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Stuff on Sunday - Laura Wise

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May 4th, 2014


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08:32 pm - Stuff on Sunday
Because I had been so relatively allergy-light the last few days, I decided to do an hour of much needed weeding and trimming in the front yard this morning. Now I can't breathe. So, that went well.

Remind me not to make any major decisions in the next few days. Weeks. Possibly months.

I did have to make the executive decision to call my tree service about the last of the huge water oaks in my backyard. (I started out with over 10, but they were all in the last decades of their all-too-short lives.) This one had been looking less than robust, to the point I had become slightly uneasy walking Master Danger in the back of the back. I mean, I do have a falling-tree phobia anyway, exacerbated by the undeniable truth that water oaks despite their great heights will fall and fall hard at the least little thing, such as the drought we're still in. Anyway, Tree Guy came, looked at it, and said, "Yep. It's time." Sometime in the next seven days, anyway.

I will have to be elsewhere for that, with Master Danger in tow. (See: falling-tree phobia.) Maybe I'll hide in my office and read something soothing or nostalgic -- like the long-awaited reprinting of Sharon and Tom Curtis/"Laura London"'s 1980s historical romance The Windflower. Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books reviewed it for NPR. She rightly notes that it is very much a product of its time, with a more languorous pace, rich description, and gestures to the admittedly worrying tropes of those early 80s romances; as she says, however, But what the Curtises do with those worn, familiar tropes is what readers love about The Windflower: Every element is subverted or twisted. Each time a plot cliche seems imminent, something unexpected happens instead.

Also, I would like Captain Rand Morgan for my own. He can make my decisions for me! (Rand Morgan is basically Georgette Heyer's Duke of Avon if the Duke of Avon had been illegitimate and slightly more benevolent, and had decided to take his omniscient self off to be a pirate rather than ruling Society. What is even more remarkable is that Rand Morgan is a secondary character.)

The ability to breathe. Someone to take my tree away. A fictional pirate to make my decisions. Is that too much to ask?

(Kidding, I swear.)

May you have easy decisions and wonderful returns from the past to start your week.

(25 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:anne_d
Date:May 5th, 2014 12:40 am (UTC)
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[Hugs and room to breathe]
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From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 01:43 pm (UTC)
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And the same to you.

Hope your Monday is much much better than you expect.

[hugs]
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From:gwynnega
Date:May 5th, 2014 12:42 am (UTC)
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That historical romance sounds very interesting.

The ability to breathe is a good thing to have.

::hugs::
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 01:45 pm (UTC)
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The Curtises wrote really fascinating romances, which although still marked with some of the 80s problems with gender or diversity do try to Do Much Better -- and their language and characterization were really, really rich. And often witty as hell. :)

Cheers and hugs!
[User Picture]
From:tx_cronopio
Date:May 5th, 2014 12:55 am (UTC)
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Ugh, it does seem rather unfair that money that could go for lovely boots and bottles of wine and trips to the theater has to go for tree-cutting. Huzzahs for maturity!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 01:46 pm (UTC)
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It is so unfair! And not only boots and wine and theatre, but even the bathroom remodel I need. [sulks]

Cheers and a good Monday to you, Cronopio.
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From:mamculuna
Date:May 5th, 2014 01:40 am (UTC)
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I totally understand not wanting to be around for the tree falling. I hate that too, though sometimes hate even more not knowing what's happening.

And so true about the short lives and violent deaths of water oaks--they were planted all over miy neighborhood in the 1920's, when it was built. So every storm and every drought, every ice storm and every windstorm, we have the tree drama. Fortunately my yard has a red maple (planted by us in 1988) and two ancient pecans (which just drop limbs) --but next door was a great huge oak that regularly downed the power lines, until finally the owners got rid of the remaining limb and stump. but sad to see sky where there used to be tree. Especially oaks, with all their mystic connotations...

Hope you and Master Danger find a safe haven!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 01:50 pm (UTC)
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Yes, there are water oaks all over my small town, all roughly the same age, and since 2004 they have been all failing and/or falling during storms, droughts, and stiff gusts of wind. The town does offer free trees (none of which are water oaks) every spring, and I'll claim a couple next March.

(And I still have "volunteer" water oaks, quite young, still growing in the back. I won't have to worry about their lifespan, however. ;))

Cheers and a beautiful Monday to you!
[User Picture]
From:mamculuna
Date:May 5th, 2014 02:18 pm (UTC)
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I will say that a really pretty tree is a willow oak, and the one in the yard where I used to live, a couple of blocks from my current house, is at least 95 years old and doing well. it's characterized as growing quickly, but oaks are all slower-growing than other trees. Maples grow more quickly, but red maples at least have surface roots=no more lawn (for good or bad). We got a free cherry, since we had room only for a small ornamental--satisfactory so far, so maybe the city tree people have good recommendations.

Good luck with new trees, when the time comes!
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From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC)
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I'm hoping for a green ash, which also has good associations (and which was free last year). But I hope to be able to solicit a local garden designer's suggestions: she knows a lot about native trees that offer good things for wildlife.

I'm trying to get to no turf grass in the front, for water conservation and health of the aquifer (and laziness), but the back will likely always need some for doggie convenience.
[User Picture]
From:mamculuna
Date:May 5th, 2014 05:14 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like excellent plan! I've never had an ash, but they're beautiful--and as you say, meaningful. And yes, grass for dogs!
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From:stateless82
Date:May 5th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC)
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I haven't started The Windflower yet, I just read one of Tessa Dare's romances and want to clear my historical romance palate first. ;-)

Here's to a week that ends up being less complicated than it looks from here!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 01:51 pm (UTC)
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Cleansing the palate is a very good idea. :)

Cheers and a much better week to you! [hugs]
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From:stateless82
Date:May 6th, 2014 02:00 am (UTC)
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I've now begun the re read (which in my head is Capitalized!) and the descriptions of the vegetables at the beginning had my eyes about to fall out of my head. How did I not remember that? Also the unicorn!



[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 6th, 2014 12:50 pm (UTC)
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Heeee. Sharon and Tom Curtis: Trolling Romance Readers Since the 1980s. :)
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From:cindergal
Date:May 5th, 2014 03:49 am (UTC)
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Fictional pirates do not seem to me the best choice for decision making - but perhaps for other things. ;-)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 01:52 pm (UTC)
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Heee! This particular fictional pirate is actually a master of decision-making, even when one might side-eye a few of his more ruthless choices. ;)

Good thoughts to you on this Monday!
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From:paratti
Date:May 5th, 2014 10:03 am (UTC)
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Hugs and I hope you find something good to replace the tree with.
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 01:53 pm (UTC)
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Free trees from the city next year, I think! :)

Hugs hugs to you. :)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 02:03 pm (UTC)
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Hugs and a good Monday to you, L!
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From:freixenet
Date:May 5th, 2014 02:11 pm (UTC)
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Ah, me. Trees coming down in the back yard...not great. But I'm glad plans are afoot to take care of these things.

Happy new week, sans allergies-I-hope!

Hugs--
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC)
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Actually I got the call at 9:45 this morning that if it was okay, they were coming right over. The small trimming's done and the big tree is over halfway down. [shiver]

Hugs and a good week to you!
[User Picture]
From:janus_74
Date:May 5th, 2014 02:15 pm (UTC)
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I had to look up what a water oak was :) I learned something new today!
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:May 5th, 2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
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Hurrah! I was slightly appalled years ago to realize how short-lived a water oak is....

Happy Monday!

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