Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 7-25-11 | TheFencePost.com

Shelli Mader: Road to Ranching 7-25-11

Shelli Mader
Hays, Kan.

The clock on the stove said 4:30 a.m. My husband and 2-year-old son were in bed sound asleep, but my 5-year-old daughter and I were wide awake, rushing around the kitchen. Pots filled the counter, the sink overflowed with sticky dishes and the oven was preheating. Our open class fair projects were due in just four hours, so we didn’t have much time. Peanut butter cookies, granola, Eskimo cookies, brownies and yeast rolls were all on the to-make list. As the hours raced by all too quickly, my daughter and I ran around the house like crazy people, trying to get everything finished, bagged and into the pickup. If I wouldn’t have eaten all that cookie dough, I am sure I would have burned a serious amount of calories that morning.

When we finally made it to the fair (with 10 minutes to spare) my daughter and I both looked like a disheveled, floury mess, but we were happy. We had finished.

After we entered our projects, got back home and cleaned ourselves and the kitchen (no easy task) I couldn’t help but ask myself the same question I’d asked since I started 4-H over 20 years ago. Why did I wait until the

last minute?

I think it’s some rite of passage or something for a 4-Her to stay up most of the night before 4-H projects are due. I thought I was the only one who did this, but every former 4-Her I know has their stories. I can’t even count the number of all-nighters I pulled taping photos in a photo book, baking, painting poster boards (and praying they would be dry by judging time) and sewing or gluing craft projects. My beef record books were usually the worst. I knew like a year in advance when they were due, but every year you’d find me finishing it just hours before it was due.

I keep telling myself I don’t want to pass on the fair procrastination trait to my kids, but so far it isn’t looking so good. However, I know that next year we’ll get all our projects done early (I hope).

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When I was in 4-H I definitely wasn’t one of those girls who took home lots of top prizes, but this peanut butter cookie recipe (a family recipe passed down from my great grandmother) did well for me. It placed reserve grand champion at both my county fair and the Colorado State Fair. This year it took first in the open class division of my county fair too.

The clock on the stove said 4:30 a.m. My husband and 2-year-old son were in bed sound asleep, but my 5-year-old daughter and I were wide awake, rushing around the kitchen. Pots filled the counter, the sink overflowed with sticky dishes and the oven was preheating. Our open class fair projects were due in just four hours, so we didn’t have much time. Peanut butter cookies, granola, Eskimo cookies, brownies and yeast rolls were all on the to-make list. As the hours raced by all too quickly, my daughter and I ran around the house like crazy people, trying to get everything finished, bagged and into the pickup. If I wouldn’t have eaten all that cookie dough, I am sure I would have burned a serious amount of calories that morning.

When we finally made it to the fair (with 10 minutes to spare) my daughter and I both looked like a disheveled, floury mess, but we were happy. We had finished.

After we entered our projects, got back home and cleaned ourselves and the kitchen (no easy task) I couldn’t help but ask myself the same question I’d asked since I started 4-H over 20 years ago. Why did I wait until the

last minute?

I think it’s some rite of passage or something for a 4-Her to stay up most of the night before 4-H projects are due. I thought I was the only one who did this, but every former 4-Her I know has their stories. I can’t even count the number of all-nighters I pulled taping photos in a photo book, baking, painting poster boards (and praying they would be dry by judging time) and sewing or gluing craft projects. My beef record books were usually the worst. I knew like a year in advance when they were due, but every year you’d find me finishing it just hours before it was due.

I keep telling myself I don’t want to pass on the fair procrastination trait to my kids, but so far it isn’t looking so good. However, I know that next year we’ll get all our projects done early (I hope).

When I was in 4-H I definitely wasn’t one of those girls who took home lots of top prizes, but this peanut butter cookie recipe (a family recipe passed down from my great grandmother) did well for me. It placed reserve grand champion at both my county fair and the Colorado State Fair. This year it took first in the open class division of my county fair too.