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:

Because of all of the current Mexican Beer Brand Virus turmoil, I’m cutting short my out-of-state trip. (I do not want to end up stranded out-of-state, like some character in one of my novels.) As usual, I will power my way home in two days, nibbling on baby carrots and some jerky. Here I should mention that it is only on these marathon road trips that I ever partake of any caffeine. Then, and only then, will I buy a Cherry Coca-Cola or a Dr. Pepper.)

I’m not certain about the infection safety of making multiple post office trips each week. So I may delay re-activating my Elk Creek Company store page. Thanks for your patience.

It will feel good to get back home. Pulling in our gate at the county road and locking it behind me will end some serious anxiety that I’ve had over the prospect of travel restrictions being put on cross-state-lines travel.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

Well it’s now officially spring!  Last night I heard the frogs singing their mating song for the first time this year. Their sound always puts a smile on my face.  You guys, IT”S SPRING!!!  Can you believe it??!!

Please pray for Jim as he will be heading home shortly.  This week, I have been on the computer far more than the usual, moderating the blog’s Comments section, and monitoring the news nearly, almost non-stop.

There is a fair amount of anxiety, but really for us there hasn’t been much change in routine.

Though this week, I kept waking up between 4 and 5 in the morning and couldn’t go back to sleep.  Therefore, I dressed warmly and went outside to walk and pray.  The stars were absolutely gorgeous. I always feel much better outside.

Concerning Social Distancing, generally, with our lifestyle we are fairly isolated, anyway.

So several weeks without much interaction with others outside of our family is fairly normal.  Our two regular weekly social events we have canceled: piano lessons and our Bible study which hasn’t met in a few weeks for reasons of a surgery and Mud Season.  We’re not sure if we will continue meeting for a while.  Even though we are a small group, some of our members have been out and about with the public a lot in the past few weeks, I have too, twice, though taking appropriate precautions, but still…?  The latest decision concerning Bible study is to wait a few weeks, all of us completely isolating, and if we are healthy at the end of three weeks and there isn’t a road closure then we will begin meeting again… as long as we remain isolated outside the group…

Prepping wise, not a lot was done…

I moved some more manure.

The horses had a hoof trimming from the farrier visit this week.

I’ve been caring for seedlings in the bathroom green house.  The tomato plants are five inches high, now.  Cabbage is a very good size, as well as the peppers and others seedlings.  Now I’m hoping that they don’t get too root bound before I can transplant them in larger pots in the green house or in the ground.  I just don’t have enough floor space in the indoor bathroom to transplant them into larger pots.  The nights are still far too cold for them to be in the greenhouse.  They’ll just have to hang out for another two weeks in their trays in the bedroom.

After the largish earthquakes in Utah and off of the California coast this week, I got a bit worried about some jars and other loose objects that we have in cupboards on tables, cabinets, et cetera. So I began rearranging them into safer spots, once again.  I did this last summer, but surfaces have the tendency of collecting more things over time.  Our region is also known to have large earthquakes, albeit fairly rarely.

Speaking of which, I had a dream last year of checking in on the USGS ShakeMap and seeing a huge red dot, an eight magnitude earthquake, in the northeast. This dot covered all of New England, Eastern New York, and Southern Canada. In my dream, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and immediately tried to call some relatives that live in the region, but was unable to connect.  I woke up with that feeling of dread, but glad that it was only a dream.

I’m not saying that it will happen, just that it is a possibility, and folks in that region should consider it as a possibility and also prepare their homes to the best of their ability.  Such as anchor tall shelves to the walls, and make sure you don’t have heavy or breakable objects in high places that could get knocked down. Latch cupboard doors so things won’t fall out.  Keep your canned foods in mason jars, in their original boxes or bungie them into any shelves that they are on. Also: Have a bug out bag ready with water, food, clothing, water filter; put an tent and sleeping bags in a place outside of large structures, so that if there is total structure collapse you will have access to a form of shelter, etc.  It’s good to be ready for anything that may happen.

We are living in unprecedented times which soon could become very dangerous. Watch and pray, Ask God for Discernment, wisdom, understanding and courage.  Ask God to provide for all of your needs.  Trust in Him and Pray Psalm 91 over yourselves and your family.  We are praying for all of you, our dear readers.

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.




69 Comments

  1. Regarding earthquakes, remember that your home owner’s insurance policy will NOT cover any damage caused by an earthquake unless you have a specific earthquake rider.

    As my husband often says “There’s not much worse than thinking you have insurance and then finding out- too late – that you didn’t.” This applies to all aspects of preparedness. Check your food, medical, and alt-energy supplies often to ensure that you really have what you think you have.

    Prayers for all SB readers for peace and calm in your hearts during this time.

  2. With regards to earthquakes and loose items on your shelves; there is an item called “Museum Wax” that can be applied to the bottom of your knick-knacks or jars. It is a putty type material which you roll into a pea sized ball and stick on the items base. Put the item on the shelf and press down firmly. This secures the item to the shelf preventing it from moving and sliding off. It is guaranteed not to stain furniture finishes so can be used on items in the house. Museums use it to secure items in their display cases.

