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07 August 2011

Quick Thoughts

Enjoying a staple of the Wisconsin State Fair:
Cream Puffs!
There is something that everyone should make time for: Going to your County and/or State Fair. My wife and I made the trek to West Allis more times than not during our married life. Usually on the years we can't we go to the Dane County Fair. Every time we take in the talents and genius of young people from all over the state in the Arts and Crafts exhibits.
A resident Turkey Vulture from the Schlitz Audoubon Center
spreads her wings to take in the summer sunshine.
We also like to wander the vendors to see what is "new" and "exciting". Sometimes we'll buy it (like some spiffy brushes that clean out our dryer vent), but usually not (Multi-use scarves, anyone?). There are also safety exhibits and birds of prey, a nature preserve with a self-guided trail, and tons of entertainers from street dancers and musicians, to big name acts on the stages.

A team of the Budwiser Clydesdales usually makes an appearance. It's fun just to watch them hitch up.
Lest I forget, there are also some of the cutest farm animals in the state, exhibited by 4-H youth.
There is also every conceivable food you can think of (and some I hadn't ever dreamed of) skewered on a stick. For instance, two years ago I was introduced to chocolate-covered bacon on a stick. It wasn't half bad, but way too rich for one person. My wife and I shared one. We didn't go for the deep-fried Snickers bar on a stick. The new one this year was deep-fried butter (it was battered to hold it together). We decided to pass on that one, too. We never pass up the cream puffs, the grilled cheese sandwiches, milk (of course it's Wisconsin!) and the baked potatoes.
Grapevine at Weggy Vineyard.
The State Fair is a place where just about the whole state comes to you. Most times, you have go yourself to see stuff that special in your home state. Today, my wife and I took in a wine tour at a small winery near Muscoda. We learned some basic vineculture that I'll be using for my own grapes and a lot about this delightful winery. We had so much fun there, we decided to visit two other (relatively close) wineries and taste a few (OK, over two dozen) of the local vin. We brought home eight bottles of different types. We were happy campers!
One should experience Life. You can only do so much staring at the TV or computer screen. It's hard to savor the iridesence of a vulture's feathers, the taste of a cranberry apple wine, the soft fur of a rabbit, the rumble of 16 one-ton horses in harness, or get the smell of a cow barn from pictures that flicker before you. Go out and see/smell/hear/touch/taste it!
Portrait of me is by Mary A. Hoffman. Other photographs are Copyright 2011 by W. Clinton Hotaling

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