Jun 23, 2015

In the land of Renaissance

We arrived early in this land.  A Kingdom filled with Knights, Knaves, and Knickers. "It is our first time here," I said to the gate keeper as we passed through. "Find Mother Superior, she will acquaint you with our ways." the gate keeper replied.  Diligently, we searched for the mysterious Mother.  Once we found her, I shared with her that it was our first time in this distant land. She smiled with the nuance of a child but the heart of something sinister got hold of her. The impish nun took my hand and plunged it into the air like a rocket, then shouted, "Virgin"  in her loudest voice. All of the people in the shire turned around and gazed at me. At my age nothing is sacred, I smiled at my onlookers and then threw my head back and laughed heartily. She drew me to her chest and blew a kiss into my cheek, the kind of kiss you give a baby on its belly, loud and full of air. What mysterious ways these people have, I thought. My friend was next. The length of her shorts was measured with a ruler, a woman coming out in public nearly naked is shameful, and then the nun hit her own arm with the stick coaching my friend to cry out in pain, which she did after a couple of weak attempts at trying to sound authentic. Slowly we backed away and ventured to the end of the lane where we met some other characters.

We came upon a troupe of actors or pyromaniacs as we later discovered. More than one item was set on fire during their performance with amazing feats of juggling, 

 and they talked to chickens. 

We laughed until the tears swelled in our eyes and began to spill over their brims. 

If your honor needed fighting for, there were two men willing to do it. An Englishman, and a ginger-haired Scotsman stepped onto the scene. We met them in the lane as they were trying to convince passersby that they were willing to defend their honor. The above gentleman was willing to escort me to the place they were to "fight" and offered his arm for me to hold. I was thrilled. 

The show began. We watched as they paraded around the stage acting out in their maleness. Swords were clanging as metal touched metal. Before long his kilt was creeping upward as the Scotsman raised his leg a bit too high and we witnessed the unmentionable. In a panic, the Scotsman began admonishing the photographers not to capture the image we just beheld. 

Abruptly the fighting came to a halt. "Do you think that my bum is cute?" The Englishman demanded. Then turned around for all of us to gaze at his backside. I think that he had his priorities wrong. What about honor? Not bums. When the show was over I felt sad because we had been thoroughly entertained and I wanted to watch it again. 

Jousting and music was there as well. But the memories of laughter will stay with me the longest. We were embarrassed, we laughed and want to go back again. It was a day I didn't want to ever end. 

Jun 15, 2015

New Ride

I had one of those F(ix) OR D(itch) cars. They called it an Escort, but often I had to get around by other modes of transportation just to get to work or other places. When the odometer hit 50,000 that is when things basically went downhill.  I paid only $8000 for the car but ended up with over $4000 in repairs. Each year a part would go out and a couple of times I had to have repairs done twice in the same twelve month span. Would you believe that this car has its own credit card? And I am still paying for the repairs.

So, I thought long and hard about my dilemma.  I began looking around, but I knew what I wanted before I started my search.  The Mini Cooper caught my eye years ago.  Those cute little cars that weave in and out of traffic like a small fly flitting around seemed like the perfect car for someone like me. But those wonderful cars are not serviced in the city where I live.  There are over 250,000 people who live here and I see the Cooper all over town, but was told that Indianapolis has the closest certified repair shop. Okay, I thought.  There is another car that I have admired and was willing to settle for is the Fiat Bop. Settle sounds a bit compromising, what I mean it was equal. The Fiat is small, cute, and has great gas mileage. Saturday, I went for a test drive.  The salesman handed me the keys and said to drive it until I loved it. Well, that didn't take long. Today I have a new ride. I think that I will call her Sophia...

Jun 6, 2015

Learning about The Miami's

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about Chief Richardville,a native Miami Indian\French man who lived here in my home town back in the mid 1800's. He was one of the wealthiest men who lived here when he died. The first Saturday of the month from May - November there is something happening at the Richardville house. Today, there was a tour of the house and a dancer.   I have lived here for a long time and sadly didn't know about this place until a couple of years ago. That is one reason why one should be a tourist in your hometown.  There is a lot of history wherever you live. 

When I entered the house I was somewhat disappointed because of the condition of the inside. The outside of the house was worked on first before the inside can be renovated. They had to make sure that there wasn't any water leaks before the work began. 

