Friday, October 31, 2008

Some Halloween Fun Facts

According to the Census Bureau, the estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters last year was 36 million children between the ages of 5 to 13. Well, I had three visit here: two nieces and one nephew. One below the age of 5. Guess we're not so typical here in the sandhills of Nebraska.

The Census Bureau also reports that 93 % of households consider their neighborhood to be safe. 78% said there was no place within a mile of their homes where they would be afraid to walk alone at night. It's a mile south to the in-laws. Go a mile east and you're at my brother-in-law's house. I might consider walking to one of those places in the dark. It's fairly safe. Except for the possible mangy coyotes that howl. Or the occasional heifer that slips out of the fence and scares the heck out of you when you run into it.

Need a scary place to visit on Halloween? Fellow Nebraskans can visit Skull Creek, population 274. Now, I did a little research, and the only 'Skull Creek' I could find was a township in Butler County. I believe I'm fairly knowledgeable about Nebraska cities, villages, towns, and hamlets, but this one has me baffled. If you don't reside in the Cornhusker state, you could visit Transylvania County, PA; Tombstone, AZ; Pumpkin Center, NC; Pumpkin Bend, AR; Cape Fear, NC (now in two locations in NC: New Hanover County and Chatham County).

Americans ingest 24.5 pounds of candy on average. Of course, that's just the 2007 estimate. I don't think I ate that much. And I know I didn't give that much to my three little trick-or-treaters who visited tonight.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

PR trip - post trip

It started with good intentions. I planned to document my trip to Clayton County, Georgia last week, so those reading this would be able to know where I was, what I was doing, and what I learned.

But, like so many other things, the schedule filled and instead of blogging about my travels, I decided to spend some time sleeping. Every now and then I think I need to shut the eyes and let the brain relax. Is that possible? I think my brain rarely shuts down during supposed REM time.

So for a quick summary, the group visited the following sites on Day 2:

Day 3 took us to:

And the final day began with the alarm ringing at 4 AM so I could be picked up for the airport at 5 AM to prepare for the 6:56 AM flight to Omaha via Chicago.

Now that I am home, I'm busy trying to find a home for all the article ideas I developed while I was in Clayton County.

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Check out The Muffin, the daily blog for WOW! Women on Writing

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Press trip - Day 1/2

Greetings from Clayton County Georgia, located just south of Atlanta. I'm here for a press / PR trip, and I hope I am able to sell several stories based on my travels here.

Yesterday was an early morning. Actually, I only dozed when I went to bed Monday evening at 7:30ish. At the stroke of midnight, the alarm sounded its beep and I prepared myself for the three hour drive to Omaha to board my 6am flight. I must have been dozing during that flight, too, because I don't remember flying over the Mississippi River. At all.

Then I had a short layover in O'Hare. Grabbed a breakfast panini - pretty good - but could have kicked myself for paying $4.5o for a bottle of H2O. Of course, I didn't know it was that much until she rang up my order and I'd handed her the money. Big bottle that lasted all day, so it is ok.

Arrived in Atlanta around noon and was greeted by a wonderful person from the CVB. Had a wonderful box lunch from The Honeyham Sandwich Company. Thick pieces of ham on a kaiser bun, pasta salad, cookie, pickles, and chips. It was too much!

The first event for the 10 journalists on this trip took us to Clayton State University, a former community college that has evolved into a four-year institution. Beautiful campus full of charming lakes and lots of trees.

Here, we ventured to Spivey Hall. We were greeted by the college's president and several "friends" of Spivey Hall. Wonderful appetizers featuring local cheeses (double cream brie, provolone rolled with thin piece of prosciutto and sundried tomatoes, smoked mozzarella), fresh fruit (think figs, raspberries, blueberries) and a variety of interesting crackers.

Dinner featured onion-braised Flat Iron Steak (not Nebraska corn-fed, I'm sure), Southwestern Chicken Breast, Peruvian rice pilaf, sesame green beans (with a Chinese flavor twist), grilled asparagus with lime butter (very good), and rolls. Dessert meant three options: strawberry cake, tres leches with fresh berries (excellent!!) or deep dutch chocolate cake.

We adjourned to the performing arts auditorium where we enjoyed a classical exhibition of the Albert Schweitzer Organ. The hall is one of America's leading recital halls and is praised internationally for its acoustics. After an up-close-and-personal with the organ and stage, we walked down a hall of fame showcasing some of the performers in the hall's concert series.

Beautiful beginning to this trip. Today's schedule has us visiting seven different venues! Better get my walking shoes ready!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Will we ever finish harvesting?

Right now, I'm beginning to think we will still be in the field at Christmas. Ugh! Haven't been in the field for a week now, due to rain. Since it's mid-October here in the Cornhusker state, you have to wait for the sun to come out and the wind to blow to dry the field and beans out a bit.

It rained some Thursday night. Too wet yesterday. Tried this afternoon and it is wet. Husband thinks it will be dry enough around 6 p.m. Guess that means he will be in the field and I will be here writing, cooking and cleaning. That's the way life goes.

Have a quarter and a half of soybeans to finish. Then we will switch combine heads and pick corn.

Last year, we bought a used JD combine. Could have bought a used Case-IH that was in great condition for a few thousand more, but no, had to get this one. Then when it arrived, had to sink another $15,000 into it. Sure made the farmer in my house upset with the farmer's father who lives down the road. :(

In fact, I had to drive the combine a few times while husband was on the front of the head, raking the corn into it. Yes, he had built a "safety stand" so he didn't fall. That was extremely nerve-wracking! I think I only drove 3 miles per hour. Part of the problem was a wind storm that came through and bent the stalks. We haven't had a wind storm like that this year, so hopefully, the combine will smoothly glide over the cornfield.

Huskers vs. ISU

A slow and unproductive third quarter today. Otherwise, the Husker machine looked pretty good today. Need to take care of the turnover situation though. In a big game, that will cost us more than it did today.

Liked the occasional return of the option game! Yeah, now that's what I call Husker football.

Like Sports? Think Outside the Box for Writing Ideas

If you enjoy sports and are a writer, combining the two doesn't mean you have to pen the play-by-play of a game. Any game.

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Check out my latest blog post at The Muffin, the daily blog for WOW! Women on Writing. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Check out my latest blog at WOW! Women on Writing

If you are a writer or artist, you will more than likely relate to my post on The Muffin, the daily blog for WOW! Women on Writing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Taking A Stand

My latest story in the Norfolk Daily News is about an area high school senior who has participated in the right-to-life chain even since he was three months old. He's adopted and believes since his birth mother chose life, he should help promote life. Check it out.

Just Chill Out

Read my interview with Kate Hanley at WOW! Women on Writing. She's the author of the Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide. De-stress at its best!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gearing up...

Chopping silage now. Should be finished by tomorrow or Saturday, I think. As long as there isn't another breakdown, should be done by then.

Combine is out of the quonset, cleaned and serviced, and ready to pick. Not sure if we'll pick corn or beans first. Bought a new bean head and I don't know if it is here yet. Haven't been down to the other farm to see if it arrived.

I think there was a slight frost last night. Should probably check the garden. I know there are tomatoes, brussel sprouts, and a load of zucchini and papaya squash out there that I really should use up. Where is the time to do that AND get my writing done? Good question.

I have a huge pan of cherry tomatoes in the garage refrigerator that I want to use to make some salsa, but I'm not sure when I'll get to that, either.

Need more minutes in the day. :)