Claire Eliza Bartlett, We Rule the Night. Discussed elsewhere.
Lois McMaster Bujold, Paladin of Souls. Reread. It was interesting to revisit this middle-aged coming-of-age tale after it's had more than a decade to influence the rest of the field. I still love the worldbuilding and the characters, but it was important to keep in mind how much of an influence it's been--that it looks a little less groundbreaking in retrospect than it actually is because other people have used that soil. Such a fun book, such a good book--and I'm so glad we've been thinking and writing about it since.
Pamela Dean, The Dubious Hills. Reread. One of my favorite books ever, and basically I will use any excuse to reread it. The way the worldbuilding and the characterization intertwine always makes me think...and then I always get pulled into the story. Go read this book. Go read this book again.
Emilie Demant Hatt, By the Fire: Sami Folktales and Legends. Discussed elsewhere.
Nicola Griffith, Hild. Reread. This is so immersive for me and so lovely and all the details and...it's just so easy to slide into this cultural mindset. I hope that Griffith meant it that she's writing more of St. Hilda's story because I want that so much.
Barbara Hambly, Cold Bayou. The latest Benjamin January mystery. This is a perfectly serviceable entry in the series but not one of the standouts, and it's a terrible place to start because it relies so much on you already knowing and caring about the characters. There's not even a murder until halfway through the book, so if you don't already want to spend time with these characters, go a bit further back in the series and try there. If you do--it further elaborates on some key relationships, particularly with January's mother.
Larry Hammer, trans., Ice Melts in the Wind: The Seasonal Poems of the Kokinshu. Discussed elsewhere.
Beth Hilgartner, A Murder for Her Majesty. Reread. After so many years. My friend Ginger happened to mention this in passing, and I almost certainly lit up visibly, because I loved it as a child and did not remember the title. (My booklog only goes back to age 23 or 24 reliably. This is a source of sorrow sometimes.) There is a girl who disguises herself as a boy to run from murderers and does not do the sword fighting! No! She sings in a cathedral choir! There is Elizabethan roughhousing! There are Latin mottos iced onto cookies! There is music theory! I loved this book so much, and now I know which one it is, hurrah. Also...it is pretty anachronistic, now that I have somewhat more extensive knowledge of the Elizabethan era than I did when I was 8. So one must be braced. Still. Eeeee.
Ann Leckie, The Raven Tower. Extensive thoughts about what it's like to be a god in a rock! Cholera or dysentery or similar disease! Despite being based on a very famous story whose parallels become very obvious as you read, this is not like anything else. I'm thrilled to see Ann doing something completely different and can't wait to see what she does next, but in the meantime I sure enjoyed this.
Ursula K. Le Guin, Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems. This is very much a late-life collection, with thoughts about aging and death coming to the fore. I found it touching and valuable.
James E. Montgomery, Loss Sings. A slim chapbook about grief and translation. I would have liked for him to connect a few dots about different kinds of translation--to have some thoughts about translating for people who have or have not had a personal experience, or between those two groups--but what he had was interesting and did not outstay its welcome.
Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems Volume One. I wish there was a Collected Works out, but right now I'm approximating as best I can with this. I just keep having the urge to immerse myself. I know I'm going to return to several of these poems at important life moments, and also at random, just because.
Suzanne Palmer, Finder. Discussed elsewhere.
Kate Quinn, The Alice Network. This is a female-centered spy novel that spans two world wars and an important bit thereafter. The things it's doing and saying about spying illuminate other works in the genre by contrast. I found it interesting, exciting, worthwhile. Will definitely look for more of Quinn's work.
Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, and Michi Trota, eds., Uncanny Issue 27. Kindle. I had an essay in this, and I don't review work I'm in.
Jo Walton, Lifelode. Reread. This is still one of my favorite domestic fantasies, and I love the worldbuilding that is interwoven with everything and yet not...centered in a traditionally questy fantasy novel way. I love that the shape of this book is a character shape and yet the worldbuilding is not neglected.
Fran Wilde, Riverland. Oh good heavens this book. I picked it up one Sunday afternoon and basically did not put it down until it's gone. It has so many things I love, glass and rivers and family relationships, and it is breathtaking in its handling of incredibly difficult things happening to its young protagonists. The way that the heroine both internalizes and fights the bad things that are happening in her life is so human and so real and cuts like broken glass. Highly recommended, but with care to pick your day so that you can handle the intensity of this book.
