Monday, December 27, 2010

Blitz. Day 1. June

Here is your first installment of the blogging blitz. I wrote it last June and it never got posted. I won't bore you with the details of how ridiculously busy life became - no excuses. After six it is...

Well, June has come to an end. I'm having a more summery summer than I can remember in a long time. I've been doing typical summer things like a trip, berry picking, and soon, kayaking...I don't usually do typical things and I kinda like it.

As Nic and I took our summer trip, apparently, so did the rest of America. It was fun to stop at gas stations and restaurants and see other families vacationing too. My favorite was the grandma and grandpa with their three grands, aged about 5-10. It was entertaining to watch them try to organize orders and please the three of them at the same time. I dare say that they haven't had to do that in about 30 years. The cash register lady said, "That will be $26." The oldest of the three said, "Oh my gosh Grandpa! That's a lot of money!" His grandfather rolled his eyes heavenward and then looked at me, "Yeah, three times a day - plus snacks and souvenirs."

We enjoyed our first ever national dairy goat show. This is the big one. Convened under one roof were over 2000 goats, some of the best in the country. Oh the aroma. It was exciting to see goat celebrities like Jennifer Bice of Redwood Hill Farm. You can see them at, and they have some nice videos. Her animals are amazingly beautiful. This is testimony to the many decades that her family has been breeding them.

Our friends Will Pearson (center) and Paula Reisdorf (the one sitting on the chair) had a very good showing. I had the pleasure of watching ringside and holding their baby (the one smiling in her sleep). Will's Oberhaslis did impressively well, and Paula's 6 year old Saanen won her class. These are some of the Oberhasli babies having a breakfast of champions . Nic took the goat baby duty at times . It's funny, these fancy little goats have no idea how special they are, all they care about is snuggling - no pretense.
We liked the name of this company . Those tanks hold semen from some of the best bucks in the country. "So what do you do for a living?" Makes for great dinner conversation.

I think the highlight of this trip was our side-trip to Churchill Downs. I love serendipity. It was 100 degrees in the shade, but we were determined to make the tour. They announced that they were closing the tour due to the heat, after we paid the pricey fee to enter. To Nic's embarrassment (this scene is not atypical), I went to the desk and, shall we say, "helped " them to reconsider their choice. This in turn gave a few others nearby the courage to "vocalize" their own convictions, and before you knew it, we were having a tour with the sweetest guide you ever met. It was, however, very hot. I loved seeing the track in person after watching it on t.v. all of my life. I never knew that there is a grass track on the inside of the dirt track. I didn't know that there are two winners' circles, one for the derby winner, and one for all of the rest of the races through the year. I also didn't know that there are 3000 wagering windows and 50,000 seats for 150,000+ attendees, that all bets are $2 bets, or that the box that Michael Jordan sits in with his eight guests costs $68,000! What I did know is that my mom always puddled up when they sang "My old Kentucky Home." It was nice to be there and think of her. I can't tell you the date of Flag Day or Washington's birthday, but I do know that the derby is run on the first Saturday in May.

If anyone ever calls you a horse's patooty you better hope they're talking about this one (that is, the taller one). This is a retired horse that won over $5,000,000 in his day, and was was third in the 2002 derby. He now resides at the track with his little buddy, Winston, so that folks can see a true thoroughbred in person. He is generally unimpressed with tourists and this is the only side of himself that he was willing to share. The front end was pretty much constantly occupied with hay.

Nic and I returned home via our favorite route through the Smokies. They recharge us. Newfound Gap was not as impressive as on other occasions, but still. On our last stop before home we picked up yet another Guernsey buck hopeful. You might recall that we bought three last year and they all died. The new one's name is Prometheus. Prometheus, in mythology, is a Titan, brother of Zeus, a trickster. Let's hope that he can use his phenomenal powers to spawn more Guernseys - and stay in the fence.

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