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Showing posts from June, 2008

Don't Look Ethel!

Ahhh , wedding season. Two hearts become one. Each person in the union unwraps and then learns how to operate new strange and puzzling kitchen appliances. And each partner learns slowly and patiently how to tolerate the quirkiness of their new family. Like every spouse, I am certain that I have married into a family with strange and confounding habits. My family, of course, is perfect. But so you can decide for yourself, I have compiled a handy comparison of our two equally loving and perhaps equally weird family traits. Meal Time My family: We eat supper at 5:30, 6 if it's a special circumstance. You do the day's activities, stop and eat and then resume, as needed. His family: The last meal of the day is eaten after all work is completed. If that's midnight, then you head to Waffle House. Honking the Car Horn My family interpretation: Hi, we see you out working in the lawn! His family interpretation: Oh. My. Gosh. Livestock are on the rooo -THUMP- ooad Curs

An Open Letter to my Weekend Houseguests

Dear Island-Dwelling Brother & Family, I have been working so hard to get ready for your visit. It’s always great to have company—to give you that kick in the pants you need to actually clean up that bad corner of the office, or change the sheets. I’m not complaining at all, I am just writing to warn you that despite all my efforts, all my work to make this a guest haven supreme, I am being thwarted at every turn. I bought some lovely flowers for the front porch. And then your niece decided to pick them for me. So now we can all enjoy our snack of popsicles on the front porch with the lovely view of Geranium stems. I spent all weekend cleaning the carpets. And then your niece and nephew decided to make an afternoon of playing in the last mud puddle on the farm. So now we can retrace their muddy little steps across three rooms. I got some great food and snacks for us to eat. And then your brother-in-law decided to get a head start on the festivities. So now we have to eat the l

The Time has Come... to Talk of Many Things

"The time has come," the Walrus said,"To talk of many things:Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings." Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872 Sharing my experiences straddling the sometimes equally stinky worlds of corporate America and farm life has been the primary goal of this site. I have also enjoyed a forum to stretch my writing skills outside of Company X, a leader in global business solutions, today announced the launch of its innovative new product, designed to enhance seamless integration with the... blah, blah, blah. So as I stand on the threshold of greatly broadening the reach of this site, I want to remind all you gentle readers of the rules I established for visitors to this blog. And I thought this would be a great opportunity to share all the great writing that's already occurred over 30+ posts. Note: If you are so humorless as to be un

PR Idea of the Week

Remember when the worst thing that could happen to you on a school field trip was that your parents could chaperon and TOTALLY embarrass you by telling all your friends how you were such a chubby little baby. Or maybe they would do the unthinkable and become pals with the WORST teacher. Today, you have to worry about some idiot classmate breaking rules, hurting themselves and then suing to bankrupt your family . Makes having all the cool girls hate you because your Mom busted them for having boys in the hotel room seem pretty lame, huh. Why this matters to PR is that you can bet every education beat reporter in the country just added school volunteer liability to their list of issues to cover from a local angle. And as predictable as the fact that there will always be idiot classmates, self-righteous school boards will falling all over themselves to see who can issue the most ridiculous knee-jerk policy in reaction to this verdict. And thus begins another round of media coverage be

The BEST souvenir ever!

OK, so you traveled to the World Pork Expo with your buddies, Jim and Larry, and you're thinking what should I bring home to the special lady in my life? The one who had to feed all the pigs while I was gone. I know , you think, I bet she would LOVE a World Pork Expo thong. Yes, some poor woman who helped her husband save the money to make the journey to Des Moines ; some woman who stayed behind, put on her hip waders and hauled buckets of feed through muck; some poor, poor woman who JUST CAN'T GET THAT SMELL OUT OF HER HAIR. That woman is going to greet her her man upon his return and receive a World Pork Expo thong. It's a little known fact of farm life that animals know when their official farmer is out of town. It's why the cows only get out when the only people home are eight-months-pregnant me and my mother-in-law who bravely faces what she has determined is a snake-infested pasture (think Indiana Jones amount of snakes here) to save the farm and her unb

Fourth Best Pig Farmer in the Nation

Our son is officially the fourth best pig farmer in the United States under the age of 8, at least according to the officials at the World Pork Expo . And their word is good enough for me. In addition to winning shows with his prize Yorkshire gilt, he entered a number of pig-related contests during this event. It's like the pork decathlon but we call it a "sweepstakes." It's name suggests a game of chance but the sweepstakes results are based on a point system similar in its complexity to the one that the BCS uses to always put Notre Dame in a bowl game. After doing well in multiple events all week, today Ryan was presented with a ribbon, plate and check for $100. [Total winnings: three ribbons, one banner, $250] So tomorrow we leave town with the fourth best pig farmer in the country (under 8). I guess he'll let his father think he still runs things.

Bragging Rights

All the work at the World Pork Expo paid off! Ryan won 5 th place overall with his Yorkshire gilt (white colored female) out of 105 pigs from 16 states! And brother Justin was happy to congratulate him.

World Pork Expo

What other blog takes you INSIDE the hog barn at the World Pork Expo? A world exclusive peek into the world of international swine exhibition follows: Whew, hog shows are a lot of work. First, you have to drive 10 hours in the truck while your sons play 10 episodes of Dirty Jobs and then watch the same Scooby Doo movie three times. I guess this beats the road trips I used to have as a kid where the biggest diversion was playing, "YOU TOUCHED ME" with my two siblings and maybe, if we were lucky, getting a puff on the cigars Dad always seemed to smoke/need during these trips. But we finally go there and then the real work began. First, you have to wash the pigs. This is kind of like washing a car. If your car was snorting at you and trying to escape Second, we had to number the pigs. An important step where farmers follow each other through the barn waiting to get the next dibs on the metal numbers and John Deere paint used to mark each pig for easy identification during the