Sunday, August 31, 2008

Minnesota State Fair - Part 3

     Yep, we're back at it!   As we walked through the gates we stopped for the traditional Poncho Dog.  $3.00 each.    It's definitely  the Saturday crowd - only 210,000 people walked through the gates today.  Everywhere you turned someone was there.   Jacob was craving the Roasted Corn-on-the-Cob just $3 an ear, I said "Let's go for it!".   Mmmmm it was worth the wait in line.  We actually found a nice shady spot to sit and chow down.  We picked up a large cup of 1919 Rootbeer for $4.00 along the way.  The corn was perfectly roasted and dipped into a vat of melted butter.  It's NOT served on a stick, they roast it with the husks still on.  After we composted our cobs we moved on to the Grandstand Building.  Inside are the usual various vendors.  Located at their usual spots year after year.  A seasoned fair attendee never needs a map.   The Shopsmith, the Minnetonka Mocassins,  Elle-pooh paper, The Jerky Shop, The Fudge Shop, The anti-abortion booth, Lake shore property for sale, The Post Office, Metrotransit, Light Rail, Massaging chairs, hammock chairs, dog tags, bamboo, dip sticks, NSP, cord-pro, Little Giant ladders, Harley Davidson, Le Paige lipstick, and so on.  A new addition last year was Snyder's Drug Store.  I think that was great because if you need an aspirin or antacid or bandage or even a Pearson's Nut Goodie your set!   The building is so congested that you usually inch along with the crowds.  It never fails your ankles will be the victim of a jogging stroller.  Or the Gramma on the power scooter will need to stop and chat with her group of friends at the crossroads of several aisles.   But you take it in jest and just listen to the man tell you how great the Vitamix machine really is.   After being herded out the side door from the upper floor of the Grandstand you mosey down the long ramp and stop at the Star Tribune building for a few prepackaged wet wipes and your free ice cream scoop.   We crossed over the grass to the stage to hear a nice pop band sing She's a Brick House and  Ring of Fire.  We chow down on Deep Fried Raviolis.   Mine were cheese and jalapeno.   Jacob's were beef.  We shared.  Both were good at $6.50 each.   We got 8 pieces each with marinara sauce to dip.   Now we were on to the Sky Ride.   We had to pass Famous Dave's.  That's where the new food - Chocolate Covered Bacon was sold.  We were too full to try it.  We were getting mixed reviews for it.  One person said the chocolate was good but that they tasted BBQ sauce and thought it was nasty.   However, we got to chat with the infamous Wally the Beer Man from the Twins Metrodome stadium!    We waited in line to purchase the sky ride tickets.  We opted for the round trip. $5 each.   What a view of the fair!  You do have the choice to stay on the ride and go completely round trip, or you can hang onto your tickets and board again later.  We stayed put, we wanted to see that end of the fair and work our way around.   So after our trek we disembarked and walked on to the Heritage Square.   Strolling through the museum train and past all of the artifacts.   Of course, we had to eat a Peter's Hot Dog.  The Best deal at the fair only $1.50.   Jacob's was plain, mine with onions.   We strolled through the Printing Press museum.  We walked past all of the stands and booths.  The leather and pelts, sterling and turquiose jewelry, quilts from Rosebuds Cottage.  Holly's Hobbies, KettleKorn, cast iron doorstops and banks, etc.  Two years ago I carried a cast iron bunny around the fair with me -yikes!   We checked out the AARP area and we both spun the wheel for a prize.  We  didn't win.  We trekked past the cream puffs since we had one the first day, and we stopped for the Fresh French Fries.  We shared the 32 ounce Best Buy bucket.  They are the best thing at the fair!   $4.75!  We chowed down on them while watching the channel 5  6 pm news cast.  After the news we each got a beach ball and Jacob received a water bottle.  All of that salty goodness had us sooooo thirsty we needed an Arnie Palmer, just $3 each.  A stop at Steichen's grocery store was in order.  A dumpy little store tucked back by the poultry barns, probably there for the 4-H  kids showing their animals.   This brings us to the animals.  Of course, the cows and llamas are a must-see.   We worked our way to the Miracle of Birth Barn, then the River Raft Ride.  We both decided we didn't want to walk around all wet, so we passed on that.  We blew off the Bob Doer Snake Zoo.  I know it's only a buck - but forget it, I don't need the nightmares. The Marines had a chin-up area  and Jacob wanted to participate, but you had to be 15.  They gave him a pencil instead.  The Empire Commons are where the butter heads of the Princess Kay of the Milky Way and her runner-ups are carved.  It is also where the ultimate Dairy Building Malt is purchased.   An avid fair goer MUST have the "Dairy Building" malt. They are $4.50.  The lines are astronomical, they put up ropes to keep people shuffling through in orderly fashion.  I had the raspberry with hunks of fresh raspberries, Jacob had are you ready - vanilla.    The Jeeps are across the street.  We visited the Red Wrangler.  That's on his list.   There is another Fresh French Fries stand here.  Also the pork chop on a stick is sold nearby.  But, if you have been following our blogs, you know we don't need grilled pork chops here.   That brings to the Haunted House.  Jacob begged to go in.  I didn't give in.  I'm hoping that when we go back on Monday his cousins will go through with him instead.   So we walked through the International Bazaar.  A band was performing so we found a few seats and watched them for awhile.  Which brings us to a Sensodyne  tent.  A "dental professional" would discuss tooth sensitivity with us for a free goody-bag and samples.   I didn't tell them that I am a "dental professional" and got the goody-bag for Jacob.  We wanted to walk through the Bailey House - the fairgrounds founder's and gardener's house, but we missed the deadline.  We looked at the topiary garden and then boarded the Space Tower.   What a view!   The lights were just coming on so it was getting fun.   After the ride, we stopped at the Leinie Lodge Band Shell and listened to the band Trampled By Turtles for a while.  They were free!   Unbelievable.   But that wasn't enough for Jacob he wanted to see The Black Keyes and the Black Crowes.  They were playing in the GrandStand.  We started our way back to them by way of the Pronto Pup stand.  He had to have a Papa Pup $5.  It is a foot long Pronto Pup.  We ate it in the air-conditioned natural gas building.  That is also where you get your wooden yard stick.   It makes for a great walking stick about this time.  After the dog was consumed we moved on to the concert.   The Black Keyes were already playing.   After much discussion, he decided that he would rather just ride the Skyglider which rides along side of the venue and watch it and other people for a round trip.  While on the Skyglider, he noticed that people were wearing necklaces with a blue flashing light on them, we had to track them down from the Chevy dealer.  By the time we got there, they were closed.   Bummer.   We strolled through many more stands, and decided to head for home.  We crossed the street and boarded our bus just at the right time.  We got a nice cushy seat and the bus filled up fast -  many squished into the aisles.   We called Grampa to pick us up from the Park & Ride lot.  It was a treat to see him sitting in the parking lot when we arrived.  My feet appreciated his close proximity!  Thanks Grampa!  What a fun day!  My grand total of food and drink consumption today was $54.75.   The rides total was $26.00  Grand Total of Fun - Priceless.   Actually, $80.75.  Including our admission - pre-purchased tickets at $8 each - $96.75.   

