Ruby Shoes

Adventure is good, home is best

About Anne

Writer, photographer, giant slider

Farewell, my beautiful Fair

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Saturday was my fifth and final visit to the 2014 State Fair and it was a corker. Heat, humidity and record-breaking crowds. It was hard to see anything except my fellow fair-goers. And now it’s over. Twelve days of sensory overload, gone, pffft, just like that. Time to say so long.

252,092 of my best sweaty friends.

Sweet dreams and Sweet Martha's.

Sweet dreams and Sweet Martha’s.

One for the record books.

One for the record books.

Farewell, my beautiful Fair. See you next year.

Farewell, my beautiful Fair. See you next year.

 

 

Cowgirl

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My sister is one of those women you see near the State Fair horse barns, all dressed up in custom leather chaps and a pretty shirt, western jeans and a dazzling silver belt buckle the size of a salad plate. She’ll be in full makeup with her hair done just-so under her hat, all pretty on the outside and kick-your-ass confidence on the inside. She’s a cowgirl. She rides cutting horses.

Leo's Little Uno (aka Buster) and my sister Catherine.

Leo’s Little Uno (aka Buster) and my sister Catherine.

The cattle have arrived.

Let the cutting begin.

God invented bridles for a reason, yes? Catherine and Blueberry Pie go without in the Bridleless Class.

Showing. Off.

Showing. Off.

Time to go!

“I Love the Fair”

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We took a shortcut across the fairgrounds on the Sky Ride today. It was so hot and humid with wall-to-wall people below us. Slow going. We stuffed ourselves into our gondola with cameras, backpacks, hats and water bottles. Fair tourists. We slid through air thick with smoked meat smells, beer smells, the smells of fried sugar, and the sounds of children screaming and laughing. My husband turned to me with a big little kid smile and said, “I love the Fair.”

 

The 7 Cats serve up smiles, hugs and a sax solo. Just a Sunday morning at the Fair.

Should I get a silver one or a red one?

Should I get a silver one or a red one?

Rescued greyhounds sleeping through the heat.

Rescued greyhounds sleeping through the heat.

The Giant Sing-Along. Journey. Small Town Girl. Of course.

They're back.

They’re back.

And he's back, too.

And he’s back, too.

I want to do this to the side of our house! My husband thinks I'm kidding.

I want to do this to the side of our house! My husband thinks I’m kidding.

The big boys strutted out.

The big boys strutted out.

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Fancy footwork!

And ummmm…the little guys strutted, too.

Despite valiant efforts to remove all things weird from the Fair, some stuff still sneaks in..

Despite valiant efforts to remove all things weird from the Fair, some stuff still sneaks in.

Yes, sir, you would be correct.

Yes, sir, you would be correct.

Whatever Floats Your Goat

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The 4-H kids were at the fair on Friday. A young girl wore a t-shirt that said, “Whatever Floats Your Goat”.

Darling feral children.

Darling feral children.

Where the magic happens.

Where the magic happens.

Practicing to be Princess Kay.

Practicing to be Princess Kay.

The real deal, Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

The real deal, Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

Farm kids.

Farm kids.

Chit chatting.

Chit-chatting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Lots of waiting.

Lots of waiting.

Brothers.

Brothers.

The single cone method.

The single cone method.

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The double cone method.

Flight.

Flight.

St. Paul FD. When not fighting fires, they feed each other slushies.

The Great Minnesota Sweat Together

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It’s hot. It’s muggy. It’s…? Fair time!!

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Big crowds at the misting stations.

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More mist seekers.

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Short shorts + cowboy boots = Toby Keith concertgoers

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There are two children in this stroller. Can you find them?

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A young farmer and his baby goat.

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Best friends and funnel cakes.

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The Giant Slide was fast!

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Conversation and cold beer in a tiny little coaster car, with cocktail table.

Duke works the crowd.

Duke works the crowd.

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Waiting for rain and Toby Keith.

Whatever the Reason

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Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes, which is not exactly true, we have about 14,000 lakes, but let’s not quibble. Alabama’s state slogan is Stars Fell on Alabama, which I’m sure we could prove. Colorado’s slogan is Enter A Higher State and if that isn’t downright prophetic, I don’t know what is. New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment. Unlike number of lakes, pot smokers or fallen stars, enchantment is kind of hard to prove. Last weekend we were with some friends in Albuquerque and one night after a couple beers, we began theorizing about why New Mexico is allegedly enchanted. Theories:

It’s on a dragon line or Ley Line, a mystical and ancient pathway in the geography of the land.

There’s no such thing as enchantment. It’s just marketing to suck in tourists (like us.)

There’s an energy grid in the mountains that causes, among other things, the atmosphere to be tinted a faintly pink hue; clouds to be bigger and puffier; the sky to be bluer; aliens to crash-land; motorcyclists to muster in large numbers; artists to be artier, and crystal-loving New Age pilgrims to flock.

Maybe New Mexico is full of Ley Lines or maybe it does have a special geologic energy. You could go down either of those paths (or 100 others.) Or you could just believe in an unscientific, unprovable, highly subjective, possible exploitive concept called enchantment.

I believe.

Sunrise, Santa Ana Pueblo

Sunrise, Santa Ana Pueblo

Storm brewing over Sandia Mountain, Santa Ana Pueblo

Storm brewing over Sandia Mountain, Santa Ana Pueblo

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

Old door, Sereno & Sons architectural salvage yard, Santa Fe

Old door, Santa Fe

Hearts and crosses, St. Francis Hotel, Santa Fe

Hearts and crosses, St. Francis Hotel, Santa Fe

Almost a full moon rising over Santa Fe

Almost a full moon rising over Santa Fe

Abandoned church on the Santa Fe Trail

Abandoned church on the Santa Fe Trail, near Raton

 

 

Pink Green June

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All of a sudden it’s June. It’s summer. Green stuff is shooting up out of the ground. Pink blossoms are popping open everywhere. The trees in our yard went from timid buds to jungle canopy in a week.

The crabapple trees were in their full glory for two or three days before wind and rain stripped them of their flowers. For a few hours it snowed crabapple blossoms and we had a pretty pink carpet on our steps and driveway.

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We went from brown-gray-nothing-happening dirt to instant ferns. Just add rain. Ferns love torrential rain.

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The white and lavender lilacs came and went while we were in San Diego last week. The pink ones always bloom a little later. They’re bent over and soggy from Saturday’s rain-a-thon. The peonies are still tight-fisted little round buds. I have a lot of pink things blooming all at once.

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The clematis survived the winter and is showing off its fine self.

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This surprises me every year because every year Snow Plow Man buries the clematis under a mountain of cement-like snow when he plows.

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The hostas always return, too. It seems nothing can kill a hosta, not even Snow Plow Man.

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We have lots of Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I don’t remember having this many in years past, but they’re all over our woods and yard this year. I love the name Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I can remember it. I can’t remember Arisaema Triphyllum. I have to look it up. Thank you, Google.

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Last night my mother-in-law showed me how to take apart a Bleeding Heart flower and get two pink bunnies and a pair of ice skates. That is not something you can learn on Google.

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