Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Cat is Out of The Bag

Well almost....

Tomorrow I'm taking my girl  on a surprise shopping trip because we need to get supplies for the kitten that is joining our household on Friday. She has very little idea although I have been asking her for the past few weeks what she would name a boy cat if she had one. She doesn't know that this little guy is headed home this week though.(This isn't the actual cat but he looks very similar, with a little more white)

The kitten is 8 weeks old and was born at the Museum. He's an indoor cat and is going to stay that way. I've been visiting him on my lunch since he was born. There were 6 in the litter and each one seems very playful and friendly. They live in the building that houses the interpreter staff (those are the people in 19th Century garb) so they have seen a lot of people who routinely pick them up and play with them. The momma is staying in that building and one of the kittens is going to become a pioneer kitten at the Pioneer Homestead.

I've never had a kitten so I've been reading up. Tomorrow getting a kitty bed (I have a carrier already), scratching post, Iams food (that's what they've been eating) some litter & litter box stuff, a brush and some toys. Anything else I need?  I'm up in the air over litter. Clay? Pine? Wheat? Something less smelly preferably. This little guy is going to live in the spare bedroom upstairs for awhile until he's acclimated.  We're going to the vet next week.

Names-We're up in the air about names. My daughter insists that if she DID ever have a boy cat, she would call him Tom. I do not want a cat named Tom. I want something 19th Century or Museum related. Some ideas that have been thrown around:

  • Thomas Jefferson This was suggested as a replacement for Tom but I can't imagine having a cat called Thomas Jefferson.
  • Heathcliff
  • Adam
  • Watson (Sherlock seemed a little pretentious) 
  • Something after one of the museum buildings-Hosmer, Livingston, Foster, McKay, Hamilton, Hyde, Jones.
  • Whele, after John Whele, the museum founder, however 2 other cats from this litter have been named Whele already.
  • We've been trying to think of a 19th century food but calling a cat Johnny Cake or Hardtack doesn't work. There are a ton of Civil War names but we're not reenactors or anything like that.
  • Greives, after the museum's brewery.
We're pretty much at a loss as you can see. I think we're going to just being him home and see what he looks like after a few days.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 5-10, 1910

July 5, 1910

Bess very hoarse could hardly talk. I stained the front of the house & Bess stained the railing. 

W. Fine, warm again
R. 10:30

July 6, 1910

After supper I picked cherries at Aunt Carries. Bess got a bad cold and hoarse.

W. Hot
R. 10

July 7, 1910

Bess up at 5:30 to iron. The first time before me. Misses Kennedy Wallace, ------ -------, Kathy & Bess over home & I to supper. I painted till dark & they went home on car & I played & sang every thing we could think. 

W. Heavy shower after noon
R. 11:30

I like this entry. Do you think his comments on her getting up before him for the first time (remember, they are newlyweds, having just married last October) spring from a sense of surprise or "finally, she's getting her butt out of bed early" Does he feel like she should be up ironing or is he content to leave for the factory in the morning while she sleeps soundly? I can't tell what kind of commentary this is. I'm preferring to think he's just happy this morning to see his lady love before going off to work.

And I love to think about him playing (what instrument?) and singing. Is there anything this man CANNOT DO?

July 8, 1910

Gertie worse. K did some painting & worked in the garden. 

W. hot
R. 10

This must be scary for them. They have no idea she's going to live.

July 9, 1910 (Saturday)

Cleaned the cellar & did some painting & worked in the garden. Bess lay down in the white bed & slept there nearly all night.

W. Very Hot. 95 degrees
R. 10

With the hot weather we have been having lately, can you imagine how hot they probably were. And you know, beds were usually double bed size back then. No wonder she slept in the white bed, she probably didn't even want to touch him. It's really hot and I've noticed that most night's he's been going to bed earlier than usual. I can't imagine working in the hot typewriter factory all day and then coming home and painting, which he has been doing all week.

July 10, 1910

Up at 5:30. Went to SS & up home to dinner & back at 9 and K & K came to stay all night. They took our room, of course. 

W. hot. some rain & windy. 
R. 10:30

Now THIS is a great entry. "They took our room, of course."

