Corned Beef Hash Day!

This week it was hot. My brain melted. I wake up and the high low thermometer telling me it got DOWN to 68º or 70º during the night, and (on the front porch) was up to 110º. I figure it was probably really in the high 90ºs. I’ve been taking brief showers morning AND evening, and peeling damp clothing off at night, Argh! It makes thinking hard as well as almost everything else. I picked up my sketchbook and tucked it under my chin while I was moving something and there was a sweat stain on the outer page where my chin had been! I sure home this is just a hot spell, and not a preview of Global Warming!  I understand that the weather is going to break tomorrow, and it will go down to the 60ºs and 70ºs. I can hardly wait!

Well, it’s technically Fall. The Equinox (Mabon) came and went. I did make two Mabon Rings- (sweet bread stuffed with fruit and nuts). There was one still untouched on Saturday morning, so I took it with us to share. As Kat said “The worst outcome is that you make another!”
Willow was so exhausted we left her behind when Kat and I went up to ASP. John and I had gone over to Mark’s and helped him clear out a lot of Bruce’s old clothes. I didn’t think of all the work Shema does with the homeless, and put them over in Willow’s car. Duh! They’d have loved them!
This was another one of those Saturday and Sunday in two directions weekends. Saturday was at a Sacred Place in Caanan NH. Kim Snowhawk Hart had asked me to run the woman’s circle. I am not big on ritual, but felt I could talk about balance and women’s paganism. So Kim opened the circle with drumming, and I passed around the Mabon bread (in my view, when women get together, they share food), and talked for a while, then Kim did a final ritual sharing with water, and the Men’s and Women’s circles got together. Since I don’t drive after dark, Kat and I immediately packed up, and headed home- although it was still dark when we arrived because I’d stayed talking too long.
Since ASP is up in the boonies (like us), my phone was pretty much dead by the time we had to leave, so I got directions from Shema to get back to 89. As she described, it was very simple, and in fact it took no longer than going the more direct, shorter route, because 89 is highway. Sadly, it did require heading almost directly west- into the sunset- to catch it up at Lebanon. Then we zipped right down, stopping to pick up some fast food and a USB cord to plug the phone in while driving. (Who knows what happened to the last one!) I did discover a pleasant thing. When I’ve got the GPS navigator telling me a turn is coming up in X feet, I can manage to drive after dark much more easily! I’m not sure quite how much, but it’s good news.
The next day was Eastern Mass Pagan Pride Day at Winekini Castle in Haverhill. Willow was still wiped out- and pretty cross about it. It’s frustrating to rest and have it not do any good!  I had gone to a workshop with Ninnian, about herbs for winter, and she reminded me of Oatstraw, which is supposed to help restore your strength when sleep doesn’t. So I’ve been making Oat straw tea again. Luckily Willow and I actually like it. I like it best with cran juice mixed in. Anyway, Kat had had some trouble with the smoke at A Sacred Place “It’s coming to get me!” The fire only blew our way occasionally, but smokers were banished to behind Shema’s house, and that’s where the privy is, so that made going there hard. So I guess it may be any air with particulate, not just sage and incense. At any rate, Pagan events are out for Kat. With Willow still wiped, I called Steve, and he came up to sit with me. (You can sort of see him in the back of our tent.) We’d left at 8 on Saturday, and I left 7:45 on Sunday. That doesn’t sound so bad until I note that I was up until midnight- and maybe those who get only six or seven hours of sleep a night don’t think that’s odd, but I think that a lot of the reason I’m healthier than most is that I do usually get nine hours of sleep a night, and I missed it!
  I also missed the girls- a LOT- while setting up. The three of us can unload and get set up in 45 minutes, but doing everything myself took me past 11 when it opened, and Steve arrived. (You can see that I didn’t get my car out from behind the tent- but they forgave me). Oh, lord it was hot! The crowds followed the shade of the trees in the middle, and ducking into the hade of the tent you could really feel the difference. We loved every passing breeze. The silver, when the sun was on it, got hot although no burns I know of.
The music was lovely, although the performers weren’t as polished as they have sometimes been, but a lot of them sang folk music, and I enjoyed that. To my disappointment, the group that did the take off on Y-M-C-A (W-I-CC-A) didn’t do it again. Steve was able to watch when I went to the ladies room, and went out after some local honey I saw while I was there, and he picked up lunch from the food vendor for us. The ice actually melted in my insulated cup! First time that’s happened so fast! Other than that I didn’t get out of the booth, and see anyone. (Except I said hi to Lori Bruno, who unfortunately was in the middle of looking for a lost cell phone, so it was just “hi”, and Jeff Cerneson, who was set up next to us.) There were only three workshops this time, but they know I’d want to speak next year, so that’s good.
