Clackamas County Fair 2017

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The end of the summer here, and we go to the fair. It's one of my favorite days of the year and we had such a sweet time. There is no trace of toddlerishness in Amelia anymore — no stroller, no bulging diaper bags of tricks and treats, no tired tears — just pure excitement and joy at all there is to see and do. We sauntered and strolled, riding ponies, petting bunnies, buying prairie hats, eating kettle corn. How I love to see this child happy, love her smile and her laughter and her skipping and her jokes, her poses and her priorities, her excitement and her wonder and her hilarious nonchalance over things I think should spark wonder. I love it all, and I love her.

I must admit that I'm tired. Wonderfully, happily tired, but still — pretty tired. Heading into the homestretch of summer, that final sprint after the long, long marathon of summer, and I've apparently stalled out before even starting the last leg. Andy's been on vacation for almost three weeks and it feels like we've had something to do almost every single day. I know that can't be true but it felt true up until yesterday, when I huddled in my office, sewing school clothes and trying to organize my thinking about something, anything. Last week my childhood friend Jenny flew in to hang out with us just for a day (she's a flight attendant). We hustled out of swimming lessons, met her over at Kennedy School just after she landed, spent the afternoon having lunch and lounging in the soaking pool there, then we dropped Mimi and Andy off at home and she and I went up to Powell's and browsed books, then we went to Piazza Italia for dinner, then we got ice cream, then we sat at the fountain and talked, and then I drove her back to the airport around 9 p.m. It was so great to see her. I was collapsing into bed as she was getting on the plane to go back to Chicago (poor thing!).

Yesterday I cut out four pairs of corduroy pants and four calico peasant blouses with tiny gathered pairs of pockets for Amelia, who has few school clothes that fit her anymore. I ordered (from Etsy) the same back-to-school dress pattern that I'd made her last year and after I'd spent a half an hour ironing all of the pieces I realized that it was a size too small. I hurriedly ordered a size 5 and hopefully it will get here in time. We made a family trip to Fabric Depot to get thread and elastic and olive-green and rust-colored corduroy. I came home and sewed in happy isolation, breathing deeply, ripping out all my stupid mistakes and redoing stuff as necessary. It's been so long since I've sewn.

My heart is just breaking for the people of east Texas and Louisiana who are affected by the catastrophic flooding right now. I pray that the rain stops and they can rescue all of the people who are trapped and stranded all over Houston. I'm heading downstairs to box up five or six packages of unused diapers that we have leftover in the basement to send to the Texas Diaper Bank. I didn't know this but diapers are not provided by disaster relief agencies. I'm praying for everyone who is struggling there right now. If you are from the area and you have suggestions for other groups to donate to, please let me know. I really want to help.

59 comments

Your state fair looks absolutely delightful. The bunnies and the baby goat are pretty compelling. I'm surprised a bunny didn't make it home with you. Amelia is so big. I cannot believe it every time I see a new photo, it shocks me. She looks like she has a good heart based on the way her face looks when she is with the animals. Thank you for sharing these wonderful snippets of your life.

We are praying for everyone in TX area too. I love the fair pictures and look forward to seeing them here! Glad for all the good things in your life, even though you are tired. ♡

Those are wonderful pictures, and I just love all the handcrafted things. I'd love to have a pair of those leather shoes. It's a wonderful thing that you sew school clothes for Mimi. She is a very fortunate little girl.

Kathy McD says: August 28, 2017 at 08:23 PM

Oh, Alicia, I look forward to your Clackamas County Fair post every August! Your beautiful pictures make me feel like I'm there with you. Thanks for sharing this wonderful annual outing!

I always enjoy your Clackamas County Fair posts and love the way Amelia looks self assured and confident. And so wonderfully American :) in that cute little hippie dress and straw hat. But how perfect that she knows herself so well she can effect 'nonchalance'. She's getting older.

I loved each and every photo of the Clackamas County Fair! We went on opening day. We've never been able to go before as we're always at Waldo Lake for our family reunion camp-out! We couldn't go this year due to Dayle's back pain. Somehow I missed the best part, the pioneer village! Dang! Mimi looks simply perfect in her country dress, cowgirl hat and that adorable little leather hippie bag.. I used to make some like that in my leather working days. Thanks for sharing such wonderful images. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

All I can say is that one of these years I'm coming home with a bunny. :) I love your pics each year since I never seem to take enough of my own. Do you ever do the pie? Each year, my family goes into the AC building to have our pie. I can't fathom what is happening in Houston. Thanks for alerting me to the diaper donations.

