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:

Another quiet week here, out-of-state.  While staying with my elderly relative, I’ve been helping with some yard work, including removing a small dead tree. Since this is in a suburb, all the branches must be laboriously cut up and put in a rolling bin green marked “ORGANICS”, for disposal. (For a fee.) So that will probably take three or more weeks (with weekly collections) to get all of that off the property.  Whenever I visit the suburbs, and have to play these “multiple bins of different colors” recycling games, I find it aggravating.

I can see now that I am spoiled, living at the Rawles Ranch. There, for eight months of the year,I can burn anything that I want, and whenever I want, without having to ask “Mother May I?” of a county official. By the way, I’ve only requested an out-of-season burn permit once, by phone, and that resulted a summary telephonic okey-dokey. The call took all of two minutes. When I called the county office, I told them that I had a just 6-foot tall and 20-foot long slash pile in a safe spot, and that it had been hand-piled. The reply:  “Okay, you have our approval.” Why was this so quick and easy? We don’t do “government” much, in our corner of the American Redoubt. Good ol’ common sense and consideration for the safety of neighbors are the guiding principles. That modest scale of government does not require many rules, permits, regulations, inspections, 8″-by-10″ glossy photos, fees, hearings, variances, or completion of Form 27 Stroke B, in triplicate.

Now, over to Lily…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

Hag Sameach Rosh Hashana!

Keep in mind that none of the following is to be considered a prophetic word from God. It is conjectural. At the Sixth Trump at Rosh Hashana or during the Ten Days of Awe leading to Yom Kippur, Jesus Christ will be returning in the Clouds of Heaven (Daniel 7:13-14) most likely around the sixth year of the Seven Year Great Tribulation. Based on the study that we have done, this may begin on Yom Kippur next year: 2021. At that time, Bible prophecy tells us that when the many nations will “confirm the covenant” with Israel. Israel turns eighty in 2028.  Subtract seven and you arrive at 2021. I believe that our God has set appointed times and that His numbers are exact. Matthew 24 states that the generation that sees the blossoming of the Fig tree will not all pass away before Jesus returns.  The nation of Israel is the Fig tree and was established in 1948. The book of Psalms states that “a generation is seventy years and eighty if there be strength.”  Those born in 1948 will be eighty years old in 2028.  Some of that generation will live to see the return of Jesus the Messiah come in the clouds.

The “messiah” that shows up in the next year or so, and brokers the peace deal/confirms it between Israel and the Palestinians and all of the other nations; “Confirms the covenant with many,” Also found in Daniel, is the antichrist and he will be very bad news for Christians, immediately, and for the Jewish people shortly afterward.  He will cause the third temple to be built in Jerusalem.  He will make everyone take his ‘Mark”. I suspect this will be in the form of a vaccine with a Quantum dot digital bio-certificate. Without  The Mark one cannot buy or sell or travel or work, or get medical help. The antichrist will go into the Temple around the three and a half year mark and will demand that the sacrifices be stopped and will then demand everyone to worship him.  He is indwelled by Satan. Satan wants to be worshipped by all of GOD’s creation.  If you take His Mark, to eat bread, and worship him, then there is no help for you,  You have sealed your own fate, eternally.

Coincidentally, in the news: Another vaccine warning.

The SMOKE

The smoke from the wildfires to our west and south have made our area so smoky and cool.  The smoke really hinders the heat of the sun.  It has been been awful!

For the past five days the particulates in the air have been deemed at levels considered to be hazardous and very unhealthy.  The first few days, I did do some outside work, mowing and cleaning up garden beds, but the past few days I’ve stayed mostly in the house, preserving some foods and deep cleaning and organizing the cupboards in the laundry room, scrubbed floors, washed the refrigerator, reorganized a few kitchen cupboards, and (lately) a “catch-all” canning and food preservation-supplies-corner of the kitchen. I’ve only been out to feed the beasties and to rotate sprinklers around our house and outbuildings to dampen the soil and vegetation, just in case, God-forbid that a fire gets started near us.

I should mention that our house has been feeling out of my control, lately. But finally, with this cleaning and organizing and getting some of these foods preserved, I feel like I’ve gotten it mostly back under control this week.

On Friday morning, the girls and I moved five small slash piles to add them to our much larger slash piles for burning once the good rains come this fall.  We also did a little bit of limbing of dead branches off of the lower sections of some trees.

Preserving

I froze and dehydrated a massive amount of zucchini, this week, from my gardens.

I took delivery of an order for a case of cabbages which I mostly dehydrated and also froze two gallons worth. I’m still harvesting a few more cabbages from our own garden, but I wanted more.

Also with that order we received twenty-five pounds of carrots that I am also working on dehydrating

I juiced and froze a whole watermelon in ice cubes and half pint jars, for future drinks and smoothies.

The last of the cucumbers from the garden were juiced and frozen.

The harvested green tomatoes are beginning to ripen in the living room and need to be processed in different ways in the coming week. I spent some time going through seven tote bins of them, sorting them from the ones that are going bad, and rinsing them.

I’ve pulled out my seed totes to re-organize them in this coming week. I also am planning on planting some items in my herb garden and still need to get some seeds sown in the greenhouse for our fall/winter garden.

Book Reading

One evening this week I read late into the night. I was reading the newly-published romance novel by Patrice Lewis (of the Rural Revolution blog). It is titled The “The Amish Newcomer” and enjoyed it very much.  Now let me say, I do not usually read much fiction, nor romances. I prefer to spend my reading time with real-life events. But this book was super sweet. I smiled throughout it and was sad when I reached the end of the story, because I would have liked it to continue.

I loved Patrice’s descriptions of life in an Amish family,  their relationships with God, their family, their community; their work on the farm, the natural beauty of their surroundings;  their small businesses. I loved her descriptions of how a city girl viewed their country life, her wonders of the discovery of things previously unknown. I felt like I was actually there with them. The story struck an emotional chord deep within me.  As I said it is a very sweet, clean romance. It had a lot of information about being self-sufficient in a community that shares the same beliefs and values and living off-grid. I highly recommend that if you have a few hours to spare, get Patrice’s book, a cuppa something to sip, and curl up in a cozy chair and immerse yourself in this sweet world.

Kittens

Oh!  Those kittens!  They’re “Purr Balls!” The kittens, M and M are growing so fast.  They are so sweet.  The male is so earnest when he greets me in the morning or if I leave the house for a few hours and return.  He sits at my feet looks right in my eyes and meows until I pick him up and give him a warm hug.  He just warms my heart.  Those kittens, they are so hysterically funny at night.  They tear around the living room chasing each other, jumping from the back of the chairs to the next chair and then over to the couch.  We have a sitting bench in our living room covered with a silky sheet that hangs down to the floor.  One kitten will run behind the sheet while the other chases it from the outside. Then, when one kitten is on one side of the room and the other kitten on the other side of the room, they will all of a sudden charge each other simultaneously and leap very, very high into the air at each other make contact hit the ground and run away from each other. They are so entertaining!

Those kittens, they are so alert and aware of everything.  It’s super fun to show them new items and watch their reactions to it.  This week, Miss Violet and I, took them for a walk around the ranch while holding them.  They were very content to be safely in our arms while on the walk.  They watched everything and craned their necks often to see things better: Red squirrels, Turkey, Stellar jay. We watched them closely to see what had caught their interest, what they were looking at. Then we would walk to it to let them look closer at it or to sniff it. We introduced them to all of the animals around the ranch. We showed them the boundary lines and took the long stroll out to the county road to introduce them to some moving cars.  Thank God they had the appropriate response of wanting to run away from them.  They climbed up our necks/my throat.  And I, in particular, have the scratches to prove it!  😉  But as soon as the cars were gone they relaxed again in our arms.  Sometimes they would sniff our noses for reassurance and we’d hug them and kiss them on their foreheads and snuggle them and they’d relax again.  They really trust us. It’s amazing.

