Fair date

Here.

You know, when the teacher calls out your name (and inevitably pronounces it wrong, again, sigh) you raise your hand politely and say, here?   There would always be one smart alack boy who would say, “present”.  Once or twice someone trying to be “kewl” would answer, “Yo”.  Back in the day, the teacher would look over their glasses and give the “teacher stare”.  It usually didn’t happen twice.

Yes, I am here, present and accounted for.  Fall has finally shown up in neck of the woods.  I am roasting vegetables for our hippie bowls tonight.  Ah, the flavor and aroma of fall.

Oh, I have been writing every single day.  However, just not feeling the vibe of pushing that “publish” button.

Writing helps me work through the days.  The last couple weeks have been full of stuff.  You know, the stuff that happens with twists and turns and we call it life?

“The Truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one’s life.”  C.S. Lewis

People in my circle are hurting.  Change is in the air.  I am here to tell you change is tricky and a fickle gal.  Being a friend who is a better listener than “you should do this” type of friend, takes will power on my part.  Oh, I have brilliant ideas!  I want to help and fix and share.  This season we call life, it is best if I just fine tune my listening skills.  Nobody likes a know it all.  sigh.  In case anyone out there really LIKES a know it all,  I am really good at it.  Just whistle.

I needed a break, we both needed a break.

I was asked on a date.  Yep, Mr. Right said those magical words any girl who grew up a couple blocks from the State Fair will tell ya……………Would you like to go to the Fair?

Boy howdy!  Boyfriend asks girlfriend on a date to the Fair?  Yes please.   Hand holding and eating and walking and giggling.

I have to eat and drink to stay well, so we had a home cooked meal prior to going to the Fair.  (very responsible of us, uh?)scone booth

I really don’t know what happens.  Why on earth you are hungry the moment you step sconeon those Fair grounds.  We headed straight to the Scone booth.  Fresh hot, burn your hands hot,  biscuit dough stuffed to overflowing with butter and raspberry jam.  Yes, it was a treat for me.  Yes, I will have another one next year.  Yes, it was worth the wait.

Then we “did” the Fair.  You know, Pig Palace with 1 day old piglets and mom.  Not sure what a mom pig is called.  Um, We got to see them all sleepy and happy.  pig palace

We did a few cow barns and then went into the “Animals of the World”  building , not sure what the heck that even means.  I saw my first Zedonk.  Zedonk 1Really, I had to look really close at his legs.  They sort of looked painted on stripes.  Nope, they were real.  Along side 12 or 13 other little short people who were pointing and asking questions, I was right there.  It is super easy to blend in with kids.  They don’t question anyone looking and learning.  Ever notice, kids don’t judge?  Everyone is learning and figuring it all out.  Yes, even the cross between a half donkey and half zebra.  um.

The Hobby Hall called to us.  I am always intrigued and fascinated about what people collect.  Oh sure, there was the usual owl collection, salt and pepper shaker collection. I think there has been someone collecting Troll dolls ever since I started going to the fair 49 years ago.  Or maybe it is the same person?  This year I saw a corn on the cob collection.  Seriously.  A laundry detergent box collection.  wow.  There was the usual Barbie doll collection, nativity collection and the clock collection.  What caught my eye and interest was hanging on the wall.  All behind glass, pinned and properly aligned….. a Pendleton Wool plaid shirt collection.  Seriously.  Oh, I have so much to say.   However, I am the girl who collects rolling pins and flying pigs and white animal creamers so, best just to keep my mouth closed.  The uniqueness (is that even a word?)  makes it so, we can’t stop smiling through the entire stroll through the building.

Hungry?  Why yes, yes I am.  I am thinking Gigantic HUGE deep friend onion rings would be perfect.  Oh wow.  No one needs deep-fried onion ringsonion rings.  However, for some strange and wonderful reason, the boyfriend bought them.  There is NO WAY we could possibly eat those 8 HUGE onion rings of deep-fried goodness.  Oh, I guess there was a way.  So good.  So bad for you.  So worth it.

Grange pictures4H building, flowers and fruits and vegetables and a 1,600 plus pound pumpkin.  And the voting.  We had to vote for our favorite grange display.  The entries have gotten smaller along with the popularity of the grange itself, however, still amazing and wonderful and oodles of work.  We love choosing our favorite and casting our secret ballot.

The quilts and fine arts building.  Oh, the quilts.  You know I liked that part.  Yes, we got to vote on our favorite there as well.

The canned foods and basket weaving.  The baked goods and crochet.  The cross stitch and sewing.  Having been a winner in years past (I won a BLUE ribbon for my peanut brittle when I was 12 years old) I can appreciate how much talent, effort, work, trial and error went into all those entries.  Everyone should enter the Fair, once in their life.    No doubt about it, the act itself teaches respect.

popcorn bagHungry, again?  Why yes, yes, I am.  A freshly made bag of popcorn will hit the spot.  All that salt and “butter”.  The thin paper bag with red and white stripes decorating it.

