Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Another Party with the War Buddies

Last Saturday was another get-together with a slightly different group of War buddies. The Halfords invited the 27th & 29th units over to their cabin in Tinmouth, Vt which is about 2 hours from Waterbury. John decided not to go so Eddie & I car-pooled together. The four wheel drive was busted on his truck so we took my car. Due to the snow we started out early but managed to get there just fine.

The cabin is amazing. There is a (very cold) spring fed bathroom whichis rather hidden, but otherwise its pretty much an 18th century kind of place, no electricity and beautiful. Steve & Kathy built it, including the huge fireplace and hearth. Steve makes blackcap wine, and Kathy makes Cider...not your typical Cider, more like the applejack kind; so the booze was flowing and the food was everywhere. I brought my sweet n sour meatballs, always a hit. I use the liner from the crock pot and just put it right on the woodstove, works like a charm everytime.

The guys went out and did a live shoot with their muskets, while we ladies and kids stayed inside warm & dry. Then we had a big meal and many laughs as we all entertained each other with stories and a sketch or two. The cider snuck up and hit a few friends a little hard, which those of us driving found rather amusing to watch. The whole party was 18th century dress, so as it got darker and the candles were lighted you really got a feel for how it may have been back in the 1750s. We headed back to Waterbury around 9, as we decided we really didn't want to crash there for the night. Although it was still snowing we made out fine getting home, although we did get a few odd looks when we made a pit stop due to our clothes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Eddie's Birthday

Eddie, a reenacting friend in town turned 21 - his dad threw a very nice dinner party to celebrate which John & I both went to. Eddie (known as Ed the younger) and his dad (known as Ed the Elder) live in a log cabin, so it was really nice with the Christmas tree and the fire going in the fireplace and all. Afterwards Eddie wanted to go down to the bar in town, so his dad & I journeyed down there with him. Seems Eddie's learned a thing or two from his reenacting friends, who (except for me, the Mic Light girl) are mostly beer snobs.

No Bud Light or Coors for this fellow, he was disappointed to find no Guiness on the menu and settled on Boddingtons. He was very surprised to not be carded; we pointed out the average 21 year old in a bar goes for cheap beer, very few will take the time to read the beer menu and ask the bartender about things not listed. Once we got through that discussion, the band started up and we hung out for a while before heading home. Not a late night but a fun night.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Moving Right Along

In case you didn't hear, John & I are splitting up. We've been having issues for quite some time now, and to make a very long story short, I am moving out. January 3rd is the move date, lets hope for clear and maybe a balmy 30 degrees? (only in Vt would 30 degrees be considered balmy!)

Some genealogy friends, co-workers and reenacting buddies are all coming on the 3rd to help move me out of the apt. I found on craigslist a homeshare type situation in Waterbury center, only a few miles from where the apt is. Big house, another single gal (by name of Z) who describes herself as quirky, enough room for the piano, the king sized bed and even all the boxes. If you don't have the new address or phone #, and would like it, email me at the new email ( and I'll send it onto you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Holiday Party

So I've been remiss in keeping up with current events. Lets see if I can get you a tad updated. First weekend in December my reenacting friends all gather together at the clubhouse for what we all refer to as "The Holiday Party." Everybody brings some food & usually we have snow (but not this year), but other than that its not really holiday related. Gives us all a chance to get together again. After all the last event has been a few months ago, We all want to catch up on whats happening with who and the fellas can all compare beards. Often we rehash all the events for the past year, sometimes pictures come out, and we banter about the events we'd like to play at next season.

The clubhouse isn't Big - but we do manage to pack all of us in there. A tad chilly at first, the woodstove eventually puts out some heat, and having 20 -30 people in there certainly warms things up (its a tight fit, good thing we're all friendly, huh?) I had a wicked cold that was going around the office but was determined to be there or else. So with a large quantity of dayquil & other assorted meds I was there... slightly off kilter from the stuffed head and meds I was taking. The clubhouse is a fulled stocked backyard bar - plus a keg is ussually going. This year I drank soda most the evening as the cold meds were doing a number on me already, I didn't need any beer on top of that.

