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During the course of having some updates done in my home, I came upon an obstacle…in the form of a forest. Well, some house plants and a small tree. A tall tree — for indoors. More specifically, a tree that L’il Sis left with me a few years back when she moved out (the second time). I was under instructions to keep it alive for her. Ha! Did she know who she was asking? Me…the Queen of Dead and Dying Plants? (Which reminds me, before I finish this blog, I should dash across the street to water the neighbor’s plants–the ones I’m not supposed to kill for the 6 weeks she’s away. We all know how THAT’S going to end.And while I’m out, I should also toddle down the street to water another neighbor’s plants. I’m stymied as to why people feel safe in asking me to tend their plants. I’m the Black Widow of plant life.)

However, I digress. Back to the tree in my living room. I had asked Crazy D, when he was here recently, to clean the outside of the window beside the tree. I think Obama was still president (his first term) when last it was cleaned.With the drapes and plants in front of the window, you couldn’t see much out of the window anyway so cleaning it seemed an act of futility. But, now that the outside was clean, I ‘manned up’ to clean the inside. That was when I found it — the sticky stuff (sap?) that had oozed from the tree to the window, leaving a sticky mess all over it. Even Mr. Clean cringed at the muck. “That does it!” I raged. “I hate this tree. It sheds leaves all over the carpet, looks half dead (it is, due to my ‘ministrations’), and it looks like a giraffe –tall, spindly, with only a topknot of a few pathetic appendages sticking out from its top. Hardly a thing of beauty. I’m finished with this monstrosity!”

And with that declaration, I went to the garage to retrieve my sturdiest tree pruners. I only keep such things since Gill is always trying to convince me to hack at my bushes and trees to make topiaries from them  — so I’ll have a yard full off wild and wacky whimsical birds and animals.

My retort is usually:”Excuse me. Have you SEEN my yard? It’s already full of whimsical and wacky creatures…live ones! Don’t need more!”

I was afraid that, since I look after these clipping tools about the same way I tend to plants, chances of the clippers being sharp were akin to my odds in the 649 big lottery this week. Sure enough, they were so dull I was faced with the easiest and most humane death being by bludgeoning the tree with the clippers. But, throwing caution to the wind, I decided to give it one shot with an actual cut — dead in the middle of the tree trunk.

Miracle of miracles, it worked! Like a true lumberjack, I felled the tree in one cut. I held the top half with the topknot of six pathetic leaves in my hand while about 3 feet of the ‘stump’ remained upright in the pot. As quickly as I could, before anyone could see the carnage, I pulled the evidence out to the garage.

Skyping with Gill, I confessed my foul deed. “OMG, Ma! You didn’t cut down L’il Sis’s money tree, did you? That’s extremely bad luck! You’re in for it now…or L’il Sis is…I don’t know precisely what the rules are regarding who gets the curse when the money tree belongs to someone else but you kill it!”

“Curse? Bad luck? You have to be kidding me! I thought it was just a stupid tree. Besides, it doesn’t seem to have brought L’il Sis much luck in terms of money to date.”

“Well, for sure it won’t now, will it? You’re a butcherer! You should be ashamed.”

“She probably won’t even notice it’s gone! Besides, she couldn’t take it — her basement apartment is too short for the dumb tree.”

“She could have kept it outside at her place.”

“Uh, excuse me. Has the ten years of British climate addled your brains?You DO remember we live in Canada, no? Where winters kill tropical plants left outside?”

“Well, Ma, if I were you, I’d go burn some incense on the deck…just in case. Or, now that I recall, I remember hearing that tradition has it that if you put a red envelope in your underwear drawer, it brings good luck.”

“You’re kidding, right? I doubt that anything in my underwear drawer is going to bring anybody any luck! This is ridiculous. Tell me this isn’t why I spent all that money on your expensive education…so you could turn superstitious! I may want my money back.”

“Too bad, Ma. If you hadn’t chopped down the money tree, you would have come into a windfall and wouldn’t have needed the money back.You have nobody to blame but yourself. Next time you try to play lumberjack with something that technically doesn’t belong to you, you might want to think of the consequences.”

“Harrumph…next time one of you three tries to leave something with me to ‘store’ or ‘look after’, you also might think twice…”