Friday, August 26, 2011

MN State Fair 2011

Our family took our annual trip to the Minnesota State Fair yesterday. The last few years we've gone on opening day, which (in theory) is less busy. I don't know, it seemed to be pretty busy yesterday! It was a gorgeous day. Maybe a lot of people wanted to get out and stuff themselves with lots of junk food like we did!
Daniel at the DNR fish pond, one of our first stops. Doesn't he look cool with his aviator sunglasses? He thought so. He wore them all day AND night. Kind of like hanging out with a rockstar!

Mike likes to listen to Garage Logic with Joe Soucheray so we had to stop and take in the show for a while. We were rewarded by entertainment from...

The "Spoon Man"!
He was really good, not limiting himself to just spoons.
No, he used a variety of utinsels: BBQ forks, butter knives, pie servers...
We've got some real talent up here in the Midwest!

I always get a kick out of the tiny, "about a" right in front of
the Foot Long Hotdog sign. Guess they're not a full foot long, are they?
Is nothing sacred?!

We stopped in Heritage Village and toured the circus train.

Take a look at these giant pumpkins! The winner was almost
850 pounds!

I love the seed art. All these artworks are crafted with seeds. Amazing!

I couldn't resist taking the Marine challenge and Emily joined me. I wanted the Marine cap and I had to hang there 75 seconds with my chin above the bar to get it. No problem, right? Ha ha! Wrong! I didn't even get close at 52 seconds. I have made a vow to strengthen my upper body and go back there next year and get not just the cap but the t-shirt which takes a full minute and 45 seconds. I've got a year to work on it and I intend to do it!
Note that I dropped my sandals for the challenge. I think they should pro-rate it for more "mature" persons like myself. One of the young Marines complimented me, "Good job, Mom!" when I got down. I didn't get the cap but I am now the proud owner of a Marine lanyard. :)

So, which car should be my midlife crisis car?
A Chevy Camaro?

Or a Ford Mustang?

Daniel looking good at the Cub Farm.

Speaking of farming, we love the giant cob of corn statue.

Imagine how fast our lawn would be mowed if each of our children
had their own riding lawn mower! The only problem is that they are red,
not Kubota orange like their father's lovely tractor.

Daniel on the Spam throne.

Emily had to try the sweet corn ice cream. She shared with all of us.
It was actually very good!

Our last sweet treat at the fair:
Shakes from the dairy barn. I always get strawberry.
This year was a first, I couldn't finish mine!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Semper Fi!

Our little sign welcoming Emily's Marine.

Together again after 13 long weeks of separation!

Congratulations to Trent, my daughter Emily's boyfriend, who just graduated from basic training and is now an official Marine. He's home on leave until Tuesday morning. It's been a whirlwind of ten days of activity before he heads back for more training on the west coast and then still more training on the east coast.

We're quite proud of Trent who achieved his first promotion at basic training: Private First Class. He was eager to tell me all about it but what it boils down to is that among the elite he got the very top scores in his platoon and earned his First Class status. Truly, quite an accomplishment considering there was only one promotion available.

Congratulations Trent and thank you for your service to the USA. May God bless you and all our servicemen and women who are serving our great country. We appreciate your sacrifice!

My little girl is growing up and letting go is not always easy, but it helps when she has found such a wonderful young man. Don't they look wonderful as they head out for the evening?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Step Into My "Office"!

Here it is, in all its glory: My new office! I'm not sure what's more impressive, the location in the midst of the boots, the fine folding table that is my desk or the cushy chair I sit on. It's all part of my new job, working with my sister at her tack and riding/show apparel business.

I also get to work with her other fine employees, who have worked for their aunt for years. Yes, that's my darling daughter #1 at the computer. She's so brilliant that she's setting up a web store for the business. I can assure you that I will not be working on that any time soon.

Then there's my other sweet daughter who toils and slaves wherever she is needed. Over the years Errin has built quite the business selling anything and everything you would want or need if you own, ride or show horses.

So, how did I get involved in the enterprise? Well, I am the newest salesperson to enter the ranks and my lovely daughter is modeling one of the outfits I will be listing on eBay. My sister has a nose for a bargain and picks up various closeouts from her vendors throughout the year and in her zeal has accumulated quite a backlog of clothing.

So, I hauled our little folding table and chair down the hill to the store, set up my "office" in the boot corner and thus my new business venture has begun! My sister and I make a great team and I'm excited to be able to work with her and earn a little extra income. I love the flexibility and she loves that the boxes of clothing she's storing will, hopefully, soon be sold, making room for the fall lines coming in.

If you've read my earlier posts about the girls and my travels, you'll know that we've been bitten by the travel bug. My sweet husband has informed me that future travels will have to self-financed as he does not intend to work until he's 80 so that the children and I can trot the globe and I do not blame him. I look at this as a win/win/win: I'm earning money for future travels or to help out with family expenses, I'm helping Errin reduce her inventory that she wants to sell and best of all, I get to spend more time with my sister in the process! What's not to love?