MY people and thy people, and thy people tomorrow shall this sign be.”

      As our family read this verse aloud, it pierced my soul.

      For some reason, I really expounded on it to our family how God is truly separating out His believers from the rest of society at this time. I am feeling it keenly.

      Well, little did I know, how pertinent this verse was for our personal family, and how quickly God would fulfill it in our lives.

      Later in the afternoon, as we were cleaning house and getting ready to prepare our Food for the Seder meal, Miss Eloise was in contact with her cousin, who is in a grievous sin. Miss Eloise was trying to witness to cousin and explain what is coming upon the earth. I was invited into the conversation and had the opportunity to write to cousin, who is of age, an e-mail to encourage repentance. It was a kind and loving e-mail in my eyes. I was not condemning said sin. But was explaining God’s love and the need to repent and the reasons for repentance.

      This family is not Biblically oriented at all. In fact from the time the kids were in grade school, there has always been biblical angst between us even though they “claim” to be Christian, they were not believing God’s laws, boundaries and commands. They did not raise their kids to know the God of the Bible. They believe if you love something, that everything is okay. They believe that God is not a God of judgement or condemnation. That HE is a God of Love and that there is no judgment in Him.

      Needless to say the e-mail did not go over well.

      After our Passover meal, we received an e-mail from the parents, saying that we were not loving and kind and that Our God was not loving or kind and that my God was not their God and that if I felt that way and could not support the decisions and choices of other family members, that I was no longer family. Finally we were told that we and our children are never to contact them or their children, again.

      The two oldest children are of age, Miss Eloise and this cousin are.

      WOW! Talk about a swift fulfillment of the Words of Exodus 8:23 being fulfilled in our lives, just within a few hours of reading them, the separation/division, being set apart!!

      On Wednesday night,on Passover night, we were cut off from a branch of our family!!!

      The next day cousin wrote a final e-mail to Miss Eloise and said among other things, “I do not want to be saved by a God who would judge and condemn what I love and what makes me happy.”

      Paraphrased, “They will exchange, bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter, good for evil and evil for good.

      Now I am considered evil, because I advocated righteousness and God’s order of life. Such pain and sorrow is in my heart. Not just because we’ve been rejected, but because they are rejecting the true God and his truths and they don’t understand the consequences of their rejection because they believe what the World has been telling them all of these years.

      I weep at the deception they are under!

      I fear for their souls. I pray that God will give them dreams and visions of himself and His love for them, and will send others to witness to them, before it’s too late. I pray that events will happen to them, that are enough to wake them up to repent, but not hurt them… I was trying to warn them of the Coming Mark of the Beast that if they take it will complete their separation from God forever…

      Dear Readers the separation of God’s people is being performed in earnest at this time in history, the separation of the sheep from the goats. Our family is being set apart and so is yours.

      I rejoice, because Jesus was rejected, and if I am rejected, then it proves that I belong to Him. Come Lord Jesus, quickly, and comfort my sorrowful soul.

      1. First Lily, let me say, I love your transparency and passion. So refreshing! I, like you with the birds, said hello and had a little conversation with the squirrels who frequent my deck! I haven’t seen them for months due to the depth of the snow, now almost completely melted. I also saw the first large hornet of the season. That means the Yellow Jackets will be out in force soon. I did so much the past couple of weeks, I’m exhausted. Lots of work sewing, planting and harvesting in the greenhouse, planted a hundred young native trees into pots, worked on our farm website, canned up about 30-40 cans of various beans, ordered even more seeds, received the HarvestGuard lids and seals, spent a lot of time answering questions from my adult children about preparedness… it’s spring, so that means work, work, work, winter rest time is over.

        Tomorrow will be the first Easter in my entire life that I spend alone, although I will drop off some freshly baked bread at a family member’s house. I don’t mind really. I’ve had a few sleepless nights where I wake up shouting, mostly shouting “NO. Get thee behind me Satan!!” I know the devil wants us all freaked out and anxious over the virus, the safety of our families, the crazy government overreach, and even the End Times. Satan is the Father of Lies and in the Name of Jesus, I can tell Satan to take a hike!

