It is that time of year again. Open enrollment. Our health insurance plan has an annoying health survey they require us to take in order to save money on premiums. At the end of the 657 questions it offers suggestions on how you can improve your health. I tried not agreeing to any of them, but the stupid computer program simply will not allow it. As if it is saying, "Seriously, we know you're a lazy sloth, push the button." I chose the join a gym option.
I chose that one because it did not specify what type of gym. I have to admit paying ridiculous fees to watch other sweaty people walk a treadmill indoors while I wait my turn does not appeal to me. So today, I signed up to join Mother Nature's Gym.
Just three blocks from my house is the entrance to a beautiful walking park. The path runs between an open field...
and the White River...
and follows the river through the woods.
I find this view much more appealing than a regular gym.
I did a fast walk for 25 minutes before taking advantage of one of the many river-view benches for a quick break before walking back.
I will need to remember to bring a slice of bread for the ducks next time.
As well as my big girl camera. These phone shots just did not do Mom's Gym and her furry membership justice. This place may save my sanity.
Since moving I have become quite the social butterfly. Just this weekend, I spent Friday with old friends I had not seen in ages, Saturday with new friends I have only recently met, and Sunday with old friends I have never met before. Yes, you read that last part correctly. Sunday, I visited with Kim from I'm Gonna Tell Mom, who I have been friends with online for years, yet have never met in person. We met at Tabby Tree Weaver for the afternoon spin-in. We laughed until our cheeks hurt, a good sign we had a good time.
I think Mildred, my trusty wheel, was happy to get out and meet new people as well. Since I have spent the summer spinning on the great wheel at work, I think she has been feeling a little neglected.
Mildred and I have been working on spinning this 500 pounds of gray roving for what seems like years, so we agreed to make a wee little purchase of Blue Face Leicester to brighten our spirits back in New Sheville.
Kim pointed out that I had not yet properly given a tour of New Sheville on the blog. (Did you notice the name change to New Sheville? A nod to towns such as New Palestine, New Winchester, New Salem that signal the difference from the old.) I have to say, New Sheville is working out nicely. It sits on the main floor adjacent to the dining room and leads to the back deck where I let the dogs in and out multiple times a day.
It took some doing to pare down enough to fit everything in.
Nevertheless I somehow managed to fit all of my spinning, knitting, weaving, quilting, embroidery and sewing paraphernalia into one room instead of three.
Well, except for the fleeces. There was no room for the fleeces.
They ended up down the hall and to the right--inside the shower. Hey, it works! Nobody ever uses that shower anyway.
The small door on the left of this little hallway leads to the kitchen so I can keep my eye on what ever is cooking.
And the laundry room is also right here. No more running up and down stairs to change loads. There is even an extra fridge in there--a giant wine cooler and place to store chocolate.
So really, everything I need to survive is at my fingertips. I could easily set up a cot and live back here. I just can't shower. Doh!
I can still remember Mrs. McNeal, my high school english teacher, telling me I needed to drop all other life plans and pursue writing as a career. I thought she was crazy. College professors echoed her advice. "You really must," they said. I never could understand how they thought I was going to afford to eat by doing that. There are very few jobs that pay a person for creative writing and I sure as heck did not want to pursue technical writing -- I would rather eat worms.
They would argue with me, telling me I was wasting my talent. I would argue in return explaining that I really liked pizza and it was expensive. Besides, what would I write about? I was young, unexperienced and, frankly, quite stupid. I felt I needed to be inspired to write. I thought real writers already had all that inspiration inside of them, oozing out their pores. I did not understand that it was something you could work at -- develop over time. I guess I never considered that real writers did research, which in turn sparked the inspiration. I chose a different career.
Fast-forward a number of years, we won't say exactly how many, and here I am thinking maybe they knew what they were talking about. I attended a writer's conference yesterday. A historical fiction conference specifically. I walked out afterward thinking, "Sure, I can do that. No problem."
(insert sound of brakes screeching here)
Let me say that again, because I doubt you caught the significance. I walked out thinking, "Sure, I can do that. No problem." Note the confidence. I walked out thinking I could write a novel. A whole novel. Like as in, wa-ha-hay more words than blog post. For me, that is huge. Just like most other writers, I have always lacked the confidence to feel I could actually do it. Until yesterday. For whatever reason something clicked. I felt totally in my element. I even knew what my story was.
I have assigned days on my calendar to write and do research. I am going to do this. It won't be done by the end of next month. Maybe not even next year. But I am going to do this. I have joined a writers workshop, a group of writers who share critiques and editing -- peer pressure is always a good motivator. I'm going to do this.
In the mean time, there is a new blog in town. It is called White River Farmhouse. You can find it if you click on my profile. It is empty right now and may stay that way for awhile. I make no promises. I intend to use it for tracking the details for the second novel. Yes, two. There will be no pictures of cute animals. No mention of what is going on in my world. Just fiction and research. The discarded scene that doesn't make it into the book might get rewritten for this blog. It probably won't be in chronological order and may or may not make any sense at all, but you are welcome to follow along and provide feedback if you so choose.
So what does a reenactor do when they can't take the time off work to participate in their own reenactment? They go to the closest one they can find which happens to be on their day off. We attended the Mississinewa 1812 event today. It was nice to go as a spectator for a change.
We noted that the battles are a little less intense when the guns aren't pointed directly at you.
But at this event you could get your thrills by taking in a peep show instead.
It is fun to go a see the camps of other reenactors and the setting at Mississinewa couldn't be better.
The living history camps were highly varied in their accessories. My personal favorite had to be the chickens. I couldn't stop thinking to myself, "a tisket, a tasket, a chicken in a basket."
It is always fun to talk to the craftspeople about their craft.
The textile industry was well represented with everything from natural dyes,
to inkle weaving,
To a very impressive display on processing flax into linen.
A reenactor can't help but be inspired going to an event like this and perhaps a little green with envy. I'd love to have a little tape loom like this one. I hear they can be found by contacting a Mr. Google. He must be a merchant of some sort. Perhaps someone will contact Mr. Google and acquire one of these for me as a Christmas gift someday?