stitchwhich: (Default)
Last Thursday during a fall (I tripped over a low curb) I broke my left pinkie in a really impressive Y-shaped green split fracture and dislocated sundry bones in my wrist and palm. We were only two blocks from a quick-serve medical clinic (Patient First) so in I went. Three X-rays and a splint later, I was out again. The fracture had set itself, thank goodness, but the misaligned bones were unremarked. There was no attempt at actually setting anything, just a splint to stabilize and the advice to visit an orthopedic office to be treated. It took three and a half days before an opening was available - I used a lot of the pain drugs before that happened. But now my left hand and wrist is in a pretty light blue cast and there is only pain when I do something stupid.

My husband thinks my brain flew out the window. I made him drive me to the store to buy socks to go over the cast. Right now it looks like an obscure bondage device. Even though we bought pretty socks. with two holes cut to allow the un-casted fingers and thumb out, the whole thing is covered to mid-forearm. And I can now move my arm, or get dressed, without the rough exterior folds of the cast catching on any clothing it comes in contact with. being a female, you can imagine that my bras are much safer than they'd been.

We went to a noisy restaurant for an SCA event staff meeting this evening. as my broken hand is also my dominate one, I ordered finger food so it was easier for me to keep up with the discussion than it was for most of the attendees. It looks like we'll have a good event, notwithstanding the autocrat's lack of organization and attention to the details that don't affect the Royal guests. Other staff members are (disgustedly) taking note of the things she's unconcerned about to ensure that they get covered. She's overbooked herself with her modern job and her time is fleeting - she's on the road a lot, even leaving the 1900 meeting to make a 3.5-hour drive to another city for a job that starts at 0500 this morning. She is a department head for a very busy Pennsic service. I sure hope this isn't an example of how things will go there!
But those folks are accustomed to punting so I have no major worries about them as long as they have electricity, internet, and plenty of crayolas.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I have been upending my life. Sort of. It finally came to me in a moment of clarity that I was suffering from a deep burnout with the SCA. Not with 'living history' or my love of what we study, but with the society, or the various personalities, of those I interact with and what they expect of me. And like many volunteers, I'd overloaded myself with jobs and long-term projects to the point that I was not doing anything I enjoyed but merely what duty dictated.

I was angry and resentful towards my friends who were not knocking themselves out on a local level to 'make things go'. Lividly angry, in a couple of cases - and unfairly. Haven't we always preached "Do what makes you happy; if it isn't making you feel happy or fulfilled, stop it!"? But yet I'd ignored that directive in my own case to give in to 'duty'.

One of the odd things about being created a Peer in the SCA is that we have a almost uniformly-accepted mandate to 'continue to work to improve the Society'. We are openly scornful of those who step aside to see to their own pleasure as that is something acceptable in non-Peers but is shameful in us.

I fell into that trap.

Heck, I was so overwhelmed with jobs waiting to be done that when I wasn't sick, sleeping, or doing housework, I was stressing over what I 'should be' doing. I haven't even built my newest Lego buildings - which if anyone knows me, is downright weird.

So I took a deep breath, recentered myself, and resigned. Sent notes to my barony and Heraldic & Chatelaine superiors that I was resigning from various jobs, that I would not be taking on new ones, and was stepping aside to recharge my SCA batteries and recover from burnout. (I am still the drop-dead deputy for our Kingdom Herald but since that only really involves a few email discussions every few months, it was nothing that needed stepping away from. I'd like to keep my hand in a bit.) However, and this is just for my own edification later on when I start to thinking that I can return to volunteering, this is what I am stepping away from: )

Burnt.

Out.

It is my hope that in a few months I will re-read this and exclaim in wonder about how grumpy and sour I sound, and be thankful that I don't feel like that any longer. I need to get my mojo back.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
So while Bossman and I were shopping for replacement trim for that pesky cooler, there was a woman in the trim section looking extremely bewildered. She had six summer dresses on her cart and was trying to match them up with lace or gathered edgings. It turned out that she was a third grade teacher, returning to school after a 27 year hiatus. She realized that her dresses were too short and was looking for something to lengthen them... I offered a suggestion and she lit up, "Oh! Do you sew?" She was hopeless. She wanted to hire me on an ongoing basis "For when I pull a button off, or need pants hemmed." I did agree to help her with her school needs and ended up making 42 pillowcases - four large and 38 small - for her classroom. The large pillowcases were jungle print cotton, no problem. They will cover pillows for her reading nook. The small ones were for seat cushions (really just 14" pillows she bought) for each desk. She'd already purchased the fabric. Black fleece.

I've never sewn fleece before. Please Deity, I never will again. I only averaged six pillows an hour because the upper thread shredded through the tension gauge once to four times (I think even more often occasionally) on each pillow. And that was after I went online and read all the 'sewing with fleece' tip pages I could access. That is some nasty stuff.

Today was the first day of our Great Printer Search. Man, I hate looking for 'large' electronic equipment... we went to two stores and then I was done. I believe we may have one picked out but Bossman was opposed to buying it right then, while we were in the store with it on sale and stocked, because he wants to do further research on it. Which he is apparently doing from his easy chair while watching Thursday Night Football. *sigh* I married him...

I will be online after I finish this researching high speed scanners. Until we were looking at printers I didn't know that one could buy a simple single-function scanner. Given the number of files I must process in order to convert our Kingdom heraldic records from paper to electronic format, I think we'd be justified in purchasing one. If it will last all the way through that task, it could be passed on to the Golden Dolphin herald for 'everyday' scanning of forms, too, and save her primary printer for other jobs.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
It is the middle of the night and medical thingies have me awake for a while longer*. I had been playing a mind-numbing solitaire game but decided to leave that and go to LJ for some catching up.

I haven't read a thing recent. My hand slipped with the mouse and I ended up opening a 'tag' and reading the entries that were there, and now I am filled with love for my friends all over again, because I have such loving ones. I'm so very lucky.

Vacation time (Pennsic) is coming. I have a big job this time around and it isn't one I know the duties of even after a year of holding it. There is no guidebook, no "standard operating procedure" text. Strange situations come up and others look to me for answers - and I have no clue what the right one is because I have no personal experience with the departments involved.
(Example: "How many radios does Cultural Affairs need this year" "I don't know. There isn't a record anywhere that Cultural Affairs ever used any. We'll take the same number as last year." I guess. As a dodge. And once I get on site I can look at the radio check-out sheets and count up who gets them so I can pass that information on to my successor.)
Luckily, I have resources to turn to and things get hammered out, but wow, am I going to be relieved when this job is concluded. It is a situation where a title, a position, was offered and it was one I'd wanted to try for years, so I took it - and was woefully ignorant. The same title/job in a different division would have been a piece of cake but I got my ego wrapped around 'finally' being given a chance to do 'that job' and jumped when I should have backed away. I don't think my people suffered from my inadequacy but neither did they thrive. I want them to thrive. The sad thing is that I doubt, based on this year's performance, that I will ever be offered such a position again and wouldn't you know it - now I know what's required for it so could do it so much better than I have.

I think I might have a lot more free time this year than I have had in the past. There are daily (? Some mayors have had three-times-a-week ones instead) meetings to go to and multiple departments to check on twice a day, but barring something blowing up in any of them after that I have no duties. And all of my department heads are competent and resourceful so I don't think I'll be seeing much in the way of explosions.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing with myself. Bossman surprised me buy pushing for purchasing the camp stove/oven combo that I'd been lusting over. I'd talked myself out of it, finally, since I'd wanted one for years and had never bought (or was given, as it was on my 'gift lift' for holidays) one... and then he up and surprises me with "I think we should buy it" during our trip to replace the finally-dead propane stove. (Poor stove. We've had it for over 30 years of camping and it just wore out. The newer ones are not nearly as good in quality, for the most part.) Anyway, I am looking forward to playing with my totally-non-period camp oven and producing new things to eat at Pennsic.

And we have a brand-new tent, a 16x16 'single pole' pavilion. It's still in the box. We haven't opened it yet. We probably should do that soon, assuming the rain ever lessens. I'm making hanging oil lamps for it per Master Bedwyr Danwyn's class. The effect should be lovely although I am concerned about the amount of light they will produce at night. Most likely there will be pictures after Pennsic. I suspect that Bossman and I, or mostly "I" will be spending a good amount of time arranging and re-arranging our tent layout until it is pleasing and efficient for our needs. We are going to have a much larger and more comfortable hospitality area.

I should have the time to visit the Herald's Point more often than I have in the past - that would be fabulous - although I don't trust my heraldic ability much right now. I've been slack, I tell you, in keeping up with it, instead working on other things I'd let slide over the last few years, so I'm not sure how useful I could be. But I'm being forced to bring my computer to the event so if nothing else, I could maybe help in the 'names' department. Names are fun. Blazonry still has me scrunching up my forehead a bit.

And classes - since I need to check on Pennsic University and the Dance staff as well as Performing Arts, well then maybe some classes might fall into my lap too. Just since I'm there.

The new walker means that I can stroll the merchant area too. For years I've been rushed, at best, whenever Bossman and I go to the merchant area, since there are few places to sit down and restore circulation to my legs. Now I can sit on the walker's seat any time I want. Any time! And I bought a cup holder for it, too, so the only hassle is going to be running across a merchant's tent that is too packed for me to bring it in there (it is wide). But I'm pretty sure no one would take it if I had to leave it outside while I went it. I can use it as a 'base' to return to and the booths as new frontiers to explore.

Oh - and my two classes at our recent University went over well. They were small but full of excited comments and questions, with the students wanting further information for their own research. That's a win.

So was being there when Ranvieg was given a writ for her Laurelling ceremony at Pennsic. That alone would have made attending University worth the trip.

*Contrast iodine during a CT scan can encourage a barely-there-and-going-away UTI to wake up and roar. Guess how I found that out?
stitchwhich: (yule reindeer)
It is cold & windy here and has been for the last few days. It appears it will continue, too, for the next few, so our Christmas will be dreary on the outside.

I'm cooking the weirdest Christmas dinner I've ever cooked in my life. Yankee Pot Roast. I asked the guys (there will be three guys and myself at the table) what they were interested in having and this was the surprising consensus. Must be because two of them are bachelors and of the two, only one of them cooks - if you can define 'cooking as "messing around with various pre-mixed spice packages to add to either rice or beans". I know for a fact that our youngest son hasn't had pot roast since he left our house years ago. But still - it is very weird for me. Everything else will be our normal fare; saving Savoury Toasted Cheese, which I deliberately left off of the menu for once. We'll see how that plays out.

I've been incredibly slothful for the last couple of months. I have barely even looked at anything heraldic. Last night I finally went through the unread messages in the email list, the earliest of which dated to the second week in October. That's pretty sad. After laying down my office that same week I think my heraldry-brain just shut down. I'm starting to regain my enthusiasm for it now, off and on, with the 'on' growing longer in time daily. Perhaps there was more stress involved in it than I had realized. Instead I've been sewing, sleeping (yay head-cold & sinus/ear infection!), reading novels, and taking apart Lego buildings that have been waiting for almost a year to be disassembled. Oh, and I built "Santa's Workshop", the newest of the Lego Winter Village sets. But mostly I've been sleeping and playing solitaire on the computer.

I had to have a ring cut off of my finger last week. It was my dedication ring, purchased 25 years ago to commemorate my dedication as a Wiccan priestess. I've not removed it since that night, saving surgical necessities. Right now it is sitting on my altar looking sadly misshapen. I don't know if I shall ever be able to wear it again as the reason I had to have it removed was because of developing arthritis. The knuckle just above where I'd worn it is still swollen and the doctor tells me that while the arthritis isn't very bad, there will likely always be swelling at that spot, especially if I should wear a ring on that finger. He had the same sort of experience himself, he said, and now wears his wedding ring on a chain around his neck. The X-ray didn't show any signs of damage to the bones so my arthritis is slight. I'll just have to be a little more aware about how I use that hand.

Growing old isn't for sissies.
stitchwhich: (Halloween)
I am considering withdrawing the heraldic title submission I've got up right now. I put it in with sort of a light-hearted joy, thinking it was both obscure and yet not (heralds being the geeks they are) and that it'd really only be seen by fellow heralds, at least in my kingdom, so it was fine, I reasoned, for it to be slightly 'naughtly'. (It is "Luddite Herald Extraordinary", which some of my friends here would know is totally apt for me.) But a commenting herald, whose comments don't seem to register in our internal letters, said something that brought me to a halt. He said that "Luddite" is very commonly used in the computer-guru world and would jerk nearly any IT-type Scadian right back into the modern world.

I don't want that. A mild smile, a slightly lifted eyebrow or even a twinkling eye is one thing but jerking someone completely out of the medieval isn't something I want to be guilty of causing.

So even though I've documented the name (a woman with that as a surname is registered in her church's records in late-period England), I am weighing the wisdom of allowing it to go forward to Laurel. I really didn't know it was used all that often in the IT world. Which, of course, merely underscores the fact of my own computer-ignorance.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I have beef stewing on the stove. With luck, it will be a hot lunch for us tomorrow. I am currently stewing the beef to rags, along with two onions and a triple handful of chopped celery. I don't normally put celery in beef soups. It is generally a go-to for chicken ones, or for gumbo. I hadn't really noticed the difference in the smell of the cooking until Bossman said he'd woken up thinking I'd made gumbo. Guess that green stalky stuff makes a real difference after all! Later tonight I shall add mushrooms and parsnips. We're going to Atlantian Coronation so I will eschew potatoes and orange carrots. Deciding that we wanted (as daytrippers) to have a hot lunch necessitated a trip to Target and then Walmart to find a wide-mouthed thermos (type, not brand) to make sure our soup would truly be hot six hours after leaving the house. Between the two of us and the google-function on my phone, we finally purchased, yes, a Thermos-brand thermos. (What are those things called, anyway?) And then I stitched up two bags to hold the large one and the small one, so they'd have extra insulation and not offend my medievally focused sight.

In two days the last Letter of Intention (heraldic submission letter) that I shall write will be ready to work on. People are making last-minute comments on it right now so even though I am itching to get started, I shall school myself to patience. It is a long one but looks to be pretty straightforward. And then I am done with my current Kingdom job. We'll be doing the turnover for the position in a couple of weeks.

It feels odd. I've had three years of working around an imposed schedule, doing things I was only half-trained to do (so it took a lot longer in the beginning than it does now) and other projects were set off to the side. This is not good for a procrastinator! I've got unopened boxes of Lego kits that are three years old! And fabric purchased for my experimental merchanting booth at the end of November, still sitting there waiting for me to apply scissors and sewing machine to it. And yet I still feel an internal governor-brake, as if there is something looming on the horizon and I daren't get started on a project which may last into a week or longer and be quite intensive... well, I suppose the looming thing is true given that I grabbed that last letter to do and told my successor that she didn't get to draft it. (Honestly, she needs a freedom-break before she gets tied to the schedule too. She's been alternating with me for months, pushing to do more as our turnover date got closer, and not realizing the difference the office title is going to make in her daily life. Sort of like babysitting a lot before becoming a parent and thinking you have a good idea about what is ahead. The difference has to be experienced to be understood.)

We weren't planning on attending tomorrow's event until just a couple of days ago. I am getting so excited about it! It has been a while since I've approached an event with anticipation rather than pushing myself through a heavy curtain of resistance and inertia.

[Edit: 2:00am. The soup is finished and I had a bowl of it for 'second dinner'. Yum. Bossman may not like it (it often surprises me, what he chooses to turn his nose up at) but I am finding it wonderfully delicious.]
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Qui audet Herald Extraordinary?

"She who dares" H. E. I think? It was from "qui audet adipiscitur", which some Roman (not named in my source) said about attempting a feat/a campaign.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Known World Herald's and Scribes Symposium is becoming more and more addictive. Mostly because I am easing into becoming a part of the community so each year I meet up with faces I miss during the rest of the year. It was so lovely to see my Brothers here right off the bat, and Istvan, Marie, and their baby (when she was sleeping it was obvious that she has her mother's face so clearly!), Shauna (this being the only time I see her) and this year there was eKat, and Eilis, who I usually only see at Pennsic. Yay! And there was Bruni, and Alys, and Lillia, & Emma along with Umaka, who just HAD to go to a Japanese persona so I can never remember his name (I looked it up for this). The folks from Avacal were fun to chat with. It was also so nice to finally put a face to "Yehuda" of the EastRealm, who praised my protégée Isabella (soon to be my successor as Golden Dolphin) and our Maddog, who I hadn't noticed all that much in Atlantia but will be paying more attention to now.

The next one will be in Toronto. If I have a herald's staff-type job, I will have to get a passport and make arrangements to attend it. If I don't, I think I might give it a skip. That's a lot of household budget to spend just for my personal enjoyment even if I'd be sniffly about missing it. Although Bossman said something about maybe driving to it as a mini-vacation for the two of us. It's only about a 12-hour trip.

The classes I attended were well presented. There was one disruptive person who (unfortunately for me) was in four of mine but it gave me a chance to be awed by Alys' handling of zir. She did it so well that I don't think ze was aware that ze'd been weighed, measured, and found wanting. Ze works in the same area as I had started working in at Pennsic and I found zir difficult enough there that I would go out of my way to ensure I wasn't at the desk in the same time slots as ze. Go figure that we'd meet again here and with duties alike enough to be in the same meetings and classes. I rather like the way Gabriel Laurel handled zir during the Roadshow, too.

I find Las Vegas to be boring. I'm sure that is because I'm in the hotel district and unable to get to the lovely desert areas around the city. Going out for dinner with my Brothers on Saturday was fun, if very crowded, and the crowd-watching was amusing for those seated facing the strip (we ate outside) but my view was of the outer wall, the wait staff's till, and a (silent) television... our conversation made up for that though and it was so very nice to relax. Speaking of 'nice' - "Nine Fine Irishmen" serves a very nice shepherd's pie and their band was quite talented.

My Eldest took me to where he and his sweetie work - a hookah lounge called "The Olive". I didn't find the fumes all that difficult, not like regular smoking areas (Oh the lobby of this hotel! STINKY!) and there was an R&B band playing who were talented and crossed genres enough to be more entertaining than I expected... they are all Samoan and young enough to be my sons but they ended their show with acapella renditions of old Sha-Na-Na tunes. They had no bass singer, though, so it seemed a wee bit off.

I did try gambling, finally, this morning when I woke up at 5am. I got bored with that, too, rather quickly and found I'd come out even when I cashed out. To tell the truth, I don't know if I was using the machine correctly and realized early on that I didn't care. As slot machine games go, I prefer the solitaire games on my computer instead. I didn't attempt the tables.

The hotel room is okay. It isn't designed to encourage a person to linger once they are out of their bed. In fact, it seems specifically designed to chase a person out of the room as soon as possible while still giving the illusion of comfort. The chairs are the sort which cut off circulation just behind the knee so one cannot stay in them for long. and rather than a desk, there is a slab of marble sticking out of the wall with a mirror mounted above it, with an 'atmosphere' type lamp mounted to the middle of that. Besides the single lamp between the two beds, that is all the lighting source there is. I much prefer hotels designed for business travelers! But I was able to secure a refrigerator (rental is on a first come/first served basis) and had fun with that - they put it on the floor, my little 24 inch tall fridge, so I had difficulty actually reaching the back of the fridge where the temperature control was. It seemed rather warm when I arrived so my son adjusted it to a colder setting before he left. The next morning I woke up to ice-cold bottles of soda, which then turned into true ice immediately after I opened each one. That was amusing. Even the rock-hard grapes were amusing. I could have used them as ice cubes had I alcohol in the room.

This morning I have discovered that the Oscar-Meyer's "fully cooked bacon" available as a non-refrigerated item can make about three good sandwiches. It is very greasy, though, so bread is needed, which I didn't have in here so a washcloth stood in as a napkin. I really needed the protein-fix. I'm going to have to remember that for later trips. It was an easy protein fix, and bacon. You know - bacon.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I flew to Las Vegas yesterday. Theoretically, I'm here for the Known World Herald's & Scribes Symposium but luckily it is less expensive to travel in the non-peak middle of the week periods so I am able to fly on Tuesdays and crash at my eldest son's house, thus getting a chance to see him more often than once a year. Nice bonus, eh?

It took over 12 hours for me to reach his city from my own and I was dead tired by the time I deplaned. And oh the stupidity! I walked from the terminal to the baggage area... I will remember when I leave that it is much wiser to take the little travel tram. That was one long winding walk - much like strolling a huge two-story mall up one side and down the other, then doing the same on the second floor during Christmas season. Not too bad for a stroll (were it emptier!) but sucky for a walking-challenged me. Luckily, my son had snagged a wheelchair in the parking lot and had brought it to baggage-claim, so I played lazy and let him wheel me around while I could regain my breath.

We went to a buffet t the Rio hotel (which is next door to the hotel where KWHSS will be). It was amazing, for a buffet - three different types of shrimp dishes, then crab legs, oysters, crab patties... that was the seafood section. They had sections about 15 feet long, each representing different cuisines, plus one devoted solely to various main course meats and a 12x12 island with different desserts on each side. The flan was, btw, delicious, and the tiny fruit & crème cups were delicious. It was not the cheapest of buffets - about $32 per diner, but for Vegas I'd say it was worthy. (The prime rib that I ate was very nice but I found I was happier with the roast beef. How's that for having options?) I generally avoid buffets - one plate is all I usually eat and then I have to decide if I have room for dessert.

It is quiet in the house now. I crashed out as soon as we got here while they headed out for their weekly RPG (I was invited and they had a character sheet made up for me but - tired + food-full = bedtime). I woke up at 8:00, which was 11:00 my time. That was a long sleep. They'd gone to bed just a couple of hours before I woke up so I've been spending the day quietly on my computer or reading. I walked up to 7-11 just after I got up, and grabbed a couple of sodas and a hot dog for breakfast. (Urg. After dinner last night, that was about as lame as one could go.)
stitchwhich: (SpaceGhost disgust)
There is already a method* to contact a commenter if you want to carry on some long obscure discussion.

We do not need more buttons - we need to use the tool for the purpose of which it was designed. Email lists and Facebook are for conversations.

You want the programming changed? Can you write code? Do you have a day job? "yes" "no" and "yes"... then shut it.

------
*email addy is available in the roster list.
stitchwhich: (HordePeer)
I'm stepping down from my most recent SCA job in September(ish - I promised to help my successor with the Pennsic letter first) and I'm mulling over what to take on next. I had thought I'd be putting in for the Kingdom Herald job but have learned that the current one has forgotten our years of conversations about my interest and she's grooming her new drop-dead for the position. I'm not really interested in bucking the tide, as it were, and the new guy deserves a chance at a kingdom job rather than having an old fart challenge him for it (he is basically unknown to most of the kingdom) but I have come to realize that I enjoy working in this field and don't want to just go back to being, at most, a baronial herald. I think I could contribute more to the College than just that. I could work on being a commenter "at large" - I haven't had a great deal of practice in conflict-checking and that would be a good way to learn it - but that seems, at the same time a rather lame thing to "move onto". The thing is, I don't really know where there is need as I'd been so focused on the kingdom job as the natural next step that I haven't been paying attention to what is needed elsewhere. That's what I get for becoming complacent, isn't it? All that talk about forming policies and backing up hers with mine... stupid me. I feel a tad silly about it. (Along with a tad hurt and disappointed, too, but as an admin-person, I cannot see the harm in giving a new person a chance to take on a position and becoming, perhaps in time, more recognized through their work. It just hurt a bit that I had to find out about the about-face via a third party.)

Then again, I could spend some time actually doing the (set aside) research in Viking-era lifestyles - cooking and clothing - that I've not been able to get to. That would most likely mean that I'll be distracted away from heraldry though, and I'm balking at the thought. And I haven't done much embroidery in years. I miss that. Of course, all of that is going to be more possible when I'm not holding down a job requiring quite so much keyboard time.

I don't know. I have a few month to figure it out. The question keeps rearing its head in my leisure moments now that I've learned that I don't have the support for the 'next' job that I thought I did. It leaves me at loose ends, a bit, but at the same time it frees me for other things if I could just figure out what I want to concentrate on. And at last, I'll be doing this with my brain back! Three years of mental cloudiness will be behind me. I need a new challenge.

I'm on slate for a couple of years of more involvement with Pennsic staff. That is going to be fun but it only takes a few months of a year for that... I need to look around and see where the need is and if I can fill it.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I guess 'dread' is not as 'on hold' as I thought. During my active hours, I don't think about Bossman's illness much beyond what we need to take care of next. But when I'm trying to sleep all the worst-case scenerios play out, over and over, driving me from the bed to the computer or a book. This will likely pass after we get through this week.

He couldn't sleep in the bed last night. The pressure on his ribcage was too painful and it has caused swelling again. He bundled up on his easy chair and fell asleep there. Now he's still in that chair, watching "What Decided the Shapes of our States" or some such title, lulling away the day with tidbits of trivia. I'm working on heraldry stuff that needs to get done although I suspect I'll be joining him for some TV later when my brain goes to mush.

I and some friends made chawettys on Wendesday and I mistakenly boiled too many eggs, all of which I peeled before we did the assembling of the chawettys. I had egg salad sandwiches for lunch AND dinner yesterday... we have about a gallon of egg bits still to use (I already chopped them up). I'll be making more egg salad in a little while since Bossman didn't get any yesterday and wanted some. I wonder how long hard boiled eggs last in a sealed container in the fridge. If they could last until the kids get here next Sunday, I know that the boys would decimate the supply. But a week & a half already chopped? I don't know about that. Right now the chopped eggs aren't mixed with mayo or anything as I've been taking out a measured amount to use one batch at a time. I should go to the SCA cook's list and see if anyone knows how long those suckers are safe.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
It has been a couple of days of filing-labour in my house... I'd placed all the heraldic files of submissions in two boxes while I didn't have the Kingdom file cabinets, then I did have those but being slothful, I continued to use my two boxes. Those were the recent submissions, doncha know, so I didn't often need anything from the cabinets. Finally my boxes did overflow and it was time to merge the piles. Only, there were gaps. Extablished kingdom persons with missing files. I was confused. That is, I was confused until I found, buried in two other file boxes unlabelled by my predecessor, a full set of other files, some the permanent ones pulled from the drawers and the rest 'temporary' ones with sticky-tabs showing names on them. Those all necessitated me checking past LoIs to find which version of name was actually approved and then re-labelling the folder. At the end, there were five full boxes of folders. My (new) deputy put one whole box away for me and today (ta-da!) I got the other four integrated into the full collection. That is one mess cleaned up. The library looks better with all of the boxes empty and stacked into themselves. All I have is my 'working' box with each month's submissions placed in monthly folders. Those get cleaned out once their LoAR is published.

To celebrate I ordered Cal'z chicken wings (an indulgence I cannot afford often and the carbs and calories are out-of-this-world) and am now building the last of my Winter Village lego sets. I'd like to have my little village diorama built before the kids get here for their visit. I've used up about 2/3 of the top of the kingdom filing cabinets as a display area. It's not too bad... a little tall, and the Christmas lights I'm using around the edge are kind of dorky looking. I went to the store too late to get tube lights and I should have just skipped that bit this year and figured out an alternate method of lighting it up.

Time to get back to it. I've just finished a skating pond and a tree stand with a horse-drawn tree wagon. Now on to the bakery!
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
My biggest problem with this cold snap is that it is blocking my efforts to do laundry. In the realm of hazards, I'm lucky it isn't all that dire... except I'm running out of innerwear. I'm going to be reduced to hand washing things in a sink if the weather doesn't heat up a bit soon! Our washing/drying area is in the garage and the temperature difference between that area and the house is amazing, especially considering we live in a duplex attached at the garages so the area gets the benefit of temperature protection on two sides. I haven't even attempted to go outside yet. I will some time this afternoon, when the temperatures are at their pathetic highest. I need to take out the kitchen garbage. Oh, the challenges of huswifery!

Yesterday I also had one of my protégées come over to work on sewing. We didn't get any done, however. In fact we didn't get much done at all. A less-organized person I have never met... small piles of fabrics (most of them inappropriate for SCA-period clothing), vague ideas of what she wants, and most challenging for me - a total aversion to using any kind of pattern. "I'll just copy off of this already-finished piece of clothing" is her starting point, using the fabric that she expects to wear... make a muslin attempt first? Why would she want to do that? It takes too long and she knows what she is doing! The afternoon was a tad stressful but I've got her to the point where she is willing to make a muslin first and work from there. Believe me, that was a huge concession.

I've been filing heraldry stuff for the last two days. I'd not expected it to take two days of labour but it has - we found (Bossman helped yesterday) that two containers of 'notes' from the previous submission herald were actually files, some of which are duplicates or each other and others are duplicates of ones already in the 'recent' file holders. Luckily, none of them are duplicates of the permanent files. But still, sorting through two sets of files is time consuming. And why am I using two sets? Because our permanent ones will have to be readjusted, as they are too full to put more stuff in without adding another file cabinet to the mix. Which we have waiting, I just haven't gotten to it yet. Somehow that seems a little silly given that we're going to be converting all of the files to electronic copies and shredding the paper ones sometime this year.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
The week has been... busy and yet not. Being stuck with a double ear/sinus infection means that there are brief periods of energy and intelligence which are marked by a flurry of activity as I try to get as much done as possible before the 'bleh' strikes again. Once the lassitude strikes there are long hours of either playing silly (and very easy) card games on the computer or else muffled snoring coming from the region of my pillow. Those are the l-o-n-g hours of the day. And night.

A trip to an ENT confirmed profound (temporary) hearing loss. The chart shows a lack of movement pretty much in either eardrum so all I perceive are high squeaky sounds. Some of which are painful. Poor Bossman got a dose of "stop that, stop that NOW" when he went through an evening of absentmindedly whistling while we were playing cards. I have new medicines and it was confirmed that everything I was already doing was what he would be suggesting anyway. Next comes tubes in the ears if they don't clear within four weeks.

Thanksgiving dinner was cooked and served later than our previous norm. I think the timing threw me off - the turkey was not as moist as it normally would be and it was not done, either, at the time we were sitting down. Back into the oven it went and we ate all the side dishes. Which filled us up so much that the turkey became instant sandwich fixings instead. We had pumpkin roll for a late dessert. I couldn't hear the timer that was at my elbow that morning and so the pumpkin pie was burnt to a puffy-topped cinder. It'd been in the oven 30 minutes longer than it should have been, which made me cry like a weakling.

I am still craving a pumpkin pie.

We followed up dinner with card playing. Then our youngest and his roommate left for their place and Bossman and I settled in front of the TV, revelling in the silence. The roomie is one of those people who talks non-stop, mostly stream-of-conscious stuff, with frequently mid-conversation-style comments from a discussion he must be having in his own head. It becomes somewhat stressful after a couple of hours of attempting to interpret what he is referring to or even trying to describe. I'm sure he believes his rhetoric is witty and "deep" but I'd describe it as convoluted and murky.

Friday-my-Birthday (dubbed "Black Birthday" by a friend on Facebook) dawn cold and grey. Very cold. Breakfast was leftover fruit salad. Yum. I make it only twice a year so we go nuts with it while it is available. Salads made with cottage cheese, whipped cream, and tropical fruit ingredients tend to have short shelf lives. The afternoon featured another round of cards - three different games - with a new set of players and later the roomie again. His chatter was in direct competition with Protégée Two's, who had worked nearly 24 hours of 48 at Best Buy and was bursting with stories about the people she dealt with. The evening ended around 2:30am, one of the longest we've had in quite a while. Afterwards I stayed up, afraid I'd not hear my alarm clock, and made the 6:00 online "door buster" sale of a shirt Bossman had been lusting over... $15 for something normally $49. I like that. :)

We were suffering cabin fever by the time we woke up today as it'd been three days without leaving the house so we carefully ventured to Barnes and Noble. It wasn't too bad at all. Best of all, Bossman let it be known how he'd been really tempted, nay, sorely tempted, by the Nook HD, "especially as it is on sale right now" so while a chance meeting with Rabah (Ross Wilkins) and his wife distracted him (they were in on my little plan since I bumped into them first) I was able to slide over to the cashier and buy that Nook for him. And now my Giftmas Shopping for Da Man is complete. It is safe to write about this in here - he never reads my journal.

We've been home a few hours. I NEED to get started on finishing my heraldic work for the month but oh is my mind sluggish. The will is laggard too. Perhaps a cup of strong tea sweetened with a tablespoon of sugar will generate some energy. Once I get rolling it should be easy to keep the momentum. But oh is it hard to get myself going. Tomorrow's deadline looms high.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
4:30 in the morning.
I should be working on heraldry stuff but my reaction to the GD'ed Fracking Cat who sprayed our doors and house corners last night is still causing me trouble. I have a very strong reaction to the smell, very close to one needing an epi pen. I took meds for it and even managed to go outside and sprayed down the areas with some handy 'animal odour remover' stuff so I just have to wait the reaction out. My eyes sting like Hades, though.

But for now I'm too miserable to think. What I should do is colour in more of the submissions. On Wednesday I travelled south to a group in North Carolina, met up with Bambi there, and we did an extensive heraldic intervention for the group... lots of submissions were hammered out and their baron and baroness can start to rest easier about the awards they've been giving. But it was a long night and only one page of each submission was coloured in, and three of them weren't even drawn up. They're approved by the group, though, and of the ones that were drawn up, each had one page coloured so I could scan them in for OSCAR when I got home.

That is, until I got home and realised that the Letter of Intent wasn't done, the April 1 letter hadn't been started because none of the 'submissions' were actually sent to me (I found them in the archives of the discussion group) and it needed to be finished too... so I've been a tad busy. That works out very nicely for the two heralds who sent me late submissions that would normally be waiting for next month's letter. Can you say, "squeak"? I knew you could.

I learned from Bambi-conversation that I have been an 'interim' submission herald and that it is expected that I won't seek a second gig at the job. Damn. I was having fun, especially now that I'm catching on to it all well enough to not drown. (Not to mention that my approval rate on submissions has been about 85%, which puts me squarely in a "B" grade - not great, but certainly not bad!) Luckily my boss called me this evening and I asked her about it. She was surprised - she doesn't want me to step aside when my warrant runs out. Good. As long as Laurel doesn't have a problem with me, I'm staying in. We need a couple more years of training and practise before there is going to be another herald willing and able to take over the job (I'm excepting Bambi, who could do the job but really shouldn't.) We need to create a solid pool of qualified heralds in the Kingdom. And besides that, it is my firm belief that one of the foremost duties of an office-holder is to train at least one replacement - and I haven't quite achieved that yet. Although I have a few likely candidates in mind if I can give them another year or so to get comfortable with their knowledge base.

I'm getting the kingdom files this weekend. Can you imagine? I have been doing this job for about a year and a half and now I'm getting the records... I expect that part of this month will be spent reshuffling the folders I have in temporary storage into their permanent home, and toting up how many binders I wasted as duplicates. Hopefully I can flip those inside out and reuse them.

We had to get rid of three bookcases to make room for the files... Bossman and I sorted through books and offloaded about 200 titles to Goodwill. Wow. Most of them were things that no one will really have any use for; two sets of encyclopaedias (our Britannicas were over 35 years old!), Time-Life sets on home repair and other subjects (remember the era of "pay $14.95 monthly for each book in the set"?)... predominately subjects too easily found on the Internet nowadays. And a huge load of hardback novels that we both have in electronic form now. And boy, did I rediscover my Craft library. ("Craft" as in "Wiccan/Pagan and comparative religion studies.) Some of the titles made me smile - "Magical Rites from the Crystal Well", "Drawing Down the Moon" (which had photos in it of people I later recognised from my SCA kingdom, once I became a member, which made me grin), the writings of Marion Weinstein, and a book by the firebrand Leo Martello - who most modern Wiccans have never heard of. As well as a couple of books that I bought just because their authors cited me in their work. Ah, the old days, when we had to sneak into little side bookstores and buy our books by special order, delivered wrapped in brown paper so the titles would not shock the other customers or get us lynched. How things have changed. I'd forgotten about them in amongst the more recent titles.
stitchwhich: (SCA device)
I was just working on a SCA heraldic submission (recoloring a grey elephant in a 'light enough grey') and was noodling while I worked, and realised how far I've come since I took on the Kingdom Submission Herald job.

Before October of 2011, I knew what a chief was on a device, what a charge was (in that I could recognise the word's meaning but would have been hard-pressed to think of that word myself) and what 'per saltire' was. If I needed to tell someone about a device that was "per pale" I would have said, "divided down the middle with a color/metal on this side and another one on the other". I also knew that colors couldn't go on a colored field, or metal on metal - but would have needed a good ten minutes to think of the specific heraldic terms for any of them.

I didn't know how to use OSCAR - as a reader, much less a submitter or commentor. I didn't know how to scan images, nor how to edit them and then create new files that were not specifically Word files. I didn't know any of the html codes besides the three or so we need for posting on LiveJournal. I had no idea about how to create the special alphabetical letters (Da'ud notation) necessary to enter submissions into OSCAR.

I didn't know anything about our rules of submission (except for what is noted above) and when SENA was being brought forward, I would have been hard-pressed to tell you what was different between it and the past rules, as I was equally unfamiliar with either of them.

"Geirr Bassi" had no significance to me. Neither did "Reaney and Wilson" nor "Withycombe".

I didn't know a darned thing about what was in the LoAR except for the list of acceptances & approvals. Nor how useful precedences would be. Neither did I learn to cuss out webministers who stopped posting past issues of Kingdom Letters of Decision, nor how very stupid I was to agree to let my predecessor keep the submission files so he could continue to work on creating electronic copies of them. (Never, ever, ever do that. I'm still working on getting those darned files and am dependent on one long-memoried Herald to let me know if something is a resubmission older than two years.)

All I knew was how to be a good secretary and how to do research. And who to cry on when I was lost again.

I'm kinda happy with myself now. There is still a huge amount for me to learn but I'm going to take this evening to just appreciate how much this job has already taught me and how much fun it all has become now that it isn't so confusing.
stitchwhich: (SCA device)
Foxit Reader worked a treat and I actually originated a submission form with all of the lines typed out. YAY! (I used "typewriter" for the typing rather than the 'fillable field' bit because Atlantia doesn't have those in its forms.) That was great! Now I'm going to have to download the program onto my laptop for consults away from home. I do love getting printed forms rather than hand-written ones and now I can generate my own. And it is going to rock to not have to manually cut & paste the documentation into the bottom of each name submission form I do.

I formatted my new chip for my Nook, which I don't need right now. But I will, grasshopper, I will. And in searching all over my document files and the temp-download files I've recovered most of the books and short stories that I had previously had on my first Nook, which I had foolishly not saved in the Adobe Digital Edition files. It's even possible that I've found all of the short stories - it is hard to tell with things in the Liadan 'world'.

Next up is coloring in a set of submissions for a friend so I can get them up in OSCAR faster, and then I shall tackle - the Dreaded PicDic. Yes, me and a large pad of sticky notes are going to emend all of the changes that I can find concerning the various charges in the book. I expect that my efforts won't be 100% up to date but they will be better than what is currently in the book, which is no changes at all since its publication date.

After that - creating more traceable art for my set, and then... (le sigh) learning how to do IGI searches. But at some point, all of that is going to go out the window because now I have a copy of Neil Price's The Viking Way, which I am going to read from cover to cover, and then read again. And take notes.
stitchwhich: (Default)
So I can find it again ("it" being a tidbit that doesn't really have a place to be recorded):

s.n. = "the abbreviation for "sub nomine", which means "under the name" and refers to the name heading under which a citation appears in something like Withycombe, Reaney, Lind or some alphabetically arranged reference.

You will also see s.v. which stands for "sub verbo" literally "under the word" which is used to indicate the head word in a dictionary, English or otherwise."

Thanks, Alisoun!
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