1124 10-5-2016 Do Something Nice Day

John has just taken the screen door off- which will make letting the cats in simpler. Usually we wait until the Oct 12 weekend,  there’s usually a week of “Indian Summer” in October (is that considered a derogatory reference?) and we wait for it, but the forecast for the next week looks cool, so why not? We still haven’t turned on the pump- I’m a little nervous that filling all the pipes that have certainly emptied in the past 5-6 weeks might use up the water in the cistern. After the rain this week, there’s about a foot, but I’m sure that’s not enough (maybe 30-50 gallons) to start flushing, washing dishes, much less clothes and showering. Perhaps I’m being over cautious- it’s more than we use in a day, but I’m not sure the toilets are as frugal as we are. Still going out and buying water. More rain would be welcome.
brace-yourself-psThe trees are turning, I am particularly fond of the brilliant red poison ivy on fences, and the gold ferns under the trees. Mums and Pumpkins are everywhere.
Two new holidays include Pumpkin Spice Day (october 1st) and Pumpkin Seed Day (today), Ripe Pumpkin Day (the 7th) and Pumpkin Cheesecake Day ( 21st), Pumpkin Slush Day (22nd)  are old. So’s Pumpkin Day (26th), Carve a Pumpkin Day (31st), and one of my favorites National Disgusting Little Pumpkin-Shaped Candies Day (29th) I love the truth in advertising!

I feel that I should be getting the woodshed full, and putting the gardens to bed- doing any fall planting. I am not even approaching that. At this point I’m noticing things that I’d like to clean (like the fridge or microwave) and putting it off “until I have the energy”, which hasn’t happened yet. When we go out on errands- getting water, doing wash, shopping, visiting doctors, I tend to come in and nap afterwards. How long can I stay on my feet? I’m not sure. I have been doing a load of dishes every other day- although I’m not sure I do it all at once- maybe 20 minutes at a time- then I have to sit down. I’m cooking supper again, although leaning heavily on things I can cut and peel while sitting down, and getting help from John.  We had pot roast the other night- haven’t made that in a while. My strength comes and goes- sometimes I can pick up my cast iron pans, some times I can’t. So far, I don’t even try to lift the washpan when it’s full, and it bugs me that I have to have other people twist off jar and bottle lids for me. Still, I’m clearly improving, so I shouldn’t gripe. (There’s nothing like fb for reminding me that others have much greater challenges with which to deal!)
I am thinking that trying to “heal/recover” is not the way to handle this period. I tend to feel like there’s no reason to get up in the morning.  I have to admit that I’ve always performed better when there was a deadline. I need to come up with something I can do sitting down (mostly- at least at first), that still gives me a sense of achievement. I’m big on achievement. This may be why I’m not good with housework. It’s awfully hard to brag about cleaning up something that a) will be messy again before you look around and b) everyone else does in their own lives. I wonder if some of the stuff I have bragged about- costumes, calligraphy etc. were done at the expense of letting the normal stuff other people achieve fall by the way-side. So far my best thought is organizing the library. Sadly, that does require both standing and dealing with boxes of books, so not in the immediate future.
I have to say I’m very impressed with the way my friends have come forward and are doing the Changing Times Changing Worlds stuff I used to do. We’ve only got a month to go, and for the last five years I’d have been if not panicking, as such, at least putting in 10 hour days on it. I finally put in my reservations for the hotel (day before the room block closed). I am cross, but helpless to do anything about it that the hotel puts a hold on not just the hotel fee, and taxes but also a hundred dollars of credit just in case you might order room service! That’s “only” the first day, they hold $50 for subsequent days. I find this reprehensible! Had I reserved earlier, they’d have had my money tied up for months! (Is it in their account, earning them interest? I don’t know!) And this year, the new hotel is doing the same thing they did under the previous management- telling people who call to reserve that the block is full, and they can’t get the con discount, while telling us that the block isn’t yet full and we’ll have to pay for the rooms that weren’t filled. That is such a scam!

