Saturday, September 30, 2006

And No Fair Is Complete Without...

Hogs, cows, and goats. This goat looks just like one I had named Daisy. Gosh I miss her.

Saturday At The Fair

I just love the fair. All of the smells of caramel corn, doughnuts frying, onions, peppers and sausages cooking,all mixed together. Even the sounds of the carnival barkers, and music from the rides, and carousel. For one week of September, the downtown around the courthouse is transformed into a fantasy land.

As far back as I can remember, I have gone to this fair. We would get the same spot every year to watch the parade. It was in front of the Laundromat, why it was there, I have no idea, but it was a place everyone knew we would be located and everyone could meet up. We would get there early so we would have a good view of the marching bands, and floats that would come by. I remember my Father, solemnly standing and putting his hand over his heart each time the American flag would go by. I think he spent most of the time standing as everyone seemed to have one. After the parade, we all would walk a block over to where the rides, and food tents were. We would spend the whole day running from ride to ride, not being able to go on them all, as we were only allowed to go on a few, then we would all go to the Lions tent and get a bowl of chili and a hamburger. The Lions tent is still there, in the same place it has been since time began. They have made a few modifications, but for the most part, it is the same. One reason we all went there is that it would rain nine times out of ten on the Saturday of the fair, and the Lions tent was a place to get in out of the rain and chill and huddle up.

It's funny how everyone has their particular place they have to eat, and the preferences of food they have. Some go to one particular church serving pie, and soup. Some go to the Lions. It's all about family ties, and traditions that have gone on for years.

I don't go to the parade any more. For some reason, I well up and cry at parades, and it can get a bit embarrassing. I have no idea why, but for me, it is a sob fest. Maybe memories of past years, and people, maybe the excitement of it for the participants, who knows. But I still go to the fair, and to the Lions tent and to the Eastern Star trailer for the best fried doughnuts a person could ever taste and get extra to take home to freeze so I can experience the fair throughout the year.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wooly Worm Forcast

According to this wooly worm, it will be a mild winter. Most of the wooly worms I have seen this year are pretty light. I did have another one to photograph with this one, but I accidentally killed it. Now I notice it's there in the background. I had no idea they were so delicate (sobbing). As long as wooly worms have been used by us country folk, they have rarely been wrong in forcasting the severity of winters. The darker the wooly worm, the colder the winter will be.

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter

I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter, and make believe it came from you. I'm gonna write it oh so sweet, it's gonna knock me off my feet. Kisses on the bottom, I'll be glad I got 'em. I'm gonna write and say I hope you're feeling better, and end 'with love' the way you do. I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter. And make believe it came from you.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Old Settlers

Today, I went to the fair looking for my brother, aunt, and cousins who went to the Old Settler's part of the county fair. My brother thought maybe he could win a prize for being the youngest one there.

It was held at the old high school gymnasium. Most of the old high school, is now a community center, with the food bank, and other civic services and classes. But the gym has pretty much remained the same over the years. Today, it was filled with mostly senior citizens, many with walkers and canes. I imagine many of these folks played basketball and cheered in this very gym many years ago, full of energy and expectations for their lives to come. Some, judging from the contests a little later in the afternoon, probably met at one of the dances that were held there, and eventually married.

I had picked up a shaved fried potato when I was walking through the fair on the way to the school, not knowing it was a complete program, which included lunch. It was a good thing I had the potato as I wasn't old enough to partake of the free lunch, but I did qualify for a beverage. The meal was served by some merry farm retirement place, which, now that I think about it, makes perfect sense.

There was a nice high school choir there that sang several patriotic songs, and other good old tunes everyone could sing along with, and everyone had a song sheet so they could participate in a sing along which followed the choir. After that, the host held a contest for the oldest person to have lived only in the county, a man of 99 years, the oldest male, 98 (you could only win once), oldest female, 97, the longest married couple, 63 years, and the most grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, 62, bless that woman's heart.

I think there was more of the program to be done, but the senior home bus arrived, and over half of the audience had to leave, so they wrapped up pretty quickly.

As I sat looking at all of these people I could see some of their lives unfold, their joys, and sorrows throughout the years. The wars they fought in, and the children they raised. They all looked content and wise to me. I'm sure if I would have talked to many of them, I would hear the frustrations they experience as a result of losing their youthful exuberance and bodies. Having good minds, but the body unable to keep up with their desires. One man said that in twenty years, this crowd will have even older people, mostly over one hundred, with all of the new medical miracles, and health care we have now. I wonder if that's such a good thing.

