Editor’s 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:

I had a busy week, conducting a two-day “Pre-Hunker” sale for Elk Creek Company. We took 12 orders for a total of 15 antique guns. Those should all be shipped by Monday. Unless the pandemic subsides earlier than predicted, we will be on a voluntary hiatus from taking any new orders until May 26th. Thanks for your patience. In the meantime, I’ll be adding items to the catalog. These will include a few replica guns that are chambered in obsolete cartridges that are no longer found in stores. The relevant Federal law that puts these recently-produced guns in the Federal “Antique” category reads: “…any replica of an antique firearm if it is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or uses rimfire or conventional centerfire ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States, and which is not readily available in ordinary channels of commercial trade.”  – 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(3), (a)(16).  Thus, NO FFL is required!

This coming week, despite some recent snow and the forecast of some rain, I plan to be out in our woodlot, cutting up some downed trees into firewood to ready ourselves for the winter of 2020-2021.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

I can’t believe it.  Spring has officially arrived, the birds have returned, the frogs are peeping and the past six weeks have been very mild-spring like weather no snow. But then suddenly in the past four days we have had snow shower after snow shower. Four days in a row, we woke up to two and four inches of snow on the ground.

Something I found kinda interesting/strange/exciting was to hear the frogs chorus  while knowing that their ponds are surrounded by snow. They’re singing in the snow!!

This week Miss Eloise and I have spent a number of days working to tame our three month old heifer calf “L”, who was born in December.  (See my blog article, “A Cowgirl’s Night Out“.)  She is a beautiful petite little thing and so doe-eyed with such soft fur.  She is currently wearing a halter which makes it easier to catch her and attach a lead to the halter.  Once she is standing still we pet and pat her all over while talking to her.  She is beginning to relax around us and sniff us.  We are trying to teach her lead.  We introduced her to snacks of bits of carrots.  She wouldn’t take the carrot on her own, so I pushed it into the side of her mouth which forced her to crunch them and eat them. It appears that she is liking them.

I cleaned the chicken coop.

We have an overwintering wild female turkey living on our ranch who I call to in the morning while feeding the chickens, cows and horses. (The cow, our pregnant heifer and calf are locked up in the corrals at this time for myriads of reasons.)  When she hears me or sees me, she flies down from the trees for her breakfast.  While she is eating, I can walk up to about three feet of her, if my face/eyes are not looking directly at her.  If I keep my head down and slightly turned away, she will hold her ground if I have to walk past her.  But if I am looking directly at her as I walk toward her she will run, fly, hop away as quick as possible.  It’s very interesting to watch her behavior towards me.  If I am really busy close to her, she will also allow me to get very close to her as long as I don’t directly face her.

In the late afternoon, if I’ve tarried too long, the bull and the horses will come to the back porch and will moo and whinny to me to come out and give them their dinner, literally.  😉 During the past few evenings Miss Turkey has been right there with them within four feet of the animals, waiting for me too.  I love our sweet little animal kingdom.

We recently ordered and received cases of sweet potatoes, grapefruit, avocados, oranges, lemons, cabbage and boxes of chocolate chips.  I have been scrubbing the fruit in hot soapy water. I started with the case of lemons and have frozen four trays of lemon cubes.  Also this time, I zested most of the lemon skins and dehydrated them. Now we should have lemon flavoring and lemon cubes for a very long time. I’ve scrubbed the avos and the grapefruit thusfar. I will get to the oranges on Sunday.  I plan on squeezing and freezing some oranges and also zesting and dehydrating some of their skins, too.  I think, I can leave the cabbage for awhile.  I am making both salads with them and juicing them with carrots and celery.

The celery seeds that I had bought for seasoning completely failed to germinate.  🙁 so they must have been irradiated or something…

Many of the squashes I planted last week have germinated.  Some have not, of those I will have to replant this coming week.

Miss Eloise did the antique gun packing for Jim, who is still in “just-in-case” quarantine for two more days.  Thank God he is still healthy!

This week, I had a wonderful phone call with a fellow Prepper in which we became better acquainted.  During our conversation we both shared our stories on how God lead us to our husbands and to the American Redoubt, not necessarily in that order.  We also shared how God has spoken to us, giving us pre-knowledge of coming events/sixth sense/ words of knowledge, and dreams that have lead us to prepare for what is here now and what is coming in the future.  It was very exciting and encouraging to me hear how God had lead her and to hear of his loving kindness and guidance in different areas of her life.

As I’ve been reflecting on our conversation I was thinking, “Wouldn’t that be a great topic for our readers to write about?  How God specifically has lead/directed us to prep or move, or to marry our spouse?  Or specific examples how we’ve been lead to do something, without understanding why, but doing it anyway and then God revealing the reason later, being thankful that we had obeyed the prompting.

I believe if we shared these incidences with the Lord that many of us will be encouraged and that it will increase our faith and trust in the Lord. Our stories would bless and encourage one another and give is more opportunity to remember his hand in our lives, to remember that he cares so much about the very details of our lives, and will give us more reasons to thank him and to trust in him even more completely for the days that are coming.  Those of us who have a close walk with the Lord are going to experience some very exciting days in the future.  I also hope and pray that our testimonies will draw others to The Lord’s salvation and, to some to seeking to hear Him more clearly in their own lives, and others to press in and to deepen their walk with Him.

Whoever would like to write, remember to keep as much OPSEC as possible.  If you feel led to write, please write your stories in the Comments.

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.




139 Comments

  1. I love Idaho and Montana, and at one time or another attempted to move to one/or the/ other. But I now question where the real American Redoubt should be, it seems that of the 8 or 9 remaining States that don’t have a forced stay at home, Wyoming is the only Redoubt State where we still have free movement. Wyoming along with Nebraska and both Dakotas seem to enjoy more Freedom than the so-called Redoubt areas, although this may change in a day or two. I’m afraid that the push to have more people come to the Redoubt will change the over all population mentality from Conservative to Liberal in both Montana and Idaho. JMO. Trekker Out

    1. The vast majority of people moving to The American Redoubt region are conservatives. And conservatives tend to have large families. So we are winning demographically. As I’ve written before: Demographics are destiny.

  2. It’s still very much winter up here in the frozen snowy north. We’ve lost some snow when the temps have been high enough(yay!) and then got it back! Ugh. Pretty for sure, but I need to see some open fields! Saw and heard some geese flying overhead here the other day. I don’t think they were saying “honk” though; sounded more like a certain naughty word to me! 😉

    The seeds I’ve started indoors are doing well so far and many have germinated(basil, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and onions). As usual the peppers and one of the eggplants are slowest but they’re coming. My state has ordered stores to stop selling “non-essential” items and included garden sections in that directive! Farm supply stores are still open though. I’ve ordered a garden hose and nozzle online….. I’ve heard from a number of people thinking of starting a garden this year and have been helping with info as much as I can.

    Pretty quiet here; feels a bit like I’m in a holding pattern as I’m pretty much here at the house most of the time yet everything is snowed and iced in so I can’t get going on outside work.

    Re being led to do something, as I’ve mentioned previously, I had been generally contentedly “nomading” for several years, living overseas mostly, but felt the strong need to return to the US and look for a home to buy. I also started replenishing my garden tools, reference books on everything from canning to foraging, farm/garden boots etc wherever I found them(mostly yard sales etc) this summer. I can’t tell you exactly who/what was leading me to do this but it was there. That this house came on the market just at the right time and I was able to be first in line(a long line) to grab it still seems miraculous to me. Real estate sales aren’t happening here now by government order so I squeaked through just in time. This would have been a very bad time to still be doing pet/housesitting(no one is traveling) and staying with others would not have necessarily been great, safe or possible either. I’m really thankful.

    As an aside, I was reading over my house deed this week in more detail in terms of the lot lines(markers still buried in snow) when I noticed that I also now have deeded spring rights on a piece of someone else’s land that I’m thinking must be up hill of my place. This must mean it could be a gravity flow spring that I have the right to access, maintain and run piping from(says that in the deed). That’s pretty sweet as my well here is a drilled well and requires power. I had developed a gravity flow spring on my farm and it was awesome; supplied all of our water. Can’t wait til the snow melts and I can go find this spring. I had no idea this came with the place! I find that amazing!

    1. I don’t want to rain on your parade but water rights mentioned in a “Deed” are usually not an actual right. You should check with your state water authority (here in Montana it is the DNRC) to see if you actually have a water right.

      It was a common practice for sellers to claim water around them to increase the value of the property, and as the deed is passed from buyer to buyer the “claim” just stays attached.

      Here in Montana in the 90’s the state did a re-adjudication of all water rights because of this problem. On my particular right the historic use was 75 miners inches (about 775 gallons per minute). When all of the “claims” (usually from deeds) were added up there were 273 miner inches of claims against that 75 inch right.

      Through the water court these claims were examined for both showing historic use and conveyance (can you actually get the water to your property).

      I’m not sure what state you live in, but better to check the existing water authority in your state for a right before you start poking around looking for the spring. The upside is if you actually have a claim you can get it transferred to your name and the claim will show you exactly where the spring is.

      Good Luck

      1. It’s different here. We have TONS of water! A deeded spring right is indeed a deeded spring right. In fact on my farm a neighbor had a spring that “belonged” to him along with a pipeline that went all across my land and down to his. Never did find any notation in the deed about it but it had obviously been there a long long time so no biggie.

      2. Montana Rancher, if it is in the contract for sale and the deed no one has authority over it unless it is a “prohibited clause”(resticting race/religion,criminal,etc.), anything else is a interference of contract and actionable

  3. Your comment was interesting Lily!

    Our last potential frost date has come and gone (and we did get a film of ice on the windshields!) Gardening has hit full tilt, this year even more so than ever.

    I’m not particularly pious, but had a drumbeat in my head for ~15 years that grew incessantly louder. It wasn’t until I relocated my family to a rural area in the Eastern Redoubt (Appalachia!) Bible Belt, that it started to subside. Was it The Lord’s work in my tone deaf ears? I’ll not disagree with you, thats for sure!

  4. Spring has sprung in our location and the yellow pollen is covering everything. This week we got the fruit trees and berry bushes sprayed; a major accomplishment. The new chicks are growing quickly and are doing well in the transition coop. Received a new vertical grow container which will be placed near the house and will be used for herbs and smaller veges.

    Went out to deliver rabbits to a customer and stopped by bank, gas station and grocer; wearing mask, eye protection and gloves. No one else had any protection on but the grocer had put up plexiglas barriers around cashiers and was in process of putting a “sneeze guard” around fresh veges.

