Friday afternoon I baked up a double batch of banana bread.  We are really enjoying using up inexpensive, overripe bananas this way.  Leofwyna had an errand in the evening and I baked up a package of chicken thighs so I could have some with my leftover goa rice... nom!

Saturday morning got up VERY early to load up and go to Council Bluffs for Lonely Tower's 12th Night.  I wore my new Florentine daydress, adding the sleaves for court to 'dress up'.  There was a morning court to tag Volkmar for Pelican and everything was ready for him to receive his elevation at afternoon court this same day.  I spent the day visiting, hand-sewing and by 4 o'clock eyestrain struck with painful muscles in my right eye and threatening headache.  I put away the sewing and was able to enjoy court but alarmed Leofwyna by 'disappearing' afterwards.  I'd only sat down at a quiet table when I came out of the bathroom and she couldn't find me.  We went with Volkmar, Isadora, Asa and Morgana to Greek Isles for supper.  OMG it was good.  I don't know why we haven't been there in so long; it was one of Roxane's favorites way back when.
Friday I put some time in on the computer at the library.  After lunch I stopped in at the central Goodwill and found a set of plastic drawers.  At the cutting table in the evening I'm still dealing with slicing the washed cutters into strips.  Leofwyna had also brought home a set of plastic drawers for me to sort into so I started reorganizing as things had been getting somewhat cramped.  This will take awhile but will make it much easier to access pieces when I'm building new tops.

Saturday I went to crown tournament in Council Bluffs alone.  Both Leofwyna and Morgana were under the weather and stayed home.  It was a beautiful day and the 31 contestant field moved briskly along taking merely 3.5 hours to reach a conclusion.  Ashir and Ashland are now the prince and princess.  Court lasted long and accomplished much but a keenly anticipated accolade was not included at this time.  At least Leofwyna didn't miss it thereby.  I left before feast, stopping at PlaToo for my supper before continuing home.

Sunday we both went up to Omaha for Annalise and Gavin's afternoon wedding.  It was another glorious day and the lovely ceremony was held in a beautiful yard at UNO's Alumni building.  Afterwards there was time for a stop at one Thrift World where Leofwyna bought bagsfull of stuff.  We got back to Lincoln in time for me to grab a burger on the way to gaming at Theron's where a 'stony' troop of bullies were ignored, then a little later 8 trogs and two trolls were destroyed.  The wagon is yet to be repaired but it has been unloaded. 
Friday we drove down Pueblo way for Battlemor.  Since we encountered horrendous traffic along I25 what should have been a three hour drive became five; we didn't arrive on site until well after five o'clock.  However since we were in time for opening court we weren't too unhappy.  We were able to spend some time with Marcella and Ed that evening and Leofwyna joined the hafla drummers for a couple hours which pleased her no end.  The hospitality included go-carts and we were fortunate enough to catch the last one out to the parking lot at the end of the day.  Saturday we were back on site around noon and spent the afternoon in the costuming tent.  We attended court again beginning at five o'clock and this one lasted until full dark as there was much business and three elevations to be presented.  We bid farewell to Marcella and Ed after court, gathered up our chairs and baskets to go to the hospitality tent where we found the go-carts weren't running for the rest of the night.  This was a very bad thing as the trip out to the parking lot would be majorly uphill and roughly half a mile at that.  A pair of brass-hatted ladies hearing of our plight rounded up a ride for us for which we were very thankful.  The drive back to Loveland was nearly exactly the three hour drive we had expected it to be and we fell directly into bed when we got there.
Wednesday I did my first reward recommendation.  I know it 's bad to have to admit that but I finally knew enough about someone's endevours to feel I'd be able to do justice to it.  Spending so much time at the Great Machine at 50th year Celebration gave me a good handle on the subject and inspired me to follow through with the following comment.