Friday, August 29, 2008

Finally - Back to the Minnesota State Fair!

  Thursday was Senior Day at the Fair!   My Dad joined us again since the admission was only $5.  Jacob always starts his fair day with the Poncho Dog corn dog.   (Get your mind out of the gutter, that second picture really is a corn dog.)  
 Me and my Dad had the "About a foot long" hot dog slathered in sauted onions.   Right after getting that monstrosity we stumbled upon this sign that says "Portion Distortion".  Steps to a healthy balanced diet.  

 In the Creative Arts Building we checked out all of the Blue Ribbon winners.   Then the Education Building to check out all the colleges and universities for Jacob's future and all of  the free handouts you can get.  Every year I say we're not going to collect all that crap, but every year we wind up with bag-fulls.   Only at the fair would you walk around with the state of Minnesota on your head! 
In this pic,  the white tall thingy in the background is an actual blade to a windmill.  Can you imagine how tall an actual windmill  must be!   We made it all the way to Machinery Hill.   All of the old classics were present.  My Dad and Jacob oogled over all the Farmall and John Deere's and Ford tractors.  I oogled over the old John Deere tractor-made strawberry ice cream Mmmm Mmmm Mmmmm!   
 Further down the road we stopped at the local radio station KQ92 booth - their morning show is a hoot!   They have a few shirts for sale -Jacob wanted this one - I of course said -No!    After visiting the Teen area - watching the extreme sporters - BMX'ers, skateboarders and the Rockband performers.  We moved onto the Pet Center sponsored by Chuck & Don's pet food outlet.   Then we hopped onto the Skyglider to ride back across the fair. It really saves a lot of steps and you can see for miles!   It was only two to a car - Me the ultimate chicken -  rode alone and Jacob rode with Grampa.   I actually let go for a sec to turn around to get a picture!                          
 We stopped at the Leinenkuegel's Beer Leinie Lodge Bandshell to listen to a group called Five by Design.  A Benny Goodman,  Lemon Sisters type show (remember it was senior day).   After chowing down on Bull Bites, Hash Browns on a stick,  & Macaroni & Cheese on a stick we watched Mel McDaniels perform Stand up, Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On and Louisiana Saturday Night, etc.   He wasn't that bad between inhaler puffs.

