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Showing posts from January, 2009

Venturing Out

We enjoyed today what one sleep-deprived meteorologist called an "ice sandwich." A layer of snow covered in ice and then coated with another four inches of the white stuff.

I ventured to the end of the lane to get the mail and newspaper. I guess all that rain, sleet, snow, dark of night stuff is for real--both were delivered on time.

What do tough country kids do when it snows? They put on their Carhartt jackets and head out.

I may have spawned a fair weather farmer after my own heart.

We live on a busy county road, with cars usually whizzing by at 55+ mph. Today, there was little evidence we even had a road at the end of our lane.

Here's the view facing west. I only include this to impress my husband who often laughs at my inability to know which direction I am facing. The little blacktop showing is courtesy of my brother-in-law who scraped the lane and then kept going.

THIS is snow removal country style. Oh, yeah. Of course, Husband spent all day shoveling out the pigs…

An Open Letter to the FedEx Letter Writer

If you don't know about the Twitter debacle with Ketchum and FedEx, then visit this site. But please come back.

UPDATE: I'm not the only one wondering about the letter writer Fusion PR Forum: Who Wrote the Infamous Ketchum/FedEx Email?


Dear FedEx letter writer,

Wow. On behalf of all the corporate communications professionals who ever sat by and watched our bosses spend millions on a "big-time" agency, congratulations. You have done what many of us dreamed of. These agency vice presidents (they are ALL vice presidents) swoop in from the big city and assume that the in-house PR people are simpletons who have no clue how the world of communications works. How many times have we all dreamed of throwing their know-it-all arrogance right back in their faces.

But we keep quiet because our bosses and their bosses are completely in the tank for these big-time agency people.

But you, oh, you took advantage of the reach and range of Peter Shankman(a mutually beneficial arrangement, …

A Rare Breed

[NOTE: If you are interested in purchasing Herefords from us, please visit http://www.bonavistafarm.com/.]

I've always known that we had something unique going on. I mean, how many 30-something non-Amish full-time farmers are there anymore?

But recently we've learned that not only is our life on the farm rare, but we are raising endangered species! According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC), we are raising two breeds on their conservation priority list.


Decades ago Husband's grandfather decided to raise Ayrshire dairy cattle, probably for their hardiness, their rich milk, and their overall appealing look. Over the years while other farmers either left dairying altogether or switched to higher-producing Holsteins, our farm stayed with Ayrshires. According to the ALBC, there are fewer than 2,500 Ayrshires registered annually in the United States and the estimated global population is less than 10,000, putting the breed on their Watch list.

While the decline of…

Just an Ordinary Day

Today was an average Saturday. We got up a little later and headed out to do errands, including haircuts for the boys and stops at the dry cleaner and grocery.

Just an ordinary day in small town America, right. Then we took time as a family to look at pig s&men in the laundry room. [I don't want to be flagged as one of those sites, so excuse my intentional typo.]


Husband had just collected this s&men from the boar and allowed us to take a peek at the little swimmers with our newly fixed microscope, which has been out of commission for years, for lack, we just learned, of a $7 light bulb.

Anyway, the little swimmers were really doing their thing on the slide.


This is not the moon. It is my very low-tech way of trying to show you what we saw through the microscope. The individual swimmers looked like tiny, tiny sticks flipping up and down. The darker areas on the slide were where they were clumped together, not moving as much.

I don't know if Justin could see anything but he…

Movin' on up

Got the great news today that this little blog has been included in the "online magazine rack," Alltop.



I'm in the "rural" page,because they didn't have a category called "corporate farm-wife mommy PR blogger."

Delivering Financial Advice for the Family Assets

Whenever we meet with our financial advisor, I feel like I've just taken a crash course in Econ 201 again.

Ok, this is the point where I feel like I have to apologize for having a financial advisor. No, I don't have millions, only a desire to stop working before I'm 70. Of course, husband fully intends to croak in the show ring at the Ohio State Fair some day.

Back to economics...

So our financial advisor is explaining to us the benefit of our new strategy, called active management where we have our small investments managed like a big fund, with experts moving our money around from stocks to gold, to under his mattress, to back into small cap stocks, to Bernie Madoff(luckily we didn't get to that step).

We are having this in-depth financial discussion at our dining room table, which is very convenient except for the fact that our small children also have access to the dining room.
Our three-year-old daughter races in and skids to a stop. She is wearing a marker-stained OSU…

100th Post

Whew! This is the 100th post to this blog. How did that happen?

There's no use repeating my year in review post, so I'll just share a few scenarios that illustrate the double life I lead.

Once, I freaked out my east-coast-transplant Vice President, because I told him to hold on for a second (we were both in our cars on the phone) while I navigated around a cow in the road. He didn't even think to ask the first question everyone around here would have: whose cow was it?

I took my husband to a casual corporate event to which spouses were invited. Later, I was told by several people in the most complimentary way, he doesn't LOOK like a farmer.

Last summer, I did a job interview (by phone) from the swine barn at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Two summers ago I cashed in my frequent flyer miles, earned by going to meetings in NYC and conferences in Chicago, for a round trip ticket to Des Moines (A tip: not too many blackout dates for DAY to DSM).

I held a contest among my communicat…

PR Idea of the Week

I was traveling northbound on Gettysburg Ave. (before the intersection of James H. McGee) in an economically depressed part of Dayton this week when I saw a billboard. Could it be? The Dayton Patented campaign? I paused in the turn lane to snap a few photos


The story about Devon Berry is a good one. Local guy sees the world but decides Dayton is where he wants to raise his family. That's all well and good.

But it seems like this would be phase two of the campaign. What about a campaign just to socialize the rubber stamp logo? They are really trying to do a lot with the four seconds they get until you speed past this billboard.

This is really the first I've seen or heard from the campaign since there was an article in the Dayton Daily News and some blog chatter back in August. Maybe, since I'm already committed to living and working in greater Dayton, I'm not seeing the campaign because I'm not the target.

Everyone's a critic when it comes to branding, so I…

Thanks for Reading in 2008

Happy New Year! Thanks for reading this blog.

Thanks to those of you who openly read the blog and bring it up in conversation with my husband who then says I didn't know that. And thanks to those who are closet readers and try to pretend they don't even know I have this blog--I know who you are (can you say Google Analytics) and I am very tempted to out you by posting embarrassing photos of your spouse [just kidding, I think].

And a special thanks to my friend M who started last year at this time urging me to start a blog, so she alone didn't have to hear about how I thought my son felt like an octopus when he was being born.

What a year it has been. We had a a presidential election, a hurricane, an earthquake, and a blizzard and this blog was there to cover it all.

I tried to offer content you couldn't get on other blogs, so I enrolled all of you in remedial agricultural education, including pigs 101 and field trips to the World Pork Expoand the county fair. In covering a…