9-13-2017 Fortune Cookie Day

It is a gorgeous day out today, low 80s, a breeze keeping that from being too hot. The stock are still blooming in the driveway garden, there’s goldenrod out back, and the pink of Ladies Thumb. It’s very summery weather. The trees are mostly green, but an occasional branch is red or yellow. I always suspect damage to the branch with those. But they are harbingers of the coming fall. I may have jumped the gun a bit yesterday. I bought a set of dishes at the Dollar store (it’s a lot easier when a glass, plate or bowl is only a buck). I tend to expect dishes to get broken in the course of use. The glasses and bowls have fall leaves on them. There are still two small cups with leaf patterns we got last year, and a couple of the fall leaves mugs and one plate from several years ago- I think we call them “occasional pieces” (serving dishes).  Willow was not amused, feeling we should hold off on the “brown” ware until it’s actually fall. 

Meanwhile John is going out (with timer), and chopping wood and stacking it in the shed every day. I keep meaning to find gloves and go stack any of the small stuff. As is typical of humans, while I recognize that John is much stronger than I am, I feel that I stack better. This may or may not be true, but I enjoy thinking it is.
I’m enjoying the weather being so nice that I can hang clothes on the line. I guess we’re a hundred years from doing laundry once a week with fire heated water taken in buckets from the well, and ironed with flat irons. But my mother used to have a clothes line in the basement for when the weather was wet- even though we had a dryer. I remember when we first got a dryer and I no longer had to fill the sink with warm water to thaw my hands between hanging every few diapers. What luxury!  Things still smell better when line dried. I will admit I like to use the dryer for “smalls”. Bumping around in there leaves washclothes and knickers softer, and the little pieces take up so much room on the line, it’s easier to just toss the whole bunch in. Still, we are at the in-between weather where I don’t like using the dryer because it heats up the pantry, and it’s just beginning to be cooler in there again. It’s so convenient when we can just put a jug of milk or cider on the counter and not have to go into the refrigerator and move things around to make them fit.
Talk about problems of privilege, too much food in storage!
John and I went over to Marks on Friday, to help him clear. We took out several boxes of cooking stuff Bruce had accumulated and Mark doesn’t use. While he kept the Grill, he got rid of the popcorn popper (I think I’ll trade ours out), waffle iron, and a large selections of pans and cassarolle dishes, as well as mugs, glasses, and other tableware. This was complicated by the door latch to the apartment being fixed. It would lock folks out, so the fellow was fixing it, while John took many boxes through. Occcasionally he’d go away for a bit, and John would be locked out. My knees are not as good as I’d like them to be, and Mark’s foot is still hurting from Pennsic, so John got to do all the heavy lifting. And ladder climbing, when we took down the dark room light (with timer). I was also hurting because I’d walked right into the trailer hitch on the way out, and I had run out of arnica (since replaced). I was concerned that I’d managed to not get to the dump on Thursday, and we had two Pagan Pride Days this weekend. Luckily Willow decided she’d rather take her car.
Her seats fold down rather than come out, so you can’t put quite so much in her car as mine. But that’s less to have to pack and un-pack each time, so we were just pleased that we could fit the pop up in with the stockings, the jewelry, silks, and the art. (and the tables and chairs, of course.)
Southern NH PPD was up in Manchester at the UU Church. I think this exemplifies the dichotomy of Pagan Pride Days- on the one hand, one would like to be out someplace public, so people could wander by and ask questions and find out that we’re a) not scary or at least b) really like everyone else. But the other thing PPDs are is a chance for pagans to get together and be among friends, be themselves. This means the fairy wings, glitter, or black capes and pointy hats- whatever suits your fancy. In this case it was a lot of dark ages garb and Thor’s hammers as the folks currently running it are heathen. For being among friends, the UU Church is lovely- if a bit small. And there’s NO parking! Everyone has to find on-street parking as close as you can get, which there isn’t much. There’s a Boy’s Club very close, that has a huge parking lot- chained off so no one could use it. Feh! I expect its a liability issue- most things are these days. We’d tried having it in the park on the main drag in Manchester, but that didn’t work well because it cost so much more- to cover the costs of hiring police for security (who, BTW, did NOT run down the thief who took the A Sacred Place donation jar), and I don’t know how much incidental traffic we got. So there you go, which sort of venue is better?
I did a workshop on developing your own traditions for the holidays. Community celebrations support community, but family celebrations should reinforce the bonds of family, and you just have to figure out what it is you are hoping your ritual will do. A ritual may be as simple as saying grace, reminding ourselves of our connection to the divine and the creatures and plants who gave their lives for our meal. I think it went well. I also went to other workshops while the girls watched the booth. I was surprised we didn’t sell more stockings. We went right home at 6 because we had another on Sunday and had to get out by 6:30! Ouch.
I made noodles with saute’d onions and sour cream, and individual steaks (from Fitch’s)- it sort of came down to beef stroganoff- only separated into its component parts. But when Kat is so stressed she can often only eat noodles, it seemed a good idea. We’re concerned about the stress levels of these events. As opposed to Anime cons, these are not the kind of people with whom she’d choose to spend time, and there’s always the risk (even outside) of sage and tobacco smoke- to both of which which she’s allergic. She decided to try to go to this closer one and if that went well, she’d come to the bigger one as well.
