Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. Note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

This past week I bought just over a ton of hay, to hold us over, until the upcoming hay cutting season. Most of this year-old hay will be for a couple of corraled cows.  One of them already has a calf at side, and the other is bagging up and due to have a calf soon. I used our trusty gooseneck  3-horse trailer to haul the hay.

I also got out in the woods and hauled limbs and some small deadfall tree tops so our slash piles. Our eldest daughter helped me with this project.

We received another larder restocking shipment. Upon seeing a lug box of oranges, I began quoting:  “Who wants an Orange Whip? Orange Whip?, Orange Whip?” And sure enough, I got out the coconut cream, began squeezing oranges, and broke out the blender. The key ingredient for that perfect taste? Two teaspoons of vanilla extract.

We also took a road trip, to pick up some antique gun inventory.  (Elk Creek Company will resume taking orders this coming Monday, May 4th.) This was the first time that we had driven more than 50 miles in nearly a month.  I observed that most folks in The American Redoubt are considering the state-ordered lockdowns simply “advisory.” There were full parking lots at many stores.  Lily can fill you in about ours stops at both an Amish surplus food store, and at a grocery store…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This has been a beautiful sunny week.  I’d like to report that I have seen my first Mountain Bluebirds, five pairs of them flying around our meadows,  beautiful birds!  Additionally, I’ve seen two Blue herons and have heard the vireos singing.  On Tuesday, I was buzzed by a Rufus Hummingbird.  Immediately, I went into the house and prepared a sugar syrup for their feeders and put them up.

Our meadows are now flooding from some recent downpours and higher temperatures beginning the melting of the snow pack on our high-peaked surrounding mountains.  Therefore Miss Eloise and I retrieved my canoe from the barn and I went for my first paddle around the flooded meadow.  I just love it!  😉

We received orders for apples, oranges, grapefruit, mangoes, limes, peanuts, walnuts, oats, and flour this week.  Miss Violet and I spent some time scrubbing all of the fruit with hot soapy water.

During our road trip, we stopped at an Amish store and bought about six pounds of one-pound packaged beef and a very large roll of ground turkey, some boxes of cold breakfast cereal, and some deeply-discounted Larabars. At the grocery store, we bought about 12 pounds of ground sirloin beef, some apples, and five pounds of cheese.

I went to town at the end of the week to pick up our two orders of honey bees. I had them ride inside the car with me for the hour and a half ride back home.  I wore my bee suit, just in case they decided to visit me at the front of our SUV.  Just a few did, so I just opened the window and let them go.  When we arrived home, I safely got them transitioned to the hive. I made them their sugar syrup for emergency food. I’m very happy to have bees again, hopefully this time I can keep them healthy and safe through the winter.  We are planning on setting a tarp over a hog panel arch over their hives as an open tent, to keep the rain and snow off of the beehives.  This coming week, I need to also set up wasp traps near their hives to keep wasps from invading their space.  Several years ago, I lost one of my first hives to wasps.

“Yum”, says the wasps, “Sweet honey, and honey bees for protein, keeps wasps fat and happy all winter” ( But not the beekeeper.)  🙁

Maybe one of you seasoned beekeepers out there could write an article on how you care for your bees through the winter?  Actually, I’m curious if any of you have a natural way to keep the mites off of them? I think I remember a bee brush?  We have to search the JASBORR for some of our equipment. If I remember correctly, the the pesticide for bee mites was really dangerous for humans, so I never bought it.

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.




85 Comments

    1. Jim squeezed about ten oranges, added a 13 ounce can of coconut milk with cream, two teaspoons of vanilla and a few teaspoons of sugar. He blended them together in our blender and divvied it up between the four of us.

      The oranges were naturally very sweet, we could have done without the added sugar.

      It was very yummy. 😉 Enjoy!

      1. powdered sugar is perhaps the best and easiest way..as they clean themselves of the sugar they dislodge the mites. I also have had success with a special drone size honeycomb tray,,the mites like the drone eggs since they stay unhatched longer. you have to take this try out of hive and freeze it every month or so to kill mites before inserting back into hive. can get from any bee keeper catalog but worked great in Florida at least

  1. I’ve never used this treatment method myself(gave up keeping bees after the varroa mite situation became bad) but people I know say they have successfully used the Crisco patty method. There’s lots of info on-line on this, some using essential oils in the Crisco patties. Good luck with this! Beekeeping was an expensive heartbreak for me and I’m glad I stopped before “colony collapse” came on the scene as well. I’m terribly sensitive to bee stings anyway(although not technically allergic as I am to wasps, yellow jackets and hornets) so the combo was enough to make me stop. But having one’s own hives is so good for fertilization plus of course the honey and beeswax!

  2. We’ve had a week of alternating weather…rainy then sunny, windy then calm, dark and stormy then warm and beautiful. Opposition in all things.

    Monday we got the cabbage, collards, tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers transplanted in the drier section of ground, but it stormed Wednesday so we had to protect the more tender plants with buckets and covers. Thursday we had strong winds which helped dry the upper garden but it delayed transplanting seedlings from the hoop house. Carrots are looking great, pumpkins, potatoes, cukes and squash are beginning to vine. Still waiting to direct seed some of the larger veges. If it is just normal rain the plants and roots will do fine, but last spring we lost about 45% of the veges due to a 3-day storm that washed out plants so I’m a little storm shy this year.

    Received an order of canning jars, lids and lids with rings. I have not seen any shortages of these but ya never know what is going to be the next herd item. Also received a new HD manual fruit press and it is so nice; quick and easy to use. Did several bags of lemons and limes in record time. Orange whips sounds like a good idea for today; I think I have just enough oranges left do make a batch! I have a steam juicer I use for canning purposes but when I want fresh juice or to freeze juice in to cubes, this is perfect.

    Finished canning last Friday’s purchase of chicken breasts, sirloin tip roasts and a rump roast. Wednesday the local grocer advertised chicken quarters for $.29/pd so I got 20 pds; separated the legs, baked a bunch, then frozen the rest. Also got 20 pds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $1.39/pd, which is a good price for our location; still pressure canning those.

    Always so much to do but I love to take an hour to sit out on the front porch and listen to the birds singing, the cattle talking and see the beauty of the area.

    May your coming week be healthy and productive.

  3. Weekly Update:

    Strength Training, Ran 5 miles, Rucked 15 miles.

    Sharpened 5 knives, 2 axes, 2 folding saws, 1 machete.

    Planted lettuce, carrots, peas, onions, second type of tomatoes more basil.

