Editors’ Prepping Progress

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

Jim Reports:

I’m starting to get packed up for my drive back to the ranch.  Early this morning I reactivated the shopping cart system at Elk Creek Company, so all of our antique guns should now be orderable. I set some special sale prices on most of the rifles. But be advised that shipments won’t take place until after I get back to the ranch on January 2nd or 3rd. Thanks for your patience.

While I’ve been gone on this out-of-state trip, Lily has been able to get by without any snow plowing. But looking at the long-range weather forecast, it looks like I will have plenty of plowing to do, in January. Time will tell.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
I have a lot of natural phenomena to report from this past week I saw a Golden Eagle, a couple of Bald Eagles, and the Tundra Swans are back in our local waterways. Beautiful birds those swans are.

I saw the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction in the constellation Capricorn on the 22nd after the clouds cleared out of our area. That was an interesting sight. This is not the “Bethlehem Star”, as you might have read elsewhere.  When that conjunction occurred in 2-3 B.C., the planets were Jupiter and Venus. Jupiter represented the New King and Venus represented the Bright Morning star. August 12, 3 BC Jupiter–Venus in the morning and on June 17, 2 BC Jupiter–Venus in the evening.  I do not know what constellation they were in.  At this time, I believe that Jupiter and Saturn in Capricorn may be announcing the soon coming of the New World/One World Order’s “President”, the Antichrist. Jupiter symbolizes the New King, Saturn symbolizes a Hunter/Nimrod, and Capricorn represents the goat/Baphomet which refers to Satan. So therefore in a nutshell a New Warrior Hunter King of Satan is coming upon the earth soon….  Watch, time will tell.

Israel dissolved it’s government of the Likud/Blue and White Coalition government that had the two heads of Benjamin Netanyahu and Benjamin Gantz. They will be going to their fourth elections in two years.  I don’t think they will succeed in ever forming a coalition government again. So I am thinking that perhaps a great leader will rise up, who will be the Antichrist but will be considered their “Messiah ben Joseph” who will be a warring Messiah and will rule the world from Jerusalem.  I think we are on the cusp of these biblical events happening. But only time will tell…   It’s all speculation.  Again, I say, Watch for we know not what hour these things will occur and when OUR Jesus will return in the clouds.  But we do know that we are in the season of His return.

Well, then, more about the wolves: Neighbors called me at the beginning of the week to inform me of large wolf tracks around one of their homes, within twenty feet of the house, and wolf scat at their mailbox. Additionally some wolf tracks were observed going up their driveways.  It looks as though there is a pack of at least four. At the end of the week, I called the neighbors to find out if they have seen more tracks after the recent snowfall.  They haven’t.  I meant to go out to our meadow to look around for fresh tracks on Christmas but ended up going to visit some friends, instead. So hopefully, the wolves may have decided to leave now.  Time will tell.

At the beginning of the week, our cows and horses were constantly gazing off into the forests all around our ranch. They seemed to be on alert for the wolves.  Therefore, all week long I have been putting the cows and their calves in the shed at night and closing the doors, and putting the horses and bull into the corrals.  Usually, this winter, the bull and horses have had the run of the ranch, while the heifer calves and their mothers have been in the corrals. Since the heifers are coming into heat now but are too young to be bred,  I have been keeping them corralled away from the bull and keeping the bull out to run with the horses. So, I have to now, get the cows and heifers in the shed at night, close them in, then invite the bull and horses into the corrals and close them in.  In the morning, I let the bull and horses out of the corrals and let them run the ranch, then I let the cows and heifers out into the corrals for the day.  It’s a little bit of a rodeo twice a day.  However, it’s amazing how quickly the animals get into a new routine and obey the commands.

Keeping the cows and heifers in at night has necessitated my mucking out the sheds every morning.

Because of the wolves being nearby of late, I have been sticking close to the house. I never go outside without at least my Glock .45, and when I walk any distance from the house I’ve also carried my Maxim arm-braced M4 pistol. That speaks with more authority than Mister Glock.

I have listened to an hour of Ezekiel this week and will finish it this coming week.

I am not really prepping much these past two weeks, as you can see — just maintaining what God has given us.

I do have two specific projects that I am thinking of working on very soon.  Those I will tell you about as I do them.

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.




78 Comments

  1. I hope everyone had a wonderful and spiritual Christmas celebration. Did not get much prepping done this week as tried to help some of our country neighbors instead. Made a huge cabbage and sausage casserole and cornbread, then packed it up boxes with snacks and a few chocolates. On Christmas eve, we delivered food and small gifts to the elderly couple and single vets living down the road in the woods. I spent some quiet time in front of the wood stove pondering the great love of our Savior; praying I can become more like Him.

    While sitting around the wood stove, I continue to crochet winter skull caps and hats. I get yarn at the thrift stores so it doesn’t cost hardly anything to make them. The men like dark, solid colors, the women like two-tone variegated colors and the children like the bright colors. I collect them all and take them up to the local food bank or shelter where they are distributed to those who need/want them.

    Groomed two of the dogs and pulled all the dog coats and sweaters out of storage, as the single digit cold weather is upon us this weekend. Earlier, we put up the rabbit cage wrapping to keep the wind and rain out of the cages. Pulled out the case of Hand Warmers and put them in all the rabbit cages with fresh straw to help them stay warm over night. The chickens are all puffed up and look like they are little round Pillsbury dough girls. We should warm up on Sunday, but it will be below freezing at night for a while. We hate chopping ice water every morning; even the heaters don’t keep the water containers from freezing when it’s this cold.

    My son put together the new pole digger attachment for the tractor, then added the auger. Did a couple of practice holes to make sure everything worked as it should. It certainly is faster to do fencing and tree planting!

