Friday, June 26, 2009

Ice Tea

The debate Canadian Style vs. Sweet Tea vs. Unsweetened

Currently, Missouri/Kansas is in its third straight day of an excessive heat advisory. It was supposed to end Thursday night, but oh no they had to extent it into this weekend. Excessive heat means 100+ (38 degrees Celsius) days, and then you can ad humidity on top of that. My Alberta friends you have no idea how much I miss dry heat!

There is one cure for the heat a big tall glass of ice tea. Now for my American friends Canadian Ice Tea is a completely different deal compared to what we have down here. You make it with juice crystals and it is sweet and wonderful tasting, it doesn't really even taste like tea. Perhaps that is why I use to gag on American ice tea! My sister makes it about one cup of water to one cup of crystals - you could usually still feel the grittiness! My dad makes the best ice tea though - secret ingredient Pepsi. That's right all you that are about to whip up some ice tea back home, add some Pepsi and let Heaven find you!

Now, here comes the big revelation. As I mentioned I could hardly stand American ice tea when I first arrived. It is cold brewed tea - sometime some sugar added. Why would anyone want to drink that, I drink tea warm in a mug. These people down here seem pretty please with it though. Slowly, I have been able to get used to the idea of sweet tea - only after it being around at enough judging contests, banquet and bull sales. However, it hit me this week. When I came in from shooting video and picture under the sweltering Kansas sun this week I asked for an ice tea - unsweetened at that - and I liked it! Today at Arby's they have these new fruit ice teas - I ordered blackberry. It was sweet, and I was thinking how much better it would have been unsweetened. I really felt like I lot part of my Canadianism today. I guess that is what six years south of the border will do to ya. Sad day. Almost as sad as Michael Jackson passing away, but now I am getting off topic. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I'll be busy packing to make the move from Easy Street to Country Club. Not bad for only being in this town a year and a half. Talk to you soon!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Daddy's Little Girl

Actually I don't think I am really a daddy's little girl or (even mommy's little girl), but I do know dad would do about anything for my sister and I - including tell me when I need to stop whining and put my big girls panties on - although I don't think he ever used those exact words! Went spent a lot of time every year driving up and down the road for 4-H stuff, shows, dance and dada was either there with us or at home doing chores so we could go.

Most of the time when I call home dad acts as much truth-o-meter. You would think ever year I would have the most awful, scrawny calves by the way my sister describes them, and of course hers are much better! So I am always relieved when dad tell me things are looking pretty good. Dad's also my business partner (and mom too). Two of my cows are apart of our family's donor program. Dad is greatly benefitting from this because let's face it I only have three cows, two of them being donors, so that doesn't leave much room for receipts in my herd. I am glad though that dad can keep on using these genetics in his and mom's receipts. It makes me feel like I can still contribute although I am more than 1600 miles away from home! 

The picture below is one of my favorites. It is a pretty good description of what my family is all about. It was taken at the Calgary Stampede in 1985, in the Big Top tent. Walt Browarny took the photo, which is a little ironic because most of the pictures I have that Allan or Walt took are cattle pictures, and I also went onto work for Walt in college. I found the picture in a pile of old pictures one summer when I was home from college and snatched it for myself!

So dad I hope you have an excellent golf game on Sunday, wish I could be there. Love ya!

This is what happens when College of Ag friends get married!

John and Marissa are hitched!

The first weekend of July I attend my third wedding of the summer. I was actually double booked that weekend, but wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to attend a K-State wedding. There is just something magical about a wedding in Manhattan, and its pretty much a guaranteed good time.

John and Marissa both attend Butler and then K-State on were on the Livestock Judging Teams. John was just a year younger than me, so we spent a semester together at Butler and K-State. John also spent a few days with my family in Alberta when we won the Denver Livestock Judging high individual trip. He was exposed to good ole Canadian hospitality and developed a love for rye. I remember when Marissa was starting to think about going to Butler, and helping our coach recruit her. She made a wise decision!

Leading up to the wedding there had been much talk. 1. Marissa is gorgeous (don't blush when you read this Marissa) and lots of bets were that she would be one of the most beautiful brides of the year. This was only escalated when their engagement pictures came out. Yup I was right - see picture below. 2. Marissa and John's friends like to have fun. Marissa later told me that she repeatedly warned the staff at the reception that her friends like to have a good time. And trust me we did. (Those pictures will remain hidden.)

