My Gma the Great

I’ve never been one to take my family or time with them for granted, so it was real bummer when my Gma passed away two years ago. Not only was she one of my best buddies, I know I inherited her brutal honesty, ornery streak and love of having my fingernails polished.

To celebrate what would have been her 94 birthday today, an ode to my Gma the great!


Always one to laugh at surprises…


…you took to my photobombing like it was one of your most treasured prizes.

Photo Bomb!

You never let anyone forget…


…when it was time to celebrate you bigger than the national debt.


I learned from the best…

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…how to celebrate my life full of zest.


Now seriously Gma, you taught me to party harder than Mae West.

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A love of leopard you instilled….


…which is now being passed down to the next generation, who’s thrilled.


It’s so fun you two met at a skating rink…


…even if after 44 years you still had to steal kisses quicker than an eye blink.


Although I took after Gpa avoiding kisses, rather craving a hard drink…

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…you always insisted on showing your love, making sure everyone was in sync.


Beauty sleep and a hairnet was apparently all that you needed…


…but truly it was your hair ‘dos that always succeeded.


So it was with glasses and confidence that I superseded…

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…the grace and confidence that you always heeded.


I wish I would have felt more impeded.

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The Iowa State Fair you never did love,

probably because you couldn’t wear foot gloves.

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It will never be the same, not bringing you a corn dog…

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…and discussing how I ate my way through the fair like a prize-winning hog.

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Circled blacked out dates always meant you had a companion…


…you always loved attention bigger than the Grand Canyon.


Attending every homemade Christmas pageant we made…

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…and most likely secretly prayed…


…that I would never end up a lonely old maid.

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The first to pass of five sisters, who lived out their misters,

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…you loved being pampered more than a fever blister.


Your nails were painted the day before you passed…


…and Jell-O shots without you will seem so miscast.

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Regardless of view near or afar, life will never be the same…


…without you as my shining rock star.

Love and miss you Gma.


Nothing Compares

Not a damn thing compares to the Iowa State Fair (well, except maybe my birthday and Christmas – but that’s it!)

First dog of the day.

Downing the first dog of the day.

After consuming a corn dog for breakfast, I dove in mouth first to the greasy, fried cheese curds that you can dip in either marinara sauce or ketchup (my choice – keeping it classy!)

Who cut the cheese?

Who cut the cheese?

Taking every opportunity to stand behind a cut out for a photo, the first one of the day was perfect.

My Grandpas say you're welcome.

My Grandpas say you’re welcome.

Dragging my cousin RM along for the fair was the best day of his life (cant’ you tell below?). He did say before we entered the gates “This isn’t as much fun as you say it is,” (maybe because last time he attended with me, we were there for 13 hours. Who knows?)

American Gothic at its worst.

American Gothic at its worst.

RM perked right up when we discovered the gem of all gems at the fair – the Iowa Craft Beer tent.

Beer us!

Making the fair bearable for RM!

Of course, we (well, really I) had to get a pic behind the cut-out (RM humored me).

Another photo op

Two of the classiest beer guzzlers around!

Next up was a glimpse at the world-famous butter cow.

Ooey gooey

Yes, this is solid butter. And yes, I’d like to lick it.

A few days after I visited the fair, some vegan jackasses hid in the building to deface my very favorite part of the fair…but no worries, it was back to normal before the fair opened the following day. Suck it vandalizers!

This vegan group gives all vegans a bad name. I would never pour paint on your vegetables!

This vegan group gives all vegans a bad name. I would never pour paint on your vegetables!

While perusing the Ag building, I saw this sign and was inspired to get the one and only healthy food selection at the fair. Salad on a stick.

yeah, right

Mmm lettuce tastes so good on a toothpick.

Then I caught of whiff of something fried moving through the air and all healthy inspirations went out window. So I settled for a healthy giant pork tenderloin instead of a salad on a stick.

A porker eating a pork tenderloin

A porker eating a pork tenderloin.

All of the eating, drinking and eating made our feet hurt, so we rode the sky glider, getting a view of the entire fairgrounds.

Sky glider to rest our weary feet.

