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Sep. 17th, 2017 02:29 pm
stitchwhich: (Default)
[personal profile] stitchwhich
Yesterday my kingdom had one of the three annual "University" events. The registrar, Genevieve, has been letting me play with her work so I happily spent the first couple of hours handing out class schedules and rosters to the many instructors. Lunch time passed slowly so in my down time I pulled out my embroidery project and worked on that. Got some good discussions in with people - the kind where one could cover a difficult subject and know that we had enough time face-to-face to fully resolve any issues.

I taught my class on camp cooking. It was sparsely attended. I'd started with five people pre-registered for it, one of whom was myself, and ended up with five students - only one of whom was pre-reg'd. Such is the way of things. Most of my students were experienced cooks who were intrigued by the subject. They had some good suggestions and every once in a while I actually surprised them with information they had not known/considered. And it was nice to have another voice chime in with affirmation about something I'd said.

The drive to and from the event was 2 hours and 40 minutes long. Since I was part of registration staff, I needed to get there earlier than most so was up by 4am. Dragging in the door at 8:00 that evening meant I just kept walking down the hall straight into the bedroom. I've not the energy I had when I was younger! And thank goodness my hubby emptied the cooler for me.

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:51 pm
stitchwhich: (Lego Viking)
[personal profile] stitchwhich
I have hit bottom on prepping my handout for Saturday's class. Have I written about this already? I don't remember.

I'm teaching a class designed for single SCA campers who don't cook. It is mostly an 'attitude' adjustment, really, to bring their thoughts about foods from soups and sandwiches (and fast food) to dishes that are easy to prepare and will help them stay in a medieval mindset.

I am addressing three levels of prep; cooler only, campfire available, and single-burner stove. And that is where I am failing... I need 'recipes' that are not really recipes. More like vague 'put any of these things together and do this with them'. Like a Boy Scout foil meal; sliced meat side by side with sliced raw veggies, sprinkle Lipton onion soup mix over it all, then seal it and cook in the coals for 20 minutes. Tada, dinner.

I'm not sure I could call that a 'recipe'. Anyway, I need more ideas for meals and my usual source, SCA Cook webpages, is woefully lacking. This is unsurprising, I guess, because cooks don't bother with such elementary processes. That comes under "just throwing things together". But for a non-cook who is leery about being on their own without a meal plan provider or someone running into town for fast food, this isn't elementary at all.

My head hurts.

Whatever I have by 4am tomorrow, that is what I shall have to go with.

Proactivity

Sep. 9th, 2017 04:36 pm
reynardine: (study_scholar)
[personal profile] reynardine
Cleared most of my schedule for next week, except Thursday, which has a doctor appointment and then a contractor coming by for a bid. As usual, writing documentation for QPT is tripping me up. It shouldn't be, as I actually DO RESEARCH before I do a project, and I even took pictures during the process, but it's a challenge figuring out how to present my materials and also explain things to judges who do not have specialized knowledge in my area.

I do usually get valuable feedback from them, if only a fresh perspective, and my work gets seen by others as well, so entering an arts and sciences event is useful and educational. But I do have to think about educating my judges as I write my documentation, as does anyone who has an unusual entry. There's one guy this year doing an entry on fishing flies. I'm sure he is facing the same issue!

I know I tend to procrastinate, so I'm being proactive in freeing up my time next week. The two weeks after that also look to be busy.

Day 2 of wretched headache, a mix of allergy and tension. My life is/will be changing a lot, and I'm in waiting mode right now as I see how things are coming into place. More on that as things happen. I'm just setting things into motion right now. Some will shake out, some will fall by the wayside.

Anyway, I should get back to writing.
reynardine: (evening_kaze_hikaru)
[personal profile] reynardine
Eric the Engineer sent us his Structural Engineering Report, and it was not pretty, although I suppose it could be much worse? He recommends piering around the basement, replacing the garage door header, and replacing both central columns.

No idea on cost. We'll have the first contractors come by to give us a bid on the 14th. I'll schedule a couple of others, too.

Got Eric's numbers to the garage door people, who came in with their change-order bid. We're going to have them replace the garage header, since they'll be working on that area anyway to install the new garage door. It doubles the cost of the project, woe. However, we can get that done now, since Dad helped us with the money for that. They need to get the work scheduled, but we're probably looking at late September, early October.

As for the rest, I can't figure out my financing options until I find out 1)how much it will cost; 2)whether we can spread the project out, or if it needs to all be done at once; and 3)how on earth we will pay for all of this. I'm already toying with it in my mind, but by the time we get all the bids in, we'll be well into autumn, and I don't think they can do this kind of work in the winter. So there's some time to figure all this out. Hell, we lived in the Dubuque house for nearly 12 years before repairing its foundation.

