Feb. 29th, 2016 06:59 pm
Gentle Readers,

It's been a week since the elevation. I suppose I should probably write something down about it. In theory, I've been putting off writing because I've been processing. However, I haven't really been thinking about it to be honest.

One of my friends, and a ceremony junkie, did a lovely write up that in the Ealdormere Gazette. From the inside however it was not exactly the same kind of magic. The last few months have been spent making sure everything was in place, coordinating a ridiculous amount of support from friends.

Writing the ceremony was probably the hardest part. I didn't do the actual writing but I did have editorial control. Which is good as I caught a few things that were miscommunication between me and the main writer. We needed to find that sweet spot to make it clear that this was still an Ealdormerian peerage but was still something new and special. We also had to make sure that it was clear that it was a martial peerage but without cribbing from the Knights.

I believe we succeeded.

As mentioned in the article I spent my vigil going back and forth between quiet contemplation and swordplay: advice or adversary. I think I would have liked a bit more of the adversary.

The advice was fairly consistent. Many people were proud of me and pleased that I was being recognised. I was told that I was clearly doing the right things and I should keep doing them. I was reminded not to be a jerk. I was told that I now get to carry the weight of the peerage and my behaviour will be seen as typical. To be honest, a lot of it feels like being Baron. There were three pieces that stuck with me. Firstly, in your life there are very few opportunities to have a whole day filed with people telling you that you are doing good; so revel in it. Secondly, when it's your turn to provide advice at someone else's vigil, never take more that 2 min. Finally, and most important: Love more, be awesome.

There were other things, that I wish I could remember but I'll hold in to these.

After the vigil we had scheduled some time to decompress, but I think I really could have lived without it. While the day was filled with human interaction, it was mostly one on one so not as draining as it could have been.

After taking a few moments, I got my self into my new suit and it was time.

The ceremony was as we wrote it so there were no surprises except for the fact that the sword of the order got left in the car and there was a last minute substitution. Everyone had lovely words (which I will be asking them for) and it was clear to me that people carry moments of kindness with them and that, more than any words during the day drove home what this collar is really going to mean.

The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur but it wss spent with friends and I couldn't have asked for more than that.

I'm very blessed by the generosity and kindness I have been shown and it's my job to pay that forward.
Gentle Readers,

One of the important things to realize about a vigil is that you can't it all yourself. Well, I'm sure it's possible, but it's a recipe for an unpleasant time so if only because no matter how perfectly planned you will still not be able to deal with everything on the day of (because you are supposed to be pondering).

With the established peerages, the vigilant often has a formal relationship with a member of the order who can take them through the process our at least offer advice. There are also years of tradition that can be drawn on for all of the ceremony.

With this there is no presidents for any of it. We have to build the ceremony from scratch. What we do may, (or may not) be the start of a tradition. I've never formally been anyone's student so that's a relationship I don't have to draw on. I also don't have a formal relationship with an active household. Ore an active relationship with a formal household.

What I do have is lots of friends. Friends who are throwing themselves into helping like piranhas in a feeding frenzy. I feel really lucky to have so many people willing and eager to help but asking fire that help is really hard. Not because I'm worried that I'll look like I'm weak our anything, I just hate imposing on people. I don't want people feeling obligated.

I might also be a little worried about being obligated back. Fortunately I can recognize the silliness of that thought and mostly let it go.
Gentle Readers,

I've got about 12 hours to go before my Prize. I've got a bunch of skilled fencers to test my skill. I've got years of training and experience to fall back on and I've shaken the fuckits that plagued me earlier this week.

Not only that, but I've got more people than I can easily count who are all rooting for me and want me to succeed because they think I've got what it takes. This group is filled with people I love and respect and who's encouragement and admiration have brought me to where I am right now at this moment. Even the ones who might think what I do for fun is a little bit ridiculous.

Without any of them, I would have been a different person and, I rather quite like the person they've helped me to be.

No matter how I do tomorrow, I know you all will be cheering along with my successes or with the successes of my friends and peers who will be sharing themselves with me.

No matter what, tomorrow will be epic.

Gimme the Prize!
Gentle Readers,

It's been such a whirlwind here this weekend, that all of us are exhausted and in bed even though it's not even 9pm yet, even Reyl. He spent the weekend working. The rest of us had a much less mundane weekend.

Originally we were supposed to go to Kingston Friday night for Saturday's Baronial 12th night, but even though it broke Lydia's heart, we decided that it was the smarter plan to not go. The storm that was ploughing through had knocked out power with our hosts and with that also taken out their heat. Given that there was also the remaining dregs of the blizzard to drive through, we decided to recognise that the Friday the 13th had won and sleep in our own beds.

We managed to get ourselves moving fairly early and made it to the event site by 10, just as they were setting up. We settled ourselves in and I spent much of the day sitting and sewing with Ilanikan. There were a couple of important points in the day.

The first was our early court. We managed some business and delivered some presents (which were hopefuly funny enough to make the court time worthwhile). The big thing was declaring the taxes for our forth year. Following our tradition of one word tax declarations (previously Supplies, Song and Presen[ts.
|ce]) our taxes this year is Pilgrimage. We want our people to head out into the bigger pond of sca and share a taste of Scrael. We also expect Hospitality i.e. providing for visitors to our barony) to also be part of this taxation.

