Tag Archive: county fair

Sticking My Foot Into It

The past few weeks, I have been seriously AWOL.

I have thrown up a post here and there. I have dropped in on a few of the other bloggers that I enjoy but the truth is I took a break from the blogging world.

So where have I been?

Image by Grafixer

First of all, we had County Fair. It was a great week in which the rabbits stayed at the fair grounds. We showed them and the guinea pigs. My daughter made a poster about her turtle and fishing. She already has an idea for her sports fishing project for next year. My son worked on a theater portfolio which made it as a state fair delegate.

A week later, we headed to the State Fair with another family so that four projects – fudge, cheese muffins, the portfolio and a paper collage project – could be judged at the state level.

The week following our State Fair trip I was working on the rummage sale for our church. We set up tables, organized items, priced them, and prepared for people to walk in on our preview sale for Friday Night and the regular sale on Saturday. Then there was the clean-up.

I bagged up clothes to put in a donation bin, shoes to go to Share Your Souls shoe charity, puzzles went to a senior apartment center and left over baked goods were served during our Sunday morning gathering.

What I have been doing is checking in on Facebook with updates of items we had for sale.  But then I allowed myself to join a conversation about a placard that stated 29% of military members were denied the right to vote.

Image from a facebook friend’s page.

I am not sure why it rankled me so much. Maybe it was because the placard did not tell the whole story.  Nor did the placard mention that the story initially broke in the fall of 2011.

So who is responsible for getting that ballot out? Well, that would be the county clerk’s job once a request has been made and those ballots have to be sent out 45 days before the election. Once you receive your ballot you have so much time to get it back and that depends on where you are stationed.

People not having the ability to vote taken away from them is bothersome. But this story is a year old. I want to know how or if this issue has been resolved because all of my searching found nothing new.

So I am asking all of you who know someone in the military fighting overseas if this happened to them. If it did, were they able to resolve the problems from the 2010 vote? Are you helping to ensure that your person in the military who is overseas is able to vote in the upcoming election?

You might question why I am asking. There is a part of me that wants to know if anyone tried to resolve the situation.  Another part of me wants to have the last word and say “See, this is not a conspiracy. This is bad behavior on the part of some 3,000+ county clerks.”

In the end, knowing the whole story is what I am after. Did this truly affect someone anyone knows? Did they make efforts to be able to vote in the next election no matter what? Do they need help from family members who are stateside in order to get their right to vote? Did the story that ran on Military.com make a difference at all?

You tell me.






Summertime, Summertime

It is summer time.

The kids are home and driving the husband crazy.

This is when working at home can suck. You have deadlines to live by but the kids want all of your attention. And a big fight is the best way to get it.

So what do you do as a work-at-home parent when the other parent works out of the house?

We have come up with a three-prong plan.

Image by Sanguglen

First of all, plan a chore list everyday or most days depending on your schedule. Our lists comprise of things that have to be taken care of everyday such as pet care, music practice time and reading.  I also throw things on to keep the house picked up. They do jobs around the house as well as keep their rooms cleaned up.

This year I told the kids that if their jobs are not done when I get home from work, there will be consequences. Dad should not have to stand over them every moment of the day to make sure the chores are done. I will take away devices, turn off the tv, and ban friends from the house. They also know I will follow through on this.

No one wants to lose screen time.

Image by Phaewilk

Secondly, we utilize every Vacation Bible School (VBS) program we can find. For one week during the morning or the evening, kids get to learn a little about Jesus while making crafts and singing songs. Many of their friends are there and a good time is had by all.

One of the churches is doing a one day VBS on a Saturday. Yep, the kids are going to that one as well. Luckily, most of the VBS programs at various churches are well spaced out so just when staying at home all of the time gets a little boring, they are off to another church.

My personal jar of boredom buster ideas

Lastly, I have the “I’m Bored”  jar. Other people have posted blog entries about their jar. I loved one post that listed 150 different ideas to break the curse of boredom.

Of course, this was from a stay-at-home mom who was trying to come up with ideas for winter/Christmas break. And I applaud her creativity from which I completely stole as I worked on my “I’m Bored” jar.  The slips of ideas I put in were more relative to the interests of my kids but I did write out about 150 different ideas.

I have things that involve raspberry picking, going to the Farmer’s Market or writing a letter to Grandma. I ask that they go with whatever hits the hand first but the kids have been known to sift through the slips until they find one they like.