However, I think we need to move faster on this house, or more damage may occur. The problem in the Iowa house was caused a botched rehab job from the 1950's. The problem here is a result of bad architecture, unstable soil, more botched rehab (that basement window!) and a fucking earthquake due to Oklahoma fracking. Honestly, if it had not have been for the earthquake, we probably could have put this off longer.

We also have to consider ancillary costs. The landscaping around the house will either have to be moved or just pulled out, and probably we'll need some regrading done. One of the center poles is in the garage, but the other is enclosed in drywall. They'll have to tear into that, so we'll have to have that replaced, cracks repaired and then most of the interior of the house will need to be repainted. The basement carpet is already partially pulled out from water damage--we'll need to repair whatever issues are there, replace the damaged window, replace MORE drywall, MORE painting, and put in some kind of flooring there. NOT CARPET, obviously. I dunno, that south wall may need more work.

Other possible costs: plumbing inspection, probably more irrigation system repair (maybe we can pull the damn thing out?), some interior doors either repaired or replaced. Also may have to have concrete work. Oh, and what the hell, let's replace the upstairs carpet while we're at it.
reynardine: (fox_swirl)
[personal profile] reynardine
Realized I hadn't posted all week.

Highlights:

Hello, ragweed season and headaches that make my teeth hurt! I so did not miss you.

Sewing night on Tuesday went okay. Almost done with smocked apron. Not entirely happy with results--I think the smocking went okay, but I pulled it apart some when I put on the waistband and it doesn't look right. Also, the ties are barely big enough--I followed someone's advice for the length, but she's much thinner than I. It will tie, but barely.

I may pull some of it apart, re-do the smocking, add pieces to the ties to lengthen them (who's gonna look for seamlines there anyway, right?) and see if that looks better. There's no hurry on this--it actually doesn't go with anything I have. I just wanted to learn how to do smocking.

Kosode pattern is way too wide, once I put the migoro (body panels) and okumi (front overlap panels) together. I think the okumi width looks about right, but the migoro is way too big. In one way, that's good news because there was some fabric I wanted to use that would have been too narrow, but now I think I might be able to use it. So I'm taking apart what I basted together (thrift store cotton) and cutting down the migoro a bit, then trying again.

No, I probably won't have something new to wear for Queen's Prize next weekend. I hate rushing sewing projects.

Working on Queen's Prize documentation. Outline is done and I should be finished with the writing this weekend. Trying to figure out a way I can stage it so it looks good. I think Uji (the scroll's recipient, who it turns out will also be one of the judges*) may bring the scroll with him. I was thinking of buying a standing folding screen to display it (and some of the drafts I did), but Bob nixed that idea.

*Yeah, normally he'd disqualify himself. But Queen's Prize is a novice event and he was the only one with Japanese studies experience willing to drive that far south. Besides, I tend to ask the judges not to grade me with points, but just give me feedback.

One of my other judges, Aiden, is a calligraphy/illumination Laurel, who I already know. The other one, Catalina, has a Laurel in Islamic culture (IIRC, her focus was on costuming and cooking?)--we've met but I don't really know her very well.

Music night at Margaurite's went well, although I ended up playing tenor when I had mostly practiced soprano. The fingering is the same, but you have to spread your fingers out more on the tenor, and after a while, your hands cramp up! I'm told I will get used to it. Evidently, my recorder is too shrill--Roderick lent me one of his extra plastic soprano recorders to use for now. Much mellower sound. Still practicing. Margaurite said I should be up to speed within six months or so. Until then, I just try not to be too disruptive.

LOL, Tsuki thinks my recorder is too shrill, too. I start practicing and she will dash out from wherever she's been sleeping and meow at me! It's so cute.

Shodo lesson also went well, although wow, I'm up late on Tuesday with the sewing and music, then up early the next day for shodo. We've started carving inkan (signature seals). Tony has done a lot of studying on the subject, so it's been interesting. He does tend to prefer using the dremel tool to hand-carving, but wants me to learn both methods. I've carved wax and linoleum, but not stone, so learning to use a chisel has been interesting. It's really cool, though. I definitely have some things I want to try to do with this (beyond designing my own inkan).

Tony also wants me to branch out to sumi-e painting. He's not an expert himself--it's just something he plays with, but for doing SCA scrolls, it would be a useful skill. And we're going to play with paper-mounting and making emakimono (vertical) and kakemono (horizontal) scrolls and experiment with paste recipes. So between carving inkan, learning basic sumi-e techniques, scroll-making and continuing my actually calligraphy brush-work, I will be busy!

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