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:

The High Summer flurry of activity at the Rawles Ranch is continuing. The weather has mostly been dry, so we’ve had to resort to doing some watering of fruit and ornamental trees. We’ve also have been watering the wood lots around the house and guest cabin to lessen potential forest fire hazards.

With God’s Providence, plenty of hard work, and some well-aged manure, Lily’s gardens have been producing in tremendous abundance. We feel blessed to have those gardens and I feel blessed to have Lily as my wife for life.

This week I concentrated on some more firewood log gang cutting, chucking, and splitting the larger rounds. I’m now nearly done with this for the year. Our daughters have done an admirable job of getting all that wood stacked. Meanwhile, I’m trying to keep up with the blog and handle my mailorder business. Miss Eloise has been handling most of the order padding and packing. And our younger daughter has been photographing the guns.

I’ve been very busy writing descriptions for cataloging the new items (like this rare gem), cropping gun photographs, and taking orders for Elk Creek Company. I’m seeking quality pre-1899 gun inventory as quickly as I can, but I’m not keeping up with the demand. At the current rate, I will be nearly out of stock before the November election.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have travel planned for the month of September. This trip is in part to gather inventory. Therefore, I will be temporarily putting Elk Creek Company on hiatus. So if you’d like to place an order, then please get your order in by this coming Wednesday, August 26th. The order-taking hiatus begins on August 27, 2020, Thanks!

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

Hmmm, it’s hard to remember what I’ve done in a week if I don’t write it down, as I do it. So much happens here in a week.  I pretty much tell you about the prepping things that I do, and that of course doesn’t include all of the regular house upkeep activities such as cooking, vacuuming, floor washing, laundry, dishes, washing canning jars in preparation for canning, etc. Dishes!  I do so many dishes! The girls do too.

Anyhow, this week, I pressure canned another 2 batches of ground beef and stew beef.

I picked another large quanity of our own raspberries. Those I froze and dehydrated.

I pruned out the spent black raspberry canes.  There are still a few left with ripening raspberries on them.

The girls and I spent a good portion of a day blueberry picking with some friends at a local “U-Pick”.  We picked around thirty pounds. I dehydrated some, made syrup, and froze about two gallons.

I picked a large quantity of French green beans and yellow beans from my garden, blanched and froze them, and I also weeded the French beans.

I harvested nearly twenty pounds of volunteer potatoes, from the overwintering experiment bed from two winters ago, mostly banana fingerlings.

I dehydrated and froze a big batch of zuchs.

I am totally enjoying the work of preserving our own food.

Last week, I cleaned up some beds in the greenhouse and while doing so saved seed fronds from lettuce, beet and dill and some other plants.  I well-watered the remaining plants in the beds. The beets had been planted last fall, had overwintered in the beds and had gone to seed.  This week as I went to pull some newly growing weeds in that bed, I saw beet seedlings growing!!!  They had dropped some of their seeds from the flowering fronds. This means that for the first time ever, I grew and harvested my own viable beet seeds!  Yeah, I am so excited!

The farrier came and trimmed the hooves of our horses.

We received an order from an Organic food company of a hundred pounds of Red and Yukon gold potatoes, and mixed fingerling potatoes.  About half of each kind of potato are being put away as seed potatoes, while the rest will be eaten during the winter. Now, I am feeling fairly comfortable with our potato situation. We will eat our own potatoes first.  Those we bought are back up, just in case we need to eat more than we harvested. If we don’t eat them, then they will be seed potatoes. We also received a bunch of essential oils, some seasonings, Sweet potatoes, coconut milk, mangoes, a case of naval oranges (which we juice), and two cases of peaches.

I received another batch of meat chicken eggs from our friend which are currently incubating in Miss Violet’s bathroom.  All seems to be going well with the chicks’ development.  I’m praying for a much better hatch rate this time.

Meat chicks and “mom” are doing well, though, we lost one –to what, we don’t know.  I do suspect that perhaps a weasel squeezed in and got it.  After finding no trace of the chick, I made sure the door hatch to the chicken run was completely closed and that all other areas of the coop were vermin free.  It’s been about seven days since then, and I haven’t lost another, sooo…

I did a lot of tidying and organizing of the Main garden area, putting away tools, trays and buckets, collecting seeds from plants I was drying out on the garden porch, more turnip and Shepherd’s Purse, and organizing the inside of our house. I harvested seed branches from a large number of Lamb’s Quarter plants. I am drying these out and will spread the seeds deliberately around the ranch and in a garden row next summer.

I defrosted the propane freezer and washed it out well.

We had some store-bought fish, our own turkey and chicken, still in there, and two cow hearts and livers (sitting in the freezer for about two years that we never ate.) Therefore Jim made the executive decision to thaw out the fish, cow hearts and livers, and then cook them up and reseal them in small vacuum-packed bags (with our trusty 31-year old Foodsaver) and refreeze them — for use as cat food.  The cats love it.

The Unnamed River’s water level has dropped now and our cows stepped into the river and walked around the end of the fence line in the shallows and went into our neighbor’s meadow.  Grrr! Usually, the river is very deep and is a perfect boundary fence until the late summer.  Thankfully, their meadow is also fenced.  But if they actually crossed the river…They never have, yet…We won’t think about that…   We have such Bovine Delinquents!

So I went and erected a hog panel over the on-purpose gap in the fence into the meadow and then I closed another gate that goes into that meadow.  The cows (and horses) are now locked out of that small meadow section until the river depth rises again. (That is the norm for our river, when the fall rains return.)

As was already mentioned, the girls continued to stack wood for Jim, take photographs of newly-arrived antique guns, and package them to be mailed or shipped.  Additionally, they have been sent out on manure patrol this week, cleaning up the loafing areas.

We all went swimming numerous times. I also did the kickboard workout.

We rode our mountain bikes around the ranch.

One day, the girls invited a friend over and went for a hike in the morning, a swim in the early afternoon and then a trail ride in the afternoon with the horses.

I spent several early mornings studying the scriptures with KJV+ e-Sword.  I studied Chapters 1-2 in Leviticus and Chapter 1 in Deuteronomy and Psalm 1.  I love reading the scriptures and then looking up the Strong’s Hebrew translation for the words I don’t yet know. I’ve also spent some time in the New Testament looking up a few of the Greek words.  e-Sword also includes a scripture comparison for certain words and parts of a verse that occur in other books of the Bible. I also very much enjoy comparing the scriptures with other ones though out the Bible.  That is a deeply rich experience, indeed.  I love it. I am currently listening through YouTube the book of Mark.

The news this week has been very upsetting on numerous fronts. The New Zealand and Australian news is particularly upsetting. Those two countries are the beta testing countries, testing their population to see how they react before unleashing similar new laws on the USA. Some of the executive decisions: prison for any who refuse the vaccine, and new laws outlawing bartering in New Zealand.  Melbourne, Australia law enforcement behaving worse towards the populace than the Gestapo in Germany during WWII.  Meanwhile, here In the USA: Schools calling CPS on parents whose children miss the Zoom Classes during the Lock down in April and May, or didn’t hand in on-line homework.  The control that is being exercised is exactly that which the books, Brave New World, 1984 and Animal Farm were all about.  Doesn’t the general public see this?  Where is the outcry? It is really upsetting to me.

My prayer: Hide me oh Lord God underneath your wings.  Make us invisible from those bent on harm. May we escape all things.  Keep us safe in you. Keep our enemies and those who hate us far from us. Please hide all of our Readers, in You.  Provide for us all things.  We trust only in you!

