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 past week was very busy for us. The kids helped me pad and pack 10 antique gun orders that were placed with Elk Creek Company. It seems that people are waking up to the significance of no-paperwork pre-1899 cartridge guns. Meanwhile, I was also busy writing and editing, as usual.

We shifted around a bunch of bulk long term storage foods and found that were short a few food grade buckets and Gamma Seal lids.  So I placed those on order.

Outdoors at the ranch, I had to make a few fence repairs. You see, we have a bored two year old bull who likes throwing his weight around. I’m fond of saying that there are a lot of words that you can’t say without including the suffix spoken “bull”. These include: Incorrigible, terrible, intractable, irredeemable, excitable, uncontrollable, unmanageable, incomprehensible, and just plain old trouble. Such is life with a bull. He is actually very friendly, for a bull. But he certainly can do a lot of damage, very quickly, without realizing the trouble he is causing us.  And of course we never turn our backs on him.  “A bull is a bull, is a bull.”

I also got some more firewood and slash cut up, hauled, and stacked. This, with some help from our daughters. I must mention: We didn’t raise them to be Blushing Violets. They are lovely young ladies with all the graces. But they can be sturdy and hard working, when needed.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This week for bird sightings, I saw a Pileated woodpecker.  And out in our flooded meadow: Common Merganzers, Wood ducks, Mallards, of course, our Spring/Summer Resident Canadian Geese. I finally heard the winter wren.  I love that bird’s voice. I am hearing the Varied Thrush, among all of the other usual suspects.  I saw a Kingfisher fly up the river while paddling in the meadow. The Hummingbirds have returned en force and are waging hot territorial battles around the two feeders. They are very entertaining to watch.  Miss Violet loves to sit under one of the feeders and gradually bring her hand up under it and wrap her fingers around the base waiting for a hummer to land on her finger while sipping the sugar syrup.  🙂

On Wednesday the weather was very cold and rainy.  Our Hummingbird feeders were inundated with more than forty Hummers vying for a perch to sip from.  Miss Violet stepped out onto the porch and walked up to one of the feeders and saw a little hummer at the feeder. On a whim, she just reached up and cupped her hand around it and caught it.  She was so surprised to be actually holding it.  I came out just then and saw her gently holding something and asked, “Do you have a humming bird?”  She was quiet for a second, then said with her eyes sparkling and a very proud of herself, excited, beaming smile, “Yes.”  Then she asked, “Mom, can we take a picture of it?”  So we brought it into the house, retrieved the camera and took a couple of pictures.  It wasn’t struggling very much.  We think it was enjoying the warmth of her hands. She then, brought it back outside, and immediately let it go.  We then examined the photos and one of my several bird guides, the National Geographic Field Guide to North American Birds, and determined that it was an adult male Calliope Hummingbird.

For wildflowers on the ranch so far this Spring, just yellow and purple violets and dandelions. It’s still early here.

For wildlife, we’ve had a herd of eight deer coming onto the ranch and going to our beasties’ salt blocks.

Early in the week, I caught the bug for canning berry jams. It is time to begin emptying the freezers to make room for this coming summer’s harvest.  Also, I kinda want to be dehydrating and canning more of our produce in case we lose electricity long term. Therefore, I made seven pints of Black Raspberry jam, six pints of Golden Raspberry jam, the raspberry jams cooked a little too long, and though are very tasty were quite thick, oops, and eight pints of Strawberry jam.

In the garden, more than 120 seedlings of two different kinds of broccoli were planted plus another row and a half of broccoli seeds. I planted a long row of beets, another of spinach, another of Red lettuce, kale, and peas.

I sprinkled Azomite all over both the Shed and Extension gardens to boost their mineral content. I re-plowed the Shed garden and turned that into a Potato garden, where I planted 16, 24 foot-long mounded rows of red, Adirondack blues, another purple potato that I had been growing every year for the past four or so years, Yukon Golds, Kennebec, and two types of Fingerlings. After planting I put a large amount of straw mulch over all of the Potato garden to hold down the weeds and to retain the moisture.  I hope my potatoes do well this year?  I had scab last year on many of the potatoes. Since this is a brand new bed with well composted manure, and mostly all new potato stock, I think I should remain clear of the scab issue.  Those purples that I grow every year did not have scab–only the the reds and some Kennebecs.

I planted banana fingerling potatoes in some very large pots.  I still have a large amount of potatoes to plant in another new bed, but will do it a bit later this spring, once the bed is prepared in the Annex garden.

I picked up more manure around the ranch and cleaned the Hen House.

I had bought two fig trees and two kiwi trees in February from Walmart.  They had lived in their packaging on our kitchen windowsill during the past few months.  Those, I transplanted into larger pots and put them into the greenhouse where I will keep them until this fall when I  intend to bring them back into the house.


Miss Eloise has been asking Jim to spend some time with her practicing foil fencing and broad sword fighting.  Jim finally got to it.  They had a lot of fun.  During their sword fighting, they were just behind our back porch, they got really going, and it looked quite violent.  The horses and the bull, Sh.,  were in the meadow, just a little bit away from them.  Suddenly while they were in the thick of it, Sh ran up to Jim and Miss Eloise and started bawling at them and semi-charging them all excited-like.  He acted so upset. He obviously didn’t like it.

