Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hot, hot, hot (and busy) ...

This weather is a killer! Luckily I do not have to spend any time out in this heat. I feel so sorry for people who do! I have been saying a prayer every day at lunch for construction workers, farmers, highway workers and/or any one who has to work out in this terrible heat. I am so blessed to live in a comfortable, cool little house!

Anyway ... I'm sure you have heard all of this sort of comments sometime this past week so on to what I've been up to ...

Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to work at the judging of the Owen County Open Class Fair in Spencer. The only way I got this plum position was because one of the three women who have done this "job" for years (30+ years in one case) has a husband who is very ill. So there I was, working in the foods division (cakes, pie, cookies, muffins, candy, breads) for some of the check-in and all of the judging. What a wonderful experience!! The judge was a woman from Clay County and is a retired extension educator. She is also a farm wife and while we were waiting for some last-minute preparations to be completed for her task, I was the one assigned to schmooze her (distract her from the fact that we weren't ready yet). Learned that she did more that morning as a farm wife than I did all of last week! Wow!

Anyway, on to the judging ... she actually tasted everything, just little tiny bites, but nevertheless, by the end of the afternoon she was on a sugar high! (LOL!) But I learned lots from her comments. And I learned a lot about how to enter a project in this category. For one thing, don't worry about the rules. The absolute grand champion winner was a pie. Now the rules say it was supposed to be one-quarter of a pie, cut, and on a paper plate. The winner thought that since her pie was so beautiful (and it was) that she would just bring the whole thing and let "us" decide how to cut it. The top had a lattice crust on one half and decorated with pieces of dough cut & painted like fruit and leaves on the other half. It was beautiful. But "we" also thought it was too beautiful to cut (and how to cut it so it would show the best way???) that "we" presented it to the judge as a whole. Wonder of wonders, it won everything. But I guess it did taste good ... the judge had it cut and tasted it and judged it to be superior. But bottom line; do it up big and let the chips (or pie crust) fall where they may!

Now let me get to the best part ... after everything was judged and she went back to Clay County to mow more hay, feed the cattle & fix the electric fence, the food was divided and put into clear plastic boxes (sort of like take home boxes but clear?). As an example, you had to bring six cookies, six pieces of candy, etc. for judging. Well, three were put in the small boxes and the rest were put on big plates and these left-overs were divided by lots of happy, hungry judges assistants from all over the building!!! I brought home a little of each category myself. To me the best thing there was a wonderful white cake, but it only won reserve grand champion. I wonder, how do you choose between the champion cookie, pie, bread, quick bread, cake, candy? to choose a GRAND champion? I wouldn't want her job!

This week I have canned 13 jars of lime pickles (hope that's not an unlucky number). Gave one away already to Jeff. I also did some pickled okra. You have to let that okra sit for about two weeks before you open a jar and try it so I don't know how it tastes yet. The okra is coming slowly ... it is hard to gather enough and keep it fresh enough to can one jar at a time, but that is what I've been doing! It's easy to do but wish I could do, like, four jars at once?! As it is I have a 30' row of okra -- how many okra plants would you need to produce enough okra in one day to do four jars????!!!! Also prodded 12 new lapel pins this week. Promised some at the fiber fair so I have to finish them and mail them off. I made enough pins to have a few left over to sell at Elnora (maybe). I am back to work on the runner rug, too, getting one "square" hooked Friday. And in the middle of binding a cute little rug for Deb D. I'll post a picture of it here if she will give permission. I want to get that scrappy squares rug steamed and bound, too, so it will really be done. I HATE unfinished projects ... they give me a nagging guilty feeling, like there's something I'm forgetting.

Well, today I'm home from church because I couldn't hear the sermon even if I went. Went to the ENT Wednesday and the drops he prescribed (in a lotion form) have stopped up my ears! And OMG, they cost $138 !!!!!! I go back again this week for them to clear my ears of this MESS and maybe then I'll be able to hear again. But I "think" the infection is going away; my fear was that my HEARING would go away if they didn't get this problem solved soon! This stoppage though makes me feel off kilter (not to mention having to say "huh?" about once a minute).

Have a blessed week ...