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:

This past week I’ve been very busy shipping out Elk Creek Company orders. Folks seem very anxious to stock-up on pre-1899 guns before the presidential inauguration.  My travels around the region revealed an absolutely pitiful supply of ammunition. I visited both gun shops and a few major retailers. But all that I’ve been seeing is just a few boxes of ammo in oddball calibers.  Otherwise, the shelves are bare. The new T-shirt from Prepper Tees (our newest advertiser) says it all:





Earlier this week, we had a wild drive to Coeur d’Alene at the tail end of a wind storm.  But I’ll let Lily describe that…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

First and foremost this week, on behalf of Jim and the girls, I want to thank all of our dear dear SurvivalBlog Family Readers for their generous Ten Cent Challenge gifts, and touching cards and letters and notes that we received in the mail this week. Many of you had familiar names, but some were not. You are from all over this country.  We love you all and thank you and are glad that this blog is blessing you and helping you with understanding of the times and equipping you with knowledge and skills to survive what is approaching.  Without you all writing in and sharing your skills, SurvivalBlog wouldn’t be as well-rounded as it is.  We also thank you all and want you to know that you are a blessing to us, too.

Here in our valley we’ve been having a relatively balmy winter.  We’ve had rain and partly-cloudy skies this week highs in the thirties and low forties.  A lot of our snow is gone giving us a distinct “spring” feeling.

Jim and I reestablished the grow lights in Miss Violet’s bathroom for an indoor greenhouse. We splurged and bought some sterile soil, so that I don’t have to worry about growing too many bugs in the bathroom like last year when I used soil straight from my garden.  I have put the potting soil in the large trays. But I have not yet planted anything. The plan this year is to just start some kale, lettuce, beets, spinach, etc. in the house, get their roots well-established and then plant them in the beds out in the greenhouse.  I really think that because we are appearing to have such a balmy winter, that they will do well in the greenhouse.  The weeds out there are growing quite well, so…

Early Wednesday morning as we were waking up, we could hear the wind whipping up through our valley with huge gusts. It had been raining all night. I went to the kitchen and began to fill up a few containers with water. I hadn’t even turned on more than one light, when suddenly we lost power.  I filled another container with water.  We had an appointment in Coeur d’Alene later in the day. So I did the old sponge bath routine.  We left the house about three hours later.

The sun was peaking out through the clouds but the wind was still whipping. After connecting from our local road to the state highway, we started seeing wind damage. After a few miles, we saw branches all over the road. Then we saw one tree down, and as we drove further we suddenly saw a few groups of trees down.  A bit further still and there were sporadically more than two hundred trees down over the highway with a state road crew already working on getting them out of the road.  One lane was cleared and they were directing traffic through area. Wowsa!  It was like a tornado had rushed through there, or a Microburst.

So many trees were down, snapped, and uprooted as we looked deeper into the forest. It was obvious that a lot of damage occurred, but it was not meted-out equally.  Some stretches of road looked normal, while others looked devastated.  We drove through Sandpoint and didn’t see much damage there. But as we drove through downtown Coeur d’Alene there were so many trees down across streets (and houses —  yikes!) that we had to take a serpentine path to zig-zag around blocks to get to our destination — which when we arrived we found it didn’t have power.  Typical of Idaho, all of the motorists were super courteous going through intersections with dead traffic signals. Everyone was alternating at advancing, with courtesy and precision.  The tree cutting was ad hoc and mostly just local residents who were pitching in.

So then as of the time of writing this Friday evening, our valley is still without power but are depending on our battery bank to keep our Internet connection up. With limited solar hours this time of year, we are also sparingly using our generator to keep two of our chest freezers cold.  (Our third one is thankfully propane-fueled.)

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

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


  1. Hello Everyone. So happy the Rawles family got to your destination and home safely. Sounds like you missed the worst of storm/wind shear/micro-burst/tornado, but the edges and tail ends are just as scary. We have thunderstorms which spawn tornadoes, which are so unpredictable. We had a small F1 come thru our area which removed some roofs but devastated the trees in the area; hundreds of trees snapped off and thrown in every direction. And like your location, the neighbors got their chain saws, tractors and trucks and cleared the roads. When these storms occur my desire is to get home or stay home.

    With all the warnings for terrorism attacks out for the next two weeks we did one more trip to stock up on pantry staples and OTC meds. Filled all the fuel containers and small propane tanks. Received another order for more meadow and grain seeds. Purchased the t-posts, hot wires and barbed wire for an expansion of the livestock paddocks.

    Added more animal feed but we are out of storage room in the feed shed. Will be setting up a spot in the barn where we can stack 55 gal barrels on pallets so we can use the tractor forks to move the pallets to the animal areas.

    Earlier in the week we found one of the enclosed mouse poison traps removed from its position and chewed on. The traps are advertised as child and pet proof and once you put the bait in, it locks and you need a key to open it. The container was still closed and locked. The new dog we rescued from death row is the only chewer we have now so out of an abundance of caution, I treated him with activated charcoal for a day. He is his usual happy self and no worse for the ware.

    Came home from shopping on Friday to find one of my old dogs with a big cut over one eye. She is half blind and deaf so I’m not sure what she ran into or if the pack leader bit her. Cleaned it out, put some blood stop on it and bandaged it as best as possible. Had to put the cone of shame on her to keep her from rubbing the bandage off. Started her on some antibiotics and will watch her closely.

    My prayers for each of you and your families as we go through this period of tribulations. There will be hard times ahead.

    May your week be safe and productive and may God watch over you.

    1. Hey Animal House, it sounds like your critters have a great caretaker. 🙂

      “Had to put the cone of shame on her”

      I’ve never heard them called that but I got a good laugh when I instantly pictured all members of Congress sitting there at Biden’s first state of the union address wearing those! lol.

        1. Let’s DO IT!! I figure all we have to do is have some stuffed suit explain to them that it is the newest best Covid Containment Contraption (TM), and then sit back and watch ’em proudly posture for the cameras…….(oooops, are my horns showing again?)

  2. A great test of preparedness because of this wind storm. We were without grid power for three days. Ran the generator sporadically to keep the freezers going and fill stock tank. Used Aladdin lamps for light. Phone was out (threw away my cell phone long ago) and no internet. Yay! The peace and quiet was great. It was like nothing else existed. Warm house with wood heat. Go outside and all you could hear were chainsaws and generators. But…for some it was a big wake up! Look at another upside, there will be no shortage of free firewood to cut.

  3. A year ago, I’d never heard of a derecho and can’t even spell it. But they are massive compared to microbursts.

    In Wyoming we had frequent microbursts through the decades associated with thunderstorms which would darn near rip off our old crank-out windows.

    In W WA, the trees smashed quite a few substations which have to be repaired before the lines go back into service. Roads are littered with broken branches for a hundred miles. Power is still out at some places after 4 days.

    One buddy installed a weatherproof outlet box on the outside of his house connected to a stand-alone box inside his house. They are not connected to any other wiring, so no danger. He plugs his generator using a double male cord into the box outside, then plugs appliances to the connected box inside the house.

    This is far cheaper than rewiring panels with cutout switches, and avoids the extremely
    dangerous practice of running generators into a house system which can kill power company employees working to restore power. Please never do that.

    The unusually warm and relatively stable climate period of the past century is changing according to solar physicists.

    I’m planning for far more extreme weather events, including more fires with fiery cinders falling from skies onto roofs, 100mph windstorms, heavier rainfalls, dryer summer drought periods, heavier snowfall events. More power outages.

    We’ll be replacing our shop building asphalt shingle roof with a steel roof as our next big project.

    Our 275-gallon totes are full of rainwater. They are ugly but hold almost 2,000 gallons of water now.

    Our county started doing mass shot clinics with Pfizer vaccine. Yes i know many here refuse to get the shot, for well stated reasons. But please look at the bigger picture. Our governor has bankrupted tens of thousands of family small businesses by unlawful closures.

    When the sheeple get their shots the businesses can start to reopen. This means a lot to the few who can survive, but our economy is devastated beyond repair for many former middle class families.

    Yesterday we stopped at a small rural Cafe. Sign said Open but all was dark inside, chairs on tables. One woman cooks burgers and hands them out the side door. I asked her how business is. She sighed. I added $20 to the payment. She brightened just a bit and said “Thank you for helping me stay open.”

