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. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

It felt so good to get back to the ranch!  I loathe being away from my wife and kids for anything more than an overnight trip. But I really feel strongly convicted to help out my elderly family members–even if it means making extended out-of-state trips.

When I got home, after unpacking, there was the usual pile of mail to go through, and a few packages. Then came catching up on projects around the ranch.  Oh, and some snow plowing.  And then I had to make the drive to our post office. (My sincere thanks to all of you who thoughtfully send 10 Cent Challenge subscription donations!) And on the same trip, Avalanche Lily had me pick up a bunch of sacks of poultry grower pellets. Now, back at home, I’ve been busy cutting some stockpiled wood into stove rounds, and slaughtering and gutting a few chickens. (Avalanche Lily and the girls do to scalding and plucking.) And of course I’m doing my usual daily blog writing. I’m also working on the text and layout of my mail order website.  That will be called Elk Creek Company. There, I’ll be selling hand-selected pre-1899 cartridge guns. The planned launch of that business will be February 1st–if all goes well.

So I can honestly say that I’ve been busy, busy, busy! I have a feeling that this winter will pass by very quickly. Now, over to Lily’s weekly report:

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

I am so glad that Jim is home!! We have been trying to catch up on all of those missed out hugs and kisses. Mmmmmm!  Yes, I will say, my enthusiasm for life and my motivation to get things done has returned to my inner being with my better half, now, safely home. I am so happy and thankful to our Lord for bringing him back home.

Jim has been super busy since getting home. I also had, with a sheepish grin, a fairly lengthy “Honey-Do” list for Jim.  Some of which we need to get onto this coming week.  It seems that we have gone through wood for the wood stove at an unprecedented rate this winter and seem to have only about two months worth, left, since we often use the woodstove through April, Jim will have to get out with the chain saw and cut up some logs that we stacked and put under tarps two summers ago.  This will be the first time we’ve ever had to process any of our stiockpiled wood during the winter… We also had a bunch of light bulbs die on us while Jim was gone.  We like the “old fashioned” yellow light bulbs of which manufacturers are now, poorly designing these days, (seemingly on purpose, to move you to the blue-white light high efficiency bulbs –either with poisonous mercury inside of them, or throwing a harsh LED-generated flickering light.  About eight went out during the past month. Power surges, perhaps?  I changed a few of them with no problems, but four of them broke with their ends still screwed into the socket.  That is how poorly they are being made these days.  I did try to unscrew two of them with pliers but seemed to be causing more problems, crunching glass which I don’t like, that gives me the willies. So I left that job for Jim to do.

Jim did cut up about half a cord on Thursday.  Miss Violet and I, stacked it in the woodshed. We enjoyed piling it into the sled and pulling it over the snow to the woodshed.  It was the one sunny day that we’ve had in weeks.  The sun shining on the snow was beautiful.

Oh, I forgot to tell you, that a couple of weeks ago, when we had the first significant snow storm, I had taken out the pickup truck with our Western plow head and had plowed the driveway for the very first time, alone, with our manual transmission pick-up.  Last winter Jim had given me lessons and I had plowed just a little bit.  Before he left, he reminded me how to use the plow blade and how to plow.

I enjoyed it and did a great job and became very confident in the job. I cleared the driveway and a few parking spots, but not the whole area that we usually clear.  Within a few days it had melted from the rains, anyway.  Again this week, we had about eight inches of new snow and then about three inches of rain = 8 inches of slush.  The day Jim was due to return home, I took out the plow and plowed again.  I enjoy plowing snow!!  Jim did finish the job for me, but maybe we can, now, share the plowing job in the future.

I went for a ski and a walk this week.

I went night-time cross country skiing with a headlamp that I didn’t really use. (I didn’t need it, except to check out animal tracks more clearly, to ascertain who made them: deer.)  The moon was half full and even though there were thin clouds covering it, it lit up our snowy fields and trails beautifully!  Because we had had some significant wind with the weather system that had just come through, the spruces and Grand firs branches were giving off this incredibly beautiful, fir sap/almost flowery perfume fragrance into the air.  I love it.  It is such an exquisite smell.

