Sunday, August 22, 2010

unfair weather

my mom and i fared well at the fair. she won nine blue ribbons and two red ribbons out of eleven entries! no best of show rosette this year though.

i won a blue ribbon too! for my blackberry jam. there were five or six other entries for blackberry jam that looked pretty damn good to me...i wish i knew what exactly the judges look for. they tasted a few of them too, including the blackberry.

i also won three second places: plum & apricot preserves, crabapple butter and pickled peppers; and one third place for sweet pickle relish. i can’t wait to try again next year.

the fair ran into some problems last night when honest-to-goodness hurricane-force winds blew into town. the tents were all torn up and blown around, some people were injured and they had to close down. it didn’t open again until this afternoon.

(note...these photos aren’t from last night but from a couple weeks ago, when i saw mammatus clouds--a.k.a. boobie clouds--over boise. these are pretty rare. i didn’t get any photos of last night’s storm.)

there were wind gusts up to 68 miles per hour, heavy clouds and lots of lightening without much rain. all around town trees are down, structures are damaged from debris and fire. some of my container plants blew over and there was some damage to a few tomatoes and pole peas, but overall i was extremely lucky and it would be dumb of me to complain about any of those things. a tree blew over down the street from me, and this afternoon some people just a few houses away still didn’t have power.

i had a fabulous time in the storm. jason came over just before nine, right when it was starting to get crazy. we went to this old trucker bar up on the bench (the tk) where i haven’t gone since i worked at joann fabrics (joann’s is across the street so i used to go there with coworker friends when we closed together). then we went on a junk food run and brought our unwholesome tasties back to my place.

the power went out around 11, just after we got in. so we lit candles and listened to the radio (actual music radio! i forgot there were stations other than npr). we found this amazing station playing 40s and 50s jazz and blues songs that fit the mood so incredibly well, we were dancing and eating and laughing...ok i was dancing, he just sat there and laughed at me. the station played a block of songs by a band called “the four vagabonds” that i have every intention of downloading music from, if i can find any. we also spent a lot of time out in the back yard enjoying the extreme weather and picking veggies and herbs in the dark.

eventually we brought out our own instruments and made music. his stepdad recently gave him an antique banjolele (banjo-ukulele hybrid) so he played that a bit. i broke out my singing saw for the first time in gazillions and played it better than ever before (which isn’t saying much at all), then j used the bow to play his banjo and it sounded so cool, sort of like some traditional oriental string instrument. we also played around with drums and accordion.

at some point i decided it would be really awesome if we could learn “in the end,” the song from the ending scene of the movie shortbus. (perfectly fitting since the power was out and we were playing by candlelight). neither of us could remember the whole thing, though. we were working on it when the power came back on around 2am, so i ran to get the dvd. i cranked up the volume to peace-disturbing levels and we watched that scene over and over again until we basically figured it out. it reminded me of teenage sleepovers when my friends would rewind and replay dance scenes from movies until we got the moves down. this was much more fun and rewarding. i just hope the neighbors couldn’t hear...poorly-played accordion isn’t really the sort of thing you want to wake up to in the middle of the night.

we were still playing until around 3am. the storm had mostly blown through by then. what a beautiful night.


Tammi Thiele said...

Congrats on the ribbons! Wish I had it in me to do stuff like that. I'm lucky just to be able to boil water. ;-)

Emily said...

thanks tammi! haha, come on. if you can boil water you can can!

Andrea said...

Amazing wins at the fair — congratulations. The after-party sounds like the best part, though. There's something really uplifting about making music with friends.

And the clouds — I don't think I've ever seen clouds like that.

GoneferalinID said...

Ah, what a night. We went to the fair in the daytime on Sat. and I spotted your dandelion preserves! I missed your ribbons though. Congrats! We're totally going to enter some veggies next year.

Emily said...

andrea--i hadn't seen clouds like that either except online, i came across them somewhere and it stuck with me because of the funny name. they're a little unnerving, though, apparently sometimes they indicate oncoming tornadoes.

goneferal--thanks! yeah, dandy jelly didn't win anything, oh well. cool of you to look for my jars though! it is sorta hard to find them, it took me a good fifteen minutes to locate them all.

i'm planning on entering veggies next year too! were you as blown away by the veggie exhibit as i was? those tomatoes, my goodness. and the peppers and beans and squash...i want to enter cut herbs, too.