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Frostheim's fighter practice, when it happens, is traditionally Sundays. This week a number of people expressed interest, and I volunteered our yard for it. As of Saturday evening it was still looking good for the expected turn out on Sunday, and O. asked me to pick him and two other students up at 10:30 so we would be well back to my place before the 11:00 start time.

However, this morning, one after another, people started posting their regrets to the FB group. I did go pick up O., but he was the only one to make it, so we did some much needed armour maintenance. He pounded out dents, and we both polished away rust.

Once that was done it became time for house projects. C. worked on removing moss from the roof while lord_kjar, O., and I filled in dirt and rocks behind the earth cellar walls and prepared the landing space for the really big rock that we will put into the corner

Then O. and I cleaned and organised his pile of project stuff in the guest room, after which he started shaping the hilt ends on his new swords so that he can attach the aluminium cup hilts he bought at Visby.
27 August 2016 @ 05:45 pm
When I moved to Sweden/in with lord_kjar he was living in an apartment, and like all apartments in this town there was a trash building at the complex with containers to sort our trash into various forms of recycling, compost, and what they call "burnable". When we bought the house, almost four years ago, it came with a city provided can for our burnable trash and another for compost, both of which the city empties regularly for us, but we are responsible for hauling away our own recycling. My understanding at the time was that this was because our house was just outside the city limits, and lord_kjar showed me a recycling collection spot at the next village further out from town where we could take the recycling.

At the time I assumed that since the city didn't take away recycling for the houses in the countryside that the collection stations were located in the countryside, and I thought no further on the topic.

We soon fell into a routine of being careful to wash our recycling before taking it to the shed, where it was sorted into different boxes by type, and we would put off hauling it off to the collection station till we had accumulated more than one box of each type and the shelves in that shed were truly full, since that collection spot was located a bit out of the way of anywhere we normally go.

Then, this year, I found out that there is another recycling station across the street from the university, near the little grocery store, and I started taking away the recycling a bit more often, when we had only one or two full boxes of a given type.

However, this new information didn't cause me to reevaluate my assumption that such stations are for countryside communities and never conveniently located . Noticing another such station in the village of Alvik, 20 minutes drive from here, right next to the site we use for Norrskensfest did nothing to change this assumption.

Yesterday C. suggested that today we should combine errands and take away not only the recycling, but also the "pant" (cans and bottles for which one gets a token amount of cash back when they are returned), the boxes of stuff to donate to the second hand store, and also do the grocery shopping on the same trip. I agreed because all tasks were needful, but, but it also sounded bothersome, since the recycling collection point is located the opposite direction from everything else. This surprised them, and she explained that she was thinking of using the station right next to the major grocery store. The one I have never noticed in more than five and a half years in this country, and never looked for as my base assumption was that it didn't exist. I don't quite feel stupid, but it does underscore the part about how we see what we are looking for.

In other news, today's email said:

"When I walked in this morning, she was so proud to show me that compared to yesterday, when she could barely lift the fingers on her right arm, now she could lift her full arm all the way up to her head! Absolutely amazing recovery for someone with a stroke. She is doing so well that they decided to go ahead and transfer her from Issaquah back to Seattle to a location that specializes in rehab.

They estimate that she will be in there for 7-10 days for rehab (originally they thought 2 weeks, but that was yesterday when she could barely use her hand)"

I am delighted to hear that, and am hoping that mom's entire recovery from this stroke goes well.
27 August 2016 @ 01:13 am
Since C. has now moved in with us and we are three in the house, we decided it would be a good idea to put regular household meetings onto the calendar, so we could discuss things that matter with respect to topics like finances, house cleaning, events we want to attend, etc., and we decided on Friday evenings as the default for that, accepting the fact that sometimes there would be something else on that evening and we would need to adjust.

However, on Wednesday evening, just after dinner (which was after accomplishing four batches of concrete for the earth cellar walls, yay!), we decided we were already inspired to have a pre-meeting financial discussionCollapse )

That meeting took a few hours, but it was good to have, because we then pedaled into town on Thursday to have the bank do a new three-person joint account for buying groceries etc. The guy at the bank had problems understanding why we would want such a thing, when we can just swish cash between us. We explained that it makes accounting much simpler to do it this way, and didn't mention just how close the relationship between the three of us is (indeed, he looked like his brain would break if we had).

Normally we will be having our meetings on Friday evening, but since we are on vacation this week, and we thought the first meeting would take longer than usual, we opted to start in the early afternoon. Good thing we did. The meeting ran for nine hours, thirty minutes (including fika breaks). But now we are all on the same page as to:

*What the cleaning rotation will be (three main stations: A. bathrooms B. upstairs dusting/vacuuming C. downstairs dusting/vacuuming, with each of us to be responsible for one of them each week, and the next the following week), exactly what is expected to be done for each, and what daily cleaning tasks are expected. We are all fussy about cleanliness, but we each have different "this is really important" things, and we all agreed that it is best to make certain that all of them are taken care of.