    I made my mind up about FEMA camps last year. I want to get a directory of where every one is, so when the willfully unprepared ask for handouts, i can do like my neighbor does. She has a sign on her gate. It’s the outline of a hand with the finger pointing down the road. The wording on it says “Someone Who Cares-5 Miles”.

    Mine will say “FEMA Camp with free food and free gasoline-5 miles. Hurry. They’re Waiting For You”.

    I’m a CERT Team captain. I’ll be helping the sheeple get their vaccine for COVID while supplies last for the next while. The sheeple are so desperate for it you cannot change their minds. They were lined up by the thousand at 530am for a 9am opening on Thursday.

    Thanks to all who shared immune system advice here. Limiting opportunities for viral loading and following DR Seheult advice from MED CRAM has kept me free of SARS-COV2. I am avoiding the Pfizer vaccine.

    You can count on intense pressure and an all-out campaign to force you to prove you got vaccinated. Be thinking of your strategy to deal with it.

    May God Bless you all.

    Prayer Warriors: break time is over.

    Now it’s time for my Saturday Bible Study. Jeremiah 15 today.

    1. “One buddy installed a weatherproof outlet box on the outside of his house connected to a stand-alone box inside his house. They are not connected to any other wiring, so no danger. He plugs his generator using a double male cord into the box outside, then plugs appliances to the connected box inside the house.”

      Hey Wheatley, that’s a great idea, thanks for sharing. It also gives me an idea for another project on my solar panels I hadn’t thought of.

      “Yesterday we stopped at a small rural Cafe. Sign said Open but all was dark inside, chairs on tables. One woman cooks burgers and hands them out the side door. I asked her how business is. She sighed. I added $20 to the payment. She brightened just a bit and said “Thank you for helping me stay open.”

      Acts of kindness in this day and age always make my day so thanks for sharing that too and I wish more would share their stories.

    2. I sure hope you are right, that the businesses will reopen with the shots being taken. But I am afraid that may be too optimistic because as we know, many of the shutdowns were more than a little politically motivated. Dr. Fauci has made several statements to the effect of needing to continue restrictions even after the vaccines come. And the numbers are supposedly higher than ever. (Say, where has all the flu gone? Hmm.)

      On the other hand, just look at the about-faces done recently in Chicago and in New York. The vaccines have only begun to roll out, and certainly people have not had their second doses yet, and yet magically comes a push to REOPEN! Nothing to do with political timetables I am sure. Nope nope. All hail our benevolent overlords, orange man bad, be wokey wokey lil sheeple…

  4. re:
    garden/potting soil

    We operate a small organic teaching farm near the outskirts of Eugene Oregon.

    Professional landscapers and amateur home-owners haul limbs and other ‘green trash’ to Lane Forest Products for recycling.
    LFP runs the green trash through massive chippers until the stuff is gravel-size.
    Bulldozers push that material into yuge piles.

    Year round during the compost process, the yuge piles steam to beat the band.
    I imagine internal temps are pretty darn hot.
    Maybe hot enough to whack the cooties.

    After LFP completes the compost process, the result is a nice mulchy garden soil, sold by the ‘yard’ (in the neighborhood of a ‘ton’), the standard measurement of 3’x3’x3′ or about 537 hectares for you foreigners.


    falls blocking my path

    Each of our vehicles has a Craftsman 20v battery-powered chain-saw.
    Nearly silent, they are ready-to-go without a warm-up idling time.
    During rough weather, I carry several spare charged batteries, plus the battery-charger plugged into the vehicle-mounted 12vdc-to-120vac inverter.

    The quiet chain-saw allows me a layer of situation awareness I would lack wearing protective ear muffs.

  5. It seems that we are contracting from a expansion of being service to others. I’ve been struggling with working in the church soup kitchen where I’m on the board.
    My wife will continue volunteering in the mountains of Western North Carolina at the kitchen making meals for the needy. The food distribution we’ve been working at has turned into a super-spreader, matter of fact the soup kitchen isn’t much better. We stopped delivering meals from another soup kitchen in another town because they are putting the homeless all in one motel that doesn’t charge as much as the others. I think the homeless aren’t accepted in these struggling motels. Due to Covid every person needs their own room. We’ve stopped showing up with Disaster Relief in the area due to people just don’t care about wearing a mask. I will miss being a volunteer coordinator – supervisor with the DAT team American Red Cross.
    I kind of like being deployed to national disasters like the Virgin Islands, New Orleans, New York sitting. Knowing all the time that the disaster has a possibility of not ending. We are told that prepare, respond, recover is the process we are to do to help folks in these times. After surveying the scene I call in a ongoing disaster. Our spiritual center shut down and I brought the cabinets home that I built where I’m the President. My father was killed by SWAT in 1982 , Barrow County, Georgia, for his beliefs about the NWO and the collapse of the financial system. We were prepping in the early 70’s on our beautiful 30 acre dairy farm. We weren’t farmers but my uncle was with his 300 acres next door. We sued, just like every other family.
    They talked about him on the Phil Donahue show in relation with Gordon Kahl…remember him ? He was a rich man, he had a wealthy man’s gun collection, it got ripped off, I find it hard to remember all the fine guns, even Civil War swords and guns. Please remember that the government doesn’t take any responsibility for it’s actions and put a GAG rule to prevent and books or movies. This present moment has a feel of revolution in the air. I just received a Governor Award from the Governor of North Carolina for my volunteer work over the last ten years. Now, I’ll retreat back to my spider hole with my Preppers Survival Guide… I’ve read all your books over the years. Stay well and blessings for you and your family.
    Blessings, Tom McMillan , Whittier, NC
    So, I’ll keep in mind to fill the trays with sterile soil !

    1. This venue might be a good opportunity to tell others the story in depth of your father and what led to his death by SWAT. Did he actually commit crimes of violence or just crimes of opinion? How could his possessions be taken without due process if there was non-violence? Hearing this kind of thing makes me furious.

  6. Lily,
    As someone who can’t stand weeding the allure of sterile dirt has always been of interest to me but then two things pop into my head- 1) how do they sterilize it and 2) does the sterilization kill all the “good stuff” too? From some of what I have read many sterilization processes use some type of radiation. I believe some use high heat but it is expensive. I talked to a guy at the local landscape supply who was selling sterile dirt in bulk and he had no idea the process. Perhaps someone can share there wisdom on this subject in a future essay in SB?

        1. You are welcome.

          We are getting a bit of sun today in the very wet PNW. People will shrivel up and blow away in a few minutes because of their adaption to the cold and dark. I’ll be watching for rental cleanout/curb dumping giveaway piles.

  7. Jim,
    Re: Lack of Ammo
    After the ammo drought of the Obama Years, if anyone didn’t create their own “Ammo Dump” then shame on them. I don’t feel bad for anyone who doesn’t have ammo. I was at the local Sportsman’s Warehouse a few days ago looking for primers and projectiles to replace what I have been using and heard a guy and a store employee getting into it over 2 boxes of 5.56 ammo- the guy believed he could buy two boxes of each brand. About $12 a box for 20, I passed and went home that night and reload some for less than 20 cents each.

    My dad was a reloaded and thought us all how to reload- I was always wondering why we had some much and he always would say they can’t get all the guns, but they can stop the sale of ammo.

    1. Hey 3AD,
      Not trying to start an argument, just would like to point out that not everyone has the same circumstances. If a person has had the means and the ability to create an “ammo dump” BUT has either foolishly prioritized toys and entertainment, or ignorantly assumed ammo would always be plentiful, then nope, I don’t feel sorry for them.

      But some young people have been brought up in homes that either demonize or just ignore firearms, and are just now starting out on their own. Even if they have quickly learned another viewpoint – where was their opportunity to stock up?

      Some people have been restricted by their own mental illness or the behaviors of people they live with; they’ve had to make the tough assessment that even having a firearm in the home is the bigger immediate danger to their own survival or their family’s. How can they stock up, and why would they want to?
      Or people who are caretakers, and have elderly or special needs family members so dependent upon them for every need 24/7 that they can’t even meet their own personal health and hygiene needs – betcha ammo isn’t even on their radar right now because they are trying to survive just today and have no hope of escaping to the range for even an hour to train. (That is an exhausting life.)

