Showing Cattle

Yet another gem from the childhood summer adventures of cousins Lauren and Emily, here we have documentation of our days showing cattle.

In preparation for our debut at the fair, Granny took us to the big city of Bowling Green to get some matching outfits.  We landed on these precious denim vests, black shorts and black boots. Naturally, we chose to coordinate our socks with our t-shirts.  And in case you missed them, we were wearing gigantic black bows.  We kind of had a double layer Oreo thing going with the black and white.  Granny added a nice touch by sewing little sunflower patches onto our vests.  I think they really pulled the look together.

Here we are posing with our trophy cow. She was just thrilled to have a couple of little girls around.

This young lady certainly wasn’t going anywhere with all of us anchoring her rope.  We were so much help.  For all I know, this cow might have been a young man.

That’s my dad in the red cap.

I can’t help but notice that this calf and I have nearly the same leg shape: knobby.

Man was I happy to be there.

We don’t seem to have any pictures of me and Lauren showing our calves individually.  Poor cousin Lauren got a wild one and I think he stepped on her foot a time or two.  She persevered.

Granny and Eugene cheered us on from the stands as we won a few ribbons for our efforts.   The event concluded with a celebratory Sippy cup of apple juice.

Today, cousin Lauren turned 22.  In the 17 years since these photos were taken, she has learned a tremendous amount about cattle and showing them.  Regrettably, the same cannot be said for me.  Maybe someday we’ll get back out there in our sunflower vests and cousin Lauren can give me a few pointers.

Happy Birthday, Lauren!  I will always treasure our summer adventures.

Y’all hurry back,

Sugarlump

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The Garden: Progress Report #7

My first year gardening with Papa has been a bittersweet one.  I began the season excited about finding the Partridge head beans in the deep freeze and eager to learn from Papa.  While I have learned a lot from Papa, … Continue reading

The Sunshine Award

Thank you to Elisa Cashiola at http://elisacashiola.com/ for nominating me for the Sunshine Award! I am just tickled. 🙂  As a designer myself, I have a great appreciation for what you do and share. Your posts offer wonderful lessons on making … Continue reading

The Cowboy Store

A little while back, as I was checking the facts for my Rite Aid post, I consulted my cousin/partner in crime Lauren about when Rite Aid closed and its Cowboy Store replacement opened.

The following is our text conversation regarding the matter:

Me:  “Hey! Quick question: about how long ago do you think Rite Aid went out in Burkesville?”

Lauren:  “10 years probably.”

Me:  “Ok.  I’m still sad about it. :(”

Lauren: “I know!”

Me:  “I haven’t even been in the cowboy store because I’m so sad!”

Lauren:  “I doubt there’s much in the cowboy store you would need anyways.”

Me:   “I don’t know about that!  I might need some chaps. :)”

Lauren:  “Haha well it’s not really that kind of cowboy store.   And who doesn’t need a good pair of chaps? Ha.”

She’s very encouraging of my efforts to be a farmer/cowgirl/crazy lady.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to find an establishment nearby that sells chaps so I can get my farmer on.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump

The Garden: Progress Report #4

This past weekend, I went back to Kentucky to see my extended family.  And, of course, I had to check on the garden to see how it was coming along. It’s not drastically different from the last report.  The garden … Continue reading

The Garden: Progress Report #3

I visited the garden at the end of last week to check on its progress.  I had shown up to my grandparents’ house in a cotton summer dress so I changed into a white Hanes t-shirt, athletic shorts and my Crocs to go around to the garden.  This was Papa’s response to my outfit:

“That’s a mighty casual outfit to garden in.”

I didn’t really know what to make of this comment considering I viewed gardening as a very casual event and thus thought I had dressed appropriately.

After many hours of reflection, I believe Papa thought perhaps that I should be wearing full pants and boots to minimize bug-bites and such.

That’s all I can come up with.  I really don’t think Papa thought I should be wearing anything formal for gardening.

ANYWAY…

Things are moving along nicely and looking a little less patchy than they did on my last visit.

The romaine lettuce had taken a turn for the worse.  Some animal had nearly demolished it.

The beets are huge! Or at least much larger than last time.

Papa has caged his tomatoes as the plants started to shoot up.

A few of the plants even have baby tomatoes!

I don’t know why I’m so excited about this.  I don’t even like tomatoes.  But I guess it shows that the garden is growing so I do like that.

The onions haven’t changed much.

