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Why my daughter may not survive the Christmas break

Dec. 21st, 2011 | 05:29 pm

Asha has learned how to roll her "r"s, and like all children, is FASCINATED with this new skill. She walks around the house, constantly trilling in a variety of pitches, many ear-splitting. I will not be surprised if a window pane suddenly shudders and breaks.

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heralds lurking on livejournal

Jun. 22nd, 2011 | 11:46 am

It occurs to me that there are probably a fair number of SCA heralds I know who have lj accounts I am unaware of. Please fess up, even if you don't post regularly. :) Goodness knows I certainly don't, although I do read my friends feed regularly (and now that lj will cross-post to facebook, use that occasionally).


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Cataract surgery #1 DONE!

May. 20th, 2011 | 03:20 pm

So after much rescheduling, including THAT VERY MORNING, I went in to the Dean McGee Surgery Center on Wednesday to get my first cataract surgery.

Keep in mind that the last surgery of ANY kind that I had was oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth when I was just turning 19. And before that, lessee... oh yes, when I was four years old for a tonsilectomy. I've never arranged for surgery myself ever, and wasn't that a unique experience.

Pre-surgery notes included no food or drink after midnight before, and as my surgery was originally scheduled for sometime after noon, I was pretty sure I was going to starve to death but figured they'd just have to deal with that. But then I got rescheduled for sometime after 10:30am, which was much better. When asked if I had blood sugar issues, I told them not really, but I was hungry, and could tell I was edging towards being low, but wasn't there yet, and would tell them if I started feeling low blood sugar. (I can do that, usually.) I think the saline drip helped, as I know when I start feeling low my blood pressure also tends to drop. Aaanyway. The pre-surgery notes also said to wear a shirt that buttons up the front, so I dutifully went out and bought one (since the only ones I already owned are really dressy blouses). Turns out, no, I had to take my shirt off anyway in exchange for a hospital gown, ha ha. I'll know next time.

Stuck me with an IV (ow, I've got great veins but ow my hand just hurt), started putting a ton of eyedrops into the to-be-operated-on eye, wrote on my head (THIS ONE NOT THE OTHER ONE or something), figured out how to stuff all my hair up inside a little headcover thingy, gave me one and then TWO nice thick heated blankets because it was FREEZING in there and the saline was cold too and my fingernails were turning blue.

No glasses, so people kept coming in and introducing themselves as nurse so-and-so, doctor so-and-so, etc, but I never had a clue if the same person ever came in more than once or what, since I couldn't actually make out faces. And every single person asked me if I was allergic to any medications. Never mind the big red "MEDICAL ALLERGY" wristband I had, or the big red "ALLERGY" sheet of paper on the front of my chart that even I could see, etc. I think I repeated "right eye, no penicillin" about 80 times that morning. I realize there's safety measures, but even after glancing past the front sheet of my chart they'd always sound vaguely surprised when I answered "YES".

Then once my eye was dilated enough and they'd finished dropping 472435 other meds into it, I was escorted back to the surgery room. Got to the surgery room, where the anesthetologist (who was extremely nice and helpful) wanted to look at my back because of my scoliosis, concerned that maybe my lung capacity might be impaired or something, but I assured her that no, it was just fine, laying down flat on my back is nicely comfortable, nothing to worry about there. But it was good of her to check that.

Got on the bed, which the anesthetologist had pre-warmed for me (she said she's always cold herself, so likes to make sure her patients stay nice and warm), got another toasty warm blanket in place (ahhh), and then someone complained how my nose was small for the oxygen canula thingy they had, and yeah, it was uncomfortable. I think I managed to scratch the inside of my nose with it, too, annoying.

Anesthetologist said she was going to put me out for about two minutes while they do a nerve block around my eye, and then she'd wake me back up, but I may not remember much. No kidding -- next thing I know, I'm vaguely aware of a bright light moving around and someone nudging my eyeball around and I think I said "ugh, bright", and then someone said "all done, can you sit up now?" and somehow I got into a wheelchair I think, and moved into a recovery room chair where my husband was waiting, and asked what I wanted to drink -- just barely coherent enough to say "unsweetened tea" -- and nibbled on peanut butter crackers while my head cleared.

