anna and brandi.

I am finally starting to get back into the swing of things after my little adventure down in Georgia. Living history is such a strange hobby. It's almost like a secret society, because if you are not involved with it, you really have no idea what the heck it's all about. And it's really hard to explain. I usually find myself not even trying to explain. In fact, today I got a call from a lady wanting me to make her a pant suit and a dress. I tried explaining to her that I don't make such things, that instead I make "historical clothing." She asked me what that was, so I told her "Civil War era clothing," "1860's dresses," "clothing from the past!" Get it? No? Okay, nevermind. She hung up with a vague idea of what it was, but I think she probably thought I was nutty. So instead of trying to explain to you every detail about what living history is all about, I'll attempt to tell you a bit about my time down south. Hopefully you will not be completely lost as you read...

Wednesday night my friend Brandi and I headed down to St. Louis at about half past 6p.m. We got to St. Louis around midnight and were planning to catch a ride with our pals from KC. They were still a good 40 minutes away, so we decided to check out the pub down the street. It looked a bit shady from the outside, but as we went inside, it turned out to be a pretty nice pub. Plus it was Lady's Night, which meant all drinks were $1.50! YES! Brandi and I sat there with our drinks, a bit worn out from the five hour drive. I like to people-watch. Probably shouldn't, but I love listening in to conversations in public places. The table next to ours sat a girl and two guys. They seemed to be in a bit of a heated conversation. I continued to listen and discovered they were arguing about art! Yes, ART! Well, this conversation took off and before we knew it, there was a bar fight and this guy from across the room decided to come over and get in on it. Hilarious. Brandi and I were standing in the corner laughing our butts off. I was video recording right as the fight began, but I didn't want anyone to smash my camera, so out of instinct I just stopped it and put it away. Anyways, it was great fun. Finally the KC boys showed up and we had another drink then went on our way.

The ride was great fun, but lonnnnnnnnng. Man was it long. Mike was the driver and he drove through the night puffing on his pipe the entire time. We made a few stops along the way and we did stop for a couple of hours to get some sleep. Then off we went again into the night. The next morning we stopped at The Cracker Barrel, which seems to be these guys' favorite place to eat. I guess a guy likes a good meat and potato dish, but personally I am not a fan of that place. Besides the fact that all my buddies love it and I think that is kinda funny in a cute sort of way. We finally made it to the event site around 5:30 or 6p.m. on Thursday. I was so happy that we were going to get to sleep in the boyscout cabin rather than just bed down outside. I was tired and needed a real bed to sleep in. I got a good eight hours of sleep that night and the next day we got all dress out in our "period" clothing and waited for a ride to our site. I met a fellow from Scotland and a man from England who came all this way for the event. They were great fun! I am continually amazed at all the interesting people I meet at these events.

The next few days I slept outside under the stars and then one night squished in between four other women in a tiny cabin. We had four chickens and I must say they were the freshest chickens I've ever tasted. It is kind of weird saying how we killed them, but I figured that is reality. I still have a life goal of killing and then preparing a chicken before eating. I just want to see what it really takes, instead of simply walking into a grocery store and picking up a dead chicken. I think it would help give me a better perspective. Anyway, enough of the chicken rant. Let's talk about something disgusting instead, like... pissing. :) The hardest part at these events is pissing in the woods. You see, there's usually a million guys all around us and it always happens that the spot they designate for peeing, somebody decides to camp out on that spot. So you are left with two options. Take a long hike down the side of the hill as far as you can so no one can see you or wait until it gets dark. Both of those options are not ideal, but I guess we learned to live with this for the weekend. Let's just say, guys have it WAY easier. That's all I'm saying about that...

Next came a lot of sitting around cooking food and cleaning. Sometimes doing living history is really boring and other times it's terribly exciting. You just never know what it's going to be like. But honestly, it's really fun not always having a million and two things to get done. Sitting around the fire singing songs and sipping wine never gets old, though. And sleeping under the beautiful stars, listening to the sounds of nature; honestly, these things make me truly happy. You soon forget about the uncomfortable things like sleeping in all of your clothes (it's very hard to stay warm with five petticoats, a dress and tight shoes). Then there is the rough ground with just one or two blankets to keep you somewhat warm, but somehow you are always cold. Ahh... I love it so much. (And I'm not being facetious!) I love coming home and realizing how fortunate we are for having even just hot water and a shower available to us whenever we want it. I never thought I'd say this, but I love camping. I love the outside air, eating with your hands, dirty nails and campfires. I also love hot corncakes with strawberry jam for dinner. Deeelish!

I could continue to write and bore you to tears, but instead I'll just share some pictures Brandi and I took over the weekend. (Okay, just Brandi. I took some, but not many.) We didn't bring our cameras with us when the event started, so these are mainly just before shots.

pipe smoker.

guys posing for an image.

j.t., jay and anna.
{all above pictures by brandi.}

p.s. "bummers" is the name of the event. don't ask...

here and there.


the palisades.

annie's married!

katie in the sweater

brandi and anna

A few things I've been up to...
  • Halloween fun consisted of a party at a little theatre establishment in the Amanas where my friend Brandi lives. I dressed up as an Edward Gorey character or since nobody there knew who Edward Gorey was (ugh!!!) I just told them I was a dead Victorian person. Jed dressed as an engineer (super last minute), since that comes easy for him. hah. And Brandi dressed as a zombie pin-up girl. It was lotsa fun!
  • My friend Annie just got married last weekend. We've been friends for 18 years. It is crazy how fast we all grow up! I would be lying if I didn't say I am feeling really strange about all my friends getting hitched. It's very weird, but I am very happy for her.
  • Jed and I went dumpster diving for the first time Sunday night. I did not realize how thrilling it is! Also how sad I am to see how much food people throw away. Perfectly good food. Um...what about all those starving people in our country? Why can't some of this food be given to them?? I want to see this film.
  • My sister was back for the wedding this weekend, so we got to hang out a bit. We went to a cute coffee shop down the road from my house, got wired on coffee and then went antique shopping with Jed. It was a fabulous weekend!
  • Going down to Georgia this evening and coming home next Monday. Once again, I'm traipsing off to the woods to live in a rather rough structure in mid-19th century clothing. It should be thrilling. I'm ready for a bit of a vacation. Funny how my vacations always leave me coming home completely exhausted and ready for a hot shower. But I love it. :)
Um yeah... That's about it. I feel like I've been doing more, but I just can't think of what it could be. I'm going to bring my sock knitting with me for the trip tonight. We're meeting up with some of our buddies in Kansas City and they're going to do the rest of the driving. That means driving all through the night and no sleep (I can never sleep very well in a car). But I'll have my knitting and maybe I will finish a pair of socks! Hope you all are enjoying the week! I'll be back with more later. Unless a bear eats me up in the woods or some such. ;)

{a few more pics on my flickr.}