1178 11-8-2017 Ample Time Day

I should think that Ample Time Day would be attached to the “Fall Back” Daylight Savings Time Day when we get an extra hour of sleep. But I guess not. We had our first snow shower last night, but nothing stuck. With the rain, a lot of the leaves are down, and those that are left are mostly brown and gold. The occasional flashes of green are much more noticable.

Today we’re taking down the “Inktober” pictures- the Christmas holidays are on the rotating calendar now. I’d include a picture, but yesterday I spent so much time simply trying to get “progress” pictures of the portraits I’m doing I am hesitant to try it. I have no idea what is going on, but the ports on my computer don’t seem to want to recognize flash drives, my phone, or most things I try to connect to them- it’s very frustrating.  I don’t want to have to take it into Nashua, but I’m afraid I may have to- and then it probably won’t misbehave for the Apple techs the way it does here.
Yesterday we dropped off Willow’s car at Winkles- she’d blown a gasket. Luckily that didn’t cost too much, and her car will be a lot less noisy. We picked it up when she went over to Avi’s today. (and I went to the library, the grocery store, got gas, and to Agway for cat food. I sort of wish I hadn’t. The temperature dropped today, and Zoloft seems to think that that gives her permission to bring her “toys” (in this case a live flying squirrel) into the house to play with. Grrr. I just hope she or the other cats can get it before it knocks too many things down! Willow’s car is MUCH quieter now, she says it’s a ninja. I didn’t hear her drive in.
The big adventure this week was Changing Times-Changing Worlds. After the big build-up, the let down is like taking off a girdle (not that I’ve worn one for years). I missed the last minute crunch because of losing power from Sunday to Wednesday, also having had “the Cold”, Kat had the week before. I was feeling much better. I don’t think we really appreciate breathing until we have had a hard time doing it for a while. Just sleeping through the night and not waking up coughing was a joy! I still had a lingering cough, and post-nasal drip; I hope that snorting and coughing didn’t scare people. I generally figure that one isn’t contagious at the end of a cold, (only at the beginning and BEFORE the symptoms show up, which has always felt unfair to me).
As usual, Willow loaded the van while I tried remember any last-minute things we were supposed to take. I remembered my class notes- but forgot to tell her to pack the ceramic sculptures. I was doing a class on religious art, and had mentioned it in passing, so I mistakenly assumed that was enough to make sure they’d be packed. oops. She found the small microwave, and took a load to the dump before packing. Kat helped me upload the lectures from last year onto our computer so we could erase them and start fresh with the recorders. One is missing, I’m not sure where that could have gone!  (Now I need to put them up on the website.)  Kat even refilled our vitamin boxes so we’d make it through the conference.
On the trip down I was knitting the rainbow scarf I’ve been making her. I just saw the yarn and bought it for a lark. She likes it. Having finished that one I pulled out another piece of knitting (this one on the ring needles) which left my wooden knitting needles available for Kat to use for chopsticks. She’d forgotten to pack them to go with the cup of noodles she took for when she couldn’t eat anything else. They worked pretty well for that.
We got in Thursday night, fairly late and spent Friday setting up the Cabochons tables and registration. At 2 I did the “welcome” lecture to the only two people who were in and settled. Then I did my first class, on werewolves. Because we had so many tracks, many classes were sparsely attended. We’ll probably cut back next year. Just in case, I’d brought some basic programs, but Kathy arrived with the full Program booklets by the start of the con. To my embarassment, I had forgotten to order Speaker ribbons when I put in the order this year. I tried to order with the form on the website, but it wasn’t working so I simply called it in, and somewhere in that, I forgot the 45 speaker ribbons. (We had the panelist, moderator, vendor and dealer ribbons!) Also Jane seems to have lost track of the fun ribbons we sell to pay for the other badge ribbons. None of us is perfect.
The hotel provided us with buffet meals. They seemed a bit expensive to me, but as I told myself, once you’ve bought drinks and dessert, they weren’t much more expensive than any other restaurant. ($12 breakfast, $15 lunch, $27 dinner) and I’d pay an extra $10 to not have to go get my coat, and the car and drive out to a restaurant and back. They had something they called Brisket the first night. I’d call it pot roast, but it was rather nice. The girls didn’t lihe the sound of it and went out seeking a local McDonalds. I ate with Jane, Sprague, Ariel, Thor, and Doug and had a great time! Meanwhile, the girls got lost. The GPS took them to a McDonalds 20 miles away instead of the close one. They forgot the batteries. Luckily, this year they’d decided to close the vendors room at 8, so they had tie to eat and get back.
