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.  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 this column, in the Odds ‘n Sods Column, and in the Snippets column. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

This week, I did some more work on building partitions and decking a second story in our workshop.  It will feel great to finally get our shop properly organized, after all these years! On Friday, a kindly neighbor and friend came over to help me with the “heavy lifting” part of the job: Tilting up a 2×6 partition wall that I had built, positioning the 6×6 posts that I had pre-cut, lifting some 2×10 beams (that I had also built in advance), and then lifting and attaching some 24-foot long wood I-Beam TGI engineered joists.  I’ll assemble a staircase and lay the 4×8 sheets of plywood decking over the joists by myself, next week. Adding a second story inside the shop will give us a lot more useful storage space.

I had to do just a bit of snowplowing, on Thursday. That was just the second “Plow Day”, so far this fall. Looking at the long-range weather forecast, I’ll have to do some frequent plowing, all through December. I find that plowing is more of a time sink than it is drudgery. And since I do most of the work from inside the heated cab of our pickup truck, I don’t even feel the cold very much. The most strenuous part is hand-shoveling snow from around our gates. And even that falls in the category of “Good Exercise!”

My thanks to the readers who have kindly mailed me license plates for my collection. I’m gradually hanging those up in the shop as I complete each panel of pegboard. One reader recently sent me two yellow vintage plates with differing prefixes from The Netherlands. Those will surely be conversation pieces.

Thanks again, folks!  Now, over to Lily…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
The weather finally warmed up into the low thirties with some sun and clouds and snow showers. But we still have four inches of snow on the ground.  It is amazing that we’ve pretty much already have had three weeks of “winter” and it’s not even December yet.  This winter is going to be a long one, I expect. We’d better get used to it and get out for more skiing, snowshoeing, et cetera.

We, the three of us, had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner last weekend with Number One son, his wife, and the grandsons.

Early in the week, I developed a head cold, so had to take it easy for a few days.  It appears to be very light, thankfully.

I cleaned out the chicken coop. and spread their manure around an apple tree.  It always feels good to see my bird’s home all clean and happy.  I also cleaned up the loafing yard of the horse manure and put that around another apple tree.  I have heavily manured my fruit trees this fall.  I hope it does very good things for the next summer.

We had so many worms in the compost pile this summer, that it occurred to me that I could have a worm farm in the house this winter, to compost food scraps and perhaps to feed some to the chickens.  I haven’t yet fed any to the chickens.

Here is how I made my min worm farm: I took two of my deep heavy duty plastic bussing trays and drilled holes in them at the handles.  I put wormy compost in one of the trays and then put the other tray on it upside down, on top — to form a lid. I dropped large nails in the holes to keep the top tray on the bottom tray. This gives them a dark space and keeps the cats out. I put it in the pantry hallway.  Periodically, I put in food scraps and water the soil.  It appears that I have a huge worm colony in there and they are just loving the food scraps.  The soil is looking so rich, too. There is no odor, either. Each time I open the lid, I see lots of worms quickly disappearing down into the soil.

I cleaned the house and did the usual laundry, floor vacuuming, washing, and cleaning out of our bedroom and bathroom.

I did some walking later in the week and did a couple of elastic bands and weights workouts, once I felt better from the head cold.

I’ve continued studying Isaiah (in Hebrew) and am now in Chapter 5.

Since I had a head cold I’ve been on the Internet a lot this week. I wrote a lot about the events I was seeing and thinking about, in this column, but my husband, after reading it, decided that what I wrote should be expanded into a feature article. So stay tuned.

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.