Saturday, September 05, 2015

Fortunately (Photo-Heavy Post)

Do you know the story, Fortunately, by Remy Charlip?  That's kind of how the last few days have been.

We got a flat twenty minutes into our trip
but FORTUNATELY, it was after the terrible one-lane construction zone, and I coasted the car safely to the shoulder. Fortunately, we had AAA and they came and changed our flat. The spare was only a temporary, but fortunately there was a Walker Tire at the next exit. An hour later we were on our way to Kansas.
Pretty soon we had arrived at our destination, but it was too late to do anything as Abilene rolls up the sidewalks at 5 PM. Fortunately, the hotel had cable TV and there was a Gilligan's Island marathon on. Nothing soothes a tired, hot, child after six hours in a car like Gilligan's Island.
Next morning, we were up bright and early to visit the President Eisenhower presidential library, museum, and boyhood home.  The boyhood home is interesting as it was donated right before Eisenhower's mother died, and all the contents of the house are original. Fortunately,they permit non-flash photography, so I'm able to show you some of it.

The shortwave radio you see to the right enabled Eisenhower's mother to listen to news of the war from Europe, and to hear her then General son speaking to reporters. The lacework you see over the chair was done by Ida, and the woven blanket you see in the corner was made by President Eisenhower's Grandfather and is the oldest item in the house. 

The wooden box on legs you see to the right was for mixing bread dough (it would be placed near a warm stove to rise). When the guide mentioned that Ida baked bread three times a week, I couldn't help but think, "So what? I do too!" but I don't have six boys to feed. 

We posed for photos on the back steps, as you do.

 And by the sign. As you do.
By the time we finished with the house, I was feeling a little light-headed and nauseated -I've been dealing with some (boring stuff) but fortunately the Eisenhower museum was dark, cool, and had benches to rest.

 They had a nice display of Mamie's hats.
 ...and instructions for achieving the signature hairdo.
 That silly fringe wasn't some Kansas invention-it came from Elizabeth Arden in New York.
 This is why you should have nice bed-jackets-your husband could become president and your nightclothes could end up on display at a museum in Kansas.

 This skirt was interesting...
 ...not sure I agree, but in the 50's it probably made sense.
But then, it was time to head off to Grand Island to see the State Fair.

The kid was shaking so hard I thought he'd fall over.
 One of the volunteers let Danny pose with his rosette for the most winning entries in the youth division. He's extra pleased as it comes with an addition $25.00 in prize money (along with the other ribbons).

The Details:

Wheat Bread-1st place
White Bread-2nd place
Cinnamon Buns-1st place
Oatmeal Cookies-1st place
Cherry Lime Quick bread-3rd place
White Cake-1st place
Cream Biscuits (scones)-1st place
Apricot jam with pectin-4th place
Apricot Butter-5th place
Pickled Mushrooms and onions-1st place
Rosewater Cherry Jelly-2nd place

Let's just say he's delighted. We're very proud of him, but we would be, ribbons or not. That's a whole lot of work. Fortunately, we get to relax until next year!

We took a look around the fair to see all the other great exhibits.

"Heh, heh, nice pumpkins."

 "What?! Oh, the squash. Fine then."
This photo is for Mim. Just when I was saying we never see Massey Ferguson tractors anymore, this small lawn tractor shows up at the fair. I wouldn't really mow the lawn with my handbag at my side-I haven't gone completely Moominmama. Yet. 
What you can't see on my hat are the tiny silk bees sewn on. I didn't make the hat, but as soon as I saw it in the thrift store, I knew it would be my 2015 State Fair Hat (because you need a State Fair Hat!). The dress was purchased back in the winter, and it needed buttons which I only got around to replacing on Monday. I'm glad it still fit (nothing else does). 

Hauling laundry up the stairs is a hassle. Fortunately,  this young woman invented a sled utilising pipe to make the job easier. This was one of my favourite displays from the students.
 There was plenty of nature to see along our adventure...

But after a quick stop at Pioneers Park in Lincoln, it was time to head home.

 When we got home, the air conditioner was busted! On a holiday weekend! Fortunately, we got it taken care of. It was a busy three days, but being a long weekend, I have until Tuesday morning to recuperate. I think we should make Danny cook our meals this weekend...he can no longer claim he doesn't know how.

Okay, I promise, you won't need to hear about the Nebraska State Fair again until late spring, at least.


Connie said...

Congratulations to Danny! You should be proud. I know that there is a lot of competition at these fairs. How nice to live in a household of bakers. Oh that Mamie Eisenhower. I blame her for all my horrible short bang haircuts when I was a kid.

Goody said...


Thank you. He's so, so happy right now. This was his first year baking (he's previously stuck to canning)and the first year I've trusted him alone with my kitchen! Living with allergies, I want him to be able to feed himself, because he can't rely on convenience foods, or takeaway.This is a fun way to build his kitchen skills.

My sister is also a child of the Eisenhower years, and we have similar school photos featuring the er...adorable (?) hair. I'm sure it would have been better if you'd had the benefit of an Elizabeth Arden stylist and a good hat ;)

Sue said...

