We headed out Thursday morning after a whirlwind early morning trip to the feed store...

We got to our hotel in time to eat a quick snack-ish lunch and find the church (and Robert and Lessie) before the first session started. R.C. Sproul had the first talk--on justification. He joked throughout the weekend that he has spoken on justification at least as much as Martin Luther did! I did not realize until Thrusday afternoon that Dr. Sproul was a stand-up comic along with being a theologian...not that I have any problem with a little humor thrown in with my theology! :) The second session was supposed to be by a man named Robert Godfrey, but apparently he was so ill that he could not make it so they asked Steve Lawson to fill in for him. Mr. Lawson therefore did...he spoke on the nature of Truth. Then there was a question and answer session--during which I did not take notes. It rather amused me when the Presbyterians and Baptists got to talking about baptism...Mr. Begg and Dr. Sproul had a nice friendly argument. (I wish theological discussions could be that amiable more often!) There were two 'optional' sessions by author's about their latest books. I sat in part of one of those and talked to Robert some. The final session of the day was Alistair Begg on preaching the Word. I forget when we ate supper Thursday evening...what I do remember is that Robert kindly purchased a Caeser salad for both Savannah and I (as he like-wise did twice on Friday).

Friday morning, bright and early, we were back in the chuch listening to Mr. Lawson talking about Martin Luther and the sufficency of scripture. His talk was followed by one by Cal Thomas (FOX news commentator) on the family. After a short break, we were back listening to Sinclair Ferguson on doctrine. Lunch (Caesar salad for us) was next. I managed to consume the entirety of that salad even though I wasn't exceptionally hungry...it tasted good, but I was stuffed.

After lunch came Mr. Alistair Begg instructing us to be merciful. Dr. R.C. Jr. (whom we have always known by the nickname 'Red-beard'--though it doesn't fit anymore since his beard is no more), spoke next on being a 'Good Offense'. There were two more 'optional' sessions after that and then Ravi Zacharias encouraged us with the knowledge that Christ is risen and what that means for us. He got a standing ovation. The speaking done for the evening, we went back to our hotel.

Saturday morning we were back at the church for a second session by Mr. Ferguson. He spoke of Christ and the church. There was a second question and answer session, which I likewise took no notes from. The final session was by Dr. R.C. Sproul on not compromising--the theme of the conference and what everyone was encourging in their lectures. I will get around to posting all my notes sometime.

Now for the more humorous stuff: coming back into the hotel Thursday night, the toe strap on my right sandel gave way. Oh well, I've had those sandels ever since 2004 so I suppose they were rather out of style! I also made the discovery that I didn't have a nightgown! I didn't do my own packing and whomever did forgot to pack one for me--probably because I didn't have one laid out. I'm grateful that someone else did do my packing because I was so flustered I might have forgotten something myself! Thankfully, Lessie had an extra nighty which she loaned to me.

Friday I was told at lunch by the ladies who had been sitting behind us, that they could hear me singing during the time of song before the sessions. I was rather astounded by that fact because of the beautiful loudness of the organ and the Symphonia (as well as nigh on 5000 people singing!)

We got one of the free DVD's on economics that R.C. Jr. was giving away for free...I look forward to watching that. I also got a free book by Steven Lawson on Luther when I signed up for Tabletalk--only for some reason I suspect that Robert and Lessie have it! We were car-pooling with them and I did have it in her bag...

Saturday morning, they had a volunteer choir sing the "Hallelujah Chorus". I was thinking about maybe trying (though I am really not very good at all singing parts), but by the time they were ready to start practicing, I was in desperate need of a cup of coffee. By the time I had had my coffee and was feeling like I could have given it a shot, the practicing was mostly done. They didn't loose anything by not having me in the choir either! :D At the very end of the conference, they got up there on stage and sang. It was so amazing!

We went to St. Andrew's Chapel on Sunday before heading home. St. Andrew's is beautiful, built like a minuature cathedrel. It was all beautiful...but, if I can say this without treading on anyone's toes...it had too much of a 'high church' feel to it. I'm a Presbyterian and I was on the verge of uncomfortable becuase it seemed to have an Anglican flair too it...it just wasn't Presbyterian, I guess!
Our hotel room..the decor through the hotel was very 1970's.
Friday morning coffee...I look like I needed it!
This is a job I WOULD NOT like to have!!
The Ligonier Symphonia (sans strings)...
The organ's pipes!!!
Close(r) up of the one side...
Savannah Saturday evening...

This morning we said, "Bye" to Mama and Katherine and they headed back for the domains far north...before they left we had a short picture taking spree...if you can't tell, the wind was blowing!
Goofy faces...
There...that's better!
See how much taller my little sister is?? Actually, I was slouched down some. :) She's reminding me to lift my chin so the second one doesn't show! :D


Our SCV camp (along with the associate OCR chapter which Mrs. A just got going), had it's annual 'Family Fellowship' this afternoon starting at three. Just Katherine and I went since Savannah still isn't feeling quite up to being social and Mama just didn't want to go (instead, she painted the bathroom! It looks great!)

