I have heard from so many of you, both locally and from across the country about the Dayton Daily News article. Your overwhelming support has bolstered me during a challenging time.
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Before we get to the marketing stuff, here is your pig farming moment of zen:
7 Things You Can Get Away With if You are an Experienced Writer
- Good writers can extrapolate content from other sources without it sounding like a plagiarized book report. I mean that you can pull a phrase from the CEOs last speech, a paragraph from the last blog post you ghost-wrote for the VP, and the speaker notes from the sales presentation and knit it together in a new way that makes a fresh and compelling point and reiterates your key content themes.
- You can do your own research to supplement materials provided. I once had a client who wanted me to write an article for a trade publication on her behalf. She helpfully provided me with--I am not making this up--two dozen links to pages on their blog that featured 5-word definitions of industry terms. That's a lot of knitting. So, confident in my knowledge and abilities, I researched the topic myself, looking both within their own materials and in the industry to create a great, insightful article.
- With skill comes efficiency, which translates to the ability to wait until the last minute to bang stuff out. Like many creatives, experienced writers thrive on the pressure of deadlines and still get away with producing high-quality content on tight turnaround.
- Good writers can mimic another's style. Whether it is writing in the "voice" of an executive, or just ensuring you are using industry terms and phrases, a good writer can adopt writing styles to suit the situation.
- You can write something from nothing. Similar to #2, you can start with the blank page and create something from sometimes literally nothing. Clients/bosses ask you to draft messages they can't articulate on topics they can't define. And you do it.
- You weave in the essence of company branding, strategy and messaging without ham handedly shoving the stilted words of the vision directly into the text. More difficult than starting with nothing is starting with something that you are required to incorporate into the text--and make it seem natural.
- Experienced writers have tricks up their sleeve. Tricks like using lists to grab a reader's attention and also jump from topic to topic without needing fancy paragraph transitions. Don't forget the headlines and headers. Good writers can create punchy headlines that will drive interest and use headers to help break up long text.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
2020 is CRAP. And no where is that more apparent recently than the Christmas Tree erected on Fountain Square in Cincinnati. Yikes. It looks like they fixed it up, but with what? The corpses of 20 other trees?
Every woman reading this knows what happened. They sent men to get this tree. The men drove to the place where they were supposed to procure the important symbol of the holidays for a major metropolitan area and said, "how 'bout this one." They all agreed that this one was the easiest to cut and easiest to load, so back they went to Cincinnati. Somewhere outside of town they lost half of it, but still it was a tree. Mission accomplished.
If women had been involved in selecting the Cincy Tree, they would have viewed all the trees in southwest Ohio, made multiple visits to each. And then selected the first one they saw originally. But also bought a second one in a smaller size, in case it would fit better later. But at least it would not have been that janky thing.
I am a Christmas purist. I don't like decorating pre-Thanksgiving. I won't listen to the music until the calendar says December. I must have a real, actual Christmas tree in my house that I decorate with a curated set of decorations reflecting family memories. Not matching bulbs. Are you a Macy's?
But last year I waited a little too long to get my real tree. After putting off his suggestion that we go ahead and get our tree in November, NOVEMBER! I finally sent Husband unsupervised to pick out the family tree for our fun, old-fashioned family Christmas.
Oh, I forgot to mention that my Christmas purity is only upstaged by my unwillingness to pay $70 at a tree farm. Anyway, heading out in the family truck to pick the perfect tree from the Tractor Supply parking lot and then heading inside to get some raccoon traps and heat lamps for your baby pigs is very authentic and very country.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
Usually the whole family chips in to make this happen. My job is to handle the auction clerking, which includes logging the sales, collecting payments, and convincing someone else to notify Husband should there be an error in any of that.
My tools for that task included a Windows 95 laptop and a dot matrix printer--the kind that uses the attached paper with the pin holes on the side. If none of that last sentence made any sense to you, then see this pic and know that the technology we used before 1999 was index cards and stuff called carbon paper. We only stopped using this computer in 2019!
For the kids, every year meant a new coming of age milestone of being allowed to go help wash pigs, or old enough to stay for the whole auction, sometimes until nearly midnight.
Every year we load up the pigs at the farm and truck them to a local fairgrounds where we hold the auction. The pig loading itself is full of tradition, including supervisory Grandmas and lots of donuts.
Looking through this blog, I found these unpublished photos from about 5 years ago. Here are the trucks leaving for the fairgrounds.
There are so many memories from over the years. There's the times that internationally renowned pig groomer, Claude', visited the farm, the time a pig peed all over my jeans, the time some people took their pigs home in the back seat of their car, the time a family lost their new pig at McDonald's, and the time Husband yelled at us (oh, wait, that is every time!).
