Zig Zag Velvet Saturday, May 31 2008 

Zig Zag Velvet

31 May 2008

Not too exciting, but fun to look at—this is the textured velvet of a throw that lives in our living room.¬† I’m not a big fan ūüôā of ceiling fans . . . so when we sit and watch the TV, I usually need a layer between me and the fan-swept air.¬† Numerous pretty wraps are only arm’s distance away!

We spent our first free Saturday doing . . . little to nothing!¬† We slept late, we sat around and drank coffee and watched some TV.¬† We met Terrill at No Frills for lunch, ’cause he’d accidentally left his wallet in Kyle’s keeping and needed it.¬† I repacked a couple of boxes of Anna’s stuff and later we took them to storage.¬† We ran some errands and picked up a couple of things we’ve been needing . . . new telephones for the house . . . yay!¬† But, by and large, we did nothing.¬† It felt wonderful!


Too Hot for Photography Saturday, May 31 2008 

30 May 2008

Yep.  Too darned hot.

I worked pretty much all day, moving our friend Anna’s belongings out of her Texas apartment and into storage.¬† She’s on the east coast, following the thoroughbred circuit as a trainer.¬† But, she’d contracted with a couple of guys and a truck who worked awfully hard for their five hundred bucks, and I was grateful, ’cause it was a huge job!¬† We packed and boxed and carried and loaded stuff for four hours plus, then drove across town and unloaded it all into a storage room.¬† Then, after a brief rest at home, I went back to the apartment and finished cleaning out kitchen cupboards and the fridge.¬† By the time I got home from the second round, it was after eight-thirty and all I had on my mind was a shower!

It was a wonderful shower.¬†¬† So wonderful, I forgot I still hadn’t taken any photos, and the day wound down, with Kyle and I carefully ensuring there would be no alarm clock waking us on our first Saturday off since goodness remembers when.

So, no Friday photo.  My bad.


Brandied Pear Saturday, May 31 2008 

27 May 2008
After an exceptionally long, hot, muggy weekend, Marita Beth & I treated ourselves to a well-deserved dinner out. On the surface we were celebrating a kick-butt season at East Wind Games. Underneath, we just really love good wine with good food. So, when Italianni’s sent an email solicitation to my good-wife about this wine dinner, she jumped at it. The theme was Portugese & Spanish, and I do love my Spanish food & wine. In reality, I was a little disappointed. But, still the value was good. We each had an appetizer, a salad, an entree and a dessert. In addition, they served wine with each course that, supposedly, had been paired with the food. I found the pairing odd and in some cases it just simply did not work. Either the food overpowered the wine or vice-versa instead of complementing and enhancing the experience. The Tempranillo served with my entree was crisp on the tongue with a lovely bouquet, but absolutely no body. Paired with the paella, it became even more non-existent on the palate. The dessert was the highlight of the meal:
Carmelized Sugar in Brandied Pear
A brandied pear skewered with a dagger of carmelized sugar all sitting on a bed of marzipan. Tasty. Sadly, they chose Cockburn’s port to go with it – bad choice. There are so many ports that could have been exceptional with it. They should hire me. ūüôā

~KR (Written on 30 May 2008 )

Listening to:
Here I Am by Air Supply
from Greatest Hits

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.3 sec (3/10)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Move Along Saturday, May 31 2008 

Well, shoot. Appears I forgot to take a photo on the 26th. Figures.

Feed Me! Thursday, May 29 2008 

Feed me!

29 May 2008

Hungry babies!¬† We have at least three hungry baby birds on our front porch!¬† I was alerted to them having hatched on Friday, when Rachel said she saw movement, but the mama was nowhere around.¬† I later confirmed the births, when I dared to get close enough to see what looked like wet feathers.¬† When we returned home after the long weekend, and peered into the nest on Monday morning, we could barely make out the shapes of at least a couple of hatchlings.¬† A couple of days later, they look like fuzzy little birds!¬† And, now, any time you lean in to look, they sense the nearness and assume it’s feeding time. The little peeps start and the beaks open wide.¬† I managed to catch one of those wide mouthed pleas in this photo.¬† Just a second before, I could actually see all three mouths open!¬†

Life is such a miracle.


Oak Detail Thursday, May 29 2008 

Oak Detail

28 May 2008

A day to concentrate on my house!¬† Wa hoo!¬† Of course, I’m so far behind, I barely put a dent in it; but the good news is, I can see light at the end of the tunnel!

At the end of the day, no photos had happened, so I played with my macro setting on this architectural detail on one of my antique oak china cabinets. 


