“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Butterfly Weed and Butterflies

The Butterfly weed has somehow become our signature flower. Soon they will be going to seed and this flower is one of the last that I found. Do you see the three tiny butterflies? Their stripped antennae are only visible to me enlarged. Beautiful.

Monday, August 30, 2010

World Cup Memory

I am so lucky!
Today I got real mail.
And it was a present.
Its not even my birthday for months.
I was a giggling as I anticipated the content.Jeanne is my daughter's college friend, and roommate for a couple years also.
She was most lucky to go to South Africa to vacation during the time of the World Cup in July, and she got me a most desirable souvenir pin. If you watched the World Cup at all, you'll recognize the logo that they opened all the TV spots with.
I'll be wearing it at every opportunity.I am thrilled! I'm a'giggle.
How silly is that!!
Thanks Jeanne! I LOVE it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fair Reading

This morning I am reading this article with interest as this is our fair week. The article is about state fairs, but much holds true for all fairs.

As Life Spins On, the Midway Beckons

"Despite urbanization, suburban sprawl, the collapse of family farms and the rise of corporate agriculture, every year, regular as the seasons, the midways light up, the Tilt-a-Whirls clang to life and the judges study the ample rumps of the local livestock. "
"It would be a long drive. And along the way there would be deep-fried Oreos, grilled bratwurst and church-sponsored plates of peppery fried chicken.

With luck, and a strong stomach, one might even get a look at whatever new country is being born right now in that place — perhaps the only place — where country meets city, suburb and exurb in a shoulder-to-shoulder immersion in half-forgotten American traditions and deep-fried everything."

"Huge, maze-like and teeming, they reminded me a bit of Vegas casinos — chaotic looking at first, but gradually revealing the underlying pattern of food stalls over here, midway rides over there, agricultural barns hugging the periphery. The slapdash and transitory nature of it, the sense of a place that was thrown up over a weekend and could disappear overnight, is part of the pleasure. You can get lost in a state fair; it rewards exploration.

Most state fairs have taken place for decades in or near the state’s biggest city or capital. Partly, that’s because such sites were most accessible, the place all the highways went. But it was also by design, to give the country folk an exciting taste of city life as they gathered with their stock and traded tips on the latest farming trends — and to give city folk, many of them only a generation or two off the farm themselves, a whiff of the old life."

' “The new thing this year,” confided C. LaVon Shook, a former shuttle driver at the fair who has become its official historian, “is chocolate-covered bacon.” '

Read on with me...

As Life Spins On, the Midway Beckons

Friday, August 27, 2010

Westmoreland Fair Breeding Meat Goat Competition

The goat version of the 4-H H's! Usually: Head, Heart, Hands and Health.
Once again it was time to judge the best Breeding Meat Goat at the Westmoreland Fair.
Jennifer Reynolds, from Westminster, MD was this years judge.
She is a graduate of Delaware Valley College, where she was on the Livestock Judging Team. She worked for 12 years with the University of Maryland extension where she was in charge of the state 4-H sheep shows. Currently she is a Nutrient Management Advisor in Maryland.
In between classes, she was helpful in explaining how she used touch and looks to pick her winners.The competition has gotten better every year, since they started this division three years ago. The category includes the Pygmy Goat and they can be quite rambunctious,... ...and quite adorable (as this three month old was). The Open Champion was this lovely doe. Last years winner was back in the competition, and we appreciated her acknowledgement. Mom was enjoying the trophy and ribbon before it was awarded. Here I am with Fair Princess Brittany Coles, 4-H winner Dontae Boggio of New Alexandra Ag 4-H, and his Champion Goat Lilly.Once again it was our pleasure to help in the smallest of ways, by sponsoring the 4-H trophy. Here was the range of goats and owners at this year's fair.
The judge had her hands full.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Westmoreland Fair Quilts

Monday I made it to the Westmoreland Fair. My main objective was to observe the Breeding Meat Goat competition,
but there are more than just animals at the fair. Crafts might be my third favorite thing about the fair. Second? The food. Come on! These are just a few of the quilts at the fair. Its a bit tough to photograph many of them because they are behind chicken wire screens. A bit of camera acrobatics was required to get some clean shots. I am working on a similar project (about a year now!). Tomorrow - the goats.

Fences 2

Along the trail rail bed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jock's Day Out With The Dogs

Jock and his friends came out today for Bethlen Communities 2nd Annual Memorial Walk for Ando, a walk to honor Ando the police dog, who we lost last year to cancer. The event started as fundraiser to help pay the medical bills for Ando, but after he died, it became a way to help defray the cost of training and maintaining the new K-9 dog on our police force.This day was about Jock and his well behaved friends, and their good owners, and how they can help the community. There are many of them, and they all were shining examples of how to have fun, and still be gracious in a crowd. After some socializing, they all were quiet for the blessing of the dogs. Then it was down to the business at hand. The walk through town. It was quite a parade, and quite orderly. And quite hot! We followed the route marked by the colorful paws. When necessary, we used the pedestrian walkways so that the owners would be safe, and kept off the grass. Not one angry word was heard from all the sizes and shaped pals that came to help raise funds for the local K-9 Unit. Our newest Police Dog Blek was with Officer Eric, and a partner K-9 team, to walk with us. Then they talked about the work they do, and demonstrated some of their techniques. Jock was terribly proud to help in this second annual walk for Ando, and plans to practice the limbo for next year so that he can take first place. (He got second!).

To see more about this event, click here: Ando

Friday, August 20, 2010

Food Reading

A couple of articles caught my interest today.

The first in the NYTimes - Math Lessons for Locavores by STEPHEN BUDIANSKY

"But the local food movement now threatens to devolve into another one of those self-indulgent — and self-defeating — do-gooder dogmas. Arbitrary rules, without any real scientific basis, are repeated as gospel by “locavores,” celebrity chefs and mainstream environmental organizations. Words like “sustainability” and “food-miles” are thrown around without any clear understanding of the larger picture of energy and land use." I have to agree that some trends become a cause, almost religious like, and create an adverse reaction to a simple idea before it is even fully understood. The holier then "thow-ness" can be such a turn off. Looking at all sides really makes for more powerful advocates of anything.The second article about an egg recall, also teaches us how to find out the age of the eggs in the stores. Click the title below.

Massive egg recall: How to check your carton for recalled eggs

Eggs are packed in 6- 12- or 18-egg cartons with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413, and 1946.

Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.

If you look at the dates of the recalled boxes, and look up the dates on the Julian Calendar they refer too, you may (or may not be!) surprised at the age. I hope some of these eggs are no longer in some one's fridge.

Be informed and form your own opinions.