Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Spirit Week at Work?

This week is Independent Bank's Employee Appreciation week. In past years, this activity was offered only to workers in the Ionia area, but this year it has been extended to the whole IB "family" (please note my use of air quotes... Carrie, you'll understand what I mean). Coming back from a week long vacay was just a tad bit easier for me knowing I could wear comfy jeans every day this week. So, what exactly does an Employee Appreciation week look like? Well.... honestly, it resembles a high school spirit week. Each day has a theme:

  • Monday: Hawaiian Day- I forgot, of course, and ended up wearing jeans, a black short sleeved turtleneck (which I proceeded to wear backwards for half the day, during a video conference with the CEO of the bank and other big wigs), and my black heels, along with a shell/bead bracelet that I purchased in Vegas. The bracelet was my Hawaiian tie in (only after I realized it kinda-sorta looked Hawaiian-ish). I received a lei from our Vegas condo when we checked in, and in true Ashley fashion, carried it around for a week only to remove it Sunday night. Since I didn't sleep at home that night, I didnt have it for Monday morning. Boooo to cleaning out purses. Total Appreciation Week participation count: 0-1.

  • Tuesday: Favorite sports team shirt - Josh invited me to stay over Monday night as well (he bribed me with filet mignon, how can a girl resist!) so I didn't have my beloved Justin Verlander shirt to wear to work. Instead I rocked jeans, flip flops (dressy silvery ones, because a little shimmer makes them professional, right?), a blue shirt and a green/blue/silver scarf. Total Appreciation Week participation count: 0-2.

  • Wednesday: Crazy Hat or Necktie Day - I don't have a hat, let alone a crazy one, and I definitely don't have a tie. So, I opted for a scarf (I have a soft spot in my heart for scarves lately) in purple/pink/silver to dress up my dark denim jeans, purple cami, and black cardigan (this one from NY&Co that I am totally buying in every color because I'm slightly obsessed). Total Appreciation Week participation count: 0-3 (technically my scarf isn't a tie, or so I'm told)

  • Thursday: Salute to America Day (AKA: Wear something patriotic or red, white and blue) - Still undecided on what I'm going to wear, but I know I'm definitely wearing my trouser jeans from Gap. They're cut like dress pants but made from dark denim so they're kind of the best of both the professional and casual worlds. Plus, I'll be in a day long meeting with some executives and senior vice presidents, so I figure I should be a litttttle more professional than casual. Which brings me to another point... (see my rant below).

  • Friday: Independent Bank Day - Wear IB logo stuff. Simple enough, I suppose. I've got a gray and navy polo that's completely blah and will be perfect for this day. Oh- and out of the goodness of their hearts, we've been allowed to have a potluck in our department. I find this hilarious. Our department has potlucks like it's nobody's business and we've never had to have permission before. In years past, we had lunch made for us, usually barbeque pork and picnic fixins. This year however, to show how much we're appreciated, corporate management is going to let us make our own food to bring in. Wow. How thoughtful of them.

My Rant: Today I'm working in GR at the East Beltline office. I noticed that there are about 3 people on my floor wearing jeans, and I'm one of them. There are probably about 50 people on this floor and for some reason I'm really annoyed that nobody else is wearing jeans. Why?? Who wakes up in the morning and says, "I'd much rather wear dress pants and professional clothes instead of comfortable jeans." I offer an answer to that question: Stuffy people who think they're too professional to be caught in jeans. I realize I probably shouldn't care too much, but honestly people! The executive vice president of my region is wearing jeans, a hat, and a mullet wig!! Now, I realize that may not exude professionalism, but at least he's having fun with his job! So I say to you dress pant wearers today: Take the stick out of your ass and pull on a pair of Levi's. It's not going to make your customers disappear, and believe me, you can still get work done if you're not wearing Dockers. Relax a little bit and have some fun while you're allowed to!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Fear Not, Dear Readers!

I've returned from my vacation! It actually wasn't too hard to climb on a plane in 110 degree heat to go back to lovely 65 degree Ionia. I much prefer jeans and a t-shirt to the stifiling heat that is Las Vegas. Seriously, I didn't know breezes could be warm. They're not refreshing at all! When we walked down the strip at night I felt like I was in an oven because heat was radiating off of the huge buildings and pavement.

