Tag Archives: photoshoots

Formal in the Field

By: Mary

This is the story of an arsenal of a closet stocked with a vast array of bridesmaids dresses that was made into a useful costume collection to bring forth a highly impractical (but may I add hilarious) photo shoot.

This collection of dresses started about 30 years ago when my mother wore the blue silk number Kate sported as a maid-of-honor in her sister’s wedding. The pink dress came from our sister-in-law, Nicole during a phase in which she was a consultant at a bridal store and was able to bring many a bridesmaid dress home for free with price tags that were still in tact. She also donated the aqua dress that Colleen wore after it sat in storage for many years following a high school prom. Colleen begrudged Clare the high honor of wearing a dress that she pulled out of the play clothes last summer and has since intended to wear next month during her first stint as a bridesmaid.

It just so happened that the talented Tara Schwab was visiting and graciously agreed to document us with her camera. Tara is a former roommate of Kate’s and has moved to Wisconsin for a flute professor position at a university in the northern part of the state.

Free spirited and happy in the cool evening light, we took to the field by foot.

running sisters

The asparagus field seemed an ideal place to stop from striding for a moment.

happy sisters

And then… an apple tree seemed to be beckoning. So just like that, I scrambled up. This turned out to be a problematic decision. I know, I know- it does seem like such a sweetly quaint scene. However, nobody else wanted to climb up and none of the sisters realized why I was laughing. This was because the pungent smell that was drifting up was coming from the composting hide of Silly Spots (remember Blizzards and Beef?).  At this very moment in time, Silly Spots’ hide from lasts winter’s butchering is resting, or I could say, composting in a less than aromatic way under one of our many apple trees. 

After choosing a new tree without the remains of a cow underneath, Clare was game to scurry its low branches. All was well until the jump down.

in the tree

And then all was really not well…this was the point in time in which a literal falling out took place.

jump

RRRRIIIIIIIP!

rip

Lesson to be learned: no apple tree climbing in bridesmaids-to-be dresses.

Colleen is typically pretty sweet, BUT when she’s not she’s not, and the girl really can get into a catfight. Her reaction to this tear was a quick yank on Clare’s red tresses. While Clare stood her 16 year ground, during this sister spat, she watched with pleasure as Colleen then clumsily tripped on her flowing aqua train and tumbled down to meet her end with the emerald grass of the field.

At this point my reaction was to suggest we link arms as then I could take custody of each of their arms to separate them from throwing fists at each other.

sisters

Aren’t we happy?

*Please do not look too closely at Colleen’s unhappy face*

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By this time, Colleen and I were totally over being stalked by the paparazzi…okay, that might be a slightly embellished truth. Colleen needed some condolence from our mom, and I needed to get ready for an old church lady meeting at St. Peter’s Church (more about that later). Anyhow, our last photo turned out to be a pretty special one, because it includes our mother who was at a corner of her garden babysitting Kate’s youngest.

all of us

I’m glad the dresses got some extra use, and I hope you enjoyed the folly of our dramatic dress up segment. I’d advise that if you are going to do one yourself steer clear of composting dead calves, bridalwear, and fist fights.

Furs on the Farm

By: Clare

As I glance carelessly out the window, giant snowflakes are racing each other down from the sky to the ground, where they have collectively formed a white blanket over and across the wintry Wisconsin woods. The weathermen have predicted more than a foot of snow for today, and every school in the surrounding vicinity is canceled for the day. For a while I was content to wander aimlessly about the house, periodically checking Facebook and trying (and failing) to get the Netflix to load. And then, suddenly, I was hit with a brilliantly irrational..idea..

Next week, Mary is traveling to Pittsburgh to visit Kate for a few days. She’ll be taking along with her an assortment of various items that were left behind by our classy Grandma Slattery after she passed on. Next week Kate will not only be the proud owner of the usual china plates and cups, but also of the two impractical fur coats that our grandmother used to wear, along with a bright red pleather jacked. These coats weren’t originally supposed to go exclusively to Kate, but we knew as soon as we saw them that they just might not be the right fit for winter weather on an organic farm. For our own entertainment, we decided we might give you a little glimpse on the practicality of furs and pleather on the farm..

The one plus of a good fur coat is that it makes for a very classy glass of wine, even if it may be the middle of winter, and you are sitting precariously on a rusted blue metal folding chair.

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The fur coat I sported was heavy and cracking, and it all together felt like I was wearing a blanket of lead.
Also, I am somewhat ashamed to admit I have a bit of a phobia of chickens.

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Perhaps this is because I spent much of my childhood running from the many roosters we owned that liked to chase little kids down and peck at their bare legs.

This is generally my attitude towards them.

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I was wearing a lead blanket (not to mention the stiletto boots I was stumbling around the farmyard in), and I was in the midst of a little house filled with big chickens. While our old lab chewed on a thousand year old carcass of something or other below my boots.

Well played, Mary (who was gleefully laughing as she snapped photos), well played.

Alright, time to play the tough girl.

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Once I got over my discomfort, I began to glamorously collect the eggs.

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Oh, beautiful little egg.

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How, glorious, how positively divine.

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If there’s one thing that we do on the farm in winter, its haul, cut, collect, and stack wood. The wood stove doesn’t run itself!
Maybe this bright red pleather jacket would be a good suit for the job..

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Now that I’ve collected the wood, maybe I should stare off into the distance and ponder life’s greatest mysteries for a while. This coat makes you want to do that – solve mysteries, fight crime.

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The glamour leaves me, along with my sense of balance, as soon as I step outside the barn.

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Maybe this outfit isn’t so practical for hauling wood.

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We couldn’t help but pull out the white, fur-trimmed cape from one of Mary’s recent stunts as a winter bridesmaid as well. And it turns out fur capes aren’t very good for helping big brothers for carpentry projects, either.

Whaddya think, Rob?

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Judging by his tight smile, I’m guessing its a no.

They do look dramatic set against the backdrop of a tall, red-brick German church, however.

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Yes, I’m betting these coats will be much more at home on Kate as she parades through Pittsburgh than weighing me down in my daily work in Wisconsin.

Good-bye, impractical jackets, and thanks for the snow day entertainment!