We have a slightly more concrete plan for the coming weeks, with the understanding that plans can change from day to day based on test results, scheduling issues, the whims of the insurance companies, and more.
Amy’s currently going through her third round of R-EPOCH chemotherapy (her fifth or sixth total round of chemo, depending on how you count them.) The goal is to do one more round the first full week in May, then do another CT scan. If she looks cancer-free at that time, we’ll move on to the bone marrow transplant step.
I got choked up the first time the phrase “cancer-free” came up. There’s so much hope and fear wrapped up in those two words, and in the results of that scan a month or so from now. We know she’s responded well to treatment so far, but there’s so much unknown…
We got to spend some good family time together for my birthday weekend, which was nice. I ate way too much, which was also nice 🙂
I’d like to believe the end is in sight, and we’re starting to move toward the next steps of her recovery and rebuilding our new normal. The whole family is pretty damn tired of cancer and chemo and all the rest. This crap gets old pretty quick.
We learned something exciting this week, though. Amy’s been using an infusion pump that delivers her chemo cocktail over the course of 3-4 days. But the tubing has sprung a leak at least three different times, all in the same spot. It looks like the chemotherapy meds are actually eating through the air filter in the line. These are the chemicals they’re pumping into my wife’s body…
Well, if they eat through filters, hopefully they’ll gobble up cancer cells even better.
What Tolkien Knew About Love
Like Henry Darger, he created an epic fantasy. Why is Tolkien remembered, and Darger nearly forgotten?
“Bilbo Comes to the Huts of the Raft-Elves,” an illustration for “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien, July 1937. Credit Bodleian Libraries, MS/The Tolkien Estate Limited 1937, via The Morgan Library & Museum.
“They Escape Again by Overpowering Guards" and "Are Seized by Pursuing Glandelinians,” by Henry Darger. Credit The Estate of Henry Darger/Art Resource, NY
By Jennifer Finney Boylan
Contributing Opinion Writer
Why I Take All My First Dates to Olive Garden
It starts with free wine samples, endless breadsticks, and keeping my expectations low.
BY KRISTEN N. ARNETT
A Love Letter to Homemade XO Sauce
By Sam Sifton
The 12 Best Cookbooks of Spring 2019
Food reporters and editors from The New York Times pick their favorite new books of the season.
By The New York Times
This Brandy Soars
Hangar 1 has ventured beyond just vodka distilling with a brandy named for a classic airplane.
By Florence Fabricant
WINES OF THE TIMES
To Find the Best of Languedoc, Follow the Producer
The region has always been puzzling to consumers. But as has happened worldwide, the wines are getting fresher and better, if you find the right winemaker.
By Eric Asimov
( Read more... )
from Tumblr: https://versaphile.tumblr.com/post/
I purely hate car shopping. The choice space is just too big. Upon recommendation from Sharon, I googled "Cars for Old People" since one of my actual issues is that getting in and out of normal cars hurts my back. Not a lot, but enough. I knew I really liked my old Subaru Forester, of no name, who I killed a while back by ramming a wall. So, I ended up going to a Kia dealership to drive a Kia Soul, and then to a Subaru dealership, with the intent of test-driving an Impreza. I got into the Impreza on the show floor, and that was an instant nope. It was too far down. It hurt. I did test drive an Outback and a Forester. The modern Forester was lovely, lovely, lovely, but the Outback...was like driving butter. Really expensive European butter. It was priced to match, you understand.
And so, to Car Soup. I found a dealership that had a 2017 Kia Soul and a 2017 Subaru Outback, both ex-fleet vehicles, both at extremely good prices. The Kia had Most of the Things, and the Outback had All The Things. David and I went down and test-drove them both. And, yes, this Outback was still like driving butter, oh god. AWD and Eyesight and Blindspot and adaptive cruise control and heated seats and the fancy interface with my phone and really, honestly, All The Things. The Kia was well set up, with stuff I care about, including cruise control, climate control, Bluetooth connection for my phone, a back up camera, but no heated seats. So, really only Most of the Things. In the end, I decided based on price. The Kia was available for $50 less per month, with a loan a full year shorter. And so
I am now the proud owner of a white Kia Soul. Which, because I am Captain Obvious, I have named Psyche.
