Wear that potato sack, and wear it proud


Best scene ever. Husband’s timing is genius.

don't climb the giraffe zoo kids. @Coffee Under The Umbrella

This zoo clearly understands children

So this wraps up my unintended and unofficial series about a few Texans in the midwest. The image below is the current menu at the Grand Cafe, where we took my husband’s grandmother for lunch in her hometown of a small town in Iowa, where anyone who didn’t have blond hair and blue eyes was looked up and down questioningly generations ago (yeah, I would’ve been kind of screwed). It’s an adorable little restaurant on Main Street with its walls covered in kitsch and newspaper clippings of locals. Examples follow.

small town Iowa cafe menu

No, this was not 30 years ago, this was 2 weeks ago

Because all Norwegians run with their hands in their pockets. My husband sure does! Gets a laugh outta me every time we see one of those signs in central Texas – and can he run with those hands in his pockets!

Nordic Crossing sign

The Norwegians are coming! The Norwegians are coming!

I don’t think they actually had Pepsi.

Old Pepsi Sign

Old Pepsi Sign

Be beautiful being you, just in a sack. You’ll look like a sack and feel like a sack, because you are in a sack. You’ll be charm personified. Plus I hear the French look is hot now.

potato sack

What real women do.


Tex license plate in Iowa

They were expecting us

Upon our return home, we unpacked to find a little note from the TSA explaining how badly they felt for breaking our lock.

broken suitcase lock by TSA

Hugs and kisses, the TSA

Thanks TSA! I feel incredibly safe with you breaking my locks now.


And now for something completely different

Coffee is on vacation with the family and nowhere near a power saw. This is a diversion.

I am a city girl and have never been to a state or county fair until today. I grew up thinking 4H is only for rednecks. And I learned today that I was wrong!

First thing: “cheese curds” mean something very different in Texas than in Minnesota. Down here, they basically mean cheese sticks, the kind you get at Chili’s or some other generic chain of interchangeable food. Up there, they mean some sort of deep fat fried, hot, greasy, ooey goodness.

Real cheese curds!

Real cheese curds! Dripping from my hands into my singularly uncool mom bag.

Second: As I mentioned, 4H includes more than raising farm animals for competition that contains criteria that I am unable to comprehend. We had lunch in the 4H mess hall. I guess “hot dish” is a term up here that I didn’t grow up hearing. My husband has said that hot dishes were always a mess of ingredients that may have been all right by themselves.

Hot dish lunch

I guess this is a hot dish?

Growing up, 4H was regarded as an activity you did if your dad is a farmer and you milk cows. But apparently you also do it if you take pictures and build stuff – I’m down. There were several exhibits.
The woodworking exhibits:

4H wood table exhibit

This looks uncomfortably like my Pottery Barn knock-off table. I had not thought “4H” and “Pottery Barn” belonged in the same blog post, but apparently I am wrong.

4H Adirondack chair.

4H Adirondack chair built by someone only slightly too old to be my child. But I am a violinist. Being outdone by children young enough for me to babysit is nothing new to me.

I guess this was the outdoor DIY exhibit.

4H DIY Coffee table exhibit

Here is a DIY project I’m sure someone has posted on Pinterest.

The 4H grill planter exhibit

If you need something to do with that old grill, 4H has an idea for you.

The Stage With An Unknown Function:

4H stage with flags

4H stage with flags. I don’t know what this stage functions as, but all I know is that it’s missing the orchestra flag. Come on, 4H-ers! Who doesn’t want to spend most of their waking hours emotionally flogging oneself during scale practice?

There were other exhibits I didn’t post, such as fashion, canoe building, and photography, all of which were really amazing. I mean, everything I saw was amazing.

County fair food trailer

Taco Dick’s food trailer, posted for no reason other the obvious ones.

Finally, here I am with a goat.

Me and a goat

Azn impenetrable stare vs. a goat.