In My Continuing Quest to Overcome Obstacles


This is a road. Seriously.

This tree in the road is creating quite a bit of excitement. The first night it went down, 16 came home from working on the house. He said, “We almost couldn’t come home tonight!” He was working late with Steve-the-Builder and they drove out and found this tree down in the road at the end of our farm. They turned around and tried to go out by way of the river, but decided the river was too high to ford. Steve-the-Builder had a chain saw with him and he cut out enough branches for them to drive under. And we’ve been driving under it ever since.

Well, honestly, everyone but me. I’ve “ridden” out there under the tree, but not driven under it myself. Until yesterday. When 16 got off school, I followed him out the road. He waited for me after he drove under the tree. Because I am a wuss. I got out of my car and made him drive my car under the tree. So I could watch and whimper and be sure it would fit.

I’ve got a lot of toughening up to do since I’m sure this isn’t the first, or the last, tree that’ll stand in my way.

The good news is that when I went home? I drove under the tree myself. I am so tough! Okay, not really, but I did drive under the tree! (See that phone line under the tree? It’s not ours. Our phone line comes from the other direction, across the river. I don’t know if the people who are on this phone line are out of service or not.)

It was worth the effort to get there. Steve-the-Builder had half the kitchen installed!!!

(Good thing I bought that hardwood floor mop yesterday.)

In a spurt of hope, glorious hope, I brought out a big package of toilet paper. As if we might have water someday….. (This is the downstairs boys’ bathroom.)

And about that really big obstacle? The water? Finally, we have a new drilling slated for tomorrow!!!! I know buying that toilet paper made all the difference. The universe just needs to know you mean it, you know?


  1. lintys says:

    The kitchen is looking fabulous! LOVE the garden window! Um. . . water tomorrow . . . on moving day? OK, now THIS is what I call The Audacity of Hope! Just repeat after me: Yes We Can! I hope you have a spurt of glorious WATER tomorrow!

    Um, how’s a moving truck gonna make it under the tree? Never mind, something tells me you’re gonna figure a way around that obstacle too! Good luck with the move! I’m rootin’ for you!

  2. Treasia says:

    That toilet paper will be bringing you the luck you need on the water. :thumbsup: I just know it.

    Kudo’s to you for driving under the tree. One would think the phone utility company would come out looking for that phone line and then remove the tree for you.

  3. Blaze says:

    Wow low bridge!
    I’d get that sucker cut up and rolled over the hill just to be safe. Driving under that has got to be just tons of “fun”.
    On the plus side toilet paper!
    So water must follow, for that is the way of the universe.

  4. Shirley says:

    You are having such great adventures with your building project. Maybe you could incorporate this process into a new book. Maybe a beautiful vixen building a new house off the beaten path, and falling in love with the roughly handsome builder. What a story line that would make. If Steve-the-builder is married, you may have to have a disclaimer in the front, that your story is truly a work of fiction.

    Hope you find water today. And the kitchen is looking great.

    And just think, 16 is learning a trade.

  5. Cyndi Lewis says:

    Well driving under a tree is all good for you, but what about the UPS guy? :rotfl: Just kidding! Best wishes on your move in goal.

  6. Hillbilly2 says:

    Positive thinking, that’s what it’s all about.
    The house looks great. :thumbsup:
    Sounds like 16 is taking care of Mom! :clap:

  7. Kim A. says:

    Holy cr*p, that’s quite the obstacle course, Suzanne. Kudos to you for driving under that tree! Isn’t someone from the County (or elsewhere) going to remove it? What about the people who have that downed phone line?

    Oh, oh, oh, LOVE the kitchen cupboards!!! You are almost there. I’m doing a happy dance for you. :hug:


    P.S. Love all the fur kids on your bed. Yep, we humans don’t get much space with them around.

  8. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Believe it or not (and I know it’s hard to believe, LOL) that is a state-maintained road. Either state road workers or the phone company will eventually come and cut that tree out. They are probably arguing with each other over whose responsibility it is…..

  9. Remudamom says:

    Just keep chanting……..If I buy the toilet paper the water will come.

  10. Maria says:

    Ya, that tree is makin’ me a bit nervous, too frankly. It’s not so much the tree as it is the phone line,see. Those state/county workers need to cut the burocratic crap and get in there and DO something. Saftey and phone service are large issues. Clearly WV does move at a different pace! (Sadly, I think Maine would be working at the same one…)I meant to comment on all your chicken books! Yee Haw! My 10 year old has long wanted chickens of her own. She actually wants to see chickens go from egg to table. ICK. So we’re keeping our eye on your chicken journey and takin’ notes!

  11. Jill S. says:

    You tell that universe!!

  12. Annie says:

    I am enjoying watching your house become a home. Love the flooring and the cabinets. Good luck with the witching!

  13. sc says:

    I am so excited for you!! Your new home is so very beautiful and well thought out. Trees with taproots have deeper sources of water; suggesting more flow and volume. Best of luck with your well drilling.