  3. Purchased a tractor and several attachments, will be delivered within 2 weeks. Picked up and put together a small chicken coop. Will use this one while I build the main coop. Will then use it to house new younger birds. Picked up some parts for Mirro pressure cookers/canners, Aladdin lamp parts, box of 5.56 ammo. Topped of the gas cans with ethanol free. Picked up a dozen Rhode Island Red chicks and a bunch of food and supplies for them. Been working 12 hour shifts at work due to Covid19.
    Stay healthy and safe everyone!

      1. Lemme correct. No formal announcement has been made by local gov as that would not be prudent on their part, although the Governor is publicly suggesting. That said, via locally reliable source NG should arrive Monday in Dekalb Co. around 75 mi E/SE of Nashville. Other counties are unknown but we are the closest to the base in our region. State gov is moving citizenry into a crisis mode while chatter on Nashville radio suggesting lockdown as “good for everyone”. Our county Mayor quietly meeting with businesses and shutting down most municipal functions. Co Sheriff & city PDs have announced call screening this morning. No more PoPo response until the call has been triaged. State parks are closed. These things indicate a shifting of gears, especially for here in TN.

        We’ll know more Monday.

        Thanks for your interest.

  4. In regard to Chick’s. I hope you have them as it seems like a lot of places are running out. I purchased mine around 3 weeks ago. I went to town for a DR.s appointment and dropped by the feed store to pick up some more Chick feed and they only had a20# bag. Most of the chicks were sold out. The feed for a lot of animals was very low.
    Here in Utah the run ‘s on the grocery store is crazy. If you haven’t got it could be gone. Every one take care and “Pray for our Country”.

    God Bless you all. The Gman

  5. Things are a mess around the world and many things appear to be happening very close together. It is easy to get stressed about all the unknowns out there. While Lily was having nightmares about earthquakes, I had one where a person was chasing me with a needle to give me a shot. Very scary.

    It has rained every day this week and we have been stuck inside except to feed the animals. Too much indoor time so I had to take a break from TV and internet news to meditate and be refreshed with the scriptures.

    I made a local grocery run for fresh vegetables on Monday and had both dehydrators going most of the week. The grocer had most everything in stock but was restocking after a crazy weekend. Heavier patronage than usual for a Monday but did not see any massive buys of any specific items and no long lines.

    Picked up an 1,000 pd order of animal feed. We have doubled our meat rabbits and our chickens with recently born bunnies and chicks. Weather has warmed up to spring temps so the new store-bought chicks are almost ready to move outside; just waiting for a few more feathers to grow in. So cute but so messy! All but four 10-day old bunnies are outside. I’ll wait a week before moving mom and babies outside. I have a couple of months while the new rabbits grow and develop and the chicks won’t be laying anytime soon; but our older girls are laying around 9 eggs a day.

    Took some soup, eggs and corn-beef and cabbage over to my elderly neighbors. They re doing ok but I told them they cannot have their kids or grand-kids in their house. The county schools have closed with no reopening date so I worry that their adult children might dump the grand-kids there.

    May you have a safe, healthy and productive week.

    1. I don’t know about others but I wouldn’t turn away my family unless I knew for sure they had an illness. What is life without Christ and family??? Who can you depend on if not Christ and family????

      1. I agree with you LSM, but the only case (so far) of the virus in our small community is a teacher in one of the local schools. I really love my neighbors so I don’t want them to get sick and die.

  6. Here in N E Ohio: got the septic tanks pumped (good timing as it was full), ‘transferred’ our Au out of the IRA at the lowest price, yippee! Recommend Augusta Precious metals for setting up self directed IRA. Now just pay the taxes next year, ( no penalties as I’m over 59 1/2). Ordered 20 pullets to arrive mid April, ready to lay, also got 8pullets and 5 banties(for future hatchlings) from local Amish friend. Removed studded snow tires. Checked the bees— yeah— 11 out of 14 hives survived the winter thus far, although March is the hardest month for them, feed them till blossoms are out. Ready to get into the gardens as dries out a bit. Cows, piglets arrive next week. Gotta get sawdust from Amish for the stalls today. Walnut sawdust is cheap and no Amish want it as it will kill horses but great for cows, pigs.

    1. Linda have you found that the Amish around here seem to be unaffected by the China virus craziness? The Mrs. went feed and garden shopping early this week at a few of our favorite Amish spots and said it was business as usual- no panic, plenty of stock. Their community is well insulated from the unprepared general public.

    2. I know. If not sick etc and the people like us that are in contact with daily and have been for yrs. No one sick or really having any other contact no way to get it. The kids have been out of school for 10 days so not even any of that. So if no fever cough etc I can’t see where it comes from aside from just nature itself. Some things just have to run the course. I guess all this will just slow it down. Actually as much as the gov of ny usually not so in tune he kind of spoke with reason.

  7. JWR,

    Happy to hear you are headed back home. I have been hearing rumors of a national lock down with travel passes being issued to people who work in critical infrastructure.

