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Jul 18, 2018

A Man's Life Saved & His Yard Sale, My Own Close Call, It Pays To Call City Hall, Blackberry Cake

 A Man's Life Saved & His Yard Sale-
This is a pretty unusual story, so bear with me because there's a good payoff at the end! Dave came home late Saturday morning and yelled at me in the kitchen I have something that you've always wanted that I found, but don't look yet. I was scratching my head wondering what he could possibly be talking about? I closed my eyes and he came around the corner with a wind vane. I looked at it, looked at him, and said okay? He said well this is the one that you've driven by for years that you always wanted. Still scratching my head, trying to figure out what he was talking about he then described the house where he found it. It turned out there was a large yard sale at the house of an elderly gentleman in our neighborhood that was there for years. I explained which house had the wind vane that I had always admired. Then I remembered.

He told me quite a story that he had heard from the elderly man's neighbor. His wife died years ago and he was left alone, but his sweet neighbors helped take care of him. He was diabetic, had terrible cataracts, was basically blind and wasn't doing very well in general. It really broke my heart to hear this man suffered for so long by himself after his neighbors moved away. We had seen the house deteriorate terribly over the 10 plus years we lived in the neighborhood. The yard was getting overgrown, and it looked like they used to have a nice yard. Health and Welfare got involved and deemed the house uninhabitable and the man was moved to Assisted Living. He got cataract surgery and now can see! He had been looking terribly with a cane and everyone thought he needed a hip replacement. He did some physical therapy and came back really well and now is walking without a cane!!!

All in all a good outcome since he is 81 years old and now has a chance to live some years where he is being helped, treated and is not alone.  It's a good reminder that sometimes little things we do for each other in our community can be huge. It could be the difference between life and death for someone else. We went back to the yard sale later that afternoon. I just wanted to look and see if there was any little things there that I might want. It was really hard to believe, until you saw it, that the man may have had psychiatric issues, and was potentially a hoarder. He had boxes and boxes and boxes of new items still in the box scattered throughout his house and garage. He had multiple hand tools, power tools, all kinds of things, all brand new in the box piled everywhere. I found a couple small items that I liked and for a whopping $5 we bought a cute little cow creamer, a couple of metal sun catchers, and a new still in the box wind-up clock-

 Info here on these

For when the zombies come

Dave wound up paying $5 for the wind vane and mounted it on top of the coop where we can see it and enjoy it. In the spring I will repaint the deer which should be dark brown. I was actually able to find the same wind vane online and it's made in America in Michigan! Dave leveled it and balanced it and it moves freely.

I would like to think that the elderly gentleman would appreciate the fact we're renewing some old things that he had and enjoying them. God bless him.

My Own Close Call-
Monday night we had a terrible thunderstorm with very, very high winds blowing through. I was watching the radar because I wasn't sure if I needed to take the half-hens and two large hens into the coop or not. I realized when the wind finally kicked up really hard and I went outside. I heard a loud crack when I stepped out. I thought it was a neighbor's tree? I didn't see anything. My best guess as to the wind speed (been through these before) was about 65 miles an hour. I went out into the veggie garden area and was able to get the three small chicks in the coop. I was going to get the two large hens inside and close the door. At that point a very large branch came crashing down on top of me somehow missing my head-

It was wide and long. Yesterday we looked and we still can't tell where it came from but apparently was very, very high up in the tree. We love our huge maple tree in the backyard giving us shade but sometimes it does occasionally lose a branch. When the branch hit the ground somehow it did not actually hit me except for a light bump on the top of my head. The main branch was medium sized and you can see it in the picture with Dave above. When it first came crashing down my automatic instinct was to duck and cover my head. Dave had seen the branch come down through the living room picture window. He thought it had knocked me down and came running out of the house. I stood up and yelled at him to help me get the two chickens in their coop, which we did. At that point I had had enough and went inside and Dave started to get the branch out of the vegetable area and into the main yard-

It took me quite a while to calm down. He came back in a few minutes later. The miracle is I literally did not have a scratch on me. I think it would have been different if this it happened in the winter with no leaves on the tree. I probably would have gotten pretty scraped up. It's also a miracle it didn't take out the fence, the coop, or our newly-installed wind vane. The vegetables actually survived pretty well too! So this is why you buy life insurance, as I later reminded Dave, ha ha. It could have been much worse, so I am grateful!

Ready for the compost bin

It Pays To Call City Hall-
Sometimes you drive by something every day and don't notice when things go bad. There are two really long traffic islands I drive by every day on the way to work going down a long hill. I can't really tell you how long they are. The islands had been a nice touch of green in the road with trees, shrubs and flowers. It was obvious that they had a drip irrigation system built in and everything look good. Early this summer I noticed that there were weeds in the beds that we're getting pretty tall. At one point, with the heat, I realized that all the trees had turned brown. I drove by a few more days and realized that things looked pretty bad. I called the Ada County Highway District to let them know what I was seeing, only to be told to call the Parks and Recreation District. I called them and was told to call another agency. I laughed at that point and told a woman well I guess I'm going to have to call someone else. She kindly told me that she would take care of that. I didn't think much more about it until later that week. I noticed that several of the dead trees have been cut down and the weeds were being removed. Within about one week we had brand new healthy trees, shrubs, and bark dust. I took a photo as safe as I could do while driving. Nice improvement, a little bit of green to drive by and just shows that it does sometimes pay to call City Hall! So much nicer of you than dead trees and weeds. Adds a little urban habitat for birds, etc., too.

Recipe and photo from

Blackberry Cake-
We've been slowly eating the blackberries that we have been harvesting instead of freezing them. I've made this recipe before and it's just so delicious that I decided to buy some blackberries. I found this recipe in a magazine several years ago and it migrated online. I found a good deal locall- three containers for $5, perfect for my recipe. This is really simple and you do not need a food processor to make the batter! I simply cut the butter, added all the dry ingredients and cut cut cut cut. Added the rest of the wet ingredients, etc. and put it in the pan. We did add a few of our own blackberries and raspberries period on the top, then add the crumble and into the oven it went. This is such a great recipe because it's not too sweet and it's really super moist. Try it you'll like it!


Kristina said...

Wow, that is some terrible wind. I am glad you are all okay. Thanks for the blackberry recipe link. We should have a lot more soon on our berry bushes.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Thanks and we have another area that will start ripening soon and we're going to make a effort to freeze all of those for baking it

Mama Pea said...

I guess we don't think enough about our own safety when trying to make sure our critters are out of harm's way. We seem to get a lot of bad winds up here in northern Minnesota, too, and I never can sleep of a night when they're howling. Once we were caught in high winds on a canoe trip. We had the choice of either the lake (no way) or hunkering down in the heavy woods. Watching the trees sway and bend was not a pleasant experience. Doesn't take a huge tree (as you well know) to do harm. So glad you weren't hurt. It could have been serious.

Susan said...

I'm so glad you weren't hurt! Wind and trees is a very dangerous combination. Also glad the girls were okay.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes Mama, if they'd been older I wouldn't have worried quite so much. That must have been scary in the woods! :(

Thanks Susan, we all survived for another day :)

Tarahlynn said...

That blueberry cake looks amazing! Thanks for sharing with us at the To Grandma's House we go link party!