Monday, November 30, 2015

I fought the app and the app won

I tried once again to post from my phone while in the car last night and it once again did not work. I was cold and tired and traffic was awful so I decided not to bother trying again. I just have to face the fact that mobile posting only works on my phone when I am stationary. It is a lesson well learned for me. Learn from me my minions.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


It was 2001, I was in my third year of college, and I found myself with a semester of no shows. For a theater major this was pretty well unheard of. I had this huge chunk of time with nothing to do and I didn't like it one bit.

A large group of my friends worked down at the Ren Faire outside of Houston and I had visited them there over the previous two years and had started to fall in love. I knew I had all of this time coming open and I figured it might be fun to earn some extra cash and do something cool like work for the faire. A few nudges to my friends later and I had a spot in a shop with a couple of them.

Fifteen years later and I am still here. Tonight is the last night of the season and it is bittersweet as always. While the work and long drives are ending, so is the time of being with this strange little group who have worked their way into my hearts and have become my family.

The crew has never just been coworkers and has always been more than friends. These are people I live with for two months of weekends a year. That is a lot of time spent in very close quarters; you either love them or hate them, but you can not escape them.

These people have seen me through many major life events. Some of the crew were my college friends who saw me through my journey of faith, saw me through finding the husbeast, and saw me grow into me. The rest of the old guard not only watched and participated in my wedding, they made it possible. The newer crew even drove close to 6 hours in one day just to help us move.

I know that this ramshackle group of misfits would do anything for us and I would do anything for them. Much like siblings we do not always get along or like one another, but we are family and in the end are there for one another. Heaven forbid you pick on one of us because that will be the last mistake you make.

Tonight will be the last night with my little family on our island of misfit toys and tomorrow we will work hard before once again separating for the year. If we are lucky we will manage to get together a few times in the months between, but those times will not be often enough.

Come next September though we will all make our way down the dusty back roads of site to our shop, climb the steep steps to our bunkhouse, and embrace as family. It will not matter that time has passed because to us time does not matter. We will once again be home and once again I will sleep the peaceful sleep of one who is safe with her own.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A toast

Here is to good friends I never get to see making me forget about how much I despise Black Friday. To people who make me forget that people can be over entitled shita. To people who love me no matter the distance and time. To people who see me.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thank you for the pain

The turkey has been eaten, pies and puddings served, and all have settled in for their post feast stupor. All is right in my world on this warm rainy Thanksgiving eve. I cooked for and fed people I care for and it makes my heart sore, not to mention my tummy is pleased too.

I do lament not being able to spend this day with my blood family as well. Other obligations in my life and the logistics of travel have meant I have missed more family holidays in my adult life than I have made. We always make time to celebrate, but rarely is it on the right day. Really though as long as we are together it does not matter what day it is on.

Now is the time when I tell you all of the things I am thankful for, only I am not going to. I am not going to tell you how thankful I am for health, and security, and lived ones. I am thankful for all of that and always am. I hope that I show my gratitude for that often.

I am going to tell you about some things that I am thankful for that are a little out of the ordinary. What can I say, I am weird.

I am thankful that my biological father was a horrible person and my mother was strong enough to leave him. In doing so she saved us and herself, but also she made way for the family we would eventually have. We made room for my dad and sisters to join the family 12 years later which was perfect.

I am thankful that I mistakenly turned down the husbeast the first time he asked me out. I was far too much a wide eyed confused college freshman at the time and he was not ready to be serious. The time that passed between that day and the day he stole his first kiss was important for us to be the people we needed to be to be together.

I am thankful that the husbeast was laid off 7 years ago when he was. The trials and tribulations we had to work through in the years to follow made us stronger individuals and a stronger couple. We know what we want and who we are because of it. We are more capable now.

I am thankful for all of the awful things that have happened in my life. Without those things I would not be the person I am today. They taught me to be strong, caring, compassionate, brave, understanding, forgiving, and patient. They made me me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sleep war

The hour grows late and my eyes grow heavy and I know sleep will soon take me. My mind does not slow and I know that this will be another night where my thoughts take control. Sleep or think, body or mind, which will win tonight?

Eventually my body will win out and into slumber I shall slip. Even then my mind will fight to win by filling my head with dreams. Not ordinary dreams but instead dreams so brilliant and vivid I almost do not want to wake. It is hard to leave the cinema of my mind.

Eventually my body will win again and I will awake though not necessarily rested. My mind has seen to it that many nights sleep were completely unproductive thanks to frenetic dreams.

In the end neither mind nor body seems to win but it is a fight neither will concede.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


My oldest cat is running around the living room making the strange cooing noises he makes when he is content or annoyed at something. At 14 years old I am not certain he really is sure any longer if he is upset about things or happy about them. I think he is just content to make whatever noises he likes when he likes. He is the equivalent of an octogenarian now, so I give him a lot of freedom to do what he likes.

