It's been a ton of fun, but wow, has it been busy.
The adventure began on Friday morning as The Reluctant Farmer and I headed off to pick up our new deluxe portable accommodation unit. This lovely motor home will be the extra living space we need while construction on the addition to the house is completed. It will also see plenty of use at livestock shows, the county fair, and some trips to cool places around the province. I've always wanted to visit the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in southern Alberta, but it's too far for a day trip and not quite worth a hotel stay ... this makes trips like that workable, even with 3 kids.
Friday afternoon we got things packed up and ready to go, as Focus on 4-H began Friday night. The next adventure was sheep transportation: our sheep normally travel in a really large dog crate in the back of the pickup, but the crate will only hold two (not too large) sheep at a time. We had three that had to get to the fair, and no plans to take the pickup. How does one solve a problem like that?
In this case, very creatively. The crate was stuffed into the motor home and then loaded with two sheep. The Boy climbed into the passenger seat in the front, and the smallest lamb was shoved in front of his feet! He held onto her halter and off we went. When we arrived, the traffic marshall took one look in the front seat and ran to open the gate so we could get unloaded!
Focus on 4-H is the regional wind up event for the year. There are kids there with horses, cattle, sheep, goats, dogs, and crafts. Events go on all weekend, and most families camp on the grounds. We had a great time, and learned more about our sheep and about other animals.
We had sheep in costumes ...
Goats doing obstacle courses ...
And a window full of ribbons! (2012)
All in all it was a great time!
Friday night, The Reluctant Farmer brought his kids (Princess Girl and Dinosaur Boy) to the fair, and for dinner at my parents' house (the fair was held in the same small town where they live, so this worked out perfectly). We celebrated my birthday (which is actually on Wednesday, but we're flexible) and had a great supper, cake, loot bags (graciously provided by Gram!) and ... presents! My parents got me a wonderful set of Crocs flip flops that are specially designed for aching feet (which I certainly have), and The Recluctant Farmer and the kids got me a real spinning wheel! How cool is that? More on that in a separate post. :)
Friday night all of us (TRF, myself, and all three kids) stayed in the motor home at the fair. The kids were really excited to be camping out. Saturday was taken up with fair activities, although in the afternoon TRF and his kids headed back to town. The Reluctant Farmer has had his house up for sale for awhile now, and had to staff an open house that afternoon and send his kids off to their mom's house for the rest of the weekend.
Sunday we had the fun competition classes for sheep and goats - the costume competition and sheep races. Sheep don't really "race" as well as you might think, even with a bucket of grain at the finish line. Goats are even more entertaining - we had a "goat on the lam" when one of the race participants jumped out of the race area and into the crowd!
Once those activities were over, the sheep were free to head on home so we packed up two in the back of the truck and brought them back to Apple Jack Creek. On the way, The Reluctant Farmer got a phone call from someone who was interested in his house, so he headed back to the city for a meeting and I spent the afternoon tidying up the disaster area we'd left behind in our haste to get to the fair. Some of the best news of the weekend is that his house sold for a good price, and with a posession date that fits the schedule quite nicely (mid to late August). The paperwork will all be finalized in a couple of days, but the deal is done, which is great news!
Sunday night Solar Neighbour had a party at his house for Canada Day and bought boxes upon boxes of fireworks to set off. The Boy got to help light explosive devices in the driveway, and we enjoyed a good hour of light and sound in the company of the folks who live in the area. It was a great way to celebrate Canada's birthday, even if we were very (very) tired this morning!
Today was the final day of the fair, so we headed back up to the fairgrounds where The Boy was participating in a fun 'bike and tractor rodeo'. We cleaned up our stalls and packed up our campsite, then headed back home to recover from all the fun. I actually slept for three hours this afternoon ... having that much fun wears a person out!