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.  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 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:

Dear Readers,
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

o o o

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


  1. Love the stories about your wild life; their habitats are getting smaller all the time. Here at my farm the largest predator we have are coyotes but closer to the mountains there are some bob cats. At my last house I had a mating pair of great horned owls that used the top of my chimney as their lookout spot. They would come once a year and clean all the critters out of the woods (up to fox size) for about 3 to 4 weeks and then they would go someplace else.

    Right now I’m keeping new born kits warm while the doe is delivering the rest of her babies. So far we have 4 but she might have 2 more. She is a smaller rabbit but a good mom. I have a giant flemish 1st time mom who is ready to go back outside; she gave us 4 very large bunnies. Then there are 4 other small bunnies which I’m waiting to bulk up before going outside. I’ll be bringing in the remaining 1st time moms (2 small lion heads one large new zealand) shortly as the weather is diving back down into the teens.

    The days have flown by for me but it doesn’t seem like I got much prepping done. Ordered the SB stick, dehydrated a couple heads of broccoli and cauliflower, received several orders for supply room.

    Groomed one dog and treated another for a sprained leg muscle. Cooked, cleaned, took care of animals. Oh yes, went to doctor for steroid shot in back.

    Son started spreading mature compost on garden. Then he emptied all the chicken coop straw and rabbit poop bins in the compost area and mixed it all up with rotted leaves and some sawdust. That needs to perk for a while and it will be ready for spreading. Our last frost date is 31 March but we don’t pull the seedlings out of the hoop house until mid April. Our location has been having spring hail storms in April so we’ll have to see what Mother Nature is going to do this year.

    My 6 year old Kitchenaid toaster stopped working. I checked the kitchen GFI, the circuit breaker, all the usual culprits. I didn’t want to spend time watching bread toast in the oven or in the cast iron skillet so I went online to order a new one. I had to spend several hours trying to find a Made in the USA toaster; there are NONE. All the famous American brand names, which are advertised as Made in the USA, are made in China. Kitchenaid, Cuisinart, Redmond, Black and Decker, Hamilton Beach; even Japanese brand names are made in China. The same Kitchenaid toaster I had is now $79.00!! Gerrrr. When my son got home we went through the same checklist again, but this time he took the toaster out into the garage and plugged it in…and it worked! Then the hunt was on to find out what the heck was going on in the kitchen. We finally found a 2nd GFI switch across the kitchen in the breakfast nook that was the problem. Cleared that and bingo, old toaster working again.

    Yesterday 50 pds of soybeans were delivered. They were really hard to find in large size bags and expensive! They have gone up almost 40% since the last time I bought them. Received the last of the meadow seed orders for this year.

    Praying the Lord will protect and comfort each of you.
    May your week be safe and productive.

    1. Hey AH, true story: My brother-in-law’s toaster oven quit working. He got mad, yanked the cord out of the wall and took it out to the street cuz it was garbage day. Just as he arrived at his cans the truck pulled up so he tossed it into the back of the garbage truck. The truck drove off. Ten minutes later my sister said, “John, the blender isn’t working.” You guessed it, the GFCI had tripped! Glad you tested yours first. 🙂

      1. St Funogas, I resemble that remark. 13 years ago I thru a hairdryer away bc it stopped working…no GFI in the master bathroom. Search entire house on main floor, nada. Later found the GFI culprit upstairs in the bonus room bathroom!!!! Go figure!

    2. I have an older friend living in a senior housing complex. One day her bedroom or bathroom (can’t remember which because of LOMR) outlets wouldn’t work. The GFI in the kitchen was the problem.

    3. Animal House!
      You make such a good point about food pricing. We’ve seen this in our area too. Some of the price increases are CRAZY. We are ever more convinced that everyone who can grow from seed will want and need to do so — and should expand these efforts in so far as this is possible. It’s hard to imagine that we’ll see the restoration of normal, healthy markets — not that we’ve had those in the truest sense in a very long, long time.

    4. Lily, “When I go outside while dark early in the morning and early evening, I am hearing the Great Horned owls calling for their mates.”

      I have great admiration for the Great Horned Owls. According to a book on owls I was reading with my sweet spouse, they will eat most any other bird including their own species. The birds are called “the tiger of the air”. Just keep an eye on your beloved kitties.

      Carry on

      1. Kittens are forbidden to be outside after dark. And when the older cats go outside in the dark mornings, we hold the kittens, even though they are begging to go out, too.

        The older cats were born here, were barn cats at one time, but migrated to the house. They know the ropes and actually tend to stay on the porch. They find the woodstove makes the house too hot for their liking and prefer to sleep on the porch all day.

  2. Good morning from Central Va. .
    Just a friendly suggestion I just ordered 2 of your Archives and looked to see if you had a slot where I could send a support contribution while i was in my PP account. Sorry to find there was none. So my suggestion is unless there is a reason not to that you provide this opportunity when possible. Thanks and I really enjoy your blog every day.

  3. I always enjoy the posts many of you write. Thank you for taking the time to do so. Your write ups on weekly progress are very encouraging.

    This week’s progress for us includes a trip to a sporting goods store across the LA state line. They had 9mm, .40, 5.56 and .22LR in stock so we added some to our shelves. Prices on 9mm were under $20 a box but still up 20% from our last visit. They have full racks of guns including ARs (several pistols too) hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols, etc. This company knows how to keep their shelves stocked and prices reasonable. We are going back this morning.

    Also preparing for a long road trip through AR, TN and KY. It’s business travel but I’ve timed it to visit a few TN towns and potential properties for our relocation as I start the return trip home on Friday. I’ll re-enter TN somewhere up near Cottage Grove and work my way down to I40 near Jackson. I also stop at thrift and Goodwill stores in prosperous towns along the way for my lunch or dinner breaks. It’s a fun trip.

