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:

I had a fairly quiet week, traveling out of state. Here,  I’m helping an elderly relative, and gathering antique gun inventory.  This week, I was able to procure only two antique revolvers. The pickings are slim. Watching some recent auctions, it is almost frightening to see prices escalate. The law of supply and demand is inescapable. The supply of pre-1899 guns is frozen (and in fact declining, with wear and tear), yet there are constantly more new collectors and shooters who reach the age of majority. Thus, demand is increasing. My new inventory will be listed at Elk Creek Company around July 1st, to coincide with my return to the Rawles Ranch, and re-opening my biz. Note that ordering with the Shopping Cart system will be turned off until July 1st, but you can still add guns to your wish list, or e-mail me to reserve any particular gun, in your name.

I finished my SUV bumper re-painting project.  It was time-consuming, but satisfying to see the end result.

I’ve found the time for plenty of exercise. Apart from my regular Bible reading, I’ve been delving into the biographical book Revolver — on the life of Samuel Colt.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
This week started out very cold and rainy and a tad gloomy.  The end of the week, chirked up for us quite nicely. While Jim was experiencing 90 degree temperatures, we here at the ranch were experiencing daytime temperatures in the high forties, in the beginning of the week. I built two fires in our wood stove to take the cold edge off in the house.  The girls caught colds this week from interacting with some small children last week, not COVID so therefore, it has been a very quiet isolated week with very little human interaction, outside of talking with the girls and phoning Jim, and writing a couple of e-mails.

I had a couple of wildlife observing moments this week of which I will tell you about.

First of all, for preparedness, I boiled down chicken bones that I had frozen two weeks ago, for chicken broth and pressure canned it.  I had a eight pound frozen log of ground turkey that I thawed, fried and pressure canned, and also eight pounds of ground beef.  I want to can the meats that I cannot fit into our propane freezer, because I am very worried about an orchestrated planned or unplanned long term power outage. Dear Readers you should also be worried about this and be planning accordingly.

I deep cleaned, culled and reorganized our cereal/snack cupboard, a rotary cupboard, and my canning supply cupboard.

I organized and culled some items from my armoire. There, I keep nearly all of my clothes: jeans, dress pants, skirts, shorts, t-shirts, sweaters, sleepwear, socks, scarfs, unders, bathing suit, etc;  boots: hiking, rubber, winter, skiing, dress shoes; jackets, winter gear: ski pants, jacket, my hats and mittens, snowshoes, ice skates; additionally, my Life Jacket, and Camo clothes, and body armor plate carrier armor.   I keep my belongings down to a minimum. If these items don’t fit in there, it’s time to cull something. I have two Bug Out bags, one with the absolute essentials, if going by foot, and one with other essentials and wants, if going out by vehicle. These are kept next to the armoire.  Anyhow, Bug Out bags and Armoire are now organized for the season.

I put a fifty pound bag of flour in a couple of our new plastic food grade buckets with Gamma-Seal lids.

I planted the Mandan/Painted/Montana corn in the Annex garden.

I began incubating about 18 chicken eggs.  Some years I have had success and others I haven’t.  We shall see how it goes this time.

Miss Eloise helped me dehorn the baby heifer by pinning her to the ground while I applied the Base Paste on her horn buds and and duct taped them.  We removed the duct tape the next day. She is still unnamed.  Would you all like to suggest names?  Give us two or three names each, so we can tell that someone that we picked a name that they suggested but just not which name it was.  This is for for our OPSEC.

I carved a large spoon for the first time ever from Tamarack wood.  Tamarack is a wood that splits easily therefore is an inferior wood, but I did it. I just need to sand it. However, Jim took all of our supply of sandpaper with him to work on that bumper. But he ordered more for us which should be arriving soon.  I am now going to dry some pine and carve some more wooden spoons.  Move over, (just a bit) Sean James of My Self Reliance and you girls from Gridlessness. Avalanche Lily has joined your ranks in the wood crafts, now!  😉 These two families are my favorite Survival vlog channels and have inspired me to try other activities that I had not yet gotten to. I really enjoy watching Sean James do his wood crafts and I have learned a lot from him.

In the Main Garden, it is looking like I am going to have a boat load of strawberries in another week or so to pick and preserve.  I have been harvesting and munching on little broccoli heads. This broccoli, grows a central head and then many offshoots. Currently the broccoli is still quite small, but I anticipate them growing much larger when the air warms up and producing many many broccoli sprouts throughout the summer.  My potatoes are all coming up nicely in the potato patch.  The French beans are coming up.

Story Time: I had a couple of wildlife experiences this week that you may enjoy reading.

In the bird department, I saw a number of black and white birds with a white strip on the tip of their tails sitting on one of our fences.  I looked at them through the Binocs and I “swore” they were Eastern Kingbirds, but “I didn’t think they existed west of the Rockies.”  I  said to myself,  “So how can it be, they must be something else.” But just to be sure, I looked them up and looked at their distribution map, and lo and behold, they do exist out here.  Yay, I’m glad.

