Friday, June 12, 2009

I Love Cherries.....

One of my all time favorite foods has always been cherries and pretty much anything cherry flavored. As a small child, my grandparents had a cherry tree growing in their yard and I distinctly remember sitting under the tree and eating cherries straight off the tree (or ground) until I was sick.

(Mind you, I may "remember" this but that doesn't necessarily mean that it happened as it seems that a lot of my memories are just made up or blown WAY out of proportion!)

Anyway, we are currently in the midst of cherry season here in California so I've been buying lots and lots of cherries at the grocery store. Today, I feel like I'm that small child again. I brought a BIG container of cherries to the office with me today and am slowly making my way through it (using a coffee cup as my pit spittoon). The only problem is that I think I have definitely reached my quota on cherries....

Does anybody know how many cherries make up a serving?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Valhalla Renaissance Faire - My Weekend Part III

Sunday morning I wake up to a BEAUTIFUL day. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the temperature is cool but not biting as it was on Saturday. It is a wonderful day for Faire and for a Christening/Baby Blessing. 

I got up and started my morning ritual of getting ready... shower, hair, makeup dressing. This day I wore a front lacing bodice, so I was able to dress myself even though I did have to have Seamus tighten me up later. On Saturday, when it was clouding and cold I made certain to slather on sun-screen to protect my fair skin from the Faire sun. Sunday when the sun was out in all her glory, I completely forgot to protect myself. Well, that isn't completely true. I did put on a little sun-screen on my chest on one shoulder, completely forgetting to get the other shoulder, arms, ears, nose, etc...

Since we were leaving to drive back to San Jose straight from Faire, I pulled out some comfy driving clothes to change into and put them into a separate bag and started packing up the car. I went to Angie and Seamus's room to see what I could do to help them out (remember, it takes a village...). I got Aidan dressed and kept him entertained while Angie finished getting dressed and Seamus finished up loading the car. 

We headed off to the Faire as we needed to be there early so that we (and when I say "we" I mean Angie and Seamus and the baby) could get to the Fellowship Garden and get the preparations for the Baby Blessing/Christening ceremony finalized. At 11:00 we all gathered in the garden with many of their wonderful Faire friends. They honored me by making me Aidan's Godmother (and not just because I stepped in as pack-horse/third pair of hands but because they want me to be a permanent part of his life AND he always smiles when he sees me). The Faire community was so wonderful in being there and participating in this blessed family event and Aidan was joyously welcomed into the community. 

After the ceremony, we grabbed a bite to eat and Angie and I stayed in the garden so that Aidan could get in a nice nap and Seamus could go off and "play" with his Black Flag compadres. We visited with Angie's Faire friends. (As an aside, Angie and Seamus are preparing to move to Texas on June 16th, so this was going to be one of the last times they would see many of these friends for a very long time.)

At about 2:30ish, we made our final walk through the Faire. Angie picked up some fun stripey socks, which are a staple of her home and faire wardrobe. Seamus picked up a new belt. I acquired some home-made soaps and a little black-sheep finger puppet for Aidan. They said their final good-byes and headed to the car. We did a parking lot change of attire and headed out. 

All in all it was a very fun and interesting weekend. Even though the weather was bad on Saturday and I had issues with my freaky room from HELL, it was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with dear friends and to play with my most recent Godchild. I have a slightly sun-burned shoulder (only one) but some really great memories. 

Thanks Angie, Seamus, and Aidan for introducing me to the world of Faire and for letting me be a special part of Aidan's life. 

Valhalla Renaissance Faire - My Weekend Part II

I wake up Saturday morning and it is all rainy and cold and not very Faire-like weather, but we are still going to do this...

I get my shower taken and because I like to have noise in my room as I'm getting ready, so I turn on my television. You will never guess, but yes, I am coming to realize that I have the room from HELL!! I have only ONE station on my television. Luckily, it is Saturday morning cartoons... not necessarily good cartoons.... but cartoons none the less. I go over the Angie and Seamus's room to help Angie with some of her stuff and then Seamus comes over to my room to lace me into my bodice. While there, he acknowledges that I have bad cartoons on and asks why. I tell him that I only have one station and then ask if they have more... I just assumed that the hotel only got one station.... turns out, I was the only lucky one to get this treatment!! 

