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Welcome to Hell

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According to our neighbor, Hell is the house on the corner.

You know the one. It has green shutters and dried ivy sneaking up the chimney.

It is a blasted wasteland of exposed dirt. A place where dandelions roam freely in the backyard and trees grow out from the middle of other trees. [GASP! Oh the horror.]

Even without the fresh fertilizer that I just spread this afternoon, our yard is a hellhole.

Or at least, that’s what I’m told.

Among my many other faults as a co-homeowner I am:

  • self-absorbed … you know. Like you do when you’re a millennial who works 40 hours a week for the public school system and yet manages to volunteer with two separate organizations.
  • a liar … because we are not actually putting in a rock garden which I so flippantly suggested last fall.
  • and that being 7-months pregnant is just another excuse for not actually doing anything in my yard.

Today, I learned much about residing in the underworld.

Writing on the sidewalk is an attention-getting pastime.

Asking our lovely German neighbor from across the street to weigh in on the state of our yard is juvenile.

Being repeatedly told that our yard is shitty is apparently not, however, sustaining verbal abuse. Huh. Could have fooled me after a 15 minute tirade without any provocation.

Since my mister and I are living in a fantasy world, where we believe that planting things in our yard is a way to magically make things better, I’ve been trying to figure out who exactly that makes Mr. Pirate and I.

We’re not high-ranking enough, I’m sure to consider ourselves Lucifer and Lilith. Probably not Hades and Persephone for that matter. Ellie is clearly our Hell-spawn and her play structure in the backyard is evidently the Devil’s playground.

I wonder if this means that we should get a dog and name it Cerberus?

Tomorrow, I might process the truly eerie photos that I took of our yard, the portal to the underworld, and our adorable little spawn.

For now though, I will contemplate cross stitch — one hobby I have not yet managed to undertake — and leave you with this delightful homage to the Bayeux tapestry.

Crafty credit to stephXstitch.

Crafty credit to stephXstitch on Etsy.



Shoveling Our Way to a White Christmas

It looks like we’ll have a white Christmas in our part of Colorado this year. Good old Mother Nature dropped a good foot of snow on us last night and it’s not likely to melt much by this weekend.

Growing up in Virginia, the concept of a white Christmas was really only something Bing Crosby sang about. I guess I dreamed about it too, it just didn’t ever do me much good to ask Santa Claus for snow. I remember one year when we got flurries, and another when we had enough to make a tiny snowman using pretty much all the snow in the backyard. My folks let me pack it into a Tupperware and put it in the freezer so that we’d have snow for the following year. I think I was in college before they found it and released it back into the wild.

My big winter memories come from shoveling snow. Or rather, watching my dad shovel snow. Apparently, when I was still in diapers, my sister, our poodle and I used to sit on the couch and just stare out at my dad shoveling. Later, I’d bundle up and sit on my sled in the front yard while Dad in his green Army jacket would soldier away at our fabulously long sidewalk. We lived on the corner and as if that weren’t enough shoveling, he’d also clear the gutter in front of our house and then go over and shovel our elderly neighbor’s walk as well.

Virginia snow usually happens in January or February and then it’s this slushy awful, ice on the bottom kind of snow.

Colorado on the other hand takes its snow seriously. Here, the snow tends toward the light and powdery variety even if you only live on the plains like we do. Also, it can start as early as October.

Not everyone in this state skis or snowboards, a fact to which my Wagner family are a testament. However, there are other things you can do in the snow. Like shoveling and meeting your neighbors for the first time.

The Jade House is on the corner and the sidewalk along the side of the house just seems to stretch on and on when the snow comes up to your knees. However, today I met our neighbor who lives behind us. We met her briefly, when we first came to look at the house and now after talking to her I learned that we would have met her sooner had we done more in the yard this fall.

Our neighborhood is an older one, as far as the suburbs go at least, and she had some fine memories about winter in our neighborhood. Such as the fact that a helicopter landed in the street the day her youngest daughter was born because of the snow that year and the fact that they couldn’t get to the hospital any other way.

In closing, here’s a shot of the cats inspecting our petite Christmas tree. Have a happy and warm holiday weekend!