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 presently en route back to the Rawles Ranch from a lengthy out of state trip, so I’m leaving today’s column up to my amazing, wonderful, lovely, patient, and talented wife Avalanche Lily. (Can you tell that I miss her?)


Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

We have had mild winter temperatures and clouds this week.  In the middle of the week we had another snowstorm.

At the very end of last week we experienced a six-inch snowfall, On Sunday, I plowed for the first time this year.  I have to say that I now am very comfortable with the job. We have a standard transmission pick-up truck and all of the transitional moves are now automatic and smooth on my part.  Yeah!  That is so cool.  Now I can officially add to my repertoire of acquired skills, snow plow lady.  😉 I plowed a second time for a four inch snowfall that we had in the middle of the week.

During the past two weeks, I have gotten back into weight lifting.  My arm muscles have recently lost quite a bit of mass from not doing too much physically during the past three months. It’s amazing how quick one loses their prime when not maintaining it. To counteract this, I am now lifting eight pound weights in about four different ways with repetitions of thirty or more, several times a day.  Plus the daily mucking out of the cow shed and shoveling.  I’m glad the snow has finally arrived and the presence of the wolves have forced the use of the shed, thus the mucking out, to be more active again.  I’m not into being a big muscled bound woman by any means, but when I found it difficult recently to lift a fifty pound box of Jim’s ammo, I knew it was time to work out and lift weights, again.

Not much else in the prep department.  Just maintaining that which God has given us.

End of week wolf update:  The wolves have appeared to have moved on.  The horses and cows are no longer staring off into the distance around the ranch. I have been walking around the ranch again with just the Glock, and haven’t see any tracks….

The Male Teen Age Kitten.  M.  has learned to play fetch!  It is so cute!!  We bought some tiny catnip stuffed mice for the kittens to play with.  Recently, Miss Eloise started to toss one and M. brought it back near to where she was sitting.  She threw it again, he ran after it, picked it up and came a little bit closer.  The next throw, though, he didn’t come anywhere near Miss Eloise.  I told her to just play with him a little bit every day and that he will catch on to what we want him to do. The next day she played with him, again, by the third night, I picked up his mouse and tossed it for him and he brought it back to me about five times in a row, but, he always dropped it off to the side of me.  He flops down and drops the mouse. Finally, the next night, Miss Eloise tossed the mouse again and he brought it and dropped it directly in front of her.  It’s official, now, that cat knows how to play fetch.  Again, we all exclaim “M, you are so cute and adorable!”  What a wonderful way to spend part of an evening playing fetch with a kitty.

Another game that Miss Eloise is playing with M.  Is “Hard to Get”  Miss Eloise will approach him and say, “Hi M!”  He will meow and run away and then immediately looks back at Miss Eloise to see if she is chasing him.   He will go under her bed or behind a book case we have in the living room. If she backs off, but still looks at him he will continue looking at her as she talks to him.  When she walks away he comes back out and goes near to where she is doing things and will watch her/taunt her/ invite her to chase him again.  It happens in rapid succession. He likes to be chased, but not scooped up.

One more thing, he enjoys draping himself, like a kitten stole, on Miss Eloise’s shoulders to watch her do the dishes.  What a kitty!

I have continued to listen to Ezekiel.  I seem to be having trouble concentrating on it and don’t wish to skim by it, so still working on it.  I have of course, listened to other scriptures as well.

Scripture for the week that I find very comforting:

Zephaniah 3:17

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Jim will be home this afternoon.  I cannot wait!  Please pray for him to have a safe last leg of his travels.

May you all have a very blessed and safe week and New Year!

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.


  1. Just an idea – but I bet many in the community would back me up here ;)… If there is anything already pre-queued to post for Sunday, then let that go up, and/or simply a note that Jim got home safely, and then GO take a break, you two, and enjoy each other’s company! We’ll all still be here on Monday!

