Saturday (Aug. 14) - I woke up early and went to Coldwater with a friend so do chores and get some last minute pictures printed off. I got home around 9:30 and the family was loading all of the craft/baking/etc. exhibits into the van. I gathered all of mine (on a neat little pile in my room all ready to go, I was so happy with myself :D *pats self on back) and we were off! I brought my photography exhibits, writing, goat educational exhibit, hog market records, and starter calf market records. My main photography exhibit went best of class (best of all 2nd year exhibits) and one of the 5 individual 8x10 photos did as well! I was pretty happy with that! My educational exhibit when best of class (probably because it was the only one......blah do I feel happy or what???? Neither of my market records did anything great or grand but they both got an A award so can't complain too much. :D Anyway....I left at 2:45 and headed to Branch County again where I competed in a livestock judging contest. I went 2nd overall (beat by one of my teammates). I did chores and then went home to get a few things ready for the following day, then went BACK to Branch where we loaded up the girls, cleaned pens and cleared out of that fair. Made it home late and got the last minute things around for Sunday.
Sunday (Aug. 15) - We left with the goats around 8:00 and had everyone unloaded and settled in by 9:00. We only brought around 13 so it was a nice easy number to handle. We came back home and ate a wonderful breakfast of pancakes and then after packing the last of the clothes and needed items of the week we loaded up the hogs (after some last minute clipping!) and my starter calf and we were headed off the fair! After unloading them, Abigail and I took a few of the younger ones to go watch the Fair Queen contest. Yes, there were no guys that ran this year so the queen was crowned alone. :/ Lame huh? :D Anyway....after watching that we found some friends and hung out for the afternoon, did chores and got our does ready for the show (which was Monday). I also helped a few 4H members get their animals clipped up and last minute prep things around. Went to bed kinda early so that we could get up on time for the show the next day.
My starter calf is on the far right
Monday (Aug. 16) - Abigail and I were up early to get the girls all ready, do other chores and get our hogs weighed in. I was worried mine wouldn't make weight so I beefed them up on milk and whatever else they would eat and they tipped the scales at 220 and 229 (min. weight was 220!!!!!). Whew, just barely. After seeing that done I hurried over to our camper for a bite to eat and changed into show clothes. We changed up the schedule a little bit and did all of the dairy breed classes first. After all of those were done we went into showmanship. Abigail won her age division and I won mine. As soon as I was done with my age division I had to go show my starter calf which a few dear friends had saved the day and gotten him all ready for me. So there I went in my show whites to show a STARTER CALF of all things! I was rather upset that it had to be so rushed but whatever. I didn't make the cut in showmanship, but that was okay. :) The judge said I still did very well for my first year. Anyway.....I got back to the goat show where we did overall showmanship. I won.....but barely. I'll have to work to keep this up. Note: Goats have 4 stomachs, the ruman, reticulum, abomasum and omasum. :) So after the goat show I went and chilled for about 3.7 minutes and changed into real starter calf show clothes. I then showed him in his market class where he placed.....4th or 5th. Can't remember. :P Then for the rest of that blessed day I didn't do much. Just hung out with friends and walked around the fair not doing much except talking. :)
Tuesday (Aug. 17) - We slept in and then did chores. From 10-noon Elizabeth and I had barn duty and we got the barn swept out and then she went with Dad to go watch Rachel show Buster and go around barns getting free stuff (it was kids day). I sat there in front of the barn for an hour with nothing to do but a few kids rescued me and after I got off barn duty we hung out for a while. I watched some friends show sheep, and then walked around and watched a frog jumping contest with Johnny. Around 3:00 I went to go watch Rachel but they weren't doing anything thrilling and since I was exhausted after a while, Abigail and I went back to the camper and took a nap. Then she and I went to wash our hogs for showmanship!!! We changed and then watched the little ones (Elizabeth, Johnny and Ben) show hogs in the peewee division. So cute! Abigail was in the first division of Intermediates (that age division went first so the order was Intermediates, Junior, Senior) and unfortunantly didn't make the cut. :/ Oh well, I thought she did quite well for her first attempt. :) Her hog worked VERY well with her. I didn't show until 8:30ish and I MADE THE CUT!!! Okay, so was my goal of the year. :) In the final drive for seniors there were around 12 kids. My hog was being a real problem. He was very knowledgeable of where the OUT gate was and pretty much that's where he wanted to be. However, I got him on a different route and he started working with me. We ended up 5th overall! I was STOKED! Anyway, huge day for me. :)
