____________ April 18, 2016 ___________

Blandford & Burana

Got lots to catch you up on!  I don’t even remember when I left off… wait, my friend got us tickets.  That’s right!  Saturday morning excitement!  Anyhow, after that I ran up and got chicken for Shabbat meal.  They had National Hebrew hot dogs (kosher!), regularly $6.89 for $1.79.  I thought it was a mistake, but they were one day over the expiration.  I bought EVERYTHING they had – put ’em in the freezer.  Good deal!!  You don’t care, but we don’t do pork, and hot dogs are an issue for us.  I was seriously squee-ing!!

(NoTe:  I do NOT like Shabbat with a family member missing.  It’s wrong.  Mead only partially made up for it!).  Shabbat was kind of rushed, because I had to get out the door to go to the Shiitake Mushroom class.

So I drive into GR, to Blandford Nature Center (which is pretty much a designated natural area up by Leonard, right in the city).  It’s got protected wetlands, and that’s really the reason it’s there – it was un-buildable land.  I have to tell you – it seems like 70% of this state is protected wetlands.  We are so freakin’ WET, being a Great Lakes state, I just don’t get it.  It’s the REASON for all the dad-gum snakes, hello!  Everywhere I look, there’s wetland.  It’s ridiculous.  I mostly comfort myself in that the End Times are supposed to be hotter, so the wetlands will dry up and while other parts of the country will be in horrible drought, we’ll be in far better shape, here.  I keep telling everyone, there’s a reason this state is shaped like God’s hand.  Italy (Rome/Catholicism) is going to get the boot, but the best place to be is in His hand.  😉

Where were we?  Blandford.  It was a JOKE.  The Powerpoint presentation was 15 minutes long, and didn’t really tell us anything.  There were about sixty of us there (mostly as couples or pairs, although I was alone).  So we went to the old historical schoolhouse, where they had logs on the desks, in various stages of completion.  The first row was just cut logs (can’t be fallen, must be alive, hardwood, bark intact, and between 3-9″ in diameter).  The people in that row had to mark the logs in staggered rows, with points 3-4″ (no bigger) apart.  Then next row had pre-marked logs and a bunch of electric hand drills, to be drilled 1.5″, each.  Then next row had drilled logs, ready to have the spore-y plugs hammered into the holes.  The last row had marked, drilled, and plugged holes, ready to be sealed with beeswax.

I started in the first row, but there were limited wax pencils, so I just observed, and then wandered, observing the drilling, then wandered, observing the plug hammering… and then a host lady told me that there were logs ready to be sealed that were unclaimed.  I figured, “Why not?  Saves time, and I’ve seen what happens, start to finish.”  So I skipped all the steps and sealed a log.  Talked to a dude about the watering process (once a week, with the log leaned against the north side of a garage/barn/house).  In a year, there should be ‘fruit’.  And I took the log home.  I was there a total of 25 minutes, tops.

It gets more ridiculous than that – they ordered the wrong kind of mushrooms.  So there were three bags of pearl oysters, and one bag of blue oysters.  Who knows what I have?  LoL!  I got back on FB to share the event (always after the fact), and they’d changed it from ‘Shiitake Mushroom Logs’ to just ‘Mushroom Logs’.  Oi, vey.

Brian, in the meantime, was cleaning around the barn.  I came home, changed clothes, (finished book 9, just because it was quiet in the house, and I get precious little of that!), and then went out to help.  Ended up de-doo-doo-ing the yard, then raking out and cleaning up Critter Corner with Lydia (<< when she got home.)  It was HOT out – it hit 80 degrees, this weekend.  Insane.  And yes, the A/C in my car works fine.  😛

We watched ‘Star Wars VII’ that night.  I was utterly prepared to hate it.  Had no desire to see it.  Went in with no expectation of enjoyment… and ended up LOVING it!  It mirrors the first movie (Episode IV), very much: orphan teen on desert planet, scraping by, fixing broken droids comes upon a droid carrying vital information to the Resistance.  Big Death Star thing in space is after that droid, resulting in lots of chases and craziness.  In a display of the Death Star’s power, five planets are obliterated.  Teen (this time a girl, even dressed like Luke had been) is captured, discovers she’s strong with the force, and escapes.  Meets up with friends come to rescue her (including Chewie and Han Solo).  ‘Luke I am your Father’ moment that ends in battle with bad guy mutilated.  Very much a mirror of the first one, and even the same style – WAY better than episodes I, II, and III.  There was only one problem I had with it, but I won’t talk with you about it until you see it.  IF you see it.  You really, REALLY should see it.  🙂

AND>>>!!!!  GREG GRUNBERG is on it!!  I loved him in ‘Alias!’  LOVED him!  And he’s just awesome in this one, too.  Only he’s, older burlier and bearded, and looking SO fine… homigosh, I may just have a new crush.  That’s good, because I had to give up VD’O when he went CSI, so I’ve been short on (non-Brian imagined) crushes, the past decade.  Just Alfred.  But homigoodness, I was so excited to see him!!!  😀  😀  😀  Should’ve expected someone from ‘Alias’ – after all, the new Star Wars is by J.J. Abrams, after all!   ((((So yes, I liked the new Star Wars, VERY much!!!))))

Sunday was crazy.  We got up and took an early trip to the recycle center (which is a nice little, okay decent, jaunt).  My milk-jug totem pole was full, and so was the recycle wheeled trash-bin, and there were LOTS of kitty litter pails from us AND Grandma’s place to ditch.  So that cleaned things up a lot, around here.  There’s still a huge crap-pile in the middle of the yard to take to the dump, though.  Brian’s going tonight (Monday) to Grandma’s to get her trash, borrow their trailer to load up to take to the dump, and see if they have anything they want to take there, too.  Then he’ll load up the trailer tomorrow night, and we’ll take the trip next Saturday morning.  If all goes as planned.

