Things That Make Me Go Hmmm (and new movie winner)

Lake viewWell, Freth never stepped up to claim these movies, so I drew another winner this morning. BJ, you’re the winner of the three movies from a couple of weeks ago! email me at with your address!

Maybe it’s the stress this week of trying to get all of my work done before everyone goes out on holiday, or maybe it’s the winter doldrums come early, but there have been some random things recently that have just made go “Hmmm.”

For example, why do people buy land in the beautiful woods and then cut down as many of the tress as they can? It IS their land and they can do whatever they like with it, but if you wanted a barren landscape, why wouldn’t you buy land without the trees to begin with?
We see this all of the time here in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, which is rich with trees of all varieties. Don’t get me wrong, it sometimes benefits us when the neighbors indiscriminately take down their trees, as they give them to us to use for our winter wood stock, but taking down as many trees as possible when you’ve have a place in the woods just makes me go “Hmm.”

On a related note, I don’t get someone having a tree as beautiful and unique as the 10 ton, double trunk, 76-foot Norway Spruce used at Rockefeller Center this year and being happy about it being cut down from their property. It took this tree decades – at least 80 years from what I’ve read – for this tree to grow to that magnificent size and it was downed for a few weeks of viewing pleasure.

I know in the end it is going to Habitat for Humanity, but still…I guess I’m just an official Tree Hugger, but I don’t see how that land owner cannot look out to where that tree stood and forever see a hole.

My next Hmmm: I don’t want to give the impression that I’m a small house “elitist,” I like living in a small house, and that surprised no one more than me. Everyone finds the lifestyle that works for them and if living large in a large space is it, more power to you. However, I’ve never understood the concept of the show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

I’m all for a worthy family getting a nice new home, especially in light of some of the dilapidated structures they’ve replaced, but these homes are extremely huge and many times, ruins the character of the neighborhoods that surround these McMansions.

Worst yet is the increase in property taxes for the family, as well as some of the neighbors, who have suffered in the short term from greatly increased property values. Some of the families also cannot handle the increased expenses associated with the huge house, at least six of the families who have received the homes have had to sell or lost the house in foreclosure.  A recipient of one of these homes in Kansas, a war veteran, also recently decided to put their home on the market and leave the town because some people envied them so badly, the family claimed some in town were making their lives miserable. Wouldn’t it be smarter to build a house the family could handle and that wouldn’t make them stand out in their towns, as well as to help them with budgeting and assisting them with the issues that caused their distress in the first place?

Lastly, does the song, “The Climb,” by Miley Cyrus drive anyone else crazy? I mean, she’s barely 17 years old and was born into a well-connected entertainment family of substantial means. What in the world would this little girl know about life being a climb? It seems to me she’s had a pretty nice downhill ride.

Thanks for indulging me, those are just some of the things that have made my mind wander this week. What are some of the things that make you go “Hmmm?”

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19 Responses

  1. Ken says:

    Here is something that really bugs me but as you say Kerri, it is not my money they are spending. It is when someone buys a new 4X4 SUV or truck all decked out with the finest interior, etc. and always drives on paved roads and maybe even lives in an area that never has snow or ice. I always had a pick-up until 5 years ago and I never wanted one with carpet, it is common practice of getting in one with dirty shoes…..its a truck! It is OK to wash one every 6 months though whether it needs it or not. ;~) When I sold my last pick-up, it was when I bought my Honda Element, NO, it doesn’t have carpet either. It is the most versatile vehicle I’ve ever owned. To this day, I’ve never had any regrets of ending my life long ownership of pick-ups.

    BTW, I Love Trees but I’m not a tree hugger.

    re: Extreme Home Makeovers
    There was one done in a low/mid-income neighborhood for a family in need. The house was very nice when finished but just didn’t look at all like what the family would want, I certainly would not have wanted it. It too was one of those that did not blend in with the other houses in the neighborhood. I’m not sure but seems like I read where the family could not afford to keep it up later on.

    • Ken Fish says:

      I forgot to mention that the Extreme Home Makeover I’m referring to is located in Raleigh, NC. Just today I was in Raleigh and just a few blocks from it, I should have driven by for an updated look at it. It was a big deal back during the makeover and on the local news.


  2. Jan Moore says:

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who has a problem with the HUGE homes that Extreme Home Makeover builds. They could reduce those homes to half the square footage and still have a very spacious home. Although they have begun to promote energey efficient applicances and heat pumps, using a much smaller footprint, water catchment systems, and alternative heating sources would be far better for the environment and everyone concerned. And I think they should do a better job of investigating the background of the families they choose…on more than one occasion they have discovered that the new homes in short order begin to resemble the ones that were torn down, or they’d sold them, or mortgaged them to the hilt to invest in some money making venture that was doomed to failure and the list goes on and on. Although there have been many truly needing and deserving families that have benefited from the show’s generousity there are still those that choose to live in conditions that others might find shocking and deplorable as hard as that is to believe….it is true.