    Just within the past two days, media has been reporting on these rumors saying it is a conspiracy theory. And then this article is published last night.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/breaking-trump-eyes-2-week-quarantine-only-drug-grocery-stores-open

    Its been an interesting two weeks.

  8. I’m away from our farm outside Eugene Oregon for the week.
    I’m staying with a friend at her home in a 55-and-over manufactured-home park inside the Eugene city limits.
    It’s a nice place with all kinds of recreational facilities and a lovely clubhouse for bingo and yoga… except all the common buildings are closed and off-limits due to RUMORS AND SECOND-HAND INFORMATION.
    My friend feels helpless, is concerned because the park was sold after four decades with the old owner.
    ‘Will space rents increase… making her home unsalable?’
    ‘Will space rent increase to cover the cost of a mortgage?’
    The geezers in the park, although nice and loaded with wisdom from experience, are poorly prepped for the potential of losing their homes.

    A couple nights ago, my friend dreamt she couldn’t pull the trigger on her AR.
    Slugs just dribbled out the muzzle.
    Naturally, next morning, we packed a picnic, and headed out to the forest for some very satisfying ‘bang’ time.

    We came back to her place, refreshed and raring to face anything.
    Except the water was off due to a fire in the park!
    Her neighbors a couple rows away lost everything.

    I’m pretty darn homesick for my little piece of solitude, our chickens and goats.
    Living with neighbors twelve feet (I exaggerate, but not by much…) on every side wears on my patience.

  9. Southwest Missouri is still pretty stocked, but the TP thing is quite bizzaro. Had a customer at a Wallmart assault an employee and run out the door with a case of toilet paper. Felony assault… for TP? Wow… fortunately that is not the norm but just an isolated incident. Jut got tractor out of shop & eager to try out my new 3pt tiller. I’m going to go big with the garden this year and also get some heirloom red Dent corn in for critter feed. Oh and that wheat we have stored will become seed if need be. To all those head shaking friends of mine who think I’m a crazy “prepper”… How do ya like me now” Know any crazy prepper types with some spare TP? 🙂 Hope the Lord is gentle with us.

    1. Jack,

      “How do you like me now?” I laughed so hard I had a tear come to my eye.

      At our retreat/home we are confident and at peace with our ample supplies and Jesus’ presence. Coincidentally people that haven’t felt the need to visit for several years want to visit now….unfortunately those that opted not to prepared shall not displace those that have.

    2. “Had a customer at a Wallmart assault an employee and run out the door with a case of toilet paper. Felony assault… for TP?”

      Oh, my gosh. I laughed until I cried and so long my stomach hurt.

    3. Where in SW MO are you? We’re north of Springfield, and the Walmarts here are all out of TP, even our local supermarket is out.

      Now we just continue to top off our preps, I feel sorry for anyone just getting started now. I go to Springfield, MO a lot for work, but don’t interact with many people (I’m a process server, so I don’t have to talk to a lot people.) There’s a palpable tenseness in the air, I especially felt it last night. Seeing the highways as empty as they were on a Friday night was eerie. So was seeing the parking lot of Bass Pro almost empty on a Saturday.

  10. Good morning everyone. Hunkered down here in WV. As you know WV was last to be infected so just starting to ramp up here. Still haven’t received O2 concentrator from Amazon. Who knows if I’ll get it. At this point just hoping for refund.

    God Bless

    1. WV Joe: re-posting a response I gave to others, yesterday, in case you hadnt seen it. And in case it might help you find what you’re looking for:

      ————————————————————————
      Jefferson Davis and JS: The Oxygen Concentrator which had been linked to here seems to be one which is sold under several different names, on Amazon.

      I asked at the time whether Mr. Rawles had personal experience with this unit, or was otherwise recommending it…..but I received no reply.

      I had been looking at Oxygen Concentrator’s for a while at that point, and had learned that most portable units often achieve their flow ratings by using a ‘pulse action’, rather than ‘continuous flow’.

      Further, I had my suspicions that a $250-$350 portable Oxygen Concentrator would be durable, reliable, or even perform well initially.

      So, instead, I contacted a local ‘sleep center’ in our town, which tests for and supplies people with treatments for Sleep Apnea (knowing that those patients can also be prescribed supplemental oxygen for that condition).

      Sure enough, they also supplied Oxygen Concentrators for their patients.

      And so rather than reinvent the wheel, and thinking that they would likely carry only models which were reliable, durable, and effective, I found that they indeed carried only one model: the Respironics Everflo ‘Q’, with the Oxygen Purity Indicator option.

      As luck would have it, before going into the ‘sleep center’ business this company was a home oxygen supply business. So I was pretty confident that they knew their stuff

      Long/shorter, we ended up buying 2 of those units directly from them. They are ‘home’ units, meaning they need an AC power source, but in looking into them they seem quite capable machines….should we ever have need of them.

      By the way, the reason we got two was that my wife and I had ‘wargamed’ what a true need for a machine like this would look like, in our community (we have several elderly neighbors around us).

      We decided that should medical care in our area dwindle to the point where assistance such as this was no longer available through the normal healthcare system, and the life of an elderly person (or someone else in our community) was truly at risk, we could not in good conscience deny them the use of our machine.

