Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back from the battle at the end of the world - Ragnarok XXIII - with pictures


My daughter and I are safely back from our week at Ragnarok. There were several evening storms which meant we got a little bit damp, but it was, once again, an experience to remember. I don't fight, my daughter does. I did my fighting thirty years ago when Dagorhir was first starting out. Below are some more Ragnarok XXIII pictures.

Here are people gathering on the battlefield:

Many people put a lot of effort into their "garb" and their armor:

Here are some things on the ground:

And here they are on a person:

More interesting people:

Now for some action:

Looking down a front line during one of the battles:

More of the front lines:

Fighting is thirsty business:

Surveying the battlefield:

One of the most impressive sets of leather armor I saw the whole week - she's from the Narnia camp:

Ready for battle:

One last shot:

So that's Ragnarok. A full week of medieval/Tolkienesque battles. Any questions?

P.S. If you like fantasy, I have a short story up on my other blog for your enjoyment. It's called The Fairy's Tale. In it you'll find a little Celtic myth and legend, warrior women, manticores, leshies, and of course fairies.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gone Camping - Ragnarok

I'm leaving today to go camping for a week. Hope everyone out there has a great week! I'll post a few pictures of Ragnarok XXIII when I get back - that's assuming I remember to bring my camera!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The best soap in the world!

I think that possibly the best soap in the world is made about twenty minutes away from where I live at a place called Daybreak Lavender Farm.

The soaps pictured above are some of their lavender soaps.

I'm not affiliated with them or anything, I just like their soap. Take a look at their site and read what they make their soaps with. They are elegant, indulgent cakes of luscious smelling, high quality ingredients.

Last Christmas my husband gave me a cake of spice soap that had things like cinnamon and cloves in it. It was the best smelling thing I have ever bathed with.

The pink soap pictured aboveis a rose soap.

Last Mother's Day I gave my mom a cake of lavender soap. She set it on her table for a while because it smelled like a bouquet of flowers.

The soaps don't smell 'soapy' at all, if you know what I mean. I think it's because of the high quality ingredients they use.

The marbled soap pictured above is an aloe soap.

I just wanted to do a post about Daybreak Lavender Farm and their soaps. They're a small , mom and pop kind of operation, but they do big things with soap.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Harry Potter Prequel, New Story Up

You can read about a Harry Potter Prequel, which was auctioned off, here.

You can actually read the prequel, which was handwritten on two sides of a card slightly larger than a 3x5, if you follow the directions at this site.

I found all of this good information in a post with several interesting links over at the bookshelves of doom blog.

On an unrelated note, I have a new story up at my other blog.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tech Woes, Next Week Ragnarok

My computer is having some problems so I have to sneak time on other family members' computers in order to check email, check the blogs, etc. Also, I've been busy with my daughter's graduation party, so nothing new has been posted since the 10th. Until now.

This week I'll be getting ready to go to Ragnarok XXIII. Anyone familiar with Ragnarok will say, Ragnarok XXIII? Isn't Ragnarok the big battle that will happen at world's end, according to Norse mythology? How can there be 23 of them? This is how.

It's run by Dagorhir, a group that fights medieval battles using foam weapons. Ages and ages ago, when I was in high school, I participated in the original Dagorhir (see small TV dagorhir clip from 1982 with link at right under fun and interesting links).

I mentioned this to my kids a few years ago and we googled Dagorhir. I was surprised to find that the group still exists, and that it has gone nationwide. They get together once a year for an epic, week-long battle, which they call Ragnarok.

My daughter got involved with a local Dagorhir unit and she went to Ragnarok XXII last summer. I went with her because she wasn't allowed to go alone. We're going again this year. This year there will be an old geezer's night. Old people like me will sit around and tell battle tales from ages long past (only I can hardly remember that long ago). I don't fight anymore, I'm more into bringing a pile of books to read when I'm not watching my daughter fight and watching the fireflies come out in the evening around my campsite.

So that's where I'll be next week, and I'll have zero access to a computer. It's a week-long camp-out. But when I get back I'll post a few pictures. Last year just over 1,000 people participated. This year I think the're expecting about 1,500.

So this week I'll be getting everything together that my daughter and I will need for a week of camping. I'm sure I'll be able to get some more posts put up too, as long as I can manage to kick someone off of their computer - that shouldn't be hard, should it? After all I used to be pretty good with a two-handed broadsword :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Feed the Fish

I found out how to get the little thing-a-ma-bob over at the right (the fish) over at the Xue Originals blog.

She has a beautiful blog and you should go visit.

New Blog Up

I have a new blog up if you want to take a look. It's a place for me to share some of my short stories. Its called Story Time Break.

Beautiful Spiderworts

Here are some of my spiderworts with their pretty flowers open. They are at the edge of the park next door where things get a little wild and weedy before they become tame again.

Believe it or not, I got them a few years ago at Walmart. I've never seen anything like spiderwort at Walmart before or since.

