stitchwhich: (Default)
Yesterday my kingdom had one of the three annual "University" events. The registrar, Genevieve, has been letting me play with her work so I happily spent the first couple of hours handing out class schedules and rosters to the many instructors. Lunch time passed slowly so in my down time I pulled out my embroidery project and worked on that. Got some good discussions in with people - the kind where one could cover a difficult subject and know that we had enough time face-to-face to fully resolve any issues.

I taught my class on camp cooking. It was sparsely attended. I'd started with five people pre-registered for it, one of whom was myself, and ended up with five students - only one of whom was pre-reg'd. Such is the way of things. Most of my students were experienced cooks who were intrigued by the subject. They had some good suggestions and every once in a while I actually surprised them with information they had not known/considered. And it was nice to have another voice chime in with affirmation about something I'd said.

The drive to and from the event was 2 hours and 40 minutes long. Since I was part of registration staff, I needed to get there earlier than most so was up by 4am. Dragging in the door at 8:00 that evening meant I just kept walking down the hall straight into the bedroom. I've not the energy I had when I was younger! And thank goodness my hubby emptied the cooler for me.
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking)
I have hit bottom on prepping my handout for Saturday's class. Have I written about this already? I don't remember.

I'm teaching a class designed for single SCA campers who don't cook. It is mostly an 'attitude' adjustment, really, to bring their thoughts about foods from soups and sandwiches (and fast food) to dishes that are easy to prepare and will help them stay in a medieval mindset.

I am addressing three levels of prep; cooler only, campfire available, and single-burner stove. And that is where I am failing... I need 'recipes' that are not really recipes. More like vague 'put any of these things together and do this with them'. Like a Boy Scout foil meal; sliced meat side by side with sliced raw veggies, sprinkle Lipton onion soup mix over it all, then seal it and cook in the coals for 20 minutes. Tada, dinner.

I'm not sure I could call that a 'recipe'. Anyway, I need more ideas for meals and my usual source, SCA Cook webpages, is woefully lacking. This is unsurprising, I guess, because cooks don't bother with such elementary processes. That comes under "just throwing things together". But for a non-cook who is leery about being on their own without a meal plan provider or someone running into town for fast food, this isn't elementary at all.

My head hurts.

Whatever I have by 4am tomorrow, that is what I shall have to go with.
stitchwhich: (Default)
We skipped going to an SCA event this weekend which means that we also missed the elevation (woo hoo!) and party for a friend... but boy did we need the relaxed time. It did not start relaxed as I had a flat tire while driving to a gas station to fill that tire this morning, so ended up buying two new ones sort of off-the-cuff, without consulting Bossman about it. We'll likely need to replace the other two also. Tires pretty much wear out after 53,000 miles, yes? Especially considering that some of those miles were 948-mile round trips to and from a campground outside of Butler, PA from our home on the Virginia coast. That is hard on a vehicle.

But after new tires were acquired I tootled down to a Walmart market to buy what seemed like one gazillion one-liter bottles of flavored water. I regret that we both like that specific brand since I'm usually a shopper who will 'vote with my bucks' and prefer to buy local stuff. But having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, I'm picky about the water I drink. And I absolutely won't buy anything from Nestlé's.

I got home to an awake hubby who already knew about the tire purchase thanks to reading my entry on FB. This is good since I had posted with him in mind. I knew he was going to read his FB feed while going through his morning wake up.

After a week in bed, this morning I was full of energy so we travelled on down to a nail's salon and treated ourselves to pedicures. He loves pedicures... Never treat your man to a salon pedi unless you are willing to have him addicted. A whirlwind of grocery shopping followed, then a late lunch, and after that I slumped. A long nap ensued for both of us, but he did the dishes while I was still passed out cold. More shopping after that and that was our day.

Tomorrow we'll have our circle of 'associates' (apprentices and protégées) to play cards again. We've been sliding into modern-day games too much lately and will have to pull out the rule book to go through some of the late-period ones. We need to practice up for the gaming hell we're hosting in January.

I am two weeks away from giving a class on eating well while single-camping in the SCA and I haven't done nary a thing to prepare. I need to get on it. One of my apprentice/protégées sparked the class. She doesn't cook (how can a person reach nearly 40 years of age and be unable to feed themselves?) so is dependent on meal plans while at weekend events. I thought it'd be nice to have a class about how to batch it while camping, starting with the sorts of meals that are easy to put together without any need for cooking and then moving up to what is possible with a one-burner stove and a pan (or two). Including the rarely-considered need for cleaning up afterwards.
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I spent the day in bed, sleeping. When Bossman got home from work he took my temperature and pronounced me 'feverish' (that is Arni talk for "under 100 but higher than normal"). Back to bed I went. At some point I woke up enough to join him in watching "Antique Roadshow", which was two reruns we hadn't seen, showing antiques (or not) from his hometown of Rapid City, SD. Two small steaks were laid on a plate before me and devoured. I felt more human after that and finally realized that I likely had a sinus infection which was bringing me down.