The County Fair

Yesterday, I went to the county fair and they had the draft horses out for show and judging. They are so massive and graceful at the same time. Of course, we all know one of these, don't we?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Puff Ball

With all of the rainy weather lately, Mother Nature popped up a puff ball in the yard. I think they are so neat, feeling a little like a rubber ball, and when you open them, they are snow white with a texture looking somewhat like a piece of bread. Some people love to slice them, dip them in an egg batter and breading and fry them. I haven't tried doing that but hear they are very good. Maybe my brother would like to have this one.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pig Skin Mania

Somewhere along the line, in the past couple of years, it happened. I have become a football fan. It used to be when a football game was on, I would immediately change the channel to something else. I never cared when folks talked about the games, or wanted to know if I had a particular team I liked. It really didn't matter to me.

Now, I have two teams I root for. Notre Dame, and the Colts. I have even found myself yelling at the television, scaring the poor dog to the point she barks at me. I don't know how it happened....But I have fallen into the football fever.

Someone...Feel my forehead...Am I okay?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Trash Talk

For years now, on the night before trash pick up, I have carried my one or two small trash bags out to the road. Last week, my brother calls me to say he had ordered one of those big containers with wheels that you roll out to the road, and that he had ordered me one too. I am now to use that. The trash people don't want to get out of their truck. These containers hold proably 6 large sized trash bags. So today, I put my ONE little bag in that thing and rolled it out to the road. ONE itty bitty little bag in the bottom of that big container on wheels. I don't know which is worse; the garbage person not wanting to manually throw one bag in the truck, or me putting one bag in a huge container and wheeling it all the way out there, then wheeling it all the way back to the house, when usually the one bag I have is usually light enough to throw out there from the kitchen window..

I can hardly wait until there is 2 feet of snow drifts to wheel through.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Changing Seasons

Fall is approaching quicker than I would like this year. The crops in the fields are starting to dry, flowers are drying out and going to seed, and the vegetables in the garden are in their final stages. In just a few weeks there will probably be a frost that will finish any of the garden that is left. Leaves are in the beginning stages of changing color. Festivals in the area are in full swing with good food and crafts to look at and purchase.

Summer just flew by this year. It seems like only about a month ago, it was Memorial Day weekend, with plans of short trips and projects in the yard and house. Now all of the planning is of putting things away for the Winter, taking the air conditioners out, putting away the hummingbird feeders, digging up some of the plants outside that can be potted and brought in, and cleaning out the heating ducts of the summer's accumulation of dust.

I get kind of melancholy this time of year. I realize all of the things I had hoped to do, didn't get done, friends I didn't get in touch with, and visits not made. There just wasn't enough time to work it all in.

In many traditions, Autumn is a time for reflection. People in their senior stage of life are said to be in Autumn. They have lived most of their lives, and it is a time to review their lives and the wisdom they have accumulated. They think about all of the things they had hoped to do, didn't get done, and friends they have lost touch with.They look on their accomplishments, and are deciding whether their lives were successes or failures.

I'm no where close to the Autumn stage of my life, but the changing of the seasons do bring about thoughts of changing parts of my life that I would like different. I'm not sure how many things I would like to do will get done, but I do know that I plan to have no regrets when I reach my own stage of Autumn.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Refrigerator

For about the past three years, I have had this whirling noise coming from the fan in the freezer. A "fonzie" type whack on the side of the refrigerator would eliminate the noise for a while. Over the years, it has increased to where, at times, it would keep me up an night if I was having trouble sleeping. I would have to get up, walk into the kitchen, smack the refrigerator, and go back to bed. Lately, the noise has taken a turn for the worse, sometimes even making a more ominous sound and I could only get the thing to stop whirling by opening the door and taking an item from the freezer and hitting right where the fan is located, only for it to start the noise almost immediately after the whack.

THREE years of this noise, and I had finally had enough this morning, so I emptied everything out of the freezer, got a screw driver and unscrewed the box where the fan was, got some WD40 type product and sprayed where that fan was. I plugged it back in and....NOT A SQUEAK, WHIRL, GROAN, or any other horrid noise coming out of it. It is purring like a little kitten.

