One and Done Sunday #9

Welcome to One and Done Sunday. Short and sweet: one picture, and five links that are worth your time.

Except I’ll blather on a little first. You may have noticed I’ve been sort of quiet lately. It happens when I get overwhelmed; I imagine a lot of people are like that.

I started re-reading a book that I went through probably twelve years ago called One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant. It’s like a forty-day workbook thing. Something I read in it has been kicking around in my head about slowing down so you can see the truth that’s in front of you (I’m paraphrasing). So I slowed down.

No real wisdom to impart from that, except that I feel calmer.

I didn’t do much this week except help clear our land from the storm. That was actually sort of a lot, but it was only one day. Three weeks since the storm damaged pretty much every tree in our neighborhood, very little official cleanup has happened. We got a letter from the town about ten days ago (before the election) basically saying, give us a break people, we’re doing our best. But don’t dispose of anything yourself because you can’t be trusted.

We did see one truck come to pick up the branches on our street this week.

They completely skipped our house.

So CC rented a woodchipper and on Friday, CC, #1 and I hit it. I have to say it was pretty cool, even though it was a bit disturbing how much CC seemed to like the woodchipper. Also, #1 reminded him that he told her when she was little that if she were ever going to stuff someone in a woodchipper she should do it feet first so it would hurt longer. He doesn’t remember telling her this and said in his defense that everybody knows if you put body parts in a woodchipper they should be frozen.

Anyway, we got most of the trees done. As for the rest on our property, and the other neighbors that they skipped, plus the leaves that they are also not picking up that we’re not allowed to dispose of? I’m thinking bonfire. My driveway. Maybe we’ll get someone’s attention then. Ah, Jersey. Our tax dollars hard at corruption.

Here’s your picture:


This was somewhere in the middle of our cleanup and it just kind of made me giggle. The pumpkins that never got carved but also somehow survived a tree landing on them and knocking them off the porch, coupled with the Christmas lights that we never took down until said tree took down the gutter they were attached to. Thanksgiving tends to get treated as the tiny space in this picture between the pumpkins and the lights, largely because nobody puts up giant inflatable turkey decorations in their yard. Oh wait, they do in my neighborhood. I should take a picture.

Here are your links.

Hey, speaking of clearing land like a goddamn pioneer woman, here’s one of my dirty secrets. When I need a lift, sometimes I browse the Charlie archives on The Pioneer Woman’s blog. She’s a rancher; he’s a basset hound. Good times. Here’s one: What Is Charlie Thinking?

Everything I love about art and the desert in southern California: Salvation Mountain in the Desert on Pretty Girls Make Gravy.

What do tubas have to do with zombie burlesque, doom metal, and Genghis Barbie: The leading post post-feminine feminine all-female horn experience? Jacquelyn Adams will fill you in.

EC Stilson’s first book, The Golden Sky, came out this week. Anyone who’s had a baby taken from them too soon, or knows someone who does needs to read it. I love how she describes the closure from having written the book in this post: For Zeke on Crazy Life of a Writing Mom.

The best post about pedophilia that you didn’t read this week: Chase McFadden’s Why Parents Must Speak of Unspeakable Things on Some Species Eat Their Young.


Why I Married Him, part two

The cemetery where we walk our pups has a lot of really fantastic trees. Right in front is a live oak that has suffered storm damage. The groundskeepers and the tree people worked together extensively in past seasons to try to save it and it appeared their efforts were paying off.

Then we got our freak snow storm.

Poor tree.

You can tell from this picture the reason we’re losing so many trees: none of the leaves have fallen yet; most haven’t even turned. We haven’t had to rake. Eight-plus inches of wet snow on top of that is bringing those suckers down.

I don’t have a “before” picture, but take my word that before Saturday night, the tree did not normally lay upon the gravestones.

I was taking these pictures and a guy passed walking his dog. He remarked on how dangerous the tree was, that at the moment of it splitting and falling it could have hurt someone.

We’re pretty aware of how dangerous falling trees are, considering how close #1 came to being hit on our front porch, considering that our neighbor was hit by one in his driveway.

I was snapping away, trying to figure how to reply to such an obvious comment without being a total dick to someone who surely must qualify as my neighbor. I needn’t have worried. My husband always has my back in situations like these.

Man: I mean, this is just so dangerous. It could have hit someone. Really, it could have killed someone!

CC: Luckily, they’re all already dead.

Happy Halloween

I may as well get it out there, because you guys are going to find out sooner or later.

The winter storm that hammered the east coast this weekend was all our fault. Perhaps the fault of my family as a whole, or it may be that the blame can be placed squarely on my shoulders.

#1 believes, and the idea is not without merit, that this was God’s way of telling us that we should have taken our Christmas lights down.

She bases this belief on the fact that the giant branch that landed five feet from her head and could have killed her instead took out the gutters, to which the lights were attached.

If you look at the vertical bar in the center of the picture, that’s the gutter. With the Christmas lights. As far as why those lights are still up, that’s another post entirely.

But it may have been me and what I wrote about Winter on Facebook.

Halloween decorations at the start of the snow
Halloween decorations, plus branches.
Back view

I’ll not be taunting Winter in print in the future.

I feel like we’re the luckiest people on the planet. It’s hard to show in the pictures, but we had two giant branches that just missed doing serious damage to the house, not to mention the one that didn’t land on #1.

Besides the gutters, we got our porch pierced:

And that’s it so far. That’s it!

So. Lucky.

The power’s still out. School is cancelled. I just hipped the little ones to the fact that power out days count as snow days. If we go over three snows days, they have to make it up at the end of the school year. Two down so far, and winter hasn’t even begun.

CC got a generator today, thanks to the shop that our shows rent their sound gear from. We now have heat. We got power to the freezer and the fridge before we lost anything. We have the internet back.

I Facebook-bitched about how the county hadn’t even started to clear our street yet- it’s completely blocked by one of the giant branches that didn’t land on my house- and they showed up within fifteen minutes. Never doubt the power of social media.

No school parties, no Halloween parade, and the neighborhood with the best candy and haunted houses behind us is pitch black and deadly with debris and laden branches that continue to fall. But #1 came home from an errand and said that everyone was out on main street, trick-or-treating where all the businesses have power. They went to main street and hit all the houses between here and there while it was still daylight. As soon as they finish hand washing the dinner dishes by candlelight, we’ll eat candy and make s’mores and continue telling spooky stories that may or may not involve the county’s wood chipper (whirring away in front of the house) and wayward children.

Here’s to Halloween miracles.