Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Meet Me At the Fair

Or at least that’s what Martha said she was singing last week.

We went to the Washington State Fair, or, as we around here call it, the Fair formerly known as Puyallup. Because it was always the Puyallup Fair. Pronunciation can be found here. The fairgrounds itself has a bit of a shady history, but it’s been the Fair since before time. And to change it up now, AND to remove the cow heads from the entrance. Well, not sure how I feel about that.

Either way we went to the fair. We found the craft displays and started by looking at the collections.

There were quite a few and I am thinking there’s a fine line between “collecting” and “hoarding”. Just saying.

This one reminded me of Laura so I had to take a picture for her.


I mean, where would you keep all this stuff? It’s a lot of cows. Almost even more than I could bear at my home. This is but one example of people’s obsessions collections that were on display.

I think there were some kind of cool ones but of course I didn’t get a picture of them.

We looked at the quilts and knits but were told we couldn’t take a picture. Even though people were taking pictures. Not sure about that. I thought maybe you couldn’t take a picture of the pictures, but supposedly it was throughout the area.

There were also the pies and cakes and all that jazz on display, with, of course, one bite out of each for the tasters. Martha and I decided we could get on board with that job. Cake taster? I was born for it.

We wound our way around to look at animals, which were sort of hard to find AND the cow barn was closed because they were showing. There must have been an unfortunate cow incident in the past to close down the barn to move the cows. That’s what I think.

On our way we stopped to listen to The Konzelman Family (or Brothers, they go by both I think)



They were really good and sang 500 Miles. Which we liked and tapped our toes to. The two on the right also did a little tap dancing. And I am a sucker for the tap dance.

We saw some animals, but we missed the small poultry barn, which I found on the map the next day. Sigh.

It’s a tricky place-the fair.

DSC00338 DSC00336

I used to have a goat just like this one. I couldn’t get very good pictures of the long haired cows.


These two were having a little thing going on with their horns.

I heard a joke about cows on NPR Dinnerparty Download-

Why do cows have bells? Because their horns don’t work.

I told it to Laura who said it only got an eye roll and no snorts. Really? What happened to her sense of humor? That is hilarious. And the only joke I will remember for ever.

After the fair, and the milkshake and the Krusty Pup (yeah, they call their corn dogs Krusty Pups. How weird is that?) and the requisite scones (the fair is famous for scones), we had to go to the yarn store. I mean, seriously. We went over to the Yellow House. It’s very cute and I bought some swap stuff.

Saturday I worked in the yard. I cut back the bushes and picked these.

IMG_1853 IMG_1848


Dave posed for a picture.



Jack didn’t.


Jack is still getting over the giant raccoon sighting of the morning. I opened the curtain in the bedroom to see a giant raccoon slowly walking up the tree in front of the window. Jack could not believe his eyeballs. So he’s a little tired from that.

I couldn’t get a picture fast enough, but I’m pretty sure the image is burned onto Jack’s retinas.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

May Not Be Suitable for Children

The last weekend of August (Labor Day Weekend actually) found us up in the woods with our dear friends Julie and Dave. Yes, the Daves make another appearance. And Dave’s son Justin came along too. That would be Dave M’s son, not Dave S’. Just to be clear.

Dave planned a hike up to Ollalie lake. What a good idea that was. It was much less travelled than the Snow Lake trip we took a month or so ago with about 250 of our closest friends.

This was a beautiful day. We started out early which was nice because it was cool and very pleasant.

The forest was lovely, and Julie and I brought up the rear and talked all about knitting, and more knitting, and then some knitting. Among other things. There’s lots to talk about when you are just walking through a beautiful forest.



IMG_1802 IMG_1799




The lake was beautiful, in it’s own little valley.

IMG_1836 IMG_1839

And of course, when knitters hike…..

IMG_1828 IMG_1827IMG_1831 

I saw this giant Rhodesian Ridgeback and had to take a few pics-His name was Stellar. Which, really? I couldn’t help but do the Stellllaaaaa thing. How could you not?