This is the first time that he's ever really complained about the constant sleeping over. I get the feeling this is not a sentence explaining his hospitality, rather, his frustration of his relatives CONSTANTLY sleeping over during his first year of marriage.  Not to be indelicate about Adam & Bess, but he's a church going enough guy to attend adult Sunday School and he is the V. President of his Bible Study group. I'm thinking he probably has not been intimate with a woman before marriage. He's probably really resenting all this sleeping over  right about now...

Did I just use a euphemism? OMG, I'm not a priss. I can say SEX. I just can't say sex in a post about Adam and Bess without feeling a little like a hussy. Like I'm offending their old fashioned sensibilities... I feel cheap....

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 1-4, 1910

July 1, 1910

The boys & pastor of the SBC (I think that is their bible study group) met at my house to adopt a constitution. Carrol Sanger called me up (There is that phone again) & ----- Bess & I to go to the Wordsworth his people   --August.

W. Fine Hottest Day
R. 11:15

July 2, 1910

Finished ------ ------ & up home to supper. Kate Surnam came at 6 p.m. from Philadelphia & said Gertie was bad off from her fall and & they have small hope for her. I went to gym & took a bath & met Bess. 

W. Hot
R. 11:30

Gertie is his cousin. And even though Adam and Bess and Kate don't yet know it, Gertie is going to live. I found an article about her later around 1912. She becomes a nurse and marries someone she takes care of in a hospital. 

July 3, 1910

Pressed my clothes but did not go to Sunday school & stayed home all day & over home to supper. Kathy & Kate up at night. 

Hot & colder at night. Windy and had to get up and close the window. 
R. 10:20

July 4, 1910

Home all day and I painted the back of the house. The Withams & Kate, Pratts, Pearce, Dave, Beatrice & our family over at night to seer Fireworks at the stadium.

JOHNSON BEAT JEFFERIES in 15 rounds at Reno Nevada. 

W. Colder
R. 11

Again with the history. Although he's not much into recording his emotions, hats off to his history recording. I love this man.

What he is referring to is what has become known as “The fight of the twentieth century”, the heavyweight fight between reigning heavyweight champion Jack Johnson and former heavyweight champion Jim Jefferies that took place on July 4th, 1910 in Reno, Nevada. This next part is long but interesting and is from

The fight took place on July 4th, 1910 with more than an astounding 16,000 people in attendance. During the fight some 1500 die-hard fight fans crashed the gate to see the fight.
Unable to find a referee for the fight, Rickard even asked President William Taft to referee the fight; when Taft declined, Rickard took on the task of referee for the first time in his life.

Many rumors circulated throughout the crowd, among them were reports that a sniper was in the crowd and if Jefferies didn’t take out the champ the sniper would.

As the 45 round fight began, the temperature in the ring was a suffocating 110 degrees.
Right before the fight Johnson was told Jefferies was too strong to hold o-r tie into a clinch. Johnson not only tied Jefferies up during the fight, he also pinned the former champion’s arms behind his back to wear him down. The heat took its toll on both men.

Finally in the fifteenth round Jefferies was knocked down for the first time in his career. By the third knockdown in the round, Rickard stopped the fight with Johnson winning his second title defense.

Johnson made an astonishing $60,000 for the fight and a total of $120,000 with money from the filming of the fight. Jim Jefferies made $40,000 for the fight and an amazing $70,000 for signing with Rickard.

Later the film was banned in the U.S. having caused race riots with 37 deaths being attributed to those riots. It would mark the end of Jefferies boxing career for good. Johnson went on to defend his title for a third time against Jim Flynn exactly two years later on July 4th, 1912. Jack Johnson won the fight with Flynn with a ninth round knockout but his legal battles were far from over.

Johnson was once again arrested, this time for violating the “White Slave Traffic Act”. He was convicted and sentenced the following year to a term of one year and one day in prison and ordered to pay a fine of $1000.
While he was still out on appeal, Johnson fled the U.S. to live in Europe, South America and Mexico. Johnson managed to hold on to his heavyweight belt by fighting a title defense in Paris.

