Stationary Day

                                                                                                               April 24th, 2019

Spring is springing. The buds are on the trees, (larger than a mouses ear), and last week we had a daffodil and the first hyacinth blooming in the garden, this week the garden is full of hyacinth, the forsythia is blooming, and   John has brought the screen door up, but not hung it yet as the top panel needs to be fixed. The cats have brought in their first tick, and have been started on flea treatments, and Willow saw the first mosquito, but so far, no one has seen a black fly so we’re good. We did get our first bunch of ant traps. (I am not surprised when they show up in the kitchen, but they always seem to want to make a next in the mailbox, which does confuse me.) So we put in an ant trap. I feel a little badly about it since it’s outside, but I don’t want ants on the mail. Zoloft is still shedding like crazy, but both she and Pyewacket are thrilled with being able to go out again.


In old news, my sister Liz got out of the hospital before the weekend hit, and went home to be coddled (or flustered depending on how you feel about it) by her friends and daughters, but now has peace again to recover and play with her adorable dog. 
I guess Kitty has gotten used to her dog because the flow of new pictures of canine cute have gone down and she’s back to sharing pictures of sun sets.
Steve visited two weekends ago, but didn’t come up this weekend because Gwynne was visiting him, cleaning out her old bedroom.
My weight’s gone down a bit. Not so much that I think it’s a trend so much as the jump in weight was probably a fluctuation. On the other hand, we are trying to walk more often, and I am using the light weights occasionally. I still think I spend too much time at the computer.
 
Monday, as I’m sure you noticed, Notre Dame de Paris burned and the world watched in dismay.  When I hit Facebook I think 9 out of 10 of the posts were on Notre Dame, and I was so depressed that I just got off. This week has been a constant stream of good news about it. I was thrilled that the structure held up (as the stone masons might have said, yes, we built it right, why do you think it took a century?), and they got the relics out; Tuesday they let us know that the rose windows had survived- I thought I’d seen flames coming through them; and then when I was thinking maybe given the number of people who’d cared, if people like me each tossed in $3, we could help, but the millionaires stepped up and they have only 270 million left to raise (dollars or Euros?), people who grow trees for old structures offered wood they need- which is generous because it can take three or four hundred years to grow them big enough, we’re talking 16 generations of care to get them ready! Then the bees in the hives that were on the roof are still OK! And today someone has checked out the Organ and think it came through. Some folks have been griping on line that the money could better be spent elsewhere. But as one of the Easter stories reminded us, “the poor will be with you always”. I feel that we should be pleased when we notice good happening. The case of Notre Dame is not so much one of unusual goodness, but of good getting attention, which it usually doesn’t get (nastiness seeming to be more newsworthy). Notre Dame de Paris is in the public eye, and caught public attention because it’s been here so long, is so well known (thanks to Hugo), and it’s an amazing piece of art, like the Pantheon or Hagia Sophia or the temple at Karnak (which are in worse shape, but even older). I am not a fan of organs, but am excited that this is another part that hasn’t been lost.
I’m still avoiding thinking too much about politics (they are banned from the dinner table since they make it impossible for Kat to eat. I can’t believe they are starting to talk about the next election already. I have NOT read the Muller report, but skimmed the redacted version a bit, and it looks pretty awful. I’m ashamed of this administration, denying climate change is awful, and denying women health care because they are so focused on abortions is vile. If they cared about fetuses they could work to save as many as possible, but to do it by trying to eliminate health care for women shows that it isn’t the fetuses but the control that is their issue. The way they vote on other issues- like how they treat refugees shows that they don’t care about children either, so they have no credibility. They are just trying to subjugate women, probably because women are clearly taking the jobs they though belonged to them. (Well so much for avoiding talking politics, you see why I try to avoid it.)
I have an appointment to see Dr. Quirbach next week and maybe he can offer me some reason why my blood pressure is higher other than “you’re old and fat”. ‘

The other day the girls were noticing that their hair was “goofy” at the same time, so I got this picture.
Last week Kat sent out one dress and is busy on another commission (spent a lot of time rolling hems on chiffon. W e have sent for an attachment for her machine that should help with that, but I think she finished this bit before it did. She feels like she’s way behind, but like her mother, she often doesn’t think about how long a piece is going to take. 
 