*What our social calendar will look like this autumn. We are making an effort to make certain that we set aside some time each week for the three of us to do things together, and that there is time for each pair of us to do stuff just two at a time, and that each of us gets enough alone time each week, while still managing to get to the regular activities that we want to attend (choir, nyckleharpa, Frostheim, dance, etc.)

*What home improvement projects are urgent, which are moderately important, and which ones can take longer time.

Each of these took much longer to discus and find appropriate compromises for when needed than it does to type it up now, so I managed to get lots of progress on the sewing of my jester costume, and the day was well spent. But it is now well past bedtime, so I had best close this and do my yoga.

Oh--before I forget, I had an email from my step-sister who reports that mom is doing better and already getting mobility back in her arm etc., and in good spirits and joking, but will be spending some time staying at a hospital for further rehab etc. Thanks for the good wishes.
25 August 2016 @ 11:04 pm
When I woke up this morning I started the day as usual--started doing my situps etc. while still in bed, and turned on wireless on my phone so that I could read LJ while doing the exercises. However, when I did the phone downloaded an email from my sister letting me know that mom had had a stroke. Her little sister recently died after having had a stroke, so that word looks really scary in conjunction with a loved one. Luckily, the next sentence was "alert and verbal, but tried", which doesn't sound so scary, she went on to say:

"She had just dropped the girls off at camp, when her arm and mouth suddenly felt tingley. An ambulance was called and took her to the nearest hospital. Current she can't move her right arm much, her right leg is a bit numb, and her speech is every so slightly slurred (barely noticeable).

She got to the hospital soon enough and met all the requirements for them to give her TPA, a medicine that breaks up blood clots and can be very helpful with stroke recovery. She's recovered a bit of movement in her fingers so far."

Which I hope is good news, but I guess I have to wait and see.

My step-sister, A., who lives in San Francisco, will be flying up to Seattle this weekend to see mom, but that isn't really an option for me.

So after reading the letter to lord_kjar and C. and replying to the message I resumed my morning situps (somehow I forgot to keep doing them when I read the letter), then got yo and did my workout, picked some black currants and put them into the food dehydrator, helped lord_kjar with some work on the pantry shelves in progress, and then finally sat down to the computer late this evening. After paging down through lots of fb stuff it finally showed me a post to the Frostheim group saying that tonight was the first on campus meeting of the semester, but it was late enough when I saw the announcement that the people who had attended had already gone home. Oops.

Now I should go do my yoga and get some sleep...
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24 August 2016 @ 08:59 am
Since we had no electricity in camp, but it is useful to have a working phone, my routine at Visby was to get up in the morning and walk the 5 minutes over to the school gym where we were able to shower, put my phone and bluetooth thingie that pipes my phone into my hearing aids charging, swap out the plastic bottle full of ice from the freezer, and put one of the plastic bottles full of ice water from our cooler into the freezer, then do my workout (the summer program my personal trainer gave me was about 20 minutes long), followed by my yoga for the day (I normally do that before bed, but not that week), then a shower, by which time things had charged enough to return to camp and enjoy the day.

Sunday (7 Aug) was a shopping day for meCollapse )

Monday (8 Aug) was the beginner"s fighter tournamentCollapse )

Tuesday (9 Aug) was the Principality Coronet TournamentCollapse )

The next few days kind of blur together.Collapse )

The drive home included three adventuresCollapse )

then there were a couple of days to recoverCollapse )
13 August 2016 @ 12:06 am
There is something so very magical about dancing before the stage where the amazing band Garmarna is playing in the ruins of a medieval cathedral, listening to the beautiful voice of the singer and gazing up at the Gorhic arch stone work over there heads.
07 August 2016 @ 09:24 am
Our ferry set sail at 02:30 yesterday. We had the economy tickets, so after we got on board we claimed a table, V., who had done most of the driving, sat down to look at his phone, which he set charging, O. vanished to go find the cinema, and I set my phone to charge while I did my yoga. After yoga I took a nap on the floor till 4-something, when they did the announcement that we would soon be landing.

V. was tireder than I, so I drove to site, where we were met by my minion and M., who showed us where we would be setting up. It turns out that the sidewalk curb over which we would have had to drive to get the car into csmp was at least twice as tall as is typical in the states, so I didn't even try (M. said that he hadn't tried to drive over that curve either, but just parked across the street and carried everything down the hill.

Even though V. Isn't staying in our camp he was nice enough to help with unloading, and it didn't take long to raise the tent and pile everything in it, and by 8:30 I lay down for an hour nap on the floor before unpacking.

