Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.


One more day! One more day! One more day! Don’t miss it, don’t miss it, don’t miss it!

Kenya Safari Acrobats, 2012

       Gracious, tomorrow Sunday, October 21, is the last day of this year’s Fair! It went by so quickly–11 days, but not enough to see and do everything!  We went to concerts at Dorton Arena and saw performances outside also like; bluegrass, the Reality Show Band, 
                     magicians, Kenya Safari Acrobats, the folk festival …worth far more than the price of a ticket! We ate deep fried girl scout cookies, deep fried pumpkin pie, eclairs, corn dogs, turkey legs, roasted corn, 

                                     tempura veggies, pretzels, potato soup, peach cobbler,and local fare from the State Farmer’s market! We saw true artisans demonstrating their craft, and were able to buy some.  We worked in the Peace booth, so that we

felt we were giving back a bit.                      We also rode the rides, or we watched family members ride the rides! The ferris wheel provided beautiful views for miles! The super slide, the carousel, the helicopter, the twirling pirate ships–were just some of the adventures and memory makers we enjoyed!                       

We played games…and we met the Earp family…the champions of games–the family with the golden hearts!

When it was hot we drank Moose Joose slushies, when it was cold we loved the hot chocolate from the Gingerbread House!  We saw the cows, the goats, and even took a milking lesson! LOL 

We loved the giant pumpkins, watermelons, and the veggie petting zoo! In the education building we got our eyes checked, picked up some political yard signs, signed petitions for peace, ate hush puppies and pickles, and perused the quilts, clothes, and cake decorating!

Then there were the
gardens, the wonderful
gardens! There were
90 some entries of
garden plots designed by different local schools and groups. The gardens were playful, educational, and a don’t miss feature
of the fair!

Our family, the 2012 NC State Street Team, will be going one more time tomorrow, to get our last fix of the Fair until next year! I’ve promised to weigh in and see what damage I’ve done during the Fair, if any, LOL.
 I also have some           
 things to buy in the
 commercial building,
like magic marbles for


 my plants, and rubber mulch for my garden or a hammock  chair in which to relax, all found in the education/commercial building. Annie wants Appalachian State University shoes from FanFeet in the Kerr Scott building. Of course, if we’re talking consumerism here, Christmas presents and all that….I personally would love a leather hand-tooled journal from Mike Lowe in the Village of Yesteryear as well as a piece of that beautiful stained glass by Rebecca Allen. I’d also like a lantern from the tinsmith Peter Blum in the Village of Yesteryear, or a pewter nativity set! Other years we have bought baskets, tin angels, wooden bowls…so many treasures! What could be better than a gift from a native North Carolinian artisan!

Go to the Fair tomorrow, GO, GO, GO … you’ll regret it if you don’t . It is the most fun ticket of the year!


Scotty McCreery in Concert!

    Scotty McCreery , North Carolina’s American Idol, held two sold-out shows at the 2012 North Carolina State Fair! We were so lucky to be in the audience!   Scotty is a N.C.State University Wolf packer now! You go Scotty!
      Our family had bought our tickets a full year before the concert! That shows our love and loyalty, and our joy in getting to see Scotty in person! Now we want to share some of what we saw: photos, videos, see, we are the 2012 Street Team for the NC State Fair this year-The Deep Fried GRITS, Girls Raised In The South, so we were allowed to photograph, etc. Annie did those honors!

     Scotty hails from right here in Raleigh,Garner to be exact, but he’s a home-town boy! He sounds however like a 45 year old man, but looks like a cherubic boy! Its impossible not to love this young man! Now, featured below are the pictures and video of Scotty McCreery taken by Annie Holshouser!

From: scottymccreery.com and soundspike.com

Freshmen year of college is a big transition for anyone, but especially for Scotty McCreery. Between touring with Brad Paisley and putting out a Christmas album, it’s amazing that he’s had time to attend his classes at North Carolina State University, let alone enjoy them.
“It’s been three weeks since my first day,” McCreery recently told SoundSpike via telephone from Virginia Beach, VA. “It’s going really well for me so far… I’ve gotten to do so many cool things, like go to the World Series and sing. Right now, I’m on tour with Brad Paisley. It’s been a crazy great year for me since ‘Idol.'”

Read the full article at SoundSpike to find out how every one’s favorite Country superstar-slash-communications/public relations major juggles his crazy schedule.

» www.soundspike.com

Scotty starts the concert with “I love you this big!”, this video is from You Tube and took place at NC State’s Reynold’s Coliseum last month!

Above Scotty sings and has a banjo surprise!

Scotty McCreery gave us a wonderful preview of his new Christmas album which is in stores October 17, 2012! This is a song on the CD called Christmas In Heaven — at N.C. State Fair.