        I am going to have to do some serious prioritization if I want to keep going and that includes rest. May the Lord bless all of you and keep all of you safely in the Everlasting Arms.

      2. Dear Avalanche Lily:

        What a great testimony of how quickly our God answers prayer. He is continuing to provide us with more of His Wisdom as the days get darker. I can and have felt the wounding of family of friends and it is a very experience. May the root of bitterness not come near your doorstep and the doorstep of your daughter. Focus on her. Scripture gives us hard things to do in face of trials and tribulations like “pray for your enemies”. I’m not saying that your family are enemies but the hurt and rejection from them is difficult. Pray for them.

        Recently, very good christian friends wounded me twice. The first time I couldn’t believe my ears but as usual God confirms things and they did it again. It’s amazing how the words of trusted friends and family hurt. It wasn’t a correction but a rebuke because I didn’t attend a main stream church that taught things not included in the Bible. I still feel the pain and mourn for the friendship but God has brought new friends that love Him and we share new “nuggets” that He has revealed to us. That is truly a blessing and He didn’t leave me out there like an orphan.

        My dear sister in Christ, mourn for a season at the loss, pray for them that God will remove the scales from their eyes and open their ears to His Word and the strength to apply those Words to their lives. May we all be strengthened to do and say the right things in the days to come.

        You are not alone. I will pray for you and your daughter that this situation will strengthen your family.

        1. I can definitely relate to your second paragraph and your phrase of “…a rebuke because I didn’t attend a main stream church that taught things not included in the Bible.” Been there. Done that. A little over ten years ago a good friend of mine came up to me after a church service and started a conversation. After the crowd dwindled and we were left alone in the lunch room he asked me “David, you know what they say about you don’t you?” Since I wasn’t real sure what the question was about I said “No. What do they say about me?” His response was “They say you don’t believe in the Holy Spirit.” I was disappointed, but not shocked. It was totally untrue. To make a long story short I no longer attend any local churches, but attend an online church where people from all over the USA, Canada and occasionally overseas attend. We are of one spirit and yes we all believe in the Holy Spirit and the Bible, but not any of man’s dogmas.

          1. David ‘n’ Goliath, would you be willing to share how to connect with this online church? I too have been unable to attend a local church, although we did take our teenage son to youth group until things were shut down recently due to the virus. I have asked God to show our family a place where we can worship Him. I understand if you aren’t comfortable sharing this in public.

          2. Cabot, First of all I should mention that many people do not believe what the Messiah said about Himself and all the prophecies that He fulfilled so if they don’t believe that then they are replacing His Teaching with a doctrine other than the true Gospel. My favorite book of the Bible is the book of John as it shows so well the relationship between the Father and the Son. It might interest you to know that the name John in Hebrew is Yohanan which means YHWH is gracious (God is gracious). Johann is the German equivalent to the English John and is linguistically part way between the original Hebrew and the modern English. You might want to do a search for Smyrna Gospel in answer to your question. David W

  12. Have found that old cooking oil (e.g., oil saved after deep frying) can be very helpful in getting burn piles going. Not as “flashy” as gas or diesel. Makes the wood it is on behave more like a candle, igniting the other wood around it.

    1. That is a great suggestion. Ditto for cooking oil that has been stored too long, and has gone rancid. One advantage of use deep frying oil is that it makes a eco-friendly firestarter. The only drawback is that smelling it being used could give me and uncontrollable urge to order up a chocolate milkshake a side of fries.

      1. James, I think you just made my lunch choice for me.
        Elk burger it is! Topped with some fresh fried oyster mushrooms. (Plentiful just a few miles from the house).

        I’m absolutely flummoxed by the “order” yesterday that all hunting and fishing is verboten.
        I have got to move a few hundred miles east!

        1. Yes this really does not make sense to me. They are delaying the fishing season. Definitely social distancing going on when you fish. Who wants to tangle lines and you want a place where no one else is so they don;t spook the fish. Have read where they have cited surfers too. Way overstepping the bounds of the spirit of this. I have seen Park Rangers on the coast standing less than three feet from each other talking and another searching someone’s car with the person right next to them. It’s just not right.

