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helwen: (Default)
Got in around 6:00pm EST. Uneventful drive; decided on coming on this morning to avoid forecasted rain.

Pennsic was very good and no doubt other folks will post overall stuff about battles, art, classes, etc. so I'm just going to do my own thing...

First week was rather wet, and we even wore muck/pack boots a few times -- dry feet are healthy feet! Although I did get a couple of blisters because I don't usually wear my muck boots for long stretches at a time and one day was rather long.

Met interesting fellow, Surteg Sandhi, and took course with him on posture analysis combined with some energy work and stretches and some other stuff. Was worth going to Pennsic just for that -- my knees are improving and L's ROM improvements are amazing. We'll continue to work to improve both physically and on other fronts as a result of those sessions.

Runnymede meeting Thursday of first week; useful, fruitful and also amusing at times. Getting business out of the way before the dinner on the following Monday was an excellent idea on Concordia's part; glad it worked out.

Bought oodles of patterns from Reconstructing History, and will be looking to get some wool for making a new dress for Coronation, and hopefully also hosen for L by then. Eventually hats for me and L, but not by Coronation -- too much to do before then in other arenas, especially artwork.

Had many good conversations with many folks, but was especially glad I could spend a lot of time with my dear apprentice Robert. We don't get to see each other often, so that was a delight!

Did not succeed in looking up everyone I wished to; kept trying to make it to Horde camp but things kept coming up and I didn't succeed in making the time. Also didn't make it to archery, which is annoying, but Monday and Tuesday were fighting and also the known world A&S display, Wednesday my ribs still weren't completely happy with me, and Thursday I wasn't feeling especially well, so there you go.

Runnymede dinner was great fun and quite delicious, EK party was well attended and the chocolate fountain was especially well attended :D

Baronial court was Wednesday and went quite well I thought. We have two new members of the Sable Bear (martial arts) and the Fountain (service) -- Johannes filius Nicholai and Elizabeth Pleidir (sp...). Water bearers were gifted with merman pins (pewter) and mermaid pendants (that can hold a bit of liquid) for all the work they do keeping us going on the field.

Thursday after EK Court I was kidnapped for a short while by [livejournal.com profile] baronessmartha, [livejournal.com profile] rufinia and several others for a Baronesses Amuck sojourn about the campsite. Delightful ladies :) I bid them goodnight when we stopped near my own camp though, as I was still somewhat low energy and the ribs weren't completely happy with me still.

Actually managed to go to a few classes this year too -- more on that at a later time, I think.

D our house/cat sitter has of course done a marvelous job while we were away, and Peredur is a happy and glossy-furred fellow :)
helwen: (Default)
Started work on a location banner for our waterbearing folks (make it easier for the fighters to find them). Not fancy and not what we talked about doing but no time for anything fancy. Worked on it more today and should be able to finish it up this afternoon. Also want to make some baldrics for the water crew -- they work hard and deserve to have something all their own.

***
In a few hours we'll be at a memorial service. Friend and former next-door neighbor passed this past Saturday. Cancer was discovered too late; he fought a good fight for a couple of years, but leaves a wife and two kids, age 38/39 (not sure when his birthday date is). Life is always throwing you curve balls; although his life was definitely too short, J was a master of living life for all it was worth, and his joy in it could be infectious. He will be missed by many.

***
Meanwhile, I'd best get back to work.
helwen: (Default)
Hm, well I guess it's a good thing it's just the two of us in the car this year... although I would have enjoyed traveling with [livejournal.com profile] harpnfiddle again :) Still, it made being able to change our departure date that much easier, and hopefully L will be more rested and less frayed around the edges! We were going to work the farmers market Saturday and then pack up during the afternoon/evening and leave Sunday a.m. But he's been flat out for some months now, so having all of Sunday to get things together and then leaving Monday a.m. will be better. Probably better for me too, as I've added to my to-do list by getting re-authorized for rattan combat! My fighter pants have gone missing and my knee pads were attached to them. I haven't fought in a couple of years so they've probably been MIA since we moved from Holyoke. Eh, the pads were pretty old anyway...

