Tomorrow it will be March already. If you need excuses to celebrate, Thursday is Beer Day, the second is Old Stuff Day, the third is I Want You to Be Happy Day. the fourth is Namesake Day , the fifth is Fun Facts about Names Day (and Purim), and the sixth is Unique Names Day, and the seventh is Learn What your Name Means Day. (the ninth is Middle Name Day; I think there was some sort of weird project if not conspiracy going on here.)
As I was sitting down to send off a quick letter, the junkyard man came and got Travis’ car out of the driveway. He also offered to buy the Spirit, but I think I’ll use the money he gave us for Travis’ car (which Travis said to keep for having put up with it since it died) to get the Spirit taken to a garage to see if it can be coaxed to working again. It would be nice to have something with better gas milage to do most errands in. I feel kind of guilty any time I take the van out and don’t need it’s capacity. Of course, we don’t do that much, but then, we don’t generally go out unless we really have to go anyway.
I noticed yesterday that we are about 12,000 miles from 200,000 miles on the van. Since we average about a thousand miles a month, if we can keep it going another year, we’ll hit that ridiculously large number. I guess I noticed that because one of the comedies we watch (can’t remember whether it’s How I met your Mother, or the Class, I really only tune in for Three and a Half Men, but I figure I should watch something that makes me laugh occasionally), one of the characters’ car died less than a mile from the 200K mark, and I really felt for him. Except for the part where his car meant something about who he was- my van means the ability to transport my goods to events to me; it doesn’t say anything about me. Well, I suppose the huge collection of bumper-stickers does, but not the car. I’ve never gotten that. I infer that other people judge other people by their cars. I’ve never really figured you could tell much about a person by looking at their car other than what they could afford, or how much stuff they had to move around, or whether they cared a lot about the environment if it’s a hybrid. I would LOVE to get a hybrid. But first we’ve got to get the money for another vehical. As I write I’m waiting for a call from the tire place telling me that the tire I need to get inspected is in, because it’s the last day of the month. Thank goodness for the 10 day leeway they give you on that because if I don’t get it done today, the town offices aren’t open again until Monday (one of the drawbacks of living in a small town).
I’ve started listening to NPR again- for example yesterday morning they had a story about China deciding to stop their people from speculating on the stock market, and then the evening news said that that had resulted in the largest drop since 911. But there was also a story about something the federal government wants which would mean that every time you renew your license you have to document your citizenship. I figure that would be really inconvenient, and see no way that it would help security (because terrorists would just get whatever papers they’d need), but the story said it would cost states so much money that several are refusing to do it. It sounded to me like it was an attempt to get a universal ID card, which I object to anyway. I just figure the risk of a free culture balances out against the risks of one where someone else decides what risks each individual should be allowed to take. Averages are wonderful starting points- whether we are talking about medical norms or IQs or incomes or whatever, but they are only starting points, and anything interactive should be examined and dealt with locally.
I’m not sure that watching comedies (based mostly on poking fun at cultural stereotypes like over sexed people, gays, etc.) is enough to balance out the negative concepts received from listening to news. Maybe I should just stop watching any media. (Yeah, like THAT’S going to happen!)
Well, all the baby goats are thriving- learning to play with each other, being really cute. We’re still bottle feeding Anya, and since Fiona’s horns won’t fit into the stanchion, we can’t milk her, so her kids are half wild. Guess we’ll just have to eat them all- Fiona included. That’ll teach us to get the kids de-horned!
I am still psyched that we finally have found a goat vet. He came over and checked out the goat who’d had the hard birth, and gave me needles so that I was able to give her a shot of penicillin twice a day, and she’s doing fine now. She wasn’t fevered yet, but he smelled that she was beginning to get infected, and we short circuited it. Yay.
One of the rabbits died- and I discovered why breeding it never worked when I butchered it- it was male. I really thought I’d gotten the hang of sexing them! Sadly, I waited too long and the fur couldn’t be saved, and I wouldn’t dare eat something that I didn’t know why it died. Oh well. (We’re planning to have another for supper tonight) I really feel badly for people who only have chicken, beef and pork.
And we are having the milk glut! Yay! Had our first lasagna since the last milk glut when Steve came up Sunday! Boy! was it good- stuffed shells next.
Saturday Willow, Kat and I went to Avi’s baby shower. Sue (Avi’s mother) and Janet (Trevor’s) went all out. There were games and prizes, and huge amounts of food. I would say there were only slightly fewer young people there than parent age ladies. It was all female though- Chris Egan showed up to help pack up at the end, and we brought cake out into the hall for him where he was waiting. They had it in the Milford Boys and Girls Club- where the Theater Dan tried to winterize years ago used to be.
