Where We Are

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When I said early next week, I really should’ve said mid-three weeks from now. I think that first sentence describes what my life is like — has been like — for the last six months. It’s so busy and crazy I just lose track of time.

However, I am really excited that there is a light in the end of this tunnel. Two weeks ago, I accepted a new job, which means I get to quit the three I was juggling, but unfortunately — for the time being — this means I have four establishments of employment for a short while longer.

That paragraph made me tired just writing it.

I’m really looking forward to being able to being able to stop and breathe, enjoy life again AND finish our home remodel… Which is why you’re here. Some of you have been patiently waiting (I’m looking at you Grandma and Grand Dad), some of you have morbid curiosity after seeing the before pictures and then some of you are just here because it popped up on your newsfeed and you’ve been sucked into the black hole that is social media. Whatever your reason for reading this, just know, I’m happy you’re here.

So, what do you say we take a tour of where we are now on things…

(If you missed “Where We Started,” you can see it here.)

IMG_9990Welcome back!

Things look a little bit different, don’t they? ;)IMG_9991I feel like this “Where We Are” post not only says, “Wow, Danielle still has a lot to do — like finish painting cabinet doors and complete them with hardware.” But also, “Wow, Danielle has no idea where to put everything yet.”

Both of those statements would be correct. Clutter makes me bat-*ahem*-crazy, so rest assured when the time comes for finished posts, the clutter will be in check. IMG_9992

 

IMG_9994The laundry room was my first room to paint EVER. Not that I reached pro status after painting several more… But this one has to be re-done. Joy.

Still to go, trim, baseboards, cabinet overhaul. IMG_1022Oh, hey there bedroom. You look different than before, too. IMG_1023No more stained, gross carpet! Hip Hip Hooray!

So, much trim to paint though. So. Much.

 

Onward to the other end of the house!IMG_9995

 

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All that has changed about my office so far is the new flooring …everyone has a kid’s rope and a sombrero in their office, right? Please tell me yes. IMG_9999Same goes for the guest bathroom, I’m mainly showing you this because I am NOT showing y’all the guest bedroom. Which has drastically changed… But it’s currently my catch all due to having no cabinet space, something else I have figured into our remodel. ;)

I took all the above photos late at night, didn’t edit them and just uploaded my little heart out to this post. That’s why they are dark. I’ll do better next time, promise.

My final progress photo I have to share with you today is the front of our house, which has actually changed even more since I took this photo. Which makes me, oh-so-very-happy.

IMG_2198New sidewalk! New Porch! Now, to tackle some landscape layout. (Obviously I took this on a different day than all those above.)

So, that’s a wrap on our middle photos, looking at them really makes me realize how much we’ve done. I actually got so excited writing this post I kept getting distracted and would find myself cruising the Lowe’s Website, plotting, scheming and making to-do lists.

I heart to-do lists.

Until next time!

Where We Started

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As I sit here, staring at my kitchen with only a few cabinet doors hung and an entire house lacking base boards, I realize I seriously am in need of some new motivation for home remodel. We did so much, so quickly, that My Someone and I have spent the past couple of months in burnout mode. Not that things haven’t been accomplished, I just figured we would’ve been a lot closer to finished by now.

I think what I need is a trip back to the beginning to remember where we started. Besides the previous owners, no one but My Someone and I saw it in it’s original state. Even my in-laws — who have been wonderful in helping with the remodel — never saw our home at day one.

They saw a lot of demo, and if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw a lot of demo too. But, we’re finally on the not-so-scary side of remodel, which is a relief in it’s self.

Let me give you some background. My Someone and I grew up very differently. He, grew up at the same address, in the same big pretty house he was brought home from the hospital to. Me, on the other hand, I am an oil field kid. Meaning, growing up, we moved. A lot. I’ve lived in a little bit of everything, little houses, big houses, two-story houses, a trailer and a camper.

So, as we viewed this trailer (that happened to be already sitting on the land we were already in the process of purchasing) for the first time, My Someone’s initial reaction was, “No way in Hell.” While mine was more like, “It needs some work, but it has potential.”