Gauze and an eyeshield was taped over my eye, and I was told I could take that off at 3pm. Put my shirt back on, we left (half blind since I couldn't wear my glasses over all that), grabbed lunch somewhere, and drove back home. I just went to bed for a nap, and slept until about 4pm. Took off the gauze and such, and I could SEE!

All that day it felt like there was a scratch on my eyeball, or an eyelash or something; just about that much of a gritty feeling. And my eyeball felt kinda inflamed (which it was, obviously), a bit warm, generally unhappy. But not painful in the slightest really, or anything I couldn't handle easily. 24 hours later even the scratchy feeling was gone, and today I can only mildly tell it's still a bit inflamed. Of course I have a bazillion medication eyedrops to take for the next three weeks.

So far it's doing quite well; my middle vision is nice and crisp, and my distance is already muuuuuch better than it has been in a very long time. I'm not to 20/20 yet, and in fact I may never quite get there, although it's supposed to continue to improve, but as I'll have to have reading glasses anyway, this does not greatly concern me. Very Close is fantastic. I think I was probably legally blind in my right eye prior to surgery, as at even -15D the largest letter on the chart was blurry, fuzzy, and had 5 ghost images floating around it obscuring what it was.

So - yay. :) Surgery #2 is tentatively penciled in for June 8, depending on how I continue to improve and heal from this surgery. I have multiple trips coming up in the end of June, and the doctor would prefer the surgery to not be too close to them, in case of complications or whatever. So if at my next followup she's not completely happy, the June 8 date will be rescheduled for sometime early July instead. Here's hoping!

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Apr. 28th, 2011 | 02:59 pm

From Laurel: The Wreath Transition (and Continuing Pelican)
We are pleased to announce that Emma de Fetherstan will be the next Wreath Queen of Arms. She will step up at the Known World Heralds and Scribes Symposium in June as scheduled. We are also pleased to announce that Juliana de Luna will continue to serve as Pelican Queen of Arms.

(Translation: Wreath is the Society-level officer that decides whether or not armory submissions will be accepted and registered with the College of Arms for the SCA.)

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My letter to T-Mobile Customer Relations

Feb. 20th, 2011 | 06:10 pm

To whom it may concern:

First, let me start off with a brief summary. I have been a customer of T-Mobile since 1996, when it was VoiceStream in my area. I switched to a pre-paid account in 2006, as I recall, when my husband was laid off work. This was at the advice of a customer service specialist. I have been very happy with T-Mobile service and support, until recently.

My original phone is a Nokia 6190. It still works great. I chose to upgrade to something made in the last decade (imagine), and went to my local T-Mobile store, where I purchased a Samsung T-239 on July 28, 2010. It stopped working properly not too long afterwards, with no apparent cause – I did not drop it at any time, even from a short height, no water exposure, etc. I held on to it for a while until it became completely non-functional, at which point I sent it in for a replacement exchange. I still to date have not gotten a replacement.

The timeline is as follows:

July 28, 2010 - purchased Samsung T-239 from local T-Mobile store

Mid-Sep 2010 - noticed odd behavior (8 key repeating, 2 key not wanting to register, etc) Went to local T-Mobile store, was told they could not exchange the phone even though it was within the normal exchange period, as it was a prepaid phone.

Oct 17, 2010 - only right arrow key functions, on/off key only works to turn phone on, not off, calls can be answered but not hung up on, keypad completely non-responsive. Call prepaid technical support. (This was a very very bad connection, and I could barely hear the agent at all.) Am assured that a replacement will be sent out (order #172927796) and then I can send in the broken phone.

Early Nov 2010 - call tech support, am told that I was misinformed, and that I need to send handset in first before a replacement will be sent. Send handset to Return Center in Ft Worth.

Nov 22, 2010 - USPS Tracking # 04969010145021074809 shows handset was delivered.

Dec 17, 2010 - call tech support. They don't know why the replacement hasn't been sent, say it's not showing as received in the system. Put in another order number, #174781037, to process the exchange.

Dec 23, 2010 - call tech support, speak to Jason. He promises to file a research request with the handset team to find out what the delay it, promises to call me back within 24-72 hours. He does not.

Dec 29, 2010 - call tech support, talk to Mayra. She says I didn't get a call back because the handset team apparently hasn't answered the research request in the time they were supposed to. She promises to send email to the manager of the handset team, and says she will call me back before 3pm the following day. She does not.

