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!
I only did one prepping project at the ranch this week: Building extensions for a couple of raised beds in our greenhouse with Lily. This raised them 6 inches, allowing them to be covered with salvaged window panes. (We’ll probably get that glass from the Habitat For Humanity salvaged building materials store.) This should provide a better “greenhouse within a greenhouse” effect than we achieved last winter. Thankfully, rough cut red cedar is very inexpensive in our region, so I generally keep a pile of it stacked in random lengths and widths, for various projects around the ranch. In this case, that lumber pile saved me a trip to town. To paraphrase: “Two is one, One is none. But a stack really comes in handy.”
So that I’ll be ready to launch my Internet-based business in 2020, I’ve been busy buying antique guns, some ammunition, and a few accessories. I’m also doing the preliminary work of searching for a gun-friendly credit card processor, buying a domain name, and creating a web site. This has consumed a lot of my available time. Creating the new business — Elk Creek Company — is already a large undertaking. Just finding quality pre-1899 cartridge guns that meet my standards is time-consuming and difficult. This is because less than 1% of the guns in circulation are Federally antique. In fact, most of the advertised “antique” guns on the market are better described as simply “old”, but not true pre-1899 antiques. So searching through online auction listings is often frustrating, and again, time consuming. In essence, I’m looking for a few needles in a haystack. There have been some busy days when I’ve scarcely had time to keep the wood box full, and conduct our regular weekday family Bible studies.
This weekend, I’m attending a gun show in Lewiston, Idaho. I’ll be lucky if I return to the ranch with two or three nice antiques for the Elk Creek Company inventory. Oh, by the way, if any of you readers have any antiques that you’d be willing to sell or trade, then please e-mail me. Note that with some models, I’m willing to buy restored, re-lined, or sporterized guns.
I have literally hundreds of magazines available to trade. I’m also willing to trade silver for antique guns. In particular, I’m looking for:
- Remington-Lee .45-70 military rifles. (Not the later civilian production.)
- Magazine Lee-Metford .303 rifles clearly dated 1898 and earlier.
- Magazine Lee-Enfield .303 carbines marked MkI with NO STAR (Not a MkI*)
- S&W brand Top Break revolvers. Mainly looking for .38 and .44 caliber. I will consider .32 S&Ws only if they are in truly minty condition, and reasonably priced. For S&Ws, I’m a buyer of:
.32 S&W safety hammerless with serial # below 91,400
.38 S&W safety hammerless with serial # below 119,900
.32 S&W with hammer with serial # below 209,301
.38 S&W with hammer with serial # below 382,022
.38 S&W spur trigger top break revolvers. (All are pre-1899)
.44-40 or .44 S&W Russian single action or double action top breaks (all are pre-1899)
- Forehand & Wadsworth .38 S&W and .44 S&W Russian revolvers.
- Forehand Arms top break .38 S&W revolvers with serial #s below 90,000.
- Merwin-Hulburt .38 S&W and .44-40 revolvers
- Remington 1875 and 1890 .44-40 and .45 Colt revolvers
- Remington Model 1871 & 1891 Rolling Block Pistols in centerfire
- Webley Mark I or Mark II top break revolvers in .455 Eley or .45 ACP
- Colt M1891 to Model 1896 in .38 Colt or .41 Colt revolvers with serial # below 115,000
- Colt M1873 Single Action Army in .44-40 and .45 Colt revolvers with serial # between 165,000 and 182,000
- Colt M1878 Double Action in .44-40 and .45 Colt with serial # below 41,000
- Marlin Model 1877 Double Action revolvers in .38 S&W (all are pre-1899)
- Swedish Mauser M1894 or M1896, only if clearly dated 1898 or earlier on receiver ring. I also buy sporterized Swedes, if nicely done, and priced right!
- Chilean Mauser M1895 rifles, short rifles, or carbines only if marked MANUFACTURA LOEWE BERLIN. I also buy sporterized Chileans, if nicely done, and priced right!
