Friday, June 24, 2011

Junior 4H Fair and another Rural Saturday

The county Junior 4H fair was held last weekend at the Lion's Club grounds and we helped set up, I got to spread water on the arena with the fire department tanker, Holly and Judy worked the concession stand and baked pies, and we had a good time as usual. One thing that struck us is that we so wish we could have had the resources and ability to live like this when our own kids were young. Watching the kids show their animals really made us wish for a redo in some ways...I mean at one point we watched these little girls (probably Jr High age) ride their horses in the arena and they just had such a great happiness that is so often lacking in kids now days (yea I know we sound old). We called favorite daughter Jennifer and told her that if she and Steve moved down here we would buy her a pony. We also helped our friend Ed who has Percheron draft horses set up for the draft horse obstacle course. This is where teams of draft horses pull a sled with a kid on the back who has to go through several stations that involve feeding the hogs, watering the livestock, riding a stick pony around barrels and finally grabbing a goat and riding across the finish line...all for time. It may not sound like much to some but it was just...right.

Horses are big around here and lots of people have them and the use of wagons, buggies, and horse drawn farming implements is not uncommon.....and its not just the Amish. This is also the kind of place where kids say yes sir or no ma'am and the pledge of allegiance includes "one nation under god" and events start with a prayer. Regardless of your beliefs its hard to find that objectionable and we like it just fine.

Its not uncommon around here to come up on an Amish family in a buggy and you have to really watch out. This buggy driver wasnt Amish but we enjoy all the horse drawn buggies and equipment around here and lots of places have hitching posts for horses.

The Junior 4H Fair had lots of good looking animals and this Billy Goat was a fine looking fella...goats are next on our addition list for the farm but we are thinking no Billys..

Everyone here has chickens and they provide meat, eggs, and the ever important elimination of ticks. If you havent had a fresh free range chicken egg (not the questionable free range tag at the grocery) you are missing out. We have out chicken coop all planned out and are just awaiting the completion of some changes to our septic system to build a coop and begin our flock.

I doubt we will get sheep as we are more cattle oriented but these were some beautiful sheep and I have to confess I liked them.

This is pickup and stock trailer country and as we took this picture we could hear the various animals, we could smell the hay and the manure and feel the heat beating down. Its hard to describe the peace that something like that imparts but it just reaches something elemental inside us and we walked around holding hands and just enjoyed the day.

Of course we like cattle and there were some good looking beef and dairy cows present for the fair. We think ours look better but we are too old to participate...but we would have won.....

Our friend Ed (and my ambulance crew partner) has a couple of teams of beautiful Percheron draft horses (if you dont know what they are think Clydsdales without the hairy feet...really big) and a huge heart and he directs a draft team competition at the fair each year. The treamsters love it and the kids have a blast. Here he is explaining the course to the teamsters and kids who will be competing.

They go through poles and get deducted time if they hit one, the kids have to hop off the sled and move two bales of hay....

ride a stick pony around several barrels....

hold on for dear life when the teams get going....

and the in the finale' grap a goat, get him onto the sled and ride to the finish line.

And that night we harvested a few onions...the first of the season

And then we relaxed with a few hairy friends. They dont understand that dogs and cats arent supposed to get along!

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