10-18-2017 Watch a Squirrel Day!

It has finally gotten cool enough that it feels like fall. I actually considered turning on the heat yesterday (but it isn’t yet November, so I just put on a sweater and fired up the wood stove). While there is color around from mums where people have them, and pumpkins on front steps, and  from the trees (and vivid red of poison ivy on fences and trees, and bright yellow of farms), there isn’t much by way of colorful flowers around at this point. Fall is finally here. I hear that it’s supposed to warm up again next week- or rain all week. We’ll see.
This brings me personal level of comfort as now that I am switching over to my winter wardrobe- wool and quilted skirts over flannel slips;  when Zoloft comes and “requires” attention, which means standing on her hind legs and leaning on me, then extending her claws just a bit for stability. This is not that bad in the winter, but in summer clothes it can be quite uncomfortable.
One seasonal note- the little ghosts made of tissue hung in trees and bushes aren’t quite as adorable to those of us who’ve lived through gypsy moth infestations.
Thursday I drove Mark down to the Layhee clinic in Burlington, only to discover that the appointment notice they had sent him was for a phone appointment, he has to actually come in THIS Thursday, so we had a nice lunch and I came home. This was the first time I’d taken the car out since getting back from Twilight, and it was really loud, and I worried that I’d bumped a rock or shaken something loose on the camp roads, (also someone noticed that one of my headlights was out). So I called Winkles, and Robert looked at it the next morning. Yes, the pipe from the muffler had come loose and had fallen on the axil. Also the muffler was shot. He ordered the muffler, we went to lunch, and when we got back it was there, he put it in, put in a new lightbulb, and did something to the catalitic converter. All fixed! It’s so much quieter now!
4 oaks at AAC 17The girls had left for AAC (Another Anime Con) first thing in the morning. Once again there is a deplorable lack of pictures of them in their cool cosplays! Willow had spent the last month restocking her blankets. (I saw one post where she timed it and got one done in an hour and a half. Others can take more than a day. She says it balances out.) The new panels for their display arrived Saturday morning- of course.
Anime Cons are gatherings where fans of manga and anime (Japanese comics and animated movies and series) get together to talk about their favorite shows, and wear cosplays (costumes of the characters). I think there’s also a role playing component in cosplay. It’s hardly surprising that there are huge numbers of fans, because there are huge numbers of good movies and shows out there. Heck, I grew up on Speed Racer and Johnny Quest. I think there’s also a bit of spreading into similar genres. Certainly Kat’s Lolita and steampunk fashions fit in well. Willow’s main products are her fleece lap blankets with familiar characters (although she’s careful not to make blankets with images that are commercially available, only the ones that aren’t otherwise).

Kat in artists alleyThey also like selling, which I really don’t. And they’re are also happier in the artist alley/ venders situation where there’s a table between them and strangers. You can sort of see in this cute picture of Kat how efficiently they use the space. Personally, I would find it claustrophobic, but that’s me. It IS fun to look at the costumes going by- even for me when I don’t recognize as many. (I searched AAC pictures, hoping for some of the girls, but spent nearly an hour just looking at the cool costumes.)

The purple haired one is Shinonuri, the other is just Kat being totally adorable. Willow makes cool outfits, but doesn’t like having her picture taken in them. As I told someone this weekend, I’d rather imagine myself looking the way I THINK I look in a dress than really know how it shows my fat. I think mostly people see me and smile, but when I see me I tend to see “things that I need to fix”, which isn’t really useful once you’re out. Maybe before you leave the house. Mother used to say that if her stocking seams were crooked before the party, tell her, bKat AAC '17 tumblr_Friut at the party, don’t let her know, because what good would it do?
Mark came over on Saturday, bringing corn and steak and read to me while I painted. I am now working on the pearls and trim on the Anne Bolyne painting. I LIKE doing faces, the lace and details are work. I suppose that’s why they pay you for it. I still don’t like it. But it makes it much easier when Mark reads to me. Sometimes I put DVDs on in the background- it has to be something I’ve seen so I don’t have to look up to follow the story. I suppose I could put on my “recorded courses”, except that I’ve put them somewhere temporarily, and can’t remember where. John and I also got the car packed for Celebrate Samhain, and I talked to Liz about the work being done on the camp.
camp porch downThe porch was in desperate need of repair/replacement; we heard about it when Willow and Kat were going up Labor Day, and Kitty thought Kate was coming up to take it off that weekend. Kate assured us that she was not, but I misunderstood that she was saying they weren’t doing it. Apparently she meant not that weekend. Still, it really bothers me that, as a co-owner of the camp, they had decided to do renovations without telling me about it. I’m not sure why, but there’s a lot of communication problems that we need to start fixing. Personally, I think setting up a solid trust document so we all have our responsibilities to the camp and each other spelled out is a good idea. Since we are spread out all across New England, I think we are going to need some sort of skype or google or some such group talking thing. The chances are good we don’t disagree about much except that we don’t like the “I thought you said…” “Why did I hear about this?” “I thought someone else had told you.” “She said she was going to…” business. Shared property is always tricky, and as Kate said, this is one of our favorite places in the world, and we’re family. We don’t want to fight, and we don’t want to start associating it with unpleasantness.
Sadly, I can think of few other groups of more self righteous, stubborn people than my beloved family, and while we can work on better communication, we aren’t going to change the way that we are.
It seems that Kate had a really good friend who was willing to come out and help her with the demolishing, and work on getting the camp leveled, and that sort of thing. For free, god bless him! I’ve certainly got no problem with that. But I’m concerned with permits. They say taking something down doesn’t need one, and usually replacing something with the same thing you took off isn’t an issue, but it often does need a permit, and town officials can get pretty cranky if you don’t deal with them up front. They think it’ll be OK to get the permit in the spring, but I’m worried that leaving too long between the reconstruction may be an issue. Since Liz is local, she’ll be looking into it. Meanwhile, all the stuff that was on the back porch is inside the camp. I guess that won’t be an issue during the winter, until we want to be in there again.
At sixty-five I’ve seen so many families have long feuds over dumb stuff, and I’m worried that this could happen over the camp, which would be so sad.