    Started reading “Enemies Foreign and Domestic”

  4. Good morning everyone,

    This week was good, spent time getting more whole chickens and ground beef. Price for whole chickens was really great! Between $3-4 per chicken so I got a dozen or so. Ground beef was sale price also so got another dozen pounds too. Spent time rearranging the big freezer for all of the the meat and poultry. The baby freezer I ordered is going to be for fruit and vegetables.

    Got a pasta sauce maker (Ball makes it) . We Italians love our pasta sauce so this will be great for processing tomatoes that I am growing in a hydroponic system I have. The other unit I am growing different lettuce in.

    I have two raised beds that I am going to try this year on our deck. Last year, like Animal House said we had tremendous amounts of rain and our backyard is in bad shape for planting anything. We’re trying to address the erosion and so far this year it is already looking like last year so I am hopeful that the weather will improve but we aren’t taking chances so I’m giving The raised beds a try.
    At least this weekend is forecast for spectacular get out there weather!
    Our hummingbird feeders are out but we have not seen them yet…
    We did however after dinner walk out to the deck and observe (and then I videoed) a gigantic , she must weigh about 25-30 pounds!! female raccoon climb up onto a shepherd hook we have and start swinging around trying to get her grip to eat out of one of the black oil sunflower feeders hanging. This was absolutely hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing!!!! The video is so funny, she would look over to us with her legs swinging around “like hello, can ya help me out here, I’m about to go flying.”
    After a few minutes she came down & I shooed her away. I don’t really want her hanging around (I think she’s got babies nearby) she will end up destroying my feeders. It was sooo funny I was laughing for 10 minutes.

    Hope everyone has a Rockin great day!

    1. RKRGRL68,
      Would love to see that video!
      We have tons of trail cam photos and home videos of out local raccoon population. They are a hoot to watch.
      We buy cheap dog food in 50 pound sacks just to feed them and enjoy their company.
      (Yes, I’m very aware of rabies and all the other side effects)

      1. Tom in Oregon

        If I can figure out how to post the Mama Racoon video without breaching my OPSEC I will let you guys see it . This is the only place I have ever posted a comment at and it took me almost a year before I was brave enough to do that.

        My friend from here recently advised me to be more careful in what I reveal about myself and my location so I am following that advice as I highly respect this person.

        I’ve never ever been on Facebook or all those other data mining information stealing sites. I’m extremely cautious about where I go on the internet. I hope you understand

        Have a Rockin great day!

        1. Dear RKRGRL68,

          As much as we would LOVE to see that raccoon, me too, it’s too risky for your OPSEC. Please everyone just use your imagination. ;). Our imaginations need more of a workout these days, since many of us spend way too much time watching videos than thinking for ourselves.

          May you have a blessed and Rockin day!

          Lily

  5. Ms. Lily,
    I became very interested in cases of colony collapse disorder, or CCD, a few years back.
    Then I listened to a podcast with Paul Stamets. He seems to be a very knowledgeable guy.
    In the interview, he had kind of a serendipitous discovery regarding bees and mushrooms, or the mycelium.
    His research is fascinating. It’s scary to think of nature without the bee.
    Here’s a link to his company and some all natural aids for bees.

    https://fungi.com/pages/bees

    Birds! We’ve seen an increase in Rufus and Rubythroated hummingbirds. We’ve had the feeder out for over a month. It’s just a few feet from a chair I like. Soon, they get used to me there so I can get some photos with my good camera.
    Gosh, I haven’t seen mountain bluebirds in way too long.
    The stellers jays should be along soon, those boys are beautiful.
    As I write this, two male robins are fighting it out… shouldn’t airing combat be called a bird fight and not a dogfight?

  6. Our state’s Safer at Home order extends until May 26, but Hubby and I left the cabin twice this week. Once to go see our middle son and his family. Our grandson turned 12, so we had to celebrate. He is such a great kid – he Zoom called some of his buddies to help him celebrate. Our gifts to him, ordered WEEKS ago from Amazon have not yet arrived but he took it in stride. It was wonderful to be with family even if we couldn’t hug.

    We went to home improvement store yesterday in the next county. You had to wear a mask to enter the store. Don’t have one? No problem, we will sell you this disposable one for $1.

    People were NOT practicing social distancing AT ALL. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, but then I am always that way about shopping. I definitely did not get the shopping gene.

    I checked out the seed racks. There seemed to be plenty of seeds – so that is good.

    On the home front – I checked over our last few winter squashes. One had started to rot, so I cooked up the rest and froze the flesh. And saved the seeds. I think these were organic (farmer’s market) so the seeds should be true. If not, oh well.

    I defrosted our freezer and updated my inventory. I’m pleased with and thankful for what we have. Last week’s sourdough pizza turned out well. I did put a bit of yeast in because I wasn’t confident of the strength of my starter but it rose up really well. I bottled up the ACV I had been making.

    My little seedlings are doing so well. It will be in the 60’s here today so I may set a few trays out to begin hardening them off.

    A friend stopped by yesterday to cut down a few trees for us. We no longer heat with wood, but give our wood to a church family with 9 kids. We also gave him our chain saw. Our friend who stopped by, knew that and cut down the trees to help us and the guy with 9 kids. We are so grateful to B. for helping both our families, but he is one angry man. Good-hearted but angry. He railed against the churches in the area for closing down.

    Later that day, I had occasion to email our pastors on an unrelated matter. I asked them how I could pray for them. They both independently asked for prayer for wisdom on how to proceed with church after May 26. They are humble, godly men.

    We all have different opinions as to the cause and how to handle this pandemic. Most of us are trying to do the best we can. Hopefully we can extend each other grace.

    1. Wormlady, I see you know the power of generosity.

      You practice what you preach, “Hopefully we can extend each other grace.” I am grateful to read of your kindness.

      Carry on, in grace

  7. On about day 19? now and kidney stone #5 so didn’t get much done around the homestead again this week. I may need to try the John Deere treatment and go bounce around the pasture for two hours, that seemed to work well on the first two.

    The Ministry of Horticulture will no doubt be writing me a citation soon for not having my tomatoes in yet. I did get some more bed preparation done so will be getting my new dry bean varieties planted this week if the rains will cooperate. I harvested the first asparagus shoots. They’d be delicious with some melted butter and a little garlic but I never seem to be able to make it back to the kitchen before they disappear. I look around, “Where’d the asparagus go?” B-u-u-r-p! Darn, maybe next time.

