stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
The weekend has been lovely. Busy, of course, given the holiday, but lovely. I slept my weird schedule and am tired now after getting up only eight hours ago - but I JUST found the PIN for my online library account so I can't go to bed yet, right? And I've got fabric in the washing machine shrinking before I turn it into a 12thNight gift. Sports cloth - it is so tricky. After two hot washings and dryings, it may come out with a decent hand. Luckily, it is for a surcote so a little stiffness won't hurt. (Heh. autocorrect flipped over 'surcote'. I've had this computer for five years and I never got around to adding that word to the dictionary? Shame on me!) It is a perfect 'Atlantian Blue' so I hope the recipient will be happy with it.

We had friends over yesterday and today. I think that is why I'm tired; peopled out. But it was fun. We need new games to play though. We have six we play regularly and that isn't enough. The hard part is finding ones that will appeal across the board. A couple of our 'regulars' are anything but intellectual - media-stream action movies are their candy so games which require more than a superficial knowledge, strategy, or words leave them cold ("Quiddler" is rarely approved for playing, and then mostly to make Bossman and I feel good). I'm thinking of "Uno". I'd like to come up with something else that would work for a group of 5 or 6 players.

We will have two different card-playing groups in the future. One person, who brings a friend, has decided that they do not wish to be around another person... it isn't a case of emo-crud but rather the hygiene and manners of the shunned one. I understand the motivation of the shunner and cannot fault them for putting their comfort-level in the fore, but it doesn't simplify things for me. I swear to the Gods I am about ready to start a 'new' group and only keep two of the original players! So There! (Huff!)

Nah, I wouldn't do that. This will pass or be resolved in time.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Our willow is beginning to shed leaves. It hasn't hit the heavy dropping stage, just the sort of shedding that we get after a hot, hot summer and then wind moves in to usher the seasonal change. Hurricane Matthew continues to be watched. We are supposedly heading west this weekend to crash with friends who live in the country (yay, a botany major's fall harvest on the table! Yum!) and then attend a meeting in the middle of Saturday elsewhere. It will take longer to get to, or from, the meeting than the thing is scheduled to last but sadly, I must attend so I can pick up fence posts and sheet walls from the guy who'd borrowed them from me last spring. It really is tempting to throw the whole idea to the wind and simply drive to the guy's house on Monday since he lives only 90 minutes from me rather than the six hours we'll be driving to get to the meeting. We are due for heavy rainfall Friday through Sunday but Monday is pretty clear. Ah, but we'd not be visiting Ken & Jael, and missing all the storm-surge flooding in our area over the weekend. It should soak back down by the time we head home Sunday afternoon. But still - three hours on Friday, six hours on Saturday, three more hours on Sunday... I really don't feel up to all that driving just for a quick meeting, even if we get to visit friends as the better bookend part of it. Our house sitter lives where flooding is normal during storms so is more than happy to relocate to our place for the weekend. We somehow ended up with a place that is about a foot higher than the surrounding area so (knock wood) have never flooded even when our next door neighbors have water in their living rooms.

I've been painting sheet walls for the last couple of days. Just a simple badge in the upper right corner of each wall but 22 badges do make for a lot of time bending over a table. Those are done and now I'm inspired to finish a very fancy sheet that I'd started last spring and had to set aside. I should be frying up ground beef to freeze for the event but the paint, it beckons. Expect to see some photo before I fold the thing up for packing.

Stormy weather has brought on another headache. I suppose I should consult with a doc and let them diagnose 'cluster migraines' but it seems rather silly given that the main treatment medication isn't something I can use so Motrin or Tylenol will be what I can take for the pain. So why waste the doc's time with something he can't treat and I'm just going to have to tough out? Especially something as medically hazy as 'cluster migraines'?

One of my most difficult food-intolerant diners has had to back out from coming to the event. She was 'difficult' only in that her sensitivity was one I'd never heard of before and necessitated a lot of pre-cooking for things I'd normally buy ready-made. Of course, all of those are prepared now. Poor lady, though. I can't imagine living with such a restriction. (She cannot have carrageenan, which hides in 'processing' so is often not listed in the ingredient lists on food packages.) She was really looking forward to the event but her doc has nixed it.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Three weeks of living in the muggy outdoors was exhausting. And yet not. For the first time I had an air mattress on my bed rather than a real one and it was a joy. The mattress predictably lost air during the first night and then stayed in that state for the rest of the time. Its softness was an awful lot like sleeping on our waterbed. For once I came home without sore shoulders and hips. And slept deeply, too, almost every night.

The Deputy Mayor job was fun. Great, even. I'm going to miss doing it next year.

I'm taking a year 'off' from the SCA. Or more specifically, from my local group. Maybe two years, I don't know. I've been very excited about my plans ever since I made the decision - projects that I had waiting are now things I am looking forward to, and I'm even planning new ones. They are all for my own satisfaction - no deadlines, mostly, and no pressure to please others or work around their expectations. So relaxing.

This break time will eliminate the time sink volunteering has had over me so I cannot use any more excuses about getting stronger and building muscles & mobility. I'm looking forward to camping next summer and being able to be useful during set-up, or rather, during unpacking and erecting the pavilion. I AM useful during set up after the pavilion is up, as I am the one who arranges all the furnishings and creates the kitchen set-up. But the heavy lifting has been done by my husband and it's not fair.