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. Wow, surely that’s a great feeling, to continue to be seeing great results of your hard work in the gardens and woods and all around the ranch. You all stay so busy indeed and continue to inspire all of us! And I definitely definitely empathize with eternal dishwashing. LOL. Eagerly awaiting the day the kids are old enough to be of (substantial) assistance with that.

    No big projects this week, just lots of little things and caring for my humans. Still trying to get everyone back onto a workable schedule whilst my own sleep continues to be horribly disordered. I already know that we’ll be moving lunch time earlier (to fit in between Bible lesson and therapy) and probably at least two littles are ready to give up their naps…eeek! Husband had computer issues all week and spent several days unable to work, so more kitchen time for me was the silver lining. Experimented with a few new recipes. Snickerdoodle hummus was very rich and most of us liked it. Some of the ingredients won’t be long-term stable like the dried chickpeas are, but it’s another way to get protein in them, and maybe I can tweak it. Made a Greek lunch (homemade pita, garlic hummus, and tzatziki [from homemade yogurt also]) and orange-chocolate truffles for family members celebrating their upwards-of-golden anniversary, because I know they miss going out to restaurants. And one of the days, the children were driving me absolutely bonkers so I just declared a moratorium on life and retreated to the kitchen to make a chocolate custard pie. 😛 Sometimes you just gotta!

    The bed frames were assembled and moved into the kids’ rooms and the new sheets placed on them. Haven’t cut up the old ones yet but did find a recipe for the sanitizing solution. I plan to scavenge the wooden slats from the old box spring, and the metal from the old frame (sprayed with rustoleum) might make a good support for climbing plants. Bought a couple more gallon glass jars for storing bulk kitchen items, and a couple more latching plastic bins in the continual effort to neatly corral toys and art supplies. Noticed that the rice I’d ordered with the rest of the groceries was unavailable, not even replaced with a substitute item. (Did we talk about flooding in China and rice shortages here on SB, or am I thinking somewhere else?) Still awaiting the arrival of the oxygen absorbers. Called a few bakeries to try to get plastic food-grade buckets; some don’t use them, but some took my number and will call when they have empties.

    Had appointment for Eldest for final fitting of his new compression orthoses, ankle-foot orthotics, and shoes. Now trying to get him (and his father) back into the routine of all of those things. As in…do not lay down for a nap in them, actually communicate if they are hurting you, etc etc. Need to determine along with PT whether lift must be built into one of the shoes. I honestly do not know what we would do about medical devices custom-made with high-tech materials in a TEOTWAWKI scenario, but it crosses my mind! School starts for him on Monday so we had virtual Open House with the head of the school and then his teacher, both of whom we are very grateful for. This school sees every child as made in the image of God, and the things they can do with adaptive technology and integrated therapies continue to blow my mind after five years.

    Went with husband to vote, in person. The building was deserted midafternoon and they had taken some good safety/distancing precautions. Did you know that electronic signature pads will register cotton swabs just like a stylus? Voters got to keep the ball-point pen we’d used, instead of returning it to the jar for the next person. In the car on the way home, I wisecracked that, wait, I shouldn’t have taken it, it was probably coated in some mind-control substance or had a nano-camera in it or something…husband smirked at me and said now I knew why he’d brought his own! Since covid cases continue to be reported in high numbers, some family members were very concerned about us not voting by mail (and are now isolating from us for two weeks), but I asked them to please let me know when they tried to convince my combat vet that voting was too dangerous, so I could make some popcorn to watch… Seriously I am grateful that both options are available, so that each person can choose the best course for themselves.

    Some family members finally purchased a new car after discussing it for a long time, and passed on their other one to us since it’s newer than what we have. (I was out of that loop—I only said thank you! I don’t really want to get used to a different vehicle, but I am grateful for their thoughtfulness.) So I’ve made arrangements to give my current one to a young family friend who is working her butt off to get through school while also caring for a family member with health issues. It’s not new or fancy, but it’s gotten me around all right for 10+ years, and their household really needs a second car to get everyone to work. My mechanic has daughters her age so I’ll have him give it a good Dad Once-Over, and then I’ll meet her at the county office to deal with the title and tag transfers. These appointments will probably trigger an extension of the grandparents’ isolating from us, but cannot be done online.

    Next thing to address supply-wise is bolstering the first aid cabinet. I sliced my finger pretty deep being foolishly careless (with a bread knife, of all the things), and Eldest kicked Firstborn quite hard in the arm, and both times I ran out of what I needed too soon. He’ll be all right, it’s not broken, just severely bruised. He says he doesn’t want to go to urgent care for an Xray. We did ice immediately, and arnica and magnets and tylenol and etc etc. I was quite frustrated with myself for not being better prepared, and realized immediately that we won’t always have a drugstore 3min away. But I did also realize why this had happened. Not very long ago, I had a tube-fed child, so we got monthly supply shipments and there were many cabinets and drawers full. Also three of the children had five surgeries between them in the span of 16 months. I’d also kept anything left over from my midwife’s kits from three home births in <5 years. I could immediately put my hands on anything I needed to change a surgical dressing or a G-tube button or whatever, and take care of it right on the bed or coffee table. We've moved out of that land for now though, and I guess I decluttered too thoroughly and got complacent, still thinking “oh it's in the supply closet!” Nope. Not anymore. Time to restock!

    Finally, two songs to share. Reading the news is indeed troubling and I've had to step away from it a few days this week. Here is a call to perseverance in faith by a Gospel artist who doesn't pull any punches. The first time I heard it I stopped what I was doing and said “whoa, we have to play this again!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onNPKbOn8uU

    And on a lighthearted note, if you've ever been teased about your Tinfoil Hat by friends or family, this <2 minutes of absolute silliness is for you! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFNO2sSW-mU

    Have a good week, friends. Peace be with you.

  2. Mr. Rawles and Avalanche Lily – your productivity is inspiring. I have a severe dislike of weasels and understand well how much damage they can do. Our neighbors had woods bordering their house and close to their chicken coop, along with some older wood piles, etc. A weasel would visit at night, find an opening and tear out the throats of several chickens before eating a small piece of a carcase. Hard to find, hard to trap. They don’t show themselves during the day. Our property was cleared for 50-100 yards in any direction so I suspect owls, cats and coyotes kept them at bay and we never had a problem. Other threats to chickens and young turkey were un-managed family dogs, coyotes and hawks and I shall remain quiet about how people in our area dealt with them.

    We are heading up ro Missouri this morning to look at a small hobby farm. The good – 5 acres, small neat home, a few outbuildings, greenhouse with wood heat, large commercial scale garden area where organic crops are grown, large canning shed with power. A few acres of open field. No covenants or restrictions. The bad (potentially) – on city water and sewer, close to a quiet neighborhood road, not much room if my young adult kids want to stay with us for a while . Space to park a large camper under cover with a power hookup might solve the living space problem. Other houses nearby are subject to C&Rs and that can make for some problems. At first glance it is probably overpriced but the owners have done a nice job on overall upkeep. So the visit tomorrow should be interesting plus maybe we can see our daughter who just started college nearby and is a little homesick.

    Prepping – still canning meat. I will most likely stop by Costco on the way back home to buy a load of rice, pasta, cereals and other bulk packed items. Ammo is sparse but we are finding it.

    We are also buying fresh, large packages of trail mix (no peanuts) and vacuum sealing it in Ball jars. It’s packed with healthy calories, carbs, fats and protein for quick energy. A handful can also be added to oatmeal or cereal, or added to salads and breads. From package to jars takes 1-2 minutes. Should last for 1-2 years this way. This can be purchased online or locally, organic or non-organic. When there’s not much spare time to get stuff done something this easy eliminates excuses.

