Monday, July 28, 2008

Inspection: Passed

Fudge and Abigail have officially been allowed to enter the fair! Fudge weighed in at 213 lbs. and Abigail a hefty 225.


The pens are all fixed up and decorated:


Fudge and Abigail have been behaving well for us.


If all else fails we can auction off this group!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Fair is Coming!

We think this girl is ready:

To haul Fudge and Abigail to the fair:

Where if they don't get a ribbon this guy is gonna put up a stink:


We have all gained a new appreciation for what it takes to raise and train an animal to take to the fair. And it isn't just about what the animal looks like but how the child presents herself to the judges and public. We have clothes picked out with hair ribbons to match, an appointment with the amazing Mary to have her hair put into French braids, buyers letters to send to potential generous people that want some tasty bacon and a box full of all the necessities for show day.

Bring on those elephant ears!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blog-O-Rama

Carol found this mini Q&A when she was supposed to be working and tagged me to do it too. Even though I am not normally a participator I'll give it my best shot. I don't have anyone to tag except those that Carol already tagged so I'll be checking everyone else's progress when I'm done here!

Why did you start a blog?
The real honest to goodness reason is because I wanted to start writing again and I can't use a hard copy journal because my handwriting is terrible and I couldn't depend on our home computer to not crash and spew all of my data into lands unseen. Blogging made it easy to always have my stuff available. I have gone back and forth from being an open to the public blog to invited readers only.

Why do you continue to blog?
I don't really know. Most of the things I really want to blog about or put on a list to blog about don't even make it to my blog (too personal, too weird, too who gives a shit). I suppose it will be fun someday to look back at all this work and laugh at how important some things seemed or how difficult I thought life was when I'm sure I haven't even gotten a whiff of what difficult is. After all, imagine what this blog will be about when I have 4 teenagers in the house. I better go have a drink right now.

Do you have a blogmother/blogfather?
One of the first blogs I read regularly was Hugo Schwyzer and I don't even know how I found him. I have long since removed the link for him from my favorites as he got too preachy and professor like.

Any downside to blogging?
Finding the time to do it. I always have a good post idea when I am driving or running and then by the time I find an opportunity to sit and write about it the moment is gone. I hate that.

Do your "real world" friends know that you blog?
If you are really a friend in my real world then you know that I blog, if you don't know that I blog than you are not really a friend. Really.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Before, During and After





******************************************************************************************



Monday, July 21, 2008

Oh Honey, The Corn is Beautiful

There are two things men like to be complimented on: one is obvious and if I have to spell it out you should not be reading this blog, and the other is their crops.

My husband loves to hear that his crops are good, that he has done an excellent job of planting the seeds at the right depth, that he has properly applied the noxious chemicals to keep the bugs and weeds away, and that he has prayed successfully for rain. We are reaping the benefits of all the church going we have been doing this year! The corn is tall, very tall. So tall that if two pigs were to detour into it on their nightly walk it would be a hell of a good chase.


My view


Their view

Our pigs may not behave very well at the upcoming fair but if they have a vocabulary test as part of the proceedings they are sure to take first place. And I'm not talking about Mrs. A "Piece of Candy" worthy words, I'm talking about down-low and dirty words, like ones you would yell at two pigs as you are chasing them though a field of corn and praying that you don't lose them. Or worse yet, that they don't topple over from heat exhaustion and over-exertion and die before someone can bid on them at the fair.

They had a very clear advantage and were not being slapped in the face as they were running.

In hindsight I guess it was good practice for the upcoming race I'm entering. The bin is always half-full around these parts.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Things to Love

#1 That Runner's World told me to go ahead and eat that regular ice cream as a postrun treat because the full fat stuff provides 15 percent of the Daily Value for protein and calcium. It doesn't matter that the Graeter's Black Raspberry Chip I have been slowly savoring since Abby brought it to me for my birthday has 23 grams of fat in 1/2 cup, I'm building some strong bones with that stuff.



#2 The fact that I accidentally left for art class an entire hour early and was able to go to the farmers market and purchase the coffee mug that has been calling to me.


See the handy spot for my thumb?




#3 That even when the dog and cat aren't speaking to each other they can still sit near each other. I wish the kids would learn by this example. Or better yet, Vinnie and I.





#4 Art created by a young child that clearly expresses how I am feeling on some days.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Look Out Title Nine Models!

Photography courtesy of Mary:


A post race shot with my running partner. We ran a 23:14 and we were disappointed to find out there was no milk or ice cream at the finish line! It was 74 degrees and 100% humidity, ugh. Ice cream would have been wonderful.



After receiving a medal for first place in my age group.


And yes, there are cows on the t-shirt.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Come on coffee!