    We are sticking pretty close to home and have not gone into the closest city with warehouse stores for over a month. The garden, God willing, should provide the fruit and veges we need thru next spring. While we have sufficient food for a long term hunker down I realized some high use items like baking soda, white vinegar, cat litter and animal feed would only last about 6/7 months. This is more a storage problem for me as they are bulk buys and take up lots of space. Just hope all the appliances work and do their jobs with no break downs.

    My prayers for each of you and our country that we may all get through this unscathed.

    1. I had the same thought about the dog food. I’ve stored a number of huge bags for our two dogs and pray getting more in a few months will not be a problem. I also reduced their food just a bit to keep everyone trim and healthy. I read that pet adoption has increased with this isolation. Good news for those pets and pet food producers. More neighbors working!

  5. I haven’t been in the grocery store for 4 weeks now and we still are eating well.

    I did pick up a 25 lb. bag of oats from our health food store. It was a bit pricy but the store is 2 miles from our house and I am almost always the only customer in there. I picked up our farm share order as well. Our freezer remains full.

    My little seedlings are doing well. The snow was disappearing so I could go out and clean up the yard some – we had a huge oak that was leaning over our bedroom (!) taken down this winter and there is quite a bit of debris left over.

    I’ve got 2 spaghetti squash left. Hubby doesn’t love it, but I am going to cook them up and freeze in 1/4-1/2 c. portions. He has the beginnings of fatty liver. I’ve tried for 46 years to get him to eat more veggies. I’ll be adding the portions of spaghetti squash into chili, stir fry, spaghetti, meatloaf, soups, stews, etc.

    Speaking of hubby – he went ice fishing 5 days after his gall bladder/umbilical hernia surgery. He overdid it. He’s okay but recovery is slower than he expected. We ate our last package of perch the other night. It will probably be a month before the ice is gone and he is strong enough to launch the boat.

    I went into mask production yesterday for the kids and grands – I need 13 in all. It will be a bit tricky to fit masks for the grands ages 1-11 without actually being with them. My elastic supply is low but I have made some bias binding for tie on masks.

    Hosted a Zoom Bible study this week and hosted my sibs on a Zoom call. So wonderful to connect!

    Ani, I was meditating on Psalm 16:6 this morning, it talks about the ‘boundary lines falling in pleasant places’. Sounds like yours certainly do!

    Our family has experienced a lot of difficulty in the last two years. I enumerated all my hubby’s health issues last week plus I lost both of my parents. I am watching for those who are going through ‘a crisis within a crisis’. Health issues, death of loved ones, loss of jobs..,I have now run out of sympathy cards but will write old fashioned letters of encouragement to those who need it.

    My dilemma for this next week – do I go to the grocery store and pick up the very few things I am low on now while there are still only 3 COVID cases in our county? Or do I wait until I am completely out of more than a few things and go when there are possibly more cases of COVID in our area?

    Is anyone else struggling with going from always prepping to now depleting?

    {sorry for being so long winded!}

    1. Dear Wormlady,

      Your dilemma is all of our dilemma. Should we restock or should we stay home? It’s hard to answer that question. There is a part of me that wants to see how long we can go without stocking up. However there is another side of me that says, you should still stock up while the stocking up is still available, because there is a very good chance with all the the crop losses during the past two years and what is expected for this coming year, that there will be a lot of lack in the very near future. So get what we can now, for later, it may not exist. Of course, if you choose to go out, you should take all precautions necessary for a safe foray out into the Covid Wilds and when and after returning home.

      Ultimately, I think it is a matter of prayer between you and God, if you should go out or not. Maybe… this week will be the last chance before ‘they” shut everything down and then riots and complete lawlessness erupts????? The rumors are flying all over the internet. Pray and ask God for discernment and His will for you in this matter.

      Blessings,

      Lily

      1. This is my dilemma as well. Trying my best to avoid the germs and not contribute to the crowds in the stores. And of course while I’ve stocked up, given my move situation, not nearly as well as in the past. So how much is enough now…….

        1. For what is coming upon the earth, no one will have enough, not a one! Only the Lord God will provide for us as He did for Elijah at the brook of Cherith with the ravens, or with the widow in Zidon/Lebanon where God multiplied the flour and oil for Elijah, the widow and her son. 1 Kings 17.

      2. We have had good luck ordering groceries online for curb-side pickup. It is allowing us to eat fresh food while we save our preps for when we really need them. They just stuck the bags in the trunk and we never came face-to-face with anyone. Other than that and a weekly trip to pick up mail from the P.O. box, we have been in self-imposed quarantine for just over three weeks.

      3. My dilemma is the opposite. As a deemed essential employee, I have no choice but to risk exposure every time I walk into work. Although my home county has only one confirmed case, and no deaths, I work in an ICU where we’ve had 5 confirmed positives and 3 deaths. As I have to be out and about anyway, I take advantage of the designated shopping hours for medical employees some stores have instituted, and the 10% discount another one is offering. I stop at a different store each day on my way home ( I pass several) and buy what looks like a normal amount of storage goods- rice, pasta, flour, sugar, baking items, beans, peanut butter, canned veggies and fruits, milk powder. These get added to the storage preps. This way, I’m able to add to my preps while still appearing to be just an average shopper. I change clothes and shoes before leaving work, and use my mask in the store to avoid spreading anything. I still pay in cash, as I’ve never trusted the debit card system, and am even less trusting now with the confiscation of medical supplies from private citizens deemed ” hoarders” that has taken place in New York. The designated hours and discounts only require showing the work name tag, which only has a first name visible.

        1. Many prayers for you too, Bethany! Thank you for caring for those patients. I pray that they will recover. May our Lord provide for all of your needs, too.

          Blessings,

          Lily

        2. We need to remember how available germs/viruses are on money. Being a nurse I know you have thought about that. For this reason, I try to use my money back charge card, which I clean w Lysol n water each use. But I see about the records that could be traced to someone that is hoarding. Why are we described as hoarders when we are merely prepared? Praying for us all .

    2. Wormlady! You’ve touched on so many important points of conversation…

      From your post: “My dilemma for this next week…”

      This is a question we’ve asked again and again among ourselves, and most especially as we were gearing up for our own household isolation which came some weeks ago. We didn’t want to lose any opportunity to bolster our preparedness, but we also didn’t want to take unnecessary risks (and especially given that more than one member of our family has an extraordinary risk factor). We have taken highly risk averse positions at each decision making point.

      From your post: “Is anyone else struggling with going from always prepping to now depleting?”

      With the aforementioned in mind, we are also struggling with the “depletion” concern even though our preparedness is broad and deep. Our own efforts to address this presently are two-fold: 1) we have developed “means of production” through our hen house for eggs, and our greenhouse and garden for some vegetable and fruit supplies, and have begun growing a couple of dwarf limes for fruit (very early stage, and so this part of the story is yet unfolding); and 2) We are attempting to replace some supplies via mail order in so far as this is possible (although supplies are limited and many items are not currently available).

      From your post: “I am watching for those who are going through ‘a crisis within a crisis’.”

      So important to watch for this — in our own lives, and in the lives of others. God calls us into relationship with Him, and through Him in Holy relationships with one another. We have a new challenge before us that has changed the ways in which we connect and relate, but perhaps this challenge presents new opportunities as well!

      With all this in mind, a few words of caution: crisis can bring out extremes in behaviors, both the best in people and the worst in people. Be watchful. Pray for discernment. There are lots of wonderful people in the world, but there is no shortage of the other kind. Predatory behavior is likely to increase, and we are seeing some signs of this already.

    3. Good morning all!
      We too have been worried about depleting since the next few months to a year don’t look super rosy. Also, since supply chains are mostly still running, remember what Jim says – every family who stocks up before the crisis is one less family that will be running to the store at the last hour” or about that.
      I view this time as a good time to not overdraw on the system, but keep up normal consumption.

      We have been practicing a protocol of trying to keep up on supplies and not let them dwindle.
      Grocery store pickups have been useful. Don’t need to mask up if we are just in the parking lot.
      Walmart does this, as too do the other grocery stores in our area. Buy your order on-line, then just drive to the store and they bring it out to you.
      You still need to treat all the bags and groceries – but it removes the stress of masking up to go into the store.
      We spray down every single item with a spray bottle with 1 part in 10 of (fresh) bleach… Let it stay wet until it naturally dries. We don’t directly spray some produce… but we then wash that by hand. Remember to also wash the counter on which it was sitting.
      Hope you all keep healing up!
      God bless.

    4. Wormlady, prayers your way for your families health.

      FWIW, I’m still hitting the grocery store for normal everyday foods. Trying to leave the preps alone for as long as possible. I just tend to buy a bit more than usual, and add to the preps.
      It’s a bit of a chore feeling like I wasted some PPE’s, but I think it’s worth it. Still a low covid count in my county too.

    5. Wormlady, I also have family members who’s health are not the best. We eat a lot of eggs so omelets get infused with broccoli bits, cauliflower bits, finely chopped spinach, kale, squash, etc. , all high value veges. We also eat a lot of soups and stews, so the same items go into soups and are blended down into a thick cream; stews get larger chunks of veges.

      I feel your concern about whether to go out in the crowds or not. For me, I will go out for as long as items are available, if I can order ahead and pick up without wandering the store. Once the garden is producing that will help. When and where more disasters are coming is an unknown, but the scriptures tell us of all the woe’s and tribulations which are definitely coming.

    6. re:
      re-stock… or diminish our prep

      During this false flag, amidst all the rumors from TheMainStreamMedia, some ‘entity’ wants to keep us from congregating.
      Some ‘entity’ is trying to keep us from going outside to care for our crops and animals.
      Some ‘entity’ is destroying small business owners and their employees through edicts and proclamations from the government agents.

      Our ability to re-stock our prep is limited by the destruction of dairy herds because restaurants are shuttered… because of rumors.
      Truckers with essential supplies are limited in crossing state, province, and country borders… because of rumors.

      We operate a small organic teaching farm near Eugene Oregon.
      Our major source of income — our farmer markets — are banned.
      We have produce rotting and processed animals over-flowing our coolers BECAUSE NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL IS BANNED.

      Although I may have a flawed sense of prophecy, I cannot see any way this will turn out with anything other than system collapse.
      Who benefits?
      Follow the money.

      And in another few months, another false flag will flood TheMainStreamMedia.
      My suggestion:
      ‘Social distance’ from and put a protective mask over all televisionprogramming.
      If you believe you are immune or believe you will get sick, you are right.