Two of our other cats followed along with us. It was fun to watch the kittens observe the older cats behavior in the woods. Our older cats slink around the trees and are very circumspect.   Each time we passed under a low branch they had to play with it. The kittens also observe the older cats going in and out the doors.  So I surmise that they understand that if they want out, they just need to sit by the door and meow — and vice versa.

I took them out a couple of times and made sure they saw the other ways to enter the house, through the garage door or the garden door.  Wherever we walked, I would make a beeline back to the house, to orient them to the location of the house from wherever we were on the ranch.  We will continue holding them on walks for another month to orient them to the ranch’s boundaries and location of all buildings, animals and other hazards, until they are neutered.  Once they are neutered, we will let them go outside and walk around while supervised.  Then later they will be free to come and go as they please. Those kittens!  😉

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles




78 Comments

  1. We too have kittens in our home. Five of them, bottle fed since only a couple of weeks old and very comfortable in our home. We are fostering them for a rescue. One in particular will be very difficult for me to see go to new owners. She is smart, affectionate and hunts me down when I get home to take a nap on my lap. Unfortunately we already have four cats with wierd personalities that I barely tolerate – so we can’t keep any more. Kittens are not in great demand in our area. People want the cute little pit puppies though.

    On the prepping stuff –

    1. Closed the deal on an older rifle, 1970’s Ruger Hawkeye in like new condition. I am tempted to put it aside as a safe queen. I wasn’t going to buy it at first due to it being chambered for 25-06 ammo, but after studying the round’s performance and finding that there is plenty on the shelves I bought the gun. My kind of deal – low price, high quality.

    2. We are doing some canning this weekend. Still working on beef stew variant recipes and I have a tough time keeping the quart jars on the shelves as everyone likes them. Chicken is ok in the same recipes but comes out dryer (even though it is immersed in liquid). We are trying to figure out how to keep it moist. We are going to try thin strips of chicken instead of chunks this time and add a little bacon fat to the chicken before we add to the jar for processing. The butter we pressure canned last month is holding up well. Getting lids is hit or miss locally so I have to place an order.

    3. We have some staples on our list: Rice, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, canned sauces, canned soups, vegetables, refried beans, corned beef hash. Dry goods include pastas and cereals. Beef prices have dropped 20% off their recent highs and are only slighlty above pre-covid pricing. All of this is on our shopping list this weekend.

    4. I have a long loop to travel for work in the next couple of weeks to do maintenance inspections for our store chain. TN, AL, FL, LA, AR. I plan to stop at Costco, Sams Club and restaurant supply stores to look for deals.

    5. We’ve found a house and property in Missouri we really like. We’re ready to put in an offer – includes two tractors, greenhouse and a bunch of hobby farm equipment. Having a really tough time getting details from the county on uncapping a well. No well is a deal breaker for us. I’ve been told by the county water company their board will block any application to uncap a well, but DNR says they may not have much choice if we are engaged in agricultural business on any level. The last thing I want is a legal battle so we are trying to get stuff in writing before we move ahead. My wife has mentioned just up and moving back to Washington or Idaho but thats tough to when you’ve got a great job with a solid company. I was surprised to hear her say this.

    Son #2 is home and job hunting. He is getting interest from Ford and diesel shops, but has a possible offer brewing for a large national payment processing company to repair equipment at a significantly higher starting pay. Son #1 is wrapping up certifications in his aviation technology program and is now starting to realize why we were advising him to start the job hunt early. Daughter #1 is now allowed to travel off campus at her college on Saturdays only but cannot go into stores or restaurants (really? REALLY?). The college has a great reputation but she is seriously thinking about not returning in the spring. Daughter #2 is attending a local community college and doing great.

    We have looked at joining prepper.net to establish an online network of likeminded people living in areas we are interested in moving to. Does anyone have any experience with the site? We would be using approriate opsec while on that site.

    1. Re: Beef Stew variants and moist chicken.
      A favorite of our family that lends itself well to canning is ‘Ranger Stew’ (named so because my mom used to serve vats of it to my dad’s WW2 Ranger buddies. Same ingredients as most beef stews, but tomato base is enhanced with brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar and mustard. A sweet and sour variation.
      About your chicken being dry: for most of our chicken canning, we use chicken thighs – they are very flavorful and stay very tender and moist. We strip the skin off, but leave the bone in, since it slips right out upon opening the jar. Good luck!

    2. This probably varies by state, but we were able to make an offer on a house, locking us in so no one else could offer, and then use the due diligence period to look into all the specifics. We uncovered some abnormalities and a few places where the seller’s disclosure was not accurate, so we were able to extend the due diligence period several times while the seller worked some things out. In our expereince, when the seller can see the money on the table, they are often more willing to help you resolve issues with the county health department or other third parties. We also consulted a real estate attorney and found it quite helpful.

  2. Well I’ve sold my house in the city. Currently looking for something a little more rural. We got our first frost this morning. The day job is slowing down to about 65 hours a week rather than the 80 I’ve been doing for the past two months. Prepwise we have been canning jars of apple butter and salsa. Also planting garlic now for next year. I plan to knockout most of my debt with the sale of the house. Really hoping for a fresh new start by the end of the year.

  3. I have been feeling down this week, even with scripture study and prayer. I again tuned out all politics and focused on increasing my spiritual meditation. I happened on to a podcast which greatly lifted my spirit and thus my mood and determination, so I am sharing this link in hopes that it may lift others also; BardsFM Ep 130-Hold the Line, https://youtu.be/PhYGoHzXdh8 (the first 3 minutes are intro and site ads, but rest is very good)

    This week summer left and we entered fall; day time temperatures dropped 10 in the day and 15 at night; which is great for the volunteer lettuce sprouting in the kitchen garden. Spent a couple of hours going thru boxes, throwing out/donating stuff I won’t ever use again and cleared out a 4-shelf unit and 3 shelves in a book case. Going to be moving items from one room to another and from shelf to shelf to try and organize like items. It’s an on-going process!

    In the past I have put up my veges from my garden so I had a small amount of store-bought cans, mostly convenience staples. However, this summer I decided I needed to add more can goods and as a result I don’t have enough space to put them. I have some clear storage boxes which will give more space than is on the shelf, which will hold around 50-60 cans. I made a couple of organizers from can containers, but they are too long for my cabinets and they only hold one row of regular vege cans. I can use them on the shelving I cleared out but they’re not as useful as I thought they would be. I’m careful how I open the warehouse canned vege boxes so I can stand them on their sides and reuse them for organizers. I found some plastic book organizers to try out, but they only hold the smaller aldi-size cans. Now I’m checking out smaller amazon shipping boxes to see if I can convert them to organizers.

    Put up 50 pd of popping corn, 25 pd yellow corn meal and 25 pd of steelcut pinhead oats in mylar bags inside buckets with gamma lids. Put 125 pds of various types of rice into buckets and stowed them away. Ran out of gamma lids and had to order a dozen from Tractor Supply; they came in three days! Now I can finish up the last 4 bags from the supply trip.

    Pickled some jalapeno peppers, prepared fresh sweet corn on the cob for freezing and canned collard greens. Pickled some broccoli. A friend gave me a 28 pd watermelon which all enjoyed. I juiced part, cleaned and saved the seeds and cut the rinds for rabbits, pigs and chickens.