Yesterday started the 'build muscle' regime. Minorly, just one exercise done here in the house, but I feel good about it. Today I return to my food log. It was lovely to set it aside for a month (a whole month!). I ate double-stuffed Oreos last night as my celebratory farewell to unmonitored munching. It wasn't as satisfying as I thought it would be - the dietary changes have modified my dining desires. I would have killed for some decent cherries instead. Alas, the season has passed.

Today I also pull out my sewing machine to put together the rest of the blank sheet walls our camp will use for War of the Wings. Or at least 'this batch' of them. I've had the fabric sitting there for a year and was never inspired to finish it up, even with a whole bag of bias tape hanging from one of the cabinets in the craft room as a 'reminder'. Now I want to do it.

After I get some sleep. It's become fugitive again so I guess the "Pennsic Recovery Period" has passed.
stitchwhich: (fireworks)
On Friday I woke up at 6:15 to a grey day - only, well, I didn't know it was 'day'. I had slept so hard that when I woke up to the overcast light I thought the sun was setting and I'd slept all through the day and Bossman had gotten home while I was still abed. I shamefacedly made my way into the kitchen and was sitting at the table glumly contemplating what that meant for the chances of getting any sleep that night when Bossman came into the room and asked me why I was so down. Then he reached for his denture case. I asked him what he was doing, and he replied that he was getting ready for work as he does every morning. Oh dear. He got a huge laugh out of my bewilderment. I shook off my dazzlement enough to quickly dress and drive him to work, giving me the car for the day, then called our youngest to see if he'd worked overnight. And that resulted in a lovely breakfast with my son followed by a trip to the DMV to procure a new ID card for him. He refuses to get a driver's license for some odd reason, even in this city-transportation benighted area, but after he'd been mugged he had no ID at all and had been putting off the (dreaded) trip to the s-l-o-w DMV office ever since. With the presidential election season creeping near his need for one was becoming dire. It turned out to be a quick trip - only around an hour. But with the time it took to find all of his paperwork beforehand it was nearly lunchtime when we walked out and his father, having a short day, was ready to come home. So we fetched him for lunch and then dropped our boy/man off for his bedtime while us older folks drove off for fun.

By which I mean that we gassed up the car and then braved the Sprint store to get a new phone for the Bossman. His was so old they didn't even accept it for a trade-in. Somehow along the way I got a new phone also, thanks to the BOGO deal they had going, and a free Samsung tablet E for the man, too. And we came out of it with our monthly bill lower than it was when we walked in. I'm a little confused about how that all happened - especially since we, the two of us, have a third cell phone line now, but there we go. They used my husband's old phone for the new line's number and handed it back to him. I guess we needed a 'new' line in order to get the BOGO deal. I haven't checked to see how long we have to keep it activated. Both of us are now working on learning the ins and outs of our phones' operating systems. We moved away from Samsung models to the newest LG. It is a big phone and barely fits in my pocket. It does NOT fit in there when I have it in its (also freely given before I could say "I don't want that, actually") waterproof case. Apparently with it in that I can take a bath with the phone or take it swimming and use it as a camera. Okay, sure. So there are two cases for mine now - one for everyday which I bought at the mall (a vivid blue case which looks nothing like my husband's previously matching one) and one water-, earthquake-, drop- proof case for Pennsic use. It will be in a pouch then, tucked inside a knitted bag*. We both went to bed early that night. Evidently the process of phone acquisition is exhausting.

Saturday morning started with the uncomfortable awareness that I'd contracted another UTI and off to the Urgent Care clinic I went. I loaded up my sewing equipment before I left the house and after an exam, lab test, and prescription stop I was on my way to a "Sew-appaloosa" at a local library. One of the chatelaines in our barony had reserved the space for the pre-Pennsic panic stitching frenzy. Only about six of us showed up but we got a great deal done and left contented. I worked on creating a groundcloth for our pavilion. There doesn't seem to be a local source for 16x16 canvas tarps but we'd found a 12x16 last year while setting up for service week and made do with it and two 8x8s. Friday morning I bought another 16x12, and that night tore out all of the hemming on both of them, then laid them out on the floor at the library to double-check their measurements. A little cutting and stitching later has gained us a 17x18 groundcloth... yeah, I know, not "16x16" but my beloved husband insists that it be larger than the tent's actual interior footprint. I don't know why. I suspect I'll be making it smaller after we try out his suggested size this year. I've one edge hemmed and tomorrow I'll finish the other three. Today has been 'lazy day' and all we've done is visited Long John Silver's for dinner and then lolled in front of the television to catch up on episodes of the BBC's "Endeavor". And maybe a couple of other shows too; "Houdini & Doyle" and "Royal Pain".

Tomorrow, or rather later today, we'll host a traditional bar-b-que party and cards.