We arrived at about three sharp and soon were talking to Mr. Wade, his daughter Rachel (*has to stop and double-check that she spelled that right*), our UPS man's daughter (I cannot recall her name, but it starts with an 'L'), and various other people.  Rachel (and her sister Wanda--who wasn't there) are homeschooled, L and her younger brother Camp are not.

Around 4, with Mr. Leon still flipping hamburgers on the grill, Mr. Wade prayed and folks started digging in to the meal. It twert bad neither... :) I got made fun of by Mr. Wade for not liking mushrooms (didn't bother me--his daughter Rachel doesn't like the either, it turns out!)

After eating, there was a short business meeting--we (the SCV camp/OCR chapter--by extention) are going to be co-sponsoring another cross dedication ceremony up at F.M. (same place as last time). I know I said I would never film anything like that again...but I imagine for some reason I may be asked...and if I am--well, I don't very well see how I cannot NOT do it.

The business meeting concluded, Mr. Leon did a history lesson on how "Honest Abe" really wasn't such a saint. I didn't hear all of it very well because I was on the verge of a meltdown while waiting for an 8-year old boy to remove himself from the bathroom! I really did want to hear what Mr. Leon was saying, but I went to sit on the porch and with the wind blowing and my thoughts on other subjects, I couldn't mind as well as I wanted to.

After the history lesson, everybody stood around and talked some more. I think it was about 6:30 before Katherine and I left in the growing dusk. I had to feed the chickens when I got home. I didn't feed Snip or the cats since it was already dark. I imagine ol' Snipper will be very glad to see breakfast in the morning... :)


I'd like to share a story written by a friend of mine over at Sons of the Remnant...
(Is it silly to call people you've never actually met 'friends'? I really don't think so.)
The Good Ship Western Christendom  
   Being an Allegory by Andrew Romanowitz
While going through my papers yesterday, I found a portion of a story which was 
 recorded by an old collector of tales of the sea, whose name, it seems, is now 
 lost to history. Lamentably, the narrative is incomplete; nonetheless, I have 
decided to post it here, as I think the readers will find it an object of interest. The portion of the manuscript which I have in my possession reads thus:
 On a  distant ocean, long ago and far away, a fine ship of war named the Western 
Christendom lay dead in the water. She had been long known as a ship of noble bearing and distinguished martial honor, yet when we approached her we  found that most of hew crew lay sleeping in the sunlight as she listlessly drifted on the open sea.. 
Some reader well-versed in maritime history might ask by what stroke of ill fortune she found the doldrums. Ah, but you see, she wasn't in the doldrums. The
sailors  had simply hoisted down the sails. It appears that every man on board
was  certain that the martial voyage was doomed to failure. Rather than continue
a  journey that they considered futile, they decided it would be most comfortable  and therefore most advantageous to hoist down the sails and fall asleep on the  deck. This turn of events is astonishing, as the Western Christendom was  renowned for having seized victory from the jaws of defeat in many a fight on  the high seas, and her crew was counted by some as the finest that had ever  crossed the line. We are not certain as to how the persuasion of the entire crew  was effected. While we have heard it reported that the captain himself commanded  this course of action (or rather lack thereof), we do not wish to impeach the  good name of the captain, and so we prefer to believe that the officers and  sailors acted against orders. Someone has suggested that the helmsman and the  first and second mates were largely responsible, and that they convinced most of  the crew that such was a necessary consequence of the essential principles of  military duty and good seamanship. Absurd as it may seem, we hope the reader  will forgive us if we are inclined to lend more credibility to this  account.
But  whatever the case may have been, not long after the Western Christendom 
began to drift, an enemy vessel hove into view and showed herself to be a forty-four-gun man of war. Without delay she commenced pouring successive  broadsides over the decks and into the hull, tearing holes into the ship's side and flooding the lower compartments. Yes, my lads, such was the woeful state of the good ship Western Christendom on that distant ocean long ago and far away...
 In the  midst of the barrage, there were a few officers making rounds of the deck
and  noting the damage to those of the sailors who seemed roused by the roar of
enemy  gunfire, while reassuring them with the utmost calmness that the Western  Christendom would sink very soon, and the enemy be unhindered ruler of the  high seas. This news, it appears, had varied effects on the illustrious  crew; Many of the more craven and  youthful souls jumped overboard, fearing the guns of the enemy more than the  shark-filled waters of the open sea. Others sought to return to their
sleep, convinced that the sooner the good ship went down, the better it would be for  them, and that if they were sure to die, it were better to die peaceably.  Nonetheless, they were certain that they were faithful sailors, and not  mutineers in the least; and as faithful sailors, they said, they were resolved  to die on board the ship with full military honor amid the thunder of battle.  They wished to spend their final hours contemplating the peaceful clouds  floating across the sky rather than manning the ship's guns. But below decks,  there were yet a few men still defiantly firing at the enemy ship, ignoring  drowsy and incoherent shouts of ridicule from the men reclining on  deck.

  And here the manuscript breaks off, leaving us only to wonder about the  conclusion of this seemingly fantastic, yet strangely familiar tale of the sea, and the fate of the good ship Western Christendom and her crew.
Thank-you for letting me post this, Andrew!


No...even though that was the plan. I put the Kubota on the charger this morning, then spent the majority of the day doing something else. 

