It’s a little weird, being back on my blog. I hope my computer will allow me to type a little longer before it freezes. I uninstalled some programs, maybe that will help? Otherwise, I’ll have to take it into a shop, since my IT-savvy son hasn’t unlocked the mystery. Meanwhile I’m doing almost everything by smartphone, which my other IT-savvy son’s girlfriend gave me when she upgraded. Bless them. But some things are just too difficult for *me* to manage on the phone.

I was really happy to see likes and comments from you, my blogging buddies! 🙂 ❤ Thank you so much!

Tomorrow I’m starting a new, two-week personal improvement project that I hope will bring me out of this slump. Wish me luck!

I’m scrolling through a few images I haven’t posted since I’ve been gone. Let’s see if I can come up with something?

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I discovered this 17th century Dutch painting at the Dayton (Ohio) Art Institute, where an SCA buddy and I had gone to see the special exhibit on Alphonse Mucha, the famed Czech Art Nouveau artist. It was a great exhibition, and afterwards we wandered through the regular collection, where I was astounded to find this painting!

“Astounded” because I had used just the head and bust of the young woman, with her amazing bridal ruff and headdress, which I had come upon randomly online, as the frontispiece of my notebook for my Medieval Lit class last year. I did a Google search on the image and came up with nothing, so you can imagine how truly astounded I was to find the original in my veritable back yard (Dayton is an hour away from me)!

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Unfortunately this tiny image, above, is the only one of Mucha’s that I could put in my post, but I am positive that you will recognize his style from it. I simply had to buy the 2018 Mucha calendar in the gift shop; I had one many years ago when I was in my 20’s  and used the outdated months’ pages to decorate my walls, which I will do with this calendar, too, since all those old pages are now lost to the past.

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Here I am sitting on the front porch for Trick or Treat on Halloween, in my Viking garb with the addition of a gold lace mask! I don’t think I scared anyone, but you never know. I should have reserved some of the snack-sized Reese’s Cups for myself, though, because every last one (and every Kit Kat) was snapped up by munchkins in their own costumes.

I brought out my Renaissance lute to see if my hands are good enough to play it now (alas, they are not). Ophelia made herself right at home in the lute case.

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That Ophelia, such a ham! 🙂

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One last photo from an art show. The Wexner Center at The Ohio State University is holding a Cindy Sherman exhibition called “Imitation of Life.” Her ouvre consists of photographs she takes of herself made up in very different ways. Well, I will have to include still one more to illustrate how different she can look:

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Pretty amazing, huh?

I have canceled the classes I was going to teach in the next couple of months for the SCA, on The Amazing Princess Ol’ga, who was a Viking/Slav/Rus’ princess in the founding dynasty of Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine in the late 800’s and the 900’s. I did teach the class at our event called Red Dragon, where I think it was well-received, and I will probably teach it again when I am feeling better. Meanwhile a version of the handout I prepared for the class is being published as an article in our SCA Kingdom’s December newsletter.

Ol’ga was amazing because she was able to keep Kievan Rus’ from being overrun by other Slavs, by nomads, and by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII, but she is best known for the Four Vengeances she wreaked on the murderers of her husband Prince Igor, the father of their three-year-old heir Prince Sviatoslav. Even after her bloodthirsty vengeances, she was made a saint in the Eastern and Russian Orthodox Churches and given the title “Equal to the Apostles.” I will not tell her story here, but you really should Google! Meanwhile, here is my favorite image of her during the Fourth Vengeance, releasing birds with fiery tails to set fire to the city of her enemies:

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And because I love maps, and not many people in the US seem to be able to envision the area of the Eastern Slavs, Ukraine, Belarus, and Western Russia, here is a map for you. Then I must quit, because the lag is getting bad!

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I do love maps! 🙂