Editors’ Prepping Progress

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

Jim Reports:

This past week was very busy for us. The kids helped me pad and pack 10 antique gun orders that were placed with Elk Creek Company. It seems that people are waking up to the significance of no-paperwork pre-1899 cartridge guns. Meanwhile, I was also busy writing and editing, as usual.

We shifted around a bunch of bulk long term storage foods and found that were short a few food grade buckets and Gamma Seal lids.  So I placed those on order.

Outdoors at the ranch, I had to make a few fence repairs. You see, we have a bored two year old bull who likes throwing his weight around. I’m fond of saying that there are a lot of words that you can’t say without including the suffix spoken “bull”. These include: Incorrigible, terrible, intractable, irredeemable, excitable, uncontrollable, unmanageable, incomprehensible, and just plain old trouble. Such is life with a bull. He is actually very friendly, for a bull. But he certainly can do a lot of damage, very quickly, without realizing the trouble he is causing us.  And of course we never turn our backs on him.  “A bull is a bull, is a bull.”

I also got some more firewood and slash cut up, hauled, and stacked. This, with some help from our daughters. I must mention: We didn’t raise them to be Blushing Violets. They are lovely young ladies with all the graces. But they can be sturdy and hard working, when needed.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This week for bird sightings, I saw a Pileated woodpecker.  And out in our flooded meadow: Common Merganzers, Wood ducks, Mallards, of course, our Spring/Summer Resident Canadian Geese. I finally heard the winter wren.  I love that bird’s voice. I am hearing the Varied Thrush, among all of the other usual suspects.  I saw a Kingfisher fly up the river while paddling in the meadow. The Hummingbirds have returned en force and are waging hot territorial battles around the two feeders. They are very entertaining to watch.  Miss Violet loves to sit under one of the feeders and gradually bring her hand up under it and wrap her fingers around the base waiting for a hummer to land on her finger while sipping the sugar syrup.  🙂

On Wednesday the weather was very cold and rainy.  Our Hummingbird feeders were inundated with more than forty Hummers vying for a perch to sip from.  Miss Violet stepped out onto the porch and walked up to one of the feeders and saw a little hummer at the feeder. On a whim, she just reached up and cupped her hand around it and caught it.  She was so surprised to be actually holding it.  I came out just then and saw her gently holding something and asked, “Do you have a humming bird?”  She was quiet for a second, then said with her eyes sparkling and a very proud of herself, excited, beaming smile, “Yes.”  Then she asked, “Mom, can we take a picture of it?”  So we brought it into the house, retrieved the camera and took a couple of pictures.  It wasn’t struggling very much.  We think it was enjoying the warmth of her hands. She then, brought it back outside, and immediately let it go.  We then examined the photos and one of my several bird guides, the National Geographic Field Guide to North American Birds, and determined that it was an adult male Calliope Hummingbird.

For wildflowers on the ranch so far this Spring, just yellow and purple violets and dandelions. It’s still early here.

For wildlife, we’ve had a herd of eight deer coming onto the ranch and going to our beasties’ salt blocks.

Early in the week, I caught the bug for canning berry jams. It is time to begin emptying the freezers to make room for this coming summer’s harvest.  Also, I kinda want to be dehydrating and canning more of our produce in case we lose electricity long term. Therefore, I made seven pints of Black Raspberry jam, six pints of Golden Raspberry jam, the raspberry jams cooked a little too long, and though are very tasty were quite thick, oops, and eight pints of Strawberry jam.

In the garden, more than 120 seedlings of two different kinds of broccoli were planted plus another row and a half of broccoli seeds. I planted a long row of beets, another of spinach, another of Red lettuce, kale, and peas.

I sprinkled Azomite all over both the Shed and Extension gardens to boost their mineral content. I re-plowed the Shed garden and turned that into a Potato garden, where I planted 16, 24 foot-long mounded rows of red, Adirondack blues, another purple potato that I had been growing every year for the past four or so years, Yukon Golds, Kennebec, and two types of Fingerlings. After planting I put a large amount of straw mulch over all of the Potato garden to hold down the weeds and to retain the moisture.  I hope my potatoes do well this year?  I had scab last year on many of the potatoes. Since this is a brand new bed with well composted manure, and mostly all new potato stock, I think I should remain clear of the scab issue.  Those purples that I grow every year did not have scab–only the the reds and some Kennebecs.

I planted banana fingerling potatoes in some very large pots.  I still have a large amount of potatoes to plant in another new bed, but will do it a bit later this spring, once the bed is prepared in the Annex garden.

I picked up more manure around the ranch and cleaned the Hen House.

I had bought two fig trees and two kiwi trees in February from Walmart.  They had lived in their packaging on our kitchen windowsill during the past few months.  Those, I transplanted into larger pots and put them into the greenhouse where I will keep them until this fall when I  intend to bring them back into the house.


Miss Eloise has been asking Jim to spend some time with her practicing foil fencing and broad sword fighting.  Jim finally got to it.  They had a lot of fun.  During their sword fighting, they were just behind our back porch, they got really going, and it looked quite violent.  The horses and the bull, Sh.,  were in the meadow, just a little bit away from them.  Suddenly while they were in the thick of it, Sh ran up to Jim and Miss Eloise and started bawling at them and semi-charging them all excited-like.  He acted so upset. He obviously didn’t like it.

Jim yelled to me in the house, “Lily!  You gotta come out here and see your bull!”  When I came out onto the porch, I watched as Jim and Miss Eloise resumed their sparring.  Again, SH. ran up to them bawling.  I watched him closely.  There was so much concern in his eyes, not anger, not play, his head was up and then down and he was trying to talk to them. He seemed so confused to see them fighting like that. I asked Sh, “What Sh?  What? What’s the matter?  He looked up at me with confused earnest eyes that said, “Ma, do you see what Pa and Eloise are doing?  It’s violent!  Someone is going to get hurt! Ma, You gotta stop it!” This is not okay. Seriously!”

When they stopped sparring, Sh. stopped bellowing.  When they started up again, he ran up to them again bawling at them.  Jim laughed and stopped sparring and ran into the house to get him some carrots.

Sh. ate the carrots. Then Jim and Miss Eloise started sparring again. Yet, again, Sh ran up to them, bouncing around, and bawled at them with such concern in his, eyes, that said, “Stop it, you guys! Stop it!  This is not good!  It is too violent.”  He kept looking at me because I was still on the porch watching his behavior. His eyes that said:  “Aren’t you going to do something about this?”. At this point Jim and Miss Eloise had tired themselves out, and quit.  they came up onto the porch and Sh.  wandered away to rejoin the horses.

Seriously, it made me feel very weepy.  He is a bull, an animal, yet he was trying to tell us to not fight. That this behavior was not right, and he was concerned for his herd’s safety.  We’re all part of his herd and family.  I became quite emotional about it. I kept telling Jim, “I’m not eating him!”  This bull is soo personable and so friendly and so respectful of me.  He obeys my directions to him, usually, very quickly. He is so part of our ranch family.

We went away for a night this last week, and Number 2 Son fed the animals for us.  When we got back late the next day.  When Sh. first saw each of us he bawled at us in greeting.  He saw Jim first and bawled at him.  Then he saw me approach.  He especially looked at me with big eyes and “bawled” and seemed to say, “Where were you, I missed you, someone else fed us, I’m so glad you home safe.”

Have any of you readers developed a trusting friendship with a bull that you raised?

I wish I didn’t need protein.  I hate this fallen world and I look so forward to it’s redemption when there will be no more sin and death and we won’t need to kill anything to be sustained.  I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty, nor am I a PETA person nor a vegan, I need to eat meat.  In fact I feel very lousy in just a few days if I don’t eat meat. I just wish I didn’t have to….

Keep in mind what I just said, because in the next story, my attitude had a temporary flip flop.

Later, this week THAT same bull broke into MY MAIN GARDEN, because the grass is greener on the other side of the fence!  He led the two horses into it with him. In the chase to get them out of there, they trampled my onions and cabbage, a little.  Your Avalanche Lily, who usually refrains from yelling and screamin’ and  using choice unacceptable words, did all three of those things, letting one very bad word fly three times.  I hang my head in shame. I did repent later, I promise.

Luckily, I hadn’t planted the broccoli, yet, because that would have been destroyed.

Then they broke into another fenced-in area and began eating that grass.  He broke into that area three times!!  As Jim was repairing the fences after the second and third time, in very quick succession, we both threatened Sh with Freezer Camp if he didn’t stop that behavior!  It’s not like we’re starving him.  We are still feeding them hay and alfalfa, and in fact they are beginning to waste it…  They have the upper meadows to graze that are not flooding. We did allow them with strict supervision to go into the orchard to graze the grass down in there four times this week.  Greedy beasts!  It is nearing a full moon, and I suspect that my matriarch cow was in heat, but that is still no excuse for their behavior. Since then, his behavior has improved once, again, and Sh is back in our good graces. 😉

An Important Note of Caution

I’d like to caution every one of you to not become complacent when the government lifts the self-isolation orders.  This isn’t going to be for long…  I believe that they are going to clamp back down on us again very soon.  I believe there will be a second wave even more serious than this first wave.  And they will be creating a vaccine, if they don’t already have one made and will soon be demanding that everyone get it and with the vaccine it will be paired with a Quantum Dot Bio Certificate, that proves that you are healthy and vaccinated to work.  This could also be tied to your social credit score and your bank account/credit card, your access to your computer and eventually, to your car, apartment, etc.  Basically, you won’t be able to buy or sell or work or get medical care or travel, or do much of anything without it.  IT IS THE MARK of THE BEAST that is spoken of in the book of Revelation, Chapter 13.  You cannot take this Mark.  You will never be able to remove it.  God says all who take it will be forever separated from Him. It is part of the ID2020 plan.

Please use the time to continue stocking up, buying as much meat and and other food as you can and growing as much as you can in gardens and pots and any container you can fill with dirt….  All food you get your hands on, needs to be canned or dehydrated.  Try to limit freezing of your garden production, as much as you can.  We believe that there will be power failures, both nature-made and man-made on purpose, to bring more hardship on us and starvation.  So please don’t relax during this period of “normalcy”.

Get ready to live outside the monetary system in a very short while.  Read the Bible and pray and get your heart ready for however the Lord God will lead you and use you. You may not be just preparing for your own families…. Remember everything in the World belongs to God.  You are His steward of all that He gives you and allows you to earn and buy. Pray and ask God for what He has in mind for you to do…

Sometime in the next two weeks, I plan to post a feature-length article on the timing of the Second Coming of Christ, the Messiah. Stay tuned.

May you all have a super blessed and sweet week,

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

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


  1. Wow, so much happening at your place! Yeah, bulls are interesting. I’ve never kept one(used AI for my cow) but I’ve been around them both on a dairy farm that I worked on and when doing farm inspections. I remember doing one inspection for organic certification years ago when I was in a barn waiting for the farmer to finish up some chores and I turned around and the bull was standing just a few feet away from me calmly checking me out! Seems he had the run of the place! OMG. Nice fella but still, a bull is a bull…..

