9-12-2018 Day of Encouragement

Fall temperatures have arrived, which is a great relief for me. Rather than ice-cream I’m craving tea.I got 4 various chains to try, and one I tried today left my lips tingling, so that one’s out. The decaffeinated one seems OK, so I can have it in the evening before I go to bed. It has been raining for days, and looks to keep raining, but that doesn’t bother me as much since I still remember when the well went dry two years ago. The roof is good, so I’m good. These days reading is my hobby anyway. Last week I spent a day in my underwear lying in front of a fan like a cat (well, cats don’t wear underwear- but they do lie in front of fans) reading. I’m not ready to fire up the wood stove, but I am thinking that if it continues cool I might be able to think of baking again.
The phlox has passed, but we don’t seem to have had frost, and the jewel-weed is still fine. The morning glories are blooming, and I’m enjoying them. I get to wear my long stockings for the first time since spring, and boots rather than sandals, and long sleeves.
 This Saturday was Kate and Alexis’ wedding. Kate’s my brother Bob’s daughter, and they live here in NH. I guess she’s grown up cautious, because they took their time deciding to get married. If you see the three boys in front of the groomsmen, those are their kids (since she doesn’t put their names on fb, I won’t use them here). This picture is from fb- you can see the backs of our heads. I’m beside Liz, with Willow on high right, then Kat. Trish is in front of Willow- she calls it her “spider lady” dress because of the back. You can see Kitty’s blond hair in front of Kat’s black. She says it’s natural, but I find that hard to believe. Trish is currently a redhead. I actually was admiring Kitty’s dress before I recognized her! Willow and I were both wearing shawls, and I was quite grateful, as the wedding was at sunset, by a lake, and it got a bit nippy! Then we moved inside.
Of course we took the opportunity to get a group picture. By a coincidence, all of us were wearing black. I think it’s because once you get over 60, black is a good basic color.
 Willow had taken me out shopping last week and got a lovely dress at Torrid. I put my hair up- two or three times, and wore Mother’s gold jewelry. We went out Saturday morning and got make-up. I haven’t worn any in over a decade and make-up goes stale so I needed everything. Sadly, the mascara disappeared between the car and the kitchen. I fear I may have tossed it out with trash. So I was actually wearing foundation and blush, and lipstick, and eye shadow, and eye liner, (and some borrowed mascara). I painted my nails gold too. I also tried on my three pair of respectable shoes. Decided one was just uncomfortable and chucked it, tried some heels and decided I’d probably hurt myself if I tried, and wore some squat heels that no one would probably even notice. The dress is quite long, so I needed it to keep it from dragging. I really like the flow of it though.
Willow and Kat both wore blue (there’s a picture in my phone, but apparently it didn’t make it from there to fb for me to use here). She added a beautiful blue shawl Avi had crocheted for her last year. Sadly Ambian had chewed a few holes in it, so we went to meet her, and she quickly did some invisible repairs. We gave them a gift certificate from The Vermont Country Store- back at MY wedding one of Mother’s friends gave me a tablecloth that I didn’t care for much as it was “too rustic”. Only it still looks great now because it’s such great quality. They still sell them, and I figure a gift certificate will let her pick her own color- and if it lasts as well as mine, it’ll still look good on her table in 2061. Let your mind just roll THAT date around in your head for a while. 1975 doesn’t seem like so long ago to me, but it occurs to me that I don’t think Kate was born until 1982!
Kate’s dress was long and flowing with a train and jewels all over it, the party was somewhat dressed down as the men were in formal shirts and pants, but no jackets. (I can’t help remember Bob’s wedding when they were all in striped pants and morning coats and top hats- which really didn’t sit well on the long puffy hair of some of his groomsmen.) The Bridesmaids were in cranberry, and I think that this time they may actually be able to wear them at other events! Erin, Liz’s (third daughter), I think, was the made of honor. Poor Erin was asked to do a speech like the best man’s toast- I guess that’s gender equality for us! Ali and Meg were there, but Jill couldn’t get off work.
I was psyched to see Meg as I though she was still living on the west coast; she has apparently moved back. (I’m not good at keeping track of my nieces and nephews.) She was sitting at our table so we got to talk more than in years. I knew she ran obstacle races, but I didn’t realize that they are, like my SCA participation, almost every week. “Not too often”, she said, “I don’t do more than one in a day!”  OMG, she swings from ropes, squirms under barbed wire, vaults walls, carry fifty pound bags of rocks, long distances, up hills, through mud, etc. This is what she does for FUN?! Wow! I am so impressed. She’d actually come from one that morning!
