Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lessons Learned at the County Fair

I am so far behind! It has been so long since I lasted posted, I had to go back and reread what I had written to refresh my memory! Every once in a while something comes along & I think, "Hey, I need to blog about this when I get a minute." Sadly, there haven't been enough of those minutes lately!

We have been having a very busy summer. We were gone for a week in June to Texas for Kent's sister's high school graduation. We had a great time exploring the Dallas/Fort Worth area and spending time w/ family and friends. A week or so after we got back, we found out that we are expecting another little boy! Jaxon is soooooo excited and can't wait to meet his little brother! And then began the preparation for Jaxon's first trip to the county fair.

I really shouldn't give myself that much credit! We only began preparing about a week before the fair started! But when it's 115 out and you are working w/ someone who has the attention span of a gnat... a week is a long time! We began our preparation by picking out a small, female, bucket calf. This process was really pretty simple. I based my pick totally on cuteness and Uncle Tony got stuck lassoing the poor animal! We then drug her out of her comfort zone into the front yard at Uncle Micah's house.

It'd been about 17 years since I'd shown a heifer at the fair. Things had changed but the one thing that stayed the same was the sheer frustration of halter breaking a small calf! After a day of working w/ "Nettie", (who Jaxon affectionately named all on his own), I knew we needed to get this little lady away from Uncle Micah's and back to our own place. Jaxon was more interested in what my brothers were up to then anything else that day and he asked a handful of times if he could go watch Uncle Micah's TV!

After our dinner break I decided it'd be a good time to give little "Nettie" a bath. This was something that Jaxon could really get into and it helped to cool us all off a bit. This became Jaxon's favorite part of fair preparation and I think we may have had the cleanest calf at the fair! We brought "Nettie" home that first night and spent the whole week leading her around our yard. She went to the clothes line w/ us, played in the dirt w/ Jaxon, got to go to the mailbox a few times and slowly became very well adjusted to becoming our little project pet!

The day had finally come for us to take "Nettie" to the fair. Jaxon was so excited, he couldn't wait to get up there to the "Vet", (he thinks everything in Washington is the Vet Clinic), even now he still refers to the fair as the "vet". Anyway, we loaded up the calf and all her belongings and headed up for a week of fun at the fair! Over the course of a week we made several trips back and forth feeding, watering and of course bathing "Nettie" in preparation for the big show. Jaxon made some new friends who he spent hours farming in the dirt w/. When I asked him what his favorite part of the fair was he responded w/... "playing in the dirt!"

On the day of the big show we woke up extra early and headed up to get "Nettie" all ready. We had her looking spotless just to find out that the show started an hour later then we thought. I changed Jaxon out of his white polo back into his play clothes and let him run around a bit before we herded him and "Nettie" into the ring. They were the first pair to head in. I nervously forgot to turn my video camera on when the show started and missed all 5 minutes of his first time showing at the fair! (I cried for almost an hour the next day when I discovered this!!!)

Jaxon was rewarded with a blue ribbon, a ten dollar check from the Washington Co. Dairy fund and a free ice cream cone! What an exciting time! When I told Jaxon that we were going to be bringing "Nettie" home from the fair in a few days, he cried! He had had such an amazing time he didn't want to leave. We plan to continue participating w/ the Dairy Show from here on out. Jaxon still has a few years before he can be in 4-H but Open Class is a great learning experience for us all. Kent has big plans for our future at the fair, he'd like to have a show box made for our boys and nieces & nephews to share. And next year he plans to use his week of vacation on the fair!

1 comment:

Ann said...

So glad your back!! I missed you blogging!! Jaxon's looks like such a big boy in that picutre!! How fun!