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Oh, What A Time It Is

OK, I’m pretty sure you guys know what’s coming up in this post.  This time of year I’m very predictable.

IT’S MINNESOTA STATE FAIR TIME!

I know it’s not everyone’s bag, but I can’t understand why not.  For crying out loud, people come from other states just to visit our state fair.  Why?  Because it’s the best state fair in our state.

Today is the first day of the Minnesota State Fair and for the first time in a long time I’m going to attend on the first day, with my friend MaryAnn.  The first thing on my list of things to do is eating a deep fried Twinkie, if indeed they still have deep fried Twinkies, what with the whole Twinkie-going-south thing.  MaryAnn is looking forward to some deep fried pickles.  Deep fried.  It doesn’t matter what kind of food it is, as long as it’s deep fried, and maybe even on a stick.

Deep Fried Twinkies (on a stick) are to die for. I’m not even kidding about this.

So, after MaryAnn and I are done working our tedious day jobs we’re going to meet up at the fair and see the sights, eat the food, and talk some girl talk.

If you live in Minnesota, or even Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, heck, Alaska even, come and see the Minnesota State Fair.  It starts today and continues through Labor Day.  Oh what a time it is!

The Mighty Midway

For the next twelve days you might hear from me about things other than the fair, but know that my heart is at the fair.  Always.

The Compatible

Imagine, if you will, walking through the Cathedral square in Cologne, Germany.  It’s a brand new world for you, but the world you walk in is older than you can comprehend.  The Old World.  They call it that for a reason.

As you walk along you hear music coming from somewhere.  A small orchestra.  You ask yourself, is there a concert going on in the middle of this, this ancient square in Cologne, Germany?  Of course you seek out the source of this beautiful music.

When you turn the corner you see the musicians.  Street musicians, not an orchestra.  Street musicians with a case in front of them for donations.  A violin, some accordions, and a tuba.  That’s all…making this glorious music.  It’s absolutely stunning.

Charlotte and I stood in awe watching these musicians play with a passion that took our breath away.  The experience was one I’ve never seen before and will probably never see again, but it is one I’ll never forget.

The Compatible.  That’s what they call themselves, these musicians of unthinkable talent.  We each dropped a two-Euro coin into the violin case open in front of them.  It hardly seemed enough.  When I listened some more I went up and bought a CD.  It was the best souvenir I could ever want.

The video I’m sharing with you wasn’t taken by me, but is a fine example of what Charlotte and I experienced on a hot day in Cologne, Germany.  Take a listen, and tell me this isn’t some beautiful music.

I don’t know if you can get a CD of this music anywhere, unless you’re wandering about Cologne without a care in the world, accidentally catching those magnificent notes floating across the square.  I am so lucky to be one who has done that.

The Summer of ’15

What a summer it’s been.  It started out with an extended weekend to Door County, Husby’s and my go-to place to get away from the hum-drumedness of the everyday routines we have.  It’s always refreshing and has become quite comfortable.  We’ve gotten to know people who used to just be familiar faces, we devour our favorite meals at fun restaurants, and we revel in the company of mighty Lake Michigan for hours on end.

Moon over Baileys Harbor

I’m the luckiest girl in the world because not only did I get to have a mini vacation with Husby, I got to have a major vacation with Charlotte…to Europe!  Oh, the sights we saw, the people we met, and the feelings we had.  It was my first time visiting countries not attached to my homeland, and it made a huge impression on me.  So huge I’m still trying to get my head around it.  Everything I saw and did was awesome, in the truest sense of the word.

Cologne Cathedral

Next on the summer agenda is the Minnesota State Fair, which begins in nine days.  There will be much eating of things on a stick, taking in animals and art and carnival, and general hobnobbing with millions of fellow Minnesotans.

Fair lovers galore!

When it’s cold and snowy (and it will be soon enough) I’ll have warm memories of the Summer of ’15.  Making memories – that’s what life is all about, isn’t it?

Tinglebutt

Have you ever had “tinglebutt?”  If you have, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, they you’re the most put-together, non-anxious person around.

Tinglebutt is a manifestation of anxiety, excitement, anticipation, and other words that start with a vowel.  It’s a tingling sensation that starts in the gluteus maximus and may radiate down the upper thigh.  I suppose it’s kind of an adrenaline thing.

I had an episode of tinglebutt today because you see, in less than eight hours I’ll be jetting off to foreign lands.  I’ve never been to foreign lands that weren’t attached to my native land, so it’s kind of a big deal.  I’m not nervous about flying.  I’m not nervous about being in a foreign land.  I’m nervous that I haven’t packed everything, and nervous about not knowing where I packed what I packed.

Once I’m on the plane I’ll be fine because it will be a done deal.  If I missed anything I’ll have to spend some euros at the village drug store or boutique.

Euros?  Wow.  I’m going to Europe for the first time in my life in mere hours.  I’m grateful and thrilled to have Charlotte with me on this adventure, because my sister is my best friend and also the Travel Master.  I’m also grateful for Diggy who financed this trip for both of us.  I’ll be thinking of him a lot as we see the castles and cathedrals along the Rhine.

I might be posting pictures here, so stay tuned.  There will probably be updates on Facebook. But who knows? I might be too in-the-moment to interface my vacation. (Sorry for using a noun as a verb – I hate that.)

So, off I go, living life to the fullest, living the dream.

A Grand Voyage

About ten years ago Diggy suggested that he, Charlotte and I take a sibling trip to Europe. Nine years ago Diggy died unexpectedly and the sibling trip to Europe became just a memory of something we talked about.

Diggy bequeathed part of his estate to me, and eight years after his death I said to Charlotte, “Let’s go.” For nearly a year we’ve been anticipating a river cruise on the Rhine, inspired by Diggy and financed with his generous parting gift to me.

Rhine River

Yes, for nearly a year Charlotte and I have had the date set for our European adventure, but it’s only now that it’s starting to become real to me.  We leave in mere days and I can’t remember a time when I’ve been so excited and nervous to take a vacation.  Excited because I’ll see so many things I’ve only read about and seen pictures of, and nervous because I’m not a seasoned traveler.

Marksburg Castle

Luckily Charlotte is more experienced and is gifted when it comes to preparing for trips like this.  I’d still be stuck like a deer in headlights (which I pretty much was until a few days ago) if I didn’t have her to walk me through all the details of traveling abroad.  She even gave me a spreadsheet of things to pack.  She loves spreadsheets.

Cologne Cathedral

It’s going to be an adventure of great proportions.  We’ll be thinking of Diggy a lot, and I’m sure he’ll be with us in spirit while Charlotte and I take our grand voyage on the Rhine.

Cannon Falls, Here I Come

It’s a busy, busy time. I’ve been pouring and gluing and cutting and beading.  Usually I’m busy like this a lot earlier in the season, but this year my first show is this weekend, about a month later than usual.  I skipped a festival or two in June, but that’s another blog post.

Right now I have my sights set on the Cannon Falls Wine and Art Festival.  I’ve shown at this festival for three years and historically it’s been lucrative and a whole lot of fun.  From a vendor’s point of view the event is impeccably organized, and from an attendee’s point of view it’s a relaxing day filled with wine tastings, food, music, and of course the wares of dozens (and dozens!) of artisans.

Also historically, this coming weekend is one of the hottest of the year. We’re anticipating temperatures in the 90s (that’s Fahrenheit), with the added excitement of a chance of hot summer rain/storm. No matter, a festival is a festival (defined as gaiety, revelry, merrymaking) despite what Mother Nature decides to dish out. Party on!

Just because I’ve been dialing it back on the shows this year don’t get the idea that I’m losing interest. Never! It’s just that I’ve got a few things going on this year that are taking up my energy and attention, things of which I’ll probably discuss in future posts. It’s a time of change at the Auntie B’s Wax World Headquarters, as well as a time for new adventures. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you’re anywhere within a 100-mile radius of Cannon Falls, Minnesota come to the Cannon Falls Wine & Art Festival on July 18-19. You’ll have a blast!

Wordless Wednesday

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