Monday, August 27, 2012

PARF: Irish Weekend (wknd 4)

It's officially one month of weekends at PARF. Where did August go? Really, where?

Faire this weekend was a mixed bag for me. Saturday was one of the hardest days at faire that I've ever had due to an incredibly bad migraine. Not only did I sleep a little funny (and not in the ha ha ha kind of way) so my left shoulder was screwy, but it went up into my neck so I had a hard time turning my head. Put the migraine on top of that, and it made for a very unhappy musician.

I was a little nervous about the weather for the weekend. Rain was coming up the coast, and boy did it slam my friends for opening weekend at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.  Thankfully for us in PA, the storm stayed away for most of the day.  Don't get me wrong, I adore a good rain day, but after last season when we suffered through ALL the weather (and I mean ALL the weather), we really needed a break from Mother Nature.

Opening the day at the Gazebo was made even better with Doug, (Miguel from Don Juan & Miguel)  Bob & Jim (the Burly Minstrels).  Don't get me wrong, all the other musicians that were there are grand fun. There's Tilda, Harper Lee, Demitrius T. Musician, Barby Holder and Rowan & the Rose. There's just something about the bass guitar, duck calls and a bladdervarius (I really don't know how to spell that...) that turns something special into extraordinary.  Also, one never really knows they're going to miss these combined sounds until they actually hear them again.

The rest of the day took me from street set to show and back again while trying to hide from the evil burning daystar that was quickly turning my migraine into a thumping band of pain across my eyes. The day is actually a little blurry to recall. The wonderful folks who came to my shows were incredibly sweet and understanding and made being there completely worth it.

Extra fun: there was a feast for a 6 year old and his family. It was a small affair, and my first feast gig of the season. Due to some horrific traffic, the family was late. Due to some freak chance of nature, I was early. It was very odd. I entertained the crew as we waited for the family to appear, and they did, while being escorted by the Queen and her posse. I wasn't sure, given her schedule, how to handle the timing of things, but we worked it out quickly. She would do her thing, I would play quietly as background, and then I'd play something fast, fun & a little gaga as she went to her next engagement.  Oh yes, I played her Royal Majesty off with a little bit of Bad Romance. There is nothing quite so fun as watching the Queen look back over her shoulder at you with a gigantic smile. Have I mentioned how much I love my job?

I've had a couple of friends ask me how I can actually perform with a migraine. The answer is both complicated and not. The not complicated answer is that I'm there to do my job. I'm damn good at my job and I love my job. Unless I can't physically move or am so sick that I look like something out of an Anime creation, I'm going to do my job. I may stumble before and after the show, but that show will be as spot on as I can make it.  The complicated answer is much longer to explain, and quite possibly deserves its own post.

I boogied off the shire as soon as I was able after my last show and relaxed for the rest of the night in the 'Bagel.  DB was incredibly sweet and good and she went to sleep with no fuss, so I ended up just relaxing in the dark for a while. The migraine did go away by the time I went to bed, but damn if it didn't strike back at 5am.  I knew I would have a much harder day if the migraine was as severe as it had been, so I had some caffeine and 2 OTC migraine meds. (Think Excedrin migraine, but not recalled.)  Sweet, luscious, dreamy sleep came back to keep me company, and damn if I didn't sleep until almost 8am. This, of course, brings us full face to Sunday Morning.

Sunday morning was wet. It wasn't hugely, downpouring, OMG get a frelling ARC kind of wet, but it was wet.  That meant one thing - it was going to be a slow morning at faire.  Let me let y'all in on a little faire secret. Weather is a key factor in how busy a day at faire will be. The better the weather, the bigger the day. The worse the weather, the smaller the day.  I'm sure this is a huge surprise to everyone. :crickets:  Yup, y'all already knew that. ;>

Thanks to modern medicine, the migraine of 5am was barely noticeable.  I found out at morning meeting that I'd be at Queen's Court, so I went through tunes in my head. Something lively, upbeat and fun. That ruled out every Irish love song. Instead I decided I'd play Tam Lin.  Gazebo was really wonderful as Rose brought her French horn to gate. When I was in college and I took brass class, my favourite instrument was the French horn, followed by the trombone. There's something about the timbre of the horn that just puts me in a happy place.  We featured her at the beginning of Planxty Fanny Poer and then layered in the rest of the instruments.  I wish someone had been there to video it, because it was lovely and had such a full sound.

