2-7-2018 Fettuccini Alfredo Day (Birthday)

It snowed again, which is hardly a surprise, because it’s February in New England. I rather expect snow on my birthday. It caused some problem as I was supposed to drop my car off at Winkles, but first, I slept in, and then we decided it was not driving weather, so have to re-schedule. I feel guilty about that, which doesn’t help them much. This is the first snow in a while, the back yard was nothing but patches between the weeds. It looks nicer, but that doesn’t seem worth the problems on the roads- and there were even problems up here where we have both plows and experience driving on snow.
I slept in because I’ve been trying to sleep off a cold. I have great belief in two things about health: enough sleep, and good nutrition. Beyond this there are many other things- various healing modalities From acupressure to Reiki, herbs to RunValdr. Currently I’m trying Fire Vinegar, and it seems to have held my symptoms off while I was down at the Feast of Lights, but a third thing I believe about heath is that we are constantly surrounded with virus and bacteria, but don’t get sick all the time, and I believe that the subconscious has the ability to make you sick or well, and will use available germs to do it if it thinks you should get sick (and if not, not). The problem is that the subconscious is the child brain- the one who learned “if you get sick, you get to stay in bed and read and not go to school, and your mother will fuss over you”, only now you’re an adult and so you now have to go to work and deal with what you don’t want to, WHILE sick, and your mother isn’t there to fuss over you any more. But your subconscious doesn’t know that. So some people smoke, drink and eat everything they aren’t supposed to and live to 100, and some health nuts keel over from a heart attack at the gym at 40, because their inner child is a brat.  I haven’t figured out why I “need” to be sick just now. Usually a cold means that your body thinks you need to slow down and take time for yourself, but I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half, so let me know what I need to deal with, and let me deal with it. Sneezing and snorting isn’t helpful!
One thing it is good for though, every time this last year I feel wiped out, weak, without energy…, I worry about Lyme recurring, and copious phlegm is a pretty clear indicator that I have a cold or the flu, and that makes me happy as a clam! (Sadly, parts of me have the consistency of a clam- I can’t think for beans, I feel like my brain is full of snot.) My best guess for a stupid subconscious reason to be sick is that I wanted to have people over for a party, and the house is a pit, so maybe this was an “excuse”. My inner child needs a inner nanny!
Another thought was that I need to get on a better schedule- hence giving up on finishing the letter Wednesday, and now it looks like it may go on until Friday.
Last Friday I headed down to the Feast of Lights- the Earth Spirit midwinter gathering. I was honored: they offered to comp my hotel room since I was doing three workshops (shared with Jane). Since I wanted to avoid driving after dark I headed out at around 12:30. The trip wasn’t that long, but I took a side-trip to Staples to pick up business cards for Changing Times-Changing Worlds to pass out. I passed along a few, and several people took stacks to distribute in groups or stores where they think folks will be interested, so I feel the side trip quite worth it. I did only get there just before my first workshop (at 3:30). I guess I drive slowly. I’d hoped to get my bags into the room first, instead I had to do it after class.
My Friday workshop was on the Wild Hunt, and they had put me in a theatre like hall, so the  people who showed seemed even less, but but was a pretty good turnout for the first slot of the weekend. I expect a lot of people can’t get there until they finish work on Friday. The dealers room- where Jane spent all her time when not teaching- was full of wonderful stuff: jewelry, quilts, clothing, artwork, all handcrafted. Beautiful! I indulged in two items- a CD by Sarah Stockwell I didn’t know was still out, and a booklet on Romuva- the indigenous Baltic religion. Mostly I felt I should conserve funds- I did have to cover my own transportation and banquet.
 I tried to take a picture of the the Way of the Wise, but the cover was too shiny under the chandeliers- lovely pattern of lights though. I’ll have to try again later.
Jane and I had a lovely room, might even have been a Bridal suite it was so big, couch, table, etc., but sadly, with only one Queen bed. If the edge of my hand was at the edge of the bed, and against my hip, and the same for Jane, we touched in the middle. We didn’t have much room for wiggling around much! I’m sure it was worse for Jane as I have shared a bed much of my life, and she never has. [My understanding is that Kings are 76” wide, Queens 60“, Fulls 54”, Twins 38″ and Crib mattresses 27” wide- so a full is twice the width of a crib mattress- clearly intended for people who like to cuddle! A King comes out to about as wide as twin beds pushed together- much better! Maybe it WAS a queen, but that would mean my butt is at least 22 inches across, which is not something I like to think about. They say dining chairs are 18” wide, which accounts for my not being comfortable in standard folding chairs. There are times I wish I were “average” size! Luckily, sharing the room did not seem to give Jane whatever it was I was fighting off. I did take a bottle of fire cider and vitamins, and every so often I’d dowse to see if I were contagious. I sure didn’t want to be patient zero!
I took orange juice and chicken soup to heat in the room, but frankly wasn’t hungry enough to bother. Bob, Diane, and Jane invited me to join them in the hotel pub for supper, and I had a nice Reuben and chowder, and lots of good fun. Luckily I was sitting next to Bob, and he had a flashlight. I don’t know how people read menus in dark restaurants. I guess my eyes are too old. On the other hand, I attended the art show, and it was wonderful!
