9-4-2001 Labor Day

Dear folks:                                     September 4, 2001

It’s  been  a very hot dry summer, and you can  really  tell

from the plants. I started to make the jewelweed ointment, and  I

could  hardly find any healthy plants. Jewelweed is a very  juicy

plant that generally grows in wet places- and all the wet  places

are dried up this year. I picked a few blackberries- maybe a  cup

or  two,  but most of them were just shriveled on  the  bush.  It

looked  like it would have been a spectacular crop if it had  had

enough rain. Luckily we have begun to see a little rain.  (Willow

and  Kat,  who  sleep by their windows tell me that  I  missed  a

spectacular  lightning  storm Friday night. No  doubt  it  rained

because  I  had left my car window open.) The other  day  it  was

overcast,  so  I tried to get it to rain by watering  the  garden

(which desperately needed it), but it seemed the only way to  get

it to rain was to wheel Fitz outside. He’d go out- it would start

raining.  Willow would push him in, and it would stop- almost  as

soon as he cleared the front door. It was funny.

Aelfwine  has started mowing again. Last Yule we gave him  a

scythe with a brush blade and a grass blade. (One blade and  it’s

a  tool, two and it’s a toy.) He’s cutting the raspberry  bushes,

goldenrod  and asters and such in the yard and tossing it  in  to

the goats who really enjoy it. The yard is starting to look  more

kempt, and it indicates that Aelfwine is getting stronger.

We  still  haven’t heard back on the results of  his  biopsy

last  week, so we just have to assume that it was good- if  there

were any problem they’d call us right in for immediate treatment.

(I also still haven’t heard back from the orthopedist to whom Dr.

Quirbach  referred  me. I always get a “I’m in  the  office,  but

can’t  answer the phone right now, leave a message and  I’ll  get

back  to  you.” or “The office is closed  until  Tuesday.”  voice

mail. I am irritated. Bet you could guess that.

The kids had their first “week” of school (three days-  four

this  week). The buses are coming at the exact same time as  last

year-  which  is convenient. Kat’s in High School at  the  Wilton

Lyndeboro  Coop this year.  She has covered her books with  mylar

wrapping  paper and used stick-on letters to label them all  with

Hogwart  type names (the school in the Harry Potter  books):  She

has designated French Incantations, English is Divination, Social

Studies  is Muggle Studies, Math is Arithmancy, and her  notebook

is labeled the Dark Arts and covered with Harry Potter  stickers.

She is very pleased that she has a full sized locker that  works.

Another neat thing (well, flattering for me) was that one of  the

kids  she  eats lunch with asked her why she always  had  gourmet


Star is back at Mescenic, and we were impressed  (especially

comparing  the WLC student handbook with that of  Mescenic)  with

how much common sense Mescenic displays (as opposed to WLC, where

sometimes we can’t even figure out what the rules are supposed to

be  by reading them, and when we can, they are often  ridiculous-

such  as deciding that being tardy is a partial absence, so  that

if  you are often tardy, even if you have great grades  and  test

scores,  they can flunk you by saying you were absent too  often.

It  is so pathetic it may drive me back to the school  board.  So

far Star has only had one problem. Last year when signing up  for

this years classes, he chose weight training, as he’d enjoyed  it

before. I figured it was simply one of the phys ed options, so  I

didn’t  think much about it. But when he got to class  the  first

day,  the  teacher  recognized him and announced  that  he’s  not

allowed  to  take it twice. The only other alternatives  in  that

block are Spanish and Technical Drawing. Personally, I think he’d

like  technical  drawing,  which  I  assume  is  something   like

drafting.  But  we’ll have to see at parents night.  He  was  not

happy  about the last minute change though. Also we  don’t  think

much of his history text- the end of chapter questions (which are

assigned as homework) require information not given in the  book.

I wonder if perhaps (I hope) that that information MAY have  been

given  in class, but he doesn’t have lecture notes with  what  he

needs.  We are VERY lucky that Fitz has the ability to help  him-

due  to his background in teaching history- he knows most of  the

information, and is able to deal with Star’s teen-age attitudes.

Thursday  we had a visit from Raphael and his wife and  son:

Barbara  and  Christopher. Once again, I got to  meet  someone  I

think  I  could really get to be good friends with-  if  only  we

didn’t live three thousand miles apart. At one point I had fallen

into one of my longstanding rants (going back to AS 8) about  how

peerages shouldn’t be automatic with winning the crown, and  they

started smiling at each other “Where have we heard this  before?”