      1. So sorry to hear your farmer’s markets are closed. We are very thankful that ours are still open even during this ‘hungry time’ when there is little to offer. Rhubarb, chives, asparagus, daffodils and crocuses are still under snow.

        Is there a way to band together as farmers and educators and ask to be put under the essential category? Our farmer’s markets are in the grocery section of essentials.

  6. Good Morning Everyone,

    This is a general warning about a spring Polar vortex that is very much looking as though it will strike from April 11-17. It is forecasted to plunge as far south as Texas. Every gardener east of the Rockies needs to plan ahead on how they will protect their fruit trees and sensitive plants that are outside. The Polar Vortex will occur after unseasonally warm temperatures this coming week which will cause many fruit trees to break dormancy and blossom. The low temperatures will vary from five to twenty degrees below the seasonal average. This is NOT going to be good for the mid-south USA where many of the fruit trees are blossoming and beginning to set baby fruit. Please pay attention to the weather please plan on methods of protecting the fruit trees and gardens from frost. Pray!

    Also, for all of you sky watchers: May 23 a brand new comet named Atlas will appear in the night sky visible to the naked eye. There is also rumor that it will be visible during the day around the end of May. Currently it is visible with binoculars to the right and slightly down from the Big Dipper.

    https://www.space.com/comet-atlas-may-be-brightenting.html

    Blessings,

    Lily

    1. Where we are, we will not have any more frost, because the pecan trees have long since bloomed, and they never get fooled by warm weather. We have had peach trees bloom out in previous years and then frost would come. When that happens, we put smudge pots out to create a smog around them. Smudge pots are what the highway departments used to put out when a road or bridge was out. Creating a smog will prevent the frost from reaching the tree. Most of my peach trees are actually either on the north side of a building or under a larger tree. We are so far south that we are actually right on the edge of being cold enough to even grow peach trees. So I have put them in spots that keep them cool in the hot summers. We have pretty good peach harvests. This year looks to be one of the best.

    2. RE; frost. On my farm I had to deal a lot with frosts coming after one would hope they’d be done. I found different ways to deal with them in the orchard and blueberries as long as it was short-lived, and not say a week-long frost. Some things I tried that seemed to be successful were to create my own version of “smudge-pots”, basically small smoky fires I built within and around the orchard and blueberry field. I then stayed up all night keeping them fed. That worked ok for one night; limit to how many nights I could do without sleep! Another thing I tried that seemed to help was to spray the tree fruit/blueberry buds with kelp. This seemed to provide several degrees of frost protection. Do it in advance of the frost if you’ve got ample warning. It’s also a good nutrient feed for the plants as well.

    3. Thanks for the heads up Lily! Yes, our trees have tiny fruits poking out already; which surprised me. I looked at the 10 day forecast and saw Thursday thru Saturday projecting night time temps between 39-41 degrees. If that holds true, our fruit trees will be ok. Our springs have come early for the last two years and it seems to be changing all the timing.

    4. Lily,
      Yes, there is a polar Vortex coming. Highs here the next couple of days are forecasted near 70 & then by end of the week in the mid 40’s.
      I have seen an aggressive increase of farmers getting fields ready this last week.
      I’m praying for a better harvest for the farmers this year as last year was a disaster.

      Have a Rockin great day!

    5. Thanks for this warning, Lily!

      The last time this happened a couple years ago, I didn’t know what to do, so I did the only thing I could think of…. I ran outside and placed sheets and blankets over all my fruit bushes. (My husband thought I had lost my mind.) It looked ridiculous but my plants made it through with no damage. I will use the same crazy method again this time. It’s kind of a pain to have to wash all those linens afterwards but it’s worth it to me.

      1. Hello Grits in Montana,

        Throwing sheets over garden plants is not a crazy thing to do. I do it every year! I have a set of sheets that are sort of set aside for the very job. If it’s several nights in a row and the sun shines during the day, I just spread them out to dry on the grass. Once the danger has passed, into the washer they go! They have extended the growth time of zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and beans for up to a month more in the fall, for me! As a matter of fact I think sheets can do a better job of retaining heat than plastic, Maybe… 🙂

        Blessings to you and yours,

        Lily

        1. Most types of plastic readily transmit infrared so you are correct in saying that sheets do a better job of insulating your plants on cold nights. Greenhouse plastic that has a listing of IRAC (which stands for Infra Red Anti-Condensate) has an additive that attempts to retard this energy loss. Glass does not transmit IR the same way that plastic does.

        2. Some people run sprinklers. I have kept overwintering hummingbirds warm by putting a sheet over bushes and running the tiny Christmas lights under the sheets. They were smart enough to get under there at night. The mini Christmas lights might work for fruit trees depending on how cold it gets. I use Christmas lights under my baby box turtle container. Can;t get incandescent lights any more to keep my bearded dragons warm in the garage so have been using a string of Christmas lights. Their 350 gallon tank has a plywood cover and they are nice and warm.

          1. Chris that is pretty cool about the humming birds going under the blanket with lights to keep warm. That put a smile on my face. I have also run the sprinklers all night on cold nights in the fall especially on my fall bearing raspberries to prolong their season.

            Blessings to you,

            Lily

  7. Y’all, we have an opportunity here. I wish that more people were talking about this. Wearing a mask and some kind of glasses not only protects us from the virus, but it also messes with facial recognition software. We can use this to our advantage. The trick is that whenever a vaccine is developed and they mandate that everyone take it, they will likely outlaw masks, etc., because they cannot see our faces.

  8. This week I added to the reloading stockpile, and managed a trip to Costco. Judging by the behavior of people there, we are weeks away from a decline in cases. I listened to a lady with kids ridicule the safety precautions, and a gentleman in his 70’s was working at the self checkout, unprotected and surrounded by people. We just aren’t taking this seriously enough.

    1. I so agree. On a rare foray to a hardware store a week or so ago that was open and allowing people inside there was an older man(70’s) working the register. He looked rather taken aback at my mask but I said “hey, I’m doing this for you as well as for me”. I was scared for him. And yes, very few reported cases in this particular county but still……

    2. Maag… We have seen this too. Too many just are not taking this seriously enough, and a great burden will be borne by all of us as a result. Some of this behavior is the result of ignorance, some is caused by disbelief and denial (and may actually be related to shock caused by psychological trauma), some because people have learned to distrust all sources of information, some of this is arrogance, and some of it is a cultural level of narcissism. While we combat a physical disease, we have the added challenges of overcoming information deficits and psychological concerns too. There is much to be learned through the pandemic unfolding, and we pray that we learn as much as we can so that we can carry that level of knowledge forward — and apply it to the crises still to come.

  9. Well this week has been less than productive. Mostly busy with the day job (very grateful for it). I did start germinating some seeds. Cucumbers, tomatoes, and jalepenos. Just finished sowing the first two garden beds with the hardier crops (lettuce, kale, spinach, onions, radishes, arugula, and peas). Still waiting for the last frost in the Midwest (May).

    Thinking about how the Lord has guided me reminded me it’s been almost ten years since I first started reading SB. I had just gotten married and I had a panic moment where I realized I didn’t know how to be a husband. I had spent my adult life just taking care of my own needs and wants but now there was someone else more important in my life. The Great Recession had shown us that people were unprepared to be self sufficient. One day at the library I searched the catalogue ‘how to survive the end of the world’. I wasn’t really expecting to find anything. But JWRs book How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It popped up. I was surprised and check out the book. That was the starting of my preppers lifestyle. I wouldn’t be as secure and comfortable if it wasn’t for that fateful day. Since then I’ve worked to deepen my faith and trust the Lord.

  10. I have had this “impression” for almost two decades, that I needed to “prepare” for I didn’t know what. No matter how my crazy life went, the impression never left me. As I have written about before, I had a series of serious health events that left me without a husband, without a home, without a job. I began to accept that the Lord might take me home. I even, don’t laugh, prepared my funeral arrangements. Slowly, with the care of my extended family, I recovered. I’m not 100%, but that’s okay. One day, I thought to myself, gee, I wonder if I can still have my dream of moving to a cabin in Idaho. Could I care for myself? During this same time period, unbeknownst to me, my sister and her husband, were also following an “impression” to move up into the middle of Idaho, and they did so. We were on the same wavelength even though we didn’t know it. I visited them a few times, then one day I got up the guts to ask the Lord to help me move. You know how they say, God is in the details? He certainly is. I had a picture in my mind of the perfect little spot, while I was willing to accept far less. During one visit, I asked their realtor for help, there just wasn’t much “inventory” and they couldn’t find anything in my price range. Anything that came available was snapped up immediately. I was looking online at Zillow and noticed a cabin “for sale by owner”, not far from my sister’s home. It had not hit the MLS because it had just been posted by the owner on Zillow the day I looked. I immediately contacted the realtor, and we set up an appointment to view. When I walked in to the cabin, the words that came out of my mouth were, “This is it!!” I can’t explain what it was like. Every detail of the cabin was what I had wished for and only expressed to the Lord. It was totally affordable as it had not been updated since it was built in 1998. I pinch myself every day!! Every day when I wake up I say, “Thank you Jesus!” I laugh a lot. I sing a lot. I feel so incredibly blessed. I realize my lifespan may be shortened, but each day has a wonderful purpose. While I don’t feel spiritually that we are in the End Times, that is just my own feelings, and if God changes my perspective, I will accept it. However, He gave me a great gift, a new lease on life, and to boot, a safe haven for my large family to come to should things get really bad. I am so grateful. I think some of us have to face-plant into concrete a few times, go through really rough stuff, to get to a place where “Trust in the Lord” becomes second nature. I honestly wouldn’t trade the crap I’ve lived through for anything because being “refined by fire” has given me incredible peace. I could have stayed where I was at and been thankful for it. I could have put away any dreams I had. But, the scripture specifically says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). It doesn’t say *when* or *how*, lol, God isn’t a drive-through, but God’s promises are true.

    1. SaraSue! What a beautiful story of life and living, and one in which the chapters continue to unfold. Thank you so very much for sharing this with all of us. Joys, sorrows, trials, and victories. May God bless and keep you, every day, always, and through eternity.

    2. Your story completely MADE my day! Not only am I grateful for blessings in my own life but I derive a great deal of joy when I hear of God’s blessings to others! It’s yet another reminder of His great love for us.

    3. SaraSue, Your story had tears falling down my face. What a journey…
      When I thought I might have an, “accident,” from my husband during our divorce, I made a will and added that I wanted a casket from Costco, to make it easier for my kids. However, I stopped there. I think you were very wise to plan your funeral, and I am going to follow your example, so it is ready, some day when needed. I’m so pleased yours wasn’t needed, as you have been such an encouragement to read on this blog. It fills my heart with joy to hear how the Lord gave you the desires of your heart. He is a good, good Father, is He not?