The games included matching 10 names with their meanings (I won with 7 out of 10, thanks to my studying the meanings of names to use them in stories), for which I won a beautiful ceramic lasagna pan with basket holder. Then we were asked to fill in the second line of 10 nursery rhymes (I blew away all competition again- I knew all the verses and tunes as well, but passed the prize over to the runner up), and then there was a kind of scavenger hunt, but it was all “what have you got on you?” (purses included). Kat would have probably won that, but on the way out the door we made her leave her bag behind, because we told her she’d have no spare time to draw. I didn’t even try because it would have been embarrassing to win three in a row- but I don’t think I would have done well anyway. I don’t have a lot of stuff in my purse that ladies are expected to have. (For example, you got 20 points for a hundred dollar bill, which I wouldn’t have- unless we were on the way to the bank from a big event, or a cloth hanky- which I always have. You only got 5 points for a tissue. I forget how many points you’d get for a pocket knife.) Anyway it was a fun and I may adapt it for for the next solstice party- in Ælfwine’s honor, of course. He always had everything on him.
I hadn’t finished the blanket I’m knitting for Avi’s baby, so I quickly sewed some blanket edging to a yard of pre-quilted flannel (pink on one side, blue on the other). I was appalled that many of the ladies were impressed by that. Kat, on the other hand made this adorable little “Goth Christening gown and bonnet” trimmed with lace made of little hearts- (Avi and Trevor’s last name is Hart). Willow is making something (since Avi gets this letter, I won’t spoil the surprise) but she got a little outfit at hot topics- a hat with Jack Skelington on it, and a coverall that said “A Pirate’s Life for Me!” with the Pirates of the Caribbean logo on it. And we got to bring home a pot of mini-daffodils (the table decorations- we didn’t want the baby bottle candles), and my prize was a wonderful ceramic lasagna pan with a carrying basket which I used the next day. oh, and Kat also made a little polar fleece cap with floppy bunny ears too. Since the baby is due at the end of March, warm hats are probably a good idea. We also put in guesses on that, and I think there’s going to be a prize for who ever gets closest- I am hoping it’s not going to be April 1st- that’s always hard to live up to.
Willow was so tired she had to rest after. She never really recovered since she was sick after (or was it before) Birka. If she weren’t so anti-doctor I’d have dragged her off to Dr. Q by now. Sick or not, she’s still updating Stupidity in Magic four times a week, and making and actually selling accessories for ball jointed dolls. Recently she’s been making butterfly wings for them. They are gorgeous, and getting better with each one. (I haven’t got a picture of them, darn!)
Kat has been sewing up a storm. My sewing machine is STILL at the shop, so one of the times I was checking to see if the part had come in yet I broke down and got Kat her own machine since there was a used one available for $70. We know that eventually, and it probably won’t be long, she’ll move out and need one, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get her one now so she could sew at the same time as me (when mine comes back). And I haven’t got time to sew right now anyway. Right now, she’s working on pants for Tom and Hannigan with the wool she picked up at Birka.
Star’s birthday was last Wednesday. I mentioned it, but here’s a picture. He’s 23. I can hardly comprehend it. He decided to have a naked angel food cake (with whipped cream on the side) because Kat doesn’t like whipped cream. I callously had my favorite fruit stuffed whipped cream cake, and just saved the part we took out of the middle when we stuffed it for her.
He’s a wonderful guy, and I wish we could get him a job he could do to get out of the house. After the lasagna (or the night we had chili) he still reverted to the walking in circles bit- so I guess he’s still sensitive to tomatoes- which is too bad. It would be so much easier to be able to have “normal food” like pizza or spaghetti without getting what would probably be weird enough that he’d creep out “normal people”.
What I’ve been doing all week is mostly working on the book cover I’m doing for Arwen. It’s not coming out as well as I’d hoped, but luckily I’ve got Willow griping about how her gorgeous butterfly wings aren’t as good as she’d hoped. There are parts I think worked well. She specified that it wanted it to look like he was having fun. I don’t know if you can tell that I still need a lot of work on the shading on his body and arms, and the goats legs, and the clouds, but the wagon came out pretty well. I’m going to try to have a kind of nimbus of energy coming off his hair, but I may give up on that- the whole cover needed to be done by the end of the month, and, well, this IS the end of the month. (I did have to interrupt it one day to do another article for Blessed Bee. I’ve GOT to start submitting to magazines that actually pay me.) And yes, Thor’s goats are kind of composites of ours.
While working on that I’ve been listening to the third season of Moonlighting (with the occasional glance up for visuals), that Steve loaned me. Had to look up because that’s the year that has the Shakespeare episode. That’s the one we tripped over and got Ælfwine and I watching it all those years ago. Also finally watching the X-files (from Netflix), which I’d always meant to, but wouldn’t allocate the time for. It’s hard when you go to bed at 9, and I’m thinking I might start doing that again. (I do like mornings- and the animals.) I checked out Lost, but I am now spoiled- it’s nice to be able to see the episodes in order, and not miss anything, so I think I’d rather wait a year to see them when they come out on disc than watch them over the air.
I mostly paint until I’m ready to sleep, but I’ve been working on a book of short stories by Charles deLindt, Moonlight and Vines. I love his world- normal, but with just a bit of magick- the way I experience the world. Maybe a bit more overt on the magick part, but not so much it seems impossible. I love the way he explains that people have differing abilities to accept magick, and if they can’t they explain the evidence they see of it away so it doesn’t bother their world view. I SO think that’s true.
