Monday, August 16, 2010

Deep-Fried and Farming

Well, I was going to have this fabulous post about our weekend and all the fun things we did, full of colorful pictures and darling shots of my boys.

But my camera is lost in the undergrowth of the Iowa forest and get a summary of my weekend, without the pictures.

I've noticed that here in Iowa, it's very easy to get caught up in the crowd mentality. Hawkeye football, corn-eating, etc. It's so easy to go jump on the bandwagon. I suppose it's not really that surprising, since there isn't actually a lot going on in these sleepy little Midwestern towns. On of the things that definitely sucks you in, no matter how hard-core West Coast you thought you were is the Iowa State Fair.

We went last year, and had a great time.

This year, it was even better.

The pigs were enormous (1200 lbs!). The pumpkins were even bigger (1300 lbs!!). There were cows, and horses, and sheep, and chickens, and ducks, and llamas, and alpacas, and elk, and ostriches (Oh, my!).

Hubster had to deal with me squealing over each new tiny animal.

Oh, these ducks are too cute! We should get a duck!
No. We shouldn't.
Oh, look at this tiny little bunny. We should get one of those.
No. We have a goldfish. We don't need another pet.
Oh! Oh! Oh! A baby sheep!

Yes, this is how much of the conversations went that day.

We enjoyed Midwestern food. I'm sure that this is actually a real type of food. But in my experience, Midwestern food means anything involving batter and deep-fried. For example...the funnel cake. My new guilty food item. Other fair-worthy food: deep-fried candy bars and deep-fried cheese curds. These may be the best thing on the planet. But there was deep-fried pineapple that I didn't get to try, so I'm holding all opinions until next year's fair.

One of the things that I love about the Iowa State Fair is that it doesn't just display animals and large squash. It goes beyond to show fair goers about farming, which is important since 90% of land in Iowa is used for farming.

There was a hands on (and free!) farming exhibit that took children through the steps of farming, from planting, to harvesting, to plowing, to farmer's market.

My children got to see baby sheep and cows, just hours old. They saw newborn silky piglets nursing. They spent 45 minutes watching a chick hatch from its shell. The magic of life and land was alive in their faces.

Maybe it's not such a bad thing that my camera (along with all my state fair pictures) is lost in Hickory Hill Park. I spent the whole weekend thinking that there were no pictures that would do justice to the joy in my boys faces as they saw a damp-feathered chick finally emerge victorious from the remains of its shell. There was no shot that would capture the enthusiasm as they zipped down the "Giant Slide." There was no picture I could have taken to capture the contentment of holding hands as a family, swinging our boys between us as we hiked back to our car, full, tired, and happy.

But I would have liked to try.

Because, dang, my boys are cute.


  1. What fun! Wish I were tasting all the good things and on-looker to the contentment and gladness! Its great you got to take in the state fair and obviously Hickory Hill park earlier, and sad your camera is lost because I love your pictures -- you are good at photography as well as dozens of other things. Even though it may seem too small to take notice, you are spending more family time than you were able to take earlier in your progress through training, so this is a good sign. GOOD JOB, well done.(Toss in extra hugs everyone.)

  2. I love the fair. I am glad to hear everyone had a great time.

    And I think you need a pet. How about an ostrich?


  3. I haven't been to the fair in years. And I haven't ever tried any of the crazy deep-fried stuff. Although, it's not because I don't want to. I've been wanting to try deep-fried Oreos since I first heard about them.

    I'm sorry about your lost camera. That really stinks!