How old it is I have no idea.

I recently read oaks don’t form acorns until they are 50 years old and this one has been dropping acorns every fall since we’ve been here (15 years). It’s big enough around I can’t put my arms around the main trunk.
it has been dropping huge limbs all summer. Limbs big enough to be considered night logs for the fireplace when cut to length.
So we decided it needed to come down with supervision before it came down on the birds in the shanty some night. Or worse yet on top of my beloved girls (dogs) who stand guard on the birds overnight every night. Sounds simple right? Well, did I mention that it’s leaning? Over the shanty? Maybe I should mention that while it is definitely leaning to the west it also has sections that lean heavily with the top branches (that are taller than my two story Dutch Colonial house) to the south and north. Only the east side has lost its branches so far. So we have a leaning tree that we cannot figure out which side would be the safest to notch so this tall tree will fall without landing on my husband, son, dog, duck or goose.
The guys tied off the lesser side of the double trunk and had no trouble getting it safely to the ground. But the main trunk with all those huge limbs we simply couldn’t figure out. The guys couldn’t get high enough to tie it off where we all felt secure about it. Then which way do you try to get this very dead (meaning it could split in any number of directions) tree to fall.
Then you add in the nightmares I’ve had about the tree falling on dh, and ds tells me today he’s got a bad feeling about it—he’s my child that inherited my gift. As soon as ds said that I told dh to put up the chain saw and forget about it. Both men looked both startled and relieved when I said “Let nature take its course. God will bring it down safely when he is ready.”
They asked what about the bird and dog safety. Flexibility stepped in here. Without missing a beat I had a flash of genius and both men called me one when I gave my suggestion.
“We’ll put them in the garden for the winter.” I then went on to explain it’s a much bigger pen so the birds aren’t over packed if the weather gets so bad we can’t let them out. It needs a complete clean-out. Trust me a flock of geese can do that quite well. It is far more secure than the pen they had been sleeping in and as colder weather hits the birds will need that added security from the cougars in particular. It would get them out of the mud hole that had developed in the little pen. We could just as easily move the little coop to one side of that pen without even putting it into the garden. A short visit with the tin snips and wire cutters, stable those openings to the coop and viola’ a coop for those who want it.

This week’s vocabulary words are safety and flexibility.

Or at least on this ranch they have been. Flexibility, means the two men work out their carpooling that when one is working overtime the other one has something they can do while waiting. This week ds was working it, but dh wasn’t.
Flexibility means adjusting dinner plans to take advantage of a $70 free dinner for three and enough leftovers we ate for two more meals at home.
Flexibility means agreeing to do two big money bonus shops for a company in 10 days in at two locations I was already scheduled at for those days (for which I’m already being paid a big bonus) for 15 minutes of work—the bonus is for the driving time. It also means turning down lesser shops per our agreement.
Flexibility and safety are doing deep cleaning on the lower section of the house when my joints rebel and won’t let me climb the stairs to work on the office for an additional hour each day. (office is really starting to look good).
Flexibility is wanting certain items for organizing the office and making them out of free stuff instead of buying them—post to the Princess Plan blog will show up soon on this.

Safety is cleaning the fireplace/chimney thoroughly before we lit the first fire of the season. My joints wouldn’t take not having heat when the temps hit 29 outside.
Safety started as a concern and moved to being flexible where my critters are concerned. Here’s the story—one many of you can appreciate for one reason or another.
We have been putting our geese and ducks up every night in our smallest pen, although it’s not real secure—it really needs major repair to the roof and a new gate to keep the coyotes and cougar from wiping them out entirely. Even with the new goslings this season we are down to 18 geese, all of which are pets. We also want to remove the shanty and put one of the small coops in there. But there is one LARGE problem—a dead oak tree. A very leaning dead oak tree. A very leaning over the shanty—and where the little coop would go dead oak tree. Did I mention it was a double tree?