When I woke this morning it was to thunder, and then the sound of pounding rain. According to my calendar lore, today is a weather prognosticationprognistication day. If it rains the First of July there will be thirty more days of rain. Of course, is that a shower a day, which could be good for the plants, we certainly like to water our gardens daily, or 30 days of clouds and rain, which would certainly be bad for haying. People don’t think of it any more, but since we still eat meat, hay is necessary for the herds, so it’s not something that doesn’t matter. Probably the damp silage bales (the big round ones, often wrapped in white plastic that look like giant marshmallows) are popular now because since they are supposed to ferment, it’s OK to bale the mown hay damp, and it doesn’t have to be dry. (I have to wonder why traditionally damp hay in bales rotted and this ferments- is it the kind of plants in the hay?) As I drive over to Fitch’s farm stand I’ve been watching the corn get taller and it makes me smile. This month I hope I’ll get a chance to see men haying. That makes me happy too.
The wild flowers are all over- the tiny white roses are past, but the pink ones are blooming, there are day lilies, daisies, yarrow, elderflowers, and several other clumps of white blossoms on bushes I don’t recognize. It’s been cooler all week. We haven’t had to keep the door closed to keep the heat out, but have to open it when the cats find themselves on the wrong side of the door. They are often wet when that side has been outside.
Here’s some “excitement”: we have chickens again. The other day I stopped at the Agway to pick up the catfood, and saw a sign saying that they had pullets for sale. Since we had the chicken side of the barn and all the gear already, I got five- one for each of us, plus an extra, and a bag of feed. Upon getting home it turns out that all our chicken waterers were rusted out- poot. and I couldn’t find the old feeder, so we got replacements for those. Also picked up some chicken wire and posts to put up a run so they can get outside. It will have to be really secure- the other evening Kat found a porcupine on the front porch when she was going to let the cats in. For the nonce, the chickens are staying inside the barn. I want them to get used to their new home anyway. A couple did hop out the window once, but John spotted and caught them, and they couldn’t run away quickly in the tall “grass”.
Until we have a run for them, we are bringing in clumps of greens for them to peck at if they choose- partly because I think they like it, and partly because it’s getting it out of the pathway which is rather overgrown. It’s mostly mint, jewelweed, and I think asters or goldenrod (it’s hard to tell until it blooms).
It also turned out that while John had gotten the goat side clean, there was still a layer of rabbit pellets on the chicken side, which we had to shovel out, and lay down a new layer of shavings. I am happy to have something to do with our kitchen scraps other than composting them. (We’re not really good about turning the compost.) Chickens love peelings and such- although I’m not sure that five is enough to eat what we produce. Yesterday we tossed them the last cup of Cheerios that had gone stale and they weren’t impressed. I suppose if they have fresh greens and good kibble, why would they be interested in stale cereal? They are supposed to be about 20 weeks old, so I expect they will start laying sometime around Pennsic.
As soon as I got home, Willow started building a chicken run- the kind people put their hens in and move around the yard- but we didn’t have any chicken wire, only some hardware cloth, so that stalled out, and she picked some up (and fence stakes) the next time she went out. I haven’t yet gotten that up. Mostly this week I was finishing the book cover for Jane.
Since it’s now July and we’ll be leaving for Pennsic in about three weeks, today I will be putting up the Pre-Pennsic (Panic) Planning Calendar. I have two portraits to finish, and four classes to prepare, not to mention the classes for the Great Northeastern War, which will also take a hunk out of the time we have between now and then.
You can see in the corner of the image of the coop that we have lettuce growing in the front garden- that and some tomato plants are it for this year, although I did get some free flower seeds at the Palio I want to rake into the unused space to see if there’s enough warm time left for them to bloom. It’s worth a shot, if not much effort.
This year the kids decided that they didn’t want to spend the traditional week before the fourth of July at the Lake. Not surprisingly, what was family fun when they were children is not the same as adults, and they would rather go up with their friends, not their mother and brother. I thought briefly of going up by myself, but decided against it. I hope I’m not turning into an old grump.
