Friday, November 8, 2013

Halloween Happenings

This year we bought our pumpkins early.  Jerry and Gracie went to the store and picked out some excellent pumpkins - plenty big for carving.  Gracie wanted to try one of the pattern books that you can buy at the store.  We had always just carved freehand before, but you never know if you'll like something until you try it, so we got a pattern book.  Of course, no matter what, the first step is to clean out the pumpkins! 

As usual, Gracie reveled in the gunky-ness of the pumpkin innards, while Maggie kept up a constant stream of, "EEEWW!".  

We all initially decided to try a pattern, but Maggie changed her mind once she tried to tape it on her pumpkin.  She decided to free-hand it after all. 

Jerry decided on a cyclops pattern, 

Gracie did a pumpkin-faced witch,

And I did the cat.  Maggie's didn't quite turn out the way she had intended, and she was not happy about that, but I think it gave our lineup some much needed character.

With the carving out of the way and the girls off to bed, I tackled the next aspect of Halloween - a costume.  We had recently introduced the girls to the original Star Wars trilogy, and Gracie had expressed a desire to be Princess Leia for Halloween - although she did not want the braids on the side of her head.  We tried to tell her that was what made a Princess Leia costume, but she was having none of it.  Then this morning (the day before Halloween, she changed her mind.  She wanted to be a fox.  Normally I would not entertain a change of costume at this late juncture, but since I had done nothing to get a Leia costume together, (and I really thought a fox would be easier) I acquiesced.  I gathered the required supplies that afternoon: 

And voila!  A fox is born!  I asked her if she was prepared for everyone to ask her, "What does the fox say?" all night, and she assured me she was, and even did a song and dance for me, but she pretty flatly refused once we were at trunk or treat.

Maggie's original plan was to be a character from one of her many self-authored short stories, but when I asked her what that costume would look like, it was suspiciously like what she had worn to school that day, with a name tag that says, "Hello, my name is Pippa O'Ryan".  I told her that was fine, but that she might get some folks who wouldn't want to give her candy if she looked like a teen-ager that hadn't bothered to get dressed up in a costume. After some thought, she went as this: 

And no, she wasn't Hermione - she was a Hufflepuff disguised by Polyjuice Potion as a Griffindor!    

Ah, my little ghouls are growing up!  

First we went to our church's trunk-or-treat, where Maggie helped man the booth her Sunday School group had put together (Sesame Street Theme!) 

Gracie ran across a friend from school dressed as Si - 

And they tried their hand at the games of skill: 


Whoda thunk that Uncle Si could hula-hoop?

Once we got home Gracie realized she hadn't painted her face, so we got her all dolled up:

And then we joined our neighbors for our annual romp around the neighborhood!

We only covered two streets, but the girls still had a candy haul that should keep them sugared up until Easter.  

As long as mommy doesn't find the candy stash!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yellow Rose Goat Show 2013

The girls and I traveled a few weekends ago to Denison, Texas, for the second annual Yellow Rose of Texas Miniature Silky Fainting Goat Show.  Once again, the girls were primarily responsible for showing goats, while my job was to photograph the winners.  Last year the show was in November, which meant we drove in the dark to get to the show.  This year we arrived before nightfall and got to enjoy the scenery on the way.  The girls were impressed by Lake Texhoma's size.  

The girls were excited to stay in the same hotel this year, especially Gracie, who remembered the pool with great fondness.  Unfortunately, she forgot to pack a suit, and the only suits available at wally world were snow suits!  This year the girls missed a day of school to come to the show, so Maggie worked diligently on her homework (plugged into her ever-present MP3 player) while Gracie settled in with a graphic novel.  

The next morning we got up bright and early and headed to the barns where we had goats that needed to be beautified.  We were not Nana and Granddad's only recruits - several friends were on hand to help as well.  Here, Gracie and Bethany brush out Winter's Dream, a Sr. Doe:

Apparently they did  a good job, as she won her third Grand Champion ribbon and is now a Master Champion.

Here Maggie uses her "goat whisperer" techniques to soothe Love Bug, another Sr. Doe.

While the girls were readying the goats, Granddad and I smoothed out the backdrop for the photos and covered some signs above with towels.  Granddad wanted to be sure I had a subject for my test photos.  

Pretty soon it was 9:00 and time to start the show.  The littlest does go first.  Here's Maggie with Gidget.  

Each handler takes their goat and they walk around the arena, keeping the goat between themselves and the judge.  The goats are judged on conformation, hair coat, how they walk, and how they look.  Well, it's really way more complicated than that, but I didn't read the whole rule book.  I'm just the photographer, after all.  

Once the judges make their decisions, they line the goats up in order of placement and they talk about the qualities of each goat.  Then they get their pretty ribbons if they win!

Here's Maggie with our first big winner of the day, Sanibel!  She's a Reserve Grand Champion (2nd place) Junior Doe.

Only the big winners get their photo taken, so I have plenty of time to visit with the goats between awards.  This was one of my favorite little goats, although he was too small to be a big winner at this show.  He's still got time to grow though.  I called him Mr. Bangs, although that wasn't his name.  He was with a different breeder who was a first-time attender at this show.  

He got good points for facial hair!

This buck reminded me of the goats in the story "The Billy Goats Gruff,"  because he just looks the part!  He did very well based on his conformation, even though he wasn't as silky as some.

These are more what you expect to see when you see a full-grown Miniature Silky Fainting goat:

Both of these goats won Best of Show (there were four shows this weekend) and are in the running for Goat of the Year.  Overall Randolph's Mini Hoof Farm did well at the show - we had plenty of ribbons to decorate our booth!

It rained pretty hard on Saturday, and I took some videos in the arena with the hope that there would be a big clap of thunder that would make all the goats faint and that I would have a viral video in the making, but no such luck!  By the time things wrapped up on Saturday we were tuckered out and ready to head home. I I guess that's another successful goat show for the books!

Friday, November 1, 2013

That's How I Know

Are you familiar with the Disney movie, Enchanted?  I really enjoy that movie, with all its hidden references to other Disney movies, and how it pokes fun at all the princess silliness while still being fun itself.  Anyway. . . On my last phone, I had a clip of the song, "That's How You Know" as my ringtone for Jerry.  It talks about how you have to not take your special someone for granted, and show them that you really truly love them by the little things you do, "a little bit everyday" to show that you love them.  So here's the little thing that told me this morning that my sweetie was thinking of me:

Our ceiling fan.  Or as I like to call it, the evil kryptonite fan.  Because if it's on, I can't get up.  It has this mystical power over my body, and if it is on, I cannot bring myself to leave the warm cocoon of my covers where the breeze from the fan is waiting to chill me.  Jerry gets up first though, and because he loves me, he slays the kryptonite beast so that I can emerge unscathed.  He's my knight in shining armor!