30 August 2006

Video at last

Done and done.

I was freezing by the time Thing 4 performed so its shaky as heck. The quality ain't so great either, but whatta ya want for nuttin?

29 August 2006

More Fair

Ok, so how do you make a killing at the fair? On a rainy day, you sell these buggers for $2 when the radio stations are hawking their logo-fied ones for $5:

So, where were we? Oh yeah, we split up for a bit, and the Things went on their rides while mama the pack mule dumped a load back at the car and picked up their stuff for the show. We saw some more sights, and did some more fair things.

All vendors at the fair are private contractors. This particular carousel sits in front of the grandstand in what is called "Carousel Park," oddly enough. It's been there for years and has nothing to do with the rest of the midway. There's one on the Kidway, too. There used to be a really old one in a permanent building, which you can read about here. It was very cool, and almost got the 86 due to the almighty dollar. Now it is fun to go visit at Como Park, another Saint Paul landmark.
We finaly got to our pre-show meeting. The first thing the stage manager told us was that the weather policy was to go on, rain or shine, unless there was lightning or severe weather, in which case we would break, wait it out, and come back after 15 minutes of all-clear. Almost as soon as he got this said, we were moved to the Eco Challenge building to wait out an incoming storm. It was just then that I realized I had forgotten Thing 1's CD. I knew I could walk to the car and get it if I had enough time, but the graciously sent me a golf cart to speed things up a bit, so Albert took control of the Things and off we went. Unfortunately, that's exactly when the weather hit the fan. We were forced to seek shelter in the main entertainment offices for about 20 minutes. I fretted about the Things, but they were busy checking out all the interactive exhibits in the Eco Challenge building and didn't even miss me. The sun broke back through, we got a rainbow for good measure, and on our golf-cart journey I got a mini-tour and some behind the scenes stories of the aforementioned storm of Skynrd legend. Nate, my golf-cart knight, treated me more like a minor dignitary than the PITA stage mom I felt like. Everyone at the entertainment office and Baldwin stage was pleasant and helpful, despite fielding phone calls and watching weather reports and dealing with all the different stages at the fair. They all get really big kudos from me.

We got back in plenty of time to watch the crew dry off the stage. We waited for the official all clear, and started up about 40 minutes late. Thing 3 performed in the middle of her division and was cute as a bug, but there was some really stiff competition. She had a blast on the big stage. Thing 1 was the very last act of the evening. There were two girls who sang and played piano, two boys who sanga nd played guitar, and an excellent dancer, who took second. Thig 1 waited for them to announce 2nd place and said, "I'm ready to go now." The look on her face was priceless when they announced her name. I wish I'd left the camera on, but I was shivering so hard the video is shaky as heck the way it is. Now to get it compressed and posted...

28 August 2006

Argh! State Fair part 1

Yet another twit at work quit with no notice or call, and left a schedule full of hours to fill, so here I am working nights again. At least I get call-in pay. I hope it comes out of her check. I actually really like the night shift at my job. It's peaceful, the pace is easy, I do quiet things like cook and bake. I just hate doin' it in the middle of the night.
The state fair trip was soggy indeed. For most of the day we simply ducked into a building when it looked like rain was coming, and it worked pretty well. The kids got on their rides, they saw the sights and did the activities that really mattered to them. We had our neighbor's Hungarian exchange student, Albert, along for good measure. My neighbor works for the state Extension service, so "fair" and "fun" do not go together in her vocabulary. We would not want a foreign visitor to miss out on such an integral part of the Minnesota experience, however, so we have taken their students along on more than one occasion.
When we first entered the fairgrounds, we found the new Miracle of Birth Barn, around the corner from its old location and bigger than before. We strolled in to check it out, and were greeted by a laboring cow with protruding calf bits on the big screen. That was more of a cow than I cared to know, so we moved hastily on. I think the concept is awesome, especially for city dwellers who have no concept of the livestock life cycle, but I hung around enough friends' farms when I was younger to get a good feel for animal husbandry. No need to view it for recreational purposes. Thing 2 wanted to make a beeline for Little Farm Hands, but we had to make a couple dry building detours en route. Once we took care of that, it was time to check out rides until we got a rain squall, so we ducked into the Home Depot tent and built things. We took a couple laps in the trolley and checked out the Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom trailer. Animatronic Marlin Perkins, but no Jim Fowler. He was out wrestling hippos while Marlin was safe in the trailer, I guess, as always. No respect.
I have now lost the last half of this post TWICE, and am about to scream in frustration. **(&&*(&!!! Blogger!
To Be Continued when I am calm...

26 August 2006

Learning Curve

I have spent most of the afternoon learning video encoding by trial and error, mostly error. I have to go to work soon, so I won't spend any more time on it today, but I should be able to get the kids' clips up relatively soon. I'll be posting a link where you can go download the movie to watch on your computer, so we don't have to fiddle with streaming video and other such technobabble.
I must go outside for some fresh air and sunshine before I hide out in the bar all night, so I shall post for you later, dear internet.

