11-22-2007 Thanksgiving Dad’s Birthday

Tomorrow (Thanksgiving) is Dad’s birthday, and I’m a little guilty because once again we’ve taken a gig in Maryland for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which prevents us from going up to Farmington to share Thanksgiving with the family. Bad enough to miss Thanksgiving without also missing Dad’s Birthday. Especially now that he’s at a point where he doesn’t want presents anymore. As a matter of fact we’re planning our dinner for noon so we can go to bed ridiculously early (I’m aiming at 7) to get up at three a.m. to head down and get there by the first workshop I’m supposed to be at by 11.

This week Wally and his guys have been coming inside for the lesser fix-ups. Paul finished the bathroom floor, and miraculously found a piece of metal that almost matches the broken piece on the shower door stall, so that with a bit of post engineering it fixed the door (we don’t have to replace it or give up and switch to a curtain). Wally has put a piece of “wallboard” on the ceiling where the plaster was coming down and will cover it with a skim coat soon (after hunting season I think). He feels that anything having to do with weatherproofing has priority and took out the mill windows Ælfwine had salvaged from the mills being turned to condos in Manchester and put into our Great Hall. After all these years the glazing was going, and I couldn’t figure out how to get at them (on the south side they are high second floor, although the door to the same level is ground floor in the east). We can do glazing, and, indeed, had already bought the glass a couple of years ago, but just couldn’t put it in. Those frames hold 20 panes each, and it took a LONG time getting those done (we are all better at it now than we were a couple of days ago).
Of course, since they were out it decided to snow Tuesday! Two inches or so. (Star went out and nailed up plastic tarps over the openings.) Today we put them in again. Wally offered to bring in the third, but I want to make sure there’s a good weather period coming up before we take it out.
Today Star and I went down to Kitty’s to pick up Mother’s old kitchen table. It’s nicer than the one we’re using now- it was just too big for her new house. Her new house, by the way, is gorgeous! It’s right on a pond. Actually, when I arrived I called her on my cell phone- she’d warned that her neighbors don’t like her guests parking in front of their house, and I couldn’t find 24. It turns out that the other houses which are up ON Pineview Terrace have slopes down to the pond, but hers has stairs from the edge of the road down to the house, so far down, in fact, that you can’t see it from a car in the road. (I shudder to think of moving into or out of that house up all those steps!) On the other hand, the house itself is fantastic. It apparently started life as a summer cottage, but has been extensively rebuilt, insulated, etc. Hardwood floors, dining- room, two bedrooms, two baths, an office AND a studio, the kitchen has a pantry which I think is a great plus, balconies over the water, she’s planning to install a fireplace. In my view, the only drawback is those stairs, which I suppose will give her all the aerobic exercise she needs! She’s not heading up to Farmington until tomorrow morning because she’s got this huge bed which has to be moved before the handyman can put new electricity into the bedroom. (There never seem to be enough outlets!)

Oh, here’s the holidays available for this week:
Today is Fish Stick Day and Nostalgia for the Future Day.
Tomorrow, aside from American Thanksgiving Day is Go for a Ride Day.
Friday is, of course, “Black Friday”, and National Buy Nothing Day (which I have no intention of telling our customers at the con). It’s also Your Welcome-giving Day, and one of my favorites: Sinkie Day- the day where one eats over the kitchen sink without hiding it (as if people still hide it in America today)!
Saturday, the 24th, is Black Cat Day and National Bologna Day and the International Day of Forgiveness. It’s also Native American Day (to balance the white guilt we have for what ancestors long dead did?), also Espresso Day for those who indulge.
Sunday the 25th is “Stir up Sunday” (the Sunday before Advent) and “panic day” (IMG, only a month left! ahahah!) But it’s also parfait day. As Donkey said in the first Shrek movie “A’in nobody don’ lihk no parfaits. Parfaits may be the worlds mos’ perfect food.” It’s also Don’t Utter a Word Day. Look, I don’t make these up. There are websites, and calendars, and lots of other places people keep track of these. Actually, the last week of November is “Make up your own Week Week”, which doesn’t mean it has to be this week, it’s just when you make it up. Have it any time you want.
The Monday after Thanksgiving Day is Your Welcome-giving Day. (cute, eh?) It’s also Chicken Nugget Day for those of you sick of turkey I guess, and National Cake Day.
The 27th combines both Solemn Day and Pie in the Face Day (don’t go together well), but if neither of those floats your goat, it’s also Egg Roll Day and National Bavarian Cream Pie Day. (Don’t Throw it, EAT it!)
So- plenty of things to celebrate this week!