    After Kevin’s article on solar panels and Ani’s article on prepping in general, I was feeling the pangs of guilt so finally got the “secure power supply” hooked up for my grid-tied solar panels. The parts have been sitting there forever, I just needed one more conduit fitting so I picked one up and got that up and running. Now if the grid goes down I can still get 1,500 watts of power if the sun is shining and run the fridge or charge some car batteries. Pudge’s article on SOP’s also got me back on track getting the “Owner’s Manual” for my house completed. Since I’m sitting around guzzling tea and cussing kidney stones anyway, I may as well be doing something useful. I definitely get lots more done with SurvivalBlog articles and commenters giving me ideas and inspiration to keep moving forward.

    Saw butter on sale 2/$5 so bought 20lbs for the freezer. With all the milk dumping going on, butter’s gotta be getting expensive soon?

    Lily, on varroa mites, I’ve never done anything about them. They’re even in wild swarms I catch with my swarm traps so I just do my best to keep the colony strong and so far they’ve never gotten the upper hand. Same with hive beetles. I’ve been thinking about how to make some sort of a metal straw tip for my Dustbuster so I can suck up those hive beetles, preferably on a piece of flexible rubber surgical tubing.

    The last two baby wrens left the nest yesterday. They only made it up to the highest mason jar shelf so Mama and Papa Wren were feeding them there this morning. The nest was empty when I checked. I felt a little sad that I won’t be able to enjoy watching their progress anymore. As I stepped outside the shed, I heard one of the wrens singing in the tree that hangs over the shed. I looked up and I think it was Papa Wren, saying, “Hey, thanks for the room! The rent check will be in the mail Monday!” I called back, “Hey silly, you know the room is free. Just keep me entertained like you always do.”

    I hope everyone has a great week!

    1. Oh,no, kidney stones! Hope you are back to normal soon ! I heard some sandhill cranes this morning on my walk. They have quite a squawk. I have also been hearing loons the past few weeks. Our harbinger of spring.

      A hawk was hot of the trail of a sparrow this morning. I suspect it didn’t end well for the sparrow.

      We had a huge Tom pecking on our basement window the day before hunting season. Haven’t seen him since. Our bird friends sure are entertaining. We now keep a ‘life list’ in our bird book. We are up to 36 – just in our little 1.5 acres.

    2. Oh Dear St. Funogas,

      So sorry to hear that you are having yet another “Geod” problem. I’ll be praying for you.

      What? Already? The baby wrens have fledged?? It’s only been about two weeks??? Right?
      They probably raise several broods a season.

      I had editorial issues trying to get my portion of the Editor’s Preps of the week up yesterday, so was not able to tell all that I had planned to say. I did plant some of my tomatoes two days ago, and the weatherman said, above freezing nighttime temperatures were in the forecast. Well, he was wrong! We had two light frosts the past two nights and my tomatoes are NOT happy! I had not covered them, because of other things distracting me. So that was a bummer. I have sprinkled cold water on on all of them before the sun hits them, so they could survive?? You might be better off to wait to plant yours outside. I think your Ministry of Horticulture will understand. 😉 Luckily, I have many more tomatoes awaiting planting in the green house and I am thinking of starting some more tomatoes seedlings out there for a later outdoor planting.

      Could you answer some questions for me concerning bees? What about overwintering your bees? Where are you, in general, geographically? (NW, SW, Central North, Central South, SE, NE?) How do yours fare through your winters? Is mold a problem? Do you shelter your hives in some manner? What do you think of those cushiony vinyl hive covers? I saw them in our local farm and garden store for about $43 each?

      Prayers and many Blessings to you,

      Lily

      1. Hey Lily, I couldn’t believe the wrens had fledged already either, I had to go back and check the dates. It only takes 12-14 days so it’s quick. They can have up to 3 broods per year and this pair has done two per year in the same nest, maybe this year they’ll do three.

        On my location, I’m east of you and warmer. 🙂 I have never lost any hives through the winter but I check them during the spring, and late summer and fall to be sure they have enough honey. If they don’t then I feed them syrup. I’m always on the lookout for sugar on sale just for that purpose. Some years I feed very little, other years I have to feed more. Other beekeepers have other feeding methods.

        I make all my own hives and equipment and I occasionally get some mold on some of the inner covers. The biggest factor seems to be tilting the hive forward enough to that condensation rolls forward and drips off as it builds so I keep a thin board under the back of the hive and use a level to make sure everything is kosher and level from side to side. It seems like those vinyl covers would give you some extra insulation in your cold climate but someone with more expertise would have to chime in their opinion.

    3. If you are having repeated episodes of kidney stones, it’s time to get checked for hyperparathyroidism – most especially if you have parents and/or siblings who have often suffered from kidney stones. Hyperparathyroidism does silent damage to bone density and causes other issues besides kidney stones. Just a concerned thought on my part that I felt I should share…

  8. What a coincidence, I went and picked up 2 packages of bee’s as well!
    3.5 hr drive to the other side of the mountains, 4 hours back… my phone (GPS) decided to reset itself just before I started losing signal. What a pain! Forunately, 2 is 1, 1 is none… had an old-school satelite-based GPS unit in the glove box. Took an older route, but it got me home!
    As for the bee’s, you are correct, most mite meds are no-good for humans. Don’t want it on your honey, either, so don’t use it within a few weeks of putting honey supers on. I’ve been trying to utilize russian or russian-hybridized bee’s to combat varroa naturally. Also found some neat treatments at wolfcreekbees.com
    I constructed a 2-sided windbreak from 1″ HDPE insulation (that thick green foam stuff you can buy in sheets at the big-box hardware stores). I just used a utility knife and some long screws to make hold the corner together. I place it on the shady-side where it gets lots of wind. I also found adding a stubby 3rd side helps it hold in-place better. I have vent-holes placed at strategic locations, but could easily see making it fully enclosed on 3 or even 4 sides in an extreme winter environment such as yours. Here in SE Appalachia, it gets that wet and windy kinda cold, not the crunchy sparkly kind like up North!
    I have also had problems with invaders and robbers, and utilize robber-screens on the front of my hives. Usually the whole year (remove them in winter after robbing season’s over). I buy premade ones from one of the big shops, paint them white, and make use of the various doors/openings to control traffic. During robbing season, just one tiny door is left open. Has made a big difference… The larger bumble/wood-bee’s in the area can’t enter the smaller doors at all (ditto the bigger wasps). It makes for congested traffic on a full hive, but they don’t seem to mind and figure it out. They do congregate on the screened portion of the cover quite a bit, especially in the rain – I think of it as their screened-in porch!
    Look into doing sugar-rolls and get a mite-count going before hitting them with meds… if you do treat, treat early and aggressive.
    Trying to use Diatomaceous Earth around hives to combat SHB this year. Hives were absolutely LOADED last year.
    Whew… yeah, maybe it is time for an article?