The other cool thing was taking a more active role in one of our Skrael traditions. To elaborate, in Skraeling Althing, we have the dubious privileged of being visited by Black Peter to help purge us of our sins each year. I'm sure this is one of the reasons that Skrael is so pure. This year he was unable to make it and sent one of his peers, a monster known as the Krampus. For a Krampus, Moira took an old Gorilla stuffy and added tusks, a long forked tongue, evil eyebrows, terrible claws and horns and opened up a hole in him to turn him into a puppet. The thing about a puppet, is that they need an operator. That operator was me. So, for a basket full of sins, I was The Krampus. With a voice halfway between Cookie Monster and Rodante Kapor I scared the sin out of the populace. Well the voice and a big stick.

Even better was I got Lydia to help me. She read the sins out loud to the audience!

I think I got it right as lots of people complimented my performance.

We headed back to Moira's were Cortejo "learned" tablero and I had a lovely time socialising with some new friends. Eventually people managed to leave or fall asleep and I did the same. Unfortunately, shortly after I fell asleep, Lydia came in asking to sleep with us. We made some space for her bed and she slept fitfully all night. At one point I woke up to find her cuddling my left foot.

Sunday we got woken up early by a min-pin puppy who seemed to think that doggy french kisses are the best thing to wake someone up with. We managed to get out the door to get home by 11 (an hour after my proposed time (just as I planned)). We got home in time for Cortejo to have a nap before we Zoomed off to the Ottawa Classical Swordplay demo.

The demo went amazingly well, even if none of the people I invited showed up. There were still about 75 people there which was awesome. I didn't do so good with the Longsword freeplay but won the Rapier freeplay which is as it should be since I am the instructor. I did talk a bit too much for my section, but I should have been paying more attention to time.

After that, we were originally intending on going skating, but some forgotten equipment complicated that. We tried checking out dow's lake, but the ice wasn't ready there and the only open part of the Canal was in poor condition. So instead we went to the local rink and Lydia and I skated for a half hour or so.

Such a busy weekend I can't keep my eyes open any longer to type.

Good night.
Gentle Readers,

What an amazing weekend I had. Friday was a day off thanks to the people who make the rules believing that some guy got the death penalty two thousand years ago. I spent it with my family in peace and harmony. I did some serious cleaning in the basement and threw out a bunch of crap that I'd been keeping around for no good reason. I did some baking. I made grain free cookies.

recipe under here )

Even though I had to stop doing the Whole30 thanks to crazy blood sugar swings, constant hunger and an unhappy digestive system (pretty much the opposite of what's supposed to happen), I do still like the cooking and I wanted to bring something nice to blinkus2000's Dinner and Cigar party that he and xiphia could eat.

I headed off to their party just as finatedancer and peredur arrived to drop off their daughter for the night so they could go off to their own party. I had to get them to pull out of the drive way so I could leave.

I arrived just in time for dinner and we weren't even through the salad course when blinkus had my pants off. This was thanks to their new dining table's lazy susan causing a glass of a lovely red wine to be knocked into my lap. Shortly thereafter I was in his pants and enjoying a delicious steak and tasty tasty veggies. Everyone seemed to love the cookies after dinner too so that was nice.

We too a pause to digest and await the other arrivals and then it was onto the balcony for the cigars. Blinkus had arranged a lovely array of food pairings for the smokes including smoked oysters, limes, grapes, chocolate covered bacon, smoked salmon, some lovely sausages and cheeses, and my favourite, chocolate covered caramelized lime. The chocolate was unsweetended and smoothed out with coconut oil that had sauteed some chillies. Delicious.

The smoking was interesting. I could taste the differences between the different types of tobacco (no inhaling, just like Clinton). I'm not sure if I was able to fully appreciate the cigar that was mine, but I did have some awareness of it's qualities. I also finally learned what a cheroot was thanks to shyska bringing a bunch of tobacco and similar products that came from Afghanistan.

I also got to play with a Kennect and I have to say, the technology is pretty awesome.

I got home in time to say goodnight to my swordboyfriend who was up for the weekend due to his wife's blacksmithing date. And then to bed.

Saturday was nice and relaxed. I took mister_robinson off to see Lee Valley and Princess Auto while I looked for some tools to deal with the ash polls that I bought from sperry to make practice weapons. After we got home I spent the rest of the day shaving my shaft.

I made a lovely dinner with mennonite saurkraut and local sausage and a side of sweet potato fried in bacon fat. I watched an kinda terrible movie with lydia (oh so heavy handed) and then my cold finally said "you're Done!" and I fell down.

Today I did some armouring and then had a bunch of friends come over for fencing and potluck. I had such a good time and I have to say, I love Spear fighting. It was so much fun. Also did messer, sword and buckler, pole axe, rapier and lots of talking about fighting. Maybe we'll add some armoured combat next time. The weather was perfect.

Then for the potluck (I think I will need to make it clearer that the potluck is for dinner next time) I made a bit of pork ribs that even the texan complimented.

Just a fantastic time.

I'm not sure if this has recharged me for work or if I'm frustrated that I have to go back.
Gentle Readers,

Last night I didn't want to cook, so I invited a few people over for a pot luck. This worked even better than planned as one of them (blinkus2000) decided he wanted to try his new experimental baked salmon recipe on us.

Today we are sitting around listening to the rain and the close lightning strikes and being very glad we are not in a tent. It's Cortejo's Birthday today and we are thinking about the things we could do, but don't really seem all that motivated to do any of them. I suspect that once I finish procrastinating with this, I'll go and do some cleaning/purging/tidying down stairs while C&L go out to do something fun.

Tomorrow is Lydia's birthday. She's going to be 7. She makes me feel so very very blessed.

If I can get her away from the toys that she missed, I am going to try and get her to look at some paintings with me to see if we can find a dress she likes for me to make for her and at least 1 of her dolls so that she and they can be dressed the same.

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