Here's to feeling better this year, SeaSiren!
If you ever are looking for contacts for training in your neck of the woods to help with strongman/woman training, take a stop by marunde-muscle.com - lots of people from Michigan on the board, most have regular training groups and love to get new people involved who are curious about the sport.
You are right, comps can really vary greatly (not quite as much as they did during the 90s and early 2000s when there were some really strange events thrown in on occasion), so it's never easy to know what to expect. Most of the time, comps will have events listed months before they come around (allowing a bit more work to tailor your training toward that specific contest), but in general, it's always a good idea to keep the squatting, deadlifting, rowing and overhead lifting the regular non-event focus as those 4 things will have the best overall carryover.
One thing that might prove to be good if you're interested in getting into the game is that, apparently there's a new movement for more entry-level strongman/woman contests in the works at a national level, and I hear it's going to be coming on pretty strong this year. So, while much of what has been done was tailored toward those who were experienced or had a big strength base built already, it's going to let a lot more people dabble in the sport with more moderate (but still challenging) weights to promote the sport better instead of it being a haven for washed-up and disenfranchised ex-powerlifters
I think that the astounding commercial success of CrossFit has spurred the strongman community to want to get a slice of that pie as well for all the money and attention that's come about
In any case, let me know if I can ever help out. I can usually help steer people toward finding local training groups, where to find equipment, or, for locating contests in your area, so just say the word if I can be of any assistance!