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In addition to being a new mom and now being back at work I've got some other projects I've still been working on.

The big one is the Culinary Symposium. Elizabeth had graciously volunteered to be this year's Chairperson, but has since been made the head of one of the largest and longest standing groups in our historical society- and as a result is naturally rather busy (HUGE understatement). I'm taking up the torch and going from being just the class coordinator to being the chairperson and trying to make sure we're all on track and on the same page. I've emailed all the teachers, done a couple of site visits to the new location and now need to figure out where the rest of the team currently stands. I'm really excited about this year's line up and really hope I get to  take some of the classes, especially those from Alys Katherine who's coming all the way from the Middle. There are other classes I want to take too, and I hope this isn't the last time we have her for teaching, but I'd hate to miss out. I'm even contemplating possibly submitting a paper to the lecture track to be later published in the proceedings. I'll post here later with specific details for people to send out to any of the places and individuals I may have missed who might be interested.

I've still been researching reproduction and childbirth in Renaissance Italy and feel like I've got enough information in my head for at least 5 papers. Since I've got to start somewhere and narrow the focus I'm bringing it back to my first research passion- food. I haven't decided on a title yet, perhap "Food and Fertility in Renaissance Italy? Now I just have to create an abstract and write up all of the information. I've already got a rough outline and chunks of the information in my head, it's just now down to getting them to flow together and do all the citations correctly. Chemicallace suggestion endnote, and I'm planning on giving it a try to help.
Rough outline: 
Getting pregnant & gender
1a- humoral theory (underlying medical theory for whole paper)
1b- what & when, the importance of timing
Prenatal care
2a- food groups divided by humoral nature
2b- beverages, spices, and other oddities
2c- food and beverage as supplements(potential experiment, water with iron extinguished into it)
During delivery
3a- fasting and food recommendation
3b?- potentially food products used as salves and medicine during delivery (positions, ect. another paper)
Edit to add: 
Food recommendations for wet nurses/ breast feeding
4a- what was proscribed and prescribed.
Ritual foods presented to mother after birth- any celebratory foods
5a-  valuable food related gifts (cups, spoons, forks)
5b- cakes, cookies, etc. given often inside gift cups.  

Working my way through the Anon. Venetian manuscript again. I finally have the exotic meats that were holding things up, now forever in my mind as "the dammed boar".  I'm planning on heading up north after work the Friday of Ursulmas and experimenting with Fiamma for the three roasts/ sauces that were holding things up for lack of appropriate ingredients. I'll be taking lots of pictures and posting again here, as well as my blog dedicated to my Italian historical research: http://allvenicechannel.dreamwidth.org/  I still have to make some choices on the ingredients that arn't clear, i.e. what type of bread to make into bread crumbs after toasting, what kind of vinegar, etc. before I bring up all the supplies and actually make them all.

After at least 5 different drafts I'm finally happy with a pattern for a working class Italian outfit from the late 1500's. For the first working test I'm using what I had in my stash which is waaaaay less that what I usually use for just the skirt alone. I'm having to re-think the pleating as even with bulking up the pleats with blanket weight wool there still isn't enough to do cartridge pleats, so I may have to do box or knife pleats. Still, I'm hopeful that I can finish this in time for Ursulmas so I can have a casual breast feeding friendly outfit.

On a mostly non-historical related note, regarding instead the charity I've been working with the last several years, It's My Bag- http://www.itsmybag.info/. We had been doing photos previously as one of the other board members has a hearse and a coffin. However, going to local horror conventions and other local markets and fairs doing "photos in a coffin" hasn't been bringing in as much as we would like in funds. At our last board meeting I suggested that we look into the possibility of doing photos at SCA events as a fundraiser, and brain stormed what events might work best for this, like 12th night, Ursulmas, June Faire?, and possibly some feasts like Yule where people are wearing their best court clothing and might like a formal portrait taken. We were at 12th night and had by far the most successful fundraiser we've had in at least the last year! I wasn't able to help much with the actual running of the booth, but the other board members who ran it (Michael & Karen) were delighted with how things went. We're now lined up to also have a booth at Ursulmas http://aquaterra.antir.sca.org/Ursulmas/ and have been asked to come to several other events. If you happen to see us at an event, please consider getting a photo taken- all proceeds go to help foster kids and other at-risk and underprivileged kids.
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I did another search while I still have better access from the University. I'm going to try to gather as much research material as possible for review while I'm at home with baby (whenever he finally decides to make an appearance). 

The Criminal and the Saintly Body: Autopsy and Dissection in Renaissance Italy: 
 http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/2863109.pdf?acceptTC=true  - printed

The manly masquerade, Masculinity, Paternity, and castration in the Italian Renaissance

" In this our lightye and learned tyme": Italian baths in the era of the Renaissance.