Women of Wisdom, however much I may eye the Angel stuff warily, does teach Reiki levels I & II (I hope to eventually take the Reiki L1 class, anyway), and also has a bi-monthly (that is, twice a month) Reiki Healing Circle, which I translate as Reiki Circle Of Energy and occasionally go to. Well, more accurately, went to once a couple months ago and then kept having things happen on Tuesday nights.
So I went tonight. There were a pantsload more circle members than practitioners there, but it worked anyway. What they do is they stick people in a circle of chairs, introduce the general idea of Reiki, and put on a (longish) meditation tape. (The group leader lady said, basically, "Things will come up, emotionally or otherwise. Just go with it.") This one focused on chakra visualization and a white ball of light going to hang out with your various chakra points; as we meditated, the practitioners went around and did Reiki on us.
(I'm not a particular fan of the chakra worldview, and feel many uses of it are appropriationist, so I try not to deliberately go to things involving them outside of a Hindi and/or Yoga context, but will certainly meditate to it if presented with a guided meditation tape using the framework.)
Being as I am me, I sometimes don't visualize too well, but gestures help with it when that happens, plus which when I get into a circle/location/sacred space where there is energy going on (which there certainly was here), I quite often will open my hands to the energy. So, since the lady *said* "just go with it," I was doing a bunch of hand and arm movements along with the "visualize the white light merging with the X light of X chakra point" background voice.
Apparently, this flummoxed one of the practitioners (the only guy practitioner), who, he said afterwards, stood behind me and tried to work within my movements, but completely failed to. (I knew he was there, but felt no energy off him at all; I do think this was in part because he's got some back and knee problems and was in pain today, but also just I wasn't acting like he was expecting me to. One of the practitioners talking with him and me afterwards said, "You should have just put your hand on her head," which I do think would have probably stopped my movements, at least; not sure how his energy would have done with mine, even so, but it would have, at least, helped him. I'm assuming he's not very experienced even though he's all white haired.)
He muttered something to one of the women about having failed with someone (presumably me, but I was in meditation-space and wasn't fully listening), and could she try; soon after, she came over, put her hand above my head, which I could feel quite well, and lo and behold, there was energy a-plenty. She and I did some extremely effective Reiki together; her hands were quite warm and I could feel her even when she wasn't touching me, and she was effectively directive without using words, which was a relief given the guy previously, and she worked the energy well, and I had some blockages I wasn't even aware of, and ommm, and so yeah, that was nice.
(I don't believe half of that paragraph, incidentally. Energy isn't tangible, says my skeptic brain, and Reiki has no measureable, scientific benefits. A lot of things don't, though, and I've long ago basically figured, I don't have to believe in it to be able to work with it and/or within it, and meditation and a kindly person being kind to me are good things in and of themselves, even if nothing else happened. But I mean, I don't believe in ghosts either, or predictive Tarot, or all kinds of things. But that doesn't mean I'll reject community warmth.)
After things broke up (they get everyone up, have them hold hands and do three Oms and a couple dance steps, at the end, to get people more back into their bodies), the guy and one of the women practitioners asked me what I'd been doing, and I explained, and the woman said it was very Tai Chi-esque, and I really *do* want to learn Tai Chi sometime...
Anyway. So, just for the record, if you don't want people to move around, don't tell them to "just go with it." And I'm sorry I messed with my practitioner's head. But I enjoyed the evening anyway.
I will go to the optician in Arlington Center in a couple of days and talk about eyeglass options and prices. (I may also consider going online for reading glasses that correct for the astigmatism; I had poor results in the past trying to mail-order my complicated bifocal/progressive prescription.)
That was the second medical appointment of the day.
I've had an annoying cough for more than a week; over the weekend I decided that since it wasn't getting any better, I should talk to a doctor, make sure it's not pneumonia, and find out if I need an antibiotic. I called Davis Square Family Practice first thing this morning, and they gave me a 1:30 appointment. After asking me some questions, and listening to my lungs very carefully, the doctor said that this is in fact just a lingering cough left from an otherwise-gone respiratory infection. I have a prescription cough suppressant, and an okay to go back to my regular exercises, including walking—"just don't run a marathon." This is disappointing in the sense that she couldn't say "take these, you'll feel a lot better in 48 hours," but it also means that no, calling the doctor Friday would not have been better: I had to remind myself a few time yesterday and Sunday that any plan involving a time machine can be safely disregarded.
