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:

Another quiet week, while I’m out of state, helping an elderly relative.  I’ve done a lot of bicycling, and a few calisthenics.  I’ve kept myself busy writing and editing the blog. I’ve also been catching up on cataloging guns for Elk Creek Company.  You will note that most of these have “No Photo Available ‘ placeholders.  My #2 Daughter will be photographing those guns, when I return to The Rawles Ranch.

On Thursday I had a bit of mishap: I was cycling through a neighborhood about a mile from home, about 45 minutes into a planned two-hour ride. I was coming down a hill toward an intersection at a good clip –probably 20+ miles per hour. A car pulled in front of me unexpectedly. Without thinking about it, I pulled both brake handles, just as I would on level ground. But since I was going downhill, the front brake “caught”, and I ended up going over the handlebars while I was still moving at about 5 m.p.h.. At first, I thought that I had only suffered just a bit of road rash on my right elbow. But then I noticed a twinge in my right hamstring. By the time I got back to my relative’s home, I realized that I needed some Asprin. And then, an hour after that, things tightened up, and I started hobbling. Ouch! I probably won’t be doing any bicycling for at least the next week. Lesson learned.

I’ve had so many queries from would-be-buyers, asking about particular guns that I’ve decided to open up our Shopping Cart system on December 26th. (Mark your calendar.) But be advised that I won’t be shipping any of those new orders until January 3rd. Thanks for your patience!

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
The weather has been dark, cloudy, and warmish with rain and snow showers with only about an inch of snow on the ground. Yuck!

This week, I bought, chopped, and froze four bunches of celery.  I repackaged a case of walnuts that was in the freezer into gallon bags and refroze them. I refilled jars with dry goods and oils.  I ordered two cases of almonds from the company where we get our produce.  I did the usual chores, did some walking right around the house, listened to the audio book of Jeremiah, and the book of Revelation four times.

As I am typing these opening paragraphs, both kittens are snugged together and snoozing on my stomach and chest, as I am reclined on my bed with the laptop on my propped up legs. Those purr ball kittens are such lovebugs!  It only lasted about ten minutes, because gravity took over and the little female slid down over my arm onto the bed.

Hey, Hey, Hey! Guessy what-ee I saw?

Remember last weekend when I wrote:

“I would like to have a good, safe, and novel adventure to chirk me up! It’s been a long time since the last ones. (Seeing the otters, and butchering our deer.)   😉  Lord?”

Well the good Lord gave me one, with a bit of adrenalin on top.  One morning this week, while it was snowing fairly heavily, I received a phone call from our neighbors, down the river.  They have an awesome view up the valley, including a line of sight to our open meadows, that we cannot see from our house. We can see only a small section of that stretch of meadow near the river. She mentioned that there were two young-looking wolves frolicking in the snow in the meadow on our north fence line and that they’d just hopped the fence and were heading north.  I looked out, but of course, because of some trees that block our view of the meadow on our north fence line, I couldn’t see them.  The neighbor had called so that we would be aware — for our safety and the safety of our livestock.  I thanked her and hung up.

I  was curious to see their tracks and maybe to see them  — wondering if they had gone far enough north.  I waited around ten minutes and then donned my jacket and grabbed my friend Gaston Glock, and my trusty binoculars. I went out and off our porch and walked quietly but swiftly down through our near-house meadow, towards our open meadows, and down to the fence line that splits our part of the open meadows into two pastures. I walked far enough ahead to clear the trees that surround the house meadow, but end abruptly at the open meadow. From there, one can look up the whole open meadow see north for about two miles distant.  I took out my Binocs and began scanning the open meadow north of our north fence line.  I felt wariness as I walked forward a little bit more just past a tube gate on the part of the meadow that is cross-fenced.  I turned to face north and stood with the fence behind me and looked again with the Binocs. It was then that I saw a wolf bounding over the grass tufts, directly toward me, about 500 yards away!

It had seen my movement. I was wearing a mostly brown camouflage jacket. It wanted to check me out.

My immediate thoughts, “Whoa!  Oops!”  My instinct/God immediately told me, “Go! Now!” Instantaneously, I dropped the Binocs from my eyes, turned toward the house and began walking very briskly. Adrenalin kicked in. While in mid-stride, I pulled the Glock out of it’s Kydex holster and held it at low-ready.  When I reached behind the tree line, entering into the near-house meadow, out of sight of the wolf, I felt in my spirit, “Run!”

I broke into a run up to the house, only looking back once.  I bounded up the steps onto the porch and whirled around to look back down to the open meadow.  Just a few moments later the wolf came into view prancing around the open meadow, about 30 yards from where I had been standing less than a minute before.  Wow!

My heart was a’ poundin’.  I turned and banged on the picture window to signal the girls to look out to see it.  Miss Eloise ran out onto the porch and took my binocs to watch it.  She also caught a glimpse of the second wolf, briefly. I didn’t.  The one visible wolf hung around about one more minute, prancing/bouncing/frolicking about down in the open meadow. Then they were gone, again, heading north.  That was it. They never entered into the near-house meadow. This whole “adventure” from start to finish spanned less than five minutes.

A friend on the phone surmised that they had been born in the mountains last year and hadn’t yet seen people and were curious. Our neighbor thought that they weren’t hungry, because they were gamboling in play so much, not slinking around, and hunting. I don’t know… But, obviously, I had decided not to stick around to find out.

If the wolf had come up into the near-house meadow, I would have fired off a round or two near it to ward it off, but since they stayed out in the open meadow, I didn’t feel like it was necessary.

I looked at the cows and horses, who were hanging around the porch waiting for their morning kitchen scraps handout, to see if they looked concerned.  They were not. I think that they thought that the wolves are just dogs.  Or they could sense that they weren’t in hunting mode. I’ve definitely seen more alertness out of our large livestock when a bear or big cat or even a deer seems to be nearby. I was thinking, “Well, great help you’ll be to me if a pack of wolves comes around.”

I have to say that this is only the second time that I have really laid eyes on actual wolves here in the area.   One early morning, while driving to our homeschool group meeting, I saw what I thought was probably a wolf slinking very low to the ground crossing the road about a half-mile ahead of my vehicle. That animal looked very sinister. This was about three miles down the road from our ranch.  Before that sighting, looking out the window, I did see one wolf walk along the river once–on the far side. That side of the river is on our land, but not fenced.

On two occasions, I have heard wolves howling up in the mountains across The Unnamed River. But the howling was during my second and third years here.  And of course, all around the region, I have seen their scat and paw tracks, every now and then while hiking trails and forest roads. But, not much had been seen or heard since then by us here at the ranch, until this week. We have of course seen coyotes run through our open meadow or up our driveway about four or five times.

Now you can be sure that my usual general sense of safety outside, here, has been shattered for awhile.  We do live in the wilderness. The lack of wildlife sightings recently, has lulled us some, perhaps. I’m not exactly sure what to think.  My thoughts are all over the place.  Am I now going to curtail my walks down to the meadows because you just never know what might be lurking there behind a tuft of grass? Maybe, I will, particularly on dark snowy days.  The girls and I, cautiously, walked down there the next day to see if we could see some tracks.  We saw very faint outlines of them, because we had had more snow since the sighting and then rain on top of that. What if, I hadn’t been so close to the house?  What if I had boldly walked all the way to the river, and they had trapped me between the river and the house?  What if I hadn’t seen it bounding towards me with the binocs when I did? It was snowing heavily.  It would have been nearly upon me by the time I would have seen it.  I only have 13 rounds of .45 ACP in the Glock 30’s magazine. (We carry them with 13-round Glock 21 magazines.) I don’t usually carry any extra magazines around when out and about on the ranch.  What if I was out in the forest with no place to seek shelter?   I would have fired at them and rebuked them in the name of Jesus, for sure.

Obviously, I should probably have stayed in the house.  But then I wouldn’t have seen them nor had an adventure nor a story to tell.  I did spend a few minutes debating, if I should drive the pickup down to the meadow, but, then that for sure would have scared them away and I would never had seen them.  I would not ever drive the electric quad, because it is open and it is as slow as molasses.

Also, since our neighbor loves all wildlife and feel that they have a right to live, especially, if only passing through, as these two were, was the other reason why I did not shoot at them. I agree with them and don’t want to cause strife between us. And because, I went out after, I was warned about them, it would be my fault if I was harmed by them. What right do I have to take their life if they were minding their own business just passing through and I distracted them?

There are some around here who would shoot to kill any predator that comes on their ranch at any time. In other circumstances, if they were actively going after our livestock, than yes, I would defend the livestock, especially if they were in the house meadow, corrals or parking lot.

All during the fall, I have taken frequent after-dark walks to our gate and back for some exercise and for an “airing out” with the Glock. Now, I’m not sure I will continue that for a while. I will walk after dark in the fenced garden instead, also with the Glock.  Also, every now and then, I have gone outside without the Glock, while doing chores around the house and barn. But whenever I intend to hike around the periphery of the ranch or, out to the open meadow or around our north and south fence lines, I’ve always went back into the house to retrieve the Glock before going. Or, if I knew I would hike around after chores then I would carry it out with me. We have seen very little wildlife around here this past summer.  However, now that winter has arrived in the surrounding high peaks, more ungulates and predators will be coming down into the valley to spend the winter. So, therefore, I will always carry every time I go outside and be on extra alert from here on out.

I also know that the Lord used this adventure to sharpen my hearing of His voice. I feel like this was a sharpening exercise that He gave to me to experience. I know that He is watching over us.