25 August 2006

We have a winner

We are back from our foray to the State Fair, a bit damp around the edges but Thing 1 is victorious. I'll say only that I think I jinxed myself blogging about that storm, but I found out from one of the entertainment crew that it is the stuff of SF legend. Details and pictures later, I am shot, and a bit soggy, still.

23 August 2006

Crash Boom Crash

4:24 this a.m. brought a very loud thunder crash and rumble. I expected the little whimpers that soon followed, but not the second crash, which was William knocking over his dresser on his way to find me. The sisters that help put his clothes away and get him dressed had left enough drawers open to tip it off balance enough to let it go crashing over with a nudge. After dealing with all that commotion, and dealing with the kids who came out to see exactly what it all was, it took me about an hour to get back to sleep. I should've just gotten up to do something productive, but bed was too comfy.
There's a forescast of scattered t-storms for our fair trip tomorrow, but unless we get something really violent, it doesn't bother me a bit. There are plenty of buildings to stroll through, and the morning should provide plenty of partly-cloudy/overcast weather for rides and outdoor fun. Hopefully the storms will hold off for the girls' show, though. The stage is covered, but not the audience.
The best time I ever had at the state fair was in a raging downpour. We had swapped the 2 elder Things off with rellies while Hubs and I went to see Kansas kick Lynrd Skynrd all over the old grandstand stage. It had been misty and cloudy for the whole show, and I had 2-year-old Thing 3 crashed in my lap. We watched the nightly fireworks for awhile, then left to get the Things back. As we came out of the grandstand tunnel, the fireworks ended with a crashing finale, combined/confused with a huge crash of thunder, and the rain came down in an instantaneous sheet that stopped the throng of people dead in the tunnel and caused a comical backlog of humanity. We waited a minute, said the heck with it and made a dash for it. The rain was warm, the kids were giggling, and we splashed through the eight blocks of state fairgrounds to get to the bus to our park&ride. The rain came so fast that the intersections were flooded because the storm sewers were unable to keep up. Aside for those of you unfamiliar with the Minnesota state fairgrounds: unlike our more rural neighbors, the state fairgrounds site is in the middle of the metro, and has full curb and gutter utilities and paved streets. Had this happened elsewhere, we'd have been slogging thru mud and considerably less merry. As it was, I had one Thing tossed over my shoulder, covered with a rather useless blanket, singing "it's raining, it's pouring..." in my ear and making me laugh. Kyle pulled the other two in the wagon. We dripped along with the rest of the bus riders, and dashed back to our van, which was by now standing dead center in the middle of an empty university parking lot. As we ventured out into the streets, the water was up to the doors. In all the times we've been to the fair, I don't remember having so much fun as that night.
I am assuming we will not see such rain tomorrow, but I suppose I'll pack along some extra clothes, just to be safe.

22 August 2006


Dudes, go check out the overhaul at the homestead. Comment! (Please.)

20 August 2006

More big wieners

Thing 1 is now officially representing Swift county at the Minnesota State Fair. I managed to get her in on the same day as her little sister-Rock! The Thing that didn't place in Chippewa County earned 2nd in her division, and the mom who placed 2nd in Chippewa got squat. Good competition, however, but I'm cranky that they placed entrants with backing vocals on their music (a big state fair no-no) even though they did not win. I'm mostly just jealous because there are a bunch of other songs I would have done if I had not stuck to the rules myself. Heck, I'll take a little cash and a pass on the State Fair trip. I'll post a little blog-alogue of our Fair trip.
Now, to do some directing of the Things in the Sunday-evening-before-garbage-pickup Opera. A typical scene:

Me: "Start collecting the garbage cans to go out."
Things: Silence
sound fx: Crickets chirping

Repeat at increased volume until I am screaming and the Things are wailing in misery.
Such fun.

17 August 2006


Well, I am home doin' the Day Off Dance (tm). Last week, I had several days off from work, but I spent most of my time working on stuff for church. The company was good, got lots of "feel good" stuff done, but not much around the house. I am off both jobs today (and on both tomorrow and Sat.) and rehearsal has been cancelled, so I am busy doing little jobbies around the house, grocery shopping, and takin' a few minutes to spend some time with you, my close personal friends on the internet.
Some comments and common themes on other blogs have led me to think of some further discussion on earlier posts...
Yes, the bus comes at 6:55 (officially-sometimes he's even earlier...). Our little town comes close to the beginning of our bus route. There are some busses that start picking up at 6:45. Schools start at 8:15 or 8:20 depending on the building. Love those rural routes. Not. I usually have to be at work by 7:00, so I just start rousting the kids after I have gotten myself upright and (relatively) sane. They hate it, but realize it needs to be done. They have friends on the bus, or books, so all is well.
I am guilty of doing some county fair jumping this year for talent show purposes. Part of it is sheer vindictiveness from placing behind entrants from Buffalo Lake or South Dakota in my own county. However, I have tried to stick to counties where grandmas live or the very next one to the north. It has allowed me to hone up my comparative county fair theology. My hometown fair was painfully small. They seemed to have a good slate of entertainment and activities, but I had that twinge of nostalgia, looking at the event and the place from grownup eyes. We ran wild at the fair in those junior-senior high years. New friendships formed with people you never spoke to at school, romances blossomed, glamorous hair bands swept away the hearts of adolescent girls on their whirlwind tri-state tours. The memories won't fit properly in that very small fairground.
I have no real personal ties to the Lyon County fair, except for friends and family that reside there. It seems to be a pretty good fair, though, hosting a variety of events, a well-stuffed 4-H exhibit hall, and full commercial buildings. The local fair, however, is struggling. The fair board has been trying some new things with varying success, but I feel they have been hamstrung by locking in to a M-W schedule every year. The commercial buildings are uncomfortably vacant. The next county to the north has similar population and size, but just seems to be more vibrant. I couldn't say if it's better placement, presentation, or what, but it just seems more lively. So there's more than you wanted to know about county fairs. Now on to state... Thing 3's win at the county level has moved her on to a performance slot at The Great Minnesota Get Together on opening day (mom's favorite!). The rest of us losers will try again Sunday at Swift County. The kids get a bang out of it, and frequently earn a little spending $, even if they don't win. Thing 1 has been reading original poetry with some success. She has great stage presence, which has been the aspect that puts her in the winner's circle, I think. The rest of us keep on singin'. I'll try to take some pictures, If I can get the Mac to recognize my camera. Might finally be time for a new one. Seems to work fine if I use the memory card, so I guess I'll just have to stick to that.
Y'all have a great day.

