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:

With sunny but slightly cooler weather, and much less smoke from wildfires, I made a lot of progress on projects around the Rawles Ranch. At the top of my list were some fence and gate repairs.  Our cattle — and in particular our bull “S.” — have been hard on our fences this past summer. Most of these repairs were simple fence wire fixes, but I also had to replace a wooden 17-foot-long corral rail. And our bull also nearly destroyed a 12-foot long portion of the wall to our milking parlor that adjoins one end of our main corral. It is amazing how much force a bull can put into butting his head into things when he is bored. His repeated head butts had dislodged more than a half dozen large nails holding a siding panel in place. Mr. Bull had then kept pushing, and rotated the wall panel almost 90 degrees out of position!  Thankfully, the wall panel — constructed of 2×6 fir lumber faced with roofing steel — was still standing, but not attached by very much, and part of the fiberglass wall insulation lay in festoons on the ground. The wall repair took less than an hour, but it was a bit of an engineering feat, since I was working by myself. I ended up having to use our electric ATV to “butt” the panel back into place the last few inches, and to pin it there, while I re-attached it with seven large power screws.

I cleaned out the sheep shed.

Yesterday, I took a trip to a gun show, and came home with just a couple of pre-1899 antique cartridge guns for my Elk Creek Company inventory. With the combined effect of strong collector demand and general price inflation, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to find affordably-priced antique guns. The bottom line is that they are going up in price faster than the inflation rate.

We also had to make a trip to see a veterinarian, as Lily will explain…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

We had very nice fall weather for most of the week with twenty-four hours of much-needed rain showers.

I didn’t do too much prepping or heavy gardening work this past week, since I am still recovering from a “really good” summer cold (Day 20, today, residual cough). I mostly accomplished the basic chores and greenhouse watering and some house organizing, deep cleaning of our bedroom and bathroom, and a bit of manure clean up in the cows and horses loafing area.

We had to take our little ewe lamb to the vet.  She had become very lethargic over a two-day period.  She was given antibiotics, selenium, and Vitamin B injections.  As of writing this, she is still really weak but will drink Pedialyte with molasses and is nibbling on her hay and lamb grower grain.  So here is to hoping that she survives and gets well from whatever is ailing her. We don’t quite know what it is…

Update:  Sadly, she passed away, Friday evening.

I harvested and dehydrated more broccoli.

We received our monthly order of food: a case each of green and red cabbages, a case of russet potatoes, three cases of raw apple cider vinegar, a five-gallon container of cold pressed organic olive oil. We hadn’t bought olive oil in about four years, and between us and the beasties, we go through quite a lot of apple cider vinegar in a year. I ordered more vegetable seeds and five pounds of organic garlic.  Some of the garlic I am giving away to a friend so they can plant it this fall, some of it I will plant additionally with my own homegrown garlic that I put aside to plant this fall, and some I will eat.

I did get out with Miss Eloise, this time, for another attempt at snagging Kokanee, but this year’s runs have been disappointing, thusfar.  We didn’t catch anything.  But it sure was beautiful standing by the river and trying to catch the few small schools of about three to eight Kokanee fish at a time that we were seeing.  We tried quite hard and diligently, but it wasn’t for us to get any… Eh, we’re far from starving at this time, anyway. There were a few other folks around us with big families that were having some success.  I was happy for them because they probably needed the fish more than us, at this time.  We let them have them. I did watch their snagging technique and tried it.  It was good practice. Miss Eloise and I, also had a much-needed wonderful time talking together during the ride to the river.

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.