The most exciting thing was cutting some plastic panels to go up in the kitchen. We replaced the old yellowed plastic cover over the florescent bulbs along the length of the kitchen ceiling. 

Mama had bought some supposedly 24x24 inch panels at Lowe's last night, but they turned out a couple inches shorter than that each side. So...we went to Do it Best where they had some that only needed to be cut in half. As we walked in, I looked up to see a familiar face! "Hello, Mr. Ricky!" 

While Mama went on about the shopping, I stood and talked to Mr. Ricky about cows for a few minutes. It's pretty cool to go to town and run into people you actually know...it's something of a new experience for me. 

When checking out, the lady behind the counter addressed me by my first name. That too was kind of funny. I guess I've used the credit card in there enough that they know my name! :D

We got home and I cut the panels and Mama put them up. Then we went back over to our place. I attempted to crank the tractor. Nothin'. Didn't even turn over. So...I got the car, hooked it up, and tried that way. No go. 

I ended up removing the battery (that was a rather interesting job--I couldn't find the right sized wrench for the longest time.) Tomorrow, I will get a new one--and hopefully, a roll of hay for my cows. 


That sounds almost gruesome...but it sums up New Years Eve and the beginning of New Years Day fairly well...

Yesterday, the last day of the Year of Our Lord Two-thousand Twelve, Savannah and I rose early. I woke up five minutes before my alarm was set to go off (5 am). This is not unusual, since I have trained myself to wake up like that. Anyway, I went to turn the alarm off before it started beeping (such an irritating--but effective--beep). I kept trying to push the switch down. It didn't work. I got out of bed and walked over to the light switch, banging into books and finally running into the door. (That woke Savannah across the hall.) The alarm was beeping by now and I had shoved it under my pillow. I flipped the light on, walked back to the bed (without stubbing my toes this time), pulled my clock out from under my pillow, turned it over, and groaned at myself. Here I had been trying to slide the switch vertically...and it goes horizontally!! (Come to think of it, I think I've done that before. I use an alarm so infrequently that I forget how it works!)

I got dressed, fed Snip and the cats in the dark (none were up--but this way they got their food), and then drove over to our place across the creek and put out the cow's pellets. My nose was like an ice-sickle by the time I got home. It was nice and chilly out....I enjoyed needing the jacket and my bandana tied over my ears.

After I ate breakfast (I hadn't had my coffee yet), we headed off. I waited until we were on the main road to pour my coffee from the thermos. Savannah also had a second cup at that point. We arrived at the S's trailer before they did--Savannah called Mr. Bill, who was picking up the U-haul truck (he got the biggest one he could and still have a regular driver's licence). Soon Mrs. Sandy showed up with grandkids, Sam and Lucy in tow. A few minutes later, we were all in Mrs. S's car headed just literally around the corner to the storage unit. Mr. Bill was right ahead of us opening the gate when we arrived. Shortly thereafter, the S's eldest son, Brian, along with four of his kids, and the S's youngest, Tom (accompanied by preganant wife and their three other children) arrived. Mr. Bill had an announcement like ceremony where he told everyone that Savannah was in charge of loading the truck. We don't call her the "Load Master", for no reason. No one argued about it...though Tom did crack a joke or two (aimed more at his Dad than anyone.)

Tom and Brian, along with Gavin (Brian's oldest son--14), did most of the heavy lifting, though I pitched in and helped Gavin with both a matress and a cabineted sewing machine. (It wasn't because I was trying to prove I was as strong as the guys, but simply because I can't just stand around while other people do something that I can help with!) I got the impression that Gavin had never wrestled with a matress before...it was something about the way he handled it... :)

Tom kept everyone in stitches...he is terrible. Really. Of course, I rather know where he gets his sense of humor from--but he's twice as bad as his dad!! :D

After we finished at the storage unit, we went back to the trailer to pick up the last few remaining pieces of furiture and boxes. There, we practically unloaded the truck to reload it. I know that Savannah is a tad worried that things are going to rattle around too much. The truck was too big. :D

I was Savannah's "PA" system a couple of times--I guess that just tends to happen when you have a good set of lungs and your sister can't talk very loud. Not that I mind, it's just a humorous way to think of oneself. :D

I almost learned how to throw a football correctly yesterday. The kids (including myself) wound up tossing a football back and forth in the street for quite a while before and after lunch which provided by Kerry (the S's daughter and Sam and Lucy's mother). But, back to the football. I've only ever played football once and that was last fall (okay two falls ago really) with the B. boys in Indiana. We really did more running with it than throwing it though (and I somehow managed to outrun Daniel and make two touchdowns! I still wonder how I did that...) Yesterday it was just throwing and catching practice. I was catching like a girl; I normally can catch better than I can throw. Anyway, I just laughed it off. I know how to do that.

Once we were done there, Mr. Bill went to pick up the car hauler and Mrs. Sandy to do something else. The younger S men and their family's returned to Brian's while Savannah and I followed Kerry home. We spent several hours there. I mostly played with Lucy--that is, after I washed Kerry's dishes. Since we are "family" of sorts, I offered and did it even though she basically told me I didn't have to. I didn't REALLY feel like washing a stack of dishes, but I did because it was something I could do to be helpful. Perhaps I am learning not to be so selfish...

