In junior high and high school I wasn’t popular. Actually, I was far from popular. I didn’t have the right creds: I wasn’t athletic, out-going, or drop-dead gorgeous. I was mostly lonely and depressed.
Outside of school, though, I had 4-H club, where I was rather popular and well-liked. I more or less fit in. And it was through 4-H that I fell in love with cattle. From the first walk through the Beef barn at the county fair, I knew I just HAD to raise my own steer to show. When I was considered old enough by my parents, I got my first calf to raise and train. And my love affair with cattle was not short-lived; I went on to raise cattle until I left home four years later. During the school year I was up at five in the morning, often having to dig through the snow to get to the barn, where I would make my own feed mixture, give the cattle hay, let them out to the lot to roam, fetch warm water from the basement of our house in 5-gallon buckets. Breaks from school were often spent cleaning manure out of the barn. I bought cowboy boots and wore overalls. I took farming classes at school, and taught myself as much I could about cattle at home. I loved how my steers smelled, how they looked, and how they moved with their powerful swagger. I even loved them when they pushed me around or got loose and ran away.
It was at the County Fair one year while making my initial walk through of the Beef Barn that I spotted a very fine looking steer. I stopped to admire this animal’s physique and compliment his owner, when his owner stood up from stooping over the feed bucket, and I noticed that his owner had a fine physique all of his own. As luck would have it, I got to run in the Beef King and Queen Contest with this handsome fellow. We posted flyers and campaigned for votes from throughout the Beef barn. On the day of the contest we won the popular vote, and were on our way to royalty. The scavenger hunt was tough for us, and we lost valuable points. We tried to make up the points in the obstacle course, complete with a wheelbarrow ride over a manure pool, but in the end lost to another Beef couple by a slim margin. I never made Beef Queen, but I make a certified-rare Beef Princess.
Hence, my alias, the “Beef Princess.” In my day-to-day social life, I often find it difficult to connect with other women who have kids who dominate their time, interests and conversation. Now I have my own love affair with this blog. I love messing with the WordPress code and Plugins. I love reading other people’s blogs, marveling at their creativity, and getting a glimpse into their worlds. I love writing and all that I learn about myself in the process of writing. Like with 4-H, I have found a community of bloggers–often other women without children–where I fit in.