Needs some work, was an understatement. But, lucky for us, the work needed was almost all cosmetic. Besides a new roof we didn’t run into anything that was structurally major. Which has been a win in our book.

Alright, enough gabbing, let’s get on with the tour. Journey back with me now… for the first time ever… As I present, Day 1: where we started.

Here we begin in the living room, looking towards the kitchen.

Mmmm Magenta carpet, reeking of cigarette smoke, and terrible fashion trends of the early 90’s.

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IMG_3953At this angle, the cabinets actually looked like they were in decent condition. Don’t let them lie to you, up close they had been rode hard and put up wet.

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Hey, there laundry room. How you doin’?IMG_3959Onward to the master bedroom!

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IMG_3961Yes… In case you are wondering. That is in fact carpeted stairs in a bathroom that is open to the bedroom.IMG_3965Sooo. Sooo much wrong with this picture. IMG_3969That’s a cute carpet stain… Said no one, ever. IMG_3972(In my best tour guide voice) Now, here we are on the other end of this *clears throat* lovely 24-year-old single wide trailer. IMG_3974Welcome to my office. It’s itsy-bitsy.IMG_3977Followed up by the guest bathroom. It’s also itsy-bitsy.IMG_3978Doesn’t he know I’m trying to give a home tour here? Sheesh.IMG_3982The guest bedroom, for when all my long-lost Okies come to visit.

That’s enough for the interior. Let’s head out side y’all!!IMG_3986Aint she cute? ;)IMG_3992And with that I conclude this back in time journey through our home pre-remodel tour. *takes a bow*

Did you find yourself twitching, ready to rip out some magenta carpet and splash paint all over those dirty walls? Could you feel the aroma of cigarette smoke coming through your computer screen? Do you feel like you need to take a bath now?

Or is all that just me?

Never fear. I can promise it no longer looks like this. *Whew*

Sidenote: I’m one ** loving, question asking girl today. I just want y’all to truly be in the moment with me. You’re feeling it right? No? Whatever. Just love me. 

Now that you’ve seen the true before, early next week I’m going to share the “where we are now.” Plus, it’s a good excuse to do my dishes, run a vacuum across the floor.

I’m hoping all this will be the DIY motivational kick in the rear I’m needing to get back at it and finish the inside, so I can share the final completed photos some time in near future.

Until next time!

 

October County Fair Blog Party

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Country Fair Blog Party by Country LINKed

Welcome to the new and improved Country Fair Blog Party!

How is it new and improved? Well, while I opted for a once a month schedule a few months ago, the other hosts hung in there. Eventually, it just got to be too much for them to juggle every week. So now we are officially a once a month party!

How does it work? The first day of every month we will post a new County Fair Blog Party, and then later in the month — let’s say the 15th — each co-host will share their favorites in another post.

But wait, there’s more! We’re themed now! Themes are my favorite. October will be themed fall, so dust off all things pumpkin spice! Oh, you already have? Well, as long as there aren’t monograms on your Ugg Boots I won’t ring the stereotypical white girl bell. I digress, for our Fall theme linkup posts about home decor, harvest, raking leaves, halloween costumes, calving season, football tailgates, ANYTHING. Roll on with your bad self. Also, October is Pork month, posts about pork are welcomed and encouraged.

How do you Link Up? Find the little blue frog at the end of this post and click on it. The frog takes you to a new page where it asks for the URL of one of your posts. Be sure and add the specific URL, not just your blog address. It then will ask for your email. No worries, no spam. Then you will need to chose a picture to go with your link. Click add and you are in like Flynn. Remember you can link up to three different posts if you so chose.

Who are the co-hosts? There are currently four co-hosts. Nicole, LaurieTaysha and myself. But, hey, guess what?! We are on the hunt for additional hosts. If you are interested, contact one of us! You don’t have to be a farm gal(guy) or an agriculture blogger to be a co-host. You just have to have a love of all things country!

