Hi August 28 / September 4, 2019
I will start with apologizing for not writing last week, but in truth, there wasn’t anything to write about. I have a few things to mention this week. But perhaps I should have just written for the same reason people always wrote letters, to express affection. To let you know, even if it’s electronically, even if I’m saying it to many people at once, that I do care about you, and would like to be able to actually sit down and talk to you every week, even though we are separated by a lot of miles, and my increasing lack of getting out. One of my friends, Brian, is going through the loss of his father right now, which, of course reminds me not only of my parents deaths, but all the people I know who’ve died, and I hate it. It makes me feel like I’m not spending enough time with each of you.
It’s cooling down! Not too much yet, but it’s not too hot either! I don’t always need to have the fan aimed at the bed to sleep, and that’s nice. We still have a fan sucking cooler air into the house at night- sadly the other night it carried the scent of irritated skunk along with it, and it took me too long to think of turning it off. The most evident flower in the back yard is the goldenrod, although the knotweed is blooming as well. The Queen Anne’s lace are passing, but I really admire the way that the phlox are holding up. I get why they were a popular garden flower.
Today we had some thunderstorms, possibly just “end of summer” weather, maybe the edges of Dorian.
I’m trying to encourage Gretel to come out of Kat’s room. I have no idea why Zoloft dislikes her, but she can’t hide in there forever! On the other hand, even with the door open, she hasn’t ventured out. She looks at the open door occasionally, but doesn’t venture forth. Zoloft does go in, and Gretel hides, but I toss her out and give Gretel a chance to come out and eat. Why are all our cats crazy?
The girls are off at the camp in Maine this week with Joanie and Raye, resting. That’s really what they needed. I hope it helps recharge their social/energy batteries. Willow has described this summer as having ‘kicked our butts’, and she’s about right. I signed up for the first blood drive in several months, I finally feel well enough to donated again. They mention hurricanes, but they always need blood.
In all honesty, most of what I did last week was read, in bed, at the table, where-ever. As I mentioned Steve recommended the Wicked Witches of the Midwest series to me when he was up a couple of weeks ago, and it’s a fun series. I am now on the 10th book, or 15th if you fold in the “shorts” and “ fantasy” books. The main series occasionally mentions something that happened in them, and I feel the need to drop the one I’m reading and go find the short to fill in the missing bits. I want things to unfold chronologically!
Like the Haunting Danielle series, the characters (unless they die) continue, so I feel like I know the community, which is nice. The Winchester family are argumentative, but love each other, which I can relate to. I think you have to be confident about loving your family to be able to tease and push buttons and challenge them. If you don’t dare argue in case it causes a rift, I don’t think the bond is strong enough. But it’s hard to be there for each other when we live so far apart. It’s easier to show up to help clean or finish a project, help when they’re sick or watch kids when you’re in the same town. It’s a lot harder to do that when we’ve chased employment (or to be positive- chased dreams) across the country. As much as you want to, you can’t just take over their favorite food and sit and let them blow off steam or do their laundry for them so they can do what they need to do. Maybe this is why people refer to their close friends as “family”, because they are close enough to do that for them. It’s not the “fun times” that build friendship, it’s the showing up when help is needed, working together for common goals. I have no idea where the “recreational” friendship idea came from.
So that’s what I did for about a week, and I don’t regret it much. I do wonder a bit if I’m “depressed”. Low energy and lack of motivation seems to me to simply mean that I am not psyched to do dishes, sweep, do laundry, run errands, schedule events, etc., whereas if I had a project that excited me, I’d get to it. Have you heard the terms “procrasti-baking” or “Pro-craft-inating”? That’s when you bake or do crafts rather than getting to what you are “supposed to” be doing. Sadly, as with driving after dark cutting off a lot of social activities, my gradual loss of hearing, sight, strength, stamina, etc. result in eliminating a lot of the things I used to love to do. I can still do art I can sit down for, but not paintings that require me to stand for a couple of hours. If I have to go up to the attic to get fabric, I’m liable to put off sewing.
Speaking of avoiding going up and down the stairs… John and I just discovered that the freezer has been off for … we’re not sure how long. Long enough that while it’s still cold, the food in it is not frozen. Tomorrow we’ll be going through and probably chucking just about everything. I smelled something “off” when I got back Monday, and thought some of the onions in the bin had gone over. Now I’m thinking it’s the stuff in the freezer. A friend says that if ice builds up around the condenser they can turn off, and that sounds likely. Oh well. It’s embarrassing to know that a problem is totally because you weren’t keeping up on your house keeping duties. And, I haven’t really gone through that freezer since I had Lyme- and that was three (or four?) years ago, so probably nothing we’ve lost recently was really edible anyway. Pity. Since I have been reminded that I don’t go down there much anymore, I am going to have to institute an inventory keeping system for it when we put new food in again.