    1. Some information about Jerusalem Artichokes that I should have included in last weeks comment under the Editors Prepping Progress: My friend, who gave me the three varieties, grew them 305 miles farther south of me in USDA zone 5a/5b so it was most likely a winter hardiness issue as to why they did not survive more than a few winters in zone 3b. I thought I should mention this in case some of you were planning on growing them and were in a very cold climate as this could make a difference in your success with them.

      While looking at sources of information for perennial veggies I ran across an article titled “Perennial Vegetables: A Must Have, by D.P.” here on SB at the following link:

      Some information about perennial onions (my mother called them winter onions):
      As far as I know they are winter hardy anywhere in the USA or Canada. Once you get them established they will come back year after year and need very little care.

      Happy New Year and best wishes to all of you for a successful 2021! (Even though it might be a bit of a challenging one).

      This will probably be my last blog comment for a few weeks as I have a lot of research projects that I need to get squared away and completed. I don’t plan on going “extinct”, just that I’ll be as quiet as a church mouse for a little while. I may be online later today for any other comments on the Weekend Edition as I call them, but after that I’m shifting gears for awhile…

      1. Thank you for the update, as I will add it to my garden book. Bummer you are going away for awhile. We learn much from you. Prayers for success on your research projects! Krissy

  2. Not a lot to report on as we kept our holiday quiet and peaceful. I agree with Ms Lily on muscle tone – use it or lose it. And it is hard to get back after a certain age. Also praying the Rawles family reunites safely.

    Happy New Year everyone! I made a big pot of southern black-eyed peas and cornbread and passed them out to the folks I look after. They are sooooo good; don’t need anything else but peas and cornbread to fill up on! It’s a southern good luck tradition which dates back to the civil war. When the Union Armies were raping, burning and pillaging the south, they thought black-eyed peas (aka cow peas) were only animal feed so they left them undamaged in the fields, while they burned everything else. Those families which survived were able to harvest the peas, which kept them from starving to death.

    The hoop house has proved its value during these single digit nights! We turn on the propane heater around 8pm and it keeps the insides above freezing when the outdoor temps are 8-10°F. All the cabbages, kale, collards and potato barrels are just fine.

    My son began filling sandbags this week during his spare time. Sandbags have many uses, especially now days. Spring melt off and rains will be coming and they’re good for stopping erosion. Sandbags also keep a variety of things and projectiles out of your house!

    Received an order of several more tarps which were on sale. There are so many uses for tarps on the farm; I keep at least 3 sizes on hand at all times. We use them until they are in tatters and then cut them up and use the strips and tatters for smaller projects. When those bite the dust I cut the grommets out and use them for something else.

    The tiny bunnies are jumping out of their birthing box during the day; wish I could upload a picture. They are so cute; like mexican jumping beans! Bunnies are inside now due to the severe cold around the time of their birth, but they will be moved back out side in another week.

    Iceage Farmer had a bone-chilling podcast this week. The propaganda for the transformation of food as we know it is at full speed. UK and Europe have gone off the deep-end with deliberate infecting of animals with diseases in order to kill off animal food supplies. These people are so evil.

    I thank God that we all survived 2020. Praying for each of you and your families for good health and safety in this new year!

    May your week be productive and happy.

    1. Animal house, you should write up an arrival on repurposing used tarps! Would live to see the ideas and uses for the tatters.

      Re: food – same ideas happened in USSR. Some of the most fertile ground was the most desolate ground. They would burden the farmers so badly that they had to have the city folk come out and farm the food (and they barley knew how!) Never enough food to go around all due to someone’s stupid idea on how to run the system.

      1. CAP, not worth an article but here’s a quick list of popular uses of old tarps and pieces; never use a new or good tarp for these type of things.