 What a great concert! What a great young man, We are so proud of our Scotty McCreery!




Wheelchair Users at the N,C State Fair, 2012

Wheelchair Users at the NC State Fair

      Wheelchairs, they are a fact of life for many of us. Some are born with cerebral palsy, some come down with multiple sclerosis, some have heart conditions or a myriad of other conditions that prevent them from being able to breath well enough to walk far or stand long. That last statement describes me. I’ve been using a wheelchair to go further than 20 to 40 feet, for almost 12 years now. Additionally, due to a bout of myopathy from my statin drug, I went 8 months this year unable to go 2 or 3 feet without falling! At the Fair this year, with this new position of “Street Team 2012”, I decided I should pay attention to handicapped accessibility conditions, and meet some of the other disabled, wheelchair users at the Fair. Its been very interesting!
     I’ve been coming to the Fair using a wheelchair for like I said, almost 12 years now. I can honestly say, that I ‘ve had pretty much no trouble with accessibility, only getting in trouble due to my own poor planning. like not watching  the power level of my chair, so that I ran out of power and got stranded somewhere on the Fairgrounds! While that was frightening the first time, I soon learned how friendly everybody is when you’re in trouble, and I always had my family, or a police officer, or a food booth owner offer to help in any way they could. Sometimes we’ve gone to dinner and plugged my chair up to recharge, while we ate and rested, having enough power afterwards to either get to the car and go home, or get to one of the places that rent chairs! I’ve done both actually.  Its kind of like running out of gas in your car, and having somebody give you a ride to where you can buy some.  This year I had some different adventures, its always something. 
      First however, I’d like to tell you about some of the services the Fair has to help those of us who need wheelchairs, or strollers, etc. for that matter. 

 At gates 1, 8,9, and 10 there are wheelchair/stroller rental tents, like the Fun Rider Rentals tent pictured above.

                                            This is Thomas Cook, 


who rented an electric scooter from Fun Rider Rentals. We met in the “It’s Got to be N.C.” tent in front of the Kerr Scott building. Thomas is from Garner, the hometown of Scotty McCreery!  🙂  Thomas likes the scooter, says it is comfortable, runs well, and  turns easily. He says that without it he would not be able to go all around the Fair and is grateful for the service.
                                 On Thursday night, October 11, 2012 Ali, Annie, and I attended the Varsity Vocal Showcase, in the handicapped section of Dorton Arena, where I sat in my chair with no fanfare, and no problems. I met a friendly woman, also using a scooter. Her name was Catherine Noblitt and she was there from Asheville,NC. Her two daughters were with her, as were mine.  Furthermore, we got along and chatted like old friends, even though her two daughters went to Carolina, and mine went to State and ASU !  All of our daughters sang in
a capella groups at their own schools also! We were comfortable and enjoyed the great view, one plus for being handicapped.

     One late night, just after fireworks, your Deep Fried Grits Street Team, was wandering the streets of the Fair talking to people and hunting for hot chocolate! We found the BEST hot chocolate along with gigantic eclairs and cream puffs at the Gingerbread House, down the midway towards gate 9! Gracious! While ordering our hot chocolate 🙂 another day we got the eclairs!) we met another wonderfully friendly lady named Burline Thompson.

 We chatted and met her daughters also! Burline was riding what appeared to be a scooter, but so much more. She disclosed to us that she had Lou Gerig’s disease, ALS, and that the chair she was riding in had a lot of special support features and cost $33,000! Since my power wheelchair cost about $8,000, I was very interested in the cost and design! Wow, getting sick is expensive, can take your house, your job, and your family sometimes!   She explained how they would have to add more support items to her chair as she needed them.  She could not have been friendlier! I felt I’d met a kindred soul, when she said that she’d wanted to come to the Fair to have fun with her family  everyday that she could! I was so proud of her, and so happy for her!
      I did ask Burline if she had had any trouble getting around the Fair, and she said honestly there was only one place she’d been worried about her safety. She went on to explain that it was on a fairly steep hill on the road outside of the Village of Yesteryear, leading down to Heritage Circle. She said she was very afraid she would fall, and I remembered feeling that very same way there. In fact, I had slowed down my speed, and had one daughter hold the back of my chair just to put some extra weight back there. I really don’t know how the route could be fixed unless a criss/cross ramp were installed somewhere for wheelchairs to descend at the recommended 5 degree angles!  Otherwise, wheelchair users must travel at their own risk, and be aware of how to handle their own chairs or scooters. I know that the instructions for my own chair say to steer directly down a steep incline, not to try to go sideways, as this leads to turning over too easily. The directions say to go straight down, not at a diagonal or anything,just straight. It can be scary, and I have turned over! Not at the Fair, and I was not hurt, but was thrown off! Now, that’s embarrassing!