The rest of the afternoon was spent talking and playing and taking pictures. I happen to know that both Mrs. Sandy and Kerry have some blackmail photos of me! *laughs gaily* I told them, "Yep...Mama always says I could ruin a good picture." It's true too...you look through the pictures we've taken over the years. Who is it who is distractedly staring behind her? Racheal. Who is it who is making a silly face? Racheal. Who is it...well, you get the idea. :)

I hope that they send us some of them because some of the pictures were actually good.

After a nice little supper, Savannah and I said our adieu's. Nobody cried on the way home even though we are going to miss the S's something dreadful.
My eyes are reflecting the sky...so they look almost blue--and I most certainly do not have blue eyes! I hear when I was born they were a muddy greenish color...


After a very busy Thursday packing everything (and I still forgot the apron and Savannah the peanut butter), we pulled out around 9-something Friday morning, headed almost all the way up to the Florida/Georgia border. We got there mid-afternoon and after locating the K's and D's camping spot, we meandered on into the sutler area...only to find that they weren't there. About the time we got back to the camping area, they pulled in. The men had gone boating the day before in their period-ish looking boats and slept out on a little island in the extremely heavy cold dew. Mr. K therefore was something of a grouch for the entire weekend...not that I have ever been grouchy when tired! (That's a laugh...anyone who knows me knows that I tend to get growly and bitey :})

So, we set up our tent between the K's trailer and the Caddy--which was parked behind the D's camper. I'm very thankful that the D's loaned us a heater because even with the wool blankets we would have been very cold if we hadn't had the heater.

Saturday morning we spent goofing off with Amanda in the sutler area. I bought a hat, a Confederate 3rd National flag, a book on Gen. N.B. Forrest, and we also picked up John Bakeless' Spy's of the Confederacy.  Savannah got a pattern book or two and we bought a 'Civil War' song book. On the way home yesterday I was attempting to sing some of them (and then I also talked on the phone quite a bit so I was really hoarse by the time we got home!)

We got ready to head to the "Ladies Tea" and went the wrong way first. Anyway, we finally arrived--fashionably late. :) The presentation was on period fabrics which I found quite interesting. I couldn't tell you much about it now, but I enjoyed it anyway. Savannah left sometime during the presentation (though probably it meant more to her than it did to me) because she wasn't feeling too well.

After the presentation they did their 'door-prize' raffle. My ticket won a certificate for a free fry-bread, but since I couldn't use it I gave it to Amanda--who turned around and won the second free fry-bread certificate! :D She and her mother used those for lunch Saturday and Sunday...free food...what's not to like?

Someplace between the tea and the battle at 2 pm, we had lunch. It seems like we were busy all the time even if we were just walking around doing nothing...

I didn't even attempt to film (even though I'm using DV I like the way 'film' sounds better than 'video' as a verb...) the battle on Saturday. I just wanted to watch. Besides, I thought it might make Sunday's filming easier (which as it turns out, didn't really because they set up different on Sunday!) I find the smoke-rings from the rifles and cannon quite neat. At one point when the Confederates fired a volley, the branches of one of the trees swayed from the forces of the power being expelled from the barrels. The Confederates 'dressed right' perpendicular to the spectator line so close that you could reach out and touch them several times. It was pretty loud. I wore my ear-plugs Sunday, despite Amanda's teasing about it. I want to be able to hear when I'm a little old (fat) lady...

After the battle, we went back to camp and we played some music with 7 lb's of Bacon. Mr. K handed his guitar to Aaron--Miss Dee's nephew--and walked off for a little bit. I made some comment about playing a certain song better on my classical and Aaron offered me Mr. K's (black nylon strings! So that's why I thought he had steel strings on it!). I let Aaron play mine while I played Mr. K's. First thing he started playing? Stairway to Heaven. Figures.

Then was supper. We sat around and talked some; then I drug Savannah off to get her changed into her ball dress. That was somewhat interesting in a dark tent. I'm glad I had that LED key-chain flashlight. I hung that up on a loop in the tent and it really helped. Then we showed her off...and it was then that Savannah discovered she had hoop problems. The skirt has too much fullness in the front so it pushed the front of the hoop down. We headed to the ball and got there early. (The band had said the dance started at 7--but the schedule said 8...so we, having actually heard the band, showed up at 7.) We took a few pictures and ended up with both Amanda and I laughing like crazy people. She was attempting to get me to play that stare down/keep a straight face game. I, of course, am an absolute flop at anything like that. We were cracking up simultaneously...which made it even funnier. :D

We did a grand total of four different types of dances: The Grand March, the Virginia Reel, the Waltz, and a Polka. The band was a brass band and while I think that 7 lb.s of Bacon are more fun these folks were good and I really liked the way they used the drum while transitioning between songs in a medley. Very marital...of such things I am a sucker for...

I did the Grand March with a tall, blue-eyed Confederate kid (probably about 17) with big dimples. I ended up scrunched between him and another gray jacket--I'm sure neither young fellow realized that the girl in the blue dress between them was as squished as she was. Both of them had longer legs than me too...which didn't help. :D It was fun even though I couldn't get myself out of that wedged position (I was literally half a step behind them because I couldn't get any farther forward thanks to their shoulders!)

