Triumver-butts! Sunday, Nov 8 2009 

Triumver-butts I

7 November 2009

Another absolutely beautiful day at the Texas Renaissance Festival. The temperature got a little higher than we’d have preferred, but I don’t think it got higher than about 80 degrees. And, true to form, the patrons were here in droves. I believe the count was over 31,000 people!

Sales, however, also true to form, were fairly average. When the park gets that full, the patrons stay in the lanes and the pubs. The stage acts do well . . . the beer and food booths kick butt. But, the crafters, particularly with higher dollar products . . . not so much. So, no butt-kicking here, just a solid day. However, there was butt-sketching!

Jonathan—the god of butt-sketching—has begun a trio of sketches (one for each of us, of course!) of we three girls that have us all feeling like goddesses!

I wrote last week about how much we enjoyed Jonathan’s work. And how much fun this is to have done. We now own three, and we’ve sent numerous people over there to enjoy the fun.  Kyle has posted a great photo taken during the sketching of Iris and Rose. And, now, I am actually posting my photo of today’s masterpiece. We are calling this series of three: Triumver-butts. The concept was born last weekend when everyone started seeing how fabulous these are, and Ginger coined the phrase “triumver-butts.” We hadn’t made a specific plan for when, so it was a totally wonderful, serendipitous fluke that Kelly and Ginger both showed up at my booth, at the slow end of the day, just before dark. So, off we went to ask Jonathan to work his magic! Ginger won the toss on who got today’s piece. The second of the three should happen tomorrow!

The triumverate is happy.


Birthday Boy and his Flowers Thursday, Nov 5 2009 

Birthday Boy and his Flowers

31 October 2009
Happy Birthday, Kyle, My Love

Usually, when one talks about having a birthday and flowers in the same sentence, there are plants involved: daisies or lilies, or even roses. But, with Kyle*, it’s just one Rose . . . and one Iris. And, they aren’t plants.

While Kyle celebrated his natal day, I had a very busy faire day.  The special part of my weekend is that Nicole is here from California!  And not only Nicole, but Shawn and Jerry (our leather-guy/tooling artist) as well!  Nicole, of Pendragon Costumes fame, has more recently created a sister company to Pendragon, known as MadGirl Clothing.  Inside of a year or so, it has become THE source for the serious steampunkers to get the best garb for their flavour of fantasy.  She can be found at most major sci/fi/fantasy/steampunk conventions, and this weekend only, at the Texas Renaissance Festival

So, it was the getting ready for her visit and making the guest artisan booth workable for a clothier that took control of my day yesterday.  And, it was all worth it!  Her booth looked great, and was full of fabulous product!  I just know that when Kyle has a chance to go look, it’s gonna cost me!

He didn’t get there today, though.   I didn’t see as much of my husband on his birthday as I would have preferred.  He spent his day doing what he loves most . . . looking good, drinking beer, and playing with friends.  Happy Birthday, my love!


*I’m not sure why it looks as though he’s flipping me off as I take this photo!  Hmmmm . . .?

Pub Guys Recording Session Thursday, Nov 5 2009 

PubGuys Recording Session

27 October 2009

My day was spent with an eye on the clock, ’cause once again, I was going to be sure to attend the PubGuys recording session, and this time, I didn’t want to be late! I got my wish—in fact, I got chauffeur service! Kyle was able to stop and pick me up on his way on down Hwy 287 to the Firehouse Grill where today’s recording was to take place.

This is a great place, by the way . . . and a little too off-the-beaten path to be as well-patronized as it deserves.  It’s in Mansfield, in the same shopping center with the Home Goods and Marshalls store . . . right along Hwy 287.  Awesome food, huge selection of beers, (Rahr Octoberfest is on tap!) full bar, and great people!  Check it out.

It was a good session . . . made a little more special when the pub/restaurant owner came over to join the guys at the mics!


Blue Anne Fabrics Tuesday, Oct 20 2009 

Blue Anne Fabrics

17 October 2009

As a retailer of specialty items, it is always amazing to me how impossible it is to have what every customer really wants. No matter how wonderful what you have is, no matter how many choices you provide, someone will always want the exact something that you do not have.

That seems crazy when I put it into words, because of course it isn’t possible to have one of every possible conceivable product—the possibilities are far too infinite. But, it never seems to fail, that at least once a weekend, we’ll have the outfit of someone’s dreams, but in the wrong size. Last week it was a Courtesan outfit and Nicole is actually going to take one apart to remake it into a different size. This week it was an Anne Boleyn. Hopefully, this time we’ll have better luck with the fabric availability.