      We have sacrificed all manner of other ‘worldly’ things in order to prepare in earnest for our own family. And so our thought was that, if we thought it THIS important to obtain a device such as this for what might be coming down the pike, then we darn sure better have an additional one available for the needs of our own family

      Which is often how we prep, in general (for instance, we will never use the amount of toilet paper we’d ordered from a retailer, some years ago now…!).

      Anyway, would love any further reports you might have on the functioning of your units, as time goes by….!
      ———————————————————————–

  11. A very tense week all the way around. I haven’t been sleeping so great either. Crazy dreams. Have even caught myself waking up and shouting out loud, but mostly I’m shouting “get thee behind me Satan!”. While I’m far away from the insanity and stocked up, I’ve been spending a great deal of time virtually consoling, counseling, and praying with family members. In prepping news, I saw a great deal online at JoAnn’s Fabrics and ordered the fabric immediately, received the ordered fairly quickly (3-4) days. I needed more blankets in case family showed up. The deal will allow me to make 12 dozen double sided large fleece blankets for about $40. I’ve made them before and they’re incredibly warm. Some family members are telling me that they’ve been able to do limited grocery shopping and essentials are back in to stock. I watched a video on YouTube, “Rain Country”, and she demonstrates how to use flannel fabric as a toilet paper replacement. I ordered several yards of fabric (guess the colors!) to make “emergency bottom wipes” because it was also on sale. Might as well have that in the preps. We’ve been seeding the greenhouse and planted 100 onion sets. Still lots of snow on the ground here and we are expecting snow on and off for the next week, altho I don’t know how much. I emailed home schooling material to my daughters whose children are home from school for the rest of the school year (https://www.amblesideonline.org/index.shtml is a great site for lots of homeschooling material in the Charlotte Mason genre). I’ve been praying, seemingly, constantly. I would urge folks to not allow their minds to dwell on the current insanity. Watch the President’s press conference in the morning each day for the first 15 minutes or so to get the facts, then turn it off and get busy. It is live streamed on YouTube (search for The Whitehouse, or Right Side Broadcasting, or Fox10 in Phoenix). We feel the need to grow more than we planned on, so we are in process of connecting with all the other homestead/farmer/gardeners in and around our little town to see if we can pull together a Farmers Market type arrangement, where we can all benefit from one another’s expertise and produce. I’m fascinated at what some people are doing. It’s bringing our community together. I learned that one gentleman is an expert with growing large tomatoes (in Zone 5!!) and let’s people come and pick, charges $1/lb. Wow. One gal – organic eggs and potatoes. Another goat’s milk, another honey, etc. I had no idea these people were nestled in our mountains and word has gotten around to many small towns around us. We are all so spread out and the population so small that you could go a lifetime and not meet everyone, which in normal times is by design. This is when it’s good to listen to that very chatty person in town who knows everyone’s business. LOL.
    May God bless and keep you all. #KeepTheFaith

  12. Cleaned out and trimmed the berry patches. Strawberry plants look amazing! Prepped the onion beds. Transplanted an old asparagus crown to a new location. Most seedlings are looking great- still on the seed rack next to the woodstove. Too cold to move anything to the greenhouse yet.

    Making contingency plans to shutter our business for an extended period of time. As of now, our field operations are still active, but I expect that to change. Pulled a large sum of cash from the bank for business purposes- no issues withdrawing. However the bank is closing lobbies at all branches effective today. The tellers were commenting that they’ve never seen this kind of demand for cash.

    For the last 2 weeks I’ve been helping unprepared friends and family members cope with the situation and prioritize their needs with limited availability of certain supplies. When I’m asked “how much food will I need?” My answer is simple- more. Because we homeschool and homestead, this crisis has had a minimal effect on our household, but for many others it is a major cause of anxiety. We all need to do our part to help others through this.

  13. Statewide. We are asked to limit our gatherings to 10. Bars and restaurants closed except for drive-through/carry-out. Last night our governor ordered all nail salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlors, and hair salons to close.

    County. We live in a tourist area. Our county posted an advisory – a public health emergency asking all seasonal residents (only 37% of us are year round) to remain in their winter homes. Our county has the highest percentage of elderly residents in the state. The advisory says that those choosing to come will be asked to quarantine in place for 14 days. Our tiny health care system here cannot handle a high influx of seasonal folks. Yes, they pay taxes but this advisory was very carefully worded using words like ‘please’ and ‘recommend’.

    My hubby is a fisherman and was on a fishing forum this morning. The pushback by seasonal folks was STRONG. If you live in other people’s bug out area, be aware that there might be a great influx of visitors/retreat location owners. If you are heading to your bug out location be aware that the authorities might be recommending you quarantine upon arrival.

    Personal. I haven’t been to the grocery store for 10 days so I can’t speak to the state of supplies at the stores but I did hear that our local store is ‘recommending’ that seniors shop from 6-8 am.