Having held the heavyweight title since December of 1908, Johnson finally lost the belt to Jess Willard in a 26 round fight in Havana in April of 1915. Johnson eventually turned himself in to U.S. authorities in 1920 and finished serving out his time in prison. Jack Johnson went on fighting exhibitions until retiring from boxing in 1945.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

June 21-June 30, 1910

Civic Holiday
June 21st, 1910

I've been putting off writing this entry because it's long and I can't figure out WHAT ALL it's saying. On one hand I hate missing something long. On the other, I can't look at this little entry any more....He works a little and then they go somewhere and see something. Then they go to some valley for lunch and come home at 7pm... I have no idea....
I did look up Civic Holiday and found out that June 21, 1910 was the first official celebration of Father's Day.

Moving on now.

June 22, 1910

Up home after supper and B--- and his wife drove up at 9:30. 
90 degrees up home.

W. Hot
R. 11

June 23, 1910

Over home to supper & help Pa finish a screen door & printed some pictures. Ray got a bad sore foot. Bess up home. 

W. Fine

R. 11:40

Ray, if you remember, works in a factory too.

June 24, 1910

Worked around the house and we made a form for a roller. Some school teachers up and Brenice Paul's wife & the Homes & Mr Pierce up in their auto.

W. Fine 
R. 11

This is the second time in 2 days that he mentions an auto. I'm assuming this is because it's a  big deal. I don't get the sense that anyone in his immediate family had an auto as they are always taking the "cars" somewhere. This photo is a 1910 Packard, just to give you a point of reference. 

June 25, 1910

All had day off for the Ilion picnic but nobody went. I made a cement roller & at 5 Bess, Kathy, Clara & I joined the rest of Long ------ at church/picture. Danced some.

W. Hot
R. 11:20
Bess felt bad because her ma was sick. 

Bess's mom and Adam's mom both suffer from sickness this year. Don't worry though, both of these ladies live to a ripe old age.

June 26, 1910

Went to SS and up home to dinner & Mr & Mrs K B & I took a car ride to Valley & around --------. 

W. Hot
R. 10

June 27, 1910

Started to hoe the potatoes & developed and printed pictures. 

W. Fine
R. 10

June 28, 1910

Bess and I walked down to Babcocks on Shaley  Grace street & started back at 11:30. Walked. 

W. ------
R. 12:15

It really was crossed out.

June 29, 1910

Over home to supper & Dave up and I hoed potatoes & pulled weeds and washed my aprons. Bess served at a ice cream social at her church & home at 9. 

W. Fine
R. 10:30

June 30, 1910

Shop athletic. I was leading by one point & did 17' 2" in the R & B & Fred Setloff did 17' 7 1/2" & beat me out for the silver medal.  ------- did 16 ft. Before a ------- to --- & a shock to me. Bess and I to the Valley Theater at night.

W. Warm
R. 12:05

Ok now. A shock to him. I really really would like to know WHAT a shock to him would be because he so rarely expresses emotion. He's never been shocked before.

I am impressed with what seem like his long jump ability....

These few entries to close out June were fairly frustrating to transcribe. He is using a fountain pen and his writing is RATHER small and hard to read. He's hot and I imagine him hoeing his potatoes (I imagine he's actually hilling the potatoes) and sweating and writing really small in the evenings. Bess's mom is sick and every day it's hot and that is why he has to help his Dad make a screen door.

I'm rather tired this evening so I cold be projecting a wee bit too much but this all seemed hot and plodding.... (and so so tiny....)

Maybe it will cool off in July.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Touching Laura Ingalls Wilder

Today I did something I'm going to remember for the rest of my life. It may rank right up there with the 50 best things I've ever done (though I've not actually made that list) It certainly is one of the highlights of my summer.

What could this be you wonder?

The REAL Laura Ingalls Wilder
If you know me or have read this blog for any length of time then you are probably aware of my love for Laura Ingalls Wilder.  The books, not the TV show. I read all of her books as a little girl and they influenced me greatly. I work at a 19th century living history museum.(Oh that is still so much fun to say)  I like to churn butter when given the chance, have lived like a pioneer and in a few weeks my pioneer Deanna is going to let me help make cheese at The Jones Farm. (I tried on my dress today!)

