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:

With a house full of Thanksgiving guests, this week’s column will be brief.

I had a busy week, with a big extended family Thanksgiving gathering here at the ranch, packing, labeling, and mailing Elk Creek Company orders, and making preparations for a lengthy out-of-state trip. For the month of December, I’ll be gathering inventory and helping an elderly relative. I’ll be back at the ranch to resume taking orders on January 2nd, 2021

My lovely wife Lily prepared a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with a turkey and all the trimmings.  And, of course, there were delicious pumpkin pies made from baked pumpkins from her garden.

On Friday morning, we did some target shooting.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This week was all about Thanksgiving Preparation; house cleaning and food prep.  Our sons came home with their families and we had a lovely time together, eating and fellowshipping. I got my granny fix with playing games with the grandchildren. What sweet and beautiful babies, they are, in every way!

While cleaning and food prepping, I listened to the rest of the book of Proverbs, The book of Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs.

I hope and pray that you all experienced a Happy Thanksgiving.  There was a lot to be thankful for. As one of our loyal readers quipped about dirty dishes,  “It’s a blessing to have dirty dishes to wash, because it means you had loved ones about you and food to eat.”  (Paraphrased).

Keep reading and listening to the Word of God.  Believe what it says.  Keep praying and repenting.

Sadly, I’m thinking that 2020 will be considered a cake walk compared to what is coming in the next few years. Get ready and prepared, physically, emotionally, mentally, and most importantly, spiritually.

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. Hello everyone,

    Last Saturday we pulled a 21 pd ham from the freezer, cut it in half to thaw. I did a brown sugar cure on it for 24 hours. Tuesday I did a slow cook on them for 7 hours, cooked up some orange ginger carrots, broccoli with cheese and baked apples for two of my elderly neighbors and delivered with holiday wishes.

    The boys and I took some guns down to our range and had some fun target shooting. Zero’d in a rifle with a new red dot scope on it. Oh happy day, so nice!!

    Made cranberry jelly, canned the last of the celery and still working on more carrots. Made some cookies and pulled out another beef roast from the freezer to make jerky next week.

    Sprung a leak in the washing machine hook ups the night before thanksgiving, when everything was closed, so we spent a while getting that under control. Had to wait until Friday to get new valve/spigots at the hardware store. The old washing machine was on its last breath so I bought a new one, which is supposed to be delivered today.

    While at the hardware store, picked up an extra toilet tank replacement package and more metal roofing screws.

    With all that is going on we continue to pray for the best and prepare for the worst.

    May your week be safe and productive.

    1. Ok I have a request for you canning mavens. Please post your favorite Thanksgiving leftover home canning soup recipe for us today. I’ll be using my Carey 4 quart electric canner on your recommended favorite.

      We have Turkey and all the standard items remaining, except the Turkey fat which went to our farm guardian cat who now lives in the outbuildings.

      1. Wheatley Fisher. At our house, left over turkey is usually made in to pot pie mix, less the cream and gravy, and put in the freezer. However, you could PC it with some broth for soup. Just be careful to go easy on the spices ’cause they do get stronger over time.

        1. Got 4 quarts done today. Daisy Luther’s web page had a simple process so I followed that. I’m looking to build more food stores in glass jars so ready-to-eat meals including fluids will be available. Shepherds Pie sounds wonderful!

    2. Hi, everyone, I look so forward to the weekly summary of everyone’s prepping activities, I decided I should probably post a summary myself, even though I’m not at the level of the rest of you!

      I live in central North Carolina, my wife is retired and I’m still working probably another 6 years, God willing. We have 3 stocked chest freezers and a large larder, plus the freezing space of two refrigerator-freezers.

      I tell folks who complain about the lack of ammo that it’s because I bought it all, but not really. Just my fair share in the Obama years.

      I’m very interested in all prepping subjects. We’re 60. Not quite self-sufficient, and are looking to go off-grid. Probably very typical SB readers. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and will have a good Christmas.
      My preps this week:

      Bought 3 cases of tuna fish for the cats. We have 8. Tuna can be cheaper than cat food, but is not recommended long term due to low lysine protein levels.

      Bought a new dehydrator, and 3 more marine batteries ahead of my solar cell project.

      God Bless,


      1. Hey, Jeff, welcome. I’m from central NC myself, near the home of Real BBQ, but relocated south of the border a few years ago for various reasons. Bear in mind that all of us started somewhere, and just taking those small steps is moving in the right direction, and it puts you way ahead of most of the sheeple.

        Stay safe, and good luck dealing with Little Lord Roy for the next 4 years.

  2. This week I dehydrated some potatoes and onions, and canned vegetable stock from the onion skins & scraps. Looking at online ads, I found another second-hand dehydrator that I purchased. Celery was on sale this week, so picked up a supply that I will dehydrate today. I noticed yesterday that I’m low on toothpaste, so will be making a batch of that as well today.I got another load of firewood; it needs to season but am glad to be able to have some backup supply for next year. One of my biggest concerns has been finding a way to maintain a water supply, and after much research I found a hand pump that will allow access to well water in a grid-down situation, so ordered that. I am also continuing to research options for investment, and hope to be making some major changes in that area soon.

    I continued my daily Bible readings, and tried to make time for reflection among the busyness of everyday tasks, along with trying to focus on gratitude and blessings in the midst of anxiety over a number of things.
    Hoping everyone had a good week and time spent with loved ones.

      1. Nanna, I too, recently ordered a manual pump for our well. We chose the Simple Pump, http://www.simplepump.com. I have no financial interest in the company–we ordered ours in mid-October through our local well drilling company and were told it was a 6-8 week turnaround time. We are coming close to that time so hope to be getting it installed soon!

      2. Nanna P, I ordered mine through gunslingerwellpumps.com
        It’s a different setup than the typical hand pumps that people are used to. It’s a model that you can install yourself, and you can leave it in place or remove it as needed. You’ll have to determine your static water level, and there are directions on the site for determining that. Some states have all of the well information online, including the water level; unfortunately I live in a state where the records aren’t as complete, and my county had no information either. If you know the well driller, they can possibly tell you, or you can have them measure it for you. I decided to to measure it myself, but it wasn’t hard to do.

        I have looked into the Simple Pumps like Country Girl described and another one called the Bison Pump. Both looked like very good options, but I haven’t had much luck finding a plumber that wants to take it on. I had also been considering putting the handpump in my basement, to avoid any possible freeze-ups in the winter time, but I have challenges with my landscape as my house sits on a hill with the well down below. So I have been unsure whether it was possible to be able to pump the water by hand uphill, and that would have to be evaluated by someone that understands all that….and so back to the plumber difficulty. Good luck with your search.

        1. M.C. ~ What I learned about pumping well water, I just learned in school. [But, my field of work entitled understanding ‘feet of head’ for fluid pumps, and the specification sheet. There is a concept of ‘line loss’ too.]


          You should be able to have the ~>spec sheet for a Simple Pump, a good diagram of your house elevation above the Water Well. The destination of the Water. Plus the lowest level the water ~>inside of the well water pipe during the year. (pipe diameter helps with a Water Flow Rate possible Calculation. The Well Company installing should have provide such information originally.)
          A Water Pump Company can explain ‘feet of head’ and whether or not the pump you want to use will work. They need all the pertinent information.

          This is a long quote from Simple Pump. Hopefully it prints out in the comment. It’s from the FAQ page. =

          “How deep can Simple Pump pump from?

          The hand-operated pump can work from as deep as 325 feet static water level, the motorized pump from 225 feet — when pumping to ground level and to ambient pressure. These limits are then affected if you are also pumping into a pressurized plumbing system or uphill. Pumping to 45psi in a pressure tank is equivalent to 100′ of water, so the limits are then 225′ for the hand pump and 125′ for our motors.

          How deep can a Simple Pump pump from?
          Because of Simple Pump’s lever arm design, materials and superior manufacture, the average person can comfortably pump from deep wells, from as for down as 325 feet static water level — for the common configuration of hand-pumping up to ground level, at ambient pressure (e.g., into a bucket). This is much further down than any of our competitors.