My youngest cat is curled up behind my neck sleeping. I know she is asleep because there is a distinct lack of purring coming from her. She has the loudest purr I have ever heard, and seemingly only stops when she is truly asleep. Every once in a while her tail flicks with a mind of its own, coming around to swat my cheek. I find this endearing and a little annoying. For the umpteenth time I remind myself that it is a good thing that tiny ball of fluff is so damn cute.

The husbeast has gone upstairs to play on his computer and decompress before bed. The dogs went with him and are most likely laying on his feet snoring. They are both really good at keeping your feet warm whether you want them to or not. It is sweet though after a while a 100lb dog on your foot can become uncomfortable. Thankfully they are fairly heavy sleepers and you can usually extract your foot without waking them (or your foot) up.

This is a typical quiet evening in our home. This is the type of moment we have missed out on these many months while construction ate our lives. Moments of quiet with our little fur family and our own thoughts. Moments that make all the crazy worth while.

I hope you all have your moments too. Moments are the best.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Scent of the Season

We were out of dog food and had to stop at the store on the way home from dinner with friends. Our normal store was in the opposite direction from our house so we just stopped at a store that was locationally convenient. In the end I sort of wish we had gone the extra distance to a store I knew.

We had no more than passed through the automatic doors than we were assaulted with the overwhelming scent of cinnamon.  The odor filled the air to the point you could taste it on your tongue every time you inhaled. The cloying bitter sweet scent was undeniable and inescapable; it was like olfactory hell.

I have an incredibly sense time sense of amell. If every person has one slightly extra ordinary super hero like ability mine would be my sense of smell. While awesome for making my pallet more defined it is pretty much the worst super power ever. I find this especially true during the holidays.

Once Halloween passes I almost dread walking into an unfamiliar store because I know what most likely lays in wait for me. It is almost a guarantee that a festive cinnamon laced pine cone wreath has been placed in the store waiting to attack. It is just one of those cliches people can not resist.

I understand their reasoning. People associate smells with certain thinga. Holidays, the winter ones in particular seem to be most associated with pine and cinnamon. I suppose pine is too remeniscent of mop water so cinnamon wins out. Really it makes sense.

Sadly I hate cinnamon. I don't even like eating it let alone smelling it. It is so easy to completely overwhelm your food or your air space with this pungent ingredient. Most people seem to think more is better, but in reality you are taking something that should add us the elegance and instead turn it into a troll with a telephone pole mauling a China shop.

Moderation is a lost art form.

So it is with trepidation that I enter the holiday season. I await with displeasure the next onslaught of cinnamon and dread the migraine headches which will assuredly accompany such a foul odor.

So remember myinions, as the holidays get into full swing, think twice before you bathe your home in cinnamon. I may not be coming to visit you, but chances are there is someone trying to not hurl into the egg no because of the overuse of this classic holiday scent.


This whole blogging for a month straight thing is hard. Not only is it difficult to come up with things worth saying every day, it is hard to actually be able to write every single day. I have the added bonus challenge of not being home on the weekends and having limited internet access thanks to this. It makes things difficult.

I realized last night on the drive home that I was not going to get a post in. I woke up at 7am, was in my shop by 8:30am, worked straight through the day until 8pm, changed and packed, and was in the car on the way home at 8:45 for a three hour and change drive. I could have typed in the car but that can make me motion sick and nobody wants that, especially not me.

I could have written a post when I got home. I could have sat down after midnight and typed up something that was nothing more than filler and posted it. I could have made myself stay awake another five minutes to do that. I knew that as tired as I was that was not going to happen.

 I also realized that this is not a big deal. I have limitations and I must deal with them. I can simply double post today and I will still meet my goal. I am not going to stress over something that is ultimately not a huge deal. I wasn't neglectful in not posting, I simply could not do it. Shit happens.

So this is my first post of the day where I admit that I have limitations and that is ok.
Next year when I do this challenge I think I will go ahead and simply omit Saturdays and Sundays from the equation because I should live in reality sometimes.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Things overheard at Faire: Geek edition

- A man dressed like a grizzly bear walks into the shop and jokingly a Coworker approaches him with a knife

Coworker: Sir, sir don't move there is a bear trying to eat you.

Man: No it is all good this was a consensual TonToning.

- We have a Sword of Omens (the sword from Thundercats) that lights up. One of my coworkers insists that when people hold it they quote the cartoon in some way.

Coworker: You have to say a line from the show like "Thundercats, Thundercats, Thundercats HO!"

Customer: (Takes the sword in hand) Snarf Snarf snarf.

Coworker: ..... Damn it I can't complain because that is actually from the show.

- Woman comes in wearing a TARDIS dress. Another customer who is a little tipsy starts talking to her about it.

