6-14-2017 Strawberry Shortcake Day

Most of last week it was really cool- enough that I often considered firing up the woodstove. Then Friday it warmed up. A friend said that anyone who’d been griping about the cold was not allowed to complain about the heat. It did get a bit hard to take. We pulled out all our fans, and I guess I did gripe about the heat, because today the “Air Conditioning Fairy” came by. Mark had asked how Kat was doing and I’d said not- too well since the air conditioner we’d bought last year had died after only one season. He sympathized and not only got one for her window, but also one for the downstairs- we’re trying to decide where to put it to best advantage. I’d like to aim for the kitchen and living room- where we spend the most of our time. I am totally blown away!
I think I’m a bit paranoid about ticks these days- we check the cats each time they come in, and ourselves, often, because the cats do bring them in. Willow even found one of the tiny ones (a deer tick? Yikes!) on her after Ambien came in and sat on her briefly. So I haven’t been out much this week. My stock are passed, although I’ve seen daisies (I thought it was too early for them). Our white rose bush is blooming, and the wild tiny white roses, and there’s a bud on the potted rose we got last Pennsic and overwintered in the cellar. Other than that, we have a bumper crop of knotweed, interspersed with buttercups. Out back I may detect an elder, or some other white flowering bush- but I’m afraid to go out and check- even with long stockings. The idea that one can get Lyme more than once is burned into my brain.
Interesting discovery- the experiment with making oops-ointment with coconut oil (which is solid at what we’d consider room temperature) has shown us that in summer heat it goes quite liquid. Willow has poured out the little jars and plans to melt some beeswax into them to harden them up.
I have spent much of the week trying to revive the Soothsayer’s Guild. Elena, the Guild Mistress for about thirty years has moved out of the kingdom, and we don’t really have a good idea who’s left. We used to communicate on Yahoo, but they “improved” it to uselessness a few years ago. With Arwen (the new Guildmistress’ permission) I put up a facebook page, and invited the old people I remembered. We’re up to 25 now. I figure I’ll have meetings at Palio and GNEW and see who’s out there. I’ve had meetings in the past and people come, but I didn’t make a list of who they were, and I think being able to contact each other is what we need.
Saturday when the girls went to Costco, Willow got her roots lightened. She’d gotten to the point where she didn’t recognize herself in the mirror and that’s uncomfortable. The color matches beautifully, but sadly, she’s lost the variation that comes with natural sun-lightening- bits of dark and very light mixed together. With some of the meds she’s on, she’s supposed to avoid the sun, so just sun-in won’t do it at this point. I expect the variation will return gradually.
Sunday was Kidscon, in Nashua. It’s a comic book convention aimed at kids young enough that one day is enough, because their parents are bringing them. Willow did a workshop on how to make ribbon roses with her fleece scraps. She decided she was “evil enough” to add glitter and “enchant” the roses at the end. Not too evil, fleece really does grab onto glitter and not scatter it (and she saw the next class who came in try to get what had been left on the tables on themselves).
I blew an hour (I think) on looking at pictures of yarn bombing. It was yarn bombing day- that’s a sort of graffiti where you decorate public places with knitting, crochet, macramé or other yarn crafting. People are really incredibly clever and artistic! It’s more pleasant than reading about politics (BTW, today has been proclaimed Covfefe Day, and it’s been featured on one of my vocabulary pages- it seems to be coming into language as a way of expressing someone ducking responsibility for a mistake they made. I guess it’s a trifle better than that horrid period when people would say “I lied” when a mistake they’d made was made evident, as if lying was better than being fallible! Upcoming holidays this week include:
Thursday 15 Recess at Work Day, Lobster Day
Friday 16 Fudge Day, Flip Flop Day
Saturday 17 Juggling Day, Cherry Tart Day
Sunday 18 Father’s Day, Sushi Day, International Picnic Day
Monday 19 Sauntering Day, Martini Day
Tuesday 20 Vanilla Milkshake Day, Ice Cream Soda Day (learn the difference!)
Wednesday 21 Global Orgasm Day, Peaches and Cream Day, Selfie Day (Summer officially  begins)
 With the heat, I feel summer has officially begun. We are falling back on our coping mechanisms. Today we had our annual Fruit Salad (a tradition going back to my time in the Process- it get’s heavy cream poured on it, but I took the picture before that because it’s so much more colorful!), and in the heat we eat lots of salads: tossed salad, crudities, potato salad, tuna salad… I make lavash rolls to keep in the refrigerator with deli meats.
We’ve moved the rolling board over from the counter to the woodstove, and set the Soda Stream, and Iced Tea maker and blender on it as a “drink and sandwich making station”. We also are leaning toward stir fries because they’re quick and don’t heat the kitchen as much as baked meats. Sunday I made sesame chicken, which is a family favorite. Monday I had a pork roast, but not wanting to turn the oven on, chopped it up and made a very credible sweet and sour pork, and some fried rice. Tuesday Willow made a stir fry with rice noodles and beef- spicy, because when it’s hot you want that. I’m thinking a curry may be in our future next time I’m up for cooking at all.
I stayed up late last night to bake a strawberry rhubarb pie in the evening cool. I’d picked up the rhubarb, and Willow discovered that the first local strawberries are in at Fitch’s so it had to be done. (they don’t last). It’s easier to eat breakfast when I have chopped up melon. Anything heavier seems a chore. At least we are able to eat salads again. During the week with the cold, everyone was so tired, and throats so scratchy, no one wanted to have salads. Soup was our speed. I’d made one last week, and enthusiastically put in twice the rhubarb as strawberries. It was a bit too tart. This time I made them equal and it’s much better. I have noticed though that the organic flour I’ve switched to is not quite as smooth as AP flour, which is annoying to me. Still, I don’t expect to do much baking in this weather! Interestingly, while looking for vinegar, I discovered an old bottle of storm brew which for mysterious reasons was still quite good.
Steve also brought some may wine he’d found on line when he came up Sunday. It’s white wine flavored with strawberries and woodruff. I drank a whole glass and got tiddly. We had a huge bowl of saute’d mushrooms, and another of salted cucumbers as well. Amazing how a quiet afternoon and shared supper seems perfect as one ages.
I’ve also been trying to come up with panel descriptions for CTCW. I’m afraid I’m going to just have to do it myself. Thor was going to help, but he’s dealing with a major illness with the friend he cares for. I also lost track of my guest for the New Normal this week- we’d put down different days. I ended up talking by myself about werewolves, I’ve been reading about them a lot in the last couple of weeks and. had no problem sharing stories about them for an hour. Luckily it is a bit cooler today. We’re doing the planning for this weekend which is another camping event. The girls really don’t like camping, and are not totally recovered from the nasty cold. We will figure something out.
As I mentioned, I’ve been reading a LOT of books on werewolves for the Pennsic/GNEW workshops. I’d like to have the handout all done well before the last week before Pennsic this year! I read through seven “young adult” books- everything the library had in it’s search function- last week. Most were awful, but at least they were quick. The bibliography I have of books I own- either already had, or got on kindle or used, is up to 22 books. I find myself a bit frustrated by the e-reader. I can flag and highlight physical books, but while I know that there are functions for that, I don’t know how they work, so I’m taking notes. The best resource is still Sabine Baring-Gould’s book from 1864. When those Victorian scholars did research they didn’t kid around!
I “finished” reading The Secret History, a book I’ve been working at for a month or more since it was recommended to me. It’s rather dense, the characters are not likable, and there’s no mystery. The story revolves around some students of the classics (contemporary- although the book is 25 years old, college life seems fairly slow to change) who decide to recreate a bacchanal. The do achieve the desired altered state and discover they have authentically killed a local farmer. One of them who wasn’t present figures it out and is miffed that they hadn’t taken him along, and acts even worse than usual until they decide to push him off a cliff and put him out of their misery. I had hoped to read something of the Dionysian mysteries, but no. “I am sorry, as well, to present such a sketchy and disappointing exegesis of what is in fact the central part of my story.” says the protagonist. More than halfway through the nearly six hundred page book, we got to the murder, and I just couldn’t plow through the rest when I read reviews (interspersed with others by people who loved the book), indicating that not only was there no who-done-it, there was also no why-done-it. If you’re going to skip the question of what happened, you’d think there’d be a bit of self examination, but no, he just whines about how nasty the others are. I decided to send it back to the library and cut my losses.