The cabbage looks beautiful.  Too bad I don’t like cabbage.  Why can’t the animals eat this instead of the good stuff??

My brussel sprout plants are looking big and leafy!  I think we’re supposed to cut these leaves off once the plants start to sprout…the sprouts.   I’d better figure that out soon.

Here are all of the beans that Papa planted.  In the middle and right rows are the pole beans:  speckled limas, half-runners, and partridge heads(!). On the left we have poor house beans, which are heirlooms and have been in the family for generations.  They are bush beans.

I got word from Papa a few days ago that the poor house beans were devoured by some groundhogs.  Poor, poor house beans.

This is a photo I took pre-massacre.

Papa had found some patridge head seed in the deep freeze from 1997 (literally) and he wasn’t sure that they would come up so he planted as many as 8 in a hill (he normally does 3).

Oh boy did they come up!  So much so, in fact, that I had to thin them so the plants produce well.  This broke my heart to pull up perfectly good bean plants, but I guess if it means more actual beans, it’s worth it.  It still made me sad.

Here are the roma beans.  They have filled out considerably.  They were looking a little patchy last time.

Even though the bean plants look small, it was time to stick ‘em!

So Papa brought some bamboo sticks down from the barn.

And we worked down the rows making little teepees for the beans.  I think it looks real purty.

I stepped back to admire our handywork and then I heard a “hhhmppppflllll.”

Oh hello there.  Our supervisor was pleased with our work as well.

After the sticks were in place, Papa gave me the job of thinning the beans (if there were more than 3 plants around each stick) and then mounding up the dirt at the base of the sticks to tuck in the beans.

This was the first time I had used a hoe. Pretty handy tool if you ask me.

Above are some of the partridge head casualties of the thinning.  Sad.

Here is the finished product.  Not too shabby.

Now let’s get some beans growing!

Y’all come back!

Sugarlump

Family Farms

I love farms.

Every summer as a kid, when I visited my extended family in Kentucky, I loved to ride around with Papa and my cousins and check out the family farms.  Because I only saw the farms once a year, I never really knew them that well.  Now that I live closer and can visit more often, I have asked Papa to take me around and show me the farms more thoroughly as well as some of the really beautiful spots around the county.

Last week, he took me to one of the farms that has been in the family for several generations.  Most of it is covered in trees, but it’s still fun to drive around hear Papa tell me the history of it.

Apparently, before there was a paved or gravel road to the farm, this was a back way through the creek to get to the farm.

I see you hiding back there, little barn.

Papa said this hollow goes for a mile or two.

Maybe I can convince my cousin Lauren to explore up to the head of the hollow with me this summer.  Perhaps we could fix up Julio for our journey. I’m thinking “Ain’t Skeered: Part 2” might be in our future.

Now, let me tell you a story about me and this fairly moderate incline.

Growing up, I was obsessed with cars and driving and could not wait to get my license.  In the summers before I was 16, I always looked forward to driving Papa’s truck around on the farm, where no other parties were subject to harm.

One day, I was having a grand old time driving up and down the gravel road when I decided I needed to go across this little ditch and up the hill to this barn on the left. I didn’t (and still don’t really) know how to drive a truck on this mixed terrain.  Evidently, I did not give the truck enough gas because I proceeded to get stuck just past the ditch as my wheels slid on the gravel/grass/dirt hill.  Scared for my life, I yelled to my Uncle Brian who was standing nearby and he instructed me on how to put the truck in 4-wheel drive.  After a few dicey moments, I made it up the hill, all 50 feet of it.  Thank goodness I didn’t start to slide backward because I could have been seriously injured as I ran into…..a grassy field.

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t really a life-threatening situation.  It seemed very serious at the time.

For my farm touring adventures, I’m going to let Papa do the driving.

Y’all be careful,

Sugarlump

Bantams

A while back, my dad and I were shopping at the Chestnut Hill Mall in Boston.  As we were walking through the mall between stores, we came upon an unusual display.

Want to guess what it was?

“A waterfall.”

Nope.

“Santa Claus.”

Close, but no.

“I give up.”

White Crested Black Polish Bantam Chickens!

I WANT ONE.

No, seriously.  I REALLY WANT ONE.

Or two.

Or three.

Or a whole brood of them.

I never thought I would say this, but that perm is sassy.

I think I’ll call her Elvis.

This is her husband.  Who said men can’t rock long hair?

He reminds me of Cruella De Vil.

In a good way.

Whoever is responsible for this display needs a raise.

And I NEED some of these chickens.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump