Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When it rains...

You know how it is. We just came off a week at the fair, with LOTS of interesting things to talk about and all I can obsess on is what went wrong when we got back.

I promise a post about the fair, but first, a few woes of the farm.

On Monday, I noticed my husband's car (an old Escort wagon that Kelly uses often) at his mother's house, yet he was at home. I asked what was going on. He said the Escort blew up. Of course, I didn't believe him entirely. He took it to Scotty's to have it checked out. Yep, blew up. Doesn't work. Something in the bottom of the engine broke. Will look for a replacement engine, but it's really hard to say. What does this mean?

Well, if he cannot find a replacement engine, we will have to buy yet ANOTHER vehicle, since Kelly is commuting to college starting in a mere TWO WEEKS! She goes to Jump Start next week. I hope she likes it.

What else could happen, you ask? How about a refrigerator that doesn't work. Yes, that's right. My tried and true, close to 20 year old fridge gave up. Kelly was running groceries up to her Grandmother's house to keep them cool until we can get another. OMG! She said she found some really disgusting stuff in the back of the fridge. Some things she could not identify.

I thought I got all the 'really icky stuff' cleaned out before fair, but apparently not.

Ah, well. Off to a football meeting! We should have a great year. GO JETS!

Oops, sorry.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My favorite summer memories

For our Summer of Yarn Love swap contest, we are to blog about our favorite summer memories. Let me say, I love summer. Of course, I also love spring, fall and winter.

Summer holds some wonderful memories. As a teen, I was in 4H and showed lambs. Each year, we would choose two to three lambs each (with three of us, that's a lot of lambs) and raise them to show at the fair.

Once, for showmanship, we were told to move to the next lamb over. This is to see how we react to a new animal. One whose temperment we did not know. There was my sister and I competing and when this happened, there was a young FFA student next to my sister. He took her lamb, who was kind of skittish. Her lamb took off like lightning. At the time, the show arena was open and we chased the lamb all over the fairgrounds.

Of course, now my children show cattle in FFA and 4H. Every year we have a great time. It's like a great big family reunion. You see people that you only see at the fair. We all work hard and play hard.

There is Donna, Carol, Patty and all the people who work in the Arts & Crafts building. They are funny, caring and wonderful people to know. We sit as we man our shift in the department and talk about what all has happened, what is going to happen, what is we've done, what we hope to do.

There are the 4H people. We set our pens up for the calves the Wednesday before the fair starts. We all have fun working together to make the area look great. Kids, parents, everyone. We work the ice cream tent for a fundraiser. We set up our 4H booth for the miscellaneous projects on Friday. Lots of fun and creativity go into that.

The FFA people are the 4H people in high school. Many of the same kids we have in our FFA chapter started in 4H. Some are still in 4H. They are funny interesting and self sufficient.

We walk around all day, every day for 8 days, talking to everyone we see, eating funnel cakes, sweet corn, pork chops, salads, giant baked potatoes with butter, cheese and bacon.

We don't worry about work, that will wait. We enjoy everyone's successes and mourn the sale of the animals, knowing they are going to be on someone's table in the next month.

Then, just when you think it's all over, there is the pig and calf scramble. Twenty boys for the calf scramble, twenty girls for the pig scramble, lots of mud, half as many animals as kids, and half come off the track with animals. Last year, of the 10 boys who got steers, 9 are in our FFA chapter!

So, I guess that county fair is my favorite summer memory.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Duck Tales

OK, so as you may or may not know, Ethan raises ducks for FFA. They are cute as can be as the photo shows. I like ducks. You don't have to do much, there's not much cost involved and you can carry them, when necessary.

The ducks are a lot larger now than this photo taken a mere two weeks ago. They are all white and weigh between 5 and 8 lbs. each. They do not bite because they are handled daily. But Duck Wrangling is my new past time. Why?

