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:

Things went very well with my slash burning, early in the week. Two of the four piles were consumed within eight hours, one with 12 hours, and the last one–containing a stump–within 20 hours. There was only one pile that required much “Woof” (dyed off-road diesel) to get started.  All of this burning was during a rainy spell, for safety. I should mention that if I had waited until this weekend for burning, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get those piles started. There are some more drenching rains in the forecast, and even a chance of a snow shower here on the valley floor, on Sunday.

I had one on-site consulting session with a client who recently bought a large retreat in our region. He has an enviable lifetime supply of Western Larch (locally called “Tamarack”) for firewood.

I’ve been topping off a few supplies, here at the Rawles Ranch. Part of this was rotating our old fish and other veterinary antibiotics, and replacing them with fresh stocks. I’m also laying in some additional full capacity magazines, for barter purposes. I anticipate the California appeals court to strike down that state’s magazine ban sometime before the end of 2020 or perhaps early 2021. If and when that happens, then we will see the result of 20 years of pent-up demand from 35 million+ Californians. (Their ban on buy any additional 11+ round magazines took effect on January 1, 2000.) I expect their high demand to devastate the nationwide supply of available magazines for at least a year.

Our pre-election sale at Elk Creek Company is continuing apace. The inventory is being depleted rapidly–now down to just 50 guns. Not surprisingly, we’ve had several orders for freshly-reconditioned Chilean contract Mauser Model 1895 short rifles chambered in 7×57 Mauser. We started out with nine of those a week ago, and are now down to just six five four two one remaining. “Going, going…”

And now, over to Lily:

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

We’ve had some very rainy days lately with only two days of sunshine.  The rain dumped a large amount of snow down to the 4,800-foot level in the mountains surrounding our valley.  The very high peaks, above 6,000 feet, appear to have received up to two feet or more.  The snowy peaks were beautiful in the sunshine against the backdrop of green grassy valleys, dark green conifers mixed with the fall season yellows of Cottonwood, Aspen, and Tamaracks.  Very “purdy!”

Now it is supposed to rain for the next four days or so with a chance of a dusting of snow at our elevation this weekend.  We’ll see. Sometimes, we get snow when they predict it, but other times we don’t.

This week we had guests for a few days.  One of Miss Eloise’s friends visited.  Later her parents visited with us for an afternoon.

The girls and I chopped up three gallons worth of our harvested red and yellow onions.  Those we froze for future more expedient cooking experiences. We still have a large quantity of harvested onions left, some of which I still plan to dehydrate.

This week, I received in the mail three orders of garden seeds for next year.

I am continuing to add to my essential oils collection and various supplements that we take on a regular basis or may take in the future.  What keeps happening is that we have a base supply of supplements, but I am looking for the purest forms and keep finding others that we want to try when the need arrives.  Currently, I take only three, supplements on a regular basis.  Jim takes seven.

I planted some Lamb’s Quarter seeds that I had collected, in a couple of other spots on our ranch as well as some more Sunchoke/Jerusalem Artichoke bulbs.

I am still harvesting broccoli florets which we’ve been eating.

I harvested some of my carrots.  They did much better this year than last year. I will be leaving them in the ground and will be mulching them, shortly.

I harvested my first homegrown elderberries and Miss Violet and I de-berried the elderberry whorls.  We washed the berries and froze them for a future day of syrup making.

I harvested from the greenhouse all of my hot and sweet peppers.  The hot peppers were threaded onto a string and strung up to air dry in a sunny window near our wood stove. Probably by next week, we’ll have a continual fire going in it, instead of sporadic fires that will help to dry out the hot peppers.  The sweet peppers will be chopped and frozen.

I went to a regional Yoke’s supermarket this past week–that I hadn’t been to in for over three months–to check out their inventory.  Wow, there were big changes in the store. It looked as though they had redone the floors, but they hadn’t finished the flooring job yet.  The shelves were further apart and shorter in length.  Foods had been rearranged and were in new locations and sequences.  There was a limit of one bottle, for bleach.  The shelves are no longer packed with inventory.  There was one case of taller Comet cleasnser and only two left of the smaller sized package of Comet.  Cleaning supplies of all kinds were scarce.  The meat section looked good.  Fresh fruits and veggies looked fine.  Canned goods were definitely lacking.  I definitely had a feeling that there is some serious lack coming. I do not believe that the store managers are just putting out a few items at a time, and then putting out more.  There is a serious supply chain disruption occurring and I wouldn’t be surprised if one they are conditioning us to get used to seeing less on the shelves because very soon there will truly be less on the shelves. Or my number two thought: What if we are really already seeing the last of many items that are no longer being manufactured, like light bulbs, and that when they are gone, they’re gone?  I picked up some light bulbs, and sink stoppers, and more Comet scrubbing powder.

I listened to the books of Ruth, Judges, First and Second Samuel, and First Kings while working in the kitchen, house cleaning, and driving to town.  I took another two trips in this week for various reasons.  I very much enjoyed listening about places–many of which I have visited, in Israel–and the stories of each character that has contributed to the rich tapestry of Biblical history. The Judges Caleb, Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Barak, Sisera and Yael, Brave and Righteous Gideon from Manasheh, Yiftach; The book of Ruth with, Naomi and Boaz.   Eli and Samuel, King Saul, King David, Abner, Ahsahel, Joab, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Elijah, Jezebel and King Ahab, et cetera.  Wonderful stories, wonderful examples on how we should live and not live, and of YHVH’s lovingkindness and judgments for disobedience and rebellion. And also promises for all who love Him and obey His commandments. I encourage everybody to read and listen to the Word of God.  The Word of God IS our blueprint for life on Earth.

Again, I would like to give you all the link to the YouTube Bible version that I listen to, when I’m online. (In our vehicles, we listen to the Bible on CD.)

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. Wednesday we went and did our early voting and then I went next door to the County Trustee and paid my property taxes. The government gets you one way or another.

    Fall garden is coming along: cabbages, spinach, collards, a few volunteer lettuce heads, green onions and a couple of other plants. Planted the garlic and more celery from cuttings. Harvested about half of the lemons from my little tree and still have about another 12 or so to go.

    One of my big dogs managed to get an ear full of yuck so I liquefied and cleaned out what looked like black mold and sprayed his ears with AC vinegar; cleared it up in two days. Groomed two more dogs: shaved the long hair, cleaned butts and ears and cut nails; quite a workout. I figure I saved $120 on the ear issue and know I saved $100 on the grooming.

    Received order of CBD oil and capsules which were 50% off at my favorite online fish med store. My dogs sometimes pull a few muscles during the pursuit of predators and the CBD meds really help them heal faster. Also got in an extra supply of vetricyin antibiotic spray.

    Still repackaging the bulk herbs I received last Saturday into ready-use jars/containers and vac-sealed storage bags. Consolidating all my bulk herbs into one large storage container so they are easier to find in a hurry.

    I received an order of N.Z. manuka honey which I got during prime days. The good stuff is so expensive I was thrilled to see the $60 jar for 50% off. This honey is used for medicine while the local raw honey is used for sweetener and cooking.

    Made zucchini bread and it was delicious!!! Made extra for my elderly neighbors.

    While checking 2020 jars I found a broken jar inside one of the clear containers I store my jars in. The jar must have sprung a lid leak or it exploded from the bacteria as there were nasties inside the container. I took it outside to empty the container to find the damaged jar, fill the container with dawn and bleach and scrub it out, then refill the container with more soap and bleach and insert the remaining jars to test their seals, which I’m happy to say were good. Then I had scrub the jars and dry them. I will have to use these jars within a month or two as the lids are starting to rust because of the moisture from the broken jar. I’m just glad I store jars in clear containers because that would have been a horrible mess on an open shelf.

