In Which I Really Hope the Light at the End of the Tunnel is Not an Oncoming Train

I had my last English class of the school year today, with my younger students. We had a spelling test and then lots of goodies while we watched The Secret World of Arietty because we’ve been reading The Borrowers this semester. I’ve really been struggling with feeling under the weather since yesterday, so I was glad it was an easy class.

However, after everyone left I began to feel worse and it has been hard to focus on what I still need to get done in the next few days. I dread this time of year! It seems that relief is in sight, but it never quite gets here!

If only I can make it through the next couple of weeks, I should get to a better place. In fact, I may have more free time this summer than I’ve had in a while, since there has been virtually no interest in my summer classes this year!

Tomorrow I have tutoring and then baking desserts for the high school banquet. I really hope I feel a lot better when I wake up.

My Writer Fix

Since I was too tired to go shopping yesterday morning, I absolutely had to go shopping today, even though I was still too tired! My family has this crazy idea that they should get to eat three times a day.

This afternoon we had our last high school class. We almost finished our vocabulary story, and then had some goodies and watched some highlights of Ben-Hur. Too bad we had to stop right after the chariot race and depressing death scene. . . And I had forgotten how very slow the pace of that movie is.

Then I had less than an hour to get ready for my critique group and writers’ meeting. I was pretty nervous about the critique group again, but again nothing terrible happened and in fact I got some great input on two different pieces of writing.

We had four new people come to our regular meeting, so it was nice to see some new faces along with the familiar ones. I do so enjoy hanging out with other writers and am already feeling sorry for myself in advance for not being able to go to Realm Makers this year.

Since getting back from the meeting I’ve had some editing and grading to do, but since that’s not much fun to read about, I thought I’d take you on a brief tour of our front yard.











A Breather

Today I was supposed to go shopping early. I didn’t. I was exhausted from staying up late grading papers. This afternoon I was supposed to go to my Bible Study, and I fully intended to, but Robin wasn’t able to go so I got a bit of a reprieve, for which I am grateful because the next six days are going to be very full.

So, I took it easier than usual and ran a couple of errands and did some preparation. Tomorrow is my last high school class for this school year.

So really, the only really important thing about today is that 23 years ago on this day I gave birth to a ten and a half pound baby girl! Happy Birthday to my sweet Mary Rose!

Mary with guitars

In Which I Almost Drink a Bee, and We Sell a Klingon Bat’leth to an Surprising Customer

I hope you had a blessed Resurrection Day. My celebrations were solitary, rather than corporate, as I had agreed to spend the day at the weapons shop again. Lucy and I had an early breakfast before heading back out to the faire.

After our fairly busy day yesterday, today was a huge letdown from a business standpoint. We were ready when the gates opened, but I’m not sure if we saw any patrons for the first two hours. Tim was all set to make funnel cakes and nachos, and pretzels, but he didn’t have customers. Elliot’s first show of the day did not happen because he had no audience at all.

Since there were no customers, I was able to take a quick walk down to the Punch and Judy stage to get a photo of puppeteer DeWitt, whom I had interviewed yesterday. I also had a chance to get a photo of a musician I had interviewed and I got a new interview with a very charming and interesting doll maker.

The method I have used for staying awake the last two days has been to drink Mountain Dew. I’m not proud of it, but it has worked. I poured it into my pewter mug and then sipped on it until the caffeine began to take effect. This afternoon I was on my second Mountain Dew, and had in fact imbibed most of it, when I became engrossed in conversation with another vendor who was visiting our shop. I grabbed my mug to take a sip of Mountain Dew, and found something alive was trying to get past my lips and into my mouth. The little insect legs were scrabbling at my lips. I was pretty sure that, given the sweetness of the drink, the something was a bee. I’m sure you can imagine the alacrity with which I spewed Mountain Dew and bee from my mouth. I was not stung–just a little freaked out. The soda-soaked bee survived the encounter and staggered about on the sawdust floor, no doubt wondering what on earth just happened.

I took a few minutes to go interview our resident mermaid, and I’ve got to tell you, that was fascinating! She offers customers the chance to “birth” a pearl. They pick an oyster from a bowl of water, and then she opens it and extracts the pearl, while giving them a tour of oyster anatomy. Then they get to pick a setting for the pearl and a chain or ribbon to wear it around their necks. I can’t wait to write up this profile. It was so interesting! Did you know there are “mer” Olympics? Mermaid beauty pageants? I didn’t.

Later this afternoon a customer walked into the shop. That was news all by itself, because we hardly had any customers all day. This customer was a Catholic priest who had just conducted the Easter service on the faire grounds. “In the market for a weapon, Father?” I asked. I was joking. “Maybe,” he said. “I’ve got so many already.” A few minutes later he was the proud owner of a Klingon Bat’leth. Before he left the shop he said, “I came in here with a cross and left with a Bat’leth. That’s my kind of religion!” I kind of want to hear one of his sermons now.

