Editors’ Prepping Progress

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

Jim Reports:

This week I wrapped up my wood cutting and splitting project. It feels good to be finally done–at least for this year!

On Wednesday, Lily and I took a road trip to buy an antique Winchester .30-30 saddle ring carbine (circa 1898) from an estate.

On that same trip, I dropped by a Costco store to buy some copies of my latest book. But they didn’t yet have any at the store that we visited. I’ve been told that other a few scattered Costcos have put them out before the revised Costco release date. They are being sold for just under $15 dollar per copy. For a large-format hardcover fully-illustrated 240-page book, that is a great deal.  I’ve also heard that the stores are only receiving 25 copies. Therefore, I predict that hey will sell out muy rapido. The book should be widely available by late next week.  It’s full retail price will be $24.99 USD.  Thanks for your patience!

Now on to the more loquacious Lily.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

Oh My goodness, on Monday noon, I was looking around the ranch, indoors and out, and everywhere I looked, Aaagh!  There is something that needs to be done:  Prune the raspberries, pick the raspberries, harvest the beans, freeze or can the beans, trim the branches on a trail, water in the greenhouse, water the large pots with the acorn squash in them, make apple sauce, preserve the peaches, prepare the cabbage, blanche it and freeze it.  Can cabbage be dehydrated? (Yes, it can.  I looked it up and it’s simple, Phew!), weed the broccoli, pull the thistles, again in the corn patch in the Annex garden, move the waterers around, do the dishes, vacuum the house, wash the floors, fold the laundry, thaw out meat for dinner, cut up and dehydrate the zukes.  Rototill the Annex gardens.  Plant the fall and winter crops in the greenhouse. (It is  getting very late in the season.)  What else? Wash the planter pots and trays, put up re-bar stakes around the tomato patch to erect hoops to put plastic over to protect tomatoes from colder nights to prolong their growing season.

This all ran through my mind after I had already fed the animals, had my Bible study, a half-hour bike ride, carried four loads of branches from a pruned trail to a burn pile, folded two loads of laundry, did the morning dishes, turned the eggs in the incubator, showered, brushed teeth, vitamins.  Of course, this was not all done in the aforementioned order.

This is a crazy busy time of the year.  I’m happy to do all of this. I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything.  I just want more time and more energy to do it!

This week the girls and I weeded our very large tomato patch. The girls also weeded the yellow beans and kale beds. I weeded my herb garden.

I started to prune out the spent canes in the Golden Raspberry patch.

I harvested and dehydrated two quarts worth of broccoli, twelve heads of cabbage, and a good quantity zucchini and cucumbers.

I harvested yellow beans.

I harvested our Transparent apples and turned them into canned applesauce. I boiled down the water that I had boiled the apples in, into four quarts of apple jelly.

I harvested more French Green beans and pressure canned eleven pints.

Dehydrated and froze assorted sweet peppers.

I squeezed five pounds of store-bought lemons and froze their juice in ice cube trays.

I searched for other ways to preserve cucumbers and found that one can juice them and freeze the juice in ice cubes to use in smoothies or other drinks.  So I made two batches.

I have a patch of volunteer garlic that I harvested this week.  They are a lot smaller than the others but are still garlic!

Jim and I, traveled to a local city for some business and some serious shopping.  We bought a couple of cases of Tuna fish, a few blocks of Cheddar cheese, a case of Almond butter, mustard, Basmati rice, TP,  paper towels, Laundry soap, Dish soap, salmon to freeze and hopefully can later, lemons, avocados, Sweet peppers, apples and grapes for fresh eating,  potato and corn chips, a large amount of wide mouth quart jars and regular mouth pint jars.  One can never have enough canning jars!  I really prefer wide mouth pint jars, but since very few are to be found these days, regular mouth jars must suffice. We bought some clothes that we needed for ourselves and for the girls.

As I write this, the next batch of meat chicken eggs in the incubator are rocking and peeping when I check on them and encourage them through make peeping sounds to them.  (It’s always exciting to us to have babies being born.)  They’re eager to hatch out and join this world. Therefore, within the next 24 hours we should have more baby chickies about us. I am praying for a much higher hatching success rate.

Update: As of Friday night two have hatched and twenty or more have holes in their shells and are working hard to get out.  It’s looking like we will have a good hatch rate.  I’m still praying, though.

Each morning this week, I studied the book of Matthew through e-Sword and then I listened to each chapter being read aloud in Hebrew while following along in English. I just love it.

The girls and I, are being quite diligent about riding our bikes every morning after the sun rises and shines in our valley.

Life is very good here.  Honestly, if we didn’t have our computers/Internet, we would never know that things out in the world are not looking well.  Except for posting comments and quick looks at the news and my favorite YouTube channels, I’ve been away from the computer most of the day.  It is definitely more freeing and peaceful.

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. Just a quick FYI for Jim–

    Went to my local Costco (in Wisconsin) to pick up your book. Couldn’t find it. Went to the customer service station–they looked, and said that they had 44 of them somewhere in the building. Got a clerk to help me look-they were all in a box under the table. I was told they only put out books on Thursdays–so it didn’t get out this week, but will be put out next week (minus the one that I got!).

  2. Not a lot this week as I am still moving at a slower pace. First I had a medical issue that put me out of commission for three weeks. Second, I fell off my crocs, which I am still limping from. I’m told things happen in 3’s and I think the third thing has just happened, but it’s too embarrassing to talk about!! Hopefully, I’ve served my time in the barrel and I’ll be safe for a couple of years.

    This week I took one of the cars in for oil change, change of air filters and tire rotation. Had a little excitement when the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. Turned out to be a couple of pieces of something (dirt?) stuck inside one of the sensors and after a clean out everything worked fine. Also had a doctor appointment, then stopped by the grocery store just in case our little county bridges got flooded from the northern tip of left-over rain from Laura; which they did. The water should be down by this afternoon and bridges passable again.

    PC’d meatloaf, pork loin and chicken. Dehydrated more broccoli, celery and hot peppers. Have more squash and pumpkins to process.

    Bred a bunch of rabbits to get ready for the election panic where everyone wants meat rabbits. My chicken pullets are just starting to lay so they will sell for $30/each.

    Summer garden is mostly done; still harvesting a few cukes, squash and tomatoes but the tomato worms have already damaged most stems. We used DE first and what ever it didn’t kill we moved on to sevin. We started cabbage and winter squash seeds in the greenhouse plus kale, spinach and romaine. My son broadcasted mixed meadow grass seeds in the small meadow and we staked out and flagged where a new spring bubbled up. Have to mark the springs both for our safety and for the wild animals.

    Received an order of seeds, row cover material and some weed fabric, which I want to try out in the spring. My back tends to rebel more often now days so I’ve been gradually building a few tall raised beds and will try out the new weed blocker to see how it works.

    I finally bought a newer-to-me smart phone; it is an older one not one of those billion dollar toys that thinks for you. Then I spent about 4 hours fussing and yelling at it while trying to get it up and running and trying to transfer items from my old phone to new phone. I may have taught google a few new slang terms. It will take me a while to get used to it and to get rid of the pre-loaded apps that I never use.

    May your week be safe and productive!

  3. Sounds like a great week! I love hearing about your adventures. Can’t wait to hear that the chicks are all doing great! Freezing cucumber juice is a good idea. I had wondered what to do with it when I shredded them for the tzatziki husband requested this week…now I know! 🙂
    Stepping away from the computer is always more peaceful. It has fallen away this week but most of the time I have a little moment in the mornings (I volunteer for trash or recycling or compost duty to make it happen, or insist that I need to “check the mail” though it’s hours before it runs, haha)… I step OUTSIDE into the fresh air, look UP (we haven’t any hills or even small rises, but I can still raise my eyes unto the Lord, from Who comes my help!) and tell myself, aloud, “This IS the day that the Lord has made, and I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!”

