You have cat to be kitten me right meow

Several things have happened since I last blogged, but probably the biggest thing is that I have a new addition to my family. Yep, it’s true, I adopted a cat. A two-month tabby kitten to be exact.

And he is the best.

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I was expecting a playful kitten who would also like cuddling. I wasn’t expecting the caring and protective feeling I got once I brought him home. When people say they are fur parents, they aren’t kidding. I understand it’s different than having a child, but I also feel like I’m a fur mom.

I had pets growing up, but this is my first time adopting an animal on my own. After months of stalking the humane society’s webpage, I finally decided to visit the shelter and see if I found the right fit. I was convinced I wanted a female kitten, but after holding 6 cats – all of which were female except one – I fell in love with a male kitten named Baloo. It really was love at first sight. I renamed him Hank and two hours later he was home with me.

He has now been with me almost two months and I couldn’t be happier. He is already growing and by the looks of his ears and paws, he is going to be a big cat. If anyone is thinking about adopting but doesn’t know if it’s a good idea, I can personally say that it was a great decision and I can’t imagine not having Hank.

We watch TV together (while he leans against my head).

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We take selfies.
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We play a lot, which usually results in a nap on his part.

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Basically, I could go on and on about how great adopting a pet is. He has a big personality for such a small animal. He likes hair ties, playing fetch with small toys and attempting to drink water out of sink. He dislikes when my neighbor plays Shania Twain loudly, tinsel and spiders (like fur mother, like kitten).

I’m sure I’ll post more about Hank later, but for right meow that is it.

Until next time,

#catpunsforthewin

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Hiatus interrupted

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It has been several months since I logged in to my blog and my last post was almost a year ago. I realized that I needed to take a little bit of a break. I almost deleted my blog, but something kept me from doing that. I played around with the idea of starting a different blog and tested it out, but that lasted about week. Instead of starting completely over, I realized I just needed to add more of what I want to add to this existing blog.

I’m pretty sure I’ve written a few posts about being a journalist and how sometimes it is challenging for me to write all day for work and then come home and write for fun.

I forgot the key word in that sentence is fun. I like writing. It’s something I’m passionate about and have been for over a decade. No really, I can remember writing short stories as a young child on wide-lined paper used to teach children how to write alphabet letters.

I like being able to write down my thoughts, even if I’m the only one to see it. In fact, as I write this I have another story to write for work, but I wanted to write a post on here first.  I just needed to be reminded that yes, writing is something I do for work, but it’s also something I enjoy.

So, in the spirit of getting back in the writing game, I am going to attempt to write a post each week from here on out. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

I suppose I’ll get back to that story for work now.

Until next time.

A conversation with two female veterans

When I first met Sara and Alicia, I got a sense of quiet strength and fierce confidence. The two thirty-something friends have both been through a lot in their lives, but refuse to let that stop them.

When I spoke to Sara and Alicia I was learning about a small, organic farm that they run together. It wasn’t until later that I learned the two young women are both veterans. It is that very humble and giving attitude that makes them both so special.

Sara, an air force veteran and military wife, lost her husband to cancer three years ago. It was during his sickness that Sara and her husband started looking in to a diet based in healthy foods- vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts and grains.

After her husband passed away, Sara purchased a farm, like the two of them had envisioned doing together. It was during this time that she began to realize the healing power of producing food. Working with her hands to grow food and take care of animals was beginning to help heal her physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Sara met Alicia during a conference for veterans learning how to farm. After the conference, Alicia packed her bags and moved states to work with Sara on the farm.

Both women have seen the struggles of veterans when returning from deployment. Alicia, a combat veteran, learned firsthand the transition to civilian life is tough. After losing military friends to suicide after deployment, she wanted to find a way to heal and eventually learned that agriculture was a way to do that, she said.

Today the operation is a small-scale sustainable farming business that has sheep, pastured chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs, beehives, apples, pears, strawberries, peaches, a garden full of vegetables and more.

Sara and Alicia have grown the operation to become a place of healing for others as well. They offer education and training opportunities to veterans who want to get involved.

“Seeing veterans connect with the land and build relationships with animals is magic,” Alicia said. “So much about being in the military involves destruction, but in agriculture you get to heal things.”

A look at some of the questions:

What is a challenge you have faced?

The industry can feel male-dominated. However, there is a growing trend of women farmland owners and we’re happy to be a part of that. It’s pretty special.

Advice you have to others:

Band together. A lot of times there is sexism in farming, or in any industry for that matter. It’s OK to have a voice.

Goals for the future:

Continue to work with the land and hope that other veterans will be able to reconnect with themselves through farming like we have.

Click here for more conversations.

