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!
This has been a busy week, and my back is sore! We started out with just two tons, the first day. The “crew” was just two of us–Lily and myself–picking up grass hay bales in the field, one by one, using our pickup truck and gooseneck trailer. Lily did the driving. I did the lifting and stacking. Back at the ranch each day, we’ve been unloading and re-stacking the bales in the barn. I prefer to do this part in the cool of the evening. Transporting each ton of hay requires lifting and stacking the bales twice. Thus, one ton = two tons moved. We peaked at hauling and stacking 6 tons in a day — at 27 bales to the ton. This was on a day when we had two paid hay hands, to help us. They provided a trailer of their own to speed up the hauling.
My goal is to have 25 tons of hay stacked safe and dry in the barn by August 1st. Then I’ll feel a sense of relief. But my back is already sore, and thusfar I’ve lost four pounds of body weight. Soon, I can get back to cutting and splitting firewood. Oh, and I have a frost-free garden valve to dig up and replace. This is just another typical summer haying season or us. We are very busy, but happy. We thank God for his providence and travel mercies.
On Thursday, I took a break from hay hauling and drove a seven-hour round trip to meet on-site with two consulting clients for six hours of meetings. I do most of my consulting by phone or Skype. It is just once in a while that schedules mesh and travel is viable so that I can meet clients face to face. Those sessions are always the most enjoyable.
Avalanche Lily Reports:
Yes it was a very busy week. My dear husband worked super hard to get the hay in for our horses and cows. Bucking hay is very strenuously hard, hot, and scratchy work and of course it cuts into the time needed to work on the Blog and the Elk Creek Company business. We girls are super thankful for Jim’s willingness to sacrifice some of his time and energy to work so hard for our animals.
Obviously, we spent a lot of time away from our computers, so sometimes it was a while before we posted the comments. Our apologies to you all. Each time I checked the comments, I found 16-to-27 of them to read and post at any given time. Wow!
We had a wonderful week.
We added a pair of new six-week-old barn cat mouser kittens to the ranch this week.
Our other cats are reaching “retirement age” and have kind of become house cats. Though they are still quite good at mousing.
Oh those babies are sooo adorable and funny to watch and play with. All four of us love kittens. We just want to “eat ’em up”. 😉 Did I ever tell you that when I was in college, my two housemates and I bought a kitten during a Fall semester. I have to admit that I often was playing with that kitten when I should have been studying. Two of my six classes reflected that lack of study time with below average grades, but four classes were A’s… So I guess it wasn’t too bad… Sad to report, but the next summer that kitty died from Kitty Cat Leukemia/Fading Kitten Syndrome. At that stage of my life, I had never heard of that cat disease and we had not thought to bring her to the vet to be immunized for it. Anyhow, I cannot afford to “waste” too much time with them at this time, but in the evenings, before bed, I visit with them. 🙂
One of our older cats, a little female Kitty named “S” was so miffed at these little waifs invading her space that she disappeared for a whole twenty-four hours and ignored my repeated calling for her. (We do have two other adult cats that she gets along with.) This is not her normal behavior. I worried about her because we do have predators around here who would like a kitty snack, though S. is a very wise and seasoned kitty and usually stays close to the house and barns. In time, she will get used to the kittens and become friendly with them, too..
I called her my “Beloved Twit” when she showed up, thankfully, early the next morning. This kitty literally hugs me most mornings when we greet each other. She and one of our other cats, walk with me when I go out in the dark or during the day and walk around the ranch. They stand guard over me until I return to the house. I call them my “Two Sentinels.”
Gardening update: The girls helped me weed the tomatoes and carrots, though they still need some more attention this coming week. I have picked the last of the strawberries. Only a few will ripen in the next week or so.
The raspberries are coming in on full bore. This weekend I am planning on making raspberry juice with my yet untested Victorio Stainless Steel Steam Juicer, and also make raspberry syrup, since we have more than enough raspberry jam from last summer. I am not too fond of raspberry seeds in my smoothies, so frozen berries are used in pies. I did dehydrate raspberries last summer, but I have not used them yet. I keep meaning to try the dehydrated berries in teas.
