The Magnolia Tree
A long time ago, some moron planted a magnolia tree a mere four feet from the edge of the patio in my back yard. The tree isn't too much of a nuisance at this point, but the roots are spindly and at the surface and it's only a matter of time before they start messing up the concrete. Right now, because it is a stupid magnolia tree that has its seasons backwards, there are tons of brown leaves in the yard the size of my face. SO attractive.
What is it about some people that makes them unable to understand how trees work? You know, that the wee sapling you plant today will be a HUGE GINORMOUS TREE in two decades? So you'd better plant it somewhere that it has room to grow? Use your imagination, picture the tree bigger and make sure it's still a good spot? Did these people skip the part of second grade where everyone else learned about photosynthesis and how, through a long series of events, it ultimately results in a tree getting taller and wider? Exponentially so? I think they did.
My parents have a dude next door to them that is Habitual Tree Planter. He picks crappy trees that are not native and he plants them all over the damn yard. His yard is big enough for maybe two trees. I think there are four plus a handful of odd ones in the back. There's even one on the property line. As a wee sapling it was kind of an adorable example of topiary but now it's a legit-for-real TREE and its all over their yard and...annoying. These Habitual Tree Planters need to be rounded up and sent to Arborist School.
Long way to say that I am not a fan of our magnolia tree and every time I look at it I wonder what on earth someone was thinking when they planted this sucker. Then I think about how much it will cost me one day to have it removed and I start to haaaaate that moron who planted it in the first place. I should invoice him.
Dear Former Owner Of My House,
Here's a bill for $1,000, mostly because you are an idiot and can't select or plant a tree for toots.
The New Owner, who is ripping out the tree to may way for a swimming pool, just as soon as an enormous sum of cash lands in her lap.
The Curtain Mistake
In a fit of "curtains! I will make some!" I cut the fabric hanging in the breakfast room (on the left) from the bolt, thereby creating two 6' lengths. I have 9' leftover, still on the bolt. I was thinking I would use the extra fabric (left over from the living room curtains on the right) rather than buy new fabric. I was being thrifty! How wise of me!
But, now I think it's too much green and I am so pissed that I cut that stupid fabric before I realllllly thought about it some more. Now I have two 6' lengths and I'm not sure what to do with them. I should not have cut it, much less cut TWO. In my defense, I have owned this bolt of fabric since last summer so I truly did think that I was finished dithering over it.
(BTW, that fabric is thumbtacked up so I can decide. Should I decide to make them into curtains, I will line them with blackout liner and hang them on a rod like a proper adult.)
These are the swatches of fabric under consideration. I like the way the aqua looks on the wall in the kitchen and breakfast room, and I think the color is complimentary to the green since they will be in the same visual space. It also matches my KitchenAid, which is stupid to match curtains to an appliance, I know, but I really like the color of that sucker.
I am strongly leaning towards the bottom one, but I don't know if it's even in stock any more since it's a Summer 2010 pattern. I am not exactly asking for advice or opinions since I'm pretty well sold on the aqua, at least as a general direction, but I do want you to learn from me: those measure twice, cut once people are NOT kidding. (A step should be added at the front, "Decide what you want to do. No, really, make sure you've actually decided before you cut anything.")
Jake seems to have good days and bad days. The good days are normal and the bad days are where he has trouble sitting down. The steroids and painkillers seem to have made him nearly good as new. Honestly, I did not think he would be here this week. Not for a second. I thought he was going to go downhill again, fast, and it would be over imminently.
But then he rallied. (And honestly he might have just been enjoying the attention of the entire internet.) (Well, the attention of MY entire internet, which is a rather small slice, I know.) And his leg wasn't as swollen and he was walking and running and we were thinking, "Um, okay? We have our dog back?"
So, I don't know. For now he's fine. I keep thinking about what every one of you said about how we'd know, deep down in our guts when it was time to let him go, and I just look at him and I know that it's not the time. I know.
Natalie sent me the most lovely book, "Dog Heaven," by Cynthia Rylant. I swear to you I cried like a child when I read it the first time. (I actually haven't made it through the whole book even now without crying.) The book talks about what happens in Dog Heaven:
God knows that dogs love children more than anything else in the world, so He fills Dog Heaven with plenty of them. There are children on bikes and children on sleds. There are children throwing red rubber balls and children pulling kites through the clouds. The dogs are there, and the children love them dearly.
I mean, just YES, right? Lovely, lovely book. I am not sure that I'll be able to read it to Claire without upsetting her (the tears flow with this one for me), but it was just so thoughtful of Natalie to send it. (Internet friends! They are amazing!)
I think I have eaten, oh, about 15 of these today? Maybe?
Look, all I'm saying is if you would like to not eat a lot of cookies today, then definitely navigate away from the link to some other non-cookie recipe site because if you make these cookies they will end up all in your belly. Your pants might not fit afterward, but I can't be sure because my pants haven't fit in a long time anyway so, um, I'll have another cookie now please.
Is there anything more annoying than the child who deliberately rips up library books? Claire loves the library, takes so much joy out of the whole thing, reads her books and loves them dearly, but then when she gets mad about having to go to bed? She rips them! Rips entire pages out and rips them in half and then when I discover said vandalism of city-owned property and tell her that it's not good she says,
"It's okay, it's just a little tear. We fix it."
I'm having enormous difficulty getting across the idea of PERMANENT DAMAGE to her. And really, anything permanent is a tough sell. Sharpies, toys irreparably breaking, killing bugs, etc. She has no concept of the idea of forever, which I am sure is normal but it would be very helpful if she understood it even on a simple level.
But, back to the stupid books. She's done this before and I...returned the books quietly in the book drop and didn't mention the missing pages. (Yes! There was more than one! I'm a terrible person! In my defense, those books were due about seven days after Charlotte was born and simply returning them seemed like the easiest thing to do.) Now I feel like I should mention it. Partly because we did damage the book and this is the proper thing to do and partly because I think if the librarian makes a face and says something stern and she sees me paying for the book it might have more impact. I have used phrases like "If you do X that lady over there will make us leave because it's HER library" and that seemed to work and give me the behavior I wanted right that instant.
In the meantime, we are on a strict diet of only board books from the library.