Saturday, May 22, 2010

Killer Kitties...

Don't let them fool you... these girls only look cute and innocent.

They are cute when they paw on the glass door...

And when they play and pounce on each other...

When they stretch and lounge all day long...

They eat, drink, romp and.... kill....

These next few pics are intentionally far away... didn't want you to get totally grossed out right off the bat...
That little pebble looking thing is some sort of organ from some sort of critter that the rest of the body disappeared...

This is one of the little sweeties sniffing remaining organ... that's blood stained concrete to the left side of the pic.

This is part of a fuzzy tail that once was attached to...something....

And then a couple days ago, they left their prize at the door for me to see...

They seemed so proud... I was so grossed out.  And like any other chick would, I stepped right over it and left it there.  I'm hoping it will disappear on its own, and then that the dogs won't find it and roll in it...

Don't look her right in the eyes... they're the eyes of a killer....  (now if these girls could just dig up all the moles in the yard, they'd really be earning their keep!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I feel so special!

I won something!  It's a bloggy award (or something like that)

Keep in mind, I am new to blogging and this is my first award so I am also new to blogger awards!

I started blogging thanks to a seminar/training guide/guilt trip that was attended by a bunch of the same gals.  So this "The Versatile Blogger" award has been passed around.  (But it also makes me sing to myself, "they like me, they like me!")

Here's how it all went down: my new friend Marybeth over at Alarm Clock Wars first bestowed my validation award on me.  And then, Leah at Beyer Beware added me!  And then pig farmer Heather mentioned me in her acceptance speech for the award!

So to all of you outstanding gals... Thanks for liking me! :)  (And not making me feel like an incompetent goob at these blogger workshops!)

Here are the rules of the award:
  1. Thanks the person who gave you this award. 
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass the award on to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and think are fantastic.
  4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

hmmm... Seven things about me...
1. I love Jesus (just like Leah!)
2. When Hubs proposed to me, I told him no because I thought he was joking
3. I am terrible at follow-through... doesn't matter if it is following up or finishing a project
4. I am almost always late for everything
5. I cry at almost anything sappy on tv or movies
6. I'm using my blog to get out of my comfort zone - I love to talk to people about themselves in person, but I'm not much good at being my charming self face-to-face
7. I really, really, really don't like the concept of kitchens decorated with roosters or chickens.  I don't care if other people do it, but the thought of dirty chickens surrounding me while I eat just grosses me out.

Next up: 15 blogs I follow that I want to pass on the award to...
OK, lemme say this isn't super fair because so many of the gals from my blogger-workgroup have already been given the award, so I'm going to highlight them without technically giving it to them...
1-3: see above gals
4: Goodeness Gracious: she's the one that got me into this...
5: Hoosier Farm Babe: she's a farm reporter like me (only for the competition!)
6: Katie at On the Banks of Squaw Creek does it all - mom, wife, farmwife and crafter (and my new friend!)  She really should move that turkey farm to Indiana!
7: Julia at The Gallivanting Gal lives in the hills of Indiana although we're family and grew up in the same county.  She's a new mom and lives on a farm with her Hubs and is populating their homestead with all kinds of critters
8: A fun crafty blog I like to follow is done by Donna at Funky Junk Interiors.  Her blog is so much more developed than mine, but I'm learning a lot from her, too.
9: FoodieFarmGirl has all kinds of great stuff on her blog, but I'm loving all her cute aggie pictures!
10: Dittle Dattle: Fun and great crafty ideas and nice photos (I'm a sucker for photos!)
11: Decorator blog I love:
12: 'Nother decorator blog I love: The Nester
13: Two Maids A Milking: the tales of two gals on the dairy farm and all the dirty stuff that entails (and they're Johnson County folks!)
14: The official blog of the Indiana Wine Grape Council - good stuff happening here
15: The Indiana State Fairgrounds blog - this team talks about what's happening at the grounds years round

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The randomness that is my life...

...I've had a couple people mention that they enjoy reading my blog in order to get to know me better.  (after all, isn't that what we're all here for anyway... to peer into someone else's life so we can share our own triumphs and trials with someone?)

