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:

Happy New Year, folks!

It has felt good to get back into our deep winter routine. Lily has the indoor greenhouse trays already growing and producing salad greens. I snowplow our road and barnyard/parking area once every few days (as needed), and we keep the woodstove constantly fed. On alternating days I refill the woodbox that is near the stove. And every day we check on the main stock tank and its heater, feed the sheep, feed the cows and horses, and feed the chickens and collect eggs. There are also some smaller water buckets that need a daily rinse and re-filling. I have my once-a-week routines, as well: A trip to town to check on incoming mail and to mail out Elk Creek Company packages, and rolling a dozen or more bales of hay off of the top of the pile — to make them handy for whoever is feeding the bovines, equines, and ovines.

I enjoy the quiet and serene pace of deep winter. I get a lot of writing done, and I have more free time available for repair and renovation projects around the house. At this time of year, we all seem to have more time available for reading and playing board games. (The most recent favorites for our family are Scrabble and Ticket To Ride – Europe.)

The highlight of each week is our group Bible study. Our group meets in a home that is less than 15 miles away — which is “practically next door” by American Redoubt standards. It is the most in-depth study I’ve ever participated in. There is a lot of topical study, apologetics, history, Holy Lands’ geography, and brief dives into Greek and Hebrew. The studies on prophecy and eschatology would be enough to overwhelm any “baby Christian.” I feel truly blessed to be a member of that study group. It is a great time of fellowship, around mostly gray-hairs, like myself.

Thusfar, this fall and winter, we’ve had about three feet of snow, but it has compacted down to about 18 inches. But in actuality, that is just a trifling amount. I have some relatives with a cabin in the High Sierras of California. They tell me that they already have eight feet on the ground and may get more than 18 feet of snow this year!

With all of the recent snow, we had a pair of “leaner” fir trees go almost fully down across one of our fences. So I picked a sunny but brisk day (12 Degrees F.) and cut them up with my chainsaw. For safety, I had to work very deliberately and slowly each time I took a step–since I was on a slope and my Kamik boots were postholing through 20+ inches of crusted snow. I piled the limbs into a slash pile to burn in April or May. Thankfully, the trees had apparently both bent down slowly under snow load, so they did very little damage to the wire mesh field fence.

Now, over to Lily…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
Now that we’ve had three feet of snow (presently compacted down to 22″), we thought It would be a good opportunity to try out the Luxe Hot Tent that we bought last year. When set up with a compact stove inside, it is very cozy. However, we haven’t slept in it, yet, because, I am really enjoying getting good sleep lately, and functioning at top levels every day and don’t wish to interrupt that with a night or two of lousy sleep. Losing sleep highly affects my functioning and attitudes for two or three days afterwards…No thanks — for now.

Now that we have had a temperature drop, not way below zero as was forecasted last week, but in the high teens and low twenties, the snowpack has dried out and has become lovely skiing snow.  Additionally, we have had another five inches or so of powdered snow fall upon it over the weekend. Jim, Miss Violet, and the dogs went for a walk up a National Forest road with me skiing behind them.  We went about mile and Jim, Miss Violet and the dogs turned around to head back, and I continued on another quarter mile up to a curve in the road where I planned to turn around and come back down and catch up to them with a nice long, down-slope ski.

I was breaking trail the whole way up on the side of the road, because, there were tire tracks in the road that had compacted the snow and it was slippery.  Plus, I wanted more of a work out. I was quite a bit nervous, on edge, to be continuing out there alone.  But, I prayed for safety and that all animals would think I was a rock and ignore me, like the scripture in Job speaks of…And I praised the name of YHWH over, and over, and over, again, and prayed for other things, storming the heavens, you could say…