So proud of Danny so please give him a big old hug from Aunty Sue way down here in NZ!!!! Stoked in fact, that's what I would say, stoked. Loved the tour you took us all on, love going on other folks road trips. Question: how did you stop yourself from borrowing those gorgeous old hats from the display in the museum???? Mind you your state fair hat is pretty gorgeous too. Back to Danny, did I say how proud and stoked I feel??? Wooooohooooo to the ribbon winner!! How I wished closer.

Curtise said...

Oh well done to Danny, he's done brilliantly! My kids can't cook much more than toast...
The Eisenhower museum looks interesting, that Atoms for Peace skirt made me chuckle! I am off to google Mamie Eisenhower's hair now, I don't know what she looked like.
Love your maxi skirt, btw. xxx

Propagatrix said...

Congratulations, Danny! (Please share white cake recipe.)

I want Mamie's atom skirt, and a garden full of hummingbird moths. What a nifty trip.

Also, +10 for Moominmamma reference.

ThriftyParka said...

Congratulations on all the fair wins!! It was the result of lots of hard work, that's for sure!

Sorry to hear you didn't feel well during part of the trip. Hope you are feeling better.

LOOOOVED that white ensemble you were wearing in the last picture. Perhaps you could provide some details?

happy thrifting ;)

Bibi said...

Bravissimo Danny!!!
6 Blue ribbons!!!
Nicely done!!!
Are the recipes for the oatmeal cookies & cherry lime quick bread on your blog?
Hope you're feeling better soon.

Goody said...

Thank you-these comments are putting a smile on Danny's face, and it means a lot to him.
I would have swiped a hat, but they keep them under glass.

Don't underestimate a good slice of toast! I *still* can't get it right. Send your kids over to teach me the proper technique. Mamie's hair wasn't all that strange, but the fringe was on the short side.

Thank you!
Danny will be posting the winning recipes eventually. The fair publishes a cookbook, but it isn't available until the following year's fair. So next year, we'll have a giveaway on the blog.

@Thrifty Parka
Thank you!
The shirt is K Mart, and the skirt is a vintage Chessa Davis who made these skirts for rich hippies and socialites. I have another one, does that make it a collection? I think I need one more.

Thank You! I hope your son's other pumpkin survives, and that you will share all your fall festival excitement with us. We're cheering for him.
Danny will get the recipes up-eventually. The oatmeal cookies were made with soybutter and chocolate chips, which we gambled on figuring it would be like having two cookies in one. I think the quickbread was too strange for Nebraska and a banana bread took the blue ribbon. I kind of understand that, honestly.

I think it is an inner ear thing, which I hope isn't going to be long lasting because it sucks!

Mim said...

Congratulations to Danny! All that hard work paid off. Will he want to bake again this year?

Now you HAVE to go Moominmama. You can't put that idea in my head and then not carry it out. That's a dinky little tractor!

Do they have a lot of inventions at the show? My mum's partner won a runner-up prize in the invention catergory at the Royal Norfolk Show, though I admit I'm not sure what he invented. A Farming Thing...

Goody said...


Once a week (Fridays) Danny cooks our evening meal as part of his Home Economics class. he gets a set amount to spend and must stay within the budget week to week, but whatever he doesn't spend is rolled over into the next week. At semester's end, he keeps the difference. It is my way of making sure he can cook and bake-skills he will need as his allergies prevent dining out at all, and most processed convenience foods are out as well. He's swiped my copy of La Cuisine, and keeps threatening us with puff paste and jugged hare.

The inventions were limited to student projects. I know what you mean about A Farming Thing-I'm sure it will be useful for something, somewhere but unless you're trying to wick condensation off silo walls it would mean nothing to a layperson. Still a cool thing he won a prize and all.

Helga said...

O go on, mow that lawn with your handbag hanging off your arm!
Kansas! Love a road trip, and what a lovely house Eisenhower had!
Bloody impressed by Dannys talents-he'll make a good catch!

Beth Waltz said...

What a wonderful collection of ribbons for Danny's collection of collections! Well done, young master-baker, well done! I'm quite intrigued by the jelly and the cocoanut-lime concoction.

Your State Fair hat is supremely suitable for the occasion, as is that go-to-church-basement-ladies-tea blue dress. It's genuinely charming!

Your recital of the three-day-ordeal in terms of FORTUNATELY comes at an unusually opportune time, dear Goody. It's been a litany of poor-me moments, but in every case, FORTUNATELY... Thanks for reminding me to count my blessings, even if they're as mundane as a Gilligan's marathon.

Northern mum down South said...

Whooah, well done Danny. That's a fantastic achievement.
Looks like a great weekend away too and love the state fair outfit Goody, of course it's just perfect for the occasion, I wouldn't expect anything less from you.

Goody said...

I once witnessed a father on a riding mower driving with one hand and holding the baby in the other. I'm positive his wife wasn't home! A purse would be much easier than balancing a baby.
"Good catch?!" Not MY baby! When he was learning to write cursive I made a sign for the wall on the learner's paper that read, "Nice Boys Stay at Home With Mama." I made him copy it over, and over.

@ Beth Waltz
How DARE life throw bad stuff at you?! I do hope the Universe straightens things out and all is now well.

Thank you, he worked quite hard testing all those recipes.

Radostin said...

Well done Danny!

Goody said...


Thank you. Danny's already plotting his entries for next year.