    Re: potatoes. Lily, I’m thinking you’re referring to “scab” and not “scale”? If so, my best defense has been to select varieties that have some resistance to scab, although lately I’ve had to favor late-blight resistance as that’s an even worse problem in my state now. My basic approach though is to try to avoid manure applications where I grow potatoes and to add Pro-Gro and similar organic fertilizers instead. A vegetation based compost would also be ok. I grew potatoes for sale on my farm but I know that some on this site have grown zillions of acres of them so maybe they’ll weigh in with other suggestions?

    Right now we are in the midst of another snowstorm. At least 6 inches have fallen overnight and it’s still snowing! I don’t know what to say. I honestly have no idea how on earth I’m ever going to grow enough food here to feed us meaningfully. I thought the weather was bad on my farm but now I’m further north and probably close to 2000 ft in elevation which is high here. Plus, I don’t understand the weather anymore. Nothing about it makes sense to me. All of the usual cues as to when to plant what etc just seem so messed up now. This amount of snow(and cold) this far into May?

    The snow had melted last week so that I was able to get the “garden-to-be” tilled and an area for the perennial fruit tilled as well. I’ve planted my new fruit trees, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and currants. A friend gave me rhubarb, horseradish and comfrey to plant which I did yesterday. Some of what she’s been giving me originally came from my farm so now it’s coming back full circle to me which is quite cool! There isn’t even a single spring bulb here on my new place but she gave me a clump of daffodils that had come from those I had once given her so I’ve planted those as well.

    The bare-root strawberries are still in the fridge waiting for the snow to melt(again) so I can plant them. The seed potatoes have been in the cellar for weeks now, waiting for the right time to plant here(normally when the dandelions flower which hasn’t happened yet here). Knowing this snowstorm was coming I held off on doing any direct seeding. My seedlings are under lights and coming along. I definitely over-planted but figured that some people might be in need of them, especially if they get bad weather that kills what they planted. Also, my son is growing a garden this year for the first time(yay!) so some are for him. He has been paying attention to the news these days and decided that as likes to eat, maybe he should learn how to grow food!(He wanted nothing to do with growing veggies growing up on the farm; only liked the livestock.)

    So now I’m prepared to read posts from everyone on here talking about how their garden is doing and I’m just going to balefully gaze out the window at our very pretty(for February) winter scene and sigh…….

    1. Ani-
      I wish I could talk about my garden!! We woke up to snow on the ground in May!!! I check last night and the climate data shows that the average days of snow in May for here in NW Pa is zero – surprise!!

      1. @ 3AD Scout

        How much? Yeah, this is crazy. In PA! Over 7 inches here now where I can measure. This isn’t normal, not even for here in the far frozen north! Let’s just lob (virtual) snowballs at anyone who can even SEE their garden this morning! 😉

        1. Around an inch. Not a full covering. I just looked at forecast and looks like another chance on Monday morning. 30 degree right now. Solar minimum in action?

    2. Hi Ani,

      Oops! Yes, the potatoes had scab and not scale. I’ll go back and change that. I had been wondering if you were getting snow last night. Six inches!! Eeeeyew, how depressing. I looked at the New England weather forecast and it looks like you have below freezing temperatures for at least the next four or five nights. 🙁

      For those East of the Rockies, you could very well not have much of a summer… because of the Grand Solar Minimum. Therefore you need to definitely have items to protect your crops, covers of some sort, to throw over them at night: plastic, bed sheets, blankets, tarps. We here had three more light overnight frosts early in the week, this week. But I am hoping we are near the end of them. The flowers on my apples are about to bloom and I’d hate for them to be frosted.

      Ani, I think that that is so neat that you were able to get some starts of plants from your friend that were originally from your previous farm. The thought of it gives me a warm, comfy, homey feeling for you. 🙂

      Shalom and Blessings,


      1. More than 6 inches now…….

        Season extension is on my list. So wish I had a greenhouse built here already but that’s on the “to do” list. On the farm I grew all of the peppers, tomatoes and eggplants in large cold tunnels- only way to definitively harvest a marketable crop in time! Here, I’m going to have to improvise for now. Warmth lovers such as winter squash, melons, eggplants and peppers will get row cover and hoops this year(provided it ever stops snowing!). Not sure what to do about the tomatoes; really need the greenhouse structure for them. Will see…… Growing them to be huge seedlings for when I put them out.

        Below freezing temps for May are normal for here- the snow isn’t! I can’t safely plant tender seedlings or seeds til the end of May at the earliest.

    3. Aye, Ani. As the weather here does its dance, I like to joke, “February decided on a return visit, an encore.”

      Like that. Humor, like eveything else will not change the weather. However, it changes me.

      Carry on, in grace

    4. Understand your weather predicament perfectly. I grew up and still have land in upstate NY deep in farming country. We like to say if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes. Every so many years we’d have snows in May. Every few years there would be a fierce spring freeze that would destroy the apple season (my father had a cider press, so I remember them vividly). Some years were too wet and all the fields had wet feet and some were drought conditions. We won’t even talk about the tomato blight that took the entire crop and necessitated making a new garden. Or how about the year thieves raided the garden and harvested all the produce one night? That would be why we always canned enough food for two years. You just never knew what was coming. We lived on what we grew in the 1970s during those difficult times. Nowadays when I feel like I’m overly concerned, I remember those days and keep going carefully and quietly. Praying this summer is your year to prepare. Wonderful that you have the knowledge to get things up and running relatively quickly.

      1. Yup. On my farm in my small orchard I got plums only every so many years. They were amazing when I got them; juice running down your chin amazing. But most years the blossoms got killed by late frosts. I always used to wonder about how the early settlers up there managed. My place was the only new “hill farm” to go in there for quite some time; all the others had left for “greener pastures”. The original settlers in the area clearly had sheep and dairy cows. Likely they grew home gardens. None were so crazy as I to start a fruit and veggie farm up there but then again they didn’t have plastic and greenhouses nor Remay! But without it….. Even more so where I now am. When I lost a crop to frost, hail, flood etc. I knew I could always buy food at the store etc although the lost income was problematic. But what did the original settlers in the early 1800’s do I wondered? Mostly they left when they could I gathered.

        I lived for one(very long ;-0) year in way upstate NY many years ago btw; Fulton and Mexico NY. Tough country up there.

        1. Ani,

          I, too, have stood in awe and wonder at those who have gone before me. I’m 12th generation upstate NYer and found it rather difficult to leave home and head west, but the time to vote with our feet was at hand. At least I could follow other tough ancestors who settled here in the Redoubt without walking next to the covered wagon. They certainly were iron tough people who knew how to survive.

  2. There is clearly a massive push toward mandatory vaccination and the nano dot mark. Even though the description available to us at the moment is likely incomplete, it is so close to the biblical account, that odds are, it is the Mark of Beast, or nearly so, that is better to assume it is, and pray that it ain’t.

    Some speculate that the vaccination could contain technology that changes a person’s DNA, possibly altering a person such that they are no longer completely ‘human’, and therefore no longer redeemable. Take pure water and add one grain of salt to it, and it becomes salt water. Even though the change can not be detected by our senses, it is technically speaking, salt water. There are details that are not known that I cannot emphatically state that it is the Mark of the Beast, yet for the most part, it fits. It is certainly a mechanism that could, or would be used to control every aspect of our lives and enslave us to a greater extent, physically, mentally, and eventually, spiritually, even it were not the Mark of the Beast. As it is, our society is mostly bereft of morality or religion of any kind, and are virtual zombies already.

    Without belaboring the issue, and possibly leaving others to doubt, I need to state there is simply no way I would accept any part this vaccination, and will resist until death, and I do mean that. My current, and now long time life style that is sans modern comforts, anticipated that this day would soon arrive. To a larger degree than most, I’ve separated myself from the entanglements of society. Within hours, the remaining tentacles can be severed. Those that refuse vaccination will likely not be simply ignored. There would be eventual consequences, especially in the cities. In this part of the Redoubt, a significant percentage will refuse.

    1. No it doesn´t become Salt water, that does absolutly depend on the Ratio of water to salt.

      These some doesn´t speculate, they fantasize, changes in human DNA happened and happens all the time

      1. The analogy was intended to be conceptual, and the speculation mentioned is not without some merit given details not discussed. Naturally occurring changes are a given, yet intentional changes in DNA using current, and perhaps unknown technology are the concern. Regardless, we do not know what will be in any vaccine, especially one rushed haphazardly into production without adequate science behind it to ensure it’s efficacy and safety. As it is, many vaccines have questionable track records, and may do more harm than good. And we do have some understanding about the world views of those who are strongly advocating, and involved with development of a vaccination for Covid-19, and they are my moral and spiritual enemy. To the eugenicists of the world, I say, you first.

        1. The analogy didn´t translate well for me in context.

          Rushed haphazardly into production isn´t a Problem, it could be disposed safely.
          Time is critical in this pandemie, not to be wasted like your president did.
          Show me the quotable data and proof with quality sources of the many vaccines which´d questionable track records in the last 30 years?

    2. TR, thx for your comments. Completely agree. Have been hearing similar things from multiple sources. Severing those tentacles is sooo difficult… Working as fast as possible. Thank you for leading the way.

  3. I really enjoy your rural life stories! They remind us that there is a better way to live. This blog is a far different experience than it was a few years ago because you’re telling us about your family life in a very personal way. It’s no random accident that your readers are engaging with you more in the comments section.

    Avalanche Lily – I enjoy eating beef but I would have a very hard time butchering that bull. You and your husband need to keep him around. Amazing how they understand when something isn’t right. They catch on to more than we think.

    We continue to stock our freezers. Walmart is now well stocked on all meats except beef. Shelves are empty except for a few packages of organic ground beef at $2/lb more and a couple of exceeding ugly roasts where a butcher left globby fat along the edges. Rice, beans, soup, pasta, canned vegetables and tomato sauce are also in short supply. Everything else is ok but is not stocked deep. Other grocery stores in town are stocked but they don’t have the same draw as Walmart due to pricing. Those grocery stores are also small in comparison. We expect them to be on the same boat soon.

    Meat canning got put on hold. We redirected our focus to dry canning at this time. Pastas, salt, sugar, beans, dehydrated apples, pears, rice, baking soda, etc. If you are looking for something simple, easy and satisfying this is a good activity to focus on. All you need is canning jars, lids, a vacuum sealer with a hose port, and a jar sealer sized to fit your jars. We add in O2 absorbers and dessicant packs when needed. You can seal and store significant quantity of food this way.

