I did manage to get the little stone pine Kathy picked up over Christmas planted over the weekend. It's been rainy-ish for the last couple of weeks, which means we've been pulling a lot of weeds. There's a lot of snow up in northern Arizona, and I'd kiiiind of like to drive up for a day and look at it, but I don't know if I want to get that cold just coming off of a cold. Besides, we should be saving our money, because we're going to have to replace our hot water heater in the next year or so. The old one was a bottom-of-the-line model, and it's gotten super flaky. We had a guy in to look at it, and it can be fixed, but his opinion (backed up by what I've found online regarding that model) was that it would probably fail again in another year or two, so how much money did we want to sink in it?
We'd like to replace it with another tankless heater, but the newer models are larger than the dinky little thing that the contractor used twelve years ago, and won't fit in our tiny laundry room without unduly crowding the washing machine. So the new one would have to be installed outside, which means we'd have to run new water and gas lines to it, which is more expensive. Sigh. The joys of home ownership. We're going to have to nurse the old one along until we can pay off a few other things.
I did use my quasi-convalescence to do some light reading, and I can recommend the Shadow Campaigns series by Django Wrexler. It's military fantasy very loosely based on the Napoleonic wars, with an interesting and unusual way of handling magic. There's a huge cast of interesting and diverse characters, lots of politics and battles, and the prose, while not elegant, is always clear and descriptive. The pacing is excellent, and the story seldom drags. Normally I'd be wary of a lesbian main character and her relationships being handled by a male military SFF writer, but Wrexler pulls it off. I hope that the author intends to revisit the world, if not the characters, at some point, because there are a lot of unanswered questions about the nature of demons by the end of the series I'd love to see explored.
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