Don’t forget, if you are a blogger and link up a post(s) add the button to your post so that everyone knows that you are a participant. Kelly from Old Blue Silo designed it for us and we think it is uber cute! Just click on the image at the top and grab the URL.

Can’t wait to see what y’all link up! Now go get your party on!

October Country Fair Blog Party - Fall

My Top 8 Tips for S(h)aving Travel Time

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Recently, I was inspired by Dollar Shave Club, yeah, THAT Dollar Shave Club, the one with viral promotional video.

Is this the first time you’ve heard of them? Wondering what the deal is? Curious why they want anything to do with little ole High Heels & Shotgun Shells?

I’m getting to it, I’m getting to it. Hold your horses, Bessie.

When I first read their email I thought it was a joke, I mean, let me level with you, there is celebrating in the house of D2 when I get around to shaving BOTH and ALL of my legs — I’m feeling your judgmental stare, don’t act like you’ve never just shaved the front, up to the knee, and called that bad boy good to go.

Not only is time, when I’ve slept through three alarm clocks and spend what little time I have between getting ready and leaving trying to find everything that has miraculously gone missing since the night before, but have you purchased razor blades this year?! Holy Fort Knox. Buying shaving supplies is quickly becoming the equivalent of buying a decongestant, and practically just as expensive.

THAT my friends is the neat thing about Dollar Shave Club, they are saving YOUR precious time but delivering monthly blades to your home, but they are doing it in way that’s actually affordable.

Which brings me to their current campaign ‘Shaving Time and Money’ and the reason they contacted me, (after reading this post of mine => Dani B. Home Security) asking about ways I ‘Shave Time’. Coincidentally, with as much as I’ve been here, there, and everywhere lately, I was tossing around the idea of a travel tips post.

And here we are y’all, I give you:Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.43.54 PM

My Top 8 Tips to S(h)ave Traveling Time

1. Miss Me Jeans are not airpot friendly. I hear ya girl, you like to sparkle and shine when you’re out and about. Those rhinestones and studs all over your back pockets make you rear look FANTASTIC. However, you might be rethinking all the above as you are pulled to the side getting an extra pat down from TSA because your sparkle and shine set off their detectors.

2. Do not let your gas tank get into the bottom quarter. You have an 8-10 hour drive, you’ve been rolling down the highways and interstates like you own them, the last thing you need is to be caught in a leg of road time with no gas station in sight. Keep an eye on the fuel gauge, start looking for somewhere to stop when it hits a quarter, it’s much better than sweating a gas light, slowing down to preserve fuel mileage or worst case scenario — being stuck on the side of the road.

3. When driving, pack snacks. You just had a flashback to road trips as a child, didn’t you? Crawling over the backseat to fish a Sunny D and a pre-made, with love from your mom, turkey sandwich. Well, mom was onto something, not only does having a packed cooler save major time when traveling long distances, it. saves. money. and we could all stand to do a little of that, I’m sure.

4. Take your Laptop out of your carry on. Seems like a no-brainer, but it was one I didn’t know until once again I was pulled aside and bomb residue tested in the Denver airport. Sheesh, I spend a lot of time getting additional TSA time. It’s so simple to, just take it out before it’s your turn to go through security, put it in a separate plastic bin and you’re golden!

5. Be aware of what your camera batteries are made of. Maybe I should’ve labeled this post ‘How to not spend additional time with airport security, I’ve spent a lot of time learning what not to do the hard way, but this I was actually warned by a fellow photographer. Lithium powered batteries left floating in your bag will not make it through TSA. One battery for my camera cost approximately $80. That is NOT something I want to be held up for while they rummage through my bag to find and throw away. BUT, have no fear, you can still fly with camera batteries, just make sure they are either in your camera OR have the plastic cover on them. Such a quick step, but will really save you some time (and money) in the airport.

One of my camera batteries with it's yellow plastic cover. That sucker is safe to pass through airport security.

One of my camera batteries with it’s yellow plastic cover. That sucker is safe to pass through airport security.

