Monday, October 06, 2014

Five Good Things

Alex and Sarah made costumes and props for the Viking Festival. It was Alex's first visit to any Viking Festival, and we were so engrossed and busy with helping him prepare, that we hadn't given the idea of joining them enough consideration... I had a duh-lightbulb moment after they left, and Maria looked at me incredulously... "So, are we going tomorrow?" she asked. It was Sunday afternoon, and this was a now, or next year situation, so we scrambled, and found our way to the Sons of Norway Lodge.

What a great decision, what a happy discovery. The Viking Festival, encamped in a mixed terrain nook, adjacent to an old hall building, among olive and pepper trees, was small, but rich in activities and sights. We wound our way through stalls and demonstrations, among Vikings, knights, crafters, and traders. We discovered new crafts, inspiring projects, and tempting trinkets. I bought three yards of embroidered cotton trim. I almost bought a drop spindle, because, you know, someday I might be a shepherdess! I still might order a sheaf of wheat, because, you know, plaiting my own straw hat is probably on my bucket list, too. Maria and I were at the traditional Viking foundry, when Alex and Sarah caught up with us. Sarah had to head out, early, which was a shame. Then Bambi was able to leave work, and she met us, so that was a nice surprise. In no time at all, Alex's questions and interest in the traditions and techniques of Viking foundry work earned him a position as an apprentice, helping to heat the little forge for casting Viking charms. Travelers' souvenirs, made in the old way, of plumber's pewter. The experience was fantastic. We have been collecting tools, parts, and knowledge for our own backyard mini-forge and foundry, and this experience was priceless, and fun. I was trying to memorize all the details... soapstone for molds, coke and charcoal for the fire, double bellows pumped in alternation, lead-free plumber's pewter. I am sure Alex remembers more than I do, and the exciting part is that he and Max are on the right course, and this DIY vision is highly attainable.

We were there for only three, maybe four hours. We took away such good ideas, and compelling plans, it was time well spent, and full, and we wish we'd been both days! We must build a Viking tent, and those awesome chairs, a village! I fell in love with the kitchen, the kettles over the fire, the mud and straw bread ovens, the A-frame shelters, the linen tunics and aprons, the many new-to-me crafts... why-o-why didn't I write down the name of the cord making craft? With a small wooden lyre shaped tool these women were turning yarn or string into a woven cord. It was almost like crochet, but not. Gah! I really want to try this, too! I am sure you can imagine, I am so glad Maria nudged me into going to the Viking Festival. Have you guessed? We all want to go, next year.

Good Things...

1. I am still giddy for our cover-goat! Ada made the cover of a local paper, and I beam every time I see her face.

2. Alex and Bambi baked chocolate cupcakes... a treat in honor of Bambi's birthday. The unexpected surprise were the kiwis they added to the buttercream frosting! What a tasty flavor!

3. I found consumer eye-candy bliss at Ikea, where all of their Christmas merchandise is on display. I was utterly smitten with all the Swedish colors and themes, and cheer!

4. Little Debbie, our little and elderly hen, was looking terribly out of sorts, but has rallied, and is looking spry and plucky, again.

5. Is this "good?" I dunno, but I seem to be acclimating to our awful weather... _oh, gee, it's only eighty degrees? Goodness, it's practically chilly. What lovely fall weather_ No. Nope. I cannot bear this. Maybe it's a good thing, that I am getting used to the heat, which is better than always feeling like it's too miserably hot, but a real good thing would be rain, and fog, and mountain snow, and wind, and clouds, and pie baking weather!

Are you getting pie baking weather? Have you ever been to a Viking Festival? What good things are on your mind?


ArtyZen said...

Looks absolutely fantastic! SO envious....Axxx

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

It really was kind of fantastic, which surprised me... I don't know what I was expecting, probably something bigger and busier. Maybe the coziness made it more appealing to me. Wish you had been there, too. Someday, I think we could go to a festival together!