Friday, 25 June 2010

We're Flinging Celtics!

Fling Fling Fling Fling Fling Fling FLING! This weekend is the Celtic FLING at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire!

Ok, maybe not THAT kilt. But now that I have your attention...

Wave Hello to Gordon everyone!

No Tartan Terrors this year, sorry. (No Coyote Run either! :( )

Mistress Ruth's Herb Garden and Apothecary! (Where I work!)
Now you know what it looks like, so you can go there and shop!

Wave Hello to Mike, everyone!


Danny Bonaduce from the Partridge Family? (I don't know either)

Caber Tossing (While wearing Kilts!)

And More Bagpipes! (And Kilts!)

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Wild Reviews!

(Sorry for such a tiny photograph) Are you a woman? Are you a feminist? Do you like history? Does 19th century women's history strike your fancy? Do you like to live on the edge? Do you fancy yourself the petticoatless pistol packing heroine of your own imagination? Do you admire the women authors who dared to write under their own names? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, GO READ THIS BOOK!

Wild Women: Crusaders, Curmudgeons, and Completely Corsetless Ladies in the Otherwise Virtuous Victorian Era, by Autumn Stephens is one of my favorite in-bed reading books. It is a survey of exactly what the title says - women who didn't sit politely in the corner while life passed them by, but took the bull by the horns (and occasionally shot at it too)! Sound too much like some dry, nonfiction history lesson? Each lady gets at most two pages (that is, one full leaf), which often includes a picture, and spunky wit and alliteration! Great for picking up a random fact or two, or sparking your interest for further research!

This book tackles everything from those naughty Suffragists, to those even naughtier ankle barers (and even a courtesan or two!) There are pistol packers and lighthouse lookouts, even a presidential candidate - long before women could vote! A truly fantastic and interesting read!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


My nephew, Nathaniel Thomas Eckert was born on Friday, 6/18 at 12:25 pm!

For a while he didn't have a name, because my sister in law was knocked out and my brother wisely chose not to make any executive decisions without her. I have yet to hear how Nate's older sister Kate (haha) is handling things.

I don't have a date for this beautiful little child, but he's so happy! And the blankets he's wrapped in are stunning as well!

An Apache baby

1860: Queen Victoria (who has apparently wore such giant skirts to hide the fact that she had One Giant Foot, which occasionally creeps out for photo-ops) and her grandchild, baby Kaiser Wilhelm II, who is practicing for his future role as Dr. Evil (despite the dress)

Unknown, although I'd put it in the 1850s. Baby is being propped up by an arm not disguised by a blanket or fur. I love the colorization on the dress to bring out the velvetyness of it all! I wonder if that was really the color of the dress.... I'm also curious as to how much longer the infant was going to sit still before releasing that punch on the photographer.

Unknown Date: A rare specimen (for me) - a child of Asian descent (again, unknown) in western clothing.

Unknown Date: Viola Hensen, as presented to the photographer by.... Cousin Itt?

1889 The Jones Twins - Siamese twin boys who, sadly, only lived for two years, were on tour for their entire lives, and, even worse, were never given individual names.

1950 Skanirovaine, Russia. I ADORE this child. And it's itty bitty socks! (And its totally impish expression!)

1905 Ruth Bryant at 3 months old. What IS it with putting children in awkward baskets? First there's the magical flying basket. Now Ruth looks like she's being taken to market where her basket will be hung from a pole and she'll be hawked on the streets! Why even bother with the pretty white dress?

Friday, 11 June 2010

Medieval Monday!

Well, as I AM an aspiring medievalist, the least I could do is subject you all to my whimsy. (BWAHAHAHAHHAHA- er, moving on) The idea is to have a regular Monday feature about something medievaly. I have a bestiary to fall back on should nothing super-exciting be taking place in the world of medieval news (yes, we actually do have one of those) that week. To be fair, I'll probably be stealing any news I have from the other medievalist bloggers out there. But that's what we do. You'll get over it. I promise.

We'll skip right over the part where I whine about how much I'd like to get back to academia, how I need to start finding conferences and submitting papers, and the fact that I had a totally awesome post planned to kick this off and promptly forgot what it was, and go straight to your introduction to the medieval bestiary!

