Day 2



Of what?

The return to working Snip! Yesterday and today I took about 30-40 minutes with the rascal. Since it was closing in on 5 o'clock the stinker was of course almost pouty--if a horse can pout. Anyway, I haven't done anything serious (or stupid), but have just walked with him, talked to him, petted him, scolded him, praised him, and did some very rudimentary training things. Recap of the first few months if you will. He remembers stuff pretty well. I need to get my 'buggy whip' and pull the long rope out of the garage and get back into lounging him. I have tried to sort of get him going on the lead rope, but it's too close. He kicked slightly a couple of times today (last time I really lounged him I came really close to getting my head kicked in) and he reared up a bit too. When he does that I give him a good solid jerk on the rope and sternly get onto him. Once he relaxes I pet him and tell him he's a good boy. :)

I plan on lounging him for a day or two before I get back on him. I think I'll attempt to get our place mowed tomorrow (since it needs it much worse than here...and I may have to wait to get a belt for the mower).

Snip has gotten stronger and I've lost some of my confidence so I plan on being VERY, VERY careful. I don't want any more broken bones. Pretty soon I'm going have to get a bucket to stand on to even get my foot in the stirrup because he's grown so much. In other words, while I look forward to getting back on my horse and riding, I'm also a little leery...I've lost some of the muscle strength in my legs (probably), so I think I will just mostly walk for the first couple days, then work up speed. I don't need to be bucked first day back on. :)

On a related note, I got a new (leather) headstall for Snip today as well as a nice set of long leather reins. They'll make a nice quirt. :D Anyway, now my tack is all leather...something I prefer the look of.

But enough ramblings about horses...


Mr. L during one of the battles.
On the Photo's page you will find a new slideshow....I hope you get an idea of what everything was like. I had so much fun and I think everyone else did too...

I also wanted to add how impressed I was by the carriage and demeanor of the men from both camps. I have never been treated with such dignity and respect. I'd pass a soldier and get either a nod of recognition or even a lifting of the cap. I was spoken to as "ma'am" (something I'm not used to as I'm still something of a 'kid'). On my way back from camp Sunday after the battle, one of the Federal men lifted his cap and said, "I may be wearing blue, but I haven't lost my southern hospitality!" I laughed and dropped him a little curtsy. It was great :) {And believe me, it becomes easier to carry oneself in as a lady when one is treated like a lady--it doesn't change one's personality, but it softens the hard edges--perhaps :D}



To sum up the weekend: I HAD A BLAST!!!

(If  you didn't know...we went to the Skirmish at Chipco Crossing in period dress, staying with the 1st Florida Reserves and Civilians, in order for me to get reenactment footage for my Cow Cavalry documentary.)

We headed off to D. C. (not the District of Columbia, by the way), Friday morning. We had to stop three times and adjust the tarp over our load in the back of the pick-up knowledge of the horse-knot (aka the Bolin knot) came in handy. Around two hours later, we arrived at the museum where the reenactment was going to take place and set up camp--after we introduced ourselves to Mr. K (I like this man a lot). About the time we got finished, the L family showed up. One of their seven children had told me about the reenactment and invited us to come up...the L family: Mr. and Mrs., Samantha, Erica (the young lady above mentioned), Eldon (I think that's how he said it's spelled), Dana (a pretty girl), Thomas, Micah (a hoot!), and Philip. I had the strange feeling I'd seen this family someplace before. More people trickled in as the afternoon wore on...the S family: Mr. S, Rachel, Charley, Chris, and Katie. Even though we didn't talk much, I felt an immediate liking for "the other Rachel" and it seemed to be mutual. Whenever our eyes would meet we'd both smile--one of those 'clicks'. I also seemed to click with Charley and Katie pretty well. There was another family whom I can't remember their name, but they had four adorable kids and another one on the way: the kids were Mariah (the only girl), Noah (reminded me kind of another kid I knew 'way back when' :D), Josiah (buds with the younger L boys), and Gideon--he was cute as a button.

After the L's had been there a while (I gave them time to get mostly set up), I wandered over and, being myself, said something like, "I presume you're the L's?" Erica, being my contact (after a fashion), had to put up with me running my mouth at 90 miles an hour. That evening we played Rummicube (I'd never played it before). First it was just me and Erica, then Chris joined in...then Eldon, then Erica got out and Charley took her place, and then Chris quit and Rachel took his place. I was getting help from a girl named Amanda (reminded me quite a bit of one of my aunts) and later on from Eldon as the night got later and we were trying to wrap the game up. I forget who won.

