Thursday, August 30, 2007

Red Red Wine

Hey, Ya'll.

I found my new favorite thing.

Are you ready?

Sparkling Shiraz.

You heard me right, Kids. A sparkling red.

I damn near peed my sugar britches.

Now during the heighth of summer my new favorite thing in the world was Miller Chill. It's a light beer with a wee bit of lime in the aftertaste.


Not so sickly sweet that you can't stomach it, but just perfect for quenching your thirst when the sweat is pouring off ya like water over a dam.

I love me some red wine, but in the thick of summer, its just too heavy. I associate reds with the crisp feel of Autumn and the freezing evenings of January.

No more.

A sparkling red. Paringa Sparkling Shiraz 2004 straight from 'down under'. At my local wine shop its just shy of $12.

It's good for what ails ya. And after finishing off the bottle...

...nothing's ailing me!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Up in Smoke

I saw a young man smoking a pipe today.

No fooling. A pipe.

Actually I smelled it before I saw it and I whipped my head around expecting to see a much older man. Are pipes back in vogue? And with men under 30?

My Dad smoked a pipe filled with Captain Black. Cherry as I recall. Every Christmas Bubby and I had a clear mission to find him an interesting pipe.

Dad’s heart quit when he was 48.

I was twelve.

Young as I was, some of my memories of him are still very clear.

For instance I remember very vividly Dad sitting in a kitchen chair with his legs crossed, baggie on his head, smoking a pipe.

I feel I should pause here and expound.

1. Dad was a vain man. (With reason, he looked like 50’s Elvis) He hated the prospect of graying so he used the Grecian Formula with regularity. This required processing time, thus the cellophane wrapped around his head.

2. He also crossed his legs at the knee. (Bubby and I would squeal with glee when he’d let us play ‘horsie’ on his leg. He’d buck us off occasionally) Now, here in the Ozarks, crossing your legs is an affectation. You look a little fey. A redneck man will rest the outside of his ankle on the opposite knee. Much more manly or so it seems. My Dad however, was born and raised in Illinois. I’ve noticed that Northern men cross their legs at the knee and there is nothing fey about it.

3. Lastly, he smoked a pipe.

Smell brings back memory like no other sense. A song heard will guide you to places in your past, but a smell will unceremoniously slam you there with no time to think or gather your wits. You’re immediately in the moment and in the emotion.

So pipe smoke makes me melancholy.

But it also gives me Daddy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sugar Britches’ Playlist 2

Edition: Cheesy 80’s Ballads
Release Date: Aug 28, 2007
Total: 16 Songs

Since I’m on a nostalgic kick this week, this Tuesday’s Playlist is Cheesy 80’s ballads.


Here. Here. Settle down now. I know you’re excited, but there’s no need knocking someone over to get to it. It’ll be here!

“Missing You”-John Waite (Track 1): Oh dear me. Cry me a river. The pisser is we only went on one date. I think I had stalker tendencies.

“Don’t You Forget About Me”- Simple Minds (Track 2): I had to list something from a Molly Ringwald movie. Of course I watched Pretty in Pink. But The Breakfast Club rocked. It rocked, Baby, rocked!

Boys of Summer”-Don Henley (Track 3): This song is too painful for me to listen to. It still brings up silly adolescent emotion after all these years.

“I’m on Fire”-The Boss (Track 4): “Hey, little girl is your daddy home?” Sexy!

“Words get in the Way”-Gloria Estefan. (Track 5): I could wail exactly like Gloria. Listen, I’m singing right now.

uncanny, isn’t it?

“I Want to Know What Love Is”-Foreigner (Track 6): Couple Skate. Was there anything more romantic than a couple skate?

“The Search is Over”-Survivor (Track 7): I was every guy’s best friend. Their go-to girl for advice when their awful, mean, bitchy, ungrateful, undeserving girlfriends would crap on them yet again. This was my anthem! When-oh-when would they ever truly see me? (Sigh and dramatic flounce, crying into pillow) Which leads to…

“All Cried Out”-Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam (Track 8): This is truly embarrassing…yet essential to the Sugar Experience.