Wednesday (Aug. 18) - Abigail and I were up again early so as to get all of our chores done before the hogs show at 9:00. I was in the first class of market pens and with Abigail's help we placed 4th! This was my first year showing a pen and it was a new and fun experience. Later on I helped a friend show his pen. It wasn't until several hours later that we showed individuals. Mine placed 4th, Abigail's placed 8th. A few of us sat and watched the individual hog show and saw the results. What amazing hogs there are out there! Wowweee!!! Heavy boned, wide based, heavy structured, heavy, heavy muscled, and yet easy on the move. After watching the Grand/Reserve Individuals we headed back to the camper to prepare the meal for the small animal auction. I helped cut up a good couple hundred goat meat sticks. :) Then I went to go get my starter calf all cleaned up so he would be presentable at the auction. The auction started at 6:00 but I didn't sell until probably 7:30 or so. I helped with some of the goat sale things after I sold and then a whole bunch of us walked around until we could get into the grandstand free to watch the truck pulls. :) We stayed up kinda late but it was a fun night.
Thursday (Aug. 19) - This was the day I had nothing to show but found myself busy all day. :) I woke up kinda late and did chores by myself. Abigail and I then had barn duty from 11:00 - 1:00 in the hog barn. I arrived a few minutes early and found a few other people with special instructions. We were busy most of the time sweeping, scooping out old shavings, playing cards, sweeping, playing some more cards and chatting with friends. :) Pretty intense. Anyway.....I had a one hour break where I went around finding out how to show different animals. We covered dogs, rabbits, poultry and cavy (yes that is guinea pigs...). I then headed back to a long 2 1/2 hour barn duty in the starter calf barn. There were two of us on barn duty but it was a friend so we occasionally swept the barn, mostly played cards and talked, and once in a while showed kids how to show calves (for show of champs). 4:30 took a LONG time to come around but we made it. :) Abigail and I then headed to do chores and eat some supper before 6:30 then headed to get our "pit crew" passes and our "Myer's Mayhem" t-shirts for the combine derby. She and I had fun hanging out with friends, watching Erik and Mrs. Myers compete in the derby (and both win their heats!) and finding out what the pit crew does. Okay, so I didn't help too much. :D Anyway, probably one of my fav. nights at the fair. The combine derby ROCKS! :)
Friday (Aug. 20) - Large Animal Auction day. The auction started at 11:00 and other than chores, we didn't do too much in the morning. We cleaned up our animals and made sure they were all looking good for the auction, ate a good breakfast, took a shower, you know, all the normal stuff. Even though the auctions started at 11:00, I didn't sell until nearly 1:30 so I just watched animals sell, hung out with friends, walked around and talked to a guy running for our state rep. (62nd district) and offered my services (more on this coming....). I FINALLY sold and my hogs went for $1.75 a pound (thank you to my buyer :)). After selling I went to help for well over an hour serving potato salad at the meal served to bidders. I love helping out, but it's much more fun when I do it with someone I know and I was standing next to a lady who was visiting with the lady on her other side the entire time. Okay....kinda boring. :p Anyway, after all that I went around figuring out how to show other animals such as halter horses, miniature horses, draft horses, dairy, and beef breeding. I watched other animals sell and helped do chores ( Abigail and I let little children milk the goats by hand and gave out "I milked a dairy goat" ribbons to those who succeeded with the milking). Around 7:00 we all headed over to the camper to eat a wonderful meal of hamburgers and all the fixin's. At 8:00 a few friends joined us to give