Two Peas in a Pod . . . err . . . dressing room Thursday, May 29 2008 

Two peas in a pod . . . err . . . dressing room

27 May 2008

I finished my paperwork and computer work by about 11 o’clock, and by one Lisa and I were out of the house, her bags packed and ready.¬† We ran by two banks, and then north to Grapevine, where I had decided Lisa was the excuse I’d been needing to check out the remaining Cozymel’s restaurant.¬† The Arlington location of this chain saw much of our entertainment budget a number of years ago, but alas, they closed that store, and left us without a place to go for perfect tableside guacamole!¬† I am happy to report, that at the Grapevine location, the atmosphere, the food, the ritas, and the guac, were all as wonderful as I’d hoped.¬† Lisa seemed delighted—she got both a seafood fix and a quality Mexican food fix.

After Cozymel’s, we entertained ourselves at Grapevine Mills Mall—the Chico’s outlet store was calling our names!¬† Lisa has now successfully been initiated into the Chico’s Passport Club.¬† My photo today, is of the two of us in the dressing room at Chico’s, trying on the same outfit!¬† I bought some stuff (we were lucky to be there on a good sale day!) but not these two pieces.¬† Lisa did, however!¬† Only four more purchases like today, and she’ll be a full-fledged,¬†discount-earning¬†member!¬† And, I can say I’ve brought another friend into the fold! ūüėȬ† We left there, and managed to fit in an underwear purchase and . .¬†. shoes!¬† No surprise, there, I guess!

I got Lisa to the airport, perfectly on time (although her flight ended up being delayed three hours!) and headed down the freeway to meet Kyle for dinner.¬† I’d received the promotional email for the Italianni’s Wine Dinner, and decided I was in the mood for a good Tempranillo!¬† So, Kyle and I enjoyed a gourmet meal (although we’ve had better meals there!) and three tasty Spanish wines, and celebrated our most successful year to date with East Wind Games.¬† Woo Hoo!



Farewell Corsairs Thursday, May 29 2008 

Farewell Corsairs

26 May 2008

Memorial Day

Closing Day of Scarborough Renaissance Festival 2008

Despite the sticky, nasty humidity, we survived the final day of faire, and thus the 2008 Scarborough season comes to a close.  East Wind Games ended up with a darned good Monday, making for a very good weekend.  Pendragon on the other hand . . . not so much.  It was a good solid weekend, but not the type of weekend we hope for from a final, three-day!  Oh well, the good news is none of us got sick from the heat the way so many other folks did!

There were many highlights in the day . . . hugs and kisses and farewells.¬† One high point in the day was the beautiful Memorial Day Parade.¬† Now, all renfaires have a daily parade.¬† At the very least, it’s a display of pretty costumes and a way to move Nobles across the fairesite.¬† At most major festivals, it’s also a spectacle of banners and samples of wares—colourful and entertaining.¬† But, at Scarborough, on Memorial Day Monday, it’s even more.¬† It’s an amazing pageant of American pride.¬† Yep.¬† American.¬† Not very Renaissance-period correct, but who the heck cares?!¬† No one.¬† Not on this one day, anyway!¬†

The parade is led by a giant American flag, and a flag corps of¬†vets who have been chosen to carry the flags representing their respective branches of the armed services.¬† What follows is a heartwarming and sometimes heartwrenching march of literally hundreds of people wearing yellow ribbon sashes.¬† People are offered these yellow ribbons as they come into the faire on this day—all veterans are invited to wear them, and to march in the parade!¬† All veterans.¬† And lately, I’ve noticed a trend toward there being representatives of fallen service-folk marching as well.¬† One beautiful woman I know marched on behalf of her son who was killed in Iraq.¬† Another vet, carried a framed portrait of a friend.¬† And, our friend, Cat, who is still recovering from the terrible car accident that claimed the life of her husband—walked—yes, walked, despite doctors’ opinions that she’d never walk again—on his behalf!¬† To say that it was a moving, emotional event, would be a gross understatement.¬† Each year, it is an amazingly incredible promenade, and this year was no exception.

So, in the middle of one of the hottest days of the year, to date, I stood on the bench I place in front of our shoppe, and waved my little American flag and cried.

Another highlight of the day—this day marked the final performance of the beloved singing pirates known as The Corsairs.¬† These guys started performing in 1996—almost as an afterthought.¬† What started as an experiment developed quite the fan following, and thirteen years later, the guys are tired, they don’t all still live in Texas,¬† and this chapter of the book of Scarborough has come to a close.