Queen's Court was a lot of fun for me.  I so enjoy playing with the court this year. There was my showing deference to the Queen (I ran to her throne and kissed her skirt) and then I made some silly joke about fast tunes and the way the Queen likes her music.  I'm lucky I didn't get sent down the hole. :grin:  It all went very well, and I scampered off stage.

After that was street work, a nifty Gazebo set with Harper Lee, and then my stage show at the Ball & Chain.  This is where my day went from fun and good to crap in 30 seconds. I had something happen at this stage show that I have never had happen before. I'm not sure how to write about it exactly, so I'll just leave it that I was very demoralized. Thankfully the set ended up on a positive note. The family in the stands had a baby with them. He must have been 6 months old, maybe 9, and his name was Joshua.  He was the most serious baby. He watched me with a look that said, "I don't know what to make of you, strange Roma Fiddler!" But when I started to play, he turned into the smile-iest, happiest, dance-iest baby. Every time I stopped, he turned back into serious baby. Every time I played he was happy.

This is one of the reasons that I do what I do. I doubt as that baby grows up that he will remember me. Really remember me. But the music touched him. I'd like to believe that the music will remain with him. I'd like to believe that as he gets older he might develop a fondness for folks in strange costumes and that he will always treasure the sound of music. Again, have I mentioned how much I love my job?

The rest of my shows were quiet affairs. I played, people smiled and laughed and clapped along. My migraine stayed to a low-to-almost non-existent level.  I spent some time with friends and ate some pretentious cheese. It was a good close to the day.

Once my last show was done it was time to get things in high gear so we could leave on time. One of the hard things about the Sunday departures is that I can't pack before I head out for the day.  I suppose the suitcase, but I need to pull clothes for the drive home. I need to wash up. I need to do my accounting. I need to pack any food I'm taking home.  After 4 weeks, my timing is getting better, and we were on the road by 7p. The drive home was uneventful, and we got home way before the witching hour.

Next up, weekend 5, Children's Fantasy Weekend and Labor Day Monday!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Video, say what?

You know, for someone who does what I do, there's not an awful lot of video of me performing. Let me be more specific, there's not a lot of video of me performing recently. That's something I really need to change. Still shots are grand, and I so appreciate all the pics people take and send to me, but vids seem to be more important these days. People want to see and hear what I actually do rather than a still shot of me playing.

In my last post about Chivalry and Romance wknd at PARF I mentioned that I was at Queen's Court.  Thanks to the lovely Michael Russo, there's actual video!  If you have never seen me perform, here's a glimpse into what I do.  If you HAVE seen me perform, well... then you know what I do. ;>

Queen's Court, PARF Chivalry & Romance (wknd 3) 8/18/12

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

PARF: Chivalry & Romance (wknd 3)

Time seems to go by so much quicker when I'm working a faire. Make that a faire where I'm driving back and forth every week and things move into double-time. Since PARF is so close, we're going back and forth every weekend. That means leaving on Friday afternoon and coming back late Sunday night. The time at home never seems quite long enough to get everything done.

SO, third weekend, Chivalry & Romance.  The weather was lovely Saturday. There were breezes and the temperature was lovely.  I was asked to perform at Queen's Court again. It went much smoother this time. My mic didn't go out and I made the audience laugh. Apparently I made the Queen laugh, too. :grin:

Both stage shows were well attended, which was awesome.  The new set-up at the Ball&Chain stage is working really well.  Everyone in the bleachers can see what's going on onstage. The tarp over the bleachers gives some shade. The stage manager is really ontop of things. I'm definitely enjoying performing there more this year. I am still rather amused that I'm one of the only not-bawdy shows there, but it makes for some good jokes. In addition to the 2 stage shows, I've got 2-3 street sets and then play at Pub Sing.  I'm also teaching three students during the day.

Saturday night I had a garb reassessment with the folks at As You Like It/Up Your Kilt. This all backtracks to the "come to Gods" thing that happened at AZRF that I've still got to write about. Anyway, we went through a lot of my summer & lighter weather garb. They are also going to go through the rest of my garb with me before I leave for CRF, which makes me really happy. While I am good at a LOT of things, I'm piss poor at dressing myself well.

Sunday was a slower day.  There was a threat of rain, and that seemed to keep a lot of folks away. The rain never happened, so the day was just rather quiet.  No Queen's Court for me today, and the rest of my shows went smoothly.

One of the coolest things to happen on Sunday involved the Audacious Divas. They are raising money for Breast Cancer research, and their latest endeavour involved a friend of mine named Scott Griffith. Papa Scott looks a little like Santa (a dirty lecherous Santa, but that's part of his charm), including the long fluffy white beard.  If the Diva's could raise over $2000, Papa Scott would shave off his beard.  Through word of mouth and FaceBook, the raising of the funds didn't take too long and Sunday became Shearing Day.  Papa Scott had his beard braided the day before, and on Sunday the Queen got the first cut.  It took a while, but for the first time in (probably) decades, Papa Scott's chin saw the sun.  It was a grand thing, really.  I'm really proud of the people involved. Cancer is a horrible disease, and the sooner a cure is found the better.

The drive home was rather uneventful Sunday night, and I actually made it back before the witching hour. It's so odd that three weeks can travel so quickly. This weekend is Irish Weekend, and several folks from the Sterling Renaissance Festival will be joining us.  I'm so looking forward to the Gazebo jam on Saturday morning. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

A blogging I will go....

I'm going to take a minute, or 15, to stop talking about faire and music and talk about something else.  This is shocking, I know. I'm going to talk about migraines. 

Migraines suck. 

There's no other way around it.  They suck big sulfurous balls of suck. Big painful balls of sulfurous-ness. What sucks more is that I've been having them far more often these days. 

I'm lucky.  My migraines don't make me nauseous, see halos, or make me sound sensitive. What my migraines do is make me hyper-sensitive to light. The medical term for this is photophobia.  There is a reason I call the sun the Evil Burning Daystar (patent pending. ;>).  Light *hurts*.   

I didn't always have migraines, but I have always been sensitive to light. It wasn't until several years ago, when my MiL moved in, that I started having migraines on a daily basis. At that time I ended up having a migraine every day for a year, give-or-take. It was so bad that I had to wear a hat indoors. It was not fun.  The migraines went away and I had them very infrequently until this past December.  I had changed some meds around, and the effect that had gave me migraines every day again. I worked with my doc, and we switched my meds back in January which took care of the everyday occurances. Since then, however, I've had them more often than not.

A friend of mine posted in the last two months (I think) about Splenda, and how it had been shown to cause migraines as well as other issues.  Between coffee and tea, I was using a lot of Splenda. At that point I cut Splenda out of my diet. The effect was tremendous and the number of migraines I'd been having decreased dramatically. Cut to last week. Last week was made of migraine hell.

Last week I had a migraine Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, part of Friday, and then on and off for the weekend. One of my friends is an acupuncture practitioner and we spoke about the possibility of me going for a treatment. Until I could do that, however, she showed me two spots to work that could help.  I tried it, and it was helpful. It didn't get rid of the migraine, but it made Thursday migraine free. Happily there is a community acupuncture clinic in Ithaca, called surprisingly enough, Ithaca Community Acupuncture.  I made an appointment for Monday (ie Today). 

I have had acupuncture once before, when I was pregnant. It worked fantastically well then, and I was hopeful that it would help with the migraines. Cut to today....