I understand their perspective, and know that just because they don’t want to do something doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t. We are all somewhat caught in the web of how our choices affect each other simply because our lives are so interconnected. I wish I could get up to the lake more, and since one fifth of it does belong to me, I feel on an emotional level that I should be spending the same amount of time up there as everyone else. Except that we don’t all spend the same amount of time. Liz has her own house, right nearby, and only goes over to swim and clean. I am afraid she does a LOT more than her share of the cleaning. Trish has her own places so doesn’t get there often- she probably visits the graveyard more often that the cottage, and yet she’s the one who has the checkbook that pays for the maintenance. I really don’t think she has any idea what it’s like for Liz and I who don’t have the same sort of income. Kitty also seems to think that we can just pay someone to do everything for us, which is not the way I look at things, even though I’m too far away and getting a bit too old to do much of it myself. I’d rather not put any money into the boat, since I don’t use it, even when I’m there, but figure it’s a package deal. Since Kitty moves out there in the summer, I am afraid she tends to think of it as her space to decorate as she wishes. I wish I were close enough to go out there without spending $100 and 8 hours of driving. That means that every time I go it’s a serious investment in time and money. I get the impression that some people don’t seem to think $100 is serious money. I’m sure it depends entirely on how deep a purse out of which you are taking it. It’s not fair of me to think badly of people with more money. I’m sure most of them wouldn’t think what I consider reasonable expenditures on vitamins or books or chickens is reasonable. Everyone is allowed to choose for herself.
I feel rather guilty about having taken so long getting Jane’s cover done and off- this is a mockup of what it should look like- although I’m sure they’ll do better with the writing etc. The hardest part of doing a cover is composition- I want to leave “unused” space for the writing to go on, and still make an interesting painting. I liked the idea of the brilliant white of the molten lead against the darkness, but I’m not sure I was able to make it white enough.
I did a dumb thing the other day, we were at Big Lots and I saw some colored a clamp lights. They looked decorative and I thought extra light over the painting table was a good idea, but discovered that (as I should have realized), the normal light reflecting off the red surface of the clamp light reflects red, making red light in the area it illuminates. oops! I suppose it will be useful for something, although at this point I’m not sure what. Maybe they are meant for patios, and if you got an assortment, blue, green, purple, etc. it would be rather pretty.
What with the rain, I’ve been exercising on the wii, (let’s be honest, I’m really inspired by Kat’s doing a half hour on it every night), and have graduated from the beginners bike trail to the advanced one. You pick your feet up and down on the balance board to simulate pedaling, and direct your little simulacrum on a trip around the virtual island trying to pass 22 flags. (Kat is now doing the one with 28 flags). What’s been frustrating the heck out of me is that I kept finding 20 and not being able to finish. I did find it once, when I was just randomly “cycling” around and looking at everything- I think they had me as having done 8 kilometers rather than the 2.5 it was supposed to take. Sometimes I’d spend more than a half hour looking for those last flags, and usually gave up. Finally I went to the internet and found a map and know how to find them. It’s amazing how these virtual games can get into your head!
At the same time I’ll admit that a similar thing is happening as I watch more of the Midsomer Murders. I love the very Englishness of the people and the villages they show. The people and their passions that lead to the murders aren’t very different than those I’ve seen in NCIS or other shows, but I am charmed by the village fetes, and the twists between the hobbies they portray. I’ll admit that like the Inspector Chief Detective, I am often taken aback by the privileged people that he meets. But I see that in American movies too. I can understand that people get distressed when their lives fall apart, but when so many of the characters seem to have enough money to just take a year off of work, I can’t help be taken aback. (On the other hand, I’m probably also taken aback when they spend hundreds of dollars on cab rides. It’s jut not my world.) I’m getting another dose of it in another book I’ve started Well Witched, but since I’ll talk about it when I’ve finished it- probably next week.
Last Thursday I drove Mark over to the hospital for an out-patient procedure. They still like to have someone else drive you. He then took me to lunch, and I did errands, including picking up the chickens, on the way home, which cost a day. I could equally admit that stopping to write a letter costs a day as well. I like to think that the movies I have on in the background while I paint don’t slow me down, but I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that they do, and am switching to audio books to reduce that distraction. I discovered that Terry Pratchett’s books are available on youtube. But then halfway through Small Gods it was taken down by HarperCollins. We are still trying to figure out what level of use is fair on the internet. Certainly the last one I was listening to stops and plays a commercial every 15 minutes or so, and that’s reasonable. I also think that as they discovered with radio, playing it publicly isn’t going to reduce the number of sales, but increase them. But we do need some regulations.