The next night the sky was clear with the full moon.  With snow on the ground and on tree branches, it was nearly as bright as day.  Beautiful!  At 10 PM, I got the urge to take a walk.  Jim was finishing up some blog writing. Anyway, I often like walking alone outside. The temperature was about 16 degrees Fahrenheit.  I dressed well, got Gaston Glock for companionship, and headed out.  I walked out into the meadow and down to the river.  The snow was about six inches deep and very crunchy.  I didn’t sink into it much at all.  The trees were all casting very strong shadows. So was my body.  I could see for miles up and down the valley and all of the mountain peaks surrounding us.  It was so beautiful!  I felt perfectly comfortable and safe.  Later, I went back up to the barn to check on the cows and horses and to throw them some more flakes of hay.  They got extra on that night.

On Thursday, Jim and I went out and de-horned our two week old calf. She has been named as of Thursday:  “F.” will be her truncated acronym (for OPSEC), but she bears a Hebrew name with a different first letter. No, sadly we didn’t choose any of the readers’ suggestions. Please forgive us.

We may have missed our window of opportunity to de-horn her.  The directions of the Dr. Naylor’s dehorning paste says to do the job when the calf is 3-7 days old. Of course Jim wasn’t yet home during that window, so I waited for him.  We did it on day 13…. but her little horns had not broken the skin and felt really small, still… We’ll see if it worked.  If not, it will be okay…  She is a petite, but strong, and feisty little heifer.  She is so beautiful and sweet.

While Jim was trying to catch her and pin her down, she gave a super high buck and back kick that put her back hooves up nearly into Jim’s face.  He is over 6 feet tall, but he was bending over, slightly. We both looked at each other and laughed with a little bit of nervous awe. I said: “Whoa, that was close. Be careful Jim.” That wouldn’t have been a good scene if she had had made contact with Jim’s face.  And she is little, maybe 60 pounds.  Jim pinned her, lay on top of her, gently. I taped her front and back hooves together.  Jim held her head.

I cut long strips of duck tape and put them on my fleece sweater for availability for a quick grab.  Then I felt around for the horn buds, found them and took scissors and cut all of her fur just around them.  I applied a dab of paste on each horn bud, and then put the duck tape over the bud between the ears and eyes and under her chin for both buds and then one more piece of tape on top of the tape all around her head and chin.  Then we were done.

The next morning, Jim pinned her again and held her head, while I removed the tape and wiped the spent paste off of her buds.  Poor baby.  Now it will take months to win her trust. 🙁  I just wish to add, I have found that in general, heifers and female cows are just not as trusting and buddy, buddy with me, even though I try really hard to be friends with them, compared to as much as bulls and steers are.  Maybe it’s just their maternal instinct….?? The de-horning trauma adds to the difficulties of gaining their trust.

Jim butchered a few chickens for us from the batch we received in early November.  They were the what I call the “Franken Monster Chickens”  Their real name is “Murray’s Ginger” (from Murray McMurray’s Hatchery.) They are a golden-colored Heavy Meat Bird which were part of the assortment that we ordered.  The girls and I had not plucked feathers in years, since we usually skin the birds. But, I wanted a nice roasted chicken which stays moist if you leave the skin on it, so we decided to pluck a bird each.  It took a very long time to get them cleaned up. I did the final clean-up pluck.  The last bird, I gave up on, and finished it, by skinning.  There are too many other things to do, that I’d rather be doing.  One of the birds was put in the oven and the other two were frozen. In a few more weeks we’ll butcher some more birds.

In the greenhouse, a few of the lettuce seeds I put under the clear shallow totes have barely germinated.  We are supposed to have below zero temperatures next week, which will probably kill them….

