Monday, March 31, 2008

"I told you- it was some little guy named Rumplestiltskin!

At least that's what he said... "

So there we are- a bunch of women working textiles. Winding yarn, putting up the warp on a warp-weighted loom. Nifty scissors there too!

Well, I've had a fairly busy time of it over the last week. James came up Tuesday and spent the rest of his Spring Break. Amalric and the Boyz came over for dinner Wednesday (Caia was home sick) and it was a blast. The boys are adorable and Amalric is always a recipe for a good time. Chaotic, maybe, but always fun. :-)

Saturday was the Street Prophets' party, but between work schedules and random virus stuff, only Judy and 'Danish Brethren' were here. But it was ok. Fairly quiet evening, and by that point in the week I was pretty exhausted. James managed to get through nearly all of the 'honey do' lists, which was a real help.

I'm working on Gunthar's stuff- I have the scallops wonder-undered to the sleeve fabric, and have started tacking the underlayment so I can get them appliqued down. I'm going out with Arlys for a bit tomorrow, so I'm not sure what I'll get done until Wednesday.

Been continuing to chat with Gemma about student/apprentice stuff. I think that we've concluded that I'll share bread and salt with her at Faire in the Grove.

Can I just crawl into a cave somewhere and wait until the primaries are done? I'm getting really tired of all of the bovine exhaust being shovelled around, and it doesn't smell so nice. Maybe after the convention folks can settle down to the real business of taking back the country. At least we can always hope...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The kitties go to Easter Services...

Such pious kitties, eh? Reminded me of a story we read about in my Canon Law class- apparently the mice had gotten into the wafers, and had eaten some of them. So what to do with mice that have eaten consecrated host?

Find a cat, sign the cross over him, and let God's will be done!

(So efficient, those Medieval folk...)

Well, kind of a lot happening this week and kind of not. Had an appointment with Nicole on Weds., and then went down to PSU, met up with Katrine and picked up the book she checked out for me. Got a short walk-through of the library too. Vairry naahce... Thursday Gemma and Mike came over, and Claire was here too. Gemma and I have been talking about maybe doing the apprentice thing. Taking it slow, as this will be the first one and I don't want to be stupid. Had a good time sewing and all. Friday Claire came back over, and then she and I and Sara and Ann Reed went out to the Pendleton store in Washougal. Sara found a bunch of nice clothes on sale. I found a little bit of wool (burnt orange) and a sweater that was only $10. Pendleton wool. Wow. We had lunch at the Chapel Pub and then came back here and chatted for awhile. Very sweet ladies, all of them.

Saturday I went out to the Defender's event in Mountain's Edge. Nice little event. Helped judge the A&S entries. I wasn't feeling so hot, so I came home early. Early evening, which was probably ok since I again did the sleep 2 hours, awake two hours rotation . Not sleeping well.

This morning Wanda and I went to brunch at the Berlin Inn with Bera and Alail. Got to hear all about the house in Salem. They'll probably be moving in early May. Sounds like a perfect spot for them. And they'll be in the Summits, which also means that Alail could fight in Coronet. Heh. That would be amusing. :-) They brought a shirt for me that they found in Eugene- has a picture of a pocket on it, with three slugs crawling out of it. I need to embroider little crowns on them or something.

Tonight is laundry and maybe some more sewing. Tomorrow I have to clean my room thoroughly. James will be up sometimes Tuesday. Yay! I haven't seen him since... 18 Feb. (I hate this, being so far apart and with the gas prices going up so much. Makes life very difficult.) Wednesday we have dinner company, and Saturday is a Street Prophets meet-up here. A busy week ahead!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Weekend Professoring rocks! :-)

So the Spring Ithra is over. *Sigh of relief* It was a bit smaller than usual, mostly due to the fact that Kingdom A&S and Summits March Coronet were scheduled against it. I had 8 students for class, and I usually get 15-20. But it was ok.

The room was terrific- there was this really cool whiteboard that was sort of a horizontal scroll, and so I basically had two boards that I could go back and forth to. I meant that I didn't have to redraw my maps nearly so often.

I got through the most part of the material. Didn't get to the War of the Roses, and the Hundred Years' War (which I only realized just now) , but I did get the Black Death pretty thoroughly covered, which I think is more important in the general scheme of things.

I finished up utterly spent- feeling a bit like a wet rag all wrung out. Had to drink my spare Red Bull so I could safely drive home. But I got here safely.

Semi- major wrinkle on the way home- Zippy the Wonder Volvo needed to be fed, and the stations right there at the Napavine exit wanted *$4.20* a gallon. I went down to the Nisqually exit and found some at $4.10, which still nearly made me weep while I pumped it (stooopid Washington stations- you have to pump your own, unlike Oregon). $46.06 to fill it. Gas prices are hitting me pretty hard- a serious problem in being able to see my sweetheart and kids, and cutting into SCA eventing pretty significantly. It's also pushing other things up- groceries have suddenly jumped, and my usual $150/month budget is more like $180. Who can afford these increases? And what will we do when gas costs hit a high this summer?

I was chatting the past few days with a woman named Ursula in Madrone about Frankish stuff, mostly costume stuff. Very nice conversation, and happily, she was put on vigil for Laurel at A&S. I think she'll be a fine member of the Order.

I think that I'm running out of steam here and need to go back to bed now...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A short health-care rant.

(Cross-posted at StreetProphets)

This is simply unconscionable.

I just popped open the Register-Guard website (they're the main paper in Eugene, OR) and found this:

Now Oregon is not a huge state. We have nearly 4 million residents, and I'd bet you that we have that many house cats. But 350 deaths a year due to a lack of health coverage is a disgusting number. Almost one a day.