I’m also having a problem with that, a group contacted us and pointed out that I’d put up a cartoon that I didn’t get rights to (I neglected to filter for rights when looking for an image to use for one of my shows in March). I immediately took it down, but they say I still have to pay $84 for having used it at all. I’ve been told that the law says that if they must give you a chance to take it down, and if you do, you’re off. (I certainly will be more careful to use that filter in the future.) But they say I have to pay, and of course they would, because that’s how they pay their bills. If it were the artist, I’d probably fork it right over, but since it’s a company that probably just has programs searching for such things, and the artist probably won’t get more than a tiny fraction of what they collect, I am hesitant to just send them money. Indeed, since they want my credit card information and they contacted me, I am VERY hesitant to do that. I’ve downloaded THE DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT OF 1998 and tried to find the appropriate passages, but it seems to be talking about different situations. On line searches give advice on how to erase my hard drive to protect myself from such charges of plagiarism. Erase my hard drive?!
Kat finally mailed away her old computer to a data recovery place. She had researched them and figured she could afford $300 to recover her files, but no one would even look at it for that little. These people said they could do it for $500 and I agreed for her mental health to cover the difference, but now that they have it, they are saying that it starts at $800 (to over $2100), which we certainly didn’t hear before. I’m am getting a nasty “bait and switch” feeling from this. I’m sure that both situations are designed for bigger businesses. A week doesn’t go by that we don’t get phone calls from people who want to handle our credit card transations. I can usually get them to go away by telling them how little we take in. I suppose it’s stupid to consider Cabochons a business, but I hate to let go of the fantasy that I’m trying to support myself.
This week the girls are gearing up for “Canobie Con” where they and their Cosplay friends go to the amusement park in costumes. When she went to pick up a piece of “leather”, Willow noticed that the local JoAnne store is looking for part time help and is thinking of applying- it’s not like she doesn’t know the stock and hasn’t helped fellow shoppers already. The thing is that while the local manager and staff know her and would probably love her to work there, since it’s a chain store she’d have to apply on line, and since she hasn’t worked except at Cabochons since she was an aide for Fitz, her application probably wouldn’t even reach them for their input.
So basically, this week I painted and had movies on. And read- I do read when I get in bed. I finally found the “pornographic” entry in The Diary of Anne Frank. One thing we don’t tend to remember was that she was writing to have something to do, and to express her talent, not just journalling. She did rewrites on her entries and plan what she was writing about intending to turn it into a book about life in the Secret Annex after the war- especially after she heard a broadcast asking for first person accounts of what different aspects of living in the war was about. This was why she had entries on food, and on politics, and in one she describes her sexual organs, having expressed frustration that adults keep the information away from kids, leaving them to figure out for themselves, and then once they discover that the kids have learned something, use that as an excuse not to talk about it, leaving the kids in the dark. One could as easily say that they maintain a similar silence about relationships as the physical aspects of sex, but the straightforward description is about as far from pornography as I can imagine. The only people who’d find it pornographic are exactly the people Anne was complaining about trying to keep vital information from their children. While, in truth, she does go on about the stresses of being a teenager locked up in close quarters more than is perhaps interesting, it also rings very true. I have probably thought this before when I read it, but I do think this is a great book in all senses of the word, well worth re-reading.
I finished America Bewitched, and while I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, the way I would the Diary of a Young Girl, I heartily recommend it to anyone who’s interested in the subject manner.
I was impressed with the author’s collection of information (about witchcraft belief in the US); and it is a book about belief- he makes no statements about the reality of any of the charms or spells he mentions. He records how people from America’s diverse cultural backgrounds shared beliefs that there were witches: people with the ability and predisposition to harm others using supernatural means. What bothered me most in this book was the organization: it is divided into chapters on what was in laws, dealing with witches, dealing with witch believers, mental illness (as a defense having murdered a suspected witch, as well as as a way to challenge whether the maker of a disappointing will was “of sound mind”), and finishes with the changing face of witchcraft (the last 50 years), but, perhaps because of my historical background, I’d prefer a sequential presentation, although I recognize that the phenomenon change at different rates in different places. Still, I do see things as a progression, whether beliefs about magick, or about same sex marriage or socialized medicine. It’s hard to change the way a culture thinks, and every change is the cumulative effect of thousands of different contributions.