That is good water.



This was a good dog. If it had been our dogs there would have been barking and screaming (from both Beta and us) and general mayhem. I don’t know why our dogs are so bad. And why they can’t be stellar like Stellar.

We did the requisite group shots

IMG_1832 IMG_1812

And I tried an arty shot-


Julie’s better at these kinds of things-check it out here.

Then back down the trail, which by afternoon was quite a bit warmer and I was glad we were travelling down instead of up.

IMG_1846 IMG_1817 

It was the best day. Had a wonderful time with great friends.

Hope to do a repeat on Mount Si at the end of the month.

Last weekend, as I was driving around minding my own biz, I came across an interesting sight.

I saw this sign as I was finishing up mailing a letter. It was right up the street in Fircrest. I was downright giddy that someone would put up a sign like that shocked and appalled.


Wha….what? What does that say?


Oh my. I thought that’s what it said when I turned around to take a picture, along with about 5 other people. We all agreed it was totally Facebook worthy.

And so it was. Later Blane sent the following text-

‘Theres no way that sign is not breaking some ordinances. I cant believe they would pull that off. I must drink there.’

And so must I Blane, and so must I.

Monday, September 2, 2013

This is the Walking/Running/Drinking part.

So, I think I am caught up to about a month ago. Dang. And the drinking isn’t what you think.

At the beginning of August we finally participated in our 1/2 marathon walk.

It was me, Dave, my sister, her husband Tom, and our friends Julie and her husband Dave. (It’s confusing having a friend with a Dave. So many of my friends do for some reason. Plus the fact their anniversary is a day after ours-or the same day depending on who you talk to, and they’ve been married for the same amount of time-10 lovely years)

Anyway, it was a bit grey to begin with, and we had to start pretty danged early.

We took a bus over to the airport in Gig Harbor to wait for the start.

I caught up with my good friend, the really big shoe.


I love this guy….er, girl…er, who knows? It’s a mystery. But I do love the shoe regardless.

Julie and Dave waited too….


And Martha and Dave hung out, Julie supervised.

DSC00302 - Copy

The line to the bathroom formed. It was a long one. Martha solved that problem by cutting in front of everyone. Fortunately, the line wasn’t so long at that time, and runners are pretty forgiving. Sometimes. They were probably so surprised that she just walked right in they didn’t have time to form a mob and take vengeance.

These two pictures are an attempt at a panorama shot of the line-but didn’t work out all that well. But still. Get the idea. And everywhere we stood the line kept finding us and surrounding us. Yeah. That happened.

DSC00305 DSC00304

Eventually, we started out and the Dave’s were off-


They set a blistering pace. Figuratively (I hope) because it was pretty fast.

It was foggy crossing the bridge  but it kept the temp just right for power walking.


I walked with Julie for quite a while, then walked with Martha and Tom through Cheney Stadium. I tried to get our pictures on the big screen but it didn’t really work out that way.


Maybe if you make it bigger you can see some people on the track on the screen. That’s us. Those fingers are Martha waving.

I caught back up to the Dave’s, then passed them and caught up with Julie who had taken the lead. Jeepers.

We crossed the finish and waited for the rest of the pack, which were very close behind.


Here’s the Daves at 3:33:33. Fabulous. And also sunny and warming up.


And here comes Martha and Tom, not far behind. All in all we were about 8-10 minutes apart. So it was really, really REALLY fun.

The finishers!

DSC00318 - Copy

Yay for us. Next year? Seattle Rock and Roll. The perfect 1/2 for our team to walk. Maybe then I can actually enjoy the bands. I am already super excited and getting pumped.

After this, about 10 days later, actually, I flew away to Minnesota to participate in Ragnar Great River #5-year #4 with Divas/Dudes.


We had a little delay and got to get on the plane at our first gate, get off the plane at another gate, then get back on the plane and take off. It sort of pushed me back by about, well, all day.

