Vintage clothes and people who don’t know…or care

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We will have the vintage clothes person come up today from 75 miles away to look at our holdings of clothes at the Carnegie. She is more interested in 1940s and 1950s clothes.  We have a LOT of 1960s and 1970s clothes and want to find buyers who are interested in these kinds of things.  We have taken photos of nearly 250 pieces and we probably have about 500-600 more pieces of clothes to go through. That is NOT counting the shoes, hats, purses, etc. that are stored above the ten stuffed cabinets.

We are in gridlock at the Carnegie building right now because we have no where to turn with all the STUFF that has been collected over the years.  We had a yes/no vote taken this weekend by e-mail to find out if people on the historical society board were willing to sell some of these clothes.  Most all on the 15 member board said yes, there were a few dissenters. One said that he thought it was illegal to conduct an e-mail survey…what does he know?  Talks uppity but doesn’t do anything and is so eager to leave the meeting that he is always the first to adjourn our monthly board meetings.  I’d like to see what happens when we start talking a LONG time about clothes and how to store them properly and see what he does…or says.

Some people don’t really know anything and yet spout off about things as if they DO know something…also, there are others on our board who don’t care.  They show up once a month for the meeting (and the food) and vote and maybe make a motion so that their name will be in the minutes…but they don’t care about what is really happening.  We are running out of money and we need to be sure to go down with the Titanic. That is what we are on right now, we have hit an iceberg of reality. We have soooo much of everything, six treadle sewing machines, 10 grandmother clocks, six pump organs, 20 irons…the list goes on and on.  Supposedly we can’t get rid of things because they are on loan from a certain family, we don’t want to hurt that family’s feelings.  What do we have on loan at the museum? We should NEVER have taken anything on loan but instead told the people who “gifted” the museum that we would use the article of donation appropriately for display purposes or sell it.  We have to pay for the lights, electricity, heating, etc.  There are about ten buildings that are on the 8 acres of museum grounds. We don’t run on fumes and yet there are board members who don’t have a clue about what business sense it is to NOT make some money for this non-profit organization. We still need to pay the bills even though we are a non-profit entity.

Okay, enough venting…this has nothing to do with Kazakhstan, I realize that. However, I do know that this old country, the ninth largest in the world, currently has many painful growing pains to go through. Our museum is going through the opposite with having a dying population in our area where the grandkids purge grandma’s house and attic and “gift” us with all the rejected material that they don’t want.  In some cases, that is more than less.  Kazakhstan has many older kind of ideas about how the country used to function before communism took over. Probably after one hundred years, that has all perished.  There may be pockets of the country that still have some of the lingering old customs.  However, I think for the most part, people who still live in the hinterlands are living in poverty and are prey to the human traffickers.

We live in a fallen world, I realize that. Especially after getting some of the dissenting comments about what we are trying to accomplish at the Carnegie. Leave it to a few “do-nothings” who want to throw their weight around and express ideas that are NOT based on realism or on forward thinking functionality.  Here are some of the clothes that we are documenting and hoping to sell…eventually.

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Been awhile, been busy at the Carnegie

Carnegie frontSometimes life goes on and other times it rushes past. I have neglected this site because there has been so much activity at the former Carnegie library and our county museum.  I have had GREAT volunteers who I have brought in to help with sorting through books and cataloging about 1,000 pieces of 1960s and 1970s clothes that have been stored.  We have discovered some GREAT vintage clothes in the ten jam packed closets. Both jobs with books and clothes are no small tasks.

The picture below is of our university intern. He is shown with one of the 45 WWII posters that we found in the stack of books. So far I have put under frame and glass about 6-7 of these posters. We have discovered some other great things as well.  Who will value them? We hope to have a sale of the 250 things I have put under glass when we open the Carnegie up in mid-August.

If I were to count all the different things I have done in the last month and a half, it would be a long list.  People who do not do anything are the ones who seem to kick up the most fuss.  I have to be patient with them. Life goes on and volunteers are important. I have been volunteering many, many hours at the museum and Carnegie. I should add these hours up to see what it would all be worth to the rest of the members on the board.

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Fox, Full Moon and work at the museum

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Yesterday was quite a day, it meant that I saw a baby fox not once but twice. Once in the morning close to our house and then once in the evening when I was closing up, it was close to our barn.  I was told by our neighbor that her husband has seen FIVE baby foxes in our woods so we have a den of foxes and I’m fine with that.  I hope they take care of our gopher population and any squirrels that are around.  We also have had 13 stripe ground squirrels so I hope that is good riddance to them.  Also, I saw a small bunny on our front porch so I suspect that the fox will be after that too.  I’m not sure if we should feed it our scraps to encourage it to stay around.  Hopefully it will find enough food to maintain a good diet.  I DID see that there were two little song birds together that were chewed at and I couldn’t figure out how that happened.  Now I know, it was the foxes having their meal.

What a busy day at the museum today, lots of talking with people and working together on the displays. No visitors came but we were ready for anyone. I was framing pictures.  I hope that people come during Ox Cart Days to bid on the pictures I have framed, about 250 of them so far. We are learning and experimenting with what we know to do for a fundraiser.  We have to communicate with people about our need for finances to keep our outfit running.  I pray that the members of the board see fit to work alongside and be a part of this instead of being bystanders and watching other people work.

Well, I’m tired and tomorrow will prove to be another day of work.  For now I am happy to see the full moon in the sky but it has rained and is overcast for now. I’m glad for the rain, our gardens need the extra moisture.

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New Era, more work but different

I turned in my semester grades on Monday and went to a work luncheon with 100s of employees yesterday. It is technically finished for me, now I have to clear out of my office eventually and then work on the most pressing things that are here at home.  Last night we mowed the lawn for the first time this spring for about 2 1/2 hours and that was good because now it is raining again. I should be out using Miracle Gro on some of the plants that need some sustenance using the wonderful rain water that collects in the rain barrel. I love that utilitarian yard piece. It is a simple, functional 50 gallon tub that collects water from the garage roof and house roof. If not caught, it is a LOT of the water that otherwise would just go into the ground.

It is necessary to stay ahead of the weeds and there was itch weed that I took out last night and need to replace that area with something else like daylilies or something invasive but pretty.  I also need to clear out another garden from weeds because we will paint the shop before our century farm celebration in August.  Much painting to accomplish with some of our other outbuildings and while the temps are cool enough is the right time to do it.   We also need to get a professional painter to come and help with our indoor painting up the stair ways.  When we first moved into this century old farmhouse I had done the painting of this tall ceiling but now I am ready to pay someone to do it instead.  It was scary to negotiate the scaffolding.  I also took that nasty fall a year ago, people don’t let me climb up a chair that is two feet off the ground.  This ceiling is about 20 feet high!

I have flowers to repot and put in the ground and then there are rooms to clean out so we can use them again.  So much has piled up of the museum work I have done or the writing I have done in the past several years. Time to clear that out and file it away so we can enjoy our upstairs rooms again.  Then there is teaching stuff that I need to purge or save, depending on how good the material is, how relevant to today’s students.

Attached is a photo of my great grandfather with his four sons, I don’t know the order of who the sons are (George, Hans and Andrew) and where they are standing. I DO know where my grandfather Ameel is standing. But that is another thing I want to accomplish this summer is figuring out my Dad’s side of the family before the Century Farm in August.  That would be a nice gift for my dad but also for all our relatives who are coming for this event. Sooo this may be a new era of not teaching but the work seems more intensive while I’m not paid to do it.  How does THAT work?

1895 ca FRONT Torkel Torkelson_ BACK unknown, unknown, Andre (1)

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Should be weeding the gardens or cleaning house

Yes, it is that time again to delay the inevitable…we have many gardens that need tending and the weeds just grow bigger by the hour if I don’t do it. The lawn will need cutting soon and also the plum trees are blooming like never before. Even in our ditches we know that plum trees that are growing wild are blooming…we didn’t know they were there before.  Such a dry spring and an early one at that.  Well, I hope to have a GREAT harvest of plums when the time comes…I’ll give away what we have by having people come out to pick their own.

The semester is done, I just have to submit the grades for my 29 students, some failed but most of them got As and many Bs. These students worked hard and I am proud of them.  In fact some got published in our local newspaper for the last five weeks, next week will be the last story about their grandparents that they wrote for my first assignment back in January.

There is the house to clean which is always true but I have to find some pictures that belong to a man who asked for them back. Uffda, I put them in a safe place so now I have to retrieve them wherever THAT is!  I have to make sense of all the history things that I have made photo copies of or have gotten copies from the Carnegie or museum.  I have to start a filing system so I can go to an article of interest and not have to go through piles of STUFF to get to what I need.  I’m glad I have a summer vacation.

Well, whatever you call a vacation, I will have a summer intern working with us and that means I have to be one step ahead of him with things for him to do in the 25 hours that he is working for us from May 15-Aug. 15th.  The board of directors met him last night and I think he left a good impression with all of them.

So, besides outdoor chores and indoor tasks, there is always the Carnegie to get straightened out before Ox Cart Days in August.  We have painting of out buildings here on the farm before our Century Farm celebration.  IN the meantime also, I want to find out more about my Dad’s grandfather. We don’t know much about him.  I am supplying a photo of what he looked like with his sons, one of them is my grandpa.  They had to work hard but it looks like they enjoyed hunting with their four dogs.

Okay, back to work.1895 ca FRONT Torkel Torkelson_ BACK unknown, unknown, Andre (1)

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So we finally have spring after May 1st arrival

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI should be grading my students’ final papers because grades will be due for this spring semester by next week.  I have distracted myself with doing everything BUT grading.  It has been a good semester with great students, with a few bumps in the road, but we are ALL glad it is the end of a semester.  I should be out cleaning gardens but instead I have been framing old pictures for our Carnegie building for Ox Cart Days in August.  We had a film crew come yesterday from the Twin Cities to videotape what we are doing in Crookston.  The Carnegie and our museum was chosen to be in a 7 minute spot.

So, the time goes quickly when you are having fun. I hosted my folks to a dinner theater with “The Complete Works of Shakespeare: An Abridged version.”  It was VERY funny!  We have talent at our university with young energy.  Okay, I should move on to other things but I’ll post some photos of our landscape so far. The apricot tree was blooming several days ago, now we have plum trees that are looking glorious. Such is spring!

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Spring weeding, weeding and planting

Mid April and we are already planting in northern Minnesota, at least the farmers are. It is also very dry and we could use some rain. I need to get out to my 13-14 perennial flower gardens and restore them back to health.  I have tulips that are up six inches so they will be blooming soon.  About four days ago I repotted about 15 elephant ear bulbs.  Left them in their big containers outside and hopefully they didn’t get zapped in our 22 degrees one night, the other night it was 25 degrees.  I’m hoping that since they are close to the house on the south side that they didn’t feel the shock and will survive. I want to put these big eared plants out in front of the Carnegie building when it is warmer weather.

For now, it could still snow and be nasty up to the end of May, we have 1 1/2 months left of weather that could be winter like again. Today, it is a sunny beautiful day with promises of getting up to 70 degrees again.  So, I need to beat the wood ticks and get out to do all the necessary weeding that needs to be done to get ready for summer. My husband tilled up one of our vegetable gardens so that is looking good and ready for planting. I’ll leave that for my mom and hubby to do.

I’m glad I can finally look forward to my summer plans. This week I had TWO  lengthy talks with the same student about his grade. He is averaging a C for the first 13 weeks of the semester, he is really struggling at 72% and he expects to get a B.  Turns out he got a D in Comp I before and then he took Comp II from the same teacher and got a B!!!  I had to go talk to her and find out if this information he gave me was true.  It was.  So, I believe that his receiving a C grade is appropriate and that there is NO amount of negotiating to get that grade up.

The light bulb went off for him when he found out that it is necessary to revise. He was telling me that there are no perfect writers. I agreed with him but the ones who do write well also know how to revise well.  I think he must not get that and when he is doing is APA formatting which meant the last three required assignments, you have to alphabetize your sources in the References page. He cannot do that.  Maybe he doesn’t know his alphabet? I’m bewildered by that.  Anyway, I do not want to have this student come to my office again to talk for 45 minutes to an hour about why he should get a better grade.  Yesterday I handed out to each student the part in the syllabus that shows what an A paper looks like compared to a B paper all the way down to F.  It also said in my syllabus that if there is a grade dispute that the student needs to put it in writing within 24 hours of when they received the grade to try and improve it.  What this student did was complain about the third required paper 3-4 weeks after the fact.

I told him that I would throw those 150 points out and that he would only have 1,150 points to deal with instead of the 1,300 points.  He agreed with that but then he came back to my office to say that he was okay with keeping in that paper in the grade total.  I think this is a control issue.  He is majoring in communication but moving to another school after this semester is over. He is unhappy here.  I’m thinking this student is NOT ready for academia.

I believe weeding my overrun gardens will be easier than convincing this student that he is an AVERAGE student and does NOT deserve a B!  Yes, I’ll go out now to do that and think about other things.

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