4-13-2016 Peach Cobbler Day

DSC02480It is a gorgeous day! The sun is shining! It’s over 60 degrees out. The maple trees are blooming! I had to wear my sunglasses when we took our walk  (I have such a small margin of comfort with light levels)! But it’s wonderful! There is nothing like a week of rain and overcast to help appreciate the sun. We took in the daffodils when they were crushed down by the snow, and they’ve cheered us on the kitchen table, but those are now fading.  Our hyacinth are blooming, but I’m guessing they’re old or not fertilized enough because they look rather spindly. Given that they are all coming back from bulbs we bought in pots then planted when they were done blooming, I guess that’s as good as we could expect. However they are not quite “cut flower” worthy. We are cheered by the leaves coming out on the lilac bushes, and dismayed by the amount of work we need to (but may not) do trimming back wild rose and raspberries that intrude on the garden. (We have despaired of getting rid of the knotweed.) I will have to try to get outside more. I like it, but find things to do inside that take less energy.DSC02481

Today Megan and Claus/Linda and Dennis are probably on their narrow boat in England sleeping off their flight, as I understand it they were leaving Tuesday. Friday night was Dennis’ birthday party, and I went over- had cake and pizza and completely forgot to get any pictures. He’d been so charmed by the dead security guy gnome I got Linda for her birthday last fall, I picked up a Kirk gnome for him at Kirk gnomeMagickal Marketplace last weekend.  We bumped into them on Thursday or Friday at the pharmacy. Dennis was having trouble getting 3 months of the (cefuroxime axetil?) antibiotic he’s taking to get rid of the Lyme disease. I can understand if it was a narcotic, but I doubt there’s a lot of street value for antibiotics, but it’s very hard to get systems to deviate from their usual practice even though humans rarely all behave the same. Apparently he had no problem getting their other prescriptions extended. Weird the ones there are problems with, isn’t it?

I have, unsurprisingly, been gearing up on the CTCW stuff. We had a meeting Thursday night, and I wrote and sent out a newsletter to the people we still have email for (after the computer crash two years ago). I am SO grateful for having so many other people handling things these days. (I’m not always the first to discover that new people have signed up, although I do need to get into the habit of scheduling checking the contact page a couple times a week. We are getting some response to the cards passed out ten days ago, and the deadline for our half price registrations is the 15th. But, thank goodness, it’s not as much on me as it was in the first years.
Friday we went to the Blood Drive in Peterboro (looked for the one in Milford on Thursday, but I’d gotten the day wrong- it’s tomorrow).  Kat and I managed to do fine, but they tried both arms on Willow and couldn’t get blood. She could feel with one of them that they’d put the needle through a valve- she could feel it fluttering. She mentioned that “wiggling the needle” made it hurt more and how she’d once threatened to kick a nurse who kept doing it- so the phlebotomist called one of the others over and asked her to “wiggle the needle”. Some people need SERIOUS help with what they think is funny!

