And if you need an excuse (or a supper idea) it’s Angel-food Cake Day, it’s also Tuxedo Day and Kick Butt Day and (too late now- Bring your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day). Coming up:
October 11: Sausage Pizza Day and National Coming Out Day
October 12: International Moment of Frustration Scream Day (Gumbo, and World Egg Day)
October 13: International Skeptics Day and oddly, Bar-B-Q Day
October 14: Chili Day and Dessert Day and Honey Bee Day, also (Lee’s) National Denim Day
October 15: International Day of Older People & (Grouch Day), Sewer’s Day, and Saffron Rice Day
October 16: World Food Day, Boss Day, Dictionary Day, Feral Cat Day, and Hot Oatmeal Day
And here’s another thing coming up you might be interested in not missing because you didn’t hear about it until it was over. Remember back in April when some psycho gunned down the students and faculty over a period of several hours in Virginia (and of course, Columbine and the various other school shootings)? A group of Students is protesting the foolishness of the rules making them more vulnerable. During the week of October 22-26, 2007, college students throughout America, organized under the banner of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, will attend classes wearing empty holsters, in protest of state laws and campus policies that stack the odds in favor of armed killers by disarming law abiding citizens licensed to carry concealed handguns virtually everywhere else. I rather hope people all over the country not on campuses will join in because there are a lot of businesses who bar legally carried guns on their premises. Obviously those people who think that somehow taking the guns away from responsible people will keep them out of the hands of criminals and psychos won’t participate, but I think a lot of people understand that criminals especially, and those committing crimes of passion, are a lot less likely to start killing people if their victims are likely to shoot back. Even suicidal jerks who expect to get killed will realize that they are not likely to get to “make their point” before getting stopped. I have been convinced by both logic and my readings that criminals choose venues where it’s safer to attack their victims, and there is greater safety when we are better able to defend ourselves. You’ll make your own decision of course. But in case you want to show solidarity with those who trust the non-criminals I figured I’d pass this on.
Today it is raining- lightly- and cooler. I like it. When I’m done with the letter, I plan to go up and scrub the floor of the west wing attic with TSP to take out the cat smell. We cleaned it last week and discovered that the cats had at some point decided to create their own “cat box” in there (hidden by the fact we don’t often go in, by clawing the insulation down from the walls and using it as litter. Yuck! Luckily there was little in there but some “deep storage” items and some luggage (which was right by the door, and we rarely looked past it). It was a disgusting job, but we got it done, and now that it’s empty, while we’ll still put the luggage there, we’ve decided to put the bins of art supplies in that one, as they’ve been accumulating in the Studio in such a way that we don’t use the studio anymore. That attic is low, but a row of bins will fit under the eves, and if they are properly labeled should be retrievable.
Since the studio isn’t useful, usually we work in the kitchen (and will probably continue to do so since the upstairs isn’t heated). So each set of craft supplies has been given a bin- there’s the candle making bin, the dyeing bin, the sculpting tools (clay separately), etc. Still, it would be cool if the studio was usable again. A heater (when the kiln hasn’t heated it up would probably make it useful).
Friday we headed down to Connecticut again- there was a pot-luck “cast party” Saturday night, and we took mini-quiches, some meat, some spinach, which were quite a hit, so we had to get a cooler and ice for them to get through the next day, and we’d left Willow’s boots behind, so she got another pair (not a huge hardship). We also forgot the imprinter and had to hand copy all the information for the credit card orders- inconvenient, but not impossible. We were a bit distracted during the packing. It’s hard to deal with the middle weekends- what did we leave there? what did we bring back and have to take back again?
