Get Caught Reading Month

Hello again May 15, 2019
 Since it’s been three weeks since I wrote, I can’t really characterize the weather since I last wrote. Clearly, it’s been three weeks, and it’s warmer- sort of- maybe.
I did get to watch the trees “leaf out” as the train went south, and then watched them “suck back in” as we came north again, which is always fun.  On the other hand, there’s been a lot of rain since I got back and it’s been chilly. I don’t want to say dismal, but it has seemed that way, probably because of my outlook. It’s not the weather’s fault. But this is, as someone recently pointed out, why we don’t plant our tender plants until Memorial Day here in southern New Hampshire. I noticed it was 50º yesterday, 40º during the night. People on Facebook have been occasionally mentioning snow where they are this week.
 The kids got me pansies for Mothers’ Day, what I want; sadly it’s been a bit too rainy and chilly to put them in. Willow found these different ones that have vein-like markings on the leaves like dragonfly wings. We’ve never seen any like that before! On the other hand, we noticed that there’s one bleeding heart already blooming up against the house, while the main plantings are just coming up, so we’ve decided to add a narrow border up against the foundation in which we will put future bulbs (we get hyacinths in pots every year) and the pansies. We’ll be taking the blocks from the compost bin to make the border. This first year will probably just be the pansies and whatever bulbs we have. I should be dividing the daffodils and some of the hyacinth. We still have some white and a single red tulip is up. The Quince bush is blooming like crazy, and the double daffodils are coming up in the herb garden. The Persian lilac is looking poorly, but the ones we’ve put in by the barn may bloom this year. There are wild ones over by the mailbox- the road crew may come by and mow them back again, which would be a pity, but they keep doing it.
John did fix the top panel of the screen door and put it up (to the cats’ annoyance). Sadly, the finish has worn off the wood on the front landing, and the wood swells in the rain, making it hard to open the screen door. We’re waiting for it to try out (and shrink) again so we can re-finish it.
Most of what I was doing before heading to Fertile Ground Gathering was trying to make new skirts to wear down there, and scheduling the holiday posts for Holidays that Might Get Overlooked, and for the blog posts for Changing Times-Changing Worlds. I was actually pretty happy with the blog posts. I got a chance to air my attitude about how people need to learn to practice magic (How do you get to Carnagie Hall?). Actually, I didn’t get more than a collected list of the holidays up on the HTMGO page. This particular week has a lot of the “wandering” holidays. We are used to certain days like Mothers’ Day and Easter being attached to Sundays, or federal holidays being on Mondays, but there’s a lot of them, which makes it hard to make a simple calendar of holidays. I prefer holidays on a certain date, that stay put.
I had looked at my wardrobe and saw that a lot of my clothes have stains or are worn, so I went up to the attic and got some fabric, organized the dining room, and also grabbed the stuff that has been waiting all winter for me to get around to making it into skirts. I did get five skirts cut out, and the panels sewn together, but then I got stalled at the putting in a waistband part. You have to get the waistband on before you have someone get down on the floor and even the hem for you so it’s not higher in the back than the front- as a big butt is likely to make happen. So on Tuesday morning, I found myself quickly choosing the least reprehensible looking outfits.
 To be honest, since it’s a camping event, I think most of the folks were in jeans, or casual skirts most of the time. My big problem is that I was packing in response to the NH weather and my memories of camping at Beltaine in Connecticut. When I actually got down to Virginia (duh, I should have considered that) I had too many wool skirts and long sleeves, and not enough lightweight ones. There was some rain, on and off, down there, but it never got cold enough that I actually wanted to wear my leather jacket (which is my waterproof coat). Because I felt I needed that, I ended up taking both of Dad’s suitcases, so I looked pretty overwhelmed on the train. It’s one thing to carry them to or from a car one at a time, but while carrying the two allowed suitcases, plus two allowed carry-on bags (my purse, and my incidental bag that had my kindle and water in it), let’s just say that the conductors offered help, and I accepted it gladly. Jane had two suitcases- her books were in the one with wheels, thank goodness. It wasn’t that mine were heavy, but they were bulky.