*Why do I need to carry my phone at Pennsic? Because only one of my department heads has a phone assigned to them. We need our phone to communicate with each other. I anticipate that it will feel very weird next year to not need to carry the thing around with me.
stitchwhich: (shake)
Helped one of my protégées with their sewing yesterday and was glad I was there to do so since she had a technical problem she had no idea for fixing (neck hole was cut wide and shallow, too wide to sit comfortably on her shoulders.) She now has a gown with a contrasting yoke, inside and out, and it encases the wide opening and has a smaller, more flattering one instead. The color combination is not what I would have chosen but these are her heraldic ones so I can't argue with the decision... well, artistically I can. Fashionably I can. But as a Scadian herald I just have to shrug my shoulders and suggested that with the new yoke she might as well add cuffs too. Some of the people reading this will see that gown in a few weeks. :)

I am feeling lighter in spirit already. My resignations had been sent a few days ago so the changes in attitude were already working through before I posted yesterday's scree. I've already caught up on the 1200+ "SCA Heraldry" list messages that I had not yet read, as well as fourteen month's worth of SCA-cooks list messages. And all of my bookkeeping (love that word - oo-kk-ee) is done. So is 'catching up on all the emails for Cultural Affairs'. In fact, I am now cheerfully going back to check on them two or three times a day, out of (gasp!) curiosity and a desire to see if there is anything I need to handle quickly. Because I want to. That's new and I like it.

I am using today to repack the Rubbermaid bins holding all of the loaner clothing and am washing all of the fabric that I'd set aside for crafting new pieces of loaner apparel. We have a couple of spare bins left over from something else we'd been doing and I shall carefully pack all of the ready-to-cut fabrics in there, safe and out of my sight. I am leaning towards passing those on to the new Gold Key deputy. He doesn't sew but he is quite conscientious. It may be that other members of the barony who do sew would be willing to 'check out' a length of fabric and return it as a completed article of garb. It doesn't have to be me.

While the fabric is cycling through the wash I believe I shall build one of my Lego kits.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Friends of ours are about to be elevated to Court Baron and Baroness - it's a surprise to them (they don't read LJ). It was announced within our group early on so folks who'd normally skip the upcoming event (fighting and archery only) would have a chance to be there and celebrate with them. They once lived in our home group and after they moved we talked the King and Queen into creating a "Marinus Protectorate" for their land. Their home, which they open up to host events and is a full acre or so with a huge open field, woods, and a river beach, is called "Silverleaf Estate" so since we won't be able to be there when the deed is done I embroidered a set of napkins for them with their beloved silver leaf on them. As usual, I got one backwards and the design is embroidered on the back rather than the front. Go figure. But still - while we're hosting the annual Great Dark Horde meeting (Khuraltai) I will know that our friends will feel our joy in their elevation.

Originally I'd meant to fill in the leaves but Bossman talked me out of it. I think he was right, especially since these are just napkins. They're cotton and embroidered with Splendor silk thread. It isn't as glossy as filament thread but it is durable and colorfast.



stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
It has been a tumultuous week & a half. I'm going to bullet-point. Sorry, I know that is not the best journalistic style.

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I've been too sick to drive for Uber. I haven't been sleeping well but even though I'm awake during the hours I'd normally be driving, I'm tired and dizzy. I miss it. I also miss the minor extra income it brings in.

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We drove to Cooper's Lake a week ago, on a Friday as folks were getting out for lunch, which meant hitting DC rush hour traffic midway through our trip. Luckily for us we always take a route that runs diagonally across the state so our overlap with the dense traffic was short term. And, although I shouldn't have, I had a Dairy Queen banana spilt for dinner. Because I could and we were there. It is at our traditional gas/food stop during that trip.

I was stressed about the meeting for the next day. My lousy health this winter/spring meant that I was not as diligent about getting my Pennsic job done and I had 37 email strings (Gods do I hate gmail and its formatting!) to wade through before the meeting, some of which were letters asking for my help and having been dated a month ago. It was shameful. As it turned out, I was about even for 'doing my job' with the rest of the Deputy Mayors, which is both heartening and embarrassing all at the same time. Guess we all had a lousy few months. Nonetheless the emails were sorted, my departments were updated, and I'm now back in the loop again. Although about $200 poorer because I can't request a refund for my travel costs.

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I've decided to take a break from Pennsic staff next year. Sure, I'll do duty - we all should volunteer a few hours - but overall I am going to be a 'tourist' and relax. It is the first time since Pennsic 21 that I will not be on staff. I did schedule a break one year but a friend guilted me into running a Page's School once we got onsite. The autocrats had never bothered to find a staffer for it and there I was, sitting with her on the Cooper store's front porch trying mightily to resist while drinking Pennsic Chocolate Milk (it deserves the capitalization) when a little girl came out of the store with her brother excitedly telling him that "THIS year I'll be eight years old so THIS year I get to go to Page's School too. You don't get to have all the fun this time!"

Well yeah. We were both Boy Scout Commissioners and we could put a one-week school together while standing on our heads and blowing kazoos. So no break for this staffer. (It was a good school and people were absolutely fantastic about stepping up at the last minute with few financial resources. I still remember some of the classes with nostalgia.)

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The lumpia fundraiser thing is done. More specifically, I am done pimping the sales. It was a total flop in that we profited only $80 and I have sealed and frozen lumpia filling our freezer to the very top. Over 900 sticks of it, not to mention the 200 or so over at our Baron and Baroness' house. But - done and no longer my headache. Except that my failure haunts me.

