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:

I’ll be heading back to the ranch soon, with stops to visit two consulting clients. In the past month, I’ve picked up 16 antique cartridge guns to add to the inventory of Elk Creek Company. At the urging of a couple of readers, I just resumed taking orders today (Saturday, September 26th, 2020). My #1 Daughter will begin  packing orders, as they come in. But be advised that we won’t begin shipping out orders until Monday, October 5th. (We live at a remote ranch, and don’t get into town often.)

Now that the smoke has cleared, I’m back to bicycle riding 10 to 15 miles per day.

I’m anxious to get back home to the Redoubt!

Now, over to Lily…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This week has been fairly productive. I finished pulling up the spent cornstalks in the Main garden.  I swept up some weed seeds that fell, I picked the last of the cabbages and pulled the last of the onions and rototilled four beds.  Next, I will be adding manure to the beds over the next few weeks and will rototill them again.

Miss Violet had some serious dental work done at the oral surgeon’s this week.  Thank God they dealt with a problem and now that part is over and done with. Please pray with us that the tooth will come down and assume it’s rightful place, as it should.

I made and canned tomato sauce from some of my ripe tomatoes

I have been sorting my store-bought seeds and collecting seeds from the herbs and veggies that I grew this year. I threshed seed fronds of Dill, Celery, Lettuce,  and have been collecting seeds from my sweet red peppers and Jalapeno peppers, and many tomato varieties and putting them away for next year.  Miss Violet is helping me bag the now dried seeds.  I’m really enjoying this job. It is kind exciting to collect your own seeds from the plants that you grew for the next growing season. They are true Life Insurance!!

I also have been collecting seeds of many really easy to grow in our region veggie varieties, putting them in paper envelopes that we bought from Amazon and will put them in containers that we plan to stash in various locations away from our home, just in case we ever have issues with government or marauders in the days to come. We are getting backups for our backups.

Which leads me to ask: What if you get word that any force is coming to force you to give up your food or take the vaccine, etc., and you are forced to flee from your home and hide in the woods?  What if while you are gone, they burn your home down, after stealing everything in it?  Would you have anything to fall back on, on your property or in the lands nearby?

It would be a very good idea to stash in various locations in buckets or some other containers filled with extra warm clothes: socks, underwear, long pants, woolly long johns, toothbrushes, soap, cooking gear, fire building materials, food, water, tools, seeds, weapons, fishing gear, shelter materials: tarps, tents, etc. With those, you wouldn’t be caught totally unprepared.

This week I have listened to the book of Revelation several times through. And I also began to listen to the beginning of the Bible and have listened to the first three books: Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus.  I’m trying to be disciplined to listen all the way through the whole Bible in as short of a period of time as possible.  I listen while working in the kitchen or traveling in the car.  It lends to a much better atmosphere in the home during the day and keeps me focused on praising and worshipping the Creator, instead of worrying about what we will soon be facing.

We, all, who are against the NWO and it’s Satan-worshipping Beast system will be facing persecution and I want to be strong in the Lord Jesus to not deny Him, even unto death.  We need to know His Word so that we can proclaim it to the lost. And so we can stand on God’s promises and stand strong and not lose our faith when persecution comes to us.

Dear Reader, you need to know that the mask may be the beginning of the Beast System’s Mark.  In English, only one letter separates the word mask from the word mark.  In the Bible wearing a mask indicates one of three things: spiritual idolatry, lawlessness, and wickedness.  Who is the wicked and lawless one?  Satan!  Wearing the mask is part of his Beast system.

The mask mandates are conditioning us to accept the Mark, the digital Biocertificate of vaccination.  If you comply with wearing the mask so easily — (Soon, you will not be able to enter stores to buy the food you need without it, or do anything in public) — then you will easily take the Mark of the beast to buy or sell, work, travel, etc.  You must draw the line now. You must choose whose side you are on and who you will serve, the Creator and His savior son, Jesus, or Satan.

I assume that most of you saw the recent video of the woman in Ohio, sitting innocently on the bleachers, without wearing a mask, watching her son play a sport. She was arrested and tasered for resisting the police.


I haven’t heard the outcome of her arrest, yet.  And you heard about the three folks in Moscow Idaho, arrested for gathering to sing Psalms without masks and social distancing?  Not good.  Persecution is coming to us.

Therefore need to make sure our hearts are clear before the Lord Jesus.  We need to be repentant every day.  We need to plead the blood of Jesus over our lives each day and ask Him to separate us unto Him.  We need to put on the shield of faith every day. Read and ponder Ephesians 6:10-18:

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints…”
And, as I’ve often mentioned, Psalm 91
And we need to pray and read and listen to His Word every day. For His Word is life to us!

At home, I listen on my computer with this series on YouTube.  While in the car we have a CD set.

This is the YouTube version that I listen to.

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. When your building your caches think of things that our pioneer forefathers would have loved to have. A large roll of heavy duty black AND clear plastic. Why? While sunshine eventually destroys it protected from UV we are still digging up trash bags from the 70’s still water tight. Pioneer uses? Quick Emergency Shelter with cordage? Rain Proof Roofs? 50 dollar and Up underground home? Rainwater collection with cordage and pebbles to tie it off? Dig a hole in the ground and line it, water storage? Windows in your newly built shelter? The covering for a solar food dehydrator?

      When trying to plant a emergency garden, weeds and small brush is a real problem. If you chop it down a bit and cover with black plastic for a few weeks the lack of sunlight will smother those weeds giving your seeds (You ARE caching Seeds yes?) a fighting chance.

      Think of the storage container AND it’s reuse. I favor a screw top 40 gallon olive barrel. Seals well, easy to open and close. Can be used as water storage? Dry Storage to keep bugs and mice away from? Buried as a small root cellar?

      Aluminum Screen Material (don’t use fiberglass) screens to allow the cooling breeze but keep the biting bugs out? Basis of solar dehydrating racks for food?

      Small solar lights and such. So much better than trying to make grease lamps and such. If your going bigger a few hundred watts of solar panels, a small controller, an inverter and some salvage truck-car batteries (not the best but HEY..) you can run a box fan and salvaged lights from vehicles and such. So Many Folks commented on how HOT it was when they lost power and needed a FAN. Sleep is Important.

      Coffee cans full of nails and screws? When your rebuilding from semi-burned scavenging some crowbars and such salvage tools and Fasteners would be a blessing. Back in the pioneers days they used to BURN old buildings for the recovery of the nails…

      Bar Soap and Plenty of SALT. Yes you CAN make soap, a crude rough soap but you *might* be a bit busy doing other things for a long time until you rebuild?

      Salt, Cheap NOW. WARS used to be fought over it. Salary comes from the Roman Word Salurum as the Roman Army used to be PAID in Salt and traded it with locals. Needed for LIFE. Useful for luring in game animals. Salted Meats anybody? Sauerkraut-Kimchee? 5 gallon buckets might make great fermenting containers.

      These items plus the usual food, clothing and such will be a blessing if your ever burned out of your home.

      A Hard Season is coming.

        1. Ani, while I often enjoy your comments the Excalibur uses Stainless Steel or silicone screens. Both excellent but Lowes doesn’t carry Rolls of it for an emergency cache or an Chaos repair kit when rocks crash though your windows.

          I cook in my old boy scouts aluminum pots aside from tomato products (maybe Pineapple) no issues. Cast Iron doesn’t like tomato or pineapple being cooked in it. Stainless Steel rocks in my opinion. 🙂

          I HAVE Picked out bits of fiberglass screening from my dried apples when I used a fiberglass screened solar dehydrator a friend built. Would NOT want to EAT bits of spun glass in my food?

          Also maybe it’s a NH thing but we have bugs here that EAT through fiberglass screens. I’ve replaced enough for senior neighbors in the last few years.

          1. @ Michael
            So stock up now on good screen repair material while you can. And I cook tomato sauce/products in cast iron all the time. I don’t use any other type of skillet or griddle. So we can agree to disagree 😉

          2. Some things I have figured out from living this lifestyle:
            1. There is never enough money or enough time to fully prepare for every possible situation you might encounter.
            2. You need to learn to use what you have and make do. This is excellent practice for hard times. Being poor is excellent practice for hard times. I don’t say that to complain about my situation, because we are very, very blessed with God’s provisions.
            Whenever I see “provisions,” I try to grab them. I make regular trips to the dump. This isn’t to take trash, though sometimes I do. But I go specifically for the purpose of gathering provisions. I bring home fencing to repair or reinforce. All kinds of awesome goodies. I consider it to be training. And the county doesn’t care, as long as questionable characters aren’t lurking about. They welcome people to recycle, because then they don’t have to pay however much per load to dispose of it.

  1. Stocked up on a variety of hardware items this week. Got a new 30 amp/125 volt power cord for the portable generator used in the out-buildings. Also got a couple of 20W extension cords. Filled all the portable propane tanks and various types of fuel cans.