I spent much of last week trying to finish the jeweled gown, but when it got too late, I decided instead to look gorgeous in my hand woven wool with the fur trim, and all three of us Ælfwyða, Ælfðryð, and I each had ours, so we matched, and looked Saxon, and that was cool. We HAD to go, because it was Kenric and Avelina getting crowned again, (they are Saxons), and it was being held at the Higgins Armory- which although it’s no longer a museum is still there, and rentable. The Stonemarche banner display was hung up there, and they displayed some of the crowns and other cool stuff in remaining cases, which was pretty neat.Stormgard at Coronation
We had picked up a large wicker chest I’d planned to take to the war to keep furs in, but we like them a lot,  so we picked a couple of lengths of cloth from our linen stash (red and aqua), and threw in some furs, and pearls, so it was a royal gift. Willow remembers being “Princess Royale” (what they call kids of the King and Queen) and it is not wonderful because your parents are really busy, so she took a small treasure chest and put a bunch of her glass necklaces in it that she makes and sells at the war and gave that to the princess, who looked sort of gobsmacked. She’s done this before and really, usually there’s a lot of being ignored involved.
Avelina & Kenric (sharon Cattera pic)We also like the previous royals: Brennan and Ceoflinn, but final court was sort of painful (mostly because we were in metal folding chairs, and it was supposed to have been over at noon, but went on until quarter of 2). Ironically most of the court business was taken up with the King and Queen thanking people for helping them (stay on schedule).  Kenrick came in carried on his shield again, and finally Court was over.  An SCA acquaintance, Rose, behind us, had brought her friend and his daughter to the event as their introduction to the SCA. Oops. When you don’t know the people, I don’t think even the pomp and circumstance (and pretty garb- there was a lot of very nice garb) is worth the time sitting. I listened to her running commentary, and it reminded me of a sports fan in the bleachers bringing his girlfriend to her first game and trying to explain how it works. Cassandra and Siubhan had made the “dayboard” (buffet feast), which had been scheduled for 12:30. Willow and I went out and got our feast gear and the gift chest around 1:30, hoping to avoid the rush when court ended. Luckily the Higgins has an elevator. Willow stayed with the chest near the day board, and as soon as the Coronation happened, we headed down. It was REALLY crowded, and rather hot. AElfthryth higgins The girls had found chairs under Kat’s banner, and there was some moving around. Morgan Kuberry, who used to work at the Higgins, came in at one point and we talked. Mostly the girls were there to garb watch. I could have wished to have been watching from the gallery (although it was even hotter up there) because we couldn’t really see much. They did hold up some of the awards. We have gone beyond incredible illumination- one “scroll” was on stained glass, another carved into an antler, another (I think) carved in stone. Awards are given for service and excellence in arts, and that is why courts are long- because there is SO much talent and so many people doing incredible stuff in the SCA.
We ate quickly, and went back up to find out when the “Sitting in State” would start. That’s when people can come swear fealty and give gifts. (They can also take off the extra layers of garb and regalia which look great, but we do heat our halls.) Also, I hear that they’d planned for about 350 people and got 667- it was packed! In all honesty, after we’d given them the wicker chest and cloth, and chatted for a while with Raven and Cricket (who showed up looking absolutely spectacular in Landsknicht!), we thought about another few hours of court, and decided just to head home and rest. This was good because I was in bed and asleep around 9. I think I sat and knit between when we got home and bed-time, keeping an eye on the window, and just waiting for it to get dark. Knitting is something I can do with no brain. (It was still chilly and rainy then.) I saw Marieke, and Feral, and Osgkar and his lady, and Freya, but there were so many people I was a bit dazed by it.
Me & QueenWe expect and plan for Kat getting over-stimulated, but I guess there is a point for any of us where there are just too many people sharing our air, because I was really eager to get out of there myself.

Steve came up the next day, and we just vegged out because that was about all I was good for- we watched movies, ate, I knit. There’s been a significant lack of energy recently, although Willow did cut out another batch of blankets, and Kat continues plugging along on her sewing commissions. (I think she was actually working on a bonnet at the Coronation.)
I did go over to Monadnock yesterday with Willow for her first interview with Dr. Gunning. Kat’s doing well enough that Willow’s going to give drugs a shot. We’ve seen several people that they’ve really helped, and we can hope that it will give her more energy, less depression and anxiety, and better sleep. We’re pretty sure that it’s chemical imbalance in the brain that’s giving her a hard time- although all our experience and studying on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome indicate that depression is a common side effect. Ya think?! If you’re too tired to do whatever you want and need to do, and ache all the time, and can’t sleep, your memory and concentration are not dependable, and you can’t even schedule “good days”, IMO being bummed out about it is the logical response! (Not to mention the real financial problems from not being able to work a “normal” job create.) But we’re hoping that some of the things they’ve come up with can help. Kat says she’s doing better, and we are always hopeful. We figure it’ll take a month or three to see how her personal chemistry interacts with the various drugs we try (for instance her inconvenient allergy to the mycins). That’s what the doctors are for, to keep track of what works for what symptoms, how they interact, and then we get to test them and see how they REALLY work on us.  Fingers crossed, we are hoping for medical miracles. Willow gave me permission to say this. “It’s scary and embarrassing, and it shouldn’t be. So we should talk about it.” Sadly, most of the side effects seem to look just like the symptoms of CFS, so it’s going to be hard to spot them.Laura and David Hawkwood

I got sad news this morning: Our friend Laura Hawkwood/ Laura de Segovia/ Laura Beryl Gray died. I hadn’t thought about it much, she sent me humorous pictures of pets and political satire every so often- last one about two weeks ago. Laura de Segovia was one of our friends in early Carolingia. She had health problems, so had a “breathy” voice, and didn’t dance much. While she started with a Spanish persona, switched over to Elizabethan (spectacular Elizabethan) when she married David Hawkwood. She got one of the first companionships in the Order of the Laurel for more than one art- both costuming and calligraphy. Her calligraphy was incredible, but then, so was her garb. We were part of her wedding party in 1976 or 77. Shortly after that she stopped going to events, she was waiting for a heart-lung transplant, which she did get. She never really got back into the SCA, I always assumed because of the things one needs to do on anti-rejection drugs. Over the years she has become a surprise for the doctors. I believe it’s been 36 years since her transplant. She’d ask the doctors if something was an expected side effect and they’d point out that no one had ever lived as long as she did on a second set of organs. (I remember Pat Roberts having a party when her donated kidney turned 21 and “could vote”. Medical breakthroughs are so commonplace these days, we may not be sufficiently amazed.)  I suppose that she was about my age, and so in her 60s, so it wasn’t a bad run. My heart does go out to David.

