To Make the Best Better

4-HI was a 10-year 4-H member. Now, all three of my girls are in 4-H. The 4-H motto is, “To make the best better.” And while that  may sound all admirable, it can be a recipe for disaster for anyone who’s a perfectionist to begin with. It can also be a challenge to those who aren’t.

For instance, when you make chocolate chip cookies, have you ever counted the chips in each cookie to make sure they’re consistent? In 4-H, you might just need to do that. If you freeze a container of blueberries, do you make sure that the rows of berries inside a container are lined up? If you sew a seam and it weaves just slightly, do you rip it out over and over again until it is straight as a board?

Yes, 4-H can induce just these types of insanity. But I’ve been gratified to learn that even as a 4-H mom, I’m learning a lot. Here are a few gems from this summer:

  • Making fudge in the microwave is easy. And yummy.
  • There are a lot of weeds in Indiana, but most of them are not on the required Division I Weeds list. On a related note, bull thistle and musk thistle are very similar. As are henbit and purple deadnettle. And the list goes on …
  • It is very hard to glue a bunch of letters absolutely straight onto a poster for a title.
  • If you make many posters for 4-H or school projects, you really need a Cricut.

Any former 4-Her’s out there? Let’s have a 4-H memory today.

3 thoughts on “To Make the Best Better

  1. When a daughter was in 4-H, WE learned that when you embroidery an X, you should always do them the same. If on your first X you start with this /, then on every X you make – start with / When I found that out, I was amazed that it mattered.
    When I began sewing in 4-H, Mother and I knew nothing about needing to press seams open. Who knew? Well we learned fast!
    They used to have a project called “Wild flowers”. If that’s still alive & well, why not try it next year? Sounds more positive than Weeds, to me.

  2. laughing and nodding my head! Oh how well I remember……I made 3 batches of peanut butter cookies one night to get the right number of cookies exactly the same size with perfect “criss cross” of fork twines!! But sewing was the death of me! My mom was a clothing-Home Ec major at Mecca…aka PURDUE and she was even more perfection-oriented in her sewing than the hardest of hard-nosed 4H judges. Good memories post, as always!

  3. I’m sure 4-H was good for me, but as I look back over it, I really don’t recall many positive things about it. And many years later, I use a sum total of NONE of the skills I learned in it. So was it worth the tension it invoked in me and in the family? I wonder….

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