A Funny Story Regarding a Mama Pig

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We borrowed a boar to be Lady Lollipop’s husband back in March.  According to my calculations, her piglets were due in early July at the earliest, but could come as late as fair week.  Davey, however, started looking for piglets in May, and wondering why his beloved sow didn’t seem to be showing any pregnancy signs.

Our pigs reside next to the pond up here by the house.  Did you know that pigs can’t get hot?  Lollipop nearly expired in the 22 minutes it took us to walk her to her new home up here last summer.  That’s why they like the mud so much; it keeps them cool.

Lollipop’s shelter house was up on the pasture side of her pen, but Davey, being anxious about those piglets, decided to move it down into the hollow, where it is shady and there is easy access to the pond.  He didn’t want those newborn piglets to get too hot!  Unfortunately, that area also floods in the rainy season, being actually a shallow part of the pond.

After I saw what he’d done, I looked at Davey perplexedly.  “Why would she want to have her babies in a flood zone?” I asked.

“Just trust me,” he said.

In early July, right on schedule, Lollipop dug a little depression, lined it with hay, and went into labor.  On the top of the hill on the pasture side.  “I won’t say I told you so,” I said, as Davey built her a hasty shelter exactly where her house had been.

“Thanks,” he said.

Her house is half underwater right now.  :-)

 

The Prize Winner of Meade County

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We’re back from the fair!  And now you can see that Rosie’s crocheted doll was our family’s first winner of a Grand Champion ribbon!  She’s very proud, and rightly so.  The funny thing is, she only took up crocheting this spring. She used to think it was boring! She’s doubly proud because of all the praise she received from full-grown women, most of whom do not know how to crochet themselves.  It always does a girl’s heart good to know that she excels in some womanly art.

We had lots of winners, earning enough prize money to pay our admission fee, so that’s good!  Most astounding ribbon: the cro-yoyo took second place! The yoyo tree got a third.  And the pink elephants (or the one I kept, at least) won a second place ribbon, too, losing to a teddy bear, but beating out a penguin.  All of my photos won a ribbon, one taking first place in it’s category!  Meggie did well in the knitting department, and several of them placed in the writing categories. Tommy even got a blue ribbon for his lego walkie talkie.

We didn’t have time to enter in any of the cooking categories this year, even though we usually place really well. And we had two non-participants, both male, who are on orders for next year.

And we’re really glad it’s all over!

Blue Ribbon Ducklings

Blue Ribbon Ducklings

Sheep Show!

This is going to be a bit of a speed post, because: fair week; three drivers with places to be, but only one vehicle; and baby in left typing arm. Shall we get to it?

IMG_3611The girls were really nervous, as this was their first time showing the large animals, and they hadn’t been mentored well enough to know what they should be doing. The sheep got sheared right before weigh-in because we hadn’t gotten a rather critical piece of shearing advice, and so they were already feeling behind-the-eight-ball before we even arrived. The sheep, by the way, weighed in at 73 and 92 pounds. The heaviest lambs were 138! We were the only ones who had pastured ours. All the others were heavily grained and kept in pens.

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They still look pretty good against the competition, though.  That gal in the middle took first place for both showmanship and market in this class.  We sucked at showmanship, but it WAS our first time.

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They had to walk the sheep around the ring, maintaining control of the animal and eye contact with the judge all at the same time, and make sure their animals stood to best advantage whenever the judge might glance their way.  That was pretty tricky for them, but Delaney did take second in the market portion.

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Evie was just done.  They used to let folks through the gate if they were just doing something like picking up their livestock, but the fair powers-that-be thought they were losing too much money this way.  Last year, they hired external ticketers whose job it is to make sure that no one gets through without forking over their ten dollar entrance fee.  The girls had to be there at eight, so I dropped them off, then ran some errands and brought lunch and the rest of the family back at one, before the ticket takers arrived.  The show was at three, and Evie was just tired of being out and about.  She just wanted to rest!

I finally got her to sleep toward the end of the show, and then we grabbed some fair dinner, and checked out our entries in the Home Ec building.  So now I can tell you that ROSIE got the Grand Champion ribbon for her crocheted doll, which I will photograph for you as soon as it comes home.

Plus, we feel extra naughty or clever, depending on our personality types, about getting an extra day at the fair without paying.  We’ll give ‘em the cash a little later this week so we can go on the rides.

(In case you were wondering, which you shouldn’t be if you know me even a little, I fall under “clever”.) :-)

Fair Day #1

Today was check-in day at the fair, which may be the funnest job the Extension Homemakers do throughout the year. At least, I think it is.

Check-in day? Oh, that’s when all the gardeners, quilters, bakers, knitters, photographers, canners, painters, crafters, seamstresses, woodcarvers, etc., bring their wares to the fair to compete against other enthusiasts and artists for ribbons and recognition. The Homemakers manage the Home Economics building, thus, check-in day, the funnest job we do.

Last year, I worked in the handicrafts department, but this year, I got the children. They are so particular about how their work is displayed, and they leave detailed messages for the judges, and they are just so earnest and endearing.

At the appointed time, we closed the doors and posted a guard, and then the out-of-town judges came in and doled out the ribbons. We carefully presented each piece and dutifully delivered each message, and our judge laughed but carefully considered each one.

Afterwards, we arranged them in our display area, ribbons and names prominently displayed for the benefit of the admiring public. Thousands of people will dally in the Home Ec building over the next week. (It’s the only air conditioned building on the fairgrounds!)

Another benefit of volunteering on check-in day is that we find out the winners before the general public. So I happen to know that the Cooper family made a respectable showing, and that one of us won a Grand Champion ribbon. But my lips are sealed. You’ll just have to wait till Wednesday, when the rest of us find out.

For Posterity

Here’s what a sheep looks like after we’re done giving it a haircut, poor guy:
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And here’s what a baby who won’t nap looks like:
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I won’t show you what her mama looks like.