3/12/14: Happy Bubble Week!

Dear Folks,                            March 12, 2014
It continues to be cold, fronts are passing through, and causing havoc with our moods and joints! Yesterday the water in the glass was so high that it was nearly spilling, today the water in the neck is way below the level in the belly. Have I just not paid enough attention to it in the past? Today it’s raining, although in theory Winter Storm Vulcan is on its way, and we’ll get another foot of snow. When we’ve gone out we have been able to admire the nicely banked berms on the side of the road- very square now, and getting dark as the snow melts. (Forecasts put us in the band of 6″ of snow and significant icing. I daresay I’ll mention it next week!)
We all seem to be on edge- especially the cats. Peripigelium is actually attacking Zoloft several times a day. Humans are doing a lot of screaming then apologizing. I am blaming the craziness in the up and down barometric pressure. On the other hand, the medicine seems to be working, Smokey’s eye is looking much better, and he’s getting very phlegmatic about having the drops put in. DSC01031

Friday I went out to the School District meeting, it was rather a big deal this year. If you know Lyndeboro’, you know that when we moved here the grammar school was a four room school house, and in the 30 some years since we’ve expanded it adding more rooms, a library, multipurpose room (big  room the kids can eat lunch in, or do bad weather gym), office, storage and parking. If you’ve known us a long time, you may remember that John went to school in Wilton because they thought he’d do better there. It was his first grade class that had three Johns, so one was designated John, one Johnny, and one Jonathan (I’m surprised they didn’t ask him to use Alva- or maybe they did). Florence Rydout Elementary is one of those big old brick schools not unlike the one I went to. Mostly what I remember, other than the bussing, was the gymnasium which had such horrible acoustics that they couldn’t drag him (physically couldn’t) into it, and I felt the same way whenever we went to a show there. I understand other teams who came to play there hated it too. The physical plant is awful, and has been awful. The kids there have to either bring short sleeved shirts or wear their coats because the heating system is so bad. But, as with most towns, they’ve been putting the repairs off. Wilton and Lyndeboro’ are the whole School District, two grammar schools and a shared Cooperative High School. Also apparently in an austerity measure, they decided to have a single principal for both grammar schools.
This year they had us vote on their new scheme: Rebuild Florence Rydout and combine all the students from both schools there. Swell. Bus our first through sixth grade kids over to Wilton. Oh joy. But it won’t cost us money, oh no! We’ll be able to pay for the whole project with the savings seen by reducing staff. (In other words, can our teachers! As you might guess, this was a big deal and the turnout was high. The measure had to have a two thirds majority to win, and it won by 67.2 percent. Given that there were 345 people voting, I have to wonder if Willow and Kat had made it there in time, if it would have passed. If not, I bet they’d have called for a recount. And if they didn’t get it, they’d have just tried again next year. We will, of course, make the best of it, and I’m sure there will be some good things that come of it, but I am sorry for our kids and teachers.
Oh yeah, they promised they had no intention of closing our school! Right, it’s going to hold (wait for it) the Kindergarten. That and the offices for the superintendent for our three (really two) schools. Disingenuous at best.
The reason that Kat and Willow weren’t there was because baronial Curia was the same night and they had to go to that. (Kat had to report on how Birka went for Gold Key.) Because this Curia was in Derry, and we have to either go up to Manchester and south or to Nashua and then north (“not enough” bridges across the river) they couldn’t get back in time, even though they had to keep the poll open for an hour. Sadly, I didn’t know anyone from Lyndeboro to call, and figured that the people I knew in Wilton would vote for the school consolidation. It was THAT close. But it’s done now.
Yesterday we went out to vote in the town elections. They were in Citizens Hall because the pipes in the town hall burst this winter. It was probably the most boring ballot I’ve seen, only one option for each slot. I felt sorry for the people running the polling place. I have no idea if they were able to sell the peanut butter cookies I made for the fund raiser (gotta pay for that renovation somehow).
Funny story about that. While I was posting “today’s holidays” (something I do on facebook every day- one of these days I’m going to give up on it, but as long as people keep saying they enjoy it…) I noticed that Tuesday was traditional Town Voting Day, and checking on Lyndeboro’, was reminded about our doing it. So I quickly whipped up a batch of traditional cookies, gathered up the kids by quoting 1776 “It’s your duty dammit!” and headed for Citizens Hall. Luckily Willow asked “isn’t voting usually Tuesdays?”  so we turned around and went back home for 24 hours. I may have been feeling a bit guilty. The Lyndeboro Women’s Group was doing a dinner for some church, and I’d promised to bring them a dessert on Sunday and totally spaced it.
What did I do instead? I’ve spent a whole lot of time working on the CTCW website this week. A lot. We’re trying to move over from Jane and I do everything, to a committee sharing the work, which somehow translates into me trying to get everything to a point where it will run itself (except for the stuff that only Jane and I can do, like finding speakers).
Tonight’s New Normal show went well. Rob Nolan talked about Ecology of the Spiritual. You know how if you bug bomb your house to get rid of ants or something, all the pests that they were keeping at bay invade, or when you have anti-biotics you also kill the good bacteria? He talked about how if you smudge, you may drive off spirits you want to keep around- friendly spirits. Also even some that are creepy feeling may have a good effect, often there’s something in the cellar that feels bad, but what it does is eat the negative feelings in an inhabited house, and if you drive it out, they have no where to go and just fester. So it’s like a compost heap, you want one, just not in the living room.

