Saturday, April 27, 2013

It has been a While

I know it has been a while since my last blog post. Partially it is because I have so many other things going on that I can't seem to take time to write up a decent post, and I hate one or two liners just to fill space. The majority of the reason is because I am lazy and I haven't done anything of interest. I also can't sit down and force myself to write even when I know I should.

I would like to lay the blame on Facebook but truthfully I can not blame Facebook. I put off joining Facebook for years because I knew it would enable me to be even less productive than normal. That and I had no reason to join since my I see my friends more than once a week. PeterC finally convinced me to join by pointing out all these cool and interesting posts by people who I know in passing in the SCA.

I admit, I have seen some interesting articles and posts by people I would not otherwise encounter on a daily basis. But the majority of my time on FB is playing those silly games. I can pretend I don't have work to do and just veg in front of my PC for hours playing useless and mind numbing games. My excuses vary from week to week: "It is cold and wet outside."; " I don't feel well."; and of course the old refrain of "I have to complete level XYorZ."

It is all crap and excuses to make me feel better about not doing anything. I am an addict to stupid time wasting games. Facebook doesn't make me sit in front of my PC and it sure doesn't make me play those games. Enables? Sure. Encourages? Definitely. Forces? No way. I could just turn it all off but I haven't. And it isn't like I don't have plenty to do.

There is garden work. PeterC and I have already planted out earl spring seeds. This year it is snow peas, kale, leeks, and kohlrabi. In another month we will plant our pole beans and fennel. The herb bed needs to be cleaned up and the annual plants seeded or seedlings planted. The blueberry bushes need to be fed and mulched with peat moss. The flower beds need to be cleaned up and coffee grounds scattered around the rose bushes. Weeds need to be pulled. Trellises need to be rebuilt and repaired. Compost bins need to be turned. The chicken coop needs to be cleaned out. And...well you get the idea. There are tons of things to do around the yard and house.

There is also my woodwork. I want to build a pole lathe and forge some specialty tools for it. I want to get some more carvings done for my Etsy shop. I want to create some game boards for Medieval and Dark Ages games to take with me to SCA events. I want to create some turned pieces for those games boards. I want to build a replica of the Mastermyr Chest. I want to create more tools for various fibre arts that I practice, as well as to sell on Etsy.

I want to create an entire set of garb for my SCA events, by hand. I've been working on this project at night in front of the TV. So far I have created a wool hood for winter and am almost done with construction on a linen hood for summer. Next I plan to embroider some cuffs for my medieval dress. After that a tunic and pair of trews, and maybe even some underwear. Then back to the embroidery to decorate my new linen hood and the cuffs and collar of my new tunic. With some luck I will have this project done for Feast of the Hare, the big SCA event in November here in Skraeling Althing.

Then there is the blacksmithing. I need to forge some tools and parts for the pole lathe project. I want to create replicas of the tools from the Mastermyr Chest. I want to make some iron needles just to see how they work. I want to try to make a lock for the Mastermyr chest. Blacksmithing is not one of those things I absolutely have to do to do the woodworking, but it is one of the many things I would like to do. Besides, it is something I can do with PeterC since he is interested in blacksmithing.

I've recently come across references to "Visby Lenses", viking age or earlier clear rock crystals that have been ground down to create magnifying lenses. Most like used for reading but possibly used to see tiny stitches in embroidery work. This is of course going to be an ongoing research project. It is going to take me months to create the necessary tools and many more months to figure out how to create the lenses using Iron Age technology. No diamond saws or high speed diamond grinding wheels here. Just plain old elbow grease and ....well that is as far in my research as I have gotten. Sand, maybe? Don;t know but it should be interesting to find out.

As you can see, I have plenty to do. Now I just have to turn off the PC and get to work. I think I will mulch the blueberries today and then work on turning some game pieces using my very modern electric lathe. And then, if the weather holds I might even get up enough oomph to take a walk or go for a bike ride.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Spring

Spring is here but the ground is still quite cold and snow stills covers the shadier parts of the yard. The seeds are still in their packages waiting for a warm sunny day when they can be put into the ground. I am content to wait.

My neighbour, who always has a perfect yard, is not as content to wait as I am. I saw him out in his yard both yesterday and today trying to get a jump start on the spring cleanup. He was putting fresh earth in his flower beds and trying very hard to erase the signs of winter as quickly as possible.

I love watching him in his yard. He always seems like he is in deep meditation when he is working in the garden. He truly loves the plants, the grass, and even the birds and bees. His wife, not so much. She loves the way the yard looks but she doesn't appreciate the birds and bees as much as he does.

I always look forward to seeing the yard, mine and the neighbours, in bloom. It is no competition. My yard looks as natural as I can make it except for the vegetable garden. His, reminds me of the beautifully maintained gardens you see on English Estates. Each has its place and makes the people living in them happy.