    So school started for Eldest…oooof. This should not be difficult, it is just a matter of logistics and a little planning. (But if he were in the classroom, they have a better teacher-to-student ratio than I do here! Kinda jealous, lol…) Being as sleep-deprived as I am does NOT lend to good executive functioning skills. By Wednesday, he attended all of his virtual sessions and in fact all of my children did all of their lessons, and I cleaned bathrooms and generally actually functioned! I thought I had hit my stride, but then I crashed. Have been falling asleep in my clothes with furry teeth and dishes undone most nights while nursing the baby. Sent the following to grandma who messaged to ask how it was going:

    “Livin’ on caffeine
    Watchin’ the kids scream
    All of those floors now covered with toooyyys

    Pining for ice cream
    Maybe once they dream
    The smell of milk, it’s beginning to spoil

    Wastin’ away again in distance learning ville
    Searching for my lost login code
    Some people say that there’s an admin to blame, but I know,
    It’s my own damn fault”

    Otherwise, not much. Ordered a few things. Got the car checked over and the title transferred to our friend. She will come pick it up once insurance has been changed over, and we’ll switch the plates. Filled its gas tank and replaced the stash of “personal” emergency items well-meaning husband removed from the glove box. (Insert eye roll here) I’ll tell him they’re just in case someone has to treat a bullet wound in the field someday…

    Have concluded that the bakeries from which I requested plastic buckets aren’t going to be calling me, so I guess I’ll just buy some. Kids’ leaf lettuce is growing like crazy in their little cups! Electricians have us on the schedule but still haven’t sent the actual quote…rrrr, I kinda need that. Tried a few new recipes with storage foods. The black bean brownies (I know, I know, crazy) were a huge hit even with my carnivorous husband! What is this rabbit hole I’ve fallen down??? Figuring out how to cook dried beans so that the skins can be easily removed for hummus/dips. The first batch was a mushy disaster.

    Husband showed me how to clear and function-check the new rifle, late one night after kiddos’ bedtime. (It was nice to see him engaged with a person and a physical task, as he’s spent the week totally distracted by the “Seashell” in his ears listening to the RNC and ENDLESS analysis. 🙁 ) I practiced a few times so I remember the steps, but I don’t want to engrain it in muscle memory until my hand heals fully and I’m doing it how I will do it for real. One finger has scarred over and the other is nearly there but still too stiff/swollen to bend completely. I’m using it, but it’s sore. Good thing I’m not leading worship from the piano nowadays!….

    Have a peaceful, productive week, friends! I think of you often throughout the week and send up prayers for your requests.

    1. Hey Bear! The Margaritaville parody was the funniest thing I’ve all week! When do we get the rest of the verses?

      Bear and Lily, on my cukes, I only grow the pickling kind so I don’t have to peel them. I don’t juice mine or anything before I freeze, I just slice ’em and put them in the freezer. They make great afternoon smoothies with strawberry protein powder and lemon juice.

      1. My cucumbers have quite the developed seeds. I don’t like the seeds. Therefore I must peel and gut the cukes. But, I will remember that I can freeze chunk of cucumber in the future. 😉

        A very entertaining read of your week, as always, St. Funogas.

        D*&%n rat!!! Kill it! Quick! ;-0

        Thank you so much for your wonderful input each week.

        1. A.Lily…”peel and gut”…our veggies is sounding like critters with legs, hahaha…

          Rats…invisible or walking around wreaking havoc on our world means I am think “wack a mole” is appropriate.

          Margaritaville parody …good one Bear! (Hope you have few moments for yourself this weekend! After our “hurricane in the heartland” I have realized how important those little respites can be! )AND, how much the little things add up and keep moral going.)

          Animal House…you are one of the most industrious individuals, even being held up by any number of physical setbacks! You inspire and motivate me, THANKS!

          May I beg a few prayers for divine guidance on a possible future surgery please…the timing with uncertain months ahead is making plain to me how important it is to stay in the protective center of God’s plan! (That’s the “in the shelter of His wings” that I am practicing even more deliberately than ever before and is the safety net we all need to be certain of as we move forward in preparation.)

          P.S. A.Lily…do you ever sleep? You are mentoring more of us than you know each Saturday,THANKS!!!

          1. Joyce,

            I do sleep. I sleep from around 10:30PM to 6AM, usually. I’m happiest with seven hours of sleep. But, I can play with the bed time and wake up time in either direction.

            Lately, however, the past three or four days, I’ve been waking up at 4:30 for no particular reason. I do not ever use an alarm. I just let my body tell me when to sleep and for how long. As a matter of fact, if I don’t wake up naturally, meaning someone or something wakes me up, I’m a terrible grump. Don’t wake me up unless it’s a true emergency. 😉

            As for mentoring you all, that scares me, since I hardly feel qualified. I’m just doing what I love best and learning with you and sharing it each week. I learn from all of you, also. And I am very thankful and interested in all of your experiences. May the Lord God guide me to experience the things and teachings He would have me to experience and to write as He would have me write to you. This is my heart.

            May you have a blessed week, Joyce.


      2. Don’t know the reason
        They won’t eat their peas and
        Nothing to do but clean up this thrown goo

        But God says they’re blessings
        Despite all the stress and
        When they’re asleep then I’ll think so too

        Wastin’ away in distance learning land
        Searchin’ for my lost celllll phoooone
        Some people claim that there’s a toddler to blaaaame
        Now I think, oh it could be my fault


        1. She blew out her diaper
          So quick! gotta wipe her
          Finish this change ‘fore the next one explodes

          He won’t do his homework
          “No dessert for you who shirk!”
          “But mama, my sister won’t leave me aloooooooone!”

          Wastin’ away again in distance learning ville
          Searchin’ for my lost coffee cup
          Some people claim that there’s a husband to blame
          But I know, it’s nobody’s fault

          Yes and, some people claim that there’s a full moon to blaaaame
          But I know, it’s my own damn fault

    2. Bear!
      Tzatziki is the BEST!!! If you enjoy Greek cooking… Baklava is amazing. I have made this with non-traditional fillings (expanded to include a variety of dried fruits and nuts). Spotted a recipe for Pumpkin Baklava at Yummly, and might have to give that one a try! ENJOY!!!

  4. Went on a little glamping vacation Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It started to rain Sunday afternoon so the wife and I headed into a nearby town for some shopping. We went to a Farm, Family and Home store. I liked Tractor Supply but Farm, Family and Home is way better than Tractor Supply. They have a Sporting Goods section with Guns and Ammunition. Their selection is also much better than Tractor Supply. We left the store with about $100 worth of merchandise, much deeply discounted on clearance. Then come to find out there is one less than an hour from where we live! We stopped at a Good Will and I picked up chicken leg bands for Identification, and a stainless steel utensils.

    I spent some time packing food into Mylar and plastic buckets. I ordered a case of potato flakes and macaroni in number ten cans. I also ordered a set of flip up sites for an AR. The wife and I started to process some tomatoes out of the garden for sauce and salsa. Due to the roller coaster ride of barometric pressure changes my inner ear issue knocked me out of commission for 2 days this week.

    At the store inside the camp ground they had Can Cookers for sale and they had looked to be there a while. So when I was checking out I asked the owner if she could do any better on the price. She said “absolutely” since they had been there awhile. We walked over and there where 4, 2 gallon cooker and one original “size” can. The 2 gallon cans were marked $59 the original can did not have a price tag on it at all. She said I could have that can for $59! That can runs $100 or more on-line. I even picked up a grate for the bottom for $10, which was $5 less than what I was seeing them on line for. Anyone have any words of wisdom to share on using Can Cookers? Recipes? I spent some time and copied some recipes off the can cooker website.

    Equipment and supplies: I was thinking last week I should get a block heater for the Kubota tractor. Lo and behold there was a brand new one still in the packaging at the Salvation Army for a mere $3.99. I picked up a Mini-Mag light for 99 cents, there are corroded batteries inside it but I think I can salvage it. I also got 4 large Commercial metal spoons.

    I’m off right now to an auction at an Amish wheel wright. Looking at the photos on line the gentleman must have also been an “Amish second hand store” with tons of tools, kerosene heaters, Coleman gas stoves and lanterns. Will be interesting to see what I’m able to bring home.

      1. So while I was under the weather this week I found some show called “Dickerers” about these guys up in Maine. They make their livelihood off of buying, selling, trading and bartering goods and services. Wife watched a few episodes too.

        So when I came back from the Amish auction with an Old (circa 1895?) treadle Singer sewing machine and she asked “what (expletive deleted) is that?” I told her it was trading stock for dickering! But in all seriousness I want to use it. All it needs is a new belt. I saw (saved?) the rest of the purchases for next week’s report.

        1. Just curious what you paid for that treadle sewing machine, if you don’t mind. The little thrift/antique store in town had one, but they wanted several hundred for it. The lady the owner got it from said it still worked fine. The belts all good. It’s very heavy, but I want it soooo bad! I’m just afraid it will be another heavy thing to move, if I ever move. And I think my hand sewing is acceptable should I ever be in a position to do so. Sigh… I always fight myself on these things, asking “okay, is this a real prepper item you should have, OR are you just wishing for it because it’s so cool?!”

