This was a fast week for me- for one thing, it was overcast or raining most of the week, which meant I didn’t have the cue of light telling me to get up, and I’m working hard to get back to a better schedule. I actually do usually wake up on time, but lacking external deadlines, I tend to read for hours before getting dressed and coming down. (One day I did come down and make Pancakes).
The rain has made it difficult to go out and bring in the flowers- there are wonderful lilacs this year, and lots of lily of the valley, which are spreading after years of trying to get them to take. There are still narcissus, quince flowers, pansies, and bleeding hearts. There are probably violets, but they are hidden under their leaves now. The dandelions have finally shown up. The knot-weed is growing alarmingly. The apple orchards are no longer flowering, I hope the bees got to them- it’s hard when it’s raining. There’s some sort of tree flowers- I assume maple or oak since they’re falling on our cars, that are covering the windshields this week.
Kat and I did go out once and fill some vases, then came in and did a Tick Check- I had one in my boot. It’s a little hard for me to tell visually because I’ve taken a sharpie and drawn on the acupressure spots so I don’t have to go through the book each time to press them. My feet are better- although they did hurt after it had been long enough since they hurt that I tried grocery shopping- oops, not quite that good yet. Better, not recovered.
The cats often prefer to go out for the night, slipping out when we open the door for another to come in. The occasional bug is inside, but mostly I’m on a state of high alert, every time a hair moves on my leg or arm, I immediately check to see if it’s a tick. We remind each other each time someone’s gone outside.
The big thing I’ve achieved this week is progress on the Vampire workshop handout and booklet. I’ve finished the handout, although I should probably try to edit it a little as it’s 4 pages, and I don’t think a free handout should be more than three. I’m 19 pages into the booklet, and was hoping to get it done before we left for Panteria, but that snuck up on me, but as soon as possible! There are just so many interesting things to look at- this week I got some books from the library about rotting corpses, because the difference between a vampire story and your basic nasty ghost story is that the victims dug the body up and it looked alive and full of blood. What’s up with that? The fellow who started the first body farm did so because he’d identified a body (in a family plot) as dead a few months to a year, and it turned out that it was a civil war burial. He was so embarrassed he started studying how to better figure out how long someone had been dead. It’s both cool and gross.
As soon as I’m done with the Vampires, I’ll be doing the one on Period Witch Trials. Most of them happened in the early modern period, but they started in the sixteenth century. I think a lot of it had to do with the printing press and the pamphlets that circulated telling people awful stories about witches. That and that the Protestants and Catholics were so intent that not only were they doing it right, that the way the other people did Christianity was so wrong that it was dangerous! After a couple centuries of that BS, no wonder the Founding Fathers were so very careful to put religious freedom into the constitution! I’ll probably get as into that subject as I am into the Vampires, so I’d better get it done. If I am more efficient than I probably will be, I’d also like to get to doing the booklet on Werewolves (last year’s class), since I didn’t get the full booklet done, and I think they’d make a lovely set. I think next year I’m going to do Ghosts. I proposed a general Anglo-Saxon persona overview for the East Kingdom 50 Year celebration. That will be at the end of June. It doesn’t look like there’s going to be a Palio this year, but they will be doing the Golden Sword tournaments, so that’s sort of every other weekend set until August. I might go down to the East Coast Thing without the girls in August- we’ll see.
I’d like to get up to the lake for a bit at some point. With Kate getting ready for her wedding, getting the Camp entrance rebuilt may be problematic, but Willow getting away from her work with Avi’s kids is more of an issue.
Kat has finished and mailed off her big commission- a ruffley Lolly dress, (look at all those pin-tucks! Now she’s altering a Gunnysacks dress from the sixties for herself for summer wear- lovely! The cats have chewed off the ties to three of my aprons, so I have to repair or replace them. I’ve also brought down some fabric to make a couple new summer skirts as my old ones are pretty damned disreputable at this point. I’d hoped to get them done before this weekend, but we keep doing laundry, and it waits to be claimed on the dining room table- which is also the sewing cutting table, so it gets put off. Peri’s been gone for two weeks now, and we are really worried.
Willow impressed us all by fixing the leaking toilet. She examined it and found that the bolts holding it down had loosened, so she tightened them, and it seems to have fixed everything. I’m very impressed and pleased that we don’t have to call the plumber!
We tried something new this week- at the grocery store they have assorted vegetables cut into “spaghetti”. I got the zuccini, and tried it, sautéed in butter as they suggested. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all that an a plate of biscuits. It had a sour tang- I wonder if they’d washed it with vitamin C or lemon juice to keep it from browning? I don’t know if I’d try it again.
I am still enjoying the Nero Wolfe books- I got the first one from the library in case there was a greater background given, but in the introduction they said that one of the great things about the Nero Wolfe stories is that there is no progression. I’m not sure- a couple I read- which probably came out during the war- had Archie in the military and Wolfe helping the military with their mysteries, and in the first one, Wolfe decides he’s going to move from bootleg beer in barrels to bottled beer, and cut down from 6 to 5 quarts a day. (Were the beer companies underwriting him? Beer as brain food?). I have listened to some radio plays (usually while I’m posting to holidays that might get overlooked) starring Sidney Greenstreet. I have decided I really don’t like the way he laughs, he seems smug and nasty. I’ll give Wolfe smug, not nasty.
