Monday, August 5, 2013

Goodbye tree; long live the tree

Well, a few months ago my beloved -- who works out his angst with yard projects -- decided to take out the former potted Christmas tree that we originally got around 22 years ago, and planted in the front yard when we moved here 17 years ago.  And lo, the tree grew and grew.  It grew to tower over the house!  It grew to ruin the sewer line, which nobody knew was under the planting area until waaaayyyy too late.

So, in the way of manly men with tools, he cut all the smaller branches using a long-handled hand saw.  That kept him busy and out of trouble, but it left us with kind of a skeleton tree towering to 20+ feet and sporting approximately 3 pine needles.  Over the next several months, we had a lively discussion about whether or not it was a good idea for him to use a tall ladder and chain saw to take care of the rest of the tree, and weighing in on my side were a series of events that took a lot of his time on weekends, and coincidentally those events were not so potentially apt to end with a concussion or severed limb.   

Ultimately, the side of reason prevailed, and the tree guys showed up today.  LOTS of them, and two large trucks -- which frankly seemed like a lot of manpower and equipment, but they had a real larger job nearby and everybody came on over to help out.  I estimate that each of the workers got to carry 2 chunks of tree to the truck.  Anyway, it took less than half an hour, and nobody went to the ER.  Victory!

Two seedlings from the former tree are growing in pots, so the tree is not truly gone.

What's new in your world?


esperanza said...

W: Done with summer. Done. Did I already mention that last week? Heat advisory all this week, meaning that heat indices (heat + humidity) are above 103 F. AND that it isn't getting below 80 F at night. Ugh. No playing outside except for swimming.

W: AND I'm ready for school to start.

AW: Did I forget to tell you that we finally made a school decision for Sweet? No kindergarten this year. Feeling very content with the decision.

W: but if we had chosen option #528, school would be starting in a week. That would sure be nice. Ah well.

kathy a. said...

Oh, Esperanza! Y'all need to do a LOT of swimming this week. Sending virtual ice. Is there any possible Mama's Day Off? xoxo

Glad you made a decision about Sweet's school. And it is a perfectly fine one!

esperanza said...

Thanks...there are really no downsides to waiting a year for kinder. Except the two-preschool juggling act I'll be doing. But, it feels SO good to have some pressure off as far as: writing her name, getting along well with others, etc. Still stuff to work on, but not the time crunch.

liz said...

There is a TYPO on the glossy LITERACY poster (book drive!) in the kitchen at my office.

"Items to donate:
* Children's books
* Educational texts from after 2010
* Magazine's needed"

kathy a. said...

Oh, Liz. That's bad. And it's hard to decide to keep the fancy posters anyway, since this is a LITERACY campaign.

esperanza said...

oh good grief, Liz. You would think people would (a) have better proofreaders or (b) know better themselves.

Now terrified *I* have a grammar error in that sentence.

AW: well, the upside to the heat is that maybe the two cloth baby dolls will dry today. Sweet decided they needed a bath while I was taking a shower.

W: The heat will do nothing to help the tv, satellite receiver/DVR, and whatever that other thing is that got wet when they were spitting water at it. While I was in the shower.

Did I mention I'm ready for school to start?

kathy a. said...

W: My daughter really really needs a job. She had a big old meltdown on Sunday, after I expressed some irritation about her rising at 3 p.m. after staying up all night; and I know the problem is that she is discouraged in the job hunt, but on Sunday it was all my fault because I am a hideous human being who can't ever shut up and I let her brother get away with everything, and I'M NEVER TALKING TO YOU AGAIN. SLAM!

AW: Daughter has since regained her composure, been speaking to me, applied for a PERFECT job that we pointed out several days ago, etc. So, it's quieter. But geez, I am getting too old for this. She really needs a paying job.

AW: Meanwhile, her dad worked out a deal wherein she will take portions of the Giant Mountain of SIL's Excess Clothes to used clothing emporia in Berkeley, in the hope that they will buy it in lots. Many items still have price tags!

Not that we will be offered anything close to the prices paid. We're talking about some weird clothing here, and lots of it. For example, plain gray elastic-waist sweatpants -- which you might guess were $7.99 at tar-jay but turned out to be 100% wool, $140. The poison neon green unlined jacket + matching purse, $170. I can't even talk about the camisoles, sexy dresses in skeletal sizes, hand-crafted alpaca sweaters and see-through tops and wild accessories. Etc. Really, seeing the price tags only adds to the apoplexy, since we are elbow-deep in dealing with SIL's severe dementia and badly tangled finances.

Anyway, daughter will get a cut of what she can sell, so that works for everyone. yay.

kathy a. said...

Esperanza! Oh, my. Here's hoping all the things that need drying out get baked successfully. I guess one of teh teaching moments of today is that Water + Electronics = VERY Bad.

And no, school cannot start too soon. Is the pool open?

Sue said...

