Editors’ Prepping Progress

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!

JWR

I’ve been quite busy with writing, editing, and radio interviews in the past week.  And of course there were the usual winter chores: firewood hauling, livestock feeding, and stock tank filling. The weather has been mixed, and generally colder. This winter, I don’t expect things to warm up until late February or even early March.

We’ve had a young stray (or full-on feral?) cat hanging around the Rawles Ranch for the past two months. It is so skittish that we can’t get within 50 feet of it.  It has been freeloading cat food from the outdoor cat food bowl that we maintain for our two regular barn cats. (Those two cats are very friendly, since we raised them from from kittens.  Truthfully, they’ve become beloved house cats.) I’m wondering if this new cat will stay, and if it does: will be a good mouser? If so, then he/she will be welcome to a share of the cat food.

Avalanche Lily Reports

Dear Readers,
For me, this has been the perfect winter weather week.  Cold temperatures (between 2 and 26 degrees Fahrenheit) with fresh, fluffy, dry snow, and white all over.  Beautiful!

I’ve been able to ski or hike for about five hours this week.

Eloise did some hiking in our driveway and on the county road with her Bugout backpack.

This week I accomplished these things from the list of things I wanted to do:

I did not sleep out in the tent in my Wiggy’s bag, as I had planned. However, I did snuggle in it outside on our porch swing for three daytime hours, wearing only my regular clothes (jeans and t-shirt, socks, and a wool sweater) a warm hat.  I did so while searching the Internet and doing my duoLingo language lessons. The outside temperature hovered around 26 degrees F.  The bag kept me comfortably warm.  I imagine that I could stay in it all day and night outside and be fine.  I was driven inside only because the wind changed direction and blew our woodstove smoke down to me.  I waited patiently for the wind to change direction again but after 15 minutes, it hadn’t changed direction and I had had enough of it and went inside.

We acquired winter weight polyproplene long underwear for everyone in the family and they have passed the winter workout sweat test for warmth and wicking abilities. (Not that one should be sweating too much outside in the winter if you are going to be remaining outside.) I will continue using them from now on with my workouts.  They were Wal-Mart specials. They are doing a great job.

Silk long underwear is not for winter workouts as they definitely retain the perspiration and make one feel wet and cold, almost immediately after a workout.  Silk is best for that soft extra layer of warmth during sedentary activities.

I did try out my Lixada miniature twig burning cook stove.  I set it up on a large slate stone on the potting bench in our garden.  I took fat wood that Jim had cut to size for me, and cotton balls soaked in Vaseline, both of which I carry in my bugout bag. I lit them and got a fire going.  It was windy and the fire burned quickly and wildly out the top, bottom screen and through the side slits.  For being such a tiny little stove, about 3” by 3”, it put out some big flames, about 18 inches from it’s base.  It would definitely benefit from a fireproof windscreen, but then that would be another item to add to the bugout bag.  The burning fat wood caused a lot of soot to build up on the stove and little pot.  You will definitely want a separate cloth to wipe the extra soot off and a separate plastic bag to store it in so it doesn’t get other items in your bag sooty dirty.

One would not be able to use this stove during hot summer drought conditions in our local national forests, especially on a windy day, for fear of causing a forest fire.

I boiled water for tea on the little twig stove, which came to a boil in about eight minutes.

I tried the dehydrated coconut milk that arrived in the mail a week before, adding it to the tea that I had steeped. It was coconut tasting and creamy with a little bit of grittiness.  It’s ingredients are all organic: Dehydrated Coconut milk, Tapioca, Maltodextrin (derived from Yucca root), and Acacia Fiber.

As far as I know, I have never eaten Yucca root or Acacia Fiber, before.  Anyhow, the next day I think I had a reaction to it?  I’m not sure exactly what the reaction was from, since that same day I had also made an almond flour quick bread with Egg Replacer, which was the second time this week I had ever used it, and ate it, having never used it before.  These two new things, may have had something in them that my body has said “No” to.