      1. Ahhhh Krissy, now I’m crying. I used to say, that if I’d died at home before the divorce, my husband would’ve kicked my dead body, cursed over me, and blamed me for it. Gross, sorry. But, yeah, I hear ya. It is true that Satan is alive and well on planet earth and if the devil could have his way, we would all die in our sin, in our lack of faith, but whoa… we have a secret weapon!!!! Our Father IS a good, good Father, and He always provides a way of escape for His children. And then, He cradles us in His arms until we can walk on our own again. Sometimes He takes us home and sometimes He asks us to stay. He saves every tear in a bottle. He is the Only One Who has the power to heal us (by His stripes we are healed). The Author and Finisher of our Faith. I know He delights in our happiness and peace. I’m not parroting empty platitudes – this is as real as it gets.

        I know this is silly, but sometimes I imagine there are “committees” of angels (heavenly hosts), assigned to us especially when we are low, and I can just see them plotting and planning on just how magnificent a sunrise or sunset is going to be, just how perfectly the fresh snowfall will sparkle like thousands of diamonds, what kind of a gentle breeze will blow our hair, the scent of a flower… anything to get our attention and cause us to look upward. There was a time when I couldn’t think of one single positive thing, and now all I can think about are positive things. I wish you the best dear one. Thank you for the kind words. I’m so glad we have Jesus.

        1. SaraSue/Krissy, now you both have ME crying too. I am so thankful both of you are still here and “here “ to inspire us all.

          Many many years ago I was in a verbally abusive relationship with a man I was engaged to. Had the wedding all planned, paid for, a house, everything…. But something told me to walk away from it all, and walk fast! I believe that if I would have married this man that it would have escalated & I would have ended up dead. I’ve never told anyone about this, not even my parents. I now believe it was God protecting me and that he had other plans for me. (Like caring for my parents).
          Thank you for sharing, I’m grateful.

          Respectfully
          RKRGRL68

          1. Oh darlin’, you done the right thing. You listened to that still small voice inside and had the guts to walk away. IF I HAD LISTENED, my life would’ve been so different. Alas, I was once incredibly stubborn. I am now humbled. (Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!!) I think what’s going on here is “the body of Christ”…. .
            Big hugs to you!!

          2. RCKGRL68, What a blessing you were able to avoid life with an abuser. Sharing your story might help other women who see red flags but feel obliged to stay in relationship. If you can believe it, one time I actually encouraged a friend to break off her engagement to a Christian man, because I could see the red flags that she was too blind to see. Alas, a year ago, she used a new computer & email, to reach out to me for help in her abusive marriage. I’m so glad you did not have to suffer like that, and found a good man to prep together with as well! You are truly blessed. For myself, I believe the Lord knows exactly what He is doing, and what fire was/is needed to refine myself into His likeness. With pride out the window, I confess I needed a lot of fire. Keep posting like you do. Love it. Can’t wait till you get your freeze drier up and running!

        2. SaraSue, We are kindred spirits. We have an understanding of the terror and pain we have endured. I liken it to soldiers that meet, and then say they were in, “such and such battle.” If you were there too, no more needs to be said. There is an instant bond because you know the hell it was, and no outsider gets it. Just three days ago, for the first time ever, my firefighter son told me that his dad would hit him when he was trapped in the car with him. I broke down crying. I didn’t know. This son loves the Lord, and long ago agreed to be responsible for my family supplies, should the Lord take me home. Do you remember reading on Sblog about the good fortune a reader had at an estate sale, finding cases of freeze dried food for $5.00 a case? I shared that story with my son, and admonished him to never do that! In earnest, I explained their value. Okay, off my rabbit trail, hehe.
          I love all that you shared and agree wholeheartedly. I prayed for decades that the Lord would take me home, but He wanted me to stay. I think I will be cradled in His arms permanently. smile.
          Thank you for enduring. Thank you for encouraging. Thank you for being and inspiration.

          1. I get what you are saying! I recall realizing that the Lord wanted me alive, because I didn’t die (twice)!!! So I started trying to figure out, okay, why am I still here, He must have a good reason. Just recently one of my daughters said to me, “Mom, you are the best mom and the best gramma. We love you.” Woohoo!!!!!! That was like having honey poured over me. But, also, the Lord has shown me that I matter too, and I can rest as much as I need to. That’s a huge blessing. He really and truly loves us. As much as I wish I could run (literally) for hours like I used to, I can’t. I never understood this verse until recently: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10. I was, like, what the heck is he talking about???? Tralala, now I get it. (Never ever should a human being think being abused is for Christ’s sake – It never is – Satan owns that). My other favorite is,
            “He says, Be still, and know that I am God;
            I will be exalted among the nations,
            I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
            Ahhh, so many inspiring scriptures. I recall staring at the “Be still” part and joking, “at least I got that part right”!! Isn’t it glorious that He has rescued us? Amen and Amen.

  11. Yup, many of us just cruise or in some cases speed down this road of life without recognizing the little tugs to change course. If we all reflect, looking back on past decisions and steps positive and negative the hand of God is clearly present.
    We are mere humans. God loves us, he expects us to stumble and he is so pleased when we learn along the way. Like a good parent he is there to lift us up if we really need it but he is also watching when we are working to right our own ship.
    We have been married for 45 years. My wife and I accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior together in high school. Thank you to our teacher who also gave us a Bible on our wedding day.
    We talk about our walk with Jesus. I often reflect on the journey, the detours, the accompanied tour, the nudges I got along the way.
    The “drumbeat” as K in Tenn wrote.
    Your ears are not deaf.
    John 3:16!
    Our marriage has been pretty typical in that we have struggled along the way. Emergency garage sales to buy groceries. Water heater leaking into the house with a new baby and zero $, blizzards taking out power for days while my Mother in Law was visiting, you know the usual stuff.
    Others have been through a lot more and my prayers go out to them.
    You know you have a strong marriage when the two of you work together to assemble one of those Arrow million fastener sheds and the wind starts to blow.
    I believe God has a sense of humor too. I mean just look at a giraffe!

    We all find our way, we are all very blessed.

  12. Each week brings us closer to spring. We’ve still a couple feet of snow here. In order to get the space for the new greenhouse more snow free, my husband is going to work at removing that area’s snow pile. Now that our greenhouse is sitting in boxes on the deck, I’ll start the seeds. In times like these, I don’t count on anything until I have physical possession of it.

    Started some herbs for the windowsill. With all the bizarre closures that are preventing the sale of gardening seeds and tools, I am glad I bought mine earlier. Even though I doubt my state will shut down garden centers, we may run short as our neighbors try their hand at Victory Gardens. Zone 3 is difficult to grow in, but even pots on the porch would be a start. Food has historically been used as a weapon and growing it needs to be a protected right. History shows us what happens if we do not protect our right to produce our own food. Not to mention the probable food shortages looming worldwide.

    Starting on some fabric masks for family members at large. I hope they like Cardinals and plaids since there are no fabric stores nearby and my cotton fabric choices are limited! I did read about elastic not holding up with bleaching and using cloth ties, ribbon or shoe laces instead. I think I’ll make cloth ties but wonder at their tightness factor?

    We too are adjusting to using our deep pantry rather than continually filling it. Good lesson to see how fast it will actually go and an incentive to eliminate food waste entirely. An older relative escaped from East Germany just before the wall was built and often told stories about using every bit of food and every part of a butchered animal.

    Thankful for essential jobs and a smooth running house. Like many, we gather each evening to pray Psalm 91 and give thanks. Blessings.

    1. I love the shoelaces idea!! Have a whole bunch of them I’ve collected. (Some shoes, such as Sketchers, have two different colors of laces with each pair)!

      Have a Rockin great day!

    2. I made fabric ties because I couldn’t get 1/4″ elastic from anywhere. If you have binding tape that will save you all the cutting. I spent hours making skinny ties. ugh. But, they seem to tie up really nicely.

  13. Mountain Trekker,
    You are spot-on! I have lived in the redoubt for well over 40 years. The last 14 in south western Idaho. The stupid number of Californians moving in and raising the property values is not a “good” thing. They may be mostly “conservative” in their minds but just a little deeper in those minds and souls lies a me first, entitlement attitude that will certainly change our demographics, here in the “redoubt”. Ever heard the saying, “you can take the boy out of the country….”? Mark my words and put it on your calendar!

  14. I live in a rural area south of Houston. Gardening zone 9a. We planted our garden last week and bought extra seeds.

    My very large county has around 100 cases of the virus but we are so rural that I still feel comfortable sending my hubby to our small grocery store every few days to grab our allotted number of canned goods. (Limited to 8 per day). We can also get 2 chickens, 2 beefs per day. We DO have these things, but it makes me feel better knowing I can still get more.

    We went through hurricane Harvey and were stuck inside our house surrounded by water for 2 weeks. We used lots of our preps and some prep items flooded out in the shed. I became complacent in my prepping after that and am not where I believe I should be. But I’m working on it before it’s time for us to lock the gate.

    We have a steady supply of eggs rolling in from our hens and plenty of feed. Plenty of dog food too.

    Friday, we decided to take a car trip into a heavily populated suburb of Houston. We wanted to see if Costco had TP, because our rural town does not, and we are running low. I stayed in the car while hubby ran inside, mask, gloves and glasses. I observed the people while I waited. Most people were wearing masks and gloves but not being cautious with what they touched. They obviously had a false sense of security with the gloves on. I took notice of what people were buying and it was mostly individual bottles of water. You would think if you were making a trip to a big store then you would come out with a full basket, but no. The people just had their water and a few items. Hubby came back with a loaded down basket. More rice, sugar, flour, salt, etc. No TP. No canned goods. They were out.
    We then decided to venture over to the regular grocery store to check it out. There was a line to get in. We didn’t go in. We just observed from the car. We watched the people. The demographics. The city folk. Car loads of people. Families coming to the store together. Some had masks, some didn’t. I sat thinking about how thankful I was to not live this close to so many people. These people are going to be the hungry “zombies.” These people could be dangerous. They already have ill regard for the pandemic.

    I was happy to make it back home to our rural house. From now on we will stick to our little grocery store with less people and like mindedness.

    Peace!

    1. You are so right! We are already reading about robberies outside stores. Be vigilant. Right now I believe we are seeing petty thieves plying their trade, but expect panic if the economy continues on its downward spiral. This level of unemployment will produce terrified people who will resort to unsavory practices to aquire food. Not trying to be pessimistic, but be safe out there.

