Category Archives: Fair


History Fair

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Jillian here. Happy February. I, for one, was happy to see January leave. I literally was sick the entire month. Kept the cough until February 5, but at least wasn’t sick. Today, I had the privilege of being part of … Continue reading


Good Bye to Summer 2017 in the Pacific Northwest

This gallery contains 2 photos.

I’m writing and scheduling this blog early so by the time it goes live the weather might be back to normal temperatures. Or at least I’m hoping they will, this year as been something else. Our normal weather for this … Continue reading

Fashion, Fairs and Fantasies…

Every November one of my dearest friends organises a charity craft fair and fashion show where everything sold is fair-trade. Each year Denise manages to exceed the previous year’s ‘takings’ which is no mean feat considering that here in the UK there are many bigger charities vying for people’s money at this time of year! But to all of us who know her, that is no big surprise. She has this ability to, shall we say, persuade people (and I mean that in the nicest way) into getting involved.Fashion Show Denise

And so it was that I found myself agreeing to model in the fashion show again. Well it’s such a good cause and as I’ve done it for several years now you’d think I’d be used to it. But I’m not really one for the limelight, much preferring to work behind the scenes, but Denise being Denise there I was stepping onto the boards again. What is even scarier than looking down at dozens of pairs of eyes directed on you is the fact that each year I seem to be slipping into ever larger sizes. I have this little fantasy that the mirrors are those distorted kinds that make you look bigger than you actually are, but sadly my self-deception was short-lived. This year I treated myself to one of the tunic dresses I modelled as it felt extremely comfortable and I thought it hid a multitude of sins. Alas, I bought it before I saw this photo, and they say the camera never lies! Tricia Fashion Show (2)AJ said it wasn’t the most flattering thing he’d ever seen me in, and perhaps I could wear it a couple of times and then donate it to a charity shop. He would have laughed on the other side of his face if he knew how much I’d paid for it!

On a happier note, I managed to get some Christmas shopping done. Fashion Show 13There were amazing things on offer – handicrafts, jewellery, food, bags, cards, notebooks- all so very refreshing from the mass-produced goods to be found in the stores and the proceeds going toward such good causes. It’s a happier shopping experience than fighting around the crowded shops. One of the stalls really caught my attention (and everyone else’s).

Fashion Show 14

This wonderful lady was selling absolutely stunning hand-made jewellery from Uganda for the Fingertips charity and shoppers were gravitating toward her special blend of energy and the gorgeous products all day.

I wish I could have taken more photographs, but the day tends to go by in a whirl of activity. But then there’s always next year … no doubt I’ll get ‘persuaded’ again.

Cloudy With A Chance of “Rain Day” by Valerie J. Patterson

Rain Day statue in borough park

Rain Day statue in borough park

According to the rain record, it’s rained on July 29th 113 of the last 138 years in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.  Now, this may seem an odd thing for someone to track, but in Greene County, we celebrate the fact that one local farmer made a comment to William Allison, a local pharmacist back in the late 1800s, that it always seemed to rain on July 29th.  Mr. Allison and his brother Albert kept a record of the rainfall until the 1920s when Bryon Daily took over the recordkeeping.  Today, we close off High Street, the main thoroughfare through uptown—we have no “downtown” as you must go up a hill to get to downtown Waynesburg —and we have an old fashioned street fair.  The center of the festival takes place on the courthouse steps.  This tradition began in 1979, and Rain Day is the only celebrated holiday in the world that is not a success unless it rains!!

Greene County Courthouse

Greene County Courthouse

1939 marks the earliest record of the notorious “Hat Bet” when celebrities—the likes of which include Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, The Three Stooges, Johnny Carson, Willard Scott, Harry Anderson, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Fran Drescher, Jay Leno, and the Dixie Chicks, just to name a few—wagered their hats against our rain!  The hats won from the multitude of celebrities who lost their wagers are on display here while others were auctioned off in order to raise funds to begin a hospice care in the 1980s.

High Street

High Street

Rain Day festivities include the Miss Rain Day Pageant, comedy and musical entertainment, face painting, food booths, the Texaco Country Showdown, umbrella decorating competition, turtle racing, bubble gum bubble blowing competition, and the Company K Salute.

High Street, 2

High Street, 2

The Company K Salute commemorates the courageous Greene County men of Company K, 2nd Battalion, 110th Infantry.  The Rain Day festivities are stilled each year and a moment of silence is given in honor of those brave men of Company K.  Nearly half their 250 men were either killed or wounded in France during World War I on Rain Day, July 29, 1918.  The late John O’Hara, a local newsman, is often quoted for having once written, “On that Rain Day in 1918, it rained bullets on the men of Company K.”

Young or old, the people come out to celebrate and hope it pours!

If you’d like to know more about Rain Day, navigate the Rain Day website, which can be found at: Rain Day

If you’re going to be in the area and would like to enter your turtle in the race, just come on over…but you might want to bring your umbrella!

Until next time…may the rain in your life always be a cool summer shower and a cause for celebration!!


