Harvesting and preserving time may be over, but there is still plenty of hot, sweaty, and dirty work going on here on our survival homesteading retreat. Our preps this week were primarily focused on moving downed trees that had been drying, chopping them up, and then splitting them to make firewood.
Bobby and I had several “date nights” out enjoying our trails and marking where the previously cut down trees were located and harvesting more wild medicinal plants.
This is my spunky beast Jovie running along with us while cutting a new trail in our woods while on the hunt for cut trees and medicinal “weeds”:
This is my beloved’s dog, Ruger. He and Jovie were litter mates. She is a tough country dog that runs several miles a day through the woods and patrols the barn during turnout:
Ruger, on the other hand, sits in the air conditioning at Bobby’s office and takes truck rides when he goes out on appointments. I call him the “town dog.” While Jovie chased scents and ran the ahead of us to guard us, Ruger hopped in the back of the Ranger and sat on a blanket. Jovie is by far the better dog…no matter what my dear husband thinks.
We have a whole section in our upper pasture where the honeysuckle is blooming vibrantly again. This thrilled me to no end. Not only do I love the smell of honeysuckle, I am now able to dehydrate more flowers and leaves to add to my SHTF apothecary stash.
Honeysuckle has successfully used to treat a myriad of mundane to serious medical issues:
• Headaches and migraines
• The flu
• The common cold
• Arthritis and joint pain, and inflammation
• Digestive problems such as ulcers, nausea, and general stomach aches and pains
• Detoxification from various toxins
• Insect bites, skin rashes, and boils.
• To boost the immune system
• To reduce fever
• Congestion relief
• Urinary conditions
• As a natural treatment for diabetes
• To lower cholesterol
In addition to firewood duty (including spending time fixing the wood splitter that came with the property when it broke), we had a visit from the farrier. This was the first time we had this Amish farrier come – and it will be the last. He came highly recommended but was far too rough with our animals to me…even by Amish standards.
His prices were a little cheaper than the last farrier, and he fit the shoes perfectly, but I simply cannot have the trust my animals have placed in me destroyed by allowing anyone to hit them.
There is a difference between using force to curtail an animal to prevent it from doing harm to itself or to tend to its hooves and hitting or punching it. I have never had to resort to levying pain to get a horse to do exactly what I wanted or needed it to do. The folks who recommended the farrier treat their horses well, but being men, they may have a different outlook on what it takes to control a 1,000-pound animal.
Having a farrier that will come to you is both a big time and money saver – especially when you have a 2-horse trailer and five horses that need hauled 15 miles each way to a non-traveling farrier. But, learning how to complete the task properly yourself is, as in all things, a much better idea.
So, my plans to learn how to trim and shoe myself are being fast-tracked. A horse’s health depends on its feet, and when the SHTF horses will once again become a primary (if not only) mode of transportation, means to haul anything heavy, and be used for agricultural purposes.
Dan is going to publish my how to trim and shoe horses and medium livestock article (complete with detailed videos) on Survival Sullivan in the near feature. Hope you venture over there to check it out.
The only other prepping this week involved some homeschooling activities with our youngest grandchildren and regaining control over my craft table. I spent a lot of time at my table using natural materials from our survival homesteading retreat to make both birthday and Christmas gifts for loved ones and homeschooling learning aids.
Before we decreased our home square footage and vastly enlarged our land, I had an entire room for my craft projects. Now I use a section of our living room to create various types of projects. I have several drawers full of morale-boosting items that children and older members of our tribe can busy themselves with during a long-term disaster.
Morale boosters are often at least a slightly overlooked part of prepping plans. Of course they are not as important as food, water, or medicine preps, but they still possess value. All of my bargain books from the annual library sale will also come in quite handy when members of our tribe get a moment to unwind during and after a SHTF scenario. Keeping some semblance of “normal” can help reduce stress and anxiety, especially with children, in a survival situation.
This week’s questions:
1. What type of morale boosters have you stockpiled?
2. What is your favorite home remedy recipe?
3. Will you be able to care for the needs of your livestock by yourself during a disaster situation?
How did you prep this week? Share your self-reliance successes and failures of the week with The Survivalist Blog online community in the comments section below.