Sometimes I really struggle with change.
When I was setting my goals for 2018 about thirteen months ago, I had no idea that I would decide to close my blog Happy Simple Living at the end of the year. But late in November, after writing 800 posts over 12 years, I began to sense that it was time for a new direction. I wrote my final farewell post on January 1.
Change can be so good, and we all know that sometimes we have to end one thing to make room for another thing. I just couldn’t have imagined the blank screen—literal and figurative—I’d face at the beginning of 2019.
Which brings me to today. I’m excited to introduce you to The YOLO Blog.
I’ll be exploring topics like food, home, money, books, interesting people and real life in this space, posting a few times a month. My hope is that this blog can be like a friendly conversation where we share our ideas, struggles, real thoughts and solutions.
Because I ended Happy Simple Living to make room for The YOLO Blog, I wanted to host a giveaway that would bridge both blogs. This is why YOU could win your very own Houseables 20,000 BTU Self-Igniting, Trigger Start Propane Weed Torch and Flame Thrower.
(UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Anne W., who won the weed torch.)
Why a weed torch, you ask? Good question!
One of Happy Simple Living’s most-shared posts is: “7 Natural Ways to Control Bindweed.” Many of you struggle with the tenacious, long-rooted garden weeds like I do. We have major bindweed in our back yard, so much that we have considered converting the entire space into the International Botanical Garden of Bindweed. Here’s a fine specimen that’s grown three feet just while I’ve been writing this post.
After losing ground to more bindweed last year, I decided it was time to get serious. I bought two weed torches, one for me and another for one of you.
Often, the only way we can grow something new is if we clear the space first. And sometimes the clearing requires firepower. Sometimes we have to go in there and torch those weeds.
I’ve been excited to try my new flame flower/weed torch, confident that even during a Colorado January I would find some hardy live bindweed out there to blast. However, our yard has been covered with snow for weeks. Luckily we did have a brief melt-off one afternoon and I managed a quick photo. I’m telling you, this torch throws some serious FLAME!
Are you ready to torch weeds?
How You Can Win
(UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to winner Anne W.)
To enter the giveaway, enter this question in the comments section at the end of this post:
What would you like to torch in 2019, to make room for something new?
Your answer can be literal (“Bindweed, baby!” “Kudzu for days!” “Out-of-control ivy!”) or it can be figurative, like some of these things on my personal Torch List:
- Mistakes I made in high school
- Old, dusty grievances
- Limiting thoughts
- Judgments and assumptions about other people
- The things I tried that failed
All you have to do to enter is share a comment below about what you hope to literally or figuratively clear away this year, and you’ll be automatically entered.
The giveaway is open to anyone with a U.S. shipping address, and runs through Sunday, February 10 at midnight MST. I’ll announce the lucky winner on Monday, February 11, and contact you via email.
Until then, thank you for stopping by and reading The YOLO Blog’s very first post. It’s a joy to reconnect with you.
Grateful thanks to Sam Howzit for the use of his wonderful photo above of a performer holding a flaming torch during the dinner show at the Mai-Kai Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
78 thoughts on “Welcome and Win a Weed Torch”
You are so darned creative! I’m kind of scared of this thing, but bindweed is certainly abundant in our backyard, so perhaps we might try, as long as it doesn’t ignite the layers and layers of pine needles that rest atop creating a lovely mulch for the bindweed to prosper!
Maybe a bindweed/bonfire party in your back yard this summer, Kathleen? I’ll bring some of your famous Blackberry Moscow Mules! I am grateful for you, my friend, and so glad we can share this blogging journey together.
The inability to get a guy like the one in the picture you posted to torch my weeds:)
Debbie, you are too funny! You definitely deserve a personal weed torcher.
Bindweed and Mallow weed are my nemesis. In answer to what I would like to torch? Impulsive spending!
Glad you are back!!
I hear you, and I struggle with impulsive spending, too, Patti. Good luck with all the weeds, and it’s so good to hear from you.