This is the photo I snapped for reference for Nicole to see what to purchase and what to sew for this new order. God Save Nicole and Pendragon Costumes!


Beads on a Lampshade Wednesday, Sep 30 2009 

Beads on a Lampshade

27 September 2009

Considering this photo was totally an afterthought on the way to bed, I’m really pleased with it! My big confession now, is that I cannot even remember enough about this day to write about it, since I’m still three days behind. I know it was Sunday, and there were bloody marys! I’m pretty sure there was also beer. Hmm . . .
wonder if that’s why I can’t remember?


My New Glasses – 2009 Wednesday, Sep 30 2009 

My New Glasses 2009

26 September 2009

On my list of things to do every September is a trip to the eye doctor. I did that yesterday, and since my reading prescription changed a wee bit, I decided that was a great excuse for new glasses. I’m actually really delighted that I now have a choice of what glasses to wear. Way back in the eighties, when shoulder pads and hair and eyeglasses were all “big,” I was in a phase of my life where my prescription didn’t change. At all. For years. So, I’d get new glasses almost every year, until I built up a collection and could wear whichever pair of glasses best matched that day’s outfit. I loved that! I will never have that many again, but two is nice!

My photo is a close-up of one corner of the new glasses—the detail in the metalwork and on the earpieces is what I really wanted, but it wasn’t easy. The frames came from the storefront where my doctor has his practice. But, due to weird insurance company restrictions, they cannot make my glasses there, if I want my insurance to pay for them. However, just down the road, the Vision City folks have a different agreement with the insurance provider, and could make my glasses in an hour or two. But, they didn’t have any frames that knocked my socks off. So, we jumped through hoops, and worked the system, so I could buy the frames, drive them down the street, and have them made at the other place! Figuring all that out took some time, and some patience, but the result is an awesome pair of glasses!

It was a good day. Also in my photo is my dear husband in the background. We each did our respective errands this morning and then met for lunch and some very tasty beer at a new place in Mansfield called The Firehouse Pub. Then, a lovely evening at home, and a photo at bedtime.


My Very Own Pub Guy Thursday, Sep 24 2009 

My Very Own Pub Guy

22 September 2009

Happy Mabon!  Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox!

The Pub Guys rock! And, I’m married to one of them!

I got to attend my first Pub Guys recording session tonight! I worked at home all day, and couldn’t wait for this evening to arrive. I have been proud of everything these guys have done and was really looking forward to seeing them in action. I had intended to take photos for them, too. But, somehow, once I was there, and I said my greetings to Trista and to Curtis (the PG in attendance), I got caught up in the fun of it, and never even thought about my camera! In fact, I even got invited to use a mic at one point, and added to the discussion. It seems my still-evolving NFL boycott had been a topic of conversation before my arrival, and they wanted to hear it from my point of view. I should probably write all about it, so I can see my words and be forced to re-read them until I understand my own feelings better . . . but, hearing myself on the next PubCast might just serve the same purpose!

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there with the Pub Guys, even if I did smell like smoke when we left. I also managed to get dinner at Abuelo’s out of it afterward! Curtis joined Kyle and I for some Mexican yumminess and a margarita. It was on the way out of the restaurant that I first realized my photographic laziness, and I snapped this photo of Kyle in the parking lot. Not as crisp as I would have wished, but wow, is it a great capture of my guy! My Pub Guy! I’m proud of you, honey.


Fairy Circles and Glory Holes and Grapefest Saturday, Sep 19 2009 

Fairy Circle

18 September 2009

My first full day back in Texas. I started it by taking Kyle to work, so that when I picked him up we could head straight to Grapefest! On the way into the office, as we were talking, Kyle interrupted himself at one point, and exclaimed as he pointed out the window of the car. His distraction was this amazing “magic circle” as he calls it, or “fairy ring” as I’m more prone to say. I made a mental note of where we’d seen it, and on the way back home, I did a u-turn (I’m back in the land of legal u-turns!), pulled off the road, and grabbed my camera. I walked toward the circle and took a few shots, but made a very conscious decision NOT to walk into the ring!