So… I will try the coconut milk, again, later, when everything feels normal again. And I will not use the Egg Replacer again, just the Baking Soda.

We used some gift cards we received as Christmas gifts. From those, in the mail, we received a tent footprint groundsheet for my Salida 2 Tent, a Hydroblu GO FLOW 10 Liter Water Gravity filter bag, four Lifestraw water bottles, two self-inflating air mattresses for the girls, two pairs of hiking Trail Runners for summer hiking, three pairs of Ice Bay Glacier Gloves (these are waterproof fleece lined neoprene gloves for hiking in the rain or ice fishing, et cetera), and an Eskimo brand 7-inch hand ice auger.

For prepping this coming week, Lord willing, we’d like to try ice fishing on a nearby lake, continue to ski and hike, continue to dehydrate foods and get some dehydrated meals together and taste-tested.

Prayer Life

I have been spending more time in prayer and reading the news, listening to Believers on Youtube and feeling in my spirit that we are living in the very, very last of the “peaceful” days before all of Satan’s hell breaks loose (The Tribulation) and God’s judgement begins to fall in earnest on this sinful world.  I want to remind our readers that God is not to be mocked.  What He has said in His Word, the Bible, is true, and it will take place.  It hasn’t happened yet, ONLY, because He is merciful and doesn’t want to see any of his elect perish and lose eternal life in Him.  But a day is coming very quickly that in His mercy he must bring down the hammer and judge His people and this world.  He is warning and warning and warning the people of this world!  For those with ears to hear, it is time to clean out the house of your heart.  It is time to purge out all sin and all things: idols, thoughts, bad attitudes and behaviors that are not pleasing to the Lord, or that hinder your relationship with Him.  It is time to REPENT and get right with Him.

It is time to fast and pray and read and memorize His Word, as never before.

If you don’t know the Lord Jesus, from Nazareth, the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, please acknowledge your sins, confess them to Him, repent (turn 180 degrees away from them)  and ask Jesus to take over your life and to change you.  If you do this, sincerely, and with all of your heart, He will forgive you and give you eternal life and bring you into His Kingdom.  The time to do this is now!  We are running out of time.  Once you have come into His kingdom, pray and ask Him what He would have you to do for Him and to prepare for what is coming onto the face of the earth.  Jesus said, in John 14:6:  “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

May you all have a blessed and safe week, – Jim and Avalanche Lily Rawles

HJL

This week at the Latimer homestead we spent most of the week working on the living room. The house has a great room in the shape of an octagon with a fireplace in the middle. On one side is the living room, on the other is the kitchen. It’s a nice, open setup, but it was built in the 1970s. The original owner made his own laminate beams by nailing/gluing 2x10s together to great a beam that is 18″x10″x 20ft (8 of them). It certainly works, but they are stained dark and ugly. It is readily apparent that they are home made beams. We spent the week sanding the varnish off of them, then putting metal corner edging on the exposed corners of the beams, and then filling in the cracks, smoothing the surface with drywall mud. Once that was dried, we had to repeat the process a couple of times due to the thickness of the mud in some places, but the overall result is a smooth beam appearance that will now be painted. They are not as pretty as solid wood beams, but much better looking that what we had.

We would also like to thank all of those who had suggestions for finding the “end of line” wire on our mystery switch. Being a tech guy, I have a toner system for Cat 5 cable that will probably work. This coming week, we’ll give that a try.

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.




35 Comments

  1. Lily,
    A wind screen can be made wherever you camp from the natural surroundings, such as medium cedar limbs and a few sticks. No need to carry any screen in a pack it will add weight. I guess in the desert you could split a cactus and make one also.

