6-13-2007 Children’s Day

Today 13 Juggling Day and Kitchen Klutzes
14 Flag Day, Family History Day, Pop goes the Weasel Day
15 A Friend Indeed Day and Work@Home Father’s Day
Saturday 16 Wish Fulfillment, Ntl. Fudge, and Vinegar Days
17 Father’s Day, Accident and, Eat All your Vegetables Days
Monday 18 is Dan’s Birthday! also Intnl. Picnic, Trouser, Natl. Cherry Tart, and Natl. Splurge Days
19 World Sauntering, Martini, and Garfield the Cat Days

National Hug Holidays (2d week of June) end, and the third week of June is Gay Pride week.

The weather has been rainy which is bad for the roofing, not that Alex hasn’t tried. But of course he works from 7 to 3:30. Monday he went to his first jousting practice with the Wolf Argent people in Hudson- he rides a horse and knocks orange plastic cones off barrels with a stick.

Last week I forgot to mention that Farfel, Fitz’s cat died. I think Fitz was living here when we noticed a black longhaired cat in the neighborhood. I assumed that a long-hair couldn’t possibly be an outdoor cat, so I figured someone would be looking for their lost cat. So we fed it, and contacted the local vets, and put up signs telling people we’d found it. No one responded. While we waited we discovered WHY the cat was probably taken out to the boonies and dumped. It wasn’t affectionate. It peed all over the place and threw up everything it ate. It was so nasty we named it Elese after one of Willow’s nastier characters. We dealt with the bladder/digestion problems by switching to expensive healthy cat food. And Fitz came very fond of her, but noticed that the cat was licking his balls, so we changed the name to Farfel kind of sideways for the Feline Formerly known as Elese. They got along pretty well, but of course when Fitz went into the hospital, he left Farfel behind, and again didn’t take him when he moved to Brian’s. So he’s just been hanging around here.
We have no idea how old he was, but we knew he was getting thinner, and occasionally sounded like he was hurting. We did what we do for sick cats- we gave him brewers yeast and garlic. It gives them more healthy stuff to work with. But we were aware he was not going to last long.
Then last week he started choking- we thought maybe he was choking on a chicken bone because we’d put down a chicken carcass, but he was gagging and Kat tried and couldn’t reach down his throat and get anything out. He looked rather panicked and wanted to go out, so I let him out. He ran under the car (and I explained to Kat that we couldn’t afford the cost of a weekend emergency vet, and we knew he was sick, so if they could get out what he was choking on, they’d then want to treat whatever else was wrong with it). Five minutes later, after checking all her cat health books, she went out and looked at him as he lay under the car- and he was dead.
Star dug a hole in the yard for him. That’s about it. Kat noticed that I’d forgotten to mention it last week. I guess I repressed it.

This weekend was Golden Sword. I took so long on the computer that we didn’t get out by 4 Friday (to give time to set up), so we didn’t go up to the Fairgrounds until Saturday morning. It’s only 65 minutes to the fairgrounds, but I was letting the girls sleep in while backing up my bedding and the food until I remembered to check to see when the Weed Walk I’d agreed to do was scheduled. It was for 10, so we should have been there by nine, and I discovered this at 8. We were driving away at 8:20, so you can see how fast the kids can move when they must. Going from asleep to out that fast is amazing to me.