    We continue to pray for guidance on a location to move to. We’re also actively looking. Interesting rural properties are popping up for sale now; I suspect we’ll start to see lease to own properties next as sellers can’t find qualified buyers but they still want to lock in pricing. I’ve always shied away from these as the numbers rarely work out to a fair purchase price in the end. My good wife is still cleaning out as if we are going to move. Except for food stores. She has really amoed up olanning in that area. My paycheck keeps disappearing. Anyhoo, I have a distinct feeling we need to wait a little longer on the move – we need to meet like minded people. We have our own resources… but solid connections and families that can work together occasionally are a blessing. As Mr Griswold from Ready Made Resources has said: Team up, train up, stock up.

    1. Where are you looking? I have property in northeastern Arizona and am looking for people to join in in creating a survivable group for the coming shtf.

      1. We are focusing on Missouri, N. Arkansas and Tennessee. I can work from home in any state I cover for work and there are 13 of them to choose from. We would love to get back to the redoubt but it would prove very challenging trying to get home (my trips home via car air and layovers were 22 hours door to door a few years ago). We think it’s best keep our family together. Arizona is off the list. We are confident God will connect us with the right families when the time is right. We aren’t looking for a shared property, rather a community with Chrisitan families who understand and embrace rural life… with a strong undercurrent of preparedness. Not hard to find in America but the search isn’t easy.

        I feel bad for all of you dealing with winter weather. We have had a beautiful spring, breezy and warm. Far different from what I’ve seen here over the past four years. Today is the most beautiful yet.

    2. Jim and Avalanche, good stories, as always.

      Chris, agreed – I really like their personal stories too. It provides a lot of color, joy and inspiration.

      Avalanche, I wish you all had a YouTube channel (or equivalent) to better share your stories and adventures. The bull speaking his mind about swordplay, you camping in a tent in his meadow (from a few weeks back), etc. What a sight – wonderful stories. OPSEC, I suspect, is why you don’t have a video blog. Same with me and my adventures, although I think about it all the time.

      Chris, regarding the search for rural property and waiting a bit more. I agree with you. I think we have a bit more time (but not much – months not years) as deflation sets in and works its way through the world. I’m keeping my powder dry but ready to pounce once the time is right.

      Avalanche, agreed on staying out of the monetary system. All my liquid assets are physical gold, physical silver and physical cash not stored on someone else’s property (like a bank vault). I want to do the same with my 401(k), but I’ve not found a way (yet) to turn that asset into physical gold and physical silver outside of the system that I’m comfortable with.

      1. Yep, OPSEC will keep us from filming, fer sure! We did actually film the bull a bit later in the drama, though, his behavior had lessened from the first round.



      2. RE: buying a rural place to live in. I’m of mixed mind as to what will happen with rural home/land prices. I think maybe if you’re looking in an area that isn’t of interest to many city people with money perhaps you will be ok. But if you’re interested in a place that is “appealing” to them(Idaho, Vermont, North Carolina, upstate NY not too far from NYC etc) then it’s looking scary as evidently many with the means to do so are scrambling for the exits and buying rural properties with price not a consideration.

        1. My experience is that my California (Bay Area) colleagues (you call them city people) think I am crazy for having sold my assets and living the life of a nomad far away from the cities while shopping for a rural homestead in the redoubt.

          There will come time, I believe, when they will “scramble for the exits” as you suggest . But they are not there yet. They continue to believe the current crisis will end soon and that their lives will return to normal. Only one of us is right, and I’ve placed by bet.

          I am the last of the middle class, so the price of a rural homestead property is a consideration for me, but I continue to see the properties similar to what I want and can afford to pay cash for sit on the market for quite a while, reduce in price, sit a while more, etc.

          For those for whom price is not a consideration, I have no idea what they buy, but they don’t seem to be having an effect (yet) on what I am looking for.

          1. Ha ha. So that’s an outlier of course as there are some people with insane amounts of money who can buy what they want wherever they want it. But there are many city dwellers who can drop a fair chunk of change into buying a place that to them feels “safe” and they will do so now. Land/homeowners will raise their prices accordingly or hold firm feeling that they can get their asking price now. This happened here to some extent after 9/11 but I think that the virus will be a much bigger trigger of this activity. And to someone who already pays $3500/month to rent a small NYC apt, paying $350,000 to buy a house with land in a rural area feels like a steal.

      3. Dear K,

        One option to turn that 401k into gold and silver is to (1) move all your funds into whatever cash equivalent your 401k offers (i.e. money market account) then (2) take a loan against your 401k and invest those funds into PMS – of which you most assuredly take possession. (Don’t buy gold ETFs or mining stocks with these funds.) You will then be paying back the loan to yourself, at a rate of about 4%, with that interest also being paid to yourself. This approach means you have to discipline yourself to make the monthly payments, but for many of us, investing in PMs is something we do a little at a time anyway, therefore the net outflow from the budget is the same but you get the benefit of having possession of all the PMs up front.

        And what if the world goes to “hail” in a hand basket and you lose your job? With most 401ks, the vested amount is usually equal to or greater than the max amount granted for a loan. So, if you lost your job and had no income to pay the loan, your vested amount would cover the balance. And, what if the market crashes more horribly than we’ve ever seen? Well, you are sitting in a cash account in your 401k, so odds are that most or all of your 401k value would be retained. (This is why it is so important to move your funds to a cash-based money market account *before* taking out this loan.) It is rare for a money market account to “break the buck”, but 3 or 4 have done just that in the past almost 40 years. (Think Lehman Brothers.) However, in those cases the NAV dropped only 2-6 %. In turbulent times, the price of PMs tends to increase more than 2-6%, so about half of your 401k is now sitting in your possession and going up in value, offsetting the rare occasion of loss in the money market.

        If things go well in our economy, this is totally a “get rich SLOW” scheme. You earn very little interest and see virtually no growth by keeping 401k funds in a money market, but at least you take advantage of your employer’s matching contribution. If things go horribly wrong in our economy, then this is an option to retain your hard earned savings in a form that will hold its value. You got your PMs all in one lump purchase, up front.

        Of course, another option is to no longer contribute to your 401k and use those funds to purchase PMs a bit at a time each month. You avoid the risks mentioned above but then face the risk of not being able to attain PMs as prices increase and supplies dwindle.

        I hope this helps and I wish you all the best…

        1. Grits, thank you I hadn’t thought of that!

          I have two 401(k)s:

          1) One from my current employer, which does allow for personal loans of up to 50% of the balance.

          2) One from a former employer, which no longer allows for personal loans.

          The balances of both are slowly eroding away (due to inflation) in cash-based money market accounts.

          I keep getting cold feet whenever I think about moving 401(k) #2 into a self-directed IRA with a custodian who buys precious metals on my behalf. Something about this just doesn’t feel right to me, even though it seems popular among the prepper community.

          With your idea I roll 401(k) #2 into 401(k) #1, which basically doubles the balance of 401(k) #1, and then take out 50% as a personal loan to buy precious metals in my possession. I love it!

          The only risk, as you said, is losing my job and being on the hook for the outstanding balance of the loan. I’m wiling to live with that risk.

          1. Yes, that is precisely what I would do. And, in the worst case scenario, if you lose your job, you then have the option to totally cash out of your 401k and have access to the other half of your vested 401k (minus the hefty tax hit). That would provide plenty of “cushion” toward paying back your outstanding loan. And, of course, you could cash out some of your PMs at that point too, if needed, to make up the difference.

            So glad this helped!

  4. Currently, here in the Midwest, we are going through a freeze snap. I’m really hoping this is the last frost of the season. I’d like to get my corn planted along with the other frost intolerant veggies. As certain industries have opened up work has ramped back up to 80 hour weeks. Not a good work life balance. Makes prepping a little slower.

    I did finally receive my order of heirloom seeds (which I ordered a month ago). Started germinating a few varieties of beans. Everything else (carrots, squash, broccoli, oats, and buckwheat) will have to wait.

    And our bees did finally arrived. There was a good number of them that had died (including the queen). Waiting for the company to ship another queen. Hoping the rest will survive a few days without her and through the cold snap.

  5. Yes, the government agents will temporarily eliminate sections of this lock-down.
    Parts of this lock-down will be temporarily removed.
    And much of this lock-down will remain.
    After tasting the power of their Executive Order assumptions, governesses and governors will feel the need to extend it.
    The reasons won’t be important.
    Indeed, the next set of reasons will include more references to another invisible enemy — COVID-19a, then COVID-19b, et cetera ad infinitum.
    Invisible enemies are cheaper to manufacture compared to, for example, those ISIS clowns and the tiny car they rode in on.
    An economist would call this ‘cost-effective’.

    The May 7th semi-irregular column by SeaGypsyPhilosopher Ray Jason weaves an imaginary time-line of a hoax scamdemic power-transfer remarkably similar to our current situation.
    Except Captain Jason uses the phrase ‘invisible enemy’ abundantly.


    In other news, Oregon governess Kate ‘Moonbeam’ Brown (sister of California governor Edmund ‘Moonbeam’ Brown) extended her lock-down of the state’s economy until July 6th, two days after Independence Day.
    This’s the current rumor from the esteemed corridors of the capital in Salem.
    Stay tuned for further developments!

  6. Just wanted to thank you for the warning several weeks ago of an upcoming freeze. My garden has just been sitting there beckoning me to plant it but I heeded your warning and waited. We had a cold snap here in SE Ohio but wasn’t sure so I waited and sure enough, this morning was 29. We have all of the seedlings in flats in the garage waiting to be transplanted. Hopefully next week.

  7. Good morning,

    Had a rather erratic week. We are having a hard freeze here this morning. I believe that the record may have been broken for lowest overnight temperatures ☹️
    I harvested five asparagus shoots and sautéed them and ate them. They were so good!! These I had planted 3 years ago from seed.
    I also planted 3 kinds of berries in large pots. My hydroponic peppers and tomatoes are coming along.
    I prepared 2 raised beds but the weather here is nutty lately. Nice one day, super rainy, super windy the next few days, Ect.
    I’m rather worried that the weather has changed so much in these last few years.

    Awaiting the new baby freezer coming in this week.
    Also anxiously awaiting my Freeze Dryer, that will be here soon.
    Ordered some paint markers and a couple of stencils and am throwing around ideas in my head for maybe starting some sort of business involving canning jars and art supplies.
    Trying to research being able to make my own stencils.
    I’m not crazy about the machines I have seen on Amazon so far. Does anyone have any advice on stencils?
    I’m just trying to figure out ways to bring in some income. Since I take care of Mom and Dad I’m outside of working world and payroll taxes Ect. While I’m fine with that, I will NOT take a vaccination for this virus EVER!
    I have stopped watching & listening to the news so much. It was really starting to stress me out.

    Our Orioles are still coming every day. I probably only have a few more days before they ditch out on us and move on.
    The naughty raccoon momma has moved on too! (I think she’s having some babies nearby) so I am keeping watch.

    Lily, what an amazing moment with the hummingbird!!! I hope one day that I will get to gently hold one too. Our hummingbirds haven’t returned yet but hopefully soon.

    Hope everyone is safe and healthy
    Thinking of you all

    Have a Rockin great day!!