“No One is to Blame”-Howard Freaking Jones-(Track 9): I hardly understood a word he said. I tried to sing along because I loved it so much, but I could never make out the lyrics. Was it “and you want him, and he wants you and you wah ever wah?”

“Life in a Northern Town”-The Dream Academy (Track 10): “A-hey a ma-ma-ma.” ...I miss you, Girly.

“Never Surrender”-Corey Hart (Track 11): And you thought he only wore sunglasses at night. Tsk. Tsk.

“Open Arms”-Journey (Track 12): I’m sorry Guys, but it had to go on here, didn’t it?

“Crazy for You”-Madonna (Track 13): Prom. Could it be anything else? He was using you, Chicky. But then you knew that, didn’t you? You were indeed crazy for him.

“Kyrie”-Mr. Mister (Track 14): What were these guys talking about?

“Separate Lives”-Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin (Track 15): About now you’re asking yourself, “Dear God, is this ever going to end?”

“Hello”-Lionel Ritchie (Track 16): “Is it me you’re looking for?” I’m not sure, cuz the bust that blind girl is working on don’t look a thing like ya.

There you have it. You’ll never really be the same will you?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Welcome to my World

There are seven pairs of shoes scattered through the living room.

One pair of sandles by the chair
One pair of plaid Vans by the recliner
Three pairs by the coffee table: black high tops, another pair of sandles, and black Vans
Two pairs at the end of the couch: steel toe hiking boots and camo slip on tennis shoes

None of these are mine.

Neither are:
Four crusty socks
The Tuba
Two book bags
four empty glasses
1/2 empty can of pop
3 empty paper plates

Well, what is mine?

The three men who occupy this house.

...and I wouldn't trade them for a clean living room any day of the week.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Baby has Man Legs

Little had his feet up on the coffee table last night. He was watching Bullet Proof Monk. I passed by and had the inexplicable urge to play "Piggy" with his stinky pubescent feet. Just as I started this "little piggy went to market"...

"Don't touch my feet."
"Oh, come on."
"I mean it, Mom. They stink. You don't want to touch them. I'm serious!"

He was right.

As I passed by, I noticed how hairy his gams had become. He had rough skin and masses of dark hair and little weird bumps all over his skin.

They looked like Big Daddy's.

Sweet Jesus! When did that happen?

When Big become big, he just sort of morphed. His voice deepened and his face matured in a slow, methodical way. I just realized one day that he was grown.

However, when Little went to bed last night, he was a toddler with pretty smooth skin and silky blonde hair. When I passed by tonight this weird kid was sitting there with a dishwater head and stinky armpits.

Who is this stranger on my couch? It was my baby. He's now an awkward but strangely handsome young man with acne on his chin from his practice helmet.

My babies are gone.


Now what?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Don't Ever Change!

Tell me where these quotes come from. You know you know them. You’ve either written them or read them…or both.

Let’s begin.
Stay sweet as you are!
2 good + 2 be = 4 gotten
Let’s stay friends 4 ever.
Love ya like a sister!
Don’t ever forget that night and the two bottles of Tickle Pink (or MD 20/20 or Boone’s Farm, or…)
Oh, my God, I can’t believe we’re finally…
Thanks for being so sweet.
You are such a great friend.
Well, where to start...
You are so nice!
I know whatever you do, you’ll be the best!
Well, we finally made it…
Good Luck! (Not that you'll need it.)
Well, what can I say?
Don’t forget about me.

Boondoggle is an office gal. We were talking the other day about our first car. She grew up on the other side of the country, but graduated in the 80’s as I did. We remember loading up crap on our rear-view mirrors. Bandanas with dumb pins stuck to them, our class keys, the tassels off our mortar boards, beads, feathers, (attached to roach-clips) ID’s on lanyards. It is God’s own wonder we could see behind us with all that shite on there. Rear view mirror desecration just doesn't happen anymore.

