Saturday, August 04, 2007

Victoria’s Garden

This week was the second (and last for the summer) camp for young girls that Katie and I called “Victoria’s Garden.” This was a two day, overnight, period where we had the girls dressed in long skirts with pantaloons and petticoats; they learned manners, had calling cards, made tea bonnets, learned to embroider (if they didn’t know, already), helped make tea cookies and tarts and all good tea goodies and just had a good time learning about the past.

Learning the proper way to be introduced

Playing "Graces" is throwing a hoop back and forth and catching it with sticks

Now, how did Takara get in that situation?

Working on reticules (small purses)

A helping hand is always appreciated

Katie and I are partners (in crime); our business is called “Past Presentations;” we have put on these two camps, have had a spinning demonstration and plan and put on the State Fair happening. We hope to grow more, so Katie, especially, is always thinking, thinking, planning.

Anyway, this event this week was lots of fun. We had four little girls ages nine to eleven. Two were sisters as well as good friends. The other two had never met. These four girls blended well and got along wonderfully. They arrived around nine on the first day and left about five on the second day.

Katie’s daughter, Takara, is nearly seventeen and was a great help. She took the girls out to play ‘graces,’ croquet and go swing on the playground swing. She also helped entertain them when times were moving slowly – there is just so much that you can do to keep four active little girls in the past.

We talked about famous women in the past. The girls were all home schooled and when I would mention a woman, they would say “I heard about her” or “I know her story” – sometimes they would tell ME the story of the lives of these women. Some we talked about were: Laura Ingalls Wilder (of course), Louisa May Alcott, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Victoria Woodhull and Queen Victoria. In the case of the young girls, I have found that just talking and telling the history of the women as a story works best. These four were so delightful. I would say “It’s time for another story about someone famous” and they would gather quickly and seemed to really enjoy them.

My job was to sit, for the most part (something I love doing). I told the stories, taught and assisted with embroidery, talked about what the girls would be doing if they WERE Victorian girls while Katie slaved in the kitchen cooking and washing up and baking. I feel guilty about this sharing of work, but Katie says SHE couldn’t do what I do and she loves doing what she does. (It’s the same at the State Fair, too!)

A hummingbird visited right outside the window

Some of Katie's wonderful "repast" for tea

On another note, it is raining today!!!!! It’s been running around the nineties with high humidity so it is delightful to have the temperatures in the sixties and the much, MUCH needed rain! We have had an inch, so far. It’s not raining now, but there is promise of more rain this afternoon and tonight. Hallelujah!!

Norm is in the Cities – we had a “gig” at Historic Murphy’s Landing but we almost decided to not go. However, we had promised the girls (who are here in Minnesota for about a month) that we would take them to Murphy’s for the day. I have been stretched very very thin as far as energy, what with being at Decorah last week and the camp this week. Norm didn’t really want to go but yet he did, so we decided that he would go for just one day and take the girls with him.

I am home now, checking on baby chickens three or four (or five) times a day. Yes, children, we got another batch. We were so thrilled with the first batch this summer that everyone decided to get more for the winter freezer. We found the solution, I think, to the Cornish X broilers. After about two weeks, I started taking their food away at night for close to twelve hours and giving it back to them in the morning (at great peril for my life). Then we had them butchered at exactly seven weeks. We only lost two babies at the beginning and none towards the end. I had worried because we had such a hot streak of weather, but we had a fan blowing in the pen and had vinegar in the water to help with electrolytes and all those good things.
So, on this beautiful, cool, restful day, I wish you all a beautiful day! (Except, why is my Word not recognizing mis-spelled words all of a sudden? That Microsoft for you – and my feelings about Microsoft is another LONG story!)


Leslie Shelor said...

This all sounds quite lovely! Wish you were closer; I'd love to see how this happens!

(And I'd still be interested in your daughter's stitch markers; how is that going?)

Sonia said...

Sounds so lovely, Connie! Love all photos, too! The girls are gorgeous!