Finally, It was thrilling, to see them, again, from a safe distance.  All is well that ends well.  I will say that this adventure fit my bill of request to the Lord. Thank You! I was sufficiently chirked that day!  😉

I also saw a yearling buck come through the meadows the next day and come up by the house and out to our driveway. Last Saturday we saw an eight point buck that hangs out about six miles south of us on the highway on our way to Bible study last weekend.  We saw him all summer. That buck!  He knew hunting season was over and was standing in the road as we drove by, absolutely fearless.  I saw him do this last year too.  He is a smart one.  He knows when to lie low during hunting season. and when it is over.  I’m now on the lookout for the bighorn sheep.  They usually come out of the mountains about this time of year, also, to eat salt off the roads.

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. Oh, Lily, My hand went to my neck as I read your story. You had me on pins and needles. Way to go, storyteller! Phew. Now that’s my kind of excitement.

    I had never heard the word, “chirk,” before but I am glad the Lord answered your prayer for one. smile.

    Also, praising the Lord Jim wasn’t hurt worse.

    Ooh, and as of today, I am praising the Lord for giving my oldest son a job. (He moved his family to the Redoubt last August, and they have been living off of savings while they build a house.) Thank you, Lord!!!

    Many blessings to you, dear Lily, Krissy

  2. Jim,lesson learned,here is mine.
    I have a knee that “goes out,pops” about once a year.
    Being a prepper,I have a walker,crutches,cane,wheelchair,braces,etc.
    Also being a prepper,space is a premium.
    Popped it 6 months ago at work,came straight home.By the time I got there and in the garage,I could only hop holding onto the wall.
    Stared at the pull down ladder for the attic.
    Had to call my grandson.
    Lesson…everything is now under my bed and in the closet.

  3. Sorry about the electric (I’m guessing) bike accident. It’s something I’ve been thinking about on my ebike–you can easily go 30 or more mph depending on the situation, but ebike brakes/tires are often not that good in emergencies, I know my 1kw ebike’s are not.

    So I am thinking more of sticking to my 250cc Yamaha TW200 for road trips and using the ebike more for local exercise. To me the 2-wheeling is most important, then the exercise. The small motorcycle actually has substantial brakes and tires. I know I know, no exercise…

    1. I was on a traditional 15-speed bike when I took that spill. Because a lot of my recent bike-riding experience has been on e-bikes, I got into the bad habit of using both brake levers equally. (E-bikes are fast and require a lot heavier braking. And they are also very “tail heavy”, so equal braking isn’t the no-no that it is on a standard bike.)

      1. JWR! So thankful for the news that you are recovering, and so sorry to hear that you suffered any injury at all. We are praying for a full and speedy recovery for you!

      2. Hey JWR, as long as you got a good story out of it, all is good! 🙂

        I went over the handlebars once when I was about twelve. After repairing a flat tire on my spider bike, I took it on a test ride. I pedaled a little ways, then popped a wheelie to get some good torque for really taking off and building up speed. I watched in horror as the front wheel came off and kept going, leaving me behind. As I was making a mental note to be sure to tighten the nuts after future repairs, the now-empty front fork hit the pavement and with the front end of the bike now 10″ lower than normal, threw me over the handle bars, dumping me on my head. Which probably explains a lot of things…

        Glad to hear you’re recovering.

        1. Try riding your ten speed over a storm grate the wrong way, when the wheel drops 1/2 way out of sight you have a real stop, as well as a flying lesson. Oh how did we survive our growing up without all the government mandated safety gear. Today, kids ride bikes looking like the Michelin Man.

          1. There is always interesting stuff on the blog. My barber in Alaska (Joe) took a major spill from his bike and badly tore one side of his face on a steel shoe wiping grate. He still has those scars today.

            What a coincidence.

          2. Evil Knievel woulda been proud of you folks!
            Oh, the bikes we destroyed with crash & burns as kids growing up, all in the name of the big E-K.
            Fun tip # 6- crash & burn! Sure does seem to hurt a lot more for some odd reason nowadays.

        2. When I was about 11 or 12 I was riding my bike and a leave got caught in the front wheel. Guess what I did? I reached my foot forward to get the leave out and of course the wheel grabbed my foot, dragging it through the fork and my and the bike tumbling over and over. It’s a wonder I didn’t get really hurt!! LOL.

          Those were the good old days when you could do anything totally dangerous on your bike and survive pretty much unscathed.

          JWR, good to hear you didn’t break anything.

          Have a Rockin great day

      3. Never liked front brakes on my bicycle. Saw a kid go over the handlebars when I was a kid, plus where I am in upstate NY you’re either going uphill or downhill it seems. Front brakes downhill at high speed are suicide. Thankfully your brakes caught at 5 mph instead of 20.

      4. JWR, in my many years helping people rehabilitate injuries, I have learned that range of motion, gentle movement brings circulation to the area and accelerates healing. If you pedal or walk at a pace less than you are accustomed to, just below the threshold of pain, I’ll bet you will like the results.

        Hot packs, unless you have inflammation, should aid you, too.

        Carry on

      5. James I had my mountain bike set up,with one brake lever for both brakes…..you can adjust it so there is less braking on the front and more on the rear……this allows the other hand to be free for other uses. Blessings

  4. Ms Lily, that was quite a wild life experience you had! I’m glad your neighbors called and let you know of the wolf presence; I bet it was quite beautiful in the snow, but still a little dangerous. In your neck of the woods there are lots of large predators; all we have are coyotes.

    What a week this has been! More chicken farms burned, more meat plants being shut down (source: Ice Age Farmer). Military servers hacked, corporate servers hacked, Google servers hacked; there has been a mass exodus of Chinese nationals from the USA – I guess to avoid the US Marshalls who are in hot pursuit; but the Chinese army is “training” in western Canada. So many dirty politicians being exposed; it seems half the people are on satan’s payroll. I am frustrated that all I can do is email congress, plant, prep and pray.

    After reading many articles on economic doom and gloom, decided to go ahead and put in the order for a sawmill since there was a holiday discount. Then, I’m told it takes double the time to get what I ordered. Seems COVID19 has shut the plant down to half staff, so everything is s-l-o-w! After finding out about the manufacturing slow downs, decided to go ahead and get the auger attachments for the tractor also. I consider these things tangible investments.

    I received an order for hoop house film covering since it was on sale. Don’t need it right this moment but who knows what is going to happen in the coming year. The weather could destroy the covering or the dems might ban plastic or inflation might triple the price, so I’ll got it while I could.

    Have water seepage near the well. It appears it is from pipe leak in the near-by spigot, but what a mess to fix. I called the local well plumber but he is so busy right now, he hasn’t got time for “non-emergencies”. I have to figure out another way to determine what is happening. We hate wallering in mud and digging where we don’t know whats where, but as soon as the weather improves we will have to.

    Canned greens, broccoli and cauliflower soup w/o cream and cheese and chicken soup w/o the noodles. Put up 8 pds of Brussel Sprouts. I have a frig full of collards, kale and cabbage to put up this coming week. I put dozens of jars in the dishwasher last night and got every thing ready to can.

    My favorite small rabbit had 5 kits and everyone is doing well. Nothing sweeter than baby rabbits; in 2 weeks they will be like mexican jumping beans. Next batch of kindles due after Christmas.

    The chickens finished molting just before the cold weather hit and we put in solar lights in two chicken coops. I am seeing 9/12 eggs a day, up from 3/4, which will probably be the best I can get until spring hits, when I’ll be getting 16/20 eggs/day. Egg prices in our location are $4/dz for brown free range down to $1/dz for regular eggs. Thinking about ordering chicks early spring so I can have them ready to sell when egg prices go up again.

    May each of your have peace and love in your families this Christmas. Praying for each of you, especially those with family and health issues.

    May your week be safe and productive. God Bless America!

  5. Wildlife is wild. That always comes with a risk. You have to know the rules of the wild, which it sounds like you do. I always say that I would MUCH rather die from wildlife playing by the rules of the wild than from “civilization” being tyrants. Wildlife is fair. Civilization is NOT.

  6. Our work this week has been focused on deep reviews of our preparedness supplies. It’s being called our Cyber Pearl Harber or Cyber Red Dawn (a Mike Adams reference), and it reminds us of the fragility of the systems on which most Americans rely. It will be quite some time before we know the full extent of the damage (assuming we can ever know). …and as concerning is that we may or may not have ways to stop the hemorrhage of sensitive information ongoing.

    We are also watching carefully for news of what happens next in the fight for transparent and honest elections, and confirmation that President Donald Trump won truthfully and overwhelmingly in 2020. If we lose free and fair and true elections, we will have lost our Republic. Every person of every political stripe should not only want, but demand truth and transparency according to the rule of law (not the rule of the bureaucrat, not the rule of the elitist, not the rule of the deep state, not the rule of an oligarch).

    This link is from Dan Scavino. It’s a brief video clip, and it’s well worth watching and sharing with as many others as you can.


    …and a related link from The Gateway Pundit. President Trump is calling for a BIG PROTEST in Washington DC on January 6th. I hope many can attend, and that the statement that will be made to Congress will be undeniable. They must stand up for us and for our Constitution, and for our Republic, and they must not cower to the threats of the Communist Left.


    Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Don’t give an inch.

    Don’t stop speaking now. Make your voices heard.

    If you haven’t yet spoken up, you are being called to do just that. Rise to the occasion.

    Failure is not an option.