    I have 7 pds of organic carrots and 20 pds of chicken waiting to be processed today.

    Each evening after cleaning the kitchen I bring out the seeds and continue to organize them. I put all the older seeds in one of the new organizers. Hopefully I can get the remainder of the packet seeds labeled tonight. Next week I want to finish the bagged/poundage seeds, which I still need to storage containers for.

    My son inspected one of our older metal out-buildings which has electric power; stopped a water drip in one corner and checked for any wood rot in the flooring. Went to measure the interior of the building to add shelving and found the wall and roof studs were non-standard, so need to make a list of what we need of 2x4s to fill-in and support the building. Will add some hurricane supports to help stabilize the roof and some insulation to level out the temperature variation inside. Need to get this ordered and picked up now; but it will be a winter work project.

    Had a good size branch fall off a large oak tree over-hanging our vehicle pole barn. Put a big dent in one corner and knocked loose one end of the gutter that fills our water catchment barrels. We were blessed it came straight down now rather than during a high wind as it could have done some severe damage to the pump house and maybe a vehicle if a wind tossed it around.

    I listened to the Health Ranger podcast on “Will God Save America?” (https://www.brighteon.com/1ebe15e6-21f7-4924-bba9-b017bba0b49c) Paul warned in 2 Tim 3:12, in the latter days (our days), those who diligently follow the Lord shall suffer persecution. While this persecution is just beginning, already I see it crushing some into silence and weakness while others are motivated to be more courageous and take a stand for God. While I individually have no influence, power or authority, I can pray, study the scriptures, and work towards improved spiritual health. I salute Ms Lily as she demonstrates her faith and encourages others. My prayers for each of you.

    May your week be safe and productive.

    1. A significant part of my prepping is teaching others important skills. To that eend, I gave a two-hour workshop on food dehydration to a local garden club.

      They generously gave me an honorarium for my effort. I would have, as many times past, offered it gratis. Any opportuni9ty to help others prepare for what is coming is a blessing to me.

      Carry on in grace

  4. We were able to get our chest freezer from the box store after waiting over six months to get it. We also have fall garden transplants, zucchini, squash and cabbage, which will go into the garden for a late harvest. We also have beets, radishes, turnips and carrots that have been in the ground for two weeks. There are also tomatoes and green beans that need to be picked and canned this coming week. Made a run to the local sporting goods store and picked up more 9 mm and 12 gauge ammo. This store seems to be getting shipments in greater quantities but it is very random on when they get the shipment. We also have more firewood to be cut and split before the winter heating season starts. I always cut our wood a year ahead of when we use it to give it plenty of time to dry down. We have 6 ash & hickory trees that still need to be made ready.
    Everyone stay safe. Prayers for all of those being impacted by the wildfires, the hurricanes and the ongoing violence.

  5. Worked on getting barn cleaned up and stuff put away so I can park two vehicles inside for the winter. Seems like I get the barn semi-organized and then poof, it’s a mess again. My never ending prep! Worked on the grain bin a little bit more. Wife and I finished canning the last of the tomatoes. Dug up the potatoes (I think I got back what I planted, is that possible?) Started bucking the wood poles for firewood. The Stihl saw is much heavier than my old saw so I count sawing wood as a workout now too. Ordered some fish antibiotics for my poor sick fish. Received another set of flip up sights for an AR in the mail. Wife ordered another case of TP that was delivered to the house. Put 500 rds of 5.56 into stripper clips and bandoliers.

    I don’t like what I’m seeing, hearing, reading so I decided Wednesday night that I am going to start my “Last Minute Preps” NOW in earnest. I think the closer we get to Election Day the more and more people will come to the conclusion that they will need food and supplies put up. Sort of like February or March of this year when many came to the same conclusion. Equipment and supplies purchases included: numerous small drill bits (you know the ones that always seem to snap). two 100’ coils of small diameter vinyl tubing, some spare sockets and various size nuts on clearance. Purchased a new Stihl MS391 chainsaw with extra bar and chains. Stopped off at the dollar store and picked up 3 knit hats with fleece lining, an armful of hard candy for storage, A&D cream, Hydrocortisone cream and athlete’s foot cream. Was able to pick up 400 rounds of .223 ammo as well as a box of 20 ga shells. Went to Aldi’s and picked up 12 cans of chicken, 6 can of tuna in oil, and 2 pounds of sugar.

    1. Buying athlete’s foot creme is a good idea. Most stores are JIT delivery and don’t stock much. I rarely get any kind of fungal infection, but with heavy travel and staying in hotels the risk is higher. You can be in extreme discomfort with a routine case of athletes foot, and in agony with some of the rarer stuff out there if it gets into a nail bed or into your underwear region. All you need is one visitor to bring it into your home. Adding spray and ointment to my list.

      1. Another thing if you end up with a fungal or bacterial infection on your feet, you can soak them in a tub of water with bleach. You can look up the correct amount of bleach, I just pour some in until it seems about right, based on experience. Just don’t put too much bleach or you’ll get a painful chemical burn for a few days. Soak your feet in the solution for 20 minutes at a time, once a week. It’ll get rid of pretty much any of the nasty stuff on your feet.

        Also, the Costco in Greensboro, NC had plenty of copies of Mr. Rawles’ new book. I asked a family member to look for me and pick one up.

      2. Yes! My fave is 88 cents at WMart. They make you search for it, but it’s the exact same active ingredient in a generous tube for far less. Just as effective. Don’t we love a bargain?!

  6. I finished splitting the red oak this week. It really puts hair on your chest so ladies, I suggest you either leave it to your husbands or you stick with pine and fir. By the time I got it all split and loaded up in the truck, I had to stop and get a chest wax before I could stack it. My poor old F-150 was straining under the weight as we moved 500 feet to the woodpile and kept asking, “Are we there yet?” I had planned on saving the largest piece of oak to replace the rotting one my anvil sits on but cerebrally flatulized it and forgot until it was all split. Nuts!

    My wood stove has an inner box and an outer box so air can be blown between the two layers and out the top. With the blower on, it heats the house in 15 minutes. The inner box had a 5″ long crack in it so I repaired it with high-temperature muffler epoxy. It could use a new grate so I’ll keep my eyes peeled at the auctions for something that will work. I can’t believe we’re almost to heating season already. I should probably stock up on some extra chimney pipe. With the humidity it rusts right above the stove and probably won’t last the rest of my born days and in a TEOTWAWKI situation, would be hard to come by.

    I took the 3 x 5 card off the wood stove that said “clean chimney” and replaced it with one that said, “Cleaned 9/13″ since I won’t remember in six weeks when heating season starts. I clean the chimney twice a year (before using it in the fall and once mid winter) so I can rest easier. There’s never any creosote, just lots of soot. It was very humid while I was brushing the chimney and the hot metal roof wasn’t helping any. Luckily, No BLM or SJW roving hordes were cruising past. By the time I finished I had so much sweat and soot on my face and arms I looked like Al Jolson’s great grandson moments away from taking home the gold in the blackface competition.

    On two different days this week hummingbirds got stuck in my shop again. They fly in then spend a long time bumping against the skylight trying to get back out. I can climb up into the loft, reach up and take a hold of them, then let them out the window. They’re fun to look at up close and personal. A third one came in later in the week when I was finishing up two new drawers in my shop. He hovered there for about five seconds watching me, I was sure he was going to give me his opinion on the handles I was putting on. I wasn’t crazy about the either.