   We moved onto the Horticulture building to check out the large record setting pumpkins and veggies and the piece d' resistance the Crop Art!   Check out this slide show.   Keep in mind they are all created with seeds.  I just adore the feed sack display!   And I can't forget to show you the Sham-Wow! booth from the Merchandise Mart!  Everybody that walked by yelled "Sham-Wow!" in the australian accent.  It was time for the deep-fried Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.  That kinda hung in my craw for awhile.   Thank goodness for the little sample cups of a new iced tea by Coca-Cola.  By this time, we ran into cousins and an aunt at the Ball Park Beer Garden.  Their huge basket of garlic fries are legendary!     The karaoke is not!
Since we purchased lottery tickets at the fair we got a free t-shirt with a smiley face on it. Kare11 TV gave Jacob a bike helmet.  Quitplan gave him a water bottle and bunch of free mints, and the U of M handed out a great canvas backpack.  After listening to the band War perform  their hit Low Rider (theme song to the George Lopez show) we decided to head for home, after all we were there for 10 hours!   We'll back again tomorrow - this was only the tip of the ice berg....Robyn

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I thought I would give Dogs on Thursday a try.....

     Well,   I was just on Nikki's cute blog with Oz and Crumpet and Miles wanted to join in on the fun, too.   Miles is a Miniature Schnauzer.  Yes, I said Miniature Schnauzer.  I know, he can't help himself he just kept growing  and growing.    I guess the Iams Eukanuba was chock full of vitamins and minerals.   But he was the tiniest puppy.  He was so cute.   That little face was just irresistible.

     Here he is with his spiffy new haircut, he is such a pretty boy!

 The End!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's Tuesday!

     Here are a few ideas I have been thinking about for my late summer garden lunch.  I really like these sunflower plates.  I am uncertain about which glassware I want to go with it.  I may have to visit Homegoods or Pier One again.  I was thinking of the green bubbly tuscan style glasses that are short and squatty.   I will be serving grilled flatbread pizzas with roasted veggies and assorted grilled meats such as chicken and italian sausage, a roasted veggie balsamic pasta salad or a garden salad,  artisan breads or breadsticks with the assorted dips like I had on my vacation,  cannolis,  caramel apple cake or a rich chocolate turtle cake or chocolate cupcakes with sunflowers on top.  My guests are my aunts and cousins and all we drink is Diet Coke with ice cubes and a slice of lemon or lime.   I have my three tier stand from Smith & Hawken and ramekins for all my assorted pizza toppings and dips.   I have my zinc galvanized trays from S & H and Pottery Barn.  I also have a 4 hole sugar mold to hold all the flatware on the buffet.   I will definitely take pics when this takes place in a few weeks (after the fair...)

Monday, August 25, 2008

The MSF is Temporarily on Hold....

     Help!   The downstairs fridge called it quits.   That means all the extra meat purchased from Sam's Club has no place to go!    All of the Egg Rolls, Chicken Kiev's, Lean Cuisine's, Ore Ida French Fries......god forbid Dove Bars are melting!   

     Today I made meatballs with 6 pounds of hamburger.   I figured I could freeze them after they were baked and the new fridge was delivered.   I felt like a caterer.

    Then I bbq'd chicken breasts,   pork chops,  today is the turkey breast.   I guess we'll be eating lots of spaghetti & meatballs,  fajitas and salads and pizzas......  I can just pretend I'm one of those super prepared moms that makes all her meals ahead of time.
     Meanwhile,  I have to  clean out the old fridge and vac behind it so that the delivery guy thinks  I am spotless.    ~ Robyn

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pink Saturday at the Fair!

     Yep!  We're back at the fair! 
      For Pink Saturday I found these tableclothes at the International Bazaar - hey and they are Waterproof!  
Here are a few shots of some topiaries for sale at the fair.


And Here's Fairchild!

Hang in there, more pics to dogs are barking and I'm bushed!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's Minnesota State Fair Time! Day #1

     Today is the start of our beloved Minnesota State Fair!   Twelve days of food,  fun,  farm animals,  and fancy work.   Our fair is the epitome of state fairs!  Not to brag, but it has the highest daily attendance of any other fair in the nation!   For the next 12 days I will share with you why!
     It's a tradition.   I always take a vacation day for the first day of the fair.   I always go with my son Jacob and my Dad.   The fair covers about 320 acres and I think that we cover about half of that on the first day - (my Dad's 71 now.)   

