The black hollyhocks are blooming, which are gorgeous. Also the pink mallows are blooming too. The pink roses are blooming across the street, although the little white ones seem to have done all their blooming during the rain two weeks ago, so I didn’t catch their scent which I usually love each year. Daisies are also all over the place. I always think of when Ælfwine and I cut a huge pile of them from the side of the road for Trish’s birthday- I don’t think I’d do that anymore because I enjoy looking at the flowers beside the road so much I’d feel badly about depriving the others who might be enjoying them when they drive by.
Last weekend Kat and Willow went up to PortCon, a comic convention in Portland. They were in Artists Alley and didn’t really expect to make money because at this point they are still working on their reputations, but they covered expenses, and that’s pretty good! Willow made some charms with shrinky-dink stuff that people were happy to buy, and they also sold stickers and character sketches.
You can see from this picture what they did all weekend. There are their sample portfolios- and of course Willow’s Vitamin water- she tends not to eat at cons, so the vitamin water is good for her. I think the jewelry rack has the “shrinky-dink” charms, the stickers are between. The sign in front of Kat says “Free Bodily Harm” (I’d have said grievous, but then, I don’t think they spell any better than I do.)They came home with over an hundred pictures- so I should probably remind you- if your computer doesn’t like pictures- my old one didn’t handle them well, and this took forever to download, tell me and I’ll put you on the no-pictures list. Anyway, most of the artists (and cosplayers) had signs that said “Free Hugs”, so Kat’s was different. I don’t recognize the Red outfit Xander is wearing- he could be cos-playing too, I suppose.
Cos-play is (I believe) short for Costumed Role Playing- where you dress up like a character from a popular comic. It’s cool if people recognize you. This picture is of Willow and another version of the same character Seras from Hellsing. I notice that neither of them have the skirt as short as it’s generally drawn. And of course, Willow chose the wine colored uniform, whereas the other girl chose the yellow from a different season. Gotta teach Willow not to look directly into the camera.
This is Willow with someone playing Alucard (yes, Dracula backwards). Just before the shot was taken, someone pointed out that Seras is not usually taller than Alucard, so Willow “took care of it”. Sadly, looks like she’s proposing. I have no idea how that would fit into how the characters interact in the strip/show (or obviously, which it is- could be both). I’m thinking there may have been a thumb partially occluding the lens. After the time they put into their costumes I wanted good pictures of them in the costumes, but they tended to be behind the camera. feh.
Here’s a wonderful picture of Kat smiling. I’m not sure if she’s playing a role- she’s holding up her “re-animator syringe”, and those look like a couple of zombies. Gosh it’s good to see her happy!
This is Kat as Elda (dark Chii) from Chobits. Elda is a robot, and what look like ears are her AV ports- and she has ridiculously long hair.
This is Willow posing for Kat who needed a reference shot for a Harry Potter sketch she was doing where Harry was pulling his bangs aside to show his scar. I don’t think she was as tired as she looks in this shot.
She’s dressed as Tsunade from Naruto (she’s a character who hasn’t appeared in the American show yet- because the American is a couple of seasons behind.)
Anyway, they came home practically glowing. It’s easy to see that this is what they need to be doing. I loved the SCA, I love the pagan cons, I love the country and gardening and the goats- the girls love comics, and should find places in that world.
I stayed home and worked on the book. And worried, I thought I’d got the insurance settled, but it’s going away again in August, so back to the search for someone who’s not anti-goat. I am really peeved. They complained about the “farm animals” and the roof needing work in their notice, but the policy specifically included farm animals, and they guy asked and I told him that the roof was being redone. But the agent said there’s no appeal. It just ticks me off. I think it’s because of the junk, so we’re going to do our best to get the roof done ASAP, and find someone to take away Wolf’s stuff, but it’s not like we haven’t been trying all along.
I finally broke down and applied for a home equity loan- Megan’s been telling me I’m letting the equity go to waste, and I don’t like to see the house go wanting for repairs I can’t afford to have done- so I’m going to go for it. If this accessor likes the way the house looks. I can’t help remembering back when Ælfwine and I tried to get a loan to build a garage/studio at the old house and they took our money and denied us the loan. That time they cited the bags of garbage we’d put on the porch roof to keep the coons out of it, and “no landscaping”- when the picture they used to show it clearly had the fruit trees and bushes we’d put in. Megan says they want it to look like “Middle Class America”. I think they’re frigging arbitrary, and that scares me.
But enough of that. Good thoughts- happy thoughts. The house is certainly worth more than the cost of repairs and it will be good to just be able to hire someone and get it done. It’s a long time since we had friends young enough to come over and help us do stuff ourselves. And it will be great to have the house looking nice. It’s not like I don’t want to live in a nice house.
