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. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!
This past week I packed a few Elk Creek Company orders, did a lot of blog writing, did some organizing, and bid on a few gun auctions. (The latter is usually a fruitless exercise, since prices are now galloping.)
I really relish this sedate time of year. It is only we are at home in the quiet winter months that I can have the opportunity to organize and label supplies.
There hasn’t been much recent excitement with my mailorder biz. I did decide to branch out into modern percussion blackpowder revolvers. (These are sometimes called “shootable replicas”.) I’m concentrating on buying stainless steel ones that are .44 caliber that can be fitted with cartridge conversion cylinders. That way I can help fill the hands of people who are trapped in the coastal left Nanny states. If any of you readers have a stainless steel Ruger Old Army or a stainless steel Uberti 1858 that you don’t shoot very often (or have never shot), then I’d love to take it in trade. I can make you a solid offer if you have one in minty condition. Bonus point if you still have the factory box.
I’ve also been catching up on cataloging the guns that I acquired, for inventory. Since my inventory has been turning over so rapidly since the election, this has kept me very busy. Our #2 Daughter (Miss Violet) does the photography. She hands those photos to me on a SD memory card, and then I do the cropping and the brightness/saturation/color corrections.
I do have one gun show buying trip planned for next weekend. Getting ready for that means doing some extra writing each day — so that I’ll have four days’ worth of posts “in the can” before I depart on that road trip.
Avalanche Lily Reports:
The daylight hours are getting much longer here. Woot, woot! This week has been characterized by one day of warm sunny weather (up to 46 degrees F.), two days of rain and then the rest of the week intermittent snow showers with some sun peaking through beautiful billowy clouds.
When I go outside while dark early in the morning and early evening, I am hearing the Great Horned owls calling for their mates. Late January early February is their mating season and egg incubation time. Amazing that they can incubate their eggs safely during the coldest time of the winter. “Spring” is in the air!
We have had Tundra Swans and a flock of Canadian geese hanging out on our land along the river for the past week. The Tundra swans are a family group, being the two white parents and this past year’s four young, cygnets. The young’s coloring is a dusty gray.
Two Bald eagles were hanging around watching the Canadians looking for a weak member. One of the Baldies even was on the ground near the flock…
I bought two sets of a beautiful Bird Memory game: One for ourselves and one for the grandsons last week that arrived this week. Already the girls and I, have had a few games. The photos are lovely. Not only do they have the name of the bird in English on the card, but also it’s Latin, Genus and Species names.
This same company has many great nature products for self-learning, children/homeschooling, other products for attracting wild birds to your home, other nature games and puzzles, clothing, and gifts.
As I began to write this column early in the week, I was going to mention the female wild turkey that has been hanging out here for the past three years during the winter. This winter she has been hanging very close to the house and perching up on our porch railing during the day and flying up into our trees to roost at night. She would come running for snacks every time I’d call her, “Here turkey, turkey, turkey.” She was letting me get to within a foot of her. On Sunday, I saw her hanging out between our SUV and RV. She appeared to be hiding there, and maybe didn’t look so well. But, I didn’t approach her. I was quite busy moving manure.
She didn’t appear on Monday, and I didn’t think much of it until, Tuesday when she again, didn’t appear at the porch. I called her and called her and she didn’t come and that isn’t her normal behavior of late… I then hiked around looking for any trace of her. I think something got her. Maybe she wasn’t able to fly up to the trees on Sunday evening, or maybe one of those Great Horned owls took her from her roost… I’m so sad…. At dinner on Tuesday, when Jim said grace, he added a prayer for our Turkey girl, and “asked the Lord to keep her safe, then he prayed that IF she had been eaten by an owl…by a Lynx, by a mountain lion, by a coyote, by a raccoon, by a wolf, or by any other predator.., that she provided a nourishing meal for the animal.” Even though we were sad about her possible disappearance, by the time Jim said coyote, we girls all broke into laughter. Jim is such a character. He can be so funny at times.
Update: As of Wednesday morning, I woke up thinking about Mrs. Turkey and was quite surprised at how keenly sad I felt at the loss of her presence on the ranch. Later, after we let the cats and kittens out for their morning recess, I saw Mrs. Turkey at our porch waiting for her morning handout. I was so relieved to see her that I, immediately ran into the house to the fridge to get some leftover rice, ran back out and gave it to her. She is always grateful in her own way. I told her how glad I was to see her. Then I ran through the house telling everybody that Mrs. Turkey was well and that she had returned. We are so glad that she is home and looks healthy.