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I've 'fired' my weight loss dietician, which means I've quit their program since there is only one 'non-surgical' doctor. I've finally learned that 'encouragement' isn't an aspect of their care but pushing more drugs as an answer to the slowing down of loss is. I've not lost any weight in months but neither have I been the least bit diligent about cooking, exercising, or watching my calories during the months of feeling sick as a dog. Twice I asked for a 'pep talk', a group to meet with or anything that may help me regain my perspective when I went in for my follow-ups and each time I was told that they "didn't do that and have I considered this drug or that surgery?" I need to regain my enthusiasm for cooking foods again instead of tiredly reaching for whatever ready-made or easily-grazed item is in our cupboards. Now that the exhaustion from last month's cold has begun to lift the kitchen is starting to look more attractive to me. Next comes motivating myself to the gym.

- Sewing must happen. A lot of it. I had a family and a single guy needing loaner clothing for the event this weekend (the single guy's roommate posted at 10am on Facebook on the day the event opened, asking for 'whoever is in charge of Gold Key". They didn't actually get to my house until after 8:30 at night, long after the event had started. Yes, it was crazy for me to even allow it. But I did so knowing that with such a gross abuse of courtesy on her part (he didn't know any better but she is a Laurel), I could now have a group-supported 'rule' put in place requiring borrowers to contact me at least two days before an event. And the new guy, who'd never met me or anyone else in our group, has a few names and faces to remember. He seemed rather embarrassed about it. I learned later that it may have been because our Chatelaine visits their house two or three times a week to see their other roommate and she'd told the Laurel over and over again during the past month that she should contact me early if she needed to borrow anything.) I was at home because I was sewing a tunic for the son of the first family, who could not find a single thing in our Gold Key that would fit except for one cotton and one thick wool tunic. With an expected high of about 90f, wool wasn't going to do.

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I am lividly angry with our country's health care situation. Our (past) baron is dying of a cancer that cannot be cured. That makes me angry in one direction but more importantly to me (given the 'somethings we just can't take care of' situation for cures) is the fact that his wife is killing herself trying to take care of him, their child, their home, and keep an income coming in while the medical community stands by and whistles in the wind as she whittles herself down past the point of exhaustion. Cancer shouldn't cost two lives for every infection.

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And a man I respect highly and love dearly is dying of a different kind of cancer because he cannot afford health care. He's too proud, too private, and too, too exhausted with the medical merry-go-round to even consider trying to start a "go fund me" sort of thing so he is going to die while ignorant idiots posture and rant about the 'evil that is Obamacare'. I swear by the Almighty, if one person snarks "Obamacare" to my face I am going to pop them in the kisser. Yes, it is a freaking ugly package - but that sure as shooting wasn't Obama's fault and the politicians who posture and prance while fanning their egos with it have cost, or will cost, many of us the lives of people we care about.

And I don't love that man half as much as his partner, who is the mother of their pre-teen daughters does.

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I'm wiped out tired. Think there is a way to change out one's batteries?
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
We had rain on Friday and part of Saturday. It was a welcome break from the heavy pollen flow. Without the awful sinus headache those days were quite productive - errands were run, lumpia was made, household chores long ignored were completed, and dining outside of the house was enjoyed.

Unfortunately, the pollen production began anew on Sunday morning and by late afternoon I was in far too much pain to care about our weekly card night - I was seeing flashes of light when I blinked, which was too close to what I understand would be a migraine headache. And this after 600mg of Motrin. I ended up being lulled to sleep by the sound of laughter coming from our kitchen as my husband and some friends played through the early evening.

I'm up again - the worst of the headache has faded to the background so I'm taking advantage of it. I finished rolling the last batch of lumpia I had waiting already mixed, then inventoried our supplies of finished lumpia and am now torn between starting a new batch (I've three more batches of cooked & chopped meat in the fridge) or doing laundry & paying bills. What excitement! What a grand selection of occupations! Actually - playing logic games on my computer is beginning to sound attractive.

We met at a local library this afternoon for a sewing session. There were only three of us but it was productive. I had not been aware that am opportunity was coming up and had no new project to work on (being solely focused on getting lumpia made) so took my Viking Rus coat there to add more decoration to it, a project I'd started and then set aside when the winter-themed event (Ymir) had passed. It has been hanging in the craft room forlornly waiting for me to work on it. So I did, and got a lot more done than I expected. Say! Now that the kitchen table is cleared off after that last rolling session, it is perfectly situated for me to work on finishing the edging of that coat! Maybe I could get that done tonight as it doesn't require much in the way of brainpower. I'm planning on running a double line of trim across the bottom of the coat and up the two front edges, ending them at about thigh-height with a bowen knot. Like this:



That takes the coat outside of the realm of 'documentable' and firmly into 'conjectural' but it will be attractive, especially with the to-be-added fur sleeve cuffs, so I foresee an easy sale when the coat ends up being too large for me to wear after more self-shrinkage.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I've spent the last two days rolling lumpia - or more precisely, chopping up all the ingredients to go in the lumpia and finally getting to the point where I could roll a batch up. Beef ones, 115 of them so far. I'd meant to do more today but instead went shopping for more ingredients - tomorrow one of my protégées/apprentices will come over and we'll get started again. I must have all six types done by next weekend so there is a lot of chopped oriental ingredients in my fridge right now, waiting to be mixed in with the rice and soy sauce.

