8-30-17 Beach Day

I had a lovely peach today, I think I got it on “Eat a Peach Day” but then you have to wait and watch while it develops from “hard enough to ship” to ripe and catch it before it gets mushy. It was perfect. It’s a pity so many things are hard to catch at that best moment.
The Knotweed is blooming, if we didn’t have preconseptions about it being an invasive weed it would be lovely. Of course, I do, so it just grabs my attention and I gern at it. Willow brought in some blossoms from her rose Miles- my goodness but that one has a gorgeous scent! The pink phlox are blooming now- the white are passing. They are lovely, but not as fragrant as the roses. The goldenrod continue. We sneeze occasionally and wonder if we have allergies, like so many of our friends. But not often. It is cooling in the evenings. This is lovely for those of us who like that, but Willow is not as pleased as those who prefer the cool weather, so we have to restrain our glee.
School has started again, which no longer matters to us, except that now that Bianca and Kalen are back in school Willow only has to meet them at the bus and watch them until supper, so she has more time for herself. On the last day of vacation she took them over to the beach as a final treat. For someone who dislikes kids, she deals with them very well.
 I have spent most of this week trying to finish up the painting. Yes, it was MOSTLY finished. Scott F came on Thursday and I did his face. It worked beautifully. It is such a relief. I was having that artistic anxiety- “what if I’m not as goo as I say/think I am?” But he sat down across the table and I painted his face and it worked. I was working on his hand when the power went out- not enough light to keep painting. So he went back home, and I promiced to finish the details and send it after him. I really do enjoy doing faces, and really don’t like painting things like clocks and other things with straight lines. That I am NOT good at, so it takes far more time than I expect. I’m also trying to maintain the balance- the focus needs to be on his face, not the cool clocks that are his joy, but I do want them to look good. We talked about at what time should I set the large clock behind him, he didn’t care. But we know that people after we’re both gone will wonder what the significance of that time is, so I wanted that to be up to him. I guess it will be just the time his wife snapped the picture of him. He’s really rather good looking. At this point I’ve got to do the faces on the last two clocks and his visor, and I want to put shading on his shirt so it matches the face. (Painting that darned plaid took me 2 days!) Let’s hope next week there’s a finished image.
The girls went to an appointment with a specialist at St. Joseph’s because the doctors worry about how much she throws up. It’s almost certainly the meds, but the Nurse Practitioner they saw just wouldn’t listen. Willow went because they feel (and may be right) that I’m hostile, or at least confrontational with doctors. (I ask them the questions the books say to ask them and demand answers.) So Willow took notes, and then they stayed after to contest what she’d written in the release notes. For example, having asked the simple question “do you have any problems with milk?” and being told no, she wrote “Patient has agreed to a two week elimination of dairy products from diet.” She was also not pleased with Kat’s consuming Coke to soothe her stomach, and repeatedly pressed her to drink diet coke instead, although both girls told her that she reacted badly to aspartame. That did NOT get into her papers. The one bright spot was that St. Joes is very “consumer” oriented and called to get feedback, which Kat was pleased to get the opportunity to give.
I am trying to remember any amusing stories from this week and failing miserably. I expect it would have been funny had I gotten on camera trying to get out of bed when I’d managed to get my elbow on my hair, trapping my head, but luckily for my dignity, no one did. Monday was “one of those days”, I managed to burn myself three times, once with spattering oil while frying french fries, once plating the steak. (the hot pad wasn’t quite thick enough), and I dropped the bundt pan on my arm while saving the cake, that I was putting on it’s cooling rack, when the rack started to slide off the counter. Luckily Willow’s burn salve is marvelous, and all the burns were fine by morning. I was very tired that day, which may have led to my being clumsy, but that’s me trying to find explanations for random events.
I can report that the podcast worked last week, my mic went dead half way through again, but I’ve gotten used to it, and called in from the house phone. My guest was Deb Jarvis, and we talked about a book called The Alchemist. It’s a book about a quest, with lessons learned, and I enjoyed it. It reminded me of Johnathan Livingston Seagull, wisdom wrapped up in an interesting story, so it falls gently, and doesn’t hit you like a “Lesson”. Tonight I had on Catherine Kane with a whirlwind overview of energy healing. This time my mic died in the first five minutes. I have to do something about that. I fear inertia is pulling on me strongly.