    Added to my list this week was coffee (freeze dried packages), more olive and coconut oil and certain canned products in case lots. Will buy as I can spare the money.

    One more item I am considering adding in quantity is supplements. They have made a huge difference in my life and I often forget that eating stored foods may require a good supply of high quality vitamins, etc. I also take a trio of natural anti inflammatory supplements that have helped to eliminate chronic pain from an old injury and I’m calculating the cost of a year’s supply.

    Have a great week everyone. PS – those of you struggling with health have been in my prayers!

    1. I’ve been looking at property in Missouri myself. Looks like I won’t get there probably 6 months to a year from now. I’ll be leaving a northeast nanny state.

  3. Still struggling from effects of falling off my crocs last week; I still have pain but the swelling is beginning to go down; maybe I’ll put real shoes on in a couple of days. Got a shower stool so I wouldn’t topple over in the shower- that would really be embarrassing!! This has really slowed me down; next week has got to be better!

    Working in one-hour (then resting 30-min) time frames, managed to prepare veges for dehydrating. Did 6 trays of Brussels sprouts, 4 trays of spinach, 2 trays of celery and 5 trays of jalapenos. Put some chuck roasts in the crockpot and made some beef stew with potatoes and carrots from the garden; then PC’d the roast left-overs w/o veges. I prefer to can single items b/c my experience has been meat and veges last longer when PC’d separately.

    On Thursday I canned kale; the prep took a while as I was still in the “work a little, rest a little” mode. Today I’m PC’ing ten pds of chicken. I still have hamburger to do, but things are taking much longer now because of my injury. I regret not adding a water line for a stove pot-filler faucet when I refurbed the kitchen years back; it would be so much easier than carrying pots to and from the sink. When you’re healthy you don’t foresee times when you are injured.

    I read an article on Natural News about some of the toxic ingredients in prepared long term food items. I am so happy I rarely store ‘premixed’ meals; but I do have some MREs and a 72-hour emergency meal bucket. I store mostly raw ingredients such as (red and white) whole wheat, rice, sugar, oats, barley, millet, beans and non-GMO corn. I do have a bucket or two of ground white wheat flour and ground corn meal but they are packed in sealed mylar bags with bay leaves and O2 absorbers and gamma lids on the buckets.

    I don’t know how your locations are doing but all stores within 3 hours of me are sold out of canning jars of any size. Found some online, but had to pay for shipping for 5 dz quart jars. The company was only selling limited amounts to existing customers. About 9 years ago I bought a pallet of cases from this company but those lots are now out of stock with no known restocking date.

    Natural News posted a 1 hour movie/video on the Plandemic. It begins by quoting US law code saying a natural virus or bacteria/germ which originates in nature CANNOT BE patented; but, goes on to state that any lab manufactured virus/germ, medicine, vaccine, or preventative CAN BE patented. Guess who OWNS the patents for coronavirus, SARS, SARS2, vaccines and preventatives for these viruses? So tell me again COVID was not created in a lab!?! Bill Gates, Dr Tony Fauci, the CDC, and a couple of pharmaceutical companies own patents on these viruses. While the COVID19 virus appears to be a real health threat, the rest of the story is somewhat sketchy. Just how did Bill Gates know many years ahead of time that a virus would shut down the earth? Why did he invest $1.5 billion in a specific vaccine development before the disease surfaced? How did the Gates sponsored Event 201, pre-plan the exact situation we find our country in right now? Why are our NIH, CDC, pharmaceutical companies and the WHO pushing vaccines? https://brlghteon.com/d6412bff-0421-4190-a7bf-3e5e1f52559d

    May your week be safe and productive!

    1. re:
      instant medical experts Bill (not M.D.) and MeLinda (also not M.D.) Gates, Fauci

      Some folks participate in university medicine studies for years, then apprentice and practice the healing arts for many more years… and still feel they have much more to learn.

      And some folks get limited experience in a limited area, then assure everybody their one skill transfers to every other area.
      Because expert.

      Wife of computer huxter promises everybody her one-size-fits-all cure is The! Only! Cure!.

      I, however, remain dubious.

  4. Came home Monday evening to see one of my hens dead on the side of the road. All I could think of is why did the chicken cross the road?! Went through my spare Coleman stove and lantern replacement parts. I had been storing those in the original packaging but it was taking extra space and I had them all in a medium size tote. I got a Plano Tackle box at an auction and decided to use it to organize and store these parts. So I took many of the spare parts out of their packaging and placed them in the tackle box. Some I just cut the excess packaging off. Then it dawned on me, I have to have another stash somewhere since I only could find one spare pump assembly. I had a half dozen pump re-build kits but only one extra whole pump assembly which I know can NOT be. So now the hunt is on for where the other Coleman parts are. I also had to label each stove generator with what model(s) of stove they fit. Was able to find and buy 3, 2x6x8 pressure treated boards for the bottom of the grain bin I’m building. Started the grain bin build on Wednesday evening- put down some gravel, leveled it and tamped it. Then finished the bottom of the bin and then on Friday I built the back wall and stained What I had done so far since when it is finished I won’t be able to stain the back. We had electric run from the house to both barns so no more running the new barn on a generator. I tried a can of rustoleum Rust Reformer on the old hay rake I bought. I was given a free spray can of it by the small tractor repair shop where I ordered a 8oz can from. The owner said try it and let him know what I think, he may carry it in his store. I’m cautiously optimistic. Friday night after watering the garden I was getting ready to shut the barn up when I looked down and saw my tangled ball of 550 parachute cord that I had started to put on a plastic spool. I was going to wait until winter to finish untangling it but I was feeling compelled to finish it. Picked it up and in 20 minutes it was all on the new spool.

    Two weeks ago my prepper friend found an old water heater at the flea market. Large copper coil and heated by a flame at the bottom of the coil. I offered him $20 (he paid $5) and then this week I offered him 2 ounces of silver for it. He hasn’t bit. . . Yet.

    With precious metals being up my wife went through her jewelry to see what she could get rid of. Lots of scrap, like only one ear ring, or just the backing, but found a few pieces that she is going to sell for the collector value, like a Tiffany ring.

    Picked up the meat we won from a raffle one of the local volunteer fire departments did. I also got a Lowe’s gift card for $275 (for a freezer). I won’t be using it for a freezer however since we don’t need one. Nice to have our freezer stocked now for essentially $20, the costs of the two tickets I bought. But then they hit me up for $20 for their grocery raffle and I felt obligated having won. We are still ahead! Being good at statistics I don’t normally gamble (which I see raffles as) but for charity I make an occasional exception.

    Purchases of equipment and supplies this week included buying 3 copies of Popular Science. One from 1939, one from 1943 and one from 1945. I find old copies of magazines like Popular Mechanics and Science very useful since they have low tech projects in them. I found 2 large augers (1-1/2” and 2”) and 2 small bits in very nice shape for my brace. The guy I bought the to small bits off of actually gave me a saw tooth straightener for free, all he wanted in return was for me to tell him what it was. I have several already but this one was made out of aluminum which I have never seen before. Went on another food run and picked up 50 pounds of salt, 25 pounds of great northern beans, 20 pounds of elbow macaroni. I was happy to find 100 rounds of Frontier .223 ammunition but I wasn’t happy that it was 86 cents per round. Perhaps I should be just be thankful that I found it and that it was a $1 per round. From Salvation Army I picked up a Wagner 10 1/2 inch cast iron skillet, a new candy thermometer, a set of kerosene replacement wicks.

    Have a great week everyone!

