Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From the Fair

Like I said in my last post, we took a trip up to the WV State Fair in Lewisburg, WV for Tristan's 3rd birthday. It was our 1st time up there, but it won't be our last. Thought I would share some (finally uploaded!) photos from there with you.
First, the animals. By the way, it is wise to visit the animals first for two reasons: 1)Riding the rides is thrilling and draining, best to save for last, and most importantly 2)Seeing the animals first gives you plenty of time to walk off the poo you step in. (FYI - Saying "watch out Shannon" only seems to make him step in poo more often!)

~This is a Flemish Giant Rabbit. A minimum show weight for does is 14lbs and it's not unheard of for these rabbits to weigh up to 28lbs!! WOW!!

~This is an Angora Bunny. If we had visited the animals last, it would've gone home with us. I know I am not one for lots of grooming, so it is wise we didn't buy it, but I just can't help myself. They remind me of that *POOF* look you see in the comics when something has really been shocked or badly blown dry. :D

~Shannon getting to milk a cow. Look closely and you'll see the stream of milk. We've been drinking raw milk for a while now, but getting to milk the cow was still pretty cool. He also got to ride a live pony. Tristan declined to do either.

~I couldn't resist - they were just too damn cute!

Next was the Garden Area, which was unbelievably cool. Seriously, I took notes and am rethinking our gardens for next year after walking through here. Here are just a couple photos:

~How can you not smile?? Made using a plant called "Golden Pearls"

~Under the arbor they set up this sandbox for kids. This whole area of the garden was geared towards kids actually. When the kids dug in the sand they found little creepy crawly animals (as well as frogs and snakes) - toys they were allowed to take home. I also have to point out the lizard stepping stones!! Those were awesome!

~Along with a "Pizza Garden" that they had set up, they had this caterpillar made out of vines. I can't remember what the vines were, but I would really like to try and build one of these for the kids next year. That and a sunflower castle. And a "Pizza Garden".

Finally, some rides. I won't show you too many photos here, as this blog is already long enough. Just the "big" ones.

~"Choo Choo Charlie" - this is Tristan's first carnival ride EVER. And the only one he rode the whole we were there. We were happy that he was happy.

~"The Wild Mouse" - Shannon & Justin went on this. It is Shannon's first REAL roller coaster ride, and I think was the biggest roller coaster at the fair. He wasn't scared in the least!! Neither was Justin, in case any of you were worried.

Time to Go.
We arrived at the fair a little before 11am and left about 3pm. Walking around for 4 hours in the sun makes for a LONG day. Tristan was out cold in less than 5 minutes after we got in the car.

~This photo is taken on the bridge that crosses over the road. You can see the fair in the background. I think you can kinda see the wear and tear on everyone here.

And, of course ...

~We did put on sunscreen, but Justin still got a little pink.

We only spent 4 hours (+ driving time) in West Virginia, but my husband still came home a redneck! Go figure!! A cool fact though, we did happen to spot some locally brewed beer, Mountaineer Brewing Company's Nut Brown Ale, at a gas station we happened to stop at on the way back home. A very nice take-home gift!

If you want to see more photos from our trip to the WV State Fair you can check them out at my flickr account -

Monday, August 17, 2009

Late Summer Reflections

~One of the sunflowers from our front yard~

It's been a while since I've posted. I haven't meant to go silent, those who know me will attest to that being a seemingly impossible thing actually. But, it's been almost a month since I've written anything.
This has been a strange year. I'm seeing the seasons in new lights. Seasons aren't measured by calendar dates anymore, but by the animals we find inside our house. Fall & Winter we had mice. Spring brought the spider crickets. Then Summer arrived and so did the flies ~ and the spiders followed into mid-summer. It is now late summer, and here are the crickets. I can hear them singing to me even now, through the open kitchen window. They are more prolific out front, where there are no hungry chickens gobbling them up.
Kids who attend public school started back this week around here. It seems odd. Too early. Still August. Still Summer. I am glad we are homeschooling. We sent in our first NOI. Lots of anxiety went into that, so it was a grand laugh when we got the letter back from the school board, only to see that they had goofed it all up (names). We're fine and good to go. We're unschooling right now - mainly just letting the kids be kids and learn as they go. We read, Shannon has a pen pal he writes letters to, we explore the world around us. Hands-on learning, letting them have their time to be children, in every aspect that means.
The "chicken issue" is still very much alive. This is probably a prime reason for my silence - not wanting to say things until I've properly sorted them all out in my own head. I have a small meeting with the Mayor and Councilwoman Garst this week. It's been a time of high stress, lots of emotions. I'm trying to remained focused though those though, and even though there are things I want to right now (I think the backspace button on this keyboard is getting worn out!), I will wait until ..... until after the meeting? Until after I can attempt to put all of that in perspective? I'm not sure. So, just Until.

The house falls silent for a moment, and the chirping of the crickets fills the air again. A signal for a change of direction here.
Tristan turned 3 this past Friday. For his birthday Justin took the day off and we drove up to the West Virginia State Fair. Our first time there. We spent four hours walking around, seeing all the animals, milking a cow, riding a pony, watching a very impressive juggler, seeing the exhibits, and finally riding a couple rides. It was a long and hot day, but very fun. The way fairs are meant to be I suppose.
We've decided that instead of giving the boys toys or something like that for their birthdays, we're instead going to take small trips. I think this will make for better memories.
We did still have a party for him on Saturday though. Quite a success too, since the weather was nice and we had the kiddie pool set-up along with a slip & slide. Everyone played outdoors, the adults watching from the front porch, some of the parents helping the younger kids manage their way down the slip & slide. The kids seemed to have a lot of fun, and that was the point. Tristan got his homemade carrot cake that I had told him I would make for him. He's been inquiring about it every few days for the past month or so.

I will post the harvest tallies for July & August at the end of this month. It has been an amazing month so far, seeing things come in, and actually taking the time to weigh them out to see HOW MUCH is coming in. Impressive. Amazing how prolific little plots can be.