June 13, 2018
We’ve had quite a range of weather this week, from chilly enough that John disconnected the air conditioner to close the window, to so hot we closed up the house to keep the heat out. The iris are gorgeous, and Miles, Willow’s orangey pink rose is forming buds, the dog roses (tiny white flowers) and the white bush out front are blooming. I’m seeing campion and buttercups, although our dandelions have passed. I saw some yarrow while we were out and pointed it out to Kat- “Gyro, where?” she asked (I don’t think she was asking about European coinage). Lot’s of other folks daisies are blooming too, but Milford is usually a couple weeks ahead of us.
The local strawberries are coming ripe- there are a couple of Strawberry Festivals this weekend, but we’ll be day-tripping to the Golden Sword Tourney.
Mostly this week I’ve been “writing”. I have pretty much finished the reading about vampires (and started writing it); and I started collecting books for the Witch Trials workshop. Thursday I decided to look for the books on the Witchcraft trials I knew I had on my bedroom shelves (and piles). I’d seen some of the right titles occasionally while digging through for other books. In the old days I could remember where I’d left a book. Not any more. Is it because my memory is failing, or because I have too many books? I fear it’s because I collect them, and don’t have enough focus on where I put the pile down to lock it into my memory. That’s in the “too many books” category.
That urge which I felt would take a few minutes before I headed down to the computer, took all day. This image is a few years old- the stacks have gotten up past where the lamp attaches to the wall (clearly I was doing something on Anglo-Saxons at the time, as that first pile is the Anglo-Saxon one, next is Dark Ages other, followed by Classical history, and other history. This is followed by healing books, Magick books, folklore, psychic studies, and then we lose any sense of coherency.) You may note that the bed table supports 4 separate piles. But more to the point, see how the bookcase beyond it is sort of trapezoidal? I decided that this was dangerous and I should “fix” that, so I emptied the book cases.
More accurately, when I started extracting likely titles, I noticed how dusty the books on the shelf had become, and there was dust on the shelves in front of and behind them, (this is why when I make bookcases I make them only 6-8” deep) and that led to emptying the shelves, dusting, sorting, alphabetizing them back onto the shelves (BTW, this picture doesn’t show the 5 shelf one on the outer wall.) Anyway, once they were square, the 3 shelf cases would no longer fit. Having it lean was apparently how it fit. Oh well. I took the broken case and set it up beside my computer to hold the “pulled” books. I have come up with a new rule of thumb- no “booklet” or workshop should require more than a 30” shelf of books. Yeah. While I’ve only about 24” inches on Vampires, I’m at about 44” on the Witch Trials. (…and there are still four books I know I have that I can’t locate! Did I loan them to someone?)
Sunday I got distracted again because a jar of moisturizer I occasionally use on my feet fell down- upside down- and the lid came off, and it spilled on the rug beside the bed. This led to more cleaning (and sorting, and “how did my life get so chaotic?” and “why haven’t I read this book yet?” and “where can I put these books?” and “that one doesn’t go in that pile, it goes over there!” etc. etc. ) Yes, things get done, but they were the ones I intended to do, so they don’t COUNT (if you understand that non-logic). One annoying detail was that I decided that the fan needed dusting, and managed to get all the years dust accumulation off of it- which meant putting a piece of paper between each of the wires on the cage that holds the blades, so it looked much better. But stopped working. Maybe I got some dust into the motor. Maybe it’s just dead after two years of nearly constant use. (If you have both a fan and a heating pad plugged in at the same time in your bedroom… you may be a Yankee.)
This morning I ventured into the library and found a half dozen of the “missing” ones- and a couple boxes of “pulled” books from previous workshops that haven’t been re-shelved because there’s no room. I have made a cursory search of the great hall (“If I’m not back by 3, send in an extraction team”) If you’ve ever been distracted by one job leading to another you’ll understand. Today on fb Ariel commented about the dangers of bibliographies on research books “Now there are another 9 books I need to read!” (Only 9?)