Inspiring blogger award

I am a little (Okay, a lot) late in posting about this, but I’ve been nominated for the very inspiring blogger award by Hannah at Popcorn and Polka Dots and Theresa at Boundaries and Edges. Thank you very much, ladies, I appreciate it! Please visit their blogs when you get a chance, you won’t regret it.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

As always, you don’t have to participate in the blogger awards but if you choose to do so, here’s what you do:

1.) Thank and link to the nominator
2.) List the rules and display the award on the post
3.) Share seven facts about yourself
4.) Nominate other blogs and comment on them to let the owners know they’ve been nominated.
5.) Optional: display the award logo as an image widget on your blog.

Let’s do this!

About me

  • I spend more money than I’d like to admit on coffee, magazines and nail polish.
  • My fantasy celebrity best friend clique includes Mindy Kaling, Chris Pratt, Jimmy Fallon, Kristen Wiig and Emma Watson.
  • For better or worse I’m an optimist.
  • My hair has never been dyed/highlighted.
  • My day is full of deadlines as a journalist and because of that I am a planner.
  • A person I look up to is my brother Eric. He is unapologetic, funny and has taken chances in his life that I envy.
  • I never win any contests, and I recently won a free Lasik eye surgery. Ironically enough, my vision doesn’t allow me to do Lasik.

Nominations

The wordpress blogging community is pretty awesome. I hope even if you don’t participate in the award you find some new blogs to become obsessed with. I’m all about women supporting other women so I’ve nominated some fellow lady bloggers I’ve come to enjoy!

Bright Tuesday – I love this blog. Kristine sometimes writes about her life in a journal format and other times the posts are similar to essays. She also includes some weekly posts including Wordless Wednesday and has a flash fiction piece each Friday.

Honestly, Libby – Elizabeth aka Libby is funny. Really funny. She blogs about pop culture and sprinkles in lists of her favorite things, weekend roundups and more.

Single Strides – This blog is full of well-written posts on love, life, happiness and travel along with other inspiration and wisdom.

Setting the Stage – Kayla is passionate about arts and creative expression and it shows in her blog. She writes exploring the art scene in Chicago, reflections on various topics and more.

Nicki |in the raw| – Nicki writes about her passions and inspirations which include dance, fashion, family, friends and more. Through the posts, as the name suggests, readers get a real look into her outlook on life and how she chooses to highlight the positive.

Tea in your twenties – Stephanie writes about everything from what it’s like to follow her dream and work in the world of theatre to dating, having a quarter-life crisis and of course tea.

Nerdy Girl Notes – This blog celebrates the nerd in all of us. Posts include movie reviews, TV recaps, book reviews and everything pop culture.

Missteps of a twenty something – Posts on this blog explore what it’s like to be a twenty something and what post grad life is really like. The posts are well-written and show both ups and downs of this time period.

Love & Sparkles – How can you not love a blog with a name like that? Posts include travel, inspirations, lists, motivation, and most recently everything fall related from fashion to reading lists and more.

I love running and it likes me ok

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A little more than a year ago I wrote a blog post about my one-sided relationship with running. That said blog post can be found here.

Believe it or not, a lot has changed in the past 15 months. Since then, I have completed two 5K races and am in my ninth week of training for a third race in November.

Although I have days I don’t feel like running and although I still don’t love treadmills, I will say this: I finally get it.

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I get why people run. I get why people spend countless hours and days training and I get why people willingly take ice baths. Simply put, running makes you feel better.

I didn’t even realize my relationship with running was becoming less one-sided until about two weeks ago. I was running on some trails behind my apartment and before I knew it I had been running for more than an hour. I looked at my iPod and decided to stop because I had plans that evening. But the point was I decided to stop, I didn’t have to stop.

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So how did I go from rarely running to making it a part of my workout each week? Well, I started a training plan, because let’s face it, I needed some direction. Training plans for 5K and 10K races as well as half marathons and marathons can be found online.

Once I got used to the aching leg muscles and the voice in my head saying it was time to walk, running went from “the worst thing ever” to a new favorite workout.

And as cliché as it sounds, most of my problems with running were mental. When I felt worn out from running before it was because I wasn’t training and because I looked at it as a punishment partly because running laps was literally a form of punishment in both volleyball and softball in high school (thanks, coach).

With a change in attitude, proper training, and a kick ass music playlist (some favorites: Midnight City by M83, Fantasy by MS MR and Rather Be by Clean Bandit), running has become something I actually enjoy.

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Take A Chance Tuesday

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When I was considering accepting my current position as field editor of an agricultural newspaper, I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do. I’m from a rural area in northern Indiana and am familiar with agriculture, but I have never been a farm kid.

