Birthday Grill Building

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In an attempt to trick Kit into thinking he wouldn’t get a birthday gift I waited over a week and surprised him with this. His birthday trip was the state fair remember.

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Photo credit: Angie.
I was lucky in that I was off work on a day he got scheduled to work. We got to work not long after lunch putting the new grill together.

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The first steps were unpacking the grill, grabbing some chairs for comfort, setting up the camera and posing like nerds.

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There were lots of ridiculous poses. Before we followed each assembly step we had a scavenger hunt for pieces. Some of them we discovered were actually inside the grill. Smart packing folks.

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I don’t have many photos of us actually working on the grill because, well, we were working! With four people it went together quite well. I imagine doing it by myself would be much more dull and super slow as I switched between tools, instructions and grill.

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Luckily, my friends/family that helped me had recently put together their own grills and were somewhat accustomed to the many and somewhat ambiguous steps.

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Photo credit here goes to Angie.
It was worth all the hard work! Whoo!! We got it finished with plenty of time to spare. Time to marinate ribeye in a chipotle sauce. And time to chop veggies, spice and wrap them in oiled foil packets.

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Kit didn’t act too surprised, but he isn’t the known for his game show style overreactions. I think he was pleased we had special steak, banana pepper poppers and squash/tomato/onion packets ready to throw on the grill. The new grill cooks like a dream!

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Fixing the House: Our Progress

Recently, Kit and I have been working on fixing up the spare bedroom. A friend that will be living with us through the winter semester and I can’t wait!
Some of my friends from work came over to help on several occasions and they were so efficient I didn’t have time for pictures.
As my professor would say, if you have time to take photosof people working then you’re not working with everyone else.
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We started out by fixing some nails holes and one random huge hole in the wall. We put on one coat of killz, to keep any evils from seeping through. And put two coats of midnight purple on the walls.
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I’ll go ahead and tell ya, it is a lot of purple. The room looks gorgeous though. If I ever get to decorating it properly, I want to add accents of silver and light gray.
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After the paints were laid, HT and I pulled the carpet and foam underlayment. We removed the carpet tack strips and out to the trash they went. We only found out that kicking the pry bar underneath the strips was crazy. Yes, we had a hammer, but you see, we also had wine-given strength.
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The other day, I reorganized, read: pulled everything out of the closet. Once I had some room, I pulled the carpet in the closet. Tell me, who chooses to put down carpet in a closet so darn awkward!?
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I made the decision not to pull the strips in the closet because I do not plan on putting flooring in there. I will likely change my mind later, but I will wait for the inspiration of a drunken evening to pull up the rest of it.
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Please note the cat taking advantage of the free bed.
My next steps are to paint a second coat of ultra white paint on the brown trim and coat the floor with killz before we put down the laminate.
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We are also replacing some of the particleboard near the doorway, but we haven’t gotten that finished yet. I will be painting around it until we get it all the way pulled up and replaced.

I am so pleased that this 1970s room is getting a face lift. I hope that we can continue reorganizing and replacing bits of our house as we go. It is exciting to find that fixing one’s house is possible.
We are certainly not Weekend Warriors. Perhaps Weeklong Warriors would be more appropriate.

State Fair 2013 Part Two

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So here is the second part of what we got to see at the KY state fair on the 20th. Wanna see Part One? Kit was sad that the goats were mostly gone and the cattle hadn’t all come in yet, but we got to see some fun stuff anyway.

There was a charming “petting” zoo part of the fair designed for kids. It was called discovery farm. There was a lack of educational info and not many people working the animal booths. Also, there were signs above every cage warning that the animals can and will bite. These goats were just too cute to pass up. 
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I mean, come on, how can you just walk away from a pile of sleeping piglets??
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This peppermint chocolate cake really struck Kit and me. It was colorful and my chocolate stomach started grumbling almost immediately. Not knowing the details, I am betting that it was a rich chocolate cake—like devil’s food—and a cream cheese peppermint frosting would be creamy and minty at the same time. Yummo!
Kit and I also wanted to submit our pickles and pasta sauce for next year. Some of the pickles were a little rough looking by comparison. I’m hoping we can at least get things entered into our county fair for judging.
musicsheetcakeThe theme for various ages and skill levels was music. There were some really cute ones. This was easily my favorite. The colors and design was very beautiful.
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This type of cake is gorgeous to look at and although I wouldn’t be interested in taking a bite, I loved this detail they put into the fondant sheet music.
peacockembroideryThe most popular sewing crafts are quilting and counted cross stitch. I was lucky to find these little gems among the CCXstitch. I love the detail in this peacock. Awesome sauce!
hmembroideryI really like the display for this intricate embroidery design even though I haven’t the foggiest why it is on a paddle. I can’t imagine setting steaming pots of pasta on it or chasing an errant youth around the house with this work of art.
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Whenever I look at the rows and rows of quilts I get super excited and then sad all at the same time. I love the patterns, colors, stitches and love that people put into their quilts. I get sad because I don’t know how to make a quilt like these beauties. I just want to make a simple block squared quilt, but it is such a large undertaking by hand that I fear I would get overwhelmed. I don’t know how to use a sewing machine so that would be an even larger undertaking–buying and learning how to use one proficiently without assistance.