We have a special program for Medicaid users, called the Oregon Health Plan. It functions basically like an HMO, and while they don't have enough money to cover everything (there is a fairly extensive list of things they won't cover, and here in allergy central- with the Willamette Valley, which is the grass seed capital of the world- they don't cover allergic rhinitis) they at least cover most of the life-threatening conditions.

Now OHP hasn't been able to cover everyone who is eligible, much less everyone who needs coverage, and the money problems are a constant. But recently they got a little more money from the feds, and were able to expand coverage to a few more people. But how to choose those people? They are running a LOTTERY. That's right, you read it right. Health care by lottery in Oregon. Life and death at the whim of Fortune.

How is it that people live and die in the state at the roll of the dice, and we can still sleep at night?

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Frankish Coat Is Done!

Wish I had brooches that spiffy for it... I found a very interesting belt at Goodwill the other day. Well, maybe it was a belt, maybe a necklace. Fairly light, disks about 1.5" across, inscribed with an intricate pattern. I showed them to Fjorleif, and she said that they would need at least a partial disk in back, as well as a pin. Might be possible...

So the coat is done! Orange wool outside, cobalt blue wool inside, with a nutmeg brown felt finding the edges. It turned out really pretty and I'm happy with it. Certainly nicer than the ratty old raincoat.

I finished the second armband on the bliaut, and next comes bias tape and side seams. In the meantime I have a gown for Gryphon Blackhart started. Oddly enough, I'd rather sew for him.

James has a new name for Amalric- "Captain Chaos"! It soooo fits! I am sorely tempted to make him a cape. Wonder if I could talk him into wearing his underwear on the outside? No, wait- better not. He might actually do it...

Saturday I took Gemma (and Mike, who decided that he wanted to go along too) to Powell's, to show her where to look for medieval stuff. They spent $$$, so they seem to have found it. I managed to get out of there for only $9- I got a copy of the instruction book that the Frankish noblewomen Dhuoda wrote for her son William. Very keen.

Sunday Wanda and I went to lunch (we overslept so it really wasn't brunch) and then stopped at Goodwill. She came home with clothes, I found a nice basket/box to stack my Rxs in, so I could take them out of the cardboard box they were in. Very nice and much neater-looking.

And it's Monday now- I should go to bed- I have a hot sewing machine to slave over in the morning...

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

And Jabba sez...

Cookie good. (But I think that Jabba *ate* Solo...)

Well, Hillary is still alive in the primary race, which actually surprised me a bit. I expected Obama to take Texas- I know Ohio was in the air.
Fifty cents we end up with no clear nominee going into the convention. Could be exciting! When the last time that happened, '68?

So, lemme see... David got notice that his job is going away 30 April. After the initial shock, he's ok. He's going to stay with the end crew- they're offering him a good-sized severance package to do so. That will give him a bit to live on while he looks for work. Hopefully he'll end up with a better job than he has and he won't get behind on paying off the debt load. Then Lydia and I can start looking at dresses...

I'm hating the bliaut project. It looks great, but I don't want to do it. I have the sides and all of those eyelet holes to do, and the beadwork on the sleeves. And there's still the beadwork on the hem to go. Bleh. I'd rather be making clothes for small boys. Maybe I'll take a break when the sleeves are done on the bliaut.

I'm re-working the materials for the Survey of the Middle Ages class, and am currently trying to put together a bibliography. So far I have seven pages and I'm not done. Got to trim it somehow. And put together new handouts. Oy.

This week we have the First Thursday, so it's Movie Night. This month we're seeing 'Name of the Rose'- I expect to have a full house. Maybe I should lay in a supply of soda and jujus and Good n Plenty. Already got the popcorn!

All right, must go upstairs and work.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A 21st century medievalist

... is not so much a contradiction in terms so much as an anachronism. On the other hand, how do we know that 600 years in the future _we_ won't be considered the 'Middle Ages'?

I think the blogging monk here is pretty cool. As best as I can figure out from the wee tiny writing around the border, his name is Eadward. Seems to be a royal scribe? 'Scriptorum princeps' is there a couple of times. Most of the lettering is illegible, so that's what I can find.

Life here in Hotel Drachenwald has been interesting. Thursday night Gemma and her husband were here, and Morgan was here to work on stuff. Last night Morgan and Claire were here working. Tomorrow I need to finish laundry and do the grocery shopping, and then I have to get upstairs to work. I have to get more of Her Majesties' gown done, get some stuff cut out for me, and start in on Gunthar's clothes. And plan some stuff for Gryphon and Phoenix and maybe for Amalric and Caia. I do have quite a stash.

I need to borrow a quiting frame (one of the lap frames) and if it works as I hope, I may buy one for myself. I'm planning to do embroidery, pearl work, and applique on Gunthar's gown, and if it works, I'll do it more.

I have some stuff planned for James too- some Frankish gowns and maybe some 12th c. In my copious amounts of spare time, of course.

Life is not so fun down south- David got notice that his office is closing and his job ends on 30 April. They're offering a hefty severance package if he will stay to the bitter end, and he's planning to go for it, as that will give him a bit of a cushion for his job-hunting time. I called him this evening- he's better than he was the other night just after he heard the news. Now that he's over the shock, he's re-grouping and making plans. Smart young man. I like him.

I lost my shrink this week- Anna is taking another job and leaving Lifeworks. Thursday was he last day. I hate having to break in a new caregiver. Sure hope I get someone reasonable.

Waiting to see what happens in Texas and Ohio on Tuesday. Will Hillary be issuing a concession speech, or digging in?