        – strips of tarps are used to weave in the lower parts of fencing so baby chicks, bunnies can’t escape their transition enclosures
        – tarp pieces are put on the ground to work on farm equipment
        – strips are put over the tractor seat as an awning to provide shade in summer
        – strips with grommets can be used as tie downs
        – wrappings for animals which need burial
        – window coverings on out-buildings
        – car seat covers when transporting dogs
        – tiny pieces of tarps go in the bottom of planters to keep the dirt in but have enough holes to let water drain out
        – strips of tarps with tears or holes used to cover gravel at the bottom of large containers so dirt doesn’t come in and any moisture can drain out
        – patches for newer tarps which have been somehow ripped or got a hole in them
        – weather coverings for rabbit cages
        – awnings to provide shade for chickens
        – shelf coverings to keep workmen’s or repairmen’s eyes off my garage shelving and freezers
        – pieces are made into gardening totes; a couple of seams on the H.D. sewing machine and I have reliable totes for carrying veges, trimmings, fertilizer or weeds

        Lots more uses but those are the ones I thought of off the top of my head.

  3. I received a new devotion for Christmas and started it this morning. The scripture reference was Zephaniah 3:17. Five minutes later, I come onto Survival Blog and read Miss Lily’s post using the same reference. I love it when God sends the same scripture to me multiple times in the same day. It’s like He’s tapping me on the shoulder saying, “Pay attention! This is important.”

    Thank you for being part of my blessing. Great way to start the day.

  4. Years ago hubby and I were enjoying a rare Saturday by sleeping in. Winnie, our cat, always woke me by walking up my leg and plopping down on my chest. This day, though, she walked all the way up and dropped something on my closed eyes. I sprung up, not knowing what the “gift” was; she was an excellent mouser. To my surprise, it was a wrapped peppermint! Grumbling, I tossed it through the door and down the hall then closed my eyes again. In very little time, she was back and repeated her earlier actions, as did I. By the 3rd time, she had me well trained and we discovered we had a fetching kitty. But only peppermints.

    Later she began plopping the mints into her water dish when she tired of fetch. Unnoticed until they had melted into the water, she’d drink the water and purr happily. Huh? lol We mentioned the behavior to the vet who told us that cats typically love mint but that it was as bad for their teeth as it is ours. He gave us a bottle of unsweetened liquid to flavor her water. She loved it.

    She was a great cat, and fetched and drank peppermint water through all of her 9 lives.

    1. Hello Kim of Ky,

      That is a cute kitty story. I know that catnip is in the mint family, so that makes complete sense that your kitty loved peppermints. We’re not sure if our kitty will fetch other objects, though I suspect that he will. He discovered the volunteer oat heads that I harvested last summer that grew from the oat hay mulch. I was drying them out in a tray for their seeds. He and his sister love to carry, toss them, and chase them around the house. They also like to play with the occasional crushed pine cones that we use for kindling. I’m sure I could get them to play fetch with those objects, if we tried. Thank you for sharing your kitty story. It’s nice to hear pleasant stories, too, instead of all doom and gloom. 😉



    2. Thanks for sharing the cute story! I read it aloud to my husband and he laughed too. Was going to say the same as Lily – mint and catnip are in the same family so I’m not surprised.

  5. Happy new year everyone, and merry ninth day of Christmas!

    Way to go Lily, on adding another skill to your extensive repertoire! I am sure it will come in handy. The kittens sound adorable and we always enjoy the furry tales (tails?) you share.

    We have had a back-to-basics kind of couple weeks. The city water plant has switched disinfectant chemicals (as they do periodically) and the water tastes like drinking a swimming pool, so we’ve unpacked the Berkey and set it up on the counter. The children have (mostly) been taught to NOT move their cup away before closing the spigot, and I’ve learned to NOT overfill it, so the spills and splashes have diminished quite a bit. I commented several times to my husband that I was very glad we were setting it up and figuring it out now, rather than waiting until an emergency when even the smallest things become confusing due to stress. Hope the idea sinks in. I am also hoping that being able to help themselves to the water will lead to the children drinking more water and less juice.

    On Christmas Eve, we lost grid power for several hours in the afternoon. I was secretly quite glad, because we need much more experience with this. Miraculously, my husband was convinced NOT to immediately crank up the generator. The only way in which our lives were affected in the slightest was a last-minute, no-sweat change to the lunch menu, to something that did not require the oven. But OH! the WHINING!! I am afraid I really let my husband have it, reminding him that he has the most experience of any of us with existing without electricity, and if HE is demonstrating by his words and actions that this is a terrible horrible dreadful emergency, of course the kids are going to think that too! I said I am NOT raising snowflakes but resilient, creative, accomplished, self-reliant Americans who will see challenges as a chance to learn something. And if the whole family is thrown into total disarray by a few hours without power on a balmy sunny day in suburbia with a fully stocked pantry, I didn’t really want to try to homestead with them anywhere or even go camping! Sometimes, mama just SNAPS, lol. (And I think some of that even sunk in…)

    On the night after Christmas, I organized, inventoried and chipped the ice out of the outside freezer. It was one of the coldest nights of the year, and at 3am I had no little “help” so it only took about an hour. I must have been a funny sight, swimming in an oversized olive-drab overcoat, PJ pants tucked into boots, head and neck wrapped up in a furry purple scarf, gloves, and still my wimpy warm-weather self was shivering hard at 40 degrees, LOL. Then I came inside and had hot chocolate as the Aztecs intended it – with cinnamon and chili!

    I crawled into the depths of the closet and wrestled the 5-gal buckets round til i could label all of them with Sharpie. Had a nervous moment when I saw some of the paper labels had come off, but luckily beans rattle and rice does not. Next batch of them will get labeled immediately!

    Yesterday some of the kids “helped” their father transplant the seedlings from the counter into buckets and bins on the porch. Everyone is excited about watching our future food growing! My date charts show that this is the proper number of weeks before last frost to start the rest of the seeds. That will have to happen after we get home from our property-scouting trip.

    Beyond that there has been much delivering of Christmas candies to friends (there is still WAY too much in the fridge), year-end financial stuff, and the kids have been reading their new books and using their new art supplies. I have been doing a whole lot of work to prepare everything for our trip. Exact plans are still up in the air as one of the grandparents (with whom the children were going to stay) is feeling under the weather, so we will have to wait and see how it all works out. We just keep praying for wisdom!

    Oh, and my husband told me that he has deleted one of the more addicting games off of his phone! When asked why, he said it was fun but wasn’t worth his family. Praise God!!! Reality is sinking in and he is starting to come back to us!

    Hope everyone has a good week and finds peace, no matter what the news brings this turbulent week. Psalm 37 was this morning’s reading – tremendously reassuring!

  6. Continued to update the inventory- this week I inventoried our stocks of chem-lights, lighters, matches and other fire starting supplies. I also started inventorying load bearing equipment (ALICE and MOLLE gear), replacement flashlight bulbs and knives.

    I’ve been watching Gun broker for 223 brass but I am having a hard time justifying paying 20 cents or more per case. Finished tumbling (cleaning) the rest of my 9mm, and 45 ACP brass. I have enough primers to load all the 45 but it will be close on the 9mm.

    I did some purchases this week. I was not a happy camper when I noticed the belt clip on my Leatherman Wingman was loose. Went to tighten it and something didn’t look right. Here there was a little piece of metal that fits into a hole that snapped off. No problem I’ll just order one on line – instead of a clip they should have called it a “screw”. $14!!! Received it and installed it. Had the opportunity to stop in at the Salvation Army store and came out with 2 nice sets of ripstop woodland camo BDU’s, a Bayou Classic 32 Qt stainless Steel pot with strainer, a stainless steel, made in the US, vegetable slicer and 2 like new bread pans.

    I received and started to read my used copy of “VANDENBERG” by Oliver Lange. Thanks to JWR for mentioning the book in one of the “preparedness notes” a couple of weeks ago. It sounded interesting.

    I’ve have noticed a few times animal tracks, which at first I thought were our dog’s paw prints in the snow. We have an English Mastiff. I was walking back from the neighbors and saw a set at the end of the drive way and actually took sometime to look and they are not our dog’s print they are actually smaller. The only other dog around here is the neighbor’s and he has a small print. I was getting the mail and saw these print around the house and followed the and the went across the street into the field/woods. I am hoping it isn’t a coyote. We have packs around here, all you need to do to confirm is wait for the sun to go down and you’ll hear them. I thought they traveled in packs. Would one come that close to our house? I’m surprised I haven’t seen prints around the chicken coop.

