Photo: I don’t know if ya’ll can really see him, but that’s Ursa Major with a little play “sword” in his hand, about to fight a “notorious Italian swordsman” at the Renaissance Faire. They called him “Sir Oblivious” because he barely knew what was going on… but he had fun, and that’s what matters.

 

I just spent a good portion of my afternoon raking leaves… It is such a Zen-like thing to do: the leaves fall, you rake them in to pretty and colorful piles, you turn around and more have fallen… there is tangible and satisfying evidence that you have, indeed, been working, and yet there is perpetually more work to do. So relaxing. I absolutely love it. Not to mention, you get a little bit of an arm workout. Wonderful…

hmm?

Birthday?

Promised pictures of Mt. Washington?

Right… uh…

It’s a three-hour drive from the farmhouse to Mt. Washington, and that’s just to get there. It’s another 2 hour drive to the top if you do the little tour. It was just too much with the boys… they’d get really antsy and want to get out. I’m not gonna lie: I was pretty disappointed when Google spat me the directions and that little green 3 showed up in the hour category. I thought about maybe going to the beach, but decided against that, too. So what did we do?

We shimmied on down to to King Richard’s Faire (the local Renaissance Festival)!

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, and I was a little bit worried that the boys were going to be a little freaked out by it all, but I was pleasantly surprised that they liked it! They immediately seemed to understand that we were in a “special” kind of place that was weird and different. As a bit of birthday luck, we were given two free tickets because two people didn’t show up for a group of friend’s who’d already bought tickets. “We were looking for someone with kids, you know? Enjoy!” This was a huge act of kindness, and a really big deal. Adult tickets are $29 a pop! It allowed us to buy the boys flags for the jousting, make sure that they got sweets at the end of the day, and I was able to buy a little trinket for my hair. Oh right, I forgot to mention that food is flippin expensive at these things! $6 hard cider?? $8 mead!? Killin’ me!

The people in costumes were nice, with folk really proud of the stuff they come in. It was also Game of Thrones theme day, so there were too many cheap imitations of Daenerys walkin’ around. There was a guy who looked just like Kit Harrington (aka Jon Snow) and I thought I’d just about died. The Husband let me stare a little over long as a birthday present. 😉 Ursa Major got to get on stage and participate in a sword fight, which was pretty cool. The boys especially loved the jousting, which The Husband and I were particularly pleased with, seeing as Jousting is the official sport of our home state. Between the jousting tournaments, the boys danced to bagpipe music (which made my husband very happy) and watched some of the stunt shows. It wasn’t perfect–with little boys getting tired and whiny during certain points of the day–but it was a nice day. Full of fun memories. And I’m excited that we’ll be able to take them back in a year or two… maybe we’ll even dress them up! (Conservative Mom Moment: I forgot how bawdy Rennfests can be. During the “kids” sword fight there were many a butt joke a gyrating with swords and what what… which is fine because it’s mostly over the kid’s heads but… you know… still. Ha! Glad Ursa Major was so oblivious to it all!)

The family blew up my phone all day, though I got to most of them on Sunday. Father sent a text with some nonsense because… Father… Everyone had a fun baby story or birth story or bratty toddler story to share with me, so that was enjoyable. I was able to find myself a duck to roast for yesterday’s dinner, and now I’ve got rendered duck fat for future frying awesomeness. And yes, I even got a little bit of knitting in on my first sock project. Awesome birthday weekend. Exactly what I needed.

So when the check engine light came on the dashboard this morning on my way to dropping Ursa Major off at preschool, I said good morning to Chaos, thanked it for choosing Monday instead of the weekend, took a deep breath and kept it moving. The good news is: It went off again later. The bad news is: I know that it’s gonna come on again.

