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Friday, May 29, 2009

Saying Thanks!

It's time to give some gratitude!

As part of my 101 in 1001 I promised I would give gratitude once a month on my blog, and the month is very close to being over. Which, I am afraid means Summer is going to go by way too fast.

This month has been a great one. I am really thankful that I got to take a trip with my sister. We had a blast and it was nice to spend some real vacation time together. Not us each running around trying to get work stuff done, cattle to the showring, visiting with other friends, just time to relax and talk to each other - oh and Brett and Quinn - they were great vacation mates too!

It was also great to take the vacation before my crazy work season got started. Although, I spend a lot of time during the summer living out of a suitcase, I am very grateful that I get to travel all over the U.S. Through my work I get to help people market their cattle and agriculture products. I love listening to their stories and advice, and it gives me joy that what I am doing for them can help them stay in business and on the land longer.

Here's a shout out to my friends. There has been a couple of you this month that I have had surprise meetings with. I am glad that you took the time so we could give each other a hug and catch up for a little bit before our lives take us in different directions again. Also, I love the little texts, calls and comments on my blog. They really keep me going somedays and I appreciate your support. Keep the coming, they make a difference.

And finally... I have a real live blog follower! Now not to discredit any of my friends that are faithful readers, but today I discovered a complete stranger is subscribing and reading my blog! Her name is Jen, and she has two blogs of her own that I am just starting to check out. So thanks Jen. And thanks to the rest of you. I am always surprised when someone makes a comment about my blog on here, in person or on facebook. Sometime I wonder if anyone is reading all my ramblings!

Now go give gratitude to someone that has made a different in your day, week or month!

I'm moving to Virginia!

OK not right now, but maybe one day!

Currently, I am on a five trip of the Eastern U.S. The first couple days were great in Pennsylvania (especially since Emilie stopped by). I'll have more stories on that later, but right now I want to discuss Virginia. I had never been to Virginia until this trip and I instantly fell in love. So far I have just been in the northeast portion of the state, at the bottom of the Appalachian mountains. It is so green here, an abundance of grass and lots of trees for shade too!

This area of Virginia (Upperville is the particular town) is also know for its great Angus breeders and supreme horse bloodlines. Gordon Keys and his son Chandler (the current head lobbyist for JBS - another interesting story) told me that this is also the biggest area in the nation for steeplechase and fox hunting. As we toured through Gordon's fields you could see where parts of a fence were replaced with a log or special gate to be used in a race.

This is one of the jumps. This one divided a field and the road. Most of the them were between two and three feet tall.

Along with Angus cattle, Gordon and his family also raise race horses. It was a great combination of getting to spend the day around new calves and baby foals. One of Gordon's mares had twins this year, which is very rare and not very suitable. The one baby died after a few days, but the large one lived. He was so little and wobbly! Oops, I didn't get a picture.

There were so many flies, and this calf wasn't very impressed with them!

Another unique aspect of this area is you can be in Washington in 40 minutes. You would never know though by the peacefulness of the country side. I think this gives farmers a great chance to interact with consumers. Many farmers sells produce and beef right off the farm, as there is a huge demand for farm-raised, natural and organic food in this area. Also, Virginia has worked really hard to place farms in protective easements, and keep the land from turning into housing development on top of housing development. There is a lot of history in this area and the people want to preserve it. Gordon's house and barn were both built in the early 1800s.

This is the house. The lawn was beautiful. There are houses like this all over that people are still living in today.

And this was the barn. I love all the black shutter, doors and fences!

This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. And the location of my future home!

More on the East soon!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Exciting news!

A great start to the morning. 

For those of you that have followed me on facebook, awhile ago I let you know that I was getting my second cover on Beef Today. I was even more excited about this one because they called in looking for a specific shot and I had to set up the shoot. Although, the issue came out at the beginning of the month I hadn't had time to look at the magazine. Well here it is...

Today, I am off to Gettyburg, Pennsylvania, for another video and photo shoot. Then we'll head to some Angus places in Virginia and return on Sunday. I excited to head to the Eastern part of the country. I haven't been out that way yet. Hope your having a great week!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

101 in 1001 update.

Two weeks have gone by.

One of my goals for 101 in 1001 was to update everyone every two weeks on my progress. Hopefully, this will make me feel accountable and easier to work towards my goals. I will admit after I got my list done, I felt a little overwhelmed - there just seemed to be so much to get done. I kept reminding myself that this was a marathon not a sprint and I can get it all done!

