Monday, March 28, 2016

Moving On- Maybe?

My grey linen gown was the first REAL Colonial gown I made for myself. I had made a trial gown before, out of terribly incorrect fabric, and then an experimental jacket. I made the grey dress itself in 2011(I think. I'm pretty sure.) to wear to the Providential History Festival:

From my 2011 Picture Folder: The original trim!

And I changed the trim for next year's festival; actually I pretty much changed the trim every year:

2012 PHF, wearing my quilted petticoat! And even four years ago, Andrew was taller then me.

I wore it to Camden, South Carolina, in 2013:

Epic Picture.

I wore it to Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2014:

I think that petticoat and matching trim is my favorite.

And now here I am, in Texas. We appear to be a good four hours from any historical group or location where I could conceivably wear my Colonial gown. In the depths of reenacting woe, cursing the uncultured darkness of Texas, I've been thinking of selling some of the few costumes I have left. Which isn't many; I sold most of them before I moved. But I haven't quite been able to sell this dress yet. I'm still clinging to the sentimental thought of keeping it for a little while longer!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Break 2016

So since John is in school he gets this thing called spring break, which as a homeschooled student I never experienced. We took the opportunity to go on a sort of second honeymoon, since the first was a rather short part of a very busy time.

We reserved a very private State Park cabin which was adequately clean and furnished. The only fault to the cabin was that too many people had already slept on the bed before us. The park had a beautiful garden with man-made lake and waterfall, terraced gardens, massive flower bushes, and lots of walking paths. It was perfectly serene and very pretty.

We spent one day sightseeing in Natchidoches, LA. It's an old, old French town with beautiful homes and several historic sites. Sightseeing is exhausting, so we confined ourselves to see Ft. St. Jean Baptiste and the American Cemetery. We ate Southern fast food for lunch and Japanese for dinner, with a root beer float in between. John bought soap for our souvenir- he has a weakness for soap.

Ft. St. Jean Baptiste

The Fort was a small compound of wooden structures. It was rebuilt some forty years ago based entirely on written records, since no archeological evidence of the buildings remained. Fifty French solders were stationed there, and there were no battles during the existence of the Fort. Apparently they have reenactments just twice a year, April and December.

The American Cemetery was a very diverse mix of tombstones and styles. There were a few older stone and a few stones that looked almost home-made, which I've not seen before. There were more raised beds and more cast-iron gated plots than I usually see as well. The cemetery was pretty, but slightly unkempt. Overall it was interesting to observe how many subtle, historically-influenced cultural differences there were everywhere we went. The French influence was everywhere, with lots of fleur-de-lis patterns for decoration.

Home made?

One of several raised brick beds.

This tree had fallen and uprooted the stairs, but it's still alive.
Hodges Gardens State Park

There were several large hunks of petrified wood.

The Gardens had several layers and lots of little paths.

The Lower section.

The one and only selfie we took on the trip.

The entryway had big old trees with Spanish moss.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Passover and the Resurrection

Having moved, I no longer have all the decorations or traditions that I've always had. Though they were sporadic through the years, most Easter items made an appearance at least every other year or so. We had the purple batik tablecloth, the plush stuffed lamb, and way too many blown-out and dyed eggs. In the vein of starting new traditions, we(mostly me) decided that we would have shrimp for Easter instead of ham. I did buy Easter egg dye for the shockingly high price of $2, so we may yet have dyed eggs for Easter.

Upside-down plants! One flower plant and the rest is all cilantro.

There are plenty of Easter decor ideas online for children, but not so many meaningful ideas for grown-up decorations. I liked this blogpost about gathering symbols. We put out a few this year on our front-room gathering spot. There are certainly thorn bushes in Texas, so that wasn't be a problem for a crown of thorns. Poor John helped me make the crown of thorns and got poked. Hobby Lobby down the street had fake palm branches for $2; I put out a pottery goblet(last supper) and some linen(burial cloth). We still need a donkey and a lamb, but we are on our way!

Four candles for Lent, a crown of thorns, goblet, palms, and linen.

There are lots of plain solid purple tablecloths out there, but the only ones I've been able to find that are affordable and even remotely reminiscent of THE purple batik tablecloth of my childhood are these two here and here, and I'm still debating on whether or not they would give us seizures. The alternative, I think, is sewing my own and having a tablecloth with a seam, which would almost certainly cost more. So what with the waffling back and forth, we probably won't have an Easter tablecloth this year. Oh well!