    1. K in Tenn! Great tips re: honey bees! We are also in SE Applachia, and last our last colonies a couple years ago when the summer was cooler, the trees did not blossom “on time”, and the bees absconded from hives all around our area. It was a serious topic of conversation among the keepers! We have not reordered bees since, but think about this a lot, and your tips about robber-screens is a great one. Thank you, thank you! Yes… Write that article!

    2. Thank You K in Tenn,

      This was great information. Yes, we would love an article from you about bees, when you get a chance to write. 🙂

      Blessings,

      Lily

  9. St. Funogas, five kidney stones! A friend of mine had both gall stones and kidney stones and they were so painful he had to go to the hospital. You must be one tough character to handle those at home! … my prayers for your recovery.

    1. Hey Animal House it’s actually one part tough and nine parts cheapskate. One particular string of coping words blistered some paint in the kitchen so if this current stone doesn’t pass soon the remodeling costs are going to outweigh the money saved at the hospital.

  10. Here in southern Oregon the garden is in and this year it’s a salsa garden. We tend to can enough for 2 years at a time. We do plant corn and many other vegetables. The corn is for the grandkids to enjoy. Everything else is in because we can. Southern Oregon is second to none in garden climate. We’ve been cutting firewood but an early fire season level change has put a stop to that here on the west side of the Cascades. We burn on the average about 4 cords per year and we have about 5 cords cut, split and stacked. We try to keep a year ahead on the firewood just in case the unexpected happens. This year I’ll travel to another Forest district to finish out cutting what I need as the fire levels are different in different districts.
    With the price drop on fuel all our fuel containers are full,stabilized and dated. Every week our preps continue. But… we can’t do it all and be everything so remember to keep it all in prayer. Lean into God and give him room to work. Thanks for this great site! It’s very encouraging and helpful.

  11. Just plugging along here. I only started a fire in the mornings this week as it is starting to warm. Transplanting seedlings and starting more as we close in on the warmer weather. Having a greenhouse next year will make the world of difference.

    My son researched and bought an Osprey brand backpack that will redistribute the weight of the pack off his lower back. It came and is awesome! Not to mention the repair and replace service is forever (unless they go the way of llbean). We are out and about daily building our strength and endurance. Physical fitness and good health take priority and require quite a bit of effort and time to rebuild.

    I’ve pulled back from the internet and news a bit to spend more time in prayer, and to keep my sanity. There is so much at stake now for our country. Prayer is what I can do…and keep on keeping on. Blessed that my husband and son continue to work and are able help others.

    1. Amen PJGT,

      This week, I also spent a lot of time reading scripture, particularly Isaiah, Galatians 3-4 and the Psalms 2, 16 and others, of course.(Some of the reading was done in the canoe) Isaiah is amazing. I am concentrating on finding all of the Old Testament scriptures that relate to the coming Messiah/that allude to God’s Chosen Servant. The one whom God will use to make the new covenant (Yeshua!) Isaiah 43 is amazing, which we posted for today’s scripture reading, as well as many of the Psalms. Prayer is very important these days. We need the peace of the Lord and need to keep our eyes on Him. Let us not look at the waves, as much as we can.

      Many Blessings to you,

      Lily

      1. From Avalanche Lily’s Post: “We need the peace of the Lord and need to keep our eyes on Him. Let us not look at the waves, as much as we can.”

        There is great wisdom in this!

  12. St. Funogas! Really concerned for you regarding those kidney stones, and pray you are on the other side of this very, very soon! We’re certain that the SB community will gather together to petition the Ministry of Horticulture for the waiver of any citation they might have in process!

  13. I’m still at work, on a 6 and 1 shift, for who knows how long. They decided to go to a 6 days on, one off because of Covid-19. And your one off you’re pretty much locked down in a camp room. They are trying to keep outside contact to a minimum.

    I guess I’ll have to trust in the good lord that the preps I’ve done along the way will suffice, although the wife is continuing with the garden plans, and other things that she can get done while I’m gone.

    Yesterday our illustrious leader used the pandemic, the lack of parliament sitting, and the Nova Scotia shooting as an excuse to bring out his new gun control policy. Pretty much anything semi-automatic is now prohibited, with more to come. He sure hasn’t wasted any time setting himself up as the new “dictator for life” up here.

    This morning I got to listen to my wife break down and cry while we were on the phone. She finally had it hit her yesterday that normal will not be coming back in our lifetimes. That she may never get to be a “grandma” with a bunch of rug-rats running around at Christmas. That with the financial crunch (depression) that is sure to come, that big family get togethers are a thing of the past. That life, in the span of a couple months, has changed, and will continue to change (probably for the worse). That simple dreams that we had, only a couple months ago, are shattered. It’s a sobering and helpless feeling for a husband to go through.

    Stay safe out there people. May god protect you.

    1. What Trudeau did is maddening, isn’t it?????

      These evil men that want to take away our God-given rights, reduce our population and enslave us…..

      They, too will face the JUDGE OF THE WORLD on that Great and Fateful Day when He returns! Come Lord Jesus, come, QUICKLY! You are our vengeance! You Will have the last laugh!
      In the meantime, give us your hedge of protection against those that would seek our lives.

      1. Everything he does is maddening. He’s taken a prosperous country with a balanced budget and almost zero deficit, to the verge of economic and social collapse in just over 4 years. He has stated publicly, however; that his heroes are Fidel Castro, and China, because their systems allow you to get things done. We are on the verge, and he is pushing hard, to turn this into a “Socialist Utopia” with him as the tin-pot dictator for life.

        The attempt to enslave us is so blatant to see, and yet many are blinded. I fear for my country. I see Venezuela in our future, and I fear for my friends and family.

    2. Your wife’s sadness brought to mind one of my favorite quotes from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (spoken by Samwise Gamgee):

      “It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”

      1. MorningGlory – What a wonderful quote, and one of our favorites too. Yes… Even darkness must pass.

        Prayers lifted up also for The Lone Canadian, his wife, and their family. We’re all passing through a terribly dark time. There are moments when it hits each of us, and hard. We’re all feeling it, each in our own ways. It’s important to acknowledge those feelings, and to console and care for one another. Most of all, know that you and your family are not alone.

  14. We continue to work in the garden. All of the hardy planting is done. My indoor seedlings are doing well and we are putting them out daily to harden them off for planting. I have started many herbs in pots from seed too. This way I can bring them in for fall and winter to continue to use them throughout the year.
    I ordered two hazelnut trees for our zone and a kumquat tree. The kumquat will have to come in for the winter.
    Our state, Idaho, is in Stage One of reopening. Which really didn’t change much… I watched a video on how to cut my own hair as it was getting a bit wild. It worked out well!! Glad to know how if I need it again in the future. I have cut my husbands hair many times over the years when he couldn’t get to the barber so that was helpful.
    Our summer birds are back in full force – I love to hear their songs.
    Stay safe,
    alittlebird

    1. My sweet spouse loves to cut her big fella’s hair. Her big fella greatly appreciates it. We chat, tell each other stories, and enjoy slowing down, which is the best way to go when cutting hair. And, I look great afterward.

