Last night, as we sat there, watching TV and I could hear the fireworks going off elsewhere in town I turned to my husband and wistfully said “Doesn’t it make you sad to not see the fireworks?” He was surprised, he didn’t realize that I’d wanted to see them. Once again I was far too subtle. I swear I did mention fireworks several times, but he didn’t recall. (Probably because I did it in a very soft, casual way like “Have you heard when the city is doing fireworks this year?” and dropping the subject when I didn’t get a response. I really must learn to enunciate my wishes.)

Husband was mortified. We went up to the attic to see if we could see the fireworks from the attic window; alas too many trees. He promised me next year we will see them. And yes, he really doesn’t care to. Fireworks for him are crowds and mosquitoes. But then, he got to see them every summer as a child. We only got to see fireworks a few times. We always wanted to see them, but in the Mom years we didn’t.  And when we were with our Dad, he took us to a large barbecue his friends did every fourth of July, which only had a few small amateur fireworks, nothing like the big city displays. We did love the pig roast, don’t get me wrong, but the fireworks denied are a strong pull.



On Insecurity

So all of that navel-gazing and talking with my sister and I’ve realized a lot of what drives my depression is plain old insecurity.

I shouldn’t be surprised, my insecurities have insecurities!

When I was a small child my mother told me that she hated me, I was stupid, lazy, worthless, ugly, etc. etc. etc. And kids believe what they are told, sadly. I was sure that I was horrible, worthless, stupid. All those things she said.

One day in third grade I wrote it out, “I hate myself” over and over again on the back of one of my school assignments. Maybe it was a cry for help, maybe it was just the only paper I had, the only way of expressing myself. And I was rewarded by being called into the principal’s office.  I remember a bunch of well meaning adults asking me why I had written that… and I had no answer. No words to offer. I couldn’t figure out what they wanted me to say. I’d written it because it was true.

I still fight this struggle; this belief that I am bad. wrong. flawed. Someone else would have done that better. Anyone else would have. Every stumble or mistake is a confirmation of this, every success forgotten quickly or “I should have done better”

Also, it’s more important that other people have fun. I am not important. My feelings don’t matter.

It’s made me very careful and introspective. A good troubleshooter, I always start with what steps *I* did. I like to think I’m a kind person and a good host. But also it means I don’t let myself join in the fun, because the fun is not for me. It’s for people who matter. (Which is anyone else.)

And then I am sad because I did not join in the fun. When I was Chamberlain I purposefully did not do any of the fun things, left them to the others. I was taking care of them. And I was miserable. Why didn’t I join the fun? What’s the matter with me?

It has also made me very appreciative; any time anyone thanks me or is nice to me I’m surprised and full of shock and awe, because how wonderful they are to acknowledge such a wretch as I!

I have been trying to acknowledge my strengths. Acknowledge and own my successes as well as I do my failures. (Oh am I good at owning THOSE!) I am actually kind of awesome. I am skilled. I am empathetic. I am creative. I am adaptive. I am patient.

I do not suck at everything. I am good at my job. I am good at many things.

Next step is to believe that other people actually do like me. It’s hard, when you have that negative self-talk all the time. How can they like me, when I don’t like me? Shush, lizard-brain! I will like myself. And trust that other people like me too, just as I am, warts and all.


Life · SCA

Weekend Update – NOWM

This weekend was our largest local event, Northern Oaken War Maneuvers.

My dread of this event was very high this year. And I’ve spent much of the weekend staring at my own navel trying to figure out why. If you look back on my blog posts, they’re largely positive. Though a lot of that was just putting on a happy face for the sake of others.

I used to love this event. Then I became the local Baroness.

Every year as Baroness the event was horrid. Every. Year. Just awful.  The exact opposite of fun. Deleting the long details of exactly how it was awful. That doesn’t matter really. Plus I stressed out about every local event because I’m me and I worry about shit.

It’s funny, because you’d think I’d love this event. It’s the event I got my Award of Arms at. The event I was made a Baroness at. The event I was elevated to the Laurel at.

But mostly it’s the event I don’t belong at.

I walk around, watching other people be happy. And not belonging.

I hoped being in charge of scribes for the day would help… but it didn’t. The scribe’s room was empty all day. None of the camaraderie and hanging out of ages past.

In the end the problem is me. It’s in my own head this feeling of not belonging. Being unwanted. Derian did go out of his way to shout across the field that he was glad to see me, that was sweet of him. And Jacquline came into the scribe’s room to give me a hug. She’s a sweetheart.  It’s still hard to shake this feeling.



