Editors’ Prepping Progress

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!

Jim Reports:

This week, while traveling, I bought another e-bike, in mountain bike configuration.  I also managed to find another antique rifle, for my mailorder inventory. I’ve also had a LOT of writing and editing to do.

Although I’m essentially pinned down here, helping an elderly relative, I’m making good use of my time. For example, I’m getting plenty of daily exercise.  I’m also writing extra blog posts, to be ready for the end of the year. If I “work ahead” and get the blog written 10 or 12 days in advance, it will give Hugh Latimer enough time to prepare the annual archive early. The goal is to have the waterproof archive USB sticks orderable by the 10th of January.  This year it will have more than 4,000 pages of additional bonus material. These are some pre-1925 books on practical topics that I had professionally scanned.

Update: As of Friday evening, there is now enough snow at the Rawles Ranch to get  back to cross-country skiing!

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This week, I am waiting for the snow to come back.  The weather turned warm (above freezing most days and some nights 28-41 degrees)  and rainy and we lost the snow very quickly that I had skied on last Monday. We did receive another inch of snow this week, but then it’s been raining for three days.  So except for that brief ski last Monday, I haven’t skied since.

I walked three times for 45  minutes each.

During Thanksgiving weekend we moved the guest bedroom indoor garden out to the west windows and into the great room so that the room was available for one of our sons.  I was so busy that I forgot to check on watering them.  The intense heat and dryness from the wood stove and the lack of light did a number on the plants.  I lost everything except the green beans and the tomatoes.  The mint lost it’s leaves.

Therefore I am going to burn/steam all of the rest of the soil and start over again with the lettuces, kale, beets, etc., in about two weeks.  The reason being, is that the French green beans are producing beans well.  I would like to harvest some more, beans from their bushes and then, I’ll pull them and sterilize the soil that they are growing in and start the beans over again.  They are also suffering from the mites.  Stuff happens.

I dehydrated and froze 25 pounds of store-bought organic carrots.

I cleaned the hen house and chickie box and put the manure in the extension garden.  I opened up one end of the chickie box so the birds have more room to roam within the hen house, but can return to the lamp when cold. They are growing so big now that they need more room to move around.

On Friday, our elderly horse, Ch, 30 plus years old, went down during the night in the doorway between her  stall and corral and couldn’t get herself up.  It was raining and snowing.  She was stuck. This morning, she didn’t come when I fed the others their breakfast, so I went looking for her all over our woods and meadows.  I didn’t find her so I went back to check the stalls and there she was down in the doorway.  After talking with Jim, I called our neighbors who came over to help us. We were able to pull her out into the corral with a come along and pick up truck.  We spent hours praying for her and feeding her apples, carrots, wet cob, molasses, and water with a syringe.  I gave her Bute, which is a pain killing asprin-type pill for horses.  We covered her up with blankets and electric heat pads, plastic tarp and put straw under her and all around her to add warmth.  We massaged her back to help warm her. Then we tried several times to get her up. There were five of us pushing and pulling and rocking her. She just didn’t have the strength to get to her feet.  She tried so hard.  A horse in that state down more than 4-6 hours usually isn’t going to get back up, without a lift and sling, which we don’t have.  She had been down just during the day over eight hours and who knows how long during the night.  So just before dark, we decided to put her down, so she wouldn’t suffer through the cold snowy and rainy night.  Dear, dear Ch. Rest in peace.  You had a wonderful life and retirement with us.  You taught us how to ride and care for horses.  You were so good and patient with the children.  You were always so welcoming to the other and every new animal(s) on the ranch. We loved you.  We’ll miss you.