But I digress... I sound like I had a miserable time in Sin City, when the opposite is true. I loved it! I saw the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Route 66, too. I promise to post pics when I get back to the regular routine of my mundane life. Right now I'm far too busy catching up on laundry, reading other people's blogs, and spending time with Josh (who, as it turns out, has this crazy way of giving me butterflies in my stomach : ) I guess we're still in the honeymoon phase!) I even had finished 3 out of the 4 books that I brought with me! Only about 100 pages to go in the last book, which I plan on curling up with tonight (after I eat filet mignon with Josh, of course).

So, what did I do in Vegas? Here's the highlights. I'll expound more later:
  • Saturday- drove down the strip, saw the lights, and CRASHED (into bed, not with a car). We had to get up at 4:00 to get to the airport on time. Needless to say we were all prettttty darn tired.
  • Sunday - lounged by the pool (I don't think I've ever got tan lines from laying out at 8am), went to Caesar's Palace, ate at Margaritaville and Cheesecake Factory (mmmm tiramisu cheesecake, I love you), watched Cirque du Soleil Mystere at Treasure Island. It was pretty much amazing!
  • Monday - Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Route 66. Complete with a stop at Road Kill Cafe for dinner!
  • Tuesday - lounged by the pool, went to the Price is Right at Bally's casino, ate at Rainforest Cafe, watched the pilot episode of Accidentally on Purpose starring Jenna Elfman and rated it for the folks at CBS. Got dehydrated at night, ate a Haagen Dazs lemon sorbet chiller (delicious, might I add).
  • Wednesday - lounged by the pool, ate delicious stromboli at Four Kegs (the places off the beaten path are a little sketch, but the food makes it worth it!) where Guy from Diners, Drive Ins and Dives (you Food Network junkies know who I'm talking about) has visited. Visited Madame Tussaud's wax museum, then we went on a Murder Mystery tour with these awesome people!
  • Thursday - Lounged by the pool, ate at the buffet at the Orleans casino and hotel, (which had about every kind of dessert you could ever think of), then walked off all of the calories we ingested down on Fremont St (the old-school strip).
  • Friday - Lounged by the pool, ate at a pizza buffet, walked around all day, watched Criss Angel's Believe show (which was awful. He's much more magical on TV. Although he's pretty hot in person, he sucks at hiding the secrets behind his "magic")
  • Saturday - CAME HOME!!! I've never been so happy to pull into my driveway. I was even happy to see rain. It was so nice : )

Like I said, I'll post some pictures when I have time!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What's In My Carry-On?

Saturday I leave for Las Vegas!! YAY! I'll be out there for an entire week, staying at my family's time share at Tahiti Village (check out that Lazy River!!) I'm so excited. We've had quite the week so a vacation will be a nice little escape. We're also planning on visiting the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and playing a little game show at Bally's (You may have heard of it... The Price is Right, anyone?? How excited am I!!). My stepmom has planned a murder mystery dinner trip and a show that's a big secret, so it sounds like my week will be fun filled for sure. So, the big question is what is in my carry-on? (What? That wasn't what you were wondering? Sorry...)

Since I have a whole glorious month off of school (which is now down to 2 weeks... booooo for time that goes by too fast!) I decided to start reading some of the books on my bookshelf. So far I have only finished one. Oh well... I'm taking four books to Vegas with me in hopes that between the plane rides, layovers, and car rides to and from attractions I'll have time to read. Plus, it's always good to have a book when laying out in the sun, right? So here's what's going to be in my carry-on:
  • American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld: Based on the life of Laura Bush, this book is supposed to be pretty good. I'm IN LOVE with her other books Prep and The Man of My Dreams. She's a really really really super good author and I'm looking forward to cracking the binding on this book.
  • The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perotta: About a teacher who causes quite a stir in a small conservative town when she decides to teach alternative methods of sex-ed.
  • The Undomestic Goddess and Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella: Kinsella is the author of the Shopaholic series and I have yet to read these other books she wrote. The Undomestic Goddess is about a girl who secures a job as a maid but has never cleaned a day in her life. Remember Me is about a girl who suffers from amnesia. (Forgive me if these descriptions are less than perfect; I haven't read the back of the books in quite some time!) She also has a new book, Twenties Girl, that just came out a few weeks ago. I tried to get it from the library but they were all out : (

I'm excited for a little R&R&R- Rest, Relaxation, and Reading!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ashley Cooks Dinner... and Survives!

