Wherein our heroine awakens from sleeping the sleep of one who was running around in her underwear policing the tent ropes in the bucketing down rain while her family slept the sleep of those who don’t have to get up and do such things…
Monday dawned… better. The front that brought us the smashing rainstorm in the wee hours, also brought us some cooler air, which was nice. I wouldn’t say that I was feeling exactly energetic, but I was certainly more spritely than I was when the heat and humidity were hammering me to the ground. Which was good, because I needed to get moving a bit sooner than I had been. With great trepidation I decided to wear the red-dress-of-perpetually-bleeding-dye. The first year I wore that dress at a Pennsic, it turned a chemise pink just from me sweating. Later on that day I got caught in a downpour on my way to merimask’s merchant booth. You know how you see people running in the rain, in the hope of not getting too wet? I was strolling. Once you’re wet to the skin, why hurry? She may well remember the year I came strolling in dripping like a drowning victim. That entire chemise went blotchy pink. Rit Dye Remover took it out, if anyone cares. I worried that it would draw rain, but it was my last unworn dress. So I had my leisurely breakfast, got Charlotte pulled together, and headed off for my 12:00 class.
Monday was a bad class day, decision wise – at one point there were five simultaneous classes that I was interested in. I reluctantly decided to forego the class on Early European Patchwork, because it was taught by Sarah Davies. My theory was that she’s local enough that I’ll have lots of opportunities to chat with her, and it was up against a couple of interesting classes relevant to calligraphy, which is my central skill - so off I went.
Most. Annoying. Instructor. EVER.
He had an annoying voice, but I’ll give him slack on that one – there’s not much you can do about the voice you came with. I’ve heard myself on my answering machine, and I have *no* space for casting stones. But the annoyance factor was present nonetheless.
He was very disorganized, and tended to go off on tangents – not all of which were relevant, and there’s no excuse for that. The time spent discussing in depth how you had a quill knife made for you, by whom, about other people who used to make knives, etc., etc. could have been better spent either telling us about period references to said tool, or better yet, where we could get one ourselves. This is a man who could have used an outline to organize his class and keep it on track, because he went off on so many tangents that he skipped steps.
He would solicit alternate methodologies from the class, and then talk over them.
The rant about Homeland Security/INS was *completely* uncalled for. Dude, all you had to say was “I’m sorry that I don’t have a batch of ink this year, I’ve been busy with real life.” Five minutes going on about the evil government was five minutes of my vacation wasted, and it *seriously* irritated me. If *I* were a touch less polite I would have gotten up and walked away. But I’m trying to be a better person.
After “class,” I decided to take advantage of my child-free state, and roamed a little bit more of the merchants, as there were a couple of areas in Old Market I hadn’t examined yet. That’s when I saw it: a rigid heddle loom. With a floor stand. That breaks down. For under $400. I chatted with the merchant for a bit, and she told me seductive things about it – how it would support four heddles. How she was doing the majority of her own weaving on it rather than her big floor loom these days. How it would all break down and fit in a yoga bag. How, with practice, you could break it down with weaving on it for transport and then successfully set it back up. Oh… temptation. Because I want to make pretty things that I can’t buy. But almost $400… That definitely needed to be thought over. I wandered a little bit more, and headed back to camp where Charlotte was very happy to see me. That’s always nice. So I collected them, and we headed to New Market. Charlotte had acclimatized enough that she insisted on walking, but she also insisted on taking her night-night blanket with her.
First stop was Billy and Charlies for a proper spoon for herself, and then over to Future Relics to say “hello” to Billy and Alaric. He still likes the laurel scroll that I made for him, despite how ridiculously huge it is. Mostly Bob got to chat while I watched Charlotte. From there we headed to Medieval Moccasins, and I found a pair of more period shoes for Charlotte. No, they’re not dead on, but they’ll do. Certainly much better than the purple Croc knock-offs she’d been wearing. Trying to explain the concept of “get up and walk around to see if they feel okay” to a two year old was… challenging.
Then we managed to stop in at Panther Pavilions to ask a few questions about our tent. The big thing I wanted to know was if it was possible to make some alterations to a tent this old, and as I expected the answer was “it isn’t really a good idea.” Fair enough. I also took the opportunity to ask about my drips from the previous night, and they suggested the seam seal they sell through the catalog. That works. Not answers I wanted, but okay. At that point, Charlotte was starting to come unglued, so we headed back home. However, in a stroke of brilliance, I detoured through the produce stand, and presented my unhappy little girl with a bag of carrots – which transformed her into a very happy little girl indeed.