I regret my sinuses. I'm sure, if they were able to speak, they'd apologise to me. The central cavities stay quite clear but the upper sinuses, which cannot be reached by my faithful neti pot, often clog up and harbor bacteria. Because I can still breath I rarely notice the clogging unless it sparks a headache. All during Pennsic I was dragging and having difficulty breathing, coughing often from 'drainage'. It take a long while before I finally cop to the idea that there may be infection in there which isn't clearing.

Luckily for me, my GP armed me with a prescription for antibiotics before I left for vacation. I have started taking them - if I am right, then I will feel immensely better in about 36 hours. It doesn't take long.
stitchwhich: (Default)
I feel a nice sense of completion. I had four piles of letters, bills, and announcements all scattered around my desk and the table behind it, and now my recycling bin is nearly full of empty envelopes and shredded materials, and my bills are all gathered up - not sorted, as I don't want to do that while tired - but gathered together with their return envelopes in one neat pile, the health insurance stuff is all in one place, opened and waiting to be put in order by date, and all our unread periodicals are also together. There wasn't very many of those but of the others, well... I can tell when the exhaustion of depression hit me since some of those are dated to this time last year.

And there was a vehicle repair (recall) notice also. I'll take care of that this week. A few of the bills also merit calls to the issuers. Some are incorrect and some seem to be of two different amounts so before I pay them I'll call and double-check. Bill paying with two separate health insurance policies is difficult. Now with my hubby on Medicare while I am not, we actually have four different policies. Some of the notices span the period of time before he switched to Medicare so I'll have to be sharp on them. It is not unusual for a provider to attempt to collect more money from a patient than they are allowed. Thus the pile of 'payment sent for this treatment' letters I must go through.

But still - I've caught up on a year's worth of neglect. There is precious little filing I'll need to do. About a half inch of papers for that.
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We need to buy a new tent, a smaller one specifically for weekends & WoW (War of the Wings, which is five days long) since our 16x16' will be the kitchen/gathering tent for the longer event. But I can't decide which type I want to get. A modern 'cabin' tent would pack down small enough to fit in our KIA Soul, which means a huge saving in gas costs to and from an event, but... modern nylon. With all of the drawbacks of that. And the cost of an acceptable one is very close to the cost of a new canvas wall tent, which would NOT pack down small enough for the Soul.

So cost being equal, I am undecided. And if I am, I hesitate to start the discussion with my other half. But there is little time between now and War of the Wings, so I'd best make up my mind and start that conversation.
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I may be the only person in the USA who was not excited about the solar eclipse travelling through yesterday. I think I burnt up all my excitement a long time back, with my first one, so now it is just another cool thing rather than an exciting one.

I slept all day and into the night tonight. I'm only up right now because of thirst and a finally-realized desire for Sudafed. If my sinuses are clogged, I swear my head clogs too. Most likely I have larger sinus cavities than brain box. Or that is my story.

I've been commissioned to make a bunch of small bags for a friend. 150 of them, in fact, with no real guidelines other than their size and that they should look medieval-ly appropriate. I really am "the bag lady", aren't I? I didn't think of that when I told my friend I'd enjoy doing this for them. It took my husband to point it out on the way home from Pennsic while we were talking about All Things SCA. Oops. I guess my image is going to solidify after this. I doubt that I'll be knitting any of them - that is certainly different. I will be doing embroidery and beadwork on them though, at least on most of them. I'm feeling inspired about them right now, if you can believe that. I decided that I'd limit myself to small batches of them, using "fat quarters" for the most part, so that there will not be many which are identical. And I'll use a mix of lucetted or kimihumo'd cords as well as commercially produced ones. The bags should work out to be about 3x4 inches each and even though that is small, I will make them with two cords for closing rather than just one. For no real reason except that I think it looks better.
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I noticed, again, something that periodically puzzles me. Why do people who walk away from an organization in disgust continue to stay on that organization's social media and feel driven to post replies that play the "I walked away specifically for that (or this) reason" theme?

If you quit, why are you bothering to read the group's discussions? When I quit being a part of an organization, as I did with the Boy Scouts, for example, I leave their social media pages too. It doesn't make sense to take the time to read their discussions.

The only thing I can think of is that those 'quitters' really didn't want to leave the group and are looking for some way to fit back in, for something to inspire them to overcome their memories of the bad in the hope that there will be a new something good.
stitchwhich: (sewing hamster)
Our repaired and inspection-passed truck has been returned to us, after we paid a partial ransom for it. The rest of the well-earned blackmail money will be sent from Cooper's Lake after the first of August.

