Hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was exceptionally busy (and that's a comparative statement after a summer of busy weekends). Spent Saturday at Mom's place. Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.
Grilling is a full contact sport in my family. Fortunately I was grilling before some people showed up, so I only had to suffer from my mother's criticism ("There's a lot of smoke coming out of that grill"). I wasn't watching my fire closely, so the burgers got a bit crisp on the outside. They were still juicy inside, so I didn't have to relinquish my grilling spatula. Didn't get home until about 1:30am. After long drives I can't fall asleep quickly, so it was a very long day.
We went to the Great Geauga County Fair on Sunday. It wasn't our normal day, so things were kind of off. There wasn't really anything at the grandstand we wanted to see (although tractor pulls are fun, once you realize your hearing is important, they aren't that fun).
We always go around the animal barns, Bette pets the cows and I get the annual, ritualized arguments of "Pygmy Goats (llamas, alpacas, mini donkeys) aren't really farm animals." We're not allowed to have livestock. Zoning. Bette misses having big animals around. Although in the poultry barn there was a guy holding a duck. It was a very Gary Larsen moment.
We had milkshakes made of whole milk (yum), lemonade made by "Cocktail" wannabees, got felt up by the politicians, looked at all the geegaws for sale, avoided the carnies, and walked ourselves silly. I did take pictures, but I don't want to promise anything.
We were going to go to the fair on Monday, they have a flower auction which not only can you find great mums for $2 a planter, the auctioneer makes a real show of it. Instead the Sunday paper had a $4 coupon to see Vatican Splendors. It wasn't really what I was expecting. It was much less. Much of the artwork was 16-17 century and later (much of it was from the 20th Century). There were some standout pieces, though, but I'm glad we had coupons.
The crowd was interesting. Very much of the "we go from listening station to listening station" and not really paying attention. At the beginning there were some paintings (two very interesting ones, "John the Baptist" panel from a tryptic and a "Mary" that had never been shown publicly before) and a reliquary in the middle. Most people were crowding the walls so I went to see the reliquary which had bone fragments from Simon named Peter and six other saints. When I say fragments, I mean real little chips of bone. There was also a fabric swatch from a bag used to carry reliquaries (which of course is also supposed to be infused with the full power of the saints it carried, just like the chips of bone). After a bit I commented to Bette, "Peter has been spread pretty thin." There was one room that had the things I expected to see, but they were all from the 20th century. There were some chasubles and other garments, a few crosses, and some of the ritual objects. These were very interesting. A number of them had dragons incorporated in the design. Hippogryphs, ducks, griffins, and a unique winged half-man half-serpent character on a water pitcher used to wash the hands of the priests during the ceremony. None of these objects were in the catalog, which is the reason we didn't buy it.
And in even more important news, I won Todd Wheelers reading contest. Woohoo! I didn't get much fiction reading done this summer, so I was very surprised at me winning. As Todd said, it's better to be lucky than good. But now my number is retired for Todd's contests. I've won too much.
So September is off to a good start. Thanks to Todd. I certainly hope this is a turning of the tide. This summer hasn't been all that good to me and will go down as the summer when all our appliances went bad (me: hot water tank in January, dishwasher, and furnace; Mom: roof, furnace and AC; Sister-in-law, dryer, it's a long list). I certainly hope this Fall is good to us all.