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Countdown to County Fair:

If you have been a fly on the wall in our house (and Lord knows you could be by the number of flies around our place) you know that the countdown to the county fair is on!

If you were that fly here are some things you might have heard:

Goal Cards

“You are not waiting until the last minute this year to write your 4-H goal cards!”

“Let’s get the goal card finished for the projects that you have finished so there will be less to do as you are wrapping up the projects.”

“Grace, did you get that goal card finished?”

Wash your calf

“Girls, time to go rinse your calves.” Insert pause and no children moving. Now with a little louder tone, “GIRLS, time to go rinse your calves.”  Again, no movement.  Now with a little more gusto and a possible threat, “GIRLS, GO GET STARTED ON YOUR CALVES OR…” think scattering mice.


Kid-Mom, I am going to my room to sew.”

Me-”Oh, good, you know there are only 17 days until judging, so you will want to get your quilt finished up.”

Kid- “I know, but I want to make some Barbie clothes, I will finish the quilt later.”

The “ List”

“Mom, add rubber cement for my photographs to the list.”

“Jen, make sure the show box has enough fly spray in it. If not add it to the list”

“Mom, can you add a pink bucket to the list? I really want a pink one because it will look good with my heifer’s hair.”

Obviously, that was meant to be a humorous look into the countdown to the county fair through my eyes and other parents, but in reality, I want everyone reading this to know just how much time and work EVERYONE, especially THE KIDS involved in the county fair are putting in to help make it an amazing, fun event for everyone in attendance.

We, all four of us, love the fair, FFA and 4-H.  Rob and I showed at the fair and our kids love showing just as much as we did.  It takes hours of practice, elbow grease, a few wheelbarrows full of patience, and lots of laughs to prep for the fair.  I would be lying if I said it didn’t take some prodding to get the girls moving in the morning to get their calves rinsed, but seeing their smiles and listening to their conversations as they work together is worth every ounce of it. The countdown is on and I will continue to add things to the list so nothing gets forgotten, lessons can be learned, and memories can be made.  

We’ll see you at the fair!

What do you do at your house for a smooth county fair prep? Did you enjoy taking projects to the fair? What is your favorite fair memory?

From the gravel road-



If you are traveling through Osage, Iowa and don't stop at Stan's Drive In you aren't just missing out on history, you are missing out on some of the best food and ice cream in North Iowa!

Stan's Drive-In opened in 1955 and is a staple of the City of Maples! At Stan's, you won't need to even get out of the comfort of your air-conditioned car to place your order. One of their friendly car hops will come to take your order and deliver your food or treat to your car just as they would have in the '50s. Some of our favorite treats from Stan's are the breaded pork tenderloin, cheese curds, and of course a chocolate shake! I think I am partial to drive-in's because my first ever job "off the farm" was as a car hop at Jim's Drive-In in Nora Springs. I was only 14 years old, but I learned so much from that job.

You can stay right at the drive-in to eat in your car or you can take it to go as we did on a recent visit. We took our food to one of my all-time favorite parks for a little picnic. My last memories of my Grandma Patty were at Spring Park. I remember we drove to the drive in for chicken, took it to the park for a picnic, played on the teeter totter, and drank from the natural spring. I love taking our girls there to do some of those same things. They are getting wise to my trick when I tell them to look real close into the spring to take their drink and dunk their heads though. 😉 I think I will keep trying, after all, it is a tradition.

What is your favorite item to order from a drive in? Have you been to Stan's and have a favorite?

From the gravel road-


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