Flying the Coop

The Great Woodlief Migration of 2008 has begun. Today I spent 12 hours painting in the new house. I also made the flooring guys listen to my music, which ranged from Lyle Lovett to the Hackensaw Boys to Death Cab for Cutie. The probably think I’m deranged, but then they probably don’t care so long as the check cashes.

The boys played by our new pond a good part of the day. We saw a dead snake floating in it, which I thought would make a good deterrent for Isaac (“See? He drowned. That’s an icky snake in there, isn’t it?”). Instead he got a stick and tried to fetch the thing out. For the most part there’s nowhere on the property where he can drown unless there’s been a hard rain, but now I hear there are bobcats.

Bobcats. I was all set to get a rifle, until a friend explained that his daughter shooed one away with a stick once, when it threatened her chickens.

I’m still getting the rifle, with scope, because I also have a beaver issue. Beavers are only cute in cartoons. In real life they chew down your saplings. There’s one working on a sapling to which my back porch has a clear LOS. Best get your affairs in order, Mr. Beaver, because there’s a new sheriff in town.

I’m sure after a couple of evenings I’ll break down and get somebody to trap him, but it gets the blood up nonetheless, playing sniper from one’s own back porch, which I could never do in the old neighborhood, except with an invisible rifle, which is a pity because it was a target-rich environment, if only lawyers and accountants were fair game, and around tax time I think we all agree that they should be.

Tomorrow we load a big truck. I’m pretty sure I would rather take a baseball bat across both knees, but with my luck that’s not going to happen between now and the time I have to go pick up the truck. So we’ll be loading. I may even tell you about it, if I can figure out how to get my satellite-card Internet doohickey thing to work, because in our new and unnamed locale, there’s no cable.

No cable, no city water, no sidewalks, no homeowner’s association. Actually there is an HOA, but it has one member, and his name is Tony Woodlief. Further, as King of the Woodlief Homeowner’s Association, I hereby decree that there will be no ridiculous walls built at homeowner expense, no strictures against ugly treehouses or redneck-looking sheds, and further, that all members of our HOA can walk around buck raving naked whenever they please.

It’s good to be the king.


  1. chrish

    I’m moving as well, but I think I would rather do the lifting and carrying and loading and unloading than the packing… Jesus have mercy! I hate packing. It’s tedious and reminds me that I have stuff I probably don’t need, but can’t imagine not having just in case. Fortunately my income has been meagre, which has mitigated the growth my of stuff, but I still hate packing. Heck, I’ll take the cleaning over the packing.


  2. Cordeiro

    Lawyers and accountants *aren’t* fair game? You mean they’re not always in season?


    About the big truck. Remember that phrase you hear from flight attendents warning you that things “might” have shifted in the overhead bins during the flight? Well, the same applies to the big truck. Beware of flying microwave carts. Don’t ask me about my own experience – its just too painful.

    Head ’em up! Move ’em out!

  3. Marc V

    King of the WHA? Does this mean that Mrs. Woodlief would be the WHA Empress? Czarina?

    I pray things go well for you with the move. Even if you are not packrats, the amount of stuff that has to be packed, moved and unpacked can be overwhelming. Adding all of the children’s bric-a-brac … whew. My wife will occasionally pick up one of those free real estate listings brochures. She is not so ready to move after I remind her of all the packing and moving we would have to do.

    Don’t forget to include the photos of you skinning the beaver, curing the pelt and making a nice hat, after a successful kill of course. God bless the people out in the woods preoccupied with their guns and religion.

  4. Ruth H

    Ten years ago we moved onto our wooded acreage. Very close to The Aransas Wildlife Refuge. We do have critters, including enough frogs to keep a whole tribe of little boys and girls happy. Last New Years a cougar was spotted in our bonfire area, looking for ham, we think.
    The raccoon and squirrels are after my tomatoes, so are the birds, being in deep South Texas I already have some ripening. Even the gophers come in to eat the roots of my favorite things.
    We are our own HOA also, I love to hang sheets on the line, and I do have a clothesline, just for them. Nothing smells as good as a linen closet full of sheets line dried.
    Happy New Home!

  5. Deoxy

    “Tomorrow we load a big truck. I’m pretty sure I would rather take a baseball bat across both knees…”

    Actually, you can get the best of both worlds! Do all the loading, and afterwards, you may well feel as if you DID take a baseball bat across both knees! (and other places, eh?) Fun stuff, moving.

    “as King of the Woodlief Homeowner’s Association, I hereby decree that … all members of our HOA can walk around buck raving naked whenever they please.”

    Heh, I suspect that this decree will not last long… but it is funny!

    “It’s good to be the king.”

    Something I suspect you would enjoy on that topic:

    Good to be the king?

    Also related to that (though not at all related to your post, really)
    Thankful day:

  6. Carl Holmes


    I am so glad that I do not know you face to face right now. If I did the thought of you in the buck sitting on your porch with a freshly cleaned and ready to go 30×30 just would keep me from EVER wanting to visit!

    Truthfully, congratulations on the house. We all do need a place to be king, and your is a couple of good acres in Kansas. With 4 boys you all will have the terrain mapped, know every fox hole, every place to set up snow forts and will be ready for snow fights in no time.

    P.S., if that Damn Beaver has built a Dam the best way to get rid of it is to let those boys at it. (mom might not need to know, send her shopping or something) and have fun!

  7. Lucy

    Just a word of caution … You might want to check with The Queen of the Woodlief Homeowner’s Association before you start building a redneck-looking shed.

    Your previous posts haven’t led me to have an image of her thats overly “redneck” 🙂

  8. Brent Davis

    We are moving into a new office, as opposed to a home, and are now painting as well.

    I admit my wife had to push pretty hard to get me moving but finally inertia flows!

    Hopefully the results will be worth it: a little private domain…at least at times…roughly suited to our likings…as much as the current treaury can avail.

    Here’s to carving out our places in the world: kingship and castle!

    Brent Davis

  9. B


    May I suggest a nice .22-250, probably a Remington Model 700 VLS, with a Leupold VX-II 6-18x40mm for optics?

  10. David Andersen

    “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.”

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