I’m pretty sure my Saturday is going to be spent salvaging the wreckage that is my front yard with Hubby (at the same time as the internet repair people had BETTER be fixing my internet), but I have some very specific plans for Sunday. I have every intention of going to church Sunday morning, then Hubby and I will probably either eat lunch out or I’ll fix something at home, and I suspect he’ll head back to Birmingham, unless there are still dead tree limbs to be dismembered and hauled to the street. I sincerely hope I don’t have to be involved in that process, because my Sunday afternoon is absolutely-no-matter-what going to consist of the following things:

  • Six (twenty-minute) episodes of my soap opera – The Bold and the Beautiful.
  • Two hours of The Bachelorette.
  • One hour of Hell’s Kitchen.
  • One hour of Royal Pains.
  • Two hours of Lie to Me.

I think that about covers it. Eight full hours of television. I should have no desire to ever watch anything again after that marathon viewing schedule (of total crap, I am aware), but we all know I will. Depending on how I feel on Sunday evening, I may store up my TV viewing for weekends going forward. It isn’t that I’ve been especially productive this week without television programming to lure me away, but I have done two loads of laundry, made four pies, and written 2,500 words on yet ANOTHER reworking of my first novel. Okay, yeah I guess I have been particularly productive this week without TV… I can already picture Mom’s comment in response to this:

“Liz! I told you so! Also, your brain will leak out of your ears if you watch eight hours of TV in one sitting. Do. Not. Do. It.”

To which I will reply, “I can think of nothing you can say (aside from having to choose between watching eight hours of TV now and NEVER GETTING TO WATCH TV EVER AGAIN) that could stop me from my Sunday marathon of television nonsense. Don’t waste your energy. I love you!”

And to those who have been astounded (in a good way) by the lack of TV discussion here lately, I sincerely apologize. As much as I’ve loved having lots of crazy stories to share and amuse everyone with, I’ll be honest – I’m exhausted. My brain needs a break. And I can think of nothing I’d rather do after a week without internet than watch hours upon hours of mindless television!

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I have been married for seven years today. Yesterday, Hubby reminded me why he’s my hero, just in time to celebrate our anniversary.

Y’all, a little back story may be in order. Remember how on Thursday afternoon a big limb fell and pulled down our power line and we had to hire an electrician? Well, the electrician we found did a wonderful job on Friday of fixing it right up. For some serious cash, certainly, but he was a nice guy and really came through in our crisis. Anyway, I got home Friday evening, retrieved our frozen and refrigerated goods from our neighbor’s house, packed my things and drove to spend the weekend with Hubby in Birmingham because he had to work on Saturday, it was our anniversary weekend, (and I didn’t have any internet connection to entertain me at home). We spent most of Saturday afternoon in indecision about how to celebrate the anniversary and were basically decided that we’d just celebrate next weekend in Auburn when the phone call came. It was our next door neighbor informing me that there had been storms that afternoon and several more branches of our tree had come down. And it looked like the very same power line had come down, as well.

It was like someone had snatched my stomach out of my body. I felt both hot and freezing cold at the same time. I don’t even know what I said to the poor lady who called to tell us about it. I doubt I was particularly friendly to this bearer of bad news. Not that I wasn’t appreciative that she’d taken the time to call us when it didn’t look like we were in – that was very sweet. I am pretty sure I thanked her for the call. But I was just too stunned by the unbelievably awful timing of it all to be 100% polite.

Hubby also received a call from another concerned neighbor and after we called a third neighbor, we pieced together that it was either not as bad or significantly worse than what had happened on Thursday afternoon, and the massive branches in our yard were either bigger or more profuse than the original branch of destruction. Also, there were either holes in our roof or just some small branches.

Basically, we were going to have to come back to Auburn together to see for our selves. So, after ten minutes of sobbing uncontrollably, I pulled myself together, had dinner with Hubby’s family, called my Dad to apologize for not getting to see him on Father’s Day, and we went to bed.

Wow, okay that was a lot of back story…sorry, every now and then I can get quite carried away. To the point!

Sunday morning, Hubby and I got up semi-early, packed up the cars with a ladder, chainsaw, gas cans, hand saws, gloves and safety glasses and drove the two hours back to Auburn. When we arrived, it was clear that everyone we spoke with on Saturday had basically explained the situation correctly, despite the inconsistencies in their stories.

There were branches a plenty,  a couple of which were larger than the original branch of doom. And in terms of the power line, the situation was worse in that when the line came down, it was a live-wire, meaning they had to remove our meter box when they came out, which they hadn’t had to do on Thursday afternoon. But the situation was much better also, because the electrician had reinforced the new piping much better than it was originally done, and therefore none of that will have to be replaced the second go around. As far as the roof goes, there were little limbs all over it, and maybe a shingle or two poking up where it shouldn’t, but nothing extreme. But Hubby was there with me, and may I say, that made all the difference! I could handle the insanity of the situation because I wasn’t being required to figure it all out alone. In fact, I could defer to him as the authority on the subject of all things tree and power.

Not only that, my man is a beast with a chainsaw. He got to work with that thing and in no time, he’d chopped up the biggest limbs in the driveway into more manageable pieces. AND he hauled most of it to the street for pick up. I was in charge of smaller branches and obtaining cold liquids for him to drink. And taking phone calls, of which there were many, as our families were checking on us constantly. His parents even came down to join us, arriving around 3 with sustenance and another manly eye.

With his dad there to advise him, Tom ended up in the tree with the chainsaw. Keep in mind, when I say that this is a huge tree, I am not exaggerating as usual. I’m serious. Hubby was at least thirty feet up*. I was terrified, but I was also really proud. He chopped down three more huge limbs and looked like a rock star doing it. There’s just something about a man with power tools. Yummy.

After descending from the heights of the tree, he started chopping up the felled branches and the power tool gave out before he did. We decided it would take three days to chop up the rest with hand saws so there are still three HUGE branches in our yard and driveway, but Hubby will be back next weekend to work on that. In the meantime, as soon as I get power, I’m going to make pies for the three neighbors that helped us out this last week and hope they forgive the fact that our yard looks like a war zone.

In conclusion, my husband rocks. Happy Anniversary!

* A Picture of Hubby In HUGE DEAD TREE:

Hubby In the Tree!

You may recall from a previous post that I have a ridiculously enormous dead tree in my front yard. Up to now, it’s been mainly an eyesore and a bit of a nuisance when little limbs fall into the yard and have to be hauled to the street. In my open letter to the Huge Dead Tree, I made some requests and did a little pleading. Maybe a tiny threat. It turns out my requests weren’t specific enough. I should have said, “Huge Dead Tree, you are welcome to drop limbs. Small limbs, no longer than I am tall, and weighing significantly less. Also, if you must drop a giant limb that weighs as much as and is probably as tall as most normal trees, I have a very specific arm in mind. One that will land in the middle of my front yard and cause a big mess, but nothing more than an irritation and further eyesoreness. Also, I probably should have specifically requested that the Dead Tree not damage any of our property, including (but not limited to) anything that would require an electrician to fix.

We all know my threats to cut down the tree were basically idle, until such point as my disposable income was enough to cover the cost and leave us enough to buy a new transmission (because that will inevitably happen, even though the transmissions in both cars are no more than a year old each), which would probably have been close to never. So I genuinely hope the Dead Tree wasn’t retaliating to my threats by doing what it did.

Naughty, naughty Dead Tree lost about six hundred pounds yesterday by dropping its most gigantic arm right onto the power line connecting my house to the pole. This caused the cables to yank out of their normal positions and some regularly straight piping to bend into an L.

Obviously, this killed the power to my house. Unfortunately, it also killed power to the rest of the neighborhood. I felt bad enough having a dead tree for everyone to look at, now my dead tree has caused hours of powerlessness for them as well.

The power company took down the line and restored everyone else’s power and told me, as kindly as he could, that I was going to have to hire an electrician to fix the pipe and cables attached to the house before my power could be reconnected. Also, it would have to be inspected to make sure it was up to code. It was immediately clear this was going to be an extensive and expensive project. Potentially more expensive than if we’d just cut down Dead Tree a long time ago. The only problem is, we didn’t have the money before, and we barely have it now, so basically, this tree limb fell at the earliest possible time we could have spent any money to cut the whole thing down. Thanks for that kick in the shins, Dead Tree.

I must shout out to newly named and high-spirited Friend-With-The-Worst-Wireless-Password-In-The-World (or FWTWWPITW). Just Kidding! We’ll call her Sassy Friend. Sassy Friend saved me last night by agreeing to let me sleep over, for which I will be eternally grateful. Almost as important to me as having air conditioning was having a wireless connection, which she also generously provided.

Now I just have to learn to deal with the fabulous subset of blue-collar workers known as electricians. So far only one I’ve talked with has had a basic understanding of the English Language and a pretty decent estimate but neglected to call me to let me know something else came up and he couldn’t come to the house before next week when he’d told me this morning he’d be out at the house first thing. Good thing I called him when I did to find out that he wasn’t coming so I could secure someone else to do the job…putting it four more hours behind schedule. I was trying to be funny in this post but I think it’s probably coming through that I’ve about had it up to my frontal lobe with this entire situation and would like to get my hands around the neck of any electrician I can find. Or else just cry.

Freakin’ tree…

Are you serious? You are as tall as my house. I know it’s rained a whole bunch recently and you are just so healthy you want to share it with the world, but you are a weed. Stop! When I came outside this afternoon to knock you over (not kidding, folks, these weeds are taller than me and are about as thick as two fingers together), I meant business. Take it as a warning. If you want to continue existing without being snapped in half, STOP GROWING.

If you do that for me, I can almost 100% guarantee that I’ll leave you alone. Stay small and we’re both happy. You live, I don’t have to do yard work.

Last summer, I let one of your cohorts slide past. Up against the house and out of reach of the lawn mower, this weed brethren of yours grew heartily. He grew taller than the front of the house. I thought, “Weed, the only reason I’m letting you live is that you will DIE a horrible death in the fall.” But this weed was heartier than I imagined. This weed survived the winter and is now A TREE.

Weeds in my yard this summer, take heed. YOU WILL DIE if you try to do that to me. And Stupid Weed Tree up against my house, you’re on notice, too.

Please, don’t fall on my house. At least not until I have a job. Or better home owner’s insurance. Or maybe just hold off until I sell the house. That would be really nice. I’ll make it up to you. I won’t cut you down. Just please, keep the decomposition to falling limbs. I promise I won’t get mad if you shed your branches on my roof as long as they don’t put holes in it. I won’t complain about breaking apart your branches and hauling them to the street for pick up. I’ll even hug you. But please, please don’t fall on my house!