    Checking my get home bag is now a pretty quick exercise. I have a couple of Rubbermaid action packer totes prepacked for short or long trips. Short trips are defined as 3-4 days of walking to get home, and long trips are anything longer. I simply select the tote needed and load it in the back of the car. In that tote is a full backpack, comfortable hiking boots and laying on top of everything is my initial change of clothing and other “quick access” items. No mess, no fuss – just load the tote into the cargo area and go. This time I am adding a bag of cold weather gear and sleeping bag next to it just in case.

    Part are starting to arrive for repairs on our little grub box (it’s an older AWD Honda CR-V). I have to rebuild the front axle, suspension and steering components on the passenger side due to a minor accident my daughter had. Thankfully these vehicles are easy to work on. Everything we need is on Youtube.

    Then there’s the truck. Blown head gasket on the way to work last week. A remanufactured engine with a 100K mile warranty is $1900 delivered so that’s a much better deal than doing expensive repairs on a 170K mile engine. The desire to make the truck ultra reliable can be blamed on Mr. Rawles’ description of how the group created reliable vehicles in his book “Patriots”. Our make and model is one of the most common on the road so heavy duty and upgraded parts are available at reasonable prices.

    Silver markets have certainly been interesting. I’m not buying in at this time. Hard to believe people are buying at these prices above spot but I guess they are. I’ll wait another month or two. Gold prices are is starting to look attractive but I will wait for premiums
    to fall there as well.

    Still studying for the Ham test and plan to put in some serious book time this week while in hotels.

    1. Chris in AR, since your going to be near Jackson, TN get off I-40 and take TN-45 south by-pass. Don’t know what you are looking for but a dear friend lives near Adamsville and says there are lots of houses available. Take a couple of hours and drive down to Savannah, stopping along the way in the small towns off 45 and 64. First, get on Zillow and check out zip codes from 38310, 38327, 38340, 38367, 38372 and 75. The small towns in that area offer up various 3-10 acre land and 3Bd/2Ba houses from 150K on up. Savannah is on the TN River and a vacation spot so prices are higher there but it just depends on what you want.

        1. Chris in Arkansas… Animal House and Jima are giving really good suggestions… have lived in that area… also check out Decatur County ( Parsons and Decaturville )

    2. @Chris in Arkansas- if you go near Mason, Tennessee stop at Bozo’s Bar-B-Que for the best food you will ever have.

  4. Good morning beautiful people!
    As I shared a couple of days ago, I took a bad fall on the icy steps going to get wood and take out the trash. Angels cushioned my awkward fall because there is no reason on this earth that nothing is broken. I have a skinned knee, a very sore ankle, and the other knee is bruised, sore lower back. That’s it!! Woohoo! I was able to complete all my chores this week. But, I got help with some of the snow shoveling since a huge chunk of snow and ice came off the roof and blocked the path to the front steps. Yay!

    The German Shepherd puppies, now 6 & 7 months old, are enormous and graduated to larger crates. The older one is in the largest crate they make and when he sits in it, his ears pop through the top of the crate. He is grateful for room to stretch out. The younger one has discovered that there is an upstairs to the house and sneaks up the stairs to go exploring.

    I broke into a 5 gallon food grade bucket of flour this past week. I purchased the flour in May of last year. I did not put it in mylar or put an oxygen absorber in the bucket. I just cleaned the bucket and dried it well, letting it sit a day or two to be perfectly dry, before pouring in 25 lbs of flour. I keep the bucket it a very cold section of the house so it probably stays about 45 degrees during the winter. The flour looked good and smelled fresh still. The sourdough bread was good. I also have several 25 lb bags of wheat berries stored in the same area. The bread from those tastes fabulous as well. It’s just interesting to see how the food storage does. I also made a wonderful soup from yellow split peas and canned butternut squash, using canned chicken broth. Fabulous. I’m trying to be strict about eating from food storage and trying to be creative with what I have.

    We are also expecting minus temps this coming week. The weather has indeed been weird! Rain, then snow, then rain, then snow, making the roads very icy. My driveway is steep so getting in and out is a “no go” on some days. I do hire a local plow to clear it a few times each month.

    I’ve been in process of contacting various flooring companies. The price gouging is serious because I am so far out that they are the only game in the county. I’ve never seen such high prices. I want to support local businesses, absolutely, but I don’t appreciate being taken advantage of. Sigh.

    I supported the MyPillow guy by purchasing pillows and sheets – he provides a 50-66% coupon, which makes it a little more affordable. The pillows are amazing y’all!! My neck is happier! If you search on his site for the word “coupon”, they will give you a coupon. You can also use “RSBN” for RightSide Broadcasting and get a coupon as well. We need to support “Made in America” and Christian producers.

    Since I’m not doing Amazon any more, it’s been a challenge, like Animal House mentioned, to find made in America products. I’m glad your toaster is working now!! I’m committed.

    I’ve been listening to Dr. Charles Stanley on youtube. His sermons and teachings are Biblically based. It doesn’t matter what denomination he’s in, he’s truly teaching God’s word. I’m trying to fill my heart and mind with the word of God continuously.

    Have a great weekend y’all!

    1. SaraSue,

      Thanks so much for sharing your flour bucket experience. Thats good to know.
      I also had a good result with storing small plastic bags of rice in a food grade bucket with gamma seal. Ten years in storage and cooked up just fine. Give it a rinse, strain in a colandar, and it cooks fluffy in the rice cooker.

      Glad to hear your fall wasnt as bad as it could have been. God is good.

