5-24-2017 Happy Tiara Day

It’s Tiara Day- a silly holiday, but when we were little, we were honest about wanting a chance to wear a tiara. I STILL have no real good reason to wear one. But the holiday gives me an excuse, if not a reason. It reminds me of how my mother and her friends loved the annual Charity Ball, where they could get on beautiful gowns and dance for an evening. The SCA allowed me to do that almost any weekend. My childhood ambition was also helped by Walmart making a variety of tiara’s available for $9.99 (probably for confirmations). Some year I’ll remember in time to plan ahead and have a lovely tea party with friends on Tiara Day. NEXT year, I also would like to have a Willow Party May 20 (it will be a Sunday) to celebrate the 30 anniversary of the film’s release. What a great movie!

Here’s a list of holidays for you for the next week, if you are inclined to celebrate.

Today May 24
NATIONAL TIARA DAY, Brother Day, Scavenger hunt day

Tomorrow: May 25
NATIONAL WINE DAY,  National Blueberry Cheesecake Day, National Cherry Dessert Day, (for those who dont drink wine), it’s also Geek Pride Day/ Nerd Pride Day, and International Towel Day (in honour of Douglas Adams), and Terry Pratchetts  PeopleGlorious Revolution of the 25th of May (in Night Watch), and World Tarot Day,

Friday, May 26

Saturday, May 27
NATIONAL CELLOPHANE TAPE DAY, and National Grape Popsicle Day

Sunday, May 28

Monday, May 29
NATIONAL PAPERCLIP DAYPut A Pillow On Your Fridge Day, Coq au Vin Day, & Mint Julep Day

Tuesday, May 30
NATIONAL WATER A FLOWER DAY, Neighbor Day, Hole in my Bucket Day, & Croquet Day

Next Wednesday, May 31
NATIONAL MACAROON DAY, & National Speak In Complete Sentences Day

