Sunday, October 01, 2006

What a weekend

Some days, the clear sunny sky and the cool breeze are just irresistible. And if those days happen to coincide with a weekend...well, then!

As you may infer from the photo, we went to a nearby county fair on Saturday. Not our own county, mind you--longtime 10 Signs aficionados will recall that the Greene County Fair is beyond pathetic. This was the Madison County Fair, a few minutes' drive to our north.

There was livestock: only beef cattle, but still extremely interesting and fun. We watched the 4-Hers preparing their cows for the show ring. They used blowers to fluff the animals' fur, then hairsprayed and backcombed the fur around the bovines' ankles to make them look pleasingly stout and fuzzy. At one point I saw a young lady walking a cow on a halter with a sort of chokechain. "Mooooooooooo!" complained the cow. "Hush!" the girl stage-whispered, giving the collar a little jerk. The cow hushed. It behaved exactly like a one-ton dog in obedience class.

In the exhibits building, I eyeballed all the contest winners and weighed my chances of earning a ribbon next year. Where could I make the best impression...knitting? Canned goods? There were no pies in evidence, but then again, one doesn't leave pies sitting out in an exhibit building. I made a mental note to ask the Lion's Club people before September 2007.

On our way to the midway, we passed a petting zoo where a gorgeous little pony was being raffled off. I entered not once, but three times. No, I didn't win. *sigh*

There was a booth where the World's Sketchiest Carnie was standing in a pile of wood shavings among scores of tiny adorable bunnies. In the center, wooden ducks bobbed in a kiddie pool. If you threw a ring and it landed around a duck's neck, you won a cage. And if you won a cage, you could--get this--purchase a bunny for a dollar. We watched several hapless parents burn through $15, even $20, buying rings for their children to throw. It was a lot harder than it looked, because the rings barely fit over the ducks' heads, and then only in one direction. I stifled my urge to demand that the s.o. win me a bunny cage.

I had a lemonade. We looked at all the fair food, but opted out. The s.o. and I made one more circuit of the midway, then left in favor of Carmine's in Comer, sharing a stromboli and a predictable case of heartburn.

Overall, the fair was fabulous. My whole weekend has been great, come to think of it.

Early Saturday I started my day at the Oconee Farmers Market, where I sold a whole lot of produce and preserves--although hardly any baked goods (there were too many people selling too much sweet stuff). Everyone there is so welcoming, and the customers are friendly and interested in where their food comes from. I am already planning for next weekend!

Today I have spent mostly in the garden, weeding, moving seedlings, and adding nutrients. I find myself stopping every once in a while to admire the sunny landscape and bask in the sun. I give damaged Sungold tomatoes to the chickens, and usually Our Little Penguin Friend (AKA the Light Brahma Bantam) darts in and runs off with them. The s.o. has turned last year's compost heap--finding gorgeous soil at the bottom, plus an adorable little brown snake.

I smell like a giant salmon because I've been fertilizing my vegetables with fish emulsion. There's no point complaining about the stink--it's unavoidable, and anyway, it makes the dogs all the more affectionate.

If only this weekend could go on forever...