      1. If your state has open carry or CCPs, you should be carrying a hand gun, especially when you have to go outside your property. If you live in a liberal state, make sure you have wasp spray in your bag. Not all people are nice.

  15. Here we go
    The son got called into work this week was told they are to go around with the police and to shut places down
    He stayed in the office but another guy went out
    They are going to start inspection again but will only give him a surgery mask not a
    N-95 even though they have them
    He will bring his own but will not tell them
    One of his coworkers said in a meeting that she has masks The others looked at her and said so you are Hoarding
    Had to go pick up an order from Tractor Supply and Rural King on Friday
    It was packed out no one is staying home
    The daughter in law posted on Face book group that they bought 35 chicks some one said that she is Hoarding
    The wife had a meeting the other day we know there are
    8 cases confirmed
    21 pending
    28 under watch
    For a county of 30K
    And are Walmart does have stuff blocked off
    I do think this is for when people get there $1200 check they can not buy TV,s and that kind of stuff And they do have the seeds block off too

    1. Remarkable… We people try to protect themselves, they face the accusation of “hoarding”. There is likely to be more of this coming.

      The cure is a broad-based culture of preparedness. If all (or even many) were more fully prepared when supplies were plentiful, we would not be facing the level of crisis that surrounds all of us today. We hope and we pray that the current experience awakens many, and that those who are awakened, stay in that awareness (and act appropriately upon it). Our concern (even our fear) is that too many will ultimately revert to old behaviors once the danger has passed.

      1. I concur/ What America needs is to replace the culture of consumerism with a culture of larder-building. This will have two key benefits: 1.) A decrease in dependence on Big Government to provide disaster relief. and 2.) A shift away from mindlessly buying Chinese-made plastic “stuff” and frippery that we don’t need, and instead spending it on AMERICAN-grown and packaged food products. Accomplishing that will be a “Win-Win” — both for American families and for American food producers: farmers, ranchers, and fishermen.

        1. Do not forget 3B’s are excellent inflation hedges.Supply chains are stretching and trillions have been dumped with helicopters more coming,inflation ahead,then deflation.

          Finally became a Costco member,can beat most prices if follow sales but the gas price is $1/gal cheaper!, completed a full rotation of stored fuel at lower than previous prices. Beware gas is below the cost of oil input,refineries will shutdown-Wyoming sour crude is below zero but gas prices sare still well over $1/gal?

      2. @T of A

        I’ve been helping explain mask types and usage locally. Someone just sent me their proposed text to look over pre- publication but in it he told anyone who has ANY N95 or store-bought surgical masks to donate them to a local entity that’s collecting such things for medical workers. I’ve told him that it’s not for us to TELL people that they SHOULD do this and it’s really up to people what THEY want to do with what they own. The only circumstance that I think would be different is that of people such as those brothers in the south or that guy in Brooklyn that bought up many many thousands of hand sanitizers, masks, etc in order to sell them and price gouge the public. THAT I object to. But if Joe or Jen has 3 boxes of masks, I think that’s their business. I’m fearful now though that if anyone owns masks, other PPE and soon seeds, food, livestock etc. that we will all be accused of hoarding and told that we need to “share” with others. Why do I keep feeling like I’m a character in a Prepper novel?

        1. “Why do I keep feeling like I’m a character in a Prepper novel?”

          Ani, as of now, we are all characters in a prepper novel, or the closest thing to it. The differences are: 1) we are actually experiencing exactly what the prepper novels only speculate about; and 2) the novel is fantasy and what we are all experiencing is disturbingly real. Now comes the zombie hordes. They could be very real as well, give it a couple of months.

          1. @ Charles K

            I think that when I was reading what the guy I’m helping with mask info had written that was telling people to donate any and all unworn N95’s and surgical masks to an organization it was reminding me of scenes in some of the prepper novels I had read. I can’t remember which ones they were but they all involved a disaster event(EMP etc), an emergency meeting called by the HOA of the residents of the subdivision and then the truly obnoxious woman with the clipboard who announces that they will be going around to inventory what everyone has and removing all of that considered “excess” so they could divide it up among those who didn’t have enough. So it just sort of twanged a warning chord through my body.

            So this guy is an uber liberal and he and I butt heads on anything political all the time. He has backed down and agreed to phrase it such that it reads that if anyone WANTS to donate unused masks they can. I’m thinking we need to be watchful of any incursions into that scary place where people decide that what we have is “too much” and needs to be allocated to others. Again, I’m not defending those who hoard in order to profit off of the misery of others; they are despicable. But if I choose to spend my money on securing an adequate amount of food, seeds, firewood or whatever rather than eating out, buying nice furniture or the latest iPhone, who are they to tell me I need to distribute it to others? And if I had some masks stored as I do things like that, why am I supposed to feel guilty? I do donate to charity, drop off food at the Food Shelf, have some extra seeds etc stashed in case people need them; am not stingy. Just watchful as to where this all goes. And wondering which prepper novel character I am now….

        2. Ani,
          I believe the series of books you are thinking of is 299 Days, by Glen Tate and the “Ringleader of the HOA with the clipboard” name is Nancy Ringman.

          Read the whole series. (I have a knack for remembering useless information that comes in handy later on. )
          Ask me what I’m supposed to do tomorrow and I’m like Uhhh..

          Rock on

  16. Avalanche Lily! A question… Are you ordering fresh vegetables and fruits from a source local to you, or one that services deliveries nationally? Wondering because we hadn’t considered ordering in fresh items, and your thoughts on this sparked the question and the conversation. If it’s a group that ships across the country, would you be comfortable in sharing the name of this resource? If not, no worries… Just really thinking through this, and if it’s an option, want to order from a reputable group!

      1. We’ve been getting fresh veggies and other items from “imperfect foods”. It’s stuff that gets culled before it hits the stores because it doesn’t look right, doesn’t fit display cases, it’s bruised, not yet ripe, etc.
        Well packaged (even has a reusable ice bag with a thermal blanket!), and they send an interactive text when it’s on it’s way.
        As usual, you just have to look at the prices. Some of their stuff is not cheap.

  17. Those who live in the western two-thirds of Montana may think they have their own water rights are tragically mistaken. The CSKT tribes have filed over you. Wake up folks!

    On a lighter note; A.L. ,never look a wild animal in the eye if you wish to get closer. Look in a direction as far right or left as possible, do not move straight toward them. Stop occasionally like you are occupied with something else. Many, many years ago (much younger) I managed to take a deer with a hand held weapon (not a firearm or bow) using these tactics.

  18. Our own efforts presently are mostly focused on planting for the spring and summer gardens… We haven’t yet grown asparagus from seed, but we’re giving that a try this year (an experiment alongside all our other tried-and-true gardening techniques and strategies). Every member of our household remains at home, and we are preventing contact. We may, at some point, have to venture in to the post office to retrieve mail, but our goal is to hold out. The mail, quite frankly, can pile up! The one stop we cannot avoid is the pharmacy, but we handle that through the drive up and with great care and many precautions.

    Our hope is that more N95 masks will become available, and be much more widely used alongside face shields or unvented goggles, and gloves. Until we can readily access supplies and resupplies, we will refrain from outside contact in every way possible. It may not be too long with the ramping up of so much manufacturing. In addition to supplying our front line health care professionals, we hope these manufacturers will also be able to supply the general population.

    1. Hey T of A, I don’t know if you’ve grown asparagus before but it does really great right along fence lines. It does its thing briefly in the spring and then it’s just a big bush in the way the rest of the year, taking up a lot of room. I finally moved mine all along the fence (6″ away) at one edge of the garden and now we’re both happier. Birds love to eat the little red berries so once you get a trained eye for what the plants look like, you can find them along roadsides, particularly under electrical lines where birds like to sit and poop out the seeds. Not only do those places make good asparagus hunting grounds in the spring, but you can go back later with a shovel and dig up plants to transplant back to your garden. I saw a place in Indiana one time that had 100+ asparagus plants under a 1/4 mile stretch of power lines paralleling a road. The seeds can take up to three years to produce shoots big enough to eat so the hunt-and-transplant method is a quick way to supplement the larder while you’re waiting for the seed stock to come to fruition.

  19. I think there is way too much panic over Covid 19. Certainly not anywhere bad enough to crash the economy. In my state there are over 10,000 cases. Equally spread across all age groups. The vast majority of serious illness and morbidity are elderly with serious per-existing conditions. I am retired FD and we also ran EMS. I personally know five guys still on the job who have tested positive with two of them already back at work. Two said not bad and the others said like a regularly flu. I know James was down with something awhile back. I think this would be much less than that. The thing is it is VERY contagious which is why we see these serious spikes and hotspots which overwhelm the system. We should protect the vulnerable but this lockdown stuff is seriously going to send this world into a tailspin. These doctors do a very good job of explaining why the numbers do not pass the litmus test.
    https://off-guardian.org/2020/03/24/12-experts-questioning-the-coronavirus-panic/

  20. Something else I forget to mention. We have been through this situation many times in the past. I remember when the Hong Kong flu was going around in 1968-69. It killed 100,000 in the USA with a much smaller population. That would be approximately 166,000 today. We made it through fine. We put a man on the moon that year.

      1. Ani, 24 hour news, sensationalism, and social media have a lot to do with the panic. In Italy 2019, 1761 people died every day from all causes. Of course the vast majority of them were elderly with pre -existing conditions. Add Covid 19 to the mix and the numbers rise as they would naturally do with a serious flu going around. Then count every death where Covid was present as a Corvid death whether or not that was the cause. Many people are asymptomatic with this disease. If I had a heart attack because I was 100 lbs overweight and happened to test positive for the Covid I would go into the Corvid numbers. We should do everything possible to protect those among us who are vulnerable but I am afraid the cure may be worse than the disease.

        1. @ JML

          No way to know until we’re through this. And if we hadn’t shut most things down and encouraged social distancing and staying home, I’d imagine our numbers would be significantly higher. So just comparing total numbers won’t be a fair comparison. We may be able to extrapolate what those numbers would have been if we hadn’t flattened the curve but comparing final Covid 19 fatality numbers with ordinary daily death rate numbers won’t provide the true picture.

          And yes, I know that many(most) who are dying at this time are elderly with serious per-exisiting conditions. Not all fit this category though. And many of the elderly who are dying had been reasonably healthy until this took their life so I’d imagine that if not for this virus they may well have lived longer.

