Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Battle of Secessionville - Sunday

Sunday dawned SUNNY and we scurried around getting dressed and packing up. We actually managed to get out of the hotel about five minutes BEFORE the deadline we’d set for ourselves. Now that’s perty good for us! As many of our friends know, we have Kerrs in our ancestry and their clan motto is “Late, but in earnest.” Yup yup yup, that’s us.

I was going to show Mom the cute bridge to the battlefield when we got there, but we got sidetracked talking with a lady who came over for some advice on her outfit. She had a nice authentic dress but was still figuring out all the accoutrements. The biggest problem she had was her hair, which was about Mom’s length and straight. Mom showed her how to do a roll like she had, and I showed her how to do a twist on the sides like I had. This was all very absorbing and took some time.

It was soon time for church, however, so we broke it up and gathered our Bibles, gloves and parasols. You must look proper for church!

The walk over was very nice. They held the church service in front of the hall on benches under an arbor. It was a beautiful sunny day and I enjoyed the scenery while listening to the sermon. The service was attended mostly be reenactors but some early-arriving spectators showed up too. I noticed a dad with two young teenaged boys. The dad was obviously very interested but the boys looked pretty bored. Oh well, at least they had a comfortable place to sit.

The pastor’s sermon was from Isaiah’s prophecy of the coming Messiah. It was a good, evangelistic sermon which was nice. Sometimes at reenactments you wind up hearing a rather bland, fluffy sermonette that isn’t particularly helpful to anyone.

After church, I finally had a chance to take Mom and Raquelle over to the bridge which they agreed was quite picturesque. We thereupon took pictures of ourselves on it.

Then Mom and I decided to do a little shopping before lunch time. First, we stopped at the hall and took some pictures of ourselves on the porch. A nice older gentleman in gray happened by and offered to take a picture of both of us so we took him up on it.

Then on to sutler row! As we were approaching the sutlers, the same dad and teenaged boys I saw at church earlier came hurrying up to us. "Can I take a picture of my son with you two ladies?" the guy asked. We said sure and then jokingly remarked that his son must be just THRILLED to have his picture taken with a buncha GIRLS. His dad rolled his eyes. "Oh, he'd love to be somewhere else," he snorted. "I would not, this is kinda fun," his son protested. Cool, we got a convert.

There weren’t all that many exciting sutlers but one that we did get stalled at had tons of Civil War scrapbook supplies. It’s really hard to find scrapbook stuff for that particular war so these folks had made their own supplies for sale. We got some with thoughts of our own scrapbooks as well as our UDC chapter’s scrapbook in mind.

Then I decided I was HUNGRY and we headed over to the Shealy’s fry bread tent for lunch. Turns out they were doing a brisk business and nearly out of food again, so we got lunch for Raquelle while we were at it. Dad was already there and had just finished his. I tried the chili, cheese and beans fry bread for the first time and vastly enjoyed it.

Deciding that there was more room for big fat skirts at our tent than under the Shealy’s fly, we headed back to our campsite to eat. And who should appear but Raquelle with lunch in her hands! So, um, now we had an extra lunch. Anybody want a Navaho taco on fry bread?

While we ate, we visited with friends. Jeannie Rucker stopped by again, clothed in a snazzy looking silk taffeta plaid dress with knife-pleat ribbon ruching. She was wearing her Marie Stewart bonnet like Mom's. (Guys, stop yawning, this stuff is IMPORTANT.)

Dad was in the battle again today but I didn’t go over right away. After all, the Yankees were supposed to win and who wanted to see THAT? I finally headed over for the last fifteen minutes of it however. I was glad I did.

First off, it was another exciting battle with troops moving around under cover in the field and the Confederates manning the walls and sending sorties out. Jack Thomson (the man who gives historic walking tours of Charleston) was playing Union that day and he got wounded, not to mention captured. He was hauled into the Confederate fort and he kept hollering, “Don’t rob me! Don’t rob me!” Nobody robbed him, but a doctor came over to bandage his “wounded” leg. He howled and carried on about it with great gusto.

The Confederates had some other Union prisoners in the fort too, but they made a break for it and got away. I heard someone on the spectator line harassing one of the Confederate guards, who was evidently his friend. “Hey Joe!” he called. “What happened to your prisoners?” Joe rolled his eyes. “They wouldn’t take a hit in the back,” he snorted. In other words, the Confederate guards had indeed fired at them as they ran off but the pestiferous Yanks refused to “die.” Ha! Snort!

Unfortunately, Dad's hat was shot off before I arrived to watch so I did not get any pictures of that historic event. He said he was able to fake it by giving it a flick with his finger when he raised his telescope to view the lines. He completed the impression by looking startled, gathering up the hat, ostensibly finding a bullet hole in it, then shrugging and replacing it. He was told by several guys that that was the best hat-shot-off scene they'd ever witnessed.

Well, the battle was winding up to a climax and the Federals were gathering themselves up for the final attempt which would, according to the script, give them occupancy of the fort and thus victory. Amid drums rolling and officers exhorting, they flung themselves in a final attack on the walls.

However, after about five or ten minutes’ effort, they finally fell back in evident fear, having lost over half their numbers. As they swarmed back over the field, the faithful flag-wielder climbed the fort walls again and waved his flag. Another fella jumped up on the walls and began hollering derisive things at the Yanks’ fleeing backs. I don’t know what he was saying, but his gestures were highly taunting, not to mention entertaining for the spectators. However, the commanding general must have realized the futility of exposing himself on the walls, because I heard him bellow at the fella, “Git down from thar!”

Here’s a picture of the flag-wielder and the hollerer doing their thing.

At this point, in great wonderment, I heard Taps played and all the “dead” resurrected. Well! So much for that script wherein the Yanks were supposed to win. I wondered who had deviated, but I certainly couldn’t complain of the result! The South will rise again! Yeehaw!

So I trudged back across the big, hot field which was just as big and hot as the day before. And I trundled over the shady wooden bridge, which was just as shady as the day before. And wound up warm and tired at the tent.

We spent the next hour or so yakking with friends. The artillery commander (who was camped next to us) came over to chat with Dad. He and Dad got to talking about the battle’s unscripted end. “Yeah, that was my fault,” the guy chortled. “We were out of ammo for the cannons and the Yanks thought they were safe in attacking. But as a bunch of them were trying to climb in, I put a lanyard into the gun’s touchhole and said, ‘I’m gonna FAR this thang!’ They believed me and boy, did they run!” He laughed at the memory. “I get wound up in battles,” he admitted.