Abigail a gift of several hundred dollars that many friends and family had donated to help cover the loss of her steer. Then two friends and I headed over to the Republican booth to talk to the guy running for state rep (same one mentioned earlier), however he wasn't there. Ok, quick funny story. We meandered over to the Democrat booth and were looking at all of the pins that they had displayed. We couldn't help but laugh at some of them and one person in our group picked one up planning to take home. He then realized that they cost money so he put it back. Meanwhile we decided to go back to the Republican booth so we started off in that direction when the lady sitting at the Democrat booth comes up right behind us and says "you know these pins cost money". We're all like "yyyeeeaaahhh.....???" She said "we don't have much money and I don't appreciate people trying to steal from us." We were all like "yeah that makes sense....". We kinda turn to walk away and she says "young man, please put back the pin." He kinda looks confused. "I saw you take that pin, it's in your left hand." He slowly points to the pin he had put back several minutes earlier. "Oh, ok. Well those cost money and our party doesn't have much money" and blah blah blah. We three turned outta there and were busting up laughing before you could say scat. I told the other two that if the lady was trying to win any votes, it wasn't working too well. :D Anyway, we went back to the Republican booth and chatted with the VERY NICE gentlemen there. Then we cleaned out some steer stalls, took care of some other chores, went through the horse barn, talked forever about everything under the sun, visited a friend's camper, saw a house fire right next to the fairgrounds (very interesting as I have never seen a house fire!) and made it back to my camper at 11:30. Fun fun! Probably another of my fav. nights.
Saturday (Aug. 21) - Last full day of fair. Everyone is slow in the morning, we all woke up late. Several people brought tack home and other unnecessary items. I cleaned out a few pens and did several other things so that we would be all ready to pack up and leave. I didn't really have breakfast and the time went quickly. I didn't get done with chores until around 11:00. I got my thank yous in to my 4H leaders, then went to go get ready for Show of Champs which started at noon. Amidst a rainy drizzle Abigail, the beginner showman, and I headed to the show arena for one of the biggest events of the week. :) We had to begin with showing goats, then went to sheep, draft horses, halter horses, beef steers, beef breeding, hogs, starter calves, dairy, dogs, poultry, cavy, rabbits, and miniature horses. After waiting FOREVER while the results were coming in, all of the contestants were called out to the middle of the arena. After introducing everyone to the audience, the beginner results were announced. Then the Intermediate. Abigail didn't get Reserve....but got Grand!!!!!! Go Abigail! Then the senior....I ended up with Reserve! I was stoked! What a great way to end our showing of the year! After getting done, Abigail and I went to get our premium checks, then watched the General Market Project auction. We knew a few kids selling items, as well as the auctioneer....a newly graduated auctioneer. This was his first auction and it was fun to listen. :) After watching the auction we went with friends to go look at some of the derby cars and paint our names on the trucks of the truck derby boys. After that, I did chores and got a few seats saved for the derby. About 10 of us all sat together and watched the derby....how awesome! It was a blast! At the end of the derby we watched the AwEsOmE fireworks. The fairground never disappoints me with the fireworks display and this year was no exception. We then went on some rides and ate some fair food right before everything shut down for the last evening. After walking around with friends, we sat by our camper talking with some other kids until about 1:30 A.M. Abigail and I finally fell asleep with that melancholy, exhausted feeling that always comes at the end of fair week.
Sunday morning we were up at 6:00 tearing down pens, cleaning barns and taking everything home. What a wonder to be home after being at the fairgrounds the whole week!
The last few weeks have been full of cleaning, canning, freezing, camping, working, chillin', and cleaning some more. :) Now with just a few days before school, life is about to settle down into a normal routine and I'm kinda looking forward to it. More news to come soon....but for now I'm going to attempt just getting this crazy book of a post up. :)
Have a great wonderful day!