  13. Thanks to our SB editors and other readers for the beautiful posts! We celebrate Easter together, and share as Believers in the miracles of the Life of Jesus. He is Risen!

    This week has been busy with work in the garden, care of the baby chicks, and lots of maintenance work in and around our home. We think we may be past our last overnight freeze, and are excited for the opportunity to plant our starts outdoors. It won’t be long and our greenhouse bees will arrive. Meanwhile… The worm tunnels seem to be working well, although we don’t know with certainty because we can’t exactly see the worms in action!

    We’re also back filling supplies in so far as this is possible. One of our concerns is what will happen to supply lines as the coronavirus spreads to the populations of people who work in these areas. There are already reports of this, and we believe it’s important to consider this carefully in planning for the intermediate to longer term.

    Across the next couple of weeks we’re looking toward ideas for expanding our gardening capacity even further, and we’re encouraging our neighbors and friends to do the same. Good news is that reports from the area suggest an increasing interest in gardening, and in keeping hens too.

    For anyone interested, the following link is an investigative report from The Epoch Times related to the Wuhan coronavirus. It confirms much of our other independent and expansive reading and research on the subject.


    Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

    1. @ T of A

      I’ve watched the Epoch Times video too; glad you posted it here. Well worth watching. It confirms what my thinking has been all along. It scares me even more if this is true because if so, I very much doubt we will get this virus under control. I have no idea how we will handle a world in which this continues to circulate and becomes endemic.

      1. אני יקרה,

        אוי וווי, תודה על תיקון המילים מרור וחרוסת. הייתי כל כך עסוקה שלא הקדשתי את הזמן לבדוק את המילים למרות שהייתה בראש שלי הרגשה לא נוחה שזו לא המילה הנכונה.

        שלום וברכות רבות לך,



      2. Ani! Your thoughts echo my own… I am deeply concerned about whether or not it will be possible to get this virus under control. Features associated immuno-suppression create a very real problem in this regard. It’s a viral version of the mythological Kracken. I hope many will see this report, and that The Epoch Times will follow up on the investigation. There is more yet to tell even now, and new details will be brought to light for a long time to come.

  14. Finishing smoking last year salmon and canning some too. Seedlings have started sitting in the windows and cleaning out the greenhouse. Have to punch thru 12 inches of ice-hardened snow.
    Raised beds are almost cleared of snow so we will layout the tunnels to bring up the soil temperature.
    My sweetie made several dozen masks for the extended family. Our kids have critical jobs so they are very grateful since it is impossible to get N95 masks.
    No geese yet from the lower 48 states but that will change since we have had a local black bear awake and running across our property this week.
    Was not quick enough with the 30-06 rifle. Spring black bear meat is stringy but it is alright using a pressure cooker with spices.
    No grizzly bears spotted yet.
    My 30-06 rifle is on my back just in case of an encounter with one they are extremely fast and deadly.
    Gearing up for commercial fishing in early May, going to be a very different salmon season.
    Canneries are having a very difficult time gearing up with people. The assumption is you are infected with the virus, minimum is a two-week quarantine.
    Bristol Bay Dillingham clinic has one ventilator and no virus testing machines yet.
    Small regional commuter airlines that serve the whole state have gone under so the local ones have bought up the twin-engine cargo planes along with the pilots and mechanics to fill in the gaps.
    Many problems but we are coming up with solutions.
    I hate not going to church keeps me calm but as we know from the Gospels, Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day following his crucifixion, which would be Sunday.
    His resurrection marks the triumph of good over evil, sin, and death. It is the singular event that proves those who trust in God and accept Christ will be raised from the dead.
    Be strong have faith in GOD and this pestilence will pass.

  15. Early seedlings are mostly growing well. Started transplanting tomato seedlings to small pots; didn’t have any so using large yogurt containers, 1/2 gallon milk jugs cut down, etc. Have put out the word and a number of people I know have pots(and yogurt containers) waiting for me to pick-up now. Otherwise it’s still snow-covered; got more snow on top of the snow we already had. It’s pretty but it looks like January and not April………. Can’t believe I’ve moved to a place that has a longer winter than I had on my farm but I managed to do that! I think this is Alaska without the salmon! Pretty quiet otherwise; mostly staying here at the house.