Also, other reasons to get excited - our friend Tera was doing the cake. Now I have seen many of Tera's cakes and they are amazing! I would highly recommend her for your next birthday cake, graduation cake, etc. However, until the wedding I had actually never tasted any of Tera's cakes. Well let's say in the end it didn't matter what the cake looked liked because it tasted awesome - both the cake and frosting. 

Not a great picture, but it was delicious!

Other highlights of wedding. It was an amazing ceremony, in a beautiful church. I might have to become Catholic just to be married there. I caught the bouquet. Which I have become a little notorious for throwing an elbow or making a drive for. It really isn't the I want to get married part that I am into, more the I am very competitive person and don't want to lose. We also made a trip to Aggieville as the night ended and our friend Brady bought us roses. And finally all good nights end at Jimmy Johns, with their speedy fast subs and over-size pickles. 

No Manhattan wedding is complete without purple in the wedding palette!

Her dress was gorgeous!

Us and our roses!

The beset way to end a night in Aggieville!

So congrats John and Marissa. I'll have to make a trip to South Dakota sometime! 

p.s. Marley I'm sorry that I don't have a picture of you to include in my blog to make you feel famous!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

PETA this is starting to get a little ridiculous

And these are the people that we want to guide animal agriculture practices?

PETA - now there is an interesting group of people. The problem is they are powerful. They have a 32 million budget and the goal of ending animal agriculture. 

This week though they have a different agenda - house flies. They are criticizing President Obama for killing a house fly in during a interview for CNBC. PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich suggested the human option would be to be a Katcha Bug Humane Bug Catcher and then release the fly outside. 

Thankfully, the media has latched onto the  story and PETA has been subjected to some mockery. Just remember no matter how crazy or absurd we think these people are they have their eye on us, and they are going to put up a fight.

Some inspiration

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

It has been a crazy week, hence the lack of blog posts! My roommate just got possession of her house last week, so we have been busy painting up a storm (don't worry I will have before and after pictures!) Sometime things get tough, but the video below always gives me inspiration. Last summer we worked on a project called I am Angus for the 125th Anniversary of the American Angus Association, and the video below was on the segments. It was a great opportunity to meet Clinton, and now he is interning in our office this summer. 

I hope you all enjoy and remember the weekend is just around the corner!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Practice Promoting Yourself

All the things that you can find on the Internet.

So part of what I love about the Internet is it is a great way to network, and the chain of information always continues. Below is great article that I found on Ag Career Women. I think the article has a lot of merit, and we all could do a better job of promoting ourselves. A certain friend of mine (we'll call her Bird again) is always spreading the good news about her accomplishments - I usually see them over Facebook. Each time I see that she has a success whether it be personal or career driven it reminds me of how hard she works to achieve her goals. 

Don't think of it as bragging, these people are your friends and colleagues and they want to hear and share in your successes. 

Now back to why I love the Internet - so as I was reading this article I discovered that it originated from another website called Women On Business. This site has all kinds of information. I can't wait for my next free evening or quality time in the airport so I can start sifting through all the information. 

I hope you all enjoy the article and am excited to hear your thoughts!

Blog from, written by Susan Gunelius
Practice Promoting Yourself
Post by Jane K. Stimmler, contributing Women On Business writer

My experience, and the research I have done and seen, shows that men are generally more comfortable in promoting their strengths and accomplishments than women, and are greater risk-takers. Perhaps you have experienced the same thing.

Men, by and large, seem to understand the importance of self-promotion and they use it effectively to gain money and power. Women, on the other hand, consistently identify self-promotion as something that does not come naturally. Worse yet, many women have the misguided belief that they can rely on fairness and recognition, believing that “If I work hard and do my job well, people will notice.” So, while men are out talking about their talents and abilities, many women simply reject the concept as bragging. They don’t see self-promotion as something that is directly linked to their success. This is often related to the way in which women are socialized – and what I call “the good girl mentality.” The problem is – the social behavior we were taught when we were younger doesn’t always reflect the real business world now that we’re adults.

A successful friend put it this way - “Females need to toot their own horns more. They shouldn’t wait to be asked about what they’re doing. Instead, women should let people in the organization know about their accomplishments.” She went on to recount that the head of her division told her that of all the e-mails and voice mail messages he gets from employees about deals they closed and problems they solved – 99% of them are from men. So, many of our male colleagues are calling their bosses and telling them what a great job they are doing. Ouch!

