July 19, 2017 National Hot Dog Day!

The summer wild flowers are burgeoning! I have been enjoying the daylilies, daisies, mallows, Queen Anne’s Lace, and purple loosetrife, and today I looked out and saw that the black eyed Susans have arrived. If I have the time and energy, I’ll probably pick a bouquet, but if not, I’ll enjoy them in situ. Meanwhile we enjoy the air conditioning and fans- not too often. It’s set at 75º, and we don’t turn it on until it hits 80º, so we won’t get too spoiled- or shocked when we go outside. It is a huge blessing to have the drought over so we can shower when we get sticky!

Steve came up on Sunday, and it was cool enough that we had lamb- currying the leftovers. I made extra We have to eat large items from the freezer to make enough room to leave John with 10 frozen dinners while we’re away at Pennsic. We are hoping to have a turkey once, that would make a good deal of space, and if Mark comes over, there would be fewer leftovers. The (underspiced) beef stir-fry last night will become filling for burritos today. John has finally suggested that perhaps stir-fries a bit less often would be welcome. Stir-fries are good for not getting the kitchen hot, hence…

Heat or no heat, Willow made up the herbals for Auntie Arwen’s order. Saturday she mixed up the bug repellant and it was SO strong that whenever Kat came downstairs she just gagged and went back up to her room. We opened the back door and used the fan to try to suck the scent out, but by 8 we gave up and went out to the saki house for Chinese. I would not have been comfortable eating in the kitchen that night. Luckily by morning it was much better. I decided that I wouldn’t worry about leaving the back door open- since the air was heavy with bug repellant, I didn’t think anything would come in. John wondered about oppossums, but I decided that almost everything was in tins or bottles, and the smell would probably keep them away as well. No problem as far as we could tell.

On the way back home we thought we might have seen heat lightning- or maybe the Auroras through the trees and went up to the top of Pinnacle Road- farther than any of us have been before. We didn’t spot the track where the ORVs used to go down the other side of the mountain. Or any auroras. Steve and I went out to the top of the hill on center road to see if we could see any Aurora Borealis, but couldn’t spot anything. We looked into driving over to Mt. Monadnock, but that was 45 minutes each way, and Pack Monadock was closed. We agreed that we had no interest in climbing in the dark to see the light show, so once again, even though it was clear, I didn’t see the Auroras. 

Friday Willow took Avi’s kids down to the Science Museum and Kat and I went too since our family membership admits five. As expected, we spent most of the day just following them around. This is the way we discoverd to let kids enjoy museums, and they really did. We only had one time when K wandered away and we had to look for him, which allowed us to sit down occasionally. Even following the kids the science museum has a lot of cool stuff to see. I didn’t get to catch the show on the upcoming eclipse, but I ordered a pack of 10 eclipse glasses (for $2), so we’ll be able to watch that- if it’s not raining in August when the eclipse comes. We’ll only catch a bit of it, but we may see the crescent. I remember the last time when we took the kids out of school to experience the eclipse with a pin-hole viewere AElfwine made. But the coolist thingwas the way that all the light going through the leaves made tiny cresents under the trees! I’m not quite sure how that works, but I know what we saw. I’m not sure we spent more than 3 or four hours at the Science Museum. I warned Willow that Friday afternoon rush hour was special, and we planned to leave at 3, but B had put her cell phone down in one of the displays and we had to go find and collect it (after searching, of course). This was especially frustrating as Willow had repeatedly told her to put it in a bag she could wear, not in her pocket (where she’d take it out). Cell phones have certainly changed the way we live. Avi kept us up to date on each step of her return trip. Sometimes it’s comforting to have that level of instant communication, but I’m not sure we’ve really gotten the right balance yet. (I still haven’t figured out how to get the pictures off my phone.) 

When we were at GNEW, Willow went through the silver and saw where we were light on certain categories, so Monday she went to Blakes and picked up “a little” silver. If we have enough money next week we’ll go down to Wolfes to fill the holes in our jewels. Kat’s made herself a new kirtle that she’s hoping for some bigger “moonstones” to trim. It’s very sad that we can have $2,000 worth of jeweles, but if we are missing two or three colors, we just don’t seem to sell. (She’s also made herself a lovely lace penoir for wearing over her summer dresses. She says wearing it makes her feel like all the characters in Labyrinth.)

