Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Corvus Moon

The artists I admired most last year at White Hart Renaissance Faire were from Corvus Moon Ceramic Arts. They made various pots, vases, pipkins and other pieces on site; everything from shaping the clay to firing was done before one's eyes.

I fell in love with several pieces, of course, but one had to come home with me. Its glaze gleams with coppers, blues, golds, greens and purples, and the ginko leaf is the perfect finishing touch. Full of Queen Anne's lace, it makes a perfect centerpiece.

White Hart Renaissance Faire 2008

Lately Quotidian Light has been getting hits for people searching for information on White Hart Renaissance Faire. Well, I've got good news.

YES! It's happening again this year! Come one, come all!

June 21-22, 28-29 and July 5-6, 2008
Saturdays 10:00am-7:00pm, Sundays 10:00am-6:00pm

A map and directions can be found here. We've not been yet this year, but last year's faire was wonderful.

There were arms demonstrations:

A magician who captured memories of the faire straight out of your ear:

Cavalry demonstrations:

Falconry education and demonstrations (one of my favorites):

And Queen Elizabeth herself, presiding over the festivities:

There is nothing quite like White Hart. Highly recommended!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


We're in a busy stage of life, Great Scott and myself. The girls are old enough to have begun after school and summer activities; Great Scott works long hours; I've begun subbing when school is in, and last month I began ABCTE's teacher certification program to obtain a certificate to teach English in Missouri secondary schools. While this route to certification is going to save us a lot of money and a lot of time, while it allows me to do work online and here at home (save for the tests and the student teaching experiences, which will come later), the work still needs to be done, and I'm doing it while keeping up with the girls' activities and my grandmother's medical appointments. Summer has given us a bit of a slow-down, yes, but Great Scott is still taking a graduate class four days a week in a city an hour away, working on two degree papers and finishing up the yearbook for the 2007-08 school year where he teaches. It's easy for each of us to forget what the other looks like.

This weekend my mother took the girls to Steal Yer Dollar City (a.k.a. Silver Dollar City) all day Saturday, leaving Great Scott with a sizable gift certificate for Borders bookstore. The temptation was too great. Off we went, tra-la-la, here-we-go-round-the-mulberry-bush.

It had been a long time since I've spent time alone with my husband being silly, and silly we were. We made smart remarks, played at being cynics, played at curmudgeonry, played at obliviousness and simpletonry, played at making the other laugh--lots of this. We browsed the bookstore, laughed in the parking lot, got frozen custard at a place we used to frequent when we were dating and first married, laughed on the way home, and we laughed after we got home. We picked on each other mercilessly the entire time, and we loved every minute of it.

Sometimes it's very difficult to remember a time when my mind and identity weren't entirely tied up with responsibilities, schedules, censored motherhood and things-to-remember-so-that-no-one-starves-and-the-electricity
-stays-on. This weekend I remembered.

Today we spent the day at Great Scott's father's farm, where we celebrated both their birthdays and a belated Father's Day. Sometime after lunch I slipped outside to look at the lilies and hollyhocks in the yard and joined The Younger Daughter in the hammock. After a bit The Younger Daughter went off to learn to shoot a gun--she turned out to be amazingly good at it--and I was left alone under the light-dappled leaves, a cool breeze stirring the hem of my gypsy skirt about my ankles as I lay back and closed my eyes. I drifted off amid the wind and whispering grasses, and no one came to call me back. It was utterly restful (rest full).

This next week will be a busy one again. The "Little House" play practices are upping the times from one practice a week to two, both five hours long; my grandmother has a doctor's appointment, we're taking the girls to see Cats! one night, and I have another section of my English/Language Arts course to complete. I've tucked away this weekend, though; I'm keeping it deep within, ready to bring out and enjoy in stolen moments. It was very, very good.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Quote: On the Home Library

"The library is a room that contains human wisdom. Call it a room that reflects our relationship with knowledge. Because knowledge is like anything else--when you love it, you want to do something for it. Sometimes you want to build it a beautiful room, which is exactly what the English did, with steadfast elegance, for centuries."

