Household, Kids

Trees and Job Interviews

Something simultaneously exciting, yet very SAD, happened at our house yesterday….

We got the big, dead tree in our yard cut down!!

Exciting– because this was a very necessary thing, and I’m glad to finally be able to “check it off the list”. (We’ve been trying to have this done for over a year! The company kept ghosting us…”sorry, super busy”, “be there next week!”, “Oh, sorry, next week”, etc…). They finally actually showed up, and did a good job. And I’m very glad to now be able to move on to the next item on the list.

Sad- because we now have a huge, gaping hole in our yard. Also, because I love trees, and I loved sitting and watching birds and squirrels enjoy this tree. It’s also very visible from my kitchen window, our deck and the hot tub. The yard looks naked without it. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It was a pretty old, big tree, too- not easily or quickly replaceable. Sigh.

Final pic of the old Ash tree, in all its glory:

Sadly, the Emerald Ash Borer bugs have completely destroyed the Ash tree population in our area. When we bought the house almost 10 years ago, this was a beautiful, thriving tree. It was now dead as a doornail. We tried to treat it for several years, which may have prolonged its life a little, but it finally succumbed.

Over halfway:

Her sad remains:

Need to dig out the rest of these hostas! And we’ll have to have the stump ground separately.

Now, to figure out what new trees(s) to plant, and where. I’ve never planted a tree in my life, and the whole thing overwhelms me. If you’re not aware, there are a LOT of different types of trees. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s not really something you want to get wrong and can just “do over”.

I’d actually like to plant several trees, in a few different spots of the yard, though the kids are pleading for us to leave the yard more wide open so they can throw balls and stuff without any obstructions.

My main priority, personally, is creating more privacy between our house and the neighbor’s yards- specifically the views from our deck and hot tub.

This is another area where I really wish a magic yard fairy would just show up, figure out what the right, best looking choices are and then come back and do everything. I honestly would prefer to not even think about it. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Ivan, left to his own devices, would probably plant ZERO new trees. He does not seem to, ahem, appreciate them the same way I do….He mostly sees them and sees “LEAVES TO CLEAN UP IN THE FALL”. Ha. ๐Ÿ˜•

Mock Interview:

In Ethan’s 7th grade Language Arts class, they’ve recently finished a whole unit on career readiness, including taking an aptitude test to help discover what fields they might be potentially interested in studying/ working in one day.

To conclude the unit, they had to do a mock job interview. The teacher made them all dress up in nice clothes, and they did prep work for potential interview questions. Ethan was nervous about it!! But he did really great- got an A. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The teacher threw in a couple of bonus questions that they hadn’t prepared for, to see how they’d handle them. Apparently she was impressed with his answer (according to his grading rubric). He seemed pretty proud.

They got to use a little script this time, for some of the questions they prepared for.

The (pretend) job he was interviewing for was a “Computer Engineer” position. He said based on his answers on the aptitude test, this was one job that he scored high in. Check back in another 10 years, and we’ll see!!!

(School ends next week- 7th grade is wrapping up. This means in a mere FIVE YEARS he will actually be graduating from high school and heading off to college- to potentially study “computer engineering”, for real! WHAT?!?!?!?!? Someone, please. I cannot wrap my head around this. My heart is racing a little just typing these words.)

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for the tree company showing up. Really, that’s #1 today. I was thinking we were going to need to go through the whole process of finding a new company, getting new quotes….fortunately, they finally showed- and they seemed to do a great job!!!

11 thoughts on “Trees and Job Interviews”

  1. That is sad about your tree! We had ash trees on the north side of our house that were cut down 2 summers ago. The Ash trees are all dead in our neighborhood, too. So sad. But they didn’t give us much shade so we weren’t overly sad to see them go, and since they were on the boulevard, the city took care of cutting them down. But we have a HUGE oak tree in our backyard and would be so sad if something happened to it since it’s provides so much shade, especially in our backyard! I would like to change up our landscaping out front but like you, it’s not something I enjoy or know much about so I haven’t had the motivation to tackle it! Some day I will, but I think in our case we will need to hire someone. We’ll see if I can convince Phil it’s worth the $$.

    It is crazy how fast time goes. The days can feel long, but then before you know it, kids are off the college. That is how I feel about my oldest nephew. I remember him being born and it wasn’t so long ago that he was this little boy and now he’s almost 18 and will head off to college at the end of the summer. He’s planning to pursue a degree is nuclear radiology but we’ll see if that changes!


    1. I hear you on convincing Phil. Ivan is the same way….He seems to realize/ accept that we WILL be planting at least a couple new trees…I think he sees that for me, it’s basically non-negotiable! Haha! So he will go along with it, but like I said, he also isn’t spearheading any “tree research” or anything, either, because he is not particularly interested in us doing it.


  2. Oooh that is a big bummer about your tree. My husband is the same – we have a VERY VERY tree filled yard, and have a MASSIVE silver maple – we just had it trimmed back last year, but now he wants it trimmed even more ๐Ÿ˜› It provides a ton of shade to our deck which we need in the summer, but also drops about 10 different things throughout the year. Those trees are pretty, but a huge mess! We cut down about 5 trees, and still have 8 left – and we don’t have a big yard!! The thing I really want is a flowering tree – I know they are fleeting, but I love them. Luckily all my neighbors have several, so I can SEE them, but I’d really like a redbud tree – I love them so much!! And they are small so it seems manageable to add even though we have so many trees already. Anyway, good luck figuring out what to do! We got 3 new bushes last year and the bunnies destroyed them :-/

    I love Ethan’s assignment! I am (or, was I guess? my role has kind of changed) a career counselor at a university, so I work with students on how to pursue their careers after undergrad. I do get a little (a lot) twitchy when really young kids are asked what they want to be as an adult, or take these aptitude tests (which are extremely flawed!!!!!) – but it can be helpful ONLY to give some ideas to further explore. I mean, mine told me to be a photographer or a chef. Like, I enjoy doing those things but I would be terrible at both as a career! I think the concept of preparing to do an interview, speaking competently to an adult – those are such valuable skill! I see so many 18-19 year olds who feel like a ‘failure’ because these career ideas they had as a middle/high schooler didn’t work out in practice once they got to the classes/the reality of the career. So anyway – that’s my soapbox and I’ll get off now ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. We were considering a Red Bud for one area in our yard! But now I’m not sure- those are a bit wispy/ delicate, and I might want something a bit thicker, to provide some more privacy. They are pretty though!

      Such an interesting comment about the career counseling. I did actually mention to him that it was just meant to be a brainstorming exercise, etc., not like, “Ok, great! Now you have your future career all figured out!!” haha! I know my 13 year old has actually expressed some concerns, over the past year or so, before this unit at school, about “what he’ll be when he grows up”. He has asked things like, Well, how will I know what to do/ what to go to school for? or, what should I be when I’m older?? He’s not one of those kids who has always wanted to be x,y, or z since he was little. I of course don’t know the “answer”…and I get nervous to even make specific suggestions, because I feel like he is at an impressionable age and could possibly take whatever I say to be the “right answer”. I found all of that to be rather confusing, myself, even getting closer to college age. How DO you decide??! There are so many random careers out there, too, that people might never even really think of. Of course there’s all the straight forward “jobs”- nurse, doctor, lawyer, teacher, police officer, etc. etc. But what high school student will be thinking of being, I don’t know, an actuary? Or like, say, working in human resources? Or whatever. Send any tips my way of how to help kids with this process!! It’s all coming up too soon.


