Tuesday, June 28

Absinthe of presenthe

Bathing dress
Momma is still at camp with Big Sister. Don't tell, but I'm starting to miss them.  So, I snuck on Momma's friend Jennifer's computer.

I'm having fun staying with Jennifer...I have lots of new outfits, and I can even give you a preview of some of the Absinthe Accessories she is making for Me, including a new Pirate Hat! The next time I travel to the Caribbean, I will blend right in with the rest of Captain Jack Sparrow's crew.
Purple dres

But, new clothes aren't everything.

Since I promised Momma I wouldn't worry her friend by disappearing to another time, I'll show you some of My new things. There's a bathing costume, a dress in Momma's favorite Color Purple, and a silly sort of outfit Jennifer says her daughter wore in 1987. I'm not sure I believe her ... see for yourself!
Anti-gravity belt

I thought this purple dress was going to be too heavy, until Jennifer made Me an anti-gravity belt to help hold it up! It might come in handy during my travels too.

I hope Momma and Big Sister are having fun, but I will be very happy to see them tomorrow!
Silly outfit

Sunday, June 26

Just can't get enough

Purple and Black Sailor Suit
Momma and I are in Prescott with my Big Sister visiting Momma's friend Jennifer. (Jennifer first met me at Comicon and now just can't seem to Get Enough of me.)  

Red, Black and White Whimsy
This morning we had my First Fitting of Three New Outfits!  

Jennifer's never made anything for anyone Quite Like Me so she's had to Experiment. What do you think so far?

Red, White and Blue Bathing Dress
(The crocheted clothes are a Bit Warm now but will Feel Wonderful once we return to Chilly Philadelphia.)

Momma and my Big Sister leave for Ankle Biters Camp this afternoon, but I shall be chilling with Jennifer while she Completes my new Wardrobe.

And see What Else we can get into while Momma's away....

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, June 26

War jitters, gunboat building

A dispatch to The Associated Press in late June reports the U.S. Navy has opened bids for the construction of a number of "steam gun-boats" as war preparations continue. There were 100 to 150 bidders, the dispatch states, adding, "the largest portion are from New England Shipyards and manufacturers." War jitters are running high. Dispatches published in the North in late June discuss speculation and rumors of a possible Confederate attack on Arlington Heights just outside the nation's capital or possibly a Confederate push near Washington at Fairfax, northern Virginia. "There are strong reasons to suspect a Confederate advance at Fairfax," one report says of the speculation, adding the Federal forces defending the capital are "deemed impregnable." Accounts late in the month speak of Confederate pickets sporadically ranging up the banks of the Potomac River while firing weapons, raising alarm in the Georgetown section of Washington. Spotters for federal forces command a high hilltop near the capital and scour the surrounding countryside for any signs of Confederate movements.

Friday, June 24

La fée verte*

Hmm, it just occurred to me that Momma's friend Jennifer likes a Certain Green Fairy known as Tinker Bell.


I think not.

We shall find out...

... maybe while Momma's at Camp.

*the "green fairy" in French

A tip of the Tiny Top Hat

My dearest Steampunk Jess,

(Or Claire, depending on what you are calling yourself today.)

I take pen in hand (Thanks for the lovely Quick-Quotes Quill!) as I gaze upon your picture. And wear your Dress.

Mere words cannot Describe how I feel about this Dress. Momma and I have discovered  it is Hot in Arizona. Really Hot. Really, really Hot! 

Thankfully your Dress arrived before I Melted. 

Ahh, silk. Nothing beats the lovely feel of that deliciously cool Silk Skirt. And the sleeveless Cotton Shirtwaist! (Momma is a bit Scandalized but I have assured her it is Just the Thing.)

The lined jacket will feel Lovely in the evenings since I have been told that it gets Quite Chilly here at Night. It will also Protect my arms from the Nasty bugs buzzing around - mosquitos and a Really Ugly Beetle that keeps Annoying Me.
Do you like the Boots I found to go with it? I know you said the lining of the jacket was a Poison Green (and the Manufacturer called it Spinach!) but I think of it as Absinthe.