Dad wanted to know what the Federal commander thought. “Oh, he thought it was great. He came up and told me so afterward,” the guy assured Dad. Sometimes, I think we reenactors have a little too much fun.

By the way, I should mention that this particular artillery commander had fun harassing us all weekend. You see, he brings his family and they set up housekeeping in their tents. They even bring two cute little wood stoves, not to mention beds, quilts and the works. He insisted that we were SISSIES for going to a hotel at night. Every time one of us ladies passed by, he'd stop us and make us admire their "homey" and "snug" setup. Dad got out of the harassment by saying us women needing guarding so he had to go along with us at night. (Ha! Dad hates camping worse than the rest of us!) I finally got out of the harassment by smiling sweetly and observing that I was not the one in our who insisted on hotels. This is entirely true. Why should I, when Mom and Raqu do such a good job of insisting for me?

It was now time to pack up and take down our tents and displays. Dad had already packed up a great deal of equipment. He and Mom trundled off to make the mile run back to the parking lot for the van. They were gone a very long time because the road coming in (as I have mentioned before) was a one-lane tunnel through the trees. And everyone was clogging it with traffic, naturally.

So while they were gone, Raqu and I packed up everything we could and then flopped down on the empty tent floor and took a nap. It’s a rough life.

Packing up seemed to go slower than usual this time and I got bored. Muddle about the gabion, clatter the tent poles around, flop the canvas here and there and put that extra Navaho taco fry bread on the dashboard. It went on and on.

Suddenly I had a brilliant idea. Jeannie had been telling us about how they would often gather up pecans that had fallen on the ground to take home and eat. So I dug out our five gallon metal bucket and proceeded to – you thought I was going to say, fill it up, right? Nope, I didn’t have enough time or enough pecan trees or enough daylight to get five gallons of pecans. However, I did get a goodly amount which we will shortly be incorporating into pecan pies. Mmmm, how more southern can ya get than that? Pecan pie from the pecan trees of Boone Hall!

And of course, we had one more glorious sunset to photograph before pulling out and heading to dinner at the Golden Corral.

And that, my friends, is a true and faithful and mostly accurate account of the Battle of Secessionville at Boone Hall! See y’all there next time!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Battle of Secessionville - Saturday

Saturday dawned bright and… cloudy again. Bummer. The weather forecast had been for SUNSHINE so I was really ticked off. Not only that, but I had to put my hair up three times before it would behave. Not only that, but putting my hair up three times meant that I was running behind schedule so I had to scramble the rest of the morning. I was not a happy camper. In the middle of the vortex, Raquelle sweetly remarked, “I’m going over to Mom’s room to help her dress.” Ha! Yeah, right. I knew why she was leaving – to get away from Miz Grouchface Me!

Anyway, we finally got ourselves pulled together, out the door, in the van and to the reenactment site. We blithely told the guard at the entrance that we had “stuff to drop off” and he let us drive our vehicle in. We couldn’t park as close as the Denver Airport this time, but we did manage to park just two minutes away from our campsite. That was good because we had STUFF with us this morning. The ball was this evening so we’d brought our ball dresses in case it was warm enough to put them on.

But the FIRST thing I wanted to do was have someone take a picture of me. I’d gotten a new dress at the Battle of Atlanta and wanted a photo of it. Since I’m usually taking the pictures, I’m usually not IN the pictures. So Raquelle obligingly took several shots of me in my new dress – red and green homespun-looking plaid. It was a nice wintery outfit and I found it quite comfortable.

Mom and Raquelle sneer at the idea of wearing a store-bought dress (horrors!) but I insisted that if I’m going to spend time sewing, I want to spend it on FUN things like ball dresses, not boring ole day dresses.

I decided that I was still too grouchy to be around people so I grabbed a muffin and stalked off to the gardens. Since my mouth was obviously full, no one bothered me and I was able to calm down and cheer up.

The scene around our tents had changed overnight. No longer were we surround by living history exhibits. Instead, during the wee hours of the night, an entire artillery camp had sprung up around us. In fact, the Ruckers had pitched their tent just twenty feet from ours, which certainly made visiting back and forth quite easy!

Pretty soon it was time for the ladies’ tea, so we all headed for the Cotton Dock. The Cotton Dock building really was a dock on the creek. It was a nice roomy L-shaped building with a huge fireplace and big double doors that opened onto the dock. Lights and big picture windows completed the scene. We arrived early and took pictures of friends while waiting for the signal to get something to eat. The ladies who brought the “spread” outdid themselves and we had veggies, cookies, bread, as well as sweet tea and punch. We felt quite elegant sitting around chatting with our friends while sipping tea and munching cookies.

Afterwards, we stepped out on the dock to take some pictures and I was thrilled to see that ALL the clouds were gone and we were in blinding sunshine! Yay!

We sauntered lazily back to the campsite, whereupon I suddenly remembered that the Federal army was going to stack arms in the avenue of the oaks while getting lunch, so I grabbed my camera and scuttled back. Great photo ops must be taken whenever they appear, even during lunch time!

After this, we enjoyed lunch and had a good time chatting with several ladies at our tent. Dad, meanwhile, had been packing his gear for the battle. The artillery commander had seen Dad’s display the night before and asked Dad to help him in the fort by calling canon fire ranges and generally keeping an eye on enemy movements. So Dad got his tripod and map and trundled off to get set up.

Meanwhile, we ladies continued to yak until I realized the battle was going to start shortly. I really wanted some pictures of Dad so I hurried off with my camera to a short-cut through the woods Dad had mentioned. He said it was kind of scenic, with a footbridge over a creek. I pictured a cute little arched bridge, but that wasn’t how it turned out at all. Instead, I wound up on a lonnnng wooden bridge that snaked around through a marshy swamp. In some places, the bamboo and marsh grasses were tall enough to form a “tunnel” and block the sunlight. It was pretty cool.

Emerging from this shaded spot, I found myself facing a huge, empty field to cross. This was not pretty cool. The sun was now high in the sky and it was HOT. (Yeah, I know it’s November, but that’s how things are in South Carolina sometimes.) Be that as it may, there were no handy golf carts or heroic cavalrymen around, so I trudged across the field on foot and wound up rather warm at the battle lines with ten minutes to go before the battle started.

The announcer was telling people about the original battle being reenacted. Apparently, the Confederate forces had spent most of the night digging entrenchments and were laying down sleeping when the Federals attacked. The Confederates had to race to man to the walls of their fort.