          1. SaraSue-
            So the machine was remounted on a table but is still hooked up to a foot pump. The machine itself is very nice with “Singer” still very clear and crisp and still has brass plates with model, etc. Don’t cry but I paid $10 for it.
            In my opinion having a means of production that will do a job (like sewing) quicker and easier than what most people will be able to do is a survival tool. Our cloths have become, for the most part, disposable and therefore the quality is lacking. In a prolonged TEOTWAWKI event people will need to mend their clothes. Alterations might also be needed as people lose weight from going back to an agrarian lifestyle. $700 seems outrageous but with this economy maybe they will be more inclined to take less. Never hurts to ask. Good luck.

          2. SaraSue, I understand the vintage machine envy. I have been pining for a Singer Red Eye with cabinet and treadle enabled for a few years. I want to buy one that is in really great shape, because I have so much already to do and re-do. I don’t need anything else to re-do! Good luck finding your vintage beauty and I’ll keep looking for mine. I have a really nice electronic machine, but I want a treadle in case I need it for the future. I can sew without electricity, in that case.

    1. “I was thinking last week I should get a block heater for the Kubota tractor. Lo and behold there was a brand new one still in the packaging at the Salvation Army for a mere $3.99.”

      When stuff like that happens, I often feel as though God is looking down and winking at us, just like an attentive Dad. If we are looking for them, reminders are everywhere that He cares about not only the big stuff, but the smallest details as well.

      1. Bear… there is so much truth in what you wrote…my wife and I point out to each other the many, many ways He cares for us…TY for the encouragement… God bless you

    2. I’ve always enjoy Tractor Supply, but then I read, ” We went to a Farm, Family and Home store. I liked Tractor Supply but Farm, Family and Home is way better than Tractor Supply.” Never heard of them before, so I did some investigating. No stores anywhere close to New Mexico. Rats*. Now I know why I never heard of them.

      * I should have said “phoeey” in deference to our gracious hostess, but I kind of like rats. Sorry.

      1. Paul D-
        There is always the possibility of a road trip!!! It is amazing that this gem of a store is right under our nose- couldn’t be live I have never heard of it.

  5. This has been a busy week taking care of the garden harvest! Canning potatoes, spaghetti sauce, pickles, peppers for a start. I will freeze cabbage today to clear out the refrigerator.

    I taught a friend (who has been a minimal prepped for a few years) how to pressure can meat. He told me where he got a good deal on pork and chicken so guess where I went after we got the first batch cooking? Yep, I got pork loin roasts for 99 cents a pound!!!! Purchased 6 of them and I got 4 packages of 6 boneless chicken breasts for $1.99! Guess I will be canning today.

    My goat milking is getting better with practice (as do most things) and I am planning on trying my hand at goat cheese later this fall.

    I feel pressed to share with all on SB: when preparing physically, don’t neglect the spiritual aspect of your life. The troubles within our country/world are not just a virus… they are greed, hatred, and all things evil. The Bible reminds us that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against the forces of evil. Ephesians 6.

    Stay focused; stay diligent.

    1. Elli O, I agree with you. We mustn’t neglect our spiritual lives. There may come a day when the only Scriptures that we have are the ones memorized in our minds. We are indeed witnessing the forces of evil doing battle with the angels of Heaven. All around us are folks who are so very lost that it makes me so sad. Most of them will not find the “narrow path” of Matthew 7:13.

  6. We were blessed by the Lord last night with between 6-8 inches of rain. It may not all have soaked in but a good majority did and has greatly helped with the drought we have been experiencing for the last 3 months. Our pastures and gardens are all much happier this morning as we fed cattle and picked our okra, green beans, tomatoes and okra.
    I was also able to pick up the limit on ammo at the local sporting goods store on 3 separate days as new shipments came in from a variety of manufacturers. Still working on adding to everything, but we are making nice progress with items to exercise our Second Amendment rights.
    I also finally received the new chain saws to continue to put up firewood for the winter. I unfortunately had been waiting almost a month for parts to fix the chain saw that I had, but they were all on backorder. I was sad that I could purchase an entire new saw for what the replacement parts and labor were going to be and that was if and when the parts ever arrived. We still have about 2 cords of wood that need to be cut, split and stacked before October when we start the woodburner for the year.
    We also continue to study on the Bible and pray nightly before we go to sleep. We are just so wary of the current state of things in our country and the continued slow spread of this lawless rioting and destruction. We continue to pray for the Lord to help all of the people who are caught up in these messes and keep them safe. We also continue to pray for an end to the senseless destruction of business, property and localized areas in these urban areas for the sake of the good people who live and work there.
    Ms. Lily and Mr. James, we appreciate all of your hard work with the website and the information you provide and your personal weekly roundup of your activities.
    Thoughts and prayers out there for all in the SurvivalBlog community.

  7. This will be quick as we are departing on a five hour drive north to see a house. We had several homes damaged in our neighborhood from the remnants of Laura. That generator I bought (Harbor Freight Predator 3500 inverter) has performed well running our freezers and fridge along with a few other items. We were only without power for nine hours. Then we loaned it to a neighbor up the street overnight, and now it is at a coworker’s house running a window AC unit. We are fortunate that one of the power company’s linemen lives down the street and was out in his truck as soon as the wind and rain died down marking snapped lines. Their teams were onsite an hour later.

    We canned 27 half pints of butter, plus another 7 quarts and 12 pints of beef.

    Hopefully closing a deal on a Ruger 30.06 hunting rifle this week. It’s been sitting in my neighbor’s parents’ safe since his father passed away many years ago. Barely used. Also a nice older hunting shotgun, only used once. We’ll see. I need a hunting rifle but not the shotgun.

    Have a safe weekend everyone.

      1. I canned ghee a while back, from butter purchased from the store. Melt butter in a pan and heat gently until the milk solids drop to the bottom of the pan. While it’s heating, sterilize jars and lids and either in boiling water or in the oven (set to around 250). When everything is hot, fill jars to half inch headspace. Wipe rims with vinegar and add lids. Set on a towel to cool for 24 hours. If you are sure the lid is on tight, you can invert the jars just after filling to insure that the lid is sterilized.

        While it’s my understanding that ghee will keep a very long time, you can store melted butter in similar fashion with a reduced shelf life. You just don’t heat it as long. Also, when storing ghee, the salt in salted butter will settle out with the milk solids.

        God bless.

      2. We pressure can butter. This is different than what Cabot describes below. Pressure canning can give you years of shelf life if done correctly. The safety sallies often pound the table on how you will get sick and die from eating canned butter (or turn into a zombie or maybe a far left leaning antifa acolyte) but so far no problems for us and it sure is nice having those jars of shelf stable butter on our shelves at 1/3 the cost of Red Feather canned butter. We will be trying cream cheese next.

        I’d type it all out but there is a video you can watch and it’s the same method we use: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zmrw_O0_hW4

        Plus the lady presenting is pretty funny. That is always a plus.

  8. Note to Self: Small garden=small harvest. As this is my first attempt at gardening in over 20 years, I started small. The small tomatoes are most abundant, some green beans and cucumbers. Only a couple of larger tomatoes for now, and still waiting on the carrots. I was on a road trip for 2-3 days and drove right through Tropical Depression Laura. Not smart. The good news is I am not retired and able to concentrate on helping others and working around the house! While I was gone the sun was brutal and most of my small garden withered pretty badly. I did water it, but it didn’t look much better. The heavy rain last night has it looking better, we shall see. I am expanding the garden this fall and will look for a better way of watering, perhaps a drip system. I agree with preparing Spiritually. Satan is not even trying to hide anymore and knows his time is short. Prayers and Blessings to all.

  9. I read your last comment about living in your valley and how peaceful it is, that you’d never know what’s going on elsewhere if you didn’t have internet, and smiled.
    I was talking with a customer of mine couple years back about some issue of the day that I was fretting over. He hadn’t even heard about it. He sheepishly admitted he lives under a rock and doesn’t pay attention to that stuff. We both agreed that he was the smarter of the two of us.

