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:

We finished nearly all of the hay hauling. Our friends only had about 23 tons of grass hay available to sell to us. Picking up the bales in the field saved us some money. This is an example of the old “Dollars-to-sweat ratio” that I’ve often written about. To be fully ready for winter, we’ll need another four tons. We’ll source that from another supplier, later in the summer.  But we’ll again do our own hauling.

Now that most of the hay hauling and stacking is done, I’m back to firewood cross-cutting and splitting.  I’m also knocking off items from the “Honey-Do” list. Next up will be adding some cattle panels to reinforce the bottom four feet of our main garden fence. That should keep the cows from nosing under the woven wire.

I’ve been very busy with the Elk Creek Company biz. Since the 12th of July, we’ve booked more than double our normal sales. Three of those pre-1899 guns went to a repeat consulting client and were delivered on-site, during our day-long consultation. The majority of the mailorder sales were also to repeat customers. It seems that they appreciate my “eye”, in picking out nice old guns. And of course, sales were helped by the fact that many gun shops are presently nearly sold out of guns and that most gun shows have been canceled. Americans are rightfully anxious to buy guns. I’ve been doing my best to re-stock, but at the rate that things are going, I won’t have much inventory remaining by September.  (I launched the biz back in February with more than 90 guns on hand. But now I’m down to just 51.)  So if you have an interest in buying a “no-paperwork” pre-1899 cartridge gun, then don’t hesitate to get your order in.

In the next two weeks, we have visits planned with all of our older “up and out” offspring, and our grand-kids. We really savor those visits, regardless of the time of year. But summertime is particularly fun, with plenty of sunshine, watermelon, and swimming. Those visits should be great fun!

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This week my garden is coming in in earnest.  We have commenced the late summer marathon of preserving our harvest.

I picked spinach and dehydrated it and blended it to make spinach powder. I also dehydrated kale and then made kale powder with our blender.

Picked, blanched, and dehydrated two batches of broccoli.

Picked and froze the last quart of strawberries.

I am freezing the black raspberries and the best red raspberries.  The golden raspberries will be eaten fresh and turned into raspberry juice.  We haven’t been too impressed with them as jams or in pies, or frozen…

I picked about seven pounds of red and golden raspberries and put them through the Victorio Steam Juicer.   Some of the juice we froze as ice cubes for raspberry-flavored water. Also made Raspberry syrup and canned it. It is so yummy. I feel that it is fine to make raspberry ice cubes, since if we had a longterm power outage, I can quickly turn what is left into syrup or jam.

I harvested a tart cherry tree and steamed those cherries for juice. I also froze it into ice cubes.  I very much like the juicer and I am very happy to have discovered how useful it is.

I harvested the first zucchinis of the year.

I planted some herbs in herb garden: oregano, basil, cilantro, Jerusalem artichokes. I will be planting more soon.

Jim, the girls and I, brought in the last of the hay bales from the field. For now, we are glad this job is done, though, we plan to get a few more tons, in the fall.  We also still need to get nearly a ton of straw for animal bedding and garden mulching.

I spent some hours pulling more thistles and mowing around the fruit trees in the orchard.

The baby chicks that hatched three weeks ago were moved into the hen house and are adjusting well. I am still making their chick food and supplementing it with fresh greens, table scraps, and scrambled eggs.

We had one hen who kept escaping from the Chicken Tractor and would run up from the orchard to the hen house and barn, so we decided to let her do her own thing up there. Two weeks ago, Jim found her sitting on four eggs.  She had gone broody in an upright galvanized trash can.  So I transferred her, in the trash can, into the henhouse for safety. I collected seven fertile eggs from the other chickens and slipped them underneath her.  She had not been with a rooster in over a month, so I know her own eggs were not fertile.  At least I think they weren’t… Now she has been sitting on them for two weeks.  Next weekend, Lord willing, they will hatch.  She is not disturbed by the baby chicks, at all.

The meat bird eggs that I am incubating should be hatching out on Sunday and Monday, this coming week.  I hope we have many of them hatch…

Update:  as of Friday night, one has hatched out with three more showing cracks in their shells, thus far… A total of 37 eggs are being incubated in this batch.

The Kittens!  Oh my goodness they are so adorable.  They are now seven weeks old.  I call them our “little morsels of a cat”  They are so confident and fearless.  They are so smart. Within a few hours, they knew where the litter box was, and where their water was and where their food was located.  We feed them beaten raw eggs, Tuna fish, and regular cat food.  Plus they sometimes get a meat snack from the dinner time meal. I am behaving myself with them, only playing with them for a moment in the morning, at lunch, after dinner and at bedtime.  ;-). They’re receiving lots of hugs, kisses, and cuddles.

The bug bite on my inner elbow which caused the swelled lymph line is slowly healing. It is no longer light red, but is still taut, though a little less taut and a little less “stingy” than last week.  I never developed a fever or swollen lymph nodes.  I treated it with Self-Heal tincture and Oregano oil two to three times a day. Whether or not those things helped it to heal or my body just did its natural self-healing thing is hard to tell. But nevertheless, I conclude that I am slowly on the mend! It does take a long time for lymph lines and nodes to return to normal once put into action.  Thank you all who were praying for me and wishing me well.

Here is my spiritual perspective concerning the traumatic events of our day:

These events that are occurring, COVID-19 virus, laws being enacted that all must wear a mask when in public, lockdowns, food shortages. These events are only the beginning of things to come and it will not end well. It will end in Christian persecution.

Are we ready to meet the Lord Jesus, to lay down our lives for Him? This is something that I think about every day and pray about. I pray that I would have the strength to lay down my life and to not bow down and accept the Mark — in exchange for a bowl of lentils.

The mask requirement is part of the psychological conditioning. It is part of an occultic initiation ritual into the NWO, that is: Satan’s Beast System. It was very clever of him to give TPTB the virus scenario, masks, and soon to be followed by vaccinations and Bio Certificates/tracking chips. Without those, one will not be able to leave one’s home to shop, travel, work, buy or sell.

How many Christians do you know who will not capitulate? Nominal “Christians” will be turning in the real Believers, betraying them. The true Remnant that truly resists the Beast System will be very small! Are you people of that remnant? To make sure that you are, every one of us needs to be seriously repenting and seeking the Lord Jesus in prayer, fasting, and reading the Word daily.

Read Revelation Chapter 14:9-12:

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”


May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

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


  1. It was a week of food shopping, gardening, fermenting, pickling and dehydrating? Trying to preserve something every day.

    I found a pair of cross trainers, my size, at a garage sale for $3. They are a perfect fit. I also found an enamelware canning funnel and a pair of jeans for hubby.

    Our friend has finally been able to get started on our fencing. This will expand our garden quite a bit and *should* keep the deer out. Deer are thick as thieves around here. Our associate pastor used his day off to help with the fencing. I made a nice lunch to share with them. We will pay them for the work, of course, but we are as grateful for the fellowship as for the work they are doing.

    I was able to take supper to a family in need at our church. I’m so thankful to be able to easily put together a meal with what we have on hand.

    Both my brother and one sister have layoffs in their workplaces. Their jobs seem to be secure, but their workloads have dramatically increased. They are under a lot of stress.