Teens don’t wear letter jackets either. They still earn letters and collect medals. They just don’t put them on jackets. Big and Little both hang some on their walls and stick some in drawers.

Some things however, haven’t changed. Kids write the same insipid stuff in yearbooks today that we did then. And we wrote the same things our parents’ did. I used to spend many happy an hour pouring over Prissy’s and Uncle Hippy’s annuals. I loved the musty smell of the pages, the glossy black and white pictures, the satisfying crack of the spine when it got opened for the first time in twenty years, the stern looks on all the faces of the teachers.

And I loved the autograph section.

Stay as sweet as you are and don’t ever change! Circa 1964.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I’m not feeling light-hearted today.

I was perusing news sites today. I came across an older article on meth use in the Ozarks.

This article reminded me of these pictures.

Dens of iniquity are in my rural Ozark Mountains. Why can’t we just run ‘shine like our grandfathers? A little weed maybe? How do people get to a point where they poison their bodies willingly with battery acid and fekkin' Drano? How do they slip into such despair and addiction they bring their children with them?

My sister-in-law did respite foster care for a couple of years before she just couldn’t take it anymore. She would get children in the middle of the night, rescued from their abusive ‘homes’. The stories would horrify you.

There was a gal a year or so ago that worked at our local Price Cutter. I don’t know if they do drug screenings or not, but she looked the part of a meth-head. Her face was a mass of picked-at sores, was missing several teeth, emaciated. She could have been 20 or 60.

I jumped to conclusions of course. Fair of me? No, but I did nonetheless. People always assume that drugs are easier to get in the city. Oooh, the evils of big city crime. Drugs! Rape! Gangs!


I could walk out my door right now and find a cook in 15 minutes. I don’t live in the city. I live in the country where it’s ‘safe.’

…safe me arse.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sugar Britches' Playlist 1

Edition: Sentimental Favorites
Release Date: Aug 21, 2007
Total: 11 Songs

These songs all have the power to evoke powerful emotion. Every time I hear them there is a strong association to person, place, or event. There are more, but these came off the top of my head.

“Buzz, Buzz, Buzz”-Huey Lewis and the News (Track 1): An older boy destined to break my heart. This song and the smell of taffy brings him back.

“Jingle Bells”- (Track 2): When we were little and went on car trips Bubby and I would want to sing songs. When it came his turn to pick, our Dad would always pick this song-year round. He knew it aggravated us and he would make up new words every time.

“My Baby Just Cares for Me”-Nina Simone (Track 3): This song began my love affair with jazz standards. I was struck by it.

“Angel Eyes”-The Jeff Healey Band (Track 4): This is the song Big Daddy, to this day, associates with me. He’d not a dancer, but if this song comes on-which is rare-he asks me to dance.

“With or Without You”-U2 (Track 5): This reminds me of my commute to college classes. This song got tons of radio play. Bono at his angsty best.

“Dancing in the Dark”-Bruce Springsteen. (Track 6): I played the hell out of this song. It still makes me smile no matter what. And do that 80’s finger-snapping, side steppy dancy thingy.

“Lord, I Hope this Day is Good”-Don Williams (Track 7): This song always makes me think of my Granny and the hot summer I spent with her in Arkansas. She loved this song.

“At Last”-Etta James-(Track 8): This song has regained serious popularity over the past few years. It kind of pisses me off, because for a long time I thought this was my little find, now everyone sings it at weddings.

“Devil’s Dance Floor”-Flogging Molly (Track 9): When Big started getting into music on his own, Irish Trad was the first thing he introduced me to. Then he found these guys and hooked me. They mix trad and punk and I love it! Music was the first thing Big and I shared as peers.

“Copperhead Road”-Steve Earl (Track 10): I had never heard bagpipes in a rock song before. It always reminds me of the mall. I think because Big Daddy and I were newly wed and we raced out to find this cassette. We bought it at the mall. Try not to dance!