      Some people have been restricted financially, even living frugally. Most everyone I know would choose to put food on the table for their kids THIS day rather than buy a box of bullets to stick in the closet for “maybe someday.” (I know a family who over the past year suffered a job loss for one parent due to the shutdowns, a severe heart attack for the other parent, the implosion of their church – so byebye support system! – and another horrible circumstance I won’t go into except to say we’re praying for them as they testify in a murder trial. Pretty sure they aren’t prioritizing ammo as they stand on the street corner begging help to make their weekly rent. And yes we have helped them with groceries and rent.)

      Before I escaped my first marriage, even though I was the breadwinner (meaning: forced to pay the bills with my salary while he just played with his much larger one) and had at least modest means to stock up, every penny was controlled. I was forbidden from planting any vegetables, or buying any extra cans of food to tuck in a closet, or even buying a $5 book as a gift for one of my friends, or donating money or food anywhere, and even when I wished to stop wearing jeans 24/7 and purchase a few inexpensive (as in THRIFT STORE!) dresses and skirts that were more modest, THAT was a huge battle (and I practically never bought clothes because I HATE shopping–most of the stuff in my closet is 10+ years old). I knew better than to even suggest buying more ammo, and no I didn’t get to even keep my pistol with me when I left. He threatened to report it stolen, and he never would tell me a consistent story about the circumstances under which HE’D initially acquired it, so I was stuck even though it was most likely just more lies and manipulation.

      There are those who have been living overseas for business or family reasons, or have been serving as missionaries there, and are just now returning to this country where they are able to legally obtain firearms – where was their chance to stock up?

      I’ll stop now but the point is, shaming people isn’t helpful very often. Often desires and ideals don’t match up with means and simple reality, and most people do the best they can with what they have…

      Peace be with you.

      1. Bear,

        My apologies if I offended you. Of course there are people who can’t for many reasons. My lack of feeling sorry are for those who lived through the ammo drought of 2008, who have the means and are now crying. I see and hear these people moan all the time. They will be the same one who don’t have food either. Frankly it has been my experience that those who have lived with a lower income, but pull themselves up by there boot straps, ultimately persevere. If they remember the hunger pangs (and I don’t think people ever forget them) they will never put themselves in that situation again. I have a friend who has reloading presses and shell casings but didn’t have any power, primers, etc (65 y.o.) he makes over $100k per year. I asked him why he did not have that stuff on hand and he admitted that if he wanted to shoot he just went and picked up ammo cause it was readily available. He is a friend so I did let him know “that was dumb”! Again sorry I didn’t narrow my lack of concern.

        1. Thank you for considering my comments, and nope, not offended at all! Just wanted to present a little broader viewpoint. It sounds really like we are on the same page actually. I agree, people who know what it is like to have to go without will be more wise with money. (I have never gone truly HUNGRY but boy do I remember those days in college, working three jobs to buy books and pay the mortgage, and still subsisting off of oatmeal for days at a time. GOD BLESS the sample demo ladies in the grocery store, who knew I was a poor student and snuck me stuff all the time!)

          You are a very good friend for telling your friend that he was being unwise with his ammo. After all, true friends do not knowingly let us continue to be doofuses. 🙂 And it sounds like you have good friends as well, from what you said about your friend being the one to remind your wife about new year – new auctions! I had been wondering whether you’d gotten to go to any now that the calendar has ticked over. St. Funogas had a good idea: apply more chocolate!

      2. Bear, your forthrightness and vulnerability touch my heart. Folks who post here like to say “YMMV–Your Mileage May Vary”. You put flesh on those bones.

        I appreciate you sharing your perspective.

        Carry on in grace

  8. James – Thanks for all you do.

    Have you announced the sale for the archive thumb drives? I waited too long last year and you sold out before I got around to trying to order. This year I made it a priority to get one ordered, but I can’t find a link anywhere on the sight.


  9. Wow. Yes that storm was really something!
    Lots of trees down here in the willamette valley. Mini rivers in low spots.
    The business I work at has about 50Kw of photo panels on its roof and I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the only reason they are there is to sell electricity to PG&E.
    Not one critical piece of infrastructure is powered by them.
    So, no phone, no well water, no alarm system, no electronic door locks, no lights anywhere. Nothing.
    Refrigeration was lost during a critical process. That was a costly outage.

    And the next day, that beautiful blue sky and sun… guess what those solar panels were doing?
    Nothing. Power lines were down.

  10. Keeping after the snow is our major chore this week. We finally have all the snowmobiles up and running. Although they are fun, they do have great usefulness here in the Rockies. Pack the snow, bringing in downed wood from the forest, transporting, and occasionally packing trails.

    Just when I thought we were well stocked, I got an urging to add more dehydrated foods, nuts and spices in bulk. I’m sharing with my daughter. I’ll be sorting those and getting her portion ready.

    My numbers were not high enough for round one of treatment, so I get to return for round two. Numbers are creeping up, so it looks better. It can be a long process it appears. At least I’m moving forward finally. Each and every prayer is appreciated and much needed. Thank-you.

    Switching my very few media to different platforms. Ordering from businesses rather than amazon. Continuing to shop local as always. Doing what I can.

    One thing I have done is copy all of our important information into a notebook. I’ve done this before, but never updated it. A fine project for the wintery days of waiting. I often supplement the organizing with bouts of Robert Frost.

  11. It was another big firewood week and as part of that I worked some more on the TWIGS project (Third World Inflammables Gathering System). The firewood tree I cut down this week had lots of small branches which normally go to the burn pile so I dragged them there, then took large pruners and started cutting all the smaller branches into 16″ lengths. I used ¾” as the cutoff point (pun intended) and anything smaller went into the burn pile behind me. Anything too large to cut with the pruners was dragged up to the shop to cut with the chainsaw. I didn’t have any Third-Worlders handy: a 92-year old snaggle-toothed granny or an eight-year-old, to show me the ropes on how to get the bundle on top of my head without blowing out a trapezius or two, so I cheated and used a wheelbarrow. I stacked them all up like cord wood and if the neighbors don’t have me committed for making a woodpile for Ken and Barbie I’ll use them to cook outdoors. I want to see how many meals I can get from the pile. I can taste the Dutch oven potatoes and blackberry cobbler already.

    This highlight of the week was figuring out how to disable to caps lock key on my keyboard, the one I hit accidentally about every other sentence. Now if I can only get the ; and ‘ keys to trade places I’d be a really happy camper.

    My Baker Creek Seed order arrived and I’m really excited about trying out some if this new stuff I bought.

    I made up some collards/summer sausage stir fry and it was great stuff. I’m going to learn to grow them and I don’t know how I made it this far in life without having eaten them before. Obviously a huge defect in my upbringing and education.

    I had a blast finishing the propane heater project in the well house. Unfortunately it was fatal so I’m writing this from the other side. It’s pretty warm down here so no need for propane heaters after all that time and money, or my preps. Apparently I was doing the wrong kind of prepping anyway. I could use some water because we’re all dying of thirst. Oh wait a minute, we’re already dead. My kids, who are frugalomaniacs like me, were tickled pink at the free cremation. They’re no doubt at this moment fighting over all my buckets of beans and rice. “You take ’em!” “No way! YOU saw them first, YOU take them!” Something tells me the compost pile will have lots of sprouts in it come spring. Oh well, the best laid plans of mice and men. I’m also permitted to tell you that Lee Harvey Oswald really was a patsy and the truth about the World Trade Center is that… crackle… crackle… what happened was… cackle… I seem to be… crackle… crackle… losing transmission capabilit………..

    Everyone have a great week!

    1. St Funogas,

      My friend who likes to go to auctions with me was over today and I mentioned an auction at a hardware store that is closing down. Thought my wife was going to put a hole in the ceiling when she launched. She tried reminding me of my “temporary auction” ban and my friend, not even me which was nice, reminded her that the ban was “for the rest of the year”, and it 2021 now!!! He said well what about a gun show instead? So I’m allowed to go to “A” auction. Well not to many auctions going on now (the previously mentioned hardware store auction was too far away), so I think I will conduct a psychological operation and not go for a month or two and remind the Mrs how well behaved I’ve been!