Migraine struck about 8am. I got to my appointment at 11:30.  I could go into detail about the office and the procedure, but I won't in the post. I will say that the staff made me feel very at ease and C, the practitioner, was very sweet and knowledgeable.  I picked out a chair to sit in, C talked me through the different spots she was going to put the needles, and it went quickly from there. I fell asleep, which is normal. There were some odd sensations in my wrists and ankle, but nothing painful. I woke up briefly and was cold, and then when I woke up again it was 2.5 hours later.  I was kind of shocked at that, but C told me that it was a natural reaction, and it was a good indication that the acupuncture should help. 

Since 2:30, I have had little-to-no migraine pain. The light sensitivity is still there. I have a follow-up next week.  In addition, I'm doing some research into feverfew.  I believe that feverfew is almost exclusively used in England to treat migraines. I really don't want to take more prescription meds, so I'm hoping that this might be a way around that. 

So that's what's going on with my migraines. I may post a more detailed description of the acupuncture session, but for now I'm going to have some water and watch the rest of Grimm before bed. Here's to hoping the migraine doesn't come back in the morning.

PARF: Time Travelers (wknd 2)

 I meant to write this up last week, but was waylaid by migraines for most of that time which will make for a very short post about the 2nd weekend of the 2012 PA ren faire. 

What a difference the weather can make.  As opposed to opening weekend, the weather for Time Travelers weekend was magnificent. It was still warm, but I didn't feel like I was stewing in my own juices, if ya know what I mean. There was an actual BREEZE, which made everyone enjoy the weekend that much more.

This was the first ever Time Travelers weekend at PARF.  I have seen a lot of folks wear Steampunk garb to faires before, and while it's not my thing for a Renaissance festival, I will admit that I am a Steampunk fan.  Truthfully, I've always been a fan of Victorian garb, and the addition of gears and other things that turn it into Steampunk makes me squee.  I saw some pretty spectacular things this weekend in terms of Steampunk. There are some very creative people out there.  For those of you who didn't know, I'm also a Doctor Who fan from years past. I was tickled to see so many folks decked out as Doctors and Companions. There weren't as many of the older doctors as numbers 10 & 11, and there was at least one number 9.  For those of you who are curious, my Doctor is Tom Baker, followed by Christopher Eccleston.

Sunday was equally lovely weather wise.  Loads of Steampunkers, loads of Doctor's, and it was also Gay Day.   For those of you who have never been to the Finale at PARF, here's a clip from Sunday. It's pretty awesome and I think it capped the day quite nicely.

I feel the need to say how much I love what I do.  While I don't get to see those dearest to me as often as I'd like, I get to meet so many interesting people and see so many amazing places around the country.  I have made friends in nearly all 50 states, as well as different countries around the world.  I've driven across the US more than 6 times now, and am constantly taken back by the beauty I find.  In addition to all of this, I get to bring my daughter with me so she gets to experience these things as well.  There's no way I could do this without the support of so many of you out there.  Thank you all for helping me to continue doing what I love.

Friday, August 17, 2012

PARF - The Grande Arrival

I've been thinking about this for a while, and honestly I've always wanted to do this but I've never had the time or been able to be consistent enough to do this.  What is "This"? Well, it's writing up re-caps of the different shows I'm working. I'm feeling lucky, so lets give it a try, shall we?

There's only one word that I think can accurately describe opening weekend at PARF, and that word is "Wet".

The theme of opening weekend was "The Grande Arrival".  The day started out moist, with high temps and higher humidity. My morning ran pretty smoothly, minus a clock error on my part (being late to the first morning meeting was more than a little embarrassing). Opening day at faire is wonderful. You see all the familiar faces, there are the hugs and smiles and the feeling of being home.

One of the best parts of the day for me at PARF is the morning jam at the Gazebo. It's the first time in a year that most of us shire musicians have seen each other, but once the canon fires it's like we were never apart. The jam really starts my day. It doesn't matter if I've had coffee or tea, the jam wakes me up. I had 2 stage shows (2:30 at the Ball and Chain and 4:30 at the Rose) as well as several street sets, so after the jam I trundled off to say hi to folks before my first street set.

