Celebrate Scientists Day! (π Day)

The big news of the week is the weather again. Yesterday was another Snow Day. 13” this time. This morning John dug Willow’s car out- I didn’t have anywhere to go, so we didn’t push it. Luckily, the repairman could come after three, when Willow had gone off to Avi’s, so there was a space for him. Also luckily, Avi didn’t desperately need Willow to come over during the snow. She also cancelled her doctors appointment rather than drive in the white-out conditions. It’s not that we can’t, but it just seems wiser not to. We (as the New England culture) seem to be a lot more relaxed about big snow these day. Also more cautious. I overheard people talking about school and business closings. Perhaps computers allow more people to work from home, or maybe businesses have just learned that it’s not as much of a financial hit to close as to try to deal with business during a blizzard. Do you think we are more willing to just hunker down and wait until it’s over? Not living anywhere near a city these days, I may have a skewed perception. Yes, I remember the “Blizzard of ’78”. The official 27” in the second storm (in Boston) is about what we saw in Malden, but again I think cumulative effect is important. (I hear there’s another snow coming. Response on fb is “not amused”. People are eager for spring. But it’s not so bad out here. There’s no where to put the “removed” snow when you’re in the city. Thursday’s storm left 17” here.  (So 30” together. Roads have developed berms again, and we are coping. I do think it helps to have advanced warning so people don’t try to drive on roads that they can’t handle.
 (Here are the before and after pictures from last Thursday I wanted to send you last week.)
That reminds me of the theme of this week for me personally. I have started having Plantar Faciitus again. I had it while dealing with Ælfwine’s hospital years, and am not entirely convinced I didn’t develop it psychosomatically because I “didn’t want to go there”. Two years of limping and pain, and finally I gave in, got steroid shots (biggest frakking needle I have seen in my life that wasn’t for putting jelly in a doughnut!) right in my foot! It did work though. I am NOT going to go two years this time though.  I have decided to start with seeing what homeopathic remedies can do. The internet informs me that a combination of Rhus toxicodendron 30c, and Symphytum officinale 200c  should help, and I’m giving it a shot. I don’t keep 200x anything around, but had them in the 6x form, and took those while waiting for the others to arrive. I was, and am, cautiously optimistic. I am afraid that I’m just superstitious enough to be worried that if I start telling people how wonderfully it worked, it would stop.
Anyway, the other part of it is to stay off your feet and wear shoes with good arch support. I have to admit that Uggs probably don’t have that. But as is normal in humans, I felt so much better by Sunday that when Steve came up, I felt up to making crepes for breakfast- which means standing at the stove while frying, and then making liver, bacon and onions for dinner (delicious!), also requiring more standing than I’d done all week. So, once again we have the learning experience if “if it hurts when you do that, don’t do that!” What’s the good of knowing better, if you don’t do what you know you are supposed to do? So I’m back to asking the kids to fetch things for me, and washing dishes while sitting on a high stool by the sink- which tends to get my belly wet. Oh well. The “correct” doses have arrived and I look forward to improvement again. A sadder but wiser girl for sure. Just in case you don’t know “Plantar” refers to the sole of your foot- it’s the foot version of “palmar”. Faciitis means inflammation (-itis) of the facia the connective tissue.  It sort of feels like the soles of your feet are bruised, especially when you get up in the morning and put (blush) 265 pounds of pressure on them, with intermittent stabbing pains. There’s some variation. I had been looking forward to starting walking again, but I am hardly likely to do it in the snow anyway.
The “event” of the week was Willow and Kat meeting Joanie and Raye at the Science Museum. This time they got to actually go to see the things They wanted to see! This included the mirror maze- this time Joannie didn’t walk into a glass wall, but they did catch a guy in there cleaning the smudges off! And they saw the Mysteries of China show- I really want to go see that myself! (They offered, but I thought it would e foolish for me to walk on my feet. Actually, I think they started hurting after the last time, when we went with the kids.)