    1. 3ADScout

      I am officially letting Mr.Rawles know, you can have my email address-

      I have quite a bit of .223/5.56 brass *single use* due to disability and circumstances I have not been able to reload in many years. *no room now, think tiny house but smaller*

      Anyhow, you pay shipping, ill send what I have its a few pounds (more than 1 less than 100)

  7. So much going on, all of a sudden! LOL. A home popped back up on the market that I was previously interested in and the listing agent called me (cuz I gave her my number and chatted with her a few times). I drove to see it yesterday. And I can testify that I am no longer terrified of driving on snowy, icy, winding, farm roads, through the hills. It is a county road so it had been plowed somewhat, and then it had snowed again. It can be difficult to actually see the road when everything is snow covered! A few times I said out loud, “Is this when I die Lord?” I made it and one of my great fears conquered!!

    The home is truly in the middle of nowheresville on acreage next to BLM, hunting, and ranching lands. In fact, the grazing cows have access to the land and if I purchase it, I will have to pay to fence it and talk to the rancher who owns the cows. OR I can leave the arrangement as is. Not a deal breaker for me.

    Apparently, according to the realtor, I could very easily be outbid because out of state buyers are coming into Idaho with all cash and buying up large ranches and farms. Sad. But, it’s pretty much everything I wanted, and I’ll give it a shot. Only God knows the outcome, and I’m still very happy in my cabin in the woods – just wanted more land and to be further away from tourists and not be able to see/hear my neighbors. The realtor said that many people had driven out to see the home and said they would never do that drive again! LOL. Bonus for me!

    And to Lily: My puppies (when will I stop calling them puppies!) are huge now at 5 & 6 months old and they also have learned to play fetch. It’s very hard for them to let go of the ball and trust me to throw it again, but they’re pretty smart and they love to run after the balls. The animals are truly God’s gift to us – unconditional love!

      1. Thank you. I figure if the Lord wants me to have it, then things will go click, click, click, and voila! If not, things will go bump, trip, stall, and nope. LOL. I’ve re-learned “waiting on the Lord” brings the best outcomes. I have been very pig-headed in life and am still very stubborn – which is probably a good thing cuz I’m still alive!!!! I always ask the Lord to slam doors shut in my face because I’m soooo stubborn that I will push and push until a door opens, and the Lord always says, “Okay…….. here you go, but you ain’t gonna like it!” I’ve done that so many times, that I’m a little more cautious now, and strain to hear His voice instead of my own. We (the Lord and I) have the most hilarious conversations. Well, maybe the hilarity is only on my side, while on His side it’s everlasting patience sprinkled with some comforting love.

        I believe: The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord. And that’s not an easy thing to truly believe. Amen?

        1. Amen! Waiting on the Lord, while sometimes difficult, is truly best. I’ve been known to push opens few doors. Believing can be hard sometimes but John 20:29.

    1. SaraSue,
      Prayers your way on the property. God does have the plan.
      Our GSD did not want to drop the ball while playing fetch.
      We started playing with 2 tennis balls, throwing one, telling her to drop it while getting her attention with me holding the second ball. Didn’t take long before she got the point.
      Caution though, you need to read your dogs intention when you pick up the dropped ball BEFORE you throw the second ball. Please don’t ask how I know this. It does involve hydrogen peroxide.
      Happy New Year.

      1. LOL. I have owned many adult GSDs. The puppies have definitely scarred my hands and forearms because they needed to learn early that if I stick my hand in their mouths, it’s for a good purpose (like pulling something naughty out of their throats), and they shan’t bite down too hard! But thanks for the tip! Most of my “injuries” are healed now. Every once in awhile I get a good bite, but the behavior is quickly corrected. LOL. I love these guys!

          1. Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

            When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

            All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

            They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

            You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

            Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

            Author unknown…

    2. Hi SaraSue,

      I hope the Lord opens the door for you to buy that property, if it’s His will for you. He loves to give us good and perfect gifts in His perfect timing.