Jim yelled to me in the house, “Lily!  You gotta come out here and see your bull!”  When I came out onto the porch, I watched as Jim and Miss Eloise resumed their sparring.  Again, SH. ran up to them bawling.  I watched him closely.  There was so much concern in his eyes, not anger, not play, his head was up and then down and he was trying to talk to them. He seemed so confused to see them fighting like that. I asked Sh, “What Sh?  What? What’s the matter?  He looked up at me with confused earnest eyes that said, “Ma, do you see what Pa and Eloise are doing?  It’s violent!  Someone is going to get hurt! Ma, You gotta stop it!” This is not okay. Seriously!”

When they stopped sparring, Sh. stopped bellowing.  When they started up again, he ran up to them again bawling at them.  Jim laughed and stopped sparring and ran into the house to get him some carrots.

Sh. ate the carrots. Then Jim and Miss Eloise started sparring again. Yet, again, Sh ran up to them, bouncing around, and bawled at them with such concern in his, eyes, that said, “Stop it, you guys! Stop it!  This is not good!  It is too violent.”  He kept looking at me because I was still on the porch watching his behavior. His eyes that said:  “Aren’t you going to do something about this?”. At this point Jim and Miss Eloise had tired themselves out, and quit.  they came up onto the porch and Sh.  wandered away to rejoin the horses.

Seriously, it made me feel very weepy.  He is a bull, an animal, yet he was trying to tell us to not fight. That this behavior was not right, and he was concerned for his herd’s safety.  We’re all part of his herd and family.  I became quite emotional about it. I kept telling Jim, “I’m not eating him!”  This bull is soo personable and so friendly and so respectful of me.  He obeys my directions to him, usually, very quickly. He is so part of our ranch family.

We went away for a night this last week, and Number 2 Son fed the animals for us.  When we got back late the next day.  When Sh. first saw each of us he bawled at us in greeting.  He saw Jim first and bawled at him.  Then he saw me approach.  He especially looked at me with big eyes and “bawled” and seemed to say, “Where were you, I missed you, someone else fed us, I’m so glad you home safe.”

Have any of you readers developed a trusting friendship with a bull that you raised?

I wish I didn’t need protein.  I hate this fallen world and I look so forward to it’s redemption when there will be no more sin and death and we won’t need to kill anything to be sustained.  I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty, nor am I a PETA person nor a vegan, I need to eat meat.  In fact I feel very lousy in just a few days if I don’t eat meat. I just wish I didn’t have to….

Keep in mind what I just said, because in the next story, my attitude had a temporary flip flop.

Later, this week THAT same bull broke into MY MAIN GARDEN, because the grass is greener on the other side of the fence!  He led the two horses into it with him. In the chase to get them out of there, they trampled my onions and cabbage, a little.  Your Avalanche Lily, who usually refrains from yelling and screamin’ and  using choice unacceptable words, did all three of those things, letting one very bad word fly three times.  I hang my head in shame. I did repent later, I promise.

Luckily, I hadn’t planted the broccoli, yet, because that would have been destroyed.

Then they broke into another fenced-in area and began eating that grass.  He broke into that area three times!!  As Jim was repairing the fences after the second and third time, in very quick succession, we both threatened Sh with Freezer Camp if he didn’t stop that behavior!  It’s not like we’re starving him.  We are still feeding them hay and alfalfa, and in fact they are beginning to waste it…  They have the upper meadows to graze that are not flooding. We did allow them with strict supervision to go into the orchard to graze the grass down in there four times this week.  Greedy beasts!  It is nearing a full moon, and I suspect that my matriarch cow was in heat, but that is still no excuse for their behavior. Since then, his behavior has improved once, again, and Sh is back in our good graces. 😉

An Important Note of Caution

I’d like to caution every one of you to not become complacent when the government lifts the self-isolation orders.  This isn’t going to be for long…  I believe that they are going to clamp back down on us again very soon.  I believe there will be a second wave even more serious than this first wave.  And they will be creating a vaccine, if they don’t already have one made and will soon be demanding that everyone get it and with the vaccine it will be paired with a Quantum Dot Bio Certificate, that proves that you are healthy and vaccinated to work.  This could also be tied to your social credit score and your bank account/credit card, your access to your computer and eventually, to your car, apartment, etc.  Basically, you won’t be able to buy or sell or work or get medical care or travel, or do much of anything without it.  IT IS THE MARK of THE BEAST that is spoken of in the book of Revelation, Chapter 13.  You cannot take this Mark.  You will never be able to remove it.  God says all who take it will be forever separated from Him. It is part of the ID2020 plan.

Please use the time to continue stocking up, buying as much meat and and other food as you can and growing as much as you can in gardens and pots and any container you can fill with dirt….  All food you get your hands on, needs to be canned or dehydrated.  Try to limit freezing of your garden production, as much as you can.  We believe that there will be power failures, both nature-made and man-made on purpose, to bring more hardship on us and starvation.  So please don’t relax during this period of “normalcy”.

Get ready to live outside the monetary system in a very short while.  Read the Bible and pray and get your heart ready for however the Lord God will lead you and use you. You may not be just preparing for your own families…. Remember everything in the World belongs to God.  You are His steward of all that He gives you and allows you to earn and buy. Pray and ask God for what He has in mind for you to do…

Sometime in the next two weeks, I plan to post a feature-length article on the timing of the Second Coming of Christ, the Messiah. Stay tuned.

May you all have a super blessed and sweet week,

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.

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