          The maximum for a particular well is determined by the combination of several factors, including whether pumping into a pressurized plumbing system or using manual or motor to power. When using a Motor, the maximum supported depth also depends on the capacity of the pump cylinder used, and the voltage at which it is run. (We will also advise you on these parameters when you submit your request for a quote.)

          To explain some of these interlocking limits, we need to explain the concept of “TOTAL HEAD”.

          “Total Head” equals:

          Distance in feet from ground level down to your well water, i.e. the static water level

          PLUS number of feet vertical rise from your ground-level pump head to the destination

          PLUS 100 feet added proxy equivalent for pumping into pressure

          Then, for either of these:

          Hand-operated pump: Maximum Total Head is 325 feet
          Motorized pump: Maximum Total Head is 225 feet
          You can divide that maximum total height up any way you want
          So you can hand-pump from a 325-foot static water level.

          Or you can hand pump from 175 feet static water level, plus pump uphill for 50 feet vertical rise (five stories), plus into household plumbing (100 feet proxy equivalent to 45 psi pressure).

          Or other combinations of water level, vertical rise, and pressure — as long as the total of these three factors is less than 325 feet.

          Volume and Effort
          Pumping rates, for each person, will vary directly with the frequency and length of strokes of the lever arm… and that will vary widely depending on the person and the water level. To give you an objective idea — that doesn’t vary with the person — a full stroke delivers 4.5, 8.5, or 20.5 ounces, depending on the pump cylinder.

          The Simple Pump is DRAMATICALLY easier to use than seemingly comparable pumps like Bison and Baker. The actual force required is dependent mostly on the static water level… the total length of drop pipe assembly adding some additional effort. For a common installation, a well with a 100-foot static water level, it takes approximately 6 pounds of downward force using our 36” lever arm. A child can easily do this. Even at a static water level of 325 feet, it takes only approximately 16 pounds of downward force, using our 36” lever arm.

          Table of details on depth maximums, flow rate, and the force required to pump. (Includes comparison to Bison.)

          1. GGHD – thank you! I did read through the Simple Pump site in my research, but your explanation really helps me understand the whole picture and what it all means for my situation. It’s been difficult trying to navigate this myself. The plumbing co. I had originally tried consulting was actually the one that installed a new well pump for me this spring when the old one had gone bad, but I haven’t been able to get anyone to come out.

            My static water level is 65′, and the approximate distance from the well to the house is about 85-90′, so it looks like it might possibly work. Ultimately my first choice would be to have the pump in the basement where it’s out of sight, and honestly the cost is a factor too right now, so hopefully down the road that can be in the plan. Thank you again – appreciate you sharing your knowledge about this.

        2. M.C. = (“We will also advise you on these parameters when you submit your request for a quote.”) From the Simple Pump, FAQ note in my comment.

          A ~diagram with all the pertinent information is more helpful, than a word problem. … A lot of companies can provide a quick answer, when the problem or situation is laid out, and easy to read/see.

          Is the pump going to move the water ~up into the house, and out of the basement? [The question is NOT for me. The question’s answer is part of the determining of the suitability of the pump for your project.]

          Make the numbers from the Water Table, pipe(s), valves, bends to the ~destination on a complete list on the diagram. Maybe, they’ll give an answer for the diagram you provide.

          Maybe a local company can help. But, the Simple Pump Company understands their equipment.

      3. Nanna P – not sure what became of my original comment, so sorry if this ends up getting posted twice.
        I ordered a hand pump from gunslingerwellpumps.com – it is not the typical hand pump that people usually think of. It is a system you can install yourself and it can remain in the well or it can be removed if you choose. You will have to determine your static water level, which can sometimes be found on state websites or from your well driller. Unfortunately I don’t live in a state that has very complete records, and I wasn’t able to locate mine; I also don’t know who drilled the well. There are instructions on the gunslinger site to do this, so I ended up measuring it myself. It wasn’t hard to do.

        During my research I did look into the Simple Pump that Country Girl suggested, and also another brand called the Bison Pump. Both looked like good systems, but I haven’t had much luck finding a plumber who wants to take it on. I had also considered putting a hand pump in the basement to avoid any possible freeze-up situations, as well as to be a little more discreet. I have challenges with the terrain, however – my house is on a hill with the well downhill a little ways, and I wasn’t sure whether a hand pump could generate enough pull to get the water up the hill into the house. Someone with more expertise than I would have to make that determination, but that takes me back to the difficulty finding a plumber who can evaluate the situation.

        I think I will be satisfied with my decision as long as everything works out of the box – I will definitely be testing it before I get into a grid-down situation. Good luck with your search.

        1. M.C. (and anyone else) ~ Understanding the Well Pump using a Simple Pump is helped with a Diagram provided on the Simple Pump website.

          See: Simple Pump: HOME PUMP CONFIGURATIONS

          The existing well is a ‘done deal’ configuration. A customer provided diagram lets the company, understand if the Simple Pump can be installed and also provide the ~desired results.

          There are plumbing companies and then there are plumbing companies that are Well Pump Installers. (A knowledgeable Well Pump Installer is what many people need.)

          A good diagram makes it easier for a Company to understand the situation. A lengthy ~word problem can be difficult to follow and figure out correctly.
          …….. A large number of permits ~require a diagram to be submitted along with the fee and paperwork. [Diagrams and plans are easier to understand than a wordy explanation.]
          Take my Uncle Harry for instance: He’ll claim, he can fix anything as long as he can earn some extra drinking money. Uncle Harry would be a ~terrible choice for installing a Well Pump. (A knowledgeable licensed contractor is essential to many projects, if you can’t do it yourself.)

          There are basic videos on YouTube to help a homeowner understand a project. A license contractor would be the best choice.
          ……. The videos are worth watching before installing a Well Pump. Knowledge is very helpful. [SurvivalBlog stresses the importance of knowledge and skills]

          The videos on YouTube provide some basic knowledge before hiring a Well Pump Company. There’s even a video on a Simple Pump, and other ‘hand’ pumps.

      4. We have a Simple Pump and it works fine. The company set us up with an installer locally.
        How deep is your well? There is Apocalypse Well pumps over around Livingston Mt.
        I’ve seen their demonstration and it looks good to me.

      5. I have been looking at one from earthstraw.com. They look pretty pricey but appear to be simple systems which can be deployed into an existing well. I just haven’t bit the bullet yet one got one. As stated, water is a concern for me as well.

    1. Wow, good for you, W.C. Still dehydrating. My garden is played out. No more dehydrating for now. Will keep my eyes open for another dryer. That is a fine investment.

      Carry on

    2. M.C. I had a second well drilled and a simple pump installed when I bought my property. If all you need is 5 gals for a day, it works like a champ. Don’t know your physical health condition or your finances but, to hand pump water for daily use on the farm takes two people rotating the pumping to fill a 55 gal drum. It is hard work and if you are not in good physical shape it could give you a heart attack. On our farm, with animals, we use about a 55 gal drum a day, depending on the weather.

      1. Thanks for the advice & insight, Animal House. I’m in fairly good shape strength-wise, but don’t need to pump for any livestock anymore (other than my pets!) – those days are long past. I admire your stamina – that is a lot of work, but sure is a necessity when you have animals depending on you.

  3. Went to an auction Saturday – it was a very long auction. I went for a sickle bar mower and when we arrived and started to look over everything they had several guns, a very healthy offering of ammunition and lots of reloading equipment and supplies. None of firearms or related items were even advertised. I passed on the guns but I did pick up 200 rounds of Venezuelan military Surplus 7.62×51, 20 sets of reloading dies, a stuck case remover, a bullet lube press, a brand new bullet puller hammer, a scale, a case trimmer and boxes of miscellaneous reloading/shooting related paraphernalia. Picked up a 50 cal ammo can with 100 rounds of 7.62×51 Radway Green (British military) and another 100 rounds of Venezuelan 7.62×51 ammo. All the ammo in this can was loose, no boxes and no indication other than the headstamps, which didn’t provide the caliber. So for a nice ammo can and 200 rounds of very nice surplus military 7.62x51mm I paid only $25. Can it be that, many people could not ascertain the caliber without it being on a box?? Now I understand the 308 vs 7.62×51 difference but still. I heard several people speculating that the rounds were even reloads!! Really they couldn’t tell they had Military primer crimps?? Pays to be educated. For a whopping $4 I won the bid on an M1 Garand ammunition belt in excellent shape with a leather 1911 holster attached to it.