     I rode my own power chair all over the Fairgrounds and almost everything and everyone was wonderful, easy to access, and very accommodating!  I loved the gardens, and for the first time, this year I went all the way to the bottom and back up the steep incline in the back of the garden.  Even though the garden paths are paved, and there are handrails throughout most of it, I probably shouldn’t have gone so far, the trails are really steep, and although I was enjoying the beautiful gardens and fanciful decorations, the inclines going up and down were steeper than a lone wheelchair user should have attempted probably. But I have a bit of daredevil in me, only a bit, and the beauty of the gardens was too much to resist!  I did talk to one couple where a woman of 83 was pushing her husband of 86 in a push wheelchair in the garden, but on the flat part. Since I was worried about the lady’s exertion, I asked them if they knew about the rental place, and they said they did. We also discussed purchase issues, and I found them well informed.

        One of the worst things about being handicapped is the lack of independence! Most of us want to be self sufficient, and we hate being so dependant on our loved ones,who work extra hard to go anywhere…loading and unloading chairs, helping in one million different ways! Lord bless them for helping us live our lives as fully as possible like having fun at the NC State Fair! When you see us tooling around, you might say an encouraging word to the caretaker: husband, wife, child, or friend! They need to know you know how hard they work to help us!

     These last seven days, I’ve eaten in tents and in buildings. There were rarely any problems negotiating the terrain. One time however, some friends we’d met bought their food first and meandered over to a tent behind the vendor under those old beautiful oak trees, behind the “pig butt on a stick” booth! I thought there was probably an entrance for handicapped folks on the other side, so I bought my scrumptious potato soup, and found myself riding around and around, there was no way to get a wheelchair up to that tent! So I used my cell phone to call, and my friends and daughter came to meet me and we went elsewhere to eat. Of course we felt we had to buy that fantastic peach cobbler from the Shriners on the corner who sheltered us so comfortably! A great sacrifice! 🙂

    In that same area were the “deep fried girl scout cookies”, yum!, and the wonderful cheerwine slushies as well as other flavors! There was only one trouble! The booths were set up on the median, so that there was a hefty ledge above the curb for patrons to step up on to order.               Of course  that meant no independence for us wheelchair users! We couldnt’ just roll up and get what we wanted, we had to have our helper do it for us, or the kindest vendors watched for us and left their booths to come to us, take our orders and deliver the goods! That’s a lot to ask in a crowed State Fair!   Right below the curb in front of the Girl Scout Cookie booth, was a huge drainage hole with a grate covering it that had space between the bars big enough for a wheelchair tire to slip right into, or a two or three year old’s leg to slip right through! the vendor said he’d made a temporary cover for it, being afraid someone would fall, but it was removed overnight. I reported it, and maybe there will be some improvement by next year, but I saw it as a great danger zone right in front of one of the most popular new featured food items!

     The biggest problem I ran into this year due to my using a wheelchair, was attending Scotty McCreery’s concert in Dorton Arena!  Don’t get me wrong! Scotty McCreery did an awesome job! The concert was great!

Furthermore, I have been in Dorton Arena many, many times for concerts and other things! So, I never considered that there might be a problem.  Part of the problem, was the weather this Monday night, October 15. It stormed off and on, poured rain, and about 20 minutes before the concert it looked like it was going to pour again any minute! We rushed to the arena to get inside before the storm broke and arrived at the North Entrance just as the rain started. We had our tickets out, ones we’d purchased almost a year earlier! We’d been told that they didn’t sell handicapped seats, but that when we arrived we’d be shown to a handicapped area, where one family member could sit with me, unless there were more seats available when the show started then more family could join us. There were four of us there  that night.  The officials at the door, took a look at our tickets,saw they were for section”apple”on the floor, and wouldn’t let us in! They said that since our tickets were on the floor, that I had to sit on the floor, and that meant we had to go around to the dock entrance, the large doors where trucks enter I believe. The lady pointed towards our right so we went out in the rain to find the dock entrance! We were routed towards the Waterfall Stage, and I had loved the group that played there, the Reality Show Band, but had already discovered it was not handicapped accessible, at least not friendly. I knew the rain would make the grounds soft and my wheelchair would get stuck easily. It was dark, I was wet, because my rain coat had lost its rain resistance or something! Poor Annie my daughter was trying her best to find our way when we didn’t know where we were going. We made our way to a curb on the west side of the Arena, but it was too steep for us to navigate. The only choice was to retrace our path, hope not to get stuck,and go around the east side! Hopefully my power would hold up! I was feeling sorry for myself, and Annie, and kind of mad at the ladies who wouldn’t let me in out of the rain, and sent me on this wild goose chase in search of the docking entrance! Well, like a guardian angel, who should appear, but our new friend, Marc Dobson, the One Man Band himself!

