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 your e-mailed letters. We post many of those –or excerpts thereof — in this column, in the Odds ‘n Sods Column, and in the Snippets column. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

I’m still in my quarterly travel groove: Round-the-clock bedside care of an elderly relative, and as time allows: writing, editing, exercise, running some brief errands, sleeping, and eating. Not a lot else.

I had an interesting conversation with a foreigner, while on my travels. As I was standing in a very long post office queue, we struck up a conversation. When discussing the recent Afghanistan debacle, this man from Belgium said that he had doubts about “the resolve of the Americans.” I reminded him that he shouldn’t confuse the lack of resolve of the Former Vice President — now occupying the White House, and the steadfast resolve of The American People. This is, after all, the country where we shoot privately-owned machineguns for fun, and the country that invented both Figure 8 Racetrack Trailer Demolition Derbies and freeride extreme mountain biking (where our Europeans friends are invited, and often win.) Oh, and even our ladies catch giant fish by hand.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This week was warm and sunny but is ending with a rain storm over Friday and Saturday.

I don’t have too much to report.  But it was a busy week.

I harvested the rest of the Russet potatoes in the Main garden and then rototilled that bed.  I also harvested the Kennebec potatoes from down in the Annex garden.  They did fairly well, but they have the scab disease, which I am bummed about.  The others do not.   So I am not sure how many of them I will save to plant next summer…

Time was spent cleaning out the Great Room/Kitchen area to make it feel not so cluttered and crowded with stuff. A lot of house cleaning and laundry was done, cooking, etc.  Watering the planter, pots, greenhouse, gardens, and orchard.

I dehydrated some cabbage.

I froze a case of peaches and still need to can three cases early next week. I started to dehydrate the peaches and it seems that my dehydrator fan no longer works.  Therefore I finished the peaches in the oven.  I will be getting into the back of the dehydrator to see if something needs to be cleaned or fixed, on Sunday.

The chickens were moved back to the “old shed”.  It’s not the healthiest environment for them since it held other livestock and has a dirt floor and a lot of old mold in the dirt, impossible to clean up because of the several tons of gravel mixed in it which is the very reason why we moved them out to the Chicken tractors. But now they are being eaten alive by skunks and so we had to move them back to the old shed for nights. But now we have a ton of straw on the floor. It’s very dry in there compared to last spring. We are not feeding them on the ground, directly.  And they all are roosting up in the rafters and on roosting bars, therefore are off the ground, therefore further away from the floor, than when they were babies, last spring.  We kinda had a disaster last year and lost their poultry house.  It was both of our faults… Let’s just say there was obedience to a request of my husband that I obeyed against my better judgement and when I saw the problem, I meant to fix it later, but later, I became very distracted with a phone call with my mom late at night and completely forgot to check after the phone call…  But God had mercy and compassion on the both of us. A huge miracle in the midst of a “small” loss, that had the potential to have become catastrophic…Anyhow, we recently ordered a new poultry house for them to be built — and are awaiting that.

So for the first few nights of trying to get the birds to go to the old shed instead of the chicken tractors was a chicken rodeo. Miss Eloise’s birds and mine and Miss Violet’s didn’t want to go to the Shed and Miss Eloise’s birds refused to go into the tractor, I suppose because they felt very unsafe.  Most of mine and Miss Violet’s did go into their tractor. Therefore, we chased all the others under the porch.  Great!  We waited until after dark when they could no longer see us and run away.  The first night of the transition we had two skunks come into the yard.  And we had to yell at them and stamp our feet to get them to leave! One of us had to stand guard by the chicken tractor, while another stood guard at the porch, while the third, me, walked them two at a time about four hundred yards to the shed, sixty birds.  After about six traverses, twelve birds, we grabbed the large potting containers that Miss Eloise’s birds had been sleeping in at night inside the tractor and put five to six birds in and carried the container between us to the shed and dumped the birds inside. Once all of the birds in the tractor were in the coop we concentrated on getting the birds under the porch.  That was “fun” and terribly dusty work.