I'll be working from the Aberdeen Bestiary (Aberdeen University Library MS 24) (written around 1200) for no other reasons than because a) that's one of the two I have bookmarked and b) it has better pictures than the other one! High standards, I have.

Like all good scientific works, the Aberdeen Bestiary naturally takes the first ten pages or so to remind us all of how God created the heaven and the earth, etc. (The whole point really is to get to the part where God created the animals and then let Adam name them.) The first animal named in this bestiary is the King of Beasts itself: The Lion. Alas, the lion is not pictured. And we all know about lions. So we'll breeze right past him to: The Pard.

Isn't he cute?

The bestiary has this to say about the Pard:

"The pard is a species which has a mottled skin, is extremely swift and thirsts for blood; for it kills at a single bound.

The leopard is the product of the adultery of a lioness with a pard; their mating produces a third species. As Pliny says in his Natural History: the lion mates with the pard, or the pard with the lioness, and from both degenerate offspring are created, such as the mule and the burdon."

Swift and effective killer. Likened to a mule. Not the most exciting or descriptive description (wait until we get to the beaver), but again: Cute!

Bonus points for anyone who knows what a burdon is (without looking it up, of course)

Also, I'm on a huge Robin Hood kick at the moment. So if anybody out there has any recommendations/suggestions/donations for me, please make them! ^_^

Thursday, 10 June 2010

More Antique Mapness!

Irishshammrocks has kindly lent me an 18th century map of hers to post here! Thank you very much! ^_^

A New and Correct Map of the United States of North America - 1784
by Abel Buell

Ok, so here you can see where the Pennamite-Yankee Wars came from - everybody's claim seems to go straight across as far as the eye can see (though PA seems to taper off with no western border...) Silly Connecticut. And why did the smaller colonies (Jersey, Maryland, etc.) not get in on Western Borders that Go On Forever?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Review Diaries

(Books I-VII, because they are the only ones I have and I haven’t gone to the library to find the rest yet. (there are 10 total))

Katie spied my bright pink collection of Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries and asked to borrow one. So naturally I ended up re-reading them myself. I LOVE these books. I’m assuming that most of you out there have seen the Disney movies (the first one follows the general plot of the first book. The second one fails- funny side note: in the later books (published after the movies came out) Mia references movies made about her life, but with crazy differences (like Julie Andrews as her Grandmother, instead of the smoking, drinking, tattooed eye-liner, whip-cracker of a grandmother she ‘really has’), obviously meaning the Disney movies!

Anyway, the books are all written in journal form- the first catastrophe of the book being not that she is a princess, but that her mother is going out on a date with her Algebra teacher (the class she’s failing)! A little while later her dad (not dead!) informs her that she is, in fact, Princess and sole heir to the Principality of Genovia! Then follows the makeover, her best friend, Lilly, being unsupportive, Grandmere forcing her to attend princess lessons, and, of course, crushing on Josh Richter- the hottest boy in school. In the end though, Michael, Lilly’s older brother, swoops in to save the day.

The rest of the series follows along, each time she gets into a slightly different scrape, freaks out, handles the situation badly, and finally figures everything out by the end. In the second book, she has a hideously embarrassing press conference that alienates all of her friends. In the third book, she finds herself with a boyfriend (finally!), just not the one she wants... By the fourth book she gets to go to Genovia and meet her future subjects (and horribly alienate them). In the fifth, she spends the entire book trying to come up with ways to convince her boyfriend (not telling WHO) that Prom is NOT stupid. In the sixth, Lilly forces her to run for Student Council President, and the seventh includes a musical written by Grandmere...

By the seventh book, having read them pretty much non-stop all in a row, I was REALLY annoyed with Mia. In a way, she makes the same stupid mistakes and assumptions in every book, and you kind of want to just smack her. At the same time, the books cover very little time- so she really hasn’t had much time to grow and learn. She’s still just a freshman (though eventually she moves to 10th grade) trying to handle everything that is thrown at her. And I’m totally excited to go to the library and (hopefully) finish the series. (Unless, you know, somebody feels like donating them to me...)