So, to give you a better idea about me, here's a short story (at least I'm intending on it to be short) with pictures about my evening.  Nothing traumatic happened, this is just a glimpse into the random things that make up my life... or at least 5-6 hours of one evening.

After work, I headed to one of my nephew Will's graduation ceremony.  I know what you're thinking, "Whitney, you are way too young to have a nephew already graduating high school!"  I know, I know... {blushes}... and you're right.  ;)

Mr. William graduated from pre-K last night.  He attends (or attended pre-school at my church)

He's a pretty cute little thing, isn't he?  He's got girlfriends... that's right, that's plural... as in more than one little gal thinks he's a cute as I do!

 (It's a cruddy pic, I know.  I'm a bad aunt and didn't take my camera in with me, even though hubs couldn't be there to see the little guy!  This is from Mother-In-Law's phone)
Mind you, this wasn't my first graduation ceremony for one of the monkeys in my life....  the oldest, Sam, graduated from kindergarten a few years ago, as did her sister, Ali. Their bro, Cole, will graduate from kindygarten in a couple of weeks.  And Chloe, the youngest of the Kentucky-based monkeys, graduates from pre-K like Will did a week before Cole!  (geesh, these kids grow up so fast!)

So I went to Will's graduation and watched as he sang "I'm in the Lord's Army" just like I did many years ago at the exact same church.... (tear!)

On the way to graduation, I stopped at Wally World to look for a toy Max D truck for niece, Cai Bear, because she lost hers and her dear momma put out a call for someone to try to find a new one before Cai realized it was MIA.  I didn't find a truck, but I did find these babies... they were calling my name!  

I spent $5 on all of them... and in my book, that's a WIN!

After graduation, the rest of the familia went out to eat, but I headed home to let the dogs out and so I wouldn't have to feed Dave, Dave, Dave and Dave in the dark.  

Once I was back in the house, all the critters were settled, the trash and recycling were changed, the dishes were done and I got my jammies on (these are the priorities in my life), I proclaimed loudly for all (the dogs) to hear, "Let's organize those junk drawers!"  

They were not nearly as thrilled as I was...

"Really, Mom, organizing...?"
"Yeah, you go ahead lady, I'll be right here..."
"I'll just lay here and look scary with my eyes reflecting off the floor while you work on that..."

(Notice the recycling in the background waiting to go out.. ha!)

But I felt the need... the need for clean!

After all, here's what I was facing:
Drawer #1


Ahhh, can you hear my sigh of contentment?

Here's the other one:



This second drawer really was in BAD shape.... let's just say there was a heated discussion in the house about trying to find the hammer that is supposed to live in this drawer.  Turns out, upon organizing, I found said hammer under a buncha junk (hence the "junk" drawer) and now there are TWO hammers living here.  Ya know, in case one walks off or burrows under stuff again!

I also accomplished another major To-Do in my house while I was cleaning the drawers ... (multitasking at its finest, really)...I got caught up on Parks and Recreation with Amy Pohler and Private Practice with the ever so charming and white-teethed Taye Diggs.  :)

So, yeah, that was my night.... graduation, The Lord's Army, pigs, dogs and junk!  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?!

Until the next adventure...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Let's not get ahead of ourselves...

(*disclaimer: this post had a point when I started it, but I got to rambling and I lost direction on it.  I can't remember what the end product was going to be..maybe something that happened this weekend... I don't know....sorry!)

Here at the paper, we work a week ahead.  For example, even though today is May 17, we're writing for our May 28th issue.  

My boss man says it's the working so far ahead of ourselves that make the weeks fly by -- we're always looking ahead, never back.  There's just no time for it.  

The weeks fly by in this job.  Monday through Wednesday are spent gathering info and Thursday and Friday are spent writing and editing. 

I never thought I would have a job where I wake up on a Friday morning shocked to find the end of the week is here...again...already!  

And while the clock moves rather quickly, so does the entire editorial staff.  I am in awe of what we can turn out in a week!  (If you're a Twitter-er, you can now follow our whole staff on Twitter!  To find all of us, check out and then look for all of our pretty faces under "followers"... and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @AgNews_Cole)

Once we get our office copies of the week's finished product -- full of stories that we've all written like over a week ago -- it is such a thrill to flip through the pages and remember where I've been or what I've seen.

Every new issue of AgriNews is like opening a present.

When I started this job four and a half years ago, I had no idea just how much I didn't know.  (That statement isn't a typo, but you might have to read it twice to "get" what I'm saying here.)

I grew up in the country.  My family farms a few hundred acres -- not much by today's standards.  I was a 10 year 4-Her and showed beef cattle and pigs.  I earned my American Degree through FFA, served as a chapter and district officer.  I graduated from Purdue's College of Agriculture.

I'm about as all-American, tomboy, country-chick as you can imagine.

But when I applied for...and somehow managed to get... this job, I had NO idea what I was in for.  I thought I knew about agriculture and had a grip on everything it entails... boy, was I wrong.

I often joke that my background was enough qualification to get me the job and I'm still learning how to do it.

I have met SOOOOOOO many people and learned about SOOOOO many things from feeding cattle a steady diet of cast off pizza crust to making red hots from scratch.  I have gotten to see the law making system work!  That sounds so dull, but it is really cool.

I have learned enough that I can carry on an intelligent conversation and not feel like a goober.  Again, if you aren't a reporter, that might make you say, "huh?"  But when you are interviewing someone and you can demonstrate that you understand what they are saying, they more like to keep talking.

I have had folks send me thank you letters (and even a gift basket with chocolates in it one time -- thank you A Taste of Indiana!  They make awesome arrangements and sell all kinds of goodies Made in Indiana!  Very Cool!)

And I've had folks send me letters that aren't fun to read -- including a guy who told me he was ashamed to read I was a Boilermaker!  (What the heck is up with that?!!)

But I still love this job.

You wanna know a secret, though?  (Hey boss man, stop reading here....)
I really don't care for writing.  

I failed a research paper in middle school and it scarred me for life.  It was the only assignment in my life I failed.  And it was a research paper -- and now I write shorter versions of research papers by the boatload in the form of newspaper articles!  Oh, the irony!!

BUT -- I do LOVE to talk to people and I LOVE to hear everyone else's stories and I LOVE ...I mean LOVE when I am interviewing someone and they say to me, "yes, Whitney.  That's it.  You get it. You understand what I'm saying."

ahhhhhhhh..... it's like the angels sing.. it's like a breath of fresh air!  That is music to my ears!

So, if I have to do a little writing as a trade off in order to keep traveling the Hoosier state and meeting people and hearing their stories and learning about things like alfalfa that covers its entire stem with little hairs to prevent aphids .... I'M IN!

I have been on a couple of fun adventures for work lately, but I'd rather not write about them until they are live on the Web site so I can direct you straight to them.  Oh!  I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Sorry there aren't any pictures amid this rambling, but I've got some good ones to show you coming up soon, I promise!

Until the next adventure...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Walking is for the dogs...

With the beginning of the new year, I made the goal to try to get in better shape.  In years past, I've always said I wanted to drop some weight and have failed miserably.  So I tried to trick myself into thinking that it's not about a number on a scale as much as it is feeling better.

As a part of said goal, I joined the local rec center and was trying to go as often as possible.  Since that beginning -- and seeing my oh-so-unflattering picture on my new rec center membership card -- I really have tried to get in a fair amount of activity.  I am not keen on referring to said activity as "exercise" because that makes me lose motivation instead of weight.  ick... I am not one for exercising

Anywhoo, as fuel prices creep up, Hubs and I are trying to conserve trips into to town.  (My co-workers laugh at me when I tell them I go "into" town)  So when I forgot to pack my workout shorts and bra yesterday, I knew that if I wanted to get in some exercise activity, I would be doing it close to home. 