      Teaching an animal to play fetch is fun.

      It’s okay in my book to call an animal, “Puppies” or “Kittens” until they’re about one year of age, I suppose. I guess, I will be switching to the term ‘kitty” soon. 😉

      Miss Eloise is seriously praying about acquiring a GSD female puppy. She has been reading a book called “The Art of Raising a Puppy” by The Monks of New Skete. The breeder from whom she is interested in acquiring a puppy from, their dam comes from the Monks. The book was recommended by the Breeder for Miss Eloise to read. She has read excerpts of the book aloud to me. Dog behavior and training is fascinating.

      Miss Eloise has spent time reading some of your comments on your pups.

      If you would have any advice or recommendations for her, she would appreciate it. You are welcome to e-mail me at any time. lily@survivalblog.com



    3. Ms. SaraSue,

      Prayers that the Lord will either expedite your acquisition of this property or make it crystal clear that it is not His will. I too have required a few raps upside the head with His clue bat before I figured out that I was going down the wrong road, so I can certainly relate.

      We’re still working with our hound mix, and my Lady’s more recent acquisition (a Corgi she rescued) is slowly integrating as well. Training is pretty much a never ending activity.

      1. Oh,

        We weren’t sure what those were! We hadn’t seen those symbols used like that before. SMHLOL!
        Sorry! Thanks!

        Yes, my manly man is home and it’s so wonderful and a HUGE RELIEF! There were many tears for joy on my part this time around!

        1. LOL!! No worries, I wasn’t sure if something had messed up in the formatting so it looked like gibberish on your end and got moved, or if I had only MEANT to post and never got there – either was equally possible! But yeah, it’s a person cheering: the o is a head and then outstretched arms and then either pom-poms or jazz hands, depending on interpretation. LOL. *\o/*

          We are thrilled and relieved with you, for sure!! You two have a month of snuggling to catch up on, so maybe you will get snowed in 😉

          1. Snowed-in and lose power! Ha! Ha! But then Jim would have to go to town to post the Blog! Nah, I don’t want a huge snowstorm. It’s perfect right now! 😉

      1. Thank you,

        We spent some quiet time together this morning after he came home. He watched “M’ play fetch and is currently going through his mail. This afternoon, we shall be going to our bible study. It’s so good to have him safely home. I’m going to go get another hug, right now! 😉

  8. Hey Lily, great cat story. My poor kitty didn’t get the catnip gene so I don’t get to have the fun watching him get stoned like I did with my last cat.

    I worked on installing a propane wall heater in my well house in preparation for the long-overdue ice storm which knocked out the power for four days the last time around, and also to get prepared to move off grid in 2021. I bought the heater at a thrift store this past summer for $20, which the owner assured me came out of his own house and was working when they replaced it with a larger one the year before. It looked workable even though it needed some work. When I tore into it this week, it was a bunch wobbly metal plates and loose mismatched screws with several missing. A lot of people describe me the same way. When I took the lower face plate off, there was the largest collection of dust bunnies I’ve seen in one location since emptying the vacuum cleaner bag last month. The inside of the cover held a huge sticker with an ominous warning in big red letters, “Seek Professional Help.” I wondered how my former spouse managed to stick that there but then realized it meant to use qualified professionals and “Don’t try this at home!” Since shrinks and qualified propane professionals both cost money, I proceeded at my own risk. After everything was cleaned, adjusted, and put back together with matching screws, I put a piece of Hardiebacker on the wall and hung the heater. I ran copper tubing through the wall to the outside, and I’m now waiting for the low-pressure regulator to show up in the mail. If I don’t report in next week, the project didn’t quite come to the happy ending I had hoped for.

    One of my old geezer neighbors what ain’t got no schoolin’ answered some questions and helped me on another project. He’s not aware ya gotta have ejacayshun to hold the title of “smartest guy in the county” so in his ignorance of that detail he retains the title. He’ll be worth his weight in rhodium after the grid goes down and he’ll have a well-beaten path to his door. I hope everyone has one of these genius geezers on their list of friends.

