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:

We are presently traveling out-of-state to attend a memorial service and to help my siblings clear out the house of my dear departed mother, Barbara Marie Rawles. So I don’t have a lot to report regarding self-sufficiency, or survival preparedness in this column, other than one skunk misadventure:

On a recent morning, Lily reported that there was an adult skunk in our live trap, out behind our hen house.  (At the advice of a SurvivalBlog reader we now own a reliable large (Have-A-Hart style) Little Giant brand treadle trap, with spring-loaded doors at both ends.)

As the man of the family, of course the fun, fun, fun smelly job fell on me. A couple of quick blaps from 15 feet (upwind, and with the skunk’s rear-end facing away from me) with a S&W SW22 .22 LR pistol, had him meet his demise. Thankfully the bullets missed the wires of the cage, so no damage done.  Well, at least not to cage.

In his death throes, Mr. Ghost Skunk predictably let loose an odorous blast.

I was already wearing ancient clothes–most notably including a pair of holey old jeans. I put the pistol away, and I donned a pair of latex exam gloves. Mr. Ghost Skunk was very dead, but verrrrry smelly. I carried the cage trap at arm’s length 250 yards into the National Forest, and dumped his carcass out, to feed the scavengers. Coming back onto the ranch, I left the trap just inside our fenceline, to air out for a few weeks.  I’ll have to allow the same time with my mud boots, which I left outdoors.

Despite my best efforts, I picked up some frowsty skunk odor on my clothes.  Avalanche Lily decreed: “Burn them!” So they went right in the burn barrel, atop about 20 fir cones and some scrap wood. They were soon burned to ash. Then I took a very long and very thorough, sudsy shower.

Since it only takes a few parts per million for the human nose to detect skunk spray droplets, I wonder if I’ll bring any residual skunk odor with me, on my trip to see all of the relatives. Perhaps it will be apropos that I’ll be wearing a black suit and a white shirt, and the memorial service. I feel like Pepe Le Pew…

Lily wanted to mention that this week, she canned eight more quarts of tomato sauce from our slowly ripening tomatoes and dehydrated two quarts worth of celery that was growing in the greenhouse. Additionally, when in town, this week, she collected a huge quantity of maple seeds from the trees dropping them, and spread the seeds around the ranch.  We shall see how many sprout, next spring.

Lily said something this week that made me laugh and praise God that she is my practical preppy wife.  I was heading to town to do some errands and I asked her if we needed anything from the hardware store.  Lily paused for a long minute, seemingly undecided as to what to say, then blurted, “The whole store.” That’s my wife!

I should also mention that when I went to pack for this trip, there was very little searching required for the needed items. Black suit and tie: Check. Kleenex: Check. Sleeping bags and ground pads: Check. Furniture dolly: Check. Heavy-duty dolly: Check. Work boots: Check. Furniture padding blankets: Check. Extra boxes: Check. Roll of bubblepack: Check. Packing tape: Check. Ice Chest: Check. Air compressor: Check. Padlocks and keys for rear of horse trailer: Check. Keys for horse trailer tack room: Check. Tarps: Check.

I’ve always been one of those: “Everything in its place and a place for everything” kinda guys. In times of stress, it is nice to know where I quickly lay my hands on needful things.

As I mentioned in the blog on Thursday: Get right with God: Accept Jesus (Yeshua) as your savior. That is the most crucial item on your preparedness checklist.

Update Friday night:  Miss Violet has some respiratory illness which developed in the past two days, Therefore, Lily is remaining home at the ranch to make sure it’s nothing serious. Additionally, our daughter-in-law’s brother, J, has a seriously bad respiratory illness and we would appreciate it, if you would pray for him.  Please pray for both of them. Thank you.

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Jim and 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.