  16. To the Rawles Family and all of the readers of this blog, Happy Easter! While we face a “socially distanced” celebration this year, there are some good things that are coming from this state of affairs. I watched my youngest sibling celebrate Good Friday yesterday. He was ordained about 5 years ago and I have never had the opportunity to watch him celebrate a service. It was wonderful and very moving and more so because I know how hard he worked to become a Reverend latter in life. I watched online in tears and was so proud of him.

    Tomorrow we are planning to drive to our son and daughter-in-law’s house to hide Easter eggs in the front yard. We will stay back and watch our young grand kids hunt for the eggs. We are looking forward to this little bit of normal.

    We have been working diligently in the yard to take back what two years of neglect has produced. We’ve got enough of our old garden area cleared that we can now lay the week block and build new raised beds. We feel an urgency to get this done and start planting as soon as possible. While we live in the country, very few of our rural neighbors have gardens except the young couple down on the corner of our road. They are busy building and laying their raised beds, fencing off part of their property and now have at least one cow grazing. Resilience is fragile for more people than not.

    We have adopted the Wormlady’s strategy. We are trying to repurpose everything. Any container that holds dirt will receive a seedling. Every end of the celery, onions and carrots are being put in water, rooted and replanted and every house hold item that was previously disposable is now considered “essential.”

    May you all have a blessed Easter.

  17. My wife is a prayer warrior and has been getting very strong repeated direction to make sure we are organized, packed and ready to go. I have learned to not question these proddings by the Spirit.

    Here is an example: a few years ago I took a job offer that required us to move 2000 miles away. We prayed about selling our home and she was given a specific price that we should accept when the offer was made. The realtor and I doubted we’d get that kind of money for a home we’d just purchased a couple of years ago, but I’ve seen my wife pray about this kind of stuff in the past so I went along. We only had a few interested tire kickers view the house over the summer and fall so I was beginning to think the worst. I made my monthly trip home in October and decided to take the house off the market for the winter. Snow up in our region made travel difficult. We had a last minute appointment with someone who wanted to look at the house and property. Within 20 minutes he made an offer to the exact dollar of what my wife was told in prayer that we should accept. All I could do was shake my head in wonder and thank God.

    So when my wife prays and says get prepared to go, I listen. We are in the process of getting rid of unneeded items and I have been packing and repacking emergency bags. Or this could be a move to a new rural house in an area where we can connect with other Bible believing conservative Christians which has been the desire of our hearts. We just don’t know but we are waiting on the Lord for direction. I am so grateful that He has given me a stable job in a time like this.

    So, to recap: we’re organizing, downsizing out of non-essential possessions and waiting for direction. We’re still looking at properties in AR, TN and MO but not buying until we know it’s the right thing to do.

    I also have a son who graduated from a well known automotive technical school at the very top of his class. He wants to land a job working on diesel trucks. His next step was Ford or Cummins manufacturer training but all clases were canceled (he is doing the electrical stuff online) He arrived home to a job market that dried up overnight. Like any young man that first “real” job was oh so important to him, and his ultimate goal is to go back to the inland northwest, specifically Idaho. I would ask for prayer for him as he is discouraged.

      1. Dear Tom,

        Good Morning! When one believes on the Lord Jesus, repents of their sins and asks Jesus to take away the sins. When one gives their life/ surrenders to Jesus, One becomes His and He sends His Holy Spirit to us to guide His own in all things.

        When we are born again, we must spend much time reading and listening to the word of God, the Bible, to get it in our hearts to understand how God the Father and His Son operate. We must pray every day and ask God to guide us and to help us recognize his voice and His promptings, and ask Him to help us obey what He is telling us to do.

        God has various ways of speaking to His people through his still small voice in one’s heart or mind, through dreams and visions, and still on occasion, audibly. He guides us in all things.

        It is a still small voice in our hearts and mind that gives instructions. It can be an insistent urging, that one feels just has to be done. Once the action is completed there is a feeling of peace, or an immediate confirmation that you did the right thing. He can open opportunities and close them. He uses people to confirm thoughts or to not confirm.