    2. Hey SaraSue,

      Not sure why my reading comprehension is going down the tubes but I thought you were making soap out of split peas and squash. Really had me going there for a minute. I do need to get some dried peas so thanks for the heads up. And no, I won’t be trying them in soap! 🙂

      1. Whaaaat??!! Ha! I had to go back and read my post to make sure I didn’t write soap. Walmart is a great source of dried peas and beans on the cheap. However, I ordered bulk bags from https://www.camelliabrand.com/. It definitely costs more per pound, but they’re high quality and I purchased 25lb bags which brings the brand name cost down. If you don’t mind making numerous trips to Wally’s World OR filling a couple carts while clearing out their shelves at the checkout counter… LOL… it’s cheaper. I think I purchased 175lbs of peas and beans, filled food grade buckets, and stored in a cool, dry, place. Vegetarians will tell you that peas and beans are an amazing source of protein, and it’s TRUE! If you couldn’t get your hands on meats, you could live well on peas and beans and rice along with fruits and vegetables that you grow. I’m sure you already know this – just sharing my experience.

    3. SaraSue!
      From your post: “We need to support “Made in America” and Christian producers.”

      This is such a good point. We’re also committed, and although the product and supplier searches are a little challenging, it’s entirely worth the effort. Hopefully more American manufacturers will come to the marketplace with goods, and all of this will become easier. I am not counting on support for this from the current “regime”, but believe American entrepreneurs are equal to all of this, and hopefully more determined than ever before to succeed!

      Mike Lindell at MyPillow is a real champion. We’re hoping to see the program he and his team put together called “Absolute Proof”.

      1. I’m watching Absolute Proof right now. It pulls together all the pieces of the election fraud in one place.

        In order to “buy American”, I’ve had to put aside my desire to “get the best deal”. In fact, all the fabric I buy from JoAnn’s is made in China. Very disappointing to me in light of the fact that it’s generally “slave labor”. I have a little sewing business and if I buy American made fabric (if I can find it), will cause me to have to charge more, and I hate doing that. Sigh. If anyone knows of American made fabrics (yes, I’ll check with Pendleton, but I think that’s mostly wool) please let me know.

        I’ve been trying to figure out what “going Galt” would actually mean to my life. The idea being reject the corrupt companies, find christian businesses or American businesses and deal with them only. Be debt free so there’s no one who has any hold on me, etc etc. It’s basically all the ideas that Survivalblog espouses, but taking it a step further. Anywho… lots to think about.

  5. A slow week on the homestead.

    I mostly worked on organizing seeds and getting the garden planned out for 2021. I’ve never been this far ahead of the curve so hopefully I can keep up the pace and stay on schedule. I still need to cut some more cedar poles finish redoing the deer fence.

    I’ve been testing my 18″ DIY parabolic mirror all winter to see how it works at various sun angles for igniting a fire and it’s safe to say it will start a fire any sunny day of the year.

    I played around with making sorghum millet bread. I used 25% millet, which is way easier to hand grind than wheat, and it turned out good. It had a slight purple color and I thought I must be seeing things. I asked some visiting friends to tell me what color they saw and they said sort of a fuchsia-lavender. Apparently they have way more crayons in their box than my little 8-pack. It had a good flavor but some research I found says millet can cause issues with vitamin uptake among other things so I’ll research it more before going gangbusters planting a ton this year.

    I noticed my little wren buddies cleaning up some bread crumbs on the back deck this week so now I leave them my toast crumbs every morning. When they finish they look though the glass and give me the have-you-cleaned-out-the-toaster-yet look. All the birds sit in the peach tree nearest the feeder while waiting their turn so I’m guessing with all that fertilizer they’re putting out that peach tree should do well this year.

    I tried a new cinnamon roll recipe but had them on the highest rack of the oven and so they got too brown on top. Maybe I need to switch the bulb in my Easy Bake oven from a 100 watt to a 75 watt. Surprisingly most of my cook books don’t have cinnamon roll recipes, not even my Amish baking book. The one I’m trying now is from an ancient Betty Crocker cookbook written when she was still in kindergarten. I decided to skip the recipe for mud pies and patty cakes and went straight to the one called “Mommy’s Cinnamon Rolls.” They’re rising right now so I’ll let you know next week how they turn out.

    Everyone have a great week!

    1. St. Funogas!
      Here are a couple cinnamon roll recipes I’ve got my eyes on… I haven’t tried either yet, but both come from excellent sources. Can’t wait to hear how the current recipe turns out, and hope they’re delicious treats!

      Chef John’s Food Wishes: Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Buns

      Sally’s Baking Addiction: Easy Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch


  6. Interesting turkey story. We enjoy wildlife immensely and have had the same experiences of loss.

    When my wife laments a loss to our very practical and straight laced son, he always reminds by saying ‘Mom, they’re food’.

    1. LOL, I know they’re “food”, but there is “food” and then there is food. Some of it becomes our friends and therefore is off limits while times are good. Go find another source. 😉

      1. Hi Lily,

        Agree. But to clarify, my son’s reference was that they are food for other animals.

        Years ago, we watched a grouse hen raise four little ones on our property. Their daily visits were a great experience and particularly enjoyed by our grandkids.

        One day, five shots rang out from our neighbors property. I knew instantly that was the end of the grouse. I did confront the guy and let him know what I thought in no uncertain terms only to be told it was “legal”.

        I think that is the situation you are referring to and I agree 100000%.Your turkey visitation is the kind of thing we live for.

  7. Greetings from Ontario, Canada

    We got hammered with snow the last two days. Today my son and I will be shovelling driveway and roofs (the latter for the second time this winter). We already lost our driveshed where I store the tractor due to snow load and some rotten support posts. Fortunately we were able to get the tractor out before it completely went down.