The rest of the dancing I did, I did with a real soldier named Adrian. We talked about everything from dancing (a natural place to start), to the military (since I'm an Army brat and he's in the Army), to family history (he's half Mexican, half German/Irish--quite a mix), to my Cow Cavalry documentary, to reenacting. I was somewhat disappointed that nobody else asked me to dance, but I guess what can you expect when no one knows you and they all know each other.

The men were handed duck tape to stick on their heel-plates as they came through the door. It might have kept them from scratching the floor...but it didn't keep them from sliding around in their leather soled brogans. Of the we three girls from the 1st Fl Reserves, I'm the only one who had on rubber soles--and I'm the only one who didn't fall down. The floor was real slick and people did fall down. I think I actually kept Adrian from falling several times during the Virginia Reel(s) because I'd grab his hands tighter and pull the opposite direction when we sashayed. In other words, I acted as a counter balance. I really did think he was going down once, but he didn't. I'm glad because I might have tripped on him then!

Savannah danced with a fellow named Michael a couple of times. Michael (or, as Amanda would say, "the dude who took his boots off for that one dance"), was a friend of Adrian's and the last time Adrian tried to get him to dance with Savannah again, Michael made some comment of, "she's still rocking the cradle"....I don't know exactly what was meant by that, not sure I want to, but I almost gave said young man a bit of information on my sister (she's not a baby!) Savannah also danced with another young man named Timothy several times and got glared at for it. (The young woman doing the glaring was pretty but she was rather over exposed when it came to her chest--and rather surprisingly didn't get asked to dance very much.)

I have no idea who all Amanda danced with--but she talked about 'this dude' and 'that dude' on the way back to camp. It was kind of funny. :D She had a blast...I know she did...even though she groused about the music some.

Like at Ocklawaha, on Sunday morning, we set up in the middle of the suter area and played gospel music. This time we had more people stand around and sing than last time. We probably did that for an hour and half or two hours. Mr. K was still kind of grouchy...and I think he hurt Miss Dee's feelings about something.

Twice on Sunday, I went back to our camp looking for Savannah and both times she wasn't there--and then as I was fixing to head out again, here she'd come! It was rather amusing...
One of those times was lunch time.

I got some footage at Sunday's battle. I think it will be neat because I got the cavalry behind a screen of powder smoke. At least on my LCD screen they looked almost like shadows. I'm especially I wore my ear plugs because they put the Federal artillary right in front of the spectator line...it was a good battle though somehow I think in the real fighting that the cavalry would have been slightly more active.

We changed out of our period duds right after the battle (we already had everything packed) and said 'adios' to our friends and hit the road. We stopped at Bob Evan's for dinner and both had steak and eggs and coffee. We got fuel twice on the way home and arrived safely almost half way through 'Columbo'. Granddaddy had the garage light on for us and the door was unlocked (we wish he would leave it locked!) and he was fully awake.

Today I'm tired, but at least I got the car unpacked. I'll get the pictures up as soon as I can....


I didn't have the time to write yesterday...because I really DID have a busy day.  I forget exactly where it started, but early on I was attempting to pin the hem of Savannah's ball dress up. She got light headed and nausous standing on the chair, so I didn't get finished. I had gotten about three quarters of it pinned up so she was able to finish pinning it later once she got to feeling better.

I went out to put the runway fence back up in a couple places and ended up having to run a bull calf back into the trap. The biggest black one. I also saw what I believe was a panther! It was running across the 'back 40'...definitely wasn't a dog and it was too big for a bobcat...and it had a long tail.

Then I made lunch--let's see we had chicken, squash, and green beans. That's exactly the same thing we had for supper too--only Savannah had put the Navy beans on sometime in the afternoon, so we had them too. I'm glad Savannah had warmed supper up because I wasn't available to do it.

Sometime in the afternoon I went down to check the mail and whistled to Snip. He came over to the fence (I think he is starting to get the idea that when I whistle it means "come here") and then we both headed back up the drive-way. It's kind of funny, I'll trot with him a little bit then he'll run off and leave me, stop and look back at me like, "Well, are you coming?"

I tossed the mail (sale ads basically) on the washer, hopped back into the garage and snatched up my lead rope, lounging rope (which is FULL of goat-heads--blah!), and whip. By now, Snip was standing there staring at his feed bucket (sink)--at 2:00 in the afternoon!! "No way I'm going to feed you this early in the day!" 

I got the lounge rope tied on his halter and drug him out. (Actually, he came out very easily.) We started to work and he started to crow hop (I just learned that term--it's very appropriate). Part of the reason was because he had a horse fly on him and part of it was just that he was being frisky. I'm glad to say that he has not tried to run off on me the few times I've lounged him recently.

Once I was done lounging him, I brushed that mass of goat-heads out of his forelock (and got few down the front of my shirt in the process. Then I put him away and ignored his sop-eyed request for his supper. :)

Around 3:30 or so, the W brother's showed up to help me work the cows. Tommy was the gate man, and Ricky and I each drove our respective trucks. Ricky didn't feel the greatest (not that he complained or anything), because he'd just had a tooth pulled. I learned (the hard way, like usual) how to push cows better with a pick-up. I usually am on foot or in the back of the truck just hollering.