    Friday I got 8 pds of very nice asparagus on sale and about 3 pds of mushrooms at a local grocer. These are such nutritious items I never miss an opportunity to get them when on sale. Will PC them in the next day or two. Canned good limits are still enforced in most stores and I don’t like having to shop more frequently going to 3-4 or 5 stores to find sufficient items on my list; but…

    I was in the chicken free-range area identifying older hens which have not been laying on a regular basis and spray marking them for harvesting next week. Next couple of days, to my surprise, those buff hens laid huge eggs, giving them a reprieve for a while, .

    God bless each of you and your families. May your week be safe and productive.

  2. Our move was completed as scheduled and we are thankful to be in our new location.
    A couple of things I want to mention regarding relocation. All tradesmen are very booked up. We need a few finishing touches made but can’t find a plumber or electrican available. The propane company needed fittings to connect to the line to the house and had a delay getting them. That work was completed on Thursday with propane also being placed in our tank yesterday. We didn’t get a complete fill as the truck didn’t have enough propane in it. Then the heating and ac company came out to check the furnace. Just in time for our 35 degree over night temperature. We have another technician scheduled some day next week to make the conversion on our gas stove to use propane. One of our electric on demand water heaters doesn’t work and we wanted to convert to a whole house propane one but the plumber is booked out for weeks. So my husband is changing out the electric one for a new one to see if that one will work.
    New internet customers like us have an install date of Nov 19th and later.
    I’m glad we relocated when we did verses later as shortage in materials and service providers are very much in demand we may have had to go longer without heat and stove cooking. I’m making meals on an electric griddle and in my instant pot. I keep thinking, is this a precursor of things to come.
    We had to temporarily store stove in the barn until the workers finished in the house and it was very damp. Several boxes of my canned meats from Werlers was moist. I brought everything up from the barn yesterday and went through it. One can had a rusty seem but no leaks and one can ( maybe from being dropped) was leaking. Everything else is in good shape. Today I’ll finish putting in all away.
    God continues to bless us and we are Thankful for His love and care.
    May the Peace of our Lord be with all of you.

    1. Here in Idaho, it’s hunting season, so any potential trades person who might have been available, is now not, zero, nada. I think that’s why everyone scurries during spring, and summer. I tried to get some flooring replaced and was basically told that I can’t even get on the waiting list. I *might* replace some myself, since I’ve done it in the past, but my knees were a lot better back then. Congratulations on your move!!!!

      1. Yes we’ve run into that “hunting” problem before. Needed our orchard grass cut and, low and behold, all our contacts were out of the area. First year it all coincided for us. Glad we aren’t growing alfalfa which is on an even more strict time table.

    2. CD North Georgia,
      When I moved seven years ago, the internet provider I had chosen was going to take two weeks before they could get the installation done. I found another provider who would come out the next day. I called the first one back to cancel, they asked why, and when I told them, they suddenly had an appointment available the next day. I couldn’t see much difference between the two providers, so I just told them that I was sorry but that they had lost my business. You might try checking out other providers, just in case.

    3. Ma’am, my wife had a similar problem booking a plumber up here in SC. Fortunately, it appears the problem we thought we had isn’t really a problem after all. I’m not sure if it’s due to the advent of hunting season, people catching up on backlogs from COVID-19, people trying to get ahead of things prior to the election, or all of the above. But it’s definitely not just a local issue.

  3. Lost two more chickens to the road. I think I might just keep them cooped up now until the spring. Seems like with the cold weather there isn’t enough bugs for them on this side of the road. Filled up all empty gas cans (45 gallons) with ethanol free gas and added stabil. Pulled 3 shoe box sized totes full 223 cases out of storage (they are all deprimed, sized and case trimmed) and a #10 can of 9mm brass that is also deprimed. Put primers in cases from 2 totes and loaded most of those too. Put the lid on the grain bin (just need to stain it and add a piece of rubber over the seam where the piano hinge is. Cleaned the chimney and gutters. Cut and split more fire wood.

    Purchases of supplies and equipment-
    20’ 5/16” tow cable with grab hooks rated at 1960 pounds, scout ax handle, butcher saw blade, kerosene heater wick, folding colander, pair of metal shear by Wizard, made in the USA, package of 2032 batteries, a 2 ton 1/2 shackle, a 3/8” double swivel eye, a few cold shuts to replaced ones I used.
    Heading off to an auction now-

  4. re:
    elderberry freezing

    Animal foods have cell membranes, and are easier to chew and digest.
    Plants have tough cell walls.

    As we age past about 30, our digestive system slows and becomes less efficient.
    As the decades pile on, the loss of digestive efficiency worsens.
    As one example, stomach acid at 60 is significantly less effective than the stomach acid of a teen.

    As an example of tough cell walls, imagine chewing a stalk of celery with those tough fibrous stringers.
    I get tired of trying to break them down, so I eventually swallow part of my mouthful, bypassing that essential initial stage of digestion.

    Many essential nutrients from foods are unavailable to old folks because of weakened digestion.
    We need help to maintain our health.
    For me, this looks like putting a lot of vegetables in the blender to break down those tough cell walls.
    Freezing breaks down the cell walls of elderberries, and blueberries, too.

    Fruit smoothies and blended vegetable soups are an effective method to maintain part of our lost youthful effectiveness!


    nutritional supplements

    As we age, supplements become a valuable part of health maintenance.

    Most farmers know about soil depletion.
    Every crop pulls essential minerals from the soil.
    Unless these are replaced each season with crushed rock and manure, the farm eventually turns to sand and dust… requiring petroleum-based chemicals to compensate.

    Store-bought foods can appear similar to foods of olden days, but the nutritional value can be a tiny fraction of the foods of a few decades ago.
    At the risk of sounding elitist or exclusionary, I strongly suggest eating from local organic farmers you know.

    The adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ might need to be amended to ‘two apples a day’ to partially compensate for our devastated farm soils.

    And take your supps!
    For liver health, you might want to investigate milkthistle and sillimarin.
    For fellows, see if prostate protectors such as saw palmetto can help.
    I mentioned celery; I take a celery supplement daily for lung health, plus I add fresh celery to my weird blender concoctions.
    I supplement from different manufacturerers(sp?) to supply different vitamins and minerals in different forms and combinations.

    Our bodies triage constantly, moving vitamins and minerals to areas of need.
    Supplementing from multiple sources helps cover more of the bases!

    Does it make a difference?
    I will let you know in another century or two…

    1. Thank you for the celery reference. I’ve had pneumonia twice in 11 months, and a cough that would not stop regardless of the many otc and scrips I’ve tried. Still have a tickle in my lungs. I’ll give the celery a try.

  5. When we were doing devotions in Genesis this week there were some words that spoke to me about our Great God and Creator. In the past when reading the Word I’ve found myself drawn in by the story of man. Usually glossing parts of the story to find out what applies to us humans. Now, I’m trying to look more at what God is saying, creating and doing. The Words in John’s Revelation and Genesis have a great number of awesome similarities. I digress.
    This may sound a bit strange, but one must always consider the source. I routinely get “correction” on my interpretation of the Bible. No offense taken.
    That part where sin enters the world… that’s an obedience issue -yes!? Before that… there is the same positional issue with Adam and Eve as there is with Able and Cain.
    Adam and Eve both took their eyes off of the Lord and Eve was questioning Adams position in being created before her. In doin so, Adam was seen in between her and the Lord. In Genesis 3:16 …”and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over you.” Was NOT in the other plan.
    Both were to desire and worship their Creator.
    Anyway ~ here it is, let’s call it the weird part previously mentioned. Genesis 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
    Please take note: The first thing Adam confessed to God was they knew they were both naked. This only becomes apparent when looking at OUR SELF and taking our eyes off of our Lord.
    Every commentary I read (and now won’t – because when I do it’s like putting another before God) struggles with the sacrifice of animal skins to cover their nakedness. How many were sacrificed, what kind were they, how the blood fits in the narrative etc., etc., etc.
    What IF at this juncture of man’s story God actually clothed them in a physical “skin” the same one our spirits are trapped in now. The one that death has part in. The same one that binds the Ruler of this world.