I saw a lot of forsythias in bloom today, as well as a few cherry trees, the first maple flowers, and many daffodils; I'd stayed close to home the last few days, and saw a nice variety of bulbs and one dandelion, but no flowering trees.
When the Iraq National Library (and Museum) burned in 2003, my reaction was all intellectual, and there've been others since that are similar. "Oh no, it is a tragedy that Thing X is gone." I don't feel *bad* that my reaction to Notre Dame burning was purely emotional, and fiercely so, but I did want to observe that it's true.
Having learned from 9/11 coverage, I did not let myself get glued to the TV/internet/news sources, but I did let myself occasionally look for pictures, later in the day. Altar. And some ravens above the actual fire.
I have been to it, but when I was 13, and as I recall things I liked Chartres better, in part because of the requisite Notre Dame crowds. (Though now that I'm looking at the stained glass windows, I am having memory spurts, so apparently I'm minimizing my own emotional connection, which would be just typical of me.) In any case, I will look forward to its being rebuilt, since about $600,000,000 has already been pledged by various people, and visit again in 30 years or so, when I will perhaps be more civilized. It will not be the same, but then, nothing is.
If one is having charitable urges brought on by things burning, Notre Dame will likely be covered, but there's three black churches in Louisiana that could probably use some help. (Unlike Notre Dame, which was probably an accident, the Louisiana churches are victims of arson.)
In addition, the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, a major Muslim site, had a (minor) fire, yesterday. (As with a number of religious things in Jerusalem it is a) holy, b) gorgeous, and c) debated about in territory claims.) This is a previously-extant fund for its restoration, but nonetheless, can't hurt.
In other news, Yo Yo Ma plays cello to make a point at the US/Mexico border.
I called Shawn to confirm, and she said, "What ever you do, don't look at the pictures. It's heartbreaking."
I had intended to follow Shawn's advice, but when I stopped at the McDonald's on Rice Street to pick up a quick, late lunch, they had CNN on a big screen TV (who knew McDonald's even had TVs??). I saw the devastation. At that point the fire was still burning, the spire had fallen. Then, I listened to BBC news on NPR and cried.
Yeah, I'm one of the privileged ones who has been to see Notre Dame, not once, but twice. I went when I was 16 or so, as part of my high school French trip. My parents took Shawn and I back, some time in the 1990s. We have a picture Shawn took of one of the gargoyles hanging in our kitchen.
My having been there is NOT why I cried.
I've cried many of the same tears thinking about the library in Alexandria. I've cried the same tears when water leaked in the roof of the Immigration History Research Center. It's not about _my_ connection to the place, it's about the place and its connection to history, to the world, to future generations--not just tourists, either.
I had a dream last night that I woke up from that I knew was about Notre Dame. Shawn has hired a new administrative assistant at her job at the Minnesota Historical Society who starts today. Last night, I dreamt I was this new employee. In my dream, I was moving into someone else's cubicle, an archivist who'd been working on a number of projects. Of the things I was cleaning of of this space were paper wrapped paper napkins. They were napkins that had advertisements printed on them from the Pillsbury company. When I carefully opened up the package in my dream, I discovered that the napkins--which each had separate ads on the--had been water damaged, the whole package of them, hundreds of individual bits of corporate history, had been fused together. Shawn (who was also NOT-Shawn in the way of dreams) wanted me to see if I could save any of them. I woke up in a cold sweat telling her that these had to go to conservation immediately, as I was afraid of ripping them.
When I woke up, I thought this is what I feel about Notre Dame.
Small history is as important as big history, what's even more important is that it's preserved. When things are lost, big or small, they are lost. I mourned the napkins with corporate ads on them in my dream the same way I mourn Notre Dame. It's all history. It's all valuable. And, yes, we can rebuild, but things are still lost.
And it's okay to cry over the things that are lost.
News is worse. As I walked through the kitchen at different hours yesterday, both times the news coverage was showing the Notre Dame spire falling, which gave me a sharp, unpleasant throwback first to 9/11, but then also (in black and white) to certain clips of President Kennedy's assassination, which you could not get away from, late '63, early '64. TV, magazines, had those same pictures, now permanently etched in my memory.
