1-31-2007 Hot Tea Month

Hello and Stay warm!
We survived the week of bitchy cold weather we always seem to get each January. No frozen pipes this year, although Star kept an eye on the temperature in the cellar and used the kero heater once to keep the temperature up. We had to get a new water heater for the goats. No snow to speak of yet. I don’t count dustings. We could use the insulation, and the yard would look better. Star took the brunt of it as I kept (keep) sending him out to chop up the tree in the goat yard. As it’s warming up they are beginning to take advantage of the fence being down, and we’ve GOT to get it powered up again. Willow is taking the chainsaw back to the shop today. It’s not working, and we can’t figure out why- if we can’t get it going we are going to have to get another one.
Actually, I’m more concerned about barn being damaged by the ice building up behind the barn than the tree almost falling on it. Since the goats are getting bulgy, I’m pretty sure they are pregnant, but since we didn’t take them to be bred, I have no idea when they are due, and we’ve got to have a good place for birthing ready for them. In the past they’ve generally been due once it got warm again, but I don’t think they’ll wait that long.

I continue to battle the rat in the keeping room. Poison didn’t work and neither is the classic rat trap (although Star and I have bruised our fingers). I swear he seems to be able to spring it with a stick or something, then eat the food at his leisure. I’ve tried pepperoni, and peanut butter… I am developing a grudging admiration for him- but he’s a rat in my food storage area, so he MUST DIE.

Monday was Free Thinkers Day- I didn’t want it to pass unnoticed. Today is Inspire your Heart with Art Day! Thursday is Bubble Gum Day, Sunday’s finally the Superbowl (let’s get that over with), and Friday is Candlemas/Groundhog/hedgehog Day/Imbolc/Olmec/Brigit’s Day and Wear Red (to support for awareness of women’s heart problems) Day.

This weekend we went to Birka and saw a LOT of old friends. Even if I mentioned the ones whose names I remember (I hate that I’m not good with names!) I’d have a long paragraph that’s just a list. Here’s me and Ekke and Gavin.

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As we’ve been following the money to events where we expect to make more, we’ve been going to less and less SCA events, and Birka reminded me how much I really miss the SCA. We talked about it, and are going to try to go to more SCA events (except that I know that as long as our income is dependent on it, we will continue to follow the money). Still, I hope we do get to more SCA events, and better, do stuff with our friends. Brian reminds me that he got us Stormgard.org and we should do something with it. I’m trying to remember Stormgard history- at this point I can’t even remember who was in it when. I still remember starting it with Maria back in AS 8- Valentines Day in Carolingia, me, Maria, Aelfwine, Fernando, and Viz. I’m thinking James, who was still Tostig then, didn’t join until Maria got the household made a Sett of Clan Chreachain, which I certainly would have done if Angus had come home with me rather than her- I’m thinking that may have even been that night- or maybe a month later. It certainly was right away. Looking at this picture I can see why people who still think of me as young keep thinking Willow is me- I used to be blonde and wear red and black, and the effect is very similar. Flattering to me, but not to her to have them think of me that young.

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No, us old folks are much stouter and grayer now (although Viz is still fighting).
This year they let us open Friday night (although not all the merchants did). If you can tell from the blurry picture of Tom and Hannigan (in theory this was supposed to be a picture of the tunic Kat embroidered- we are going to have to try again!) it was in the Expo center up in Manchester. Can you see how huge it is? There were hundreds of merchants- and boy would I have loved to have had a couple thousand dollars to drop there- books, and fabric, and fur, and furniture, and pottery and jewelry, and read artifacts, and beautiful arts and crafts-just about everything from pre-made stuff to materials and tools and instructions to make your own.

The site was horrible. Florescent lights, concrete floors and the ambience went downhill from there. The acoustics were painfully echoey, and aside from the predictable hubbub from a couple of thousand people wandering around in one big room, there were folks trying out horns and drums. Actually, I think drummers and belly dancers were just “getting down” all day Saturday over at the other end of the hall. It was deafening.
I was impressed by how quickly everyone got set up and broken down again when they said it was time to pack up. I think it only took about a couple of hours. The depressing part for me was the ceramics. It takes me almost as much time to wrap them all in bubble wrap as it takes the girls to break down everything else- and we sold one cookie stamp. Oh, sure, everyone LOVES the sculptures. They just don’t buy them.
In theory people will buy them off a website, but I’m worried because for something three dimensional I’d want to be able to hold it. My only hope is that other people don’t think like me.
We had to scurry Friday because I’d spent so much time on the computer that I missed doing the errands Thursday, and Kat and I had to do them quickly in Willow’s car while Star and Willow loaded the goods in the van. Sadly, we went so fast I didn’t check the case and “returned a movie” to the library but the disc was in the DVD player- oops. I picked up a traditional spring rat-trap to deal with our “friend” in the keeping room. So far he has shown himself adept at eating food off the spring. I’m not sure he isn’t setting it off somehow then eating the bait. I’ll have to try peanut butter.

We’ve been watching LOST, Avi and Trevor loaned us the first season. I really like it. It reminds me of the original Star Trek episode “Shore Leave”. Of course what’s making things happen seems more mystical than technological, but even on Star Trek they read people’s minds to give them their fantasies. Of course in LOST, they seem to each be getting whatever it is that they need to face their inner demons. Most of them seem to actually be able to win- to put his or her past behind him, to get past the self loathing that’s holding them back, I guess Boone failed. Without the possibility of failure, it’s not a challenge is it? It’s wonderful to think that there could be a place that would make you be your best self, but I think we just call it life, and without the pressure of a crisis we can avoid looking at things nearly indefinitely and keep being someone we don’t like much. But I like the show, as with Dicken’s Christmas Carol, there is something wonderfully reassuring about a story that implies that we can all start over again. I hope we can get the next season out of the library soon.
Aside from that, we’ve seen Ice Age II, X Men III, and Atlantis II. Star has apparently decided to have an “old movie” marathon. I pointed out in the climax of Buffy Season 6, that Xander redeeming Willow was like the way Luke redeemed Darth Vader. Apparently Star had never seen the old Star Wars Trilogy, so he watch all 6 movies, then the Indiana Jones movies, and last night I heard him watching Jaws (and expressing an interest in those sequels). It’s just “sequel city” around here!
Election season is starting, so I may give up watching over-the-air TV for the next year. If the mid-season election ads were as bad as they were, I am not hopeful for the upcoming mud-slinging season.
I really haven’t been reading recently- I’ve been knitting while watching the DVDs, and go right to sleep after.

Work wise, I’m playing with receipts and records to try to get the taxes done. The less said about that the better I think.

Willows new glasses came- so when she has days where she can’t wear contacts she’ll still be able to see. This is especially exciting because she paid for them with donations made to her web comic Stupidity in Magic. That kind of makes her a professional- more importantly, a professional who can see. I also had to order a new pair of contacts- lost my this years pair (one at a time), and the old ones aren’t really comfortable. They were able to get them made in only one day, but it will take a couple of days for the appointment for me to come in and try them on.

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Tchipakkan

“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” M. Scott Peck

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