    1. I love love love it when looking at scripture, talking to the Lord, and trying to “get” the message(s). So many of us, who were raised in the church, only got other’s interpretations and wove those into our lives. I also find it fascinating that at my age now, I can freely read the scriptures and ask for the Lord’s words, and find all new meaning. The scriptures never get old! Something you knew from childhood can take on a whole new meaning and relevancy as you go through life. It’s really amazing. I don’t think of myself as a selfish person, but I do notice how much I think about myself!!!! I’d like to really get over that.

      1. Sara Sue,

        I agree with you concerning how after years of reading the scriptures and coming to know them, that it is so amazing now to read them and to remember other scriptures that are relevant and to make new discoveries and connections. I also agree with you that it is much better to get God’s interpretations, other than man’s.

        The best way is to keep reading and listening to the WORD itself. New believers, I do not recommend to go to church anymore in this day and age, but to just listen to the Word of God for hours at a time and then to read it and pray for understanding.

        Truly the Old Testament/Tanak, has the complete gospel in ti and the New Testament completes/fullfills the Old, what God was intending for His people all along. Basically the prophets all have the same messages. People are in rebellion and sin against God and His Word, warnings to repent, His law and statutes, The Messiah will come, die, resurrect from the Dead, and then return and will save His own from the Wrath of God the Father; and of the events that will take place leading up to the Great And Terrible Day of The Lord. It’s Awesome!

        The Word Of God is Truly ALIVE and pertinent for our Day!!

        Blessings to You,


        1. I feel the same way Lily, about the “modern church”. It’s very difficult to find one that sticks to the Scriptures. Very sad to me. So thankful we have His Word.

        2. Avalanche Lily,
          I agree with so much of what you say, but I would have to disagree about not going to church. “Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, AND SO MUCH THE MORE as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25) While I know that there are some who do not follow the Scriptures well, there are others who do. Your influence is needed, too. If only those who do not follow Scripture well are at church, who is to left to exhort them to know God better?

          1. We go to a home group that is informal every Saturday. The members are our neighbors and we interact with each other during the week. So we are not forsaking the brethren. Very few modern churches are true to the gospel. I’m sick of playing church and not being fed at these institutions. Most are sold out to the government and the pastors will be informers to the government to any who refuse to obey the government mandates. Most formal churches are a dangerous place to be, spiritually and soon, maybe, physically. A few may be safe, but a precious few. If your church is a 501c3 you better look out.

          2. In addition, all of us are responsible for our own spiritual walk, alone.

            No pastor is going to get a person to heaven, only faith in Jesus Christ from Nazareth. Everyone is responsible for himself to know the Word of God and to obey it.

            If someone is going to church and trusting in the Pastor but is not doing his own studying at home, that person is in spiritual trouble and he cannot blame it on his pastor.

            We all need to pull ourselves up by our own boot straps and study the word on our own.

            The brethren are to exhort each one to study, too. But that is special friends that the Lord will lead to His people when the ask Him to bring true believing friends. I found relationships in churches to be too shallow, not genuine. The pastors are always catering to the new believers and very rarely to mature believers with their preaching. The pastors are often running their own kingdoms and fleecing the flock. Not to mention all of the false doctrines out there that are leading ignorant believers to the anti-Christ through the teachings of the NAR/Purpose Driven, Kingdom Now, Prosperity gospel, Unity, Ecumenical-ism, Seeker-friendly and many more false doctrines.

            There is more depth in small fellowship groups and listening to a precious few preachers on the internet.

            A new believer is far better off in these Last days to spend much time in the word itself and getting to know the Lord and all of His truth than to be listening to Pastors who barely speak the Word at all and will lead them astray.

            Once they learn to hear the voice of the Lord, He will lead them to other genuine believers to fellowship with.

            If someone is reading this and thinks their church is good and preaching the true gospel, then you are blessed.

            And yes we are not to forsake the assembling of the brethren, But that assembling can take several other forms other than actually setting a foot into a church. It can be meeting on-line with preachers that you agree with, it can be inviting a few folks to your home for a bible study, it can be a telephone call with another believer.

            “When two or more are gathered in my name, I am with them.” That means just one family also.

          3. @ AL

            The same often holds true for synagogues sadly. I really don’t have any here that are a good fit for me; either ultra liberal and seem to think that Judaism is the Democratic Party platform with holidays or else Chabad(who I am a better fit with). A chavurah is a group of Jews that get together, usually in a house, to study and pray together- that’s considered just fine. I’d join one if I could. So that sounds sort of like what you’ve got going in your place now. No need for a fancy building and a preacher to my mind.

          4. Avalanche Lily, please share the preachers you are listening to/watching. Thank you for sharing the YouTube KJV Bible dramatization videos. They are wonderful to have playing while I am busy with housework.

          5. I listen to a lot of people for both spiritual insight and news and information of current events, that I might not catch elsewhere.

            I listen mostly, these days to the Bible.

            First and foremost, I love Steven Ben Noon’s (DeNoon) teachings both his biblical and news. As soon as he posts a bible teaching and I have a free hour, I listen to it. I enjoy his news broadcasts, but sometimes some things seem, still, outside of my credulity, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth in them. It’s just hard to believe because of the sanitized society (certain information withheld from us: Nafalim, giants, coming through the flood, etc., it’s hard to understand and take as factual) we have grown up with. YouTube: Breaking Israel News, Fact News Network, DeNoon Institute, Rise Up Children Of God. They are also on Patreon and Brand New Tube Under Israeli News Live.

            I listen to JD Farag’s Prophecy Updates on Sunday afternoons. Honestly, I haven’t listened to too many of his Bible Studies. My main issue with him is the timing of the Rapture. I feel that he isn’t encouraging his flock to prepare for any Tribulation, thus setting them up for the Mark of the Beast, when they run out of food. He has broached another subject which I totally disagreed with, but because I dismissed it so fast, I cannot remember what it was about. My bad! I love his research accounts into current events, in this department he is spot on. He sees the Beast rising, but doesn’t think Christians are going to be tested by it.

            Others: Paul Begley, on occasion, but for news, mostly. I don’t trust him.

            Derek Prince, Chuck Baldwin of Liberty Fellowship, Glynda Lomax,

            June Knight : We are the Bride,

            God’s Handmaiden, God’s Healer7, Jeff Byerly of Holy Spirit Wind, Jason A,

            I have listened to Speaking the Truth in Love.

            Many, I listen to, to compare notes with.

            I do not always agree with everything, everyone says.`

            I listen, speculate, and watch.

            I have been watching the news for End Time events since I was about fifteen years old. I am now in my early fifties.

            I have been reading Discernment websites since around 2005 such as Kjos at Crossroads.com, Bereans, Light House Trails, Spirit of Error, Steve Lumbly http://www.apostasywatch.com/

            Here is a list of Discernment Websites https://www.themessedupchurch.com/recommended-websites

            Since I have been in many, many churches all around the World: Europe, Africa, Israel, and all around the USA. I can attest to seeing many of these False Doctrines.

            This is why at this time in my walk with the Lord that we choose to home church. And for me, personally, I reach many more people with the Gospel of Christ, and encourage the reading of the scriptures from my very home through SurvivalBlog than I would attending any church here in the Redoubt. And You can be sure that when I do go out into the Cities, Towns, and villages in our surrounding home region, I do speak of the Lord God and the days that we are living in and encourage the people I meet to read the scriptures for themselves to see if what is happening in the world lines up with them.



        3. Avalanche Lily… You are describing the disheartening experiences all too many people have had in church settings. We have endured these ourselves. The most painful the result of real hope for belonging within a community of Christian Believers and the discovery of the shallowness of many of the relationships, also the betrayals.

          Christian men and women… We are facing unbelievably difficult times ahead (and even though these will surely come alongside easier times too). Even so… The difficult times could be truly difficult indeed, and we will need one another. We really will. We must be equal to that calling, and we just rise up to be leaders of great character.

