Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival

So, you can't go wrong starting out with the CUTENESS...

A White Dorper Lamb

Leah enjoying some Mountain Brew

Then there was old fashioned sodey pop, complete with a souvenir tin cup. We had root beer, then red cream soda - then we felt a little bloated and over sugared.

But we kept the tin cup, so I think all in all I can count it as a win.

Sleepy Sheepie

This sheep is mostly a Wensleydale, and entirely adorable. Doesn't it look like it's smiling? You know, just enjoying the breeze, glad to be in a tent and not out in the rain, lying on some nice thick straw. What more could a sheep ask for?

I didn't get his name, but he was totally ready for his close up. I actually got photo bombed by several animals at the festival, but I like this one the best. I just love those devil eyes!

Table 310
Shakespeare and Co.

Then we went into Lexington, had a bite to eat, walked around enjoying the town, and discovered that bar ceilings are more interesting than previously imagined. I'm sure there's a coffee table book of them out there somewhere.

Now this is the hardest thing to describe. On the way out of town, we were under a huge raft of dark clouds. Up in the distance, where the cloudbank ended, thick sunbeams the color of lemons and egg yolk poured down onto the road. As we came out from under the darkness, blinding sun and pelting rain hit us simultaneously. We were at once in wonderment and extremely limited visibility. After the deluge, we tried to take pictures of the dramatic and towering clouds. This was, I'm afraid, the best we could do. 

We took the road home through Cynthiana, which was incredibly gorgeous - probably the nicest terrain I've seen in Kentucky, which is really saying somethings since it is a very picturesque state. On our longer trip in June we plan to go back down the same way. 

Today: Three - no, Four. That's the number of fiber purchases I made although I still don't have a spinning wheel. Wool Fumes, people!! They're no joke!

Friday, May 17, 2013

You Want Him?

Although it was cloudy last Saturday, we still piled into the car for our weekly adventure. Aside from a delightful stop in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, the road west along the Ohio River was a bit of a bust. Ever since discovering San Francisco, wine country, and the Pacific Ocean I've had a romantic preoccupation with traveling towards the sunset. But, as Leah pointed out, from here you go east to get to the mountains so it makes sense that everything gets prettier in that direction. Clever girl!

We had better luck heading east on the Indiana side of the river, where we stopped in Rising Sun, Indiana. This is the charming river gateway, shown at an odd angle because there was a wedding party taking photos nearby and I didn't want to appear to be kinnearing them.

There was a charming downtown street leading away from the gate, complete with an art gallery, soap boutique and a trading post featuring a giant stuffed turkey in the front window. Sadly, it was closed. Leah wanted a closer look at the cigar store indian that was behind the turkey.

On the other side was this.

I think it's supposed to be a statue/fountain of a weeping willow.

Or possibly an unsettling gray green memorial to the wailing souls of those whose lives have been taken by the mighty Ohio.

The mighty Ohio seen here, brooding and sullen, in the background.

We contemplated this, solemnly, as the breeze blew off the water and through the drooping metal fronds of the tree, then headed back towards the car.

Where we discovered that a small boy had been raptured right out of his overalls.

Time to move on!

As we continued down the road, we had to turn around and stop when we spied a flattened shape on the center line which proved to be a very large snapping turtle.

As we got out of the car, another car screeched to a halt on the other side of the road and a very large man got out, looked at us, and said, "You want him?"

Since we only wanted him in pictures, the man obligingly picked the turtle up by its scaly tail, deposited it by the roadside, and began arranging photo ops.

With Leah's hand, for scale.

With open mouth - the large man's large boot is just outside the frame. Apparently it's okay to let a snapping turtle chomp on your steel toes. I still wouldn't have tried it.

We noted the alligator like tail and the impressive claws. Despite these armaments, the turtle was defensive rather than aggressive.

In pensive close up.

After I had gotten enough photos, we wished each other a good day, the man put the turtle in his trunk, and we went our separate ways.

We ended our adventure at the Third and Main Tavern in Aurora, Indiana. If you are ever within fifty miles of this place and even mildly peckish, you really should stop in. They have a lovely patio, a fabulous selection of adult beverages, friendly staff and patrons. They also have the best prime rib sandwich I have ever had in my entire life. It was incredible, still barely pink at the center and suffused with rosemary and garlic, tender and juicy and perfectly seasoned. I started texting people after the third bite.

Leah had a burger stuffed with poblanos, queso blanco, and cilantro, topped with chipotle mayo. It was equally delicious, especially the beef, which the menu says is from Pat LaFrieda. The fries were good enough that I didn't drown them in ketchup, as is my wont.

Also, this picture? Tres Blueberry Stout from Dark Horse Brewing Company. I was a very satisfied traveler.

Today: Eight. According to large men, there are eight kinds of meat on a snapping turtle. We are still wondering how you get to them, though.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Beautiful day, isn't it?

It's raining here in Southwestern Ohio, and has been on and off for days. This morning it was coming down so hard that I had to stand by the window and watch as sheets of it fell in susurrus waves, beating into the pavement and brickwork outside the building. A lot of people are beginning to grouse about the weather. But  I see the grass, growing so fast you can almost hear it rustling. The glowing green light that reflects into my bedroom on a rainy morning from the trees outside, making it look as though I woke up in the heart of an emerald. The ebb and flow of color as the spring blooms burst and fade, in their order.

I have always tried to appreciate spring - anyone who has spent a winter in the steely gray Midwest does, on some level - but this one is different. The landscape here is certainly the opposite of what I saw in Colorado, but it's more than that. Even in Central Ohio I never felt this much movement, this much life. The trees are taller here. There are more woods, lurking dim and shady at the fence lines of suburban homes. A five minute drive will take you out of our tiny town and into bona fide farmland complete with barns and livestock, possums and buzzards and wild turkeys. The ingredients of life are close enough, here, to touch.

I'm glad that it's raining. I'm going to go outside and feel the life of spring fall out of the sky and soak into my skin, getting me ready for a growing season.

Today: 80%. That's what they say, but I can report a 100% chance of precipitation from where I sit.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

When Sales were Sales, and Ads were Blunt.

I'm not a salesperson, but I work with them. They are uniformly charming and always very nice to me. I suspect it helps that I am not a salesperson, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

I listen to a lot of Old Time Radio. Although I love the drama and clever writing to be found in radio plays, most of the time I'm hoping to hear some old advertisements. There's just something about hearing Ernest Chappell extol the virtues of velvety smooth Campbells Tomato Soup that soothes my mind and makes my mouth water. And I HATE tomato soup. Seriously, I think it tastes like puke.

Anyway...I do find myself conflicted because of my love of marketing related creativity and my firm belief that most of us (and by us I mean first-world us, not in grinding poverty us, employed us) have plenty of stuff and might actually be happier if we had less. Mostly due to moving cross country in the last few years, I have a lot less stuff than I once did and that actually makes me feel more free, not less well off.

But for real, how could THIS be any finer:

It even says "No Cure, No Pay". A million and a half pig people can't be wrong.

Or this:

No hyperbole or deadly, persistent toxins here!

And finally...
Who needs that lame guy in a starched suit when you have a cherry red, sensitive, and apparently psychic 1955 Ford? Girlfriend, you'd better drop that two legged loser and hit the road with something that REALLY cares about you and your needs. Hear what I'm sayin'?

If you are as entertained by this as I am, I urge you to check out vintageadbrowser for print ads, and otr.net or radiolovers.com for audio. I especially recommend anything featuring Orson Welles or cigarette ads.

Today: Six little words: "I remain, as always...obediently yours."