      1. Hey 3ADscout, my heart goes out to you. Apparently you’re not bringing enough chocolate home after the auction. Try that next time and in the meantime, develop a serious facial tick and shaky hands, maybe she’ll understand what your deprivation is causing.

        Let me know how it works out in case I need to resort to it some day. 🙂

    2. Oh man, I started to chuckle when I read the word “blast” in the first sentence of your last paragraph, but then you took it in a very unexpected direction. Very clever as usual.

      Thanks for the tutorial about fire starting. We have just gotten brave enough with the littles bouncing around to have a couple small fires in our fireplace this year, using some ancient “Fire Logs” we unearthed from the garage. Those have the advantage of burning out naturally after two hours so we don’t have to argue about extinguishing it for BEDTIME. But with all of the trees on our property (and a little wood already even cut and stacked) I really want to convince my husband to use what we have and not BUY any more of those silly chemical things… Besides, firstborn is about Cub Scout age so it’ll be a skill he’ll need soon.

  12. Ammo of all calibers is in short supply in Tucson, AZ. Gun sales are ever increasing here. In the surrounding smaller communities the people are feeling very anxious about the ammo shortage. Most types of guns are still available for sale though the prices are quite high. reloading supplies are in very short supply and are in high demand. Everyone here who is conservative is anxious and fearful and thinks the election was a fraud.


    1. Fellow Tucson dweller here (for now), my wife and I visited a local gun shop yesterday out of curiosity, haven’t been since 2019. What a sad sight. Line for the ammo counter, high prices for odd calibers. Decent gun inventory but again the prices were ridiculous. Place was busy; freshly ironed businessman buying a revolver, nervous mother buying a pistol and was told she can buy a box of 50 HP rounds for well over $1/per round to “practice”. Small group of young men barely old enough to buy handguns waiting to buy some flashy rifles/pistols. I eyeballed a few new .22 pistols but for $450+ no thanks. We left feeling thankful for the small amount of preps our budget has allowed over the years. Stay safe.

  13. Haven’t really had much happening as I’m back at work again, so the prepping progress kind of gets put on the back burner until I get days off – and by then I’ve created a honey-do list for myself that I couldn’t get done on days off if I went at it 24 hours a day. I seem to struggle with prioritizing.

    Over Christmas my back-up generator that I’d ordered came in, so it got picked up and it’s now at the acreage. I found a Generac 22KW generator that will run the whole place. I still need to get into all the literature on it, but they will apparently run on natural gas, or propane. Can’t really do a lot with it now, until the spring. I need to build a pad for it, and do some trenching for the electrical cables that I need to run. I could do a temporary hook-up if I needed to in a couple hours, so it’s a comfort at least having it home.

    Ammo is still available up here, and I’m taking advantage of that fact. I managed to pick up 1000 rounds of American Eagle .223 for $400, and some 12 gauge that I was a little short on. I know the drought is coming, so if I can find a good deal I’m trying to pick up a little extra – I can always sell it.

    The wife started a new job today, so we’re both back working right now. All I can do is thank the good Lord for our “luck” as I look around and see so many struggling. We are helping out where we can with friends and neighbors, and are very fortunate that in our area the impact has been minimal.

    I hope everyone has a good week, and that you can stay safe with all the possible issues that this inaugural week may bring. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

      1. RCB5472TN and that’s Canadian dollars. We’ve seen a general price increase on .223. I was buying it at about $470/1000 for AE or UMC. It’s gone up by about $100/1000 to that $570-$580 right now. I just stumbled on a good deal. I’m still getting bulk 9mm for about $350/1000.

        Apparently our warehouses were full up here when all this silliness started, so we haven’t experienced the drought like you guys have, but anybody with a lick of common sense knows it’s coming. And it’ll last a long time after yours is over – cause the manufacturers will fill the shelves there before they bother exporting it up here.

        Guess the thing that gets me is that because we haven’t seen the shortages most people up here seem to think it’s not going to happen.

    1. Is a ‘chin saw’ like a razor/shaver…? To clear off the five o’clock shadow before you go on a dinner date with the Mrs.

      Just giving you grief 😉 :p knew you meant chainsaw!

      Along with the saw, I used to take a shop broom when going to help after a tornado, to clear the road of busted small branches that could puncture (car) tires.

  14. After a short trip into the closest Big City, Household 6 and I decided we need a bigger vehicle. We found a Ford Excursion at our local dealer for a ridiculously low price, but the thought of having a car payment is stopping us from jumping on it. But, we may just have to bite that bullet.

    We got her set up with her new rifle, a Ruger PC9 9mm carbine. She likes the fact she can break it down and have it with her in a small backpack, along with a few essentials.

    Our Walmart started getting in seeds for spring, so we went and got those before everyone else decided to. It’ll be time to use our back room for starting our seeds soon. I’m building some raised beds this year, so we’ll see how that goes.

    I usually stop in all of the local gun shops at least once a week. The supply of guns is steady, but nothing to shoot in them. Magazines are still plentiful, and I usually get a few every week. How those are still around, I’m not sure. There is a gun show this weekend, but it’ll be packed to the gills with people trying to get last minute purchases before the Biden administration comes in.

    1. Regarding magazines, I would suspect a lot of first time gun owners are buying ammo, but not extra mags, combined with a lot of veteran owners having laid in a significant stock of mags already.

      And nice to see I’m not the only one familiar with HH6.

  15. I’ve been absent for a couple of weeks. Work has been pretty demanding and because we enjoy it so much my company keeps giving us more – with no additional headcount, of course. Sometimes it’s east to fall into complaining – until you look into what God’s Word says about hard work. Clearly, God views hard work favorably if done with the right attitude and mindset. Think about it – if you are in a challenging work environment it is almost certainly fertile ground for living your faith. People watch. A pastor could easily do a 2-3 week series on how God views work. Sometimes I write sermon notes on things I want to share with others in a Bible study setting. This is one of them.

    On the prepping front we’ve had to do a reset on a past goal. Ham radio. We missed our 2020 goal of testing and getting set up with a decent rig. Yes the small radios are great but we want to make national and worldwide contacts. Otherwise it’s just no fun. We’ve got a great local resource that is helping us on equipment decisions and training. He knows theory and practical application on a wide range of comms topics plus keeps up with the latest radios and equipment. Unfortunately we are finding that a lot of people with such knowledge and experience are old timers. Far and few between. In our town of 18-20k people there are less than 10 active radio operators and no local repeaters.

    We have one store within an hour drive that is always well stocked on ammo. Heading down today. They have raised prices very little. It’s in LA and people drive in from AL, TX and AR to buy.

    Our Nesco countertop electric canner is working out well. We use it to can beef broth frequently.

    I have a long road trip coming up where I’ll be in KY, TN and KS meeting with vendors. We’re mapping a few locations to check out especially in TN and KY as we are still exploring moving to a rural location. Should be fun. There is one person on SB who has given us some great ideas. I cannot name them for security reasons but you know who you are. Thank you!

    Our other short term goal is building a fuel storage station. This has been on the drawing board for a year. Great article posted on this topic today, by the way. Ours will need to be portable as we rent for now. So we will place it far into the back yard. Basically a very low profile wood shed with enough height to hold two rows of gas cans (60 gallons) and four propane canisters. When we move we’ll load it up on the moving trucks.

    We’ve been spending some time on vehicle maintenance and repairs. On tap for this weekend is a transmission and rear differential fluid change on our truck, plus an oil pan gasket. I’m also catching whiffs of coolant so that needs to be checked out. So far the cheap truck we bought has worked out extremely well for our family.

    We’re starting to notice more price increases across the board. It’s just one example of dozens, but my favorite work jeans are now up by 20% in the past year. Our family has decided to buy a few key items that will offset future inflation. Work clothes and good boots/shoes are on that list. More tires and , storable foods too. We are looking for longer lasting alternatives to items we wear out most frequently. For example, we made poor choices on daily work boots and now have to replace them with brands built to last and hopefully much more comfortable.

    On the vaccine – no thanks. The mask mandate in our state is already an overreach which is mostly ignored in our area except at a few restaurants that are scared to death of complaints to the health department. Funny how our favorite lunch restaurant and two hardware shops in town don’t require them at all and they are back to normal business levels, while the stores with multiple signs up and owners that enforce mask wearing are pretty much empty. Walmart is not enforcing masks, neither are most of the grocery stores. Many of our healthcare workers in the area have also refused the vaccine.