By the time I woke up the gate was open, so I went and checked in. There records said that I hadn't yet paid, though I thought I had. But since I didn't have my computer with me I couldn't check, so I just swished them the money, and if it turns out that I paid twice I can sort it out later.

While I was at gate my friend F. from the West arrived, and he joined me, my minion, O. and I at my pavilion, where pleasant conversation kept me amused as I laced up the rope bed, with F's help.

Then the guys went out of the tent to talk stick as I started unpacking and moving in. By the time I was done they had left on a quest for ice cream (it was a hot and sunny day, though nice in the pavilion, which had the two doors oriented to catch the wind running along the moat (camp is in the moat area just outside the old city walls).

I got everything arranged to my satisfaction and ate some lunch, and wandered over to the school gym at which we can shower by 13:30.

Since my phone needed charging (and there is no power in camp) I plugged it in and did my workout and my yoga for the day before showering, which took enough time to bring it close to full again. With luck I will manage to do this daily. I also noticed that there is a freezer in the gym so that we can re-freeze ice clamps, so as soon as I finish typing this I will take one of the water/ice bottles over and leave it in the freezer before doing today's workout/yoga/phone charging. Then tomorrow I can replace it with one of the other ice bottles, and thus be certain that my food stays cool all event and I keep working out. Luckily, I can wash myself very quickly, so I won't feel guilty about showering during the drought the island is having.

After I got back to camp I ate an early dinner and then F. returned from his tour of Visby, so we chatted for a while and then H. arrived, bringing a sewing project with him, which inspired me to get out mine.

I have been working on my orange and blue jester costume, doing the seam embroidery with maroon wool yarn. However, when last I worked on it I had tried doing the first lacing hole in that yarn, and didn't really like it. H. agreed that it wasn't the best choice, and offered me some of his lilac silk embroidery floss instead. It is just enough different from the other colours on the project to look both wonderful and horrid, so I accepted, and we sat stitching and talking (others joined us) till it began to be too dark to sew (around 21:00), and it cooled off enough to be willing to put on a wool tunic over my nice light linen under tunic.

The evening was spent hanging out with people, and I even walked into town to Kapitelhusgården with people for a short while. But I was tired, so went to bed at midnight.
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06 August 2016 @ 05:49 am
We set out this morning just after 10:00, it is now 20 minutes to midnight and we are still driving, though getting near to the port from which the ferry will be departing in another 2.5 hours, so it is looking good to be there on time.

Edited to add: it has been great--V has done most of the driving. I did only the hour before and the hour after Skulleberget.
also: damn, it gets dark this far south! At home it is darkening to twilight between about 01:00 and 02:00 (I know as I was up later than that twice this week), actual darkness is still a few weeks off. Down here the sky is really dark already.

The two most noteworthy stops were at Skulleberget, where I did a quick hike up the hill to the cave, and at an old farmhouse outside of Tierp, where we picked up a suit of armour for a lady who will be doing the walk-on ferrytrip on Sunday.

The car was already so full we had to take her armour our of her bag and tuck the pieces into corners and fold the bag. But now she can enter the beginner fighter tournament, at the command of her queen.

I am looking forward to the event, and to being out of the car for longer than a few minutes at a time. This will be my first Medieval Week at Visby since my first year in Sweden. It will be interesting to see how different it seems now that I can speak a reasonable amount of Swedish.

No idea if I will turn internet back on on my phone again this week. It will depend on how much fun I am having and how many chances I find to charge my phone, given the fact that there is no electricity in camp.

Further edited to add: we did make it to the ferry terminal in good time, and now it is soon time to board.
04 August 2016 @ 11:14 am
Tomorrow morning I start driving south to attend the Medieval Week in Visby. The SCA camp won't have electricity, so I will mostly leave my phone in flight mode while there to conserve battery (so that I can keep using the phone app for my food log etc.). So don't be surprised if you don't hear from me between now and my return on 17 August.

If you are going to be there, you can find me in the Styringheim camp--my pavilion is the one with blue lions and seahorses painted on it.

Today all I need to do is bake a bit more road food (yum--Norwegian Buttermilk Flatbread), pack up a few last minute things, and try to remember to exercise a bit more, since the summer program my personal trainer gave me is "easy"*.

*by "easy", I mean that today I only needed to do three different types of things:

* three sets of 10 "wall walks" (hands on floor, facing the wall, walk your hands across the floor and your feet up the wall till you are in a handstand,

*4 sets of sideways walking on my hands, with my back against the wall for support (each set 20 feet of distance, which means four times back and forth across the one stretch of wall we have clear enough to do this),

*plus five sets of 10 kick ups into a handstand against the wall.

However, I confess that for both of the types of walking on my hands I needed to take mid-set breaks as well as between set breaks. At least kicking up into a handstand ten times in a row is doable without resting.