My biggest problem is that the more praise I am given for my research, the more I feel I should footnote everything properly, so it’s not good enough to say that I read that in one of these books. What if it was not the book I think it was? Or maybe it’s that I READ academic books, so I think I should write that way. I want to speak so that people can share how cool this information is! I’ve actually bought a couple (used) duplicate copies of books I “really” needed. (I can give them to my apprentice when I find my copy!) But that tends to feel like a waste of money. I REALLY need to organize my books!
I also got the check for the book cover of the viking fighting the bear I did in May. Yay, I’m a professional!
I think the biggest “excitement” this week was the washer breaking. The last few loads I’ve noticed it had trouble with the balance, and often was cold when it was set to warm. This time I heard a sound not unlike fingernails tapping- or water dripping. We looked and saw nothing- then John looked downstairs (his directional hearing is better than mine) and discovered water pouring through the floor into the cellar. Moving the washer we found a good flood under it, and no sign of leaking from any pipes. We dried that load, and decided to call the appliance repairman. I forgot to call him Friday, but Monday he said he can get to us next Friday. Oh well. Kat and I went over to the laundromat and did a few loads (5 double sized) and John and I are now running them through the drier. It’s been looking like it was going to rain all day, but hasn’t so far.
Last week I mentioned that I’d broken down and gotten a doctors appointment. I was quite pleased, they told me that Dr. Quirbach was scheduling in July, but somehow I got to see himself on Friday! (I think he likes me.) I admitted that I had called because I was panicking about a recurrence of Lyme, but it doesn’t seem to have been that, and admitted that maybe it was my subconscious trying to get me in to deal with my plantar fasciitis. On the other hand, I totally forgot to ask about the possible broken metatarsal. Dr. Q knows me well, and suggested that before we go to the steroid shots, I should try two weeks of using a towel to compress the sole of the foot before getting up. He said that it compresses the tissue, but I can’t see that reducing inflammation. I understand when exercises are supposed to stretch muscles and tendons, but I don’t see how that will reduce inflammation. Still, better than steroid shots! Sadly, I have learned something- for the third time since I got it, I went shopping, and each time I’d THOUGHT I was recovered, but it came back with vengeance. I am now convinced that it’s grocery shopping that makes me relapse. I’ll have to let Willow do it for a couple of months. But I like shopping and she doesn’t, so it will be hard.
Last week we found the bag of carrots getting soft, so I cooked most, and then last night made a nice little carrot cake from the rest. This time I didn’t put in the nuts I like, but without them, everyone else in the family has really enjoyed it. I suppose I shouldn’t eat a whole carrot cake myself- even if I do take a week to do it. I also made a strawberry rhubarb pie last week. That disappeared pretty quickly too. It made me feel appreciated.
I’m not sure why, but Willow has had an amazingly productive week. She has gotten a bunch of fans, which we agree make WONDERFUL favors for queens to pass out in the summer, and she’s painting the queen’s badge on them. She made a jig to hold them with a cheap cutting board. Sunday she and John went through his dresser and chucked all the old stuff he doesn’t fit, was too ratty, or he otherwise doesn’t wear. Then they went out and bought him several new pair of shorts (he was down to one) and a bunch of underwear. She also fixed his top drawer which was falling apart. She got a commission to make a blanket with a little girls BIG name (and a baby elephant) this week, and is thinking about instead of just making it $10 more, making it $1 per letter more. (LONG name!)
Last week she broke a tooth, and went to the dentist. Sadly, there was nothing he could do- they don’t glue them back together. He says she is going to have to get it extracted and get an implant- all told about $5K. As she said, that’s more than her car! Worse, he didn’t listen to her. She told him it hurt and he said it was impossible since it had had a root canal. Pardon me doctor, but experience trumps theory! If she says it hurts, your theory doesn’t hold water. Clearly there is some sort of nerve involvement going on. Why won’t they listen? I was annoyed when I went to the doctor because they had me re-sign some forms that THEY call “permission to treat”, which are really “permission to bill”- who they are allowed to share information with to pursue collections of bills. Yes, we want them to ask the insurance company to pay their share, but a lot of it was aimed at collection agencies. (Do other people read these?) And when I TRIED to pay on the way out, they wouldn’t let me because they don’t know how much Medicaid is going to cover- so they won’t bill me until they know. This makes it very hard to be able to control how much I’m spending when they won’t even tell me the price! In what other part of life do you not know how much something is going to cost when you agree to buy it? No wonder they have special forms for you to sign! Anyway, after being very depressed for several hours, Willow called up Tufts Dental School and then called Dr. Edwards to get a referral to them, which should reduce the amount she has to spend on the implant. She strikes me as behaving more adult about it than I do. Or maybe I just hear all my griping to myself in my head.