We all headed for bed about 9-ish. It was already dark so no use staying up and getting eaten up anymore by misquitoes.  (Next day, Mr. L noted that he'd accidently opened the flap of his and the younger boy's tent, instead of the 'curtain'...Micah commented about it this afternoon, too. They had skeeter's all night because of it.) I slept horrible Friday night (though I probably slept more than I thought I did), what with going to bed earlier than usual, the harder than usual sleeping quarters, and the TRAINS...they had to be going by about every 15 minutes! I'd be just about ready to drop off and here'd come another one!! (I can laugh about it now :}) There was one in particular that we were all talking about the next day. Eldon said he looked at the time when it went by--about 10:30. This particular train must have been traveling super fast because it shook the ground worse than the others did and was louder. I got a flight response to it--which is rather weird--but I was literally ready to jump up and get out of there! My common sense held me in place and I just laid there tense. It's rather awkward to get scared (I wasn't really scared--I mean not intellectually--but physically I was; if that makes any sense) by something that one knows cannot hurt them--however, apparently I wasn't the only one to get that feeling.

Saturday morning, after dressing and breakfast (I really didn't eat too much this weekend; I blamed it on the corset, but Savannah is probably right that I was just too excited to get hungry :D), I wandered around trying to determine if the schedule was correct in noting that 9:00 was going to be a presentation of the colors in both the Confederate and Federal camps. First I talked to Mr. K--no, his group (who we were with) weren't going to do it, so he sent me down to talk to "Mr. Scotty" in the Confederate camp. No, they weren't going to do it either. So, I headed to the Yankee camp. On the way, with Savannah, we bumped into whom I think was the 2nd in command down there and asked him. No, the Federals weren't going to do it either! Oh well....

I went back to the encampment (most, if not all of the 1st FL R&C's camp 'modern' in tents and trailers--at least at this event) and the boys were messing around with their rifles. I managed to get my hands on one...a reproduction Enfield (I forget the year--a 50-something probably). I shouldered it and of course it was too big for me (probably that's why it was Eldon's--being one of the biggest boy's; he's taller than I am and has big hands--and skinny. :D) Someplace along here it was discovered that the rifle Charley was supposed to use was fouled up pretty bad. They needed to clean it (obviously), but to do so they needed to boil some water. I offered the use of our propane stove; which offer was accepted. I sat on the tailgate of the pick-up holding a rifle while I watched Eldon clean the dirty gun. First he poured boiling water down the barrel. The water coming out the 'nipple' where the priming cap goes was gray. After it cleared up, he took a chunk of paper towl (admittedly cloth would have worked better) and put it through the end of the ram rod (like a modern cleaning rod it has a channel through it--something I didn't know). He swabbed the barrel several times with paper towel and poured some more water down it. Apparently, when the ram rod bounces just right, they know the weapon is clean. I found the whole process quite interesting. We all talked about something while the cleaning was going on, but I don't remember what it was.

At 10:30, a UDC group put on a fashion show...Miss Jeanie (I believe she and her husband are affliated with the 1st Florida Reserves and Civilians) was really the most period correct of the ladies. I was shocked at the lack of petticoats and corsets. The men were more amusing to watch than the ladies...there was the planter gentleman who twirled his cane the whole time and young Mr. Thomas C. in his Tennessee butternut uniform. He's got a fine, sharp black hat bespeckled with mud (most likely on purpose). He also has a clean black hat...but he only wore that to the dance. (Both hats worn at a cocky angle; Savannah's probably right that he's stood in front of the mirror to get it right :D )

At the close of the fashion show, two gents with their horses walked in. One was portraying a rider from Gen. Braxton Bragg (there was a slight jab taken at said general by said man--so slight that people less familiar with Bragg--and I don't claim to be an expert--might not have caught it). The other man called himself "Joe Cracker" and he explained the nature of a Florida Cracker's get up. He called western saddles "Hope" saddles. I'll leave it to your imagination to fill in the details. ;)

All along this time I was reading a paper that Mr. K had loaned me; he said I couldn't keep it because he hadn't been able to find the link again! :D I finished reading it while listening to him and Mr. 'Cracker' and a few other gents talk. Savannah and I talked to Mr. 'Cracker' some too. I also had several good--not necessarily on topic (aka Cow Cavalry)--conversations with Mr. K.