Jane and I went to bed at a reasonable time, but she commented after about an hour that we’d been talking and still had to get up in the morning for classes, so we had to clamp down and stop talking, no matter how much we enjoy it. I can really understand how sisters used to get close back in the days when beds were shared. It’s so easy to talk together in that situation. In fact, Saturday morning there weren’t classes, but instead a “Plenary Session”, in which various people who’ve been in Earth Spirit a long time- Andras, Dierdre, and even Donovon, addressed the theme for this year- changing ourselves and changing the world. It was fascinating.
I dealt with my usual fights by taking a couple of scenes of pink yarn and knitting Pussy Hats. We do have to change the world, and can’t stop Resisting the depredations of the Oligarchs. (I find news very stressful as something awful happens almost daily. I want to hide from the news, and feel I shouldn’t, even though there’s little direct action I can take.) But let me share some good news, before I let Politics go for this week: NH has voted to protect LGBTQ youth from “Conversion Therapy”. One step at a time.
In the afternoon I attended Martin Bridges class on symbolism- “The Stuff of Magick”, then Andras’ personal workshop on “Changing the Shape of the World”. He told a story about a young man he’d met in Europe who was very angry about how Andras does so much interfaith work. He said that all Christians should be killed and their churches torn down for what the Church has done over the centuries. Andras simply told him that if that was his position, next Sunday he should go into a large church, go up to the front at the beginning of a service, stand in front of the altar, and tell the congregation all the horrible things that had been done in the name of Christ by people who represented themselves as Christians. He then predicted that if the kid did this, first he’d be tackled by the deacons (or whatever that church had for immediate muscle), who’d probably knock him down, thump him, and carry him out, then they’d call the police who’d take him away, probably with a few more thumps, and he’d end up fined and incarcerated, without having had much impact. He then pointed out that he has done that many times, in many churches, and afterwards people came up and said “we didn’t know”, and apologized. This is why he does inter-faith work. I thought it was marvelous.
My afternoon workshop was on Household Spirits- in the same large hall, but I noticed that someone had made a circle of chairs on the main landing in the middle of the hall, so I sat up there, and we managed to fit the 20 or so folks that came in that circle, which made it ever so much better that me standing at the front of a lecture hall. In the SCA I tend to be telling people the historical background- letting them know what their persona’s would have known about a subject, introducing them to new sources. But in the pagan groups, I figure people want to know more about how it fits into their lives and their experiences, so a circle is a better format for getting people to share their experiences. I also lean heavily on my own, and on being a fair witness- saying what it was I saw, and then telling them how I interpret it, and what folk lore or other study I use to explain why I think that was what I experienced meant.As I told them, we are walking the line between deluding ourselves that something is true without sufficient evidence, and deluding ourselves that something is NOT true, again, with insufficient evidence, but simply because our parent culture has told us that it’s impossible. I want to take a scientific view- what did I experience personally, what have I learned that others have experienced, and what filters may have been involved, both in my own experiences, and in reported ones. It’s hard when you experience something for which “there is no logical explanation”.  I heard so many stories like that this weekend, (as at other events). There was one conversation where two people were talking about having gotten lost at some sacred site and experienced seeing things and meeting people who in theory aren’t there. When they went back to check the door they’d gone through or stairs they’d gone down weren’t where they remembered them being. These things happen, and it is SO good to have other people tell you that the same (or a similar) thing happened to them. It’s nice to hear that you aren’t nuts, that someone is ready to believe you. And MAYBE if we can start talking about such stuff openly, we can figure out what is going on. We certainly can’t if we simply decide beforehand that what we experienced couldn’t have happened, and don’t investigate.
The banquet- catered by the Sturbridge Hotel, wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t worth the money- as they tend not to be. They had beef, and chicken, which several people wondered if it was fish. We decided that it was probably chicken that had been raised on fishmeal pellets. There was nothing but water to drink. I was personally thrilled that the hotel water didn’t taste of chlorine, but still. Jane laid out $30 for a bottle of Merlot, but the hotel rules wouldn’t allow them to leave the bottle, so she had it all poured out into glasses right there. I wasn’t up for it. I was trying to not eat anything that wasn’t good for me… although I did have the chocolate torte they had for dessert. As usual, after the Stags Masque- (they do a traditional Horn Dance “rattle the horns, rattle the horns!”) they start modern dancing, and the noise got painful. Why is it that I am both deaf and oversensitive to sound at the same time! That doesn’t seem fair! But I’ve never liked loud music, and frankly, the ambient sound in the banquet hall with nearly a hundred people talking at once was hard to deal with. So we “old fogeys” fled to the dealers room. I thought about going to bed early, but Jane headed in around 11, and as she’d said she’d had trouble falling to sleep in the shared bed the night before, I waited, listening to great stories, for the hour and a half she said it took to make sure she was asleep when I got in.
Sunday my class was on werewolves and shape shifters (also well attended)- first thing in the morning, and I’d planned to stay and enjoy the afternoon classes and spend the night with Jane so I could drive home when it was light, but I was feeling exhausted. I missed my cozy waterbed with featherbeds, and continued worrying about sharing germs. So I packed up and got out right after lunch, and got home at three. Since I went straight to bed and slept until nine, at a bowl of soup, went back to bed and slept until 11 the next morning, I think it’s a good thing I came home early. I think I needed it.
Most of the rest of the week was the same- a LOT of sleeping, OJ, chicken soup, vitamins, and some reading. I did, as I mentioned before, develop the mucus part of the program, but that only lasted a couple of days. I am still annoyingly lacking in energy- hence the delays with the letter. But as Willow pointed out, not pushing myself to catch up when I’m still tired, is a good thing.
I did spend a good deal of my “up” time on Facebook reading Birthday greetings. It says something when the computer actually slows down because it’s had to load over a hundred birthday greetings open at once. I suppose that’s why fb only wants to open them 10 at a time. I was able to put a memory of a face or conversation to 100 out of the 206 names of people who sent them to me. Liz, Kitty and Steve called.
My birthday itself was fairly low key. I felt much better, not so much coughing and congestion, and probably would have spent the day trying to catch up on dishes, but Tuesday it snowed- and I’d been supposed to have dropped my car at Winkles, but the roads were hazardous by the time I woke up, they called and told me that they had time to do it on Wednesday, so poor John had to dig us out all by himself. I didn’t dare go out in the cold, and Willow wasn’t up to it. Kat had been up late working on her latest commission, and wasn’t up yet- leaving John to deal with about 4 inches of powder covered with nearly an Inch of ice. I decided to take the snow off the car roofs, but the roof rake wasn’t breaking through! We had to use a plastic shovel instead! Since it was almost time for Willow to go to Avi’s anyway, I dropped the car off, and Willow took me to Avi’s with her. I played several rounds of Connect 4 with the kids (I’d never played before- it’s fun!), then fell asleep on the couch. I woke up to Willow telling me it was time to go home. We stopped and got Chinese on the way, stopped for some groceries (vitamins and a balloon that said Happy Birthday and has minions on it). We actually ate until we were full and forgot the cake, but it’s the “breakfast of champions”. Kat helped me make it.
Actually, lacking the energy to pick, we made two- both the strawberry pineapple one, and the chocolate. Presents were kept to a minimum: Sealing wax toys: a spoon and a new stamp (interlace knot), and a “furnace” to support the spoon while heating it over a tea light. Willow gave me a crepe pan, which I hope to use tomorrow morning.
I did a lot of reading this week- mostly more Haunting Danielle. I’m up to the next to last book, which is a bit frustrating- the last book in the series doesn’t come out until March, and I’ve been reading one every two or three days, so I’ll have to find something else to read before she ties up all the various interlocking plots. I love how she keeps exploring the different ways ghosts manifest. I am less fond of her technique of deciding to withhold information from the reader to see if they can figure out what she’s leaving out, but it works. I will miss this series when it’s done.
I finally finished the Planet of the Apes movies- got to see Beneath the Planet of the Apes, the one Heston clearly didn’t want to do. It was unremarkable, except for the wretched quality of the special effects and costumes. I’m amazed that there was another one after it. They didn’t seem to set it up for a sequel. The antiwar sentiments seemed a bit dated- but I suppose it was made in 1969. It was also really dark, with everyone dying.
I’ve watched a bunch of Frank Capra Movies: It Happened one night, You Can’t Take it With youLost Horizon, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town,… I love the optimistic style. I also watched The Money Pit (1986, and Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House (1948). Both of those are about how renovation costs get out of hand, and how the stresses relationships. “If the foundation is solid, anything else can be fixed.” Again, optimism. We have to put it in a greenhouse, or cold-frame right now, or the emotional climate could kill the tiny seedlings. It’s worth the extra work to keep it alive.
But I’ll end as I started. Time to sleep to support my health.
Love you!


“Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you’re exactly the same.” Audrey Hepburn
And a bonus sig quote:
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” Satchel Paige
Holidays next week:
þ  8 Molasses Bar Day, Fat Thursday, Boy Scout Day, Kite Flying Day, Opera Day
F  9 Chocolate Day, Bagel Day, Pizza Pie Day, Read in the Bathtub Day, Develop Alternative Vices D
S 10 Cream Cheese Brownie Day, Flannel Day, Teddy Day, Umbrella Day, Plimsoll Day
⨀ 11 Peppermit Patty Day, Inventors Day, Man Day, Marriage Day, Visit Shut-ins Day, Autism Sund
M12 Hot Tea Day, Oatmeal Monday, Lost Penny Day, Paul Bunyan Day, Hug Day, Darwin Day,
T 13 Pancake Day/Fat Tuesday, Tortellini Day, Kiss Day, Natural Day, ExtraTerrestrial Culture D
W14 Cream Filled Chocolates, Ash Wednesday, Ferris wheel, Organ Donor, Book Giving, Valentines