Gratitude · Life

2017 in review

I went back through my blog and looked for highlights for the year; 2017 was actually pretty awesome for me, horrible politics aside. If you’re curious here’s the list:

2017 in review

Finished my “Joker” Elizabethan outfit 🙂
Got to speak at Azriel’s elevation to the Defense
Got to beg a boon to elevate my apprentice Oliver to the Laurel ❤
Repaired my fairy wings for Give Kids a Smile day, and I got to be the Tooth Fairy once more 🙂
I made two new linen undertunics
I started six pink pussy hoods, finished 3 so far 🙂
I did three issues of The Forum (newsletter of the Cleftlands) go me!
I went to the Laurel Retreat in February
Birthday min-break with sister to Geneva on the Lake
I hosted a Cotehardie Party where I helped four people draft patterns for cotehardies 🙂
I knit a shawl
Met Cassie for dinner, was so great to catch up! We must do it again.
The scribal display at SCA March Dessert Revel was awesome
I moved my blog to WordPress
I went to the Dental School Formal and wore my bridesmaid dress from Malinee’s wedding (1997!) It was tight but I’m still calling it an accomplishment. 🙂
I took my Dad to the Louvre. Major bucket list item scratched off, there!
Bought a new jacket for the trip and it worked very well.
I made a miniature for Dulcia
Went to the Marixa picnic, bought kimono 🙂
Finally finished Isobail’s evergreen scroll
Finished the little Bayeux tapestry embroidery kit Azemars gave me (the archer!) 🙂
I fixed the clapper bell on the birdbath
Was the tooth fairy for Alumni and Development’s ‘All In’ promotion
Took photos at Commencement
Made a photo book of our vacation
I changed banks. Hard to do, so worth it!
Marie and I published a Fat Mermaid comic 🙂 (8 pages)
I got the Award of Saint Alfred, my first ever Baronial Award 🙂
Saw Wonder Woman with friends
Made two award scrolls for NOWM
Survived axiUm Go Live (it went pretty well, actually.)
Husband and I both got the Dragon’s Heart at NOWM
Saw Jo Lavano at Uptown with Frankie
We got Air Conditioning!
I recieved the Dorothy Caplain Staff Excellence Award at work, wow.
My apprentice Isobail is now Baroness of Red Spears
I went to Memphis as a contractor, worked hard, ate well, would like to visit the city again sometime as a tourist
We pulled out that carpet in the attic
I knit ‘swircles’ for a Knitting in Early Modern Europe study
I hosted a jewelry trunk show/tea for JenBo and Heidi
Ran a MiddleWiki update contest
Llrydwyl died 😦
I spun gold thread on the drop spindle
Hubby had his cateract surgery
Big MiddleWiki update thanks to Baroness Verena
Ran archery at Standard Bearers and competed in the rapier tournament and did fairly well I think
I got the High Purity Dragon in Dragon City
Got a new work lappy
Bought a new recurve bow
Mapleside Demo
Went to the Leadership Lab for Women in STEM (AWESOME!)
Shot with the CWRU Archery club
Husband became Kingdom Arts Champion 🙂 ❤
I got to beg the boon for my friend Edyth’s elevation to the Laurel, as her Laurel was otherwise indesposed. very honored!
My team won the archery shoot at Brendoken Fest, my first ever archery prize!
Went to the Dental School’s 125th Anniversary gala
Did Inktober
I had an epiphany about Personal Vision
Dug up galdiola bulbs
Bought high heels and a purse
Kristen and Halim’s Wedding
I won an archery competition at Red Dragon!!!
Made a 1780s polonaise gown
Cleveland Public Library mini Maker demo
Went to Rochester NY for a mini-break, spent time with Boy Apprentice 🙂
Bought myself a bottle of scotch for the first time ever.
Won the gallery prize at the November rapier tournament
Ran an enamelling day
Colleen Nagy said nice things about me
Danced at the Nursing School party
Helped Will and Seadna move
Saw an allergist!


New Year’s Resolutions

I imagine a huge percentage of blog entries this week are going to be about resolutions. I think it is well and good to make resolutions, and you don’t have to just do them on New Year’s day, either.

My advice on New Year’s Resolutions; making a good goal is an art. Pick something you can do and build on. Set something small and achievable because then you can do it and you’ll feel better about it. My most successful ever resolution was when I resolved to floss daily. I totally did it and now it’s a routine. Easy to do, small add to my daily habits and (according to research) big win for my overall health. So pick something small. Don’t resolve to loose 10 pounds, instead resolve to walk 10 more steps a day. Don’t resolve to give up sweets or soda, resolve to have a small glass instead of a whole can of pop with dinner. And once you achieve that, it’s easier to improve on it with the next resolution.