I got down to Jane’s at suppertime and she had bought shad and shad roe, neither of which I’d ever had before. Apparently they have a season- when they are running in the river, so they only get them once a year. It was mighty tasty. Quintius was there for supper as well; apparently he works for Jane occasionally.  I had expected the roe to be loose, like caviar, but it seemed compacted like a sausage. I just ate it. She also had the first spring asparagus, and fresh blueberry muffins. It was marvelous.
 We got up first thing in the morning because the train left Old Saybrook at 8:06. Once we were ensconced, we just got to sit and watch the scenery and people. Alicia picked us up at the Quantico Station at 3:15. She drove us out to the camp, where the staff was just setting up. They put us in the Infirmary- the closest housing, just up the hill from the main hall and kitchen. It was surprisingly comfortable- I slept well. They’d even brought bedding for us since we were coming down on the train, so I didn’t have my usual pile of furs and featherbeds. But it was fine, and I slept beautifully. It was so warm I often started the nights on top of the blankets, but during the night it cooled down and I was glad for them- and quite comfortable.
  The camp is in the King William State Forest, very near the Quantico military base. Each morning we woke to the sound of small arms fire (and occasionally something bigger) around 7 am. I figured they’d all been up since 5, so we had nothing to grouse about. The only issue was that the old windows needed propping if you wanted them to stay open, and Jane used her flashlight for that. There was even a lovely closet I was able to use to put all my clothes and such into.  Did I take too much? Well, I forgot to put on the Anglo-Saxon garb I’d brought for the ritual. (I was probably talking with someone) so I could have left that behind- I also never wore my jacket, and had I left those and one pair of boots in NH, I’d have probably been able to get down with one suitcase. Still, leaving rain gear behind seems a bad idea. It DID rain.
There was pretty much no mobile service in the camp- I made a last call on the road in (Alicia stopped so I could) and called again when I got out. One fellow had a different (satellite?) service and was able to watch the weather reports on his phone. The bands of storm often ducked around us, but one was pretty intense. The staff all had ear-buds with which they were able to communicate with each other (I joked they were part of the Borg “collective”) but when someone said that the ritual tent down in the field had collapsed (as pop ups do when the roof collects rain in pockets), you should have seen them move! It looked like someone had kicked a hornet’s nest. Suddenly there was a swarm of people running full out towards the emergency! A dozen? Twenty? I don’t know, but we’d been relaxing on the porch enjoying the cooling mist (from where the rain hit the edges) and watching the downpour, when the word came from the cluster of cabins around that field. It was very impressive. I didn’t get to see the shrine while it was up. Maybe next year. The frame of the pop up died under the weight.
The theme this year was weaving a tapestry- and they had one to which everyone got a chance to add. Jane had asked me to bring down some cream colored thread as her favorite sweater needed another small mend. (I’ve done it before.) I grabbed a spindle of yarn (to go along with the theme), and having done that I put in a few passes of my yarn into the tapestry. (Others added various colored yarns, strings, bootlace, some horse tail, paranoid, flowers, feathers, and a glow stick! To my surprise, and probably because there was a weaver supervising, it came out pretty nicely.) There was another table (I think named from) the “Island of Misfit toys”, The “misfit magical items” table- basically stuff people didn’t want any more. There was a lovely mermaid Tarot, but I think Steve probably already had it. Since I’d distributed a huge pile of paper (handouts) that I’d brought down, I felt I could take a game they had on the table. (Now to get someone to play it with me!) There were candlesticks, jewelry, glass globes, incense, books, herbs, and an amazing array of stuff. We get it because it’s cool, then discover that we don’t really need it.
 The only person I knew already (other than Jane) was Valerie, who was the head Kitchen Witch down there. The food was plentiful and good and ready on time. I was amazed at the huge amount of bacon they put out- so much that there was always half a serving tray of it left over for people to take some at lunch. She was assisted by Forge, her “head flying monkey”. I will probably always remember the first breakfast where he made omelets to order for each of us! I do understand the appeal of working with food and making sure everyone’s physical needs are met. It may look like “hiding in the kitchen”, but there is great satisfaction in doing what you love and is needed. The final meal had roast beef, roast lamb, chicken, cod (two ways- cod almandine and one without nuts because of allergies), and venison meatloaf in a trellis of bacon- and NOT too much rosemary! Generally I figure that my SCA experience will serve me in good stead, but there was really more that I wanted to eat than was feasible!