    As I was in the well house looking up at the rafters for a place to run some wiring, there was a 4-foot long blacksnake up there. No idea how he climbed that high but I told him I’d leave him alone up there if he promised to catch Pete the pack rat. Pete has been eluding my trap for months. Last week I even wrapped some zucchini in cellophane and attached it to the hair trigger, which is a piece of ¾” galvanized pipe sticking down through the roof, and he still managed to get it off without tripping the door, making off with both the cellophane and the zucchini. This time I peeled an apple and stuck the trip bar right down through the middle of it. The next morning when I checked the door was down, and there was Pete with his big Mickey Mouse ears and white paws looking defeated inside the trap. I didn’t have the heart to kill such a worthy opponent so I took him across the river, gave him a week’s rations, wished him godspeed, and let him go. I told the cat to scratch “catch pack rats” off his résumé.

    I froze 10 lbs of apples. Peeled, sliced, and ready for cobbler and apple pies this winter.

    I’ve continued to stock up on clothes. I bought some of the Walmart-brand jeans. They were a fantastic buy at only $11/pair compared to 501’s at $40/pair, and how bad could they be? I’ll tell you how bad! If you have them cinched up normally with a belt, the crotch is closer to your knees than anything else, and it’s darn difficult to walk that way. It cut my work efficiency 50%, the other 50% of my day was spent pulling my pants up. If you hike them up so the crotch is in the neighborhood of your manly parts where it belongs, then the waist is just under your armpits and I look like a major geriatric shuffling down to the bingo game on the Princess cruise. If I cinch my belt up as tight as possible then my kidneys start screaming. Whichever one screams the loudest is going to get auctioned off so I can buy some 501’s. Never again. It’s time to send a strongly-worded letter to Sam Walton. This prepping stuff isn’t for sissies!

    I’m off to the auction, everyone have a great week!

    1. You crack me up St Funogas! Chest wax? That must have hurt like crazy. I’d say you are one strong man, but your softer side showed when you let your “worthy opponent” Pete go unharmed. Fortunately, I now know better than to have any food or drink around when reading this blog.

      1. I think I’d buy a log splitter before getting a chest wax….ouch!

        Great post!

        I’m envisioning a novel of Short stories, sort of a Craig Boddington meets Larry Potterfield, documenting the great struggles and hunts of St. Funogas against the homestead vermin.

      1. Hey PJGT, glad I could brighten your day a little. Sounds like you’re facing some pretty rough times. I wish you the best dealing with the insurance company and your surgery. Rest assured there are plenty of us heathens pulling for you even though we don’t express it as eloquently as others. Hang in there! 🙂

    2. St Funogas – I put my comment on earlier ,before I started reading everyone’s comments, so I hadn’t yet read this comment. Every week, I learn much from your ‘exploits’ and as always, your humor makes this crazy world a whole lot more fun to navigate. As always, thanks for sharing your humor and knowledge!

    3. St. Funogas,

      Regarding your rusty chimney pipe. I would seriously consider getting stainless steel stove pipe instead of the regular steel stuff. It will permanently solve the rust issue. Some friends in Tennessee have some in their homestead cabin out in the woods. I did not know it existed until I saw it at their place.

      Regarding your 5 inch long crack in the stove I would have probably opted to grind out any rusty areas, then preheat it to near normal operating temperatures then WELD it. I’ve welded many items on the farm where I work including the inside of a water jacketed wood stove and yes it is still holding and saved the boss many thousands of dollars in replacement costs. It all took less than $5 worth of welding rods and other miscellaneous supplies.

      Good luck!

      1. Hey David ‘n’ Goliath, that’s definitely what should have been done on the stove repair but since I’m a woodworker, I had to go with Plan B. It’s very high on my to-do list to learn to weld and do basic metal work. It’s a huge hole in my self-reliance resume. I also wasn’t aware of stainless steel chimney pipe for inside the house. I have triple-wall stainless it on the roof and it still looks great after being heated and weathered for 7 years. I’ll have to track down some of the single-wall stuff. Thanks for the tip!

        1. I guess what I need to do is write an article about welding. There is at least one other SB reader that is a welder as he has made some comments here a while back. It is something that can be a little tricky, like a game of chess, but once mastered can come in very handy. Every year for the past 5 years working for this farmer I’ve had to weld something that was broken or build something to make things more efficient. One of the simplest things was when a cheap $5 hoe broke where the blade of the hoe was spot welded to the metal shank. I found an old rusty swather cutter section laying around and welded it to the shank and in 5 minutes time I had a custom made hoe that could fit between closely spaced plants in the garden that would have cost at least $20 a the hardware store.

  7. Spent the week getting truck/car maintenance up to date. Also took inventory of food storage, filling a few holes/rotating some into use, and replacing those being used. Also inventoried storage supplies.

    I’ve been searching locally all summer for lids, with no luck, so I decided to add to our existing supplies to can up more veg, fruit and meat just in case. This past month I’ve found new cases of canning jars with lids & bands sporadically, and added 8 cases of Pint jars (2 regular mouth & 6 wide mouth), 6 cases of Quart jars (2 regular mouth & 4 wide mouth, and 3 cases of half gallon wide mouth jars. I had to watch the inventories online at several farm supply & home centers. I finally found them at a Rural King about 21 miles away, a Tractor Supply in another county, and a Menards in a neighboring town. They all sold out in a matter of hours, so each time I felt lucky to have been able to add a few more.

    I’m looking for recommendations: Our Vacuum Food sealer is getting pretty long in the tooth, and wondered if anyone has any recommendations as to a Manufacturer and model number. We’d like to get a new one before this one bites the dust (two is one after all!).

    I’ve read Food Saver is still very popular and would gladly accept any recommendations or feedback of that brand or any other brand with model number. We’re also planning on vacuum sealing jars (dry canning) so we’ll be adding that attachment as well.
    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    1. We are very happy with the Food Saver V3460, also with the jar sealing attachments. Found excellent and cheaper bags of various sizes to seal from Kitchen Boss. We seal batteries and all kinds of things we want to keep free from moisture.

  8. I like to use those flat produce boxes ( the ones that berries and mushrooms are delivered in) to store unripe tomatoes. I place a heavy layer of newspaper on the bottoms so if I have a rotten tomato the box can be reused. I can then just place one layer of tomatoes down and stack the boxes. We have a small home so space is an issue. I also use these for my dried onions. Easy access. They have multiple uses. I also dehydrate lots of food items which I vacuum pack in canning jars. I have deep shelves so I place the jars in those flat boxes too. It makes it easy to access the ones in the back of the shelf without removing all the jars in front. Just slide the box out and remove the jar you want. I make lists on a 3 x 5″ card and attach it to the front of the box so I can easily find the item I want. I don’t believe this would work too well with regular canned goods as they are heavier, but it works just great with the lighter items. Reduce stress whenever possible. Work smarter, not harder ☺.

  9. St. Funogas: Now we know where the kids that have their pants down to there knees and their butts hanging out buy their clothes, lol. I buy my clothes at second hand stores, have never had a tomato plant or cow snicker at how I looked.
    Last night we got RAIN ! I woke up to the sound of it on the roof, took me a minute to figure out what it was, has been so long since I’ve heard it, lol.
    Soon I will be moving to a socialist state, near a blue city (into the lions den??), circumstances beyond my control. Perhaps my presence will affect someone for the good, God’s will not my own. Praying for a political reprieve, just a few more years Lord, please.
    Praying for health and safety to all of you out there, keep up the good work. I enjoy reading all your posts.