Woman: (holds up a hand after he says nice dress) If you are going to make a bigger on the inside comment you will never find out the truth of that statement.

Man: (thinks for a moment) If I call you 'sexy' can I find out?

Woman: Alonsy

Man: Geronimo

The land of Nodd

Sleep is one of those things that is not only a necessity but it is something most people thoroughly enjoy. Perhaps it is because most people chronically lack in the sleep department and we are programmed to covet what we lack. Any way you look at it sleep is glorious.

The idea of getting to sleep in late is something people long for. Whether it is a parent with young children who hamper their sleep, a student with an early morning class, or a working man with a 5am alarm, they all will talk about the glory days when they could leisurely lay in bed until noon. It is one of those glorious memories we all seem to wish to recapture. Screw reliving my youth, I want a nap.

Ironically all of that was written as I lay in my bunk last night at the shop. After a long drive I had curled up in the quiet warmth of my bed intent on writing a post about what I wanted most at that moment; sleep.

I got my wish.

The next time I saw my phone screen my alarm was chiming telling me it was 7am. I slept the night through without finishing my post. I even put my phone on the hightstand in my sleep (which is totally the sort of thing I am known to do in my sleep).

Miraculously the phone saved the beginnings of my post this time so I could share it with you. Obviously the universe wanted me to share my sleepy ramblings with my minions even if it was a good night's sleep later than planned.

I certainly am not complaining.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A light in the darkness

Fear is the greatest weapon anyone can wield. Hope is our only defense. By giving in to fear we make ourselves tiny and hateful and exactly play into the hands of those who would destroy us. We simply make the job easier for them by destroying ourselves.

Do not let fear dictate your conscience. Be a good person. Take action. Choose love and hope. Do not be hateful or afraid. Horrible things are going to happen whether we do the right thing or not, so why be on the wrong side of things. Do not let your humanity be stripped from you over what may lurk in the shadows. Humanity is all we have, it is what unites us all, and it is what we must cling to.

Be brave. Be strong. Don't just speak, act. Fight the fear with hope. Monsters only have as much power as we give them. Hiding under the blankets does not drive them away, but turning on a light will.

Be the light in the dark.
- The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

- Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.
W. Clement Stone
- The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
H. P. Lovecraft

- We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
- Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.
Helen Keller

- I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
Thomas Paine

- There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.
Andre Gide



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Uncomfortable Chill

There is a crispness to the air, a chill that has settled down upon us at long last, and it is clear to see that fall has caught up to us at last. It took almost until Thanksgiving for it to makes its way to Texas, but I suppose that is the norm for these parts. Better late than never right?

We don't really get all the glory of autumn in these parts. Texas excels in springs full of wild flowers and summers with heat to melt your face off. Autumn and winter are a northerners seasons. If you are looking for color changing leaves and blankets of snow you had best be satisfied with the ones you see in movies.

As glorious as fall and winter are supposed to be they hold no sway over my little southern heart. Sure I like a break from the almost oppressive heat we endure for 3/4 of the year but I in know way welcome the cold. I could go my whole life without the temperature dropping below 60 degrees and be perfectly happy.

The cold and I are not friends and we never have been. I have always been one to get cold very easily and not been able to warm up once I am there. People always say I should wear more layers but it does me no good if I am already cold. Once the cold has its grip on me I most likely will need hot water to bring warmth back to me.

I am lucky though. I have friends who are actually allergic to the cold and friends who turn blue and risk serious damage when they get cold. My discomfort is nothing in comparison,  but it is discomfort none the less. Each persons pain is personal after all.

I suppose that is one of the reasons I love Texas so much. Yes the heat is tiresome and deadly at times, but it is an enemy I know we'll and easily can overcome. The cold is the nemesis that drives me back and takes me down every time.

So as the seasons change, as they always do, I will be over here under my down blanket counting the days until the sun returns to warm me once again. This solar powered girl will be hibernating away from the cold and will emerge triumphant again when the wild flowers begin to bloom.

Another tech fail

I am double blogging today because yesterdays blog did not post from my phone last night and it was also not saved. This is what I get for relying on technology. Don't get me wrong, technology is great. My phone is great. It is all great. However, the more 'convenient' the technology (like my blogger app on my phone which allows me to type a post while in bed getting ready to sleep) is not always the most stable or reliable.

I don't really remember what I was posting about last night to be honest. The hour was late, I was very tired, and I was just trying very hard to get some content  up before days end to meet my personally set goal of one post per day this month. It is a silly little goal but it is important to me. All goals are important.

The way I see it is if I set a goal I should be able to meet it. If I am incapable of doing something as trivial as blogging once a day how can I complete more important goals I set for myself? I mean sure other goals might have more weight to them, but in reality it all comes down to my ability to complete things I start. Let me tell you I don't have a great track record with this.