I didn't attend the noon officer's call (where they planned out the battle) either Saturday or Sunday (today), but I did talk to Mr. K about it. Saturday I filmmed from by the Federal camp, but today I filmmed from the top of the hill on the Confederate side. I got a great shot of the 1st Florida R&C's coming along by the moonshine still. If I had only been a spectator rather than filming, I think I would have been quite tempted to let out a 'go-get-em!' kind of yell. As is, I had to keep a lid on emotions and focus on framing. I look forward to looking at my footage, but I really need to finish editing the SCV Cross Dedication ceremony, so I may wait awhile. (Besides, I will have to make room on my hard-drive--again!) Among some others of what I think are going to be great shots, was the Confederate cannon (right down the bore!), Charley being dead (he's just a kid so it's particularly touching), Johnathan with his flintlock next to the old man with the flour sack hat, Mr. Doug limping away, Mr. L and Eldon running away (they came back)....I really think today's footage was better than yesterday's, but I like the fact that I got front and back footage of either side.

Saturday evening, before the pop luck supper this group does, I helped Mr. L, Thomas, and Erica roll cartridges. Technically, I suppose the cartridges were already rolled (I think Thomas said he and Eldon and rolled them), but Mr. L was measuring out the black powder while Thomas held the paper tubes (one end being securely twisted). Thomas then handed the tubes with powder in them to either his sister or I. I got the hang of it pretty quick and enjoyed folding and tucking the ends. Erica and I got confused a couple times over how many cartridges were in the plastic bag on her lap. I think we did 100...

7:30 Saturday night brought the highlight: the dance!! Mr. K had asked me to take some shots for him so he could make trailers out of them, so I sat out the Grand March and a waltz (or two) and a polka (or two). He is part of a band called "7 lb.s of Bacon Mess Band". They are great! :D
Away, the caller, the fathers, and the "Yankee in the highland pants" made sure that no girls had to dance with girls. I REALLY liked that. We did the Virginia Reel several times--once I danced it with Thomas L, another time with Eldon...There was the Snowball Reel (it starts like the Virginia Reel, then devolves into a continual 'strip the willow' until you get back to the top, then you break off into a polka); I danced that with the "Jimmy Palmer" look alike from the Federal camp. (If you don't know who Jimmy Palmer is, he's a character off NCIS...) Eldon attempted to teach both Savannah and I how to waltz. "It's always the outside foot..." Now, let's see if I can remember that... :D I danced a polka with one of the youngest Federal boys...he didn't know what he was doing anymore than I did--so we bounced around together bumping into other people and laughing the whole time. He asked me how long I'd been reenacting (um...never...this is my first time) and told me this was his fourth and "obviously, I haven't picked up on the dancing yet!" We did the Patty Cake Polka; I started that one with "Jimmy Palmer" (it's a mixer) and ended it with him. I really like they way they did that one--starting out slow and speeding it up til it got almost too fast! It was SO MUCH FUN!! I danced the Cumberland Reel with Micah L (10)--he'd gotten me figured out earlier in the day, so he (he calls himself the "clown of the family") just walked up to me with a stinkery grin on his face, left hand tucked behind his back, and just floped that right one out to me. He said nothing--didn't have to0. I laughed and took the proffered hand. At one point, Savannah and I were talking to Eldon, and he told us that if there was any particular dance we'd like to do, to talk to the band and the caller (Mr. Doug). The next break, I was standing over by my camera (getting a drink), and I saw Eldon heading for the bandstand. He looked at me and gave me a signal to "come over here". By the time I reached them, he was already talking to the band about the dance we girls had mentioned--the Gay Gordon. Mr. Doug wanted to know how it was done, so I 'borrowed' Eldon (I don't think he minded), and walked through it (teaching Eldon at the same time). Soon the whole room was walking through it, then the band started playing and it picked up some. Anyway, once we were done, I asked Eldon what he thought of it and he said he really liked it and it was a new favorite. I have to agree...the Gay Gordon and the Virginia Reel are my favorites! There was the Broom Dance--kind of like musical chairs with a broom--or in this case a mop with a face drawn on it (different from what my family knows as the Broom Dance). We also did the "Hat Dance"--more what we know as the Broom Dance. I'm sure there were other dances, but I can't remember them right now. I danced with "Yankee's" and Confederates, short and tall, thin and thick, and only once with Savannah (well twice, but we got broke up. :D ) The highlights of the dance for me were Micah's little hand flopping out there in front of me, dancing the Gay Gordon, and just laughing and dancing til my feet were worn out :D (Sounds like the whole thing, doesn't it?)