6. Book a hotel room before you leave for a trip. Aye-yi-yi have I learned this one the hard way several times. Nothing sucks worse than driving all day, finally arriving and then spending so. much. time. finding a hotel, going to the front desk, finding out they are booked, too expensive etc. and then having to start the search all over again. Do some planning pre-trip, your will thank yourself later.

7. Talk to the locals. You’re wondering how this will save you time? Don’t worry, I’m about to tell you. Siri, your GPS, Urban Spoon, that friend of your sister’s, mother-in-law’s, cousin’s, best friend’s, god-mother that visited Rhode Island once 10 years ago are all great tools, but who better to know an area than the people who live there. Find a local, ask what are some of the best things to see, places to eat, routes to take to get there. You’ll spend a lot less time Googling and making phone calls and more time taking in the essence of a new place.

8. Establish a taxi plan, BEFORE you need the taxi. You want to know a gut wrenching feeling? Try needing a ride to the airport, the hotel saying they have it covered, then when it’s time for you to go there is no taxi and traffic is crazy. That will be the moment when you will feel like you’re going to miss your flight, and you will probably get darn close. I did. So, don’t rely on the hotel or someone else to handle getting a cab, ensure that you will have one in enough time to get to the airport early.

And that’s that. In the past two months I’ve been in 8 different states, traveling is what I love to do, and while I seem to learn more lessons with each trip, I am ever grateful for the knowledge passed down from others. So, your turn, what are some of your tips for s(h)aging travel time?

*Oh, and if you haven’t already make sure you wander over to www.dollarshaveclub.com and check them out*

My Husband’s Truck

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I fear how backwoods Okie I am about to sound with the content of this post, but just roll with me here for a bit.

Do you ever have one of those weeks? You know, those weeks where you have an impossible to achieve to-do list ahead of you, the house never seems to stay clean, you begin passing off clothes as ‘clean’ even though you picked them out of the dirty clothes just because you physically haven’t had time to do laundry, and the thing that tips the scale is when your husband comes home and says something along the lines of “what’s for dinner?”

Uhhh yo, dude. Can’t you see I’ve been trying to hold up the world with one finger, while rollerblading backwards through volcanic ash… blindfolded?!?!

This basically describes what my/our entire August was, not that he wasn’t just as busy, because to be honest, other than Sundays I rarely see him in the daylight — between the two of us we were juggling four jobs and trying to get a new farm off the ground.

With all this in mind, I feel it’s fairly understandable that tensions occasionally got tight.

So, as my faithful 11-year-old Pontiac with 250,000 miles needing an oil change and new brakes started making a slightly weird noise and neither of us having a free second to do anything about it — adding one more thing to our stress pile — we decided I would drive My Someone’s big truck until we could address the Pontiac at hand.

I tell My Someone that I first fell in love with his dog, than his truck and then finally him. Actually he falls second on that list — right after his dog — but that’s my secret between you and I. ;)

I really do love his truck though, it’s a Chevy Duramax, while normally I’m a Ford girl, this is my exception. It’s sharp …when it’s clean. Emphasis on those last three words.

Conflicting thoughts aside — whether it be how sharp it is or how dirty it is — that really has not a lot of relevance to what I love about his truck. Actually, I couldn’t even put my own finger on exactly what my draw to it was… that is, until the other day.

It was hot, humid and I was finally leaving my day of working watermelon harvest to head home, I climbed up into the truck and fired it up, the engine came alive and the a/c burst through the vents on max bringing with it a collection of memories that flooded my senses.

No longer was I stressed about life, sitting in a hot truck outside the co-op on the west side of Daviess County, Kentucky, but riding back from the Tulsa State Fair — September 30, 2012 — Yoda sprawled out in the back asleep, My Someone driving and me in the passenger seat, marveling about how at ease I felt talking to this guy I had just met the night before. Convincing myself to not read too much into it, ‘anything more than friendship between you and Yoda’s little brother would never work.’

The memories followed with making out for an hour in the Louisville airport parking lot the first time I visited Kentucky mid-December 2012, enveloping me in that crazed puppy love I-can’t-possibly-keep-my-hands-off-you, the-air-is-sucked-out-of-my-lungs-when-I-look-at-you beginning of our relationship.

