Hi again June 20,2018
It’s a bit cooler today, I was able to put on sleeves. We’ve had a lovely range of summer weather this week, ranging from an impressive thunderstorm last night to heat that made me very grateful for the air conditioner. I opened the window in the west wing (actually Kat did, it was stuck and she used a pryer) and put the fan in to suck in the cool air at night. I like to get by with as little powered cooling as we can get away with. The Dog Roses are blooming all over- there are a dozen new bushes in the back- pity they only smell this great a day or two a year and then they are just thorn producers. The iris are gone, the pansies are passing- I should go out and pick them to make more come. Mostly what we have now is roses, although there are daisies in a lot of fields. The local strawberries have come to the farm stand, and we’re getting them as often as we can.
Last Thursday was Foundation Day, a holiday of the Process Church from when I was young. I took their tradition going to the beach and eating fruit salad with cream, and kept the fruit salad part. This year I worked really hard, and only put in a half cup of each fruit, so we didn’t have as much too much leftovers as usual, and I remembered to take one portion and not put blueberries in it for Kat. I also made some cheeseburgers with jalapeños, and that was a better supper than just fruit.
Friday the appliance man came. He asked “who’s been under here?” And no one has since he was here a year ago (when I decided that having him fix it was worth the money). The hose and the grounding wire were pulled loose, and he simply reattached them, did a test run, and it was all good. We have no explanation except gremlins (or pixies). There is no way anything small enough to get under there could pull the hose off. Grrr. Glad not to have to replace it (and pleased- he said it’s the “best washer made”), but I’m annoyed that it was sabotaged by whatever. I also sort of felt dumb for having gone to the laundromat and run 5 double loads through (we dried them at home). This week we can do our load-a-day, and dry it on the line. I try to remember to do the laundry in the morning so that I am not looking into the sun (in the west) when I hang it and bring it in, that’s what seems to happen.
We also loaded the car for the Golden Sword Tourney on Saturday, and slipped in under the wire reserving for Pennsic (on Willow’s card). I put in the check from the painting, but it wouldn’t have been available in time. Things being what they are, the traditional Palio at the State Fair Grounds didn’t happen because the rent skyrocketed, so Anjuli jumped in and found a field to have at least the Novices’ competitions.
Since it was within striking distance, (80 minutes) we day-tripped. Kat took the Gold Key, but there wasn’t much need since it was much smaller this year. It felt VERY much like the events we had back when I joined, small and intimate. There was a “dashboard”- a buffet with many types of bread, honey butter, garlic butter, cheese, summer sausages that would deal with the heat, sekanjabin, pickled vegetables, candied fruit (that’s fairly modern), and skewered chicken. They had three period sauces- one red, one green and one gold, all good. I think it’s because everyone is being so careful these days about allergies, but frankly, it’s good period practice as well. I wish I’d taken a picture, it was really good.
I got a chance to talk to Anjuli later and ask about the bandage on her hand. At that point I felt oblivious, apparently she’d been working on her Bardo (gypsy wagon) and the table saw nearly chopped off her fingers. It does look like she’s going to keep them and keep the use of them, but had I been paying more attention at Panteria, I’d have heard the story then. I expect I was distracted by her cute grandchildren, and she’d probably be fine with that.
It was really hot! I felt badly for the fighters, and there weren’t many. The serious fighters go to the bigger tourneys. But there were two competitors for the Golden Sword (there have been years when there haven’t been any.) They were both so skinny that if they turned sideways you’d miss seeing them, but they were fast, and not tentative the way some new fighters are. One looked familiar. He looked like Durer’s self portrait when he was young-a lot of red hair. I think he used to hang with Kris Spinster and her daughter Jani but he’s switched persona to Norse and is now called Vigmar (I think). The other had a mane of black hair and was called Michal (with a soft ch because it’s Polish). After the tourney he showed us magic tricks- he’s a magician too! I brought him over so he could do them for the girls- card tricks, and he made a BUNCH of rabbits appear. He made the deck of cards disappear from my hands while I was holding them. Very impressive! I’m sure that
Speed and dexterity is helpful in fighting too. They were pretty evenly matched, but Michal won. Luckily I’d brought a stave and a local knight (I think Kennimathor Geirrson) brought a full sword with gold wrapped blade and hilt, so they each got a prize. As I said, it was incredibly hot, and I felt so sorry for the armored fighters!
They had a curtained pop-up for the Gold Key and we set up ours for Cabochons next to it. Since there was so little business for either, mostly we sat under then fly and chatted with Kiaya and did needlework. Next weekend there’s a meet-and-greet for the Barony because Jocelyn and Dorio have apparently been Baroness and Baron for five years and that’s all anyone is allowed any more. The people who’ve offered to do the next stint include the knight marshal and his lady (who I don’t know), Brian and his lady, and Kiaya and Dierdre, who I am so excited about that I doubt we’ll go up to the meet-and-greet. Who could be better than Kaiya and Jeanne? Apparently at some point there will be ballots, and then at Birka there will be an investiture, which seems rude to me. I should think getting to be Baroness should be a Big Deal, not just one more item in a long court, but the crown has to make it up and there are a lot of places they have to go, so they want to get it settled early.