At the same time, they also had some lovely yellow lillies which I bought to plant along with the spiderwort. At the store they were in bloom at the same time. In reality, the lillies bloom right after the spiderwort.

This morning is windy and overcast. The flash actually came on when I took these pictures, so it washed out the pretty yellow centers of the purple flowers.

It stormed last night. Just before the storms came in last evening, the light from the setting sun caught in the towering, billowing clouds. It was a beautiful sight and I wished I'd had my camera with me, but I was on the other side of the park with my doggy and my camera was safe at home. Later in the evening the sky became dark and literally boiled as the storms moved in.

The skies here are always intersting and I often wish I could capture them on film when I'm out walking around with my pup.

These pictures were taken way back in early winter of 2006. We get many beautiful sunsets here and I'm often out in the nether regions of the park with the dog while they're occuring.

I should make it a point to bring my camera along with me on walks so that I can capture some of the beautiful things that I see.

Hope you have a nice day!

Monday, June 9, 2008


I have sprouts in my garden! Things started poking out of the soil over the weekend. Once things have become more established, I'll have to get in there with the hoe. Every square centemeter is covered with lots of things trying to grow, a good deal of them maple tree seedlings. I told my husband that if the garden doesn't take, we could start a maple seedling farm.

Here's a bush bean plant sprouting:

Here are a couple of zucchini:

And here's a row of corn:

Sunflowers and three types of peas have also begun to show their heads. In the front yard the peonies are in bloom. Some of the white blooms have let their heavy heads rest on the soft carpet of pine needles underneath. The white ones smell just like roses:

Here's a pink one, they don't have much of a fragrance, but they make up for it with color:

The white peony below is talking to a little lungwort plant. I have two lungwort plants, and I know they like shade, but I think that these may have too much of it. They usually have one beautiful pink-then-blue flower (which has already bloomed and gone), but they aren't thriving. They were there when we bought the house seven years ago. I'm thinking about moving them to a better spot:

Sorry about the blurriness of the next picture. I went out to get a picture of my spiderwort which just began to bloom today. Well, at least this morning some of the flowers were open when the sun was on them. This after noon, in the shade, they have closed up again. I love my spiderwort. The picture is blurry because my dog was with me and had wandered into the park next door while I was snapping the picture. Teams were setting up for a baseball game and I was afraid my dog would sneak over there an steal one of their balls - so I snapped the pic quick and called my doggy home.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Kittens are like that!

When one of my nieces was tiny she had a little book called Kittens Are Like That. She had it memorized and when it was read to her she would always chime in when it came to the, "kittens are like that," parts. Only she would say it, "Kittens are like that!"

Well, if you like kittens then you might like this site. It's the itty bitty kitty committee blogspot, a blog featuring kittens that come to stay for a while in a kitten foster home. If you need some Awww! time, this will do it.

Monday, June 2, 2008

And Now For Something Completely Different: A Cat that turned into a Woman

This link will take you to an article in the Nigerian Tribune about a cat that was hit by a car and then turned into a woman. I found it on author Neil Gaiman's blog. I thought it was funny that one of his labels for that particular post was, "Do Not Turn Into A Cat In Nigeria".

I wasn't at the scene of the accident (I've never even been to Nigeria), so I really can't comment, but this may have been a situation in which critical thinking skills would have been valuable.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Blisters, Muscle Aches, and Rototilling

Rototilling. One word to describe it - ouch.

On our way to rent a rototiller from Home Depot, we stopped at a house with a "Rototilling" sign in the yard. My husband asked the man how much it would cost to have him rototill our little corner of yard. The man said $65.

We decided to rent from HD instead at a cost of $35 for four hours, or $50 for twenty-four hours. When we were done with the rototilling, we almost stopped at this man's house again just to tell him that his $65 would have been well worth it.

The rototiller is hard to hang onto - it takes about every muscle in your body. Getting our little corner of yard tilled up took about three hours and several blisters and aching back, shoulder, leg, and especially forearm muscles. But we managed it. And my husband got the rest of the rotten stump out and the root system that was shallow enough to be in the way of the garden.

We tilled it added some old compost where it was needed, smoothed it out, and then planted. One more time, here are some before and after pictures.




We planted corn, peas, tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, spinach, carrots, a few large sunflowers, a few small sunflowers, and some calendula flowers. The large sunflowers will be for the birds. The small sunflowers will be for our table, and the calendula flowers will be to look at and to harvest for their petals. Their petals can be made into preparations to put on cuts and burns, etc.

Here are a few pictures of some things in my front yard.

I'm not a good gardener because I can't remember the names of these bushes that we planted in front of the house a couple of years ago. I absolutely love them when they are in bloom:

I also don't know the name of this plant. I saved it from the back corner of the back yard before hoeing it clean of everything. It's now in the front yard by the lamp post along with some pots of geraniums. All I know about is that it's a perennial:

The red and white-blooming plants in the lower left are azaleas:

Now we wait while the freshly planted back garden does its thing.