We are finally home from the Ohio Beef Expo.
It was an amazing week, but...
I am tired.
I have a huge pile of really stinky laundry...
And we have done the dump and run all week...so my house is a mess!
So, I am going to keep this short and sweet...because I need to sleep...and get caught up.
This is my favorite picture from the week.
This is the mini boys.
These are the boys that showed Miniature Herefords in the B.E.S.T. this season.
There was a girl too, but she wasn't able to show yesterday.
These boys have become fast friends.
To be honest, I think they were a little disappointed yesterday when it was time to show...
They had to quit throwing the football.
Yesterday was a really long day...with lots of waiting. These boys made the best of it and had fun together all day.
This is why we show.
Yes, showing cattle teaches them so many things, and they love to show.
But...the friendships they form is so much more important than any ribbons or awards.
This group of boys have been great together. They are competitive, but they have all lost at some point. They all have great attitudes, congratulate each other, and are genuinely happy when they see one of the others succeed.
Until we move in to the 2018 Ohio Beef Expo.
I can't believe it is already here.
It seems like we were just starting the B.E.S.T. season, and now we are heading to our final show.
But before it ends...
We have two more chances to put our cows through the ring.
I sat down at the computer over the weekend to pay bills and finalize our March budget.
Yes, I am aware March started last week...but sometimes the stomach flu thwarts the best laid plans.
March is always a hard budget month for us. It is always full of some extra expenses, most of which revolve around the Ohio Beef Expo. We plan all year for the Expo, but sometimes the planning ends up more in our heads than in our bank accounts.
(I don't have pictures of the trade show, so today you get to look at random images that have absolutely nothing to do with this post)
We spend a lot of money at the Ohio Beef Expo.
Of course, there are show entry fees, vet health checks, time off work (sometimes without pay if the vacation days are all used up), and several dinners out with friends we only see this time of year.
We are fortunate to be able to commute and not have to stay in a hotel, but that also means some extra late nights and obscenely early mornings.
Late night pizza runs and early morning drive thru stops are just par for the course.
But for us...the real expense is the trade show.
This week, Apollo, our 9 month old bull, got his new bull bling.
The vet was out to do health papers for the Ohio Beef Expo and some pregnancy checks, so we had him go ahead and add a bull ring for Apollo.
So what is a bull ring and why do we use them?
With work and school, we are apart all week. When the weekend comes, we try to do as much as we can together as a family.
Show weekends are always family weekends.
Sometimes we have to divide and conquer, so there are some weekends that I will stay home one day to just keep up on the laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping. But, I am always there for show day.
However...the last 2 weekends have not been divide and conquer....but divide and sleep.
I came down with the creeping crud.
It's not the flu...thank goodness!
But, it is the nasty, won't go away, symptoms I haven't had since I was a kid cold.
I am two weeks in, and just when I think I am getting better, I get a new and bizarre symptom.
The last 2 weekends have been back to back Sunday show weekends. We always dread this point of the show season, because we are almost at burnout point, and then we have to push through two weekends in a row.
The only thing that keeps us going is knowing that pushing hard now, means we get to finish our season a couple of weeks earlier than in the past.
I had every intention of being at the shows the last 2 Sundays. I hate to miss my kids showing. I love to watch them and be there to support them.
But, my weekends have just been bad. Bad enough that I don't feel guilty not leaving the couch all day.
We love cattle panels.
The plain $20.00...available at any farm supply store...cattle panels.
Every farm needs them.
Drop my camera.
It just happened. The strap got caught and to the floor it went.
I did want to upgrade my camera and get a new zoom lense...
But two weeks before Christmas is not the time.
So I saved my pennies...
And this week...
A smile is contagious.
Especially a smile that reaches the eyes.
,We are well settled into the long winter months.
Sometimes these gray, gloomy days can make a Monday morning really hard to face.
Another cold day...
Another snowy forecast...
More slippery roads....
And Dark evenings....
But today, here are a few of my favorite smiles...
To brighten your day...
But, be careful...
Smiles are contagious...
And if you aren't careful....
You will be smiling too, this winter Monday morning.
A year ago, we were just returning home from our trip out to Denver, Colorado to attend the National Western Stock Show.
While we were in Denver, we rented a car and spent one day exploring Colorado and showing the boys a glimpse of the West.
As we drove through the countryside, we were surrounded by snow blanketed mountains with ski slopes on both sides of the highway.
That trip was a weekend packed full of memories, and we added a bunch of items to our bucket lists. Both boys were infatuated and dreamed of the day we would go back to Colorado to show at the NWSS, explore more of the West and try their hand at skiing.
I am known as the person who always says "NO" in our house.
I am the schedule maker and the bill payer. I am surrounded by men that have big dreams and lots of expensive hobbies. So, most times that means I am the reality keeper.
It's not like we don't do anything...it's just that there is always more to do.
It was only a few short years ago that we made our showing debut.
In July of 2012, Isaac showed a Miniature Hereford at the Knox county fair as part of his 4-H project. Boy, were we in over our heads.
It was our vet that encouraged us to show at the Ohio Beef Expo. After being completely overwhelmed at the county fair, there was no way we were going to embarrass ourselves at a show as big as the Beef Expo.
We talked ourselves into it, and in 2013 we attended the Ohio Beef Expo for the first time.
Looking back, it was the best decision we ever made...or the worst.
Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.