At one point I held an impromptu “how to make daisy chain” workshop because there were SO many daisies, so many children, and it’s such a medieval thing to do. I have to say that it’s harder than I remembered, and I’m glad that only the two young women who’d been so helpful with the sheep hunt joined me. It’s hard to join them up without ribbon. I have a great deal more respect for the medievals who went out before a holiday and gathered flowers to make garlands!
Because I was trying to stay off my feet (trying the doctor’s exercises, still not seeing much improvement), mostly I talked to the people who stopped by our fly: Leslie, Frostalf, Brian (there was a question at first over whether there’d be a fencing competition, but eventually competitors showed up). I think most people actually day tripped. It was very relaxed. Lot’s of kids running around. Kiaya had made a flock of sheep and there was a competition, to see how many they could turn in. Older children “hid” them, and younger ones went out and “found” them. (I think they just noticed when the older girls were putting them out and followed them.) I saw a maypole, and I heard that there was a “golden tongue” bardic competition in the evening, but we left around six, and were SO happy to get home and collapse. Heat takes it out of you!
The next day we were hoping to see Steve, I made a strawberry rhubarb pie, but he couldn’t make it. It seems a family of badgers had moved in under his back porch, and he was waiting for animal control- didn’t find out that they don’t come on weekends (unless there’s immediate danger?) until it was too late to come up.
That’s about it. I have spent all my time reading and writing about the Witch hunts (even though I haven’t finished the Vampire booklet). I find it works add whatever cool things I’ve just read about and put them right in. Sadly, the subject is too big and I need to parent down. I think I have a clever idea. I’ve started a list of other classes within the master subject, and so I can say ‘no that’s better for that workshop” and only put in the stuff about the trials. I’m thinking one on Cunningfolk and other anti- witches, one on Civil lawsuits with magic users, Torture, the Inquisition, Heresies, Pagan Survivals, Shamans and Sorcerers, Grimoires, magick in late Antiquity, Pagan survivals, Penitentials, Examples of Spells and Workings, Fairies and Elves, Brownies, Pixies, Goblins, and Knocers. You can see how most of these might be a part of the information in witch trials, but by separating them, I hope to keep it down to an hour (and 15 pages of notes). I’m trying to keep it down to how it happened, how it changed over the centuries (the first trials were in the 14th century and they lasted until the 18th, but I’m arbitrarily stopping at the 17th because that’s where the SCA cuts off. I’ve been reading a book on Climate change and how that was a major factor in the witch hunt phenomenon. It’s incredibly complex, lasted a long time, and I can see why it’s got it’s own academic discipline.One preface discussed which scholar researched which areas- this one a section of France, this one Essex, this one Scotland, that one Bavaria… I have such admiration for the scholars who weed through these old hand-written court records and extract information that teaches us about their lives and how this could happen.
You will probably not be surprised to hear that I keep seeing analogies to the witch hysteria in the modern world. People who are stressed look for scapegoats, and can be so cruel- choosing to see “Other” as non-human. As Tom Lehrer said ‘The Catholics hate the Protestants, and the Protestants hate the Catholics, and the Hindus hate the Muslims, and everybody hates the Jews.” You’d think we’d get better, wouldn’t you?
While looking for books on the history of Witchcraft, I have reorganized the books in my bedroom, and found two long-lost library books that got mixed in with mine. In my defense, I will point out that I buy most of my books used, and many have library markings. Still, it’s embarrassing.
Last week Willow finished the fleece blanket with the baby elephant, it was adorable (and went right out). Bianca and Kalen’s school finished last week, so Willow’s going over a bit earlier. Kalen will be starting summer school soon, (half day) and Avi will drop him off, then Willow will pick him up and keep them out of Avi’s hair for the afternoon. Today Willow took them to the ocean (and got a trifle sunburned on one side). She’s waiting for the herbal order to know how many jars and bottles she’ll have to buy. She also made a really cool canvas apron to wear when making the herbals- I love the design and plan to make one for myself. I am enjoying my new aprons, but still unable to throw old ones away if they have embroidery. This makes me hesitant to embroider the new ones.
We’re all bummed. I haven’t seen it yet, but Willow tells me they are tearing down our old house. It was Dan’s birthday yesterday and I haven’t heard from him for years. That’s also hard. It’s like Father’s Day is hard when your father is dead. I don’t think I should feel terrible because after all, I’m old, so it’s natural, but I still miss him, and Mom, and Bob, and Ælfwine, and too many others who’ve died. While getting ready for the East Kingdom 50th year anniversary, I am being reminded of far too many dead friends. (Looking for old physical photo albums for pictures of them, and regretting both computer crashes and digital pictures that aren’t well labeled.) I’m really looking forward to the event, but expect to have a lot of melancholy as well as good memories.
