8/24/2011 Mushroom and Onion Month

The end of summer- perhaps the loveliest weather of the year- or at least the most comfortable. Warm days and cool nights, the jewelweed out back has humming birds and dragonflies in it, and the ladies thumb is burgeoning. I always look for queen anne’s lace to put into a bouquet with ladies thumb, but they bloom just off from each other. When I got back from the War I discovered that some stock I’d bought on impulse had bloomed- sadly it was one of the modern hybrids, white, not one of the old fashioned purple and pink ones I remember, not as fragrant, and it’s the wrong shape. I feel that it’s unfair to hold its breeding against it, but I like the flowers that remind me of my youth best. Poor thing.

This week has been spent trying to get back into what passes for normal life around here when we’re not gearing up for war. We are now in the period of gearing up for Pagan Pride Days and my other fall speaking engagements (closely followed by Changing Times-Changing Worlds- gha!). I have been spending a lot of time on line making sure we’re signed up to sell, and I’m signed up to teach. This weekend is the East Coast Thing, to which we are not going, so instead I’ve scheduled a Psychic Party- sadly one of the promotional ones I donated to the Public TV auction, not money. I can hope for tips if the ladies like my readings.
On Labor Day weekend Harpers Retreat is so close we are going to day trip. The older I get, the more fond of sleeping in my own bed whenever possible. After that NH PPD is the 10th, I’ve finally been asked to do “How to Heal FROM a Cold”, and “Love Spells, How they Work, and Why you Shouldn’t”, two workshops I’ve outlined, but no one had wanted until now. The 11th is Southeastern Mass PPD, where I’m doing “Introduction to Palmistry” and “Healing without Tools”. The next Sunday is Eastern Mass PPD, they still haven’t picked what they want me to do- but have asked me to speak in the ceremony again (I rather hope I can duck it, I am at that point in my career where while I know that I am quite knowledgeable, I still feel like an upstart-probably because I’m not an “Author” yet- yes, one more thing on my to-do list!).
The Stonemarche Baronial Birthday Party is the Saturday before, and since no one showed for Golden Sword at Midsummers, if anyone wanted to compete, we could have it then; but this is probably going to be one of those years it didn’t happen. That makes it another weekend with something both days.
The weekend after that is the Harvest Gathering down in Connecticut. Jane and I have been comped a room to share, and two selling tables each, so Willow is going to come with us to watch them as each of us also is doing three classes. I’m doing Anglo-Saxon Magick, Advanced RúnValdr, and the Seven Huna Principles. I know we’ll sell better with the Willow there. The next thing on the schedule after that is Columbus Day Weekend when I’ll be teaching RúnValdr at Twilight Covening, and I assume the girls will be going to Another Anime Con. Bakuretsu Con is the weekend after that, and I don’t got to those cons with them.
But so far that’s all we’ve got until CTCW and Darkover. Doing the events is fun, but looking for them and signing up is something that feels like it takes more time than it aught, and is not fun at all. Still, it must be done. And often months sometimes almost a year, in advance. I guess that, like doing back-ups on the computer, is just life in the real world.
Josh is (when not working on his other three jobs) working on getting my website up. I really am looking forward to that. I am still caught in my indecision about whether I’m a writer and speaker on the esoteric, whether I’m an artist, or an historian. On the one hand, people talk about academic grants women over 60 can get, and I tend to think that while the government needs to cut back, that’s the kind of thing that should be cut first, other the other hand, if they don’t, I’d love to try for one. I can so see myself in academia until I’m quite an old lady. When I thought about teaching before, I was thinking both about how to pay off college loans, as well as public school, but if I could get into academia, that would be so cool. It’s something to think about, anyway. I really want to pick one thing and put all my energy on it, but at the same time, it’s hard to give up all the other things in which I’m interested.