You walk to Mordor one step at a time, after all.

Now for myself, last year I resolved to improve my daily step count and daily average minutes of exercise, and to make an appointment with an allergist. Success on both fronts! I put off the allergist thing longer than I should have. My regular annual physical was post-poned. It was to be in May, but I ended up doing it in November. oops. But I did ask for a referral to an allergist and got one. With a reasonable month and a half procrastination I called and got an appointment right away last week! Woot. I have now officially been tested and have shots to get. Not surprisingly I am allergic to dust mites, leaf mold, ragweed and a host of other pollen.  I am looking forward to a spring of less sneezing. 🙂

For the steps/activity: I am very proud. Over 10,000 steps per day average! woot!

  • 2014: 8,220.37, 25 minutes
  • 2015: 8, 684.31, 28 minutes
  • 2016: 9,218.81, 30 minutes
  • 2017: 10,989.99, 34 minutes

So new resolution for 2018 # 1 is to again improve those numbers. I hope to fence more and start up yoga again regularly for my back and that will help with the daily exercise minute total for sure. (This year sadly that was mostly walking.) Also I need to move the exercise equipment in the basement and dust it off so it’s accessible.

Second resolution, already in the works, is to enter the annual Research ShowCase here at work. I anxiously await their call for abstracts! If I’m not selected, well, at least I shall apply and call that a win. Must go brush up my abstract. I’ve re-written it several times already, heh.

I’ve had several things in mind after my navel-gazing 360 review last fall. Things I need to work on (these are not resolutions, just things to work on going forward):

  • Bringing conflict out into the open (being more direct), do not avoid conflict.
  • Set up some Skype or other video-chat time with my remote apprentices to improve communications. Would like to plan a ‘family gathering’ this year.
  • Negotiation – pay attention for when negotiation is possible and practice using it. You get zero percent of the things you don’t ask for.
  • Saying No (always hard to do)
  • Forgiving myself for not being perfect. You have to be bad at things before you are good at them and it’s OK to be bad at stuff, young lady!

Resolution number three is to change my work environment, either by changing the team I have today or by moving to a new team. Belonging is important to me, and I don’t really feel a part of the team today. I’ve already started touching base with my team-mates each day and I think it’s improving the atmosphere somewhat. We’ll see if I can turn this sow’s ear into a silk purse or not, meanwhile going to reach out to the higher ups and let them know I’m available for new opportunities, ya know?

Good plan, Bridget Jones. 😉 But now I’ve told it to the world so maybe I’ll keep on track, eh? That’s another part of resolutions, accountability. If you never tell anyone it’s easy to sweep under the rug.  Love to you all for keeping me honest and accountable. *mwah!*




Weekend Update

Saturday was the birthday of my parental unit. This year we decided to take him to the art museum for the Jazz Age exhibit. It was fun. University Circle was busy though with the WinterFest happening also that weekend. Missed a rendezvous avec notre pere after the exhibit due to traffic so I went over to see him on Sunday too so he could open his presents and get a sandwich at the local brewpub.

So low key weekend, which was good since I was ill on Friday (the thrill of the rapier tourney on Wednesday apparently lowered my immune system or something.)  We did however get the Christmas village set up so we are now at 99% decked halls. Also I helped the hubby test embroidery patterns for the new A&S Champion cape he’s making. I think it’s going to look absolutely smashing. 🙂

Not much to see here, move along.


Turkey Day Break

Had one of the best Thanksgiving Breaks ever, I think. Lovely, relaxed dinner with the parental unit who as always did a fabulous job on the cooking. He’s finally perfected his candied yams as well, they were divine this year! ❤ I love my Dad and his Turkey-cooking prowess! We also watched Star Trek so bonus! 🙂

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent largely on putting up our extensive collection of Holiday Decor. There were a few grumpy moments when the husband was pushing for us to get it done and I was “I want a break!” stomping feet and pouting, heh. We ate out every night like bad kids, watched movies and shopped as well. We got a new storage shelf for the pantry closet, and it’s sad how much that makes me happy! A tidy pantry is a joy forever.

Bought a birthday present for the Parental Unit, as usual I was surprised by how fast his birthday follows Thanksgiving. It’s like a tradition of its own assuming there’s an extra week between!

I got sewing done, and we cat sat for my friends Arron and Steve’s adorable cat. We went for several long walks in the crisp autumn air.

We got almost all of the decor up and I can now state proudly that I am living in Christmas Cottage once more! All that remains is the ceramic village and a few smaller items that we may or may not set out.