  10. I found an embarrassingly huge gaping hole in my preps this week. I dropped everything and ran out and bought 10 lbs of popcorn. You know what you call 10 lbs of popcorn in a 5-gallon bucket? A good start. A friend was headed to the Big City so I tagged along to be a nuisance. Walmart actually had one box of wide-mouth canning lids in stock. Someone had opened it so all other shoppers had rejected it. Not me! No jars anywhere in sight. Stopped at the dollar store and they had reading glasses for a mere dollar so I bought five pairs. I already have about six pairs but they are scattered all over the house and shop in strategic locations so I don’t have to go looking for a pair every time I need one. So the extra new ones will go into the hard-goods prep boxes with all the other new items like spatulas, mixing whips, butane lighters, kitchen scales, etc.

    I cut some more cedar posts to continue improving the deer fence around the garden, slowly replacing all oak and hickory ones the termites have been feasting on for the past five years. I still have some big oak trees down so I sawed more of those into shorter lengths for splitting. I cut them last winter so they could begin the drying out process even thought I knew I didn’t have time to cut them all up. I already have three year’s worth of firewood cut and stacked so there was no hurry in cutting them up. They should amount to more than a year’s worth of firewood. It was exciting to see actual chips coming out from the chainsaw instead of burned sawdust. It’s amazing what a sharpened chain will do. The fresh-cut black oak smells heavenly.

    I removed 20 wisteria plants I propagated from the mother plants and they all had good roots formed so they’re off to a good start. I planted them in #10 cans to sell next spring.

    A hawk landed in the black walnut tree closest to the house while the cat was on the deck. I ran out there to make sure Freddy Feline wasn’t on the menu but before I got outside, the hawk had dive bombed the house and crashed into the big picture window. He didn’t knock himself out like the smaller birds do but he left his outline and some small feathers on the glass before flying off in another direction, no doubt dazed and confused.

    If the deer don’t finish me off, the pack rat in my shop will. After filling the solar dryer with zucchini, the weather turned bad on day 2 so I rolled it into my shop. The pack rat has figured out how to open the top vent to get inside to do some general looting. On most of the zucchini I had trialed a bunch of different spices and toppings, which the rat ignored, taking only the au naturel slices. Definitely not a Rattus connoisseurius.

    We got 9/10ths of an inch of rain but that won’t do much. We really need a couple of good storms to get the soil moisture replenished. I’m having problems with my calendar. It’s saying that it’s going to be September in a few days but that can’t possibly be correct??

    One of my neighbors had an accident. He was making deer sausage to open up some space in his freezer. He backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

    Everyone have a great week!

    1. St. Funogas,
      Sorry to hear about your neighbors accident. I had a friend who was was working for an optician and accidentally fell into a lens grinder and made a spectacle out of himself. Recently the farmer next door did not securely fasten the door to his hog barn and when he came home from town discovered that over half of the hogs were running around the ranch. He went into the farmhouse and discovered about half a dozen pigs in the kitchen sitting around the table listening to his ham radio! (I couldn’t resist that one, but you left the door open so I naturally just walked right on in. It’s just my nature! 😉 Maybe Tunnel R-Abbott and Costello will have to solution to the problem. Have to wait and see!)

      Have a great day!
      David ‘n’ Goliath
      PS. Actually Goliath ain’t around right now. Someone said he had a bad headache. He reportedly had a temper tantrum over some trivial thing and lost his head over the deal.

    2. St Funogas,

      Hubby got me a fabulous movie theater type popcorn popper and enough popcorn to go with it to last my entire rest of my life!!
      Glad to hear you stocked up on it!!

      Have a Rockin great day!!

    3. Saint, I’m in same boat as you with the popcorn. I only have 8 lbs of Orville Redenbacher (sp?) from Costco. I haven’t forgotten it, just tend to push it lower down the priority list of spending, even though love it so much.

      Love Dollar Store reading glasses. Costco reading glasses are of such good quality they are heavy, hurt my nose bridge and leave indentations. Dollar Store glasses are light and comfy.

      Wisteria. Aww… the scent of childhood. My mom has a green thumb and has always been an avid gardener. Everything just grows great for her. She stomps on the dirt around plants, and I swear they must say, “Oh, we’re going to grow extraordinary for her.” Me, not so much. Could be all that horrible smelling fish fertilizer she used. Maybe that’s why I loved the sweet fragrance of the wisteria so much. Our wisteria grew like a jungle weed, and it was a yearly chore to chop it back to 12 x 30 feet so it wouldn’t take over the upper deck. Blessings on your starts.

      Well, if ever I was going to try grilling a rat, it would be your pack rat; gotta be super healthy. Of course, with lots of bbq sauce.

      Same goes for your deer.

      Tell your friend we are praying for his bum! Krissy

  11. Lily your description of your thoughts when looking around is exactly what I am feeling. It feels like we are running a race but falling a few steps behind each week. I was walking the Costco isles the other day and noticed a person half an isle in front of me. It was fairly easy to see they were stocking up by what was going into the cart. Two bags of rice, cases of can goods, multiple items of baking goods such as salt and flour. Prepared items were few and basics filled the cart. The thought occurred to me that this is still rare and that most have gotten used to the wider isles in the grocery store and less items on the shelves The descriptions from Ice Age Farmer seem far removed from most people’s reality. The fall may bring a hard awakening.

    Our preservation processes have been consuming our days. We are either water bath or PC canning each day. Put up chicken, salmon (Costco has great prices on wild caught fish right now), beef stew and hamburger. Beans, tomatoes and pears as well. I’m dehydrating pears for pear chips. The freeze dryer has eggs and several packs of frozen veggies as we try and convert our frozen items into FD’d items.

    There is so much more that needs to be done. Weeds are consuming our outside areas. Painting of the exterior areas of the house and out buildings is getting more urgent. Replacing cracked windows before the cold sets in is a high priority, and the list goes on.
    Does it feel like the days don’t have enough hours in them?

    May we all find a few more minutes each day to finish our lists and thank God for the opportunity to do so.

    1. Cal… From your post and response to Lily’s thoughts and sharing: “It feels like we are running a race but falling a few steps behind each week.”

      I wonder if this comes not only from the season since this is such a busy time of year, but also as each of us realizes how much it will truly take to survive any lengthy period of time (supplies, skills, the works). Even those of us who have been preparing in earnest for years understand the seriousness of this question, and the daunting nature of the answers. I remember earlier in the season when Lily was calling on the SB community to consider closely how much food they might have to grow or otherwise gather in order to sustain any period of time. This was an important admonition.

      Your description of the shopping experience speaks to human psychology as it relates to crisis response. Some are preparing (stocking their cupboards), but many have simply acclimated to the new conditions (such as the wider aisles or fewer products on the shelves), but otherwise may not be making adjustments. This is one of the ways people respond to a problem they do not otherwise know how to address or feel helpless to address. They simply ignore or deny the dangers that surround them.

      In the face of it all, we must continue to prepare in every way we can — making forward progress in all ways — small ones and big ones! Every step forward is just that — a step forward.

  12. Among many other things this week, I tried out a new (To me) tomato recipe: stewed tomatoes. I have never made them before, but my husband tried some at a local restaurant and really liked them, so I decided to try and make some from our home ģrown tomatoes. The first recipe I looked up online seemed to have more peppers and onions, and DH said they weren’t like what the restaurant served. So I played around with it and finally got a blend that he likes. Bonus: it will be crazy easy to can. What I ended up with is this:
    4 qts sauce tomatoes, peeled and crushed
    1/2 c chopped bell peppers
    1/2 c chopped onion
    1 tbsp sugar
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp dried basil
    1 tsp dried oregano

    Would be interested to know if anyone here has their own tried and true recipe, or can comment on other ingredients they like.

    Have a blessed and productive week.

    1. Ma’am, I use a pint of canned tomatoes and a cup of okra, with a bit of garlic salt and pepper. I absolutely hate onions and bell peppers, so I don’t use those in any of my cooking. But stewed tomatoes and okra are a great side dish, or as a base for a low carb vegetable beef (or other meat) soup.