The best thing that happened this week is that after about a month of her fingers getting progressively number, Willow broke down and went to the doctor. Since her experience of being diagnosed with CFS which meant lots and lots of tests and a diagnosis of exclusion for a condition that can’t be treated, she tends to view the medical establishment as a dark hole into which you pour your time, money and comfort and it only occasionally can help. So she resists going. I’ll admit that in the past when she’s taken a concern to a doctor more often than not they say “we don’t know”, which is, at least, honest, if not very useful, and is usually followed up with “that’ll be $75” (or more if there are inconclusive tests). But this time after about one minute of describing her symptoms, he knew exactly what was wrong and knew what to do about it, and even how it happened. It’s medial epichonditius. The give away was that it was her outer two fingers numb, not the thumb and first two. Apparently the bits between the nerve that goes to the outside part of your hand is inflamed (medial is how they designate the outer part of the arm, epi means near, chondria is the connective tissue, and itis is inflamation.) Why did it happen? because when she sleeps she tucks her hands under her chin like a cherub, or what she calls “kitty paw”. The treatment is oral steroids, and splinting her arm when she goes to sleep so that she can’t bend it while she’s asleep. This should allow the inflammation to go down, and she’ll be all better.
So far there hasn’t been any real improvement, but we didn’t really expect (although we hoped) it this soon. They gave her a month’s supply of pills. Sadly, he said the ones that worked better are the 4 times a day ones, but the 1 time a day ones were available in generic. oh well. I have now become rather aware of tucking MY hands under my chin in my sleep sometime. Anyway, it’s good news, and we’re happy about that.
At this point it doesn’t look like she’s going to get a call telling her that she’s gotten into Anime Boston Artist’s Alley (she only got on the waiting list this year). She’s thinking about just going down and attending.

What else has happened? Well, the easy pass gadget that disappeared last year right before Pennsic reappeared. Sitting on the floor of the car right between the front seats. Go fig. I guess it does say something about how boring life is just now if that’s a big deal.
The Girl Scout Cookies came in, and that felt like a big deal. We got ten boxes- some went into the freezer, and some are lovely tea time snacks.
We’ve been passing around the usual “Why Day Light Saving Time Stinks” posts. I’ve even heard someone suggest it be made year `round. Excuse me? If it’s year `round, what’s the difference between that and standard time (except that we don’t have to shift)? DSC01032

This week I’ve continued my scattergun reading, mostly I think on Fairy Tales, I really think we need Fairy Tales for how to cope with Aging for us baby boomers. The problem is, that I have questions, but no answers. I cannot deny that I am still learning cool stuff every day, but aside from learning things, the rest is down hill. Even through middle of life you can maintain the theory that if you’d just work at it, you could get back in shape. When you’re old, you know better. You’re slower, weaker, less dextrous, probably poorer, have a harder time thinking and remembering stuff,  and your friends and loved ones are dying off, and the world you spent so long learning about is changing. You have to give up the expectation that things will keep getting better and try to cling to the idea that maybe you’ll die before everything goes totally to compost. Fairy Tales, while couching the problems of adulthood in the guise of monsters and witches and fairies and kings still teach kids that even if you’re small, and have no status you can probably outwit the monsters, if you’re kind you can win over your more favored sibs, and even if you’re poor if you work hard you can make it. I expect that Fairy Tales for elders would still suggest that the way to deal is to be kind, clever, and get by with a little help from your friends, but I am not sure how to craft the stories.
One thing I’m sure of, is that having read a lot of fairy tales recently, there are good ones, and there are ones that have all the trappings, but none of the power. We need the power to have them work the way the originals did.
This week I have been watching the Teaching Company course: The everyday gourmet : rediscovering the lost art of cooking. I prefer audio courses, but I can look up when I hear something go by that I don’t know on this one, and I’ve caught a few tricks, so far. Mostly it’s inspiring. I made a wonderful stir-fry the other day with teeny tiny mushrooms, and a lovely turkey a là king that was so good I made a chicken a là king the other night.
I watched a really LAME movie Be kind rewind. Take my warning, don’t waste your time. I also watched Redwall. The adventure begins which I remember from back when Ælfwine was in the hospital. It is as charming as I remembered. In my netflix cue I got The Family, a story about a family of probably sociopathic mobsters in Witness Protection. Robert de Niro really has developed into quite a comedic talent. While these people are creepy, their affection for each other and the massive odds that they are facing (with the help of Tommy Lee Jones) makes you root for them- or at least against the mobsters trying to kill them. Apparently Willow watched it on the plane when she went to Florida. That one I WILL recommend (although, not surprisingly, there is a LOT of violence and bad language).
I’d love to hear what you’re up to. I get some on facebook, living vicariously by watching friends children and grandchildren grow, their cats, their vacations, what they’re eating. This is the stuff of life and I love it.
Tchipakkan

“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less 
time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and 
respecting her seniority”. E. B. White (1899 – 1985)

To 3/19/14 Act Happy Week

3/5//2014          Celebrate your name Week

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