I also want to mention that the kitchen crew coped with a gradual loss of burners and ovens until Sunday morning there were no ovens and only one burner left- talk about grace under fire! (Less re-heating than they’d hoped.)
The camp is in the King William State Forest, very near the Quantico military base. Each morning we woke to the sound of small arms fire (and occasionally something bigger) around 7 am. I figured they’d all been up since 5, so we had nothing to grouse about. Apparently the camp started its life as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp- there were some posters. Jane has been going to Fertile Ground Gathering for ten years, and does her own thing there- they put up some screens over an alcove so she could do readings, and the end table is ‘Jane’s Table’. They invited me because she said they’d like me, and I think they did.
I decided I’d try to go to the rituals and see what they were like (everyone does ritual differently), and I approve of theirs. They made a bit point that everyone raises energy differently, some through spoken word, some through moving, some through service… I liked that. The ritual I liked best was the warding they did at the beginning. The camp has four clusters of cabins, each of which has a gathering lodge, and then cabins people stay in. They mentioned that having been signed ‘where there was space’ people like to go back to the area that they were in previous years, they develop little communities. There are wagons and I don’t think cars go beyond the main hall, but people have to drag all their stuff in wagons down to the cabins. Luckily, they carried everything for me, and I didn’t have to do more than unpack- and pack up at the end. Anyway for the warding they’d gotten 5 staffs and made stands for them. They called people who use words to write words of power on available ribbons. Then people who like to serve tied those on the staffs. Then people broke up into the area they camp in, and (I love this!) the Fire staff went to the cabins by the bonfire pit, the Air staff went to the cabins on the hill, the Water staff wen to the cabins down by the lake, and the Earth staff went to the one by the field. Very direct and personal! Each group carried their staff to their cabins, then we all sent energy out toward the staffs for blessing and protection, and we heard that group shout (howl) when theirs was done. I am sure it was coordinated by the earbuds, and also the staff know the area well enough to know which direction the various camps are in. It was pretty cool. (Spirit staff stayed at the main hall and also went to rituals.)
 My feet hurt more than expected and I didn’t go down to dance the maypole (a little out of the “fertility” age range anyway), or the bonfire. I did go to one ceremony where as Liz* was asking everyone to get close enough to touch each other, I put my hand out- on her boob. Luckily she didn’t call me out on the “bad touch”, but took it, as meant, to get people to lighten up a bit. The power of the outrageous older woman- I embrace it. I’m still ambivalent about it though. The also had a play- with people taking the parts, and an Estifod (singing contest) I sang the Potters Song, but thank goodness did not win! The first night we played Bards Dispense Profanity.  There was a lot of time to relax built into their schedule.  I liked everyone so much, but had such a hard time learning all the new names!
They’d given me a list of the names of the people who mentioned they wanted to take the RúnValdr before hand- there were three Lisas and three other women, so I figured I had a fifty-fifty chance of getting the name right if I called them all Lisa. There was also one guy, but when it got to Saturday, there were more guys who hadn’t planned, and one of the Lisa’s didn’t come, so I think there were ten new people learning it, and all but one was familiar with runes already. This is not surprising with Jane down there, but she tends to use the Younger Futharc, and I tend to use the Elder with the Anglo-Frisian names, if not the additions.
They had classes on Friday and Saturday only- five tracks, but one class morning and one in the afternoon, so I was able to go to classes Friday, and had both morning and afternoon for the RunValdr, so I could teach the symbols in the morning and get them to practice attunements and healing and making magical objects in the afternoon. I was pleased- if a bit spacey by the end of the day.
Friday I went to one of Chris LaFond’s Astrology Classes in the morning and Katie LaFond’s Fiber Arts class in the afternoon. We spun wool and flax, and knit, and I totally fell in love with her travel loom (It folds to go in a bag!). I felt a bit strange coming all the way down from New England to take classes from other New Englanders- but I will admit that the other classes that most appealed were ones where I anticipated having to be on my feet, which eliminated them. There were, of course, several classes I’d very much like to have gone to against mine, or the ones I went to! But that’s the way it is with festival/conferences.