  21. It’s been a crazy past two weeks with an warm March and the bees getting off to an earlier start than normal. I’ve had my table saw running night and day trying to get more swarm traps, beehives, and frames built. One of my hives is very low on bees so they have not eaten much honey over the winter. I was able to harvest five quarts of honey before transplanting some bees from two of the stronger hives over to it.

    The cherries and pears are just now blooming. The peach trees are all with little tiny peaches and one of my two apricot trees didn’t make it through the winter. Some kind of bacterial/viral disease on the trunk last year made it appear the end was near so I wasn’t optimistic. I planted a bunch of apricot seeds in the garden last spring so I could do some grafting and get some new trees going this spring but they are just a bit too small and will have to wait until next year. The perennial mints and herbs are all greening up nicely in the garden.

    All the TP shortages are amusing. There was an article in the county newspaper that both grocery stores were raided by out of towners and all TP and many other goods cleaned out. I have at least a two-year supply on hand but with my Loveable Loo, it doesn’t care what I use for TP, there are no pipes to clog. If I had to use newspaper like I used in South American back in the late ’70’s, no problema, it composts just fine. People would cut it into squares the same size as TP and once you get used to it, it works great. If you have a flush toilet, put the used paper into a lidded bucket next to the toilet after use.

    As I was putting honey into mason jars this week I thought about reusable lids and someone’s comment about how pricey they can be. Until you can afford those, regular mason jar lids can also be reused, contrary to what they tell you. I have some that are on their 10th+ use and some jars and lids from store-bought salsa and pickles that are on at least their 8th season. You can fit 60 flat mason jar lids in a vegetable can (i.e. like what corn comes in) so they don’t take up much space if you never end up using them. But if we ever see TEOTWAWKI, you’ll be darn glad you have them. Don’t take my word or anyone else’s on this, test it out yourself. Either right now by filling a jar with boiling water, or next time you are canning. (Make sure you boil the lid too so the seal will soften up.) If it fails, you can put that jar in the fridge and consume it right away. But I’ve been doing it for ten years and it works. So save those lids, and salsa and pickle jars too.

    1. As we are eating through some of our canned goods, I often refill the empty jar with boiling water. I use a used lid and 9 times out of ten – it seals just fine.

      It doesn’t make sense to simply store empty canning jars. They don’t take up anymore space to store when they are full. When you need the jars later for canning, dump your canned water in the canner.

      1. I like this idea! I also store “empty” jars with dried goods and use my vacuum sealer to remove air. This works great for pasta, rice mixes, brownie and cake mixes, spices, and other dried goods. If and when I need those jars I will just put the dried goods in bags, buckets or bowls and prioritize using those items.

      2. Hey wormlady, sounds like a good idea for water storage if nothing else. If the lids are boiled first like you do when canning, then they would seal 99/100 times.

        I use 16 oz wide-mouth store-bought salsa jars and lids for making my yogurt in. I pour the 120° heated milk into the jars, then let it all incubate inside a small six-pack beer cooler. I’m on the 103rd, 5-jar batch and I’ve yet to have a jar lid fail to seal, and I’m not even needing them to seal. That’s a pretty amazing number of seals.

    2. St Funogas,

      I too have reused the canning lids that have the red colored gasket. They have sealed every time, and held the seal over time. I see the price on Amazon for canning jars and lids has gone up in general, 50 to almost 100% over night on Amazon. I do not believe the prices will settle back to were they once were. This is a better investment than most things. While acquiring used canning jars from yard sales or thrift stores over the years, the prices were usually strong, nearly as high as store bought in many cases. Rarely did I find bargain prices. I do have lots of vintage jars, an added bonus for myself. Refrigeration will become a luxury for many people who can no longer afford electricity or propane, or even a used replacement refrigerator. I believe canning supplies, and pressure cookers will likely tend to increase in value in this environment. Have several replacement gaskets, and other spare parts, and a spare canner as they can be warped if not treated correctly. My oldest pressure canner is from the 1940’s is built like a tank, yet it’s gasket leaks. It’s rubber gasket is almost 1 inch in width, yet rubber becomes hard over time. Modern gaskets can be stretched and distorted when they adhere to the metal surfaces. The problem may be indicated by difficult to remove top.

      1. Hey Tunnel Rabbit, I think you are correct, I doubt prices on jars and lids will not be dropping back down for quite a while. Normally humans have very short memories so I would expect this to be a short-loved phenomenon, but in view of the fact that we’re headed into a major recession or even a depression, I think that will be forcing lots more people into gardening and an increased desire on the part of many to learn home canning. Oddly enough, in my neck of the woods it used to be you couldn’t give used mason jars away. I used to see them at auctions going for $10 for what would amount to 3/4 of a pallet. It will be interesting to see what they are going for when the auctions start back up again.

        On the pressure canners, I have one of the All American gasket-free types. I wonder what the life expectancy is on one of those? I always wonder what MY life expectancy is the first time I fire it up every year. If that thing ever blows it’s going to take out the house and probably my shop too. 🙂

  22. I just loved the notion that Avalanche Lily put forward of sharing stories of how we were prompted to actions that led to our move or to finding our spouse.

    God started prompting me as a child… I lived in the Deep South and had never even seen snow. When I would look at a map of the US, I would see Montana and think “I want to live there someday.” I had no idea why, but I just knew it was special.

    Then many years later, through a strange twist of events in my job, I ended up spending a lot of time in the Redoubt region. I kept feeling drawn to a particular parcel of land which I was in no position to buy. Finally I got my courage up and make the best offer I could afford. It was deemed such an embarrassingly bad offer that the realtor told me “I’m not even going to bother writing that up. I can tell you the answer is no.” I persisted…. and that land ultimately became my “toe hold” in the Redoubt.

    Once I made the move to Montana, I started hearing inner promptings with greater clarity and frequency. I don’t know if the Redoubt is destined to be a place of safety (though I sense it will be). But I do know that I was definitely brought here to have a closer spiritual walk with God and to meet my wonderful husband. (Who else but my husband would tolerate some of the “comforts” I insist on for our animals, like the little thrift store mirrors I placed at the bottom of the chicken coop. “This way”, I happily explained, “they can see how pretty they are before they leave the coop each morning!” Most men would have run for the hills, but my then-boyfriend didn’t bat an eye at this craziness and instead decided to marry me.)

  23. One more thing… for those struggling to obtain seeds… When y’all go to the store for fresh veggies, you might consider saving a few organic potatoes, let them sprout, and plant them. Also, if you soak the bottoms of romaine lettuce, celery, and green onions in water, they will sprout and then you can plant them. If you can’t get seeds you can still use these sprouted veggies to plant in your garden for a later harvest. I am doing this right now! I am even saving the seeds from some organic bell peppers. Not sure if the bell pepper seeds will sprout but I will give it a try. It’s good to experiment.

    1. Excellent ideas! I will add: save the seeds of organic Acorn Squash, Butternut squash, Hubbards, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, organic dried beans, too. Plant organic onions and let them flower and collect the seeds once the flowers dry out in the fall.
      This summer if you can buy organic watermelon with seed, save the seeds. Organic popcorn kernals, will probably sprout, too. If you want sunflower seeds, and have wild bird food mix, save the sunflower seeds and see if they will sprout.

      Save your dandelion seeds, to plant where you want them. the greens are excellent for a body in the spring!

      I have always loved black raspberries. I was always wishing that we had them on my parent’s property when I was in high school. I wasn’t aware in those days that one could actually buy the brambles and plant them on your own land. I always thought they just grew in the wild. One summer after finishing college, I returned home for a few years. I was hiking on some adjacent land near my parent’s home, our old cross country running trail that we raced on in high school. I came upon a huge mother load of black raspberries. I was so excited, that I picked them every day for the next three weeks. I was so wishing that I had them growing at home. Some got moldy by accident in the fridge. I decided to throw them out on the side of the house. The next summer, I saw a couple of brambles growing up on the side of the house. So that summer, when I went back up onto the old cross country running trail to pick the berries, I kept saving back a few and would throw them all over my parent’s back yard, where I thought it would be great to have them growing. Fast forward ten years, when I moved back home after my first husband died, just four years before meeting Jim, there were several beautiful black raspberry patches in various parts of the property. All this to say, that one can save their raspberries that they buy from road stands or find in the woods and plant them around their own property. It will take a few years, but they will eventually grow when all of the conditions are right.

      What other ideas do people have for collecting and acquiring seeds?

      1. What a sweet story. I remember the blackberry bushes in South Carolina at my Great Aunt’s cabin. Free for the pickin. I wish huckleberries would grow like that!! The forest around me is full of currant bushes, but they’re for the deer. I was thinking of trying to create a “food forest” around the cabin where the ground is cleared that wouldn’t necessarily attract all the deer. I have all kinds of seeds, but at my elevation, about 4000′ in a forest, it’s tough to grow in the ground. I might just experiment this year for the fun of it. I do pots on the deck and we have the greenhouse, so I’ll be saving seeds more earnestly from this year’s crops.

      2. Grew dill for flowers and seed several years ago,still have it self seeding under a window where nothing else will grow. Horseradish has to be actively eradicated if you grow it. Don’t forget dandelion wine for home use or barter.

      3. I have organic blueberries in the freezer now that have been undergoing dormancy all winter. Plan to plant them very soon. Hope some will germinate. I wouldn’t worry too much about something being organic to collect the seeds from it. Once you grow it you will determine that the plant you grow from it is organic. I only eat organic food but I wouldn’t be too fussy about what fruit or vegetable the seeds came from as long as it wasn’t genetically modified. Basil ( and I’m assuming other herbs ) roots easily. Just buy at the grocery store and root in water or potting soil. I root basil in water and rosemary in soil. Oh and our Farmers markets are still open.

  24. I thought I’d share one of my favorite YouTube channels with you all.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoHW8oCZbWtNzFKJO3rG2-w/videos
    by Simon Khorolskiy

    The above link is to his main channel page. Simon’s latest song titled “I Am Dreaming of the Mountains” is very fitting based on the times we are living in. Thoughts of all the Redoubters in the mountains immediately came to my mind when I watched it. Even though it is only a few days old it already has over 100,000 views . I also thought of my mothers passing as her birthday would have been April 2nd, just two days ago and the religious theme of the song so captures the sentiments of our founding fathers and their steadfast faith in Divine Providence.

    Most of his recent videos are close captioned (CC) if they are in Russian.

    Two of my favorites are:
    When The Roll Is Called up Yonder (Russian version)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhXpK1d8Usg

    and

    Nearer My God To Thee – Epic Version (In Russian)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDVh2q-R4t4

    Quite often I listen to his channel while I read SurvivalBlog.

