5-17-2017 Cherry Cobbler Day

 After a week of cold, damp weather, the sun is out, it’s in the 80s, and the weather is gorgeous!
I was going to say “All’s right with the world”, but I just got a call from Willow. She said “I have a picture for this week’s letter.” She was at Monadnock interviewing a new therapist. (The old one was great if you could tell him what your problem was, but if you didn’t know, he couldn’t help you figure it out, which she needs.) That seems to have gone well, but she heard a bad noise as she was coming in, and discovered something dragging. She thinks it’s the sway bar. So she went in for her appointment, then called AAA. They are on the way, and we’ll have them take it to Winkles. She’d already decided to get a “new” car anyway, and has been looking around. I guess we’ll be a one car household until she finds one. So it’s not as bad as it could be.
A “very nice young man” named Jeremy, came and put the old car up on his truck, and Willow and he chatted on the way over to Winkles where it will probably become spare parts. Kat and I went over so she could get all her old stuff out of her car. Avi had come to pick her up, and they mentioned they were going for frosts, so I took Kat to Wendy’s and we got one too. It was hot. Between the leaking gas tank that needed replacing, broken headlamp and now the sway bar, it’s time to suck it up and get a new car.
Back to the “farm report”: the weather is gorgeous.The trees no longer look like they’re starting, the leaves are HERE. The forsythia has passed, and most of the daffodils. The bleeding hearts are gorgeous- and have spread! The lilacs are forming, the first lilies of the valley are unfurling, the kids got me pansies for Mothers Day, and they’re in (I’m wearing one now!). This is a gorgeous time of year (when it’s not raining)!
The apple orchards are in boom. Once again I tried to catch the scent while driving by with windows down. Honour always rhapsodize about the scent of apple blossoms, but I can’t catch it. I guess we are going too fast.
Animal-wise, the anti-flea drops are not totally keeping the cats clear, we keep finding fleas on the cats. And they are showing a great affinity for the burdock, which needs to be removed. They are not grateful, which you’d think they would be since otherwise they’d have to get them out with their tongues!  I am assuming that Zoloft likes to scrape under bushes. She kept coming in so wet last week that you’d think she’d been swimming!
Yesterday, we were taking the boys (Ambien and Pyewacket) in for their shots, and while Ambien came quietly, Pyewacket wouldn’t. He got out, and ran into the back yard, leading Kat a merry chase through the damp, and finally coming to rest under the big rose bush. The thorns in that have gotten huge! I pulled one out of me afterwards that was more than a centimeter long, and had a large hunk of my skin on it. (I am offended.) We finally gave up on him- and the car wouldn’t start. The battery is recharged now. This is the sort of “adventure” that makes up daily life.
It’s really been a very quiet week. Mostly I’ve been trying to overcome a psychological block with the painting I’m working on. I think it’s because I’m having trouble with the perspective. This shouldn’t bother me, since it was bought on the PBS auction and the sample painting is typical Naif with bad perspective, but *I* see it, and don’t like it. I keep getting on my apron, and getting ready- then suddenly feel compelled to wash dishes, or organize the pantry. Willow suggests I do some other piece of art that I feel like doing. Last night I had the idea to do a “wild hunt”, and that sounds fun, but I OWE this one, and feel I should do it first. I am pretty sure it’s the “owing” part that’s part of the block. Perhaps I shouldn’t work so hard on figuring out the mechanics of the block. I do continue to enjoy coloring.
The “Big holiday” this week was Mothers Day. We don’t treat it as much, if we lived near Farmington I might go up and leave some scotch on Mother’s grave, but pansies is about all I want, and I got them. We finally finished the Beltaine and birthday cakes, and I made the first strawberry rhubarb pie of the year- it was great!
Willow made a batch of “Oops ointment” with coconut instead of olive oil and beeswax as the base, we’ll see how it works. I think beeswax and olive oil all by themselves are a pretty good ointment.
The really cool news is that Morgan and Rachel’ Kuberry’s baby arrived- so quickly (40 minute labor) that they had a surprise home-birth, then transported to the hospital, although I’m sure they’re back now, with baby Ellis (Eli). Big sister Ruby is thrilled, and I wish I lived closer!