    I have my eye on one of Mr Rawles pre 1898 guns. More as an investment. Have a great week everyone!

    1. Chris in Arkansas… you may already know this but KY has state income tax as well as city taxes depending upon the city / town you choose to reside … TN does not have a state income tax … just stay away from Memphis / Nashville … have lived in TN all my 66 years … rural area …

      1. Thank you! Yes, I am pretty well aware of the dangers in the Memphis area. I oversee several stores in that area and there are some places you just don’t go after dark. Seems like the best of both worlds is to live in TN and shop in KY.

  16. I was actually able to order some seeds online from southernexposure.com: pumpkins, corn, tomatoes, and beans. It will be nice to have them in stock. Will order potatoes and mushroom spawn later. Last year, when I went to order, everything was sold out…

  17. We have finished a bout with covid this week. Nothing worse than a mile cold for us. I know it was covid because my DW lost her sense of taste and smell for a few days and she can’t leave the house so she had to get it from me. Otherwise, life is as normal as can be for the times we are in. Keep on praying, reading His word and sharing the gospel.

    1. Thankful, BWL, for the news that COVID-19 was mild for both you and your wife, and that you are recovering (or recovered). I am just very, very thankful.

      1. Thank you. I have been doing some research and I to the eastern Tennessee area for relocation. It seems to be more bang for your buck as far as property goes. Still need to do more research though, church job opportunities and whatnot. It will be some time before any move happens anyway.

        1. We’ve got a couple of areas pegged in eastern Tennessee as well. Tellico Plains and the surrounding areas are attractive for a variety of reasons. The outlying areas of Dandridge are nice too. Tough to get land level enough for gardening or livestock in the extreme eastern side of the state though. As I was counseled – be careful on legal protections for your land and possessions. I believe Mr. Rawles does some consulting work if help is needed.

  18. What in the world did I do this week besides be stressed out of my mind?
    Besides shoveling snow. Did I mention my long uphill/downhill driveway is a sheet of ice?
    Besides carrying in wood.
    Besides deep cleaning the entire house.
    Oh yeah, I made myself STOP and read a devotional book + the scriptures every morning, fell behind a few days, then caught up. I find that by the end of the day, I could use a dozen more devotionals. Trying to keep my mind and heart square with the Lord.

    My “puppies” are 35 and 60 lbs now, so maybe I should stop calling them puppies. While I no longer have to deal with their razor sharp baby teeth, I have a few bruises from “whoops mom! I didn’t mean to bite you that hard.”

    Had to call a plumber for a broken toilet since I couldn’t lift the dang thang myself. FINALLY figured out how to get a fire started in the morning in a few minutes rather than laboring over that dang thang for hours. I started another quilt – sewing helps me feel productive. Trying to be calm and positive for my adult children who are also very stressed and trying to figure out how to get out of CommieCA. Was very disappointed that I was outbid on the 5 acre property I wanted, but obviously God has other plans for me. Managing stress and disappointment is something I have vast experience in. LOL. I make a To Do list every morning and regardless of how I feel, I DO THE THINGS and check them off. At the end of the day, I can say, “see what you did there??” It helps.

    Ground up some fresh wheat berries last night and just pulled several loaves out of the oven. Honey wheat bread is comfort food! The sun finally burst through the cold haze and it’s gloriously beautiful! “I *will* lift up mine eyes until the hills from whence cometh my help…” (Psalm 121).

      1. It’s pretty telling when we have more troops in DC than in Afghanistan… to install a man, a straw man, who didn’t win the election. This story must end differently.

        1. SaraSue, that would be more troops in DC than in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria combined. Nazi Pelosi asked for armed troops, she got armed troops, thanks to Donald J. Trump. The President had to sign off on the armed troops. However, they are all under his command. Take heart, this could be a very interesting week. We’ll see.

          Stay away from all capital cities starting on 1/17/21. Strange things happening.

          1. All because they refuse to listen to the people!

            It sounds like DC has become Animal Farm, and Trump is Snowball!

            Those animals are more equal than others!

    1. Hey SaraSue, sounds like you’re having some real challenges. Bummer on not getting your property.

      “FINALLY figured out how to get a fire started in the morning in a few minutes rather than laboring over that dang thang for hours.”

      A few other people have mentioned this lately so I’ll share my frugalistic “one match and walk away” method.

      It’s all about the kindling and how you make the base for the fire. Kindling should be very dry and narrow, mine are typically split from boards or regular pieces of firewood. You want ¾” across or smaller. The more rough edges the better.

      I get all the free newspapers I want by asking at the newspaper office. Use only pages which are not the shiny kind like they use for Walmart inserts. They don’t burn well. To start a fire, I lay two small pieces of firewood (5-6″ in diameter x 16″) up against each side of the stove inside so that it forms a “valley” between the two pieces. I then crinkle up newspapers and fill the valley with as many as I can stuff in there. Next, I lay three evenly-spaced pieces of short kindling perpendicular to the side logs so they are fully supported and won’t fall through into the valley. I then add three longer pieces perpendicular to those, followed by another layer of short pieces parallel to the first layer. Then a large piece of firewood to top everything off. You have to have the damper open and the flue open to get a good draft so the fire can really take off. Open the damper, open the flue, light one match to the newspaper and walk away. If you have a metal chimney pipe above the stove, I can’t recommend highly enough getting a chimney thermometer. It lets you know when you’re above the safe limit and should shut the flue and/or damper.

      By using this log cabin type construction, the kindling won’t fall onto the newspaper and snuff it out. And if you didn’t start with enough newspapers, then you will still have that space under the kindling to stuff in more newspapers and try again.

      Hope this helps! 🙂



      1. St. F, that is pretty darn close to the way we start fires and it works great! I second your thoughts on the stove pipe thermometer. It is useful to know how the fire is doing, but its real value was when it approached 700 degrees one day and I knew in time to close the damper. Who knows, we might have had a chimney fire without it. And no, neither the stove nor the pipe actually glowed red, although a friend swears his stove pipe has done so.

        This week we prepped for the storm that just hit our area by splitting kindling and bringing in as much firewood as possible. I had to march up the mountain to find out why our gravity fed water supply stopped. I figured an animal had bitten through the plastic pipe like last time. Nope, it had frozen, despite the seller and realtor telling us it never froze. I think a level part caused standing water which froze, so I rerouted it to eliminate the level portion.

        Crossing my fingers that we get through this cold period with out it freesing again. But leaving the kitchen faucet trickling, just to be safe.

      2. -St.Funogas

        I can attest to your method, works like a charm! The only thing I would add is to warm up the air in the chimney with a rolled up newspaper “torch”. I just get that flame up there best I can for a few seconds. Not sure what the science is, but it seems to create a vacuum effect that really helps things get started. Btw, I very much enjoy reading your posts, you are a talented writer.

      3. St. Funogas – I look forward to reading your replies.

        I completely agree with your fire starting method as well. I make the same valley so that the combustion air travels through it to create the burn as it heads up the chimney. Getting a good draft is a real thing and can be affected by a lot of factors on a given day. The only other thing that I do is to use a couple pieces of cardboard standing vertically along side of the paper/wood as an intermediary between the rolled newspaper and the kindling. I sometimes also rip up some smaller strips of cardboard to lay on top of the newspaper, but if they are too big and lay horizontally, they will smother the fire. I prefer kiln dried kindling from my wood working projects but use whatever is available.

        The last thing I’ll mention is that my wood burner has a slide mechanism called ACC (Automatic Combustion Control). It is basically a mechanical timer that allows extra air at the beginning of the burn cycle and then slowly shuts it down to whatever you have it set for as it burns through the fuel. There is always so much to learn – including how a fire burns.

    2. Our quick start fire method is putting lots of pinecones into boxes or a large barrel to dry out, then taking a several along with a dab of petroleum jelly on a few of them and lighting them under kindling. Works very well. That huge box of pinecones in our storage room was a life saver.