When I got to work this morning and checked my blog and noticed that nothing had posted last night I was upset. When I checked my phone and realized it had not even saved I was angry. I was angry at technology for failing me (again) but I was more angry that I didn't get up out of bed, walk the five feet to the computer, and take the five minutes to log on and make sure something posted.

The only comfort I have is that I know I actually did write something yesterday, even if it did not make it out into the world before my phone swallowed it whole. I know that I have technically met my challenge. I am still a little disappointed.

To make up for this I will put out two posts today to make myself feel better about it and I will continue on. I will not allow a small setback stop me. There will always be glitches in the world, and it is our job to overcome them. The only failure is quitting, and that is not something I plan to do.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Be Excellent

Sometimes you don't need fancy words to get the point across. Sometimes you just need to say things simply and it is enough. That is the thought behind today's post.

In the words of Bill and Ted, two very simple men, I say unto you my minions, be excellent to one another.

Do not make qualifiers. Do not make exceptions. Do not make judgments.

Just simply be kind and good to your fellow man. Everyone is suffering in their own way, and everyone's suffering is valid. Do not hold one man's pain over another's because to each man their suffering is the most excruciating. 

Just because there is suffering at home does not mean that we can not show compassion to those who suffer afar. Offer your right hand to your neighbors and your left to your distant cousin; you have two hands to use and enough heart for all.

Do not sit idly by and speak words of outrage and use pictures of those less fortunate as the vase for your soap box. Instead lift up those who you would use as an example and be an example for those who would follow you. Open yourself to all those who would benefit from your kindness.

Remember that kindness is shown in many ways and you are not limited by wealth or station. Each of us has the capacity for good and the ability to effect change. Do what it is you can do and be the start of the good in this world.

Be blind to the things that would limit you. Do not see a person's gender, religion, politics, nationality, age, orientation, or anything else. Simply see another human who needs the good in you.

Go my minions. Go and be excellent to your fellow man. The world certainly is in need of it just now.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Posting for the sake of posting to say I posted. In the car and horribly motion sick. Terribly tired too. Back when I do t want to puke and have slept.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Realizations of a Ren Faire worker

As I was working today a woman I was helping commented on my boobs. Actually about half a dozen women commented on them today; it was a slow day. It came down to that she was impressed by their size and general appearance. This is typically what the comment is. I explained to her that corsets were amazing things and honestly my cleavage is like an iceberg and she was only seeing the top 10%.

She was impressed none the less and asked to take a picture for her husband who was not there. I agreed as this is something that happens to me all the time. Most of the time people ask if it is alright before snapping a picture, but I do on ocassion catch them sneaking a shot.

It was only after she left that I realized how many photographs of my boobs must exist in this world. I mean seriously, over the last 15 years there have been hundreds of people that have asked to take a picture specifically to get a shot of my cleavage.

I suddenly feel like a fully covered playboy model. Sort of weird and creepy and maybe just a little more flattering than it should be.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Technology fail

I had typed a lovely post tonight while we ate dinner but did not quite finish it. I had planned to finish it while we drove. What I did not plan for was my phone deleting the post before I could finish and post it.

Sadly it is now late and typing in the car is making me sick. So tonight's post is mostly just to tell you my phone ate my post.

Come back tomorrow for something of substance

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Home making

There are many things that make a house a home. There is of course the furnishings, the knick knacks, and all the trappings of a house, but those are not what really make it a home for me. Stuff is nothing more than trappings.

For me one thing that really makes a house into a home is cooking a meal in it. Food is one of my love languages for certain, but the kitchen has always been the point in my home where life happened. Not a day of my life growing up passed without time spent as a family cooking.

There is a warmth that comes from a kitchen, and not just from the stove. It is the joy and community that is formed over making a meal. It is sharing your day over the chopping of vegetables, the stirring of sauces, and all the other things that go into making a meal. It may be just a southern thing, but life in a family happens in the kitchen.

The smell of good home cooked food filling the house is comforting and reassuring.  It smells wonderful but it also smells of love and togetherness. It allows you to know that the house is not just inhabited. The house is lived in and loved in. It takes a lot of love to make good food after all.

Currently a pot of red beans, which the husbeast has been working on all night, is simmering on the stove and filling the house with its fragrant aroma. I don't eat beans, but the smell is so delightful that my mouth is watering. The delectable scent has filled the house upstairs and down and tonight we will drift off to sleep cradled in its embrace.

It is moments like this that I am able to just sit back and relax and feel content. It doesn't matter what furniture I have, or if I am unpacked or not, or if I feel settled in my surroundings. The smell of food cooked with love is enough to let me know that all is right in the world. It lets me know that there is someone in the house that cares enough to have made something so wonderful THere is warmth and there is love. 