At  first, I assumed that Raphael was being amused because I  was

doing  a rant he heard me do back when he was going  to  Phillips

Exeter  fifteen years ago, but it turned out that it was  one  of

Barbara’s  hobbyhorses  as well! Christopher was 18  months  old,

blonde, and incredibly cute. Made all my hormones go bananas.  We

brought down some of the toys I’ve been saving for  grandchildren

in  the attic. Generally they live in California, but  they  were

spending  a week in New Hampshire and running around  seeing  all

his  old friends. As with many guys who have continued to  fight,

he  has  hardly aged at all- a bit of gray in his beard,  but  he

hasn’t seemed to age much at all.

This  weekend  we  went to Harpers’ Retreat-  an  SCA  event

dedicated to Bardic Arts, held at a campground with cabins a  bit

more than an hour from here. Star watched the goats and Kat  came

with  us (Willow is still recovering from her hectic summer).  We

left after the chores Saturday morning, and took the jewels  with

us- figuring at least when we have to stay by the table  selling,

our  friends  have to come to us. As it turned out,  people  were

very  happy  to  see our stuff, and we more than  made  back  our

expenses-  which  is nice. Most hobbies DO cost  money,  and  SCA

events  are no longer $3 a head. They gave us a lodge right  next

to  the hall, and even carried our gear to it. Everyone  is  very

solicitous about Aelfwine’s health. One could easily get spoiled.

There were classes available, but I only took one- the basic

harp  class.  The class before it was Tuning Your  Harp  by  Ear,

which I figured was about the only thing I knew how to do- having

just  done it (although I’ve lost that particular harp  key,  and

had to have Aelfwine do it with pliers while I plucked). But when

I  got  to  the  class, it turned out that my  harp  was  just  a

fraction of a note off of everyone else’s- so I’d have to re-tune

every  single string- with Aelfwine again. So I didn’t  stay  for

the  group  play along session afterward. At least  I  learned  a

little about how to place my hands and such. Artos gave us all  a

bunch of SCA dance music to practice on, many of which I remember

from  having heard them so often in the barn at the War.  I  have

come to the conclusion that I CAN learn to sight read music-  but

it’s a skill that has a body-mind interface, so I’m going to have

to  just  practice until I get it down. There’s  still  the  same

problem  I’ve  run into before, which is that  harps  don’t  have

accidentals, and most music does. Artos gave us some hints  (like

convince  the  other musicians who are playing with  you  to  all

transpose  to the Key of C) or do chords without the  third  when

it’s  minor, because that’s the one that’s modulated. Still,  the

long  and  the  short of it is practice.  Megan  has  offered  to

practice with me- I’m going to have to practice the sight reading

until  I catch up with her before it’s not painful to listen  to,


As ranking peers (meaning we’ve been around almost  forever)

we   were  at  High  Table  again.  The  feast  was  done  in   a

Mediterranean theme- meatballs with a dill and yogurt sauce, flat

bread,  some sort of eggplant dish, a really fantastic pasta  and

cheese  dish,  zucchini  egg drop  soup,  saffron  rice,  poached

salmon, salad with olives, capers and beetroots, and for dessert,

slices  of orange with whipped cream and coconut. (It would  have

tasted  better if I hadn’t had a lot of garlic salt on  my  plate

when  it  arrived!) Pity Aelfwine doesn’t eat  eggplant,  salmon,

saffron, black olives or zucchini. I rather liked the soup,  even

if it had zucchini in it.

The  Bardic  Circle  this year didn’t have  as  many  really

spectacular   performances  as  last  year,  but  it  was   still

enjoyable.  Aelfwine somehow got to be “fire warden” (meaning  he

sat  by the fire and if logs started to roll out, or sparks  flew

out, he put them back in, and we stayed up long after Kat thought

we should have gone to sleep.

Packing for Harpers, we managed to get Aelfwine’s, Kat’s and

my garb all into one of the smaller war chests Aelfwine made  for

Star  and Kat when they were little, and all the food stuff  into

another, so we managed to fit everything neatly into the back  of

the van- with one twelve by sixteen inch space left. So Monday we

decided that we would make a 12×16 box to go into it, and keep it

packed with staples like dried fruit, oatmeal, barley, and jerky-

and  we’d  be able to leave it packed and ready  for  any  event.

Also,  keeping  the  staples packed like that  would  reduce  the

between  event  pilferage of what are  rather  expensive  snacks.