The lady in front of me was a knitter, just saying.


I Kinneared her because obvious stalking was just too creepy. Plus, all that plane convo is so difficult. The etiquette standards are so nebulous when personal space is at a minimum.

But finally I arrived. Went straight to the Kahler, via Mayo.

(that’s Mayo….looking up)


It was really great to see the gang again. Spent quality time with Laura and did not take a picture of my blog muse. What? Not cool. Spent same quality time with Nancy P, who might not appreciate blog face time. Saw some of the old co workers and spent lots of time with Cathy. So that was good.

Hit the road to Winona and the start at 4:30 on Friday, 8/16 for about 36 hours of fun and frolic.

Whilst on the road we saw flowers, and some cows. We stampeded said cows with our cowbells which we (well, Tiffani) were ringing for the runners. Who knew that cow’s do NOT like cow bells. (Um, Laura, cow whisperer, could you please weigh in on this phenomenon? Thank you)

 IMG_1756 IMG_1753

Cows hearing cowbells-


Said cows stampeding  after hearing cow bells.



The only pictures I took of runners-Julie and Tina-because I was playing with my telephoto lens. They look so happy. Well, Julie looks happy, Tina-not so much because she was running down a hot and dusty road. Ewww.


Stopped and rested on the shores of Lake Pepin. And although it wasn’t all that hot, it seemed hot to me. I have officially crossed over to the cool/dry side. Dampness is now a foreign country.


Although, as an aside apropos of nothing, it was a little sticky here in Tacoma last week. Yes, there was a bit of humidity in the air. Emphasis on a bit. My coworkers noticed it right away on our way out the door-oh my but it’s humid. I thought-Pikers, all of you. Humidity is running a race on the 4th of July, starting at 85 degrees with a dewpoint pushing the upper 60’s. Dang.

But back to Minnesota. We ran and ran and ran. I ran 20 miles altogether. The middle leg was the most difficult because it was hot. And as we have determined in the previous paragraphs, I am not used to it anymore. So now I am the Piker.

And another aside, I was going to link a definition to Piker in case it’s confusing to those who don’t ordinarily use it (that would be everyone except my sister Martha and I-she taught the saying to me long ago-I’ll bet she doesn’t even remember….). Anyway, I really couldn’t find it as we use it-which is sort of the equivalent to “amateur”. But, as I was looking for it in the Urban Dictionary, I found this-Rule 43. I don’t know about all the meanings, but #1 was the truest thing I’ve read in many moons.

God, back to Minnesota. That place is really messing with my train of thought. Oh, and speaking of which, Train is on the radio right now.


We finished the race, at least our van did, around 11ish or so,  and went over the the Mississippi pub for breakfast.


We managed to get to the finish line where we hung out for a few hours waiting for Van 2.

We were intrigued that the youngest of us was the sleepiest.


We were also a wee bit jealous that she could sleep anywhere, anytime, and we couldn’t.

Our team, at the finish.


And back to Rochester we went.

Leaving Mpls….


Crossing the Mendota Bridge…..


Admiring corn fields…..


The next day, after visiting a few folks, Cathy took me back to the airport, and off again I went towards home.

DSC00323 IMG_1786

It was a little weird to be flying west to go home, haven’t done that before.

Jack was so happy to see me. Can you tell?


This is his happy face.

But neither Jack or Chat were happy about this-



Yeah, that is not a welcome sight in our world. That little black and white cat comes by the house frequently to taunt, but we’ve never had a face to face face off before. It was in-TENSE.

So that brings me pretty close to now.

Oh yeah, the drinking part. Well, I drank a lot of water. A LOT. Which resulted in having to visit the cornfield while waiting for runners in the van. That’s the drinking part, and the consequence of the drinking part. The other part of drinking. And there you go. I walked, ran, and drank.

The end.

IMG_1789 IMG_1791