Sunday, November 6, 2011

State Fair of Texas 2011

If you are a regular reader then you know it is a tradition for the three of us to go to the State Fair every year. We consider ourselves professional fair goers. We have it down to a science. We see almost every side-show. They are the most entertaining aspects of the fair. Some change from year to year and others stay the same. We saw quite a few new acts this year. But, the best part of the trip was that we were joined by my family. My parents, my sister, and her son joined us on our whirl wind tour!

Our first stop was the arts and crafts building. The amazing craftsmanship is a marvel to anyone, even the men of our group who are not the least bit crafty.

I crochet so I am always especially in awe of the crocheted items. Of special interest this year were two award winners pictured below. All handcrafted and crocheted. The artisans are truly worthy of their prizes.

The Butter Sculpture! A true work of art made of a common baking ingredient. The sculpture is entirely made of butter. The artist(s) are not given credit for the sculpture but in my opinion should be as they are true artists. I could never imagine working with a baking ingredient while in a giant refrigerator. This year sculpture was especially wonderful with many small details and hidden items that engaged the observers in a game of "I Spy."

The original Ronald McDonald! He did a hilarious comedy/magic routine. He is the original person who appeared on the McDonald's commercials. Rumor has it that he is still involved in the writing of today's McDonald's commercials.

My dad the consummate evangelist used the moment that he met Ronald to present the gospel. That's my dad! Get within ten feet, and he'll find out if you know his savior Jesus Christ, and if not, you'll hear about him before he lets you go.

Cirque Shanghai--A traveling Cirque du Soleil Act...They were breathtaking!

Snugglebug was mesmerized by the acrobats.

The World of Birds is a family favorite. Even as kids showing goats, we would find time in the schedule to see the birds. My sister, Leah, had a particular love and fascination for birds. We lost this precious member of our family this year, and as we sat watching her beloved creatures take to the sky, we remembered her. Not a single one of us in our little troupe overlooked the fact that the one who loved birds the most was no longer with us to enjoy them.

Billy Roy has been performing his One Man Band at the Fair for 20 years. Last year was his first year back after a three-year absence. This year he was given a prized position to perform and sponsored by the State Fair because so many fair-goers had called wanting to know where Billy Roy was.

Billy Roy plays twelve instruments at once and is a delightful performer. He is very entertaining with great songs that make you laugh as well as an impersonation of Willie Nelson that will crack you up as well.

After his performance, we welcomed him back and told him were among those who had missed him and looked for him every year.

An act we had not seen in several years turned out to be Snugglebug's other favorite. Our boy has quite the fascination for horses and stood as close to the fence as he could get. My husband had to watch him closely to make sure he did not get too close for comfort.

The Spirit of the Horse was fascinating as the trainer explained the mind of the horse and his training techniques. He even related some of his techniques to parenting children. It gave me a lot to think about. He left me with one phrase stuck in my head, "Ignore the bad behavior and reward the good behavior." I'm not saying punishment is not sometimes needed, but I have found that maybe it is not needed every time.

Notice how Snugglebug is pressed against the fence. He did have his arms stuck through the fence trying to reach the horse, but I made him put his hands and arms back on his side of the fence.

This is our traveling band of merry makers!

My youngest sister and her sweet baby boy (not so much a baby as he will soon be two!) Snugglebug's Baby Cousin is a great pal and playmate. He was so thrilled that he was able to join us!

My parents! I was thrilled that they joined us. They got the tour of a lifetime of the State Fair. Even though our family had been going to the fair for literally decades, we were always showing animals and never had time to really tour the fair. This was a new experience for them!

And of course, us!

Snugglebug passed out around mid-afternoon. It was all just too much fun. His little buddy and cousin also passed out. Good thing those strollers are so comfy!

As always, the treat of the day is a Fletcher's Corn Dog and ice cream and don't forget the fresh squeezed lemonade. I was on my cleanse and did not eat any of those! I munched on spinach and broccoli while everyone else ate heartily!

Snugglebug and his Baby Cousin, playing a game of racing each other up and down the Cotton Bowl steps.

It was a great day, full of memories! My dad hinted that he would like to be invited next year. I said absolutely! I then explained that anyone who would like to attend with us is welcome and that last year, we even had a Chinese girl who barely spoke English and whom we called Mei Mei, which is "Little Sister" in Chinese. I said everyone is welcome regardless of age, race, or language.

The countdown has begun to next year's State Fair!!

The Quest to Multitask...OR NOT!

I've never been very good at multitasking. Every place of employment I've ever had has complained that I don't multitask enough. It's not that I can't multitask at all. It's just that society today expects us to accomplish so much in a given day that you must multitask on a very high level. One can't do just two things at a time. One must be able to accomplish three or four things at once. And perfectly at that!

I can do one thing very, very well and efficiently. When you add multitasking with two things, I can get the two tasks accomplished but there will probably be mistakes, and it won't be completed in an efficient manner. Make it three or four things to multitask and disaster awaits. Just sit back and watch the show. This is the area where my previous bosses had issue (all except one that is). I just can't balance three or four tasks at once and not cause a great mess, which of course means even more time to clean up the mess.

Case in point, one night a few weeks ago, we were out till past Snugglebug's bedtime. I was in a hurry to get him to bed before he crashed on the sofa or gained a second wind. The latter is the greatest danger. Not to mention the fact that I was tired and just wanted to sit back and relax.

Snugglebug desperately needed a bath, so I started his bath water. While his bath ran, I thought I would make my shake for the next day's breakfast. It usually just takes a couple of minutes. (Note: two activities at once)

Snugglebug interrupted my shake making with a desire to take his medicine and get his post-med treat of mini M&M's. I never refuse him that request because otherwise I might forget later. (this is activity #3)I drew up his meds and gave him his mini M&M's. Then returned to activity #2, making my shake.

I threw the last ingredient into my shake, put the lid on and pressed the button, giving it a quick whirl before giving it a taste to make sure it was right.

In the midst of taking the lid off to take a taste, I remembered that task #1 was still running. I dropped my spoon and raced into the bathroom.

You may know where this story is going, but think again!

The bathtub had indeed run over! Half the bathroom was flooded with water racing to the carpeted hallway. There was probably about a half inch of water near the bathtub and around the toilet.

I yelled for Snugglebug to bring mommy a towel but received no response. He is usually right on my heals so I was surprised. I raced around the corner where two baskets of unfolded laundry sat, one of which was a load of towels. The entire load of towels were launched into the bathroom floor to create a dam.

About the time the dam was created, I hear an ominous whir coming from the kitchen. I stood up from my dam and yelled, "Noooooooooooooo! Nooooooooooo!" while running at mach speed to the kitchen!

Snugglebug had decided that he was going to help me by finishing my shake. With the lid off, he pressed the mix button. In my mind, I was imagining the worst mess in the history of all motherhood! But, to my surprise, the mess was contained to the counter and the machine with a few splatters each. I honestly don't know how a gargantuan mess was avoided.

I unplugged the blender and hauled Snugglebug to the flooded bathroom. After ensconcing him safely in the bathtub, I proceeded to clean up the floor.

When it was all cleaned up, I sat on the toilet lid and wished I had just focused on one thing at a time. Why is multitasking important anyway? And, WHO, for goodness sakes, overflows a bathtub!