I’ve got some books coming in the mail which I ordered for more information on the workshop I’m doing on what living with cancer was like (I want to be aware of new developments in the last five years) for Ecumenicon.
OK, let’s be honest, I think I was depressed when I sent for the books. I theorize that one buys things when one is depressed because you are hoping to buy happiness, inasmuch as you are buying potential- things you know have made you feel good in the past. In my case- showing off how much I know. I guess I’ll start reading those when I’m done with the book cover painting. I’ve already learned that I do better when I have good notes ready. Flipping through them as they come in, I tripped over the theory that bad teeth (amalgam fillings and infected tissue trapped under caps) can leak low levels of toxins which disrupts your immune system. Considering how healthy Megan has been since she got her teeth all fixed, I can see that. Of course, one case is not statistically significant. But having read that, I pushed the vitamin C to make sure there wasn’t any infection to get sealed deep in this, my most recent root canal. Dr. Roy tried a half dose of the Xylocane this time (after I told him that after the usual dose it affects the vision in the eye on whichever side he’s working) and it worked beautifully. We started at 7 am, and it wore off by noon rather than late afternoon. WELL after the work was done at 9. Of course, if my body processes drugs that slowly, I can assume that there are people who process it faster than the average, and might need to have extra added during the procedure. It is SO good to have a dentist who’s willing to accept that variations exist.
I’m not sure he’s a great dentist- I bet a lot of that is a balance of natural talent, care taken, and other factors, but his willingness to accept what I tell him is really important to me.
On the way back I noticed that there are a lot of snowmen in yards just now. We don’t go out enough for me to know how long they’ve been there. I don’t remember any big snows this week. But I started thinking of things that just make me feel good when I see them. Snowmen in yards are one of those things. Others are dogs walking around checking out what the new smells are- you rarely see a dog off a leash these days, and only out here in the boonies. I like seeing sled runs. And maple sugar buckets and lines on trees (new this week). I don’t think we’re going to get to tapping this year, but we still have some left from last year. Hope we don’t regret not getting to it. I am SO glad we don’t have to generate all our own sugar- and flour and other food. Yes, fresh from the garden is better, and knowing how is a good thing, and root cellaring is wonderful, and it’s better to eat locally grown… but I know how much work it is, and love not having to do it- I’d never be able to do anything else.
Spring cleaning urges are hitting hard. I washed my mortar and pestle collection when I should have been painting because some of them had gotten grubby. I noticed when I realized I was crushing a rennet tablet between two spoons the way they tell you to on the box! Another time I was trying to find something in the pantry closet, and ended up pulling out all the stuff on three shelves, and washing them down, and throwing a bunch of stuff out (which is practically a miracle). The big problem is, of course, what to do with food that is still good, but you know you won’t use it. Where did the Dandelion Jelly come from? I know when I bought most of the non-wheat baking alternatives- so they’re gone. And the same type of thing goes on when I go into the library. (Willow pointed out that we have a better selection of books with pictures of gods than I can probably find on google.) But I find myself trying to get books back onto shelves- where there is no room. I’m actually considering getting rid of some of the books that were Ælfwines. It was good that he had them, but if I don’t use them, I could use the space they are on, and maybe someone could use them. But I need to find the time to do that sorting.
Thursday night we decided to splurge and went to the Town Hall theater (where they have real butter on the popcorn, and an adult ticket is still $5), and saw Pan’s Labyrinth. Star was not happy that it was in Spanish with subtitles, and while I loved it, and was really impressed with the special effects, I wasn’t sure that all of them really furthered the plot- except to express that the bad guy was a real sick twist (but do we really need to see good special effects showing surgery? Yuck.). Some people have suggested that it was ambiguous about whether the fantasy stuff was all in the girls mind, but I didn’t get that at all. I thought it was clearly supposed to be real. Definitely dark- grown up fantasy as opposed to kids fantasy like the recent Narnia movie.
The “grab-bag” boxes got here from the Chocolate conspiracy. Good thing I’ll be splitting it with Megan, as Willow said, it was more than I could reasonably eat before it went bad. And I do throw out stale chocolate. I know the pictures are worth a thousand words, but note the melting wavers, and fudge sauce, and cocoa powder, and real chocolate jimmies, the powdered chocolate, white chocolate beverage powder, the white chocolate with coffee, chocolate with mint, and ginger, and all sorts of other combinations. Holy Theobromine! (or is that redundant). And Willow pointed out that the shipping alone used up nearly half of what I paid for it- retail this would be over $100. Of course, I wouldn’t spend $100 on chocolate, but wow. We’ve also noticed, as the guy said in his lecture, that this high percentage chocolate satisfies cravings with much less chocolate.
Well, back to work, let’s see if I can get Adad done today.
“If you hide your ignorance no one will hit you
… and you will never learn.”