Monday, 5 October 2015

Metcalfe Fair 2015

Grady worked so very hard all summer with his steer.  Actually....he had been working with it since last Christmas.

This wasn't a trained steer that we purchased.  This steer needed to be halter broken.

He was out washing it nearly every evening..... sometimes until dark.

And feeding it.  He purchased the feed himself.  SO. MUCH. FEED.

He also purchased a wash stand/chute.   And a fan....that got hit by lightning.  So he bought a second fan.  He even hired a guy to come and trim one of the hooves because it just wasn't perfect.

This was his 4-H animal for the year.  It was his show animal.  He showed it at the Cobden Fair

and the Renfrew Fair. 

Everyone would tell him how beautiful his steer was.

It was his market steer headed for the auction at the Metcalfe Fair. 

The Metcalfe Fair is Eastern Ontario's Regional Fair.  It was once the Ottawa Winter Fair.  It was the most important fair at one time for all the local 4-H kids in Renfrew County.  If your steer could make it to the Ottawa Winter Fair....that was pretty amazing.

Grady liked the idea of having his steer go to this fair....even though no one else in Renfrew County takes a steer there.  We were sort of the 'outsiders' when it came to the steer show.

We knew that there were only 10 steers in the sale.  Grady could handle a 10th place ribbon and a handshake.  We were all ready for anything....or so we thought.

But for some unknown reason they decided to split the steers into two 'classes'.  There would be a lighter class and a heavier class.  Ten steers is not a lot of steers.  A judge can easily handle placing ten steers.

Grady's steer weighed in at 1550 pounds.  It was the heaviest of them all.  He was placed in the heavier class....with three other steers.

The lighter class was judged first.  There were six of them....and four were chosen to return to the championship round.

The heavier class had two chosen to advance to the championship round.  Grady wasn't one of them.

That was fine.  We weren't there to win.

There were six steers in the championship round.  They were all placed and awarded ribbons.  They got handshakes.

Grady and the other three 4-H members didn't get to return to the ring.

They didn't get ribbons.  They didn't even get a handshake.

That's not what 4-H is about.

They didn't get anything.  No recognition for all of their hard work.

I believe that you don't build yourself up by putting someone else down.  I will not get into the politics of the Metcalfe Fair....but there were several questions I had that had no answers.

And I will not be returning.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015


I just realized that I haven't been including cakes in the blog.

I've actually made some cakes and I never managed to take a photo!  Me bad. are some cakes.

But let me tell you something else.

Lydia cracks me up.

I put on a dress that I hadn't worn in a couple of years and she says...


My size doesn't change every year like hers does.  She has no idea how old some of my clothes are!

The other night we were driving in our road and there is a field of canola....well it was was combined a weeks ago.  But it stinks to high heaven....I have no idea why...but it's bad....really, really bad.  Anyways, it was a warm evening and Terry had the window down....and the smell was unreal.

I casually mentioned that this was THE worst smell that I had ever smelt of ALL the things that I had ever smelt in my life.

And Lydia shouts from the backseat "JUST BREATHE OUT!"

I tried and it just didn't work.  But it was very good advice.

And I have heard other people from this house use the saying "JUST BREATHE OUT!" since that night.  There were 4 of them jammed in the backseat together....and something must have happened back there.....


Monday, 28 September 2015

Energy Bites

The kids have been back to school for four weeks already.....and things are going well.

Lydia announced one night last week that she is actually doing grade two work now. 

Terry told her that if she was able to finish grade one in three weeks....she should be done college by the end of the school year.

But she told us that she wasn't going to college....she would rather just stay home with me.

Anyways, I find that the kids won't eat breakfast before we head off to the bus in the morning.  It drives me crazy....sending them off with empty tummies.  But they say that it's just too early to eat.

I found a solution to this.  I've been making these 'energy bites' and I can't make enough of them!  The kids just love them and I love that they don't have any sugar.

This is what it is:

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract

I just measure the rolled oats....the rest of the stuff I just guess at the measurements....because it really doesn't matter.  Just put it all in a bowl and mix it up and then spoon it out as little cookies.  Put them in the freezer.

The recipe is a good can add whatever you want to it....flax seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, coconut, peanuts.  Whatever floats your boat.

The first few batches I made I used natural peanut butter and it worked great...but I ran out so now I'm just using the regular peanut butter.


Monday, 21 September 2015

Sophie's New Place

Remember the pole house?

Sophie has been dreaming of pole houses and treehouses and forts for quite some time.

And the last two weeks she has been asking and begging and pleading with Terry to build her one.

Something.  Anything.

Saturday was the day.  I was away at the Plowing Match with the older three and Terry was left at home with Sophie and Lydia.  He told them that it would be their day.

The pole house/treehouse/fort day.

And he made it happen.

They are thrilled to have their own space.

They've been decorating.

The view is not bad either.

See you at supper girls.


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Saturday at the Fair

It poured rain on Saturday.

But the show went on.

The boys each have a steer for their 4-H project this year. 

They have been working with them all summer....washing, training and FEEDING them.

Jack's went into the steer show at this fair and Grady's will be at auction in about a month at another fair.

This was the steer show....

And then the 4-H Interclub Beef Competition was in the afternoon.

The evening sale was held in the barn this year because of the rain.

This is where all the top steers, lambs and pigs are auctioned off to the highest bidder.  These kids have worked hard all summer raising these animals and tonight is their night to shine.

These three gifted auctioneers make the whole thing into a great show....

I love this photo of Jack looking up at them...

We bought this pig!  Mmmmm....bacon!

The McHale's at Bromley Farm Supply in Douglas bought Jack's steer.

The large barn was filled to the back despite the cold and the rain.  I love our supportive, caring community.