This week the weather has been pretty hot. John will turn on the air conditioning sometimes. My theory is that he likes to take walks outside and come back into the cool. I think I prefer fans (except in the car, and if we’re not on the highway, I still prefer the open window unless it’s REALLY hot. More on this later) The flowers are still the same as last week: mallow, lilies, daisies, yarrow and campion beside the road, elder bushes blooming, some roses and the pansies, bless their hardy souls. I still haven’t put the lettuce in, still nervous about ticks, and busy. Thanks too John, who watered them while we were away, they are still alive. I’ve got to get them in.
We headed up to GNEW (Great North Eastern War) Thursday afternoon and didn’t get back until Sunday night, so that took up most of the week. Avi gave Willow Thursday and Friday off, because this week Avi’s in California, and Willow’s staying over there and watching the kids 24/7. She dashed in briefly to get a bathing suit today and remarked “I don’t know how Avi doesn’t collapse!”. I don’t know how single parents manage either. I assume that they just don’t bother with things they can’t get to, and no one else notices because they’re all at home, and we don’t see them. I’m not ready to suggest, as I’ve heard others do, that if you can let them go, they must be unimportant. I think that’s something like saying that if you can go a day or two without eating, you never have to eat. There’s an old joke about a farmer who kept reducing his horse’s portion of oats by 10% each week, figuring that if he weaned him down slowly he could get him to live on nothing but hay. “It was working too, but then the danged critter died on me before I got him down to 10%!” The operation was successful, but the patient died. I fear that a lot of the social problems we have these days may be attributable to not having someone there to make the house a good place to live. I’m not saying that we need full time housekeepers in every family, but that we need to recognize the value of what a home-maker does. Yes, we need money to pay the rent and buy food, but we need more than that. We need hugs to thrive.
I will note that having the roses on Willow’s car may not be necessary to find it in a parking lot when the trailer is on it, but it really helps when it doesn’t. (SO many white SUVs!)
I suspect that GNEW may intend to expand (gradually) as Pennsic did. There are activities such as battles, classes, and courts all day on Friday and Saturday. Many of us, especially the merchants, come in and set up on Thursday. Willow managed to get everything packed during the morning while I fought with the printer (and lost- I didn’t have handouts for my classes).
Wednesday night John and I had cut up some roasts and made a batch of jerky, in the morning we took them off the rack. Sadly, the trailer was not well organized after Panteria and the Palio- when we got to GNEW we discovered several things we thought were packed but weren’t- the rug for the pavilion, and many of the expected items (like plates) in the feast chest. Apparently they got washed, but not put back where they belonged. We had the box of booklets and the stand, but the battery powered screwdriver wasn’t in with the stand, so we couldn’t put it up.
Let me just say that I do not generally appreciate my nice wooden roof. The sun comes up at five and the white canvas defuses it more than it stops it. I’d wake up and stick my head under the tablecloth in order to go back to sleep. (As we hadn’t turned in until well after midnight, more sleep was required! It just kept getting brighter by degrees as I became conscious, then pushed back the cloth, then opened my eyes,… and, of course going outside to the privy, even brighter! (I threw a black veil over my head.)
I’ll admit that there was an echo of fear left over from last year which, in retrospect, was probably the beginning of the Lyme disease- although there was no bite any of us noticed at the time, as far as I knew it started with a night of broken sleep, followed by much falling asleep during the day, and a month later, the aching started. Apparently I can’t do anything normally. But still, as we strted getting ready, we all had, if not panic attacks, at least flashbacks where we’d wonder if history might be repeating itself again. Kat got a bite of some sort on her back and we are watching for any familiar disturbing symptoms, even though we know that the ring rash and other signs associated with Lyme are erratic, and could mean other things. Still, it only takes one time for the entire families life to be disrupted by a bug bite to put everyone on edge. And being tense isn’t good for any of us.
This year we got a flat spot- which made everything so much nicer! They supplied the tables- 8 foot long, so we only needed three, and we had our living area in the back, and the goods in the front, and were quite comfortable. We are seriously thinking of getting a fly to put off the back so that we can not have to scramble to pull things in if it looks like it’s going to rain. Having the basin beside the mirrored box made a lovely “toilet area”, although, I was annoyed to see that during the winter some rodents had shredded the towels we had with the kitchen pans and such, and had to be replaced (in future, we’ll move them inside over the winter). We picked up some Irish butter because it came in a tub (better for a cooler), and amazingly it lived up to it’s hype. It does taste better! I expect we’ll try it again. We have bread and honey/butter/jam and fruit for breakfast, with cheese and carrots, pickles, and other vegetables for lunch. It’s lovely sitting around the table chatting and eating. For supper I fried a ham steak on Friday, and saute’d some sausage and onions on Saturday. We also got some garlic knots from Lorelei, and a meat pie from another baker. I love camping, mostly because what we do is hardly camping. I have to admit that it’s a lot of packing and unpacking and most of the heavy lifting and pounding isn’t done by me.
