December 11, 2023

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make both 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.  We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in your e-mailed letters. We post many of those –or excerpts thereof — in the Odds ‘n Sods Column or in the Snippets column. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

We’ve had some rainy weather, with nighttime temperatures in the high 30s. But it definitely feels like winter is coming on. I used my air compressor to blow out some hoses and waterlines, to be ready for winter. To do so, I use a simple brass fitting that is readily available on eBay. (You can get by with just one, and then to match male or female brass fittings attach either a coupling or a nipple.) They also sell these at most farm and ranch stores. These are also made with Schrader (tire) valve stems. If you live in a cold climate, then I consider these a “must-have.”

I made a trip to a consulting client’s ranch. I also got the last of this summer’s firewood stacked and covered.

With the recent rains, I’ve also kept myself busy organizing my workshop. Because I’m still in the process of remodeling and partitioning it, there is a lot of lumber stacked inside. For convenience, I had been stacking all of the 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood (of various thicknesses), pegboard, and foam insulation board in separate piles. That was fine during summer construction, but since each pile takes up 32 square feet of floor space, they had to be consolidated into just three piles. This freed up space to get vehicles inside, for winter. I also got our garden hoses, canoes, and kayaks up off the shop floor, and stowed them up in one of the storage lofts. Together, those tasks turned out to be a multi-hour chore. And doing so revealed lots of sawdust and insulation scraps. So I had some broom and Shop-Vac work to do, the next day.  But it feels good to have the shop ready to move in vehicles or to receive cargo.

Now, for Lily’s report…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
Hmm, Jim mentioned our weather and our nighttime temperatures.  Our daily weather was rainy with highs in the mid-forties. Mid week we had two dry days with rain returning at the end of the week.

In addition to regularly recording our temperatures and general weather, I’ve recently added to my personal weather record the daily amount of our rainfall.  Last winter I recorded snowfall but not rainfall. Since last week we’ve received 5 and 15/16ths inches of rain.  Our small streams have been begun to flow once again and the Unnamed River has come up about a foot. The U.S. Drought Monitor map as of Thursday still hadn’t changed.  I don’t believe it anymore. Also, NOAA usually has the predicted highs much warmer than what we actually have at our place.  Only once in a great while are the temperatures exactly as what was predicted.

We saw flitting in the trees by the county road, a pair of Snow Buntings.  They tend to come south to our region during the winter. So neat to see those white birds.

Well, now that the garden is finished, except for cleaning animal housing and laying down manure in the meadow throughout the winter, this week, for me, has mostly been about continuing to deep clean and organize the house, while Jim was organizing the shop. I scrubbed one of our bathrooms from floor to ceiling, walls, light fixtures, shower, cabinets, sink, etc. That took a whole morning. I organized and vacuumed the pantry/boot/catchall hall.  I organized, vacuumed, and scrubbed the floors of the Great Room.  Funny story.  Our young female dog, H. was fairly annoyed with me at expending so much energy on scrubbing our floor. I scrub on my hands and knees.  She felt that I could better expend that energy playing Frisbee with her.  She kept bringing that Frisbee to me and dropping it on the floor right where I was scrubbing, to invite me to play with her. I chuckled but felt a little bit bad about all the work I was doing, and not playing with her, but I wanted to get it done. So I ignored her, or just tossed the Frisbee behind me a few times. Poor pup. A lot of the house is now organized and cleaned, but I still have more things to do.  I still have cupboards to clean and organize and some more light fixtures to clean and I need to wash the window exteriors, etc.

I as usual cleaned the Henhouse, Sheep shed, and the Heifer stall.  I spread the manure on our meadow. I also began raking the Sheep run.  I finished all but a quarter of the run this week.  I will do the last quarter next week. Speaking of hens, we got our first two eggs from the hens born this summer.  I’m looking forward to more eggs in the future from these girls.

Miss Violet and I finished rubbing the Sunflower seeds from the Sunflower heads this week.  We grew approximately five gallons worth.  I will definitely plant many more Sunflowers next summer.

Miss Violet and I attended another felting class. We ordered our own Needle Felting kit this week.

We had a meet-and-greet dinner at our home to introduce our newest neighbors to another set of neighbors that they hadn’t met yet.  It was a super enjoyable time together.

The three of us hiked up a National Forest Road to it’s end, near our home, and back down, about four miles, in an hour and twenty-three minutes. Our dog LOVES these hikes.  On non-big hike days, I have been working very hard, physically, in the house and around the ranch and I have been hiking our ranch with our dog.

At the end of the week, instead of going for another long hike, we needed a rest day, we took a drive into the Bitterroot Mountains to do some National Forest Road exploring.  It was a beautiful fall drive. The sun was shining above the valleys and was warmer than in the valleys.  The valleys were socked in with cold fog. The Tamaracks were a beautiful dark golden yellow color with the high peaks dusted with snow.

We currently have only one Ethernet cable for our Internet connection, partly by choice. We don’t want wireless active in our home anymore. Jim and I share the connection by taking turns, and because the blog and Jim’s mailorder biz get precedence, I have spent very little time on the internet this week, mostly only first thing in the morning and after Jim goes to sleep at night.  I want you to know that I feel so much better, not staring at the screen for hours on end.  I’m still checking in on my favorite news sites but am not watching a lot of the usual videos because they take too much time.

Also, I am thoroughly angered and disgusted with our demonic government leadership led by WEF “Young Leaders” graduates across the world who are so anti-human and so bent on war and destruction. This is all by planned intention, to destroy everything to depopulate and “carbon reduce” the world! This is by those who plan to enslave and control those who survive their purge. It so saddens me!

Since not being on the Internet so much, we have been far more active physically and socially. It is wonderful and a lot less depressing.  I highly recommend it!

Miss Violet and I listened to, once again, the Book of John this week.  I also have been reading Luke again.  I am focusing on what Jesus is saying about the Love of the Father has toward us.

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

As always, please share and send e-mails of your own successes and hard-earned wisdom and we will post them in the “Snippets” column this coming week.  We want to hear from you.