Today is cooler, in the 60s. There were a couple of really hot days where Willow felt great, and Kat melted, as I used to do. Now it’s cool enough that Kat can function. We really need to get her an air conditioner! The garden is gorgeous! There are a few daffodils blooming. The bleeding hearts are burgeoning- and spreading which makes me happy. I have loved them since I was a child and read the Legend of the Bleeding Hearts in the Little Colonel’s Houseparty. They look lovely in a vase, but are not really shaped to fit well. Right now we have one with pansies (from Mother’s Day), lily of the valley, and bleeding hearts. The violets are beautiful- I’d love to pick some, but hesitate as the last time I was out a black fly got up under my skirt and bit me, and I don’t want to deal with that again. We have in a small bunch of lilac, that smell beautiful! It seems wasteful that lilac and lily of the Valley and Wisteria all bloom at the same time. Willow would love to get a wisteria for our eastern wall. We think it’s too stony to spread there. Certainly the one on the Winchester house had no where to go. The white lilac we planted a couple of years ago has produce a single bloom, but we have hopes that some day there will be a tall and productive bush in front of the barn.
We had a lovely thunderstorm Thursday night with no wind, so Willow could enjoy it.
I’ve planted some morning glory seeds by the door, and also in pots to take to Pennsic, let’s hope they grow. I plant some every year, but so often they don’t take. This year I added a half bag of potting soil, which may give them a better bed. The older I get, the more I like flowers. I still miss the animals and the vegetable garden, but so much not the black flies!
This week the knot weed did its “quick grow” thing and tried to eat the garden. Willow went through and pulled a bunch up. It’s really hard to get out once it starts. I spent one summer pulling up every single sprout that poked up, every morning all summer. (The next summer we tried putting down carpet, that didn’t work either.) The theory was that it would exhaust itself producing new growth from the roots. Apparently it’s stronger than we’d like.
I have yet to dig up my two “salad beds” and it’s getting late. No peas this year, that’s for sure. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t wish to have to can a year’s worth of tomatoes in the heat when they come ripe, but I’d like to grow more food- especially as every time I turn around I find out about more things non-organic and processed foods do to us that may affect heath and emotions. 
The big news this week is that Willow found a new (to her) car. It’s a trailblazer, and still Trailblazer.jpegneeds to a different tow ball, and registration, and we have to switch the insurance from the old one. But it’s big enough, it doesn’t have any strange smells, the energy is good. We hope the milage will be OK. It is not a huge van, but it’s so big I think that when it’s time to turn in the caravan, I’m going to get a small, just-for-town-runs size car. We don’t need two cargo vehicles.
It was exhausting for Willow. She went to dozens of car yards. She had to deal with sales people who when she said she had five thousand dollars to spend, kept trying to convince her to spend more. They are NOT good at listening, and she’s had more practice now at being firm. I remember going to a dealer with the money we’d agreed on, when we bought the school bus, and he put the price up (probably because he figured I was a woman and could bully me). He couldn’t, but apparently couldn’t bring himself to back down either, so we got a different bus. I don’t know how people can be sales people. I went out with her last week, then Avi dropped Bianca and Kalen here on Saturday and she and Willow went out- up north of Manchester where huge used car fields grow. We went out again Sunday, over to Winchester, NH to look at a lovely blue SUV, sadly, not big enough. What luxury it would be to be able to have enough money to just buy whatever sort of car you need, and not have to chase around looking for one you can afford! Finally, yesterday, she went back to a place in Milford to pick up this one, the best we’d seen for the available money.
I have continued to work- slowly- on the portrait of the clockmaker. Willow reminds me, and I remind myself, that it’s supposed to be in the early American Naif style, where their grasp of perspective was nonexistent, but it still bugs me, because *I* see it. I’m working on his clocks and clockwork, because I want to do the face live in the final sitting, and this little fiddly detail is NOT what I’m good at. That would be the faces. Meanwhile, the theory is do one detail a day- which doesn’t quite work because, especially with clockwork, the face of the clock has to totally dry before you can put on the hands and numbers, and I’m shite at writing in paint- I always avoid signing my paintings because of that. I had to get some more lead white (I think it’s warmer than titanium white) and got various mediums to try to use with it. Like Grandma Moses I am learning the basics in my decrepitude.
The last thing I need right now is another project, but I’ve come up with one- I’ve conceieved of a children’s book about my troll Tragg. I am actually better at what I consider straight painting than cartoons, but I’m charmed by the idea, and would like to try it. Since the character is from MY stuffed troll, I wonder if I should contact the company that made him for some sort of release of their design. I figure I shouldn’t worry about it until I actually get the thing done enough to start thinking of publishing.