And then finally I was transported to January 11, 2014, and once again saturated in that I can’t possibly be happier than I am right now feeling as our wedding coordinator worked to stuff all of my wedding dress into the passenger seat and this really attractive blonde man, with dimples and sporting a new shiny silver band on his left hand, looked at me and said “Hey, guess what? We’re married!”

The last photo taken of us on our wedding day.

The last photo taken of us on our wedding day.

As the a/c began to work it’s magic in cooling the truck interior, I drifted back to reality and out of memory lane wonderfulness. However, back in my reality, all my fretting towards the things I couldn’t change was gone, replaced by the warmness of my memories and the reminder that I have a pretty awesome teammate to lean on when life gets crazy.

went to sit my purse on the center console and was greeted by the various ammunition, a roping glove, a turkey beard, a ridiculous amount of pens, a duck call and some small parts to lord knows what type of farm equipment that I’ve seen littering that same spot since that day in September, almost two years ago, when I sat in the passenger seat and chatted easily with a guy I had just met the night before.

It’s not the truck, physically, I’m so crazy in love with, it’s the memories it holds, it’s the clutter on the console that in one little pile completely describes my husband, it’s a diesel powered refuge from life stress.

Awh, to heck with it, I don’t care if the content of this post makes me sound like a backwoods Okie. I love that damn truck.

My husband too.

Do you have something in your life like what I described above? A happy place that makes you remember all kinds of warm and fuzzy memories with your significant other? If so, I want to hear about it in the comments. 

Till the Cows Come Home to Double Dan Ranch

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*Confession*
Referring to my husband as a “farmer” is incredibly awkward to me. He raises livestock, not crops, so in my mind and probably most everyone’s west of the Mississippi he qualifies as a rancher.

On the other hand, my husband finds it incredibly awkward when I refer to him  and his parents as ranchers and their land as a ranch because, “we don’t have those around here.”

Whatevs.

The struggle of east vs. west lingo in our house is real.

But you know what, since this is my blog, I’ll say ranch or rancher if I want to. Take that Kentucky. *Flips Hair*

I’ve hinted at it quite a bit, but have yet to make the official announcement. We are officially the extremely happy — signed, sealed and delivered — owners of 40 years of debt!!
Oh, and 64 acres and a single-wide trailer. ;)IMG_6704

Buying land is one thing. Buying a home is another. Buying both and trying to get them where they need to be quickly in order to get your ‘ranch’ (heehee) dreams set in forward motion is a whole other ballgame. <= All this added in with a new marriage.

Yeah, we are crazy.

While our sanity could be judged, the events of the last couple of months have provided intense lessons to be learned in life skills and marital skills. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions. We’ve tested each others normally easy-going temperaments, tears have been shed and we have just been straight-up exhausted.

During our beginning ‘ranch’ (heehee) journey, My Someone discovered it is never a good idea to buy two groups calves and *forget* to tell your wife, only for her to find out when she receives the phone call to pay for them, BUT if you’re going to *forget* such a minor detail, make sure you’re in DC with you’re phone on silent… tumblrlgld0bvc3w1qce7cdAnd then on the opposite side of the spectrum we’ve laughed until we’ve almost cried, some nights danced in the kitchen to red dirt on our iPods more than we’ve worked and giggled over showing up at a restaurant looking like paint-covered bums just because we were too tired to cook.

Even though it’s been a lot to handle, having something that is ours, something we are proud of… Holy cow, that is a good feeling.

The second day of living in our new place, trying to  be good hosts for my family. At this point we didn't even have an oven... Have I mentioned we're crazy?

The second day of living in our new place, trying to be good hosts for my family. At this point we didn’t even have an oven… Have I mentioned we’re crazy?

There have been moments where we have both questioned if we were actually making progress, or just making a bigger mess, but the last month and a half it’s finally starting to look less like a mess and more like a plan. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen that as well. IMG_6758

While the house remodel still has a relatively long to-do list, (Ay-yi-yi so much painting still left to do). This week a lot of our (mainly My Someone’s) hard work paid off. This week marked the true beginning of everything we are striving for.