With Steve’s help I did manage to pack up by six (in an hour), although that still had me as nearly the last one out except for the food vendor. Oh well.  Steve followed me home- although actually he got there before me, probably because I stopped to pick up Chinese food on the way. I didn’t reprogram that in, because I knew darned well where the restaurant was, and the GPS kept trying to re-direct me from going through Milford to get back out to the by-pass, at almost every street. Until it was really quite a significant retracing of steps! What the heck‽ They also REALLY wanted me to go home up through Manchester. Who knows? Maybe it would have been faster as the full length of 89 was the day before.
Steve also brought a disc and installed a sort of light version of photoshop, since mine had stopped working. He confirmed what I’d suspected, that my disc reader was dead. Oh well. I’ve also had to break down and actually buy “cloud storage”- 99¢ a month.
I’ve spent a great deal of time this week working on the CTCW website. I discovered that no one was putting in the presenters as we accepted their proposals, so all we had up was those that confirmed in February that they’d be coming back. Irk! Some of them still haven’t sent in pictures, and I don’t think it’s fair that we should have to try to search for a picture to put in. Why can’t they just send it?  I had been adding the workshops, but had gotten behind on the blog posts, and we hadn’t put up the readers and vendors. We are nearly done getting people to sign up for the panels, which will allow Kathy to plug everything into the schedule. We’ve got so many vendors and readers that we’ve added another room, and so many proposals that we’ve added another track. Luckily the rooms at the resort are cheap. It’s about 5 weeks away now, and we are getting the expected inquiries from vendors who want to know if we have room for them. If I hadn’t done it myself, I could be a lot more self righteous about it.
I also heard today from the fellow who won the portrait in the NHPTV auction in 2015. He’d lost track of it for nearly a year, then I had the Lyme, and so I’ve done last years, and have started this years, so will try to get that done and get to the older one.
I got a letter and form from Lorraine (who bought the old house). Apparently a form getting our name off the title was never put in, which would explain why we keep getting notices about the house.  She sent me a form to fill out, and said I’d need to provide another death certificate. I feel I should ask her for the $15 it cost me (on the other hand, I tried to do it on-line, and that would have cost $65). I’d be a lot more put out about having to go to Nashua to get it, if I hadn’t been going there to visit Mark anyway.
I am also preparing for the Twilight Covening. I’m a bit disoriented because it’s not Columbus Day weekend this year, but the first (not long) weekend of October. While I’m there the girls will be going to the Baronial Birthday party, then they’ll be going to AAC (Another Anime Con). Willow has been busily trying to make sure all her most popular blankets will be available- stitch stitch stitch. At least she can do that sitting down.
We’ve been looking forward to the fall- unfortunately, although Willow found two jackets (or a jacket and a vest that “should have” fit, they don’t. One of these car trips I was listening to “Wait Wait Don’t tell me” and the panelists came up with three options for why men are better than women on STEM (Science, Tech, and Math). One suggested that it was because boys got early training in physics by using a penis to urinate. Another suggested that girls get so confused by the totally illogical different values in sizing in clothing that they just decide that numbers don’t mean anything. The third option was that people simply respect men more because they have beards.  I thought it was the ridiculous wild variations in sizing. (after all, why would a “half size” mean fat?)  It turns out it was the peeing one. The upshot is that I guess we’ll just pass the jackets to Shema’s homeless along with Bruce’s clothing. (unless they can be returned)
I also seem to have screwed up with ordering Kat some new Sweet Chili Doritos. While I had been really careful to avoid clicking on the “Reduced Fat” version, but when they arrived, they were RF. ARGH! I am SO annoyed. While I’m not 100% sure that I didn’t somehow click the wrong button, I do remember noticing the possibility, and was working really hard to avoid picking the wrong one, and I really fear that you can click something and get something else. (These can’t be returned because they are food.)
It’s really convenient to be able to search the world and find what you’re looking for and have it delivered right to your door- until what’s delivered isn’t what you were looking for.

I am sick of the news. I’m depressed that the far right has started to come back in Germany, I’m depressed about the floods and fires and hurricanes causing so much harm. I am ashamed that the current president has left Puerto Rico to suffer (thank goodness his predicessors have stepped up, but they don’t have the power he could be using. Instead he’s trading taunts with the Koreans and trying to use his power (illegally) to stop the protests against police brutality of blacks. (I was interested to read that the “taking a knee” pose was taken from military funeral as a sign of sorrow and respect.) We cannot get rid of Trump too soon for me! Every day he’s here creates more harm we’ll have to clean up after! At least the latest attempt to repeal the ACA was stopped.