Having been to the war, I’m re-jazzed about all things SCA and Anglo-Saxon. I have been reminded how much I enjoy it. When one has an income, the SCA is a great thing to do on the side. But one rather needs free weekends and evenings to prepare for them in order to participate in SCA events the way I used to. I agreed this year that next year I’m going to just do repeat classes (which will require no major research and writing) and enter the Arts and Sciences display. If you had seen what I saw at the display this year (and previous years) you’d know why I’m really hesitant to do it. The SCA is almost 50 years old now, and many of the people in it are incredibly talented. There was an ivory carver who did the most amazing, intricate, delicate work, a book of Kells reproduction- with humorous additions that “put the Creative in Creative Anachronism” (for example, it had a gorgeous jeweleled cover- but some of the jewels had been “ripped off” by vikings, and pages within were unfinished- seemingly interrupted by marauders. There was a gorgeous chest with ironwork (inside lined with insulation and a drain to use as a cooler chest). There was incredible embroidery, and calligraphy ,and stained glass, and garb, and stuff so beyond my abilities that I quail at putting my stuff near theirs. I’m a generalist. I know a lot, but mostly by knowing a little and doing a little in a lot of fields. I’m worried that I’m going to suffer by comparison. My only thought would be to try to set up a kind of diorama, a mini room in which I have so many things that the sheer number of them impresses- garb, food, medicine, pottery, embroidery, furniture (I suppose we did salvage the bed I made back in the 80s), but I am afraid that would probably take so much work that it would take time away from other things I should be doing. (This is your cue to reassure me that it’s quite within my capabilities and remind me of all the stuff I have on hand already- please!) Anyway, the first step is to try to make that list. (without including things that will take too much new work). Already I want to make a scroll- I’m thinking either a page from Beowulf or from the book of Kells or Lindesfarne- because Steven gave me a piece of parchment at the end of the war, and I’d love to make something with it- with period pigments. Luckily he also gave me some parchment scraps so I can practice first. I’m sure it reacts differently than modern paper.
Other than making the arrangements for the upcoming schedule, I’m afraid I haven’t done much this week. I watched some old episodes of McGyver Jane loaned me. My goodness the styles look so dated. The girls-of-the-week are practically indistinguishable. I didn’t care for the styles much in those days either, but luckily I could retreat into the “Current Middle Ages”, and I’m afraid I’ve done that this week too. I’ve spent way too much time on the SCA lists talking about the war, and the SCA, and upcoming projects. The group I thought I’d gotten going last year to make a gluten free feast seems to have drifted to a stop. I may have to dust off my old pots and actually be head cook for that if I want it to happen. I think it’s a good idea, but somehow people don’t seem to have my “just do it” attitude. Of course, I am very good at just starting to do something, but not so good at finishing. So many good ideas, so little time. And even less when I spend too much on line.
I have finished hemming some of the veils I got for the war. I have no idea where veils go, but it seems that I hem a half dozen, or maybe two or three, every war, and then they disappear. When it’s hot, dunking a linen veil and then wearing it is one of the best ways to cool down. We looked for them while we were packing but could only find a couple, so when we got there I went to Carolina Calicos and got about four veil lengths to wear during the war in gauze and linen. I’m afraid I didn’t get to hemming them during the war because I was still hemming clothing I’d made from the fabric we bought last year. I feel that people are looking at me, so don’t want to have anything machine stitched- at least where it show. So there’s lots of hand hemming. At least some people must like it. Some man I didn’t recognize who was sitting next to me in one class leaned over and whispered “I love the way you dress.” which is about as good a complement as one can get when one is no longer young and “babe-o-licious”.
Steve came up on the weekend and we had a quiet chat (luckily he hadn’t read the letter yet, so I was able to tell him all about the war), had some stew and a relaxing time. Too late it occurred to us we could have gone to a movie or something. Oh well.
I’d have been busy- A Sacred Place was having a crafts fair I’d planned to go to, but I forgot that I was loaning Willow the van. I really don’t trust her jeep, it’s really old, and probably won’t pass another inspection, and while I don’t mind driving it when she’s near enough to come pick me up if I get stranded, with her all the way in Maine I was too nervous to try the two hour drive each way to ASP. Too bad, the weather was gorgeous. Yes, there was thunderstorm warnings, and we got a blow-through, but it certainly wasn’t a rainy day. Willow’s got more guts than I have to drive that jeep. I spent some of the money we made at the war getting the shocks replaced,  but they couldn’t track down the wiring problem that’s shot the back door latch again (their computer was down).