Although corn and beans fields surrounded the house I grew up in, my family didn’t farm. I even considered joining 4-H when I was in school but when it came down to only having the time to do athletics or 4-H, I chose athletics. I also considered joining FFA but at the time the organization mostly consisted of farm kids and I didn’t feel like I would fit in.

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I wondered if I would be able to keep up writing about something that I wasn’t overly familiar with. I thought there is no way I’m going to be able to talk with farmers, political leaders as well as business professionals and educators who live and breathe agriculture.

After a few days trying to decide what to do, I decided I would take a leap of faith and accept the position. I realized that, yes, I was scared about asking a stupid question about the industry or writing in a way that showed I was learning, but more than that, I was scared of moving for a job and finding out I didn’t like it. And I didn’t want that to stop me.

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Fast forward five months and I can tell you everything has worked out. I am incredibly happy in my position and have been pleasantly surprised at how kind everyone in the industry is. I can ask questions and those farmers and political leaders I was nervous to talk to and they will not only answer them but they’ll go above and beyond to give me the background of the subject.

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Along with, the overwhelming kindness I have received from coworkers, interviewees and everyone in between, I am happy that I took a chance.

By taking the position I have been given opportunities that I never would have had if I said no. I’ve been able to travel around the state and meet different kinds of people including a Colts football player, a Nascar driver and a Nascar team owner. I’ve experienced a historic barn tour as well as a boat tour of the Ohio River. I’ve also attended a wine festival and a restaurant opening where I got to sample different food dishes and then write about them. These are just a few of the experiences I never would have had without taking this opportunity.

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I never would have been paid to do these things without saying yes to the position and I am beyond thankful I did. I hope that others considering taking a chance on something will do so!

Have you had a similar situation? If so, tell me about it!

Girl about town


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I have done a horrendous job at keeping my blog updated lately. I’m just now getting used to the new job, new city, new apartment…you get the picture. But, That’s no excuse to not keep the blog updated so I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned so far since moving from a small town to a bigger city.

Here goes…

1.) Ask how much a haircut costs before you get one

Sounds like common sense, right? Apparently not for me. In my defense I was used to getting my hair cut near my hometown with prices ranging from $12 to $14, which I’ve found out is very low. So about a week after I moved I went in to get a simple haircut – no highlights, nothing fancy. I ended up having about eight inches cut off, but was surprised to find when I checked out that haircut cost me $50. Excuse me ma’am, you want me to pay how much? 

2.) It is impossible to cancel a gym membership

I’ve been told there is a Friends episode about this very subject, but I haven’t seen it. About a month after I moved I decided to join a LA Fitness without looking around. I should have known better when  I first joined and was asked many times if I wanted to sign up for a trainer (for the sum of anywhere from $100 to $500). I firmly said no and went on my way. About two weeks after that I started getting text messages from the head trainer at the gym asking if I had changed my mind. I said no again, but the text messages didn’t stop. At this point I had enough. I called to cancel my membership and was told my only options were to mail a cancel request form to the corporate office in California or visit the gym. I didn’t want to visit the gym because I was still receiving text messages and had placed a complaint. After trying to print off a form I was told that my membership required me to go in to the gym in person. After several days of attempting to cancel my membership, I finally went in to the gym and was able to cancel it.

3.) I have many homes

I love my apartment and it feels very much like a home, but I’ll also catch myself calling my parent’s house/hometown home. For example when a friend asks if I’ll be home for the weekend I’ll usually respond by saying “do you mean my home (apartment) or my home home (hometown).”

4.) Patience is not only key, but necessary

About two months after I moved my car was rear ended and determined to be a total loss. Luckily no one was hurt, but on that specific weekend I had been heading to my parents for Memorial Day weekend. I had also packed the car full of my things including a laundry basket of clothes. Thankfully a police officer was kind enough to not only give me a drive back to my apartment but to also carry all of my things including the laundry basket to his squad car. (Hopefully he didn’t see my bra on top). Although it took awhile to hear back from insurance companies about my car and it was a total hassle, I recognized that the important thing was no one was hurt and everything else was just material items.

5.) Part one: productive Sundays result in a productive week

Although sometimes I’d like to sleep in and do nothing but drink coffee and watch Orange is the New Black, I know I’ll be the most productive during the week if I get some stuff done around my apartment that I usually don’t have time for during the week.

Part two: I can’t stay up to 2 a.m. anymore

If I want to function like a normal human being in the morning I can’t stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. anymore. Although coffee might help for a little but, by the end of the day I’m crabby and need a nap. I need to at least attempt to get sleep so I can wake up early and be productive.

I’m sure I’ll have many more things to add to the list as I go. I’ll make sure to update more regularly, friends.

Until next time,

xoxo

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