    Got 2x4s and insulation to upgrade and protect the out-building that has power. The untreated 2x4s were $6.65 each; every buyer there was singing the lumber cost blues. Saw on line that 2x4s in Fairbanks, Alaska were $7.10 each. This was going to be a winter project, but my son moved everything out of the shed and put up the 2x4s and hurricane straps; insulation still in process. That shed was on the property when I came here but I did not realize how flimsy it was; I’m surprised it survived the F1 tornado we had in early spring.

    Put up more chicken and vegetables. Spent about an hour each morning reorganizing canned goods. Picked up an order of gamma lids at Tractor Supply to put on the 5-gal buckets I got at Traders.

    Ordered more seeds (most on sale) from Johnny’s. Trying out some of the pelleted seeds and added a few new veges for variety. I started working on organizing seeds two weeks ago but stopped; now I’m trying to work on them an hour each evening. Watched a couple of “how to store root vege” videos, looking for a better way, so they last longer into spring.

    Received new pepper spray canisters for carrying in places where we are not supposed to carry weapons (banks, etc.) Got a new meat cleaver to use in barn yard harvesting. The handle on my other one broke and I haven’t made a new one yet. Rooster and old hens harvest time is coming in the next couple of weeks.

    Groomed my 14-year old cavalier; she is deaf and mostly blind and managed to roll in a mud puddle and got every inch of her tubby body covered not only with dirt but leaves and stickers! Sprayed her down outside but I was too tired to bathe her so waited until next day. My son soaked her in the bath tub and scrubbed her with blue dawn and rinsed her twice. She was mad at us so I let her rest until the next day; then I cut her hair and trimmed her nails and gave her a nice treat. Next on the list is her 13 year old partner who is also blind and deaf. Then there are two 12 year old little yappy dogs to do. Thankfully, my son does the 6 big outdoor dogs, except for their ears and nails, which I do. The going rate around here for a full grooming is $50/dog under 50 pds. $65-$75 for dogs over 50 pds. Can’t afford that.

    To respond to Ms Lily’s question on fleeing from your home and hiding in the woods; I think of it often. Last year we stashed a barrel of emergency food, clothing and safety items to test the barrel seal. We opened it a couple of weeks ago to see how it fared. Not as good as we would have liked as moisture (not running water) got in and things were damp, even inside the garbage bags we used to wrap the items in. The MREs were ok on the inside and I had double sealed the candle and matches in two bags so they were ok. This fall I’ll try again, only this time I’ll seal things in vac bags, wrap in plastic shrink wrap, or seal inside of mylar bags, then put those in plastic trash bags. I’ll also work on the sealing the locking rim of the barrel using plastic shrink wrap.

    Thanks to Ms Lily and others for spiritual reminders. Ephesians 6:10-18 is one of my favorite scriptures and Psalm 91 is prayed every day. Today there is a Christian gathering in Washington D.C., with Franklin Graham, to pray for America and our freedom.

    May your week be safe and productive.

    1. Try the large zip lock style bags that let you suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner. They seem to seal pretty well. We got a bunch for when we were moving. No air got in for 6 months hence no water would get in either.

    2. Animal House! This is such a smart approach…

      From your post: “This fall I’ll try again, only this time I’ll seal things in vac bags, wrap in plastic shrink wrap, or seal inside of mylar bags, then put those in plastic trash bags. I’ll also work on the sealing the locking rim of the barrel using plastic shrink wrap.”

      As supplies allow, an extra layer or two of protection is wise to prevent moisture from accumulating. If you have the option, consider oxygen absorbers and silica gel packets as well.

      1. ToA, greetings! Thanks for the comment. I just a bought a new bag of silica cat litter which is how I make my silica gel bags to put in my clear storage containers holding my PC’d jars. I ran out and had not replaced it when I packed up the barrel. I just have to keep trying to find the right way to stash barrels down in the woods; because even though I’m off the beaten path, when people are desperate they will try anything to feed their families.

    3. I had a friend that had a classic car in storage in the winter and would put 3 or 4 bags of charcoal briquettes under it to draw moisture away. Do you think a small bag in the barrel would do the same? I am also getting a barrel ready and thought about trying this.

      1. Stuart, thanks for the reminder about the charcoal; I use those in my freezers to keep the smell down, but yes, they are excellent for absorbing moisture also. I had forgotten about it.

      2. much better off going with silica gel crystals – the Fresh Step brand crystals cat litter is 100% silica gel – approx $13 for an 8lb bag in the pet departments of the Big Box stores …

        to protect a good-sized sealed drum – pour about a 1/2 pound of crystals in a poly container like a margarine or Tupperware container – punch a bunch of air filtration holes in the container for air exchange ….

    4. Be careful when vacuum sealing plastic bags for long term storage in a wet, damp, or humid area (atmosphere). They all eventually leak and lose their vacuum by drawing in air, moisture, etcetera.

    5. Went to Lowes in Fairbanks and there were very few 2X4’s left and the ones there were pitifully warped. Oh well, so much for that project. I did get some plywood to make a temporary deck repair; hopefully next summer I can replace that deck and get my greenhouse project completed. I’m seriously considering buying a sawmill ….

  2. During my last Iraq deployment I had no fear of the mortars and missile attacks at our base. I relied on Psalm 91 for God’s protection over me. Others thought I was crazy. We know better.

  3. If I were going to store any of the items You talked about. I would VAC pack them and maybe put some silica pks. in your buckets. You can also get seeds all ready packed and put into waterproof bags.

    All the best.


  4. We are stocking, stocking. Because a family member will be joining our home soon due to Alzheimers, we’ve been searching for a larger home. The real estate market here is going nuts. Houses outside the “metro” area are selling in 4 hours – barely even time to put them on the interwebs. This makes it difficult to purchase. Our tiny home is just on the edge of “metro” and, like everyone else, we want out. We’ve found one in a nearby small town that isn’t perfect, but could work. The house itself is perfect – nearly triple our current square footage and storage, but the location is not. The entire town is a low crime area, but there is a lot, not much acreage. It is also 25 minutes by car from my work. Praying for guidance, but we sure would like to be out before the election.

    Finally found some 9mm. It was overpriced, but we got a little to add to our stash. Got a belt holster, now I need a belt!

    I was going to do a big purge prior to moving, but am thinking more like a depression era person and instead planning to store as much as I can. Think fabric, thread, needles, and the like. Also still keeping a sharp eye out for canning lids. I have some Tattler lids, but am holding those as long as I can.

    Will be making a dollar and shoe store run today. Need to get hikers for myself and son. Also need to grab some buckets and gamma lids. I mistakenly ordered mylar bags with one side that is poly so I will be looking into the best way to use them. I’ve never used that type before. Will also keep an eye open for bags for the food sealer. They should go on sale soon, if they will at all.

    Praying for us all, that we will have the strength to stand firm in the power of God and do all to His glory. May He bless us all.

    1. Kim of KY!
      From your post: “I was going to do a big purge prior to moving, but am thinking more like a depression era person and instead planning to store as much as I can.”

      I can understand this entirely… My Grandmother was a young girl who had just lost her father and was being raised by her mother whose charges included four young daughters when the Depression hit.

      All of her life she kept important belongings (particularly practical kitchen tools), and cared for them well. She knew, from very real experience, that what she had might be all she ever had. She also knew that these belongings would help her care not only for herself, but for her family.

      In a world in which too much is too easily disposed, we can learn a lot from those who have come before us — those who valued their belongings, and even more importantly valued one another.

      1. Hey T of A, I did a major cleaning and organizing of my shop in the past month and was about to toss about five pounds of rusty and bent nails. Then I asked myself, “What would these be worth in a TEOTWAWKI situation?” Before 2020 I would have just tossed them in the garbage without a second thought… but that was then and this is now. I put them on a high shelf in the garden shed instead. As kids the only nails we could ever get a hold of for our treeforts and gocarts were discards so we got really good at straightening them out. I think a return to those days is not far off and whole new generations will be learning the phrase “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

      1. @ Shalom

        Yes, I’ve been thinking about this. In the past I did a lot of weeding out of extra/duplicate/triplicate items, most of which I gave away. Then just over 3 years ago I got rid of nearly everything I owned to go travel and live overseas. The cost of restocking my new(to me) home during a pandemic has been eye opening and of course it’s been hard to source some stuff these days. I’m not one to have lots of(any) “tchotchkes” around so this is all usable items. Had I known I might have been better off renting a storage unit! But “declutter” is still a good idea for those who have homes bursting at the seams with stuff they never use anymore. Much better to have what you need and have a home that isn’t cluttered and stuffed full imo.

        1. @Ani
          I find the timing of it so coincidental. First the prepping/hoarding craze. Then the declutter phase. Now, maybe,scarcity? Will have to see if history repeats the loop. At least we used to be able to buy a high quality item and pass it down. Not so much anymore.

