Video from the last outing

The event was officially launched with a flag raising, which I have a nice little video of but WordPress insists on playing it upside down…I wont torment you with that.

The event was then blessed in traditional aboriginal fashion.  The video is fairly long (but up side up). I  found the music very moving!  Much more powerful in person than on video.

The event being celebrated featured the local aboriginal tribes and the Scottish settlers so some Scottish music was shared as well.  I find the pipes moving as well!  But that is just my Scottish blood speaking! This video has the still sideways but it in fact plays upside up!  Sigh!

Don’t Feed the bears

I’ve been 2 months in my new job now.  If ever there was a sign from God that I had made a good move this is it.  Shortly after my arrival, I learned that my new work space was celebrating 100 years as a hospital (the land had held a hunting lodge, hotel and mansion in various stages of its history).  It became a hospital during the first world war and is now a hybrid facility with a personal care home, rehab hospital, day hospital and some medical things like labs and x-ray facilities.   In celebration, the Costume Museum of Canada was invited to put on its Heritage Fashion Review, which has models wearing near perfect replicas of items in the collection.  (It was like God was saying “You fit here.  You belong here.”)

In spite of volunteering with the Museum for years, I haven’t actually seen the show yet.  Lucky me!  As part of my job, I had to take down, and sit with, some of the residents that are living in the personal care home section so that they could see the show.  Basically, I got paid to see a show I’ve wanted to see for years!

In honor of the show, staff were encouraged to dress up in their favorite decade from the last 100 years.  For me that would have to be the years closest to the Victorian era, obviously. But, I don’t have anything from 1916…closest I have is my 1901 widows weeds.  But, being a middle aged woman in war time, it wouldn’t be outside the realms of possibility that during a time of mourning, I pulled out my widows weeds and in the interest of frugality and war time shortages I wore it in spite of it being 15 years out of date.

The other reason it is perfect is because of the sign over the gift shop where I work.img_20160930_153303099_hdr

The gift shop is called the Dancing Bear gift shop.  I can’t find proof for this but I believe the photograph is connected to the location of my work space.  Perhaps when it was a hotel?  In addition to the gift shop there is a bar called Chad’s Bar.  It is an actual pub for the patients and residents in the building.  (The name Chad is also connected to the history of the land, I believe)  And next to the entrance to the bar is a stuffed bear.

This was my photo op!img_20160930_153444423

All in all, a good day!


Outing to the St. Boniface Museum

Shirley and I went to the St. Boniface Museum this weekend.  2It was my chance to wear something new and Shirley’s chance to wear something she hasn’t had enough opportunities to wear.62

For the most part, I was pleased with how the dress looks on but there were some issues with the jacket not sitting right.  I think the problem was the corset is the wrong era (and not small enough) so the “girls” were not smooth enough.5c

See how it rides up.

Before leaving home, I got the hubby to take an “at home” photo.1a

Corset cover required!  As well as a more appropriate corset!  The hoops need work too but I will acknowledge that they didn’t fall off this time, and I finally have them short enough that I don’t step on them (unless the ground is really hilly).

The St. Boniface Museum was built in 1847 and served many purposes.

1847 – 1956 Under the auspices of the Grey Nuns, the convent served as Western Canada’s first hospital, orphanage and seniors’ home. It was also a school, initially for both girls and boys; Louis Riel was a student here. Eventually, the Sisters operated a boarding school for girls.

Louis Riel was a Metis person (Aboriginal and French parents). 72

He was not pleased with how his people were being treated by the Canadian Government and he led a rebellion that set up a provisional government which ultimately started what became the province of Manitoba.  He is now known and honored as the founder of my province but at the time, the ruling class were not pleased with his actions and he and his supporters were imprisoned and he was hung.  Canada is a great country but it has some ugly skeletons in its closet…the treatment of the aboriginal people is one.

Because of his connection to the convent, many artifacts of his life and death are preserved in the museum.  There is also many artifacts related to the Metis peoples…7a

…and, of course the Catholic Church in Manitoba.  13

The nuns who ran and used the building for a century are represented as well.

Different displays were set up to represent Victorian and Edwardian rooms.  (It really is a big place!)  33

I loved the dishes from the above table and the nut cracker on the near by side board.

They had several nice examples of spinning wheels that makes me think I need to get back on mine!11

Shirley and I had fun trying to photograph ourselves in the mirrors.


When I got home, I played with my phone app and made a few special pictures just for the heck of it.44a

Victorian medicine

I’ve been looking at some of the old picture files that got rescued from my old computer.  It seems I can be a bit of a hoarder with those so it is time to clean things up.

I have several photographs, taken YEARS  AGO, with an old camera, that I intended to use here. I would post some horrific medical practice from my Victorian medical book and use one of these photographs to add some visual interest.  I still think it is a good idea but I just don’t have the time to read the book and the pictures are not improving with age.  By the time I get to this project (horrible medical practices) I will be retired and will have a camera 8 times better than the one I have now and 10 times better than the one that took these.

So I will just use them and send them on their way to the oblivion of deletion.


This is a medical kit carried by a healer.


The kit is on display at the Museum of Man and Nature, Winnipeg


This is the information about Cuthbert Grant, the owner of the kit.