I am appalled that it’s already Labor Day Weekend. The girls are going up to Clearwater for their “Cabin in the Woods” retreat. Kitty messaged Willow last week to tell her to expect others there dismantling the back porch, which desperately needs it, but at the same time, this is hardly condusive to the quiet retreat that the girls were planning. A flurry of calls and texts later, it turned out that no, the hoped-for volunteers were not going to be there, so they will be getting their rest. I would love to get up there and just veg myself, but I keep forgetting to schedule it. We really need a better system for scheduling. Liz and I think a Google Calendar would do well, but Kitty says that “anyone can come anytime” and she won’t use it. I’d also like to get settled what our mutual obligations are- joint ownership of any property is difficult, but I think handling it casually is insuring disaster. That need sto be something we do ourselves, though.
I’ll be going over to Harpers by myself. I am not sanguine about that. I always enjoyed the SCA because I was doing things with others, and without things to do and others to do them with, most of the appeal is gone. I should try to think of something to do there.
This week I’ve been watching True Blood while painting, and the book series when I go up to bed. It’s amazing how they changed so much, but stayed within the same concept, and I really liked the changes. I just have to see them as not trying to represent the books, and they are SO different that I can. I think maybe I love the series (books) so because Sookie is someone who is smart, but not formally educated, which makes her feel at a disadvantage with many with more education. She is living check to check. At one point she gets some money and bursts into tears because it’s such a relief not to be worrying how to pay for things she needs. The rich also don’t seem to get how she relates to money. I’m not sure people ever do if they haven’t lived it. We all have an idea in our heads of how the world works, and don’t look beyond that. (And that’s as close as I’m coming to politics this week. What with floods and fires, we don’t need more disasters about which to worry.)

I also watched a totally, amazingly aweful movie called The Werewolf of Washington. It was true to the usual movie themes, with the difference that this one was set in Washington DC. The protagonist was a speechwriter for the President who’s having an affair with his daughter. He gets bitten by a werewolf on assignment in Hungary and the usual difficulties insue. There’s a lovely scene where he traps a girl in a phone booth, and another when he’s bowling with the President and the change starts making his hands swell, and they get stuck in the bowling ball. At the end I think he bites the president and turns him into Werewolf in Chief. It’s all pretty tongue in cheek, and the version I saw had Elvira’s commentary as well. There’s also a lovely scene with Michael Dunn (who played every role available to a dwarf when I was a kid) as a scientist who treats the werewolf as a big dog, and that’s how he acts with him. (When the President tells him to “sit” and “heel” it doesn’t work.) It’s marvelously bad.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is Rogers and Hammerstein themes: Oklahoma has to do with coming to terms with the reality that the guy you figured was normal is really a dangerous psychopath; Carousel with wife beating and murder, South Pacific has the Americans being so prejudiced that they can’t even deal with the idea that the Frenchman has previously married a native, and as my mother tried to explain to me, Lt. Cable had to die, because he “couldn’t” marry the local girl, even if he really loved her. (He may have gotten over his prejudice, but the audience hadn’t.)  The sexism in the King and I is prettied up, and even Flower Drum song are about intollerance and immigration. In the Sound of Music they have to deal with the Nazis,  and it shows the girls boyfriend is willing to turn them in- love really not conquering all in this story. If you look at Showboat (which Hammerstein wrote with Kern doing the music), it’s about overt racial prejudice, and after giving everything up, the secondary lovers split up anyway. I’m thinking he was wrapping pretty romances around some pretty dark topics to get them looked at.
So there you have it. I suppose I ‘didn’t do much’ because I spent so much time on one thing- the painting, and that’s the equivilent of people who spend 8 hours a day at work, so they only have a couple of hours a day to do anything “interesting”.
Upcoming holidays include
31 Eat Outside Day, Trail Mix Day, Diatomaceous Earth Day
1 Ginger Cat Appreciation Day, Letter Writing Day, Bring your Manners to Work Day, Wear Teal
2 Blueberry Popsicle Day, World Beard Day, Tailgating Day, Intntl Bacon Day
3 Welsh Rarebit Day, Pet Rock Day, Skyscraper Day, US Bowling League Day
4 Labor Day, Eat an Extra Dessert Day,  Macadamia Nut Day, World Wildlife Day
5 Cheese Pizza Day, Intntl Day of Charity, Be late for Something Day
6 Coffee Ice Cream Day, Fight PRocrastination Day, Read a Book Day
Oh yes, I wrote a blog post on weeds this week.
Man is the only critter who feels the need to label things as flowers or weeds.