    1. RKRGRL68, Have a look at the Cricut machines. My Explore Air 2 is like a miniature Cad/Cam, and can do precise cutting based on graphical designs. You can create your own designs or use designs from public domain or commercial sources. Depending upon the cutting tip used, the Cricut machine can cut through cardstock, clipboard, leather, etc. Stencil material could be cut if there is a paper backing to keep the plastic from moving during the cut. Cricut is sold through Amazon, JoAnne Fabrics, Michaels, etc.

  8. Meeting with a contractor today to go over two projects for us. Made a trip to my new favorite hardware store. Place is packed with stuff so you have to look carefully since you might find an odd item that is “New old stock” at a great price. It is about the same time to go there as it does to Lowe’s but I really want to support local people. The prices are not that much more. Plus the store has a small gun section with ammo and accessories. I picked up a new one gallon waterer for the chickens, some battery terminal clamps, on-off toggle switches, and other bric brac. Picked up red stain for the outside of the chicken coop and 2 solar LED lights that are listed as 500 lumens. What a difference a few days make- it has been windy and cold, last night it was snowing but most melted immediately and this morning I woke to snow on ground and on the trees. I told the wife with covid19, shuttered economy, supply chain issues, new killer hornets and now snow accumulation in May, I feel like we are in a disaster Sci-fi script.
    I worked on the chicken coop this week when I could but I considering the high winds, being on a ladder and trying to handle sheets of plywood I thought the risk was higher than the gain. I have an inner ear issue that affects my balance so being on a ladder without wind and plywood is challenging enough! I got the door to the coop built and I must say I was rather impressed with how square I got it. It fits like glove. I have been thinking should I insulate the walls or not? My thought is for the cost I may as well but I imagine you all will have the answer for me. Need to get the coop down so I can concentrate on the garden. That is if I don’t come home with a feeder pig today.

    1. Hey Scout- Of the 3 coops I’ve built over the years I insulated 1 of them. The birds could care less. The big difference maker in the winter is giving the layers a light on a timer to mimic summertime sun. Another concern is that the coop doesn’t overheat during the summer- good to have plenty of ventilation. Best of luck to ya.

    2. An interesting question re: the chicken coop! We haven’t insulated, but we do have an area which is entirely enclosed and acts as an excellent wind break for the birds. Even during very cold winters in our area, the birds have done well. The decision may really depend on the answer to this question: how cold is cold? There may be a lower temperature limit that would make additional protective measures important. Our area has characteristics of growing zones 6 and 7 as a point of reference.

      1. We are in zone 5. I would say our winter average low for Jan/Feb are in the mid to upper 20’s. But it seems that we are getting more and more “polar vortex’s” where temps can drop to 10 to 20 below zero.

        1. Hello 3AD Scout!
          Got it… These temperatures are cold-cold-cold in zone 5. …and in fact, your thoughts about increasingly cold conditions raise the matter of the coming Grand Solar Minimum. We should all be giving a lot of thought to how best to protect our chickens and other ranch or farm animals.

          Our hens have an indoor house which is completely walled-in, and includes a door and a small window plus a scuttle opening to an outdoor enclosed pen. This indoor space also includes the brooding box with a fixture for a light to keep the chicks warm. The outdoor enclosed pen is open air on 3 sides, and has a roof over the top to protect the birds from rain. This space also has a door. Within the outdoor pen we have a small “house within a house” for growing out our chicks, and this space includes a 3 sided wind-break area. Except when the hens are in their home space voluntarily, or at night when they roost to sleep, we allow them to free range.

          The coldest temperature our birds have been exposed to is probably right at zero (maybe +1 or +2). So far, so good. They’re pretty tough, but even chickens have limits. It’s better not to cause them excessive stress that can be avoided for their physical health, but also simply because it’s the right thing to do!

          Contemplating a colder future, and the cold you have in the present, wind breaks for the birds and probably some insulation would be a reasonable idea. We’re considering options for how best to prepare for colder weather patterns ahead — it’s a good conversation to have among SB readers!

    3. I never insulated my chicken coop/barn but on the other hand I often had a lot of birds(maybe 75 or so) so their collective warmth helped. This was in zone 4(maybe zone 3 in the early years). I saw a few cases of frostbitten combs but not many. Otherwise they did fine. I used the deep pack bedding method so this generated extra heat for them. If I build a small household sized coop now for maybe 6 birds or so I may try to insulate with foam board but if you do it’s critical to cover ALL of it as they will peck at it and destroy it. And of course ventilation is crucial.

  9. I agree with the now is the time to stock up. But it’s time to get out, live our lives, support businesses and let those useless politicians they have no right to lock down hundreds of millions of healthy people because a small % with pre-existing conditions have died. This virus is completly over-hyped. I was overly cautious at first being a prepper and knowing how bad it can be. But anyone who can think critically and has been studying this the last few months can realize it’s only one step above the flu and certainly not worth crippling an entire economy over!

    Stock up now. But DO NOT live in fear. Wear masks and be cautious if you want. But start to go out and take your life back. [they] want you in fear and to hide in your house while they can continue to steal your money and your rights.

    1. @ Chilton

      So I’m wondering just why the US military has announced they will not be accepting new recruits who have had Covid-19? If this is really not a big deal and all and “only one step above the flu and certainly not worth crippling an entire economy over!” So yeah, I’m fully aware of the data that is showing that most who are severely damaged by the virus or die so far appear to be either elderly or with certain serious pre-existing conditions. But now that the US military seems to not want new recruits who have had it, this is making me wonder…….

      1. Ani,
        From my understanding even those who recover have lasting impacts, especially respiratory and kidneys. It also seems to impact people with underlying medical conditions so perhaps they sense they would be taking on people with pre-existing medical conditions?

        1. @ 3AD Scout

          Yes, but I was wondering about all who supposedly were asymptomatic, especially common in the young. Are they rejecting them too? If so, what do they know that we don’t?

  10. I hope you appreciate this. It’s from the apocrypha. The Book of Jubilees written by Moses
    This is part of the account of Adam and Eve being removed from Eden.
    It kind of broke my wife’s heart and yet she said deep down she knew it all along.

    Book of Jubilees Chapter 3 vs 28
    And on that day was closed the mouth of all beasts, and of cattle, and of birds, and of whatever walketh, and of whatever moveth, so that they could no longer speak; for they had all spoken one with another with one lip and one tongue.

    Did you ever wonder why Eve didn’t freak out when a serpent spoke to her? Wouldn’t you? It was because all animals spoke, it was common.

    This really made my wife sad because we have a rescue dog and we want her to tell us her story. You can see it in her eyes.

    Be blessed

    1. Wow,

      I had never realized that all of the animals spoke to each other and to Adam and Eve.

      Very, very sad and sobering, indeed! But we are all so close to the redemption of the world, when everything will be returned to it’s original, when Yeshua returns! I cannot wait for the great and Glorious day.



    2. Roadkill, that is amazing. I never knew! It makes sense doesn’t it? Every animal I have ever had seems to be trying to convey things to me, and how often I have wished they could just talk!

      1. Part of the fall. It didn’t just affect humans.
        Pretty sad. God has from time to time opened their mouths. Remember Balaam’s donkey. I would hope some day he would let my puppy talk.

  11. Good morning,
    First I want to clarify a recent development.
    I am no longer the only Lee on the blog. Yup, there appears to be two of us it is a common name. I have commented over the years, sometimes right, sometimes I needed to be recalibrated. Thanks to all.
    I am going to change my moniker hoping to avoid confusion for either of us.
    Welcome to the new Lee! Do us proud, be respectful, think and edit as you post, and as others have said, sometimes after re-reading your post just back out and wait for others to jump in.

    Now my bull story.
    I had an uncle who lived in Orofino (orafina).
    As a teen I lived with him and my aunt for a summer. My uncle bought two calfs and put them in the pasture declaring he was “raising them for beef.” Within a week he had one of them named now declaring “we aren’t going to eat him, only eating the other one.”
    One week later he had both bulls named and allowed them to follow him around the yard like really big puppies. They did end up butchering the bulls down the road. My cousins told me they were delicious.
    Same uncle was reported to have some of the biggest and best wild game in his rifle scope over the years. He wouldn’t pull the trigger. My uncle, a WW2 veteran had seen enough overseas to cause him to have a different level of appreciation for all of God’s creatures.
    Thankfully my cousins had no problem filling the freezer in the 1960s.
    God Bless all Mothers, I know I miss both of mine.
    Happy Mothers a Day!

  12. We, too, have had snow. Plus a week’s worth of overnight lows in the ’20’s. We don’t plant until the end of May but my basement seedlings are doing so well I may need to transplant them into bigger pots.

    We bought 3 fruit trees yesterday. I love my husband’s optimism – he is 73 and has stage 4 cancer and is buying fruit trees! We also bought fencing to expand our garden and protect it from marauding deer. They are thick as thieves around here.

    I bought a gallon of maple syrup from friends of ours. I also did social distanced visits with some of our church families. One family in particular was having a hard time with homeschooling. They have 4 kids, normally in public school, but are now being schooled at home. We have nortoriously slow rural broadband up here. To get 4 kids on the computer for their lessons throughout the day is difficult. It gave me greater sympathy for what some of our folks are going through.

    As I put in my farm share order, I noticed that there is a back order on some cuts of pork. The problem should be resolved in a few weeks but the local butchers are working overtime processing local meat which is in more demand now because of meat shortages.

    My sister lives and works in a neighboring state. One of her co-workers died of covid19 a few days ago and 3 others are infected. I’m concerned about her – she is 59 and diabetic.

    We are putting an extra bathroom in our basement. This would make it easier for any of our kids to live with us if they lose their jobs. Two of them are associate pastors and one is a realtor/real estate investor. Church giving is down because 10% of zero is zero for those folks who have lost their jobs.

    I think it is going to be a long time until church is back to ‘normal’

    I’ve got lots more to say but have to get to the dump to beat the crowds. Lol.

    Love hearing your reports.

  13. Last Saturday afternoon we had a doozy of a storm blow thru. The NOAA radio went off about an hour before it hit and we just barely got the tender veges covered in the the garden. Fortunately we did not get the hail that went north of us. Then on Friday we had the cold air come down and we had to cover the tender outdoor plants as it went down to 33°F; which has never happened in mid-May in our location. Had to turn the house heater on as everyone was complaining about being cold;;; spoiled kids!

    Spent most of the week canning, dehydrating and repackaging bulk items. Vacuum sealed a bunch of spices and got them stowed away. Ground up 4 bags of egg shells for the chickens and garden. After watching the latest Ice Age Farmer video, placed another order from Johnny’s Seeds for fall planting.

    Will be going to town next week to buy some beef. I’ve considered bulk buying a half beef steer from a local rancher but I would have to get a 5th freezer just for it. It takes quite a while to freezer dry beef as the FDer only does about 10 pds at a time. Still thinking on that option.