  10. The big thing this week is frost. Grrrr. Light frosts earlier in the week and a hard frost last night. Will also frost hard the next few nights. I was mostly ready for this except truly had been planning on(hoping for) a little more ripening time for the tomatoes. I had planted way too many(I think 48) as things were looking so dicey earlier this year when I started seedlings, and when I planted them it was almost impossible to buy canned tomatoes or sauce around here. So I planted a lot(not a lot in terms of what I planted when farming but a lot for a home garden). And they yielded very well. Lacking a large high tunnel here, I was scrambling to protect the plants. Haven’t yet acquired any really wide heavy row covers so had to make do with a variety of materials, some of which worked and some of which didn’t. I picked quite a lot yesterday afternoon in preparation but there’s still many green tomatoes left on the plants and probably a thousand or more cherry tomatoes! Next year I will plant no more than half the number and also have acquired the heavy row cover I need. New Year’s resolution! Unless of course TSHTF before then and I will plant all I can to feed everyone!

    Protected the last of the winter squash with 2 layers of Ag-19 row cover. Had already picked the last of the peppers, eggplant etc. so not many crops left to try to protect. And some don’t need protecting when it’s only in the 20’s anyway.

    Dehydrated more veggies this week and made more tomato sauce. I am so in love with my new dehydrator! I don’t want to get too dependent on it in case we ever enter into a protracted power outage but while I have it I love using it. Acquired various small pieces of glass that people were giving away in hopes of building a solar dryer this year.

    Continuing to mentally process the shortages I see in stores. Absolutely zero plastic storage tubs are available here. Huge empty spaces in stores like Walmart and Big Lots. Strange to see the clothing that Walmart has; still selling sleeveless and short-sleeved shirts when it’s really cold here already. I guess they just didn’t get enough cold-weather clothing in so they want the racks to look better?

    Picking up a box of ammo when I can find it, one box at a time mostly due to limits. Buying a small box of 20 when I can find it makes it hard to accumulate anything resembling an adequate supply. But given the cost……..

    Other than working I’m mostly just doing stuff here at home. Most everything that I’d want to do has been canceled anyway plus people are just being so weird! Got yelled at for being “too close” to someone else outside a store the other day while both I and the person in question were wearing masks as required and we were outdoors. And the person I was “too close to” wasn’t the one who raised the objection! People driving around by themselves in their cars wearing masks here. It’s out of control. I mostly just try to stay out of stores except for the gun stores which all seem to be pretty ok and the only element of sanity here.

  11. Black snakes are notorious for climbing up two story frame houses and coming down chimneys in the south where I grew up. They are after birds that have nested in the attics or eves of the house. You would also find them in tobacco barns. For those of you that don’t know about old tobacco barns they were at least built two men high and we actually had one that it took three grown men to house the tobacco. The sticks with the tobacco were past to the man straddling poles in the barn and he in turned passed to the man above him until the barn was entirely filled with these sticks of tobacco for curing. My friend tells a story of passing tobacco to an old hired man that stopped taking the sticks.[ to really get the gist of this story you have to slow your speech down and really drawl out the words] “Pete what’s wrong with you?” to which he replied, ” Over thar, in the Corna, there’s a snake over thar”. She replied, ” Do you need a stick?” His response. ” No ma’am, I need me a rifle.”

    1. Sounds about right- we still have a lot of log tobacco barns around here, and I spent many hours playing in them as a kid. They were a great place to find blacksnakes. Granaries and corn cribs had plenty of black snakes too.

  12. I am trying something new with our firewood storage this year.
    I am using (2) pier blocks, (2) fence clips, (2) 2x4x10 boards (2) 4x4x8 boards, and an assembly of tarps that I have used in past years.
    I put one pier block centered on each end of my stacked firewood. I secured the 4×4 posts vertically in the post brackets.
    I measured the distance between the two posts, 17′ in my case. I spliced the two 10′ boards to create one 17′ board.
    I then attached the fence clips also vertically on the posts about 18″ above the height of the wood pile. This allowed me to slide the 17’er in without permanently attaching it.
    I used a trick I found on the web to help with the wind. Two bricks tied to the ends of 15′ of rope draped over our tarps and the backbone will help to keep the tarps in place when the wind blows. I made 5 of these.

    I can now drape my tarps over our wood creating a peak for rain water and snow to run off.
    I can adjust the structure year to year. This is an experiment so your mileage may vary.

    For those of us who cannot afford to build a 5+ cord wood shed this might help.

    1. Hey just fish, I like your system, it would be nice to get a report later on how it all worked out. My system is similar but from experience, I definitely need to add the peak that your system has. Wherever water can pool, it can leak through eventually and mine does in spots. I use two tarps on top of each other and in their center, they are permanently attached to the ridge pole with a piece of ¾” thick lath on top so they can’t tear through the nails. That gives me two corners to tie on each side and it’s been working well for the past two years, other than the lack of a peak in the center and the resulting wet firewood in spots. There’s not a lot of wind here but when it blows, I really blows and so far I’ve never had the tarps come loose. They also come on and off quickly by rolling them up to the ridge post so if we’re going to have a dry period during the winter, I can remove the tarps to let the wood dry out from the humidity. Sounds like your system has the same option.

      1. St. Funogas,
        I figured that I was just trying invent another mouse trap.
        The lath sounds like an improvement for me to consider.
        In the past I have simply covered the firewood with double tarps strapped down with bungee cords. The uneven surface on the firewood created low spots for water to pool then freeze. It worked but made loading the wheelbarrow a challenge.
        Mrs. fish wanted a wood shed but after costing it out we decided to try this instead.
        I will send a quick post after we get into the winter to let you know if it worked or if it blew way.

    2. Just Fish,
      I created a new-for-me woodpile this year, too–something I found on the internet. I put down a concrete top cap with a concrete block on top of it, and two 2x4x10s sticking out of the holes. I did another one eight feet away, and I put an extra one in the middle, but without the wood. I put two landscape timbers across the concrete blocks. Ta-da! One eight-foot long wood holder. I actually made a couple of them connected. No tools needed, the wood is up off the ground, and it is easy to move to another place next year if I want to. The website where I saw this is https://www.instructables.com/id/No-tools-firewood-rack/.

      1. Thank you Wendy, yes keeping your firewood off of the ground is equally important as providing effective covering. I struggle with my support wood rotting out after a few years. I generally look for strong oak pallets at places that sell granite for counter tops. I like the thought of using poured concrete pads.
        Another important consideration for me is to keep my woodpile away from our house. I learned this the hard way 30 years ago. Bugs and fuel for a house fire are the concern here.
        Firewood can be hard but very rewarding work if we put thought into it.
        God Bless

  13. Great thoughts.

    I’ve been re-reading Dr. Grant R. Jeffrey’s book, “Armageddon: Appointment With Destiny” in preparation for my next book. Even back in the early 1990s he saw time was growing short (through his detailed research, not his opinion). Now, if you truly believe in the literal interpretation of Biblical prophecy, times are very, very short. Jeffrey mentions that, at times, a generation is listed as one hundred years, so perhaps we have a couple decades yet, but I wouldn’t count on it. Notice I didn’t type “bet” as I do not plan on being here to collect.

    Firewood was the order of the day here as well, about 100mi as the crow flies from the Rawles Ranch. Same smoke issue here, and that strange windstorm coming in from the east/SE broke off a couple snags that required removal. More firewood for the pile.

    Nice sneaking in both a Brazil and Alice’s Restaurant reference in there, JWR.

  14. I’ve been furiously putting the house in order and re-bagging bulk foods to have some more accessible as I head into a second round of cancer treatment (NH Lymphoma) that will result in a bone marrow transplant. I’ll be happy to be through 2020 personally. Will be through this and in recovery by the end of the year. Prayers are greatly appreciated as I believe this is an attack that needs to be fought against collectively and this is a good strong Christian community for that. Glad to be a part of it!