The girls are off doing laundry again as I write this- Kat got some commissions and needs to pre-wash the fabric she bought for them. Willow’s been making her fleece blankets to get her stock up. She got into Another Anime Con (was on the wait list), inconveniently, it’s the same day as Celebrate Samhain, which I got in (also on their wait list), so I am trying to think of someone who can help me watch the table. This is not a bad thing, just “one of those things”. She’s able to stitch on the blankets while watching Avi’s kids, so that’s another plus. Kat and I did the last batch- many loads. Our laundromat has not only a TV (really annoying), but also a rack of magazines, papers, books and toys. There was a jigsaw puzzle, and Kat and I gave it a shot. It’s been a long time since we did a puzzle and it was a lot more fun that I expected. We didn’t finish it, but left it in case someone else wanted to try. We did get the edge done and several blocks, but it was a “mystery” puzzle, with no picture to work from- you were suppose to “solve the mystery” from the picture when you finally got it together. I have no clue what it might have been, but I’m thinking I might try another puzzle before I get my energy back. (Talk about a false accomplishment!)
What else? There’s not much going on in our lives just now- mostly we have cancelled just about everything. Kat got a sleep mask today that she’d ordered four months ago, and it finally came. Sadly, she’d ordered a Hello Kitty mask, and this one was a doggie mask (I’m sure it, too, is a character) and will have to be returned.

I’ve started putting up at least the collected holidays on Holidays that Might get Overlooked on facebook again. I don’t quite have the energy to spend an hour looking into all the holidays as I used to do, but I do enjoy them. The saints are always fun. I’ve gotten a few fun stories out of Tales of Old Sussex which I picked up Pennsic before last. One is about a saint- Cuthman- who was pulling his mother in a little cart when the rope he had over his shoulder broke, dumping the old lady in the road. Some men who were haying in the field and saw it laughed at this. (I imagine that this might be because she may have had a few choice words for her son dumping her- although she seems to have been a saint as well, so I may be maligning the lady.) He’s supposed to have said “Men laugh, heaven weeps” and the skies opened, raining on the haymaking. Ever since then, the story goes that when they try to cut hay in that field, it rains. Nice guy. Still, he’s supposed to have been a much beloved saint.  I suppose he didn’t have a bunch of kids eaten by a bear for laughing at his baldness. It’s all relative.

Raven and Brandon came up on Thursday. Raven has so many allergies he’s one of the few folks I don’t mind bringing food with them. They brought a chicken soup, but I thought it had too much coconut flavor- apparently it’s an Indian thing and is supposed to taste like that. Then I got lucky and he is available to be on the New Normal this week. He’ll be talking about plant spirits.
Sunday Steve came up and we watched the live action Disney Jungle Book. Some of it was pretty good, I liked that they had some things (like the water peace) they had not had in the animated travesty. (OK, I accept that if taken by itself it was a pleasant little kids film, and the same could be said for Mary Poppins, but I hated them both and only just barely forgive them for what they did to really great children’s books.) I have no idea how they made the movie. I am assuming it was some combination of live animals and CGI, but it looked really good. In this one they killed Akela for no good reason (to make Shere Khan more evil), and they inserted a giant ape in the temple (why couldn’t they have done the old cobra? now that was a great story!) for no reason except to reflect the King Louis scene in the original. That was Kaa’s Hunting- and once again they made Kaa a bad guy- or girl since he was voiced by Scarlett Johansen. I was really confused by Bill Murray voicing Baloo. I really dislike their trying to make him comic relief! Yes, it’s a visually great movie, but the books are SO much better. Steve is such a relaxing guest. We had mac and cheese and burgers, and I sent apple pie home with him.
I also watched Curse of the Midas Box, a kids book made into an adventure movie- sort of steam punk ambiance. It won’t be one of the great fantasy adventure films, which I think it hoped to be (apparently the book is the first of a series, and they hoped to be heirs to Harry Potter. I’ll have to read at least the first book.), but it was fun. I especially liked the character of Charity and the idea of the secret Bureau of Antiquities.  Sam Neils was a delightful villain, and I can’t say enough about the look of the film- the sets, costumes, lighting. It was a joy to look at. I’ve also finished the first season of the Man from UNCLE. Some of those fashions (hair & clothes) were so incredibly bad, it’s painful to watch, and I have to remind myself that this was meant to be fun and camp, because the spying is so painfully incompetent. Still, pretty young David McCallum and lots of guest stars to look at.
I also watched Billy Jack (Netflix) and the Trial of Billy Jack (on youtube) from the 70s. I had vague memories of the first, and wanted to check out the second. Apparently they wanted to bring attention to the abuse of Native Americans. Given the protests at Standing Rock (apparently the media blackout is still on), and the current congress continuing even now to take Indian lands so it can make a profit, I am appalled at how little improvement there’s been in the past fifty years. Depressing.
I have continued reading the Phryne Fisher mysteries- I think I’m up to the one written in 2013 so I guess I’m nearly out of them. I really enjoyed them, even though I know they were/are brain candy, something that has kept me amused while I didn’t have the energy for anything else. Her plots are intricate, her writing is light and clever, her characters are fun and believable, and there are few writers that use words I don’t already know- although some are simply 20’s slang, others are not and are new to me. She also inspires me to read the books she references. I will have to try actually reading some Agatha Christie- my mother loved them. I do need to actually get something done or I will run mad. (I have decided that Whitman’s chocolates are vile and I’m amazed I ever enjoyed them- or maybe it’s my taste still being off.)
I have toyed with the idea of making myself a colonial period dress for Ekke and Elanor’s wedding, but while it would be fun, when would I wear it again? Frankly, given how many of the clothes I have now don’t fit, but I don’t dare alter them because I have no idea what shape I’ll be a month or two from now, making new garb for a shape I may not keep seems a poor idea. I will wear some of my Saxon (since they’ve said any historical period is good), and accept that.