        4. I truly agree with your point regarding new believers trying to find a church that is scripturally sound. My husband and I have given up looking. Our old church we were attending a year ago now has trick or treat! I cannot believe that the convictions are vanishing constantly! The Word is our source of strength and truth. I pray for discernment and understanding from the Holy Spirit. I love listening to Mr. Denis McBride’s old sermons through the Pensacola Christian College on Youtube to supplement. I see satan in a lot of the churches, trying to do the two things he will deceive many by….infiltration and immitation.

  6. We early voted in person with no masks. It felt good! We even took all our children in with us to show them the process.

    Homeschool lessons about the election process coming next week.

    Lima beans are coming in.
    Tomato plants are starting to take off.

    Deep cleaned under my bed. Purged junk and made room for cases of water.

    Stocked up on canned pumpkin and pumpkin spice.

    Took 2 animals to vet for check up and meds.

    Made annual doctor appointments for end of month, before election, just in case.

    Started ordering Christmas presents.

  7. Your comment about how to live and how not to live is spot on. My time in the military and public education offered numerous examples of what not to do and few good examples of what to do, but we are blessed by the bad examples. They are learning points for those who still have the curiosity to think critically. For those who don’t think critically or have a strong foundation the bad examples sadly become modeling.

    Thinking about the characters of the Bible, I will mention the Action Bible that is illustrated by Sergio Cariello. I think one of my wife’s colleagues mentioned it a few years ago. My son has read it twice. I believe this is an excellent starter Bible for anyone and especially for those with a reading comprehension problem or ADHD. Having said that, my son, without reading issues, and daughter, who struggles, enjoy having this read to them before bed. I sent a copy to a former student of mine that was in prison. I read it as she read it. I believe she finished it long before I did, but we compared notes. I found that I could digest and compare material easier than my regular Bible. I could always go back to my RSV or Matthew Henry’s Commentary for a deeper look, but this edition was a nice framework.

    Thank you for all your family does, God is using you.

  8. “America is a beautiful idea that draws immigrants like myself from all over the world to the promised land of equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This idea is now under siege and certain events are starting to remind me of the things many of us came here to escape.

    “It’s not a ‘left against right’ problem but an evolutionary problem. The growing pains of a civilization that without the necessary spiritual enlightenment, arrived a bit early to a level of technology where everyone is connected. The good news is that now everyone has a voice. The bad news is that now everyone has a voice.

    “So we are living in the manipulators’ paradise, where liars and hypocrites run unscathed, the news are just opinions, politics are a blood sport, and facts are determined by consensus instead of the truth. We as artists, however, have a unique opportunity to portray and ridicule the absurd to prevent it from becoming reality.”

    –Zoltan Bathory, guitarist for Five Finger Death Punch

    Here is their new song called “Living the Dream.” It is extremely well done and I’ll admit it took my breath away by the end. (Don’t let young kids watch, I think.)


    1. Never heard of Five Finger Death Punch. Style is a lot like Metallica. Needs to be listened to a few times. Video paints the right picture. I like it! Thank you!

    2. Great video…I have always liked FFDP but some of the lyrics are a bit tough to listen to. However this video portrays some perfect scenes of modern ideology. I.E. Zombies pushing shopping carts full of toilet paper, and the “exempt pin”…..SOOOO True! Ditto on the pinned comment from Mr. Bathory.

  9. Completed a huge loop going into different states for work this week. AR, TN, AL, FL, LA and then back to AR. Found a few items of interest in stores along the way. Got some food grade buckets/lids, and a small pile of silver half dollars at a fair price from a coin store in Mobile, AL (about 10% over spot, no sales tax). No canning lids to be found although there were plenty of jars. Stopped at several places to look for ammo and everyone is out of 9mm, .45 and .40. .223/5.56 was available in a couple of stores but prices were about $1 a round.

    I drove plenty of back roads on this trip and saw literally hundreds if not thousands of signs for Trump/Pence on billboards, in front of businesses (lots of those), cars, tractor trailer trucks, homes, and attached to fences. I am not kidding when I say I only saw three signs with Biden/Harris on them and one of them was with a message from somone who clearly doesn’t like Biden. The text was a little salty. This is a clear indicator of the mood of fly over country.

    We continue to stock up on canned goods snd dehydrate. Three out of four of my adult children are home now so we have to rethink the quantities of stuff we are storing.

    We have to have a talk about the kids contributing. I bite my tongue a lot when I see nothing getting done after a week on the road, and it is time for me to assign jobs. Sitting on laptops and playing video games is a HIGHLY unproductive use of time. Thankfully two of them have jobs and my eldest daughter is searching. My remaining adult son may join us as he is wrapping up tech school and has not found a job. I am half tempted to go old school on him and tell him the USAF would love someone with his skill sets and set up a meeting with the recruiter. There is a clear distinction between being an overly caring/enabling parent and one that kicks the fledgelings out if the nest so they can become self sufficient. I struggle a little with that balance :).

    Wish I could have gotten more done this week but there are just some weeks where it will be like that. I am on call this weekend so I am heading in to get some backed up work done while I handle the occasional emergency. Happy that I changed jobs over to managing technical maintenance and repairs for my company. There is some carnage in the job market and it’s a true blessing to be out of that line of fire. Q4 should be intersting as job loss begins to ramp up. Stimulus activities bought us a little time but that is all.

    1. Chris in Arkansas,

      Just my opinion concerning your son, if he joins the USAF he has no control over his own life or his body. They will force him to take the vaccine and the “mark of the beast”. Also we are looking at war, soon, both internationally and possibly domestically. If he, is in the military, he may be forced to shoot at his own country men… Do not encourage him to join any branch of our military at this time. I think it’s a blessing to have all of your adult kids home with you. By all means assign them jobs around the house and encourage them to find self-employment occupations or to work for folks and businesses that will not force compliance with the governments Mask and vaccine mandates. Tell them that they need to use some of their earnings to stock up the home with food and other used items. Encourage them to learn more survival skills, etc.

      1. Also,

        Find time to have regular family meetings, a bible study and prayer time, all together. You are the father, they are in your home, set some fair rules and give them guidelines of what you need and expect. Your kids should all be stocking up on their own personal items, etc. Work on being a team.

        We are working on this, too, in our family. We work on consistency. Some weeks we meet for Bible Study nearly daily, and other weeks we fall off the schedule, but then we get back up on it. We feel that life events and scheduling is quite fluid, but we always get back to our studies and prayer times. Our girls really enjoy the family togetherness our Bible studies bring.

        1. Thank you Avalanche Lily. This is a great reminder about priorities! I am blessed to have great kids and it’s wonderful to see them moving toward adulthood. Just frustrating to see them tied up with useless distractions. I guess we still have some work to do – all of us!

          1. Just a couple of comments.

            #1) I have to agree with Lily on not going into the military at this time. I was in the Navy, Vietnam, another useless war. When my nephews asked me about going into the military, about 10 years ago, I told them that I would not advise it. Obama was president and he was continuing the horrible policies of the Bush administration. I did advise them that if they chose to go into the military anyway, they should choose either the Navy or the Air Force. Depending on the job, less chance of coming home in a body bag. I say that because we are now faced with the prospect of a Harris administration. It would be worse than either Bush or Obama with their war mongering. She relishes the reigns of power to the point of obsession, more so than even Hillary, I believe. This is one scary woman.

            #2) I live in Michigan, in a congressional district called the Dingell seat. This district has been in the Dingell family since 1933, 87 years and counting. That being said, in this staunch Democrat district. For the first time ever, I see more signs for Republicans, particularly for Trump and John James (black guy, good guy, for US Senate) than I do for Biden and Gary Peters (D. A-hole, incumbent Senator). If the signs mean anything, and I believe they do, the Dummycrats are in trouble. I see more signs for Jeff Jones (R) than I do for Debbie Dingell (D. moron). It may be wishful thinking, but I’m expecting the Democrats to be either suicidal or homicidal on November 4th.