As I posted yesterday, I decided to make dinner for Josh last night. I had the "menu" all set and as I was getting ready to pull into Meijer for some last minute necessary ingredients, I got a text saying I should expect 1 maybe 2 extra people. Ok... no big deal, right? No need to panic. I'll just double the recipe and if it's too much we'll have leftovers. Then, when I get to Josh's house, I learn that there might be another extra person- (recap: planned meal for 2 people, ended up with 5) Luckily for me, that was really the only stressful moment! Plus, one of the extra people happened to be quite helpful in the kitchen! And now, without further ado, the pictures (You'll have to forgive the lack of magazine quality pics. I don't have the talent for that, and Josh's kitchen is a less than desirable background!):

Parmesan chicken - I cut the chicken breasts up into smaller pieces to make it easier to handle and quicker to bake. It was SO yummy and juicy!

Garlic Cheese Orzo - another delicious dish (if I do say so myself!). The only problem was that I lacked my garlic press and any other method to mince/mash the garlic, so there were some larger chunks. Oh well, it tasted reaaaalllly good! (Note the 70's golden yellow stove) I also steamed some broccoli, but that's not too difficult so I didn't feel the need for a picture.

Monkey Bread for dessert! You'll notice I forgot to take a pic before I snuck a piece right out of the center (oops...). You'll also notice my "potholder" for the night - a seafoam green hand towel. My boyfriend does not own a potholder. How is this possible?

The end result was a pretty satisfied group of people! Josh even said he liked when I cook and I can do it again. YAY!! Bonus: he and his friend did the dishes! My boyfriend is the greatest!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quick Little Post!

This weekend was amazing! Friday night I had some quality Jenna time (Love that girl!!) and enjoyed a Maple Butter Blondie from Applebee's. YUM is all I can say. Then Josh had some people over and we rotated between his house, his garage, and his man-cave (another garage lined with beer cans and old scantily-clad girl posters that houses his pool table. Seriously, some of the posters are older than me. And I'm older than him... Not that I condone half-dressed women as acceptable wall art, but if you're gonna have them, get pics that don't feature leg warmers, and big hair...) while trying to dodge rain drops.

Saturday I woke up to no power at Josh's house, so I headed to Jenna's to shower and get ready for the day. We had a little Mary Kay party at her house and with freshly made up faces we headed out to Lansing. I scored the deal of the century at The Limited ($277 worth of clothes for $38! Seriously, I love a bargain!) and got some Victoria's Secret PINK stuff for my sister for her birthday (side note: since when is my sister old enough to turn 21?? Seriously feeling old...). Then Josh took me out to dinner at Corner Landing and we watched a movie at my place. He let me rent Confessions of a Shopaholic (who, it turns out, I totally can identify with... not $16,000 in credit card debt, but the emotional high of shopping. yeah, I know how pathetic that sounds).
Sunday I went up to Traverse City for the day. My stepmom has family up there and her aunt is home from Arizona. We had a yummy roasted chicken dinner, complete with her grandma's German potato salad and Texas sheet cake (words cannot describe the love I feel for said cake). We were on Silver Lake tubing in between rain showers. It was nice to see everyone again and see how the little cousins are growing up. They're just too cute!

Tonight, I'm going to attempt to cook dinner for Josh. I've got two recipes that I'm going to try: Parmesan Chicken and Garlic Cheese Orzo. They seem pretty easy so I'm not too worried, but there's always some anxiety that comes with cooking for someone for the first time (especially because he's such a picky eater!!!). The parmesan chicken is a Weight Watchers recipe and the orzo is from Rachael Ray. She say's it's 'good for you' but I'm a little skeptical... pasta + cheese doesnt usually equal health food, but I'll give it a try. I have yet to calculate the points value for the orzo, but the website says the chicken is 6 points per serving. A little high but not too bad. Plus, I'll probably have some fresh broccoli or green beans to add so that helps the health value, right? And then I plan on making monkey bread for dessert. Definitely not a Weight Watchers recipe, but it'll be ok. Everything in moderation (haha... famous last words). I'll try to take pictures of the finished product and post about it later : ) Dont worry, I am by no means going to become a food blogger. I'm definitely not qualified for that job!