I spent the day doing housework and laundry and getting ready to move my stuff back in, but between phone calls and such, the time for me to leave to go get Kyle came very fast. We got to Grapefest at about four o’clock (admission was free until five!) and entertained ourselves very well for a while, shopping the various vendors, and just enjoying the beautiful day together. Not too long before our People’s Choice tasting time, Starr and Joe and Alex got there. We made plans to meet up with them after the tasting, and on we went to that part of the event. It was a whirlwind tour of Texas Wineries, as always, and about halfway through the tasting opportunities we decided it was crazy for me to try to keep up with Kyle! 😉 I was holding him back and I didn’t want to be the reason he didn’t meet his persoal goal of tasting something from every winery represented. So, off he went, and came back with enough time to spare that he was able to take me to taste one of his favourites. The final siren always sounds too early, and this year was no exception. We completed our ballots and then I stopped into the glass studio there in Grapevine—Vetro Art Glass. I looked around, took a few photos of the studio to show Shannon, and enjoyed a visit with the manager there whose name is also Shannon!

Then, we made a stop into the blacksmith’s shop and learned that the folks there are also our blacksmith folks at Scarborough, now! That was a nice surprise, and we made new friends in Lonnie, Linda and their son Joseph.

Finally, we were all back together with Starr and Joe, our Grapefest companions for many years, now. We walked a bit, and had some more wine, and then landed at the Gary P. Nunn concert. Nice, old-school country music and a good time. When his show was over and we headed out, we were tired. Home and in bed by about 1:30, with the knowledge that there would be no alarm clock in the morning! Yay!


Sunrise in Kansas Saturday, Sep 19 2009 

Sunrise in Kansas

17 September 2009

This was the sunrise as I exited the highway near my brother’s house in Kansas City.
At this point, I was so weary I’m surprised I thought to take a photo. But, the red sky in the morning rhyme was running through my head, and it was pretty.


Summer in Review Saturday, Sep 19 2009 

Summer Calendar in Review

16 September 2009

My summer is over. I finished the very last of my packout by just after noon, helped Sean with some of the winterizing he’s going to do for me, and after all the goodbyes, I was ready to hit the road with the cat in the car by about 1:20 p.m. That’s when I realized that my truck battery was dead. Literally ready to start a ten-hour drive, and the truck won’t start.

Now, I always have jumper cables . . . but when the truck is fully loaded for one of these cross-country semi-annual trips, those cables are in a box at the bottom of the heap! So, knowing how much time I’d lose in the unpacking and repacking of the truck, I went on a quest to borrow a set of jumper cables. Finally successful, thanks to one of our site guys, Skip, Sean hooked up the cables between his jeep and my truck and voila! I said goodbye again, and drove about three hundred yards before I realized I’d forgotten to take this photo of the day. I’ve taken this same basic photo in years past, and it’s a great way for me to capture the memories of the summer. It’s a full schedule we keep . . . a full schedule of hard work and amazingly good times.

As I drove around and circled back to the booth to take this photo and passed in front of our shop, I caught Sean coming out to pull in some final decorations, and took his photo as well!

So, I said my goodbye to Sean a third time, and drove away toward Kenosha where I had two errands to do, and finally pointed the truck west on Highway 50 at about 3:30 p.m.

I drove well for the first half of the trip to Kansas City.  I made it to my favourite travel stop—the Chico’s store in Coral Ridge (Iowa City), just moments before they closed.  But, the hours after about ten p.m. were difficult ones.  I got sleepy and decided to pull off the road and rest, but couldn’t get comfortable.  I tried once in a noisy rest stop.  Once in a mostly empty gas station parking lot.  I stopped for gasoline even when I didn’t really need it.  I stretched every time I stopped.  I ate junk food.   It was a miserable journey.  I got a total of about two hours of pseudo-sleep and it was seven a.m. when I finally crept into my brother’s house and laid down on the little sofa in the family room.  I left the cat in the car, and figured I’d get maybe another hour’s worth of a nap.  Nope.  More like thirty minutes or so.  But, I got to visit with McKenna briefly over breakfast before she was off to school.  And, I had a lively, intelligent political debate with my brother.  At about eleven or so, he and Melanie were headed out to an appointment, so I hit the road at the same time.  In hindsight, I should have stayed and gotten a little sleep.  But, I really just wanted to be home.  So, I decided to push on through the tired, knowing that would be easier in the daylight.  I did resort to the purchase of an energy drink at one point, but ultimately, I made it home by about 8 p.m. 

Home in Texas.  Summer’s over.


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