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,
Here in the northern portion of The American Redoubt, December started out dry and mild, but just at the solstice, winter arrived, in earnest. Since December 21st we’ve had about 40 inches of snow, and only one day above freezing. It looks like we are in for a hard winter. The nearby lakes have now frozen over, so the Bald Eagles have shifted to fishing on The Unnamed River that transits the back end of the Rawles Ranch. We now see them daily. Snow plowing with the pickup’s truck plow blade is a tiresome and time-consuming chore. But we realize that it is nothing compared to the alternative: shoveling it all by hand. So we are thankful for God’s providence.
It is presently snowing heavily. We are expecting power outages in the next 24 hours. But we always stay ready for that. We are now in Shovel Mode. When we aren’t shoveling, we are inside staying warm near our wood stove. Winter is definitely here!
We are looking forward to reading comments from readers about your preps, this winter. May you all have a peaceful and prosperous New Year, – Avalanche Lily Rawles
This past week the Latimer Homestead did not accomplish a whole lot on the prepping front with company here, but we were able to do necessary maintenance. The livestock was cared for and a few repairs on odds and ends were done. However, this coming week Sarah will be focusing on doing some sewing and mending as well as hearty meal preparation to go into the freeze dryer. Winter is a great time to use the freeze dryer for meals that easily reconstitute right in the jar with just a bit of hot water.
Hugh puttered around the shop a little though. He started work on the Digital Readout (DRO), installing the control head. Wouldn’t you know it, none of of the factory supplied brackets would work except for the control head itself. He will have to make the brackets himself for the mounting of the actual scales.
The other shop project entailed the cleanup of the table saw. After installing the sheetrock, we hired a guy to tape and texture the walls and ceiling. The guy’s work was first-rate though communication was a bit difficult. He didn’t speak any English and we didn’t speak any Spanish. The negotiation was all done through hand motions, drawings on the backs of small pieces of wood and pictures on the cell phones. He really did a good job and was very conscientious about cleanup. Sadly, the table saw was too large to move out of the way and was just covered with a tarp. When he finished, he removed the tarp and wiped down the top with a really wet rag. By the time Hugh got back to the homestead to inspect the job, the damage was already done. 
Since the saw wasn’t being used, a coat of oil was liberally applied to keep further rust from happening and we just worked around the saw for the next couple of months. Now it’s time to bring it back online. This week Hugh used Naval Jelly  and some elbow grease to remove the bulk of the rust, reapplying oil after the treatment. The next step will be to use Scotch Brite pads  to bring the finish back to a new look before applying some wax.
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As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.