    We’ve started our second egg incubator this week as well. This is one of our primary sidehustles ‘mortgage helpers’. Typically for a couple months in the spring/summer we can earn $1200-$1500+/ month selling chicks and hatching eggs. We were at the feed store this week and ordered our heavy meat birds and they are almost sold out for the season already.

    I’ve been looking for a model 94 30-30 to add to our arsenal. Partly for the history, partly because it is a good bush gun, partly because of where our gun laws are going. Ammo shelves are starting to take a beating up here at our box stores, moving toward the situation you American’s have been describing for awhile now. Still a fair bit of shotgun shells and less popular hunting calibres available.

    1. Canuk Prepper – The thought of buying a few extra high quality, fast handling bolt/lever rifles and pump shotguns has some appeal. Depending on how laws are written in the US we could easily see a run on bolt and lever action rifles. People should be thinking about this now rather than waiting for prices to escalate even further than where they are today.

    2. “I’ve been looking for a model 94 30-30 to add to our arsenal.”

      I can remember back in the 70’s those were on sale all the time for $79.95. I wanted the model 94-22 but for whatever reason they were in the $259 range. It wasn’t until years later when I finally got a Henry .22 lever action. Good luck in your search.

  8. Hello Canuck,

    Past references to plentiful ammunition availability in Canada may indicate that U.S. manufacturers are producing but maybe wholesalers here are slowly releasing product in an effort to maintain current prices.

    I guess Canadian wholesalers might be now be doing the same. It seems we should see more ammo on the shelves than we do, especially since there are store limits on purchases down “in the states”.

    1. Tom: I’ve talked with multiple LGS owners. Basically, our warehouses up here were full when all the silliness started, so we haven’t really experienced the shortages that you guys have. Although none that I’ve talked to know when/if they will see a resupply. That applies to both firearms and ammo.

      The other thing that has made a difference are our gun laws – Gotta have a license to buy guns or ammo. There’s only about 2 million registered gun owners up here, and you know that most aren’t regular shooters or preppers.

  9. Wild turkeys:

    About ten years ago while house-sitting, I watched a documentary about a hermit receiving a gift of a bunch of turkey eggs, then raising them into adult turkeys.
    I vaguely recall he lived in Alabama? Georgia?

    For the hour, I sat amazed at the inherited/genetic knowledge of the chicks coming-up without the benefits of integrating into an established flock.

    My recent searches turned up nothing.

    I appreciate any help finding it.

    “…indoor bathroom greenhouse…”?

    Blueprints, diagrams, artistic renderings.

    (For the record, I have an outdoor bathroom greenhouse of several acres, so I look forward to comparing mine to your version.)

    1. LOL LargeMarge,

      Envision a Grow light hanging down from the ceiling light and fan, two feet above the toilet with two 3 feet by 18 inch shallow tote trays and two gray dish bussing trays filled with dirt, all on the floor in front of the toilet. Voila, there is your Indoor Bathroom Green House! 😉

      Oh, and five quart sized mason jars with herbs on the side of one bussing tray!

      They’re in the bathroom, because the grow light is too bright for us to look at all day if it was in any other room of the house. In this bathroom we can shut the door and not be subject to it all day long. 🙂

      1. We recently got a wood burner to heat our house, however, it doesn’t heat the basement. The pros of that are==now I have a great root cellar. The cons: This is my greenhouse where my growing table is and my grow lights to start my plants, and now I’m afraid it’ll be too cold down there to start them this year. I may have to just use our furnace for a few months to warm it up so i can get my plants started. For the most part I can plant everything in the ground around May 20. But tomatoes and peppers must be started inside or they will never grow to maturity before frost.

        Enjoyed hearing of where others start their plants!

    2. Large Marge, while my “upstairs bathroom greenhouse” was inspired by Lily, I’m sure it is not as productive as hers!

      I have a standing metal four shelf system. (I think I purchased it at wally world years ago). I have two grow lights suspended – 1 from the ceiling for the top shelf and the other hanging from the bottom of the top shelf for light on the 2nd shelf. The light on the second shelf is lower to the sprouting veggies/herbs and when they reach a 3 to 4 inches in height, I transfer them to the top shelf where the light is approximately 8 – 10 above the shelf.

      The bottom two shelves I use for storing supplies but would really like to get two other grow lights for them.

      I also have a grow light suspended from the ceiling over the counter of the sink area. I use this as basic “over-flow”. The chains I use to hang the lights are “small dog chain” so I can adjust the lights as needed.

  10. This is a call to political action. It’s time for conservatives to take over the Republican party if a new party is not an option. We must not give in or give up. People are asking… What can we do? Here are some of the answers that will help individuals use their political voices.

    Daniel J. Schultz, Attorney

    …and his book:
    “How To Get Into The Real Ball Game Of Politics Where You Live To Help President Donald J. Trump Make America Great Again”

    1. For many years I was registered as an independent. I voted conservative/Republican though. I couldn’t vote in the primaries however. I switched to the republicans just so I could vote in the primaries.

      1. This article was posted to The Gateway Pundit.

        The good news is that support for Socialism is shrinking. The bad news is that this survey still shows support at about 32% (down from 41%). It’s hard to imagine how 32% could support Socialism… It’s mind boggling.

        “Study: Support for Socialism Sinks After 2020 Election, Hits Lowest Level in Years”


        What it means is that we have a lot of educational work to be done. People need to know what Socialism is, why it doesn’t work (and can never work), and why it is incredibly dangerous.

