Thursday, July 22, 2010

County Fair 2010 - Part 2

After the hay bale contest, it was time for the cat show. Our cat Polly opted out of the competition due to her extreme dislike of leaving the house. Instead, M entered her dad's cat, Taboo. A big thanks to Tara for bathing a delivering Taboo to us. Taboo handled the day well and M enjoyed showing her.

The Clover Kids were up first, and once that was done we were free to sit back and watch the 4-H'ers show their cats. On our way out we stopped and added the ribbon from the cat show to the booth.

County Fair 2010 - Part 1

It's county fair time again!

Tuesday evening we headed out to help decorate the booth in the 4-H building. I ran into a fellow Fosmark resident from my days at ISU and had a lovely chat. The booth turned out great. I take no credit for any of it except for some work with a glue stick.

Wednesday morning was conference judging day. M entered her box full of the projects she worked on at the meetings this year and a boot planted with flowers. Clover Kids receive participation ribbons and some good experience interacting with the judges.

Wednesday evening M and I headed back out for the BBQ and coronation of the queen and king. There are no pictures because I was too busy eating a tasty BBQ sandwich and a Bomb Pop. Afterwards we wandered about looking at the exhibits and animals. I saw quite a few familiar faces from my 4-H days. It really does seem like just yesterday . . .

This morning (Thursday) we had a full agenda. M was asked to represent the Ankeny Clover Kids in the Decorate a Bale contest. The kids had decorated their hay bale at the June meeting, and M's job was to serve as spokesperson for her club. She must have done a good job, because they placed second!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another sign of spring

At least at our house. We made a quick trip to PetSmart this evening and returned home with 6 new fishy friends from the 12 cent goldfish tank. They've taken up residence on the patio, where they will hopefully have a long and happy life. I hope.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I think I'm hooked

I accidentally watched some show tonight when I should have been taking out the garbage. And I think I'm hooked. This is not a good thing. I believe that it's called "Life After Humans." It's supposed to be a fact based representation of what would happen to animals, structures and the earth in general if for some reason humans no longer inhabited the earth. I missed the part about why humans aren't around any longer, which was probably a good thing because I have enough to worry about without pondering another reason for the extinction of the human race, but was sucked in by the changes that would befall Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. over the course of about 600 years.

I now remember reading or discussing somewhere that our nation's capital was built on a swamp, and boy will that cause some issues once people aren't around to maintain the drainage systems that take care of that pesky little water problem. I felt more sorry for D.C. than I did L.A., not sure what that says about me, good, bad or otherwise. Part of it was that they talked about the animals at the D.C. zoo and how they might adapt or not, and part of it is that I'm more drawn to the monuments, museums and history of D.C. than I am the bright lights of L.A., which would of course not be bright for so long once humans are gone.

They also featured what would happen to some of the monuments. I have a special affinity for the Lincoln Memorial, as Honest Abe has always been a favorite president of mine, and a very special little lady in my life happens to share a birthday with him. It was sad to watch it disintegrate, collapse and disappear under the encroaching water.

Ironically, we were just discussing Washington, D.C. the other day. N asked if the church next to his daycare was where the president lived, because it has "a big round roof." I said no, that the president does not live inside the First United Methodist Church, but instead lives in the White House in Washington, D.C.. He said "oh yes, that's right," and wouldn't it be neat to go there someday to see where the president lives. I agreed, secretly thrilled as I think I could spend weeks there. After viewing this show, I now feel a greater sense of urgency.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Are you ready for some football?

Tonight, we were. Miss M participated in her school's cheerleading camp this past week. She received a t-shirt and a free pass to the football game so that the little ones could show off their cheers at halftime. It was a beautiful night for football, and it brought back fond memories of Friday nights spent at Valley stadium marching in the band and cheering on the Tigers. It was nice not to be wearing the wool band uniform, and it would have been nicer if our side had scored a point or two to offset the 54 scored by the other team in the first half alone. There is apparently not a mercy rule in high school football. Perhaps there should be.

M & N have now settled in for the night (I hope!) in tents in the living room for a camp out. I was invited to join, and did for a bit, but a night spent sleeping on the floor doesn't quite hold the appeal it once does, so I snuck back into my room and my comfortable bed.

(Pictures to follow)

Thursday, September 11, 2008


September 11, 2001, was intended to be a momentous day in my life. The night before, I had decided that the next day would be the first day I wore a pair of maternity slacks to work. The rubber band trick just wasn't working any longer with my "real" pants, and it was time to accommodate the expanding waistline.

Obviously, the day took a different path. The horror of what had been done chilled me to the bone. Literally. I just remember feeling cold. I wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and burrow under the quilt until the chill went away. I wasn't sure it ever would, and I mourned the fact that my child would soon be entering a world where people treated each other like this.

Seven years later, the chill is mostly gone, but a bit of it still lingers and causes a slight shiver from time to time. That's ok. We need to remember those feelings from that horrible day. It makes days like today even better, when after a crazy day at work and a mad dash across town filled with snarled traffic, the munchkins and I wrapped up the day enjoying the sights and sounds and candy of the high school's homecoming parade.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


In keeping with the rest of the year, August seemed to pass by in a blink. A busy blink, but a blink none the less. For us, the highlight of the month is the Iowa State Fair.

Miss M continued the family tradition of entering something at the Fair. She entered a planter with three plant varieties in the Junior Floriculture division, and was thrilled to receive a third place ribbon. (Note the other chicken planter behind hers. What are the chances that there would be two chicken planters in the same class?)

N also loves the Fair. The pictures below are a small representation of what would be his perfect day at the Fair. He could do this all day. Seriously. From the moment we parked the truck until we are leaving, this is what he wants to do.

Red tractors, blue tractors, green tractors, he sat on them all. And would still be sitting there if he had his way. Some implement dealer is really missing out on a money making opportunity. Fence in your tractors, hire some child development specialists and run a day care during the Fair. There's a market for it. I was not the only parent spotted dragging a screaming child from a tractor (several times) in order to see the rest of the Fair.

And there is so much more to see and do at the Fair. We spent a great deal of time at the 4-H building looking at projects and doing working exhibits. 4-H er's are an amazing bunch. We also spent a great deal of time in the various animal barns. The big boar and big bull are favorites, especially of Miss M.

The Little Hands on the Farm exhibit is a must-do on our list every year, and almost every day that we attend. The kids love the opportunity to "be a farmer." The best part is selling their crops and receiving the dollar which they can then spend at the general store. N most always buys an apple, Miss M a bomb pop.

Here, M, N & Grandma are finishing up planting their seeds. The love of the Fair is truly in the family, and we're lucky to have so many people to share the experience with. My aunt, my cousin and her two daughters joined us the first day. We spent the next evening there with Grandpa & Grandma Z. My sister Mary flew in from Colorado for a few days, then my other sister Lynn finally arrived for the last weekend. (Perhaps as this blogging thing takes a stronger presence in my life, I'll remember to take pictures of these special people when our paths cross.)

Aside from one rainy day, the weather was beautiful (translation: not hot nor humid), and attendance records were broken. It was a good Fair all around, and we hated to see it come to a close.

We have a tree in our backyard that always drops it's first leaves of the fall the day after the Fair ends. This year was no different.

Two days after it ended, the school bus pulled up to the end of our driveway and Miss M was off to first grade. Again, where has the time gone?

She was excited to be back and see her friends and get back to the business of learning. It's fun to hear about her days and experiences, even though I still miss her riding down to daycare with N & I.

I'll leave you with some shots of the kids on their bikes. This has been a bit of a challenge, so it's so fun to watch them go.