So here I am, the Monday after, my panic over. I am quite inspired, and got up and did a lot of writing this morning. My goal is to have this story done (as in, first draft completed) by Halloween so that I can play with this other story during NaNoWriMo in November and then begin the tough task of re-writing and editing in December. And it’s going to take a lot, and I have a lot of ideas already… but I’ve got to finish with the initial story and thoughts before I can really begin to mold this thing into the story that I want it to be.  So there! Writing crisis over! Until the next blown deadline, anyway!

And that NaNo project? Let’s just say that I asked The Husband where he thought my old philosophy books were packed and he looked at me like I had three heads. Gonna have to open some boxes after the boys go to bed.

Oh! And you wanna know what The Husband and the boys are giving me for my birthday? Flower boxes for the windows! The Husband hung out in the barn yesterday painting them! (of course, with very low lighting in the barn, the pictures came out awful) When we put them up, hopefully over the weekend, I’ll post a picture! I’m so excited! Gonna put pumpkins in them for autumn decoration!

Thank you for your birthday wishes and tweets! I am so grateful! Having ya’ll around for encouragement and sharing is the greatest gift of all. 🙂 I hope that ya’ll won’t abandon me now that I’m all old and uninteresting. Seriously, I can feel the arthritis already…

See you Wednesday! Let’s have a great week!

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9 thoughts on “So You’re 30…with Toddlers…

  1. With bawdy jokes, it tends to be that if the kids get them, they already know; if they’re too innocent to know, they won’t get them. Either way, there’s not so much to worry about, really. 😉

    I’m very jealous! I hear a lot about these kinds of events, but you don’t really get them so much here, so I’ve never been, despite my longstanding wish to take up armoured combat. One day…

    Anyway, happy birthday, and I’m glad things went relatively well for you. 🙂

    • Color me American, but I’m kinda surprised that there aren’t RennFest type thingies going on in England. Then again, I’m not TOO surprised, as kings and castles are considered “fantasy” over here and ya’ll are living the real thing! I am just surprised that ya’ll aren’t looking for excuses to put on a low-cut dress and play with swords like we do. 🙂

      I’d bed you’d find it TOTALLY overrated if you came over here and went to one. I’m telling you… it’s people dressed up like the folk of legend making bawdy jokes and playing with swords. Good fun, yes, but… you know… a fantasy. A very expensive fantasy!

      • We have, like, permanent reenactment places. Those Saxon villages and Cragganowen in Ireland and stuff like that. And there are plenty of regional branches of the Society for Creative Anachronism. But we don’t really have festivals for it in the same way you guys seem to.

        Though if you go to any castle on a weekend or during a school holiday, there’ll probably be a handful of volunteers in costume, and they often have events going on, so maybe I’m just forgetting about all those things. Like you said, we’ve got real castles, so stuff tends to be tied to locations and particular historical periods. Not many people go in costume, as far as I know: it’s more for those who work there.

        Idk. I’m probably blathering on about nothing. I’ll shut up.

        • No no! It’s such a great reminder. This stuff is real, actual, TANGIBLE history for ya’ll! The great irony is that we sent a whole lot of time thinking and fighting over how much we didn’t really like monarchy and the yada yada (not to mention we forget all about the ideas of democratizing money and power going back as early as The Reformation) yet, first chance we get, we’re excited about putting on corsets and bowing toward actors in historically inaccurate clothing. We are a country full of great irony. If you think about it too hard, your brain will explode.

          If you get a chance to travel to America via awesome college traveling opportunities, come here in the autumn when we usually have these things. King Richard’s Faire is totally ok, but if you want the REAL awesome deal, you gotta go to RennFest in Maryland. That thing is AWESOME! And, like I said, jousting is the OFFICIAL sport of Maryland and we take that ish seriously. (err… as seriously as you can take such a thing).

          • I have a friend who goes to that, I think — if I remember rightly, she lives in Maryland, and I know she’s been to several different events, so I’m assuming at least one of them is that one. I see her costume pictures on Facebook. 🙂

            As for me, I’ll just hit people with swords for fun…

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