Sadly, I do have to Tell You that the Tiny Top Hat Suffered a Little in the Heat while in transit. I Know you will Recognize this quote, being a Fellow Time Traveler and all:
... And it blew the lovely, cream-colored ostrich feathers off Laura's hat.

She caught them with the very tips of her fingers as they were being whirled away. "Oh! Oh!" she exclaimed in vexation. "It must be they were not sewed on well."

"Miss Bell hasn't been in the west long enough yet," Almanzo said. "She is not used to prairie winds. Better let me put those feathers in my pocket before you lose them."
Do not despair though. I am respectably Hatted while Momma repairs the lovely Hat Your Momma made. 

Meanwhile, I remain yours,

Steampunk Addie

P.S. I am Scouting for Places to Take You when you Arrive in the Cooler Fall Weather.

Thursday, June 23

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go

Momma is feeling Much Better after her Root Canal (but Sore!) and is Slowly getting ready for our Vacation next week in Prescott, Ariz.

(I'm packed but Neither she Nor my Big Sister are - hmph.)

Momma tells me that Prescott is Very Historic. It was founded in 1864 as the Territorial Capital of Arizona. Although the Capital moved to Tucson from 1867 to 1877, the Capital returned to Prescott at the end of 1877 and remained until it was moved permanently to Phoenix in 1889. (How does one Move a Capital?)

Momma and my Big Sister will spend a Couple of Days at camp (a former tuberculosis sanatorium!) while I relax with her friend Jennifer who is working on my Bathing Dress.

Then Momma will join Us for a couple of Fun-Filled Days of Rest and Relaxation! I Hope we can Visit the Sharlot Hall Museum while we are There.

Sharlot Hall was an Unusual Woman for her time. Born Oct. 27, 1870, she moved
when she was 12 with her family from Kansas to the Arizona Territory. Sharlot briefly attended school in a log-and-adobe schoolhouse four miles from her family's ranch, then boarded in Prescott for one year of schooling in town.

In 1909 Sharlot was appointed Territorial Historian and became the first woman to hold territorial office. In 1927 Sharlot agreed to move her extensive collection of artifacts and documents into the log Governor's Mansion and open it as a museum.

The Governor's Mansion (built in 1864) is the oldest building associated with Arizona Territory still standing on its original location!

I can't Wait! 

Tuesday, June 21

The root of the matter

I might not Write for a day or two since Momma is having a Root Canal tomorrow.

She's a Little Nervous since she has Never Had One before - not even a Filling!

I hope it is Better than the Photo Below!

Are Ether and Aether the Same Thing?

Sunday, June 19

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, June 19

Virginia's pro-Union corner

First, South Carolina seceded in December 1860, and then six other Southern slave states followed soon thereafter. Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina were the last to secede in 1861, bringing to 11 the number of Southern slave states in the Confederacy. Yet almost every border state in the Confederacy faced difficulties with those in their territories who sided with the Union. In Virginia, the mountainous northwest corner heavily favored the Union. A correspondent for The New York Times writes in a dispatch June 19 that a convention of 40 mostly mountain counties held in Wheeling this week has voted to secede from Virginia. A pro-Union Virginia government in exile is named, headed by lawyer Francis H. Pierpoint. "The Convention now in session ... have, by a formal and unanimous vote, resolved to cut loose from the Old Dominion and form for themselves a new and independent State ... the great State of Virginia is to be dismembered by the voluntary act of over a half million of her late citizens; and a new State formed from the Western part of her territory will claim a place in the Union ..." It will not be until June 1863 that West Virginia is formally admitted as a separate state in the Union.

Thursday, June 16

Oh, you beautiful doll!

Being a Time Traveler can be a Challenge but has its Rewards, too.

