Here I am again! August 20, 2014
I think we can safely characterize last week as the “recovery week”, after Pennsic, although the girls are now up at camp in their annual “Cabin in the Woods Con” gathering with their friends. Willow occasionally posts pictures to fb through her phone so I can get viacarious enjoyment. They say mostly what they do is sit around and draw, eat, and talk, with occasional forays out in a boat or swimming. Sounds like just what the doctor ordered.
I just heard that tomorrow some men are coming to level the camp- although that’s good news, somehow the word didn’t get passed to the girls, so they’ll be popping into town to look at the shops while the workmen are there (even though they were told they “could” stay.). Because they carpool, I’ve got Willow’s car this weekend- and it’s a standard (you can see the hood with the autobot sticker on the front in the picture below), and they’re using mine. Carefully. When I returned Gary’s car and got it back, Gary said it’s OK to drive, but not pull anything heavy, and next Monday I’m dropping it off again, to get the leaf spring fixed. Ah the joys of the older car. As Ælfwine and I used to figure, when the monthly repair bills near what a monthly payment would be, you trade the old car in for a new one. Or as Gary said- time to start saving for the next car. It’s ONLY a 2005! I think cars should last longer than that! At least I know when we’re shopping for a new car, Gary will check it out for us.
So most of this week was doing pretty nearly nothing. (Why does that always take so much time?!) I’m thinking of starting to carry around a notebook to write down what I’m doing so I have some clue. At very least I should get a better idea of how long it takes to do things. I have been going through my email backed up from the war, but am not done with that yet. I have been exchanging emails with many of the organizers of the Pagan Pride Days about selling and speaking there. Monday I decided that I’d taken a week off, and got back to “work”- writing people, looking things up for Changing Times Changing Worlds. Somehow looking things up, and making inquiries, answering questions, etc. takes so much longer than I think it does/should do.
When my brain wouldn’t even handle that anymore, I’d roll up stockings. It seems a wasteful exercise because no one else does it, but it allows us to display one of each color on the table, rather than having them loose in a bin, the way most other people- including the Basketman- display them. Because we restocked at the end of the war this year, we have 89 different color combinations of stockings, not counting the extra large and children’s sizes. Admittedly, we have only 1-3 pair of 32 of those, because we were grabbing anything pretty from what was left of his stock after the war, rather than our usual ordering them by dozens or half dozens. It’s quite an array though!
The weather has been gorgeous! I think we’ve only had one day of rain, and it’s been cooler as well as sunny. The “Dog Days” are over I guess. I still haven’t gotten to weeding the garden much, and it’s quite overgrown. Most of the lettuce has gone to seed, the cut-back broccoli is flowering (again), we have one cucumber. The kale is magnificent!
Over by the door, the morning glories (purple this year, with an occasional pink one) are putting out masses of flowers, in the mornings. I wonder if the northern exposure we had on the Pennsic house let the morning glories that grew there last longer, and gave me a bias view of how long the lasted. Ours are attempting to climb the rope ladder Willow made for them up to her window, closely pursued by the grape vine (fox grapes I’m guessing) that turned up before the war. Considering how vigorous it is, I wish it was a producer. Still, it’s cute. To my surprise the stock have come back- I guess because we cut them down when they were done blooming- both the white and the pink. Willow made a lovely arrangement of the white ones with goldenrod and queen anne’s lace, and it’s lasted almost a week.
Here’s a picture of Pinnacle Road with John “power walking”. I didn’t notice him in the shade when I went out to take the picture. I usually take one every couple of weeks to track the changing seasons. I guess this is the height of the summer foliage. If you look closely you’ll see that there are blooming mint plants along the side of the road. We have small lilac bushes all around the mailbox, but the road crews keep trimming them back, so they don’t bloom. I understand wanting the box visible, but… lilacs!
I did write a blog-post this week, on Depression and Suicide, I called it “The Elephant in the Living-room”, because as widespread as depression is (about 8 million annually diagnosed in the US), no one wants to talk about it. I think we feel guilty and embarrassed about it. At least Robin Williams death has got everyone saying something out loud. Facebook is also full of stories from Ferguson: police abusing their power, the question of whether having a tool (gun/tank/tear gas, etc.) makes you more likely to use it, the usual imbalance in how blacks are treated by the police, all are being looked at, and that’s good, although I have mixed feelings about the police closing ranks around the shooter. You don’t want them throwing him out as a scapegoat, but it seems likely from witness testimony that this was not a reasonable response. I also find the confiscation of phones very suspicious. If they want to (as they say) preserve possible evidence of criminal activity, seems to me they should issue the police some sort of gadget that can copy content from witnesses phones without confiscating (or erasing) them. It is totally illegal for the police to take the phones or intimidate people into “offering” them, and either they know that, or they should. I’m also wondering where the coverage of the Bárðarbunga volcano is (maybe on TV?) The imminent and likely threat of an eruption, when the last one emitted poison gas that killed thousands as far away as Scotland and killed off most of the local livestock, seems like the sort of thing for which they would want to have a lot of gas masks available for the population. I know it’s impossible to predict how much lava, how much gas, how much ash and which direction it’s going to go, but I daresay the people in Iceland are paying much more attention than we are.