    For tools I picked up 2 hay forks, a nice Broad Ax, 2 black smithing hammers, a spoke pointer, a Wen disk sander and a craftsman commercial Router (both made in the US). Won the bid on 2 braces, and two large breast drills.

    I got an electric honey comb decapping knife, a nice 20’ chain and a box full of “Stuff”. The box full of “stuff” was a buck and the brass water facet (new) would have been enough to make the box worth a dollar but it had a ton of other goodies in it as well, including two made in American Spark plug testers, chain saw chains (haven’t really looked the over but I believe they will be Stihl since that was saws that were being auctioned off),

    Oh and I got the sickle bar mower I went for too. I dropped it off at the repair shop to have it gone over and a new belt, teeth put on it over the winter so it is ready in the summer.

    This week I finished up loading ALL my 223 cases. If anyone would have asked me if I would ever have done that in a million years I would have said No. now I’m doing another #10 coffee can of 9mm. Will probably have those done sometime next week.
    I guess I’m a bad prepper in that my inventory was not up to date or I just can’t find what is listed on the inventory but either way shame on me. It is painful to think you have 6k primers only to find out (perhaps you don’t). With that said I spent time starting to check my inventories. I did find 8 lbs of powder however.

    Spent some time stacking wood outside and refilling the stack in the basement. My son made a big pile of kindling for me over the summer and some of that was still outside so I put it in feed sacks and brought them inside before they get covered in snow and I find them with the snow blower.

    With the holiday and no plans for family or to go anywhere I got a lot of little projects done. Many off the Honey Do list- now some of you younger male Preppers might not think projects on a Honey Do list have anything to do with prepping. For example putting up towel hooks in the bathroom and putting in a new register vent won’t save you in the apocalypse BUT it will make you wife a lot happier and thus more forgiving when you spend too much money at and auction on preps.

    Spent a lot of time cleaning, re-organizing and doing some small projects in the Prepper/reloading room. Added some wood braces to the shelves I made for primarily books. I used 1/4 plywood and they bowed. Set up a charging station buy zip-tying a power strip to one of the plastic shelving units. Started to contemplate where and how to put up some peg board in the room too. Hung up my large first aid cabinet that has been on the floor for about 2 years. Re-organized all the stocks of bullets ( as in projectiles not ammo) and various re-loading tools and accessories.

    We are hunkering down as cases of Covid are sky rocketing near us. Wife and I are both working from home and kids are schooling virtually. Our family decided due to health issues of a few of our relatives that it was best not have a large gathering. Our local hospitals are adding additional Covid Wards as they run out of space. Found out sister in law who lives in Ohio has Covid she is doing well but had a very rough 48 hour period where it was very difficult to breathe.

    1. Hey Scout, one should never underestimate the prepping value of keeping Household 6 happy. That’s second only to spiritual preps. After all, if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! Which can make for a truly suboptimal bugging in experience. Stay safe, brother.

      1. My friend who I went to the auction was laughing- kept texting me every hour asking “did she ask yet?” Referring to how much I spent at the auction- I think he just wanted first dibs of my stuff if I had a sudden “accident”.

        She is cooling down but I’m band from anymore auction this year.

  4. This year’s gathering was truly full of grateful hearts and joyful spirits. We had a feast and after a few games we had a hayride! Some of the guests hadn’t had a hayride for decades and were thrilled.

    As far as preparing, not much was accomplished as normal. We are still working on getting our new barn up and livable. Half of it will be my summer kitchen for canning, butchering, and processing of our livestock.

    I dug up the horseradish roots and will be processing it on the back porch- hoping for a gentle breeze to help dissipate the fumes!

    I purchased a small battery powered chain saw and have tackled several piles of slash, that will be used for kindling at the barn!

    One area that I will be giving some thought to is this: we are expecting our first grandchild in May (her parents live on our property) and we haven’t made any preps for a baby. What a problem to have! We are excited .

    We are continuing to pray for our country, our fellow Christians, and those who don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus the Christ.

      1. I simply dig up the roots (you’ll never get them all so they will reproduce next year-only more!). Then I clean with a scrub brush to remove the dirt in all the crevices.
        Next, I cut the roots so they will fit in my food processor. I use the shredder blade. You can also use a blender. When using a blender, put some white vinegar in first then add the cut up roots. THIS IS IMPORTANT… I have found it is best to do this on the back porch or outside. The fumes can make your eyes burn more than onions.

        Then I process it in a boiling bath for 10 minutes.

        Bon appetite!

  5. We had a nice Thanksgiving dinner. All children are now home and living with us while they look for jobs, and son #1 was the last to arrive with a UHaul and his car towed on a dolly behind the truck. I flew to FL to help him drive back. I miss living down there but was also reminded that it is not the FL of past years. It continues to change and old Florida is slowly being erased. It was still nice to have the entire family together and one could sense that everyone was happy about it.

    An interesting note – we bought three turkeys this year. Two are reserved for canning. The first was only 12.5 lbs, and it only yielded 5 quart jars of turkey meat (about 7 lbs of usable meat), plus 2 quarts of broth. We used some broth as filler liquid for the turkey meat jars, but I was still very surprised at how little we got out of that bird. Maybe it was the runt of the bunch? We are doing a second bird this week and will see what the yield is. Anyway, it was easy – put the turkey in our countertop broiler, cook until 50-60% complete, remove the meat and tear or cut into bite sized chunks, add to jars with salt and pepper and fill in with broth, then process. Add bones and trimmings to crockpot overnight for bone broth and then can that as well. We used this round of canning to have son #1 help and learn the process.

    It’s amazing at how those jars add up. We can in an All American canner, plus have a Presto I bought at Goodwill for $15 and reconditioned. We are buying a Carey countertop canner for smaller jobs. It’s definitely a good way to add food in quantity to your storage with mid range shelf life.

    We are not new canners, but not very experienced either. We started by collecting everything we needed, then it sat on shelves for a few years. Youtube has an absolute ton of canning videos so we pulled out the pressure canners and got to work. So far we’ve canned beef (stew chunks and ground beef), turkey, stews and butter. Next will be roasted chicken, potatoes (dry), more butter, cream cheese and stews/soups- lots of them. There is also a group on Facebook called Crazy Canners that shares a lot of unique and not always traditional canning recipes.

    Other than that – not much else going on. We continue the hunt for 9mm, .45 and 5.56. There is one shop that is well stocked with reasonable prices but it’s 1.5 hours away. I’m going there today.

    Interesting observation – people are not buying up all the standard capacity mags or extra ARs. Yet. Seems that the Biden/Harris plan of taxing/registration carries the threat of hitting owners in their pocketbooks. Or maybe its lack of funds due to job loss. I can foresee a lot of holes being dug if Biden / Harris get their way.

    Have a great week everyone!

    1. Chris,

      I’m thinking it is probably a combination of reasons. Just thinking that perhaps people are focusing on ammo and food right now. Considering how popular the AR style platform has become over the years is the market finally peaking? Hence perhaps why we see a focus on 300 Blackout and 6.5 Creedmoor chambers – to sell more?

      I don’t know if people will bury their guns- I think they might be more likely to use them. With several recent Supreme Court cases when are the communist (sorry Democrats) going to figure it out that we have a right to keep and BEAR arms? Just an observation on my part- but when the Dems have the house, Senate and the White House under Obama they didn’t pass any gun control. Is it like many of their stances on issues they talk to raise funds but when they get a chance they don’t because they know the reaction will be a huge backlash? That isn’t to say that they won’t encourage the ATF to miso use their regulatory power. My guess is Biden won’t do much and claim he is trying to unite the country. Second term or if Ms Harris becomes Pres look out. Just my gut feeling.