The South Eastern MA PPD is usually one of the largest and best money makers for us, so we go even though it’s a bit more than a two hour drive. Recently Willow’s GPS has been sending her on small back roads- we’re guessing “shortest route” rather than fastest, so we didn’t get there until 9:30, and had to unpack and set up FAST. Luckily we are really good at that, and having trimmed down to our minimum display helped as well. This year we were right in front of a lovely arbor covered with (I think) Trumpet Flower vines- so we stuck Kat under it to keep her out of the sun. Luckily we don’t mind bees. There was a brief problem when someone was “smudging” the vendors area- actually two people at once. Both of them immediately put the sage out when we gave the allergy warning, and the organizers offered to reduce the smudging in the ritual, and asked if we could remind them so that they could put a note in the vendors information next year to prevent it happening again. It didn’t help Kat breathe at the moment, but there were about as nice as they could be about it.
The weather was gorgeous and there was a class tent only feet from us. Usually they have assorted workshops in three places, but I never picked up a schedule (since I wasn’t on it), and only wandered over to the close one. Just in case, Willow took Kat off-site during the ritual and picked up sandwiches. I think the crowd was a bit light this year. I got a message later from a woman who’d gotten the cookbook I donated to the raffle. That was nice. I often come away from these events feeling a bit guilty because so many people seem to know me than I can remember. I hate to let them know that I don’t remember them as vividly as they do me. Getting up at 6-6:30, I was wiped by the time I got home and posted the holidays.  I did sleep in Monday.
I have now mailed off the painting. I wasn’t able to find a good box for it, and had to go to the dump and get the biggest box I could find, then cut that to fit around the painting. I think I could characterize the last week as “separation”. When it was finally done, I didn’t want to give it up, it had been a part of my environment long enough that I’d gotten fond of it.  During the week I kept spotting little things I “should fix”, but couldn’t because it really needed to get dry before it was packed up. So I was finally willing to let it go, since it had become a source of discontent. I wonder if it works that way for other artists? So, time to start the next painting(s)!
Oh, yes! When I mailed the painting, I got some stamps, include some commemorative stamps for the eclipse. They are SO cool! They are heat sensitive! If you put your thumb on them, or put them in the sun, the black goes away and shows the moon. I am such a fan girl for stuff like this!
We got a call this week from the office of the doctor Kat went to- they’d sent her a page full of instructions that we couldn’t figure out. Finally after several calls (during many of which they hung up when they asked for Kat, and we said we’d get her), the nurse called and explained that what it meant was that Kat had been diagnosed with constipation (by means of an X ray- who takes an X ray to look at a bowel?). Kat had told them that she alternates between diarrhea and constipation, but they didn’t listen, and apparently want her to first do a bowel cleanse (as one does before a colonoscopy), then go on a regimen, by which they mean take a daily laxitive. Given the occasional diarrhea, this seems a dumb idea. I really dislike it when medical people make up their minds without looking at the symptoms and listening to the patient. I am SO annoyed. Kat’s going to do the bowel cleanse anyway. There was just SO much wrong with that visit. The practitioner was condescending, mostly spoke to Willow not Kat, DIDN’T LISTEN, wrote down things that hadn’t happened (they found when they got the paperwork), wrote that they’d agreed to things that weren’t mentioned, it was just the sort of thing that makes medicine something many people avoid.
I’m bummed, winter is coming and Red Rose seems to have stopped making their Sunset Spice Chai. I like several varieties of chai, but theirs was good, cheap and available… but not anymore. (Sulk!)
My reading this week has been purely recreational; I continue re-reading the Sookie Stackhouse books and am on the last one, so maybe I’ll learn something fun next week. I finished the sixth season of True Blood (I still think they put in too much gratuitous sex- it is NOT a spectator sport!) As in the first seasons, they have wonderfully developed characters and plots, which have only a passing resemblance to those in the books.
Willow has just gotten home, and the Wednesday Pizza is in the oven (something that takes no work so I can get ready for my podcast). Tonight Starwolf will be talking to me about Otherkin  when you feel that you may have been born in a human body, but your soul is that of an elf, or drogon, or giant, or wolf, etc.

until next week,

“Virtuti melius fortunae creditur” – It’s better to trust in courage than luck.

Fun Holidays coming up this week:

W 13 Chocolate Day, Peanut Day, Fortune Cookie Day, Defy Superstition Day, Quiet Day
ð 14 Eat a Hoagie Day, Cream Filled Donut Day, National Coloring Day, Gobstopper Day
F 15  Linguini Day, Caregivers Day, Creme de Menthe Day, Felt Hat Day, Thank you day, and Someday (weren’t you going to do that Someday?)
S 16 Eat an Apple Day, Cinnamon Raisin Bread , Guacamole, Gymnastics, Play-doh Day, Stepfamily Day
⨀ 17 Apple Dumpling Day, Neighborhood Day, Locate an old Friend Day, Time’s Up Day
M 18 Cheeseburger Day, Read an ebook Day, Respect Day, Rice Krispie Treats Day, Bamboo Day
T 19 Talk Like a Pirate Day, Butterscotch Pudding Day, Get Ready Day
W 20 Punch Day, String Cheese Day, Gibberish Day, Pepperoni Pizza Day