It was a fairly good weekend.
Friday afternoon was fun with weather. I was driving home after work right along the storm front – I was running to the north, and it was sweeping in from the west. There was one point in Southington when I was directly under the edge of the front – it was clear and sunny to my right, and dark and ominously swirly to my left. It was an eerily beautiful cloud front on the leading edge, as the sun shone in underneath. It was all black swirly clouds above, and a shadowed yet sun-washed landscape below. All of the edges of things were very sharp and crisp – everything had a knife edge, and nothing was soft. I wish I hadn’t been driving so that I could have stared at my leisure.
By the way – people who are afraid of driving in bad weather need to get off the street and out of the way of those of us who aren’t. I was trying to make time to beat that thing home, and slow scared people kept getting in my way.
We didn’t get the truly awful weather that came in just north of the house. I guess our town had a microburst, but it wasn’t near us. There was a lot of thunder, and it screwed up my schedule for loading the car, but it all worked out okay.
Saturday dawned hot and humid. I got to sleep in a couple of hours, so I missed the "crud, its raining despair," but the air was still being issued in slices. We all climbed into garb and hit the road a touch later than I’d intended, and got to Wickham Park for the event at just around 10:30. All things considered, it was a decent day. We did all of the available weather forms: hot, humid, rain, steam, sun, mosquitoes, and other precipitation. By "other precipitation" I mean large, potentially fatal tree limbs. We were all sitting around talking and eating when there was the distinctive cracking noise of a tree deciding that it has had enough. I was looking around trying to spot the movement – because if I had to dodge I had to try to get Charlotte out of the way also, which would have been a neat trick. Honestly, had it been closer and headed towards us, by the time I spotted it I think we would have been toast. It was a pretty huge, long dead branch that came down from quite high, and crashed onto one of the picnic tables in the grove next to us – where we weren’t set up because there was so much more standing water over there. Lucky, that. Thank you vynehorn . It looked like that branch had been dead for quite a while – it was barkless and punky, but still solid enough to have done some serious damage if we’d been set up on that side. Literally moments later, maintenance came by, we flagged them down, they pulled out a chainsaw, removed the limb, and it was all over but for the stories and the sawdust.
It was a much better turnout than I had been anticipating, given the weather and the general level of apathy. We had, as usual for the barony, far more food than we actually needed, and everything was really yummy. I really want to try to replicate the tarragon chicken pies that jtdiii made, because they were really good. The only reason I didn’t polish off most of one single-handedly was because it would have been rude. We had the two beech groves reserved, but when the rain started we threw up all the pop-ups people had brought, and even after it stopped we ended up clustered together underneath them. Also, between the citronella candles and the quantity of people soaked down in bug spray, the mosquitoes weren’t as thick where the people were. At one point I stepped out of the crowd to go try to spot where the branch had broken off, and was swarmed. I beat feet back to the protection of the crowd.
It was generally just good conversation with food and humidity. John told some very funny stories, Baroness Aelfgifu gave us a quick show and tell lecture on painted floorcloths in preparation for the workshop this coming weekend, a few new-to-the-barony people stopped by – it was a really nice afternoon. Charlotte had two milestones. She got her first two mosquito bites – one on each cheek. I hit them both with Afterbite *immediately,* so she didn’t have a reaction as far as I can tell. She seemed thirsty, so I offered her some water in a sippy cup, which was rejected out of hand (we’re starting to work on switching her to a cup.) However, she was more than happy to drink straight from the cup, less the "sippy" cap. That was gratifying, if a bit messy. We’ll keep working on that, with water. If I can skip that phase of her perpetually toting around a bottle/sippy cup, that would be very cool indeed.
At about 6:00 or so we all piled in our cars to head home. I wish it hadn’t been so disgusting out, but it was a nice time regardless. When we got home I put Charlotte straight into the sink for a bath to wash off the bug spray and sweat while Bob unloaded the car. Then he gave her the first half of her dinner while I hit the shower, and I finished up while he hit the shower. We had some dinner, and lounged a bit.
Sunday morning I slept in for a truly decadent amount of time. That pretty much set the stage for a day of getting nothing done. I sat on the couch or played with Charlotte all day. She was a very happy baby yesterday for some reason. She played with her toys, she played with me, and she learned to play with the cats! She had worked her way over to the basket with the cat toys, and to distract her from putting them in her mouth I handed her the feather wand, which she proceeded to wave around like a majorette. That attracted the cats, and the next thing you know Becket was swatting and pouncing. That made Charlotte squeal (in tones that would bend metal,) and wave it harder. It was hilarious, and everyone had a good time. As Vynehorn observed, now both sides realize that the other is an interactive toy. This has good potential.
She’s also begun to crawl a little (badly) and to pull herself up on people and furniture. Goodbye life as I’ve known it.
Note to self – order baby gates today.
So here I sit today, dealing with flight arrangements, company tours, office politics, and business licenses that I really need to get back to. I need a vacation. Desperately.