Miss Violet and I got back on homeschooling, this week.  We are reading for American Literature/essay writing, “An Old Fashioned Girl” by Louisa May Alcott, for the first time. She is the same author who wrote “Little Women”.  So far it’s a very sweet story about a sweet wholesome country girl who goes to a city to spend a month with her sophisticated, somewhat bratty, city friend.  In the story the country girl maintains her values and imparts them to her city friend and along the way brings some sweet reconciliation and behavior pattern changes into the city girI’s family dynamics.

Miss Violet’s other official classes are Biology, Hebrew, Pre-Algebra, Driver’s Ed driving practice, and Piano.  Her unofficial subjects of which she is studying on her own on a regular basis, (i.e. I don’t chase her for them, but just check in from time to time to see what she is learning and wants to tell me) are: Interior Design, Child Development and Child Care, and books on Preparing to be a Helpmeet.

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.




44 Comments

  1. just a note: a number of manufacturers make LED lights in various wavelengths. You can pick the “color” of your lighting based on your preferences from a soft yellow to a brighter version for task lighting. Please check your local Lowes or Home Depot. I believe (but not positive) that Phillips is one of the manufacturers.

  2. Today we are having thunderstorms and high winds, which are spawning tornadoes in various places, so we will probably lose the satellite uplink for a while today; but the NOAA radios are turned up. Still in recovery, but doing a bit more each day. I did a week of cleansing with no processed foods and gallons of water to flush crud from my system. Now starting an all natural Mediterranean food diet to regain a good gut which all the medicine contaminated or killed.

    We have only small live stock on our farm; the largest animals are 400 pd hogs. I recently reevaluated all the feed that each animal group receives and decided to move to a multi-species, all purpose protein pellet (non-GMO of course). Even the dogs like these pellets but the cats not-so-much. The pellets will be supplemented with the usual hay, veges and left overs my neighbors drop by and other treats each group likes. This will make storage and distribution a lot easier.

    Made the trip to my favorite family-owned feed store to find that they were completely out of two major non-GMO brands we use. You cannot imagine our surprise to see that section of their warehouse storage completely empty. The family picks up their orders from the mfg plant which is located about 3-hours from their store. We were told the manufacturer is behind in production because the raw products did not arrive at their manufacturing plant according to contract delivery schedules. Is this a harbinger of food shortages already? We keep a 3-month supply but I am trying for a 4-months supply on-hand just for this reason.

    We noticed a drop in warehouse pricing (in our area) on some wood items so I’ve increased our purchases of building supplies to keep on-hand. We also buy all our fencing needs in bulk so we get discounts. Other items such as some tool replacement parts, screws and saw blades have gone up a little. I keep telling my extended family, if you don’t have supplies in your hot little hands now, you won’t be able to get it 3-seconds after. Some understand and some roll their eyes at me.

    Have a safe and productive week.

    1. Animal House,

      I am a very BIG PROPONENT in having a large stocks of on hand hardware and building supplies. It always brings a smile to my face when I can go out to my barns and get what I need without a long trip in town to a hardware store. When SHTF there will not even be the option of going into town to the hardware store. “Necessity is the mother of invention” and it is what built this Nation’s great industrial power. Wouldn’t it be sad if after SHTF you have beans, bullets and bandaids but die due to the want of a nail. (See “for the want of a horse shoe nail”)

    2. Perhaps I missed it or you did not want to share but what did you have that made you sick?

      The flu seems quite common this year. My whole family has had either the flu or sinus/ear infections. Nothing overly serious but pretty much every person. And listening to others our family is not unique.

      1. JBH; some one shared their cold with me two weeks before Christmas. It went to viral pneumonia that slapped me down hard. I took antibiotics to defer secondary infection but it just took another three weeks to get through the virus part. I used my nebulizer with albuterol, my inhaler with albuteral to keep the air ways open and ever faithful mucinex to get rid of the green crud. I am still physically weak but trying to walk the farm road every day, weather permitting. If that is all I have to go through, I am blessed!

