Monday, November 29, 2010

I'm a talker (not a stalker)

OK, because I noticed it has been far too many days since I posted a rambling, I'm cheating and reposting my blog from the AgriNews web site.  It's long and it has pictures from Google images.  But there's no need to do more work than necessary, right?


Just for the record, neither of these guys are my dad (nor do they look like him, but this is certainly a picture of two farmers chatting it up)

As a child, it was always a big ordeal to go out somewhere — anywhere — with my dad. In the area I grew up in, he knows everyone. 

He was the township trustee for most of my childhood, so he met annually with all the farmers and landowners to discuss their assessments. He helped establish the township’s volunteer fire department, and he’s a farmer. 

His parents are from the area and are well known, too. They’re a popular bunch, and needless to say, he knows a lot of people. 

Anytime we went anywhere with dad – the gas station, church, the local lunch hot spots – we’d see at least one person we know. And, in true farmer fashion, he’d strike up a conversation that started with the weather and ended seemingly hours later after covering countless topics. 

I learned it early — my dad’s a talker. 

As a kid, I’d often tune out and my mind would wander while he was deep in conversation with people he knew. I had no idea at the time that I was in training to become a talker just like him, and I certainly never would’ve guessed I’d be talking about agriculture for a living. 

This career has turned me into the talker I’ve been training to become my entire life. After watching my dad for nearly 30 years and interviewing farmers for five, I think I could interview a wall and get some answers. 

It happens to me all the time anymore – I strike up conversations with complete strangers about topics I don’t really care about just because I find myself needing to know more of the “who, what, when, where, why and how” of whatever subject they are talking about. 

Cashiers, fast food employees, store salespeople, folks at church, vendors at farm shows — name a person; no one is safe. I’m ready to talk them up. 

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not complaining about this new talent I continue to hone. I love learning about people and hearing about the lessons they’ve learned. I have met so many people through AgriNews interviews and events that I am rich with stories and memories, as well as news. 

There are so many tidbits and neat stories about the people that fill the pages of AgriNews that will never make it to print, it astounds me. Those small pieces fall by the wayside because they aren’t pertinent to the story at hand, but they are bits of info that I treasure the most. 

I think back to those memories that farmers have shared with me and it makes me feel trusted, like I am relatable to the people I interview. 

That’s what is so great about the folks in the agriculture industry, they are, for the most part, willing to share far more than what I need for AgriNews. And that just feeds my need to be a talker. 

During one adventure, I interviewed a cattle farmer. He and his operation were special in themselves, but the story about his wife’s recent battle with cancer and how difficult it was for the farmer to help her heal and not emotionally drain himself has stuck with me for years. His devotion to his wife has been in my mind ever since. 

What about the family whose daughter was at Purdue studying in ag communication? That was a fun one because she and I could compare notes, since that was the program from which I graduated. 

There was another farmer I visited to talk livestock, and we spent time talking about his new shop and all the challenges he faced in getting it built, but how blessed he felt to be able to complete the project. 

There are a lot of conversations about faith. I’m not sure if that’s politically correct or not, but farmers are God-fearing people, and they are proud of it. They often willingly share their stories of how their faith has been tested through weather, health, accidents or markets. 

Yes, with the genes my dad passed on to me, and the experiences I’ve had through this career, I’ve become a talker. 

I didn’t really notice it until I was at church recently and, after the service was dismissed, my husband, parents and I were heading to our cars. I was stopped by a local farmer/family friend/AgriNews subscriber and we started talking. 

Off to the side of the conversation, I heard my husband mention to my mom that “this was going to take forever,” motioning to me chatting it up. She said that was OK because dad was lost in a conversation talking to someone else. 

Yup, I’m a talker. I got it honest. 

I’m proud of it. I’ve earned it.

This is me (on the left) talking with Zafer, a hardwoods buyer who traveled to Indiana last summer

Friday, November 19, 2010

Random Cold Weather Thought

On my way to the office this morning, I saw a guy riding a motorcycle... it was 30-ish degrees outside!

And all I could think to myself was, "that guy didn't listen to his wife"

He probably wanted to buy that motorcycle when it was warm and beautiful outside.

I can see how the argument musta gone -- they were standing in the kitchen on opposite sides of the table.

"But honey," he likely pleaded, "I don't need a car when I can buy this bike.  I'll ride it everyday and take it for walks and clean up after it!"

She retorted: "You mean to tell me you're going to ride that stupid death-trap even through the winter?"

Man, realizing his stupidity but not wanting to back down said, "Yup!"

And this morning, this guy had to suit up in his layers and long underwear and feel that chilly wind hitting him in the face and the snot freezing up his nostrils.

But, as evidenced by this photo, men have made dumb decisions for decades.  

Or maybe, just maybe, he's a die hard biker.  Maybe he's not married.  Maybe he is and the little lady was biking it to work this morning as well.
That's cool, too.  

I mean, that's COLD, too!  

To each his own... it takes many types of peeps to make this world go 'round!

Till the next odd and chill-me-to-the-bone sighting....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Falling behind... Freeze O Rama Style

I'm late. 

For. Everything. 

So please don't act slightly surprised that I missed yesterday's official link-up for our awesome Freeze-O-Rama.  

But because I am a slacker never one to give in, I'm writing up the post today.  

Here's the scoop -- 12 recipes made and replicated 12 times by a bunch of farm gals equals lots of full freezers and lots of happy women who don't have to do dishes for a while! 

Score one point for all of us chicas!

And because I am a bad blogger, I didn't really take photos of my recipe through each step like so many other gals did, so I'm going to post a bunch of random photos with captions and throw in my recipe at the end.  

Sound like a plan? 

I thought so!

(Also note, there were a buncha gals there that I didn't post pictures of.  I took pictures of everyone, but some of them didn't turn out so flattering -- if you aren't pictured here, trust me, it's for the best!  You're welcome!)
Here's Big D (on left) and Milking Maid Liz working on their freezer creations

This is the big 'O stove with two ovens we were able to use.  All that tomato sauce and other canned goods were part of Heather's manicotti

Here's Liz fixin' up some bacon for her quiche (and if you look closely, you can see the tongs she "lost" under the electric skillet!)

Here's Gal Megan and Frugalista Barbara mixing up some pumpkin muffin goodness.  (look past them on the floor and you'll see the sweetest ingredient they brought with them) 

What a cutie!  (Frugalista's daughter and Gal's niece!)

This is where my attempt at blogging a recipe officially begins.  Just remember, this is for a recipe 10x!

This is just a part of the ingredients I brought along in order to make 10 batches of Cheeseburger soup!  That's 20 pounds of potatoes, 7 onions and 10 pounds of Velveeta!

Here's more of my Cheeseburger soup preparedness -- 6 pounds of carrots and those same potatoes (only peeled) and celery.  Special thanks to Isabella (the MAD grandma) and Big D for help with all the chopping and peeling!  You gals are the best!
Step 1: Brown beef

Step 2: Cook up all those dang vegetables you chopped up

Step 3: Get completely sidetracked listening to the other cooking farm gals and stop taking pictures.

Step Somewhere In the Middle of the Recipe: add some potatoes and a bunch of basil (obviously "some" and "a bunch" are not accurate measurements)
Step # Almost at the End: add alotta Veleveeta and let the pot simmer until it's all melty and delicious and making your stomach growl.
Step Closer to the End: Fix yourself a little bowl to make sure "it tastes alright" before giving it away to all your blogger buddies.

This is what one recipe of Cheeseburger Soup times 10 looks like.  Both of those huge pans are almost full.
And every now and again I have a stroke of genius and that's what happened here.  I was planning to send my gal pals home with a bag of soup each.  But it was so hot coming off the stove, I couldn't hold the bags without burning my hands.  Thankfully, the church we were at (shout out to Rocklane!  It's my church!) had a bunch of pitchers. And - wahlah- hot bags of soup cooling and not burning anyone!

Finished product!

And because I know you'll all want to try this on your own, here's the recipe (click on the images and they'll open larger).  It's one of those foods that, somehow, gets better if you cook it, eat a bit, refrigerate the rest and then finish off in a couple days.  It's always better after it sits.  


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Aunt of the Year nomination

The funniest things happen when you live with your almost 2 year old nephew.  Whether it's the expressions, the way he walks like a bobble-head or the way he just always grins and say, "Hi Weetnee!" he melts my heart.

But occasionally he catches me (and his folks) off guard and he leaves us all staring at each other like, "did he really just do/say that?"

This was one of those occasions - picture me cooking and him playing with stuff in the fridge door (with the door open!  What kind of aunt do you think I am?!)

His dad walked in and said something along the lines of "What are you eating, buddy?"

Oh yeah, that just happened.

(at least it was cholesterol free...?)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No news is good news....right?

oh dear blogger buddies... I need you.  (and those are not words I mutter often... I am very much a Rosie the Riveter type!)

But here's the situation... I'm missing my Hubs.

You see, he's gone to work and won't be back until (hopefully) Thanksgiving.

He's gone truckin' with a team from here...

He does a lot of work on this truck...
(that's him... the baldy at the bottom of the truck... isn't he cute!) (photo courtesy of

And always before he's stayed in the country.  But this morning, he and the the majority of the Freestyle Mania team are crossing the border into Mexico.  They're en route to Guadalajara (or as he refers to it "good-a-la-hair-a")

After the freestyle mania show there this weekend,  they'll head to Mexico City for the next weekend's shows.

Then they'll book it back to the border, hopefully get across without any incident, and be home in time to have turkey day with their families.

In the meantime, I'm doing a lot of this....

And this weekend I'm going to do some (ok, a lot!) of this....

All to keep me from doing this...
(Cute pendent courtesy of Indypendants on Etsy!)

(I'll also be go to a wedding and cleaning my abode -- and the commode! ha ha ha!)

I'm only going to be talking to the man of my dreams a small amount unless there's an emergency.  So we're going with the "no news is good news" policy.

But all I can do until then is pray and try not to worry.

In the past, I never would have told the entire Web that my hubs was outta town, but I (thankfully) am not living alone this season, so I'm not as bothered by it.  (I now have 4 mean attack dogs that live with me and the landlords!)

(I would also like to mention here just how much I heart the Google Image search - It's the handiest thing eva!)

I am not one to typically push my problems or worries or religion onto anyone else, but this time.... well, it's different.  If I had to get him home, I can't do it with a quick flight.  There's another country's border patrol involved...and they carry machine guns!

Anywhoo, whenever you and your family say your prayers tonight (and the next two weeks) throw a quick one in for the Monster Jam team.


Purdy puhleezzzeee

Pretty please with a cherry and sprinkles and top.


You all rock.
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