Saturday, August 31, 2013

When You're Seventeen

At age 17, summer should look like this.  
Crazy canoe adventures and corn roasting
under a summer sky filled with stars and a glowing moon.

 Cute friends to laugh with until you know your sides will split.

Boys. Those silly boys who make the world go round and make you crazy at the same time!
Good buddies who have or will shortly be leaving on missions soon.

 Carefree and joyous.

Fun youth leaders who organize these silly escapades and care so much about the kids!

Ahhh good ole summertime.

 Oh yeah, and 17 is the time when photos like this appear on your camera roll.
{Enough to make your mother ill}  
{and please adopt this as a lifelong motto}

 Perfection in your hand

 It doesn't get  better than this.

 We're on the top of the world and carefree for the moment.

Starry Starry Night

 And when you are seventeen and the baby of the family,
you can bet your parents will be soft 
enough and worn down enough
to say yes to a kitten.

Meet Benny.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Yee Haw!

Kaitlin, our adorable cousin, stayed with us this past year while she attended Esthetician School.  
She graduated in June and we miss her cuteness, stories and cute giggle around our house. 

She learned things about us and we learned things about her during the 11 months she stayed at Deer Hollow.  One of them was there are always deer hanging out here and sometimes they peek in your bedroom window! She loves cows, family, good food, and a quiet life in the country.
{all above photos were swiped from her instagram}

Kaitlyn shared with us how the Box Elder Fair has been such a big part of their family tradition.  She and her younger sister have been showing calves at the fair for most of their lives.  After listening to all of her stories, I couldn't resist the invitation to visit the fair and see what goes on behind the scenes.  I circled August 27th on my calender last year and the day finally came!

I learned so many things.

On show day, the morning starts early.  The animals need to be washed, groomed and polished up so they look their very best! The fair is really such a family thing.  Every where I looked there were three generations working together to get their animal in ship shape condition.  Tradition.

Pigs come in all kinds of colors with so many different markings.  The kids really take pride in showing their prized animals and it shows in their faces.  It was remarkable to see how even the youngest one showing had such great poise and control.

The sheep were beautiful.  After watching the show, I remembered hearing about Marks' dad taking the grand champion ribbon when he was a youngster.  I was lucky enough to find this awesome photo of his big moment in the spot light at the fair.  Such a great shot!!

Wish men still wore awesome hats like that today!!

You can't pass up the arts building!  The photography, art, baked goods, hand crafts and quilts!
The guy drinking a Pepsi was a painting...owls were big in the kids art...leather work was beautiful...
a homemade guitar? The little produce...bow and arrow sets and taxidermy.

 This boat was a beauty!  A father-son duo. 

Mid morning and I'm heading back over to the stalls.  There are cowboys of every size at the fair.

Kaitlin's, sister, Kassidy is busy with her entourage of family getting her calf, Ace, ready to show.  It is quite the production.  Bathed, blow dried up to fluffy perfection...(note his fluffy ears in second photo) then brushed and  trimmed.  He even gets his hooves painted black and tail all trimmed up. He is looking pretty fly.

 Look at those long eyelashes on this boy!

Did you know that if you keep your calves in the barn on hot summer days and spray them down with water that they will grow longer hair/fur...whatever they grow! It makes them look fancier :)

Ace is in class 9 of 10 so he will have his time in the arena later in the afternoon.  Kassidy's two younger cousins will be showing their calves soon.

 Kassidy gives Baily a good luck squeeze before she shows her calf, Titus.
I believe Baily placed 8th in her class with Titus.  
She was adorable and I wasn't quick enough to get a very good pic.

Next we watched Baily's sister, Hattie show Feo.  This is Hattie's first year to show.
She is a little nervous but mostly very excited.

Baily gives her sister a big thumbs up!  
She is doing great but is also reminding her to keep her Feo's head up high.

 We were all so excited to hear them announce Hattie's calf Feo, the FIRST place in his class!
{Note eveyone on the far side of the fence.  This is where immediate family waits and watched the show.  They can give encouragement as a whisper when their child walks by.}

 Great job, Hattie!!

Kassidy is soon in the arena with Ace.  The guy in the front has been the sole judge  all day long.  He will look them all over and then have them walk around.  He then chooses the last place calf and they line up in winning order.  As soon as he is down to the last 2 or 3 he will speak about them and then tell why he chooses the winner.  As the kids exit the arena, he will comment on each animal and give them positive feedback on jobs well done.

 Kassidy is in the jacket towards the far left of the photo above.
 I believe Ace weighed just around 1,490 lbs.
You want your calf to show with a very straight back.  They will rub under their tummies with a wand to help them stand with a straighter back. Above the judge is placing Kassidy and Ace 5th (of about 10) in the show.  Good job, Kass. 

Once of 10 classes have been judged, the top two animals in each class are then in the arena to choose the grand champion and two reserves.  (Hope I am getting this all right!)  Our cute little Hattie placed third over all in the final show!  What a great job!!

It's been a big day.  The family sits around and chats and sips on fancy fair drinks and munched on hot scones.  The guys decide to try to throw Kait in the trough.  In the end they have mercy on her.  Good times at the county fair.

 At least they had the sense to take off her boots!

Kassidy sure loves Ace.  He has had a great home.

 Little cowboy cousin.
 A one week old baby goat! 

 Mark joined me for dinner and a first rate rodeo.  
Is there anything more patriotic than watching those riders carry around our flag?  
We loved it!!

The Roman horseback rider was pretty cool to watch and the cowboys certainly put on a show!

These boots have seen a full day of cowgirl goodness.

I think what makes this county fair so real is make up of the community.  
They live what they love - the entire community. 
These folks are the real deal through and through.  
Family is the focus here.  
It was a real treat to be a part of their family today.                                                      
The End.... of a very long post!