I'm also working on a few posts that I'll feature later this week (Ok, I just reread that sentence and it sounds horribly pretentious, like I'm some magnificent blogger who "features" things... but I'm not changing it. haha). One of them is about what I'm reading/have read lately, one is about what wedding trends I'm falling in love with (not that I have any reason to start planning... I just like looking for now), and one will be a little catch up to show off some of the pics I've taken over the past 6 months and haven't shared. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just a Few Things

Ok, these are some of the things on my mind today:
(Be prepared for random, out of nowhere, completely irrational thoughts)

  • This week (actually, yesterday) marks my 7th anniversary at Independent Bank. Yes, for real. Let's do some math: I'm 24 years old. That means I started working here when I was 17 and have spent more than 25% of my life at this job (29.17% to be exact). For some reason I'm less than inspired by that thought... On the plus side, I score an extra 5 vacation days (starting in January) with this anniversary! YAY for vacation days!!!
  • John Hughes has passed away. (What's happenin', hot stuff...?) I didn't really "grow up" watching his movies since I was born right smack in the middle of the 80's, but I've grown to love them. Plus, let's not forget about those soundtracks! (Don't youuuu forget about meee. Don't, don't, don't, Dooon't) I think a movie marathon is in order.
  • I've really been in a baking mood lately, but I lack my own kitchen in which to do said baking. I'm highly contemplating taking over Josh's kitchen to make some Monkey Bread (which is hardly considered baking) or something like that. I also want to prove to him that I can cook. So, if you have any easy-peasy but semi-healthy recipes I can try, let me know (Amanda, that means you.. :) )
  • I need help designing this here lil blog. It's terribly boring and blah. I hate all of Blogger's templates. I finally figured out how to make my posts wider so I'm actually using a respectable amount of screen space (helping my super long ramblings look just a little shorter). But, I want something with a cute design. I might have to experiment with my Photoshop a little bit and make a cute header or something like that... who knows. Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.
  • Garrett said I need to talk about him in order for him to read my blog. So, here's a bulletpoint dedicated to him. He's the person who got me through years 5-7 at IB and who listens to my complaining (read: whining) all the time, and I'm the person who was treated to his 2am drunk dials on Friday and Saturday nights (not so much anymore...). So there Garrett, now you have to read my blog : )

And on that note- HAPPY FRIDAY!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Warm Fuzzies

It's summertime. Yay! I love me some sunshine. If you haven't already guessed, I've been spending a lot of my free time at Josh's family's farm this summer. I pretty much love it there. I find the fresh country air (read: smell of cows), pretty green fields, and baby farm animals so relaxing and entertaining. And it's a damn good thing I like it over to the farm because otherwise I would never ever see my boyfriend. He honestly likes doing farm work and field work, and spends his nights off helping out wherever needed. So, needless to say, I haul my cookies over to the farm a couple nights a week, too, to keep him company and just to hang out.

Yesterday I thought I would be riding along with Josh as he hauled chopped hay from the field to the bunker (just a fancy word for where they store the stuff). It's fun. I just ride shotgun in the cab of a sort of semi-truck while Josh drives along side of the chopper as it spews freshly chopped hay into the hauler. If you love the smell of fresh cut grass, you would LOVE the smell of fresh cut hay. ahhhh it's amazing. So that's what we do. For hours. Just ride back and forth from the field to the farm, getting loaded up with hay and dumping it out. I like it because we can just talk and be together (yeah... kinda mushy, sorry but we're still in the honeymoon phase and I'm quite enjoying it, thank you.). However, Josh sent me a text yesterday saying that he wasn't chopping, but he was merging and I could ride with him. WTF is merging, you ask? Yeah, I had no idea either... I kind of figured it couldn't be that bad (worst case scenario- he was spreading shit, in which case it could be that bad...) but I was a little nervous. So, I headed to the farm not knowing what to expect.