Well, last night there were a series of BAD storms coming through our area. Ethan left for football conditioning at 5, before the storms moved in. I stopped for gas on the way home and noticed the first storm rolling in. Called home to see if Kelly would put the ducks in the garage in the kennel. A dog kennel works really well for overnight protection for ducks (for those considering this). Kelly is totally grossed out about touching the ducks so I told her I would take care of them when I got home.

On the way home, I kept hoping, praying the rain would hold off...just a little while.... but NOOOOO! I got about 2 miles from home when the first drops hit the windshield. By the time I got to the corner of Villa and Derr, I had to wind up my windows. By the time I got to Villa and Rt. 4, it was raining buckets.

So here I am in my work clothes, running down the hill, grabbing a duck and running back up the hill to put them in the garage! In sandals! In the pouring rain! With lightning! Did I tell you about the lightning? It was everywhere. I was just hoping we wouldn't get hit.

By the time I got all three in the garage, I was soaked to the bone. Of course, it being Tuesday, my mom came by to pick me up for bowling. I stood in the rain and told her I would be ready as soon as I changed clothes. She thought it was most amusing.

Oh, and why did I only bring 3 in when there are 6 in the photo. I know, inquiring minds want to know.

About a week ago, it was 10 before Ethan got his ducks in the garage. Kelly told him the ducks were making a lot of noise, but by the time he got to them one was dead and another dying. We think it was a fox or a raccoon. The third went home with another FFA student whose ducks met a similar demise.

Will let you in on my theory. There are 172 students showing ducks at the fair in FFA and 4H this year. I believe the sales committee is trying to eliminate some so there aren't as many.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Swap box photo

OK, so I finally got a photo I could use.

Anyway, my Summer of Yarn Love secret swapper was SOOO good to me. This is evidenced in the ooohs and aaahs of co-workers, also yarn lovers (one knitter and one crocheter!)

So, here is the photo:

In case you cannot tell what all is there, here is a list:

Two, count them two, wonderful wash rags. I love these. They are great for dishes OR and this is my personal favorite, great as face rags. Bumpy enough to gently exfoliate, soft enough to want to use.

One set of size 6 wooden needles. I love wood and prefer it to metal. Thank you swap friend.

One set of little lamb stitch markers that I am going to have to hide from my daughter, a fellow knitter.

Notecards. I love good notecards and think the written word is sorely going away.

Cologne. Yummy.

Christmas ornaments. How did (s)he know I collect Christmas ornaments?

A candle that made the whole box smell wonderful. I close and open the box just to get the smell over again.

And the piece de resistance: 4 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. Wonderfully soft and I cannot find it locally, so I was hesitant. I am a tactile buyer, but will definitely consider this for my stash! I love to pet it. And the colors are so pretty... two shades of green... now... what to create.... hmmm.....


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Swap box and raspberries

Woo Hoo! My swap box arrived! It is glorious and actually arrived last week. I am just a terrible blogger.

I will post photos tomorrow, as I don't have my car or camera today.

Things are so busy with our farm right now. Fair is coming up in 18 short days. The black raspberries are in full swing and life is busy.

We have been so busy getting ready for the fair. I am working on some open class projects, Kelly and Baylor are finishing 4H projects, the ducks are getting big, the steers have really long hair! Nothing beats going to the fair.

Black raspberries are really good this year. My FIL planted a few plants about 20 years ago. He died about 10 years ago and no one has really done anything with the orchard and the berries since. The berries grow wild though the orchard and anywhere else they can take root. Baylor and I picked about 10 pounds of berries on Sunday. There are still tons on the vine waiting to ripen.

It's always interesting to pick berries, though. They are in the trees, along the fencerows, everywhere. And the paths to the berries have to be made as you find them. It's a lot of good exercise, bending stretching, climbing. Even though I were jeans and a long sleeve denim shirt, I am covered in scratches and bug bites. But the berries are SOOO good.

We have several loads of hay paid for and that is always good. I have already started shopping for my next box, stopping at several shops in Columbus, looking for just the right things.

Well, more tomorrow.