Finally I am doing a sewing project for Pennsic prep. Bossman has a Glastonbury chair which needs a seat cushion. Luckily I have a scrap of green & gold upholstery fabric which will do well to be one, and sufficient batting to fill it. If I'm lucky there will be a big enough piece of it left over that I can use it to craft the front of a back cushion for it also. The trick will be to figure out how to put the cushioning on the back rest since the chair is unfinished and so nails and brads as Right Out. If you have a suggestion, I'm all ears. Bossman suggests strapping it on at left & right sides, with Velcro to connect the strap pieces. As you'd expect, this disturbs my medieval Wa.

I got a fabulous bit of news from a friend. After too many miscarriages, her 10-year-old son will have a younger sibling when the weather turns. She's past the dangerous first trimester so it looks like smooth sailing from here. I am so thrilled for her!
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I have a question for those reading this who are also in the SCA.

What would you feel about a woman who mooned (dropped her drawers and presented her bare bottom to others) a performer she knew well during a bardic circle in her baronial encampment while children were present? Would you find this amusing? Would your feelings be different if the woman was a newcomer, or a mid-level award holder, or a Peer? Would you have differing views depending upon circumstances?
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Oh my goodness. The medication has definitely worn off. Today is Eat All The Things Day. I have even eaten two huge bowls of Lucky Charms cereal. Two 3-cup bowls of sugar... and I craved it.

stitchwhich: (Default)
My vision is coming back into focus. That is one less worry for me.

My Pennsic staff members have sorted out all their difficulties (so far as they are letting me know) so I am feeling very positive about how this year is going to go. And now we're into the 'fun time' - pre-packing for the event, whittling down, in my case, the things that I've been bringing every year so it won't be such a burden for my husband when it comes to loading up the truck. Besides - I have too much miscellaneous SCA stuff. I have a perfectly good, if somewhat eye straining, pink collapsible basket I could bring for trips to the shower, except it is full to the brim with SCA tchotchke I've been holding on to, meaning to 'find the right place' to pass it on or to use some time in the future. I am determined, this year, that it get emptied out and all that stuff removed from my house or actually used.
stitchwhich: (Default)
I've lost the last three days to sleeping. I'm not ill, simply drugged. Tomorrow I discontinue the Effexor - I can cope with depression or anxiety until after Pennsic and we can try a new medication then, when I don't have deadlines and responsibilities looming.

Besides, I'd like to spend some time with my husband, who changed out of his pjs to make a 10:30pm food run* for me right now, anyway, I'd like more time with him than an hour or two between my sleeping periods.

Although I am going to miss the ease of not eating... I've lost 25 pounds since I started taking this stuff in May.

*10:30 at night and I've had 349 calories to eat all day. I'm not hungry even now but I must eat something. "No less than 1300 calories daily" said the nutritionist. He has gone to McDonald's - of all places - to fetch a Quarter-pounder, French fries, and a milk shake in the hopes that I can choke most of it down. All my healthy (and far too low-calorie) food in the house is making my tummy roil just at the thought of it. There is no way I could eat enough of it to bring my numbers up so junk food it is.
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I haven't posted much lately as I've been coping with the side effects of a new prescription which have been somewhat debilitating. It is for depression & anxiety, which are something I have a hard time admitting to myself that I am suffering from. It seems too easy to take things day-by-day and not see the cumulative effect until something forces you to do so. I'm not sure I am comfortable, yet, with taking a 'mood altering drug' as I am an old-school kind of person who believes that I ought to be able to bootstrap myself back up to 'normal'. Other people have a legitimate need for medication, but not me! I should be able to tough it out and fix my own attitude. Funny how we're so often mor3e judgmental about ourselves than we are about others.

Well, my blinders weren't working and unstarted or unfinished chores hit the stage of being direly overdue so I was no longer able to feed myself excuses. And thus the medication.

It causes tremors and sleepiness (but not much success in actual sleeping), as well as excessive sweating and worse, it has affected my vision so my glasses - trifocals - do not give me clear vision in any strength. That irks me as they are brand new and there is no way I can afford purchasing $450 worth of glasses 'just because' only months after getting these ones. I've been spending a lot of time in bed staring at the inside of my eyelids or reading books in a bid to get tired enough to achieve real sleep. You'd think that would be a cause for anxiety all on its own but no, it just makes me more prone to laying there bored.

So I've not had much to write about. Even this post strikes me as "blah, blah, health whining, blah".