Today is also Pumpkin pie day, which made it ever so appropriate for the girls to chop up and boil up a pumpkin and make a pie of it. This is a new variety- lovely fat, green seeds, and it’s green and orange striped. The flavor is lighter than traditional, so I’m concerned for the pie, but I expect the spices will take care of that. Willow also, at the same time, made the cranberry sauce- with real cranberries and orange peel. And she dyed another batch of silks for this show, and at the same time she was ramping up the kiln.
Last week I’d fired my accumulated figurines, but the fan didn’t turn on (turned out it had come unplugged!), so the out-gassing set off the smoke alarm, which set off my internal alarms (although all the kids slept through it- I wonder how useful they are going to be if that’s going to happen?), so I didn’t get any sleep at all and was groggy for days. Still am, actually. About an hour after it went off, and I turned off the kiln although it was clearly not hot anywhere near it, (there was a subtle scent, which is why I figure it was the out gassing- after all, that’s why I put the fan and chimney on it) it suddenly occurred to me that maybe the kids hadn’t woken up because they’d been overcome by the gas (it’s not cold enough for me to close my window yet, so maybe my open window had made a difference), so I went in and woke them up, and they were fine. The next morning they weren’t certain they hadn’t dreamed my coming in. So this morning I glazed them and they’re firing now. (Funny- I didn’t get to glazing the pottery because I was glazing the windows- and the same term means two totally different things.)
I know I over-think things- the other day I was thinking how the bumper sticker: Remember, First pillage, then Burn! could be twisted around into some fairly deep thoughts.

Did you know that evidence indicates that turkeys have been around for over 10 million years? That’s longer than humans (as they now exist- unless of course, you believe in the stories that Atlantis existed at that point).

Other interesting things: The plug in the shower drain turned out to be a lid to a shampoo bottle that had somehow gotten past the bars that are so good at making it hard to use the drain snake. Wally and his guys had to take the pipes apart in the basement to find that. We’ve been fighting that for months- tried almost anything you can pour down a drain, the snake, all sorts of stuff.

Willow and Kat picked up more silver and we priced it. Prices are nearly double what they were when we started. It’s appalling. Dragons are out- skulls are in.

I’ve been reading Pagan Spirituality, and while I initially liked it I’m getting crosser and crosser with the authors. It’s ridiculous because mostly they are just applying modern religious terms and techniques to examining pagan thoughts and practices, but what really bugs me is their descriptions are evolutionary (albeit they use a spiral rather than a linear image. As if things always keep getting better. Things ebb and flow. Things get bad for some and better for others. Systems change. Species adapt or don’t. I don’t think there’s any evidence for things constantly moving forward. Yes, things are predicated on what has gone before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s always getting better. I guess I’m feeling crabby about that.

This week we watched the movies Wild Hogs, which was not bad. It’s just another one of those movies for baby-boomers showing aging people trying to figure out what they’re doing with their lives. There was one wonderful moment that made me hoot (at the climax- something like when Sean Connery made his cameo at the end of the Robin Hood movie, I don’t want to spoil it as I think it’s the best thing in the movie). I’d call it a “watch once-er”. I’m glad I saw it, but I wouldn’t watch it again.

Another “watch once-er” was Amazing Grace. I’m VERY happy I saw it, and it’s a lovely movie. But as interesting as it was, it wasn’t fun. I like music and comedy and action. Very low-brow of me, but there it is.
I was very pleasantly surprised by I now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry, which I almost didn’t watch when I found out it had Adam Sandler in it. His style is so over-the top (like early Jim Cary or Will Farrel) that it’s more embarrassing than funny. But it was a good buddy film, and showed the characters discovering (as they pretended to be gay) just why no one would “choose” to be homosexual. I’m going to heartily recommend it to almost anyone, and will probably keep my eyes open for a used copy.
I did pick up a used copy of Drawing Down the Moon which must have been a made for TV movie, it’s about a modern witch/wiccan moving into a new town and helping it by opening a homeless shelter (something like Chocolate but no Johnny Depp or candy). It stars Walter Koenig (from B5 and Star Trek) as the scientist who’s against the witch, and is probably the best representation (no major magick) of any movie I’ve ever seen.
We also picked up Ratatouille, and I’ve watched some, and like it a lot- but I’ve been so busy I haven’t watched it all the way through yet. (When I’m working with my hands I prefer to listen to something I’ve already seen, so I don’t have to look up to catch anything visual that’s important.) We also got Shrek 3, and watched it and the other Shreks. I was so pleased and surprised that it’s as good as its predecessors.

Well, I’ve got to get up at 7 to stuff the turkey, so that’s all for this week. If I get a chance tomorrow, I’ll put pictures in the live journal version of this which I think you can see at this address. http://tchipakkan.livejournal.com/

I like the idea of being able to put in pictures so people can see them without adding attachments that make slow computers suffer.
I am seriously considering only putting them in the live journal letter from now on. If you want me to keep just putting them in yours, do let me know, and I’ll make a special list for the people who want the pictures. It just occurred to me that since you’re getting this on the computer anyway, you must be able to look at the live journal version- or have I got that wrong?Tchipakkann
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein

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