    May the peace and joy of Christmas extend into the new year.

      1. Once a Marine, I love veterans and I will do what ever I can to honor and help any American vet! Where would this country be without our veterans? There would be no freedom and no United States of America without veterans.

        My ancestors have served this country since stepping of the ships from Europe, before the Revolutionary War. Every generation has men and women who sacrificed in every war and conflict the USA has been involved in up until the latest mid-east conflict. Sadly now, my kids are too old and my grand children to young, for active duty. But, believe me, we will still serve in other ways. Probably the resistance, which will be coming soon.

        Thanks for the link, Fountain View is one of my favorites.

  2. Had a joyous Christmas. Violated all covid warnings by Dr. Fauci, had a nice Christ centered family prayer, and family gathering, and delicious dinner.
    Ah, then came the gift giving. One of my brother-in-laws gave the other brother in law a single 9mm bullet in a nice jewelry box. He called it his Barney bullet. Everyone got a laugh and suggested that next year he get a Barney Fife Deputy shirt and hat…more laughs. In another package the same brother in law received a box of Remington 9mm (less the Barney bullet). The brother in law giving the bullets didn’t have quite the laughing matter. He confided in me before the gift giving that he found 2 boxes that cost him, and sit down for this…cost him $90.00 for the two boxes…that’s .90 cents per round….ouch. This was in Indianapolis.
    My gift to both of them was reloaded 124 grain 9mm hollow points. Not quite so expensive. So, my brother in law from Indy suggested I put my ammo on “consignment” and make some money. Interesting idea. He indicated this is what was going on in the shop in Indy. Folks bought when the getting was good and turned around when the market dried up, and offered their lower cost ammo at a fine higher price. Entrepreneurship…gotta love it.
    Will be doing additional bullet casting (9mm & .45) as well as loading additional 5.56.
    Harvested the last of my kale which withstood some light frosts. The kale which I mainly use in shakes/smoothies has lowered my sugar and fats. Nothing like natural cures rather than high cost drugs.
    Updating some of my raised bed containers and looking forward to starting seeds in the spring for green beans, kale, squash, and tomatoes. Asparagus was in the fern stage and really look forward to the real deal…
    Thanks to A.L. and JWR for the site and the encouragement to keep on!
    Blessings to all in the coming New Year….

  3. Took my forge that I got at the auction over to the neighbor’s shop and he is going to fabricate a new stand for me. Hope to have it ready for use in the spring. He was looking it over and I think he is really going to enjoy the job.

    The neighbor went out of town so we took care of his cows and chicken for 2 days.

    I have been cleaning (tumbling) a lot of brass this week. One #10 can of 9mm brass, another of 45 ACP and a few hundred of 223. Spent a few hours each weeknight trimming 223 brass. I primed some of the 223 as well. I picked up a new case trimmer head to keep an extra on hand.

    I ordered and received a bench grinder stand and a “tool stand”. I am going to use the tool stand to mount my pipe vise that is attached to a piece of railroad tie. The railroad tie also has a chunk of railroad rail attached to it. Went to put it together and there was no hardware kit included so I called the company who is sending me a complete replacement stand. Started to put the grinder stand together and it was missing 4 bolts.

    Wondering who is responsible for the Nashville attack. Seems very suspicious that our embassy was attacked this past week too as the anniversary of the killing of the Iranian terrorism mastermind general. But with 2020 who knows.

  4. We spent a quiet Christmas eve and day at home. Our family doesn’t do much gift giving anymore. We’ve found the holiday is much less stressful that way. We look forward to the time we spend together. It keeps out focus where it should be – on celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.

    My wife and kids surprised me with a very welcome gift – a Carey countertop electric pressure canner. It can handle four quart jars at a time and automates the process from heat up to cool down. So now we can have 7 in the All American, 7 in the Presto plus another four in the Carey for a total of 18 quarts in each batch. If I and get two batch runs done in a day then I would consider 36 quarts of something like beef stew a huge success and a great way to shore up our food storage.

    Other than that not much getting done this week. I’ll be rotating and filling some of our fuel containers, doing some more organizing and my wife wants to review our bugout bags – which should be fun. Sometimes it’s also nice to rest a little. I’m on-call for work this weekend so I have to leave messier preparedness stuff for another time. Every time I get involved in a major project around the house the calls start to come through.

    Hope y’all had a wonderful holiday!

    1. Chris in Arkansas,

      I am a customer of Mr. Rawles. Our family has been reading your updates over these past months and praying for you. We live on a farm and have thoughts on those states you have mentioned last week in reference to like minded communities and people. If you give a usable e-mail address in your reply (part not published, not the comment section which is published), I might be able to give you some ideas and useful information for your upcoming search.

  5. Our Christmas celebration came a couple of days early as the kids and grand kids spent the night and celebrated with us. It is so much fun to watch the littles open presents. That also meant the Christmas Eve and day were quiet so we spent the time enjoying the quiet.

    It’s time for me to reorder some seed I need to be ready for spring. I’ll place that order today. I also need some seed starting supplies. We have a local supplier who usually carries a great supply so will start there first and see what I can find. I’m also looking for a small grow light. Any suggestions?

    The only prepping we did was to put the leftovers from our Christmas dinner on trays and pre-freeze the lot so we can put it into the freezer dryer today. We also received a small solar generator to augment our bigger ones. This is meant to run a few items at a time. It is very portable. We’ll take it out of its packaging and begin charging it today.

    May you all be blessed with the peace and love of the season.

  6. A very slow week on the homestead, which is good for a change. It’s been way too cold and windy to get serious about any outside projects so I worked on indoor things.

