Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer's Arrived, But We're Leaving...Again

Time is melting like wax on this fine summer day, as Groom and I pack for Art on the Green in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We recently returned home from a fabulous Salem Art Fair and having practically sold out (of stock, not our values), we have what a friend describes as “a better set of problems.” The good news about selling well at an art show is that the rent is paid for another month. The bad news about selling well at an art show is that, ahem, we don’t have any stock!

My nose requires a bandage and is scabbing over as it’s been forced to the grindstone this past week, but I’ll have to take a philosopher’s approach and say at this point, “It is what it is.”

Snow White recently asked me if I’d ever been introduced to the Green Fairy, otherwise known as Absinthe. I scrolled back through the archives to last year and sent a link to the blog when I wrote about my experience with the licorice tasting cough syrup. While rereading the entry, I realized I have been writing with the assumption that everyone has been with me from the beginning. According to our analytics software, this is not the case.

While it has been reported that leaving comments has proved difficult to impossible for most (Double Exposure and Lulu, my faithful friends, you rock!), the amount of “followers” and comments do not reflect the growing number of readers that check in on a weekly basis. It occurs to me, rather late in the game, that I haven’t necessarily been writing these weekly musings as entire stand-alones.

Oh, there’s the regular cast of characters such as Groom, Kimmmm, God’s Minion, King Zolo, Nanny Bee Bugg and the rest that I expect everyone to keep up with, rarely reminding people who they are. Sometimes I share very personal experiences, at other times it’s our photography with apt quotes, and still others are updates on our going-ons.

Right now, as my thoughts are trying to organize themselves in my brain, I am trying not to be overwhelmed by the laundry still on the line, the stuff that needs to be packed, and all the details that must be attended to before we roll out of town. In other words, I’m making believe that I’m an easy-going person. Uh-oh, Groom is laughing hysterically. Glad I could make his day.

As though this next sentence isn’t completely obvious, it’s the height of summer. I selected these pictures to illustrate the season. Summer to me shouts color! Vibrancy, energy and unabashed monkey love.

Speaking of which, it’s almost our anniversary. Oh, don’t worry, this probably won’t be the last mention of it, but looking through our recent pictures for selection purposes, the one with the rose and the daisy caught my eye. It reminds me of Groom and I: A co-dependent hybrid. We’ve still managed to maintain our own separate identities, but have fused into a single entity. As we approach almost two decades of legal binding, I understand the quote, “And the two shall become one.”

I bought a lottery ticket this morning at around 7am after discovering we ran out of milk, so while walking home from the corner store in the peaceful quiet of the morning, I imagined spending our winnings nurturing the animals of our planet.

While I fantasized about doing good, I couldn’t help but smile as I remembered the look of pure joy upon this dog’s face while he was riding next to us on the freeway behind his motorcycle daddy. I missed the money shot. Our car windows were too smudgy, the sun was coming in at a sharp angle, but I did see the most perfect composition and dang! Imissed it. Oh well, it’s committed to memory and I’m easy-going, remember?

No matter how long I sit here, my clothes are not going to pack themselves. I have no idea if any of these random thoughts tie together, but I do wish all of you good health, a joyous week and we love to hear your charming comments. Thank you for tuning in.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Word on the Street

“The summer looks out from her brazen tower,
Through the flashing bars of July.” – Francis Thompson

“If people destroy something replaceable made by mankind, they are called vandals; if they destroy something irreplaceable made by God, they are called developers.” – Joseph Wood Krutch


 “Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

 “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” – Mother Teresa

“Never has there been a good war or a bad peace.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.” – Charles F. Kettering

“Just become quiet, still, and solitary, and the world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” – Dana Hawksister

“Without love, life would be a mistake.” – Cindia Carrere

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.” – Author Unknown

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.” – Joseph Campbell

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” – Brian Tracy

Communal well-being is central to human life.” – Cat Stevens

“If you’re going to be thinking, you may as well think big.” – The Donald

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

“Lenin could listen so intently that he exhausted the speaker.” – Isaiah Berlin

“The Lord loveth a cheerful giver. He also accepteth from a grouch.” – Catherine Hall

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting Your Oompa-Loompa On…


Forty-five thousand.


Two-hundred and eighty.


Nine millionish.

What’s your guess? Do you suppose these are random numbers or might there be a common theme bringing them all together under one leafy roof? Well, I’ll spare you the agonizing suspense. Ta da! The facts and figures revolve around the Oregon Country Fair.