    Our governor issued a mask mandate, effective today until the end of September. Within 24 hours, our local sheriff as well as the sheriffs in 6 surrounding counties said they do not have the manpower to enforce this:

    “The … Sheriff’s Office lacks the resources needed to become the mask police. We will work with our public health department and encourage people to comply with this order when possible. Please do not tie up emergency phone lines with calls about mask compliance. Follow the governors recommendation in his FAQ’s: What do I do if I see someone not wearing a mask, even though they should be? Nothing. Some people have conditions or circumstances that would make wearing a cloth face covering difficult or dangerous. Just wear your mask and stay six feet away.”

    I have mentioned before that hubby has stage 4 cancer. He has been tolerating his treatment but it is getting more difficult. His energy is definitely flagging and I am noticing some cognitive decline. He is noticing it too, which is concerning him.

    My dad often signed off saying, “Be of good cheer.” That sentiment is not original to him. It is from John 16:33: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

    Yes, things are tough. Have peace. Be of good cheer.

    1. @ wormlady

      My state also has a mask mandate in effect as of today. I’m pretty disgusted with our governor for doing this and I suspect he bowed to the intense pressure put on him by the leftists that want to force everyone to wear a mask. Even before today I saw people walking down the street in the small capital city wearing masks, wearing one to walk their dogs, wearing one while driving their cars, while in their own yard etc.

      I’m not discounting this illness and I do believe it exists and can have serious effects for some. I just dread how the leftists have turned masks into virtue signalling correctness now and how they are determined to force everyone else to wear one at all times. I wear one when I go into most stores(required). I’d wear one in an interior space filled with lots of people(although I haven’t been to any of those lately). I see no reason to wear one walking down the street etc. It’s going to get ugly.

      I’m realizing that these people are terrified and will follow anything that someone says will keep them safe. They will also follow any leader that says he will keep them safe too and react with fury at those who don’t get in line with them.

      I was harvesting zucchini on a farm for the Food Bank and the people that run this gleaning effort were all wearing masks as were all of the others who showed up to pick veggies in a rural farm field! And they required us to scrub our hands with soap and water before picking filthy dirty zucchinis! I got scolded and told I had to do it again and scrub longer as i didn’t wash long enough! To pick zucchini covered in dirt! These people are just nuts. They don’t grasp the insanity of it all.
      If I’m picking berries, I’ll wash carefully and I assume people won’t wash the berries after they get them so I’m super careful. But soil covered zucchini?

      Really sorry your husband is doing poorly.

    2. God bless you!! Cancer treatment definitely takes a toll on cognition (chemicals affect the brain). I can tell you I have recovered most of mine! Let your husband know it should be temporary and not to fear. Virtual hugs to you both!

  2. Avalanche Lily,
    Your post about the Covid madness gave me chills as it mirrors my own fears about how TPTB are destroying and controlling our society. I pray that we are all strong enough to resist the devil and his mark.

  3. Your gardens are always amazing! I know they are hard work, but your work is worth it. This is my first garden in about 20 years, and is not producing much, but I am learning a lot. I already have plans on how to expand and get things spaced out better. Thank you everyone, for the encouragement you give just through your postings.

  4. The Patriot Nurse just posted a video about the demonic warfare that is happening. This is something I have felt for quite a while now, and I am seeing the undercurrent of all these events. Y’all, we need to get serious before God and repent for our nation and beg for mercy. Bibles are fixing to be contraband, and most Christians would not care.

      1. Regarding spiritual battle, I have been wondering about repenting.

        Lily, you say, “every one of us needs to be seriously repenting” which I have heard elsewhere and admit I’m not sure what you mean or even how to do that.

        Whatever insight or advice you offer is appreciated.

        Carry on, in grace

        1. Once a Marine, repenting of your sins is basically calling out to God asking for forgiveness of your sins. You can ask Him to give you the strength to not go down that path again.(Ps-He always gives you another way out, whether we take it or not is a choice.) When we repent of our sins and ask God to come into our heart to be our Lord and Savior, then we become a child of God and will be in heaven with Jesus. He only asks for a simple prayer of repentance and asking Him to come into our heart to be saved. Hope this helps

  5. So glad you’re on the mend, and the gardens are doing so well! The kittens sound adorable.

    As for us… something something hurricane something something? 🙂 Of course we can’t say too much due to opsec, but, suffice to say I am hoping to capture some eyewall photos…

    I do not expect it to be a BIG event–after all, it’s only a Cat 1–but it is an excellent chance to practice preparedness routines. It feels much calmer this year, maybe cause I’ve been hanging out here around you all? 🙂 And crafty Mama Bear is making full use of the “threat” of power outages…. “We’d hate to step on toys in the dark once the shutters are closed, so better make sure your rooms are VERY CLEAN…” “You don’t want to have to wash your linens BY HAND if we don’t have power, so better change your sheets now…” heh heh heh

    This year i caved and we bought a small generator, because husband works from home now and will need to power his computers. It will also run the fridges, which have been steadily accumulating ice blocks to pack in with the food. Last night, in an extreme act of self-sacrifice, husband ate the last of the ice cream from the gallon tub! He was convinced we NEEDED that tub to freeze water. I haven’t much fuel for the generator yet, but really don’t expect to lose power. I did curbside pickup, as one does here in this state “in these challenging times,” and as I watched the two big college-age guys (who had ignored both my greeting and my offer to help) strrrrruuuggle HARD to lift the generator into my truck and ultimately have to be rescued by a third employee passing by, I was reminded of the discussion here a couple weeks ago about hauling hay as youngsters! But it turned out to weigh only 178#, according to the box, and husband and I lifted it out easily together. Maybe “task: lift equipment” is easier in the video game…

    Met with the solar guy, who will also send a regular electrician to finish replacing breakers. Bought another 50# of rice (thanks for the heads up, Krissy! I think it was) and more honey and meat for the stocks.

    Received my new cheesecloth bags (actually food-safe nylon) and looking forward to trying some paneer. Need to make more hummus too.

    Bathroom project is chugging along. I think we are close to done but I thought that last week. Went to mount the sink, ended up having to replace the wall! My drywall anchor crumbled right through it, so spongy had it become from the leak. Scrounged some hardy board left over from a project of my Dad’s, and put that up instead. Had to get hose extensions from the local plumbing supply place–faucet came with nonstandard hookups and of course one can’t readily TELL that when ordering online. Another downside of wearing the masks is, when the nice young man at the plumbing supply store shifted from addressing me as “ma’am” and started with the “hon” and the “m’darlin” (really??? I’m older than you kiddo!)….my guffaw was somewhat muffled as was my wisecrack!

    Off to shock the pool, reorganize the fridges and maybe finally get that stinkin sink mounted!! And walk the roof for overhanging limbs and clogged gutters.

    Hope everyone has a good week! Peace be with you!

    1. A hurricane?! Time to bake a pound cake! There’s nothing that brings civility back quite like offering your neighbors a cup of coffee (made on the grill) and a slice of pound cake as you all assess the damage together!

