10/30/2013 Mischief Night

Hi everyone
The weather has gotten distinctly cold. We’re using the woodstove regularly (and re-learning the vents and such that keep the smoke going up the chimney rather than through the house). I brought in a bunch of herbs, hung them in the kitchen to dry (not smoke!), and have been trying to get them down and into (labeled) jars. I collected a huge number of rose hips from the dog roses that volunteered this summer and my arms are a mass of tiny scrapes and pricks. I’ve ate the last of the rainbow chard last night- it was a lovely producer all summer and I shall miss it.
The morning glories have finally died, they held on much longer than I’d expected. The Nasturtiums are hardy souls, but have finally become frost bitten. On the other hand, the pantry is now a perfectly good walk-in refrigerator. Not so good for sorting laundry or making salad, but good for that first day after errands when we have too much food.

Willow and Kat have just come back from doing errands. I’m busy trying to get this letter written and the program book done (order the name tags, get material from the dowsers, field requests/suggestions for changes to the schedule, etc. etc.) They went to the library, and some other stores, but lost track of each other over between the dollar store and Shaws. Willow called me in a bit of a panic. They caught me as I was I was all stressed myself. After trying to find out how much balance we owed (Jane’s running the bank account, but my name’s on the contract with the hotel), they finally sent us the “bill”. They tacked on 22% (that’s nearly a quarter- of the $6K we contracted for) as a “service fee”! Excuse me?! Another $1400, and we didn’t hear about it until NOW? It’s NOT in the contract anywhere. Trust me, I looked! There’s one paragraph about service fees for any food and drink we get, but we aren’t getting any. I wrote them a stiff note to that effect- and that’s about when Willow called.
Luckily, even as she called, Kat (who’d been also going from store to store looking for her) found her, and they both had a quiet meltdown. Me too. Then I heard back from the hotel, they decided to honor the original contract. I should THINK so! But it was a stressy kind of afternoon. Took Rescue Remedy, and will blame it on Mercury Retrograde, why not? Everyone else does, and it doesn’t care.
Can’t really blame John’s sprained ankle on it though. That’s just luck, but since this is probably the worst injury of his life, I find it hard to think of it as anything but good luck. It has left us carrying wood while he sits broodily waiting for the swelling to go down. No one likes being immobilized, but I know it will heal better and faster if he stays off of it. Luckily this is the time of year when he likes to spend days watching every horror movie he can find. I’ve enjoyed talking to him as he’s stuck in the same room with me. It’s amazing how wide his areas of knowledge are considering how little he gets out. On the other hand, when I think of Frank Sinatra singing some of the old standards, he’s usually learned them watching Muppet Show CDs.

Frankly, that’s about it. Last week was all about getting the CTCW schedule made up. I’m going to put it on the end of the letter, since that’s what I’ve been doing. It’s really sad that I think it’s faster now that I’m learning tricks to do it more easily. Either I’m doing better or people are just waiting until I’ve freaking published it on the website before they let me know about problems they have with it. I am so frustrated. I have only about 30 speakers this year, and about 10 vendors, and how many of them actually used the form we published that asks all the things that I need to know? About three! The rest just emailed me and said they were coming and told me what they were offering to talk about. That’s swell, except that I’m spending these months writing separate letters asking them for the same information that I knew last year that I’d need, and put on the forms. And reminded them to fill them out.
The big time-consumer now is cutting down the description of the classes to the 100 words we can fit in the program book, because the website allows as much room as you want. Worse is trying to figure out how to adapt the name of the workshop to 30 characters so it will fit in the chart, so that people will still be able to recognize it. I tried to get the speakers to do that for me, but now I have to do it myself because I don’t have time to write them and wait for them to get back to me, even if doing it myself takes “forever”.

OK, I also goofed off on facebook a bit. I like to see what my friends are up to. But last week someone posted a riddle and if you didn’t get it, you were supposed to put a giraffe

as your profile picture for three days. I’d just put a picture of my jackolanturn from last year up as my pic, (lots of people are using theirs), so I found pumpkin giraffes (even a zombie giraffe,giraffe simple  actually, I think it’s the neurotic giraffe from the Madagaskar movie, and giraffe with pumpkin) to post. Lot’s of people asked “what’s with all the giraffes?) and did the riddle, some ending up with giraffe profile pics, and some posting I dodged the giraffe“I dodged the Giraffe!”

(one of my friends made that up). Yesterday someone even shared a news story from Chicago talking about the phenomenon. My three days are up, but I saw this morning a picture of some hyenas eating a giraffe and saying “We’ve taken care of the problem. You’re welcome.” Now I admit what I go on fb for is to find out that Honour has had some troubling tests at the VA, and is trying to figure out whether to militate for follow-up tests, that Steve and Elspeth have gone down to see the land they bought in Florida (and went to Hogsmede), and an aquaintance’s husband died- apparently from the flue, Goody is baking cookies for Christmas, Steeleye span has done a new album based on Pratchett’s Wintersmith book (so I had to get it). I like the mix I see on facebook, and at least maintain an illusion that I’m keeping up with my friends.

Right now she’s making some monkey-bread with cheese and bacon, from an inspiration that was going around facebook (although they used pre-made ingredients). Later she’s making a trifle to take to Raye’s Halloween party tomorrow. Kat made a reticule to go with her steam punk outfit. I was very impressed with how well done it was (and how difficult Willow has been helping with the cooking and cleaning a lot since I’ve been occupied. I wrote another blog on Tchipakkan.com with thoughts on cleaning out closets.
I read a couple kids books by Terry Pratchett: Johnny and the Dead and Johnny and the Bomb, which were fun, and I could wrap my poor tired mind around them. I finished the Singing Sword, but haven’t gone on to the next book in the series, because I’m reading more of the Claude Lecouteaux books in order to gear up for the Wicked Good RG this weekend.
I’m sorry, we’ve been really boring this week. We’ve been cleaning some, working on the con, keeping the wood stove running, but that’s about it. I also am getting sick of the diet- despite eating almost no carbohydrates, I am not losing any more weight, and I really crave the carbs, and miss the peas and carrots and other high carb vegetables. I am hungry more than I’ve ever been in my life, and think this may be because I am so bored with eating meat and greens. Or I could be just craving the starch.

Tchipakkan

A simple criterion should be remembered: whatever feels good for you

– blissful, peaceful, spontaneous, happening on its own accord –

that is your path.   Osho

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