    3. Animal House posted an interesting thought about the empty shelves and the possibility of a sign of shortages upon us or maybe coming soon. One of our great concerns is that “warning signs” of various supply shortages will be very clear in hindsight, but much less obvious to most people when before us in the present. Empty shelves may simply be transient, and merely a bump in the road of supply chain logistics. They may also be signals of something much more significant. Our own preparedness approach (shared by many among us) is to be aware of current conditions, but also to remain as prepared as we can be while continuing to improve. It’s a strange and unsettling sensation to come upon unexpected and empty shelves, and one that should motivate us to shore up various supplies, and to prepare.

  3. JWR:

    I admire you for helping family. Family is the most important part of life.

    My wife and I were the primary care givers to all four of our parents who succumbed to various illnesses. It was difficult physically and financially but years later we are so gratified having done the right thing.

    Another important thing is that your children have taken notice of your actions and will become better people knowing what kind of parents they have.

    1. This is so true. Our homestead has become a multi-generational family living site. It has taken many years to get to this place, but our closest neighbor is the one surviving parent between us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our youngest adult child is with us as well, and we hope that one day soon an older sibling and spouse will also be joining us here. Of course we would love to welcome other family members (aunts, uncles, cousins), but not everyone shares our conclusions about the conditions of the world (natural and man-made). We know this is a familiar story to many others!

    2. Good points Telesilla. Both my parents and MIL took care of their elderly mother’s until the day they died. My wife and I agree none of our parents will go into a nursing home. My grandmother died a couple months shy of 99 sitting peacefully in her chair in my mother’s house.

  4. Set up new shelving unit
    Replaced water filter system, replaced pressure switch on the pressure tank with one that had a low pressure shut off so we don’t burn up a pump.
    Got another cord of wood and stacked it.
    Put 280 rounds of 5.56mm ammo on stripper clips and in bandoleers.
    Found the box with all the rechargeable batteries, battery charger, and storage cases. Set that up on a shelf and have been recharging batteries all week.
    Picked up a nice used food sealer, a pair of woodland BDU pants and 3 new inner tubes at the Salvation Army.

    At Tractor Supply I picked up 2 packs of headlamps. One pack had 3 head lamps for $7 and the package said they were 150 lumens while the other was a pack of 2 for $5 rated at 100 lumens. I like the 2 for $5 the best since the light was on a swivel and also had Red lights for helping to preserve night vision and maintain light discipline. All took AAA batteries. I will keep a few out and the rest will go into a faraday cage for safe storage. I also got a nice woodland camo net that was on clearance.

  5. Today we are having thunderstorms and high winds, which are spawning tornadoes in various places, so we will probably lose the satellite uplink for a while today; but the NOAA radios are turned up. Still in recovery, but doing a bit more each day. I did a week of cleansing with no processed foods and gallons of water to flush crud from my system. Now starting an all natural Mediterranean food diet to regain a good gut which all the medicine contaminated or killed.

    We have only small live stock on our farm; the largest animals are 400 pd hogs. I recently reevaluated all the feed that each animal group receives and decided to move to a multi-species, all purpose protein pellet (non-GMO of course). Even the dogs like these pellets but the cats not-so-much. The pellets will be supplemented with the usual hay, veges and left overs my neighbors drop by and other treats each group likes. This will make storage and distribution a lot easier.

    Made the trip to my favorite family-owned feed store to find that they were completely out of two major non-GMO brands we use. You cannot imagine our surprise to see that section of their warehouse storage completely empty. The family picks up their orders from the mfg plant which is located about 3-hours from their store. We were told the manufacturer is behind in production because the raw products did not arrive at their manufacturing plant according to contract delivery schedules. Is this a harbinger of food shortages already? We keep a 3-month supply but I am trying for a 4-months supply on-hand just for this reason.