I got up at some ridiculous hour to get ready to run a race at the Elsie Dairy Festival where inevitably there will be some type of running cow on the race shirt. That is okay, I've had more bizarre shirts, like the one that was bright orange and said Run for the Booooooooooooooobies on it and had a rather large white ghost in the middle of it. In case you are slower than me and don't get it, it was an October race for breast cancer. I would still like to go to our local screen printer and ask who in the heck designed those. I am usually proud to wear my race shirts but that one is the pits (you can really only wear it in October), the race was the pits too-it was raining and the course was 3 times (yes, 3 times!) around the same course and for a 5k that is pretty boring. So, bad shirt, terrible course, crappy weather, the only saving grace was that we went out for coffee after and I didn't even feel guilty for not going home right away to the husband and kids (They are very capable of destroying the kitchen while whipping up their own pancakes).

So today I'll head off to the land of Mama Elsie wearing my black running skirt and spanking new shoes. The skirt is totally kosher and if you don't believe me just go check out the latest issue of Runner's World where they did a whole article and review of the new phenomena of wearing a skirt while running. The shoes however are going to shout out in many ways "First time racer!" But I had to do it, buy them that is, when the shoes I wear to chase pigs look better than my road running shoes it is difficult to deny that I need to ruin the budget, again. I figure maybe I'll fake a few fellow runners out as a non-competitor, I might even pin my number to the BACK of my shirt to really get them to believe it, and then run like the wind with my skirt flapping in their face as we approach the finish line.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A little etiquette, PLEASE

When I envisioned being a parent I always saw moments like those that are depicted in the Johnson and Johnson commercials about baby products. You know, the ones where it is all special and lovely, where the baby doesn't ever cry and always seems to be cooing or sleeping. After that stage I thought we would enter the land of fun and laughter, where the dad is grilling in the backyard and I'm juggling getting the rest of dinner ready while stopping to kick a soccer ball around with the kids. Or I'm sitting in the audience at a violin recital with my hands covering my mouth and trying not to cry at the sheer beauty of it all.

Reality is harsh.

My babies hardly cooed, the second one cried so much and was so demanding I thought I crossed the line into hell, sleep-what was that again?, grilling at our house consists of me alternately yelling at the kids to clean their crap off the kitchen table and telling the husband to stay FOCUSED (do you hear me honey? focus.) on the grill and keep his hands off the combine until after dinner. To put it bluntly, it is less than a picnic once you have kids.

It becomes even less intriguing when your kids leave the home nest and go out into society and find friends. I'm not talking about teenage kids and their friends, I'm talking about the younger set, the elementary aged set, the impressionable bunch, the ones that are just learning how to interact socially. These are the children that are looking to us to teach them how to behave in our culture. And although they won't admit to watching our every move-they are, all the time. As a parent I have realized that it is my JOB to provide proper cues and gentle criticism when appropriate.

Why other parents have not found this necessary confounds me.

For the past three days we have had a friend of my daughter's calling us at all hours. The first six times she called (on day 1) she did not leave a message and due to our faulty call-ID we just knew part of this phone number was continuing to call our house. She finally left a message for said daughter to call her back, which she did. The girl was not calling to set up a play date or for anything in particular, she was b-o-r-e-d and apparently rather than find an activity for her to do the parent in charge handed over a cell phone for her to amuse herself with. ALL DAY LONG. In fact, about five minutes after my daughter hung up the phone she called back again, for nothing. This morning she started early at 7:05.

This is where I assume that a conscious parent would step in and politely tell his daughter that leaving one message is appropriate and that her friend would call her back when she is available and then take away the phone. Take away the darn phone! I don't want to have to parent this girl, I should not have to answer the next call and tell her to stop. For Pete's Sake already!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A brief and bizarre conversation

Husband: Would you ever wear anything like that? (Pointing to the cover of the latest Title Nine catalog)

Me: Um, no.

Husband: Why not?

Me: I don't think I have a good enough body to pull that off.

Husband: What are you talking about? She looks just like you, look. (points to catalog)

Me: I don't think so.

Husband: (walking away) Do *lesbians* even wear bikinis?

Me: Huh?

*As I typed this I was wondering if this conversation really happened or did I just dream that my husband compared me to a Title Nine model. Or did he just call me a *lesbian*?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

180 & 190 (pounds that is)

Looks like the piggies are gonna make it to the fair! This a relief as I do not know what we would do if they didn't make weight (they have to weigh at least 210 lbs. and not more than 290 lbs.) and we had to haul them to be butchered ourselves. I like the idea of them laying comfortably in their pen at the fair and not squealing in the back of a trailer. As much as they are consuming my sanity I'm positive I will have a tear or two in my eye when it is time to say goodbye.

The past two months have been an experience like no other and I would have to say that as a young adult I never imagined that a rough day at the "office" would include having to walk pigs (really we chase them while trying not to get pooped on)! Who the hell does this city girl think she is trying to get these pigs to mind her? And I thought getting the children to follow directions was a challenge...

We take them to market, oops I mean the fair, on July 28th and will spend that week mingling with the other fair folks, eating elephant ears and scrubbing dust from our bodies each night. Somehow I think it is going to creep up on us real soon.