Oh, right, I almost forgot that the kids went to Shriekfest on Sunday with their friends. Canobie Lake has apparently something like five haunted houses with everything scary from clowns to chainsaws. Willow and Raye knew that they didn’t have the energy and would pay for it for the next few days- but it was worth it. “Regret Nothing!” they said.
That’s a beautiful thing!

Sadly, even using my journal as a memory jogger, I mostly am seeing things like how much I’m sleeping (still 10-12 hours a day). As my father said, you can’t sleep if you don’t need it. I do think sleeping is one of the most healing things you can do for yourself. That and nutrition.

What else?
Which is more frustrating- having someone tell you your problem is due to your not doing something you are already doing, or telling you that you need to do something that is simply not possible? Ah, free advice! It’s not just worthless, it makes things worse because clearly the advisor has no idea of what’s going on!
Willow’s car battery is failing, meaning that she won’t start and needs a jump (her estimate is 10% of the time), but the last AAA fellow just lectured her on “you’re not letting it run long enough, you’ll kill your battery if you don’t run it at least a half hour or 45 minutes every time you drive.”  First of all, if that were true, it would be bad engineering.. I doubt that everyone drives a half hour every time they go out. I know many drive 10 minutes to the train station to commute into the city, so that’s BS. Secondly, it’s not what’s going on with us, because just getting to Milford is a 30 minute drive. We DO drive the requisite distance, and that advice is useless. Chances are that Willow has mentioned it and they are ignoring her. But even if it were true, which I doubt (although it may be better for batteries if the car charges for a half hour or more), it doesn’t serve the person who’s stranded in their driveway- or a half an hour from home- to advise sitting and burning gas for a half hour not going anywhere.  Personally, I was very impressed that the whole way home after getting “jumped”, Willow managed to keep the car going. Admittedly, it’s her car and she’s much better at driving a standard than I am, but I tend to stall out at stop signs and lights (which would have required getting another jump). We all have different talents, driving is one of hers. Perhaps we should just buy her a new battery. Or at least have the Winkles check it out.
Sadly, my car is at Winkles this week. The brakes were grinding, so we took it in, and apparently they checked and the bearings (or was it rotors?) were going too. Once again I have to consider the logic of driving an older car. (it’s a 1999) At what point do repairs exceed what you’d be spending on payments on a newer car? Sigh. Last time I had car payments they were $400 a month, is it more than that now?

I guess that’s it.  This weekend is the Milford Pumpkin Festival. Since the Keene one is shut down, perhaps some of my friends would like to come to Milford- if you do, I’d love you to take the extra half hour to come visit.
“Now that it’s all over,  what did you really do yesterday that’s worth mentioning?” Coleman Cox