Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Busy Two Weeks

The Livestock Show was this past week. It basically consumes our lives for about two weeks before the show. The difference this year was that J and I left for a reading conference in New Orleans Wednesday morning. So not only did we have the show to worry about, but we also needed to pack to leave and coordinate efforts to get the educational display taken down. Our club had 33 animals at the show this year, which is many, many more than it has been in years. Four years ago it was 2 pigs, 3 steers, and a lamb. Overall, the club did well. B won champion lightweight hog and got callbacks for fitting and showing; which means he was in the top two of his fitting and showing class. Both of my big kids are excellent showmen, in my opinion, but neither won a medal this year. A won the gold medal two years ago and didn't even make callbacks this year. She was very upset, but that's the way it goes sometimes. Here is A during her fitting and showing class. She's in the pink.

Here is B selling one of his pigs. This was the only animal we got to see either of them sell because we needed to leave for the Portland airport at 11:00 a.m. B received $2 a pound for each of his pigs. A received $3 a pound for one and $2 a pound for the other.

I attended the Plain Talk About Reading conference in New Orleans. J and Cara came with me because I didn't want to leave her; even for a few days. We've only had her 7 months and I thought it was too soon. One night we ate at Margaritaville. It was pretty good.

After dinner we walked down Bourbon Street (it was a Thursday night). I'm a sucker for beautiful flowers, window baskets, hanging baskets, etc. so I had to take a picture of this house.

Here is the view down Bourbon Street at about 7:30 p.m. They were already blocking off the streets for the evening. Wow. I've never seen anything like it. It was pretty inappropriate to walk down this street with a 3-year-old, but it would have been even more inappropriate to bring the teens. Public drunkenness, prostitutes, transvestites, scantily-clad women dancing in the windows of bars. They never show that stuff in Mardi Gras footage; just parades. I guess I was just unprepared for what I saw. At least now I can say I've been there.

J took Cara to the aquarium one day while I was at the conference. That's an albino alligator behind her in the picture. Please excuse her hair; J did it. ;) They both thought the aquarium was better in New Orleans than in Newport, Oregon. I wish I would have been able to go with them. They took a ton of pics and the marine life was amazing.

We attended Jazz Fest on Friday afternoon. It's this huge festival that happens two weekends a year in New Orleans. It is in the book, 1,000 Things To Do Before You Die. We got there at 4:00 p.m. and it goes until 7:00 p.m. By 5:00, Cara said, "I'm lay ma (tired in Mandarin). I want to go to bed." We assured her we weren't leaving until 7. It was hot, tons of people, not a lot of shade, and not much grassy area. It was mainly sandy soil so it wasn't like you could sit on the ground. We found some shade and grass by the entrance for a little while. I love to take pictures of Cara with her dad. They take great pictures together.

This was the Gentilly Stage where Willy Nelson was performing. Look at all the people. All of the stages were packed like this. It was a fun time, but didn't change my life or anything. I can cross it off my bucket list now. ;)

Overall, Cara did great. She missed A and B, but didn't have any major meltdowns. The plane ride from Houston to PDX was hard on her, though. Then we got in the car to head home (at 1 in the morning) and she said, "I don't feel good. I need a diaper." I thought maybe she was going to have diarrhea, then she puked. All down the front of herself. Did I have napkins? One. Did I have wet wipes? No. We cleaned her up the best we could and got home at 4 this morning. She feels great now. In the shower this morning she said she was glad to be back at Cara's house. I was glad, too.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone. I've spent mine lounging on the couch today.

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