Before we built it, however, we checked the mill store, and found

a box just the right size, which we’ve covered with black leather

and  brass  tacks, and found cans to just fit in to  contain  the

staples. The next project is the kneeling stool for courts- I may

have to take out the upholstery books from the library again, but

I  tend to think that comfort is based more on the proper  design

of the wood than how you pad it.

Another project we’ve finished is Aelfwine put the last  two

pieces  of  stained glass in beside the front doors.  Home  Depot

opened  a new store up here, and we checked it out- there are  so

many  home improvement projects we have that really require  more

time and energy than we have while Aelfwine is still  recovering,

but we are planning- like fixing the bathroom floor, or replacing

the  tiles  in the front hall that have worn down almost  to  the

wood.  Sadly, beyond- what do we like the looks of, what will  be

sturdy,  and  what does it cost is- what is non-toxic. If  I  can

help  it, I’m not going to introduce anything to our  environment

that   could  have  potentially  carcinogenic  or  even   allergy

triggering  outgassing. Thus, we are looking at wood,  stone  and

tile. I’d consider linoleum, but all that’s available where I can

find  it is vinyl flooring. Whichever, the front hall can’t  last

too much longer.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

It  occurs  to me that maybe you’d be interested  in  hearing

about  the  things  that  I  generally  don’t  think  are   worth

mentioning-  the everyday stuff. Generally I only mention  things

that deviate from or are beyond the normal activities. So  here’s

our daily schedule:

Our  alarm  is set for 5:45. We figure that  this  gives  us

fifteen minutes to laze in bed before six, even though we can see

our neighbors headlights (in the winter) as he leaves for work at

six, and Star gets up at five, and sometimes we hear him  walking

around  then. Heavens knows what takes so long, but it’s  usually

6:20  before we get down to the kitchen. I suppose we should  get

up  sooner, because I like to make a hot breakfast for the  kids,

and  if  I  don’t start by quarter past,  there  isn’t  time  for

pancakes,  hot  cereal or eggs. Star’s bus comes  at  quarter  of

seven, and Kat’s at five past seven.

Since  both of them are allergic to wheat, they  take  their

lunches  to school. This means that after dinner each  night,  we

put  together  a  couple  of  plates  of  leftovers-  three  when

Aelfwine’s working, so they only need to grab the plate from  the

‘fridge  and a bottle of drink, and find their homework.  In  the

past  this has actually been a major project for Kat,  which  has

led to many missed breakfasts; but we are hoping for better  this

year.  It’s actually not too tragic if she misses the  bus-  that

just means that she needs a ride- leaving at about 7:40 to get to

school on time. We actually prefer that in several ways,  because

she is harassed horribly on the bus, by kids who are younger,  if

not  smaller  than  her,  so  she  really  can’t  defend  herself

effectively; and because I am convinced that it is the bus  seats

that  are the vector for the lice which has been such  a  problem

for  her. Perhaps other High School students don’t pick  them  up

because  they  are tall enough that their heads don’t  touch  the

backs  of  the  seats, but as Kat is still as short  as  a  grade

school  student, hers does. So if she catches the bus, we  always

remind her to wear a hat or hood.

Also we always tell the kids that we love them as they leave

the house. I worry a bit that it may seem automatic, but I figure

it’s  better for them to hear it than not. It’s like leaving  the

lights  on  when someone is coming in late. This week  I  had  to

change the bulbs when Willow was out gaming, so they’d be on when

she got home. I think it would be just awful to get home and  not

have  the lights on. It implies that they didn’t notice you  were

gone, or that they weren’t looking forward to your getting  back.

So I like to have the lights on at night. Don’t you?

Anyway,  with the kids out at around seven, we can head  out

to  milk the goats right about then. We take the bucket  of  food

scraps  that  sits by the sink and give it to the  chickens,  and

then toss them some cracked corn. Because of this, it’s sometimes

hard to approach the barn because the chickens mob us as we  come

out, being too stupid to realize that we have to actually GET  to

the  barn before we can toss the corn. While Aelfwine is  tossing

the  grain,  I  go into the milk room and  unpack  the  jars  and

milking  hardware  from  the cloth bag we carry it  in.  (I  used

baskets for a while, but they kept breaking.) Currently we use an

one quart jar for Galadriel, an half gallon jar for Sweetie,  and

a  pint jar for Cobweb in the evening, or an half gallon  in  the

morning when her son has been locked away from her.