I’ve been corresponding with Raven and Josh about their coming up here in October, after Cricket’s wedding, to help me organize my books and reclaim the library. What is the use of having a magnificent library if you can’t find the books you want when you want them? Writing papers (and books) is something I am still physically able to do. I may have misphasia and aphasia, and sadly know a lot of stuff that I have no idea what book I got it in, since I may have read it forty years ago, but I still know a lot, and people seem to want to hear about it. I have to admit that since the books I read (at least in the history area) tend to be academic, that’s my target. Not target audience, but that’s how useful and well supported I feel any book I write should be. I feel badly that I’m not reading primary sources in dead languages, and doing studies. Then I read something in the occult field and realize that mostly what that audience wants is experience, and I suppose I’ve got some of that.
So the big event of the week was going to Harpers- by myself. The trip to the lake had to be scheduled between everyone’s doctors appointments, so this Sunday through Friday was when they could go. I suddenly realized mid-week last week that that meant the girls wouldn’t be going to Harpers with me. I’d signed up for teaching a couple of classes, and Kat was planning on taking the Gold Key stuff, but since the camp where it’s been held the past few years is only an hour’s drive away, we tend to day-trip, avoiding having to pack tent, bedding, food, cooking stuff, etc. Since I don’t drive after dark, and Willow wasn’t going to be there, that meant staying the weekend (not a hardship, as they have cabins), but I’d missed getting on the food plan. I did get a bunk space, so all I needed was my garb, my class notes, my bedding, and some food. And the gold Key bins. Kat went through them and discovered that they were pretty scrambled (we’d loaned it to a theater group earlier this summer), but worse- the clothing rack was missing the little plastic bits that hold them metal poles together! Willow bought another one on her way home Thursday. This one folds so there is nothing to lose. That should help. But the bins did pretty well fill up the car. Good thing I didn’t have much to take.
I was a bit nervous, I’m still in the car Gary loaned me, and the check engine light went on. Oh, no! Did I break a borrowed car? I took it (and a pie) over and they checked it out, and said it was OK to drive that far. What a relief! I don’t think that was procrasti-baking. I have to give them something for being so nice, and baking is something I do well. I’ll admit that I do enjoy it, and it’s a great relief to have it cool enough to bake again.
So Friday I headed out alone- which felt weird, and got there by sunset. I was in a cabin with a pair of Canadian ladies who arrived late, and another two women I didn’t know, Elaine and Margarite. We chatted for hours, and it was lovely. There was also Jay, another merchant, who, like me was not selling this event, and I think Fiongalla (who was running gate late and early, so I didn’t really see her. I did get into the feast, which meant one less meal to eat by myself. (I nibbled cheese, jerky, nuts, etc. through the weekend.) Sadly, Saturday I discovered that I had forgotten my chair, and any belt, and I’d grabbed the class notes and hand-outs from last year’s classes, not this years! Without something to do (I’m used to having people come see me at Cabochons tent, I was feeling at loose ends, not to mention without a belt, I couldn’t wear my purse, chatelaine or knife! So after setting up the Gold Key tent, I drove back to get them, and got to bid farewell to the girls again. I also grabbed a tray of necklaces and a folding table so I could sit with the vendors as I’m used to doing. Thorri was kind enough to offer me a place to put the table by her. I also grabbed my Lyre- it is Harpers after all. That errand meant I missed a couple of classes I’d have liked to attend, but I really wanted the belt chair- and especially the notes! I did get a chance to see the “glow in the dark” Bocce game Friday night, which was fun.
When I got back I set up by Thorri, but shortly went over to Court, where I got to see Kris Spinster get her Silver Crescent (I still think she should have a Laurel), and Albreda get her Laurel. (Remembering that I had forgotten to finish and bring her the leaf for her cloak. Very cleverly, she allowed many of her friends to embroider leaves for her cloak so she has many mementos of affection. I also loved seeing her family watch her work and skill being recognized, and it was my favorite bit of the weekend. I also liked that as a variation on the oath of fealty, Albreda made an oath to the populace, challenging all to fix the problems in the SCA, as a weaver fixes problems in her weaving. It was very dramatic, and I loved it.
One note on the court- during the “welcome your new Companion” part where the dozens of people in the order hug the new member the queen had someone with a beautiful voice singing, which was nice.