     This is the international bazaar.  It is a little market from all over the map.  It was re-vamped this year and I must say it looks very spiffy.   Here are some samplings from some of the vendors.   

     Remember I am with my son and Dad so I only got to zoom past most of these booths so I will definitely come back here with my girlfriends and cousins for a closer look.   I know that the gazing ball is $40, I just didn't want to carry it around all day.

The next stop was the Horticulture Building.   We all enjoyed an apple treat!

Of course, we spent plenty of time looking at the Jeeps.  Someone will be driving soon and he placed his order for this one. (Keep dreaming, Kiddo!)

It's not the fair if you don't indulge!   We tried one of the new foods this year
Deep Fried Bacon on a Stick.  We also tried Spam curds.  They were an acquired taste. I don't think that I would get them again.  The bacon was good but small.  Jacob called it the Big Fat Rip-off on a Stick.  It was one strip of bacon dipped in maple syrup for $3.

We have to visit the Big Pig!


     So now that I got you hooked.......stay tuned only 11 more days to go!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Flower Frog Extravaganza!

     Jacob loves, loves, loves Antique Sales and Flea Markets.  His search is always for something you or I would consider junk.  I guess one man's trash is another man's treasure.   He  looks for any old piece of electrical junk, tube radios, glass insulators, light bulbs and little gas airplane engines like Cox .049's, etc.   I  have been collecting flower frogs for years - even before their popularity.  I gave myself rules for collecting them.    Buy only metal flower frogs.     Don't collect the glass ones.  Buy only  one frog per sale or antique store.  Buy only enough to fill the glass jar placed on the shelf of the hutch in the  sunroom .   Try to buy a different type or style.   So okay, I broke a few rules.  I've duplicated a few,  I bought a vaseline glass one or two (not pictured),  and I bought some too large for the jar.     My latest addition is the one actually shaped like a flower.
     After Country Living and Country Home wrote about them in their magazines their popularity soared and so did the price.  I'm lucky I started the collection before all of  the hull-a-ba-loo.  The most expensive was the hairpin frog in the front with little wooden bird on it.   The last one was only $10.00.   What do you like to collect? 


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Catch-Up Day!

Painted Chairs,  Favorite Finds,  Garden  Updates galore.   With all the discussion of painted and repainted furniture and accessories I wanted to add my $.02.   I painted  the first chair, sanded and distressed it a bit, and applied a light coat of stain over all as a glaze.   I printed the letters from the computer and made my own carbon paper (like grade school or I should say "old school") by rubbing a pencil on the back.   Of course, I painted this chair a while back and I should really make this my do-over project.  Instead of Established 1986, I should change it to Abolished  1999!    
The second chair was painted and repainted just like Susan of Moonlight and Magnolia's hutch project a few times until I got the color just right.  I also used an outdoor paint.   The little oxeye daisies were just simple brush strokes.  Little Rosie was a HarMar Mall antique sale find.

Here is a picture of a lamp made by - guess who - my Dad, of course.   We had a really wonderful store called Mill Creek.  They had the cutest furnishings and decorative items.   The mall they were located in is in the process of remodeling, and I heard that they decided not to come back :(
Anyway,  they had these really cute lamps constructed from wood with different designs painted on the sides.   I was decorating my living room at the time and they did not have one with the color scheme that I was using.  I didn't want to buy one to paint over because they were about $200.   So I traipsed my Dad through the store and pointed  out all the goodies I needed reproducing. (That's probably why they are not coming back...)
All four sides have a different floral design.  My favorite, the black-eyed susan is towards the wall in this house.  It figures.   The other sides are lilacs and geraniums.

I found this Raggedy Ann cutout made by my brother Mark.  If you recall from my previous post, he repaired my Rag's foot when she had her minor mishap.  As shown on the back, he made this for me in 1970.  He  was 12 at the time.
Which brings me to my latest find.  I purchased a set of 8 of these sunflower plates.  I think they will be perfect for a late summer garden party! 

Finally, a garden update.  The Scarlet Runner beans have climbed the sunflower,    Miles loves the Anise Hyssop (the leaves taste like black licorice),  the mole has destroyed all but one simple vine of my Clematis and the poor baby is blooming with a vengence, and the poor liatris, is really taking a beating by both the mole and the bunnies.