Avi’s kids have decided that they REALLY like roller skating, and want Willow to take them back every week. Since it’s not that expensive, and they are getting exercise, I think she is going to. They can only get better. I personally find the noise level at roller rinks too much to take, although I love the idea of them.
I very much doubt (and wouldn’t it be awful if it were true!) that I can blame my current problem on my current vice. Having been jonesing for sticky buns since February, last week I broke down and made a batch. The kids tend not to want nuts, but I like both nuts and raisins. (I do think frosting sticky buns would be “gilding the lily”.) That batch was gone only a few hours after it was made, so I made another batch- with both nuts and raisins, which also was eaten- even by the kids. So when Steve came up, (confident that my yeast was working well), I made another batch, and sent some down with him- we were too full of liver to eat another bite of anything! In theory cinnamon is good for you, but sugar and wheat aren’t, so I hope they balance out. Moderation in all things I suppose. I also induced in a pie for Pi day, although we haven’t eaten it. 
While Steve was up here, Willow also ran her improved design for the large quilt she’s making him- with the Voyager on it. The first one just didn’t work well design-wise, but this looks like it’s going to be great! On the way back from the Museum, the girls stopped and got fabric for Kat’s next commission. The biggest issue was pre-washing it. The washing machine has been “screaming” when it’s running, which is concerning. I called around and asked Brennan and McKay (where I thought we’d bought it) and they said no, couldn’t help, because they have no record of it. (They’re the ones who last time suggested that they could get the part for us, and to watch youtube instructional videos to install it ourselves. Given that I am not sure how long it’s been since we last replaced the pump (although I have un-fond memories of lying down to do that and Willow having to join in the fun) I figured we’d have the professional do it this time. Scott’s Appliance suggested I buy it off Amazon and he’d put it in. (Fischer Paykel has been taking a month to deliver parts to him- go fig!) In theory Amazon was going to have it for me Friday, but the storm delayed it and it came Monday; he was able to come today and put it in. I am pleased that he did, not only was it a LOT faster, but he checked and we had put the fuse on the wrong wire- which may be why it didn’t blow when the pump started screaming. He even knew when I told him the washer was screaming that it was the pump, so that’s pretty cool. So now we are catching up on laundry (3 loads down)- and none too soon! My outfits have become quite… unique.
What with the snow- and I have to admit guilt because John has had to do almost all the shoveling himself with me off my feet, although Kat has done some, not much has happened. I am also cross with myself for not getting to my painting- way to many outstanding commissions!  It’s easier to fall into fb or read.
I try to concentrate on the good things. I am inspired by the kids doing their anti-gun-violence protests today. I am cross about Trump trying to dismantle the EPA, (Today I read that mining companies won’t need to have to prove they can afford to clean up any pollution they generate once again.) But the courts are blocking these stupid moves, howbeit on a case by case basis. Today’s stupidity was rolling back the post-financial crisis safeguards. I should take this as a reminder that it’s not just Trump, but most of the Republicans in congress are serving their financial patrons. Many years ago I remember seeing the “will you donate to cover campaign finances and keep big money out of politics?” I have to admit that I didn’t, and now I’m sorry. I’m afraid I experienced schadenfreude when the White House had to backpedal over Trumps blithering about negotiating with North Korea. And is anyone surprised that Tillerson is out? (I understand that he did call Trump a “fucking moron”.) I understand that the case has to be airtight, and that much of the Congress is supporting all these moves to make the US a kleptocracy, but I wish Muller would hurry up and stop him before they cause more damage. Everything they break is going to have to be fixed, and what a waste of effort! I have to assume that the ones supporting this figure they’ll remain on top, and expect to be able to intimidate or fool the underclasses who will be forced to work for them. But don’t they realize how bad the odds are against them? Don’t they see it’s just wrong to create a system that isn’t as good as possible for everyone?
I am try to look for the hopeful bits, but every single day there are two or three new insults to the Constitution, and people of the US, and I have to remind myself to not dwell on the problems.
Oh, and the big news today was that Hawkins died- he had a good run and I expect right now he’s being surprised to discover his consciousness is still around. Someone shared this clip of him “singing” the Monty Python Universe song.
I am not getting to one lesson in the Italian every day, but two or three a week, and it’s fun. I watched the old Kirk Douglas movie Lust for Life about Van Gogh. As with the girl with the Pearl Earring, many of the backgrounds and much of the lighting was very reminiscent of his work. I’ve read that he only sold two paintings in his lifetime, considering how many he painted, so I think we should all feel grateful to his brother for supporting him.
Steve and I also watched the horror film Get Out and the kids film Osmosis Jones on Sunday. I was pleasantly surprised at the wit in Osmosis Jones, between Bill Murray, Chris Rock and William Shatner, I figured it might be over the top, and it sort of was, but the depiction of a body as a town with the white cells as police was fun and made it a good buddy pic. There were a lot of jokes I didn’t catch because they were going by so fast, and I think it was really aimed at adults- like Zootopia.  There’s been a lot of talk about the racism in Get Out, but we found it a fairly simple horror film- it used race the way Stepford Wives used the gender gap. It was first and foremost, a standard genre horror film, well done, and I enjoyed it. If the white folk seemed painfully obtuse, well, they were the bad guys in the film, duh! I’m also re-watching some Young Indiana Jones Chronicles with the documentaries. The Kaiser is spookily reminiscent of Trump. I also re-watched Death Becomes her and Run, Fat Boy Run. In fiction you must just ignore wondering about the long-term consequences of ‘running’ (limping) a marathon on a broken ankle. I also watched Peggs How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. It’s amazing how he can make you come to care about a character who he has started out by making you feel is an incredible waste of space.
I’ve been reading bits and pieces of different books this week- I finished the fifth in the St. Mary’s series (the one about time-traveling historians: No Time Like the Past. I’m also partway through the collection of short stories (the Long and Short of It).  It’s a great deal of fun for someone like myself who recognizes much of what they are taking about. I really wish I could find someone else who’d read them so I’d have someone to talk to them about!  I read Potions and Pastries, the last in the Magical Bakery series. It’s pure fluff, but I enjoyed it. In non-fiction I started The Culture Code, a book about how people interact and what creates cohesion in a group.
The Witch: A History of Fear, by Ronald Hutton,  I do have a complaint about my current Kindle- I don’t seem to be able to organize it into collections the way I did with the earlier version, and that makes it hard for me to find books I remember getting, but before my more recent “Oh, I must get and read that one!” books. I’m still reading the American History Revised. Great trivia, although it shouldn’t be. Did I mention Classic German Baking? That’s more of a “browse” book- although I may want to try a recipe or two. I’m sort of psyched- only two days until The Ghost and the Doppelgänger (Haunting Daniel 16) comes out. It’s a great series- good plot twists and great characters. Still reading The Money Pit– and also checking out internet sources on what’s happened since the book came out 30 years ago!

Well that’s it for this week! I hope you got through the snow (if you’re on the east coast) and doing well. Until next week:


“Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it,” Jonathan Swift
Next week’s holidays
Þ 15 Pears Helene Day, Everything you think is wrong Day, Dumbstruck Day
F 16 Artichoke Heart Day, Everything you do is Right Day, World Sleep Day
S 17 Maple Syrup Saturday, Corndog Day, Corned Beef & Cabbage Day, Submarine Day
⨀ 18 Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day, Awkward Moments Day, Buzzard Day
M 19 Chocolate Caramel Day, Act Happy Day, Poultry Day, Let’s Laugh Day
T 20 Earth Day, Bock Beer Day,  Ravioli Day, Bibliomania Day, Astrology Day
W 21 French Bread Day, Common Courtesy Day, Poetry Day, Memory Day