Well, sure enough, there were the entrenchments forming a fort and there were the Confederates dozing in the shade. Very authentic looking.

Often times, reenacted battles can be a little boring. Troops move pointlessly forward, then pointlessly backward, then forward, then backward, and nobody dies till the last five minutes. However, this battle was different.

It started abruptly when some Federal forces sneaked up using cover on the field and suddenly raced up to the entrenchments and tried to pull down the abattis. They were driven off by the Confederates who leaned over the walls and fought them hand to hand.

Immediately following this exciting intro, the cannons began booming, drums started rolling, enemy soldiers were sneaking through the cover on the field and Confederate forces mounted the walls in waves. One wave would mount and fire, then retreat while the next wave came up. Dad was on a mound in the center of the fort, calling ranges and alerting the commander of enemy troop movements.

It was actually quite an exciting battle, both for the soldiers and the spectators. Dad took a “hit” during the battle – his guard had to bandage up his hand, which he then dutifully held up in the air the rest of the battle to keep the blood flowing the right way. Lots of other soldiers took hits too, so it looked quite authentic.

Dad gets his hand bandaged by his guard

One of the powder monkeys was a kid and he took a hit part way through. His dad and another soldier grabbed him and raced through the fort towards the hospital tent behind the lines. They ran right through the spectators, scattering them as they tore up to the medics and plopped the grinning kid down. Then they scrambled back into the fort. The crowd loved it and I got a good picture or two, inasmuch as I literally had to jump out of the way for them.

One fella had a big Confederate flag and he loved to jump up on the walls and wave it defiantly at the enemy. At one point, the commander called everyone back off the walls (probably so the cannons could fire) and the fellow got excited and flipped around the flag and it, uh, came off the flag pole. The guy didn't realize it at first and kept excitedly waving his pole around till he suddenly noticed the flag's absence and roared back to the wall to get it. He was a little more careful how he waved it around after that.

The battle finally ended with the Confederates winning the day and the bugler blew Taps as the troops resurrected. I was now pretty hot, especially since I hadn’t brought my parasol, so I headed back across the everlasting field, through the shaded marsh and to our campsite.

By the way, did I mention the cotton patch near the campsites? Very southern looking, it was!

Things were pretty quiet at the tent, so I decided to take a nap. It was very peaceful there in the shade of the pecan trees with the birds twittering. I had a pleasant time until everyone returned and Jeannie Rucker stopped by to chat. I didn’t want to miss the fun so I got up and joined in. We yakked about all sorts of things, but the best part was that we got Jeannie to agree to come to our ball as the photographer! We knew she would be good because she does all the photography for the Spartanburg ball. We had been looking for a good photographer for several weeks, so we were tickled that she agreed to come!

We went looking for supper, but apparently were too late - the fry bread folks were already out of food and had shut down shortly after lunch. There had been a hot dog stand too, but it was shut down also. We managed to nip into the Butterfly Cafe just as it was closing and at least get some sandwiches. Boone Hall has some kind of butterfly pavilion thingie where you can see all kinds of butterflies and cocoons. We never got a chance to see it, but that's where the cafe name came from.

After supper, we needed to get ready for the ball. Though we'd brought our ball dresses along, it was now getting cold and dampish so we opted not to wear them. (We later regretted this since the Cotton Dock turned out to be a lot warmer than we'd thought it would be.) At any rate, this made getting ready a lot quicker. Dad put away his engineering instruments, we battened down the tent for the night, and Dad hung a lit lantern under the fly to guide us when we came back. It was now time to leave.

Raquelle and I ended up leaving a few minutes before Mom and Dad so when we got to the avenue of oaks, we just stood there and bugged our eyes. It was BEAUTIFUL.

It was now dark and all along the avenue were lit flaring torches. Above the torches, you could see the shadowy forms of mysteriously moss-draped trees and catch a glimpse of starlight. Along the sides were tents lit with lanterns and campfire light. There's no way to describe how lovely and back-in-time it all was. And my camera gave me fits with the darkness so I didn't get any good pictures. You'll just have to use your imagination.

The torchlight continued down the path to the Cotton Dock, through the woods and bamboo. The Cotton Dock itself was all lit up and a roaring fire was blazing in the fireplace.

I have to apologize for not taking many pics of the ball. Mom and Raqu got excited about the beautiful sunset and took most of the rest of the memory space on my camera. I had a spare memory stick back at the hotel but it didn't do me much good there. :no comments from the peanut gallery, thank you:

By the way, here is one of the gorgeous pictures they came up with.

We saw the Suttons again and Jennifer, Raquelle and I strolled out on the dock to admire the water and the lights at night. Mom and Dad finally arrived as well. Then we found out that, contrary to what the program said, the ball was NOT starting at 7 pm, but rather at 8 pm. Well, phooey! Instead, the TALENT SHOW was starting at 7. Ahem, the ball would have been better. :giggle:

There was a guy who played the banjo or mandolin or something and he was pretty good. Then he was followed by a "skit" involving Senator Glenn McConnell and his buddies. They pretended to be a medicine show and had various plants in the audience come up and demonstrate the wonders of their "tonic." They left just before the supposed police caught up with them. Does it strike anyone but me as funny that a senator would know about hokey medicine shows? :snickers:

Then a group ostentatiously called the Hunley Choir got up. It was a group of old guys and they sang - sorta - in unison some 1860s songs. No harmony, and very little rhythm, but lots of feeling. Having given Confederate concerts ourselves, I can tell you a bit of strategy: Save "Dixie" for last. Everyone stands up for it and then you wind up with a standing ovation. But these fellers apparently hadn't thought of that, so they led off with "Dixie." So we all stood and whooped at the end. Then as they droned on some other songs, everyone got busy chatting. So they decided to wind up with "Dixie" again to get people's attention. So we all stood again and let out an obligatory whoop at the end.

FINALLY it was time for the ball to start. The first few dances were exceedingly crowded but as the evening went on it cleared out a lot and dancing was easier and more fun. Raqu and I snagged some Citadel cadets (who were there in force that weekend) and taught them some of the dances. I wound up in a set of mostly teenagers for the Virginia Reel. Since it was too hard to hear the dance caller at that point, I hollered to them, "Has anyone done this dance before?" One feller had done it once and another feller assured me he'd seen it in a movie. Oh cool, this was going to be fun. So I quickly walked them through the dance and when we got to the reel part, one of the girls squealed, "Oh, this is FUN!" Everyone concurred enthusiastically.

