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Minor repair on our reliable old Troy-Bilt Horse rototiller.


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 got busy with a few non-ranch projects and with meeting an out-of-state consulting client this week, so I only hunted one day. Mea culpa. But I did have time to make a minor repair on our reliable old Troy-Bilt Horse rototiller.

I also replaced a garden fence post that had rotted out. When I built  that fence 12 years ago, I used red cedar trees from here on the ranch, for the posts. Most of those trees were 12+ inches at the butt, so they made dandy posts, 12-feet tall (with 3.5  feet, buried.) The biggest ones went in the corners. But for the intermediate posts, I also used some of the next-higher 12-foot sections from each of those trees–and those posts were mostly under 8″ in diameter. That was a mistake. It is those smaller ones that are now rotting out. Lesson learned.  I should have over-built all of that fence!  If you build something right from the outset, you save yourself follow-up labor, in the long run.

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
The weather has been cold, clear, and sunny all week. This has been another week of just maintaining the status quo, here at the Rawles Ranch. It has felt nice to not have any planned big or time consuming projects to do (canning).  I have needed a bit of a break and a change of focus.  I have been dabbling in everything this week. Miss Violet and I have been doing much more school. Miss Violet passed the written exam for her Learner’s Permit this week. Yeah! Yikes!! 😉

I did a little sewing to repair a skirt belonging to Miss Eloise.

I’ve pulled a few weeds from the garden trays of the seedlings in the Greenhouse bedroom and am picking some of the greens for smoothies. The French beans that are growing in there are doing super well, as well with the mixed lettuces, kale, beets, and herbs.  The cucumbers are setting out their third set of leaves.  My peppers are flowering again. The tomatoes are about four inches tall.

Related:  Gardening When It Counts - Part 2, by A.K.. Cruciferous vegetables.

I’ve begun to shell the harvested and dried French beans from their pods, by hand. I need to shell several other types of beans, too, soon. I rearranged and dusted my cooking, Medicinal herbs, wild edible plants, Bushcraft books on the book shelves and leafed through many of them, again, to refresh my memory and to learn a bit more.  I have been watching Bushcraft videos.  I’ve been wanting to make my own pulk sled and have bought a few supplies, this week, to do so.  I’ve done some reorganizing and cleaning of our pantry hall.  I bought some lemons washed and squeezed them and froze the juice in ice cube trays. I put a frozen lemon cube in my smoothies. I helped Jim repair the garden fence.

The chicks are doing great. The hens and chickies are getting along well.  Although, I haven’t caught them in the act of doing so, I think the two adult hens are being a bit broody.  Every time I enter the hen house, before I can peak into the boxed in area, I hear lots of movement.  It’s impossible for me to sneak up upon them to confirm my suspicions and hopes.  Anyhow, the boxed in area is very warm and all the chicks are thriving, even the little one with the bummed leg, (M.) is getting around and is holding her own amongst the crush of her fellow chicks.

I went for a walk with the girls, and also went hunting with Jim.

I love tiptoeing as quietly as I can, while hunting, through the forest/meadows/old logging roads, listening, observing the wilds with Jim. I play a wee bit with it:

“Shhhh!  Be vehwe, vehwe quiet, weeuh huntin’ deer and elk”  Jim has me lead, and I mimic Elmer T. Fudd’s stance.  When I look over my shoulder at Jim, to see his reaction, he is smiling. 🙂  It’s super nice to sit in the woods together, alone, outside of our normal routine.  Thusfar, we have not seen much deer sign at all.  The only wildlife we saw on our most recent hunt were a spruce grouse, a squirrel, a flicker, gray jays, a muskrat, and some Water Ouzels/American Dippers. On our way out of the forest, we were treated to a spectacularly pink cloud sunset with the nearly full moon coming up over white snowy peaks contrasting against the dark blue azure sky.  The pink clouds reflected in the still waters of The Unnamed River.  Later, the snowy white peaks turned pink! BEAUTIFUL!

Related:  Cold Remedies List - Do These Really Work?

No, we haven’t gotten anything, yet.

I also spent time reading and translating the book of John Chapters 13-17 from Hebrew to English and looking up the meaning/definitions of words. Through this, I learn the deeper meanings of what the apostles and Jesus were telling us.  I study this in four ways: I read the Hebrew comparing it with the English and translate directly to English, then I read English while listening to the Hebrew being read on YouTube.  Then I listen to the English on YouTube while reading the Hebrew, then I listen to the Hebrew while reading the Hebrew.  This activity really, really feeds my heart and soul! It helps me to learn the Hebrew, and to gain a deeper understanding of what Jesus was/is teaching us. The repetition between the two languages impresses the WORD of the FATHER deep into my heart. I also listened and translated the Israeli news, Netanyahu’s speeches and other Israeli television shows.  It was so nice to get back to it this week.  I did very little reading/studying of Hebrew this summer and fall.  Learning Hebrew has been a lifelong passion.  Someday, Lord willing, I’ll be fluent.  I hope? 🙂  [Jim Adds: And someday, I suspect she’ll be studying Aramaic.]

Next week, I need to rearrange our closet root cellar and move some of the produce from our pantry hall to the closet.  I need to chop up some more onions and freeze them.  I do this, just a small amount at a time, to save time when cooking meals.  It’s easier to grab some already chopped frozen onions than it is to chop up an onion for every time I make a meal.  I need to bake and freeze some pumpkins and make pumpkin pies.  I should make some soups and pressure can them…  We need to move more manure to the Annex and Expansion gardens. And I want to do some more hunting.

Keep prepping, a little something every day!  Keep praying for the Lord to guide you and keep you hidden from the approaching storm. Keep stocking up food, We ARE going to need it it in the very near future.

May you all have a very blessed and safe 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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