Tuesday, October 14, 2003

As I was going to Alesburry all on a market day

Ok, renfest went well. Vicki's outfit turned out pretty nice. The underdress was actually better. It fit pretty well and she could move in it. The day was nice, although I think they had a record crowd of over 20,400 people. About 2:00 in the afternoon the crowd definitely started detracting some from our ablility to enjoy the fair -- it was hard enough to keep track of your wife much less two young excited children. All in all, though, Cassie and Nathanial are well behaved so it was quite doable.

I wasn't so sure about my outfit.... it was something I threw together at the last minute from a very nice green shirt Mark had made me a few years ago, some grey tights I dyed brown, and the ever-popular Minnatonka moccasin-boots with the fringe cut off. I used some of Mark's cuffs to spruce it up a little, and a black belt and my tankard. That was about it. And that got me solicited twice by Faire people to enter their costume contest (which I didn't, but it made me feel better about the costume).

The "haunted float" went pretty well, too. We packed Kristie's Ford Escape (Molly) up good and full and threw the tents and some stuff on top and headed down to Eminence, Mo. Camped out in the public camp site there. It was a little noisy but people for the most part quiteted down after 10:00. There were no radios blaring. It was all people talking and having a good time. Saturday morning we got out in the Jack's Fork river at Alley Spring about 10:30. Filtered some water from the spring branch as we went by it. Vicki and I had never canoed together before, so that took some adjusting. I figured out that we had different ideas about where on the river we wanted to be. Once she knew what I was thinking and I knew what she was thinking it got a lot better. The clouds hung around all day so the color in the pictures wasn't as vivid as you'd like for fall pictures, but we got some good ones. Didn't tip (although at one point we got hung up on a branch in the river and came too close for my comfort). It went fast. 6 or 7 mile floats in rafts on the Big Piney can take all day. On the Jack's Fork in a canoe we really had to drag our feet to stretch it out until 4:00. And it didn't seem like that long.

We went to the "Haunting in the Hills" up at Alley Spring -- actually the primary reason for going. There must have been 1,000 candles in 1,000 paper bags lining all the sidewalks -- it looked SO COOL. They put a lot of work in to it. People dressed up in period outfits (ca. 1800 or so) and three main events... one was Mitch Jayne -- bluegrass musician (from the Dillards; some might remember from the Andy Griffith show) turned author. He told a story about Little Owl, an Indian woman who travelled with a band of Civil War outlaws as their cook -- and ended up poisoning all of them when they killed a group of indians. They say her spirit is in the barred owl, who's call sounds kind of like "Who cooks for you?" A reminder to evildoers that their comeuppance could be any time.

The next was an indian woman... or someone portraying an indian woman, telling a story of a chief's son who couldn't hunt and his marriage to a supernatural woman who lived in a volcano. It was a long story. She told it well, but the story itself needed some help.

The final stop was a local graveyard, or "burrying ground". When the Irish first moved there there were no churches and families had burrying grounds usually just to the west of the settlement. He told about some superstitions. All in all, it wasn't that spooky, but a very thick fog rolled down through some bare trees over the graveyard during the talk -- that was kind of cool.

Theo has taken to peeing on the floor in front of the downstairs door. Fortunately, it's a very good lanoleum floor (especially NOT carpet or wood) and it cleans up easily -- but still... how to break him of the habit? We bought some CatScrams -- somethind Mark & Cami had some success with. It works great on Bart, but doesn't affect Theo at all. I think a lot of his hearing is gone.

So... I've rigged up a "Theo" version of the Cat Scram... it's a motion sensor mounted to an outlet in an an outlet box. When the motion sensor kicks on, anything plugged in to that outlet turns on. Well, what I plugged in to it is our little Dirt Devil hand vaccuum cleaner. He HATES vaccuum cleaners. It's on "test" mode, so it only turns on for 4 seconds at a time. The moment anything steps on that lanoleum, it kicks on. I think a few weeks of that will break him of the habit. I'd love to see him try to go there. I imagine his scampering would be quite funny.

There was no pee there this morning.

That's all for this time!