“I Like it I Love it”-Tim McGraw (Track 11): I can’t stand this song. But when I hear it, I think of Little. As a toddler he would sing this song non-stop. He liked it! He loved it! It makes me laugh.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I've Been Discovered!

Big found my blog.

Big Dumb-Ass that I am, I left a Word document open when I left for work and he figured it out all on his lonesome.

I don't know that Little would have taken the time to do the research that Big did to ferret me out.

Well, it's kind of liberating, all except for a few posts that involve Big Daddy that will probably cause him to wake up in the middle of the night screaming and poking out his mind's eye.

His fault for being a nose...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Aloha From Hawaii...

I remember when Elvis died. I was nine. The family was in a hotel room in Detroit and I remember seeing it on the news. Prissy had just gotten out of the shower and I shouted at her that Elvis had died. She ran into the room in a bath towel and stared at the TV in shock. She then collapsed on the end of the bed and sat there with her head in her hands and sobbed.

This concert was on TV Land tonight and I had to watch. I got my hands on this album of Prissy's when I was around 13. I listened to Elvis sing this song over and over. It was my favorite song on the record.

It may not be cool to love an overproduced song from 70's Elvis, but here it is anyway-complete with The Stamps.

I still get a lump in my throat.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I talked to my Granny last Sunday. I call her every week after I visit Prissy, her daughter, in ‘the home’. Yes, Prissy is in a nursing home. But, I really don’t have the wherewithal to discuss it today.

Granny is pushing 90 and she’s sharp as a tack. That being said, she’s also been on death’s door my entire 38 years. She had constant aches, pains, and ‘spells’. She currently lives with my uncle in Arkansas and I can honestly say the only thing wrong with the woman is old age and orneriness.

We all should be so lucky.

Granny is as tall as she is big around. She used to waddle through the house with one hand on her hip and the other on her forehead and make this Sheeyew kind of sound followed by “My head’s just a swimming. I’ve got to sit down.”

She’d then sit down in her towel-covered, pea-green Naugahyde rocking chair on the screened-in front porch and drink sweet tea with a straw out of an old peanut butter jar and wipe herself down with the wet washcloth she always kept in a Ziploc bag.

She had these double-knit housedresses in crazy 70’s patterns that she wore every day for years. She had one particularly ugly one with yellows and golds and greens. It was her favorite. She knew I hated it and therefore wore it every time she knew I was coming.

So, on the drive home last weekend…

How are you doing today, Granny?

Awe, Babe, I’m just no good. Granny’s been sick. I’m sick at my stomach and my head’s been swimming all day. It’s just so hot I can’t get any air. How’s yer Mommy, Baby?

She had a good day.

You know I just worry myself to death about her.

I know, Granny Honey, but she’s doing really well today. She was playing Bingo when I left.

…begins to cry, “Oh, I’d love to come see her, but Granny’s getting old and I probably won’t see her again this side of Heaven-Your Mommy and poor old Grandpa.

I know, Granny.

…sniffs. You’ve got a birthday coming up next week don’t you, Babe?


How old are you going to be? 60?

No, Granny, I’ll be…

Wait a minute. 60? Do what?

Granny made a funny.

60? Why, you listen to me, Old Gal. I’ll come down there and kick you ‘till your dead!

Well, I’ll say worse than that if it means it’ll get you down here to see me! I gotcha didn’t I! You get down here and me and you’ll go to Canada.

Ah, Canada.

When I was a teen, Granny and I did something together that we both knew Prissy wouldn’t approve of. (She got the nickname Prissy for lots of reasons, believe me) I don't even remember now what it was-she probably bought me some music Prissy said I shouldn't have. Granny just said that we better not let Mommy find out or we’d both have to move to Canada. It just struck us both as so funny. We stood in the gravel driveway and doubled over laughing. Grandpa had to come out and check on us.

Well, Babe, Granny’s going to let you go, Raslin (not to be confused with wrestling) is coming on.