  2. Glad the Polypro worked out , I have found the less expensive Brand (walmart) lasts just as long as the more pricy stuff (and its most likely made in the same factory).
    I am not familiar with your brand of twigg stove , but in my Firebox Nano Titanium if you cut the wood into about 3″ long 1/2″ -3/8″ diameter mini “logs” and place VERTICALLY in the stove , one in each corner , along the inside permeter and infill the center with tinder you will get a better burn . the object is to create coals to cook on and not “blow torch” flames, done right you will get very little smoke also.
    check out the firebox Nano with X-case very compact and works great. Also convertable to a Trangia alcohol stove and a solid fuel burner. you can even “bake” on it using a suitable Titanium pot turned side ways (video’s on U-tube).
    another gem I found recently is a compact water Purifier straw , Rapid Pure Pioneer 1.9 oz in weight and the filter is repaceable the filter costs 24.00 including a stuffsack , the filter replacement is 15.00 , 200 gallon capacity and its EPA rated to remove Viruses. (S3 Solkoa Survival systems has this filter in their Military survival kits)
    I will keep passing information on new (TESTED by me) stuff , my go bag is maturing from the earilier items packed as I learn to use new and versitile gear . The weight of my pack less water and Freeze dried meals (mountain house / US Recon meals) is now less than 20 lbs including the pack weight. full winter gear weight all up (sleeping gear , Clark Jungle nx-250 is about 32 lbs. use of Titanium gear and selection of gear to the minimum basics has enabled this. (one week load out on food)
    My situation is different from your AO , I am on the east coast, Emergency Evac to the west is dicy (eastern Redoubt ) , Bug in is the option until it isnt , then its an E and E event , my gear reflects this . Its sort of like an Aircrew survival type layout small useful and light weight but big on vesitility. There are many places to bug out to along a bay and sea coast in a secluded location , the 1st nation Lenni Lenape lived here for thousands of years and thrived.
    Thanks for the uplifting Sunday note , I agree time is short , we can do nothing to prevent what is coming only prepare to the best of our ability and never loose hope that we will in the end prevail , because we have the Greatest Leader we could ever ask for
    Thru Christ (and Gods Grace) we will be saved .

    The only way out is through.

    Night Breaker

  3. This week started warm and rainy and now is windy and frigid. All our snow is gone and, with it, our skiing and snowshoeing. I have taken advantage of the weather to gather more kindling from the twigs that have fallen in the yard rather than use my dry supply in the barn. We plan to move the wood box my husband made last fall because of an upcoming project, so I have been closely monitoring the direction of the wind and resulting snow accumulation. I have found a spot that will give maximum protection to keep some wood out of the snow and rain and be close to the house.

    We, like many others, change our smoke alarm batteries when the time changes. For some reason, one of the alarm’s batteries has gone dead. I changed all of them out using the last of the stored 9V batteries. Rather than ordering them online as I usually do, I am going to buy the longest dated batteries in the store to replace them in storage. I also ran a hot, hot fire and banged on the stove pipe, and slowly rotated the fire extinguishers a couple turns as I do monthly. We cleaned the ceramic water filters and I cleaned the RV from the mice mess as they eat the poison. We need to get a handle on these critters! all our food is stored in metal or glass, but it is gross to have the disease spreading rodents around. I’m ordering some mouse resistant foam spray recommended from a friend who lives nearby. We are all in this battle and they cannot have a cat either.

    I am wondering about the greenhouse experiences of this community. I am going to be building or buying a greenhouse this fall for 3 season use since I am only here during the school year. I have two reasons to be doing that here at the cabin. First, I need to grow things! and Second, I want to do my experimenting here and now to make any mistakes before we really might need to grow winter food for survival. [A background note: I am a trained Master Gardener who grew up on a farm where we raised and grew almost all that we ate, and I have taught classes in a traditional and hydroponic greenhouse at a high school in the redoubt – so, I have some experience in the growing, but non in the planning and building of one). We have at our disposal a couple piles of almost door size multi-pained windows that, unfortunately, a family member moved out of the barn and have been in the rain and snow for a couple years. We could salvage some of them, but are not sure they would be usable without a lot of shoring up and re-glazing (which I can do, actually). We also have a protected field that we want to build in that is hidden, yet accessible; however, it does not have electricity.