Medical history from the earliest times:

The Politics of Physicians' Responsibility in Epidemics: A Note on History

A prelude to medical history

A brief history of spa therapy

Public Health and the Medical Profession in the Renaissance $30 to print

Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance $30 to print
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Trying to focus on the good, work on what needs attention, and let the rest go.

Thankful list
I have awesome people in my life. Really and truly- amazing, intellegent, thoughtful, and caring people.
The girlchild is the daughter of my heart, even if she's not the daughter of my body. She constantly amazes me (in a good way). I'm hopeful that all the upcoming changes will bring us all closer together.
Despite all the life trauma and distractions, this pregnancy has physically been so blessed- no healthy issues, discomfort, but no pain (other than the emergency oral surgery) and no complications.
For better or worse the stalemate with the contractor is now broken, and while it's not a great situation I now can move forward and start putting it behind me.
I'm hopefully, and delighted that people have come forward to help with the cleanup this weekend despite my not being able to physically be there myself. I'm a little nervous about the high expense of the rental equipment and worry that it might nearly be as much as it would cost to hire someone for the day (423.33 per day + 10 for the tow hitch each day, so potentially nearly 900.00 for the weekend if it's not returned by noon on Monday)- but I'm trying to stay positive and hope that great progress will be made over the weekend. 

This coming Sunday is my due date. We'll see if things happen on schedule. At this point I'd still be happy to be exactly a week late and have him be born on 10/10/10, but we'll see if I still feel that way in a couple of days. :) 

I've been voraciously pouring over articles in any free moment, and so far I've gotten through the first two and dug into a third. I posted reviews to my Facebook, but I'll repost them here as well, so I can refer back to them more easily. 

Article review- "Medieval Woman's Guides to Food During Pregnancy: Origins, Texts, and Traditions". Technically before my time of focus, but provides a good foundation of where many of the scientific medical theories in the Renaissance came from. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in food and medical history. ...http://journaldev.cbmh.ca/index.php/cbmh/article/viewFile/292/291

Article review-Theory, Everyday Practice and Three Fifteenth Century Physicians. Comparisons of the history and practical styles of three Physicians(Michele Savonarola, Jacques Depars, and Antonio Guaineri), as relates to theories on the plague, the use of Astrology, Magic and Alchemy , and the study of another common disease, Pleurasy. This isn't focused on childbirth and while one of the physicans is often mentioned in my more core studies (Michele Savanarola) it provides more back ground information as to general medical practices at the time than more direct information on my specific topic. It does mention childbirth in passing a couple of times, but it's value is more in a better understanding of Savanarola's background and medical education. A good read. http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/301784.pdf

Updated to add one more article review: 
Article review- the Fate of Popular Terms for Female Anatomy in the Age of Print. Ooh, this is a naughty one! Mostly based on French medical texts dating back to medieval, some of which were published abroad, this covers the sometimes scandalous evolution of the terms used in medical professions to describe female genitalia. A revolution in anatomy based on new information garnered from the study of dissection of human cadavers created a need for completely remapping and charting our understanding of the human body. One of the ways this was address was to catalog all the terms used by French midwives, some of which were rather...descriptive.
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I realize that once the baby comes I have no idea what my energy and brain capacity will be like, but I also know that I'll go stir crazy if I don't have something to occupy myself with, especially if I wind up having to delivery Ceaserian and can't drive for 6-8 wks. So, I'm lining up projects that I'll be able to work on as time and energy allows, and hope to be able to get back to working my way through all the recipes in the Anon. Venetian too- if I can ever get my hands on that darned boar and venison I need.  
Long rambling list of ideasm to-dos, and sources that many may find boring )

Bambino update- I woke up about 12:15 last night with contractions/ pain and couldn't sleep through it so I went and got into a warm bath until they finally subsided about 1:20.

Also, further note to self- defaulted contractor finally came to pick up the vehicle he had left sitting on my property for the last several weeks sometime in the late night early morning (11PM-6AM) September 27-28th. I wonder if this means he's recieved the notice of complaint from the Attourney General's office, or if he's just finally gotten enough gas money to come and get it.

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I found a copy of a slightly later edition of an Obstetrics manual first printed in Venice in the 1590's
The good news is it seems to be in a Library in New York, the bad news is you have to physically come to it. No loans (which makes perfect sense) but there also dosen't seem to be any microfilm or reproductions available.
Later editions are available through Abe Books, but the prices start at well over $1,000, and the age ranges from the 1660's. Both out of my time and price range. I'll talk with David about this tonight to see if he can help me track down a better source.