        The voice of the Lord will never tell you to do something contrary to His Word, laws or statutes, which is an extremely imortant reason to know His Word.

        He speaks to us on ways to bless others, on how to choose a spouse, what job to take, where to live, to get us out of harms way, to prepare us for things to come. His Word clearly tells us what is coming in the Last Days. Those of us who know what the prophets have said and who studied history and who are paying attention to Current Events see what is coming very soon and are praying about it , and asking God how they are to prepare for it.

        He loves His children and wants to use us as His instruments to reach and save His people from eternal death, before it’s too late. His door of Salvation, the Age of Grace will close one of these days soon. Just like Noah preached to the Children of his day for 120 years while he built the Ark, and one day GOD CLOSED THE DOOR OF THE ARK and the rains came and killed all who were not in the ark. So, too, in this day and age, God will soon close the door of the Age of Grace, and you have either found His Salvation or you have not.

        As far as Chris in Arkansas’s wife is concerned, there are many Believers, especially those who live on the East Coast and near the New Madrid fault line who are hearing from the Lord, to get their houses in order, to down size, get rid of all earthly pleasure non-essential stuff, and to replace it with practical tools and supplies that would sustain life in grid down situations: food, water, camping gear, gardening tools, seeds, canning equipment, etc. They will be a Place of Refuge.

        Some are being told to downsize because they are going to to get ready to flee to Places of Refuge that God has set up.

        Some are downsizing to sell their current home to buy another in a safer area.

        We here at the ranch have only felt led to stock up and garden and pray. We think we will be a Place of Refuge for whom the Lord Himself will lead here.

        The Word that I hear is that each place of refuge which is small homes of ranches will have groups of up to 20 people at them and that God Himself will lead and direct those of His believers specifically where He wants them to go.

        God will orchestrate who He wants at each place, because He provides the skills and compatible personalities for each group.

        That is why it is so important for all Believers to learn to hear His voice and promptings.

        It is a skill that we are continually working on. 🙂



  18. Way too much going on this time of year. I’ve only managed to get about two hours worth of garden work done so far. I’ve got 8 of my 10 swarm traps hung and this week I’ll ask friends if I can hang the last two at their places. It was very warm this past week and three of the traps had a ton of scout bees checking them out. Swarm season should start in about a week so hopefully I can get some of them to sign the lease and move in. I got two more hives finished and painted, and 50 more frames put together. Sane people buy frames but I build my own and save about $1.25 each, plus they’re a lot stronger design.

    The grass in the yard was so high I wasn’t sure whether to mow it or cut it for hay. It’s not really “grass,” there’s probably 40 different species of plants in my lawn, one of these years I’m going to catalogue them all. Flycatchers are building a nest under the porch eaves by the kitchen sink. Not sure why they don’t just remodel last year’s nest by the front porch door? The wrens will remodel theirs in the box of plumbing parts in the garden shed but haven’t started yet. They’re probably still discussing paint colors. A lot of the dandelions have gone to seed so the goldfinches have come in droves to enjoy the harvest. I got some scrap lumber from some kind of an odd pallet at the hardware store that I can use to finally build some bat houses once I get ahead on garden work.

    The bees did a fantastic job in the orchard this year. There are bazillions of little peaches as well as other fruit. All fingers and toes crossed that we don’t get a hard freeze now.

    Finally got my pressure-cooker chili recipe perfected using three kinds of dry beans in the cooker at the same time. The final chili is cooked in the same pot once the lid is removed, minimizing the number of dishes dirtied, and makes a full-pot batch. Minimal inputs of time and propane, nine meals. Works great this time of year when time is so limited. 🙂 My #1 gardening goal this year is to be able to grow all my own dry beans.

    1. St. Funogas,

      I loved reading your post. It was funny and cute. There is a big grin is on my face. Please Lord do not allow the polar vortex anywhere near St. Funogas’s land, or any other Blog reader’s. In Yeshua’s name!

  19. Guest editorial written by our Sheriff in our newspapers. Thank you lord for common sense.

    Idaho County is a great place to be living in unpredictable times like these.