    Also pray for my strength in filling out financial paperwork and that the insurance appeal will be met with full and complete payment. Fighting on.

    Wish I could do more, but I’ll again be limited for a time. God will provide as He always has. He never fails. Love reading everyone’s weekly progress. Go team!

    1. PJGT, You can count on my prayers as well. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this. We must all keep each other in prayer. Prayer is the most powerful weapon that we wield. I will pray for good health for you in the upcoming year. May God richly bless you.

  15. Went to bed last night in one frame of mind on preps, woke up and turned on news, RBG has died, with election about 50 days away, whole new world in potential changes. Now stocking up with a few thing that would be really nice in short term. Olive oil, butter, lard, whole wheat flour. nuts and dried food, more toilet paper and paper towels, etc. Freezing stuff to extend storage time and trying to stock root cellar over full if I can

    Riots etc were bad, but now people are openly calling for riots and arson if Trump replaces RBG with a conservative. Elections never been more devise in my life or more important.

    Some times there are major changes in the world that require serious thought. 1860 period that led up to civil war, 1914 period that led up to WW1, the collapse of the old royal houses, the entry of Japan into the modern word, 1939 and as Murrow put it, the lights going off over Europe and WW2, 1950 with Korea and the cold war. Most of us could name some others in the USA 9-11 and the loss of privacy and the beginning of the loss of freedom, Covid 19 and the loss of our freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, etc.

    May be and I hope and pray to God that I am wrong, but I think it is time for a prudent family to stay out of crowds, be gray, and make what should be the last minute additions to the preps that will keep you alive the next couple years if it does get as bad as it seems to be about to.

  16. Some of my tomatoes are ripening on the vine despite the cold snap that damaged the leaves on all the tomato plants. The stems are still green. I’ll continue to water them to see if more tomatoes will ripen on the vine as has 2 varieties of cherry tomatoes. A few of the early beefsteak and Amish Paste appear to be ripening, but slowly.

    The goal is to recover some seed for next year’s attempt. I will not attempt to grow tomatoes outside of a green house again unless it is a very early determinate tomato that grows well in containers that can be moved, or protected by a low tunnel. And next year, fewer tomatoes will be planted as priority will be given to potatoes, and cold tolerant crops that have a better chance of producing as much nutrition as possible. Low risk, hardy plants are best when it counts. Tomatoes are a sub tropical plant. This year’s larger tomato crop was experimental, and a challenge that kept me in the garden. It hopefully sharpened my skills as a future gardener. In that regard, it was a success. We learn best from our failures.

    Micro climates can make a huge difference. Across the valley, 10 miles away, they did not experience a cold snap. Nearer the foot hills of a mountain range, the weather can have rapid shifts in temperature and sudden high winds in late summer, or early fall. My favorite gardening book remains, “Gardening When It Counts.” It is a pragmatic, or realistic approach. As a novice, I’d best stick to it’s principles as next year it will ‘count’.

  17. I love reading what everyone’s been up to!! My favorite part of the blog. I can say I’m fully over whatever I had (suspected Salmonella) after 14 days, with a new puppy who also had diarrhea. LOL. Puppy is doing fantastic, has doubled in size, learned lots of new things!

    I ordered more canning jars from Walmart online on sale. I need to can at least 20 gallons of frozen tomatoes in the near future. Whole tomatoes freeze well in zip lock bags if you can’t process overripe tomatoes right away.

    We had a few nights of hard frost and my entire veggie garden up and died. The weather forecast said low 40’s and it was 30 degrees. So, I thought, okay, time to focus on other things and forget gardening for now.

    The smoke has been horrible, but today is better after a good night of rain! YAY! I followed instructions for evacuation preparedness, and thought it was funny what I packed to evacuate with. I lugged all that ammo to the car, weapons, box of important papers, stuff for the puppy, packed a small suitcase with medicines and some clothes, etc. I had been meaning to inventory my ammo supply, now I have a pretty good idea – I sure as heck wasn’t leaving it behind. I’ve now unloaded everything back into the house, but near the front door, so at least I’m prepared. With the rains this weekend, the fire threat should subside somewhat.

    I finished 2 quilts this month. They turned out beautiful. I’m happy when I’m quilting and it keeps me far away from the news and social media. I feel well supplied with food, firewood, and ammo. Although, I’m taking nothing for granted. As I prepared to evacuate, altho I did not have to, I got very sad that it all might burn up. Then that great Bible verse came to mind about not storing up our treasures here on earth. I figured, if it happens, it happens, not going to stress it because God knows and cares.

    I don’t know when Christ will return, but I do know that “being right with God” is the most important thing we do here on earth. Blessings on all of you, my favorite super industrious people!!

  18. Today’s work for me: I had a technician over to fix the washing machine. Then I successfully used my flexible, made-in-the-USA solar panel to trickle-charge a vehicle that had been parked a long time. I was able to start the vehicle and give it some exercise.

    We had a small earthquake here in Southern California last night; no damage here or elsewhere.

    The second corn crop is growing nicely; perhaps it will be ready in October.

    My parents will soon be back from the Third World nation that my father has been working in. (Country name left out for OPSEC.) Then I will be able to leave the family home and find a place in the Redoubt. I’m sending out job applications now. My day job is IT deskside support; my real passion is writing and research. Suggestions from the Survival Blog community are welcome.

  19. The details and humor and innovation and thoughtfulness and determination and all-around reassurance I got from reading through both JWR’s and AL’s post, and all of the comments, has brightened an otherwise yucky day here. THANK YOU, everyone. I might or might not be able to post more later; I have kitchen work to do (still loving the dehydrator, just received a new food processor as the old one is very small and also protests with a smoky smell when used, and vacuum sealer is ordered and en route) and then we will have family worship later. Husband has gone to a local gunsmith’s shop to have a scope he has had tucked away for 20 years mounted onto ‘Smithy’ — our code name in front of the littles for “Mama’s little friend.” (Yes, we absolutely intend to teach our children to use these tools when they are mature enough, but preschoolers are not known for their discretion, and given today’s climate…you just never know who will mishear or misconstrue something.) We are discussing letting the Harvest Right freeze dryer we have on layaway go, as time grows short, and based on the results with the dehydrator, we are not sure how well it will work in this miserably humid climate. We may put that money toward more immediate things like storage basics, ammo, etc.

    I baked banana bread and took it over to the neighbors a few days ago–no direct discussions of neighborhood security yet, but good to connect, and I still got a little intel. We have kind neighbors. Looked out the front window today to see one mowing part of our yard while doing his! LOL, he must’ve liked the bread.

    A family member who has spent months so terrified of covid that she not only goes nowhere, but isolates from me when i do, and washes down her delivered groceries, this week went to a dental appointment and also allowed her husband to stop into the herbalist’s shop! She is also open to the idea of all of us taking care of our health maintenance things (vision checks, dental cleaning, physicals for the kids) now. I told her it was in case of another, worse wave of covid with the cold weather. She doesn’t want to hear ANYTHING about anything she considers political…and she considers a LOT of things “political.” I do not want to upset her so I find alternate reasons for things. E.g. the dehydrator is to make apple chips for the kids’ snacks, etc. She hasn’t figured out exactly how deep the food storage gets yet, but she has been grateful when I’ve “just happened to have…” some things she is unable to have delivered, so I’ll probably make some headway in discussing preps. She also expressed understanding when I mentioned that we would NOT be taking any covid vaccine “this year or probably not next year” because it’s “just too new.” This is promising.

    1. Updating after a somewhat productive evening. Honestly I think I get the most done on weekends, as not only is there no school to manage, but I’m freshly inspired reading everyone else’s progress!

