besides carefully perusing  all of bev’s AWARD-WINNING ENTRIES, kevin and i spent a lot of time looking at other stuff at the fair, too.

first, the butter cow.  why, i ask you, did kevin figure that this was a view of the cow that ANYONE WOULD EVER WANT TO SEE???

and my, the butter cow sculptor certainly worked on her backside cow details, didn’t she?

the cow was OK this year, but i think it’s been better before.  i think i mentioned that there appeared to be a big line around its neck, as if the neck had been severed and then re-attached.

besides examining and documenting bev’s MANY MANY AWARDS.  we saw other cool stuff in the hobby building.  when we first went in, there were some artful produce arrangements.

this makes me want to have a produce arrangement on our front porch.  dad always decorated the porch with many wreaths and pots of fake flowers and all kinds of fancy stuff, and right now we have lots of real plants that were desperate to be outside for the summer, plus a couple of dad’s wreaths.  hmm, i could steal a few ears of corn from the field where we run, but i don’t know where i’d get bunches of those stalks of wheat or whatever.


lots of produce.

this is popcorn.  very pretty.  it would definitely look good on my porch.

mmm, grapes.  the thing about all this produce is, do they just judge it on appearance?  apparently so, because there were plates of peaches, five peaches per plate and the little marker said “peaches, five per plate.”  that means they didn’t eat any of the peaches to judge them, which seems slightly odd to me.  we had some beautiful peaches growing on our trees, but even some really rotten-looking ones were delicious.

but maybe looks are everything, as is the case in so much of life.

when we go running, on our way out to the field, we run past a fence with grapes growing on it.  i could have entered them because they were lovely.  i could have also entered our beautiful peaches.

i wish we’d gotten a better picture of this funny thing.  it was in the category “antique games” or something like that.  it’s a “dial typewriter.”  did people actually use this for typing?  and if so, why was it in the games category?  anyway, it was cool.

right next to it was this old monopoly game.

after over an hour in the hobby building, we moseyed over to the other end of the fairgrounds.  all the way across was the orr building, where i’d seen all the happy chickens on sunday.  kevin wanted to see them; he had some chickens at one point in his life, when he was living by himself out on a little farm.  he raised aracunas.

but alas, the chickens were all gone.  the huge, deliciously air-conditioned building looking empty, but then we spotted a couple of BUNNIES!  we saw jerry hicks, who for some reason was KING OF THE RABBITS this year.  he and his wife had to go around to the millions of cages and staple name cards to each one.  there don’t seem to be a lot of perks in being bunny king.

it was funny because there were only about four or five bunnies when we got there.  this one, a “junior doe,” was just so cute…

you can see another bunny way down the way.  clearly, this little bunny was lonely.

an older bunny.

jerry said that bunnies literally die of fright – if they’re cornered or get particularly scared by something, it can kill them.  for some reason, jerry has 300 bunnies.  did he tell me why he has so many?  does he live on a farm?  he doesn’t seem like the kind of fellow who lives on a farm, and i’m pretty sure he didn’t explain his huge huge bunny collection, except to say that his kids raised them for 4-H.  and then, clearly, they must have multiplied like, well…rabbits.  300 of ’em.

it was getting hot outside, so we lingered a while, and jerry said they would be bringing in the bunnies all day.  and sure enough, a kid rolled in a big stack of bunny cages.

a multi-story bunny prison.

this was my #1 favorite bunny.  bachman.  he was quivering a little, and seemed like he really wanted to escape bunny jail.

bachman and his friend…turner, maybe?  were conspiring about how to bust out.

then we saw a guy who had unloaded a bunch of pure white bunnies onto a table, and they were hopping up and down.  “they just had a long ride,” he said, “They want to stretch their legs.”

unfortunately, i didn’t have my camera with the video capability to capture the funny sight of the bunnies boink boink boinking up and down the little green strip.  here, it looks like a couple of them are contemplating the very long jump to the ground, while the other one posed for me.

really really cute bunnies, running free.

this gives you an idea of the vast emptiness of the place.  it was much quieter since the chickens had flown the coop.

i think this picture is funny because the fanny pack around my waist makes it look like i’m leaning way back.

we didn’t stick around to see the many other cages being filled because there were more fair things to see.  we walked into the pig barn, and i have to say that i think more and more that i want to be a vegetarian, or at least i want to stop eating pork.  i don’t eat a lot of it, but it was just so sad to see the pigs all stretched out and panting in the heat.  kevin says that at least as smart as dogs, maybe smarter, so WHY did we decide it’s ok to eat them?

jerry said that rabbits are way down on the food chain, not bright at all (and obviously as scared as rabbits), but how did it happen that we started eating pigs instead of keeping them for pets?

we sat in the pork pavilion where they were serving pork chops on a stick (no, we didn’t have one), and i looked around at the many people stuffing the pork chops into their mouths who actually resembled pigs quite a bit.  there was a video playing – it showed happy baby pigs, pigs frolicking all around, happy happy pigs…and then a plates of ribs, ham, bacon.  they skipped the horrible slaughtering part.

i really need to become a vegetarian.

we wandered through the state fair museum, which desperately needs updating.  it was getting hotter and hotter, and we stopped to say hi to a state cop who kevin knows.  it was funny to watch the guy’s eyes at first, because when kevin called out to him there was no recognition at all, only his stern cop face, but then when he finally realized that this goateed guy was kevin, he broke into a happy grin. all cops?  they all want to retire ASAP.

we went into the illinois wine building, delightfully air-c0nditioned, and i got tickets for five wine samples.  i really wanted to like one of them enough to buy one, but they didn’t excite me.  maybe if i’d tried ones from more wineries…but then, of course, i’d never have made it back on the long walk out.  the last thing i got was a delicious cup of a wine slushee.  mmmm, cold and delicious, if just a little bit too sweet.  hmm, i think i should make wine slushees sometime very soon.

we went back outside and my slushee instantly melted.  we wanted to see a little bit of this act of about six kids, a family of bluegrass players, including their mom.  we stood there for about two minutes in the sweltering heat and decided we’d had enough.

i didn’t get to the fair as much as i have in years past, but it was very nice to go with kevin, who usually manages to avoid it like the plague.

all right then,

tuesday morning grace.