I circulated between dances to look at the ladies' dresses. Because the building was nice, many of the ladies had worn their nice ball gowns. I did have room for one or two pictures of lovely ladies.

While talking with one of them about dresses, we got to talking about the frustration of dealing with a lace-up bodice. "It takes FOREVER to lace up," one girl complained. And guy promptly chimed in, "I'll tell you what takes FOREVER - waiting on a GIRL who has a lace-up bodice!" He proceeded to recount his woes in detail concerning waiting on said laced-up girl. I found it very amusing, though doubtlessly he did not.

After a fun evening, we headed out to go back to the tent and drop off the camp stools and other paraphernalia we can't live without for two hours. The hall was all lit up and I couldn't resist getting some pictures. However, my memory stick was full. So I looked through it (in the dark) and found a picture or two that hadn't turned out, deleted them, and then used the free space to take a couple pics.

And that was the end of Saturday! More fun and frolic to follow on Sunday... if I can ever finish this blog...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Battle of Secessionville - Friday

Friday dawned cold and overcast again. Dad had gone out to the campsite early and called to tell us to arrive later than we’d planned since it was so cold. He also informed us that they weren’t enforcing the “no vehicles in camp” rule on Friday. This was good news for us since the walk from the parking area to our campsite was roughly a mile. (Really.) So when we finally drove out to the plantation, we were able to head right up to the campsite and park by the "Denver Airport."

Did I mention the road we drove in on once we were past registration? It was a literal tunnel of greenery. All kinds of trees and vines swarmed overhead and the trail itself was hard-packed sand. I have no idea how trucks got through there since our van and trailer barely made it. I s’pose they came up the avenue of oaks instead.

The Suttons were set up next to us in living history so I ran over to take some pictures of them first off. They had big posters with the words to famous Civil War songs. Mr. Sutton was playing his banjo and the three of them (Mr. & Mrs. Sutton and Jennifer) were teaching the kids to sing them. I think the kids were having fun.

Mom wanted to straighten up the tent so Raquelle and I decided to take a quick walk and get the “lay of the land.” First we headed for sutler row, which was set up along the famous avenue of oaks. Very picturesque, the avenue looked, with all those old-fashioned white tents set up and 1860s gentlemen and ladies wandering around. We discovered where some of the PSRS ladies were encamped and stopped to talk for a few minutes. They were going to cook lunch for the entire Federal army the next day so were getting started on it then. Huge cast iron pots were already over the fire and meat, carrots, and onions were being sliced rapidly into their depths.

After visiting with the ladies, we headed over to check out one of the plantation’s big “attractions,” nine of the original slave cabins. They were roomy little brick houses and had various displays in them about slave life. As usual, though most of the info was true, it was extremely slanted so we didn’t bother to read a whole bunch. But as we arrived at the last cabin, a black couple stood up to say hi to us. They had been doing tours of the slave cabins for folks all morning.

“Well, hello there, ladies!” the man called out as we walked up. He and his sister greeted us and introduced themselves, as did we. He was quite voluble and went on and on about our “lovely dresses” and bonnets and capes. His sister agreed that we were quite finely dressed. Then he got a twinkle in his eye and said, “Well now, my spirit’s tellin’ me somethin’. My spirit speaks to me and tells me that y’all have come down from the Big House to visit us.” We laughed and fell into the role and agreed that we’d come down to see how they were doing.

He was quite entertaining and told us about his Confederate ancestors and the fun they have telling people the true history of the black people in the war. Then he got a twinkle in his eye again. “My spirit’s tellin’ me somethin’ else,” he intoned. “It’s tellin’ me you’re gonna give me money!” We really howled with laughter that time and told him we wished we could. After some more jovial conversation we decided to head back to camp and see how Mom and Dad were doing.

We entered the huge wrought iron gate of the mansion and began the trek up the front “sidewalk” (a broad sandy avenue). We were properly impressed by the “big house” even though it is only a 1920s rebuild of the original. As we sauntered up the long walkway we noticed a small opening in the hedge marked by a sign telling us it was the garden entrance. Curious about the garden, we went through it and – well! Were we ever impressed! The gardens of Boone Hall are absolutely gorgeous, even in November! There were still roses blooming and all manner of other flowers and plants flowering. I’m not good at botany so I haven’t the faintest idea of what most of them were, but they were lovely. I took a ton of pictures.

As we exited the gardens we found ourselves by the water. I looked it up and found out later that Boone Hall sits on Wampacheeoone Creek. (I have no clue how to pronounce that.) And it looked a lot bigger than a creek to me anyway. At least, when the tide was in, it did! Anyhow, the banks of the creek are lined with marsh grasses and live oaks – one oak was sprawled clear into the water. We hurried back up to the tent to tell Mom and Dad of all the lovely scenery we’d found and take them on a tour.

But first things first. Mom was digging out sandwich makin’s so I whopped up a baloney sandwich. Raquelle was getting a little sleepy so after we finished munching, she laid down on the cot for a nap, Dad pleasantly occupied himself explaining Civil War engineering to spectators and Mom and I wandered off to tour the grounds and shop.

We stopped off at the PSRS ladies’ tents for a while to chat. One of them was tatting with a shuttle, something I’ve wanted to learn for quite a while. Raquelle and I learned needle-tatting some years ago, but needle tatting wasn’t invented in the 1860s. So to be authentic, we need to learn to use the shuttle. Expressing my desire to learn, I promptly received a quick lesson and took several pictures of the process.

We also got our first look at the PSRS calendar, a fundraiser to which I contributed several photos. It looked perty nice, if I do say so myself.

As Mom and I were coming back through the gardens (which she properly admired) we saw Raquelle and the Sutton ladies approaching and we all spent some time admiring the beautiful flowers and plants. We also set a time to meet them for dinner that evening at the Golden Corral in town. Then Mom, Raqu, and I went on towards the camp and came upon the oaks in the water.

Here I must mentioned a regrettable incident.

In complete defiance of proper 1860s etiquette, Raquelle and I not only climbed up on the branches of the tree (good thing our ankles were properly covered with drawers and petticoats!) but we acted like total goofballs once we were up there.

But I am heartened to relate that, seeing spectators in the distance, we endeavored to reassume our decorous demeanor and behave like 1860s ladies, albeit still snickering privately.