Once we got the animal's in the pens, we--well, mostly Tommy and Ricky--just separated most of the cows and calves; without putting them in the hopper. Then we parted out the big calves from the little calves. We had seven total...only six went to market (four bulls and two heifers); I kept the white heifer and will be weaning her. Right now she is out in the pens. I have to go feed her and Snip here momentarily.

I rode into the market with Ricky and Tommy...there were a few funny incidents on the way there: 1) on one turn, it looked very much to me (in the back seat) that Ricky was going to bump a car sitting at the light...I instinctively grabbed a hold of the back of Tommy's seat. Ricky looked behind him with a grin, "Did you think I was going to hit him?" On the way home, when we turned onto a different road, he made an illusion to that incident...
2) We saw a dog slung out of someone's golf cart. It really was funny. I don't remember what Tommy said, but it made it funnier--then when I mentioned that, "My cousin did that to me once. I threatened to beat him up if I did it again..." (I was kidding him really...we were both laughing like crazy things), we kept right on laughing.
3) The two red bull calves were comfortably sparring with each other as we roared down the road in Ricky's awesome Dodge diesel truck.

Once we got to market, Ricky had me talk to the man; so I learned that part of the deal too. I told him who the calves belonged to and how many we had. He handed me the pink slip with our selling number on it--#13. Sometime later today I'll have to take Granddaddy and go pick-up our check.

When I got home, I ran and fed the horse; poked food down myself and dashed through the shower. Then we girls headed off for the SCV meeting. To cut things short, I'll just say that we're now offically part of the Order of the Confederate Rose--which will meet at the same time and place as the SCV... :D (Each OCR chapter must be affiliated with an SCV camp.)

Now--I HAVE to go. See ya, later!


Friday morning I was busy running around packing the car so we could hit the road to head for Weirsdale. I started by putting stuff in the Saturn. I frowned and went, "Uh-uh. This ain't gonna work. No way we can get all this stuff in here!" So, I tramped into the house and basically told Savannah that we were going to take the Caddillac. (Which I DO NOT drive at all--it's painful for me because I have to scoot up so far to reach the pedals that my knee is jammed into the dash at an angle.)

Once I got the car packed and we ate lunch, we headed off. We arrived at the reenactment someplace around 4-ish (I think). Lt. Com. Keith K was working the registration desk and he told us where to go. I didn't talk to him about filming at that point. I did that the next afternoon. He's probably pretty nice once you get to know him, but I didn't get any warm fuzzies from the man. Even though we were camping modern we didn't stay in the modern camp (up by registration), but in the sutler parking area. I guess that was because we said we were with the 1st Florida Reserves (which is true). We were all lined up: the C's, the D's, the K's, us and then the W's. Savannah and I were the only one's tenting...except for Mr. Jack. He spent Saturday night in a single person tent. (I call them weiner tents...)

Other than us, the only 'young' people were Amanda C and her brothers Tom and Walter. Walter was only there Saturday (more on him later). I've taken quite a liking to Amanda. She's crazy in a different way than I am, but she keeps me in stitches. Underneath her goofy exterior, there is a pretty solid little girl, I think.

Friday night, Savannah and I pulled out our instruments and played for a little bit after Savannah recited "Paul Revere's Ride" and Amanda had read the Declaration of Independence from her school book. Don't ask how exactly that happened...

Anyway, Mr. Craig W pulled out his fiddle and Mr. Joe K his guitar and we all played together for a little out of Savannah's book. Once we got to Ash Grove, Mr. Craig asked us if we'd play it with him the next night at the dance/ball. We agreed. Savannah was actually the lead instrument, Mr. Craig played a harmony line, and at the dance, Mr. Jack and I played chords on the guitar, and Mr. D played his wooden box bass :D It sounded pretty good (even if I do say so myself). I only messed up once and Savannah says she messed up only once too! (I think I heard it when it happened, but she pulled it off so well it could have been intentional.) Savannah has remarked several times since that she was surprised that she got up in front of people and played from memory. I said it was because I had the music right there...I needed it for my chord markings!! So, because it was there, she didn't need it :D

Saturday morning, Savannah, Amanda and I wandered around a bit. I was going to talk to Mr. K then about filming, but he was being interviewed...so I waited until that afternoon. At 11:00 there was a ladies tea. Mrs. Anita L gave a nice presentation on black jewlery (a fashion statement of Queen Victoria's when Albert died) and had several of the ladies, Savannah included, walk around with the antique pieces she had for sale to show the rest of us. Also, she gave a little talk on authentic/age appropriate clothing. She pointed out one lady in her late 40's/early 50's as being very age appropriate and Savannah--particularly Savannah's bonnet. I thought that was pretty cool. :D The doorprizes were varied, from tea-cups to a parasol, to stocking to a brooch--which wonders of wonders, I won! I went to wear it Sunday, but it didn't quite hang right/look right on my dress so I went with my little siver bow with the heart locket that I wore last time.