France recap

I imagine the trip to France will end up being several blog posts, but I figured I’d start with some key things I learned or was reminded of on this trip:

  1. Pack sunscreen. Use sunscreen. I knew this, I totally did, why did I not??? *sigh* Also: Pack sunburn ointment. A sun hat would’ve been nice to have too.
  2. The Parisians have embraced the sneaker! Yes! You can wear sneakers and not instantly look like a tourist! (Note: these are mostly hipster style low tennies, not the giant fluff balls most Americans wear, but still, sneakers. Yay.)
  3. Bring a photo of yourself to buy a week Metro pass. (They had a photo booth, but that was both more expensive than bringing one and broken.)
  4. The day you do not carry your umbrella it will rain on you.
  5. We over-packed. I knew we had. But just a little. I had two pairs of clean socks, two pairs of clean undies, a clean t-shirt and an undershirt and slip that I never used (I brought layers in case it got cold… it didn’t.) But having a washing machine in the apartment meant I could’ve packed even less. Memo for next time.

I’m glad I kept a journal as we went. My purse worked well. It was great having a home base and not needing to carry much with us each day. Also our apartment felt like it was in a real neighborhood… it felt like we got a real taste of Parisian life this time. I had a huge list of things to do and see, and we accomplished it all! Well done, team. 🙂 I was worried early on that we wouldn’t. I shouldn’t’ve been but… I worry. Once we started checking things off I relaxed and really started to enjoy the vacation.

Notable findings:

1. St. Denis – the Merovingian crypt wasn’t much to view, and no additional information on Aregunde or her neighbors, but big surprise they had a huge collection of funerary statues; especially 14th century. Many pictures of 14th century hairdos for me. 🙂 Well worth the ride out to the end of the number 13 Metro! Also Marie Antoinette is buried there (and a bunch of other French monarchs.)

2. The Archeology Museum in St. Germain-en-Laye was lovely. Apparently the museum is only half open in the morning, and the other half in the afternoon. Lucky for us we got there when we did! We had enough time to thoroughly go through the first half, then get a lovely lunch in St. Germain-en-Laye, and finish with the second half. Plus there was a beautiful garden next to the museum, bonus! Alas, not much on textiles, but plenty of Merovingian finds to oggle anyway!

3. The Musee de l’Armee… wow, so much armour! Would have been good to have longer there. Better to have taken notes while I took photos instead of just hurriedly taking pictures of the labels between shots of armour.  Still, got a lot of fodder for my research. Mmmm, gauntlets. (I took about 217 photos of gauntlets. Dude.)

4. Loved the Musee d’Orsay. My Dad has to go back to Paris now, he must go to this museum! heh. Well, we’ll see what he says after he sees the photos anyway.

5. There is a great pastry shop by the Solferino Metro stop (near the Orsay) Best lunch of the trip. 🙂 Also really love the sandwich shop by the St. Michel Metro stop. Very glad I got my Parisian hot dog. (Dude, it’s a toasted baguette with melted French cheese and strong Dijon mustard! Who cares how good the dog itself is, that was awesome!!! BEST HOT DOG EVER.)




One of my Facebook friends posted in praise of the dandelion and children gathering bouquets of them because they just knew they were beautiful, not that they were weeds. It was a lovely sentiment, but it triggered for me a sad memory.

It was when we lived in Willoughby Hills, so I was maybe five years old. I’m not sure. As many young girls are, I was eager to please the adults in my life and sought approval. My twin sister Marie was the more rebellious one; she was the instigator of misbehavior and fun more often than more cowardly me. It was a beautiful sunny day and our yard was filled with yellow blooms. I can almost hear the hum of bees in my memory and smell that green, dandelion scent. I loved my mom, and I wanted to show her by gathering a big bouquet of the beautiful yellow flowers! I carefully picked only the biggest and fluffiest, most beautiful… and when the bouquet was so big that I could barely hold it I took it triumphantly into the house to give to my mom.  I expected joy and praise, for them to be put into a vase of water to be admired for days.

How devastated I was when her reaction was “Yuck! Get those weeds out of the house!”

I ran, or maybe I was pushed, out of the house in tears. I was also confused. It didn’t make sense that they were yucky weeds… I could see they were not! It was a moment where my faith could have been shattered and I could have listened to her… but I held firm.  And still I hold to my defiance in praise of the dandelion.

In a way, it was the day I learned my mother could be wrong about something.

Life · Uncategorized

Weekend Update

Originally I’d wanted to go to an event this weekend, it was about a 5 hour drive which made the husband reluctant… then he had a bad cough all week soooooooooo… we stayed home.

It was LOVELY. Doing ‘nothing’ is great! We did go out to Mentor on Saturday to buy a reliquary pendant (I have one which has one of our Honor cat’s teeth and some of her fur in it. We needed a new one for Glory. We found one the same size and style as Honor’s at Michael’s.)  Strangely made it through the craft store without any other whim purchases, how odd. Oh wait, hubby did buy a clip-on birdie in the floral aisle, so there, all is right with the world.
While we were in that part of town, we stopped by the Union Eye Care; I’ve not had an eye appointment or new glasses since the Union Eye Care near us closed. I figured, better make an appointment or I’m never getting it done… and bonus; they had an open appointment that afternoon! So hubby and I hung out for a bit looking at glasses, I got my exam, and picked out a new pair. Woot. New glasses coming soon. Go me.

