Lame Duck Day Feb 5, 2020

Just got back from taking Kat to do the Gold Key Laundry. Once again we provided the transportation and Kat did everything herself- shooed me off to get propane in case we get another cold snap and need the heater in the cellar, go to the library, and to the crafts store for glue.

The kids have given me “toys” for my birthday: tiaras and crowns I can wear for fun (pictures, probably next week). We’ll grant up front that these are totally frivolous, and fairly inexpensive, so I need to make a carrying box for them to keep them from breaking for as long as possible. I have to admit to giggling like a little girl when I think about them, but at my age, I may as well have some fun!

I’ll be packing tomorrow to head down to the Feast of Lights. The weather looks to be vile, and Jane left a day early to avoid driving in the mix of freezing rain and snow they’re predicting. I’m simply going to pack tomorrow and leave early Friday morning so I can take my time and still be there for my 3:30 workshop. Sunday the weather looks fine, but since it got dark today around five, I should leave at three to avoid driving after dark.  Kat will be helping me decide what to wear with my crowns, as my live in aesthetician.
Monday John and I went up to Laconia and brought Mark back from the hospital. (Getting old sux, seems like after 65 your life is scheduled around the convenience of various doctors!) He also got a new phone and we stayed until it was checked that it was working for both outgoing and incoming calls. We also checked his refrigerator- I’d forgotten to check the milk when we picked up his clothes, and it had gone off, so we got him new milk and bananas. (I got the old ones and made banana bread.)
Willow had an appointment at Tuft’s Dental and her car wouldn’t start, but since I was getting Mark, she couldn’t borrow mine, so we had to call AAA. Oddly, we couldn’t find our jumper cables. I wonder if we loaned them to someone and forgot about it? Willow has a clever little jump box you can carry with you and jump yourself, but it wasn’t strong enough and only made it click. So I picked up another set of cables today. One doesn’t want to be without. She was late, but she always has two appointments back-to-back to justify the long trip. This time they checked her teeth and discovered she has the type of cavities they are looking for for the final tests, so she’s getting that procedure free, this Saturday. So it’s good she wasn’t planning on coming to the event with me.
I have to get back down there and get my teeth worked on. Sadly, the next thing they want to do is yank out five or six and make a plate. I find that incredibly intrusive and scary. Really, is there anything more intimate that letting someone not just put part of themselves into your body and then make changes to it? I was hoping to get a second opinion on whether it’s really necessary. The instructor didn’t even introduce himself to me, he just looked at the X-rays and signed off on the plan. Excuse me, they may yank teeth all the time, but for me, it’s losing body parts. It’s like amputation. I need to adjust mentally, and I REALLY need to feel some respect. I don’t like them to look at me as a machine with interchangeable parts, where they put in replacements when the old ones wear out without any concept of the way switching from (admittedly broken) A grade to C grade bits is emotionally difficult. If I can help these students become better dentists by helping them understand that this is an incredibly personal relationship, and they’d better look at the person and not just the cavities, it’s worth the extra time I spend down there (with travel and checking etc.) .
John and I also visited Mark (and brought him more books as he’d finished the ones he brought) on Saturday. Sadly, I got home too late to go to Lyrion’s annual Bardic night. It’s the first time in years it hasn’t conflicted with either Birka or Feast of Lights, and I still missed it! Phooey!

That’s pretty much what I’ve done since I’m  was fairly late getting last week’s letter out.
I’ve been reading stuff to help inform my upcoming classes. The occult scene in the 20s for the RG has me realizing (again) how much of a continuity it is. Spiritualism was huge in the late 19th and early 20th century. Also the more I read, the more the situation women were in has a bearing on things we just don’t think about any more. The Fox sisters, who sort of started it all, were 11 and 15 when it began and spent the next 4 years on the road with their older sister because their parents basically kicked them out, having been kicked out of their church since clearly they were dealing with the devil. The sister had gotten married at 15 and her husband deserted her when she had a baby, and was living on teaching piano. When the phenomena followed Katy and Maggie, people stopped hiring her. Women were completely vulnerable if people didn’t choose to ’support’ them. At 15 Katy fell in love, and the fellow tried to remake her into something acceptable to his parents by having her convert to Catholicism (hoping that would stop the mediumship) and go to schools, but he didn’t marry her and she was pretty much left homeless.That’s when she was hired by debunkers to go on tour saying they’d faked the phenomenon. Both the girls ended up depressed and alcoholic, and died homeless, if famous. If women aren’t allowed to work, and have to do what the men want them to do, just living was precarious. It’s all connected.
Yes, I am depressed about the current state of politics, I listened to the vote live as all those senators who’d sworn to be unbiased voted along party lines (except Romeny, that was a surprise). If I were Christian, I’d figure they would burn in hell for it, but I expect they think they did what’s right. Most people convince themselves that they are doing the right thing. But I watch stories (multiple stories every day) about assaults on clean water, on children, on veterans, on animals, on the land, on everyone but the rich. Who the heck do they think is going to work for them, to grow their food, to vote for them, to buy their services if they set it up so the 99% die? One of yesterday’s stories was senators saying that the “middle class” is doing fine- (Middle Class to them being defined as people with incomes of $450K!) They don’t know that old people on social security are working at McDonalds to make ends meet. If they see the tents of the homeless, all they think of is how to “get rid of them”, rather than how to help them, and wonder what happened that they ended up there. Now they are emboldened, they think they are free to do whatever they want. What they did was a bit like “Jury Nullification” where a jury says that they find the defendant not guilty because the law is bogus. Basically in this “Congress Nullification” they are saying “sure, he did it, but that’s not an abuse of power, it’s what we all want to do, so it’s OK by us.”  Our founding fathers never expected two thirds of Congress to be so damaged that they don’t care about the laws and Constitution. How could they? It’s hard for me to believe while I’m watching it. I NEVER wanted to understand what happened to turn post WWI Germany into Nazi Germany. I’m wondering if the basic goodness I feel in most people will be enough to turn the tide.  My hope is on the 40% of Americans who didn’t vote last time, and that they aren’t among the brainwashed masses who actually believe Trump and Limbaugh and Fox “News”.
Unsurprisingly, Willow is exhausted, Kat’s finding it hard to keep food down, and John’s depressed. Me? I’m probably in denial. It’s a lovely place to be. I have sparkly tiaras, and people want me to come talk about stuff.

Tchipakkan

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

–C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)