The forest was beautiful, with about two feet of snow on the ground, the top five inches being powder.  The coniferous trees all had white puffs all over their branches. I reached the curve and turned around.  I started down in my tracks. I looked ahead and saw a dark brown pyramid-shaped object on the left side of the road, about thirty yards ahead.  My track was on the left side of the road. I thought that it was a log sticking up out of the snow, and I didn’t remember seeing it when I passed it, just moments, before?  I prayed again that the Lord would keep me safe. I looked some more at that object, something about it didn’t seem right. Suddenly, the object moved! Internally, I moaned “Oh Great, you have got to be kidding!  Am I about to have an animal encounter?” My heart started to pound. “What is it?”  It lifted up its head. It was a big brown bird!  It acted like it was stuck in the snow and was “struggling”.  As I skied nearer, it was staring at me.  It was a huge adult Golden eagle. I wondered what I should do about it, if it would just fly away, or if it didn’t, could I pass by it, safely?

I had been going slower than I wanted to in my own tracks, therefore, I stepped down into the smooth tire tracks on the right side of the road, which speeded up my descent, somewhat.  Maybe I could ski very fast by it? As I got closer to the bird, it “struggled” some more staring right at me. My heart pounded faster.  Why isn’t it flying away? He wasn’t trying very hard to get away from me.  I spoke to it, telling it to “Get going!”  It turned its head away from me and struggled a bit, not much, in the snow away from me, only for a very short distance of about two feet, turned and looked at me, again. Is it faking it?  It didn’t appear hurt.  When I was about thirty feet away from it, I stopped, because, I realized I wouldn’t be able to pass it with enough speed.  And I would be within ten feet of it, too close for comfort for either of us. I shouted at it, again and waved my ski poles at it. It didn’t budge. Was it scoping me out, as a potential meal?  Would it attack me if I got too close to it?  We had a stand-off for about two minutes, looking at each other.  I thought about shooting a warning round from my Glock, but I already had too much adrenaline flowing and didn’t want to add to it, by trying to shoot. Plus it’s not legal to shoot at them. It wasn’t coming towards me, so I had no justification. I did not reach for it, yet. We stared at each other for a few moments more.

I just wanted it to leave and to get back home to my family.  Therefore, I said to the bird, in a very authoritative normal volume calm voice,

“In the name of the Lord Jesus, leave!”

Immediately, and I mean immediately, it lifted and spread its wings, ran on top of the snow about ten feet got into the air, flapped down the road, about twenty-five yards, lifted up, went over the trees, and was gone! Yeah!  THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS!  Thank You, Lord!

My next thought was, “Faker!” That bird flew beautifully.

Now there are two ways to look at this, encounter.  One is, it could have been a gift to see that bird so close.

Or two, it had never seen a human cross-country skiing before?  Perhaps it thought I was injured? Therefore, was truly scoping me out and came from the enemy to steal my peace?  I say it was number two, because it’s winter and is a hungry predator. When I skied past the tree where it was currently floundering, just moments before, the snow had no disturbance on it at all ,all around it, meaning it had seen me pass by from the air and had just landed there from above… When this bird stands it’s probably as tall as my belly, and I was not a happy skier, to be scoped out, by it.  My heart was pounding from adrenaline and all I wanted to do at that point was get out of the woods.

Regardless, since I was already nervous, this encounter stole my peace in the beautiful snowy forest.

As soon as it flew over the trees, I skied very fast down the slick tire tracks in the road, my heart pounding very quickly for about five minutes.  Finally, after about a mile, I began to relax a bit. But not much.

As I almost reach the end of the road, Jim and Miss Violet, who were hiding in the woods with the dogs, roared, “Ambush” at me to scare me. But I didn’t hear the word. I only heard Jim’s roar… HAR HAR HAR!  I, instantly recognized Jim’s voice and had thought he was yelling at K. (K. was having difficulties obeying Jim.  K. likes to be with me and protect me, was upset when I left them and they went in the other direction and Jim wasn’t letting him come to me.  Jim’s roaring doesn’t faze me).