    I am appreciative that the vast majority of citizens have thus far complied with the governor’s order to limit social contact by staying home — buying precious time until medications and other solutions can be developed to counteract this pandemic. By wisely staying individually isolated, we, in Idaho County, have prevented the contagion from spreading amongst us. For this reason, as the chief law enforcement officer, I have not felt any necessity to take severely restrictive measures to enforce the governor’s directive.

    Not only has this cooperation by citizens of Idaho County limited the spread of the virus, it has ensured our freedoms remain intact as we pull together in agreement to defend ourselves for the common good. As always, as your sheriff, I am committed to the least amount of control by government, which means more freedom for citizens of Idaho County.

    You can be particularly proud of sheriff office deputies, dispatchers and office staff who have been vigilant, faithful in their duty, and have not wavered in their jobs. In the same way first responders, medical professionals, and emergency service providers have continued to provide for community protection in spite of personal exposure. Let’s not forget other services, like those who are working to keep food supplies stocked up and gasoline flowing. When others have stayed home, these folks have maintained important continuity for our communities.

    The sheriff’s office sees no need at this time to enforce the governor’s required restrictions with criminal penalties, and will maintain this position unless an unusual situation arises dictating such a strong response in order to protect others. As sheriff, I am very reluctant to issue citations as people go about their necessary business in safe, common sense ways while at the same time staying somewhat isolated. It is apparent to me that the people of this county understand and acknowledge the significance of this health emergency and are willing to do their part. Be assured that this county sheriff’s office is working alongside both state and federal entities to ensure fundamental rights are not being violated during this state of emergency, much the same as our office always has, and as long as I am sheriff, always will. Rights given by the creator are unchanging even during a state of emergency. I will continue to resist any attempt to impose unnecessary limitations on citizens of this county who are already in fundamental agreement of their rights and responsibilities and are pulling together in socially trustworthy ways.

    I understand that some folks are fearful, anxious, and some are prone to overreact or under-react to this extraordinary situation, but it is critical that we all make appropriate decisions individually, based on situational facts, and with concern for the larger community. So far, this personal accountability has neutralized the power of government to intervene excessively and proven it to be unnecessary in Idaho County. As a people we are demonstrating our ability to successfully govern ourselves without nanny intervention.

    A sincere thank you is well deserved for the positive common sense response of Idaho County citizens to this unprecedented situation.

  20. Not really prep related but Mrs. Spotlight and I got our hill full of leaves that I didn’t get to last fall all raked up. We each earned blisters but it was good to do it together, took 7 man (& woman!) hours total but it looks so much better. I’ve used a landscaper on occasion much as I hate to but invariably as I get to start raking each fall, the PI work picks up and I don’t have time. I was going to have him come do a spring cleanup but decided we’d do it ourselves with nothing else much going on, saving ourselves $300.

    We always have a few black squirrels around here and now we have one with an orange tail! I wanted to call him Trumpy but the Mrs. prefers Ginger Snap! We spent some time watching him run around the front yard yesterday, which was very enjoyable.

    Best of all, since my wife works at our church and decorates the church for holidays, we went over to decorate just a bit for the priests for their Mass tomorrow, and to change the oudoor cross cloth from red to white. As a result, we got to spend some time in front of the tabernacle praying. Although it is sad to be watching online Masses, it was so nice to just sit in the church for a few minutes with the Lord. Happy Easter to all!

    1. Hey Spotlight, I’ve only seen a few black squirrels in my life (while traveling) and considered it a real treat. I’ve never heard of a red-tailed one. Thanks for posting, I googled it and wow, they are a total trip!


      I’ve never owned a television and get a much bigger thrill out of just watching the critters around my place. Sounds like you and the Mrs. do too. Have fun with Ginger Snap. 🙂

  21. With all the bad news we hear the last few weeks it becomes hard to not feel discouraged about the state of affairs. In response my wife and I have redoubled our efforts for self sufficency. Since I am working from home I save an hour each day which was used for commuting. I was able to add two raised garden beds with plans for 8 more. After search for months of searching we finally found a mini-jersey at an affordable price to add to our dairy herd of currently 3 goats. We also hatched 24 new chicks to add to the flock with most of the roosters planned for the stew pot.

