Hi there! July 5
It occurred to me when I went to bed that it was Wednesday yesterday, and that’s when I usually write the letter, but I wasn’t going to run down and do it at that point.
I guess I mentioned last Wednesday was beastly hot- and I was worried that I’d hurt myself (I’d poked at my hernia- trying to tuck it in, yeah, I know, dumb move), but as soon as it cooled off, I felt fine. Anyway, this is only worth mentioning because yesterday, on 4th of July I was again concerned about the hernia- spurred by Megan’s having had a nightmare about me, and being more irregular than I’m used to being. I guess I also just assumed it was an emergency because they tend to happen at 4 o’clock on a Friday, so it just seemed like Murphy’s law that I’d end up having to go into the emergency room on a holiday. Luckily, I dithered about it long enough that I “went” and we were all able to “stand down from red alert”. I have to say that part of the reason that I take a very hard line when dealing with medical situations is because it’s a demonstrable fact that I believe whoever is talking to me at the moment, so I have to postpone important decisions until I’m alone. I’ve just gotten used to that, so with doctors (or everyone else) I ask for information, and then make my mind up later.
Thursday I did errands and called around trying to find insurance (depressing) and someone to clear the junk out around the house.
Friday we packed the van and left for the Shaker Valley Renaissance Fair. When I agreed to go, I’d forgotten how far away Sacred Space (where it’s held) is from anything. It’s definitely one of those New England “Cahn’t get theyah from heah” spots, up north of Concord in Canaan, NH. You can go up north of Concord then southwest, or most of the way to the Vermont border on 89 and then northeast, you can get there, but it is way out of the way.
They’re working on getting a Renn Faire going. By going this year we “locked in” our vendor fee for the next five years. Rob (who’s organizing it) was scrambling to get things ready. The stage was the floor of what’s going to be Shema’s house. Of course, he also had a full slate of performers lined up, and none showed, so Willow and Kat did their sister act with about a half hour’s worth of folk songs, and they scrounged up a flute player and juggler, but mostly they were it for entertainment. There was also supposed to be an EMT on site, but I think I heard he died a couple of weeks ago. At any rate I saw one of the security guys with a patron who’d fallen and hurt her hand calling for the first aid kit, but I was right there, so I grabbed ours, and cleaned her up. Event after event we take that well stocked first aid kit and always keep it in the same place in the tent “just in case”. This time it was useful. I’m not even sure that the security guy who was calling for first aid knew that there wasn’t someone with a kit somewhere on site when he called and told them it was OK, there was another kit there. After helping the patron I took time out to reorganize the kit- it was pretty sloppy, and I couldn’t find gauze sponges- so had to just use a lot of alcohol wipes. (I got some to restock Monday.) But Rob told me his whole budget was $85, so it was pretty impressive, and I’m sure it will be better later. It’s still a long way from anywhere though, so I doubt it will ever get very big.
Most of the shtick was provided by the Security people putting people in the stocks for pretty silly “crimes” like not wearing a hat. There were supposed to have been water balloons to throw at them, but apparently there’s a trick to filling them without their bursting. Too bad, it was hot and we could have used them. I dozed off at least once, and I know Willow did too. Willow got caught for using makeup to draw something on some of the malefactors (like a Snidely Whiplash mustache on Brian) and ended up in the stocks herself.
I did my usual “one” sketch per day. I thought maybe it was the price, so I posted that I’d do it for “donations” (and so got $5 instead of $25 for that one), so obviously it’s not that people can’t afford it. They just don’t want to be drawn.
It had been so hot all week that as we looked at the full van and trailer, we decided not to take the featherbed I usually sleep under, or our cloaks. And indeed, when it got cool in the evening, using Willow’s silk shawls were fine. On the other hand, during the night it went down to a perfectly reasonable 40ºs or so, and I froze under my one blanket! (Two, actually, because I put the one I usually sleep on on top too.) So rather than staying to party with everyone else after fair closed, we headed home Saturday night. The not sleeping well probably contributed to my dozing during the day, and this faire started at 9 rather than 10, and ran to 7 rather than 5, so that probably accounts for it- but it seemed like the longest day of my life. It felt like two days-easily. Of course, this is almost at the Solstice, and the NH Renn Faire is held on the last weekend of October, so there is less actual day to run the faire in later in the season.