    Our options looked slim. Buy an expensive greenhouse that we would have to heat (generator?) or build a smaller one attached to the cabin that would not be hidden but would have electric access and be closer to our cistern. The benefit to these would be that we could dismantle them when I return to the redoubt full time if we could figure out the travel over 2000 miles. In investigating, my son found a book (he bought the less expensive ebook for us) entitled The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler. I am reading my way through it and it looks doable since we have to rent a machine to take out a number of stumps anyway, so we could prepare the sink at the same time in the hidden field. It is a good thing I have an engineering son to figure things out – even if he has just switched his major to history. All this to ask for any and all advice from fellow prepping adventurers.

    1. Oehler’s book borrows from a native American concept called walpini, the difference being that his plan needs building materials which cost money and aren’t necessary. Walpini is basically a greenhouse in the ground, using the insulation properties of the earth. You could incorporate your re-cycled windows to keep cost minimal. This website has free info on this less expensive technique. https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/build-underground-greenhouse-garden-year-round.html

      Hoop houses are also great, and used very effectively way up north here. Our growing season is shortened by our cool nights, and some kind of row cover is almost a requirement. When the super market is no longer available as a back up, be sure you have some kind of row cover system already in place or at least on site. I know in our state there are grants available to pay for them, if you are willing to go through the paperwork and don’t mind .gov knowing all about your garden plans.

      As a Master Gardener I’m sure you already know that there are seed companies who specialize in short growing season seedstock. Johnnyseeds.com comes to mind; they are in central Maine, and adapted to the shorter growing season. People need to realize that the “growing days to maturity” listed on the back of seed packs does not account for the impact of cool northern nights which effectively stop the plants from growing at night. It’s very different from more moderate climates with warm summer nights. Hoop houses also help with this issue.

      Ten years ago I thought I was prepped for any future gardening needs because I had a couple of pounds of heirloom vegetables and grain. Ha! Since I moved to the Redoubt and started actually getting my hands in the dirt, I’ve realized it takes years to learn how to live off your land, as well as years to get your garden to a highly productive state with rich soil. And you never know what nature will throw at you, be it insects, fungus, hail, drought, heat, cold, gophers, late frost, early frost, or the cat finding your seedlings. Those of you who haven’t found a way to make your move to the Redoubt yet, please search your heart and see if you can speed up your time table.

      1. Didi,
        Thank you for the info. I remember one year in the heart of the 70s recession that hit our rural area very hard when my parents woke to find that someone had raided the entire garden and harvested everything that could be harvested. My father, God bless him, remarked that they must have needed it more than us. I was raised that you didn’t put food up for the following winter, but looked 2 summers out because we never knew what might happen to the next year’s garden. The year my tomatoes dropped dead of blight overnight, I was glad I had developed the habit of far thinking. To this day, I can pickles in two year cycles. Make hay while the sun shines.

    2. Check out LDSPrepper’s YouTube channel for his geothermal hoophouse efforts. He’s a transplanted Houstonian to Idaho, and I hope he is developing a DVD about ways to have reasonable temperatures in his hoop houses in Idaho. Meanwhile, he doesn’t recommend a way to garden unless he’s personally had success with it, including the Mittleider way. Good luck with your greenhouse endeavor.

    3. I used to sell greenhouses, and one thing I know for sure is that you will lose a lot of heat with glass panels; poly works much better. And your idea to use a lean-to is a great idea. Don’t forget to put a vent in to help control the heat. Good luck!

    4. I once rented part of an old farm that had once been owned by a city millionaire family. Their farmer produced fresh produce and dairy products for them daily, that were then taken to the city by train.