The feast was incredible, I have rarely had one where so much of the food was good and plentiful. It’s hardly surprising that the gentle who made it got a Pelican the next day (he also builds siege weapons and does a lot of other stuff- but cleverly, his “cap of maintenance” was in the usual Order of the Pelican colors of red with an ermine band, but shaped like a modern chefs hat. It included generous portions of roast beef, lamb, and chicken, with many side dishes including a marvelous chick pea dish and mushroom pie. Dessert was Cheesecake with strawberries and Spanish Drinking Chocolate. Best of all, in my opinion, was that he posted not simply the ingredients for the allergic, but also the recipes. I got to set with Megan and Claus, Freya and Eric, and Dikran. There were two other gentles at first, but they left. (I fear the noise drove them away. It was VERY hard to hear even what was said by the person next to you. The acoustics in that hall are sad.)
I stayed for the beginning of the bardic, when the children competed, but was tired, and went to bed before most of the singing. Luckily there was singing in the camp next to me.
Sunday I got a slow start (breakfasted on leftover mushroom pie!) I’d only just gotten down to Thorri’s when it was time for me to go teach Ghosts (11 am). That let to conversation from 12-1, when it was time to teach Witches until 2. After that class I went up to Serenity camp and we talked about Runes until 4 (I worked on my rune sticks). I thought court was at 4, but they were still setting up- in the hall, and Fiongalla warned me rain was coming, and helped me break down the GK except for the bags for returns. I also decided to leave the pop-up over the bags so they wouldn’t get sodden for the trip home. At court, as well as the Pelican (sorry, I don’t remember the lord’s name), Kiaya (Keziah) was given a Queen’s Order of Courtesy, and Gideon (Iddo) and Rose Strangways were made Tygers cubs. Also Astridr and Alric got Silver Wheels, which was complicated by having each of them make the badge for the other (they’re married, and usually work together), but because of the SCA tradition of keeping awards sooo secret, each of them had to hide their works in progress from the other which slowed it down and drove them nuts. Ha ha, very funny. Not.
Some aspects of court are good, some not so much. One thing they do recently (the last few years) is there’s a chest full of toys, and the king sends some poor sap out carrying it while the children (“Velociraptors of the East”) chase him down, lay ambushes, and when they finally catch him, can each have a toy. This court I noticed the queen giving a special favor to the one who’d just gotten back in, panting: a ribbon that said “I survived the Chest Run” or something like that. At least it keeps the kids amused while the adults watch courts.
After court, I’d gotten back up as far as Thorri’s and one of the gentles I’d been talking to earlier came to get me- I’d been invited to Serenity for dinner. It was another feast! The core was roast pork, that I’d observed over the fire during the day, and dozens of other dishes. It reminds me of when I was cooking for a large household, and they were all so pleasant and witty. Sadly, I think I actually fell asleep a couple of times during court, so, as the night before, I headed to bed nearly as soon as it got dark. Then my cabin mates arrived and we talked for a couple of hours, but it’s all good.
In the morning I bundled up my bedding and got the car, rearranged the gold key bins and tucked my stuff in. It was still early enough that I had time to go visit Megan and Claus in their RV. Apparently they’ve found a place that will deliver RVs to wherever you want (“in the world”) so they have bedroom, bath, kitchen, and everything wherever they want. That’s how they got to go to GNEW and Harpers. She told me about the operation she had earlier this summer. Although she’d given them all the important information on Mitochondrial Myopathy they’d ignored it, and mid-operation called Dr. Quirbach who was QUITE put out, because if they’d paid attention they wouldn’t have had the surprises they did, and have to go in for another operation a couple days later. She is amazingly forgiving considering they had to bring her back a few times. They are still planning on going over to Venice in a couple of weeks. What an amazing woman!
When I got back home, John helped me unload, and as I said, I have vegged as much as I hope the girls are doing up at the lake. I discovered the new Haunting Danielle book had arrived in my kindle and I read that Monday and Tuesday morning. I watched a Transformers movie with King Arthur and knights and dragons with John. Let’s face it, I am not using my brain much these days.
I am actively avoiding looking at politics. When I do it makes me queezy. I will do my duty and vote, and try to stay informed, but I am so angry at greedy people manipulating the government for gain. I am also SO sick of “polls” that are really request for donations in disguise! Ask for money, fine, but don’t pretend you’re doing a poll that is phrased to get you excited for the democrats (I assume republicans do the same) and then ask for donations.
I do want to mention that during the summer our road crews have repaved most of the roads in town that I drive over, and I’m loving it! Good job guys!
If I do anything this week, I will write again.