In the Sticks

We spent our weekend turning this:


Into this:


Our trees lost a TON of branches during the wind storms, though we're lucky we didn't lose an entire tree like many of our neighbors. (Noah's social studies teacher lives just down the street and had a tree crash through her bedroom window, barely missing her bed, which she was in at the time.)  It was a lot to clean up, but hey! Free DIY firewood!


(Ike is wearing a very old Coach logo-print rain hat, circa the year I started this blog and was inexplicably and basic-white-girl obsessed with all things Coach. I didn't even know I still owned this, but Ike has taken a liking to it and insists on wearing it all the time.)




Poppy was not happy to be confined to the backyard while Ike and I cleaned up the front. Also not happy that we cut up or threw out all those big, delicious sticks.

The firewood will be used to fuel our new fire pit (that old inherited-from-the-former-homeowners one there is completely rusted through because we...uh, forgot about it all winter and also did not inherit a cover), which we shall enjoy before/during/after dips in the NEWWWWWW HOTTTTTTTT TUBBBBBBBBB.

And yes, I say it just like that in real life. 


(screaming with excitement)





Not long after we bought this house, Jason and I went to a local spa/pool store and were like, "One hot tub, please!" Before being informed that that's not exactly how it works, if you don't have an extremely solid place to put a hot tub and special electrical hook-ups and understand code regulations and such.

We were then like, "Oh. Okay. I guess we'll go do all that and come back."

TWO AND A HALF  years later, we finally did. And last night I sat in my very own hot tub for the first time and felt like I'd gotten away with something, because owning a house with a hot tub feels like something only a much adultier adult is capable of. 

20180314_151018157_iOS (1)

Tirewatch, the final (????) chapter. 

On a less trivial/spoiled note, Noah's middle school participated in the student/teacher walk-out this morning, which meant we had to have a very difficult conversation last night over dinner so he'd understand what was happening. (My kids are pretty sheltered from the news, meanwhile I'm like a current events/political anguish sponge.) We told him it was completely up to him if he wanted to participate or stay seated, but let him know what students are hoping to accomplish with the protest and the significance of today and the 17 minutes. I don't know what decision he ultimately made, but I feel very very grateful that we live in a school district that not only promised students no blowback or punishment for walking out, but actively encouraged teachers to participate as well to ensure the students stayed safe and un-harassed throughout. Go show how it's done, kids. I'm sorry us adults are so bad at being the real grown-ups. 



Another Sue

Are those steel supports that hold up the upper deck? Because unless you plan to use all that wood immediately, that pile could attract all sorts of non desirable potentially wood munching critters, from insects to rodents. Said the woodcutters daughter. I don't mean to rain on your delightful parade, maybe just offer an umbrella?


I also discourage putting the wood pile near the house. It will soon be a cozy home to every wood loving insect and critter and the happier they are, the more they reproduce.

Mary Casey

I went to the local high school to see what their walk-out looked like. It was amazing and awe-inspiring. I was (and am) so proud of them.


^^^What they said, from a midwesterner who grew up in a super small rural-type town, and has in-laws with a real fireplace that still depend on for winter heat! (and have huge piles of wood kept in a metal barn away from the house)

Sue W.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are swinging in/on the tyre swing we had in the gogantor camphor tree in the side yard. The places I went and the people I met on that silly swing!
I am so proud of the "kids" who are standing for what they believe in.


1. Thank you for commenting on the walk out. I would be interested in hearing how it went where you are and any feedback.
2. Not sure source for heating your hot tub joy but interested in your comments about the expense involved in maintaining it hot. Geography and power companies vary. I know in a non-snow geography some people have found the costs quite...... massively expensive and budget killing. Just curious.


I am a conservative as I am sure my comments before attest to but I am for more gun control. I work in a high school and I witnessed a very respectful walkout. As for the hot tub please let me know what it does to your electric bill. I bought a house with one and am so afraid to actually run it. Also, as a Pitty lover I adore the dog pics...Poppy is adorable.


I am glad to see people actually still like hot tubs! We planned a very large extended family reunion at a beach house last year and I asked if there would be a hot tub and was ENDLESSLY RIDICULED by like 30 other adults that I thought hot tubs were still 'a thing.' How is relaxing in warm water ever not a thing??


Love your post! My yard looks like that right now, and we are waiting on warmer weather! Also love the hot tub. It’s my dream. I had the slab poured, but never got one.


That is one lovely space, I think I have patio envy. I like how your tire story ended up and now that you have one permanently installed hopefully it means that you've reached stray capacity? We no longer have a wood burning fireplace so we had a major stick pile at the curb waiting for the first wednesday when they'll do yard waste pick up, I still have quite a few caught up in the trees but I'm hoping that between the crazy winds and all the tree work we've done in the last couple years they will be stuck there for a few months, raking leaves and picking up the sticks for mowing are my least favorite homeowner chores.

The high school my younger daughter attends in Fairfax Co sent a message around laying out the ground rules for the walk out--pretty much a 'exercising your 2nd amendment rights is serious business so no shenannegains', I was so pleased to get a message yesterday afternoon telling us how proud the principal was of how the kids behaved, my 10th grader was really worried that it was going to be a free for all of immaturity. My older daughter found a great tweet by a reporter covering an elementary school here that also staged a walk out, the fifth grade class had hand written press briefings prepared. . this all gives me hope for our future.

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