    They are also rationing:
    Limit 1 per customer: Bread, Rubbing Alcohol, Peroxide, Toilet Paper, Liquid and Bar Soap, Hand Sanitizer
    Limit 3 per customer: Water, Cold & Flu, Vitamins, Household Cleaning (including Air Care), Drinking Water, Bleach, Paper Towels, Facial Tissue, Gloves, Thermometers, First Aid, Analgesics, Aloe Vera, Feminine Hygiene, Adult Incontinence, Baby Diapers, Wipes, Formula

    I planted 3 trays of seeds yesterday and 5 pots for under the grow lights. We are still 2 months from our last frost so some of these are micro greens.
    Inventoried how many servings of protein, fruit, vegetables, grains and fats we have so I can do a good job of varying my meal plan.

    Went to church and packed up Sunday school papers for next week’s lessons to mail to our kids.
    Downloaded Zoom so I can still conduct our ladies’ Bible study. There will be a learning curve for this I’m sure. My IT department recommended it (my three sons ).
    Hubby and I both have a list of folks we are calling to check in on. We got an email from our church yesterday giving us more names.
    Two of our sons are pastors and I was calling back and forth with them brainstorming how we can more effectively serve one another when we can’t actually be with one another.

    I’m saving apple and cores in the freezer to make apple cider vinegar when I have enough.

    Also saving (clean) carrot peels, potato skins, celery tops and onion skins in a bag in the freezer. When I have enough I will make vegetable broth.

    Waste not, want not! Also realized my recycle bin is full of planters!

    Keep your spirits up! I was a bit concerned about hubby yesterday. He has stage 4 cancer so we did some more strategizing about what we CAN do and I made a special dessert for dinner. It is the little things. Especially when there is still 2 feet of snow on the ground.

    1. Hi,

      It sounds like you have made apple cider vinegar before? Perhaps you could do an article for submission on how to do it for those of us that haven’t , but would like to.

      JWR has been asking for more articles…..

      1. Krissy, you are so sweet. Thank you. God is so good. We have had 46+ years together and hope for a few more if God wills.

        He feels good enough to go ice fishing this afternoon so that is good!

  14. Went to the grocery store this morning. No potatoes in stock. Shelves were pretty empty. There’s a story at the Washington Examiner that a nationwide shelter in place order is coming early next week. Y’all stay safe and God Bless

  15. Our prayers for JWR’s safe return home, and for all those who are making their ways from where they are to where they will need to be for the duration. We pray for safe passage and delivery.

    In our area, we are a little ways off yet from the last likely freeze. With this in mind, we’re working to expand our working table space, and starting seedlings inside the greenhouse.

    Thus far we have been able to renew prescription medications for our medically fragile adult child, and to pick those up via drive-up window service. We handle all packages with gloves, N95 masks, protective eye wear, secondary bagging, Lysol treatment, and time delay in handling. We are thankful to be able to share this news, and remain watchful regarding conditions which remain fluid. We thank everyone in the SB community for their ongoing prayers and expressions of genuine kindness and caring through the posts.

    We are concerned about early signs of strained behaviors. When people are under stress, they tend to do strange and unpredictable things. Stunned disbelief and shock may become expressions of fear and anger or even rage. Be watchful now because these behaviors can quickly move from “strange and unpredictable but relatively benign” to “violent”.

    We encourage everyone to remain calm and reasoned, to secure themselves safely, to work on those projects that will help to propel them forward as we move through this time of crisis, to pray for and comfort and assist others in so far as this is possible. Together we will move through the current crisis to better days. Every choice we make now should have this in mind, and set the stage for safe passage for as many as can be delivered to that time and place.

    Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

  16. I understand the need for security but would it be possible for people posting their experiences to also post at least the state they are in?
    I think this would help us to get the big picture.

  17. Glad to hear Jim is on his way. I understand that if you are not where you want to be by now in NY, you are not getting there. Having a bit of difficulty getting permissions for our greenhouse, please PRAY for us that crooked paths will be made straight and it will all go through smoothly. We still have 3 feet of snow up here in the mountains, so perfect time to get it ordered and seedlings started.

    We watched the virus creep in on us from all directions till we have official infections in our county. Any last minute preparations have been completed and we are now sitting back in amazement at just how quickly this has happened. I laughed when I saw a meme that said, “I’ve almost completed my 90 day trial of 2020. How do I cancel?”

    Feeling thankful for jobs, preps, electricity and internet. Mostly concerned about losing more civil liberties and watching what I though would be much more difficult to do…shut down America. God bless and keep your powder dry. Praying continuously.

  18. Lily, it is interesting that you mention your earthquake dream at this time. This last week I was consolidating some of our preps and decided it was a good time to strap our racks that hold our canned goods. I moved jars back into their original boxes and strapped the opening so that goods could not shift off the shelves so easily. I am not sure why this all of a sudden became important as I have plenty to do in the garden, but took the time to do it none the less.