  19. @Animal House- you are correct – get prepared for the next two weeks. And STAY AWAY FROM CROWDS- especially THIS coming week. Don’t go to any protests. Not in DC, not in your state capital. I have decided to wait and see what comes next. Don’t go looking for trouble. Trouble will be here soon enough. We are stocking up on food and supplies and praying. Obviously, God’s plans are infinitely above my pay grade and I have no idea WHY Joe Biden will apparently be our temporary president. Maybe we are being punished for the murder of sixty million innocent unborn babies or for our permitting of all kinds of sexual deviants to flaunt their pride and lifestyles to the shame of our country.And for the mocking of God by large portions of our society. I don’t know. It looks like our chastisement/punishment will be subservience to the Chinese, a loss of our freedom, a civil or world war, a greatly reduced standard of living, or a combination of all of these. I can only hope that the punishment will be selective and not universal. We need to pray now.

    1. N.H., there is so much craziness now; hard to tell the truth from the dis-information. There really is a war going on; psy-ops, traitors, domestic terrorists, and now we find CCP at our door ready to invade. I keep praying that there are more good people in USA than there are bad people, so the Lord will have mercy on us. But, you are correct, many,many people in America have turned away from the Lord so He may allow the country to fall; but He will protect His people from the worst of it.

  20. The events surrounding the 2020 election is a deep wound… It’s rare that I cry, but I simply may not be able to help myself in watching this.

    EXCELLENT: Dan Scavino Releases Incredible Video of President Trump to Poem “If–” by Rudyard Kipling


    There is a lot of work to be done to restore election integrity, and to develop quality candidates between now and the midterms.

    1. Hey T of A, I’m still convinced that the reason they hated Trump so much is because he is an outsider who dared to enter their holy shrine of corruption and think he could be a “ruler” like them. Thank goodness he didn’t fit in. It’s a huge compliment.

      We’ve had three contested elections in the past 20 years, I don’t think we’ll ever see another honest election again.

      1. This is in the news wire today… It’s a perspective that appears to be gaining momentum. People on the conservative side of the political aisle are tired of being lied to by those who claim to represent those views. People are also tired of the weakness of these people who run for the proverbial hills at the first sign of trouble. There surely has been a lot of that lately… They claim to have political courage and conviction, but few of them really do.

        “Canceling the Republican Establishment requires full commitment that will not bend to the coming pain”


        All that said, Marjorie Taylor Greene is a politician of much stronger stripes. She is a rising champion. This is worth reading.

        “BRUTAL! Marjorie Taylor Greene DESTROYS Nasty GA Election Official Gabe Sterling After His Latest Smear on President Trump and Herself”


  21. I’ve been looking for the direct IP address for SB that was occasionally published on this site for several years. Would you please republish, maybe even in the glossary under IP address? If I just missed seeing it, please direct these old eyes to where I missed it. Many thanks.

    1. It is no longer technically feasible because we use floating IP addresses. If you want to be sure to access the Suvivalblog Archives it is important to get the archive stick that goes on sale on January 25, for pre-order and shipment should begin in the middle of February.

  22. Even though I’ve been reading about & involved in preparedness for years, I have never been much for commenting until recently. I truly enjoy the articles & especially the comments here. I learn a lot & am happy to have what seem to be so many like minded people to share with even if it is over a computer. I quit my job recently so hope to have more time & energy to direct toward other pursuits such as this.

    As for my prepping progress, I picked up some more heirloom seeds this week as well as some items to help get the plants growing indoors.

    Going through the barrel break in for a new .308 bolt action I just purchased from PSA. Had my wife shooting the .22 AR for a while. Can’t bring myself to use my .223 ammo for right now with it being in such short supply &/or so costly. Used to just shoot & replace but put a hold on that for now until I’m sure this is just a temporary event. Same for our handgun practice. Using .22 pistol mostly until something changes. Building some spinner targets to practice focusing on sight picture of a moving target.

    Added items we used from primary pantry & some new bulk items & canned goods to our 2nd pantry.

    Emailed my congressman about some thoughts regarding the impeachment, current division of the country, & second amendment. I offered my service to him should he need someone in our district to help. Doubt I’ll get an acceptance to the offer but never hurts to try.

    Reading my bible daily. In Acts now. I’ve read plenty of the bible in bits & pieces before on my own & in Sunday school but never from start to finish on purpose. Makes me feel a lot better than watching the news on TV!

    About to go feed the cows now so will check in later.

    1. GaGoneGalt… so good to have you in the SB community… like you I was a long time reader and started commenting about 2 years ago… this is a great place to learn from others … I most enjoy the spiritual bond I feel with many here… God bless you

  23. Hi Everybody,

    The cleanup crew for the storm in our area must have taken down the phone lines for repair, since we lost all phone and internet connection this morning. Therefore were unable to post comments. We had to go to town for connection. Hopefully, our phone will be back on soon. Our apologies to you all.

  24. Dear Jim and Lily:

    Happy New Year and blessings to each of your family. I’m glad to hear that you survived the windstorm last Wednesday without any apparent damage to your dwellings and out buildings. I’m amazed that the storm covered such a wide area. (Fox News reported a wind gust of 105 MPH near Cheyenne, Wyoming.) Here in the northern Willamette Valley, we also felt the storm — although the winds were not as strong here . Fortunately, we didn’t lose power in our neighborhood.

    After going to bed Tuesday night, the wind really started kicking up. I was a bit nervous since there are lots of fir and maple trees on my acreage. At around 1 – 2 AM, I heard a loud crash and knew that a tree had fallen nearby. During daylight hours, I discovered that a large maple tree on the hillside behind my house (leading down to the large year-round creek bordering my property) had cracked at the base and partially fallen into the creek. There will be lots of firewood when it is all cut up! We also had heavy rain this week, so the creek was well out of its banks and looked like a muddy, raging river.

    This past week, I also received my latest Ebay shipment: a portable LED light bulb with built-in 1600 mAh Lithium-ion battery. These light bulbs have an ON/OFF switch, an LED charging indicator, a charging jack, and a hook so that the bulb can be easily carried or hung from a curtain rod, etc. Also included is a small solar array with a cable for charging the light bulb. I’ve ordered several of these bulbs recently and am amazed at how bright they are. The latest ones have an array of 12 individual LEDs, and apparently provide the equivalent lighting of a 20 watt incandescent bulb.

    I ordered directly from the foreign supplier for a price of around $7 each. They are also available for around $10 – $13 from US importers. In any case, I now have a good supply of standalone LED bulbs — charged and ready for the next power outage. (This is in addition to my 12 volt LED screw-in light bulbs that run directly from a 12 volt source, such as the 35 Ah AGM batteries available from Harbor Freight or Walmart.com)

    I have also been much in thought and prayer over the aftermath of the recent U.S. elections. I was going to share some thoughts about this, but think I’ll save that for another posting — possibly later today.

    Cliff (in Oregon)

  25. Hello out there,

    I was at a gun showing sharonville oh suburb of Cincinnati

    The following prices were 22LR box 500 for 90.00 a case of 5000 rds was $ 875.00 – steel case 223 55gr $ 675.00 for 500 rds brass was $ 1.50 ea – 9 mm black talon was $125 box 20 – 9 mm was $675.00 per case of 500 new package instead of 1k rds – 30 rd 5.56 gen 2 mags were $ 19.00 each or more – lots of new guns for sale but not many buying – most people were buy lights, knives and scopes. Most AR-15 were $ 1500.00 or more saw one person walking around trying to sell M-14 with 20 rd mag for $ 2200.00 cash only

    1. Thanks for an update on that show. I was thinking of going but changed my mind. Guess I didn’t miss anything. Those are quite a bit higher prices than OGCA last week.

  26. My Nesco Smart Canner came. Processed 4 quarts of Potato soup base. Used wide mouth per directions.
    Customer Service said to try canning water in regular mouth jars as a test to be sure they seal as some have trouble with small mouth jars.
    1) apparently they didn’t do the testing for small mouth jars (which I think is nuts, but it seems these days most people buy wide mouth – nicer for sure, but I have gobs of small mouth jars and don’t plan on dumping them) and
    2) some people have reported problems with small mouth jars sealing. My thought is they had bad lids but maybe there is that much different in the way the smart canner operates.
    We have a finicky stove that needs a lot of babysitting even to do water bath canning so this sounds optimal for me. I can do other things after this gets going and don’t have to be constantly standing at the stove watching and adjusting. Will probably get a second one so I can do 8 at a time.
    I don’t buy things from China if at all possible but the ability to can and still do something else as well as being sure my pressure stays consistent (really finicky stove- I know I know) convinced me to make this an exception.
    Trying to stay ahead of the carrot and potato harvest. A neighbor offered us carrots and I thought that was funny as DH had just finished cleaning up another bucket full of ours. Maybe carrots are the new zucchini. Food drying coming up next.
    Birds still coming to the feeder so stocked up on seed again.
    Copying the book of Isaiah, as I learn best by writing things down. And although we read through the Bible annually (doing it chronologically this year) I’ve seen things I don’t usually notice because I’m writing it instead of reading it or listening to DH read as we do together.

