Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fair Week

This last week was a hot one.  I wish they would move our fair forward a few weeks until the weather cools off, but I suppose September isn't a guarantee against a heat wave.  So, we spent our week outdoors sweating, and enjoying the flies.  By Saturday, I think every fly in the town had told nine or ten neighboring friends about the influx of animals, and we had a swarm.  It was gross.

Tuesday we packed Willie up for the fair.
 Wednesday morning the other animals arrived for weigh-in.  I brought the kids down with me at noon for a picnic and we stayed for Livestock Judging.

While Emma was off doing judging, I was hanging out in our 4-H cabana (we had a canvas roof, a couple of camp chairs, and a cooler), and my cell phone beeped at me.  I had really lousy reception at the fair grounds all week, but in a moment of signal, my phone had a voicemail message for me.  I checked, and it was my father-in-law.  He said, "You guys don't seem to be home, so I guess that means you are at the fair grounds.  I'll come find you."

Um, how did I miss that my father-in-law was coming?  Pictures of my house flashed through my mind, and it wasn't pretty.  But at that point, all you can do is laugh.  As I sought out Ryan ("How did we miss that memo???"), Rick arrived.

Hey, at least I had put clean sheets on our spare room bed the day before.  Woo.  Go me.

I left the fair with the twins a little early to go pick up pizza from Papa Murphys (and to quickly pick up the worst of the mess).  When everyone else arrived a half hour later to the smell of waiting pizza, I could pretend my house isn't always in a state of disarray.

Thursday's swine showing started at 7 am.  I trust you will all be impressed that I made it there with the kids in time.

 Willie was a pretty good lookin' pig.  He won Champion in his weight class.  Emma was delighted with her purple Champion ribbon.
Grandpa spent the day at the fair with us.  As another Ag Teacher, he stepped right in and helped with the shows.  The fact that he would be moving closer in a couple of weeks and knows the other Ag Teachers was in his favor.  His new school won't be in our county, but he'll be pretty close.  Ryan stayed plenty busy being the sheep superintendent (the dude in charge of the sheep).  
 Thursday evening after dinner we got to go back for the championship round.  Emma didn't win grand champion, and was bummed out.  (Willie had a nice "finish," but was on the lighter side of the scale.  The judge chose a pig quite a bit heavier.)

Friday morning saw us back at the fair.  I was there by 7:30, and had been beaten by Kim, who had left at 3:30 am to be there for Fitting and Showing.  (I had been originally expecting Rick and Kim at this time...)  As I was settling the kids in and saying hi, I overheard that Caitlin and her girls were also en route.  (Seriously, I missed another memo?  Gee whiz.  Somewhere between Ryan doing his masters degree school work, and all the fair stuff, maybe didn't quite pass along that communication?)

Emma got another blue ribbon for Fitting and Showing.  The pigs were all fairly grumpy and uncooperative.  The pig boards came many times over the course of the morning to break up pig fights.  Willie was more interested in finding a place to lay down than fighting, most of the time.
 We came home by lunch time.  I haven't been grocery shopping in over a week, so.... peanut butter sandwiches and canned peaches and pears for lunch it was.

Rick spent the day getting ready for his fair next week with his new school, but was back for dinner.  Caitlin had taken Kim out to go get a birthday cake and do some errands, while the cousins were all hard at work carrying the toys to the far reaches of the house.  (This is the only downside to having a big house.  There are so many more places to stash toys.)

We got to celebrate Kim's birthday.  Luckily I still had birthday candles stashed in the cupboard.
Walmart's bakery lived up to my expectations.  Supposedly this was written by the head of the bakery department.  I asked why in the world they had gone to Walmart.  I'm sure we've explained our impressions of the store, and we have two other grocery stores in town.

Caitlin and her girls left after dinner, and Rick and Kim turned into pumpkins soon after.  Kim was understandably tired from her early morning.

Saturday was the livestock sale.  Emma was #24, so the girls and I didn't have to stay the whole day like last year.  Her pig was bought by our dentist, for $2.50/lb.  Having not grown up with 4-H or any of this, I'm so impressed with how the community supports the fair and the kids who show.  Most of the people working the show are all volunteers (Ryan included), and then the community shows up to buy the kids' projects.  It is amazing, and we are thankful.

Rick and Kim left right after Emma's pig sold, but the girls and I hung out for the exhibitor and buyer's bbq lunch.  Ryan made it home several hours later, only to head back at 5:30 am this morning to see the animals off, and clean up.  He made it to church for the last hour.

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