Tips & Basics

We have another two weeks before we will be in raspberry harvest time.

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make both 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 the Odds ‘n Sods Column or in the Snippets column. Let’s keep busy and be ready!

Jim Reports:

This past week I was fairly busy writing and helping care for our four visiting grandsons. The youngest is just two years old and still in diapers, so he needs a lot more attention than his brothers.  I did find the time to replace a corral gate post. The old one was just 8 inches in diameter. Its demise had been hurried along by our troublesome old bull, who is now residing in two of our freezers. The newly installed post was cut from a section of a former power pole. It is heavily creosoted and is 15 inches at the butt end.  So I expect it to last at least 20 years.

I did some rototilling in the main garden. I also found the time to catalog some antique guns and to ship out some orders, for my Elk Creek Company mailorder biz. I repaired a leaking pipe in our irrigation system.  Luckily it was just a union that had just popped apart — presumably from “water hammer” effect — so it was a quick fix.

On Independence Day, we joined some friends from our Bible study group, to enjoy a fireworks show.

Now, Lily’s report…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,
We have had another beautiful week in the American Redoubt.  We have had a few rain showers and a large thunderstorm that have kept our gardens watered.  The high temperatures were in the seventies with lows about forty-eight degrees Fahrenheit.

The beginning of the week through Wednesday we took care of the four grandsons here.  We had a wonderful time with them.  We took them hiking in the National Forest on a one and half mile trail with an elevation gain of 600 feet to a small lake with fish in it.  The boys ages range from nine years old down to two years old.  Grandpa and I took turns carrying the two-year-old on the very few steep slopes, but he walked the rest of the way.  He loved it and was quite the trooper.  He really liked trying to keep up with his big brothers.

Once we had arrived at the lake we sat down at a small tenting area and scarfed down a finger-food lunch I had brought: apples, homemade Larabars, turkey slices, potato chips, cherries, cheese, Einkorn cherry muffins, etc. Then we went exploring.  We saw fish jumping in the lake, so we cut down a Rocky Mountain Maple sapling, and made a fishing pole. I rigged it with my Altoids Tin emergency fishing kit. The kids didn’t bring theirs.  Then we tried fishing.  Shortly after everyone wanted to head home and the clouds were building up, or so we thought. We headed back to the SUV.

Once back at the SUV, we decided to drive a Forest Service road to see if we could cross the border to another state on it.  The road took us all the way up to the ridge of the mountains over 6,000 feet and gave us a great beautiful panorama of our valley and other valleys on the other side.  It turned out that the road no longer went through.  So we turned around and returned the way we had come.  On our way up the road, we caught a glimpse of a brown grizzly bear running across the road into the forest.  Wow!  That was the first grizzly I had ever seen in the wild near our ranch.  Yep, they are here!

While on our hike and drive we kept stopping to look at plants and to identify them and teach them to the boys.  They are really learning all of them — between me and their parents.  Fun!

The next day, our newish neighbors invited us to come and kayak with their kids who are in the same age range as our grandkids, on their pond, and in the river.  Our two-year-old went with his brothers in a canoe in the pond.  It was a very small pond and only four feet deep, so I was fine with them paddling alone.  If anything happened I could walk out to them in ten seconds.  Everyone was wearing life jackets. They were all well-behaved in the canoe. Later, I kayaked with the two-year-old on the small pond as it was his nap time and he was feeling a bit tired.  He really liked it and relaxed for a while with me.  So sweet! He actually skipped two days of nap time with us!!!  😉

Later that day, all of the kids went down to The Unnamed River to fish.  A while later we all jumped back into canoes or kayaks and paddled near the house on the river.  Their stretch of the river is very calm. The four older boys played a game of bumper kayaks for a while. Meanwhile the two-year-old and the five-year-old watched them.  They really wanted to join in, so I launched another canoe into the river and put the two younger boys in and we joined in with the games.  The two-year-old loved it!  He loves being a “big boy” and doing things with his brothers.  He is a trooper!

The boys and their parents had started reading Johnny Tremain together and they brought the book with them so I could continue to read some of it to them.  I read about fifty pages to them.  I had forgotten many of the details of the book, so late Wednesday night I stayed up and looked it up on the computer to see what happened in the rest of the story.  Then I remembered the story.  Our girls read it when in high school and I had rapidly skimmed it to see what it was about and in doing so, I missed some details.  Anyhow, I’m all caught up now with it.  It is a great story.

