I feel like I should have something to say about my 31st birthday, but I don't really. Gwen slept until 7:00 (which is what we always are aiming for, but which she's missed by half an hour -- or more -- most of the last week), so at least the day didn't start off on the wrong foot. But I was still tired from the weekend and so spent most of the day at work in a bit of a fog, slogging through my translation rather than getting to work on anything new as I'd been planning.
For Joel's birthday, I went to the little cupcake shop near our grocery store and bought half a dozen. He was very surprised and pleased, and ever since then I'd been hoping he'd do the same for me. I'm not really a huge birthday person, but a birthday isn't a birthday without cake of some sort, and it had bothered me over the years that I was making my own birthday cake more often than not. That just didn't seem right. And here we have easy access to these phenomenal carrot cake cupcakes with heavenly buttercream frosting...
Still, while I cherished a hope he would, I didn't actually have an expectation. Which means that when he showed up at my office a little past 4:30 with the excuse that he'd gotten more grocery shopping than he'd planned and he was hoping I'd be able to lighten the load, I simply grabbed my schoolbag and told him I wasn't sure how much I could take and still bike home with Gwen, but I could probably take something. And then he pulled out a box of cupcakes. :) We each had one, and then he headed home while I worked for another half an hour before getting Gwen. We then headed to Scheffel's Kulturbrauerei
, a few blocks from where we live, for supper. I wasn't terribly hungry (darned cupcake :)), and actually wasn't in the mood for traditional German food, which can be kind of heavy, so was surprised to see that the style here is a little bit non-traditional, and that one of the vegetarian specials -- baked feta with rice and ratatouille -- sounded excellent, and it was. Joel got beef with horseradish two ways, and potatoes. I thought Gwen would happily share my dish (normally she's as cheese-loving as the granddaughter of a Wisconsin cheese-maker should be), but she ended up turning up her nose at all of it, and instead ate probably 1/3 of Joel's potatoes with horseradish sauce. She's definitely not my
daughter! On the way home, we passed a little puppy out on a walk, and he ran straight for her and she for him, and he licked her hands while she patted him, and I swear, if she were a little bigger she would've picked him up like her stuffed animals and carried him home with us. She loves dogs so much, and it's so sweet how people will let her say hello to them. I thought she'd throw a fit when we finally had to take her away and let the puppy continue on her walk, but instead when I told her she needed to tell the puppy good-bye, she allowed herself to be picked up and waved to him as we left. So cute. :)
The three of us split another two cupcakes when we got home, and then I asked Joel to try getting a picture of the two of us, since I don't have many, and figured it would be a nice thing to have from my birthday:
When I joined the SCA some 17 years ago (geez!), I knew I wanted Aryanhwy (who was, at the time, Aeronwy, and then Creirwy, and then Euronui, and then finally Aryanhwy) to be Welsh and "early-ish". I flipped through the Timetables of History
, and settled on the early 11th C as a period where things happened but it wasn't overwhelming, and then I picked 1013 as my birthyear since that was a neat number. I've always said that I hope my persona lives long enough to see William invade England. :) Seeing as I've survived through childbirth (twins, Ysfael and Yslani, and a son, Bran, with my husband, Briafael, who died soon after leaving me a young widow), the biggest cause of mortality amongst women, I've got a good chance of making it to 1066, I think! But what I didn't realize at the time I chose that date, nor even until just quite recently, was that I'd also live to see the 1000th anniversary of the birth of Aryanhwy. That's quite a neat milestone, and one many SCAdians don't get, and one I certainly won't live to see again.
I wanted to do something to mark this, but for some reason I didn't really care to do something medieval, perhaps because even though it's about
the SCA, it's actually quite a modern thing to be celebrating. So I decided to make cookies and bring them along to the event this weekend, and hope that people would join me in eating them to mark the occasion after feast. I found myself really wanting chocolate cookies, something which I don't normally go for, preferring either oatmeal or molasses. I have them so infrequently, I don't even have a recipe for them. Google to the rescue, and I ended up with something quite tasty
. They were well received at the event, with plenty of people happily eating them as we lingered around the tables after feast talking and exchanging stories. I didn't want it to be a big deal, but I did want people to do something that made them happy and made them mark the moment, and this worked well.
The event itself was lots of fun, almost exactly what I look for in an event -- small, and with classes. Perhaps the most interesting was Lord Aaron's class on cantillation in Hebrew, something I knew absolutely nothing about before attending. My class, on "how to make your C&I look more medieval", went well, with more than just the one other scribe there attending, and Joel ended up doing an impromptu class on pewtering, showing off his mould, the shields he's cast for me, and the two books he's acquired, and speaking of technique, materials, etc. There was fantastic food, and enough flex time in the schedule that I got a nap in before feast -- a nap which was, unfortunately, necessary due to some less-than-preferable travel arrangements. We were going to ride with Stefano and Judith, with Stefano coming to pick us up after he got off work, and then we'd get Judith and head to the site. As the minutes and then hours crept forward Friday night, I eventually came to the reluctant conclusion that if he wasn't on the road to us by 23:30, we were going to have to bow out; I didn't really relish the idea of waking Gwen up (she'd been sleeping since 19:00) in the middle of the night for a ~3 hour car ride. I got an IM from Judith at 23:20 that he was on the way, and would be there by midnight. We made the decision to give it a whirl, and things weren't that
bad; Gwen didn't fall back asleep in the car for about 1.5 hours, but she didn't wake up when we arrive and I was able to get her from carseat into bed without waking either, around 3:30am. Unfortunately, she then woke up at 6:30, per usual. aaaaaaarrrrrggghhh. She compensated with a 2 hour nap in the morning, of which I was able to sleep myself for half of it (having to get up in order to go teach my class!), but the result was that we were all pretty tired by the end of the weekend! Still, the event was great, even if the travel to and from wasn't optimal.
Oh, one other lovely part from the weekend was that the scroll I did for court was my very first attempt at gilding:
I am so
pleased with how it turned out -- not just the gilding but the entire layout of the scroll (except for the one rather glaring wording mistake, but even that was work-around-able), the long text, the two-columns, the painting in the initials, the entire thing just makes me happy. And
it also made the recipient happy, all the same things. Not everyone likes long texts and scrolls that are mostly calligraphy, even though that's my preference, so I was extra glad to hear Aaron saying that this was his preference too! I can't remember when I've last been so glad and proud to see a scroll of mine given out in court. I'm pretty much always satisfied with the work I produce, but this one will always be special to me.
So there's a hodgepodge from the last few days. Time to close up the computer and veg out on the couch with a book and a cat for awhile.