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:

This week I was quite busy processing orders for SurvivalBlog archive USB sticks. Thankfully, we’ve now caught up on mailing all of the orders except for a few that were paid by check. Take note that we now have only a few hundred left, and those will not last long!

Now, Lily’s report…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
The weather this week was cold, damp, dark, cloudy, rainy, gloomy, and oppressive, in the thirties day and night  Arrgh! I can’t take it anymore!!!  So what did I do about it?  Two things:  One, I had forgotten that we had full-spectrum Edison-base light bulbs stored away in our lighting cupboard.  I took two of them out and had Jim put them in our living room ceiling light fixture. Wow, now it is bright like sunlight in the Great Room! Two, we bought a pass to the local pool.  We can’t go swimming in the Caribbean, but we can go to a local swimming pool, just an hour’s drive away.  I’ve never been to the Caribbean. It’s the next best thing!

I’m not too happy about being pickled in chlorine, but I’m hoping the benefits of the exercise and the resulting much happier disposition override that attack on my body. I swim laps non-stop for forty-five minutes. Then I play in the water for a while. We finish up by warming up for a bit in the hot tub. I can handle only about five minutes in the hot tub before I get too warm.  Jim isn’t so interested in it, and anyway, it takes a big chunk of time out of his day to go to town, swim, and drive back home again.  It is about an hour, each way. I think that Miss Violet and I will go about four times per week, after our livestock chores, for a few weeks. That will get us through the rest of this winter. If it is a sunny day, then I will not go to town.  I like being home on sunny days to sun myself!

The Canada Geese are back in our valley, and a Tundra Swan family is, as well.

We had a conspiracy of ravens hanging out on our ranch this week.  There seemed to be around twelve to fifteen of them. They were squawking up a storm so I went out to investigate them.  Our dog H. came with me and began barking at them.  That upset them. They flew off to our west. Ravens tend to flock up in the winter.  I haven’t seen ravens around here in a very long time.  Interesting!

Once when I was in my mid-twenties, I was working at a ski resort in New England as a cross-country ski instructor.  One day, I hiked a mile up a backcountry mountain trail with the snow fairly packed, pulling a sled of firewood to be delivered to a remote dry cabin that was rented by someone, for overnight.  As I slid back down the trail in the now-empty sled, I had a whole mile of sledding — a fun time! I heard a whole lot of Ravens calling on the nearby ridge. I stopped and looked. I saw hundreds, literally hundreds, congregated together in the trees.  It was such an amazing sight.

I sorted through all of my seed totes this week and began planning for our gardens this coming spring.

The Buttercup squashes that I harvested in October are now starting to go bad.  Therefore, I took the rest of the good ones, washed, sliced, gutted, peeled, and chopped them. Then I blanched those chunks and froze them — about a gallon’s worth.

I need to do the same with the remaining Acorn squash.

At the end of the week, I, finally cleaned out the Hen house and the Sheep shed.

At the end of the week, I practiced archery for the first time.  We bought a big target that arrived on Thursday, along with an arm guard and a three-finger archery glove. I set up the target and began shooting.  I set aside eight carbon fiber arrows with target points to use and l soon lost three of them in the snow…I knew that would happen…I’ll have to find them when the snow melts. They should still be fine unless one of our horses trods on them.

Other than where Jim has plowed and under the larger trees, we still have four to six inches of snow on the ground.

I had four rounds and of the 30 or so shots that I took, I only hit the target once and that was way up on the top left edge.  Most shots sailed way over the top of the target and off to the right. Ooh, I gotta figure this out. Embarrassing!  In my youth, I was a great shot in archery. I hit many bullseyes when I was in Junior high.  What happened?  Eyes that are thirty-two years older? Is something up with the fletching? Is the target too far out for beginning shots? My center of gravity and stance off? Well, I will try again next week and will adjust several of these things.

Archery Update: This morning I was thinking more about the fletches on the arrows not aligning properly on the arrow rest of the bow.  I took several arrows in my hand and studied them. I realized the notches were in different alignments on all of them. Therefore, I realized I could turn the notchy thing. I retrieved pliers and aligned it to bow rest so the single colored feather was facing outward.  Later, I looked up the name parts of an arrow and learned that that notchy thingy is called a nock.  I turned with pliers the nocks on the five arrows that I was practicing with to align correctly.  Tomorrow I will take out the bow and shoot and see if this helps with my accuracy. Just a reminder, I haven’t done archery in over thirty-two years.  And I have not done much research.  I am now.  So many of you can learn with me as I relearn this sport.  😉

I’m nearly finished watching the videos from the Natural Living course that I took in January.

My mom and I are reading a homeschool science textbook together and are calling each other to discuss it. We are in chapter two.  “Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy” By Jay Ryan. There is a lot of review of information that I already know, but I’ve also learned a few things too. Such as how to tell time with a Sun Dial.   I didn’t understand how that was done and somehow missed the teaching all through the years, until now. I now have a paper Sundial from a science kit, I had bought for our grandsons to do with me — when the opportunity arises. I dug that out.

On the first really sunny day, I’m going to test it. I also came to the understanding that at high noon, your short shadow is always pointing north and if facing the sun at high noon one is facing the south. I should have really known this all these years.  Knowing this will help one navigate in a grid-down situation. Of course, I had learned this in grade school, finding the north star will point you north at night. I am enjoying it.

I’ve done a lot of sit-ups, and some push-ups. I also lifted some weights this week.

For Bible study, we listened to the book of Deuteronomy and listened to some worship music in the car. I read a bit of Job and Isaiah.

Keep learning and studying God’s word and His natural environment.  Keep preparing for lack of food, shelter – and communication. And persecution.  Jesus is with us if we remain steadfast in Him and in His word.

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.