cabochons Celebrate Samhain '17Celebrate Samhain 2017 Cab

Sunday I was up bright and early and off to Celebrate Samhain. This is an event that was in Peterboro for about ten years, but first outgrew the church, then outgrew the armory, and now it’s moved to a hotel in Nashua. There are presentations and performances, vendors and readers. As with the Magical Marketplace (the thing Beth and Mike do in the spring), the stage is now in the same room as the vendors, which makes it really hard to talk to the customers, although when there aren’t any, it’s nice to have something to listen to- although one doesn’t want that to happen. It runs from 10 to 6, so I was setting up by quarter of 9. Thank goodness they had helpers for humping stuff in! It took longer to set up than usual, since I was doing it myself. No sales until noon, but that’s normal, since people have to. look around at the many, many vendors first. I was in the same rectangle as an SCA potter, and he had some Saxon mugs on sale, so I got us a couple. Later he also gave me a tree of life pendant because I’d admired his. (That leads me to believe that his are not sterling silver.) It’s very pretty- different stones for each of the Sephirot.  There were several speakers I’d have loved to have been able to just listen to, and several wonderful performers. One group, Mysschyffe  Managed, was really fun, and I wish I’d gotten a chance to see if they were selling a CD. Being alone I didn’t get away from the table but once (asked a friend to watch it while I ran to the rest room). But many friends, some of who’s names I actually remembered, came by to greet me, and ask after the girls. I began to get the impression again that people like me, and I am left wondering why. Like Hamlet “I could accuse myself of such things…” I may as well sit back and enjoy it. I found the brass pendants we’d put away at Pennsic (because the artist sells there). They were in the Pennsic cashbox. I was using that because the girls had the main one. Luckily there was a square (credit taking) gadget in each, and I made enough to both cover the muffler repairs from Friday, but also an undercoating, which I think in New England cars need. I fear I didn’t realize until recently that it needed to be done every year. I thought it was a one-shot protection thing. Well, I know now.

