Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Fair week was down earlier today, so my posting is running late today. I did have time to run over and visit with Lefty and Dusty-----also Barbara and Laurie. Smart little guys. They lead all over the place. They're calm as can be for just one day out away from their moms. We think we have a couple of winners. Only problem is we don't get much done cuz we want to just stand there and look at them and their every move. Anyway, on to today's posting . . . .

Two days of rain, and now the sky is blue. Looks like we’ve got some fair weather ahead, and that’s good in Bonner County. Ranchers are, no doubt, happy to see the fall pastures get a much needed liquid boost. So, I’m sure talk at the Bonner County Fair this week can focus on how the kids are doing with their fat stock and who’s going to win the fitting and showing contests.

That all starts today as the Fair officially opens on this beautiful August morning. There has already been activity. Yesterday, they closed off the main exhibit building so an army of judges could inspect open class and 4-H entries that line the tables, display cases and bulletin boards throughout the huge building.

I sneaked down there last night and made the rounds to see how my squash, beans, tomatoes and two plates of cookies faired. Well, two ribbons-----nothing on squash, beans or snickerdoodles. I was surprised about the squash; am gonna have to see what makes a crook neck look like a good crook neck. I selected the one from the bush that had the best crook neck, so I’m guessing the judges don’t put a lot of weight on anatomy.

My Appaloosa cookies earned a second place red ribbon. Maybe, in the future, if I tell people they’re only red ribbon cookies they won’t eat so many and the cookies can last longer. I doubt the red ribbon will stop Bill from packing them in his lunches, and I suspect the folks at the Journal will still gladly accept any handouts I send down that way.

Now, let’s talk ‘maters. I’ve got ‘mater bushes almost taller than I am. And, on those bushes that have not been pinched are dozens and dozens of green fruits, many of super size. I picked out five moderately large tomatoes and was not surprised to see a blue ribbon draped over them last night. Of course, I’ll brag about my BLUE RIBBON tomatoes, and I’m sure when they all start ripening, I may even offer a few for any tomato-challenged folks out there who love that mouth-watering flavor straight off the vine.

Speaking of vines, this paragraph goes directly to Dr. Richard Neuder and to my Coeur d’Alene friend Florine Dooley: the Lovestead cantaloupes continue to increase in size. They’re three-four inches in diameter now, and I’m planning to set up a shelter for them once the overnight temps head downward. So far, so good. I never dreamed I’d see a cantaloupe when I planted those seeds last March, but things are looking good. Dr. Neuder probably doesn’t know this, but he inspired me to think about cantaloupe a few years ago when the topic came up in a retirement column I wrote about him. And, Florine appears to be a cantaloupe cheerleader---or is it musk melon?

I still don’t know how my friend Jenny did with her cookies in the competition. The cookie plates were stuffed in the display cases like sardines, and I was lucky to finally find my ribbon-challenged snickerdoodles. So, the suspense continues, and I’m sure that when I see Jenny at the Fair today, we’ll know who’s the official cookie champion in the Love-Meyer bake-off for 2007. I know she wants to win, and I hope she does because I won’t mind sampling cookies better than my Appaloosa variety.

My sisters did okay with their photographs, taking ribbons on almost all ten photos submitted. It didn’t win a blue ribbon, but there’s a great action shot of Kiwi and Pita, taken when we went on the hike to the Scout near Canuck Basin last month. Barbara snapped a fun face shot of Pita, which won a blue. As usual, there’s some great photography to enjoy in this year’s display.

Today through Saturday, I’ll be reading or signing my three books at the Keokee booth or wherever they decide to set up a microphone. That’s at 1 p.m. each day, so I’d love to see anyone who’s milling around at the time. One of the days I think I’ll read from “Tuba or Not Tuba, That Is the Question.”

It’s a perfect story for the fair because it features my longtime friend Don Albertson who’s probably attended the Bonner County Fair every year of his life----and I believe he’s 70 this year. Don’s behavior during a tuba solo many years ago was worse than mine. Can anyone imagine such a possibility?

See you at the Fair.

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