Sour Candy Day

The Queen Anne’s Lace is blooming, with daisies, and a few lilies; frankly the garden is awash with white.  The roses and mallows are past.  The herbs are profuse, but I’m not gathering them- and the brambles and knotweed are taking over.  It has been VERY hot, and it’s very green. The bugs have come inside this week. And I’ve learned a useful thing: leave on the overhead even though the kindle fire has an internal light. The bugs will fly around the brighter light and not crawl on the kindle and fly in my face.

Monday night and yesterday we got some good thunderstorms, which I enjoyed and Willow didn’t. Except for those days I’ve been getting good at putting in a load of laundry first thing in the morning, so I can hang it while the sun is coming from the east. Sometimes I lose track and have to hang it when the sun’s from the west, so I’ve found myself a big brimmed hat and stationed it by the back door to keep the setting sun out of my eyes when I’m putting wet (or dry) clothes up (or down). Ah the mysteries of laundry. How did a box of colored chalk end up in the laundry basket? Is that the cause of the yellow spots on the last black load (it looked more like egg yolk, and I know I haven’t had any of that). Mysteries!

We should have spent most of the past week at the Great Northeastern War, but the adventure got compressed. Willow had taken Thursday and Friday off, so we could get out by two or three (it was three), and do our packing beforehand. I was printing out handouts for four of the classes I was doing. The Great Northeastern is now well over a thousand attendees, and starts Thursday, so many people who can’t make Pennsic have taken this as their big SCA event for the summer. I’d signed up to teach five classes (one was on making rune sticks, so required no handouts), and running a meeting of the Soothsayers Guild, the girls had packed and arranged handwork. Willow was looking forward to giving the queen the parasol she’d painted, and there’s a “War Point” for donations to the Largess collection, so the Crown can give away stuff as Medieval Royalty did. It’s sort of like volunteer taxes, only with a “show off” factor thrown in. Willow likes to paint fans with the eastern Tiger on it- there is nothing so welcome as a fan at a summer court! We’d packed our bedding, garb and camping food, and left stuff for John, and were feeling pretty good about getting out when we intended. Around 4:15 I needed a rest-stop, so we stopped at the McDonalds at Exit 7 and got drinks too.

Willow mentioned on the way out that if the car broke down one more time that she was giving up on GNEW. I guess the steering was off, because within a half mile she’d pulled over. Checking the engine the coolant was boiling, there seems to have been a “catastrophic air conditioning failure” which took out the serpentine belt. Once again we were stranded on the highway with a trailer. The good news is that there was a weigh station a few yards up, so we got there and called Triple A. Usually they tell us “Someone will be there in 45 minutes” (whether it takes them 10 minutes or an hour), but this time we couldn’t get an immediate estimate and it was after 6 when the truck showed up. Meanwhile we’d been calling around. AAA can’t get more than 2 people in their truck cabs, but Avi was willing to throw her kids in the car and come get us. She got there right after the truck had pulled out with Willow’s car and me (the cab was full of cigarette butts and even with a face mask, Kat couldn’t get in it.) We called the police and told them that the trailer was going to be parked in the weigh station until we could come get it that evening. We put notes on Facebook warning people we were not going to be making it to GNEW. Basically we filled time until the truck got there.

When he did he loaded the car right up (Willow had taken the trailer off already). Kat opted to stay with Willow in the share of the trailer, and we headed off. Luckily, Avi got there almost immediately. Meanwhile, about fifteen minutes down the road, there was a loud bang, and pulling over, he discovered there’d been a blow-out. So we were stranded (just above where 101 meets with 95). So HE called AAA and asked for a new truck. And we waited. The kids waved as they went by (although I missed it). And we waited. I think he called in at about 6:45.  I stayed in touch off and on with the girls  (we told John we were coming home),  We were getting nothing from AAA, and the driver had told me that his truck had lost its transmission that morning, the butt laden one was borrowed. I asked Willow to call them again because maybe they’d give more attention to a customer, and sometime 8 she told me they’d found another truck and it was on it’s way from Milford. So was she- luckily my car also still has a tow ball. Around nine the second Truck got there. When we heard they were coming the driver tipped the car off the trailer, and then (when there was a big gap in traffic) pulled out and backed up behind it). During that he put Willow’s flashers on- this becomes important later because her battery was so run down that she couldn’t close her window (remember it rained? We had to put a tarp over her car.)

