Monday, April 18, 2011
I love my pets. I let them run over me (figuratively and literally). The both sleep in bed with us and I cannot stand the thought of them experiencing physical discomfort......BUT............. We've had to enforce some tough parenting in the last few days. After Baxter ripped the second sump pump hose out of the house in three days - we decided (mostly Ben, but I think he probably has some merit to the argument) that something HAD to be done. You see, from my perspective - its not really Baxter's fault that he plays with things like hoses and sticks while he's home by himself during the work day. He is still a puppy. BUT - we did just sink a small fortune into renovating the house and can't afford the substantial water damage that would occur if water was allowed to constantly cycle right back into the basis for hours on end. And we really enjoy having a nice yard without being covered in garbage and sticks all over. So..........we spent yesterday afternoon building a dog house. A really nice dog pen. And we even put a couple of straw bales in there for shelter. He got accustomed to it for a few hours last night, and will spend the day there today. But my heart did hurt this morning when we pulled away and his big, beautiful dark eyes were staring at me as he just sat and watched us drive away. I hope he stayed warm.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
As we look forward to moving past all this water - I wanted to spend some time telling you all about a couple of trips Ben and I took recently. In late March we were able to go back to Kansas for a few days to help my family put on their first stand-alone club lamb/show pig sale. The sale was a culmination of all the hard work my parents/siblings/cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents had put in over the winter to provide quality projects for the upcoming 4-H show season. The event was planned with much precision and pride - and we were happy we could come home to be a part of the celebration. Here are a few pictures of the set-up of the facility my uncle let us borrow. It turned out to be a dreary, rainy day - but all the better for us because we were packed inside this nice dry "show-barn". One of the neatest parts of the sale occurred when a sleugh of boys picked up the sale ring, moved it quickly outside and set up a small arena for the 'parade' of pigs. This gave my brother a chance to discuss each pen of hogs to the bidders to explain the pedigrees, the prospect he saw in each hog and give everyone a chance to see the animal move around on concrete. I thought this was very thoughtful of the needs and concerns of the bidders to be able to see each animal individually - since many of them weren't able to come to the farm before the sale to see the animals in their normal housing. At the conclusion of the parade, the boys moved the sale ring back inside with the same effortless motion. Anyway - I couldn't find room to maneuver around once the sale got started but there was a packed house - YEAH! for the family.....and lambs and hogs got sent all over the state (and a few surrounding states). But for my brother, the fun really begins now that the sale is over. He (and my dad) enjoys visiting with the families about feeding decisions and how to develop the animal into a good project for 4-Hers. They also equally enjoy the successes and failures the kids/families endure over the next couple of months in route to their county fairs. Because sometimes more is learned in the failures of the project than the show-ring successes.
I'm very proud of them for all the hard work that went into putting on the sale - the payoffs are definitely well deserved. Each family member contributed in some way to putting on it on - and that is truly what is special about these sorts of events. For us, 4-H has always been one of our favorite ways to spend time as a family - and we hope that as those lambs and pigs leave our family to join another - they enjoy spending as much time as we did together all those years in the barn.