He was trying to get out of the storm himself when he saw us! He offered to help us get down the steep curb and I stood unsteadily, while he and Annie backed and lifted the 225 lb. chair down the embankment! Then they both had to take me by the arms and help me get down the same steep embankment! Another person came up to help, and we made it! What a precious thing they did, how embarrassing to me, but how thankful I was. So, after saying goodbye and thanks,Annie and I hurried through the rain and dark to the docking station . We could see it lighted and open,but when we got to the path, a closed gate blocked our way, as well as a truck! Annie simply went to the other end and moved the gate so that we could squeeze in! At the entrance we met four or five policemen, who seemed surprised to see us, but said come on it!   We hurried to where our seats were to find the rest of our family! I knew I couldn’t stay in the aisle, but I wanted to talk to them about where we’d be and see if anyone wanted to come with me. I was soaking wet, and cold!   Annie went to be with media folks taking pictures, and after the third person, a female fire marshall, named Robin, who was extremely considerate, came to tell me I had to move, I said goodbye and went to sit alone against the wall and feel  lonely, cold and offended again! LOL  But Robin heard my tale of woe, and was determined to improve our situation, bless her!

 She could see that the upper level handicapped seats were not full, and said if they were not full after the concert started, she would move us up there herself and she did! The rain had slowed thank heavens, and some of our group could go up the stairs inside the arena, I on the other hand, had to go outside and around to the south entrance! But Robin the firefighter and Lisa Geist who had met Annie before, walked us all the way to the entrance, made sure we had no trouble getting in, and found chairs for my family to join me!  They were remarkably kind and talk about hospitality, they embodied the spirit of it!  I feel very thankful to them! The concert was great, a highlight of my year! Thanks Robin, Lisa, Marc the One Man Band, Annie, Ali, Max, Lisa, and all who help make my life so fulfilling! God bless you all. It takes a village!

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Entertainment Abounds at the 2012 N.C. State Fair!

      With your admission to the Fair, you not only get to eat Fair foods, play games, ride rides, see animals and agricultural feats, and more–but you can’t walk across the grounds any day/any hour without hearing the special entertainers of music and showmanship wowing the crowds! We Deep Fried Grits love it with a passion!
      Be sure you pick up your 2012 NC State Fair brochure as you come in the gate, or available at every information booth! That will give you a map and the schedule for all performing acts! It is so worth your while to schedule some time to enjoy these entertainers, because they are awesome!  Your young children and the older ones will all find acts they love!
      One of my favorites is the Reality Show Band, performing on the Waterfall stage, every day except Wednesday, October 17, which is Military Appreciation Day.   The waterfall stage is located just outside the north entrance to Dorton Arena, and just behind the waterfalls!
 Published on Aug 15, 2012 by

“Reality Show Band:
Reality is a collection of members who, with their vision and talent, create the hottest new party band in the North Carolina triangle area. Reality has a membership of artists that that have been in the music industry for more than 20 years.

Whatever the occasion, Reality has the ability to keep the audience jumping and enjoying the soulful slammin sounds of music from past, present and future. Be it R&B, soul, beach, motown, etc. Reality will gracefully slide into any sound or mood that is requested.

Reality has been influenced by some of the greatest artists of all times such as the Temptations, James Brown, Embers, Wilson Pickett, Commodores, Otis Redding, Earth Wind & Fire, Chairman of the Board, and many, many more.”

For more information on this band, go to http://www.eastcoastentertainment.com/artist/reality-show-band or call us at (855)-ECE-4FUN (855-323-4386) or email us at info@eastcoastentertainment.com   

       I have very eclectic musical tastes, so it just so happens that I love bluegrass music as well! Larry Cordle, a Kentucky native, will be playing on the bluegrass stage in Heritage Circle near the gardens every day! I listened to him the last couple days, and couldn’t help but tap my toes and smile, smile, smile! Need cheering up? Go sit a spell and just enjoy the pickin’ and grinnin’. 
     Larry Cordle writes his own music and performs all over the country! You can find him on facebook, or see his website at

Website http://www.larrycordle.com     Bluegrass is great!

                                           Another one of my favorite  entertainers  at the  Fair this year is Marc Dobson, the One Man Band! Marc is an incredible performer, both musically and comically, Marc is a friendly family man. He grew up in Nova Scotia but now calls Florida home.  He travels all over the country entertaining! We have a book of ride tickets for the first person who reports all of Marc’s instruments correctly on the Deep Fried Grits facebook page! We’re waiting!  Marc has a CD for sale also, so you can enjoy his incredible sounds after the fair as well! It’s just so hard to believe one man can sing, talk, walk, and play a ton of instruments at the same time! Watch his show, be amazed, its so much fun!