Things I have accomplished:
  • 9. Going to see a show in Vegas - saw two on my latest trip Circ de Soil and Thunder Down Under! Would totally recommend either one!
  • 22. I bought more really cute notecards, and have used one for a hand written note. 
  • 98. I am pretty sure that I have found a prospective mentor. You'll have to wait a little longer to hear about this one. 
  • 16. Vegas took care of a vacation with my sister. I think she is already planning next year's. Brett and Quinn better be coming too!
I going to have to keep on working at it because I only have one thing completely crossed off. Let me know if you start your own list or how your goals are coming!

Wayne Newton, Neil McCoy, Cattle and Memorial Day Weekend

You never know what is going to happen...

So part of the reason I love my job so much it because I never know who I will meet or what I will see. After being home form Vegas for less than eight hours I turned around and headed to Oklahoma with my boss for some shoots. 

Our first stop was the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Museum. If you have never been I would definitely encourage you to go. We were really lucky, that their CEO is a good friend of my boss's and therefore we got a behind the scenes tour of the Prix de West. This is an annual event where over 300 pieces are available for sale. I already have my eye on some new artists so one day when I have my dream home I can fill it with artwork! Also, good friend Miss EX stopped by as well for a quick visit. She has the most positive and uplifting view on life. Definitely someone I look up to.

Ok on with the trip. Next stop was Hobart, Oklahoma. Power Plus/Duff's have been clients of our for almost six months and have awesome cattle. They also have an all natural beef line between their genetics and Premium Beef Feedlot. I was really excited to get out and start shooting pictures again!



After two days of video and photography work, we decided to take in the Memorial Day celebrations in town. General Tommy Franks lead the entire military attack in Afghanistan right after 9/11, and is a pretty amazing man. He now lives in Hobart and has opened his museum there. The whole day was dedicated to him, those currently serving and veterans. There was a parade, 300 freedom riders and a concert that night. Sometimes  I think people think American come off as arrogant. I just think they are being read wrong, I believe they are just so proud of their country, that they would do anything to protect it and defend it. Franks said something during his speech that really made me think. He said his mother always taught him there are three F's that should be your priorities - your faith, your family and your flag. Something to consider. 


He looked right at me, but read on it gets better!

Later, that night there was a good ole hometown concert on the football field. And NEIL McCOY AND WAYNE NEWTON were there! Who would think I would ever being seeing those two in concert, never mind in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma. They were both awesome. I forgot how much I love Neil McCoy's music and will definitely be adding some of this songs to my iPod. Wayne Newton was great too. He can play the fiddle awesome, has a wonderful voice and looks like he is preserved in time. The best part though, was when I walked around the back of the stage to take some more pictures, and shortly after Wayne walked off the stage. All of a sudden a random guys says you want to meet him, and there I was introducing myself to Wayne Newton. He gave me a hug, kiss me on the cheek and said I was a doll! I have a picture, but it is on my phone and haven't quite figured out how to get it off. I was shaking I was so excited! I guess Franks asked Newton and McCoy to be there because they have gone overseas a number of times to play for the troops. Crazy times!



Oh and one more thing. Neil McCoy played a song called the Last of a Dying Breed. The song made me think about a lot of people, especially me grandpas. I bet it will remind you of someone as well. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

So we walked 16.3 miles - Vegas Part One

Four Canadian girls enjoying the bright lights!
So I have been temporarily away from my blog because I got to take a wonderful vacation to Vegas! This was actually my first vacation ever that didn't include cows. Sad, but true. We'll start with Day One...

The trip all started with my sister telling me that she would continue to come to the U.S. to visit me once a year, but she wasn't coming to Kansas/Missouri anymore. It had to be somewhere a little more exciting. Her and good friends, Quinn and Brett started scheming and decided Vegas would be a great place. None of us had ever been and the girls all had celebrated birthdays in April or May. 

I arrive in Vegas early Saturday morning, and had sometime to kill before the girls arrived. I dropped my bags off at the Flamingo and headed on my own tour of the strip. Hunger quickly set in, and I decided a search for food would be good. Low and behold a McDonalds stood their in front of me. I don't know why I was so surprised to find a McDonalds in Vegas, but there it was, and yes a sausage biscuit was my first meal in McDonalds. 

When the girls arrived we decided hitting the outlet malls would be a fine idea. We definitely supported the American economy that day. One little problem occurred though. If you take a bus somewhere, you should check the bus route for return times and bus stops. Yes, we stood in the blazing sun, and I mean blazing 100+ degrees waiting on a bus that we had no idea if it was coming or not. Finally, we limped (yes we also did a lot of limping from all the walking we did) to a cab and arrived home! 