Both Saturday and Sunday, the 7 lb.s of Bacon band played a 'concert' at 1:15 (or there abouts) and played until the start of the battle at 2:00. I didn't hear them as well Sunday because I moved to an entirely different local to shoot footage. I don't think anything I got is really much good. I mainly wanted cavalry footage and Saturday when I could have gotten some, there were light posts, cars, signs, and other stuff that messed up my shots. Sunday, I trooped out to the other side of the lake and set up where on Saturday the Confederate cavalry had galloped around. I still had to deal with light posts and a few other nuisences, but it was better--the little footage I did get. Even some of that I won't use because of the women...there were several women on the field...and I think most of them had on gray...Anyway, the number of women on the field actually rather disgusted me. Particularly the way they carried themselves off the field. I have a problem with women in the military anyway (main reason being it's not her role and secondly it weakens the military in a couple different ways). I was talking to Amanda about it and she also thought it was rather unrealistic--I know there were women who marched in both armies, but for starters, they would have been doing EVERYTHING to hide the fact that they were female...but, I'll get off this topic before I get myself buried any deeper... :)

I really can't tell you who won the battle on either day. I was so busy being glued to my LCD screen Saturday and frowning in concentration that I wasn't paying that much attention. Sunday, being across the lake, I couldn't see/hear well enough. It was kind of fun to look out there and go, "Hey, I know who that is! (Sorta...)" That was mostly the "Maine Boys" (I think that's what I heard them call themselves at the dance), who had been at Chipco. Yousef "dies" very well...he's quite an actor. (And he likes Savannah; I mentioned it to Amanda and she was like, "Oh, so you noticed it last week too?" :D )

On Saturday, while free handing with my camera behind the bandstand, a group of bluecoats marched in and one of the fella's on the end looked my way and gave me a friendly grin. Being myself, when someone (male or female) grins like that at me, I grinned right back, then returned my gaze to my LCD screen. I jumped several times when the cannon when off. I couldn't help but laugh somewhat when Yousef "died"--some Confederate officer stabbed him (once he was already down! I didn't think that was very nice...) I know it's not really funny, but he jerked so realistically and then rolled his head over and laid there with his mouth gaping. (Plus, I knew he was having fun.)

However, other than the dance, the most special thing that happened was Sunday afternoon. I was perched on the fence watching the battle across the lake (so, it was really more of a large pond). I had just moved closer to the fence, because I realized I was going to get in the line of fire. There was a group of Federal's behind me and a group of Confederate's in front of me. Anyway, the Confederate's started to fall back and the Federal's to chase them. I knew they were marching behind me, but was completely unprepared for what happened next. Out of the blue, I felt a gentle touch on my arm. I glanced down to see a bottle of water, then up at the man addressing me: "Ma'am. Compliments of General Brown." I managed a "thank-you" and then he moved on after his men. As I watched them march off and took the cap off the water bottle (I was thirsty and I just hadn't realized it), I teared up. If I could have crawled into a corner I would have had a good cry. As it was, I just fought the tears down. (Believe it or not, I'm fixing to cry again as I write this.) Just the simple gesture of the gift of his water bottle and the respect he addressed me with left me stunned. I am having difficulty describing the feeling that it gives me...it's gratitude, but also painful. I cannot think of any way to describe the event but special. It's also a good reminder that there were good men in blue during the War Between the States--they weren't all "Beast" Butler's, Sherman's, and Sheridan's.

Now, I'm going to talk about the most fun I had--the Dance!! I'm going to be calling certain people by their first names...I have no idea as to last names. Once I get the pictures up, I might point them out in the battle pictures...

It started with the Grand March. Last weekend I didn't get to do the Grand March, but this weekend, one of the "Maine Boys", Zach (age 16) asked me to do it with him. I'll go ahead and say I didn't turn anyone down... ;D That was fun even though it got kind of cramped--we were dancing outdoors and when those lines of people got about 16 long, we started feeling the squeeze of those trees...