Since there were so few patrons, I was free to go to the second joust with Lucy. I have missed getting to go to the jousts and hang out at the forge and all the other stuff I “usually” do. However, doing the interviews has had many compensations. We enjoyed the joust, as we always do, and afterwards Lucy got a short ride on a massive and gorgeous Percheron belonging to the marshal of the joust.

From a business standpoint, the day was very disappointing. We sold a couple of fox tails, a cheap pendant, the bat’leth, and a coyote skin. From a personal standpoint, it was a pretty good day. I enjoy visiting with Tim and the other vendors. I got three more interviews in–all of which fascinated me–and took some photos. I got to see a joust. I’m not complaining.

Parting Shot:


These two adorable little girls belong to the mermaid. They had so much fun playing in the dirt in front of the shop in their beautiful Easter dresses!

Low in the Grave He Lay

Low in the Grave He Lay

Robert Lowry

Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior,
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

Death cannot keep its Prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Minding the Store

On Monday, my Faire friend Carrie had surgery for breast cancer, and as she is still recovering, I had agreed to work in her booth today. Lucy and her friend Martha came with me, but I rarely saw them. We arrived before the Faire opened but not early enough for me to be able to help Carrie’s husband Tim set up the shop.

Tim’s job was to make lemonade, funnel cake, and pretzels. My job was to sell weapons. It was a long, hot day, but it was very enjoyable. First of all, there were so many fascinating people who came in to browse or who sat down in the shade and talked to me. It wasn’t a huge day for sales, but there was a pretty steady stream of customers buying weapons and Tim was very busy selling lemonade to thirsty patrons. On a day like today, standing in a tiny kitchen with a deep fryer is not a whole lot of fun.

Because the shop is located on the “main drag” where everyone passes sooner or later, I was able to call over some people that I still needed to interview, and got four interviews without leaving the shop! Tomorrow I hope to get more. Today’s interviews were with the bagpiper, another musician, a contortionist, and the Punch & Judy puppeteer. So interesting! I love this job.

The shop is called The Celtic Armoury, and it has a special place in my heart because it was the first shop I ever bought anything from the very first time we went to the Faire 11 years ago. Tim sold me a pewter mug (which I still have) and threw in a leather mug strap for free. Since then our family has bought a wide variety of weapons from him and it’s still one of the most tempting booths at the faire for us! So I am so happy to be able to fill in for Carrie while she is recovering.

Want to know what we sold the most of? Fox tails. Very, very popular.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, except that Carrie is planning to come for a visit and of course, it’s Easter. It should be another interesting day.

Quote of the Day:
One of the customers who came in today was an adorable little girl of about four years old. She campaigned hard to convince her daddy to buy her a fox tail. She used all her feminine wiles to get him to capitulate. Finally he asked her, “Why would you even want a fox tail?” Her enthusiastic answer: “So I could wear it around town and see what people think!” She got the fox tail.

Best-Laid Plans . . .

Well, today didn’t really turn out like I had hoped. Usually on Good Friday, we have a lovely afternoon tea with hot cross buns, and either before or after we have an epic egg-dyeing session. Neither of those things happened today.

Instead, I stayed up very late making hot cross buns and assembling two versions of our favorite breakfast casserole (regular and gluten-free) and then this morning we had our Easter breakfast, except that Mercy had to be at a meeting right as we were sitting down to eat. She still got the food when she came home, but by then the rest of us had scattered.

Walter and Spencer went up to the church to work on a big project that has needed to be done for a long time. It involved tearing down a shed and beginning work on some places that have rotted out due to a leaky roof.

Meanwhile, I was not feeling well due to my short night and allergies and who knows what else, so I had to keep lying down, which meant that zero percent of my sewing got done. I did get some schoolwork done, and I did get to Walmart to stock up on a few things that we need for this weekend, but that’s about it.

Well, I did make supper. Since I won’t be here for supper on Sunday, we had our Easter ham tonight, and I was so happy that Mercy had given up a social activity in order to spend time with the family, but then Spencer called and said he had been asked to stay at work till closing! So once again we were a family member short.
it was such a hit I wanted to do it again, especially since it is by nature gluten free. The problem is that I am now also dairy free, and whipped cream is kind of essential to pavlova. So I did some research and I found several sources that said you can whip the solid portion of coconut milk with a little powdered sugar and vanilla and it will be just as good. I was skeptical, but willing to give it a try.

4-18-14 pavlova

Those who did not know it was not real whipped cream did not guess. It really worked very well, which is great news since I plan on having pavlova for my birthday also!
I’m kind of excited about tomorrow.