As the day was now winding down, we helped Dad put all his instruments into the tent and pack up for the night. As we were tidying up, Dad told us of a funny incident. Apparently some of the spectators were confused when they got to his station. They kept asking him, “Where are the engravers?” He finally asked to look at their program and yup, someone had written down “engravers” at Station 14 instead of “engineers.” The funny thing was, one of the organizers came over later in the day and checked out Dad’s setup. “This all looks great,” the man enthused, “but you’ll have to move your site. Station 14 is for the engravers.” Whereupon Dad explained the mistake and they both laughed. I’m still wondering whose bad handwriting caused the misinterpretation.

Then we picked up Dad's car and drove the car and van back to the hotel. Now you're probably wondering, "Why on earth did they bother with TWO vehicles? Don't they know there's a recession on?" The answer is simple. Dad likes to be at the campsite at o'dark thirty to set up all his instruments and equipment. This is fine for Dad. Guys can jerk on their pants, whop on a shirt, duck into a coat and rustle on a few appurtenances such as sidearms and hat in a matter of ten minutes. Women, on the other hand, have difficulties. It's not just the chemise, drawers, petticoats, stockings, and cuffs. It's also the hoop skirt, overskirt, bodice, collar, jewelry, shawls and shoes. Not to mention putting your hair up, adjusting your bonnet and packing your purse and carpet bag. So we ladies need a little more time in the morning to get ourselves pulled together. Thus, two vehicles are a marvelous and necessary measure for keeping the peace.

So anyway, after divesting ourselves of our hoops, guns, bonnets and wool at the hotel, we popped into our van to follow the Suttons to the Golden Corral. Mr. Sutton believes in using all the horse power available, so it was quite fun to try to keep up with him. However, he was also very nice about pulling off if we got shaved off at a red light. :D

At the Golden Corral, we proceeded to spend a couple hours yakking our heads off and stuffing ourselves. Then back to the hotel to iron clothing for the next day and flop into bed.

Thus far, I had only managed to take a mere 75 photos. I intended to rectify that little problem the next day. Stay tuned. . .

Battle of Secessionville - Thursday

We pulled out Thursday morning and drove to Charleston amid light rain. Supposedly the rain was going to clear out later in the weekend but I was cynically skeptical. However, I did hope the weekend would be a pleasant break from all the stress of producing a CD, sewing a ball dress, putting on a ball, and dealing with the rest of my normal ratrace life.

The drive down didn’t exactly bode well. For one thing, the walkie talkies broke. Of course, they’re only about 15 years old so I guess that’s not surprising. We needed the walkies because Dad was in his car and we were in the van towing the trailer. And, um, Dad was the only one who knew where we were going. Fortunately we had our cell phones, although that’s a little bit of a slow process when you’re trying to tell the person behind you to change lanes. :)

Half an hour before arriving at Boone Hall plantation we made a quick pit stop at a fast food joint. I noticed a tourist brochure stand and went over to look at it while Dad was getting coffee.Seeing a flyer for Boone Hall, I grabbed it and proceeded to regale Mom and Raquelle with its contents while we drove. I hadn’t known much about the Boone plantation at all, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out how interesting it is. For one thing, the brochure declares that it is “America’s most photographed plantation.” That’s partly because, in 1743, Captain Thomas Boone planted a long avenue of live oak trees which is now an absolutely magnificent sight to behold. Please note my photo of it. Yes, I succumbed to peer pressure and became one of the myriad photographers that makes Boone Hall “America’s most photographed plantation.”

So amid a light rain, we finally arrived at the entrance of the plantation but a little bitty sign tells us to keep going to the “reenactor’s entrance” ahead. We drive. And drive. And drive. Finally Dad calls us on the cell phone and says maybe we should turn around. “Well,” I observed, “the flyer says the plantation is over 730 acres so let’s at least keep going to the corner.” Sure enough, at the corner there’s another little bitty sign telling us to turn left. We do and drive another quarter mile before FINALLY finding a sign that points to the elusive reenactor entrance.

It’s now cold and misty and we hike through puddles in the sandy soil to the registration tent. Fortunately, even though the plantation is huge, there’s a pretty good map in the program so we’re able to figure out where to go to set up. We’re in the living history area, Station 14. (Yes, believe it or not, but they were organized enough to LABEL all the living history stations with numbers on stakes.)

The living history area is a big grassy spot behind the mansion itself. It’s full of live oaks and pecan trees all draped with Spanish moss. It also has a covered pavilion in the center. Lest you are picturing an old-fashioned pavilion constructed say, of wood or brick, in keeping with the rest of the plantation’s historical atmosphere, let me set you straight. It is a strange white monstrosity that Raquelle immediately christened the Denver Airport. Anyone who has flown into the Denver airport will understand the name.

A pic of the Denver airport we took in September

I corrected her, however, and said it looked like the Denver airport on a budget.

Be that as it may, a clearly marked number 14 showed us where to set up, which was good because there wasn’t much else to guide us in that large space. We proceeded to whop the two tents up in no time. The flies took longer to put up than usual, however, because the light rain was now accompanied by 20 mph gusting winds. We finally got the whole thing put up and then headed for the hotel to warm up, dry off, and find a restaurant.

A funny thing happened as Dad and I were walking across the field to load up. A big, burly, white-haired fellow with a flowing beard hollered hello across the field at us so we went over to say hi. He gave us each a hug and asked how we were doing. Then he looked at me and said, “You do that web newsletter, right?” I had no idea what he was talking about. “You know,” he insisted, “that ladies newsletter on the web!” It finally dawned on me that he was talking about the Palmetto Soldiers Relief Society (PSRS) newsletter. Mom and I actually co-edit it and another gal posts it on the website. “I LOVE that newsletter!” the guy enthused. “I love the pictures and the articles and everything! When’s the next issue?” I was totally kerflumoxed that a big ole burly dude like him would even be reading our ladies newsletter in the first place, much less enjoying it! J But now that I think of it, I guess it’s pretty interesting with all the reenactment reports and pictures and stuff.

Anyway, as we walked away from the guy, Dad turned to me and said, “Who was that?” I broke into laughter and exclaimed, “I have no idea!” We figured out later he’s the guy who is provost at Battle of Aiken. He always camps next to us at Aiken so he recognized us at once. But for us, you’ve seen one big hairy reenactor, you’ve seen ‘em all. :giggle: Anyway, he was a real nice fella.

We finally got ourselves to the hotel and began carrying stuff up to our rooms. As we were unloading, someone drove up and yelled, “We don’t want any harpists here!” Turns out it was our friends the Suttons. They knew we were attending this reenactment and had asked ahead of time which hotel we’d be at so they could stay at the same one and get in a little visit time with us. The funny thing is that the hotel staff put them in the room right beside us!