I always have a problem with discussions about death since as far as I can tell I have no fear of it as such. There are many ways I can think of I really don’t want to die, but I am really happy that death is waiting there at the end. I figure I’m in the last third or quarter of my life, and already everything is “headed downhill”. I more information, I hope more wisdom, but I can tell that I’ve lost strength, resilience, I’ve lost teeth, my nails and hair are not healthy, my have lost night vision and some color discrimination, I can no longer remember conversations verbatim (which may be a blessing), I’m pretty sure I’ve lost a lot of ability to multi-task (or I may have been fooling myself), and lord knows I am carrying a LOT more weight than I’d like to be hauling around. Compared to others I know over sixty, those losses and my twinge of arthritis are incredibly light burdens, but the progression disturbs me. I now know how long thirty years is, and for my first thirty I was getting stronger, smarter, more skillful. During my second thirty I could at least convince myself that if I worked at it, I could lose the weight, get stronger, learn new stuff. Now I am looking at a gradual progression of disability. If I follow my fathers pattern, it will be a gradual slope and I’ll end happily with a final traumatic end, having retained the ability to interact with friends and do what I please until nearly the end. There will come a time when enough of my friends are dead, and my ability to do as I please will be so reduced that death will be an agreeable option. I guess my job for the next 30 or so years is to simple be as conserving of the resources that remain at my disposal as I can. And groove on how much I CAN still do, and do it. Whether it’s 30 years or one, I shouldn’t waste time playing solitaire or other non-productive activities. My “bucket list” is probably so full I couldn’t carry it! But enough philosophizing.
Saturday was the Stonemarche Curia. I was taking Kat because Willow was exhausted, so I looked it up, and noted that it was 5-7 (good, not dark by then), and we left in good time before 4. Got to the Nashua Library and discovered it was at 1-3. I have NO idea how I managed to get it that wrong! So annoyed with myself! Stopped on the way back and bought a new movie player.
Last week the VSH side of the player had given up (and started “eating” the tapes). The DVD side had died before the war, but we’d just switched to watching old taped movies-it’s not like we don’t have a huge library of them! So I broke down and got a replacement, but then it wouldn’t talk to our still-working 1986 TV, because the cables used to connect them have changed. Willow found a flatscreen Steve gave us when he switched up, and it will talk to that one. In this process she tried several assorted players we had around, and now we’ve sent the non-working ones to the recycling center. At one point during this process she hooked up the digital converter, and discovered two stations we can get without an antenna- one had football, the other seems to be all old TV, like Hogans Heroes, Welcome Back Kotter, and Perry Mason. It is NOT attached at this point because I don’t have time to watch it even if I had the ability. (I think there are two or three shows I would like to watch, for example NCIS< or there’s a new medieval musical comedy show, Galavant, coming out this fall I’ve seen advertised on fb that looks like a lot of fun!) But frankly, I realize I haven’t got the time. While rolling stockings I had on the Hobbit, and Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and I work better when I know the story already and don’t need to watch it. Kat listens to the Big Finish audio plays they made of Dr. Who, and I keep meaning to listen to those. So far we sometimes play them on trips in the car, and I am mystified with all the available technology and they way people seem addicted to constantly plugging in that audio plays and other shows haven’t come back more than they seem to have done. A nice thing about them is that the stories can continue even after the actors have gotten visually older, their voices usually stay much the same.
I just realized that I’ve got exactly a month until the Lady of the Rose Tourney. I thought I’ve been thinking six weeks after the war is a comfortable amount of time to get ready, but now it’s a month and I’d better get cracking. Luckily I only have two projects planned- a new banner and a new gown. The gown should be fairly straight forward, after all, I’m fairly cylindrical, which will reduce much fitting!
For the banner, the theory is that I can take this book of Kells Carpet page, put it down to a mono-chrome, and then change the rings (now in yellow and red) into serpents involved
(snakes biting their own tails) and have a saxon version of my heraldic arms. The next big decision is whether to draw it on the cloth, or try to figure out a way to transfer it. (and which would be easier/faster?) Also, I need to decide whether to put it on linen, wool, or leather. (If leather, I could paint it.) If I am getting the award for doing early period Anlgo-Saxon well, I should be doing it well at that event! Sadly, like the civil war reenactors who are carrying more weight than would have been authentic for the roles they are playing, there’s not a lot I can do about that, especially not in a month. I can’t look pretty, but I can look magnificent, so I guess I’ll be happy with that. I remind myself that back when I DID look pretty, I was totally oblivious to that at the time, so I’m not sure I get to judge anyway!
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” Mark Twain