Sunday was unpacking and cleaning. We borrowed a dollie from Megan and Star managed to get the old refrigerator into the back of the van. It occurred to me as I was paying the recycling center $20 to take it that it was almost all metal, and I might have gotten something for it from a scrap metal dealer, but so far I haven’t found one. Lyrion (who was tucked away in a little soothsayers glen with the other readers, so I hardly saw her) had told me Saturday that Merrimack metals had moved to Townsend, and so I called them. They do scrap, but we’d have to bring it to them, and they don’t do vehicles. Monday and Tuesday I did more calling around. This time (as Brian and others had suggested) I turned to the internet for house insurance quotes. By Tuesday night I had three offers, each about 2/3 of what Formost was charging, so maybe it was a good thing they said no. As I mentioned above, I’m trying to decide- all the representatives seemed SO nice, and so helpful, but I want to decide on merits of the policies. All of them seem cool with the goats too- (and checked with their supervisors about that).
Kerensa suggested I try a car junkyard for the truck, and I found one, but they want to make sure that it is mine to get rid of. (Sadly, despite the suggestions Bella’s scrap metal friend made, none of them seems at all interested in giving me any money for it.) On the other hand, as I was writing, one scrap yard I’d e-mailed wrote back. So, we are making progress with the various bits of chaos.
Kat finished some of her projects. This is a group of avatars of moderators for a guild on Gaia on line.
I don’t know if I mentioned but Willow and Kat and I are trying to expand our repertoire, art-wise, with something in a medium or technique we’re not used to each week. It’s REALLY hard not to fall back on doing it the most comfortable way. Last week was to do a study in dark and light, so during the long day at the fair I did a charcoal of the scull I keep as a prop. This week is photography, which fills my heart with thoughts of not-getting-around-to-it, let me tell you!
While unloading on Sunday we did a lot of clearing out in the hall- I’m trying to throw stuff away, which is hard for me. But also hard is putting away things when they’ve got no place to go because every possible space is full. I keep thinking how I’d love to clean and organize the library, the shop, the studio, etc. all I need is two or three days without anything else to do!
On the fourth (after I’d decided I didn’t need to go to the emergency room, and yes, I’m talking to the doctor tomorrow- I called and he’s not in today- ditto the lawyer, while looking at possible hospitalization I decided that if I ever get into the position where I can’t call the shots myself, I’d rather have Willow doing it than some doctor who’s been “assigned” to me, and doesn’t know me from Adam, so I’m going to get Willow my Power of Attorney, poor thing, she doesn’t want it, but she knows me better than anyone. Meanwhile, she’s started looking for a fairly low stress, sedentary part time job so she can get some extra income- she tried for a telemarketing position- hasn’t heard back yet. She’s bummed about her resume. I can relate to that.
She did take her car to get inspected- it’s going to need $600 worth of repairs. The fellow who jacked it up put some other sort of axle on it, and they are having a hard time figuring out what parts to use. Didn’t think of that when we got it.
Even though it rained we had our barbecue- hot dogs and burgers (cheese burgers with the cheese cut into star shapes, just like in magazines), german potato salad, and greek salad (cukes, tomatoes, and black olives. I’d made fresh goat cheese, but it soured because I left it over night, and you really need to keep “cooking” it.) I also made and failed at a Jello mold. If you got 6 packages of Jello, you could get a free flag shaped mold. Maybe that’s something I should send to the recycling center- I think maybe unless you spray it with Pam as they suggest it won’t release the way one wants it to. So we got this amorphous mass of red, white and blue jello, rather than the cute flag they had pictured. I hadn’t put in the cool whip into the middle layer, and when it broke up, I was SO glad I hadn’t. Cool Whip makes me nervous anyway. Things that should not exist. I suppose it’s OK if you think of it like Twinkies, or Fluff rather than as food.