They had already eaten dinner so we headed out to a Cracker Barrel for ours. After a full supper, we warmed ourselves by the big fire (and Raqu incidentally beat Mom at checkers) and then headed back to the hotel to get stuff laid out for the next morning. I was excited about the upcoming weekend after seeing the plantation. Even the brief glimpse we got was enough to tell me we were going to be in a picturesque environment and I couldn’t wait to start taking pictures.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tennessee Reunion, Day 2

Item: Today (as in today-today, August 1) I found my missing sunglasses.

Item: Heather esplained to me that I have to esplain to you that SHE is HELPING me write this BLOG and therefore it's BINXUS of me to get ALL the credit and y'all need to be sure and give HER credit TOO. (But only a little. Haw haw!)

(Binxus: adj., 1. Of, or pertaining to, badness and/or orneriness.)


Lowlight: I went to sleep around 2:30 a.m., I think. Monday morning came way too early.

At 6:00 am, some cheerful person popped out of bed and bipped into the bathroom. BANG! The bathroom door had a decisively truculent slam.

Highlight: I went back to sleep. For about two minutes.

Lowlight: The original BANG! woke up three other people, who got up and went into the bathroom too.

Really Lowlight: Then those people remembered things they had forgotten in their suitcases so they came back out to get them.

Exceedingly Dim Lowlight: Then some more people woke up and decided to join the party.

Wavering Candlelight: Then some of them were ready to go for the day and so they headed out of the dorm.
CREEEEEEEAK BANG! (The dorm door apparently had arthritis and a bad temper to boot.)

Highlight: By this time (7 am) I gave up my beauty rest for lost, and got up. Throwing on some clothes and washing my face, I headed out of the bathroom (BANG!) and the dorm (CREEEEEEEEAK BANG!) and into the early morning sunshine. I felt incredibly virtuous for getting up that early. :preen:

Highlight: Meandering over to last night's fire pit to enjoy my Bible reading amid the chirping of the birds. Several other gals had the same idea as me, and by the time I finished reading, we all decided to go on a walk. Breakfast wasn't till 8:30 and it was only 7:30.

Highlight: So it was me, Linnae, Grace, Jill, Jennifer, Jason Craig, and a couple other guys who finally set off on a walk. Fog had rolled in by this time and everything was wet and woodsy and mysterious looking. I could just imagine some elves or fauns lurking in the trees... although it was much more likely there were snakes and poison ivy. We stayed on the road, however, and so did not have to deal with any woodland wildlife, elvish, snakey or otherwise.

Funny incident: About a mile down the road, we were finally passed by the first car we'd seen. A big ole redneck pickup slowed down next to use with a large black dog's nose poking inquiringly out of the window. "Good mornin'," the redneck feller called out. "My dog loves to greet ever'one we pass and she shore would like a pet from y'all!" We obliging stepped up and pet the dog and the feller drove off with a cheerful wave. That incident didn't particularly surprise me since we live in redneck country, but apparently it was a new experience for some of my fellow walkers and they giggled about it for quite a while.

Highlight: We came back from the walk feeling virtuous and hungry.

Raquelle: All right, all right, blog hog. I'm tellin' this story too, ya know!

Lowlight: All those annoying girls who got up at 6:00 a.m. Wait, Heather already told you about them. But really, I can't fathom why in the world anyone would want to get up at 6:00 a.m., 2.5 hours before breakfast, ON PURPOSE. Can you? I laid in bed trying to ignore them, thinking things not lawful to be uttered and planning to write a Nasty Sign to put on the bathroom door telling people to KEEP QUIET, there are OLD FOGEYS sleeping in here!

Finally I pried myself out of my bunk and ironed an outfit, using my blanket as an ironing board.

Oh, did I tell you about the iron? Heather and I had a Big Discussion about bringing the iron. I won. She thought I was an idiot. But c'mon, who wants to go around looking like your clothes have been wadded up inside an Easter egg all day? This is Miss Prissy Raquelle we're talking about here!

Highlight: I counted at least three other irons in the dorm. I wasn't the only Miss Prissy. Yay!

Double highlight:
Breakfast more than exceeded my expectations.

Elaboration: Maybe I should elaborate on my expectations. Ahem. Having been to many rustic camps over the years, I had become used to Camp Food. I do not by this mean to imply that I had come to LIKE Camp Food. Only that I was used to it. Camp Food consists of cold, partially cooked piles of glop that bear a faint resemblance to certain well-known dishes like eggs, casseroles, soups and such. There are usually some accompanying rubbery pancakes or old dead rolls as well. This is what I was expecting. And let me assure you that I would not have been at all dismayed by being served such Camp Food, as it is not the easiest thing in the world to cook for 60 people.

HOWEVER. I here and now wish to give credit where credit is due: Mrs. Reynolds, Mrs. Voorhees and their accompanying helpers turned out some Truly Awesome food. Breakfast was farm-fresh, free-range eggs (courtesy of Kamon's chickens), homemade apple cake that was Highly Yummy, and plenty of juice and fruit. I decidedly pigged out.

I know, I know, Heather already mentioned the apple cake but can I mention it again? It was delicious! I had seconds.

Highlight: Enjoying the pleasant weather this morning. Several of us girls meandered out to the picnic tables where the bonfire had been and played spoons.

Highlight: I got to use my cute little cat-lovers deck of cards for spoons. Awww, pwecious.

Giggle moment: Watching Michaela play spoons. She was so intent on her cards she missed the spoon almost every time. They say that a person who can concentrate on anything for three minutes can rule the world, so watch out world, here comes Michaela. (Sorry, I hafta pick on you a little, Michaela! )

Watching everyone play spoons and knowing that Raquelle had enough playmates that she didn't need me to play with her. I detest playing games.

Highlight: Taking a nap on a picnic table. No really, it wasn't much harder than the bunk was, and it was in the shade with a soft breeze blowing by.

Suspected Lowlight: I believe some rascals took my picture while I was napping. I unfortunately woke up too late to catch them in the act.

Not being a part of the frisbee game. Heather came by and said folks were playing frisbee.

"Ultimate Frisbee?" someone asked eagerly.

"No," she said. "They're just throwing a frisbee. Badly."

Highlight: Also NOT being part of the Gaggle Of Expeditioners Who Ran Into Some Ticks. The effect was something like this:

Me(sitting complacently at picnic table with bug repellent): "Hi so-and-so!"

WHIZZ! (Speeding blur goes by): Yaaaagh-I-have-ticks-g'byyyyyyyyyyyye.

