Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Missouri State Fair 2015

Wow! I can't believe it's September already, where has this year gone? Just over a week ago I returned home from being at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, MO for 11 days. I volunteered to work at the Missouri State Beekeepers Association booth for the entire fair. I was required to work a few days as the 2015 Mo Honey Queen but I wanted to do the entire fair. It was a long and tiring 11 days but a very enjoyable time as well. The majority of my time was spent at the booth but I was able to venture out and experience some of the activities and visit the buildings with exhibits. Our days started early arriving at the building sometime before 9:00 am. We were housed in the AG building which opened at 9:00 am. The building didn't close until 9:00 pm so we had to stay until the doors were locked. That made for a long day.
Our Booth
4 different days during the fair I gave a talk, in the Home Economics building, about honey bees. They have a consumer showcase where people from different organizations or businesses can demonstrate or educate about something. 

I got to see several different livestock shows including the Open Boer goat Show, pig shows, cattle shows, and a draft mule show. It was nice being able to see some of my friends show. 

Here's a pic from the draft Mule show
My dad came down for a couple of days to work in the booth and we went and saw the cowboy mounted shooting. Which is always unique and interesting to see. 

Horrible picture. They move to fast and it was smoky in the building.

2 of my favorite buildings to visit were the Home Ec. and floriculture buildings. In the home ec building they had all the food and quilt contest entries. The floriculture building had many flowers on display. Here are just a few pictures from each. 

One day while I was out searching for lunch I saw that the antique tractors were going to do a parade. I made my way to the front and found a park bench and sat and watched the whole thing. It was a  beautiful day and perfect to sit outside and watch it. They had several unique antique tractors. 

Probably my favorite thing I got to see at the fair was the Draft Horse Hitches. I went 2 evenings to that event and enjoyed it immensely. They had several different classes including 1 horses hitched to carts, youth drivers, unicorn hitches (3 horses), and all the way up to 6 horse hitches. My favorite was the 6 horse hitches. The sheer power of having 6 huge draft horses working together to pull a wagon was neat to see. Also the sound of the pounding hoof beats and jingling of harnesses in the small indoor arena was amazing. I think it would be so cool to have a team of draft horses. The Budweiser Clydesdale's were at the fair and they had them come in during the show and they demonstrated how they would dock the wagon. We got to see them exercise them and they paraded them around the fairgrounds each day. 
At the end of the 6 horse hitch class all the entries came into the arena! There were 13 hitches which meant 78 horses and 13 wagons. It was the most impressive/beautiful thing I've seen!  

Here are some other random pictures from throughout the 11 days. 

Myself and the State Fair Queen pictured with the Observation hive

Tiger Stripe Ice Cream from the Mizzou Area- Great stuff

The honey I entered in the open show. I didn't place.

I wanted to take this vintage camper home so bad!!! 

The Beef house. Great food. 
The winners from the Governors wife's Pie Contest

The Budweiser Clydesdale's 

The Missouri Elk Farmers booth was right across from ours. I learned a lot about elk!

This is at the entrance of the fair. 

It was a great time and I got to meet so many wonderful people! It was so great to promote something that I'm so passionate about. While I was at the draft horse hitches I had this little boy and his sister come up to me and ask for my autograph! The little girl also wondered what it took to become the honey queen some day and so I told her about it. It absolutely made my night and really let me know that hopefully during my reign as honey princess and queen that I've inspired some young beekeepers to get involved and to continue with their passions! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Letting Go

This is a horrible way to come back from not blogging for so long but there was something I needed to let go of and free myself from. I felt writing it out would help me have closure and I can move on from it. 

