May 21st, 2012


Investiture - Thursday and Friday

Well, where to pick up?  When last I left you all, I was sewing like a madwoman trying to make new outfits from the skin out for three people for Investiture this past weekend.  I’m still sewing.  There’s a bunch of finish work that I deferred – I’d still like to finish all the seams in the lining fabric, I need to adjust one of Bob’s sleeves, I need to tack the linings down… none of that *needed* to be done for Saturday, but it needs to be done eventually.  I’ll get there.

So, to summarize the previous three weeks, I would get up (or try to) at quarter past six, drop Charlotte at day care, and be in the office for eight.  Leave at five, go home, and sew until one or two in the morning.  Lather, rinse repeat.  For three weeks.

I got a little addicted to Craig Fergusson.  That man is Not Right.

Thursday I took a half day off of work, drove down to Brookfield, and picked up mom’s Jeep.  I didn’t get out of there as quickly as I wanted, but still made good time.  Then I came home and… wait for it… started sewing.  Shocking, isn’t it?  I’d forgotten to take the garage door opener out of my car, so I left the Jeep in the driveway – I figured that I would have Bob kick it into the garage when I got home.  That was a mistake, because it caused a full Charlotte meltdown.  They got home, she saw grandma’s car, and was convinced that meant that grandma and grandpa were there.  She was officially Not Happy to come in and find me.  It was a little icky.  Not as icky as Friday morning, though.

Friday morning came after another 2:00am sewing session.  Weeks before, Bob had told me that he was taking the day off to help, and I’d been counting on that.  He’d asked me for a list of what I needed him to do, and I’d given it to him a couple of weeks previous – and he’d been pretty thoroughly ignoring it.  Basically, I’d asked him to get the house sufficiently picked up and clean for our overnight company, and since he’d deferred almost everything on it, *I* figured he’d be doing that all on Friday – along with pulling together the stuff we needed to take and loading it in the Jeep.  isabeau_lark was coming up early to help me finish up the sewing, and I needed to be doing that, not pulling poles and hauling them to the garage.  Well, apparently somewhere along the line he changed his mind, but hadn’t told me.  I found out when he woke me up to tell me that he was heading out to drop Charlotte off, and should he call me from work to make sure I was moving?

Work?  From WORK?!!!

I *had* been planning to grab another thirty minutes of sleep, but that was like a shot of icewater straight to the veins.  I’d been cruising along thinking that I was in reasonably good shape to be done in time to go to bed at a decent hour on Friday.  With that phrase, I inherited another six to eight hours of work.  It’s been a long time since I had a full blown anxiety attack, but I did – complete with having trouble breathing.  I left him a voice mail to call me when he got to the office – I didn’t know how to put the loveseat back together.  You see, the loveseat was a casualty of the cat wars, and on bright sunny days when we were home we had soaked it down in Nature’s Miracle and then set it out in the sun on the deck to bake.  The problem was that he had taken it apart, so I didn’t know which piece went where in what direction, and without it we didn’t have enough seating.

He decided to take that vacation day after all.

Do you know how much of the house you can clean when you have blind panic driving you?  By the time he got home at 10:00, I had tidied and scrubbed two bathrooms, picked up and cleaned the dining room, picked up the kitchen and scrubbed the countertops, picked up the library, put away my painting stuff, made up the futon, and cleared off the washer and dryer.  When he got home I set him to getting Charlotte’s room squared away, the air mattress set up in our room, and the car loaded.  I went back to sewing.

While I was up pressing Bob’s cote to do the hem, Isabeau arrived.  I got into mine, she marked the hem, and she started in on it before she headed out to meet some other friends she wanted to see while she was in Connecticut.  I got Bob’s hem done.  I’ve lost what happened after Isabeau got back from her lunch and before I left for the site – I have no idea.  But somewhere around 5:30 I headed for New Britain with the stuff for the site and as much of our own stuff as I wanted to stash in advance.  The problem was that I wanted to get as set up as possible for the reception for vynehorn’s laurel – and there she was.  Asking about the random stuff in my trunk, I might add, and me too tired to dissemble.  Lucky for me, she was distracted.  We got the changing areas set up, and she announced that she needed my car unloaded because while she was terribly sorry she had a lot to do yet tonight and really needed to get home.


We unloaded me car, she left, and we got down to the serious business of figuring out where to put the reception.  I had originally wanted a corner of the cafeteria, but the courtyard had been freshly mowed – and while the azaleas were done and the roses hadn’t begun, it was too pretty to pass up.  So I made a pile of the things I had brought – pop-up, table, tablecloth, cistern – we located someone to put in charge of setting it up in the morning, and I headed home to pack the rest of my stuff.

I had dinner when I got there, and tried the dress on Charlotte that Vynehorn had been finishing for me – it fit perfectly, and Charlotte was over the moon to dance in her new dress.  We got her to bed, I got the rest of the clothes and such packed, Jan (our other overnight company from New Jersey) arrived, and it was all pretty much done but for conversation and going to bed.  I stayed up too late, but it was so damn nice to just sit and chat – and not sew anything – that I couldn’t resist.

That’s when I discovered that I was in trouble.  I couldn’t get to sleep.  Too tired, too generally caffeinated, earlier than I’d become accustomed to, and my body wouldn’t cooperate.  I was dead tired, and just lying there.  Eventually I feel asleep.  The alarm went off way too early.


Investiture - Saturday and Sunday

Saturday morning dawned way too early, and I wasn’t moving very quickly.  Also, my motivation was fairly low.  I was exhausted, I’d had a few weeks of being bombarded with all the people who *weren’t* coming, and I had absolutely *no idea* of what we were supposed to be doing, despite trying to get someone, anyone to tell me.  I’m a person who needs a plan.  And a backup plan.  And in a perfect world, a fallback position from the backup plan.  All of the “don’t worry, we’ll work it out that day” that I’d been getting shoved down my throat had ratcheted the stress level well up into the red zone.  And then they’d crawl up my ass about being stressed.  Can’t win for losing.