So, now I'm making new pants -- in linen of course -- and am almost done with them (I hope!). I've put pockets on the knees to slide padding into, so tonight I need to try that part out and see what adjustments need to be made for correct fit. I sort of modeled them on a pair of martial arts pants I have, although the gusset is only single piece instead of the three pieces that my pants have. Only folks in camp will ever see them since I still use fugly plastic leg armor, so I wear a pair of poofy pants over the armor to hide everything. But linen rocks, both for durability and dealing with damp conditions, so hot and humid or cold and rainy, they shouldn't give me grief.

We've also decided to bring a bedframe after all. Just a futon frame, but with the strong possibility of rain, L wanted us off the ground, and I agree. In fact I want to bring a few bricks to set our trunks on as well. The tent and groundcloth _should_ suffice, but better safe than sorry.

***
Class last night went pretty well overall, but we were doing floor sweeps -- new for me and L. I did all right considering I can't get down low enough to do it properly. Would have been better if I'd thought to take my shoes off -- darn carpeting was catching at the soles and so I twisted my left knee some. New shoes still haven't come in, so I'm wearing my walking shoes :P But it was interesting to learn; I'll have to work on that one... We did it always on the left leg for the pivot point, but circled in both directions. There is also a higher up version of the sweep but we didn't do that yesterday.

Hm....

Jul. 16th, 2009 11:04 am
helwen: (Xena)
Lately I'd been getting somewhat discouraged about kungfu and things that require me to use my body in hard ways -- this includes gardening and haying of course, but kungfu had my attention in particular because after all, it isn't as necessary as work on the farm. I'd seen some improvements but continually having to use anti-inflammatories in order to get through the classes wasn't helping me to look at this activity favorably. And although pain is a part of the reason for taking them, the major reason is to keep various muscles from going into full spasm. And I don't have to take them the day after like I did when we first started, except when things go wrong. Like last week for instance. The weekend before, we'd had kungfu class Friday, kungfu plus walking in the parade on July 4, and then haying on Sunday. By Monday I had a headache that wouldn't quit because my shoulders were messed up, and my right arm was weak (which had already been a problem on Friday).

Sat and watched class Monday. Wednesday we didn't make it to class because of falling trees from the storms up here and in Sunderland. L did some serious leaning into those muscles so by Thursday I was headache-free. Friday was crazy at the farm so we stayed home.

Then on Sunday we had study group, and as an addendum to some readings I'd been doing for myself, when I was talking to M and D at their car (after the meeting), I got the rather clear message from 'upstairs' to "Suck it up." Um yeah, that was the wording. And of course not just referring to physical activities but life in general. Yay. Time and more than time to get on with things as best one can.

So, class on Monday went okay. Also did weeding Monday, Tuesday and yesterday, and even managed to plant some more parsnip seeds. Did not help with the haying, as I figured weeding, digging, hacking with a hoe, and planting were enough. I've also been trying to keep the tighter shoulder and upper back muscles in line with a self-massage device called The Answer (looks like a question mark), especially since L has been getting wiped out with all the haying.

Class Wednesday went alright. Then off to SCA rattan fighter practice because our authorizations had lapsed the previous month and at least one of us needs to be authorized for Pennsic (that inspirational leadership bit :D ).

I'd been debating whether or not to even try given how my shoulders/traps have been the past few years, but I had this beautiful new helmet that Sir Geoff had made for me.... *sigh* So Wednesday afternoon I moved the padding from the old helmet to the new one and tried it on, and it was pretty decent. So I packed everything I could find, borrowed knee pads from L because I couldn't find mine -- and borrowed gauntlets at the practice for trying out spear because mine still need finishing (another project pre-Pennsic project).

And now as of last night I'm re-authed in sword & shield, and also in spear. Two weapon forms, whoot! And, the shoulders are mostly behaving.

Oh, and I finished the two chitons for L this morning.

So, I guess, here's to sucking it up?
helwen: (Default)
No panicking going on here, thanks! Going to do some of the food shopping this week though, and see about packing a few things.

***
Need to make a few chitons for L, and wondering about putting trim on it. Was thinking of running trim along the top edge, but then I thought I'd read somewhere a few weeks back that the trim was on one of the vertical edges? Hm....

Then there's the question of how to weight down the corners of the himation.... somehow they're supposed to be weighted, but nobody says with what...