Then we had to come home and give EVERYONE baths and gussy up, because… CARMINA BURANA!!  The pinnacle of my friend Val’s career – and her finale before retirement.  Two orchestras.  A ballet troupe.  A combined arts chorale.  Completely sold out – not a single seat open.  HUGE!!!  We stopped and got Val a card to put our ticket $$ and a gift card to Bistro 57 for them as a thank you (and congratulations).  We were in line by some friends of mine – Mark and Caroline (directed me in ‘Sound of Music’, took voice lessons with him, used to carpool to work with her).  So we had a lovely time, catching up.  Caroline’s been very sick – auto-immune thing, and she can no longer sing, sadly, because of multiple vents and respirators.  She’s very upbeat, and still the same kind, friendly lady as ever.

Then I spotted Nina.  I was concerned about seeing Nina.  Her sons dance with the local ballet troupe, and play in the HS orchestra, so I figured.  But I was hoping to avoid her.  She’s my ex-bestie from when we lived up north.  Bestie meaning I watched her kids, lent her my stuff, hosted her garage sale, took her meals when she was ill, drove to GR to visit when she had her baby… and she never had time for me, unless she wanted something.  She was just mean, in the end – Brian was SO mad at me for not breaking off that earlier.  But I really wanted that to be a friendship, you know?  I know it was bad and she was using me, but… I wanted her to be my friend.  I’m pitiful.  You probably already know this.  Anyhow, it’s been over.  For a long time.

She sees me, comes over, and it’s not, “Homigosh, Anna!” or “Wow, what a surprise!” or “I haven’t seen you in forever!”  Noooo… she goes, “Who are YOU here to see?!” in this tone that said, “What business do YOU have being here”?   I was… there aren’t…. it was…  I came REALLY close to saying, “You want me to start listing the number of people I’m here to see?  Cause I’ll bet it outnumbers yours, hello.  And nice to see YOU, too.  (((((Snotty!!)))))”    See?  I’m not a nice person.  I’m really not.  I’m horrible.  Of course I didn’t say any of that, I was kind of speechless and mumbled something about Val, but it was awkward and fast – she’s always SOOOOO busy and it happened quickly.  But I didn’t like it.

It’s weird – when we first moved north, it was such a cultural place.  People dressed up for concerts, people were very interested in the arts and things were very nice.  Most of the people at this concert were in cut-offs and messily knotted hair with big tatt sleeves and flip-flops.  It was SO backyard-n-beer, and not so much classy.  It’s been getting that way, too.  Makes me a little sad.  But we got really good seats, and I got a few video clips and pictures.  And we really enjoyed it.  I knew more of the music than I thought, considering it was all in Old Latin, High German, and Early French (Gallic).  And six of my friends (IRL and on FB) had solos, so that was fun.  And yup… Nina had a boy in the orchestra and one dancing.

I hugged.  A lot.  Too much.  It was overwhelming, to me, but there were so many friends and everyone was hugging…!  People were pretty nice about having wished Lydia and I could’ve joined them on-stage, again… but it conflicted with dance class nights, so we really couldn’t have.  Maybe next time.  But it was still fun to congratulate them and say hello.  Nina caught up with me, afterwards – pulled my hair (!!) and thought she was being all funny.  Told me her mom really wanted to see us, before we left.  ((We always got along WAY better with her mom than her, to be honest.))  So I went and found her husband, and we talked with him for a while (awkward), and he directed us to where her mom was hiding out, and I even hugged her.  !!   I apparently have mad, awesome chubby hugs.  LoL!!  Whatever.  But we were nice to everyone, so it was all good, no?  I mean, I even went up to arch-nemesis (I have two, from my ex-theatre group) and told her that the massive 26-foot ‘wheel’ she made for the show was beautiful.  See?  All kindness.  It was a LOT, though!!!

Thing is, I’m so torn.  We’ve lived here for 10 years, and can’t name a single person we know, let alone like.  And we lived there for 8 years, and when we go there, I’m just OVERWHELMED with people I’m glad to see and friends and acquaintances.  Also a handful of people who made life horrible… like the two arch-nemesis(es?) and Nina.  It’s… bitter and sweet and wholly nostalgic and a relief to leave, after, all at the same time.  We talk about moving back but… to be honest?  I was glad when we got away.  It was like constantly feeling like it was a struggle to be ‘good enough’.  It is very much a place full of people needing glory.  We don’t function that way, so it was always a little awkward – like we were useful but expendable?  To be honest, I don’t know how to explain it better – or how to explain the feelings resulting from that.  Brian and I are little people.  We didn’t elevate the divas, so we weren’t… useable?

We went for pizza on the way home, and Brian helped me sort pictures, after we got back home.  LOTS of paging/cropping to do, this week.  Along with some more clean-up as a build up to Pesach (Friday).  And today is Lamb Day!  Four days before Pesach, scripture commands believers to bring a lamb into their home, in preparation for the feast!  So when we go to dance, tonight, we need to stop and buy a lamb shank on the way home… so long as it’s before sunset!  Another mini-race!  🙂  Makes life fun.

Anyhooooo!!!  *Whew*, right?!  It was a crazy weekend … and this whole week is going to be more of the same.

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  1. Well you know I have all sorts of issues with that film, even if it was a decent effort (I, II, III aren’t films SW fans wants to talk or think about anymore because they were that bad). Still, the bad guy is problematic, Han and Leia’s relationship is problematic, and Han.. well you know. Glad you liked it though. ^_^

  2. You might want to check out the Walden Effect blog. They have been doing mushroom logs for awhile and are pretty good about describing their efforts, results, and learning.


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