While planting the Mandan Corn, I heard a Bald Eagle calling out every minute or so.  Finally, I stopped working and looked across the river.  I saw the eagle sitting at the very top of a Spruce tree with two crows circling it and attacking it.  Every time the crows got too close the eagle would reach it’s beak out toward the crow that was too close and would screech at it and try to bite it. But the eagle wasn’t that agitated by them, only annoyed. A few minutes later, the crows, tired of their eagle harassment antics, flew off.

I went canoeing/fishing at a local lake during an intermittent showery evening this past week.  I didn’t catch any fish.  I was the only person out on the lake –I had it all to myself  🙂   I was paddling very quietly and slowly along the shoreline. Not to toot my own horn, but I am a very good canoeist, starting with canoeing lessons at Girl Scout Camp, when I was 12.  I have always canoed and practiced my skills whenever I had the chance and have excellent control of it and am very capable of canoeing swiftly, and if need be, very quietly. This end of the lake is undeveloped wilderness shoreline. I had been paddling very quietly and slowly.  I turned the canoe away from the shore and back toward a boat launch dock and spied through a heavy downpour which briefly obscured my view and distance and size judgment something swimming between me and the boat launch dock.  I stared and saw another, something.  They looked large…brown… Bears?  Nah, not that big. I quickly dismissed that possibility.  I had my binocs with me, since there are a lot of birds around the lake, that I like to look at.  I peered at them through the binocs and realized that they were otters!  Otters!

Can you believe it? I have never seen them in the wild, only at Natural History museums that feature animals indigenous to the region. I quietly watched them. They were diving underwater, getting something, and coming to the surface chomping on what I assume were some kind of fish, little fish, because I couldn’t see what it was. After a bit, I saw that there were actually three of them. It was so awesome to see them feeding, playing, diving and interacting with each other.  I watched them for a good ten minutes.  Several times, the canoe turned away from them and I very quietly and slowly righted myself to them to watch them. I decided to paddle very slowly and quietly towards them.  Suddenly they saw me. All three of them faced me and got high out of the water to get a better look at me.  Then they came closer, making a huffing sound, a little bit like a dog does when it is swimming. They are called Water Dogs in some quarters. They kept coming closer and closer to me, huffing and lifting themselves out of the water and continuing forward.  I began to become nervous.  They were getting quite close to me. Suddenly, I had visions of them attacking me in the canoe. Headline: “Mrs. Avalanche Lily, Rawles — Dead From Otter Attack!” flashed through my mind.

So I spoke to them, quietly, “Hello, there”  is all that I said.  I moved the paddle and canoed just a little bit toward them.  They stopped.  It turns out that they had also reached their comfort distance, about thirty feet away, and they turned a little and swam around me. They kept huffing and turning their heads toward me as they swam around me. I was kind of near their escape route out of the lake, up a stream/willow swampy area. I watched them until they had disappeared into the willows.  I was surprised, really, that they stayed on the surface of the water the whole time.  I would have thought that they would have dived underwater and would have swam away from me in that way, but they didn’t. They wanted to keep an eye on me the whole time, it seemed.  It was about a fifteen minute encounter.  It was a real gift of God to me.  They were so beautiful.  I felt like I had invaded their privacy and their world.  It kind of reminded me of C.S. Lewis’s book “Out of the Silent Planet”, when Ransom came upon the creatures on the planet Malacandra called the Hrossa. Go read that book and you’ll understand what I was feeling.

Politics: Take a couple of minutes to watch this:  Trump’s re-reading of Al Wilson’s Snake Poem.  It is more than about the border.  It is about the True Church, Evangelical Church. Listen again to this while you observe the nascent Bolshevik Revolution takeover of our country. Pray for Discernment, as the Deception is great.  Pray that you may escape all things. This is all about them attempting to get rid of anything that represents Christ.  Persecution comes to us.  Are we ready to reject the vaccines, and the Mark of the Beast Quantum Dot Bio-Certificate? You won’t be able to buy or sell or work, travel, get medical care, buy groceries without The Mark.  Are you ready to not compromise your Faith in Jesus, for a bowl of lentils? Are you ready die for the Testimony of Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach)?  Listen to Trump’s reading, again.  Don’t Worship Trump.

If you feel convicted to do so, then watch this 2.5-hour video, from Dr. June Knight.

It is time to Repent of your personal sins and to join in with other believers to repent corporately for the sins our nation has committed against God.  It is time to ask God for great wisdom, discernment, understanding, revelation, and courage to stand against the evil that has come upon our nation.  It’s time to empty ourselves of all that is in the world that distracts us from seeking the Lord God with all of our hearts, minds and strength.   All who call on the Name of The Lord Jesus will be saved from His wrath when He returns to this earth. May you hear the Voice of the Lord.  May He guide you all in all things for His glory.

May you all have a very blessed and safe week.

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

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

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