***
Oh, and I should make some shortbread next week to bring with us. Part of the EK Party desserts.

***
Discuss possible baronial court business with L, and make up some cards for P.

***
L needs to determine tomorrow if he'll be going to fighter practice to re-authorize. Thumb is still acting up. So tomorrow, pack up the armor, go to kungfu class, then see if we're going to fighter practice.

***
If I'm panicking about anything, it's what's going to happen to the garden while we're away...
helwen: (Default)
Forgot a few things....

- Handmade incense sticks by this English lady on Plunder Lane
- Couple of pieces of unfinished emerald (same place)

[EDIT: also, 3 CDs of hammered dulcimer music by Vince Conaway]


Also, I ordered and L, B and I tried some of St. Jude's salmon jerky on the drives down and back, and found it good :)
helwen: (Default)
- More on Runnymede... the musicians were wonderful. [livejournal.com profile] shalmestre, [livejournal.com profile] hudebnik, Deonna Van Aachen (sp?), Isabeau D'Orleans, Efa, and Alison de Winter. As I've said before, our folks are very fortunate indeed to have such friends :) I believe they'll be playing at next year's Runnymede dinner as well. I know Alexander feels fortunate to know these good folk as well!

- M. Eleanore was also able to retain Clan Tynker for some evening entertainment, who were excellent as always as well. They also performed a number of other places, including in the market during Midnight Madness.

- Still feeling a little nervous about bugs just before going to sleep, even though we're back indoors now. Getting better with time.

- Most of the laundry is done. Waiting on the reds and purples until I have a bit more to wash. Thanks goodness for sun yesterday and today, as I prefer hanging linen up -- beats ironing any time!

- The garden is a jungle, sigh. Despite the weeding I did just before we left... L helped out some with uncovering things, and no doubt we'll be working away at it for a while yet.

- Oats look ready to gather in. They've been mostly flattened by the rain and wind but look to still be edible. Harvesting will be more challenging though...

- The Delicata squash might be ready for me to begin harvesting... I need to look at the information I have on them since I've never grown them before.

- I have a good bit of Borage. I mostly grew them as bee attractors for the other plants, but maybe I should harvest some of it... need to look up what it's good for. The only thing I remember is I think the flowers can go in salads.

- The beans are quite prolific; I think I may need to blanch and freeze some.

- Finding all the onions and some of the potatoes may be a challenge.

- My baby hops are doing pretty well. I need to find stakes for them.

Pennsic

Aug. 11th, 2008 02:31 pm
helwen: (Default)
We did quite a bit of shopping this year. Some years we don't really find anything of interest, but this year we at least were going to buy some dishes rather than pack mugs, bowls, etc., figuring the food we brought down and ate would leave space for them coming back. And then we got other stuff too....

The Loot )

***
I had a rough start at Pennsic. Cut for the squeamish )

***
Made it to the class on the history of needle cases, which was pretty cool. Also attended half of Renye Wurm's class on making woodcuts -- just as an observer as I was kind of tired. Lots of good information and advice, help with the hands-on parts, etc. She did quite well.

***
L and I took a couple of turns at EK gate guard duty which was pleasant enough and occasionally silly. The head of the fool's parade came during our earlier shift to let us know they were planning a "surprise attack" of the camp, scheduled for around 6pm, which happened to be on our second shift. They attacked the Midrealm kingdom encampment first, then a pottery place, then EK Royal. All went well.

***
We did some thinking about ways to lighten our load if we go to Pennsic next year. Although gas prices dropped a bit, I don't anticipate it staying this low. Attendance at Pennsic was a bit lower this year and is not likely to rise again. Many folks are feeling the pinch these days. On the 'green' front, I actually caught bits of conversations where people were talking about trying to conserve more and waste less here and there, and for our part it was great to be able to take a third person and save one vehicle going down to PA and back. Economically and environmentally, long-distance trips like this are going to require more and more thought by folks. Time may come when planning similar activities closer to home will be the way to go. I know there are plenty of folks in our area who would love to go to such an event, as Pennsic is likely to remain out of their reach financially.

***
Other stuff happened at Pennsic of curse, but I'd rather not get into all of it here. Our folks did well in their various martial endeavors, the dancers had a lot of fun and only one injury (in our camp at least) and if class-taking were a war point I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] harpnfiddle could have taken it for the East single-handed :D

Home Again

Aug. 10th, 2008 09:09 pm
helwen: (Default)
Back from Pennsic. [livejournal.com profile] harpnfiddle was good company both ways -- also she got me started on my first Kumihimo braid, which went pretty well. Pennsic was good, if a bit strange at times. First oddness? It was louder than I expected and no, I'm not talking about the parties. We live in the country, so highway sounds aren't a normal part of our day-to-day living. Interesting.