*Disclaimer: dances mentioned above were not necessarily danced in said order... :D

Saturday night I think everyone slept better. There weren't as many trains and we were all tired from the dancing. However, sometime around three in the morning the whole camp was waken by blaring hip-hop. It sounded like there was a car parked on the road right there...I wondered if it was a black person protesting the Confederates. When I mentioned it this morning to Mr. L, he said he had the same thought, though it didn't turn out that way at all. After awhile  he called the police and two minutes later, Mr. S called the police (they compared phone records :D). Mr. D (who also preached this morning--exhorted might actually be a better term; but I'll get to that) walked down the hill to find out who was being so distruptive and found out that the people with that horrible racket were actually across the road, on the other side of the rail roal tracks! (Probably between 1/2 and 1 mile away.) Anyway, I think everyone went back to sleep and slept pretty well after the racket quit.

This morning at 10 we had church. We did some singing...thankfully, the lead singers were Mr. K and Mr. Craig (with their guitar and mandolin--respectively), so I didn't have to strain my voice. I think I ended up harmonizing. At one point, Erica (who was sitting next to me) made some mention about something "it's too high!" Which I can certainly understand; which is why I've figured out how to harmonize. Mr. D (excuse me, Rev D. ;] ), while certainly of a more Arminian stripe than ourselves, exhorted us to "get in alignment with God's Word". He used his own self as an example of how rebelling and not seeking God's glory (my words, not his) cause us great heartache. As Savannah said, "It was edifying..." It was, even though it wasn't what I am used to sermon-wise. We also took communion; Rev. D made mention that they (being his church I suppose) take it every week (like us!).

After church, Mr. Bret asked if we'd take his family's picture (the family with the four adorable kids mentioned earlier)--so Savannah did and then he took our picture for us. They are a really nice family. I danced with him a couple times last night. I'll say right here and now that the 1st Florida Reserves and Civilians is a great group of people...I look forward to seeing at least some of them again at Brooksville! (Mr. K told us to come stay with them, since they'll be there...) I asked Erica if they were going and she said she didn't know--"But I know which way I'll put my vote." (In favor.) Samantha agreed with her on that. :)

The battle took place at two and went off great. While on Saturday the Federals won, the Confederates took the field with glory today. Before they got started though, while I was still setting up, I got a surprise visit. I looked up to see Thomas C. coming up the hill. He reached the fence, put an elbow on it and started talking. I find him somewhat hard to understand because he talks fast, has a slight lisp, and his accent it a bit different than what I'm used to around here. Anyway, he wanted to tell me that he and one of his buddies have a group: the Liberty Guards Mess (I have to go to the website soon). Anyway, they do Cow Cavalry stuff. (As a side note, it's fasinating to watch that young fellow on the field--he carries himself like he knows what he's doing--very serious like.) He told me that he'd write the information down after the battle and give it to me. Well, he forgot. So, I put on my business woman hat (I had on my cowboy hat by now as the camps where closed and the public was gone :D), and chased him down. Not literally...he was helping take down a booth when I walked up with my pad of paper. I think he was slightly flustered because he had forgotten, but he wrote down his name and telephone number, then went off to talk to his mom about his brother's number (up until that point I didn't realize his mother was there--most of the time I saw him he was with Mr. K). When he came back, I got him to write down the name of his group. (Since I had really yet been unable to understand what he said!) I also gave him my last business card. Very polite young fellow...I'm not used to being addressed as ma'am--particularly by a fellow someplace within my age bracket. (I'd guess he's somewheres between 17 and early 20's...I'm a terrible one for guessing ages.)

We said good-bye to folks shortly after that and headed home. I gave girls hugs and shook boy's hands. Charley, Eldon, and Micah weren't too hesitant to shake hands, Thomas was, because his hand was dirty (they were cleaning guns), but I told him "don't worry about it". I also had to tell Johnathan not to bother about it, "I like gun oil!" I made sure to say good-bye to Mr. L (he was really nice and made sure we felt at home), Mr. Bret (because I liked him; he has a beautiful family), Mr. S, and Mr. Doug. Philip wouldn't shake my hand...I asked him if he were bashful, and he said "yes", but I didn't believe it. :D So I satisfied myself by messing with his kepi. It was great to see a bunch of little boys out there in minature Confederate uniforms....they were so handsome. :D

I had a thrilling, "Ye-haw" of a time :D Still, it was kind of nice to come home and actually take a head was really beginning to need it. I'm hooked....I want to keep attending reenactments--particularly with this group. Christian, primarily :)

I promise I will post some pictures soon--but it's too late tonight.



One of the first things I figured out this morning was I had bought the wrong kinds of, off I went to Wal-Mart after a Skype briefing with Daddy. Skype sure makes mechanic's lessons easier. I came home and connected wires...I didn't see a yellow wire on the truck, so I attached the yellow wire on the pig-tail to a light green wire. As I found out later that really was the wrong wire.