      Now, let’s see, I live in Franklin County, and on the Waterfall stage October 18–21, a Franklin County native, Louisburg to be exact, Larry Frick will be performing! All right!

 Larry sings country, and is cute to boot!  Give a listen to when he was performing at a club here in Raleigh a while ago: 


     There are  even  more entertainment acts that are not musical but oh so exciting! I think I’ll save them for my next post! Hope you’re having fun at the Fair, I surely am! Aren’t the fireworks just the greatest way to cap off a night at the Fair!  Love it! Wishing you the best always, Helen

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A Capella Singing Groups from N.C.State, Duke, and UNC!

      The Varsity Vocal Showcase held at the N.C. State Fair, 2012 was a rousing success! Ticket proceeds went to the performing groups up to $50,000!  And what amazing groups they were!  It was a great opportunity for the community to see and hear awesome a capella singing from N.C.State University, Duke, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! I thought you might like to see and hear a little of them here, and wanted you to know that they all have facebook pages/and or webpages, all have CD’s for sale, and all are fantastic! A quick search of the web for any of these groups will give you all the information you’d like to have!

    We are very partial to the Ladies in Red from NC State, because one of us GRITS, Ali, sang with the founding group of this organization in 1993! We were thrilled to see these young ladies continuing the tradition of excellance! 

        The Grains of Time, men’s a capella group from N.C.State stole the show with their sharp look and awesome sound! Go State!

Rhythm and Blue from Duke was the only mixed, men and women group to perform! They were excellent as well, enjoy!


From UNC Chapel Hill came two groups to wow the audience! The Loreleis and the  Clef   Hangers!   

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Calling all bakers, cake decorators, and pastry chefs–come see the 2012 NC State Fair Cake Decorating entries!

     Yesterday at the Fair could not have been better, unless you, my family and friends, could all have been there with me!   A family reunion at the Fair! Now that would be cool!   Today is going to be another brilliantly sunshiny day, high of 74 degrees, and boundless blue skies! It promises to be the kind of day that screams “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina, in the morning!”
      Just in case you aren’t on facebook, I thought I’d show you the caricature we had done at the Fair yesterday! What do you think?!

The artist is one Nick Tabron, a talented, and kind hearted man! He is a native North Carolinian and actually lives near us in Southern Franklin County! We met his wife Rhonda also who was there lending a helping hand to the artist! I want to get a caricature done of my grandchildren, Nick is located outside Dorton Arena, north entrance.

      Annie, who is the baker of our little group, had to see the decorated cakes immediately!  I thought you might enjoy seeing them also.  When you are at the Fair, they are displayed in the education building, along with the quilts, and handmade dresses that are only awesome!



    The cakes are truly amazing! I cannot imagine being able to make these things…out of cake! Good Gracious! Talented people, our neighbors!  

    This is not a cake, in case you wondered! This dress, with layers and layers of ruffles, is reminisient of Gone With The Wind days! The picture does not do it justice, you have to go see it for yourself, in the education building!

     I’m on my way to the Fair right now, Friday morning, October 12, 2012.  I’d love to see you there as well, if you get there tweet us  @mamakat07 and let us know where we can find you!  Have a great day!



The Deep Fried GRITS get their media badges!

