Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blue Ribbon


Hooray for me! I'm a winner!
Yup. Took a blue ribbon for the blanket I almost didn't enter because I thought it might not be good enough.
I'm proud of me!
I also wish I had entered a few of my other projects. After scoping out the competition, I think I could have put a hurtin' on the contest. Or at least earned back my fair entrance fees.
The fair was good fun, and for anyone local, there is still one more day to check it out. Beans had a fun time consuming more junk food than she has ever seen in her life, and visiting with the animals in the livestock pens.
Boy, that was FUNNY.
You know, learning the sound an animal makes is basic stuff for kids. Everyone knows a cow says, "Moo" and a pig says"Oink". But watching Beans hear these noises come from actual animals was HILARIOUS. I mean, I do a good cow impression (Hello! I am still a human milk machine!), but nothing compared to the deep sound of an actual bovine. I thought Beans was going to come out of her skin when she heard a rooster crow, and a pig snort while checking her out to see if she was edible.
We have a nightly ritual where I ask if she had a good day, and ask if she remembered what we did that day. Putting her to bed last night, I asked the usual questions.
"Did you have a good day today?"
"Um. Yesh."
"What did we do today?"
"I'm go fair!"
"That's right! We went to the fair! Do you remember what we did there?"
And darn if that girl's eyes didn't get wide and brighten as she let out the loudest and most adorable, "MOOOOOO!"
After a good giggle and mooing fest, I tucked her horse-scented little body into the bed (no time for a bath last night!) and heard a giggle anda good "Cockle-Doodle-Doo!" as I left the room.
Not to worry... she DID get a bath today, after another trip to the fair. The parade rolled through town, and though I cringe at the amount of C-A-N-D-Y Beans was able to collect and consume at the parade, I darn sure wasn't leaving until I saw the MOPS float with all my hard work on it. It took an act of congress to stop Beans from collecting candy, and after the parade passed, she still stood close to the road, waving at cars and yelling, "CANDY!!!"
We checked out a few more booths and made our way to the animal pens again, because you can't leave the fair without visiting Kate the Mule, who was the BIGGEST mule I have ever seen in my life. Seriously, she stands taller than the horses in the adjoining pen! Beans and Little Nugget and I spent the rest of the day in the company of some good friends until the sugar overload was more than I could bear.
Side note: you know you've gone "small town" when you realize you know most of the people at the fair. And also when you can spot the tourists. When I had a few minutes to reflect today, I realized it was really nice to go somewhere that the people don't just recognize you, they KNOW you. They remember to ask about your visit with your in-laws. They notice you took a prize for your blanket. They know your kids and point out that they are pushing their baby sister's stroller out the door (with little sister in it!) while you are busy looking over someone else's quilt.
So, I LOVED the fair. I have to admit that growing up in the 'burbs has limited my experience with real county fairs. In the city, they bring these little fairs into town that are mostly carnival games and rides. If there are animals involved, it's usually a pony ride pen. There's no contests, quilt shows, or cook-offs. This Deltana Fair was The Real Deal. Just like in the old stories like Charlotte's Web. It's a Wanna-Be-Farm-Girl's dream.
And dreaming, I am. I have serious land-envy and also want a pony. And chickens. And rabbits (for eating). And turkeys and my very own rooster. And I can't wait for the girls to be old enough for 4-H and FFA and looking as cute as all the 4-H girls out there in their braids and overalls, taking care of their animals at the fair.
I won't name names, but a friend I was with today (a fellow city girl) said the fair was "ok", but she couldn't do it for more than a couple years. That tweaked my sad little heart-strings, because personally, I could see myself living the small-town life for the rest of my life. I really truly do want to be the 70-something little white-haired lady at the fair, cooing at the new babies in town, passing out candy to the kids, and telling little boys to get their mitts off the Reserve Grand Champion Quilt. (And hopefully, I'll be saying that because it will be mine! HaHa!)
Speaking of quilts, I am going to give a shameless plug for my mom's new etsy shop. If you are inclined to look at some quilts (and soon, embroidery and bags!) then check out bethsblocks.etsy.com
And then please buy lots of quilts so my mom can come visit me in Alaska and maybe dad won't complain about her bazillion dollar quilting machine.
I'm going to give another shameless plug to my mom, too.
Mom grew up in a Kansas farming family. And truthfully, to hear the relatives tell it, when she was old enough she got as far away from the farm as she could. That explains why I'm mostly city girl. But mom still taught me to crochet (one stinkin' granny square at a time!), and a few other farm girl tricks, proving that you can take the girl out of the farm, but you can't wash the farm girl off of her.
I used to envy her box of ribbons for showing horses at county fairs like this one. Every time I asked about them, she always used to get a sentimental and embarrassed little look about them and shove them back into her hope chest, tucked under her childhood teddy bear and Grandpa's Purple heart.
I think I finally kind of get it. It's just a ribbon and a few bucks, but it also kind of proves that your talent matches the amount of hard work, sweat, and tears you put into what you entered.
Thanks for passing down the farm-girl heart.
I'm still on an adrenaline rush from my first blue ribbon. I made the blanket a few years ago, while I was on bed rest and waiting for Beans to safely make it into the world. It's stitched with a lot of prayers for her arrival, tears of worry on the bad days, tears of joy on the good ones, and daydreams of wrapping her up in it. It was good enough to just get her to full term and home from the hospital, and snuggle her in the blanket in the rocking chair for the first time. It was enough to tuck her into bed under it, or snuggle up in it for a story. I'm glad I now get to pass it down to her with a blue ribbon, $3 (my prize money!), and a story of my first county fair.
And since I'm on an adrenaline rush, I came home and went through all my crochet magazines and books, and began selecting items to crochet for next year. Like I said, I've got a good eye on the competition now, and plan on giving those gals a run for the prize money next time. Time to start coming up with some award winning patterns, jams, and various other projects. Good thing winter is just about on the way! (Oooh! I know Susan is gonna get me for that comment! BTW- when you come through town, call for sure! We should be home that Monday and would love to see you!)
Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails!

5 comments:

Gloria said...

You sure brought back good memories to me today! When I was in High School, I entered some things in our county fair and won some ribbons. You should be proud! Congrats!

ddzemail said...

Congratulations on your blue ribbon! Your mother is very so proud of you she is spreading the work also!
Aunt B

Happy Housewife said...

I love that afghan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is that the one you made for Maddie and had hanging on her chair?

Anonymous said...

Happy Housewife: It is the one I Made for Beans! And I almost didn't enter it. So glad I did!
Sure miss ya, gal! The Fair really brought out all my farm girl yearnings. Been up to my elbows in blueberry jam and was thinking about you the other day while I was out picking!

N

Kathy said...

I love your blanket that got a Blue Ribbon! Cudos! What kind of stitch was that? It is so beautiful! I'm also a city girl that can't stand the city! I loved the Fair in Palmer last summer, it was my first state fair! I enjoyed speaking to a woman spinning kiviut on a spinning wheel, she let me touch the soft silky yard!Even my husband enjoyed the building with all of the quilts! What a kick that was to enjoy on a local level, with all of the critters, the acrobatic dogs, and the various "fair food" smells! Enjoying your blog across the miles!