  7. Spent most of my week nights sealing up medical supplies, that I already had stored in totes, into food saver bags and inventorying everything. I don’t care if I ever see another gauze pad in my life. I freed up a lot of room in the totes. I started a whole new inventory record book as well. My old record book just had entries in one section marked medical. This time I broke the medical section down into sub-categories such as Tape, gauze rollers, gauze pads, instruments, and so on. Now I can quickly look to see my inventory of all gauze pads. I changed the ammo inventory around too. Instead of a total rounds, I broke each caliber down by grain of bullet and bullet style, factory and reloads. I was going to do some case trimming of 223 cases but the case trimmer decided to break on me. It was a small and simple fix. But do you think I had the part? I could have used something different but I want to keep it original so I ordered double ear hose clamps and a set of crimpers. Got them Friday put a new on the case trimmer and it lasted two cases. So know I am going to put a worm drive hose clamp on it like I wanted to in the beginning.

    I hit pay dirt at the local Sportsman’s Warehouse where I Found 1K box of large pistol primers, a box of 500 125 grain polymer coated 9mm bullets for reloading and 2 box’s of critical defense 22 magnum ammunition. I also picked up a FAB Defense AR magazine carrier for on a belt for a single AR mag. Thought it would be nice to have an extra mag for when something goes bump in the night. I made it into town 2 days this past week. I did manage to stop by the Salvation Army and found a nice woodland camo M65 field jacket (no liner) for $8. Not much else there.

  8. We used to live in the mountains of NE Washington. I often had a .45 on my hip when walking the long forrest road down to our mailbox, especially at night. Wolves were occasional visitors but always seemed to be passing through. I never worried about them attacking humans. The local coyotes that showed up like clockwork every week or so cleared out when wolves were in the area. I never really had any problems with wildlife – local household dogs were the bigger problem.

    Prepping this week – we haven’t had much time. Work has been extremely busy. One of the family elves dropped a hint that I’m getting a Carey countertop canner for Christmas so I am sure that will keep me busy with small batch pressure canning over the next few months.

    We’ve once again ramped up the search for a home in neighboring states. We’re really focusing on TN but anywhere works really. Finding like minded communities (and by that I mean a higher likelihood of some preparedness minded people in the community) is tough. I have some trips planned for January to explore a few towns in north central and east TN. MO remains on the list and we’ve added OK. I’m big on research (sheriffs, police, local politics, schools, local industry, general demographics, fishing/hunting access) and my wife is big on prayer. We’ll figure it out. Housing prices in the lower midwest are at least reasonable.

    We’ll be focusing on our cars this week. I have a ton of maintenance and repair parts ordered but Amazon has really slowed down on shipping. What used to take a couple of days now takes a week or two. I’m also seeing more out of stock notices on certain parts that are pretty common.

    Enjoy the time with your families over the holidays!

    1. We’re also looking for a place to relocate from a deep-blue enclave to ANY SANE STATE. My husband is due to retire in a few more years … though with the economy tanking, who knows, he might be forced into it earlier? Tennessee and Missouri are both on our “look into” list. I love Wyoming and Idaho, but my husband is adamant he wants to live someplace warm. The problem with Tennessee is that most of the state is too close to the eastern urban populations. I visited Missouri before and really liked it — the people were welcoming and god-fearing. Have been to Oklahoma, but only passed through, so didn’t have an opportunity to get a “feel” for the state.

      1. West central Tennessee has some good spots. Some Amish and Mennonite are in that area. Pleasantville is the area where they are at. Southern Missouri would also be a possible spot. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is there. I’ve met Jere Gettle, the founder, in person and really like him. You would have a good neighbor if you moved there. As far as your husband wanting someplace warm – you could move to Minnesota and live in an igloo – oops, maybe not a good place. Pardon my humor… I think I must have frozen my brain a while back and need to thaw it out…

        1. That’s just south of where my eldest daughter completed boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood. Beautiful country out there. The church folk were incredibly kind to the soldiers suffering through basic training, took turns hosting church dinners to make them feel at home and alleviate the homesickness. My husband had never been out that way, but I hope to drag him out to check it out.

          Also the Amish in Tennessee are on my “pique the husband’s interest” list. He loves Amish country in Pennsylvania — we vacation there frequently — but as we’re all seeing with the current election, Pennsylvania has the same “blue cancer” which is infecting my prior beloved “live free or die” state of New Hampshire.

          1. Southern Kentucky is lovely. Red state, only the cities lean blue. We have Amish and Mennonites, so lots of farm stands and little shops. Not really warm, but certainly not yankee cold.

  9. We’ve been trying to get to the Redoubt for years… and starting in the spring of 2020, we ramped up our efforts and began working daily to get there. This month we will become official residents of the great American Redoubt! Many of our family and friends “warn” us that Idaho has turned liberal and we won’t find what we are looking for there. We are fully aware of the decline of Liberty there, but I’d rather be tried in a jury of Idahoans than the state we are from. We think many are just not willing to sacrifice what is necessary to make it happen. Thanks all for standing strong and fighting for precious Liberty.

    1. Congrats on your move! Did you have friends in the area helping you look or did you have to travel out and search on your own? I enjoy hearing stories about how people achieved goals like your move to ID.

      We’ve contemplated moving back to the Inland Northwest but… jobs. Everything seems to pay far less than what I am paid here, and I am in Arkansas so that is saying something! Makes it harder when you really like the company and people you work with. I know if my adult kids go to ID or MT – and that is their goal – that is where we will end up a few years later.

      1. @Chris in Arkansas
        Thanks! We did have friends and family both. That did help, but was still very difficult. It’s about a 10-11 hour drive from our old place and we made many…. trips. Glad gas price was fairly low this year! 🙂 Moving a farm is not just a couple trips in a Uhaul! 🙂
        Took about a 50% hit on the income to move, but it’s part of the sacrifice. It will be worth it, we are certain, both financially, and in every other way. Not familiar with AR, am hoping you have a constitutional sheriff and neighbors willing to band together. I’d like to encourage you to make the move, but I’m not sure there is really time left to do that. Course, I’ve thought that a few other times too! 🙂
        Thanks for standing strong for Liberty in AR!

  10. I got a ton more wall mirrors for $1 at the auction last week, about 25 square feet worth. I’ve been cutting them into 1½” squares for a solar project and I have way more than I need now. I’m thinking now I can build a much larger solar dish and probably be able to get a beam clear out to Jorj. Maybe they can send the mother ship to pick me up. On the other hand, I’ve grown attached to some of you Earthlings known as Preppers and not sure if I should go back just yet.

    It was a great week for birds. I was driving back to the homestead one afternoon and saw a bald eagle in a tree. I generally only see one or two per year here so it’s always a real treat to see them. The wrens are finally more visible. I don’t know if they hang out in the woods in the summer and fall or what but now I’m seeing more of them. I saw two go into the garden shed and was wondering if they ever overwinter in their nests. The two nests here are both igloo shaped and seemed like they’d be a great place to sleep in winter since they’d probably conserve heat pretty well. A few days later I went into my shop and, sure enough, a wren flew out of the nest in the 5 lb container of nails. Wrens are my favorite bird and they’re fun to watch as they look inquisitively into every nook and cranny of the woodpile for insects and spiders with their heads and tails bobbing up and down. Outside the window by my desk there’s a big boxelder tree with lots of holes in it. In one particular small hole the chickadees keep entering one at a time and disappearing for about 30 seconds or so, then popping back out. I don’t know if they’re just getting out of the cold wind to warm up fir a minute, looking for seeds or insects, or if they’re grabbing a pint of suds for the road.

    Speaking of birds…. I got two small ceramic birds at the auction last week in a pile of other stuff I bought, mostly for the kerosene lamps. There was a big white one and a little blue one, both with their heads pointed upwards and their beaks open, with a throat hole. I had no idea what they were but an Amish guy told me they were “pie birds,” designed to put in the center of a pie before cooking to let the steam escape so everything doesn’t boil over, and also supports the center of the crust so it doesn’t collapse. Interesting. https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffsb&q=pie+birds&ia=images&iax=images

    I’m learning a new skill: clock repair. You can tell the newbies at auctions because they buy those beautiful wind-up pendulum wall clocks and Grandfather clocks which never, ever work when you get them home. The last local guy who claims he bought a working clock at an auction was in 1972. He was branded a liar and so ridiculed he never again went to an auction, then died an ignominious death a few short years later. A few months ago, I bought the ugliest wind-up wall clock ever produced: mostly plastic, and looked like something out of the 60’s with lots of spikes and balls coming out from the center of the clock like when the moon was in the seventh house and Jupiter aligned with Mars during the age of asparagus. Either that or it had been struck by lightning? I bought it for the sole purpose of seeing if I could repair it. It only cost $1, or did they pay me $1 to take it off their hands? I can’t recall now. Anyway, I got it home, tore the guts out, and after checking with Duck Duck Go found out that most of the time non-working clocks just need a good cleaning and oil change. Once I cleaned Ugly Clock, then oiled it and wound it up, it ran like a charm. Next I tried the two anniversary clocks I also bought at auctions back when I was still wet behind the gears, and got those two working. And then, with trembling hands, I took my great grandmother’s heirloom pendulum clock off the wall which was handed down to me in non-working condition by a relative a few years ago. I wasn’t ready to cough up the $200 needed to repair it so it’s been dead on the wall for several years and pained me every time I looked at it. I started tearing into it. A careful cleaning, a dab of special clock oil in the clock version of zerk fittings, and as they say, it’s now running like a well-oiled machine. Wow. Muscles bulged, head swelled, the whole nine yards. Then I remembered the grandfather clock I saw at an auction a month ago which they couldn’t give away, which finally went for $35. Arrrggh. I’ve mentioned a time or two that when I had my manual dexterity tested fifteen years ago they said I was somewhere between a quadriplegic starfish and a sea sponge, so I’ll never get to the point where I’m taking all the gears apart and replacing bushings. But so far, cleaning and oiling are doing the trick on the five out of six I’ve been able to get up and running. If any of the real clock fixers on SB can recommend a good beginner’s book, I’d be grateful for a title or a link. Now I’m picturing myself at the gates of the Patriots compound after the roving hordes have reduced my homestead of ashes and made off with all my freeze-dried stroganoff, handing my skills resume to the two sentries at the front gate and asking for admittance. After they toss me into the sagebrush, as I’m dusting myself off and picking the cactus spines out of my nose and forehead, I’ll be yelling, “But wait! I fix clocks!”

    Everyone have a great week!

    1. That reminds me! As I was leaving town over a week ago, driving slowly on a 2 lane, snow covered road, there in all it’s glory was a bald eagle sitting on a fence post. I’ve never seen a real one before. I wanted to stop and take a picture but that would surely have scared it off and the 2 dogs I had in the car would notice it, so I just slowly drove past. What an amazing bird! I felt blessed to have seen it.

      1. Hey 3ADscout, now don’t be alarmed and don’t get all wound up but I just wanted to chime in to say if you don’t watch it I’m going to spring another pun on you. Maybe when the pendulum swings the other way you can gear up and find the time to dial in a few more hobbies. Just beware that you don’t go cuckoo first!

        1. Saint Funogas you should film a Tic-Tok video. Don’t wait another second, because you could forget it. With some practice you could really dial your act in. I don’t want to wind you up but you got some decent talent, but only time will tell if you can be a better act than those, say on the, Gong Show. I got to hand it to you, in the face of a challenge you did alarmingly well.

    2. St Funogas, Thanks for the chuckles; I so enjoy your humor! Your pie birds are a real find; mostly I saw them out west in the antique (aka junk) stores. Now days, they are found with chips and cracks on them. If yours are in good condition, and the right age, they could be worth some money.

      Clock repair is expensive these days; people mostly buy disposable digital clocks and rarely keep their pendulum clocks. I still have one or two circa 1840’s, one from Germany and one from out west. They are packed away because I can’t find a real clock repair man.

      Have a safe and spiritual Christmas.

    3. My uncle was a jeweler and the only person in a hundred mile radius who fixed watches and clocks, so he always had a steady business repairing people’s beloved heirlooms right up until God called him home at the age of 93. I wrote a novella called “the watchmaker” in his honor about a magic watch that can carry somebody through time. He always lamented that none of his children wanted to go into his business. The keeping of time, he always said, is a delicate, intricate thing.

      Anyways, there’s some really good manuals out there in clock and watch repair, but kind of complicated for a hobbyist. THIS one sounds about the level where you’re at, tinkering with things other people throw away, with lots of pictures, clear language, and the paperback edition is only ten bucks.


  11. I just finished getting most of my traps out for the winter. I mainly target beaver and mink in my wetland line and marten and bobcat in my mountain line. It’s good exercise and keeps me out in the hills more. I was sure surprised the day before yesterday however. I had just finished putting in a marten bodygrip set, shouldered my pack and turned to walk out, and almost fell flat on my face. I looked down and discovered I had broken my commercially made name brand snowshoe completely in half. I had not even thought that was a possibility before. I’ve dealt with repairing bindings in the field before, but never a catastrophic failure like that before. Luckily, I was already on the back end of my loop and it was downhill to the trailhead and my truck. Needless to say, I just ordered myself a Christmas present of a new pair of top of the line snowshoes. It pays in the long road to have quality gear, especially when your life depends on it.

      1. 3ADscout- Mine were metal tubular framed “Yuba’s”. I’m not even sure if that brand is still around now. To be fair, I’ve had those shoes for quite awhile and put a lot of hard miles on them. After a bit of research, I ended up purchasing a pair of 36″ Tubbs Mountaineers. I almost went with a pair of traditional ash framed Ojibwa style of shoe, but in my experience, they lack the traction required in steep terrain. If I’m in relatively flat or rolling terrain, I use my Altia Hoks, which are sort of a type of fat ski with permanent skins on the bottom for climbing.

      2. 3ADscout- Mine were metal tubular framed “Yuba” brand shoes. I’m not even sure if that brand is still around anymore. To be fair, I’ve had those shoes for quite awhile and logged a lot of hard miles on them. After doing some research, I ended up buying a pair of 36″ Tubbs Mountaineers. I almost went with a pair of traditional ash framed Objwa style of shoes, but in my experience, they lack the required traction in steep terrain.

  12. Lilly: Did you have a chance to check out the Critical Care COVID-19 Management Protocol?
    It can be printed out at evms.edu/CovidCare. It would be of benefit to your husbands elderly
    relative or anyone else for that matter.

      1. Wheatley Fisher: I don’t know what your position is on the vaccine nor do I care. We must all do what we think is best for ourselves.
        What I am convinced of is that the best chance of surviving the COVID disease is use of
        Ivermectin. It is not easy to get ahold as it is a prescription drug but not impossible. Call your doctor,your friends and relatives,or anyone that can help you secure a supply.
        Your life is too important.

  13. Prepping… Since I was traveling for a week to see my grandchildren, which was GLORIOUS!! by the way, I didn’t accomplish much regarding the home front. It was great to get home to snowy, quiet, safe, Idaho. This trip was dubbed “Thankmas” so I won’t be seeing everyone at Christmas and that makes me a bit tearful. I will busy myself with home projects.

    I’m determined to get a grip on my Inventory. All the last minute purchases basically got stowed quickly away, and while I have a hunch that I’m good in most categories for over a year, I honestly have no idea. What I’ve done is label bins with numbers that correspond to a spreadsheet on my computer. When I need to find something, I have to go search the spreadsheet, which only takes a second or two, then I know which bin to open. But, that seems a bit clunky. I’d love to hear how others track and find things. Part of my problem is I like things to be out of sight, not lined up neatly on open shelves where everyone can see them with the exception of my day to day pantry. So I can’t just glance and spot what I want. Ideas are welcome!! I should probably search the blog for an article on that topic too!

    So sorry to JWR for your injuries. The very thought of going over the handle bars at my age is terrifying. And Lily!!!!!! I honestly didn’t know that wolves were a threat to people and that even the Coyotes respect them. I heard through our local grapevine that the Bear plaguing the local waste station has been “harvested”. He was my only fear as of late.

    One item of interest to some: OathKeepers are calling for limited martial law, an election do-over, etc. Here’s the letter: https://wethepeopleconvention.org/articles/Oath-Keepers-Trump-Letter.
    Blessings to all!

    1. 😉

      I don’t know, how much wolves are really a threat to humans. I’ve seen videos of hikers sitting near them in Glacier and nothing happening. I’ve seen the “Outsider” a YouTube Channel young man, hiking in the dark with wolves howling just a few hundred yards away. We’ve all seen the Disney movies of wolves attacking different groups of people, etc. I have heard that coyotes vacate the areas that wolves are inhabiting. I would suppose that as long as there is plenty of game available and the wolves are not hungry, ill, or injured, that they’ll leave people alone… I just believe that when one encounters one, if you have an out, take it.

      One winter, when I was in college, I and a friend, took a gondola ride to the top of a local ski mountain with skis and snowshoes. We stashed the skis behind a lower summit restaurant and hiked up a trail and across the ridge to the highest summit for a winter view of the surrounding valleys. The snow was well wind packed so we didn’t need the snowshoes and just carried them in our backpacks. On our way back to the lower summit, we stopped to eat a snack between some low Krumholtz spruce. The sun was setting and everything was white, pink and beautiful. Just as we finished our snack, I heard, either for real or in my spirit, I have no idea which, some panting. I jumped up, looked at my friend and yelled, “run!” We grabbed our stuff and ran along the rest of the ridge trail and down onto a summit road back down towards the Summit restaurant. A little way down the road, we stopped running and began to walk. No Joke, at that moment, we heard howling. Whoa! This freaked us out and we took off running again all the way down to the restaurant which was about another quarter of a mile away. Because this was in New England, I can only assume it was coyotes near the summit. We quickly retrieved our skis, donned our boots, grabbed our poles and skied down the mountain. So I seem to have a history, of being near potentially dangerous animals and God, looking out for us, giving me the sense to know when to stay or go to avoid issues.

      1. I thought I would toss in my two cents regarding wolves. It sounds like an exciting encounter you had with wolves at your place. That’s what I like about living in the wilderness, you never know when you are going to have an encounter with seldom seen wildlife. In my area of Montana, we are allowed hunting/trapping tags for five wolves per person, per season. We have a fairly large population of wolves, but it is still a rare and exciting time whenever I get to see one. This fall while elk hunting, I watched an all black wolf for about five minutes without him ever knowing I was there. He was at about three hundred yards, and I only had my iron sighted Winchester 94, so did not attempt to take a shot. As an aside, wolves are highly territorial and can be extremely aggressive towards male dogs, if you have any at your ranch.

      2. @Avalanche Lilly – We used to live in rural New Hampshire. What you saw was probably an “eastern coyote”, a wolf-coyote hybrid which dominates the Northeast. We had a pack of them on our old property and they were a real nuisance because they have no fear of people.

        1. Hi Anna,

          That particular day, we did not see the coyotes. But once when driving in a rural area, I did see one that looked very wolf-like carrying a dead rabbit it’s mouth across a field on a very cold, dark and rainy day. In New England there are now a lot of those Eastern coyotes, I heard them on several occasions in various areas of my home state when I lived there, for five years, before marrying Jim.

          1. Yes, they look like slightly smaller, leggier wolves. The pack on our property attacked a female moose and her calf that lived on our property fairly close to the house. It was a terrifying noise, an entire coyote pack and a terrified-furious mother moose fighting. We have no idea if the calf survived. After that, some of the “local boys” decided to go hunting one night with AR-15’s and thin out the pack because we weren’t the ONLY neighbors losing pets.

