Pictures didn’t load- not sure why, I’ll try to get them in later.
Today is my anniversary, I woke up and was relieved that the week of heat had broken, rather than being in the 90s, it was in the 70s for our wedding. That happened on Sunday, but then it rained for a couple of days. I don’t care, the coolth was well worth the rain (even though I left my car windows open and we had to put towels on them to dry. I sleep so much better when it’s cool!
Wild flowers are everywhere, but what caught my attention was the bamboo- when the propane delivery truck arrived and couldn’t get to it. I swear I had it clear a couple weeks ago! That darned knotweed (“japanese bamboo”) grows so fast! I understand it contains medicine for Lyme disease- great, but how do you use it? (apparently grind the root, soak that in alcohol, and take the resulting tincture). I’m afraid I haven’t been playing a lot of attention. We have been trying to get everything done that we have to do before leaving for Pennsic Friday.
As with most recent years, we’ve put the various tasks on stickies on each day, and as we do them, we spike them on a nail. The ones that don’t get done are moved forward to the next day, so, of course, by the last week, we’re buried in unfinished projects. As soon as I’m done with the letter, and before the podcast, I am HOPING to finish packing my chest, pack the art supplies chest, plant the last of the potted started plants, and finish scanning the cookbooks Kat Stark loaned me, as well as make supper. (Maybe we’ll have leftovers.)
It doesn’t help that we keep remembering things we’d forgotten- like the merchant appreciation award box and plaque blank. Or that I’m taking my first apprentice at the war this year, and I’d like to make something cool with that. We just remembered my garb chest needs replacement corner reenforcers.
I also keep getting distracted by CTCW and other upcoming activities, like a Renn Faire/ LARP event in September, Twilight Covening, and Celebrate Samhain. I should know from personal experience how far in advance organizers like to get their speakers and vendors lined up. We may have missed some PPDs this year. If we have, we’ll just have to deal with it. I only got a guest for the New Normal last night- bless Thor! We’ll be talking about UPGs. That takes an hour or so to post announcements. I also spent several hours scheduling holidays for posting for Holidays that Might be Overlooked. I’m dubious about how high up on the “needed” scale that was, but it was fun, easy and I could do it sitting down. I have a feeling that’s a lot of why I did the carving.
Last Thursday we picked up Willow’s car from Winkles. Robert had fixed the AC. He described it as now “blowing icicles”. The girls went immediately down to Wolfes for a small load of jewels (only $400). We might have gotten away without the set jewels, but Willow’s inexpensive beads needed replenishing. People love her $10 necklaces, and she enjoys making them. I picked up (refilled) CO2 cannisters for John to use while we’re gone. Over the weekend we filled up the Pirate Quote game, and Kat cut them up. I’m afraid I got distracted digging through the chaotic studio- that really needs reorganizing! While looking for garb I also found most of my summer wardrobe, that had been set aside last fall and I forgot to find it again. We also spent a good deal of time looking for one underdress- to discover that I had not unpacked my chest from GNEW. oops. Brains not functioning optimally. I blame heat and stress. Facebook tells me that among others also packing for Pennsic, we are not alone in our brain fog.
Monday, when it cooled off, we had a turkey- mostly so that we could make room in the freezer to fit some frozen dinners in for John. It was lovely to be able to use the oven! As a matter of fact, I made a cake yesterday- mostly because I’d picked up a large package of strawberries and was worried that we wouldn’t eat them in time. When it’s as hot as it was for most of the week, eating is a real problem. But one has to have nutrients and maintain blood sugar level, or we get cranky. (Avi’s kids call it “hangry” angry+hungry. At least they know it’s a thing!) Mark also brought corn on the cob, and read to me while I sorted through my garb.
I have a great deal of garb after decades in the SCA, although I had to check what size and state of repair they were in, but Willow thought I should have 6, not 5 linen undergowns, and she’s probably right, so she made me another- in a lovely burgundy linen we picked up last year. I was surprised at how much better I felt when I knew I was going to have a new gown. I don’t want to be frivilous or vain, but the SCA is all about doing projects. I am now at the point where everything is sorted, gone over to check if it’s good enough to be worn in public, mended, folded, and stacked. Now I have to see how much I can fit in my chest. The extended forecast for Butler county says it’s going to be a cloudy, rainy war, and yet still be in the low 80s days and 60s nights. I can live with that, but we may need more socks and shoes than we usually pack. They don’t like to go more than 10 days into the forecast, so we can hope for sun during the last few days of the war while we’re packing to come home. Still I would love to know where I’d put my leather rain cape. I haven’t seen it in years.
