Sunday, April 14, 2013

Return to Fools War

Let me begin the tales of my most recent adventure with a preface:

I haven't really gotten to play in the SCA for the last 2 (+ 1/2 ish) years while I focused on finishing my bachelors' degrees.  I graduated in December (:  One of the things I've -really- been looking forward to is getting to go to my first post graduation event, and this was it!

Now previously, I've always come in Saturday morning, camped that night and left bright and early on Sunday.  But the site actually opens on Thursday night-- so this time, I decided I wanted the full experience.

I made the three hour trek through gray skies and drizzle, scattered pelting rains, two tornado warnings (Have I mentioned I was determined to get to my 'first' event in 2 years?) and extremely slow vehicles on back country roads going 10 - 15 miles under the speed limit.   I personally congratulated myself on passing one of those decrepitly slow vehicles legally and efficiently whilst also managing to dodging a giant stick in the road!

...a giant stick that was proceeding to cross the road...

I watched that stick turned serpent high tail into the brush and realized we were mutually dodging each other, so I figured the snake earned half my congratulations.

I pulled into site two hours later than expected but with at least an hour of sunlight left, determined to sleep in my car for the night for fear of losing my tent in the weather I knew was headed our way if I set it up.  I got to hug friends I haven't really gotten to see and spend time with them in a relaxed manner my normal 'rushing around' doesn't allow.  We sat.  We visited.  We laughed (Lord, we LAUGHED!)  And I got to head out to dinner with my dear friends Andres and Katarina.

When we got back to site, my friend Mike offered me the use of one of his period pavilions that he'd set up that wouldn't be in use by its intended occupants until the following afternoon.  I cheerfully took him up on the offer and Katarina helped me bring my bedding and cot up through the beginning sprinkles.  Then we all sat beneath Mike and Vivianna's open pavilion, listening to the rain, visiting and laughing into the wee hours of the morning.  A break in the light rain provided the perfect opportunity to head to bed.  And I realized that coming in on Thursday night meant 1. Not having to get immediately into garb if I didn't feel like it yet.  2.  Delightful relaxed visiting.  3. Not feeling rushed to get set up in the fear of missing any of the activities.

Through the night, the real storm arrived.  I woke when the lightning lit the lovely canvas tent up like a lightbulb then went back to sleep.  I woke when the 55 mph winds blew the side walls towards me and simultaneously thought "Please don't let the tent fall on me!" and "Woohoo for a wellmade tent that isn't falling on me!" and went back to sleep.  And by sunrise, the storm had passed and we were on our way to a beautiful day.

I pulled my car up and pulled out my pop up.  Now see, my husband has been camping off and on for the last two years.  And in that time, he purchased a tent that goes inside our pop up.  He swore by it and talked me through how to put it up while we were putting it away from his last camping trip.  I was surprised and delighted that it took all of 10 minutes, by myself, to put it up.  Score 1 for the husband!!

Amazing things I learned this weekend at Fools War:

There's a bath house at Lake Tobesofkee!  This was the fourth time I've been to this site and the -first- time I realized that meant there were bathroom stalls as part of the park.  I will never use a portapotty here again!  Woohoo!!

Working troll is epic fun!  And a great way to meet new people and seeing who's coming in.

Buying from local merchants is awesome (:  As a result,

I have soap and got to try strawberry social and Grandmother's 6 year aged special blackberry elixir (that was very shiny and comes from a recipe over 100 years old) from Maddie at the Silver Caldroun.

I also found bells I could not resist (I admit it, I have an ever growing collection of small brass bells because I can't resist and "Ooo!  Brass bells!  Shiny and tinkly and fun!" okay?).

Got my own mug and a replacement soup bowl from my fantastic friend Kerry at Fire Horse Pottery.

I'm going to try my hand at lucet weaving (Yea!  Learn something new!!) with the two different lucet looms (the small wooden not forks) I got from Angharad verch Dafydd at The Work Basket.

And to thank my boyos for taking care of our critters (as well as bring them a present from my trip) I found these adorable dragons at Valkyrja Allure.

Lamb stew is yummy!  Challah bread is delicious AND the 'C' is silent, so it sounds like you're saying "Holla!" (;  Thanks, to Liberty Kovach at Liberty's Sweets for a delicious dinner on Friday!

And thanks to the Star and Unicorn for a not hot breakfast in 47 degree weather on Saturday morning. Excellent and generous portions.  And a delicious respite of bbq chicken and chips for lunch (:

I adore facebook for giving me the opportunity to keep up with SCAdian friends over the two years I couldn't play-- and that getting to see them in person was even SO much better!!!

I decided to pack light.  Upshot:  I could fit everything in the car and not my truck/ bed of my truck.  Downside:  As a result, I forgot my toothbrush, my medicine, my sun hat and my parasol.  So I have my first sunburn since I was 11.  My husband who has, on occasion, come home with a lobster red neck doesn't even register my forehead and nose on a scale of worth mentioning.  Except it's my first sunburn since I was 11.  So for me-- It -hurts-.  This is where we discover:

Aloe Vera gel is our friend!

Tick checks are important.

SoulPads and Vardos are epic.

Shinobi, the campfire game of assassins, is on my calendar of things to do next year at Fools War!  I didn't get to participate, but I got to listen and it sounds like SO MUCH FUN!! (:

And on Saturday night, apparently, I was wearing my drum silencing invisible hat.  The beautiful allure of drumming would sound through the dark and call to me.  I would follow, getting closer, closer, closer.  I would reach it...and it would stop.  Four times.  Four times I followed the drums to silence. (I did get to dance -once- though (:  And my friend Sonja bellydanced for the first time.)


The official theme of this year's Fools War was The Quest for The Holy Grail (No, not -that- one.)  This one!

The first unofficial theme that developed was The Quest for 50 cents!

Merchants like cash.  But some of them don't work in whole dollar amounts or need to cover tax.  50 cents comes in quite handy.  A lot of them have change for when YOU don't have the 50 cents.  And sometimes you spot a friend 50 cents, sometimes a friend spots you 50 cents and sometimes, you do the exact same thing for a stranger (or vice versa).  It was funny, amazing, and impossible to keep track of all the 50 cents.  And at the end of the event, as we were packing my chair, we discovered I had yet another two quarters sitting in the cup holder of the arm.

The second unofficial theme that developed was the Wizard of Oz.

Our Web Mistress is a brunette who was off to see "the wonderful Exchequer of Oz" and had to go past her tent neighbor's 'little dog' too!

We decided that our Exchequer was Glenda.

As we sat there, an unstaked pop up, as well as the pop up tent we were right beside were both flipped by the wind.  I saw the first one and was sure that it was coming for us!  The second one was where several of my shire mates had slept the night before.  The wind broke it, but between us and several tent neighbors, we got it take down.  It turned out that Alienora had a spare pop up in the vehicle, so we just got the new one set up (:

The battle field raged with a plethora of tin men!

And then, while sitting under the sun shade, I glanced over and saw Jonathon's feet sticking out from under the tent flap of the house shaped tent.  Leather shoes with a small point at the toes and red stockings.  (lol)  It looked like a house had landed on him (:

photo taken by Viviana (:

All in all, I had a FANTASTIC time at Fools War!!  Definitely remember why I joined and love the SCA and -definitely- putting Fools War on my calendar for next year!