Aelfwine  lets  the goats out, one at a time.  Cobweb  comes

first. It may be that since we’ve been locking her son out she is

VERY eager to be milked- I know that most mornings she walks with

an odd gait: her front legs are normal, but her full udder  makes

her  walk  with her back legs spraddled wide. As it’s  her  first

year,  her teats are still very small and I have to use only  two

or  three fingers to milk her, which makes it very awkward.  Next

comes  Galadriel, who has a damaged udder on one side.  We  hoped

that  it would get better the year after she’d  gotten  mastitis,

but  it didn’t. If she gave milk on both sides as she  does  with

that  one side, we’d still be getting nearly a gallon a day  from

her,  and she is “milking through”- that is, we didn’t breed  her

last  year.  Wonderful  bloodlines. But now  we  have  to  decide

whether to kill her because she DOES have the damaged udder,  and

still eats the same amount for half the milk. On the other  hand,

she produces great milkers- like Cobweb. On the third hand  (lots

of  hands around here) she is a grade goat- no papers,  so  while

her offspring are great milkers, we can’t sell them for much,  if

anything. Still, she’s not a pet, as fond as we are of her. Well,

as  long  as she’s still producing good milk, she’s got  a  place

here. Star prefers her milk to that of the others. (I can’t  tell

much  of  a difference.) It doesn’t take long to milk her,  so  I

usually  go out and check to see if Aelfwine has fed and  watered

the rabbits yet, just to give her more time to eat. Sweetie comes

last, because she’s the bottom goat in pecking order, and  they’d

beat  her  up  worse  than  usual if I  tried  to  give  her  any

preferential treatment. So I’m really nice to her in the  milking

room where they can’t see it.

While  I’m  milking, Aelfwine gives them water and  hay-  or

weeds,  puts out food for the non-milking goats, and  makes  sure

the chicken feeder and waterer are full. In the evening he checks

for  eggs,  which  MAY be in the nests, or they  may  be  in  the

mangers,  or the loft, or any of a dozen places. The  turkey  has

adopted  a small pile of eggs in the corner of the chicken  room,

and  we are letting her sit them. She wants to SO badly,  and  it

wouldn’t be bad to get new chicks. On the way in from the barn we

check  the Hi-Low thermometer on the north side of the house  and

find  out how hot (or cold) it has been in the shade  during  the

day or overnight.

When we get back inside, I record what each goat gave,  (and

in the evening, how many eggs we got) and what the weather was on

the  computer. We also track how much we spent on farm  supplies,

and  how much we took in for eggs and such, how many rabbits  and

kids  we got to eat, etc. So far, it isn’t paying for  itself  if

you  compare  the price of the milk we get to the cost  of  cow’s

milk  and  eggs in the store. On the other hand, if  you  compare

them  to  the cost of organic free range eggs  and  health  store

goats  milk-  we  are about breaking even.  So  the  extra  labor

basically gets us a better product.

When Aelfwine’s working, he generally dashes off (it’s about

7:30  when we get in) and heads to work with Kat  (assuming  that

she’s missed the bus). I get to start in on whatever projects I’m

thinking of doing each day. Collecting and doing laundry, washing

dishes, sweeping the floors, checking my e-mail… it’s not worth

mentioning,  but  it  does fill time- and if I DON’T  do  it,  it

shows.  We  have  a  system for  the  laundry  which  has  worked

remarkably well, and I wish I’d thought of it sooner. Mom used to

fold and sort the laundry and leave it in neat piles on her  bed-

that way she couldn’t go to bed until we’d all come and collected

our laundry. I am never sure whose clothes are whose- and strange

clothes  seem  to appear out of no where. Part of it  is  friends

leaving  stuff  behind, part is kids getting clothes  from  their

friends. And part is the teleportation function of washers/dryers

I  am sure. Anyway, now I take all the clothes and pile  them  on

the kitchen or dining room table, and everyone has to come at the

same  time  and  claim  whatever  is  theirs.  (We  have  had  an

occasional problem with people claiming clothes that they  WISHED

were  theirs, but that does eventually sort itself out.)  Besides

my  own, I also pull the rags, towels, and sheets, and the  socks

all  go into an extra basket to be paired and  distributed  after

the main sort. Whatever is left is challenged- “Does ANYONE  know

who’s this is?” Usually it is something someone doesn’t want  any

more. But whatever it is, it goes to the gets recycled. Before  I

came up with this system, I kept trying to send clothes with  the

wrong person- they’d dump it on the floor and walk on it until it

was dirty, then it would go through the same cycle again. I  will

admit that it’s harder for me to catch clothes that shouldn’t  be

worn  outside the house- I generally don’t catch them until  they

are  being worn. My impression is usually the entire  outfit  has

been  planned  to go along with the ripped or stained  item.  But

eventually they get weeded.

