Sunday, August 29, 2010

Taking The Good Baby to the State Fair

This year The Good Baby celebrated an important milestone here in the Midwest - her first State Fair.

Usually it is unbearably hot during the fair and it always rains for at least one day. The day we went was hot but nothing like previous summers. We decided to go after TGB had her morning nap so we could eat lunch and explore for a few hours before she needed her afternoon nap.

While TGB sat happily in her stroller people watching, I had chocolate covered bacon and deep fried key lime pie.

The bacon tasted more like a salty chocolate covered pretzel. I didn't taste too much of the bacon. The deep fried key lime pie just wasn't good. The batter was too thick, I couldn't actually use the stick to hold it and I hate powdered sugar. Since this is the second time I have had something deep fried that was bad, I think my deep fried dessert days are over.

This is the part of the fair I really like. Every damn year I forget what building the produce and food contests are in and I kinda wander around aimlessly until The Good Husband remembers. By this time we are usually on the other side of the fair grounds, so by the time we find it, we are thankful it is one of the few buildings on the grounds air conditioned.

Notice the blue ribbon and champion winners are in a refrigerated case. The runners up have to withstand the elements for 10 days.

On to the animal barns. I feel bad for the sheep since it is so hot and for whatever reason, they have to sleep in coats. The pigs were not dealing well with the heat. TGB got to pet a friendly goat. One of the sheep nipped at her, so she was happy the goat was kinder.

Awarding winning foods. Look at that pie crust. I can never make mine look so pretty.

TGB had a mini donut for the first time. The thing is covered in sugar and while it is definitely not organic or healthy, we let her have a few since it was her first fair. Other than her birthday cake with organic sugar, she has never had so much sugar at once. At first she was skeptical. But in the end, she liked it.

We also wore her out. Never before has she fallen asleep in her stroller. Thank god we brought the one that reclined and not her umbrella stroller.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm Betty Draper. You be the interior decorator

Remember in season 3 when Betty had the formal living room redecorated and then bought that fugly fainting couch all because Henry Francis pointed it out to her?

Well I already have something similar to the fugly fainting couch and I need help decorating around it. Right now I have new construction white walls with nothing hanging on them. We have been too scared to nail any holes in the wall even though we plan to be here for 20 years. I also have no sense of style and I have never painted anything before in my life.

The Good Husband hates what he calls fun houses - where every room is a different color. So the plan is to paint all the common areas - living room, dining room, guest bathroom - all the same color and paint The Good Baby's and our bed and bathroom separate colors.

This is how our living room looks now (click to enlarge)

To the left of the armchair (and notice our super fancy tv tray end table) is the kitchen and dining room. To the right of the couch is the hallway to the bedrooms and bathroom. The tv is out of frame, opposite the sliding glass doors.

The couch and the chair and ottoman are a tan-ish olive color. The drapes are a khaki color and the carpet is grey.

I was thinking about painting the wall with the fireplace and the half wall a dark grey color and all the other walls in the house 2 shades lighter. I think the grey would look good with the carpet but I don't know if it would look good with anything else. I can move the couch and chair and into the basement and buy something more compatible with grey walls if I had to. The curtains will have to stay for now since we just bought them and you know TGH is too cheap to let me change them.

I like the Colonial Cobblestone and Family Tree colors of Dutch Boy paint. I don't know if I can get them in a low VOC however and that is important to us.

The fireplace is another issue in itself. I want a large sliver frame mirror over the fireplace and only a few photos on the mantle. The rest of the photos I want to move to floating shelves on a wall - either the one next to the arm chair or the one opposite the sliding glass door (more decisions!).

TGH is not fond of mirrors over the fireplace but I don't know what else to put there.

So any suggestion would be great, whether paint colors or mantle ideas. Anything is welcome.

Monday, August 9, 2010

First Trip to the Zoo

We were going to go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday but instead I read in the paper our local zoo was having a ceremonial stroller walk for World Breastfeeding Week. I thought it would be nice to go, to show support for the lost art of breastfeeding, to celebrate the 11 months I nursed and pumped and to see the animals.

The Good Baby had a great time.

She got to see some animals like this African deer.

She also got to see goats in the petting zoo area. At first she wasn't sure about the goats but the were incredibly tame from being around people. They were very gentle, but persistent, when eating from your hand.

And I do mean persistent. This guy nibbled on my shirt until I gave him something to eat.

The Good Baby wasn't scared at all, which I love how fearless she is.

Our next big first with TGB will be going to the State Fair. I cannot wait.

Trip to the Farmer's Market #6 and assessment

This was the first FM we have been to since coming home from vacation. I always get in a weird place after we get home and I am distracted for a week or so. I have to clean everything in the house from top to bottom, which now takes longer since The Good Baby likes to help. I lose track of days and it takes me a while to fall back in routine.

But I have settled now and last Thursday TGB, me and The Good Husband all went to the night market. We came home with potatoes, cantaloupe, blackberries, an eggplant, brats and sweet corn.

We had dinner of brats, 'taters and corn with cantaloupe for dessert.

We had planned on going to the farmer's market on Saturday but then I saw our local zoo was having a breastfeeding walk for World Breastfeeding Week and we decided to go to that instead. Post to follow.

Sadly the farmer's market season is just more than half way finished. There is only 12 weeks more to go. I should start buying produce to can and freeze now for the winter. I will have to make a list of what all I will need. I will also have to clean out the pantry.

It has been fascinating to watch the different produce come and go from the market. Strawberries have been replaced by peaches. Tomatoes and sweet corn have arrived, as have melons and black- and rasp- berries. Zucchini and summer squash are preparing the way for acorn and butternut. Veggies like green beans, 'taters, onions and peppers have been a staple, available at almost every market.

For someone that never thought about food seasons before and the origins of food, it has been a valuable lesson for me.