- Spanish Mauser M1895 rifles, short rifles, or carbines only if clearly dated 1898 or earlier on receiver ring, or if marked MANUFACTURA LOEWE BERLIN. I also buy sporterized Spanish Mausers, if nicely done, and priced right!
- Brazilian Mauser M1894 rifles, short rifles, or carbines marked MANUFACTURA LOEWE BERLIM.
- Original U.S. Krag rifles or carbines with serial number below 152,670. I also buy sporterized antique Krags, if nicely done, and priced right!
- Finnish M39 rifles. Please do not contact me offering to sell a M39 unless you have digital photos showing a date between “91” and “98” clearly marked on the tang!
- Schmidt-Rubin Model 1896/11 rifles with serial # below 236,500
- Winchester Model 1873 in .44-40 with serial # below 525,923
- Winchester Model 1886 in .45-70 or .45-90 with serial # below 119,193
- Winchester Model 1890 (.22 WRF) with serial # below 64,521
- Winchester Model 1892 in .44-40 with serial # below 165,432
- Winchester Model 1894 in .30-30, 38-55, or .25-35 with serial # below 147,685
- Winchester Model 1895 with serial # below 19,872 (“slab side” M1895)
- Winchester Model 1897 12 gauge shotguns with serial # below 63,633
Avalanche Lily Reports:
My, my, we have had a very interesting and busy week. Besides the usual schooling of Miss Violet, animal chores (cleaned the chickies’ box twice this week. They are really growing very fast and all are completely feathered out. They are a beautiful mix of different types of chickens or their miniature versions. Jim bought them grain and and the horses wet cob that should last us until February at least.). I did a lot household chores such as cooking, laundry, dishes, vacuuming and washing floors, bathrooms, etc. Hey, it’s the mundane stuff that keeps a home happy, clean, and functioning smoothly. : )
Miss Eloise loves writing short stories. I spent some time reading a excerpt of one of hers, editing and critiquing it. She has an excellent command of words. I enjoyed reading it very much. We have been researching some possible further schooling and work opportunities with Miss Eloise, working on her resume, and counseling on how to approach potential employers. For now, she is a serious homebody who enjoys studying that of which she is interested in, and applying it to her writing. She loves studying Ancient British/Gaelic languages, British/Irish and American history, and culture, and seafaring/sailing. She is excellent in defending our faith/apologetics, and is very interested in defending our freedoms in this country. So we shall see how the Lord leads her in the next year or so.
Miss Eloise caught some cabin fever at 7:30 PM one evening. Therefore in the dark and rain, with flashlights, she and I, went mountain biking all around our property for about an hour. Fun, cold and wet! The stuff that memories are made of! 😉
Starting Saturday evening we are going to start a two week period of intermittent snow storms which look as though we could have up to two feet of snow by December 6th, Yeah! Therefore we did a bit more yard clean up and preparation for heavy snows, such as I gathered up the last few hoses and then went to the area where our hoses are stored. I rolled up each hose making sure that it was drained of water and ready for winter storage. One hose had become brittle and was thrown out. I pulled a few hoses into the greenhouse to have quick access to them anytime we might need one during the winter. We do need them sometimes to water the animals from the house.
The girls walked through our forests collecting the last of the fallen pine cones for kindling.
I cleaned up more manure from our big beasties, from around the ranch, and added it to the Annex and Expansion gardens.
Jim and I, together, also burned most of the weeds and grass in a section of the Annex garden with our propane weed burner, fueled with a twenty pound tank of propane. I cleaned out the ash from our wood stove and spread that on the Annex garden.
I also helped Jim build the framework to add height to two of my raised beds in the greenhouse. My job was to help square the corners while Jim power screwed in the screws. Then I helped him carry them into the greenhouse and layed them upon the beds. I will be letting the soil in one of these beds freeze until February. One of the beds is growing our greens for the winter until the heavy frost kills them — if it does?
