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!
This week was a fairly typical winter week at the Rawles Ranch. The daily routine of small and large livestock chores was largely without incident. We leave a light on 24 hours a day in our poultry house every winter. This keeps our hens happy and laying. For the past few weeks we’ve been collecting an average of 10 eggs a day.
At mid-week, we made the long semi-annual drive to Costco to stock up. This time of year, that is a nearly a three hour drive, each way. I also took the opportunity to visit a family-run gun shop, in the same city. With the Trump Slump, the owner was willing to dicker a bit. Using cash, I bought a lot of extra magazines for investment or eventual barter. I will sleep a little better, knowing that I’m well-stocked on magazines. With Angry Democrats now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, it is best to err on the side of caution. Stack those magazines deep, folks! Someday you may be very glad that you bought them at Commodity prices instead of Panic prices.
Our daughters have been doing more baking than usual. They recently made several loaves of delicious bread, using a mix of hand-ground flour from our stored wheat, and some commercial white flour from the big Costco sacks that we store in 7-gallon food grade Super Pails. Next, they plan to experiment baking poppy seed muffins. That should be fun. And they always like to make chocolate chip cookies. There is nothing better than a fresh-from-the-oven warm chocolate chip cookie for dessert on a winter’s night.
– Jim & Avalanche Lily, Rawles
This week was an interesting week at the Latimer household.The 18 year-old oven finally gave it up. The failure mode was to turn the burner on and leave it on so that the only way to turn it off was to turn the breaker off. It’s a good thing that Mrs Latimer was paying attention when it happened. This oven has been a good oven, but repair parts are getting harder and harder to find. The relay board hasn’t been available for at least 10 years and I couldn’t even find one on Ebay or any of the online appliance repair stores. I briefly considered just pulling the board and replacing the relay, but the board was showing signs of age and heat and the repair would have been somewhat of a kludge. Mrs Latimer is a good cook, but she needs the proper tools.
Of course, there was sticker shock when we started looking at new ovens. We don’t plan on staying in this house for more than a couple of years so there was no need to go all out on the stove. But even the basic stoves that fit the existing hole were close to $1000. In the end, Mrs Latimer found a brand new (old stock) stove for sale on Craigslist. Originally listing new at nearly $2000, the owners had purchased it from a friend and were going to put it in a house they were building. The economy being what it is, they had given up on that dream and needed to sell it and were asking less than $700. It was a perfect fit in the cabinet and only had to be cleaned out due to the dust and dirt that had gotten into it while it was in storage. The stove still had much of the factory plastic protection still attached to it.
That being said, installing it was another matter. I’m pretty sure that original builders of our current house did not have a clue what they were doing. Every time I work on something original to the house, I end up having to yank it out and redo the entire project. This stove installation was no different. It took a full day to install and included wiring 4AWG wire while reaching through a hole in a corner cabinet that I could only get one arm through while contorting my body in positions it was obviously never intended to be. It’s a good thing the standard cuss words are not part of my vocabulary or the family may have had to evacuate the house.
In the end, it all worked out and Mrs Latimer is a very happy cook again.
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As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.