        At the same time, it will be extremely important to teach people what it means to live in liberty which includes teaching people about personal accountability and consequences that follow choices, risk management, life planning, forward thinking, and more.

        There are a couple of core issues which differentiate these pathways… One is responsibility, and the other is risk. The subject makes for very interesting and insightful conversations about how best to understand where we are, how we got here, and how to move ourselves as a country to a much better place (one in which the Constitution and Republic are restored, protected, and preserved).

        1. Good to seen the decrease in support for socialism. I agree education is important. Unfortunately I think the next two years will provide education and experience.

          1. Sure will… It’s the “experience” part that may be the most “educational” for all those who require the “hands on” version of the class. Unfortunately, we will all suffer through the training together.

  11. My DW loves watching the birds and other wildlife. One bird mating call we do not like is the woodpecker. Apparently they like objects that resonate loudly when knocked upon. One evening, just before sunset, we heard a very loud bang bang bang bang bang, which was then repeated. Scared the daylights out of us. Something was banging on our stovepipe. I ran out to look but nothing was there. Next night, same story. After four days of that, I tied several aluminum pie tins to the stovepipe out of desperation. Voila no more banging. It was several weeks later that we found someone who could tell us what was going on.

  12. So blessed here. Granddaughter decided to take a welding program her last two years of high school. I was shocked she chose welding. She graduated this past spring, turned 18 in July and landed a welding job in December during this bad economy. She loves her job. She also sold some of her welded artwork this past year. I won bids before Christmas for 2 portable greenhouses, grandchildren received those as Christmas gifts. The 17 year old was thrilled with his, same with the other family that got their greenhouse. Most of my seeds have been ordered. I tried to keep tomato varieties to plant down to ten or so, but varieties are approaching twenty. I have a tomato seed problem, lol. Some orders coming in slow. For those living in southwest Ohio, Couches in New Miami always has varieties of seeds such as greasy beans, heirloom corn and much more. My woodpile out back is getting lower each day, a good sign spring is on the way. Though not free of problems, life is good here. I am still extremely upset over the crooked election we endured. Not optimistic for the future of our Nation. God Bless to all and have a great week.

    1. Hi Catydale,

      Oh Grandma, those are great gifts to give to your grandchildren!! I understand your tomato seed problem. LOL! I wish you were my Grandma when I was that age! 😉



  13. Lilly, your hen turkey may have taken a trip to find a tom, hopefully she was succesful and will be able to raise a clutch this spring. Also, I would suggest to everyone who is able, to purchase some wild poultry chicks, raise them up to release size and set them free, then you have established flocks so that when things go sideways there is a food source in the area. Yes there will always be “that” neighbor who will harvest all he can, but some will make it.

    1. Hi vcc,

      It was very spring-like weather when she disappeared, for two days. I hope she doesn’t plan on sitting on eggs, soon, because we now have six inches of snow on the ground with more falling as I write, and sub zero temperatures forecasted for this coming week…

  14. For St. Funogas: You don’t have to use a bread machine. I tweaked an old recipe to fit the taste I wanted. Warning! These put pounds on a body.
    My Better-Than-Cinnabon Yeast Cinnamon Rolls
    Place ingredients in order listed below into bread machine.
    ¼ cup shortening, I use Crisco
    1 ¼ cups warm milk
    1 teaspoon salt
    ¼ cup sugar, always use pure cane sugar such as Domino
    1 egg, lightly beaten with fork
    1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups bread flour
    1 tablespoon yeast (I buy it at GFS in pound packages)
    Run bread machine on dough cycle.
    Remove dough when cycle is finished and place onto floured service. Roll dough out in rectangular shape to about 1 to 1 ½ inches thick. Rectangle shape will not be perfect. Make filling as listed below then spread filling on top of dough.
    8 tablespoons butter (one stick), melted
    1 cup sugar
    4 teaspoons cinnamon
    Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl then add to melted butter
    Spread on dough
    Roll up dough then cut in 1 to 1 ½ inch slices.
    Place on greased pans. I usually use cookie sheets or 9 by 13 pans. Cover rolls in pan with cloth or paper towels. Set on warm place such as kitchen table and let rise till about double in size, usually about 45 minutes. Bake in 375 degree oven for around 15 to 20 minutes.
    Glaze with icing listed below.
    3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar. Always use cane sugar such as Domino brand.
    2 tablespoons softened butter
    Add boiling water: one table spoon at a time (probably around 8 or 9 tablespoons) until consistency easy to spread on rolls. Finish spreading on all rolls while they are warm, not hot. Enjoy

  15. “Soar like an Eagle with Angel Wings. Don’t stay on the ground and gobble like turkeys.” ~ I heard a Baptist Pastor say it once. … I wonder if he knew only male turkeys gobble.

    The Old Farmer’s Almanac. = “Only male turkeys, or toms, can gobble, and they mostly do it in the spring and fall. It is a mating call and attracts the hens. Wild turkeys gobble at loud sounds and when they settle in for the night.”

    WorldAnimalProtection site. = “Turkeys make a variety of different sounds such as “purrs,” “yelps,” and “kee-kees,” but the “gobble” call is only done by males during mating season. As a result, male turkeys are called “gobblers” while females are called “hens.”

    Even wild animals become like pets to many people. +A man can waste an entire hot afternoon watching a flock chickens chasing after bugs. … An entire flock of chickens will zig zag along, following the same zig zag path of the hopping grasshopper.
    [Chicken brains can’t figure out how to try and head the grasshopper off at the next hop. It’s a chase of speed and endurance.]

    Guinea hens are the best. People will laugh every time they see a group of Guinea hens run along. ……. The bucolic life can provide enjoyable entertainment.