We know that health and safety are important, and we are glad the farmers and their feed suppliers are considered essential businesses. If you are in the market for a pig to show at the fair, then follow us on Facebook and let us know. We have several to sell.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
I'm back to blogging. Check out my earlier 2020 posts:
- Time to do Unprecedented Things
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
It is a time of change here in Ohio. A time when we must hoard toilet paper and the barbers are closed. A time when old people are being told they must shop at the grocery at 7 a.m. for their safety. A time that every church lady has been training for, for decades: staying home and calling people to see if they are OK and have had enough to eat.
It is a weird time.
So why not start blogging again.
I am working at home for the foreseeable future. Husband is here, tracking in about half of the farm filth that he usually does when I am not here to witness it. And the kids are doing home school in between also tracking in filth.
So many things are sad. But there are moments of humor in everything. Like when my mother who is BARELY a senior citizen got calls to check in from two different church ladies in their 80s. I'm not sure what that says about ME. It is a small town and they know she has me to look after her. Do they think I will suck at that? Do they think I am some deadbeat daughter who won't offer to buy her groceries? (Also, she doesn't need anyone to take care of her. I have been told).
Also, I have already resorted to serving Husband and the kids a meal I call smorgasboard, which is where I lay out all the leftovers and if you refuse to eat this meal, you have to make your own dinner. It is not popular. Maybe the church ladies got wind of this and are worried my mother will survive the virus but succumb to chicken with mystery sauce that has spent approximately three days worth of dinners on my counter.
Mom and I are doing a daily walk when it's not rainy or too cold or we are busy with something else. But it is a new routine. I pledge to give the same amount of commitment to blogging.
Stay safe out there.
Friday, February 28, 2020
This week I went to The Little Clinic for a urinary tract infection. WOAH! I haven't blogged for years and then my first sentence back is about my down there infection. Yes. Yes, it is.
If you aren't familiar, The Little Clinic is a small clinic inside a Kroger grocery store. They have a nurse practitioner on hand who can diagnose and treat basic ailments like ear infections, strep throat and apparently, down there infections.
I had plenty of time to read their rotating sign of services and I was surprised to see they were taking on some things that seemed way beyond the scope of what you would want to medically deal with inside of a grocery store. Apparently, after just 20 minutes with a nurse practitioner next to the frozen food, you too can be treated for depression, osteoporosis, smoking cessation and Japanese Encephalitis, an actual vaccine you can get inside the grocery, in Ohio.
The Little Clinic has a VERY small waiting area, so many patients were spilling out to the grocery aisle to sniffle and groan. They also did not have their own bathroom. So the lady with the down there infection had to walk past the frozen food, past the deli and back to the waiting area with her cup of urine discreetly inside a paper sack.
And when you are having all the fun of capturing lady urine in a grocery store bathroom, it does NOT HELP when your 44-year-old bladder suddenly becomes shy. Seriously, does any 44-year-old woman ever have to worry about trouble making urine. Making pee is a 44-year-old woman's super power. Take us on a car trip or make us laugh really hard, you'll see.
So. my tablespoon of pee collected and stored discreetly inside the paper sack, I had time to read the rotating sig... OMG DID THAT JUST SAY RABIES? Are there people inside the grocery store right now with RABIES waiting to be seen?
Good thing I had already peed ALL my pee.
It is true. I am not making this up. You can get treated for rabies in the grocery store. See it here on their list of services.
I am trying to imagine the thought process of a person who has just been bitten by an opossum who decides, well this Little Clinic office website only shows a 15 minute wait, so that seems good for rabies. So they start driving to the Kroger and checking, yep 15 minutes, OK 16 minutes, yeah 14 minutes and then gets to the kiosk and refreshes only to see WAIT TIME: 1 HOUR AND YOU DIED OF RABIES.
And here we thought all the rabid people were at Wal-Mart.
I entered a slightly edited-for-word-count version of this essay in the Erma Bombeck writing competition. While I was not a winner, I did make it to round 2 judging. Here is the feedback I received from the esteemed judging panel.
I have heard from so many of you, both locally and from across the country about the Dayton Daily News article . Your overwhelming support ...
Last weekend, in a brief moment of remote control ownership, I tuned into basic cable and saw a very disturbing show called "Rich Bride...
Ladies, hold on to your blinged out boots, international pig clipping man of mystery, Claude'**, is back in town just in time to lend hi...
Good gravy (I have taken up saying this since Husband doesn't curse and I was the only one to blame for our household's junior potty...