  5. A couple of things in this home front over the past couple of months. I retire next week. I have been doing some dehydrating, and trying to get a loan of a freeze dryer for dairy. My youngest son moved out, and has become my reloading/prepping/playing room. I should finish my reloading bench next week and after that I can continue there. My first year of trying a garden is producing some, but not much. The biggest thing is my health has decided to act up on several fronts. Things overall will have to continue taking a backseat as my range of motion and pain is limiting me on several fronts. No worries, as God is still in control. Onward.

    1. Dan: Good Luck and congrats on the retirement- three short years here. If working from home during a pandemic is any indication of what retirement might be like, I find myself being more active than piloting a seat seat everyday. I have more time due to no commute and we aren’t going very many places so we are more active around here. Can only imagine what we’ll be able to accomplish with 8+ hours of time on the homestead.

  6. Hello All. Just a quick note (slightly off topic). I wanted to say “Thank you” to Telesilla of Argos, RKRGRL68, Krissy, and Bear for your kind words of encouragement and prayers last week. It meant a lot and helped to lower the level of anger, frustration, etc, etc.

    It’s tough when you have almost 21 years into a job and career and it is about to go away. Why? Because a few people decided to shut things down, put millions out of work, and destroy tens of thousands of businesses just so someone’s 98 year old Grandpa can possibly live another week. I know, I know, it’s a horrible rotten thing to say. Especially if you are that 98 year old Grandpa or family of said Grandpa. But honestly, I sort of get it. Again, anger and frustration is most likely causing that type of thinking. [ insert GRRR!!! and the shaking of one’s fists in the air] We, the company, have managed to hang on this long and maybe we can hang on a little while longer. Time will tell if we make it through.

    Maybe, just maybe. It’s time to pack up and move to the Redoubt. You guys got room for one more? Hey Jim and Lily, you folks have a room to rent? Lol!!! Sorry Washington and Oregon, but I don’t think it will be there. The last several months have proved to me that you are “out of the club”. Until next time, take care of yourself and each other!

    “Amat Victoria Curam”

    1. Burt Gummer Too! It was really good to see you here for the Saturday Progress Reports… News that you are holding on in there is some of the best progress out there, and we are grateful for it! So hoping that with each passing week, the news for you continues to improve in every way!

      Please also know that your anger and frustration are understandable, and it’s fair to say that most of all of us here in the SB community (really the SB family) have endured — at one time or another, and maybe in the present — these feelings too.

      Most importantly — people out here are listening, and lifting you up in many prayers.

      My hope is that your business will find a way to hold on through to improving conditions. If there is any need to redirect, my prayer is that God shines a light so brightly on the path He intends for you that you can see it clearly — and that it leads you to much better days ahead.

      I also speak from some experience. There have been a couple of times in my own life that life had to be reimagined during periods of great change — and hardship too. What I know now — from those experiences of the past, and understanding that more difficult times may yet lie ahead and probably will — is that there is life on the other side of crisis.

      Please never give up. Hold on in there! …and post as the Spirit moves you. It was really just so good to see your message today.

  7. Howdy!

    I separated and repotted tomato seedlings.

    Hubby is still working on the new chicken coop.

    We started back homeschool this week.

    I am harvesting so much okra. I plan on dehydrating it.
    I canned some, but honestly, I don’t like it canned. I will dehydrate it and add it to stews in the winter.

    Hubby finally bought a generator! I have been hounding him forever. We filled the deep freeze with so much meat in April, and I was concerned about a planned blackout. I just wanted one powerful enough for a deep freezer.
    Well, we live in the path of these two hurricanes. So, I got my generator!

    We made another run to Sam’s AND Costco.

    I may have mentioned before, but my mom extreme coupons. We now have so much toothpaste, shampoo and soaps that I have started a stockpile under my bed. These items are almost FREE from the couponing. It’s mostly toiletries and laundry items. She did get two bags on Beneful dog food free. But the coupons for food items are meh. And all processed foods. But she earns points/rewards at Walgreens and CVS and can use them for food items at those stores. They sell canned goods, basic staples, and even ground beef! Mom also discovered shelf stable milk at the dollar store.(not from China) She got some and cooked with it and said it was fine.


  8. My son and daughter-in-law were visiting last weekend so we did a lot of yakking, kayaking, swimming, and eating. It was nice to have two days off. Watched Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and was elated to see an end-of-the-world movie that decided to do something nobody has ever done before: have the world end! Great unique movie if you haven’t seen it including a road trip, a dog, a prepper, lots of humor, and bawling your guts out at the end.

    Monday was a very orangey day. I had more oranges than Anita Bryant so I made those candied orange peels that was the Recipe of the Week last month (July 20th) which I had never heard of, being a hick from the sticks. They were even better than I was expecting, totally yummy. I added some tips in the comments section if anyone hasn’t made them yet, including making orange waffle syrup from the peel-boiling solution instead of tossing it. Then I made two pints of a pectinless 20-minute marmalade and after that, found a recipe for dried oranges which also turned out very good. I loaded up the solar drier with other things while I was at it: apples, peppers, grapes, and tried zucchini for the first time not expecting much. Wow, almost like potato chips. I’m not sure where the salty taste comes from but they’re excellent. I haven’t grown zucchini in 20 years because I’ve lost too many friends over the years (Hide! Hide! He’s coming up the walk with more zucchini!) so I quit growing them. Next year I’m going to plant a ton for drying. I accidentally left the solar dryer vent open one night and a mouse got in and ate a bunch of the dried apples. He’ll be stopped up for at least week and take mouse grunting to a whole new level. I also made the rice-apple pudding Recipe of the Week and that was excellent. It only fit an 8 x 8 pan (single serving!) so next time I’ll double it and use a larger pan.

    Two weeks ago I mentioned that Bambi finally figured out how to circumvent my deer fence so I had to declare war. I started putting up 9′ cedar poles and will hopefully get the fence upgrade finished in the next week or so before Bambi eats me out of house and home. Next he’ll figure out how to pick the door locks and use his antlers to open my buckets of supplies. I can already picture him looking up in surprise with sugar all around his snout.

    We finally got an inch of rain, the first one since July 1st and won’t last too long for the garden plants. There’s so much dust from the roads I had to wash off the solar panels. The buckwheat I planted four weeks ago already has flowers and the bees work it every morning. I should produce a lot of seed too. Time to get a second crop planted. I harvested the first batch of dry beans, major disappointment. I’m still trialing varieties and this one yielded slightly lass than a pint in an area where I was getting two quarts of other varieties. So far Hog Brains is in first place in my trials for volume and ripening all at the same time.

    The world is getting crazier by the hour so I’m still feeling the urgency to top off all my supplies and even buy extras for bartering. I finally found the only store in three counties that stocks 25 lb bags of pinto beans so bought some of those. I already have more than I can handle before they turn to stone but they’ll make a good barter item or I can grind the hard ones for refried beans or chili thickener. Walmart (no longer forcing people to wear masks here) actually had four 20 lb. bags of rice in stock so I bought them all, as well as two 25 lb bags of sugar. Now I have enough sugar, beans, and rice to feed everyone in a 5-mile radius and I can also make sandbags out of it when the shootin’ starts. Walmart had about 50 cases of mason jars so I bought two more for honey in case the shortages get worse next year. No lids though, I haven’t seen any since about May. Still trying to source a pallet of coffee beans. 🙂 Trump mentioned publicly how much he likes coffee so I’m expecting the Democrats already have a bill in the works to either ban coffee outright or control its use and require fingerprinting in order to buy any.

    In my county where everybody and most of the dogs have guns, a kid said to his dad, “Dad, I just don’t like guns like you and Mom and the rest of the kids do, I must be adopted.” His redneck dad replied, “I agree son but so far we just can’t find anyone who will take you!”

