Sunday, September 25, 2011

Packing up again

Time to repack ... it's Big Island week and we are getting more things ready than for Pepin.  Now, in Pepin, it's only two nights and someone else cooks.  At Big Island, it's 5 nights and I do all the cooking.  

Breakfast - for school days, it's bacon, toast and cold cereal.  For Saturday and Sunday, it's more (I think biscuits and gravy for Saturday), not sure what for Sunday.

Lunch - lunchmeat, bread, left overs from supper.

Supper - soups, hamburgers, maybe steaks ... with bread, potatoes, something.

So the menu has to be perfected.  Boxes are filled with coffee, tea, sugar, flour, bread, salt, pepper, etc.  The ice box will have eggs, meat, milk, etc.  

The cast iron pots are picked and packed.  The tables (total of 5 for all uses) are packed.  Chairs, tent, stove, brazier, wood, kindling, charcoal.  Coffee pot, water pot (for constant hot water), water pails.  Gallon bottles saved from fruit juices full of drinking water (Big Island's water is not very good).  Rugs, shave horse, looms, spinning wheel.  What else?  Bedding - lots of it as it tends to get pretty cold at night.  Peanut's crate and her food.

The list is two pages long and we are checking off everything as we go.  It takes about 5 days to get packed in a n organized way and not forget anything.  

Yes, we are close to a store, but to get to the store we need to ride in a camp-organized bus to and from, as the van is parked about 5 miles away.  And then the groceries need to be hauled from the bus to the campsite, and we are in a far corner, so it's about half a mile - and not fun to carry a lot of groceries that far.  Therefore we try to have as much as possible as to not have to make store runs.

Once we are there, once the campsite is up, we will enjoy ourselves immensely; two days of school tours and two days of public days, all in period clothing, doing everything (as much as possible) with period tools and equipment. 

We will be leaving on Wednesday morning in order to get unpacked and enjoy an afternoon and evening relaxing.  We will be tearing down on Monday morning in order to avoid the rush and bustle of nearly everyone else trying to get home Sunday night.  

Big Island is held on a peninsula with only one road in and out.  So Sunday night the road is packed with cars trying to get in while others are trying to get out.  We have done the Sunday night rush and it takes about 4 hours for just getting in and getting out.  So we sit by the fire and visit with others that wait until Monday and enjoy watching the rush.

I will probably be busy and not able to get on-line much from now until we leave.  And will not be able to get back on-line until Monday night at the earliest.

It sounds like it will be a nice mild week ahead.  And we will have beautiful days.  You have some beautiful days until I return.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wistful Wednesday


We lived in Japan between 1953 and 1956.  This is Cara, swimming in the Japan Sea.  We went there nearly every day during the summer and swam.  We were not really swimmers -- we usually wore swimming jackets or played in floating toys.  The sea was too strong to really learn how to swim.  But we all became very comfortable in the water and practically lived in it.  When the skies were gray and the wind was strong, it was the time to "surf" the high waves.  We usually were the last to leave the beach, which probably frustrated the life guards, as they couldn't go home as early as they wished, since some crazy kids wouldn't GIVE IT UP and go home themselves.  Mom usually sat under a beach umbrella and read or sat in the covered little place where we could get drinks.  We would pack a lunch; we had to stay out of the water for an hour after lunch so would play in the sand.  

This was back in the day when an 11 year old was content to play with siblings in the sea and the sand and not want to be off with other girls, being google-eyed at boys.

Notice the bright blue sky and the dark blue sea.  The beach was not as clean as most people today like - it had seaweed and driftwood, but we could play with that, as well.  I think Cara was looking for a whale to spear!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another wonderful year at Pepin

Okay, we got to Pepin about 3:00 on Friday afternoon with lots of sunshine.  We set up the tent and bed and all the good stuff, stopping to go hug and talk to people as they came in - we are usually one of the first ones in, as we travel about 5 hours to get there and want to rest after setting up.  At about 7:00 we went to Kitty and Tom's for a chili supper and more visiting.

Rise and shine was about 7:00 in the morning - the sun was up and I could hear quiet talking in a neighboring tent.  Norm went to the kitchen tent to get coffee as I got dressed and walked Peanut around.  When breakfast was ready I went over and grabbed some but headed right back to the tent, as there were guests already starting to wander around.

My neighbor's young boy, Nathan, is my "apprentice" - he loves weaving and always comes over as I allow him to work on the demo loom.



The family brought goats again and did milking demonstrations.


Kevin was making a bowl but the wood was so hard that he started to burn the hole in and scraped out the ashes.  He hopes to be able to carve eventually on the inside.


Sherri spins, sells dolls and sunbonnets.  She also brings bunnies for sale - you can see the little girls playing with the bunnies in the basket.