It is nice to know I am home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The day of the Husbeast!

Today is the day of the husbeast and for this we shall rejoice!!

I am told that when he was born many years ago in New Orleans that the doctor looked at his mother and told her 'Congratulations, you had a moose.' due to the fact that he was nearly 2 feet long and over 13 inches at the shoulder. He never really stopped being big, and I am alright with this. He is my big strong husbeast and I love him.

So since today is his day I thought I would share some things about him that I love.

- Despite being a large man he is amazingly gentle and is good with working with delicate things. It is a dichotomy most would not expect out of him.

- He is so incredibly silly and has no problem being silly for the world to see.

- He always knows how to make me smile, and makes it his mission in life to keep me smiling.

- He may be horribly forgetful, but he always remembers the really important things like kissing me goodnight.

- He tells great stories and has plenty of them to tell. There is always something for him to talk about.

- He is an amazing cook. From his gumbo to the best steak you  have ever had, he will not disappoint.

- He quietly tolerates my shows and movies.

- He is passionate about the things he loves.

- He is loyal to those he has claimed as his own.

- He still finds wonder and amazement in the world despite everything else.

- He never thinks inside the box. I don't think he even knows where the box is anymore. I think he discarded it so long ago that he couldn't go back to thinking so small if he tried.

- He is always trying to learn and grow.

This is just a short list, and doesn't really begin to cover how amazing he is. I am not sure I really have the words to say all the things I think about him. He is my wonderful loving gentle giant. He is my knight. He is my husbeast and I love him more than words can say.

Happy birthday beast!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Time is something that often gets away from me. I have intentions to do things but then something happens and time seems to disappear. Poof. Gone.

Today has been a day of disappearing time. From the moment I woke up until right now I couldn't tell you where my time went. It is actually a little infuriating.

I sat down at the office to work on a small project and the next thing I knew it was time to go home. I got home intent on cleaning up before game and the next thing I knew everyone was here. I meant to sit and type a real post after game but I just realized it is nearly 11pm and past my bed time.

I think at this point it is safest for me to just go to bed before I lose that time too. Goodnight minions.

Monday, November 9, 2015

A place to unwind

It is funny what you do not realize you want in life. You can be very sure of what is important to you until faced with an option and suddenly you are blindsided by your own desires. It is a very strange feeling when this happens.

When the husbeast and I began to casually look for houses we were fairly certain we knew what was important to us. The kitchen had to be a great kitchen because we are of the mind that a family revolves around the kitchen. There was no room in our world for a kitchen we could not cook huge meals in. This we knew.

We also knew that we wanted enough space for us and to grow our family. Kids are in the cards for us eventually and we don't want to be crowded once that starts happening. We also wanted the room to have our own space along with room to spawn. This we knew.

We knew we needed a yard big enough for the dogs. Until we spawn the dogs (and cats) are our babies. Nero and Rogue are big dogs and need plenty of space to run and play. A big yard was a necessity. This we knew.

What neither of us realized was that the master bathroom was important to us. We are not really bathroom people. I am not the type of girl who spends hours in there doing my hair and makeup. In general he spends more time in the bathroom primping than I do. It never occurred to us this would be a point of contention in buying a house.

Yet it was.

As we began looking at houses we became increasingly aware of how disappointed we were in all of the bathrooms we were seeing. On older houses they were small at best, originally designed for more efficiency than luxury in the price range we were in. On new builds, while the bathrooms were more spacious, they were obviously designed for average sized people. Neither of us is average size.

Oddly the biggest problem was a height issue. All of the shower doors (because everything had a walk in glass shower) were so short even I came close to hitting the top of the frame and I am only 5'10". The husbeast towers over me at 6'6", he was face planting all of them. The bathtubs were also tiny. The only people who would be able to enjoy a leisurely bath in those tubs couldn't have been more than 5'6". We are both bath sort of people and this made us sad.

It got to the point where if we walked into a house and the bathroom would not allow us to comfortably shower or bathe, we just left. It was really important to us which caught us off guard.

We knew that this was the house for us when they had the option for a free standing 72" pedestal tub and a walk in shower big enough for three people. It was like someone had read our minds and designed a house layout just for us.

Things did get dicey for a bit in the beginning. We had specified that the tub was a deal breaker for us but we were assured it would not be an issue. Turns out our builder was in the middle of changing systems when we signed off on the house and our tub was not an option in the new system. We were told we may not be able to get the tub and we threatened to walk.

Fortune was on our side (as well as an amazing sales lady who negotiated for our tub while on vacation at Disney) and we did get our tub. The husbeast was so excited about it that when they delivered the tub, before they installed it, he ripped open the cellophane and crawled in to make sure
he fit. Spoiler, he did.

