Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Great Minnesota Sleepover

Or, my weekend in New Ulm.

New Ulm, Minnesota, hosts the Black Powder Trade Fair every year on the second weekend of March. This is a time for all the Rendezvousers to meet and talk about the winter and get ready for the new season. Traders are out in force, hoping to tempt the Rendezvousers and visitors with their wares: leather, clothing, yarn, wool, candy, honey, cooking pots, glassware – all kinds of really neat things that you cannot live without.

The “fun-est” thing, I think, about this weekend is the camping out, sleeping over, spending the night in the hall. If you purchase a medallion, you have permission to throw your sleeping bag, your blankets or your mattress under (or beside) your table and spend the night. There is no fee, no motel room, no motor home in the parking lot. Although some do have a motor home or camper or go to a motel, a lot of people “rough” it in Turner Hall.


In bed, already

Norm and I have two tables – one for me and my stuff for spinning and weaving, one for Norm and his spoons. We both demonstrate and Norm sells spoons and spatulas. These tables are downstairs, in the less crowded area. The downstairs was originally planned for demonstrators only, but it is so crowded upstairs that some of the vendors have moved down.


I will put more spoon pictures on Norm's blog


This event is so popular that tables are valued highly. If you get a table, you treasure it and don’t let it out of your grasp. There is a waiting list for people who want a trade table; the story is that someone has to die for a table to become available. We are fortunate that we are deemed demonstrators rather than traders and were allowed downstairs. We have had one table since 2001 and just last year were given a second table.

This is a time to see all of our friends. We haven’t seen most of them since “Big Island” in October of last year. Also, many non-traders, non-Rendezvousers come to visit and purchase. I had several of Murphy’s Landing friends come in – they sit and talk for awhile before heading out to dig through treasures on tables. My sister and her daughter, Cookie, came, also. Last year was Candy’s first trip; this year Cookie came. She had a great time – I enjoyed walking through the isles with her and seeing her delight in many of the articles for sale. At this time, she helped me pick out a ring; I am not much for jewelry, but this ring just popped out at me. Candy didn’t help – she was busy digging through beads and finding treasures there – authentic trade beads from the past.


My new ring


Kelly from Natural Colored Wool Studio


The tempting table across the way (I got Candy a tea kettle from her)


The leatherman
Ole Olesen and Marie from the Natural Colored Wool Studio
Metal engraving

The engraving on a gun stock


I drooled over this lap rug but Norm said "make one yourself!"



Yummy wools to take home and play with

Too soon it was time to pack up and head home, knowing we would see these friends somewhere down the road; I was anxious to get home to my own bed and Peanut (who can’t join us at this event) and peace and quiet.

On another note, Jody invited us to her place to see the yaks. Don has decided to get into the “yakkity-yak” business and purchased two bred cows, a calf and a bull. They are not tame – in fact the bull is very protective of his girls and is pretty dangerous, but Don is determined to tame them down. He has one cow licking his hand; once she has attempted to gore him through the fence, she settles down and smells his hand.


The bull
The "baby"
Can't get close to the cows

It was 60ยบ yesterday and very little wind. A beautiful day; today is supposed to be just as beautiful. You have a beautiful day.


Kati said...

LOL At the yaks. I've got a local "friend" who has 2 females and at our last "farmgirl gettogether" was relating the story about why she was so late. She got trapped in the enclosure with her yaks & she & her oldest son had to make a break for it, but almost didn't make it before getting trampled & gored by the meaner of the two yaks.

The Minnesota Trade thing looks like such fun!!!! That's some pretty wool you picked up!!! And Norm's right, you can make something at least as pretty, and probably prettier, than that lap blanket with your skills (though, it was VERY pretty and it may be hard to top that). And that's a beautiful ring you picked up!!!! Glad y'all had a good time!

Anonymous said...

The yaks look a bit mean!

Love Norm's comment (made me giggle) and I think Kati is right - we wait witb baited breath to see
your finished lap/Peanut rug.


Jan said...

60 degrees...oh my. Here is was 9 and snowing! So...what is a rendevouser? Period of time? Sorry I'm so dumb, Jan

happyowl said...

From your previous post, I am so sorry to hear about the baby. It has taken me this long to "get over it" enough to comment. I really hope all the other animals will be fine.

Your "trinity ring" is beautiful! I believe I have earrings that match. I'll check through the week. If I do, you know who will be getting them.

Norm does beautiful work. But I think I've said that before. It's good that I'm a country away or I would be very poor.... The "make it yourself" comment made me giggle, sounds like my hubby.

The yaks are too cute! Thank you so much for the picture.

Brightest blessings and lots of love