Politically incorrect

I haven’t blogged in a couple of months. I will try to be better, I promise. I write for a living, so sometimes I just don’t want to write for fun. There are times where I think a certain subject would be a great blog, and never do anything about it and promptly forget what I wanted to write about. Story of my life.

Last night my oldest son and I made treats to take to his last day of preschool before the Christmas break. They were “reindeer pops” or simply reindeer cut out of card stock, noses cut out and covered with red tissue paper and a sucker taped to the back. I had emailed his teacher earlier in the day to get a headcount and hadn’t heard back so I gave it my best estimate. We had a great time and he was excited to share them with his school friends.

Before bed I checked my email one last time. There was her reply. Seventeen kids, but we can’t have candy in the classroom. Instantly I wanted to cry. I just knew Shaun would be crushed. Hell, I was. This morning when I woke him up, the first thing out of his mouth? “Mom when we hand out the suckers…” I had to break his little heart and tell him we wouldn’t be taking them. The school doesn’t allow special treats.

After speaking with the teacher this morning I was even more disheartened. I double checked the student handbook and found, “Birthdays and Special Occasions – Due to Head Start and federal health standards, we do not allow outside food to be brought to the classroom. Parents are welcomed to join the classroom on special occasions, but we do not encourage “treats” (food or nonfood items) at school. If nonfood (age appropriate) items are brought to school to share with the class, those items will be sent home with the students, but not passed out during the school day.”

The more I have thought about it, the more upset I become. I truly understand their reasoning behind the rules. I get kids have allergies and sometimes things just can’t be done, but there has to be a point where people have to stop and say, when is enough enough. I know I’m at that point. These were suckers. I could understand the reasoning of no candy if I had intended to hand out king-sized chocolate bars. But I wasn’t. They were suckers. A little treat for a kid to enjoy on the bus ride home or in the car headed home.

I’m not terribly old, but I remember in grade school parents bringing homemade cookies and cupcakes to celebrate their child’s birthday. I remember our “gingerbread” houses made out of graham crackers and frosting. Would that fly today? Probably not. Neither would our Kansas Day activities of making cinnamon rolls on the desks pushed together. We all survived the homemade treats. No one got sick or died.

I’m over all the rules because some parent got their panties in a wad over something another parent had done or made. Isn’t sharing what the holiday is all about? Giving to those around you? What are we teaching our kids when we can’t even allow them to give a treat to their fellow classmates? And besides, who wants another eraser, pencil or notepad? I know a sucker can surely sweeten my day and perhaps my attitude! Maybe I should have one of those “reindeer pops” to improve my attitude today. I will save the rest for Shaun to GIVE to his daycare friends tomorrow and cousins at Christmas time.

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Shaun’s reindeer pops intended to share with his preschool classmates.

Stuck

I haven’t blogged for two and a half months. I can’t decide if I want to continue to write on this blog or not, but part of me thinks I ought to. My brain tends to get clogged up with unnecessary junk from time to time, and I’m beginning to think that is unhealthy. I looked back at a few of the blog posts on my list that I started but never finished, and many of them spin negative. I’d like to say I don’t know how that happens, but then that’d be a lie. My mom was negative, some of my coworkers are and eventually I become that way. Sometimes I try not to be, other times I just really don’t care.

In the past months a lot has happened. Kashe the Corgi disappeared and has yet to return. A couple of calls to the neighbors merited nothing. Countless miles driving around the “neighborhood” found nothing. A couple of days after he left, the neighbor to the north called and said they had found a dead dog in their pasture, but wasn’t too sure if it was ours because it was pretty weathered. In my mind Kashe went to find a better place so I wouldn’t have to make a decision to put him out of his misery. He was blind and had trouble hearing. He didn’t eat the best and was sleeping a lot. He’s been with us since 2003 and before we got him he didn’t have the best of life. I’d like to think he had a good time with us for the 10 years we had him. He went to countless rodeos and barrel races, and was my favorite. I will miss the stubborn, rowdy guy.

Also during that time announced that Shaun is being promoted to a big brother. “Number 2” as I have been calling him, will make his appearance in February 2014. My husband is excited, and I have my moments. I sure don’t miss being up in the middle of the night with a crying baby, drool or the spit up. I survived the first, I guess I can probably survive another. I just have to make it that far first.

Because of a sore horse and being pregnant, I haven’t been on my mare since Labor Day. She ran pretty good at the barrel race that day, and even though I felt like Whiplash the Monkey, I managed to stay on and not embarrass myself too much. Then a couple of days later we got some rain and consequently one of her front shoes got sucked off. I didn’t know it and when I found it I was already planning to leave to go on a work trip. The horseshoer called while I was gone and he managed to get it tacked back on when he was in town. Between then and a day in mid-September when I actually had a babysitter and could ride I found her sore. And she’s still sore. Even after a set of new shoes and pads. Guess we will see. Muddy pens again this week aren’t helping her cause, but maybe by the weekend the fence around the horse trap will be safe again and she can spend the winter turned out some. I just hope she can stay safe turned out with the other two fat mares.

Now that we’re on the downhill slide to the end of the year, I guess I better get after getting a family photo taken so I can get Christmas cards ordered. It’s not even Halloween and it seems like marketers are already cramming it down our throats. Seems like once it’s the week of Halloween, they skip right over Thanksgiving and go straight to Christmas. Boo.

Until next time.

Sweet Heart Slew

Sweet Heart Slew

It’s amazing

**WARNING:** This is a vent of sorts, and not meant to hurt feelings. I have to get some of this off my chest before my poor brain explodes..

