Dear Charlotte: March 5, 2014
Well, it’s snowing again. I suppose it’s not spring yet, and as I recall, we often have snow-storms around this time of year, so I guess it’s to be expected. I heard that there was supposed to be a major storm, but the frigid temperatures pushed it further south. Yesterday our weatherglass was so high it was beginning to come out the top (low pressure- a storm coming). We got some snow, but only about an inch or two. I heard a foot of snow in Washington. One thing about snow up here is that we have the infrastructure (plows) to deal with it. This year the roads are just in horrible shape though- lots of frost heaves, LOTS of potholes. (deep sigh)
My show last Wednesday (March 5th) did get on the air and get recorded. Charles and Fancy Butler were talking about the Orisha Tradition. Luckily it’s a rich subject and they know lots about it because while this time they actually let me on (whew!), about ten minutes in, the automated system gave me the five minute warning. Somehow it had been re-calibrated as a 15 minute show. While Charles and Fancy talked about the spirits of the Orisha’s and the churches of Voudon, Umbanda, Condomble, I was messaging back and forth with the producer trying to figure out how to stay on the air. Luckily, it kept recording, even though I got another message saying that “another show- the New Normal” was coming on at 8:30. I was afraid I’d have to sign out and in again, but we got lucky. I hope that’s the end of the hardware problems.
The two things that surprised me in that interview was that the Mambo told us that only two movies ever got it near right: The Serpent and the Rainbow, and Disney’s Princess and the Frog. The other thing was that Umbanda is open to people of all races, so it’s OK if white folk are attracted to it. That church was started as a Universalist tradition, open to blacks, whites, indians, mixed, everyone. Also, the spirits have given them the job of spreading this up here in North America. That’s actually consistent with what I’ve heard about other spirits and movements in the current times- spirits are making a huge push to get people to become more involved with spiritual stuff all over the world. Everyone I know in spiritual circles is agreeing about that.
Sadly, there was a bit of fallout in that being nervous about Blogtalk radio and LiveParanormal, I hadn’t been pushing to get new guests and only signed up tonight’s guest, Laura Schwalm-Anthony (we’ll be talking about Spiritual Evolution and the new Health Care Paradigm), late last night. Again, I’m feeling really lucky.
February finished and March began and I’m left wondering where the month went. Suddenly Thursday I realized that I’d borrowed Illusions II on my Kindle, and only had it until the 28th. Luckily, Richard Bach puts a lot of information in little books, so I did finish it. It told about the lessons he learned about creating our own reality after crashing his small plane. He is so direct about his spiritual lessons. I loved Jonathann Livingston Seagull when it came out. The thought that “you don’t need to believe you can fly, but you need to learn how” has always struck me as the core of paranormal abilities.
His discussions about his spirit life and his waking life feel so natural to me.
I got my eyes examined and the doctor asked why I’d come if I wasn’t getting my glasses or contacts updated, and I told him “because you sent me a card that it was time for my annual visit”. Apparently you can go a couple of years between checks with hard contacts. That piece of information cost me over an hundred dollars. Oh well.
Friday I dropped off the van at Winkles, and picked it up today. I had ‘semi’ passed inspection (got a clear sticker), their computer found some seals that needed replacing and apparently they’re in a bitchy place to change. They also tweaked the windshield wipers, and hood catch that have been driving us nuts. I love Winkles! They take care of my car. Part of the delay came from dropping it off in the afternoon not the morning. Willow had to bring me back and her car hadn’t been run for a month, (first because of her trip to florida, then because we figured “God had buried it in snow, he could clear it off”). Anyway, the battery had died, so it took it a while to get going again. Actually, she had to call AAA Monday, it had gone dead again. (I think we may have left the door slightly open after she did the errands. She called around and so many people told her that Triple A doesn’t gouge you on batteries that she bought one from them. Seems that hers was about four years old.
She’s actually been quite social recently, she and Avi had a BFF (Best Friends Forever) “Girl” day on Saturday, then Avi took her along to Manchester on Sunday to see if she would be a good match for a gaming group Avi’s in up there. (Her Monday Werewolf game may be breaking up.) Then Monday, she and “Evil”, another gaming friend, and Kat all went out to see the Lego Movie, and went to Denny’s afterward for snacks and talking. I’d heard good things about it, and they really liked it too. They said that it was like a movie written by a 10 year old- “in the good way” (I take that to mean fun and exciting).
I too have been rather social- Steve came up on Sunday for breakfast. We had ebelskiver (and bacon and sausage and quiche). I got a ebelskiver (pronounced apparently eebla ski wah) cookbook at Darkover, and have had a pan for years, but have never managed to make them as round as the pictures show them. After googling how to pronounce it, I watched a bit on Youtube to see how to make it, and it made a huge difference. One tool I’d never heard about was a knitting needle. First the cook used it to stop the drip when you put the batter in the depression. But then he used it to partially rotate the fritters in the pan a bit at a time, and that made a huge difference! They reminded me more of popovers than muffins, which is what I’d been thinking. Also the ones in the cookbook seem more muffin-like, but I’ll have to keep experimenting.