After lunch, Savannah and I went over to our place to test it and bring the pop-up back. Everything worked except for the left turn light. When we got home, after a brief stop at Wal-Mart, I crawled back under and actually located the yellow wire this time. See, most of the wiring harness only contained four wires: black, brown, light green, and dark green. However, way over in the left, where some other thing are wired in, there is a yellow wire.

The following are pictures taken during my second and more sucessful attempt.
I was bracing with my feet because I had to lift my upper body off the ground to reach the wires!
The mineral sacks did help with the height problem a little bit.
Striping wire. The second attempt at the yellow wire required striping and wraping.
Electrians tape is great stuff! (And those are Savannah's flip-flops. She was helping me out by sticking her legs under and letting me lean on them. It REALLY helped.)
I enjoyed this job pretty well...I got to get greasy and make something work :)

However, right about now, I'm really feeling rather ticked off at myself. The cows were cut off from their water (or a lot of it) all day! I didn't open the gates into the trap and woods yesterday when I rotated them (maybe partly because I got the truck stuck in the mud and by the time we got it out I had forgotten), and I didn't do it today either when I noticed--TWICE--that the cows were meandering along thataway with a purpose. [Just glanced out the window--it looks like they may be headed that way again! Good.] It was when I had half a dozen come over the wire and run toward the water trough on this side that I realized how serious it was. (I thought they could get to the one in the run from the farthest north chunk of pasture.) Anyway, I immediately headed out--on foot (because the truck is still hooked to the pop-up)--in my knee length skirt through shin and knee-deep grass (serves me right that my legs got all itchy and bug bit)--and got those gates open. I was steaming in more than one fashion when I got back to the house. I deserve to be horse-whipped...I KNOW better than to not have water for my cows...particularly when I have even the slightest doubts. So, suffice to say, I am mad at myself because I was being lazy and/or otherwise occupied.

I'm hungry...that beef in the oven smells awful good.


Okay, so 'razy' isn't a word...but it suits. I started the day out, after briefly peeking at my e-mail and Google+ page, by demanding the "five-pounds" of keys from Savannah. She willingly handed them over to me and I headed out on the first part of my day. After, that is, I fed the critters.

I hopped in the pick-up and took off across the creek. I would have preped to mow, only I had a chiropractor's appointment at 3, so I wouldn't have had time to mow. As is, I decended upon the pole shed and located the trailer I was in search of--behind a couple slabs of sheetrock (which is molding by the way). I moved the sheetrock, glared at the screws holding the licence plate on, and headed off to unlock the barn. After poking around in there, only finding a flat head screwdriver (I needed a phillips), I suddenly slapped myself (figuratively). I should have started in the house!  I know where to find a screwdriver in there! Within minutes, I had a screwdriver safely between my fingers and after just a few more minutes, I had the licence plate removed and tossed in the truck. I returned the screwdriver to the house, talking to the cows at the same time. They were up bawling something crazy--the reason being last time I was over there I gave them pellets....

I took off for Smiths. I walked in an asked the owner's son about the electric fence boxes and he led me to them. I got a different kind that what usually is was $3 cheaper and he said basically if it quits you just get another in exchange. I'm wondering if I shouldn't have gone with the old least I could test it with the PVC pile pole... I also got four more bags of mineral.

On my way home, I decided to swing by Wally-world and see about getting wiring for the truck. As I was standing there, I suddenly realized, "I should have looked at the connection on the pop-up!" Brilliant...I returned to our place, looked at the wiring, called Daddy, got some instructions, called Savannah to tell her I was going back to town, and then went to Auto-Zone. I had to get help there too...I was looking at wiring, but none of the trailer "piggy-tails". They were all the way in the back of the store! Obviously, I don't know how auto-parts stores are set-up :)

I came home and started putting mineral out. I decided on the spur of the moment to go ahead and attempt to rotate the cows. All went well, until I came back the second time to try to push the few remaining cows out. Great...I got my truck stuck in the beautiful loamy dirt under the oaks!! I spun and spun and thought I was going to get out and didn't. Then Savannah came out to tell me lunch was ready. We walked the last half dozen cows to the gate. Then we went in for lunch.

After lunch, I had about 35 minutes before I had to come in and get cleaned up so I could go to my chiropractor appointment. First, I hooked up the new electric fence box and then headed out to try again to get the truck unstuck. I used a couple boards, but still couldn't get it out. Granddaddy came out and hollered at me to get the tractor. I told him I'd go get Savannah to help me (because I think he was going to try walking out there--with his balance he has no business walking through that rutted pasture--even with the walker), so he went back in. I got my ear-plugs (I won't run the tractor without them) and started the thing up. I didn't take the bush-hog off; the chains were long enough to go under it. We got the truck hooked up and in seconds the truck was free. Believe me, I don't think I'll be taking the truck through that particular area again anytime soon....