l to r, Helen, Annie, and Ali, the 2012 Street Team for the NC State Fair

     Yesterday my daughters and I , the Deep Fried Grits, Girls Raised In The South,  attended the media luncheon of the NC State Fair, and were given our “media” badges!  Yea, we’re media! The 2012 N.C. State Fair Street Team! That means we can go behind the scenes to interview people and just have a great time sharing with you how much we love the fair! Just in case you haven’t already, check out our community page on facebook at  facebook.com/DeepFriedGrits.  Also, follow Ali on Twitter @mamakat07, and go see Annie at Palsie’s Gourmet Popcorn in Wakefield Commons Shopping Center, Raleigh, NC , unless she’s at the Fair!
     Facebook is where we are posting our contests and all! We already gave one free admission away, and have some ride tickets to give, a really cool NC State pocket calendar for 2013, and more, just having fun together–go check it out!
    At the luncheon, we got to meet many media
people of course!  We met Scott Mason from WRAL TV who said he just might interview us at the fair for a story! Wouldn’t that be an adventure!  Some of the folks at WRAL seem like family to us as we’ve been watching them for the 32 years we’ve lived in Raleigh. We’ve met Bill Leslie up at Grandfather Mountain for the Highland Games, and Greg Fishel, and Elizabeth Gardner…they’ll all be at the Fair sometime and we hope to say hello!  We also got to meet Bill Jordan, radio personality from WRAL-FM MIX 101.5 who stopped by to say hello to us and wish us well! We love “Bill and Lynda in the Morning” and were so happy to get to talk with Bill! Hope we’ll see them again at the Fair!
        All the TV stations were there and busy interviewing, and we did get to speak to LaToya Hughes from News 14 Carolina. She was so friendly and interesting!  Hopefully we’ll get to see some more of her and their reporters at the Fair!
       We met folks from the Food Bank of North Carolina as well like Jen Newmeyer and Jennifer Caslin who were there being friendly, and reminding us all of the great needs filled by the Food Bank. As you know, the N.C. State Fair supports the Food Bank of North Carolina, especially on Thursday, the 18th when admission is free for  people donating 4 cans of canned food from Food Lion!
 Steve Troxler, Commissioner of the Dept. of Agriculture which sponsors the Fair, has issued a challenge:  If North Carolinians coming to the Fair on the 18th this year, donate 300,000 pounds of canned goods (247,569 lbs is the record to break!), Commissioner Troxler promises to donate $5,000 to the Food Bank!  
We can do that! We are North Carolina, the most loving people on Earth! We live under a Carolina Blue sky, and we have NC State red running through our bodies and souls, we’re Duke Blue true, we have Wake Forest golden hearts, and we know how to have fun and paint the town or Fair purple like East Carolina!

      Oh, you’re going to die of envy, yesterday we got to taste some of the Deep Fried treats that will be available at the Fair!  We had deep fried cupcakes and deep fried cinnamon rolls with bacon ! OMG, they were delicious! I tried to only take a bite, and shared them with my daughters, but they were so good, it was hard to only take one! LOL   You’re going to love these treats, and the Deep Fried Girl Scout Cookies! Doesn’t it make your mouth water! 
     One of the things I really loved and enjoyed yesterday, was the “one man band, Marc Dobson”! Talk about talented! He strolls around playing like 9 instruments! He sings everything, from rock to folk songs! He’ll be strolling the Fair everyday, so look for him, you’ll be glad you did! He’s a great performer! We have a contest regarding Marc, see our facebook page as referenced above.  Marc is also on facebook, just search Marc Dobson and you’ll find him!
     There’s so much more I’d like to tell you, and only two weeks of Fair! It will never be enough! So go to the NC State Fair website where you can get all the information, schedules, prices, parking info, bus info, exhibits, entertainment, and ride info! Gracious! I take my hat off to these amazing men and women who manage this Fair! Great Job you guys and thank you!   www.ncstatefair.org
     Also, continue to ride along with Ali, Annie, and me on  facebook.com/DeepFriedGrits, and with Ali on Twitter  @mamakat07, and of course here on my blog. Have a great day, and I’ll see you at the Fair! Helen



Yea! We were chosen to share our love of the NC State Fair!

the Deep Fried blog

Meet our State Fair Street Team: Deep Fried GRITS!

October 02, 2012By: Category: 2012 N.C. State Fair

This year, we opened up our Deep Fried Ambassador contest to a trio of fair fanatics. We received a lot of great entries from families, co-workers and friends. Thanks again to everyone who sent us an entry to become the 2012 State Fair Street Team. In the end, we could only pick one team to represent the fair this year, and that team was Deep Fried GRITS! (Girls Raised in the South).

Deep Fried GRITS! is made up of a mother, Helen, and her two adult daughters, Annie and Ali. Together they will cover the fair through a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other online outlets.
For first place, the trio wins:

  • A Bumper Crop of Fun prize pack with T-shirts, posters and any other State Fair swag we can find in our office.
  • Each team member will receive a media badge and parking pass, giving them behind-the-scenes access to the N.C. State Fair.
  • Teams also will be invited to be honorary members of the Deep Fried Crew at the official Media Lunch at the N.C. State Fair, Monday, Oct. 8.

Congratulations to Helen, Annie and Ali. We look forward to working with you this fair.You’ll join the distinguished company of our Deep Fried Ambassadors, Suzanne, Ashlee and Amy.
Thanks again to everyone who entered. We hope you will all share your fair stories with us this year.

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Please, oh please, let us be your 2012, NC State Fair Street Team!

In response to the contest/question “Do you Want to be part of the 2012 N.C. State Fair Street Team”?

This is what Ali, Annie and I replied:

Deep Fried GRITS!