Kat had two dentist appointments: one for a root canal, and one for a crown prep, at two offices because different dentists do different things. They didn’t finish the Crown prep and she’s got another for this Saturday to finish. Since it’s pre-paid I hope they don’t try to stick us with another bill for the extra visit. We paid for what they said they were going to do. It’s not our fault it took them longer than they planned for. Kat doesn’t charge more because she estimated the time wrong, nor do I. I am nervous because while she was in their getting work done, I got to sit in the lobbies and listen to the staff explain to person after person how their insurance doesn’t cover whatever they’re there for, even though they were told it would. They have posters out front bragging about how they make it so affordable. Some procedure costs $3,995, but if you can’t afford it, you can simply pay $99.95 a month for 60 months. (In other words, take five years to give them $6K rather than $4K.) Half again as much. It’s freaking expensive to be poor! And unlike clothing, bad teeth are not a question of fashion, but health. Like not doing maintenance on your car or your house, not keeping up with it loses value, starts a downward spiral. 
I’m feeling old and cranky. I broke another tooth, and wonder if I have to choose between having teeth and eating popcorn. My next appointment down at Tufts is at the end of May, and is only for cleaning. That’s when they tell me what they want to do (Including ripping out four or five teeth). If they were so eager to help, I should think they could make the appointments closer together. I guess I’m going to drag it out anyway because I’ll do as much as I can afford, but I don’t think there’s any chance that I can dedicate over half my annual income to dental work, even if it’s spread out over a couple of years. We’ll do as much as we can manage, and that will have to be good enough. 
 
We are planning for Kat’s birthday. Presents ordered on-line are dribbling in.[Kat’s wish list] We looked for non-Christmas paper last week, and there wasn’t any in the store. (We probably have enough stored Christmas paper in the attic to last for 30 years!) But this week they’d restocked (after the Easter rush- who knew people used wrapping paper at Easter?) and we found several nice springlike “ generic” patterns. Willow had sent for an Ostara dress for herself back in March and it still isn’t here yet. I was thinking about ordering a couple pieces for myself before going down to Fertile Ground, as I’ve been looking at my wardrobe and feeling rather tattered. I have a lot of clothes I love, but I also love clothes even if they are so stained that I probably shouldn’t wear them in public. If it’s comfortable and doesn’t have holes, why get rid of it? But my brain isn’t ready to handle spending over $50 for a skirt or dress, and now it’s too close. I am driving down to Jane’s next Tuesday, to catch the train Wednesday morning. I feel SO wanted! They are paying for our transportation, food, and lodging! I am blown away, and will be trying to be worthy. Lacking funds for “ready made” I have brought down fabric from the bins in the attic and bought more elastic for waistbands and will be sewing a couple of new skirts to wear down there (and this summer). 
 