    Our work in the garden area is progressing. We’ve taken down all of the old raised beds and are finishing clearing the land. We ventured out a couple of days ago to make sure that we had the lumber to build new raised beds. I am hoping to begin building those beds next week as I am anxious to start planting. I have also been clearing and planting some of our permaculture beds. And in preparation for expanding both growing areas we’ve started trays and trays of seedlings. I’m struggling with getting enough light to the seedlings as some of them are starting to look gangly. I decided to move my front room around and have set up several tables in front of our west facing windows. They get afternoon sun and plenty of light so I am hoping this helps. We have a south facing patio that I will begin using once the chance of frost lessens.

    Yesterday we ventured out to the grocery store. While not a necessity, it allowed us to pick up some fresh greens and survey the situation. Since we eat primarily gluten free, we found it interesting that a great deal of prepared food items were well stocked and available while the complimentary products that were not gluten free were off the shelves. This included pasta, frozen goods and cereals. Same goes for dairy free yogurts and cheeses. Since one of our family members is celiac, dairy and soy free, in years past we switched our eating patterns to accommodate this family member. More recently, we have been bringing in a balance of gluten and none gluten products figuring that in a >>>>>situation this would preserve the gluten free foods for those that need it. It is now curious to see the abundance of gluten free types of food.

    We have family in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. We have been in contact with them each day and are comparing notes on the changes they are seeing. Last week, we had one family fly to the south for the graduation of their son from boot camp. They had just started a visit with their son (2 hours) and prior to the graduation ceremony all of the soldiers were recalled to base, the graduation was cancelled and the base went on lock down. The family members flew home immediately expecting to see wide spread interstate lock downs. They got home safely but we all expect this to happen soon.

    We also have several family members who are teachers and who work for various school districts throughout the northwest and Alaska. We have been comparing notes on the strategies and approaches each district/state is using to address the school closures. There is a great need to get information to parents who are unaware of the resource options they have to continue their kids education.

  19. One comment, since it is now spring and the local big box stores are stocked up with garden supplies, it would be prudent to get several bags of potting soil and some cheap planters just in case you suddenly have to start growing some of your own food if you haven’t done it before. I plan on purchasing a covered wire dog kennel to keep my planters in, as the local deer will decimate any green thing unprotected outdoors, even coming up onto my porch to eat the tomato plants. Then I can fill buckets and planters with a salad garden. Loved the comment on Hog Brain beans, haven’t heard of that variety before.

  20. My wise and gorgeous “without makeup” wife of 45 years put us on a reduced calorie plan two weeks ago. Timely huh?
    We are still eating out of the fridge and freezer. Have not needed to access the pantry yet.
    I have dropped about 6 lbs and I feel great. She is getting more work out of me too.

    We have 15 tomato plants started under the light. We are working on preparing the garden beds, pruning all of the fruit trees and vines, and we are working on pruning the light thieve limbs and salmon berries around our garden beds.

    God bless all on this blog. My prayers go out daily to those on SB with health challenges. Prayers go out for our nation too. I find it important to always take time to pray. It is so easy to give thanks when we are standing in God’s amazing forest.

  21. Starting turning raised beds over, scattering wood ash onto soil to reduce harmful bugs and increase potash into soil.

    Planted Jerusalem artichokes already and today will start on potatoes and onion sets.

    Predators are here hunting. I’m looking for 2 new barn cats.

    Keep topping off preps, got more bulk spices this week, to store in freezer. Butter prices and gasoline prices are dropping dramatically.

    Daughter and sick kids are in self lockdown so I’m delivering to their porch.

    Costco pharmacy only had 1/2 liquid antibiotic prescription for the 4YO. Pharmacist said “we’ll have the other half Monday. ”

    Lord, please keep me kind to all whom I meet, and smiling through my doubt, focusing on your everlasting love for us and our well-being. I am personally greeting every cashier and worker I encounter, telling them “Thank you, I appreciate you being here for me today”.

    Our church switched to on-line services this week.

    All the regional TV and social media keeps showing and discussing how kids and young families keep congregating at locations to spread viruses (all, not just COVID-19 !!!!!!) with crowds together at playgrounds and other areas, now that schools are shut down.

    Watch the meteoric rise of infection rates over the next 14 days nationwide. I look for a long disease period, probably two years, in conjunction with millions of families getting much deeper into bankruptcy debt, credit card and car repo actions, home selling, tiny home demands from the Homeless Industrial Complex and social justice commandos who are making 100K+ per year by getting billions from new tax debt.

    Seattle is buying properties outside of the city limits, in smaller towns like Kent and Issaquah, by making county budget pay and using county authority. They ship the sick homeless there, which are just walking away from the buildings and start shoplifting at local mini-marts.

    The metro transit system just made bus transit free starting this week. The criminal transients make highly effective use of the system.

    Guns stores are selling out of ammo and guns here, but two closed their doors permanently last month due to new anti-2A laws passed here. One shop I go to has employees bring in their ammo stash to sell, and each day that is selling out.

    I’ll be planting pole beans, two varieties of summer squash, and butternut squash this week.

    God Bless

  22. Hey Yah’all,

    I just read this little saying on another blog’s comment section and wanted to share it with you.

    “Say your prayers, and wash your hands, because Jesus and germs are everywhere.”