Our county fair was great this year, lots and lots of fun. We have come very close to losing our fair because of funding. This year, without a manager, the board, with lots of volunteers, were able to put together a really fun fair. The weather was almost perfect with no rain and not a lot of hot weather and the rodeo drew a huge crowd Friday and Saturday night. The grandkids did really well with lots of State Fair entries. Things are almost back to normal around the farm with State Fair a couple of weeks away.

On top of almost everything else I got the silly notion to paint the house, well I was going to paint the back porch and maybe the rest of the house in the spring, but I loved the back porch so much when I got it finished that I was ready to tackle the rest of the house. Jim has definitely decided that I am the world’s worse painter. He won’t even let me use his new ladder because I spilled paint on it, not only on the ladder but all over me. My hair was a very dark brown!! I can hardly wait to get the house done, but first things first, like HAY. Tomorrow it should all be in the barn which always makes me feel really good. Especially if it hasn’t been rained on. So far so good and the weather looks great for tomorrow.

Our youngest granddaughter turns 8 next week so she has a party planned. This year her theme is Hawaiian so thought I’d enclose a picture. She and her parents put on wonderful birthday parties each year with always a different theme. I’m sure she plans these for a whole year!! Then we go to the beach for a week so, it’s about ten days of birthday—is she spoiled? Well maybe just a little but so much fun and with my other two granddaughters graduating from high school this year and my youngest grandson starting high school it makes me realize how fast they grow up.

Hope you are all having a marvelous summer and having as much fun as I have been having. Can you believe fall is just around the corner and football and soccer will be starting—brrrr!!! For now I’m just enjoying the sunshine!!

Babooshka, come!

This year my mum celebrated her 80th birthday by throwing herself even deeper into fund raising activities for The Chernobyl Children’s Life Line, a charity founded in 1991 to support the children horribly affected by the nuclear power disaster. She is absolutely amazing, tireless and may I say, fondly of course, sneaky? I mention this because a few weeks ago I found myself suspended in mid air hanging only by a thin rope; then whizzing around in a small car while being tossed a hundred feet above the ground, all the while screaming my lungs out as I hurtled toward the ocean, all of which was fondly caught on photograph by said mum. 

Why the ordeal? Because mum persuaded me to be a ‘buddy’ for the day to a group of children who come to the UK once a year from Belarus for a four week recuperative break, away from contaminated food, water and air. This respite helps boost their immune systems and makes a real difference to their health and lives adding up to two years to their anticipated life span. In light of that, how could I refuse?

But a few hours later, I sort of lived to regret my decision. For I was to be a ‘buddy’ during their day at the fairground. It started off well enough: candy floss, win a duck, toffee apples, slot machines … but then the children spied the rides and that was the end of my stomach as I knew it. From then on it was big dippers, some sort of helicopter ride that not only spun around generally but the individual cars spun too – in the opposite direction 😦  To cries of “Babooshka, come!” I was dragged to the next instrument of torture. The big dipper, located on the very edge of the sea, a hell ride during which I feared more than once an intimate acquaintance with Neptune was imminent. Then on to an obstacle course that involved my height-fearing self bouncing on an inch wide rope to get safely from one landing stage to the next – if you look closely at the photo, on the left (above the pier pressure signs)you might just see me clinging with relish to a landing station pole while my little charges continued to scramble around like fearless monkies born to the task. I grabbed only a brief respite before more cries of “Babooshka, come!” spurred me on to the next round of insanity. Thankfully, a friend’s small son took pity on me and we finished off the day with a nice, stomach settling ride on a merry-go-round.

It was the best fun, though, and the spirit and courage of those children humbled me. In her The Big Green Machine post, Lavada mentioned Eleanor Roosevelt’s edict to “everyday do something that scares you”. Those rides scared the pants off me, but I felt good that I didn’t bottle out. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Next year I want to make it to the second level of that obstacle course. 

Loads more photos of the children enjoying their trip are on the charity’s Facebook page.

Workin’ for Peanuts

I love this story. It is one of those feel good ones. The author, Sally Ness DVM, graciously has given me permission to post it.

Thank You sharing this inspiring story with us Doctor Ness.
You just never know where your next smile may come from. Not a regular, everyday smile, but one that leaves your whole heart grinning too….

The New York State Fair. Twelve humid days of funnel cake and cotton candy, bloated goats and scouring calves. A vibrant landscape of family and friends all gathered together to soak up the last remaining drops of summer. For a Cornell veterinary resident like me, this two week field trip is an annual reminder that veterinary medicine can, in fact, be practiced without the help of an MRI, EKG, or COP. I’m here to be served a hearty bite of the life of a country vet – with a side of kettle corn.

The call comes at around midnight – a gruff voice breaths into the line, “I think we’ve got a sick cow in the dairy barn, can ya come an’ take a look?” Responding in well practiced routine, I slip coveralls over my pajamas, grab my keys and stethoscope, and steer the sputtering golf cart through the tents and arenas to the dairy barn. The concerts have long finished, the gates are now locked, and the swarms of meandering fair-goers have been replaced by the flurry of the late night cleaning crew. Working under the neon glow of the carnival lights, they furiously erase the remnants of the day in preparation for tomorrow.