And, I knew I'd have to take a dog with me.  If Hubs isn't home from work yet, I take The Big One because she can keep up with me (ha ha, I just said "keep up" as if to imply I move really fast!  ha ha! I don't BTW)

But, if Hubs is home -- as was the case yesterday -- I am forced to take The Little One.  He looks sweet and innocent, but if I leave him home alone, I can hear him screaming like a baby the whole way down the road and back.  And Hubs can't stand it.  The only option is to take my little buddy with me.

(I apologize in advance for the crummy pics, they're from my BB, not my Nikon!)

So I harnessed him up and we headed out the drive and down our road...

He's not a bad dog to take on a walk, except he has little legs...

... and he feels the need to lift a little leg on EVERYTHING we pass....

Or, he'll stop because he thinks he hears something in the grass...

... that needs to be pounced on.

During the first half of our walk, he likes to stay out a head of me...

... and even takes off running to try to stay in front of our two-member-pack...

... but eventually, his little legs wear out and he slows down...

... or we pass another mailbox.  (I'm SURE our neighbors love us!)

But once we get home and he gets freed from the harness, he's suddenly a tired pup and just wants to be left alone.  I like to be left alone, too, but alas, someone needs to do laundry and clean the shower and feed the troops...

Needless to say, I got some activity in last night with my little buddy, but it was far from the sweaty workout I would've gotten if I'd just remembered my gym bag.

It's already in the truck for tonight  ;)

Until we meet again...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kool-Aid at 3am

Ok, so this post doesn't have any pictures -- reference the 3am part of the title.  There's not much clear thinking that happens at 3am for me.

Long story short, Hubs had been outta town one day and I was expecting to be home that night about supper time.  Well, he was driving back up from Nashville, TN (ya know, the place with all the water as of late) and got stuck in traffic.  He didn't get home until 3 in the morning and needless to say, I was SOUND asleep (until he got in the driveway and the dogs started barking that is.)

Being a bad terrible lazy overworked gal, I certainly wasn't getting up to greet him at the door.  After all, I was being helpful -- I was keeping the bed warm for him!

At least I didn't think I was getting out of bed at 3am... that is until he walked in and flipped on the bedroom light and said, "get up.  The fridge is leaking kool-aid all over the floor."

I give him credit for not freaking out or panicking.  By the time I got to the kitchen, he had three wet towels (and they were rags -- he even was a good man and went to the basement to get rag towels instead of just using the nearby purty ones!) and was cleaning the fridge inside out and top to bottom.

So what happened to cause a kool-aid flood in the kitchen at 3am?

We drink a lot of kool-aid at our house -- it isn't actually brand-name Kool-Aid, it's Wal*Mart knock off sugar free Crystal Light strawberry, banana and orange mix.(It's da bomb, and for a kick could be mixed with a bit of Sprite, Mt. Dew or regular OJ)

To avoid having to make a new batch each night, I had bought a big sun tea container at Wal*Mart with a spout on it and mixed up a double batch of the stuff.

Well, I'm thinking that when I closed the fridge door after sitting the jar in there, the condiments in the door pushed down the lever just enough (or the dumb thing just leaked!) to allow the kool-aid to roll freely like a river into the fridge, onto the floor, over the floor, under the fridge, behind the fridge, etc.

What a mess...  But God bless the man I married for staying up to help clean it, not freaking out about it (we are after all trying to sell the house and a kool-aid stained floor doesn't really match my decor) AND for using rags and paper towels so as not to stain my good towels.

I am pretty crazy about him, even though he does usually occasionally drive me crazy.

I feel sorry for any gal out there who's looking for a good man to call her own because I think I got the last one...

Until the next adventure.... (and here's hoping it has nothing to do with 3am wake-up calls!)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

No Roller Skating Allowed...

As I've said before, I have a pretty cool job here at AgriNews.

I get to see a lot and do a lot that I'm thinking I wouldn't have if I would've trashed the classified ad that one our family friends circled and left on our doorstep for me about five years ago.  This has been a wild ride and I continue to learn so much here about all types of agriculture.

But a couple weeks ago, I had a new experience thanks to this career choice -- and no, it wasn't pulling an illegal U-ie in the middle of a country road intersection just as a county sheriff was cresting the hill right next to me (not that I would do that, or then laugh about the irony the entire time he was following me and praying I wouldn't get pulled over for drunk driving.) (Not that I have been pulled over for drunk driving... well, truth be told, I have, but I wasn't drinking, just laughing and seat parents drive past while I was sitting on the side of the road talking to the cop....they honked and waved...)   I digress...

Anywhoo, so I got to visit a buffalo farm!

I was pretty stoked because A.) the only buffalo I had ever seen was on a vacation car trip out west and B.) it certainly seemed to be a rarity in Indiana.  I mean, these are buffalo for cryin' out loud!

But, as I talked with Rich Vaughan about his herd of buffalo (or bison) he made a great point when I asked how the buffalo had to adapt to living in Indiana's four seasons, after all, I had only seen them out west where I assumed it was dry all the time, I guess.

"Whitney," he said, "what's on the state seal?"

God bless him for not making me feel like a moron (that tends to happen with some people!  I always get nervous when people start asking ME questions in an interview -- that's not how my job works... I ask the questions around here!)

That's right, our state seal has a buffalo right in the middle of it!  Duh!  And I call myself a Hoosier!  (although, in looking for the pic of the state seal, I found a homeschooling Web site that said Indiana residents can be referred to as Hoosiers or Indianans -- is that true?!  Indianans?  That just sounds silly... not like Hoosiers!  or Boilermakers!!  Whoot whoot for Purdue!!)

Whitney, get back on track...

Where was I...?

Buffalo... right!

So I go visit with Rich at Vaughan Buffalo Farm and have a great time chatting with him and he showed me the mounts he has made of the bulls' heads.  (Bison bulls are only used a few years until they are switched out to prevent inbreeding -- made sense to me!)  The bulls are done as shoulder mounts and are HUGE!  And very cool!  They stick out from the wall like four feet!

Mental note: when building/buying next house, make sure it has room to hang a bison bull mount just for the coolness of it... very a la Dances With Wolves...

But when it was time to go get a picture of Rich with the herd, I was caught a bit off guard.  On the phone beforehand, Rich said getting a pic would be no biggie.  We'd just sprinkle some hay by the fence and they'd come over and stand in the background. Wallah! 

When we went out to do just that, we found the herd was on the other side of the pond and pasture -- like five acres away.  Now, you must know I was prepared to walk through mud or bison turds, I had packed my muck boots.  (but not my roller states!  ha ha, I've had that stupid song in my head ever since this interview!)

But I was NOT okay to walk that far with nothing between me and a few thousand pounds of buffalo!  If it were cattle, I'da been fine with that, but these gals were huge and had horns and the bull was in the pasture with them.

I must had had a look written on my face that said, "Holy buffalo, Batman, I am NOT going in there!"  Rich offered to drive us out to the herd in his Jeep and I jumped at that opportunity.  He took the doors and windows off to make taking photos easier

Getting to the herd was a bit like rock-crawling if any of you have ever done it.  There had been big rains and the pasture around the pond was washed out into ruts.  It was fun.

But once we got to the herd, they were all about checking us out.

Like curious kids they were...

Time to get a picture of Rich and the herd...

He gets out of the Jeep and I start to follow...

In that second, the nice guy that I had been chatting all morning with snapped into his protective father mode...

"I wouldn't do that if I were you," he said with his hand out in that "stop, in the name of all things holy" fashion. I didn't question him.  I got my legs back in that Jeep purty darn fast!

So he got out, and I shot the buffalo and Rich (with the camera, not a gun) from the Jeep.

And it worked out beautifully.

Turns out, bison are kinda like other animals (go figure) and they like to roll around in the dust.  Rich said it is their own way of keeping the flies off of them.

I don't care why they did it, it sure was fun to watch ...(and nearly feel the Earth move under them!)

Then I got on my truck and drove back to the office.  

No buffalo or agriculture reporters were harmed in the writing of this article... luckily!  :)

Until the next adventure....
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