This weekend was pirate weekend. (It was also the special day for the deaf, but we didn’t see any- probably there were just interpreters at the shows. We’d had Trevor teach us signing for please, thank you, and I don’t know, just in case.) I couldn’t deal with the idea of another weekend in the corsets I have (which are too tight), especially as the girls were all in pirate wear this weekend- they were adorable! I caught this shot of Willow resting, and Willow caught the one of Kat hugging the giant pickle. (The pirates sell pickles for a dollar.) Kat kept stealing Willow’s pirate hat, so the people at Shire Attire loaned Willow the red hat- and she found out they were selling them for $20 at the fair, so she got one for herself. Kat meanwhile, although obviously you can’t tell in this picture, found herself a leather bodice that fit perfectly- not one of those push-up, low cut ones, but a nice one. So she got it. (We did fairly well this weekend.) And a bit later, Willow discovered a shop that sold bodices in my size, and I found one that fit me, reversible, sturdy, cotton (no leather for me!), gold brocade on one side, and black on the other, with minimal boning. So next weekend I’ll be back into the Renaissance garb again- but more comfortably this time. (This weekend I just gave up and wore my Dark Ages gear, inasmuch as the plot revolves around King Arthur- albeit a medieval version of the story.)
This is all of us showing our stockings- and pantaloons- a bit of silliness!
This weekend we DID remember to bring down the camera- so I was able to get pictures of the pictures I did. Nine, I think, which is more this weekend than I’d done in the whole fairs together, in previous years (just when I’d come to the conclusion that there was no reason for me to come back next year). Still, it’s good that we aren’t trying to make the entrance fee from the portraits. As before, we are mostly selling the silver, and the long stockings. We are selling so many of those we had to order more when we got back this weekend. The weather was fine and I set my lovely sketch table out front where people could watch. Of course, for the little kids, I often took them across the lane to the merriment stage and drew them while they watched the puppets. Willow and Kat amused themselves by mocking the shows which we have come to know pretty well by now (there are three performers who rotate through each day, and even if they have different shows each time, we’ve seen them six times each at this point). One, who has a marionette show involves the children very well. She’ll ask them what should happen next: The dragon, confronted with the pirate once asked: “Shall I eat him boys and girls?” and of course, the blood-thirsty little brats loved that idea! The puppeteer was more soft hearted, and after complying had the dragon ralph him up again. And of course the pirate had a change of heart (as he said “I’ve had a change of heart. Getting eaten and brought up again will do that to you…”).
It’s a fine fair- with lot’s of wonderful people. They feed us breakfast and lunch in the “green room”, my favorites are the baked potatoes, stuffed with cheese and I think bacon bits- I’m not sure, I ate the one I got too fast- and the grilled cheese sandwiches they make to order (with ham and or tomato) as you wait. In the evening we go out to the Aero diner, or some other place- with friends- or Kate hosts a “stone soup” pot luck every night. I spent an evening chatting around the fire with the sheep lady and the lady who makes the wool mitts and every day does natural dyeing over the fire with logwood, or cochineal or onion skins. Nice folk- I wish I could remember more of their names. It was another long weekend, and has thrown off my being able to keep track of what day it is- there was worry that it was going to be rainy, but the rain missed the fairgrounds.
Sadly, when we got home, it didn’t seem to have missed Lyndeboro. We’d had the tarp up, but there were no shingles at all, and the rain got in again. Star put out buckets and towels, but sadly water got into the bin where Willow was keeping all the original art from three years of Stupidity and Magic. It was so awful when she found it- she spread the damp pictures out all over the living room to dry- but many of them are, well, they can’t be sold or re-scanned (and some of the scans in the computer really did need re-scanning). She was embarrassed about being so upset about it, but it’s three years of her life’s work- how could you not be upset?
We were happy when Tuesday morning, Wally and his men showed up, went up on the roof and put down the shingles. I had to go get more- I guess we didn’t measure right. Wally thinks he’ll have to re-do some of what Alex had done to make the place that leaks not leak any more. When the roof is good again, then he’ll fix the sill, and come winter, we’ll get the ceilings and other bits inside that were water damaged. Yay.
Kathryne Goodwyn sent me an e-mail (I think Willow said they were called memes) I think is fun enough to pass along here. I’ve edited it a bit because it’s not just a meme. The directions are at the end if you want to take it out of this letter and turn it back into an e-mail activity.
