Thursday, September 28, 2006

scuba diving and a septic tank

But first, one more picture from the museum demo. This is why we do these things.

Anyway, da boys in the group went scuba-diving after the demo was over. Here they are getting ready....

While they were in the water, da girls wandered around the shoreline, taking in the sights.....

.....collecting seaweed to dye wool with...

And then laughing at Darrell when he flopped up on the shore.

Now, on the other hand, this past week hasn't been quite so fun. A year ago, our septic tank overflowed. We dutifully called in a septic service - it had been raining a lot, and it's an old house. These things happen.

They drained the tank and then two weeks later..... it overflowed again. This can't be good.

So some exploration was done, and the verdict? It's dying. It's old, no longer up to code, and the clay outflow pipes are full of tree roots. Surprise surprise. The yard is full of trees.

The nice septic people bored out some of the pipes, buying us a year or two to decide what to do with it. That's where we pick up the story again... in these past few days, we had the whole system replaced.

That sounds simple, doesn't it?

Holes are dug, and foundations drilled...

This is the crawl space under the addition through which the new septic lines had to be routed. The new hole through the foundation can be seen in the back wall. Our plumber, brave soul that he apparently is, had to get in there to do the job. I don't think I could do it.

While those insignificant tasks were going on, there was this big machine digging out an even bigger hole in the yard...

The bathroom wall (yes, my freshly painted pink walls) had to be cannibalized to fix some pipes that had to brought up to "code" as well.

The tank gets lifted in....quite a feat around trees, sheds, and a Bell telephone wire inconveniently placed.

And connected.... five metres away from the house, as per "code". I'm thinking that this whole "code" thing is a real nuisance. I haven't died for living in a house with an out-of-code septic tank for the past five years. Let's not even get into "permits" and "inspections", shall we?

All the time, that big machine keeps digging out the big hole..... order that the weeping bed and pipes can be laid down.

This is as far as the refilling process got before the rain stopped them yesterday.

The yard is now a collection of mountains of topsoil waiting to be spread out neatly....whenever the rain stops for a sufficient amount of time.



Friday, September 22, 2006

Great trip, back to the garden

Well now, last year's trip got blogged about on the road, almost every day we were gone. This year? Not so much.

We've been back home now for a few days and I've been unpacking and doing laundry and gardening and playing with the pictures. Neil pretty much went right back to work. I have more available vacation time so I took more time. I'm back to the grindstone on Monday.

Anyway, without further ado then.... a few pictures.

This is from our last day through the Adirondaks. It was overcast and rainy through most of the trip, but I found this lovely flower growing by one of our stops.

Got to the Haffenreffer Museum, and while I completely forgot to take any pictures of the Museum itself.... I did take a picture of their beach. Apparently, I have a strong preference for nature shots.

The DARC folks are referred here by their re-enactment names.

Bera and Unn talk over some changes to their area.

Ketill beats on some hot metal - he's our blacksmith.

Ketill lectures Kevin Smith, the Chief Curator and Deputy Director of the Haffenreffer Museum.

Grimmi sits in front of one of the typical Norse a-frame tents.

This is me in front of my warp-weighted loom. I also demonstrated spinning with a drop spindle, how to separate tog and thel in Icelandic sheep fleece, and some of the colours that I've gotten from natural dyes.

Kjarval talks to some of the folks who came to visit.

Ragnarr talks to some of the other visitors. He sent an awful lot of little girls my way to learn how to spin, in order that they have proper skills to nab a husband.

These are some of Ragnarr's trade goods. Too bad that we weren't allowed to really trade things. Could have been fun.

This is a game called Hnefatafl - tafl for short. Neil (the hubby, aka Ragnarr) has articles on how to play the game here, and Darrell and Neil also sell a version of the game here.

Rig fetches some water for the kitchen area.

Windborne Farms brought some of their Icelandic sheep for people to gawk at. Icelandic sheep have a distinctive look to them. Most have horns - Windborne has polled all of their sheep. Icelandic sheep also have two distinctive parts to their fleece - one of the very few breeds left that have not been gentically altered over the past thousand years. Tog is the long hairy outer coat, and the thel is the short downy undercoat.

I think they're pretty.

These are some of the folks from the Higgins Armory. They came out this year to round out the demonstration with a combat display.

And then.....on Monday, the boys went scuba-diving and I got a whole bunch of neat shots of the area. But I think at this point, I'll wait a day or two for the next post. This one's plenty long enough as it is.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

blogging from... Rhode Island!

So, we're on holidays, of a sort. We're out in Rhode Island, playing at being Vikings for the Haffenreffer Museum on Saturday and Sunday.

So it's partially a working vacation. But still.... it's Rhode Island. :)

And I get a lot of hits sent to my site from Sheila Lennon's list of Gardening Blogs for the Providence Journal. :) I entered myself a few years ago when we came to visit the Haffenreffer for the first time.

Now, by "we", I mean the Dark Ages Recreation Company. Most of the time, it's a hobby. It's why I do Viking Age weaving, spinning, and naalbinding. But sometimes we recover our costs from museums for the traveling to entertain and educate and draw the public in.

Oh, okay.... you catch me. I'd probably spin and weave and naalbind anyway, having learned about them, just because I like being crafty. I've learned how to knit, although I generally prefer crochet (gasp, the horror! :)). I grew up learning more then any human being should about ceramics, and it's left me with a desire to learn more about pottery instead.

A year ago, I started making glass beads with a hothead torch (lampwork) but I haven't put a lot of time in on it yet. So many things to do, so little time!

And of course, there's gardening.....the usual chatter of this blog.

No pictures yet on the trip, the weather's been kind of overcast and rainy. We drove through the Adirondacks simply for the pleasure, but most of that is in the memory, not the camera. Ah well....

Maybe the demo on the weekend will make it into the camera. :)


Sunday, September 10, 2006

3 things

In lieu of a real post, for lack of a present brain....I ripped off this meme. Although if I couldn't think of three things in any given question, I deleted the whole question.

Three people who make me laugh
1. my husband
2. Leif the licky
3. Ginger cat

Three things I can do (with varying degrees of talent)
1. spin / weave
2. photography
3. facilitate academic research

Three things I can't do ('though I continue to attempt them now and then)
1. whistle
2. academic research (actually absorb the content)
3. meditate

Three things I'm doing right now
1. drinking coca cola
2. watching the Eureka premiere on Space
3. blogging

Three things I want to do before I die
1. travel Europe
2. do the things I can do many times better
3. do the things I can't do (above)

Three skills I'd like to learn
1. play the guitar
2. play the piano
3. tablet-weaving

Three favourite foods
1. chocolate
2. icing sugar
3. maple nut fudge

Three beverages I drink regularly
1. coca cola
2. water
3. water