I just cut up a favorite old linen gown into dishtowels and rags. I had managed to rip it beyond reasonable repair. It was a lovely teal color, and I wore it with an amber wrap, and saffron veil. Now I suppose it will be lovely teal dish towels. I shall be looking for more teal linen at the war.
We are now in “Triage” mode. As with the nurses figuring out who needs help NOW, who can wait and who cannot be helped, we get to decide: What absolutely needs to be done before we leave, what can we finish there, or do in a less that optimum manner, and which plans must be abandoned?
I don’t like this part at all. Especially because some of the criteria I use are not as good as I’d like. I think I spent the bulk of two days this week carving wood blocks to print designs on our new tableclothes. This is one of the things we’d discussed, and were planning to do for the war this year. A few years ago we made some un-bleached muslin tableclothes that were “neutral”, and within a couple of years they looked horrible- they’d stained, and just didn’t look well. So before Birka we got some VERY wide red, blue, and green fabric (and white, that Willow dyed yellow). When we got to Birka it turned out that they were too wide.We needed about 90 inches (thirty across the table-top, and 30 down each side, but had gotten, I think, about 20 inches too wide, and had to cut it off. (Those pieces make lovely long veils.) One of Kat’s pre-war projects was hemming these monsters (9 feet x 7.5 feet), and I had agreed to find a design and carve the blocks to print them. I suddenly realized the printing couldn’t happen until I made the blocks and found my breyer and ink. OK, we bought some fabric paint. But having looked through the Anglo-Saxon Art books, we picked a simple design from St. Cuthburts portable altar, in gold blue and red. I figured with different colored clothes, we could use different parts of the design that will contrast with whatever color we print on. I cut the three blocks, and tested them. It works better on cloth than on paper, but that’s not bad. (Note, I then did another knot work we may also use, just because I’d gotten the hang of the technique again.) But I was thinking- I have to do this before they can get to their part of it, not “how much do we need this before we leave?”.
I realized this year that I haven’t added any new embroidered creatures to my “green shirt” because I’ve pretty much switched to hand sewing, so there’s always hemming to do. I’m going to add one this year- even though I can’t fit it any more. One of these years I will “finish” it. (Read that as I will have embroidered fantastic creatures all around the hem, sleeves and neck.) As I said, projects are the fun part.
I am nervous now, tomorrow we pack the chests into the trailer and car so we can leave on Friday. I remember when the kids were small I decided that if I wasn’t getting the help I thought I should, I’d just put off leaving until everything was done. Sometimes we’d lose three days, but that was better than coming back to a house that was buried in scraps of cloth and other chaos.
These days what I do at the war is classes, most of what I try to do before is get the handouts and booklets done. Since I’m still not up to full speed, I cut down my classes to only two new ones, Æthylflaed, Lady of Mercia, and Werewolves in the Middle Ages, and I’m also doing Anglo-Saxon Warriors, Palmistry and RúnValdr. Only 10 classes (doing each twice) in 10 days. Previous years I’ve done two a day. But I’m trying to be smart. (OMG! I discovered when I was checking the class schedule, that I had put down Æthylflaed as Ælflaed. Boy, that’s going to do great things for my credibility!) Anyway, I’ve spent the summer reading about a couple dozen books on werewolves and Æthylflaed, and have a stack of books with little flags in them and partially finished booklets in the computer. A few years ago I decided I wasn’t going to be finishing up my booklets at the war and taking a box of books with me, but either I have to give up on the booklets, or figure out how to do them there, and I am not happy about that. I started the reading in May and told myself I could get them done by the end of June. I was so wrong!
Mostly what I’ve been reading this week are books like The White Devil (another werewolf book, very well researched), and Queens Concubines and Dowagers: The Kings Wife in the Early Middle Ages. which also has good information, but the author was going from point to point, and keeps using examples of different women, jumping from the 7th century to the 11th, and all over Europe, sometimes in the same paragraph, which throws me off. I like to see how things grow and develop, not try to create a pattern from a large timeframe. What I’m hoping to finish before we leave is copying my flagged bits of trivia into my notes, so at least I can give amusing and informative classes.
