You can have Christmas. I’m all about Fair Week.  I have been several times so far, eating fried things and scratching the ears of goats.  I’ve had the pieroges and haluski , I’ve had funnel cake and cotton candy, and yesterday I had deep fried dill pickle spears.  Yum.  My digestive system is not amused by my adventure, though, I must say (Hey!  Thanks for that image!  no problem.  I’m here to serve).  The ol’ system needs to just buck up and take it like a farmer b/c I still have to have an apple dumpling with ice cream, some deep fried strawberries with whipped cream, and at least some manner of fried potato.  Tonight is a pay-one-price night, so we’ll go for dinner and stay too late.

In addition to the eating for things which have been batter-dipped and deep fried, we have the animals (as a vegetarian, of course, I don’t blur that line quite so much as others do).  The chicken barn holds its usual charms.  I do miss Mildred.  I find myself trying to work out the logistics of bringing home a couple of chickens and, I dunno, maybe a goat.  The stupid thing is that if my yard was level with my back door it would be no problem. I could trot out every night to put the chickens in a hutch, thus solving the fox problem.   But as it stands, I have to go down a steep flight of steps and down the hill, which means I have to come back UP them…and as pathetic and loseriffic as it is, I just…don’t.  It’s the same reason why having a garden down there was such a bust.  That extra bit of work is just too much. And I don’t think the kids care enough for me to conscript them into being goat lackeys and chicken tenders (not to be confused with the fried snack.  see above).  So I just have to enjoy them at the fair.  Fancy plumes and vacant expressions on the poultry.  Intense, kind of creepy looks from the goats.  Once I start scratching goat ears, it’s hard to stop.  It’s the same with dogs.  If a critter wants me to scratch it, I have to.  I keep  at it until the animal moves away.  And there’s a lot of goats in that barn.  But really, someone has to do it, right?  Right?

There’s a birthing barn where very pregnant animals are put on display and made to give birth in front of a crowd of strangers.  Welcome to modern birthin’ ladies!  But if they’re anything like me, when the moment comes it just doesn’t matter WHO is there, munching on kettle korn and staring at your nethers.  And oh, baby pigs!  They peep!  Like chicks!  So sweet.  I wanted to scoop up and armload and head for the gate.  And the newly born calf with her mussed fur and wittle pink nose!.  Man.  too much cute.

The carnival rides are less important to me than they once were, but I do enjoy the carnival folk.  The freak show is gone this year, after being almost cancelled for years.  So at least I don’t have to keep telling the kids that there isn’t REALLY a man with a snakes tail for a lower body inside.  But what will the fire eating midget do for a living now?  I was in line at the Safeway and the 60-something female cashier and a 50 something male customer were bemoaning the loss of the “hootchie-cootchie show.”  I remember that at the Delaware State Fair.  It was very titillating to a pre-pubescent and young teen, but when they trotted the women out to stand on the stage and give the crowd a preview…it was really creepy.  It looked like a slave auction.  So I didn’t join in that nostagia trip.  Oh but now the fair is all about positive messages:

Believe me, he knows.

And of course you get the ribbon count and entry update:  My watermelon pickles only got a second place.  I think Wanda paid off the judges b/c her jar looked no better than mine.  My jalapeno pickles got second place, my sweet pickles got third place, my green beans got nothing.  I have not yet found my salsa.  I shall report back when I do.  I’m sure it got Best in Show and they just forgot to call me to show up for the group photo.  I’m sure I’ll get an appology soon.  As for my photos, the two Aruba photos, the ones I thought were best, got nothing, but my photo of Lily on the Ferris Wheel got a 4th and the one of a kayaker going over the falls in Ohiopyle got a second.  But Julianna!  She entered as a 4-H member. She got blue ribbons for all 4 photos and for her club book she had to submit as Club Historian.  She also entered vegan pumpkin spice cookies into the new “healthy choices” category (healthy choice: don’t go to the fair), and got a Reserve Grand Champion ribbon.  Behold!

I’ll let you know what I eat tonight…