9-17-2014 All American Breakfast Month

Hello again-
Apparently an “all American Breakfast” includes egg, and bacon and/or sausage, AND cereal and/or toast, milk, and juice and/ or fruit. Sounds like two breakfasts to me. I had a lovely breakfast of toast points (toast with melted cheese, some apple slices and tea). When one isn’t doing farm work, one doesn’t need a huge breakfast. Yesterday Kat made some small spice tea cakes to have with her coffee and yogurt. I like to point out that the big breakfast tradition was something that happened AFTER a couple of hours of chores, (milking the cows etc.) and had required the farmDSC01553 wife to have started the fire before making it, which means that she too had put in a couple hours of work before it could happen. If the most strenuous thing you’ve done before breakfast is showering, and the morning commute is the most active thing you do before coffee break, the breakfast of our rural ancestors is clearly excessive. While traditional breakfast foods are healthy, and I find it sad that they no longer play a part of modern suppers, I am continue to only want them when I’ve been up and busy for quite a while.
If you look right over Jon’s head, you can see the first coloring of the leaves. Kat and I are enjoying the turning of the season. Willow, who aches more when it gets cold, doesn’t share our joy. John may, at least he goes for walks in it. (It occurs to me that I’m coming up on a year of posting a new picture of Pinnacle Road taken every two weeks for my “cover photos” on fb. I think I started last year in October when the foliage was so gorgeous.

I have been enjoying the change of seasons. Looking forward even, to the fall and winter. It’s a wonder how each season has its won magic.
This week has been fairly uneventful, which is good because I need to keep the letter brief and get back to sewing. My gown for this weekend is still not finished, and I am hand sewing it- in deference to it being hand-woven fabric, and my getting the Laurel for doing Anglo-Saxon well. Kat is also sewing her gown from the first handwoven fabric I got several years ago. It was someone’s first attempt and had a mis-weave. It was also a case of cutting it too close on being able to cover my “acreage”, and will look much better on her. She is using the machine on some of it- such as a stay stitch on cut edges to prevent fraying. She is making a Frankish coat, whereas I am opting for a simple gown. Willow has finished up the hand embroidery around the neck of her gown. It is a smaller, curved version of the wide green and pink trim on the hem her new gown, and she’s making a new under-gown of some lovely fabric with a pink warp and green weft so it does a bit of color shifting.
The girls have explained to me that when you get a bunch of people together they look better than they would individually it’s called “the Cheerleader Effect”. I have often noticed in the SCA where people wear a huge range of clothes from different time periods and cultures that if you see a lot of people from the same culture they really do look better, whether it’s Tuchux or 17th century cannoneers.  I’m hoping we can create that when our household comes in to court. Frankly, the people who do later periods just don’t seem to have the knowledge to appreciate good early period garb. (They’re probably wanting something like the costumes in Game of Thrones.)

This week we’d left the van packed so that we could not have to re-pack it for the Pagan Pride Day in Southeastern Mass this Sunday. This meant that Willow did the dump run and errands. On the other hand, I took it when Kat and I gave blood on Thursday. This time she was able to give a whole pint without having it clot in the needle, hurray!

surfacecouching_zpsd2678d87  Willow and I have been passing the embroidery frame with the banner back and forth, both working on the couching. Monday I broke down and went to Jo-Ann’s and bought some gold trim that I’m using to fill the snakes (rather than doing laid work) which we figured would take too long to couch the cord. We are about 100 hours of work into the couching on the banner, and at this point it looks like it’s going to be about 2 or more hours to put on each of the fifteen snakes. I hope that the cold doesn’t rub off too quickly. Luckily I don’t think banners get a lot of wear.
I spent all day Friday and all day Monday working on it. Saturday, Kat and I worked on cutting out our gowns- when the fabric is that expensive you need the emotional support. Sunday Willow worked on the banner, and I got the two main seams sewn while going to other people’s workshops. I only did one at this event- “Brownies, Fairies and Ghosts, Oh My!” how to tell what invisible entity you’re dealing with. I had a gratifyingly large audience. Sales weren’t bad, but while I enjoy the SEMAPPD, it’s a real pain to get up at 6 to get down there by 9, and not get back until after 10 (although that does include stopping for dinner on the way).  100 socksWe have SO many socks now- I think over 100)
Saturday afternoon Steve came up, and I made a lovely roast pork and apple pie and mashed potatoes. It’s nice to have the weather cool enough to not worry about a roast warming the kitchen too much. We have now had roast beef and roast pork and I’m looking forward to roasting a chicken! I think I mentioned the adorable little tomatoes we have this year. I got a shot of them- they are about the size of large peas.