This week our cows came home.IMG_6998

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Welcome home, ladies.IMG_7007IMG_7013IMG_7012

 

Second load, your turn…IMG_7019

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IMG_7034Be still my bovine-loving heart.IMG_7041IMG_7046He’s playing Clash of the Clans and watching his cows… Fairly certain that might be his idea of a perfect day.

Cows unloaded, fed, and fence checked. Our cattle spent the rest of the evening checking out their new digs, as we watched them from our front porch — goofy, happy grins plastered across our faces.

They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy cows… and that’s pretty much the same thing. (Totally saw that on Pinterest).

I agree, random Pinterest poster, I agree.IMG_5473

 

Now back to painting…

 

Strawberry Fields Forever: 101 in 1001 Update

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A few months ago I created a 101 in 1001 list of all the things I would like to try/learn/accomplish in the next two and 3/4 years.

One item on that list — Learn how to can

Shortly after publishing said list, I text my mother-in-law (who will henceforth be known on HH&SS as ‘Mama Joan’) to ask if this summer she would teach me to can. My in-laws grow a large garden and when you walk into their basement it’s like walking down the canned good aisle of Kroger’s, but 20 times prettier and more eclectic with the variety of Mason Jars lining the shelves, their internal contents on display forever preserving their once garden-fresh state. So needless to say, I knew if anyone could teach me their canning-pro ways, it would be her.

Months went on, the beginnings of summer started to creep in, and My Someone left town for a couple of weeks for a trip through the Denver/Chicago/DC areas, I was beyond excited for this opportunity for him, but as the still-adjusting-to-Kentucky-Okie who works from home, I. was. lonely.

Oh, so lonely.

So when Mama Joan asked me if I wanted to make strawberry jam with her, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

And make strawberry jam, we did…

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I am beyond convinced there is not a prettier color than strawberries in season.

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‘Capping,’ slicing and mashing is how this process begins. Slightly labor intensive if you’re a newbie attempting this journey solo, but for Mama Joan and I, who had plenty to chat about, the prep work sailed by quickly.

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After the strawberries were smooshed and ready to go, we did things and stuff, and stuff and things, and made the jam. I’d give instructions, but we used those that are included in the SureJell box, so if you are reading this, then I’m pretty confident you can ace those inclusive directions.

HHSS3I wish you could smell photos, because lemme tell ya, it was heavenly.

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If you don’t know my MIL personally, I’ll let you in on a little secret, she is, in fact, the queen on multi-tasking. Case in point: In this photo she was business handling, cell phone conversing and canning instructing all at the same time.HHSS6

It is important to note while jam is in it’s final stages of canning, this is the point where spoons are passed out and anything left in the pot that made the strawberry greatness is scraped out and consumed. You have to do it, Mama Joan said so. It’s like invisibly written in between the lines of the instructions.

You. Do. Not. Waste. Deliciousness. Y’all.
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My breakfast toast is going to be happy for months!
HHSS2We were even left with some whole strawberries leftover. Which means I foresee strawberry shortcake in my near future…

Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet in this canning business, I’m looking forward to learning more, especially when my in-law’s garden matures and canning things like salsa and pickles become a possiblility.

Do you can, or have someone in your family that does? What was your first thing to try, or maybe your favorite to make?

County Fair Blog Party — National Beef Month

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country fair blog party buttonDid you know May is National Beef Month? Have you been doing your part to consume some oh-so-delicious burgers, or grill out steaks on a nice evening? If you haven’t, that’s okay, there is still one day left of this month to celebrate. In honor of the closing of Beef Month, the blog party council has decided to fork over extra ‘points’ for all beef and cow posts submitted! As usual, all posts are welcome, and encouraged, just know there is a little something extra special in store for bovine-related articles.