Me: *settles messed-up hair from breeze created by speeding blur*


It was sorta like this:

Item: There are advantages to being a prissy little prig who doesn't go expeditioning through the woods like Lewis and Clark.

Highlight: Messing around in the kitchen and helping fix the lemonade and sweet tea for the afternoon. You know the old saying about how a watched pot never boils? It's true. Especially when it's a giant pot. Once we got the water heated we opted to scoop it out with the coffeepot, as no one felt particularly inclined to pick up a giant pot of boiling water.

Highlight: Going back to the dorm and taking a nap. Yes, indeedy. A nap. It was nice.

Highlight: Yummy chicken pitas for lunch. Mmmmm!

Did we mention the awesome chicken pitas for lunch??? It deserves a rerun. And of course, ham sandwiches for those silly guys who looked suspiciously at anything that wasn't obviously meat, beans or potatoes.

Somebody had Messed With the picture of Spike on the poster board.

Highlight: My daddy wasn't a Boy Scout for nothing. Daddy says the Boy Scout motto is "Be Prepared" and I learned this lesson as a youngster sitting on Daddy's knees learning the song about "Be-prepared-prepared-prepared-the-motto-of-the-Boy-Scouts, be-prepared-prepared-prepared-prepared-the-motto-of-the-Scouts....." I brought no less than FIVE copies of Spike's picture. I replaced the damaged copy with TWO copies and felt Inordinately Smug.

By the way, you should know what was on the board by now. Aside from a few boring announcements and the schedule, there were as follows:

Scheduled bear visitation: 3:00 a.m.
Taxidermy lab: 4:45 a.m. ($5)
Bear disposal: 6:20 a.am. (free class!)
Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. ($20) vegan option available

And next to Spike, there were such things as "Monorail kitteh comes to end of line" and "death to catz" and (under the second copy) "copy cat." Oh, and "reb cat."

Highlight: Clowning with Sara in the dorm about my concealed weapons permit. I believe the promised threat on the reunion thread was going to be, "Stick 'em up, I've got a PERMIT," so I was trying it out. Sara wasn't impressed.

Highlight: Sneaking around in the dorm assembling the gift bags for the planning committee. Sara joined us, writing some thank-you notes while we packed.

Giggle moment: Mrs. V. and Mrs. R. (as in, gift bag recipients) both chose that time to come into the dorm and Do Things for the next hour or so. In fact, Mrs. V. unwittingly walked right over to our bunks (strewn with gifts) to start chatting with us. Heather hastily stood in front of the beds to try to block the view.

'Nother giggle moment: Several folks had donated cash for the gift bags. Someone gave me a $20 bill and I fished out my wallet and changed it to two $10 bills so I could put one in each bag. I set the money with the other things and continued sorting. But then when I went to tuck the money into the thank-you note cards, I couldn't find it.

"I must have gotten distracted and put it all back in my wallet," I muttered confusedly. I reached for my wallet only to hear Sara--Miss Chawming, Innocent, Swayt Li'l Sara--cackling fiendishly.

"I took it, I took it," she howled, forking over a handful of rumpled bills.

You can believe I counted it all closely after that piece of Highly Shocking Behavior. I wouldn't have thought it of her, would you? But now I know. If you're around Sara........watch your back. I mean, she doesn't care what kind of trauma she puts you through, ya know?

Meandering out to the sports field to watch the games - and not having to participate. Did I mention that I detest games?

Highlight: Chatting with Mrs. G, Mrs. F, and other ladies sitting on the sidelines. It was a truly gorgeous day and we enjoyed the weather and the fellowship.

The chocolate party mid-afternoon. Good chocolate and good stories! Let's see....who was it that accidentally made soft pretzels out of cornstarch instead of flour? And I think it was Grace who caught the oven on fire while making a grand cookie crust experiment. I told the story about tipping my desk over in Sunday School and Heather told about time she accidentally got a snake stuck in her dress. (Ask her about it. )

Highlight: Going on a walk after the chocolate party. Actually, wait....I think I went on a walk by myself in search of Heather, because Heather had the charged cell phone. But I didn't KNOW she had the charged cell phone and I was trying to FIND her to ask where it WAS and turns out she had it in her POCKET. Sheesh.

Heather: What actually happened was that I went on a walk with Jill, after fruitlessly searching for Raquelle to go with us. Jill and I solved the world's problems and had a lovely saunter.

Highlight: TRYING to find my SISTER who was TRYING to find ME and finally FINDING her after we got back from the walk.

Lowlight: TRYING to call Mom on the cell phone. Uh, phone coverage wasn't so good out there. Though we were lucky. Some folks didn't have any coverage at all. My conversations with Mom usually went like this:

Me: Hi Mom, can you hear me?
Mom: I...(crackle, crackle)...having a good....what's.... ARE YOU THERE? (The last part needlessly twice as loud because the sound suddenly got better)
Me: Yes, I'm here. Can you hear me now? I'm walking across the bridge.
Mom: Yes, that's better. So what have you.... (silence) .... (silence) ....
Me: Hang on, I must have walked into a dead spot. There, how's that? Can you hear me now?
Mom: (crackle, crackle)... had nice day... how....you girls?... (silence)
Me: Hold on, maybe if I hang upside down from the bridge, the coverage will be better.

You get the idea.

Dubious Highlight: Having Jason S. and crew show up in the middle of us gals solving the world's problems - and he assured us that HE was the solution to the world's problems. I'm still trying to decide if that was heartening news or not.

Entertaining Highlight: Listening to Jason S., Joe, Chadwick, Jason C., and some other guys solve the world's problems. Their solutions, needless to say, were different than OURS. However, the conversation was exceedingly lively (no one was thrown off the bridge, but I do believe it was threatened, in a friendly sort of way ). I believe it covered such topics as vegetarianism, veganism, presidential candidates, the definition of swearing, and a great deal of politics.

Going back to the dorm to fix myself up for the evening dance and using my chawming IRON to touch up my blouse.

Highlight: Presenting the gift bags at supper. Thanks again to everyone!

Heather: Even to the folks who literally dropped their gifts in the bag as we were carrying them up to the front. :chuckles:

Minor lowlight:
Getting so carried away doing the gift bag presentation that by the time I got back my plate my spaghetti was cold. Wups.

Lowlight: I was on KP duty after supper.

Highlight: I had a Cute New Apron to wear for KP duty.

Should I tell you the little secret about my apron?