  22. Well, as I expected, the governor of my state has extended the shelter in place order. They are enforcing fines for those who violate the order. Non essentials can’t be sold in stores of certain sizes. Everyone is throwing a fit about it because they can’t buy home improvement or gardening supplies. I tried telling people to expect this. Friends told me to stop fear mongering.

    I have found a small store nearby that is still operating and can sell everything. I picked up a few herb seed packets for a friend and enough feed for my chicks for the next couple months.

    Planted all my germinated tomato and cucumber seeds. Started germinating some black beans. Will likely continue to germinate beans every other week for the rest of the growing season.

    We got some snow and hail so it’s still too early to for the chicks to move outside. Hoping the seeds I directly sowed in the garden make it.

    Almost done with the chicken coop and run. 97.8% completed.

    Also spent today learning to brew beer. For my first attempt I brewed a Trappist Belgian Dubble. It seems fitting since Trappist monks live a life of self isolation and self sufficiency.

    Earlier in the week did grab a few items from the store. Only a few because the shelves are even more bare. Scored a good amount of chicken, half of which will be made into jerky tomorrow.

    Got bad news from friends who have been laid off. Looks like the construction industry is really taking a hit now. At my own job we were told to expect more hours to be cut. Perhaps to only an on call basis.

    It’s not looking good and no one wants to hear that it’s going to get worst. But this is Holy Week. May we all be blessed with those around us and give praise and thanks for what we have.

    Happy Easter.

  23. A fairly busy week here. I continued telework. It’s up for review in the next few days, but it’s expected to be extended. We also had completed some improvement projects that had been ongoing for months. In addition, we finished planting most of our vegetable garden this week. This morning was spent clearing some brush and cutting down an oak tree that will be used for firewood next year after being cut up and split. Unfortunately, I got a little careless, and got the saw pinched, just before felling. We were able to free the saw without any apparent damage, but I’ll want to inspect it closer before trying to run it again. We finished bringing the tree down using an axe, guidelines, and some family teamwork.

    I received an order of radios this week that I’ll try programming this coming week. This will be a new experience, but comms has been a weak link in our preps for some time. So it will be a learning experience for me and my son.

    The earlier plantings we made are doing well. Blackberries are starting to show fruit, as are the blueberries. The muscadines and scuppernongs are clustering, and the newly trellised vines in the undeveloped portion of our property are doing outstanding. It looks like I’ll be making a lot of jelly come August.

    Tomorrow, we’ll attend virtual Sunday School, then drive-in church. Fortunately, our governor has for the most part been sensible about COVID precautions, and our church is doing a wonderful job working with common sense, voluntary precautions, while at the same time worshipping and ministering to members. Looking forward to celebrating our Lord’s resurrection among my brothers and sisters, even from a slight distance!

    1. Regarding your tree cutting and something you might want to consider. I have made some wooden wedges out of hard wood (typically oak or ironwood [called hornbeam in some parts of the country] which is harder than oak) to keep on hand just in case I need them to prevent a tree from leaning back on the saw blade while I’m in the process of notching and cutting it down. If the wind is shifting directions it can sometimes make felling a tree a bit challenging and I find that if I have a set of non-metal wedges on hand I can keep the tree from leaning back on the saw and pinching the bar. If I happen to nick one of the wooden wedges with the say chain there is no damage to the chain as there would be if it were a metal wedge.

  24. Keep up the good work Someone today on Facebook asked What do you miss the most during lockdown?
    My wife replied My Constitutional Rights.
    The Lady blocked my wife
    However before she could numerous people agreed. With every “crisis” we loose more of
    our freedom. Say No to vaccines and microchips. I will never carry papers to be inspected. God bless

  25. At last I got wood ash and lime spread on two of garden beds. Still getting morning frosts here. I took advantage of the delayed spring to graft three more new apple trees, potted them, and put them into our east window.

    We had beautiful male Bufflehead duck on our little reservoir this week. It’s the first I’ve seen in the wild. We keep our plastic brown mallard decoy hen “Quackers” anchored on the reservoir to lure waterfowl in, but she seems more of a deterrent.

    And the return of our barn swallows this week. Spring is here, PTL.

Comments are closed.