The heat and humidity was oppressive Saturday.  I know I did my best to stay hydrated, and the glass of pickle juice mid-day did wonders as a pick-me-up. I will say that's it's difficult to play the fiddle when your hands are so moist that your fingertips wrinkle up and your hands slide up and down the strings. The crowds, however, completely understood. We were all walking in our own personal sauna's.

My first stage show at the Ball and Chain was fun. The stage has been completely re-worked. Instead of picnic tables as benches, there were "risers" and a mesh tarp gave some cover from the sun.  The dunk tank was removed, and a splash tower stood in its place.  There was a space for the soundboard (the stage is mic'd) and the stage manager really seemed on the ball. Overall, I like the new layout.  The patrons really seemed to have a good time despite the heat. They laughed and participated and that just makes my job so much easier. The weather folks said we might have a storm later in the afternoon, and sure if it didn't get dark and a little breezy just as my show ended.  After the show I was chatting with some patrons when I heard the music playing on the sound system. (When the stages are empty the faire plays music featuring different groups that have been and currently work the show) I don't know when it happened, but I was added to the mix. I was listening to myself on the sound system. I squee'd like a 6-year-old. :grin: Then I started to play the tune that was playing. It was surreal and awesome.

My second stage show was at The Rose stage, and was equally as fun. I always feel like the folks that really seek me out go to that stage.  The humidity kept growing during that show, which made performing a bit tricky. It's hard to play when 1) the fiddle doesn't stay in tune & 2) your fingers are so damp that they slide on the fingerboard. I ended up singing a bit more at that set. :grin:

My last stage show was Pub Sing, which was back at O'Malley's Pour House stage.  Pub Sing is a nice cap for the day for me. I get to play with most of the musicians who were at the morning jam, and it's a very relaxed set. We usually do a round-robin and today was no different.  I think we were all a little punch drunk from the heat and humidity at that point. Some friends from MDRF were there, and gave a huge complement to me that I shared with the others.  They said that it wasn't the kind of pub sing they were expecting (raucous, loud, bawdy) but more of an Irish session. They really enjoyed it.

Pub Sing at PARF hasn't really seemed to find it's niche yet.  It's not the spectacular that Finale is, nor is it the familiar gathering like the Pub Sing at Sterling.  I like the idea that it's more of a Session, and can get people excited for the joust and then the Finale.

The weather was much better in the early part of the day.  Instead of the humidity being in the90's, it was in the 60's.  The temps were still unGodly at 97, but the lower humidity did help.  Also, there was a breeze!  Breezes can make all the difference, let me tell you. :grin:

Gazebo jam was fun. I had to leave just before the end, though, because I was playing Queen's Court. I am still squee-ing about this. :grin: I've never played Queen's Court before.  For the uninitiated, Queen's Court is at the Globe (the largest stage) and most of the morning patrons go there as the first show.  They're introduced to the cast and the storyline, and there are 2 independent's that perform. It gets the word out about shows and performers that the patrons may not already know about.

I got mic'd and waited back stage for my cue.   I have to give huge props to the "MC", who pronounced my name correctly.  A lot of  folks pronounce my name as Need-Fire, which is incorrect.  I was on after The Mud Squad. I'll admit it, my stage fright was kicking in. Me. On the Big Stage. Performing ALONE.  It was a lot of fun. I reveranced. I played "Butterfly". I was funny. I got off stage without falling down. The only problem was that my mic (and the Queen's) went out mid-performance. Ah, technology. Still, I got a lot of complements from the cast and the stage manager.

My show at the Ball & Chain was fun.  I stuck to a similar format from Saturday's show. The audience laughed at most of the jokes, and they seemed to have a lot of fun. The weather started to turn at that point.  It got a little cooler and the sky got a little darker.  The weather held until about 5 minutes into my 4:30 show at The Rose.