      When I lived in a particular Southern location, I had the entire bottom of the chest style freezer lined with plastic gallon water bottles. (I am very short and can’t reach the bottom of a chest style freezer without possibly falling in, so it worked for me!) As storms approached, I added ice to the top of any food stores in the feeezer. That provided a nice thick layer of ice to keep food cold when the power went out and kept things frozen for many days. Of course, coolers were filled with ice too, for drinks, but for some extended power outages it was nice to have extra ice. I had a generator but didn’t need to use it much with this freezer set up. I also had a small window mount a/c and precut wood. I would bring it out of the garage and mount in a bedroom window. The generator was turned on late afternoon and the a/c ran long enough to cool down the room. Then the generator was turned off before bed time (I loved my neighbors) and we used battery powered fans. It was nice to have a cool, mosquito free location to sleep. I also invested in teensy jars of mayo and relish and lots of crackers. (Crackers stay fresher than bread when the power goes out and temperatures and humidity soar.) Eggs were boiled prior to the storm making landfall and kept in a bowl on the counter. I always ended up with lots of neighbors at my house and I they came to expect that I would be serving up deviled eggs and tuna salad on crackers following storms… The small jars of mayo and relish were perfect. I didn’t have to worry about refrigeration. They made enough for a small batch of egg or tuna salad and then the empty jar was tossed in the trash

      1. Ahh yes, I had one of those deep, deep freezers too. As a fellow height-challenged lady, I’m now giggling at the cartoonish image of a pair of legs sticking out the top, wiggling upside down… 😀

        The salads on crackers are a great idea! I am the new kid on the block (only been here nine years) and my neighbors seem to think that I need to be taken care of… When I first bought the place I planned to install a generator that could power both my home and run cables to neighbors, but quickly learnt they all have BIG (loud) generators and have had for years. Plus I personally can really take or leave power after a storm. But those cHoCoLaTe peanut butter oatmeal no-bake cookies are easy to make on the camp stove, and they’re a heck of a morale booster, so if we do lose power I think I’ll make the rounds with some…mmm mmmmmmm…..

  6. Stocked the basement with slab wood and kindling. These smaller pieces of wood should suffice for heating the house in the fall and early winter.

    Expanded the driveway alongside the barn by spreading addition gravel there. Hung up buzz saw blades, continuous belt up and 4 corn knives up on the walls of the barn. Tackling the re-organization of many of my hardware organizers that over the years have been mixed- hex bolts with carriage bolts, wood screws with sheet metal screws. I found myself looking in 3 or 4 organizers to find what I wanted. Just makes sense to put all the same style hardware in one organizer. Not all of them are like this but the older organizers seem to be an assortment. All this cause I was looking for a 5/16 carriage bolt.

    Finished restoring the last hand cranked cast iron corn sheller.
    Picked up big rocks out of the drive way and put them on the rock pile, planning on using this like rip rock to help slow erosion of the gravel where our 1500 gallon rain catchment tank sits.
    The rains Monday Night filled the water tank, unfortunately I had not done the plumbing for the outlet so I had to put on fittings on both the overflow and the bottom 2” outlet so we can use the water and divert the excess without erosion issues with water in the tank and gushing out. That was fun (sarcasm), at least the water was warm. We picked the first squash and zucchini out of the garden on Tuesday night and had it for dinner.

    I was re-organizing and adding to the preps inside a 18”x8’ long x 36” high wooden shipping crate I have. I put a long piano hinge on it and it works great for storage. Well this story starts about 5 years ago when I was at a surplus store and spotted a whole roll of USGI 550 parachute cord- only one minor problem – the thing was half off the roll in one giant knot. I asked the owner what he wanted for it and he said $35. Sold! I spent 2 long winter’s eves cursing that roll, myself and probably a few other things. But I got that cord back on that roll and all was good until I was re-organizing and knocked both ends off the roll and that cord acted like a spring letting loose into an instant knot . . . again. This time I went to the old barn and grabbed a small spool that had fence wire on it. The ends won’t come off of that spool. I started winding that cord onto its new home on Sunday night. After about an hour I decided that will be a winter project, again.

    Equipment and supply purchase this week included a Woodland Camo BDU top in excellent shape, a new 2” hole saw, 2 sets of new, made in America T-hinges (still had the K-mart price tags of $1.23 on them) and I found a bag that was set up to dispense 550 parachute cord through a grommet in the bottom of the bag. Guy selling it said he thought it was for use with a throw gun between ships. My thought was it was a riggers bag. Whatever it is for, it is just going to store and dispense 550 cord now. The $5 I paid for it probably didn’t even pay for the hundreds of feet of paracord that was in the bag. Went to GFS and got 50 pounds of rice ($22), 25 pounds of small red beans ($29), and 20 pounds of macaroni ($16). 90 pounds of food for about 75 cents a pound not bad in my opinion. Rice is up $5 for a 50 pound bag from the last time I bought one. Stopped in at Lowe’s for more nuts, washers and some replacement stainless steel screws. Their bins are definitely showing signs of supply line issues. I grabbed some 1/2” PVC pipe fittings for a few future projects. I also scored a plastic 55 gallon drum with open top with the lid and ring for free, will be using that for storing chicken feed. We are seeing better egg production, with 5 eggs pretty regularly and they are larger. We have lined up our first customer for egg sales. He also asked if they could go halves on a cow and the associated expenses. I said we could definitely work some arraignment out. The person is a fellow prepper whom I’ve known for years. On Friday night my daughter and I went to the local Amish School benefit auction. I got 10, half inch cable clamps for 40 cents each and 5 gated hooks on a swivels for 75 cents each. I won the bid on a nice older H&R 12ga single shot shotgun too.

    1. Hey 3AD Scout, sounds like we’re both making progress in getting all the hardware in our shops organized. After getting tired of searching through my box of PVC fittings for the umpteenth time while doing some plumbing this week, it finally occurred to me to organize them all in ziplock bags with two types per bag. I wish I would have thought of that 40 years ago! Not only can I find fittings much more easily, but at a glance I can see what I’m low on so I can restock.

      1. St. Funogas-
        I have been plugging away- as I’m re-organizing I’m also putting washers and nuts on many bolts. When I was refurbishing the last corn shellers, I had to cut off one of the carriage bolts that was Wieser in placed. I went to replace it and I was shocked that I had no 5/16 carriage bolts. I was overwhelmed with feelings of being a failure at preparedness!!! How could I NOT have any- off to Lowe’s to buy several. Well today I found my stash of 5/16 carriage bolts, they were inside the house where I keep a small cache so I don’t have to go to the barn for a screw, nail or bolt etc. I have 2 large and one small bins with the plastic drawers for hardware in the house and there they were. On a serious note, I was short washers and nuts. I have made 2 trips to Lowe’s to pick up Washers and nuts. But again I did find more nuts and washers inside the house but not enough.

        I have my plumbing Separated fitting by material- PVC, black pipe, copper, etc. never thought about ziplock bags by type of fitting. I used to have them tied together by type and then hung up on a peg board hook. They got dirty inside so I took them down and put them in a plastic tote but I didn’t keep them tied together anymore – maybe I should do that?

