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Friday, August 5, 2016

Life in a Northern Town

It's a Friday evening in August in our little town. It's quite warm and humid, but there's a breeze. A neighbor and old friend, Special K, was just here bearing goodies. She's doing well and is more often ok now than she has been in years. I still greet her with the wary attitude, but that'll go away with time. Down the road a ways, a woman she went to school with, and who was a good friend to me when I first moved here, lies in state. Never fails to amaze me how someone can be here and hearty one day, and gone the next. RIP SallyAnn Tenney, not even 58 and gone already.

We finally had a couple of days of rain, keeping us off the drought maps. Not in time to save the potato crop, but better than the nothing we've had.

Beest is fine now, aside from that sebaceous cyst that grew back. Freaks me out. Doesn't seem to bother her. She's not vain. She continues to mellow out, and sleeps with her paw in my hand most nights.

We've straightened out the flying solo gig for Gal Friday. I'll be her direct employer thru the ARIS program, no more insanity with the VNA. The budget has constraints though, and I have to pay the ARIS program and the case manager as well as Gal Friday from that budget. So in order to pay her a living wage, I had to take a cut in my hours of help- 10 hours less a month. We'll just have to be more efficient with the time. It's cheaper on Medicare/aid, and it's better for all involved.

National politics is such a nightmare. I'm volunteering on Dave Zuckerman for Lieutenant Governor's campaign, and it's actually nice to talk to Vermonters about their issues and thoughts. My advice to anyone who does cold-call phonebanking: only use the script for messages left. If someone answers the phone, be a human. You get into some thoughtful conversations.

We began sorting the stored boxes that haven't been opened since the flood 5 years ago. I found a few things I'd despaired were lost- particularly Uncle Bert's WWI copper tube, which he used to deliver plans and maps from HQ to infantry units by bicycle around France. That was wonderful. I hope as we go thru things, all -or at least some- of the things that disappeared in that rushed pack and storage will be found. Hard to believe in 2 weeks it'll be 5 years since Irene made us homeless. Seems much longer ago.

This is our last Summer in The Shire. It will be my last Fall and Winter, too. Most of the Hobbits will relocate before Thanksgiving to the new building, Red Rover. I'll be here until the Spring, and move up the road to Rivendell. The Shire will stand abandoned until a developer comes along, as I predicted 5 years ago. This is beautiful land, along the Brandywine. I bet the developer who's involved in the new building will get this place. And I hope the Preservation Society gives him anal fissures over it.

Summer is peaking and will be winding down soon. We're at that breathless moment, when growing things are at their apex, before the days feel shorter, and things stop growing and turn to ripening. And allergies do queer things to your head and senses.

This week's theme has been pain. A new and angering clusterpain around my elbow is, according to the Doc, fibromyalgia. I never really believed it was a thing, a carry-over from when I was healthy and thought anyone with such a thing was being a Drama Queen. No, I was wrong, it's real. And it's a combo of nerve and muscle pain. For 2 days it was so painful it masked my hip pain. I'm not impressed. If my arm can't hold me up on the walker I can't walk. Not funny. Go away, fibromyalgia. You're a big fat nasty bastard.

Maybe this is the weekend I set up the new printer and camera that Billy gave me for my birthday. I found some photos I'd like to share online. If my arm behaves. This is a rare do-nothing, no company, no people passing thru town weekend. I have the new Harry Potter book, air conditioning and even some money left after paying everything. I could do nothing but read and ignore the world for 2 days. Life is good. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

La Resistance Lives On

Tonight's convention brought the reality home with a sickening thud. Bernie will not be the D nominee. By and for whatever things, it doesn't matter, it's done. It's one of those definites, like being dead or pregnant. $hillary is the D nominee.

This is truly awful. I just got over the Gore/Bush trauma and here we go again, this time with even worse (who'da ever thunk that possible?) candidates. 30 years ago I would've started drinking tonight and not stopped til the inauguration was over. I don't have the stamina or bucks to do that now. I would've stopped paying attention until sometime next year when the new Pres made the first horrific decision/action/statement anyone ever heard anyone say. And I would laugh sardonically and self-satisfyingly, then write something bilious and cry me eyes out. {That 'me' is a typo but I like it so it's staying in}. Bernie's loss is a gut punch. This year sucks. I hate everything.

