September 24, 2013

An Evening of Elegance

 Now, in preparation for this ball, I had gotten really ambitious and made myself a new dress, plus made a dress for Kim. Here is the fabric I chose for Kim's dress:

So here is my gorgeous friend, getting ready at the hotel:

She did her hair and mine....

Finally, we arrived at the ball, which was held in a real ballroom on Fourth St. in Louisville. (It was the same place where we held our first two years of Ignite.) Here you can see my dress as well as hers.

The other friends who were there with me: left to right, Siena, Siena's dad Mark, her mom Tamara, and Mandy and Peter Bifone

 Here I am with Don Corson, our English Country Dance instructor, whose lessons I attend and who called the dances at the ball:

 Here is Don with the lovely Kathy, one of the dance "students" who is quite an expert and who warmly welcomes any newcomer to the dance group:

Well, well... our sedan chair friend and his wife! 
(Look at the lovely overlay on her dress.... oh, to sigh for, to die for!)

There was a balcony, from which we could watch the dances 
if we couldn't do them all or if we needed a rest. Let me tell you, dancing, even this seemingly slow, very proper dancing, is exercise!

The ball went on till 10:30 PM. We both wished it would just keep going! 
We were NOT ready to stop.

 After a full day of such elegance, courtesy, beauty and manners, 
it was hard to go back to everyday life. 
And Kim kept saying during the following days, "We need to find us a MANSERVANT!"

Going Back in Time

I've been blogging about an event that happened in early August of this year. Now I am going to go back in time, to late July, when the other highlight of my summer happened. And this event really did take us back in time, so I mean that expression in more ways than one.

My dear friend Kimberly flew down from Minnesota to visit me, and the visit was timed so we could both attend the.... TA DA......

Jane Austen Festival! Which I had never before attended, though I had often seen it advertised in the AAA newspaper I get every month.

The festival was held at Locust Grove, a historic home and grounds just a few miles east of Louisville, close to the Ohio River. I should add, it was a very, very hot day. So if you see some flushed faces, you'll understand why.

This is Kimberly as we were approaching Locust Grove.

Once we got there, what sights met our eyes! It was nearly unbelievable. It was particularly fun for me to watch Kim's reactions because she had never seen anything like it before, while I had already attended two balls. However, neither one of us had ever before encountered one of these:

Yes, a lady being carried around in a chair sedan. (That day, I didn't even know what it was called yet.) The gentleman in front was calling out, "Make way! Make way for her ladyship!" Notice that he is all dressed up, while the poor guy in the back is barefoot. This was the "manservant."

I wanted a ride in that thing, too, but it cost money. I wanted to see everything there was to see before I decided what to spend money on. So we started examining the vendors' tents. And oh my, what gorgeous things there were to see. Regency-era games, handkerchiefs, shawls, stationery, feather pens, bonnets both blank and decorated, dresses, teas, teapots, hatpins, jewelry....

Wow, that color looks great on her.

This was the parasol vendor.

Hand-marbled Turkish paper, anyone? We got to watch him doing it.

Some other scenes that I will just let you enjoy without comment:

This was the tea vendor's tent. The family selling the tea had come from Minnesota!

This festival was in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, 
as you may be able to tell:

After an hour or so of browsing, we became hungry and headed for the Earl of Sandwich Shop to buy some lunch. Here Kim is ordering hers. The shop was located in one of the small outbuildings outside the house. That's tobacco hanging down from the ceiling. We got curried chicken sandwiches on croissants, and some grapes and strawberries, and the cutest little teapot shaped and decorated cookies. Oh yes, and lemonade. Everything was SO delicious!

There was a big tent with tables and chairs we could sit in and eat outside. It was shady and cooler in there. While we were eating, this bagpiper was walking around playing tunes. We asked him to play something over the phone for Kim's mom, who was celebrating her birthday that day. The nice gentleman played Danny Boy for her and even refused a tip. 

Then he came into the tent and sat down and talked to us while we ate. Before long, the sedan chair carrier joined us. We had a most interesting conversation about tartans and costumes.

Soon after lunch, it was time for our afternoon tea. We were seated at this table with two lovely ladies whom we didn't know, but whose company we enjoyed very much... young moms from the area.

The tea food was to die for. In the photo below, the lower tray is tiny sandwiches, the middle tray has scones which had cranberries and blueberries inside, and a sweet topping; the top tray holds mini quiches. We had a choice of teas, too, named after different characters in the Jane Austen books, like Marianne's Mad Medley and others. Different ladies came around, dressed in period costume, to refill our cups. For dessert we had several choices, one of them being lavender cake. It was a lovely light purple with some lavender buds right in it. I wish I had taken a picture of it.... I should add that there was a small group of men in the kitchen continuously washing up the teacups and silverware, because the tea was held in several successive sessions throughout the day. I thought that was very nice of them.