    Everyone have a great week!

    1. Glad to see you still have your sense of humor. I’ve recently noticed that mine has skidaddled. I put it down to too much news. I have to rest a lot right now and have been delving into the news and more research (one of my areas of expertise is 20th century atrocities. go figure). Even countered with Bible study, it’s discouraging. This is getting too real.

      As an aside, I decided to take on a time consuming project that provides my daughter with basic photos, hints and recipes for basic foods and food preparation. It’s just a myriad of recipes. She lives away from us and this is one way to get her interested in cooking, baking and not wasting food. Since I’m doing it anyway, everyone is welcome to follow that instagram: savingfoodforeating. My small contribution to the upcoming food shortages and eventual famine.

      Thanks for the humerous post. Much appreciated St Funogas!

      1. Hey PJGT, thanks for calling it “humor”! I only laugh to keep from crying and never in my wildest dreams imagined that our country could get to this state in my lifetime.

        I hope you find more to laugh about sooner than later. 🙂

        1. I did expect this and have been watching it play out, but hoped and prayed fervently that I would be proved wrong. Wish we were neighbors! (And not just so I could borrow your tools) I do see the value in humor and see, once again, how important a good attitude is. That is truly the American way.

      1. Hey Scout, I paid $8.48/20 lbs at Walmart.

        Since they rarely have more than one bag, I bought some at another store before I went to Walmart. The price on the shelf said $4 something for 10/lbs so it was close enough to Walmart’s price I bought the three bags they had in case Walmart only had one. When I got home and was comparing prices on the two receipts, the receipt said $14.91 for only 10 lbs. Not sure if there was a mistake or if that was correct?? I also noticed that they only charged me for one bag instead of three. So I need to return all three. If they say they don’t accept returns…then I’ll tell them I guess they can’t take the two freebies back either?? Even at that price (three for one) they are still more expensive than Walmart for 20 lbs.

      2. Thanks St Funogas and Tx Nurse! I paid $22 for 50 pounds at Gordon Food Supply- enriched white long grain- used to be around $18. Just wondering since I read that in some places rice is “sky high”. I guess that is subjective.

    2. We love zucchini chips too. We make them spicy by adding Italian seasoning mix, garlic and onion powder, cayenne red pepper, s and p, and red pepper flakes. Coat zucc with a bit of oil and lemon juice. Store in mason jar to keep the crispness. Thanks for humor. I laughed outloud.

    3. Haven’t tried zuke chips yet; will have to try that. I did kale chips the other day but obviously didn’t make enough as they’re all gone! Now I want to try making them with all sorts of flavors. Will try it on zukes too.

    4. ST Funogas, regarding bambi, I had the same problem in my last location, which was a country suburb. A deer family group would come munching every day. I put up an 8′ plastic deer fence and tied that bright orange or pink plastic tape at various heights on the fencing. That worked on most of them but then I got three bachelors who tried to prance their way thru. So I got a solar powered hot wire and put it at deer height around the garden fence and watched the fun. I stood watch when I could with a CO2 pellet gun. First they would do the antler thing and then try to push into the wire; ha ha! lots of hot tamale jumps and then I shot them with the pellet gun. No more problems after that!

    5. My sister (who has gardened a few years now) tried to tell me last spring that zucchini plants were very finicky producers, and to keep in mind that each plant would only give ONE fruit, so that I should plant one plant for each single zucchini I planned on wanting.

      I was so proud of her for getting through that whole schpiel with a straight face. 😀 We do love our pranks in this family… If I didn’t know better, that would’ve been one for the ages!

  9. St Funogas, love your perspective! Our week has been full of twists and turns. At the beginning of the week we were seriously looking at property in the Redoubt but it did not work out. Then got a phone call from our son asking if we can help with childcare as both son and wife will be working. Guess there is a reason for everything.

    Solved our septic issue after digging up multiple areas looking for a junction box. They were able to clear the clog which means we do not have to put in a new drain field. We are most thankful for the outcome.

    I’ve been canning like crazy, both water bath and PC. Put up 10 lbs of chicken and still need to do about 30 more lbs. I did cowboy candy, more coleslaw, pickled onions, 25 lbs of salmon and zucchini relish. I also freeze dried shredded zucchini, dehydrated zucchini and made double chocolate zucchini bread. I still have tons of it to process so if anyone has a special recipe, I’m all in.

    Started painting my daughter’s room yesterday and plan on several more rooms in the next few weeks.

    Last but not least, are my tomatoes. I’m on my second batch of sliced paste tomatoes in the dehydrator and will need a great deal more for powder. I’ve still got to can tomatoes juice. We have enough sauce to last for a couple of years so may just do stewed with peppers for the rest.

    Be well

  10. Am trying to sell some ammo like 22LR, and 223 and 9mm. Have way to much as is and will be fair with prices. 24 thousand 22LR is too much and so need to get rid of some. Are there any takers?

  11. re:
    recipe for blueberries sorbet

    One # organic blueberries
    Two ounces organic maple syrup
    One organic avocado, peeled and pitted
    A couple-three dashes of organic vanilla extract

    Everything goes in the blender.
    Blend to puree, burping frequently.
    Pour into ramekins or short glasses.
    Freeze for four hours.
    Defrost ten minutes before eating.

    Although this seems like a lot of sugar, maple syrup has a low-glycemic index, and the avocado oils help slow or temper absorption of the sugars.
    Blueberries in a blender then freezing breaks the cell walls, significantly increasing the availability of the internal nutrients.

    Discussion Questions
    Q1 — How long will it last in the freezer?
    A1 — Until it is spotted by freezer browsers.

    Q2 — How many servings from this recipe?
    A2 — One person, me.


    To this basic recipe, some kitchen perfessionals add a few dashes of light wine to help the blender do its job.
    To be sure of freshness and nose, taste your wine several times prior to contributing some to your blender jug of refreshing blueberries mush stuff.
    While pulsing your blender, sample occasionally your wine to insure it is the correct wine.
    And not the other wine you were testing.

  12. It was a less productive week for me than usual, my wife had to spend an evening in the hospital on an IV for Mastitis, so we didn’t have quite so much time as usual. She’s doing well now though, and the baby boy didn’t suffer any from it, so all is well. I made two batches of Cowboy Candy myself this week, I can eat that stuff by the jar. Fortunately the pepper plants have been producing abundantly, and nobody else in the family likes it, so I don’t have to share 🙂

    I tried a new recipe for Tomato Jam as well, since I had plenty of tomatoes and already have a good bit of juice put up. The jam is delicious and easy to make. It is like a more flavorful ketchup, and is delicious on sandwiches and burgers.

    I’m hoping to process the 9 meat rabbits that are ready this weekend, and begin canning them as well.

    1. wwes, I’m so glad your wife is doing better now. Mastitis is absolutely miserable. Please tell her I think she’s a rock star for pushing through it (and I am protectively crossing my arms over my chest in empathy). And yes, you don’t have to worry about it hurting the baby; in fact, continued nursing is very often one of the best treatments, agonizing though it is. Congratulations to you both on the birth of your son!

      1. Thank you for the well wishes and the congratulations! She is feeling much better now. She felt well enough last night for us to sit down and watch a movie and make and can 16 pints of pear preserves while we watched it.

  13. Good afternoon everyone,

    Decided not to get in the action of the town garage sale today. Me and hubby discussed this and decided it’s not worth either of us possibly getting the Wuhan Red Death from a stranger looking through our stuff only to try to get it for practically free. Also don’t want to risk bringing in cooties to mom and dad.
    Spent most of the week packing up stuff to store for next springs garage sale blowout! I really have a lot of stuff! What the heck was I thinking?
    Now our garage is packed to the gills.

