We did some refresher CPR/AED training. It has mostly been cold and clear.

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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:

Aside for a trip away from the ranch to do some refresher CPR/AED training, we had a fairly quiet week at the Rawles Ranch. It has mostly been overcast or clear and cold. There is just over an inch of compacted snow still on the ground and it is slowly melting.  With the holidays approaching, I’ve been busy packing knife and antique gun orders for Elk Creek Company. I appreciate the patronage of so many SurvivalBlog readers.

Please say a prayer for Pat Cascio! His wife just wrote to tell us that Pat is back in the hospital with a serious condition.

Now, over to Lily…

Avalanche Lily Reports:

Dear Readers,

This week the weather was cold in the highs in the twenties and low thirties and lows in the teens and twenties. One night we had a low of 10 degrees F. Mostly cloudy but no precipitation to speak of, with some sun.

This week, I cleaned out the hen house, sort of, twice.  Let me explain. The last time I cleaned it, I put in way too much grass hay on the floor.  I started to clean it out in the beginning of the week, but the hay was so thick and matted together that the manure on it made it extra heavy and I struggled with it.  It frustrated me, so I only half cleaned it out the first time in the front and one back corner and I did not lay down more hay.  Later in the week, when I felt more energetic, I went after the really thick manured hay in the other back corner and removed it.  I scraped the floor and laid down a much thinner layer of hay and spread it out better.  I  would far rather clean out the coop two to three times a week and have the job be quick and light work, than struggle with the matted, weighted mess, and possibly hurt myself in the process.  I know many people let the manure build up over the winter and let it decompose in the coop for added warmth, but I cannot stand the ammonia smell and know that it is not good for the birds, either. And the mold and dust cleanup in the spring is awful! Wood chips are not viable for us.  We like to use hay or straw.

This week the three of us took a CPR course.  It was really good to get up to date, since it had been about thirty years since both Jim and I had taken that course. The training now includes how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). We always carry a Philips HeartStart in our vehicle. Miss Violet enjoyed learning CPR for the first time.

We plan on taking a general First Aid course in the New Year and then later hopefully, taking a Wilderness First Aid course.  At one time in life, I was certified in the Red Cross Advanced First Aid.  Jim, of course, had Army First Aid courses.

I refilled several of my seasonings jars.

We are celebrating our Thanksgiving this weekend with two of our adult kids and the grandchildren.  The other three are unable to come for various reasons, but we might be able to get four to them together in December for a meal…

Therefore I spent time at the end of the week, house cleaning and cooking yummy food for us to enjoy together.

I worked out quite heavily this week, crosscountry skiing on a a two mile ski around our neighbor’s meadow, walking, sit-ups, weights, stretching, and working out with the elastic bands.  I have been running up and down the staircase in the shop on purpose, for additional workouts.  We live in the flat of the valley and we do not have any sizeable stairs in the house. We have mountains all around us, but I prefer to stay close to home when we have so much work to do and don’t have time to go off-ranch.

I am slowly working my way through the book of Isaiah, reading it in Hebrew. I am in chapter four.  I am just reading and studying a few verses at a time, not setting goals of the amount to do each day, because I never live up to them, long term.  Something always interrupts the flow and I don’t get back to it. So a little here and a little there is better for me to have consistency.

Our dog and cats have been super cute lately.  The cats, two years old now, are not too happy being out in the cold for too long these days. Therefore they have pent-up energy in the house that they need to expend.  Our male kitty, Mr. M has been finding objects to play with and chase in the house.  The other morning, while H. was still in Miss Violet’s bedroom he knocked down the tray on the windowsill that was holding the hazelnuts where they were drying out.  He chased one of the winged nuts all around the floor.  Another morning, while Miss H was outside, (while the dog is out, the cats will play) he found his toy mouse and began throwing it all around and chasing it.  He brought it up to me and I threw it for him over the couch towards the hallway.  He took off running, leaping up on the couch and over it, (It is in the middle of the room and divides the kitchen from the livingroom) and chasing it down the hall and brought it back to me putting it down under my bent legs, (I was sitting on the floor leaning up against our hearth in front of the wood heat stove), asking me to throw it again. I took it from him and threw it again.  Again he brought it back to me for another round.  This is the first time we have played fetch with the mouse in over a year.  I am delighted to know that he remembers how to play the game and even still wants to play it.  What a great cat he is.

Another time this week, when H. was in the house, and I was this time sitting on the hearth with my knees together. Female M went under my legs.  I opened my knees just a little to look down at her and reached down to pet her. She looked up at me with this really pleased look in her eyes. Pleased to be hiding under my legs and to have some attention from me.  Suddenly our dog H. saw all this and got jealous came over and tried to nose her to get her to play with her.  M grabbed my legs with her claws and began to hiss and slap at H. and they started to have a real brawl under my legs.  I yelped and leaped up and let them have at it with each other without me in the middle of it.

When I beat up some eggs for the cats, the dog has been sticking her nose into the bowl with the two M’s and all three of them are eating together without any growling, hissing, or fighting.  I’m so impressed with their peaceful complacency concerning food.  It’s really cute to see how polite they are with each other while eating together.

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.



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