February 25, 2024

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:

This week I came down with a head cold, so I’ve had to put some beef butcherting plans on hold.  Hopefully, next week we will slaughter and butcher a heifer that was too tightly bred. (Our bull was both her father and grandfather.) We now have a replacement bull, to avoid any inbreeding. My eldest son plans to visit for a couple of days in just over a week to help me with butchering a steer. That will be an even bigger project. But our chest freezers will be full. We are grateful for God’s providence! For the short term, I will be freezing the green hides. Lily plans to tan them, this coming April or May.

I wrapped up writing my posts for the rest of 2023. So our Managing Editor can now get started in creating the new edition of the SurvivalBlog Archive. This edition will have so much bonus content that we had to switch to using 32 Gigabyte USB sticks!  Those waterproof sticks should be orderable by around January 20th.

Now, Lily’s report…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
The weather has been mostly dry with some sunshine, in the high thirties in the day and high twenties at night.

Even though we’re not doing a lot the time seems to just fly by.

It’s been another very quiet week here at the ranch.  Winter is quiet for us for the most part. We spend our time just caring for the animals’ feed, water, and cleanliness needs. I scrubbed a water tank and two water totes this week.

I’ve been caring for both Jim and Miss Violet while they are suffering from colds.  Thus far the the other two colds they’ve had this year bypassed me.  I hope this one does too. I have been dosing them with garlic honey, citrus, salads, and other good food.  They have been taking zinc and vitamin C and other supplements. We encourage steam showers daily.

I went to town to buy to restock layer pellets (This fall we went back to Elenbaas pellets for a time, I also give them oats, rye, some corn at the same time as the pellets) and sunflower seeds for our flock of chickens.  I bought some lye to make soaps with in the future.  I also plan to make our own lye with ashes from our wood stove, sometime.

I bought more garden seeds at a local co-op.  I often stop and look at their seed collection and pick up a few more to add to my large tote bin full.

I mixed up another batch of laundry detergent.  I use two storebought boxes of Arm and Hammer Washing soda, two boxes of store-bought Borax, and two cups of baking soda.  I mix it up and just put that in the laundry, a quarter cup per load.  I don’t usually add soap.  I do add bleach to our white loads. It seems to do a great job cleaning our clothes.

I’ve been walking and doing some calisthenics.  Additionally, I’ve sat out in the sun a few times to hopefully soak up some vitamin D. I decided to walk barefoot in the greenhouse to get in some Grounding.  It was about thirty-eight degrees in there.  I managed to walk up and down the center about ten times before my bare feet said that they were getting super cold.  It felt rather nice to be barefoot in the beginning.

I did spend some time watching some related Alone series videos.  The contestants often have their own YouTube channels that explain more about their experience on the show and give more details of the events that were not shown in the series. They also show their bushcrafts, etc.

During the car ride to town, I listened to the book of Romans again.

Hey, I was wondering…Do any of you have Egyptian Walking Onions that you would be willing to send me just a few bulbs?  I will pay you for them.  I’ve tried to order them but they seem to be sold out or unavailable. Please e-mail me at lily-AT-survivalblog.com. I don’t want to be buried in them, if a lot of you want to send them.  😉  I had some that were given to me many years ago. About three years ago, as we were working on changing things around in the Main garden I dug them up.  I saved bulbs but they dehydrated far too much over the winter and died.  I was sad about that.

Update:  I have two folks sending me some.  Thank you!

May you all have a very blessed and safe week and a Happy New Year 2024.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

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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.