There was a bit of excitement on Saturday night- it rained again, but had stopped after the concert, and so almost everyone was down at the bonfire.  During the concert by Kindred Crow – I’d gone out on the porch to listen from there. I liked the music, but it was far to loud for my old ears. I did get their CD: Uneven Ground, and when not over amplified, I like it. There was a climactic ritual down at the field, but I decided not to go down and back. We were chased off the porch when the staff was setting up veils for everyone to pass through on the way back in (out of sacred space), and they had set up (battery powered) lights in the woods to make the pathway back look amazing. I mostly got to enjoy it as the final bit was lighting the path between the infirmary and the hall. When everyone else went down to the fire, I went up to bed, and around ten the whole camp lost power. Probably something with a nearby storm caused it, there were clusters passing us all weekend. The lighted path allowed Jane to make it back with help from a volunteer- they really took care of us! My kindle lights up, so I was reading and still awake when the power came back up around midnight. I am not sure that those at the bonfire were even aware that the power had gone out!
Sunday was for packing out (and a closing ritual), and getting rid of the food that hadn’t yet been eaten. Jane grabbed a bag for us to snack on in the train, but it didn’t get unloaded with the rest of our stuff. We were being cared for by the organizers, so left with the last cars. The final “miracle” of the weekend was a local fireman coming by after most of the campers had picked the bits of food they wanted to take away, and he was pleased to take whatever was left down to the fire station, where he did the cooking! Isn’t that wonderful?
It was about five when the core folk pulled out and headed to Fredericksburg where Cael and Liz* (she spells it with an asterisk, don’t ask why, it’s less weird than Tchipakkan) live. They have a gorgeous log cabin home, one might say mansion. It’s got a four car garage, a guest house (with a forge at the back), an indoor swimming pool, the main room has cathedral ceilings and a field stone fireplace with a sun design in the stone and a carved mantle. Oh my, it is amazing! She’s got a studio, he’s got an office, the kitchen is gorgeous, with signs on the cupboards that shows that they are making their guests welcome. It’s called The Grove. While they unloaded the truck, I got acquainted with their many (11? 13?) cats. It was quite embarrassing, after days of trying so hard to learn everyone’s names, I learned most of the cats’ pretty quickly! On the other hand, cats have better names than people. Charlie, for example, had a little Charlie Chaplin mustache. There was Zeus, a Himalayan shorthair, a couple of long hairs: black Kyrie, and her brother Nicodemus, and Sugar, and Merlin… I could remember Starlord and Forge, Bear, and Bones better than Steve, and Francis, and others with “normal” names. Val had managed to feed everyone under budget and so they could pay for everyone to get pizza/subs for supper and we chatted and relaxed.
Val then took us to a hotel, I think it was an extended stay one, ten minutes from the train station. There was a kitchenette, and a huge shower, with twin queen sized beds and a fold out couch that Val took. There was a heavy curtain to pull to separate the sleeping area from the sitting area. Very fancy! They also had a good breakfast in the morning, which I wouldn’t expect at an extended stay, so I might be wrong about that. Sadly, I don’t remember which hotel chain it was to recommend it.
We got on the train at Quantico (we had to pass through a military checkpoint to get to the station, in the small town inside the base!) around 8:30, and I think there were more stops because it was nearly 4 when we got out at Connecticut. I spent about four hours “playing with” my phone. (Deleting duplicate photos), and as I said, we got to watch spring recede as we went north.
 We’d left Jane’s car at the station. My share of the parking there was almost all my expenses for the trip. We picked up a steak at the grocery, and Jane gave me a brief tour of the Haddam area. They have an Opera House (playing Music Man just now), and they seemed to be having a wedding on the grounds- or at least there was a crowd and a tent, and at least one woman in a huge dress, although she looked more like a Disney princess than a bride. We had another lovely supper, and watched The Russians are Coming the Russians are Coming!, which I hadn’t seen in decades! Other than the Cold War being over, it didn’t seem that out of date. It was about people and their reactions to rumors. I can recommend seeing it again if you haven’t. I loved that Brian Keith’s small town sheriff was level headed. They tend to show police as foolish. We were going to watch It happened to Jane, (an old Doris Day, Jack Lemon movie) but she couldn’t find her copy. It was made in Haddam, and Jane and her mother are in the town meeting scene, which I don’t remember specifics of, but remember I liked it. I guess people will be going back and watching a lot of Doris Day’s movies now that she’s died. I also watched Pajama Game, last week, but that’s getting ahead of myself a bit.