  13. Raining off and on here in the northern tier Appalachian Mts. Organizing our basement we continue to set up our ham radios and their components to make sure everything is happy. Getting ready to study for the Extra Class License. Reading the latest news and changes on Amrron. Also, enjoying John Jacob and Lady Liberty on their “morning commute” around 10:00am EST at radiofreeredoubt. Spray painted file cabinet set it up with the files. Did some much-needed paperwork. Set up a desk and also a dry bar with two small refrigerators which used to be in our old office, under each side of the countertop. Microwave, kettle, tea & coffee are set up. At some point we intend to put overhead cabinets over the counter.
    Found a vehicle for daughter. Needs work on the transmission. Hoping it’s just a selonoid problem. She needs the 4 wheel drive to get out of the driveway up here. Finished working on the Silverado. New rocker panels, lots of welding and patching. We will spray the underside with oil and prime and paint the repaired areas. It’s our winter vehicle so it needs to pass inspection.
    Reading in Numbers this week where God is preparing His people spiritually and physically to enter the promised land. Will they listen? Most of us know the outcome but it serves as a reminder that we need to trust Him and move ahead in this world by faith. Have a blessed week everyone.

  14. I got 2 whole pork loins for $1.99 lb, I thought I had hit the mother lode but Elli O you beat me. Can’t get hamburger cheaper than that. I cleaned all the fat and silverskin from it and set that aside to cook down for broth. Cut then ground the meat, then cooked in a fry pan and drained in a wire strainer set in another pan. the dehydrating instructions say to rinse under running water to remove any remaining fat, but I fill a pan with HOT water and dip the strainer and stir the meat crumbles. then I set it over another pan to catch the water drips. THEN I dump it all into a big bowl. Seems like a lot of pans but set out on the counter top assembly line fashion gets a big job done easily. I put the meat crumbles on the dehydrator trays and started drying them. Put all the pans of rinse water, fry pan drippings and silver skin and fat on to cook for about 3-5 hours, makes the BEST broth! I dehydrate 12+ hours to make sure they are very dry. From 2 loins (about 16 lb total) I got 4 quarts very rich broth and 16 cups dry crumbles. I use 1/2 cup crumbles and 1/2 cup water soak overnight in fridge then add it to gravy , can put on biscuits, potatoes etc. I put the broth up in pint freezer containers. I don’t have to worry about electric going out, I can adjust amount used for number people being fed.

  15. This working for a living sucks! But I guess somebody has to do it. As per my comment, I’m back at work for another shift. I guess we better take it while we can get it, because the outlook is pretty bleak for next year. I generally work construction in the oil patch, and out of 6 projects that were supposed to go this year, 3 have been “delayed” until at least next spring and one has been cancelled. No matter how rosy the NEWS agencies paint it, it just doesn’t look good.

    Needless to say I haven’t managed to get a lot accomplished as far as prepping goes. On my days off I managed to do a few household repairs that have been piling up. Just those little things around the house that always seem to need doing. I did manage to find some bulk ammo at one of my favorite dealers, so I figured I better stock up a little – you guys down south are sucking the market dry. I was told by the guys at my LGS that “IF” their next order comes in we’ll be looking at a minimum of a 15% increase, and possibly 20%, across the board.

    My wife has been having lots of fun. We haven’t really planted a garden since the girls moved out a few years ago, but with all the uncertainty this year, and the fact that she was laid off from her job, she figured we better have a “practice” garden for when the zombies come. She’s been harvesting and canning steady for the last couple weeks. She says she’s learned a lot, and has made some mistakes that she’s glad she could make now, before it becomes a matter of life and death. I think that’s what this whole prepping journey is about – learning new things and new skills that will make a difference for our families and community.

    Keep your powder dry and your Bible close at hand.

  16. Lily, I can identify with your ongoing and never ending efforts around the farm! Since you and Jim were here last, I have been forced to do my own remodeling plumbing and carpentry work because local contractors are not available. I have been freeze drying plums, making plum jelly, picking lots of tomatoes, Harvesting potatoes early for new greens house to be put up there, terracing the hillside for orchard planting next spring, collecting eggs for freeze drying and feeding and watering the chickens, doing some salmon fishing in the river outside the house and putting together lots of furniture because everything must be delivered these days. Apples and pears will need harvesting soon.

    1. Hello there, Ray!

      It took a moment for it to register in my mind who you are. 😉

      We’re sorry to hear that the contractors weren’t available for you, after all. Bummer! That is a lot of work you will have to do. I pray for you all to have much strength, patience, and endurance to get it all done in due time.

      How is the salmon fishing going? That is something I would love to do, someday.

      Jim asked me to thank you again, for the, “you know what”. It’s doing the perfect job for us.

      We pray much blessing to come to you and your family!


  17. My wife and bought property in Northern Idaho! We won’t be moving until mid October to allow a full recovery from my imminent total knee replacement. We are excited to be leaving Florida and beginning our “great adventure”!

    1. Wow great! Just don’t check your trailer too closely ok? I’m gonna stow away! 😉

      All the best on your upcoming surgery. My FiL has had both knees replaced and says it’s one of the best things he’s done. Took away the constant pain!

    2. Congratulations!!! Prayers for safe and successful knee surgery, and a quick recovery with the best results… Prayers also for the start of a wonderful new adventure in Idaho!!!

    3. Kenfr, New knee and new property? WooHoo! Praise the Lord! So excited for you on both counts. I’m kinda jealous you’re going to be part bionic, lol. We will be praying you through surgery, as well as the weeks of physical therapy. Blessings to you and your family through these major events, Krissy

  18. Went out looking for the new book last night at Costco with no luck, but did find a WI paddling guide for my sister.

    In the garden, I’m waiting on the last few cucumbers and zucchini to ripen so I can clear out the vines and burn them. Starting to get inundated with tomatoes. The new crop of lettuce and peas have sprouted, and hopefully will be ready before first frost. The raspberries are starting to produce their second crop, and I had a ripe one yesterday. These raspberries that my grandfather gave us, produce twice a year. The new canes produce in September, and then again in summer before being spent.

    I’m down to the last bags of feed for the ducks, so they get cut off before hunting season begins. It was a good year for production, but still not back to where it should be. Overharvest is still a threat. Recently, another cream colored mallard has shown up, so we now have two. Ghost is a hen, and the new one is a drake. Makes me wonder if it’s a younger brother of Ghost.

  19. @Cabot. I put jalapenos instead of green pepper in mine and no herbs. The ball canning book has a version I think. My friend likes hers in a dish called rice and tomatoes that I don’t care for. They are basically just mixed together. I find it is a great base recipe for other things such as soups. Good luck!

  20. Something happened early this morning.

    I live in a rural area in Texas. I’m about an hour from a major city. My neighborhood consists of 3-15 acre tracts of land with about 30 houses total. Quiet. Older folks. Few children and teens. American flags and Trump flags flying everywhere. It’s common to hear the pop of gun shots every day. You get the idea.

    At almost 5am this morning My hubby, teen and I were awakened to blaring music and lights. My dogs were going bananas.

    I don’t mean regular loud thumping music you hear on the street. It was almost like it was played through a megaphone speaker. You could hear the lyrics. And my house is a half acre away from the road.

    Two cars cruised slowly down my road twice. They were all lit up with bright floodlight lights.
    Totally out of the ordinary and obviously disturbing the peace.

    After they got off my street, we heard 4 gunshots in the distance. I’m certain fired as warnings to the cars.

    I’ll be chatting with the neighbors later to see what they heard.

    I was shaken for about 10 mins but then told myself, this is what these people want. To disturb and terrorize. I am convinced it was some random thugs wanting to play antifa in the area.

    Then I realized, with all my food prepping and gardening and buying ammo, we haven’t made a plan for this scenario.

    We just dodged a hurricane. We cleaned, prepped, gassed up, and locked down everything earlier this week. Bug out bags, important documents, photos, cash…all ready to go in an emergency. But what about if riots come to the neighborhood? Before or after the election? I have the mindset that in Texas we are safe. (Not Austin and not the border). Rural Texas. We shoot hogs on the daily. Thugs should know not to come here. But they are stupid, so maybe they will.

    Anyway, now we have to have a plan of action for this scenario too. And we have young children. I teach them about food preparation, water safety, stranger danger. But rioters has never been on the list. Now it is after this mornings literal wake-up call.

    1. Texas Gal,

      Sorry to hear of your situation. Unfortunately, we all will see more of these assaults.

      I would suggest that you and the neighbors call a meeting (including the local sheriff and D.A.) to explain what happened and strategize your defense. I know this sounds simplistic but this is a basic first action.

      The jerks that do this type of thing are immature, stupid and brain deficient zombies because of drug use and indoctrination. They do have a “leadership” and they follow the commands of “leaders” that don’t care a whit about them or victims.

      After Trump is reelected I feel as if he will implement a plan to restore order or at least make it known that the current government will back up citizens that protect themselves from physical harm and property crimes. But you can’t count on anything as a “for sure”.