          1. @ Shalom

            Yep, the best bet to buying quality now is to find old stuff at yard/garage sales such as old American tools, cast iron pans etc. I’ve bought precious little “new” in recent years that I think has any quality or will last other than some great (but pricey) garden tools, a Maine made snath for a scythe blade and hopefully my Excalibur dehydrator. And a gorgeous Ruger 10/22! I can’t afford the prices for the old guns that JWR is selling but I suspect they are well made and will last.

        2. @Kim
          I prefer uncluttered too. However, I realize homemakers used tools as decor. Now we have useless items we buy and toss. Seems like a set up for failure. You would not believe the “pantry” tours on youtube that are mostly decor and not food.

  5. After reading about the big wind storms many of you experienced a few weeks ago, I’ve been putting extra hurricane ties on the roof of my shop so I can sleep easier at night. Only one hummingbird got stuck bumping up against the skylight this week so I climbed up into the loft and caught him with my hands, then let him out the window.

    The auction last weekend was a winner. I never buy much since I’m a dedicated minimalist but I did pick up a few items I’ve been looking for. I’ve been needing a piece of foam rubber to winterize the window in my well house but it’s so expensive for the small piece I need I’ve been putting it off until it starts raining $20 gold pieces. At the auction, I was able to get a queen-size piece of 4″ foam for $5, as well as some wool lap blankets which were keepers. There was a box with three of the old-time school pencil sharpeners (2 Boston, 1 Apsco) among other things. I buy those for my kids who home school since they have two rotary blades inside and do a better job of sharpening. Nobody ever bids on them since i-Phones don’t need to be sharpened too frequently, so I got the box for $2. I dug through the box a little deeper after I bought it and was thrilled to discover $10 worth of hurricane ties to add to the ones I bought for my above-mentioned shop project. Also included were two mirrors, which I’ve been collecting to cut up into small pieces for a solar project I’m working on. That was a well-spent $2. The best buy of the day was the push mower. My current one was built back when the Redwood Forest was just a meadow with some seedlings growing in it. I paid $80 for it at an auction in 2013 and it’s pretty worn out but the engine runs great as long as the shower curtain hook doesn’t fall off the the lever where the throttle cable was once attached. I was able to get an almost-new Troy Built mower for $130, saving me $100+ over what I was expecting to pay at the farm store clearance sale next month. I’ll keep the old one, get some replacement wheels for it, and use it as a baby bush hog.

    Fall is here. It was so chilly one morning I had to put on one of the new flannel shirts I got at the farm store clearance sale last February. Within 20 minutes I snagged the sleeve on something and tore a hole in it. That’s a new personal best, shattering my old record of 23 hours and 12 minutes, so the day wasn’t a total loss.

    I carved another spoon, this time from black walnut. I’m getting the hang of it and the ones I’m making are heavy duty for canning and stirring 5-quart batches of chili. As I was using a draw knife to whittle it into shape, I kept wishing I had 3AD Scout’s spokeshave he got at auction a few weeks ago.

    My turmeric on the deck is looking a little yellow after some cold mornings so I need to keep an eye on the weather and bring it inside if it’s going to get really cold. The planter is large so I’m hoping I can carry it into the house without fusing more than two or three vertebrae in my back. Maybe I’ll just harvest the roots and call it good. Aside from the sweet potatoes and peanuts, all that’s left of the garden are a few dry beans still drying on the trellis, some straggler raspberries, and lots of buckwheat and flower seeds that need to be harvested in a week or two. I may get one more batch of chocolate mint into the dryer. I trimmed the dead flower stalks off the oregano and there’s a whole new flush of bottom leaves coming after the rain we got a few weeks ago. I planted ten apricot pits last spring and after two growing seasons, the four which escaped overzealous weeding projects are finally big enough for me to graft onto next spring.

    While helping a neighbor repair his tractor he mentioned he needed some oaks and cedar cut down and I could have all the firewood if I wanted. I’ve already got about three year’s worth of firewood but I’m always happy to cut firewood off other people’s property and let my trees get another year older. From the trees he was pointing out, it should be well over a cord for two days’ work cutting and splitting. He’ll probably need the firewood back in November after rioters sabotage the grid and his propane runs out.

    The mom and pop thrift store in town, which is only open every other Tuesday, in months that begin with the letter “J” and only if there’s a waning crescent moon, was actually open last week when I was in town to get my mail. I went in just to buy something cheap so I could cut the electric cord off it for a project. I was tickled pink to be able to pick up 80 rounds of .30-06 of all things, for $30 (38¢/round). I also bought the small propane wall heater for $20 which they were asking $80 for in February. That’ll be for my well-house in preparation to getting off the grid. Also got a new box of canning lids with rings for $2.50.

    [Edit by Lily, Paragraph removed. Don’t push the boundaries, St. Funogas.]

    Everyone have a great week!

    1. St Funogas,
      I love me a good McGyver story! Your lawnmower story is similar to mine from last fall:

      “My current one was built back when the Redwood Forest was just a meadow with some seedlings growing in it. I paid $80 for it at an auction in 2013 and it’s pretty worn out but the engine runs great as long as the shower curtain hook doesn’t fall off the lever where the throttle cable was once attached. ”

      Last September I was cutting the small ‘yard’ around the house when the transmission clutch cable fitting snapped where the cable fits into the transmission engage handle. There was no way to fix it properly without buying a new cable, disassembling, etc, so … McGyver time. Long story short, my caddy-corner neighbor had a small (like less than an 3/4 inch) u-clamp, and presto change-o, it was back in action. I had to clamp the cable to the ‘engine run” lever, so… as long as the engine’s running the tranny turns the wheels. It works so well, that I forgot to order the new cable until this spring and she’s still running like a champ. Mine is from a 2012 ‘acquisition’. Mental note to order new clutch cable this fall for winter repair! Thanks as always for progress shared with funny stories.

      Hope you all…
      Seymour Liberty

      1. Hey Seymour Liberty, that’s a great McGyver story. Half of my McGyvers are because it’s too far to town to get a part, or too expensive, or trying to overcome something that should ave been constructed differently. But most of the time it’s just to have fun and see how creative I can be. The first thing I did with my new mower was to put a large binder clip on the handle so I can clip the safety bar to it, allowing me to take hands off the mower without it turning off. Now if I could figure out the same trick for my riding mower…

        1. Thanks, mine was more based on needing to finish the yard which was getting too long in the tooth with fall rains and couldn’t wait. Plus, I didn’t have time to wait around on a part order, & find time to fix the cable. Making it work somehow seemed the only immediate solution. Later, I found out all the stores had sold out of mowers for the season (not that I wanted to buy a new one anyway), and didn’t want to buy a new one. I did learn one ridiculous fact. The only mower available last fall was one of those ‘green’ electric mowers. It was $499 and when I asked the guy how long the battery lasted (I forget the number of re-charges now), but he agreed it worked out to about 4 yrs. Then I asked how much the replacement battery was, and he said $450! After I finished laughing, he told me I was the only person who had ever asked those two crucial questions.

          Hope you all…
          Seymour Liberty

    2. StF, I have always held you in great esteem. That is intensified as I read of you carving a spoon out of black walnut(!). I assume the black walnut where you live is as hard as the black walnut here. You must have some SHARP tools.

      Carry on in grace

      1. Hey Marine, you’re a good cookie too, full of wisdom. The black walnut is definitely hard, almost as hard as my head. This week I’ll try some honeylocust I’ve been holding onto for five years. It’s prettier and not so hard. And I keep my tools very sharp, my grandpa would be rolling in his grave otherwise. 🙂

  6. Got the wife scheduled for cataract surgery, made me a checkup appt. scheduled dental checkup for both of us. got chimney sweep coming next week. received new inverter. garden seeds even more scarce now. racks almost totally empty. cut firewood.

    1. I had my cataract surgery done a few weeks ago, both eyes, and my wife’s was done last year. Well worth it, expensive out of pocket for me with Blue Cross and Tri-care. My wife’s was Medicaid and her out of pocket expense wasn’t as high??? Go figure.

      Glad we had it done.

  7. Working on a backup water supply this week, pulling water out of a nearby lake and filtering it, then chlorinating it, so as to make it potable. I’ll probably post a report here once the system is finished so as to share the successes and failures of our little system.

    Secondly, I made a small contribution to Lauren Boebert’s run for Congress. Even though she’s not from Texas, and we’re not the “campaign doner” types, any young lady who is willing to take on Beto O’Rourke on live TV has my support. That, plus I know her personally – she and her husband are what we Texans call “Good People”. She proudly states that “We’re raising our boys to be men. Their success will come from faith, respect, and hard work, not from entitlement, safe spaces, or government dependency.” and that Planned Parenthood can “Go fund themselves”.

    Blessings to all as we prepare for Yom Kippur,


  8. What if…?

    Well, we’d die.

    Our “woods” are a third of an acre of scrub in suburbia. Our low elevation and high water table makes buried caches not feasible, no matter how much desiccant I add. With small children, and children with mobility issues, we would neither make any sort of good travel time, nor stay quiet enough to avoid detection. I suppose this is why both Matthew 24 and Luke 21 say WOE to us with nursing babies in those days. Mine is a rambunctious toddler, but still. And we never know when God will bless us with another, and we still dream of adopting more.