I  have also taken to sewing small appliques on  items  that

are  still good enough to wear- but just not in public.  Part  of

this  reflects back on the philosophical discussion  I  mentioned

last  week about servants/wives. We are a society with  too  much

“Stuff”,  and  also a very homogenous society. Used  to  be  that

people  associated  mostly  with  people  of  their  own  general

incomes. I remember reading in a 1920s etiquette book that if you

knew  that  your host didn’t have a maid, you shouldn’t  let  her

know  you were aware of it by making your own bed, as that  would

acknowledge  her  deficiency. No, you were supposed  to  let  her

scramble  up  to  make  your bed for you  while  you  were  doing

something  else, to maintain the image that she HAD a maid,  when

you  both  knew that she didn’t. Well, things are  in  a  similar

situation  now. Women who work outside the home are somehow  told

that they CAN keep their houses as dusted, clean, etc. as if they

spent  all  day  cleaning  it.  All  they  need  is  to  get  the

cooperation of their families, and use (buy) the right  products.

It  doesn’t work like that, but everyone seems to think  that  it

does  – for everyone else- and there’s just something wrong  with

them that they can’t make it work.

Back  when  laundry meant hauling the clothes  down  to  the

stream to pound them on a rock, or boiling them in a big pot  and

ironing them (another day), people recognized that laundry was  a

significant  chore.  But now when you are supposed to  just  toss

things in one machine and then another, it’s not supposed to take

any time at all. It doesn’t take a day and back breaking  effort,

but  it  still  eats  whatever amount of  time  the  amount  each

household  generates-  and that time is gone  forever.  Yes,  the

washer does the agitating and rinsing while we do something else.

But  the sorting, folding, collecting, putting away,  etc.  takes

time,  and  it’s  the  laundry,  dishes,  sweeping,  picking  up,

cooking,  etc.  that ENABLES us to do all the  other  stuff:  the

buying  and  selling,  writing computer programs,  all  the  work

that’s  done  outside the house. People used to  understand  that

running  a  house was both work and a skill. I  think  that  that

understanding  was lost, probably when more people  were  working

for wages than working at home.

The  vast majority of people used to be farmers-  eighty  to

ninety  percent.  You grew, and stored, your own food.  You  made

your  own clothing and shelter. That was just considered  living.

Money  was  something  that  was used  for  things  you  couldn’t

generate for yourself: taxes, to contribute to the projects  that

the community needed, goods that had to be imported- like salt or

coffee, items that were beyond your ability to generate. Now that

we are apart from the land, no one can even consider making their

own food, clothing and shelter. We define our ability to live  by

the amount of money we can generate to BUY those things. So house

wives work, because it has no monetary recompense attached to it,

is  thought  of as valueless, whereas, in truth, it is  the  only

real  work  that most people do these days. This is  extended  to

jobs  like  farming  and teaching and child  care.  Oddly,  these

occupations which are acknowledged to be incredibly important  to

the extent that eating and an education are considered things  to

which  everyone is entitled- are considered low prestige and  low

paid  jobs. At this point, medical care has escaped this  stigma,

but I expect that as universal health care becomes more real,  we

will see more of the long hours and low pay that the lower levels

of nurses and health care support staff are having to deal  with,

will begin to extend to the more highly trained medical people.

At  one point people had only a few necessary  clothes,  and

they kept them reasonably clean and repaired. Now no one  repairs

clothing  or wears it beyond where you can see it has been  worn-

they  must be thrown out! You must have different  clothes  every

day!  When we were kids when we got home from school  we  changed

into  play  clothes from our school clothes. Kids don’t  do  that

anymore. Clothes are bought in abundance, worn, and cast off.  In

the sixties the concept of disposable clothing was explored,  but

as  they couldn’t make the paper clothes comfortable enough  that

people would want to wear them even once, it didn’t go  anywhere.