Changing Times-Changing Worlds activity is gearing up. I put up a new page for the vendors, and started scheduling them into the blog. I’ve begun scheduling classes, speakers, vendors and other spotlights (we still need to get the panels written up; as good as having several people to combine efforts is, it’s hard to coordinate getting together to work on projects. I’ve done a few  blog posts I’m pretty satisfied about- one how sometimes we need help, one on you need to practice if you want to get good at doing magick, one on figuring out what you need by looking at the shape of the empty place it leaves (shadow work). Can you tell that the theme is need this year?  I am really beginning to miss doing the talk show and wonder if I can come up with a way to start again.
What am I reading these days?
I finished reading the Ivy Morgan series, but am also reading the book Mark recommended: Crown of Slaves, by Eric Flint and David Weber, a fun SF adventure. I’ve also started the book All the Kings Men, intrigued by the way it was praised on the documentary packaged with the remake. I have to say that the writing is not concise, but Robert Penn Warren loves the words, which not all authors seem to do. Aside from the story, because it was written in the forties about the thirties, it creates a powerful picture of that period, beyond even the technology, and the culture. The casual bigotry and misogyny, the effects of ingrained classism have time to sink in as he slowly makes his way through the story. The quote I used in the sig line was within the analogy of finding an unexpected telegram under your door, and your feelings as you decide to open it. I still remember how a long-distance phone call was a BIG deal, either a rich person showing off, or something pretty drastic had happened. Technology changes our lives and our perception. We have come to expect to be able to be instantly in touch with anyone. Parents are expected to control their kids from arms reach at all times. 
Today’s “holiday” Stationary Day, reminded me how hard it is to find letter writing paper anymore. People are debating whether it’s worthwhile teaching students to write in script  when everyone uses a computer (or electronic device) anyway. Reading handwriting is pretty much seen as a skill like reading Latin or Greek.  Moreover, wouldn’t it be nice to get something in the mail that wasn’t a bill or junk mail, but some thoughts put onto paper by a friend who wanted to share them with you? Not only that, letters (as has been pointed out by those who share mine) can be interesting to those other than the recipiant. I’ve been reading the V mail (letters my Dad sent to his parents during WWII), these have opened up the world of his youth to me. We can read letters from students in the Middle Ages, writing home to their parents asking for more money ( le même si change !), or letters from Egyptian princesses to Hittite kings. Tomorrow your words may cheer a loved one, a thousand years from now, they may inform our descendents what we thought and felt in our time.  That’s sort of what reading something written long ago, whether Shakespeare or Austen, Dickens or Warren, does. It’s far too easy to forget how things were even as far back as our grandparents lifetimes, (Even in our lifetimes- that’s why I like looking at old movies.)
In the area of non-fiction, Perspectives from the Past is a reader of Primary sources for History of Western Civ classes. I read the 17th c. bce account of the Flood and thought that it read like the script for a pageant. I finished Moody’s  Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife. It’s an autobiography, but filled with the information he found when he started studying Near Death Experiences, Shared Death Experiences, and Psychomantiums. I figure my life might be interesting if condensed down to a book- but not as interesting as his. I’ve continued reading  A Magical Education: Talks on Magic and Occultism
And I really wish we could get Greer for CTCW. I’ll probably borrow some of his topics for panel ideas.
 I got a book called, I think,  Myth & History which is arguing that the traditional view of early English history, largely based on Bede is actually not supported by the archeological record, and the germanic people were there much before Vortingern brought Hengist and Horsa over to fight the Picts.  I’ve only just started, but it’s fascinating. Could change everything.
To be honest, I have now started on the Rowan Gray books.  Lily Harper Hart seems to churn these “paranormal romances” out like McDonalds makes fries. The beautiful girls are psychic, the gorgeous guys are in law enforcement (since there are no police on a cruise ship, Quinn’s the security chief) so that there is always a crime to solve, and there’s always a happy ending.  Mind candy- guilty pleasure… probably steals time I could better spend doing something productive. Oh well.I’m also reading Crown of Slaves, but keep going back to the kindle because it’s a big book and I’m tired when I go to bed.
I watched the new Murder on the Orient Express, and frankly liked all the other ones I’ve seen better, I think my favorite is the one from the BBC. I re-watched the original Ocean’s Eleven and the remake, then Ocean’s Twelve, which is more fun. I watched the 1949 movie  All the Kings Men, in which the lead looked a bit more like Huey Long than the Sean Penn remake. I’ve noticed that the remake seems more true to the mood of the book as far as I’ve read it.
While you were sleeping was a 1995 romantic comedy about a lonely woman who is mistaken for the fiancé of a man she only wished she knew, and the little white lie snowballs as she enjoys being accepted by the family. I expected to enjoy it as I like romantic comedies, but liked it better than expected.I started Early Man but found it too painful to watch, it was in the style of Wallace and Grommit and with the same type of humor.
I didn’t intend to switch to every two weeks, but it occurs to me that I’m going to be on the train down to VA next Wednesday, so I probably will do it again. This time was mostly because I hadn’t done much week before last, but as I got busier this week, never got to finishing it. Oh well. The point is to stay in touch. Giving it my best shot.
Tchipakkan
 
“The end of man is knowledge, but there is one thing he can’t know. He can’t know whether knowledge will save him or kill him. He will be killed all right, but he can’t know whether he is killed because of the knowledge which he has got or because of the knowledge which he hasn’t got and which if he had it would save him.”  Robert Penn Warren