Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fair times

Ah yes, State Fair time. For us long term residents, we know that this leads into a rainy pattern of weather.....although, I have to say it's not much different than the rest of what passed for summer this year, lol It's sort of tradition that you go to the Fair and get rained on-usually with a stiff breeze accompanying the drench. Most folks go well prepared with rain gear, that they will hastily remove at the first hint of sun and tote tied around their necks and waists as they meander from booth to booth.

I really enjoy going to the State Fair, I really do. I like most of the exhibits, and of course the food is incredible. I generally never make it as far as the horse shows because I am with my hub and son-who have no interest in that. I try for a Xinga and a plain coffee when I first arrive, then graze my way through the place, gorging on hot corn on the cob, fancy confections, peanut spuds, and topped off with a bread bowl of marvelous soup down by the midway. I end up spending hours (and plenty of dollars) at the midway so my son can enjoy the rides, along with 1000s of other children. I will eventually stroll up and watch in awe, the fools who get sling shotted (is that a phrase??) into the air, strapped into a two seat contraption and vaulted at speed upwards. Not for me thankyouverymuch! Then I will wander through the fancy toy haulers and motorhomes, buy tickets at every drawing, marvel at the giant veggies (no entry for me this year, darn it) look in awe at our talented artists' exhibits....and generally wear myself right out. I almost always miss the good events at the corral, and have missed the logging demo a couple of years in a row. I'll stand with others and listen to performers, and giggle myself out of the way of the goofy parades. You'll find my husband making repeated trips to the oyster bar, and tagging along behind me with resignation ;) He'll buy a new pocketknife and get his current one sharpened, and will chat with the dozens of people he knows.

State Fair time generally means that horse owners are trying to stock up on hay, and the bulltein boards and the local horse magazine are crammed with horses for sale. With prices finally starting to correct, and the size of the PFDs this year, quite a few are going into new homes I bet. I am still keeping an eye out for a good riding horse for myself, one that could possibly work into a decent mount for my son. Who now has the bug.

A few days ago, the owner of the Princess (pony) and her hony (they act like an old married couple, I swear-for all that he's a middle aged gelding) came for a visit. She graciously agreed to allow my son a ride on the Princess-and he's hooked. Even bareback on a broad backed, geriatric pony who did nothing more than walk around, and that's it, I have heard comments at least once a day since. My son already makes up feed pans, rakes out the barn, takes care of the chickens, helps with watering, and other smaller chores as it is. I know he really wants a pony or horse for himself, because it's not unusual for me to find him hanging off Princess, talking sweet and petting/scratching her. She, of course, is tolerant of accepting her due, and is a great walk/trot lesson pony in her own right.

Now is the time I will start putting up vegetables out of the garden. I have already harvested most of the cauliflower and broccoli, and I am keeping a close eye on the zucchini because I definitely want to make more relish this fall. My son has already sampled the corn in the greenhouse-and tells me "it's really good, Mom!" even raw. I have beans about ready for first picking too, and peas are coming on gangbusters. We've been eating tomato and cucumber salad for a while now, but I don't think I will have enough cucumbers to pickle. Tomatoes I have in abundance, yippee! I have to set some aside just for seed too. All the tomatoes in the greenhouse are direct from seeds I harvested last year and I have to say, they are good producers.

Soon enough, I will be processing potatoes into jars for long term storage. A friend offered to loan me a "french fry" cutter....which would certainly make dicing spuds go a lot faster! I swap them a couple cases of canned spuds for the potatoes they grow which are organic. They grow the best red eyes I have ever eaten, by far, and they can very well too. Since I have no carrots to speak of this year, I will have to buy some from the produce truck which will be parked down the road from my office. My hub isn't a big fan of cooked carrots, but they are a nice addition to casseroles, soups and stews-besides, I generally buy at least 50 pounds for the barn residents too, lol

I have been picking what few barries I have at home, and putting them into the freezer as they ripen. In about three weeks I will be making the trek up to my one "never fail" high bush cranberry spot, so that I will have many pounds ready for making into cranberry ketchup, jelly, and as a base for barbecue sauce.

The firewood is almost done now, should be finished this week. When all the harvesting is taken care of (and hopefully a moose too) we will be pretty well set for winter.

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