In case you haven’t heard, the winners of last week are:

 FOOD: JAY TRIED and TRUE
Shrimp Dip
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AGRICULTURE: ROBSON’S FARM
Beneficial Bugs and Lettuce

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DIY:  CHORES and CHANDELIERS
New Patio Table on Old Base

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(Champions grab the ribbon URL and add it to your championship post!)

Time to join next week! Here is how you link up to the Country Fair Blog Party:

Click on the little blue frog at the bottom.

Add the specific post URL, not just the blog address.

Add your email address. (No spam, promise!)

Select a picture for your thumbnail.

Click on Done and then share with your friends!

Just now joining the party?? Check out previous weeks here. And make sure you are following the other hosts, Nicole of Tales of A Kansas Farm Mom on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, Taysha Reitzel of Dirt Road Charm on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, Laurie Link of Country LINKed:FacebookPinterest and Krista of The Farmer’s Wifee on FacebookTwitter.

I Went to Lexington and Returned With a Sombrero

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably understand the radio-blogging-silence on my end has a whole lot to do with my husband and I’s current housing situation. One which I plan on throughly blogging about, just as soon as I’m finished painting. And in case you didn’t already know, repainting an entire home is in fact, first world torture.

But anyway, somewhere in the midst of “do I want Grassy Meadows or Pine Forrest canvased on our guest room walls,” I was invited to attend the 2014 Alltech Symposium in Lexington.photo 1 copy

Yeah, yeah, you cover events for sponsoring companies for a living, what’s the big deal? 

Is what you’re currently thinking. You were?! I knew it! I really should play the lottery. Yes, you are correct, outside of my personal blogging I am a professional writer, reporter, photographer, editor — jack of all trades, master of none — BUT, this time was different. THIS time I was invited as a blogger, representing myself.photo 3

I know, I know, I’m still as stunned as you are. Apparently laying it all out there and displaying my quirky personality and sarcastic sense of humor for the world actually accomplishes things. So somewhat last minute I was invited to join a group of agriculture bloggers to cover the event in live tweeting, note taking, blog writing and all-around fun having.

And I had fun. Boy, oh boy, did I have fun.

First off, this is what Alltech does as wrote by them, “At Alltech, our mission is to improve the health and performance of people, animals and plants through natural nutrition and scientific innovation. Alltech improves health and performance by adding nutritional value to food and feed through its innovative use of yeast fermentation, enzyme technology, algae and nutrigenomics. The company’s pursuit of this mission is guided by its founding ACE principle, our promise that in doing business we have a positive impact on the Animal, the Consumer, and the Environment.” 

Basically, they dabble in everything… Internationally. Citizens from over 60 different countries were in attendance. I was culturally fascinated. However, somewhere in the week there were a couple of mixups of my cultural background. Assuming everything about me screamed, “Merica!” I was caught off guard while playing on my phone during an elevator ride with two people from France, two from China and two from the UK, I hear someone say something, a pause, and then “I don’t think she speaks English,” only to look up and see the two gentlemen from the UK looking at me… Really?! Out of EVERYONE of this elevator, I’M the one you’re wondering about being English speaking?

It gets better.

During Alltech night at the horse park, many countries sported similar apparel. The Chinese were dressed straight out of a John Wayne western, the Brazilians wore bright yellow, the Mexicans wore gigantic sombreros, the Chileans donned small white cowboy hats with red, white and blue emblems and the Moroccans were in some kind of white with red embroidery get-up. Somewhere towards the end of the evening — after witnessing crowd surfing South Americans and realizing those from the continent of Asia really have a love for Michael Jackson’s music — I ended up with a sombrero on my head. To which I have Taysha of Dirt Road Charm to thank for scoring for me.

The table setup in the arena during Alltech night.

The table setup in the arena during Alltech night.

As you can probably imagine, I rocked that sombrero.

Totally.

This photo is full of very well-known, very important ag bloggers ...and then there is me, the one at the bottom extremely giddy to be sporting an authentic sombrero.

This photo is full of very well-known, very important ag bloggers …and then there is me, the one at the bottom, neither of the adjectives aforementioned, but extremely giddy to be sporting an authentic sombrero.