      Smithy now has a scope, and a carrying bag, and two more boxes of .223 (the daily limit), expensive but no more than last month. I asked about a sling and husband said that would be secondary; he can just “tie on some 550 cord” if he has to. In response to my Looook, he said, “I’ve done it before!” LOL. Yes dear, I know, adapt and overcome.

      The inside fridge is cleaned out and restocked from the outside one and a next round of grocery ordering is in progress. I have noticed that my grocery bills have not increased too much with all of the food storage, because I am trying to do bigger batches and make even more things from scratch. The dehydrator is chugging along with some bread cubes, from the buns that Someone agreed to pull out of the oven at the timer while I went with the baby for a nurse’n’nap, but then forgot, but then swore !!they weren’t burnt!! despite baking 3x their time, then said he would eat them himself, then gave up and declared we should make croutons. LOL. Croutons are good. Tried the new food processor with a quadruple batch of chocolate “hummus” and it turned out just okay. Nothing with a cup of cocoa powder in it can be BAD, but I’ll have to get a better feel for the settings.

      Finally I walked out to the mailbox and back tonight, after true dark. Such a small, insignificant thing, but ever since experiencing some brain issues in the perfect storm following the last baby’s arrival, issues which included hallucinations, I’ve been cautious of how my brain reacts to the darkness. I know it’s definitely something I need to get better about. The night felt friendly tonight, like it used to, which gave me hope those symptoms may well be in the past. God is good.

      1. Bear,

        Wait! Wait! What is this, chocolate “Hummus”???? Do, please, tell me about this. I have a quick story. Once when I lived in Israel for a time, I would buy garlic hummus spread it on one slice of bread and then on the other slice of bread, I would spread a wonderful chocolate spread and then put them together in a sandwich. YUM! I loved it! Weird, I am, I know. I like savory and sweet together.

        1. https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/chocolate-hummus/#tasty-recipes-82868

          Here is the recipe I used. Following her suggestion, I use black beans (is it still ‘hummus’ if it contains neither garbanzos nor tahini? Hmmm…) in this one, but I use garbanzos in the snickerdoodle hummus. We devour both on graham crackers, or just with spoons! My mother first introduced us to dessert hummus and it is super expensive for a small tin of it from the store. But I can make 3x-4x batch using one pound of dried beans, and the most expensive part is the syrup. Depending on where one lives, it is probably much less to get real maple syrup.

          Savory and sweet together are wonderful. I am not so sure about garlic with chocolate, but, I shouldn’t knock it before I try it. Do you like fluffernutters (peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwiches)? I loved them back in high school but now the sweetness of the fluff sets my teeth on edge, so I stick with putting it in fudge at Christmas…

      2. Bear, ditto Lily’s comment! Chocolate hummus??

        “Nothing with a cup of cocoa powder in it can be BAD…” Sounds like we both graduated from the same fine culinary institute. 🙂

          1. “I am one of those who believes that Nutella is the Fifth Food Group.”

            Wait, you’re saying that as if there are people who DON’T know that Nutella is the fifth food group??

          2. You just HAD to go and mention Nutella, didn’t you?! I have one jar left (clearly a hole in the preps!), that I had hidden from myself in the back of the pantry…right beside where I must go next to check on the yogurt in the crockpot…and now I am hungry…

            I’ll bet you could find some of the dessert hummus in the deli cases in stores out there where you’re temporarily based. We’ve liked the brownie batter and vanilla bean flavours, though the family has already been informed that I will not be purchasing whole vanilla beans for use in their snacks, when I can get vanilla flavouring by the quart at the restaurant supply store.

            Speaking of being a cheapskate like me, do y’all suppose that maybe this coin shortage we’ve been hearing of could ACTUALLY be caused by the coins themselves, fed up with the pinching like a forgetful person on St. Patty’s day, and going into hiding until all of us frugalistas knock off with the bragging about how we can make a penny squeal?

  20. I am always disappointed to hear well meaning believers state that they are pretty sure they have figured out what Jesus tells us is unknowable: when He will return. I remember listening to John MacArthur, a generally solid Bible teacher, state in 1980 or 1981 that “he wouldn’t be surprised if Jesus returned in 1982.” The parable of the 10 virgins should make this simple principal very clear: the only way to be ready when Jesus returns is to be ready all the time. Strangely enough, when the deadline passes and the predictions do not come to pass the predictors never seem to question their premises (OT Israel and NT Church are distinct, OT prophecies regarding Israel cannot be fulfilled by the Church, biblical interpretation must be exclusively literal, etc.) Instead, they tweak their predictions and move on to new versions based on the same flawed premises. Jesus may return tonight or He may tarry a hundred years until He has gathered to Himself every soul whose name is written in the Lambs book of Life: let all of His people strive to be found faithful whenever He returns.

  21. Lately I have been hunting down men’s underwear from DS, and from what I can see there is a shortage! I was rather surprised. When I found some, I stocked up. I walked through a Dollar General (lots of shortages of First Aid stuff) for the first time since last spring and their shelves are pretty spotty, along with the grocery store (no dish soap or napkins we like, for example). So we are stepping up preparations big time and never buying just one of anything.
    Guess what? The house is paid off!! We have put the pedal to the metal the past few years feeling something was on the way. What a great feeling. Then we drove to town and got the property taxes paid too. Whew! Found some good outdoor shoes, clothes, etc. in Sierra Trading Post’s on-line store and did some Christmas shopping. Only practical stuff, but cute too – lol! I wonder what Christmas will be like this year? We’ve decided to be ready before the election. And then RBG dies too! What else is coming? Also organizing preps and vacuum sealing some treats. Y’all inspire us. Prayers for each and every one of you, our president and our nation.

    1. Yes, have been noticing the big holes in the stores these days. While a lot of grocery products have returned(one can now buy flour and sugar again and even vinegar), there are still lots of missing items. Was trying to buy boxes of wooden kitchen matches the other day and there were absolutely none to be found other than those small tiny boxes of short ones at a Walmart. Nothing else. Finally found some boxes of strike-anywhere matches which I haven’t seen in ages. Bought a wedge for wood splitting and that was their only one. Went to a bunch of stores to find a replacement handle for a splitting maul before finding one. And so on. And of course as I noted, the lack of any plastic tote boxes. Lots of missing clothing items, no hats or winter gloves, slippers, blankets etc. We don’t have a large selection of stores to pick from as it is but they are positively stripped and stuff just isn’t coming back in. Lots of TP and hand sanitizer now though!

      I needed some heavier pants for winter but none to be found for women here other than skinny jeans at Tractor Supply! OMG…… Trying to imagine doing actual work in skinny jeans! Finally discovered that I could fit into men’s pants and nabbed 4 pairs, mostly corduroy, at a Salvation Army thrift store for under $20. But even the thrift stores, which have finally reopened, seem to be lacking in supply which is interesting. Not sure what that’s about. Well they have the usual amount of junk “tchotchkes” ………

  22. On my side of the fence there is still a bit of farm work to be done and then I will be “a free man” – free to focus more on gardening aspects that is! Last Thursday I cultivated my new (new for 2021 that is) garden plot. It will be about ¼ acre in size. There was some giant ragweed (Scientific name: Ambrosia trifida as opposed to the more common ragweed Ambrosia artemisiifolia, which was also present, but the plants are much smaller) that were over 6 feet tall. Yes, they do get much taller in southern states and they would have been taller if it had not been for the fact that the plot was cultivated twice before earlier in the growing season. My goal was / is to get rid of the perennial quack grass before next year which will make it much easier once the garden is planted and has come into production. As most of you experienced gardeners know, when you try to pull quack grass by hand the plants usually break off at the soil level leaving much of the root system intact and still in the ground which in turn regrows and you have to repeat the process over again. By getting that problem plant under control now it will make life much easier next year. The other annual weeds like the two types of ragweeds, pigweed, lambsquarter, mallow, etc. will have to be dealt with next year as there is a lot of seed of them already in the ground.