It started to rain and I invited the patrons onto the stage before I started.  There's a tarp over the benches, but it' not a solid tarp and the rain drips down.  We put benches on the stage and as the rain started to fall harder everyone came up.  The wind picked up then, and the thunder started. It turned into a full-fledged rain storm.  I started with Butterfly as the rain started to fall sideways.  Lightening, more thunder, more rain, but I kept playing.  At some point someone came by and said that we all needed to stay at a permanent shelter, so my stage fit the bill but standing at the benches under the tarp did not. More people came up. We all got pretty close. :chuckle: I think 2 or 3 inches of rain fell in that 30 minutes.  Everyone had  a good time at the set, I got a lot of hugs and "that was great music" and some folks took home some CDs. This is one of the times where I really do love what I do.  I got to entertain folks, and they were entertained, while the weather railed around us, and no one seemed to mind.

The rain died down after that, and I went over to Pub Sing. The set was really a lot of  fun.  There were only 4 people in the audience, but they were having So.Much.Fun, just sitting in the drizzle and listening to us perform.  It was a soggy and amusing set.

After that set it was time to go back to the 'Bagel and pack up for the drive home. That was my opening weekend, wet and wonderful.  Next weekend: Time Travelers weekend!

My kitchen reeks of Scotland...

And by this, I mean that it reeks of BACON. I can see how this wouldn't make sense to a lot of people, so let me explain.

I always made bacon the traditional way: I put it in a pan and fried it. Mmmmm, crispy fried bacon!

The first time I was in Scotland, I'm not sure for what reason, I put the bacon on a cookie sheet and baked it. Oh Dear Gods. The smell of baking bacon was heavenly. It filled the whole kitchen, and shortly after the flat. It smelled of bacon for *hours*.

After that, when I wasn't in a hurry, I would bake my bacon, and it always reminded me of Scotland.

Last year I was going to make bacon and B suggested that I line the pan with parchment paper. Like many folks, I save the bacon run off. I lined the pan, cooked the bacon, and when I went to drain the run off, it was a much "cleaner" product. All the bits stick to the parchment, leaving just the bacon grease goodness left.

If you are like me, and you enjoy bacon, I heartily recommend cooking it this way.  Seriously, do this. You'll thank me!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let the blogging begin

My main blog is here, at Blogger. I like it here. It's nice. I know that a lot of folks prefer tumblr, so I started a blog there recently.  It's not a new blog, mind you, but I thought I might link the two and then people could read it wherever they preferred. I'm finding that's not so easy to do. I can't seem to find a way to have the blog here automatically post there, or visa versa. Now I'm not sure what to do.

I could continue to write here and then just put a link up as an entry for my tumblr. I could do the reverse, and have the blog post originate at tumblr. I could be completely crazy an start to use this blog for more personal things and use the one at tumblr for more music related things but that seems a bit much.

I pose the question to you, Hive Mind of the Intarwebs: Do any of you know how I might be able to link the two blogs easily? 

PARF - The Grande Journey

Last weekend was the opening weekend of the 32nd Annual Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival. It's so hard for me to believe that it's August, I mean I only just got back from SLO. Where has the time gone??

Herein lies the story of one musician's journey from NY to VA to PA.

I left last Wednesday to travel to VA to pick up my WinneBagel. The drive down was easy enough, minus the fact that we left 2 hours later than expected. We arrived in VA just as the traffic was getting really interesting. Gotta love VA at rush hour, huh. Oh, wait, I DON'T love VA at rush hour.  We took a slightly modified route that would have taken us around the traffic, except for an accident that put everything at a standstill.  Seriously, what is it about VA and MD and accidents? I have never been anywhere that has as many accidents as VA and MD. Seriously folks, it's not hard to look where you're going and be respectful of the other motorists and motorcyclists on the road. This advice is coming to you from a dyed-in-the-wool LI driver. I know all about tailgating, driving with the pack, speeding & playing tic-tac-toe with lane changes. Be More Careful!!!

