Midsummer in Kansas

Happy International Fairy Day! That post will have to wait, though....

Here is a little glimpse of last weekend's trip to Lindsborg, "Little Sweden," for their Midsummer's Festival!

This was our first Midsummer visit in a few years, and things have changed a bit. The main festivities took place at a park at the end of town. I admit, we didn't stick around very long. Last Saturday was to be the hottest day of the year, so far, and the girls really, really wanted to see Mushroom Rock State Park and Coronado Heights. We brought my Grandma this year, too, so we decided to stop in Lindsborg, make our blomkrens and see what was going on, then drive out to Mushroom Rock and Coronado Heights before the heat became too unbearable.

My grandma told us that one of her teachers promised all year to take Grandma and the other kids on a field trip to Coronado Heights, but never did. Despite growing up fairly close, she had still never been there.

Mushroom Rock State Park was almost 40 minutes out from Lindsborg and we didn't stay too long. The girls realized it's much more fun when Dad's around to boost them onto the bigger rocks!

There's a darling new toy store in Lindsborg. My grandma bought Little Sis a large stuffed tomte. Spoiled kid.

Hope you're staying comfortable this summer!

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A Midsummer Night's Faery Tale

A Midsummer Night's Faery Tale by Wendy Froud & Terri Windling.
Photographs by John Lawrence Jones, photographic art direction by Brian Froud.
Simon & Schuster, 1999.

I hope everyone north of the equator has had a blessed first day of summer! I'm not much of a summery sort myself. I prefer the bleak midwinter, but I try my best to make do. Last night was the solstice (11:24 PM CDT), and although I'm a bit late blogging about it, I did have the perfect book for the occasion.

This little book is one I used to admire when I worked at the bookstore. It eventually fell out of print, but I found a copy at a used shop last winter. Wendy Froud sculpts the most amazing dolls. (And puppets - she helped fabricate Yoda and many other Muppets back in the day!) She and fantasy writer Terri Windling have created a lovely little tale about a tiny earthbound faery named Sneezle, who helps save the Midsummer festivities in the faery court from a power-hungry handmaiden. It's a sweet little faery tale, made more wondrous by the beautiful art.

Ahem - Art that is far more wondrous if you get a copy of the book for yourself! It was hard to photograph.

There are goblins and elves and faery musicians. Everyone is preparing for Midsummer Night, when the Queen of the Faeries is crowned. The queen has been Titania for ages, but technically, a new one could be crowned any year. Poor little Sneezle only seems to be in the way. In the end, though, it is little Sneezle who saves the day and saves Queen Titania and her good attendants from a spell.

I adore the Froud family and their work. I am so relieved that they are involved in the making of the new Netflix prequel to The Dark Crystal. (Son Toby, as in baby Toby from Labyrinth, gave an interview to Faerie magazine about it, which you can read here.) Little Sis and I are planning to see the original film at the Orpheum this September. I promised her I would save the date!

May your summer be dreamy, folks! International Fairy Day is Saturday. I don't know if we'll have a fairy house this year, but the fireflies are sparkling like crazy in our backyard. Around dusk, everything starts to look like a fairyland! (A rather messy fairyland...)

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Obsessive Nostalgia Disorder / Little Sis Tuesday: Willow Storybook

Today, I am combining two of my favorite kinds of posts: Obsessive Nostalgia Disorder Monday and Little Sis Tuesday. You see, I planned to blog about this book I rediscovered, then Little Sis asked if she could talk about it, so I figured, why not kill two birds with one stone? - Danzel

Willow: The Storybook Based On The Movieadapted by Cathy East Dubowski.
Based on the film Willowstory by George Lucas, screenplay by Bob Dolman.
Lucasfilm / Random House, 1988.

Danzel: Some of you may remember, my grandmother had a garage fire back in December and has been living at my dad's. The cleaners have brought her boxes and boxes of stuff, which the girls have been exploring. Somehow, that led us to exploring other nooks at my dad's, where I found this book!

I'm pretty sure it belonged to my sister, although I would have read it, too.

I love my 1980s fantasy films! I remember seeing Willow in the theater with my dad and sister. Later, we had it on VHS, taped off television, I think. I never bought it on DVD, and now, it seems to be in limbo. It's probably changed hands since Lucasfilm was bought by Disney. Used or imported copies on Amazon are usually expensive or counterfeit, and sadly, the copy at the library is scratched in a couple of places. Still, I've been able to show it to the girls.

Little Sis: I like the pictures [in the book] because they're from the movie. The movie's pretty, except for maybe the trolls.

Danzel: And one of the trolls becomes that ugly two-headed dragon thingy

I like the Brownies!

Danzel: Did you know that the guy who played the High Aldrin played the baby who turns into a pig in the 1933 Alice in Wonderland?

Little Sis: Huh.

Danzel: Warwick Davis, who played Willow, was Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi, but I can't seem to get you guys to watch those movies. [Mommy makes a sad face.] He also played Professor Flitwick in the Harry Potter movies... oh, but I guess you haven't seen those, either.

Little Sis: I think the fairy [Cherlindrea] is pretty.

Danzel: And how cute is that baby???

Danzel: Okay, did you recognize the actress playing the evil Queen Bavmorda?

Little Sis: No... ?

Danzel: She was in another '80s fantasy movie that somebody [pointed look at Little Sis, who is the somebody in question] in this house loooooooved when she was little. She had many heads...

Little Sis: Oh! Return to Oz!

Danzel: Yes, she was Mombi. The main Mombi, with her original head.

Danzel: When I was a kid, I wanted to look like Sorsha.

Danzel: Have anything else you want to say?

Little Sis: Hmm? Nah.

Tonight is the summer solstice! I have a pretty Midsummer-related book to share tomorrow. Hope your summer is going well! (Unless you're south of the equator. Then, Happy Winter!)

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