We are having such a “warm” winter with so very little snow, that I am doing some gardening stuff early. I went back out to the greenhouse and put Azomite in the three beds and with Miss Violet and Miss Eloise’s help, turned them over. While I am turning over the beds, I am picking out the odd stone and many roots and volunteer vegetation that I do not want to continue growing in the beds. I then dug up all of the soil by sections to the bottom of the bed and put in hot fresh manure, covered the manure up with the soil. The hot manure will break down under the soil thus producing heat that will help seeds to germinate and will help keep my seedlings from the indoor greenhouse warm when I plant them out there.
I planted forty cloves of garlic in one section of one of the beds. I have not yet ever tried to grow garlic in the greenhouse, but since, I didn’t get to planting them this fall, I decided that it was important for me to get some garlic planted, somewhere before spring. I chose not to water them at that time, because, by Sunday, we are going to have a huge cold front come through that may drop our night time temperatures to a low of approximately ten degrees to a low of negative eighteen degrees for about seven days and I didn’t want to turn that bed into a skating rink/freeze the garlic in water. This is another reason why I haven’t yet, planted out in the greenhouse my newly sprouted (in the Indoor Bathroom Greenhouse) kale, spinach, and beets.
It appears that real winter is soon coming to the Redoubt. This means that next week, or the week after, I may have another go at ice fishing…
Talking about winter, I came across a video about an Ice Carousal in Minnesota. I have never seen one before. Very cool.
I also spent some time further cleaning up the greenhouse and organizing some pots, tools, totes, trays, and plastic containers that hold water and act as heat sinks when placed next to plants. Now I need to clean up all of last year’s dead vegetation that has fallen to the gravel floor…
I need to get to town to buy some more potting soil and then I will fill all of my pots, put them in trays to be ready for spring planting season.
We are also slowly working on getting manure placed around each fruit tree in our orchard.
I put a layer of peat moss around each of my blueberry bushes.
I have one beehive left from two that we started with this past spring. Every month, for the past three months, I go down to visit the girls and feed them some local honey. I did that, again, this past week. They had eaten up all of the honey that I had placed in their hive about a month ago. Therefore, I poured more onto the top of their hive trays. Immediately, I saw the girls head towards it. Yay, they appear to be surviving this winter.
Horses had their hooves trimmed by the farrier. I brushed out their manes.
I scrubbed the large animal’s water tanks. Actually, I do that about once every two weeks, but forget to mention it because it’s just a regular chore.
For the Indoor Bathroom Greenhouse, I planted two more trays for the succession of spinach, kale, lettuce, and Dandelions.
Also, I planted five quart-size mason jars with herbs: cumin, dill, parsley, lovage, and basil.
I have been going through our Mason jars filled with staples and spices, refilling and switching them out into larger or smaller containers. Just keeping on top of stocks and keeping the kitchen manageable.
In anticipation of a power outage with the next snowstorm coming through the northern Redoubt this weekend, I emptied our kitchen freezer and put the frozen foods into our propane freezer and our upright freezer. I did a third reorganization this week of our refrigerator. I refilled all water tanks. Miss violet scrubbed all of our buckets and filled them with water for washing, flushing, etc. And I filled containers with drinking water. I checked our candles, and lanterns, and made sure the barn door to the stalls was opened for any critter who wants to go inside. The woodbox is full and I brought in from the SUV my ski pants. The girls and I cleaned the house from top to bottom. I like a clean organized home during power outages. I think we’re ready for it. Hopefully, we don’t lose power…
For my Bible reading and listening, I have listened to Matthew three or four times during the past few weeks, only up to chapter 17…. I keep becoming distracted and return to the beginning of the book. But, this is okay, because the repetition embeds, the Lord’s words in my heart and mind more firmly.
I encourage all of you to be reading and listening to God’s Word as diligently as you can. It is our only hope and truth and is the source of our strength. The word tells us what is going to be happening so nothing that happens will take us by complete surprise. It grounds us and gives us a sound mind in these deceptive times. Keep praying for the salvation of the unsaved, for your safety and the safety of others, for discernment and eyes to really see what is happening, and for understanding and bravery.
I just want to give a shout out and welcome to all you Secret Readers that chimed in this week and last week to let us know that you are with us. We’re glad to hear from you and we thank you for your support of this Blog and for your kind words to Jim and I, and to the regular posters. To all our readers, we’re glad to be able to present all of this information to you, to encourage you spiritually, and to give you this forum to communicate with one another and to learn and help one another with so many skills and topics of Survival. Believe me when I say, that we also learn so much from all of you. I also want you to know that we read every one of your comments at some point in a day and though we don’t always comment back, we appreciate you all very much. Know that we are often praying for those who post their needs and trials and worries and sicknesses.
May Our Lord God give you all, our sweet SurvivalBlog family, a very blessed and safe week.
– Avalanche Lily, Rawles
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As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.