I'll come back to these images later and fill out much more detailed descriptions.
Cut for period medical images, some may be inapropriate for work  )I've been writing this up as both an outline for a research paper, and as a presentation or class with lots of images. I've also been looking into the art and ritual of pregnancy and child birth in the Italian Renaissance, but I see the two topics as being related, but separate.

Random links I found amusing while searching for further information: 
This on is on Advice in the Italian renaissance
My favorite so far is:
 After blowing your nose:
You should not open your handkerchief and look inside, as if pearls or rubies might have descended from your brain.  —Giovanni Della Casa, Galateo (1558)

This is not what I was looking for, but it has an amazing article on the historical use and medical theory surrounding Mandrake root.

Library search

Chronological history of medical science and advancement: 

Further search for any versions on microfilm: 
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Quick update before I drag my tired bottom to bed

This may look like a brick of cheese, but it's much, much harder. I didn't cut it so much as hack at it: 

I initially was going to melt it in the disposible pie tin I wound up hacking it to pieces in. I'm glad I realized that I'd need it in a much smaller space so I could dip the bottles deep enough to coat not only the corks, but the strings for the tags as well (as this serves to help them stay in place as well as seal the corks).

Dipping the bottle: 

Finished bottles!

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I'm so very jealous and grateful that the museum let them take photos
I really want to make this outfit for the mancreature, and it has about the same line as the Spanish I've seen from the same time- I just have to get him over his fear (or hatred) of "pumpkin butt" pants. http://www.flickr.com/photos/castelmar/2786288552/in/set-72157606843067634/
Note to self, if you ever want your SO to wear something, be careful about calling it something amusing, yet potentially unflattering. :) '

If I go for a Turkish in Venice look I could make baby this to go with- Acessoriesing with children! 

Nakie baby: http://realmofvenus.renaissanceitaly.net/wardrobe/LottoFamGroup.jpg

Boy's leather jerkin, c. 1550-1600
Infant’s coif, c. 1550-1600 http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O90001/babys-coif/
Eleonora of Toledo with her son Giovanni de' Medici by Agnolo Bronzino, 1550'
Don Garcia de' Medici by Agnolo Bronzino, 1550
Francesco I de' Medici by Agnolo Bronzino, 1551
Detail of a portrait of a woman and two children by Giovanni Battista Moroni, 1570

Now I just need to find more images of Italian Renaissance (preferably as close to 1570 as I can get) maternity wear.
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Last night I got absolutely F-all done. I was going to go get a replacement phone, but wanted to the mancreature to come with me as I really think we should get on a family plan to save a bit. The mancreature didn't sleep well the night before so he was a grumble butt and toddled off to bed by 6PM and slept through the whole night- which meant that I couldn't get the phone stuff sorted out. I'm going stir crazy without a phone, but if we potentially sign up for another contract (we have both happily long  passed our contract date and were not wanting to get tied down again) I want to make sure it's what will work for us for the next two years, and have enough benefit to make it worth giving up the freedom to change companies at any time. We need to start looking at ways to tighten the budget before it become nessisary so it hopefully won't ever be urgent, or a crisis. I don't like having to scramble, especially not when it can be avoided with planning. So I did make some super quickie dinner as I'm learning to listen to what my body wants and when it wants it. Other than that  all that was accomplished last night was a little light reading, sleeping and mega snuggles.

I did find some more interesting information on historical birthing practices, and some images of birthing chairs. I may not get a chance to use one for the birth, but I want one!!
Here's an interesting synopsis of prevailing attitudes and practices: http://www.elenagreene.com/childbirth.html 
An interesting write up on women in medicine, how it applied to them, to what degree women were allowed to practice, what medical texts might have been available to them and more- I'm loving checking out all the bibliographies: http://www.gallowglass.org/jadwiga/herbs/WomenMed.html

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From the historical costuming list by way of Corba_girl - I also saw a round heavily carved Italian renaissance walker at a house museum in Milan.

If you look up "Ages of man" you'll find a lot of images of a baby walker. It is the visual reference for just past infancy and not yet old enough for the hobby horse stage. 

Here is the one I made for my daughter. It isn't the most authentic of  things but I made it what I had on hand and she liked it.

A cooking blog about the historical cooking going on at Hampton Court Palace!!!
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As an aid to my poor brain that these days is more like a steel sieve than a steel trap:

Italian Majolica pottery- pretty! I want to make some of these some day!