It doesn’t hurt that we have the County Fair near the end of the summer which means there will be things to get ready. And the end of fair always seem to signal the end of summer, especially when band camp starts the next day.

But for now, it is time to enjoy hotter than hot days that end with cool breezes in the evening. There are fruits to be picked, books to read, and water sprinklers to dance under.

Bring it on!!!!

How do you deal with  Summer Boredom Syndrome at your house?

Product Thursday

Can you eat too much fried food?

As an adult the answer has to be yes. Considering this is fair week, the bulk of our suppers have been at fair, which means a lot of fried food. For kids the answer is a reply – “there is such a thing as too much?”

The Magical Elephant Ears and Funnel Cakes Stand.

This week, Product Thursday is doing the sacrifice of eating both a funnel cake and an elephant ear. We want an answer to the question of which is better. Since no one is willing to answer it, I will have to go the distance and make the big sacrifice.


In the fryer together

The choices were staggering. Caramel apple, Boston cream, simply chocolate covered or plain ole elephant ears with the cinnamon sugar. It was all a taste sensation.


I boldly went up and requested an elephant ear and a funnel cake. The woman in the stand happily took my $10 and wondered (inside her head) what kind of idiot I was. After I took a picture or two, I explained what I was doing, that me and the little taste testers were determining which was better.

Putting on the cinnamon-sugar.

The ladies laughed and said it was  all good. One has cinnamon sugar and the other is covered with powdered sugar.

I agreed. Who can not love something that is flour, sugar and hot oil?
I ask about the fried oreo on a sign on the outside of the booth and the ladies reply that people report it is like eating a brownie fresh out of the oven. I am going to have to try that tomorrow. Today, my focus is on something else that is also deep fried.

Powdered sugar in a wire mesh basket raining on a funnel cake.

Sara is demanding all first bite rights. Maybe she got it, maybe she didn’t. There was a lot of “heys” and “no fairs” and perhaps a sigh or two from the parents. But then we begin eating.

Suddenly, I realize that the elephant ear has a bit of a yeasty taste to it. The husband notes it is like eating a donut.
The funnel cake has a sweeter and lighter taste. And there is the crunch factor. Funnel cakes manage to be crunchy and soft with each bite.

Eating it up.

Now, I ask the hard question. Which is better? Elephant ears are yeasty goodness, funnel cakes are more like pancakes.

The table states it is the funnel cake but they like the elephant ear, too.
We finish the funnel cake first and yet there is a fight to see who will get the last bite of the elephant ear.

Funnel Cake and Elephant Ear, together for a very short time.

I think we are still divided.

Thank goodness this is one question that will not decide the fate of the nation.
Do you have a preference?

Surprises in the Garden

Every year, I can count on not knowing what is going to appear next.

Last year I was surprised by the super-tall sunflower and strawberries in the flocks. The year before that, I had a volunteer tomato plant in with the flowers.

There is always something surprising.

This year has been a whole host of surprises.

First was the pink Impatiens plant in the flat of red flowers the husband picked up for me.


Pink in a sea of red.

When I planted these guys, I noticed the first one. The second one was a surprise because not all of the plants had bloomed. The third one was placed in the middle of the red ones on purpose.

The next surprise was a plant I had never seen before, certainly did not plant and did not recognize until I did a search only to find it at an Illinois wildflower site.

Evening Primrose

I thought this was a Joe Pie Salad plant. Wrong!!! But it is lovely just the same and blooms in the evening. That was a nice surprise.

The other day I was looking at a new lily I planted. Could have sworn I order an orange-colored flower. But this is what came up.

It is not a Surprise Lily but what is it?


I was expecting a different flower than this. Problem is I don’t know what I have. Oriental Lily, yes. Variety, not sure.

While I was pondering this, I looked up and noticed another surprise.

Cream Hollyhock


A pure cream-colored Hollyhock. My other cream-colored flowers has veins of color running through them but not this one. I think I know at least one flower I am showing at the County Fair.

Right before I put the camera away I had been trying to get a picture of butterfly. Neither one of us was very patient for that. However, that is when this bright patch of blue grabbed my attention.

Bachelor Button Blue


This plant is hidden in the Obedience Plant and another Hollyhock. But here is it, so deeply brilliant. Makes me wonder what I might see next week.

What surprises are in your garden?