Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
A day at the Fair
There were many other options. I didn't get a photo of the two foot long jalapeño corn dogs, or the deep fried Pepsi or the giant Elephant ears with peanut butter, jam and bacon crumbles, or the bacon-wrapped turkey legs. If you wanted something relatively healthy, there were fruit smoothie stands - ya wimp!
Were were somewhat disappointed by the fair this year. It is greatly curtailed. There is a new fair board and they have changed things around a lot. Many of the competitions now have an entry fee (?!?) and the submission process has been completely computerized which has cut out many of the older, more experienced competitors. The knitting and sewing competitions were so shrunken. The quilts used to be displayed all around the upper reaches of the exhibit hall, two and three quilts high. this year, it was mostly pretty little wall-hangings displayed on a chicane of screens. They were beautifully done, but somehow not as heart-warming as the newlywed's first quilt made from pieces of her husband's worn out shirts and the embroidered bib off her old apron: a real scrap quilt, made for use, not display.
The photography competition used to take up an entire building, with youth, teen, adult and professional divisions. I learned a lot about photography by strolling through those displays, and always felt my eye was sharper afterwards. This year, it was all amateur, and filled half of a small room.
There were years when the small animals building was filled with furry critters on one side, and feathery friends on the other - row after row after row of myriad varieties of bunnies, chickens and ducks. This year, there were row after row of empty cages.
And in the vendor's building, it was suspiciously spacious. They had taken out two whole rows of booths and widened the aisles. Where was the guy who sells the small steel clamps and scissors and vices? Where was the guy who sells those nice leather wallets of all styles and configurations? The pearl oysters were there as usual, and I got two silver blue, and two cream pearls, between 8 and 8.5 millimeters. Yay! The mink-oil ladies were demonstrating the wonderful moisturizing qualities of their products. The cham-wow guys were still touting the wonders of their cloths, and the plastic chopper in a hopper guy was still making fresh salsa, but many, many of the weird and wonderful things you never knew you needed were gone.
If we had driven from the far corner of the state to attend the fair, I would have been darn disappointed. Where were the biggest pumpkins and the tallest sunflowers? Where were the Four-H aprons and hand-hemmed napkins that girls learn to make for their hope-chests? Where are the has of canned carrots stacked up in meticulous spirals like small red-gold coins, and the canned beans, hand selected for size and color and lined up in their jars with military precision? Where are the shelves and shelves and shelves of jam jars, sparking like jewels? What has happened to the annual flaunting of abundance and good husbandry?
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
A little of this, a little of that . . .
Our outdoor room in the backyard is great for entertaining. However, in the morning, there are sometimes spots of sunshine that filter through, and on a hot day,
We did the walking portion - a mere 6.5 miles with a climb equal to twelve flights of stairs. It was awesome. And on the top of that climb, there were Taiko drummers, stirring the blood and cheering us on.
Friday, August 01, 2014
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Best twenty years of my life!
Mary Jean looking too cute in her shorts.
Judy enjoying the peace
Jakob was fascinated by the hazelnut shells in our garden.
Lovely Lisa and Katy gracing the buffet.
There is always too much cake. I sent home great big chunks of cake with people, and we still have this left to take care of. And a big bowl of pasta salad, and half a bowl of fairly piss-poor sangria I made. The wine and beer got used up, and I carried around the deviled eggs to make people take the final 3.
The various seating areas worked out splendidly. People gathered and talked and relaxed and were happy together.
My brother, Denny, and his wife came from Redmond. I felt really honored. And he complimented my pasta salad! Squee!
Paul and David came and brought me flowers. More squees!
In fact, the whole day was filled with squeeful moments.
Now it's time to start cleaning up. Damn, life is good!!
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
today in history
We have been whacking weeds for days to get things in shape. The blackberries and the morning glories are still carrying on their turf war in the north corner (Near the neighbor's dog pen. The smell of dog poop renders us willing to cede the territory.) Kyle sprayed with toxic chemicals and the morning glories took heavy casualties, but they are so well entrenched and so effective with their grass-roots campaign that the victory is only temporary. However, their defoliation made the blackberry canes more accessible to long-handled pruning shears, and for the fist time in a year, we can see the back fence!
We topped our garden beds with 2 yards of broken hazelnut shells for mulch. (We are in the top hazelnut producing part of the world after all.) It is lighter in weight than bark chips and is delightfully crunchy underfoot. Cats won't poop in it, and slugs don't have the guts to walk across it. Some people don't care for it color, but I like it a lot!!
Still, Saturday is predicted to be hot and sunny, so I am planning on putting the food out with bowls of ice underneath them. I was arranging bowls on the dining room table, and the cat traps worked again!
Months ago, we bought some Cougar Gold, which is reputed to be some of the best cheddar available. We will be serving it Saturday. It's going on a covered cake platter. And I am planning lids or bug screens for everything else as well. Deviled eggs, hot dogs, pasta salad, raw veggies, fruit, carrot cake, cookies, chips and guacamole, pickles, olives, whatever else leaps to mind. Sangria using that bottle of plum wine and the bottle of pomegranate wine, and maybe some two-buck-Chuck red, cranberry juice, sparkling water, oranges and lemons. And whatever else it needs to taste good. (Bourbon?) (I put cherry rum in the last batch of Sangria I made) Our shopping list keeps growing. And Friday, I am going to be boiling and baking and brewing all day long. Saturday, buy a few more bags of ice and arrange everything nicely.
I got out the wedding photos and was kind of taken aback. Many family and friends have died over the past 20 years. Yes, I'm at that age now. But how did James Garner get to be 82 years old all of a sudden? Not that he was at our wedding, but you know what I mean, don't you? The way time runs over you like a rat in golf shoes?
I have a friend (Hi Leslie!) who married a nice man in Malawi. Turns out that they are running an orphanage, and could use some bright quilts. I'd be happy to ship a batch, but I'm told that things shipped to Africa often go astray. Anyone got any suggestions or advice?
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Sandy Mountain Days
The park has this awesome play structure, and lots and lots of trees, but the real action was further downhill.
Local crafters and vendors had set up their tents all over the hillside in amongst the trees. There were potters and quilters and soap-makers, people frying elephant ears and selling lemonade, people selling really neat wooden swords and pretty tinselly crowns with ribbons to trail down a girl's back.
There was live music and people picnicking in the shade. There was a strolling magician, and there were gleeful kids playing in the crick (or creek if you're fussy. I always played in the crick.)
All in all, it was a splendidly successful expedition. AND we got in almost two miles of pleasant stroll to and from the car.