Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oregon State Fair

John and I went to the fair yesterday with our son, Owen, and daughter-in-law, Sarah. We left at 8am and picked them up in Eugene at 9am, arriving in Salem shortly after the fair opened for the day. The weather was perfect; warm, but not too warm, with an overcast sky.

We headed straight to the animal barns. First, came the sheep! One of my favorite breeds is the Navajo-Churro. Their wool is gorgeous and comes in marvelous colors and if I had this breed I would take up spinning and weaving.

The second breed I like are the Shetland sheep. These are the sheep I would probably get if I moved back to the country and we had sheep again. They are small and could be managed much more easily than larger breeds. They also have lovely wool and I could again see myself learning how to spin and using the yarn to knit.

At the end of the sheep barn, there was a large stall with people crowded around. We went over to see what was there and found a sow with her piglets!

Next came the chickens!

Here are Sarah, Owen, and John entering the building.

I'm not especially fond of the strange looking, fluffy, poodle-looking like chickens, but it was lovely to see examples of the breeds we used to have--Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red. I'll admit I became enamored of the small and delicate old English breeds. The building wasn't conducive to photography, but I did get this one photo.

We also saw Toulouse geese like the ones we had. There were also some Welsh Harlequin ducks. I had forgotten how beautiful they were.

I did manage to get a photo of John with a rooster which belongs to his co-worker, Lee. The rooster's name is Stella. I don't know why.

After thoroughly washing our hands at one of the many hand-washing stations set up outside the barns, we looked for something to eat for lunch. We ended up with barbecued ribs, coleslaw, and beans. After washing our hands again we found the Americraft Center.

There was a lot of competition in the baked goods divisions, but it was disappointing to see so few canned fruits, vegetables, and jams. I had looked forward to seeing the knitted entries, but there were surprisingly very few. I could only find three pairs of socks. There were several small lace shawls and they appeared not to have been blocked. There were many, many quilts. Quite a few were hung high up on the walls making them difficult to see.

There was one area, however, where quilts were hung up so that viewers could see them close up and here is where I took many photographs.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blackberry Pie

It's not the most beautiful pie in the world, I know. When my four boys were growing up, my goal was to make pies faster than they could eat them. They didn't care what they looked like, only that they tasted good. And they did.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Why I Don't Go to the Movies

When someone asks me what's the last movie I saw at a theater, I have to answer that I don't remember. It's just too long ago. I think it might have been one of the 007 movies--one with Sean Connery--but I'm not certain. In any case, it's been many, many years. When I'm asked why I don't go to movies I give conventional, generally acceptable answers like:

1. It's too expensive
2. The closest movie theater to where I live is a 50 mile round-trip drive
3. There are no movies at the theater I really want to see that badly.
4. There always seems to be some jerk who won't stop commenting, a crying kid, and/or a ringing cell phone or some other distraction which ruins the movie for me
5. The snacks are too expensive
6. The air conditioning is too cold and I don't want to wear a sweater in the summer
7. The sound is too loud
8. The best seats (half way back, in the middle) are always filled before I get there
9. I can't put the movie on pause if I need to leave to use the restroom
10. The person sitting next to me always wants the armrest and/or someone very tall sits right in front of me so I have to lean over to see the screen.

Well, those are the reasons I give. But the truth is I am just so easily distracted by the big screen that I forget to pay attention to the plot. If it's a period piece I'm looking at hairstyles and clothing. If someone is wearing a handknit sweater that's all I'll pay attention to. (See Knitting in the Movies for a list of DVD movies which include knitting.) I'm looking at architectural details and listening to accents or choices of words. I look at how the movie was made-- colors, lights and shadows, point of view, depth of field, props, and angles of shots. In short, I'm paying attention to everything except the story.

No, if it's a movie I really do want to see I'll wait for it to come out on DVD. The smaller television screen isn't as distracting and I can watch it as many times as I wish and at some point I'll pay attention to the movie itself instead of all the details. That works for me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thunderstorm Warning!

There is a high possibility of thunderstorms this afternoon. I know this means we may lose electric service and so I am doing my baking and cooking now. I'm making a macaroni salad for dinner, cooking some rice for the left-over stir fry to put in John's lunch tomorrow, a potato salad to eat with sub sandwiches, and a blackberry crisp. As I began this morning I found I was out of milk, brown sugar, salad macaroni, and potatoes so I will need to go to the store when it opens at 8 am.

I plan to spend the rest of the day knitting and reading.