The museum has a “pharmacy” display, and I took these random photos there.  Note the box for veterinary use and also make the assumption that at least half of these medicines contain some sort of narcotic or toxic ingredient and that people could by this stuff without  a prescription.  Say what you want about “Big Pharma”, things are better now!


In our Sunday Best

Victorian at Heart, small group that we are…


….headed out to St Andrews Rectory and Church yesterday.  For a quick bit of info read this photo. You may need to click on the photo to see it more clearly.


Here are some photos from the Rectory.


There are only a few artifacts in the Rectory.


I wore my 1873 Polonaise

I liked the basin and Shirley liked the old ringer.


Shirley wore her early 1860’s Cotton Candy Day dress.

Lottie looks lovely next to the old organ.


She is wearing her mid 1880’s cotton print gown. I suspect she was much cooler than Shirley and I.

The best photos were taken outside on the porch.SAM_3140


There is always one of THESE of me.  How do I manage that every time! SAM_3151My camera died before we got to the church so I will have to wait until I get some photos from the other ladies.


More photos from Doors Open

I have some more photos from various cameras of the Doors Open event I volunteered at.  As usual, it is very hard to narrow it down to just a few photos….

Fortifying ourselves before the grand opening.

Fortifying ourselves before the grand opening.

We do a group photo on the door step each morning just before allowing the first group into the jail.

Group photo on the door step each morning just before allowing the first group into the jail.

This is where Shirley and I did our "bit".  The coffin was our prop that we used to relay information about what happened to a prisoner when they died.

This is where Shirley and I did our “bit”. The coffin was our prop that we used to relay information about what happened to a prisoner when they died.

My favorite photo of myself.  That fan got very beat up being used as a prop and a tool against heat stroke.

My favorite photo of myself. The fan got beat up being used as a prop & a tool against heat stroke.

My favorite photo of Shirley and myself.  Couple of boozers.  I told the crowd it was just water...wink wink.

My favorite photo of Shirley and myself. Couple of boozers. I told the crowd it was just water…wink wink.

Photo of myself with the woman who spear headed the whole drive to get people back into this old jail.

Myself with the woman who spear-headed the whole drive to get people back into this old jail.

My favorite group photo.

My favorite group photo.

It is all done for this year.  Come back next year!

It is all done for this year. Come back next year!

Note: the woman on the right side of the last photograph is a reporter for a Phillipino TV program that is viewed by the local community as well as in the Philippines.  Shirley and I were asked to send greetings to the Phillipino community.  I am a TV star…..Darling, I will have my people talk to your people…..

No broken legs

No broken legs at this weekend’s Doors Open event at the old jail but I will admit to some really sore feet!

SAM_2821Saturday was a freakishly cold day and I claim full responsibility for that.  I was afraid that being dressed in black from head to toe would be hellish in the heat so I prayed fervently for cool weather.  It worked and Shirley and I found we needed our capes and even with those we were still a mite cool. SAM_2822Sunday was normal temperatures and I was correct…it was hellish. (More pictures from Sunday to follow.)

Now I sit on my couch, my throbbing feet up, a lap top in front of me (so I can catch up on the modern world), a bowl of ice-cream to my left and a puppy to my right.  I will savor my evening in the knowledge that the tour went well: we set a new record for number of folks put through and most seemed to really enjoy the event!  Who should I play next year?

Here we go again!

My city is having its Doors Open event again.  For Doors Open, several historic buildings are being opened up to the public.  This means that buildings that usually have a fee (eg. house museums) are free and buildings that are used as office spaces are allowing non-staff and non-customers to come in and have a look around.

The site that I work at is the old jail built in the 1880’s.  The jail is basically gutted now with it being mostly empty except for some storage and a couple of office spaces.  A friend of mine has a vision of it being converted into a tourist attraction with some restoration, some history and some sort of cafe or bar.  This has been done in multiple places in Europe and even the states.  But for now, the public only has access to it during this annual weekend event.

The jail has several local historic figures connected to it as well as several groups of humanity.  My friend has arranged that amateur actors such as myself play characters in several of the gutted rooms so the tourist can imagine what it was like to work in or be incarcerated in this jail at that time.

I have played Dr. Amelia Yeomans one of the first women in Canada to hold a medical degree (second only to her daughter).Me as Dr Amelia YeomansI have played a prostitute who would have been put in jail for plying her trade.SAM_2166This evening I will be helping to set this year’s event up and practicing my role as a family member collecting the body of one of the prisoners.  The point of this role is to talk about what funerals were like back in the day and to point out that prisoners would be dying in there from diseases, violence, child-birth and hangings.  I will be wearing my mourning outfit and Shirley will also be playing a mourner in her gown.15240_568470999923421_7193027649814157401_n

Hopefully, we wont be grinning like Cheshire cats while playing our roles!  Wish us a set of broken legs please!


I was very sad to learn that one of my costume groups favorite locations is closing down due to structural issues. Kennedy House/Maple Grove Tea Room. I am glad we took advantage of it while we could.

Taken inside the house just after having tea in the tea room.

Taken inside the house just after having tea in the tea room.

We did get good news that my FAVORITE house museum is re opening! Dalnavert House.

999402Ah, the ebb and flow of trying to keep history alive!