    The highlight of the week was reading Just A Dad’s 3-part article on insurrections and the associated links, as well as the very diverse comments. For the first time ever, I think there’s reason to hope for the future without having to wait for an EMP/Carrington event.

    I made an oatmeal pie for Christmas dinner. For the uninitiated, it sounds disgusting but is actually a poor man’s pecan pie with the oatmeal being in crunch form as it is in apple crisp. It turned out great and made up for my disastrous Thanksgiving pie with the experimental crust. Christmas dinner was awesome, ham, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. The cat only gets canned tuna once a month but for Christmas, got a whole can on top of what he already got mid month. I gave some oatmeal pie to some older neighbors who are both diabetics so have to be rationed on the sweets. They’re always appreciative.

    I sold a bunch of honey this week, some people were giving it as Christmas gifts. I only have about 15 pints left of the 11+ gallons I harvested this year. I hope 2021 will be a banner year as well.

    The book of the week was Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. I read it a few years ago and was merely looking up a reference but got so hooked I read it a second time. It’s an extremely interesting book which had a solution that was too simple for experts to accept. Lots of surprising history in the book as well.

    https://www.amazon.com/Longitude-Genius-Greatest-Scientific-Problem/dp/080271529X

    I had an interesting thought while dragging some limbs to the burn pile. After the Big One hits many of the things we consider garbage now will be worth their weight in gold, such as tree limbs. They’re too much trouble to turn into firewood now due to the small amount of BTU’s we’ll get out of them so we just toss them on the burn pile instead. After TEOTWAWKI when firewood is much harder to make, those branches will go to the brush pile instead of the burn pile. We’ll be having the kids (or adults) breaking or pruning them into smaller pieces to burn. So I’ve started doing that to see how it goes. The first thing I’ve discovered is that having a woodpile feels like money in the bank and I like to conserve the wood as much as I like to conserve cashola. The small pieces make good kindling and I can keep the fire going a little longer each day by burning the larger branches and other wood scraps. So it feels like getting rid of that pesky pocket change instead of spending those pieces of paper with presidents on them.

    Quote of the week by Jay Leno: “I was reading in the paper today that Congress wants to replace the dollar bill with a coin. They’ve already done it. It’s called a nickel.”

    I hope everyone had a great Christmas or other holiday traditions. Everyone have a great week!

    1. StF, 11+ gallons of honey. You are one hard working man. Would love to have you as a neighbor. Hm-m-m, maybe I do without knowing it. OPSEC, you know.

      I’ll keep an eye and ear out for any patriot who acts like the StF we know and love.

      Carry on in grace

      1. Hey Marine, I’m hard working but not as hard as those 300,000 little ladies who make the honey.

        I’d love to be your neighbor, not only for great chats and coffee, but I’d save a ton of money on books by borrowing yours and loaning you mine. And you’d get free honey too! 🙂

    2. St. Funogas,

      So true about “sticks” in the post-TEOTWAWKI world. From what I can tell picking up sticks was the “norm” through much of history for fires to cook on- I think the warmth was just a pleasant by product.
      I think about alternative uses for anything metal, wood, plastic or glass before I toss it. I keep on small tote of cleaned tin cans of various sizes, one of glass jars and one of plastic bottles containers. I limit myself as not to be chastised by wife and kids as being a “hoarder”. Can’t believe the number of times a piece of “scrap” wood has saved the day.

      1. “I think about alternative uses for anything metal, wood, plastic or glass before I toss it. I keep on small tote of cleaned tin cans of various sizes, one of glass jars and one of plastic bottles containers.”

        Hey Scout, we sound like two peas in a pod. I’m a major re-purposer myself and have large garbage bags of cans, and plastic bottles. All the jars go straight to the mason-jar section of the garden shed. I think I’ve mentioned previously when I was organizing all my nuts and bolts and misc hardware this past year, most of them went into those tall skinny molasses jars and put into a “spice rack” I made. The larger items were grouped in plastic peanut butter jars. It’s awesome to have everything organized in two standard-sized containers instead of a random mess or containers.

    3. St Funogas, One reason we encircled 3 acres around the house with fencing and hot wire is to discourage passers-by from “borrowing” from our wood storage. While the storage is covered and can’t be seen from the road, anyone looking at the chimney knows there is cut wood some where near by. Besides 7 big barking dogs outside, alarms, cameras and no trespassing signs, some idiot might want to help his/her self to seasoned wood.

      1. Hey Animal House, I hear you. I lived in a place once where the only reasonable choice was to stack my firewood behind a fence along the road. I ‘d usually start the winter with 6 cords and some people thought it was okay to steal from the firewood “rich.”

        One effective cure is to keep the chain out of your spare chainsaw. When you catch thieves, chase them with the chainsaw running. They’ll have no idea the chain is missing and after they break the 4-minute mile, word will get around quickly about the insane chainsaw murderer with all the firewood. You won’t have any problems after that.

        Stay warm! 🙂

      2. Animal House-
        I was visiting a friends cabin at a near by National Force and as we were driving past numerous cabins I notice several stacks of wood inside cyclone fences closures – even the top was covered. When we got to the cabin of our friend I asked about it and he said fire wood thieving was widespread in the area. Some believe people were stealing it to sell. I suspect in a Prolonged SHTF world firewood will be very valuable considering the demand and the use of resources like gasoline to cut it.

    4. Whenever we cut anything up, I cut up the sticks into 18″ lengths and pile them in a big pile. If we have power outages over the winter, I’ll use it to start the fire; or in the summer throw it in our little cheapie charcoal grill (which has never seen actual charcoal … just wood). And then, if the pile gets too big or starts to get punky, then we’ll haul some into a pile and use it to burn the nasty greenbriar that we have to keep pulling out of our trees. We just get in the habit, when cutting anything up, to also cut up the sticks for kindling.

