Happy blog anniversary!

Yee haw! I’ve made it through a whole year blogging and didn’t scrap the idea after the first month or six months. Here we are at 78 posts, and when I was thinking about what to write about I went back to the beginning and re-read some of my posts. Ironic enough my second post was about the howling wind, and you know what, the wind is again howling outside my window! Some things never change.

A lot has happened in the past year. Some bad, others good and some fun in between. I’m not much of a resolution maker, but I try to improve myself each year and not digress into the bad habits I have already accumulated. Easier said than done at times.

Thanks to everyone for reading, and I hope you continue to do so. Here’s to another year blogging!

A beautiful Friday morning sunrise.

A beautiful Friday morning sunrise.

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Despise this time of year

Despise may be too strong of a word, but I completely dislike this time of year. Mother Nature teases us with warm summer-like days with highs in the 80s and sometimes 90s. Night-time lows are in the 50s. Despite feeling like summer during the day, the cool mornings remind me that I can no longer venture out to feed horses in my shorts. Then she throws us a curve ball with a cold front and we get issued freeze warnings.

One morning last week it was windy and I could hear it blowing before I even got out of bed. First thought was, “I wonder how much hay blew away?” As I pushed the back door open I had to fight with it to get out. Not cool. Plus it required a coat to be worn, and long pants. Both of which I can’t stand. As I got ready for work, I couldn’t go out of the house with wet hair (otherwise I’d be cold all day). Then I had to dig out a sweater. Remembering where I packed them away in the closet was not a task for someone who had barely been awake an hour.

Mother Nature must like being a tease, but I sure don’t care for it. At least it makes for neat photos every once in a while.

One of those days

Monday was one of those days. One of those days where I didn’t want to get out of bed. One of those days where I didn’t want to go to work. One of those days where I didn’t want to be an adult. But I had no other choice so I got out of my comfy, cozy bed and faced the day showered and clean.

Over the weekend my horse had developed a strange mark/welt/spot on her neck. I don’t know how else to describe it, but it hurt her and hurt me seeing her hurt. So when I got to the office, I waited patiently until 8 and called the vet. Not the local vet, but the one who I take her to when she’s got a lameness issue or something I don’t want to waste time and money on using someone else.

Driving to Buffalo later that morning, I thought, man, I sure would like to be able to not have to work from 8 to 5 in an office. It would be nice to be at home and working outside. Dealing with the livestock and helping out where ever I was needed.

By the time I got back home at 530, I had gotten my wish to be outside. There were heifers out in the yard and my husband called and said there was more out and someone had penned them up across the road without water. Of course it was getting close to being dark, and he was over an hour away. My attempts to get the heifers across the road failed miserably, so I went looking for where they may have got out and hoped the rest that I put back in stayed put.

Wishful thinking. Cattle again greeted me when I got home from work Tuesday evening and again Wednesday morning. I was an hour late to work, and spent some time attempting to fix the holes in the fence where they were getting out.  Guess we will see how good my skills are when I get home from work tonight..

I took a few minutes to take some photos with my phone while I was working of my scenery. Enjoy.

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Religon and politics

I’m not much one for either religion or politics. Ask my husband or my coworkers and they know the glassy-eyed look I get when they start talking about politics. I can’t stand the rhetoric and the crap that goes along with elections, lawmaking and the like. Sure, I will go vote and do my part as far as that goes, but part of me always questions, “Why go vote? My one little vote will not change the world.” But I continue to do it anyway, hoping my vote would be the one that was needed.

Religion has always been an issue with me. Sure, I believe in God, and I believe I will go to heaven when it is my time, but why must I have someone tell me that their way is better than mine? Or if I repeat a certain prayer 82395984752 times, I will get into heaven that much faster. Or go to church every Sunday. Or confess my sins in front of someone. Or give money to the church. I don’t get some of the things people do in certain religions or why they think just because they practice a certain religion that they are a better human being than those of other religions. Because they are not. Heck, in my eyes some of the things they do to become a “better _______” make them a not-so-nice individual.

I was raised in the Lutheran church and confirmed in it, but I can count on one hand the number of times I have been in that church since I graduated from college. My mantra has always been, “You don’t have to go to church to believe in God.” And believe me, I do believe.