 The tub, and the bathroom is amazing. Every aspect of the room is designed to feel almost opulent; from the domed cathedral ceiling, to the arching windows, to the dark emperador marble, it just feels like a room you are meant to be pampered in.

Many of our friends have expressed great envy at our tub. Many of our friends have also asked if we will rent out our tub by the hour so they might stretch out and have a bit of a soak. They were only half joking.

As for me, I have taken more long soaking baths in the three months we have lived here than I have in the 15 years I have been with the husbeast. I don't think I have taken this many honest to goodness baths since I was a little girl. It is glorious.

In fact I am blogging from the tub right now. Scalding hot water is soothing my sore muscles while soft foamy mountains of lavender honey scented bubbles bob around me. It is pure heaven.

Now the only problem I have is pruny toes from soaking too long. What a terrible life I lead.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Observations from a Ren Faire

- Womens colored pantyhose are not the same as tights which is apparently something most men do not know.

- Drinking an entire bottle of wine (or mead) straight from the bottle is not looked upon poorly by other people.

- People are more likely to believe that I am from England (because of the accent) than to believe I drive from Dallas to Houston every weekend for the festival.

- Women are still more likely to comment on my boobs than men. Little old women are the funniest about this.

- Parents think nothing of bathing their children in strange out door fountains with green fuzzy water.

- Everyone loves watching grown men roll around in mud.

- People can justify buying a $100 sword they will never touch again because it is a Ren Faire but they can not justify buying a $30 pair of earrings they will wear often.

- Corsets look uncomfortable but they really are the best way to not have a sore back at the end of the day.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Familiar Comfort

I've been working at my shop at the Ren Faire since 2001 which seems like a lifetime. It has become such a part of my life that the one year I couldn't do the faire my entire year seemed wrong. I can not imagine not doing faire.

One of the things I love most about faire is that there is a familiarity that is developed after even the shortest of times. It is a community where simply seeing another person over the course of a season, or many seasons, that seems to bond you. It is that constant of knowing those people are there that makes it all seem more like being home.

I have customers that have been buying from me since day one. I don't know their names buy I know their ring sizes, favorite stones, and what statues they have already bought. We chat easily about their collections and the one or two factoids we know about one another before parting for another year.

There are performers and faire employees that are regular sites. Some of them work in sight of our shop, some of them are in shops I frequent, but they are all a staple of faire life. I don't know their names any more than they know mine yet we still feel like friends in some way.

These familiar strangers are as much part of my world as my crew, who might as well be family. I look forward to seeing these nameless friends as much as I do my other faire friends. Their presence is comforting.

I am not sure they will ever know what they mean to me, but I am very thankful for all of them.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Long road

Another Friday night sees us on the long road to TRF. The drive is a staple in our lives at this point; we have been making it so long I wouldn't know what to do without it.

The husbeast and I have had a relationship full of long road trips. From the word go there were long treks involved since he lived an hour away from me. Driving was just a way of life it seemed.

The fact that we live in Texas doesn't help anything. Texas is a sprawling state where we measure distance in time. I can't tell you how many miles away anything is but I can tell you exactly how long it takes to get there. Everyone who is here long enough can.

Jumping in the car and making a 4 hour drive as a day trip is not out of the ordinary. I have done worse just for a meal and never left the state. It is not something you think about.

I love the long drives which is odd considering how motion sick I can get. Heck I am amazed I can type this post as we drive without wanting to hurl. Maybe it is the rain that is currently lulling us along with the constant hum of the highway under our tires.

I love the conversation that only seems to happen on a long stretch of road. The stories that are shared and created are not matched by any other venue it would seem. Something about being trapped in a small space for someone for hours on end will do that to you.

If you really want to get to know someone take multiple long road trips with them. Perhaps that is why the husbeast and I get along so well. If we didn't we never would have survived all these road trips, as a long car ride is a sure way to test any relationship.

I guess I love how everything is always the same while still being different. Any number of things could happen as there are always different cars on the road but the scenery stays the same. We will always pass the small high school enjoying Friday Night football like it was a religion. There will always be the chicken farm that makes everyone hold their breath. There will always be the soft glow of the coke machine on the corner in the tiny town we pass through.

It is a comfort.

The rain has passed but the road is still long. Safe travels my minions.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I don't typically take time for myself. I am the type of person that just is content doing for others first, and getting to me when I get around to it. I am generally happy with this and see no real reason to change that.

I love giving people gifts, or making them food, or taking care of them in general. It is one of my love languages. It makes me happy to make the people I love happy in whatever way possible. I am just a giver I suppose.

Sometimes though I need to stop and take care of me. I need to pamper myself.

On a normal day I reward myself in small ways; a new movie, some ice cream, some small trinket that makes me smile. I am simple in that way. Nothing too fancy to make me happy.

Right now I am frazzled and worn thin. I need a good relaxing day of me.

I think once faire is over I am going to take a Saturday to myself. I will go get a mani and pedi (normally I wouldn't get a mani but my poor hands look awful after all the remodel work I have been doing and they really could use it). I will go for the good kind where they slather you in fresh fruit, hot wax, and rub rocks all over you.

After that I may go get my hair cut and colored at a salon. Yes I have people who could help me do it at home for a lot less, but there is something about getting your hair done at a salon that is just indulgent. Plus I think it is part of the southern woman in me that makes it seem so very right. My grandmother would be proud.

I may even go clothes shopping and buy something new. I used to be quite the clothes horse in my younger days, but I typically find it depressing these days. I don't actually think clothing is made to fit women anymore. Notice I didn't say fat women, I just mean women in general. Still I find shopping cathartic, and I could use some new work shirts, so who am I to say no.

If I play my cards right I could fit in there lunch at a certain Indian restaurant with my girls, followed up by a trip to Marble Slab and Half Priced Books. I mean come on what is better than Indian food, ice cream, and cheap books with your besties? That's right, nothing!

After a full day of me I will most likely finish it off with some husbeast time. Dinner and a movie at our local dine in theater is the perfect way to end a day of much deserved r and r.

That is my idea of a great day.

What about you? How do you pamper yourself?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Final stretch

So close to being finished that everything seems like an insurmountable feat. With every finished project it seems like three more spring up. Nothing is without an issue or problem that has to be solved. Nothing is ever easy.

I am sore, I am exhausted physically and emotionally, and I have very little left to give. I am just very glad that it will all be over and out of my hands soon.

Remodeling a house is not for the faint of heart.

One more long day in the books, one more to go.

I can to do this, but first we sleep.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Boundless Friendship

When I was a kid I always imagined that my friends would be my friends forever. It is an idealistic view of friendship that we have as children that is proven wrong before we have left childhood. The fact is that for the most part the friends we have as children rarely last into adulthood.

There are many factors that lead into this; distance, lifestyles changing, and simply growing into different people. Even the friends we make in high school or college do not necessarily make it into our adult lives. Sure we still Facebook stalk those people, but being a Facebook friend is not necessarily a strong friendship. Friends can not survive on Facebook alone.

Of course when I was a kid I don't think I truly understood what friendship entailed. I never would have imagined that friendship had no limits on age, or distance, or time. I never understood what seemingly insignificant gestures make a friendship strong.

I have many friends, which is not something I have always been able to say. When I was young I cold count my friends on one hand with fingers left over most of the time. These days I have difficulty listing all of my friends. This is a problem I am happy having.

Of course some of my friends are closer than others, but that is the way of friendships. The nature of a friendship can change over the course of the relationship, growing closer or further apart, but still you are friends.

Two of my closest friends are the living proof that there are no limitations on friendship. One of these amazing women is ten years older than me while the other is almost fifteen years younger than me. We live far enough from each other that seeing them can be an effort, but one always worth the trip. We have very different lifestyles yet we seem to be on the same page more often than not.

We were out to dinner the other night and my phone began to ding. The Husbeast looked over at my phone and then at me and simply asked "What are the girls talking about now?" because he knew that was who was trying to get my attention. He was right, and it was them, it almost always is.

This unlikely friendship with my Niki and my Beth seems so unlikely. Beth is a young college student who we met through faire. While there are plenty of people closer to her age on cast Beth seemed to click with us from the start. Even though we have only known her around 9 months most days it feels like she has been part of our group for years.

Beth is our sassy little translator to the youth of today that I didn't know we needed. I refer to her as our own personal urban dictionary, a role which she fills with gusto. I forget how young she is right up until I find myself needing to know what 'rachet' is supposed to mean, and then I recall Beth is hip with the slang of today.

We chat constantly, and I find it comforting to know that all I need to do is look at my phone and my girls will be there. We watch TV together which is nice for me being a TV addict to have someone who is watching the same shows with me at the same time. American Horror Story is a great show, but being able to talk to others that love it while actually watching it makes it all that much better.

Pop culture aside, they really are amazing friends. I know that no matter what they have my back. Even if it is the smallest of things, I know they will be there for me, and that is what friendship really is.

As a geyser of water was shooting out of my wall flooding my house it was Niki and Beth I was messaging in a panic as I tried to remember the name of the water removal company. After the water had been shut off and the proper people called to come dry out my house, and I was laying on the floor crying, they showed up in their pajamas to sit with me so I would have some moral support.

There was nothing they could do to fix what had happened. They couldn't make the water go away, or fix a pipe, or save my brand new carpet pad, but they could sit with me and make me smile. They could stay up with me until 2am and remind me that as long as I have friends like them it wouldn't even matter if the walls would never dry out.

I am sad that I have lost friendships through the years. I am sad that distance and time has pulled me away from people that I love. I do know though that they will always be my friends because some things simply can not be changed.

