Tuesday, September 01, 2009

School, The Fair, and School Again

Too much water under the bridge to cover all of it. The main things are the trip to Madison to get the girl back to school. This was the second time for us and the planning and packing went much better this go around. We borrowed a mini van from one of my brothers, packed it to the gills and headed out early. We reached Madison about noon and were unloaded and in the apartment in less than an hour. We said our good-byes and did the hug thing and I was back on the road and in the Twin Cities by 6:30 that night. Took a bit to get the road vibrations damped down, but a good sleep later I was feeling fine.

I stayed over night in my "other house," the one that has been on the market for over a year and a half. This is getting way too old. I don't get down there enough to keep all of the shrubs trimmed or the garden weeded. I did some of that before packing the now empty van up with the plants that were still in the house. Two of them were tall enough that they had to be bent to fit in the van. One I had to tie up after it tipped over and fell out of the pot. When I finally made it to Duluth, the big ones went out to the deck which was the wrong thing to do apparently. The big fern that has been with me for thirty years or so got too much sun and became burnt. The Norfolk pine likewise burned and the palm got too cold and is now dropping its discolored leaves. I brought them all inside as soon as I saw the damage, but I don't know if they will make it.

We went back down to the Cities last week to go to the state fair and hear Taj Mahal and Bonnie Raitt. On either side of that we weeded furiously to get the front garden spruced up. Having done that, I took the house off the market. Time to try something different.

A word about the Minnesota State Fair - actually three words - "on a stick." Ninety-five percent of the food sold at the fair comes on a stick and most of that is deep fried. Needless to say, the people watching is superb. Now, I am not a big fan of stick food, but it is interesting to see the pushing of the boundaries that occurs as vendors try to come up with the next "great" thing on a stick. We have the original corn-dog or pronto-pup on a stick that started the whole thing. I suppose cotton candy could also be included as one of the originals. But now there are pork chops on a stick (OAS), bacon OAS, deep-fried ice cream OAS, and the newest and highest calory food OAS - the deep-fried snickers bar OAS.

All of this plus the burgers, brats, foot long hot dogs, fries, deep-fried cheese curds, beers, popsicles (OAS), pizza, gyros, falafels, and on and on and on. There is the bottomless cup of milk in the dairy building right next to the cooler where Princess Kay of the Milky Way is sitting while a butter sculptor is carving her likeness in a huge block of (you guessed it) butter.

We saw the Big Pig (all 1300+ pounds of him), petted the little pigs (newborns), saw the horses in the horse barn from the little miniature ones about three feet high to the great big ones - Clydesdale's and Percheron's. We saw the big fish pond full of sturgeons, paddle-fish, trout, bass, crappies, pike, and others I didn't know. We watched people being shot 160 feet into the air in a giant slingshot where they must disinfect the seat between shots. We saw people hauling giant stuffed animals that were as big as themselves to god knows where. What do you do with something like that?

We went on some rides at the insistence of the female contingent of our party (Risa, her sister Sylvia, and HER sister Nicole) and they all picked rides that threw you around and around in ever increasing death spirals accompanied with involuntary screams that erupted from the deep down animal sides of our psyches. My neck still hurts from trying to keep my head from hurtling off and beaning some innocent bystander eating something OAS.

After that nonsense, we sat down for some more food and beer before Risa and I headed off for the concert. It was a beautiful night to be sitting in the grandstand listening to wonderful music. When it was all over, we strolled out of the grandstand while the fireworks exploded overhead. One last stop for some garlic fries and more beer before leaving the fairgrounds with what remained of the 114,000 good folk who shared our day at the fair. There was then the shuttle bus ride back to our car about midnight and home to bed.

Now it is back to work (for Risa), back to school (for Joe), and back to trying to figure out what to do with the unsold house in the Cities (for me). For now, I think I will try and rent it. I put an add up on CraigsList and we'll see if that gets any action.

So, that's about it for now. The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler. Some of the trees have started to turn. This means it is time to start burying our nuts for the winter.

Ta ta.


Blogger lime said...

ah the college movie in, i experienced my first as a parent. quite an adventure.

you have very much made me anticipate our own giant state fair. i can hardly wait now. you mentioned pizza and falafel, wonder if they could ever be put OAS....hhmm....

how disappointing that the southern digs still have not sold. i hope you can sort somethign out soon.

6:37 AM, September 02, 2009  
Blogger Kristie said...

I'm a cheese curds and mini doughnuts gal, myself. Finger food, rather than food on a stick. Our family motto at fairs is "What can we eat now?" I don't do rides; I get nauseated watching trains pass.

I hope you get somewhere with your house; I hadn't realized it'd been that long. Keeping a good thought for you; the market's got to improve. No place to go but up.

10:30 AM, September 02, 2009  

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