Everything is going slower than I want it to - the elms and oaks are pollinating the entire corner of my world and I happen to be allergic to them. Staying inside is helping - going shopping means that I'll be trying to claw my throat out sometime before I can get back home again. May I say that I am grateful to the inventors of the neti pot, Sudafed, and Zyrtec. Oh yes. And Motrin, unfortunately, as my head aches all the time right now.

So I have not been driving for Uber in the last two weeks - headachy and fuzzy-brained as I am, I don't trust myself behind a wheel. Although the loss of my weekly mad money is hitting me. How quickly we adapt to extra income, eh? I'd not realized what a sense of fulfillment it was giving me, to be able to not stress over an extra bill or a higher-cost item that I'd normally have to scrip and save for. Those trees better find a room - I want my driving evenings back.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I thought I was going to work this evening - but I was wrong.

We had a demo over the weekend, and that involved Bossman and I bringing out our pavilion and filling it with a static display, a 'food challenge',



and a table of medieval/Renn period games. One of my protégées ran the games table each day.


She was a real trooper, as she had not planned on doing that but stepped in when it became obvious that the other members of our local group were really just there to hang out with each other and watch people walk by. She worked her hinny off.

I did the food challenge. Arranged a bunch of fruits and vegetables between two baskets and then challenged passerbys to sort them into "known in Europe before Columbus sailed" and "introduced to Europe after the finding of the New World". No one got it 100% right. In fact, I think the best was about 80%, but oh how decisive some of the wrong answers were! As I unloaded the baskets and put the items back in the middle, I told the players stories about the items - just minor tidbits like "Carob comes from the Locust tree, which has led some scholars to conclude that John the Baptist ate carob & honey, not insects and honey while he wandered the desert. In fact, carob is sometimes called "St. John's bread." or "Bananas are the largest herb in the world and originated in Malaysia, then passed into India, where Alexander the Conqueror found them and ended up transporting them to northern Africa, where they spread like a weed - like kudzu!"

We did the final unloading of the truck this afternoon, after I had spent the earlier day shopping for supplies for the lumpia fundraiser. I am sore and exhausted. The loading/unloading and setting up of our equipment gets more difficult each time, I swear. And driving an hour each day to work from 9-5:30 was no way to rest up between the setting up and the tearing down. Luckily we had wonderful people who helped us with both. But for tonight, after unloading and schlepping all the heavy stuff, I don't trust my judgment for driving unknown routes - my brain is tired and my body aches moving or sitting still. So home I stay. I watched the latest episode of "Call the Midwife" and now I'm going to retire with a new book. Hopefully it will lull me to sleep.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
In spite of not feeling well* I've been fabric shopping. Yes, Ms. "I don't want to stockpile fabric" went out and poured cash into the hands of retailers. Some of it was personal purchases due to Hancock's closing (over 300 dollars spent, although a chunk of that was on tools rather than fabric. I'll be setting aside my plans for buying an adult tricycle for a while until I reimburse our household account for that trip!). Other spending was not my own money. But of our own, one of the things we picked up was 'trim fabric' These ones:


A few yards of each will net me some lovely early-period stripes to turn into trim that is lightweight enough to actually bend and drape as fabric should rather than being thick and rigid as so many hand-made SCA trims end up. One of my goals as I learn how to weave is to make pretty trim that is pliable instead of stiff. I dislike seeing sleeves, for example. bow out in a stiff circle at the biceps because of the trim applied over the seam line.

We got over a hundred yards of various fabrics and one trim in three colours from an upholstery shop that was going out of business. Those are for the barony's Gold Key (newcomer's loaner items) collection. I'll be sewing until Pennsic, most likely, to get all of that converted to clothing. Of the blue there is about 53 yards. Wow! But at a dollar a yard for fabric and 75cents a yard for trim, it will be a real money saver.






*We thought I was struggling with a mean UTI - treated it once, had it return, treated it again, and then the longer test results came back showing no evidence of bacteria, so now a week into the second round of antibiotics and pain meds we've hit a wall. The next step is a specialist. In the meanwhile, I have deep-seated pain at the kidneys and lower abdomen which is sapping all of my energy. We've a weekend demo for the SCA coming up where I'll be doing onstage presentations - and all I really want to do it stay in bed and try to sleep. Somehow we'll make this work. I am not looking forward to loading our tent and equipment up, setting up, demoing, and then tearing down again. The thought exhausts me. But Bossman says we can do it so I believe him.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I have wasted five hours on my computer, mostly reading LiveJournal (I'm far behind in my reading) or the Book of Faces. Or the news. Or email. Or playing basic graph-based games...

Perhaps I really should get back to sewing the trim on the left side of the Rus coat I'm planning on wearing this weekend? Maybe?
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Excuses I hate to have leveled in my direction;

"It's the Society for CREATIVE Anachronism! That's in our name!"

"We have ANACHRONISM in the name!"

"It isn't as if you were submitting it for an Arts and Sciences competition."