Josh's uncle pointed me in the direction of the field he was in, and I relaxed once I saw that he was just driving a tractor and pulling a little conveyor belt thingy (otherwise known as the Flipper... as in it flips the hay over and merges rows together, hence the merging from earlier). I was excited to ride on the tractor! I used to do it a lot when I was a little girl. And, of course, I was excited to see Josh. Something about seeing him driving a tractor just makes me swoon (maybe it's from too much of that "country air"). So up I climbed. Now, the tractor was a 930 Case King Comfort, but don't let that name fool you. This bad boy was anything but comfortable. Thank God Josh's dad brought me a piece of foam to sit on (he's like the best "boyfriend's dad" a girl could want) because otherwise my hind-end would be black and blue. I'm still a little sore this morning even after sitting on the foam. The fields are bumpy and the tractor is metal and those two things do not add up to a comfy ride. But I got to sit and talk (more like yell over the noise of the tractor) with Josh, so I was a happy girl.

And now the point of this rambling: Josh said the cutest, sweetest, farmer-est thing to me last night and gave me butterflies for like the 72864th time in the last 3 months. We were riding along, chatting about random stuff when he said, "I was hoping we'd be doing hay while you're gone in Vegas, so this kinda sucks." I was confused. I didn't know why he would want me to miss doing hay because I really enjoy it.
So I said, "Why? What are you talking about? I like to ride with you to do hay." (And I'm sure I had an annoyed/confused look on my face)
And then he responded (be prepared for a mush fest, folks), "Well because then I'd be busy and not sad because I don't get to see you for a week." Awwwwww are you kidding me? Seriously? This is MY boyfriend?

How freakin' cute is he? Wow... I just sat there on the fender of the tractor, beaming like an idiot. That completely made my day/night : )

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lookie What I Found!

I'm a crafty person at heart. I used to be in 4-H when I was younger and created alllll sorts of goodies out of whatever I could get my hand on. Seriously, I was like Martha Stewart and MacGyver's love child. I could take a random selection of found objects, throw in a little hot glue and some acryllic paint, and create a masterpiece. I racked up quite the collection of blue ribbons at the fair (toooot toooot! -That's me, tooting my own horn).

Grown-up me is just as crafty at heart as my 12 year old self, however my actual production of crafty goods has gone a little downhill. Well OK, it's practically nonexistent. I think that's why I am in serious L-O-V-E with (Just go there, I triple dog dare you!) is a site where people sell their handmade goods. I know you've probably got a virtual flea market pictured in your head, but bear with me. This place is AMAZING! The quality of the stuff you'll find doesn't even compare to any flea market I've been to. There is everything from clothing to jewelry to artwork to... well... anything else you can think of! Plus, there are fun ways to shop. I like to shop by color, mostly because I like playing with the different blobs of color and sliding stuff all over the screen (I've got you intrigued now, don't I? muahaha) But you can also search by location, by time of post, by most recently sold items, by the general search function, or a myriad of other ways. If you're not addicted after a few visits, then... well, I really don't know what to say to you.

Anyways, I think each week I'll try and spotlight a few vendors on Etsy that have knocked my socks off. So, without further adieu, here are three of the people I've been stalking lately:

Art and Photography by Kelly Warren - She's got some BEAutiful photos here. If you take a look, you can probably see why I like her. She's got pictures of cows (and they're quite adorable, might I add)!! But, that's not what led me to her. You see, I'm redoing Josh's spare bedroom and I've been looking for some masculine artwork/photography. Josh loves old trucks, especially Dodge trucks, so when I stumbled across this image here, I knew that Kelly was someone to keep an eye on. I still have to show Josh, but I'm sure we'll be purchasing one of these prints.

Crazy4Cards -Now, I have to admit that I haven't looked at every single one of the cards they make, but I LOVE these! I'm helping co-plan a bachelorette party/lingerie shower this fall and these invitations have been our inspiration! I love the fuzzies on them - too cute!