Now I have to ask myself, why in the heck did it take me THREE YEARS to figure this out?????? I am so dense sometimes.

Update: The whirl is back! But not nearly so bad. Sigh, back to smacking it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Soup Anyone?

There are some things you just can't make a small amount of. Soup is one of them. I started out with this soup, thinking kind of small, and ended up with a couple of gallons. That is a HUGE stock pot there. Looks like veggie soup is going to be on the menu for several days.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Oh, Nothing

Every now and then, my mind kind of goes South and just sits beside me, kind of blank. There isn't much thought up in the noggin lately, although lots of things do cross my mind.

It's kind of like when I am riding in a car with someone, and I'm really quiet, and the other person will ask: "What are you thinking about?" And I reply: "Oh nothing," when really the thoughts going through my mind fifty miles an hour are something like...I wonder if I should start playing the clarinet again...Darn, I can't, I used it to hold the window up, then gave it away to a music student... Oh, there is a pretty tree... Maybe I should clean the basement... Gosh that lady over there looks awful, she shouldn't be wearing something like that, with the shape she has...I really should think about getting the car ready for winter...I need a hair cut...I wonder if there is someone that goes around to all of those telephone poles and takes all the papers and nails, and staples out...Look at all of those bird feeders, I bet they spend a small fortune in feed...Poor deer, didn't have a chance.

It is all going through my head in a matter of seconds, and nothing is really important so I don't say much out loud.

So there you have it, that's what's on my mind.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Country Fair

There was a Country Fair in a near by town this weekend so for lunch, I thought I would swing over there and get a bite to eat. I have had a terrible craving for a funnel cake for some time, and knew I could get one of those, as well as a couple of other things I have had a hankering for. I have been so good all summer and haven't hit the festival food places at all, so I thought I deserved a treat today. I had it all planned out. My first stop was at a local church's pork tenderloin place, as I felt nutrition came first with at least some meat on the menu. The tenderloin is long and thing and they put it on this small bun. You can fold it in half and it still hangs over the bun, it is that big.

After I ate the sandwich, the second course was to have a funnel cake. I went to this little trailer that on the top of it, had a sign that said: DUTCH FUNNEL CAKES...all of the boys in the trailer had cowbow outfits on complete with bandanas and cowbow hats. As I was standing in the line, I turned around to the ladies standing behind me and asked them if they thought that maybe these boys were Dutch cowboys as I pointed up to the dutch funnel cake sign. They started laughing hyesterically at the thought. None of us asked those fine boys. I ordered my funnel cake with powdered sugar and, of course, wore it on my red shirt the rest of the afternoon.

Next stop was the Amish home made ice cream place. I was watching all of the people and the beautiful scoops of ice cream and asking them what flavor they were eating and if it was good. I had a regular poll going on, asking couples eating differnt flavors which one they liked best, hoping I could make my mind up what I thought I would like. They had chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, peach, and strawberry. Hard decision isn't it? I got in line for my turn at the window and hoped I would have my mind made up by the time it was my turn to order. While I was waiting, I saw a sign on the booth saying: YES, OUR MILK AND EGGS ARE PASTURIZED...I don't know if folks thought they had a milker and a couple laying hens behind the booth to get their milk and eggs or what, but must have been a common question for them to have to put a sign up.

I decided on peach ice cream and it was wonderful, and by now, as you can imagine, am pretty miserable. I should have saved myself the trouble of eating all of that and slapped the funnel cake on one hip and the bowl of ice cream on the other, as now, about all I can do is waddle.

I think my cravings are gone for another year, or at least until next week when another festival will be happening, and begging me to eat my way through.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Holy Baloney!

I was leafing through a cook book the other day and came across this. You just don't see this every day.


60 lbs beef
40 lbs pork
3 lbs tender quick
1 1/2 oz mace
4 or 5 drops smoke flavor to each lb meat
3 oz black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 oz garlic powder
1 1/2 oz ground corinder seed

Mix the tenderquick to the meat and grind with course plate. After grinding, spread meat in cool place and let cure 48 hours. Then grind again 2 times thru fine plate (1/8 in. hole). Add the seasoning and mix well; 6 or 7 Qts. of water added to the meat makes mixing easier. This is good either frozen and fried in patties for sandwiches or canned as you would hamburger. to slice and use for sandwiches, either hot or cold. To can cold pack in hot water 2 to 3 hrs. Pressure cooker makes it too dry.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another One Of Life's Mysteries

Why is it a toilet paper manufacturer trims down the size of a roll of toilet paper year after year, and then comes out with a "mega" roll the same size as the regular size used to be years ago?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Marbles Galore!