I put the tractor away and came in to shower. By that point I needed it. My arms were orange from the rust on the chains and I had some on my face. I also had dirt all over me...the dent in my chin was definitely more pronounced :D

Soon I was driving down the road headed for P. C. I arrived at the chiropractor's to find the office locked up and Dr. K.'s car not there--the note on the door said "@ lunch; will be back at 1:30". At this point it was practically 3:00.

While I was standing there wondering what to do, an older gentleman pulled up and got out of his car. I figured I might as well pass my observations on to him. So I walked over and we started talking. He thought I was 28. I told him my actual age and remarked that people always seem to think I'm either 18 or 25. Then he asked me a question..."Your young and your female...would you mind telling me what you think about the elections?" I think I grinned. I do know I rubbed my palms on my pants. Then I stated my views, "I don't really like either candidate, but I'm voting for Romney." His smile got wider and he said, "Thank-you."

I thought that was kind of neat.

Shortly thereafter, one of the ladies who works at the place showed up. So, both the old gentleman and I got our chiropractoring afterall :)

From there I bounced over to the health food store to get Savannah some more brewer's yeast (I HATE that stuff...); then I came home.

Now I'm ready for supper :)


There were at least eight calves in the yard yesterday morning. I was already planning on working on the fence, but those big and little calves happily munching in the yard was the clinching factor. Even though it was threatening rain, I betook myself out to fix the fence.

I started in the driveway, after running a calf back in and walking a cow in. Two wires were broken (one in two places) for about 16+ feet (bear in mind I don't judge distances like this very was at least the area between two fence posts). During this time, I was within spitting distance of a couple of cows. Gorilla cow was one of them--I'm just glad I didn't notice that that black animal sitting there was her until I was almost done. Last couple of times I've come close to her she's gotten aggressive. Then Moon-bat strolled across from the north side of the runway (I must get that electric fence back running!!) and she stood there and watched me for a while. I kept an eye on her while pretending I didn't realize she was there. Anyway, I had no cow trouble; even though I had the two I'm the most scared of close enough to hurt me if they had charged me when my back was turned.

From there I moved to the fence around the yard. I got one portion of the fence around the foot-gate tightened before lunch. I was in need of water by the time I came in. I really wasn't all that hungry, though I was feeling exhausted. I got kind of bummed as I dug the first of two post holes, because I got tired before I got a foot in! I am WAY out of shape.

Anyhow, after my lunch coffee, I perked up and went back to work. I finished tightening and re-stringing wire around the yard. (Savannah tells me there's already another broken wire out there...oooo....them calves are going to LOVE it when I get the electric fence back up!) That was fun. I had to work around the almost 2 1/2 foot in diameter chunk of tree. At some point while I was out there, cutting wire and hammering staples in, the cats--all six of them--meandered over (some closer than others) to where I was working. I had to laugh at Nelly Gray tearing up the tree, fighting spanish moss, and being an all-around goofy fuzz ball. She's an ornery little stinker. I have to watch it any more when I go out in the morning, because she's been trying to sneak past me into the house. It's one of those, "oh, no you don't" things where I reach down, snatch her up, and tuck her under my arm while shutting the door with my foot.

About calves in the yard...I had this goofy idea of setting myself up a crows nest on the top of the barn and sitting up there with a BB gun to shoot them with. Only in my dreams...first off, I wouldn't know where to start in an attempt to build a crows nest on the roof, and second, it really wouldn't be that practical because I'd have to shoot through the tree! And thirdly, I'd have to spend my entire day out there :D (And fourthly...I never can seem to get that BB gun to work! I even know how it works :P)


Savannah opened my door around 6:00 this morning ('tis a convient way of waking me--particularly when I'm only half asleep to begin with).  Soon I crawled out of bed and started my morning routine. We started getting attired around 7:00; it takes a bit longer than normal when wearing 1860's clothing.
Since I had loaded most of my gear into the Caddillac last night, I only had to put my camera and Zoom out there...along with the cooler containing our bonnet, my purse, and myself.

