February 21, 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:

I recovered from my head cold fairly quickly, so now I’m back to my usual winter routine.  I find a certain satisfaction in caring for our livestock. They need a lot more attention in the winter months, and I enjoy spending time with all of those critters. The cows, horses, and chickens can be entertaining.  The sheep are… …well, just sheepish. Since we keep an ancient breed, I don’t think they will ever want to cozy up to us.

The various stock tank heaters can be finicky and are easily dislodged, so at least once a week I have to make adjustments. And because the horses, cattle, and sheep do not move around as much this time of year, we have to pay closer attention to their hooves. Some folks might consider livestock care bothersome. But I’ve always enjoyed it. And, given the current Biden Era high prices for meat and eggs, I’m truly thankful that God is providing so wonderfully for our family. Thank you, Lord!

This past week I helped a neighbor re-program his four Baofeng UV5R handie-talkies. We keep one non-licensed frequency set aside for our informal Neighborhood Watch, locally. There are three neighbors within a mile of us, and they all now use Baofengs that are compatible with ours. To make our little watch system a bit more robust, I’ve recently handed out 12 VDC charging cables with Cigarette Lighter plugs to the neighbors. It is good to know that we will be able to keep in touch, even if the power goes out and the telephone system goes dead for one reason or another.

Now, on to Lily’s part of the report…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
Our weather is changing as of the time I’m composing this.  We are about to get real winter, snow. and cold between now (Thursday night) and through the weekend into next week.  In fact, if the long-term forecast is correct…We could get up to three feet of snow here by around January 19th.  We shall see, won’t we?

Just a quick note about our power bill for December, we used three quarters less electricity in December 2023 compared to last year, December 2022.  On average we have been ten degrees warmer this year than last year.  So it is interesting that ten degrees makes such a difference in how much power we have used.

I’m glad that Jim and Miss Violet have gotten over their colds.  It really does appear that yet another cold has bypassed me yet again… Thank You, Lord Jesus!  I also must attribute this to what appears to be a robust immune system to my diet of meat, nuts, fruits, and veggies, no dairy, no grains, no cane sugar, no pre-packaged foods, no chocolate, nor coffee, and only a little bit of honey.  I drink water with a splash of apple cider vinegar daily.  I have been taking a spoonful of garlic steeped in honey, nearly daily, for months. And I have been drinking dandelion root tea about three times a week…Jim and Miss Violet do eat many of the same things that I eat. They will splurge often with bread, dairy, et cetera. They also eat a few goodies like cookies.

Jim and I are often alternating on livestock care.  Some days I do both feedings and other days I take the morning feeding and Jim takes the afternoon feeding.  Once in a while that switches, if I get really involved in a house project in the morning and delay going out. Jim will see the beasties milling around the porch and ask me if I have fed them, yet and asks if I plan to go out soon. (They are trying to remind me that they need their breakfast, they “moo” and “whinny” each time we open the door if we haven’t fed them yet. ;-))  Sometimes, I’m just about to go out and other times, I say, yes, please go feed them for me. I give him a big smile and thank you and continue on with whatever I was doing in the house — cooking, vacuuming, washing floors, laundry, dishes, food prep, food preservation, eating my meal, etc.

I organized the cupboards in the laundry room and the towels and washcloths under a bathroom sink, and the sink cabinet drawers.

I am a person who is often crawling around the floor on my knees.  Therefore I am always wearing out the knees of my work jeans.  I’m tired of walking around in Jeans with holes in the knees.  I am “Old school”, so Holes in my jeans are not trendy to me.  So therefore, finally, this week I ironed knee patches on five pairs of jeans, thus extending their life.  I’m happy because they no longer are air-conditioning my legs when I wear them outside to do chores.  I’m warmer!  And the patches are protecting my knees once again from hard and dirty surfaces. 😉 Additionally, they once again look a bit more presentable.

I deep-cleaned the refrigerator.

Then, I took the last approximately fifteen pounds of my harvested apples from the garage storeroom closet, washed them, and put them in the large drawer of our refrigerator.  They are becoming super ripe and some slightly soft, so we will be eating them up fairly quickly. I also boiled a few apples, for a sweet treat.  (We only rarely eat a dessert, after dinner.)

I also finally, for this fall and winter season again started sprouting micro-greens. This batch consists of beets, kale, alfalfa, and cilantro.

I did my usual sheep shed and hen house cleaning.  I put their manure around a plum tree and in the red raspberry patch.

Every year I throw rocks over the fences: out of the gardens and out of the cow corrals and pastures. There were some rocks outside the hen house, too. One day this week, I finally went out with the wheelbarrow and picked up rocks outside the fences of these areas.  I picked up three wheelbarrow loads and dumped them in a berm along our driveway.  I’m by no means finished with this job, but those areas picked up look much better and when I walk along these sections of fences, I am no longer tripping over the rocks, or “twisting ankles”.

