Fair and warm

I wish you could have come with us to the state fair. But I had the best time taking pictures.

ferris wheel

It was perfect weather, warm and breezy. We arrived at noon.
It didn’t seem very crowded.

bubblesThis was new. They sort of unzip these bubbles and children crawl in and then the young employee guy uses a machine to blow air into the bubble until it is tight and round. Then he quickly zips it up again and then the children exhaust themselves trying to stand up.

bananasThe giant stuffed banana was this year’s hot carnival prize. I thought about how it would be to win one of these five foot long bananas, and to squish it into your car, and then you get it home… It might be an awesome accent piece for that room decorated with a fruit theme. But I don’t know, do you think there is a room someplace that is decorated with a fruit theme?

chicken buildingThis is the old building where chickens and rabbits and guinea pigs win ribbons.

fuzzy bunnyI liked this fuzzy rabbit who was thinking about world peace or stock market issues or something else serious, coffee maybe. He was just clearly a really important rabbit and someone needed to figure that out and SOON.

white rabbitThis rabbit was mad. She had I think an earth-shattering appointment or a Big Date (look at that eye liner!) and here she was cooped up in this uncool place without even any music to listen to. I tried to talk to her but she was fuming.

pygmy goatThis person thought I was someone else. (He might be right.)

goat eatingAnd there was this other goat, very happy, looking forward to plans she had for later.

tall goatThis was a goat who had won a ribbon and was trying very hard to eat it. It hung on the other side of the curtain above him, and my photo missed the part where he was actually chewing on it. (I’m thinking this goat could be helpful in removing unwanted wallpaper.)

polkadot sheepPersonally I prefer cotton or linen or wool, but spandex is big this year with sheep.

corn dogThere was lots of Fair food.

ice creamThe dairy farmers sell ice cream. We liked it.

quiltsWe went in some of the big buildings. This one had quilts, some hand-stitched and some done with computerized sewing machines. I like the hand-stitched ones.

basketsSome people won ribbons for baskets of produce.

tall sunflower

When I took these pictures a Fair employee asked if I was from the newspaper. I was VERY tempted to go with that but you will be proud of me– I didn’t. (Thinking of getting a PRESS button for next time though.)

There was a quite tall sunflower. The Fair employee explained that it was of record-breaking height, either 14 feet or 16 feet tall, I can’t remember (I didn’t have my journalist notebook with me).

She said it took four people to carry it in.

She said it had lasted much better than all the more mundane-sized sunflowers and pointed out how its stalk was still green and vital looking.

It was without question a royal sunflower.

An over-achiever.

It did look a little like it had been sent to stand in the corner, maybe for finally wilting. (Did they think it would last forever, or what?)

ridersWe went to the big arena and watched competitions between people riding Western. And later there were people riding English, and then people in tiny two-wheeled carts pulled by very small ponies, like you might drive to Trader Joe’s if you just needed say a bottle of wine or some fresh mushrooms.

fair crowdIt got later. No one kept winning bananas.


 It was an amazing day.

Here, in conclusion, is something from my own end-of-summer garden.


It’s a pumpkin grown from the seed that my friend Cindy brought back from France a couple of years ago. The variety has something to do with becoming Cinderalla’s carriage. (Personally I would like to turn it into an electric car.)


I can’t read the French information on the seed packet so I can’t tell you a lot more, but (even though it is French) I think of it as my Salvador Dali pumpkin. (I’m very excited about its potential as a jack-o-lantern.)


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
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24 Responses to Fair and warm

  1. Angie Case says:

    What a great post! I haven’t been to a fair in years but it feels as though I have! Thanks Linnie! That Cinderella Pumpkin is starsome!

  2. kininvie says:

    Hi Linnie, What’s a corn dog? You obviously have some amazing things in Oregon. Perhaps it’s a hound that guards your corn against deer like a sheepdog? But if it’s hand made it must be like a scarecrow, sort of? And why do you have to hand dip it? I understand dipping sheep….but dogs? Anyway, I was enjoying your post until I came across those rabbits. Nasty dangerous creatures, they sit there looking sweet and fluffy and then bite you to the bone. I’d rather have a pet cobra. I’m sure if you entered your pumpkin, you would win a ribbon. Also, I think that sunflower is even worse than yours….

    • linniew says:

      Dear Kininvie,
      It is well you have me to extend your education: a corn dog is a dog with a bad sense of humor.

      It is also a hot dog (like cheap cheap sausage) on a stick that is then coated with batter and deep-fried so it is wearing a thick coat of crispy breading which I guess must have some cornmeal in it. (I’ve never really thought much about the “corn” part.) Then it’s dipped in ketchup and mustard. I could mail you one… it might lose a bit of its character during the time it takes to reach Scotland, or perhaps it would actually improve, like aging a fine wine.

      So sorry you have a history of vicious rabbit attacks! I guess you don’t want one as a pet… Perhaps a rabbit of mercurial temper could be muzzled. (Another use for duct tape.) And I do feel it would be much harder to muzzle a cobra.

      And that is the nicest thing anyone has said yet about my sunflowers this year, honestly.

      • kininvie says:

        Ah it’s just like a haggis supper then…(don’t ask)

        • linniew says:

          Kininvie our Blog Topic Committee just had an emergency meeting to discuss haggis! It was unanimous that none of us knows what the heck that is and that YOU must enlighten us. (Tillie thinks it’s something to do with olives and green peas but I’m pretty sure she’s guessing.)