  7. I also gifted 150 rounds of 9mm+P HP recently reloaded to two of my relatives who purchased handguns and were unable to find any ammo. Since I am all set up after a recent move I might as well devote a few hours a week to putting together a lot of components in other calibers, who knows when this stuff may become useful. Peace and Love to all.

  8. I started painting the house last week and promptly came down with a nasty cold. I have been treating it with zinc tablets, vitamin C, wild cherry bark syrup, medicinal teas, and a couple of nights I took a concoction similar to Theraflu which really helped with the cough and sleep. The week before I had travelled by car through 3 states to get to my grandchildren and stayed in hotels along the way. I kissed and hugged and played with my grandchildren for 3 days, hugged all my children and spouses. I didn’t care how sick I would get afterwards! (none of them got sick, it’s just my poor immune system) I spent Christmas alone since my trip was between Thanksgiving and Christmas (“Thankmas”). First Christmas I have ever spent “alone”, so I asked for pictures and videos of Christmas day and focused on The Reason for the Season – Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. As the day progressed, while nursing my cold, I was cheered up watching the videos of the Littles opening their gifts, etc. I had made a big pot of chili and added extra garlic, onions, and chili pepper for the medicinal benefits. It was perfect! It gets very quiet where I live as the tourists are mostly gone home now. I was able to exchange “Merry Christmas” from a distance with approximately 3 people on Christmas day and I was thankful again at how sparse our population is.

    It is finally actually snowing! We’ve had precious little snow so far this year. Temps ranging from 4 – 20 degrees here in the mountains. My little wood stove is just chugging away keeping the house warm all day with no need to run electric heat. I’m so glad I have it. I purchased a small cast iron teapot that sits on an iron trivet that sits on the stove’s cooktop. I filled the teapot with water and tossed in some cinnamon sticks, Allspice, and Clove. It fills the air with moisture and delightful smells (much needed to counteract Puppy de Pew).

    The puppies are getting huge (one ~35 lbs and one about 55-60lbs) and teething something fierce so I’ve had to get creative to save the furniture. They don’t seem to like the fancy chew toys, Kongs and such. They prefer furniture or the wood pile or anything that smells like me (shoes, socks, blankets, jackets, gloves, pillows). They’ve developed a race track through the main living area and love, love, love to go outside and play in the snow. So far my furniture is intact, although I had to tie up the curtains so they can’t reach them. But, I’m happy to say their obedience improves every day, and they have sweet but very different personalities.

    I’m starting the thinking process of “what do I want to accomplish in the new year” and decided I just need to finish what I started this year!! My mind plots and plans way more than my body can possibly do! And the books I want to read!! And the Bible I’m trying to listen through!!! And all the quilts half done!!!! LOL. I am truly enjoying this season of life in spite of our insane political situation.

    Sending virtual hugs to all. May the Lord bless thee and keep thee.

    1. I’m starting the thinking process of “what do I want to accomplish in the new year” and decided I just need to finish what I started this year!! My mind plots and plans way more than my body can possibly do! And the books I want to read!! And the Bible I’m trying to listen through!!! And all the quilts half done!!!!

      Sara Sue, I am exactly the same. My mind is full of ideas and projects. Now if my body would just cooperate. Lol

      1. Cal! This was really funny, and so relatable…

        From your post: “I’m starting the thinking process of “what do I want to accomplish in the new year” and decided I just need to finish what I started this year!!”

      1. I am enjoying the book! Thank you! Problem is I’m reading half a dozen books + the Bible, so a bit fragmented. LOL. I forgot all about bully sticks! Yes!!!!! Thank you for the reminder.

        1. SaraSue – Ice cubes are great for teething puppies/adolescents. Also sterilized chew bones from the pet store. I think the brand we used was from Red Barn. I had ‘twin’ goldens the first time with that breed – a boy and girl from the same litter. What was I thinking!! I kept a big milk crate of toys and lots and lots of chew toys.

          1. Great idea! I used to put crushed ice wrapped in clean washcloth for my toddlers to teeth on “back in the day before all the fancy teething rings were available. Recently I’ve given them ice cubes to chew on.

          2. Miss AG, be careful with those ice cubes. Our hound mix (not sure what he’s mixed with, bit there’s definitely some hound in there) puppy has gotten trained to come running to the fridge whenever he hears the ice dispenser or water dispenser running. He’ll sit there quite patiently until you give him an ice cube. I don’t know what it is, but that dog loves ice cubes.

  9. A little update…I finally tested negative for Covid (have been asymptomatic since Halloween…thankfully as the mortality rate for cancer treatment patients who get full-fledged Covid is not good ). I look to start the couple month stem cell transplant/bone marrow transplant treatment next week. Thank you for all who have prayed for me and for your continued prayers.

    I haven’t done much prepping except to finish a quilt, order more dried beans since they were not in the stores, and sorted the First Aid boxes. I put all the emergency items in one box and the other supplies in the others. Well labeled. As a result,I also ordered more dressings. Food prices are on the rise for sure! For the cost of 14 pounds for two different types of dried beans, I could have bought 2 20lb bags a few years ago. I remember the point at which I realized that finding bulk dried beans had become more difficult, yet the canned bean section had expanded. I’m not tucking into my longterm storage at this point as I do believe we may need it later and it’s nicely sealed. Besides, I just don’t feel well enough.

    We have also been eating down our one freezer. It’s jam packed and difficult to use that way. Besides it can be difficult to disguise freezer burn.