(Girls Raised In The South)

The State Fair Street Team
for the 2012

North Carolina State Fair

Bumper Crop of Fun
Team members:
Mom: Helen H.
Daughters: Annie H. and Ali H.
Team name:

Deep Fried GRITS
(Girls Raised In The South)

Team Creed: Our family moved to Raleigh in 1980. Ali was six years old, and Annie was born here in 1982. Their father, my husband of 40 years, went to NC State University, as did Ali. I taught there as a visiting lecturer. Annie brought the mountains into our family by attending school at Appalachian State University. We have attended the fair every single year in those 32 years since we moved here. We have worked at the fair as volunteers, we have entertained guests, seen shows, ridden rides, petted animals, and eaten enough food to last until the next year! We love the NC State Fair because it showcases our state! But even more so, we see all of our communities there, our friends and family! We have cousins showing cows, ancestors in the Village of Yesteryear. coworkers and friends working in the gardens. We along with others of our friends, can be found working in the education building- in the peace booth, eating pickles, waiting in line for hush puppies, stocking up on Moravian cookies from Old Salem, and pouring over the cakes, crafts , and quilts! We have moved through the years riding rides, cheering the pig races, and oohing and aahing over the fireworks! From a young single woman, a mother with young children, to a mature woman and wheelchair user, with grown daughters and grandchildren, you’ll get different perspectives on the fair. Our circle of life keeps expanding…marked by a common love and joy of the October State Fair!

If our team were selected as your new State Fair Street Team, I cannot imagine our not covering pretty much everything! Ali is a mother of two young children, and as such she’ll be riding the kiddie rides, petting animals in the petting zoo, visiting the policemen and climbing aboard the ambulances and 18 wheelers! Of course they have to see the “most giant” pumpkin, and other amazing agricultural feats. They will be eating and drinking as well. We will be with them to watch the kids’ puppet shows, dog shows, whatever and all that is available! We’ll be wandering through the fun houses, and laughing and singing! Ali’s degree from NCSU is in communication. She has written and edited websites and newsletters for nonprofit agencies professionally. Ali is a forum moderator of a large and active online and in- person group called Triangle Mommies. Through them she can reach several thousand local mothers with information on what she thinks is fun for the family to do in the Triangle. Their forum would be full to running over with her colorful and enthusiastic recommendations. Ali is also a member of the national group The Mommies Network, and through their forum she can share things with mommies across the State and more. She is also active on facebook, pinterest, and You Tube and has recently started tweeting.

Annie likes the nightlife with her friends as a young single woman as well as traveling by day with her family. We’ve had tickets to see Scotty McCreery at the fair for about a year already I think. Annie manages Palsie’s Gourmet Popcorn Store in Wakefield Commons shopping center, and sees members of that community daily! Her father, my husband, teaches at the high school there. The families there love their popcorn: barbecue, dill pickle, and strawberry cheesecake!    Annie was born in Raleigh, grew up here, but moved with us to the coast of North Carolina where she attended high school. College took her to the mountains, giving her the broadest experience of living in all sections of our beautiful state. Her major at ASU was hospitality and tourism, and she knows the importance of both of those fields for our State Fair. She also posts daily on facebook and uses You Tube extensively.

Finally, I am Helen, mom, wheelchair user, and I will let you know about my experiences with accessibility. I’ve been at the Fair with my chair for the last 12 years now, so I can tell you it’s wonderfully accessible! Anytime I have had a problem with my wheelchair, like running out of power because I stayed all day and all night and rounded the grounds three or four times or more—there has always been someone special to rescue me. From renting me a chair from your entrance providers, to allowing me to plug up my chair while I enjoy a meal in a tent or on restaurant row, to even helping me tow the disabled chair to the exit where my husband was escorted by police to drive right up to get me! North Carolinians are wonderful, caring people, and it shows at the State Fair! I have a great deal of fun at the Fair every year. I may mostly watch the grandkids and kids ride the rides, but I enjoy collecting all the stickers my jacket can hold! I eat pickles, hushpuppies, ice cream, corn dogs, roasted corn on the cob, deep fried oreos and funnel cakes of course. You have to take candy apples home. And, you have to come multiple days, because you’d get sick if you ate all that on one day! I play games,  cheer on piggies,  attend great concerts, and watch fireworks. Of course I always get over to see my favorite weather man/woman and newscasters! They feel like part of our family also! I never miss seeing the crafts, and the gardens, and I spend my share of money everywhere! We have to have sweatshirts, hats, wigs (purple), and Spiderman balloons! We take many, many pictures—like of Elvis hugging me and my grandson for instance! Now where else can you introduce your 4 year old grandson to Elvis Presley, let him watch him sing, then get a hug from the MAN himself! LOL!
As the fair fades off until next year, I try not to be sad, but to focus on the fun memories we’ve built as a family and with our friends. I have a blog now, so of course I’ll be writing about the
 fun. Check it out

I am the Queen of a Red Hat Society group in the area, named the Royal Red Divas. As well as posting to them, I can sometimes reach a thousand Red Hatters in the Triangle, and many more state wide and nationally. I also am active on facebook daily.