I’ve been harvesting spinach. I blanched and froze a batch of it. I am planning on dehydrating the next harvest and blending it into spinach powder, this coming week, along with beet and kale greens.
I harvested the first cucumbers this week, as well as the Black raspberries. Black Raspberries are my most “favoritest” berry on the whole planet earth! Yum! Sadly this year, though, I don’t think I will have as large of a harvest as last year, because some canes became damaged over the winter and I hurt a few during my raspberry patch clean up last fall and this spring. They were just too entangled to untangle safely and got broken. But there is always next year. We are enjoying snacking on the berries at this time. I do plan to make another batch of jam with them, too.
I harvested broccoli and dehydrated it.
I started preparing the Herb Garden. I rototilled it many, many times, yet again, and chucked even more of the rocks that kept coming up, then I covered it with eight inches of manure and rototilled that deeply into the bed. I have yet to plant the herbs.
I mowed the Main garden paths.
The horses are being ridden now. It’s taken a few weeks to break them in safely. In a few more weeks we’ll probably ride them up in the National Forest.
Miss Violet and I, are studying to identify the wild edible plants of North America, together. We are looking at pictures of plants and then I have been quizzing her. We are enjoying this time together. Dandelion leaves and Lamb’s Quarter leaves are making regular appearances in my daily smoothies, this week.
This week, I developed an inflamed taut lymph line in my arm from the elbow up to my armpit, that is slightly red, in only three inches on my bicep, due to, most likely, a spider or mosquito bite. Whatever bit me in the inside of the elbow, “blew” a small blood vessel. I had a slight “blood blister” pencil eraser-sized, under the skin and it itched like crazy for about twenty minutes, but never opened up like a spider bite, would. The lymph node in the armpit is only slightly swollen. Side note: A few years back, I was bit by a spider that totally inflamed the lymph line and lymph node and it grew to golf ball size, the lymph line was fiery red from the bite all the way to the armpit. I didn’t have a bacterial infection. I know, because I had the blood cultured, twice. But I had a high fever for three days. The exotic disease specialist doctor that I saw said that my body had taken a big hit from the venom but had dealt with it on its own. However, it took months for the lymph node in my armpit to go back to normal size.
So then, since I know that lymph is a defense mechanism of the body and I have not developed a fever that it is probably not as bad as the previous spider bite and that the lymph is doing its job. But to help it along, I have been eating and drinking super well, eating a lot of extra oranges, and fruits and veggies, resting and treating it with the Self-Heal Tincture that a friend made for us last fall, and also applying Oregano essential oil. I am spraying it onto my arm along the lymph line and in my armpit. I also made a tea of Self Heal leaves that I that picked out in the orchard and drank some of that. I think I was okay with drinking it, since it is in the mint family and isn’t one of my sensitive foods. We’ll see how quickly I heal up.
I do not wish to go to the doctors, so I will see how well I do over the next few days. It’s already been about four or five days since being bitten–without a fever or really adverse reactions, other than the lymph line being taut and just three inches slightly pink. If it gets bad, then we’ll go.
Do any of you readers have testimonies of using wild herbs for self-healing, rather than using conventional medicine? We’d love to hear your stories.
FIRST AID/MED SUPPLIES AND TOILETRIES RE-ORG
I spent a full morning this week sorting and reorganizing all of our Medical items, Supplements, First Aid, and Toiletries stored in our bathroom. I replenished and added to our Kitchen’s First Aid Kit. I also went through the cabinet with all of the herbal tinctures, and essential oils .
Jim and I slept out in the tent out in our meadow three times this past week to watch the comet Neowise. It was beautiful. It is located just below the cup of the Big Dipper/Ursa Major. It became visible with full darkness, which here is around 11:30 pm. It can be seen with the naked eye, but is also fun to look at with binoculars.
Well, Dear Readers, please continue to prepare yourselves physically, spiritually, and mentally for what is coming. It is not going to get better from here on out. It sadly, is only going to get worse.
Continue reading God’s Word and praying for yourselves and others, and spend lots of time with your loved ones.
May you all have a very blessed and safe week.
– Avalanche Lily, Rawles
o o o
As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.