      Carry on in grace

      1. Once a Marine,

        I gave hubby a haircut too last week! Now if I could just get him to touch up my 3 inch roots that would be fantastic!!
        (I’m really OK with it) , I just proudly wear my American Flag bandanna over my hair now. Maybe this will be the new ladies hair trend!!

        Rock on!

  15. A.L., if you use the cattle panel and tarp make sure you fortify it at the apex with a couple of two by fours because the snow will collapse it. Voice of experience here

    1. TS, do you mean to run a 2×4 down the length of it with posts supporting it? I have thought about the cattle panel and tarp idea for a mobile goat shelter, but have worried about it collapsing. Even with our mild snows here in NC I have seen coldframes collapse from snow loads.

  16. I’ve never posted anything on prepping progress before, but my wife and I have had a busy week. We processed the last of our young buck rabbits- we had several does and bucks that we were going to process but decided to sell in order to build more cages to expand our capacity. We sold the extra rabbits, ordered the cages, and processed the remainder. I have the pelts curing at the moment, and we canned all but one rabbit. We also made 12 pints of stock from the bones and canned that as well.
    We also picked up one more New Zealand doe who is almost breeding age, and I bought six goslings to put in the pasture, since I’ve been wanting to keep some geese around for meat.

    I got all of my tomato, pepper, and tomatillo seedlings transplanted into cell packs and pots, brought home some lumber to put up an arbor for the muscadine vines, and picked up two more cases of quart jars and two cases of pint jars, along with more lids.
    Also transplanted around 150 tomato plants into 5″ pots to sell to help finance other supplies.

    It is pretty humble list of accomplishments compared to what many of you have accomplished, but I thought I’d share. And I am really enjoying hearing about everyone’s experiences with bees, that is something I am really wanting to get started with.

    1. We have seen this in our part of the country also… One shop said that they had a call into the hay supplier, and couldn’t get a return call! YIKES.

  17. …and about those aphids! Has anyone tried “Tomato Leaf Tea”? We are trying that now… It’s really very early to say much about how effective it is, but we do think we are making some headway.

    Also! We have decided to grow our own bay leaves — container tree style since we are not located in an ideal zone for the Bay Leaf Laurel. Our starter tree is a tiny little thing. We understand these are also vulnerable to aphids, and so are watching closely.

    Generally speaking, we try to grow those plants that fare well naturally in our area. We also try to focus in on a few varieties, and then grow those as bountifully as possible. Still… Now and again we experiment a little bit! The Bay Leaf Laurel is one of those endeavors. Additionally, this year we will try a Dwarf Banana. Updates on news of progress (and challenges) to follow.

    1. Hey T of A, I would love to hear how your bay tree does. Hopefully I’ll remember to ask you in a year. 🙂

      I’m trying to grow my own turmeric this year which is a tricky endeavor from what I am gathering. It’s a tropical with a long growing season so you can’t just throw them in the garden, they need to be in pots. I’ll know lots more a year from now.

      1. We are concerned about this as well.

        Reports suggest that there are increased attempts — no surprise — to steal information from our various therapeutics and preventative medicine research teams.

        Given a willingness to unleash this SARS-COV-2 and COVID-19 on the world, it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t be as or more willing to launch another attack in some form. A cyber attack is probably the more likely choice, but an EMP is always a possibility.

        Encourage your members of Congress (understanding that we all feel the frustration, and too often the futility of this) to take this threat seriously. Call attention to the dangers at hand in every constructive way possible. Bring these concerns to the forefront of public thinking (understanding that “public” and “thinking” are all too often mutually exclusive). Beyond all that we can do as individuals to prepare for disaster, there are some endeavors we must undertake as a country — and attending to our electrical grid is one of those!

        Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well everyone!

  18. We don’t have a machine shed built yet because we started from the bare ground up on our land so we improvised this winter. We acquired a gasoline tank and a diesel tank, both with pumps because we live an hours drive from any town. Anyway we didn’t want to have to dig them out of the snow when we needed to fill the tractor or side by sides. So we set up pallets, wired a cattle panel it to form a quanset hut shape and secured a tarp to it. It only took one snow (we live in North Idaho) to realize we had to fortify the panel. We took two by fours and secured them upright at the highest point on the panel, both front and back. You could get a lot more elaborate but frankly we find tarps are a pain in the elbow and don’t last for the money you spend on them. I still would take a broom out and sweep the snow off the tarp just to be safe. It worked okay but I cannot wait until we ha proper machine shed. Two people, enough work for a dozen, lol.

  19. JWR: I just found this while doing research, thought you might want to check it out. spanglercandy.com , they bought NECCO and article said they were going to start producing NECCO wafers starting fall 2019 !!! Also Lehmans Non-electric store ( Ohio) has many old time candies, they may be carrying them again.

  20. I still work 50-hours a week for my critical infrastructure employer, and I am finishing my masters degree at night, so I called an audible today. Mock me if you will, but I slept in this morning and feel refreshed and ready to face the day (thank you to my wonderful wife). The animals didn’t suffer, the garden is blissfully moist from recent rains, and the kids are occupied through this coronapocalyspe lockdown in Oregon. Today the kids and I will rake up all the fallen apple blossoms for the compost pile, repair a gutter and connect a new rain barrel, and finish securing a wire climbing matrix for the raspberries. Business as usual.
    Between work and school I run the errands out in the Contamination Zone so my family will not come in contact with the WuFlu and the panicked people. We ordered 20-lbs of beef from a local farm (keeping local companies afloat is a prime mission). Anticipating a beef, pork, and chicken false-crisis, I picked up 18-lbs of bacon, 20-lbs of chicken, and some nice roasts from the market, along with odds and ends, but otherwise we are well prepped and not stressing about feeding our family. Our kids asked why we have so much when others are ‘starving’ in our country (public education remnants), so we explained the difference between surviving and thriving. They get it, but it is hard to see the indoctrination still being exposed sometimes. We do what we must and we will not give in to the hysteria, but we also are reasonable enough to know that going out in the ‘ville is an unnecessary risk for the whole family at this point.
    I also found a cool organic farm West of us on the way to the coast and picked up some nice honey and produce. (Could this be the realm of Large Marge???). As I stated above, I encourage all on this forum to do their best to support the local operations that have been severely impacted by the unlawful and immoral government restrictions. While we all must help our own families first, we cannot forget that these other families with their farms have been our literal bread and butter for years and they deserve our support!