      1. I think the biggest recommendation I have is to normalize exploring! There is NO RUSH to choosing what you want to do – I work specifically with pre-law students, and the number of students I get who literally had no idea that you can work in the legal field without a law degree, or have NO IDEA what a lawyer does, but yet want to be one because of Legally Blonde (still……) is somewhat stunning. I LOVE when students like that end up finding something that is a MUCH better fit for them, that they didn’t even imagine in the first place – but that takes time, trial and error, part-time jobs, conversations with people DOING the jobs you are thinking about, etc etc. If you end up wanting a career that requires a post-graduate education – there’s no rush to figure that out right away! You can take several years after undergrad to work, try different things, and graduate school will always be there. Even if a program requires prereqs, you can almost always go back and complete those later if you are missing any.

        I personally thought I’d want to be a reporter when I was in high school, just because I liked writing… went to a huge state school that happened to have a good journalism program, majored in that, and decided – nah, reporting isn’t for me! Stuck with the major but went with the track that focused on advertising/PR and decided I MUST work in an advertising agency (a thing I certainly did not know existed when I was a senior in HS) – got that job after college and LO AND BEHOLD, 2 years later decided I really did NOT like the stress and that the job/agency did not match the values I cared about (namely wanting to do something that benefited either individuals or the world at large) so decided to go into career counseling (on a whim, based on my roommate at the time working in a career office) – YET ANOTHER job I didn’t even know existed EVEN WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE, and had access to a career office. Seriously – it’s all just happenstance, and who you are around, and what opportunities you choose to take advantage of! Hearing more of these stories normalizes the process not being linear, and trying things and being ok with that thing ending -it’s not a failure if you try something and realize there’s a better fit for who you are now!!

        Most colleges have specific offices dedicated to exploring students with workshops, classes (1 credit) etc that guide students through the process if they need a little extra support.

        ANYWAY there’s my novel on the subject!! ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Way to go Ethan! How awesome!!

    Also, it cracks me up how American schools finish for the summer so early. I just added the MOM Hour latest ep to my playlist, about end of school chaos… we break at the very end of July until the very start of September, so hearing of summer being May/June is so fun and interesting!!

    I totally get the mixed feelings about the tree. Good luck choosing new ones!


    1. Well, normally our schools here in Wisconsin get out around the second week of June…but this year they are done abnormally early, due to some new construction happening within the school district. They started school extra early this past fall (in August, instead of early September), to get the kids out of the buildings early now by end of May, so they have enough time to do the construction work over the summer.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I also think Ethan’s mock interview sounds like such a great (and practical) experience!

    I’m currently the project manager role for a multi-institution research project looking at mitigation strategies (natural using semiochemicals; very cool!) for a range of forest pests. Emerald Ash Borer (and Spruce Budworm) are two of the biggest being tackled by the various research teams. The statistics of what these insects can do (the number of destructive moth species alone is truly staggering) is very sobering. Sorry you had to have the tree come down. Our lawn is a disaster. We need SO much landscaping work done, but need to wait before we finish house renovations. I am itching to get this professionally tackled; next year? I am adamant about wanting only evergreens for trees though. I hate raking and also just feel like the “naked” branches look so lonely and depressing in the winter.


    1. How interesting!! And yes- SO SAD about the Ash trees. Seems unreal that they couldn’t be stopped somehow! Guess it’s a good lesson to never let anyone tell us we aren’t big enough to make a difference…. look what those little, microscopic creatures have done ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      I actually really love green leaves in the summer (and the changing leaves in the fall!). I enjoy watching the birds and squirrels use the big branches all winter, too. So I am hoping for some regular trees in our yard, though evergreens are so lovely, too!


  5. wonderful exercise for a 7th grader! I wish I was told/trained how to prepare for interview while in school. you really need to go through a lot of them to gain confidence and know how to prepare and what to say.
    5 years to college? I hear you. time really flies by.


  6. We used to own a house a few years ago and had to have a very old tree removed during that time, too. I felt pretty sad about it… but never got around to getting the stump ground or planting new, before we sold it. Now we’re renting and don’t really have to “think about” the yard…. other than planting some flowers and veggies (mostly potted) every year ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Wow, you’re right… 7th grade and they’re almost grown-up! My niece is in 7th grade and to think that she’ll graduate as well in a short few years. It’s scary! They grow up too fast!!


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