What a sad week.  I’m so sorry that we have not had such good news to share with you, lately.  We are living the life God has given us to live.  There are great days and tragic sad days.  God Gives and He takes away. Blessed be His name. God knows all things…

Just one interesting side note:  Miss Eloise had a dream this morning.  She woke up to the sound of me starting the Skype call to Jim to tell him about Ch and to get his advice on how to handle her situation.  Before Eloise woke up she had had a dream that someone was loading Ch. up in a trailer and was taking her away.  She said she protested, and told him how wonderful she was, what she had done for us, and how we had cared for her and had done so many things with her and for her, how much we loved her.  She felt like she was explaining to this person like she was memoralizing Ch’s life with us. Then she woke up to the Skype ringing and heard me talking about Ch to Jim about how we could help Ch.. She feels like God gave her a warning dream this morning that something was going to happen. I believe that The Lord God warns his servants before things are going to happen to get us to pray/intercede for and to prepare our hearts.

The book of Amos Chapter 3:7 tells us: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”  He is a merciful and kind Lord.

We are missing Jim, while he is traveling.

Please continue to prepare your hearts for the persecution that is coming, the economic collapse, the famines and food shortages. You really need to listen to Adapt 2030’s last few uploads and Ice Age Farmer’s last few uploads. These things are coming very soon, sadly.  For those of you east of the Rockies, it looks as though you’ll be having a brutal winter with possible long-term power outages. Make sure you have other ways to heat your home or to stay warm, such as long johns, warm outdoor clothes, and extra sleeping bags. Make sure you have bottled water and canned foods, dried foods to eat if there is no power for cooking.

We also hear that the flu is starting early and is already affecting people greatly.  Be ready to care for yourself and your loved ones and to quarantine yourself to avoid catching it, if you are able. We don’t know how much longer the window will remain open to prepare.  Do what you can, every day.

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.




50 Comments

  1. I cried when I read about your horse and am very sorry for your loss. I have been there too. There just aren’t words… I still can’t talk about it, even though years have passed. Everyone should be so lucky as to have one very special horse in their life.

    You were blessed to have her, and she was blessed to have you….

    1. I was sorry to read about the loss of your horse, a long time friend and companion to your family. The innocent affection our animal friends share with us makes their absence more painful.

    2. You Know one of the hardest things I ever had to do was put my 9yr old Black lab /Bluheeler Max down ( cancer in his jaw) … We were inseparatble , we chased gophers, magpies swam together even had a stand off with a cougar up in the Kananaskis area in Alberta Canada while hiking ( i never ever worried when he was with me ) … But to have to go through that ( feeling of helplessnes and the thought that you will have to make that decision ….well no one ever prepares for it …. in short a horse means as much to me as a dog or cat even a cow .. just one of God,s creations … how can you not get emotional about it …thank you for sharing your story , I know your story has touched many many readers …..BTW Merry Christmas to you and your familiy

  2. I feel the same way as Grits. I rescued a horse from starvation, named her Duchess, and she lived out her life in a meadow with lots of shade and good grass, giving me lots of good trail rides and companionship. She passed away on an autumn day with wonderful weather and sun. I miss her still.

  3. So sorry to hear about the loss of your horse. We really enjoy reading SB every day. Lastly, would you mind posting the web addresses of Adapt 2030 and Ice Age Farmer that you referred to above? We want to be sure we are reading exactly what you are referencing. Thank You!

  4. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear horse; it is so painful to lose a long time furry friend. Animals accept us as we are and are more tolerant and faithful to us than many humans. May your memories be happy.

  5. Something is going on I can’t explain.

    We farm west of Eugene Oregon, and since 1998, we usually have many thousands of geese and ducks oved-nighting on our fields. I want to emphasize those numbers… tens of thousands every day, usually starting early October.

    This year, a few dozen birds.
    This’s the darnedest winter in over two decades of intimate living with our land.

    To this, I add the lack of rain.
    Yesterday, we drove Highway 126 to the coast.
    The reservoirs were all dry, very little water on those mud-flats.

    This gives us the opportunity to witness the terrible effect of silting behind dams.
    For example, a reservoir may advertise ten million acre-feet, but that was the new-built value.
    After a few decades of silting, the reservoir may be down to a tiny fraction of that.
    We see identical silting in the Dorena reservoir feeding Cottage Grove Oregon.
    And Folsom reservoir feeding Sacramento California.
    In these three examples, the folks downstream are relying on imaginary water to see them through the remainder of this drought.

