In which Tarno goes home from the market, and gets a warning.
Not long after the sun disappeared behind the tall wares houses and the inn on the west side of the market hall, the assistant market master appeared in the great opening at the southern end of the hall. Klakita klakita klakita, he spun a wooden clacking rattle. “The market is closed. Finish all trades and go in peace, Maarsdam be with ye.” Klakita klakita klakita. He walked up the center of the hall and repeated his words twice more.
Tarno reached to the left and removed the loop and toggle that held the curtain back on that side. Half the cloth sagged down. He put away the scales and weights, triple-counting them in their special box, then closing the box and setting it on top of the counter. Then he locked the top of the big barrel of grey salt. The smaller pottery keg of white salt he closed with the wooden stopper, then set on its four clay legs on top of the still-locked knee-high barrel of fine salt. He collected the wooden lock-box of coins, and the pouch with the trade tokens in it, then lowered the second curtain. Tarno pulled his hood up over his head, then juggled the salt-keg, the coin box, and the token bag as he opened the wooden gate built into the left end of the counter. He ducked under the curtain and closed the gate. “Good trade to ye,” an older boy wearing the pattern of the market master said. He collected the box with the scales and weights and hurried away. Continue reading
Dang it. I wrote over 4K words on the Familiar book when I need to be doing the Merchant book.
and eye-glasses shop (dark glasses, at last!!!), and waiting at drug store for prescription, and grading, I lack a brain sufficient to blog.
It turns out that there are very few lens labs remaining that grind glass. Combine that with lousy timing—right before school starts—and you get to wait a month and more for glass lenses to be ground and put into frames and shipped back. But I now have two pair of indoor glasses and a pair of dark glasses once more.
The garden is in the fighting-to-survive-until-autumn stage. The area is bracing for one more round of really hot weather before the Tri-State Fair wraps up in mid September, because it is always hot during the fair. That’s just how it goes, and is part of the tradition. We had a grey norther through this week (glory, glory alleluia!), but the 90s and even low 100s are not banished. So the plants endure, just like the rest of us. Continue reading
Ah, rural roads, county roads, blacktops, “pave,” Farm-to-Market roads… All the ways to get geographically challenged when you are going from the North Forty to the Back-of-Beyond. (Not to be confused with the back of Burke, which everyone knows you cannot reach unless you are going somewhere else. If you pass a large, black stump, you are near the Back of Burke. And in Australia.)
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So, this year marks 400 years since enslaved Africans were brought to eastern North America. That the Spanish and Prortugese had already been bringing African slaves over, and that almost every other people on the American continents practiced slavery, and that the rest of the planet practiced slavery, doesn’t seem to matter. That slavery is still practiced today, in part because some religious texts positively command it, doesn’t matter to those who are concerned with chattel slavery of Africans as practiced in the British colonies.
Yes, slavery has been around as long as humans have been around in sufficient numbers to get into disputes. And it continues, either openly as slavery, or as debt-peonage, or concubinage, or debt-slavery, or “life servants,” or “gift servants.” Only Europeans tried to end the practice, because they believed that all men were created equal, and that enslaving people was no longer a right and moral practice. But that doesn’t count, or so the New York Times and other sources suggest. Continue reading
This has been a good year for plants around the playa lake beside the county blacktop* on the way where I work. The playa and surrounding land really needs a good burn, or to be grazed down, or both, but the proximity to the road precludes that, at least for the moment. Plus a burn-ban, so now is not the time.
A whole lotta grass and forbs) and sky.