Willow’s also getting ready for making the summer herbal order- I got a splinter that got infected this week, and she had to cut it out with a scalpel for me. But with the “oops ointment” it was totally healed by the next day. (I wonder if it would work on my feet?) She also ran a load to the dump. (My car seems to have blown a fuse to the electric that locks the doors, so we can’t get in the back door. I need to have Willow show me where the fuses live in my car.)
When I went out I got screen to fix the front door (this time I got “Pet Screen” which is supposed to be more cat resistant), and a new fixture for the light over the kitchen stove, we still need to install it. Liz tells me that the screens at the lake have gotten ripped, but that Dad cleverly reengineered them so that they can be replaced from the inside. Kitty (and Ed Flick) went up to camp for the first time this year and apparently the new system totally confused Ed. I’d love to get up there, but with the 50 year coming, it is probably not in the cards. (Apparently there were also two dead birds that Liz had to take out because Kitty wouldn’t touch them.) Looks like there is going to be some negotiation needed. Liz says the front door needs replacing and Kitty wants to get one with a LOON on it. I am afraid that I lose a lot of ability to push for my preferences by not being up there, but I sure hope she doesn’t find a door with a loon. A door that actually seals out weather and bugs, yes, but we don’t need to get silly! Sounds like Kitty will be retiring at the end of the comping semester, and is looking forward to spending a lot of time at camp. Sounds wonderful, but it’s my camp too, and I don’t want her changing it without checking with me and the others first. Kitty gets excited when finding bargains, and who knows what she may show up with.
Willow found my sewing machine- it was over by the barristers shelves where we keep our “current” sewing projects (buried under laundry, or projects that have exceeded the capacity of the cabinet). With it I was able to get the aprons finished- now I’m sewing on buttons and putting in button holes. The first time I had a buttoned apron was when a cat chewed off one of the ties, so I added the buttons and holes so I only needed one. Now I prefer the buttons. Not only is the side button easier to reach, but I don’t need to remember to keep the “tails” from going into the water when I visit the necessary! (TMI?)
Mark came over for supper on Saturday, and read to me while I worked. At one point during the story someone was using some zombies as “meat shields” for protection in a fire fight, and I quoted, from Gamers, The Darkness Rising “Hide behind the pile of Dead bards!” And he laughed. I think that’s a huge part of why we like our friends, when they get our references and laugh at our jokes! Speaking of friends, Honour has applied to get a house- and is waiting for the inspection to come through. It looks lovely. Erikr, a friend from Twilight Covening died this week, but Tristan seems to have come through his heart bypass, and now simply has to go through the long healing process. It’s good to be in touch with friends, and have them not die. I’m afraid I am missing news because I’m not spending as much time on fb these days. I find it stressful to read about what Trump is up to. House rule has extended “no talking politics during meals” from when we have guests to all the time. It’s just too stressful. Kat did say one thing that made a lot of sense though. Perhaps Trump supporters have a hard time accepting the reality of “White Privilege” when most of them haven’t gotten anything out of it (except maybe the bandaid of “at least I’m not colored”). I am so frustrated. There is not one thing we can do to get the administration from doing horrible things every damned day. Sure, we can vote in the fall, but meanwhile, they are abusing children! (Sorry, sorry…!) I just don’t like to think about it.