    Don’t let the hysteria and panic of the government translate into a disruption of your home and personal safety. Take care of yourselves and others who matter to you, and always keep the faith.

  21. I broke the law and ate in a sitdown restaurant this week. Not quite living up to my ultimate standard of being a patriot fighter against tyranny, oppression and enemies of the Constitution, but, man was the corned beef and swiss on rye pretty darn good! Even the pickle was crunchy. I was there to order a to —go meal when the owner expressed his severe frustation with the lockdown destroying his business and offered us the option of eating in. I didn’t know anyone there but we all sat down at tables and it kind of felt like we had just gotten out of prison. I’m kind of wondering if I should get a jailhouse tattoo or something since I am now a criminal.

    We continue to stock up on meat. Mainly beef, but some pork and poultry products too. The freezer we were fortunate to get ahold of has been a blessing. I am also dry canning pasta, rice, beans, sugar and salt this weekend. We are putting in a very long and narrow raised bed along a fenceline where we are putting in three types of potatoes and onions. We used to get huge yields in Washington and we will see how it turns out here in Arkansas.

    We are still preparing to move but we don’t know where. We’re waiting on God for that. I am so blessed to have a Godly woman as my wife and she is adamant we MUST be prepared to go. We’re slowly cleaning out the clutter.

    An answer to prayer – we’ve wanted a truck for a while as we sold our other two a few years ago. I’m one of those guys who balks at current truck prices (new or used). But, my wife was adamant we’re going to need one for towing a trailer when we depart so I kept my eyes open while constantly saying , “God, if you want us to have that truck then you’re going to need to drop it on our lap because I’m not going into debt for five years over this. Please help us to find something suitable!” We consider a truck or vehicle that can tow a trailer essential to our preparedness efforts.

    Well, a year later God did it. A used but really nice and super cheap F150 is now in our driveway. Needs some minor work and tires but it’s accident and rust free plus it’s in great mechanical and cosmetic shape. Bonus – it’s got a great hitch installed but was never used for towing. Sometimes all I can do is look up and say thank you!

    I am convinced a big leg down in the market is coming so we are patiently awaiting that disorderly event.

    Thank you all for sharing your progress. We learn much from tour comments and are highly encouraged.

    1. Thank you for your post. It encourages folks like me. We are in exactly the same boat. Knowing we need to move, to downsize, and have no idea where God wants us to go. And with the truck too! God dresses the grass of the field, so he knows what we need too. Keep praying. Keep listening. God bless.

  22. I saw some online sources claiming our Solar Minima is going to be ending weith the start of Solar Cycle 25, but I don’t think we are going to see effects of increasing ionization of the atmosphere. Already the weathermen are mentioning a warmer and dryer summer coming.

    April PPT was lower than normal in the Pacific NorthWest. So wetter wet, stronger strong storms/tornadoes, hotter hot summers, more insect scourges, are things I expect.

    Book of Joel Chapter 1 is what I am fearful of, and as chapter 2 stipulates, if you want these wonderful blessings,

    “….turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning, and rent your heart, and not your clothes; and turn unto the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

    Our hay crop and other cool season plants seem to be having higher increased production this year, but our temperatures are staying under 60 degrees.

    It is so strange to me now to be focused on public campaigning for office instead of working as a gray man. My work and fund allocations are totally outside what a normal resiliency-focused person does.

    This week I have been getting ready for fund raising efforts, getting myself known to people- primarily through Facebook, unfortunately- but that is where most people hang out now with all these public restrictions in place.

    I have been networking with many others engaged in the fight to return our government back to the US and State Constitutions. There have been two gatherings at the state capitol and more are planned.

    I have started posting my priorities to try to connect with other patriots and have asked the public to provide me with their feelings on these issues:

    +++++++++++++
    Reestablish resiliency, career education opportunities, rebuild business and employment, 1st and 2d amendments, Reduce tax burden, Restore property ownership, Adoption not Abortion, Citizenship voting, reverse drug and homeless slavery systems, reinstate local school board authority, restore marine ecosystem health ( by stopping the Seattle Megalopolis from dumping vast quantities of chemical-laden sewage into the ocean). In God We Trust.
    +++++++++++++++++
    Interestingly, no one has commented on any of these values to me yet. Some simply demand to know which party I affiliate myself with.

    If any of you pray for revival, I ask that you put my efforts on your long term list. We are actively engaged in a war on evil and every prayer warrior is welcomed.

    Well, time to go plant more garden.

    Have a blessed day, everyone.

    1. God speed, Wheatley Fisher! We look forward to news of your work to bring these values to the forefront of political conversation and debate, and to policy development. This is and will remain a tough fight, but there is none more worthy.

      1. Thank you. The socialist crowd is far more active on the social media than conservative resilient people, so I appreciate supporting messages even more. All prayer helps.

        During this shutdown, ekectronic warfare against evil on the Facebook battlefield is a big part.

        God Bless

  23. Have been working on the big chicken coop this week. My son has been helping and is learning a lot. The windows arrived Wednesday so will be putting them in today. I have been looking for a decent set of wood chisels but didn’t want any made in China. Was at Home Depot this week and they had a Dewalt 4 piece set that was made in England. So I bought it and the first chisel I used on a pine 2×4 has numerous nicks in the blade. I’m not happy that a piece of pine beat up my chisel so I took it back. I think I will just go with the Bucks Brothers I saw on line.
    Had to go to the chiropractor this week due to working from home. I’ve been sitting in an oak dining room chair for hours each week with no padding or ergonomics.

    Another order of replacement tool handles came in. Picked up two books one on orchards and one on Berry bushes.

    1. @ 3AD Scout

      I feel you frustration with tools. I had managed to acquire a fair number of decent older tools that I refurbished. I sold or gave away all of them when I went overseas. Now I’m having a hard time finding any that are decent. Seems that old tools on eBay are considered “antiques” and priced accordingly! My son did find 2 old small hand planes(one an old Stanley), both made in the USA, in a free-pile yesterday so I will fix those up. Recently I bought him a garden digging fork and the very first time he used it, it snapped clear through the metal at the base of the fork! Crazy. I had digging forks that lasted for decades with no problems! We need to manufacture quality tools in this country again!

      1. Ani,

        I have good luck at auctions, flea markets, estate sales, etc. wife yells at me for keeping so much white vinegar around but it takes rust off of old very well and is dirt cheap. It is amazing how some people will turn their noses up at something that is rusty but otherwise in good shape. I was fortunate enough that when my dad down sized he gave me all his tools and the tool he had gotten from my step-grandfather. Keep an eye out you will find some gems.