    We noticed a drop in warehouse pricing (in our area) on some wood items so I’ve increased our purchases of building supplies to keep on-hand. We also buy all our fencing needs in bulk so we get discounts. Other items such as some tool replacement parts, screws and saw blades have gone up a little. I keep telling my extended family, if you don’t have supplies in your hot little hands now, you won’t be able to get it 3-seconds after. Some understand and some roll their eyes at me.

    Last minute update: We had either a 90 MPH wind shear or a small tornado go down our county road while I was reading the scriptures and praying. South of our farm the neighbors suffered severe damage, one mobile home is off its foundation and crushed. Another mobile home while not hit, is surrounded by down trees. My closest neighbor in a brick house escaped most house damage but is surrounded by downed trees and a couple of vehicles are crushed. Power poles and lines are down every where in that county. There are 40+ year old trees all over the county road and farm roads are blocked.
    The tornado moved to the west side of the road before continuing north. The farm on the west side has 40+ year old trees up-rooted and thrown around the property. We are in a different county and our power is still up. We have some damage to our out-buildings with the roofs blown off but the animals are safe and our 100 year old oaks are in the ground and only lost a few twigs. Prayers are heard and we are safe!

    Keep prepping.

  6. A trick that I’ve used in the past for removing broken light bulbs is to cut a potato in half. Jam the open half onto the broken bulb and untwist the bulb. Don’t have to do it now though as we’ve been off grid for 5 years. We use kerosene lanterns for light

  7. As far as those blown out and broken light bulbs, I’ve read to simply press a small potato far enough in to grab the broken end and then you can twist it out. I have never tried it myself. It may be a good idea to shut the power off first.

  8. We had two nice days here in the Show Me state, so we got the garden area tilled and covered up in preparation for spring (we doubled the size of the original garden, and added a second for our pumpkins and watermelons.) Tested the two Big Buddy heaters we got for Christmas, and we’re trying our hand at dehydrating food with our new dehydrator. The bananas didn’t turn out real well, so we’re trying jerky this weekend.

    Also had to drop off my Smith & Wesson Model 19 .357 Magnum at the gunsmith to install a new barrel, and I’m waiting on a new part to fix my Grandpa’s old Smith & Wesson Victory .38 revolver.

    1. Bananas need to be really, really ripe. I flip (pry them off the trays actually) them midway as well. Also remember to cut them into as equal a size per tray as possible for uniform dehydrating.

      After living in Hawaii, I just can no longer eat unripe bananas and they do not dehydrate well. The good news is that the bananas best for dehydrating are usually on sale.

  9. I am glad your daughter is learning Hebrew. She will be of great help to her husband. Is she also examining the word pictures of people like Frank Seekins, and the work of Jeff A. Benner with lexicon and dictionary. I have found what I think is a better understanding of God’s Word through researching them.

  10. I guess you could say it was beans and bullets this week.

    Experiments in beef jerky to find a flavor I want to put away in large quantity.

    Also experiments in .223/5.56 reloading searching for the best powder for the criteria I want.

    Other than that workouts and normal week at work.

    1. If you haven’t yet, try Winchester 748. It meters very well, and is fairly easy to find in 8lb canisters. Varget is good also, but I use 748 in other calibers, so I have a lot of it stored up.

  11. We have several feet of new snow which insulates and provides a quietness that I really appreciate. Snowshoeing with the dogs is fun and builds endurance.

    Keeping on with food stocking this week. I took advantage of case lot sales, dehydrating extra veggies and canning some more applesauce. We keep preparing our larder for life.

    I was finally able to order a basic reloader unit. When it arrives, I’ll work on getting the dies and supplies needed. It’s our final big skill to learn/relearn.

    Mostly we just keep on pulling ourselves out of the disaster of the last few years. We are replenishing and putting things right. It is a long process and some days I wonder if it’s really worth it. But than I think about where we would be if there were war on our soil and proceed onward. Prepare for the worst and pray for the best.

