7-22-2015 Pi Approximation Day

I keep thinking about that exchange in Casablanca between Rick and the girl who likes him:
Yvonne: “Where were you last night” Rick: “That’s so long ago, I don’t remember.” Yvonne:”Will I see you tonight?” Rick: “I never make plans that far in advance.” This week is all running together in my mind. The weather hasn’t helped. It has been so hot (“How hot was it?”) We use fans to pump cooler air inside, then close up during the day to keep the heat out. We open up again when it gets DOWN to 80º. Oof!
We have been working out straight- even I am amazed at how much the girls have gotten done, although I tend to look at my own activities as being “too slow, too little”.
Remember the van died on the way to GNEW? Thursday they told us that while they will check to see if it can be fixed for local runs, it’s not getting to the War again. Eek! Megan’s RV died and they had to rent a truck to get their stuff to the war and back, and she’d mentioned negotiating with Enterprise to get them to take a thousand dollars off the rental cost. Woof! We knew we’d have to replace the van this year, but now the question was how to get to Pennsic (in a bit over a week)? Luckily, the gods love us, and so do the guys at Winkles. They told us about another car- a Grand Caravan, like the one that Gary loaned us last year and we had liked so much. One of their other customers wanted to sell it because their kids were grown and they didn’t need one so big. They only wanted $2500- I’m thinking that’s what a rental would have cost us, and Gary assures us it will handle the trailer. From last year we know we can fit in a Caravan.
We looked at it on Thursday, then went to the bank for a cashiers check and bought it on Friday. It’s reassuring that the Winkles have been caring for it and say it’s “impeccably maintained”. Apparently Gary loves Caravans (like the one he loaned us), He says he has 35 he keeps for parts. When I picked it up, along with the title, the lady gave us a file in which she had every receipt, every piece of paper associated with the car. Amazing! I would love to be that organized! I called my insurance guy and got the insurance added for it- they said the paper proving it is on the way. Monday, I got it registered and got the new plates, Tuesday we dropped it at Winkles to get inspected and get a tow hitch welded on.
I should have taken a picture, so I could show you, but forgot.  It’s silver, you can take out all but one seat (very cool) and even has a charging port for Kat’s kindle! I’ve applied for a vanity plate: HLAFDIG, but they tell me that may take months. They promise it will be done Thursday- good because we leave Friday- we’ve got reservations for a hotel near Rochester NY, to sleep on the way, so we have to leave.
Other than that, I’ve mostly been working on the handouts for the classes, and I keep getting stuck on trying to figure out what needs to be included and what doesn’t. Also, the older I get the more I want things documented, and frankly, at this point I can’t remember which book I got which bit of information out of. I have lists, partially reconstructed from before the computer crash of my books- so far the history list is at least 600 books, and someday I hope to get to organizing the library. I’d love to have a file I could go to that could tell me where the book is kept (and actually get them put away), as well as tracking, for example, Haunted: A Social History of Ghosts, would probably be in the “occult” shelves, but is also under history and sociology, and while I’ve separated the Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Celtic books, there are a lot of books on late antiquity that talk about all “barbarians”. I love these books, and it seems a shame not to be able to put my hands on the one I want. (Of course, even if I could remember which it was, finding a story in a whole book would be challenging, and I need a file reminding me about the books I took from the library- which I really do try to do. This year I’ve dismayed the girls by using images from movies on my hand-outs. I guess I’m in  a frivolous mood.
weed walk harpersI also made the jerky myself this year- Kat and Willow were busy doing repairs on my garb. I’d gone through my chest and tried everything on, looking for things that needed discarding or fixing, and the girls took care of mine as well as their own. I did fold them and put them away. I also used the color bleed remover on my gold gown that was in with Willows that bled after GNEW. It took out the leaky majenta, but as with Willow gown- where her dark green embroidery turned beige, the braid on my gown that had been red faded to a beige as well. Luckily when I couldn’t get enough of one red braid, and got another the same color and width, I scattered them around the hem, so it shouldn’t be too odd. (Besides, it’s on the hem.)
DSC02067Monday, the girls went down to the Dragons Hoarde (Wolfe E Myrows) without me this year- they were recognized and the staff asked how I was. They found some lovely gems. We’ll have to tuck them into stock at the war. Since it’s a four hour trip, Kat got a lot of embroidery done on her new gown.  I am rather blown away by how much they are getting done. Yesterday, Willow went over to Blake Brothers and picked up a few more rings and pendants (more than we’d expected since we only had what we’d taken in at GNEW to spend on it- silver prices have gone down again). Today she plans to get the food for John to eat while we’re gone.
They’ve gone through the trailer and John’s taken out the tent sides and poles. We’re doing a lot of going through various chests: packing the tools, packing the art supplies, garb chests, first aid kit, toiletries box, sewing baskets (we each have one). In theory when the car gets back we can just put these containers and put them into the van. I still need to finish the new display for my booklets, and find the masters and booklet cache (as well as finish this year’s handouts).