Most of the stories Owen Davis presents are from newspaper accounts, laws, and folklore collections, but what he seems to lack is a coherent thesis, to suggest what conclusions may be drawn from this collection. It’s possible that the point is simply that Salem wasn’t an aberration, but simply one story in the long narrative of American beliefs. I did like that he was consistently careful to point out reporting bias of his sources. Witchcraft accusations may well arise from insoluble social stresses, economic competition, religious prejudice, explanations including misunderstood diseases, mental illness, and psychological effects. These may have been misused as evidence to support the beliefs in witchcraft, but those who believed were not necessarily uneducated nor unintelligent. While deploring trickery and use of violence (and especially spectral evidence), we should not dismiss those who believed in witchcraft- either as fools, or as statistical outliers. Earlier cultures taught that magick could explain otherwise inexplicable problems in their lives. It sure helps to know a lot more about disease, psychological problems, etc. But at the same time, science does accept the body-mind connection. Do we hold this against those who believed what they were taught and whose experiences seemed to confirm it? Currently we are working to re-educate those who see people of different races, religions, and ways of thinking as threats, without condemning them too harshly for clinging to their old beliefs. Believing in witches is only problematic when you try to beat them up because you’re afraid they’ve hexed you, or if you don’t accept the evidence of science (which we do have to admit changes it’s position constantly).
Having finished that, I’m now reading Alternative Medicine and American Religious Life (from the 80s, so a bit dated), and Politics and the Occult: the Left, the Right and the Radically Unseen, also a book I saw referenced in Less Medicine, More Heath: Overdiagnosed: making people sick in the pursuit of Health. Let me be clear about this, I am not anti-medicine. I am against not thinking about the medicine we use, and acting as if just because we can do something, we should do something. People don’t seem to pay attention to risk/benefit analysis. I tried to explain that to Mark after his test. When there’s some reason to look for something, tests are wonderful. But as the law requires “probable cause” before letting police stop and search you, we should always make sure that the benefits of checking are worth the risks of the intrusion. I find these books, almost all of the ones on medicine written by doctors who are seeing the system from the inside, fascinating, and more credible than someone who’s simply assuming that more is better. It’s not always.
Often people assume that because I believe in occult phenomena that I’m gullible. Well, I probably am. I have had to learn to give myself time before making any major decision to not agree with whoever I’m talking to at the moment, so in honesty, I should admit to a level of gullibility. I have a very hard time understanding why people would lie to me, even though I have plenty of evidence both that they have, and my internal urges to say what people want to hear, even if it’s not totally accurate. That said, a lot of what I read is critical and looks into the real evidence. Some of it’s good, some of it’s crap. There are a lot of ditzes both inside and outside the pagan/magickal community, and frankly, I don’t want to be one of them. I don’t know many people who don’t think that there are a lot of flakes who accept too much because it makes them feel good. But guess what? There are lots of people who equally ignore hard evidence that proves psychic phenomena exists because it doesn’t fit in with their world view. This is a really difficult area to which to apply measurements, and other “hard science” techniques. But so is psychology, and medicine, and even history has a lot of problems trying to divide facts and truth. I like to keep an open but critical mind, and find out as much as I can. (oops, the pesky soapbox crept under my feet again. Go away you!)
I will be honest- the rest of this is movie reviews, and looks like that’s about a third of the letter, so I hope you don’t mind, but you can certainly skim or skip if you want.
I have continued watching a lot of the “afterlife” themed movies. I found a really good one on Netflix called Matter of Life and Death although I think the title was originally Stairway to Heaven . It was apparently David Niven’s first post war film (1948), and it shows a rather bureaucratic vision of heaven, in which Niven plays an American pilot who was supposed to die, but his “collector” didn’t pick him up until he’d fallen in love, and he gets to appear before a heavenly court to ask for more time since it was not his fault that love changed everything in those few hours. I think more than the love story, it examines prejudices- not unlike in the Devil and Daniel Webster, where he’s willing to plead to any jury of Americans. Only in this case, it’s the English who are looking rather badly when the jury is stacked with people from their various conquered cultures. I think my favorite bit is when a couple of random airmen come in and one says: “Home was never like this!” and another says: “Mine was…” They expressed so much in those simple lines.