I’ve got the handout done for the werewolf class, and mostly done with the one for the Ælthylflad class- I’m still reading a couple of books on her, but the basic facts are what the handout needs. I do want to make booklets, but if I have the flyers, I’ll be satisfied.

I have to admit that “Distractible Woman” is dominating my personality right now. Looking for books in the library I found some that I was looking for, and some I wasn’t, and once again became cross with the chaos. I think maybe working on the pantry is because I was embarassed by the mess Willow had to work in while making the herbals. But all the boxes that had migrated in there are now gone- the counters are still pretty buried, but we can work on that. I was having a bit of a problem squatting, so Kat reorganized the tupperware cupboard for me. It is a thing of great beauty now. It’s exactly what I’d like for the whole house- not so much that it looks good, but you can find what you’re looking for easily.

Not to mention the little piddling things- today we had to call Costco, and then Dr. Gunning because the lovely system where you re-up your prescriptions (to make sure we are covered through Pennsic) didn’t work with one, so I had to talk to them personally. I had to call EZ pass because on the way to GNEW a few times when we went through the gate it didn’t work- turns out I’d forgotten to let them know when we changed cars (oops). Then to make sure, I called our insurance company to make sure that I’d told them. And yes, while I’d told them about the new car, I hadn’t taken the old car off- that will save money from now on. And of course there’s laundry, and cooking, and washing dishes, and the rest of daily stuff which seems to take so much time out of “important” projects.  The girls went up to Curia on Sunday, and did a half dozen errands on the way home. That’s only worth mentioning because she is so tired, that I worry about her.

Yesterday we dropped off Willow’s car at Winkles. Robert’s going fix the air-conditioning- bypassing the main problem, rather than removing the engine to take the cracked whatever-it-is out. It’s so wonderful to have a mechanic who understands that you want the AC to work, but don’t have a bottomless purse. We saw him on the weekend too. In his spare time he sells firewood, and since he knows that we have a tiny fire box, he sets aside the “short cuts” for us, and brought us a load, delivered and well seasoned. I’ve told John to just spend 15 minutes a day getting it stacked into the shed.

Kat helped me inventory the stockings- we don’t sell them at the war, but often we buy some at the end of the war because we get them from the Basket man, saves the whole shipping thing, and we have to have them for the Pagan Pride Days- that’s part of what I’m doing- checking to make sure we’ve signed up for them. I’m also working on the outline for the Twilight Covening Clan (Tortoise- the lessons we learn from slowing down), and plugging in new proposals and panels for CTCW. I have to try to get as much done as I can before I leave, and the days are flying!

Dennis is making his little leper dolls, Honor is recovering- but not ready to make stuff to sell yet since her shoulder surgery. The big issue with her doing the war this year is she can’t yet put her shoes and braces on herself.

Not everyone is getting ready for the war. One of our friends, Allyson Szabo, is running a fair over at the Cathedral of the Pines, during Pennsic, and she came by on Tuesday to pick up the Gold Key stuff. While John and I were moving that to an easier access point, we started trying to impose some organization (and fix places where it was too easy to trip on things, or where I could imagine an avalanche). I think that contributed to my getting back to the library- sorting books into labeled boxes and stacking them in the back corner. In theory this will lead to an empty library and I can put the books back in in a way that I can find books when I’m looking for them! I have books on history- Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Celtic, Roman, Egyptian, Greek, generic Medieval (especially weirder subjects: “We can put the Wayward Nuns next to the Royal Bastards”), books on healing with energy, crystals, herbs, vitamins, books on Runes, Tarot, Palmistry, witchcraft and occult subjects, all sorts of spirituality and religion, folklore, cookbooks, art books, and of course fiction. The trick is to get them where I can find them when I need them. Steve, who also has an impressive library, says not to bother trying with the Dewey Decimal System. As many books as I have, I still don’t have enough to worry about that. But when I have a book on Anglo-Saxon Magick, do I put it in the early English history section or the magick section? Well, for now, let’s just try to find the shelves. Forget that, first I need to find the floor! (Boxes and boxes are filling what used to be pathways!)

Last week, since Willow was staying over at Avi’s, I took her sewing machine to the repair shop for a tuning. They said they’d have it for Monday, but when I called, they admitted that they’d been on vacation and hadn’t looked at it yet. I REALLY hate it when they do that! I could have taken it somewhere else if I’d known- which is, no doubt, why they didn’t tell the truth. There is a great deal of sewing to do, and my plan should have worked so that it was tuned up while she was away. Poot!

