Monday, July 30, 2012

Developing leadership skills

Farmer Doc and I are both believers that we should give back – to our families, to our communities, and to the organizations that helped us get where we are today (and that are helping us move forward). One of the ways we are giving back is to become involved in leadership roles with some of the organizations that we belong to and are passionate about.

IFB logo
IVMA logo

Last week, I had the opportunity to do some communications training with the American Farm Bureau. The Indiana Farm Bureau has already given us some wonderful opportunities that we might not have otherwise had. I am looking forward to being able to use my polished communications skills to tell the story of our family and our farm, and to help other people understand how important farmers are.

As soon as I got back from my trip to Washington, D.C., I packed back up and headed to Indianapolis for some leadership training with the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Communications boot camp

Last week I had an incredible opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. for a 4-day communications training session. This “boot camp” was put together by the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee.

We had a jam-packed four days, so there was not too much time for sight-seeing. Which, it turns out, was okay… Because it seems like most of the city is under construction!

construction at the capitol

(If I was a better/more creative/political writer, I would use this photograph with the construction zone with no workers, thick chain-link fence, and storm clouds rolling in to make a statement about our government and/or country. But I’m not. You’re lucky.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sweet corn

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One of the reasons summer is my favorite time of year is that there is fresh, local, sweet corn everywhere! For me, the easiest way to cook it is to simply boil it.

Start with a few ears of shucked sweet corn.

local sweet corn

And a big pot of boiling salted water. (Seriously? Getting this water to boil is the longest step in cooking sweet corn.)

Monday, July 23, 2012

French Lick Scenic Railway

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Every summer, the folks in District 9 of Indiana’s Farm Bureau get together for a trip and a meal. This year, we headed out to historic French Lick, Indiana. There are some pretty neat hotels and casinos there, and it’s the home of Pluto Water, but we weren’t there for the gambling or the sulfur cleanse (Pluto Water – When nature can't, Pluto will!). We were bound for the French Lick Scenic Railway at the Indiana Railway Museum!

The railway uses retired commuter rail cars from the 1920’s Needless to say, they are not air-conditioned. And we had planned this trip for what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer so far.

train car interior

At least most of the train ride was through neat woods like this! We were in the shade for almost the entire trip, and with all the windows open on the rail cars, the heat wasn’t all that bad. (For a 105+ degree day, anyway!)

Friday, July 20, 2012

True Blood

I confess. I get together with a couple of girlfriends (and usually significant others) to watch True Blood. We can’t all make it every weekend, so we’ll store up a few episodes on my DVR and have a marathon session once a month or so.

Joe Manganiello
Photo from

And there is definitely no shortage of eye candy on these nights.

Monday, July 16, 2012

2012 Gibson County Fair

Last week was our county fair, and as always it was a crazy week! Farmer Doc is on the Fair Board, and he spends the entire week on the grounds. Like last year, the board asked me to take pictures of some of the events, so I spent a bunch of time at the fair, too.

The fair opened Sunday night with hog wrestling. It had rained earlier that day (yay!) so the crowd wasn’t that great, but the mud was just right!

hog wrestling

Friday, July 13, 2012

Don’t leave your door open

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The other night I got my mixer out to make blackberry cobbler.

kitchen cabinet

I left the cabinet door open long enough to put the mixer down on one of the other counters. When I turned back around, this is what I found.

pretzel in the cabinet

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quick and easy blackberry cobbler

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We have a few “tame” blackberry bushes in our yard. (They’re not looking so hot this year – we’re hoping they make it though the drought!) Usually we get tons of berries from them, and this cobbler recipe is one of our favorite things to do with them.
blackberry cobbler
Start with around 5 cups of blackberries. We use our fresh off the bushes, but frozen would work well, too.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Remodel Mondays – 5 things to do during a home remodel

No project would be complete without a review of what went well, and what didn’t go so… smoothly. Here are my recommendations for what to do during a full-on remodel project.

1. Move out. If you possibly can, get the heck out of there. It speeds up the timeline, keeps you out of the workers’ hair, and keeps your stuff from getting covered with a thick layer of construction dust. (And no matter what you do, you can never really get rid of that dust!) We were lucky to have an “apartment” to move into, unfinished as it was.

unfinished apartment

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fourth of July Fireworks

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Our county is under a burn ban, and there’s a fine for any private fireworks this week. But, lucky for us, we had a planned public display at the Gibson County Fairgrounds last night (LINK). Don’t worry, the fire department was there in spades, and they had taken extra precautions by wetting the ground where the fireworks were being launched.

In no particular order, here are some of my favorites from the evening.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Homemade cookies and cream ice cream

This is the time of year that we break out the homemade ice cream maker. We’re really good at vanilla and blackberry, and last year I perfected my pumpkin pie recipe. But we were looking for something new this year. So, for the first time (for us), homemade cookies and cream ice cream!

homemade cookies and cream ice cream

Of course, featuring Oreo cookies.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Remodel Mondays – Before and after

The official remodel project is finished. (Just ask the bank and our insurance company.) I’m still working on the “minor” things, like curtains, and door mats, and where the stuff should go on the wall, and really where the furniture should end up.

The change from the old house to the new really is pretty dramatic. Let’s take a tour!
You’ve already seen most of the new house, like my new office and the master bedroom. Maybe when I get things organized the way I really want, I’ll show off my closets. For now, the closets are holding all of the “I don’t know what to do with this yet” stuff. Not pretty.

And speaking of not pretty, here was my office in the old house. This room was originally a garage that was made part of the house before we bought it. We pulled up the carpet and installed laminate flooring, but never did anything about the paneling on the walls. (ick) Because it was a garage, it was sunken down 3 steps from the rest of the before

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