Because we didn’t think the birds would return to the shed the next night, we kept them inside it for two days and two nights.  On the third day we let them back out to free-range.  That night the same birds repeated the same scenario of the night two nights previously.  This time, we just waited until after dark. Then, with the use of our Electric quad, caught the birds, put them in the large pots and drove them to the shed.  That was a much easier rodeo.  We had to repeat this scenario one more night. Then the next day we decided to keep them in, again all day and night, but a few escaped on Miss Violet while she was feeding and watering them that morning, so we let them free-range for the day, but not the others.  Well, that turned out to be very interesting, because the few escapees, didn’t have all of their friends with them and they could hear them in the shed, so they didn’t venture back to their old free-ranging grounds.  They stayed around the shed.

That evening, when I opened the door to let them back into the shed they went in freely with just a little bit of guidance from us. We have two sections to this shed with a half-door gate.  So I corralled all the birds in that half and closed the gate so they wouldn’t come out while the others were going in. That was an another improvement.  The next day we let a few more out and that night most went in on their own. Then the last night before writing this everyone of the birds was allowed out for the day.  Most of them stayed near the shed, the rest returned to their old stomping grounds, but come bedtime most of them went into the shed on their own with a lot of calling and enticing with their grain while walking backwards towards the shed.  Only nine of Miss Violet’s birds returned to the tractor and I collected them after dark in the pots and drove them to the shed.  The Five-O group of birds still like to roost themselves on the gate of the barn and every night I have to take them down and put them into the shed.

It is time consuming to get the chickens in at night but worth it to keep them safe. A side note concerning chasing birds to corral them where you would want them to go.  I did a lot of running at top speed several nights in a row, chasing the birds trying to corral them, before it was completely dark out. It kind of reminded me of the summer evenings at dusk when I was a kid, forty-five years ago, playing hide and seek tag with my brother and cousins before bed.  One afternoon, I was laying on the bed for a few minutes to catch up on the news.  I became sleepy and took a short snooze. I woke up very relaxed and decided to check my pulse and blood pressure for the fun of it.  It was 98/58 and heart rate was 55!  Wow! Chasing chickens is good for me. 😉

Rosh Hashana/Yom Teruah was this week.  We observed it on Tuesday and Wednesday with Bible reading and resting.  I read the books of Revelation, Daniel, both Thessalonians and Zephaniah to compare them once again. I researched a few questions I had with some Creation study books that I have.  And I read up on the Feast of Rosh Hashana from the book written by Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal : “The Feasts of The Lord: God’s Prophetic Calendar from Calvary to the Kingdom”.  I heard that the New Moon wasn’t even spotted until Wednesday night in Israel…So I kinda had that feeling for a good part of the week, of not knowing when it would appear, and so had to keep watch and be ready at any moment for the announcement that it has arrived.  This is actually as we should be watching for Jesus’ return.  But it gave me a very unsettled feeling and I wasn’t always sure what I should be doing next, because I wanted to honor the “correct” day as a Shabbat but didn’t know which day was the correct day.  Then I heard that the Rabbinics have it wrong and that we just really entered the eighth month, not the seventh.  Oh, never mind! I honored Tuesday, and part of Wednesday, I’m not doing Thursday, too,  God knows our heart…Therefore, I finally just did what I had to do at the end of the week.

At the end of the week, the puppy needed to get some booster shots, so we all went to the vet and then shopping and ran some errands. I noticed in the two grocery stores that I went into had a very poor selection of inventory a lot of empty shelves or shelves filled with just one product.  The Super One had a shelf full of different types of Triscuits and another all of Oreos and so on.  We don’t eat that stuff.  It’s poison!  But it’s what really stood out to me. I pretty much only shop the outside aisles.  I buy meat, fresh fruits and veggies, cheese, when we shop, whatever I’m not growing…  Sometimes bread and bagels for the girls etc.. But just seeing that and looking at the other shelves and seeing some crazy stock-up sales,… I just had an odd feeling/thoughts that these could be one of the very last shopping trips that we make…Time will tell…

Well, as I am writing this, I received a link to this video from a reader: “It’s Not Just, It’s Unjust”

And I saw JP’s response to Biden’s Speech last night:  Biden’s New MANDATE! Will you COMPLY?

You already know my answer!

We are living in perilous days.  Read the Word and Pray that you would escape all things…Read Psalm 91.

May The Lord God be with you all and may you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

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As always,  please share and send e-mails of your own successes and hard-earned wisdom and we will post them in the “Snippets” column this coming week.  We want to hear from you.