      1. 3AD Scout – I don’t think it will take the Biden cabinet long at all to start pushing for severe gun control measures. He’s surrounding himself with people that have long standing agendas and they are going to be out for payback. First, they’re going to have a huge financial crisis on their hands and that will take center stage (IMO this is one of the reasons Trump isn’t fighting all that hard to remain in the White House). The democrats learned some lessons during Obama’s administration – such as don’t implement expensive new medical insurance mandates during a recession. So I believe you’ll see stimulus first, a rollback to prior tax plans and amnesty for illegals. Student loans will be deferred or we’ll end up paying via additional taxes and this will bring a lot of dollars back into the economy. Then they’ll go after medical plans and gun control. They’ll ramrod all this through in the first 2-3 years.

        On a side note my shopping trip today was successful. Plenty in stock and at very reasonable prices.

    2. “…but was also reminded that it is not the FL of past years. It continues to change and old Florida is slowly being erased.”

      Very very true. I told my husband this week that I figure we had better enjoy what we can, while it lasts (warm weather, taking the kids to the beach, etc etc), and then GET OUT before it goes first purple and then eventually full New York.

    3. We did a 12.5 lb turkey and got almost 5 one half gallon jars canned. Had to top each off with about 1/2-3/4 cup of water. We use it to add to our dogs crunchies instead of canned food. Better, no sugar or salt in it like canned might have.

  6. SB Friends… We hope you all enjoyed a wonderful celebration of Thanksgiving, and that everyone is staying safe and well. In many years, the holiday has been much more relaxed than it was for us this year. Our concern for the very survival of our Republic is deep. This year we focused our thanks on the opportunity to testify to our support for the great nation in which we are blessed to live. In our every act and deed, let this be known.

    For all those who are in or near Arizona and can attend, the nation needs you.


      1. General Flynn is a national treasure. We are so blessed to have a man of Faith and Integrity speak out on our behalf. He never wavered through the persecution that was poured on him and his family members. Even when they threatened his son, he stood firm. I love the Flynn family!

  7. Now that my parents are home from their overseas job (see my Southern California Prepper essay here a few months ago), my prepping is about building up cash, getting rid of clutter, and looking for work in the Redoubt. Suggestions are welcome. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  8. More tilling this week, leaf raking at the neighbor’s, moving them to my homestead, then mulching over the tilled areas. There are very few leaves still left on the trees so there should be just enough on the ground to finish mulching the garden.

    I saw 30 Ginkgo seeds in a thrift store back in March and the owner didn’t have a clue what they were so I got the whole bunch for 50¢. They can take up to 8+ months to germinate and I since don’t have that kind of patience, I plant them with other things and forget about them so I’m not impatiently watching a certain spot. I planted them in April and they finally started coming up a month ago and a new one this week. Three in the avocado tree planter in the kitchen window, another three in some tomato grow boxes on the back deck, and several more at random spots in the garden. On perennials it takes a while for the “perennial-ness” to kick in so not sure if these guys will make it through the winter or not. The ones in the window will but perhaps if I plant some more now, they’ll emerge in the spring and have all summer to grow and get perennialized. I’m planting a bunch scattered throughout my woods so someone 75 years from now will wonder, “What the heck?”

    Went to the urologist this week. He was explaining something about the voyage urine takes between the kidneys and my compost pile and he mentioned a pee trap. Pee trap? I’ve taken my share of anatomy classes and I remembered kidney, ureter, bladder, sphincter, urethra, … but pee trap?? I looked pretty quizzical so he finally drew one in the air. “Ohhhhh, p-trap! Like in plumbing.” Urologists shouldn’t throw a word like pee around so carelessly.

    After the urinary plumbing confusion, I stopped at Walmart on the way home. They had 6 cases of pint jars this week and I’ll bet my p-trap that soon enough the shelves will be full of jars, everyone back to normal, then scrambling in a panic six months from now when canning season arrives because they didn’t have the foresight to buy jars when they were available. For the re-purposing crowd, since a dozen new jars can’t be had for cheaper than 75¢ each ($8/dozen), Aldi actually has pint-and-a-half jars for 85¢ each and includes 24 oz of free pasta sauce inside. If that’s not the best deal on jars I don’t know what is.

    My two main projects for moving off grid next year are progressing. I got some gas-line plumbing parts for the wall-mount propane heater in my well house and got the spot marked where it will hang. I bought the heater for $20 at a thrift store a few months back. The other project is how to run my wood-stove blower off a 12-volt marine battery I bought. This week calculated how large of a solar panel I’d need to keep it charged based on how many hours per day I’d be running the blower. The cheapest panel price I could find anywhere is from a local guy so I’m waiting to hear back on a few more more details. Home Depot had 300-watt panels last year at 61¢/watt but they’re over $1 now.

    I rediscovered an old 1940 newspaper I saved from a house tear-down project a few years ago. Here are some of the Western Auto Store prices: D batteries 3¢ each. Light bulbs 2/15¢, Penn motor oil 12¢/quart, car battery $3.95, hang on to your chair for this one: .22 cartridges box of 50 for 19¢, shotgun shells were considerably more expensive at 75¢/box. Gearshift ball with a built-in thermometer 25¢. How many people these days even know what a gearshift ball is?

    I worked a little more on my parabolic mirror solar cooker prototype. I need a #2 can (20 oz) painted black so I can time how long it takes to boil that much water. Any kind of paint would burn off in the 800°F temperatures so I tossed it into my wood stove. When it gets hot enough the metal turns permanently black so that should do the job. Right now it’s about halfway there. In solar projects, black cans matter.

    Everyone have a great week!

    1. There are kinds of spray paint that will tolerate 1200°F. Rust-Oleum® is just one of them. Next spring I will probably be working on a parabolic mirror solar cooker prototype like you are currently doing. It’s all frozen in a bank of snow here now so that project will wait. Too many indoor things to do anyway.

      I do remember what a gearshift ball is. Yep. Been there, done that. A long time ago that is.

    2. Wait wait…..I thought the compost pile WAS the final pee-trap?

      That’s cool about the gingko. Your place is going to have future archeology students quite baffled, I am sure!

      I think it was you who suggested a couple weeks back using a bottle cooler to incubate yogurt. I was wondering though: Just how idiot-proof a cooler can one obtain for this? For example, could I find a talking one that intones, upon latching the lid, “Did you actually PUT THE CULTURE IN THE MILK, doofus??” My crock-and-blanket setup failed to do that last time, and so I woke up at 3am with the stunned realization that I was gonna find only some room-temperature milk come daybreak. *smacks forehead* …..coulda had a V8.

  9. We’re just getting started and still live in a suburban setting, but we were lucky to find a like-minded family down the road from us. They’ve got chickens and we’ve got a well-established garden. We’re trading tomatoes and peppers (plus blighted ones for chicken feed) for eggs every week. They hosted us for Thanksgiving this year, as our extended family out of state couldn’t/wouldn’t travel and wouldn’t let us come to them due to covid concerns. It was a good gathering, and to my surprise our host gave us 30 rounds of 9mm hollow point (impossible to find locally) as thanks for my wife doing some short-notice babysitting last week. We were doing it to be neighborly, so that was a pleasant surprise!

    We’re counting our blessings and being reminded of the importance of community. To paraphrase the President, just like America First isn’t America Alone, living as free citizens in a constitutional republic doesn’t mean a life of isolation. I hope everyone has a great week!

    1. Wonderful – nothing wrong with being in the suburbs, even though it may not be where you’d eventually like to end up, you can still do plenty where you are. I managed when I was living in town and renting. It’s great you’ve been able to start networking with like-minded neighbors. Best wishes.