    1. Carrots as the new zucchini – LOL! I remember my sister once telling me (I’m a very novice gardener and that’s being generous) to keep in mind that each zucchini plant only bears ONE zucchini so I needed to be sure to plant a lot of them! Nope i didn’t fall for it, but I was super proud of her ability to keep a straight face through that whole schpiel 😉 If you haven’t tried dehydrating carrots yet, it works really well. I can get a 5# bunch of them, cut into coins, to fit in a pint jar.

      Thank you for the reminder to copy Scripture. I used to do that with the Gospels, and just like you I also noticed myself catching things that I had never seen before when reading or listening. Maybe ’cause writing makes us slow down and process more?

      1. I’m also dehydrating carrots, as I haven’t been successful at growing those yet…(but I keep trying). I’m going to look at some information DeepSouthHomestead has on starting carrots from seeds.

        I had reasonable success with growing potatoes in bags last year, so I’ll try that again this year.

        Looking forward to getting my hands back in the soil 🙂

  27. After spending the previous week on the road for work, we were able to get a few things done this week. This included making our monthly big box and butcher runs. I’m trying to keep things as well stocked as possible, anticipating potential social unrest, especially in the coming week. While stepping into the local big box sports store, I saw the only ammo available was 28 gauge birdshot. This has been a problem for several months in our area, and I don’t see it improving soon.

    Earlier this week, we had a short power outage, only a couple of hours. We also had a minor illness hit. Both of these were short, relatively mild events, but they showed us some minor holes that we were able to quickly remedy. I try to use anything like these as learning experiences.

    We had planned to slaughter our first chickens today… several of our hens went broody over the summer, and we have too many roosters. We set up a processing station with a cone, watched several videos on Rumble and YouTube, and were ready to start this afternoon, when an unforeseen emergency intervened. So the birds have a reprieve until Monday, assuming the weather cooperates and nothing else pops up. Looking forward to a messy, but hopefully instructional, experience.

    Stay alert and stay safe, folks. This should be an interesting week.

  28. Dear SB family:

    — This is a follow-up to my earlier posting today —

    Over the past few weeks, I’ve given much thought and prayer to the aftermath of the U.S. elections. I’ve also been praying for spiritual discernment. If you listen only to the mainstream media (which I generally avoid) you will likely get a distorted view of reality and can be led to despair. On the other hand, if you listen to news sources such as Newsmax or The Epoch Times, you will likely get a more accurate view of reality but can also become disheartened. To further add to the mix, there are YouTube videos (featuring persons like Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney and Mark Taylor) that may lead us to believe that the voting machines were definitely hacked by foreign entities and that an imminent U.S. covert military operation may remove Biden/Harris from power.

    Other “prophetic voices” are proclaiming that God showed them that President Trump definitely won the election and that he will ultimately be granted a second term in office, once the revelations of fraud are fully exposed. To be honest, things can get very confusing, and I find that I have wavered between feelings of faith and feelings of fear about the immediate future of our country. My own limited research has led me to believe that there was significant and widespread election fraud and constitutional violations, and that it was more than enough to change the outcome of this “close” Presidential race. What is less certain to me is whether anything can be done to rectify the situation at this late stage of the game. When I look at the situation with my “natural eyes” it seems pretty hopeless. However, when I begin to look at it through my “spiritual eyes,” I am filled with faith and hope for the future.

    This morning in my devotional time, I was praying that the Holy Spirit would really give me spiritual discernment for the days ahead… to be able to separate truth from fiction. As I was praying, I remembered the intercessions of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians Chapter 1, verses 17 and 18. In praying for the Christians at Ephesus, Paul prayed that God would give them “the spirit of wisdom and revelation.” He also prayed that God would enlighten “the eyes of your understanding.” As I thought about this, I was reminded of something that happened to me a few years ago.

    Probably about eight years ago, I was seeking the Lord for wisdom about a particular matter that was of great importance to me. I had been praying about this situation for some time, but didn’t really seem to be getting any definite direction. Finally late one evening before dark, I decided to take a long walk alongside a county road near my home. As I was walking, I began to ask that the Lord would really open my “spiritual eyes” to discern truth about a situation. I did not want to just depend upon what I saw with my “natural eyes” and my “natural understanding.” As the sun was setting over the hills and it was becoming increasingly dark, I began to pray with increasing fervency: “open the eyes of my heart, dear Lord.” I began to pray that — even as God gives us natural light to enlighten our natural eyes — God would give me spiritual discernment to enlighten my “spiritual eyes.”

    By now it was beginning to get pretty dark outside — I knew that I should turn around and head back home. However, I felt compelled to keep walking farther along until I had a confirmation that God had heard my prayer. As I continued prayerfully walking along the bike path next to the county road, I noticed a dark object on the ground. As I got closer, I could hardly believe my eyes. It was an LED Maglight — a large one that holds three D cells. It was in amazing condition and had just a few tiny nicks on the surface. Even more surprising was that the batteries were in great condition and the Maglight put out a brilliant light. My first impulse was to wonder if someone in a home around there was missing it — normally I would want to return it. However, it was a rural area with no homes right there, so it would be hard to even know who to contact. (I ultimately decided to take it home, but would have gladly returned it if I had known who owned it.) I still have the Maglight today and have kept it as a wonderful reminder of God’s faithfulness. He will always be faithful to enlighten my “spiritual eyes” — even as He provided a bright Maglight that evening to illuminate my natural eyes on that increasingly dark evening.

    A number of years ago, I was an executive pastor in charge of things like church administration, finances and buildings. As we were in the midst of a major building program, there were times when I wasn’t quite certain what to do in a particular situation. As I shared this with a senior elder, he assured me with words like this: “Cliff, you just have to believe that God is leading us even when we don’t realize it.” Those words have been a great encouragement to me. Throughout out the New Testament, there are many verses that confirm that Jesus is the “Light of the world.” In Matt. 5:14, Jesus also tells us that we as Christians are “the light of world.” In Matt. 5:16, Jesus exhorts us: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” All of these verses encourage me to believe that our Lord will be faithful to lead us through every situation in the days ahead. We don’t need to grope around in the darkness or cower in fear. We who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus and filled with His Spirit are “children of the Light.”

    I apologize for the length of this posting, but I hope that it will be encouraging to each of you as we navigate the challenging days ahead. I believe that millions of Christians here in the U.S. are praying — even at this late stage — for the ultimate outcome of the 2020 election and the future of American. I know that many Christians around the world are also praying for our nation. I don’t know exactly how everything will turn out, but I am filled with faith and am believing for a miracle. Please continue to pray for America and for righteous government. God is still on His throne, and Jesus is still the Savior and Light of the world.

    Blessings to each of you!
    Cliff (in Oregon)

    “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” — II Chron. 7:14 (NKJV)

    1. Cliff in Oregon – thank you for taking the time to write this. It helps those of us who are struggling to maintain proper perspective on all of this election stuff. God is truly in control.

    2. CDM, This posting of yours is very precious to me, and it has nothing to do with the election.

      I love your love for the Lord. As I read, I felt like I was with you, walking on the country road, talking to the Lord. My eyes filled with tears and I couldn’t read the words on the page anymore. As I wiped my eyes, my mouth and chin started quivering… my throat got tight… all out of feeling your love and relationship with our Heavenly Father…
      It was a wonderful thing to share.
      I was feeling sad yesterday, and your story has truly encouraged me.

      (Furthermore, I will never look at a mag light the same again.)