A Challenge? Remembering what Year it is, what's been Invented (or not), and what Tense to use when Speaking.

Rewards? Knowledge!

And this time a really Great Doll.

When Momma and I Ran Away from Slavery I had to leave my doll behind. So when I spotted this Little Darling in 1934 I knew she had to be mine.

Thankfully, I was able to Smuggle her back to 1864 since she's Homemade with materials available in 1864.

How could I Resist her?! My own little Steampunk Aeronaut Doll complete with Goggles!

I named her Amelia after Amelias Bloomer, Earhart and Peabody.

Momma thinks she's a Boy doll since she's wearing (gasp!) Pants, Jacket, Cap, Goggles, Boots, and Gloves. (Momma doesn't acknowledge Rational Dress yet.)

I've been Humming this Song since I got her:
Oh! you beautiful doll,
You great big beautiful doll!
Let me put my arms about you,
I could never live without you. 
Yes, I know it's a Song from 1911. (See what I Mean about the Challenges of being a Time Traveller?)

But the author of the song, Seymour Brown, was Born in Philadelphia in 1885, so maybe he'll Hear me someday and Then write it!

Wednesday, June 15

In observance of Flag Day

Did you observe Flag Day yesterday?

Neither did I but at least I have an excuse. I was at Home in 1864 Philadelphia with Momma and Flag Day didn't become a holiday until June 14, 1916 when President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation.

Though Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday on June 14, 1937.

(National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress in August 1949.)

Here in Philadelphia, the Betsy Ross House has long been (or at least it will be) the site of Flag Day observances. The Betsy Ross House may be where Betsy Ross lived when she may have made the first American Flag.

I think I'll walk over to Betsy's house and salute the flag.

The Wearing of the Green

Ahh, fanmail.

Now someone wants to know what my Favorite Color is.

Green, of course!

I read that Women of the Kind I'm going to be Always Match their eyes in Clothes and Jewels. So I wear Lots of Green.

What's that, you say? My eyes are Brown (and Silver) and Blue is my Best Color?

Blue! It's Namby Pamby.

And there's Lots of Green in my eyes. Green for Jealousy!

Who am I Jealous of?

Nobody. I just like the sound of it.

With apologies to Maud Hart Lovelace
and her delightful book,
Betsy in Spite of Herself.

Tuesday, June 14

These boots are made for walking

A couple of people have now Commented upon my Growing Wardrobe.

People, people, people. What else do you expect when Momma is both a Skillful Seamstress (and Shopper) and knows so many Talented Seamstresses, too.

At the moment I have three (Three!) outfits (with Matching Boots, of course), with Another on the way. Is that so Very Many?

I have seen another poor Pleasant African American Girl here in Philadelphia who has more than 13 dresses! That is Not Counting all her Accessories, Boots and Shoes, et cetera.

So cut Me some slack People.

Or we shall Find Out if these Boots can do More than Walk.

Monday, June 13

Thank you, Thank you very much

I just want to publicly thank my Dear Friend, Steampunk Jess, for Literally giving Me the Clothes off her back.

Well, she didn't exactly Give them to Me, but with enough Bribery (and Threatening waves of my Stout Parasol) she Capitulated and Agreed they could be Mine. 

(Oh! And her Momma said she might come for a Visit sometime This Year! Any suggestions where We should Go?)

Now to decide on Accessories.

Do these Boots Clash?

Sunday, June 12

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, June 12

Troop movements, bridge destroyed

A telegraphed dispatch via The Associated Press reports more U.S. army troops, backed by cavalry, are headed to Washington as Lincoln masses his forces. There are occasional sightings of Confederate soldiers on the Virginia side of the Potomac River and one dispatch June 8 notes a New York regiment "took five prisoners and three horses" and seized cattle from a party herding the livestock to "the secessionists." Reports indicate breastworks are being thrown up and cannons sent by federal forces to northern Virginia amid at least one minor skirmish near the Fairfax courthouse. One dispatch reports of federal forces: "The troops labor hard during the day and sleep soundly at night, disturbed only by an occasional exchange of shots between their guards and the Virginia scouts."