Akiko Busch
Geography of Home

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thirteen Marriage Tips for Bibliophiles

1. Budget for books the way you do for food and electricity...or you won't have food and electricity.
2. Read each other's books.
3. Keep separate accounts at the used bookstore.
4. Books are paper. Paper is good insulation. Line the walls of your house with bookcases. Fill them. It's the environmentally responsible thing to do.
5. Read aloud to each other.
6. Keep stray dishes, flowerpots, etc... handy to throw during arguments, lest you be tempted to throw books.
7. Respect each other's differing literary tastes.
8. To communicate with a spouse who is reading a book, replace his or her bookmark with a note.
9. James Fenimore Cooper is your friend.
10. Work out a shelving system together to ensure both of you can find the books you need when you need them.
11. For the sake of your financial stability, do not often shop for books together.
12. A bookless parlor is a howling wilderness.
13. Buy only one copy of books you both love. The thought of having to buy replacement copies is an excellent divorce deterrent.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Wind and Windows

It is drawing nigh unto two in the morning, and here I sit (again) in front of a computer screen. Outside the windows the wind is winding itself up, scattering my papers across the table behind me and throwing small twigs from the trees into the yard. Soon full storms are supposed to erupt. Not to worry, the weatherman tells us, the tornadoes that are likely to form tonight should be small ones. Both girls were downstairs moments ago complaining of the heat. When I went to check, they'd turned off the fan and closed all the windows upstairs. No wonder. I opened the windows, plugged in the fan and tucked them back in, reassuring them that I'd come shut the windows again when the rain begins.

I hated closed windows as a child. My attic rooms were always hot and stuffy, the indoor silences thick around my face, stifling. I needed wind across my skin and the sound of peeper song and insect chants to lull me to sleep, reminders that the world was a bigger place than my bed, my little room, my parents' house. Some of my favorite nighttime memories are of sleeping outside under an open sky and waking to watch the treetops dance wildly as the wind picked up, and faint rumbles and flashes of distant light in the west announced the approach of more powerful weather.

I grew up attending stuffy churches with shut windows, but the faith I somehow stumbled into anyway remains. I don't know why I still believe, given the effort I've undergone to abandon that faith and the often excruciating difficulty of the journeys I've had to make to reclaim it. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the story rings true to me with a deeper truth than fact alone. Like fairy tales, it carries something I need to survive: adventure, beauty, strength, hope, a wind that blows from beyond the edge of the small world I've known, a wind that throws my life into crazed disorder and makes breath possible.

Faith and Faerie, I've been told, are incompatible. One cannot believe in both miracle and magic. One should not open windows in the wind.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Carcass Chronicles: Part One--On 'Possums and Lawn Mowers

The low for the night is 72 degrees F, which means the daytime temps here are considerably higher, higher and humid, to boot. Somewhere in the yard something is dead. It could be something small (or part of something small) that the cats have killed and so very thoughtfully left under the window for us, or it could be something big that is in the field. Either way, leaving the windows open on the west side of the house is a mixed sort of blessing. The breeze is nice. The smell is not.

When I was a girl, we used to have a dog that was covered in curly, white, fluffy hair, poodle hair. Happy was an exclusively outdoor dog, but even if he hadn't have been all year, he would have been in the summer. There was very little he loved more than to find dead carcasses and roll in them. He'd go out in the woods or the field and come back with dark greenish brown patches in his fur, smelling like he'd been picking up vultures in bars. Poor thing! He never understood why my brother and I refused to pet him or play with him when he'd obviously gone to all the trouble to make himself more enjoyable for all concerned, from a doggy point of view. Sometimes Happy would even bring home a nice ripe one, so we could have it for our very own.

My sister wasn't any more appreciative of Happy's offerings than were my brother and I, but she was more creative than we'd been when it came to dealing with them. Evidently one of Happy's 'possums (his favorite flavor) hit optimum ripeness the same day my father decided it was time my sister learned to mow the yard. "It was big and round and ripe," she later told me, "and I looked at it and thought, 'I wonder what would happen if I ...'"

Yes. She did.

This is why everyone in my family can authoritatively testify to the fact that dead 'possums and lawn mowers don't mix. Just a bit of wisdom to share with the rest of you.