Friday, August 25, 2006

The great Minnesota get together...

Well, I said that the state fair was worthy of its own post, so here it is.

Each year, for the twelve days preceeding Labor Day, the entire state of Minnesota gathers a few hundred yards from my front lawn and parties from about 6 a.m. to about 11 p.m. Or at least it seems that way. The state fair is literally known as the "the great Minnesota get together," and we Minnesotans love our state fair. The fairgrounds also happen to be about a 1.5 miles from our house so we get all the "extras." Extra traffic, extra noise, extra parking shuttle busses driving by, etc. Our normally quiet little neighborhood booms with fireworks and the echoes of the latest rock band every night. I swear that in rare instances you can hear a cow moo. Or maybe a sheep baa. Or both.

I actually love the fair and we go at least twice every year. This year we went yesterday, the opening day. I'd never gone on opening day, also known as "Thrifty Thursday." Geez, there are A LOT of people who go on opening day, especially opening morning. And this was in the rain, no less. As the day progressed, the weather got worse and worse, climaxing with softball sized hail and tornado touch downs -- no kidding. Ok, not on the fairgrounds, but not so far to the south of the Twin Cities. All I remember is looking up and thinking "boy, those clouds are moving fast" when the heavens opened and dumped several thousand gallons of water on us (me, the spouse and the manchild). The manchild, even at 13, is nervous about storms anyway but I have to say I was right there with him on this one. The wind blew, the rain flew horizontally, the lightening flashed and STILL there were people walking around. We Minnesotans are a hardy bunch, I'll tell ya.

This year I plan to go and study the sheep. One of my goals to be a better spinner is to learn more about different fibers. What's the difference between a Merino and some other sheep (whose names all escape me at the moment)? Can you tell a difference when it's still on the hoof? I also wonder if Minnesota has alpaca judging? I want to see alpacas. I've actually hung out with alpacas in the "wild" when I got to spend some time in Peru about 10 years ago. I love alpacas. My life goal is to retire to a little alpaca farm, raise wool, spin and knit. Hmmm, does one "raise" wool? You get the idea.

I had to laugh because one of the coupons in the "Fair Deals" coupon book is from a booth which is offering $5 off a $15 "medium stuffed lama toy." I am so there.

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