This year we were between Walt King who makes wooden stuff: walking sticks, wooden knives that really cut (which amazes me), knitting needles, cutting boards, etc. and on the other side was William the Humble- who sells pottery, and closed his booth to attend the Soothsayers guild meeting. We were across from heralds point, and beyond that the Bardic area. Auntie Arwen’s was down the way a bit, although she wasn’t there. I could probably tell you half the merchants, because it seems they’re the ones we know these days. I suppose if you are staying within “quick return” of your booth even when there are no customers, it’s natural that it’s the other merchants we chat with and get to know.
One of the things about this war is that they include not just the battles with rattan and fencing, but archery, and classes, and arts competitions as well, and there’s even a shopping point. People can, if they wish, track how much they spent and who they want to get the credit. So whichever side spent the most money at the merchants gets that point. This year there was a point where two incipient shires were having a competition to see which could collect the most “largess” for the Crown to give away. Willow contributed a set of fans with the Eastern Tyger painted on it them- 10 folding fans and 10 paddle fans. I’m sure those will be VERY welcome to the recipients! The barony list had pictures of all the stuff- they collected over 300 items for the Crown to distribute.
During the days we often heard distant cheering and were reminded that there was morning court, afternoon court, evening court, battlefield court… probably on both days. Willow had sympathy for the royalty. I simply have respect. It is what they signed up for. The agreement the SCA makes with its members is that if you do something cool, you will be given recognition, and that’s what the Crowns and Barons are for. When there are that many people doing that much wicked cool stuff, it’s going to take a lot of time to commend them all. (Speaking of which, Willow overheard the crown giving Kate the Wicked our service award. The King said “You should be known as Kat the Useful”, but Willow (and others, said “Kat the Wicked Useful!”, this was, after all, Maine, where Wicked is an adverb.) Friends of ours, and friends of friends, got awards, and I’m mildly sad that I wasn’t there to congratulate them, but at the same time, I’m really not fond of court.
I gave four classes, two Friday and two Saturday. On Friday I taught Anglo-Saxon Warriors in the morning, and Palmistry in the afternoon. Sadly, I did that thing where I was standing at a slight angle that makes my back ache, and was really limping by the end of the workshop. A lovely lady (named Victoria) carried my bag and portfolio back for me, and then gave me a wonderful massage, after which I felt much better, (although during there were several moments of “ouch”). And I was careful to have someone else carry my bag after that.
Another nearby merchant is a leather-worker from whom we’ve bought before. Willow and I replaced our leather needles, and she got this lovely antler comb with a piece of florite or amythest in the handle. Kat found some lovely lilac colored linen at one of the shops but waited so long to get some that there were only two yards left when they went for it. Still, another sheer gunna will not be amiss, even if she has no matching kirtle to wear with it.
The key to dealing with the heat is linen, keeping it sheer, and wet if needed. (and sometimes putting your feet in a bucket of cold water.) It was beastly hot too often this weekend. There were dark black clouds much of Saturday, and everyone was checking their weather apps far to much for authenticity (and none of them agreed anyway). Finally it did rain for a couple of hours from about six to eight. There was a lovely double rainbow- running into the trees, you could see where it hit the trees at the top of the hill- it wasn’t behind them. We got this lovely image of Ælfthryth coming back from the necessary looking much cooler. Sadly, the clouds hid the full moon- but there was howling anyway.
Jeanne came by on the way to the Strangeways Pinata party- this year’s theme was unicorns. I’d love to have seen them, but at 10 PM I was ready to sleep, not party. Weehawk came by as well, as did his parents and I (authentically) asked them how much they were going to pay me to take him on as an apprentice! We should have some fun with it, come up with an amusingly worded, but accurate, contract to sign, and maybe refreshments. We’ll have to pick a day to do it. It’s so easy to get too much to do at Pennsic. We also need to schedule a Soothsayers Guild meeting there.
We had one at GNEW- between the Anglo-Saxon Herbs class and the Werewolf class, and there does seem to be some interest, although I don’t remember how many were there. I passed out a bunch of small hourglass shaped charms for people who don’t want to wear embroidered badges. We have to schedule a meeting at Pennsic as well. I hope it’s not too late. That and the apprentice taking ceremony, and tonight I remembered Pagan Pride Days, and am trying to schedule those classes, and organize the Twilight Covening plans. How did September, October and November get so close so quickly?
Luckily, it was sunny on Sunday, so we packed up and got out after noon- we didn’t rush, and Kat and I even showered before changing out of our garb into our traveling clothes. We got back, and unpacked. John unloaded Willow’s car, and anything important in the trailer. Monday we spent doing laundry, and catching up on anything put on hold while we were out.
Willow left for Avi’s first thing in the morning, so Avi could head for California. I’m not sure what else they’ve been up to, but I saw on fb that they went to the beach today. Yesterday John and I did errands- the dump, library, groceries, and I went to the dentist. After that I ran up to Hookset and dropped off Willow’s sewing machine. (It needed it’s annual going over, and since she’s gone this week, it seemed a good time to do it.) I was so proud of myself. We’ve been going to the same Vac and Sew for 20 some years, through 3 or 4 owners. It’s changed hands again- and the new ownder does vacuums, but is still learning on sewing machines, so she’d have taken it to the guy who’s teaching her- the brother of the previous guy. I didn’t know where it was, but remembered that I have the GPS in my phone, so I plugged it in, zipped up to the store and dropped it off. Interestingly, the app had said it was 41 minutes from Milford Vac and Sew to the Sew and Vac up there, and when I put in our home address, it said it was only 42 minutes from there to Lyndeboro. But then things went weird. For reasons I cannot know, this time it took me on all sorts of tiny back roads. If I’d had any idea where I was, I might have tried to find the highway and go home that way, but I had no idea, so I just kept going- finally recognizing Route 13 in Goffstown. I got back home in about 90 minutes. Ah, technology.