What have I been watching and reading this week?
I’ve been enjoying the Hillerman novels- he is an excellent writer and I find it VERY hard to put the books down. His chapters are short, so I keep thinking “just one more”, which makes it hard to turn off the light at night, or get up in the morning. His characters are wonderful, and I love the Navajo culture. Finally, an entire people who all have trouble with the concept of punishment and revenge! I have always found the way most people find “getting even” reasonable confusing. Even the phrase “getting even” indicates that “two wrongs make a right”, that somehow a victim will feel better when the person who hurt them has been hurt. Teaching them or healing them makes so much more sense to me. I have had to come to accept that more people tie the concept of “fairness” or “justice” to inflicting discomfort on the person who initially hurt someone, and while I do accept that in cold-blooded crimes (such as selling junk housing loans that crash the economy), are indicative of people who would have been likely to NOT commit the crime if they were more  afraid of being punished, you can’t say that about crimes of passion or need. Either they are acts of mental illness which should be treated, or desperation which should be treated by fixing the social issues that prompted them. So far I’ve read The Blessing Way, Dance Hall of the Dead, Listening Woman, People of Darkness, the Dark Wind, The Ghostway and The Talking God, and bits of the Hillerman Companion, and I’ve have gotten Willow started on the series. I’m still glad I saw the movies- I don’t think I’d be able to
I finally got around to watching the Man from U.N.C.L.E. reboot, and while it was fun (I didn’t wish I had my hour back), it wasn’t as good as other nostalgia do-overs like Star Trek. I was disappointed that they hadn’t managed to get cameos for either Robert Vaughn or David McCallum (they are both still alive after all), nor did they use any of the technology we loved- talking pens, and exploding watches etc. and didn’t even mention Thrush.  I was very disappointed in the way they remade Illya. He was supposed to be clever, instead he seems to have taken some sort of Russian “Super Soldier” treatment, running down a car, pulling it apart and throwing it far enough to hit the departing vehicle. If they explained these abilities, I missed it.  I also had a very hard time keeping track of the characters because they all seem to have been drawn from a pool of nearly identical male models all of whom looked like Superman. I recognized Hugh Grant by his voice; he is NOT old enough to play Waverly! IMO characters should really be distinguishable. They chose not to use music from the 60s, but rather reminiscent of it, and I think the costuming was as well. Some of the high fashion had that 60s feel, but most of the costuming was boring. They could have had more fun with it.
Bonekickers Sadly this may be one of the stupidest shows ever made by the BBC- in it the heros (an archeaeological team out of Bath) dig up templars, the True Cross, Boudicca, Joan of Arc, and the round table, encountering along the way, various secret societies and whacko religious cults, a charismatic black American presidential candidate (it was made in 2008), a child chess prodigy who is destined by a Babylonian prophesy to bring peace to the Near East, and a prototype WWI tank that didn’t work, and so much more you can hardly believe it fit into only 6 episodes. Steve and I watched an episode while I was making dinner and Willow came through, caught about a minute of it while making tea and said “Your science is bad, and you should feel bad!” which is apparently based on a quote from Zoidberg on Futurama. It didn’t take me long to start also yelling at it “Your history is bad, and you should feel bad!”. That said, I enjoyed it anyway, because I accepted it for what it was- a silly fantasy that had no pretensions of being aimed at anything but entertainment. Do NOT expect to learn any history from this show (although I totally loved the climactic scene where Professor “Dolly” yells at the bad guys  “Don’t MESS with me, I’m an archaeologist!” For some of us, the love of history does light an inner fire.
Kat coronationSpeaking of “just for fun” I tripped over another series that sounds interesting, Dorothy Gilman’s novels about an elderly spy: The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax. I’ve put in a request in to the library for when I’m done with the Hillerman books, and then caught a TV movie with Angela Landsbury of one. It was fun, but I still have a good eight books in that series to go.
I’ve done Medieval Village and started Medieval Town. Also reading Magickal Ettiquette, and Inner Alchemy.  Not much non-fiction I’m having such a good time with the Hillerman books.

Tonight on the New Normal, my guest was Taylor Ellwood again, this time we talked about the Body Mind Connection- as he wrote about in his book  Inner Alchemy (I’ve been reading it this week).

That’s all for tonight.

Much affection,
Virginia

“When your heart feels sick at the thought of doing something, when it rebels despite what your mind offers up, listen to those feelings. For when you go against them you go against that primal part of yourself that intuitively knows that the choice you’re making is taking away from the divine purpose and inspiration within you.” Taylor Ellwood