    Будьте здоровы

  25. Illinois Wuhan Statistics:

    As of today,

    10,357 Confirmed positive cases

    243 Deaths

    53,581 Persons tested (I am angry about this number) That’s it? Why aren’t they testing more?

    2 confirmed positive in my county (They won’t list which city/cities)

  26. Solar minimum is still in effect. We are still seeing mountain snows from our 400 foot elevation and getting frosts and ice on water buckets. Just 7 miles away from the Pacific Ocean.

    I forsee a cooler than average year.

    Last year I mentioned row covers/grow tunnels as a great way to improve growing conditions. They also help reduce pest damage.

    https://www.amazon.com/Tierra-Garden/b/ref=bl_dp_s_mw_8272175011?ie=UTF8&node=8272175011&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Tierra+Garden

    If you are in the northern US or cooler location, I suggest to you get some now. Before they are gone. I bought four 50 footers last year and plan to use each of them this year.

    Don’t forget, you can make your own hoops from sticking short rebar into the soil. In two parallel rows, then slide PVC pipe over two of the stubs of rebar to make your hoops. Purchase a plain floating row cover ( without any hardware, etc.).

    Place row cover over your hoops and anchor edges down well. Hoop tunnel done.

    I found I needed to run parallel soaker hoses under each 4 foot wide row tunnel for best irrigation last year.

    We are in quarantine in our home now, fighting viral stuff.

    I’m using celery, parsley, peppermint, garlic, onion, apples, nuts, Emergen-C, Quercetin, melatonin, zinc, Vitamin C, chicken soup, tomato soup, very hot baths, sleep.

    I’m absolutely avoiding aspirin, elderberry, Vitamin D, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, echinacea.

    One of Dr Seheult’s instructional videos had a brief mention of two doctors in 1919 who stated:

    A) German aspirin killed more people than german bullets

    B) It was a proven fact that spanish flu victims treated with homeopathy had only a one THIRTIETH of the death rate compared to 1918 ‘modern medicine’ primarily through enabling natural immunity improvement and careful nursing to prevent pneumonia onset.

    If you wait until you have a COVID-19 fever, you are already getting pneumonia, which kills.

    May God forgive our weaknesses and bless us who seek righteousness for His Namesake.

    1. Dear Wheatley Fisher,

      You do NOT want to take EmergenC!! It has Aspartic Acid in it, which is Aspartame!! Everybody, EmergenC is NOT good for you!! It will slowly kill you!!

      Very concerned about this poison that is on the market,

      Lily

      1. Lily! I bought everyone in my extended family a Costco sized box of Emergen-C. Where is that little horrified faced emoji when you need one???? Dang. I do think Aspartame is poison. I suppose, if someone had 1000mg vitamin C tablets, magnesium, and zinc, that would replace the good stuff in Emergen-C. Hmmmm, I’m going to have to research. I try so hard to be informed. Thank you Lily.

        1. :(. I’m sorry. I should have mentioned it long ago. But maybe this is the time for you!

          I took EmergenC for about 8 years sometimes having two a day. I had tons of palpitations and panic attacks and high blood pressure during that time and for two years after quitting it. I was always so careful, never drank diet anything, or would eat sugarless anything, nor soda etc, just EmergenC. Later, while searching out my symptoms, I came across a list of all of the different names of Aspartame. Aspartic Acid was one of the names. I remembered seeing it on the label and went and grabbed a packet and reread the ingredients. I was so shocked and mad! I was addicted to the stuff. There is an addiction and withdrawl factor to Aspartame. But I quit then and there. It was in 2013. I had more problems with racing heart beats for about two years, panic attacks/adrenalin rushes, with accompanying high blood pressure spikes, also hypoglycemic attacks would set off the adrenalin panic attacks, high blood pressure. It’s an incredibly vicious cycle.

          Aspartame messes with your kidneys, your sugar metabolism, your brain neurons, your hormones, your sight and hearing. It’s an excitotoxin. It kills brain cells.

          In 2015, I had food intolerance tests done and began to take supplements, high D3, Magnesium, a Chromium Synergy, B complex and B-12. then my health slowly returned. Now, I eat mostly meat, nuts, fruits and veggies, some corn, wheat flour, rice, honey. I do not eat sugar, dairy or blueberries, mushrooms, radish, bananas, or non-kosher meats. I feel much better these days. I can go out and exercise without getting a racing heart, though I do struggle with PVC’s from time to time. They are brought on by foods, being too full, and getting overheated: I will tell you, if I stay away from corn and potato chips, flour, tomato sauces, I have very few of them. But my diet is already so narrow, and I have such a fast metabolism, I need these foods to keep up my weight.

          So, it’s been seven years, since quitting, and five years of getting most of my diet right. I haven’t had a panic/adrenalin attack in a very long time. My blood pressure is normal all of the time.

          I’m now not so sure that I am trusting any supplement. We don’t REALLY know what is in them. So since January, I am currently only taking Magnesium daily and a zinc every few days. A vitamin C once in awhile. I am sitting out in the sun when it shines for a few hours and eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies and smoothies.

          I would recommend after you research it, to just throw them out. They’re not worth it.

          May the Lord Bless you and guide you in all things, SaraSue. I, too am Super glad you are here sharing in the Blog and in the comments. I enjoy reading about all of your life and prepping experiences and your advice on various topics and to hear your positive praise of our Lord and Savior Jesus.

          Many, many blessings to you and all yours,

          Lily

          1. I don’t know if this might be your issue with bananas, but a friend of mine told me that he noticed a rash on his feet after consuming some bananas so he quit eating bananas for a while. He said that in a weeks time the rash went away and he started eating bananas again and the rash came right back so he quit a second time and waited for the rash to go away, which it did. He decided to try organic bananas and see if he would break out in a rash. He had no reaction to organic bananas! He said he had the same problem with commercially grown avocados, but not organic ones.

            A snippet of an article on insecticides used in banana production is as follows:

            “One toxic insecticide widely used in banana production is chlorpyrifos, a potent neurotoxicant member of the organophosphate insecticide family. Chlorpyrifos can harm workers, communities and the environment but is not generally detected on peeled bananas. Children are especially sensitive to chlorpyrifos toxicity. The chemical can disrupt brain development and impair cognitive functions, measured by intelligence tests, when the child is exposed during pregnancy and early childhood (Rauh 2011). Costa Rican researchers found that children living near banana fields where pesticides were used had much higher concentrations of chlorpyrifos in their bodies than children living where only 12 percent of farmers reported using pesticides. (van Wendel del Joode 2012). Farm workers who apply pesticides directly or work in fields where they are used would almost certainly test positive for even higher levels of chemicals.”

            The entire above article is at the following link:
            https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2014/04/bananas

            Also, if the wheat flour that you use is not organic you may be exposed to a nasty man-made chemical dubbed:
            N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine
            also known as:
            [(phosphonomethyl)amino]acetic acid or glyphosate. Yep, Monsanto’s brainchild, more commonly known as RoundUp herbicide. The problem is the half life of this scourge can be as long as 22 years as shown in the following link:
            https://content.sierraclub.org/grassrootsnetwork/sites/content.sierraclub.org.activistnetwork/files/teams/documents/The_Unintended_Consequences_of_Using_Glyphosate_Jan-2016.pdf

            An article about Dr. Huber and his research on glyphosate:
            https://www.permaculturenews.org/2014/05/16/dr-don-huber-gmos-glyphosate-threat-humanity/
            There is a podcast MP3 at the above link, just scroll down half way on that page.

            A YouTube video about Dr. Huber:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4SNbVxpi1w
            Listen to when he uses the term “small virus” and ponder what has been in the news lately. (I will point out that I had a friend that worked at what I have previously dubbed in another blog comment as “the lab” and I have in my younger years worked in what I referred to as “a lab”. I’ll let your imagination fill in the blanks on that one. It’s far worse than most people realize. What has hit “the fans” in the news media is NOT what I have experience with, but I believe in 2-10 years they will.) I believe what he describes is different than the current problem, but that it is just one of the “side effects” of defective food production systems. Dr. Huber talks about how the herbicide glyphosate sequesters manganese in the soil. I have researched this personally by soil test experiments and can scientifically back up what he says.

            The “problem” with organic wheat (or any organic food crop for that matter) is that the USDA approved testing methods for certifying whether a piece of cropland can be certified as organic or not depends on whether or not they can detect any active chemical action in the soil. After the herbicide has reacted with manganese (or other atomic elements) in the soil it remains tightly bound to it and no longer has any herbicidal action against growing plants AND it is not detectable on most lab tests for its presence. I do, however, have a testing protocol which I developed that can pinpoint its presence, but that subject is more of a research and crop production topic. Once the manganese in the soil has been sequestered it can only be made available to the plants again by naturally occurring soil microorganisms that biochemically break down this chemical. This can be a very slow process as glyphosate is also a biocide, meaning that it also kills the biological life in the soil. Double whammy. Manganese is required for virus resistance in some plants. Manganese is required in humans for calcium metabolism, which Dr. Huber talks about. The body chemistry requires calcium for proper hormonal control, not just strong teeth and bones. A woman’s monthly cycle can be really thrown out of balance by this lack of calcium. I have a friend that can not eat any wheat products and I suspect that it is due to contamination of the food supply by crop chemicals.

            Also I noticed you stay away from blueberries. If blueberries were grown on a balanced soil I believe you might do OK on them. A friend of mine works with a lot of blueberry growers. He said that he has seen trusses on blueberry bushes up to 24” long and yields as high as 40# per bush instead of the more typical 5#.

            As I mentioned to another SB reader, much of the Redoubt has high magnesium in its soil (not to be confused with manganese as they look similar at first glance) which interferes with calcium in the soil which in turn interferes with the other nutrients. I noticed you are an avid gardener, as I am, so if you might ever be interested in that I’d be willing to share some information on that.

          2. Very interesting information, David ‘n’ Goliath. Lots to think about and do more research on. Thank you for taking the time to share this with me. I may ask questions, soon, as I learn more.

            Blessings,

            Lily

          3. Thank you for this Lily. Aspartame killed my ex mother-in-law. She drank huge quantities of tea every day loaded with artificial sweetener for years. She got esophageal and stomach cancer. I’ve said for years the stuff is poison. Keep spreading the word. So glad you recovered.

      2. Actually the box is labelled L-aspartic acid. Aspartame is a peptide. They are different. L-aspartic acid is a vital part of the Krebs cycle that increases metabolism.