We arrived at the church and cemetery where the ceremony was being held right about 9:00. The A.'s were already there so we knew somebody :D The S.'s were there too...and after wandering around a bit and talking to the A.'s concerning the ceremony, Savannah, Mr. Bill, and I started setting up cameras in the various spots we wanted them. During this time, people of all sorts kept arriving...there were two cannon (and somehow it doesn't surprise me that Mr. Tom is artillery...); the color guard (one of them was rather strikingly good-looking--and I don't want to be teased over that anybody--the man was married and had a little girl--I just couldn't help noticing that he was handsome); the men of the two SCV camps that were putting it on; the SCV National Commander (he has a handshake like a vice; either Mr. Hill or Mr. A. introduced me to him--so much happened I forgot some of the details...); the Florida Division Commander (he had an awesome tie--it had our beloved Confederate generals on it!); and people who were just attending the event.

During the ceremony, those of us running the cameras couldn't hear very well (and I was the farthest off); the wind was blowing steady the whole time and the sound system wasn't working. I have no idea what any of the footage looks like yet...I haven't put it into Premiere Pro yet. I have to clear my hard-drive off a little more so I can get the footage from one of the cameras on the computer. (At present it is on an external drive.)

Anyway, I got a nice sunburn on my face because I was facing directly into the sun...which also means that I was having difficulty seeing the LCD screen on my camera. The way we had it planned was for me to do the static, establishing shots, Savannah to do the close-ups, and Mr. S to do the pan-shots (or following shots as we were calling them). I ended up doing some zooming and panning. I got plenty confused a couple times because of said problem of having the sun in my face, cutting down my visablity of the LCD screen. I found myself staring past the screen at the people in front of me, then back to the screen in an effort to determine exactly which light colored blob was which person.

The ceremony went something like this (mind you, I couldn't hear to great--but I happen to have a schedule ;D ): It opened with a prayer. The schedule says Mr. A was to pray, but I'm not sure he was the one who did...then there was the salute to the flag (I think I got off the last line, because that's when I realized they were saying it) and the Charge to the SCV. The singing of 'Dixie' then took place. The 'howdy and thank-you for coming' portion followed. Mr. P. (the MC basically) recognized the National Commander and the Florida Division Commander (the fact that the National Commander came was a big deal). Then he also mentioned all the groups of people who were participating.

Commander G. and Commander D. (the big-shot above mentioned) each gave a short speech proceeding the actual ceremony which goes something as follows. For each deceased soldier there was a "widow". Of the five I am aquainted with four of them. These "widows" were one by one escorted by a man in uniform (I'm aquainted with three of said gentlemen), to a seat by the headstone. After the lady was seated and the flowers she carried were placed, the man stepped back and saluted the grave. Mr. H. saluted very slowly and ceremoniously; it just fits his personality though. After all the "widows" were seated, the men escorted a little girl in a white dress (one for each soldier yet again--only I think they only had four) who removed the black cloth cover from the SCV cross by the stones. Once again, the man would salute the grave.

During this latter operation, the histories of the five men were read. In some cases, they were read by decendents of the Confederate soldiers. It is my opinion that Mr. A isn't the most comfortable with public speaking.

Once this part was done, two men sang the first and last verse of "How Firm a Foundation" (one of my favorites). We were reminded that it was one of General Robert Edward Lee's favorite hymns.

Then came an interesting part--the Color Guard's Last Drink ceremony. Said good-looking member of the Color Guard took a canteen and came round from one grave to the next, solemnly knelt down beside it and poured some water (I assume) onto the grave. If I remember rightly (I was attempting to get the man in my LCD screen!), he saluted--or maybe not.

Then "BOOM! BOOM!" The cannon went off!! I nearly jumped out of my skin the first time and I think I bumped the camera. I got mental goosebumps when I saw the smoke from the cannon floating through the flags...I don't have a picture of that...but below are the flags.
They fired two more volleys and more or less that was the close of the ceremony.
Before it started...I'm checking the camera...
That is the National Commander in the black jacket. Mr H. is on the other side of me in the kepi.
After the ceremony, we interviewed Mr. H. He had forgotten that he was supposed to be interviewed, but he pulled it off wonderfully! I know I have some usable material there--even though I forgot to change my camera setting back to what I've shot the rest of my Cow Cavalry interviews and b-roll in!! However, Savannah assures me that Premiere Pro will be able to convert it...

Then we came home, along with the S's and spent time downloading footage off the cameras. I spent about half that time moving stuff my from hard-drive to the external hard-drive. In order to get the rest of the footage on the computer (so I can work with it!) I will have to move some more stuff over onto the external drive. I sat and played the cello a bit too while waiting for stuff to download.

But anyway, I'm about ready to take my sunburned nose to bed...