        1. My son found some more old Stanley hand planes(big and small ones) and a Millers Falls plane as well. He’s getting an eye for noticing this stuff in the “free piles” where he lives. They’ll all clean up nice and I’ll sharpen their blades.

  24. We are finally making progress. We bought 5 acres last year that was heavily treed. After a year of hard work we are now preparing the ground for our garden and fruit orchard.

    With all the trees that were cut down we are nicely stocked with firewood for several years to come.

    We added more chicks for additional eggs for neighbors who are experiencing sticker shock at the store. Just started an addition for our meat rabbitry. We also have cleared some land (still needs some work) to add some dairy goats and seasonal pigs.

    I am preaching tomorrow on our heavenly citizenship (Philippians 3:20,21). It has been a good week.

    We also have a litter of labs that is 2 weeks old and another coming in 4 weeks.

    We continue to make weekly progress toward our longterm goals. Sometimes what needs to get done can be daunting, but it is quite rewarding.

  25. The past week has been semi productive. Spend the previous two weeks recovering from a back injury.

    Got my chickens living in their coop and they are much happier. I’ve noticed a skunk has been visiting the yard every evening. Need to tighten security tomorrow morning. The garden is really starting to sprout. Might need to resow a few crops that just haven’t taken. If the Midwest is done with the frost, I may plant the corn this week.

    Just heard that my bees still have not arrived. I fear they may be dead by the time I get them. I’m really hoping that’s not the case.

    Almost done chopping and stacking enough wood for the next two years.

    Made a list of more pantry items. Tomorrow may be a restock day. The locals really want to open up this economy. I feel it may be too soon. A second wave of flu cases is bound to spring up. I don’t want to take any chances.

    1. Hi there,
      I read that article! Is so weird that we everyone was sharing advice, Ect on beekeeping and this article pops up

      They look really scary

      Have a Rockin great day

      1. We thought so too… Protecting pollinators is a critically important endeavor. We kept bees in the past first and foremost to protect colonies. We anticipate doing this again, and soon. If we lose our pollinators, the planet will starve. It’s just that serious.

        We anticipate the arrival next of our leaf-cutter bees which are housed in our greenhouse, and they do very, very well in that environment. Since they are not territorial and are not aggressive, they do really well in an enclosed growing area. We did try Mason bees, but did not have the same success with them.

        This is another important topic of conversation for all of us at the SB!

  26. What a week. Zoom! Lots of work in the greenhouse. Still having freezes at my elevation in Idaho, so chomping at the bit to get my “deck garden” going. Babysat some burn piles this week, lots of spring cleaning, and in the middle of it decided to paint inside the house. There’s just something about clean and organized that helps my mind relax, altho my body is sooooo sore.

    I realized my food storage “system” was no system at all, so I’ve ordered bins since I can’t seem to find any more food grade buckets at a reasonable price where the shipping cost is low or free. I’m seeing a large increase in shipping costs, so I’m glad to be ahead of the curve storage wise. I’m pretty much done with the additional stocking up.

    Well, I got a bee in my bonnet to get a German Shepherd. I’m a long time GSD owner, but after the last one passed, I couldn’t bring myself to do it again for awhile. It’s a ton of work, not just the training and exercise, but the cleaning up afterwards since I’m, unfortunately, a “clean freak”. Although, the companionship and joy a good dog brings me outweighs everything else.

    Went out to run errands yesterday, and I can report that in the middle of nowheresville Idaho, stores have opened, the locals are getting into the swing of things, the stores are well stocked, etc. The only thing we’re missing is the tourists and second home owners. That will start up soon enough. I’m just happy to be ahead of the curve so if need be, I can hunker down again.

    There was one thing that really bothered me this week and I know it’s silly. On another blog that I frequent, one of the posters was irritated by an older couple in the line in front of her that had 3 grocery carts full. She said she had to leave the store and let her husband do the check out because she was so “disgusted” by the “hoarders”. I replied to her comment, stating that maybe, just maybe, this couple was purchasing for church family that had lost their jobs due to the shutdown, maybe this couple only goes out to shop once or twice a year, maybe this couple ran a board and care facility or a food program for Seniors and shut-ins. I should’ve ignored the comments, but I just couldn’t help myself, lol. It was instructive to me because there are still people out there in conservative circles, even in the middle of this financial crisis, who eschew/look down on/despise/etc anyone who purchases in bulk. In my view, these are the most dangerous kinds of people to our liberty, and they are among us. OPSEC.

    1. I just KNEW I liked you!! I am a long time GSD owner too. Losing my last one was just too much and I haven’t been able to bring myself to get another – yet. As for messy, they are “German Shedders” for a reason, aren’t they? I used to go through the house with a swiffer twice a day to pick up all the fur on the floor! My last one came to me through a German Shepherd Rescue organization and was by far the best dog I have ever had. Sending a prayer that the right dog gets paired up with you, and what a lucky dog that will be! 🙂

      1. Awe thanks Grits! Yeah, that last one crossing the rainbow bridge seemed too hard. I bawled my head off, and I still tear up thinking about it. Half a dozen GSD’s in my extended family too, so we’re all in the same love-fest boat. I’m ashamed to admit that I have as many dog pictures on my phone as the grandchildren. I actually chopped and cooked up some pork belly for “treats”. HAHAHAHAHA. Like, who does that?? Sigh… I’m hopeless. Thanks for the thoughts and prayer! I need it.
        P.S. I have cream colored carpet. LOL.

        1. My apologies for the late reply, but I’m normally a day or two behind on my reading. My family has worked with a German Shepherd rescue organization for many years, fostering and helping find homes for Sheps. Of our three dogs, one is a Shep, one’s a Belgian Malinois, and our newest is a Catahoula pup. None are purebred, and all came through rescues. If shedding is a significant problem for you…I know we have to brush our Shep out at least once a week during the warm months…you may want to look into a Mal. They shed much less, are a bit smaller, and are less prone to hip problems. That being said, they are NOT for novice dog owners, as they are highly energetic and intelligent with a strong work drive. However, given the right training, they make an outstanding guard dog, especially for rural areas with livestock. Although bred as herders, like their GSD cousins, they can be very protective of their “pack”, including livestock. Either way, prayers that you’ll find the right canine companion. A homestead just isn’t a homestead without a dog.