    For Christmas, we started the process of being able to process our own meat (without electricity for the most part). Now we have a smoker and sausage stuffer as well as their supplies. And, I replaced the 5$ thrift store dehydrator that is on its last legs with a much better one. I dehydrate a lot of produce and jerky is a favorite around here. My son is going to take over that task. He received a book, The Jerky Bible, from me to give him some ideas beyond the one recipe I use. Praying that we don’t need to, but we could produce different meats as a side business when we figure all this out. My husband’s grandfather was a butcher, so he has fond memories of helping. I grew up on a farm and have not-so-fond memories of butchering!

    Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas season on this Boxing Day.

    1. PJGT! Prayers have been continually lifted up for you… The news that you are COVID-free is so good. We trust now in your healing, and will be watching for the news that the stem cell transplant is successful in every way! I join SaraSue in saying… “Know you are loved!”

  10. It’s been a pretty quiet week here also.
    My husband spotted two bald eagles Wednesday and we had to wait for a cow moose to mosey off the road Christmas Eve on the way to church. It doesn’t matter how often I see a moose I’m always amazed at how large they are.
    My Berkeley did come this week, I was so excited. Hubby rolled his eyes but when he doesn’t have to drink bad water in an equally bad situation he’ll be thankful we have it. : )
    Sometimes you do have to lead them to water, lol.

    1. Once upon a time, I bought Berkey’s for all my children’s homes and said, “please don’t use city water for the babies and littles”. 2 of my daughters use the Berkeys religiously. 2 I think are sitting unused. 1 son-in-law did the eye-roll. But! If they got in a bad water situation, they would appreciate them.

      1. Most of the time hubby is right on board with preps. It’s just we look at the world in slightly different ways. He was brought up in a two parent, grandparents down the street home. I was brought up in a very unstable home and had basically take care of myself from a really early age. I know what it’s like to not know if there is going to be food on the table for the next meal. So consequently I take preparation very seriously. He thinks I’m wee bit crazy, lol. But that’s a different subject,lol.

        1. I hear you. I had a long stretch of adult life wondering how I was going to feed my children and keep the electricity on (sparing you the long story). I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over what that felt like, so I take it very seriously too. I tried to “interview” my grandparents and great aunts regarding their experiences during the Great Depression. Apparently, they all still had farms or moved back to the family farms and no one starved, but everyone worked. Most of them lived very frugally after that even when they had plenty of money. My father in particular was very frugal with himself and generous with others. That made a huge impression on me.

        2. That’s the same problem I have with MY husband. While his family growing up was well taken care of, WE often had periods of time where there would be nothing to eat but biscuits made from flour and salt (no butter or leavening) for days on end. Once we moved to the country, we started a garden, hunted squirrels, reared chickens, and put everything up, so never went without again. But my city-raised husband just can’t wrap his mind around the fact that things could go into the hopper, fast. It’s a constant struggle between “yield to your husband” and the gut-wrenching fear that my husband’s complete lack of experience with hardship will deter me from the frantic clamor that God keeps sending into my stomach that bad things are coming and to prepare.

          Everyone laughed at Noah until it started to rain…..

          1. Hello Anna, SaraSue and TeresaSue!
            From Anna’s post… “Everyone laughed at Noah until it started to rain…..”

            Gosh, it’s true.

            Many people have no idea what it means to do without, to wonder if there will be food or shelter, to worry whether or not there will be medicine for someone who is sick, to fear for lack of shelter or safety, or to have searched for a pathway to a better place facing great obstacles.

            Some of us have been forged in the hottest of the fires of life. I sincerely believe God has a purpose in all of this for each of us, and that among us are those who most deeply committed to preparedness.

  11. Good morning all. I hope your Christmas celebration was a joyful event. We had family and friends on the Eve and two sons and their families on Christmas with gift exchange and a wonderful meal my loving wife exhausted herself preparing. She sleeps now as I’m writing this note. Coffee will be waiting when she wakes.
    Prepping gifts are the preferred items for Christmas gifts for our immediate family and closest friends and IMHO nothing demonstrates the love and caring more than a gift that may save that person’s life at some point in the future. Regarding gifts, I was so happy that we received our order of a pair of G19s in time to be wrapped and placed under the tree. Regarding the G19s, I noticed that on several occasions the wife was taking family in to the Den to show her pistol. I could tell she was happy. Along with the pistols was a large box of extra factory mags. I remember that about 20 years ago, in the later years of Clinton’s Assault Weapon and Magazine Ban that G20 magazines were advertised for sale at $190 each, but I had three and made do with what I had at the time and I learned my lesson so now I have bins and ammo cans full of extra magazines. You have heard it before…”stack them deep’ and I’ll add, get them while you can!
    This week I finished hauling home the last non-oxygenated premium gas and topped off and stabilized our drum storage gasoline reserve. This should be fresh for the next two years at which time, I hope we will be able to start over. Now to concentrate on a final barrel of off-road diesel for the gen-set and tractor.
    After several weeks I wrapped up polishing thousands of cases in preparation for reloading at a later date. I wanted to complete this step should there be a long term power outage I could still finish reloading without any degradation of the process that I follow. Meanwhile I continue working on the 4k of 9mm that I’ve scheduled for loading this winter. Although I have a progressive, I single stage everything so I have direct control and hands on at each step of the process. It’s just what works best for me.
    Christmas morning as I arise I look out the bedroom window and see water bubbling up from the ground. The well feed line has burst! No hardware store is open, no parts, no plumber, no water, no toilets….what, no toilets….now that is starting to get serious, but not the point I’m going to make. After the line was dug there was a 1-1/4” elbow that had cracked. I headed to the shop and in the stacked 5 gallon buckets of PVC and plumbing parts, I selected and opened one and with a bit of imagination was able to make up exactly what was needed. Isn’t it great to have hardware at home! I can’t remember how many times having hardware in the shop has saved me driving to town. This time it saved Christmas!

