June 19th, 2014
I don’t know if you usually get this letter- you might, or might not. In case you didn’t hear through facebook, my computer totally crashed- the hard drive had to be erased and started over yesterday. Today I’ve spent downloading old emails and trying to reconstruct my addresses from that. I don’t know if you got, or wanted the letter I send out every week, but am sending it to the folks I THINK are probably the ones who I would have sent it to. For years now I’ve just hit “letter list” and occasionally updated a name or two, so I don’t have a good idea who’s on it now. Well, it’s gone now anyway, and I have to make a new list. If you’d like to get this letter every week from me, do me a favor and let me know. Also, I’d really appreciate phone and physical address (for cards and things- I may usually forget them, but I like to think I send them). Also let me know if you DON’T want to get a weekly chatty email. (I’d probably still like to have your contact information, since I think of you as a friend.) But I know some people read this on fb or on live journal, or gods help us, my website. And that’s fine. I like connections. I’d like to know what all my friends and relatives are up to, and I try to share the sorts of things I’d like to hear here each week. So let me know. (If you didn’t hear about the crash, it’s on fb, and I’ll probably put a blog post about it on my website too.) I don’t want to repeat myself, that’s boring, and tales of woe are worse.
OK- let’s see if I can talk about this past week now.
First, the good news. Willow has found some back-ups disks we made in, I think, 2007, and there are some pictures! That is a balm for my soul. We shall also explore and see for what else we may have backups.
I spent most of today, (and most of last night) clicking “get mail” because I chose the option of collecting all mail as opposed to “mail from now on”, so that I could go through it to find email addresses. This is how I am able to send this out. I still do need people to send me the rest of their contact information (unless you were on my Christmas card list in 2007- I found that and have those addresses). Still, I would REALLY like it if you’d send me the basic Name, Address, phone number, mobile number, email, skype, website URL, all that stuff, and pictures would be great too, because I know I lost a LOT of them. (and I’d rather like to have at least one picture of each person I love). The problem is, that until all the years of back email (spam and all) have been downloaded, I can’t get any current email. So I have to keep it up. I’m somewhat daunted. At this point it seems to be delivering stuff from June in 2012, and there’s nothing between than and May 2014.
As I was writing when the grey curtain of death (kernal panic) came down, it’s been hot. It’s cooler today, thank goodness, and it rained either last night or the night before- they’re all running together now. We brought in the comfrey, and had a huge salad from our own garden two nights ago, lettuce anyway. Sadly, it’s a pain in the butt to wash. I’m beginning to suspect that the salad we get in the grocery store is all hydroponic because we don’t have to wash it- home grown you really do!
That reminds me… Yesterday was Splurge Day, and after going to the Apple Store, we went across the way for frozen soft-serve sorbet. I had raspberry, Willow had coconut and chocolate, and Kat had cookies and cream. We shared tastes, and what I was remembering was Kat’s really did give the impression of cookies- I don’t know how, but it was a nice smooth soft serve, yet somehow cookie textured. I was taken aback. But I’m glad we splurged a bit.
This weekend we went to the Stonemarche Midsummer Palio. For non-SCAers I should explain that a Palio is a Renaissance Italian games where different communities compete- it builds community. We were on the Soliel team, since we are from the Western part of the state: Purple with a moon for a badge. The Nashua/Manchester area got gold with a prancing pony, and the Seacoast got Red with a seahorse. Visitors could join whatever team they wanted. There was a procession- with horses, bagpipes, and drummers, and Flag Twirlers (like in Under a Tuscan Sun)- very festive! There were heavy list and fencing competitions, and equestrian activities. I saw none of them as I was in the merchant area chatting with friends. (It was Olaf’s birthday, and he brought cake!) I had a wonderful long chat about “old days” with Olaf, Dikran and Brian. Saturday morning I was the only one who showed up for Aine’s Sprang workshop (another craft I would like to get into).
The kids activities were in a hall right next to the merchant’s hall (they always have a dry possibility incase of inclement weather), and got to watch Frostalf taking on five of the little monsters at once! (very funny!)
I DID get out to watch the children’s “Cheese Rolling competition”. I had to having seen a youtube video on cheese-rolling that ended up with broken bones. This was much safer- especially for the kids. The cheese was fake- of course, and thicker on one edge than the other so that when you rolled it, it rolled in a curve. You were supposed to make it roll as tightly as possible around a stake! Quite a challenge! The kids also had a hoop rolling competition which was adorable.
Since the weather report said that it was going to rain Friday and Saturday and maybe Sunday, we decided to take two cars (and no tent, and bedding, but we still had our stuff to sell plus the Gold Key- and all the “yard sale” cloth) and just drive to and from each day. As it turned out, it cleared up first thing on Saturday and was gorgeous for the rest of the weekend. Still, we did get to sleep in our own beds, and the older I get, the more I appreciate that.