          2. Good! I wonder why, more people in New England are not clearing more of them out? Almost every time we’ve seen a coyote on our place we have warned it off with a fired gun shot. But this time with the wolves, I just wanted to see them, if possible, and decided to leave rather than to fire a shot. I felt like there was time to go and then run up to the porch. Everything happened so fast and turned out well.

            I will say that I will never do this again, on purpose, though. And I am keeping a close eye on the cows and horses alerting behaviors. I am, after reading a few of these comments, quite a bit more nervous, than I was earlier about them. I pray that they will keep going to “greener”, more deer populated, pastures up north of us.

            We very rarely see moose here, now…As I said earlier we have not seen much of any wildlife around here in the past two or three years…

          3. Coy wolves are some stealthy critters! Have one around my beach mining site in the UP. He stalked a couple with a small dog that had passed me by just after a light rain. He left tracks 5 1/2″ across! He had come down to the beach only 100′ from me! I should have easily seen him, but didn’t! And people wonder why I have my Saiga with me on the beach!

            Have also had black bear tracks there. Mama and cubs. I only worry every other year, as mama will be nasty when the cubs are in their first year. In their second year, mom’s not so protective.

    2. Sara Sue,

      I struggle with keeping preps out of sight, too, and dont want to run to the spreadsheet constantly. What works for me is simple and always written in pencil so that I can easily change it as needed.

      Since I have food stored in different areas, I keep a Master List on my computer, plus printed copy in my Preps Binder near my cookbooks. For the working pantry & freezers, I use a printed form clipped to the fridge with a magnet. Both are dated each time they are updated.
      My inventory sheet is squeezed into one page for convenience and placed behind my running Grocery List (again a one page form filled out with pencil).This was much easier to manage before my husband retired and I was the Queen of the Kitchen. But it CAN be done with a little communication and a lot of patience!

      I organize ALL my supplies as if they were office papers to manage, by category, which helps streamline the system. Current (use daily or weekly, such as food and toiletries), Short Term (monthly or occasional use, such as first aid), or Archived (long term storage, such as freeze dried foods & commercially canned meats ).

      Current inventory forms are posted discretely on the fridge, Short Term items in cubbies or on shelves have forms taped to the inside of cabinet doors, and Archived items in tubs have the form taped to the UNDERSIDE of the lid. I make a note on my calendar on the first of each week to check inventory sheets used regularly and resupply during regular shopping days. Once a month, I check midterm and long term preps and update as needed. That is also when I check batteries, charge flashlights, etc. Every six months, I dust off the Master List and evaluate the plan.

      Covid changed it a bit, as did moving recently from the city to our haven in a small town. But it still works better than anything else I tried to use in the past.

      Once my family began using supplies often, cooking and shopping changed. At first it was frustrating, but then I realized help had finally arrived and now I am adapting.

      Probably way too much information, but maybe you can glean something to use. Let us know how you adapt your spreadsheet.. I’m sure we all can learn better ways to teak our old system as our needs change.

    3. @SaraSue – I keep most of my “doomsday stash” in an unfinished room of the basement. Those wire metal shelves are great for keeping things organized. Alas, the stash has grown too big to fit in the room, so the 5-gallon buckets of rice and beans line the walls of the finished part of the basement. I’ve got sheets thrown over the shelves so the contents aren’t obvious. If anybody asks, I tell them (truthfully) “Oh, it’s just some storage junk … the sheets keep the dust off.” If you don’t tell them, most “normies” won’t suspect you store things in buckets.

    1. GWH: You are right. The Feds and the bunny huggers signed the death warrant on wolves
      when they reintroduced them. They like to feel better by reimbursing ranchers and farmers
      for loses from wolf predation. A mother cow drops a calf for many years yet they only pay for her when wolves kill her.
      People need to learning that running from any predator is a very bad idea.You’ve got a gun?
      Use it! No predator is worth the life of any human.

  14. My ten years in Colorado in the country, I enjoyed wolves, coyotes, mountain lion, at the house …….about 1/2 acre was fenced with 5’ high hog wire….mainly to keep the porkys from eating the tops out of my pine trees and also to keep my three chows in. I kep t feed for the chows on the back porch. I started to get a mountain lion as a daily afternoon visitor who like having a dog food snack…..the chows would not bother him and he never had an encounter with them…guess it was a mutual standoff….this went on for three years or so, got to the point I would talk to him through the screen door he never acted up or even acted in a confrontational way. The same with wolves during my frequent camping sessions in the Rockies……they would normally avoid coming close or acting aggressively, at night I would have nocturnal visitors and could see their prints in the morning, but never a situation that needed to be dealt with. Also my three chows would at times play with the coyotes who lived in the area like kids on the playground…..never a confrontation just mutual curiosity………talking with ranchers in the area, there was never a story about any cattle losses due to packs of coyotes, wolves, or even mountain lions. Most people do not have the first hand experience to understand most critters are willing to share the country and just have a innate curiosity about people …….so remember be aware, be armed, but don’t be alarmed most critters are not going to bother you in the outdoors, in my experience I have never met or even heard any serious attacks by wolves, let alone coyotes

  15. On the biking outdoor please be aware, as down outside of Vegas, last week we lost a good friend who was cycling with twenty others with a chase car following …….and a box truck traveling way beyond the speed limit passed the chase car and plowed into the group killing the friend and four others……..it was later determined that the box truck driver was high on meth…( but another reason to legalize drugs)….so stay safe, watch the vehicles.

    1. Yes very interesting John, what part of Colorado did you live in where the wolves were at? And just a warning, never run from a predator, it only tends to trigger their attack mode. Trekker Out

  16. TR: As per a request from Seymour Liberty, the article about a newly discovered element is being re-posted here, but not without some alteration:

    Heavier than Gold, Govenmenttim (Gv) The Abundant Stuff of Black Holes.

    The closest relative to myself with any evidence of serious brain power, was a Great Uncle who once headed the chemical engineering part of DuPont, and then later DuPont. His patents on polymers were some the earliest. However, I did not care for chemistry, but gravitate toward physics from time to time, in a random sort of way. Perhaps that is why l like studying ballistics, and physicists, the pre-Quantum Mechanics stuff, that which is relative to our Constitution. I’m still on the Newtonian Theory thing, and enjoy the simpler aspects, such as the idea that two spheres of lead of different masses, do attain the same velocity when dropped from the same height. Also of significance, is that for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    Fortunately, from time to time, something new catches my eye, and brings me back to the wonders of Physics 101. Although the article neglects those pesky subatomic particles such stranglets, quarks, quacks, and wackos, that which is fundamental to the persist half life of govenmentium (Gv), this is yet, an interesting discovery and read.


    MAGPIE:SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH has led to the discovery of the heaviest element yet known. The new element, governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

    These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, according to the team of research scientists in Budapest, it can be detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

    Governmentium has a normal half-life of two to six years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganisation in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

    In fact, governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganisation will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

    When catalysed with money, governmentium becomes administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.


    1. T.R.
      Great post! Just an observation, but sometimes when one element is exposed to another element it changes the nature of that second element. Perhaps that is why when Governmentium is exposed to Ammunition it changes to Unobtanium.

      As always, hoping we all…
      Seymour Liberty

  17. A few years back we moved from the state no one will admit they are from to a place in the middle of a nature preserve. I’ve always been a walker and enjoyed a stroll down the main road most mornings. Occasionally I would see some big headed dogs crossing the road in a certain spot. Turns out this city girl didn’t recognize wolves. Then our pastor told me that I wouldn’t see a cougar, I’d feel him on the back of my neck. We also spotted some strange circular red spots that looked like a deer bed gone wrong. I love the country, but also love being able to be outside without sharing the outdoors with things that see me as a good meal. So when we hit the age where snow shoveling can bring on a trip to the ER, we decided to move to a place where people outnumber the wildlife. We’re in a little town now, but I still miss that time in the “wild.” I love to relate these tales to people pondering a move to the country. Yep. Doing my part the keep city folk out of your woods. You’re welcome.

  18. I was able to do make a road trip to to see our Redoubt family and got back this morning.

    If you cross Montana, I suggest you make a stop at Wheat Montana, just west of Three Forks. I often do, and stopped there to load up more ballast for tire traction: 100 pounds of good Montana wheat berries.

    We’ve been crossing Montana for many decades now. I must say it is disconcerting to see how many people are crammed into the Missoula valley. I thought of the scenes depicted in Patriot. That part of the narrative pales in comparison to what the potential would be now.

    Another thing that startled me was the extremely low percentage of homes which had a smokestack. There is plenty of coal and wood for fuel, and natural gas lines to many towns and cities. If you are in the region, get your home or liveable shop equipped with a burner.

    Coal can be a great heat source but ensure you have good ventilation and exhaust because the combustion fumes can and have killed. Our coal stoker furnace was the warmest heater we ever had, but it stunk and was dirty.

    If the power goes out will be no fans for forced air furnaces and most modern furnaces have a burner system which requires electricity. The whole region from the Dakotas to Idaho is totally vulnerable to power outage. Beware, and be prepared.

    It was a rare treat to see primers on the counter there, and actually see some 9mm and .40 on the shelf for sale. The left coast has been out of those for many months.

    We are settled in for some refreshing rains to come into our home zone. Now that the reservoirs are all full again, and the hayfield allows us to sink in hock-deep (Translation, up to a bovine or equine ‘knees’) when we perambulate there afoot, it is time for the Lord of Hosts to cut loose the flood waters of the heavens as he stretches out His mighty arm.

    To close, here is what Fats Kaplin has to say about Wolves!


    God Bless

    1. Good advice on stocking up IN BULK. It saves money and time and it also puts more of the very well deserved profit in the farmers pocket not some multi-national food processor (read “food contaminator”). In my neck of the woods there are literally thousands of acres of dry edible beans being farmed. My boss rents out all his irrigated land to a bean farmer (kidney beans). We currently grow oats on the dryland. All I / we need to do is get a small thresher to finish getting the hull off of the oats and then have a way of rolling it and we will have a life time supply of pesticide free fresh oatmeal. I love oatmeal with raisins in the morning for breakfast. The downside of living in a farming area is that there is a lot of GMO corn and GMO soybeans in the area. So far our sweetcorn has not been contaminated with Frankenfood. Yet.

      Buying in bulk is always a good move. I agree.

      1. David, If you get the thresher and roller, I will be your first oats buyer! I love, love, love oatmeal. Not to mention it is excellent in baking. Blessings on your day, Krissy

  19. The first time I read through the new Retreats & Relocation, I felt the same way I do while reading through SB archives: like I was drinking from a fire hose. My eyes look like this: O.O (right before they glaze over and I stumble away for more chocolate or coffee or BOTH)

    But now, after several false starts in which I’ve encountered a ghosting realtor, deal breakers in properties, or properties that look very promising but are already sold by the time I call for more info… There is one in particular that we’re beginning to seriously consider, having spoken to the realtor, and so I’m re-reading the book again. Checking all the maps. Visiting the suggested resource websites. Printing off the chapter-end checklists and checkin ’em twice. And by golly…..it is MAKING SENSE!

    This place looks really great for a retreat location. Middle of nowhere in the Appalachian Redoubt, acreage, livable home almost as big as what we have now, …and I could pay cash if I significantly raided my retirement. Bottom-of-the-barrel as far as the “conventional” lists go: educational quality (we homeschool), restaurants and “culture” way far away, low incomes (husband works remotely in a relatively stable field, and even his VA disability would exceed the median area income), almost the very bottom of the country for life expectancy (attributed to smoking, obesity and low physical activity–we don’t smoke, and I’m not sure how to accomplish lack of physical activity on such an interesting acreage)…

    …is this crazy? We may go check it out right after Christmas. This is crazy, isn’t it. My suburban warm-weather-acclimated normalcy bias says this is crazy. My life history to date, however, is full of conventionally-crazy big ideas that all led to right where God wanted me. So I’m sitting on the kitchen floor amongst the bucketed vegetable plants (temporarily hauled in from the “cold”) and big sacks of staples, listening to the worship service streaming in the other room, and continuing to pray like crazy. It would have been a lot easier to be wrong about something like this when I was single with a much higher income, than now with all of these little humans depending on me.

    Also my husband planted a few seeds with the littles this week. They’re coming up on the kitchen counter now, so fast we can watch their progress hour by hour. I hope that this is not just a physical, but also a symbolic sprouting, for a lot of things.

    1. Due to a longer (and usually warmer) growing season I would probably pick the Appalachian Redoubt over the inland northwest Redoubt. However, the later has lower population density overall, but being a gardener who likes to eat I would probably still pick the Appalachian Redoubt or perhaps some rural part of Tennessee or Kentucky. (My Minnesota accent would betray me in Tennessee, but probably not as much so in Idaho or Montana. – Just sayin’) I’ve noticed that a lot of people do not consider the food production aspect of prepping or at least they put it so far down on the list that it ends up near the bottom. I tend to put it much higher on the list. About 6 months ago I wrote an extensive response to someone here on SB about relocating and choosing a suitable location for gardening. I’ve posted a link to my previous comment below:
      It is way easier to amend a soil that is low on minerals than it is to make a very sandy soil productive. The Appalachian soils are lower in calcium than most of the inland northwest, which is very easy to fix with the appropriate type of limestone. No problem there.

      From a conservative lifestyle perspective I am probably more in line with the northwest, but rural Appalachia does have conservative folks out in the country too. As far as your experience with the “ghosting realtor” I will have to say that most of them are just in it for the money so there will be quite a few leftists out there. I’ve met some who were very informative and helpful and I think they enjoyed me sitting in their office chatting as much as I enjoyed being out of my “little hiding spot”. I never got on the topic of religion, politics or any subject that would label me as “a prepper”. So for what it’s worth … Good luck on your search.

      1. Thank you D&G! Funny you should mention that specific comment here now, because since JWR had quoted you about it in the book, I had just finished looking up the property’s soil information on that very website. 🙂 The CEC came back as a 23, so not too far off of your optimal range. I’m hoping we could truck in topsoil if needed, but also as we compost and obtain chickens, goats, etc that that would help as well. Food sustainability and independence is pretty high up on my list. Gardening will be a steep learning curve for me but I know there is a wealth of good information here and in many other places.

        1. Bear, You made my day! When I read CEC of 23 that really put a smile on my face. With a reading like that you will probably not need to bring in any topsoil. Since those figures are based partly on “radiometric” measurements there may be a 10% discrepancy either up or down from that figure. So any number between 20 to 26 may be the actual CEC if you were to do a soil test by a competent Albrecht lab. The bottom lands here where I farm / garden are about 21. The strength of your soil will be it’s drought resilience will be better than other soils. The weakness of that soil will be in rainy very wet weather. This potential problem will be magnified if the soil has too much magnesium in relation to the calcium, but that can be corrected. So don’t be too distressed over that possibility. I’m just mentioning it as info. I would much rather have a soil of 23 than 10. The higher the number the longer it will take to get the soil balanced, but once you do it will be worth more than a gold mine in hard times when food is traded like it were money. I do personally believe that good quality food WILL in the future be used for barter.

          As far as your comment about “Gardening will be a steep learning curve for me…” You just need a good “ladder” and it will be not much of a problem. One thing I’ve noticed about the SB community is that they have a higher IQ than the average population so a “steep learning curve” will actually translate into “an easily traversible incline”. Many garden books about vegetable culture are somewhere between “useful” to “good”, however when they come to soil chemistry / soil balancing they are severely defective. Books written by Neal Kinsey, Gary Zimmer, Dr Arden Andersen, etc. are good books. I have heard lectures by all three, read books by the first two and visited Neal’s consulting service over a decade ago.

          And yes, my article about soil testing / amending is still in progress. A lot of technical stuff that I need to translate into “English” so that it will be meaningful and useful for gardeners.

    2. “…and I could pay cash if I significantly raided my retirement.”

      Hey Bear, that’s partly what I did. Paid the 10% penalty, paid the taxes, and never looked back. There’s nothing like owning your property free and clear, finally living the dream, and living the self-reliant life I’ve dreamed about my whole life. Waiting until I retired at a normal age seemed crazy, I’d be too old and worn out to accomplish all I wanted to. It was a no-brainer choice for me, another benefit of being a frugal minimalist. Sounds like you found a great location. I only used the state statistics the get a general idea, then started looking at county information (which can be very different than the state numbers) and then applying only those items that pertained to me, as it appears you’re already doing (i.e. who cares about the quality of the school systems if you’re home schooling). Good luck in locating your ideal property!

      1. Thanks St! Yeah, I’m thinking the penalties (whatever hasn’t been waived because The Year Of The Covid) are worth it, and with this many little exemptions running around at my knees, the taxes aren’t too big of a concern. Plus it removes the pressure to have to list our current home and relocate right away, away from relatives. Assuming we have at least a little time left, we could fix up that place (continually impressing upon said relatives look how nice it’s turning out, look how big the kids are getting, and don’t you want to come for an extended visit??) and do a few curb-appeal updates to increase our eventual asking price for this one. And also keep my son around here long enough that hopefully the surgeon who put the hardware IN can also be the guy to take it OUT when that comes due. If things accelerate past bear-ability, (vaccine mandates? Which I don’t see happening down here as they’ve not mandated masks either), well then it’s plan B or Q or Aleph-null or whatever we’re up to now. Balanced with the knowledge that a last minute GOOD trip of twelve hours in aged vehicles with all the littles would be pretty much impossible. Aggghhh, I have way way too many variables and not nearly a big enough matrix to plug them all into to begin to sort em out. But hey I guess that’s life!!

        1. Hi, Bear, Three years ago after my divorce was final, I cashed in a retirement account so I could buy a house near my grandkids without having a mortgage. I knew too many people over the decades who had lost their homes. My attorney begged me not to do it, but I did, and I have never regretted it once. It gave me peace. Of course, at that time, I also thought we had at least 15 years before bad times would hit us. Hence, I bought near grandkids, and not in the Redoubt.

          All of that to say, we each live unto the Lord and follow His guidance.

          Please see your post on last Saturday for my reply and offer to help, should you want it. If it isn’t me, the Lord will send you other helpers. I completely believe this. Blessings on your search! Krissy

          1. Oh Krissy wow, just wow… I went back and read your other message and you’ve seriously brought tears to my eyes. Thank you SO MUCH for your words of encouragement and your super generous offer. I can’t even say how much you’ve boosted my spirits. I’ve taught my kids over and over about the story of Esther, thinking that they too may rise up to save people one day…. And somehow, my focus was shifted until I forgot that I’M far from done yet either, and I personally have a ton more to do before the next generation takes over! I used to be all about the long shots and the rescue missions and the reckless love, and the intervening years have really taken a toll and shrunk my focus. Mr. Walking Wounded and Mrs. Collateral Damage, we make quite a pair in this house…*chuckle* But you’re totally right: God’s gonna do it. He will give me strength, whether to move everyone cross country or to just wash the dishes. I used to tell my friends all the time when we first got the kids home that we were SO FAR IN over our heads, that this whole thing was God’s crazy idea and so He was going to have to work it out somehow because there was just no other possible way. And nothing’s changed really, least of all His eternal nature. He is working it out and will continue to lead us all if we only listen.

            I’m going to talk to my financial advisor (who will hit the roof I am sure, lol…but maybe not cause he’s sort of a prepper himself!) and the realtor today. We’ll see what happens! Thank you so so much for your prayers. We are blessed to have all four grandparents local, so thank you so much for your generous offer but why don’t you stay close to your family for now, especially in these times… I sure do look forward to meeting you someday, in one Redoubt or another (whether NW, Appalachian or Heavenly)! We would go through GALLONS of tea and cocoa and coffee swapping stories, wouldn’t we?? (Yep I argued with my attorney too, lol.)

            Sending huge hugs! <3

  20. So glad your wolf adventure turned out to be benign A.L! Sorry to hear about your bike accident JWR, reading that made me cringe, ouch!
    Nice to hear everyone has been busy with preps and/or holiday preparations, and grand babies.
    We brought our three hogs home from the butcher and they filled two large upright freezers. Luckily I had enough room to stash my edible fats until after the holiday, then I can render and can lard. I also plan on canning two of the hogs.
    My husband has been busy building more tall, wide cupboards that will hold toiletries on one side and medical supplies on the other.
    For our anniversary we bought a large restaurant style stainless steel bakers rack with castors that we will mount our grow lights on to start seeds. I can also use it to cure my onions and garlic when I harvest those. I also put in three seed orders.
    I ordered a crown Berkeley water filtered about a month ago and it just shipped so I’m pretty excited about that.
    I finished all my Christmas baking and I finished Christmas tamales today.
    I’m just about ready for the quiet time of winter.

  21. Glad that the bike wreck and the wolf incident were separate!

    I had a bike wreck where a dog was chasing me, and I ended up under the bike. Then, after rectifying that situation, and using the bike as a shield, the dog would not let me leave. (Of course, it was the odd day when I wasn’t packing.) After a bit of yelling, a neighbor (not the dog owner) came out and threw a rock at the dog. The dog picked up the rock and ran into the house. The only injury was to the front tire of the bike, which was fixed by adjusting the spokes.

    Awesome wolf encounter, ma’am. Just wondering why you didn’t grab something with more range? Hopefully, you’re a much better pistol shot than I am, but if the wolves are approaching with 40+ mph potential, I’d rather not let them get within range of my Glock, particularly if there is more than one of them coming from different directions simultaneously.

    Anyway, it was really cool that they were curious enough to follow you home!

    Most likely, they wouldn’t attack you on the first encounter. Seems that their hunting pattern is to let the prey become accustomed to their presence, while they learn about the prey. Then, when the attack comes, it is a total blindside.

    So, don’t let them get too familiar.

    Here, within the decade, we had neighbors who were true wolf-lovers. They had a trail between the house and the garage about 300 yards long through the forest. One day, four wolves “appeared” as they walked this trail, and attacked their dog right in front of them! (The pet was a female, FYI.) They fired a “warning shot” that scared the wolves off, but had to spend thousands of dollars at the vet’s office repairing the dog’s throat. (The amazing thing was that they were actually carrying a gun. They almost didn’t, that day.)

    That experience altered everyone’s attitude. The dog was their only “child,” and they had to re-think their zeal for importing wolves. And, the dog has hated all things canine ever since! And, it seems they decided to get a “better” gun for walking in the woods–even though the one they had had worked fine. They just needed to decide to use it more decisively, if any better results were desired.

    I watched their house for several years after they moved, until it sold, and saw wolf tracks many times on that stretch of trail.

    A final detail of wolf behavior: If you see one, watch your backside. They routinely expose themselves briefly, then circle around and come in from the opposite direction, knowing that you’ll be fixiated on where you saw them last.

    1. Oh no! I am not a wolf lover. It was just an interesting encounter. These wolves were just passing through. There is so much forest around here and our valley is so narrow, it’s not worth sticking in here. If they come around again, they will be firmly discouraged. It was and better remain a very unusual event. They did not follow me, home, only came back to our open meadow to check me out, but I was already gone and up on our porch and they were way out in the open meadow which is about a football field away.

      1. The wolves the govt. has been “reintroducing” were not originally in the majority of the 48 lower states, so they are not being “reintroduced.” These are being “introduced” from Canada.
        The wolves that originally populated the lower 48 were roughly half the size of the Grey Wolves/Timber Wolves being brought in. These new wolves are very large and at times weigh 130-150 pounds. Some are even bigger.
        The original lower 48 wolves, such as Red Wolves and Mexican Wolves have bred themselves into near extinction by crossing with coyotes. Some of these crosses I’ve harvested have weighed as much as 70-85 pounds.
        Keep in mind, and you can verify it, wolves AND coyotes (perhaps crosses) have killed humans.
        If your local normal prey for these wild canines is thinning out, then they will take your domestic animals. Coyotes love to kill and eat domestic cats and dogs as well as livestock.
        The “new” wolves will kill coyotes just as coyotes will kill foxes.
        Most of the wolf species will interbreed as well as breed with coyotes and feral dogs.
        All are very cunning, so beware.

        Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
        Semper Fi

        1. Batteau… You are right.

          From your post: “All are very cunning, so beware. ”

          Wild animals are wild, and any of the Caninae (dogs, wolves, foxes) are potentially very dangerous.

          In our area, coyotes are the primary concern. Their population and activity levels rise and fall. When we get signals related to pack activity, farmers in the area will generally kill them related to attacks on livestock (mostly smaller animals, but not always).

          We do also have quite a few foxes, but they are mostly pest-level concerns with regard to the safety of chickens.

          1. Well,

            Two other neighbors reported to me that the wolves are sticking around in this area. 🙁

            It’s been four days since I saw them. Both neighbors had tracks around their homes, one of them within twenty feet of his house and in their driveways today, and yesterday! Their ranches are not fenced and back directly up against the National forest. We are tucked in between the river and the local road with the national forest on the other side of the river and road.

            One neighbor found fresh wolf scat next to his mailbox. One saw two sets of tracks and the other had four sets of tracks. He reported that one set of the tracks were as large as a grapefruit!

            This afternoon before dark, I put the calves and their mothers inside our cow shed and closed the doors for the night. I put the horses and bull in the corral together. The fence is five to six feet high. They’ll give the wolves a run for their money if they enter the corrals. The horses have been staring off into the trees in all directions for the past few days…Today, the three of them, horses and bull, went to the south pasture/woods together and then ran back as a tight group, over to the loafing area that I was cleaning. Hmmm! Not their usual behavior. The girls are content to stay in the house, except when Miss Eloise goes to work. I am only going out to do chores during daylight hours. I am carrying both my Glock and a Black one while out and am on very high alert, remaining within the area of the barn, parking area and house. The cats will be kept in for awhile. I am constantly looking out all windows watching the driveway, meadows, and mountains for movement. If they come on the ranch, I will shoot at them! Covid hasn’t affected our movement and freedom out here, but these wolves now are! Grr!

  22. Ow! JWR!!! My son did that during a “bike hike” with his Boy Scout troop last summer, right over the handlebars and splattered into a tree. I thought my heart would leap out of my throat as I watched it happen and thought for certain he might be dead, but he shook it off, straightened out the mangled tire of his bicycle, and wobbled along after the rest of the troop.

    This week I picked up 5 pork shoulders on sale at $.79 cents a pound, deboned them, and pressure-canned 31 pounds of pork shoulder and a quart of bone broth (made soup with the rest). Rendered the fat and got 2 pints, one “white fat” good for biscuits and pie shells, the other “golden fat” which is good for sauteing onions or lean meat. Oh, and made chicharróns with the pork skins (those never last five minutes with the kids around).

    Also picked up 5 stalks of celery on sale for $.99 cents at Aldi’s, chopped them up, and threw them in the food dehydrator. It’s amazing how much celery shrinks! Due to this year’s drought and water restrictions, both our own garden, as well as our CSA farmshare, seriously under-produced, so now I’m playing catch-up with conventional produce as it goes on sale.

  23. A.L.:

    While initially looking for a G.O.O.D. place in northern Wisconsin a number of years ago, I had a similar experience.

    Except mine was with a bear.

    Unbeknownst to me, while checking out the property (it was about 10 acres) I stumbled upon “Mama bear.” Needless to say, she wasn’t happy. I was probably 50 yards from her, and upon noticing her (Thank the good Lord that I noticed her before she noticed me!) I drew my Glock 21 and then high tailed it out of there like Carl Lewis! Needless to say, my heart was pounding. I got to my truck as fast as I could and, after locking the door, took off. Thankfully I don’t believe she followed me, but I never bothered to check…

    I have since purchased a different property where the most dangerous things are a bunch of turkeys that wander onto my property.

    1. 😉

      I totally get it.

      During the third or fourth year here, I took the kids Huckleberry picking way up on a mountain on a forest road. The slope above the SUV was incredibly steep with a hedge just above the road of a ton of very close growing alders to crawl through to get to the berries. It was so steep that I slipped a bit and had to use my hands to hang onto bushes going up. I wondered how on earth I would get back down without killing myself? But I wanted those berries. After a bit the kids went back to the car, which I could see directly below me. I picked and picked. Suddenly, something caused me to look up the very steep slope. Above me, maybe fifty feet, a young fir tree’s lower branches were moving in an unusual way at it’s base. I couldn’t see anything. I looked around to see if there was wind. Nope. Even though I was carrying a pistol, I whipped around and started down that steep slope licket-ty split. The steep slope turned out not to be the problem, I thought it would be. I got to the alders and couldn’t go through them. I ended up sitting on them bending them over the road. I sat for a second on them to catch my breath and then heard the bear’s distinct warning hoot. Oh great! I forced my way over the bent alders and dropped about six feet down to the road right at the SUV and jumped in. I never looked back, either.