So, we get ourselves altogether and head out. I get in the car to drive and realize almost immediately that there is no way that I can drive. I'm in this bodice that limits my movement and hampers my driving ability so before I even start the car Seamus and I do a quick switch-a-roo and he drives. We get to the faire, pile out of the car and start putting all the final touches of our costumes on. Seamus goes to get the wine-barrel wagon out of the truck and finds out that sadly one of the wheels has broken on the trip up, so we had to make alternative plans for carrying Aidan (who, by the way, is about 6 - 7 months old). As I said earlier, it is rainy and cold and very Scottish Moors weather. 

The crowd at the Faire was light as I'm sure the weather kept people away, although the folks that were there were in costume, for the most part and Angie and Seamus knew many of them. Everybody was very happy to see them and the baby. We watched Seamus participate in a sword fight with his friends at Brotherhood of the Black Flag. We joined the Valhalla Fellowship in preparation for Aidan's Christening that was occurring on Sunday. After a good couple of circuits around the grounds we decided that it was best to head back to the hotel and get warm and dry. Since it had been a stressful day the three of use decided that we would just stay in, order pizza, and watch television in Angie and Seamus's room....mostly because they had more than one channel. Oh and we polished off what was left in the flasks since rum isn't supposed to sit in the flasks over night. 

We headed to bed early as we were all pretty tired. I went back to my room (no raccoon this time), after washing my face and brushing my teeth I crawled into bed to read a little. Then I heard a popping/pinging sound. I went back into the bathroom to investigate and realized that the porcelain was coming off of my sink and when it breaks away from the sink, it pops.... who knew? I determined that there was nothing that I could do about this and went back to bed. I soon was unable to hold my eyes open any longer and I turned off my light and fell asleep. 

1:30 in the morning I'm awoken by a huge bang as if something is coming through my ceiling and then I hear shouting and screaming and crashing and I realize that the people in the room above me (newlyweds, by the way) are having a knock down screaming fight. So, I roll over and call the front desk and report this. This goes on for about 2 hours off and on and then either I learned to completely tune them out or they left.... I'm not certain what happened but I finally go back to sleep. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

Valhalla Renaissance Faire - My Weekend Part I

This past weekend I went to the Valhalla Renaissance Faire in Lake Tahoe with my friends Angie and Seamus and their son Aidan. Hopefully, somebody got a picture of me in my costume and I will post it, however, I don't have one at this point, but I do want to go ahead and post to let everybody know about the adventure. 

Angie, Aidan, and I head out on Friday to drive up to South Lake Tahoe. Seamus drove up later with some of his friends who were bringing the baby's wagon that Seamus fashioned out of a small wine barrel. The drive was pretty good. We stopped for dinner at a Carl's Jr. in Folsom, after quoting Johnny Cash song lyrics ("I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die..."). I didn't recall ever eating in a Carl's Jr. and I have to say that it was quite tasty. After a bite, bathroom breaks, and diaper changing, we pile back in the car and push on through to the hotel. We stayed at the Royal Valhalla on the Lake. The hotel met all of the qualifications that a hotel should have... it was clean, safe, and convenient. The best part, my room had a view of the lake... at lake level. 

Angie and I checked in and asked for adjoining rooms because we were going to help each other get ready in the morning... What? With costumes and getting hair and baby and all the accoutrement... it takes a whole village to get ready for these Faires!! Anyway, they couldn't put us in adjoining rooms without putting Angie, Seamus, and Aidan into a smoking room. However, they did have a room two doors down from their room for me, but it is a smoking room. Luckily, it didn't smell at all like a smoking room... and it had the great view. Well, Angie and I get into our rooms and unload the car. I hang out in her room for a bit to help her get settled with Aidan. 

About 10 PM we decide it is bed time and I leave to go down to my own room. I leave her room and I see what I think at first is some body's dog right outside my room. I take a step towards it and realize that no it isn't a dog... it is a raccoon!! I big, adolescent raccoon!! I totally freak out and bang on Angie's door. She let me back in and we called the front desk because I didn't want to walk towards it to get into my room because I could just see that thing attack me like the one in Elf that attacked Will Ferrell.... So, the front desk guy comes and tries to scare the beast off, oh and remove the trash can that the animal was digging in for dinner. I wait a moment and then head back out. Luckily, while the raccoon was no longer standing directly outside my door, it was still around but I made it in safe and sound. 

Here is what I found (and didn't find) in my room: 1. Half eaten can of cocktail peanuts and an open can of International House of Coffee - Vanilla 2. No trash can 3. A box fan 3. No washrags or hand towels, although I do have bath towels and all the other stuff that is supposed to be in the room. So, I'm like fine. I wash my face and crawl into bed and realize that it is REALLY dark and I decide to leave the bathroom light on just so I can find my way around. I go to sleep.....