  10. We spent more time than I care to admit online shopping to top off our preps. We wanted to make sure that our supply of vitamins and supplements is well stocked. I believe that the
    virus protocol that was developed by Eastern Virginia University Medical School and is explained in detail by Dr.Chris Martensen is very beneficial to those willing to try it.

    Since shopping in crowded in stores is not an option these days we found a nice lamp that
    Granny has been eye balling and one of those new fangled air fryers for me at mail order sites.

    With the coming disaster(Depression/Reset/Hyper Inflation) or what ever you want to call it
    many necessities will be unavailable at any price.
    There are many things that can be done to prepare for life after the pandemic.

  11. For the first time in decades, my in-laws didn’t have any plans for Thanksgiving Dinner and elected to stay at home amongst themselves. From Covid to an empty nest, each chose solitude. So this year was our opportunity to finally celebrate at home in quiet contemplation, with gratitude to the Lord for His provision and faithfulness over the past year.

    I like to keep things simple, so I baked pecan tassies with my son on Wednesday, grilled steak fajitas on Thursday, and then rested on Friday. No stress, chaos, or regrets. But we did manage to chat with extended family members by phone, text, and email to encourage them a bit and share a laugh or two.

    Since I didn’t have a big meal to prepare or houseguests to feed, this week I was able to focus on meal planning and organizing my freezer instead. Last month I stocked up the pantry, and my larder is so full it is groaning from the weight! And the chest freezer seems to hide my little one-pound bags of ground beef at the bottom of the abyss, to the dismay of my very short arms. But I fought the good fight and prevailed; stray bags are tucked neatly into tubs, and baskets now contain errant bags of lunchmeat. I can proudly say that the deep freeze is officially organized for the moment, until the next grocery haul is added or a hungry husband pulls out the tub of pecan tarts that wedges in the bags of meat and all settles at the bottom once again.

    This week also gave me much needed time to plan and organize my meals based on our new gluten-free diet. I perused my cookbooks, found some helpful recipes online, and expanded my never-ending list of things to buy in town next week.

    Many thanks to this fine group of people here at SurvivalBlog for teaching me how to expand my preparedness plans beyond the pantry and into all aspects of my life. And for keeping my eyes on the Lord’s will and not just my own. For this, I am truly grateful on this Thanksgiving Day and all other days to come.

    May the Lord continue to bless each and every one of you richly!

  12. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving south of the 49th. Ours was back in October.

    It was a busy week for me and the wife, but not the way I was expecting. I was supposed to be off work until at least the spring, so I figured I had lots of time to get some hunting season in, and work on all those preps that I have on my list.

    Instead, I got the call to go to work on a new project starting the first of December. So this week was all about getting everything together that I need, getting required courses up to date, and trying to get a few small things done up before I have to leave.

    I know I should be happy about this. Having a job right now, in this time, in these circumstances is a blessing. I’m just having mixed emotions: leaving the wife and farm at a time when many places are going back into a hard lockdown. Am I busting my but, working 12 hour days for fiat currency that won’t be worth anything in 6 months? Am I trying to put some money in the bank only to have the government raise my taxes to a point where the time/money is wasted, or the banks go belly up.

    I guess I’m just going to have to plan for the future the best I can, while living in the present. I’ve found that in all my prepping I seem to have forgotten a crystal ball that would let me see the future. That would make things a lot easier.

    God Bless. My prayers are with all of you.

    1. To our cousin in the frozen wastelands of the North, we in the soggy, warm Carolinas send greetings:

      I know what you mean, I’ve entered into a very busy season for work as well, although for normal operations I’m back to telework. Unfortunately, I’m still having to travel, which means time away from the farm. And I wonder if I’m just spinning my wheels, particularly in my industry. I remember a piece of cross stitch I saw once: “The rat race is over…the rats won”.

      I find solace in knowing I’m where the Lord put me, so I try to do my job as unto Him, while taking care of my family’s needs as best I can. I sympathize with your wish for a crystal ball. I’ve frequently told my Lady that I know God has a plan…I just wish he’d send me the OPORDER…or at least the latest FRAGO!

      As to the monetary side, I’m trying to maximize turning it into tangibles, retaining only what I think I’ll need, plus a bit extra for emergencies. At least if we do see a significant amount of inflation, those tangibles…primarily food, seed, and other similar items at this point…will retain their value.

      Y’all stay safe up there…I’d say stay frosty, but I figure that’s a given,

    2. Lone Canadian and Francis Marion…when I came across your posts it was like reading what has been going through my mind as well, lately. I feel at times that I am being pulled in another direction, but am not sure, or maybe I lack the ability to do the risk-taking necessary to go in that direction. I am fortunate as well that I have a stable job, for now, and am grateful when I know there are so many others that don’t. I am doing the best I can for right now, also trying to put aside tangible items that I know I might need if the situation, both job and otherwise, becomes more dire.
      I will continue to pray about it, and hope you find peace about your situations as well. I appreciate the Francis Marion’s thought of “try to do my job as unto Him” – very well said, and in the end, that’s all any of us can do.

  13. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We spent the day with family and then brought the grand kids home for a sleep over, although this is a misnomer. They sleep but I usually don’t as I lay awake listening for them 🙂 Parents have an early morning doctor’s appointment to check on baby number three due in late spring. We are truly blessed.

    Since I did not have to cook a big meal, I spent the days leading up to Thanksgiving painting a bathroom that needs an update. Unfortunately I am not sure I like the color so this may be a longer term project than I had imagined.

    We discovered a wonderful lemon cream yogurt a couple of weeks back and decided to try freeze drying it along with making a lemon cream pie for Thanksgiving dessert. Both turned out great. More yogurt will go into the freeze dryer this week as once it is done it turns to a powder that can be reconstituted with just a bit of water.

    My new seed and plant catalog from One Green World arrived a couple of days ago so I will be spending some time pouring over the possibilities for this spring. Grower’s Solutions has free shipping on green houses this weekend so I am pondering as to whether we should buy a green house to combat the changes in climate we are facing with the grand solar minimum.

    Blessing to all,

  14. One of the benefits of casually tossing “Yep, I owned a restaurant business for ten years…” into conversations — I get invited over to anybody with a kitchen!

    For the Thanksgiving feast, I was invited to the home of an elderly shut-in living in a 55-and-over 200-space manufactured-home community.
    She guaranteed I wouldn’t need to lift a finger, she would handle the entire feat.
    “Oh, no no no… you just come and have a good time, I’ll take care of everything.”

    From experience, I know some folks can exaggerate their kitchen aptitudes.

    As soon as I saw her adding salt by the cup-full to her pumpkin-pie mix, I knew an intervention was probably right around the corner.

    That morn, to prep for TheMainEvent, the nice lady watched a YouTube video of a well-known pudgy perfessional televisionprogramming cook.
    She insisted I watch the vid to verify the recipe of mixing shredded lime rinds into butter, then shoving that muck under the skin of the bird.

    I thought lime rinds was a horridly-bad idea, but, hey!, I try to learn something new every day.

    Her 15# bird into the oven at the recommended 400°F while she set the timer at the recommended 2.5 hours…
    …according to the pudgy televisionprogramming perfessional cook, author of many well-received cook-books.
    With pictures and everything!

    At ninety minutes, I suggested we check the internal temp with her new electronic poker gizmo.
    According to her whiz-bang device, the thighs were 221°F… a shade beyond jerky.

    No problem, I could spend an hour pulling apart the crispiness, dump it into the pound-and-a-half of limey melted butter in the roasting pan, and use her nother new electric whiz-bang gizmo — a submersible blender-on-a-stick — to make a weird version of crunchy gravy-stew.

    While blending away, I casually asked about something to go with the gravy-stew, something traditional such as potatoes.
    So, she dug around under the sink, and found three usable Russets.
    She felt terrible, so I said “No problem, I’ll take he rest of the bag for compost.”
    I watched her chop the three, cover them in a saucer with RO water from her new whiz-bang purifier, and set it on the range to boil.
    I casually suggested topping it with its lid to contain steam and reduce the cook time and the potential for boil-overs.
    By this point, I had the sneaking suspicion, after supper, exhausted from the intensity, she would collapse into her recliner to spectate at some essential televisionprogramming… perhaps that new DVD of GAME OF THRONES she “ordered on-line”.