"It started with a dog cart.  He wanted his dogs to be able to be out of their kennels and have a purpose at weekend events.  The Great Wheel evolved as another venue for the dogs as well as furthering his own other interests.    I recently had the pleasure to spend several fascinating afternoons during the 50th year Celebration this July watching as the dogs eagerly awaited a command to enter the wheel and their reluctance to stop once started.  This gentleman shared his knowledge with the folks who came to see the Great Machine and the dogs.  During the seven years he's been building and improving on this creation he has been learning and sharing his craft in metal working, wood working and dog handling.  Closer to home over the years we've seen him redacting medieval glues and growing flax with which to make his own rope among many other interesting related subjects.  He has never failed to impress me with the variety of medieval things he'll set his mind and hands to and the patience with which he trains his dogs so the work they do is as play for them.  Each year as the Great Machine has grown the plastic buckets, ice chests and Coleman lanterns have gradually disappeared and documentable medieval replacements added which continue to add to the ambiance inside his fences.  In the last year alone he's added a power hammer and begun a huge pair of bellows.  He's given thought to his own appearance and fine-tuned his garb so he matches the workmen in document illustrations."

I had only one letter left available to me when I finished expanding, rephrasing and polishing my commentary on Master Gerald Goodwine.

It was a lovely thing that Leofwyna had obtained a plug-in site for the camper.  It was a hot-hot-hot week in Danville, Indiana and we were able to rest well.  There were some great amenities in the form of a/c'd shower trailers and a/c'd flushy trailers between our site and the Great Machine making things very convenient for us.  We were pleased to attend the founders' get together the first Saturday and had the good fortune of an informal meeting in the hall with several others and visiting with Diana Listmaker herself for nearly 20 minutes.  Leofwyna had three really good drumming evenings which put her in great spirits throughout.  I spent most of my days at the Great Machine helping as I was able, mostly allowing Master Gerald the opportunity on his 'off-days' to know he could get away awhile.  The reception for the Great Machine by folks was consistantly a fission of excitment and awe which was a wonderful boost for his lordship. Wednesday night's bloom compression was especially impressive.  (Back at home we found numerous photos and videos of the Great Machine available in Facebook.)

When 50th was done Leofwyna and I headed north to camp in the woods near the south edge of Lake Michigan.  Leofwyna got to put another stamp in her passport for the Indiana Dunes National Park.  We daytripped to Chicago, Shipshiwanna, and up into Michigan more than once.  Of course we visited many thrift stores everywhere we went and we looked diligently for Habitate ReStores where we did find some of the tiles we need for the laundry room floor.  We developed a special fondness for New Buffalo, Michigan, where we found wonderful ice cream at Oinks and attended the fireworks on the beach on the Fourth of July.  Although we sprayed ourselves with mosquito spray repeatedly through the days we came home with extensive bug bites all up and down our legs, very itchy for days.  One suggestion after the fact was chiggers but that doesn't seem right to me.

NOTE:  Most likely the 'chiggers' were oak mites.  The itching eased off after a week or so and the spots finally disappeared a few weeks later.

Back home again and worn out.  Friday we loaded up and went to Des Moines where Leofwyna had found us a nice camping spot at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  We had time to hit a couple thrift stores and found a great Indian Restaurant on University Ave near 73rd.  It was a short drive Saturday morning to the Coronation site where we arrived in time to ensure seats at feast.  Leofwyna spent a significant portion of her afternoon between courts finishing up the bid for next years coronation and I found an opportunity to present my 'queen's hankies' to HM Ylva and pledge more to come during her reign.  During afternoon court I was having a stomach ache but fortunately it had passed by time we sat down for feast.  
Monday I dropped the tire off to be repaired but when I came back later I learned it was done.  Looking back over repair slips I am reminded I've been warned the past year that this was probably coming up.  Gotta find a replacement tire or buy a new set; remains to be seen which that will be.  It was a pretty day but rained again in the night.  I remembered, finally, to send in a membership update.  At the sewing table I ironed the stack of cottons I washed the other day.  Tuesday I got bumped off the libraries computer after only one 'sett' and didn't make it back for more.  Tuesday evening was Fighters and Fibers where I worked another arc on the quilt and it rained steadily throughout the evening with a Tornado Watch until 9pm.   I washed up another stack of cottons from the box ready to iron.
Thursday in spite of the chill we got the rest of the yard raked, the raised beds mulched and the compost piles topped off.  I used the broiler [for the first time since I burned the oven a year ago].  I'd gotten some nice beef at special price and served steak with sweet potatoes and broccoli.
Friday I headed over to the library to print out 2012 and 2013 tax returns.  The crock pot was put on with beef shortribs for supper.
Saturday we rode with the Doerrs and Morgana to Kris Kinder.
Sunday I dug into the paper files to find W-2s and stuff for Monday's meeting.  We finished up the short ribs with fried potatoes for supper. Sewing these last several evenings was more four-patches for a Bugs Bunny as Cowboy quilt top.
Friday we loaded up and traveled to Saint Joseph where we had a few hours to spend.  We strolled through an antiques mall, shopped at a Goodwill (I found a cotton/linen man's shirt and an anchor novelty print cotton woman's shirt to add to my stashes) and ate at Red Lobster before checking in at the motel where we both spent the rest of the evening getting palla(s) hemmed.

