Thursday, September 23, 2010

My New Obsession....

...and after the summer we've's not a steer, or a calf... or a pig!

It's my soon to be new sweater!

I am lucky enough to be test-knitting this for Baby Cocktails, and I LOVE this sweater already. I cannot wait to be wearing it!

While it looks like I'm not very far into it, this picture was taken on Sunday afternoon....after just a little over an hour of knitting on both Saturday and Sunday.

On size 8 needles, it's flying right along.....I'm about 8 inches up the back, just a few more to go! I think all sweaters need to be knit on size 7 or larger needles.....

And yes, I can't believe I've managed 2 posts in as many days. Things have REALLY slowed down here now that the fair is over. And it helps that Jessie has "realized" that the more she is around her calves, the better they are. So her and Tyler have been doing all the feeding and cleaning out in the barn....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wayne County review

Wow. That is all I can say about our County Fair this year. It was tough.

There were some fantastic steers in the show on Saturday. So we were thrilled with 2nd in her market class. And can I just ask how she can look so incredibly old while she is showing her steer? Is it the hair do (which took 2 girls almost an hour to curl it all)? Is is that she has worked with him so much that she is just comfortable with him?

This picture kind of reminds me of this one.

Showmanship class was so thrilling. She got a huge plaque to hang above her steer, but we had to return it to the fairboard on Thursday. I offered to pay for a new one to be made so that we could keep it....but no go.

All that hard work really paid off with Punx.

We just won't talk about when we sold him. The 5 of us couldn't take it. Still can't really......but that's ok cause our vet brought him, and he had to rush out of there after seeing us adults standing there while she sold her steer and we all were crying and he started crying.

If you had told me 10 years ago I would get attached to a steer, I'd have been rolling on the floor laughing.

Hamilton made it in to the fair with 5 lbs to spare.

There's Jessie in her orange shirt (that I made her) in showmanship. She was convinced it was her "lucky shirt". It certainly stood out in the ring!

She ended up with a 2nd in showmanship. The judge had it narrowed down to her and another boy, but Jessie's pig ran out of steam and wouldn't go down the fence - he liked to be out in the open. And when the judge stands in the corner of the ring 2 feet away from the fence with his back to you and wants you to get down there as fast as you can to get in front of him and your pig doesn't want to go near the fence, it's a problem.

But I'll take a 2nd in showmanship and a 3rd in her market class.

Because that just means she doesn't have to go back in for the Championship Drive and can instead run as fast as she can down to the beef ring to show her heifer. And win her age class so she can go back in and win Grand Champion Shorthorn (out of 6 animals)....

And go back into the ring and win Reserve Champion Supreme Heifer overall (out of 7 breeds) and get a really cool trophy and director's chair!

Sorry, no picture of her with her trophy and chair, because she had to turn right around and go back into the ring with Huey:

And get a 2nd in her feeder calf class (out of 10)!

She did not show her last showmanship class. Both of her calves were tired and starting to not to stand and walk like they should. And it had been a long day as she started with showing her pig and then her heifer and then Huey.

But that's ok, cause it left time for fun stuff that we caught like this:

A 17 yr. old (Jason's niece) and a 10 yr. old doing some weird sort of head bobbing side-to-side thing.....

and you should NEVER bet a 17 year old a milk shake to go up and kiss a 13 year old boy on the cheek for getting reserve champion in his division. Todd learned his lesson on that one. Which he should have known as we've been hanging out with all these kids in various barns for the last month before the fair.....

Thursday after the sale, while waiting to load up at 10 p.m. and head for home, we went to the demo derby where Jason was entered.

He won his class and went back in for the final heat, where I think he placed 4th. I keep saying I want to have a car in the demo derby.....but no one has agreed with me yet!

And Tyler had his kiddie tractor pull on Sunday.

In his age division there were 57 kids. And he had a full pull and had to go back up against the other 5 boys that had full pulls. And he ended up 4th overall. I just noticed in looking at that picture the front tires are up off the ground. How cool is that?

He did complain for the next day or so that his legs were sore.....but he had a blast!

And when all else fails and you get tired you can always lean on Jason and take a nap. And yes, she was sleeping and slept this way for about 30 minutes. We thought she was faking it at first, until he went to prop her up and walk away she about landed in a heap on the floor if he hadn't been so quick to catch her.

Then we had to amuse ourselves with lifting her head up (or her arms) and watching them roll about like limp noodles. I told him to just wake her up....but he was too nice.....and stood there while she took a nap.

It's over, the animals are sold.....and will be in somebodies freezer before too long. We survived the tornado that passed just south of the fairgrounds during the beef sale and had a memorable week.

And now? It's onto next year. We are taking this week off, but next week will keep right on working with both heifers (a friends daughter showed our other heifer and won her class and got reserve champion crossbred heifer with her) and Huey, and next week we are traveling back to PA to pick out Jessie's next year steer prospect. She made enough money at the sale to hopefully buy a really good calf and put some money in her college fund......we brought Huey for her right before the fair so.....she will have her work cut out for her!

Have a good day


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Real Quick...

Jessie is still sleeping....guess these long nights are catching up with her.

She has has a FANTASTIC county fair this year.