    Spiritual preparedness must be at the forefront. If I allow these “what ifs” to terrify me into a panic attack (which it threatens to as I type) and paralysis, well, giving in to fear without a fight is sin, isn’t it?

    So just for right now I will forget about the what ifs, I will not focus on the scheming of the enemy, and I will blast the praise music as I work. I will teach my children TRUTH and we will pray. I will focus on God and His salvation. Last night I was listening to one of Lecrae’s albums as I kneaded dough, and one of the best lyrics (among many) was:

    “Somebody told me ain’t no such thing as Truth
    I said, if that’s the case, why should I believe you?”

    Check and mate. Truth is not relative (and I like Lecrae because he shouts that from the rooftops and the mic).

    Last night when my firstborn couldn’t sleep because of fear, and he INSISTED that it wasn’t imaginary, it was something that could really happen — I reminded him that yes, bad things DO happen. But nothing comes to us that hasn’t gone through God already, and we need to trust in that. When Daniel stood for the Lord, he was thrown into a furnace and also into a den of lions. Pretty scary right? I mean, supposed to be fatal on both counts? But regardless of his physical location, he was in the center of God’s will and so no harm came to him.

    I will live in my faith, and if I have to die for my faith, well, there’s a long history of that so I’m in pretty good company I reckon.

    Just for today I will focus on what I CAN affect. I will organize the pantry, I will plan meals, I will continue to declutter cabinets to optimize storage, I will continue to keep the dehydratorS (yes! plural now!) cranking along, I will make friends with the new vacuum sealer, I will wash the buckets to prepare them for mylar bags. We will pray together at noon with the national effort, we will take a virtual field trip of the zoo this evening, and we will pack up a bag of food and supplies to take tomorrow to a family in need in our neighborhood.

    More stuff has been accomplished this past week, and planned for next, but I have to get off the computer and DO THINGS now. As someone wisely posted (Once A Marine, I think?) this week: ACTION ENERGIZES. That’s one of my new mottos, I think. Maybe explains why I was up til 2 working in the kitchen.

    Oh, good–I hear an engine outside. Husband managed to get the mower running.

    1. Amen Bear! I agree with you on trusting in the Lord God. He has us in the palms of His hands. I prefer not to fight. I wish to get out of this life without having had to kill any human by defending my life or my children’s. Therefore. I would like the opportunity for us to flee, if possible. But that would require advance warning and advance planning. If the powers that be come to our house without us having warning, then, we’ll probably die. But God knows all things. We trust in Him to guide us through His Holy spirit promptings on what we should be doing. By the way, I have heard miraculous stories out of WWII of little Jewish children being remarkably quiet when the S.S.soldiers were close by. God can do whatever it takes to keep us safe if we are trusting in Him.

      Blessings and peace to you,


      1. Avalanche Lily… This brings up a remarkably important topic. Although not new to the SB community, it is a complicated subject: where to draw the line and when to stand, and when to flee.

    2. Bear; you are a strong woman and you can calm the troubled thoughts of your children and others around you. Prepare as well as you can in your current situation and live your life in happiness. In spite of all the unknowns and crazy people around us, God is with you and will bless you and your family. Find peace in prayer and put on the armor of God each day.

    3. Get an ergo carrier and practice going on walks. For fear, give the child a skill that will help them in that scenario to work on. As always, meditate on Deuteronomy. It is a light unto your feet.

      1. Shalom… This is such a good point!

        From your post: “For fear, give the child a skill that will help them in that scenario to work on.”

        Skill building is tremendously important. It builds confidence and alleviates fear.

        Parents… Please be watchful for the sake of your children. Fear too great for the mind of a child can impair development in many important ways, and may result in adverse foundational neurophysiological changes that could influence that child for all of his or her life.

        1. @TOA
          Agreed. The Creator made us wonderful. When we obey Him, He blesses us no matter what the plans of the wicked. Especially the children. We are commanded in Deuteronomy to teach the commands of Deuteronomy to our children diligently. Add to that life skills and they will withstand the storms. Off for Yom Kippur.

    4. Bear, thank you so much for this encouragement.
      I sometimes spend too much energy, time and money prepping for what may come, and too little effort to be prepared spiritually. I should dwell in the knowledge that The God has sovereign control over this curtain that is the universe.
      Spiritual preparation trumps bandage, bean, and bullet every time. Not saying I’ll stop gathering up while possible to survive when plenty is no more, but I’ll be focusing on laying up the proper treasures first.

      As for temporal planning, my wife is finally going to handgun training, and I’ve been working on expanding our water catchment capacity. We also started planting for fall and preserving peppers, peas, and herbs from the summer gardens. For eternal planning, we continue taking the grandchildren to church and speak Jesus into their lives as my grandparents and parents spoke into mine.

  9. The mask “mandate” is a real divisive issue.
    I follow a page that encourages people to take it off. More and more people are around me and businesses are taking down their signs and opening up more doors. I love it.

    I had a new Dollar General open in my area. No Mask rule, no signs, complete joy to shop at.

    I posted something anti mask and my former pastor from my old town rejected it, told me I was prideful and should wear it to save others. I told him I disagree. And I’m glad I’m not under his discipliship anymore!

    I agree Lily. It’s more than a mask. That video of the mom at the game being arrested disturbs me because of the other people in the stands watching it happen and remaining silent. We cannot remain silent.

    This week I planted more tomato starts. (TX)

    Received and have been wearing new hiking boots.

    Have been walking/exercising with the family in the cooler weather. Also doing back stretches because I have a strained back muscle. YouTube has great videos from Bob and Brad, two PT that share a lot of great tips.

    Received a shipment of dehydrated foods from Augeson Farms.

    Have been researching gun ranges or classes to take the kids to. It’s hard to find a class that is anything but conceal carry training. Local 4H doesn’t have gun club.
    My kids have never seen a real gun fired and I feel like it’s time. I was 14. My kids are getting close to that age.

    1. Even if your local 4H had a gun club your children would be subject to subtle anti firearm bias. My daughter was in 4H for 10 years and I was a leader for 5. I quit when the anti gun politics invaded 4H via their sponsors the land grand university and the federal government. That was a good 10 years ago so I can only imagine how bad it is now.
      I can also vouch for the Appleseed project. Even adults can participate, it’s awesome.

      1. The place you want to look is http://www.appleseedinfo.org

        It is tremendous training. Whether you feel like you are a rifle marksman or a complete novice, everyone should attend a Project Appleseed 2-day event. Most people will feel like they are drinking water from a fire hose but the training is awesome.

        The next item on the list should be a Known Distance Appleseed, and after that, one of the week long Rifleman’s boot camps. Great instruction, best value there is in rifle marksmanship training.

        I could not agree more! The 2-day events are usually Saturday/Sunday events. Those of you living in or near Utah will have the option of attending Friday/Saturday events. Latter Day Saints are not keen on doing things on Sunday like an Appleseed so in Utah most events are Friday/Saturday.

        If you have a fair sized group that wants training and you would prefer a Friday/Saturday event you are still probably in luck. Most Appleseed State Coordinators would be more than happy to work with you to schedule a Friday/Saturday event if you will help them fill the event with participants.

    2. Where we live we HAVE to wear a mask at our workplaces and we cannot enter any stores without one. I will not take the vaccine. I’m praying and am thankful for this blog. I look so forward to Lily’s wisdom from God’s Word.

  10. As far as Satan is concerned, it is all about SALVATION. The spiritual played out in the physical.

    1) before salvation – to keep people lost.

    2) after salvation- to keep the saved defeated.

    This is the prayer that I pray every day before I get out of bed to prepare me for each day … to be able to stand against Satan in the current darkening days.

    Armour of God…. Ephesians 6:10-18

    I put on the belt of TRUTH.. the truth is I am a new creature in Christ Jesus. The truth is I am seated in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.. far above principalities and powers of darkness.

    I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am dead to my emotions and alive to the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within me.

    I put of the Helmet of Salvation. I have the Mind of Christ. The helmet of Salvation protects my mind from the fiery darts of the enemy.

    I put on the sandals of the gospel of peace. Where I walk today will be peaceful and tranquil. I will walk in the light of his love.

    I take up the shield of faith. The shield of faith protects me from the fiery darts of the enemy.

    Finally I take up the sword of the spirit which is the word of God. I will stand for right and Truth.

  11. We have a lot going on this week but always try to fit in at least several hours of preparedness related activities. My wife is traveling so I spent time last night doing the food prep work for several half gallon jars of beef stew going into the canner this morning. Each half gallon can feed 4-6 people when served over a bed of rice. We’ve put a lot of time into the 10 ingredient recipe (11 if you are open to adding a splash of Jack Daniels), and it’s paid off with the jars of stew becoming a family favorite. I am having trouble building up stock on the shelves because people keep sneaking them. Any of you who do pressure canning understand the time imvolved in this stuff. I need to buy a larger All American that can fit a double stack of quart jars.