The food (chicken AND roast beef) and the DJ were better than I’ve seen at most weddings. They opted for a huge selection of cupcakes in a tower rather than a big wedding cake, so we were able to take one home for John. They were decorated with (frosting) sunflowers, which were the flowers in the bridesmaids bouquet and centerpieces. There were some games run by the DJ for distributing the centerpieces. I wonder if that’s standard in modern weddings? I have no idea.  At least they no longer seem to do the hokey pokey for the old folks. Now that I’m the old folks I think I’d be more comfortable with something from the 60s or 70s (like the Timewarp).  When the dancing started Kat and Willow got up and danced, I knew in the back of my mind that Kat likes to dance, but I keep forgetting how much. Unfortunately, I only got video of it. I’ve always liked Alexis, and the hall seemed awash in men who looked like him. The Colon family seems huge and close, and I’m so happy that she’s found a family to embrace her. Nancy was there as mother of the bride (and Joe, Liz’ ex for some reason). I had one bad minute while I thought about how Bob and Jay would have loved to have been there. I guess that’s just what old people do at weddings, think about the ones who didn’t live long enough to enjoy it. Kate was so beautiful, and the boys looked so cute. We headed out around 10 when the stress was beginning to press on me, much less Kat.
First think Sunday morning the girls headed off the the lake, swinging by to pick up Joanie and Raye. “Cabin-in-the-Woods-Con” is small these days. Their intended goal is to rest, eat, rest, do art, sleep, and rest. They said they might take in a movie- and mentioned they were seeing Slenderman, which didn’t strike me as a great idea out in the woods. The trim needs painting on the screen repair Liz did this spring, and the girls immediately demanded paintbrushes to help. Willow plans to try to get it as clean as possible so there won’t be much “closing up” to do.
Being gone they missed the primary, which annoyed them. John and I went and did our civic duty, having gone through all the candidates websites to see what they SAY they are for. I could immediately eliminate anyone who said they wanted to “protect our borders” although I’m not sure what “deal with the opioid crisis” means. Does it mean make drugs more difficult to get for those who really need them, or try to track doctors who prescribe them “too freely” (and how would you tell?).
John got to see the old house clearing for the first time I think. I’m pretty sure the back section (library and bedrooms) will be staying. They wouldn’t have insulated it if they were planning on ripping it down. They’ve done a LOT of clearing out front- even excavating away some of the bedrock, and presumably the old septic system which used to be under the front lawn. I do wonder what they are going to put there. There were surveyors in the back on voting day. The pear tree we planted is still there, but for how long?
 John and I are getting along OK, although it’s harder to get a dinner together for two, we’re doing our best to still have vegetables and salads. Tonight, sadly, we just had hot-dogs, but other days we’ve done better.
Part of the reason we went out on Thursday was because there was a blackout mid-morning. Can’t work on the computer, can’t do laundry, can’t wash dishes, can’t even flush a toilet! Time to go to the library! (Not to mention, it was still hot Thursday, and the library had air conditioning!) According to report of neighbors, a truck knocked down a power pole on Pinnacle. No phone, no power (I thought land-line phones were independent of power?) The road was closed, but the power came back around three. We heard that the power company was going to change out some other poles while they were at it, and indeed, they haven’t collected their detour signs, just move them off to the side. I got a picture as I went by having gone around Herrick. I really should have walked down the street and seen what and where the damage actually was- too late now. It’s fixed.
Although Sunday evening the power went out again around 10 pm, so we turned in, and it was on again in the morning. We have no idea what that one was about.
We think we have finally run out of rats. Haven’t found any body in the traps recently, and I think there were five or six total, so that might be the full nest. I’ve ordered replacement pasta, but am hesitant to put it in the pantry until I’m sure the rats are gone. Other than Peanut butter cups, I think raw pasta is their favorite food. It can’t be good for them. The cats were useless. But I’m afraid I may have insulted them- I haven’t seen Ambian recently, and especially as it’s cooler, I miss “the Ginger menace” who liked to sleep on my legs. I spent two afternoons finally repairing my black fake fur (bought in 1972 I think) where he sucked holes in it. I snipped 6 inches off one end and cut that up to make patches- while watching a great deal of documentaries and dramas about Lincoln and the Civil War. His brother, Pyewacket, is more vocal, and Sunday afternoon seemed to notice the girls were gone. You could swear he was meowing “Willow? Willow?” (He’s also really good at saying “me out” “me out”.)
