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Our bull badly bent one of our channel steel garden gates.


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:

Our young bull (now two years old) was throwing his weight around again. Although he is from what is considered a “small” breed, he is still a very powerful critter. Recently, he has been using our utility box trailer as a play toy, pushing it around, for distances up to 20 feet. That 30 year old trailer–which we mainly used for hay and firewood hauling–weighs around 1,200 pounds. The bull isn’t being intentionally destructive–just playful. He will push at it from all directions until it comes free of its wheel chocks. Then he will push it around, in semicircles.

This past week our bull also badly bent one of our garden gates. This is the large channel steel tractor gate (12 feet wide) at one end of our Annex Garden. He had been bending into a “V” shape. Not only did I have to upgrade it to a more stout chain-and-eye bolt closure, but I had to reinforce the bottom of the gate itself with a 10-foot length of scrap 1.5″ Schedule 40 galvanized steel pipe. This piece straightened and stoutened (is that a word?) the gate, nicely. Without that, our Bovine Delinquent would probably have continued to bend that gate, to the point of failure.

Such is life with a bull. You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. If we sent him to the chest freezer, it would of course mean: no calves. Yes, we’ve tried using AI for a couple of years, with a less than 50% success rate. And that pitiful rate was with the optional week-in-advance ovulation inducing shot. In contrast, keeping a bull pastured for three months each year with our open cows has had a 100% success rate. Therefore, we are keeping him, but he was just moved in to our extra-stout Bull Pen, for the summer. That pen is constructed of heavy duty tubular steel livestock panels. The corners of the pen are attached to 12″ diameter cedar posts that are sunk 2 feet deep in the ground–so that bulls cannot push the pen out of shape.

This week I also cut two more cords of firewood.  Our teen daughters are becoming more accomplished firewood stackers. This past year they’ve progressed from merely “utilitarian” stackers, to downright decorous stackers. Their firewood stacks are now very pleasing to the eye. And they are sturdy enough to be almost invulner-a-Bull. (Thankfully, our bull doesn’t like to play with firewood.)

Next week, it will be time to slaughter and butcher a whole mess of young roosters. I never look forward to that task. But the end result–either in our chest freezer, or canned up in jars–is always gratifying. We are thankful to God, for His providence!

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
We’ve had a lot of rain and cool weather this week which put a serious damper on the outside gardening.  We’ve fired up the wood stove, again, for the past three days.

We moved manure into the Main garden sections.  I shoveled some kitchen scraps compost dirt onto a section of the Main Garden. Miss Eloise and I spread straw all around the cabbages, carrots and onions.  I still need to spread straw on the Broccoli. I dug up some rogue red raspberry and golden raspberry sprouts from the Main Garden that will be planted at various places around the property to create a forest garden. I had planted some peppers and eggplant in a bed in the greenhouse. Already, they are growing baby peppers.

We all went for a short bike ride up into the National Forest.

I went for a short canoe float in the flooded meadow.

I did a fair amount of baking and cooking this week.

I allowed the horses and our bull to graze in the orchard–under strict supervision.

Our family all together is watching every night a DVD of a course from The Great Courses, titled Outdoor Fundamentals: Everything You Need To Know To Stay Safe, by Professor Elizabeth K. Andre.  Except for the obligatory nods to racial diversity, sexual orientation, environmentalism, and the Americans with Disabilities Act in the introduction, it has been quite interesting and informative.

This past week was another good one for wildlife. For birds, I saw and identified by sight and voice the spotted Sandpiper, Chipping Sparrow, and an Oregon Junco.  We have heard, officially  for the first time this year, the Hermit Thrush, I love that bird, too. We also saw a MacGillivray’s warbler, but in a sad way:  One of our cats caught him and deposited his corpse in the doorway of the porch. A beautiful bird!  How sad!  🙁

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After a lengthy hiatus from Hebrew studies, I got back into it this week.  I’ve listened to some news clips in hebrew and translated them, read  and translated some Hebrew Ynet articles, and an easy Hebrew Magazine/Newspaper subscription that I receive on a monthly basis, and I listened to the Hebrew reading while following along in English, the Book of Hebrews. Fun!

I just seasonally re-packed my bugout bag moved it’s contents to the summer-colored bag.  I added a few more clothes that were not present before or that had been removed: such as my winter puffy jacket, long john set, and woolie long johns.  My down jacket is very light and packs down very compactly and I hate being cold and want it on summer nights. The girls and I need to go through their packs, this coming week.

Of course, I have watched umpteen videos discussing the Grand Solar Minimum, Vaccines and the Mark of the Beast. (You’ve got to listen to Ice Age Farmer’s last two or three videos)  You should  listen to this, from Dr. June Knight vlog: NEWS TODAY w/Dr. June Knight – COVID-19 Testing in your Phone? Tracking? Other Vaccine News. Please apply discernment, and remember: Unlike Jim, I am not a journalist with a degree in journalism. I am only linking to information that I think is very pertinent and important to know.  I have come to the conclusion that this planned vaccine and it’s Bio Certificate will be the Mark of the Beast. Though COVID-19 is very real, it is not as bad as the Mainstream Media says it is. And I believe that the Powers That Be are using it to bring about their draconian, totalitarian, dictatorial One World Order government, religion and economic system onto the whole world.  Without that Bio Certificate, you will not be able to work, go to the doctors, the bank, the grocery store, travel, go to school, or just about anything.  But it is the Mark that separates you from God the Father.  It’s Satan’s Mark. If you take it, then You belong to him. You have made your alliance with him. All in exchange for food.  If you recognize that this is what it truly is, and refuse it, God may provide for you and hide you. Trust in Him.