But today I held in my (gloved) hands a letter (In a museum plastic sleeve) written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I mean the REAL letter. On her paper in her handwriting. I also held a book that belonged to Charles Ingalls inscribed with his name that traveled across the prarie with the Ingalls family, a piece of school work done by her sister Carrie, Mary and Rose's Name Cards and 2 original pictures of Ma and Pa Ingalls. The items are on loan for The Days of Laura Ingalls Wilder event at the museum on August 6th and 7th and will be on display for the public to see. (In locked plastic cases.)

To say that this was meaningful to me would be an understatement. Holding something in my own hands that Laura and Pa and Ma held at one time was a feeling much more special than I would have ever imagined it to be. I could have cried but I didn't. I actually got a bit of a headache from my excitement! (A good old fashioned case of the vapors I think!)

To the little girl in me who was not sure she was going to make it to DeSmet, this was AWESOME.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Got a Little Nookie

The birthday fairy came early!

I had trips the past 2 weekends and I was so excited that I got to take this guy along with me!

I actually settled on the Barnes &  Noble nook. Mostly because of the more streamline look and the fact that it's easier to download library books. I skipped the 3G connection, opting for the wireless only which came to $150.We have wireless at home & I'm hardly anywhere that I would need to quickly download a book without a connection. I also got this snazzy pink cover and a pink book light.

It still feels a little indulgent I've spent $40 on books so far. YIKES. 2 weeks. I'm already over my proposed 1 book a week limit....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

June 15th-20th 1910

June 15, 1910

Dave, Ray, Uri & I went to the gym & played hand ball from 6:30-8:15 & it was hot. Sewing club up to the house. 

W. Fine. Hot. 
R. 11

June 16, 1910

Last appearance of Buffalo Bill. & Up to Rev.                          to organize the ------Adult Bible Class. . Dave Pres & I V. Pres. Ed Bachman Sec & Carl Mohr Treaus.

W. warm
R. 11.

After Rev there is a big blank. I wonder if he doesn't know the Rev's name? 

And he finally gets something wrong!!!

 From History
In 1909 Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill joined their two shows under the name "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Pawnee Bill's Far East", and in 1910 Buffalo Bill's "Farewell Proclamation" appeared in these ads. An ad in the Stockton Evening Mail of October 8, 1910 states that "Buffalo Bill Positively Bids You Good-By". This was followed by similar ads for several years, but he did not actually act out that "Last Good-By" until the show was broke and attached for Sheriff's Sale in July, 1913. 

June 17, 1910

After supper I fixed some screens on the upstairs windows.

W. Fine, Hot
R. 10:15

June 18, 1910

Tumero (that is what it looks like) at the Stadium. I worked around the house and we went to the strawberry supper at B Church. Alice Warner died at 3 am. 

W. Warm
R. 10:15

June 19, 1910

Children's day at church at 10:30 & we all ---- ---. Oscar & I to Kirk Park to see the Colored Requirements at Camp for the parade. Tell & I up to --- & at RT to supper. 

W. warm
R. 11:45

I wish I knew what the heck that all meant....

June 20, 1910

Dave's birthday and I got him a gun case. & after supper I worked in the garden. Bess went to Alice Warner's funeral. 

W. Hot
R. 10

I really should look up this Alice Warner character on to see how old she was. That would give a lot more meaning to the entries and how Bess might be feeling. I mean if Alice Warner is 26 like Bess it would be different than if she was 96. Either way I supposed Bess could be close to her or not, I'm just tired tonight. And then tomorrow I'll be sorry I didn't go and look. I should have probably stopped when I saw the 2 Alice Warner entries so that I could research them a little more. But I'm trying to catch up.

Does it at all surprise you the amount of social activities avaliable to people in 1910? It does me actually.

Garden Report

We were away for the weekend and I came home and found that I had left the deer fence open. Surprisingly nothing was eaten so I figured it was time for a garden update!  Notice I'm not showing the garden in it's entirety. That's because it's FULL of weeds from the heat/rain we've had.

Salad! We have a lot of beautiful salad greens and beans growing. I tend to grow the greens under the bean tepee because the beans tend to shade the greens just when it's getting a little too hot for them. This year it's already too hot for them though and the beans aren't fully gown. A few of these look like they might bolt if it's gets much hotter. It's supposed to rain for the next few days though.

