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Showing posts from September, 2008

The Hideous Yellow Shirt that Summarizes my Life

When you're an Ohio University alum who spent four years living in picturesque Athens, Ohio, and you do media relations by day and live on a hog farm, there really is nothing more perfect than this shirt. But there's one more thing that makes this shirt special. My roommate, bridesmaid, and friend to this day gave it to me--her winnings from a a Friends lookalike contest (hey, it was the 90s). So, Phoebe, thanks for all the great memories. Thanks for introducing me to the Rocky Horror Picture Show ; thanks for letting me raid your closet for cool clothes; and thanks for never making fun of my pigs or my farmer. And thanks for hating yellow so much that you let me have this shirt.

Answer: Silo Blower

I know the suspense has been killing you. The answer to the latest What in the the World is that Farm Thing? is: silo blower . To me, the most fascinating thing about farm machinery is its relative simplicity--at the least the vintage of farm equipment we have around here. The blower works by using the tractor to operate a powerful fan that then blows the chopped up corn up, up, up into the silo. The corn is then fed to the cows, who twice a day produce 100 pounds of manure a piece. They also give milk.

It's a Jungle out There

If they ever make the mistake of using us a Nielsen family, rankings for the Hallmark Channel are going to suddenly skyrocket and Diagnosis Murder , Columbo , and Murder, She Wrote will suddenly be top programs (again?). My husband is building a massive DVR library of these shows. (Isn't there something very ironic about a guy in his thirties using digital television to record shows where the modem is introduced in season five as emerging technology.) The point here is that my husband LOVES to watch people with keen powers of observation solve crime. I mean, the guy schedules his life around Monk . Soooooo. Today my husband came face to face with crime when my in-laws were burglarized in the middle of the day. Arriving first on the scene, he channeled his inner Monk, he summoned his best Dick Van Dyke powers of observation, and then like J.B. Fletcher on deadline he doggedly pursued all leads however far-fetched.... No, actually, he ran in the house to borrow a loaf of

The Joys of Coastal Living

It's inconceivable that I have just put my kids to bed by candlelight for the third night in a row (OK, their Dad uses a flashlight) because our Ohio home is in its 59 th hour without electricity--DUE TO A HURRICANE. Update: We ended up going a FULL WEEK without power, about 175 hours! Apparently, we now have all the problems of coastal living: wind gusts, power outages, downed trees, without actually getting to live near the ocean. There was even a surge today when 3,000 food stamp users stormed downtown Dayton for applications to help make up for their fridges of spoiled food. I never thought I would say this, but THANK GOD our family milks cows 50 feet from my back door. We have been able to tap into the tractor-powered generator that the farm owns to ensure that the milking equipment will run. And there's nothing so soothing as falling asleep to the gentle flicker of candlelight and the sound of a tractor-powered generator outside the bedroom window. Anyone who has

What in the World is That Farm Thing?

It's that time again for another installment of What in the World is That Farm Thing? Today's item is not nearly as disgusting as last time's but probably harder to identify. In fact, I had no idea myself what it was until I asked my seven year-old nephew. I've posted two angles here. Here are a few hints: The toilet plunger looking thingy in front attaches to the tractor to make it "go." The box in back is for "input." One more hint, this piece of equipment does NOT deal directly with pigs, their manure, nor their feed. It's a cow thing. Ok , John , I know you're there. Forget the rules this time and enlighten us all by leaving a comment.

PR Idea of the Week

Back in 1998 I was working for a Fortune 500 Corporation in corporate communications under a PR Vice President who said to our repeated requests for funding and support for the corporate Web site and Intranet: I guess this Internet thing is not going away. Fast forward a decade and I feel like I'm having the exact same conversations about blogging. I recently worked with a client who wanted all the press releases he could get about his new product. When we asked him about blogs or online forums and working to develop a pitch to them, he responded: We're not ready to engage them yet. Huh? I was never able to convey to the client that once you sent out a press release, you were fair game to all the bloggers . And it would be better to approach them individually with offers for exclusive demo copies then let them come across a reprint of our press release. Or more likely, have them ignore us completely because we weren't catering to their style. A new article in the Bad

The Long Road to Marriage

Against our better judgement as parents, as a happily married couple, as wedding goers, as people who will be within a 100 mile radius of Shady Hollow Country Club, my husband and I agreed to let our little angel serve as a flower girl in my sister's wedding. Actually, I agreed. He has perfected the art of NEVER making a decision, so that later he can say: This was all your idea. Not only did we need to maintain the delicate balance of rest, hydration, nutrition, and baby dolls that keep a two year-old girl in equilibrium, we needed to do it from a hotel room, four hours away. Right now my island-dwelling sister-in-law who traveled in two airplanes and still commuted an hour to the wedding with an 8 month-old baby and a flower girl is yelling at the screen: STOP YOUR WHINING But we did have our challenges. About 3 1/2 hours into the trip, we heard our four year-old from the back seat say I have to poooo ... blahhhhhhhhhhhh . I was driving, so as I flung wipes into the back

Dork MOMs Unite!

The transformation creeps up on you slowly. One day you're getting married to the man of your dreams , and you are part of a "young couple." Then comes the baby. Eventually, you just "have kids" and become a MOM. MOMs are dorky but useful creatures who carry large purses full of tissues, chapstick, expired coupons, and the occasional ancient hard candy. They wear practical clothing and buy the same gym shoe each year, so as to have four generations of the same shoe for occasions of varying degrees of potential dirt. MOMs are in charge of filling up the back of the mini-van with groceries every two weeks, procuring birthday presents for classmates, remembering to feed the rabbit, and laundry, good gracious, the laundry. By far, the most important MOM function is documenting every cute saying, special event, tooth growth and loss, and "first" experienced by their children. Unfortunately, MOMs are oblivious to the fact the that their offspring ha

Domestic Ambitions

Every summer the women of small town America get something in the mail that fires up their inner Martha Stewarts . A publication so compelling that soon they are flipping through their recipes and rummaging in the back of their craft closets (women in small town America always have craft supplies on hand). Oh, yes, the County Fair Book is full of possibilities to us women of small town America. Why yes , we think, wouldn't it be adorable if I found a yam that looks like Elvis. And, I know that with a little extra fertilizer I can beat Mrs. Johnson's stronghold on tallest sunflower. And so it goes through the sections on best gift basket, photographs, snicker doodles , canned green beans, you name it. Before we know it, we have signed up to bring something in every department. Many times I am able to put the fair book down before committing to anything any more perishable than a few photos and a scarecrow. But this year, I went all out and entered some things I've bee