The Oregon Country Fair turned forty-one this year, attracting approximately forty-five thousand people to the three day event, spread over 280 wooded acres fifteen miles west of Eugene along the Long Tom River and pumping nine million dollars or so into the local economy.

Now that you are familiar with the relevant statistics, what’s the Oregon Country Fair? Excellent question. It is many things to many people. Vague enough?

Back in ’69, the event began as a barter and trade fair with the invitation to “come in costume.” While it morphed into a Renaissance Fair during its childhood, it has grown to accommodate 350 vendor booths full of delicious food, fun clothes, crazy masks, outrageous art, face painting and too many other interesting things to list individually.

There are 18 official stages providing venues for all kinds of performances: musical, comedy, vaudeville, theatrical, juggling and many etceteras, while the dusty paths shapeshift into impromptu stages for parades, marching bands, stilt walkers, giant puppets, mud people, fire dancing, hoolahooping and the legendary drum circle at the Drum Tower.

Fair-goers can be categorized into three basic groups: Those who have never been yet, those who take a year or two off, and then those who are completely devoted and would never, ever miss a year.

They can further be organized into people who buy tickets and are only allowed in during official fair hours of 11am until The Sweep at 7pm. Groom and I fall under this category. Before you ask, we have never applied to sell our bricolage jewelry as vendors. This is the only show that we have ever heard of, that even if you are accepted and invited to display your wares, that there is no guarantee you’ll have a booth.

Which brings me to the other sub-category. Fair family. The booths are not the white, temporary Easy-Up 10 X 10’s that pop up to make a tent-city like at other shows. No. The booths at the Oregon Country Fair are permanent structures with a store front downstairs and lounging upstairs. We saw one artist’s private area which included a full-on living room sofa and a kitchen sink hooked up to their very own tank of water. Fancy! Most require carpenters and maintenance, and someone has to die and leave no heirs before a booth changes hands.

The whole point of the Fair is not necessarily to vend, but to obtain the much sought after camping pass and spend several days and nights in a row out in the wooded area. The real show, they say, happens after midnight. It’s about a five day and night party, and only those allowed in the inner sanctum get to participate.

Groom and I have another reason we’ve never applied to vend. It’s the only show of the year that we are not responsible for anything. We just get to go and have a great time for the day. We actually get to walk around together, visiting with friends, looking at the artwork and pleasuring our tastebuds with gastronomic delights. We call it our busman’s holiday and we look forward to it with all the tummy butterflies children get at Christmas.

Speaking of butterflies, this could be the theme of the Fair. “Come in Costume” still stands and many individuals shed their chrysalis and transform into beautiful, colorful butterflies for the day. While they may actually don a butterfly costume, try on wings or come as something equally imaginative, the essence is the same. Trading the old work-a-day costume for a playful one, people let go of their pent up frustrations with modern life and engage in old-fashioned play.

The three day affair seems to be good for the soul. Collectively, the group sets an intention for peace and those who come fall under its influence. People are kinder, smile often, laugh outloud, complement each other, stop for photo ops, spontaneously dance and exchange many friendly hugs. If only we could sustain this for a period longer than three days.

The dress code? No pubics in public, genitals must be covered. That’s about it. As you can see by our photos, color is the word of the day. Rich, vibrant tones spanning the rainbow. Groom and I took about 400 pictures and it was a difficult chore to reduce the number to share here. How to tell the story, especially to those of you who have not yet attended, in twenty-five or less? If a picture is worth a thousand words, then you’ll probably get the gist.

I always manage to fit in this commercial. To get a better gander at the goods, simply click on any photo to enlarge, then hit the back button to return to the blog.

Some of the details are worth noting. My favorite of the day is the photo below. During the hottest part of the day, we caught a father and daughter taking a nap, her little hand held lovingly and protectively in his. Sniff.

About mid-way through the photos, you can see Kimmmm’s response to one of Lil Bo Peep’s new hats.

Groom and I appear two and a half times here today. Can you spot us? I’ll give you a clue. The “half” is the last visual aid. Aaaah, at the end of a fair day, ‘taint nuthin better than a sweet, cool shower. No, those are not sun tan lines on our feet. Those are dust lines.

Well, all good things must come to an end, and the Oregon Country Fair concluded on Sunday. I did note, however, the auspicious dates for next year. July 8-10. Written out, it looks like this. 7-8-9-10-11. If you haven’t gone yet, maybe next year is the time to do it.

Until then, adieu my dear peeps.