With Punx:
2nd in her market class
Grand Champion Jr. Showmanship
"Pro Showmanship" - they take the winners from each age division (senior, intermediate, junior and beginner). She didn't "win" but the Judge told everyone in attendance that he could not place her as the winner due to her age and the fact that she has 8 years left of showing. IF she had won, she wouldn't be able to show in her age division EVER AGAIN. He did come up to us after the class and say he has never seen someone her age so good....she was definitely "with it" on Saturday.....

With Hamilton:
2nd in showmanship. Let's just say the Judge was sneaky and Hamilton ran out of steam after 20 minutes in the class.
3rd in Market Hog. There were some really, really, REALLY tough pigs in that show!

With Fancy (her black and white shorthorn heifer):
1st in the Shorthorn Jr. Calf class
Grand Champion Shorthorn Heifer
Reserve Champion Supreme Heifer overall

With Huey (the feeder calf):
2nd in his feeder calf class.

She did not show her 2nd showmanship class last night. She was getting tired and getting frustrated with Huey as he was being something of a butthead. We figured it was better off to skip it and have her fair end on a high note. Which in hindsight was a good thing - there was 27 kids in her Jr. Showmanship class. And Todd watched the class and there were calves going every which way - jumping, getting loose, etc.

We are going into the fair today. Let the kids have some fun, walk around as we haven't made it any further than the swine barn and the beef barn and take care of her animals. Tomorrow is the sale, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be rough! There have already been a few tears over having to sell these animals, and the request that we BUY them back so they can be pets (which can't be done and we wouldn't do in any case).

Have a good one!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I think she will have a rough time getting rid of him

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Second in her markey class and grand champ junior showman....not a bad day at all:)
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

50 hours.....give or take

That is how long we have to pull EVERYTHING together and get ourselves and these animals into the fair...

Punx walks like a champ - if we could only get him totally clipped! I've never seen such an idiot when the clippers get anywhere near his head or neck. He was clipped on Sunday night and Monday night. One more good night and his head will be done.....

Jessie is getting pretty good at blow drying all of these animals. And her heifer is really starting to come around for her and walk like she should.

And Hamilton the pig? He weighs 284 (max weight is 280) so we are hoping with some vigorous walking and washing and the trailer ride he SHOULD slide in at about 276. Friday night he weighed 289, so we are slowly getting there.

And yes, that is a marshmallow on the end of her whip. Amazing how far he will walk for a marshmallow.

Tonight Todd and Jessie are taking the camper into the fairgrounds while I take Tyler to football practice. Then we are going to a friends house to weigh their pigs and so Jessie can walk Huey one last time. Then it's home to weigh "Hamilton" and wash and walk him one last time.

Tomorrow night we are hauling the fan cage into the fair grounds and decorating our club's pens. Todd and I both have off on Thursday - I'm really hoping to get the grocery shopping done for the week and we will get the tack boxes and feed all packed up and make sure Hamilton is on track with his weight. Then while I pick the kids up at school, it will be one last weight check for Hamilton and our friend's pigs, and the first load will go to the fairgrounds about 4:30. I think they have to make 4 trips to get everyone into the fairgrounds this year......

And...I have to put the binding on the quilt I'm taking to the fair. It's all ready to go, it just needs sewn down so hopefully that can happen tonight as the quilt has to be in there tomorrow morning by 9. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, right?????

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Last year at the fair, Jessie was a little gun shy of her steer. And who wouldn't be - when you weigh 80 lbs. if you are lucky and your steer weighs 1400 lbs? This year, she has worked with her steer from the time he weighed about 450 lbs. And a turtle probably walks faster than he does....on a good day. On a bad day - he doesn't want to move. at all.

But she had some nerves earlier this summer as he got bigger. And Huey (her feeder calf) was a little rambunctious the first time she walked it.

But she has gone from this:

there ain't no way I am walking this calf by myself!!!

To this:

And then to this:

To this:

To this:

In the space of maybe 2 weeks. She has worked her butt off this summer. Poor Punx...he has been her "practice animal" but she has him to the point, she stops walking, and he places his feet right where they need to be.

Although it hasn't been all hard work around here:

Apparently the blower for the steers/calves can be used to create unique and unusual hairstyles as well:

Something tells me we may be having a little too much fun these late nights in the barn with friends and their kids who are showing also....but we aren't stopping the fun now! And we are planning a major cookout/party at the camper in between the steer show and the tractor pull on Saturday night. And another one Sunday night.....and Wednesday get the idea......

We have 7 days until we move into the Wayne County Fair. Everyone is walking (for the most part). This weekend we will spend packing the camper, packing the tack boxes, the usual "walk, rinse, dry, repeat" routine we've had with all 3 calves and Punx all summer long, and walking the pigs.

We are still in the air on which pig is going. It will all depend on what they all weigh next Thursday night when the trailer backs up to the barn doors....and on what our friends' pigs' weigh. We are "hoping and aiming for" that none of them are in the same weight class. We'll see how well we manage THAT one.

For today.....I have to go find some hot pink spray paint to "decorate" a derby car for the fair........he should NEVER tell another Mom, the 3 kids and I "sure....go ahead and decorate it....."

Have a good one!

PS - THANK YOU everyone for your suggestions on my quilt dilema. Let's just say I finally made contact with a couple of family members, and my quilt should be coming back to me unquilted by the end of the week. There were circumstances beyond the quilters control, for which I am truly thankful she is OK, but a phone call, email, text message from someone would have still been helpful. So if everything goes as it should, I should have my top back here within the next couple of days.....for which I am ever so thankful!