Archive for the ‘farm animals’ Tag

10-01-2013   Leave a comment

I’ve been mentioning the Fryeburg Fair for a month now and today was the day.  We were up at dawn and enroute to pickup the better-half’s daughter and one year old grandson.  I’d  pounded down two quick cups of coffee to get my heart started and to keep me alert during the fifty minute drive to Fryeburg, Maine.  It was early, I hadn’t slept all that well, and I knew it was going to be a very long day.

I was looking forward to taking the grandson to his first Fair but everything else was up for grabs.  As we entered the town of Fryeburg traffic was exactly as expected, grid lock.  We moved very slowly through town to the area where the fairgrounds are located and parked in the front yard of a local resident for $5.00 bucks.  Every house on the street approaching the fairgrounds has a sign up and a person waving a flag trying to entice idiots like us to park with them.  Depending on the size of their yard they can turn a nice profit during Fair week.  We unloaded the two hundred pounds of baby stuff, threw the little guy into his high-tech stroller and began walking the short distance to the main entrance of the fairgrounds.

When I say there were thousands of people swarming the area I’m not kidding.  I have a minor phobia about large crowds and close quarters and I knew today was going to test me in a big way. 

The better-half has a few things during every Fair visit that have become a tradition for her such as immediately buying a stack of postcards, a giant plastic coffee mug, and chowing down on a box of french fries.  It took just a few minutes for those three items to be scratched from her to-do list and the rest of us were finally permitted to find a freaking rest room.

The crowds continued to grow, the sun came out, and it turned into a beautiful yet sweltering day.  During the drive to the Fair the temperature was in the low fifties but within an hour of our arrival it started climbing into the mid seventies.  An absolute scorcher as it turned out.

We visited exhibits, nibbled at various food items and delivered the grandson to the petting zoo for an introduction to a few of Mother Natures favorite animals.  He was curious for a moment as he and his mother were mobbed by a herd of small goats looking for the food they were carrying. His interests in the goats waned a bit but then he discovered the straw covering the floor.  It held his interest almost as long as the goats.  Maybe next year he’ll be more interested in the animals. 

We sat for a time in the shade of a tree and listened to a local performer singing a selection of songs and making nice with the crowd.  We were able to catch our breath, cool off a little, and change our damp little boy.  He had some fun clapping with the music and trying to dance and smiling and giggling at everyone.  It was pretty cool.

It was as expected a very long day.  We visited more animals, barns, horses, oxen, cattle, chickens, and llamas than I ever want to see again.  We ate more food, drank more water and made many more trips to the restrooms.  That for me is the biggest racket of all at this Fair.  They have an assigned attendant in each restroom who I was expected to tip after relieving myself.  Of course I left no tip because I refuse to pay someone to stand there and direct me to a urinal and then watch me take a leak.  Something is just wrong and a little creepy about that and I refused to participate.  I’d love to see just how those folks would list that job on their resume.  I won’t even try to guess.

It was finally four o’clock and we’d been roaming around for almost eight hours.  My back hurt, my feet hurt, I was hot and sweaty, and the baby was getting a little cranky.  The better-half and her daughter were exhausted as well and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.  So we did.

The soft seats of that car were the best part of the day.  The baby instantly fell asleep and we made our way home.  I was happy to be involved with his first official Fair visit and we were able to document it with hundreds of photographs.  Next year he’ll be walking, talking, and be a little more aware of what’s going on around him.  I’m already looking forward to that.

I’d really like to write more but I’m heading for the shower and then our nice soft bed. I am pooped.  

09-17-2013   Leave a comment

Fall has officially arrived here in Maine and I can tell because it’s six in the morning, I’m sitting in the living room and I can see my breath.  We normally wait until October to turn on the heat and this year will be no different. With the cost of heating oil being what it is we’re forced to suffer with some cold temperatures for a few more weeks.  We actually covered what was left of our garden last night due to the anticipated frost that our expert weather people are calling for.  For a change they were spot on.

I’ve always been adamant about not liking hot weather and that hasn’t changed much over the years.  The worst part for me is the short periods of time between the seasons where I’m forced to adjust to the change.  I’m sitting here this morning fresh from my bed where my ever so popular electric blanket continues to keep my better-half warm and toasty.  I was finally forced to get it out one morning last week when I woke up at three AM with with my feet freezing and my teeth chattering.  Transitions can be a large pain in the backside but what can you do?

In another week the garden will be finished and I’ll begin storing things away to prepare for the first snowfall.  I’m looking forward to that as I usually do because believe it or not I enjoy the coziness of winter.  It’s a quieter time that allows  us to snuggle in and to enjoy each other’s company. It’s a time to take care of long delayed projects and for reflection on the past year and the beginning of expectations for the next.

With the tourists out of the picture we can start visiting many of our favorite places that we’ve avoided for the last few months.  No more ridiculous parking fees and never ending beach traffic.  We can now bundle up and return to walking the beach to enjoy Mother Nature without gangs of visitors clogging up the area.

Hopefully within the next hour or two the sun will come out and warm things up a little.  We’re anticipating temperatures today nearing seventy which is nice but not long after sundown the temperature will drop suddenly into the high thirties and low forties.  We’ll eventually make the adjustment and in no time be ready to sit back for a few months and enjoy the season.

I know it’s really Fall since my arm is stiff and sore from that damn flu shot I got yesterday.  I guess I’m ready for just about anything.  We’ll be taking lots of photographs in the coming month which is always enjoyable and the Fryeburg Fair is just weeks away.  It will be the last big get together for the state of Maine this year and my better-half loves reconnecting with all those farm animals she hasn’t seen since last year.  She’s what you might call a closet farmer with a passion for piggies and a secret wish that she’d been born a hundred years ago on a farm.

I’m almost completely awake now and after one more cup of hot coffee I’ll be ready to face the day.