    My smallest dog, a 2-pd poodle, has a respiratory infection so have been giving him antibiotics mixed in with scrambled eggs, his favorite treat. His cough was so bad I had to give him some raw honey to quiet it. I hate it when babies and animals are sick as they can’t tell us where they hurt.

    Spent some quiet time on the porch watching and listening to the catbirds and whippoorwills. I heard the woodpeckers but did not see them and the owls are beginning to fledge. The hummers around our area are like tiny star wars fighters, weaving in and out, dive bombing other hummers and entertaining us for hours.

    May your week be healthy and safe.

  14. Birds and gardens! The stories are so much fun, and an important part of spring. Thank you to our editors and to everyone for sharing!

    We have a little chickadee family nesting in a fence post very near our home. We’re very careful not to disturb our little nestlings, and have peeked in just twice to see the tiny hatchlings. They’re absolutely adorable.

    This week we worked to expand our raised bed gardening (a project that will continue this weekend), made plans to grow our own onion sets, celebrated our first trash can potato starts, and received an order of bees for the greenhouse. Corn started to sprout, and we will plant a second crop in a week or so to stagger our production. We should see strawberries very soon, and the zucchini plants have already grown little flower buds!

    With news that there might be late season freezing temperatures, there was a quick scramble to protect the plants we placed outdoors. We covered those with old beach towels, planters, tarps and other insulators. We’ll have to do that again tonight! …but then we should be good to go, and anticipate early returns in the summer squash department.

    We continue to self-isolate, and trips to town for any purpose are rare. When we go to the post office or the pharmacy, it’s always a no-contact event — and even then with full PPE. Our youngest son, who is very medically fragile, has had tele-medicine visits with his doctors. So far, so good! All agree that the decision to self-isolate is the right decision. Even among the doctors are those who are doing all they can to avoid environments like hospitals. Clinics are staggering the schedules of the staff including the doctors. There is a great effort to prevent patients even from sitting in common area waiting rooms at the same time. All of this should speak loudly and clearly as to the dangers of SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19.

    We continue to resupply via mail order in so far as this is possible, and are holding our own. Fresh meats are the biggest challenge, and we use these more sparingly. We cook now much more frequently with canned meats, and include a couple vegetarian style dinners each week too. Dairy would be the second biggest challenge although we have reasonable substitutes to help: powdered dry milk, powdered buttermilk, evaporated milk, cheese in the freezer and some we can secure via mail order, etc. Our supplies are holding up well at this point, and we are thankful for the blessing of this!

    Wishing everyone a most wonderful Mother’s Day celebration! Even in challenging times, LIFE IS GOOD. Remember this, no matter what — and always!

    Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

  15. Lily, RE: Sh the bull. I grew up on a small Jersey dairy farm, we butchered our bulls at 18 months as a safety precaution. They had done their job breeding the cows and the next in line was old enough ( 6 months ) to take over the job. Our family had 5 females and we all worked the farm, in the barn we fed, cleaned and milked. We were raised to treat our animals with kindness and RESPECT. A bull is a BULL. They are not a pet, you must understand their thinking, they have 2 purposes in life, 1) to reproduce the herd, 2) to defend the herd. My Dad was Very clear about that and taught us to always keep an eye on the bulls. Our dairy had enough bovine “ladies” to keep him occupied, your situation is different. Please realize, he sees you all as part of his herd, teach your girls to watch him, you too of course, Especialy during your menses. To a bull that is when a cow is in heat, and he will consider it the same for you all. In his mind, he is just doing his job, but he is FAR too big and strong to ignore this danger. Also any females that visit. Farming is difficult, it is reality based, something our society has moved away from over the years, some people don’t know where their food comes from, let alone HOW it is raised. I wish I could offer different advice, but I can’t, when his job is finished this spring I think you should butcher him. I would feel awful if I didn’t say any thing and one of you got hurt. In the future, raise your bulls with kindnes, but keep emotional distance and don’t let them become pets. My prayers are with you all.

    1. I know it! I get it! We watch him like a hawk. We are very cautious, and I’m usually the only one around him and am beyond those cares of womanhood. We pray for protection all of the time. Someday, we may have to lock him up… Someday he will be butchered…



    2. @VCC

      Oh yes, and that goes for intact rams as well. I know mine had decided I was part of his “harem”. He was a large Jacob ram with lots of gorgeous horns! He was sweet all things considered but I never turned my back on him as he had, as you note, only 2 functions! He did both quite well too!

      1. Another brief story to illustrate that I am very aware of my bull’s jobs.

        A few years back we had a Rent-A-Bull for two months by the acronym, “N”. He was a nice boy, too, very friendly, but I had not raised him, and I was still in the throes of womanhood. One day, without thinking about it, I decided to visit my cows in the meadow. I went down and had a nice visit with them. The bull came over to “guard” them and to check me out. He started his phrenelating/snuffing business at me. Oh, oh, I just remembered that I was ovulating. I backed up and he followed, I backed up more, he kept following, I started running backwards. He picked up his speed. I turned around and ran a few feet. He was hot on my trail. I started to yell at him and kick at him. I grabbed a stick and swung it at him. He kept coming. I turned and ran, with him following close behind and screamed the name of “Jesus”. I kept running into the trees. I turned around and looked. He had stopped dead in his tracks at the name of Jesus being uttered. I ran up to the house. Thanking Jesus for saving me. And that was the last time I ever approached THAT Rent-A-Bull in the open. Later we bought this bull. After that I always, stayed far away from him or kept a wall or fence between us when visiting with him. We also bought an electric cattle prod. There is another story with this bull and the cattle prod, but I will save it for another time.

        So, I am aware of bull behavior, I always watch him when I approach him to see what his attitude is. I always keep a way of escape in my options. And I always pray.



        1. So I had a huge Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey who had been given to me by an animal shelter which needed a good home for him. I wanted him for my female turkeys. Alas, he wasn’t into female turkeys! Evidently he had been hand raised by someone who then changed their mind about eating him and gave him to a shelter. But he had evidently imprinted on humans early on and to him, a desirable “mate” was a human male, especially if they were wearing black barn boots! So any male teen or adult at my place had to be really careful as this fellow roamed around loose and if they bent over he’d see that and racing full speed ahead, launch himself up onto their backs! 😉 I however was totally safe!

  16. I am interested in further discussion of a possible vaccine and the mark of the beast. Let me preface this by saying that I do not trust, and have not for a long time trusted, the government. Also, I am a believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and my personal Savior and Lord.

    However, my understanding of the mark of the beast is that it will be clearly an indication that the taker is allying himself with the anti-Christ, against God. Therefore accepting the mark is a clear stand by the recipient against God. I do not read anywhere in scriptures (and I am no expert by any means) that the mark will be some kind of sneak attack by the government to “trick” people into taking an inadvertent stand against God by doing something they thought had nothing to do with God. My understanding is taking the mark will be more like willful disobedience to God.

    I sometimes get vaccines and sometimes don’t. For instance, I have never taken the flu vaccine because I think it is only marginally effective and because I do not recollect ever having had the flu in my lifetime. Therefore, I don’t get it.
    If a Covid vaccine is developed, I may or may not take it. But I will probably wait first to see how effective and safe it is. That may take some time. But I would certainly not expect that if I took a Covid vaccine, that I would be renouncing my faith in Christ or that my salvation would be irretrievably lost..

    Just as when I recently took a mumps vaccine after my son’s college class was over run with mumps and our family had an upcoming Disney vacation planned. I didn’t want to risk getting the mumps and ruining our trip, not to mention any possible side effects from the mumps for someone in their late 60’s. I don’t think my mumps shot invalidated my faith in Christ. Neither do I now see how a Covid vaccine will do likewise. That said, I am not aware of “quantum dot technology” or whatever else might be planned, if in fact it is planned. I will say I certainly would not allow the government to start implanting things in me that would allow them to in any way track or monitor me, just on general principles. But I’m still not sure if such a thing would have anything to do with the mark. Blazing the path, very possibly. Setting the stage for later? Yes. But the actual mark itself? I’m just not sure. I have no doubt that the world powers that be are moving us slowly but surely to the place where technology will be in place to facilitate the anti-Christ’s rise to power. And I am committed to resist any and all such moves. The cashless society comes to mind here. But if we start talking about vaccines which make us not human, or secret ingredients that cause us to fall out from under God’s plan for salvation, I really think we have to be careful. If anyone can help further this discussion, I would like to hear opposing arguments.

    1. Agreed. Thanks, Bill, for so clearly stating what I believe as well. We are definitely getting prepared for more totalitarian control here in our great country. I’m sad, but realize there will be birth pangs.

    2. Totally agree with your thoughts, Bill. Thanks for stating them..I have made the same attempt at an earlier time when the subject came up. Sometimes I think some people want to see a disaster or conspiracy behind every bush.

    3. I also believe that the vaccine will not be the mark. The mark of the beast will have to be an edict that goes against God’s commandments and, therefore, renouncing God and his authority. Being forced to break God’s commandment for a 7th day Sabbath is what I see as the likely mark of the beast. There has already been talk about making Sunday laws. Sunday is the day of the sun and moving church worship to that day was done be Justinian, a politician. No where in the Bible can a command be found of moving the Sabbath to Sunday. Also remember that the book of Revelation has extensive use of symbolism, which means the mark is a symbol and may not be a physical mark.

      It is my belief that the mark will be a clear declaration of whom you obey, the God of the Bible or some other god.

    4. “My understanding is taking the mark will be more like willful disobedience to God.”

      I think I agree with you Bill. I can be tempted away from God (a willful act on by behalf) but not tricked involuntarily.

  17. As my favorite gardening radio show host says, “All gardening is local.” Here in the Sierra Nevada foothills of northern Calunicornia, it was 90 F yesterday, and will be high 80s today.
    Everyone’s stories about cows and bulls sure resonate with me. That is why we are former cow owners. Our orchard still has not fully recovered from the incursions through the fence.

  18. After 3 weeks, locked down in a camp, working 12 hour days, it looks like I might finally get a few days off. The wife actually cried when I told her yesterday.

    So now it’s going to be rush, rush, rush, on these days off to get as much accomplished as possible. I’ve been making a list in my head of the things I’d like to get done. The only problem is that even if I worked 24 hours a day, I’d still only get about 1/4 of it accomplished. There are times when it would be nice to have a “normal” job, where I was home every night, and had weekends off. But we do what we have to to make a living and support our families, and at this time in history, we need to be thankful to even have a job. We are where the good lord intends for us to be.

    Back home the wife has just finished giving the roto-tiller a workout. We haven’t bothered with a garden for the last few years. Since the girls grew up and moved out on their own, it just didn’t make a lot of sense – and we got lazy and complacent. (Heck, if I can’t be honest here, where can I be?) But when this whole pandemic thing started, the first thing that the wife looked to was a garden. So the garden plot has been tilled, probably to within an inch of it’s life, if I know my wife, and we should be ready for planting. Although, we are still a couple weeks away from being able to put anything in the ground. North of the 49th we tend to wait until after the May long weekend, or risk losing it all to frost.