Some onions I harvested today. I don't grown huge onions. Not by design or anything, they just don't get that big. That's ok though because I usually don't use a big onion for cooking anyway.

Scarlet Runner Beans. My grandma grows these each year for the vines and flowers more than the actual beans. I think the flowers are so pretty. I have a ton of beans this year. I don't even really like beans.  I do make these pickled spicy dilly beans that everyone loves that I whip out for the holidays. (I don't really like those either.)

A terrible picture of my potato/onion/garlic garden. The garlic needs to be dug this week (when it dries up). As well as those onions in the front. The rest are my LaRatte Potatoes (with a few yukon gold in the back.) I'm digging some tomorrow for the first time because we're having people over for drinks and I'm serving them roasted with a green goddess dip.

Tiny currant tomato. It's next to a PEA!!  It's a pretty large pea, but still. These are so cute and I'm growing the plant in a pot. I thought it was a hybrid (I know, I'm a dirty hypocrite) but it looks like it may be an heirloom after all. It's delicious.  I only have one plant. Next year I'll do more those because these things are very cool.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Old Boyfriends

Last Friday evening I got to have dinner with some friends from High School. Among them was my first boyfriend Paul.  I have not seen him in 15 years.

Much has in 15 years-He lives in California. We each have spouses and surprisingly, children with the same birthday! None of us (except for Jeannine and I ) had seen each other in that time frame but  in no time at all, everyone at the table was laughing and reminiscing.

At one point I stole a sideways glance at him and there he was. I know that sounds strange as I clearly knew I was sitting right next to him, but what I mean to say was that it's been so long, and yet looking at him it did not at all seem like it's been 15 years since he last sat next to me.  I think that speaks to the fact that time does, indeed, go by faster than you think it's going to.  Also to the fact that essentially we are all the same at a soul level and that's why it's so easy to pick up with people where you left off.  I mean we all have that experience don't we? And when you recognize someone as a friend, time and space matter little.

On Saturday Leighanne and I made our way up to the Thousand Islands. 
Yes, it is all really this pretty. And I didn't even show you the lake!

 On the way we stopped by to see my EVEN OLDER BOYFRIEND ADAM. 

I brought a big boquet of sunflowers and the diary. And we COULD NOT FIND HIM despite the fact I wrote down his location. I kept talking to him to ask him to please help me out. I even ventured away from the area that I had written down the information for in a serious quest for him.  I was frustrated.

We left a little disappointed but I knew he wasn't going anywhere.  I figured I would find him another time.  Leighanne looked him up for me (Apparently I wrote down the information wrong) and on Sunday she graciously offered to take me back there. (I had given the sunflowers to her mom and I think it was probably better that way.)

This time we found him right away!!

The funny thing is that he was RIGHT ACROSS from the area I had ventured to from where I though he was. All I needed to do was turn my head to the left and I would have seen him!! The whole time I was asking him to help me out I was slowly making my way to him (Apparently this is yet another lesson for me to just trust things as they unfold. God, when can I stop learning this one anyway??)
Yes, that is the diary on top!

Anyway, there they were, him and Bess. I picked a flower from a nearby grave with a lot to spare (Sorry, Mr Clark) and took some pictures of the diary on the stone.  I also took some pictures of me sitting next to the stone but those seem like they might be a little inappropriate to post. I'm not doing anything lewd or untold, it's just seems strange to me. Leighanne asked if I needed a few minutes alone (only half joking I think) and took her dog for a walk.

I know he wasn't there really but his hands are. The same hands that held the book and wrote on the pages. I wonder how long it's been since he and Bess had some visitors. He died when he was 59. I wonder, at that point, if he even still knew where his diary was. In fact, I was confused wondering if he was still a 26 year old newlywed or a 59 year old man. And then I got the same answer I did on Friday. He's the same. Just older. But the same.

You know this may sound a little morbid but I  believe in an afterlife and I really hope that when I get there Adam and Bess will be there so I can talk to them.

For all of you Adam fans who asked, (Ok, all 2 of you....) Adam and I will be back next week!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hey Let's go Bowling

We went bowling today... I even wore an outfit like that. (Ok, not really.)