      We’ve seen bears (black) a few hundred feet off the trail while hiking in Glacier.

      On two occasions, I have chased a young bear, about the size of a black lab, even smaller than the dog, off our property, while yelling and banging on a very large stainless steel bowl. I treed one of them, and it snapped/clapped it’s jaws in warning at me. It was small and weak from a long winter of starvation. I was much bigger than it. But, I didn’t push my luck, either. I just treed it along the outside of our fence line, and yelled some more and banged the bowl and then left. It didn’t return.

      Once, after, some terrible fires in our region, a large bear, we have no idea what kind, came into our ranch during the night and chewed a hole in one of the chicken nest boxes and ate three young turkeys. We called the local bear team to come out and trap it, but it never returned, thankfully. I have not ever seen a mountain lion on our ranch, but Miss Eloise saw the backside and tail of one as we pulled into the driveway, once. Also, one moonlit night after a family campfire, number one son was dating his soon to be wife, went down to the river. While returning to the house, they saw what they thought was a mountain lion. As they started back up to the house, the cows raced from the woods surrounding one side of the house meadow, through the house meadow and up to the house with a long animal with a long tail very low to the ground chasing behind them. However, when the cows turned up towards the house, the animal kept running straight and entered into woods on the other side of the meadow and probably went right off the property. Number one son woke us all up. Actually, we had all just barely settled down for the night and we all went out with flashlights and pistols, yelling and looking for the cows to make sure they were okay. They were. And we couldn’t get them to go into the cow shed, so we just left them and went back to bed.

      I have seen a mountain lion cross the road in front of me about eight miles from the ranch, one sunny fall afternoon.

      We have definitely seen and experienced numerous wildlife encounters here. I love seeing the animals and knowing they’re here as long as they mind their own business.

  24. Wolf attacks in the U.S. are extremely rare, grizzly attacks are quite common, many bear attacks seem to be kept quiet, I don’t know if they don’t want to give the griz a bad rep, because they’re afraid a hunting season might be opened on them, but it just seems most attacks get a hush, hush. Wolves in NW Wyoming are about as much loved by the locals as Liberals are. I don’t have a love/hate relationship with Wolves or Grizzlies as many people do. I spend a lot of time in the mountains and actually feel like the Larger predators give the mountains a true wilderness feeling that you don’t get any where else, this is not the same feeling you get in some city park where a coyote might cross your path. Wolves and Grizzlies need to be managed, and that means “killing them” so as to keep them under control and fearful of humans. Keep Wild Thing Wild. Trekker Out

  25. It’s official, says Dan Scavino… President Donald J. Trump is NOT conceding. We never thought he would, but it’s great to hear it from one of his trusted aides!


    Meanwhile… YouTube appears to have taken down the opening statement by President Trump’s attorney to the Senate. Thanks to The Gateway Pundit for preserving the record. You can hear the statement of Attorney Jesse Binnall here.


    With regard to Nevada…

    Attorney Binnall says that over 42,000 individuals voted more than once. This was determined using the actual list of voters and comparing the list to other voters with the same name, address, and date of birth. This strategy caught people using variations of a first name (example given was “William” and “Bill”). It also caught people using maiden and married names.

    At least 1,500 dead people are said to be recorded as voting. This was determined by the comparison of voting records with Social Security death records.

    Attorney Binnall further reports that more than 19,000 people voted even though they do no live in Nevada. To clarify, he says this does NOT include military voters or students. The US Postal Service national change of address database was used to identify these voters.

    But wait… There is more.

    Attorney Binnall says that about 8,000 people voted from non-existent addresses. An address coding system was used to identify “undeliverable addresses”.

    Over 15,000 votes were cast from vacant or commercial addresses. These were identified using official US Postal databases that include addresses vacant for more than 90 days.

    About 4,000 non-citizens voted, and were confirmed by DMV records.

    Experts identified 130,000 unique occurrences of voter fraud in Nevada alone. Attorney Binnall believes the number of fraud events was actually higher. He confirms that the findings were not determined by statistical analysis, but by investigating actual individual voters via other lists, most of which are publicly available. The evidence, Binnall says, has never been refuted, and only ignored.

    Binnall’s presentation is even more damning. He says that the number of votes recorded by voting machines and stored on USB drives would change between the time the vote counting closed at night and then reopened again in the morning.

    What happened to those votes — appearing and disappearing — in the dead of night?

    Binnall says that they were denied a forensic examination of the voting machines, and only allowed a useless visual examination of the outside of a USB drive.

    …and this does not include the illegal incentives offered voters who received raffle tickets and other prizes on proof they voted.

    The team was able to assemble all of this information without any help from law enforcement, and while being stonewalled on multiple fronts from election officials to courts.

    I would add that you can count on the FACT that this same story will repeat itself in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, and New Mexico – probably also in North Carolina, and Virginia.

    Contrary to the idea that there is no evidence… There is PLENTY OF EVIDENCE.

  26. I haven’t managed to accomplish much this week. I came down with COVID on Monday. I have been holed up in two rooms in the house trying to keep away from the family. I did go out yesterday and sharpen the chain saw and cut up a tree trunk into chunks ready for the splitter.

    1. BuckeyeEngineer, I have four friends that have contracted COVID and all have recovered. Ages 57, 67, 74 and 74. The last two are husband and wife. So I’m sure you can beat it. God Bless.

  27. I just wanted to say that I moved way out in the boonies, off-grid, five years ago, after working and planning for it for ten years before that. I keep a low profile, and rarely comment here, but I have been reading this blog since 2007.

    I feel a great reluctance to face what is coming in this country, even though I took what steps I could to prepare for it. I am not nearly as prepared as many of you here, but I do hunt and have a large garden almost exclusively done with heirloom seeds that has served us well for the last ten years. It’s also gonna be quite a chore for this aging body to cut and split firewood without a chainsaw if it comes to that. Hopefully, the solar panels will work for a long time.

    I think most of my reluctance has come with age, and a few serious medical problems in the lat year or two. I’ve been knocked down hard three times, medically, but I keep getting back up. I feel like Daffy Duck in the Robin Hood skit – “Yoinks, and away!” over and over and weaker each time. I don’t want to fight, but am losing the ability. I don’t want to lose what I have worked for, but deep evil is afoot and brazenly walking the earth now. We’ll do what we can/have to when the time comes, I guess.

    On wolves, we see them from time to time, close enough to see in their eyes that they are not afraid of us. I don’t trust them, as fascinating as it is to see them once in awhile. They will be in my sights if the balloon does go up, as they are competition here, where they have been allowed to seriously over-populate due to tree-huggers running things.

    So, this reluctance and foreboding I am feeling. Is it just me? There is normalcy bias here, in my home, too, that I can’t seem to crack. Sometimes I think I went too far off the grid, as I don’t have the comfort of a group of like-minded neighbors in quantity. There is quality in the very few neighbors I do have, though. Well enough meandering, I guess.

  28. C.L., stick around here; you will learn a lot. This group is fantastic and the Rawles family is awesome. Please contribute when you can; everyone has experience to share.

    Things are worrisome right now; no one know what will happen except God. Read and ponder the scriptures, pray and keep trying.

    Merry Christmas!

  29. Reply to Avalanche Lily re: those wolves… Sounds as though you may have pack activity in your area. Packs are like mobs, and they’re very dangerous. You are really wise to take all the safety precautions described in your post above, and to stay the course. A companion dog to alert you to any potential pack scouts or intruders while in the garden during the day might be a good idea. The key to safety is to maximize the time between the warning signal and any encounter. One way to do this is with a four legged buddy who can sound the alarm and give you time to get to safety, and one that will intervene to fight with and for you if needed.

  30. Avalanche Lily, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. Thank you.

    Tunnel Rabbit, thanks for the laugh!

    Bear, I live in the Appalachian Redoubt and love it. I’m lucky enough to live at a high elevation with a small population but enjoy cultural amenities and great restaurants. However, it is a very pricey place to live unless you miraculously find a bargain as I did. Unfortunately, with Covid and the relocation of so many, houses are selling in one day for top prices. But there’s plenty of water and the gardening is great in certain areas. Also, I think now is a great time to relocate. Best of luck to you.

    BuckeyeEngineer, I hope you get well soon.

    CL – The foreboding you are feeling is shared by many I believe, certainly me. And the normalcy bias is worrisome. Your words “deep evil is afoot and brazenly walking the earth now” is haunting. Because it is true. I hope we all have enough time left to be as prepared as possible. I will up my prayers for sure.

    This week was good, if mostly unproductive. We celebrated my son’s 21st birthday with a drive out of state and got the chance to visit relatives we hadn’t seen in some time. We continued work on the new store. The “hardwood” floors look great. We took nice, smooth plywood and ripped it, nailed it down like old fashioned plank floors, primed/painted/poly’d it and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Looks fantastic and it was so much cheaper than traditional hardwoods. Most of the carpentry work was completed as well. All that’s left is small punch list items, touch up paint, moving 4 electrical outlets, hanging light fixtures and cleaning. Lots of cleaning. There’s construction dust everywhere. Then we’ll be stocking and decorating. As far as my prepping, I didn’t get too much done. I did find 10 lb containers of Augason Farms Rolled Oats on sale again so I got some more of those. And I took inventory of my barter alcohol. Wow, I have a lot! I guess it’s a good thing I’m not a heavy drinker or I wouldn’t have much to barter with in the future. Sadly, that’s all I got done. Not enough.

    I hope everyone had a wonderful week. Merry Christmas and God Bless. Please pray for our country.

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