  7. Harvesting kale regularly and using it mostly for kale shakes. Has lowered my sugar and cholesterol. Also harvesting zucinni and yellow squash. Beans are still coming in and tomatoes (Roma, Better Boy) are ripening. Cabbage is looking good.
    Managed to pick up some 90% quarters, Peace Dollars and Morgans. Still a good time to buy imho. The store had a very good stock as some patrons were selling silver that they picked up at lower prices. The clerk that waited on me said she wouldn’t be selling even though the price was moving up. She said she liked the hard asset in hand.
    Picked up some .308 brass and a can of H4895. This was at Orions (formerly Keislers in Southern Indiana). The clerk advised me that they were selling out all reloading equipment and components for good and getting out of the reloading business. Still will sell firearms and ammo. And, their shelves were bereft of any ARs. Mostly had shotguns remaining.
    In that same light, Knob Creek Gun Range is also selling out all reloading components and equipment. 50% off everything (powder, primers, brass, etc). Kenny said he was tired of fooling with it. But, got 10 lbs of Clays and 10 lbs of WSF. Also the October 2020 Machine Gun Shoot is cancelled.
    A trip to Bass Pro also found NO powder at all. They don’t know when they’ll be getting more. So, this is a curious situation with some businesses closing out the reloading sections.
    Our church is also back open as of late May. Services have been great, but we still have a number that are skittish about crowds and covid which is understandable.
    Just a bit of encouragement from Daniel. Chapter eight verse 29 Daniel said “I..fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business…” He saw what was to come in the end times and it was so stunning that he was ill. But, he got back in the saddle for the Lord. I hope I can follow Daniel’s example and “do the King’s business.” God bless you all…

  8. Garden is cranking away with the heatwave we’ve been having. We need more rain though; maybe we’ll get some from the next hurricane? Stuff is ripening/sizing up so fast due to the heat. It’s fun to be harvesting eggplants here, grown at this altitude and latitude and not in a grow tunnel. Made some yummy eggplant dishes and babaganoosh; have to harvest enough to freeze some!

    I’m out of freezer space; was thrilled to finally get the small 5 ft chest freezer that I have but it’s full. Decided to order a larger upright freezer; no idea when they will be able to source one though. It’s pricey but if it stays operable it’s not too much amortized over the years. Of course I risk extended power failures but will just have to take that risk. If that happens during the winter(half of the year here!) I’ll just put the freezer out on the porch! Maybe I’ll sell the nearly new chest freezer to recoup most of that cost and help afford the larger one(if it ever comes in).

    I’m experimenting with using an electric dehydrator for the first time(living off grid I could never use one). It did a good job(eggplant, zukes and yellow squash) but it took tons of hours to do the job. I shudder to think of the electric cost for this plus it seems so wasteful. I’m now experimenting with drying some veggies(squash, zukes, green beans and broccoli) on trays in my car; makeshift solar dryer. I used to do that to make sun dried tomatoes so I figured I’d try it on other veggies. Will see how that goes. Sort of a pain when I need to use the car though as they have to travel with me!

    1. Hi Ani,

      LOL on your comment on drying veggies in the car and needing to drive around with them. I’m thinking that it is a great idea and is something I ought to try. Miss Eloise has a car that she very seldomly uses, thus I think I should try it in her car, with her permission, of course. 😉

      Shalom and Blessings,


      1. @AL

        I have fond memories of doing the school bus pick-up for my neighbors and I and having nearly dry sun-dried tomatoes on trays on the shelf in back of the rear seats. The kids cranked the windows open and the tomatoes started flying everywhere! 😉 So yeah, works best in a car that can sit there(during the day at least)!

      2. Lily & Ani,

        Can’t stop laughing!! All I can picture is us ladies all driving around with our car/truck dashboards loaded up with dried fruits and vegetables.

        Then when we get pulled over:
        Ummm, I don’t even know if there’s a law against driving around with your garden on your dashboard, have a nice day 🙂
        Bahahah, sooo funny!!

        Rock on!

    2. When we lived in Tennessee, I would often dehydrate things on my dashboard. Now, living in the deep woods way up north here, sun is hard to come by. We got a dehydrator a few months ago. Yes, it runs for hours – but at a very low temperature. I haven’t noticed any difference in our electric bill.

      My grandmother would use her solar dehydrator. Dad said she would put trays of veggies and herbs on top of the chicken coop and cover it with screens or netting.

    3. I used to dry apricots up on the roof of the house. I constructed frames using fine mesh on the bottom and top of each frame to keep the flies or other insects off.

    4. Solar dryers are fairly easy to make and mine gets up to 170°. The door is made from clear polycarbonate greenhouse panels which cost $22 (link below) and you can get two dryers from that. Mine has six screened trays (16″ x 22″) and is very lightweight and portable unlike most of the ones you see on the internet. It has two lawnmower wheels on the bottom and a leg on the front so I can store it upright when in storage. When upright, the footprint is only about 14″ x 24″. It also has an adjustable vent on top for a little bit of temperature control Since it is so portable, I can turn it to track the sun and when drying herbs where I want the lowest temperature possible, I turn it so the sun doesn’t shine in at all. It will heat up to 120° just from the sun shining on the black back of the dryer and lower if I open the vent.

      This is another project where a table saw really comes in handy although you could use a skilsaw to make a more crude solar dryer. A table saw is something that will pay for itself over and over again if you use it to make your own homestead items. One more great skill for folks to learn.

      One of these days I’ll get the article finished and submit it here so anyone interested can have the plans on how to make one. Maybe in November when the outside work is much less.


    5. Ani,
      Great ideas, however one suggestion, if you buy an upright freezer to keep outside on the porch: make sure it’s rated for exterior use. Our Appliance dealer this spring told us that only one or two upright freezer brands (can’t remember now) are rated for exterior/garage use. Apparently they have to be manufactured for extreme conditions, unlike the units made long ago. I can’t remember the brands currently and they are closed today, or I would call them and ask for you.

      1. Seymour Liberty! A great point about freezer ratings… One additional thought to share. Before we enclosed our covered front porch, we had a freezer there. …and we have raccoons too. Those clever critters managed to chew through the rubber seal on the door in their efforts to access the contents of said upright freezer! It was quite something really. The porch is now enclosed — problem solved. But! An experience worth sharing to prevent someone else from having to endure this challenge.

        1. @ T of A

          Yes indeed. I used to do work that involved energy efficient appliances and was out at a farm looking at all of their freezers used to store meat for sale. They didn’t know why some weren’t operating properly. The seals had been gnawed away by critters; the freezers were in an outbuilding.

          1. Ani — a very good point about outbuildings. Anyone hoping to use a shed style out-building might consider the benefits of insulating and truly enclosing the space. This does increase the cost of the structure, but the benefits are huge. In ours, we added insulation to the usual structure, and then installed plywood. We also added an affordable wall unit heating and air system, and we have a dehumidifier handy should we need this. It’s best to make the initial effort for something that will last a lifetime (or longer) and offer real protection for your supplies and other belongings. Do it right. Do it once!

      2. @ Seymour Liberty

        That is quite true. The upright freezer, should it arrive, is destined for the closet. I’d only put it out on the porch if we had a prolonged power failure in the winter. And yes, some freezers are now being marketed as “garage ready” so are supposed to be able to withstand extreme temps but most aren’t supposed to be put int hose environments(although people do it all the time). If you put one not rated for that in a place where it gets really cold, the manufacturer will generally not honor your warranty.