  10. Found a great buy on Honey Crisp apples at a little mom and pop produce market. The apples had slight blemishes and considered to be unfit for anything other than juicing or canning.Such a deal! 80lbs. for $32.00 and we canned up 53 qts.

    There is a pork sale at Albertsons/Safeway and Smiths.At $.99 lb. it’s hard to beat. We use the online order and curbside pickup service as much as possible.

    The virus is so bad here that we will not go into stores for any reason. The governor made a
    statement that the increase in testing is not what is overwhelming the hospital ICUs.

    We are watching closer than ever the stock markets and the price of metals. What is the saying about California’s earth quake? It’s not if but when.

  11. A brief introduction: I’ve been following this blog for years, but have stayed in the background, with only the occasional comment, now ‘n then.

    My wife and I will be leaving our home of 32 years in the Albuquerque metro area and moving to Oklahoma in December, to be near and involved with our kids and grandkids. A lot of “stuff” accumulates in three decades, and we’ve been weeding out the non-essentials (includes bouts of nostalgia and past memories) and packing the essentials in boxes. It’s a bit tough to be reminded that, while the person inside is eternal and wants to do the things he/she did 40 years ago (we’re in our mid/late 60s), the aging bodies don’t work and lift things like they used to. (There, that’s the “hard-earned wisdom” part mentioned at the top of the comments section.)

    God has shown His affirmation in our plans to move, in that He provided three potential buyers for our place before we even announced our plans to friends and family. One buyer was so enamored of our house that he has deposited earnest money, with instructions to please not remove wallpaper, paint the walls, or redo certain floors – he wants to do those things, himself (insert big grin smiley here).

    Some weeks ago we created and printed a list of the details we want in our next home and property, and have prayed over it, together. During a visit to our children this past summer, we met and connected with a Christian couple who are real estate agents, and have reestablished contact with them. We will drive to the Oklahoma City area for a few days next week, to find the place God has chosen for us. We go in faith, knowing that God will lead us to the place He has already picked.

    1. Paul D I’m wishing n praying for y’all to have luck and safety. The weather is going to yo-yo next week and Friday looks like rain but it’s decent all around for what your doing. No major scheduled protest or anything going on.
      You look over East of I-35 you’ll enjoy some fall foliage.

    2. Paul, this is beautiful. Your story made me smile. 🙂
      I am ‘poised’ to move. Have been looking for a place for more than a year and a half. Reading about your ‘list’ of wants has made me take my own list to Father – again – to see what He’s thinking, wanting for me.
      Thanks for the reminder!
      And may your move ‘exceed your expectations’!! 🙂

  12. The week just flew by! Got my garden addition tilled up so it will be ready to go this spring; need to add compost, lime, wood ash etc. Needed more room as I’m going to be planting garlic, asparagus, sunflowers and sweet corn this coming year. Will definitely plant fewer tomatoes! Canned and dried more tomatoes. People around here lock their car doors now so they don’t find tomatoes inside!;-)

    We’re getting all the rain we didn’t get all summer now. Plus it snowed last night for the first time this season. Unfortunately I’m getting some needed work done on the house that requires good weather so that’s making it interesting.

    Continuing to pick up some items as I can to fill in what’s missing. Haven’t gone to the grocery store in a while; will brave one soon. I never know in advance what to expect there.

    Got to read the piece that Selco and Daisy Luther wrote on what Selco experienced in Bosnia(can’t remember just who linked it here on SB; maybe Tunnel Rabbit?) Really worth reading if you haven’t yet done so. Although I’m in a rural locale, many are not. Even so, it’s eye-opening to read what he has to say and much applies to those in rural locales as well. I think he’s spot on as to how many people, even preppers, aren’t really understanding the way things might go down. Linked here again if you want to read it;

    Tried to convince a close family member who lives in a big city that has already experienced violence this summer that they should stock up in advance of the elections so they don’t have to venture out for a while if things get bad. Amazing how many excuses and reasons some people have as to why they can’t do this(and finances are not one of them). During the worst of the Covid outbreak in their city, one of them was going to stores daily in a quest to find the only bread he would eat! They truly don’t get it. I can’t figure out any way to break through to them so I say what I say and leave them to it. And no, they refused my offer to come visit me. It will be what it will be. Out of my hands.

    1. “During the worst of the Covid outbreak in their city, one of them was going to stores daily in a quest to find the only bread he would eat! They truly don’t get it.”

      Just thinking about it, can you imagine how expensive that loaf of bread actually was? Think of the time wasted, the gasoline used, the stress involved, all for a loaf of bread. I hope it was worth it.

      1. @ Charles K

        This is a big city so the relative walked and he had nothing else to do anyway. But this was in a bad Covid period so he was exposing himself and an elderly relative to Covid by doing so. I’d imagine if the riots happened again he’d continue on doing this. Some people are totally rigid and unable to adapt. Also oblivious.

  13. This week has been a loading ammo week. Having components is a great thing, but they do nothing if they aren’t put together. Also got some magnets to put on the ammo cans to identify what is in them, and the cans with reloads got a 3×5 card with all the important information put in them.

    We made an offer on a Ford Excursion 4×4 that is in excellent condition and at a great price. We’ve been praying for a 4×4 vehicle that will hold all of us, plus our oldest son and his fiancee, plus all of our bugout gear, if need be. This would be our hauling stuff around/going to see family/getting around in the snow vehicle. I saw the Blackwater contractors using them as gun trucks in Baghdad when I was there in 2007, and have wanted one since. That’ll give us a farm/getaway/bugout vehicle and a driving around town vehicle. Praying it all works out.

    Got our front pastures cut and baled again one last time, and cut back the back forty towards our range. That’s also where we have our hunting stand, so this week I’ll drop some big piles of deer feed back there. The weather is getting colder now, and the deer will be getting hungry.

    I received more alloy for casting bullets this week, and I’ll put in another order this coming week. With the cold weather coming, it’s time to make more bullets. I’ll normally start early in the morning and go all day. Then I’ll powder coat and store them for loading later. If you don’t cast your own, it’s a great way to be less dependent on the market for your bullets. It’s not hard.

    Hope everyone has a good week, and stay safe.

    1. Hey Steve, thanks for the tip about the magnet for labeling ammo cans. I usually use a Sharpie and than am frustrated when I have to scratch it out when I change calibers. I don’t know if you saw ’em while you were over there, but I liked the blacked out, up armored GMC one tons the contractors were using. If I remember correctly, I think they were Brits, but I could be wrong. Anyhow, not exactly practical for a family rig, but looked pretty bad@$$.

  14. JWR referenced burning slash piles. I have a question for the group which is very elementary. Why don’t you use slash piles as a resource instead of burning them? Is it the type of wood in the pile, the quantity? Why not chip it for bedding, compost or mulch? Is the reason that it is just too labor intensive to make it worthwhile?Use in a rocket stove? Seems like wasting a resource. I have never been faced with this issue due to where I live.

    1. I can’t speak for JWR but our slash piles in NE Washington were often junk wood. Tree trunks with attached root balls, slimmer branches not worth cutting up (especially softer pine varieties). You want wood to be a certain thickness and hardness level to make sawing and splitting worth your time. Those upper level branches are just not thick enough to make the effort in cutting them up worth it. You’ll restock the woodstove 2-3X more frequently than when using better quality wood.

      We also had several logging slash piles on the hills above our property and I hit those pretty hard to salvage firewood but pickings were slim. Found it was much better to go after recent storm drops and standing dead/dying trees.

    2. Just speakIng for myself I have found the cost to be too high to chip the brush. I’ve done it all different ways. The wood that is even remotely worth burning I have, even though it is very labor intensive for such small pieces. I have buried several in the bottom of our raised beds. If you can find someone to chip them it is just too expensive. I once had a landscaper I know to bring his chipper over while he did other work in the area. I did the work, but for liability reasons he had one of his guys help me out. Still costs too much.

      Some pieces like stumps are too big or nay have rocks inbedded in the stump, thus not recommended to chip.