Saturday was coronation.

Sunday I did fried chicken for supper, then went to water the potatoes but couldn't get into the shed for the water wrench.  I'm sure I've got the combination right, just can't get the numbers to work.  At the sewing table the plaid quilt top is coming together.

Monday I bought a 'water wrench' of my own and got the potatoes watered and cut back weeds around the edges.  Back at home I watered the veggie beds and aired out the house.  We've had a 'cold' front come through and temps are in the seventies!
Sunday 11am to 5pm we had our Newcomers' event as a follow-up to our demo at JAV a couple weeks ago.  During the demo we have those people interested in our activities put their address on a postcard.  That allows us to collect contact information AND have a postcard ready to send out for the Newcomers' event inviting those same people to come have a more intimate, quieter visit with us to get a better idea of what we do away from the Ren Faire environment.  This has served us well the past couple years and it looks like we may have caught the attention of a few new folks.  Now we can use the contact information to send postcards as our year progresses to invite these folks to our local 'parties' this fall as well as to our kingdom level event in August.

Friday Leofwyna brought Moo Shu over for supper and we then we worked up another jigsaw puzzle.  We had it more than three-quarters done with only the 'boring' woodwork left to do when we realized there was already at least five pieces missing.  It was getting late so we decided to skip the boring bit and call it a night.  Saturday I headed out to Weeping Water for Lonely Tower's Spring Fling event.  I only went for part of the afternoon and court so I drove separate from Leofwyna as she was staying for feast.  It's a nice laid back event and this year Master Gerald was there with his new dog competitions.  I've been working all week on the green/cream log cabin in hopes of having a top by next Friday but Sunday afternoon the blocks still need another round each of cream, then green. I'm doubting there'll be a top but just maybe there will be a pile o'blocks for Friday.

Saturday morning I got up to the alarm clock, warmed up the bathroom and took my shower, but when it was Leofwyna's turn...  Well, let's just say she doesn't want to be more than a few steps from the bathroom today so I was on my own for Twelvth Night.  I made a run to the store to fill a list of things she thinks she'll need today while I'm gone so I was late getting out of town driving her van.  I'd looked up the directions to the event then checked a map and thought I'd cut many miles off if I took a different route through Gretna.  It turns out it was a shorter route but in passing a pretty, new Goodwill in Gretna the van turned right in to the parking lot so I thought I'd go in and check it out.  It was after two when I pulled in at the event (275 attended).  In spite of the late start and late arrival I had a good day and especially enjoyed court where Gweneth received a late Laurel scroll and our choir performed a filk of the Christmas Monkey song in her honor; Isadora received a Lily; and Alan got his AOA.
Thursday Leofwyna got put on call from work but it was too windy for her to paint.  Friday I made beans and smoked ham hocks in the crock pot and it worked just fine.  No monitoring a pot the stove all afternoon.  Saturday we got up really early in order to go to all of crown tourney since it was just up the road in Lonely Tower.  We now have a good repeat prince, Martino.  We enjoyed court and finished off the day skipping feast to meet up with Natalia, Gwyneth, Toli and Sabina for supper at Wheatfields.  Sunday I got the carrot cake made that I'd promised Leofwyna so she could take a piece with her for her supper.
Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday I waited for paint.  There's still problems with the color and Leofwyna is working on it.  So instead I made progress on the quilt blocks when Leofwyna was on the computer and was on the computer myself when she wasn't.

