Kentucky State Fair Exhibits

Let me first make a formal introduction.  This is my best pal, Abby – she is the Polo to this Marco.  We’ve been friends for 20 years *gasp* so it’s pretty much anything goes with the two of us.  Since our other pals had to work, we made the best of the Fair by trying to see as much as possible that we were interested in.  Here she is saying “Welcome to the Kentucky Fairgrounds!”

Kentucky State Fair

The competitor exhibits are always a must because there is a lot of talent in the Bluegrass State and you’ll always see something you weren’t expecting.  And while I may be confused by some of the subjects of the competition, I try to appreciate them all because fine Kentuckians of all ages took the time to create their entry and took the time to enter it whereas I created my bourbon balls and then ate them. 

One competition that I’ve never understood are the aquariums – some have fish while others do not.  I’m more impressed with the ones that have living creatures in them, but that’s just me.

Kentucky State Fair: Exhibits

And there’s a Christmas Tree decorating contest.  Well I guess it’s more of a tree decorating contest since some of them were dressed for Halloween, one was ready for St. Patrick’s Day and, well, you get my drift.

Kentucky State Fair: Exhibits

The antiques competition is really odd to me.  None of this stuff is made, it is found.  And I imagine that a number of these folks resubmit every year.  Don’t get me wrong, the past Fair memorabilia was very cool and I loved the carnival glass, but I’m discombobulated by the whole thing.

Kentucky State Fair: Exhibits

I looked into the candy competition and I have no idea why I was worried.  I thought candy makers would put forth their best candies, decorated deliciously, and there’d be no reason to compete.  But after sizing up the competition, it doesn’t look too stiff.  Get it?  Too stiff?  Because bourbon’s a stiff drink?  Hard crowd.

Kentucky State Fair: Exhibits

There were several beautiful [enough to eat] cakes but everybody was enthralled with the idea of cake too and I couldn’t really pause long enough to get a good shot.  You’ll just have to believe me.  When it comes to food, a crowd is always milling around.

Basket weaving is a longtime tradition in Kentucky.  I know this because I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  I kid, I kid!  Actually, I watched Crafting Traditionon KET and saw an old man make a basket, beginning to end, from a white oak branch.  It was amazing to see the skill and patience and tradition that went into that basket.  Who knows if he has a basket here but still lots of folks are basket weavers.

Kentucky State Fair: Exhibits

The artwork and photography competition is my favorite and I will most definitely be entering in some photographs next year.  While walking through the aisles, a few pieces stood out:

Made from rolled paper.  Can we say patience?  Yes, we can.  It was beautiful and then my only shot of ended up slightly blurred.  See, I was really working with all kinds of light conditions, I didn’t lie.

Kentucky State Fair: Exhibits

Hey, is that a mirror?  More like a pencil sketch because I don’t have a Rebel G… or a beard.  Her work is very nice – I hope she’s able to sell it because $200 sure would nice!

Kentucky State Fair: Exhibits

OK, so one thing Abs and I always looked forward to was the racing pigs.  I know it sounds stupid and it’s really for the kids but we’re really just big kids ourselves.  The pigs weren’t there last year.  And they weren’t there this year either.  Mr. Pig Farmer, I don’t know what Kentucky did to make you stay in the Midwest, but we miss you!!  So when we saw this painting, our hearts started fluttering.  Because not only are they racing pigs, they are racing pigs are Churchill Downs!  See those Twin Spires?  Dead give away.

Kentucky State Fair: Exhibits

Before we exited the exhibit wing, we saw a sight for sore eyes: our pal Nat!  Being a Fairground worker, she will be one busy bee for the 11-day Fair but at least we got say hi, give hugs and make fun of each other before she had to bolt off.

Kentucky State Fair

I realized about 30 minutes ago that we did miss an exhibit we didn’t want to miss: the ugly lamp contest.  Arg!  That just means we’ll have to go to Lynn’s Paradise for some comida delicioso and look at the ones they still have displayed.

Now Abs and I did a lot more at the Fair, and if you’ll bear with me, I’ll share it with you but you have no idea how hard it is to pick out pictures when there are so many to choose from.  Happens when I get trigger happy.  Pretty darn happy I didn’t make my 1,000 picture goal.

State Fair Teaser

I told myself “Brooke, you are going to take at least 1,000 pictures.  Yes, it will be annoying to sort through afterwards but you’ll be happy you did this.”  I only ended up with 538 – but I’m just as happy with this.  Because there are quite a few that I’m fond of.  So today I’ll be spending most of the day sorting through the 500+ photos I took in 12 hours (because we were there from noon to midnight) and eventually posting to flickr.  But here’s a quick teaser:

State Fair Teaser

We met this fella… and had to take a picture with him (that’s my Abby on the left).  Why did we have to take a picture?  Because of his shirt.  But I’m going to leave that to your imagination for now because no matter what you think it says, you’re wrong.  Yes, you are most likely wrong. 

My Friday Is A Fairday

The Kentucky State Fair kicked off yesterday.  And today I will be spending ALL DAY at the fairgrounds to take in the exhibits, search the flea market for treasures, check out the bourbon ball competition, talk to Freddy the Farmer, pet some farm animals, eat a pork sandwich and some fried dessert and finally when the sun goes down, partake in some adult beverages and live music in the biergarten. 

Oh how I love the State Fair.  I really do.  It’s all so facinating.  There are hundreds of competitions from quilting to livestock to gardening to cooking to ugly lamps.  And there are so many people – this place packs out everyday and people watching is a hobby of mine.  Oh the people watching… did you know I saw Denny Crane at the fair 2 years ago?  Apparently he has prancing ponies in one of the horse shows.  Who knew.  But getting to hang with my besties (because we do the fair every year) makes it that much better. 

I’ll be toting my kahuna kamera to not only find my photo for this weeks challenge, but to also shoot in every kind of light condition imaginable, experiment with shutter speeds with on the carnival rides and see if I can catch Miss Abs  doing something utterly ridiculous to post on the interweb.  And I hope to get some awesome shots so I’ll have to take at least 1,439 pictures.  Abs, I give you permission to walk ahead of me but do not leave me behind or lose me – because I will go to the Lost Parents booth and have them page you.

August 21, 2009 - 8:45 am

Joseph - It has been, probably, 10 years since I have been to the fair.

The Other Doggin (AKA Chevy)

I had a post last week about our doggin, Chase, but we have another doggin we call family: Chevy.  Now that’s Chevy as in Chevy Chase, not Chevrolet.  We were trying to be witty.  It didn’t really work – I’ll tell you a little later why.  This year she turned two and I can’t wait for her to turn three and hope that some of the “puppy” dissipates.  If you met her, you’d understand.  Don’t judge me.

Puppy Chevy

So after we finally made in back home to Derby City, the hubs was pressing for another dog “to keep Chase company.”  Sounded like a good idea at the time but we have since learned that Chase would have preferred this to be a one dog house.  She’ll hopefully get over it eventually.  The guidelines were that we needed a house with a fenced yard.  That got checked off the list pretty quickly.  The other guideline was not to purchase the first puppy we fell in love with; I wanted there to be a “connection” and not just be puppy-smitten.  We visited the local Humane Society and a few pet stores that offered adoptions and nothing was calling our name.  And then we saw her.

Puppy Chevy

She had been at the store for less than an hour.  She was black and white like our Chase and her card said she was an Australian Shepherd mix.  The hubs was in love.  So we brought “Lacy” home.  And promptly started thinking of other names.  I was pushing for Freckles because of the spots on her nose (and being a fan of Lost I thought that would be cool) but the hubs said the spots might disappear.  (Note: The spots have not disappeared.)  We settled on Chevy.  It made Chase’s name even better and I could not wait to call their names out the backdoor.  “Chevy, Chase [whistle, whistle] come in!!”  But after having our new puppy for two weeks we began to speculate something wasn’t right.  Yep, she was deaf.

Now, we had a deaf ferret at one point and knew how to check for animal deafness.  But the vet confirmed our hypothesis by clapping his hands loudly behind her head without a reaction.  “Yeah, she’s deaf alright.  You know how long it’s been since I seen a deaf puppy?  Something like 10 years.  Yeah, you don’t see this too often.”  Lucky us.  Our parents say that this means we can have one perfectly healthy child but then need to stop as the second will be deaf.  Because our second ferret was deaf too.  Thanks guys.  Too bad they ignore the “we don’t want children” coming out of our mouths.  Just like parents.  Anyway…

Whatcha Doin

So yes, Chevy is deaf.  That means she cannot hear her awesome name.  Nor can she hear anything else.  So we began training with hand signals.  I hadn’t realized it until then that I had used my hands along with most of the verbal commands I used for Chase.   Made making things up much easier.  Chevy knows six hand signal commands for sure – I think she knows the others we practice but chooses to ignore them unless she’s feeling groovy.  My favorite is “go outside.” And she knows it!