Take care, Granny and I’ll talk to you next week.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

First Day

School starts today. The boys are off with new backpacks, paper, and pencils. That's all they need now that they are out of grade school. I bypassed the big box of Crayolas and the paste wistfully.

I guess I could get a box for myself. I always wanted the really big one with the built in sharpener and exotic colors. Fuchsia was my favorite. Prissy said it was too expensive and always got me a box of 24 at most and then she got the off brand to save more money.

Too bad they didn't have social services back in the day.

That would have warranted a call, don't you think?

And don't even get me started on layaway...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Celebrity Playlists

I love my iPod. No, I mean can’t be without it or I start to sweat and itch and pick at my face addicted to it.

One of my Tuesday rituals is checking out the new celebrity playlists on iTunes.
Most of the time, I have no idea who these ‘celebrities’ are and their picks aren’t always to my liking, but sometimes I get turned on to new stuff and rediscover oldies. So, on Tuesdays (but, only when I feel like it) I’m starting a new feature here at Sugar Britches.

Sugar Britches’ Playlist

My weekly playlists will be determined by how I’m feeling at the time.
That being said, I’m not a music snob. I listen to various genres and time periods.

Warning: There are things on my lists that are going to be cheesy.

The danger I run is leaving something off for fear of ridicule or adding something I don’t really care about in order to sound sophisticated.

Well, if I like/liked it and it fits the criteria for the week’s Playlist, it’s going on there. This ain’t Blender Magazine, People.

So, bring on the Velveeta.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I was going to blog today about how Big passed his driving test-which he did by the way.


But I think not.

My heart and mind is, instead, lingering on an event that happened 22 years ago-June of 1985 to be exact.

Yesterday, August 9, 2007, this happened.

I was three years younger than Jackie. I remember in high school looking up to her in complete and utter awe. She was so beautiful and sophisticated in my eyes. She would practice softball in the god-awful August heat in a full face of make-up and still manage to look gorgeous.

I didn’t know her well, couldn’t call her Friend, but her abduction affected me and our little town in ways that are impossible to describe. You see, in our town 20 year old women don’t get raped, beat to death with a tire iron, and then dumped in the lake like garbage. Not here.

It was summertime, so we couldn’t talk in the halls at school or commiserate in the lunch room. Instead, we burned up the phone lines, met at the Dairy Queen, took carloads of friends on back roads drives just to talk and remember her and yeah-to cry. We didn’t have email or My Space. I don’t know if we had it would have mattered. We still would have come together physically in some way. A tragedy like that requires an intimacy that the internet can’t provide.

Last night, I came home to the 10 o’clock news and the report that the main suspect, after all these years, had been arrested. I was 16 again and seeing her Sr. picture splashed on the news brought it out of memory and back into present. This was good news wasn’t it? But, instead of smiling, I sat in a chair and cried. I still don’t know why. Why did seemingly good news cause me to be so inexplicably sad? Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, a wife, and a Mom. Jackie never got to be any of those things. She didn’t get to take her Big to the fire station and watch him strutting like a peacock after passing his driving test.

After 22 years she’s still a town daughter and until this generation passes, she’ll continue to be remembered, eulogized and grieved. Ultimately, Jackie may now even get justice. Late? Perhaps. But I think wherever she is, she knows..

And that gives me comfort.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Like a Virgin...

I got spammed, today. My cyber cherry has been officially popped.

It's my first time. I feel a little cheap, but it's part of the growing up process and I'm sure my disappointment will wane with time.

But, does it ever get better?

Will I always feel like taking a shower afterward?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I'm all a Twitter

I teach adults in the corporate setting. You know, all of those lame training sessions that nobody really wants to go to, but are forced. Exciting, life-altering courses like:

Time management
Resolving Conflict
First time supervising skills
Communication skills
Team building

Occasionally, we get requests for specific topics. Recently, I developed a class on Generation Y that was wildly successful. (I had twenty people and they all stayed awake!) The Memory Mania class I held multiple times, mainly because people forgot to come the previous times. It was well received, obviously.