    My crunchy birdy gravy-stew ‘save’ turned out just fine.
    The Russets got rough-mashed… just after I, across the room with my hands full, couldn’t stop her from draining all that good mineral-rich boiling water down the sink.

    Everything turned out just fine.
    And she dug out her unused fancy whiz-bang china plates to set the table.

    Going to show…
    Yes, whiz-bang new stuff is good.
    But, occasionally, experience can add some benefits.

    As I worshed the dishes while she recovered from the effort in her recliner, she yelled at me in the kitchen “Don’t you dare break any of my china!”

    I didn’t, but I was tempted.

    1. Hey Marge,

      Thanks for the chuckle. I think your elderly friend must have cooked the pumpkin pie at the place where I spent Thanksgiving. Imagine the absolute worst pizza crust you ever had in your life, multiply that by ten, then put some scorched pumpkin pie filling on top. Make sure the edge of the crust looks like charcoal but not that tasty. That’s what this pie was like. I was complaining bitterly to the hostess until she reminded me, “That’s the pie you brought!” “What? You must have me confused with some culinary illiterate.” It was bad. I had a last-minute appointment on Wednesday just as I was getting the pie ready and by the time I got home, it was too late to do a real crust. I found a recipe for a quick crust using flour and cornmeal. Big mistake. Clay and floor sweepings would have tasted better and been less tough. I’ll be hearing about this for the next ten Thanksgivings.

      1. That made me actually snort in laughter! Who hasn’t totally blown an important dish?! My favorite faux pas was making little Beef Wellingtons: small filet mignon wrapped in a puff pastry then baked. Rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off for this important dinner, I pulled the tray out of the oven and one of the filets flew out of its crust and across the kitchen floor. In absolute horror, I picked it up, stuffed it back in its crust, and put that one on my plate.

        1. LOL!!
          I hosted a bridal shower once back in college, and since I was also working 2-3 jobs at the time, I pulled an all-nighter the night before to bake the cake. Very elegant, two tiers, heart-shaped pans, buttercream from scratch, monogrammed, etc etc.

          When I emptied the chocolate layers from the smaller pans onto the cooling rack, I was horrified to see that they basically were solid BRICKS. Turns out – eggs are important ingredients, sleep-deprived or no!! It was too late to bake more; I still had to haul everything to the fellowship hall and set up. So I frosted those bricks right up, placed them carefully on top of the bottom tier, and gave the cake-serving friend STRICT instructions to ONLY serve slices from the bottom tier. Told her I didn’t care if she had to accidentally-on-purpose DROP the thing, just don’t give anyone a piece!

    2. Bless her culinary-challenged heart! I have no doubt, Marge, that you made her Thanksgiving one to remember for years to come. If she is like some that I know, she will tell all her lady friends at the trailer retirement park that she taught you how to cook.

      I agree wholeheartedly that not all home cooks CAN cook. In fact my sister in law is a tomboy and just started experimenting in the kitchen after she turned 40. She insists on cooking every meal during family gatherings even though she doesnt like to cook, and just cant seem to accept that not everything is palatable with just salt and pepper. After numerous attempts at taking turns cooking or hosting potluck, my husband finally got the best of her last summer. He took his own bottle of steak marinade out to the grill and soaked his steak in it. When the rest of the family saw it, they wanted some flavoring too. Now it is accepted that he brings his own bottle, but she still insists that she only likes salt and pepper on hers. Dont even ask about the leftover microwaved green beans from the week before…

    3. I got a snort-giggle out of this. It reminded me of the time my kids baked “cookies” for us, only mistakenly swapped the measurements for salt and sugar. But Daddy ate every single cookie, telling them how delicious it was. I’m not sure what was funnier, the cookies, or my sodium-hating husband gagging them down.

  15. My Thanksgiving this year was like no other – all on my own. My boss was diagnosed with Covid so I was not invited there as in years past. The local church that hosts a Thanksgiving meal for the community was shut down due to Covid. So I cooked some winter squash and pasta for my Thanksgiving meal. That was it.

    Yesterday was mostly spent reading past prepping articles on gardening right here on SB. Yes, Jim, that “crazy chemist” doing all those odd key-word searches was me. I was trying to decipher what subjects had already been addressed. [Hint: future articles] I did run across quite a bunch that I found quite interesting and informative, so I bookmarked them for future easy retrieval. I’m sure that this winter will bring some sort of “lock down mode” to this rather blue state so I’m prepping mentally for what constructive things I can do to help others. Financially my boss is near “gridlock” which puts me near that same “tipping point” so I need to examine my options carefully – which are not all that plentiful at this point in time.

    Be strong in the faith everyone. Pray hard. Prep hard. Joseph in Egypt prepped for seven years and it payed off. I think most of us have either read or heard that story before.

  16. This week was spent prepping for Thanksgiving with kids and grandkids. We happily exceeded our governors mandate on gathering size. Even better than having dirty dishes is family that will pitch in and help clean up.

  17. Had #2 son and daughter IL and grand kids #6 and #8 in town, enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at #1 daughter’s place with Grand kids #7 and #9, great getting all the family together.
    My son went deer hunting Friday morning for 3 hours but didn’t see anything and then went again Friday night, he seen one but lost the light before he could get a shot. I walked the fire break for about 20 mins this morning and had three bucks run out right in front of me, I dropped a 6 point DRT, my son isn’t speaking to me LOL.
    Hopefully he’ll get one tonight so we can be friends again.

  18. For the first time in my life, I spent Thanksgiving alone (with the puppies, lol). I didn’t bake furiously for a week prior to the big day, crazy cleaning for guests, etc. No pies or cookies or treats. I didn’t cook a turkey or ham or any traditional sides. I spent the day PAINTING and ate soup. LOL. This was my choice and I wondered how in the world I was going to get through the day when it started. But as the day progressed, I was fine. I do like to sing while I work. I got lots of pictures sent to me of the children and grandchildren. I am making a trip to see them all in a couple of weeks – it’s a 2 day drive there, if you drive all day.

    Let’s see, this week, only purchasing a few things here and there as supplies are depleted or I see a hole in the preps. Mostly I’m focusing on getting my home ready to sell (doing the work myself and I’m slow). I made an appt to see a more rural property on large acreage, then cancelled at the last minute. I think I’m supposed to stay put until Spring/Summer – at least that’s the impression I’m getting after a lot of praying. But, there’s that nagging feeling I can’t put aside that in order to be more sustainable one needs more land. Where that will be is undecided. I hate being undecided. Many discussions within the extended family about where we can all relocate to, in order to be together, and be safe. Hmmmm. You know, the TEOTWAWKI. It probably didn’t help that I watched a video about the plans being made in Canada under Trudeau, about the Great Reset that he is attempting to usher in. I feel like we’re a hair’s breadth away from that happening here in America. The election results will determine that. The sheer number of Globalists in our government is mind numbing to me. Oh, and “covid is mutating” so we should see endless lockdowns. But, I digress. I remember that nothing happens without God’s permission and that His strength is sufficient. I also remember that we are but sojourners on this earth. I shall continue to pray, prepare, and never let go of my Faith.

    I love reading what y’all have all been up to!! Stay the course.

    1. “But, there’s that nagging feeling I can’t put aside that in order to be more sustainable one needs more land. Where that will be is undecided. I hate being undecided. Many discussions within the extended family about where we can all relocate to, in order to be together, and be safe. Hmmmm. You know, the TEOTWAWKI.”

