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’ll start out with my recently-visited Radio.Garden stations, which this week by chance were heavy on Celtic music:

  • Sescot Radio, Dunbar, Scotland
  • Scotlander Radio, Inverness, Scotland
  • Dunoon Community Radio, Dunoon, Scotland
  • Dales Radio, Hawes, England
  • Little Flock Radio, Jedburgh, England
  • Celtic Rock, Konstanz, Germany
  • Irish Pub Radio, Dublin, Ireland
  • Radio Zurisee, Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland

(Note: Radio.Garden has been glitchy with recent releases of Firefox, but it works well with the Opera browser.)

This past week, I did some hay and straw hauling. I also cut some firewood and then did the requisite slash hauling. I now have two slash piles established to burn this fall that are both presently about 12 feet in diameter and eight feet tall. More to come!

On Monday, I made a rush trip to town, to help an Elk Creek Company customer. He was selling me back a Finnish SAKO Mosin-Nagant M39 rifle that he had bought in January of 2021. I was happy to buy it back from him at just over his 2021 retail cost. He said that he needed cash “right away”, so I went to the post office, inspected the newly-arrived rifle, and then immediately sent him a couple of USPS money orders — via Express Mail. One nice thing about guns is that they are fairly liquid investments! And yes, I am willing to buy back most pre-1899 Elk Creek Company guns with FRNs, if the condition of the gun hasn’t changed.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This week we had some pleasant sunny weather in the sixties early in the week, then a drop in temperature with rain showers at the end of the week.

Guess what? Last Sunday, our first lamb of the season was born. A little female lamb.  I went out to feed all of the critters.  I went into the sheep shed went right through the shed to the back door opened it up, ran out and dropped their hay in the middle of their run, the sheep rushed out.  I turned around went back into the shed, and started to walk through to the front door, when I eye saw something.  I stopped dead in my tracks.

A little lamb was down in the crouch position against the wall. I almost walked past it.  I went right up to it and pet it.  She was very damp still.  I got up and went to the door and looked to see if I could see who the mama was.  I didn’t see anyone with blood or placenta hanging out.  Therefore, I picked her up, and brought her to the house to get a towel and to show Jim and Miss Violet. She was so small, about four pounds.  I grabbed the towel, as I walked to our bedroom, and dried her off, I interrupted Jim’s editing to show him the lamb.  We sexed it and found it to be a “her”.

I immediately left the bedroom and went and showed Miss Violet and then went back out to the sheep shed.  I put her down and chased all of the sheep back into the shed. Then I saw her mother with her placenta hanging out, sniffing the lamb.  Immediately, I corralled mama into the first half of the shed and shut that gate. Then I caught Mama and expressed milk from her teats — also very tiny. On one teat the milk flowed freely, so the lamb must’ve already drank from that one, but the other was still was plugged and it took a few squeezes for me to clear the blockage.  I had to express the teat about six times before the milk flowed freely through the teat. After I unblocked them, I helped baby to get another drink.

Because we live in a fairly cold climate, we try to time lambing for May. In case lambs are dropped when the ewes are outdoors when we aren’t present, with this timing there is less chance of a chilled lamb. Her birth is just the way we like it, no issues and we find her in the barn mostly dry and perky. She is so tiny and cute and is doing very well. At the end of the week, we banded her tail with our Elastrator.

This week, I finally, separated the steers from their mother cows.  There was quite a lot of bawling between the two groups for a number of days.  “Gee, guys be quiet, eat your hay and chew your cud.” I had to milk out only one of my cows, it seems the other two must have dried off their calves, or the bull is nursing off of them…  But my Matriarch cow keeps bagging up, so I have been milking her, some, to relieve her pressure. We generally don’t drink too much milk these days, so our cows are mostly being bred for meat.

I scrubbed four water troughs this week, one for the steers, two for the cows and bull and one for the sheep.  the horses are out in the meadow and are drinking from the water in the slough.

I cleaned the Henhouse, and put down fresh straw.

Jim and I spent a whole day cleaning and organizing Miss Violet’s old bedroom that doubled as Jim’s gun box storage, photoroom, and packing room for mailing for the Elk Creek Company gun business.  We’ve now turned that room into the new guest bedroom. Jim moved out all of the boxes, reorganized the closet, and moved out all of the camping gear that was being stored in there (That gear had previously been stored in the RV, that we just recently gave to Miss Eloise.)

We repositioned the beds. I washed down all of the walls, reorganized the two bookshelves, vacuumed, washed the floors, windows, and mirrors. I also scrubbed it’s adjoining bathroom. (The tub still had dirt in it from when I was utilizing it as my bathroom indoor greenhouse in February.)  I had forgotten to clean it when I moved everything back outside to the greenhouse. Miss Violet moved out of that room to Miss Eloise’s old bedroom, and didn’t ever use that tub, which is why I forgot about it. Anyhow, it’s super clean now, and guest worthy.

I went with Jim to town for a hay pick-up. It was a nice ride, and super nice to get out.

Miss Violet and I spent a lot of time reading through multiple edible plant books and watching videos on the same topic.  We really need to know what we can eat out there.  You need to know also. Get studying.

I’m sick of living and working in the house 24/7. Earlier in the week, we’d had so much rain that when it stopped, I set up my hiking two-man tent in the meadow, and Jim and I slept out in it two nights in a row. Then the rain returned.  When it’s not raining, we are planning on sleeping out in it on a fairly regular basis.  It was in the forties at night. I love sleeping out in the fresh air all snug in my sleeping bag.  It helps so much with the hot flashes. Just throw off the bag and cool down real quick. I also like being away from the Wifi and the computer.  I come in the house in the morning and do a quick clean-up and make our food for the day, then do chores and stay outside for most of the day.  When I want an afternoon siesta I go back out to the tent and rest outside.  No computer, no Wifi, lots of books and fresh air and sunshine!  Yes.

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.