At the last minute, as I was leaving, I remembered that I hadn’t gotten a picture of her- or her new house, and got this at the top of the driveway. It’s a very nice house with a brook going in front- her driveway has a bridge crossing it, and there’s a gorgeous little cataract coming down just before it gets there.  She also has a nice patio and yard in back. It’s a great house, not as big as her ancestral home, but she really didn’t need anything that big! This is in the same town.
I left Jane’s later than I’d intended, around noon, and got home around four- mostly because I stopped at the store on the way. When Kat and I discussed her birthday (I pretty much knew I wasn’t going to get home after the train up on Monday), she suggested a lemon cake, and then we came up with Raspberry mousse between the layers. I figured I could get home and make her birthday cake on her birthday. So I picked up raspberries and lemons (and heavy cream and gelatin), and also a lovely roast, came home, put in my laundry, and started the cake. The cake was done, by dinnertime, although not assembled, and the mousse seemed too soft to me. I’ve seen pictures of mousse although I’ve only ever made chocolate mousse the once,  and while fluffy, it seemed fairly stiff to me in the pictures, and I was afraid 3 layers of cake would smash the mousse down. After we’d eaten the roast beef, we really didn’t feel like eating much more anyway, so I just cut off the domed top of one layer, we had that for luck, and the next day I started over on the mousse.
I am not that experienced with using gelatin, and messed one batch up right off.  (So I used it to try to make gelled juice. That didn’t work- sort of a waste of juice. Once it’s been moistened, I don’t think you get second chances.) The fourth time I tried it it came out a bit stiffer. Also darker- basically you blend the fresh raspberries, and I tried one batch with frozen to see how that would change the result. It was a bit darker- could have been the variety of raspberry. They also said to strain out the seeds, but I’m darned if I know how you could do that after you’ve puree’d it. You’d have juice- IF it would strain, which it wouldn’t. It sullenly sat there in the strainer, and maybe made one drip or two. I think I only actually felt one raspberry seed when I was eating it, so that may also have something to do with the variety.  Willow also suggested that the first batch was both too sweet and too tart, so I whipped some cream, folded it in, and that balanced the taste and made it stand up better. So I layered the lemon cake with the mouse, and it was lovely. That’s what we had for dinner on Wednesday, and once we’d had that, we didn’t want anything else anyway- it was really rich.
Visually, I should probably have taken off the other domed top, and clearly I need more experience to get the amount of mousse between all the layers even. I was a little concerned about the mousse sinking into the cake, so I glazed each layer with raspberry preserves before putting on the mousse. We had several days of pretty good eating. I’ll try it again sometime.
 Kat did open her presents after we ate on her birthday. We’d been collecting them all month, and lucked out the week before I left and found some new wrapping papers at the dollar store, so it was a lovely pile. o got her a balloon. We like balloons. Maybe it’s because we are old enough to remember when a helium balloon was a very big deal. John’s balloon from his birthday had just deflated, so it keeps the celebration going.
She got a teapot (her old one had broken during the winter. Actually she got two since Joanie and Raye had given her one with a cat on the lid when they saw them before Joanie’s surgery. She got a lace dickie, and a lace blouse, and lace stockings, and lace cloves, and lacy bloomers. And a blue dress. I got her the White Shoulders dusting powder she likes, and also some Lily of the Valley scented dusting powder. That was a risk since it wasn’t on her wish-list, but she liked it. She also got the latest Dr. Who figurine, and a pattern for a jacket in some style I won’t pretend to recognize, but it looks cool (and can probably be adapted to several periods). So the presents were good, and the meal was good. Birthdays are less stressful and crazy now that we’re all adults.