      I have previously mentioned on this SBlog that rural areas may initially be more vulnerable than suburb neighborhoods due to the greater distance between homes.

      At this time, keep your battle rifle at the ready and work from the top half of your vehicle’s gas tank.

      Later we can discuss more solutions that can be used against these misfits INLUDING the dangerous people at the upper levels of their organizations.

      I don’t think this will be a short term problem because it has been metastasizing unchecked for too long. On second thought, maybe the good people of America can make it a short term problem.

      Take good care.

      1. I think Kyle scared the crap out of BLM/Antifa leadership. Everything has been scaled back, and they’re pushing a non-violence message at rallies today. Kyle showed them just what gun owners will do to them if they continue their attacks. Kenosha has been pretty quiet since. We’ll see how long it lasts.

    2. Texas Gal… I was so sorry to hear that this happened to you. Something very similar happened to our oldest son who lives in South Carolina. Thugs attempt to threaten and menace, intimidate and terrorize. Hoping you can take measures to strengthen your existing security (from gates or fences to early warning systems like motion detector lights, and even protective signage). A report to local law enforcement may also be a good idea so that there is a record of these suspect activities in your area.

      Most importantly… Stay safe! You are in our thoughts and prayers, and no doubt the thoughts and prayers of many other SB readers too!

    3. I’m so sorry Texas Gal! So unnerving. In Idaho, we’re not that far from Washington and Oregon where the worst of the West Coast rioting is happening. I try really hard not to think about it (after having done all I can to prepare). So far, folks here have let it be known that the rioters are not welcome, but… there are so many (churches even!!!!) that have accepted and promote “social justice” rather than Jesus Christ, that I think it can happen in any town. In any case, remember to breathe in, breathe out, look towards the sky – much love coming your way.

      1. SaraSue… It’s true. Even churches have become involved in promoting “social justice”. Unfortunately, the decision to move in this direction — which may have seemed to them to be an effort for good at the time — has been used to weaken and even destroy those Houses of Worship. Leftists use this Aikido-style move all the time, twisted for their own nefarious purposes.

        1. Definitely. Our former bishop was rather leftist leaning… okay not “rather.” I read her writings in which she stated abortion was a blessing (!!!!) and that diversity would be the church’s salvation (!!!). This was horrifying to see with my own eyes. We are truly thankful that Bishop Curry has the position now, and he is all about one thing: proclaim the name of JESUS! (Even on international TV, to the British royalty, lol.)

    4. They get away with this behavior until patient, reasonable men come off the bench and start delivering harsh lessons in the consquences of not being civil. Women are more than capable of doing the same but I’m a little old fashioned and think this work should be reserved for men. That time is nearing but not yet. It will be time when law enforcement is either overwhelmed or isn’t willing to deal with it, and behaviors escalate to criminal activity. Perhaps some of the stupider ones will get thinned out a little before then. I find it interesting that a many rioters are in fact school teachers or involved in work that enable access to our children.

      1. From your post, Chris in Arkansas: “I find it interesting that a many rioters are in fact school teachers or involved in work that enable access to our children.”

        You point out a devastating truth — that school teachers have been found among the rioters. President Trump is organizing a plan to restore true education to our schools. If re-elected, I believe we’ll see a major move on this front.

  21. Reading Avalanche Lily’s report, I had to smile because she had not only described her own experience at this time of year… She had also described conditions here for all of us! It’s such a busy time, and we will soon be rounding the bend of time. Autumn will be here before we know it!

    Baby egg layer chicks will arrive early this fall for us, and we believe we’ll incubate another group into the later fall. It’s time to increase our flock, and we’re so looking forward to the arrival of those little peepers!

    We continue to blanch and freeze vegetables, and to package those up in Food Saver packaging. Seems that when the crops come in, they really do come in! Even though the garden in this way from year to year, we find ourselves re-amazed once again. It’s also time to gear up the garden beds and the greenhouse for the next round of crops. There is always something to do!

    In addition to the food we can produce, we made a trip to town for a no-contact pick up of shelf-stable supplies, and continue to order in by mail as well. An order from our local beef cattle rancher and butcher shop means we won’t have to shop for beef for some time — and we were able to support a local vendor too. We have been able to alternatively source just about everything imaginable. With time and a solution oriented focus, we have — thus far — been able to adjust to changes related to the activities of life.

    Before the Labor Day holiday weekend, we’ll try to make one more no-contact shopping run — and from that time forward, we’ll anticipate being even more isolated as we move into flu season alongside all the issues about which we’re concerned with the election approaching.

    We are not letting down our family guard related to SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19 because of the vulnerabilities of our family members. The loss of SB reader Newell Franks’ friend, the PA who lost his life to COVID-19, is a hard reminder of the dangers of this viral bioweapon.

    Related to this, one of our focal points currently is updating and expanding our home-based OTC remedies alongside keeping current Rx medicines. We encourage everyone to study these supplies, and in so far as it’s possible, to build on these. The U.S. remains dangerously dependent — at least for now — on foreign sources for both supplements and prescription medications. We have noticed some “quantity limits” including those for Zinc Oxide (a great OTC cream to have on hand).

    Alongside our near term preparedness activities, we also remain keenly focused on longer terms risks including the interaction of our solar system and most especially our sun with the plasma sheet, the increasing risk of solar EMP and/or excursion, the decline of earth’s magnetic field, and the magnetic reversal coming. We are considering closely and trying to design plans for insulated shelter and the protection of everything from shelf-stable supplies to seeds.

    The best news is that we continue to make progress, despite the various and sundry hurdles. In some ways we’ve been slowed a bit. In other ways our efforts have been redirected. Having been through storms in life before, we know with certainty that God works all circumstances for GOOD. …and we believe that every way in which we’re being challenged now is to help us prepare for whatever is coming — conditions only God Himself can see even though — as humans — we naturally try to predict and prognosticate!

    Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

    1. TofA… “we believe that every way in which we’re being challenged now is to help us prepare for whatever is coming.” This is SO TRUE!!! Every time our path seemingly has another “detour” it reminds me of the conversations here about well placed obstacles to channel/direct the path of approach to one’s home/placement for defense. Except for past experiences, we as God’s children, would most likely not see many of the unwanted twist and turns we travel as anything other than obstacles.

      This is my current petition…that through His grace, we are kept in the center of the path He has for us! “He shall cover their with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Psalms 91:4 …no matter HOW it is accomplished- because we hear His voice or He guides us in ways not understood-may we dwell in the secret place of the most High!!!

      P.S. TofA…love when confirmations of His leading comes by way of those who have already traveled the same path…thank you!

      1. So well said, Joyce, and a beautiful message and affirmation! Thank you so very much for sharing this with me — and with all of us who are part of the SB community!

    2. T of A,

      Loved, loved, loved your comments.

      Having to blink away tears so I can keep reading.

      May the Lord’s face shine upon you.

      May He give you the desires of your heart and bless your preparations. Krissy

      1. Thank you, Krissy! What a beautiful blessing and prayer! So much appreciated… May the Good and Loving Lord we serve, BLESS and KEEP you ever and always!

  22. Tomatoes are coming in late, but strong. It appears that the determinate bush variety will produce as well or better than the latter maturing indeterminate types. I did not have a green house and grew these from seed. Consequently, they had an approximately 30 day latter start, and suffered from a several week long cool spell in June as well. Conclusion, the bush varieties are less space efficient, but more reliable in this part of the country. Fortunately they do well in smaller containers, and 5 gallon bucket than do indeterminates, and are compact enough plants to be used in low poly tunnel to grow latter in the season. Next year, the frame acquired for a green house this year, might be erected in time to be used to at least extend the season will improve production.

    Potatoes. The final result will not be known until the end of the season, yet it can be said that a potato tower experiment has resulted in a exceptional 4 foot tall potatoes plants that may have produced lots of potatoes in a 2’x2′ area.

    Defenses. I’m now looking at inexpensive drones such as this to add to the defense. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WHRJ99S/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=AZK59AYX46CBC&psc=1

    1. Tunnel Rabbit, our daughter just bought an inexpensive drone. Best to do it sooner than later if you are interested so that you have time to practice with it. It does take a bit of time to learn how to maximize its use. Good luck!

