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

The Hammer of Gods, Latin grass and $13 Buds
The Hammer of Gods, Latin grass and $13 Buds
By Chris Aaland
02/20/2020

We came. We saw. But the event kicked our ass. On Saturday, Uncle Steve and I took young Otto to his first-ever NHL game, nearly 40 years after I saw my first NHL game when the L.A. Kings skated against the Colorado Rockies at McNichols Arena in Denver

Sticks N' Thorns, Tiny Universes and big teen-agers
Sticks N' Thorns, Tiny Universes and big teen-agers
By Chris Aaland
02/13/2020

The Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band was a cultural explosion that took the San Juan Mountains by storm in the mid-2000s and forever changed the landscape and history of newgrass music in our state.

Montana bluegrass, Kansas City blues and sexual repression
Montana bluegrass, Kansas City blues and sexual repression
By Chris Aaland
02/06/2020

My, what a repressive time we live in. The uproar over the outfits that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira wore during the Super Bowl halftime show, not to mention their provocative dancing – with poles, no less! – should be viewed as comical, if it weren’t so sad.

Outhouse stuffing, oyster slurping & pantsless dancing
Outhouse stuffing, oyster slurping & pantsless dancing
By Chris Aaland
01/30/2020

Rejoice, good people. A Rockin’ Snowdown is upon us! Consider this an expert’s guide to a most excellent Snowdown experience.

Read All in Top Shelf

Day in the Life

Gone but not forgotten
Gone but not forgotten
02/20/2020

Strolling the sidewalks of downtown Main Avenue, longtime locals can’t help but reminisce about a few businesses that have etched their names in Durango’s storefront history. 

Scratching the surface
Scratching the surface
By Stephen Eginoire
02/13/2020

Hidden below southeastern New Mexico's Chihuahuan Desert is one of the world's most extensive subterranean landscapes, Lechuguilla Cave.

Chasing waterfalls
Chasing waterfalls
By Stephen Eginoire
02/06/2020
Set in Stone
Set in Stone
By Stephen Eginoire
01/30/2020

Located along the meandering Animas River, New Mexico’s Aztec Ruins National Monument offers visitors a glimpse of Indigenous human history 1,000 years past.

Read All in Day on the Life