Friday, September 29, 2006

Blue Hill Fair III

There was a food and flower competition at the fair. There were tons of jars of preserves, including venison and minced moose meat, yum.

Yeah, you read right: the pumpkin is over 400 was so big that I didn't even notice it!

The Zinnias were bigger than Billy's head!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Blue Hill Fair II

Dedicated to Franziska, Esmé, Lulu and June: BABY ANIMALS!

baby goat
billy goats

baby cows

And grown-up Llamas!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Blue Hill Fair I

When I visited Miane recently, I went to The Blue Hill Fair, in Blue Hill Maine.

This fair provides the setting for the book Charlotte's Web, which made me cry when I was six. I even used to pretend my name is Fern.

Speaking of pigs, I saw one:

[The family arrives at the farm to take Wilbur to the fair]

Homer Zuckerman: There he is!
Mr. Arable: That's some pig.
Lurvy: He's terrific.
Avery: He's radiant.
Mrs. Zuckerman: Well, he's clean anyway. That buttermilk certainly helped.*

Wilburs, Wilburs everywhere:

*Quote from the book, found on Wikipedia, cause I'm lazy.

Rebecca Snedeker's Documentary Debut

Tonight we went to see the premiere of By Invitation Only , a documentary by Rebecca Snedeker. The film offers a view into her life as a member of New Orleans society which keeps secret rituals of the Mardi Gras alive.

She was born into this tribe (as it is referred to by a member interviewed in the movie), and was expected to become a debutante and a queen of a Mardi Gras krewe, as was her mother and grandmother before her. But she came of age to be presented just as the issues of krewe membership exclusion, based on race and religion, were confronted by the public. Three krewes refused to march when ordered to integrate.
As a stand against this aspect of the rituals, Rebecca decided not to debut and to bow out of the other traditional ceremonies and roles that she had romanticized as a child.

Because her family has been a solid part of society and has helped sustain it since the Louisiana Purchase, Rebecca was allowed to record aspects of carnival that few outsiders have witnessed. The film follows the life of a debutante and Mardi Gras queen, as Rebecca thinks through the conflict of her love for this tradition and her repulsion for the underlying exclusivity.

The documentary was terrific and Rebecca brought up her questions, both through narration and through interviews, with a respect and subtlety that encourages the audience to think. Despite this, her opinions are clear, but so is her confusion, as she is drawn to the powerfully fantastic life of the New Orleans Mardi Gras society. Watching her flip through the photo books and touch the crown and sceptor of her family, one is reminded of the depth and reach carnival has over this city and how the shadows of its past have not lifted entirely.

Yet we love the revelry.

It took Rebecca seven years to finish this project. During the question and answer period of the premier, she was asked how she felt about releasing this movie now, post-Katrina. She said she was conflicted about the release of the movie right after the storm, especially as she was editing scenes of the city without knowing what her city even would look like after the storm. Further, she wondered if it would even be appropriate to ask such questions "while we were down," as she put it.

When she returned to New Orleans she realized that many people were asking themselves the question: What am I DOING here? If I am staying here, committing to New Orleans, what am I going to DO here? Many around her were reconsidering the roles they play in life: would the city move on without us? Does the city need us?

Ultimately, Rebecca decided that it was alright to ask these questions, and that her role was to finish the documentary and to present it to the public-this is what she would DO.

I am glad she did.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ruthie Monday XXII

Oh, the weather is SO lovely today. I love these crisp, breezy and bright New Orleans autumn mornings!

And the dogs look so happy, finally, basking in the sun after a grueling summer:

Does Ruth-Anne need sunglasses?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ruthie Monday, Late

Well, it's been awhile, I know. I have been away, and then I was sad, and then Blogger was acting up.

The anniversary really did a number on me and it has really taken me this time to recuperate. I will be posting pictures of my trip to Maine and the little adventures I had there before I dive back into New Orleans posts in order to ease the malaise.

AND SO, here's Ruthie:

This her muff, or as Miranda calls it, "Siberia". It is actually a cat bed, but she doesn't know it. Besides, she thinks that cats are badgers anyway so that makes it ok -something like, "Yeah, badger, I sleep in your badger bed! Ho, yeah."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Violet's Blessing

I posted backwards, trying to get Ruthie Monday up when I could and now I am sharing what happened today.

My new little niece, Violet was blessed today. A blessing is a ceremony like a baptism, but different. Some nice things: People are free to wish great things aloud for herand then we all get to give her kisses. Momma Mandy and Daddy Jess go first:
Then after after Larry (Grandpa/deliverer of eloquent and emotional speeches) finishes his blessing, she is passed around for kisses from everybody.
It's a very nice way to welcome a little person into the world (Grandma Cheryl is clapping).

Preparation (excercising the smile muscles)for the ceremony with Grandma Peg:

Later, all tuckered out, she stuck her head in my armpit and slept while I talked to my cousin Jen:
It was a great day.

Ruthie Monday: Winks and Licks!!!

Finally got to a place where I could get these pictures from Ruthie-Caretaker Miranda*:



*no red-eye relief available...