In fact, more than 60% of the women surveyed for my book Breaking Into the Boys’ Club said that men are much better at promoting themselves. This may be a result of the fact that more than half of those same women felt that women are less confident in their professional abilities than men are – even when their skills are equal to or better than their male colleagues. We’ve all heard stories about men who have stepped up for jobs and been promoted with half the skills and experience that their women peers have. Men see the promotion as an opportunity to jump forward and figure that they’ll be able to handle whatever the position entails. In essence, men often apply for jobs when they have only 30% of the job requirements. Women do not apply unless they have 100%. Men just are not as self-critical as women, who analyze and worry about whether their qualifications fit the job precisely. Why do we do that??

Another problem woman have in promoting themselves is that they haven’t found a comfortable promotional style. Perhaps you have felt this way: when an opportunity comes for you to chime in and promote something you have done, you can’t think of how to word your story appropriately, and you are afraid promoting yourself will sound awkward – or even obnoxious. Clearly, some practice is necessary in order to phrase what you want to say, say it in a pleasant tone, and invite comments – not jealousy – by others. Try practicing a self-promotional story or telling about a success when you’re with a good friend, or even when you’re alone, to get over your fears.

It’s important to be sure you are doing enough to promote yourself and to be a visible candidate for a promotion or career opportunity that comes up. Think about the strategies you can use to put yourself in a position of strength with colleagues. Practice a comfortable promotional style. Be more confident and assertive. All of these will help you get ahead in the workplace. And, if you are already a good self-promoter – please share some of your secrets!

Monday, June 15, 2009

DC By Car

A tour in 45 minutes...

As I mentioned I was able to travel to Virginia a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty excited about the fact that I was going to have a chance to be that close to DC since I have been wanting to visit there for awhile now. I probably should have added it to my 101 in 1001. 

Anyways, I have a great boss, who let us make a quick detour on our way to Baltimore so I could see the capitol. We got there right as the sun was setting and drove through the city in about 45 minutes. Long enough for me to realize that I want to go back for a much longer trip even more! So this is what DC in 45 minutes looks like!

Right as the sun was going down. 

Standing in the middle of the mall.

The back of the White House. We only drove past the front.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Pink Guitar and Marcus - Vegas Part II

Definitely over due!

So I can't believe that it is getting close to a month since I was in Vegas. I am definitely itching to get back, I think my bank account will need to recover before that though! I would say I was a conservative spender out there but with $10 drinks, $18 lunches and shows to be seen it all adds up.

The next few days were spend by the pool, doing some shopping on the strip and seeing some shows. I figured the best way to describe it would be by pictures!

The Pink Guitar. This guitar is actually an 80 oz. drink holder! And was amazing. We were able to choose different flavors of slush until it was full. The rest of the day we spend walking around with our guitar and shopping. Such a refreshing way to spend the day. The last day of my trip we went back and got a second one. The girls are definitely planning on pulling them our for the World Angus Forum.

That night we saw Cirque du Soleil O show at the Bellagio. It was amazing, and certainly worth the pricey tickets. Would totally recommend it. The above picture is from the water show in front of the Bellagio. The fountains play ever 20 minutes I think in time with different songs. We stayed and watched two shows, we were enjoying them that much!

That night we went to Body English at the Hard Rock. It was awesome, the music changed ever two minutes, and a great combination of old school and new pop. We were extremely fortune it to be able to get front of the line again! Above is our town car driver. We were pretty sure he was apart of the Greek mafia if there is such a thing. Again we left the bar that night, due to serious blisters forming!

The next day was Brett's birthday, and the girls let me surprise them by picking Dick's Last Resort. If you ever get a chance to go to one of the restaurants take the opportunity! Just be sure you have tough skin. The whole idea is that the wait staff gets to act like jerks, and have a little fun with their guests. Being Canadian and in dresses only added fuel to the fire that night! The balloon person that they made us was awesome! After Dick's we were going to attend "Thunder Down Under" so the balloon maker thought a male stripper would be appropriate. We had no idea that waiter was behind us when we were taking the picture. Also, my hat they made me says something inappropriate that I will not repeat on here!

We then decided that Marcus would make a good 3D "Flat Stanley" and took many pictures of his trip to Vegas!

Before heading to Thunder Down Under we decided that it would be a good idea to sneak into the wedding chapel. Although, we never made it to the alter, we did pose for a few pictures!

Finally, we made our way to Thunder Down Under a male Australian "show!" As you can see the boys looked pretty good. Again highly recommend it for some good girl time. We thought Marcus would fit right in.

That night we headed to Jet for more dancing! And then ended the night with a some SLAM burgers at Denny's. just remember when you order a SLAM from Denny's you must smack the table as hard as you can while saying SLAM!

All in all it was a wonderful trip and can't wait to go back sometime!
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