  14. Melissa says:

    1. Congrats on driving under the tree! :shimmy:
    2. Angel Soft is the best! :heart:
    3. You are now the top site listed when I google you
    4. I forgot to tell you. A couple of weeks ago I had the flu.It was the sickest I had been in a while and I was stuck in bed. when the room finally stopped spinning enough for me to read, I read your book, Lady Night. I liked it and it kept me form losing my mind to boredom. Thanks! :mrgreen:

  15. Elcie says:

    You know, that tree didn’t look so big until the picture of him driving under it.

    What a difference point-of-reference makes. :wave:

  16. Tori Lennox says:

    I think driving under the tree is kind of cool. 🙂

    My mom wants to know what’s holding up on the right-hand side of the picture. Another hill/bank?

  17. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Thanks, Melissa!

    Tori, you can’t see in the picture, but the tree does actually go all the way down and rest on the ground across the road on the other side. It’s a Very big tree!

  18. Lisa J says:

    Those are the same cabinet doors we had for our kitchen. I loved them. You have very good taste in your selections. Enjoy the journey!!

  19. Jodie says:

    :bananadance: It’s almost moving day! Well a huge freaking tree on a “state maintained”? dirt road and no water are minor obstacles. If you have teenagers motivated to help, then God will get everything else in motion to help. Honestly we had our 1st & 2nd snow in DFW area this week. The whole place slowed down and we have no freaking huge trees and no dirt roads.

    How I long for a simple or not so simple home like yours in a rural area with beauty and some chickens too. I grew up with chickens as my grandparents were country folks and lived on the more rural side of San Antonio. I tell people they had a back yard, then the garden yard (large) and then the chicken yard with a chicken house with a door and built in nesting boxes etc. My grandfather Paul Cornelius was a former cowboy, carpenter and loved gardening & his chickens & his rose bushes. After his emphasema got too bad, he would truck tomatoes into the city from the country and sell those to buy his chicken feed. My grandmother Anne was a former country girl from a 1/2 horse town called Big Foot, named after a TEXAS RANGER. She was the youngest of 12 and had large feet (was tall too) and could do anything. From working 40 hour weeks in civil service, to being a single mom in the 1930s & 40s to wringing chicken necks. They just awe me, to know that I got to be around them for about 20 years until they both died while I was in college around 1980. My parents had kids late (me) and later (my sister) resulting in folks asking my mom if my sister was her grandchild at age 44 when I was 11. Now that would be called NORMAL, but in 1971, it was not. Everyone is GONE now… parents, grandparents and most of my uncles. A big German Texan family… all dying off. Cousins semi-stay in touch if I make the effort 1st. I’m our family genealogist but work full time at a big fortune 500 company helping users with their software problems, so I’m not able to devote full time to anything that’s a hobby and have too many interested like reading that trumps everything else.
    Oh well! Wish me luck, my husband (2nd marriage for both of us) had a heart attack on Monday and I’m ready for him to be home again with me, the dog & the cat.

  20. Suzanne McMinn says:

    Jodie, I’m so sorry to hear about your husband! Best wishes that he will be home soon!

  21. Jen ( says:

    Ooh! I can’t wait to see how the water situation ends up.

    I love the pictures of where you live. I wish I had trees around!

  22. Amy Addison says:

    The kitchen is gorgeous! And good for you for driving under the tree.

  23. Blaze says:

    You should totally call the state road garage and speak to Tink Boggs, get them out there to cut that sucker up then if its a state maintained road, hey maybe even get them to put some new gravel on the road too!
    Get crazy! :bananadance:

  24. Annette says:

    At least the tree makes a great secutiry system! It could also be a great landmark when giving directions to your new home! Just hope the moving truck can go the alt. route. House is looking great!

  25. Lis says:

    Yay for driving under the tree! :clap: And I have to say I love your hardwood floors!! They’re beautiful :thumbsup:

  26. Brandy says:

    The tree would make me nervous and knowing you, does your insurance company know about the tree yet? *G*
    That said, best of luck with the drilling and moving tomorrow!

  27. Melissa Marsh says:

    Suzanne, can I just say how much I enjoy your new blog? I love how you’ve found this wonderful new life for yourself and your children – and I completely admire you for taking that step!

    Your new house looks gorgeous and I love all the posts about the old farmhouse. I read your blog and I feel so nostalgic, a longing for the good ol’ days. I grew up on a farm and even though I couldn’t live on one now (I get depressed when I’m out in the middle of nowhere and not around the energy of the city), I still love to go home to it (my brother now farms it – 4th generation) and just soak up the peace and quiet. Then, of course, I have to get back to the city to get my “energy.” :mrgreen:

  28. Estella says:

    I have my fingers crossed for luck, Suzanne.

  29. Susan says:

    You have excellent taste in cabinets, they are just like mine! 😎 Your really becoming a country gal by driving under the tree! :clap: And you are right about that not being the last tree that’ll try to stand in your way.

    The house looks gorgeous! :snoopy:

  30. kacey says:

    Those cabinets and flooring look gorgeous! Good luck on the water tomorrow.

  31. catslady says:

    I sure hope the weather cooperates – the 9th is suppose to be nice :thumbsup:

  32. Donna says:

    I was so reminded of that movie about the Volcano that erupted (with Pierce Brosnan in it) “Dante’s Peak” (?)…my mind went blank…but they are going all over the mountain roads trying to escape the lava…LOL
    Funny, the little things we take for granted like being able to flush a toilet, huh? LOL

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