I washed out all of our buckets, about eight of them, stainless steel and plastic, to be ready for filling up with water before snow storms arrive. We often lose power for a few days at a time and therefore lose access to running water. The water is used for drinking water for the chickens and cats, (cows and horses have two water tanks that are topped off before every storm, and they have access to a creek and river if they choose to walk out to them through the snow) and flushing and dishes, etc. Just before a storm we also, fill about six glass gallon and half gallon jars with water for drinking and cooking, hand washing, etc.
I scrubbed out our work sleds, getting them ready for work in the snow.
I made a simple Pulk sled for pulling gear while snowshoeing or cross country skiing for snow camping or whatever. I used a child’s plastic Toboggan and I used Brooke Whipple’s simple sled design. Remember, I’m not going on any long term expedition, that I know of? ;). Therefore we don’t need the expensive version with grommets, etc.
Miss Eloise queried me, “Mom, How come you are so motivated to do this hiking and camping gear stuff when it’s winter? Why don’t we do this in the summer?” My response was, “Well this past summer, the days were usually consumed by gardening, weeding, harvesting, preserving, guests, mosquitoes, and this summer, a health scare that turned out not to be anything, thankfully.” The days are very long in the summer, early to rise and very late to bed. We’re usually too tired by the end of the day to think about anything else, let alone organizing for a hike. But winters here are quiet and sedentary. I’m more rested to want to think about doing Cross Country skiing and winter camping–though we have yet to winter camp.
When the sled was finished, I packed it with my gear, and except for food and water, it is ready to go. We’re just waitin’ for the snow to fall, now!! 😉 Did I ever tell you that I love to play in snow?
After I knew what I was doing, I had each of the girls make their own Pulk sleds. Showing them how to use the drill and then letting them go at it. Since we lack storage space for fully assembled Pulk sleds we left them in parts so that we can use them for playing, too. We will keep the rope and carabiners nearby the Pulk sled parts for a quick assembly when we need them.
We brought our garden and lawn machines to a shop to be serviced for this next summer’s use.
In case we ever lost access to gasoline, I bought two broad fork garden tillers from Amazon. I will use these instead of the rototiller to till our soil in a grid-down situation. I will be using them this next summer, also.
Dear Readers, concerning my article of Winter Indoor Gardening, that was published Tuesday, thank you so much for your many encouraging comments of your successes, experiences and solutions with insect invasions. We all are benefiting from each other’s experiences.
I have treated the plants in the bedroom greenhouse with dish soap water, while still awaiting on the arrival of the Neem oil. Sadly, though, my peppers succumbed to a frost on Tuesday night, before I could treat them with soapy water and Neem oil. I didn’t get to them with soapy water because too many other things were happening on Tuesday. So I pulled them and composted them. The celery and parsley experienced the frost, but I put those into the greenhouse, after the frost and sprayed them with the soapy water. We’ll see how the fare during the next few days. I have sprayed them again and have crushed some more aphids that I saw.
In the bedroom greenhouse, I’d like to report that the French green beans are now producing beans and the cucumbers are already flowering!!!! This is after just five weeks of growing in the house! The speed of growth and flowering just doesn’t happen out in the garden or the greenhouse in the summer, here! I am surmising that it’s because in the house the light is on a steady 12-15 hours per day, and probably most importantly, we don’t have huge temperature swings in the house at night, like we do outside!! Our house temperature ranges between 70-90 degrees, because of the wood stove. We often open windows in the winter to cool us down. In the summer, outside, we have 40-50 degree temperature swings and in the greenhouse the temperature swings are even larger since the temperatures can get up to 120+ degrees and down to 55 degrees at night. These temperature changes are an important variable to try to mitigate in greenhouses in the north, in mountainous or desert regions in particular, with coverings for night times.