    2. I bought an inexpensive drone two years ago when they were on special at Christmas time. It has a camera and uses your smart phone to display what it sees. It took a little while to gain control of it and gain confidence. We put it up high and fly it around the bend in the road so we can see what’s coming. The quality of pic is ok in clearing or on road but not as good in forest. They are not good in a breeze over 8-10 mph but on a quiet day can easily control it 125-150′ high.

  23. Update:

    Some very exciting news. Twenty chicks have hatch thus far with ten more eggs cracking, rolling and peeping. It is an amazing hatch rate this time around. Praise the Lord!

    Today, is also our Sabbath. Jim is traveling to CA. The girls and I, are hanging around in the living room, together, watching the newly hatched baby chickies.

    The adult cats are on the floor and a chair, while the kittens are playing with the girls and are harassing the adult cats. We are watching all of the kitten and cat drama as well as the chickies. We’ve had a few delightful laughs at their antics.

    The adult cats know that baby chickies and chickens are off limits. But the kittens have yet to learn. I am the main animal trainer/disciplinarian in this house.

    The chicks are in an open water trough. With each kitten this morning, I have scooped them up, one at a time, and held them over the trough and let them get a really good look at the chickies, then I “PSSST” while giving them a shake and let them go. They high-tail it away from me, lickety-split which gives us a chuckle. I did it twice with each of them.

    Plus last night before the chicks began arriving the kittens were trying to walk the edge of the trough, three times, and I had to chase them off it by rushing them and “Psssts, Psssts-ing”. With all of my “Pssst-ing”, I think they are getting the picture.

    But we will keep a close eye on them for the next few days and repeat the lesson if they show too much interest in the contents of the trough.

    In general these kittens appear to be quite head strong, fearless, and fool hardy. This makes us feel nervous for their future safety. We are keeping them in the house and are training them to hear our warnings and to obey them. We love them so much. We are worried about letting them outside and them finding their way to the road and getting hit. We are trying to figure out how to teach them to be very car wary. Does anyone have any ideas?

    1. I so much enjoyed the picture of the baby chic for this episode. It makes me feel like a spring chicken!

      Today is also my Sabbath too. So Shabbat Shalom to you and Jim and safe travels for him on his journey.

    2. Lily… Thank you for sharing! I have also always celebrated the Sabbath on this day, although I realize my household is out of step with the traditions of most Christians in the surround (save for the Seventh Day Adventists and we are not part of the Seventh Day community either). We may be fewer in number, but we’re out here and very much part of the Christian community of Believers.

    3. Lily,

      We use a spray bottle with water in it when our kitties are naughty. Just a quick squirt & they start behaving. Maybe this will work for your adorable kittens? 🙂

      Have a Rockin great day!

      1. Remember Binaca Blast? The smell of this breath spray is so intense that animals do not like — and will associate the sound with the overwhelming scent. One must be careful never to expose a pet’s eyes to this (never cause an innocent and curious companion harm), but it can be a very effective deterrent since the smell must only be nearby and associated with the sound which is very much like “psst!” One the animal gets the idea that the “psst” is associated with a very strong — and for the animal an unpleasant smell — the “psst” becomes much more effective!

  24. St. Funogas ; how did you propagate the wisteria ? Sounds like you just buried a stem with dirt or put it in a pot with it still attached to the plant instead of actual cuttings.
    This week I did the 6 month dental cleaning. Spent almost $3000 on vehicle repairs.A hose from the radiator was leaking and had to be replaced the length of the vehicle. Also needed new brakes rotors etc . and had the oil changed.
    First confirmed pileated woodpecker sighting on the new property and my daughter is pretty sure there is a pair. Harvesting and preserving peppers, tomatoes and yard long red beans. Harvesting onions.
    Keeping at 60 new chicks going and the last batch moved outside. Moved bigger partially grown birds up in the pen rotation . Got all the call ducks together in one pen except for the last 5 that are too tiny yet. Moved the buff polish out of the duck area since the ducks make it so wet.
    Had the electrician out to the new property and it is all good news. Generator is working again and batteries (for the solar system) that we were told were no good by someone else who helped us last fall are good. The electrician figured out the pumping problem we were having with. the olive tree irrigation system (we need the faucet we have it hooked to on a different pipe so it comes out of the storage tanks not directly from the well). Electric fence protecting the garden is now working. Solar panels we were told were not working are still good. Once all this (batteries and panels ) is hooked back into the system our solar will be more reliable.
    Got our building permit okayed for the steel storage building and this will allow us to put in grid electricity for back-up. Still have to drive 7 1/2 hours to pick the permit up and pay fees (must be done in person-no exceptions). I have an appointment scheduled to do that. Electrician is coordinating with the excavator who will dig the trenches to put in the electric cable. We will put water pipe in the ditch at the same time so we can have faucets to the front of the property as well as the irrigation we have now. Have been calling around to building supply stores to see the best size pipe for this.
    Actually got most of the kitchen counters clear and some floor cleaning done also. All beds have fresh sheets for the next time family visits.. Also got all the smaller 4 inch stock panels removed from the dog pens and cut in half so they will fit in the trailer for the next trip to the new property. They had to be dug up on the bottom because they were buried. Not an easy task with rock hard clay.
    In the last two weeks I have phoned friends and a cousin that I needed to catch up with.

    1. Hey Chris, yes, you just bury a portion of the stem as you mentioned while it is still attached to the mother plant. In order to mass produce, I have friends save me their small plastic water bottles which I cut in half so I have a top and bottom. I make notches in them for the wisteria stem, fill both halves with wet soil, then place a section of the vine in the middle of the water bottle, making sure I have a leaf node there, then put the bottle back together and cover it with tin foil. After 3-4 weeks they’ll have lots of roots.

      1. Thank you. I’ve tried cuttings with no success. I have had them root occasionally where they touch the ground. I have some that bloom three times a year (first bloom is always the most prolific and showy) and I want take them to the new property. I will get started on this tomorrow.

    2. Chris, I’d be careful about putting in water with the buried electric. You might have to repair it and dig into the cable. It’s best to keep them far enough apart so you won’t accidentally hit the wrong one.

  25. We too have just this week finished splitting and stacking firewood. We had a huge pile of rounds and after they were split we filled the new woodshed plus a couple of cords stacked outside. There wasn’t room for it all in the woodshed, as we previously stacked a half pallet of 1/2″ plywood and a half pallet of 2X4s in the shed. I wanted to have some stock on hand so every time I needed wood I didn’t waste an hour to go to town. Anyway we now have an estimated 15 cords of firewood, but we as use wood stoves in both the house and shop we estimate at least three years worth.

    My wife has been canning browned hamburger with onion and salsa for fast Taco meals and chicken breast that was cubed for future Casseroles. She also has finished several batches of sweet and dill pickles and will be starting soon on bread and butter. I’ve continue to pick the wild blackberries every few days and usually end up with a flat or more that are being cleaned and frozen for future canning.

    I used a couple of days to pressure wash the powered equipment and service it. Still have some to do late in the summer just before it’s stored for the winter. I have established a timeline for completion of this project no later than Nov 1st.

    We purchased an Excalibur dehydrator and waiting for it to arrive. We are both anxious for it so we can immediately put it to work preserving. A big Thank You to SB contributor who gave the tip about Woot allowing us a 32% discount.

    We also attend auctions and have been very successful at finding items we find useful in aiding our prepping lifestyle. Garage sales in the neighborhood allow us the opportunity to meet neighbors that we would not otherwise meet. Items we find at garage sales and thrift stores are significant enough that we shall continue to do so. We shop those venues for a variety of reasons. In addition to meeting folks, it is a bit like the thrill of the hunt when an special item is discovered for a deeply discounted price. When we purchase at reduced prices it allows us to purchase more items with our discretionary funds. Also there often are better quality made in USA items that even though used are better than newly made offshore items available in the stores. We have been so blessed in our lives to be able to do this and as we started our prepping journey many years ago, today there isn’t much we need, but occasionally find that rare item we always secretly longed for. Those of you that bargain hunt like this know exactly what I am writing here.

    Prayers for those that suffered in the path of the Hurricane….

    May you be blessed in your journey!

  26. I’ve had to make a conscious effort to NOT watch TV, esp. the convention this week. I keep telling myself to stay focused on my prepping. I was able to can 6 quarts of chicken, 6 quarts of ground beef, 12 half-pints of butter, and ten pounds of bacon! I have a few packs of quart jars left, but additional jars are NOT to be found for the past month. I finished the fall plantings of beans, winter squash, with lettuce, rutabaga, and turnips in process. This will be my first attempt at rutabega and turnips. Cleaning out the summer gardens was a chore! Then came the rototilling…whew! The last of the three gardens will be cleaned and planted after I harvest the Brussel sprouts this week. Hubby is getting the propane generator installed this weekend, after which I will begin to fill a freezer my mother left me.