"They could have done it that way."

(paraphrased here)
"Not everything period was documented. Period people had common sense. If they wanted or needed _______ of course they would have made one. That none have been found by archeologists yet is not your fault."

"The SCA is just a game, a hobby.."

.... so therefore, history be damned. Do whatever you want.


What if what I want is to actually do things that are historically correct? What if that give me joy? How hard is it to understand and support that?
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I've been thinking about re-tackling the process of weaving. It galls me that as a woman interested in the Viking era Norse, I cannot weave (or naalbind). Unacceptable! So I've started looking at looms. Not expensive ones, mind you, but something that I wouldn't mind taking with me to an event - so no 'inkle loom'. It wouldn't be the one that I'd use for reenacting but rather a home (and sometimes event) item that won't jar my medieval experience too much. And what do you know, I find one that is most likely not correct-to-period at all but I do love the look of it. What do you think of this: https://www.etsy.com/listing/209566683/tablet-weaving-loom-longer-version?ref=related-0 ?

Sheep walls

Nov. 3rd, 2015 03:36 am
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
Okay, so I made a new one. At some point I should makes something a little more classical in its depiction of sheep, but for now this one amuses me.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
I'm avoiding working on a scroll - the paper I chose for the thing (Bristol) is very thick so my light-board isn't working well. I'm not an artist, can't draw worth a darn, so need the silly light-board in order to get anything done. But it is so dim on the other side of that Bristol paper that I actually took my glasses off and had my face hovering a few inches above the surface so I could squint enough to see the images shining behind. I have the bottom edge design traced out and am only needing to draft in the left edge patterning and then - OMG - do the text. Which, btw, will be traced with an extra-fine Sharpie pen and not callig'd. This is because I "wrote a cheque from an empty account". I haven't had a chance to practice any calligraphy and being a leftie means that it takes me a bit longer to get up to speed. The two scrolls are due this Saturday morning. I shouldn't have volunteered to do them but I got my time sense confused and thought I had an extra week to get them done after the camping event.

My meal plan was successful as far as the diners went. I was unhappy with the level of disorganization that I had and grateful that I had a 'memos' app on my phone so I could make a list for myself in the middle of the night, that being when solutions to problems seem to become clear and elegant. If I'd waited until morning they'd be lost forever. The biggest difficulty was my own lack of ease in getting things done. This would have been alleviated had I asked for a kitchen helper every day instead of trying to do it all myself and if I'd stored the dry goods in bins sorted by meals. Asking someone to lay out the items in a small 'breakfast' bin while I started the hot water on the stove would be such a step up from my own rooting around in a giant bin pulling out boxes and jars while folks hovered in the public area waiting for their coffee and oatmeal and the unneeded items had to be placed on any convenient surface while I found the breakfast or lunch items.

I learned that my 'food restriction' person had given me, as we suspected, a list of foods that were a blend of dangerous-to-her ones and personal dislikes. As she said on Friday when I mentioned that I might just end up scrambling everyone's eggs on Saturday, " I don't DO scrambled eggs!" I bit back the reactive "Then you can just eat oatmeal if you are lucky, b*tch" thought that immediately crossed my mind. (I was in pain and very cold, it being a little over 40 degrees, so grumpy.) Later in the day she mentioned that she had been through a three-month elimination diet with no appreciable results so I am giving her the benefit of the doubt that she may not actually know what is causing her intestinal discomfort. I imagine it must be quite frustrating to find that some foods create dire effects one day and yet not on different one, with no medical explanation of why or the common factor. Nonetheless, she will not be on my meal plan next year.

Oh, did I mention that I am already planning on doing it again next year? I did enjoy it even through the frustrations of my disorganization. It's been years since I've cooked a meal plan for more than four people. Probably a full decade, actually. And I ended up with 5 more people on it by Friday - the head of a household who'd asked after the plan just 12 hours before I was due to leave home told his shire members that they were on it. Which I learned after they arrived two-by-two from out-of-kingdom. But with the help of a person swinging by the grocery store after their trip to Lowe's, we had plenty for everyone. They loved the chawettes, they loved the lumpia, and they adored the SOS. Which made me giggle - of all things boring SOS seems to be the one that people greet with raised eyebrows and then come back to the kitchen sniffing hopefully for seconds.

It was cold at night. Just barely above freezing. We slept warm though, and shared Bossman's air mattress instead of setting up our normal two beds. I had expected that the arrangement wouldn't work - he normally sleeps catty-corner on the mattress so he can fit. But instead we fitted together just fine. I guess old habits are not ever lost. :) The mattress was difficult for me on the days he wasn't there as I could barely get off of the thing but once he got on site I was fine so long as he was in the bed while I was exiting. I needed that extra firmness to push off from! Before we left home we went to a secondhand store and bought a couple of quilted bedspreads to take with us for the bed. I'd meant to buy only one but there were two that matched and he wanted both of them. So after two thin wool blankets were laid down one quilt (King sized!) followed, then our down comforter, then the other matching quilt. They were large enough that I could tuck the ends and the foot-level bits of the sides under the mattress, which effectively kept the blankets from sliding off the mattress during the night. Those things are not designed for tucking in one's bedding. The plan was to return the quilts to the store as donations, effectively 'renting' them for the duration of the event (a whole $14us!) and keeping us from having to find new storage space for them, but he likes the ugly things so now they are packed into a vacuum-sealed bag and put away on top of the camping gear for next Pennsic.

