This was the 21st year of the Fair, but Norm and I have been going there only for 4 years. It’s a struggling thing (most are) but keeps on keeping on! This year there were more than 1,000 school children that showed up! That was a record, so faces were bright when we looked at each other and talked about the day.
Okay, we got there on Thursday afternoon. It only takes 2 hours to get there, which is a big reason for us going – ease of travel! We drove to the Swiftel Center, got Peanut checked in (they needed to see her shot record) and started setting up. It takes a while to set up because we are always interrupting ourselves to say hi to friends.
After setting up – Norm was in a different area for the school tours this year – we said goodnight to people (although it was only about 5:00), headed to the local grocery store, Hi-Vee, and picked up supper. Hi-Vee stores have delicatessens and most of them have Chinese available; since we have no Chinese close to use, we usually get that when we are near a Hi-Vee. We also picked up some turnovers and juice for breakfast and picked up some groceries for the up-coming week, as we will not be near a grocery store for a while.
Then headed to the motel. The one we chose to go to is very inexpensive and a little run down, but clean, warm, with comfortable beds. I set up the computer; we unloaded the car and got Peanut comfortable. Then sat on the beds and ate supper while watching news and surfed the TV for something good to watch.
Speaking of Peanut, I took no pictures of her this time – she spent most of her time in the crate. She has developed a great dislike to the noise and feels safer in there. So I keep the crate closed when school children are wandering around but let the door open for her to come out if she chooses when it’s quieter. We put a blanket over the crate so no one knows it’s a dog crate and only people in the “know” realize I have a dog. She did come out at the end of each day to visit people and look for treats. The children were eating a lot of that crystallized sugar candy and a lot of it fell on the floor. We had to make sure that Peanut didn’t eat that, as she does NOT need sugar in her diet!
Friday morning we got to the center bright and early to finish setting up and get ready for the mass of children. Each group that we have comes for about 25 minutes of education. Norm shows the way that spoons are carved; I give the history of fiber in that short time. I show how the ancient ones spun yarn with their fingers, made nets, discovered crocheting, knitting, weaving, invented spindles, looms and spinning wheels. Then I tell them about the machines in the factories that now make our yarns and materials.
After the children left, Peanut came out to wander some and I wandered, as well. I visited friends and looked at all the goodies that were offered for sale. And goodies I found! Some handmade lavender soap, a magnifying glass with a brass (gold) handle, a large Chinese scissors with brass (gold) handles, honey butter, beeswax. Norm picked up some honey, as well.
Friday night was a special dinner at the Elks Club, catered by the Hi-Vee. Wonderful food and lots and lots of it!! Good company, too. Peanut was in her crate in the car. The temperatures had risen from –13º that morning to +8 that night. We had lots of blankets in the crate, then covered the crate with three warm blankets as well. When we took her out, she was toasty warm!
Then “home” again to TV and computer time, a little bit of desert – oranges shared with Peanut – and bedtime.
Saturday morning we headed out – Norm had moved from the other room over to where I was so we were united again. We demonstrated all day, still wandering around at times (my doctor said I was to sit for only 15 minutes at a time to help my back). I did weaving all day, rather than spinning, because my friends Kelly and Marie had a group of spinners with them and I felt me spinning would be over-kill. Besides, most people have never seen anyone weaving or even seen a loom (some people call it a “weaver” but I’ve had mothers or fathers say “Look, child, she’s sewing!”) so it was fascinating to most who walked by. We had Joy’s yarns out for sale and sold a couple of skeins; Norm sold a few spoons and traded for some, as well.
At 4:30, everyone started to tear down. It doesn’t take long; I have 3 plastic tubs that I put most of my things in – shawls, spinning tools, pillows for sitting, etc, as well as the “Sisters’ Thing” items for sale. We made sure all food was in the cooler, I whipped off the table cloths and put them into the tubs and voila! I was done.
Norm tore down his shave horse, put his spoons and tools in HIS tubs and HE was ready. In 45 minutes, we were ready. Grabbed KFC for supper in the car got gas and headed home. Peanut, as always when it’s very cold, slept on my lap, under my lap robe. And you might say “How can you eat chicken with a dog on your lap?” Easy as pie. I’ve worked with her so that if I say “Nose down,” she burrows under the blanket and doesn’t even try to eat what I’m eating … unless, of course, it’s oranges, apples or popcorn! But I share those with her (Norm taught her that those three things are G*O*O*D!!!).
So, now the pictures …
On another note, I “met” a new blogger – she calls herself “Dogsmom” and just started blogging this month. Go visit her and encourage her in her new venture.
A note about Captain Jack Sparrow -- he was great! The hand in his picture was me ... but it was a really horrible picture (trust me... it WAS) so I had to cut me out. But I got my hand kissed by the Captain!
It was a beautiful weekend – the temperatures “warmed” up to about 15º both days, the sun was shining and there was little wind. Yesterday the sun shone most of the day and it was warm, too. Today we have snow, but are not sure how much we will get. So it’s back to snowy days, but still beautiful. You have a beautiful day.