Monday, July 28, 2008

Nordic Fest!

What a great time we had this past weekend at Decorah, Iowa! The weather was really great – Friday was muggy and warm but Saturday was wonderful! Breezy, no humidity and not very hot! What a way to have a festival!

The Nordic Fest at Decorah is really, really big. I heard someone say that they preferred coming a great distance rather than stay home and go to the one at their hometown!

So, we got there about 3:30 on Thursday afternoon. David Johnson was there before us, for once – we are usually the first ones there. His lovely wife comes to help set up and then goes home – they live “only” an hour away, so David goes home every night rather than camping with the rest of us.

Tom Latenė showed up with his blacksmith equipment and the guys helped unload the heavy stuff.

After we got set up, the Johnsons and we went to eat. Tom said he wasn’t ready or hungry, so he stayed “home” to continue setting up. We went to the Mexican restaurant just up the road – it’s excellent for food and for prices. Norm and I shared a steak fajita – they serve such big portions!

When we got back to the tents, Jasper Bond was there, setting up his pottery. I am sooooo addicted to his pottery!




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A mirror that David Johnson made
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Jasper at his wheel
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Jasper's cart
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Tom's forge

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Candy sent some pictures and greeting cards to sell

I have, here, some pictures of my “home” – some people have asked if we sleep on air mattresses or what? Well, we try to be as “period correct” inside as well as outside the tent. Our beds can be torn down to be totally flat in the van but set up quickly. The bedsteads LOOK like something that would have come from the 1870s and are very comfortable. We use twin size mattresses and I always try to cover the pillows with the blankets when there are possibilities of people looking in.

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We have a privacy curtain around my “bathroom” – and the curtains are also period correct (by “period correct” I mean that the look is as if it were back in history – even reproductions have to look like they came from that era). I have a reproduction commode so that I don’t need to go outside in the nighttime (or in the rain or snow) and a nice box that carries all my stuff, period or not – and can close it when we’re not using it to hide the modern stuff. I like my mirror! I don’t need to look at ME, but I need to see if my hair is tidy when I fix it in the morning.

The tent is canvas, of course. Canvas tents have been used for centuries, mostly by armies, but also by people who traveled from the old home to a new home.

After supper, Norm decided to go join the others at the opening ceremony. I washed up, put on my nighty and went to bed with Peanut. It was muggy but not too bad. It ended up to be an “only a sheet” night

In the morning, it was wash up, dress and get ready for the day. Jasper joined us for breakfast at a nice (but slow) restaurant Tom was still setting up and David had not arrived from home yet.

We set up, put up a sun curtain (the sun hits me until about noon) and started working – demonstrating to those who wandered by.

Kari (pronounced “car-ee”) showed up, so Norm helped her bring her things up – she set up beside me and we put an awning up for her so that she didn’t need to be in direct sun. Kari was such fun! She tells the stories of the Norse gods and goddess, reads runes, sings and entertained me.

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Peanut discovered squirrels this weekend and therefore was always on the alert to chase down and catch one, if possible. This led to attempting to catch a cat, a bird and several large dogs. One dog came close to my spinning wheel and Peanut rushed out from under my skirt with teeth bared and vicious growls, ready to kill a Boxer about 50 times bigger than she!

One of the several delightful happenings this weekend was meeting Anne (pronounced, I’m told, as “Auu-na”) from Norway. She was spinning flax in the museum – I was spinning flax out on the lawn. Anne came to see me and was very politely horrified at the flax I was spinning and asked where I got it- I had gotten it on the Internet several years ago. She said I needed to be spinning what I had grown and processed myself. She was in the process of fine-tuning a spinning wheel that had been loaned her so Norm went to help her work on it – and then she brought some of the flax that SHE had grown and processed back in Norway and taught me how to dress the distaff and showed me the PROPER way to spin flax. I tell you, boys and girls, it was like a light bulb going off! THIS is the way to spin and create linen thread! THIS is more like it!! The difference between the two threads (my old and my new) is like day and night, with the night being the best!

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Friday night we all went out to supper at the Mexican restaurant, again. I LOVE those fajitas! Kari joined us and enjoyed her meal, as well. We had Jasper, Tom, and David joining us as well. Makes a fun group.

Saturday morning is always a pancake breakfast at the fire hall. Kari joined us for this – the boys were not quite ready to go eat when we were.

Saturday was a more delightful day, weather wise, so it made the day go faster. All of a sudden, it was 5:00 and time to tear down, the hardest part of the whole event!
While saying goodbye to everyone, I talked to Tom about seeing him in 2 weeks in Wisconsin. Duran has a celebration that we have been asked to come to. Tom lives just a hop and a skip from Duran (in Pepin) so he offered beds for us for the nights we will be there. That is fantastic – means we don’t have to take as much stuff – the set up and tear down will be less, as we will only have to take an awning and tools, rather than sleeping and living equipment!

Heading home after a sandwich at Subway and home about midnight! Oofta! The going home is the hardest!

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We found our animals well taken care of by sister Candy (who is FINALLY back from South Dakota for the summer) and neighbor Jody.

Peanut was sssooooooooooooooo happy to be home. She ran around outside for a while, then ran around inside for a longer period, from chair to bed to kitchen to water dish to food dish. When it was time for bed (as soon as we COULD after getting home) she raced with little pitter-patter feet into the bedroom and LEAPT into her bed from about 4 feet away! Leap, land, turn around and roll her tummy up for a scratch before being covered up for the night! Home again – nothing like your own bed for great sleeping!

Yesterday was wet and stormy – awesome clouds but no real storms hit us.Today is a beautiful, if hot and muggy day! You have a beautiful day!

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2 comments:

Jan said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. The flax spinning looks interesting. I am glad it was breezy for you and not so muggy.
Take care, jan

City Mouse said...

I'm so happy to have found your blog through Homesteading Webloggers! The festival looks really, really cool - such interesting history and so many beautiful things. Again - happy to find you! I'm going to head back and put you on my links list so I can check in often. Awesome!