      There was a huge dilapidated greenhouse on the property that I thought was the best designed thing I had seen. It was split lengthwise; the southern side had (previously) glassed windows and heavy, wood-fired heaters. The northern side was separated from the greenhouse by a very thick masonry wall, and functioned as a storage and equipment barn. It may once have held livestock too.

      In effect, it was a combination passive solar greenhouse, with an attached barn/storage on the north side of the masonry wall. The wall was not insulated, given that the building was from the early 1900’s. It would be today.

    5. PJGT, look into “deep winter greenhouses”. The design removes the need to heat the structure yourself. Completely off-grid. Even in the dead of winter people raise many different greens. The only problem is that the interior can get too warm. The most modern designs call for adequate ventilation to prevent overheating.

      Carry on

          1. No, my uncle lived in Embarrass. Lovely place except for the mosquitos. I like boots on the ground research. I’ve several degrees and have encountered too many ivory tower theorists. Common sense level-headedness is what saves time, money and lives, not theories. Your advice is appreciated.

  4. Hi Lily: a comment on your encouragement to “repentance.” In the Hebrew pictographs according to Frank Seekins it means to “burn the house.” He describes it as destroying your house of sin so that there is nothing to go back to, a burning of the bridge so to speak. I have found deeper meaning in the Word with some of his Hebrew word pictures including the first and last pictographs of the original Hebrew aleph-bet. As a Christian I have found we Christians have lost a deeper understanding of the Word by not embracing the Jewish roots of our belief.

    1. Hi William,

      I really enjoy Hebrew pictographs. One of my favorite pictographs is derived from the Tetragrammaton, the Yod, Heh, Vav, Heh, יהוה which is the name of God, the Great I AM, of whom we’re not exactly sure of it’s correct pronunciation, and of whom to Rabbinic Jewish persons, is an unpardonable sin to mention aloud.

      The Yod stands for hand: yad; the Heh stands for behold or look: hiney; the Vav stands for nail or hook: vav; and the Heh again, stands for behold, look: hiney.

      So pictographically, YHWH stands for: Hand, look, nail, look.

      The Holy Name is essentially referring to the crucifixion death, the shedding of the blood of Jesus, Yeshua is His Hebrew name, the messiah, for our sins.

      My fervent prayer is that the Lord God would now remove the veil from the Jewish People’s eyes and give them ears to hear who their true Messiah is. Time is so short!

      Blessings,

      Lily

  5. Thank you to all on this site. I learn every time I visit.

    We managed to get our two underperforming plum trees transplanted and most of our clean up done before the snow came.
    The trees should do well with the deep freeze that hit this week.
    We feel blessed and lucky in that order.

  6. Just living the arctic dream … not much to mention except that the days are getting longer … by a small amount each day that passes. Looking forward to break up but know that there is one more arctic storm in the works and won’t be denied its usual arrival sometime in the next month or two. Been very busy with migrating a new corporate server and programming new software; this keeps me busy enough that camping is out of the question for a few weeks yet … did some snowshoeing to keep active, tested some outside gear out back since I didn’t have time to take it downrange .. thank you very much for the posts from all. It’s good to hear how folks cope on the outside.
    God bless all of you, keep warm.

  7. Spent the day in a Bee Keeping class. I think I’m going to try my hand at trying to catch a feral swarm. Bought some bee keeping equipment and a book on northeastern wild plants. Have to get my nuc order in so I can start my hive. I’m hearing a very loud sucking sound in my wallet, but I’m optimistic that it will pay off.

  8. To PJGT mouse problem: Get bars of Irish Spring bath soap, toss them under the cabinets and in drawers (not food storage areas, smell may soak into foods) mice HATE the smell and will avoid moving in, I don’t know if they will leave in the winter as they have a warm nest built and would realize relocation would probably be deadly.

  9. Using preps this week.

    Snow came Friday, today, and forecast is for another 40 inches to come over the next 10 days, which will add to the 2+ feet we have now. Power was out for 5 hours but back on now, so I staged our genny, extension cords, multi-socket outlets, fuel jugs so they are ready to go for a long outage.