    “All things bright and beautiful,
    All creatures great and small,
    All things wise and wonderful,
    The Lord God made them all.”
    [Cecil Frances Alexander]

  16. Winter in the arctic is for certain … never a guess about its ability to rule the roost in terms of planning and activities. Temps have been some what normal, -32 below zero at night, balmy 7 above in the “day” … but the days are getting longer by a few minutes and soon break up will be here. Looking forward to our summer and the 24 hours of daylight … getting tired of the cold and dark. Thinking of moving south to where “normal winters” are to be had, with nice hot summers and balmy spring time and glorious fall colors … may God richly bless all.

  17. We had a pet turkey for many years. We called him “Bob,” which is another story. Bob free ranged and watched over our flock of chickens. He had a tendency to fly to the apex of our roof and tromp back and forth the length of the roof watching the chickens. We always knew when Bob was on patrol…tromp, tromp, tromp! It always made us laugh to hear Bob on patrol.

    It rained most of the week so I spent the week organizing my seed packets, buying a few more and planting some cold weather crops (cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower). I am very anxious to start planting and trying my best to wait a few more weeks. I looked at the weather forecast for the next month even though I know it is seldom correct. We are due for 16 straight days of rain in early March. Ugg!

    Last week I picked up a load of potting soil, some worm castings and organic fertilizer. I don’t want to get caught with short supplies if we have a run on gardening items such as we had last year. I’ve finished clearing out a section of land and hope to place a greenhouse on the space. I’ve been watching a couple of YouTube channels describe their experiences building and growing in greenhouses or high tunnels and would love to expand my plant and fruit tree selection. I’ve been enlisting my young granddaughter in planting seeds. She went home to her parents last week and told them we are going to grow watermelon and cheese! You can certainly tell what her favorite foods are

    Be well,

  18. This week has been a quiet but productive one. I performed my monthly check of the emergency kit, reorganized the BOB, and updated my planting calendar. I am still getting used to long winters since moving from the Swamp in Houston, but it is a great change. In fact, the winter climate is the only real challenge for us as we adapt to colder climes and shorter days. Now if the thrift stores would just restock the good stuff, my clothes closets would be most grateful. Plus the fact that both my husband and I have lost weight and need a new wardrobe. It doesnt help my plan much, but at least I learned long ago to write things in pencil for easy changes.

    The heirloom seed packets are sitting on my desk to remind me of the promise of spring, and I have some time to finally reorganize my Emergency Cookbook / Pantry Food Recipe book. With the chance of freezing rain next week, it may come in handy again.

    You all are an inspiration to this former city girl who finally came back home to live the good life. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to learn from you. May God bless you richly in the week ahead.

  19. Finished the secret room this week and started to stock it. Put all the toys in except the AR pistol. For ammo, I could only put enough to fill all the mags once except for .22lr, 12 ga, and the .177 pellets. Shame the contractor did such a messed up job, or I could have packed the ammo tighter. Almost had the .50 cans fit, only the handle messed things up. Put a few cans of PM’s up there too. I have a bunch of Russian bread bags, and I loaded each with mags. A AK bag will have a drum, and 8 box mags plus goodies. Will have to do some more mag purchases, as I could use a few more UZI, M11, Glock, and 5 rnd Saiga12 mags.

    Got lucky at the gun shop as they still had 3 Glock 19’s in stock and at pre-panic prices. Bought all three, and used my old armorers clearance to take them home the same day. Each came with 2 mags, and I was able to get 2 30rnds as well. Another shop had PSA complete uppers, but the price is up $200 over the last ones I bought. $600 for the completed uppers. I’ll have to wait a week on those. They’ll finish populating my lowers.

    Populate those lowers as fast as you can! If biteme gets what he was planning, you won’t have new parts to populate anything!

    Received another complement on the raised bed garden I built last year from another neighbor. I inspired her to build a raised bed garden for herself.

    The foxes must be getting ready to have a family. The pair are doing everything together. My duck Ghost made it through another duck season. I saw her by the neighbor’s dock this week. (he keeps a circulation system going all winter to prevent damage to his dock)

    It’s colder than Pelosi in a freezer here, and just in time for sturgeon spearing and the big fisheree. Not much of a pressure ridge so far, and the fire lane was plowed to allow access to the lake. Might make a few bucks if someone puts their truck through. Commercial dive pay is $500 per hour under ice!

  20. Ran across this prayer again this evening, and thought I’d share:

    This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

  21. -Last week was difficult. I keep writing here, and then I delete it. Praise God I made it through the lies and depression from the devil. I’m doing much better!

    -After a few months of meeting with four different doctors, my dad had his final appointment yesterday.

    The neurosurgeon said my dads’ neck arteries on the right side are completely plugged up, and for such a long distance, that it is inoperable.

    My mom is having a meltdown. (Both my parents are 77, and have known each other since they were ten years old. Their anniversary this year will be their 59th.)

    The surgeon told my dad to keep doing mild exercise, change your diet and just live your life.

    I share all this with the hopes that you would join me in this daily prayer for my dad.

    “Lord, please roto rooter those clogged arteries, and keep Papa alive today.”

    1. Krissy,
      Praying for your Papa, your Mama, and entire family. I know I speak for all the other prayer warriors here…. we are lifting you up today and every day.

      May God, The Great Physician, heal your father. May He give him and all of you who love him a spirit of peace, and supernatural calm in the days ahead.


    2. May God heal your father in such an amazing way that the doctors are stunned and can CLEARLY see that ONLY miraculously divine power was responsible. To God be all the glory, forever!