    I love it. 😉

  23. I live in Snohomish County WA, very close to the first confirmed case in the US back in January. We are awaiting the Governor’s order to shelter in place by working our tail off. Just got the roof replaced (the roofer is a first responder like me), thankfully before he got sick or quarantined. There are over a dozen quarantined in my department. Yesterday we added six 4 x 8 “Victory Gardens” in our back yard with a super effort by my wife and kids. My kids hauled 5 yards of dirt and my wife, wearing “hazmat gear” (mask, goggles, gloves) made a run to gather seeds and starts for the Victory Garden. We are all sore today, but resting as we no longer need to acquire anything else before the medical martial law begins. Choose safe. Be ready.

  24. Check out Square Foot Gardening ideas for “soil” mix. It is 1/3 peat, 1/3 vermicullite, 1/3 processed manure (such as black cow). We have had the best raised garden beds using this as precisely as possible. It is expensive, but does not require much weeding and is not dense like garden soil it.

    1. Yes!!! He keeps saying that he is going to be in the “Dog House”. 😉 Poor guy. 🙁 I will take very good care of him from a distance. He can still work around outside and will have internet connection. We’re just not going to get within six feet of each other and he is sleeping in a cabin that we have.

  25. Haven’t been to town in almost two weeks so no clue on how things are going here with the grocery situation in my little hamlet. I should have some seeds from two different sources waiting at the post office so I should probably take my tongs to town and go check.

    Lots of rain this past week so I didn’t get much done around the homestead. I did manage to get three more bee swarm traps ready to hang.

    It was a great week for my financial preps but there’s no question in my mind that as a country, we’re headed over the economic waterfall much more quickly than I would have anticipated. The economic fallout from this little virus is going to be much more severe than the epidemic itself and while I’m not having any bad dreams about it like many others have indicated, I do wake up about 3 AM every morning worrying about my kids’ mortgages and remembering my grandparents’ and great grandparents’ stories about the Great Depression. In my mind we’ve moved the Big Reset forward by at least two years, probably more. Probably a lot more.

  26. The grocery stores and drive-through fast food places have a few cars in our town. Tractor Supply and Lowes are packed! You can forget about finding live chickens for sale. They all went last week. Keep washing those hands!

  27. Well, picked some asparagus already. Surprised it came up so quickly. And I don’t have the rest of the raised bed garden started….will be getting to the kale, green beans, squash, maybe some okra.
    In Southern Indiana….some observations….looooong line at Sams…150 yards…tp sold out, most meats gooonne. Kroger, ditto, and Aldi’s ditto. Weapons, ammo and such are going fast. Rural King was roped off in the firearm area you had to sign up and get a number….customers pulled up patio chairs to wait, ingenious. Nearly 20 sitting there. Bass Pro….handgun ammo gone, but still had some .22. Yawn…
    Cleaned 9mm, 45, 223, 308, and 6.5 CR brass. Loaded some 77 gr SMK with N140.
    God’s been good.

  28. Yep, big financial collapse on the way with perhaps a market shutdown. No one can believe the speed of all the changes. Some have just had their retirement money evaporate, lost their jobs, know they can’t pay the bills, et cetera and “it” hasn’t even really started yet. It’s almost like whatever can go wrong will go wrong. A nice walk in the woods on a spring afternoon really worked wonders (GA). Listened to “A Lark Ascending” while walking along and praised the Lord for being unchanging.
    Hit the grocery store at 8 to look around and bought a few items. Truly, there were probably 30 workers trying to get the shelves stock. No lettuce, no meat, no paper products of any kind. My daughter said later on the salad section had been restocked. Planted lettuce yesterday – lol! All the grocery stores have senior hours now. All the schools are providing lunches if needed – the bus driver still makes the rounds with food! So far folks are really pulling together with offers of store and medication runs, meals, et cetera for those who are unable as well as a checklist of those to keep up with.
    I totally agree with the above post about getting seeds, soil, fertilizer, whatever, as when the collective focus shifts, look out. There is going to be a fertilizer shortage also this year.
    The container gardening on the deck is looking really good as well as the “Green Stalk” is filled from top to bottom with strawberries. I try to stay pretty busy as I feel more confident then that I’ve done all I can and the Lord will carry me through. Prayers for all, especially the sick and those who must travel.
    P.S. Just read that for the elderly or disabled they can take a bag of Brown Cow fertilizer, poke some holes in it and grow some pretty good tomatoes.

  29. SERIOUS WARNING:

    More words concerning the Mark of the Beast:

    YOU ALL Should REALLY Listen to this. IT is very important for all Believers and Non-Believers to listen to. IT is not too late to become saved for all of you who are not Believers in Jesus.

    Everything that is happening now, this lady heard about during the past two years…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Mugqr6OJzI

    People will be desperate to accept the new system.

    Our country men will be very desperate in just a few weeks.

    It’s very important to listen to this. Listen to this and Pray and prepare your hearts.

    Soberly,

    Lily

    1. Lets all pray for travel mercies for JWR on the way home.

      This community posting has become my favorite reading everyday, except for scripture. Thank you for making the community what it is and setting it up these postings.