          1. @ AL

            Yep, it’s an alcove masquerading as a closet! 😉 Or maybe the other way around? It will be fine should it ever arrive! Plenty of air circulation.

  9. This past week has been very busy. We have been blessed with a very productive garden. Zucchini is growing like crazy. We’ve harvested beans, greens, our first tomatoes, radishes, kohlrabi, beets and carrots. We are trying to preserve something each day. Yesterday I froze chucks and shredded zucchini. I realize our power grid could be at risk but I didn’t have time to fire up the canner.

    I made some raspberry jam this week to round out our supply. Raspberry is one of our favorites. My patch did not do to well this year. I cut it back drastically last fall and paid for it in my harvest this year.

    We will be visiting with our kids and grandkids as well this next week. I echo your comments. The depth of love for them is overflowing. They renew us and refresh our perspective. I took my two year old grand daughter swimming the other day. I had such a good time.

    As for masks and all of this rioting, I am beyond frustrated that it is not being quelled immediately. It appears we would rather turn over our rights and property to these terrorist along with all common sense rather than push back at them. There has been lots of conversation in our house about the implications of living in a democratically controlled state.

    Be well,

  10. I’m happy to say I purchased a new to me Sig Sauer P-220. I’ve been waiting to buy a quality 45 for a while, luckily stocked up on ammo years ago. The gun stores here in our city are crazy; empty shelves once again like in 2012 and no ammo to be had besides maybe some birdshot. The price gouging in private gun sales has also spiked in my area. Ordered several spare mags online but noticed many websites are out of stock or delayed, I feel bad for people who are just now buying their first firearm only to find they can’t buy ammo or mags for it.

    1. Al, Great choice, great minds think alike! If you can’t find Sig OEM mags, try Mec-Gar (they make a lot of the OEM mags for the major firearm manufacturers like Sig, & others) perhaps thru Gunmagwarehouse.com, or any of the other reputable online suppliers.

  11. Finally had a enough ripe tomatoes to do a canning run. Wife and daughter bought 7 guinea hen chicks to replace the members of the flock we lost to predators over the winter. They are cute as can be of course. Almonds are finally starting to ripen.

  12. Your quote from Revelation just reminds me of the responsibility of “New Testament” believers. We are to “Shema – hear and obey” the Torah as a way of life and have faith in Yeshua for our salvation. He fulfilled God’s demand for a blood sacrifice which has been a requirement since man sinned in Gan Eden.
    Today I am observing the Shabbat as part of that responsibility.

  13. Spent the week mostly gawking at how fast my buckwheat is growing and working on a plumbing project. I finally figured out why doing plumbing with PVC is so much fun. There are a million ways to accomplish the same thing using all different kinds of fittings, so it’s like Legos for grown ups!

    Got an idiot light for my well hooked up to the front of my shop so I know it’s on. Several times I have left it running when filling the 250 gallon water tank and it ran for 8 hours so now I have a visible reminder that it’s on. If anyone knows of a good brain-transplant doctor, please post his contact information.

    Stocking up on more clothes so I won’t have to use fig leaves post-TEOTWAWKI. The fig tree has 100+ figs coming along so if I can keep Bambi from eating them, it should be a good harvest. Unlike the other fruit trees, they have zero pests other than that one buck in the north pasture.

    Someone gave me a bunch of Delicious apples which I’ve never been too fond of and they don’t make a good pie or crisp so I threw them in the solar dryer. It improved the flavor 100%. I dried a bunch of sliced celery to see what would happen and it turned out great. It even makes a good snack. I’ll see what happens when I use them to make a soup.

    It’s so dry even the plantain is drying up and shriveling. We could sure use some rain and got less than an inch in July. Did some weeding in the garden. The blackberries finally finished so I’ve been pruning out the old vines to make way for the growing new ones.

    If you’ve seen those temperature “guns” they point at your forehead before they let you in the door, avoid those at all costs! What they actually do is erase your memory. I went to the store for some cat food and I came home instead with a gallon of chocolate ice cream and some Thin Mints! The cat said, “Where’s my food?!”

    Everyone have a great week!

    1. Have you ever considered installing a float switch system in your water tank? Would turn it on when low, turn it off when full. Simple system with a stainless or copper float ball and rod. Just a thought, you may be able to find a food-grade plastic ball. There are also electronic fluid level control systems, but that may be a bit of overkill. Puts the system on automatic. You could even tie it in to a running light as you suggested.

  14. This is by far my favorite part of the blog. I love to hear how everyone conquers whatever is before them! I can’t imagine hauling hay and cutting firewood in this heat. UGH!

    Most of us don’t have air conditioning here in nowheresville Idaho because it’s never needed. The heat saps my strength, but I did manage to can about 30 pint jars of apricot, peach, red raspberry, and black cap raspberry jam. I froze a lot of cherries, blueberries, and extra raspberries. The potato plants are getting close to harvest, but I’m saving them for my grandchildren since I don’t think they’ve ever pulled a potato out of the ground before! Planted a few short rows of squash and pumpkin seeds.

    I feel that I’ve finally stocked up enough food and supplies, so I’m just going to stop “stacking it to the rafters” and put my attention elsewhere. Trying to source another freezer, but primarily because I’ve decided to raise my new puppy on a raw diet to see if I can prevent many of the illnesses I’ve seen in my previous German Shepherds.

    Masks… went to a neighboring town and ate in a restaurant with my sister. We didn’t wear masks even tho the local mayor has mandated it because it’s a tourist town. Frankly, we both need the oxygen and masks reduce that by 27% on average. No one said a word to us.

    Regarding the “mark of the Beast”, I recall that my grandparents thought the Social Security number was the mark of the Beast. I read through Revelations again, and Jeremiah, and Daniel and I can’t honestly say I think we are in the End Times. HOWEVER, I feel the spiritual battle in spades and I pray throughout the day. I will resist all unConstitutional and all unBiblical mandates. I know Who my Redeemer is and will rely on God’s leading and His Word. One thing I’m seeing, which is very hopeful, is a Great Awakening across the country – many coming to Christ. The “Church” has been largely, in my opinion, unfaithful to the Word of God, more focused on “social” causes than Truth, and it’s been devastating and painful to see. I pray all come to know Jesus as their Savior and that we can remain Faithful through these hard times.

    Love you all!

    1. SaraSue! You make a great point and offer an excellent reminder about turning to areas of preparedness supplies beyond food once the food stuffs have been filled. We share your hope in a Great Awakening across the country, and see signs of this as well.

  15. We are working in earnest on harvest and preservation, and have a used book title to share with the SB community. It’s called FANCY PANTRY by Helen Witty.


    In addition to what we gather from our own summer garden, we’re planning for fall and winter plants in the garden and greenhouse, ordering lumber supplies for additional raised beds, making decisions about a substantial meat order from a local butcher, and will probably make at least one more significant no-contact curbside purchase of supplemental commercially canned goods.

    We remain deeply concerned by the recent “mystery seeds” (and were on the receiving end of one of these mystery seed packets which we did not order). Tucker Carlson covered the story last night, and suggested that this may have been a test run that may precede a biological attack.