I refuse to do role playing in class. I just don’t have what it takes.
Are you still awake?

But, I also teach basic computer skill classes. That said I am not certified in anything, and am so not a technician. I am a user. Period. These classes help folks learn to turn on the computer, how to build folders, how to left-click vs. right-click, access the Internet, etc. If they catch on quick, I’ll show them how to open a Word document. In this day and age it is amazing how little people know about a keyboard and mouse. I am a slave to my mouse. Thank God, I learned the CTRL A, X, C, and V keyboard shortcuts from a kind-hearted tech. (I share these with users and they think I’m God I tell you, God!)

Adults are scared shitless of a PC. It’s so intimidating for them. Some associates had been using dumb tubes until a year ago and a mouse is just confounding to them. I used to advise them to play Solitaire and Free Cell to strengthen their mouse skills, but then the IT Director took games off the PC’s because they are obviously time wasters.


In a basic PC class I held, I had a lady ask me about My Space and blogs and chat rooms. Her kids throw out these terms and she doesn’t know how to talk to them about them. What were they using them for?

Good questions. I could answer some of them. Definitions mostly. So, I decided I better delve a little deeper into cyberspace myself.

I already knew that Big hates My Space. He uses Facebook and blogs a little there. He also likes Puzzle Pirates. He thinks Twitter is silly.

"I’m not going to tell people every time I take a dump, Mom."


I’m just voyeuristic enough to get a kick out of Twitter. (sans the poo report)

I joined a chat room. I took a quick look at Facebook and My Space. I read and continue to read several blogs. They range from personal to political. I decided out of the social networking sites available, a blog would be most fun. I can keep an online journal and also spend time with new people. That’s been a bonus.

Oddly enough, I don’t want anyone I know to read my blog. I’ve told no one. I’m only comfortable with strangers reading my blog. If those strangers become friends, that’s great, but the thought of family and current friends reading this drivel makes me slightly nauseous.
What’s up with that?

Anyhoo, I can now advise folks how to set up a blog, create a persona (if wanted), define an avatar, start a blog roll, set up a feed. (Speaking of feeds-that was as close to code as I’ve come-and then it was just cut and paste.) I’ll start adding photos and links before long. We can then create a My Space profile and Twitter ourselves into a stupor.

My goal is to teach them everyone has to start somewhere.

However, I can’t demonstrate using Blogspot, ‘cuz it’s blocked.

Well, that I've checked, so is Twitter.


Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Staring at the soup selection in the cafeteria yesterday brought up this discussion.

“The beef and barley really smells good. It should look better. ”
“Well, someone in the kitchen doesn’t realize that barley puffs up a lot.”
“Yeah, it looks more like beef and barley porridge.”

Do what?

Porridge? Did she just use the word porridge? What is porridge anyway? None of us really knew. We’ve heard the word all our lives, but why would we need to learn the definition? No one ever uses it.

So, after eschewing the beef and barley for the chicken noodle, I took it upon myself to ferret out the definition.

According to Wikipedia, always a trustworthy source, porridge is (drum roll, please)-hot cereal.


That’s kind of a let down. I was hoping for something more exotic.

But, this makes me think. What is gruel? You know-that stuff that poor people in the olden days and orphans and people in dungeons had to eat. It’s another word we think we sorta know but really don’t.

Well-gruel is similar to porridge but thinner. So it was customary to drink it rather than eat it.


Well I guess that’s not too bad. Next time the grits come out too thin, I’ll call it gruel and serve 'em up in a mug.

…or not.

It still sounds nasty. Gruel always sounds nasty. Unlike porridge, which sounds cozy and comforting.

In theory, Cream of Wheat, Malt O Meal, and oatmeal all count as porridge. So from now on I’m going to call them such. It makes me sound worldly and well read. The boys will think they’re dining on the stuff of Fairy Tales.

If it works for Goldilocks it works for me.

Now, let’s discuss Miss Muffett’s affinity for curds and whey.