beautifulquiltMy all-time favorite at the fair was this quilt. I cannot believe this didn’t win any awards. The judges were obviously off their rockers and out of their sewing circle minds! These are my favorite colors and the pattern is to die for!!

musical1812One of the last things we did at the fair was watch a 30 minute musical about the War of 1812. I was really impressed with the young people involved in putting on the show. I wondered how they perceived the audience and when I looked back I saw, a row of ancients with their chins on their chests, and behind me a woman whose entire bottom fell out of her 32 oz. soda. The soda barely missed me and Kit and made the poor lady looked like she had wet herself.

Despite the non-ideal audience, Kit and I kept eye-contact and reacted to the emotions and songs that they put on. My best two word summary is alligator horses!!! Go ahead, look up the New Orleans battle and see how the soldiers scared the shit out of their enemy!!

Ta ta for now!

~Kat

State Fair 2013 Part One

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We went to the state fair for Kit’s 45th birthday. The young man who tallied up our prices assumed we owed one adult, one senior and one parking fee.

Kit was tickled at first because we saved $9 on his ticket. Then the rest of the day he was worried that he looked over 55 (how old you had to be to get the discount).
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Check out this impressive ceramic piece we saw in the 4-H section of the fair! I love the design, colors and all. It was the only puffer fish we saw in the whole 4-H area.
I took some other photos of the embroidered crafts, but somehow the camera didn’t save them.
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Check our this fancy little show piece tractor. It doesn’t run, as I first hoped, but it is still super cute.
Notice Kit’s backpack, we filled it full of two kinds of cheese snacks, sandwiches, water and granola bars. This way we saved about $20 on fair foods that would leave us lethargic. We saved our coma inducing foods for after the fair.
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We hung around the ring in the wing alongside the cows to see Miller’s dogs working. We got to see six ducks herded under and over wire bridges by six excited border collies. Watching working dogs is fascinating and strange to me. Their owner also showed how they worked following word commands and whistles. They followed both styles of work commands seamlessly. I can’t wait for the next cattle dog on our farm. Geena was Kit’s favorite working dog and sadly, I never got to meet her.
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A few adorable Boer goats, snuggling the afternoon away. Most of them were gone, judging began at 9am eastern and by afternoon there were only a few stragglers.
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There were mountains of veggies in the produce room in addition to this lovely tomato collection I already shared.
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Check out these cucumbers! Despite what the sign says I believe these are pickling cucumbers not pickled. Can you believe how tiny they got those Mexican gerkins? Wild stuff.
Speaking of wild and weird. I don’t remember a “critters” division from last year:
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Top left clockwise:Wally the Walrus potato, this was easily my favorite and I just kept giggling at his little face. The next guy up didn’t have a cunning name that I recall, but it made a very cute whale. The baby tater tot was watching over the blue potato buffalo and the carrot bird at the state fair—they had an entire story to go along with it!
Lastly, the Duck Taters, I was thankful not to see another lame reference to the TV show that shall not be named. The duck bill had be giggling like a kid as well.
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The final impressive thing in the veggies room were the entries for the largest pumpkin contest. Please note, first and second place are both in this photo. First place is the large orange pumpkin weighing in at 1,034 lbs and 2nd place is the white/ghost pumpkin weighing in at 94 lbs. Holy smokes people!!
The thing to keep in mind about this behemoth is that the tiny looking pumpkin sitting at the feet of the blue ribbon winner would make pumpkin pies 1,000 times better than its competitor.
Alas, we weren’t judging flavor.

After looking at all this food we had to bust open the backpack for lunch. Then my phone died and I was forced to take photos on my actual camera.

State Fair Time!!

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State Fair time means we are celebrating Kit’s birthday again!

We enjoyed a full day of produce, crafts, cakes, livestock and booths!
Can’t wait to share pictures of some of my favorite things and stories of the adventures we had.

The hubbster also requested a visit to Tom+Chee, a locally owned restaurant featuring gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

More to come soon!