After much needed pizza and a few mixed drinks (I say I make a pretty good peach Malibu, Sierra Mist and OJ) we got ready for a night of dancing. Now another little thing we learned. If it looks like three blocks on the map it is probably closer to a couple miles or more. Our trek from the Flamingo to the Palms took us pass what smelled like a sewage plant, over a freeway, around a bridge thing, all in high heels, and that only got us to the Rio. We decided a three minute cab ride from the Rio to the Palms would be worth the rest to our feet. 



Long story short, we met a nice doorman at the Palms who then was able to get us on VIP list the rest of the week. Lesson learned, always smile and  be nice to others. You never know what they can do for you. We literally walked to the front of the line and paid no cover all week. Which was great, cause that made up for the $10 drinks! We danced the night away at Palms, a nightclub that played techno music. About have way through the night, these three girls got up on these rings above the dance floor and did acrobatics from them. It was amazing! By the end of the night we were laughing so hard as Quinn looked like an old lady trying to walk to the cab line. I think two out of the three of us had blisters. And by the end of the week we are pretty sure the number climbed to 20+. Good times despite 16.2 miles.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Starting the day off right Part II

Little messages to brighten your day...

So this week has been a little crazy. I now have a phone and camera again to replace the old ones, work has been super crazy, and my boss is out all week, and somehow I developed a tear duct infection in my right eye so my lower eyelid is swollen, and I am not suppose to wear make-up for seven days. Um I'm leaving for Vegas on Saturday, the make-up will be coming back out! As my dad says I have been burning the candle at both ends and need to take a little time for myself. 

Although I feel a little stressed, there was the most wonderful email waiting in my inbox this morning, from a relatively new friend. We'll call her BW, the girl looking for her cowboy! She wrote:

"Sometimes life gets busy and we get caught up in too much to take time to tell people what we think... so I wanted to let you know that your such an inspiration! You have such a good mind! It appears you know how to enjoy life in the moment (something I lack... so I envy you very much, I need to be more like you!)"

It just goes to show you how a few words can start a day off right. Thanks BW. Now everyone go out and spread the love! Happy Wednesday. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Headed to the strip

What happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

So I'm pretty excited. This weekend I am head to Las Vegas for my very first time. My sister, her roommate Brett, and Quinn a good friend are all flying down and meeting me there. After visiting me in Kansas/Missouri three times my sister said she would continue to come and see me, but it would have to be on somewhere else in the U.S. - Vegas was her first choice.

While there we'll be staying at the Flamingo. Staying on the strip was important to us, but the hotel didn't need to be elaborate. I plan on being out and about or laying by the pool, not hanging out in a hotel room! We plan on doing a lot of shopping, and have booked tickets to Cirque de Soleil's "O." I can't wait! Below is a video of what we can expect. I'll have more updates for you later. In the meantime to those of you that have been to Vegas we're looking for suggestions!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onafv5rdfWE

Monday, May 11, 2009

101 in 1001 - the beginning

Writing down some goals.

So I have seen this done on a couple people's blogs and then I came across this website www.dayzeroproject.com. I would encourage you to visit the website there are some great articles on there. I figure part of setting goals is writing them down, as well now I'll have to be accountable to all my blog readers. Every two weeks I'll give you an update on how my goals are coming along. You'll see my goals down the side of the page. February 7, 2o12 is my deadline date!

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).
Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

A great idea for any occasion. 

The thing I miss the most about being away from home is missing all the holidays. I can't remember that last time I was home for Easter, my dad's birthday, Thanksgiving, Mother's day, etc. Holiday's like this are usually spend going down to Grandma Hazel's or Aunt Kathy's, playing golf and eating. 

This year I wanted to make sure I got something to my mom in time for her big day. Mom's always bugging me about sending me some of the pictures I take and I have been wanting to make a photo book for awhile so I thought a book of my pictures would be a great idea. I have used both Snapfish and Shutterfly for a lot of photo projects and the results have always been awesome. A 20 page hard-cover book cost me less than $30 with shipping, which I figured was a real good deal since it has to ship to Canada. I sent it straight to mom, so she took some pictures for me of the final product. Just something to keep in mind for your next gift idea! (Oh one cute thing I have seen is parents scan their children's artwork and then make them into books, so they're not covering the walls or fridge!)


Mom came up with the idea of putting it on a stand.


Where to begin...

Ups and downs...

On Friday I attended my third of nine weddings this summer. It was a picture perfect magazine wedding. The bride was gorgeous. She had this veil that had lace around the edges, I don't think I would have ever taken it off. My best friend Emilie was the Maid of Honor so it was great to see her and her fiancee as well (or the term she likes to use fiancer!) It is so exciting to think that Emilie will be tying the know in 375 days! We definitely had an amazing time - I even had pictures to show you until... dun dun dun...

