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+ When I bought this house it came with a very big, very old apple tree.
- Which suddenly started to lean.
+ It didn't fall over and hurt anyone.
- Because it was leaning on the shed, which also began to lean:
+ I found a very competent, honest, and kind tree guy who took the tree the rest of the way down without damaging anything else except an old birdhouse where yellowjackets had been nesting.
- He discovered that the tree had not been taken out by old age. It had been killed by carpenter ants or termites. I thought termites didn't live around here, because the winters are too cold and dry, but I believe tree guy would know.

- Tree guy says that I should call an exterminator to treat the house,
- but I'm thinking that the insects would be even more likely to have infested the shed;
- but I can't ask an exterminator to look into the shed until I make it safe, so I don't know where to start.
- Also I am feeling guilty about not having realized that I needed to do something earlier.
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• What are you reading?

Bitter Seeds, by Ian Tregillis. For the book group that meets tonight. Not going to finish it, partly because I kept losing it but mostly because it is so boring. I just found it again, though, so I will read some more before book group so I can make a better statement of what is wrong with this book. Although I think the what is wrong showed up in the first pages: We've got ravens, atrocities, the aftermath of war, special children, atrocities performed on special children, the First World War setting the stage for the Second, British class issues, and demon-summoning. There's a little girl, a special little girl, with Gypsy blood in her. The first action we see her take is to surreptitiously trick a towheaded boy into coughing, so the mad scientist decides that he's not healthy enough, has him disposed of with a shovel, and chooses her and her brother for experiments. I realize that Tregillis could be setting up a sneaky tricksy female Gypsy trope in order to knock it down, but it hasn't happened yet.

ETA: When I flipped to the end to learn how many pages of boring there were (428) I discovered that this is the first book of Ian Tregillis's Milkweed Triptych.

• What did you recently finish reading?

Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie. You know how everyone has been telling you how good this book is? It really is.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini, for the book group that meets Sunday.

Since I got back from Wiscon I've been trying to comply with a Weed Violation Notice from the city. I think I have fixed it, but the way you find out whether the city is satisfied is by not getting a ticket, so... we'll see. Also I learned that the raccoons that were banging on my roof late winter have torn off some siding and moved into the attic. So I feel even more like the ladies of Grey Gardens than usual, even though I'm not putting out food for them. Technically my neighbors aren't putting out food for the raccoons either; they're putting it out for the feral cats. Fortunately I do not live in one of the states that says trapped raccoons can't be relocated, only euthanized.


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