This was the year of the Black Watch Plaid. Three fellas were wearing it, one gal had a scarf and there were a few other green shirts in there to complement the plaid wearers. We had a baked ham and ribs, & meat pies to chow on this year; Its always a slightly different menu although Jamie's grandma always makes us cookies. I car-pooled with Eddie (behind me in the pix on the right above) from Waterbury. we stayed pretty much til the end of the party (Midnight? 1 am?). Several of the folks traveling for more than an hour or two crash at the local's homes - Being the clubhouse is 3 hours from waterbury, we stayed the night at the Jp & Sue's house (JP in the plaid munching on the pix on the left) which is typical for us going to a meeting at the clubhouse. Was great seeing everyone even if I was sick, and the party is always a highlight for the winter.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Quebec November 2008

So the latest adventure I've had is going to Quebec City. I wasn't originally going to be on this trip; Two other folks couldn't go with Jp and so I was invited. Sometimes being the backup plan pays off. There will be an event at the end of July 09 in Old Quebec on the Plains of Abraham, and the weekend of November 8th was the planning weekend for that event.

There were all sorts of meetings planned; with the Quebec city folks, the Parks Canada people, The National Battlefield Commision, the Quebec Historical folks, and of course, reenactors from Canada and a few from the States. We also had to look over the Battlefield and then check out the intended spot for the British camp. The field layout and measurements were the primary reason I was there; Jp wanted some assistance wiith the process. As Quartermaster, He was responsible for laying out a historically based camp for the reenactors to set up, and this was our chance to check out the field it was going to be on.

We crossed the border and could tell it right away. The french word for "construction" was one of the first things we learned, followed by the universal "Detour" sign. Lucky for us I'd brought the GPS, so the detour didn't mess us up all that much. By the time we got to our hotel (you didn't think I was camping in November, did you?) it was drizzling rain which seemed fitting - it had rained at almost every event this past season. I'd been warned, Quebec is uphill - both ways and quite cool. As we did a little walking through Old Quebec along the Promenade du Governeurs it turned windy. Somehow I agreed to walk the 3/4 of a mile around the edge of the old city behind the Citadel, even though I was told there were "Lots of Stairs" but a beautiful view. Indeed, the view was spectacular and I really got an idea of just how steep and tall the cliff on the edges of the plains were...310 steps worth of climbing.

We met up with our group, which consisted of 2 more Americans and half a dozen or so Canadians. Didn't matter if we were officially meeting or just together, the whole weekend was peppered with information and sharing of ideas on the logistics behind upcoming event - in english and in french. Luckily enough, folks translated back and forth for those of us who only spoke one langage, because i knew my high school/college classes weren't going to get me all that far.It really was amazing how the conversations would switch back and forth, one sentence french, one english, and then some mixed.

The old city was fascinating, filled with beautiful old buildings and lots of folks walking. Turns out there isn't all that much parking in town, so pretty much driving was out. We did go pub hopping friday night after dinner with the whole gang. Our friend Patrick - who lives in Quebec - had a friend who owned a little place down in the old city, so we headed there. The owner was a very friendly guy from Ireland, who had been living in a primarily french speaking place for a number of years now. Even today I smile thinking about his welcome which he expressed in English, with a French accent - and a thick irish brogue. It was approaching midnight by the time Jp & I left to climb the sidewalks back to our hotel.

Saturday was filled with a meeting - breakfast as a group, then meeting with a larger group from 9ish, lunch brought in around 1, more meetings and then we finally headed out to look over the Plains of Abraham. There was a foot race of some sort occurring in the area the British camp was intended to be, and the weather wasn't very accomidating - windy, cold, and a very light but steady rain. to say the least it took some time before we had covered all the camping areas and headed back to the hotel. Had a great meal down in the old city, and the went to the hotel bar for another late night - this time however was focused less on catching up with folks and much more on brainstorming what to do about straw and other details for the event.

Sunday was another meeting around food and then out to do the actual plotting of the campground. This was much easier to accomplish without the foot race happening, although the weather hadn't improved greatly. The field looked flat - but actually was a series of irregular little rises and dips. And then of course there was landscaping to work around - little bunches of trees and bushes here there and everywhere. In bloom I'm sure it will look gorgeous, but trying to plan out straight lines of tents will be tricky. We took some time after the field work to go do a little shopping in the old city, then have one last meal before heading back to Waterbury. Was a fun and very busy weekend, but we got lots accomplished and managed to see some friends as well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dark & Stormy Crew

We took the Dark & Stormy out to her first event - Battle of Plattsburgh, War of 1812. This is also where a few of us went to college, so Friday after setting up camp we put on our new duds and went to see which of our old haunts were still around.

