A Day in the Life

So my day started out because of a bit of nagging about an event from M and I was duty-bound to attend. It was a sunny day, but there was that hint in the air that fall is coming. And of course I was getting a later start than I had calculated, oh well, that’s typical. As I prepared to pop onto the freeway to drive across town, this is what I saw.

Why are there Star Wars cosplay persons standing on the street corner? Are they waiting to cross the busy road for some unknown event? Did someone call for a meeting to take place on this street corner? Just what is the evil empire up to now? I have no idea, but I was intrigued as I snapped their picture while I waited for the streetlight to change.

Yes, my actual destination was another pow-wow, and I had brought my summer dance shawl in case the spirit moved me (it wasn’t moving me much that day). This guy was part of a drum group, and he was waiting for his bunch to be called on to sing.

Some young woman was selected to get a title (perhaps for this pow wow, I really was not paying that much attention). And this was a dance in her honor, so I put on my shawl, shook her hand and took a turn around the dance circle. But it is still summer sort of, and it was quite hot, so then I buggered off to go home, when I notice this.

It was a nice breezy day, so the witch had no trouble flying. Thank goodness the residents had boarded up the windows to prevent the skeletons from breaking in (note to self: remember to do this as well).

Also, beware of giant evil pumpkin heads roaming about.

Because the town backs up onto the mountains, there is quite a bit of wildlife that comes into town. It is not uncommon for bears, bobcats and mountain lions to be spotted, but this is the first time that I saw a werewolf in broad daylight (note to self: procure some silver bullets).

So all in all, it was a pretty typical day for me.


After a two year delay because of Covid, it was on again, the 112th Annual Festival. It was smaller than the past, but I was frankly just glad that it was happening again. Some things never change in this tiny corner of the state, except to get worse. Unlike in the fashionable parts of the state, there are lots of adobe houses here that are melting back into the earth.

And the decay is not limited to houses. Years ago, at a bend in the road, an old, rusted Model T sat half buried in the dust, returning to the elements. And at some point, some years ago, it finally disappeared altogether. But this one continues to uphold the tradition of abandoned cars, really it’s a lot of work to tow them away, and to where? (Also, I love to photograph this scene and hope it never changes).

At my Uncle’s place this water wagon has been sitting there for a long time. And it will probably be unmoved for a considerable time more.

And you may have wondered, where do I derive my surprising knowledge of tractors? Why this is because of my uncle. He just about always has a story or two about tractor engineering to amaze me with. This tractor is something he bought as a toy, and it had often been in the parade for the festival. It’s currently working at becoming part of the landscape.

And what is a festival without the venerable tradition of a parade? This year I drove my uncle in his 1979 Lincoln Town car, which is another one of his toys. I had previously ridden in the parade as stoker on his steam thresher when I was a young woman (and I was pretty quick study on the job of stoker, so it didn’t blow up.)

So I don’t have any pictures of this year’s parade, but we were sitting here waiting for the start time, with the other folks.

Anyone who wants to can be in the parade. There is no charge to participate unless one is a politician. They used to charge $100 per car, but now they have upped it to $150 for them. The same political party has been in charge of the county since 1930, but a couple of people showed up to try and sway the voters to change. Perhaps. Every politician threw out candy for the kids, and then there was the annual free feast in the park to close the festival. This may have been the last time I shall go, but as long as there are a few people left in the village, the celebration will continue. I hope.


A big river flows through the city to the south, so it is possible to grow things there (unlike here where people only grow lawns). Visiting the farm stands is the other destination when going to the fair. And as it is harvest time, it’s the perfect time to visit.

And there is the best part of this time of year, sacks and sacks of freshly picked green chili. One can take home a sack of these to be roasted at home, or, one can enjoy the delicious aroma as they are roasted on the spot (as a lazy person, I think it is better for them to do the work).

They do grow lots of other things as well, so here is field of pumpkins, stretching out as far as the eye can see (without my glasses). I think these are mainly fated to be carved up as Halloween decorations, but the deer do enjoy coming by for a bit of a nibble as they sit on one’s porch.

I’m sure that this vehicle was somehow involved in the fair even though it does not look like a tractor (and I am fairly positive about this).

Besides purchasing freshly picked produce, they also sell jams, jellies and items like this. I was bitterly disappointed that this jar does not actually contain homegrown spicy dinosaur teeth. 🙁

This particular farm stand is decorated with a lot of chili related memorabilia which shows the devotion people have for this delicious veggie.

I grew up in the Midwest and really did not know anything about green chili, but once I got accustomed to it, I fell in love. And I guess that now I too am a collector of chili related items. 😉


Probably ever since there was agriculture, there have been agricultural fairs. The State Fair is many things, but at it’s core it’s a celebration of agriculture and the harvest. It only lasts for ten days, so me and my friend rushed off to see this year’s version.

I think I have mentioned that I know way too much about tractors for a city person. So I was able to give my friend a short introduction to the finer points of engine technology (which I’m sure was fascinating). And we made the old farmer manning the booth happy by being interested and asking questions.

One of my favorite things about the fair is the sand sculpture, held together with just compaction and a spray of water. After not being here for the past 8 years, these artists returned with this whimsical piece. The amazing part is that they start with a rough idea and create it on the fly!

This is the newest fashion in showing sheep, they look so adorable with their little furry legs. I did not include the owner, who had won the mullet contest the day before.

Every year there is some sort of free event, the past has had a tiger show, pig racing (not at the same time), etc. So this year it was some trained rescue dogs. For this trick the dog had leapt over a 7′ bar, using the young girl as a stepping stone. It was the best moment.

So why did we really go to the fair? (hint: it wasn’t to see the tractors). Why we were there to see the Fine Art exhibit. Because even though I did not get a ribbon this year, I was juried in, and that was good enough for me.

This show had a controversy that actually made the New York Times. Someone submitted a painting that was entirely done with AI (those darn robots want to take all of our jobs). It was so spectacular that I don’t remember seeing it, and I certainly didn’t take a picture of it. Oh well, I’m sure robots won’t be able to enter next year, and no robot can perfectly shear a sheep, so we are all safe for now (except from Skynet).