Greetings Pixies!

sorry to hear about your daughter's troubles kathy - meltdowns are tough on everyone. I hope she finds work really soon.

And the $140 sweatpants - yikes!!

esperanza, sorry about the heat and the soaked electronics. Yay for making the school decision though!

Liz - find a sharpie, quickly! Ack!

AW: AWESOME workshop last week! It was warm there too - low 80s all week. Almost like summer!!

W: Cold and rainy here today (yawn - that's a whine that's getting old). Preparing today for the memorial service on Thursday for my friend's son. I'm so sad for her.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh, Sue. That really is so sad. I'm so sorry, and many hugs.

Esperanza: Spitting on the electronics?? Can we convince your kids' school to come back just a liiiitle early?

Kathy A: Oof to both of those whines. Here's hoping that your daughter finds gainful employment soon, and that it solves the breakdowns. And oh my goodness: $140 sweatpants.

Liz: Get thee a sticker or marker in the colour of the background! (Or white-out, if the background is white.)

W: The usual whine about sleep routines: Second Verse, Same as the First. I foolishly (and accidentally) woke E up, half an hour into her morning nap, and the whole day has been off ever since.

AW: Mr. Q ended up taking her for a drive (yes, All The Sleep Books, I know that it isn't an actual solution), and now she is napping in her carseat, in her bedroom.

AWs: a.)Central air; b.) a functional dishwasher + soft water + new pipes = dishes cleaner than they've been in years; c.) the apartment is nicer than we expected; d.) we're nearly moved in!

W: You guys, I'm trying to organize our August, and we have SO MANY medical appointments. Including a certain a certain unnecessary appointment with an eye surgeon, which the pediatrician didn't tell us that he booked.

kathy a. said...

LOL! Sharpies ought to be right next to duct tape and post-its on the list of necessaries.

Sue, so glad you had a great workshop! Tell us more!

I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend's son. xoxo

kathy a. said...

QWP -- Yay for almost moved in, and the amenities! Sounds like August is very busy.

WTF about the eye appointment, though? I guess it probably can't hurt, and maybe hearing the good news from the highest medical quarters will calm your GP the heck down?

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Ugh. I know, right? According to our physical therapist (who is the main PT at the big hospital here, and who deals with all the head shape stuff and referrals), the issue is that our pediatrician is new and has never seen a case like E's before. E is so fine that the PT said the words, "It's nice working with a normal baby for a change."

He freaked out when I mentioned that E used to tilt her head (in reference to the PT fixing it, and it being the main symptom in the muscular weakness that E used to have; it's an easily-treated condition called CMT). He freaked out because people used to think that abnormal head shapes caused vision disturbances, and apparently he hasn't gotten the memo from EVERYONE that it's been discredited. So, he was all "If her head shape gets worse, she could go blind!" and booked us with yet another specialist.

So, we'll see the PT again next week, and I'll ask her to send the pediatrician a note, explaining more thoroughly what she's done. And then we'll see him the day before the appointment with the eye specialist, and make it clear that it isn't cool that he did this.

But we'll still go to the eye appointment. Might as well.

liz said...

QWP, I keep forgetting that doctors where you live CAN do that, even if its not cool sometimes when they do.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Liz, thanks for the reminder to be thankful that we can see every possible specialist (including not only a GP but also a pediatrician), and it doesn't cost us anything. The fact that our ped can rule out every possible problem ahead of time is something I take for granted here.

But, on that note:
W: I get a pelvic ultrasound today, to determine the size, number and positioning of my fibroids. It's to determine whether the can be removed laproscopically. Because of the peculiarities of my pregnancy, laproscopic removal is my only option, if I want to have any more children.

And so I will whine about what's important: I'm going to need to drink a litre of water in a short amount of time, and then go for an hour to an hour and a half without peeing!

That's right: I'm bringing the bodily fluids. Or at least whining about how I won't be allowed to bring the bodily fluids.

liz said...

QWP, you are awesome

liz said...

My desk at work is fireplacing uncomfortable.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Ugh. I ended up not only needing an external u/s (as I've had every other time in the past), but also an internal. Mine was medically necessary, but also really uncomfortable. No woman should ever be forced to have a medically unnecessary one. As I lay there, I kept getting madder and madder that anyone would legislate something this intrusive.

Seriously: each one of those legislaters should be forced to have one of those, or something equivalent.

AW: When I got home, Mr. Q was putting the baby down for a nap, and now he's making me a cup of tea and said we can order out for supper. I'm going to miss him when school starts again.

(Can we just have esperanza's school go back early, but Mr. Q's go back late?)

esperanza said...

A pox on internal ultrasounds. I've had more than my share.

And let's hear it for scheduling our school starts when we want them. The Baboos are bored with being at home and have turned to mischief. Sweet is currently running around the house naked, because she got water on her clothes in the car and doesn't like the clothes that are available. I'm choosing not to fight this battle. (Besides, I'm sympathetic. It's 106 outside, and our a/c is running constantly to keep it 80 in the house).

kathy a. said...