    #####

    re:
    animals in our care

    As caretakers, our sacred duty is providing them with the food security and medical security a wild life could never offer.
    In exchange for their dedication and service, we gain far more than any cost of room-and-board.
    And we get the exquisite privilege of their memories after they go.
    I always thought we get the better end of the contract!

    1. Most of the reservoirs in Oregon are multi-purpose and one of those purposes is to contain the flood waters and snow melts that can happen in the Spring. To that purpose they are emptied every fall. Every avid fisherman knows this and fishes the tiny pool near the dam after all the water has been drawn out. Happens every year, year after year, nothing new about it this year.

      Oregon, Washington and Northern California has winter weather (rain or snow) that is determined by the La Nina or El Nino events AND by the jet stream. It is common for Oregon and Northern California to get more rain then snow in a winter because of that pesky jet stream. It is also common for this to change sometime in January (give or take a few weeks) and dump feet of snow on us. We have our low precip years and our high precip years and the only thing about these weather patterns that can be depended on is that no matter which weather pattern happens someone will declare it is part of global warming or has never happened before. And yet it goes on with the same series of seemingly random weather patterns for decades and centuries whether we pay attention to it or not

    2. River Road, Hwy 99 near Harrisburg, even closer to town by the Hwy 99 ponds south of JC- that is where many of the waterfowl were found this year. Don’t know what prompted them to move away from Fern Ridge and some of the other properties west of Eugene, but move on they did. I blame Kommie Kate and her cronies in Salem.
      Every time the gubbermint changes things here in Oregon, supposedly to benefit the wildlife, we see the animals suffer for a few years. They will hopefully recover again as in the past.
      We need to retake the control of our land stewardship from the politicians and place it again with the sportsmen and women, the conservation/preservation groups that recognize hunting and fishing as the best way to manage healthy wildlife, and end the ridiculous land-grabs by the gubbermint. Oregon should be the heart of the redoubt, and not a distant memory of free-thinkers and patriots from only the East side.

  6. This week we are back in the Redoubt for a family funeral. My wife’s cousin died after 11 years fighting cancer. She was a ranch girl raised in the Highwood Mountains, a teacher, a mother of three kids including two adopted from Korea, a new grandmother, a wife, and a very dear loving friend and fellow Christian.

    Today we have fresh snow covering all the earth here. Just as we struggle with our doubts and troubles, God forgives all of us who seek forgiveness through our repentence and trust in our gracious Lord Jesus. He makes all things new and washes us white as snow.

    May God Bless all of you who seek Him.

    1. May the Lord comfort your family and loved ones as their beloved wife, mom and friend went to heaven to be with the Lord. May He give them strength each day, through the heaviness of loss, missing of touchable love, and hearing her voice and words of kindness. May the Lord help each of you with your pain.
      With tears, Krissy

  7. I’m so sorry for your loss. We have had that sad experience too. I so appreciate the “realness” of your blog. It represents the realities of living this lifestyle. Many people have a rose colored expectation of what life should be. Accepting the reality of the good and hard times of life is necessary for a balanced life and when things get harder it will help you be more adaptable. Again, I’m so sorry for your loss.

  8. Dear Lily and all, I am sorry to hear of your loss, often the animals in our lives are as dear as the people, God gives them to us to fill niches and holes that other humans can’t. We can not begin to imagine how glorious heaven will be, looking at what God has given us here in this imperfect earth, heaven is far from comprehendable. I believe that whatever heaven is like it will contain those animals we have known, they were created by Him to be of service to us, but were not given the gift of free will, so they are without sin. I hope I am right in believing this as I look forward to eternity praising God, and talking to my family and friends- human and animal. Remember the good times.