When it was time for me to get married, the one thing I was certain of during the wedding planning process was I didn’t want to get married in a church. Nothing against the church or the pastors, it just didn’t fit me or my beliefs. I was perfectly happy with the cowboy preacher that we chose. I truly believe Boyd had a special connection with the Lord and you could see it when he got to preaching.

I think of God when I see the works of Mother Nature. Someone had to create those things – the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the heat and the cold, even the annoying bugs. Riding through the pastures in the early morning make all of those creations evident to me. Even the dive bombing birds, rattle snakes and the badger hissing at me. I thank the Lord I am able to saddle my horse and enjoy a ride before my day really begins.

Appreciation

Definition of APPRECIATION

a : judgment, evaluation; especially : a favorable critical estimate

b : sensitive awareness; especially : recognition of aesthetic values

c : an expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude

After being gone for nearly a full week for a work event, I was thinking about how to show my appreciation to those around me. While I was gone, my husband and the rest of my family pitched in to take care of things on the home front. I even brought home some tokens of my appreciation to help try to repay them. Although to some a $10 t-shirt may not be the same monetarily as the time and money they spent covering for me, it’s the thought that counts. Right? I spent countless hours walking to and from shops in Albuquerque and Santa Fe looking for the right gifts that fit my budget and that I thought they would like to own. Tough work huh? I love each person who helped me out and sure appreciate all they did for me while I was gone and every other time they help me out. And for some of them, it is quite often!

As the middle child, I often feel like I am forgotten. My husband, although raised similarly, he too is a middle child and has the same feelings about being over looked as I do. So it’s easy for me to feel under appreciated and overlooked. I’m not a big talker – I listen – and only try to express my opinions when something really strikes a chord with me. I don’t talk just to talk. Vicious little cycle.

As I mentioned before, I try to find a way to express my appreciation for those around me, but recently I have encountered some not-so-nice people in my life and it makes it very hard for me to continue for them to be in my life. It’s tough when you have to deal with someone who is so self-absorbed that they really, truly can’t see the damage they are doing to themselves and those they chose to surround themselves with.

So instead of sitting here and wondering how to handle this person who has no appreciation for anything I am going to do my best to ignore them and not fuel the fire. It’s their problem, and no longer mine. This is what I am choosing today, stolen from another friend’s Facebook. It seemed very appropriate for the thoughts and feelings swirling around in my brain today.

Two weeks already?

Has it really already been two weeks since my last post? Wow. I’ve turned into a terrible blogger. But, in  my defense, I have been preoccupied.

First there was Shaun’s swimming lessons. Each evening for two weeks we hurried to the city pool after work for 30 minutes of Parent/Child swimming lessons. When they are ages 1 to 3, the lessons are more about getting the kids used to the water and not being scared. Shaun passed with flying colors and didn’t shed a tear. I however about did. The day after his first lesson he developed a fever and an ugly-looking rash. I got him to the doctor and he apparently had what they called hot-tub rash. Antibiotics cleared it right up and we lucked out with lessons being canceled one night because of the threat of lightning. The rest of the lessons went off with out a hitch and dad even got to join us one evening.

All smiles after our first swimming lesson.

This past week I entered two rodeos and had my new hat squared down tight. Thought maybe it might be bad luck when I dropped and broke a mirror while I was shaping it. But can you call getting rained on bad luck? In a drought, not so much. My horse can handle running in the mud, and as sandy as the ground was we did just fine considering the conditions. I was surprised they didn’t call the rodeo for an hour or so as hard as the wind was blowing and how it was raining. The lightening was unbelievably close and very loud. And of course the arena lights go off during the middle of the team roping. The barrel racers had to wait for them to come back on before they could run. We ended up about .7 off the fast time, and all the checks for the barrel racing were won on the dry ground the following day.

Despite the rain at Sublette July 25, David Seymour of Lone S Photo even managed to get photos of the barrel racers.