This past week has been filled with sewing adventures....Savannah tried her hand at millinery for the first time and I think the results were pretty spectacular! I made a bodice to go with my already extant skirt. I had to sew that ribbon on twice and it still isn't as nice as I'd like. Worse yet was the hooks and eyes :{ I hate sewing them on. I ended up using several snaps to hold the hooks and eyes closed.
You can't really tell here, but I sewed the hooks and eyes on with white thread. It really looked pretty awful and Mama suggested that I take a blue sharpie and color the thread. I did and it really helped! (This picture would have come out better if I hadn't had my arms behind my back--but I was trying to mask the fact that my lower sleeves still needed wrist closers!)
NOW...for the bonnet!!
This is what it started out as--just a horrid floppy hat. (Say, how'd you like my apron?)
And....just a couple more random pictures of my outfit....I obviously forgot all about my collar...but that's okay. It isn't 100% necessary :D
Savannah's bonnet and outfit. She's wearing one of my favorite's almost too small on me, but I'm too selfish to go ahead and give it to her. (Besides, it's a bit large on her. :D)
I hope you enjoyed this motley group of pictures....embeding them from the skydrive isn't as clear as if I took them full-size and then shrunk them in Photoshop--but this sure is faster and takes up less hard-drive space.



I got to play lawn mower mechanic again this afternoon. The deck belt came off when I was about half way done with the yard. So I stopped, turned the engine off and put the belt back on (which is very stretched out.) After that the mower wouldn't crank. (I mean, it spun like crazy, but didn't actually take.) So, I took the thing down--all the way down to removing the starter. Then I put it back together. (You do know I like to disassemble and reassemble things by now, don't you?)

At one point I rolled the thing up the ramps so I could check the drive belt--which was nice and tight. I wasn't sure I was going to get the thing up there, but subbornness overcame gravity.

I got on the mower again and it started. All of sudden it puttered out on me again. I realized after a moment of frenzied 'trying-to-keep-this-thing-running' activity, that I had forgotten to turn that little knob on the fuel line back on!! I felt kind of stupid, but afterall, I've never used a mower that has a fuel line cut off like this before.
I finished the yard and started on the driveway. The belt came off I put it back on. This time I got the engine cranked without taking it down :D Minutes later, the belt came off again. WAH! My "brand new" old mower needs a belt!! 
Oh well, at least  I did get the yard itself mowed; although I didn't get the driveway done. I certainly had fun getting nasty with mower grease. You should have seen my face when I came in! I have no idea how I got that much smut on it! (Actually I probably came off my gloves--which were on and off ((because the engine was hot))--and my hair kept getting in my eyes; which of course means I kept shoving it out of my face. I assure you, I removed my hat early on--no use getting it any dirtier than it is. It's already beat up and bent up and gray-ish from dirt, but I still try to keep it looking half-way decent!)

Ah! The joys of life! ; D


This thought has been wandering through my mind for several days now....but it is rather interesting how, at least in these United States, that there seems to be two levels of coming to adulthood.

At 18, one is old enough to join the military and die for their country. At 18, one is old enough to get their unrestricted drivers licence. At 18, one is old enough to vote. However, they have to wait until they are 21 before they can legally own a weapon, concel carry, and drink hard licquor.

If one is old enough to carry a weapon on the battlefield, why should he be restricted from conceal carry in a public place? If you're going to put an 18 year old in the driver seat and tell them to go do whatever, shouldn't they be responsible enough to drink licquor? Obviously not, because when they turn 21, what do they do? Kill themselves by doing 21 shots. Never fear, I won't be indugling in that foolishnes.

It all comes down to a mentality that has been propogated in our culture. During our "teenage" years, we young folks are supposed to sow our wild oats, be irresponsible, sleep all the time, be lazy, and get by with some serious lapses in good judgement--simply because we are "teenagers". I always hated the word.

Then, BAM! We turn 21 and are suddenly supposed to be respectible, responsible adults. OH, REALLY?? Someone please explain to me why--if up to this point--we have been allowed to be selfish, irresponsible goldbricks--why anyone should expect us suddenly be smart, hard working, self-motivated, usefull members of society?

I'm very thankful that my parents disavowed "adolecence" and "teenager" excuses and pointed me toward the Word. That they taught me to think and to act in a responsible fashion, in order to prepare me to be a responsible young woman. More than anything, I am grateful for their dedication in teaching me the truths of Scripture, for disciplining me when I needed it, and doing their part to mold me into a Christian woman. I still have a lot to learn, I still need to listen to my parents, but I feel that they have, by God's grace, got me pointed in the right direction.

So, here, on my birthday--on which I reach that second 'coming of age' milestone--I want to thank God and my parents for the life I have and the blessing I have been showered with. I look forward to future years--work, play, music, laughter, love--with the same joys and fears as I had yesterday.

Thank-you that I even have a birthday...