I highly recommend these books to every teenage (and post-teenage) girl out there. Having grown up with ‘teen’ movies and books staring actors in their mid-twenties, and knowing what other books are in the teen section (I point you again to Gossip Girl and the Clique books), The Princess Diaries is refreshingly, well, TEEN. Mia and her friends are immature. Guess what- they’re all 14-17 year olds. Of COURSE they’re immature. The topic of sex does come up in later books, and let’s face it- that’s about the time when the topic of sex comes up for most teens! But it’s not a series based on intrigue, lies, drugs, parties, plots, revenge, betrayal, and who’s sleeping with whose boyfriend. It’s an up-beat, happily ever after series about a girl finding out she’s a Princess AND trying to pass Algebra. Go read it. ^_^

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Pomp and Circumstance!

My bitty sister Graduated from U-Mass Amherst a few weeks ago! Yay Her! *applause*

1940 By Disfarmer
(I love his photography. Someday he'll get a week of his own!)

1940s Dorothy Fisher Soule getting her Master’s degree

1917 Smolny Institution’s graduates, St. Petersburg, Russia
(LOVELY dresses!)

1900 Graduates of Atlanta Baptist College and Spelman Seminary

1900s Emily Smith, Talladega College

1908 Miss Cecelia Johnson, Chicago University
(the source took great pains to emphasize the fact that Miss Cecelia is a mulatto)

Tonya carried the Russian flag in the procession!


Monday, 7 June 2010

Artemisia Creations

You advertise for me, I advertise for you!

Check it out here!

Pretty pretty hand-crafted earrings at Amazingly reasonable prices! Please go take a look and give some love! ^_^

Sunday, 6 June 2010


Baby Eliot was born to my friends Ashley and Eric on May 11! Congratulations!



Unknown but Lovely


1951 Eliezer Trito shows parental pride with first child, Miriam Trito,
Italian settlement of Alma, Northern Galilee Israel

Jenni's Future Daughter

Somebody please tell me what's going on with this chair...

Unknown, but SO CUTE - she looks like a little pixie!

The Peanut Gallery!

Oaklahoma. Not a particularly remarkable photograph. Except that the basket containing the infant is practically magically hovering.
Did they anchor it to the dog?
Limited Time Only: FLYING BASKET BABY!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

In the Wake of a Review

Norman F. Cantor's In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World it Made is really wonderful. If you're a medievalist or just have an interest in the Black Death. Keep in mind though- that whilst this is technically a book about the Great Pestilence, it is first a book about the effect that it had on Europe. The first chapter deals with different ideas laid forth about what exactly the Black Death was.

But isn't it common knowledge that the Black Death was Bubonic Plague, spread from the port cities by Black Rats? Well. Possibly. Maybe. A little bit. But the chance that that was ALL it was is very very tiny. (My vote goes to Anthrax) Example A being that Iceland never had a black rat until long after the 1340s. Examples B-? are too numerous to present here. So read the book, and if your interest is piqued, check out the bibliography. Much of the rest of the book looks at how the different strata of society dealt with the Plague and how those living (and dying) through it perceived it to be spread. (Obviously it was the Jews and the Lepers poisoning the water sources.)

The Second section of the book is not quite as good. It looks at plagues through history, which is interesting, and postulates that maybe they were caused by events in outer space. Which seems a bit far fetched, even after reading the arguments. Over all, I really enjoyed reading this book. The biggest drawback is needing to constantly read past whatever it is that Cantor has against the Church. That was kind of annoying.

Friday, 4 June 2010

A Fine Fine Tree Was He

Well. So I made you wait so I could collect all of the photographs I've been after. Then I had them. Then I got Lazy (also, Laid Off, but that's another story). Now I have a backlog of fun new posts just for you! But I can't post them until I post THIS ONE. So now (finally, a month later (Bad Guenevere!)), ON WITH IT!

So, now that I've collected all of the photographs I've been waiting for (and permission to use them): My weekend!

Friday I got up, paid my rent, drove almost 4 hours south (and got Massively sunburnt on my left arm, as you'll see in the photos below. The best part was that the sunscreen was on the seat next to me, buried under everything so I had no idea!). Also due to the sun combined with not enough water bottles in the car, I obtained a lovely little migraine which decided to tag along for most of the weekend.