Things You May or May Not Know About Me.
Four things about me that you may or may not have known, (or really cared about!) in no particular order.
Four jobs I have had in my life:
Waitress at soda shop
Supervisor at computer place where Ælfwine worked for 2 weeks
Four movies I would watch over and over:
Four books I’ve read over and over:
Dicken’s Christmas Carol
Clan of the Cave Bear
Education of Oversoul
Four places I have lived:
Farmington, Maine (13 years)
Winchester, Massachusetts (5 years)
Malden, Massachusetts (3 years)
Lyndeboro, New Hampshire (28)
Four TV Shows that I watch:
Four places I have been:
Greece and Turkey
Drachenvald (England and Germany)
Four of my favorite foods:
Fresh, home-made bread
Four places I would rather be right now:
I can’t think of a single one
(no place that really exists- I’d love to be “home” again where my parents took care of everything for me!)
Four things I am looking forward to this year:
Having the house fixed
Finishing my book
Figuring out what to do next
Seeing Clam Chowder at Darkover
Getting my books done and published- Subtle Pagans, The Librarian and the Unicorn Riders, Cookies for the Eight Holidays, King Willie’s Lady, Sleeping Beauty… I have more books I feel compelled to write and illustrate than maybe I have time to get them done.
Getting a degree.
Being financially self sufficient.
Seeing all my kids happy with their lives, and self sufficient.
[ Now, here’s what you’re supposed to do… and please do not spoil the fun. Copy and paste to a new e-mail, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known
facts about those who know you. Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you.]
I would be interested to get your answers back, if you can think of them and have the time and inclination.
We’ve continued the horror movie festival. This week we saw the classic Night of the Living Dead, as well as Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead (not nearly as scary). Star watched Scooby Doo and the Mummie’s Curse. After the really spooky and well done movies from Korea last week, these American “horror” movies seem pretty lame.
I read Lily Dale, the Town that talks to Ghosts- which seems to be a gated community founded by Spiritualists in western New York, which still is technically all Spiritualist- although it has a lot of modern variations of psychic/New Age stuff. I think the author did a fair job of showing how seeing ghosts or having the odd psychic experience is something that happens all over the place, to just about everyone, but that it’s just not acceptable to talk about. Except in Lily Dale, of course, which makes it a very weird subculture. (I probably wouldn’t even notice.) One of the things she kept trying to figure out is what is the connection between “Spiritualism” as psychic phenomena and Spiritualism as Spirituality. At what point does having seances and tipping tables or doing healing or seeing ghosts or being psychic become a religion? It seems to be that as with many religions, when your world view embraces the concept that there’s “someone” out there looking out for you (as the spirits seem to be doing), and when you aren’t worried about dying (as people aren’t when they feel they have evidence that we continue living after the death of the body), you can get on with your life in a more calm, blissful way. The more I read and think about religion and spirituality, the more I’m convinced that it is simply how you look at the world. What do you believe?
I believe that hot water cleans most laundry better.
I believe that Vitamin C helps your immune system- that most health problems can be improved by nutrition.
I believe people are omnivores, although individuals may have different responses to different foods.
I believe we are physical and non-physical beings- and they are closely integrated so we need to work with both.
I believe we are all connected in some non-physical ways, as well as connected by our interdependence in the physical world.
I believe that “it’s” supposed to be easy.
I believe that people are basically good, and will act that way if given the option.
oh- and my monster collection is expanded. Last year there was a wonderful stuffed Troll puppet (with a hedgehog puppet), and I waited until I felt we’d made enough to afford it- but they were out. So this time, I asked, and there was only one left- and it was $20 plus (or rather minus) the discount because I’m another merchant) so I got it. His name is Tragg- I’m not sure yet what the hedgehog’s name is.
It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.
-Agatha Christie10-10-2007 Kick Butts Day