  19. We have been working continually to put more garden beds in and peeling cedar poles to fence our new garden.
    I agree with you A.L. with your ideas of what is happening. The question I have is if they tie our bank accounts and money to the mark how will we pay our land taxes so we can keep our land and farmsteads?

    1. This will only be an issue after an electronic currency is instituted AND if traditional paper checks are banned, AND if you have no way to pay credit card bills. Odds are than many of your neighbors will opt to be “in the system.” There probably won’t be any impediments to having one of them paying your tax bill, from their account. Thus, through barter (precious metals, antique guns, or other compact tangible forms of wealth) you can make a private transaction with a neighbor, in exchange for them paying your property tax bill.

      1. When I bought my farm property it was in a county ag exemption program. When I did the research I found the county exemption was in a state program and the state program was in a federal program. Ag exemptions lower your taxes but they also put you on various government computer lists, which in turn put you on the monitor list, etc. I took my property out of the county ag exemption program and I had to pay 1-years worth of what was saved by being in the ag exemption. It took two years to get off the federal government’s lists. Yes, my taxes went up, but it is worth it to me.

    2. Another idea if it’s an option… Some jurisdictions will allow prepayment of property taxes (often a year in advance). If you have the means to accomplish this, it may be helpful (even as much as no one understandably wants to pay money into the government coffers until it’s actually due). The goal with this would be to buy time for you to sort out how to handle future payments given the concerns going forward.

      Hope this is helpful!

  20. LargeMarge I am watching Kate Brown closely. Her move to close everything to July 6th is not a surprise. She does not appear to be interested in supporting the people or businesses in Oregon at all or she would be cancelling the gross receipt tax she is still forcing businesses to pay. One more way to permanently shut down commerce.

    One of our “shut in” past times in the early morning is to observe how many cars go down our road between 6 and 7 am ( I agree this is crazy but it affords us some measure of determining folks responses to what is happening). Definitely a big increase in traffic last week and this week. More and more I think are done with listening to the rhetoric of stay home stay safe.

    I am sorry to hear that many of you are battling snow and frost. Our planting is well under way. After two years of neglect it has taken great effort to tear down old bed; clear the ground and get to planting. We are one our way but lots more to do. I am also locked in a battle with a prickly weed that runs under ground to send up new shoots everywhere. Right now no matter what natural response I try it is weed one and me zero! I’ve tried vinegar, bleach (not together) and weed block. The darn thing just keeps on growing. Anyone have any ideas.

    1. The only non-poisonous fix I’ve heard of for the kind of weed such as you describe (look up Rhizomes), is covering the entire area you want to farm with “farm tarp” (it’s black and thick; I can’t remember the real name of it) for an entire year or a season. After everything is pretty much dead, then tilling and getting out all the roots, and being forever diligent. It might help to garden that area using tarps and just burn a hole in the tarp where you want to put your plant. I’m sorry I’m not doing a very good job of describing this – my brain is mush today. I hope this points you in the right direction.

      1. I always used black plastic tarps too, SaraSue, until our county extension agent provided research showing that clear plastic actually works better by solarizing the weeds and killing them that way. I am always learning something new! 🙂

        1. It can, but in my experience I have found that the only way that clear plastic does this well is if you can get it to lay very flat on the ground. Black plastic has been a lot more forgiving for me in this respect. So I stick with black plastic despite many plugging clear. Whatever works. YMMV

  21. Not much new this past week. So very thankful for jobs for my family and my ability to stay home and recover from 9 months of treatment. The goals are the same…get stronger, increase endurance and prepare for the upcoming storms in America.

    Putting the greenhouse and pots together. We don’t have a garden unfortunately nor do we have animals, so I do what I can. I’ve received my order of Pomonas Universal Pectin (I had run out) to can up jam from frozen berries. We do have a packed freezer and I’d hate to have to can the contents, but I could if need be on our outdoor propane burners. We only keep that fridge freezer and put up everything else by canning or dehydrating. A freeze dryer would be such a delight. Hat’s off to those who have gotten themselves one!

    My next project is to make some cloth personal items for the young ladies in the family after our city dwelling daughter had difficulties finding some when all the toilet paper went missing. Also, my order of hand held bidets arrived as future security. I already have rubber hot water bottles and ordered extra bottles of iron and folic acid (necessary to prevent birth defects). I wouldn’t mention these unmentionables, but wanted to just remind us all to be prepared in this area too.

    One OSPEC we are finally doing is to move all the wood cutting and stacking behind the shed with the greenhouse. Keeping things as residential looking at the front as possible. I’ve been plodding along with this for some time and it is happening. Of course the goal is to make it look like we have nothing of value when times are tough. We live amongst some nice outdoorsy neighbors, so that is good. Getting to know our neighbors as I was off working when we moved here. The widower across the way sold his house for a lot more than what it was actually worth just a few years ago (3 times the price) to people from a very liberal state. I’ve yet to meet the new neighbors. Praying!

    Funny bull story. The hummingbirds are back and have buzzed me for being too close to their feeder already! Blessings!

  22. Much great discussion threads! I’d add a comment about garden seeds after talking with a friend and casual weekend gardener yesterday. They were bemoaning the fact that seeds saved from last year’s tomatoes didn’t sprout. I inquired if they were non-gmo, short answer was no. While hybrid and other seeds can yield crops for the next season, better and more consistent results will come from non-gmo, organic seeds. Some veggies , carrots come to mind, require a 2 year cycle to yield seeds. We plant a row of carrots and beets to over winter and grow through following season expressly for seeds. Our gardening group has been working to diversify our seed stock between us. Our property is ideal for brassicas, peas, root vegetables while others are more suited to squashes, cucumbers, and peppers, vegetables needing more heat than our 10 acres can provide. We provide and barter for another. Another benefit of a tight knit group that lives in close proximity comes when one of us has a fail due to hail, bugs or other diseases, we can fill in gaps for each other. We believe that we will see the mark of the beast in our lifetime and the luxury of buying goods from a merchant will be closed off to us.

    Enjoyed the hummingbird story, very sweet. Another reminder of the miracles of creation and singing praises to our almighty God. Praying for all believers and your safety and comfort even though we know that we are hated by the world and will experience much tribulation.

    1. Dear Love Montana,

      I am super glad that you are commenting on the Blog. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. We have much in common. :). Our Lord God IS so Good!

      Sincere blessings to you,


  23. So I remember reading something a few years ago, and actually attributed it to this site, either from JWR or a commenter, though I honestly can’t say that with a 100% certainty because I do read so much that the sources can get mixed up. At any rate, it was a bit of a revelation for me as it was the first time I’d heard it and it made very clear sense to me. It was that you would have to know that you were accepting the mark of the beast and willingly accept it. Obviously to stay alive, feed your children, etc. It’s about free will, but you can’t use free will to decide something if you’re being deceived about what you’re accepting. Now I can’t say if that’s right or wrong but I can tell you that when I read it, it was very profound and actually eased my concerns. I guess someone can turn that around and say that satan is the great deceiver and I have been deceived by that comment. But if God wants us to know the word and we know of the mark and would not willingly accept the mark based on our knowledge then it seems reasonable to me we would have to fully understand what we are accepting as those ignorant of the word would have no concern for it.

  24. Just for a heads up there are to COVID 19 virus strains out in the environment and strain B has not even been cultured so a vaccine can be developed against it. A vaccine is at least 18 months away. There is a source which states there may be a strain C also circulating in the environment. Chris Martenson’s presentations are the sources for my information. The virus is very treatable and no vaccine is needed so go on YouTube and look up CM’s presentations and watch them and see what you think. Most the lockdowns are about reducing our freedoms and increasing government control. The virus in its different strains is real and is deadly to some vulnerable people. The different strains of the virus come from it mutating over time. To protect yourself from it use elderberry products, quercetin, zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin C. Those are some recommendations by CM and even
    some doctors. I myself would not take the vaccine and if one was approved in the next 6 months if would not be very affective more than likely. If you do not believe in government control then protest. Make your opinion be heard and also prepare for the worst.

    1. My brother in law is a smart medical doc, keeps up on all latest research, works with several Mayo clinic trained docs. He reports covid is nothing to mess with as very little is actually known about virus. This coming from well respected pulminologist . He is NOT a nervous Nelly or prone to exaggeration, very pragmatic. Important to remain vigilant. His daughter was doing some interning at his hospital prior to starting medical school in September. He insisted she turn in resignation the first of March to reduce her exposure.

      1. Yes… Our own conversations with MDs reflects similar views. SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19 are serious matters even as much remains unknown, and we should consider this when we make decisions going forward.

  25. Only a 1/2″ of snow thankfully. Speaking of birds, our hummingbirds have returned here as well. Mrs. Spotlight was happy to have one fly right up in front of our picture window, as if it was thanking her for the nectar! With all of this down time we have identified a number of new (to us) birds this spring: Baltimore Orioles, Indigo Bunting, Grey Catbird, White Throated Sparrow (whose long call drove us crazy trying to identify it!), and a Northern Flicker in addition to our usual Tuffted Titmouse, Black Capped Chickadees, Cardinals, Grackles, Redwinged Blackbirds and Cowbirds.

    1. Oh, Oh, Oh, Spotlight and Mrs. Spotlight!

      I Love, love, love, White-Throated Sparrows. “Sam peabody peabody peabody peabody peabody”. I love to whistle their call back at them. They will answer you back!!! We don’t have them here at our ranch, 🙁 though I know that they are far north of us in northern Canada and Alaska. I heard one singing in the background of one the “Gridlessness” episodes. That family is located in northern British Columbia. For some reason White Throated Sparrows don’t like it west of the USA’s Rockies. Now that bird, I do miss not having out here. It is my all time favorite! It summers in the higher mountains of New England, which is where I became familiar with it, having grown up there.

      Indigo Buntings are a rare bird to see. That was a gift to you, from the Almighty! 😉

      I am so glad that you are learning your birds. They are so much fun to learn about. They bring much joy to our hearts. Happy Happy birding to you. Thank you for sharing your discoveries with us.

      Much Blessings to you,


      1. Sorry Guys,
        I meant Blue Bunting. He’s so tiny we almost missed him. Last year four of them came. This year only one so far.

        Have a Rockin great day

        1. Dear RKRGRL68!!!!

          You were correct the first time when you said “Indigo Bunting”. He is a blue bird, and a beautiful one at that! I do hope the others are around with him, this year, and that they just didn’t show themselves to you, yet! It’s wonderful that you have an eye out for the birds, too. They certainly make our lives more colorful and beautiful, don’t they?

          I’m praying that your food freezer dryer comes sooner, rather than later for you.

          I want you to know that we here at the Blog really appreciate all of your insightful commenting and are glad that you are in our community.