We were on our way home and I realized that I didn't have my phone. So we went back to the reception to search. Everyone had pretty much gone home and I figured someone probably picked it up and would give me a call in the morning. Morning comes. No phone, actually and no camera either, both were missing out of my purse. I had the camera for a full three days. I was sick to my stomach. Now I do realize that I left my purse unattended on our table for awhile, but come on its a wedding, things like this aren't supposed to happen. Thank goodness I didn't have my billfold in there. I am certainly paying the price now, and someone has some new electronics! My roommate and I even sent nasty text messages to my phone in hopes that the new owner would realize God is watching him/her. It hasn't worked yet!

In happier news... I have a new title to add to my resume. I have now won a dance contest at Howl at the Moon. For those that are not familiar with Howl at the Moon it is a dueling piano bar. Last night Robin put an offer in on a new house, so her dad took her and I out for a little fun. Howl at the Moon is one of my favorite places. Its like a big karaoke bar, but everyone gets to sing. Half way through the night they handed out tickets to win a Bucket of Fun (pretty much a big bucket of alcohol with lots of straws). We pooled our tickets together with the table beside us and one of our tickets were drawn. I was nominated as chief dancer. The first round there was eight of us girls on stage all wearing Village people hats. I got the foam cowboy hat - how appropriate. I knew if I could just get through the first round I would be able to bring the house down. My signature dance move came out (those that are close to me will know it) and sure enough I made it through. After two more rounds I was declared the champion. Robin has a video for those interested. Hopefully, we can keep it off YouTube! Good times, good times!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dominating Stillwater

Almost too much fun for one weekend... (FYI Its going to be a long one)

So the big day arrive and CGood and I made the roadtrip down to Stillwater, OK for Calf Fry. With rain in the forecast for the weekend we had been doing our sunshine dance all the way down. Five and a half hours later we arrived at Bishop's house ready to have some fun. The first night we traveled out the Tumbleweed (location of Calf Fry) by a limo. It was actually my first time riding in a limousine before and I am ready for a repeat experience. You stick ten girls and a bunch a cameras in a limo and you'll feel like a movie star! 

The crew and our limo!

Sure enough when we arrived out at the Weed the sky was dry, but the ground was mud. And not that slimy, sloppy mud the I am stuck in the mud and can't get out. Within 45 minutes of being there three of us girls had already broken a flip flop! We rationalized and decided a broken flipflop was not going to do us any good, so we left the poor soles behind (no pun intended!) Actually, then we decided that one flip flop wasn't going to do us any good either so the the second got left behind too! (hmm I wonder consuming what substance in large amounts would lead us to that decision.) Miranda Lambert was great, at least it wasn't raining, and no one got left behind, I would say it was a successful night one. (I am maybe leaving out some details here, but I think those would be more suitable for a one on one conversation so call me!)

The lone flip flop.

Day Two - Bright and early (well actually I think I was the only one up bright and early), we headed to Mom's, a little home town restaurant. I had awesome spaghetti with homemade meat sauce while the others chomped down on breakfast plates. The rest of the afternoon was spend "resting" and watching Lifetime movies until we were already to do it again. That night the rain set in so we decided heading to the bars might be a better alternative. After some awesome Mexican food and margaritas, served by a man that I was having trouble communicating with we headed to the Penny. Now a quick little story - the first time I went to the Penny I was crowned Miss White Trash Queen of American and I have the crown to prove it. I got to see a lot of old friends and make some new, and by the time we got back to Bishop's house we weren't ready for the party to end. I tend to like to cook after a late night of dancing and socializing so Abby and I pulled out the skillet and started making French Toast. Bishop even had an Oklahoma cookie cutter to make fun little states. That night turned into the next morning as Abby, the boys and I sat around reminiscing about livestock judging teams, showing cattle, watching YouTube videos and Foster playing us a selection of his favorite music.

Day three came and it was back to Mom's again to fuel the body. That afternoon we had the bright idea to pull all the air mattresses into the living room so we could visit, nap, and pick out of favorite derby hats and horses. We decided to head to Eskimo Joes's (a landmark in Stillwater) for supper and to watch the big race.  No one picked Mine the Bird to win, I was rooting for Pioneer of the Nile. After a huge plate of cheese and bacon fries it was time for the night to begin. Lot of people from K-State were in town, which gave me the chance to meet up with lots of old friends. We decided that it was time to explore a little more than just the Penny, so with our faithful tour guide and official photographer Tyler Grissom we started on our bar crawl. It seemed like we made friends where ever we went including two bands, a bachelorette party and a karaoke bar. I also discovered the best drink I have ever had a Jack and Coke slush! Needless to say us Wildcats dominated Stillwater. 

A little Sweet Caroline karaoke!

A special request to the Wildcats!
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