Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make both 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 the Odds ‘n Sods Column or in the Snippets column. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

We had mostly clear, chilly weather this week. This gave me the chance to wrap up a few outdoor projects, including some fall rototilling. I also discovered a serious glitch with our snowplow. Changing the hydraulic fluid and filter didn’t solve the problem so I chained the plow in the up-most position, and drove it to Spokane, Washington for repair at a specialty shop.  That was a 7-hour round trip. And once the repair is completed, it will be another 7-hour trip, to retrieve it. This illustrates one of the drawbacks of living way out in the hinterboonies!

Another one of our vehicles was driven into town for a snow tire switch. (The Les Schwab chain kindly does free seasonal switches, if your tires are already on rims.)  Two other vehicles were put in “storage” mode, with our insurance company, until April. There is no point in paying for insurance on vehicles that are just parked in our shop for the snow season.

And another one of our vehicles had a leaking power steering box. So that entailed another round-trip to town, for a repair.  I need to spend less time on the road, and more time on my projects here at the ranch!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been quite busy with consulting calls.  Clearly, the calamitous world events are prompting folks to get prepared. Quite a few of my clients are making long-distance moves, re-balancing their investment portfolios, and seriously stocking up. There is also a lot of well-justified angst over Team Biden’s plan to make most private gun show gun sales require FFL paperwork. So, many clients have had questions on where and how to round out their firearms batteries — whilst leaving little or no paper trail. Some of the quantities that they’ve been discussing are substantial. So I believe that 2023 and 2024 will be record years for gun sales  — particularly the quiet purchase of used guns, from private parties. And it is abundantly clear that ammunition is flying off of the shelves — especially the modern military calibers.

Now, on to Lily’s report…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
The weather this week up until Thursday was beautifully clear and cold, lows in the high teens low twenties, and highs in the thirties.  Brrr!  The garden and outdoor greenhouse are dead. In the wee early morning hours of Thursday the rain began to fall. Friday we had a break in the rain but it will resume Friday night and won’t let up until next Thursday.  It is good since we have been in moderate to severe drought up until this rain.

Friday, I cleaned for the second time this week, the sheep shed and the heifer stall.  I spread their manure in the garden and the meadow. Earlier in the week I cleaned all three, the sheep, the chickens and the heifer.

I harvested the very last of the volunteer potatoes that have been in that particular spot of the Main garden for two years, about twenty pounds worth: Banana fingerlings, reds and purples.  I planted them two summers ago and didn’t harvest them last year.  I just left them in the ground and they regrew this year on their own.

While I was digging them up, I heard a Bald eagle calling loudly down by the river.  When it stopped calling our wild tom turkey, born and raised by our wild Mrs. Turkey this past summer, gobbled back at the Bald Eagle. Each time the eagle called out the Tom Turkey would gobble excitedly back to it.  They called about four times “to each other”.  I thought that was a very interesting “exchange” between them.  Really, I don’t thing the eagle did it on purpose.  I think it was just calling to it’s mate, but the Tom turkey was excited about it. He was reacting to the eagle call, because I didn’t hear him call at all the rest of the afternoon in which we had no other unusual noises occurring that would excite a turkey.

This week I planted in trays in the bedroom greenhouse lettuces, Pac Choi, and Swiss chard.  Additionally, I planted bush container cucumbers in two pots. I have herbs and an orange cherry tomato that I pulled in the from the greenhouse a few weeks ago growing in there.

Last week before the very cold weather came, I picked the rest of all of the cherry and paste tomatoes from the outside greenhouse.  Many were still green.  This week I froze about a gallon’s worth of now ripened tomatoes.

I peeled, chopped, blanched, and froze twenty pounds of store-bought carrots.

I also chopped and froze the last of the Hungarian peppers picked from the outside greenhouse.

I chopped and froze the scallions, three gallons worth. I found that I had left the leeks too long in the tote.  They became too moldy to work with safely.  I had to compost them.  🙁

I packaged and labeled seeds that I have been collecting, saving and drying, Acorn, Delicata, and Buttercup squashes, tomatoes and cucumbers

I have begun to deep clean our home.  It seriously needs it, because during gardening season it has been quite neglected.

Miss violet helped me take the dried sunflower seeds from the flower heads. We de-seeded about half of the flowers, two gallons worth, and still have more to do next week. We plan to eat some, feed some to our chickens and plant some next summer.

Miss Violet and I went to a felting craft class to begin to learn felting.

Once again, I repacked my Bug Out Bag.  Depending on what I choose to have in it, its weight is between 23 and 33 pounds.  I have been carrying around the 23-pound version while doing chores and while walking around the ranch.

I also carried it for a three-hour hike that the three of us did with our neighbor’s wife, up into the National Forest once this week.

I am reading the book of Acts.

Jesus Is The Son of God the Father!

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

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.