We had brought a small but powerful propane heater with us. We never needed to use it. We did finally figure out that it was useful on Sunday morning for the gathering area while folks had their breakfast and coffee/tea though. It was nice to have that hot air blowing on us.

The Great Dark Horde camp had six brothers camping in it and eight chagua. We had a couple of Brothers have to cancel plans, durn it. I made twelve new sheet walls for the camp to go with the six I'd already made - there were no more than that there. No one else made or brought any. Luckily for my morale, I had only expected one more wall to show up, as I knew that most of thems who made walls were not going to be able to attend. I just bought more sheets to launder and cut into new walls. Hopefully if I do a set of two sheets every payday we'll have enough by next WoW. Friends of ours who live in Clarksville are going to let us store the household's camping supplies (sheetwalls and poles. Maybe a fire bowl) at their place so we can have them consolidated. Having each of us store and bring a personal set of supplies was good in theory but rotten in practice. Next week, after our Baronial Investiture event is over I shall start painting designs on the walls with the help of some of my khanate members. That will be fun.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
All of a sudden my days seem crammed - prepping for War of the Wings has become an over-riding need. And so much was left undone after Pennsic! Which I did not really notice until this morning. I just finished making 46 little pork chawettes and still have filling available, enough to make probably another two dozen. I think instead I'll use up my left over lumpia wrappers to make a pork version of 'rolled thin pancakes'. Staying in the Great Dark Horde camp means I should serve at least one Mongolian dish, right? And it would be dead easy to add the extra ingredients to the leftover pork. Besides, they can be fried in the same way as the chawettes. And more importantly, I won't have to go to the Hispanic store to buy more supplies.

Tomorrow I shall be roasting beef and a turkey in order to have luncheon meats to serve. Maybe a ham, too. We'll see what is available at the Commissary. I'm serving eight people but only on Friday and Saturday. That is making portion-anticipating a bit of a challenge. Especially since three of them are staying at a hotel. The easy and boring route of 'instant oatmeal or fresh muffins or bagels" is going to be breakfast. I'm not going to chain myself to a stove all morning on the off chance that someone from out-of-camp will wander in hungry for breakfast.

This meal plan has its own special challenges. Oh boy, yes. One person sent me her list of forbidden foods (sensitivities, apparently). For your enjoyment, this is it:
Asparagus
Bell/sweet peppers
Celery
Kale
Lima beans
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Raw onion (cooked okay)
Mushrooms
Almond flour
Ginger
Hazelnut
Peanuts
Most soups and stews (Brunswick okay)
Grapefruit
Oranges/tangerines/clementines/mandarins etc
Most dairy – milk, soft cheeses, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, whipped cream (hard cheeses okay)
Ground beef is iffy
Chili
Sausage
Seafood
Most spicy things

In the world of medieval cookery, this is both easy and tough. Cooking without almonds? Tough. Or at least 'weird'. Leaving out New World food products - not a problem. Even the mayo doesn't phase me. I could bring some for mid-day sandwich making but I think I'll just bring two different sort of mustards and people can deal with that. The cheeses are confusing - she just told me that she could have mozzarella... I would have considered that a soft cheese. Still, there are also other folks with food concerns. One is lactose intolerant, one does not eat any veggies except for corn (which I won't serve at an SCA event) and one specified no "guacamole, hummus, or sour cream". The menus were fairly easy to come up with but I was saddened that I must leave out some items I'd been anticipating serving, like "Savoury Toasted Cheese". That would have been lovely once the sun began to set and the chill of the day set in but with two lactose-intolerant folks I will skip that one.

I've been driving for Uber like crazy at night, trying to get as many hours in as I could this week to make up for the days I'll be unable to next week. It finally dawned on me that we have an event the Saturday after we get home from WoW and I've promised two scrolls to our outgoing Baron and Baroness for their final court. They are depending on me for wording. Guess I'd better get on that too, eh?

Okay. Time to get off of the computer and get sewing again. Tomorrow is food prep, then the test feast (we're invited) for the Investiture event. There is a huge pile of laundry to take care of, pavilion curtains and flooring to sew, and packing to do. Before early Wednesday morning. Whew!
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
We're packed for Pennsic. It's a shorter visit than it has been in the past - usually we'd already be there, working to build it before everyone else arrives, but this year that isn't our gig and it feels.... nice. Relaxing, actually.

The guys (Bossman and a household member who doesn't play in the SCA any longer but keeps meaning to) packed the truck while I worked in the house. This was their way of ensuring that I didn't over-extend myself, which I was grateful for. Even then I joined them in sweating off a few pounds. Man, was it hot today! Too hot for our central cooling to handle well.

I finished Pennsic sewing this afternoon. Nah, it wasn't anything exciting, just privacy curtains for the new pavilion and a cover for the stove/oven so its modernity won't insult my event joy. Da Man does not understand this but he tolerates it. Or maybe he just enjoys laughing at me - especially when I sew, say, a cloth cover for a tower fan so it won't stand out quite so much when we aren't using it. I don't mind its modern glory if I'm sweating to death but otherwise it must look like a musical instrument in a cloth case. Yes.