But you just get to see us, instead of an aerial view of the fair. Sorry!

At the fair museum I found a photo of my Grandpa hauling folks back and forth from the campground in 1964. The Clearfield Iowa Lions club was celebated by the fair this year for 50 years of shuttling fairgoers.

Gpa's wall

Nice display.

And in that display is a framed pic of my Gpa, the stud, driving without watching where he was going in 1964.

Gpa, the stud driving the tractor without watching where he's going... ride at own risk

Apparently this is ride at your own risk.

The way they look today

And after 50 years, the shuttles the Clearfield Lions Club started, are still going strong.

Overwhelmed with the famousness of my Gpa, we had to stop and get something else to eat, of course.

Sweet potato fries! while rhett eats them one by one, i prefer stuffing handfuls into my mouth

Sweet potato fries! While RM eats them one by one, I prefer stuffing handfuls into my mouth.

Then it was time for the livestock barns, starting with the cattle.

Reconsidered eating beef after looking at this cute face!

Reconsidered eating beef after looking at this cute face!

And I was a little concerned for the cute cow’s owner…

This dude's in trouble because it's only day one of the fair.

This dude’s in trouble because it’s only day one of the fair.

Every single year I’m in the livestock barns, two little shits scare unassuming people with a gigantic, plastic tarantula they tie to a fishing pole and release as you’re looking at sweet piggies.  And this year, those two little bastards got yours truly. I was amazed that there wasn’t a swine stampede out of the building, as I think I squealed for two minutes straight as the gnarly spider hit me square in the face. I turned around to see the culprits laughing their asses off at me (and then I joined in).

Shit 1 and Shit 2 almost made me shit my pants.

Shit 1 and Shit 2 almost made me shit my pants. I mean look at the size of that beastly spider!

After the spider scare, I had to go back and get another beer, where I ran into the fabulous brother/sister duo of Ed and Leslie! We went to high school together and shared the stage for show choir (yeah, we blazed the way for Glee. You’re welcome).

Show choir reunion!

Show choir reunion!

After panting like a puppy (I always get into character when posing for pics) and mooning half of the beer tent, as I had to basically lay down to play the part of a dog, I was hungry. Again.

Last dog of the day for me

Washing the last dog of the day down with a funnel cake. I’m so skinny.

Forcing RM to ride the double ferris wheel was an easy task after I saw the sign “NO SINGLE RIDERS” sign. I think he could see “there’s a shit show coming” written all over my face, so he graciously hopped on with me. We felt super safe when the carnie with black teeth told us there were only two in the world…and he put this one together (and then asked if I’d like to meet up with him for karaoke later).

Double ferris wheel does strange things to a man's anatomy according to RM.

Double ferris wheels do strange things to a man’s anatomy according to RM.

While Gma practically had an APB out on my whereabouts because I’d been gone for 11 hours (she called my uncle who lives an hour away from the fair, like he could do something about it), she quickly settled down upon my entrance into her apartment with a corn dog in hand.

But the first one for Gma

Who cares how long you were gone – I got a corn dog!

And then Gma got a little pissy when she saw my black feet (I swear to Christ I wore shoes. All. day. long.) on her white carpet. I had to crawl to her shower (that you have to sit in to use – so fun) in order to clean my tootsies.

What the feet?!

What the feet?!

So after 10,478 calories, hillbillly feet, never being able to zip up my skinny jeans again, making my cousin do whatever I want (I’m prepping him for marriage) while dragging him all over the miles of the fair, I can’t wait ’til next year.

Until then…



We’re Baaaaaaaack!

CBXB is back in Nashville after the overindulging (by eating at least 4,278 calories in one day) at the Iowa State Fair, partying down for Gma’s 90th birthday and running like a mad woman through the Atlanta airport, trying to make a connecting flight and ending up sprawled out (shoes and ears of corn all over the place) in the middle of Terminal C (but I made my flight!).

We're baaack!

Absence makes the heart grow fonder…for one of us, anyhow.

Did you miss us?

We sure missed you (in between corn dogs, birthday cake and Iowa sweet corn)!