        1. Wheatley,

          https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/sigma/a9256?lang=en&region=US

          l-Aspartic acid is an excitotoxin. It is a poison. It’s okay in it’s kreb cycle function, but it has been separated out, created artificially. It has been concentrated it and changed which makes it a poison on it’s own. It is a sweet substance and is another name for Aspartame another form of it.

          Biochem/physiol Actions

          Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid. It is involved in the Urea cycle, Krebs cycle and in DNA metabolism.[1]

          Principal neurotransmitter for fast synaptic excitation.

          Principal neurotransmitter for fast synaptic excitation.

          From Wikipedia:

          Aspartame is a methyl ester of the dipeptide of the natural amino acids L-aspartic acid and L-phenylalanine.[3] Under strongly acidic or alkaline conditions, aspartame may generate methanol by hydrolysis. Under more severe conditions, the peptide bonds are also hydrolyzed, resulting in free amino acids.[46]

          Also Aspartame is often encased in Maltodextrin
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame

          Of course Wiki down plays it’s effects on people!

          Blessings,

          Lily

      3. So, I was wondering about this as well and looked up several references. We too had purchased several of the costco-sized Emergen-C boxes, which I was now alarmed about. This is one of several references I found, and so I wonder, Lily, if you have a particular intolerance to the Aspartic Acid which caused the issues… there was a reference online about that as well…
        “What is the difference between aspartame and aspartic acid?
        Is aspartic acid the same as aspartame? No, aspartame is a chemically formed sugar substitute that bonds L-phenylalanine to aspartic acid. On the other hand, the aspartic acid which we use in Emergen-C, is an amino acid readily found in foods such as fish, legumes, dairy, whole grains, eggs, meats, nuts, and seeds.”

        FWIW, I have been taking two of these a day, and have not noticed anything other than I feel a lot better than if I don’t take them. But that is just me, and I am not a doctor and I most definitely did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night…

        https://answersdrive.com/what-is-the-difference-between-aspartame-and-aspartic-acid-3192882

        Here’s another reference: https://nutriscienceusa.com/l-aspartic-acid/

        This was on a quick look, and I have no idea about the reliability or agenda of either of these publications, so I encourage anyone alarmed by this to trust their gut and do their own research. I very much appreciate the heads-up on this Lily… reminded me to pay attention to what I buy.

        Be well everyone…

    2. Have you heard of Rosemary Gladstar, an herbalist? This is her Fire Cider recipe from my notes, so not specific on quantities. I think you can google her.

      Ratios:
      1-Horseradish
      1-Garlic
      1-Onion
      1/2-Ginger

      Chop and mix into a quart jar and cover with raw Apple Cider Vinegar. Add a 1/4t of Cayenne powder or pepper if you can stand it. Put a lid on the jar, shake up, and let sit on the counter for 4 weeks. She strains it after 4 weeks and then adds raw honey, just to taste. Some people advised keeping it in the refrigerator.

      Some people add turmeric, jalapeños, etc. There’s a lot of recipes out there. I think the “dose”, if you will, is 1t to 1T daily. Methinks the combination of ingredients would kill any bug of any kind. My daughter makes this regularly and swears by it, but it’s on my To Do list still.

      1. Yes, she’s a Vermonter. I haven’t made her Fire Cider yet but it’s on my to-do list. Sounds yummy! Just can’t get a hold of any horseradish root here now; hopefully soon. And a former neighbor will be giving me some to plant here; might actually be from my old place as I gave out lots of horseradish starts to neighbors. 😉

      1. You are welcome. We are having a very prolonged chill period compared to usual springs here. I’m thinking we may not get many days over 70 degrees this summer so thinking crops requiring those temps won’t produce. Last summer I never got a full crop of pole beans. Only a third made it to maturity (I harvested for dried beans) and it turned wet and cold so the beans molded in immaturity and froze.

        Our plum tree has me very concerned about the weather because plums normally bloom as a tree, but now it is blooming only partial branch by partial branch with the nightly frosts. Otherwise the tree is healthy.

        Timing of Mason bee release will be tricky this year. I’m struggling to stay at rest like the doctor said to do. But fighting viruses is focused effort.

        You probably should plan and install your irrigation lines under your hooped houses.

        I tried to make sure the ends were closed tightly on my tunnels. Our winds tended to get into the ends and make wind tunnels out of them rather than nice sheltered growing climates.

        I bought three tunnels which had fiberglass rods that slide to small sleeves sewn into the fabric. That way I could go along the side of a tunnel and slide the fabric up so it would stay when needed. Cannot see that model on Amazon this year.

        Best wishes.

    3. I just bought two 14×50 foot gothic style greenhouses from Farmers Friend yesterday. They are being delivered to my new homestead. One in reserve and one going up this spring so I can house the tractor under cover plus we’ll store things that need to be under cover there or grow a few things that need added heat. Also got two of the big wheeled garden carts from a company in Vermont. Also being delivered to the new place. I still need the one I have here. I use it daily.

  27. https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/three-fourths-of-nyc-deaths-allegedly-from-coronavirus-are-people-with-pre-existing-underlying-health-problems/

    From the article: “someone has apparently ordered that ALL of these deaths be declared to have one and only one cause, “COVID-19.”
    That would be Dr. Anthony Fauci and the CDC.

    Also from the article: “The media are also fomenting mass hysteria by reporting that someone dies in NYC every 9.5 minutes, ignoring the fact that this is quite normal. The city government itself reports that in 2018 the number was every 9.1 minutes.”

  28. I wanted to share that I was just on The Old Farmers Almanac site & I was able to download a whole lot of useful information and I am printing it to put in a gardening Binder. (I am a beginner and can’t remember everything so this will be a great reference binder)
    I’ve also started a journal to record my plantings and date the growth cycles along with photos. I’m planning on making copies for my children to give to them when they get out of the Marine Corps & start their first homes.
    This is also a fun journey for me as well as an “urgent “ feeling to learning about gardening & what does and doesn’t work.

    I also plan to Journal every step I take when I receive the Freeze Dryer I ordered last week. I’ve secured a decent supply of Mylar Bags and oxygen absorbers too. I’m really excited to learn about this!!

    Looking forward to receiving the canning jars & Lids I ordered yesterday.

    I also today went on Baker Creek Heirloom site. They are out of ALOT of their merchandise but I was able to order several kinds of Berry plants that they normally take pre-orders on. I’m looking forward to getting these as well. I will also Journal what happens with these.

    I must admit that I am making a real effort to document what I have done/accomplish during this time. I’m finding that as I get older I can’t remember everything anymore so documenting all that is going on is hard for me but I’m committed to this goal.

    I hope everyone is safe and healthy. I continue to pray and ask for guidance.

    Rock on

    1. RKRGRL68, you are going to need a lot of things to FD to make that equipment worthwhile,have you considered making a deal with local farmer/farmstands to supply produce(first pick/steady quantity)? Maybe sell the FD excess to pay for it(nice side business)

      1. VT
        Very actively writing down ideas/thoughts. When I get it I’m going to spend a lot of time getting to know the machine. Then I will proceed with getting my family’s Freeze Drying needs in order and then I would like to sketch out some sort of business plan that I could possibly implement for this machine. (I have all kinds of ideas in my noggin) !!
        Who knows? Maybe in this new reality that we are entering, my ideas might be my new business adventure!!

        Rock on

  29. New Kubota tractor and attachments delivered. Filled up diesel fuel tank and purchased new fuel hose for the rotary pump. Had a tri-axle of bank gravel delivered. Used the new tractor to spread the gravel. Started to take out some small stumps where I want to put the bee hives. The bigger stump isn’t moving an inch. Hooked up the spare washer/dryer in the basement. Spent some time working in barn consolidating and organizing supplies. Still working 12 hour days due to Covid19.

  30. Another week of teleworking, while trying to remain self-quarantined to the greatest extent possible. We placed a few orders for necessary items, including some Bao-Fengs that I should have purchased 9 months ago, along with some more PMs. Lesson learned. The peas, carrots, and spinach we planted 2 weeks ago have sprouted nicely, and the muscadines and scuppernongs are clustering as well. We ventured out this morning and picked up some more vegetables we’ll be transplanting this week. Based on what I’m seeing in forecasts, it doesn’t look like we’ll see much impact from the potential Polar Vortex next weekend.
    My Lady and I met over 30 years ago, when we both qualified to attend a national level sports tournament. They held a dance the night before the tournament, and this beautiful redhead asked me to dance with her. After dropping her off at her hotel room that night, while my teammate and I were walking back to our hotel room, I asked him what I should do with this girl. He replied, “Just have fun with her, you’ll never see her again”. At that moment, the thought popped into my head, “This is the woman you’re going to marry”. There’s no doubt in my mind that God brought us together, and we’ve been married over 25 years, through many ups and downs, but clinging to our Father and one another. Despite being from very different regions and coming from very very different backgrounds, we compliment one another amazingly well. She has been an amazing helpmate over a very unusual life.

  31. Wanted to simply remind those that plan to plant a garden from seed about the importance of soaking your seeds. I have been a gardener for many years with many successful crops but I do think now, EVERY seed counts! My change in technique has come as a result of sprouting and growing an indoor garden this past winter for salad greens. If you will simply soak your seeds for a minimum of 6 hours (in a small container free of chlorinated water) prior to planting, you will see a remarkable increase in plants that germinate and come up! How easy is that!.

    1. Thank You Clem, this is a great idea. I too agree with you that every seed counts. As a matter of fact, the idea of soaking seeds has been niggling the back of my mind a lot in the past few weeks. I will now do so for sure when the time comes to plant out side. Clem you confirmed to me what the Lord has been trying to impress me to do.

      Many Blessings to you,

      Lily

  32. Hello Lilly, Best to you and JWR

    So glad you see this as a good practice. Here in zone 6, my little unheated greenhouse is just waking up. Warm enough now to get all of my tomatoes, squash, peppers, and outdoor leafy greens started prior to putting into my prepared garden area. (We too expect one more cold possible vortex before we can put the tender plants out).. By soaking my seeds in small plastic solo cups (6 oz size), I can look to see which seeds are plump and likely to sprout and select against those that might not be viable. A good growing starting mix is also helpful, but this step gives an edge that pays off with trays full of sprouting possibilities! Just today I planted some soaked basil seed and they form a gelatinous coating around each seed that is amazing (just like an embryo) and I am now sure I will have a nice showing of fresh basil greens to eat and dehydrate from just that small step over the summer! How good it is to know God is in control in times like these, come what may, He has every event, every person, every circumstance, in mind -and for a plan to unfold that He has known since the foundation of the world. Comfort in uncertain times.

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