Saturday the stress was showing in my recovery from the cold, I was coughing more. Willow went out in the morning after the batteries and Kat went down to the  breakfast buffet with me. Sadly, the hum of the restaurant was bothering her, but they let us fill our plates and go out into the mezzanine and the tables there to eat. We went back there in the evening when the buffet had a prime rib carving station, and that was a lovely meal- with one complication. That’s when the reporter from the Wild Hunt caught up with me, and so I mostly talked to him, not to the girls. Since I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to them the rest of the time, that was sad. Kat mostly stayed in the room, and Willow was generally behind the Cabochons table- although she did leave it twice to moderate a couple of panels.
I am afraid even when we got the batteries the recorders didn’t behave really well. I think we may need to replace them. Doug Yeager was our security and all around helpful guy, and he helped me try to make sure they were on and in the places that they were supposed to be. This year however we got so many good proposals we were running five (occasionally six) workshops at once and a panel too, so often we would have liked to have more than four, and always would have liked them to not turn themselves off for some reason we don’t understand. Having recordings is the only thing that makes having so many great workshops bearable. Actually, at one point I ended up going to the room to cry because I was so frustrated about the classes I was missing! (so I went away and missed all of them? Logic fail!) I did go to a lot of the panels (was on several), and several workshops- I tended to go to ones with new divination systems. Afterwards I bought the Kavyle (Berber) tile casting kit, and the fortune telling with gemstones set. I also got the new Promethean Oracle deck Badger Sophie put out this year (I went planning on getting that), and another oracle deck that I had never seen before- it came with a key with which to dowse. I also won an Art Nouveaux deck in the raffle. And I got Steve Tarot cards- Jenn at Phoenix and Lotus is able to actually tell me which decks just came out, so I have a chance of finding ones he hasn’t already got. I alsoo got a chocolate geode from another vendor who’s an artist and a pastry cook. She told me that she’d figured out how to make sugar geodes and put it on youtube five years ago, and now everyone’s making them. Her sculptures were mostly books that had been soaked in some solution that made crystals grow on them, and then decorated with gold leaf and dried flowers and such, so her claiming having come up with it on her own made sense to me. It’s very pretty, and frankly, I feel better about having this sugar that looks like an amethyst geode than having a real one that takes thousands of years to form and ripped out of the earth.
I skipped the Norseworking because I was on the Palmistry panel which was against it- but I also love the panels best. I was on the herbalism and Palmistry, Rune Aettir panels (I was supposed to have been on the House Spirits panel, but missed it talking to the Wild Hunt reporter (who it turns out had stayed at our house as an SCAer before a Birka 20 years ago) oops. Or was it the concert I missed? I was able to hear it through the doors from the panel room. Alyssa has a gorgeous voice, and I bought a couple of her CDs.
They had turkey bacon for breakfast on Sunday, which was weird. We think it’s extruded in stripes, and it’s sort of rubbery. If you haven’t tried it, I’d recommend you don’t bother. Bacon may not be good for you, but at least it tastes good. They had real bacon on Saturday, but somehow they cooked it so pieces stuck together and it was hard to take just a couple of rashers, I think I ended up with five or six, and I hadn’t intended to.
Having had a big breakfast, we skipped lunch and just packed out as soon as the last class was done at 2. By three, the hotel was pretty much empty. Maryalyce was still packing up- having supervised just about everything. Jane was alone in the Hospitality suite- she was spending the night because she doesn’t drive after dark either. I had Willow to drive, so we headed home, and got in at 8:30. We could have been an hour earlier but we stopped in Springfield to eat at the CrackerBarrel there. It felt later. Daylight savings time switch hit me like a brick even though it theoretically gave me extra  sleep Saturday night. I think the high energy use at the con also contributes to my brain feeling fried. I am now totally in agreement with the people who spent years telling me that people need time between classes for their brains to digest what they’ve just taken in.
There’s been a lot of talk about the conference on fb, people seem to have had a good time. I worry about the merchants because there was a FULL room of really fantastic venders, and while there were more people there than we’ve had for the last few years, I don’t think there were enough for the number of vendors we had. Certainly we didn’t make much more than our table fee (which still left the food and travel expenses). Someone found out why the pool was closed. They’d told us that it was “closed for repairs” but they found an article that says that the reason the pool was closed was someone drowned in it during the summer, and they don’t have permission to open it yet. Apparently the Resort was recently purchased by a Japanese company, who are renovating it, and they haven’t sent anyone over to the US to attend whatever legal meeting the owners have to attend to close the case. The article said there was no evidence of alcohol, drugs, or foul play, but there are things that have to be done properly, and having the owners that far away is a problem. I really liked the place. The rooms were large- the closets