A really nice collection of "Italian Ren" resource links. I've already picked out some a couple of times to get people started who don't yet want to invest in books until they've tried a few styles first: http://www.quite-contrary.org/cost_link_ital.php
Includes Drea's fantastic online reference to the Milanise Tailor's handbook:

Pepperbeast is translating her way through Book V of Scappi's Opera- the menus for each day of the year!!! Total Squee_ http://libroquarto.wordpress.com/
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I'm saving them here so I can go back and find them later
Has boar, venison, and rabbit, no eel:
Boar roast 5.99 lb (not currently in stock)
Venison shoulder roast 7.79 lb
Rabbit 5.99 lb

I think the winner for boar may be this reference from Eden:
Fresh / 1.5 lbs. avg. $16.99

Carries rabbit- no venision, no boar, no eel:

Can order Venison, boar, rabbit- doesn't carry eel:
Venison 19.99 lb
Rabbit 6.99 lb

wild boar leg 36.00 4lb package
Venison Medallions Fillet (Cervena), (2-4 oz. count) 1/2 lb. Package 15.00
Rabbit (Whole) 2.75 lb. Package 24.00

Farmer George in Port Orchard has rabbit for sale occasionally 3870 Bethel Rd SE Port Orchard, WA 98366 (360) 876-3186
Venison ground only 8.98 lb, Rabbit fry cut 5.89

One more to add:
Bellevue, Washington at: 15255 NE Bel Red Rd • Bellevue, WA 98007.
No boar, Venision loin 45.16 lb, Rabbit cut up, packaged by 1/2 animal at 8.99 lb

Another to add late in the game-
Tacoma Boys- closest to my house
No Boar, No Venison (they don't carry "game meat"), rabbit frozen, whole 2.99 lb

It looks like I may need to try asian markets when eel comes up- that's alright it's actually much closer for me than all of the places that carry any exotic meats. :)
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I've been posting these tidbits to Face book, but it occurred to me that I should post them here as well, where I can more easily come back to them later.

For your amusement or abject horror:

Pre-natal advice from Renaissance Italy Part I: "The mother-to-be should drink wine that is subtle, aromatic, and well aged." "Stay as far away as you can from white wine, woman reader, even though it's true that white wine looks better in your hand. In your ninth month however, start drinking white wine as it will open you up and facilitate child birth" "Cold water is not good at all- better to drink wine." - Savanarola

"wine is beneficial for the stomach and genreates good spirits and heat. A light red is best and if you mix it with water, then use water in which you have extinguished a hot iron" - Marinello

Part II: "fruits, like fish are cold and humid; moreover, many of them are gassy, so generally you should avoid them altogether or eat them only in moderation." " When you crave a piece of fruit, just think that the most noble and beautiful fruit in the world is the human creature in your womb, so surely you can resist the vituperative claims of your palate for a vile, ugly, bad piece of fruit that will harm what you carry inside yourself" -Savanarola

More will definately follow as I haven't even touched on fertility, lots of other dietary tips including leafy greens and other vegitables, meats, and fats.
Digital copy of one of Michele Savanarola's books:

OMG I LOVE This site:
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Just trying to get ideas percolating- There dosen't seem to me much in the way of images before 3-6 yrs old and in most of that they seem to be wearing just smaller versions of their parent's style. http://www.larsdatter.com/children-renaissance.htm

I may need to see if I can trade or bribe any of my knitting friends for any or a set of these:
•Infant's knitted sock, vest and mitten (mid-16th century?). Baby clothes knitted in soft white wool; the mitten has a contrasting band, probably of naturally black sheep's wool.

Children's Games (1559-60)
by Pieter BRUEGEL the Elder
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I've got a friend who's thinking about apprenticing and she wants a persona appropriate scroll. I sent her the links I still had from when I researched  mine and the transcription of the basis for mine, but I can't seem to find the image of the original extant scroll. Any suggestions? 

Also, someone on my Friends list posted these really cool doll links. I'm totally blown away, and instantly though of Mort:  Beware, it does show some images of naked dolls.

Check this out the description is "Album with Italian, mainly Venetian, costumes and characters from the Commedia dell’Arte, Italy, Venice?, first quarter of the 17th century"

Guilds in Italy in the Early Modern Period: 

Maiolica ideas
I want to paint the pitcher and bowl- from "the bean eater" 
Eventually I'd like to enter Kingdom A&S and I think I want at least one of my entries to be a Maiolica piece. I'm not sure what yet there, other than I want it to be something reasonably persona appropriate as that will be the theme for all of my entries.
Maybe this one, only switch out the devices: 

Knitted Venetian sailor's cap: 
I had started making a knitted cap once upon a time, but it was using the modern two needles hooked together. I want to try it sometime with the double ended needles.


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