    Blessings

  12. JWR

    How much wood do you typically use in an average year? And how has you wood usage for last year and this year compared to average? Or if you do not like talking specific amounts where do you think you were last year and this year as a percentage of average.

    I avoid ppredicting the future but like many here I have concerns about the Solar Minimum. In my region last year’s summer was pretty cool. This winter we have had few really cold periods where I use lots of wood but I feel the average temperature is down a bit. So far it has not increased our wood usage much but my wife and I seem to like a cooler house than we did in the past so that may influence things. My adult daughter freezes to death when she comes over these days.

    This is a subject I try to collect data on from all possible sources to use for planning purposes.

  13. Annie Oakley returned from the holidays. We enjoyed time together at the range. Retirement gets better every time we try it. Maintaining preps is a whole lot easier (and less expensive) than building them.

  14. Just a thought about the number of light bulbs burning out. Sometimes the reference (ground/neutral) opens between the transformer and the house. The line transformer still puts out 220 but the two 110 lines float causing higher voltages on one line and conversely lower voltage on the other depending on the circuit load. Higher voltages will cause bulbs to burn out before their time. Sorry for the bold letters. Can’t undo the bold format in the reply box.

  15. Lily,

    You skiing reminds me of a tender movie my sweet spouse brought into our home.

    Away From Her with Julie Christie.

    The lead female character spends quite a lot of time on skis on a lake. Lovely scenes.

    Then, well, dementia takes her over. Slowly. Very touching.

    Carry on

  16. Lily, this link is to the tool I always used as an electrician to remove the base of broken light bulb.

    https://www.amazon.com/IDEAL-34-002-Safe-T-Grip-Fuse-Puller/dp/B00HSHDIY8/ref=sr_1_8?crid=26JNFJRZHQ7NJ&keywords=fuse+puller&qid=1578771023&sprefix=fuse+puller%2Caps%2C168&sr=8-8

    It is actually a fuse puller for cartridge type fuses, so it has more than one purpose. There are purpose built tools on the market, but this works just as well. At least it works for me.

    I’ve also noticed that the incandescent light bulbs don’t last very long. I only use LED lamps where I have a light that stays on 24/7. I too prefer incandescent lighting.

  17. I’m willing to bet a real silver dollar I’m the only reader who was making their blackberry jam this week. Health reasons prevented me from making it last summer when the harvest was on so everything went into the freezer. It was truly whole new experience making it in January.

    I developed my own recipe to do 11-jar batches since that’s how many fit in a canner when you take the basket out. It took me three batches to get the 32 pints done. I had to have the loft windows open a little to let all the steam out so that meant I had to have the wood stove downstairs going full bore. Apparently no passersby reported suspicious activity, or at least no more than the usual amount!

    It always takes me 30 minutes to remember how I do my setup for blackberry jam (and raspberry). Which kettles to use (chili kettle? no that’s too small, use the bigger one but not the really big one), how to set up the Victorio seed strainer, which screen to use (tomato), which spiral (long one) etc, and in the summertime, it’s just too busy during jam season to ever relax enough to get it written down. So finally, in the dead of January after getting all the jam made, the next morning I was able to leisurely set everything back up, take photos, make notes, and produce a very nice sheet with photos and instructions. Now for the 2020 jam season, there won’t be 30 minutes of scratching my head trying to figure out how to set it up, what works best, and why the strainer is jamming (back the screen off 1″). I have that nice sheet sitting right in the canner waiting for me when I get it out of storage. And there’s a backup one in my recipe book. And blackberry jamming season will be organized, and wonderful. 🙂

    Most of my jam gets given away but I also use it to flavor everything from my home-made yogurt to summer smoothies, and I’ve never outgrown good ol’ PBJ’s.

  18. Put up a couple more Mr. Beans spotlights on the property this week. Love those lights! The new ones are 450 Lumens, very bright. They use D batteries but they last a long time. Have 6 up and 5 more to put up.

