As we now have nearly three feet of snow on the ground, with two feet of that having come as heavy, wet snow, which quickly froze, the poor deer are having a hard time getting around to find food to eat. It reminds us of the winter, several years ago, with similar conditions. The deer were actually dying of starvation. We fed our herd all winter, but it was in early spring before the DNR decided to begin a feeding program. And that was too late, as the herds had already passed the point of no return, health wise. We lost thousands of deer. I hope, this year, things won’t get so dire. But we will continue to feed our deer (yes, it is legal here, only not at hunting season), hoping to see lots of twin fawns around, come spring. We don’t hunt anymore; we have plenty of domestic beef. But we do enjoy having them around. (Just not in the gardens!)

The deer are increasing at our feeding area. We started with one!
We can plow snow and blow snow, like I’m doing here. But the deer have to wade through, breaking tough crusts and falling through.

I’m having my right knee replaced on January 17th, so am trying to get all my ducks in a row before the surgery. I’ll be doing a lot of rehab afterward and want to make things go as well as possible. The doctor said after 6 weeks, if all goes well, he can do the other knee. I can’t even imagine walking, relatively pain free. Luckily, I have family and friends to help out, taking up the slack, until I get recovered. Thank God.

I don’t know about you, but between the rocky economy, prices rising daily in the stores and the surge of deadly COVID again in China, we’re especially taking care to watch our supply of both foods and supplies we’ve stocked up. I figure it’s better to have too much than too little! Also, please pray for all the folks, across the country, who are in trouble with floods, tornadoes, etc. We’re so fortunate to live where we don’t have any of those problems to deal with. Snow, you can always move; a wood fire always makes you warm. — Jackie

34 COMMENTS

  1. We flew south for the winter months and I paid $7 for a dozen large eggs in Safeway in AZ! Yes, hubby is happy in warmer weather, but I look forward to being back home where we are well stocked, comfortable, and continue adding.
    Those of us who have that small voice warning us are a large number, but the vast majority of the population either scoff at the notion, or–can’t afford, or don’t have room–to stock up. None of us have enough to care for everyone, so we are wise to keep a low profile. I would help those who can’t help themselves, but not the scoffers.
    I wish we had a network of some type, where needs could be exchanged; ie, I have lots of onions, does anyone have potatoes to trade? Wouldn’t that be cool?
    Thoughts and prayers for the 17th!

    • Yep, that’s a nice idea Erin. We do kind of have that network here. Several like-minded friends swap and give produce and goodies back and forth. Pretty neat!! I feel like everyone can afford to and has room to stock up, at least to some extent. Even on food stamps, folks can make choices as to whether to buy frozen dinners of a whole ham to can up. Mom and Dad lived in a trailer in New Mexico and turned an extra bathroom into their pantry. When Will used to live in Washington, in an apartment, he had boxes of canned goods stacked up in his bedroom. And then there are choices; whether to buy beer or flour, eat at McDonalds twice a week or buy canned foods to store. True, some folks are up against it, through no fault of their own. But a lot just blow off stocking up and then panic when an emergency hits.

    • I’m not sure if this is allowed, but you should check out a website called freesteading.com You can search for your state and find people that are close to you that you can network with.

    • Thank you, Deborah! I’m looking forward to the surgery but am kind of a chicken too! I want that one to go well so I can do the second in six weeks or so. I’m so very tired of the pain!

  2. so glad you and yours had a safe happy gathering. dates can be moved(not as “special” perhaps for some) but enjoyable! you are fortunate(YOUR hard work)to be self-sustaining. your winter tips are so appreciated! whether one is off grid, suburbia, city. useful to all!

    thanks to people like you, the deer will survive!

    the prayers sent for the ones enduring natures hardships will be heard by Him.

    1/17/23 prayers for a speedy recovery.
    thanks Jackie for this blog.
    Mary

  3. We are sending good luck and prayers for you and all your medical people who care for you! We have stocked up and glad we have !

  4. Each prepared household means we are not part of a crisis. We are not rushing to the stores to empty shelves and can avoid that stampede as well as leave what is on the shelves to those in need. I haven’t shopped since Nov. 22 and hope to do so this week to replace what I’ve used.

    The knee replacement will be a life changing blessing. My sister had hers done and it has changed her life so much for the better. I had a client who has both of his done in the same surgery and was out walking a half mile on gravel less than two weeks later. Pray you have a speedy recovery.

    • Wow, that’s great news!! I hope to get mine done, one at a time, about 6 weeks apart. Kind of a chicken, but hoping and praying for good results.

  5. I put out extra corn for the deer – one/more of them usual hoover up the one feeder box by morning time. Also have a couple of water sources for them – that tends to determine whether they show up more then snow. Regardless, any wildlife can get water (even the less “desirable”).
    I’ll be ordering to replenish some non-perishables this weekend. As of late we’ve had to buy a few non-perishables but for the most part, what I ordered almost 2 1/2 years go tided us over. Thankful our financial position allows us to replenish regardless of prices (I do my best to find the best price but having things on hand avoids a necessity makes a poor bargain cash outlay).
    Good luck with the knee surgery – we’ll all want to know how it and rehab goes. Spouse is doing well with the “lubricant” injections as his goal is to put off knee replacement as long as he can bear it.
    You’ll be glad you have a one story home (main floor bedroom was a must for the spouse – don’t blame him as he had a physical job). Keep us posted – you might be blogging daily post-surgery! Not that any of us would mind.

    • We actually have a 2 story house, with our bedroom upstairs. But we had a downstairs bedroom for Mom and Dad, complete with a toilet. It’d been gathering junk for months. I cleaned it out in three days, bought a memory foam mattress topper and think I’m set to go for the weeks before I can safely climb the stairs.
      I did the lubricant injections, but they did nothing for me. And boy were they expensive! Luckily, my VA insurance and Medicare paid for them. Whew!
      Glad to hear you’re all stocked up. I have a feeling we’re all going to need it!

  6. Sending prayers that all goes well for your surgery and swift recovery afterwards. I just wish more landowners were more like your guys Jackie. You and Will are true stewards of the land and it shows.

    • The land is our home and we feel like we really need to take care of it the best we can. Thanks for your prayers!!

  7. Good luck on the knee.

    I have the same snow thrower. I’m having to make new skates to prevent it from digging into my gravel driveway. The originals are too narrow and it really sounds bad when throwing dense grade around the neighborhood.

    Mike

  8. Love that you can feed the deer to help them survive. Also, happy that you will have knee surgery and will soon be without pain in that knee. I had both done at the same time, guess because of my age, any way, had no problem and still have no problem. The Lord bless you and give you rest and comfort.

  9. I agree with Elizabeth about relatives with operational security about preps. I do have some put by but living in rural Alaska the only ones who are further out on the supply chain are those who depend on annual barge plus air transport! I have most of my seeds but I can only grow so much because of climate so potatoes would be our go to energy source in extreme conditions. In some areas the moose up here are already on the roads, I hope it doesn’t go as bad as last year when a pilot friend was doing spring surveys for Fish and Game and said he had never seen so many dead moose laying around in the bush! Good luck on the surgery!

    • Thanks so much Howard! I hope the moose survive. We have a few here, but not as many as I’d like (even if they are hell on gardens!).

  10. We wish you the best with your surgery coming up! Husband Mitch is very happy with his two new knees. Bet you’ll feel the same! I sure agree on the preparing as much as possible. Our grocery bill is great incentive for our gardening plans coming up!

    • Good to know Mitch loves his new knees! I need encouragement. (Or is that just courage???) I just saw eggs at $6 a dozen at our local store. Plain old store eggs!

  11. I think about Noah who was told by the Lord to prepare for the flood, and I bet are many others in the Bible. Also, Proverbs 22:3 says, The wise man sees trouble and prepares, but the fool keeps going, and suffers. In other words, some practical advice is good! I’m glad you’ve prepared, Jackie, and other homesteaders that I know. I haven’t heard that anyone in my family or neighbors have prepped at all; maybe I shouldn’t know because no one wants to really let it be known, or it may turn into a challenge later on for their own store of food! I haven’t broadcasted it among my neighborhood. Yes, we can have faith, but also have a responsibility that is ours. My husband was glad years ago to have a knee replacement, when he was in his fifties. Thanks so much for your blog and pictures.

    • You’re welcome, Elizabeth! Yep, the Bible is full of the Lord’s advice to prepare. Yet, a whole lot of folks seem to have forgotten that. (What if Noah had said “Yeah, yeah, Lord. Nothing bad will happen. That’s a lot of work, building an ark….”??

  12. So glad you’ll be getting you knee done..it was such a blessing for my husband when he got through it. The key as you know, is to faithfully do All the rehab. The folks I know that we’re happy with the replacement did it, even if it was painful. Those that didn’t suffer still. It will be so good to live without pain. 😊

    • Oh yes, I’ll do the rehab. I’m not looking forward to that part of it, but I know it’s critical. I’m looking forward to getting rid of the pain.

  13. I love seeing your snow and deer pictures! Just be careful after surgery and stay inside to do your exercises! You will be even better than ever after your surgery is all over. Think about next year this time when it will be all a dim memory.

    • That’s a great idea! You bet I’ll be careful and do my exercises. I want to do everything I can do to make this work.

  14. Good luck on your knee replacement. My wife had it done and experienced a world of improvement. We too have stocked up. I’m amazed at the price changes I see at the stores. There are so many disasters around the country and people in need. You can never be too prepared.

    • So true! I was shocked to see eggs at $6 eggs today. Plain. Old. Eggs!! I’m looking forward to much improvement so I can schedule the other knee. (If I don’t chicken out….) Nah. It hurts too much.

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