My van was carrying the girls and three of their con friends went up to the cabin at Clearwater. Dad was still there of course, but because he’s so deaf, all he had to do was turn his hearing aid off to not be bothered by their giggling. They knew that it might be rainy all weekend, but that was ok with them. The theme of this year’s “Cabin in the Woods Con” was “sleep-over”. Their plan was to roast wieners and marshmallows over the fire, do each other’s hair and paint their toe-nails, do art (they’re all artists) and tell ghost stories. And that’s what they seem to have done. Last time they went up in September and were able to catch the county fair, but this time they got the lake while the water was at its warmest. They tell me that my aunt Amanda has broken her arm.
I’ve been “goofing off”- reading more of the Libertus books by Rosemary Rowe. At first I wasn’t as taken with them as I am by the Marcus Didemus Falco books- but I think that’s because after 20 books, I have that irrational feeling that I know the characters in the Falco books. Now, 5 books into the series, I’m really enjoying these books about Romano-Britain. Part of it is probably because Libertus is in his fifties, and I can relate to someone who’s older and also has to deal with a patron who doesn’t get what it’s like to be in need of cash (who wouldn’t “insult” him by offering him money for his help solving mysteries, even though he had to take time off paying work to do it). Another thing I like about them is that Rowe gives you all the clues and holds nothing back, so that when Libertus works it out, you don’t feel like you’ve been cheated and would have been able to work it out if you’d just known one set of with-held facts. Sadly, the series seems to be more popular in England, and the library only has a few of the books. Can I resist ordering them used from Amazon? That remains to be seen. Oh well, I suppose I have to get back to real work. I have to make more sculptures for the upcoming season, and I’d also like to get the house better organized, get the schedule done for CTCW, and maybe even work on my book!
And I think I can get back to walking again. Oh, and as Laura pointed out- some who get this letter may not realize that when I said I went to the Chiurgeons at the war, that IS going to a real doctor. The Chiurgeons is what we call our volunteer medical folks. So many doctors, nurses, emts and other medical people volunteer their time that the SCA has better medical coverage than most cities. That’s why the doctor there was able to write a prescription for the antibiotics. I DON’T hate doctors, I simply realize that they, like the rest of us, are human beings with a certain skill set. They learn as much as they can, but aren’t infallible, and it’s unfair to expect them to be. Some know some areas, some know other areas, and none of them can work in a vacuum of information, so we have to both give them the best information we can, and take responsibility for our own health.
Oh- and no, I didn’t feel the earthquake. But we’re on the side of a granite mountain, and I’m not sure that doesn’t have an impact on how much we shake. Maybe people in cities, in tall buildings feel it more.
That’s about it. I expect to be more exciting now that I am coming awake again. I wonder if part of my fatigue isn’t recovering from the infection and anti-biotics? I know the last time I took a run of anti-biotics it took me a month before I felt normal again. Not that if I take them I am not very pleased to have them available to take, but let’s be honest, they do throw off your metabolism until you get your bowel repopulated with the right bacteria.  I recently saw a chart that indicated that children are about 90% water, adults 80% water, and old people only just about 50% water. No wonder we aren’t functioning as well, we’re dehydrated. The problem is, the more I drink, the more it just flows right through- the trick has to be keeping it in! If you drink too much, you can end up flushing out nutrients, and we old folks need all we can get. (I recently figured out why I talk about being old so much- I’m trying to remind myself. From the inside, I feel just the same as always, I don’t remember that I’m not the same 20 or 30 something person I think I am, and I can hurt myself if I try some of the things I used to do. Even if I don’t, I’ll still look pretty stupid. I remember how we mocked old people who wore “young” looks when I was young. I don’t want to inspire the same derision. Better to have people look at me and think what a magnificent older woman I am.) Anyway, back to work- and I wouldn’t mind hearing from you occasionally.