I also danced the second dance (a Virginia Reel, I think) with Zach. Over the course of the evening, I would dance with another of the "Maine Boys", Brett (15) at least twice. He's just a tad shorter than me, but it's sure nice to dance with young men about the same size as yourself. :D I seemed to attract the 15-16 year olds...I wonder why... Amanda's brother Walter is the same age as I am and a pretty good waltz teacher. The first waltz I did with him. That came about in an...interesting fashion. He was taking Amanda's jacket to hang it on the bandstand, and as he walked by us (Savannah, Amanda, and I were standing together), he tossed something like this over his shoulder: "Which one of you ladies wants to dance with me?" I was surprised somewhat (afterall, this is the really 'authentic' fellow--I sat there that morning while he and Miss Dee [Mrs. W] had a discussion on "class" [i.e. social rank] over my head). But then again, I wasn't really surprised because that morning, while I was taking my first stab at poaching eggs in a skillet (an interesting procedure), the men (including Walter) were standing at the back of Mr. Joe's truck talking. Mr. Joe said something to me and I replied and then Walter said something (I can't remember for the life of me what this was all about) and then he winked at me!! I think I just grinned. I know once I turned back to my wet skillet (actually Mrs. K's skillet--we forgot ours and the butter--that's how come we were eating poached eggs...), I had myself a silent laugh. The whole thing reminded me of the scene in Anne of Green Gables when Anne sees Gilbert for the first time and he winks at her and then Anne turns and whispers to Diana, "I think your Gilbert is handsome, but he's also very bold! He winked at me!" All that to say that I wasn't really 100% surprised by Walter's round about way of asking to dance. I made some off the cuff remark to Amanda about him being rude (I was only half-joking) and then told her not to tell him I said that--so what does she do when he gets back? Tells him I called him rude! :D It didn't seem to phase him in the least...and I danced with him and even talked with him some. Like I said earlier, he's easy to waltz with because he leads. I'm not much of hand when it comes to waltzing (I could do the Virginia Reel in my sleep, but waltzing still takes concentration for me), so it's nice to waltz with someone who knows what he's doing. Last weekend I had that chance with Elden...this weekend with Walter. I waltzed later with a big ol' boy with legs twice as long as mine and feet to match who didn't really know what he was doing--but I still had fun. Timmy is another nice 15-year-old. He's in a Georgia unit (and LOOKS like he's from Georgia; though I don't think he's really from said state because he doesn't sound like a Georgian). I think I danced over half of the last half of the ball with him. I found out the next afternoon (in the sunlight) that he's also a red-head. :) Early on in the ball, we were doing the Virginia Reel and Capt. S (the "Yankee-in-the-plaid-pants" from last week :D), recognized me as Zack and I stripped the willow (or reeled the set, depending on whom you're talking to), and tossed out some comment about "I know this girl like to spin"--and then he proceeded to reel me around in a lively fashion. It was after this that I danced with Walter. As we finished the waltz, a lady came up  with her husband cheerily calling, "What about my dance, Walter?" I think it was a polka (neither Savannah or I danced that one because we weren't asked and we sneaked off to get ready to play Ash Grove). This lady's husband (I believe he is the same man who gave me the water on Sunday) told Walter, "You may dance with my wife on one condition...that you dance with this young lady [me] again." Anyway, part way through the polka, I heard said lady call: "DAVID!" Walter had polka'd her right out of her skirt! Her skirt had literally come unhooked in the back and she had to hang on to it to keep it up (I don't think it would have come all the way off due to her hoop, but anyway, I'm sure it was really embarrassing--she took it with such grace). Maybe it's good thing I didn't get that second dance after all (he left while we were playing Ash Grove--he had to go to work next morning)...Later she apologized that he didn't stay and dance with me again...she also told me that while Walter may seem kind of...stuffy isn't the word she used, but it'd work...he's really alright. I think I believe her. I imagine that the C family can be downright hilarious when they're all together.

For the first couple of dances, Savannah danced with a kid named Bailey. (I'm guessing he was at most 16). He asked her for her telephone number!!! (She got out of that...) I had a good laugh later...afterall, he's just a baby. I think if it had been me, I'd of howled with laughter and asked, "Sonny, do you know how old I am?" See, it's a good thing none of the nice boys I danced with asked me for my telephone number--I'd have crushed their poor teenage feelers...then felt like giving them a motherly hug. :D After Savannah didn't give Bailey her number--he didn't come back again. And then, I think for most of the rest of the dances Yousef danced with her. Like I said, he likes her.

We both had an absolute blast at the dance and closed the ball out...by the time we ended, it was Savannah and I, Yousef, Timmy (he'd gone, but came back: "everyone was asleep at camp and it was kind of boring..." [personally, I was glad he came back because I wasn't getting asked to dance anymore; the girls were out-numbering the guys]), Amanda, Mr. Doug and I think that the pretty lady he was dancing with might be his wife, and another couple of people. The last dance was a waltz to "Dixie"...they start it out slow then speed it up. The second time through I started to sing and most everyone else picked up. I have a bit of a sore leg from waltzing with Timmy. I had to stretch a little farther with my steps because his legs are so long! :D

Sunday morning we didn't really have church (even though the schedule says that there was supposed to be church, as far as I know, nobody did it); so the 7 lb.s of Bacon, accompanied by Savannah and I set up in the middle of the sutler area and played and sang gospel songs for a while. The only person who joined in and stayed the whole time was Yousef. I heard him ask Rev. D the night before if/where church was going to be; so that's how he knew when and where to show up. :) There was one Federal who was there for a while and I don't think he got the point that this was kind of like a worship service thing until after he said something Miss Dee gently pointed out to him that "we're trying to praise the Lord". Then he apologized profusely and after another song or two moved on.

Savannah and I are thinking that we are hook, line, sinker, and instruments into this reenacting stuff...now all we have to do is figure out our historical personas...and make a few more things. We're already planning party dresses...or at least Savannah is. I'll get to that once I'm done here :D (And I get the dishes washed!!) We are also seriously thinking about going to the Suwannee reenactment in two weeks.

BUT with all that said I have a list of things I MUST get done: 1) SCV video; 2) spray pasture weeds; 3) work cows; and 4) any other random thing that pops up. I will go put together my slideshow and then get to work on the dishes...and finishing the laundry.


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 truck...my 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 shower...my head was really beginning to need it. I'm hooked....I want to keep attending reenactments--particularly with this group. Christian, primarily homeschooled...fun :)

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



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 lunch...my 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...