So while we’ve had difficulties with training because she cannot hear, Chevy overall is a great dog.  She loves to play fetch and I was able to teach her to catch the frisbee as well; she just tears them to smithereens faster than you can spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  She’s absolutely horrible on a lead or in the car though it’s not because she’s scared., it’s because she’s excited.  If you heard this dog “excited” you’d think I was beating her to death with a morning star, it sounds that terrible.  I’ll try to catch some audio of it so I can torture the internet.  But she’s a good bug hunter.  And good at keeping me warm.  And good at keeping the kitchen floor clean.  And good at hogging the bed.  And really good at sleeping.

Sleeping Chevy

I’ve never met a dog that sleeps as much as her.  On the weekends, she takes naps all day long.  On my bed.  I don’t know why, it’s not like the sound of the TV bothers her or anything.  She just prefers the bed.  I wish she didn’t but I’m usually too lazy to peel myself from the couch and hunt her down.

Posing Chevster

After we learned about her deafness, we seriously considered locating a rescue for deaf dogs.  But that face and those spots and her ears… we couldn’t let go.  And I’m glad we didn’t.  She drives Chase up a wall at least 30 minutes everyday but she’s one of the fam now.  She’s the peanut butter to the jelly, the macaroni to the cheese, the Chevy to the Chase.   She’s the BDD: Big Deaf Dog.

And I’ll keep her around as long as she doesn’t keep turning her back to me when I sign for her to come in.  You have no idea how much that drives me nuts.  I’ve ruined shoes tramping through the mud to drag her in.  I swear, sometimes it feels like Chase is the only living thing in this house that pays attention to me.

August 20, 2009 - 9:27 am

d0gl0ver - I really enjoyed your article about Chevy! She’s adorable! I love the picture of her upside down on the couch! :) You are to be admired and congratulated for taking on such a challenge as dealing with a deaf dog. Good for you! She is lucky to have you for a family and you are lucky to have her! Thanks for sharing!

August 20, 2009 - 11:17 am

Joseph - Youtube the dog howling and barking.

August 23, 2009 - 3:48 pm

katie - she’s so adorable…and what a great story with lovely pictures. that’s one lucky pup to have found such great doggie parents.

Are You Tired of Taking the Same Old Photos Over & Over Again?

So I find myself taking the same photos of the same things quite often.  Most of it has to do with the fact that I can only walk so far from the office while I’m on my lunch break.  But some of it is because I really like photographing flowers.  They’re colorful, they’re different shapes and sizes and don’t really move all that much when you’re snapping away.  I have so many flower photos that they have their own folder on my server.  Lame.  I know.  So I’m breaking out of the box.

Let the weekly challenge begin!  I came up with a list of 52 ordinary, everyday subjects (for you slow kids in the back that’s one subject a week for an entire year – ambitious of me, huh?) on my Weekly Photo Challenge page and I hope am going to photograph that subject in the week it’s assigned to.   The point is to take something ordinary and provide a different point of view or interpretation of that subject.  This could get interesting.  Or incredibly boring really fast.

The plan is to post the weekly photo each Wednesday.  So the challenge begins now and Week 1 will be posted next Wednesday, August 26, 2009.  But I want friends to play in the sandbox with me.  This means you Mrs. Rev!  And Mel, you are going to learn how to operate that fancy new camera of yours!  Abs, you once wielded a camera before KJ took hers absolutely everywhere and started embarrassing us in public (and I know you have the internet now so there’s no hiding).  And Pod-mate,I know you have like a bazillion photo projects but it could be fun to talk about at work.  Everyone is welcome because I want to see how many different perspectives we can get on one subject.

So visit the Weekly Photo Challenge page and leave a link to your blog or flickr in the comments so that I can follow you.  Or don’t.  Doesn’t matter to me.  I really just like looking at pictures.

August 19, 2009 - 4:13 pm

Mrs. Rev - I guess since you called me out I have to partake. :) Sounds like a great idea and just what I need to get out with my camera more! The challenge is on.

August 19, 2009 - 9:22 pm

shutterboo - Yes.

August 19, 2009 - 9:36 pm

Susan - I’m in! I’m going to try my best not to plan ahead *too* much, or I might take a bunch of shots in one weekend!

November 4, 2009 - 7:09 pm

katie - This post just showed up in my “possibly related posts” section. I love it! And I definitely need to read this…especially after this week’s photo challenge. Yeap, more dogs. :)

August 25, 2010 - 7:51 am

shutterboo » Blog Archive » The Weekly Photo Challenge: Mission Complete - […] searching the web to get an idea of how others had handled challenges, the list of 52 came to be.  A few friends signed on.  Then a couple internet friends.  And then some people I […]

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