At that point I started telling myself to get to writing the letter, but for one thing, I was pretty “brain free” this past week. I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t concentrating well, or thinking very fast. The other thing was that I was trying to catch up with everything that I hadn’t done for a week.
For one thing, I hadn’t been able to find the little place on the CTCW website you un-click when making a new post that says [✔️] comments allowed. I still can’t find it.  The result of this was that it open us up to the spam bots, and when I went to put up the next blog post, I saw that we had 12000 (twelve thousand) spam comments. The vast majority of these don’t even pretend to be a comment but are simply ads for some good or product no one wants. I imagine that these are run by the people who promise that they will get your message out- for only $20 your message will be seen by 2000 people! They can automate the process and send it to addresses like the public comment section in websites, where they will be ignored and trashed, but the bozos who run the programs can claim to have done what they promised, although clearly the ads will have no effect for the people who fall for the scam, just as they annoy the recipients. So that’s what, sixteen hundred spams a day? I have no idea how they target us. I started trying to clear them, but the wordpress site was designed for dealing with actual comments, and I can only remove them one page, or twenty at a time, which means I am sick of it by the time I’ve cleared a couple thousand. Unsurprisingly, I went back and tried to find the no comments box again, and spent hours looking in vain. I figured I could clear them out a couple thousand a day, but no! As of yesterday there were 26 thousand of them. I finally got Brian to look at it and he asked “what did you do‽” Since I’d done nothing, and he’s the computer expert, I explained; “Nothing, bite me.” Brian shut off all comments- but now we need to figure out some way for people who find the website and want to contact us be able to do so.
But wait, it gets better. All “comments” come to my email inbox as well. (I noticed because whoever is doing it has stolen a CTCW speaker’s name “Amy Wilson” saying they all come from her. (Somehow I don’t think she speaks Russian.)  I tried reporting it when it first happened, but no one I found cares. I probably spent a day deleting those in huge batches (I’d highlight a string of them and sometimes got asked “Are you sure you want to delete 103 messages?” Yeah, I’m sure.) Then I had the clever idea of sorting for everything that came from CTCW, and I sure hope that nothing important came through, because I dumped everything that came in since last year. But at least it was one (very large) batch. On the other hand, now a LOT of the things I want to see are ending up in my spam folder and I have to check it regularly before they’re automatically emptied.
So THAT was fun, in the way that isn’t.  And it took up a lot of time. (I do suspect it may have something to do with my brain not working. Or maybe that in combination with the current political BS. Oh, it was SO nice to not have any outside information while down at Fertile Ground! Maybe I have some mental version of the bends for coming back to the “real world” too fast. Frankly, as much as I worry about it, I know I have a level of emotional fatigue, depression, trauma, or combination of that from watching the news. Wasn’t it nice when mass shootings and terrorist attacks only took place once every few years instead of every week‽  I can’t even read the Onion anymore, it makes me too depressed. Yes, I know that the state anti-abortion laws are unconstitutional and shouldn’t get past the courts- but with the jiggering of the Supreme Court they do believe that they can overturn Roe v Wade, and if they can screw with elections and do the rest of the stuff they’re doing, it’s just possible unless we can fight back.
You know that thing they say “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” That’s bullshit. Unless you have the time and resources to recover from the attacks in between hits, what doesn’t kill you weakens you for the next attack, and the next until you finally collapse. That’s how it works, and that’s what’s happened to us psychologically. We are pretty much shell shocked. This is why bigger armies win, because they can hit again and again and again. Screw the question of whether abortion kills a potential person. Define person. We let people who are brain-dead die all the time. These people don’t want human rights for anyone who isn’t male and white, and rich enough to spend money at a level that can help them. They would rather kill off thousands of species, flood the coasts, spoil the water, and otherwise trash the planet just to stay in power and make money. They don’t care about their own descendants much less anyone else. Oh, darn, I shouldn’t rant. On the other hand, I saw a great rant on Climate Change by Bill Nye “Grow the f*** up!” Let’s do it.
I should probably tell you that nothing came of my trip to the doctor’s. He figures if I can lose even five pounds my blood pressure will go down, since it used to be fine when I weighed that. The thing is that in health, everything is inter-related, weight, blood pressure, hormones, etc.  I asked if it might be my thyroid (since it runs in the family) and he thought it was worth checking, and gave me an order for the test, but the staff pointed out that it wouldn’t be covered by Medicare since he didn’t tick the right boxes, and I don’t have the money to pay for it out of pocket. While I don’t want to hear that my thyroid isn’t working right, it would be lovely to point to something that might be adjusted to help me lose weight. When you’re old and fat and have been all your life, they just assume it’s going to stay that way, and that it’s “calories in-calories out”. I know it sounds logical, but it’s been disproven both by studies and my personal experience. Feh!
Kat’s gotten her “permanent” crown, and this round of dentistry is done until we can pay it off. Aspen still wants to get us to do another $6,000 on her ($9K on a payment plan). I am a fan of good dentistry but you can’t buy what you can’t afford! When I go down to Tufts next time they should be telling me what the total is for what they want to do.
Megan’s in the hospital. She too had a hernia that needed re-repairing, but sadly, things were adhering together inside and they had to do more cutting than expected. Now, once she gets out of the ICU, she’s going to have months in the rehab. We all hope she’ll be able to get out and go to Pennsic, having missed it last year.
  I spent a whole day this week looking up all the events I was planning to attend and maybe speak at this summer and fall and start the process of selling and speaking there: Panteria, Great Northeastern War, Dowsers Conference, East Coast Thing, Twilight Covening, and the Southern NH, Eastern MA, Southeastern MA, Western MA, and RI Pagan Pride Days. I hate that sort of planning and I’m not good at it. But I’ve sort of fallen off the radar and if I want to keep sharing fun stuff with eager listeners, I’ve got to do the dreary parts.
Worse, this leads to figuring out how to get the money to reserve table space for them, and I’ve been trying to work out our monthly budget, how much we have once we’ve paid all the regular bills. That might contribute to depression too, and it doesn’t help much that almost everyone I know is in the same situation. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck. So that’s not worth talking about.
The gentleman who’s parents got the portrait in last year’s auction has contacted me (since they haven’t moved on it) and he’s sent me the reference photos for his portrait. I need to get on that. (And finish those skirts!). I hope that whoever gets the portrait from this year’s public TV auction contacts me in less than six months! This guy’s a reenactor, and has a period outfit. I’m hoping I can get it done quickly. I’ll post a picture of it when I finish it.
I have mostly been reading the mind candy. April 30 the next Haunting Danielle arrived in my kindle- I read that on the train and that’s what I was reading at night down at FGG. The latest book in the Chronicles of Saint Mary’s (wonderful, snarky, series about time travel!) came out. I finished the Rowan Grey (psychic photographer) series, and am reading the Maddie series. As I’ve mentioned, they are all pretty similar, but just when I go to close the book, a ghost or a body pops up, and the action is pretty constant, so they are amusing. Other than that I read chapters here and there from other books, like the Encyclopedia of the Occult,  Depression and Metaphysics,  Long Lost Friend, and others that are littering my pillows,  but I can’t focus on non-fiction as easily as I expect to. I hope I can get out of this fog soon!
In an attempt to raise my mood, when I watch something I’ve been watching musicals- I sent for a bunch I hadn’t seen before (or didn’t remember seeing). For example, the most recent, a Fred Astaire movie called The Band Wagon is one I vaguely remember about a dancer in a pretentious show that’s a modernized version of Faust. I think I had it melded in my brain with Down to Earth, in which Terpsichore, offended by what theatre has become, returns to earth and convinces the director to do the show the “traditional” way, so it flops, and because she loves him, she puts up with his making it back into a modern hit. My favorite scene was when the special effects get too intense and the dancers are getting burned and choking on smoke. I’ve also watched A Star is Born (the song “the Man that got away” has been going through my head ever since), That Thing you doThe Producers, and  Jailhouse Rock. I also watch old favorites, like Labyrinth and Jurassic Park. I think there’s something about getting old that makes one want to surround oneself with familiar things from long ago when life was happier.
Ah well, it’s past midnight and I need to get to bed. I’ve been trying to get back on a diurnal schedule.

 

Tchipakkan

 

Faith is the innate knowledge of the fundamental rightness of all things, whether positive or negative.- Process Precept