 After spending the last couple of years looking at how current conditions compare to `30s Germany, I have now switched to comparing them to the US in the 1850s. Trump, admittedly, like Hitler, has been quite successful at making about a third of the country afraid of the other two thirds, and I worry that the liberals are just as unreasonable and ignorant about the motivations of the conservatives. We must not allow ourselves to start treating each other as “the enemy”. We have so much in common, and we need to remember that. Frankly, if we allow ourselves to hate and fear this one particular aspect of some group, and another particular aspect of another group, by the time we’re done, we’ll have no one left to trust. This is not a good thing. I watched Lincoln at Gettysburg, which talked about how the telegraph changed how political campaigns and wars were fought, Abraham and Mary Lincoln, A House Divided, which went into both his and her depression symptoms, as far as can be diagnosed at distance. The History Channel’s Lincoln, (or was that last week?), Gore Vidal’s Lincoln– the 1988 miniseries  with Sam Waterston, and Mary Tylor Moore, it wasn’t a very complimentary view of poor Mary Todd Lincoln. I preferred Sally Field’s portrayal in the 2013 Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln. Then for fun, I watched, Lincoln, Vampire Hunter which wasn’t very authentic, but had a lot of action. I now know enough to be curious about the civil war as I have not been before. I now want to know more about Vicksburg, Antidam, and Andersonville. I found a series on Youtube called Crash Course in US History, and watched the episodes about the Civil war, then I’ve gone back and am working my way up through the others a few at a time. One thing I have learned for certain is that if you don’t know your geography, the history becomes incredibly confusing!
While I was at the library I asked the librarian if she had any recommendations, and she suggested Mr. Flood’s Last Resort, which I hardly put down, finished it Friday night. It’s a lovely book, mystery with a bit of either psychic or psychotic detailing (the heroine sees saints). I’ve continued rereading the Libertas mysteries, I think Requiem for a slave, Whispering of Spies, & Dark Omens, this week, and I’ve started the Fateful Day, I’m probably skimming as they are re-reads.
I haven’t totally given up on the subject of the Holocaust. I’ve been reading the Occult Roots of Nazism (Secret Aryan Cults and their Influence on Nazi Ideology), which is REALLY annoying because of the many typos. I highly suspect that it was scanned to e-book, and not well cleaned up. This is especially annoying as there are lots of German words and names, and I’m never sure if they are some of the ones that are messed up. It’s pretty clear that there was a whole lot of longing for a racial identity before Hitler got there and he just worked with it, as Trump uses bigotry and xenophobia. Sadly I’m not sure whether some of these books are garbage or not, I haven’t read enough of them to be able to tell. The library doesn’t have a lot on the subject, and I don’t want to invest much in it, so mostly I’m looking at the ones that are cheap e-books. Nazi Occult War, Nazi Occult, & the Nazi’s and the Occult, and they may be bull. I am inclined to think they are, but at the same time, I think several of those involved may have been into it. Certainly various people have been over the years.
I continue reading Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland, two chapters left, then I take notes and return it. I’m now in the part where the author talks about the differences between how it was in Poland  as opposed to the rest of Europe, and how other sources contradict or recontextualize the trial records. This is what I was waiting for. I think the main thing is that the other sources return it back to the concept of people using magick in daily life, and not making a big deal of it. When the elite imported the idea of satanic witchcraft, the minor lords who were running things seemed to have latched onto it as another way of reinforcing their authority.
Frankly, studying the “early modern period” (especially through the academic filter) has left me with a feeling of safety, insulated by the 400 years since the peak of the trials, as when as the skepticism of the academics. This week I watched the movie The Conjuring, (although I don’t remember when or why I ordered it). It’s the story of events in a New England family in the 70s. It seemed terribly familiar. Either I watched this before and totally forgot it (a disturbing thought), or I read about it and it faded into the background. Either way, it reminded me that there are still people today who feel that there is a devil, and witches serve him. I feel that this fits pretty firmly into the category of “the world is what you think it is”, or how personal filters allow you to understand what happens in a way that fits into your world view. I am convinced that people are psychic and we interact with the unseen world in many ways, but do people who experience this sort of stuff attract a nastier type of spirit, or does it just seem nastier to them because that’s how they’ve been taught to interpret it? I grew up in a house with knocking, and chairs rocking themselves, and doorknobs turning, and things disappearing and reappearing. But to me, that’s just the way the world is, and theres no reason to get excited about it. Kitty got freaked when someone she could see when the light was out, but couldn’t see when it was on hitched a ride in her car. But he was only there for a few miles, and so it was only a problem that once. I figure he was a ghost, trying to get home. I tend to think that if we could just teach people to calm down and not worry about the fact that there ARE things that can move your stuff around, and that people are psychic, then there’d be a lot less nervousness around it.
