Friday, May 8, 2009

A Very Rainy First Day Out

Each year for the past four years I have gone to a "Civil War Days" event in a nearby town. It is a field trip event for the local schools and there are different "stations" set up where students can learn about different aspects of the war. The first year I went I was still single - hadn't even met David yet! - and portrayed a person from the Illinois Institute for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb (now the Illinois School for the Deaf). The past three years I have gone with David and his confederate artillery group.

The weather is always iffy. I have experienced extreme heat and dryness, freezing cold, pleasant 70's with sunsine, and rain. Today was rain.

As soon as we went outside our petticoats became damp and saggy. My skirt was wet up to the knees from walking through grass and even my drawers are muddy! (how?) I took the babies home after a few hours since they were wet to the skin and it was getting chilly. It was, however, our first reenactment of the season!

David had a ball running away from me and his daddy. He loves to be chased. He discovered a mud puddle in a shallow dip and splashed through it and fell down. He thought that was delightful. He did it again. He also ran up a large hill, ran towards the cricket field and explored a vast area filled with dandilions.
And then he had to look inside the tents. He thinks every tent belongs to him. Judah was quieter and stayed close to the camp. Many people remarked about his beautiful blue eyes and he gave them a glare in return. He is at the "Don't look at me. I don't like to be noticed." stage when it comes to strangers. He saved his sweet smiles for me. It's a lovely thing to be a mother. :)
David's mom came out for a little while and explained to many people why little boys wore dresses during the 1860's and helped keep an eye on the big boys. She helped me take the boys to the petting zoo area and Judah was fascinated by the chickens.
After Malachi ran out of people to hold him, he laid on his quilt in the wagon, happy and snug. He was the only one who did not get very wet. As in years past, I was astonished by how many people were suprised to find out that Malachi was a real baby and not a doll! Why do people assume little babies in period dress aren't real?

Here is Big David in his new confederate trousers. I think we finally have his trouser pattern fitted right. I made him some black wool civilian trousers and these gray ones over the past week to get the fit right before I cut out his federal trousers from the expensive Hainsworth broadcloth. I do *not* want to make a mistake on those!
I wore my infamous blue print dress. It was an .88 cent a yard print I got a few years ago. It has been patched and mended and repaired and remade several times. I think it has seen its better days but I still wear it quite often since it fits well and I like the sleeve style. You know that certain outfit you have that you just feel so natural in? This dress is like that for me. It reminds me of part of Johnny Cash's song "Ragged Old Flag": She's gettin threadbare, and she's wearin thin
but she's in good shape for the shape she's in. . ."

It's also currently my only cotton dress since the other one I had became unwearable via an unhappy dyeing experience. :( I have some gorgeous pink and brown sheer plaid for another summer dress that I got from a lady on the Sewing Acadmey and I can't wait to make it. I have some other pieces for a few more plain cotton dresses too. . .it's only finding the time to make them.

And the ability! I think my arm is fractured or strained or something. I can't lift it at all and can hold very little weight on it. I fell down the attic stairs last night and landed on my left side. I am nicely bruised and something is wrong with my arm. I thought I was getting better so I did go to the event today and alas, I took the boys to the playground and because it was wet, I slipped and fell hard on the same side and hurt my arm worse. I'm going to get it x rayed so should know soon what exactly is the matter. I hope it does not last too long since I have a lot of sewing to do still. Thankfully all my projects for other people (outside the family) are done.

I think at least one person was exhausted from his time runing out of doors today. After coming home and changing the boys and getting something warm for them to drink I discovered little David curled up on the windowsill in my sewing room, his poor ragged little bunny tucked under his head for a pillow, fast asleep.




  1. Sarah, I certainly hope it's nothing seriously wrong with your arm! I hope you will just rest and take it easy this weekend, pop some corn and watch movies maybe? Let us know how you do.


  2. You all look so wonderful! Please be very careful with your arm...I hope it's not too serious.

    When my kids were little, I wound up with extraordinary pain in both my right arm and right hip. I am left handed. Turned out I had bursitis (spelling?) in my elbow and hip...

    The doctor felt it was because I was carrying everything, like kids and groceries...with my right arm and resting things like kids and laundry baskets on my right keep my left hand free to do things like open doors, wipe noses, cook, etc.

    I realize that's not what is ailing you at present, but do be careful of always putting too much pressure on the same joints as it can cause further pain.

    And nobody wants to chase little ones when they are in pain!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  3. It was such a gloomy day out today, wasn't it?
    Judah is getting soo tall! Is he taller than Little David now? :)
    Malachi does not look like a doll. He looks like a real baby to me. :)
    Hope your arm heals up soon.

    Talk to you later,


  4. Sarah,

    I'm sorry about your arm. It never ceases to amaze me how once we hurt something, that same site gets hurt again so easily!

    You look beautiful in your dress, by the way.

  5. Hope you feel better! Bummer about the weather, but you all look great!!

  6. Sarah, I love following your blog, but don't comment typically; your poor arm made me know I should--Arnica Gel is something I wouldn't want to be without in this house. It's VERY comforting and healing for something like what you experienced. It can be obtained from or a health food store. Get well quickly!

  7. Thank you all for your good wishes and advice. I got an x ray and just have a bad sprain so it is nothing that won't heal on it's own, thankfully. I was a bit concerned about it possibly being broken or fractured and having to wear a cast. I didn't want to show up at my next CW event in a cast! :)

    It is lovely to "meet" you Hope Anne! I love meeting new ladies! I will check out the Arnica Gel next time I'm in town. There is a lovely health food store nearby the fabric store. It sounds like something that would be handy to have on hand.

    Jackie, actually little David is still a bit taller than Judah! It seems whenever Judah almost catches up in height little David goes through another growth spurt to stay just a bit ahead of him. He is about an inch taller than him right now.

    Thanks for the fabric BTW! There was some GORGEOUS pink plain and embroidered linen in one of the boxes and I have an 1890's dress planned with it...can't wait to get it done and post about it!

  8. What a lovely outing. I hope your arm will be okay :-( I love the boys' costumes and you look beautiful! God Bless!

  9. Sarah Jane,
    How awesome you all looked!

    God richly bless you,

  10. Dear Sarah,
    Thank goodness it's just a sprain.

    The picture of Judah saving his smile for you is so beautifully composed. The dress of the lady in the background sweeps one way, while Judah leans the other: it would make a really neat painting.

    Very best,
    Natalie in Kentucky
    who should be asleep but isn't!

  11. Hi Sarah, I'm catching up on blogs today. I hope your arm heals quickly! You and your family all look great!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!