Oh, yuck on the ultrasound.

Wild naked Baboo! Too funny.

Liz is a contender for old skool, office division.

liz said...

Esperanza, I was about to suggest all sorts of messy frenetic things for your kids to do to get the yayas out, but they all are outdoor things, so not appropriate to 106 degree heat.

Like splatter-painting t-shirts, and having water-gun or water-balloon battles, or maybe using a home-made slip-n-slide (garbage bags and a sprinkler), or running through the sprinkler itself.

kathy a. said...

Sprinklers! I was going to suggest art projects for indoors, but obviously those need supervision unless you want macaroni glued to all stationary objects or impromptu haircuts. Experts complain about children watching too much TV, but there comes a time in a parent's life (August) when one will consciously sacrifice the child's potential future Ivy League Ph.D. for 30 minutes of peace,

esperanza said...

The TV was on while the water spitting contest was going on and I was in the shower. Clearly, if TV has lost its luster, it's time for school.

Have been to ride the horse and run in their sprinklers today. But water balloons is a good idea. I forgot that we already have some. Swimming later, or maybe a movie. I need to check the schedule. Movie theater in Tiny Town here recently re-opened. They have two screens! We need to patronize them and haven't been. I think this might be the perfect week!

kathy a. said...

Yay! Horsies! Swimming! Movie and air conditioning! Yeah, you are totally in bad territory when the TV is no longer enough for a safe shower.

esperanza said...

Also, QWP, please tell me they allowed you go empty your bladder after the external and before the internal u/s. I've never had an internal with a full bladder, but can't imagine that would add to the comfort.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Yes! I had a wonderful tech who told me to empty my bladder between tests. But it was still uncomfortable, due to the size and position of my fibroids.

Sue said...

Liz for Old Skool!

QWP - I'm so glad the tech let you empty your bladder between procedures!

Esperanza - it sounds like school needs to start very soon. Except for Mr. Q of course.

Great things about workshop last week: great weather, beautiful campus, went hiking, amazing group of participants and terrific leaders. Seriously - it was wonderful. The writing critique was kind and productive and so helpful! Just a great week.

W: memorial service today for my friend's son. It was a lovely tribute but so sad. About 800 in attendance, good eulogies, but dang.....a heartbreaker.

AW: needles in my head next week! Yay! It's definitely time......

esperanza said...

Glad you had a great week, Sue. So sorry about your friend's son.

And I'm sorry that "needles in my head" is an AW, because I know that means the headache must be bad. But so thankful that you've found something that helps.

QWP: whew. Sorry for the ouch.

And school definitely needs to start soon. Very soon.

kathy a. said...

Sue, the workshop sounds wonderful! So sorry about your friend's son.

QWP, glad that is over, anyway.

kathy a. said...

Well, I had intended to keep things light this week. But, it turned out to be a super-crappy week, because a colleague vanished several days ago -- someone whom loads of us have known for 20 years, a lovely and reliable woman with a 15 year old daughter. It is not looking good. It will be better to know, and we don't know yet; but the room for hope keeps shrinking.

Please hold S and her family and friends in your hearts.

liz said...

((Kathy A)) please deliver our love and hope to your friend's family.

Sue said...

(((kathy a )))) I'm so very sorry about your friend. Holding her and her family and friends in my prayers.

esperanza said...

oh goodness, kathy a. How awful. Prayers and thoughts for peace and comfort for everyone. Keep us updated.

kathy a. said...

Thank you. I know her family is deeply grateful for all the thoughts and prayers.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

(((Kathy A))) Thoughts and prayers for everyone. That's awful.

kathy a. said...

Probably everybody in our community of friends has spent the better part of recent days -- when we weren't canvassing or otherwise getting the word out -- compulsively re-checking for new information, and grappling with the increasing awareness that something unspeakable happened.

A body was found yesterday; she has not been formally identified yet, but the search was ended then.

A dear friend and I were talking yesterday about how we ought to be better prepared to deal with grief at our ages, having experienced a good amount so far -- but instead, we feel more sensitive to it. Maybe that's just us. Another old friend was talking about the small comfort of seeing our community come together to support our friend and her family.

Go hug your people.

I am very grateful to *this* community of friends, and appreciate your caring thoughts.

Back to regularly scheduled programming: senior cat reminded us of her awesomeness with another museum-quality bark on the bed. This one rates 2 laundry buckets!

esperanza said...

a 2 bucket bark is not good.

Being prepared for the grief of a "natural" death is entirely different than being prepared for the grief of a violent, sudden, or unexpected death. In my professional opinion :) And you can't ever be really prepared, if prepared means being able to remain untouched or unaffected. That's not who we are.

Oh, how terrible. I will hug my people. That's always good advice.