          We pray the Lord’s blessings and protection for you and your family and your parents. May you have a Rockin’ weekend. 😉


          1. Lily,

            Happy Mother’s Day!
            Thank you for your kind words.
            About an hour ago our four rose breasted grosbeaks returned! They came here for the first time last year! I just love the contrast of red and black and white on them.

            My funny cow story is a bit different. When we moved out here a few years back, I would, in my travels back and forth to more populated areas start taking to all the herds of cows, lambs and sheep that I would see along the way. It goes something like this , roll down the window of the car as I’m going by and scream out the window “Hi Babies (for the cows), or Hi lambies and so on. I’m such a dork, and sometimes the animals look up as the crazy lady screams hi to them all but it’s my thing, and sometimes I like animals more than I like people!

            Hope you and all the mothers out there have a wonderful, Rockin great day!!

          2. Happy Mother’s Day to you too, RKRGRL68!!

            LOL! You are a funny lady RKRGRL68!! I like you very much! You are a wonderful character and add much life and color to our Blog! It’s true about some of us, often, liking animals more than some people. I have fallen into that category often, myself. Animals are often not the same kind of difficult as some people can be. My grandpa, used to say. “I love all dogs and only some people” or something along those lines. And also, he called animals “fur people”.

            In my mind right now, I can see his work worn wrinkled hands stroking the head of his dog, named “Future” as he would make these statements.

            When I was young, because of severe dander allergies in the family, I was only allowed to have small animals in the rodent family for pets. I loved those “rats” to pieces. Imagine my delight as an older adult to be able to have horses, cows, goats, and cats for pets. In my younger years I had a profession in which I traveled overseas and moved house, very frequently, so could not have pets.

            When we delight in the Lord God, He leads us through life and gives us the delights of our hearts in amazing ways.

            May you have a very sweet afternoon and Mother’s Day,


  26. Made it out this morning to get some range therapy on our 80-degree morning. Finally shot the new shush tube on two of my M4-geries. Fantastic noise reduction with M855 62gr from 143dB down to 123 dB on an 16″ barrel. Without ear pro I could should it all day, even under the awning. Another shooter commented the 300 yard gong was far louder when struck than the shot from the rifle.

    Tried some Atomic 5.56mm 112gr sub-sonic rounds on a whim. 117 dB from the 18″. Cycled every time with both 16″ and 18″ barrels. Very quiet with the can, but they only have 275 fp energy, so pretty limited to indoor defense, like a hallway or basement if needed.
    **Yes, I can already hear the castigation from my fellow readers for paying the illegal tax for the illegal NFA stamp. I spent 17 years in the military and have bought countless firearms with a 4473 form; the gubbermint already knows all about me and has my life on record. Sometimes one must make the calculated choice render unto Caesar to ensure the rest of your life is uninterrupted by an overzealous cop or ATF agent.

    Did some concealed carry drills with a few of my regular CCW guns- always need to keep up the skills, especially when using a cover garment. Standing; seated; barricades; moving and drawing… good skill practice. Then ended the morning on the dueling tree for bragging rights.

    The best part of the day was when my buddy let me pop a few rounds from his 1896 Remington Rollingblock 32 WCF (32-20). A beautiful piece of history and really cool to shoot. The simplicity of the action makes me want to fabricate one on my own. I will watch JW,Rs website for one of those beauties to pop up.

    After a good cleaning, the guns are put up safely and it is time to work on the shed with the kids, weed the garden, trim back some dead limbs on the fruit trees, and fire up the grill (must keep those skills fresh too!)

    The Coronapocalypse has not negatively impacted my family because our routine has not changed much. I work in a critical infrastructure position, so still report for duty every day. We were 95% ready for it all, and that validates years of research (including SB every day) and trial-and-error for our preparedness lifestyle.
    Keep the faith everyone. Prepare to thrive, not survive, and you will weather any storm the gubbermint throws at us.

  27. As far as being deceived, Eve was decieved and lost her blessings even though she knew better and was far more intelligent than any of us because she was created perfect. Adam was not decieved but rather chose Eve over God. Many will take the mark by simply being deceived but also many will chose to receive the mark because of choosing comfort, ease of living, love of family, or perhaps fear over the clear commands of the Word of God.

    For the first time in history, mankind has developed the ability to track us as indivuals and to control buying and selling worldwide electronaly. I received an email this morning from Google Maps Timeline wanting to know if I wanted to see where I had been in the last month. They told me a few cities I had been in and how many trips I had made and how long I had stayed and the miles I had traveled.

    Scary but foretold in the scriptures. The time to choose is not someday in the future but now. Today. My choise has already been made. Jesus Christ YES, the deciever NO

    May GOD bless each of you and I love you

    1. Brother Ron,
      Thanks for your reply. I guess I wasn’t really thinking about Eve. She did know she was not supposed to eat from that tree and she did make a decision to do it anyway, but the devil did deceive her into believing God didn’t want her to have all that she should have. I made my decision long ago as well. There will never be a mark placed on me. Honestly even if I knew for sure it was just government and not satan, I still wouldn’t allow it. It’s easier for me now I suppose with no young children to feed. I do not envy a parent having to make that choice. Thanks again.

  28. Got some more transplants out in the garden; broccoli, collard greens, and eggplant. Direct seeded radish, beets, and lettuce. Holding off a week or so on the beans. I’ve found a late May planting produces pretty much the same as an early planting and no worry of frost.
    Looking for a more rural abode North East of current location possibly up the Santiam Canyon.
    Intrigued by all the talk of the mark of the beast. Whether it’s the Corona shot or not, Jesus said we could discern the season and I believe it is upon us; like it or not. Just my $.02.

  29. This week our emphasis was on chickens. My Lady was able to participate in a case lot sale by House of Raeford Chickens, and brought home 40 lbs. of boneless breasts and 40 lbs. of thighs for a fraction of hat we’d have paid for them. Unfortunately, she had to spend 2 hours in a car line to do it, but apparently everybody involved maintained a good attitude throughout the process. In addition, she found where one of our sneakier hens had been hiding her eggs, rather than laying in the n sting boxes. And finally, our brood hen hatched 4 chicks (still sitting on one egg), and all chicks and mama are doing well. I am concerned about the unseasonably cool weather on them, but I think we’ll be ok. No freezing temperatures in our area, fortunately.

    The garden is doing well; green beans, our last crop planted, have sprouted, and the remainder of the crop is doing well, especially our herbs. I’m hoping to start harvesting peas and carrots by the end of the month. In addition, our blackberries are showing fruit, and the muscadines and scuppernongs are continuing to thrive. I’m concerned about my blueberries, but I’m wondering if the unseasonably cool weather (GSM) is causing them to be slow in putting out.

    In addition, the boy split up some more firewood for us that we’d cut into logs earlier, and began breaking in his new deer rifle.

    Stay safe folks, and happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there.

  30. Bill you are correct that in chapter 13 of Revelations on the Mark of the Beast will be known for what it is worship to satan. In fact people that do not worship the beast are killed.
    Then in verse 16 all men, great, small, rich and poor will have a mark on their hand or forehead. It will not be a mystery to who has it.
    In away it’s Satan’s way of marking his property like a brand one does to an a livestock.

    As to the COVID-19 vaccine, it is at least 18 months away. And if by some measure it’s ready in 6 months one will know that is a lie. Plus do the math, the US has zero or close to zero manufacturing for vaccines so how long will it take to make 340,000,000 doses?

    Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you,
    For I am your God, I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
    Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

    Now that’s a promise from Almighty God and I know nothing can touch me without Him allowing it.

  31. HI ALL ,,,,new info ,,,family member works hauling propane and anhydrous ammonia tells me there’s a problem with suppliers coming up
    Receved 10 Litres of Ivermectin pour on cattle wormer ,yes we use some to worm cattle ,there is a off label use , 10 L will treat 500 humans ,it has FDA approval on humans from some things ,,, has been shown effective on certain common virus ,I’m dancing around what I want to say ,,,
    Our adventures with the virus is continuing ,8 week now , .
    Lilly ,,under no circumstances keep a bull with horns ,even so I have lost six people I knew to a bull ,if you like I can name Names and dates ,i was badly hurt by a sweet jersey bull I handraised was like a big puppy till one day !!!!!a sure way to end a homestead dream with a nightmare

    1 ml per 40#@28days

  32. Om corona virus-have you read the study the dept of Defense did on Flu Vaccine. In the study of about 6000 they found those who had received the flu vaccine were 36percent more likely to get corona virus. Also other viruses. Had to do with virus interference. Long study report but I wonder how many of the Corona virus victims had the shot? All military, most medical personnel, and most nursing home residents. Also, the new connected kawasaki virus children are getting also to do with hyper immune systems. Vaccines hyperactivate the immune system. Just a thought I’ve had. I sent the article on the dept of defense to the site

    1. Do you have a link for this article? Someone had told me this several weeks ago and I poo-pooed it as I couldn’t see the connection between the flu virus and the corona virus. Still don’t so I’m curious. But of course it has to be acknowledged that nursing home/assisted living etc residents might well be more likely to get the flu vaccine but also more likely to contract the coronavirus and have a hard time with it due to age, low immune function and infirmities. So correlation doesn’t imply causation…….

        1. The study is by the dept of defense not some goofy group. Maybe a question needs to be answered. Also the 66 percent in nyc getting this when on lockdown!

          1. RE: the people in NYC getting this while home on “lockdown”, I’d have to ask how their “lockdown” was handled? Were they truly self-isolating with no one not in their immediate household coming in or allowed contact with them? Did they arrange to have any and all deliveries of food and other necessities put outside their door? Did they go out to shop and get some exercise/air? Just because they were “at home” and not out working doesn’t mean they weren’t exposed to others with the virus. I believe the 66% statistic came from the fact that when people were admitted to the hospital for treatment for Covid-19, they asked where they were coming from(home, nursing home, prison, homeless shelter etc) and recorded if they were employed and working outside the home or not. So this number may be very misleading. Or maybe not. I just doubt it’s a good statistic on which to base anything.

  33. Being a Southerner, you can imagine the happy squeal I made when I found a thornless blackberry bush hardy to -30F at our local Home Depot! Blackberries in Montana? I am seriously hoping this is now possible!

    So far, a 1/4 of the garden has been planted! The bees and butterflies and birds are everywhere and the apple tree is blooming! Beautiful!

    1. Sorry I don’t know how to post a link but I will type onme of them that I’ve read. I did forward the article here so I hope they post. Https www. disabledveterans.org/2020/03/11/flu-vaccine-increases coronavirus-risk/. Sorry but I have an old phone and can’t post but articles come up in duckduckgo if you search dept of defense study on flu vaccine causing 3/6percent increase in corona virus. It’s a quite large study and also other viruses are at increased risks. Frightening since it seems many want a forced vaccine. Just read gov of Illinois won’t allow greater than 50 in church unless vaccine or proved treatment!!