Today we got the written notice that they found nothing when they did the Endoscopy on Kat last week. Now we get to wait for the various bills to come in. I’ve been reading An American Sickness: how Healthcare became Big Business and How you can Take it Back. Sadly, as fascinating as this history is, as it runs through the development of Insurance, Hospitals, Physicians, Pharmaceuticals, Testing and Ancillary Servacies, Contracters, Coding, Research, Conglomerates, HMOs, and the ACA, I haven’t gotten to the “how to fix it” part yet, and it’s something like watching film of a car crash or a building burning; I sort of remember when each of these influences were introduced. And yes, at the time, each idea seemed like a good idea, but then market forces twisted each thing into something that hadn’t been intended. Another thing it reminds me of is the many short documentaries I’ve seen over this last year explaining the Nazi rise to power. You don’t want to watch, you know what’s coming and how awful it is, but you can’t turn away. There’s also a certain similarity to a stream flowing downhill and getting bigger and bigger as more streams join into it, until when they’re all combined it’s a mighty river that can’t be stopped. I actually flagged several fascinating bits of this history to share, but at this point, it seems too depressing. I have also started reading a small book Medicine, Magic and Religion, which is actually the text of an hundred year old lecture in sociology, to balance the depressing modern take on medicine (now without the Magic and Religion). What a difference a century makes in attitudes!
I finished the book Miss Kopps Midnight Confessions, the third in the series of books written based on newspaper clippings about the first female deputy sheriff in Hackensack NJ. The details are marvelous. I love the peek into the world where women were only just beginning to have rights recognized, and a world where there was no safety net. If you had no money, you starved, you didn’t get medical care, you were out on the street. The author did a great job of creating characters who are believable as real people in the modern world, but living in a world so different from our own. One rarely sees that in historical novels, and I’m not sure it’s really possible when you go back more than a century. We don’t have the detrius of so much media to fill in the details. Having finished that, I am trying another Charlaine Harris book Real Murders. Her writing style feels familiar (after recently re-reading so many of the Sookie Stackhouse books), and there is comfort in dealing with a plot where the real question is with which of the very attractive men the heroine is going to get romantically involved. The plot is about a girl in a club where people exchange stories about real murders when one of them, then another, actually is killed. One has to accept the idea of a fan base of people who would rather read about historical murders than made up ones, and certainly there are huge numbers of people who read murder mysteries. I have myself read books suggesting various possible explanations of Jack the Ripper, and the fascinating book on the Johnstown Flood is simply about how a large number of people died because the authorities wouldn’t maintain the dam. How people live and die is fascinating, and I can easily see the combination of history and mystery one that would attract a club’s worth of people in a fairly large town. At least with fiction, I can be fairly certain that at the end the good guys will win, and a fairly satisfying romantic encounter will happen.
However- it is now later than I’d intended to stay up, and I should close. Until next week, (as I say at the end of my podcasts) “Don’t do anything egregiously stupid.” Oh, I didn’t mention, I also have lined up guests for all but one New Normal between now and CTCW. Tonight was Sophia Shultz, who has produced a new Oracle Deck  nd that’s what we talked about. It was great! She is a trained Egyptologist, and has recently gotten into Assyrian and Hititte mythology. When Mark came over the other day he read me some more stories from the Watley universe in which a student started a class on Epics- from Gilgamesh through the Illiad and Odyssey through Beowulf, and Dante, Spencer, etc. Wow, did that sound like a great class! And talking to Sophia was like that, as the two of us “fan girled” about various stories. Anyway, goodnight!

W 27 Corned Beef Hash Day, Chocolate Milk Day, Ancestor Appreciation Dsy, Tourism Day

ð 28  Drink Beer Day, Strawberry Cream Pie Day, Maritime Day, Rabies Day
F 29 Michaelmas, Intl. Coffee Day/ Mocha Day, Biscotti Day, Broadway Musicals Day, Ask a Stupid Question Day, Intl. Heart Day, VFW Day, Confucius Day,  Yom Kippur
S 30 Mulled Cider Day, Blasphemy Day, Chewing Gum Day, Fall Astronomy Day, Ghost Hunting Day
⨀ 1 Intl. Coffee Day, Ashura, Day of Old People, Intl. Music Day/ CD Day, Homemade Cookie Day
M 2 Fried Scallops Day, Farm Animals Day, Blue Shirt (vs bullying) Day, Name Your Car Day
T 3 Caramel custard Day, Techies Day, Butterfly and Hummingbird Day, Boyfriend Day
W 4 Vodka Day,  Cinnamon Roll DAy,  Kale Day, Pumpkin Seed Day, Taco Day, Sukkot