Adventures at work

Cool day today!  I was out watering my resident’s raised flower bed when one walked by with her daughter and her daughter’s dog.  The daughter says “Hey mom, there is a duck!” I turned my head just as I saw the duck think “Hey, there’s a dog!”  It flew up and over the low ledge into the fountain.  That is when I saw the writhing mass of fluff.  11 babies, probably not more than a day old.  I pointed them out to the group.

The daughter, mom and dog move closer to the ducklings so mom can see.  We all have a look and I process the scene.  Mommy duck is calling, but babies can’t get over the ledge.  Human Mom, daughter and dog move away because dog just noticed the ducklings.  But the ducklings start to follow them!  I process the scene again.  Babies are imprinting on lady, dog in thinking about the ducklings and the daughter is focused on mom and nearly stepped on the babies TWICE!

There was nothing for it but to pick up the babies one or two at a time (“oh my so soft and fluffy…don’t pet them…just get the work done…they are not pets…”) and toss them into the pond with duck mom.  It was quickly apparent that they 1) had never been swimming before, 2) they took to it like…well…ducks to water 3) this was mom’s plan all along and 4) she wasn’t worried that they smelled like a human. They all had a leisurely swim with their dinner.

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Please take note of the pile of bricks at the top center of the above photo.  They are hidey holes built for the fish and become part of my story in a bit.

While they enjoyed their swim, I ran around trying to figure out how they will get out again.  If they couldn’t get in, they certainly wouldn’t be able to get back out.  I decided to use the bricks and build them a stair case.  That meant taking off my shoes and getting into the rocky, slimy, fish poopy water. I took apart one of the hiding places and built the stairs and tried not to think about what I was walking on. You can see it in the top center of the photo below.

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It didn’t work.  And now they seemed tired.  And duck mom agreed.  So she swam over to the pile of bricks you see in the first picture.  She jumped on top and the babies tried climbing up with her.  But there just wasn’t room for 12 ducks on that pile and mom kept pushing them, flippers over fuzz top, off the pile.  The now small crowd gasped in horror every time we saw one bounce down the layers of brick!

So my shoes came off again.  Back into the pond.  I tried herding them back towards the stairs.  But I couldn’t move fast enough on the rocks to keep them going in the right direction.  I tried fishing them back out in the hopes that mom would follow but she just herded the rest back out of my reach so I had to toss the ones I “saved” back in! The only other thing I could do was rearrange the bricks so they’d all fit on.

That was when the grounds keeper that I called, arrived with the duck ramp he had whipped up.

They didn’t figure out the ramp but the wider brick surface worked.

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I left them to have a rest and hopefully figure out the ramp later.

An evening staff person sent me this update:

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Someone had the good idea to extend the ramp to the little duck island I built and it looks like they may have added some food to lure them down the path.

I couldn’t have planned a more exciting program for my seniors than that one!

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Feeling up beat!

I had a great day at work today.  I had a major success with one of my seniors and that always makes me feel like a rock star!

I’m feeling so good that I don’t mind that I had to cancel tomorrow’s outing with Victorian at Heart.  It is all good.

How about some more good news…Dalnavert has contacted me about an orientation to volunteer at the house in a more regular fashion so I’m super stoked about that.  Dang job will keep me from volunteering often but I’m okay with that today (reference: the first paragraph of this post).

In other good news, the Costume museum is going to have a button and trunk sale to rid themselves of some unused space killers.  Guess who is going shopping!  Let me start drooling over those buttons!  I love the trunks too but I’m not sure where I’d put one of those.

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And one final good news story: when I was a young mom, I sold the old treadle sewing machine my grandmother taught me to sew on when I was just a kid.  I regretted that move from the moment I watched pull out of my drive way.  I’ve been watching for one just like it.  Well, one of the volunteer’s at the Costume Museum brought in one of her own to add to the display that was up last May.  It is so exactly like the one I sold that I am wondering if it IS the one I sold.  I can’t wait to speak to this lady and find out it’s back story!

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Blue turn of the century suit

The last item from the last Costume Museum of Canada display in May that I will be showing is a turn of the century blue suit.

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The detail on it is wonderful!

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The chevron pattern is repeated on the back.

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there is green velvet trim on the collar…

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…and sleeve.

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The buttons are blue velvet.

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I wouldn’t put blue and green velvet together on one suit so I wonder if the buttons had been replaced at some point or there was some sort of weird fading on the collar and sleeve.  Still a nice suit.  For the display, it was paired up with a little bag.  And a broach was used to hide moth holes.

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Edwardian bike riding skirt

The Costume Museum displayed several items attributed to Eaton’s department store at Dalnavert House Museum during Doors Open.  In previous posts I shared a turn of the century coat and an Edwardian skirt and jacket outfit.  This is how they looked on display.

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This post will be about a bicycle riding skirt.