    Earlier in the week I had “nuclear winter” here for about a day and a half, which was due to the fires on the west coast. The sun set in such a thick haze that it became invisible about an hour before sundown. Just prior to that it was a glowing ball of dark red, like molten metal that is cooling off from a smelter. In the night the wind changed direction and the haze was all gone by morning. There was another night of frost as well, so my hopes of Indian summer will have to be put “on hold” until next year. I knew the frost was coming and so I gathered all the squash into a pile in the center of the garden and put several layers of tarps over them. There were actually more than I expected which is, in my case, a good “problem” to have. They were uncovered the next day and there will not be any more frosts for a week or so. I’m letting them cure outside while I get my storage area ready inside. Most people stuff a turkey for Thanksgiving, but I will probably stuff myself instead – with squash that is.

    A neighbor needs some work done on her roof as it’s leaking in several places, which I promised I would help out with as I’m not afraid of heights and have done roofing in the past. She has a small garden plot that needs expanding. Last year I offered to help her expand it to about double the current size. She listened to my offer, but didn’t say anything, however this year after all the Covid scare and food shortages I think she would probably be able to see the wisdom in having more garden space. When I asked her if she knew of the coming economic troubles she simply said “I don’t want to think about it.” I don’t think she is religious at all as she has never given any indication that she is, but she does know that we are headed for financial trouble soon. I just try to help as many people as I can.

    I’ve noticed a growing number of people on this blog mention Biblical / Spiritual concepts that they are studying which is good. Last week Avalanche Lily posted a link to some interesting information about Dumitru Duduman who I had heard of before through others sources, but not the website she posted. After reading about Dumitru’s life in the former Soviet Union it became obvious that we need more people like him and even though he, like the apostle Paul in the New Testament, has been laid to rest the stories he left behind should serve us as a warning as to what we will face soon in the near future. The watch word here is soon. It is coming!

  23. I’ve heard so many fellow Christians argue and get mad at one another over the rapture theology; some say pre-trib, some Mid-trib, and yet others argue post-trib and it seems so silly to see the divisions that cause otherwise devoted members of the body of Christ to split apart. The important thing to me is are you saved, have you come to Christ and had your sins forgiven? If not then like the train depot sign says ” No ticket, no ride.”

    As for me if I remain in Christ and everyday seek His direction and walk in His way it doesn’t matter to me when the rapture takes place.

    Our tomatoes also came in green this year due to a cool summer season that is short anyways; my wife pulls them out by the roots and hangs them upside down in the utility room where they continue to ripen on the vine … and that’s the news from Lake We-Be-Gone in the frozen arctic north where men are men and women are beautiful …

    1. I’m a pantribber, it’ll all “pan” out in the end. I love all of the insight, however, because I want Jesus to come back. Please keep posting your thoughts on this, Avalanche Lily!

  24. We put up a 6′ x 8′ greenhouse this week. We plan to use it next year to stretch our produce further into the fall and also to start seed plants such as tomatoes in the spring.

    The garden is pretty much finished up. We have canned everything that we could until we ran out of jars. Now there are just a few tomatoes left to eat fresh and some green beans that we are planning to pick for seed. As I get time I am tilling the rest under to plant a cover crop soon.

  25. Lily, I feel like you wrote your first two paragraphs to me in follow-up to our conversation of the week prior. 🙂 My husband and I both wondered why you thought the window to move from Alaska may be closing. Perhaps this is why…? Thank you for sharing your thoughts and warnings. Much has come of it in our home. Most importantly, my husband and I are exploring this in the Word of God and discussing it day to day. It has drawn us deeper into the Word, and I am thankful for that. Thank you also for the YouTube link you shared in your September 26 progress update (KJV Dramatized Audio from tmantz625). As a busy moma, this is a great way for me to be a “hearer of the Word.” We are praying, seeking, talking together, and contemplating what we should do.

    Preparations made over the last 2 weeks:

    I finished filling the freezer and procured another month or more of food staples with more on the way. Have continued to encourage family in the Lower 48 to do the same. I suspect they are politely listening and going on their way.

    The seeds for my indoor gardening project have arrived. My husband put together a metal rack that I’m going to use for this project. I learned more about indoor gardening and lighting needs.

    Autumn is certainly upon us. The trees and bushes are more naked than not. We’ve woken to a few hard frosts. The high temp today is in the upper 40’s. Winter is coming.

    Prep plans for the next week:

    Move to Idaho: My husband has been in the process of getting professionally licensed in Idaho. This has been a long-term project, as there are many steps. He plans to work on moving this forward.

    Winter preps: I am concerned about heating our home in winter for a lengthy period should our natural gas cut off. We have a kerosene heater and enough kerosene for a short-term outage but need to buy more. Regrettably, our home does not have a fireplace or wood stove.

    Indoor gardening project: Procure pots and full-spectrum lighting. Rearrange my office area to fit the metal rack I’m going to put the plants on.

    Budget and debt-reduction: Firm up plans to downsize our storage unit. We downsized housing last fall to put more money toward debt. I’ve been going through our belongings, selling or passing on what is no longer of use. Our storage unit is now barely half full. Time to save $50/month. Additionally, budget meetings are important to my man. I suspect that if I give them a higher priority, he may become more involved in preparing our family for an uncertain future.

    One last housekeeping item: This will be my last message as “Michelle.” In future, I will use the handle, “Mōsh.” It’s what my late moma used to call me.

  26. Mosh,

    😉

    Just letting you know, I see your post. Please buy as much kerosene for the heater as you can, now. And if possible, get a wood stove installed, ASAP. You need heating back ups, especially up in Alaska when the temps drop so low below zero. I’m a little bit worried about you folks. What if there is a big earthquake and the natural gas pipeline breaks? You will need a wood stove for heat once the kerosene runs out…

    The possible prophetic timing is one reason, why I think time is running out. The other is the potential for a “permanent” Covid Lockdown in the next month or so. There is a lot of talk of a second Lock down. Israel is in a full lock down right now. There are other possible reasons also: economic crash and inflation, war…

    Whether you move or not, please make sure you have enough food to last you ’til July or August, at least, in your home.

    I pray that the Lord will give you wisdom and discernment and that you will hear His voice clearly on what you should be doing concerning moving or not.

    You need to hear from Him yourself. I could be wrong. I am not saying, “thus says the Lord” at all.

    But until then, you are where you are, and you need to be prepared for any event with a long term food supply, multiple heating methods and of course access to water, etc..

    Blessings,

    Lily

  27. Thank you for your reply, Lily. I am a bit concerned for us, too. We prayed and actively sought to move a couple of years ago. Nothing panned out, and then my husband badly broke his ankle. It was clear; we were not released by God to move. It is time for us to re-seek the Lord’s will.

    Thank you also for your prayers. (Lord, I agree with Lily’s prayer and ask for wisdom and discernment. May my husband and I both hear Your voice clearly on the important and complicated decisions we face. In Jesus’ name, Amen.)

    I understood you weren’t giving a Godly directive, rather sharing your insight, perspective, and wisdom. I am grateful for all. There is much for me to learn.

    I am going to share our progress on the Saturday prepping progress report page. I think it will help me stay plugged in while looking and moving forward.

    May the Lord bless you,
    Mōsh

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