Several people have been posting on the internet about how hard it is to prioritize. How do you NOT want to help someone you love when they are in trouble. Current theory is (and it has its points) to remember that it’s “their” problem, work on your own. But worry about someone you care for IS a problem, and if we can’t help each other (not fix each other’s problems) what’s the point? It’s easy to say prioritize, but usually comes out sounding like you don’t understand how important whatever you suggest be a lower priority is to the person. You can’t choose which child you like better, you can only choose which child to spend time or other resources on- which means feeling you’re shorting the other people or things you care about, and too often, yourself. Every hour I spend staying up to try to finish something, shorts the amount of sleep I get. There’s a theory that once THIS project is over, then we can rest. But Pennsic Prep is building up to Pennsic- which is not a situation where we’re likely to be able to relax. Although, we’ve talked about it and are hoping to close up earlier in the evenings this year. The problem with that is that is people tend to start showing up when it cools off, and how do you turn customers away?
Even the sleep I’m getting is not good- I keep having nightmares, and the other night got a mystery call at 3:20, which threw my monkey brain back to when Ælfwine was in the hospital. Middle of the night calls are always something “horrible”, right? I answered, and there was no one there. I figured I’d pushed the wrong button. (I should switch to an old fashioned phone that you just have to pick up and put to your ear!) While I was groggily wondering who it was, it rang again. Same thing. The third time I turned on the light to make sure I didn’t miss it. (Someone was dying, or needed our help!) Again, no answer. Got the name and number with *69, but  we don’t know them. It also woke up Willow, who checked and discovered it was a land line- so presumably not a “butt call”. We never did figure it out, but I didn’t get to sleep again until it was time to get up.  In my journal I wrote down that “I have a nagging feeling I’m forgetting something. Maybe it’s to sleep!”
We changed our long tradition of getting take-out from China Star the day we leave. It occurred to us that that was based on the old tradition of packing and driving through the night so that the kids could sleep through most of the trip, and it would be cooler. (Air conditioning is for sissies, and the rich!) Since these days we stop for the night (and do have air conditioning), why not leave earlier? So we’ll do the take-out on the day we do the Dragons Horde run. Traditions do change, we might as well do it intentionally.

Megan and Claus/Linda and Dennis are actually leaving today. They have learned to take their time, and not go too far. Poor Claus tore a tendon in his wrist and is going to have to wear a splint for a couple of months. Luckily he can still drive. John offered to help them pack their truck, but another of their friends was already doing it. Also, it’s not his painting hand, whew!
We’ve been doing a bunch of “incidental cleaning”- when Willow made the medicinal herbals for Arwen over the weekend, we cleared out accumulated stuff that had been “stuck” in the pantry over the year. That feels good, although it took time out of “projects”. I was hoping to sand and polyurethane the front steps- quick while the back door doesn’t have accumulated trash blocking it. (We tend to not get to the dump weekly, but monthly.) Sadly, I’ve been waiting for a clear day, and although it’s been hot, it always seems to be threatening rain. I think we did have rain last week, but none I noticed recently. On the other hand, there was water on the floor of the back hallway- although we have no idea from where: the walls and ceiling are quite dry. So I called Wally Holt to see if he could come up and figure out where the water’s coming from, and he’s just had a heart attack (but thinks he can come take a look.)
We also may have a technician coming in to check the modem- we had to re-boot a dozen times yesterday. Could it be the heat? Is it the modem? The lines? I don’t know, but while you’re in the middle of a research project is NOT the time you want the internet to go down!
Kitty has posted pictures of Cate (Bob’s wife) visiting up at camp. Also sunsets. Kitty is mad for sunsets, and being on the east side of the lake, we are good for that! The girls are organizing their week up there (after Pennsic) “Cabin in the Woods Con”. Sue Taylor called last night to chat- it’s these contacts that makes our crazy pace bearable.

As we are off for Pennsic, there will be no letter next week, and a very long one the week after, but you know that if you’ve been getting these letters. If my letters are the high point of your week, you can look at old letters on my website (click here).
Oh, by the way- a couple people have told me that they can’t open my letters when they have too many pictures. If you are in this category, could you let me know and I’ll send you versions without the pictures. I certainly understand the issue of having a computer that’s older than someone else’s. I usually figure it’s me, but clearly that’s not true.
I guess that’s it- when working in the kitchen I’ve put on old Robin Hood films- they have the advantage that I don’t have to glance up at them to know what’s going on. (In fact, I gave up on the Russell Crowe version because it was unfamiliar, but Errol Flynn, Disney, Prince of Thieves, and even Men in Tights, are familiar.)
I’ve just realized that I have totally spaced the New Normal for this week. Joanna bailed me out last minute last week, but I’m going to just tell the producer to put up archived shows this week as well as while we’re gone.
See you all when we get back!

“How did it get so late so soon?” ― Dr. Seuss

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