    The dehydrator is also prepped and we’ll get a few batch runs of fruit through. Apples, pineapple, pears and strawberries are our favorites. I’d like to try Kiwi. We got this one at a Goodwill store for $12 and so far it’s worked very well.

    Canning supplies are slowly returning to shelves in local stores. Was able to buy several cases of jars and 12 boxes of lids this week @ $3.18 a box. Our goal is 1,000 jars but we will do things the same as always – refuse to panic buy and build up inventory slowly.

    We are also focusing on canned goods as part of our layered food preps. I like to buy single type items in quantity to quickly hit goals. It just works better for me than buying a mish mash of stuff. This month is canned salmon. The goal is 160 cans. Amazon subscription ordering seems to work well for this and I get 20% off, bringing the price of premium wild caught salmon down to more reasonable levels plus 5% back in points. I’ve heard from two reputable sources now of a coming shortage of commercial can components and that will further drive up prices. We want to be ahead of that demand curve.

    My dear wife and I have talked about how to avoid buying useless stuff for our food stores. Sometimes “oooh, look at that deal!” stuff is purchased and it’s something we’ll never eat. So we are drawing up a menu of 25 dishes that use ingredients that are easy to source. We’ll only be buying those ingredients in quantity until goals are met.

    One of the gems we’ve found is Rill Foods in Washington. Their family size soups and stew packages are perfect for crockpot and instapot meals. We bought a few dozen of them and vacuum sealed for storage. Delicious. Sometimes they have coupons or special deals and we wait for those. They are also in our daily use pantry. Add some meat and bingo! – great meal.

    On stashing stuff – moisture intrusion is a tough enemy. If using barrels you may want to try loading them in a very dry environment then sealing the lid by applying parrafin wax into the lid channel before seating the lid. Everything inside should be sealed in it’s own protective material. Using high quality paint on the outside of the barrel should add years of life to it. I prefer plastic over steel. Take a look at smaller size plastic septic tanks and water tanks – very heavy duty stuff.

    Praise report – Son #2 accepted an offer of employment (I am so thankful that God provided for him). We created a well structured LinkedIn profile and within 48 hours a recruiter contacted him which led to a job offer a two weeks later. Company truck, large territory and significant OT when he wants it. Repairing point of sales equipment is better than lying under trucks all day, I guess. He really wanted to be a mechanic but the starting wages wouldn’t allow him to survive on his own. Daughter #2 left her job and that was a good thing (reverse discrimination is a very real thing, BTW). She is now working temporarily for a vet’s office and is hoping they’ll take her on as a long term employee.

    Have a great week everyone!

    1. Oh, Chris, I want to be in your outfit. Home canned beef stew…Yum. I’ll bring my dehydrated greens and apples.

      The bounty blessing is on schedule. Great old apple trees, huge juicy fruit. I slice up the appples while talking on the phone. When I get a large bowlful, it is time for me to graciously say “goodbye”, lay those puppies out on the trays and fire up that old faithful Harvest Maid (bought in 1982) food dryer. One of my best investments, ever.

      I reckon I’d best dig potatoes soon. Squash should be hardened in a couple weeks. Lookin’ good over here.

      Carry on

      1. Today’s canning run has been a success so far. We always have extra stew around if you are in the area :).

        It is a ton of work so we are trying to figure out ways to make this more efficient. We will probably end up doing mass processing of each ingredient and then saving batch sized portions in the freezer. We have got to figure out a way to do this in serious quantity.

        Hearing your description of garden produce makes me long for being able to depart this area. We’re working on that. Just have to find the right community and home. We’re waiting on God to guide us on that front. Enjoy your fall!

          1. St Funogas – with his skill set Once a Marine might make it past the dogs, security alarms and the sharks with lasers. Our specially trained, ornery and just plain mean attack cat would charm him with her fake friendly affection, then kill him. The stew shall remain safe. I am confident it is being swiped by the kids.

          1. Joyce – here is what we add to each jar. This is for quart jars. I’ll add our packing and processing method after the list of ingredients. Add to jar in the order below. We’ve found that adding the spices, herbs, garlic and onions directly on top of the meat seems to make a difference.

            1. Stew beef – fill jar about 1/3 full with loose packed meat then tamp it down so that it fills 1/4 jar on bottom. We prefer meat with higher fat content since the fat liquifies and infuses the rest of the ingredients.

            2. 1 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, OR 1.5 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning

            3. 1 clove fresh garlic, chopped

            4. Chopped red onions a couple of Tbsp should be enough but we like onions so we add more

            5. Tbsp fresh rosemary and tsp of thyme – both fresh from our garden, finely chopped. If you are using the dried version you may want to add a little less.

            6. Layer of peeled russet potatoes chopped into small cubes

            7. Layer of peeled sweet potatoes chopped into small cubes

            8. Layer of celery chopped into small pieces

            9. Layer of carrots chopped into small rounds

            10. Layer of mushrooms cut into small pieces – we prefer baby bella but I just did a batch with a direwbt kind to try it out

            11. Bay leaf

            12. Broth to fill jars. We prefer “better than bullion” brand but that gets pricey. This also adds salt so back off on the salt/pepper/Montreal if you are watching sodium intake.

            We pack each layer down as we fill the jar. This is to prevent it from coming out too soupy with lots of liquid. Add broth to fill up jars leaving 1” of headspace. Debubble and add more broth if needed to maintain 1” of headspace. At our altitude we process quart jars for 90 minutes at 10 lbs pressure.

            We do 7 quart jars per batch. The ingredient weights are roughly 6.5 lbs of beef, 3.5-4 lbs of potatoes, 3 lbs sweet potatoes, one large red onion, 7 cloves garlic, 2 large bunch of celery, and a small to mid size bag of baby carrots, and one carton of mushrooms.

            We have tried this same recipe in a crock pot but I wouldn’t recommend it. Same meat came out tough and it isn’t as good. We are going to try this in an instapot to see how it turns out.

            When serving warm it up in a pot and add a tablespoon or two of potato powder or flakes if you want to thicken the broth a little (we don’t use flour but it’s ok if you want to). We have decided to just not add the potato powder as we like the broth.

            The rosemary and thyme add a warming sensation that is great for cooler weather.

            Hope this helps!

          2. Chris in Arkansas …wow! THANK YOU so much!!!

            This recipe looks different from most one finds in books, groups or online. (Figured it would be…and THAT is good!) Intriguing to see your process especially. It DOES make a difference, that order, tamping down and the personal variances! I agree! Even the slight differences in the ingredients due to sourcing, season and variety of each element can separate good from GREAT. It all affects the outcome…but didn’t you mention a splash of a certain liquid before? Hmmmmm…perhaps cooking sherry? No…something else i think…

            Thanks again for sharing…looking forward to any other canning recipes/tips from you and others who gather here!

      1. S.Lynn …Ooooo, if I didn’t know better, i would say you have been at Rebel Canners 😉 I only wish i had gotten exposed to the excellent, helpful and very kind community there before this summer. Maybe i would be less behind in my canning. (I love my Nesco Pressure Canner!)

        Repackaging institution sized cans is something I have been looking at but must be economical, beneficial and something that would be part of what we aready like. (I don’t have access to the bulk sized goods economically at this time so most of my canning is scratch cooking.)

        The dairy canning, (cheese sauce included,) blew me away! Thanks for bringing it up here…i am not experienced in this yet. But give me time! My favorite so far is chili mac and goulash…who knew!

        1. I’m a Rebel! I just re-canned a #10 can of sausage gravy and it turned out great. So nice to have on hand for a quick breakfast and a nice treat for my elderly parents!

  12. St. Funogas; I so get the torn flannel shirt comment. I think every shirt I have has three corner tears in it. I also have a big box of electrical cords I save. When ever something quits working I remove the cord before disposing of it. They sure come in handy when a cord needs replacing. Think broken prongs on a plug and puppy chews. I only replace three prong plugs with three prong and I make sure the wire gauges match.

  13. I find the “mask” issues a problem. As a believer I don’t want to come across as arrogant and belligerent and not reflect Christ. But at the same time the psychological warfare that’s being done to us is disturbing. The masks aren’t effective and yet are required. Strange times. I wrestle with knowing the correct response. So far if a store says they require one I put one on. If they just say the governor wants us to , I don’t. I feel we have the right to make the rules in our homes and stores have the right to make their rules. Even if I disagree with them. But the psychological fall out of this is scary. Can you just imagine how this is affecting our children?

  14. Bear: Have you ever read the book by Corrie Tenboom, [The Hiding Place], about her life in the Nazi concentration camp? One of the incidents she writes about was that she had a bible with her and everyone was in line to be searched. The guard searched every person in that line EXCEPT her, she said it was as if the guard couldn’t see her. prayers for you all that the Lord covers you from harm.
    I had a very sucessful move to the socialist state and the area I am in is mostly conservative, is rather rural here with several farms with beef and lots of horse owners. I’m in the process of sorting and putting stuff away.
    I always enjoy reading everyones posts.

  15. Avalanche Lily – your comments about the mark of the beast have me curious. I thought the mark was supposed to be a definitive choice – we will recognize the antichrist and make a choice on whether to be marked as one of his sheeple or reject the mark.

    Anyway, I am very curious if anyone has recommendations on very solid books on end times prophecy that discuss the rapture. I have always leaned toward a pre-trib or mid-trib event however I am not against learning more that may argue a post trib timeline. I’ve read stuff by Mark Hitcock, David Jeremiah and others (many others) but I want to see the opposing viewpoints presented in a well laid out argument that defends a post tribulation rapture. BTW – not interested in preterist viewpoints and have already ruled scenario out. It just doesn’t hold water. It would be great to see a full length article or maybe a monthly update tying current events to end times prophecy and prepping.

    1. Chris – an oldie from 1973 but one that started the conversation and series of books and movies: Revelation – Illustrated and Made Plain. By the late Dr. Tim LaHaye.
      ISBN 0-310-26991-1.
      He was a very wise and introspective believer. I’ve met him on several occasions and we have briefly discussed the pre and post- trib positions. Well, in case of Rapture this t- shirt will be empty!

    2. @Chris
      Do you know the Mark of the Creator is keeping the Sabbath and obeying His commands? He says He sets His Mark upon us.

      It is the only mark I am concerned with

    3. Check out Amir Tsarfati. He has two books and is on YouTube. His ministry is Behold Israel. He is a Jewish Christian and spent time in Israeli military intelligence. He has regular videos about current events and prophecy.

  16. I never wear a mask anywhere and Im a retired nurse. Recently Ive noticed when im at gun shops 99% don’t wear a mask. When Im at Walmart or other stores 99% DO wear a mask. And Ive noticed that the greeters and cashiers just perk up and enjoy that Im not wearing a mask. No one ever says anything negative to me.

    1. @ Virginia ~ Here in Ft.Lauderdale it’s real simple as far as ALL of the Food stores … Gun stores and Walmart ….. NO MASK means NO ENTRY.
      Having said that,my local gunsmith at one of the major gun stores,is a 72 year old Vietnam Vet having served 4 tours with the Special Forces …. who only carried an AK-47 bc he was so far North in country …. that they had no access to 5.56 rds …. so they only used what was “donated” by others they met while on the job
      Anyway ….. after having said ALL of that ….. my gunsmith NEVER wears a mask while at work ! And at 72 years of age …. he’s surely a Senior Citizen by now !
      PS ~ Our local church of some 1,500 people just started meeting in September.
      NO MASK = NO ENTRY ….. and pre-registration online is Mandatory
      Personally,I absolutely HATE the masks ! However,I work as a Flight Crew Member for a major airline …. and it’s the same thing : NO MASK = NO WORK = NO JOB and NO EXCEPTIONS !
      And it’s the same for all PAXs aka Passangers : NO MASK = NO FLY for YOU = NO EXCEPTIONS !
      Steve ~ September 27th 2020 @ 0344 hrs

  17. The end of last week found us camping with extended family. We were not going to attend this camp out (too much to do) but decided at the last minute to go and visit with family. It turned out to be a blessing in many ways. Good conversations brought awareness that some of our family is more informed than we thought. The time affirmed the strong bonds we have with each other and among many things, this may prove necessary in coming times.

    With the fires in our state, we had an infestation of tiny bugs. I began cleaning up as both the weather and bug bombs have eliminated most of them. This was not on my list of things to do but it has allowed me to organize, and check my preps. We threw out an old freezer, put in new racks and better organized the areas where we will be storing root veggies.

    With the end of the month coming quickly some of our local farms will begin to close down for the winter season. Today I am going to make a run to several of them in the hope of picking up more squash, onions and cabbage to augment what we have. These keep well for several months and now that we have eliminated a freezer, we have the space to store them.

    Lastly, the war between good and evil is intensifying. It has strengthen our conversations on faith and those conversations we have with others. Pray for those who are in positions of leadership, for those that are there to maintain the fragile stability in our country and for those who have lost everything in the wildfires.

  18. Over the past couple weeks, as part of my employment I was immersed in the response to the fire east of our city. My family stayed home out of the smoke and tried to make sense of the destruction through lessons and studying history- prepper style. Over 400 homes were lost up-river, and the families are sheltering in hotels, motels, school gymnasiums, and spare rooms of relatives, with many have nothing left but their pajamas. One thing my family chose to do was to dedicate a measure of our food stores, clothing, batteries, and other essential items to give to the families who lost everything. Our children even pooled their allowances and purchased over $400 of pet food to donate to the regional animal shelter.

    For the past two decades, we have prepared for the worst while we hoped for the best. We have more than most, and we need less as a result. We realized that we HAVE while they HAVE NOT, and it was our moral, ethical, and spiritual duty to help others. I have been fortunate throughout the Coronapocalypse to maintain my fair-paying job and we have had the opportunity to keep our larder filled. What we withdrew and gave to our fellow humans does not put us in a bind, but we still must replace those items. It is a fine lesson to our children and a reminder to ourselves on how to rotate, inventory, and manage a deep larder.

    Yesterday, we made the trek to Costco and filled a flatbed with flour, sugar, other staple items, toiletries, and batteries to replace what we donated to folks. As usual, the checker and front-end manager took note of the quantities and subtly enquired why we needed so much. “For the fire victims” was all they needed to know. We acknowledge the super-stores track our purchases and keep tabs on quantities, but we don’t give up too much information when asked. OPSEC is a fickle thing- you must give some info to make the purchase, but withholding essential elements of information (EEIs) is still prudent.

    We made a trip to other stores to replace the clothing we all gave up, and because our growing children were ready for bigger sizes anyway. Giving the kids each a budget and challenging them to see who could get the most was a fun exercise. We still stressed quality and utility, but let them compete to see who was the most frugal. The 10-year old boy won as he seemed to find sales upon sales and sacrificed his pride and ego by not selecting ‘fashion’ brands. (Another advantage of homeschooling!)

    Received a few more 80% lowers and parts kits; completing another project build on a carbine; found a stash of pistol powders at an out-of-the-way pawn shop; and will now rearrange the tactical stores to keep it all accessible and safely put up.

    A busy week, but quite satisfying for the entire family.

    Semper Fidelis

    1. I so much enjoyed reading your post. It was good you were in a position to help those that were devastated by the fires. It was also good of you to mention the OPSEC issues that came with your purchase. Some people don’t consider this.

      I wish I was in a better situation to be able to help other people in need, but here in Minnesota the only “disaster” that happens (besides electing DFL gestapo people to the state level in this Blue state) is -40 below winters, but then that’s a yearly occurrence. In the future I’m sure my opportunity will come. Currently I do volunteer my time for some Christian radio stations doing some programming for them.

  19. Just a little tip for those of you that might be attempting seed saving for the first time with tomatoes and the plants have been killed by frost. The seeds in a tomato mature before the fruit does so if a tomato is starting to turn red (or yellow, orange or whatever color it is supposed to be when ripe) then the seeds inside should have enough stored energy and be mature enough to save seed from them. Would it be better if the tomato was fully ripe? Yes, it would, but if the fruits are just starting to turn from green to red then you should be able to save seed and this seed should be better adapted to your soil and environmental conditions than the original seed was. I’ve done this before and it does work.

    This past week I moved some of the winter squash I grew into the designated storage area and have had winter squash for the past three days for breakfast. Mmm, good. I’ve also had fresh tomatoes right out of the garden for lunch. Just stop and pick them, eat them and go right back to work. The vines are dead, but there are still tomatoes that are continuing to ripen. I was not able to harvest all the sweet corn that was planted and what was left on the plants has matured and is drying down. Some of the larger select ears have been saved for seed for next year and the rest I plan on shelling and trying an experiment this winter with dry, mature sweet corn seed. I plan on soaking small batches of seed and reconstituting them and then cooking them with beans and / or rice. This method will not require any electricity to store them since the seeds are dry and my freezer is almost full so there is very little extra room. If I had a grain grinder I could try grinding some of the seed to flour and cooking it that way, but that will have to wait for another time – hopefully next year.

    Indian summer has finally come to my neck of the woods so this next week I will take full advantage of it while it’s still here. Cut firewood. Cut firewood and cut more firewood. I’d like to have an extra supply on hand – like all the other preps. It’s like what Avalanche Lily wrote above: “We are getting backups for our backups.” Exactly.

    Something else I just thought of while reading some of the blog comments: Next years seed supply. It would probably be prudent to make a list of all the garden seeds you might need for next years garden. Anything from Artichokes to Zucchini should be on this list – at least anything you plan on growing. Next get at least some of this seed before the November shakeup that may occur. Hopefully it does not occur, but if it does you will not be totally empty handed regarding growing food for yourself and family. The new batch of seed will not be in stock with most seed companies till October to late November, perhaps even early December. As I’ve mentioned before, I used to work at a seed company so I saw first hand everything from “A” to “Z” that happened there all the way from planning crops, planting crops, cultivation, harvesting seed, threshing seed (or other types of processing it), cleaning seed, packaging seed and finally selling seed. The reason I make this point is that most seed companies here in the USA are NOT seed producers, like the company I worked for but are only seed resellers that buy in bulk then repackage in smaller packets. Most of this seed (75% to 90% depending on the type of crop) is grown OUTSIDE the USA which means any glitch in the shipping process whether it be political or economic turmoil will result in very short supplies of garden seeds. Field crops like corn and soybeans and small grains are typically grown here, but vegetable seed is usually grown where there is cheap labor (slave labor in some cases). China produces a lot of vegetable seed that is sold around the world including here. Both the eastern and southern hemisphere ship seeds here. Yes, there are stand alone companies that produce all their own seed, but they are the exception rather than the rule. Some companies contract local seed producers, but like previously mentioned, most buy on the international market. Please don’t panic and blow your prepping budget on just seeds, but for any beginners or “newbies” it would be a good idea to at least have some seed on hand now. My personal plan is as follows: Buy some of the seed for crops that I don’t already have seed for like cabbage, broccoli and perhaps some herbs then next year as soon as the seed companies have their 2021 editions of seeds online I will make an additional purchase on some other things. I will not be buying a ten year supply of seed that will only last five years and then the germination will be zero percent. If you plan on having seeds to barter with then this might not apply to you as I know some of you have mentioned having seeds on hand for friends, neighbors or relatives.

    1. @ David

      You read my mind! I’m in the process of inventorying what I have for seeds and will be ordering some I’m short on or want to try very soon. I don’t think waiting is a good idea this year.

      1. @Ani
        Did I read your mind or do we just think along similar lines? Probably the latter. I think you are most likely correct on not waiting this year to get seeds. When I saw your post it made something click in the back of my mind about a comment you made a couple weeks ago. You mentioned Azomite and rock dust and said: “You should see what is grown in the desert in Israel!” Yes, I agree. I actually know two other friends that would say the same thing. One is a soil consultant that lives in the southern part of the state who has been to Israel. (I think he may be Jewish, but I’m not certain) and the other one is Jewish and affectionately refers to crossing the national border into Israel as “crossing the green line”. Those were his words describing the difference between the agricultural systems. So thanks for reminding me about soil amendments in addition to seeds. I should have included this information in my first post. Most gardeners should have a least several bags of each on hand – larger gardens would need a little extra. I did an experiment with Azomite, kelp, etc. this summer. A very small experiment, that is, so I should redo it next summer on a larger scale with replications to properly test the scientific validity of the observation. More on that later.

        1. @David

          Indeed. We are likely both thinking alike on this subject. And yes, you would love seeing what can be grown in Israel in what is marginal soils, some organically even. And second the motion to secure soil amendments now if possible. I have a large bag of seed starting mix left over; not ideal but I’ll use it next year, supplemented if needed. Have some compost and Pro Gro and will try to source more. Who knows what will be the situation this spring?

    2. D&G, thank you for the lesson on seeds; I knew some of the seeds came from other countries, but I had no idea that so much was imported. With Europe and Australia shutting down their farmers and ranchers I thought it would trickle down to us, but you just re-framed my picture.
      I have been collecting seeds and buying seeds for months now. We raise rabbits and use the rabbit pellets for fertilizer, but will add the Azomite to my list.

  20. My preps are now to fight to restore our constitutional values to government.

    I met with the conservative group from one of the three counties I will be State Representative for after we win the election. They contributed $1K towards campaign costs and fielded a force of nearly 2 dozen volunteers which I joined in to knock on 1,100 doors by Wednesday evening.

    My brochure states Not A Professional Politician.
    Veteran with 34 years service. A picture of me in uniform on the AFGN/PAK border. We ask people to please consider us in their vote in November.

    Wednesday at midnite a spiritual and physical attack comes 4 hours after our home church meets. Thursday afternoon they remove my inflamed appendix and treat for peritonitis. I’m on the phone before and after, campaigning for this mission our Lord has for me.

    Friday more campaigning from hospital bed and coordinating volunteers to campaign at our local open air flea market. Meanwhile in town the local, well known communist coordinator is marshalling “progressives” for a large BLM/Dem event at the main road intersection.

    Today’s Saturday morning Zoom Bible study is on Jeremiah 2. We go to Daniel 9 to include our sorrow and atonement, shedding tears for our nation and plead for God’s forgiveness. Jeremiah addresses the prostitution of his nation, but ours is far worse with open sexualization of our children now required under state law passed in 2020.

    Today my coordinator was late in setting up at the flea market so worried messages from others made me gird my loins and drive over to help set up and be there to lobby attendees.

    It isn’t wise to be so active after surgery but God has called and I rely on Job 13:15.

    If you aren’t in a full relationship with our Savior, The Lord of Hosts, or trying to live in the Spirit, all this must seem insane to you. I testify that if you aren’t living in the spirit, all our other preps and self sufficiency efforts will never satisfy you.

    Living these days is hard if your soul isn’t fortified. God’s grace is sufficient for us all. But when you get called by Him, make sure you answer. When He has need,you must armor up and take the mission.

    It is so encouraging to read posts here by others who are prepping to help others. Thank you for setting a good standard.

    May our Amighty God forgive us our faults, lead us in righteousness, care for our infirmities, and prosper our hearts.

    God Bless you all.

    1. Wheatley Fisher… Your post is filled with many important messages! Praying that you are stronger and feeling ever better with each passing day. Thankful for the news that you’re safely on the other side of emergency surgery!

      From your post… “Living these days is hard if your soul isn’t fortified. God’s grace is sufficient for us all. But when you get called by Him, make sure you answer. When He has need,you must armor up and take the mission.”

      So very well said!

      1. Thank you, Dear ToA.

        Each day during this campaign I try to lift my hands to Him and ask for just the wisdom to know what He’ll need from me.

        When there is no answer, I know it is His turn to work and mine turn to pause. Yesterday was busy. Today was to rest and heal.

        To all of you who share a prayer for my mission now and then, thank you from this state of humility.

        May God Bless you all

  21. Thank you thank you thank you Lily for the youtube link to the Bible (audio). I’ve been wanting something like this because I’m in a “not a minute to waste” mode and I’ve been running myself ragged. Now, I can listen while I work. I’m a better reader than listener, but this will work great! I agree that the most important thing we can do in these times is absolutely bathe our minds in God’s word.

    Other than that, on the prepper front, topped off a few supplies, put the gardens to bed for the winter, and as I go through my day, I make a list of things I’ve forgotten about, then do a well thought out purchase, because it’s often true that one item can be used for many purposes and we don’t need ALL the gadgets. Found a great deal on flat bed sheets (search for bulk flat sheets on Amazon), and bought an extra pair of winter boots good for -25 degrees.

    It’s been *chilly* here so I’ve been firing up the little wood-burning cook top stove in the mornings. If you ever buy one, try to get a Jotul – amazing little stove heats up the whole house and uses very little wood! Easy to manage and small. Pricey, but will last “forever”.

  22. The Book of Deuteronomy is the one directly authored by the Creator. The Creator is the Most High and Salvation is in no one else according to Him. Read it and see.

  23. Don’t forget places that are “requesting” to take your temperature on your hand or forehead. Talk about conditioning. As for fleeing our home, that is not an option right now. My wife has terminal cancer and is housebound. Thankfully we live in a small rural community, however we battening down the hatches and preparing for whatever may come. Been spending much time in scripture, God has been providing much peace, grace and joy. Isaiah 26:3-4 and John 15:10-11

      1. Thanks RKRGRL68. I must say the Lord has blessed us with grace, peace and joy beyond measure plus lots of laughter. We take life one day at a time, trust the Lord and laugh lots. Nurses and aids coming in to see my wife get a good dose of the Gospel. One aid has accepted the Lord as her Savior. Just goes to show when you truly want to do the Lord’s work the Lord will give you opportunity.

    1. Prayers are being lifted up, BWL! …for you and for your precious wife. The challenges before you are great, and yet your faith remains strong. You are among the best examples of faithful lives well lived for all of us through these times of trial.

      1. Thank you TOA. The Lord has shown His love and faithfulness to us many times over the years even when we (mostly me) fail. We try to reflect that love and faithfulness to everyone we see.
        See you there or in the air.

    2. BWL…
      Please see these links, and read in detail the one terminal patient’s cancer story. He had been given effectively no chance of survival at the time of his diagnosis — and yet, in so far as I can tell, he is alive still today. You might even consider contacting him if you believe there is any help for your wife in this although his protocols are outlined in detail (and the supplies are readily available for public purchase). When I first read the story, I was fascinated, and wanted to understand the science behind the exceptional results in this case. I have included a couple of additional links as added references. As with anything “outside the box”, exercise caution. Your wife’s circumstances may preclude this therapy, or the therapy may create other risks for her that may or may not be known (or knowable). It may be worth contacting her personal physicians for their thinking. All that said, I wanted to pass this along with the hope that it might help!