At any rate, we got to the site about thirty minutes later than planned, and then we sat around waiting for someone to please tell us what we were supposed to be doing.  That didn’t work so well for Charlotte – she was miserable.  Eventually, I took her for a walk to try to stop the whining, and she went happily out into the courtyard, finally contented.  Naturally, that’s when I got pulled back in.  Full screaming meltdown.  So now I have a kid who’s been cooped up in a side room for two hours having a full tantrum right before I need her to sit quietly in public for forty-five minutes or so.  Best part?  Then we sat around for another ten minutes or so waiting for someone to tell us what to do.

The next thirty minutes involved a lot of people in bad moods.  We’ll leave it at that.

Not much to say about court/the investiture.  We hung out at the back of the hall, we walked in, got hats, sat down.  Apparently we could have done some business right then, but since we’d only found out about that option approximately an hour previous, we had nothing planned and no time to figure anything out.  Royal court was nice and included the thing that I did enjoy that day – vynehorn’s laurel, which was very well deserved.  People who know me know that I generally don’t approve of diverse arts laurels – the whole idea defeats the concept of “mastery.”  But there’s a tipping point for me, and she’s passed it.  If I weren’t behind it I would have smiled and offered congratulations, but I certainly wouldn’t have threatened mayhem to protect my prerogative to a) create the document and b) organize the whole thing.  People said nice things, the regalia all came together perfectly, and people actually figured out the neat thing I did with the document.  It was a fantastically dense piece of legalese that I stole damn near word for word from a couple of sixteenth century documents.  I try not to do that often, but for the right occasion, it’s fabulous.

It damn near killed me not to talk about it here while I was working on it.  I’ll post a picture as soon as I take one…

Charlotte did fairly well during court.  There was a bit of a fuss at one point when she wanted Bob’s chair, but I distracted her to sit on the stool, and she was happy to make that her spot.  What got to be a problem was that she decided that she needed her night-night blanket – in the middle of Vynehorn’s laurel.  I really couldn’t leave and go get it.  I couldn’t send Auntie Camma, since she was reading testimony from Master Allyn.  She headed down the wrong stairs, and ended up in the hallway.  Luckily anarra took her in hand, and it was all okay.

After court we wandered around a bit, and tried to stop by and see what was going on.  I got to Vynehorn’s reception, which had graciously been catered by jtdiii, to fabulous effect.  I *loathe* asking busy people to do things for me, but I was up against a wall.  It was a fabulous spread, including my favorite tarragon chicken pies.  I’m a fan of tarragon.  I wandered on at that point, and Charlotte stayed with her sister, beginning an afternoon of “who has my child?”  I got out to the fencing and the rattan fighting, but never made it to the archery. 

Shortly after that we were due to report back to the royal room, which we dutifully did, and sat and waited to be told what to do.  Somewhere in there Her Highness arrived – she seems like a lovely lady – and we all sat for a while longer.  I wasn’t entirely sure what we were waiting for, but it turned out we were waiting for champions to show up.  Wyatt arrived just as we were about to leave without him, and off we went.  First court didn’t go too badly, for the first time out of the gate, and most of the missteps weren’t us.   When we were going to announce the heavy list winner, the marshal wasn’t in the hall.  We moved on, and he arrived, so that resolved itself.  Fencing was announced without a hitch, but apparently a prize was never arranged.  Archery left me irked.  There had been a serious dearth of communication about the archery – at least to us.  As of the last barony meeting, we needed a prize.  Then on the list, we didn’t need a prize.  We brought one anyway to be safe, and it turned out that we did need a prize – except all of a sudden we needed three and we had one – and found out IN court.  That was awkward.  All stuff that I’ll likely micromanage from now on, so that shouldn’t happen again.  Bob presented an archery ranking badge that we knew about, but after we’d moved on, it turned out there was another that we didn’t know about.  Also awkward.  Not as awkward as the whole Runnymeade thing though.  That was one of the things on the docket that we didn’t put there, and didn’t know what it was or why it was there.  Okay – I hadn’t gotten input on anything else, just wait and see.  Except that none of them came to the event.  Ateno and Lassair were there because we had asked them specifically to come and help with the brewing.  So they got there, looked at us, and said “You called us.”  Except we hadn’t.  Bob covered with something about thanking them for coming up to help, but WOW was that uncomfortable.  And awkward.  And embarrassing.  I’m not quite sure what that was all about, but since they hadn’t originally planned on making the trip, the idea of what that would have been like if they hadn’t been there makes my skin crawl.

We wrapped up fairly quickly after a few more missteps, and got the hell out of there.  I had vague feelings of guilt about not helping with cleanup, but I just really wanted to be gone.  We hit Great Taste in New Britain for dinner with isabeau_lark, Jan, and Erica.  I’ve heard good things about them from co-workers, and I’ve wanted to try them for a while.  The reports weren’t wrong – really good food, fantastic service, and Charlotte loved the fish tank.  We’re definitely going back there again.

Sunday we went down to my parents’ to return the Jeep.  I actually could have skipped making that whole round trip – I borrowed the Jeep due to all the dire warnings of all the things we were going to need to bring home.  Honestly, I didn’t need a larger vehicle to bring home a gingerbread cake and a box of quince paste, but all the extra room did make the packing easier.  Had a nice day with mom and dad, came home, and went to bed early.

So that’s over and done with.  Now I just need to catch up on my sleep.