6/1/2016 National Candy Month

DSC02558It feels like summer around here. I suppose that’s hardly surprising, as the way I remember it (which could be wrong) school ended the first week of June, and we moved out to the lake then. It kept creeping later in the month. We have lots of flowers this year, although I have no food in yet (except some lettuces). The nasturtium are gorgeous, as are the pansies, chives and the iris have come out. There’s a surprise lilac (looks different from the others) in the side area which has just started blooming, although the others are now passed. Oddly, the lilies of the valley seem to have simply dried out- they look as if they are still blooming, but they are crisp and odorless. I’m not sure why. We have a few stock and Sweet William from previous years, but they are not particularly vigorous. I guess they need fertilizer or something. I know so little about flowers, but they make me smile.
The lilac were at their height up in Canaan this weekend. I love the progression of seasons. I have been enjoying doing a wash in the morning and putting it on the line. We’ve discovered that if we put bleach on the bedding, it can give Kat a rash. I think something she’s taking is making her more sensitive to everything. She’s never done well with the heat, but this week she’s been very badly affected by it. In previous years she’s just switched her schedule to working at night when it’s cool, but that doesn’t work so well with trying to eat meals with us, go on errands, to doctor’s appointments, etc. while on “night shift”. She opted not to come with us up the A Sacred Place this weekend, but although we reminded John to remember to make sure she ate (as Willow and I do) this became Ramen after 10 pm, and Willow wen’t back home to be there for her (and she got to sleep in her own bed- new cot or not, she didn’t sleep well in the tent Friday night).
They both came up and helped me break down the tent on Monday, which was good because it is much more efficient with the three of us. They tell me that while I was gone our neighbors had a rather loud Memorial Day party, so they went out to take advantage of the sale at JoAnn’s. I felt a bit badly because both Mark and Steve had asked what we were up to this weekend, and I had to tell them I was off teaching. I also feel like I missed something. I DID miss going up to help Liz open camp since the repairs delayed that project. I’m going to try to reschedule.  Liz is waiting for the estimates to come in so we can get the camp floor fixed. Kitty would like to replace the shower, but the floor has to get fixed first, and now if the fixers have jobs to do, they won’t get to it until mid-summer, or maybe fall. It’s going to be expensive, but you can’t let rot spread.
After the front section of our house got hit by the car it might have been fine if we’d been home and jacked it back up onto the foundations, but since we weren’t there for days, the beams cracked, and it had to be rebuilt. I wouldn’t dare let this go. I’m sure I’ll tell you more when I know it. Luckily, we are all as cheap as people can get, so I’m sure we’ll find the most frugal way to deal with it.