Dinner was had, I sat in on the camp scotch party and listened to the conversation while got another chemise and dress hemmed for Charlotte, and I headed to bed.
At 4:00am or so, another big thunderstorm rolled through. It was the same drill as the night before, only moreso. I loosened the ropes so that the fly would gutter, and started checking for leaks. This time was more serious – I put the new pitcher under the “usual” leak, rather than pulling back the groundcloth. I put the new basin under the second largest of the leaks that was out in the floor area. I again put towels up in the attic space to soak up those leaks. The problem was the remaining leak – it was a series of drips along the roof seam. Right over… me. I finally woke Bob up to see if he had any thoughts. We tried moving the bed, but that didn’t actually get us anything. Finally we laid down two trash bag on the bed, then rolled up the comforter and laid it on top of the trash bags, under the drips. The idea was that the comforter would absorb the water like a big sponge, the trash bags would keep the mattress and sheets dry, and in the morning I could spread the comforter out in the sun to dry. It worked.
Tuesday morning dawned not as hot, and since there was a 4:00 class called“Weaving on the Edge” I was going to go to come hell or high water (which we were working on), we went out to run our errands in the early afternoon. Being concerned about the weather, I took all the laundry off the tent lines before we headed out – including the red-dress-of-perpetually-bleeding-dye. They took the aerials on Tuesday this year – for one thing, there was a plane flying really low over camp all morning on Tuesday. Also, you can see that red dress on the tent ropes in one of the close ups.
The first stop was back at thatpotteryguy for a candle lantern that I had been eyeing. I wanted some non-electric illumination for the tent, and that fit the bill nicely. We stopped nearby so that Charlotte could watch some of the musicians - she loved them all - she was hypnotized by this lady - I don't even know what she's playing. Charlotte just loved that she was "singing."
After that, we headed up to the University tent so that I could check on my class – I couldn’t remember if it was limited or not, and if it was I had every intention of parking myself in front up to an hour early if necessary. On the way, we stopped at Panther to ask if they HAD any of that seam seal, and acquired some. We headed to the University from there, and ran into jofglastingburi and her husband on the way. We stopped for a nice chat in the shade, and then continued on, since Johanna was interested in the class also. Alas, it was cancelled – I was truly bummed about that one. At that point I decided that I wanted to salve my disappointment with ice cream, so we pulled the wagon in and got ourselves some. About halfway through, the thunder started getting ominous, and I began to contemplate the wisdom of pelting back to camp – the front door of our tent was open, although I *had* closed the back. The back isn’t under a rain fly, so I don’t take chances with it. The problem is that one can’t really “pelt” with Charlotte and the wagon. So we continued to enjoy our ice cream, and the heavens opened.
Charlotte was not amused. Apparently she thinks that she’ll melt if she gets rained on. I was just glad that I had taken the red-dress-of-perpetually-bleeding-dye OFF of the tent lines, or my tent might have gone pink! We waited, and waited, and waited, and waited a bit more, and had a lovely chat with a couple from House Three Skulls. Very entertaining folks. Eventually the weather moved on. Now, normally I don’t approve of going barefoot at Pennsic. But we were clearly going to be wading on the way back to camp, and my turnshoes have enormous holes in the bottoms. So I took off my shoes, hiked up my skirts, and off we went. Everything in camp was fine. We hung around for a bit assessing the weather, and when it seemed like it wouldn’t shower on us for a bit, cracked open that can of seam seal and sealed the two seams that had been leaking. You can imagine what anything that lists MEK as the appropriate solvent smells like. It doesn’t get much more “well ventilated” than the middle of a field, and the fumes were still getting to me. We got done with that and recovered (i.e. I took a nap), and decided that we *just* had time before dinner to hike back down to Smoke and Fire to pick up a pair of x-chairs that we could leave in storage out there. Now we’ll have some nice period style chairs for camp, and I won’t have to haul them out and back from Connecticut.
Yes, it was one big shopping trip this year. Good of you to notice. J
After dinner, Bob took Charlotte next door to An Dubhaigeainn for the ice cream social for the kids. We’d been invited by five separate people. Apparently she was quite keen on it until she saw the crowd. Then she velcroed to daddy’s leg. I think she’ll do better next year. When they got back, she had her bath, we socialized a bit, and she and I went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night because it was *cold.* I kept trying to cover Charlotte up, but every time I did, she would start thrashing and protesting “no cover me!” and then go back to sleep once all the covers were off. I, on the other hand, pulled the covers up, and inched a little closer to the furnace I married.
Having spent a couple of hours sealing the tent seams, it didn’t rain again for the rest of Pennsic.
And the mornings and the evenings were the fourth and fifth days.