While I was carving I watched two movies- The Happiest Millionaire, (1967) a pretty old Disney musical, and Alfred the Great. Not being much of a fan of the live action Disney films, I’d never gotten around to seeing it, but John had it from Netflix, and I have been watching old Disney’s I missed, so I watched it. The music wasn’t bad, and I realized during the ball room scene that this was something of an exploration of the Cinderella story. Except that the girl and boy were both rich, the difference being that he was new money and hers was old. Still it explored how trying to integrate yourself into a different culture is very difficult. The costumes were gorgeous, although they did suffer from the usual “we have to make the ingenue look good to current audiences” bit. I loved the song duel between the old ladies (and also watching the “old guy” out box the young marine)! As for Alfred the Great, (1969) I remember Ælfwine and I enjoying watching it on TV, but thinking that the way they neer lady down but always fell, from standing, onto beds was going to break either them or the bed. At that time I thought the costumes were awful- mostly the ingenues, of course. She looked like a hippy. But now I see that they were not bad. Only while I can accept her wearing the double brooches when she was in the Viking camp- for years, she shouldn’t have been wearing them as a 9th century Christian woman. But I recognized many of the pieces they replicated. On the other hand, the story played holy havoc with history. I know they were trying to explore Alfred’s inner struggle between being a mystic and a king, (and glorifying Guthram’s “viking” lust for life), but damn! His wife was never a hostage, his son was born after his daughter, and, well, too much to mention. Watch it for the fun, and ignore the idea. It’s like when they say “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” or “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”, you know that the film is only going to be on a second name basis with the original book.
I’m a bit bummed for Willow, we’ll be traveling on her birthday. We’ve made her small pile of gifts, but we won’t be able to do anything to make the day nicer for her. She says she’s looking forward to messaged birthday wishes whenever we stop the car. I did put up a link on facebook (and so did she) to her wishlist on Amazon, a lot of what she wants is kindle books, and those she can get at Pennsic.
But I have to finish up, the podcast will be in 20 minutes. I’ll write again after I get back from Pennsic. If you want to call John while we’re gone, please do. He’s going to be lonely.
“Te nisi oblectas, perperam facis.” Sir Ernst
(If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.)
Since I’m not going to be writing for the next couple of weeks,
here’s what’s coming up to celebrate for the next fortnight:
Þ 27 Scotch Day, Chili Dog Day, Bagpipe Appreciation Day, Refreshment Day
F 28 Milk Chocolate Day, Hamburger Day, Get Gnarly Day, Talk in an Elevator Day
S 29 Lasagna Day, Buffallo Chicken Wing Day, Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day, Dance Day
⨀ 30 Cheesecake Day, Day of Friendship, Paperback Book Day, Dog Day
M 31 Raspberry Cake Day, Cotton Candy Day, Shredded Wheat Day, Mutt Day,
T 1 Lammas, Raspberry Cream Pie Day, Night Out, Girl Friends Day, Mead Day
W 2 Ice Cream Sandwich Day, Mustard Day, Ice Cream Soda Day, Dinosaur Day
Þ 3 Watermelon Day, Friendship Day, India Pale Ale Day, Grab some Nuts Day
F 4 Campagne Day, Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, Psychic Day, White Wine Day, Beer Day
S 5 Oyster Day, Underwear Day, Waffle Day, Hangover Day, Mead Day, Sandcastle Day
⨀ 6 Root Beer Float Day, Doll Day, Kids Day, Wiggle your Toes Day, Forgiveness Day
M 7 Beach Party Day, Lighthouse Day, Sea Serpent Day, Raspberries and Cream Day
T 8 Frozen Custard Day, Cat Day, Dalek Day, Bowling Day, Happiness Happens Day, and the ever popular Sneak Some Zucchini onto your Neighbor’s Porch Night,
W 9 Melon Day, Rice Pudding Day, Book Lovers Day, Art Appreciation Day, Hand Holding Day
Þ 10 Banana Split Day, Lazy Day, Lion Day, S’mores Day, Spoil your Dog Day
F 11 Raspberry Bombe & Raspberry Tart Day, Blueberry Muffin D, Play in the Sand Day, Garage Sale Day
⨀ 13 Toasted Almond Bar Day, Middle Children’s Day, Baseball Fans Day, Elephant Day
M 14 Creamsicle Day, Lizard Day, Husbands in Love Day, Afternoon Tea Week
T 15 Lemon Mirangue Pie Day, Relaxation Day, World Day of Reiki
W 16 Bratwurst Day, Honey Bee Day, Rum Day/ Baba aur Rum Day, Tell A Joke Day,
(you’d think that Raspberries must be ripe around now!)