    After Lone Canadian’s recent leather-working article I asked a relative whatever happened to my grandpa’s leather tools. A nice box showed up last week with a complete kit including 45 stamps.

    We’re only weeks away from being fully Bidenized, which reminds me, if I had a dollar for every time socialism worked, I’d be penniless!

    Everyone have a great week!

    1. Always funny St Funagas. Hoping you check in next week. Lone Canadian for me back interested in leather working. I inherited my grandfather’s set years ago and diddled with it a few times. I’ve been practicing on scraps while searching for the best price on leather.

    2. Can’t help but love you, St Funogas! Always look forward to your latest thoughts. Do have a question…Currenty reading JWRs latest masterpiece, and I’m at the part discussing diesel, gas, electric transportation. Hypothetically, if one were to have non grid juice, any thoughts on what electric vehicle one would want to purchase?

    3. Saint, Oooh, I will need an “old geezer neighbors what ain’t got no schooling.” Thanks for the heads up. Am adding this to my prayer list. Ye have not because ye ask not, smile.

      Please do check in next week! lol Krissy

  9. As always I do enjoy this Saturday exchange. We are merrily working our way through the wood pile. After a well below zero cold snap and additional snow here in the Rockies, winter has returned to normal warm 20s. The fireplace is really quite warm, but was no match for the negative frigid weather. Thank God for electricity, although we do have a small propane heater. Next place we will install a Vermont Casting woodstove (my favorite).

    Two weeks of negative Covid tests finally has allowed my stem cell transplant treatment to begin. I’ll be at the other end of it in 7 weeks, so we need a Biden honeymoon! With liberal socialization and potential upheaval on the horizon, I ordered a goodly amount of supplies. I really stocked up on legumes, dried fruit, and spices. Most things were available from at least one vendor and some were even on “sale.” I am thinking of adding more canning jars, reusable lids, and vitamins.

    If anyone knows of a supplier for .308 primers, I’d be appreciative.

    Our biggest problem is not wanting to tuck into our pantry with stocked grocery shelves and only minimal inflation. At least in our local, things are available. So we keep shopping weekly.

    I’ve had a lot of thinking time with this illness and realized that I am really blessed and a bit spoiled. Loved Bear’s thoughts. Mine too! We raised self-reliant children who also have the ability to blend in with others in society. They are at home deep in the woods or in NYC at a ball. I like and enjoy the convinces we have, the silence at night, and having enough. Praying for those who do not. Been there, done with that! Not fun at all.

    This Christmas’ meat processing presents were well received. I didn’t realize that my husband remembered working with his grandfather, a butcher, making and stuffing sausage. His learning curve will be short. Having a new box dehydrator will be a real blessing as my 5$ thrift store one is dying after a decade. I’ve turned jerky making over to my son and bought him a recipe book so he can expand our jerky delights. I had one recipe and stuck to it. I’m actually glad to pass this preservation task on. And, since smoked foods are some of my favorites, I’ll spend my recovery playing with my smoker…when spring finally comes that is. Except for the dehydrator, all our presents were non-electric. I’ve a quite large roll of freezer paper and rolls of freezer tape on its way. Looking forward to elk hunting season next year instead of dreading it. We so were not prepared.

    Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers as I continue to walk this cancer journey. It’s been a long haul (17 months) and I’m looking forward to emerging from the fire not even smelling of smoke.

    Blessings to all.

    1. PJGT-
      I haven’t seen primers at retailers but I have seen plenty on Gunbroker.com auction site – $200 per one thousand (not a typo) is around the going price at auction. Good luck.

      1. If you see this 3DScout, I see there are short and long 308 primers, and recall being told to buy the long ones for a regular run-of-the-mill gun. Than I haven’t seen any long ones, but would you validate the advice to not buy the short primers. Hoping this neophyte is asking the correct question. Last piece of the reloading puzzle. Had I known, I’d have just bought all the supplies at once. Oh well, stumped by the dictators this time. Thanks again.