Of course I didn’t see them at first because the lighting was dark where they were hiding in the trees and Jim was wearing his camouflage jacket.  A moment later, I saw them.   I was happy to see them and instantly, I completely had a sense of relief and total relaxation. He asked me if they had scared me. I said, “No.” My mind was too occupied anyway with my bird experience.   Immediately, I told Jim, Guess what happened to me?  He said,  “You saw a Mountain lion or a Wolf?”  I was like, “No,”  I’m super glad it wasn’t one of those. I told Jim what I had just encountered.  He said that to the best his recollection a Golden Eagle has not ever knowingly attacked an adult human in the USA…  However, I have seen lots of videos of similar-sized birds of prey going after toddler children, deer, goats, sheep, etc, both in North America and in Asia.  If that bird wanted to attack me, it could do some serious damage. All he would have to do is pierce my neck with his talons… Knock me out with it’s powerful wings…(Sarcasm on) Lovely thoughts!

“Always remember kids, there is safety in numbers.”

Will I go back up into the National Forest?  Yes, of course, but we will all stay together in the future.  This means that If I want to go further, Jim will have to ski with me and we will leave the dogs at home, for now. Also, as long as we’re not being foolish, the Lord God, will defend me, always. All of God’s creatures must bow down at the Name of Jesus Christ.  There is Power, power wonder-working power in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ from Nazareth. Of which he gloriously displayed to me that day. Amen.  This encounter has continued to build my faith and trust in Him.

I ordered dog harnesses for the two dogs for skijoring and sledding combined, plus some accessories that go along with them.  I really looking forward to getting them in the mail.

This week I have been marching on leash, both dogs, separately, around the Great room and kitchen, around the island, dining room tables, couch, armchair and clothing racks drilling the words Haw/left, Gee/Right, “Come Gee” and “Come Haw” which mean making an 180 degree turn in those directions, “Whoa”, and “Let’s go” to get them used to the words, also “sit”, “stay”, “come” and “down” as in Lay down.  A couple of times while skiing the ranch with K. when he was in front of me, I would give a lunge at him and shout “Mush”. He would look at me quizzically and then take off running in front of me for a bit. I would ski after him, watching for when he would stop. When he’d stop, on his own accord, I’d shout “whoa” as quick as I could, before he came to a complete full stop.  So I hope he is beginning to associate the words with what I want him to do in the future.

Update:  We received the harnesses, leads and skijoring harness for me in the mail at the end of the week.  I was able to put the harness on K. and hook the lead from him to one of our work sleds and encourage him to walk around dragging the sled.  He did well.  He tried to bite the harness and lead a few times. A while later, I got into the sled and threw a rope toy for him to run to while dragging me.  When he lunged and pulled me in the sled a few feet, I would yell, “Let’s go!”  and “Mush”.  Then when he stopped, I yelled “Whoa”.  Often when he jerked the sled, he would stop and look at me, as if to say, “You are heavy, I can barely pull you.”  But when he would dig in he could pull me.  And I would help him by “paddling” the ground to push along. Anyway, we played around with the sled and the throw toy for about a half hour.  I’m going to save the skijoring games, until later when he is more obedient and has a good idea what I’m trying to get him to do, for my safety.  We are just beginning and he is just a pup, still…But we are looking forward to many hours of fun with him in the days to come.

Miss Violet went skiing with me around the Ranch twice this week.  The second day her pup, H. went with her and K. went with me.  It was so cute to see H. stay with Miss Violet, when K. and I went much further away.  She knows who she is to guard.

Here is a video that is indicating that we are in the midst of a medically-induced Holocaust.

This week I have read the apocryphal Book of Enoch.  It is a fascinating read!  I am reading book One, which is as I understand the most authentic of the Enoch books. There is more than one rendition of books.  He writes this before the flood, but also refers to the Elect one, Jesus, and the End of Days, meaning our time frame, also. He refers to the Sorcerers of that day and how no one is saved but through the Name of YHWH TZEVAOTE. It is a very interesting book.

I pray that you will all have a safe and healthy New Year and that you all will call on the name of the Lord Jesus for repentance and His salvation.  I pray that you all will live your life for Him as we soon enter into the days described in the books of Daniel, Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 21 and Revelation.  May the praises of YHWH be found on our lips and in our hearts every day this New Year!

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.