At 6 the event ends with a Samhain ritual, and the vendors can start packing. Without the girls I was nearly the last packed up, although Shema helped me. (I also passed her much of Bruce’s clothing to pass on to the homeless, who she says often have only what they’re wearing. Yesterday I saw a video of someone setting fire to a homeless person’s tent. I just don’t understand how people can think that’s a reasonable thing to do!) I was actually out by 7:10, and got home OK. It was the familiar stretch between Nashua and home, but I am once again reminded that my eyes do not recover from high beams they way they used to do, and that’s the main reason I shouldn’t drive at night. If more people were aware of how blind someone can be for that second or two, they’d be more careful to use low beams when in crowded driving.
The girls (having been at a 3 day event) packed up at 4, but were too wiped to, as they’d hoped, come down and help me pack out. John put in a pork roast and potatoes, which Willow turned the second half of into pulled pork, which we’re having for supper tonight. Last night I made buns to have it on. It’s really hard to find “organic” buns, although I can generally find bread. I even found a couple of cookies made with organically grown flour and sugar. (Mark ribs me that he never heard of bread that wasn’t organic, and while that’s true, I am not going to ingest, or let the kids ingest, any more Round Up™️ than I can help. And OMG! can you believe that Trump has nominated Dourson for the EPA? Will the Republicans have enough votes to put him in? Argh! I am SO done with the political situation! Of course, the hurricanes, fires, floods, landslides, etc. aren’t any less awful, but that just makes the political stupidity worse, since so many in this administration seem to think that their friends making money is more important than keeping the planet habitable!) Sorry. It’s hard to stay positive in the current situation.
inktober 2017 willowWillow is still/always exhausted. The school doesn’t seem to know what to do with Bianca, and Willow and Avi have no energy left. John is gradually (still) getting the last load of wood split and in the woodshed. Robert says he’s got more if I have room for it, and has asked if we’d be willing to have him harvest our top acre- he’d get half and we’d get half, all split and ready to burn (once it had properly aged. We’d get to save any trees we wanted, and since we’d been talking about clearing it so we might have SCA fighting there (and parking) I’m thinking about it. I think I can give up on the SCA part. I am pretty much a “has-been”, without the ability to go to meetings, I’m not that active. At least I get to the occasional event.
The Inktober month continues and the girls are doing some interesting black and white images. I’m continuing to work on the painting, so figure I’m ok to skip that.
Speaking of events, it’s only two weeks (and a few days) until Changing Times-Changing Worlds. Somehow it feels like it’s crept up on us. The hotel is covered, but Maryalyce wants to actually see how it works before we commit to going back there next year. I have spend a bunch of time working on the website. I’d like to send flyers out to colleges, I’d like to get the recordings from last year up, but I keep reminding myself I’ve passed it on, and shouldn’t be doing much except the blog- but one does jump in when one needs to! I’m fairly psyched about it. I’d better review the material for my workshops!
I finished A Bone to Pick, and am reading the next Aurora Teagarden mystery- 3 Rooms, one Corpse. Fiction is still fun and relaxing. I’m ALMOST done with the American Sickness, and in the What we can do about it part. It’s so good to be past the How we got into this mess part. Still, so much of the advice is, we have to keep pushing for what we want, what we deserve (like fair prices, and knowing what they are beforehand), and frankly, I don’t know how much energy we have left to push with. We let the freaking dike break, and how do we turn back the water now? (Start all over and, build a new dike.) I am going to mix analogies and recall the aphorism about being up to your butt in alligators…
Having watched the new Ben Hur last week, I rewatched the 59 version this week. I have two thoughts- one is Heston was gorgeous, but his stoic manner sometimes comes off as wooden acting. The Chariot Scene may well be the best “sports scene” in the history of cinema. On the other hand, it bugged me that they kept talking about the Circus Maximus, and that was in Rome, this was in Judea. Also, the whole chariot race sport was focused on teams: the Reds, Blues, Whites and Greens- they didn’t even give a nod to that. The costuming was great, but the whole western european cast playing middle eastern roles was off putting, especially having watched the more recent one. Wow, Heston was huge. (Looked much better in a beard.) I really enjoyed the special features talking about the making of both the 1925 and 1959 movies.
It must have sucked to be nominated for an acadamy award in 1959. Anatomy of a Murder, Room and the Top, The Nun’s Story, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The Last Angry Man, were fine movies, but got blown away. Sometimes the winner is a good but not great movie, that didn’t have much competition, sometimes great movies just don’t make it because that year a lot of great ones came out. Such is life. I also noticed that in art, they had black and white and color as separate catagories. Some Like it Hot did OK, probably because it was a comedy in black and white (and was also a very funny film). I still rewatch it occasionally. I remember going to see Ben Hur in the theater. I was upset that it was shown just before Christmas, and had “the” Crucifiction.  It seems odd these days that they’d let a 7 year old walk down to town and go see a movie alone. Perhaps Bob, 8, was with me, just walking ahead on the way back.Inktober willow
I noticed in the Aurora Teagarden mystery, which was written in the 1990s, she considers whether a phone call she’d like to make is worthy of incurring daytime long-distance charges. Sometimes we need a little reminder of how much the world has changed. I suppose 20 years is pretty long. People born then have become adults in that time, lived a reasonable amount of life. I have to say, having read the Midnight books, and the True Blood series, going back to read her earlier work, I can tell that her writing has improved over the years, but she was still good.  I continue to appreciate protagonists who aren’t gorgeous and worry about money. Having more normal concerns makes them more relatable to me.
Tonight the podcast was with Stephanie Seger who talked about Shamanism without Borders- a group that does energy work- but checks first to make sure that their interferance isn’t messing up an important pattern. I like that. But I have to get up early tomorrow- well, for me, so I’m going to wrap this up without adding a list of holidays for next week. If you miss them, let me know.
“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” Homer- The Odyssey