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?

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.