The day after Hurricane Isabel swept through town, I closed on my new house. Since it was unscathed, we removed four trees out of spite (and a hatred for holly leaves). Now it is winter, and the grass has been mowed, a shed built, 120 square feet of concrete have been busted with a sledgehammer, a stone wall has been built and bulbs have been planted. I have suffered the worst case of poison ivy imaginable. We have visited Lowe's a thousand and one times. We have painted, scrubbed, crawled through attics, hemmed and hawed. And for Christmas, someone gave me a winged pig cast in concrete.