Re Notre Dame, that 800 year old edifice has taken hits before. Notably, the French Revolution. It was very badly damaged by revolutionaries. It was gussied up superficially by Napoleon so that he could be crowned emperor there (though French kings had actually been crowned and buried at Reims and St-Denis respectively). It wasn't until Victor Hugo wrote about it so nostalgically (he also did that about other parts of old Paris in Les Miserables) that it was finally restored as much as nineteenth century tech was able to do so. I believe some of those famous gargoyles appeared then, if I'm not mistake, remembering my tour as an awe-filled student in 1972, listening to the tour guide heavily French-accented German.
The dawn of the automobile has done nearly as much damage as the revolutionaries, just not to the art, which was carried out. Whenever I smell diesel smoke on a city street still, I'm thrown back to the Paris I roamed in '72, and then again in '75, which smelled of diesel first, then equal parts cigarette smoke and urine. (there were outside urinals for men in those days, and there was also a lot of alleyway and building pissing). The urine never hurt the church building, but I bet anything that grainy smoke that got all over your clothes and in your hair after a day's wandering certainly did. It had had an entire century of accumulation.
Notre Dame was a living church--that is, unlike many, hadn't been turned into a museum, but was still consecrated. I image Palm Sunday masses were held earlier that day, before the fire.
In other news, something that likely only excites me--the narrator for A Sword Named Truth is really taking the pronunciation seriously, and even consulted me about overall narrative tone. Wow, this is what the A-listers must feel like. I don't expect to ever get this kind of attention again. I am so grateful.
This is the translation of a 1922 work by a Danish woman who traveled extensively in the Norden collecting stories. She also made some woodcuts related to the stories, which are reproduced here--one of the places where black-and-white reproduction absolutely does a great job for the material.
It matters that Demant Hatt was a woman in this field. It matters a lot. Because the people she had access to hear stories from, the stories she got to hear, were much more evenly balanced between men and women both as tellers and as characters. Compared to other compilations of Saami [both spellings are used, this is the one I favor, both are fine though] tales, this is a far more accurate representation of range.
And it's got so many great things. It's got girls with agency to spare; it's got feisty old ladies; it's got reindeer and murder and weird northern birds. It's got origin stories. It's got "we don't know anyone from OUR band who would do this but we HEARD of a girl who did this" stories. I was so excited when I heard this book existed, and it did not in any way disappoint. If you're interested in Arctic peoples, or even if you just like folklore, this is a must-have.
I'm sure I'm behind the times here, but I'd never seen actual Quidditch pictures before! (For certain values thereof, I mean.) Via File 770.
I love learning about linguistics and was excited to see this list of linguistics podcasts. I particularly liked en clair, on forensic linguistics, because it has beautiful complete transcripts so I caught up just by reading.
The movie Fast Color stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and is, per the AV Club "part superhero origin story, part multigenerational family drama, part near-future dystopian fable," which sounds relevant to our interests.
The Wound of Very Contrition (3940 words) by cosmogyral
Fandom: Hilary Tamar Mysteries - Sarah Caudwell, Oxford Time Travel Universe - Connie Willis
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Selena Jardine/Julia Larwood
Characters: Hilary Tamar, Selena Jardine, Julia Larwood, Michael Cantrip, Desmond Ragwort, Kivrin Engle, James Dunworthy
Summary: The Royal Historical Society seeks from all those who once worked with him a reminiscence of James Dunworthy, lately retired at the peak of his eminence, and I believe the time has come at last for me to give mine. “After all,” as my young friend Selena Jardine said when I asked for her legal advice, “it’s not actually libelous. And I suppose no one but me will be harmed at this stage.” // * // In which Hilary Tamar kidnaps a child from the Middle Ages; and other academic crimes which are, properly considered, James Dunworthy's fault.
Hi this is the best. (WIP but first chapter is satisfying on its own.)
National Geographic, a few years ago, on how extremely precise measurements were taken of Notre Dame. I get emotional when overtired, so I had to stop looking at the news, but I wonder if architectural restorations include all the kludgy bits?
All this meant that Sunday was full of brain fog. I struggled past it to knock at least one writing-related thing off my to do list, but damn, I have never worked harder to write 800 words in my LIFE. And then I spent the evening doing hand sewing for my Vampire Ball outfit.
