You know a couple of weeks ago I was telling you that I couldn't blog because I was so into the Olympics and couldn't concentrate on anything else in the evenings? Well, that was all true. But what I failed to mention is that our County Fair was the following week, and, well, that's even better than the Olympics. Good thing the swimming and gymnastics were the first week (the week the fair wasn't), or I would have been in a real bind. But we are back. And this time, I promise to be better. Better about blogging, better about e-mails, better about paying attention to Sweetwater. Promise.
But it was the fair. I know most of you are thinking, so what? That's exactly what my husband thinks. We've been together more than 10 years now, and he still doesn't get it. My sister and I grew up showing livestock. There is not one thing in the whole world we would rather do than that. Not go to Hawaii. Not spend a week at a spa, not watch my beloved Broncos in the Super Bowl, not even design fabric (shhhhhhh...did I say that?) Only problem is, we are too old to show. Waaaaaaaaay too old. But we have kids. And they like to show. Well, two of them like to show (more on that later).
And those two did incredible. When we were growing up, my sister, brother and I were competitive at shows and once in a while (more like once in a lifetime) we would win a show. Well, my 9 year old nephew, Bryce, did that. His first time. Here he is showing his Grand Champion:
The next night, my niece, Jordan, was so close to her own Grand Champion, but she won Reserve Grand Champion instead:
I can't tell you how excited and happy I was for those two kids. It does take a little luck to win, but mostly it is a lot of hard work. They don't play video games, sleep in or watch TV in the summer. Their summer is devoted to working with those animals every day. So I am incredibly proud. Here are a few more pictures of them showing:
Now, about that one that doesn't like to show. That would be my little boy, Cash. I am so blessed to have a happy, healthy, incredibly cute (I'm a little biased) child. It just so happens that my child hates animals. I know "hate" is a strong word. I suppose I could use "detest" or "strongly dislkes", but those words just don't tell the story. He absolutely hates all animals. Pigs, lambs, goats, dogs, cats, everything. You know that picture of gymnast McKayla Maroney that is all over the internet after she won the silver medal? They say she's not impressed:
Well, this is Cash's version of not being impressed with his cousins' showing:
The thing is, he absolutely loves going to the fair. If there could be a fair without animals, he'd be all over it. Unfortunately for him, he has a mom that really (desperately) wants him to like animals. So I thought it would be a good idea for him to participate in a special event for little kids. All he has to do is walk in the showring (with an animal), parade around and say his name on the microphone. He then would get a snazzy little ribbon and a candy bar. The candy bar should do the trick.
Well, before the little kid's show, he was complaining all morning about how he didn't want to do it. He didn't want a ribbon and he doesn't like candy bars. Yeah, right. But I really, really, really wanted him to just try it. Just get the experience of walking around and talking on the microphone. He didn't even have to touch the goat- Bryce and Jordan would go with him and do that for him. All he had to do was walk beside them. What I got was "but I don't like walking beside Bryce". Again, yeah right. Cash is on Bryce like white on rice. If it was humanly possible, Cash would like to be attached to Bryce.
So when all the other kids were parading their goats into the ring, I lost hope and just decided he just wasn't going to do it. Well, my sister must have felt sorry for me because at the last moment, she scooped him up, grabbed the goat from Jordan and carried Cash into the ring. Here is the view of this sight from outside the ring:
There was about 20 kids ahead of him, so he had plenty of time to warm up to the experience before he had to say his name on the microphone. First, Susan got him to actually stand on the ground. He's still hanging on to her for dear life, but at least he's standing:
Next, there was some separation from Susan. He's not anywhere near the goat, but he is standing on his own:
He actually starts to smile and (I think) enjoy the experience:
The last step before the microphone? Hold on to the halter. Cash did. In his own way. He touched it.
Final step, talk to the crowd. He had no problems with this.
All he had to do is say his name and the name of his goat. Unbeknownst to me, he named "his" (really his cousin's) goat Candy Bar in the 5 minutes prior to the microphone. He must have been thinking about that candy bar he was about to get.
And that was it. He did it! Well, he kind of did it. But it was good enough for me. He even woke up the next morning wondering if he "got" to show his goat that day. He really liked that ribbon. He said he wants 4 more. And just like I told my husband, I won't push him into it. But you never know if you like green beans unless you try them, right? Just how I feel about showing. We'll see what happens next year.
Oh, and there's lots happening at Sweetwater. In fact, we are going to a retail show this weekend in Loveland, Colorado at The Ranch. I'll give you more details on that later this week. Tonight there are no more Olympics and the fair is over, so I better just go to bed!