Today I went through the “under-sink” areas, and chucked out the stuff under them we won’t use. There were a lot of melted dishwashing gloves under the kitchen sink. I don’t know why they melt, but they seem to. We also have 5 half full cans of oven cleaner, and 7 mostly full bottles of dish detergent. Guess we won’t have to buy any of that for a while.
Kat sorted them all out, and washed the good ones. To dry them we put each over a chopstick and stuck it in the ground by the front door. Looks like we’ve got a lovely crop of yellow hands giving people the bird flowers!
In the bathroom we had a lot of “bath supplies” that I assume must have come into the house as gifts because we would not have bought them. I think people like the idea of giving each other “pampering” presents- but if you’ll never use them, it’s kind of pointless to keep them around. I haven’t been able to get covered by water since the old house where we had installed that huge antique tub. Modern tubs are only good for sitz baths. There’s nothing “relaxing” about having your belly chilling because it’s sticking out of the water. Modern tubs are too short and too shallow. Yes, the old tubs took a lot of water- but to get clean efficiently, there are showers. A tub should allow you to soak. Anyway, off to the dump with all the untouched bath products. I’d rather thought I could put them out for people to take away, but the people who run it put them straight into land-fill. Too bad, but at least they’re gone.
I’ve been getting the books into the computer- 250 now (of an estimated 4000- it makes my neck ache just to think of getting them all in- ooh, I need to do something to show which books are done!) Of course, I started with the reference books for Subtle Pagans- the better to work on the bibliography. The other day I put a couple more books on the piles and the table started to tip over- Kat had to run move some of the books while I held the table up! I need more shelves.
Alex (Kuberry) has continued to be wonderful to have around- he’s run into a glitch on the roofing- apparently we put the roof ladder together wrong, and he’s trying to fix it, and can’t find the right tools- which seems odd, but Ælfwine knew his way around the shop, I don’t. Three days a week after work he goes over to Hudson to ride- last weekend J. Morgan Kuberry came up briefly after drilling over there with the rest of the Wolfe Argente company. This is a picture of him on the horse he rides (I told them I wanted pictures of them drilling!) The other day I went over to Megan’s for a couple of hours (after slaving over a hot computer all day) and came back to find that Alex had made dinner. He’s a keeper!
Arwen called me today and told me that the proofs are back for the book cover and when she can get it scanned she’ll send me a picture. The book apparently wasn’t as fat as expected, so the proportions were different and they used the extra parts I painted on the bottom and top. Good thing the gesso board Arwen found was the right proportion.
National Camping Week
June 27 National Orange Blossom Day, Vitamin C discovered
June 28 National Tapioca Day Handshake Day
June 29 National Almond Butter Crunch Day Chicken Wings Day
June 30 National Ice Cream Soda Day Meteor Day
July 1 Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day Early Bird Day
July 2 I Forgot Day, National Literacy Day, Anisette Day
July 3 Stay out of the Sun Day, Chocolate Wafer Day, Dog Days begin
I’m kind of avoiding putting political stuff in the letter lately- it’s too depressing. People who like to talk politics (like Kerensa) call me and we agree with each other at length.
The weather’s also interesting- did you hear reports of the Rain in England? (Heck, did you hear about 20,000 people at Stonehenge for sunrise on the Solstice? Remind me never to go there when there’s something going on. How much space do you need to hold 20000 people?) But I’m on lists with lots of people in the UK and it’s apparently pretty severe over there. “a trifle moist”. Sounds like NH in April. Wonder where the corresponding droughts are?
Because Pennsic is a week earlier this year, it’s time to put up the Pre-Pennsic-Panic-Planning Calendar. Trying to get ready to make as much money as we can (of course, going to be cleaning as much as possible too). And I’ve got the workshops to prepare for- bigger deal since I now tend to write booklets to go with them. (I suppose they’d be papers if I didn’t add illustrations and sell them.) I’m just finishing up the one on Magick in the Middle Ages for the Great North Eastern War. It was too much, so I’m having to split it up into High Magick this time, and Low Magick next year. It’s so easy to get side-tracked. You talk magick, you run into the Inquisition, with the Inquisition, you bump into the shenanigans of Popes and Emperors- Frederick and Innocent were incredible- Innocent was trying to make Frederick go on Crusade, Frederick tried to invade the papal states, failed and had to apologize, but they fought again later (mostly I think it was over real-estate), and the next time Innocent tried to put Frederick under anathama, Frederick responded by trying to capture or sink as many of the ships carrying in the Cardinals from everywhere for the big conclave. It reminds me of the story of Garett Fitzgerald who when Henry VII asked him why he’d burned Cashel Cathedral responded “By my troth, I never would have done it, but I thought the Bishop was in it.”
History is so much fun!
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson