Every year, we go to our regional fair, the East Texas State Fair. My favorite parts are, not surprisingly, the animal exhibits and the creative arts. This year, we hit it just in time to see the Brahman cattle class. Brahman are one of my top three favorite cattle breeds. I love the colors, their funny humps, and those long, long droopy ears. We got to pet several bulls that were bigger than my car (I swear it), though being in a Prius, it probably isn’t saying much. We also got to see some few days old calves with their mothers. If a Brahman calf could fit in a purse….okay, okay, I couldn’t really bring myself to shoplift a baby calf. Probably would have made one hell of a mess in my bag, anyway.
Anyway, then we looked at the rabbits and we absolutely adore the Mini Rex breed, whose coats look like pure velvet. It’s almost unbelievable. I promise I didn’t smuggle any of those, either, even with two children pleading for one. Of course, we have four bunnies at home that they don’t blink an eye at, but any of you parents out there know exactly how that goes.
Then, on to the ag exhibits, and we got to watch baby chicks hatching and see our ‘bee friends’ with the East Texas Beekeepers Association. This was the first year for us to get honey from our own bees (more on that later), and I was dying to try other people’s honey. So, I snapped up three different kinds. I have to say that there was one kind that literally tastes like a waffle. I am telling you it is like Waffle Extract. That is, you can taste waffle, syrup, and butter all rolled into a luscious, thick syrup. I had to go back and buy more. Who wouldn’t love “Waffle in a Bottle”? Anyway, after grabbing the kids some tiny uber-cute mini honey bears and some honey sticks, it was time for some foodles.
I have to admit, I was actually not hungry this year for fair food. When fried food literally makes you sick at your stomach and you are trying to avoid sugar, that pretty much rules out 98% of any food you get at the fair. I did eventually end up with tamales and a couple of bites of a ‘street’-style taco, though I am seriously paying for that decision today. (Edited to add: It took me an entire week to recover from fair tamales. Never again.) Unfortunately, I can’t ‘do’ pork anymore, either, which is what I ate. I have no idea why I thought it would be any different. The bathroom is my favorite room today. Anyhoo, the kids ended up with a burger, corn dog, and a scoop of ice cream each, so nothing too terrible. I noticed that one vendor had ‘Kit Kat Fries’. I shudder to think how many calories lurk in a batch of Kit Kat Fries!
Well, then it was time for the rides. Now, I do NOT ‘do’ fair rides. When I was about 16 or 17, I went on that terrible spinning ride where the floor falls out from under your feet and you remain stuck to the wall. If you ever went to Six Flags in Dallas, it was called the Spindletop. WELL….this ain’t Six Flags, and it sho’ wasn’t the Spindletop. I don’t know whose idea it was to crank the think to 5 million RPMs, but I just remember spinning so fast that my chest actually ached and I could barely catch my breath. I also vividly remember the ride operator/DJ who looked like he had just huffed a case of gold paint and smoked a few rocks before he got in the operator’s booth. I thought (as I was spinning around painfully): So help me, God, if I make it alive off of this damn thing, I’ll never set foot on another fair ride as long as I live! And so, up until last night, I haven’t. That’s almost twenty years, so yeah, the experience was pretty bad.
Well, last year, Jason and our youngest rode most of the rides together. One in particular was a teacup-like ride. That is, you spin around in bench seats on the ground in a 3 armed apparatus. Pretty lame and safe as far as carnival rides go. So THIS year, Jason heads over to a ride called The Orbiter, and declaring that it was the same one they had rode the previous year. He and the youngest climb aboard and I waited with my oldest daughter, who is about as willing to go on a ride as I am. They get in their seats and the ride begins.
Not too bad at first. It spins around lazily, gradually increasing speed. Suddenly, the ride does something that the ride last year didn’t do. It left the ground, and begun to swing upwards. I can only imagine what my husband is thinking. This is the same man that nearly vomits when he spins too fast in an office chair. Now, the ride is fully off of the ground and the little seats are zipping through the air and spinning at ungodly speeds. My oldest daughter and I gape at the ride, and we turn to each other and she said, “Mommy, that’s not the ride from last year!” Then, we burst into uncontrollable laughter. I try to catch a glimpse of Jason’s face as they are whizzing by…all I could catch was the top of his head. His body is hunched over my youngest. She has a look of surprise, terror, and joy all mixed into one. The ride’s speed increases, which I didn’t really think possible. If you ever wondered what it would be like to be strapped to a mixer blade while it was set to ‘whip’, this is what it would have looked like. All the while, my daughter and I are laughing so hard, we’re clutching our stomachs.
Finally, the ride stops and poor Jason wobbles off like a new sailor attempting to earn his sea legs on a 2 week drunk binge, and our little daughter skips and bounds away, screaming, “Let’s do it again, Daddy! That was FUN!” Of course, you already knew that was coming, right?
I actually did end up riding one ride, and that was the carousel. Who doesn’t love a good carousel ride? And yes, I did get nauseated. What a weenie.
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