Upon arrival at the dairy barn, I am surprised to find not a gruff man and a cow, but a 10 year-old boy and his 6 month-old heifer calf. His name is Matt. Her name is Peanuts. He looks stressed. She looks awful. Awfully dehydrated, that is. With eyes so sunken they practically touch inside her skull, she is the bovine version of a potato chip. Rumen is dry and hard. Heart rate is high. Not ideal. He reports that she had been a little colicky earlier after a 5 hours haul from home in the heat of the day. Doing his best to help her, he had given her banamine and polyflex, since that is what his dad does when his cows are a bit ‘off’ at home. He had also walked her – for hours. Totally exhausted, she now stands with her head and her ears drooping, kicking at her belly just often enough to say that she hurts there, too. There is anxiety in his eyes when he says, “I did everything my dad does, but I think she’s gotten worse!” No kidding kid.

Step one: rehydrate. I tube her with water and electrolytes and am contemplating in which side to place the IV catheter when he pops the million dollar fair question: “Is Peanuts still going to be able to show tomorrow?” Crud. The obvious answer is no; the day is almost upon us and this calf is about as likely to make it into the show ring as a college kid is to finish a marathon after a week in Cancun. She needs rest – and fluids. With ‘No’ forming on my lips, I watch him gently stroke her ears and I am reminded of my own small town roots and childhood state fair experiences. This week was a big deal. A really big deal. So much time and hard work, so much of summer break went into preparing for the final horah that was the state fair. I decide to ride the fence: “Well, Matt, I don’t know. Let’s see what we can do.” Knowing an IV catheter would be a sure way to get the night supervisor’s attention – and Matt’s name scratched from the entry lists tomorrow – I head to the vet office to see what I’ve got. I survey my stash of supplies and return to the dairy barn packing a simplex, hypertonic saline and two 5 liter bags of fluids. By this time we have drawn a small late night crowd of concerned observers – similarly aged boys from Matt’s 4-H group – which is good because we are going to need their help. Matt holds Peanuts while I guide a 14 gauge needle into her jugular. One boy holds the bottle of hypertonic, another holds the fluids, still another holds a pocket knife. Two other boys, both a bit older, supervise. We give Peanuts most of the bottle of hypertonic, and then dump out the remainder. With me still manning my position at her neck, the boys cut the base off the bottle and then carefully pour in the fluid from a punctured bag. They work with absolute focus: pouring carefully to avoid spilling, lifting the bottle high above their heads, then bringing it back down for refilling just before it empties and lets air invade the line. Soon, we are finished. Soak it up, Peanuts. Now it is time to wait. We call it a night and agree to meet back first thing in the morning.

6am. Pulling up to the dairy barn through the early morning fog, there is already a steady flow of bovine traffic to and from the wash rack. The sounds of blow dryers and clippers resonate from inside. It’s show time. As I turn down Peanuts’ aisle, I say a little prayer under my breath. Please let her be better. Please don’t make me wreck this kid’s state fair. Please. I head toward her stall, but as I draw nearer, it is not Peanuts that I see first. It is Matt. He is sound asleep on a cot, with no blanket, less than a foot from his calf. He must have slept with her all night. He is out cold, one hand dangling limply in the hay at her side. Peanuts, on the other hand, pricks her ears and turns her head to greet me. She is happily chewing her cud. Eyes bright and no longer sunken. Water buckets half empty. Thank goodness. Matt’s class isn’t until 3pm, so I wake him just enough to tell him his calf is going to be okay to show before letting him drift back into exhausted slumber. His 4-H leader, who is by now aware of last night’s festivities – thanks to Matt’s comrades – walks by and mouths the words “thank you.”

I return at 11am to check on the pair. Matt, looking freshly pressed and ready for action, greets me with a smile. He is already fully dressed in his showmanship attire: boots polished and number neatly pinned to his front. I glance at my watch and smile; he still has 4 hours. Peanuts chews her cud contently and appears oblivious to the raucous she caused merely a few hours ago. I turn to go and Matt stops me. “Don’t I need to pay you?” he asks. I’m astounded that a 10 year old kid would show such responsibility. I do have a bill in my pocket, a mere $37.00 thanks to special fair pricing, but I had planned on asking his 4-H club leader for his parents’ phone number and settling with them directly. When I offer my plan to him, he simply says, “No ma’am, I can pay for it,” and whips out a little wallet from his crisply starched Wrangler jeans. He counts out $37 in mostly fives and ones, and then hands them over decisively. “Do you have enough money for the rest of fair? For food?” I ask. “Yes, ma’am, I have lots.” He begins brushing the already immaculate Peanuts and says, “Ya know, I think she just wanted some extra attention!”

Four hours and a blue showmanship ribbon later, all was well again in the dairy barn. As I sat in the stands watching Matt’s class, I couldn’t help but grin and once again be reminded that we vets are so fortunate to do what we do. In an unlikely place at an unlikable time, I bumped into a boy and a calf that left my heart feeling full and made my day, my week, and probably much, much, more – all by just doing my job. There’s a reason we don’t do this for the money – our return is cash for the soul. I’ll take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday.