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!
This week I was very busy writing, taking antique gun orders for my sideline Elk Creek Company biz, and doing radio interviews. I also did a podcast interview with the host of Radio Free Redoubt. And I took a day to meet with a “fairly local” consulting client–just one mountain range away.
To help out a friend, I slightly drew down my inventory of ammo and magazines from JASBORR. So I’ve been spending time online, looking for replacements. I’ve been shocked at how much prices have accelerated. 500-round bricks of .22 Long Rifle are now ranging between $75 and $85 each! And the going rate for 5.56mm NATO ball is about 80 cents a round, while 7.62mm NATO ball is hovering in the vicinity of a buck a round. Yikes!
I usually drain the water system in our guest cabin in late October, each year. But this year, with lots of out-of-town family staying over here at Thanksgiving, I’m delaying that until the 1st of December. So that means leaving the electric wall heater on a low setting, to keep the pipes from freezing, between now and then. Thankfully, here in the Inland Northwest, electricity is still fairly inexpensive.
The “Pre-Election” sale that we’re running at Elk Creek Company is generating lots of orders. I keep hearing the same thing from customers: “I’m hedging my bets.” With no sure victor in the upcoming Presidential election, I can’t blame folks for wanting to buy a few guns that are entirely outside of Federal jurisdiction.
Deer and elk season will be opening soon, so I’ll be facing a scheduling dilemma: Booking radio and podcast interviews to promote my new book versus my desire to be out in the woods — to top off our chest freezers. The result? I’ll probably reduce the number of interviews. After all, a man has to have his priorities!
And now, time for Lily’s section:
Avalanche Lily Reports:
At the beginning of the week we had our first snow fall in the valley, about two inches of the wet stuff that melted by the end of the day. We are expecting a four to eight inch snow fall over this weekend from Friday night through Saturday night. We’ll see. Temperatures will be in the teens at night for a few nights. Brrr.
This week Miss Violet and I went through our sewing supplies and organized them. I sewed to repair a couple of socks.
I canned eleven quarts of apple sauce and used our steam juicer to make a batch of apple juice. The apple pulp left over from the steaming, I put through the Victorio strainer and added it and mixed it into my batch of apple sauce that was about to be canned. That apple sauce was so yummy, that we ate four jars in three days. I have many more apples to process in different ways this coming week.
I harvested all the rest of my greenhouse peppers, chopped and froze them.
I harvested my greenhouse paste tomatoes and am letting them further ripen in the house.
Dehydrated ten pounds of store bought carrots that were still in the crisper from the last twenty-five pound bag that we bought.
I have been continuing to collect seeds from various fruits and vegetables, drying them, and putting them in envelopes.
I filled in my mail-in ballot for the elections and mailed it in.
I finally bought my deer hunting license for this year’s hunting season. With a couple of test rounds, I confirmed that my rifle was still zeroed properly. It is a stainless steel Ruger M77 in .270 Winchester with a Trijicon 3-9X Scope. It has a beautiful wood finish which is a Boyd’s walnut laminate thumbhole stock. The rifle itself has been AICS-detachable magazine-converted and was recently brown Cerakoted. The trigger pull is a crisp four pounds. I like it. It handles very well. Jim spoils me. 😉
Thursday night there was a hard frost which killed off all sensitive plants in the greenhouse. Thankfully I had harvested most of the produce in there earlier in the week. I pulled up all of the tomato plants, the volunteer pumpkin, celery, peppers and other plants. Currently they are all piled near the door of the greenhouse. This next week, I’ll move them to the compost pile and will turn over the beds and will add more compost and other amendments to prepare them for spring planting.
Last year we had such a bug problem from using my own garden soil in the Indoor greenhouse that this year, I bought some sterilized soil that I plan to beef up with fish emulsion and some other amendments. This coming week, I plan on setting up the indoor green house in Miss Violet’s bathroom and planting some lettuces and greens.
