The 2017 Indiana State Fair is over and so ends an era in the Young household.
Tears flowed as I watched Ayana take Falucious out into that show ring for the last time. Ayana is the youngest of seven and the last that we will put through the 4H program. We have had children in 4H for the past 27 years. Ayana and Falucious have been together for 8 of her 10-year 4H career. And in their normal style, they left that showring for the last time with the champion senior alpine ribbon in hand.
It has been an incredible run not only for Ayana and Falucious but for Anthony and myself. We are very proud of all of our children and all of their accomplishments! The 4H program is an incredible opportunity for any youth willing to put the effort into learning. The possibilities are endless with the 4H program, and my children have lifetime friends all over the United States. Indiana should be proud of their 4H program. I believe it is the best one available to youth.
While the Indiana State Fair is in the books, Ayana continues to show. She has been to Nebraska where she was champion Senior Showman and had the reserve champion Junior Sable.
She was in Sandwich, Ill. where she showed the champion beef heifer. I have yet to figure this out as she had no cattle at this show, and her show career in cattle consisted of a 15 minute class in supreme showmanship at the county fair four years ago. After that she moved on to the Tennessee State Fair where she again was champion Senior Showman. She leaves Thursday for Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee again.
She makes me tired just keeping up with it all. I will often text her and ask her to send me a picture of her location. She will take a picture of her feet and say "I am here." Kids!
Regardless of where show season is, canning season has begun! I wasn't overly motivated to start, but my love affair with Bush's Market would not let me take a year off. I have managed sauerkraut, salsa, and sweet relish. I have frozen corn, green peppers and banana peppers so far. There is a half bushel of apples in the kitchen calling my name and another half bushel of cabbage as well as green peppers with my name on them at the market. It's going to be a long weekend!
Along with canning, I have started my seasonal sewing binge. I have made pillow cases and doll clothes so far. I have a few quilts to finish as well. I love to sew, and this is how we do our Christmas presents.
I have talked about my fabric hoarding issue. I thought I was doing really well. I went through all my fabric and straightened up all my shelves and re-stacked everything.
Anthony was watching TV in the living room while I did this. And then the stacks on the top shelf fell. I hear him yell, "You need me to go get a backhoe?" Ugh!
As I was telling my daughter about this, the one in North Carolina, she said she was so glad to hear that it was my fabric that had fallen. She said she felt it and thought it was an earthquake. I think they are trying to tell me something!
I, along with some very dear family and friends, are embarking on a little sewing adventure. Tim McNamee, a Hauser grad, is a minister and has started Blue Tassel Farm near Butlerville. He will be bringing in inner city youth to his farm to minister to them as well as show them the farm life. As I was sewing one day a light came on (usually it's pretty dim up there) and a thought that these youth will need bedding while they stay at the farm.
I thought it would be great if they had something they could take home. So I put the word out to my sewing friends, and we will be making pillow cases for these youth. Special By Design has offered to personalize them for the children. I am so excited to be able to help. I think many of us take for granted we have a place to lay our heads at night and have something that belongs to us to rest on. This isn't so for many youth.
While it is just a small thing, at least it is something!
Heritage Days is just finished. Once again the girls (4-legged), and I were in the Pioneer Village. I love seeing old friends and making a few new ones as well. I get to teach about one of my favorite subjects... goats! Barb Johnson has done an incredible job putting history to life.
It seems that fall is already here which is my favorite time to be on the farm. Things seem to slow down, and it is a peaceful time of the year for me. I love bonfires with the kids, the changing of the colors, and the smell in the air. I love walking in the woods and along the creek during the fall. Sometimes I will sit and listen to the creek run, and the animals walk through the crunchy leaves. In the evenings I will hear the owls call, and if I am lucky I will see one soar through the trees.
While my little farm isn't much, it means the world to me. I am so very blessed to be able to call it mine.
Make sure to look and see the changing beauty that is happening all around you!