To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles , but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!
Dear SurvivalBlog Readers:
Turkey slaying season is in full swing (pardon the pun), here at the Rawles Ranch. Some of the dozen Toms and Hens that we raised this year are for our own consumption, but most are being given as Thanksgiving gifts to neighbors and friends. (Before then, they will already be gutted, plucked, cleaned, and chilled.) There is nothing quite like butchering a turkey outdoors on a sunny but very cold day. Recently it has been so cold that I can’t wait to have a turkey stop flapping. Then I can empty its lower abdomen into the gut bucket and then have the opportunity to plunge my hands into the chest cavity, to warm them. Yes, it has been that cold. As the fictional Han Solo famously said: “This is gonna smell bad, kid, but it’ll keep you warm…” 
Avalanche Lily Reports:
Ewwwww, Jim! Did you have to write that?
Yes, we had a second round of butchering this week. It was more peaceful, because we were a bit more prepared physically (more organized with equipment and familiar with the plan of steps for butchering and cleaning of the birds) and emotionally ready for it. Remember: When you haven’t butchered something for almost a whole year, you have to give your brain and muscle memory a kickstart. We have now reestablished the routine which makes it easier. We will be doing in a couple of more batches of birds during this coming week. We believe in the division of labor for many jobs. In this case, Jim, does the killing, main gutting, plucking, or skinning, and brings them to the house. Here, at the kitchen sink, I finish gutting out the lungs, kidneys, extra fat, skin flaps and wash the bird thoroughly. I then either bag it for whole chickens/turkeys or cut up the birds, for legs, breasts, and wings. We usually freeze our meat. If we chop up the birds, the left over carcasses get turned into chicken broth. I boil them down for two to three days with a little bit of apple cider vinegar. I then strain the broth and freeze it.
Other than the butchering and reorganizing the freezers to fit the birds, not much more happened of note, this week, except for some breakthroughs in neatness and better control of yarn tension in our developing crocheting and knitting skills. I have begun to knit my first-ever pair of socks. The girls are each crocheting their first washcloths.
Additionally, we are reading more of “The Handy Box of Knots” by Randy Penn”  and are learning some more advanced knots.
The girls had a First Aid lesson in wrapping and stabilizing an injured wrist with an Ace bandage and have been practicing on each other a little bit each day.
We also went through one of our First Aid Totes with the girls. We talked about what was there and some uses of items, washed the tote, and reorganized the contents and made a shopping list of needed items to replace.
The rest of our time has been occupied with regular chores and homeschooling.
The girls have asked for blog Pen Names. So from here on out, older daughter will be dubbed Eloise and younger daughter will be Violet. These are some of Jim’s ancestor’s names from the Rawles side of the family. They were very interesting characters. Fun!
In light of our nation celebrating Thanksgiving this coming week: We just want to say that we are very thankful to the Lord ! First, for giving us this platform to bless you, our readers and to help you all be prepared in all ways for most circumstances that could occur. We are also thankful for those of you who have written us to share your survival and prepping experiences. We’ve all benefited from you relating your experiences. We are thankful for peace in our country and for all of those watchmen and women–those who are paying attention and are discerning the times, putting out the warnings, and standing up for our freedoms. We are thankful that our Lord God will protect his Elect through what is coming.
May God Bless You and Yours, this Thanksgiving! – Avalanche Lily Rawles
This week, the family has been preparing the house to receive guests with the Thanksgiving Holiday upon us. The fall cleaning has been very productive and Hugh is making great progress in sorting through the odds and ends that have ended up in the shop as a result. With the cessation of gardening, there is much more time available as well so the sorting and scanning of pictures has begun too.
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As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.