Miss Violet and I are taking an online course that encompasses myriads of “natural living” skills that we have been wanting to learn more about. Unfortunately for our OPSEC, I cannot tell you with whom it is with, now, though I will talk about the skills I will be practicing in the coming weeks and months. So we spent three days watching a lot of videos from the course.  This course is very interesting and it is answering a deep longing my soul has had since I was in my early teens to revert back to natural, primitive, wild skills living.

I enjoyed listening to an interview with, Shawn James of “My Self Reliance” with Canadian Prepper.

Something so amazing that I saw on YouTube this week: “The Alpha male of the Wapiti wolf pack of Yellowstone National Park, “almost” silently summons his pack and they all hear him and come and greet him.” I thought it was so cool that they could hear that “Octave” and responded.  So the experimenter that I am, took our “pup” — she is now two and a half years old — and tested out whispering to her instead of calling loudly.  She totally heard me from across the yard.  It helped that she was looking at me at the time, too.  But then I tested her when she was away from me and not looking.  I whispered her name and said “come”  and she did! That was so cool.  I am going to work with her with whispering from now on.  Most mornings when I feed the cows and horses, if they get too close to me and I give them a push-off or tell them to “move”  H. has to get involved and bark at them, to “protect and defend me” from them.  That really annoys me.  So one morning this week after learning about dogs hearing whispers, I whispered to her, “No”,  “Stop” and “Be quiet!” She heard me and obeyed!  Hmmm.  So cool!

I did some walking this week.  I did some calisthenics at the end of the week.

I have broken out of my recent spiritual funk and have returned to the light of the Father through His son Jesus Christ who is the Word of God made Flesh. I have begun a new prayer journal.  I am reading the book of Proverbs. I started about chapter 12 and have read through to the end.  While reading this book, there have been some feelings of vindication, some feelings of remorse and some repentance.  Proverbs is a book that we should have read a whole lot more often to the children when they were younger. I remember only reading through the book with them once when the girls were about twelve and nine, the boys, in their late teens.  If I had read it more often, then I would have had more relevant scriptures in my heart and mind to use to reiterate behaviors that needed correction and their consequences.  In addition to reading the Proverbs, I have a series of three study books on Proverbs, that I am referring to when I have a question on deeper meanings of some verses.  It is “A Family Bible Studies Series” The Book of Proverbs God’s Book of Wisdom, A Family Bible Study Guide by Kevin Swanson. I highly recommend them. I also read the first five chapters of Ecclesiastes.

You know what?  The alternative news has been seriously gloom and doom coming into this New Year, speaking of war on three fronts? Economic collapse, more plagues, Digital Currency/CBDC/Mark of the Beast/Christian Persecution, EMP/Solar flare knocking out the grid, and Cyber attacks. Also, notably, threats of the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto, the tenth one that is seemingly being implemented: no private property. I feel these threats are all possible this year.  I feel the weight and oppression from them, but I’m not going to bow down to the fear of it.  I’m hardly listening to it.  I have been over-saturated by it during the past four or so years.

What I am doing about this, I’m not ignoring it, even though I am hardly listening. I am ducking my head and plowing on, continuing to do what we always do but with even more intention.  For instance, I’m seriously working on building up our soil’s nutrients in our pastures, gardens, and orchard, so that we can grow an abundance of food this coming growing season.  I’m working on building my natural living skill set so that I can be confident and comfortable in primitive situations. I’m caring for our animals.  We’re further battening down our hatches.  We’re tightening our financial belts, because the inflation impacts us, too, just like nearly everyone else.

Here is a super interesting site teaching Natural Skill Sets called Skill Cut.

I am currently reading the book “Or Perish in the Attempt, Wilderness Medicine in the Lewis and Clark Expedition” by David J. Peck. The goal of reading this is to help me understand alternative medical treatments. Though there are several medical treatments in here I would never do. I am continuing to study wild foraging books for food and wild medicinals. I am going to practice more skills in many disciplines! I also will be practicing my aiming and shooting skills in all hunting arenas: Archery, guns, slingshots, as well as rock and stick throwing.

I hope and pray that you all are going to continue to stock up, train up, and practice the skills we will need to live off-grid and to be ready for anything that comes our way.

Keep studying the Word of God, keep repenting of your sins, we are all sinners saved by grace, and we have to keep our hearts right with our Father in Heaven the Creator of the Universe and each other because none of us ever knows when He will call us home. We need to be ready for that day!  We are living in very perilous days. Continue to pray for discernment!  We need to discern those who are lying to us. We need to discern the systems in place used to control our thinking, behavior, and actions.  Pray for understanding, courage, and peace in our hearts and minds, our families, and in hot spots of the world.

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– 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.