I had a really good time at the event. When we got there it was pouring buckets, so we put off the weed walk until it dried out enough, and I helped the kids unpack and set up. They had a building for the merchants, which was really nice, but left our pavilion rather empty. Since we didn’t have to be in the market area, we set up down with Brian and House Strangeways, in fact they fed us (which was good, because I’d neglected to pack the propane stove). It was so wonderful to sit around the fire joking and singing in the evening. Actually most of the singing was up at the official Bardic Circle up in the building where Kythe was offering samples of a huge assortment of the brewer’s art. I explained that I couldn’t try much, but did sample some pomegranate vodka (which I think should not exist) and some rather nice raspberry wine. I was amazed when Kythe sang Medicinal Compound because it turned out that no one there had ever heard Imperial Compound! Looking it up on line, I discovered that people had stopped writing verses not too long after we got off the throne- two decades ago. I shall have to try to get them to fill in verses for the more recent royalty. At least since they have been doubling up so much they only seem to have had 16 kings in the last 20 years (at two reigns a year, that’s a lot of repetition!) But I’m getting ahead of myself.
During the day the rain stopped and Kat and her friends and Tristram (who was passing) helped me put up the pavilion. Brian’s tent pegs had gone missing, so we loaned him our “secure the edge of the tent” pegs. We left before his tent was down so he’s got to drive them back to us, but it was good that we had them available.
It was dry enough at 1:30 that we rescheduled the Weed Walk at 2, but I think some people may have missed it who’d wanted because I don’t know if it was announced. We wandered through the woods and around the edge of the Archery field, looking at what was growing. I’d taken my Peterson’s Guide to Medicinal plants and a huge pile of other herb books for people to look through. Numbers seemed to me to be down this year, I remember that occasionally Midsummer’s has been a huge event, and I don’t think there were a hundred this year- of course, it’s the State Fair grounds and it’s a huge site- the Equestrians were off doing their mounted combat thing, the fighters were somewhere else, the archers were somewhere else, the fencers still another place, and there was room for them all, but there weren’t that many merchants.
Freya came down from Canada. I was happy to see her, even though she’s in a wheel chair. I’m not sure why, I didn’t want to press, but I heard she’s going to see a neurosurgeon- something with her spine I think. I’m sending healing energy since it couldn’t hurt and might help. She’s a wonderful lady, and she was even talking about maybe selling off her stock, so it sounds like a serious problem. Freya specializes in very authentic fabrics like silk, wool, linen Egyptian cotton, and fine blends. She found a pair of earrings she wanted to give to a friend, so we traded them to her for fabric. Kat got a silk blend for the war, and Willow got a nice rose colored cotton, and I was talking to her about how people can’t tell you’ve changed your garb if you stay in the same style and basic color scheme all the time, so she talked me into getting a piece of amber colored cloth. It would never occur to me to wear that color, so it should break through the preconception that I have only black and wine colored bog dresses.
It drizzled a little on Saturday night, but was sunny enough on Sunday that we were able to break down dry (yay!), I went down to watch the Golden Sword tourney since I still feel possessive about it. There’s a project going to try and figure out who all the winners have been. Actually, they switched positions between the Baronial Champion Tourney and the Golden Sword Novices tourney, so I only caught the melees at the end, but it was great to watch them. The picture is of me and the last 6 winners.
Between then and court, I took these pictures. Kat and Kiaya were relaxing and I came up behind a nearby tree and stuck the camera out from behind it to get a candid picture of them. I was still a bit far away, so I hit the zoom, then got the one I’m sending. Apparently they’d noticed me approach and disappear then saw the arm stick out from behind the tree, which is why they are laughing. We got the tent empty and mostly down before they called court, and when it was done we discovered that not only had Willow packed the goods up by herself, she’d also packed the trailer by herself during court. She is very good. But then she was very exhausted, so we went straight home- although we did look for a place to get her a soft serve ice cream on the way- it’s mostly back roads so we didn’t find one.

She’s finally finished the court story line in Stupidity and Magic and is doing a few jokes before the next story line starts.
The girls will be going to Portcon (an anime convention) and are sewing “cos-plays” for it- which is dressing up in a costume recognizable from a comic strip. Looking at internet pictures of cos-players, I’m not sure whether it’s actually required to choose a character that’s way off of your own body type, but it sure is common. I don’t recognize the character Willow’s doing, but Kat’s trying Lena Inverse from the Slayers (which we did for Halloween for her one year) again, and this means stretch fabric, which required borrowing a serger from Christine Taylor (CATsama). My sewing machine is STILL in the shop awaiting a part. (the repairman sent in an order for several parts at once and they refuse to ship until they’ve got ALL the pieces in that order, so we’ve been waiting for months!) Modern business sucks.

The big thing that ate up too much time this week was a flurry of e-mails about the check that bounced at Etheracon. We can’t afford to write it off, so Friday we sent the woman (who hadn’t responded to any of the messages on her machine) a certified letter- oddly I haven’t gotten the receipt back from that yet. But a friend of hers contacted her, and she e-mailed me and said she’d be sending a check- how much was it with the bank fees? That sounded good, but I’ll feel better when we actually get the money order. I certainly feel that I have wasted too much time trying to get it back. I know she probably just panicked when she got the level of hate mail I saw going by. (She apparently got stuff from several vendors with checks from a closed account. She says it was a mistake, she’d had to change bank accounts and thought she’d destroyed all the old checks, and it was a simple mistake. Still, she did write checks on a closed account, and that was bad for all of us. Most small vendors don’t have much of a safety net- I know we don’t.) I hate doing the “grown up” parts of life!