    1. Hey Red Rover, that’s a great plumbing story. I hate those arrgghhh! moments with plumbing like you must have experienced when you looked out the window. But there’s nothing like the excitement of having everything available to fix it, and glue that works. Congrats!

  12. My resolution decades ago to quell the Xmas marketing frenzy was to firmly set Dec 25th as the start of the 12 days of Christmas in my head, with the culmination on Old Christmas, Orthodox Christmas.

    My family never agrees on this but at least I’M content!

    We celebrating the return of our extended family’s soldier from a year deployment to the Middle east. I found ammo in a Redoubt sporting goods store so was able to give him a welcome home bag of it, surprisingly at reasonable prices.

    The 5000 primers I scored on the trip, at 2019 price levels, remain in my possession.

    So on this Second day of Christmas I am enjoying good food, a warm fire in the wood stove, and thinking about building a three-cord woodshed addition in the coming year. Our winter is wet and very chill, ranging from 25F to 45F. Summers are getting cooler in our region, but the world keeps turning by the grace of God.

  13. Ms Lily,
    Glad to hear nothing serious has occurred as a result of your neighboring wolves. Sounds as if you are taking the proper steps.
    A few years ago I had the pleasure to work several weeks with a LEO from Idaho. We were not in Idaho at the time, but our conversations were mostly in ref. to the Grey Wolf problem in Idaho. I was shown a great amount of literature and photos by the LEO that highlighted the importance of controlling the wolves before they wiped out the elk population. A lot of the stories were related to livestock losses attributed to Grey Wolves, and problems attempting to obtain GOVT. assistance.
    Good luck to you and JWR with this “worry.”
    My wife and I know what it is like to own livestock and be constantly concerned about their welfare. Especially the new born.
    I imagine mating season is very near for the wolves, so continue to be aware.

    Semper Fi

  14. Off topic but an interesting take of Domain Awareness from a friend of mine and fellow communications officer:

    “The explosion took out a single (minor)commercial communications hub.
    And THAT crippled the city. It took down the airport. Took down emergency services and police communications. Took down data and the internet, which crippled news, information services, social media, and thus both government and the public’s awareness and ability to respond.

    And yet, the terrorists took pains to reduce the number of human casualties. Why?
    Unless this is a Bruce Willis Christmas movie involving international criminals covering up the theft of billions in bearer bonds, then the odds are very high this was a probing attack — a test by our enemies foreign OR domestic.

    This used to be my job. Cut a critical comms node, see what effect it has on the target, how long it takes to restore, how the adversary responds. Of course, that was war.

    This is either something similar, or the terrorists got incredibly lucky.”

    I might add that this is just one node of many. Most could not be readily recognized by the average Joe, but an adversary could easily take out a major portion of the CONUS with just one node of the right caliber. Keep this hegelian tactic in mide going forward into 2021 and a potential Biden regime.

    1. That particular hub was critical, so in my mind it was a very targeted attack with foreknowledge. I won’t comment on what 2021 looks like, but like everyone here, getting out of the cities makes more and more sense.

      1. My brother lives about 60 miles from Nashville. As of late morning his country’s 911 services were still down. He has gotten several texts throughout yesterday and today giving alternate numbers to call in case of emergency.

      2. It was just brought to my attention that several retail outlets routed their electronic transactions through that facility, indicating that this was an economic attack.

    2. Lt. Mike…
      We wondered about the possibility of a probing attack as well, and this alongside the possibility of a statement made with foreknowledge of the site location. Could this have been an attack to expose a secret associated with the site by someone who had sensitive information about it?

      CFP linked an article from 2018 which suggested a connection between the commercial communications company and intelligence surveillance. Is this true? I do not know, but it certainly would not come as a surprise.

      The audio warning was strange as well. Was this an attempt to draw in first responders, increasing the risk to them? …or was this designed to secure the safety of innocent bystanders?

      At least one witness indicated there were a several rounds of gunfire, and then several more. This is also puzzling.

      Speaking of probing attacks… It may sound a little strange, but I go back to the mystery seeds and other strange shipments never ordered but received by people across the country. We received a couple of these packages. I remain convinced that this was also some kind of probing endeavor.

      Lots more information coming… Looking forward to the thoughts of other SB community members. We are living through very dangerous times.

      On a related note… I must agree with SaraSue. Securing a location outside a city is a good idea, and increasingly so.

      Remain steady and alert. Stay safe.

  15. Not a lot of prepping work was accomplished over the last couple of weeks, partially due to COVID working its way through our family, including some extended family. This also inhibited our plans for hosting my parents and brother this year, though we are going to try to have them out to the farm in a couple of weeks.

    We had to attend our church’s Christmas Eve service virtually, which was frustrating, as I would much prefer to be among my brothers and sisters as we celebrate our Lord’s birth. But there are many others throughout the world who don’t even have that option, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain.

    Christmas Day was mostly low key, spent among our household, relaxing and reading, listening to music, and watching some of our favorite movies. I also enjoyed listening to the BBC podcast of “A Christmas Carol”. I’m not normally a fan of the Beeb, but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while.

    On a more somber note, I’m monitoring the Nashville incident with some trepidation. The tactics used are interesting, and seem to suggest a more sophisticated strategy than what is normally used by terrorists, particularly domestic ones. It will be interesting to see how the investigation unfolds…or potentially, how it doesn’t.

    Stay safe, folks.

    1. Francis Marion… Praying for you and your family, that everyone emerges safely on the other side of COVID-19. I read your message with heartfelt concern.

      1. Thank you, ma’am. My household has pretty much turned the corner. We’re all fairly healthy, so other than some minor respiratory problems and general fatigue, it hasn’t affected us that much. Well, my Lady, complained about a loss of taste, but as she married me nearly 30 years ago, her sense of taste has always been rather suspect.