    For a country struggling with SARS-COV-2 and coronavirus, and a population that depends ever more signficantly on mail order supplies (or other no contact delivery), an attack designed to cause fear of package delivery or supply lines generally could be quite devastating (as in “more” devastating than what we have already endured). In addition to the potential risks to life and limb, ranch animals, native crops or the environment generally, such an assault could be the death knell of what remains of our economy.

    From the standpoints of safety, awareness, and preparedness planning, we should also remember that the “mystery seeds” may or may not be the ultimate vehicle for the delivery of harm. In other words, be aware of “mystery seeds” (or anything else you receive by did not order), but increase your level of awareness more broadly. .

    Could such an assault be coming soon? We don’t know, but we wonder given the sum total of recent events, and time proximity to our national elections.

    Related to this… Dr. Li-Meng Yan was interviewed by Steve Bannon. The suggestion that weapons like SARS-COV-2 can be produced in relatively short periods of time (perhaps 6 months).


    We hope all the SB community will remain focused on preparedness, attendant to the news at hand, but not distracted by it.

    Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone.

    1. @ T of A

      I’m fascinated by the whole mystery seeds from China thing. Some were sent to my state as well although as of yet, not to me. It’s a bit of a puzzle. Looking at pics of the seeds, they all seem to be quite different. Could be that some are invasives or contain diseases. I don’t know. Look at what Kudzu did to the south! Or as you say, perhaps it’s a test to see how many people will be willing to open packages sent to them from China that they didn’t order? And what if those packages contained harmful germs ? Send something like this out across the US, enough people open the packages, at least initially, and there you go. There has to be a reason this was done. The cost of shipping all of these alone dictates that someone had to have had a good reason. Unless it’s just some grad student’s research for their Behavioral Psych thesis!

      1. Exactly… I share many of your thoughts too, Ani. The explanation of a brushing scam seems unlikely to me. It could be this, but I sincerely do not think so! In addition to the earlier thoughts, I wonder if they might also have been testing the mechanics of Amazon shopping systems or even US Postal delivery. Enemies of America have weaponized systems within our country against us in the past… This could be happening again. It’s really good that we’re thinking through this as individuals and as a community. Awareness is key to safety and survival.

    2. The “mystery seeds” actually have a pretty simple explanation. The three packets I saw were obviously sunflower seeds, obviously wheat seeds, and the third was small and black, possibly onion seeds. All these are available in bulk and very cheap.

      There’s a technique called “brushing” where a dishonest internet seller sends out very inexpensive items to a zillion people and mark the packages as something valuable like jewelry. Since the packages go to real people at real addresses, it shows up on their website or Amazon as a sell, and they can then go in and write bogus reviews. So between the high sales numbers and all those wonderful reviews, shoppers have false confidence in the products and will buy them. All of us tend to buy the products with the highest rating, best reviews, and lots of buyers as opposed to the similar product that only has 9 sales and 2 reviews. So “brushing” is all about increasing sales with false numbers.

      1. Hello there St Funogas

        I asked this last week, my question is: where did they get people’s addresses from? That’s my main question. I also know exactly what I order and therefore would never open an unsolicited package (especially from a place like China).
        I have heard reports of these packages being received in my state as well .

        My fear is that handling something like this that might be painted with something like anthrax or something nefarious like that really scares me.
        I’m still quarantining all my mail anyway so I have time to check out each envelope or package before opening any of it.
        Is anyone else still doing this?

        My week was good, we finished our deck project (putting latticework all along the Bolton around the deck). This will hopefully cut down on all of the neighbors leaves being blown into our under deck, as well as other garbage, snow Ect.
        Harvesting lots more green beans. Tomatoes are doing much better, I think I was just really impatient with them. I apologized to them and they are growing better now.
        Finally received my new extra freezer that I ordered in March!! If you haven’t ordered appliances that you may need, be prepared for 4-5 months back ordered or possibly even longer!

        Took my favorite kitty to Vets for a checkup on a mass that I found on his left back flank area. They drained some of it but now it’s even bigger. This is not great news as it looks like he might have an aggressive cancer. I have him scheduled for a biopsy next week. This kitty, BeeBoo is my favorite, he let’s me hold him like a baby so this is devastating to me. It happened really fast and although he’s 15 years old I love him like a child (my kids are away at the Marines so the kitties mean a lot to me)
        Lily, I adore the picture of the baby kittens! The little black and white one on the left looks like my BeeBoo so thank you for making me smile today 🙂

        I’m about done with the whole mask thing too (I feel like I’m going to suffocate wearing one). I do wear them at Mom and Dads to protect them. So far my County only has 125 cases and none at all in my town.
        I have had it with all of these rioters too. If they hate this Country so much and everything we stand for they should just leave and go see how they like it in like ohhh China or Russia or Venezuela or something.

        Thinking of you all

        Have a Rockin great day!

        1. RKRGRL68:

          The reports I saw online stated that the people who received seeds had used Paypal to purchase other, nonseed items online weeks before they received seeds.I am wondering if Paypal was hacked or compromised in some way. I am currently in semi rural state heart of soybean country. Seeds received in Oregon were determined to be amaranth seeds by Agriculture Dept. Amaranth is extremely destructive to soybeans and will destroy an entire crop.

          1. Kate,

            Thank you, this is great information.
            Looks like the Chinese are pulling out all the stops to try and capture us under their evil ways.
            One of many reasons why I have never participated in any sort of social media.
            This reminds us all to slow down and be really careful and cautious about what we do online.

            Rock on

        2. Interesting re: Paypal, and we have used Paypal for other purposes, but not to purchase any seeds, and not associated with Amazon. I can say this with absolute certainty because our Paypal account has a very specific application and use for us.

          Seymour Liberty asks a great follow up question about whether or not contact information is being sold to someone connected to China? Another possibility for sure, although the address at which we received the seeds — in our case — is not tied to the address used for our Paypal account.

          We don’t know how they got our address, although we are curious. No question about that!

          RKRGRL68 asked about whether or not anyone was quarantining mail, and we definitely are doing just that. Absolutely and in every case. We quarantine all mail (envelopes and boxes alike). We also use a UV wand and other disinfectants. It may sound extreme, but we’re taking no chances!

        3. Hey RKRGRK68, unfortunately, our addresses and tons of other information are out there for anyone to access. There are multiple ways people can get that info. Below is a link I use to track old friends down and when you type in your name, you’ll be amazed at what comes up.


          Best wishes for BeeBoo and I hope he has a speedy recovery. 🙂

          1. Well, that was disconcerting. When I typed in my full name, it brought up not only my current address, but every permanent address I’ve held for the last 25 years.

  16. Greetings from a flyover state!
    This week the garden has been my main focus- canning, dehydrating, freezing, etc.
    My DS who just moved onto our property wanted to learn how to butcher chickens so we held class! Someone gifted me with 2 young but HUGE roosters so we each processed one. Together they weight ching ed over 15# dressed and skinned!
    Someone gifted me 10 dozen canning jars- can never have too many.

    This morning I made a trip to a Bishop’s Storehouse, a Mormon church h business that sense long term food. I picked up 150# of wheat berries for only $90. Wal-Mart wanted $124/ 50#. If you have never Eric been to one of these storehouse, YOU REALLY SHOULD GO! They are small (This was 25×40) but had pallets of food with a 30 year shelf life.