    Took mom for her annual physical. Went very well. Told doctor that dad refuses to leave house unless it’s in an ambulance so doctor said we can do a video appointment for him. Wahoo!

    Getting things in order as my spinal surgery is next month.

    Made some chili in the pressure cooker. Turned out fantastic!

    Rearranged big freezer and little freezer.
    Good thing too because I was really worried that having 25 whole chickens wouldn’t be enough along with 30 lb packages of ground sirloin. Bahahah

    Now I have room for ice cream, that’s super important ya know!

    Thinking of you all

    Have a Rockin great day!

    1. RKRGRL68! Praying for you through this time of your spinal surgery… Will be watching for news and updates as you want to share these, and know the Good Lord will be watching over you from Heaven, and that He has your SB family and friends watching over you from here on earth.

  14. Avalance Lily,
    Would you mind posting links for the information about the laws outlawing bartering in New Zealand, if possible? I have tried to look up some information on this so I can read more about it, and so far I haven’t been able to find anything.
    Thanks for keeping us up to date!

  15. Learning lots in the garden this year here in Montana. The short and cooler seasons force us to work harder and make different choices. The most productive leafy green in short season and cold climates is Swiss Chard. No contest. However, tomatoes are difficult to grow without buying tomato starts, or using a green house. Without a greenhouse, the most productive started from seed are determinate bush and cherry varieties that are said to mature in warmer climates in about 60 days. Mine are mostly a determinate heirloom Beefsteak as those best survived my amateurish attempt to grow tomato starts. Amish Paste, an indeterminate, and others are also growing, but are behind schedule, and I suspect will not be able to produce as much, or much more than the determinate tomatoes, because of the short season. This is my first year growing tomatoes, so will have to wait and see. But it looks like there will be plenty of tomatoes to jar up regardless. Next year I will use a small green house in the spring, and try to do better with an indeterminate variety such as Amish Paste, that take up less floor space and make more tomato flesh, and less water.

    Yukon Gold potatoes are the most important survival food one can grow here, but even they do not do well in soil with heavy clay. The plant grows, but the potatoes are small. Potatoes produce the most nutrition for a given area, and here in Montana, we must install high fences to keep the big game out, therefore gardens tend to be smaller, or compact. So far experimental potato towers appear to be the most compact way to grow lots of potatoes in a smaller area. One 2’x’2′ square tower has many potato plants in it that are all 4 feet high, and will grow through September, and perhaps into October. Sawdust is used to ‘hill up’, and provide a growing medium for the potatoes. I ran out of good soil when expanding this year’s garden, so fine sawdust was used as a substitute for the looser soil needed to grow larger potatoes. Good soil is hard to come by here in the Rock Mountains, but we do have plenty of sawdust from lumber mills, so I’m giving it a try with potatoes, and the potential results look promising.

    Composting is essential here. Heavy clay rots tomato plant roots, and stunts the growth of potatoes. Fortunately, the material for composting keeps on coming in from landscaping jobs, and a second big pile is now ‘cooking’. Given the amount of compost produced this summer, means the garden will easily be doubled in size again next year. As a second year novice gardener, had I had a larger garden and grew mostly potatoes and some Giant Swiss Chard, I still would not have survived eating out of it. Fortunately the garden appears to be productive enough to supplement food storage, and will double in size next year. This year’s potato crop will mostly be for potato seed for next year. I believe we may need to grow lots of potatoes next year, and potato seed from the store may not be available.

    1. Good to read about your gardening experiences, Tunnel Rabbit. Your last statement about seed potatoes being in short supply is one that other gardeners need to consider. As a former worker with this crop on a research level I can see this shortage from many different angles and yes it is real. As I mentioned a week ago there was a shortage here in my neck of the woods and I should also point out that the supplies to the home gardeners are going to be harder hit than the commercial farmers when things get really bad. In plain English – home gardeners are going to get the “short end of the stick”. They will have very few options to get this crop in the future. In addition to having a supply of potatoes there is also the need to have a good place to store them for the winter months. An efficient root cellar is one of the keys to long term survival, whether for potatoes or other root crops.

      It has also been my experience that Swiss Chard is a very generous producer.

      This spring I planted 16 rows of sweet corn for my boss that I work for and each row is 110 feet long so that’s 1760 feet of sweet corn or a third of a mile. I guess you could say that I have sweet corn coming out my ears or that I’m grinning from “ear to ear”. Yes, I had three ears for breakfast this morning and will probably has several for supper tonight.

      1. Aroostook Co in Maine is a big potato growing region and suffering from extreme drought. While no longer as big a producer as areas such as Idaho, it’s still responsible for a lot of potatoes that are sold. This is a concern, both for the growers as well as the end users. Definitely save potatoes for seed this year, as long as they are healthy potatoes.

    2. We have clay soil in Colorado, and it has taken me a while to figure out how to work with it. I have been told by many to add compost. I have, lots. I have also added lots of aged manure, but something was still not right. I decided to add peat moss this year, and what a difference. It changes the chemistry of the soil as well. I have decided that I will add peat moss from now on whenever I plant something or prepare a garden bed and work it into the soil. I believe this is especially important for root vegetables, to have loose soil.

      It does take time to build up good soil. I have been reading the ingredients in the various commercial bags of potting soils and most of them have peat moss as the first ingredient, which also means that is what they contain the most of.

      I am growing potatoes in 5 gallon buckets this year, somewhat as an experiment, somewhat to expand my growing options. I have been fortunate to acquire quite a few buckets for free. I drill several small holes on the bottom to allow for good drainage. This year I am using purchased garden soil which I will amend and use again in the future. I have yet to harvest, as they are just starting to bloom. I started with about a foot of soil and then added as in the hilling method.

      I have planted seed potatoes and I have planted store potatoes that sprouted. Store potatoes have done well for me. I have seen many times to only plant seed potatoes. If they are not available, I will use potatoes from this years harvest.

      I am also experimenting with growing carrots in buckets. They are not ready to harvest as I was late getting them in, but they look healthy on top.

  16. We had family stay with us last week and one morning, our daughter in law woke up with a bad cough. Ruh-ro. They decided to go home and get tested. Thankfully, a few days later her test came back negative (tho I recently read an article about the rate of false negative tests).

    I inventoried the freezer, made some cranberry juice for canning and made a menu plan for the next month.
    The chipmunks have been ruthlessly harvesting our tomatoes. We have been ruthlessly harvesting the chipmunks. There seems to be a greater supply of chipmunks than tomatoes.
    There is an abundance of red squirrels too. We are being overrun with rodents!

    Noticing more cognitive problems in hubby. He has always been OCD about checking to make sure our doors are locked. I went to bed before he did last night and discovered this morning he did not lock anything. Now I know I need to double check that. He had a few other episodes of forgetfulness which he became aware of on his own. It is very aggravating to him and nothing I say can really reassure him. I need to be more vigilant.

    My grandson has bad allergies. He had a sneezing fit at a park the other day. He yelled out afterwards to others at the park, “It’s not The Virus! It’s The Ragweed!” He’s 5. 🙁

    Since our tomatoes are being decimated, I plan to order a couple of boxes from a local farmer. However, that is now going to have to wait a bit.

    My brother in law called last night. He could not smell anything, had labored breathing, diarrhea and confused thinking. What should he do? He finally went in for a test this morning. We should know in 24-48 hours what the results are. So, we quarantine again, since hubby was with him for several hours the other day.

    Hubby has stage 4 cancer so of course this is a big concern. My brother in law usually doesn’t go anywhere or see anyone but us. But he decided to sell several items on Craig’s List recently and has had a parade of strangers coming to his home.