I did burn/steam about five gallons of my garden soil (to sterilize it) from the soil in the pepper plants pots over a campfire this week. I then left the soil out afterwards in freezing temperatures to cool off and freeze before putting it into a large planter. I left it out on the porch to experience more nights of freezing temperatures. I have yet to finish washing and sterilizing the windowsill planter trays that I want to to put the sterilized soil into and replant. All in good time…
I am also interested in continuing the conversation concerning growing indoors and/or under cover of green houses and the like, and the Global Solar Minimum. I, too, listen to David Dubuyne at Adapt 2030, Christian at Ice Age Farmer, sometimes Diamond at Oppenheimer Ranch project. I wish he’d keep the foul language and saying the Lord’s name out of his orations. If he did, I would listen to him a lot more often. He has a lot of interesting things to add to this conversation. I enjoy listening to Suspicious Observers. I have listened to Yanasa Ama Ranch. He has excellent information, but is a little bit too wordy and long winded for my attention span.
This week Adapt 2030 was talking about farmers already switching to cold weather crop growing, moving from growing wheat to barley. Ice Age Farmer is talking about a serious sugar shortage beginning this year. Basically between Canada and the USA, 48 percent of the Sugar beet production was lost due to beets freezing in the ground before being harvested this fall. The sugar companies are unable to meet their contracts and are calling it a force majure. If I were you, and you like sugar, I’d stock up on it. We have been buying some extra. Not that we eat a lot of sugar, but, if we help people during an SHTF situation, they would like some sweet foods, especially if we’re working very hard. Plus it’s a great preserver of fruits in jams, etc.
Suspicious Observers has an hour plus long report on periodic earth catastrophes, titled “Cosmic Disaster” That you all should watch. Miss Violet and I watched it, after first reading Isaiah 24, which explains what the Very Last Days will look like.
I just wish to say that I believe what God says will happen in the Last Days is true and will happen. To me all of these scientists and people who are studying these potential catastrophic scenarios all have part of the truth. They are just confirming the Word of God and are putting more meat on the bones in terms of information and what to expect and how and why what God has said will happen, will happen. I think it’s very interesting.
Even more important than this, is that many people of God are prophesying that there isn’t much more time left to prepare and they are saying that we need to stock on food, water, warm clothes, blankets, medical, communication equipment, etc. But all this preparation isn’t just for us and our families but is for us to share with the people that God is going to send to us. His people who could not stock up or had to flee their homes because of disasters. We need to be praying and asking God to give us discernment of hearing of his voice clearly, so we will know when he is telling us to take in someone or to send them on. We need to be in the Word so we know God’s ways, clearly.
We also need to be ready to survive without being able to buy or sell, because when they do away with cash and go digital, this will require a chip to hold all of your banking, medical, credit card, information, everything, this is the “Mark of the Beast” . You won’t be able to buy or sell without it. But all who receive it are damned forever, forever separated from God the Loving Father. So then, pray about whom you should speak to about preparing. We have a friend, whose adult child has not prepped and this child was brought up prepping. The “child” said, “Dad, God told me very clearly not to prep. God said that we will be fleeing our home with just the clothes on our backs (hopefully with a Bugout Bag), but that he will lead us to a safe a place of refuge. So why should I prep if it’s all going to be destroyed and I won’t be able to use it?I will be disobeying God.”
So then in light of this word, some us who know we are to be prepping, need to be asking God if He will be having us to be offering shelter for those of His children who must flee cities, and then prepare accordingly. If we stock up, it may not be just for you. But this takes a wise and discerning heart, a prayerful heart. Ask God to show you and prepare you for the work that He will have for you to do in the days to come. Remember it is He who gives you the wisdom, understanding to know what is coming in the future. It is He who gives you the resources and finances to stock up. Stock up on Bibles to give to anyone, who needs one. I believe that there will be mass movements of displaced people in the coming days.
I like to listen to Mary at God’s Handmaiden. I don’t necessarily agree with some of what she says, but she encourages me and spurs me on in the Word and preparing and has given me a few more thoughts and ideas to consider and pray about.
If you have any thoughts, ideas, insights or suggestions on any of these subjects, please share them with us.
May you all have a very blessed and safe week.
– Avalanche Lily, Rawles
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As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.