This Lovely Lady was camped at our site. She plays a Jew's Harp (which has nothing to do with Jews) and has a purse that looks (very realistically) like a dead toad. This world needs more children like her.

The Mother Stone
(I've been passed through it. I've also seen grown men get stuck in it...)

The lovely wreath (that I helped decorate!) being put onto the lovely Maypole
(Yes- you're supposed to connect any and all euphemisms that may come to mind with the Maypole. That's what it's about.)
So much color makes me HAPPY! ^_^

Dancy Dancy!
This was one of the first times since I was a teenager that I've worn a midriff baring top and been 100% fine with it! Yay!

I got to hang out with my bigger-than-me-little brother! (and his Mini-me)
One of the things I love about this place is the way that children are treated. Most importantly, the word NO is not the word most often heard! The general atmosphere seems to be less one of telling children not to go into the thorn bushes because it will hurt, and more letting the children go into the thorn bushes if they feel the need to, and learning for themselves why it's not the world's best idea. Children are treated as people - capable of rational and responsible thoughts and opinions. The little guy in the photograph was given a walkie talkie and without any reminders regularly checked in with his dad to let him know where he was going! The trust and responsibility there is wonderful.

Action shot!
I was hoping that this weekend would yield another Fantastic shot of me like the one from the 2008 Fairie Festival. No such luck - but there are some pretty spiffing ones anyhow. <3 onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="">
Words cannot express how rejuvenating this weekend was - particularly the drum circles (when I was headache free enough to participate). But also being outside and alive. That was fun too.

Yes, in fact, I DO want one. ^_^
I really enjoyed working in the kitchen because I got to meet so many people - both my fellow Kitchen Witches (who are amazing, by the way, and make amazing food!) and the people we fed! Like this little precious and her mum!

My Step-Dad took tons of photos, and then did fun things to them! This is my favorite (even though my arm looks like it's bleeding...) There's another spiffy one that he took that I need to track down. One is an up close of my face, and it looks really awesome - but all I see when I look at it is how uneven my eyes are... so I'll not post it here.

All in all, a Lovely weekend - I even finally ditched the headache (whilst sitting in my favorite little spot on the planet, no less!)! I can't wait to go back (whenever that will be). It's just a lovely atmosphere, with lovely people. Yay!


I finally got to the May Day Fairy Festival at Spoutwood Farm! There I met up with some of my lovely B&N Ladies
As well as a sister and her daughter, this little lovely:
who promptly absconded with the Parasol of Awesome for the rest of the day! ^_^
Miss Chelsea got to be all buddy-buddy with the men from Albannach (again).
Sometimes you need to be in the creek (this is right behind where Ruth's stand probably would have been! :(
Sometimes it's fun to play in the Dark Faery Realm (I bonked something on the way in, and then couldn't walk without tripping over nothing. I figured it was best to stay in my own realm after that.)

We hydrated with delicious Cherry Berry smoothies! My lunch inspired my yummy wrap dinner (see older post), and had it not been a billion degrees and humid (hence the Creek foray) I would have LOVED to have a bread bowl of cheesey crab dip goodness!

Some of the fairies were very refined

Some were not.

I am very proud of myself in that I did NOT buy anything! I got a whole stack of business cards (and even handed out a few at 4Q)- though I kind of wish I had bought one of the back issues of Faerie Magazine. I suppose that's what next year is for! I should like to attend the MD and NY Fairie Festivals- but I think that the timing is all off (Englandworld trip and such). I was also hoping for a new photo that might have measured up to the one of my from last time I was there. No such luck (unless someone out there is hiding an amazing photograph of me that I don't know about. Please step forward!). Again, mayhap next year. After the Festival I followed the Girlies (Thank you for putting up with my terrible following, Amanda!) back to the turnpike, heading home instead of home, where I surprised Dave with a Fairie visit! (And had a most dreadful time not falling asleep at the wheel when I did finally drive back to Scranton) A Lovely time was had. No begins the countdown until next year!

Many of the photos you see above were taken by the lovely and brilliantly artistic Miss Coriander, who can be found here: