Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rained out at Piscataquis Valley Fair 8.28.11

Well, today was supposed to be the great end to a terrific year at the Piscatquis Valley Fair. Thanks to Irene, we're a total wash out. Everyone was asked to pick up their exhibits, entries, and animals before noon. We got there at 11:20 and most of Smokey's midway was already down because of the weather. It was torrential downpour while we were there.

Sadly, today was the day we were waiting to go because we only had the money and time away from the farm for one day...and its a washout. SO, we're hanging out at McDonald's in Dover drinking LOTS of coffee ($1 a large and free refills!) and blogging, getting my school stuff done, all that awesome jazz. Things are really looking up for me and mine and I'm so thrilled about that. Missing my kids like crazy but I've said in the past that I'm NOT going to blog about that situation.

Because of building the house, clearing out our woodlot, the firewood business, and my schooling I didn't enter nearly as many things in the fair as I would've liked to, but what I did enter did spectacularly! I was really, really thrilled and surprised at my winnings. I didn't expect to get anything because this years' entries were ALL made last minute. I wish I could enter some pics here for you but I don't have a working camera (again!) which will be remedied next month. I can't start a phot biz with no camera, after all.

Winnings this year:
First Place: Needle and Fancywork for my Tropical Citrus Burst goats milk soap. It was a glycerin based soap infused with coconut oil and sweet orange, Tahitian vanilla, and lime fragrance oils. A lovely woman who has multiple chemical sensitivity was one of the exhibit leaders and was there when I dropped the entries off. She reacted in no way to it except for being able, after many years, to ENJOY the soap!! I gave it to her. Hopefully that will me get my Borealis Beauty line off and running again.
Second Place:  Needle and Fancywork for my black beaded earrings. The earrings are another Borealis Beauty item and look like jet beads but are actually native Daylily seeds.

Second Place: Needle and Fancywork in the photography category subcategory animals. I entered a sweet pic I took of one of our banty hens standing in a pile of hay watching a bug. Shocked because it was a totally candid shot.
Thirds Place: Needle and Fancywork in the crocheted category subcategory tableclothes and runners I made a table runner or placemat out of bits and pieces of yarn I had leftover from other projects. It took me a couple hours and definitely wasn't my best work and I am rather surprised that it won at all because there was some gorgeous needlework there!

The real kicker was taking first place in TWO baking categories, muffins and quick breads. The recipes were BOTH made up on the spot and I baked them in a not really spectacular oven. It tends to get a little warmer in the middle sometimes then on the edges and as a result things can burn if you don't keep close watch. Fortunately I did and even though three of six muffins got the living daylights burned out of their bottoms the other three, right next to them, cooked perfectly!

Total wins for the fair this year: $28 in Needle and Fancywork and $16 in baked goods. Wasn't expecting anything and since I didn't have to buy anything to make the entries aside from a $1.50 picture frame I did really good.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thunder Dog: how four paws saved three lives on 9/11

I could not put this book down. Thunder Dog is a simply riveting narrative of Michael Hingson and his dog, Roselle, who saved his life and the life of a co-worker on September 11th, 2001 at the World Trade Center. That morning began somewhat strangely for Michael and Roselle. Roselle, you see, is terrified of thunder storms and one struck around the Hingson's New Jersey home around midnight. Michael got up to help Roselle get through the storm, doing some work from his home office and listening to the news on the radio. Once the storm passed the two went back to bed for a few hours before getting up and starting what seemed like a routine day. After their morning routine and getting to the WTC's Tower B things became anything but routine for this incredible pair. While setting up a presentation with a colleague, David, who had flown in from California, there was a sudden lurch and the building tilted alarmingly. Both felt they were about to die when suddenly, the building rights itself and they start shutting down electronic devices. That ladies and gentlemen just sums up the first two chapters of this fabulous book! If you want to see how Roselle helped Michael and David get down over 1000 stairs, 84 floors, and out of the building just moments before its collapse, you need to get a copy of Thunder Dog and read it for yourself. An amazing insiders point-of-view on the unbelievable bond between a man and his seeing eye dog Thunder Dog helps those of us on the outside learn what we've always wanted to know but most of us were to shy to ask.