  On the other hand, I read the other two Peculiar Mysteries”, little bits of “brain candy” about a psychic in a small town of shape-shifters. Thanks for Not Shifting and My Hairy Halloween. They’re quick reads, and fun (although as I think I mentioned, I could do without the sex scenes). Soft core, I could skim past.

I also got in more of the Disney movies I hadn’t seen. Sadly, they are pleasant, but so formulaic that I’m not sure whether I had actually seen a couple of them before, and just forgotten them. I had NOT seen The Good Dinosaur– the story about a farming dino and his pet cave boy. Other than the premise, which set my teeth on edge, it wasn’t bad. I also hadn’t seen Planes Fire & Rescue, a sequel to Cars. I hadn’t watched it because I didn’t care that much for cars. The characters (and, come to think of it, the plot) are nearly indestinguishable from each other.  I THINK I may have seen The Gnome-mobile and or Jungle to Jungle, before, but really, I can’t remember. It was that sixties level of sexist that was seen as “cute”, and now looks repellant, and the actors were mostly familiar from other Disney movies of the period. I think kids may have gotten a sense of satisfaction from recognising a familiar character actor from film to film (and episodes of Disney TV). The Parent Trap II was a vehicle for Hayley Mills to rerun her role(s) from the original movie, but frankly, it fell flat. I enjoyed seeing Tom Skerrit from Picket Fences, but that was the best of it for me. On the other hand, I really enjoyed
Something Wicked this way Comes. I don’t think of Jonathan Pryce as a hot, young star, but it was made in 1983, and he was then. I’m sure I’d have seen it long ago if I’d known it was based on the Bradbury story (as opposed to just using the same title). It was really well done.
The computer has just informed me that it’s after midnight. So much for my trying to get to bed on time! Have a good week,
“Every person remembers some moment in their life where they witnessed some injustice, big or small, and looked away because the consequences of intervening seemed too intimidating. But there’s a limit to the amount of incivility and inequality and inhumanity that each individual can tolerate. I crossed that line. And I’m no longer alone.” Edward Snowden
Every person remembers some moment in their life where they witnessed some injustice, big or small, and looked away because the consequences of intervening seemed too intimidating. But there’s a limit to the amount of incivility and inequality and inhumanity that each individual can tolerate. I crossed that line. And I’m no longer alone. Edward Snowden
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/e/edwardsnow765216.html?src=t_inequality