A bit after nine I heard from Willow, she’d made it back to the trailer and hooked it up. The new AAA truck came, loaded up Willow’s car, and we headed off. He did apologize, he had to make a brief detour to open a locked car door with a dog trapped inside. I didn’t mind, as by this time I could us another rest break, and luckily the locked car was at a gas station. So he took care of the lock-out and I relieved myself, and we headed home. I hoped that that delay would put Willow at home before us, but it didn’t. We got there just before her. The guy tipped her car off onto the corner of Holt (really there’s not much place to offload it from one of those things). Then Willow pulled up and got the fun of backing the trailer into the driveway around it. I think it was about 11 at that point. We unloaded the cooler chest, I griped on fb a bit more, and went to bed.

Willow already had an appointment at Winkles to get her car inspected on Tuesday (we had the car brought home because they were on vacation until then, besides, it was easier to unload here), and they’ve looked at it and said it can be fixed for less that buying another good used car would cost, so that’s what we’re doing. Sigh. Robert said “the road has not been kind to it this year”, but that’s what happens with an older car. So since then Willow’s been using mine. She was able to go to Avi’s Friday and this week in my car. Aside from that over the weekend she made and sent out another one of her fleece blankets and she’s working on the various herbals she sells through Auntie Arwen’s.

I’m not sure what Kat’s doing, other than suffering in the heat. She’s worse with the heat than I am. She’s sewing some- I helped even the hems on three new gowns for Pennsic.

I’m spending all my time (other than household chores) trying to finish the Witchcraft Trials book. It’s too big a subject to condense easily, and I’m NOT good at figuring out what can be left out. Obviously, I’m reading various books about that. Having finished the Nero Wolfe League of Frightened Gentlemen  I started another, And Be a Villain, I wouldn’t be surprised if I try to read them all before I’m done. I love the historical perspective. However I left off in the middle, the library got in the copy of the new Lindsay Davis Pandora’s Boy, and that’s all I’m reading for pleasure just now. (It shows how much I’m putting into the SCA reading that I didn’t just stay up all night finishing it!) The latest ones I’m into are Europes Inner Demons, European Witch Craze, Witchunt in Early Modern Europe. Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England, but if you want to read the booklet later, I’ll share a link when I post it to my website. I got a kindle version of Everyday Old English: a Modern Anglo-Saxon Phrasebook, which is how to say “Hello,” “Thanks”, “May I see the menu”, “Where are you from?” And other typical modern phrases- only in Old English. I read from it a bit on the first part of the trip to GNEW and we had fun thinking about using them at events. I am beginning to return the books on witch hunts to the library, having extracted good quotes. On the same topic, but not directly about witch hunts was one called Virtuous Violence, about motivational psychology, and how cultural anthropology informs the history of war, torture and genocide. The short form is that the more sure people are that they are right, the more likely they are to get violent. Disturbing, isn’t it?

I took out and watched Salem’s Lot. I enjoyed watching the old stars (and old styles) from the 70s,  I was impressed at how much King had done on Vampires, turns out that he’d started it as a cross between Dracula and Moby Dick, and envisioned an annotated version with Vampire trivia. I watched Saving Mr. Banks again. Once again I was left terribly ambivalent. No one likes to see the author of a favorite childhood book series depicted as a cranky, neurotic nasty person. Yes, they did bring out that she’d had a stressed childhood, which is upon what she based the Mary Poppins books, and that Disney’s childhood wasn’t quite a Pollyanna story either. I am not thrilled with the “rub some dirt on it” way of handling so many of these modern movies are. (And this goes for the other two movies as well). I prefer uplifting movies where even if flawed, the heroes are good and try to be.) I was left feeling, as Hamlet expressed to Polonius when asked what he was reading, and said that the book said that Old men had grey beards, weak hams, bleary eyes, etc., but while he agreed it was true, did not feel it meet that it should be thus set down. None of us is as good as we would like to be, and it seems disrespectful to the dead to portray them as so badly flawed. I also may have a problem with it because I’ve frequently had problems with Disney films. Not so much with the ones based on fairy tales (although Tangled was a total disappointment), because I know how many versions there are of the basic fairy tales, but the ones based on favorite Children’s books: Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Sword in the Stone, “Disneyfying” them was generally a Bowdlerization, and I disliked what they did to them, both generally and specifically. I wish Travers had been able to keep them from adding the animation to the movie. Mary Poppins was a powerful character, dangerous even. I would love to create a TV series of the various Mary Poppins stories where they actually followed the book.  Dead again in Tombstone I probably tripped over when looking for vampire movies. It’s not that either, the anti-hero is a man who’s died and works for the Devil (not unlike Ghostrider), but when they start messing with his family, finds the inner strength to stop the real bad guy from destroying the world. Lots of violence, and some cheap sex, and it wasn’t really fun, but there was humor- and heroism. I enjoyed it.  Ironclad I found in a list of “medieval movies”. Sure, it’s set just post Magna Carta, but it’s about as medieval as Knights Tale, without the fun. Everyone in it is nasty in his or her own way, although there’s a lot of courage and occasional flashes of wisdom shown. The image on the cover looked like it was Oliver Reed, but then I thought- wait a minute, if he’s still alive, Reed’s older than I am! So I checked, and it’s not Reed, but he was a magnificently horrible King John. Let’s be honest though, medieval or not, I am NOT getting a copy of that one for my video library, any more than I am getting Season of the Witch, Sword of the Valient, or Excaliber. There are just some movies that are too bad to watch twice!

