Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Lunch Wagon

One hundred thirty-one bales of hay in the yard,

one hundred thirty-one bales,

take one down pass it around,

one hundred thirty bales of hay in the yard.


I’m not winning any popularity contests with the humans around here this weekend after insisting the guys stock the barn with hay in all this heat and humidity. We were able to have it delivered but the wagon couldn’t fit back in the barn so we had to unload it in the driveway and then reload it into the pickup and back that in.


Once the pickup is inside the center section of the barn the driver has to shimmy out the window because it is such a tight squeeze. Then the bales have to be heaved up and into place in the lofts. It is hot, sweaty, sticky work.


Fortunately the day was interspersed with some comedic relief. Watching Thelma and Louise chase down “the lunch wagon” through the pasture was, well, priceless. The organically grown orchard grass hay met their approval to such a degree we ended up needing to lock them out of the barnyard so they wouldn’t get run over.


“Where are you going? I wanted a pastrami on rye.”


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Milestone

Thelma and Louise have reached a milestone. Today they switched from a weight gain regimen to a maintenance program. Allow me to provide you with visual references…

Thelma before:


Thelma after:


Louise before:


Louise after:


In fact the girls have gained so much weight so fast I can’t help but look at Thelma’s belly sometimes and ask myself, “What if the negative ultrasound was wrong?”



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pretty Much All I Got Anymore

Pictures of animals laying in front of fans taken with a fogged up camera lens.


Sometimes they get up to pee.


Super exciting stuff.

If you’ve never been in Indiana and are thinking of visiting someday you should scratch July off your list. Unless, of course, you think unbearable heat, 90% humidity, chiggers biting your hoo-ha and millions of bugs that make a noise so loud you can’t hear yourself think would be a good time.

Then by all means come on over.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lazy Summer Days

Who came up with that stupid phrase anyway? Are you having a lazy summer? I know I’m not. Between the weeding, the gardening, the catering to every whim of the animals in this heat…
“You know I prefer lemon in my water,” said Thelma.

“I’ll have a hot fudge sundae with sprinkles,”  said Rose.

…and my human children attempting to occupy my every waking hour this summer, I’ve still managed to accomplish something while hiding inside in the air conditioning.
I figure if we’re going to do the civil war reenacting stuff, there is no way on God’s green earth I’m sleeping on the ground where God knows what can slither into bed with me. Therefore, I purchased an old vintage army cot. It looks more like it belongs on the set of a M*A*S*H episode versus a civil war reenactment. In order to disguise the cot I needed to come up with something time-period appropriate to cover it. So I dug out a civil war fat quarter collection that I had been hoarding for a while and quickly put together this cot quilt. The border and backing fabric are on the right in the foreground. I’ll tie this quilt together with some of Rose’s leftover yarn instead of quilting it to make it a true civil war cot quilt.
Once I finish this one, I’ll fix up one more for the kid in plaid flannels and we’ll be set. One more thing almost off the ever growing to-do list. Hip, hip, hoorah!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Well, now ain’t that somethin’?

After having fun reenacting Morgan’s raid at the Battle of Corydon event I decided to dig out the old family genealogy.  I remembered that we had ancestors that fought in the Civil War but could not recall all the details. My Uncle, has managed to collect a wealth of information on my mother’s side of the family over the years. A quick message on facebook confirmed the ancestor in question was Theodore Hinton and he served the Union in the 7th Indiana Calvary.

That, combined with the power of the internet, led me to some remarkable discoveries. It seems Theodore lived near Madison, Indiana another town that Morgan’s raiders passed through, wreaking havoc, in July of 1863. Theodore was only 16 at the time. However in August he turned seventeen, immediately enlisted and was a private in the 7th Indiana by September. No doubt incited to join to defend his home and family from Morgan’s troops.

While I found that all fascinating, given that we were just there and all,  what I found even more intriguing is the fact that his first cousin, Benjamin T. Butler, was a rebel soldier in the 5th Kentucky Cavalry and was actually one of Morgan’s raiders! Do you suppose Benjamin knew he was raiding his kin’s hometown? Did Theodore know Benjamin was part of it?

Out of all the battles of the Civil War I find it interesting to know we were there, reliving one our ancestors were involved  in 148 years later.

So, one thing leading to another as internet searches often do, I came to realize that the same family tree that produced these two young men had been the early settlers of a certain rural part of Kentucky. The family had a mill and a post office named after them. While on vacation with Milah, this past March, we visited Sara and literally drove right past it. The road is even named Hinton Cemetery Road.

