Monday, August 23, 2010

Indiana State Fair

Each year, I love going to the state fair.  I always took my children to the state fair and I would sing "it's the great, state fair."  They would be embarassed, but we had fun.  My children were city slickers and would walk though the barns housing animals holding their noses.  2010 was declared the year of the pig.
Year of the pig

 We were never much for the midway.  We might walk through, but never rode many rides.  I always fear fair rides are unsafe.  There are too many other things to do, too!

Since it was year of the pig, I had Doug take this pic.

cheese sculpture.  there was a sign that said it would be ground up to feed animals.

I believe they said Argentina cockroaches.  I didn't touch them!

I LOVE pineapple whip and the state fair is the only place to get it.

the old Hooks drugstore on the fairgrounds

this covered bridge was added in '08
 New to the fair this year was a statue by artist J. Seward Johnson (see his red signature on the woman's shoe on the back of the sculpture).  The name of the statue is "God Bless America," and was inspired by Grand Wood's American Gothic and represents rural America in the 30's.
me, dwarfed by the new statue

Doug insisted I take this.


me, in the Department of Natural Resources building.

I have a minor in Natural Resources.  The Department of Natural Resources building is one of my favorites.  They have fish in tanks in the walls.  There is a store at the back with items from state parks.  There is a display that has a storm and shows how a town might be flooded.  I have to watch that every year.

Young McDonald's farm

I thought these little cows were beautiful.

Doug grew up on a farm, so he had to get in on the act.

so sweet

giant pumpkin

Big Smokey

largest boar and his big...

Pioneer village
 The Pioneer Village is one of my favorites, too.  We got there too late this year and the building was closing.  Seems there is never enough time to take everything in.
the sign reads "a pig bought on credit is always grunting."

this sign has been the same for years.  I love it.
I grew up, marching with the band at state fair and this same sign has been around, I know, since then.  I always have to see the photography display.  I also like to see...well, everything!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Channeling my inner Annie

Last Saturday, I joined three of my friends from my hometown and met them in Morgantown, which is about half-way between New Castle (where I'm from) and Bloomington (where I now live).
Me, Kathy, Nan and Joyce

We attended an event called "Women in the Outdoors" which is sponsored by the National Wild Turkey Federation.  Kevin Presnell from Gander Mountain brought all of his instructors together at his place called Presnell Plantation.  We had a beautiful day and the property is just gorgeous.

You pick four sessions.  I chose clay pigeon shooting, fly-fishing, hand gun safety and kayaking.  Prior to last Saturday, I had shot a shot gun exactly one time.  My ex-husband thought I needed to know how to shoot his shot gun.  We went out to my grandma's farm, I shot it- it kicked back on me and about broke my shoulder.  I got mad, handed him the gun and until last Saturday, that was the last time I had ever shot a gun.
This time, my experience wasn't much better.  We shot a couple of different gauge guns (don't ask, I don't remember) and they both kicked hard.  I am sporting a bruise to prove it.
Plenty of ammo

Plenty of guns

Joyce takes aim

Joyce and I were in this session together.  She took this session last year.

Kevin shows me how
We shot at clay pigeons.  I couldn't have hit a clay whale!

Kevin speaks to us about fly-fishing. 
This is where we would later kayak.
Next, Kathy and I took fly-fishing.  I grew up casting a line with a regular fishing pole.  I had never fly-fished before.  I've often admired the art of fly-fishing.  It took me almost a full hour and a half to get the hang of it.
Kathy tries her luck at fly-fishing.

I caught a fish!
Ladies, take note in the above photo.  I am wearing jewelry, nail-polish and make-up.  My life motto has been "we don't have to be ugly in the woods."  Whenever I've gone camping or hiking, I make an effort to look nice.  People make fun of me.  That is fine.  When Doug and I back-packed in Rocky Mountain National Park, he told people that all I carried was my clothes and make-up.  That was not true, but whatever.  People have always teased me about having Estee Lauder with me. 
This is Bud.  Talkin' to us about hand guns.
Next, hand gun safety.  Bud and another fellow were our instructors.  The other instructor was a retired state police officer.  Bud has a black belt and is NRA certified to teach.  Prior to last Saturday, I had NEVER held a hand gun.  My dad had guns and I grew up with them in the house, but never had any desire to touch them.
I think this is where Bud was saying "are you sure you never shot before?"

I was a freaking natural with handguns!  I was pounding the bull's eye.  Both instructors asked me if I had done it before and when I said that I had not, they both told me with beginner's luck like I was having, I should be in competition. 
It was fun, I was kind of jazzed, but have no desire to buy a gun or to shoot on any regular basis.

My favorite hand gun was the one pictured below.  A Smith & Wesson.  A real cowgirl gun.
Just like Annie Oakley would have used!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Boxing ruined my manicure

Apparently, boxing ruins a manicure.  Who knew?  I certainly didn't.  I wouldn't think that if you had on these cute boxing gloves that your nails would get messed up, but mine did.  Before yesterday, I had never had on a pair of boxing gloves.  At one of the classes I took in my Meltdown program, we punched the water base punching bag.  There were ladies gloves in pink like these and lavender.  Pretty cute.  I saw some people just hitting the bag.  Not me.  I was punching for all I was worth.  First of all, one of my goals when I started boot camp was to have "guns."  (Big muscles in my arms.)  Plus, I have a lot of aggression in me.  My work-out partner, Katie said "let your inner bitch out."  I said "let your inner hill-jack out."  When we were done, Katie & I tapped our gloves together.  I said "I think I want to be a boxer!"  It was fun.

 The class I was in has stations and you work your way around the room doing different tasks.  You are at each station for four or five minutes.  In one station, we swing kettle bells, similar to these.  I have graduated from the fifteen pound bell to the twenty-five pound bell.
The owner and master of Meltdown is Adam.  Ever the doppleganger, Adam is both caring mother and task-master to us.  His latest torture device is "Jacob's Ladder."  I didn't see them use it on Biggest Loser, but Adam said that they did and he had to have one.  The first time I was on it I did five minutes and climbed 274 feet.  Adam posted a video of me on facebook to demonstrate that anyone of any age or weight can do Jacob's Ladder.  Even though I am the poster child for the older, over-weight woman, I am proud of what I am doing.  We are beginning week four of boot camp and our second weigh-in is next Sunday.  On my first two week weigh-in I lost 11.2.  I have never worked so hard in any exercise class that I've ever been in.  This program and the people who participate are like no other.  There is literally blood, sweat, tears and barf.  I haven't personally seen the barfing part. (Thank goodness!) The big trash can is ever present.  People of all ages and weight range work and encourage one another.  In class I am gasping for breath and hanging on for dear life.  I can't say enough about this program.  When you are in boot camp, you are eating, living, breathing this program.  My daughter was home for a weekend and said that was all I talked about the entire time.  I know everyone in my life feels the same.  It is a journey and while on it, you are working harder than you've ever worked at anything and it is all you can think about.  It takes every ounce of effort within my being.  And even though the gloves ruined my manicure, I can't wait to box again!

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