Jan 3, 2011 - call tech support, talk to Edward. He is very helpful and apologetic, but unfortunately can't get anything done either. He tells me tech support was just informed on Dec 30th that due to the warehouse consolidation in Texas, that the backlog for replacements has gone from 2 days to _41 days_. He offers to credit my account $20 so I can purchase a new phone. I am not happy with this. He tries to connect me with a supervisor in customer care, staying on the line, while we go through no less than six line drops with customer care. One of the drops was while speaking to supervisor Alfred, who promises to call me back immediately should the connection fail again. It does, mid-sentence, and he doesn't call me back. Edward is astounded and extremely apologetic.

Feb 18, 2011 - It's been 35 business days, 46 calendar days, since my last call. I call tech support to see the status of my replacement. I am initially told that my order was canceled. I then speak with supervisor Natalie. She tells me she will file another research request with the handset team, and will credit my account for $70 in order to buy an equivalent phone. My understanding, as we look at the website together, is that I will be able to buy the phone out of the amount in my prepaid account.

Feb 20, 2011 - as I'm unable to buy on the website without a credit card, I call sales, and speak to Christian. He tells me that the money in my prepaid account cannot be used to purchase a phone, and that it was just put there in a backwards sort of reimbursement. At this point I ask him to explain to me why, if I am going to have to buy a new phone out of my own pocket, I should keep T-Mobile as my service provider at all. He hangs up on me without a word.

To say that I am angry would be a bit of an understatement. It is apparent to me now that there is a vast divide at T-Mobile between contract customers and pre-paid customers; the latter have separate tech support and customer care lines, and in general all of the promises of customer support are for non-prepaid customers only. If I had been on a monthly plan, I have no doubt that I would have been able to get an upgrade phone sent to me immediately. If I had chosen to do my replacement exchange through the manufacturer, I am sure I would have the replacement phone by now. I cannot fathom the lack of customer retention happening in the prepaid program; with this sort of non-support, why would I ever want to stay with T-Mobile, much less ever convert back to a contract or otherwise monthly phone plan?

As it stands, I have been without proper phone service since September and without a handset at all since mid-November. I am not unreasonable in my demands: I believe T-Mobile owes me an equivalent or better replacement phone, or $50 in cash, _not credit_, to reimburse me for the cost of my handset that is apparently lost in a warehouse somewhere, and an official apology for the incredible lack of service.

Jennifer Smith

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The Gingerbread Tiger

Jan. 24th, 2011 | 08:51 pm

Story by Asha, age 6; spelling, capitalization and punctuation carefully reproduced:

Once upon a time there was a girl and a boy. They wanted a pet. So they made a ginger bread tiger. The opened the oven and out ran the tiger. And they ran after the ginger bread tiger. on the way the ginger bread tiger met some kids. run run as fast as you can you can't catch me I'm the ginger bread tiger and he ran off. On the way the ginger bread tiger met indian people. He said run run as fast as you can. You can't catch me I'm the ginger bread tiger and he ran off. On the way he met some animals. He said run run as fast as you can you can't catch me I'm the ginger bread tiger and he ran off. Everybody chased after him. On the way he met some tigers. He said run run as fast as you can you can't catch me I'm the gingerbread tiger and He ran off. On the way He met some indian elephants. He said run run as fast as you can you can't catch me I'm the gingerbread tiger and He ran off. On the way he met a monkey. He said run run as fast as you can you can't catch me I'm the gingerbread tiger. On the way he went home and he played and he played all night long and he ate dinner and he went to sleep. The end

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First opthamologist appointment

Jan. 13th, 2011 | 05:17 pm

So today I had my first appointment at the specialist I requested, at the Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City.

As a recap, about 18-24 months back, I developed double vision in my right eye. Typically I get a single 'ghost', usually offset to the lower right of whatever I'm looking at. Rather like an astigmatism, which is what I thought at first, since I have that too in both eyes, but my optometrist has been unable to correct it with increasing prescriptions. At the same time, presbyopia has shown up (surprise! aging is fun!), AND my overall visual acuity has taken a marked drop in both eyes. After years of relative prescription stability (aside from tweaks for spinning astigmatism angle), I've had two completely new prescriptions in the last year, and I need another already. Sometime silly like 2-3 diopter drop overall from what it had been (-9.something in both eyes, now -11.something: translation==ugh).