So, the three of us have many years experience, as North Carolina natives and from out of State, grandmother, mother, single young adult, and grandchildren (who may not be part of the team officially, but make us look good!)—all who share on blogs, in organizations and communities, facebook and other social media contacts..how could you ask for more than our team, the Deep Fried GRITS! Girls Raised In The South. Please choose us, we will do you proud!


Holshouser”, since we are kin to our former governor for whom your Village of Yesteryear building is named. )

Major outlets for promotion:

–Facebook, daily entries, multiples, three accounts plus family and group pages.

–Twitter @mamakat07

–Blog: https://heartofasouthernwoman.blogspot.com


–Triangle Mommies and The Mommies Network online forums

–Red Hat Society of North Carolina, national, state, and local chapter.

–You Tube, Ali has posted many times, Helen uses in blog, and Annie uses extensively for multiple reasons.

–NCSU Alumni Association, newsletters and online forums

–ASU Alumni Association, newsletters, and online forums

–Greensboro College AlumniAssociation, newsletters and online forums

And other organizations…

 So…what happened?  I’ll tell you in the next post!   Love you, Helen


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This was my big secret last Monday!

            Do you want to be part of the
         2012 NC State Fair Street Team?
Do I like ice cream? Deep fried snicker’s bars?

On Sunday, September 30, 2012, Annie, my younger daughter, brought a contest announcement to my attention, and wondered if I’d like to enter to be part of a team to be the “2012 NC State Fair Street Team”  basically reporting on the Fair in social media–what is going on, and how much they were enjoying  having fun at the Fair! I looked at the contest rules, and realized we had to write a response by 5:00pm the next day! Annie had already talked with her sister Ali, and they wanted me to join them for our three member team!  I was amazed and flattered! While we are close as mother and daughters, we’ve never worked together in this way, and its actually exciting to contemplate. It just so happens we also ALL love the Fair! I want to share with you all, what we responded too, how we responded, and the announcements that let us know we WON! We are all so excited, and I’m hoping you’ll join us, at the fair, here on the blog, and on facebook or tweeting with Ali , I’ll give you the links.  So here’s what Annie showed me after she and Ali had agreed to apply.


September 19, 2012By: Bearded Lady Category: 2012 N.C. State Fair

           For the past three years, we’ve selected one fair fanatic to serve as our Deep Fried Ambassador during the State Fair. These bloggers were amazing, and we thank them for adding a new perspective to the fair. This year, we’re opening up a few more spots.

We realize not all of our fans are bloggers. Some are really active on Twitter and Facebook. Others create their own food reviews on YouTube. And others are using new sites, such as Pinterest to share their interests with friends.

This year, we’re doing away with the Deep Fried Ambassador and introducing the State Fair Street Team. We’re looking for a trio of friends, family or co-workers to tackle the challenge of covering the fair. Read on for more details.

Here’s how it works:

  • Assemble your team of three. Teams can consist of family, friends, co-workers or even strangers, as long as they love the fair.
  • Come up with an awesome team name.
  • Once you have your team assembled and named, send us your team creed outlining:
    • Why you love the N.C. State Fair.
    • What you would cover if your team was selected.
    • How you would cover the fair (blog, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.)
    • Email your team creed to ncstatefair@gmail.com by Monday, Oct. 1, at 5 p.m.
    • We’ll pick a winner Tuesday, Oct. 2.

Winners will receive:

  • A Bumper Crop of Fun prize pack with T-shirts, posters and any other State Fair swag we can find in our office.
  • Each team member will receive a media badge and parking pass, giving them behind-the-scenes access to the N.C. State Fair.
  • Teams also will be invited to be honorary members of the Deep Fried Crew at the official Media Lunch at the N.C. State Fair, Monday, Oct. 8.

So, what are you waiting for? Assemble your team today!

Deep Fried blog

About the Deep Fried blog

Squealing, speed-racing pigs. Giant blue ribbon pumpkins. Old-fashioned Ferris wheel rides. And, of course, deep fried food on a stick.
Admit it, you’ve been counting down the days until the N.C. State Fair–and we have too. That’s why the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services started Deep Fried @ the N.C. State Fair, a blog dedicated to bringing you the inside scoop on what makes the State Fair come together every year. We’ll be your go-to guide during the fair as well, bringing you the tastiest foods, flashiest rides, newest exhibitions and coolest State Fair characters.
Join us on this wild ride behind-the-scenes of North Carolina’s biggest celebration of agriculture. Check out the fair website at www.ncstatefair.org for the latest info on entertainers, tickets and events, and we’ll see you there!


And so, we put our heads together and wrote our reply, which I’ll share with you in the next post!

Love you, Helen