Ask Rachel

Ask Rachel

Dear Rachel,

Explain to me the allure of a living Christmas tree. I don’t mean a “live” tree, I mean a “living” tree, one still with roots in a big old ball of dirt. You get that dirt everywhere, the tree is super heavy to lift and move, and let’s be perfectly honest, it’s still going to end up dead in the back yard until spring cleanup happens. Asking for myself, because my two kids are still hounding me for a living tree, and I’m running out of time and reasons to say no.

– Up a Tree

Dear Without a Paddle,

What’s not to love? You get the scent of fresh forest soil right there in your living room, without the guilt of contributing to deforestation. I mean, you’re still deforesting, since the tree isn’t in the forest anymore, but at least you’re taking in the tree like a refugee. But that doesn’t help you out any. Let’s see... is it possible your kids mean to say “giving tree” instead of “living tree?” You could teach them the joy of giving to others. Or you could teach it to yourself and get the damn tree already.

– O Tannenbaum, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

I love looking at magazines and Instagram at tastefully furnished rooms, with an aesthetic 

balance between touches of de?cor and plenty of open space. I strive to emulate this deep-sigh-inducing style in my own home. But no matter how much stuff I get rid of, the things just keep encroaching. I practically have tables on top of futons, not to mention dust freaking everywhere. How can I get that post-worthy living room, even for just a day?

– Photo Op

Dear Worse Homes and Gardens,

Staging the perfect living room is exactly like building the perfect burger. The photographers have all kinds of tricks, like wax-covered produce (helpful in both cases), that you can never reproduce in your own home. And if you did manage to pull it off, you’d have a result that you could neither actually live in or actually eat. What’s the fun in that? Take pride in living your life, and maybe clear up space by recycling those old magazines.

– Take your shoes off, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

I’m hoping you can settle a marital dispute. My husband loves getting me cut flowers. Whole bunches of flowers, flowers in unique jars, floral arrangements, corsages. I think it’s a complete waste of money. Our yard is already full of flowers in the spring and summer. And those flowers don’t die in a week! But he thinks he’s being romantic, and I don’t want to cut off all his amorous intentions. Help!

– Flower Intolerant

Dear Bloom and Gloom,

How do all the men like that end up with women who don’t appreciate them? I have friends – OK, acquaintances – OK, chat room buddies – who would murder for one week of a fella like yours. So it’s time for some reverse psych here. Start expecting flowers, and he’ll get real tired of giving them real quick. Or else redirect his energies to giving live plants. I hear there’s some kids in need of a monster living Christmas tree.

– Water frequently, Rachel

Top Shelf

Long live rock!
Long live rock!
By Chris Aaland
05/21/2020

It’s been nearly two months since “Top Shelf” last graced these pages. In my first 12-plus years of writing this column, I think I only missed two weeks.

Raised on radio
Raised on radio
By Chris Aaland
03/26/2020

Social distancing is driving many of us stir crazy, especially after last week’s big dump. Not only do we crave physical interaction with each other, but we’re also an active community.

The week the music died
The week the music died
By Chris Aaland
03/19/2020

For more than 12 years, I’ve written “Top Shelf” on a weekly basis as a column about the local music scene and nightlife. I also drift into sports, pop culture and political territory from time to time. And, on far too many occasions, I’ve paid homage to a family member or friend who has passed, like my son, brother, mother and festival friend. 

Bogguss' aces, Irish eyes and Salmon splash
Bogguss' aces, Irish eyes and Salmon splash
By Chris Aaland
03/12/2020

Perhaps the biggest and baddest Durango Celtic Festival to date runs tonight (Thurs., March 12) through Sunday, with events alternating between the Henry Strater Theatre and the Irish Embassy Pub. This year’s line up is one of the best in the festival’s history, with five internationally acclaimed artists. 

Read All in Top Shelf

Day in the Life

Soaking it up
Soaking it up
05/21/2020
Local color: Telegraph coloring page winners
Local color: Telegraph coloring page winners
04/30/2020

A look at some (OK, all) of the Telegraph's coloring page submissions

Sole man
Sole man
03/12/2020

At the age of 19, Durango’s Mervin “Merv” Stilson started making shoes and never looked back (except for the time he made a Western-style jacket for Neil Young).

Wonder wall
Wonder wall
By Stephen Eginoire
03/05/2020

Southeastern Utah has no shortage of natural wonders, and perhaps one of the most curious is the 80-mile-long sandstone monocline known as Comb Ridge. 

Read All in Day on the Life