I am starting to wonder if the upswing in death migraines is due to Yet Another Sensitivity. Did you know that if you're sensitive to gluten, you can develop a sensitivity to corn? And reactions can include brain fog, joint pain, fatigue, and migraines? Guess who indulged in some tasty corn mesa treats two weeks in a row? Oh, and it turns out the 0 carb sweetener I use is fermented from corn. >.<
So I'm doing an elimination test, and in two weeks time I'll have another couple of pupusas, and see if it triggers anything. I am less than thrilled about this.
Today! Go over the Stroppy One's feedback on my descriptions for my Patreon levels. Set up the ringlight and camera and film a few test videos. More sewing. Maybe laundry. Definitely dither more about my outfits for Sakuracon.
I watched Thor: Ragnarok several months ago and never got around to writing it up, and might as well now to keep myself awake.
The experience of watching this movie was extremely weird because it was exactly like all the Tumblr posts? ( only extremely mild spoilers )
I can't believe I haven't actually asked this, but:
I loved Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but I get the impression that Bendis' run is thought of as more important for establishing the idea of the character than the details? Reading summaries does not super-impress me, especially the significant family deaths. Am I wrong and would people recommend Bendis' run? What about the Champions series?
(I know the solo title has recently been relaunched with Saladin Ahmed writing, which seems promising to me, but it's just started.)
And if I get in to Lesley, and have to go on another apartment search, I can just go walk in things that are close to apartments I look at.
Anyway, I'm getting together with one branch of my family tomorrow for combined Frederick-and-me birthday stuff, and my mother-in-law has invited him and me over for dinner next week as a *different* combined birthday thing, because her husband also has an April birthday. But today, in celebration of its being gorgeous and of my being 46, I went off solo to Explore Things. In particular, Purgatory Chasm. I've never been, and honestly had never heard of it until last year, when I went past on my way from Worcester to Easton, and the name kept luring me. It's apparently Well Known in some parts of Massachusetts that aren't Boston, especially to families with children, because zillions of people were there. There's a nice network of trails, and some A+ glacier-deposited rocks, and a burbling brook, and the eponymous chasm. Said Chasm was officially closed, since there's still ice pockets, but that was honored more in the breach than in the observance by the zillions of hikers. I did avoid it to begin with, and took the overland loop and the path to 'Little Purgatory', which was basically just a hill with more rocks, but the trail went along the brook for awhile. Coming back, there was no barrier and it was hard to resist, so I didn't, since I thought they were being alarmist and had it still closed mostly because of the mild flooding due to snow melt. But no, there were sudden cold pockets of air that I am familiar with when hiking, and which totally mean ice, and lo there was ice. (But it too far along for me to turn around.) Shows what I know.
I expect it's *packed* in the summer, because today was gorgeous (in the afternoon, anyway -- sunny and 70ish), and as noted, there were 5 zillion people, but that's OK, I like people. Sometimes.
There's a couple different myths about the origin of the name and/or the location. (I figure it was originally named that because it was a place of temporary suffering that felt endless.)
Went back home via Connecticut and Rhode Island, because why not? While getting lost in northeast Connecticut, I came across Morning Beckons Farm, which has alpacas aplenty, the requisite guard llamas, a burro and a donkey, some type of cow with curved horns, some goats and possibly also sheep off in the distance (they're normally accessible, but their access road was flooded), a bunch of emus in one fenced off area close to another fenced off area that had various kinds of chickens, a standard peacock and peahen, a couple of white peafowl (apparently not albinos, those, but a variant of Indian Blue peafowl), at least one turkey, and some (loud) guinea fowl both inside and running around outside the enclosure.
Also, there was a tortoise shell barn cat, who showed up, gave me a careful looking over, and declined to be petted.
Oh, and a statue of a camel, in with the alpacas, but no living camel.
It doesn't have a sign with its name on (I only know the name because of Google Maps), but it does have a sign explaining about Emus, and one about alpacas, and various notices not to feed the alpacas (who are on a specialized diet). I wandered around for about 15 minutes outside, talking to the cat and insulting the (loud) guinea fowl, but none of the owners emerged. (As it turns out, they have a gift shop, which was open til 4, but I was there around 5.)
Anyway, shall go again sometime, when it's less wet and I can get to the goats.
As it turns out, most of the weight in my bag was the water and the Off (and my book), but nonetheless, I'm still transferring the extraneous stuff into another bag.
Stuff In Bag:
( Cut for length, because this is already long. )