Six storms on the drive from PA to home today.

At Pennsic, great talks with various folks, including [livejournal.com profile] nq3x, [livejournal.com profile] dreda, and [livejournal.com profile] rising_moon, [livejournal.com profile] chrisilin and many others. Runnymede went very well indeed! Details in [livejournal.com profile] ellid's Pennsic posts, including pictures.

Both cats are alive and well :)

Am not going to try to catch up on everyone's LJ posts. If there's something you really want me to see and/or know about, comment here or send me an email (which I'll start catching up on tomorrow).

Battles, tournaments, classes, dancing, parties, and all the other usual things happened. I saw/participated in some of them. Scored 19 archery war points for the East -- not bad for someone who shot two ends at the 20 yard target in June and nothing else for the past two years...

Most things I planned on doing got accomplished but not all. Too wet for artwork, and one maple delivery didn't work out so will have to try again later.

Highlights? Runnymede Dinner, especially seeing how well everyone worked together to make it happen -- Bergental and friends rock! Sitting by the campfire or in the shade pavilions chatting. Unexpected encounters with old friends. The Perseid meteor I saw in the southern sky (east to west) around 3:00 a.m. Saturday with the trail of sparkling lights behind it.
helwen: (Default)
Our local hardware store has many interesting things, including very cool socks, btw. Yesterday though, I noticed the bandaids... they have brown bandaids with cowboys on them, and black bandaids with white skulls on them ("Pirate" bandaids).

***
We should be camped in N21 as usual, with Bergental.

***
Need to finish up the machine-sewing part of making a bog shirt for L today. Iron his abbas (simple ME over coat), and pack up as much as possible. Meds start getting packed into one of our insulated bags.

***
Have to bring a long table and a bench to Chicopee to get packed into the trailer that's going down, for use in the camp.

***
Should pick up some granola bars and a beefstick for camping, as well as pretzels, etc. for travel. And more dried apples.

***
Thinking about packing a couple of things from the freezer for potluck - kale and applesauce... might bring down some fresh wax beans too, if there's space.
helwen: (water drops)
From SCAtoday (thanks [livejournal.com profile] mizpagan, for posting it to the Bergental lists!):

http://lists.gallowglass.org/mailman/listinfo/pennsic-rideshare

In light of the current trend in gas prices, a Pennsic Ride Share mailing list has been set up to exchange offers of rides or for those looking for rides.

For many long-distance voyagers, the cost of gas to and from Pennsic can exceed the cost of admission to the event. Robin Gallowglass of the East Kingdom hopes the new e-mail list will help people save money on travel. The list is open to all kingdoms.
helwen: (jug)
Two weekends ago we had our Bergental 'town meeting', and I tried out wearing my chiton. No stola yet because I still need to choose fabric for it and because I'm brain-dead and can't remember if it's closed up the sides or not. I remember how the neck opening works and the pleating at the shoulders....

Since the meeting was kind of outdoors (I made several trips between the house and the sugarhouse), I grabbed one of my scarves/wraps to use as a palla, which worked pretty well. I used a combination of my fibula from Crossroads at Canterbury, my laurel wreath fibula, and some little jeweled pins to attach the chiton along the top edges. Need a wider piece of cording for comfort I think, but it was still pretty decent. Very comfortable clothing.

I tied the cord the way [livejournal.com profile] rufinia showed me at Coronation, but had it a bit looser I think, so one loop of the cord wanted to go down to the waist. I've seen statues with tying below the breasts and around the waist, so I just fiddled with the fabric to puff and drape it over the lower band and it worked pretty well. I also got to demo the cord tying for a few of the ladies there, so they could see how easy it was.

I may make a few more chitons for Pennsic, although they may be from some cotton I have, because, well, I have it... gauze cotton, so should be cool enough on hot days. Although might need to wear a stola over them so I don't scandalize folks ;)

Rectangles fold up very neatly and take little space. I'm thinking my Norman clothing will be staying home this year!

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