  19. Prepping this week……

    Treated the top three inches of every apical stem in my newly planted orchard with a soaking of casteel soap. The overwintering buds are the nesting place for the microscopic pest larvae such as pear slugs. The oily soap gets inside the small buds and smothers the larvae.

    Untraceable (I.e. un-numbered guns without manufacturers branding) guns were just banned with possession classed as a felony in Washington State last week, along with several other anti 2A laws.

    This year’s state Demokrat Attorney General legislative proposals are to ban magazines and possibly require that only FFL dealers may sell, and background checks required, for ammo.

    We are preparing for record cold temperatures this week. The significance is that regional construction standards never insulated enough, nor buried water and sewer lines deep enough, to survive freezing damage.

    As soon as you get a few thousand homes and businesses with damaged water lines and backed-up frozen and split open sewage discharges, things get nasty and repair supplies disappear.

    Our church security team had a planning session for our training program for 2020.

    I suggest you all check out YouTube of Active Self Protection for analysis of actual shooting incident videos. The ones just completed about last week’s church shooting are very helpful.

    Make your day Blessed.

  20. Lily ,,,i’ve been off grid 40years or so. ,,,,,the best thing that ever happened was LED lights for us being off grid ,i can run 10 LEDs for the same incandescent light, when we were able to switch over the incandescents went in a box and out to the barn to never be seen again,
    The only way I would go back to incandescent is if there was nothing else ,period ,,,,
    I suspect LEDs will be ok after a EMP if not in use at the time ,and not hooked up to wires
    If your grid power comes from coal you are putting more mercury in the air running incandescent than you would over time from curlyque lights ,and don’t forget the Radeon from coal fired power plants ,
    My point in this is look at all the numbers ,

  21. I get my lightbulbs from Newcandescent, an American manufacturer. They cost a little more, because they are made in the USA, but I’m always happy with them. I only use yellow like bulbs like the old-fashioned ones — I can’t abide blue or pink lights of any kind — and theirs work great!

  22. We had visitors this week so took a trip to a local tea shop and had fun trying new blends of tea. It was fun to experiment with new blends and it gave us great ideas for combinations we can plant and harvest from our own property and combinations to try to make some new and interesting flavors.

    We stocked up on two more cords of fire wood and moved a third cord into our wood shed from another area we were storing it. Some folks and family members may think we are a bit crazy for bringing in more wood but after reading about the GSM and knowing we do not have a source for fire wood on our property, we want to make sure we have a sufficient amount for at least 3-6 months. Right now we have 8 cords of mixed hard wood and fir. How much do you think is needed to burn a wood stove for heat and cooking for 6 months?

    We continue to run the freeze dryer and put through veggies. It takes about 30 hours per batch and four trays (amount the machine will hold) yields the equivalent of about one #10 can. So it is a long process to put away any significant amount. On another note we discovered from a local supplier that Mountain House seems to be eliminating many of their #10 cans in favor of small pouches of food. While we try not to buy prepared freeze dried food so that we can control what goes into the food, we found it interesting that these larger bulk products are being eliminated in favor of small pouches that are inefficient for storing food.

    Have a good week (we are in for some significant snow on the horizon).

  23. We have acquired a German Sheppard puppy as our homestead’s new guard dog… well eventually.

    I’m also getting tillers and tractor/equipment ready for spring. I have ambitious plans for a large garden (abt 1.5 acres) but haven’t quite figured out how to produce max quantities of food that will store easily. Wheat would be at the top of my list but without a combine that might not work.

    I planted 2 80′ rows of jalapenos several years ago… we had 5 gallon buckets of peppers! I had no idea they could produce so well. A friend just ran them through a blender and canned them for seasoning. The peppers however are hard on the metal lids.

    I also need to get started on a greenhouse.

    I have other areas covered, but an on going supply of food is essential. That is challenging. It would be nice if everyone on the homestead was as enthusiastic about the process, so I’ll just keep plugging along with a “something is better than nothing” approach. Semper Fi

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