Please prepare your hearts and plan accordingly.  We only have six months at the least and until February at the most, perhaps, to get ready and to continue preparing for this.  Persecution will be harsh for all who refuse to take it, but to take it will mean the loss of our souls and forever separation from the Father God.  I cannot warn you enough.  We will have to live outside of this economic system.  If you are a true Christian, you will see and understand, this will witness to your spirit.

If this is witnessing to your spirit and you don’t claim Yeshua/Jesus as your own, then you had better examine your heart, and repent because God is calling you to Himself and is warning you to flee His Wrath that is to come on all who reject His word and take Satan’s Mark at the End of this Age of Grace.  He is a merciful and loving God, long suffering, and patient. But there is a cut off day, coming incredibly soon.  Don’t wait.  Read the Bible and repent and call upon His name, which is “Salvation”!

Story Time:

In between the rain showers, Miss Eloise and our Horsey Friend have been working on Spring Breaking our horses S. and Ch.  It’s really awesome to see them get serious and do their work, when the “Big Guns” comes to work them. This Horsey Friend of ours is definitely a “Big Gun”, not in size, but in, authority and experience.  She helps motivate us.

The second time our Horsey friend came this week, the horses didn’t want to come to us. Granted the weather was cloudy, very windy and cool and they were feeling it. (Me, too.) Horses are always extra spunky/spooky/excitable on windy, cool days.

Twice, we approached them, to catch them, and off they ran like crazy beasts.  At that, I, decided to make them run.  As they looped around and came near me, I jumped quick and ran after them.  My quick jump always sets S. off, with CH. running close behind her.  I chased them into the meadow and ran after them in a smaller inside loop.  The two of them know me well.  They know, very well that I am playing with them and they are not afraid of me. They love it when I run after them, on purpose to play! They made about five huge running loops at top speed while I ran half inside loops to keep them going.  Every time they came around near me and slowed down, I chased them again.  It was so much fun.  They are so beautiful to watch tearing up and down the meadow together.  They sort of tired out and Ch. approached Miss Eloise and Horsey Friend for some wet C-O-B. They were also watching the beauties run. They were able to get a rope around Ch’s. neck and then the halter.

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But our other horse S. who was already wearing a halter wouldn’t let any one of us grab her.  So I purposely chased her away as Miss Eloise led Ch. over to the outdoor training arena.  S. was getting horse separation anxiety and tried to follow, but still wouldn’t let me take her halter. So I chased her away each time she tried to get near Ch.  She ran back out to the meadow and took a few loops, then stopped by the house and looked back at me.  (I was across the parking lot from her about a hundred yards away). She snorted a couple of times.  I just laughed at her, and shouted, “Are you done, now?  Are you ready to get serious about your real work?”  “Come on” I called her over.  She trotted over to me, let me pet her and hook a fat lead rope to her halter, then she allowed me to lead her over to our horse trailer and tie her up.  Silly horse.

Before anyone tells us we are mis-training the horses… Just remember that we’ve had them for more than six years, we are friends, and we know when they are in a playful mood. I figure, we might as well tire them out before working with them, let them get out that nervous, excited energy before making them work. Every one will be safer if they have already expended that excitable energy first, anyhow.

Earlier this week, I “chased” S. around the meadow, on my bike.  It started out with me riding my mountain bike down the meadow to talk to Jim who was working on something there.  The horses were very close to him, watching him work.  I road my bike toward, S. talking to her. She acted all nervous and started to trot in a working circle while watching me, so I rode slowly after her.  She kept going in a circle and dropped her head to the ground which said to me that she was enjoying the “work”. So I gently rode in a circle after her while she went around about eight times.  Then we stopped and greeted one another.  She needs a job!  Hopefully, this summer they will be ridden more often.

Well, many of you can give a collective sigh of relief.  😉  As of Friday night, we have now locked up the bull in our bull pen until this fall.  He has just been way too much of a Bovine Delinquent these past two weeks, popping off fence clips left, right, and center, wearing my canoe as a hat, getting in the way of horse training, and once even escaping the ranch perimeter fence for a quick foray down the county road.  Yep, too much delinquent behavior.  Though we don’t want to feed him hay all summer, we also don’t want him to breed back our cows too early. Thus, we cannot lock  him up with them, and we’re totally tired of fixing broken pasture fences. His days of youth and freedom are over.  He won’t be the same buddy I had in the past, now….  🙁  Sadness.   It’s either this, or off to Freezer Camp.  We need him for another year of covering our cows.  He is looking rather yummy, lately, all nicely fleshed out…  😉 He is quite the specimen!  Such is farm life.  As one of our Prepper friends once said, which I didn’t like hearing, though I must concede is true: “You love ’em, you kill ’em, an’ you eat ’em.”  🙁

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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