As might have been predictable, presenters are now sending in proposals for CTCW. I cannot help but understanding as I reach out to the people running Pagan Pride Days, which happen in September, and discover that they were looking for proposals several months ago. Oops.
Tonight the New Normal had Thor Halvorsen on again, a fellow who, like myself, loves to look at the sociological aspects of religion and magick. We (or mostly he) talked about Mythology and how it is used. Lucky he approaches these shows much like a workshop, as once again my mic went dead halfway through. Again, I have no clue what’s with that. Technology is not my thing. He has also been helping me with writing descriptions for the panels. At this juncture we are putting up ideas, and whichever ones attract people who want to be on those panels will run. Sadly, once again technology is not my friend. I am sure that there must be a way for people to click something to sign up, but so far no one who does the website work has been able to figure out how to do it. (The lady who made our proposal forms had a family emergency, and is unavailable.) We have 22 descriptions done so far, but since we need (I think) 18, we should probably suggest 25 or more. We have to come up with ones that excite people to want to be on them. The problem is that both Thor and I get excited about scholarly stuff, and have to try to imagine what other people might enjoy.
Well, I must get off the computer, I have to get up early tomorrow, so I will spare you my thoughts on the current political situation, although I am hopeful recent developments will soon lead to the “swamp clearing” for which we’ve been hoping. I have been consoling myself that it is good for them to proceed carefully. We want to make sure that everything is done correctly, because this attempted coup is not something we want them to weasel out of, using laws intended to protect the innocent. Still, it’s hard to watch the continued attacks on the protections for the environment, for workers, for women, etc. that go on under the distraction of the crooked election.
I got this picture of Kat during packing- she’s wearing our “packing garb” in muslin- lightweight, good sun protection, still period, and we do look good. Once you are at an event, you should get into garb, and not take it off until you are leaving the site. I can understand when people are new and don’t have much garb, but when you’ve been around a while you must have something you can wear. I was wearing an old gown that has gotten to faded for anything but work, but has so much embroidery on it, I hesitate to chuck it.
One of the next jobs is to go through my garb and make any repairs needed, and see if I have enough (that still fits) that looks well enough to wear when teaching. Not going there, too much to do.
I have read very little this week except the books on werewolves, although I’ve finished three more of those, and am ready to start writing. I did finish the fiction I was reading Night Riot. It’s a wonderful detective book with magick. Very English, the author apparently wrote some Dr. Who episodes. I was rather frustrated that it took the detective until seeing a Punch and Judy show on May Day to figure out that the culprit who whacked people with paddles, killed his wife, threw his baby out the window, had a hooked nose and chin, and said “That’s the way to do it!” more than once was the spirit of Punch. That may have been the bit they threw in so that the readers get to feel smart. But I really enjoyed it and was thrilled to discover that the author has written many more in this series. I may not get to them immediately, but I am very much looking forward to it. Sadly, I have found myself saying “That’s the way to do it!” a few times, which I hope will stop soon. Other things I’ve enjoyed is a video John shared with me of clips of Thor to the song Your Welcome from Moana.
That’s it for this week
Here’s some fun excuses to celebrate next week:
Thursday 13: Beans & Franks Day, French fries Day, Embrace your Geekness Day, Rock Day
Friday 14: Mac & Cheese Day, Tape Meaure Day, Shark Awareness Day, Pandemonium Day, Nude Day
Saturday: 15 Gummi Worm Day, Woodie Wagon Day, Kebab Day, Tapioca, St. Swithin’s, Give Simething Away Day
Sunday 16: Ice Cream Day, Corn Fritter Day, Fresh Spinach Day, Snake Day
Monday 17: Peach Ice Cream Day, Hug your Kid Day, Tattoo Day, Emoji Day, Yellow Pig Day
Tuesday 18: Caviar Day, World Listening Day, Nelson Mandela Day, Sour Candy Day
Next Wednesday 19: Daquiri Day, Hot Dog Day, Raspberry Cake Day, New Friends Day
You may wonder why I enjoy holidays. I see them as reminders to appreciate the cool things in life. I’m a bit more liable to share food holidays, they’re easier to celebrate. But I ask you to look at a day and decide which one you’d pick if you could only mention one. See? It’s hard, there are so many good, interesting, tasty, fun, and important things in the world, it’s not a bad thing to remember them.
And the Pre-Pennsic calendar is up again. So much to do, so little time.
“Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.” Theodore Roosevelt
(Argh! autocorrect found a typo and changed it to “finding the Rich and upholding it”. Scary)