I don't know if I wrote about it but my diet doctor believes that we have deducted the cause of my lack-of-circulation-when-standing. With luck and physical therapy (and sweating, and sweating, and more sweating), it may be eradicated in my near future. This would mean that I would have to join the hard-working truck-loading guys, but I think I can deal with it. I can even deal with losing the handicapped sticker for the car - sort of. I kinda like that sticker, I do, being the lazy person I am. But still, it'd be nice to leave an empty spot for someone else who'd really need it.

So. Food and drink for the house-sitter has been acquired. Bills have been paid, and bank accounts balanced. Laundry is done, except for those items that will be thrown in as soon as I get ready for bed. Car insurance policy cards have been printed (new policy this month) and Pennsic receipts have been too. The Garmin has been updated. Not for finding our way to Cooper's Lake - that one is committed to memory - but perhaps we'd need to find something in town that we hadn't gone to before. A trip to the farmer's market is eagerly anticipated.

I made (am making, since I have three more to do) sweet bags as appreciation tokens for my department heads. I'll be filling them with Kasugai Japanese Gummy Candy in various flavors, because yum. And because it is also gluten-free and low carb to boot. But mostly because it is absolutely delicious and of the Muscat Grape variety there will be a strict "One for you, and one for you, and one for me" method of filling the bags. Here, btw, are photos of the bags. They are rather rough (larger weight yarn than I expected for the newest ones, which are not natural fiber but feel so soft and silky that I think I shall be forgiven). Except for the smallest and the largest, they should cover a cell phone nicely. The largest could easily act as a travel bag for a person's ceramic mug, and the smallest would do well as a medallion/jewelry holder.

stitchwhich: (Lego Viking Woman)
It is funny how (mostly) unacknowledged fear can cripple a person. A month ago, I struggled to make seven tunics and one gown for people headed to Pennsic. It took me two weeks and at least one evening of tears, with background mind-music playing "this used to be so easy, what's wrong with you?'. I left the event with the intention of making two more gowns for a person who didn't fit anything I'd prepared, yet no scissors met fabric until today. Although I did dye 4 yards of white so it'd be a nice lavender.

Tuesday was my dietician appointment. I approached it with dread - too many crisis's, too many party/celebrations over the last two months had garnered me too many pages in my food log with "over allowed amount" or even just "binged" written across the page. I was ashamed and the only thing that forced me to make the appointment was the big banner I'd read on their welcoming page which said "don't avoid your appointment if you've not lost weight - we are here to help you when you need it most!". So I went. And was surprised. I've lost five pounds. That's not the pound-a-week that I'd been doing at the beginning but it was more than I expected. And rather than getting chewed out, the dietician complimented me because, as she explained, under the circumstances of the last couple of months most people would have gained weight rather than lost any at all. She also gave me some strategies for dealing with people pushing food on me that I shouldn't be eating. It is very hard to turn down someone's homemade treat that they are so proud of, and danged irritating to have someone else shove a spoonful of something at my face with the demand, "taste this!" only to scowl and glower when I decline. "It's a small amount and you should have tried it" seems to be justification enough to treat me like an antisocial meanie because I wouldn't put that bit of food in my mouth... which social pressure I have difficulty dealing with. You know - that 'wanting to please people' thing is hard to turn off!

The downer side of the visit was learning that the soreness I've noticed in my legs when I've pushed to stay upright long enough for them to go numb before I sit back down is oxygen starvation in the cells. I was, as I had thought (but my Primary Care doc brushed off) actually harming myself by attempting to walk more daily. She wants me to start noting exactly when the circulation begins to cut off - I really only notice once the whole leg is mostly numb, because I'm focused on whatever it is that I'm doing - shopping, usually - so now I need to pay attention and get a time line. In the meanwhile, mobility at Pennsic is going to be limited far more than I had planned.

Anyway. So Tuesday afternoon had me humming to myself because a dreaded appointment had been positive and affirming. Wednesday was my oncology appointment, where I would get the news about the enlarged lymph node - was it still enlarged? If it was, that pretty much meant cancer again.

It was not. My doctor said, "You keep passing all of my tests" and has placed me on what would be a maintenance regime - my appointments will now be twice a year, and the same with CT scans. While they do not use the word 'remission' with my type of cancer, for all intents and purposes that is what I am in.

And I left his office, came home to lunch, then put music on and cut out & made two gowns from scratch (no pattern), then fitted them onto the new owner this evening and that was that.

Fear. I wasn't even aware I'd been carrying it. I now feel as though I've woken up from a sludgy sleep, mentally.
stitchwhich: (Scatterbrained)
I have a nice pile of 'muslin' sitting on the kitchen table waiting for me to use it to cut out a new sarafan - and I can't. Just can't. I haven't suffered from cutting fear in a long while but it has hit me now, with a vengeance. And I gave myself a 'get it done by this Saturday' deadline, so I need to get over this fear quickly.

This is why I don't usually take commissions from people outside of my area. Because the fear of ruining their fabric just makes me freeze like a bunny noticing a snake.
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