Today was a truly interesting and fun day. The freelance photographer for Successful Farming (Meredith Publishing) came by this morning. Let me say this was no normal photo shoot - at least not like any I've ever done before. Harlan is a fabulous photographer and was a very interesting person to talk to. He has won many awards in photography and for photo journalism including a first place 10 years ago in the photography contest at the Iowa State Fair. Last year he earned a second place for at the ISF for one of his photographs and had 3 of his 4 photo entries on display. Truly amazing! He showed me the book the ISF prints up of the winning photos. The photography area at the ISF is one I stay far away from as far as entering - but love to look at the pictures! There are so many entries to be chosen much less win is an astounding feat.
We did photos of the rolls and casserole which was fun. Then we did some photos of flower arranging. I liked the flower photos best out of the whole group of shots. Plus, I have this beautiful arrangement gracing my counter that I may not have put together otherwise. Last night I had my husband pick up some yellow roses for $10.00 and the rest of the materials all came out of my own yard. I think it looks so very expensive; however, I also notice all of the design flaws as well - wasn't paying as much attention to detail as I should have been since I pulled it together pretty quickly. Then again sometimes with my arrangements I tend to add too much so this helped me focus and edit.
Harlan did ask me why I was doing this challenge of 100 entries. At the time I didn't give a very good answer but after thinking about it today this is my response - why not? I am a person who throughout life has set goals and challenges for myself. My last greatest challenge was having children. After 10 years of marriage and a lot of prayer, struggle, heartbreak and disappointment we finally became pregnant with our first son. Two years later our second son was born. I think I have knocked that challenge out of the way now. During this time is when I started exhibiting at the ISF in open class as a way to do something to take my mind off the whole trying to get pregnant challenge. Growing flowers, cooking, baking, sewing are all relaxing things for me to do and give me joy and pleasure in even minor accomplishments. Even if I wasn't competing I would still do these things as a way to relax or unwind or to provide for my family. I loved helping my mom and my grandma in their gardens and take great pride in my own and in all the things it provides my family whether food for the table or beauty for the home. Sitting down to cross stitch in the evening in front of the TV gives my hands something to do rather than reach for food (which I have a weight problem that I am working on so this accomplishes two goals). Since having children I have found myself with many unfinished projects so this also gives me a way to set goals that ensure I accomplish some of my projects sitting around the house - from cleaning the sewing room to finishing a quilt.
Anyway - why do people train for decathlons? I am sure each competitor has their own answer but I would think for most it is the challenge. That is my answer to why - for the challenge. Harlan asked how much prize money I earn - that it must be a lot. Nope - it is really not about ribbons and prize money for me. Don't get me a wrong a ribbon here and there can make your heart sing because it means you have done something well and my mom is always the first person I call to let her know because she also gets excited and she has helped me so much through 4H and FFA she deserves that call. But in the end it is all about the challenge - my personal challenge. This is my decathlon if you want to think in those terms. Just like my fitness challenge is to be able to run around the section (4 miles) this summer.
Since I was flying on Mother's Day I didn't get to post that day so before I end my blog tonight I must say this: Mom you always encouraged (pushed) me to do these same types of entries when I was in 4H and FFA. I did not understand then but I do now. I apologize for all of the trouble and grief I gave you during my teen years when it came to preparing fair entries. But thank you, thank you so much for keeping after me. I learned so much from you (and grandma when I think you gave up on me on the whole learning to sew thing). You made sure I had the skills I would need later in life to care for my own family and to find a creative outlet that brings me joy and relaxation. I love you - Happy Belated Mother's Day!
Clark helping this morning by mixing the frosting for the rolls. He did a good job!
I hope their enthusiasm for cooking, baking and growing plants continues.