I suppose this little adventure should start with a proper introduction. My name is Natasha Woods. I have been happily — actually happily, not just “happily because that’s what you’re supposed to say” — married to an Idyllwild native for 10 years. Despite the fact I swore I would never live in Idyllwild, here I am.
My husband’s stories of his wonderful childhood changed my mind on the matter. Now, here we are, four years in as locals with two little mountain men of our own. We have more animals than I ever intended to have in my life.
Life is good — not perfect — but good. In the time we have been here, I have changed quite a bit. Life on the hill has a way of slowing you down and helping you realize what you’re made of because let’s face it — we deal with some things.
Our first fire evacuation sparked this understanding. A flood drove it home, and shoveling my snowy driveway 14 times within a week forever ingrained it in my brain. Mountain living is tough, but mountain dwellers will always be tougher.
So, what will this column be about? Well, really, my hope is that it will be a little reprieve from the daily grind.
I love to laugh, and make others laugh as well. It lightens the heart and makes even the hardest times seem a little less awful. There will be stories of misadventures in motherhood, my painfully awkward encounters with strangers, and encouraging words from someone who understands that sometimes life isn’t all rainbows and sunshine.
I hope to bring a smile to your day, or at the very least, give you something to gossip about when the local “did you hear” well runs dry. Stick with me and this hot mess mama will show you you’re not alone, and that we’re all just getting by the best we can.

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