    While we wait, I’ll probably start pulling other stuff from the freezer to can.
    There was a bit of discussion last week about youth groups and youth pastors. I’m not trying to pick a fight here, not at all. I just wanted to mention that we have had nothing but wonderful experiences with the youth pastors our boys have had over the years. They were and are godly men, seeking to train others to follow Christ.

    In fact, two of our sons have been youth pastors. One still is, one serves in another capacity in the local church. They are godly men and I am so thankful to see they way God is using them to encourage, equip and train the people God has called them to teach.

    Just sharing my experience. I understand others have different viewpoints and experiences.
    It has been a difficult week – more than I care to share here. My chronological Bible reading passage yesterday was in Habbakuk (yep!). I took great comfort from these passages:

    Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

    Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

    The Lord God is my strength… Habbakuk 3:17-19

    Encouraging to read this -tho the tomato plants yield no tomatoes due to chipmunks.

    Hang in there everybody. Even if you can only can up some cranberry juice – at least you’ve done something! Does anyone know how chipmunks taste? Asking for a friend…..

    1. Wormlady, praying for you and your family; these are scary times.

      Bless you for your patience with critters! I went to war with them about 15 years ago when squirrels got in the attic and chewed the wiring. I had to have the wiring replaced in some areas and put a new rodent proof roof and gutters on. Then I pulled out the 22 and got shot shell and went to war. The only problem with shot shell is you need to be fairly close; which at first was not a problem because they did not yet know about guns. I took out about 7 of them the first week, then they got wise. So I switched to regular 22 ammo and took out about 10 more. (Says I with a smile on my face.)

      Fast forward to my farm and I now have a 22 AR with a scope! HA! Rarely miss now! As long as they stay away from the house and garden, we are at peace; but I’m watching with my 22 on my knees!

    2. Wormlady,

      The suggestion made by Animal House gets my “vote of approval” for the best method of thinning the chipmunk population. I’ve used a pellet gun in the past as a more quiet option and at close range it still does the job. If you had a bag of cracked corn, like what people feed to birds and squirrels, it might come in handy to momentarily distract the chipmunks from decimating your tomatoes. Just sprinkle it around the borders of your garden so they will have to cross it to get into your garden. If you had a live trap that would also be helpful to put some of this bait in there and catch them if you don’t have other options.

      Also, the comment made by Txnurse about pulse oximeters is one that I might have missed had it not been mentioned. Thanks, Txnurse! It’s also possible that your brother in law is also having an allergic reaction to ragweed or some other allergen, but I would seriously consider the oximeter as the price is certainly low enough.

      Good luck!

    3. Hello Wormlady!
      We are praying for you, your husband and your BIL in earnest… We are very concerned, and know that God hears all our voices.

      Those 02 readings will be very helpful… Hoping you can get the Pulse Oximeter, and the additional supports needed to navigate through this illness.

      There is also news of a major therapeutic breakthrough in treating COVID-19. President Trump will have a press conference coming today, Sunday… We will be watching for news, and continuing in our prayers.


    4. Wormlady,

      Like you, we had a largely positive experience with youth groups as our children grew up. Our previous church, before we relocated, had a particularly strong program under a man of God who served in that role for over 20 years. There was a strong emphasis on guiding boys into becoming Godly men which I was blessed to be a part of. Sadly, with a change of pastors, that program fell by the wayside.

      Youth programs, like any other ministry, depend strongly on the leadership. If the leaders are servant-minded people of God, then the program will prosper and it can serve as an edifying supplement to the guidance of the youth’s parents. If they are merely going through the motions, or worse yet, seeking their own glory or pushing a non-Biblical agenda, the results will reflect that as well. May our Lord continue to bless your sons’ ministries as they serve Him.

  17. Oh, Lily,

    Your prayer has touched my soul. Tears are flowing down my face, and my throat hurts, I am so affected by your prayer. Thank you, dear sister! Thank you.

    My heart was warmed with joy for you by Jim’s compliment of you;

    “I feel blessed to have Lily as my wife for life.”

    Blessings to you and the family this coming week,


  18. Avalanche Lily! Such a beautiful prayer… We are lifting it up here too!

    From your post: “My prayer: Hide me oh Lord God underneath your wings. Make us invisible from those bent on harm. May we escape all things. Keep us safe in you. Keep our enemies and those who hate us far from us. Please hide all of our Readers, in You. Provide for us all things. We trust only in you!”


    You asked as well about the outcry… We wonder about this too. Some people are speaking up, but many may be afraid. We pray that while their vocal cords may be silenced for now, these people will not be silenced in November, and that they will rise up in great numbers to vote for people in ways that will help to restore, protect and preserve our liberties including our precious freedom of speech. Let the world hear us clearly — let the world hear us ROAR. Let the world see our courage and conviction that will inspire others to join in the cause of liberty and freedom protected by a civil society governed with and by Constitutional law and order.

  19. Good morning Lily. I am a wee bit mistified about your reporting that the New Zealand Government is outlawing bartering and prosecuting citizens who refuse vaccination.
    As a 76 year old person, with 17 year old twin daughters who have a long term stake in this country, I would be grateful if you could forward me the source of this information.

    I have been a serious prepper, without knowing it, for long long time ( and still learning ) and struggling to convince older offspring and their spouses the necessity to prepare for a very uncertain future.
    As a long time reader of Survivalblog.com I really appreciate your articles for their down to earth descriptions of your daily gardening and preps.

    Kind regards

  20. Wormlady,

    You cannot trust the Covid tests, they have many false negatives, assume you brother in law has Covid (very sorry to hear that), there is a very fine line between being short of breath and then completely decompensating with his oxygen levels, keep a close eye on him. I think everyone should have a small pulse oximeter in their medical preps. This is the little thing the doctor puts on your finger to read your oxygen level. They sell these online everywhere for about $35, well worth it. A pulse oximeter can give you an early heads up on low O2 levels before it gets really serious. You are doing the right thing quarantining, keep a very close eye on your husband. My prayers will include your family.

    On another note, I loved what your 5 yo grandson shouted out, he reminds me of my 5 yo grandson! Made me chuckle.

    1. TXnurse, I read that the tests can have over a 20% false positive rate. Just imagine if we performed well at our jobs only 80% of the time. Thank you for praying . We will order an oximetry.

      5 year old boys are a hoot, aren’t they? Mine has the most gorgeous red hair too.

      1. Wormlady,

        LOL, my grandson has red hair too, and a personality that won’t quit. I have found my grand kids to be one of God’s greatest gifts, they are so much fun. We have 6 now, all 5 and under!

      2. Hello Again, Wormlady… Checking in to be sure you and your husband and your brother-in-law are holding on in there — and getting help if and as needed. I have been so very concerned. Just know that many prayers are being said.

  21. Canned three pints of sliced jalapeños from the garden. Ignored the Ball canning book recommendation of wearing rubber gloves when handling spicy peppers. Regretted it. For three days felt like I had a sunburn on my palms. Every time I touched something warn, was reminded how powerful those peppers are. Hope the physiological ramifications aren’t so severe when I eventually eat them.

  22. Lilly,

    Things are getting very scary, and I dread what may happen further in November, but if things really go south I think bartering at some point will become the norm, and no laws can stop that!

    We picked over 1000 pears this last week. This was the last of the fruit from our variety of fruit trees we have. I have been doing a lot of canning this summer from both the fruit trees and the garden. I’m ready to finish up the pears hopefully in the next week or two!

    We have topped off our freezers and any other holes we have found.

