Skip to main content

Day at the Fair

This past Sunday, I visited the Florida State Fair. I have to admit that I wasn't too enthused about going, but Tim had free tickets, as he works for the New York Yankees, and they are a sponsor of the fair. What I didn't realize is that Cracker Country was a part of the fair (it's a museum that's actually there year-round, but it's on the fairgrounds, so you can visit it with fair admission). When local friends first told me about Cracker Country, I thought it sounded offensive and certainly not celebratory, let alone educational. But then when I learned about the the origin of the term Cracker and the history of Florida Crackers, I was pretty fascinated, as I love learning about historical living, especially regarding day-to-day activities.

Upon arriving at the fair on one of the most beautiful days in recent memory--sunshine and cool, breezy temps, but warm enough for flip-flips (in true Florida fashion)--and got in with ease because we came in the morning and had free tickets. Cracker Country was the first attraction as we entered, and I was excited just upon seeing it. I could see it was modeled like a town square, with a school, general store, governor's house, and other necessary buildings we'd soon get to enter.

The classrooms at the state university I work at aren't this nice.

Neither are the bathrooms. Just kidding (sort of).

Now this kind of church I like! This was a wonderful bluegrass gospel band.

The excruciatingly slow process of extracting cane syrup from sugar cane.

Behold: the printing press.

Replicated old-timey newspaper.

After leaving Cracker Country, we went on to the main fair exhibits, which included any kind of food (or non-food) you can imagine fried or on a stick:

No, we didn't try it.

And animals in captivity:

Florida panther. S/he looks so . . . comfortable?

I wanted to go for a ride on this guy. But he wasn't one of the rides.

Who doesn't want to kiss a llama?

And a bear show that we didn't actually watch because we were too early, but because Tim works for the Yankees, we got to visit the bears before their show:

I think she likes me!

We're feeding them dog biscuits, btw.

They really were very cute and cuddly looking. From behind the gate.

Tim got his much-anticipated fair food, a giant turkey leg:

This is what kings ate, he told me.

After walking around the midway for a while, past the rickety rides that I wouldn't endanger my life on and the "freak" shows that were surely shams, we began to walk toward the exit. As we were leaving, we came upon the arts and crafts building, so I thought we'd just pop in to check it out. 

At one of the stands inside I came upon this magical jewelry, made from hematite. Here are its unsubstantiated claims (from the vendor):

But did I buy it anyway? You bet. It was actually very reasonably priced, and I liked the look of a couple of pieces:

This anklet is going to heal my foot injury.

These earrings will fix my sinus problems and cure my TMJ.

And thus our fair day was complete. If you've never visited the Florida State Fair, I recommend it--if for no other reason than visiting Cracker Country and observing the bizarre foods and people that only come out at the fair.


People Liked to Read...

Surgery Chronicles: Start Here

I alluded in my last post to upcoming foot surgeries I'd soon be posting about. I'm now 19 days away from the first one, and my thoughts pretty constantly revolve around how my life will change after that when I wake up from my "twilight" sleep after the first operation. In my best frame of mind, the scenario is like this: I'll spend a few weeks out of commission, getting some forced rest, spend a few weeks in a boot, limited exercise, and my right foot will be recovered. Then I repeat on the left foot and by fall I'm back on my feet again. That's the Twitter version. But the version that most often plays out in my head is more like a volume of books, with the details of every day painstakingly planned, agonized over, and wondered about. How will I make food? Bathe? Focus on work? Get the mail, take out the trash, do laundry? Will I be in a lot of pain? Will I go crazy during my long days isolated at home? Will people forget about me? Will I get the resul…

Surgery Chronicles: Two Weeks Down

At the end of week two, I'm home on my own and feeling pretty good. But it definitely feels like time has moved slowly. Hopefully the coming weeks will go by a little faster, now that I'm set up for a routine and able to do more for myself.
First Follow-up I had my first follow-up appointment last week, which I'd been looking forward to pretty much since the day after surgery. Possibly because I was anticipating it so much, it felt like it would never come. But it did, and it went very well. I got my bulky dressing and "upper foot" cast off, and I finally saw my new foot! Of course, it wasn't beautiful; it was still tinted orange from the betadine used in surgery prep, it was swollen and a little bruised, and my incision was still healing and had strips of medical tape running along it (I'll save a barefoot photo for a later post). But my bunion was gone and my toe was aligned! That was the goal, and it was achieved.

The doctor said it only looked like I …

2017 and Beyond

If this sounds like a very late new year resolutions post, that's because it is. I never quite finished expounding on my goals for the year, but I wrote 10 things down, so I figure it's worth posting. Plus, I'm going to have lots of cause to post more in the coming months, as I (plan to) chronicle my upcoming foot surgeries, so I may as well resurrect the blog now.
I started out last year's resolutions post saying, "This past year was one of the most challenging years of my life." But 2016 has proven to be a hearty rival. The year was heavily mixed with positive and negative events, emotions all over the place. The good: I ran again, I swam, I came back to yoga, I wrote a lot (just not here), I blossomed at work, I loved my family hard. The bad: I injured myself again and couldn't run, I gave up on biking (but later picked it back up), I floundered trying to find purpose, I distanced myself from friends, and I nearly drowned in my anxiety. But I tried, in…