Steve came up, and Avi, Trevor and Bianca came over (I got to hold the baby!) Alex and Trevor had a wonderful conversation about the best way to kill a goat, and we had more other interesting conversations. I know Steve enjoys listening to our version of chaos rather than his.
The reason killing goats came up because I’d mentioned that we really should eat some of the kids so we’d get more milk from the does (having been talking to insurance agents about “freezer pets” a lot recently) and Alex had said that he’d be happy to slit their throats for us. So he did, then as soon as the guests had left, Alex brought it in, and we skinned and butchered it. It only took about 90 minutes- certainly longer than a bunny, but not as long as I’d feared. As expected, there’s not a lot of meat on a kid, even now. I figure one meager meal from a hind leg, one from both forelegs, one from the liver, and one from the loin- although it’s so small it ended up being small bits that look like stew meat. I don’t think you can really call what you can get from the ribs a meal- more like hors d’oeuvres. As I recall, we tried them with BBQ sauce last time and ended up tossing them out. They don’t taste like beef or pork. Still- three or good four meals per kid, and we have three or four left.
My big problem had been knowing that if we shot it, we were losing the possibility of selling the skull for $50 (there’s a fellow at Beltaine who always asks if we’ve got any more), but I wasn’t confident of my ability to quickly slit the throat with one stroke, and I don’t want them to suffer. Another benefit of having Alex here! I do hope that Tom and Hannigan can come over and help roof- it would be nice to have the roof done before the next assessor comes by.
And Jane sent me a shot of what the book cover is going to look like. It should be out soon- the question is, will it be out in time for Pennsic? She’d wanted it for Ecu, then for Rites, now for Pennsic. We’ll see.
This week I took a break from my research and read The Memoirs of a Psychic Spy. His position when he was first exposed to it was that he didn’t know about it, but if it were real it should be investigated. Later he argues that we really should get past the stage where we are simply doing experiments to prove that it works (“it” in his case being remote viewing- although he is scientific enough to state that because one psychic ability is possible it doesn’t prove that all suggested cases are real), and get on to figuring out how it works and how to best use it. Of course, I’ve moved from my original broad interest in all psychic phenomenon to the more specialized one of how to best utilize the mind’s ability to heal the body. But I am again thinking that I should at least check into the possibility of getting into that field. I also found (behind the bed) and finished How Doctor’s Think (not the best book to read when you are contemplating going to one, or maybe it is).
We watched Dude, Where’s my Car? a brainless comedy somewhere between Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Dumb and Dumber. Last week we watched the Curse of King Tut’s Tomb which was actually painful to watch- I’m not sure whether the occasional references to Howard Carter, and the Emerald Tablet (an what they refer to a text ascribed to the mythical mage Hermes Trismegistus, and has been referenced from as early as 800. Issac Newton translated it once. I think it’s the source of the maxim “As above, so below”. Anyway, in magickal circles it’s famous.) made it better or worse. I suppose the specials were good. Another we got from Netflix was Blood and Chocolate, a story about a graphic artist who falls in love with a werewolf; apparently Willow’d already read the graphic novel it was based on. Kat has also been renting the Home Improvement first season. Right now we’ve got the Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy (for cultural literacy- I like to know what people are talking about when they reference movies that were really popular). It isn’t bad, but it seems so familiar- a guy with amnesia trying to figure out who he is, while making sense of why he has the skills of a master spy and people are trying to kill him, and staying alive. I can’t help thinking I’ve seen that plot before in more than one other movie. Maybe I missed something because I was doing something else while it was playing.
That’s our adventures for this week.
“The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease.” Voltaire
Food Holidays- in case you need an excuse to eat something
BTW it’s also Blueberry, Baked Bean, Horseradish, and Hot Dog Months
4 Barbecued Spareribs Day
5 Apple Turnover Day
6 Fried Chicken Day
7 Strawberry Sundae Day also Chocolate Day
8 Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day
9 National Sugar Cookie
10 Pina Colada Day
11 Blueberry Muffin Day
And Dog Days are on us- from the 3rd (last Tuesday) until August 11th.