      If you have your own chipper or know someone who will let you borrow one, it’s worthwhile.

  15. Goodness, God was busy blessing us this week.
    1. We got electricity to our barn (agricultural permit) where my DH workshop/tractor will be, as well as my canning kitchen.
    2. An electrician friend has donated 5 days to wiring the barn.
    3. Found 3 8-foot folding tables for $5 @ at yard sale.
    4. Found an almost new 20 cu. ft. fridge for $50.
    5. Found a used gas range for $350 at a used appliance store that NEVER has gas ranges.
    6. Put most of the garden to bed for the winter and still have boxes of peppers and tomatoes to process.
    7. Dollar store purchase- triple antibiotic cream, hydrocortisone cream, and large bandaids.
    8. Got shoo goo at Goodwill for 99¢.
    9. Continuing to press into the Word of God and prayer for our nation and family.

    Thank you, SB family, and JWR and AL for the vital information and constant encouragement found here.

  16. I made two large batches of soap to start curing for Christmas. Will probably do one more as I have already given 6 bars away to a friend who loves it . She as have many others have said it does wonders for their skin. No more itching, no more breakouts, no more dryness. It is the recipe on Becky’s Homestead YouTube channel using coconut oil and olive oil. She has several soap videos. Picked more peppers. They always produce more heavily in the fall. Dehydrated some. Got two seed orders from Baker Creek. Took down more stock panels and loaded the suburban for the next trip to the new property. Got plenty of feed so all the animals are well fed while I am gone. Excavator got started on the area where the storage building is going. It needed a little more leveling. Praying the crew that is setting up for the slab will come through and then we can get that inspected and the pour scheduled. Winter purple boy chow is up and I have a good crop of carrots in several beds where they re-seeded themselves. Lots of green onions from the walking onions that put down bulbs. Lots of butternut squash. Have been feeding melons to the chickens , peafowl and ducks. I hate melon (except watermelon) but the poultry love them.

  17. Here in Montana it’s time to put up the winter meat supply. The wife and I don’t raise cows anymore, so we rely mostly on wild game. Just finished processing two antelope into steaks and burger. Going after deer and elk next week.

  18. Last Sunday, My lovely wife of twenty nine years, “Mrs. East Sierra Sage” woke me at 06:00 to inform me that we had water pooling in the back yard. . .After about five days of digging in order to find the leak in my 1 1/2″ poly line I isolated the spot, as well as created a trench 5 feet deep and 13 feet long. At $125.00 an hour I just saved myself a LOT of money from the local excavation/plumbing firm. Still, I have been using the water only in the afternoon when my wife gets home from work. Laundry, Hygiene, Dinner Dishes. I fill six five gallon water jugs for toilet flushing at night and the next morning. Then the well pump gets shut off. The lessons learned are quite a few.

    1) Five gallon water jugs are worth thier weight in gold.

    2) 1 1/2″ polyline is NOT as durable as it should be.

    3) $125.00 an hour to excavate a line is a LOT of money based on how expensive it is to call these guys out.

    4) Digging a 5 foot deep 13 foot long trench (by hand) is a testament to physical fitness (I’ve got some work to do, Covid-19 has kept me from the fitness center where I used to get my sweat on).

    5) I want to do the actual repair, but I am generally much better at breaking things as opposed to repairing them. I will make sure to watch the repair man closely on Monday when he comes out, as this is the second time in 6 years that this line has sprung a leak.

    Any advice from some of you would be much appreciated, as I still have time to cancel this repair man from coming out. I will say that I am glad I did the digging, I think it saved me between $500.00 and $800.00 for the repairs.

  19. BC (Before Crying) puppies, I had started a number of projects and was trying to finish them all, to the point I realized I wasn’t eating anything but a handful of crackers (a ki-ki-no-no in my book) for days on end. I started to feel really irritable and tired but kept pushing myself. My clothes were getting loose (hahahahaha….). I put a hard stop to that behavior when I realized what was happening. I do this every once in awhile. It’s my old Type A personality rearing it’s ugly head. So I had a talking to myself. Puppies first – we want well acclimated, properly trained, happy German Shepherds – and that requires TIME, PATIENCE, DEDICATION and a CALM spirit. So, I pushed all the projects aside (until today where I’m just trying to finish painting the kitchen cabinets I started BC) and FOCUS on the little ones. This was my choice so I need to prioritize.

    Other than that, I’ve topped off some supplies. Even though Walmart was never my first choice, I’m finding their delivery of goods very good. Warning: do not order anything in glass jars or fragile with other items. Order those separately or you will receive crushed jars and their return system is horrible. It all depends upon who packs the boxes. I once got flour packed with fertilizer, both punctured, and once got jars of sauce packed with cans and broken in a thousand pieces when the package finally arrived. But, other than that, they seem to be well stocked on a lot of items at great prices. In this way I can avoid the stores and long drives.

    Blessings on all!!

    1. @SaraSue

      Oh yes, my WalMart order issues sound similar to yours as do Amazon groceries . If you mix food and non-food items or heavy and delicate ones, forget it. Spent some time explaining to Walmart that this wasn’t bought at a scratch and dent sale but for full price. How they managed to dent(badly) nearly every can of tuna while it was all plastic wrapped together is beyond me; takes talent! I was ordering some of this stuff as it wasn’t (and isn’t) available in the stores here, or online Walmart had larger sizes that were a big cost savings but not found locally. A royal pain having to go through the refund for damaged goods process. They’d ask me if it was still edible even though all squished and that sort of thing. And assured me this NEVER happens (after the second time in a row). Sigh…. Now I mostly get what I can at the grocery store.

  20. “I was water BEFORE it was cool!” proclaimed the cartoon ice cube on the wall of the dry ice supplier. With a minimum order of 10#, there was a LOT left over. If you give a nerd some dry ice, she will put it in her coffee cup, then go about cackling and quoting Macbeth. This is Bear’s brain; this is Bear’s brain on no sleep.

    By the way, carbonated coffee tastes TERRIBLE.

    BUT, we have some long-term buckets packed, finally. OY, what a job. This is probably supposed to be much easier than it was, but probably most people also get the correct supplies the first (or second or third) times around and also do not have nearly so much little ‘help.’ Oooh, mama and the floor are covered in flour. Hilarious!

    Rubber mallet? “I thought we had one?” “I thought you BOUGHT one?” “Surely this bath towel wrapped hammer will work?” Ugh, guess I’ll just balance here on the bucket on my hands and knees like an oversized goat and push it down with brute force. Baaa, baaa. Kids thought it was hilarious. My hands are still mad. And those weren’t even the right lids, so once the second (third?) set of lids finishes drying, I get to pry those other ones off and try again-again-again.

    Mailed a packet of fruit leathers and apple chips to my family member who is moving in a few weeks, to eat whilst packing and also for road munchies (if they last that long). I have also some dehydrated, vacuum-packed veggies ready to send her once she arrives at the new place, so she doesn’t have to go find a farmers’ market during election chaos.

    Vacuum packed lots of other things now that I have the FoodSaver out of its package. There was a little sugar left over after filling the bucket and my sugar canister. Also going to do the borax and washing soda stash, so that they aren’t total solid bricks by the time I use them. And the matches.

    The dryer vent hose was completely full of water and lint again, and I am not tall/strong enough to move the stacked full-size washer/dryer. The person who IS is also not the person who does the vast majority of the laundry, so, I’ve been line drying everything all week. I am trying to be patient, consider it good practice, and it saves electricity besides.

    Made appts for half the children to get their physicals and the other half to get their next vaccines–tetanus and MMR. I really like how our pediatrician gives only one at a time, instead of bombarding the poor kiddo with everything all at once. In addition, she doesn’t follow the “recommended” schedule which starts at BIRTH (and is meant to “train parents to vaccinate” rather than protect a child), when the child has no immune system to speak of yet anyway. Before six months of age, all the antibodies come from mama’s milk, and the child’s body does not respond to anything introduced in a vaccine. That’s why there are so many repeat ones! So our ped waits until at least six months old to start, so they are actually effective. But I digress.

