One-Yard Wonders projects

Sunday, August 31, 2014

It Feels Like County Fair Weather

Friday night I tried to explain what Labor Day weekend was like when I was a kid. It was one of the busiest weeks of our year -- the local county fair. The prep began with washing our livestock, usually cattle, hogs and early in our fair years, a few sheep.

Next, the chaos of getting all of our fair projects finished, organized and ready for judging. We were overachievers in the project arena -- I usually had at least 20 projects ranging from sewing projects like pillows, blankets, clothing, stuffed animals, whatever Grandma Maxine and I had decided to tackle that summer with her trusty sewing machine, to baked goods and canned items to painting and photography.

Standing in line waiting for your projects to be judged was a practice in humility and patience. There were always a few projects you were super excited to have judged -- the apple pie I knew was going to be the best in the county, the beautiful loaf of French bread that turned out better than I'd hoped, the fancy dress that Grandma and I had spent weeks sewing. Those I couldn't wait to have judged -- my chance to tell an Iowa State Extension judge all the steps I'd taken to complete the project and wow them with my knowledge.

And then there were the dreaded half-assed projects that you knew were crappy but that Mom or Mary Lou our 4-H leader insisted we take anyway. It was misery waiting in line to have those judged. I tried to cover the project from public view, knowing I'd rushed through it and it didn't look very good. Sitting down to talk to a judge who quickly saw it for what it was, was humiliating. As a kid i wasn't savvy enough to try and sell it despite it's flaws (that was long before I learned all the tricks of good PR) so I would admit that I didn't work very hard on it and could have done much better.

Those projects resulted in the red ribbons that are still in my hope chest -- a red ribbon was the equivalent of a C grade. I was explaining the ribbon ratings to Shawn and the kids. Purple was the best, followed by blue, then red and last the dreaded white. I never got a white ribbon, thank goodness. It was like a big public F stamped on some project you spent  at least a little time thinking about and working on.

I'd like to go on with my fair memories but Mazy and Shawn just returned from grocery shopping and we need to get lunch going so we can head to the farm for an end of summer pool party and barbecue with the family.

Hope you are all having a great weekend! Big thanks to my Aunt Sherie, Uncle Steve and cousins Jenny and Luke who all helped us work on our house yesterday -- either by providing manpower or babysitting duty. Thanks you guys!

And finally a few belated photos from the Iowa State Fair this year:

Kael At The Iowa State Patrol Booth

Theron, Mazy, Kael and Bo in the pretend jail

The Boys Learning How To Stop, Drop And Roll By A Professional Firefighter

Grandma Bought Them All Midway Bracelets So They Had To settle For The Crappy Littler Slide Instead Of Our uSual Giant Slide At The Other end Of the Fairgrounds

Bo on a ride with his teenage mutant ninja turtle face paint

Mazy With His Zombie Face Paint And An Iowa Apple Cider Slushie

the gang with Luke

Mazy and Bo after face painting

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