Walking back to the car, hand in (salty, grease covered) hand with your boyfriend.

For one night, all is right with the world.

size matters

blue ribbonMy heart was pounding so hard, I could feel it…thump thump, thump thump.  I was walking fast.  I was begging my mother to hurry up.  40 years ago this month, I ran up the stairs and once at the top, my eyes darted around.  It must be here somewhere.  Quilts, jars upon jars of canned vegetables and fruits, knit things, crocheted things……….come on……..

I slowed my pace.  My heart was racing.  I wanted to look, but I didn’t want to look.  I was 12 years old.  I had entered my first thing in the Puyallup Fair, now known as the Washington State Fair.   I saw lots of ribbons on pies, cakes, cookies.  I saw red, second place ribbons on coffee cake, urgh.   I saw a white ribbon on what looked like a mess, I later read it was something called “chicken pot pie”.

I found the homemade candy section.  I was lightning quick scanning for my peanut brittle.  There is was.  Hidden behind a BLUE RIBBON.  I won a blue ribbon for making and entering peanut brittle.  40 years ago, parents didn’t praise you for everything that you did.  A young lady, certainly didn’t jump up and down and holler, “LOOK everybody, LOOK what I won”!  However, for that split second, I turned and look at my mother.  She smiled and we giggled together.  Yes, indeed.  I remember that moment exactly.  I won.  She was proud of me.  Heck, I was proud of me.  I am sure my family was glad to not “taste test” the 9th batch of peanut brittle.

I don’t even remember the rest of the Fair that day.  I was smiling and could only think of that ribbon, safely taped onto a paper plate, that held my three pieces of peanut brittle.  My name on the label, clear as could be.

Yesterday we harvested two of our three pumpkins.  First time ever we have planted and then harvested the orange gourds of goodness.DSCN5291  Sure we have planted before, but never have we gotten any to actually harvest.  One weighed in a 2 pounds and the other, a whopping 5 pounds.  I was so excited and giddy.  Two of the “orangiest” perfect, blue ribbon worthy pumpkins I have ever seen.

Yesterday, was the first time in a few years we were able to attend the State Fair.  I was grateful and so dang tootin’ happy we did.  It was like an old fashion date!

Just me and Mr. Right “doing the Fair”.  We shared a big huge, tasty Bloomin’ Onion (deep fried, of course) and we each had our own scone and I may have left a trail of popcorn pretty much everywhere.  We decided to skip the 2 FOOT LONG corn dog.  Geesh, who could eat a corn dog that big?  We held hands and watched some fancy talkers try and sell us everything from my name on a grain of rice, to an “Adventure Knife”, an  amazing chip bag closure things, to the best branch cutter & ring cleaner ever.

Of course you KNOW I looked at the peanut brittle entries.  They look very good.  I was impressed.  I was in agreement with the blue ribbon winner.  This time, unlike 40 years ago, I took the escalator up to the second floor of the air-conditioned building.  I gazed at the amazing quilts.  I had my breath taken away by a couple of counted cross stitch pieces.  I marveled at the canned pickles.  The cucumbers lined up in the jar, like soldiers with a hot sassy red pepper in between each.  So pretty.  Such a skill.  I was tickled and delighted to see the ribbons on the 20140915_175352sewing projects of 3rd graders, 4th graders, 10th graders.  The skirts, dresses, pillow cases and quilts (yes, quilts) were skillfully crafted and well deserving of those ribbons. 20140915_174153

You just know we had to look at pumpkins, gourds and the Grange displays of fruits and vegetables.  I saw sunflowers bigger than my head.  Zucchini so big, I could not lift and corn stalks that were well beyond 8 feet tall.   This year, the judges seem to fancy the white roses.  There were grand champion ribbons on three varieties of roses and all were white.  The dahlias, hydrangea and Japanese Lanterns were all perfect specimens.  All had beautiful blue ribbons hanging from their vases.

Then the Granddaddy of them all the 1,636 pound pumpkin.gigantic pumplin  Yes, you read that correctly.  Oh my stars.  I saw the blue ribbon right smack in the front of the display.

Something tells me that the farmer who grew that didn’t jump up and scream, “LOOK at me!, LOOK what I won”!  I am guessing he was giddy inside and thrilled to pieces when he saw the blue ribbon tacked up in front of his name.

They sell last year’s grand prize-winning pumpkin seeds for $1.00 a piece.  Each seed, worthy of  one dollar.  Um, got me thinking.  Just kidding.  I think we will stay with the size we planted.

Oh yes, in the case of the Blue Ribbon gourd, size does indeed matter.