  3. Alexandra says:

    I totally agree about the McMansions. It’s heart-breaking when property taxes rise so dramatically that families which have lived in a community forever cannot afford to keep their home. This phenomenon happens a lot here on Cape Cod.

  4. MarthaandMe says:

    I wonder this every year about the tree for Rockefeller Center and the White House. We have artificial trees, but my husband reminds me that buying a real tree is not a crime and that in fact those trees are grown specifically to be cut and that it supports growers. I still can’t bring myself to do it. I have a thing about trees – I really, really like them.

    • Kerri says:

      We’ve always had artificial trees as well, except for the year our Australian daughter lived with us. I don’t like the mess. 🙂 Anyway, your husband is right. I read an article on this just the other day. Trees grown for the specific purpose to serve as Christmas trees are the most environmentally friendly way to go. Artificial trees will eventually end up in a landfill and are made with harmful gasses. Trees meant to be planted after Christmas usually don’t make it. Buying a locally grown tree also supports a local farmer and helps the local economy.
      Now, the Rockefeller Center tree is a different story…

  5. Kathy P. says:

    I hear ya on the trees. We have a camp in the Adirondacks and the guy next door has removed all but a few saplings on the edges of his property. When we closed camp in October, he had red tape around some of those!

    Basically, what he’s done is created a little patch of suburbia in the woods. He mows at least once a week and occasionally drops big hints that he thinks we (and the neighbor behind him) should take down all of our trees too. He seems to be completely paranoid about something coming down on his camp, no matter how unlikely or healthy the trees.

    • Kerri says:

      That’s what makes me sick, the nice healthy ones that would never have come down. Well, maybe not “never,” but surely not in our lifetime!

  6. Ken says:

    I hear ya on the trees. We recently purchased some wooded land, and we are doing everything we can in our home planning to minimize disruption to the land. We are taking it as far as not building the driveway up to the house. It shouldn’t be very difficult for us to walk a 100 yards from the parking area to the house, and is a nice nature walk.

  7. Amy says:

    Trees- I love trees!! When the cabin was built we had to clear several nice Cedars to make way for utilities and the cabin it’s self. I miss them and now that we are almost settled in here we plan to transplant some Poplars. I think I remember several years ago someone donated a tree that was going to have to come down anyway due to it’s closeness to the home it stood near. That made sense. I have to say though I’m hmmming right along with you as to why someone would do that to such a beautiful tree. I honestly only see 3 good reasons to kill a tree. 1. to build a home 2. to heat a home and 3. if the tree gets badly damaged or “sick”.

    Extreme Home Makeover- I’ve watched to show and I’ve heard about the people losing thier homes and or just selling out and moving away. I honestly don’t see the point in building bigger than the family can handle. I mean the house was built to provide them a home and now in the end some maybe worse off than they were before. Now as to the one whose put his home up for sale due to the community making them miserable. I know exactly how that is. I’ve had to deal with it hear with the Moonshine Cabin. Members of our church donated supplies and money and labor to biuld it. We are very thankful to have such good friends and church family and now such a nice home….BUT now there are those who feel like we aren’t greatful enough. One lady feels like every time she asks for something I should drop everything I am doing and…. Another reminds me every Sunday that the new deck her husband was going to build her is now part of my home. Then there are others in the church who wonder why we got the special attention and not them. Frankly I often wonder that myself as we didn’t ask them to build this place they came to us and asked us if we would let them help us. It is all a very humbling yet frustrating experience. I’ve often wanted to just turn and run but I can’t leave I’ve got family that need me her. I can’t sell cause the cabin is on family land….etc.etc. so I just have to endure. Those Makeover people really need to Makeover thier way of thinking. Bigger isn’t always better and instead of having the family take off on vacation they should stay and help build thier new home. Okay maybe they shouls stay for the first part of the building then exit so that the end part will be a surprize… I know not…….


    • Amy says:

      And maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to hit the submit button…please excuse the typos folks..


      • Kerri says:

        Sorry you’ve had to go through that, Amy. That isn’t generous of spirit giving. I know very few people who can be generous of spirit and not feel like you owe them something when they’ve given a gift. That’s another thing that makes me go, “Hmm.”

  8. Kerri you are right on with your hmmm. Everyone you mentioned bugs me too. I mean, really BUGS me.

  9. kerri says:

    Congratulations on the movie win, BJ! Thanks for reading!

  10. Bj says:


    I definitely will be in touch re: movies! THANKS!
    I agree with you regarding the “tree-cutting” folk. That never made sense to me….yes, cut what you need to for the foundation, but my gosh, you liked the forested land well enough to buy it….

    So I wasn’t the only one saddened about the loss of the living double trunk tree!

    Going to send you the addy right now!