    Eldest has finished his megadose of weeks of daily PT, and it’s back to virtual school schedule next week. We need to decide as a family whether to continue trying to do PT here at home with him (rather ineffectually) or again send him in to the clinic for it, knowing that may mean continued isolation from the grandparents.

    We’ll try to early-vote in person this coming week. I’m so ready for the political ads to be over! Checked the mailbox today and I felt like they about swarmed my face, almost like a cartoon explosion.

    Avalanche Lily, what do you do when dehydrating your onions so that your house doesn’t turn into a gas chamber? I am going to blanch them first, but have still been procrastinating because YIKES.

    1. Bear, I have successfully sealed buckets by placing a section of 2×4 over the top and whacking it with a regular hammer.

      By the way, I recently opened some buckets we sealed in 2013 and had to use a pair of vice grips to pry the lid off, so when you get that rubber mallet, you may want to consider a bucket lid opener, too!

    2. Bear, you’re doing great; keep your sense of humor and faith in the Lord and all will work out. But those gamma lids are really hard to put on for most of us; I use both knees, left hand and a rubber mallet. When all else fails I use a piece of scrap ply wood and take my frustrations out on it.

      God bless you.

  21. Greetings, all. I just discovered this blog. It’s fun reading about others adventures in prepping. I’m in Southern Oregon with my wife of 30 years and our four boys, 3 of which are still at home and gainfully employed. Our 4th is married with child locally. I retired last year after 35 years with the USPS and couldn’t be happier. We’ve been pacifly prepping for a number of years and live on 11 acres of mostly a hay field. I have experienced a run on trailers and diesel trucks, in our area at least. It seems that durable goods are being scooped up. There seems to be a wide spread sense of “something big is coming”. We’d like to move to Idaho, but have a lot of work to do to sell the farm. Hopefully we get 2 or 4 years of holding back the communists so we can get to a more rural setting before it all unwinds. Anyway, I’ll check in and see what you all are up to from time to time.

    1. Welcome aboard! Please delve into the archives. We’ve been posting for 15 years, so the archives are deep and rich. They are fully searchable — and of course all free of charge. Blessings, – Jim Rawles

  22. Another busy work week, including some interstate travel, that limited our ability to do much prepping. Ordinarily this is a slow time of year, but this year we seem to be operating at a fairly high tempo. I suspect upper management is anticipating travel restrictions to be reinstated soon, either due to COVID-19, civil disturbances, or both. Therefore, they’re trying to get as much done as possible before we go back to a primarily telework operation.
    We did get our chicken coop cleaned out over Columbus Day, including replacing the carpet floor covering installed by previous owners with linoleum. The floors themselves were in surprisingly good condition, which was a relief. I still can’t figure out what kind of rocket surgeon thinks carpet is a good floor covering for a chicken coop (we kept it covered in shavings, but it was still fairly messy). I’m sure the linoleum will be much easier to keep clean. And clean chickens are happy chickens, and happy chickens are productive chickens.
    We also attempted to do some burning this week, but with less luck. About the time we got the fire going, the bottom fell out, drenching us for a couple of days. Hopefully, we’ll dry out in a couple of weeks.
    Like Miss Lily observed, we’ve seen some thin shelves in stores. In addition, one of the field offices in a different region than mine was unable to purchase the necessary amount of meat for an event due to restrictions on purchase sizes. I believe these are likely leading indicators for what we’ll see for the rest of the year.

  23. Bought several boxes of .38 ammo for my beautiful Smith & Wesson DA Special revolver, plus a few additional boxes of .22 for my Mossberg Blaze. Visited Amish Discount grocers on a side trip and found quart Ball jars for $12.95 a dozen – ! So I bought 3 dozen to complete my dry canning projects. Guess they don’t know about the shortage and the price hikes on those yet.

  24. The political campaign marches on and so do I. Marching at 120 steps per minute, door to door, from grubby apartments with 6 kids and no male to fine homes with extremely elderly living alone, I’ve doorbelled another 520 homes this week asking for votes.

    Our community ballot box is literally overflowing with ballots two days after ballots came out. Homes I doorbelled the day after they arrived told me they had already voted.

    Had my 4th debate with the incumbent. After he stated “Mother Nature…” twice and related it to planetary equilibrium and stretching to say it is climate change, my rebuttal was to tell him to stop using pagan theology in discussing climate and that we must listen to our solar physicists.

    I ascribe to what Suspicious Observer is saying. When all that ice hits the ocean we’ll see substantial planet cooling and wilder storms, magnetic anomaliesdue to gradients between heavy saline areas and freshwater areas, new ocean current patterns, and most scary…..a shift in the poles about the time I turn 80 years old.

    Dehydrated more wild elderberries. Cool weather has dropped leaves off our fig tree and retarded zucchini and pumpkin growth.

    Our Pumpkin Sweet apples are barely starting to blush and are huge..they stay on the tree and don’t fall off…about 1 lb each.. I picked our crop of Grannie Smith apples into freezer bags and put them in veg drawers of our 3d refrigerator. They’ll keep for many months.

    The Cinnamon Spice apples are infested with scab, and were so precocious they have far too many apples to grow more than 2.5 inches in diameter. That despite getting thinned twice.

    Started using wood stove this week for warmth.

    I’m looking for a greenhouse kit to stand 80mph winds and snow loads. If you know of a good company for a 20 by 60 greenhouse, please let me know.

    God Bless

    1. Check out Lumnah Acres on YouTube. They are in New Hamshire. They built a green house from a kit this year, and their essential criteria in their selection included high winds and snow loads.

  25. The days continue to be a blur. I think that living at two seperate places and going back and forth is the cause. I’ve been living at my folks’ house out in the country helping for a while. I drive home to my house in the suburbs to pick up deliveries, mail and pay bills, et cetera.
    I have been nonchalantly adding to their pantry. smile. My mom has let me, which is a welcome first. She has two full freezers that I thank the Lord for.

    I mowed some acreage of my dad’s on a John Deer , and that was a blast. Gotta save up for one of those. Also, stained fence before the rains came, then hopped in car and drove to my folks to burn a Huge pile of debris for my mom, again because the rain was coming. I did that with a flashlight, and finished at 10:30 pm. The deluge came at midnight! PTL
    (Each piece of debris had to be picked up or pitchfork carried to the fire.) The Lord answered my prayers over and over again for strength so I could get done in time. I got it done, but I could barely move afterwards. Lol

    All the mental willingness in the world can’t give you a teenage back.

    My first order of green split peas arrived from an organic, non gmo farmer in the Palouse. PalouseBrand. It was 200 lbs, and I feel happy and blessed. My order from last February from another source never came.

    Other items I picked up or came by mail were: 60 lbs rice, 4 lbs yeast, 50 lbs brown sugar, TP, 8 Kirks hand soap, zote, 30 lbs canned stew, 2cases canned chili, 12 xl boxes Idahoan potatoes, Borax, rubber gloves, matches, baby petroleum jelly, 3 lg Boudreaux’s Butt Paste w/ zinc, 2gal. white vinegar, 2gal Braggs Apple vinegar, feminine hygiene products, 6 doz. new pint canning jars, Acetaminophen, lol, extra shirts, underthings, 50 lbs white sugar, and more taco seasoning. There was more but I can’t remember it all, hahaha, blurry…

    I watched a video on building a bushcraft Viking house, which taught me some interesting things…

    Blessings to each of you this week, Krissy

  26. Still stocking up as funds allow. Thought I found the mother lode of canning jars at my local Rural King in SE Ohio over the weekend. They have pallets of boxes full of pints and quarts for $5 but upon closer inspection they are just plain thin walled glass jars. One of the workers saw me looking and warned me not to put them in a pressure canner because they would explode. I saved my $5. Thought I would pass the warning on.

