Monday, July 29, 2013

2013 County Fair

Reserve Grand Champion and itchy eyes. The aroma of manure coming from somewhere, clinging to something. Chickens back in their coop, a goat returned to his weed eating friends, and pigs on a truck heading to market.

My laundry hamper bulges and seems to plead, "Please empty me, I can't take it anymore."

The pick-up truck needs emptied. All things need returned to their proper place.

The van is dust coated and splotchy, it carries a hint of manure stuck on boots.

Quiet feels like a balm and I want to rub it into every part of me.

Today the air is cool, fresh. The trees are still. The wind is quiet.

County Fair is over and what a fair it was.

The kids wash and ready their livestock for their turn around the livestock ring.

Beautiful girls compete to be Fair Queen and our own lovely won Miss Congeniality. She got to meet some new girls, hand out ribbons at the various livestock shows, and wear her barn boots under her prom dress.

Time is spent in the swine barn. A lot of time.

Pigs need watered, fed and watered down. Farmer boy tries not to compare our pigs to the pens of other pigs but it is difficult.  "Who has the best pig," seems to hit you when you walk into the barn, almost like the smell of pig manure.

The chicken show. Answering the judge's questions. Will wins a purple ribbon.

Will won a red ribbon for his goat but I guess I was too busy watching the silly goat to take pictures. Morpheus the goat was near and dear to our hearts but he was tiny compared to the super goats at the fair. Oh well. We love you Morpheus.

Kelli's takes her last turn around the pig arena.

Her pigs simply didn't gain the way she would have liked. Apparently the judge didn't think they gained enough either. It was a difficult way to end her pig showing career but she scored some money from her grandpa for the ribbon auction and that helped get her through the disappointment.

Lizzy takes her first turn around the pig arena.

She chose to show through her FFA (Future Farmer's of America) chapter at school rather than 4H.

Rhino the pig won Reserve Grand Champion which is like saying he took second place. I guess if the Grand Champion in any way couldn't perform his duties, Rhino would step in and take over.

Rhino was a very fat, very pretty pig.

Do you want to know the secret of putting weight on a pig?

Cake batter.

I'd really like you to think about that for a minute.

All good things must end.

Kelli says goodbye to a dear friend who has shown pigs with her over the years.

Lizzy power washes the pig feeders and both the stalls of the pigs and the goat in our barn. We don't want to spread any disease to future critters that will come and live here at 5J Farms.

Will, with thoughts of Morpheus close to his heart, plays baseball for the Iowa Games.

He had a blast. He got to hang out and play with his buds from school. They won second place. So fun.

County Fair 2013 is over.

My kids washed, fed, and paraded their animals. Kelli won a sash with the words "Miss Congeniality" sewn into it.  Lizzy won a huge ribbon and a trophy. Farmer Boy ate more meat and more freshly baked pie at the Methodist Church booth than I thought was possible. I watched kids kiss their goats and talk to them like little babies. I saw more poop than I would have liked but luckily didn't step in any. I saw animals tugged on, paraded and loved on. Farmer Boy told me that there were a few teary eyes when pigs were loaded onto the market truck.

I like to say that County Fair is really not my thing but honestly, County Fair is truly a beautiful thing.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Over and out.

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