        Our primary concern is my mother, who has some comorbidities. Although she has had little respiratory issues, she has had very little energy. This morning, however, she said that she was feeling much better and asked if we could come over next weekend. The prayers of a righteous man…or woman…availeth much.

        On a sad note, one of my coworkers lost her elderly father this morning due to complications from COVID. We’re continuing to keep her and her family in our prayers as they work through this.

    2. Matt Bracken has some interesting thoughts to share about the explosion in Nashville, and asks several insightful questions about the event and what can be seen (as well as what is missing) from the photos of the site immediately following the blast.

      Praying for a truthful and transparent investigation, the discovery of the truth, and the safety of all.

  16. PJGT

    Will hold you up in prayer. Post 10 year auto transplant patient myself 2010. The prayers of many is wonderful. Don’t be afraid. The Great Physician will be with you.

  17. @joyce (regarding your question in the last Odds ‘n Sods section of this blog)

    Way back in 1991 I grew three kinds of Jerusalem Artichokes (also called Sunchokes). One of them was called Fuseau and I don’t remember the names of the other two. They were grown in USDA zone 3b in west-central Minnesota and they froze out a year or so after I planted them as I did not have a root cellar to put them in. In milder climates they overwinter just fine outside in the garden, but not for me with harsh winter low temps. My original source no longer has any of them for sale. Bummer – as I was wanting to grow some of them next summer. I did find one company that lists four varieties, but they are currently sold out. Bummer, again. The link to them is listed below:
    https://hudsonvalleyseed.com/collections/sunchokes

    Azure standard does have some eating grade ones that would also work for home gardeners at the following link:
    https://www.azurestandard.com/shop/product/food/produce/artichokes/jerusalem-sunchoke/sunchoke-organic/17604?package=QP485

    Jerusalem Artichokes grow wild where I grew up, but the tubers were very small on the wild ones and the flavor is a bit stronger than the cultivated ones. The wild ones are very winter hardy and do not freeze out – they’re wild so they have to be tough as nails right? I would actually like to get some of the wild ones from my fathers homestead and transplant them to where I’m at now as I know they are winter hardy. Then get some larger cultivated ones and cross the two and see if it’s possible to get a large tuber one that is also winter hardy. That would take a number of years though. Jerusalem Artichokes are in the sunflower family as are globe artichokes, daisies, thistles, safflower, dandelions, asters and quite a number of other wildflowers. An article about Jerusalem Artichokes is at:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_artichoke

    If I find any good sources of them I’ll post it here. (Gurney’s has them at: https://www.gurneys.com/product/jerusalem_artichoke?p=0515548&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6fzC_aXt7QIVrAytBh0c8QG4EAQYASABEgKvXfD_BwE
    but I usually don’t deal with that company unless it’s my last and only option)

    1. David “n” Goliath …an immense thank you for the information on Jerusalem artichokes!!! (Late to the party, as is usual, I have just found your comment early Sun afternoon inserted among the posts of the Sat process report. Smart cookie, you knew EVERYONE looks forward to and soaks up the information, ideas and especially the camaraderie…big smile.)

      So much to go through…bookmarking all the links to digest hopefully soon.

      My copy of “The Albrecht Papers” (Enter Without Knocking…4th volume of Albrecht’s written works,) sits at hand waiting, thanks to another of your recommendations. It seemed to be a companion to the first three books so am hoping covers the content in a generalized way so I may glean much usable material for understanding and improving my garden.

      This past week has been one with much reflection. We have stepped back from the commercial aspects of Christmas for several years now. Gathering to focus on the advent and share company with family, especially this year, has helped guard our hearts and bless our spirits. As we continue this week with the New Year habit of looking back in assessment and forward with planning as well as anticipation, the same stepping back from the commercial celebration seems appropriate. Esther’s “For such a time as this” has been etched on my heart as a motto as I struggle to understand my place in this unfolding plan of Revelation.

      THANK YOU Avalanche Lily/JWR and the usual AND unusual cast of characters with your timely posts, information and encouragement! As others have said before…Will look forward to a meet up, if we can’t here, then beyond the veil…BE THERE!!! i want to see you ALL! (Those of you who have ongoing situations of challenge, know you are remembered! To those who have shared GOOD news, we celebrate with you! For each and every lovely, funny, witty, average, hard-working brother and sister…My heart smiles at and with you each time you speak through these pages…such a family!

  18. Didn’t get a lot of prepping done this week due to Christmas. The older kids live out-of-state (with one in Italy) so we didn’t see those kids this year, had to open presents with the one in Italy via Zoom session.

    Santa brought me some camping gear that I wanted for my bug-out-bag, including a folding saw, better mess kit, and new folding pocket knife. I’ve already got cheap versions of the stuff, but it’s heavy and my knees can’t take the extra weight, so this should lighten up my BOB by several pounds.

    Was up until 5:30 in the morning Christmas morning finishing up my husband’s new wool sweater…..

    This year we really scaled down what we bought the kids, each other, and extended family. I never realized how STRESSFUL the “obligation” to keep up with all those gift exchanges was, or how much we’ve felt “obligated” to spend and give more to people we rarely ever talk to or see. You don’t realize how far you’ve been sucked onto the consumerist merry-go-round until you suddenly stop.

    1. Anna!
      From your post: “This year we really scaled down what we bought the kids, each other, and extended family. I never realized how STRESSFUL the “obligation” to keep up with all those gift exchanges was, or how much we’ve felt “obligated” to spend and give more to people we rarely ever talk to or see. You don’t realize how far you’ve been sucked onto the consumerist merry-go-round until you suddenly stop.”