Thursday Leofwyna wanted to run up to Omaha and exchange the oh-so-wrong-tiles.  Our first stop was at ProSource where we'd been told by a friend they'd done so well getting tiles for their new home at such great prices.  Our contractor got us set up to go there under his 'codes' and we'd found just what we wanted in their samples and ordered same last fall.  Turns out the stuff we picked up earlier this month was NOT what we'd ordered, although they'd told us they had what we wanted.  The bathroom floor tiles (groutless) had fake groutlines which is not what we wanted.  The kitchen tiles was the wrong cat. no. and therefore the wrong color (grey dishwater instead of the slightly coppery and grey mottled we'd ordered).  Apparently by picking up and leaving with the boxes of tiles we were no longer allowed to return or even exchange them.  NO ONE told us this at any point.  Leofwyna is very unhappy with the entire transaction.

We managed to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in Omaha stopping in a couple of thrift stores where she found a few decorating items for when our living space is finally put back together.  This included a pair of 24" topiaries with copper tubing tendrils and vines; hard to describe but potentially really cute when the moss is replaced and the tubing remounted correctly.  We also stopped in at Whole Foods before heading home. 

Friday I had my to-do list to deal with to get ready for Saturday's event.  Turned out I had to do my printing at the library twice as only one of the four pages I'd prepared actually printed.  That took a 45-minute wait to get back on the computers the second time.  Very annoying as it put me behind the rest of the afternoon. 

Saturday I was up early and going for the 8am unlocking of the doors to set up for the event.  The day went well, I had lots of help (as expected, this small group of people is good).  Turns out the spate of field courts throughout the day instead of a final great court was a good thing as the fighters were packed up and ready to go eat and cleared out without the post court chatter.  Clean up went quickly and I was out before five.  Enough before five that I was home, changed and leaving to eat before five myself. 

I was at the revel site by six waiting for that to be unlocked when PJ found me there with the report that manager had been looking for me since 2pm, thinking our meeting was then for the key.  He'd done this to PJ last month for A&S; apparently a behavior pattern we need to be careful of in the future.  During revel I stayed downstairs listening to the bards and continuing the knitting of bedsock I'd begun during the day (I've started the increases at the heel already).  Again clean up went quickly (thanks to Volkmar's squire and his wife especially who very effectively herded out the bulk of the fyrd and helped carry out trash) and the janitor arrived a little early so I was able to hand off the key and was home by midnight!  Actually the janitor was so pleased by what we'd already accomplished, compared to how other's have left the site, we didn't have to sweep up the floors.

Sunday I loafed, seriously.  I haven't even unloaded the car yet.  Leofwyna and I did get out to a movie and supper for the evening.  We saw Lincoln, which was amazing!  We initially planned to go to see Hobbit again in 3D this time but it's already gone.  I was afraid that might happen, darn it.
Saturday Natalya rode up to Omaha with us for Twelvth Night: Aftter the Appocalypse.  The theme was used in several activities and it was fun to watch the mayhem but I settled in with the green socks and got a heel turned while visiting with everyone who came by or settled in with Leofwyna.  Her feet required her to plant herself and she got lots of sympathetic attention.  Natalya entered the final letter competition and had such a good one we thought it was a sure thing but the winner had a really cool letter too.  Gerald's Nate was cute as a blind begger to get coins off folks for the St. Dismas coin competition.  We hadn't signed up for feast so we went to Katies after with several others for Greek.
What a beatuful day we had Saturday for Crown Tournament.  It was very, very windy but the temps were great and skies clear.  Dongal and Catalina are the new heirs of the Calontir thrones.

With Sash as feastocrat and all his apprenti present we had a full day in the kitchen.  Leofowyna and I were tapped to serve head table which was a first for me.  Today was th first time all five apprenti were together so we spent a little time in the evening sitting together developing sibling nautiness theories.

The rain held off until night.  Of course that meant we were loading up in the wet.  Driving home I went through quite a heavy downpour with several impressive displays of lightning.
Thursday morning Leofwyna discovered she'd left her keys in the van.  Fortunately she caught someone in the parking garage she knew lived in our part of town and she got home without having to wait for me to wake up and go downstairs where I'd hear the phone.  She was very apologetic about having to ring the doorbell to be let in.  She'd picked up an extra shift Thursday night so I drove her back to work.  At home I taped the bay window...

Friday I was up early to load the van with Gold Kay totes, crock pots and stool to go out to site for preparations for Crown Tourney.  Then off I went to pick up Sash and all his feast paraphanalia to take out to site.  Out there we unloaded the van, then Saraphina's.  When Gwyneth arrived we unloaded her car but sent her home again as she was so pale and admitted to feeling unwell.  She was even fairly easy to convince to let Ingaborg drive her car back into town for her.  This new development caused a flurry in the preparations and while Sash and Killian dealt with stuff in the kitchen I was sent off with a final list to fill in a few gaps.  At the end of the day, however, I think we're ready and tomorrow should go just fine.
Friday I was supposed to have a visitor for Gold Key but she called late in the afternoon to cancel.  She had decided she couldn't deal with being in such a crowd of people after the week she'd had.  So I missed having supper with some friends but after receiving a phonecall from them I ended up going afterall for dessert; I had a really yummy creme brule while we talked... and talked... and talked.  Sounds like we're going to get another camp trip squeezed in along with Queen's Prize this fall. 

With all Leofwyna's renovation plans, putting furniture and boxes of stuff in the garage while the work is going on and so forth, my rummage sale is getting bumped to next year.  I have mixed feelings about this but do like the idea of the results of the renovation so I didn't balk. 

Saturday was Coronation hosted by Lonely Tower at Mount Michael in Elkhorn.  It was a nice site except... it was incredibly warm in the big hall where court was held, no air conditioning.  We had bought seats at feast which was great.  The food was good and the subtleties competition hugely entertaining.  Ingaborg's presentation of gingerbread with the teddy bears was SO CUTE!!!

Considering the heat in the hall I decided to accompany Leofwyna Saturday afternoon on her shop hop.  We had llunch at our favorite Omaha Thai restaurant and went to the Omaha and Bellevue scrapbook shops.  I even bought a few sheets; I found the Baum's Oz sheet I wanted.

I spent Sunday evening watering the yard and garden, moving the hoses and sprinklers regularly until nearly everything has had a good soaking.  I also put out some seed for the fall garden and picked tomatoes before starting the sprinkler.
Wednesday I went and got a haircut, started sewing a lattice pattern doublet and, mowed the outer verges and the backyard.  Leofwyna reported a weather threat of heavy hail as she left for work so instead of finishing with the front yard I cleared the garage to put the car in.  Fortunately the worst of the storm passed north of us so my garden was saved from that stress.  Thursday I set part of the sewing back up in the garage and worked on the camara garb, finishing the lattice patterned doublet, a bronze stripe silk "skirt" and remaking the heavy blue skirt from the Gold Key Tudor outfit.   Friday I sorted and packed for the weekend.  We were loaded up and on the road around four and pulled in to the motel around ten.  While on the road I'd worked on handstitching the lace on the magenta silk dress for the camera booth and got that finished.

The event this weekend was Kingdom A&S and included an equestrian competition.  Natalya's snow sculpture project was really quite impressive and she was successful in having an actual 'freezer-saved snow' sculpture on-site.  Otherwise my favorites were a lovely trestle table, a gorgeous illumination, and a Persian themed dance, garb and party food combination entry.  A whiz-bang storm cut outdoor activities short late in the afternoon; Isadora had wanted to authorize for equestrian but that was cancelled.  The storm blew through quickly and by time court was done and we were getting ready to leave the rain had mostly drained away.  We pulled back in at home around 1am

Sash has given me four yards of really nice off-white linen... just right for a new undertunic.  This will call for some hand embroidery I think.  Reminds me I still need to make up the brown linen I bought at Lilies last year.  I wanted to embroider that with cherries, reminiscent of the scroll I received the previous year.   Which also reminds me I have that red linen for an undertunic for the mustard caftan.  I've really gotta get on the ball!
Saturday I ran some Gold Key garb to Wesleyan for the event but I put off actually attending until mid-afternoon when Leofwyna got up and we went together.  Court... largess... clean-up... and crashers too (Alianora and Kendell).

Sunday, Leofwyna and I spent the afternoon in Omaha hitting several World Thrift and Goodwill stores.  I found a pair of cotton organdy curtains (veils) and a drip water system kit (next year's winter garden).  In addition we got to have lunch and dinner at our two favorite venues, Thai Pepper and Cheesecake Factory.

Monday morning when I looked out there was half an inch of snow to deal with.  Not enough to get out the snowblower but enough to have to shovel, yech!  Other than that I stayed in and so was on the computer mostly doing genealogy all day.



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