    2. Ma’am, praying for wisdom and skill for your doctor’s, and strength and healing for your body, as well as for your family. We went through a stem cell transplant with my MIL years ago, and it made a huge difference, both in quality and quantityof life. May our Lord carry you and yours through this time.

  10. In our Christian tradition (Church of Christ / Restoration), there is a great acapella song based on Zephaniah 3:17. It has a bass lead and a soprano echo, with the other two parts in there. Lovely. Blessings to all.

  11. PJGT, We will continue to lift you up to our Heavenly Father during this seven week countdown. He promises He will be with us always. I love thinking of you and seeing the vision of Jesus next to you in the fiery furnace of chemo treatment.

    When I read your last sentence, I let out a loud gasp! I have never heard that expression before.

    “I’m looking forward to emerging from the fire not even smelling of smoke.”

    That is my prayer for you, sister. Krissy

  12. We woke up earlier this week with low water pressure and within a few hours no water pressure. I was worried that something in our gravity fed spring system had frozen, so I grabbed my repair kit and tools, put on waterproof clothing, and headed up the side of our mountain through the fog and snow. Turns out some critter had bitten the black plastic pipe that carries water from the spring to our storage tank and the water was spraying out the tooth holes. I was able to cut out the bad part of the pipe and splice it back together quickly and relatively easily. When I could hear the water splashing into our buried tank, I knew we were good.

    I had been warned by neighbors that animals sometimes bit the pipes, but I had taken that warning with a grain of salt, figuring that they were kidding the new guy. Turns out, it was the real deal. I had bought enough repair parts to fix two breaks. The next time we went through town, I bought three more fittings and 12 hose clamps.

    Later in the week, a neighbor halfway down the road stopped by and introduced herself. We had a nice long chat and I think she and my wife will get along very well. While talking about who we had and hadn’t met yet, she said, “Oh, did you know they are preppers? They have enough food stored up for three years.” It was a good lesson in OpSec, because if she told us on the first day we met, who knows who else she might have told? That’s why we keep the door to the storeroom shut and say nothing about our preps. And the other preppers? No, we hadn’t known, but given a few things they said about why the moved up here, we aren’t terribly surprised.

  13. Well, the snow showed me who stole the tree rat! Our resident fox got him! He now stops by the feeder looking for another.

    The compost bins are running full tilt, and have already melted off the snow. Dug into one to bury the crab shells from New Years, and was amazed by the heat coming off. Should have at least a bin full of fresh compost for this year’s planting.

    Spent a day function testing the Saiga 12’s. Everything went well until I got down to the Winchester bulk pack. 25% failures to cycle. The rounds when cycling would drop at my feet, and the failures would stovepipe, or barely hit the ejector and mash in the action. The Federal 3 and 2 3/4 dram loads landed 5-6 feet away. So no more Winchester bulk pack for me!

  14. When I was in the Army (10th Special Forces) we were told that missing our daily workout for a week upon our return to daily workouts would take a full 3 weeks to return to the original baseline. In my estimation that would be pretty accurate.

  15. Another fairly slow week, partially due to weather…we’ve gotten lots of rain down here, but mild temperatures…and also due to COVID recovery. We’re probably back to about 80%, but some effects are still lingering. Unfortunately, 5 weeks of low activity, coupled with too many Christmas treats, have rendered suboptimal results. I’ve also started back on PT, with an emphasis on rebuilding muscle endurance (low weights several sets of moderate repetitions) along with some light calisthenics and core exercises. I hope to start back on cardio this week at first, walking then jogging as my muscle endurance rebuilds.

    We were able to visit my parents this week, and Mom is improving from her bout with COVID, though she’s still not eating much. We took them some fresh eggs and homemade jelly and jam, but halfway there realized I’d left the persimmon pudding I made…a favorite of both my parents…in the fridge. So that’ll end up going into the freezer for a bit.

    I appreciate all the prayers for my family. Know that I try to remember the members of this community, as a body if not always as individuals, in my prayers as well.

    I’ll be watching the Georgia elections as well as the events of 06 January closely. They may presage interesting times in the near future.

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