      Well said, and terribly true!

      Some fun Christmas thoughts to share about non-traditional traditions…

      We discovered this and put an all-stop to gift giving at Christmas in favor of shared activities. We are also non-traditional in that we keep our Christmas trees up and decorated year round. We rotate the ornaments about once a year for fun, but celebrate the meaning of Christmas every day in the presence of these beautiful trees.

      Last year we added a “Secret Santa Book Exchange”. Each of us draws one name, and each recipient chooses his or her own book title. On Christmas Eve the books are exchanged, and reading time is enjoyed with a sampling of fine chocolate. We actually adopted the idea from a lovely Icelandic tradition about which we read (athough none of us is Icelandic — laughin’).

      The cost is modest for the book purchases, each one is signed by the giver with a message for the recipient, and dated for the year in which it is given. It’s an affordable, low stress fun way to celebrate with one another.

      1. I love the book-exchange idea. I’m familiar with the Icelandic tradition. They have some of the highest reading and literacy rates in the world. The fact they spend several weeks in-darkness due to their proximity to the North Pole encourages wine, chocolate, and a good book 🙂

  19. Spent the week building boxes for preps. Built one for the spare lamp chimneys, another for the wicks and spare burners, and another for the Coleman spare parts. Need to get back to work as I’m running low on cardboard, and their cardboard dumpster is always overflowing. Still need to make boxes for the chemistry glassware spares.

    In between glue-ups for the boxes, I started cleaning up my basement shop. 10 years of various projects can leave everything a mess. The fun part is panning out the dust off the floor from the spilled black sands. Reclaimed 2 pieces of gold from a pan spill.

    Lost one of the marauding squirrels I shot to something before I could get it. Probably one of the eagles that are around or maybe the fox. If it’s the eagle, I hope he doesn’t eat the head, cause of lead pellet in there. But the feeders are safe now! The woodpeckers and chickadees love the mealworm and seed cakes instead of the normal suet cakes. Went through two cakes this week!

  20. Spent the week recovering from abdominal surgery. Nothing significant, just needing to be done, and I tried to get dental work/surgery done by the end of 2020. Offspring and spouses came for several days, I insisted on my hubby and I wearing N95 around the kids for the first three days due to their whereabouts prior to coming.

    Lost power for 5 hours and the new propane generator kicked in just fine. We got a propane tank large enough to run for a month, long enough to use/can/dry the frozen foods in two freezers.

    No doubt in my mind that Nashville was a test. Come on, Christmas morning, loud warning before hand? Definite efforts to minimize human loss. Seems a test of the infrastructure. Gonna have to pull out the HAM receiver and prioritize the online HAM school for early 2021.

    I’ve ordered several re-purposed food grade barrels to store dog and chicken food in. I plan to can chili and chicken pie filling over the next week. I’ll spend this week budgeting and prioritizing projects for 2021. I will be planning gardens and ordering seeds soon. One projects will be a new and upgraded chicken coop plan that is coyote/mountain lion proof for hubby to build.

    1. Patriot NP …your undertaking dental work/surgery is a good choice from what I see coming soon. With TESTING for C-19 required this past year once hospitals opened for surgeries, i have wondered how long before VACCINATION would become a requirement for treatments. So i moved forward in October with mine, to be done and hopefully recovered by spring. (Recovery after fifty or so seems to take longer and more deliberate participation/rehab…surprise!)

      For those of you needing anything significant done, you might consider the possible future “requirements” for one’s medical treatments.

  21. AL, the Lord woke me this morning and laid on my heart that I am not spending enough time in His word. He continued to speak to me even while worshiping with our church this morning. I have started searching for audio bible so that I can listen as you do while I am driving or working. Which do you use or could you point me in the right direction? Thank you for sharing what God is telling you and helping those like me.

    1. Hello Southern Girl,

      When I am in the house, doing quieter work, or choose to sit and follow along with my Bible, I listen to this YouTube KJV version:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiXQmeuHTOY&list=PLIxhnx0kb33ORn8RQgHH54rdJMmqaRfmd

      When we are in the car we have KJV Alexander Scourby whole Bible.

      Bummer, Amazon, currently only has Alexander Scourby KJV in the New Testament.

      https://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Scourby-James-Version-Testament/dp/1930034164/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=audio+whole+bible+on+cd+KJV+Alexander+Scourby&qid=1609098033&s=books&sr=1-1

      However they have an NKJV by Eric Martin:
      https://www.amazon.com/Complete-CD-Complete-Version-God-Audio-Testament/dp/1930034229/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=audio+whole+bible+on+cd+KJV+Alexander+Scourby&qid=1609098258&s=books&sr=1-4

      They have special radios, too.

      You’ll have to search to find the one you think you’ll like the best for your driving listening pleasure.

      Blessings,

      Lily

  22. I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and have gotten a few ideas to implement in the future. Thanks to everyone for the tips.

    Like many, it was a week where prepping took a back seat. The three of us worked on the shop and had a nice, mellow Christmas. It was a white Christmas which we don’t always have, so it was a treat. Since my pub has been closed since March, it meant fewer gifts this year. But who needs a bunch of stuff anyway? A few quality items, the company of my two offspring and some delicious food are more than enough to make me happy. We have so much to be grateful for.

    I can’t help but think Nashville has something to do with the election …

    Stay warm and God bless.

  23. Hi, I guess I should contribute since I’ve been a long time reader.
    This past week I’ve not done much prepping. I’ve got 36 broccoli starts going under the violet grow light in the garage.
    I tell folks the reason there’s an ammo shortage is that I bought it all. Not really. I say nothing to nobody. It’s partly true, though.

    Double negative.

    Watching the Dolly Parton special.

    Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year.

    PP

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