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 had another snowy but fairly restful week, here at the Rawles Ranch.

The Jet Stream has been over the top of us, about half the time, for the past couple of weeks. So… I did a lot of snow plowing. I had to be out there almost daily, to keep up.  Lily and I also drove a half-mile down the road to one of our nearest neighbors, to plow their road open. They bought that property less than a year ago, and they are still living mostly out of state. They are hoping to move up here full-time, this summer. We want to keep their road passable for them, for when they come up for a planned ski trip, in February.

As an aside, I’d like to reiterate my thanks to the more than 100 readers who responded to my annual post on Tuesday, requesting Ten Cent Challenge subscriptions. Several folks sent $100, one sent $200, and one gent sent  $365–presumably as a “catch-up’  payment for a decade of reading the blog without subscribing. Your generous support is greatly appreciated!

Both our half-grown puppies and our cats have been getting into mischief. With all of them spending so much time indoors in the cold weather, I suppose this was inevitable. Surprisingly, the newly-arrived interloper dogs and the well-established cats haven’t many outright conflicts. They seem to have some sort of truce in effect. The cats have strategically moved to higher ground: The top of the piano, on a tall cabinet, and perched up on the backs of our ancient couch and our aging Barcalounger. I’m not sure if they will ever be on friendly terms, but for now, they seem to be coexisting without destroying the house.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
This week was very snowy with a fresh accumulation by the end of the week of over 20 inches.  Lovely.

This week, I cleaned out the chicken coop.  No, I did not wash its floor. The hens have decided for the most part, to lay their eggs in an open grain storage can.  A couple of the birds are utilizing the nest boxes. We are leaving the lights on 24/7.  Therefore, their egg-laying has jumped up to half again more than it was in early December. Yes!

I cleaned out the floor of the hay barn and gave all of the stray hay and straw to the large beasties.  They enjoyed the extra snackage.

I have been doing a lot of extra cleaning.  Because we have had dogs and cats in the house, the dust, dander and hair accumulation is rather high. I do have some irritation to it.  Thus have been nearly daily, vacuuming, dusting, and washing surfaces to keep it down, along with frequent window opening to air out the house and the running of two air filters.

Additionally, we are storing extra water for immediate use after unexpected power failures, which are very frequent this time of year, and this year in particular, from the frequent storms we are receiving. Therefore, I have been frequently washing out and refilling our water storage, in buckets, plastic water cans, and pots.  This water would be for our sheep, chickens, dogs and cats, dishes, toilets flushing and cleaning.  In jars and pitchers, I have drinking water.  When this water would run out, then we would move to melting snow and collecting river water.  We also have a couple of backup shallow well pumps, but those draw up rusty water, unless they are pumped quite frequently.  If we had the chance to do it over again, we would have bought stainless steel well casings.  Those are actually affordable, when you pump from just 18-foot depth, and the well is cased just down 25 feet.

I skied around the ranch a few times. Once, I put K. in his harness and did try skijoring with him.  He bit at my skis all the way up the driveway, (Someday, I hope he will tire of that behavior!), and then he pulled me all the way down the driveway.  He enjoyed running back towards the house, with me in tow. We did that about six times until he seemed to tire out.

We continued our other training of the two dogs this week.

This year I intend to read through the Bible in Hebrew.  I began in Genesis on January First, using e-Sword and Mamre-Mechon sites. e-Sword has parallel Bibles.  I am using KJV+, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin bibles.  At this time in addition to reading the verses in Hebrew, I am also checking out the Latin at the same time.  Greek, is too difficult for me just now, so I am skipping it. Maybe next year, I’ll do the Greek.  I am doing a chapter a day plus more, sometimes.  After I complete the translation of a chapter, I listen to it read aloud by the Mamre-Mechon site.  I am very much enjoying these studies. Additionally, I am listening to the New Testament and have listened to Romans, First and Second Corinthians, and Galatians.

I feel that we have only a very short time left to get God’s Word in our hearts and minds before it is forbidden by the evil Powers That Be to possess it.  Therefore it’s imperative to know as much of it as possible.  Folks who survived the Holocaust said that the information in their brains that they had memorized throughout life that they could recall and think through during those dark unstimulating days, is what kept them sane and helped them survive the horrors they experienced.  Therefore, since God’s Word is life and teaches us the way to eternal life, gives us life abundantly,  shouldn’t we  be immersing ourselves in it, memorizing it, as much as we can daily?

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.