Fun holidays for the coming week include:
18 Visit your Relatives Day, & Cheese Souffle Day
19 Pizza Party Day, Devils Food Cake Day, & Bike to Work Day
20 World Whiskey Day, Quiche Lorraine Day & Eliza Doolittle Day
21 Strawberries and Cream Day, & I need a patch for that Day
22 Goth Day, Sherlock Holmes Day, & Vanilla Pudding Day
23 Taffy Day
Speaking of medical patches, Willow and her doctor are filling out the paperwork so she can get medical marijuana. I also read that they’re having a press conference today about descheduling cannabis from the overblown classifications it’s been on. Too bad it too an opiod crisis to get people looking for safe and effective pain remedies to make this happen!
Tonight my podcast is going to be about hedgewitchcraft, with Veronica Cummer  a witch version of shamanism. She’s from Minnesota, so it’ll be an earlier zone for her.
We are having internet meetings to organize CTCW.   I’m trying to be helpful, advise and inspire, also do the web blog for CTCW, so I don’t get burned out again. But Changing Times really needs to figure out how to advertise, and I don’t know how. It seems to me that everyone would love to talk to other people who aren’t going to give them a hard time for accepting that psychic stuff is real. When I talk to people, almost all of them admit that they have seen a ghost, or experienced something weird, but they don’t feel that they can admit it without being considered a nut. We need to remove the stigma, Psychic Pride! But then, I don’t think I think the way the vast majority of the world does.
Over the weekend I heard about the cyber attacks in England. From what I heard it was a malware that demanded each user pay £300 in bitcoin. My thought was that what this is going to do is increase the demand for bitcoins- who stands to benefit from that? You know who else benefits from it? Computer cleaning companies. I was getting pop-up ads for clearing “detected” malware from my computer almost every hour soon after that. Meanwhile (as I’m reminded by looking for the pound currency symbol, I spent most of Monday trying to get my computer to talk to the printer. This has not been a problem recently, but the printer has returned to its old trick of saying it can’t print in black and white if we’re out of yellow ink. Pardon me, LOW on yellow ink. Feh. The “support” team at HP insisted it was a computer problem- let them have their apple techs fix it. I’m not comfortable with that, so I called Apple, and they said it was a problem with the printer- but I did need to run the latest update. Great. Since I did that, my old system for plugging in a symbol is replaced with one that’s full of cute emojis, but I can’t find the symbols like pound £ I want without scrolling through hundreds of them! I wish they wouldn’t make us “upgrade” against our will! Sadly, I have not been able to get any pictures out of the camera
During the week I discovered that even more than supporting Trump, people cannot compromise on manditory vaccinations. There is a place between “you’re evil if you don’t vaccinate your children”, and “you’re evil if you do vaccinate your children” where I sit. There are problems associated with vaccinations, which also have great benefits, and we really need more unbiased research into it to reduce the problems. But it’s amazingly hard to take that position, both sides seem to think you’re against them. I’ll admit that the situation is not improved by the niggling issue that maybe if you have made the wrong choice, you may have hurt your child, and that’s very powerful. But people are so stressed these days they seem to be looking for something to be angry about.
I continue to be sad that people will focus on side issues like poor Spicer not wanting to deal with reporters (although I have less patience with Secretary Price for having reporter Dan Heyman arrested for yelling questions), and whether someone says “Golly” when testifying. Let’s stick to the issues, folks! Oh, and when I was doing some calling in support of Net Nutrality, Speaker Ryan’s office was included in the numbers to call, and, yes, as previously reported, he is not accepting calls. Some congressmen and women had aides answering their phones, others had “leave a message”, but Ryan was just not interested in hearing from his consituents. That worries me. After my rant last week I was told that the Republicans are not worried about being re-elected, they have Gerrymandered their districts so that they don’t have to worry about it. I hope not. I think those plans were based on the old patterns of people not bothering to vote. We are awake and are not going to go back to sleep now. Teddy Roosevelt did it before with the trustbusting, and we can do it again with the corporations. Perhaps Trump giving away Israli secrets to the Russians, as well as weapons to the Saudis may change some minds. Unless, of course, they just refuse to believe it. I heard he’s talking about giving up press conferences, taking rights from gays- certainly that will not improve if Pence has to take over.