Kat takes her duties as Mistress of the Gold Key very seriously. So do I (having been the second Mistress of the Gold Key in the SCA), so we wanted to be there when the gate opened in case anyone came in and needed loaner garb. She did loan out quite a bit, including to one large family where the father refused to put garb on and wouldn’t listen to anyone who told him it was required. What the heck was he doing there if he refused to play by the rules of the game! I wish I’d been there, I’d have told him he could wait in his car. As it was Kat got so angry, SHE went to our car to cry out her frustration! Everyone who heard about it was annoyed, but we really don’t have much by way of enforcement mechanisms.
I was outside because in the gorgeous weather, the “yard sale” part of the event was able to be out in the sun (actually, I ducked under a tree!). We did manage to get rid of most of the cloth we’d decided to get rid of, and even got money for some of it. We still have the old mink coat though, oh well. And I forgot to take the old rabbit furs. God knows if they are useable, but kids like wearing fur, and if it was free, parents might be willing too put it on their garb. I also didn’t get to going through the trim bin. Even though we really don’t use much trim these days- mostly we do embroidery, it’s hard to let go of a trim you bought to use, and still like. On the other hand, we can still use them on modern clothes and in cosplay, so I think we will still have most of a bin of trim even once we pass along a box of “rejects”. There was also a plant exchange, and due to having the cars stuffed we didn’t bring any, I still got to take home some lily of the valley and periwinkle. (We haven’t had any since the house down in the village, and I miss it- and the day lilies.) I also played a lot with Rachel’s daughter Rose who reminded me of Dan- she’s 14 months old and talking already. Not as well as Gideon, (who has apparently decided to be either a Saxon or a Viking) but really well!
Sunday was the traditional Golden Sword Tourney for novice fighters that I’ve been sponsoring for over 25 years I think. (I really wish I had some idea of a list of the various winners over the years!) This year I expected the winner to be either Frostalf, who’s done martial arts since he was a wee thing, or Corwin, who’s been practicing multiple times a week. But Frostalf hasn’t been practicing, and Corwin, well, Corwin had a learning experience. As Tom said, the weather got rather alcohol-y during the bardic circle, and let’s just say Corwin wasn’t fighting his best Sunday morning. They both did fight both the Golden Foil, and Golden Sword Tourneys, but I fear that the best you can say for Corwin is that he didn’t barf inside his helmet (I think because he kept a piece of ginger in his mouth the whole time!). Poor baby. They both showed some promise, but wow, we had five incredible combattants this year! Melisenda who burst on the scene last fall autocratting Baronial Yule, ran this event as well, and her son Ogam (pronounced Own, but most people still call him Owen- her other son has a proper name: Godrik, that a Saxon can wrap her mouth around!). Ogham’s got some movies on him! Corwin fights like he fences, which is fun to watch. Also they were put through their paces by Ravenhair and the young fighter who won it last year. There was also a young man from Malagentia named Nicol, and Lily, a fighter Patty and Artos are training.
Shannon, Frostalf’s lady, got lots of pictures (I saw her and someone comparing that they’d taken 450 or 430 pictures over the weekend). So there are lots of good ones up on the internet! She is really plunging into the SCA and I’m enjoying watching her. (not as much as the babies, but there are hormones tipping the balance there).
My feet hurt- probably from the combination of medieval shoes and cement floors at the fairground. The Moon was full on Friday (the 13th), but we didn’t look up. (Also Mercury Retrograde in case you need a scapegoat for something.)
The biggest “news” of the week, other than the computer crash, is that Kat and I gave blood on Thursday (while Willow got her eyes examined). I went right through, but her blood clotted in the needle again, and they couldn’t get more than a few tablespoons out of her. Also it hurt.
She made it through the weekend OK, but Monday her wrist started to really bother her. I tried one of those things where you use a pendulum for healing on it, but it got worse. She’s now wearing a wrist brace. Now we don’t know for sure whether it had anything to do with the problematic phlebotomy, or my messing with her energy field. But she’s hurting again, and that’s not good. And Willow’s exhausted (after driving a couple hours every day for a week- they went out on the errands this week, then drove down to the Apple Store with me yesterday.) No real chance to recover.
Willow’s been sewing- both her garb for the war (I’ve cut out a couple too), and more blankets. She made one Monday and sent it off, we also sent off some cloth to Honour- some in a priority box, and some “normal” freight- we’ll see how much slower the normal is. I like experiments. I worked on websites and the New Normal, this week it was Christopher Penczak. Posted the pictures from the weekend, tried to back up with my flash drive and thought it had worked, although it was interupted. Kat tried to explain to me how it would be easier if I just organized my computer better- I started, but like the back-up got interupted. It was explained to me that flash drives are much sturdier than discs that rotate because they have no working parts so aren’t as likely to deteriorate, so I got a 64 gig flash drive. As I recall Ælfwine’s first computer was 64 meg. Still, I have about 100 gig of stuff on my computer. The theory was I’d go through my itunes (about 2500 songs) and ditch the duplicates (possibly 500) and get another flash drive to save those. Sadly my clever scheme didn’t happen until it was too late. The guy at the Apple store “Genius” said I should be able to recover anything I purchased, and the rest are stuff taken off CDs I bought, so I shouldn’t lose much- except that I have an awful time trying to log into Apple. Today I found out that it’s NOT all one account and there are supposed to be separate passwords for each of them- and TDS doesn’t play well with Apple, so it’s going to be a pain in the neck. I’ve tripped over another frustrating discovery. While I’ve been paying for on-line backup for my computer, apparently I was unaware that having “bought it” (and paying for it every month), I was supposed to have done something- I expect putting some attachment to the computer. No one told me. The tech support guy said I would have gotten an email telling me to do it that month (I checked, I can find nothing but ads from TDS in the mail I’ve recovered so far). I think the people who design and use these programs just think it’s so OBVIOUS that you have to attach it, well, it wasn’t obvious to me. It was something TDS was going to do in exchange for my giving them another $6 every month. I didn’t have to do anything to get high speed internet- they just flipped some switch on their computers and I had it. My internet comes through their lines, I assumed since they offered it, they’d handle it. It’s always hard to imagine what other people don’t know when it’s really obvious to you. Sigh.
This week I made “meatloaf cupcakes” (with mashed potato frosting decorated with chive blossoms and sprinkled bacon bits). Someone had a picture of them on Facebook on Monday, and my response was let’s get some hamburger, so they did! They were pretty good. Willow’s also been craving coconut, so I made a German Sweet Chocolate Cake last week (and now that’s finally gone).
Yesterday morning I put away the red glass plates and glasses, and switched over to the green glass, with the brightly colored summer salad plates, and lemonade glasses. Willow dug out the iced tea maker too. I like changing the tableware every so often, it reflects the changing seasons. And it sure is GREEN out there. Did I mention that the peas are FINALLY blossoming? And Willow tells me that the whole shed at Fitch’s (where we pick up our milk) smells like the strawberries they have- fresh from their fields. Summer Solstice has always been strawberry time for me!
Another thing I started last week was tallying how many songs I know. It doesn’t count if I know all the words but one phrase, I have to know ALL the words. I’m starting with musical comedies, because they just run together in my head since I listened to them as albums. I am going to have to switch to listening to albums until I get the I tunes up and running again. It’s not like I haven’t got plenty. Just off the top of my head I’ve got over 50 musical comedy albums with at least 10 songs each on them, so that’s 500 right there. I probably know easily over 1000 songs, but if I’m going to think it, I should check.
I’ve been mostly reading the books about Anglo-Saxon kings, but the last few days I’ve been reading the latest Harry Dresden book- Skin Game. I can’t tell you how much I would rather just curl up and watch Harry’s life go to hell than deal with my own right now. Sometimes it sux to be an adult. While cooking or sewing this week I’ve watched Odd Thomas, a movie about a young man who can see dead people- only in this story they can’t talk. Cathy tells me that it’s based on a series of books. It’s a good movie, very sweet, but sad at the end, and it’s kind of scary where it should be. Oblivion was a waste of time. It’s a SF, but I worked out the plot from the first minute when they said they were making power from the water in the earth’s oceans to save humanity. Clearly anyone who’d destroy the waters of earth is a bad guy. Beyond the Sea was a fictionalized biography of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee- not bad, but not special. The music was fantastic though. Rabbit-Proof Fence was based on a true story of some aboriginal children who walked 1200 miles to get home having been removed to a white school aimed at teaching them the value of living in the modern world (training them to be domestics and trying to mix their blood with white to get them to stop being aborigines. I think the worst part of it was that they showed that the whites who were doing this horrible thing really thought they were doing the right thing. It was depressing because it was a basically true story, and it’s depressing what horrible things people can do thinking they’re doing good, that we might be doing horrible things simply because we were wrong about some basic premise.
Ah well, back to uploading things to my computer again. At this point I’ve got about 30K emails and the end is not in sight. Time to start throwing batches away (although I’m a bit tempted to just see how freaking many there are before I start)!
I hope to be in a better mood next week, with more fun interesting things to share and less moping about the computer.