The art design people did a really fascinating job trying to make it look both modern, huge, and heavenly. I loved the way the court amphitheater showed that millions of people could be watching one event. One odd aspect was that heaven was in black and white, and the living world is in color. The collector mentions that in heaven one longs for color, and that is often what is said about incarnating. As wonderful as the one-ness and love and bliss of heaven is, the sensations of physical life on Earth make it worth leaving heaven to incarnate. I saw some of the images from Stairway in another movie: Heaven (the Ultimate coming Attraction) which is billed as a documentary. I could hardly finish watching it, I found it offensive. Diane Keaton’s 1987 film is a collection of clips of people answering questions about their beliefs, (What is heaven? How do you get into Heaven? Are you afraid of dying?) shot from unflattering angles, and interspersed with disturbing images from B movies and clips from pathetic evangelical movies. I find myself disquieted that many people seem to believe in some of these things, yet I find it horrible that they would be clipped together in a way that is clearly trying to make them seem foolish. I’ve been on the receiving end of film editing where something that made sense and was reasonable was clipped to make me look like an idiot, and cannot help but think that while Keaton used bits from old horror movies to enhance the bizarreness. I took it out because I’d read that she had assembled “old film footage showing how heaven was visualized in previous films.” and that the interviews were in a set that was an “angelic limbo”. I’d have likened it to some of the sets in Beetlejuice– designed to make the viewer feel off balance. As when Hamlet told Polonius that “all which, sir, though I most powerfully and potently believe, yet I hold it not honesty to have it thus set down”, “thus” in this case, being the important word. Although I disbelieve most of the concepts (wings, clouds, etc.) expressed, I think it’s really rude to show it that way. I was taught those things myself.
I still remember when I was in second grade we were cutting out and assembling little paper angels (you’ve probably seen similar ones- the skirt is a cone when joined at the back, the arms were pulled forward to hold a book, and wings added). Being who I was, everyone else was coloring theirs with blond hair, but I did one of mine as a redhead and the other as a brunette. Because of this, when they were stapled to the cork strip over the blackboard, mine weren’t put up with the others. I now suspect that it was because they would have drawn the eye, but I felt it was unfair. “Don’t they let anyone but blondes into heaven? or does everyone become blonde when they get there?” I argued (and lost). No one had told us to color them blonde, she couldn’t say that it was because I didn’t follow the directions, it was just an assumption. That was one of my earliest theological arguments with adults. Why did it bother me and not other people? Anyway, I liked Stairway to Heaven but really disliked Diane Keaton’s “documentary” (Mockumentary if you ask me!)
Three of the movies on the list were simple romantic comedies. I have to admit that my basic reaction is “dumb”, although I have to admit enjoying them while watching them. I guess I could also say “fun”. Kiss me Goodbye had a dead husband who had to convince his wife it’s OK to remarry; Over Her Dead Body has a woman dying on eve of wedding, She’s the one who has to get OK with her fiance falling in love again. The jokes are around her being a control freak. Just Like Heaven was the best of the lot (or is it that I prefer Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo to Sally Field and James Caan?) It was sweet, the trope of ghost of person in a coma being seen by the person they can love. There’s always the fun of one person being able to see something real that others cannot (like Big Bird and Snuffleupagus) which challenges us to wonder what do we need as proof that something is real? In movies it seems to be knowing our deepest secrets.
I have to admit that this is what triggered my jealousy over large incomes this week. Why do all these people have infinite amounts of money to live on when they need a break? I saw it in Under a Tuscan Sun, and Eat Pray Love, and Holiday, and so many more. If that’s what they put in movies, it’s not surprising that the rest of the world thinks all Americans are rich and violent. Like fish not questioning the water in which they live, I suppose the writers of these films don’t see any need to explain that these people are from the 1%, we’re supposed to be able to figure that out ourselves, and accept the lesson that rich people have problems too. Except that if your problems don’t include worrying about keeping a roof over your head and eating, as well as whether you’re a person worthy of love, it’s a different set.
This was displayed really well in a movie that wasn’t about the afterlife: Restoration. I chose it because it was an historical (read- pretty costumes) drama with Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill, David Thewlis, Meg Ryan, Ian McKellen, and Hugh Grant. The costumes at court were great. I recognized several of them from costume books. The theme and plot were woven around Downey’s character Dr, Merivel, trying to figure out what was important as he went between court (treating the kings spaniels), and the real world (fighting the plague), and trying to decide what part of his (17th century) medical training he was going to accept and which parts he was going to reject. It’s probably worth watching just for the costumes and sets, but the stars and story improve on that, although it does fall short of greatness.