      Feeling blessed, Krissy

      1. Thank you so much, Krissy, for your kind comments! (Also, thanks to Chris in Arkansas and Joyce too.) I’m so glad that you were blessed by the experiences I shared. May our Lord continue to lead us and encourage us in the momentous days ahead. Many blessings! — Cliff

  29. Agreeing with what you have said Cliff in Oregon/ Chris in Arkansas…God is still on His throne-God is truly in control! May we petition Him for faith on our part, safety for all still working to keep this a Nation under God and a movement to draw the hearts of unbelievers of the Republic AND God to Himself in a supernatural way. It’s hard for me to imagine being at peace with the “opposition” but that has been a thread in the message brought to my attention this past week. First, when DJT asked his supporters to find a way to preserve and promote peace. Then as the Word came in later reading and teachings from multiple sources. (1st Peter 4:8 came up more than once!) “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” Division, especially among believers-but with all others as well, will keep us from the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives. Just when I thought i was growing past some of this stuff i am finding there is still much work to be done…

    Was a balm to my soul that more than one commenter referenced the community and bond here at S.B. even though we are NOT face to face. I had that exact thought as I finally got sat down to read the last couple days of articles waiting for me.

    Blessings and safety to you all…especially those still putting to rights the damage from storms! Being prepared for what comes is hampered by injury and sickness so everyone please be deliberate in the care of yourself this coming week…don’t put off what your body needs to function well!

    In one of my study aids today, encouragement abounded! “Love and trust are the solvents for the worry and cares and frets of life. Apply them at once. You are channels and though the channel may not be altogether blocked, fret and impatience and worry corrode”… i was comforted greatly by the last sentence…”Persevere, oh! persevere. Never lose heart. All is well.”

    Will be lifting you ALL up in prayer as we face this challenging week…

  30. Didn’t do much this week except have a cry-and-goodbye session in the basement. The shop hasn’t been cleaned up for a good 15 years. Wish the trash can was larger! Built a rack for my rod stock, and then finished the first cut on a new sandpaper rack, only to have the rip fence lock break. Took the table saw in to the hardware store/factory service center, only to find that they are not going to repair tools anymore, due to poor service from the tool manufacturers. They took the saw in, but it might be a few weeks before they can get the part. Worst case, I’ll have to try to mill a new part, or buy a new saw. Large power tools are almost impossible to stock more than one due to their size. My only out is the shop I built in my bunker. I’d go insane without tools!

    While cleaning out, I gashed my bottle of distilled water, and dumped the whole gallon on the floor. So, I’ve been distilling water with the chemistry equipment all week. Yield is about 250 ml per hour. Have 2 fresh gallons made up.

    Don’t know why, but I’ve had a craving for beer for the last 3 weeks. My last can was 2 years ago when the road crew handed out beers instead of T-shirts after the load out was done. That’s about the only time I drink alcohol. But, if the body is craving something out of the ordinary, it’s probably something needed! Broke down and bought a 12 pack. I’m going to be heavy drinking this year! I haven’t bought beer in 25 years!

    Lost a zone valve on the furnace. Seems like that valve wants to control everything. Woke up to the house at 55 degrees. Luckily, the basement zone will override it, so I had to turn on the basement thermostat. Down side is our food supply is down there, and that wants to be kept cool. Also found that the air purger likes to leak when the furnace cools down, so I’ll have to replace that too! So much for the $600 check!

      1. Would need one that can do metal. Have the rod stock to build a new part, so milling up a new one isn’t hard. The hard part is installing it, and re aligning the rip fence to the blade. Had to realign it once, and there’s not much room to true things up. I got it to about 1/64″ and that was the best it would get, so all measurements have to be done at the rear of the blade to compensate.

  31. The new upright freezer will (supposedly!) be delivered mid-February, so we moved a shelf out of the kitchen to make room for it. That shelf went in the dining room, so one of the kids’ bookshelves got moved to the OTHER wall of the dining room, and the bookshelf that used to be on that wall got moved into a corner of my bedroom, and the end table that used to live in that corner was cleared out and is now just sitting in the foyer awaiting a new place. I live in a Tetris game! or maybe an ongoing game of Musical Chairs&Tables&Shelves oh my! I guess the bonus is most all of these shelves have gotten decluttered and reorganized to make them more useful. The bedroom bookcase is collecting practical-skill books, so I don’t have to hunt for them amongst husband’s many novels and our old textbooks. I’ll be able to get to a corner kitchen cabinet much more easily without the shelf there, so it will turn into an auxiliary pantry instead of a Stuff-Dumping Space (like a junk drawer, only bigger and more chaotic).

    The new dining room shelf holds all the mobile appliances like the dehydrators, food processors, crockpot, vacuum sealer, etc., with a very short shelf for stashing extra tin foil (gotta keep my hat looking nice!) and bags and vacuum-seal plastic and canning lids. The kids thought that their father and me MacGuyvering a back panel for this shelf–using a cut up old box, some extra rubbery shelf-liner material, some duct tape and some tacks–was the most entertaining thing they’ve seen all week. It looks a little…different…sitting right there beside the china hutch, but I keep reminding myself that in this house we ALWAYS go for functional over pretty. My husband says it is NOT redneck, it is Infantry Gothic.

    In the meantime the old garage freezer was not gonna last another three weeks without another defrost, so I borrowed a massive cooler for the contents and got that done. We haven’t gotten any groceries at all this year yet (saving money, rotating stores, practicing meal planning with what we have) but you all have convinced me to restock this week so I’ll make an order. You ought to hear my children whiiiiiiiine about drinking *gasp* powdered milk!! We had a can expiring soon and needed to use it up. Despite talking it up as a new adventure every which way I could think of, the verdict is in: stuff is NASTY. I guess if they would just rather drink water, it will free up some space in the pantry because I need only store enough to bake with. I also thawed and used up a 5# carton of eggs, which have been great to bake with and even turn into custard, but turned rubbery when scrambled with cheese. I wanted to test and see if this was a product worth getting again, and I think it will be for short-term storage. We can easily use up 45 eggs in 2-3 days. But still want to get some powdered.

    I don’t know what’s up with the potential property. *sigh* The realtor is being decidedly unhelpful and we haven’t even been able to get an inspection yet. Called a local realtor I know this week, and asked him to please find and recommend someone to represent us up there. Also have been half-heartedly searching for other properties, in between everything else. I don’t know if I’m just temporarily burnt out on the whole idea or if it’s a spiritual nudge but I’m not feeling nearly so driven about it as I was. Probably that’ll change on Wednesday…*shudder!*

    Still trying to add to the gear slowly. We’re looking at a tackle box type arrangement for the house first aid kit, because currently it is UTTERLY disorganized and we have at least a 10% chance of a bandaid flurry dropping upon our heads when we open that door to get vitamins. I also see a browser tab open for an Army surplus store, and Someone has pulled up some jungle boots and selected MY size from the dropdown. Wow cool! My current boots are comfy and sturdy but not completely waterproof. It’s been sitting there awhile though, so just last night I reminded him: Valentine’s Day is coming, wink wink nudge nudge….. (not like we even celebrate that, but :P) He said he would order them and wrap them up in a big puffy red bow. I said, what? no fancy lingerie-store bag with tissue paper and perfume? 😛

    We have both permanently deleted our Amazon accounts, switched over to using Brave for a browser, and looking into Proton Mail. We’re also moving away from YouTube, which has been an adjustment because even though we broke its algorithm a LONG time ago with the variety of stuff we search out to listen to, it at least provided a decent variety. iHeart Radio is still on its learning curve and I hope to teach it to expand a bit beyond any given artist’s top couple of songs only. After about the fourth repetition of “Love Will Keep Us Together” in a very short time, I muttered, “Remember kids, muskrat tastes best with barbeque sauce….,” causing my children to just look at me funny and my husband to snort into his coffee.

    Have a good week, everyone! Try to stay safe and sane!

    1. LOL on the muskrat comment!!!!

      My sister just suggested Proton Mail.

      I’ve decided not to renew my Prime account, and will be looking to order from smaller dealers and manufacturers.

      Let your voice be heard through your pocketbooks!

  32. The real problem is that we can’t even primary the GOP swampers now. Our votes mean nothing. I expect the fix is in for them, too. (I might not be able to say that online next week.) We are experiencing the curse of living in interesting times.

    Note to self – get more canning jars. Just about ran out of empties last year.

  33. I am concerned that people will being to prey upon conservatives – hacking their bank accounts, stealing property titles, identity theft. Things which would not have been tolerated six months ago.

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