    1. There is much scriptural evidence for the continued existence of animals in heaven.
      Two particularly good books based on KJV Bible are
      There is Eternal Life for Animals by Niki Shanahan
      Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates by Gary Kurz
      Both are available at Amazon.
      Also a free video on You Tube by Jack Van Impe called
      Animals in Heaven.
      Sorry I was unable to make the links copy and paste work but they are all easy to find.
      Blessings.

  9. You have our sympathies. There is such heartache in losing a dear animal friend.

    This week we have had some not good medical news; however, there is a very good medical solution. I am thankful that I am ill during this peaceful time where I can get proper medical attention. God’s timing is very good.

    In addition, our son was cut from the ROTC program (new commander…often happens I understand) and has decided to return home to finish his degree online. It will be good to have him here with us as we head into interesting (trying) times. A bit sad, but there are still many possibilities open for him.

    Not much physical prepping going on as we are all working diligently to get ahead financially. As my mother says, “Make hay while the sun shines.” There are jobs aplenty right now and we are taking full advantage.

    The neighborhood party went well and we were able to get to know more of our neighbors. Also the new snowmobile skis arrived, so all our sleds will be usable.

    After a week like this, God’s love shines through clearly. He has a plan and, although we might not understand it, it will be the best in the long run.

    1. Dear PJGT,

      Praying for you! I think it’s propitious that your son is coming home to you for a season. God knows all things and works in mysterious ways. We don’t know what the next few months will hold and it may be a good thing for all concerned that he is home??

      Blessings,

      Lily

      1. Thank you Lily,

        I believe God is moving His people into place at this moment in our history. He has a plan. Having the family all together will be my delight. Jesus said He does not bring blessing with sadness, so I’m looking for the joy as He makes all things work for His good.

        We are woefully unprepared compared to where we were a few years ago, but are doing everything we can to regain and reposition ourselves in alignment with where we believe our Lord has instructed us to be.

        In Him.

    1. Dear JBH,

      We have an Excalibur Food Dehydrator. I wash, peel, wash again, and slice the carrots and put them in the dehydrator at the vegetable setting for about 24 hours. Then I put them in mason quart jars for dry storage. I dehydrated about 13 pounds and ended up with one and three quarters jars of dehydrated carrots. Honestly, I haven’t used them yet, in cooking. But someday, soon, I will put them in slow cooking stews which will re-hydrate and cook them.

      Many Blessings,

      Lily

      1. I’ve studied the Excalibur models, there were several past posts on the blog about them and it seems they are the best to buy. I am interested in the oil less pump model, is this the type you have and if so, are you satisfied it is worth the extra cost?

        For us the ability to purchase bulk vegetables and fruit (organic) is a more viable way to build up long term food storage than trying to grow it. We are in the arctic so the approach for our prepping is like a battle plan: have many back up plans since the first casualty on the field of battle is the plan. Therefore the food we can and do grow we eat mostly fresh, aside form the commercial food storage products we have bought I’d love to add the ability to buy bulk organic and freeze dry them for use and prepping. Your thought are very welcome since you have the actual experience we lack. God bless you and the family, we lost a horse we had when we lived in the lower 48 (outside as we call is here) after 18 years, she was a rescue .. it hurt.

        1. We have an Excalibur brand dehydrator, NOT a Harvest Right freeze dryer. The pump issue that you mention is regarding the Harvest Right. The Excalibur brand dehydrator is a simple design with just a fan, heating element, temperature control, and timer.

        2. LT Mike, The first casualty is the plan. So true. As Lily said: We are living the life God has given us to live.” As we see the plan crumple before reality, we adapt. Having other plans as part of adaptation is wise.

          Of course, as my friend Nancy says, “We plan, God laughs.”

          Then back to We are living the life God has given us to live.

          Carry on

    1. The brand name doesn’t bear mention and really isn’t an issue because the company went out of business. That is why I was able to buy mine at a deep discount. Thankfully, the parts — other than the frame itself–are industry standard. Thus, spare parts are readily available.

  10. Rawles family,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. May God comfort you in this difficult time. Thank you for sharing Miss Eloise’s dream with us. God was comforting her heart and preparing her for a hard thing.

    Lily, we are growing plants inside under grow lights. My spinach is doing great, I’ve harvested some for smoothies already. My green beans however keep getting spotted leaves on the bottom of the plant, then dry, crumble and fall off. The top of the plant keeps growing, but the bottom of the plants are just sticks. No production of beans yet. I do notice some small flying insects…a few…so I’ve been using dish soap spray to help with that. We used bagged soil and compost mix as our soil. Any suggestions?

    We received our property tax bill in the mail. We can’t leave soon enough. Our last child is a senior homeschooler, who would be very hard to uproot at this time for several reasons. We pray God will bring us out to the redoubt before it’s too late. I no longer recognize this world. I pray for wisdom and guidance every day. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have been able to homeschool our children, and that they know the Lord, as who knows how long this freedom will exist.

    Lily, thank you also, for the wise updates on reminding us about the importance of stocking up.

    May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, bless and keep each of our choices and the direction we take.

    1. Growing plants under grow lights often leads to issues with light penetration. It’s not unusual to see growth only in the top of the plant while the lower leaves fall off. Dealing with these problems is one of the challenges to indoor growing.

  11. I am saddened to read of the passing of your beloved horse. The Lord gives and He takes away. All part of His plan.
    I have recently found Adapt 2030 and Ice Age Farmer and look forward to every one of their new videos and highly recommend them. A word to the wise is sufficient …
    Weather here in northeastern mountains of New Hampshire is much the same – mostly rain, some snow. Just is not right.
    Watching and waiting and prepping every day.

  12. Tears welled up in my eyes as I read about the loss of your sweet and precious horse. This was a beautiful tribute to a very special four legged friend, companion, and helper who is now in the eternal care of our Good and Loving God. You are all lifted up in prayer.

  13. I’m so sorry for the loss of your sweet horse. I sat here and cried as I read about her and I’m glad God gave Miss Eloise a warning.
    Some animals have a way of filling empty spots we didn’t even know we had. They are a blessing and so missed when they are gone.

  14. Please excuse me if this question has already been asked Mr. Rawles, but will your new mail order company sell pre-1899 firearms to minors? The reason I ask is because it seems like just about every online company prohibits minors, felons, etc. from buying their products.
    Sorry about your horse.

  15. Thanks for sharing about your daughters dream-yes it is Gods Grace for such a painful event and His love for her.
    I had a similar experience but instead of a dream was snipets of God speaking to my heart a few times over 24 hours before our oldest daughter was killed by an oncoming sleeping driver..during those moments I wasn’t sure I was really hearing God…didnt want what they meant was coming our way to be true…and then when the troopers came to our door, I knew His forewarnings to be true and we knew alien a moment a cascade if His comfort and peace and the same moments we were experiencing such horrible sorrow.
    Encouragement to you as you lead your children to seek after and listen for Gods gentle promptings and guidance for themselves….
    Thanks again Jim for the blog.

    1. Dear M,

      I know what you have relayed is true. I am so sorry for your loss. The Lord does speak to us when he has good for us and also to warn us when sad and difficult events are coming our way to prepare us or to get us to intercede. It is too numerous to count how many times he has warned me about acquaintances, friends and loved ones. Some I have prayed for and good turned out for them. Others I didn’t recognize the need to pray or didn’t like what I was hearing because it was so horrible and I thought it was from the enemy. I rebuked it, not believing it, and didn’t pray any further and things did happen. I have felt intense sadness and guilt for not interceding more during those times. God has been training me. I think he is merciful and forgiving of my failures or rebellion or unbelief in these situations. It is painful and very scary and upsetting to hear such things, and then it turns out to be true!! Knowing that if I had interceded harder and fasted, maybe it would have been averted????Sometimes the enemy also whispers things that are not true, just to upset us and steal our joy. He cannot foretell the future. I pray for discernment of hearing the true voice of the Lord so I can do the work He has assigned to me. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. Romans 8:1.

      Many sweet blessings to you,

      Lily

  16. We put down our 28 yo horse a little over a year ago not far south from you. Cash was such a wonderful animal who took my wife on Sierra trails and N. Idaho rides for over 25 years with sure foot and smooth stride. I as well shared many wonderful rides on our loved and trusted friend.

    Our hearts are out for your loss. It is such a painful loss but our animals leave us far to soon after giving us love, affection, companionship and service, I’m sure our animals lived wonderful and fulfilling lives enjoying the companionship every bit as much as ourselves.

  17. Lily-well and accurately spoken: it’s noticeable that you have spent more time reading/studying Gods word He is giving you more clarity.
    Yes, there are spiritual battles and intercessions God has called us to do-and it’s a learning process from being a ‘child’-growing into greater maturity and thus better able to understand and discern and more consistently take actions that matter for eternity.

  18. Preparation was curtailed a bit this week as there was a structural issue under the house that needed care. Three days – and trip in to town (ugh) for materials put a damper on much of my schedule. That said, all the issues are fixed and in the process I discovered two small leaks in the pipes and repaired those before they they caused any problems. I do still have to replace the insulation that was torn out for access but otherwise the crawl space is back to normal.
    The new Bercomac snowthorwer mounted to the Kei truck got its first real test week. We had 3 inches of very heavy wet snow. The truck continues to amaze with its performance – I love the enclosed cab with heat! The snowthrower did well, but not great. Any amount of leaves or needles would clog it immediately and require me getting out to physically clear the chute. Because the snow was so wet, it also packed into the chute and froze pretty quickly – also requiring more chipping and prodding to free the chute. The 18hp motor on the snowthrower did great and I was shooting snow an easy 40 to 50 feet with it.
    Yesterday was family time and we surprised my Mom with an ugly Christmas sweater and caroling at her door. Then we all went to the kitchen table and decorated ugly sweater cookies – and she told me she’d never decorated cookies before in her life! Small moments of joy are what makes a life – be sure to look for, plan for, and enjoy yours!

  19. Does anyone have experience with rock phosphate and green sand? I read about it in “A New Little Ice Age Has Started” The author used it as part of a program to renovate the soil on a farm he took over in British Columbia. Thinking about it for my garden this winter. Particularly looking for the cheapest source.

  20. In response to Chris W. and S. Lynn re: garden plants under grow lights. We are using a Mylar screen which is hanging in a vertical orientation relative to a vertically oriented hydroponics growing system. Although a bit early to know for sure, the early signs are that our plants are growing really well. We use this particular hydroponics unit mostly to grow culinary herbs and some leafy greens. The reflective Mylar material seems to reflect back an increased amount of light from the grow light toward the plants. So far, so good! Hope this is helpful to you also.

  21. This week I went to the dentist office for my twice yearly cleaning. I had been noticing a slight ache in one of my molars and asked for an x-ray. They found the old filling had cracked and needed to be replaced, which I scheduled for two days later.

    Having the work done wasn’t exactly what I would call fun, but it wasn’t that bad either. I encourage everyone to stay current on all dental work and other medical procedures as part of your prepping progress. I tend to put those things on the back burner but it’s better to stay on top of it. Guess I’d rather have a shot of Lidocaine and a high speed drill than a shot of whiskey and a pair of pliers!

    Last year I finally saw a dermatologist about a dry spot on my face that wouldn’t heal. He said if I had come in sooner he could have treated it in 20 seconds by freezing it, but I had procrastinated for a year until it became a real problem. It took 4 hours of very tense office procedure, with cutting, stitching a flap over the wound, pain, stress, and weeks of bandages and wound care. Please don’t procrastinate with your health issues.

    If you don’t have health coverage, look into a non-profit Christian healthcare sharing program like MediShare or Samaritan Ministries. These are more affordable options for medical and dental cost-sharing based on early Christian principles of sharing each other’s burdens. https://christianhealthplans.com/

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