Educated, Informed, and Involved

I’m writing this post in the Seattle airport on my way to Portland, where I’ll be attending the 2014 AgChat Foundation regional conference. I first learned about this organization in 2011, and attended their national conference in Nashville. In agriculture, we often hear that we need to tell our story. Well, if you have a desire to do just that, the folks at AgChat Foundation can hook you up. All sorts of workshop topics about blogging, Facebook, Twitter, and other ways to engage the general public about agriculture are featured at their conferences.

A wide age range of Ennis High School graduates know exactly where I’m going with this post based on its title and who the post will honor. Mr. Bob Cleverley made a huge impact on who I am today. He taught me world history, US history, government, and first aid/CPR. He was a hall-of-fame football coach and a heck of a fly fisherman. I TA’d for him my junior and senior years, where a large part of my job was to help him organize details for the Class C (6- and 8-man) All Star football game, which now is named in his honor. 
Clev wanted us to be educated, informed, and involved. He was a firm believer that the world is run by those who show up and speak up, armed with facts to back them up. He taught us that rights and privileges come with responsibilities and obligations. I wish more folks lived by those principles today.

Hard work was expected, especially in first aid/CPR, a required class for seniors to graduate. Each student needed an 85% or better to pass the class because “do you really want someone with a C or lower level of understanding of this material taking care of you in an emergency?!”

We lost him to cancer in 2007. I’m thankful every day for the life lessons I learned from this great man. As I head out to a conference to get more educated, informed, and involved, I hope he’s smiling down. I’m still working hard to make you proud, Clev. You are greatly missed.

Yours in travel,
The Asphalt Cowgirl

Miracle Baby

Do you know someone who is a miracle baby? There are several human miracle babies that I know, but today’s story is about a bovine miracle baby. Her name is Little Widget.

She was born around 4 weeks early, on February 10, 2012. Bull turnout date the previous spring was May 29. Based on a 283-day gestation length, the expected due date would be March 7. It’s not uncommon for calves to be born before their due date, but this was extremely early. The second calf that year wasn’t born until February 28!

 Mom had been keeping an eye on the cow and knew she was going to calve off the top, albeit not that early. When the cow wasn’t on the feed ground that morning, Mom went on a search and rescue mission. The cow had calved in a patch of willows and taken very good care of the calf. Mom says that she had never seen a live calf born that early, and she was worried that Little Widget might not have “cooked” long enough. She was scared to even make her a tag for quite awhile. But Little Widget wasn’t worried about any of that.

It was a long reach for her to get any breakfast for quite some time – she had some growing to do. 

Little Widget’s miracle baby story continued at weaning time, as she made the cut to be kept as a replacement heifer. She is now 2 years old and is expecting her first calf later this spring. She was a friendly baby, but acts a little standoffish these days – she was giving me the eye when I was tracking her down for a photo.

We’re keeping a close watch on her just in case that short gestation trait got passed along! 

Yours in travel,

The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

Never Is Heard A Discouraging Word?

We live in a hyper-critical world. Every move is under scrutiny. And I’ll admit…I’m watching ALL of you for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. I can be found expressing my dismay over writing quality on my Facebook page fairly often. I don’t tend to call people out when they make those mistakes; I just collect examples of the mistakes to write blog posts about.
Way more butt chewings are handed out these days than “atta girls” or “atta boys”. The somewhat anonymous world of social media seems to encourage this critical approach to our fellow humans. I often wonder how those intense conversations  that take place in the comment sections of blogs, news articles, or Facebook statuses would play out if they were attempted face-to-face.
Rather than focusing on all the “wrong”, what would happen if we acknowledged and celebrated people who do a good job? Get good service at a restaurant? Tell your server how much you appreciate how they took care of you and leave an appropriate tip. Someone holds a door for you? Thank them! Read something online or on paper that touched you? Tell the author about what a good read it was and why! Admire how a friend tackled a difficult issue? Tell them!
Who knows? Your acknowledgment of that individual’s job well done might be the only bright spot that brings them a smile in their day. And if you’re doing it right, it’ll make you smile, too. And who couldn’t use more of that?
Yours in travel,
The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux

C’Mon Man!

Happy New Year! No need to check your vision, folks. You really are seeing a blog post from me.
Three years ago when I started this blog (3 years…how did that happen?!), I had been watching a lot of ESPN, and they had declared 2011 as “The Year of the Quarterback”. I thought it should be “The Year of the Asphalt Cowgirl” and the rest is history.
I still watch a lot of ESPN. Good thing Cris Carter doesn’t know about my terribly inconsistent blogging – I hear his voice saying, “Where. You. AT?!” One of my resolutions this year is to write more…we’ll see how that goes.
Another of my favorite ESPN segments is C’Mon Man. I’ve decided to start using C’Mon Man for grammar and spelling errors that qualify.
For example…
It’s ≠ its. One is a contraction. One is possessive. Say it out loud first – “it is” – then decide. And while we’re talking apostrophes, adding “’s” to a word does not make it plural. C’Mon Man.
Reign≠ rein. One encompasses crowns and monarchs. The other is used to cue your horse. And if you use “rain” instead for either of these, you’re probably beyond help. C’Mon Man.
Definitely ≠ defiantly. You know, if you spelled “definitely” correctly in the first place, autocorrect wouldn’t have make you out to be so rebellious. C’Mon Man.
I hope you all have a grammatically correct 2014!
Yours in travel,
The Asphalt Cowgirl

“Now our windshield’s a painting that hangs in our room, It changes each mile like the radio tune” —Rodeo Moon, Chris Ledoux