Each day we had the boys they all wanted to go for rides in our Electric UATV.  So we took them and the two older boys practiced driving it.  When I drove them, we pretended we were going on a Safari.

While they were here we had the third batch of newly hatched chicks still in the house.  They loved playing with them.

We have a serious mosquito problem in the early summer each year because we live at the edge of marshy meadows. They get in the house no matter what we do.  While the boys were here, we put up a three-man tent on the king-sized bed in the guest bedroom and the three older boys slept in that each night.  It was kind of an adventure for them to sleep in a tent on the bed in the house.  The two-year-old had a pack-and-play crib that had fine mesh walls, so we put a mosquito net over the top of his crib while he was sleeping to protect him from the mosquitoes.

On the last day that they were here, we cleaned up the house after breakfast, picked up all of the Legos, games, and craft materials that were out, and packed up all of their gear.  They helped with this cleanup.  Then we did some archery practice, took another drive in the electric UATV, with the two older boys practicing driving again. We ate lunch, and then the boys helped me weed some rows in the Main garden, water in the greenhouse, and mow the grassy paths between the garden beds.  They loved taking turns mowing the paths with our reel mower.  After this, the youngest was put down for a seriously needed nap. He asked for the nap!  So cute!  While he slept, the three older boys, Miss Violet and I relaxed. I confess I fell asleep for a bit on the floor while they watched the second set of videos.  We all watched the latest Outdoor Boys in Africa with the Hadza Tribe in Tanzania.  They loved watching it.  We watched a few other videos.  Then their parents called and said they would be along shortly to pick up the boys.  So I made dinner for all of us for when they arrived.  We had a wonderful visit with the boys.  We love them so much.

The next day was a serious cleanup day of the house from the baby chick dust and from the boys being here.

But first, I cleaned out the hen house and the inner hen house.

Three days before, I had left the inner Hen house door open so the second batch of chicks could integrate with their parent chickens and their month older siblings.  Then, on the third day, I evicted them from the inner hen house, completely.  And on the fourth day, I cleaned it out and moved the third batch of chicks into it.

I then cleaned out the short shallow tank they had been in and scrubbed it clean and put it away for the next time that I incubate eggs, which may be at the end of the summer. I also cleaned up the warming lamp and its reflector and the water and food containers the chicks had used while in the tank, and put those away.

Next, I completely dusted, vacuumed, and scrubbed the Great Room from top to bottom, including wiping down all of the walls.  I also removed the wool rug, since we are coming into a very hot and dry weather pattern for the next two weeks, which is prime time to give the wool rug its annual scrubbing. I plan to do that on Sunday afternoon.

The next day, I scrubbed the area where our kitchen trash can is located. I also scrubbed the wood stove hearth. I reorganized and scrubbed the cupboard under the kitchen sink and the area where we store a few five-gallon buckets with Heritage flour and sugar. The sugar is mostly for the chicks and Hummingbirds at this point and for baking for guests who want conventional foods. I washed their lids and washed the floor under them.  They are stored where a dishwasher would be, if we had one. For the record, I don’t want one! Jim would buy one in a heartbeat if I asked.  But I don’t want it!

This week I harvested many garlic scapes.  I rinsed them off, chopped them, and froze them.  I love scapes.  We harvested more Pineapple strawberries.  My raspberries are coming on.  I see one starting to slightly turn pink as of Thursday.  We have another two weeks or so before we will be truly in raspberry harvest time. I have been harvesting Zuchs from the greenhouse.

I am also harvesting the first few cauliflower and Batavia broccoli from the Main Garden.  We are eating them immediately.  Soon the harvested Batavia broccoli plants will send out new broccoli/flower heads and will proliferate like crazy by the end of the summer. Then I will be picking, freezing, and dehydrating broccoli.

I began milking my new cow this week.  She is a sweetie. Since I am separating her from her calf overnight and milking in the morning, I am now regularly cleaning the milking stalls that the two are occupying overnight. So that the bull won’t be so lonely, he is brought into the barn at night, so he is close enough to hear the cow with just one wall between them.

At the end of the week, I scrubbed fifteen round black rubber feed and water containers (of two different sizes) that I found when we cleaned out the barn two weeks ago. I put them neatly back into the barn for future use.

I read the story of the Prodigal Son to the boys and we read Psalm 91.  That was the extent of my Bible reading this busy week…

May You All Remain Safe, Blessed, and Hidden in Christ Jesus,

– Avalanche Lily, Rawles

o o o

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.

Original Source Link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button