    This week I made and vaccum-packed copycat versions of Jiffy cornbread muffin mix and quick-mixes for quick breads and cakes. I also plan to make small containers of copycat onion soup mix and taco seasonings.

    Almost finished my Christmas shopping for the family. No matter what is going on, we will have THIS Christmas at least.

    Finally, but most importantly, I am increasing my prayer and bible study time each week, for times such as these.

    Blessings, y’all.

  27. We bought a Forest Rockwood A-Line Camper with solid sides, no canvas. We found out some parks won’t allow canvas because of bears. Then I cleaned my pistol and rifle which I have neglected too long. The garden is mostly done and finally, we got 1 1/2 of rain, the first in 3 weeks. We are looking forward to some camping late September when the parks are not so full. The RNC was so uplifting after seeing the riots all over the USA.

  28. After a two month search i found a New to me vehicle. Not really what I was looking for but this is what God provided. I’m guessing God has a reason, I’ll just have to wait to see what that reason is.

  29. The last two weeks has been a total bust here on our North Idaho acreage. I was down all the week before last with my knee that I had a replacement on two summers ago and it culminated with my husband going to the ER and having to have emergency surgery on his knee that he had replaced last summer- it went septic on him. So this week I hobbled around taking care of him. We’re quite the pair.

    1. TeresaSue,

      Oh no! So sorry to hear about that. I’m praying that you and hubby heal up soon!

      My week wasn’t that great either. I didn’t get much done as my health problems and the oppressive heat had me swollen, stiff and not feeling all that great. Now I’m behind on stuff.

      Discovered that we had several wasp nests and had to deal with them today…scary, I’m extremely afraid of them.

      Also discovered that we had to deal with our sewer pipe TODAY!! Was about to go nuclear. Hubby started rodding it out. Turns out I had to order a larger, more powerful rodder with a bigger diameter snake thing and longer length. All I know is I’m glad my husband knows how to deal with that poopy smell stuff! (I’m the one in the family that has fantastic hearing and can tell INSTANTLY when something sounds wrong, like on the cars or the furnace or the plumbing, Ect).

      The good thing is that we are done with our deck Lattice project.

      We are in desperate need of rain here and the storm promised yesterday never happened. Not one drop 🙁

      Loaded up at the store on items.

      Made more crockpot prime rib. It’s so good and so simple stupid it’s hilarious

      Thinking of you all
      Everyone have a Rockin great day!

    2. TeresaSue! Prayers lifted up for your complete recovery and your husband’s too. So hopeful that you’ll feel better very, very soon — and be up and about your usual routines!

  30. I completely sympathize with Ms. Lily. This time of year can be a bit overwhelming. I started back to working in the office rather than teleworking this week, which costs me about an hour and a half in travel time each day. At the same time, the muscadines and scuppernongs are ripening fast, and the persimmons are also coming in. So as soon as I get home, I quickly change clothes, then spend an hour or so in the garden, vineyard, and checking around the persimmon trees. While the trees are dropping a good bit of fruit, unfortunately the bugs love them as much as I do, so it’s a race to see who gets them first. Okra is coming in fairly good, and the sweet potatoes look like they’re about ready to start pulling up as well. It’s hot, sweaty work even in the late afternoon, but worth it. And hey, at least the mosquitoes are well fed!

    I was also able to can 8 pints of tomatoes and process about a gallon and a half of muscadine juice. That will give me 3 gallons of juice that I hope to start turning into jelly over the Labor Day weekend, not including what’s still on the vines, or the scuppernongs. I’ve already had a coworker ask about buying some, something I’d never done before, but it opens some interesting possibilities. My Lady got a great deal on a new shelving unit for our pantry to improve our organization in there. In addition, our hens, which had been off for a couple of weeks, have started laying normally again. I spent part of today retrieving and stacking some firewood we’d cut earlier in the month.

    The incidents in Kenosha, in DC, and throughout the country are concerning, and I fear that they are only precursors of what we’ll see this fall. Stay safe, folks, and stay busy. Time is growing short,

  31. Hello Jim and Lily,

    Costco in Eugene, Oregon had three copies on display… I purchased my copy and a second for my brother-in-law who is a junior woodchuck prepper. I was happy the checker inquired about the book and I had a few moments to proselytize about the importance of self-reliance and preparedness. When I was done extolling the the non-generational, non-denominational, apolitical virtues of real prepping, no less than three other customers left the lines to go grab one of your books! Now, to work on the darned liberals in this town!

    Peace to you and yours.

  32. I think I shared that last week I had family visiting with 3 grandchildren 4 and under – glorious week!!!! I had one day to clean the home thoroughly, strip beds, do laundry, before picking up my new German Shepherd puppy. So THIS WEEK has been all about the poop. LOL. Most people who’ve raised puppies understand the potty training process and I unfortunately do not have a doggy door and fenced yard. There are precisely 9 steps up to my cabin, which I have traversed a bazillion times this past week holding a barely 8 week old puppy who’s 4x the size of most puppies in my arms. uP and DoWn. Up and dOwn. My joints and muscles are killing me. He did learn to hop down, but afraid to go back up. I’ve shampood the carpets several times, covered them with old blankets in case I couldn’t get to him in time, and literally realized that I am out of my ever loving mind. All that to say, that today was GREAT and no accidents in the house on Day 7!! He has learned most of his commands (in German) and he eats better than I do. He is now “crate trained”. He can get to the door and fly down the steps to his “potty area” faster than I can get down the steps. I’m so proud. LOL.

    My sister has been freezing all her overripe tomatoes for me and I’ll process when I can regain sanity. I canned so much last year and this summer that I’m not feeling urgent about canning at the moment. Somehow this past week I finished a beautiful quilt for one of my sisters (puppies fortunately nap) who had surgery, and finished a quilt top for a niece of mine. My freezers and pantries are stuffed to the gills so I’m mostly on a buying moratorium for fall and winter (because I really want to rip out the carpet and get a suitable flooring!). My winter squash and pumpkin patch are pitiful looking and I don’t think anything will be ready before the snow falls here. Next year I’ll start earlier!

    I know this sounds cray-cray, but I can’t wait for the snow to begin because I have all these fun winter projects to do!! LOL. Altho… wet doggy feet… please Lord rain down hardwood floors on me!!! JUST KIDDING. I’m trying to be wise with my spending, but there’s nothing worse than your house smelling like wet dog, etc.

    The reason for the Shepherd (and soon another one), is that they are wonderful for Protection, even if they haven’t been trained to be “attack dogs”. When the Fedex guy drove up to the house, that little ball of fur pulled himself up to his tiny height and fiercely barked and growled like he was going to eat the Fedex guy alive. We both howled with laughter. The Fedex guy just got a puppy too, so we commiserated, and he let my puppy bite on his hand. I was glad to see my little guy’s instincts were good, but he’s going to need a ton more training and socialization to get this right.

    Okay, this is WAY TOO LONG. SORRY!!! Love y’all.

    1. 😉 SaraSue,

      I love your excitement and happiness with your puppy! Congrats to you for your new “baby”.

      It’s so rewarding to see how quickly they learn and get the important stuff.

      Many blessings,


    2. The main part of the house was hardwood and the four bedrooms and a hall were carpet. I ripped out the carpet and my daughter and I put down hardwood. Hardwood stains with pet accidents. And my son flooded the great room when he left a hose on in the front flower beds. Had the hardwood ripped out and large tile laid on the diagonal in the entire house – bedrooms included. Totally pet friendly and cool in our awful summer heat. When I get to building a house on the new property it will be polished concrete or tile throughout. I thought hardwood was the way to go but it was way too much upkeep , stained and buckled when it got wet. In the cabins on the new place we ripped out all the carpet and my daughter laid vinyl plank flooring. Not too expensive if you do it yourself and it doesn’t stain or buckle .,

      1. Thanks for the comment. I am considering high end waterproof vinyl planks that look like wood. The carpets were installed in 1998, so it’s not horrible that they are getting a work out. But, the work involved in keeping them clean is too much, plus I know that my little carpet shampooer is not doing enough to suck it out. YUCK! And I’m unfortunately a “clean freak”. LOL.

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