That Sombrero and I became our own personality.photo 1

It. Was. Epic. photo

But then it happened…

Right before loading the bus, a gentleman stopped me and excitedly rattled off a whole lot of spanish, very quickly. I looked at him, adjusted my authentic sombrero, smiled and straighten my name tag to make sure Danielle Hayden, USA was displayed. He smiled back and rattled off a few more sentences of very fast spanish.

The only other language I have a small understanding of is Cherokee… Spanish and I are only acquainted enough to order cheese dip from a Tex-Mex restaurant.

“Ummm… I’m so sorry sir, I don’t speak spanish.”

Confusion filled his face

Everyone in my group died laughing.

I awkwardly boarded the bus waving goodbye and apologizing, hoping that was enough to fix the situation.

Despite the cultural confusion, I decided (mainly due to a huge case of sombrero hair) to continue galavanting my headpiece for the rest of the evening, including while ag gawking at Julie Borlaug, granddaughter of Norman Borlaug. If you don’t know who that is, educate yourself. He was the agriculture shiznit.

ANNNNNNDDDDD…. Cue blog post conclusion!

If you want to check out more about Alltech or read some of the less random, more educational blog posts from the symposium, you can check them out here. Be looking for my posts there within the next couple of weeks.

Just don’t be expecting coverage from me on how ADHD symptoms can be lessened with certain nutrition tweaks. I really, really, oh-so-very badly wanted to cover that session, I was really looking forward to it, but they talked about bees right before it and I became fixated on researching the types of wildflowers to purchase in order to save the bees and then the emcee used the word “security” three times and I ended up on Google, searching for the best Bon Qui Qui GIF I could attach with it.

Next thing I know, everyone is clapping and Nicole from Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom is nudging me to see my notes from the ADHD talk, I had just completely missed.tumblr_m6efk3knS71qzqdem

*sigh*

Welcome to the insides of my mind, and why I needed the natural cure to ADHD to begin with.

tumblr_mdnnw2OJJ01qzqdemUntil next time, y’all!IMG_5390

 

County Fair Blog Party #11

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It’s time again, for another round of County Fair Blog Party. It seems like something extra is brought to the table each week. This time we have uber cute buttons for all those who link up for County Fair. Kelly, of Old Blue Silo did an outstanding job and putting these together for us. Go ahead, past and present participants, grab this button and add it to the sidebar of your own blogs.

Country Fair Blog Party
<div align="center"><a href="http://talesofakansasfarmmom.blogspot.com/" title="Country Fair Blog Party"><img src="http://i896.photobucket.com/albums/ac168/coppertop1985/countryfair_button_zps7427c677.png" alt="Country Fair Blog Party" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

AND we officially have a prize for winners in each division. Kelly also designed a purple ribbon button, past winners make sure you grab it to add and future winners… well, you know where to find it. Be sure and ‘like’ Old Blue Silo on Facebook.

Country Fair Blog Part
<div align="center"><a href="http://talesofakansasfarmmom.blogspot.com/" title="Country Fair Blog Part"><img src="http://i896.photobucket.com/albums/ac168/coppertop1985/countyfair_ribbon_zpsd1937d63.png" alt="Country Fair Blog Part" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Now, back to what y’all came for, here are the Champions from last week:

(Click on the photo to visit the link.)  

FOOD
A Little of This and a Little of That

AGRICULTURE
Farmland: Meet America’s Next Generation of Farmersfarmland-poster

DIY
DIY Container for Deck Gardening Part Imethod9

 

Time to join week #12.  Here is how you link up to the Country Fair Blog Party:

Click on the little blue frog at the bottom.

Add the specific post URL, not just the blog address.

Add your email address. (No spam, promise!)

Select a picture for your thumbnail.

Click on Done and then share with your friends!

Just now joining the party?? Check out previous weeks here. And make sure you are following the other hosts, Nicole of Tales of A Kansas Farm Mom on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, Taysha Reitzel of Dirt Road Charm on Facebook, TwitterPinterest and Laurie Link of Country LINKed:FacebookPinterest.

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