    I hope we all remain safe and sound, ( the sound part is getting a little harder lately)

  23. Found my Harbor Freight “hot dog” air compressor stopped working. It’s 9 years old. The motor runs but is very noisy, and could not build the tank pressure over 20 psi. After I shut it off the tank pressure bled off fairly quickly. I don’t think it’s the tank, which is very solid, like new. I’ve had oilless compressors like this fail before, after around 10 years of use. Would I be better off getting an oil filled compressor to replace it?

    1. I’ve had issues with oilless compressors not lasting long too. I switched over to oil filled compressors, even for my small compressors, and I have had zero issues since switching. They seem to reach pressure quicker too.

  24. Yes, Lily we are living 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World and even F 451 too. When I read them back in high school, I guess aside from Animal Farm, I felt the others so far fetched. Well, we are in it now and even worse than those frightening books. God Bless!

  25. My fav part of the blog. I had family visiting this past week. I’m plum tuckered out! But, we had the most magnificent time. The joy in the wee ones’ faces when they actually caught fish from the pond. We ended up catching 6, all throw backs, but their excitement was worth the efforts made. I had purchased 4 “ugly sticks”, some nightcrawlers, grabbed a bucket and some camp chairs and we sat in the cool morning air hoping and waiting. Ages: 3 & 4 yrs old. LOL. The tiniest one, who is just 1 year old, had fun toddling around while we fished. We went to the big lake and they “swam” with their life vests on. Every afternoon they went swimming in the pool (my community has one). We did S’mores. We ate out at a great BBQ place and a couple other great small restaurants near me. We went to the farm store and bought lots of wonderful fruits and veggies. They “harvested” potatoes with me. My 3 yr old grandson was beside himself with joy for every potato he found and he would scream “TATOR TOTS. WE FOUND TATOR TOTS!!’, like every 30 seconds! My goodness the time flew by. I know in my heart they will remember this forever.

    As an aside, I was also accessing my “preps” to see how well they would hold up when family visited. Pretty darn good! I could throw together a very healthy meal they would actually eat in no time at all. A blessed week.

    1. SaraSue

      You are truly blessed, my grand kids give me that much joy all the time also. Papa takes them to our pond to fish and they are always so excited to catch a perch or bass! This summer they loved to “help” in the garden, one grandson was always trying to pull up the carrots to see if they were ready! Same one always wants to pick plums while they are green, and they are all fascinated with all bugs! They can now usually identify the black widows, scorpions and other pesky insects enough to not always try and pick them up, we are still working on snakes! They bring us so much happiness.

  26. I had to laugh when I heard SaraSue’s comments about her 3 year old grandson digging taters. My family also visited last weekend, and my 3 year old granddaughter helped dig some taters too. “I found one Papa, I found one!” Next thing you know her 5 year old brother showed up, “I want to do that”. It was fun, had to remind them ‘that’s where taters come from, the ground first, than the store (they live in the city). Put up a lot of ‘taters that week, garden is chuggin’ along, looking at stores and auctions for bargains, shooting some, but mostly odd calibers still available or stuff we reload for. Getting the game cameras out for huntin’ season, discing up some food plots on the farm, will put in the winter wheat to lure ’em in and keep ’em fatten up. Hope you folks have a great week!

  27. This past week was special for our family- the annual Creek Week celebration was in full tilt. As an extension of our year-round homeschooling efforts, my wife has created the annual event where we travel to various Western Oregon mountain creeks, streams, and rivers to escape the heat, commune with our bountiful nature, and enjoy time as a family. The family departs the homestead early each day, Monday through Friday, hikes in from a trailhead to frolic and play in the crystal clear waters of the Cascades, hikes back out and returns just before dark. This year, I was fortunate to take a few days off work and join the adventure for four of the days. While some may not think this a wise use of time, resources, or even connected to prepping progress, I would challenge that.

    Our family gets time away from electronics, news, and stress, and explores what nature has to offer. Edible plants are studied, trail and back country skills are practiced, hiking hills while carrying a moderate load gives a different sort of exercise, water source identification and water treatment techniques are practiced, and contingencies for being lost, stranded, or injured are discussed. While we are not camping in a static location for a week (which can get dull for two tweenagers and a pre-schooler), we get to see variety and explore different flora and fauna in our region.

    This prepares our minds, our bodies, and our spirits for whatever may come our way should we be temporarily thrust into the nether regions of our valley if SHTF. This keeps my fat tuchus moving and helps keep the joints from creaking all summer. Our children can easily master a five to ten mile hike with no whining or complaints, while carrying their own gear. Even the four-year-old can keep the little legs going for (almost) ten miles. With each day trip, my wife gets more and more comfortable with carrying a bang-stick in her holster while navigating unusual body positions and movements, and things become second nature.

    Ideally, this would be a weekly or semi-weekly event year round, but that simply is not reality for our suburban life and my work schedule. For us, this is a great opportunity to work on the non-tangible skills and attitude checks necessary to thrive if the Schumer splats. Once the week is over, it is back to the studies and back to the garden/chores/tending pets/and other daily tasks of life.

    Consider all your family’s needs, not just beans, bullets, and bandages.

  28. The last few weeks have been fairly busy. I spent two weeks on the road for work, but was able to take my Lady with me, as we drove everywhere rather than flying. We saw a good bit of the countryside in our region, and observed a wide variety of mask measures and other COVID mitigation measures. Of course, this also meant we spent nearly 2 weeks away from our home, but our adult children served as adequate…more or less…caretakers.

    Towards the end of this trek, we celebrated our anniversary. For over 25 years, this amazing woman has been my wife and helpmate, and she is truly a blessing from God. Every time someone starts reading Proverbs 31…”Who can find a virtuous woman…”…I have to restrain myself from raising my hand and going, “Oooh! Ooooh! I can! I can!”.

    We also assisted my parents in a massive yard sale, as they are downsizing significantly. My mother even asked about some properties near us, and seems open to moving to our area…they live a couple of hours away…especially as my father’s health continues to slide. She’s not quite ready to move, but she’s now actively considering it, which is a huge leap from merely months ago.

    On the farm, the summer harvest is mostly dwindling down. The tomatoes did outstanding, and the okra is still coming in as well. I’ll be putting in some peas in a couple of weeks for a fall harvest, and the last round of corn and green beans is looking promising. The muscadines and scuppernongs are doing better than ever. I processed over a gallon of muscadine juice already for jelly, and there are still grapes ripening on the vines. Best of all, the persimmons have started dropping, and the trees look better than last year’s disappointing harvest.

    I’ll be discontinuing telework shortly, for a variety of reasons. However, there is the possibility of another job on the horizon, that while it may mean a slight pay cut, has the potential for more stability, and possibly more telework as well. Time and prayer will tell if this is God’s will for us.

    Continue to stay safe and prepare, folks. The next few months promise to be interesting.

  29. Waiting in line at the pro shop of local range yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice that the customers who wouldn’t stop muzzling others were also the ones not wearing masks in the very crowded space. Hmmm. The employee processing my paperwork noticed me doing the two-step to avoid being muzzled (while muttering under my breath), and said, “Oh, we don’t enforce that.” !!!!!! I wanted to ask, “Well do you enforce it out on your lanes at least?” but just skedaddled out with my rifle as soon as I could. My background came back so much faster than the other customers’, he asked whether I used to be a teacher or a nurse. Well…not a paid one anyway. Extra magazines were $15 and ammo was $10 for a 20-ct box, limit two per customer per day. Yikes. Still I’m glad to finally have it. Will go to the outdoor range to get to know it better. Was hoping to at least take it out of the box and look it over last night, but puking toddler. Murphy’s Law.

Comments are closed.