    I also picked up 13 dozen canning lids for $20. Wal-Mart sells them for $2-3/dozen (Craig’slist)

    Dana Coverstone has another YouTube video on his latest dream…. only time will tell if these were prophetic dreams or indigestion.

    Thankful for JWR and AL and all who have been posting on SB. It helps keep me focused, grounded, and headed in the right direction.

    1. LOL,

      On your comment about Dana Coverstone. I’ve watched each of his last three or four videos. Time shall tell. In the meantime, because so many are having similar dreams and words, and I from reading the scriptures and watching the news and others who are digging deep feel like we are very close to the days of the Lord’s return. I feel we are within eight years of His return. It is prudent to continue getting ready, physically and spiritually. It is prudent to warn others, to prepare before it is too late to prepare…

      May you be very blessed,


    1. I just watched Boris Johnson’s speech via the link you provided. I’m a bit surprised at him “spilling the beans” on this technology, but then again on the other hand I’m not surprised. A contradiction, I know — that’s life in these end times. I should point out that the video was and edited down version of the full speech. His full speech was just over 16 minutes and I’m posting a link to his full unedited speech:


      One phrase of his was: “We need to find the right balance between freedom and control.” Hmm. Sounds fishy doesn’t it? Another phrase “… common set of global principles to shape the norms …” Yep, trouble is on the way. Actually it’s been on the way for some time, it’s just getting a bit deeper.

  17. Avalanche Lily, I am so glad you are feeling better! I also think your frozen raspberry water idea sounds delicious!

    The mind-numbing harvesting of currant berries and chokecherries continues here. It requires the dexterity of Tinkerbell and the patience of saint. Every couple days, a few more bags of berries go into the freezer. At the end of the harvest, I will cook them down and start making jelly and syrup.

    It is approaching full moon and is now time to introduce our new bull to the cow we plan to breed. If the breeding patch doesn’t indicate a successful mount by the bull, then we will try again at the full moon in September. We also got a call from a friend who told us of a couple he knows who are interested in breeding the same type of cattle we raise. As it turned out, we know this couple very well and just adore them! We have participated with them on several fundraising events in support of specific Christian interests in our community. We are so excited about the possibility of coordinating with another small operation to ensure we all get the best possible blood lines and genetic variety in our herds, and it will be a blessing to work with others who are like minded. G*d’s hand is at work in Montana, for sure.

    I am also excited that my best friend’s oldest son may come to stay with us for a month. He has been socially distancing and working from home, and is now planning to work here instead. His mother and I are childhood friends and like sisters. She would come stay with me almost every summer as the kids were growing up, and her husband would join us as his work schedule permitted. The children, all adults now, agree their childhood summers were full of so many happy memories. We certainly all had a lot of fun. The oldest son has a deep love of, and interest in, all things natural and wild. He has always been fascinated by my gardens and the things I harvested and made. (I had a sweet and lush little garden in my previous Southern location). He now wants to come here and spend all his free time taking care of livestock, going fishing, and cooking over a fire. My hope is that I can introduce him to more aspects of self sufficiency while he is here. And maybe, just maybe, convince him and the rest of his family to leave their urban Southern locale and move here. I worry they are not going to be safe in the days to come…

  18. Finally got home after a couple of weeks on the road. My job is allowing some limited travel again, though that may close down in the event of a significant resurgence in COVID. This is good, in that I make more money on the road, but bad in that it takes me away from home.

    Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had 2 clutches hatch, both from first-time brooders. This, in addition to an earlier clutch from a second-time brood hen, essentially doubled our flock. I’ll likely be culling any excess roosters this fall, which will mean learning a new skill.

    Our garden continues with mostly good results, with okra, green beans, and tomatoes, the latter giving their best performance since we moved here. Sweet potatoes are also looking very promising, Our herbs are doing well also. My Lady dried several batches of basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme (no parsley) today, some of which will be gifted to relatives this Christmas. The carrots and potatoes did ok, and I’ve put in a second batch. The corn and squash have been disappointing, but I’ve put in a second and third round of corn, so we’ll see how those turn out. The vineyard has several clusters of muscadines and scuppernongs which are ripening and will result in a lot of jelly making (more Christmas gifts) later this month. The persimmon trees are showing fruit, but it will probably be a couple of weeks before the fruit starts dropping.

    We used some of the additional income to make a couple of purchases, including a small battery operated chain saw and a gas grill. The saw will be for my Lady to use if necessary while I’m away…the big one is a bit much for her to handle. Although when it comes to grilling I’m a strong proponent of charcoal, the gas grill will give us yet another food preparation alternative in the event of a power loss, particularly since we’re going into hurricane season. In addition, my Lady found a store selling seconds and returns on small items such as glass bottles, jars, etc. for very low prices. Finally considering the times, i put in an order on some body armor and took delivery of some PMs.

    We visited the local farmer’s market. While there, we spoke with a local pork and beef farmer, who discussed the shortages. The problem is less a matter of product, and more a lack of processors available, primarily due to large processors shutting down or reducing capacity due to COVID. This requires producers to maintain their stock longer, driving up costs. So we’re continuing to slowly build our meat storage. As this continues, I believe we’ll continue to see lower availability of meat, and probably other food, in addition to increased costs. I fear we’ll be in for an interesting fall folks.

  19. garden seeds are in short supply. get what you can. don’t forget to stock up on first aid supplies. 1 box of 50, 4×4 gauze pads does not go very far, when you have a large wound and have to change dressings daily. your local farm co op has a lot of supplies that are needed. water tanks, live traps, etc

  20. It’s a challenging time for us. The wife finally is on board with me on all of this and we are furiously trying to pack up and get out of our nanny state. Heading to somewhere in the redoubt. But it’s a challenge with 2 small children and leaving a quite good job.

    Any advice on pulling up stakes and moving with kiddos? And how to find that ever elusive community of like minded folks?

    Thanks for the encouragement you all provide through your updates. Makes me hope we can actually do this…God willing!

    1. It’s tough to leave the “golden handcuffs” of a good job. And, of course, moving is always stressful for the family.

      I did what you are about to do. Just myself and my child. Some things that worked for me:

      1. Pack carefully. Plan to have just the bare minimums of daily life with you for a while. Put everything else into storage for now.

      2. Rent (or any other temporary housing situation)z This allows you time to get your bearings. While renting, explore the area and ask people questions about different regions. I especially recommend picking the brain of local law enforcement officers. Be open and be willing to change your mind. The area your heart is set on might not be quite as perfect as you initially think….

      3. Get a pet for your children upon arriving at the new location. This may be more stressful for you, but a pet is something positive for them to focus on, it is a built in “friend” when they have left all their friends behind, and it is a source of constant affection and happiness when things seem a little scary. Even a bunny or a guinea pig will make for happier days for children. Bonus: They will learn responsibility while caring for their pet.

      4. Even though it seems that you have a million things to do and a garage full of boxes to unpack, force yourself to spend one day a week doing something fun with the family and exploring your new location.

      5. Any job you get will help you to start meeting people. Once you start building a network of friends, things get easier.

