I did get through my presentation yesterday, though "Cousin Hattie" had a little problem with the Magic Lantern Show. (See, Daisy - my laptop - wasn't working right so we used the center's laptop; all was going along fine...until the screen went BLACK!) Seems we'd forgotten the power cord, and my mouth ran longer than the battery! What does a proper 19th century lady do? Why, keep talking! The Helpful Lady managed to get it functioning again, so I sort of switched back to the Illustrated Portion. Between that and my puffy eye, I was unimpressed - but I survived. Interestingly, when I finished there was a question about my clothing, and everyone perked right up! I'm thinking - perhaps a powerpoint show about the history of women's clothing might be of interest in the future?
True Confession: in spite of the fact that there was a gentleman present - I revealed my petticoat, my hoop - my chemise, and (dare I say it?) my knickers ! FYI: these were not the authentic "split" knickers. I mean REALLY! I'm not THAT kind of girl.
So what have I done these last few days? Going to synopsize here, for your viewing pleasure. We spent a lovely day at Old World Wisconsin, which is a series of ethnic farms from early Wisconsin, a wonderful open-air historical site with "costumed reenactors". Allow me to display some scenes:
Besides the fields of rye, which I thought were wheat but someone said nope rye, there was flax available. In one barn there was an area with flax... and a brake and hackle; I'm guessing that during school tours they demonstrate processing the flax. In the same barn there were sheaves of thatch drying in the eaves, and a number of the buildings had thatching on their roofs. Each farmstead, incidentally, was moved from their original sites around the state and repositioned.
As well as the beautiful buildings, all happily restored (they were moved from their original sites around the state) there are gardens around the houses; we did get a few interior shots but it was a beautiful day and there were very few interpreters on site at the time. On a regular day there are folks at each farm, working in the fields, cooking &c. This day we only saw a couple ladies, and because it was late in the day the fires were out, any cooking had been finished, and there was a big "end of workday" feel to it. Oh, we understand; no matter how much fun it is, one runs out of steam. In our case we develop "museum legs" - you don't realize it until the last kid is out the door, but THEN, sitting down becomes a major priority.
One of the funnest things we saw, though - were the ani-mules. I LURVE me some farm animals, what can I say. I've always said, some day I'd like to live on ten or twelve acres and have a fat little Welsh pony and small buggy, and use no other vehicle. And get the reputation of "that eccentric old lady who knits, has cats, and rides around in a horse-and-buggy."
There were sheepies - but only these three that we saw. I scritched, I whispered endearments - nothing could drag their attention away from the grain they were nibbling. Don't you love the cronsch cronsch sheepies make? They're my favorites, of course, being toques-on-the-hoofs and all.
There were horses, several actually, which are used to pull wagons and ploughs and also to draw shuttles for people who can't or prefer not to walk from farmstead to farmstead. The site is actually many acres, and the shuttles permit folks to see more in the time allowed. These guys did come over and let me rub their velvety noses. The animals on all the farms may be part of a working historical site, but believe you me, they are pampered babies, each and every one.
But the best conversation we had, the most outgoing and social soul we encountered, and the one who proved to be amazingly intelligent and the source of a lot of good information, was...... THE PIG!
OK, I know, these guys have a bad reputation - "eats like a pig" (well, it's true, his manners left a little to be desired), "filthy as a pig", (yup, he was muddy - they do that to keep cool, and it's actually very sensible because they don't have sweat glands.) And besides, this guy afforded Mr Dearling the opportunity to get what I think might be our prize-winning photograph of the summer. Are you ready?
Aww, c'mon, that is one cute picture. Biggify at your own risk. But I'm thinking about entering this in a competition somewhere. Or framing it. Thanks, Mr Dearling.
....and she wanders off, laughing....