When you work in an office setting, it’s amazing the things that grow to annoy you. On any given day the clicking of mouse buttons or the pounding on a keyboard could send you over the edge. Other days it’s the smell radiating from the microwave in the break room.

People will be people, and many have habits they unknowingly do that annoy the holy living **** out of their work neighbors. I’m positive I do things that annoy my coworkers. I know I do.

I’ve decided there are four kinds of coworkers – the muncher, the clunker, the annoyer and the storyteller.

The Muncher. This person often grazes all day, every day. You can hear crunching, chewing and the occasional slurping coming from their direction. Often times they eat their meals at their desk. I can be included in this category pretty easily. I practically run out the door in the morning, carrying my breakfast. I often eat lunch at my desk simply because I live 15 minutes from work, and driving home makes no sense. I’d eat in my truck, but that just makes everything messy in there. But if I’m sitting there eating, engrossed in a website or magazine, don’t expect me to talk. I want to eat in peace. Please and thank you.

The Clunker. This person is a fashionista. They make an effort to look put together for the work day, and I give them credit for taking the time to look nice and accessorize. However, when you can feel the floor vibrate and hear the heel clunking against the floor before you see this person it’s bound to leave a lasting impression – and it’s not a good one in case you are wondering. Surely there’s a quieter way to walk in heels or noisy shoes for that matter? I’ve never worn heels so I don’t have a clue.

The Annoyer. This person has varying degrees of annoyance. Could be as simple as saying hi to everyone who walks past their desk. Every. Single. Time. It could be the person who posts every stinking thing they run across on Facebook and then has to ask if you saw it. It could be the person who has a cackle for a laugh. Or it could be the one who prints off every single thing and stores it on their desk. It could be the one who throws out the compliments. Every. Single. Time. It could be the one who never answers emails, answers the phone or does their job.

The Storyteller. This person has a story for every subject. They’ve done this, done that, and even brought the t-shirt to work to show it. The brave one who has a nice story to tell, may never get their 10 seconds because the storyteller is monopolizing the time. Now, I tend to be a storyteller every so often. Something funny, awkward, weird or strange may have happened at my house and I don’t have anyone to share it with besides the captive audience around me. Sometimes things are too good not to share. But there’s a time and a place.

Now, I do enjoy my place of employment, don’t get me wrong. It’s the habits that drive me up the wall. I’ve got to find a way to not let the little things consume me and make my attitude plunge. (If you have suggestions or ideas please share!) In the meantime don’t mind me as I sit over here and work with the ear buds in and some good tunes cranked up. Life is too short to be annoyed.

Slacking

I admit it. I have been a blog slacker for the past couple of weeks. But to be fair, I have also been a slacker in other areas of my life as well. My house is a wreck, and I have been concentrating on Christmas gifts and happenings and all the preparations involved with the holiday. We have one Christmas event left for this Sunday and then New Years.

In my defense, a lot of the Christmas gifts intended for family have been homemade. For our nieces I made tutu bags. Actually I bought the bags and embellished them to fit each one’s personality. I made photo tile coasters for more gifts, and it’s hard to believe how hard it is to pic photos that you think the recipients would like paired together. I also has a friend buy several pieces of my alphabet art. Again, hard to pick photos you think people might like.

And then there’s this guy. It’s hard to resist this face!

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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.

Turning in my grown-up card

As a kid I was in a hurry to grow up. I wanted to be independent and doing my own thing. Now as a grown up I often ponder, what the H**L was I thinking.

Yesterday my family ventured to a local water park. I couldn’t help but notice the kids who were tanned, fit and looked as though they lived at the pool. Once upon a time, I was one of those kids too. Every summer in my childhood we would spend extended amounts of time at our grandparents house. One of our daily rituals was to head to the swimming pool when it opened after lunch time. We would spend the entire afternoon there, have a snack and finish swimming and make it back to granny’s in time for supper.

Those were the days. Not a care in the world and only worry was what to get at break time at the pool. Hopefully my own kid can have summertime memories like mine. I’d give up my grown-up card if I could, but that doesn’t look like its going to happen anytime soon.

Shaun beating the heat during the record temps the last week of June.

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!

People watching

In my book, people watching should be an Olympic sport. If I’ve got an hour to kill and I’m in a populated place, I can be easily entertained or easily distracted depending upon my mood or the work that needs to be done.

This morning I’m sitting in the Denver airport waiting on our flight to Nashville. We are headed to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show. Since being here I’ve seen practically all walks of life – from people like me (ag folks) to young families, older folks, military people and of course the people who work in airports.

Denver is a far cry from where we departed from this morning. We left the Dodge City Regional Airport ahead of schedule for our 6 a.m. flight. My boss Holly and I were the only two on the plane. Security was a breeze and I was kind of shocked how official they made their jobs seem. A short jaunt to Garden City to pick up the other 16 passengers and we were on our way to Denver. Pretty sure I couldn’t hear myself think over the engines on the little Great Lakes plane, but we made it safe and sound despite a few bumps where I was certain my stomach was going to drop out of the plane.

Now back to the task at hand… I’ve got people to analyze. Too bad I can’t see far enough to get a good look at everyone!

On the go

We are headed to Nashville in a couple of weeks for work and one of my duties is to work on our blog covering the convention. Found the wordpress app on my BlackBerry and wanted to test its capabilities out.

Looks as though it works. Be watching for fun pics from Nashville Feb. 1 to 4.