Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Buffalo Bill State Park

The day after Jen and Dan's wedding, everyone was invited to breakfast at the lodge.  Everyone.  There were about seventy-five people at the wedding, which is pretty impressive for what was essentially a destination wedding.  Of all the people I talked too, I only met two who actually lived in Wyoming.
Everyone lingered over breakfast.  Most people had plans to head into Yellowstone Park in the morning, but because of the snowstorm the East Gate of the Park hadn't yet opened.  (For anyone's reference, Yellowstone has a phone number you can call to check for road closures.)  Around 10:00 the East Gate opened, so people slowly started to trickle away from the mountains of breakfast foods.
The East Gate is the closest way into the Park from Cody, though it also includes a mountain pass that is easily snow-drifted.  The drive in is lovely though, and you pass through the Buffalo Bill State Park, which, in addition to the usual state park accouterments, includes several nice areas to pull a car over in order to safely use a photographing machine.

This is like a Chevy ad.  Or whatever kind of truck this is.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I had thought, ages ago, that I should like to be invited to an event that requires the purchase of a fascinator.  Enter event: Jen's wedding.
I found it on Etsy, and it was shipped to me from England, the Land of Fascinators.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Jen's Wedding

My friend Jen, another photograph conservator, emailed me later last year, saying, "If you receive an invitation to a wedding in Wyoming, would you go?"  As I like to go new places, and didn't know when I would otherwise have a reason to visit Wyoming, I said that I would.  So, in late May, I found myself catching a wicked early flight to Billings, Montana, and then driving south to Cody, Wyoming.
When I got to Cody, it was snowing.  Which was exciting! because we'd had practically no winter in Philadelphia this year.
I hadn't really expected the snow, but had, on a last minute whim, packed a hat and some sweaters, so I was okay.  Other friends had planned to camp, but not snow camp.  Luckily for them, Jen's family was staying in a large rental lodge with plenty of room for cold would-be campers.
I took some time to wander around a bit of downtown Cody, where I visited the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum.  Which is free, and contains only hundreds of guns, dug up from all sorts of places, organized chronologically from the colonial days to the present.  If you're ever in Cody, I strongly suggest visiting.
It continued to snow through the evening.  This is a tree outside the motel I was at, after a long pre-wedding girls-night-out.  Which consisted of eating buffalo-burgers and hanging out by the fireplace in the lodge.
The next day, heading to the big lodge where Jen's family was staying, for breakfast and flower arranging.  (Tip: if you're planning on a wedding and want to save some money, make friends with loads of conservators, who will happily assembly professional-quality bouquets in return for lunch.)
The wedding ceremony was a the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, in the Western Art Gallery.  Original plans had been for a outdoors wedding, but the surprise snow made it impractical.

Some guests wore cowboy boots.  The sheriff attended.  
Jen and Dan wrote their own vows, which made everyone weepy.  Jen also chose to rock her specs, which as another bespectacled gal, I can respect.
A beautiful and delish cake, flowers by Team Conservation.
Really, more people should get married at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.  It's lovely, and the dishes all have little buffalo on them.  The green ceramic cups are the favors, made by a friend and glazed by Jen and Dan.  Best wedding favor ever.
So, Jen and Dan know a great number of talented people, so a great deal of the wedding material was specially-made for them, by their friends.  The wedding invitation was a special design, the favors, the cake, the photography, the clothing, the flowers, the music...

My contribution to the wedding was very Western Pennsylvania.  Jen and Dan are not from PA, so they did not have a cookie table, but they were delighted to accept a small number of specially-made buffalo-shaped cookies (from me).  And by small number, I mean about six dozen.  A small number for a cookie table.
Jen and Dan's invitation was buffalo-themed, with a cute little green buffalo on it.  Coincidentally, Ynn and Tank have a custom, Tank-manufactured, buffalo cookie cutter.  A loan was negotiated, and in due course a mountain of buffalo cookies was created!  The green ones were orange blossom, the blue were almond, and the white were vanilla.

Another friend must avoid eating all dairy products, and to make a treat that she could enjoy too, I made the buffalo cookies totally daily-free.  And here she is, stocking up on cookies!
We noticed on the way out of the museum.  Guys Night.  With a cash bar and various live birds of prey.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Italian Market Festival

It turns out that the weekend that Mum and Auntie Rita were in town was the same weekend as the Italian Market Festival.  With a Sunday morning Parade of Saints!  What a happy coincidence.
The parade starts out like a normal parade, though with an added Flag of the Vatican.  After a happy little marching band, statues of the saints are wheeled up Ninth Street through the Market on what looked like bakery wheely-racks.  You can run up and pin a dollar to the ribbons decorating your favorite(s), and in return you get a holy card.  At moments, it seemed like Mum and Auntie Rita were determined to collect the whole set.

I think that the saints involved were actually those from the local parishes.  Apparently they used to have little children dressed up as the saints marching in front of each individual saint.  This parade only had a few, one of which was a cute little Saint Ant'ny in a big brown robe and sandals.  

Actual Mary.
Saint Anne.
Saint Joseph (was a just man).
Saint Theresa.
Saint Jude.  Always good in a pinch.
Saint Ant'ny.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cordie: Second Anniversary

Happy Acquisition Day, Cordelia Cat!
All morning I kept telling her, "You know where you were two years ago?  You were sad and skinny and in a crate.  Now look: dumpy and shiny and (mostly) complaint-free."