This week I finished Deadly Election, the Flavia Alba Roman detective book I was reading, and got into Graveyard of the Hesperides, the next in the series. This is a bit of a spoiler, but I don’t think it will surprise anyone, Flavia and the agile Tiberius fall in love, and this book chronicles the cold case where the body of a missing barmaid is discovered while the bar is being renovated, while, at the same time, they are getting ready for their wedding. Chaos insues of course. I love Lindsey Davis’ writing. Inspired by that, I watched the History channel’s disc  Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire which included shows on the rise of Marius, Spartacus, Julius Caesar, and the Teutoburg disaster. There was no new information, but fun reconstructions. The other disk of Kenneth Clark’s Civilization came. I’m sure I didn’t give it suitable attention, as I tend to watch while cooking or doing other kitchen work, and mainly (as I mentioned when I watched the other disc) it consisted of pictures of gorgeous artwork, buildings etc., and classical music while you looked at it, although Clark occasionally tells you what you are looking at. I probably should have watched it when I was in full blown Lyme and could look up more. I also started the third season of Grimm. It’s a joy to see Hank and Juliet working with the Wesen without having problems with it. I do think they use the worries of the wesen as a reflection of racial prejudices. My favorite moment so far was as they were going into a fight, the captain put on his “game face” as John put it, of being in full Hexenbeast mode, and asked Hank if he was OK, to which Hank replied “I wish I could do that.” Well, yes, if you’re headed into a dangerous situation, having a strength advantage would seem very appealing, even if you really don’t want all the crap that goes along with it.
I continue to think about the book I finished last week The Autoimmune Epidemic, and probably will, because so many people I know have auto-immune disorders, and I’m so cross that the modern world is OK with filling the world with stuff that’s making us sick, even though we really do know better. Here are some quotes I pulled from the book:
 “The numbers are staggering: one in 12 Americans, and 1 in 9 women- will develop an autoimune disorder.”  What’s a autoimmune disorder? Multiple Scherosis: 400,000 patients, Lupus: 1,500,000, Meniere’s: 7/1000 Americans, Crohn’s disease: more than 1,000,000, Rheumatoid arthritis: more than 2,000,000, Sjogren’s: 4,000,000,  so, in total:  23.5 million Americans with autoimmune disease. “yet 90% of people cannot summon the name of one specifically.”
“More research needs to be done on this subject- in the form of both epidemiological (human population studies correlated with exposures) and animal studies.”
“But taking these positions-that environmental exposures are not adversely affecting our bodies’ health or that we are not causing our planet to get hotter- is dangerous. To miss the opportunity to change is to <not only> deny the evidence and miss what may be a fleeting opportunity to reverse these trends.”
“The fight agains autoimmuity needs to be fought on several levels: more extensive research, development of better therapies that more effectively treat these diseases, and action to decrease our environmental exposures. The last action will require personal responsibility, political action, and corporate accountability.”
On how autoimmune disease is being ignored:the NIH spends 1/6  on autoimmune research that it spends on AIDS/HIV which affects less than 9000,000 Americans. Autoimmune research gets 1/10th of Cancer research, which claims less than half as many patients.
“The 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act requires that new chemical compounds be tested for negative health effects before approval only if evidence of potential harm already exists- which is rarely the case for brand new chemicals. The FDA approves 90% of these new compounds without restrictions.”
“Go to the Environmental Protection Agencies EnviroMapper yourself and plugin your own zip code.” (It’s still up.)
“As one top researcher who prefers to speak off the record puts it “If you are looking for the big ‘ahas’ in autoimmune research are going to be in the next few years, you have to look at vaccines.”  “Since the advent of the Industrial Age, the atmospheric burden of mercury in our environment- meaning the amount falling from the sky from waste from coal combustion, incineration, mining, coal fired utilities, and industrial boilers- has tripled. In the United States, coal-fired power plants alone spew about fifty tons of mercury into the air each year.”
I took a lot of notes, as it seems important, and I didn’t feel like buying the book. In order to end on a positive note, here’s a couple of “green” alternatives if you’d rather not continue using some of the chemical problems that may be contributing to your ill health.
Furniture Polish: 1 pt white vinegar, 3 pos olive oil, dash of lemon oil (we all have THAT around)
Window cleaner: 1 pt white vinegar , 1 pt water. and here’s a place with more recipes like that:
An old freind from many years ago, Daniel Curtis, dropped by today. I was griping about the ant invasion and he suggested equal parts borax and sugar will kill them in a green way. I’m trying it, and will let you know.
until next week then,
Two quotes from Marcus Tullius Cicero:
Anyone who has a book collection and a garden wants for nothing.

Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? Quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?

When, O Catiline, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours, swaggering about as it does now?

O tempora, o mores Oh the times, Oh the customs!  uo usque tandem abutere, Tubula, patientia nostra?

O tempora, o mores….