        1. Lily,
          If I’m not mistaken Jim will be on the road Monday and Tuesday. Is that correct? I have several days off – tomorrow being my birthday so I plan on catching up on some Bible reading, including your “homework assignment” you posted a few days back with all those Bible texts to read. I WILL (have been actually) include Jim in my prayer list. I posted the 23rd Psalm a few days ago on another post which I really enjoy.

          God Bless,

          David

  30. I stopped at one of the smaller gun shops nearby today, they had just moved to a bigger building this week and had been swamped with customers. There were 3 people doing NICS checks when I went in there. Completely sold out of 22LR, .223/5.56, 9mm, 380, 38 Special, and almost all the .45ACP and 12 gauge ammo.

    Right now, things are still fairly calm, more or less. Even with the shortages in stores, by and large people are still friendly and civil. If this keeps up for another month, you’ll see that change. Now is not the time to be going out unarmed. If you didn’t carry on a regular basis before now, start doing so. If your skills are rusty, start knocking the rust off. Gun, knife, flashlight, medical kit should be with you at all times. When LE and EMS workers start getting sick or self quarantining, you’ll be the only one you can count on.

  31. While everyone else is working from home I am not. In fact I’m working more than ever (70 hour weeks). Luckily I don’t work with or around the public. It makes prepping a little slow. Still need to turn the garden beds once more. Decided not to buy a new house due to this pandemic. Putting money into what I got. Almost done with the chicken coop. Chicks are indeed scarce now. Some friends in the country are looking for me. Still feels surreal that this is all happening. Other than a trip to the hardware store last weekend I haven’t been to a store in a long time. Organizing meals and rationing food.

  32. Mr. Rawles,
    Have enjoyed your blog for a decade, devour all of your books, and recommend to all my family and friends to follow you as well. You have been a very foundational model for me in my life and I appreciate all that you do.
    Wanted to give you a recommendation of beef jerky. Give No Man’s Land Beef Jerky a try… best jerky around!

    https://nmlbeefjerky.com/

    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=no+mans+land+beef+jerky&crid=2DJ1PVDSK6SEF&sprefix=No+mans%2Caps%2C196&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_7

    Blessings,

  33. Made a last minute purchase of PMs. Gold premiums were reasonable when I bought, silver premuims are up to 100% over spot value on Eagles, and 80-85% above spot for most others. I went with gold this time. The premiums are telling a story and I suspect we’ll see prices slowly rise to well above the record set during the last financial melt down. We could very well see a crash and enough long term trouble to rival the Great Depression. At the very least we’ll see a recession over the next 1-2 years.

    My son is on his way back from Florida where he was just starting a manufacturer’s training program. They shut down after only three days of class. He could of stayed there with a relative but we felt it was best for him to return. I have been planning to buy him some tools to round out his toolbox; most are manufactured in China and there are lots of empty spaces on shelves for Milwaukee Fuel and Dewalt products. He’ll need them to find a job. His goal is to become an expert Ford truck mechanic (gas and diesel).

    We have been very focused on buying a rural property in TN or MO. We’re now ready to buy and are searching for the right location but suspect we’ll have to wait for things to settle down. We’ll see. If anyone has any counties/towns in MO we should look at I’d appreciate the pointers.

    I am blessed that my job is stable. For now. I am expecting to be told to work from home starting sometime next week. My entire little town here in Arkansas has slowed to a crawl. Tons of mid-day traffic on the main road but it’s all going to/from grocery stores, gas stations and a few fast food drive thrus. After 6 p.m. it is deathly quiet with very few vehicles on the road.

  34. I’m so glad I moved to the Redoubt! Special thanks to JWR for your Patriot series that really opened my eyes to what was bound to come. Here it is, and I am safe and warm and well stocked.

    Thank you Jesus, Amen.

  35. I rarely have the opportunity to post here, but ongoing events have changed things a bit. Probably the biggest change for us personally has been that I’m now authorized to telework for the foreseeable future. That cuts about 1.5 hours off of my daily commute, giving me more time at the homestead and with the family. In addition, I’ve had all of my job-related travel…I normally spend 1-2 weeks, total, on the road each month…cancelled at least through mid-May. So there is certainly a silver cloud in all this turbulence. Also, our son is home from college, and will be completing his semester online. Along with our adult daughter who still lives with us, this consolidates all of our immediate family on the homestead. Except for her, due to her job, we are pretty much locking down here for the next couple of weeks.

    With the coming of spring, we’ve started our garden, planting carrots, peas, and spinach. We’ll be putting in the remainder of our vegetables over the next few weeks. Our blueberries, blackberries, muscadines, and scuppernong vines have already started putting out new growth. I also found several muscadine and scuppernong vines in our woods that have managed to trellis up some other growth, so I’ve started pruning and working with those as well in order to maximize production.

    Yesterday, during our devotions, the verses of Isaiah 40:30-31 (Blessed are they that wait upon the Lord…) and Jeremiah 17:7-8 (Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord…) came up. Passages like this allow us to retain a peace that the world can never understand, even in times of troubles. It is my prayer that, should the Lord tarry, these events will serve as a wake-up call in our nation and engender a new Awakening.

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