So our choices are Trump, Her, Jill Stein, Johnson the Libertarian- or write Bernie or someone else in. This is when I look at where I live. A teeny tiny state that will undoubtedly vote blue no matter who, aka Her. It won't matter what I vote, I'm thoroughly meaningless to the Presidential big picture. And I can eliminate Johnson, Her, and Trump right away. That simplifies things. Vote for Bernie as a write-in, or Jill Stein and the Green Party?

Here's where having a little knowledge and the practical application of that knowledge helps make a decision I can live with.
1) A write-in campaign needs more than 3 months to be effective. Only rarely, and never in national contests, do write-ins make it. In my state and case, I could write Bernie in but it'd be purely a protest vote.

2) There is a campaign finance code. In that code, amongst things like major parties (any that win over 25% of the popular vote) get $100 mill of our tax dollars to run their campaigns and conventions, there are other provisions. In fact, any party with 5% of the vote or more gets financed, too. It's way less- more like $10 mill at the 5% level and goes up with more votes- but this is how we boost a 3rd party into becoming a major player down the road.

We can't follow Bernie's revolution to the White House, but we can take it forward by supporting better people in politics. By being engaged and active, by encouraging each other to stay involved, by getting out the vote, by taking our Democracy back. And I believe getting a 3rd party in the mix is a great idea.

There are still 3 months+ to decide, though I'll have a ballot come September.
But I'm pretty sure what I'll do.
La Resistance lives on.
I love you Bernie, can't wait to see you back home.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A One-off, or Maybe Two

The shirt is done. It even went thru the wash and stayed just as I painted it. I may make another for a friend, but this one's mine. Greg can make his own.

It's not perfect, but it's nice to know I can still do some part of what I used to do, even if it wrecks my hand for a couple days, it's totally worth it.

Saturday, July 16, 2016


A happy bunch of things- a good soaking rain; 2 nights of sleep; a non-stressful doc visit; settling my next household move for when and to where; Beest's health returning and getting to the bottom of it; Billy helping financially with that; grief lifting from all the Spring losses; Summer being well on it's way to leaving; Gal Friday quitting the VNA (and my following her lead); and the right vitamin combo- has me in very good spirits. Bye-bye Blue Meanies.

I'm creating again! For the longest time I just didn't see the point. I'd fallen into an existential/nihilist oubliette of, "why add more crap to the world full of crap?" Well the answer to that is, because it makes me happy.

My Mom's old wind chimes, which had fallen apart and whose dingers and flapper were beyond resuscitation, are dongy-bongy-dinging again. An old bracelet, a big wooden bead, a lot of dental floss and a metal initial A for a sail... and every little breeze reminds me of Mom.

Today I will be making the t shirt I'd had in mind when several years ago I bought fabric paints. Back in 1970 when they both started out, my fave band Emerson, Lake and Palmer, had called the band Yes, "Maybe". And so Yes retaliated by calling ELP "Henderson, Snake and Charmer". Today there will be the world's first HS&C band t shirt. If it's very good, I'll send it to Greg. If it's not, I'll make a second and hope that one's good enough for himself. If not, I'll send the better of the two to Graham Seaman, my friend in England who plays in an ELP tribute band, and will get a kick out of it even if it's not perfect. And I'll wear the other for my own smiles, because nobody else will get the joke anyway.

After tomorrow's final Game of Thrones year 6 marathon, I'll get to work on the article for the Cracker Barrel newspaper. This one's about Harvest foods and cooking- mainly pumpkins. The deadline's Friday, so plenty of time for 1250 words.

I gotta say, the right vitamin combo makes a huge difference, and so does getting sleep. Be well, my fellow babies. All things must pass, even the Blue Meanies.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The World is Dark and Full of Terrors

So let's laugh at it all. Have a fun weekend!

For 11ers everywhere...

Never trust a laughing llama.

A man in a kilt makes everything better.

I'm a hopeless Game of Thrones addict, and I don't care.

I'll take a dog over a god anytime

Ah, Theon,  there's a pair of shoes for you below.

And a tasteless gift for Theon or Varys,

Wishing you smiles and good times.