were large. Willow says she’s SLEPT in closets smaller than that at cons before. We asked for a roll-away bed for Kat and there was plenty of room to unfold it (we’ve been to places where there wasn’t), and even to walk around after. I get the impression that although it’s aging, it was built for rich people- like the Mountain Lake Lodge in the movie Dirty Dancing. Other’s made jokes about the Overlook Hotel (from the Shining) because it was so far out in the country. There was some peeling paint, and some uneven floors, and we could see roof repairs going on from our rooms. We also discovered on Friday that they’d turned water off for the winter to the wing where our classes were being held- which meant the rest rooms closest to the function rooms weren’t working- until they turned them on for us. The ice machines had also been turned off, but if you called the desk, they ran a bag right up to you.  They really were very freindly and helpful- they even asked if the drum circle could be done in the lobby so the staff could enjoy it. (So they did.) I get the impression that we were nearly the only people there. My challenge now is to not drop everything- for example I need to upload the classes we recorded uploaded to the website. But I have to admit I am still wiped out.
One funny thing- we passed a huge sign advertising a butcher that was open 24/7. Willow actually spotted it, and it looks like an old fashioned automat. Apparently you pick whichever piece of meat you want and I guess the glass doors open with a credit card instead of a coin, but what a concept. I think it would be cool to have one in any population center- I just am surprised to find one out in the boonies.
While we were gone, John seems to have developed the cold. He also says Mark came over and took him to lunch on Saturday, which was nice of him. He also came over Monday and read to me while I painted. I have got a good start on the second painting of the pair I’m working on (his mother wants to give them as Christmas presents). I think John was OK over the weekend, but he’s been doing the hard part since we got back- sleeping a lot, living on chicken soup and OJ, and so much coughing! We can hope it bypasses Willow.
I finished the latest Aurora Teagarden mystery- A Fool and his Honey. The husband I never cared for died. I don’t feel sorry, but I also don’t think we were supposed to dislike him as much as I did. We’ll see how the next book goes. I also finished  Wind in His Heart. As with many Charles de Lint books, it had artists and musicians and lots of supernatural stuff. Having finished that, there are several short stories of his on Amazon that I can get for .99 cents each, and I’m enjoying those (and resisting going back to read the ones I enjoyed years ago. I was never able to get into . It just didn’t hold my interest. I suppose that’s a good thing. I don’t want to think my mind is just a vacuum cleaner, sucking up anything. I did finish A Civil Action, and also watched 11 Angry Men (my personal choice for best court-room drama) and My Cousin Vinny (best courtroom comedy). For non-fiction, I’m still going through America’s Bitter Pill. I may not bother finishing it. It’s too depressing. Alchemy of Illness is about the positive things sickness can do for you psychologically, and Healing Children: a surgeon’s stories from the frontiers of pediatric medicine holds out more stories of hope. But I really want to get those paintings done, and then work on cleaning the house!
 Since I mentioned the roof blowing off Ekke and Sarah’s house last week, I want to mention that friends went up to help them, and they are making progress and getting it braced and back together. I think they said it was properly removed and taken down into its component parts. I guess the trick is now to see which comes first- them getting battened down, or the snow and hard weather. It’s been a rather sudden switch, as Willow said, the weather looked up and said “Oh, it’s November!” and got cold practically overnight.
Liz took her puppy to the vet and the groomer’s this week and they discovered Rascal was a girl (now she’s re-thinking the name)! It is very hard to sex new kittens as I well know, so I suppose puppies are similarly difficult. Liz is very happy with her, and I am jealous. I have four cats (they’d better have killed that flying squirrel!) but I like cats AND dogs, and would love to have a dog.
That’s about it for this week. Not too much that’s funny. I hope your week is going better than some I hear about on fb, and BTW, that is really sporadic, so even if I’m following you, drop me a note or call if there’s something I really should know about.


In the future, it [will be] deemed a great oddity that 20th-century scientists had discovered elementary physical particles but had failed even to consider the possibility of elementary psychic factors. – KURT GÖDEL
Þ 9 National Scrapple Day, World Usability Day, World Freedom Day, Chaos Never Dies Day, Louisiana Day

F 10 Vanilla Cupcake Day, Sesame St Day, USMC Day,

S 11 Sundae Day, Pocky Day, Air Day, Origami Day, Veterans Day, Singles Day
⨀ 12 Pizza with the works except Anchovies Day, Tongue Twister Day, Happy Hour Day, Bible Day
M 13 Indian Pudding Day, Actor’s Day, World Kindness Day, Start a Rumor Day, Orphans Day
T 14 Pickle Day, Spicy Hermit Day, Raisin Bran Day, Spicy Guacamole Day, Girls Day, Teddy Bear Day, Loosen up-Lighten up Day
W 15 Bundt Day, I love to Write Day, Little Red Wagon Day, Clean out your Refrigerator Day, Philanthropy Day, America Recycles Day