This man comes every year - he plays the harmonica and has a "pet" panda who plays, as well.  He always plays "There's an old spinning wheel in the parlor" for me as well as "The old rocking chair."


Waking up in the early morning, it's like being in Brigadoon --- it's so foggy that you don't see anything modern.

Gary (from "the family") is making bunk beds.  I asked if his children were 300 pound midgets and he said - no, just rambunctious.  


My newest friend, Saga, makes brooms.  We met last year and just clicked - it's like we've known each other for years and years and years.  Possibly in a past life?


On the way home, I had Norm stop to get a picture of the beautiful river.  This is the "Lake Pepin" area - even though it's the Mississippi, the area is so large that it's called a lake.


It was a beautiful weekend - it is a beautiful day; you have a beautiful day.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Jeanie's Packing Up!

Oh, sorry .... a song from Brigadoon is running through my head ....

"Connie's packing up!"  It's time for Pepin - Laura Ingalls Wilder Days - again.  Norm has gotten the trailer loaded and we will load the van tonight.

Let's see ..... headboard - footboard, bed rails, bed slats - check!  Tent, poles, ropes, pegs, peg puller - check!  Stoves?  No, not for Pepin - we don't cook and it rarely gets cold enough for extra heat.  Commode - check!  Bathroom box re-loaded and ready - check.  Lanterns and candles - check! Norm's shave horse - check!  Extra wood folding chairs - check!  Tables - check!  Most everything is in the trailer.

Now for the van ... a long list - rocking chair, spinning wheel, loom; bedding (mattress, sheets, blankets, pillows); clothes; wool for spinning, yarn for weaving, knitting for the trip and for break times.  Norm's spoons and spatulas in their bags.  Norm's leather "possible bags." Peanut's bag with food, leashes, bedding.  Cooler to be loaded tomorrow morning with snacks, pop and water.  Two bags of apples from the broken tree (they still ripened, thank goodness) to add to the food supply for the weekend's cooking.  Large cooking pot for Molly.

Yes, I think we have everything.  The barn is prepared for us being gone - Candy will check on the animals one day while we are gone.  

We will leave tomorrow morning, as it takes nearly five hours to get from here to Pepin, Wisconsin.  We head up to Mankato, then over to Wabasha. over the Mississippi and up to Pepin.

This is our annual "family" reunion - our best friends, who we see only once a year, for the most part.  We will camp in the history area, period correct all the way  I'm excited to see them once again.

I will take pictures and post them when we get back.  If things go as planned, we will tear down on Sunday, have a pizza "party" with everyone before we leave, sitting on the picnic benches, then head home and get home around midnight or so.  If the clouds stay away, we will probably travel with a full moon - an awesome way to travel.

It sounds to be a beautiful weekend and it is now a beautiful day - you have a beautiful day.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Twelve days of total fun!

As I said before, Joy and Ken came down two weeks ago to bring the girls.  J&K stayed a couple of days - Ken helped Norm work on the siding on the upper level of the house.  Then they went home, leaving Bitty and Bubba here to play with me.

On Monday morning, we went up to the Cities after nine days here and I stayed up there through Joy's birthday.  Normally Norm and I go up and we stay only a few days - but since he had to work, I was able to stay longer.  Peanut stayed home with Norm - I think Norm wanted her there for company.

I just got home yesterday and now I have pictures to share.  The first is of Joy taken around Christmas time which would have made her nearly four months old.  The backdrop wall-hanging is one that sister-in-law-in-law, Mavis, embroidered for Joy.  The picture is in black&white because I was experimenting with that medium; an uncle had a darkroom that he taught me to use.  
This next picture was taken on Joy's birthday this year - Ken and the girls got her a lighted number sign to go on their signpost.


Then Bitty was showing me some of her tricks on the trampoline.



And collapsed and "died" when she was done.


I could only get Bubba to jump once and I missed the flip ... so here she is, with her beautiful long hair flipping in the air.



I spent some time with my youngest, Jill.  She and Eric have a new puppy, Hank, so I got introduced to him and spent time talking and cuddling Remy - Hank didn't want to cuddle, he wanted to chew fingers and toes.

Jill got me hooked on a now-defunct TV show -"FireFly" -- so I have to order it on Netflix and watch the whole first (and only) season.

It was hard to leave yesterday morning - even twelve days wasn't quite enough - we were still doing things.  I was starting to get Bubba ready to dress her loom and ran out of time (sigh).  She and Bitty will have to do it with phone calls to me for help if they need it.

Speaking of looms, I stopped at Jody's and helped her put the rug loom together.  I had given it to her this spring and she finally had room to put it up.  It was a struggle - remind me next time to label EVERYTHING, not just the main supports!  But it's up and she can thread it (warp is already on the warp beam) and get started weaving.

It's a beautiful day today - good to be home even though I miss my family.  You have a beautiful day.