Since I have retinal problems in my family history (macular degeneration, retinal detachment, macular hole, etc), I've been to see a specialist to check that out. Fortunately, nice and healthy still, no problems there.

I've been to another specialist at a laser eye care center for a wavefront aberrotomy scan, which seems to indicate that there's something funky going on with my lens, a higher-order aberration. He seemed to think it wasn't my cornea at all (another possibility), but my lens, but didn't offer any opinion on if the issue would resolve itself, or get worse, or what.

Fast-forward to today's appointment. Much shining of bright lights into dilated eyes, always a fun time. The doctor I was seeing had a resident and a family practitioner both shadowing him, so there was even more light-shining-into-eyes going on, joy.

He says I do have a cataract starting in my right eye, that could indeed be the cause of the double vision. But that also my cornea is steep(er than the other one?) and in fact he wrote "keratoconus" down on the diagnosis line, and that could be the cause of it. Sort of odd, from my reading, to develop keratoconus *now* as opposed to 20 years ago, but maybe I'm special. Anyway, he said to go try gas-permeable contact lenses. If the problem is in the cornea, he said that should make it go away, and we're done. (Except, one presumes, if the keratoconus progresses, in which case in another 10 years I may be back for treatment there...) But if the RGP lenses do not make the double-vision go away, that it's definitely being caused by the cataract, and we'll do surgery.

It's a plan. I have a follow-up appointment with him in six weeks. I also have an optometrist appointment sometime next week, as I recall, at which I will put in an order for RGP lenses (and knowing VSP, it'll take 2 weeks before they come in). That'll give me a few weeks of improved vision, at least, if not perfect, before I decide if surgery is needed or not. I'm kinda hoping not - it's simpler, overall - but I have mixed feelings about it. Contacts mean I'll be back to carrying around a bottle of eyedrops constantly, but surgery means I'll have to have both eyes done within a short time of each other most likely, due to how wildly myopic I am (one 'fixed' eye and one really bad eye do not make a good combination).

It's irritating, not being able to see properly, with associated headaches and such, but y'know if this is the extent of my health problems I should be happy about it.

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So long, 2010

Dec. 31st, 2010 | 06:20 pm

End of the year, and I'm sitting here thinking I should have at least made better notes about the things I did get accomplished this year, although as usual it's less than I intended. Isn't that always the way, though?

In the next several days I do need to sit down and figure out my timeline for the vision problems I've been having over the past year and a half, so I can be more thorough and demanding when I next see a doctor, hopefully a specialist. I may post those notes here, may not. We'll see.

I also intend to sit down and figure out the timeline for the problems I've been having getting a replacement phone out of T-Mobile for my brand-new prepaid phone that died about a month after I bought it. Suffice to say I am annoyed.

But enough of things I haven't done yet! Things I have managed to do this year (although many are still in progress):

* SCA Heraldry. Overall I've enjoyed my time as Star Principal Herald, with all its up and downs, difficult decisions, questionable decisions, conflict mediation, and so forth. I've gotten the admin handbook about 75% rewritten; I wanted it completely done by now, but as long as I get it complete done by Round Table in late January I'll be happy. I have six months left in my tenure. I wanted to Make A Difference, and think I will have, for better or worse:
- I've rewritten the coronet sumptuary laws (and have another rewrite in mind)
- I've ripped all the "you must keep paper copies of every dinky little thing FOREVER" bits out of the admin handbook and replaced them with far more sensible document retention policies
- I've changed court reporting from "everyone everyone everyone!" (which was unenforceable) to making it the main responsibility of the court herald himself
- I'm about to reduce the number of required copies of submission forms by one set.
- I've finally gotten verbal Permission to Conflict from a foreign Barony for the name of an award we've been giving out for a few years now, that desperately needs to be registered.

Where I've not succeeded as well as I'd have liked is with negotiating the tricky ground surrounding award texts. Sigh. I did okay, but the primary issue isn't yet solved. I'm also still internally debating how I want to restructure/revamp personal heraldic titles, as I think the system we've been limping along with for the past twn years is a piece of crock and I've already ripped it entirely out of the admin handbook. I'd just like to come up with the groundwork for something useful and get that in place before I leave office.

