Archive for the ‘farmers’ Tag

10-03-2014 Journal Entry-Fryeburg Fair #3   Leave a comment

This third installment of Fair day will be my last lame attempt to take you there.  I  wish I had some sort of smell-a-vision to really help tell the whole story but since I don’t,  I’ll do the best I can with pictures.

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We’ve visited the animal barns in the last installment but there was so much more to see than just that.  I was extremely interested in the foods being offered since I’ve spent the last year on a rather strict eating regime.  This was a day for me to misbehave a little and the choices were numerous.  Here’s a brief collection of those possibilities.

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Here are two of my sins for the day . . . .

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“Deep fried veggies.’

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‘Funnel Cake’

I was also dragged kicking and screaming by my better-half to an endless number of exhibits of things that held no interest for me.  Just being a cooperative partner can be trying at times.  There was no end of the shopping possibilities and she wasn’t about to miss any.  Thank God we only have one grandson to buy for.  If I hear or see anything with Mickey Mouse on it any time soon I may run screaming into the night.

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“This was the only place that convinced me to spend my money.’

Now here’s a montage of photo’s of a host of other things that piqued my interest as we roamed around.

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This one last photo will further explain just how I felt after ten hours of walking, sweating, and rubbing elbows with those huge crowds of other hot, sweaty and smelly human beings.  I was totally exhausted and was just about done with Fair Day for this year.

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‘Suicide by hippo.’

But there’s always next year to do it all over again . . . . . .

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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.  

06-02-2013   2 comments

I thought I’d stop complaining about politics for a few days to begin complaining about Mother Nature and her lack of respect for me and my gardening skills. We seem to have the start of a summer with no moderate weather conditions.  For most of the month of May we had warm days and very cold nights.  We also were taken by surprise by a late frost or two that hit us with almost no notice.  The days were warm but the wind had a cold edge to it that just wouldn’t let up.  The frost ended up costing us a few dollars when it killed a number of the recently purchased cucumber plants.

In past years that would have set me off but I guess when you can’t do control something you have to move along and not let it make you too crazy. I replanted the cukes again after being assured by a nursery owner friend that we were safe from another frost.  Do we get a few days of moderate weather?  No effing way.

A week ago I was sitting on my deck relaxing and talking with my sister in Pittsburgh.  It was warm but still had a bit of chill in the air.  My sister was complaining about the heat wave they were suffering from and that the temps had been in the eighties for a few days.   We here in Maine usually receive the exact weather as Pennsylvania just three or so days later.  We had a day of moderate rain and then our heat wave arrived just as expected.  For three miserable days the heat was almost unbearable.  It was too hot to sit on the deck until late afternoon and sleeping became a freaking nightmare.  All of this weather and it wasn’t even June yet.  On top of the stifling heat the sun effectively roasted and toasted a large section of the garden.

So I make another trip back to the nursery for a few more replacement plants.  A number of other plants were slightly damaged as well but we were still hoping for a little rain to help them survive.  Three days later they died as well as did some of the latest replacements.  This kind of stuff is expected these days with weird weather patterns slowly becoming the norm.  It gives me a whole new understanding and appreciation of how it must have been back in the day when your life and your families life  depended on having a successful garden and crops.  Those old time farmers must have had a great deal of faith and a lot of guts.

Once again I replanted all of the cucumbers, watered them in, and prayed the weather would moderate a little with just enough rain to keep them healthy.  It was now the first of June and I hoped for the best.  Another mistake for sure.  I monitored the weather and soon became aware of possible thunder storms heading our way.  It began to rain and it poured for hours.  It was so bad that some of my newest plantings were washed out of the ground.  I’m beginning to get the idea that the gardening gods are messing with me.

If your going to garden you must be ready for almost anything.  Patience is required as well as a supply of really good cuss words.  They don’t actually help the situation but they do have the ability to make you feel a little better.
I’ve just replanted the cukes for the third and hopefully last time.

At the rate the grass is growing it should be knee high in a matter of days. That should give me something new to stress about.  Mother Nature is definitely not our friend so far this Spring.