I’ve noticed that it seems that simply having anything “occult” in a movie means it’s a horror movie. Like the GBLT community who eagerly awaits characters who are GBLT and that’s just because people know that they’re part of the community, I eagerly await movies where someone’s a bit more gifted psychically than her neighbors, but isn’t portrayed as a nut. “Sorry, Mary, I’m an empath, not a dowser, can’t help you. Have you asked Michael?”  (Do the people who call in ghost hunters psychically pick up ideas from them, and then manifest what “the experts” expect to happen?) This is the sort of conversation we are trying to have at CTCW (which I should be working on.)
It’s really depressing wondering about why so many people seem to not see their fellow humans as humans. Is it really that different when whites lynched blacks and were so cool with it that they’d take pictures of themselves with the bodies hanging there, from men who see women as simply a way to have sex and get their housework done for them? They are not seeing the others as people, but as mechanisms to get what they want. What can they do for me? What can they do TO me? Who needs to be treated with caution, so they don’t harm, and who can be treated badly because they can’t? If they see the world that way it becomes incumbent upon them to treat others badly to show them which end of the stick they are on.  Is this something within the person, or is it something that is taught? I am pretty sure that some people teach their kids that waitresses and cashiers and others don’t count- no wonder they freak if one of their kids wants to date one! But even for those who do know that others are people can forget that when they become part of a mob- that’s why mobs are dangerous, and why people who try to turn people into mobs are dangerous. They’ve been working on this- this is why they pull the people who are clearly not going along with Trumps message out- if you scatter skeptics within the mob, you can break it. The technique seems to be to reach out to people as people. Treat them so that they know if they go along they are part, and if they don’t they’ll be victims, and most people will fall into step. It’s not that far from not seeing a group of “other” people as human to slavery (or genocide), not far at all to male chauvinism. Changing behavior- through behaviorism, carrot and stick. “Why?” Doesn’t matter. But it matters more than anything!
I watched a lot while doing the mending, and kept mending- currently working on my leather ring purse that I made too big, so have to re sew the seams. Have you seen the Evil Dead movies? Dumb, but funny. They seem to have done a TV show sequel-Ash vs the Evil Dead,  with Ash 30 years later. It was just what I expected, dumb but funny.  I watched the English version of Death at a Funeral, which I think is marginally better than the American remake. And finally there was a world war two movie with Gregory Peck, David Niven, Roger Moore, Patrick Macnee, and Trevor Howard.  Sea Wolves: the last charge of the Calcutta Light Horse is a spy movie, where a bunch of British guys in India who were too old to join the war when it broke out are recruited to blow up an German ship. I certainly couldn’t resist watching a bunch of old guys kicking butt, but it was rather weird to see the spies blackmailing and killing as ruthlessly as they probably do in real life, when one is used to fictional spies who are, of course, the good guys, and only kill in self defense.
So that’s it. I’ve been doing handwork, trying to actually catch up on stuff I’ve been putting off, and watching movies. Nice work if you can get it. I got an email, looks like we signed up for the Eastern Mass Pagan Pride Day last year, so we won’t have missed all of them. That will be the 23 if you want to catch it.
Yours, etc.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln
The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.  Abraham Lincoln

13 Thursday Internltl. Chocolate Day, Peanut Day, Fortune cookie day, Kids take over the Kitchen Day

14 Friday Cream-Filled Donut Day, Live Creatively Day, Coloring Day, Bakery Day, Hug your Boss Day,
15 Saturday  Cheese Toast Day, Linguine Day, Crème de Menthe Day, Double Cheesburger Day,
Batman Day, Thank You Day, Someday, Coastal Cleanup Day, Coloring Day, Felt Hat Day, Make a Hat Day
16 Sunday Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day, Guacamole Day, Play-Doh Day, Women’s Friendship Day
17 Monday Apple Dumpling Day, Monte Cristo Day, Constitution Day & Citizenship Day, Time’s Up Day
18 Tuesday Cheeseburger Day, RiceKrispies Treats Day, Bamboo Day, Respect Day, Read an e-book Day
19 Wednesday Buttescotch Pudding Day, Talk Like a Pirate Day, Yom Kippur