It's crazy how one single day, or really one single moment, can change the course of your life. That day for me was July 21st, 2014, exactly one year ago today. Eleven Months before that I started my journey to becoming a nurse. I made it through 2 almost 3 semesters of classes with 1 day of finals to go before finishing the 3rd and final semester. I showed up to class that day, got my computer set up, and was ready to destroy the finals. That's when the teacher asked if we had our last regular test to turn in. I froze and that horrible feeling that forms in your stomach appeared. I realized that I had not touched the test since she gave it to us the week before. It was the week of our county fair, we had a day of clinicals, and I had another test to take and I forgot all about it. I told my teacher what I had done but there was nothing she could do. So I quickly filled in as many answers as I could and turned it in hoping there was some sort of saving grace. I remember calling my mom telling her that I've screwed everything up not knowing if bombing the test would ruin my grade. My teacher graded the test and it dropped my test average low enough that I couldn't take the final for that one class. Which more importantly meant that I would not be finishing LPN school and I would need to retake that class. The instructors pulled me into one of their offices and told me about retaking the class and I don't really remember what else because by that time I had lost it and was just so heartbroken. Even worse I still had a final to take that afternoon for the other class I was in. I left the school and went to my moms work and just cried. I was devastated. Even with my mom's encouraging words I saw no positive aspect to this situation. I went home and studied my butt off for the final I had to go back and take for the other class. Walking back into the room I wished I was invisible. I knew everyone knew of my failure and It just made it that much worse. Adding salt to my wound I passed my maternity class final with flying colors and probably would have done the same with the other class if i'd had the chance to take it. The next few days and weeks were horrible. I don't think I had ever been so sad and felt so hopeless. I cried a lot and did not think that I could ever be happy again. Going to bed each night I thought for a short while I could forget what happened but instead I had nightmares about that day and would wake up realizing that it wasn't just a dream that it was reality. But probably the hardest thing about it all was telling my friends and family that I didn't finish school. I had told everyone when I was going to be done with school so of course everyone asked about if I was done and when I was taking boards and everything. It was so hard telling them that I had failed. I disappointed so many people all because of my own stupid mistake. There was no one to blame but myself. So the next couple months I went on with my life not knowing what was ahead. That was until I got a call one day from one of the staff at the college I attended. They told me about retaking the class I failed at another school instead of waiting a whole year to take it at the same school. I jumped on the chance and started that in October. I went and that class ended up being a great opportunity. The teacher was amazing and I had the chance for more clinical experience, and got better grades than the time before. I remember walking into the class room ready to take the final later that December and had a moment of sudden panic. What if I fail again. I went and talked with my teacher asking what I needed to pass the class and she said even with a poor grade I'd be fine. I ended passing with a B and just couldn't believe I was actually done. I took my boards in February and have been working as an GPN and LPN now for 7 months. Thinking back to that day looking forward I never thought I could be where I am now. This past year hasn't been easy but with a lot of  prayer and patience things did work out and I guess God had a plan and good reason for me to go through that trial. 

Psalm 27:1 – 3  “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”

Friday, February 6, 2015

Random Thoughts

Right now as I'm writing this i'm sitting at a desk in a hotel in the middle of St. Louis. My stuff is strung all over the room, a random movie is playing, and happy thoughts are running through my mind. I should be sleeping since I have an early start and a long day ahead of me but i'm to excited to sleep! I think travel does that to a person. On this trip, like many recently, i'm by myself. I have come to learn that traveling by myself is actually pretty great. Sure it's always nice to share your experiences with someone but hey that's what FB is for. I find that I can travel at my own pace. I don't have to worry if the people i'm with are bored with the random things that i'm interested in. I can take a random road in the middle of nowhere and no one's there questioning my motives! Today I traveled to a small town that sits right along the Missouri River. It's the cutest little town that really transforms you to a different place. The town is full of colonial style brick buildings, is surrounded by farms with beautiful old farm houses and barns, and is set upon some beautiful bluffs. They have done an amazing job of preserving the buildings and preserving the towns history. I got to explore the shops and try some amazing food. One of my favorite moments of today was when I walked into this antique store that was in an old building. The moment I stepped into the building and my boots hit the hardwood floor, I was instantly transported about 200 years back. The floors creaked and made a beautiful song as I walked around the store. It's like it was telling me its story and about all the people who have walked upon it. But hey you're probably thinking i'm crazy but I love old things. I'll tell you this you can't walk through Walmart and feel that kind of connection! Anyway enough for tonight I had really better get to bed. One last thought if your up for an interesting route of travel try highway 94 from Jeff City, MO to Hermann, MO. I saw bluffs, flat cropland, beautiful farms, free range goats, a random outhouse along the road, and enough curves and hills to almost make me sick! On that note Good Night!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mark Twain, Wine, and Beginning Beekeepers!

This weekend was a busy whirlwind! Friday I left bright and early to head to St. Louis, MO for a Honey and Wine tasting event that night. On my way there I stopped in Hannibal, MO to eat lunch and to visit some of the Mark Twain stuff. I had been there when I was a kid but that was many years ago! After the Honey/wine tasting I made it part way between St. Louis and Columbia to spend the night. Early Saturday I traveled on into Columbia to attend a Beginning beekeeping class. It lasted all day so I wasn't able to drive all the way home so I crashed at my cousins house about half way home! It was a crazy weekend that didn't last long enough. But I had fun at both places I went!

Here are several pictures from my weekend!

Huckleberry Finns House

Mark Twins Boyhood Home. 

This random sign on one of the buildings in Hannibal. 

Bale of cotton

Norman Rockwell Paintings!! They had 14 ORIGINALS!!! I was so excited he Is my favorite artist!

Stopped in here to get some Ice Cream

Huckleberry ice cream on top and some butter pecan on bottom. Both very good!

The Mark Twain Memorial Light House. I climbed up the stairs to the top to see the view!

The View from the top of the hill where the light house was. 

Another view from the top of down town Hannibal. That's my car at the bottom.

Where I ate Lunch

Some homemade root beer complete with a frosty mug.

My Lunch at the Mark Twain Dinette. It's a Made Rite Burger and some onion rings with Chili ranch sauce. Delicious!

I got to sell raffle tickets at the honey/wine event

The Food that was made by the Culinary institute of St. Louis

Each table had 2 different honeys and 2 different wines.

The head Chef.

Me Speaking at the Beginning beekeeping class in Columbia.

Students putting together wooden ware