Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sterling 2013: Missed the Joust but Got the Men

Our 2013 visit to the Sterling Renaissance Faire was something of a first for me. I have now been to the Faire and completely missed a joust! This year, I finally scraped up enough funds to put a down payment on my Holy Grail of Renaissance Faire wear: boots! I am having them custom-made by Catskill Mountain Moccasins, a regular vendor at the Faire, and maker of some pretty amazing footwear, which I've been eyeing for twenty years. The joust, unfortunately, took place during my fitting, so Hubby and the Peanut went to see that while I was measured for my boots.

While I was disappointed to have missed out on the display of horsemanship and lancework, I did get in a few fresh experiences. This year, we tried turkey meatballs, which were terrific, and I had a go at the archery booth. Turns out I'm not a bad shot, after warming up to it. I'm better with a recurve bow, but my love is the longbow.

I also got to see the Queen's Duel toward the end of the day, where the Queen and her ladies witness a display of martial skill, as well as the knights' attempt to successfully woo a lady. That was such fun! At the end, I also had the opportunity to pose for a photo with a couple of the knights, Sir Francis Drake and Sir Christopher Hatton. Now what girl in her right mind passes up the chance?

The Hubby and Peanut are taking martial arts classes, and so found some wooden practice swords for sale and purchased them. Hubby must've thought I felt left out, because he also picked me up some wooden knives, which are Way Cool.

Finally, another first: we were there nearly the entire day! We've never attended Faire all day, and we managed to remain until an hour before closing. Someday, we hope to see both the opening and closing ceremonies. I'm told the end-of-day Pub Sing is not to be missed!

Check out the rest of the new photos in my Renaissance Faire Album

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lovin' That Good News!

So, Prince William and Duchess Kate have officially welcomed their first baby this afternoon at 4:24 PM - a boy weighing 8 lbs. 6 oz. That's awesome news, and so refreshing in an age where all the media gives us is the bad stuff. Congrats to Kate and William and the new little prince!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Garden Update

Not much to talk about yet in the gardening department. I have romaine leaf lettuce now ready to be picked, and I have harvested the year's first crop of beans:

These beans are the "Royal Burgundy" variety, and some of them grow purple on the plant! They turn green when cooked, and trust me when I say they are light years better cooked fresh from your garden than anything that can be bought canned or frozen. I had forgotten how tasty fresh beans were. They are a "bush" variety, too, which means they don't need staking. Next year, I will be making a container for them all by themselves, they're so good.

My tomatoes were off to a slow start, and I think the copious amounts of rain killed off my hopes for eggplant and peppers, but we have corn! My husband wanted to plant corn in our raised-bed garden this year to see how well it does, and apparently it is doing swimmingly. I hope it tastes as good as it's looking! And the nice thing is, we will have cornstalks to decorate our house for fall! Oh, fall (and cooler weather) ... hurry up and get here! :)

Monday, July 08, 2013

Love Romances Cafe Chat Winner!

Congratulations to Colleen, who participated in my chat last night at Love Romances Cafe and received a free eBook of EARTH! I hope you enjoy the book, Colleen, and thanks so much for participating in the chat. Happy Summer, and Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Heat and Rain and Thunderstorms, Oh My!

Every summer, it seems like Mother Nature throws everything she has at us. This year, it's rain, flooding, and those terrible wildfires out west.

I'd like to remind everyone to be watchful of pets, kids, and the elderly in this heat. My older dog is drooping, and I've been working to keep her cool and hydrated, as she doesn't seem to tolerate the high temperatures the way she used to. If your pets are doing the same, it may be a good idea to give them a cool (not cold) bath to bring down their temperatures. My younger dog enjoys ice chips and cubes. You might also want to get your pets (or humans, for that matter) out into an air-conditioned environment for a while.

My dog's a bit better this morning than she was yesterday, so it's a matter of keeping an eye on her. Do the same for your pets and family, and try to stay cool, yourself. This heat's gotta break soon!

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Reviews Are In for THE SERPENT IN THE STONE!

Reviews are coming in for THE SERPENT IN THE STONE, Book One in the Gifted Series. It's been called "tense and fascinating," "hot," and "hard to put down!" See what all the buzz is about. Click the link to learn more about THE SERPENT IN THE STONE, or order your copy now through Amazon, The Wild Rose Press, or your favorite bookseller!