Now that I’ve decided to try to go for the more academic mode of book, actually writing the book has become easier since I can copy the style of the academic style books I liked. I’ve written about half of the introduction and keep reading new interviews as they come in. I really need to get all my pagan friends to send me interviews (and maybe some non-pagan ones to create a bit of a control). I’ve started the bibliography. I’m at about 205 books I’ve read on the subject, and I’ve been really careful not to include any that aren’t pertinent. By the time I’m done, I figure I’ll have hit 300.

I didn’t actually get a chance to actually watch the first season of Supernatural, which we had out from the library. I got to watch the first two discs, but haven’t spent that much time watching TV. I really need to relax more.
I did watch GhostRider (the extended version, although I didn’t spot any extended scenes) which is now out on DVD. It’s still a good movie. I did watch Chasing Christmas which I put on the Netflix list last winter, and it was a “long wait” and finally came up on the queue. The premise is that the Christmas Carol “spirits” have been around for(ever?) a long time, and haunt someone each year, (“We TOLD that Dickens guy not to make a story about it!”) and the spirit of Christmas past is so sick of failing he runs off through time with this year’s “scrooge” and “Present” chasing him until the scrooge gets a better handle on his life, and they manage to get everything back to normal quick before the world ends because they’ve taken too long. Not bad, but not worth the wait. Definitely a “watch-oncer”. (as opposed to say, the remake of the new Wickerman, which was “watch never-er”, you’ll never get that hour and a half back.)

I got to feeling like I’d wasted my whole life on the SCA and spent several hours jotting down what I’ve done in it over the past 35 years. A whole lot, actually, it’s kind of impressive when clumped like that. On the other hand, I’m left with wondering what value studying history has. This does not, of course, stop me from liking it a lot. I’m reading a book about the history of Witchcraft from antiquity to the 14th century right now. It’s fascinating. The author apparently knows a lot about medieval literature, and as usual, context has a huge bearing on interpretation.
Apparently in the 11th century, the big literary “thing” was “rhetoric”, and people would invent these incredible, fantastic ideas, and then argue both sides of them. It reminds me of Orson Well’s War of the Worlds, if you ignore the “this is a piece of fiction” statement, you can get scared, because it’s framing a ridiculous thing as if it were real to make it more powerful. Actually, that makes me happy because it’s a reflection of how even back in the chain-mail and horse days, people were still people. (and there’s a surviving one where the rhetor accuses his cousin of being a heretic sorcerer. Oh, and these fabulous concepts were called controversies- cool eh? They’d get details from literature mostly the Roman classics.
Then in the 12th century the big thing was moral tales- in which style decreed that the facts be embellished to drive the moral home. Once again, these guys would borrow stuff from writers of a century ago (something like using Edgar Allen Poe for scientific research on 19th century medicine). I can hardly wait until he covers the next few centuries. This is GREAT stuff! And no one in either the medieval or witchcraft communities I deal with seems to know anything about it! Wait until I tell them!

Of course, I rather feel the same way about my extensive knowledge in the neo-pagan history. I find it harder to wonder about the healing stuff I’ve learned, or other practical things like gardening, cooking etc. but of course, you keep learning stuff until you die, then what? Then your kids have a huge yard sale I guess. Is ANYTHING we do ultimately important? I don’t know. I like to think I make the world a better place- I make people feel better about themselves. Usually. Obviously sometimes I make people feel bad about themselves. It’s not intentional. Feh!

Star’s spending a lot of time writing on whatever it is he writes on the computer, and Kat’s working on her books too. I suppose we must be getting better.
(Kat edit: *sweat* you might say I’m working on books… I’ve been rereading Harry Potter. But in mother’s defense, all she really knows is that I’m in my room with my door closed, playing loud music)

I’ve been making herbal teas from the garden- clover and mint, raspberry and yarrow. They’re pretty good. We’ve also been eating out of the freezer, and the deeper we get the more freezer burned stuff we find. Not yummy.

That’s all I can think of right now.

Oh, Tara has been declared an endangered site- finally. I cannot imagine what level of improved life the people of Ireland would get by putting a freeway through their most sacred site!

Here’s a news update about the bee disaster, if you were wondering about that.

A friend sent me this link and I wasn’t going to pass it on in the letter, but changed my mind. After all, you don’t have to click if you don’t want to look.
This is the World Championship Sand castle competition.
I have no idea how they do it. Or why.
How can you put so much art into something you know is going to be gone with the next shower or gust of wind?
The photographers must dash about taking pictures as soon as they are done.


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