    Last year I bought a 9KW Champion dual fuel genny, but it’s actually a backup to my little Sportsman inverter generator which is the one I use to power the refrig and freezers each for an hour during outages, while still having some lights and cell phone charging, or run the microwave.

    When we bought this farmstead, a key consideration was the woodstove and pond.
    our woodstove cooks and heats. The pond is frozen over, our rain catchments are frozen, and the well pump still needs public power. Plans for a hand pump still need funding, and the septic requires power as well.

    For hygiene, we keep paper towels on standby. After use, they are fuel. We keep gallon jugs of potable water always, and also gallons of versatile distilled water which we have used for medical, vehicle, and oral use. We upcycled a liquid laundry soap dispenser container into a soapy handwash station in the bathroom, with it’s little red button used to dispense wash solution made from Dawn.

    We keep the wide-mouth plastic milk jugs for pee, which will become fertilizer for fruit trees and berry canes. For poo we use the 5 gallon bucket which first gets a quart of cedar shavings in the bottom in case bags leak (experienced), then nested double garbage bags, then 2 loose quarts of dog bed-type cedar shavings that come in a bale. Snap on the seat lid, and position in the bathroom, right next to the other 5 gallon bucket of reserve cedar shavings.

    Preparations regionally here in leftern Washington State showed many warnings by weather folk to stay off roads and stock up.

    The stocking up took place with the usual hysteria, rude anxious drivers in parking lots of all the Costco’s, Walmarts, and other places, tussles in the bread aisles with pushing and grabbing, fights over cooked chicken, folks grabbing items from other people’s shopping carts and instigating yelling matches from the few not-so-easily-intimidated.

    Winco stores had all parking spaces filled, no carts available, and cars getting double parked in the alleyways between the designated parking spaces.

    We had some snow last week, and everyone crowded the Costcos just last week for Superbowl binging supplies. They must have used them up. Thursday-Friday was strip-the-shelves-daze.

    Friday was the day all the forecasters, media folk, and first responder agencies warned the public to stay off the roads. The public, fully anesthetized with normalcy bias, did not.

    The real difference between snows on the left coast and our winters in the Redoubt come down to one word: viscosity. That little word defeats foot traction, validates the assertion that just because you have a four wheel drive doesn’t mean you have a four wheel stop, and yet it remains totally oblivious to the majority of drivers who merrily, terrorily, bounce off eachother and the few drivers who would otherwise maintain safe vehicle operation.

    Friday we had hundreds of incidents of sliding vehicles, three car and head-on collisions, sliding off roads, traffic jams along the sole highway through the county. A rash of calls 911 from elderly and others who fell down and couldn’t get up, added to the usual medical assistance calls, and the additional calls for injuries due to vehicle collisions.

    Ambulances, wreckers, the few snowplow and sanding truck vehicles here, law enforcement, and utility company vehicles (several power outages at various areas) couldn’t get past the hundreds of vehicles stuck in jams at several chokepoints and many key intersections, to respond. First responders on off-shifts or scheduled to be resting, were called back to work.

    Just like it all was scripted from prepper novels.

    This is just the start of what forecasters say we should have for snowy weather and temps to single digits over the next 10 days.

    God is so good in His wisdom to tell us to first honor him and his blessings will flow.

    I just rediscovered the youtube recording of Eden’s Bridge, singing Psalm 1. It is a great solace. I suggest you give it a listen. He who has ears, let him hear.

    May our precious Lord and Savior bless you and keep you all.

    1. Wheatley,

      Good idea to have a second bucket with sawdust, wood chips, or (my favorite) coconut fiber all ready to go as well. We use a composting toilet here at the cabin full time, but have used and keep on hand a bucket of supplies with a plastic snap on toilet seat as a lid. Wonderful invention!

