I feel like I’m bogging down. Working on this research paper is getting to me.  As well as an incipient chest cold that I’m trying to hold off.

As for the research paper, it is definitely hard work!  And in my retirement I’ve gotten pretty laid-back [read: lazy].  But I know how rewarding it will be to have a finished product to show for all the reading I’ve been doing of Icelandic sagas and about women in the Viking Age.  So I slog on.

Meanwhile, there are always joys that help me bounce back up. 🙂  Like Black Bean, one of Ophelia’s house-mates, posing on a chair:


And Ophelia is back in her basket:


Kiwi and Sissy must be wondering why there are no new photos of them posted here.  I’m being derelict in my duties as a cat slave. 😉

Other notable fun stuff coming up:

This Saturday is Red Spears Yule Feast, to be held about two hours north of here.  I’m catching a ride with fellow SCA member Slany Bean Uillic and her husband.  Mistress Halla of Mugmort has made me a couple of CDs of a few of the songs from my 1991 home recording, on cassette tape, of Renaissance lute music.  On the tape I’m playing my 7-course lute, performing some lute solos and also singing various Elizabethan lutesongs, many by the masterful John Dowland.

I especially want to give a copy of the CD to THL Piotr Zavilov at Yule Feast.  In his modern guise, he is the pianist-organist-composer Shane Brandes, who has many wonderful live performances of his compositions on YouTube.  Here is a favorite:

It reminds me a bit of a Chopin nocturne.  I met Piotr at Red Dragon, here in the Marche of Tirnewydd, back in October.  It was my first SCA event and a wonderful introduction to the organization:

Queen Kateryn and King Edmund hold Court, Red Dragon, October 1st, 2016.  Photo credit: Teri McCarthy.

Plus, looking ahead a bit, there’s a Christmas get-together with my brother Chris and his family as well as my sons.  That’s also the deadline for me to finish (and start!) the portrait of his daughter Kaleigh that I promised for her mother Missy back in the summer at a family wedding.  This is the photo I’ll be working from:

Kaleigh at 17 in 2014

Isn’t she gorgeous?  It is a photo that simply begs to be painted, as my bff Josie put it recently.

And in January several things are coming up that I’m looking forward to.  First is the new semester at Ohio State.  I’m planning to enroll in two classes this time, Gothic Paris: 1100 – 1300; and Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature.  They should keep me busy reading!

January is also filled with more SCA events.  There is one and possibly two 12th Night celebrations that I’ll be attending, one up north in Michigan, which is a maybe, and the other which is local, the Barony of the Middle Marches Twelfth Night.  For it I will be teaching another class, like I did this past week for Marche of Tirnewydd, on Women in the Viking Age.  But mostly having fun and wearing my new festive winter garb, complete with my sheepskin hat and Hedeby boots. 🙂  And a mask for the ball!

Plus later in January Mistress Halla and I are thinking of going back to Illinois, where we attended the Fall Crown Tourney, for the Festival of the Maidens.  Here we are at Fall Crown:

Mistress Halla of Mugmort (Halle Snyder) and me, Fall Crown Tourney, October 15, 2016. Credit: Finnguala Ingen Ui HAirt

The SCA is so much fun! If you are at all into medieval history and would like to experience it firsthand, come to an SCA event.  I practically guarantee that you’ll enjoy it! 🙂