I’m not sure what Kat’s up to (except doing art for Pride Month link . Since it’s hot, she stays in her room where it’s cooler. And she looks great every day in her summer wardrobe when she does venture down, but the heat is hard on her digestion.
One thing I generally enjoy doing each day is posting descriptions of what holidays are coming up on the fb Holidays that Might Get Overlooked page. I think it’s good to remember that other religions celebrate holidays we don’t, or there are awareness days, holidays reminding us of things that happened in the past like inventions we take for granted, or foods or activities that are worth appreciating. But between holidays celebrated on the 21s, on the 3rd Thursday, on the Summer Solstice, on this day in the moon phase, there can be days with far too many to conveniently post. 4-5, Great! A dozen, doable. Today (for tomorrow) I only bothered with the fairly important ones, and there were 36! I wasn’t able to pick my favorite dozen. This is a real failing I have in many areas of my life!
I fear I have gotten sucked into reading more about news than I’d prefer. I don’t think I need to pass that on. You probably are aware how I would feel about tearing families apart in order to motivate people who are trying to escape death in their own countries from trying to escape to a country that has traditionally been a land of peace, freedom and opportunity. We have been the good guys. Now, like medieval nobility, we are so convinced of our virtue that we are failing to live up to the Chivalry that is supposed to describe us. Trump pulling out of the UN Human Rights Council is SO typical. Almost no one noticed that Congress did, as they’ve been planning, dip into Social Security this week, the Supreme Court dealt a setback on trying to stop gerrymandering (as we all wonder how to stop current asshattery, people say “Vote”, but if they rig the voting, that won’t help). On the good news front, Canada has legalized marijuana. It’s hard not to get depressed. Since it’s becoming clear that there is a sizable portion of Americans who are more uncomfortable with what my friends would consider progress in human rights, people on my feed are wondering how we can make America back into what we thought it stood for. I do think there is hope. (Of course, I also thought that Sanders would beat Clinton and then Trump.)
This is the last desperate pushback of the people who’ve been fighting civil rights, women’s rights, gender rights, religious rights, (basically human rights) for the last half century and are afraid that their world is at risk. They want a world where the man is in charge of his house, where if you’re a straight white Christian you don’t need to worry about anything other than the status quo. They are happy ignoring a status quo that dumps on you if you aren’t in the privileged population. And if they aren’t seeing privileges and they are straight, white, hardworking, Christian males, they feel cheated! If we give equal rights to women, queers, Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, and everyone else, doesn’t that mean that their already difficult life is going to get worse? No wonder they’re scared. They believe that the only way to pay for helping the poor is taking it out of their pockets, and they don’t know enough to realize that isn’t how it works. They figure if they go back to the Ozzie and Harriet image of the 50s, they’ll be fine, and want that first, before anyone else takes a piece of the American Pie- because they’ve seen that it runs out when they ask for help. But I have hope, because any time someone is losing an argument, their last attempt to win is to threaten. We’ve been telling them to just deal with their discomfort around gays, and blacks and women who think they’re “as good as” them, and we have. They feel bullied, and are thrilled to see us intellectual liberals have to suck it up when they act like asshats. We mustn’t lose sight of that. We have been making progress, and people are a lot more comfortable with interracial and gay marriage, than they were, but it’s going to be decades before everyone who’s uncomfortable dies off. I think the average liberal, educated person had become complacent and thought we could just let things keep “going in the right direction” without actively working for it (the way we did in the 60s and 70s). The resistance of the terrified bigots is motivating a “silent majority” (to use the old phrase) of people who do believe in human rights, and, I hope, getting them to put down their phones and get off their arses to vote, and protest, and call, and put some effort into the world they want and expect. We have to be careful to not lash out at the frightened people because they are lashing out at us, but instead firmly not let them shout us down, until they gradually see that they are NOT worse off with universal health care, and neighbors who are a different than they are.
I totally believe that there are far more people who believe in kindness and human rights than in protecting the myth of white, male, Christian, straight Supremacy, but they thought the fight had been won. This is the “jump scare” at the end of the horror movie. Even when we get through this crisis, we have to remember that there can be a sequel.
It’s supposed to be easy.
Celebrate this week (BTW- it’s Candy Month!)
Thurs 21 Summer Solstice, Peaches and Cream Day, Music Day, Giraffe Day
Fri 22 Onion Ring Day, Chocolate Eclair Day, Take your Dog to work Day, Positive media
Sat 23 Pecan Sandy Day, Let it Go Day, Typewriter Day, Widows Day, Pink Day
Sun 24 Fairy Day, Pralines Day, Swim a Lap Day, Celebrate the senses Day, UFO Day
Mon 25 Strawberry Parfait Day, Please Take My Children to Work Day, Beatles Day
Tues 26 Chocolate Pudding Day, Canoe Day, Forgiveness Day, Tropical Cocktails Day
Wed 27 Sunglasses Day, Pineapple Day, Orange Blossom Day, IWW Day, PTSD Day