Over the past three weeks, I didn’t get to canning all of the ripening tomatoes. Some were in a plastic tote that was near the wood stove. I needed to fire up the stove. (We’ve only been using it intermittently.) So, since a tote of ripening tomatoes was right in front of it, I shifted one of them onto our 8 by 12 beautiful oriental wool rug. Well, some rotted and the tote leaked the juice on the rug. GRRR. You would think that the plastic tote, fairly new, was sealed, right? Nope! Somehow it had developed cracks.
Therefore, I took the spray rug cleaner, sprayed down the rug and scrubbed it. The rug hadn’t been spot cleaned in awhile, so I scrubbed all other spots, as well. Well, the musty stinky rotten tomato smell did not abate. So, I swept and vacuumed the porch, then Jim and I, brought the rug out and laid it onto the porch where I proceeded to spray the whole thing down with rug cleaner and scrubbed it. I poured buckets of water on the area where the rotten tomato juice had soaked into it and scrubbed some more. Then Jim and I, draped it over the railing and I sprayed it down to rinse it with the hose. We let it drip dry for about four hours. While it was dripping most of the water out of it, we pulled up the rug pad, threw it away, and ordered another one. I scrubbed the floor where the rug and rug pad had been. I lit a fire in the wood stove and turned the electric heat on and turned the dial up on high. This brought the Great room temperature up to ninety-two degrees. I was “dying” in the heat. (Women of my age, you’ll commiserate with me, I’m sure.)
Once most of the water had dripped away, and the Great Room was hot, we brought in the rug and draped it upon five gallon buckets, switched on the two ceiling fans and put a floor fan and a hair dryer under the rug. With all of the dry heat and free flowing air above and beneath it, the rug amazingly and thankfully, was nearly completely dry after twenty-two hours, and was completely dry within forty-eight hours. As I was checking out the rug and was getting ready to put it back on the floor, I noticed fine sand and dirt on the top of the buckets and on the floor under the rug. Therefore, I folded the rug in half and I vacuumed the rug by halves on the top and bottom and also the floor again and put the rug back in it’s proper place. It looks super nice now and smells wonderful.
Now, while the rug was draped over the buckets and drying, (There were folds in the rug between the buckets, sagging and it sloped down to the floor around the outside edges). The kittens utilized it as their playground, playing on and under it. They were their usual maniac selves! The second evening of our rug drying time, our ten year old neutered super big cat W. was resting on top of it in a slight sag, while one of the kittens just below him on a slope of the rug, was reaching up to W and was batting at his paws. Mr. W. was trying to catch a nap, but would open his eyes which displayed a look of slight interest and benevolence, and would laconically bat back at the kitten. Every now and then he would get a little more energetic with his slap back. It was so cute to watch. Up to this moment in time, W. had not always been so receptive to the kittens and would often hiss at them to make them keep their distance. So we were happy to see them beginning to get along with each other. It seems for the most part the kittens have been accepted into our more mature cat’s tribe.
At the end of the week, I finally got myself in gear and sorted through all of the tomatoes that were left. I turned most into sauce, some were frozen for another day of processing, and the rest still need a few more days to ripen. For what ever reason, I had a real struggle/block in my heart/mind and motivation to do these tomatoes. It was crazy. For awhile, I literally looked for any other job to do than those tomatoes! I thank God, I was able to finish them for the most part without a huge waste-age.
This week I roasted another chicken with carrots and potatoes in our Dutch oven, inside the firebox of our wood heating stove. It turned out great. And zero propane consumed.
This week all of our hectic appointments and business dealings since Jim’s return home had finally quieted down, so our family was able to get back into our daily family routine of praying and reading the scriptures together. Currently, we are studying the book of Jeremiah and are up to chapter 14.
I finished listening to Second Kings, First Chronicles and I listened to Hebrews and the books following Hebrews up to First John.
Update: Snow fall so far is about five inches.
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.