If I Stay was a fascinating twist on the “spirit between worlds while her body is in a coma” trope. The girl must choose between living and dying by looking at her life (through flashbacks). This trope is especially powerful for teens who have to choose between the familiarity of life with their family and the insecurity but possibilities of their future lives. But in this case, I couldn’t help seeing it more as a question of whether to stay somewhere where most of your support structure is gone. I wonder if maybe that’s why old people decide to let go and move on when most of their friends have already died. A small support system is hard on anyone, and strains the people in it. I suppose the answer is to keep making younger friends as you age. Of course she chose to live. Movies always seem to find death is not the right choice. Even in the Ghost and Mrs. Muir, she had to get old before dying was acceptable, and at the end of My Life in Ruins, when they had an old man happily joining his wife in death, they still rushed him to the hospital and revived him, which I though was just annoying. I will acknowledge, that since the rest of the people on the tour lacked the knowledge of what a great consummation it was, it would have ruined their trip, so I’ll assume that he gets to die after they’ve gotten on with their lives. (BTW, I didn’t rewatch those, but sometimes movies stay with you.)
What can I say about Stay? I really don’t care for movies that I have to look up on Wikipedia to figure out what happened. I was “promised” a supernatural thriller, instead it was just a confusing psycho drama with the accent on psycho. Wonderful stars did not save it. Haunter was a horror movie: a twist on the “infinite loop” trope, and explored the point of view of ghosts who are required to keep reliving their final days. I really like at the end when they discover that heaven is “whatever you want”. (Maybe because that’s my belief system.)
The last movie I watched this week was Meet Joe Black, it was a charming love story of good man and his daughters, although I bet more people would think of it as a love story between Death/Joe and one of the daughters. Joe reminds me of Le Petit Prince, or other innocent, or Terry Prachett’s Death. As the father explains, while his existence may be lonely, what he has is infatuation, not love. Love wants what’s best for the loved one. It’s a wonderful exploration of love. I also love the Jamaican Woman who isn’t at all unhappy about death coming for her who tells Death that it’s nice for him to have “nice pictures” to take with us after our trip to this world. I think we’d all love the chance of being able to let those we loved know it, and protect our life’s work before we die. This is a great wish fulfillment movie. (With way too much watching pretty bodies screwing.) This is one I will probably re-watch several times.
I should finish up. I still have to put up the calendar and get ready for tonight’s podcast. I also have to get my butt in gear and get some speakers for Changing Times Changing Worlds ASAP. I’ve really let that go this year, and frankly would put the conference off for a year if I could, but since we’ve got the hotel, and Jane’s reassured people it’s happening, we’d better get to it. Funny how little time four months can seem! My podcasts were intended to showcase our CTCW guests, and I don’t have one tonight so I’ll be talking myself again. I hope I don’t blither. Tonight’s show will be about the little rites people have done historically and can be adapted for the modern world to make contact with the other beings with whom we share the universe. I am not a great fan of big rituals, on the other hand I think I could say that I am a fan of little rituals: sharing a cup of tea or cocoa with a friend, putting up or taking down a flag, sweeping the floor. These are all rituals- repeated actions designed to create an effect. When you live in a “World full of Gods” and see divinity in every aspect of creation, simple consciousness of that divinity when paired with an action is an equivalence of prayer. Religion is simply how you stay on the good side of a divinity. If God is in the garden, weeding is a rite or prayer. Likewise, if you see God in Wild Nature, letting the garden grow over is prayer. Anyway, that’s what I’ll be talking about tonight on the New Normal. Feel free to listen or call in.
Since it’s “Postage Stamp Day”, and I don’t print out the letters and mail them anymore, let me share with you some of the lovely stamps that have come out recently. Letter writing is really a lost art- and who doesn’t love to get a letter in their box? I hardly look at my mail anymore, its’ so much junk, but Willow still writes the friends she speaks with on the computer because she knows that they like getting real letters. When I saw the water lilies, I knew she’d want to stock up on those, but when I picked up the forget-me-nots, I thought they were violets, and she also latched onto those. Oh, well, now that I don’t send out the letters physically, or even pay most bills by mail, I don’t go through as many as I used to use. I love the seed packet ones. I blush to admit that I’m not as fond of the commemoratives for artists and battles as I feel I should be. I prefer celebrating the lovely bits of our daily lives. I was very enchanted by the From Me to You stamp- with extra stickers in the margins. If you’d really rather get a
physical letter, let me know. I could print them out for people who are more likely to read them that way. Let me know if you would really rather have a physical letter. Heck, let me know if you actually read this one. I am an optimist and assume that many people do, but it’s nice to have it confirmed occasionally.