16 August 2006

Media overload

So I'm sitting here with internet radio on iTunes, local broadcast radio on the daily "freebie" show, surfin' the net, Kyle watching History channel on the other side of the room. My head assplode. Now the freebie show is over, so I can take one stimulus out of the mix. No wonder our stress level is so high.
Well, the church block party went off despite the weather, but we were rather disappointed with how much of the community did NOT bother to come out and support us, despite the weather. We are thankful for all who did come, but have decided not to do it again next year. We'll put our efforts elsewhere.
Now I suppose I should write thank you notes...
We're winding summer down hereabouts. Trying to get schedules set so we don't panic when the bus starts coming at 6:55 in the blessed a.m. I've been doing laundry nonstop, trying to catch up on backlog, as well as examine who needs what and what doesn't fit anymore. My children are blessed with loads of family that loves to buy them clothes. Gotta learn to let go of some of it, even if it does fit, just to make room in the closet. Someone else can enjoy it. Well, better get back at it.

09 August 2006

Book meme!

Call me a geek, but I think these meme thingies rock:

1. One book that changed your life: The Holy Bible

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: The entire Belgariad/Mallorean series by David and Leigh Eddings

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Any/all of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

4. One book that made you laugh: How to Talk Minnesotan

5. One book that made you cry: While the Locust Slept

6. One book that you wish had been written: How to Find a Job that Pays $20/hr. to Sit on a Beach and Sip Little Umbrella Drinks. Written by me.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: quite a few forgettable Star Trek novels. Frequent response to the end of the book: "I wasted four hours on that?"

8. The book you are currently reading: The Power of a Praying Wife, Lucky

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: God's Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It

10. Now tag five people: Gosh, I can think of a few, but who'll actually play with me? Carter, Ann?, Bossy,
Cliff,and Britmum
That should actually be a well rounded list of things that I will want to go read for myself after I see their ideas.

Here's a couple honkers for you

Meet the neighbors. Kinda noisy, and they bring about 100,000 of their friends by for a big party every fall.

Been busy here at the Casa del Goose. Getting ready for church block party, including rummage sale, so that's led to closet cleaning and other fun stuff. Nice to get done, tho. I've been avoiding the Mac and its time sink in order to keep making progress. More posting when the weekend is done. Whew.

04 August 2006

Home again...

The Things and I went back to my home town yesterday to perform in the county Talent Show. Had a respectable turnout, and two of us placed in the money. Grandma videotaped and a good time was had by all. Got back around nooon today, did a speed thru at the grocery store, and am now kickin' back a little until Job 2.

The ladies at Crazy Hip Blog Mamas have decided its warm fuzzy time. You are hereby requested to leave a positive, warm fuzzy comment at any blog you visit this week, including this one (so get crackin'). Hopefully the warm fuzziness will spread like wildfire and flow out into real life. Couldn't hurt...

01 August 2006

An oldie but a goodie

No, not me (well...)

Got this in my mail today. I have seen it before, but I still like it:
(parenthetical comments mine)

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.
(My SIL told me once she was worried because after she concieved but before she knew, she had tied one on. She talked to her mom about it, who told her, "Don't worry, honey, for the first three months you were swimming in gin.")

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
(Man, it was a different world back then...)
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
(still do on a hot day, but don't let the hose run over an electric fence)
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because...WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
(at my house I had to check in be home for supper or there was hell to pay, but then it was back outside)
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
(Sprained ankle)
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all,
no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them !
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
(Some of which caused the problems that we're bitching about here...)
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned
(liquor, drugs, prozac...)
And YOU are one of them!

(Maybe this explains a lot...)

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!


So, the Twins did not disappoint last night. William came down and flopped on me flopped on the couch, and we had a lovely ballgame coma. Train them up young...

Gonna go and work on a few bags and boxes before rehearsal. I'll let you know if I unearth any treaures.