While painting, I’ve been watching the old Starks Rifles series, which I’ve seen some of before (probably all the ones I’ve watched so far). I have finished the third season of Grimm, which I liked really well, as it was pretty much about family relationships. The “prejudice” similarities were hard to escape during the mixed marriage “meeting the relatives” episodes, but as usual, love seems to conquor all, although they have the theoretical justification that since they woge (transform) to different kinds of beasts, there’s some sort of biological reason for Blutbad (wolf) to dislike Fuchsbau (fox), which we humans really don’t. I continue to keep going over to watch various news and commentary shows (like Rachel Maddow), and then watching West Wing to antidote it. I got to the bit where the President’s daughter was kidnapped and he recused himself temporarily, and they had to replace the Vice President, and ended up picking a non-offensive one to get him passed. The position of VP is an odd one. That was bizarre. I think the thing I like about this show is watching good people having to deal with making bargains (“playing politics”), and making choices they don’t want to make to accomplish things they feel are important. In this season they are showing ore how even the good people can get paranoid and oppositional under this pressure. It’s always going to be hard balancing the good of the people with the wishes of the powerful, and even the wishes of the majority with what you feel is right (or wrong). If this sort of show reminds people to think about stuff like that, it’s a good thing.
This week I saw an article about how doctors are seeing temporary (they hope no lasting damage) to mostly young women who use their lighted phones in bed at night. Since they’re lying down, they’ve got one eye in their pillow, and one looking at the bright screen, and this makes the brain/eye connection malfunction. They say put on a solft light in the background and make sure you use both eyes. OK, I’ll be more careful with that. I am not using a phone but a kindle, but I’m sure it’s the same deal.
This morning our Wifi went down while I was reading on my kindle. As I re-tried it, I watched as each time I was informed “signal is poor, signal is fair, poor, fair, good (it still didn’t connect), fair poor,…” I gave up. It reminds me that as lovely as the theory that this one small “paperback sized” rectangle gives me access to hundreds of books, it isn’t a book. You can’t read it if it’s run out of battery, which it does after less time than it takes to read a book. You can’t get to the books unless it’s working. You can’t ‘flip through’ them- you can search, but you have to know what you are searching for, and can’t mis-spell it. No. Real, physical books are better in so many ways!
I finished Graveyard of the Hespiridies, the last of Davis’ Flavia Alva novels. Flavia has to have been doting to allow her teenage sisters to do her wedding planning for her. I’ll have to wait until July to read The Third Nero, if I don’t want to read it on Kindle. Since I own all the others I’ll probably ask for it from the library, then get a copy when it gets discounted. I’ve got the most recent Rosemary Rowe Libertus book, Ides of June, to hold me over until then. (or is it from Downie’s  Medicus series Vita Brevis?)
 I’m reading a fun little book called You’ve got Tail. It’s about a California psychic who moves to a midwestern town where most people are werewolves. Great fun, I think I’ll read more in the series. I’m also reading another book my guest the other week recommended called The Secret History, which is sort of dense, a bit slow, and the characters are unlikable. (Thank goodness for the occult comedy romance to read between to clear my palate.) Not to say that it hasn’t got it’s appeal, but it’s sort of like a car wreck, or current politics. I tell myself to look away because it’s only disturbing me, but I still want to see how it plays out. I feel a bit badly because I haven’t even been reading two books a week recently, possibly because I keep dropping them and starting new ones.
This week I sent in class descriptions to Pennsic and Great Northeastern Wars, and I decided that this year I’m going to do one on Werewolves. I have several books on that subject, and having fairly exhausted Anglo-Saxons, I’m taking on the subject of the occult in the Middle Ages. I’ve decided that while I’ll keep doing four classes each war, I’ll only do one new one that needs a booklet worked up, do one I’ve done before and the booklet needs editting, and others that only need reviewing, split across Anglo-Saxons and magickal stuff. People are SO good in the SCA now, it’s sort of intimidating. I watch Tammooj’s “kid” Kiaya doing costuming and embroidery and illumination and remember when I was a young mother, and Tammooj just a kid himself. Where did the time go? It makes me feel so good that the SCA is still providing a great venue for people to explore ancient arts. (A post went by on fb quite recently that all these old skills are being lost. Not around here they’re not!) My old one is the Anglo-Saxon Warriors class- because I accidentally have accumulated 30 of that booklet, and hope this will help me sell them down. How’s that for a mercinary motivation?
The President continues to embarrass himself and the country and not realize it. How long can this go on? How long before his supporters no longer accept his lies, his illegal acts, his breaking campaign promices, his putting in a cabinet designed to take apart the Constitution, his leaking secrets? I am amazed that he’s only lost 1/3 of his supporters (according to the latest poll). That’s all I’m going to say about politics this week.
The biggest story from our friends is that Honour has gone in today to have surgery on her shoulder. She told me she was making jumpers she could close one handed, so as usual, she’s dealing as well as possible. I hope she gets enough help locally.
I was honored to do (I think it’s called) beta reading for another of Cathy’s books- this one on meditation (I got to read and comment). She’s not planning on distributing this one, it’s a gift, but it is excellent as her others.
Weird thoughts have been going through my head of late. This is a recent example: The pelt of the human being is so sparse that it provides no protection from the elements, except on the head, where it grows without ceasing, requiring constant grooming and cutting to prevent tangling. (Some individual animals lose the follicles on their heads with age, becoming even less covered than on their bodies.)

This week on the New Normal I talked about different ways people can be psychic, from the well known telepathy and clairvoyance to the weird “stupid people tricks” like detecting studs behind a wall and talking to bugs. Not one of my more stellar shows.

Until next week,



Knowledge must come through action; you can have no test which is not fanciful, save by trial.  -Sophocles