I also still have far too many unscanned boxes of Star files sitting in my living room. I've given them all at least a quick going-over, and have already tossed a lot of redundant or irrelevant paperwork, but there's a lot more to do. (Really, applications for local branch offices from 1987? Really?) A fair chunk has already been scanned, and I intend to hand my successor only a fraction of the boxes remaining for THEM to scan. :)

For the past six months, I've been thinking about applying for Wreath Queen of Arms. (That's the Laurel-level office that makes armory decisions.) Applications are due by March 1, and so I am at this point 80% sure I'll be writing my application in mid-January. To help me decide for sure, I've recently gotten on the team that helps the current Wreath with decisions, and have asked to be put on the mailing list for the LoAR proofreading passes, so I can see a great deal more of the behind-the-scenes work. It's somewhat daunting; Wreath decides on about 150 items a month on average. Making the decisions in most cases is something I think I would have few problems with -- writing the difficult decisions, however, is the part that makes me think twice. It is probably good that I am exceedingly cautious about wanting to make sure I don't unintentionally ignore some prior past precedent, as there is nothing that drives a herald up the wall so much as inconsistency; but there are still parts of precedent rulings that I don't entirely understand, or agree with, and...yeah. The remaining 20% of my "am I going to do this or not" decision really has to do with if I think I have the time and motivation after stepping down from Star. It's a big gig, with a three year tenure. I can always wait for next time. (And, of course, there's no guarantee I'd get chosen *this* time if I apply; but if not, I'd definitely be applying next time it comes open.)

* SCA sewing stuff. I really need to do more of this. It's very hard for me to get the motivation to *start*, but once I do get something patterned and cut out I can get it put together relatively quickly. I started work on a goofy pointed hat thingy (look up Christine de Pisan sometime), back in June, and was about half satisfied with how it came out. Documentation and all! I think promised a Laurel friend that I would revise the documentation paper and do mark 2 of the hat, but... haven't, at all. Maybe late spring I'll get back to that. In the meantime, I did get two new dresses for myself done that I'm happy with, and another that I'm not as happy with but that is certainly serviceable; plus assorted clothes for my kids (they won't stop GROWING). Still, next year: more!

* Pendant Audio. I still am amazed that so many other-wise talented people have apparently never heard of a calendar, or how to use it. Or maybe this particular hobby is rather low on their priority lists. Which, you know, is fine, just if that's the case QUIT SAYING 'YES' TO ANOTHER ACTING ROLE. If you want to play all professional, then at least attempt to ACT it. Geez. Ahem. Anyway. Like a crazy person, I agreed to direct rfrancis's new Earth-P show, currently codenamed Project Buffalo. Episode 1 debuts in February (whee!) and I cannot wait. I seriously need to get to work on episode 3, as it's due in Jan and I haven't started cleaning lines yet, eek. (cough, see above gripe about calendars... good job, eh?) So now I'm watching all the actors, directors, AND myself attempt to meet deadlines. I have spreadsheets. They're very telling. But y'know, I still enjoy it, which is rule #1.

* House cleaning. HA HA HA ahem. The place still looks like a bunch of pack rats live there and a tornado hit it. However, I have managed to get rid of some of the larger pieces of kid toys (thank you craigslist) and so forth, which put a noticeable (to me) dent in things. I need to find out if Goodwill or one of the other charity shops would do a pick-up -- it's so much more likely that I'd get stuff together for that than if I have to load it up and haul it somewhere myself. There's always the city-provided free spring-cleaning "we'll haul away anything you put at the curb" thing I can use for the leftover unworking/ancient junk. Yet another thing for the to-do list.

Right, enough musing for now. Got to go make chili for frito chili pie tonight!

Happy New Year!

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(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2010 | 02:48 pm

I haven't posted in quite a while, although I do regularly read friends' livejournals and comment on occasion. But I have to write this while it's still relatively fresh in my head.

Yesterday, Saturday, October 9, 2010.

We were going to a local SCA event, put on by the Barony of Namron, about an hour or so away. About a week ago, I was fairly 'meh' about going to another event, but after having a relatively free weekend last week put me in a much better mood about it. The musician group we play with, the Merry Musicians of Mooneschadowe, had been invited to play for feast, and anything else we'd like to play for, to which we'd be getting into site free (and free feast food between playing, naturally). A quorum was reached, and we were definitely going to be there for that evening, if not earlier in the day.

Then Their Majesties' main voice herald was getting married the same day, and naturally wanted to focus on that and not on doing court. Enter conniving conspiring royalty. They asked my husband if he wanted to do morning court for them, as one of the other usual fallback suspects wasn't going to be able to make it, and he's done it before. Morning court, ugh, means we had to leave Stillwater around 8am, but doable, especially as it's something I know he likes to do.

Friday we get asked if we can take one of the province's pavilions down to site, as the usual suspect there, Pete, didn't have room in his car. I have a minivan, so this is no problem. Turns out his car was full of OTHER THINGS. (Although now that I think about it, I'm not sure where the poles would have normally gone; probably in someone else's truck or van that was carrying OTHER THINGS.) Anyway.

Friday morning I'm getting dressed and I made some comment about how I was tired of the period shoes and just wanted to wear my junky (but somewhat more comfortable) mules and Reis looks at me and just says "Really?". Apparently I've hung around enough fancy-dress types that that was just the slight push to make me guilty at myself and put on the period boots. (Which really aren't bad at all on grass, quite nice even, just lousy on pavement.) More conspiring on my behalf.

Get to the event, help set up pavilions and so forth, morning court starts. A couple of awards, then they summon the Order of the Pelican. Now, I knew they had a Pelican circle the weekend prior, and so this was prime time to nab someone in the northern region, but the clock is also ticking on when an elevation could be made, as this was the last northern event Their Majesties were going to make; Coronation is in November way down south. Then they called my name.

For those reading who are unaware, the Order of the Pelican is the highest ranking award, so to speak, that you can achieve in the SCA for service. Doing Stuff. Working. In my case, admittedly, this is primarily heraldry-related activities, although I've evidenced balloon-hand in a number of other areas as well.

So I grabbed my two kids to walk with me, and entered court, kneeling in front of my friends Jean Paul and Gilyan, with my husband as their herald. It was a little.... I don't have the vocabulary. I knew I'd been talked about in the circle, and so sort of figured it was coming sometime in the next year or two or three, but didn't at all expect it to be Right Now, nor by the hand of my dear friends as we're all from the same local group. Overwhelming. Exciting. Otherworldly. Really? And they offered me the option of sitting vigil that day and being elevated that night, or doing it at a later event, which would probably have to be Coronation. But y'know, they've already gotten everything ready... Really? Really. They've prepared everything. So, well, yes! Today.

The various conspirators sprang into action and started putting up another pavilion (the Merlion, for those familiar with it, means a lot to me), decorating it and the area with banners, setting up tables outside with a wonderful spread of munchies for guests (and me), a vigil book and everything. It was somewhat hard to make myself stand back and NOT be in the middle of all that helping to set it up, as that's just so ingrained, but it was equally nice to watch what my friends had prepared for me. Pete had the tent and decor and chairs and such largely squared away, Sabine did the whole spread (including brownies and chocolates, and the entire thing was beautiful and delicious), Toinette sewed signatures together for a quick makeshift vigil book for visitors to sign and write in, that will be shipped off to Rhiannon to be rebound into a real book. I'm probably forgetting someone who had a hand in setting the whole thing up. Oh! Elsa brought me a giant thing of ice tea from Sonic in the hot part of the afternoon, very important!

Again for those that aren't in the know, a vigil is sort of modeled after the medieval idea of a soon-to-be-knight holding vigil in a chapel overnight, praying and meditating upon his life and the ideals of chivalry, before being knighted in the morning. In the SCA, this has generally evolved into the candidate spending time in semi-seclusion, receiving visitors to listen to their hopefully sage words of advice and other thoughts. I can't even list off the people I met with, but hopefully they all signed the book; the many words of advice I received have all melded into one blur, and I hope I can retain even half of it.

We called it quits around 5:30 in the afternoon, somewhat regretfully skipped past a friend's wedding being held at the same time in order to proceed up to the feast hall to set up the musicians' pit and to get a few minutes of rest. Shall we say I have discovered that while I very much like my wooden chair I picked up at Ikea, that sitting on it ALL DAY and then through feast is NOT GOOD on my thinly-padded rear. I need to make a cushion. :)

Played music through feast, in what is unfortunately a really lousy hall acoustically, as it's just too noisy all around. But it was still fun to play, and we got to play a bit with another musician from the Steppes area, who brought a renaissance recorder and a viola da gamba to play. Turns out he's somewhat of a professional, and certainly darned good, but in spite of that we invited him to play with us again any time he's in the north!

Court was after feast, and Reis was again heralding for Their Majesties. I asked another dear friend and recent Pelican himself, Etienne, to herald me into court. Since there had been not one but two weddings that day, he came up with something relating that old "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" saying and managed to relate every bit to me. I brought the kids with me again, and Their Majesties had set aside one of the kneeling pillows for the girls to perch on so they could watch the ceremony from right next to me. And with my husband as the herald, we were all together.

Tradition has that a member of each of the other peerages (a Knight - martial, a Laurel - arts & sciences), a member of the Order of the Rose (former consorts -- I'd say former Queens, but there's a sole King amongst their number), and a member of the Lions of Ansteorra (a special kingdom-specific award, granted only once per reign, to the individual who best embodies the society ideal) speak for the candidate. I'd asked a few individuals if they would speak for me; probably one of the hardest things was to narrow my lists down on a very short notice!

For the Chivalry, Owen ap Aeddan spoke for me. He and Jean Paul were always my first two choices, and as Jean Paul was King in this instance, the choice was an obvious and easy one. Owen beat me to it by dropping to his knees earlier that morning and begging to be allowed the chance to speak on my behalf, which made me cry.

For the Laurels, I really wanted Rhiannon Redwulf there, as another very dear friend, but she's away in Indiana attending school. Several people offered to call her, and later I found that indeed someone had, and that she'd written something to be read by Mistress Talana, her Laurel, who I had asked. She added her own words, drawn from the populace as I recall. When Rhiannon's name was mentioned, Niki started crying; she'd been crying off and on that evening, from being overtired and frustrated with allergies, but mostly because every time someone mentioned Rhiannon's name she'd suddenly miss her all over again. Her Majesty got Niki some kleenex, and she soon cheered back up, as she is wont to do.

For the Rose, Octavia de Verdun spoke for me, although I had also asked Vanessa de Verona to speak if Octavia declined (as I wasn't able to track her down until the middle of feast!) Both are very level-headed ladies that I admire a great deal. I glanced over at Niki, who was now giving me a thumbs-up sign and a wide grin.

For the Lion, I was torn between Beorthlic, yet another friend, and Robin of Gilwell, but fortunately my choice was made easier by Robin being the only one of the two in attendance. I've only gotten to know Robin fairly recently, in the past couple of years, but he's been a source of wise counsel for me repeatedly as Star Principal Herald.

I was gifted with two Pelican medallions. The first was Her Majesties' own medallion, which is so very cool. The second is best known as a heraldic medallion, as its lineage can be traced through a large number of members of the College of Heralds and Scribes of Ansteorra. It will be my honor to pass it along to the next heraldic Pelican.

I understand I have an almost-finished original scroll done by the hand of Gunhilda, who not only is Their Majesties personal scribe, but also is the one Pelican I would have been a protege of, if I had chosen to go that route instead of being difficult and doing things my own way as I did.

I am so very honored and happy, and hope I can live up to the expectations and higher standards that fall upon me, not leastwise from myself.

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Apr. 1st, 2010 | 06:31 pm

Yesterday the youngest came home from school with a story about picking honeysuckle flowers and sucking the nectar out of them. And then she wanted to go into the front yard and find more honeysuckle to pick and eat. Except we don't have any. Further quizzing revealed she meant henbit flowers -- the little purple tube-shaped flowers that are a common weed in the spring. Some classmate of hers turned her on to them.

They're not toxic (and in fact the entire plant can be eaten, pretty much; it's in the mint family).

Today she comes home, and in her backpack I found a ziplock baggie full of henbit weeds. Her stash. Given to her by a friend at school -- they picked them at school, and a teacher supplied the ziplock bag...

The jokes are obvious. I'm putting it in the trash; we have enough henbit around, thank you. :)

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