    1. Stu, the same used to be said about glass mayonnaise jars. We took care, and successfully used them many times for water bath canning of many fruits and applesauce.

      1. That’s what I thought. I have quite a few mayo jars but no lids for them. Never tried them in the canner but Grandma always did. The glass does look thicker in the mayo jars compared to the Rural King jars.

    2. Are those the Anchor Hocking jars? They don’t recommend them for Pressure Canning, just water bath canning because they are not tempered glass.

      1. I have a pretty large supply of the Anchor Hocking Jars, and although they don’t say they are for pressure canning, I have canned a ton of meat and stock in them with the pressure canner, and have had zero ar failures so far. The glass on mine is thicker and the jars are heavier than my Ball, Kerr, and Golden Harvest jars.
        I don’t know what other’s experiences with them are, but they have been fine for me personally.

        1. wwes,
          How old are your Anchor Hocking jars? I know the newer ones and their website specifically say only water bath canning. Yours could be older and thicker jars than the new ones, and/or the quality standards of your glass jars may be much higher than the newer ones.

          1. Seymour Liberty,
            Some of them are several years old, but many of them have been purchased within the last 1-2 years. I can’t tell much difference in the thickness just from looking at them.
            I’m also not trying to say that pressure canning them is the best thing to do, just that I have been doing it for a good while, and that I have personally had zero issues. Of course, my family has used mayonnaise jars for years for pressure canning as well (with occasional jar failures) even though it isn’t recommended either.

            I actually shied away from the anchor hocking jars for a while, but when I realized they are US made I tried some and have been pleased. I do have some jars that were given to me that look just like the anchor hocking but are very thin and say “China” on them, and I DON’T can with those at all.

    3. I saw a press release/article somewhere that the spokesperson for Newell Brands (Ball/Kerr) said that they were ‘expanding’ their sources for jars and lids, so I will be very choosy about canning supplies going forward, until all this gets sorted out and supply chains are back to some semblance of ‘normal’.

      As always, hoping you…
      Seymour Liberty

    4. Stu,
      I also thought that I had found that same motherlode at my Rural King here in northwest Illinois. Alas, I passed on them as well. Maybe when I go back I will grab some anyway to store dry goods in. Or at least have some of them for barter.

      Have a Rockin great day

  27. We had a first hand example of why Two is one, and One is None this week. Nine years ago we purchased a year supply of food from Augason Farms as a base of storage and then started adding regularly from there at Sams/Walmart/Grocery/garden/canning etc.

    It’s been 3 weeks since last Food run, and was going to be another week till the next and we were running low on milk, etc, so headed to cool dry food storage as usual. As always, all good there. Opened a 9 year old #10 can of Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk from Augason Farm and no oxygen absorber. Opened a second can, also no Oxygen Absorber. Same with the third can!

    It was a weekend, so no customer service, and Augason’s Farm is out of stock anyway. Left an online message, but as their online message infers, we don’t expect an answer anytime soon to deal with this problem. It’s inconceivable that a company that provides safe emergency food storage products, would package them in an unsafe, and potentially dangerous manner. Botulism is a horrific thing if you know someone who has ever experienced it’s effects, like one of our in-laws did just recently back east.

    Long story short, have back-up plans. Luckily, we had several newer mylar pouches from the nearest LDS home center, and will stock up on our next town run at the closest LDS Home Storage Center when we hit the big box store, and do other errands.

    Has anyone else experienced improperly packaged food storage products from Augason Farm’s or any other food storage company?

    As always,
    Seymour Liberty

  28. I spent several evenings this week honing some of my knives that I use processing poultry, livestock, and game, to get ready for a good bit of processing coming up. All of the knives should be ready to go now!
    I was in Walmart the other day picking up a few odds and ends, and actually managed to find two things that are rare as hen’s teeth- rubbing alcohol and pint jars! They have gotten a few shipments in, but usually they are gone as soon as they are put out, so I was happy to actually pick some up. Still no lids though- I keep hoping to find a flat or two of lids one day.
    I also found a local surplus store with a huge supply of surplus USGI 30 rd magazines, most in nice shape, for $8 each, and nice surplus M9 magazines for $10 each. I picked up a complete but well used FILBE rucksack there for $20. I’ll definitely be going back soon.
    I also picked up a good number of old, but barely used, shovels, rakes, pickaxes, hoes, etc, and 3 toolboxes full of hand tools, that were going to be given away at my wife’s great grandmother’s home. Most of the tools were older American made name brand tools. There were also a ton of wire nuts, electrical terminals, and nails. It was a good addition to the shop on the farm.

  29. I have been praying, planning, and preparing for years and every time I read prepping progress comments I feel so under prepared. Thanks all for a lot of great advice and information.

    1. Stu, I do too, but don’t get discouraged. I get inspiration, and knowledge from the wisdom and experience shared on this site, to make more progress.

      As always, hoping you…
      Seymour Liberty

  30. We woke to a ½” of snow today, and it is still snowing lightly. We purchased more kerosene. The supply is still not substantial, but it is improved and will give us time to find other lodging with friends if we have an extended electric and/or natural gas outage. I spoke with our landlord about installing a wood stove in the house. She can’t afford it this year and gave the impression she is disinclined to do it. It surprises me how few homes in our area have a wood stove or fireplace for a backup heat source.

    I’ve learned of some supply chain shortages through my business dealings. One nationwide company is set to run out of glass bottles for product sales soon with the expectation for the outage to continue at least 6 months. The same company reports “global shortages of raw materials” with the expectation for product stocking to continue to be challenging. Our local Petco manager told me they have many issues with their supply chains: electronic products from Asia are not available; shipping to Alaska has been unreliable; product trucking to Alaska through Canada has been considerably slowed. I hadn’t noticed an issue with stock supply when I walked in. After talking with the manager, I had a closer look. Product was only a few items deep and spaced out on the shelves hiding the ample room for more. The organic produce supply chain reports to be running smoothly regarding labor and availability. I’ve had no issues with shipping, though my trucking company has told me food and medicine get priority on the barge to Alaska.

    My husband’s application for professional licensure is ready to mail! It is difficult to reach people with the licensing office to discuss requirements. He was able to talk with someone last week and was greatly encouraged. He must take a national exam within the next few months. Please join us in prayer that his studies would be blessed, and that he would find favor with the board.

    My husband and I continue to exercise regularly. This is the first time we have exercised together, and I am loving it.

    Our daughter has recovered from Pertussis and is now working to catch up on schoolwork. Our son will be transitioning from full-time work with the Air Guard to a Guard/college student mix which will free him up if he chooses to relocate with us. This change is completely out of the blue and has very interesting timing. I can’t help but wonder (hope) that we may all move together. Nothing certain is yet planned for any of us, but I like that his commitment will have more flexibility. ♥

    I stocked up on more grocery staples and supplements. We should receive 3 locally raised turkeys for the freezer within the next week or two. The ordered indoor gardening supplies are finally on their way, and I have a place prepared for them.

    Last but not least, my husband and I had a productive budget meeting! We are moving forward.

    May God bless your week ahead and all you put your minds, hearts, and hands to. Thank you for sharing your stories, experience, and wisdom.

  31. I put together a first aid kit with my son to put in the car that he will start driving in a few months.

    We picked some apples at a local orchard and got some honey from my father that he took out of the hives a few weeks ago.

  32. I look forward to reviewing JWR’s and Avalanche Lily’s latest progress on Monday mornings but I think they will agree they enjoy the comments from others, too.

    As far as progress in the Deep South, I mostly held on to the extra money that would normally get spent at the feed store, and the dollar store, because it went for back-to-back birthdays for two of the three babies.

    So the week and weekend were spent using our backs instead of using our wallets so: the deer food plot got some fertilizer; the garden got expanded about 4-5 feet wider, with more hay from the barn disked under; picked the first greens (turnip and mustard) and cooked them on the stove; added more boxes of matches from Wal-Mart for barter items.

    Hey, it’s a short list but it was a birthday weekend, and it only comes once a year for our babies.

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