    2. I meant to add that I laughed pretty hard at JWR’s adjectives for your bovine containing a suffix sounding like “bull”. I read it and the word “edible” popped to mind, but shhhhhh…. don’t tell Avalanche Lily!!! She would NOT think I am funny. 😉

      Our bull busted down a fencing panel yesterday and today charged a piece of heavy equipment and knocked over some hefty garden objects. Then he came up to me and licked my hand. Crazy bull. Fortunately the lilacs and roses aren’t in bloom yet. Last year he ate every single bloom off the lilac and many of the pink roses… I was livid!

      When I was a kid my grandfather had Charolais cattle. His bull was THE meanest bull I have ever seen in my life. As a child, I got my “biscuits burned” pretty good (and deservedly so) for a foolhardy decision I made concerning entering the pasture with that bull…. LOL! I have only ever been around beef cattle but have heard that DAIRY bulls are by far the most aggressive. For this reason I would never want one. I can’t imagine any ranch or farm creature with a worse temperament than a Charolais bull…

      1. Well Grits,

        I am laughing at the “edible”, sort of… 😉 We never thought of that adjective!

        Glad to hear that the lilacs and roses were not, yet, in bloom for your bull to eat. It is maddening when they destroy fences and eat flowers and produce.
        But we still love them, don’t we? LOL 😉



    3. @ Grits

      What is the name of the variety? I just planted 5 Nelson blackberries(don’t know if they are thornless or not). Definitely zone 4 and maybe zone 3; will see how they do here.

      1. Hi Ani!

        This is a “thornless ‘black satin’ rubus hybrid blackberry”. It is hardy to -20 F (not -30 like I wrote above… So sorry for my typo!).

        1. @ Grits

          Ah. Only -20 F. Rats. That’s not even close to being enough here sad to say……. Will see how my Nelson’s do; they’re from Maine. I only bought 5 to try them out. The idea of blackberries….. 😉

  34. I love the stories! And Lily, I think we’ve all probably uttered a profanity under certain circumstances. LOL.

    This past week zooooomed by! Lots of work in the greenhouse, and I bravely started some cold hardy crops in planters on the deck. Even though I live around the 45th parallel, we are just west enough of the jet stream to not be affected by the crazy bouts of snow. I’m still being cautious with planting though. I finally received an order of various strawberry plants and various 2 yr asparagus crowns. They were lost in the mail for over 10 days, so barely alive. So sad. I’m planting them anyway.

    Last weekend I got my rescue German Shepherd. Lord bless this huge pile of fur, muscle, and determination. He is precious. I can see how he might scare the wits out of someone who hasn’t raised GSDs. He was labeled a biter and he has resource guarding issues. I can say that after 6 days, this huge mushpot of a dog has figured out that food is plentiful, his toys are his own, no one is going to be mean to him or scream at him or abandon him, there’s plenty of exploring and goofing off and racing around, treats are for very good boys, and life is good. I’m already head over heels for this dog. We had our moments the first couple of days as he tested me. But, just kind of like raising 2 yr olds, distraction, diversion, firmness, lots of love, and being smarter usually works. I can’t believe how well it’s gone, but I secretly don’t let my guard down with this big boy. He’s making very good decisions because if he didn’t, I could in no way physically control him at 90lbs. He actually jumped in my lap yesterday, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, and slobbered all over my face.

    In other news, deliveries seem to be quicker now, more things available, and I’m kind in awe of how much stuff I bought. I received the large food storage bins and buckets, now to organize it all, *before* I have any pest issues.

    Re: vaccines – nope, never, over.

    Re: end times – I’m just praying my way through life

    Re: Blue states vs Red states and the shutdown – it occurred to me that the blue states are going to look pretty foolish as the red states kick it into high gear

    Re: I’m aware of a lot of physicians who are taking the stand that covid19 is nothing to treat lightly, as well as a lot of physicians who are taking the opposite point of view… so hard to tell

    Re: news and propaganda… I don’t own a television any more, so the only thing that enters my mind is something I specifically choose via my laptop/Internet. I feel better. I know we used to use the television for cable news, movies, series shows, etc., but I made a decision to cut that cord for my sanity

    I love all the updates from everyone!!! So exciting here on Survivalblog!

    1. Wonderful sharing about your new canine companion!!! We pray that you enjoy lots of fun together, and many happy, happy years!!!

    2. I am so so SO very happy for you! My favorite animal companion of my entire life (including everything from a prize winning horse to a pet raccoon and several GSDs over my life), was a full grown GSD from a GSD rescue group. He came with a litany of behavior problems that all disappeared within his first week at our home.

      One little idea you might find helpful…. After having old GSDs go either blind or deaf, I trained my last GSD to respond to commands which I gave simultaneously as a German verbal command and as a hand signal. Then, as his hearing got poor, he could still see my hand signals and understood what was needed. This also was helpful for me to control him quietly without saying a word – even at a distance. That dog had a very good life and was perhaps a teensy bit spoiled 😉 – but wow… what a lot of joy that dog brought to our lives!!

      I hope you have many happy years together.

      1. That’s a great idea. He doesn’t know any German commands, although I’ve slipped in “sitz” for “sit”. He doesn’t know how to heel (foos) and he’s used to walking on the right side. I use only a couple of hand signals, but I’ll start being more consistent with that. My last GSD also became deaf and had vision problems towards the end, but she knew by my body language what she was supposed to be doing. I guess you could say the training is for me since consistency is the key! I’ll be better for the sake of the dog.
        Blessings on you Grits – thanks for sharing my joy.

  35. I really enjoy reading about everyone’s progress and also their thoughts about the virus and immunization. Always love Tunnel Rabbit’s input; I thank you.

    We had some unseasonably warm weather a few weeks back and I planted peas, beets, lettuce, carrots and spinach. The peas popped right up, the lettuce and spinach took forever, but now is about an inch high, and the carrots just started to sprout, as well as the beets. I stuck some tomato plants out because they were starting to get big, but I keep them covered with spinach box clear plastic food grade containers to keep them warm. I planted some carrot tops, and onion tops that were sprouting in my kitchen and they are well. We did have a freeze last night, but had all covered so things are good. I am trying hydroponic cucumbers in a five gallon bucket. I am also growing potatoes in five gallon buckets. I have a lot of tomatoes planted in food grade buckets as well to protect them in case of bad weather.

    We have had five family members with covid. They are all doing well, but one was hospitalized and it was very scary. I am careful due to low wbcs from previous cancer txt. and kidney disease. I am starting to go out without a mask (only one place so far and it was a drive through) , however, just using good handwashing and not touching my face, as I believe the longer we are in, the less exposed we are to good bacteria we need to survive and fight off illnesses. I have a part time job that will be reopening soon and I’m praying for God’s wisdom on whether I should return or wait it out until next winter is past to see if this resurfaces. I’m talking to God so much these days about wisdom and regarding what to do. My husband and I want to come to the redoubt, but have kids here in college living at home, so not doable now. We just finished homeschooling our last, the second is graduating with Associates degree in HVAC and the oldest is in her 2nd year of law school. They all have jobs and work hard, so maybe they will get a place together so we can prepare a place in a safe spot in the redoubt. It’s really hard to wait. Most importantly, they all know the Lord, which was my primary prayer and goal for them as their mother. They agree there is a need to go to the redoubt, but significant others (also Chrisitians, which I am so happy about) are close to their families..etc…

    Lily, I am one of those that need the protein of meat as well. Sometimes If I’m feeling “off” I know this is what I need.

    I will not take the vaccine. It’s been in my heart that there is something going on with this whole thing that is very wrong. I pray about it all the time and prepare constantly. I’m dehydrating and freezing things, but will now learn how to can, as lack of electricity is heavy on my mind. Hubby and I just know its time to get out of where we are, and are praying for a way.

  36. I’m amazed how you both get so much done and still have time and energy to write every day. I visited your site for a few years but for the past few years have not been so loyal. With the current world situation I’m refreshing my preps. Ive expanded the greenhouse plantings acquired chickens and built a coup and run. I reviewed my financial status and distributed supplies to my grown children and made pandemic pkgs for them at the beginning of Feb after following reports from Chris Martensons of Peak Prosperity. I submitted an article you published years ago that touched on bugging out vs staying in place. I still think I should of made it to the Redoubt and even traveled up and visited with locals and a realtor. Now I think it would be very difficult. I’m on the edge of a suburb and in a town that is a bedroom community to Denver. Its not going to be a good place to be as things transpire but I will do the best I can. Best of luck and may your family be blessed for all you have done to help other be prepared.
    Thank You

  37. Lily, I loved hearing about your week. I want to give your bull treats for being so protective! What an amazing story that was. Getting into your garden? Grrrrr… I would have screamed at him too! No need for hanging head in shame bc no one is judging you. I believe the Lord completely understands, don’t ‘cha think? Please be as kind to yourself as you would be to me and others. Frankly, it is endearing to me. I’m glad to know you are normal, able to be real, and not so holy that others feel uncomfortable around, lol. I have learned not to judge through having PTSD of all things. If someones silently comes up behind me, I get so startled, I scream bloody murder and/or say sh*t. !?! Same thing happens when my phone gets a text, or there’s a knock on the door. I can’t seem to get out of fight-or-flight syndrome. My Heavenly Father sees and knows all about it and loves and comforts me as I do not want to be like this. It is a thorn but it has helped me to feel more compassion and love for others.
    I have wonderful news to share. My oldest son and his family have decided to move to the Redoubt and downsize. Their house goes up for sale this week. All prayers are welcomed that the house sells and he will find a new job in the Redoubt.
    Blessings on your week and Happy Mother’s Day, Krissy

  38. Tractor trouble, unusually wet weather & record late frost just underline how difficult it is to produce your own food in quantity. Caution says that there needs to be significant food stores, in case the production cycle fails. Crop failure is an economic event in good times and a life threatening one in ‘the big one”. I’m moving forward, but “Food” production is fragile. At this point we can afford to jump start the processes by throwing money around. Someday those seed starts on the kitchen counter may be critical. We need to learn these skills… now.

    Trusting in the Lord means being faithful & obedient regardless of what storms may rage around us. Many storms have come and gone… and there appears to be one on the horizon. We are doing what we can and that’s all we can do. My advice? Do something. God Bless!

  39. I retired in October of 2018 and moved from central California to my families cattle ranch in central Colorado. So I’ve been practicing social distancing for a year and a half. Getting pretty good at it.
    Lily, the hummingbirds are back here as well and a joy to watch at the feeders. Such aerobatics!
    Jim, an old saying my Grandfather used around the ranch was, “If your putting up a fence, make sure it’s horse high, pig tight and bull strong. Otherwise you get to do it again.”

    1. The problem with fencing here at our ranch is that we keep both horses and cattle in the same pastures. With horses that means using NO barbed wire, to prevent injuries. So, with only smooth wire (mainly woven wire mesh and some welded heavy gauge wire cattle panels), the critter feel that they have carte blanche to constantly test our fences. For the horses, that means leaning over them, and with the cattle, that means nosing under them.

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