Cottage cheese anyone?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Breaking News!

Big did not pass his test.

I think it had something to do with his car door flying open at the first left hand turn.

That will do it, don't you think?

Film at eleven.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Big Test

Today we’ll be heading over to the fire station so Big can take his driving test.


This brings mixed feelings as you would suspect. But, I am so exited for him! Nothing gives you more freedom than a driver’s license. The rig he’ll be driving is a 1975 Ford pick-up (manual transmission of course). The wheels he and Big Daddy put on the thing make it look fierce, I’ll tell ya.

He’s already got a job. He’s gainfully employed at the local Taco Bell. (They’re busting his arse with hours this summer I’ll tell ya.) So he’s ready to go with the insurance payments and the gas bill-which with that beast- will be substantial.

He’s ready. Parallel parking may put a kink in his plans, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

However…he’s a boy-A sixteen year old boy.

Do I really need to say more?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Deep Fried Coke


We went road-tripping last night up Springfield way to attend ‘The Fair’. I’m a sucker for the fair. Those of you who thought I was much too worldly and sophisticated for such an event are sadly mistaken. If you want to be indoctrinated in redneck America, begin at the fair.

Big and Little went off on their own with their buddies. This left just me and Big Daddy…kinda felt like we were courting. Didn’t everyone go to the fair with a date at least once growing up? I still have a pink buffalo a suitor won for me. I was 12 at the time and had decided to give my heart to this chicken farmer. He broke said heart not soon after and I was forced to get on with my life. Sigh…

After a trip through the exhibit hall where I check out the prize winning hams and the special photo exhibit of this past winter’s ice storm, I had to buy a foot-long corndog smothered in mustard and a little jug of root beer both procured from the A&W stand. A home equity loan was needed because the dog is $3.50 and so is the root beer. Big Daddy and I get a dog a piece and split the jug. It’s tradition.

We walk passed:
Deep fried Snickers
Fried Twinkies
Sushi (Would you eat sushi from the fair?)
The pork chop shack
Fried Green tomatoes
Funnel cakes
If there’s one thing that doesn’t go begging at the fair, it’s the food.

The parade goes by at one point …antique tractors, the shrine temple band, and a fireman at the back hosing down the street as they pass by-a little steam rising off the black top.

We stop to check out the live stock. Cattle, chickens and sheep are fine, but I go for the swine. How ‘bout a hand for hog, Folks? They have so much personality! Even sleeping, pigs are still busy grunting, snorting, and raising cane. I grew up in rural America, but not on a farm. This means I’m familiar with the terms ‘barrows and guilts’, I just don’t know what they mean.

There is nothing cuter than a baby pig. Period.

Meanwhile, back in the hall of justice, oops I mean arena, the miniature donkeys get pulled kicking and screaming through the obstacle course. Then fine-looking horse folk hook those little beggars up to buggies and perform figure eights. The chuck wagon won the blue ribbon and its team best of show!

Big Daddy and I got stopped outside the bingo/square dance tent and was handed a flyer by a feisty little old gal in a silver lame’ dancing skirt. Her shoes had sequins to match. She thanked us sweetly for actually taking a flyer. I doubt we darken the door of the community center anytime soon, but I wouldn’t hurt her feelings by letting her know that. Actually, square dancing is a lot of fun. (I just can’t abide the outfits. My loss.) It’s a throwback to my college days when I had to have an activities credit. The class was a square dance/folk dance combo. I got an ‘A’ on the final and the practical, thank you very much.

Finally, under cover of darkness, we hit the midway in search of the offspring. If you’re going to ride, do it at night when the lights are flashing and the noise level reaches a frenzy. When did we stop riding rides? When we spent the money on tickets so the kids could ride, instead. Now we just seem out of practice, but we still love to watch and always cap the evening on top of the giant Ferris wheel.

As we wait on Big and Little outside the E-plex, listening to the concert crowd screaming in the grandstand, a question lingers.

How in the cat-hair do they deep fry Coke?