Wednesday night and Thursday morning I prepped the 'Bagel and with help got the car attached via the tow-bar.  Therein begins my story. Somehow the two brackets on the car had bent a bit. It didn't worry me too much because when I checked under the car everything looked good. We only left an hour behind schedule, which was a bonus, and we most certainly would miss all the traffic going from VA to PA. The drive itself was smooth. The 'Bagel handles very well, and the tow-bar was doing its job. We got to Manheim and I took a slight detour to get propane. The road to Pinch Pond isn't bad, but it is hilly and there's one tight turn. When I stopped at the bottom of the hill and I made the turn I heard a crunch noise. That never bodes well, so when I got to the campsite a 1/2 mile later I got out to look. The front bumper had a crack in it already, but due to the angle of the tow-bar brackets the crack had expanded.  Still, everything looked like it was holding. That, however, is when the afternoon turned from good to WTF is wrong with my life/Why Can't I Have Nice Things!

The nice folks at Pinch Pond went to fill my propane tank but couldn't because their hose had sprung a leak.  You'd think they'd have noticed the insane amount of hissing and vapour coming from the hose (I certainly did). You'd think they'd have been able to tell me about this an hour prior when I called to make sure that they had propane and would still be open when I go there. Yeah, you'd think that. I left, sans propane, and began the less-than-5-mile drive to PARF. That's when things got funny(er).

At the same stop sign I heard another crunch, and then I could feel the car I was towing. You have to understand, all the other times I've towed anything with the 'Bagel I haven't "felt" the vehicle behind. This was more than a little disconcerting. I slowed down, pissing off all the other drivers behind me, and made it to site. That's when the brackets gave out completely.  3/4 of the way down the path to the campsite there was a crunch and a drag. I now know why tow chains are so important.  Seriously folks, if you're going to tow something make sure you have tow chains!!!

Rennies are wonderful people. I adore my Ren family.  Three of my friends started walking up the hill at the moment I was about to break into tears. They followed me back to my campsite, helped me get the car detached from the completely broken off brackets & tow-bar and even helped me put up my easy-up. My friend Shelli had arrived with her daughter, so she offered to watch DB while I tried to regroup and unpack.  That's when I found out that I had no electric.

On the afternoon of Camp Day, 2 days before the opening of a show, I don't really expect to hear back from an ED after I send a somewhat frantic text about having no electricity.  No electricity is bad. Not only would all the food in my fridge spoil, but with the temperatures being what they were, I think we would have melted.  My ED at PARF is a wonderful person. She texted me back and said she'd send someone over to fix it so I could figure out what to do about the propane.

After several discussions with 4 different RV stores I finally got someone helpful. Apparently when the word "Winnebago" is used it means special parts and special stores and special pricing.  Let me explain. No, it's too long. Let me sum-up.

The 'Bagel's propane tank is attached. If I run out of propane I need to drive my house to somewhere that sells propane and then drive it back to site. Sometimes I'm lucky, and people deliver (Thank goodness that's the case at AZRF!), but most of the time I'm not. My next option was to get a kit so I could attach an external propane tank (like the ones you get for a bbq). There is an amazing RV store 30 minutes from PARF. It has  funny name, and once I remember what it is I'll post it here. The folks there were tremendous. They helped me find exactly what I needed. They were kind. They answered all of my very stupid questions. They were made of awesomesauce.  Now I had the kit, but I had to find a propane tank. Do y'all know that propane tanks are expensive? Yeah.... I didn't know that either. The refill's aren't so bad, but the initial cost was not going to work with my wallet. (I know this because I priced them at 6 different locations.)

 At this point 3 hours had passed. I didn't know if I had electric. I knew I wouldn't have propane until the following week. The car was making funny growling noises. I also hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. Oh yeah, and it was hot out. By hot I mean I thought my flesh was going to start melting off of my bones. I do not do well in the heat.

I was trepidatious in my return to site.  I really didn't know how the evening was going to turn out. It was close to 7:30 when I got back and damn, if my electric wasn't on. It was like a Channukah miracle in August. :D

The rest of the night went by quickly. There was no unpacking. There was awesome BBQ for supper with friends. There was no spoiled food in the fridge (thank the Gods!). There were wonderful people to give me hugs and assure me that this too would pass.  I decided, as I got into my bed while the A/C continued to cool things off in the 'Bagel, that while the afternoon had been fired, the evening was welcome to stay. 


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