Here’s what I’m doing this week

Our friends are in town for the week, and we had our daughter with us for a few days. It’s been busy, but it always is. Not pictured: Fresh pasta and a couple of movies.

We went to opening weekend at the Bristol Renaissance Faire,








had a group pic at the Museum of Science and Industry,









and worked on getting spruce roots out of the yard in preparation for our new patio.


Hope y’all are well and staying out of trouble!


Positively Medieval!

If you haven’t been to the Renaissance Festival in Bristol, WI, you really should consider it. Not only is it huge with lots of entertainment and shopping opportunities, they have jousting! Real jousting! Here, look:

IMG_1754Here’s the wind-up,





















IMG_1753And then it’s around for another pass.

We also saw Tartanic. Adrian borrowed Eric’s hat for one of the songs. Don’t ask me why. Apparently that particular song needed a borrowed hat and sunglasses.


We did some shopping while we were there. You can’t go to a Ren Fairre and not shop! Well, maybe you can. I can’t! I found a horn cup and a stout walking stick for barding.

My only complaint? I wish it was closer to St. Louis!

What did you do over the holiday weekend?


Almost all of the Boys are here. We have one more coming in tomorrow and one who won’t be with us; after all, we can’t have ALL of them in the same year. That would be a sign of the end times. Eric has been cooking like crazy and I’ve not complained one little bit. Yesterday he made homemade alfredo–most yummy! The Boys have met and approved the Boyfriend and the Girlfriend, at least as far as I can tell. We’ve been playing role-playing games (Ninjas & Superspies and Paladium) since yesterday afternoon. The house has been packed with people, filled with good noise, and Tessie is the only one who doesn’t approve. The noise is freaking her out a little but she’ll get used to it. She does every year.

Right now, it’s quiet for a little while. Eric, the Boys, and the kids (including the extras hanging around to worship the Boys) have all gone off to the local gaming store. I opted to stay home and no one objected. They understand that I need a little time away from all the testosterone. I was going to relax and watch a little TV uninterrupted, but I decided I needed to have it quiet. After all, I have no idea how long this will last.

One thing that has changed with the visits over the years is the amount of technology everyone brings. In the early days, the guys brought CD’s to share. Then someone brought a laptop. Last year, I think everyone brought a laptop. This year, Chadwick brought his “little” desktop:

That’s a 24″ flat screen monitor (Chadwick is sitting, Danny is standing, and of course that’s Vicky giving the thumbs up). The CPU is not shown in this picture, and I was a little afraid to ask about the particulars, but I was told that it’s water cooled. I had no idea they made a water cooling system for home computers, but I’m not a tech nut. You can see, too, that in addition to the desktop, there are two laptops on the table. The number of computers in the house this week is bordering on ridiculous. I’ve worked in offices that had fewer computers!

So, yeah, everyone seems to be having fun so far.


I took this from my mom’s deck. It’s about the most ‘artsy’ shot I’ve taken in a long, long time. I like it enough that it’s replaced Ryan on my desktop.

The Boys have started arriving. This year we have a couple coming that we haven’t seen in a long time, which will be fun. I’m sure there will be blog-worthy stories forthcoming.

Always own up to your mistakes

We had the annual Boys reunion this week. Chadwick came in Friday night, and Saturday morning before I went to the airport to retrieve Scott and Paco I asked him if, by chance, he’d brought the Sword and Scabbard manuscript. He said yes, and I did the happy dance before hitting the road. When we got back from the airport, Paco handed me his copy of the manuscript with a bow and a flourish, and of course I sat right down to go through it.

As the week went on, I thought about the fact that Chadwick hadn’t given me his copy, but it was too chaotic for me to remember to ask. Yesterday, one of my beta readers called on an unrelated subject. I was sleeping off a headache, but when I got up, I was told that although I’d busted my tail to get the manuscript to her to take on vacation last month ago, she was only on page 32. I groused and grumbled about it and moved on.

This afternoon I was printing Rogue Pawn manuscripts for The Boys to take home. Chadwick came into the office rather sheepishly, ready to run, and told me he hadn’t had time to actually read the manuscript, but that he had indeed brought it back. In short, he hadn’t done his homework. He’s heard me yell at Scott about not getting updates to me and fuss about my soon-to-be-former beta reader, and he was sure I was going to kick his tail for not reading it! The poor guy was here all week scared to tell me that work and home renovation took precedent over reading my book. That’s when I realized, I truly am the materfamilias! They all know when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

It’s all for the best. I told him to take both manuscripts home with him, and read Rogue Pawn first because I’m thinking it might make more sense to pitch Rogue Pawn first and let Sword and Scabbard be the sequel for both. Paco wasn’t confused, but he knew The Dragon’s Lady story when it was in development. Chadwick has, too, but it will be good to get another perspective. Lord knows I’m too close to the series to be objective anymore.

It’s good to be the matriarch!


This is my 500th blog post! Woo hoo! It hardly seems possible. We were getting ready to leave Italy when I started this, which seems like a lifetime ago.

In honor of the occasion, please feel free to leave me a comment with any new features you’d like to see or to tell me what I’m doing that you want me to quit right now.

The Boys will be here soon. They arrive tonight and tomorrow, and will be here all week, so I may be scarce. Actually, I may be scarce for the better part of the next month. Five days after the boys leave, I’ll be heading east to the rendezvous. I’m actually going to help set up this year; usually I get there too late to set up. I’m pretty sure Dad will be glad for the extra hands, but he might also be thinking it’s easier to do it himself! No matter–I’ll be there because I need to learn how to put the tent up. I’m pretty sure it’s a little more involved than taking it down, only backwards.

I hope to have some pictures to post soon. The kids decided it would be fun to push the limits in personal grooming. Vicky has dyed her hair blue, and Alex has a mohawk with a bleached stripe. Now you really want to see pictures, right? I’ll be taking some to tuck away to show their children someday. I had a nosy little punk young man ask me yesterday why I allowed my daughter to dye her hair blue, and I told him it was a battle I chose not to fight. Thinking about it now, I’m wondering why I felt like a kid who was 12 or 13 and couldn’t put a ball cap on straight deserved an answer. I guess I’m just nice that way.

I finished the Rogue Pawn read-through the other day, fixed some stuff, and hope to send some manuscripts home with the Boys this week. I still haven’t gotten any of the Sword and Scabbard manuscripts back from beta readers. Hopefully soon.

That’s about all the news that’s fit to print.

That time again

It seems like we just had the 4th of July with The Boys, and it’s time again. We’ll have the same crowd as last year: TSgt Danny, Paco, and Chadwick.

I’d say I’ll be scarce for a few days, but it’s not like I haven’t already been scarce lately. Hopefully I’ll be back soon to post some good news. I have to get clearance from Scott first, and that might take some time. There’s no telling with him.

There is some good news I can tell you about. I have officially enrolled in on-line classes to earn my Family Herbalist Certification. Goin’ back to school! They have a payment plan that let me pay half my tuition up-front and spread the remainder over a year with no interest. I should be able to cover tuition and books out of my paychecks, which will be cool. Then I’ll be able to say I worked my way through school by washing dishes! It doesn’t take much to make me smile.

Stay tuned for hopefully good news.