I’ve been drinking a lot of iced chai (chai, cream, and ice cubes blended) this week during the warm parts. I really love the metal insulated cups. I love them more now that we have rubber straws for them. The metal ones may be re-usable but they are painful when you accidentally stick it into your cheek because you’re not paying enough attention!. Kat shared her breakfast shake (frozen mixed fruit, yogurt, black raspberry ice-cream and milk) with me this morning, and I kept having a problem drawing it up- only to discover a blueberry that had missed getting blended! We still have a bunch of the old plastic insulated cups, but since we aren’t using them, they may not break, and throwing them away when they are still good seems wrong. First world problems!
Ah well, I must close soon. I’ve been switching to a more “daylight” schedule, which is good, but I’m dozing at the computer now! I don’t seem to have any good pictures this week either.
As I predicted I read most of the latest Haunting Danielle book Ghost of Second Chances, in one sitting (or lying down, since mostly I read in bed.) This interrupted my re-reading the Libertus series. I enjoy it because it’s set in Roman Britain, but also because Libertus is in his fifties, and just getting by financially, so I relate to his problems. I started re-reading them when the first 9 became available for 99 cents each on kindle. What I will do when I get to the later ones, which cost the more usual $9 each, I don’t know. The story of his life progresses in a logical way, I’d sort of like to finish re-reading 9 through 16 before getting to the one that just came out last month. I suppose I’ll have to dig through the library to find the paperbacks. (Pandora’s Boy, the next Lindsey Davis, comes out July 3rd, and I can hardly wait!) Sadly, when they’ve just come out even the kindle editions are $15, so I will wait until they get to the library. I find reading fiction after research reading like having ice-cream after a meal, and re-reading favorite stories is like comfort food for the mind.
I’m on The League of Frightened Gentlemen, in the Nero Wolfe books. I’ve discovered that they have a lot of them on audio books on you-tube, so I can listen when I‘m cutting and pasting the holidays (it doesn’t take a lot of attention). One of the things I really enjoy about the Nero Wolfe books is that they are written entirely unselfconsciously as contemporary books- back when they were written. They talk about moving away from Prohibition, or placing phone calls with operators. Archie mentions that he gets a shave about three times a week at a barber shop, while Wolfe is shaved daily at home. This indicates that in the thirties men hadn’t all adopted safety razors to use at home. The xenophobia and sexism is so open and unconscious it’s practically innocent. I remember reading the Little Colonel books when I was a kid, (written 1895~1910) and how they talked about the “darkie” children, and being afraid of tramps, with no thought that it was racist. The early Nancy Drew books were clearly from an earlier time, but no one thought they needed to be brought into the modern world, they were what they were. I’ve tripped over a book called Witches of New York, which seems to be stories that were written for a newspaper in 1858 and gathered into a book. The reporter is quite frankly making fun of the fortune tellers on whom he’s reporting.I think he’s a bit too much into his own “clever writing”, but the descriptions of what life was like with no intent to make points about anything but the fraud being perpetrated, makes it more informative than many “history” books. Similarly, Stout is a treasure trove of what (at least fictional) life was like in the 30s!
Tchipakkan aka Distractible Woman!
“Have you no idea of progress, of development?”
“Have you no idea of progress, of development?”
“I have seen them both in an egg, ” said Caspian. “We call it Going Bad in Narnia.””
Holidays to celebrate this week
Thursday 14 Bath Day, Bourbon Day, Strawberry Shortcake Day
Friday 15 Kiss a Cookie Day, Fly a Kite Day, Lobster Day, Beer Day (Britain)
Sat 16 Fudge Day, Tapas Day, Fresh Veggies Day, Juggling Day, Wish Fulfillment Day
Sun 17 Apple Strudel Day, Cherry Tart Day, Turkey Lovers Day, Tessellation Day
Mon 18 Picnic Day, Sushi Day, Splurge Day, Go Fishing Day (Int. Panic Day)
Tuesday 19 Martini Day, Garfield the Cat Day, Sauntering Day, Eat an Oreo Day
Wed 20 Ice Cream Soda Day, Vanilla Milkshake Day, Plain Yogurt, Kouign Amann Day