The good thing about rodeos is there is always another on to go to. And that’s what my sister and I did. We headed to Ashland, to their county fair rodeo. I had my horse in tow, her not so much. He had to stay home since he somehow managed to hurt himself between the two rodeos. My mare turned a heck of a first barrel, and I knew it could be fast, so I hurried her on to the second and hit the darn thing. Total pilot error. Couldn’t fault the mare at all. Me on the other hand… And then we had nearly made it back to Dodge City when a trailer tire blew. Come to find out my spare was flat and my spinner wrench was the wrong size. Awesome. Thanks to torsion axles we were able to limp it home. So much for being home before midnight!

Sunset at the Ashland rodeo.

And finally, Friday most of the office is headed out to Albuquerque, N.M., for the annual Ag Media Summit. My office mate and I are attending a photo workshop Friday/Saturday and then the other sessions begin Monday. Hopefully there will be some down time in between learning, as I could use a vacation. Even if it is a working vacation! Stay tuned for photos.

My campaign for an iPhone

Some of you might remember my campaign for a new camera that resulted in me getting a new Canon Rebel T3. The camera has been wonderful and the more I use it the more I love it.

Now I’m on the hunt for a new cell phone. I really, really, really want an iPhone. Not just because they are cool or because I am the only one in the office that doesn’t have one yet. But I want one because of three things: Instagram (a photo app); the ability to sync with my Mac computer at work for emails and photos; and the camera on it is better than the crappy BlackBerry one I have now.

Not that I need (or want) another camera, but it would be handy to have a phone that can take pics when I don’t have a regular camera with me, i.e. on my morning rides.

My biggest fear about getting an iPhone is that it won’t work at my house. Some Verizon phones just don’t work out in the boonies. I guess if that’s the case I will have to resort to getting a landline phone so we have a working phone in the house.

What ever the case, I hope to have a new phone soon. Shaun does too, as he can’t keep his hands off my crappy BlackBerry.

Shaun already can’t keep his hands off my crappy BlackBerry. He wants momma to get an iPhone.

Snarky

Urban Dictionary describes snark as a combination of “snide” and “remark.” Sarcastic comment(s). Also snarky (adj.) and snarkily (adv.)

Sometimes in my social media outlets I have to refrain from stating my true feelings for two reasons. 1) likely there’s no one who wants to hear it and 2) my accounts are tied to my job, and the last thing I want to do is make my employer mad or give a bad impression of my field. That being said, I apologize in advance. Some of the things I’m going to talk about in this blog post may not jive, and if you are easily offended, I won’t be offended that you stop reading now on move on.

Occasionally my personality gets the best of me, and even though I try hard to be nice,  that bad segment of me shows its face every once in a while. I’m not sure where in my genetic make up the snark gene is, but there are times I have to keep my mouth shut (or keys in this case) and silence it.

Case in point, Facebook. I admit it. I spend entirely too much time looking at Facebook. I like it because I can keep up with old classmates, friends or acquaintances without having to reach out to them. Plus I like seeing the news come across Facebook or Twitter and scooping friends or family with the latest.

My biggest peeve (well I actually have three) with it is people who must “share” an account with their husband/wife/significant other. I get that you are a couple. I get you are committed to one another. I get it, but WHY not have your own account?? I guess I don’t share very well. My husband and I have separate accounts and I don’t know the password to his account and I prefer to keep it that way. I have nothing to hide.

My second peeve with FB? A business that doesn’t have a page, but a regular account. There’s so much more a page can do for a business than a regular FB account. It’s much easier to “like” a business page and look through their wares, than bother with the whole “friending” process. And a page can have a million likes, while a regular account is limited on the number of friends it can have.

Another peeve is those people who share EVERYTHING on their FB. There are some things that shouldn’t be said out loud much less on the Internet. Don’t be an attention-getting/seeking whore on FB just because you feel bad about a certain subject. How about you TALK to the person you have a beef with instead of bashing them on FB?

Twitter is a whole nother beast and in the last year I have finally gotten the hang of it and managing it with Hootsuite. One thing that bothers me the most is the spammers. They tend to bring out my ugly snark more often than not.

Phew.. I feel better now. Snark (much like farts) must be released otherwise they travel up your spine and cause all kinds of bad ideas and negativity. Ok, maybe not, but its funny.