AshleyJewelry - Ahem, I may be a tad bit biased because of the name (and no, I am in no way affiliated with this seller... I wish I was!) but her designs are pure gorgeousness. They're simple and chic and will add some funk to just about any outfit you would wear. I love these stackable rings... SO cute! But I also like the stones in this ring (so big and funky and bold!)... and I think some matching earrings would be nice... so many options!

You should go (RIGHT NOW) and visit Etsy. I know you'll find something there to love!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Farm Pics!

I spent a little time down on the farm tonight, checking up on my little calf that is STILL ALIVE (it's a miracle!) and riding quads with my little brother and Josh. Yes, I ride quads... and yes, I get dirty. I don't even care (that much) when I get dirty... most of the time.

This is the little baby girl that I saved. I've decided to name her Scout. I think it's tough and feisty, perfectly fitting for this little fighter!

Close up of the face - not a good pic. She wouldn't turn around to face me (how ungrateful!)
This adorable little dollface is a red & white holstein. Sometimes they just come out that way... it's a genetic thing. I'm going to call her Piper (but nobody knows that, so it's our little secret, k?). Disregard the messy rump... shit happens, especially when you're a baby cow.

This little guy (girl?) follows me all over the place. I want to take it home (to Josh's) but he says no :(

I woke him/her up from a little cat-nap (haha, I am so witty..)

My boots (I promised pictures)! Fresh from TSC (Tractor Supply Company for all you non-country folk out there). They're looking a liiiiittle dirtier now, but I guess that's to be expected. Needless to say, I rock as much fashion as possible when down on the farm!

Ashley, the Hero

I may be a bit premature to make this declaration, but yes, I was a hero on Sunday night. Let me share the story:

Sunday was a beautiful day and I was ready to make the most of it after I turned in my writing portfolio. Josh was working on the farm and I decided I wanted to take some pictures back in the woods to fill some super-cute new frames I had just bought. I was at my mom's house and not wearing farm-appropriate clothing, so I did what any girl would do: I raided my sister's closet. I felt a little like Goldilocks looking through the Three Bears' closet. Pairs of sweats were too small (my sister's butt is a lot less bubbly than my own, probably due to my rediscovery of the amazingness of Jamocha shakes), one pair was too big (
yay TreadClimber!), and some were cropped (not good since my legs hadn't been shaved that day). I finally emerged with a pair of black yoga pants that I decided weren't too clingy and still yucky enough that they wouldn't be hurt by a little farm "dirt" (you never really know if the brown stuff is mud or shit unless you get close enough to smell it. no thanks, I'll let it stay a mystery). I then needed to find a shirt. Lucky for me, my sister is somewhat of a t-shirt whore, and I say that in the most loving way possible. I'm starting to grow my t-shirt collection (thanks in part to my stepmom's discovery of my volleyball uniforms from 6-9th grade and every t-shirt I'd ever painted for a high school spirit week) but I've got a loooooong way to go to get to where my sister is. She's got concert shirts, GVSU shirts, IHS shirts probably stolen from one of my cousins, random school's athletic shirts she scored from Goodwill, and a whole arsenal of cartoon shirts (Old school TMNT, anyone?). I finally settled on a blue shirt with 4RO plastered across the front, with Four flights of stairs never looked THIS good emblazoned on the back, down by the butt. It was a good thing I knew what it stood for because I anticipated a lot of questions about what my shirt meant. My sister lived in Robinson Hall at Grand Valley during her freshman year, and happened to be on the 4th floor (for those of you not paying attention, that's where 4RO comes in). Her floor also happened to be an all-girl floor on top of three floors of guys (yeah, imagine the jokes there...). I've always thought it was a cute shirt so I decided that was the one.

