Well, first off, I gotta say, we have been doing so much and I have been remiss in letting everyone know about it. There has been the most recent Exotic Blend Belly Dance event, there have been a few others, a group of us Pirates formed the Alliance of the Double Cross, Salma Gundy and I bought her a new car and many other things.
I will get to all of those and download the pictures. Here, though, is my coverage of one of my favorite holidays--Halloween. Now, ye might be askin' yerself, "Why would a diabetic be so thrilled with All Hallows Eve?" Well, let me tell ya.
Ever since I have been working for the school district I have made it a point to put together as historically accurate costumes and a lesson to go along with them. In the past I have done: Scottish Highlander, Border Reiver, Old West Gambler/Gunslinger, Roman Centurion/Standard Bearer, American Colonist, Son of Liberty/Highwayman, and others.
My goal has always been to make the best costume in the most authentic ways with the authentic materials (or as close to based on cost) and put together a well rounded lesson of the time period and the specific character I was portraying.
This year was not only a badass costume, but the amount of effort I put into this one has surpassed all others.
Who were the Hospitallers? They were monks. They were warriors. They were badass.
Back in the day, and I mean way back in the day, like the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, Jerusalem was an open city lived in by Jews, Christians and Muslims. Well, this did not sit well with the pope at the time and he decided that citizens must cleanse the Muslims/infidels from Jerusalem. He requested people to "take up the cross" that was what they called it, and go to war against the Muslims. Today we call the era The Crusades.
The Hospitallers primary duty early on was merely to care for pilgrims in their hospices. Brothers and sisters would tend to the sick, feed the pilgrims, take care of spiritual obligations, etc. As time went on, there became a need for these orders to take more proactive roles and the Hospitallers as a warrior order formed.
Many people of the time, especially the knights could not get their heads around the idea of killing that was not in self defense. The pope thought long and hard and finally came up with a grand thought. It is okay to kill Muslims because in doing so you are getting rid of those who oppose Christianity. So, it was kind of self defense. Hmmmmm. Sounds good to me. And it sounded good to many a Christian soldier. Of to war we went.
Anyhow, Hospitallers became one of the most elite fighting orders, along with their rivals the Templars. The orders had standing troops and plenty of support. Though the nuns did not make a habit (pun intended) of fighting, they were integral in support roles.
The cool thing about this costume for me was I learned to make chainmail. I made the coif (headpiece) I am wearing. I made the leather belt and the leather sword belt and I made the pants for the outfit. I also made Sister Anna's wimple.
Check out the pics in the album sections. Oh, and just to be spiteful, I put a pic of Ms. Collins up. This is what she wore for Halloween. What a wuss. I will also put up links to where I got the other goods that I am wearing and a little description of those.
The costume was a hit and the lesson was a good one and the kids really got into it.
THE PUMPKIN PATCH
A good friend of mine Belinda and her husband own a honest to goodness pumpkin patch. It opens a couple of weeks before Halloween every year and you can go through and pick out the pumpkins you want from the patch. They make a corn maze for people to go through and they have various farm animals off to the side that you can go look at. And I cannot forget the tractor rides.
It is pleasant and the day we went was gorgeous. We grabbed a couple pumpkins and Salma Gundy (Leslie) is going to go back for heavy seeded pumpkins to bake her annual pumpkins seeds.
During the season, they do tours and school events as well. Send me an e-mail if you want to know more about the Pumpkins Patch. Check out the pics. I maintain that my little pumpkin is the best one picked.
SALMA GUNDY'S HALLOWEEN DAY
Now, I wear me pirate attire everyday since I am out as a pirate. Me lovely wife, Salma Gundy however, alas, cannot be out. She was able to be herself on Halloween in her office without ridicule and without having t'be hanged in the gibbet. In fact, not only was she able to be herself, she even won 2nd place in the costume contest, losing 1st place to a different style of criminal.
Salma did steal the 1st place gift certificate away from her cow orker and ran her through with a letter opener. Huzzah for the pirates.
Now the trick is what to do for next year.
I will gather up all of the past Halloween pics and see what I can do about putting them up here on the Web of the Wide World.
And feel free to drop me a line or if you are interested in any leatherwork, let me know.
The Sage Lion