The big excitement this week was going to A Sacred Place Beltaine. There are so many wonderful things going on Memorial Day weekend: Rites of Spring, Panteria, ASP Beltaine, I always feel spoiled for choices. This year I chose ASP as I hadn’t been there lately. (When they had a ducky themed event I sort of cringed. This particular bunch of neo-pagans are good at not taking themselves too seriously, but a certain level of silliness worries me. It turns out that it’s nothing more ominous than a fund raising duck race in their stream with the multitudinous varieties of duckies that are available these days. Although I told myself I was NOT going to join in, when Mike came by with the box of ducks and we did the “Wanna buy a duck?” “A duck?” “a duck” “does it quack?” “of course it quacks” routine. Knowing an in-joke makes me feel good. I chose a dead duck with fangs, and one that had clearly had had an autopsy. ASP is a good cause.) Shema hopes to build some small cabins for the increasingly aging population, because some of us are pushing the limits of our ability to camp.
I, of course, was in Ketil, our beautiful Panther Pavilion, and slept in comfort. That is, after we went out and bought an inflator for my mattress. We couldn’t find the battery powered one, and I had put the car inflator under the seat and we didn’t find it until we tried to put the replacement there. oops. Also, having gotten up there and set up the tent, we had a need for a bit of air conditioning. I got rather dehydrated- I think it was in the 90s most of the day. Willow had had a doctors appointment earlier, then we came back hooked up the trailer and headed north. I was wiped out, and so was Willow.
Then we got a call from Kat who wasn’t doing well. She’d been really having a hard time in the heat, and opted not to come to Beltaine, but even home, she seems to have not eaten regularly enough or something. Willow decided to go down in the morning- to support Kat, and to sleep in her own bed. She really doesn’t like camping! They seem to have done OK, providing mutual aid. Then they came up together on Monday, and helped me break down the tent. But I get ahead of myself.
I did two classes- palmistry Saturday morning and Energy healing Monday morning. I’d decided to do the palmistry because I’d been talking about it with Susan Cote who’s the Cunningwoman I’m studying with, and she was coming- but she didn’t make it, oh well. There was confusion about the healing class- some places it said Runic healing, some places it said Dynamind, so I covered both because the people who had shown up had seen both. No problem! Fall back two steps and punt.
Willow hung around until after my first class to watch the shop, and after that I was alone- a bit sad that I couldn’t get to other people’s classes, but happy Willow could be there for Kat. Then a couple of the other speakers came over and did their classes IN my tent- Sha’s how to see Aura’s, and Jason’s Spirit’s as friends. The point of that was that people shouldn’t expect other beings to do them favors if they hadn’t already established a positive relationship. People do that. They look up gods and goddesses in correspondence charts and then petition them for help based on that. I think it’s because sometime people think of them not as living beings, but as symbolic archetypes. I’m not sure why or how they think an archetype would do them a favor.  It occurred to me during that one, that maybe in the modern world people are treating their “friends” that way too. They identify them as “this one’s for partying” “this is my wingman” “this is my boink buddy” “this is the one I call when I’m in trouble” “this one will listen to my problems”. This would account for why they don’t seem to have good friends. A friend is som?, Mike, Jenna, Ray at Beltane- Cassie in backeone you care about- a lot.  I tried to explain the concept of kith. You have probably heard the phrase “kith and kin”. Kith are people you know and like but aren’t related to. Since I get along with my family, I resent when people seem to chuck theirs into the trash bin and “pick” a new one. Those a friends, and friends are wonderful, but they aren’t family!
Anyway, I did get to hear some classes. I made some sales, and in between I got to chat with the others over in the merchant area- especially Sha, Tracy (the labyrinth lady), and her husband Ray, Jenna Green (the singer), and Kim- a lady I met this weekend, and I may have lured down to CTCW.Jenna in night labyrinth

One of the workshops was labyrinth building, and before night fell, Tracy put one up with luminaria (I think colored glow-sticks in the bags). It was gorgeous- and Jenna played her harp in the center!

They picked a “king and queen” at the opening, and there was a “sacred drama” just before the maypole. I sat that one out. In my view, Maypoles are a fertility thing, and I am now firmly a Crone. Lyrion did it with Stone’s help. I was surprised to see her work with someone besides Raven, but he seems to have had a nasty allergic reaction- and was thus freed up to take these pictures. Since I forgot my camera, I was pleased to see these on facebook.

So I sat and chatted with friends. Oh, my it was hot! I worked VERY hard on Saturday to avoid getting dehydrated again. I think I drank about a gallon and a half of selzer! Mostly I ate cheese popcorn. I’d brought a bag of food, but just didn’t get to anything but the german potato salad. In the heat they made a home-made slip and slide, and when Jess came by and gave me a lovely cool hug, I remembered my Pennsic training, and after that kept myself wet down. Willow had left me one of her gauze dresses, and I opted not to over heat rather than preserve my dignity. Luckily, Sunday was cooler! We were between Stone and Zoe (who gave me cookies), and Bear and Brian, and across from Beth and Cassie. Deb and Rob came by briefly, but he’d gone LARPing rather than to ASP. But there was a lot of wonderful, relaxed chatting. One sample of cool conversation was when Kim (a native american) was talking about the medicine wheel and Tracy asked her a question based on her studies of labyrinths, and I talked about the associations of elements with directions. It was wonderful!      Beltaine ASP Maypole 16   Sunday night after the May Pole ritual, there was a feast, and more singing (Mike and Jenna had sung Saturday night) and they had a belly dancer- which I also didn’t watch. Mostly I sat and knit and let people come to me. By the end of the weekend the shawl I’ve been working on looked big enough and I finished it off while watching Westerns and frankly, vegging out after the weekend. Sun can really take it out of you. It’s cooler today, and I am enjoying it!
This finer yarn (polyester though it is) worked up nicely and used a lot less than I expected. I will either make another or turn it into a “poncho” type shawl. If there’s still more, I’ll add fringe.

DSC02564I watched True Grit, and the more recent remake, as well as Rooster Cogburn. I get the impression that maybe the new one may have been closer to the book, putting in bits the other one left out that the remakers preferred… but I probably won’t get to reading it. I liked some of them, but by and large, the first was a better movie. It’s not surprising that they did the sequel, and I enjoyed the interaction between Wayne and Hepburn. I loved the portrayal of people who developed a genuine love for each other, without feeling a need to have a romantic relationship, since they also irritated each other and had other things to do with their lives. It’s a bit hard to watch so many John Wayne movies so close together without having the characters begin to blend. I keep thinking Cogburn will end up like the Shootist, but they’re different. I like Cowboys, the one with a Wayne in his 60s doing a cattle drive with 13-15 year old kids. I don’t think people give young people enough credit for what they can do and have learned these days. Certainly anyone my age knows how much more the average kid knows about computers that I don’t. (Perhaps I expect to understand how everything works, and should just know how to work it.) On the other hand, in Cowboys both the boss and one of the boys got killed. Not that they couldn’t as easily have died at home from diphtheria or some other accident. There were certainly enough ways to die then (as now).
I finished reading Native American Religions, but although I’ve started a few other books haven’t gotten far into any. I’m gearing up for writing my Pennsic classes/booklets, and also looking forward to some fiction- I’ve just got Kurtz’ latest Deryni trilogy from the library. It makes me want to go back and read all (or many) of the previous Deryni books. I also have been skimming folklore and history encyclopedias. I don’t understand how people can not be fascinated by all the cool stuff that’s available to learn about. I totally get not wanting to study stuff OTHER people want you to know, but once you can decide for yourself- it’s all good!

I debated whether to mention the boy who fell in the gorilla enclosure- and decided that since my model here is what I’d talk about if we were sitting and chatting, I’d probably mention it because the pettiness bugs me. Clearly the people commenting on it are freed of their inhibitions by the anonymity of the internet. For one thing, people who have children should know that they get away occasionally. You wouldn’t have lost children stories if they didn’t. I still remember when I was “lost” in the Washington Zoo when I was six. I was standing in front of (I think it was a penguin display) talking over my shoulder to people I thought were there, and eventually I shut up long enough to notice that I wasn’t getting answered, and realized that I was alone. I don’t think I was really scared until a stranger asked me if I were lost, because that could mean that I would be taken from where I was, and make it harder for my family to find me. Luckily Aunt Amanda came along just then and saved me from that, for which I have been forever grateful. Even with multiple adults watching kids, they can “get away” (and I was holding still!). The internet is full of images of kids with their heads stuck between railings that they shouldn’t have been able to get through; so don’t fault the design of the enclosure. The staff was willing to kill a beloved endangered animal to save the boy in case the gorilla did something unexpected  and accidentally hurt the child. There is no fault here, only tragedy. Given how judgmental I am, you’d think I’d accept it better in others, but I don’t. Maybe as I continue to age, I’ll mellow out more. It would be nice to hope for.

Sorry about being late. I’ve been trying to get to bed earlier (it’s hard) but I’d like to be on a more “daylight” schedule.  So when I didn’t finish Wednesday before the Podcast (it was about Pop Culture Magick) I did the holiday posting, and went to bed before midnight. Then today I spent the day socializing with Mark, who brought dinner over again. (aren’t I a social butterfly!)
Until next week, wishing you good weather, good conversations and good health!

“Being around you pleases me.” Rooster Cogburn to Eula Goodnight
I cannot think of a better description of love.