          1. Thanks for the note! Ahh, yes, one of my family members has a Mal, but he’s a working dog in law enforcement. Sweet as a butter cup when home with the family, terrifying when he’s working. I picked up my GSD rescue a couple of days ago. He looks like he might have some Husky in him. Big, powerful, furry, and the sweetest boy ever. I’m really happy with him. He was in a shelter, marked for kill, when he was rescued (marked as a biter). His only issue is “what’s his is his” LOL. He’s incredibly responsive and I’ve mostly just reinforced (with a soft, firm, voice and body language) the desired behavior. All he wants to do now is please. He’s a keeper. Thank the Lord for all the people who rescue these precious animals. I give them all the credit for getting this dog to where he is now, so he can be loved in his forever home.

  27. The garden continues to come along fairly well. I’ve been enjoying spinach from the garden and “windowsill Romaine” in my salads this week. This week I cooked down some beef bones, resulting in a bit of meat scraps for dogs and 4 pints of stock and a quart of beef fat for us. My son took delivery of a Remington 700, as PSA was running an excellent deal on them and he wants to take up deer hunting this fall. His girlfriend’s family has offered to help teach him, since that is not a skill in my toolbox. We also spent some time cutting up some fallen trees into 16” lengths, many of which to be split later, for firewood this winter. And of course, my ongoing war against thorn vines and scrub oak continues.

  28. I understand the love of GSD. We got an Akita. She is wonderful in so many ways. We are older, 67, & 68, so getting another dog was a major decision. After a year of discussions, decided to get a dog. Had cocker spaniel, a white GSD, in the past. Our Akita is the best. She only sheds twice a year, but when she does there has to be puppy there someplace. Never needs grooming even for her nails. Loves the cold, Stays outside all winter in northern Ohio. Only barks when necessary, when she does you better check. Last night at 2am, she wouldn’t stop barking.. husband checked.. a beaver was in the yard, that she was battling. He shot the beaver. She protects the property and the grandkids who live across the driveway. She has 18 acres enclosed by electronic fence. I have seen her escort the 3 year old granddaughter on her bike, up and down the long driveway never leaving her side. I have also seen her pull the sleeve of the 2 year old grandson who was told to stay in the sandbox and had walked about 10 feet away, the Akita wouldn’t let him go any further. So smart. Akita’s can be stubborn, but usually for a reason, but can be trained, absolutely need training. They love to play with the goats, beef cattle and pigs, but are deadly on any chickens who get loose. Always go with you as you go out to do chores. While GSD attack head on, I believe Akita will stealthily, quietly, attack the bad guy, animal from the back. Best dog we ever had.

  29. Well, I have enjoyed reading yer posts. Although I have to tell ya, dog food to feed the coons is out of my league. (Unless you are baiting a live trap). Around here coons are to be hunted with dogs, they are the ones who manipulate the catches on yer feed bins, and manipulate the catches on yer chicken coop, strip yer corn crop. Nothing but trouble! Guess they must be better behaved up north. Garden wise, we have most out, potatoes, onions, garlic, strawberries, lettuce, spinach, squash, zucchini, beans, peas, cukes, Brussel sprouts, plus the usual asparagus, and rhubarb, plus my wife’s herbs. Tomatoes and melons still in the green house, will plant those in a week or so. We have enjoyed the GSD over the years, but currently have a rottweiler, and some others which are serving us well, not as sharp as the Akita as mentioned. Not sure I have ever seen an Akita dog, had to ask my wife what it was… Turkey hunted this week, did some shooting, some work on the farm, more fence to fix! Picked up more fuel like ya’ll mentioned due to the low prices. Good to hear from ya’ll in the time of the Kung fu Flu (with few cases and zero deaths in our county). It is nice to know that life goes on in God’s country.

  30. I have most everything planted in the garden except for the herbs. That is on the schedule fo this week. DH cut down some terrain and grubbed out a few mesquites and cedars so I can prepare a separate garden for corn. Our son is planning to come up this weekend, first time since the lockdown, which means I will have some muscle to help dress it and fence it before amending the soil and laying down hay for mulch. We are fencing all the gardens with t-posts and cattle panels to protect them from the hogs, mostly. I think it is also discouraging the deer but since not much has grown yet, it’s hard to tell.

    The potatoes are starting to pop up above the hay mulch and a few pea plants, too. The garlic and some of the onions are also coming up. I am still waiting for the root vegetables, zucchinis, cukes, tomatoes and lettuces to come up. We have already had temperatures in the 90s and we haven’t had any rain in a few weeks so I am having to water the garden every day. I ordered some additional soaker hoses for delivery so that I can hook them up to the timer and the garden can get watered automatically – at least, that’s the plan.

    I finally found a MacIntosh apple tree for sale the other day. I have been trying to find one for two years now. I was smiling for the rest of the day. It is really quite large, about 6′ tall. It was interesting trying to get it into my car the other day. Luckily, a gentleman in the parking lot saw me pondering the situation and offered his assistance. DH took the back hoe down to the orchard today and dug a hole for it. I will have him help me get the tree down there and get it planted in the next day or so.

    We have been invaded by moths for the past week (better than last year’s grasshoppers!) but they seem to be fewer today than Friday, so hopefully they will move on. It has been entertaining to watch one of the cats hunting them in the bedroom window during daylight hours but annoying at 3 in the morning.

    The “prepping practice” (aka “the lockdown”) for the past 2 months or so has been a minor inconvenience for us. But, just to keep us on our toes, the universe decided we needed some more “prepping practice,” so… Saturday morning, we lost our water supply. Apparently, the water authority had a system failure and a major line break both happen on Friday night. They spent 2 1/2 days trying to find the break. On Monday afternoon, they had it narrowed down to a 1-mile stretch of pipe. Fortunately, we have 2 operating wells at the ranch so it was just a matter of referring back to our primitive camping experience for three days, and filling and transporting various containers with well water for flushing and hand- and dishwashing. The only problem with the well water here is that it is not considered potable for humans, being full of dissolved gypsum. But we had enough clean water in the Berkey and Zero Water filters and a bunch of bottles of not-yet-filtered tap water that we keep in the kitchen for emergencies plus the bottles of tap water that I keep at the guest house for drinking and watering plants. The water came back on last night (Monday) but got shut off again this morning (Tuesday). When we came back into the house this evening, we were both pleasantly surprised to find it was working again. It felt really good to finally get a hot shower! If the water remains up and running tomorrow, we will go ahead and empty the buckets and water jugs that are still in standby mode, sitting in the bathtubs, available for flushing toilets. And I was able to get laundry done tonight. The dishwasher will get turned on before I go to bed. I’m not really spoiled, I just like having a “sanitize” setting on the dishwasher, especially these days.

    I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Enjoy the spring weather if you have it. I am afraid our spring has sprung and we are already into summer. 103 degrees yesterday! What happened to April?

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