I started at the High Desert Museum last Friday. The first thing I needed before I could put on my costume was to get fitted for a chemise and corset.
This is my costume and my station at the ranch house. The costume isn't as uncomfortable as it looks but I am having my boots stretched before. I learned a lot about what works and what doesn't and I realized that fiber preparation gets in the way of the interpretation of living history. I've since prepared my fiber at home.
It really went well until my drive band broke. It's been at least 10 years since I've spun on a double drive wheel so I was impressed that I was able to create a substitute band using some tightly spun Shetland wool I had in my basket. Being wool it started to stretch and required an extra knot, a very large knot. Somehow it managed to hold together for the rest of the session.
This is Shade, a college intern who plays the hired hand. He carried my wheel to the hidden golf cart when it was time to go in. My session goes until 4:00 but it was 95 and most of the visitors had gone inside. Shade suggested I call it a day and I thought that was a good idea.
The next day we drove down to Tulelake California to meet up with my daughter and son-in-law who had driven up with Alexia. We get to enjoy her for three weeks and I can't believe how quickly the time is going. She loves to read so we've create an evening ritual. After Grandpa goes to bed we stay up and read until about 10:00. That's my quitting time. She continues until she finishes her book.
Sunday Alexia and I took a stroll along the Deschutes River, got a bite to eat and were planning to hear the free concert at the Les Schwab Amphitheater. I asked Lu what she really wanted to do and she said - go to Dudley's. It's a quaint bookshop in downtown Bend, a visit that I've been promising her.
It turns out that Tom the owner had just made a private purchase of young adult novels. He brought out stacks of books and what she ultimately chose was the four-volume Pellinor series. He said he has more at home that he'll be bringing in next week so we'll go back. It was starting to look pretty expensive but the hardback set was only $20.
Monday we took a tour through three thrift stores and got a big laugh out of this bit of creativity. We weren't sure of it's function because those cups surely can't hold candles.
We were looking for fairies but instead found this composite angel so now our garden is an angel garden. Next stop in this project is the nursery.
She's enjoying the deer in our neighborhood. Her favorite was the young twins who pronged through our front yard followed by their mother who sauntered casually across the driveway. I didn't have my camera for that but I did have it for this doe and young buck in a neighbor's yard.
Tuesday I played hookie while Alexia went to Tai Chi with Grandpa. They went to breakfast afterwords and then to the library where she signed up for summer reading club. She got a free book just for signing up and she's already read the required three books to get another one. There's a list of things she needs to do to get ice cream coupons and she has three out of ten on that. One was to meet a neighbor so this morning I introduced her to Connor who lives behind us. Another is to plant a pollinator plant which she'll do as soon as go to the nursery.
I thought she would enjoy going into the print studio and making some monotypes but after visiting it, I think she was a little intimidated. She has elected to paint with water colors every day.
She gets to "help" me at the High Desert Museum on Friday so we will go in early for a costume fitting. I think they'll have her help with some of the children's activities. She's really looking forward to it.
Meanwhile, in preparation I put a replacement drive band on the wheel using 8/4 linen which I waxed with bees wax. At some point I realized that the bobbins are longer than either of my lazy kates so I came up with this work-around. The block is something I bought from Ken Ledbetter. It's to put in three drop spindles so you can triple ply from them. Instead I put the pin from my Kromsky kate through the bobbin to afix it vertically. The block has a post with eye in the front and flawlessly fed the single yarn onto my bobbin winder.
I was able to ply the wool together that I had spun last week so I have something for children to see and feel. And I also finished processing the wool that I'll be using hereon out. My backstory is still in process. I need a name so I can refer to my husband as Mr. Morse (or whatever) rather than "my husband." That was the proper form of address then. To be continued.
Grandson Logan has invested a good part of this year in making his dream come true, to be a member of a drum and bugle corps and to compete in DCI or Drum Corps International. It has required a lot of the whole family, both in money and in time. DCI competitors are between the ages of 17 and 21 and as soon as Logan turned 17 in February, he started working toward this goal. He auditioned for the Columbians, a Pasco Washington-based troop, and while his trumpet playing got him a call-back after he auditioned, he still had to learn to walk and play at the same time.
Missy drove the four hours for weekend practices while finishing her masters degree and teaching during the week. He practiced and she worked on her thesis in their hotel room. And he did it. Hours of grueling practice in the heat - and you thought it was just football that did that! Last weekend she drove up to Pasco, but this time to drop him off for the competition tour. They compete, get back on the buses afterwards and sleep until they arrive at the next destination, then roll out their sleeping bags and sleep on high school gym floors. Then they get up, work on correcting the flaws the judges noted and then practice until it's time to compete again. They'll do this all week. We saw them in Hillsboro and then it's Tacoma, Pasco, Boise, Salt Lake City finishing up in Denver next Saturday.
I took this picture and a couple of videos before I was told that there had been an announcement - this was a big NoNo. All the material is copyright protected but you can see what the group does for audition here. Here's a performance from last year. Logan will be a senior and is looking at colleges according to how close they are to major DCI troops like the Blue Devils in Concord CA (his dream) and this is what a practice looks like. And this is from the show we saw that night, bootlegged apparently. I would much rather watch this in the stadium than football.
We drove over to Hillsboro, OR on Friday morning for the first competition of the tour. Missy took this selfie , the first of many to come I'm sure as she and Josh and her parents are following the tour over the next week. Josh was exhausted. They weren't an hour from the house when a radiator hose blew, and him towing a trailer. We managed to save seats because the stadium was full. Who knew DCI was so popular?!
I've crossed the Sierras since I was a teenager but the Cascades are really a lot different. For one thing there are a lot of distinctive peaks and I'm finding them difficult to distinguish. It helps to identify them by actually being there so we stopped at the Mt Washington viewpoint. We learned that the fire damage is from the B&B Complex fire, two fires that grew into one and burned over 90,000 acres in 2003. Our poor tortured West.
This is only our second time to take a trip north from Central Oregon since we moved here and again I'm stunned at how many visitors are leaving as we return. As far as I could see it was a steady stream of cars. I live in the right place.
This weekend is Summerfest so Ian and I went down Sunday afternoon, and in spite of it being the tail end of the event, there was plenty going on. Parking isn't really a problem if you're willing to walk a couple extra blocks. It was fun and we stopped to enjoy music at a couple of the stages - probably could have stayed longer but it was hot and our dogs were barking.
I figure one vendor purchase is good and I could see this in our yard.
So back to my volunteer role at the High Desert Museum, I've been familiarizing myself with the official backstory. I'm a little frustrated as I'm pretty sure spinning was no longer an activity in 1904 and I can find nothing to support it either way. Bend had a large Norwegian population at that time so I suppose I can tie into that. I called the State Library who referred me to the Willamette Heritage Center and they are only prepared to answer questions relating to wool as an industry.
Meanwhile the boots for my costume that I ordered from eBay have arrived. One friend asked me if I was planing a visit to Lancaster PA.
Laura is loaning me her Country Craftsman, a reproduction flax wheel, and bless her heart she delivered it, sparing me the hour drive to Prineville. (I should be ashamed when I quail at an hour drive since every trip I made when we lived in Red Rock was an hour, one way.) We talked over the wools I'm going to use and how to use them. It's been frustrating to me that there is no literature for me to draw on for this Living History role that I'll be playing at the museum. And then we just turned to working with the wool and sampling, and then suddenly it was like old days, like camping at Richardson Park before Black Sheep Gathering. I don't know what I'm doing half of the time but then I realize I never have.