Originally this event wasn't on our schedule, so It required some fast work to get our clothes in order. Jamie whipped out 6 hats and 5 jackets in less than 2 weeks. Jp had the pleasure or Tarring said hats, and as we quickly discovered they weren't quite dry. however we did have them to wear. I borrowed a friends slops and a shirt, made up a neckercheif, and got to wear the new purple socks I got at Hubbardton. (Unfortunately I don't have a picture of that.)

This is Chris (Our Gunner) and I Friday before heading out. we had a fine time wandering around town and making a small spectacle downtown. We had a couple of folks fascinated with the clothes, others our mugs but pretty much smiles everywhere we went.

Saturday we had a bateau Race to participate in. Since we hadn't practiced rowing together much nor taken the boat out on a choppy lake, we were hoping to not be last. Jamie kept telling us it was "only another 200 yards" to row (about the third time we ceased to believe his measurements) and we took a wide turn around the buoy. However we ended up 2nd in our class in the race and 5th boat (out of 12) overall. not bad for our first run.

Saturday afternoon was the first of 2 battles we participated in, and we were constantly moving for the entire thing. It was an enjoyable day and the Plattsburgh 1812 association treated the reenactors all to a dinner. Evening activities included singing sea shanties with the rest of the naval crowd, going to the period tavern in town, and of course, wings at Monopole. We went from about 3 of us to a total takeover of the bar about Midnight when a large part of the naval crowd and a few soldiers joined us. Apparently there was a huge fooz-ball playoff that I missed as I went off to bed early (before 1 or so)and the remanider of the crowd stayed for last call.

Sunday brought Rain, which really was not a surprise. Seems most every event we had rain at some point this year. It didn't stop us from having a great day, complete with socializing, wandering through the camp, and of course another battle in the afternoon. We all enjoyed our first outing as Boat trash - and are looking forward to the next time.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gigi with Cookies

Gigi with Cookies
Originally uploaded by bartnnick
While I was home visiting my niece Gillian spent the day while her Daddy was golfing with Grampy. We were pretty busy all day; Gigi went to the swings, fed the ducks, and helped out in the kitchen. Nobody decorates cookies as well as Gigi.

Libby Jane and Aunt Rebecca

I made a weekend trip home Labor Day weekend. Had a great time visiting with the family. Here I am holding my new niece, Libby Jane.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Becoming "boat trash"


This summer we finally got the boat in the water. What boat? why, the "Dark and Stormy", the 18th century boat friends of mine have been working on for the last four years. We were very excited to discover the boat does indeed float. Now we just have to figure out how to operate the dang thing. Above, 'Beck' and 'Scotty' help the D&S push off on one of it first few voyages at Lake Galway, NY.

Our crew has worked a long time to get the boat in the water and soon will be taking it to events. We're hoping to have it in the water for Plattsburgh (War of 1812) that will be taking place the second weekend in September. There is talk also of perhaps having the Dark & Stormy at Roger's Island (French & Indian War) in Fort Edward, NY the third weekend in September.

If you decide to come visit us, you'll need to look for us where the Naval camps are, or some tourists are known to refer to us en masse as the "boat people". A pleasant enough phrase, but somewhere along the way reenactors have turned that phrase into "boat trash". Not that they'd expect the public to recognize the term, or even use it when speaking to a tourist, but amongst themselves, the "boat people" are called "boat trash".

What does boat trash look like? We're reenactors, and we look like sailors of the day - and despite the pretty pictures you may have in your head, sailors wore the same clothes day in and out, so they were pretty scruffy. You'll see fellas with britches, also some with "slops" which look somewhat like a split skirt. Most sailors run around in a waistcoat or hunting frock over their shirts, and a variety of caps can be found on any vessel.

Sailors of the day were male - So a couple of us ladies have developed an alter ego so we can become period sailors and part of the crew on the Dark & Stormy. Miz Rebecky has been banished, in her place you find "Beck" a short pleasant fella with white britches and a rough shirt, no shoes with only a scarf protecting his head. Susan has dissapeared as well, but "Scotty" is just as good company. Scotty's got slops to run around in and usually a working mans cap, and it seems like this sailor is also shoeless.

Rumor has it some other new fellas will be found in our camp; the more the merrier. After all, The Dark & Stormy is still being finished - We have no mast nor sail yet. Therefore the more sailors, the faster we can row that bateau along to line up our cannon and take a shot at the enemy. Below, the Dark & Stormy's first trip out with full crew