I run a business reselling on eBay and I haven’t been making enough money at it to make it worth the time and space it it takes up in my home. But I don’t have time to start anything new while still doing it. So I’d like to torch that business so I can start something new.
I’m glad you’re back!
Rebecca, it’s not easy to start and sustain your own business, and I applaud your perseverance! It sounds like you’re ready for your hard work to produce more income and joy. I’m pulling so hard for you, and I hope you’re able to find the time to pursue your next great idea. xo
Limiting thoughts is something I would love to torch .
Belinda, it took a lot of courage for you to write that. I have a favorite quote from Steve Jobs that you might enjoy, too: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” xo
I would like to torch my own self defeating thoughts and go for the promotions that I should have put in for years ago.
Irene, thank you for being brave and sharing this. Everyone who reads your comment is going to be pulling for you like crazy! I hope you go for it, and your hard work is acknowledged, honored and rewarded. xo
I’d like to torch doubt and worry. Last year was a hard year for my husband and me. Would love the weed torch for all kinds of weeds in our almost-an-acre yard and may it be symbolic of burning off the chaff versus wheat in our lives! I knew you “back when” at Wiesner Publishing – it’s a small world, isn’t it?
Diane, hello! I’m so glad you mentioned the Wiesner connection, and it’s great to hear from you. I’m sorry the last year was rough, and share your hopes that 2019 will be fruitful and happy. I’m enjoying reading your posts and seeing your beautiful photos on your website! Readers, you’ll enjoy visiting Diane’s blog here: http://www.dianeweidenbenner.com/
I would like to torch the destructive eating habits that I use to “reward” myself. Eat well for three days then reward myself with fast food. What am I thinking?? I really need to work on that this year.
And also the crabgrass that I can never kill in my yard.
Casey, I’m deeply touched over your transparency in sharing this goal. “Eat better food” is constantly on my goal list. I don’t know if this would help you or not, but sometimes having a stash of great recipes to go to eliminates my temptation to order out. My friend Kathleen’s blog is The Fresh Cooky: https://www.thefreshcooky.com/ and her easy, wholesome recipes are all so good. xoxo
P.S. Crabgrass is the worst!
I want to torch the negative voice in my head that binds my confidence.
Yes! What a great thing to torch, Becky, and most of us battle that rotten, sniveling little naysayer. I bet you are capable of so many amazing things. I would love to hear back from you when you achieve your next victory. xo
What would I like to torch in 2019? Oh, I think I’d need my own blog to fully list that. But let’s start with bindweed, shall we? Those evil, serpentine vines have taken up permanent residence in my front garden, snaking their way around my day lilies, strangling my precious salvias, smirking at me when I try to dig them up only to find that they go down, down, down into the dark recesses of the earth. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are bindweed roots tickling Beelzebub’s noggin in the world’s nether regions. In fact, H-E-double hockey sticks could be the only conceivable place for bindweed to have originated. Yesss, a torch might be just the thing to undo this miserable scourge. Plus, what a feeling of power one must possess while wielding a flaming torch! “Die, miserable weed! Die!”
On a figurative level, as the new year unfolds I would love to torch self doubt and the fear of trying something completely new. As I reach my mid-fifties, perhaps it’s time to reinvent myself. That whole rock star thing didn’t quite pan out, but maybe I could still be a decent writer. Yeah, maybe it’s time to write a whole new chapter for myself, and set ablaze any long-held disappointments, grudges, and insecurities. Hmmm, that sounds pretty good to me. Stand back while I light this thing up!
Ray, your bindweed description is hilarious! Torching disappointments, grudges and insecurities sounds like a fine idea, and you are most definitely a writer. Thank you for sharing your very entertaining comment! :-)
Crap grass. It is all over and I get so tired of trying to pull it out of inbetween my pavers. I have used the vinegar and salt because I don’t use chemicals but it hasn’t got rid of it at all, if anything I think it fed it to grow more. So if you feel that a weed torch would be a good win for me, I would love to have it. I would rather take that time to grow and preserve my food than pull or try to at least cut down the crap grass. It would be a blessing.
“Crap grass,” ha! I’ll remember your nickname when I’m battling the opportunistic weed in our yard, too, Kimberly. Love your goal of growing and preserving more of your own food. xo
Congratulations on your new direction! I grow a pretty mean crop of weeds, and would love to torch them. But I’d also like to torch my sense of foundering around for a new dream or direction.
Melissa, I can so relate to that feeling and look forward to hearing what you decide to do. As you consider your next move, may I throw out one selfish idea? I have always loved the way you write, and would love to read more. Whatever you do, I know you will put your whole heart into it because that’s who you are. xo
You could be the Heat Miser for Halloween!
I would use that to roast marshmallows.
Ha! I like your style, Jen! Flame-torched marshmallows sound amazing! xo
Mistakes I made post high school include:
Special marriage that went the wrong direction leading to 3 wonderful children and massive amounts of consumable items of zero value which I donate all the time but still need part of a warehouse to store along with a cluttered garage which really needs a much larger torch than you are suggesting. I need a “clutter torch” for my “garage and warehouse.” Or perhaps it’s all in my head. Nope I’m not dreaming. There you have it.
A clutter torch – ha! I bet many of us can relate to feeling like we have too much stuff, Steve. That’s great that you’re donating things so they can be enjoyed by someone else. Maybe a few episodes of Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” on Netflix (https://www.netflix.com/title/80209379) will inspire you, or maybe a laugh about decluttering from the Holderness Family: https://youtu.be/xZfn_O4BiJ4. Good luck clearing space for the things that matter to you.
I’m letting go of part of my business this year – been hard to just say “bye” to it, so the “torching it” metaphor is helping me let go!
Michele, change is always challenging and you have had more change and transitions in the past couple of years than many people experience in a lifetime. I admire your strength and grace so much. xoxo
Readers, I want to give a shout-out about Michele’s wonderful, poignant memoir, Poco a Poco, which I read at the end of 2018 and loved. More info here: https://michelemorrisbooks.com/poco-a-poco-a-memoir
Eliza, I love this concept!! I usually think about the “weeds” in my life over coffee! Caffeine inspires me to do something about them. Percolate will help me think my morning Java as torch time.
2019 – pruning excess stuff and relationships that clog my path to the future of my dreams. I’d like to reduce the depth of my roots in favor of becoming free to just be. Thank you for the inspiration!
Sandy, the only thing better than deep thoughts and morning java is brainstorming with you over coffee and bacon! I love what you wrote about clearing space to make room for good things in the future. You deserve everything good in life, especially the freedom to just be. xoxo
I would like to torch all my insecurities growing up. I never thought I was pretty enough, or thin enough, or smart enough. Looking back now I can see that I was a wonder. I was beautiful and so full of all that makes life amazing. I wish I could have felt then how I feel now.
Karen, what a beautiful and poignant observation. When I read your words, “Looking back now I can see that I was a wonder,” my eyes filled with tears. Thank you for sharing your heart and inspiring us all to let go of those old insecurities. xo
I want to torch my excessive worrying!
What a perfect thing to give up, Richard. I want to fret less, too. Thanks for your comment.
I don’t know the name of this cursed weed we have here in Las Vegas, but it defies even that cancer causing weed spray…the only way to get it out is to pull it and it has THORNS! I would dearly love to BURN it out…a perfect solution since it grows right up through the gravel landscape!
Weeds with thorns are the worst, Tony! Thanks for your comment and good luck.
I would like to torch all of my negative thoughts!
That’s a great goal, Rebecca. Thank you for visiting and sharing your comment.
so many weeds to clear.
I hear you, Adrienne. At least weeding keeps us out of trouble, right? :-)
Your Percolate site is BEAUTIFUL, Eliza! (Love the name!) Feels like the perfect followup to Happy Simple Living. As for that torch, in the past, I would’ve pointed the torch to regrets. I’m grateful I seem to have fewer. I’m aiming, as you are, to keep moving forward. Thanks for leading the way! Love and blessings, Patricia
Patricia, thank you! And thank YOU for percolating with me on some of those big decisions. I appreciate your wisdom so much. Here’s to torching past regrets, and good things ahead. Love, Eliza
We need to torch our shed. It is the biggest mess. I need to torch the fear I have with the way they are changing my job to make it impossible to take care of my wonderful husband, who is paralysis.
I have some noxious weeds that I would love to torch! Pulling them out hasn’t worked and some of them have thorns and stickers! Thanks for the awesome chance to get rid of these hardy, spreading things!
Like so many, bind weed and mallow are a constant pest. We also have the added ‘bonus’ of hundreds of blackberry plants popping up every year. We already have all the blackberries anyone can wish for so this, too, is a big problem.
I would use this on poison ivy so I don’t have to use toxic Roundup any more. I hate using it, but I need to eliminate it every year and nothing else seemed to work.
Perrenial wild morning glory have invaded my iris bed~
Love the name Percolate ! Here’s my answer…
I would like to burn through the fat of inertia and lean into action this year!
I would like to torch the 20 pounds I need to lose!
What would you like to torch in 2019, to make room for something new?
The first thing I would like to torch is my extra fat!
My lack of motivation.
All bad memories.
Regret. Life is too short to live in regret for things I’ve done in the past! I can’t undo the past but I can create a brighter future.
I would like to torch the poison ivy on the farm. It springs up every where!
Beth, I just want to steer you away from torching poison ivy or oak…the “poison” (urushiol) lurks in the oils of the plant—- and burning it with a torch may release these oils into the air—which could be ingested, absorbed and/or breathed into your respiratory system (or your eyes, nose and throat). Not a good idea ;)
I’d like to torch the contents of our garage, to make room for parking cars indoors.
I’d like to torch all the dirt and dust in my house. It needs a major deep cleaning!
I would like to torch my job situation to make room for a good job I love
I’d love to torch extended family drama.
I would love to torch my bathrooms in my house, my bills, and my 20-year-old car.
I’d take that torch to my backyard and get rid of all the stuff I can’t do on my own.
Were working on getting rid of old clothes and furniture too. Love the torch for the weeds here.
I would torch all the negative .And all the things that have been holding me down. So that the positive has room to shine through.
I hope to throw away or better yet torch out every single negative thoughts, judgements from my in-laws, and anything negative such as my self esteem or judgemental thoughts from me personally. I want to make sure that i clear my mind for only good thoughts!
I have no idea what weeds we have every summer which come up through the abundant cracks in our Brick Patio which was installed in 1953… I have no idea if there is a weed barrier in place, or if it would be intact, but my husband moreso than myself, spends hours and hours doing everything (NON CHEMICAL) he can to rid our patio of these pests.
My husband and I live in the mountains and we have major problems keeping weeds and thorn bushes from taking over our property, all spring and summer we battle them. So I would love to win this torch I think it would be a god send for us. Thanks so much for the chance.
At 70 me and my old lady moved to new mexico from colorado. here they call them goat heads. we brought my mother in law age 91 she wants bird feeders etc. we paid 900 bucks for a landscaper to cut them back then a neighbor 200 and they are back. Made weedkiller with vineger epsom salt and dawn i think they like it now my add table salt so fire might do the job? Would love to try it. Keep up the good work.
So many interesting I things I have learnt from here.
I want to torch my stress.
To have more bacon in my life
I am torching away worry this year.. trying to pray more about things and carry on thanks !
The hackberry trees forever sprouting up in our fence line.
My mother has a section of her property that is covered in blackberry bushes, this would be perfect to help her clear it.
I would like to torch the grudges I have been holding onto that no longer serve me
I would like to torch the excuse that I don’t have time to take care of my physical self. Having 3 kids, it can be physically exhausting at times. But this year, I want to start to exercise/walk 4-5 times a week so I can get myself back in shape like I used to be before kids!
I would like to torch my negative thoughts, it seems as if I seem to jump to conclusions, the wrong conclusions!
I would love to torch my insecurities. I would love to torch the negativity people try to project onto me. I would love to torch my hubby’s collection of old ratty t-shirts.
Would love to torch my negative thoughts.