We're not regular bowlers or anything like that. But we do have the same kind of list that we did last summer.

For those of you who don't want to read that old entry from last summer we went around in a circle (as small circle, there are only 3 of us) and made a list of anything we wanted to do around town and then we just started doing them. Sounds simple enough. Maybe even so simple that you don't think you need to do something like this.   We did things all summer long and had a great time. Sure you don't have to make a list but it's great to have to look at if you can't think of anything fun to do.

This year bowling and minature golf, among other things are on the list (We played Miniture golf last Friday.)   We were going to go cherry picking today but it was way too hot and there was a air quality warning as well. We decided to take it easy and visit some place with air conditioning.

I have not been bowling in years but we had a great time. I had assumed that bowling would be a really cheap activity, but it really was not.

$12 for 3 shoe rentals
$ 9 to play one game for 3 people
$6 for a bag of popcorn and a water to share.
$1 in the machine where you try and grab those terrible cheap stuffed animals (We won though) 
$28 total for about an hour and 15 minutes worth of entertainment.

I don't think this is a really good deal.  You can sign up at and your child can bowl 2 free games of bowling each day. I'll probably sign up but I don't know if we'll go again and my girl probably would not want to bowl 2 games. (Which would mean we would have saved $3 today) One was enough for her although she did say THANK YOU FOR TAKING ME TO THIS PLACE with a big hug. Frankly I was surprised that she got such a kick out of bowling.  She hopped around each time she rolled the ball and gave us both high fives and hugs when we had turns.

If it's not too hot on Wednesday we'll get to those cherries. We completely missed strawberry picking this year which was a  bummer because last year I made enough jam to last until this May and we didn't get any to freeze this year. We're eating my peach jam now but when that's gone it's back to the store for jam.

Friday, July 2, 2010

To Kindle or Not to Kindle

My birthday is approaching and I've been asked on more than one occasion if I want a Kindle or a nook. 

Up until very recently I've towed a firm line on the idea of a Kindle or nook.

And that firm line has been a firm NO.

I said I liked the tactile feeling of a book in my hands. I like books and the the thought of them all turning into electronic download-able files makes me shudder. 

I've  recently been exposed to the Kindle and the nook and I have to say I'm smitten. I never thought I'd write those words but they are true. 

However,  while I read a lot of books, I don't actually purchase a lot of books. Sure the Kindle versions are cheaper than traditional books, but they aren't cheaper than free at the library. I do like the fact that you can "lend" your books out with the Nook but really, I don't know anyone with a nook to begin with. I like the look of the nook better but Kindle seems to have better prices on the actual books.

And what happens if you spill coffee on them as I am wont to do with books sometimes. Or drop them. What if you have like 357 books in there ( yikes! Do the math!) and you break your Kindle. Are those books lost forever. (Of course I just mentioned above that I hardly ever buy books, this should NOT be a concern.) See how consumerism spreads like a virus. Before I didn't even want to own any more books. Now I'm worried about losing them.

Both have book light accessories (and the Kindle has one with an AC/DC adapter) which is important because right now when I read in bed (a lot) I use a flashlight....  I've never found a book light that was not a huge battery hog or bright enough. So I position the flashlight in the crook of my neck on the pillow. Sad but true.(If I don't get a reader for my birthday could someone please get me a high end book light at least?)

But technology concerns aside, I think the fundamental question is can I be trusted with the ability to purchase any book instantly?  Even the frugal gal that I am can't say that won't be a huge temptation for me. 

I could promise myself I would stick to 1 Kindle book a week. Even at that I've just created a $520 yearly expense where there wasn't one before. (I'll counter this but adding that I've purchased maybe 4 songs on iTunes ever.)  But is this really necessary??? I pay pretty steep property taxes where I live, I ought to be able to use the library. I know that there are a ton of free books out there as well (Classics and the like) but you can pick up a copy of Wuthering Heights anywhere, the is no wait for that one at the library.

The idea of having almost any book literally at my fingertips is a frighteningly delicious prospect.

I think the real truth is that I DO want one of these things. It just seems extravagant. And unnecessary.  And Oh-So-Tempting.