Steve came up to visit on Sunday. He had a series to share- some Victorian mystery based on a true case, but it’s in the English format. He’s got an all-format player which sounds awesome, but he’ll have to play with it to make our DVD player read it. Oh, and the badgers, or woodchucks or whatever they are are gone. He had some service come take them away and fix the place in the foundation so nothing else can move in- $1500! The joys of home owning!

I heard briefly from Honour who was sending little leper doll-clothes to Claus. My Earthspirit friend Morwen who’s been dealing with cancer for the past few years has died. It’s nice to see a community deal with death in such a positive way. Our SCA friend Daniel Curtis is in the hospital, but I haven’t got details, if you know him I’m trying to find out more so we can send healing energy where it’s needed. My friend Goody apparently had emergency surgery, and is home to rest and recover- I hope she can find some handwork to do, she is not someone who does nothing well, she’s usually cooking, gardening, sewing or renovating her home. I’m enjoying watching Gavin’s woodcraft posts, as he hews a new home (furniture, and today, a bowl!) from the woods on his new property. I love hearing about what friends are doing. I hope no one minds that I’m mentioning them. Willow was installing a light fixture over the stove on Sunday and I took a picture of it, but she told me she doesn’t like me sharing her image as I do. Apparently it’s an invasion of privacy. I don’t seem to have that reaction, and need to be reminded.

This week I’ve tried experimenting on fb- only clicking on personal posts, nothing shared. I hope to get more personal ones and less of the images. You can tell when I’m tired because I forget and share interesting things. (They may have found the body of Alexander the Great! How cool would that be?!)  Politics is just horrible. We try to avoid the topic because it’s so depressing. I really should call my congresswomen and share my opinions. I have to admit that whenever I see tape of the POTUS, he seems to babble so badly that it’s hard not to feel sorry for him- but he has too much power to leave it in his hands. Enough of that. We’ll all do what we can, and hope for the best.

We are trying to support the strike at Amazon (they have responded by having special sales to lure people into buying anyway. I was tempted by the ad offering a Kindle Fire for $29, but when I clicked on it, it turned out to be $59- apparently a “limited time” offer. I will be happy when I can replace mine since the screen is cracked from stepping on it two weeks ago.

My job is to get the booklets done (in the next 10 days), and any other Pennsic Prep. I got some more of the homeopathic drops that I think were helping my fasciitis. I HAVE to be able to walk at Pennsic!

Oh, and I found another picture from Canobie Con: Thor saved Captain America from the Claw Machine. And Kat’s poster for Peri.

Well, lets’ see what I can get done before bed time. The deadline is looming. I won’t say I work best under pressure, but it’s easier to say “good enough’ when you’re out of time.





There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. Henry Kissinger


Holidays next week:

Þ 19 Daiquiri Day, Raspberry Cake Day, Stick out your Tongue Day

F 20 Lollipop, Fortune Cookie Day, Moon Day, Nap Day, Chess Day, Jump Day

S 21 Junk Food , Tug of War Day, Take a Monkey to Lunch Day, Lamington Day

⨀ 22 Penuche Fudge , Aunties Day, Parents Day, Spoonerism Day, Hammock Day

M 23 Vanilla Ice Cream Day, Peanutbutter & Chocolate Day, Gorgeous Grandma Day

T 24 Tequila Day, Cousins Day, Drive-Thru Day, Tell and Old Joke Day

W 25 Hot Fudge Sundae Day, Wine & Cheese Day, Red Shoe Day, Carousel Day