Tomorrow we're having friends over to celebrate the Fourth of July. Or more truthfully, we're using the holiday as an excuse to have friends over. None of us truly feel celebratory about the USA right now. I'm looking forward to laughter and weird foods. I think everyone coming over is bringing something different and they all have lists of things they refuse to eat. So it should be an eclectic mix. We're firing up the grill. Folks will being a meat for themselves and a side to share. I made an offhand remark to my husband about the sorts of foods we once thought of as traditional for this holiday and now I'm cudgeling my brain trying to remember what goes into 'traditional' jello with fruit in it. His eyes lit up when I mentioned it so here we go.
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I did not know that normal treatment of a broken finger, or even a dislocated wrist, required that the cast or splint be removed within 3 weeks of the injury lest the tendons and muscles around the break 'freeze' and mobility of the digit/wrist be lost permanently. The things we learn by way of living life...

So I am typing this cast-free, with two fingers still swollen and puffy. The break on the little finger is knitting although the skin is still dramatically bruised and swollen. I am guessing I jammed the ring finger but it is becoming easier to use while typing although the tip of each of them is tingly, and thus distracting. I am to daily attempt to bend them and use them, massaging them into easy movement else three weeks from now there will be the dreaded formal PT (as opposed to the at-home informal PT I get to do while the bones knit.)

We hosted an SCA event last weekend. It was our kingdom Crown Tourney. Normally, our Crowns are rather small with less that 300 people onsite. But this is a popular King and Queen, who put out a call to the Baronage and the Chivalry to provide challengers so our List was at 41, and attendance at 407 - record breaking for us.

We lost our contracted event site with cabins about a month ago when the owners decided to put it up for sale. It was a favored camp and a great loss. Churches are finding it harder and harder to afford the matainance. Heck, even our Scouting organizations are finding it difficult. (Holding events at Scout camps is not favored in our lush-filled kingdom. If there isn't alcohol allowed then there is little support for a camping event. This makes me sad.)

A couple who'd once lived in our barony retired across the state to a large estate of land, building their home and outbuildings by themselves pre-retirement. They specifically bought their land with an eye towards hosting SCA events. Their home (Silverleaf Estate) was our new site. Over the years they've built three outdoor showers, an outdoor kitchen (she'll use it for canning, too) and cleared enough space to set up sufficient shelter for over a hundred diners. We had 122 people onboard at Crown under two pavilions, with room for off-board diners.

I organized a Consort's breakfast. That was fairly easy. Mostly I've spent the last four weeks reminding the Autocrat about various things she either didn't think of or let drop. In some ways, I swear, I feel almost like I was the Autocrat! But that isn't fair - she came up with some creative solutions to the problems inherent in going from a full kitchen to a roughed-out one still in the works. And other members of the staff covered the numerous holes she hadn't recruited. So I was proud of my barony and the cooking staff - the Head Cook and his wife had just purchased a new house while their sale of the old one finalized the same day, only a week before the event. He was making sausages as he and she were packing boxes and doing final repairs to their old house.

Ouch. Done typing.
stitchwhich: (Default)
Some of you may have noticed that I am not posting much. As happens, now is when I have ideas I'd like to explore but I have my writing hand in a big plaster cast so "waiting is". It should be removed next Monday and hopefully won't require further immobilization.
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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: (Default)
hey, does anyone know how to insert a photo from your/my files rather than a website? is that a 'paid member' function?
stitchwhich: (Default)
This evening I taught/led a workshop on making camp blankets. Quilts, actually, with one side a cotton sheet and the other side flannel and a blanket as the fill. They are handy in that they can be washed & dried at home and two of them face to face make all that you need for a camp bedroll. Sleep with the sheet sides towards you on normal nights and the flannel sides on chillier ones. ^The bottom blanket takes care of the heat-saving padding needed for sleeping on an air mattress.

I was 10 minutes late for my class owing to an accident, I tripped on a very low curb (didn't see the edge) and fell with my hands poorly placed, hyper-extending the left hand's pinky and its neighboring finger while falling on it with all of my 300+lb weight. The pinky snapped like a dry twig just above the first knuckle. The break appears very clean and realigned itself somehow before we reached the Doc-in-a-box which was only two blocks away. It, the next finger, and my wrist, are stabilized now. I'm to call an orthopedic centre in the morning so it can be fully examined and set. Knitting back together will likely take 4-6 weeks... I will go crazy without the use of my dominate hand for so long!

AND I'll be in a cast during our SCA Kingdom's Crown Tourney (which my group is hosting and I am the Royalty Liaison for) as well as during the weekend of a Viking-era Norse reenactment I promised to attend since the focus is on the women's world of Norse life. That is going to be up in the air until I can figure out if I can plausibly hide the cast and more importantly do any kind of women's work one-handed with my non-dominate hand. while also forgoing my glasses. That might be too much for me, truly.
stitchwhich: (Default)
After long over a decade, my Live Journal account is deleted.

I actually feel depressed about it.
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