I do like both Maury Chaykin and William Conrad versions. So far I like Timothy Hutton’s Archie. I have also been very amused by noting that in the Nero Wolfe Mystery series they seem to have done it like an old acting troop, with a staff of players who took different roles in the different episodes. I first noticed with James Tolkan, whose voice I recognized as the principal/sherrif from Back to the Future but when I checked the internet movie database, I found that most of the others played multiple roles too.
I watched two movies this week: The Last Jedi, and Love Never Dies. Neither were as good as what they came after. It’s not that the Last Jedi was bad, the characters were good- Finn, Rey, & Poe, and it was cool to see Luke Skywalker, and Leia all grown up, and it was really great to see Yoda, Chewy, and C3P0 again. Kylo Ren may be what gave me the feeling of dissatisfaction. Darth Vader had presence, Kylo is just irritating. Besides, he’s like that school shooter who’s father says he was a victim because he was bullied. When you pick up a weapon and start killing people (especially your father) you give up the role of victim and become murderer. There is little more irritating than a whiney murderer. Steve and I had both gotten copies to watch and not gotten to it, so he was going to come up so we could watch it together, but he got caught in extreme weather and traffic, so he went back home, we each watched it separately, and then talked about it. I felt like there were two many things going on at once, watching two seconds of what’s going on with one person, then five seconds of someone else, then another person, etc. was just too jerky for me. I like a build up to an emotional climax. Willow found the little porgs annoyingly cute. (Look, you’re a prey species, deal with it.) I think I need to make a bunch of porg cookies so we can eat them.
Love never Dies was what the girls described as a “fan-service do-over” for the people who thought that Christine should have chosen the Phantom of the Opera over Raoul. It was a sequel, where the phantom had lived, been spirited away by the Christine’s friend and her mother, and taken to America where he ran a freak show at Coney Island. This has potential. Christine and Raoul and their son come so she can perform, and the phantom makes another play for her. Turns out they’d had a one night stand and her son is the phantoms, the whole thing goes sideways, but far more importantly, the music wasn’t as good. The only really moving part for me was her friend who had done everything for the phantom, who didn’t even seem to know she existed- now that’s heartbreaking.
I also rewatched the Greatest Show on Earth, now THAT was a good movie! I even liked the folded in documentary about circuses, back when they did raise the big-top.
I did a lot of reading this week, finally finished Montague Summers other Vampire book, Vampire his Kith and Kin, it was sort of a data dump. Lot’s of material, but not put together in an interesting way. It’s good to have the resource, but…. Better was Vampire Forensics, and reviewing In Search of Dracula- the updated edition from ’94 is much better than the original in the ’70s, when it made the pitch for Dracula being Vlad Tepes. I liked the point that most of what we know about him as a murderous psychopath is from German pamphlets, put out by Catholics he’d run out of the country (in favor of the Orthodox Church) trying to drum up support to go try and take the country back. Anyway, done with the reading (except for the body farm books, which is what I thought was going to be in Vampire Forensics). I am looking through Spook and Stiff again, but feel satisfied with what I’ve got to work with at this point.
I got a book from England called Wilding, about some people who decided to turn their failing farm back over to nature and see what happened. This covers from 2000 to this year, and shows how the environment is better at fixing itself than people are. I knew, for example, that oaks got to be old, but didn’t realize that 900-1000 years was possible, and that the hollowing out part in the last centuries is important and valuable. Also, apparently when they get huge they tend to put down a limb or two that helps support the crown. Since humans want trees to look like lollypops, people will cut those off- and the tree can split because it lacks its natural support. Who’d have thought? They’ve introduced major fauna like roe, red and fallow deer, and wild ponies, but smaller wildlife is coming back impressively. I keep thinking of people I want to loan this to as soon as I’ve finished. It’s a wonderful book.
Send good thoughts that Peripigelium will return. Cat’s do, and my Kat is very distressed. Until next week,
Be good, be happy.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. Edmund Burke
Thursday 24 Asparagus Day, Tiara Day, Scavenger Hunt Day, Brother’s Day
Friday 25 Geek Pride/Towel Day, Wine Day, Wig Out Day, Don’t Fry Day
Saturday 26 Blueberry Cheesecake Day, Cherry Dessert Day, Jazz Day, Grey Day
Sunday 27 Grape Popsicle Day, Cello Tape Day, Neighbor Day, Player Piano Day
Monday 28 Hamburger Day, Brisket Day, Memorial Day, Amnesty International Day
Tuesday 28 Coq au Vin Day, Biscuit Day, Put a Pillow on your Fridge Day
Wednesday 30 Mint Julep Day, Water a Flower Day, Creativity Day,