I’m rather falling behind on the work that needs doing for the con while getting ready for the big SCA event. Last night we had a meeting on line. I am getting a lot more sanguine about downsizing, and trying to slip out from doing everything. I don’t do paperwork well. I’ve been doing the website, and the advertising, and all sorts of paperwork, and I’m just not that good at it. It’s more fun to do things at which one is good.
I’ve also been talking back and forth about the Laurel ceremony. We’ve been trying to come up with something at least a bit more authentic than most SCA peerage ceremonies. Let’s face it, knighting has historical precedent, and one can look up in history how it was done in a certain time and place. Companions of the Laurel and Pelican are SCA inventions, and without precedent. Marieke suggested “oath helpers”, because in the “good old days” the way a trial worked was that each of the two sides swore on holy relics that they were telling the truth. People who thought you were right would also swear, and the person who had the most people who trusted him (or were willing to take his side) won. (Evidence? “we don’ need no steeking” evidence!) I came up with the idea that in Beowulf before the king would let him fight the monster, the Thyle (a man who asked the troubling questions the king shouldn’t ask) suggested that Beowulf wasn’t all that and a bag of chips, and Beowulf defended himself until the objections were dropped. In recent years the East has mostly used the “Calontiri Rite” in which representatives, one from each order of Peerage: the Knights, Laurels, Pelicans, and Roses, each speak to the qualities of the candidate about to be elevated. I figure if we had a Thyle giving the right cues, their “defense” would allow them to speak as the crowd expects, and yet have some sort of Anglo-Saxon justification. We’ll see. Sadly, these days almost all those elevated started as apprentices (squires or proteges), and their patron organizes the ceremony. I wasn’t an apprentice, so I don’t have one and who knows who’d want to speak? My first thought was that the logical Thyle would be the Principle of the order, but I have no idea who that is these days. Beyond that, who knows who’ll be there? There are, I think, seven events in the kingdom that day! So- between working on the banner and gown I’ve been organizing on the computer. Not my favorite thing, but it will soon be over, and I can turn my attention to more important stuff.

While sewing I have watched a whole lot of episodes of the TV show Supernatural. Even back when we had a TV, I didn’t watch it because it was against NCIS, but the themes mean it is right “up my alley”. I am enjoying it, although I really wish they had supernatural entities from more cultures, and I seriously dislike the openly stated attitude “If it’s supernatural, we kill it.” While they occasionally have various entities other than vampires, werewolves, zombies, and vengeful ghosts, they treat them all the same way- kill them. Sometimes they burn them, sometimes behead, sometimes stake, and sometimes they blow them away with a special Colt manufactured gun that will kill demons. The girls and I would love to see a spin-off in which we see Samuel Colt fighting supernatural guys in a nice occult, steam-punky old west.
I also watched the Angriest Man in Brooklyn (with Steve), one of Robin Williams last movies. It was rather depressing, and I suppose that the protagonist did learn to reconcile with his family before he died. I wasn’t sure at the end whether they were all making fun of the way he behaved, or whether all people in Brooklyn are supposed to be rude and obnoxious. (I did rather like his brother, though.)
At the blood drive I took my kindle, and finished reading Anglo-Saxon Monsters and started reading Pagan Portals – Grimalkyn: The Witch’s Cat: Power Animals in Traditional Magic.  At night I’m reading  and last week finished Wickedly Dangerous a novel in which Baba Yaga is not an individual, but a job description. Deborah Blake is doing a series of stories about different Baba Yagas in the modern world, and this was good enough that I will probably read them all. It was good enough that as I got toward the end, I started reading more slowly because I didn’t want it to end. Now I’m reading Raising Steam, the last Terry Prachett book. I was so eager to read it I got it from Amazon UK rather than wait an extra two months for its US release, then got to reading other things, but now am back to it. (I find myself in need of fiction just now.)

I also feel a great need to get the house cleaned up and organized and have some time to do art and write and bake and sew, not have obligations to do all the things I’m aware that I’ve chosen to do, but I’ve really over-booked myself and need to slow down.
By the way, tonight’s new Normal is going to ROCK, Starwolf is going to be talking about things that can go wrong in magick, he’s called it ” “Oops” is not a Word of Power. ” Considering how many times people mess up, there should be lots of funny stories.

“I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” – C.G.Jung


The back is awash in NH Asters.

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