My “idiot move of the year”

I have been without my Dodge for two full weeks, and it appears as though it may be even longer. How long does it take to fix a bumper and a front end? I’m no mechanic or auto body tech, but that doesn’t seem very time-consuming to me. But I know parts can sometimes be hard to find.

So for the last couple of weeks I have been driving different vehicles, and I have discovered I can’t drive a gas pickup. After driving diesels for most of my driving years it’s tough getting behind the wheel of a truck that burns gasoline. Probably a matter of my spoiled preferences than one out of necessity. (There I said it. My husband would be shocked.) Diesel is a lot more expensive and the pickups themselves cost heck of a lot more, but they last longer, pull heavier loads and sound cooler. Least that’s my reasoning.

Normally, I drive my pickup to and from work, but my “idiot move of the year” caused a little change in plans. I have been driving my father-in-laws old Chevy pickup and our car since my pickup is in the shop, and it is making me appreciate my black Dodge even more. I can’t hear the dang Chevy idle and it makes me all paranoid. I wonder why? It has 206,000 miles on it and drives like it earned every one of those miles. The AC doesn’t work and the window creaks every time you roll it down. I worry that it will roll down and won’t go back up because of that hideous noise. But I don’t want to sweat to death either (however this fat girl could stand to sweat a few pounds off).

I’m VERY thankful to have a vehicle to drive while mine is getting fixed, but driving it makes me appreciate mine even more.

I haven’t said much about my “idiot move of the year” because I’m still not too impressed with my dumbass move. I didn’t even take one photo of the damage. So, for those that don’t know, here’s the story on my stupidity. On the day of Shaun’s birthday party I was hurrying around trying to get everything ready for the party. Not sure why I was so concerned about having everything perfect for a one year old’s party – one he likely won’t ever remember – but I wanted family and friends to have a good time.

I had left Shaun with my mom and sister to run to the store to get ice cream, table cloths that fit round tables and some more table decorations. While at the store I figured since I was so close to the dollar store why not get a couple of balloons to enhance the party mood. Heading back to the party location I was not paying attention and reached to fiddle with the AC in my pickup. When I looked up, WHAM! I smacked into the back of a SUV. Remarkably I remained calm (and didn’t get mad since that’s usually my go-to reaction in a bad situation). I called the cops and reported the incident, and thanked my lucky stars I didn’t have Shaun with me and that no one was hurt. My poor Dodge was crunched, but still able to be driven.

It has been in the shop since May 21, getting repaired and outfitted with a Ranch Hand grill guard. No, not so I can completely obliterate another vehicle when I have another “idiot move of the year” but to protect the front end of my pickup from my stupidity. And the occasional stupid deer that happens to run in my path.

But for now, I will settle for having something to drive, be it the red Chevy or our car. At least I can hear mine running while I’m sitting at the stoplight..

Same old, same old

The older I have gotten, the more I like a pattern. However, I also welcome change as it can get old doing the same thing over and over.

My job often requires travel and flying by the seat of my pants. You know where you are going, but have no set schedule, just a list of things to get done. In the office, the schedule is pretty much the same day in and day out for me, as there are deadlines each day that have to be met in order to get the paper out the door on Friday.

Wednesday I got into the office late after being gone for two days to help put on a Canola meeting in Enid, Okla. I had a company vehicle full of stuff from the meeting that needed returned to the office while the rest of my co-workers went on to another meeting in Nashville, Tenn., the Commodity Classic. (See our coverage here.) I decided when I arrived at the office in the dark all the stuff could just remain in the car and I would unload it in the morning.

Apparently, leaving the vehicle in the closest space to the back door managed to throw off the parking lot dynamics that morning before I made it in.  It’s amazing how a little change in the environment will disrupt some lives. My initial reaction was not a very nice one, but I bit my tongue.. We have the same sort of reaction whenever we close a door in the editorial department and disrupt the flow of traffic through the office. A couple more steps might just cause war to break out.

I try awfully hard to get along and understand the other side of the story, but sometimes all you can do is shake your head and go on. People don’t change very easily and disruption causes hate and distention in the ranks, but goodness be a little flexible sometimes!

However, I have no worries that someone is going to kipe my parking place. Maybe it’s because it’s the farthest away from the building.

My parking place:

I had to share this photo too because my pickup is CLEAN!