I am very glad for the friends I do have, and especially for my girls. I cherish all of our silly TV watching, GIF filled chats, inside jokes, and middle of the night moral support. I am so very glad that the ideas I had of friendship as a child proved to be wrong, and friendship turned out to be so beautifully limitless.

I love my friends.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Finding Normal

Where have I been?

This is a question that has been running through my mind a lot lately. For well over a year now I have felt as though I am absent from my life. I am going through the motions and getting things done, but it is mostly out of habit and obligation. All the things that make me more than just a lump of animated carbon seemed to be missing.

My spark, my je ne sais quoi, just has not been there. The things that I do that make me happy, that express my passion, my being, have been neglected. I stopped writing almost completely, I only sew what I have to with the most minimal of effort, I haven't been cooking exciting foods, I have only barely been present for my RPG's, and even Faire has felt like something that is old and stale. Just gone.

What happened?

Life I suppose is the answer to that. A couple of years ago things turned incredibly ugly at work for about seven months and I just buckled under the pressure. I was in a constant state of stress, I was having daily anxiety attacks, and I was just reacting to the situation poorly. I neglected myself on every level because I just didn't know how to cope.

Once things evened out at work I suppose I just never really bounced back. I was in this strange place where I was surviving with minimal effort and I just decided to stay there because it was easy and I was still so very exhausted. I figured some time to fly under the radar would allow me to build up my reserves again, but it honestly just wore me down more.

Last summer we decided to buy a brand new house. When I say brand new I mean built from the ground up. Everything about it was new and shiny and ours. It was a process that took almost an entire year, and has been another source of incredible stress and anxiety. While it was not as bad as the work drama, it still took its tole on me. If I had managed to build any reserves up I burned through them well before the house buying was over.

Even though we have been in the new house nearly four months now we have still been dealing with our old house. We had hoped to rent it out but finally came to the decision that the best thing for us was to sell it. Either way we went it required an intense amount of time and energy to make the house ready to be sold. When you have a house that is falling apart you have to do a lot of work to make it sell-able.

We are still in the final steps of finishing the old house and even though we are so very very close to being done, it feels so far. We had a set back mid week last week where a pipe was accidentally drilled into. Aside from  having to fix a pipe and the wall that was damaged, we had to rip out the carpet padding that was less than a week old and will  have to replace it. As we were waiting for the emergency water removal people to show up at 10pm on a Tuesday, I just laid down on the soggy floor and cried because I didn't know what else to do.

I realized after I had a good cry on the carpet that I have been letting this stress run my life. I keep telling myself that I just have to finish _____ and I can relax and get things back to normal. I am realizing now that I have filled in that blank a dozen times now and I still have not relaxed or found normal again. I don't even remember what normal is anymore.

I realize now that there will always be that blank to fill in. I have to keep living while waiting for the next blank. I have to find my normal among all the stress and crazy. I have to find the joy in my writing, and cooking, and performing again. I have to find time for my husband, and my friends, and for me.

I can't let my life live me.
I need to live my life before it is gone.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Rising from the ashes

Someone said to me recently "Blogging is dead" and as much as I wanted to refute the statement I just really couldn't. Considering I have not posted more than a few times over the last year and a half or so and the fact that almost every single blog I follow has stopped posting, I would say that they are fairly correct in their observation. Blogging is just drying up.

The thing is I absolutely love blogging. Obviously I have been distracted from doing it for quite some time now, but that doesn't mean that I do not still enjoy doing it. When I do find the time to write and publish a post I feel so satisfied. It is a form of catharsis I suppose. I am not overly concerned with whether my words are reaching an audience or not, I am mostly writing for me. I am beyond happy that my words do reach people as well, but that is just a happy side effect of me writing.

So why am I writing this now (and on a Sunday to boot)? I am writing it because I have decided that while the art and demand for blogging might be dwindling, I am not going to let it die for me. I have decided that I am going to make more of an effort to regularly post here, and today is the start of this.

Today is also what normally would be the start of NaNoBloMo (National November Blogging Month, which I don't think is the correct acronym but I like this one because it makes me giggle on a very adolescent level). I figured if I was going to jump in I might as well go off the deep end while doing it.

The goal is to blog something every single day for the month of November. This is an especially difficult challenge for me since I am at faire on the weekends, but I have made it work in the past and I can do it again. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we put our mind to it.

This is the challenge I have set for myself, and I want to challenge all of you, my minions, to challenge yourself. Find something that you love and were once passionate about but allowed to slip to the wayside because of life. Find that thing and for the next month do that thing every day for just a few minutes. Carve out the time to sing, dance, draw, write, play, to live your passions.

It is high time we took back a little bit of time for ourselves and for the things that make us happier and stronger.

See you tomorrow.