  3. Roberta says:

    Thanks for the tour, it was so much nicer than getting in my hot car and trying to find a parking place and then trying to remember where I parked the car hours later. The rabbits, well the first looks like a cross between a rabbit and a chicken and the second was just plain scary. Those eyes will haunt me forever! I have to say, I think that your pumpkin was the best looking of any of the produce that I could make out in the baskets. If you are going to transform it into a jack-o-lantern, will you think about sending a few seeds out this way? It’s just beautiful, nay I say, MAGNIFICENT!

    • linniew says:

      Yes Roberta I dang near never found my little car. It was parked in this big bumpy grass field with rows and rows of cars and I had tried to memorize how to find it but still. The rabbits were gripping–I could never get eye makeup to look like that so I gave up years ago.

      I would love to send you pumpkin seeds! I may even have some left in the French packet, just let me know where to mail them. I bet you could get more than one pumpkin off a 15 ft vine, which is all I got.

  4. Roberta says:

    p.s. I really really like the new header image.

    • linniew says:

      Thanks! I actually am having a kind of Header conflict with WordPress. I have tried to use a custom image with this post, another Fair picture, and the image showed up in my Preview of the post, then it disappeared and the picture went back to the Leopard Lily. Then just now I looked and it was the Fair picture. I wonder which image you are seeing…Very mysterious.

  5. b-a-g says:

    I didn’t know it was possible to cross a rabbit with a guinea pig.

  6. Greggo says:

    Living in the sunflower state I do have to say that is Texas sized! Ha. It looks like bamboo with a flower stitched on. They must have hybridized that one in East Texas along with the Piney Woods. Straight and tall. EEEyyyyyaaahhhh.

  7. Grace says:

    Too bad you couldn’t enter your pumpkin in the fair. I’m sure it would have won a blue for that rich color and entertaining shape. Love that little hatched chickie. Great post. Thanks for taking us along. It’s always fun hanging out with you.

    • linniew says:

      Great to have you here Grace! I do think I may grow that sort of pumpkin again next year.

      My sugar pumpkin vine has produced only one 4″ pumpkin so it will be a small pie.

  8. Alberto says:

    Very funny post, as usual.
    Everything looks so ‘american’ to me… We have the local fair here in the same days. No ribbons for sweet looking dangerous pets, No corn dog, No huts with huge ice creams looked by women with very odd hats, No art show. No Cinderella’s pumpkins…
    But we have plenty of ‘polenta’ (made with corn) and some ‘art’ show with drawings made by mentals. Real ones.

    • linniew says:

      Yes this is a pretty standard US state fair. In my state we also have local county fairs earlier in the summer, quite a lot smaller and less commercial. I would like to see your local fair Alberto. I don’t understand the drawings made by “mentals” — I know the English use “mental” in regard to mentally unbalanced…? Sounds very interesting.

      • Alberto says:

        Yes, madmen. We have a kind of building where they use to lock them in. Now they unlock the doors but they still keep them in the building… Yeah, this is strange and very… ‘italian’. Their art is kind of crazy BTW. 🙂
        The fair I was talking is our local fair. Very local. Not a private party though…

        • linniew says:

          Well all art is a little mad I guess, or else it wouldn’t be much. I’m glad they unlocked the doors. Maybe we need an annual “garden bloggers post about your local fair” day.

  9. I’ve got the fair ride header as my stomach will testify. Belly laughs all along here Linnie and only wish our fairs were as fun filled. Rabbits are rabid carnignaws posing as fluffy vegetarians (I know some people can be like that too) and should only be crossed with the sign of the horns. That sunflower looks as though it has had to be resuscitated several times but there’s no telling what lengths growers will go to – not a patch on your pumpkin which being French is either a potiron or a citrouille as in ‘to feel as if one’s head is going to burst’: avoir la tête comme une citrouille

    • linniew says:

      OK Laura I googled “carnignaws” and was offered “cardigan” and “carnegie” so now I think you must have made that up. It reminds me of a Lewis Carroll invention and works well with rabbits it appears. (Who knew rabbits had such a dark side? Monty Python was right…) Regarding the pumpkin I have just revisited the colorful seed envelope and I found it labeled Poitron rouge, so I guess it’s a poitron, at least until I carve it. And it is kinda rouge.

  10. Cindy says:

    I am so glad to see your Rouge de Temps! Who knew the seeds would last that long (2005). The only seeds from France that made it into this country – the others were confiscated at US customs. Probably because they were not Genetically Modified as most of our seeds/plants are or will be soon. They lady at the market said this pumpkin is very good for soup. I know you’ll give it a try!

    • linniew says:

      CINDY! (AKA French pumpkin seed source) — I had no idea the seeds were that old– (seems more and more like I live outside the space-time continuum…) I just am still so happy you weren’t arrested at the border bringing in those pumpkin seeds. This pumpkin will go to soup as soon as it retires from a very brief career as a jack-o-lantern. (I won’t ruin it for soup.) AND I might make a little pie, just to see.

      There has been much interest in this variety you brought home– I have already mailed a few of the remaining seeds (4 left I think) to an online friend in Austin. So I will dry all the seeds inside my (one) pumpkin for next year, for me and to share. Let me know if I should mail you some!

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