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The front of the skirt has two rows of buttons, one running down each side.  The buttons on the right side of the picture (left side of the skirt) function as the closure for the skirt and as the means of holding the front panel shut when walking.

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When wanting to ride a bike, the front panel was unbuttoned from the left side of the skirt and re buttoned onto the right side, thus “revealing” the split skirt.

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There was not much “revealing” of the split because the legs were very baggy so that they hung much like a skirt.  In fact the back of the skirt looks like a…well…a skirt!

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You really have to pull the legs apart to see that they are actually “pant legs” and not a skirt.

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The skirt was paired up with a little white shirt with delicate lace.

Some very cute boots and a hat were added to complete the look.

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Sunday at Doors Open: Dalnavert

During the Doors Open event in the last weekend of May, I had two costumes out.  The 1845 paisley “Atessa” dress and on the Sunday the 1903 Battenburg blousewaist (formally known as a table cloth) and the 1903 black trumpet skirt made an appearance.  I also added the Battenburg apron I found at a flea market which gave me a good “house keeper” kind of look.  This was ideal as I was doing some volunteer work at Dalnavert House.IMG_20180527_095918344

This was my first stint volunteering at the house and I really enjoyed it.  My volunteer roll for this event was primarily floating, giving rests to people who had assigned spots.  It gave me the chance to really get to know parts of the house.

After a busy day volunteering, I really was thirsty so a can of coke was like ambrosia!

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As I drank it, I remembered all kinds of Coke ads and memorabilia I have seen over the years so I “went with it”!

The modern hall attached to Dalnavert housed the Costume Museum’s display so I got to see the things I helped prepare.

Next post: more of the Costume Museum’s display!

Doors Open 2018: Ross House

Neither Lottie nor Shirley have seen Ross house and it had been some time since I had last seen it, so we decided to make that our second stop on our Doors Open outing.  1

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This little house was fairly grand in its day and was the first post office in the area.

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There were a few people from a group that is interested in the early Selkirk Settlers.

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Here are some of my favorite things in this little house.

There was a lovely lilac tree in bloom (my all time favorite flower) so I decided to take a picture of Lottie and Shirley and play with my photo app.

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It’s like I am Van Gogh!

At this point we were hot and hungry.  Our big plans for a picnic on the grounds disintegrated in favor of eating in my air conditioned car!  This proved a good move as it gave us the strength in see one more venue.  7 Oaks House.

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We have been to this house a few times. The little porch is nice.

If only I could draw…(wink wink…)

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I liked the door bell.  You pull down on the lever…

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…and the bell on the other side rings.

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Just inside the door is this holder with this nice parasol/umbrella with the metallic handle.

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I had been chatting with a friend on Facebook and we were talking about our favorite dish patterns. We both had to look up photos of each others favorite. When I walked into the room of the house, there was the pattern my friend had mentioned! I hope she gets to the house to see it for herself!

Next post will be about how I spent my Sunday for Doors Open.

Doors Open 2018: Kildonan Cemetery and Church

In the past few years, I have volunteered at the old jail for Doors Open.  This year I decided to change it up.

On the Saturday my costume group, Truly Victorian, went to 3 venues.  And on Sunday I volunteered at Dalnavert House museum.

The cemetery and church was the first stop.  Lottie and I went in 1840’s attire and Shirley was in later styles.  3 2

Of course when one goes to an old cemetery, one wants to see old graves.

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There are the sad ones of dead babies.

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The ones that reveal family tragedies.

The above stone shares of one man’s losses. His 24 year old wife died Feb 21, 1890.  Six days later, their daughter died at only 45 days old.  4 years prior, they lost a 12 day old baby girl.

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There are the stones that make you angry. Like this repaired one. There were several like this that possibly fell victim to vandals.

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And there are the ones that are creative and beautiful.

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The church, built in 1852, is under restoration at this time but we were allowed to go in and see it.

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The balcony was off limits as it is no longer safe.  But the main floor, in spite of needing a little TLC is in good shape. b

The stain glass, which was added in the 1920’s, was my favorite.

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And of the 4 of them, this was my favorite both in terms of the picture itself and because I recognize the Henderson name as I lived a few blocks from a street named after that family.  And on Henderson, there is a church named after the pastor that originally founded this church, John Black.

When we were done looking at the interior of the church, we walked around the exterior to see the work that had been done.

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On the right side of the photo you see the west side wall still covered in stucco. The left side of the photo shows the north wall with the stucco removed and the tyndall stone revealed.

For those of you who liked to be a bit grossed out, I have to show you what I saw next to the door on my way out of the church.

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Dozens of Lady Bugs.

I used to like Lady Bugs but last year they introduced an Asian variety to our city in hopes of controlling aphids.  Those little devils bite.  I can’t tell if these are the Asian ones or the nice kind but even the nice kind are gross in huge bunches!