Mini-break: Rochester NY

Thursday the hubby and I had dentist appointments and doctor appointments and once that was done we hit the road for Rochester NY for a little mini-break vacation. 🙂

Hubby found an absolutely charming B&B in a house build in 1907, lots of chintz and antiques, he was in heaven. 🙂

We met Azemars (my boy apprentice) and his wife Caitlin for dinner at The Old Toad, a very English pub. I had bangers and mash and a crabbies and felt like I was in jolly old England for sure. 🙂

Friday hubby and I took a great walk in the morning and found a park with a waterfall near our hotel, (we took Marie there the next day too) then we went to the conservatory, which was fun, cute little quail and turtles! We also walked through the Highland park and went to a cute 1950s diner nearby for lunch and then searched for antique stores. I bought some hat pins and a pen holder. We had dinner at Azemars and Caitlin’s house with Marie and Dulcia; pizza and card games. It was bliss. 🙂 Plus they have a very cute cat.

Saturday we went to the Eastman Kodak museum which was fun, and walked to this great french bistro for lunch, followed by coffee. We went back to the Conservatory so Marie and Dulcia could appreciate the cute quail, and Axemars showed us a local ‘castle’ with a beautiful sunken garden.  Dinner was at Azemars and Caitlin’s again, this time baguettes with cheese, nuts and sausage, very yummy. And we watched “Forged in Fire” hubby was again, very happy.

Breakfast at the B&B was quite excellent, each day it was different, Sunday was the best; apple bread pudding! (he called it French Toast, but it was bread pudding. OMG.)

Drive home, not great, but it is what it is. We very wisely took Monday off of work to recover. Got grocery shopping done and some other errands, plus sleeping in (very important!)

Happy to have a 2 day week this week. 🙂

Costuming · Life · SCA

Weekend Update

You know it was a busy week when I write the Weekend Update post on Thursday…

Saturday was a big local demo downtown for the Cleveland Public Library’s Mini-Maker Fair. I got a carpool together with Nadjezda who lives in Euclid too, and had the brilliant idea to meet for breakfast with our husbands which was fun and we must do it again. 🙂 She was a great carpool companion as we figured out where we were going and where to put my car!

The demo was long and grueling, I was tired but hopefully somewhat chipper and pleasant as I talked about the Middle Ages and worked on frantically finishing sewing my dress for the party that night. I did fence so go me. 🙂

Got home around 5 something and sat in a chair for a while staring at the sky going ‘duh’ while I decompressed, heh. Marie came over and we got dressed for the Tavern party. She was wearing my old dress and I wore the new one I just finished sewing! Alas it gaped in the front. I think I need to add a bit of stiffening to the edge and/or more hooks and eyes to prevent that. For the emergency basis Marie whip-stitched me into the thing and we found a bit of lace to use as a fichu and cover the worst spot where the front opening bent over the transition of corset and bust.

By the time we got to the 18th Century Tavern Party my husband was HANGRY, fortunately for us we still arrived before food was served so he could not blame his hangry-ness on how long it took us to get dressed 😉 His move improved dramatically after the salad course.

The party was MUCH FUN as usual. Sunday was spent in recovery and running errands. We went to the mall just to get some walking in as it was cold and wet.

Monday Tuesday and most of Wednesday I was finishing up the Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Leadership Lab which was just wonderful. I’m a bit sad the class is over, honestly. It was a great experience and I’d recommend it to anyone. Weatherhead Executive Education does a bang up job.

I did, however, gain weight over the three days. Three pounds. One each day (so not fair.) Their catering is quite fabulous. Anyway, went fencing last night because dammit, gotta work that off! Am fencing much better, I think. Feels good to be improving!


360 Review Results

So at work they signed me up for a Leadership Lab for Women in Science Technology Engineering and Math and it’s been great. I’ve really enjoyed it. One thing that frightened me was the 360 Review. We had to have our managers, coworkers, direct reports, clients and ‘other’ evaluate us. Since I don’t have any direct reports I wanted to use the ‘other’ category for sure and decided to use my SCA apprentices as people I have mentored/are mentoring I felt it might be valuable.

It was SCARY AS ALL HELL to submit to this! Remember my default is to assume everyone hates me so… yeah. Scary.

I got the results, I read them… got a little angry at something my manager marked me down on (in the end I think it’s just a heads up to me that that aspect of me is not visible to him.) and didn’t think much more about it until I met with my coach on Friday.

She said she sees a lot of these and that it was very, very unusual for someone to have such high scores on everything! I am exceptional! Woah.  We had a great conversation about the results and what they meant and how to continue my personal development and such and the time just flew by.  I left the meeting feeling pumped and powerful!

I suppose I should not be surprised that my apprentices rated me highly… after all, despite my flaws they all purposefully sought a relationship with me, right? The clients were the most flattering group of all which makes me very happy. ❤