      Same!! I’m not sure whether my nagging feeling or my husband is driving me more nuts! A couple months ago he was all in, ready to drive ten hours to view a property he was all excited about…a couple weeks ago, he was telling me that he just doesn’t see us moving…so imagine my surprise on Thanksgiving, when I overheard him telling a family member, “Yeah so we just need to come up with $400,000” and showing him a listing on Survival Realty! Ummm…what? Later in the conversation another relative asked him if we had considered Montana, and husband dearest replied that, well, his wife was born in the south and lived in the south and hadn’t seen snow until adulthood and, so, Montana probably wouldn’t fly with me. Right. All of the listings IN MONTANA that I have excitedly showed him indicate that I wouldn’t possibly want to move there. Okay then.

      Last week I had a strange…vision? daydream? I dunno, I guess I could have nodded off, as sleep-deprived as I am, but it was so vivid… I saw myself in a kitchen, not our current house, and people just kept arriving…some were extended family members I haven’t seen in years, but all gave the impression of refugees. So I opened the pantry and began to cook lots of pasta for them all and put up some folding tables covered with bedsheets. My dream is a hidden extended family compound somewhere but I can’t figure out how to make it work. Some family members recognize the current issues facing the country but seem convinced everything will be resolved through usual channels and everything will be just dandy. Other family members refuse to acknowledge that there are any issues at all (save for COVID and possibly supply-chain tangles)! We may just need to take the huge leap of faith as you did, go on ahead alone, and do our best to prepare a BOL.

      At any rate, we’ve agreed that whether we stay or whether we go, the first steps will look the same: decluttering, resolving deferred maintenance issues, educating ourselves, squaring away the finances. Husband has been working in the yard for a few days and the biggest benefit is that it gets him away from the incessant screens and the exercise lowers his blood sugar!

      1. Yes Bear. There are an awful lot of people having dreams, visions, and even prophesying about the End Times. I don’t know what the truth is, only God knows the time of His coming. Even if Trump is re-elected, that only gives us 4 more years to prepare. It won’t stop God’s plans and I don’t know what they are. I have lots of beautiful little grandchildren, so moving away from them has been a killer. Some people will not do that. But, they’ve all come to visit and they love it here (middle of nowheresville, ID). The problem that arose was that housing was snatched up before they could even look at it – so many moving to Idaho. Also, the pay is half of what they are used to, so making that adjustment is difficult. I send them all my financial cost information so they can compare. Everything in cheaper here, but with housing values skyrocketing, the property taxes are sure to follow (in a lot of areas).

        I’m working through JWR’s updated book on “Survival Retreats and Relocation”. The resources in the book are amazing. I never knew so many resources were available to research areas. A valuable book, in my opinion, and I’m going to gift it to many family members.

        I can only tell my children: PRAY. LISTEN. I can’t tell them “move here, move there” because I don’t know what the Lord has in store for them. I will say, though, that my moving ahead of the crowd was an inspiration to them and others.

        My little 3yr old grandson was kicked by an un-shoed baby horse the other day. Fortunately it was in the midsection and not the head. Long story short, he saw the “horsey” in a pasture, and lickety split he got through the fence and ran up behind the horse. My daughter was running after him and saw it happen. Lots of prayers and he is fine after 2 days in the hospital and lots of tests to see what kind of damage (very minimal). When things like that happen and I’m not nearby, I just die inside, but I will see him in about a week. I also have an elderly mother who is now cared for by a sister and she was recently in the hospital. Ugh. I, of course, offered to care for my mother here, but they prefer the beach, not the snowy mountains. lol. So there are major drawbacks to moving away, ahead of the fray.
        God bless Bear.

        1. SaraSue, Thanking the Lord that your sweet grandson is doing so well.

          My mom is similar to your mom, in that she is not into snowy places. Last August, I drove them to Idaho for their anniversary trip. I convinced them to take a side trip a few hours away, and let me show them the remote area I had researched and fell in love with.

          Before we even got there, I mean, barely even half way there, my mom randomly blurted out, “Well I’m not moving here!” My dad and I looked at each other and just smiled… And we were on a paved highway, no less! Things got way more fun as we left paved roads for gravel, gravel for dirt, and then dirt with rocks and pot holes that needed a 4×4, and last but not least, the posted sign of, “Beware, you are entering grizzly territory.” I was in heaven, and my mom kept telling my dad to go back!

          (This is the same woman who at 50, built a ranch from raw forest land, while my dad was at work. She ran her own Texas Longhorns, Highland cattle, horses, as well as raised pigs and beef cows, et cetera for the grandkids to have healthy food. All of that to say, she is a woman of grit.
          With three surgeries this year, it is understandable she is tired and has, been there, done that feeling.)

          Anyways, please do keep us posted on your family and relocation activities. I love reading your updates. Blessings, Krissy

  19. Tuesday I finally made it off critical and by Thursday I could sit at the table for takeout turkey dinner. God is good! I’m back to small (1 mile) walks daily now and waiting for treatment to continue. Covid is slowing everything down.

    As I have energy, I’m dehydrating potato slices for my favorite copycat Betty Crocker augratain potatoes.

    I’ve never been so ill in 58 years, but I’m praying that means the chemo is killing the cancer. It’s an agressive blood cancer and requires an agressive treatment.

    Blessings to all.

    1. PJGT…I am so impressed that you are doing one mile daily… that ain’t small in my book for someone experiencing the battle with cancer… and Yes… God is good !!! I will add you to my prayer list… may The Lord Almighty, our Great Physician continue to heal and strengthen you

    2. PJGT, You are doing it. You are walking through the valley. I’m sure you would say the Lord has been carrying you many times. Your Heavenly Father has put you on my heart for weeks now. Prayers for you are said many times throughout each day, and night too, bc I’ve been struggling with insomnia. (We used to call those, “arrow prayers.”). I love it when the Lord has strangers think of, and pray for others. To me, it means He loves you soooo much. I hope you feel His love for you as you trudge along. Blessings, dear one, Krissy

  20. After spending the previous week on the road, I enjoyed being home this past week. We were able to do some basic maintenance around the farm, but most of the efforts were spent preparing for Thanksgiving. My parents were supposed to be coming in, but due to illness (non-COVID), we all decided at the last minute that it was best if they didn’t travel. This of course left us with a bit more food than we’d normally need for just our household. There are, of course, worse problems. Most was simply eaten as leftovers, though some of the turkey and gravy was put into a pot pie, which was subsequently frozen for later use. We also PC’ed 8 pints of turkey stock. Another pint and a half will be used with leftover turkey to make white chilli later next week, which will be frozen in individual servings for quick meals in the future. In addition, we canned 4 1/2 pints of cranberry jam and 3 half-pints of blackberry jam.

    On another note, my brother, who lives in a nearby city, asked if we could celebrate Christmas at the farm this year. This is unusual, since normally everyone travels to his house. In fact, this will be his first visit here since we moved in over 5 years ago. He also suggested we do a little target shooting. I’m hoping, based on this and other things that have happened, that he’s finally waking up. To celebrate this auspicious event, I’ve authorized the kids to go 90% Griswold in decorating the exterior of the house (you never go full Griswold).

    On a serious note, even though we are all living under a shadow, as we move into the Christmas season, I would remind everyone that things seemed pretty shadowed about 2000 years ago in Israel too…and we know how that turned out, don’t we? Keep busy, keep prepping…but most importantly, keep the Faith.

  21. I topped off the freezer with a bull elk this week. My wife and I eat mostly all wild game that I harvest and process. It’s always an eye opening experience packing meat out of the woods in a backpack. I got it out in three trips after de-boning the meat. I used to be able to make it in two heavy trips, but I guess I’m getting old. I stay fairly fit at fifty years old by running two miles a day, coupled with pullups and pushups. I’m also an avid backpacker, bushcrafter, hiker, ect. That being said, packing a heavy pack off trail in deep snow, over dead fall, in steep terrain will flat smoke you. The next day my leg muscles were sore and I noticed it was difficult to stay warm after getting to my truck with the final load despite being dressed for the weather (temp was approx 10 degrees). All that being said, it was a good reminder that age does eventually catch all of us, and if a person is planning on “bugging out” into the backcountry on foot, they had better pack as light as possible.