Kyle and I carefully arranged our day so that we could leave our booths, and go to the final show.¬† Many thanks to Marcus and Bill and Donny and Wendy and Garry and Lisa.¬† The guys sang beautifully, and moved their audience to tears more than once.¬† In fact, I’m pretty sure that each of them shed a few tears, as well.¬† The inclusion of Gregg Csikos, the Shantyman, in their show was a very special touch.¬† Gregg helped to start the group, and sang with them for the first half dozen years or so.¬† He led the guys on this day in a perfect rendition of what they call “Minstrel Boys”—a melding of two different songs each titled “The Minstrel Boy.”¬† Wow!¬† And on Memorial Day, it doesn’t get any better than that—unless it’s their flawless version of America, The Beautiful . . . or maybe Sailor’s Prayer?¬† And during that encore, there was a totally constant stream of fans walking to the tip jar!¬† What a fabulous sight!¬† These very talented men will be missed, indeed, in future seasons of Scarborough Renaissance Festival.

I was hoping to attend the Memorial Day Memorial service that happens each year in the rose garden after closing.¬† The service honours all those who have been a part of the Scarborough family, but are gone, now.¬† I know Roger’s name is on the list, as are Tiny, Cecily, Terry, Ed, Jeff, Rita, Cecil and many others whose memories live in my heart.¬† Too many.¬† But, with the extreme heat, and my booth being short-staffed, I opted to simply have my own moment of silence.¬† We packed and loaded and headed home, grabbed a quick dinner and some trivia at No Frills, and were home by about ten-thirty.¬†

So, another run of faire ends—a long,¬†emotional day—my tear ducts are well-flushed.¬† Tomorrow Lisa and I will run amuck!


Pins on a Lamp Wednesday, May 28 2008 

Pins on a Lamp

25 May 2008

I have thought about taking this photo for weeks, and when I finally went to do it, it was far harder than I’d imagined.¬† I was hoping to be able to see many more of the little pins on this lampshade, but the the only way to do that, was to get more background in the photo, and the background wasn’t pretty.¬† So, I settled for this shot where you can see three or four of the pins very clearly, and that’s all.¬† This is a lamp I picked up fairly inexpensively a number of years ago, and one day, on a whim, I dug out all my comic book collector pins, and pinned them to the lampshade!¬† It’s a fun, subtle expression of our love for comics.¬† And, now, the lamp lives in our bedroom in the booth at faire.¬†

Day two of the three day weekend.¬† Yuck.¬† We are having the muggiest weekend we’ve experienced in a very long¬†time, and it’s really no fun at all.¬† I feel bad that¬†Lisa came from Colorado¬†to be with us this weekend, and is having to¬†deal with this.¬† I hate that all the folks who travel from far¬†away for Scarborough’s final three-day, holiday weekend are¬†having to deal with this.¬† And I must say, I really hate that it makes people lethargic and much less likely to spend money at faire!¬† But, be that as it may (and not wanting to complain!) we have¬†had a wonderful season up to this weekend, and we’ll get through¬†it,¬†despite the ickiness.

We did dinner tonight at Applebee’s with Ginger, just the four of us—-Kyle and the Babes Reunited!¬† ¬†It hardly seems possible that it’s been eleven years since Ginger and Lisa and Kyle and I travelled to the UK for the Yule season!¬† But that was December 1997.¬† Such wonderful¬†days of sightseeing, and of spending time with Kyle’s folks who were living there at the time.¬†¬†A Christmas feast prepared by Mother that none of us will ever forget.¬†¬†Hurricane force winds and a human chain to see people safely to their cars.¬† Tickets to Les Miserables.¬† ¬†How cold we were at the White Horse of Uffington!¬† How honoured we were to sit at the high table at the Castle feast (and the cops flirting with Lisa!)¬† The beautiful snowfall in Bath.¬†¬† Museums and pubs and graveyards and cathedrals.¬†¬†Being there as Mum and Da renewed their vows over the blacksmith’s anvil.¬†¬†The birth of the Clan MacRalph.¬† We never really even spoke of these things at dinner¬†Sunday night.¬† But, I know the memories live on in each of us, and we wouldn’t trade them for the world.

One more day of faire.  Then rest. 


Faery Chess Tuesday, May 27 2008 

25 May 2008
Even though I did have my camera out, the light was so harsh that I’m pretty disappointed in nearly all the photos I took. But, since I have to settle on one, I choose this one:
Faery Chess
As I was walking out of East Wind Games at Scarborough Renaissance Festival, 13 children, all with faery wings, walked up and gathered around my chess table. By the time I retreived my camera and set for the shot, these few were the only ones remaining (kids being kids & faeries being faeries, they flit about with random abandon).

~KR (Written on 27 May 2008)

Listening to:
Castle of Arianrhod by Emerald Rose
from Bending Tradition

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 10 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

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