Tonight’s New Normal was with Starwolf, we talked about Runemagick and Bind Runes. Once again my mic stopped working mid-show, but luckily I have learned to simply call in on the phone. I wish I knew why it did that.

This week I’ve mostly read the books on werewolves and Æthylflæd (The Warrior Queen: The Life and Legend of Æthylflæd, Daughter of Alfred the Great, and King Alfred’s Daughter: The Lady of the Mercians). I’ve done a new (21st century) thing- I’ve borrowed a digital book Edward the Elder, that has a chapter on Æthylflæd’s daughter, which is sort of a cool thing.  In theory I’m reading The Alchemist, a book about Nicholas Flamel, and the next Peter Grant novel Moon over Soho.  I’m also enjoying the Rivers of London, a parallel series about the same characters only in Graphic novel format. In truth, I’m falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, and not doing much recreational reading. I have, however, found a DVD of the old movie Alfred the Great, with Michael York and David Hemming. It’s as wonderful and terrible as I remembered it. I am actually a bit more impressed with the costuming than I was 30 some years ago when I didn’t know quite as much about the period. (Alfred wears a reconstruction of the Benty Grange Helm during the battle on the White Horse, and Michael York is wearing the Valsgärde 8 helm- his body armor must have been based on whatever the designer for Kirk Douglas’ was in the Vikings. His brother was wearing Cuthbert’s cross. I don’t know whether I should be smug that I recognise them, or just impressed that they did their homework.

In politics, I was pleased that the Repeal with no Replace move died a sudden death.  As with calling in all our ambassadors without sending out new ones, you can’t just undo everything and put nothing in its place.  My latest theory is that the rich congress critters don’t understand that it’s a good idea to invest in health and education because they don’t understand investment- they have someone else to do it for them, and all they look at is the bottom line.  I was also amused at the ladies of the Congress defying Paul Ryan’s attempt at imposing his idea of what’s appropriate by having a “Right to Bare Arms” day last Friday. The people who are trying to create their own imaginary America are going to lose both on the stupid symbolic attempts, as well as the bigger ones. I am getting honestly sorry for Trump every time I hear one of his quotes. “America is a great country, but we have maybe the worst constitution writers in the world. Russia has much better constitution writers than we do,” he said. “I talked to Putin, and he said their constitution never gives him problems.” (OK, that was from The Borowitz Report, but his remarks are usually based on something Trump actually said.)

This week I was amused to learn that there’s another word related to defenestrate, TRANSfenestrate means to throw something or someone through a CLOSED window. English seems to want a word for every little thing.

One last sad note, our old friend Arthur of Linden died last Monday, apparently he had been fighting Parkinson’s and I had no idea. My heart goes out to all who knew him, especially Maven, who had to deal with his final weeks in hospital and hospice, and has to deal with all the chaos that happens after someone dies. Arthur was gentle, talented and clever. His memory will not die until I do. We are reminded every time we see the tree ornament he made with a bunny etched on a sheild shaped mirror. I also remember with not a small bit of awe a pierced shade he made for his coleman lantern for Pennsic in Celtic Knotwork patterns. As he said, it was irretrievably modern, but at least the celtic knot work made it beautiful and medieval-ish. It was at least, SCAish, and having enough light is a wonderful thing. As I hadn’t seen him for years, he will always remain young to me.

Holidays this week:

Wed 19 Daiquiri Day, Cake Day, Raspberry cake Day, Stick out your Tounge day

Thurs 20 Lollopop Day, Chess Day, Moon Day, Ugly Truck Day

Fri 21 Junk Food Day, Take a Monkey to Lunch Day, Invite an Alien to Live with you Day

Sat 22 Penuche Fudge Day, Hammock Day, Sponerism Day, Cowboy Day, Ratcatcher Day

Sun 23 Vanilla Ice Cream Day, Gorgeous Grandma Day, Yada yada yada day

the 4th Sunday of July is always Parents Day, and Aunties Day,

Mon 24 Tequila Day, Drive-Thru Day, Cousins Day, Tell an old Joke Day

Tues 25 Hot fudge Sundae Day, Carosel Day, Red Shoes Day (Lyme), Wine and Cheese Day

Wed 26 Coffee Milkshake Day, Bagelfest, Aut & Uncles Day, All or Nothing Day

Tchipakkan

“With every mistake we must surely be learning.” George Harrison

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