      6. Don’t wait for people to introduce themselves to you. Folks here are a bit more stand-off-ish. Show up, be polite and friendly, and say “hi” to them.

      7. Pray a lot. 😉 It wasn’t easy, at least for me. But a decade later, my move to Montana ranks up there in the top 5 best decisions of my life, after 1) my faith, 2) marrying my husband, 3) having my child, and 4) becoming a health care professional.

      1. Thank you! While some of this I was thinking on, you added much more that will be really helpful! As always, step 7 (prayer) is the most important reminder…there’s always room for more.

    2. Congratulations on getting your wife on board with you! GritsInMontana gave some excellent ideas and I will have to second the idea of “picking the brain of local law enforcement officers.” I thought of that even before I read her comments. Item #7 on her list is definitely one to NOT overlook when planning your move.

      I’m posting a link to the last Presidential Election Results by state:
      The reason I’m including it is that you can click on the individual states and see the results by county and find the most conservative counties in the state. For example if you click on the state of Idaho a pop-up information box will show the stats for that state and if you click on “Idaho” in the upper left pop-up you will be taken to the county results. Notice there are two blue or liberal counties in Idaho. You can further click on each county and see the stats for that county and help locate the “reddest” counties. Some counties are very close to a tie so I would pass by those counties as they are more likely to have some of the same problems as the metro areas do. Boundary County, which borders Canada had 73.6% vote for Trump, which is fairly conservative, compared to my home county of 63.6% here in Minnesota. I have a friend who lives in Boundary County, Idaho.

      Something else you might want to consider is visiting some country Christian Churches and talking with the pastor, deacons, etc. and explain your intention of moving. Hear them out on what they have to say, but as always, be careful on what you say/don’t say as I’ve been in some situations that even churchgoers can be gossipers, motormouths and in general feeding a “grapevine”. OPSEC!

      And lastly I will again agree with GritsInMontana item #7. Don’t leave “home” with out it.

      Good luck and God bless,

      1. @ David

        Thank you for the link to the state/county election results! Confirmed how hopeless my state is although also why living up here in the far north feels better(for me) than the rest of the state. Other than 1 county which went for Trump, every other county in the state is “blue”. Some up here were pretty closely tied though so that’s a whole lot better than the rest of the state which is heavily hopelessly liberal.

      2. D’n’G

        Thanks for that link. What a great resource. And the thoughts of polling both local PD and pastors. Hadn’t considered either of those things as a “pre-move” technique. Thank you!

  21. Young children are very perceptive and will pick up on things easily, such as adults being worried and/or stressed out. Explain in simple language that they will soon have a new place to live, see new things, etc. Present the move as a fun adventure. Stay positive when speaking to them. Allow them to pick a couple of favorite toys to take with them in the car, as well as their favorite snacks. Before the move, show them pictures of interesting things they will see along the way and converse with them about what they will or might see. Ask questions geared to their age. Example: Do you think it will be more fun to see a lot of cows or see a lot of horses along the road?

  22. Hi from Nebr, 1st time posting but been following SB for 4 1/2 years. I come here from my daily dose of common sense & to see that I’m not alone. Great group here Thanks Jim & Lily!

    Youngest daughter and her 8 year old and almost 5 year old twins have been here from Texas since the 1st of July. Needed to get out of the city and back to the farm. Not used to cooking for 6 people. They usually come in June so kids finally got to eat corn on the cob! As for corn, froze 12 gallons this week with more to come.

    Rest of garden is doing good except lost the peas in a week of heat and wind. We did get rain this week, have 3 rain gauges 1/2 mile apart from each other. One said .90, the next .70 and the last 1.20.

    Went to the county fair this morning to watch oldest Grandaughter play mud volleyball, good thing they didn’t plan on picking Zucchini after they were done. There were still kids showing livestock, down on pigs but up on bucket calves. We got 5 calves last month from a local dairy at $20 each, last year paid $60. Seen a few people wearing masks. We will see in a few weeks as Covid rates will go up. Nebraska has still been a free state during all of this.

  23. Biggest thing for prepping here is the Primary Election. Gun stores still sold out. Ballots getting sent in, and by this time next week I’ll know if I’ll be going to the final round.

    Got our Troy built Horse back from the shop. Learned that the old models with the screw on the bottom of the carburetor are far superior to newer models without the screw. Something to look for.

    Helped a new gunner last week get water tanks and placed her orders, and a set of radios. Good feeling to have the LMP crowd increase.

    Found 300AAC BO ammo at Cheaper Than Dirt.

    1. It is noteworthy that Troy-Bilt has used a half-dozen different subcontracted engine models for their Horse model over the years. My ONLY problems with my Troy-Bilt have been with the engine. The rest of their tilling machine is over-engineered and VERY sturdy and reliable.

  24. Doing lots of canning and dehydrating over here.

    I didn’t grow, but bought cantaloupe on sale for .67 each and made Salted Cantaloupe Jam. Yum!

    I’m in the Gulf Coast and it hasn’t stopped raining! I need to prep the beds for fall garden and hubs needs to mow the property. So.much.rain. Even the mud is growing mold!

    I am nursing a sick 4 yr old hen. I can’t visibly see what’s wrong.( I’ve done all the research).
    She just lays down. I spoon feed her water and she does eat a bit. Poo is normal. Treating her for impacted egg, but not sure that’s the problem. If it’s her time, at least her last days were in a cozy air-conditioned room being spoon fed water and mealworms. And lots of sweet talk.

  25. Please reconsider feeding your kittens raw eggs. The yolks are fine, but the raw whites contain a protein which interferes with the ability to absorb biotin. The vitamin E in the yolk is excellent to supplement the tuna you give them as that fish doesn’t provide enough of that fat soluble vitamin. The photo of your baby cats is captivating.

    I loved scanning the comments and the treasures of ideas and information shared so generously made my morning.

  26. I missed the last update….had to make a trip to Arkansas to check on my mother, who was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Made it there before they went to a mandated mask ordnance.

    We’ve been in the midst of a car repair pandemic of our own. It seems like all of them needed some work done at the same time! It’s aggravating having to do it, but I remind myself that it’s still better than making car payments.

    We had some really hard rain here last week, and it exposed a leak by the back door, so up I went to nail the shingles down again.

    We’re expecting the lockdowns to happen again before the election, so we’re stocking the pantry even deeper than before. The lockdown at the beginning of the year exposed some deficiencies, and we’re working to rectify those. I’ve also been reloading and shooting a lot more, and the grandgirls have been hard at it with their bows and arrows.

    I’ve spoken to people at the local gun shops, and things have not slowed down. I’m on the wait list with many of them for more primers. Guns are still trickling in, but many of the distributors are out of stock. Ammo is almost nonexistent, and even the online sources are drying up. One that I’ve always been able to get ammo from is out of 9mm, 38 Special, 40 S&W, and 45ACP. Reloading supplies are difficult to find, but not impossible. One shop had just gotten in a large supply of powder, but no primers or bullets.

    (An FYI: for those who served and have a DD214, Glock is doing a Salute to Veterans with their Blue Line Program. Until Veterans Day, you can pick up a new Glock pistol under the Blue Line Program for a substantial savings. Make sure your local gun shop is participating in the program. They keep those separate from the regular stock.)

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