(Confession about to ensue)

I was, uh, actually supposed to be finishing my own costume and working on a new ball dress for Mom, not to mention a bunch of other Stuff With Deadlines, but I got this bright idea a week before the trip to sew a cute li'l apron. But I knew if I told Mom I was going to sew an apron I'd get one of those motherly Instructive Moments, wherein your mother sensibly reminds you that you have ENOUGH to do and why are you getting sidetracked on a comPLETEly unnecessary little project like that? And reminds you that you'll be pinging uncontrollably before the trip because you didn't manage your time well. And have you done your chores yet today, Raquelle? At which point I would scuff my toe sheepishly on the carpet and slink off to go be responsible, carrying my sad, blighted apron hopes in a secret lonely place in my heart. Oh gosh, I'm getting sniffly. *bawls*

So I, uh, craftily snuck the fabric home from Walmart and worked on it when she wasn't around. Haw haw!!!! I swore Heather to secrecy and even roped her into doing the buttonholes for me. Mom didn't find out about it she and Dad arrived for the evening dance and Heather spilled the beans. I came waltzing into the dorm from KP duty and got one of those Long-Suffering Motherly Looks from Mom.

This is probably how all the criminals start out....hiding stuff from their moms. Al Capone probably made dozens of aprons without his mother knowing it.

Heather: I have absolutely no comment to make about this little shenanigan. :makes no comment:

Highlight: Mom and Dad showing up after having been sightseeing all day. They were raring to go for some dancing!

Highlight: Getting wound up talking over the day with Mom and forgetting till the last minute to change into my skirt for the dancing.


Highlight: Getting to dance every dance if I wanted to (I didn't, I sat out one or two to take pictures).

Highlight: Getting to dance as a girl.

Highlight: Getting to dance with guys who liked dancing.

Highlight: Mom and Dad getting to dance and have a fun time. They love dancing so it was really fun for them! They left around 11 pm, I think. Unfortunately, they left before the swing dancing started, or I think they would have stayed later. But they had an hour drive back to their hotel so they wanted to get going.

Highlight: Look, everything about the dance was a "highlight" so this "highlight" stuff is getting old. We need a new adjective. Ahem.

Memorable Moment: Watching Kamon swing dance. Or something. Heavy on the "or something." He assured us later that he didn't have any more idea of what he was going to do than we did. This was rather unfortunate for his partners, but Highly Hilarious for the rest of us. I'm positive the floor was smoking when he was finished. I wish I'd taken more pictures of it, but I was rather engrossed watching and forgot about the camera.

Fascinating Focal Point: Homemade brownies and cookies.

Clever Climax: All the guys getting inspired by Kamon (or possibly the brownies) and demonstrating their (non) skills in creative dance efforts.

Hilarious High Spot: Three of the guys trying to do some line dance thingie on their own.

Fun Frolic: Me getting to swing dance, even though I don't swing dance very well. Jason S. claims Mom and Dad taught him swing dance last year at the HSA reunion, and he certainly was good at it this year. I did swing dancing with some other guys too, and I also did a very exciting and memorable polka with Stacy. I only agreed to do it with him (I'm terrible at polkas) because I knew he'd hang on to me if I fell. :snicker:

Gee, I let Heather write a little bit of stuff and she steals all my thunder. Pretend you didn't read all that stuff. 'Cause I already wrote MY version and don't want to delete it. (Yes, we are actually writing this at the same time and sending each other stuff back and forth every ten minutes or so, it's fun.)

Highlight: Dancing. *smirk* My favorites were Marie's Wedding (duh) and "Road to Spencer." Wow, was "Road to Spencer" FUN!!!!!!!

Giggle moment: Asking a couple of guys if they would come over and dance with Michaela and Anna's little sisters. The littlest sister (Lydia?) gave her tall would-be partner (Joe, I think) one appalled look from her two-foot vantage point and turned to me with enormous frightened eyes. "I'd rather dance with YOU!" she announced emphatically. Poor guy. Talk about a blow to your self-esteem. Rejected....by a 6-year-old. Gee. Sorry Joe!

Highlight: Okay, this is going to sound silly.

Nah, I won't say it.

Yes, I will.

No, I won't.

Heather: SPIT IT OUT!!!!

Okay. It was fun to get to go to a dance and actually dance the girl's part most of the evening. That seldom happens at our local ECD group.

Highlight: Doing a short polka with Stacy and not A) getting knocked down or B) knocking anyone else down. Unlike my sister, I am NOT terrible at polkas. I have polka'd on more than one occasion, once at a Civil War ball where everyone else dropped out and it was just me and my (experienced) partner showing off for all to see. See? I might be a prissy little prig but I'm not completely faint of heart. (Polkas are not for the faint of heart.)

Incidentally, I might be prissy little prig but I'm also not completely faint of heart because I can clean up any kind of (disgusting) cat mess you can imagine. Without flinching. So there.

*tries to think of other ways to demonstrate her non-prissy-prigness*


Heather: Back on topic, Raquelle. Stick to the OP.

Raquelle: *removes Heather from Friend's List*

Highlight: Swing dancing with Jason S. Jason's swing dance skills are lookin' good, folks! *accepts $5 from Jason*

By the way, Jason is an awesome guy. *accepts another $5 from Jason*

Oh, and he's planning to become a Confederate. *clutches wildly to her $10 as Jason tries to snatch them back. *

Heather: So anyway, lights were supposed to be out at midnight, or we'd all turn into pumpkins. So around 11:45 we reluctantly headed for the dorms and got ready for bed.

I made a Nasty Sign for the bathroom door, saying "BE QUIET, I'M SLEEPING" or words to that effect.

Heather: I fixed the dadgum bathroom door before bedtime. You see, as a Professional Napper, I know all about how to deal with obstreperous doors that boink you awake right in the middle of dream about the Handsome Prince. I have successfully silenced the impudent POP our bedroom door makes, not to mention the shuddering rumble the closet door emits. And then there's the inviting CREEEEEEEEAK the front door lets out, besides the earth-shattering slam of the back door. So, as I say, my resume is replete with bested doors.

This particular door was no problem at all. One sock + two rubber bands was all I needed. Viola! No more BANG!s at 6 am. Don't clap, just throw money.

Funny thing, but I fell asleep in about five minutes flat this time.

Raquelle: I did too. I think.

By the way, there were some really odd ducks at this event:

Oh, and this one's for Marcos and Chadwick....

Now, since this was like a double-blog post because two people were writing it, that means it should get double comments. Everyone has to leave TWO remarks. Right?