Saturday night we made up our easter baskets so we could hide them Sunday morning. Husband did a better job of hiding than me. Not that my spot was bad, but I shouldn’t’ve re-used a previous hiding spot, he found it right away! There was then much gorging on jelly beans. I love jelly beans with a deep and abiding love.

I did get some reading done this weekend; I finished The transformation of the Roman world AD 400-900  edited by Leslie Webster and Michelle Brown.  I have about three pages of notes from the book. Not a lot of specific textile evidence, mind you, but good information about cultures the Merovingians traded with and their attitudes toward their neighbors that will lead to making informed costume decisions.

I’m currently reading Poems by Venantius Fortunatus ; edited and translated by Michael Roberts.  Fortunatus is a 6th century poet of Roman descent living in Merovingian France. His praise poems to the high and mighty of the day are a bit dull, repetitive stuff, but some of the poems are quite lively and I’m enjoying reading them.  He wrote in Latin and this edition has a side-by-side Latin and English translation. (Great because my Latin is less than rudimentary).

And at the same time I’m leafing through The world of Gregory of Tours edited by Kathleen Mitchell and Ian Wood.  Fun reading at the same time as Fortunatus as Gregory and he were buds. So far it’s been a fascinating read, though I’m only about three articles in.



OK, so I was all tired from an exciting convention on Dental Education, what better way to relax than by making myself more tired at a Disney park? heh. Hubby purchased tickets and we decided to do Magic Kingdom one day and Epcot the other.

I am sure it is all the years of subtle brain washing of little girls, but… I was so happy to be in the Magic Kingdom!!! I was just grinning ear to ear. I decided in advance I wanted to see Pirates of the Carribean and the Haunted Mansion; everyone said long lines blah blah blah so I figured I’d pick my top two and head for them first. Hubby was not thrilled with my 7:15 am shuttle choice for going to the park, but I think that was smart. We got our tickets, got through the gate and headed straight for Pirates! (After selfies and photos by Cinderella’s castle, of course.) Alas! (or Avast!) Pirates was closed, technical difficulties, boo. So we headed toward Haunted Castle, we walked by Thunder Mountain which only had a 10 minute wait so I said “let’s do this!” and dragged husband into the line. This proved to be very smart, not only was the mini-coaster fun, the line was 50 minutes wait when we got off! I believe the coaster rides tend to have the longest waits. Anyway, we got to the Haunted Mansion, which was fun as advertised. Then back to check on Pirates… still closed. We walked through fantasy land and I dragged husband onto “Its a Small World” which was so cheesy, but fun. 🙂 And then there was the spinning teacup ride… hubby remarked on how we rode way more rides than he thought we would.  We got lunch in Futureland, ah, nothing says “happiest place on earth” like a $9 hot dog.

We shopped, rode the ‘people mover’ and the ‘aerial orbiter’ both very fun. And as we’d made a full circle back to the center of the park we decided to go check out Pirates one last time… and we must’ve come up on them just as they re-opened because it said 20 minute wait. 🙂 Husband says the ride was better when he rode it in the 1980s. We also did the Aladdin’s Magic Carpets and the Little Mermaid ride, which lied saying it had a 10 minute wait, but it was good to get out of the sun anyway. Was more like a half hour wait.

The only ride I wanted to do that we didn’t was Space Mountain, but husband was hangry and tired. And I wasn’t much far behind him. We saw a great parade and then headed for home, er, hotel, for dinner and sleep.

Epcot I thoroughly enjoyed. Magic Kingdom seemed smaller than I thought it would be. Epcot was a better size and I loved all the little ethnic ‘worlds’. France had a great patisserie and it was actually reasonably priced too! I practiced my french with the cashiers. 🙂  I got a photo with Mary Poppins in ‘England’ yeah, I’m actually 8 years old. Sue me. They had a tea shop… but alas, twasn’t real England, was fake England, very american-centric on the tea selection, I did enjoy the iced tea sample though. They had some great Beatles t-shirts and the like too. Morocco was probably my favorite, was tempted to wait in line to see Princess Jasmine, hee. The architecture was lovely, and lots of fun things for sale.  Hubby loved “Japan” with all the little bonsai trees on display. I bought a mini Totoro in the gift shop. 🙂  Many lovely anime gifts to be had! The Mexico area was well laid out and they had a great ‘day of the dead’ exhibit. If I’d had space in my luggage, one of those paper mache day of the dead dolls would’ve come home with me.  We ended the day in Canada (it was actually not open yet when we arrived) and it was a good choice, we were tired so we sat on a bench and waited for the “O Canada!” movie, which was fun. Now I want to visit Montreal.

Spaceship Earth was fun, and we found Aiden and Hely’s picture in the “leave a legacy” area.

So I had a good time, I bought some mouse ears and I feel like I’ve checked off the “Disney” box on my Bucket List. 🙂 I may go back some day (maybe with Aiden and Hely?) but first I feel I must go to Venice. I’ve now visited Venice in Los Vegas and Epcot, would be nice to compare it with the real thing, heh.