      And more big squishy hugs, for you and your mama. <3

    3. Krissy!
      We are joining everyone in prayer for your Papa, your Mama, and for you. What you have shared with us is a reminder of how precious life is, and that no matter how long, it is also so very short. Thank you for calling us all to pause, and to pray for your Dad’s healing and life. You are such a blessing to all of us. I pray also that our prayers will bless you and your family too!

    4. Thank you, Krissy, for sharing the prayer request re. your dear parents. We will certainly be praying that the Lord will impart His supernatural strength, healing and encouragement… to you and your family. 🙂 — Cliff

      “The LORD bless you and keep you;
      The LORD make His face shine upon you,
      And be gracious to you;
      The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
      And give you peace.”

      Numbers 6: 24-26 (NKJV)

      1. Cliff, I love those verses you shared!!!
        I listen to them in song form with my eyes closed and raised hands to the Lord. The beauty from the Holy Spirit comes, and it feels like I’m being transported into heaven for three minutes. With gratitude, Krissy

        Kari Jobi, The Blessing… radio version


    5. Dear Krissy,
      I’m so sorry for what you and your family are going through. I’ll be praying too along with your many survivalblog friends. I am attaching the following site for your consideration. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/chelation-for-coronary-heart-disease-what-you-need-to-know I personally know nothing about chelation therapy. Maybe someone on this site can tell you more. My husband did know someone many years ago who underwent chelation therapy and supposedly had a good result. God bless you and your loved ones. May the Great Physician provide miraculous healing!

      1. KB,
        Am reading your chelation link now. I am touched that you cared enough to suggest it. Bless you. And, again, bless you for praying. I agree with you, that our Great Physician can provide miraculous healing.

        Also, He said where to or more are gathered, their He will be, and
        We have not because we ask not.

        Thank you for asking with me!!!!

    6. Cozy at Home, Bear, Tellesilla of Argos, CDM, CD NorthGA, and KB,

      Thank you for reaching out and blessing me by praying for my dad! Each of your comments of kindness means a lot. Your caring enough to pray enriches my soul.
      I have tears streaming down my face now because I can’t thank you enough for praying. With that said, I am asking the Lord to bless you a thousand fold for this goodness you are doing. Krissy

      1. Dear Southern Girl, My throat is tight, and I am choked up with tears that you are praying for my dad. Your kindness has touched my heart. The Lord said that he who refreshes others, will he himself be refreshed. And we know the Lord keeps all of His promises.
        May you be blessed in abundance, dear sister. Krissy

    7. Krissy, praying for your Dad, Mom and you! You might want to get a copy of The End of Heart Disease” by Joel Fuhrman. Going on a 100% whole plant food diet is the only proven way to actually reverse heart disease and blocked arteries. It’s not a quick fix but can happen quicker than you would expect if taken seriously and followed religiously. Blessings to you and your family as you think things through and make important choices.

      1. Anita, I am humbled and grateful for your loving prayers and recommendations. Indeed, you are saying the same thing as the neurosurgeon, who suggested becoming a vegetarian.

        Oh, it is the arteries on the right side of his neck that are completely clogged, thus making his heart work harder to get blood to the brain.

        You are so wonderful to share your wisdom! My dad doesn’t want to leave my mom alone without him, so yes, he is following his new diet religiously.

        In a very short time, the effectual prayers of the saints have given them peace and strength to trust the Lord, and find love in each day they have together. I am amazed at how quickly my mom has recovered from her meltdown, just last Friday. Our Lord is full mercy and tender care for His children.

        I will buy your book recommendation. Thank you for that as well.
        Blessings to you and your family, Anita. Krissy

  22. My work schedule, coupled with some cold and rainy weather, precluded much in the way of prepping this week, although my Lady did continue to work on reorganizing and decluttering the house. I did put in a small order for ammunition…5.56 and .40 that CTD had for a somewhat reasonable price. Ironically, 9mm was about 40% more expensive than .40, so I passed on that.

    We were somewhat saddened to learn of the passing of Christopher Plummer this week. My daughter insisted we watch “The Sound of Music” tonight. As I look around at what’s happening to my beloved nation, I find myself identifying with Captain von Trapp. Unfortunately, we have no Switzerland to which we can flee.

    Our church has been searching for a new pastor for over a year now, and will be voting on a candidate tomorrow. Please pray that the congregation will be sensitive to the Lord’s will, and trust Him to guide us in this decision, either to call this man into this role, or to continue to wait on the Lord.

  23. I noticed the comment about silver. There are two prices for silver (or any other precious metals for that matter).

    There’s the spot market and what I call the physical ownership market.

    This spot market is really just the computerized market, think buying stocks….when you buy from TDAmeritrade or Fidelity or others in the market you are buying a promise. Back in the 1970’s dealers were required to have physical possession of 5% of what they sold, today it’s probably less.
    During the recent run up for silver, the spot was about $30 per Troy ounce whereas the actual ownership was hovering around $40 per Troy ounce.

    JWR has an excellent point, tangible assets. SOME of our assets are in the stock market. Which means they are electrons with a promise. Think Senator Corzine, think chainsaw Al (Dunlap and Sunbeam).

    When the stuff hits the fan, actual silver prices (and trade ability)) will go through the roof).

    Take care and pray to the Lord for strength. God Bless!