Your blog is so enjoyable but the county fair is a highlight. When you wrote about the aftermath of the awful atrocity where you live, you talked about looking for the helpers. Give yourself a treat and google the Cajun Navy. Someone said they are the Uber of disaster rescue because they take facebook requests for aid. Look for the helpers.

Beautiful set of photographs and that's shocking, about the diapers not being provided!

She is adorable! The outfit! Her expression with the goat! Her joy riding the pony! Thank you as always for sharing and for the peek into your life.

Prayers for Texas and Louisiana. Devastating.

So much fun! Im in love with those rabbits!

What a great fair! Your photos capture it perfectly. Good for you, good mama, sewing school clothes. I aim to revive my sewing skills a bit. When I sit down to sew, I remember that I really believe in sewing.
I pray that September brings new energy your way. August is hot and exhausting. This granny feels it, too.

Amelia's little 'goat face' is just the loveliest thing. Just pure joy. What lovely pictures and how nice to meet up with Mr Moccasin man again. I remember a pony ride that gave me quite as much pleasure, but my picture makes me seem like I am petrified. Amelia on the other hand looks so happy.

Time does fly doesn't it? It all has its joys and its frustrations too. Moving forward is a good thing though. Hope you get your fabric in time. I remember making 2 little pinafore dresses in navy blue (standard UK uniform) for my daughter. Happy sewing, enjoy the fall. Hope Amelia enjoys her school days.

Thinking of everyone affected by the flooding and hoping everyone has safe homes soon. xx

Lynn Marie says: August 29, 2017 at 05:13 AM

I always love your Clackamas County Fair Post. I think my favorite pic is the one of Amelia and the older man in the re-enactment area. She is holding up her leather shoes. His face is timeless--for some reason it just stops me. Yes--summer has gone by in a whirl and I find myself thinking if I have actually gotten anything done?!!

Suz Kuhns says: August 29, 2017 at 05:44 AM

that fair looks wonderful! Your daughter seems to have had a fantastic time - lots of bunnies to hug! I'm impressed you make her clothes - very few moms do that anymore.

Looks like so much fun!! I'm wondering what pattern you like to use for corduroy pants. I'm in the market for one. Thanks!

What lovely photos, thank you for sharing. Amelia looks so interested even in listening to all the different Exhibitors/activities, so rare for children these days.
Sewing for school, how exciting for you!

I want to go to your county fair, ours isn't nearly that wonderful ( I think all the big trees make a difference)! Maybe we'll give the state fair a try this year. Amelia is so cute in her pink cowgirl hat and little purse over her shoulder, all ready for an adventure.
Texas really is heartbreaking, glad to know about a way to help.

Your Meems makes my heart sing(s)

That's nice of you to ship the diapers - I just heard that on the radio this morning as well and thought I'd go donate some $ there. So distressing to hear about people in so much trouble :(

kathy dignum says: August 29, 2017 at 09:42 AM

Just feeling pretty fed up and your post is like a little ray of sunshine......thankyou.....Amelia looks right at home on that pony....that'll be the next activity....You'd better get that riding jacket pattern from your Mum!!! ha ha x x x

Kathy FRANCE

Thank you for providing a small ray of sunshine and for thinking of Houston. We live in Houston and our house, my in-laws house and several of friend's family houses are flooded or under water right now. Our hometown, located between Galveston and Houston, is under water along with so many other cities in and around Houston. Cites along the coast where Harvey hit have been leveled. There's so much lost with Hurricane Harvey that it's mind blowing and numbing at the same time. We will rebuild, but it will take years. Luckily we've lost very few lives considering the magnitude of this storm. They were saying on the news that it wasn't just a 1,000 year flood, but also had 0.1% chance of this kind of storm ever happening in the first place. The flooding is expected continue through the weekend and next week as the water just has no place to go. Please continue to pray for Texas, we need all the prayers and love ya'll can spare.

Laura E. Dundas says: August 29, 2017 at 10:16 AM

Thank you for the Fair. I'm 82 now and used to go every summer. You brought the feeling back for me. Just love your sharing. Your love of life and family is what the world needs. I don't know if my comments go through to you, but I hope you can know how much I appreciate your blog. Love, Laura

Houston is my home town. This disaster is impossible to even describe. Thank you, Alicia, for any help you send. Many of my family members are trapped there. Please pray.

the fair looks so magical! I love all the different folk arts you have at yours! I can't wait to see Amelia's new school clothes! Thank you for the info about diapers, I didn't know that either and I have at least one package of pull ups we'll never use again! Our fair is in a couple of weeks and this makes me excited to go!

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.