      I find wet wipes a wonder for waterless living – as well as hand sanitizer and hand lotion to counter the drying properties. But we had that conversation.

      I’ve been supplying my new to city living daughter with supplies so that she will not need to leave her apartment should there be a weather, political or any other kind of disaster. The safest place to be (other than not in the city) is cozy on the couch with a good book and a snack.

      Looking like we are going to make it to spring yet. Blessings

    2. Wheatly, the pee is best used in the soil around greens, kale, broccoli. The nitrogen gives them a big boost. Urine is sterile, unlike poo, so there is no need to restrict its use to trees and canes. In fact, its use there will encourage abundant leafy growth at the expense of the fruit.

      Carry on

      1. You are right on the mark. In our case, this is pasture getting converted to intensive agriculture. The canes and more importantly the new trees, need huge nutrient input to start, and the trees will not be allowed to fruit for 1 to 2 years so they can build structure.

        We are in the middle of snow and freezing, so the urine will change to ammonia before growing season. Any suggestions on how to use the ammonia on plants safely?

        1. Many people consider that dilution is the solution, my friend. Also, the soil microbes aggressively use the nitrogen in any form.

          The Humanure Handbook, although maybe containing misinformation about use of feces (always make sure any feces is COMPLETELY composted AT HIGH TEMPERATURE before use) has suggestions regarding urine.

          Carry on

      2. Once a Marine and Wheatley,

        Since we are using a composting toilet that separates the urine out, I investigated and found that the dilution amounts were so great that it didn’t seem to be a very useful way to get rid of the amount of urine just 2 people produce. Any more information would be helpful!

        1. I fear my knowledge here is quite inadequate, PJGT.

          I know that I consider urine to be liquid gold, even to the extent of bringing a small bottle to collect it when I leave the homestead. My sweet spouse says I am obsessive about that. And so it goes.

          Carry on

  10. Spent my outdoor time scraping ice, and trying to clear ice jams, two days in a row. I should have done more, but was dealing with a cold and didn’t want more down time. We had ice jams in all the eves, so one afternoon I was partially filling a bucket with hot water from the tub, then dumping it out the bathroom window into the gutters on the porch. Several buckets later, that seemed to clear at least one of the spouts.

    Because of freezing rain, I was double checking preps for a power outage, and one night filled the tub up with water. We didn’t have a power outage, but my daughter’s rural school did, for a couple of hours, and that was tough, she said. She teaches special ed, and most of the kids in her class have difficulty with hygiene issues that require water. They should have let everyone go home, but they have missed so many days, they kept the kids there.

    I also spent several hours re-organizing my collection of children’s books, art and sewing supplies. I was motivated by the popular show on Netflix by Japanese organizer Marie Kondo, and so far we’ve done a great job of KEEPING things organized, rather than constantly dealing with clutter. This has significantly decreased my daily stress.

    I also caught up on some sewing projects, mostly mending, and sewed a dozen handkerchiefs mostly so I could see how it was to use them during my cold. I found that I would need a LOT more than a dozen if I didn’t have water to regularly launder them. (I just throw them into a basket under the laundry room sink and throw them in with towels. I have a “real” washing machine, with plenty of water, so they get clean, unlike the low water machine I used to have!)

  11. Hello all. Fuel line repairs are the order of the day here as the “salt” that the state throws all over the roads has taken a toll on the delicate metals on my 2002 GMC pickup. I took the day off from work yesterday to help my wife with house cleaning, veterinarian visits, garage cleaning etc. Mounted my Vortex 1-8 x24 to my new AR 556, looking forward to zeroing. Good luck with new kittie, JWR. Lily, my senses (spirit) are telling me the same regarding end of “good” days. What a coinky dink. Anyhoo, stay safe and warm folks.

  12. Question to the Peanut Gallery about the polypro longjohns. I have had a problem in the past with them retaining smells. I have heard, but not tried, using the new Oxi-type detergents can do the job. Does anyone know this from experience?

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