I predict that there will be “wear once and throw away” underwear

within the decade, if it isn’t out there already. They do it with

diapers and women’s monthly supplies already. How different is it

to not want to wash adult undies? It’s not hard for ads to create

an  “ik”  factor in the minds of the public. I expect  the  paper

companies will generate it as the hemp lobbies get stronger. They

need to come up with something to keep having excuses to chew  up

trees  rather than a more quickly grown crop like hemp. And  when

underwear  becomes disposable, can outerwear be far behind?  But,

you  may  object,  the  clothes will have  parts  that  can’t  be

recycled- the fastenings, the elastic… Yeah, and how recyclable

are Pampers? But, BOY, have I digressed!

Mondays,  my  major  project is  writing  the  letter-  that

usually takes about four or five hours- which I do enjoy, by  the

way.  Recently,  Willow has been printing the  non-e-mail  copies

(not everyone has e-mail, even in 2001) for me on her printer. If

not, I take it out to Milford, to Marilyn’s to print. That  means

that  the  paper  copies  take  much  longer  to  get  to   their

recipients.  I  do try not to take the car out but once  a  week.

Whenever possible, I try to save up all the errands for one  day,

to  reduce  the  amount of gas I use, as well as  the  amount  of

running around. Traveling between places is wasted time as far as

I’m  concerned.  A  few  years ago I used  to  reward  myself  by

stopping  and talking to Dennis at Emerald City Arts for an  hour

each Thursday. More recently, Willow goes with me, and we stopped

in at Aelfwine’s work to have lunch with him. In the summer,  the

kids  could come with us. (For reasons I have yet to  comprehend,

they  don’t  hate  shopping.) More recently,  Aelfwine  has  been

coming  with me, and has been amazed at the number of  stops  and

the  amount  of  stuff we can get done in one day.  You  have  to

figure  out all the stops before hand, and the best route to  hit

them all. You have to leave space for anything you are picking up

later- usually Agway, where we pick up 50 pound bags of feed  and

bales  of hay gets the back of the van reserved for that load.  I

try  to  remember  a cooler chest if I’m  getting  frozen  stuff.

Usually  I  have to hit the Post Office, the Bank,  a  couple  of

grocery stores, the health food store, pharmacy, hardware  store,

bookstore,  library,  maybe  toy store or  some  other  specialty

store,  like the stained glass shop in Nashua. (Aelfwine put  the

last two panels of stained glass in by the front door this week.)

When I’m feeling lazy I can cover a lot of categories by going to

Walmart, but we do make an effort to shop locally.

When Kat has to have an after school pick-up, I’m a LOT more

likely  to  figure “I’m going out anyway” and pick  something  up

sooner.  Of  course,  you  have to  take  a  doctors  appointment

whenever  it’s available, so that’s had us out a lot more  during

the last six months. Tuesdays one of the local video places has a

2 for 99 cent sale, for even recent releases, so if we are out on

Tuesdays,  I  like to go there- spending 50 cents on a  video  is

more  palatable than $2.50 to three dollars. Fridays I try to  do

sewing- this is a throwback to the days when we were more  active

in the SCA and I was getting ready for events. I rather hope that

we will be doing more of that in the future- at least until  Star

moves out.

I have found that I pretty much have to start dinner by four

if  I want to have it by six. Kat is SO bad at getting  to  doing

the  dishes I have been trying to get dinner early, so she  could

get  to  it  before bed. It used to be much  harder  as  Aelfwine

rarely got home before 7 or 8. Mother used to feed us before  Dad

got home, and he’d eat whenever he got there, then whoever was on

dishes would come down and finish, but I think it’s important for

everyone to eat together. Unless there are guests we do, which  I

understand makes us pretty unusual these days. The evening chores

are  at 7. In the past I’ve tried to do the goats at sunrise  and

sunset,  which I figured would be easier for them, (also,  if  we

lost  power,  I’d still have light to do it) but for a  while  at

least,  I’m going to stick with Stars 7 and 7 schedule.   Usually

we go to bed at 9, but since AElfwine got out of the hospital  in

July, we’ve been ready for bed at 8, so we went. Why not? We  are

slipping  back  toward nine again, which is more  convenient  for

phone calls.

Dan called and told me that Mr. Rogers has finally  retired-

the passing of an era. On a brighter note, I saw an ad for a  new

animated version of adventures from the Redwall series on  Public

TV, which looked pretty good.

Well, now that life is returning to normal- if you’ve been getting
the letter by e-mail, but really prefer it by post- just let me
know. It’s much more civilised, and I’m sure, easier to read. And
I know lots of servers just don’t deal well with some of my eight
page tomes!

“Find out just what the people will submit to and you will have found out
the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them;
and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or
blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of
those whom they oppress.” –Frederick Douglass