      I pray you will receive this message, and that it will offer you and your wife help. Earthly life provides us no guarantees, and yet we pursue the possibilities.

  24. Yes, Lily, you may treat masks as a trial run for biometrics. Same mode of operation. If you can’t go someplace without a mask, at some point, you may not be able to go there — or use the services — without a scan of your biometry. Because I started a while back trying to live as if biometric were already in place, it’s been tough, especially since our state is still in mandatory masks. If you have a driver’s license issued in the last 3 years or so, you are already in the biometric database, FYI. (But you don’t have to keep doing it!)

    ( And remember, it’s not the “mark” but the scan. You can have any “mark”put on or in your body, or your individual biometry can be the mark, but it’s inert until somebody pulls out/engages a scanner.) My bank just put in brand new ATM machines with biometric capabilities, (though that part isn’t in use YET).

  25. I continue to put up (pressure can) 14 lbs of chicken and 10 lbs of ground beef each week. This week, I was able to put up 10 lbs cubed sirloin. I too, have created two weeks of menus and am using this to create and stockpile my food storage. I’m down to my last two dozen quart jars…hoping more will become available as the harvest winds down. Until then, I plan to start filling an empty upright freezer. We have a chest freezer, but had no reason to use the upright until all the jars had been used. We are still waiting for the electrician to hook up our propane generator, which will keep the freezer going during power outages. I plan to can the stored meat in the freezer once I locate jars, hopefully soon. I’m loving the smell of the cinnamon apple slices from the dehydrator. I plan to bag those for Christmas presents and vacuum seal the rest. I’m noticing a continued shortage of frozen and canned corn. I was told the corn is being used for hand sanitizer, or being sold to China. I’ll continue to dehydrate mixed vegetables and peas and carrots (I’ve never been able to master growing carrots…)The late fall garden with pole beans and winter squash is coming along nicely. This week will get the broccoli, collards, kale, and cabbage planted. Praying feverently in between it all.

  26. Avalanche Lily,

    If indeed wearing the mask is the Mark of the Beast, then some churches are on board with it. One in my area had a marquee saying “WWJD? He would wear a mask!”


    All I can say is that it would sure be helpful if rioters and mask-pushers were turned into pillars of salt.

    As for my prepping, I’m working with a trainer to learn some martial arts and to get into better shape. Folks, prepping isn’t just guns and gear; we have to consider physical fitness as well!

    Good luck, everyone!

  27. Spent most of the day last Saturday splitting and stacking firewood with my son. Considering the domestic situation I placed the wood pile under and in between two large pine trees. The area is close to the basement door way so that wood can be easily taken inside but the area is also a great place for an observation post watching the direction most likely to see a threat come from. Two rows (so far) of 16” long split hardwood. Might even make rows to the left and right.
    Also had a local Amish builder come look at our old barn to rehab it. He said he was so happy that we didn’t have it torn down like many people do. Looking at some foundation work, and new metal siding and roof.
    Took the AR pistol out for it maiden shooting. I had ordered two sets of flip up sights. I put the first set on and tried to adjust the front sight post and realized that set was pretty much garbage. Put the second set of sights on and was center mass in six rounds. Went back a few more yards and made a slight elevation adjustment. Then I put a Pentax holo type sight on and wasted about 20 rounds trying to get that sighted in. Then I remember my brother gave me that years ago and I think he had the same issue. Reload a “few” more rounds of 9mm. Had a nice conversation with my Mennonite neighbor about the domestic political situation. Encouraged him to be like Joesph and have food put away or at least the items that they normally purchase (flour, sugar, etc.). It seemed like he was going to heed my advice. I hope he does.

    Purchases of equipment and supplies this week included-making another trip to the dollar store for another armful of bags of hard candies. Purchased 5 used “V” belt pulleys for $4! Found 2 vintage French fry cutters (type you push down over a potato) and a nice set of made in West Germany micrometers, nice medium size woodland camo BDU top. 3 nice new Blue enamel(ozark brand) plates with the stickers still on them and the best Goodwill score was a used made in The US Welch Allyn Blood pressure cuff($6)!!! At Walmart I picked up 50 rounds of 12ga #5 shot and 100 rounds of 20 ga 7 1/2 shells, 6 cans of roast beef, a gallon of bleach, two packs of 7 disposable lighters, 20 pounds of cane sugar, a bottle of provodine iodine solution, a gallon of white gas, and a 500 lumen solar shed light. Picked up three 1 pound canned hams and 12 pounds of Great Northern Beans and 6 gallons of white Vinegar.

    1. Hey 3ADscout, at the auction today I won the cerebral flatulence award. A guy bought a pile of six or seven items and later I noticed the rusty scroll saw, the fairly new looking shotshell reloader and three containers of gunpowder were still sitting there. I checked 30 minutes later and they hadn’t moved. I wasn’t sure who bought them so couldn’t ask what he’d take for them, then waited until most people had left so I could ask the auctioneer for it, which he usually agrees to for no cost. As I was pulling into my driveway 30 miles away it suddenly occurred to me that after loading my vehicle, I had forgot to check to see if they were there when I left, and I’m sure they were and I could have gotten the reloader for free. We haven’t had any auctions this year until now and I’m rusty as heck, hoping I can get up to speed again quickly.

      1. Oh I’ve won that award a few times myself! At least you only forgot to check on something you didn’t buy, I left a nice wooden chicken crate behind once, didn’t even realize until the next day. I always find it amazing to watch doesn’t sell, many times I think there is just too much junk to make the few nuggets worth accepting the pile.

  28. It is usually better to build a cache in the hill side then under flat ground to avoid most of the ground water. Put all items in some kind of waterproof container in the barrel, like putting cans in ziplock bags after squeezing out all the air and sealing well and if necessary put the cans in a 5 gallon bucket then in the barrel. Seal your barrel with a bead of silicone then secure the lid, and finally cover your barrel with plastic so water runs over and down the sides and to keep the dirt away, also it is a good idea to put down some gravel under the barrel for better drainage.
    Ammo cans should be used at every opportunity as they are truly water tight, if these are to be buried then put them in some kind of plastic containers with a couple of holes drilled in the bottom so water is no retained inside also cover the container in plastic sheeting before burial. The best system incorporates three layers of protection for your items, you can not be too careful when caching your valuables.

  29. Mrs. Rawles, I am a faithful follower of you and your husband’s writings. Like so many Christians who follow JWR, I believe world events are following the Scriptures and we are indeed living in the “Last Days” described by the prophets of God and the apostles of Christ.

    It is quite possible that I have missed it somewhere along the way (forgive me if that is the case), but I was wondering if you or JWR would be willing to share your beliefs or viewpoints considering Biblical Eschatology… I know that JWR is a Reformed Christian; my own “brand” of Christianity falls most closely in the camp of the Reformed Baptists. I am Pre-Trib and Pre-Millennial in my Eschatology, but I can certainly see why so many are Mid-Trib or even Post-Trib from certain Scriptures. Would you or James be willing to discuss your views and how that fits in with your preparedness planning? I know many would find it very interesting and encouraging. Thank you and God bless y’all for your continued ministry to so many…

    In Christ, W3

    1. Yes,

      One of these days soon we will write about what we are thinking with our proofs to back it up. I’ve written parts of what we think in the blog and elsewhere on the internet under a different pen name. I just need to get it all together and organized and coherent.

      But in a nutshell:

      Jim is Reformed. I was a Messianic Gentile and Evangelical. I was a Dispensationalist and Darby/Scofield follower of eschatology, but no longer. I just call myself a simple Biblical follower of Jesus. I have had it with denominationalism and false doctrines. Give me the Word and accurate historical accounts, the Holy spirit, prayer and fellowship with other Bible/Word oriented folk and I’m good. I believe in a Pre-Wrath rapture at Jesus’s coming. I believe we will see the Great Tribulation and the Mark of the Beast. I believe many of us will be martyred, only a few will live to be raptured. I believe the Rapture will occur about six years into the Tribulation. I believe that we should stock up for about three to six years, if possible. I believe that Jesus is the Seven Feasts of Israel. I believe that His life and death, and resurrection from the dead, and ascension, and future return fulfill them completely. Therefore we know that He returns at the sixth Trump which will occur on Rosh Hashana, possibly sometime around 2026-2028. Therefore we know the month and the season and later we may know the year, just not the exact day and hour, more on this later as to why we don’t know the exact day.

      So this is the nutshell for now.

      Many blessings and much strength and endurance to you,


      1. This message about strength and endurance was with me strongly this evening as I listened to the interview of Rod Dreher by Tucker Carlson on Fox News. Dreher’s book is titled: Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents. I haven’t yet read it, but intend to do so… In the interview, Dreher talks about how important it is that we learn to be patient through suffering.

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