  24. So I was reloading- as I have done most of this winter, and for some reason I started to think how I could re-organize my prep room/man cave- started moving stuff around and found some room!!!! PRICELESS!!! Reorganized all my reloading dies and containers full of misc reloading tools. Room is 100% done but hey Rome wasn’t built in a day.
    Starting to think about may Spring and Summer projects- I sat down and penciled out a schematic for a stainless steel structure for an outside pizza/bread oven. Took it over to the neighbors shop and asked him if he could do it and if some how much it would costs- he is checking on the stainless steel. He asked me about it and told him we like pizza and didn’t want to heat the house up in the summer plus we want to start making our own bread- his wife was there listening to this and I think he might have to make 2! She bakes 20 or more loaves of bread a week for their family use and to sell. They don’t have air conditioning so I’m thinking she was liking the idea. I am going to put the stainless steel structure on an elevated cement platform and then cover it with bricks and line it with fire brick. My second project was to make me corner braces for my fencing project. No problem he had the materials on hand. Our new puppy is fitting in good- smart and fearless he is. No purchases this week as I didn’t go into town at all.

  25. It’s been an interesting week with a new puppy. Who knew they can be so adorable and yet fry your last nerve as he runs down our hallway with my shoe.
    We have found this new addition to our home has added much joy to us which is needed in these most stressful times.

    SaraSue, our puppy is a mix of shepherd/ lab/ and retriever and is 24 pounds just two weeks shy of 4 months. Did your puppy’s have similar weight in 4 months?

  26. Got our Baker Creek order in. 5 items were sold out.

    Transplanted 10 Seaberry seedlings into our shelter belt, planting them close to tenderer deer-preferred-browse species. Took our shop guardian cat box and spread it along the ground under our shelter belt, which is a future screen of our property. Deer hate the smell, as do most humans. The 8 months between now and any future berry harvest will weather down the potential health hazards.

    Cautionary note if you do this: Cats are fantastic guards of our assets against rodents but do carry diseases passed through fleas and cat poop or urine. Pregnant women should avoid being near cat litter boxes.

    Our shelter belt is mixed species for wildlife and human future fruit production. One food predator here are flocks of transient robins. They show up in the hundreds when berries, cherries are ripe, so a wise person will build tall and wide PVC pipe frames 7 feet tall, and attach bird-proof netting to them, placing frames over their fruit.

    I was very surprised to see a flock of 50 or more robins show up here two weeks ago. There won’t be fruit for months, although they worked on getting worms out of the rain soaked soil for two days.

    I saw a program on pruning cherry trees to bushes, and am doing that. The frames easily lift up and off over the bushes. We’ve watched robins go right underneath poorly draped nets and strip blueberries and aronia berries off our bushes.

    I dug up and separated beebalm into new areas, spread organic nitrogen over the root areas in our orchard rows. I spread wood ashes over the root areas lightly this winter. Wish I had access to ground up bones for phosphorus.

    Certain apple varieties here get scab, and in some cases water core from insufficient lime. Gypsum would be better but costs 2.5 times what 50 pound sacks of lime cost. So I placed powdered lime over the root areas two months ago to let the winter rains soak it into the soil.

    Some of our raspberry plants are budding out, two months too early. The global cold records are accompanied by more wet and cloud in the PNW. We’re getting prodigious rain keeping things at higher temperatures than frost, and subject plants to more wet-season disease, and fruits flowering before pollinators are out. Last year our plum tree flowers came out too early and went unpollinated since bees normally need good flying weather above 55F, which didn’t come until later.

    I dug up some black currant sprouts and transplanted them into the 30 foot by 50 foot nascent food ‘forest’, with red currants, gooseberry, and Jostaberry. Last fall I covered the area with 12 inches of mixed leaves and grass which I harvested with our riding lawnmower and bagging system. It is too high in carbon for good growth but it is building soil and suppresses grass and weeds. I scrape it aside to plant into the bare areas now.

    Vole damage and high populations are reported to me across a 35 mile spread from orchardists and gardeners.

    Our county GOP continues to gather names of volunteers to organize and staff a large effort focused on election of conservatives to all local offices opening up in the next 18 months. The enemy is far better organized than we are because too many conservatives refuse to come out and get involved, guaranteeing defeat and further loss of freedoms.

    I’m stocking up on durable items prone to dollar devaluation now. Got the DW a new John Deere riding lawn mower for her birthday. She was not impressed now but I know she’ll be happy in a few months. I also took her to a coastal hotel for her birthday weekend so we could watch the winter storm waves and enjoy room service.

    Here is a great deal on for a few more hours: lower build kits for $120.


    After seeing folks discuss the silver situation I decided to go ahead and get some eagles. The price is guaranteed to drop drastically now, so those of you who get it when it goes down 50% can show your appreciation by simply mailing me 10% of what you purchase.

    God Bless.

  27. Secret reader here 🙂

    I love that you have a resident turkey. We moved to a new property in October (side note: your past posts on moving were incredibly helpful! We planned on MT but ended up in N Idaho after driving through on the way to MT) and I kept seeing turkeys everywhere around us. I LOVE turkeys so was so excited by this. We finally have some on our property, we have a flock of about 20-25 that come through each day foraging right now and I love to watch them.

    The weekly update posts are by far my favorite, thanks for sharing about your week.

    1. 😉

      Last year we had three turkeys for awhile, then two disappeared. Mrs. Turkey disappeared last spring, and returned in July with three chicks. She was very skiddish and ran right into the south woods. A moment later a Bald Eagle flew in and watched Mrs. turkey and her chicks. Grrr! 😉 The next time I saw Mrs. turkey about a week or so later, she was alone. Perhaps she’ll have better luck this coming summer? There are lots of turkeys a few miles to our south and a few miles to our north, but not so many right in here. I hope Mrs. Turkey can bring our population up in the next few years.

  28. JWR,
    Recently I have been contemplating a cylinder conversion for my sts Ruger Old Army and with your comment on this topic in Saturday’s Prep Progress I’m thinking you already did your research, something I have not done in earnest. I am curious as to which of the several brands that are available that you consider the best?
    Thanks in advance!

    PS Sorry, but I want to keep it.

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