    1. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve rediscovered such “quaint, old-fashioned” knitwear such as balaclavas (face/neck masks), wrist-warmers, and boot cuffs (leg warmers) as stick-in-your pocket tools to moderate your body temperature against cold-air bleed. If your wife is a knitter, perhaps put in a “Santa wish” for some of these? They’re a great way to use up oddments of wool yarn from her stash, and wool is lightweight and will keep you warm even when wet. The biggest benefit, however, is that your body heat will stay inside your outerwear, but you can easily slip them off and stick them in your pocket if you start to overheat.

      Balaclava pattern 1 – worsted/sport weight: https://thecompletefabrication.blogspot.com/2008/06/travs-balaclava.html

      Balaclava pattern 2 – heavy weight yarn: https://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=9488&cid=17

      Vintage WWII balaclavas – https://thevintagepatternfiles.blogspot.com/2013/12/1940s-knitting-wartime-beanie-balaclava.html

      Another vintage WWII balaclava – https://www.knitting-and.com/crafts-and-needlework/knitting/patterns/hats/chelsea/

  22. I pressure canned the bone broth made from the 46 pounds of $.39 cent a pound sale-turkey we bought last week (that was LAST week’s project). Got 11 quarts of broth, and also rendered 3 pints of baking-quality turkey fat (which I store in the fridge). Also pressure canned 13 pints of pumpkin for future pies (bye, fall decorations!)

    Due to covid-19 restrictions, it was only us and the three younger kids … the older kids all live out-of-state so aren’t allowed to travel. Will be the same for Christmas 🙁 The younger kids are now all old enough to be a significant help with meal-prep, so I only had to roll out the pie crusts and make the turkey/stuffing, the kids baked the pies and peeled all of the vegetables.

    Scored a vintage hand-crank meat grinder at an estate sale. Was a bit apprehensive as it was all seized up, but for $8 bucks? Got it home, pulled it apart, scrubbed it out, and then oiled it … it churns like a charm and has 3 different grinding size blades. Already have a mechanical one that attaches to my Kitchenaid, along with a sausage stuffing attachment, but it’s nice to have one that will work if the grid goes down.

  23. Prepping progress for me: I gave up on the idea. This year after losing all my storage food, guns, ammo, and just about everything else in my house fire, I was struggling with prepping at all. Even in spite of all my efforts to earn money, rebuilding what I had prepping-wise had been a lost-cause financially. My last refuge was my chickens and a freezer of food that survived since it was in a detached garage, and was moved to another location with electric
    power after the fire since the power to that garage had to be turned off. That proved futile as today I discovered that the power in the new location had unknowingly been turned off to it and all the food in it spoiled during our recent unseasonal heat wave. All my previous years venison and this year’s garden haul perished. I know someone will say “why didn’t you can some of it?” Canned food was destroyed in the fire as well as canning supplies, which is why the garden haul was in the freezer. All I have now is my chickens, and with my luck this year, I expect them to suffer some unexpected fate any day now. I’ve decided prepping is a lost cause for me. God obviously does not want my family to have a larder to fall back on, nor the means to defend that larder should times get that bad. I know that flies in the face of all logic this page exists for, but what else can one conclude from it all? I have to assume that all this is a lesson from God, and the only thing I seem to be learning is “Don’t worry about what you will eat tomorrow”. I’m sure this all sounds like whining or bitterness or something else, but life isn’t worth the trouble if we can’t learn from our trials. I’m learning that we CANNOT put our trust in our own efforts, but have to trust God for our daily needs. That goes for pre-TEOTWAWKI and post-TEOTWAWKI. God is the same no matter what the world is doing. You all who are still preppers, please consider that in everything you do when prepping.

    1. EECOM: first let me say how very sorry I am for your family’s troubles this year. I am nearly moved to tears writing this, as I could sense all of your pain and feelings of futility through all of what you’ve experienced. What you’ve shared is so raw and painful, but thank you for doing so. Even though I haven’t gone through what you have, I did have a bit of a wake-up call recently, and I felt that I was spending too much time and mental energy on the daily material doings of prepping, and needed to focus more on the spiritual side of things.
      “I’m learning that we CANNOT put our trust in our own efforts, but have to trust God for our daily needs.” So very true! and a much needed message.

      I was reminded of this passage from Matthew when I read your post:

      26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one [a]cubit to his [b]stature?

      28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [c]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

      31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

      Prayers to you and your family, and thank you again for your post.

      1. M.C., those particular Bible verses were ones that before I this, I sort of tended to ignore, or think something along the lines of “Oh, I’m sure they have some deeper spiritual meaning and aren’t literal in regards to prepping”. Maybe not. And although the prepping has been a bust, God HAS provided since the fire a comfortable and inexpensive place to stay, a vehicle, one handgun and hunting rifle with just enough ammo to hunt, solid employment when many have lost jobs, and enough of everything else to live week-to-week. Not enough to save up, but just enough to keep going. Apparently those Bible verses are the most literal truth to ever exist.

    2. EECOM, What a bitter blow today was for you, after already having gone through the loss and trauma of the fire. I’m so sorry, that on top of everything else, now the freezer food is gone too! (So much pain and loss…)

      IMO, I think you were a wise man, to take care of your family the way that you did. The fire didn’t change that. You are still a wise man. Your family is blessed to have you. Expressing the depth of crushing disappointment is so real. I like that. No pretensions, just, raw emotions flowing out of your soul. You know, like King David.

      My dad has a saying concerning some types of problems: “Nothing money won’t fix.”
      With that said, if you are willing, I would like to send your family a Christmas card via, JWR, if that is okay with you? Sincerely, Krissy

      1. Krissy, I appreciate the thought, but we are doing ok and not in any need. We have a inexpensive and comfortable place to stay, vehicles, employment, and enough to get by. God has been steadily returning about a fourth of what was lost, which is interesting because that’s enough to live on but not enough to build up preps. The rule of 1/4 being returned has also held true to material possessions that are not food, housing, or prepping related. Like I say, interesting.

    3. I am so sorry to hear of this further misfortune after everything else! I was praying that God will bless you and keep you, keep you in the palm of His hand, and restore to you many-fold like Job.

      And now you say that instead of many-fold, it has been about a quarter…that is indeed interesting. We do know that anything the enemy intends for evil, God uses for good. We know that God does not willingly afflict, but brings beauty for ashes. I agree with Krissy that you are a very wise man. Many folks, having experienced what you have, would be thrown into panic and redouble their efforts to accumulate things and more things. But you are being patient, you are waiting upon the Lord and His timing, and you are trying hard to garner the wisdom that He will provide you in all of this. We know wisdom is worth more than gold! And that the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.

      You are very right – He IS the same no matter what the world is doing, and spiritual preps should be the primary. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. May God continue to bless you and keep you!!

  24. Started the first run of my nitric acid machine, and now have 600ml of 68% nitric acid. I plan to use it to recover the copper and other metals out of a bunch of old 3x fired rifle and pistol brass.

    Waiting for the machine, I built another reinforced cardboard box (I should write an article on that!) for my spare cleaning rods. The box packs 22 rods. My boxes are split between shotgun, rifle, and .177 cal rods, so if a box gets damaged, I don’t loose all of one type. Would love to find the die size used on those .177 rods, as they break easily when using brushes. It’s some weird metric size only found in China!

    And waiting for glue and varnish to dry, I packaged up 10x 500 patch packs of .22 cal patches. I also repainted some good condition white gas cans, and filled them with Hoppe’s #9. So now I have 2 gallons worth. Still want to pick up a gallon of the Break Free museum grade CLP, and a few gallons and sprayers of regular CLP. If I can’t store up ammo, I’ll store up cleaning supplies. Have to hit the local head shop as they have both regular and bristle pipe cleaners.

    One trick with the Hoppe’s rifle cleaning rods is to use a 8-32 tap and thread the handle and middle rod deep enough to accept a brush. Then the handle can be used with pistols, and the middle rod can be used as an end rod. Just tap deep enough to properly secure a brush, as you don’t want to damage the 6-32 threads that are deeper in the hole.

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