Now ain’t that somethin’? Coincidence or creepy?


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Serving Up Hot Wings

It’s so hot the chickens are complaining that their deodorant isn’t working.


And Thelma is trying to determine just how close she can get her face to the fan without getting a shave.


I’m doing everything I can to keep everyone cooled off.


“Really now, you’re doing everything?”, asked Louise.


“The dogs told us you have something called air conditioning. We want in.”


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Battle of Corydon Indiana, 2011

Why on earth Morgan’s Raiders chose the middle of July to raid Indiana is beyond me. You would have thought ninety-five degrees in the shade with over 50% humidity would have deterred them until at least the end of August. Maybe they were just trying to head North where the weather was cooler?

We managed to survive our first official reenactment. I will confess we participated this time as part of the “hotel militia” as we do not have a period tent as of yet. Thank heavens! I’m not sure I could have taken the heat all day AND all night.

The company laundress during the civil war was generally supplied a tent, hatchet, two camp basins and one ration each day. Everything else she needed to operate she had to supply herself. She even made her own lye soap. Each soldier could pay 50 cents per month for her services, it was optional but most did. In addition to washing the clothes she also performed mending services for an additional fee and cost of materials. A truly enterprising laundress could even spin yarn for sock darning and sell it to the other laundresses. All told, the washer woman as she would have been referred to, made a good honest living often exceeding that of a soldier.

We attracted a lot of attention at the event and even made the newspaper. Children, and some adults, are fascinated with the concept of the scrub board and mangle. Most everyone was enchanted with the little green spinning wheel.

My character is a Scandinavian immigrant who follows her son when he enlists as a volunteer infantryman. Most laundresses would have been related in some way to one of the men in the company.

I can’t even imagine what that must have been like. It would have been awful to stay home when your men went off to war, but to be there with them listening to the cannon fire, washing the blood from their uniforms…

God bless the washer woman.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tour de Fleece

Each day during the Tour de France spinners across the globe have joined in on the action with their very own online Tour de Fleece. I signed on to Team My Favorite Sheep and have been busy doing spinning related things since it started.

The first day I stopped into an antique mall on my way to visit friends. There were four different antique spinning wheels.  With all the willpower and determination I could muster I walked away not purchasing any of them.

Then I went back the next day.

Well, I just couldn’t leave the poor old girl lying there in the corner neglected now could I?


(Pathetic dog and soda can for size comparison.)

She won’t win any beauty pageants.  She’s short and not exactly in her prime but there was just something about her I loved.

I gave her a quick sponge bath and took her for a ride. You know what? She started spinning right out of the gate. No questions ask. She’s clearly a working girl.

After further inspection I came to realize she’s remade out of an old chair or stool. Some inventive farmer probably made her for his wife.


It is customary for a spinner to name her wheel. I’m not sure if I want to call her June Bug because of her unique color or Scarlet. Scarlet seems appropriate if you recall the scene from Gone With the Wind where Scarlet rips down the old green velvet drapes and remakes them into a gown, yes?


She clanks a little as she spins but I can’t blame her for that. In my old age I’m starting to clank a little too. I’m not sure we’ll make the full run of the Tour de Fleece but we’re going to give it a shot. Be prepared to throw some water on us once we get in our groove!


Monday, July 4, 2011

He’s in the Army Now

Our little town had a Civil War Heritage festival recently. The town really went all out as it does for just about anything. There was a beautiful display of antique quilts at the library. Everything from this primitive piece made in 1797…

to this elaborate crazy quilt.

The historical museum is housed in a restored jail and Sherriff's quarters which was open for tours.

We decided we would MUCH rather be the Sherriff's child versus an inmate as the accommodations were a wee bit nicer.

The whole town was alive with Civil War era displays.

And there were soldiers everywhere.

My son met with members of the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Zouaves, joined their cause and immediately began basic musket training. I learned the unit was in need of a company laundress. Given that a washer woman could actually earn a better wage than a private and I just happen to have a mangle, washboard and washtub lying around I applied for the position.  We’ll be active at The Battle of Corydon, Indiana this coming weekend.


I’m rather shocked and amazed at what all I have lying around the house that would be appropriate for this time travel event. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or if it means I’ve become a packrat like my mother? The old washtub stand I had was falling apart and I was using it as a cucumber trellis so The Engineer built a replica for me. A few days in the sun and it will get a nice patina. I also have a wooden ironing board, old iron and a tripod and boiling cauldron to boil the lice out of the clothes just like they used to do. I guess I don’t have any excuse not to do laundry if the power goes out.