A Dollop of Sour Cream

I'm not much into spicy food. I have recently discovered that if a meal is just a tad too spicy for me, I can put sour cream on top and make it not just palatable, but wonderful. This blog is devoted to doing the same for life.



Camelot, camping, and a Little House Christmas

Where to start... It's been a while since I've been here.

A week ago Sunday we went to see Camelot at the local theater. I had the record of the musical growing up, so I knew all the songs. But I'd never seen the play before. A friend gave us tickets for our anniversary this year. So we went. I was blown away. This was easily the best musical, technically speaking, I'd ever seen. A friend of ours, Mickey, played Sir Lionel (A name!) and he was REALLY good, both at the acting and the singing. I can't wait to see him again. But there were lots of good parts. The costuming was FABULOUS. The first part that this really struck me was the May day, when all the girls were in pastels. But later, they were also in "period costume" ALL of them -- and it was just really easy to tell them apart by costume. I've been to plays that didn't even manage this. The music was well done, the songs well -- whatever the word is that means you can hear every word (mostly. Not Nimue's song, But that one was eminently forgettable. All it did was get Merlin out of the picture.) And the acting -- made me cry. At several spots. (And only once because I got a definite "vibe" off a character that made me see her as my dead friend instead for the moment)

But it also sent chills through me. The first Act? Guenevere is definitely the "bad guy" of the play. On her wedding night, she's upset because no one has gone to war or killed their kin for her! And that May day song? She's justifying infidelity because "everyone does it" -- before she even meets Lancelot! And flirting outrageously with, well, everyone! Except her husband. And then -- when Arthur asks her to NOT give her kerchief in support of everyone -against Lancelot- she will only do it if he asks as her king, NOT her husband! I wonder if the whole Lancelot/Guinevere thing would have ever started if she hadn't gone so far out of her way to try and "trip him up." And then, she doesn't really seem to TRY to avoid situations where she is alone with Lancelot... No, in act 1, Guinevere is definitely the bad guy. (In act 2 she redeems herself, a LITTLE, by in the end realizing she messes up. As much pain as she had trying to stay away, by giving in she's only giving herself twice the pain. But as it turns out, it's too late. And together they destroy King Arthur and the last dregs of the idea they had fought to put into place... Not to say that Arthur didn't have his own part in this. There are hints that he might have loved his kingdom more than his wife, certainly he wasn't as "romantic" with her as she seemed to crave (and get from Lancelot) And, in the end, having chosen his kingdom, he couldn't stay with that decision and allow his wife to die. Instead, he lets his own loyal subjects die because he can not, in the end, uphold the rule of law over those he loves... and in so doing he fails his own kingdom as well.

It's utterly tragic and you're just left trying to figure out a path that would not have led where it does, because my heart, at least, was breaking with Arthur's.

Then we spent last week getting last minute things together for our newly married camping trip in Twin Harbors State Park. It was a glorious weekend. This is the first time my Boaz and I had gone camping together. And we discovered that camping with an air bed under the sleeping bags is wonderful :) In fact, to justify the purchase of this tent, we are thinking about making another camping trip this summer -- maybe finding some hot springs?

We walked over to the Pacific Ocean (And I kicked myself for forgetting my camera at the wonderful "Esp low tide" view we got as we went over the ridge.) But I didn't do more than get the soles of my shoes wet because I had forgotten pool shoes and didn't want to get my feet all sandy. (Maybe we should take another trip to the ocean so I can actually try swimming in it? Boaz says it was REALLY cold. He went back to actually go in) We had wonderful food every meal because our wonderful camping food groups that meant a different couple cooked every meal. We got to see all the babies and small children and the vast number of pregnant women in our group. It's really a time of plenty for the group as a whole. (And I esp. admire the woman who is due in July and came anyway! And the one who brought her infant even though her husband is out of country!) And I played a wonderful new game Ticket to Ride that was a GREAT deal of fun.

Oh and of course there was a bonfire. And S'mores. Though no singing around the campfire. And checking out each other's camp gear, trying to decide what one would want for future camping trips.

Then we came home and got most of the car unpacked. (wow) And relaxed last night. I opened up the season 1 Little House on the Prairie I got for Christmas and have been savoring, gradually going through. The one I want to comment on is "Christmas on Plum Creek."

In this episode, it is the Ingalls' family first Christmas in Walnut Grove. and they really want to make it special. So everyone is keeping secrets from ALL the others, trying to get the most special gifts they can. Mary gets a job with a seamstress in town so that she can make a shirt for her dad. Ma is ALSO making a shirt for Dad, but only when no one is watching so she and Mary can't discover both are making out of the same cloth. Laura barters her beloved pony, Bunny, for the oven at the Oleson's Market that she sees her mother looking at. Meanwhile, Pa is laboring over reworking wheels that he is planning to trade to Mr. Oleson for the money for the selfsame oven. (And in between he makes a saddle for Laura.) Carrie is the only one not involved in the deceptions. She fishes up her only penny and goes to the market to buy the beautiful star she sees that. why? On Christmas day we are told. It's a present for baby jesus! (I liked that part)

If the different members of the family had just been a bit more willing to confide in each other, many of these problems could have been cleared up before Christmas morning surprises turned so many gifts into -- not so much! Certainly, in our family, dad often knows what us girls are getting mom, etc. Gifts are just surprises for the person in question, not the whole family!

Also, I was VERY surprised at how respectful Mr. Oleson was of Laura's secret. It would have been VERY easy for him to justify telling Charles why he couldn't sell him the oven on display -- but he doesn't. He keeps the secret of a little girl even from her father. (Though he does take the precaution of not agreeing to the secret until he finds out what she wants him to keep secret). I could easily have seen myself justifying telling that one -- it's something I will have to think about. But I do know that there is something to respecting children as people too. And keeping secrets here means that the secret of a child is as important as that of an adult.


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