After my wardrobe choices were made, I raided her sock drawer and headed toward the farm. Once I got there I went into the shop in search of my rubber boots. Now, I must say, these boots are completely adorable. They're pink with multi colored stripes. I figure the cows have to look at plain black and brown boots all the time so I'm sure they'd appreciate a little variety now and then. After my feet were adequately covered I set off in search of Josh. He was up in the cow barn getting cows ready to go to the milking parlor. I trudged up through the "dirt" to see him (ok, I knew it wasn't really dirt/mud, but I'm sparing those of you with weak stomachs the visual of me walking through cow shit). The plan was for him to start his quad for me and I was going to take off to the woods with my camera in hand to get some nature-iffic pictures. He was happy to see me (who wouldn't be?) and clearly pleased to see that I had already put my boots on. I got a little caught up helping him get cows ready (it was actually a fun thing to do with Josh. I'm not scared of cows one bit! Well, maybe a little petrified of the bull... but that's another story) and talking with him. We passed the calf barn and I noticed a dead calf waiting to be taken back to Calf Heaven (actually just a pit where all the dead ones go, but it's my story). I asked him what happened, and he told me it got bloated and died. It's very sad, I know, but that's farm life. I didn't think much of it and went on my merry way to go look at the new baby calves born over the weekend.

I was making my way down the row of calves, petting and feeding and baby-talking them all when I noticed that one of them looked funny. I literally did a side by side by side comparison of the funny looking one and the calves on each side of it. (It looked kind of like a split screen because of the way the pens are set up...) I was not mistaken, this calf looked bad. Here's a bit of a lesson on calves: They're pretty much the same width across from their shoulders to their rump. When they get older the get the fat, barrel-like stomach. Well this little girl's stomach was already extremely round, raising a bunch of red flags for me. I went and told Josh, who confirmed my suspicions. We went to tell Josh's dad (who laughed at my boots, a common response for first timers) who mixed up a special potion of Bloat-B-Gone (not really the name, but you get the idea) and fed it to the calf. Figuring that was the end of it, we disbursed. Josh went back to scraping shit, his dad headed back to the milking parlor, and I played with the new barn kittens (sooo cute!).

Later on that night we were at a bonfire across the street from the farm. It was about 10:30, which normally means that everyone has left the farm for the night, when we saw a truck pull into the driveway. After Josh determined it was the vet's truck we decided to head over to the farm, leading the group of half-drunk bonefire goers across the road, too (because I'm SO sure they could help out at this point in the night...). It turns out that the calf was still bloated and Josh's dad had been trying to relieve the pressure in it's stomach for over an hour. He decided to call the vet to try and save this calf from sharing it's fate with the one who had died the day before. The vet did what she could, but still no results. Then she decided to try a last resort: flip the poor baby over on it's back and poke it with a needle. Yes, she was literally going to pop the gas bubble that had formed in it's stomach. She said that no calf has ever survived this treatment, but there was nothing else to do but try. Josh said that if it weren't for me the calf would have died before morning. I saved it's life (for the time being)!!!! He also said I could name it if it survived. Now, I'm convinced that he only said that because he's doubtful that it will survive, but who cares, I might get to name it! I was excited to say the least.

I'm definitely rooting for this girl to survive but so far I haven't been able to get a prognosis. Josh is going to check on it for me later today. If she makes it I'll definitely post a pic. I've already got a list of names forming and I'm hoping against hope that I get to use one of them! I realize this is the extended-length version of the story, so thanks for reading it.

I was a hero, if only for a night!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A(nother) New Beginning!

Well folks, my independent study on teaching writing is over. I turned in my final portfolio last night and I've put away my multi-colored post its. Over the past six weeks I posted to this blog almost every day. YAY ME! I plan on continuing that run... we'll see. Now that I'm in the habit of daily posts it's not as hard as I thought!

I see my blog taking kind of a random direction. I'll probably post about the following things:
  • Me! haha... updates on my personal life, the boyfriend, school situation, pretty much anything about me
  • Books I'm reading - I'm going to be an English teacher so I need to start reading more books and evaluating them on a critical level. I'll probably post that stuff here.
  • Wedding stuff - Nope, I'm not even close to getting married but I love looking at wedding stuff. Flowers, photographers, venues, reception decor, you name it - I love it!
  • DIY projects - because for some days I feel especially crafty!
  • Photographers - I LOVE photography and I'll probably share pics/photogs that catch my eye
  • Anything else that I want to post about!

Hopefully this change in direction will mark a new beginning for my lil ole blog : )