Right after the tea was a promenade outside. This was so everybody could admire everybody else's costumes. Here was a sweet family getting ready:

Apparently, or so I heard, the Guinness Book of World Records lists a gathering of 409 people dressed in Regency costume as the world record. (Only 409?) Anyway, we all got little tags with numbers to pin onto our costumes, because we were being counted—we were trying to break that world record. I think we got close to 300 people, because I was Number 243 and there were a good many behind me. 
Alas, we didn't break the record. But the promenade was a feast for the eyes.

This lady (below) had been going around (well, mostly being carried around) impersonating Lady Catherine de Bourgh all day. We had stopped to watch her and listen to her a few times, and she was hilarious in her pomposity. As Kim and I were passing in front of Her Ladyship, she folded up her fan, pointed it at us and demanded to know our names. I curtsied and replied that we had been told we could not speak to Her Ladyship unless we had been introduced by one of her manservants, so we had not ventured to greet her. Lady Catherine waved her fan and said that she herself could demand to be introduced to anyone she chose. I then asked courteously whether Her Ladyship were attending the ball that evening, to which she replied with a sniff that she had not been invited. 
I pretended to be horrified at the bad manners of whoever had so insulted Her Ladyship. ;) But you know, who wants such an insufferable woman at a ball, or anywhere else, for that matter?

Finally, before, we left, I got to sit in the sedan chair and have my picture taken, even though I didn't actually get carried around in it. By that time, that was OK with me, because it was so hot out and even hotter inside that little box!

The day was far from over. We drove back to our hotel to dress for the Grand Ball, 
which will be covered in my next post!

September 20, 2013

Onsite at Ignite NW--Part 3

On Saturday morning, we boarded buses to go pray at the Planned Parenthood in Olympia, WA. It was only a 15-minute drive and we didn't even have to be in the parking lot till 7:00 AM. (At our Ignite in KY it's 5:30 AM!)

We prayed 15 decades of the rosary and sang a hymn between the decades. All was very quiet. The place did not even appear to be open, although someone came to the window at one point 
and looked out. We had expected counter-protesters, but there weren't any.

This is just part of the group here. I couldn't get everyone in one photo because we were so spread out.

After Mass back at the campus, we had more workshops. 
Here is Sr. Bernadette speaking on tough teen issues.

Fr. Charles Vreeland, FSSP, explained the traditional Latin Mass to us, 
and gave us good explanations of various things in the Novus Ordo as well.

There were, again, many other workshops going on at the same time.

The religious continued to enjoy each other's company....

Here is Fr. Stephen Maria Lopez, the prior at Holy Rosary in Portland, OR, with his small group.

Later in the day, Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle came to visit and speak to the youth.

On Sunday morning, we (ladies) got to have all the religious sisters come to our suite in the dorms to receive beautiful thank-you baskets. And we got some, too! The baskets contained assortments of chocolate, flavored coffees, smoked salmon, spiritual books, etc. 
I heard that the priests got bottles of Kentucky bourbon.

I was  a small group discussion leader for a group of chaperones. 
Here is one of them, Christina, who had also attended Ignite in KY in 2012. 

Early morning choir practice in the beautiful outdoors:

After the final talk, the priests and men religious were all asked to come up, while the young men interested in the priesthood were prayed over by Fr. Lappe.

Then it was the religious sisters' turn:

A marriage testimony

Fr. Lappe enrolling youth in the Angelic Warfare Confraternity:

The Dominican Sisters helping

After this, we went to the other building for Mass.

Elise, one of the wonderful green shirts:

After Mass, the religious, green shirts, and organizers gathered outside for some parting photos.

Br. Peter Junipero, OP wanted to show us that he likes to play golf.

Lauren, Molly and Emma

Green shirts rule!

I am on the left in front

As we were cleaning up, someone pointed this out to me. 
I couldn't help but smile. I think we left a mark on that place—hopefully in more ways than one. :)

The next day was our last day in Washington. Fr. Lappe had a thank-you party at his house. Here, he and Fr. Sibley square off against the Dominican Sisters playing corn hole. 
The priests complained that everyone was cheering for the Sisters and not for them!
I am sorry to say, I don't remember who won, but it sure was an exciting game.

Fr. Lappe has this trophy (hunted by himself) in his living room. I think Josh and Katie's baby, Juliana, is trying to imitate the bear in this picture. LOL

The five of us from Kentucky flew home early the next morning. 
We were extremely tired, and we were glad to be going home, 
but was hard to leave behind all the wonderful people we met!