Pulling in the drive this afternoon, I looked up towards the house and noticed a large cookie can sitting in front of the door. First thing I thought was Aunt Betty has dropped off some cookies! YAY! I hurried up to the house, and there was the cookie can, with my dog's chain sitting on the top of the can. I guess she thought that if I didn't see the big can going into the house, surerly I would find it when I let the dog out. I got a chuckle out of that.

I opened the can, and it was full of marbles! I had been talking with her this weekend when she came down, and I was showing her the "new" kitchen, about wanting to put marbles in the center of the hardware I had put on the front of the cabinets, and that neat marbles are hard to find now. She had said she had some somewhere and that if she found them, I could have what I wanted. She must have gone straight home and looked for those things. There are all sorts of neat colors and sizes, I will have a hard time only choosing six. Help!

The nod

I found myself going through Amish country near here today, so thought I would stop at the Amish store to pick up some popcorn and salt. They have the best, and it is so inexpensive, and as I seem to use mass quantities every time I make popcorn, that is the place to get it.

There seemed to be an unusual amount of buggies on the road today, and everyone riding were all dressed up. Men had ties, and the women had white lace on their dresses. Even the store was busy with many people, and they were dressed up too, for the most part.

One thing I admire about the Amish is that as you pass their buggies or meet eye to eye, they nod to acknowledge you. A few wave, not a big wave, just a subtle raising of the hand and down, very quickly. Years ago, I had a sales route in another Amish community and discovered that either a wave, or a nod was in order if you met each other's eyes, so I learned to nod a long time ago. It must be considered rude not to make some sort of gesture if you look a person in the eye. I can't imagine people walking down the streets in a big city all waving or nodding everytime they look at another person. Heaven forbid if two total strangers passing by one another "connect." Then again, if they all did that, maybe there would be some sort of sense of community where there is none now. You can't hardly cuss out a stranger for walking in front of you if they nodded and smiled first.

As I left the store and headed down the road, I passed by a sign that said: CHIKENS $6.00 PIGUNS $2.00. The sign was pricelss and I wish I had my camera to share it with all of you but you get the idea from this. (I made a mental note to have my camera with me at all times.) A little farther down the road I encounterd a lot of buggy traffic and a drive, where they were all pulling in. There were hundreds of buggies parked in the fields, most were covered with leather covers, and the horses taken to the barns somewhere. There were all of these people all dressed up, volley ball nets in the yard, and people roaming and standing about everywhere. I don't know if it was an Amish wedding, or maybe it was their Labor Day picnic, but it was a huge affair. Again, I wished I had put my camera in the car, not to take pictures of the people, as that is not allowed, as the Amish feel if their image is captured, their soul is taken, something like that, so one does not photograph them, but you can of the buggies and such.

It just turned out to be a great day to go get that popcorn and see all of those people. I have a certain envy for the Amish. Things are simple. Life is simple. Nothing fancy, no pretentions, things with them just ARE. And that is it for now, signing off with a nod.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

It's A Doozie!

I had to go into town to run an errand this morning and there is a huge festival and car auction going on. The largest in the WORLD. I took my camera to take a few pictures of some of the Auburns, and Cords, and Duesenbergs that were arriving for a show, and judging. I got so excited, most of my pictures were blurred and somehow took about five pictures of the ground. These are some that came out okay. This is a Duesenberg. Notice the "trunk" in the back. They were not part of the car but seperate.
This is an Auburn. These cars were made here. There is a fascinating muesum in this town. The actual car factory.
Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum It's a great place to visit! TThe term "doozie" came from these cars, and I am here to tell you they ARE doozies!
This is a Duesenberg super charged roadster. These cars had class, and engineering beyond their time. Some of these cars were V16! Today we think a six cylinder car is a big deal.
This pictured didn't come out well. The hood ornamant is a glass crystal eagle head! They didn't mess around when it came to luxury! A Cord... Some day I hope to have one of these cars. I know I am dreaming. Marlene Dietrich's Duesenburg went up for auction a few years ago and had a RESERVE (minimum of what they will sell it for) of 1.5 MILLION.