The kids mentioned a band they knew that was doing Cowboy Steampunk who were wondering what they should sing, and Willow had suggested “You shouldn’ta hadn’ta ought’nda swang on me”, and it turned out Steve had never seen The Great Race. Good heavens! The Greatest Pie Fight in the History of Hollywood? So we watched it. Steve is a very relaxing guest. The next day Gary Hudson/ Danamas Icarus came up. He’s selling his house and getting rid of a lot of things, and brought me a cauldron- the one that did the cooking at the famous Camelot event back in the early days of the bridge. (I remember- we day tripped because Diana was less than a month old, and no one had believed that there was a baby there because she didn’t cry.) He also gave me a gorgeous bedspread he’d actually woven back in the 90s, and also a piece of plaid wool he’d woven.
Yesterday was “Fat Tuesday” (Mardi-Gras/Fasching/Bursting Day/Pancake Tuesday/Shrovetide), so I made our usual fashing cakes/Paczki (jelly donuts). Having had such a wonderful experience with the ebelskiver, I watched a tutorial on Youtube and used their technique of pinching the edges around the jam, letting it rise again, then frying. Previously I’d tried putting the jam between two thinly rolled layers and pinching the edges, but it gave way and let the jam into the fat too often, so for the last two years we’ve been using a fat syringe to inject the jam into the cakes. I’m going back to that- two many of them came apart even though I’d let them sit and rise what seemed like long enough that the folds would grow together. Another learning experience.
Most of the morning we spent on the phone with tech support and FINALLY have the new HP printer on line. Yes, it’s faster, and yes, it does seem to be able to send the scans to any computer in the house, but it doesn’t do some of the other things the Brother used to do, and I’m frustrated. Oh well. I also don’t like talking to tech support.
I’ve been writing back and forth with Liz and Trish about the repairs on Dad’s house. Trish says the “drying” is done. I’d thought that the wallboard was going to be replaced. Perhaps the damage wasn’t as bad as I’d thought. I’d hoped to see before and after pictures, but Trish is not as compulsive as I am about keeping other people informed about anything they might care about.
This week I’ve been trying to work on the book cover- it’s taking much longer than I’d expected. Since I’m in the kitchen, I’ve been watching more movies. This week I got in a bunch of old classics.
Just about the only thing I knew about The Third Man was the theme- and by the end of the movie I was thoroughly sick of it! The action took place in post war Vienna, and a good part of it was actually in German. Mine got me by but I wondered how people who didn’t have any would follow the plot. The protagonist was an American and would have most important things translated for him, but it’s still got to be like being an autistic person being yelled at, to try to deal with everyone around you speaking a language you don’t understand. Having it be a police state, with multiple heads, only would add to the confusion. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t see the appeal of Orson Wells.
After the Thin Man might have been better if I’d seen the Thin Man. To me it was mostly a comedy of manners, I was fascinated to watch the way people were presented as acting back when my grandmother was a young woman. On the Waterfront surprised me. Now I understand the context around the complaint “I could’a been a contenda!” But I never knew about the real story of corrupt union heads, and the priest who’s challenged to get out of his church and stand up for his flock. It was difficult to see the casual sexism, and a level of violence that may- or may not- have been acceptable in that period.
I also watched two modern movies: Just Cause had Sean Connory playing a liberal lawyer defending a black man against the death penalty for killing a white girl. While well acted, it was still fairly forgettable. How to Deal was almost completely forgettable, a teen romance about how hard it is to dare to love when you’ve seen everyone else’s romances fail around you. I also have continued to watch Star Trek Voyager and am almost to the end of the second season. I wish I could always say the right thing the way Captain Janeway does.
I continue reading in my mixed way- I read a section each night from the Encyclopedia of Magic and Witchcraft, the 100 best Fantasy Books, Uses of Enchantment, Hunting, Harvesting and Home, Shaman’s, Mystics and Doctors (a book about mental health care in India, psychoanalysis vs. and combined with traditional treatments), and a fairy tale each day. I’ve also just started a series from the library that’s got both a book and a set of discs it’s on cooking. The first experiment was to hold your nose and eat a jelly bean- see if you can tell what flavor it is, then unplug your nose. It was really amazing. I could detect sweet and tart, but not what flavor until I could smell it! I expect I know a lot of the cooking techniques, but I expect I’ll also learn some stuff.
The last thing I will mention is that our family friend Bob Flick died today. This last month or so while he was so ill that there was no therapy, but not ill enough to send home to die, has been hard on the family. He was sent down from Maine to a medical center near Kitty’s house, so she took them in so they could be near to him. Finally a few days ago they sent him home and he died this morning. I’ll always remember Flick, he was bigger than life- his voice booming across the cove from their camp all the summers of my childhood- and adulthood whenever I got up there. I don’t know if I can really appreciate how my parents and their friends modeled how to have fun and be good friends to each other. It gave me the expectations that friends would always be there for you. That has been a great blessing.
Another friend has lost her mother in a house-fire a few days ago as well. Her friends are collecting money for the funeral. I find it incredibly sad that we have set up our culture so that when someone dies rather than having friends and neighbors gather around and help wash the body and dig the hole, and hold each other, instead we give our dead to professionals who charge enough even for minimalist services, it can financially cripple the survivors. This is very wrong in my opinion. Part of it may be that many of us have friends scattered across the country, not just the neighborhood, and that makes gathering difficult, but still, people should be able to care for their own basic needs. This reminds me of the towns that fine people for gardening, and arrest them for going off the grid. Even if self sufficiency isn’t the norm, it should not be criminalized.
Last trivia- an asteroid passed between the earth and the moon today.
Until next week. Stay in touch!
“When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.”