In 1881, a house fire nearly destroyed the home. Two fireplaces shared the same chimney which caused a lot of soot build up and eventually caught on fire.  

Every mantel was covered with pictures of the family, especially Richardville. The above two pictures are of the great great granddaughter of Chief Little Turtle, Louisa, also called Ma-tek-kah.  She was wearing modern clothing of the day in the photograph and was probably taken in the 1860's. The second picture is the description of the photograph above it and a bit of history. 

After the tour we went outside and watched a young lady demonstrating traditional dances of the Miami tribe.  Pronounced Me ah me.

This is a closeup of her dress which reminds me of the coins that belly dancers wear on their hip scarves to make noise when they dance.  This offers the same effect. 

It seems like every part of the body is elaborately decorated with colors, scarves, feathers, and fur.  

The fur that is attached to her braids are otter skins. I had never seen that done before and it is lovely to look at. Her dress was made of a light calico material, which is cool during the summer months. 

The feathers on the fan came from a bald eagle. The dancer had four white dots on her face and when asked what they were for she said decoration only, nothing more. I came away from this brief encounter with a little more knowledge than when I arrived. The sad part is that the Miami Indians are now located in Oklahoma and is the only federally recognized tribe. The only Miami's that were allowed to stay here were the ones related to Chief Richardville or had a white parent. On the whole there is a population of about 3000 here. In August,there will be a pow wow in a city nearby.  I plan to attend this event if I can. Someone asked me today if I was a historian. No, but I have a lot of interest in the world. There is so much to learn and it seems like so little time to take everything in. 

Jun 5, 2015

Outdoor Furniture and Ideas

Isn't summer wonderful? I love being outside in a chair with a book and relaxing, which we never have enough time to enjoy the season. In the evening, I like to take walks not only for the exercise but for the scenery. I especially like looking at my neighbors yards. I guess I am a peeping Tom of sorts. Some people have such a creativeness about them that it spills over outdoors.  I've seen wonderful outdoor rooms, enviable ones that look as though they have jumped off the page of a magazine. Most of all they decorate with unconventional items. My next door neighbor told me about a sofa made with skids that she saw while out on a walk. It took me two days to find it and I just love it. The final touch was a burlap bag for back support. I have been saving rice bags with zippers for something like this.  

The skids are about two feet deep, three feet wide and stacked four high. This was placed against the side of the garage with pictures and a carpet. Oh, I have such backyard envy!  

The rest of her yard was just as lovely. There were round seats with bright pillows in the back on both sides of the sofa and a bar in the front. A bar! Can you imagine such luxury outside?

Then my eyes focused on this old sink painted a light green. With shoes as display pieces on top.  This makes me think about what my mother did with a wringer washer a long time ago.  She brought it inside and filled it with dirt. Then planted a variety of plants in it, especially ones that were vine like and eventually spread across the curtains.  I thought that was the most wonderful idea. 


Jun 2, 2015

Dying with dreams still inside

The weather has been cold and rainy here in Indiana the past few days with perpetual grey skies.  My moods bounce up and down like a rubber ball when it is like this. It is a wonder I make it through the winter where the days are cloudy all of the time and still manage to have some sanity left at the end of the season. 

Today, the rays of the sun broke through the clouds and we were able to see the blue sky.  I had been eyeing a gate that someone decorated with flowers and wanted to try and capture it in a good light. But alas it was not meant to happen today. 

It was replaced with faces in a small narrow walkway from a parking lot to the street.  Very interesting faces to say the least. 

The artist is Phresh Laundry, whom I have never heard of but will inquire about when I am next at the Wunderkammer Company. This place is amazingly filled with artwork of local people. However, not all of the art is inside the building.

While I was trying to capture the gate, I met a man who had painted a mural on the front wall of the building and was there painting another wall on the inner courtyard. He had proudly drawn a Picasso like picture and was working on a face of Venus. As I took pictures he followed me around the building talking to me about art.  I was in seventh heaven as we talked about a subject that is very dear to me. 

When we parted, I walked up and down the narrow walkway between the buildings and was amazed by the faces. They were beautiful, boldly stating that they have their own story, with hopes and dreams without speaking a word. I don't know about you but I somehow want to make my mark here too.

And most of all, I don't want to exit this life with my dreams intact but have exhausted every possibility for living it to the fullest extent of my capabilities. I guess that is a tall order for someone who is approaching their golden years at an accelerated speed. Besides, flying pigs are possible!