On June 14, The Boston Herald reports from Frederick Md., that "a special agent of the Associated Press has returned from Maryland Heights overlooking Harper's Ferry" in what is present-day West Virginia. The dispatch reports Confederate forces near there had withdrawn and, later, a "tremendous report was heard, caused by the explosion of mines" under the 100-foot-long Baltimore and Ohio road and rail span crossing the Potomac. "In one hour the entire structure was in ruins" and a telegraph station and railroad works of the federal government also were destroyed.

Saturday, June 11

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me

I have decided What I am going to do when I Retire from the Union Army Balloon Corps!

Having Tasted the Aeronaut life, I shan't give it up, so I shall become an Air Pirate and go by the name, The Dred Pirate Scott. 


The Name is the important thing for inspiring the Necessary Fear. You see, no one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Addie.

So I shall be known Throughout the Skies as the Dred Pirate Scott - paying homage to the African-American slave who sued unsuccessfully for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as "the Dred (Pirate) Scott Decision."

But don't worry, I shall only take from the Rich and give to the Poor. 
We're beggars and blighters and ne'er do-well cads,
Stand up me 'earties, yo ho.
Aye, but we're loved by our Mommas and dads,
Stand up me 'earties, yo ho.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.

Thursday, June 9

My smelling salts please

Oh my! I have Been Mentioned in Two blogs in ONE day! I do declare this has gone to my head! (Where's that fainting couch when you need one?)

But consider yourself Duly Warned, anyone who comes between Me and that Kindred Thread outfit will face the wrath of my Stout Parasol!

The crux of the matter is about Me

I was going to write about fires since Arizona (where Momma now lives) is Burning Badly when I found out I got some publicity on Another Blog.

It's About Time others started Noticing Me!

Momma's friend Jennifer is an Incredibly Talented Crocheter who has produced Many Fine doll items (Weasley sweaters for Harry and Ginny and dirigible plum accessories for Luna) but Nothing for Me. Until now!

My Horcrux Adventure with Steampunk Addie

I've been friends with Steampunk Addie's Momma for more than 30 years. So, when the HPKCHC assignment for Muggle Studies was to make a doll or something for a doll... I knew just who to ask for help.
 I should think so!
These horcruxes sound like Evil of the Worst Kind so I shall take Great Pleasure destroying them with my new aether pistol. (I've discovered that while it only Stuns people it destroys Evil objects!)

Hmm, I wonder if He Who Must Not be Named is behind the Arizona fires? It seems like the Dastardly kind of thing He would do....

Monday, June 6

Up, up and away

I think it is safe to reveal this now, but I served as a Union spy during the Civil War.

Something you might have suspected since I have spoken freely of my work for the Underground, but not all my work was underground. Sometimes it was 500 feet up in the air!

How did I accomplish that marvelous feat, you ask? By volunteering as an Aeronaut.

But how did this come about? My work for the Underground had become well known. My eyes and my color made spying easy. Then I gained a reputation with my unusually stout parasol, made by Momma. (It's too short to function well as a parasol but it's dandy as a self-defense weapon!)

I also trained myself as a detective and became proficient with a magnifying glass. (I became interested in its use after reading future Sherlock Holmes books.)

So after reading about the formation of the Union Army Balloon Corps I raced over to HQ to volunteer my services.

At first I was mocked and ridiculed ("A girl! In the Army!!"), but I persevered and eventually won them over after demonstrating my varied and unique skills.

So I  was trained in the use of a telescope (which I admit was hard with my eyes and I still prefer my binoculars) and my very own aether pistol! Don't worry, the pistol was permanently set on "Stun."

The Balloon Corps and I served the Union Army from October 1861 until the summer of 1863, when it was disbanded. I got to participate in four major battles though: Bull Run, Yorktown, Fair Oaks and Vicksburg.

Now you might be wondering, how did I manage all that when I didn't reach Philadelphia until 1864? Did you forget my TARDIS?

But what else could I possibly do when I belatedly read about Thaddeus S. C. Lowe, who met with U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on July 11, 1861, and proposed a demonstration with his own balloon, the Enterprise.

The Enterprise, really! How could I resist that! 

Sunday, June 5

You are what you read

I spent the weekend in the future on the couch watching what you call "cable" in an effort to see why no one reads anymore.

As someone who could not read until I was 9 and I got to go to school in Philadelphia, it's hard for me to understand why anyone wouldn't read. In my day, about the only thing available that even remotely resembles your moving pictures (or movies as you now call them) is a zoetrope or a magic lantern show. 

I've seen a couple of modern moving pictures while visiting the future and have been vastly entertained but decided more research was in order.

All in all, moving pictures are fun. They're short and appeal to many senses. However, they don't require as much of your imagination since someone has already imagined the story for you.

As an example, I offer you Flossie's Accident. Flossie's Accident first appeared as a short story in Maud Hart Lovelace's classic 1943 book, Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown.

Even last weekend at the Phoenix Comicon they were encouraging reading through a program called Kids Need to Read. 

Meanwhile, please pick up a book and read it. Maybe even a book that has been made into a movie. You'll be amazed at what you have missed.

And never take your ability to read for granted.

This Week in The Civil War: Sunday, June 5

The business of war to come

The New York Tribune, echoing the uncertainty of Northerners and Southerners alike, speculates on the shape and scope of the looming war and the Union strategy as the hot summer approaches: "During the coming Summer our troops will doubtless be chiefly employed in holding the forts, navy yards, and arsenals now in our possession in the seceded States; in fortifying and protecting the national Capital and ... (in) being prepared to protect loyal and punish rebellious citizens." But such newspaper speculation doesn't foresee the grinding July battles on the horizon, nor the length and final cost of the conflict, adding "when autumn shall usher in invigorating breezes, heavy columns will descend into the rebel territories ... till our flag waves in triumph ..."

Other dispatches report Washington is well garrisoned with troops from the North and special provisions have been made for the feeding of such a fighting force. A Washington baker, according to accounts, proposes erecting large ovens to bake bread for Union soldiers defending the capital. The Secretary of War requisitions rail cars from the North to transport troops toward Manassas Junction, northern Virginia, for battles to come.

Thursday, June 2

I'm getting steamed

Honestly, do you people in the 21st century never read?

I keep hearing, "What is steampunk?"

Have you not read such illustrious authors such as H. G. Wells and Jules Verne? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

No? How about L. Frank Baum?

According to Wikipedia:

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them; in other words, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc. This technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne or real technologies like the computer but developed earlier in an alternate history. 

Steampunk as a genre has been around for years, but it didn't get its name until 1987 when author K.W. Jeter wrote Locus magazine,
Dear Locus,
...Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of the era; like "steampunks", perhaps...
K.W. Jeter
Now, gosh darn it all (and I use that bold language only because I'm getting, well, "steamed") go read something, even if it's a graphic novel or comic book.

You'll be amazed at what you've been missing.

Wednesday, June 1

You are what you eat?

I got a little nervous last night.

All was well until I saw the moving picture Sweeney Todd, based upon a fictional character who first appeared in the Victorian penny dreadful, The String of Pearls: A Romance.
Are you aware of what Mrs. Lovett (I love her clothes!) makes?

And with what?!

You see, Momma packs meat pies in my lunch pail for school.

Momma assures me that:
  1. The String of Pearls is fiction.
  2. Sweeney Todd is fiction.
  3. She makes all my meat pies herself with love.
But what if Mrs. Lovett moves to Philadelphia?

Maybe I should join the Vegetarian Society.