Marked For Death

Between Irene and Sandy, we had Snowtober. Halloween 2011. A not insignificant portion of a tree that technically belongs to the county but hugs my property line cracked down and blocked the street for a few days.

The people we bought the house from had been trying to get the county to take it down for years. The neighbors also, particularly the guy whose house it was leaning towards.

Being that my county is large and includes Newark (which I affectionately refer to as the hole of the ass), the county was unimpressed. And unresponsive.

Until halfway through January 2013.

Hot damn and Hallelujah!

I’ve never been so happy to see something die.

Before I get any hate comments from tree-huggers, let me just say that I WILL approve comments that call me out as hating the environment IF AND ONLY IF you have had three or more trees land on your house in a six month period as I had here, and here.

I watched the whole thing go down in thirty minutes. Had they not been blocking my driveway I would have pulled #5 out of school to see it, it was so fricking cool.


What you can’t see in this shot is the additional twenty feet of tree that hangs over the road.


You’re going down, tree!


That would be the bit you couldn’t see in the first shot.


DSCF6888Had we been thinking, we would have marked the giant dead pine tree with a red X too.

Click here if you want to see more pictures of the tree’s demise on Flickr.


And By Wordless, I Mean With Words

My roof:

That’s what the roof looked like on Tuesday morning before the arborist tree guy came.

It came from a split-trunk white oak in the neighbor’s yard, a tree that had been the subject of several conversations with the neighbor since October. Apparently, one trunk decided it was done at 7pm Monday night. Over, finished, shuffling off this mortal coil, kaputt, fin.

CC called insurance, the neighbor, and the tree service. All the neighborhood gathered across the street to observe. I was informed by a little girl in a red wagon that a tree had fallen on our house.

I went for a run and then had an ice cream sandwich.

This morning at 3:20am the other trunk also gave up, taking the ash in front of it along for the ride. The ash hit our roof and the oak landed on our deck, the new batting cage, and the ladder CC bought yesterday to get up to the roof to assess the damage from the first trunk.

CC and I checked everything out and then spent a little quality time together. Then he made cornbread and bacon.

I love my husband.

The tree guy arborist said white oaks all over the area are falling. Anything that got damaged in October is now soaking up all the rain and coming down, crack crack smash.

Again, we’re lucky. It didn’t hit #4, who was on her way out to walk Team Puggle when it fell– much like how the tree that fell in October just barely missed #1 by feet and seconds. Even though the roof has extensive damage, the attic goes the whole length of the house. So where the tree broke through is in the attic, and daylight isn’t hitting our bedrooms.

Last night I was the only one who heard the tree fall. This is hilarious to me. That shizz is loud. Seven people in the house; even the damn dogs didn’t wake up and it happened literally right over their heads.

This morning, the guy who took care of the tree yesterday was passing by to check out his handiwork and came across a whole new scene with bonus trees, so he stopped. While everyone was outside checking out the damage, Casey took the opportunity to relieve us of the remaining bacon.

Today, here’s what I’m grateful for:

1) My husband, for dealing with all that crap

2) Nobody got hurt.

3) Frank B. Swift, Inc tree service for being total pros and all-around good guys

4) Blue tarp.

What are you grateful for today?

Coming Back to Life

A couple things always surprise me about going through production to open a show. I don’t know why I’m surprised; I should totally be used to it by now, but I’m not.

Maybe I’m like the goldfish. They say goldfish have no memory, so every trip around the bowl is a new experience. Swim swim swim. . . Hey, look! A plastic cave! Swim swim swim. . . Hey, look! A plastic cave!

Or like the addict: This time, it’ll be different.

One of the things that surprises me is how each time I do production, it’s harder. This is because each time I do it, I’m older (I hit 40 this month, post to come!). My brain thinks that with age comes experience and so each production period should be easier than the last. My body, however, says, Sweetheart, you ain’t twenty-eight anymore.

When the sleep deprivation is hitting me and I struggle lifting coils of cable, it strikes me how viciously difficult it must be for women that have their kids later in life.

The other thing that surprises me is how long it takes me to come back to life when production is over. In my head, the day after opening night I have my house clean and I’m making home-cooked meals after I run five miles and go to yoga. My body, however, is fully invested in making endless pots of tea, reading magazines, and eating Girl Scout cookies.

Which is bliss.

All the flowering things are blooming in my neighborhood. It’s really beautiful. The last time I was here during daylight, it was winter. To me, it’s as if they just popped up in full bloom overnight.

And around my house, I struggle to understand anything that’s happening:

#4, wearing one shoe: I lost my shoe.

Me: I see. That’s problematic.

#4, to #5: Can you come help me find my shoe?

#5: You lost your shoe?

#4, shaking her foot: Duh.

#5: What’s wrong with you?

#4: Just come help me look.

They walk out of the kitchen. About thirty seconds later #5 walks back in.

#5: Sometimes she makes no sense.

Me: Oh?

#5: Yeah. She just told me to come look for her shoe and we went to her door but then she wouldn’t let me in her room.

Me: Hmm.

#5: That’s like sending a cow to an orphanage.


One of my favorite bloggers came to my opening night show last week and wrote about it. Check her out: GoJulesGo at GoGuiltyPleasures- How I Almost Walked The Red Carpet Last Week.