Jun 6, 2012
Storm Damage- No Power/Lessons Learned, Thrifting, Apple Ring Recipe
Well, it's been a couple of "recovery days" here. Monday night, about 5/6 p.m. a predicted storm started blowing thru, dropping the temp 25+ degrees. We went from 90 to 55 in a few hours. When this happens in Boise we get severe winds, and hardly any rain. We had gusts up to 60+ mph. We lost power at 7:00 p.m., and lit up our oil lamps and candles as it got darker. As the worst of the wind hit, our huge maple tree started losing small branches, not a big surprise. We had a major trimming done a few months back, which probably helped our tree. Then the bad news- a really large branch broke off and wound up like an upside-down V wedged slightly angled down, half way up the tree. It was still raging wind-wise when we spotted it. It was way too dangerous to attempt to go out and fix at that point, I screamed this to my husband :) I was not amused with him trying to go out. I attribute this to the pressure change, as his brain fluid must have been affected.
I had secured our yard/deck, and put our 4 chickens in the 2 sided coop (sun room and main coop, still had the younger girls separated) and was hoping it wouldn't come crashing down on both of those, our fence behind it, or though our picture window. In 60+ winds, it wouldn't fall straight down, it would blow sideways. Of course. The photo above is the aftermath the next day, yesterday. Our power came back on about 1 a.m. yesterday morning. I heard the power trucks going up and down our street Monday in the middle of the night, went out a few times to see where they were working, and only slept about 4 hours or so. I was exhausted yesterday morning. I was happy the power on, as many 1000's still were without it. Then the clean up began. Our biggest concern was the big branch wedged in the tree. It wasn't safe to climb up into the tree to cut and rope it down, as the main branch might go. So, drum roll please (do NOT attempt this at your home)...
Dave rented a chain saw on a long adjustable pole, climbed up onto an orchard ladder we have and trimmed it in sections. That part went pretty well, little branches falling down. Then came the bad part- it was still windy and the heavy V section was still up there. Dave was ready to start pushing it off the other branch, knowing the coop might be the target. I had gotten the chickens out to the other side of the yard. As a rebuild lay in our possible future, and flashed before our eyes - I held my breath and prayed (not being a religious, but spiritual person, I pray on a regular basis). Then Dave pushed. I wish I had a video camera, but I was steadying the ladder. Down it came- sideways, diagonally, landed perfectly between the coop, and the berries bushes, in the unplanted garden area, not touching a thing! I screamed, "that's awesome!!!"
What are the odds? Dave said when he pushed it looked like it was going straight down headed for the coop, then it swung sideways. I told him it got a little push :) Then I said lots of thanks. Then the full clean up began, see photo. We used the chainsaw and had it most of the way cleaned up within an hour or so. I took a nap 2 hours later. I saw another employee on the noon news- she had a huge tree fall across the entire house, and smash her roof. I feel very lucky, it could have been much worse here. It snowed in the foothills last night, and was 38 this morning. My tomatoes are waiting in the dining room for a few more nights to be planted, oh well. We went out to dinner last night. I slept really hard, and we did more normal yard work today. Chickens are all still alive, house/garden intact, all is well.
Except for the tree damage I was pretty happy with how things went. I tend to be OCD about prepping for storms, as I went thru a lot of bad ice storms in Oregon. I had prepped- made an early dinner/dessert, had newer batteries in our flashlights, a crank- up radio (which helped pass the time), and lots of oil lamps. I loved my 2 little LED lanterns, about 4" high, that were very bright. I got them several years ago for a couple of bucks. We still had water pressure too, but lower, good thing for city folks like us. I do need to get a new water filter, as we had 2 full rain barrels, but our old camping filter died. Will shop around for that. It would have been tricky if the water went out totally, as I only have 5 gallons stored for drinking water.
Fun Apple Ring Recipe- What a great idea, and gluten-free too! Foodrenegade.com Lots of great thought-provoking articles as well.