Friday, June 28, 2013

Red Dirt Friday, Vol. 9

This week, I'm not limiting myself to just listening to music - I'm also reading about it!
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, I posted a picture recently of the book I'm reading called "Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris, and The Renegades of Nashville."
While I'm typically more of a sappy romance novel reader, I decided to give non-fiction a try. [You may remember that this was one of the things on my bucket list.]
I'm only about 100 pages into the book, but the author does a great job of keeping the authenticity of the characters - Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson & Kris Kristofferson. Each of the artists' biographies is interesting, poor upbringings for Waylon & Willie, and a strong military background for Kris. But their struggles in Nashville, relationships with other artists and musicians and drug use is really interesting to read about.
Constantly on this blog, I'm talking about "real music" and good sounds. Waylon, Willie & Kris are kind of the ones that started the movement - and they are all from Texas. Any of the artists I mention regularly will sample sounds and styles from these three, not to mention songwriting styles and more. Plus, who doesn't love a good ragged voice?
I'll be sure to give you a full review once I'm finished with the book. The author, Michael Streissguth also wrote Johnny Cash: The Biography - which is perhaps my next non-fiction read!
And because I love Johnny Cash - I bought his stamps the other day at the post office! People who get letters from me are lucky!
Until next time,
Awesome stamps I just bought!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sorry For My Absence

I've been away from my blog for too long. Please forgive me. Work has been calling my name. I've been away from home. It'll never happen again.

That may have been overkill ... but seriously, I'm sorry! Last week I was in Grand Island, Neb., at the 2013 Chianina & Maine-Anjou Jr. Nationals with my real job - Focus Marketing Group.

[caption id="attachment_424" align="alignleft" width="200"]We did get to photograph cuties like this pee wee showmanship winner! We did get to photograph cuties like this pee wee showmanship winner![/caption]We served as the official photographers of the event, which included three days of shows, about 12 different contests (for both breeds), a benefit auction and a banquet (among our normal responsibilities ... like blogging and social media for Focus). We had four people there full-time, but still it was an exciting and exhausting eight days of my life.

This was the first time I traveled for my job. I enjoyed it! But, I'm going to need to work on balancing all the things I do at home from the road. My house was a mess, and I had a minor mental breakdown when I got back. [That also could have been the sinus infection-induced pain talking too!]

Working at my house has got me spoiled!

I can multitask by writing blogs and doing laundry and baking cookies at the same time!

So tell me, traveling friends, what do you do to get back in the groove after being gone? I am riding the struggle bus this week.

Until Next Time,

Friday, June 14, 2013

Red Dirt Friday, Vol. 8

Randy Rogers Band. Say it with me ... Randy Rogers Band. His voice is like butter ... okay gravelly, deliciously awesome butter. I LOVE IT.

I could listen to them on repeat all day, and sometimes I actually do! Their last album, Burning the Day, came out in August 2010. I, of course, love it all, but one of my favorites is "Steal You Away."

[caption id="attachment_417" align="alignleft" width="202"]Image courtesy of wikipedia Image courtesy of wikipedia[/caption]So there I was, watching Country Strong on FX for the 100th time the other day. When I hear it in the background, this melody. I catch myself singing along and I don't know why. It's really not Randy Rogers wooing me with his voice. And I am worried!

After a quick iPhone Google search, Taste of Country magazine answers my question with this post. Turns out it was actually the song writers themselves performing the song in the movie.

According to Amazon, "'Steal You Away” (J. Middleton, M. Mulch & M. Mulch) elicits yet another unique reaction from the crowd. Bass player Jon “Chops” Richardson illuminates, “We heard this song, and we were blown away. It was something we didn’t have written for the record; we had rockers, two-steppers, but this is a great ballad: a guy sees a girl with guy who doesn’t deserve and think, ‘I should just take her away.' The band attests they’ve seen it happen—during the song, from the stage—a number of times already. Any song that’s gets under folks skin like that is a keeper."

[caption id="attachment_418" align="alignright" width="241"]Image courtesy of Image courtesy of[/caption]In my mind, all "red dirt" or "Texas Country" artists write their own songs. I was astonished (almost mad) to learn that Randy and his crew didn't write this one.

But then I remembered a line from the movie, where Kelly Canter (Gwenyth Paltrow) says to Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester) -
"Don't worry about writing all of your own songs. Singing the best songs is the most important"

I'm so glad that Randy Rogers agreed.

"girl it drives me crazy / he don't know what he's got / I'm fightin' so hard not to cross the line"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Things That Make Me Happy

[caption id="attachment_412" align="alignleft" width="200"]This is how I feel right now! Photo courtesy of This is how I feel right now! Photo courtesy of[/caption]I was just on a phone call for work. (That itself is not blog-worthy, I know.) But in the middle of the call, my boss said that the CEO would love to meet me and has been admiring my work since I started in December.

She then asked if I could meet her in Nebraska when I'm there next week. Unfortunately, the answer is no to that question ... but still, awesome.

So if you wondering what this ramble is about -
it's that my work is being appreciated. It's that people care about the contributions I have made to their company. It's that I am making a difference.

My least favorite feeling is that I don't matter ... today has been just the opposite!

I just wanted to share my good news with you all.

What's the best feeling in the world for you?


P.S. - Did you know that positivity is my number one strength?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Need to "Unplug"

I am about to make myself sound old (I prefer old fashioned).

[caption id="attachment_407" align="alignleft" width="194"]Image courtesy of Image courtesy of[/caption]

I love letters, we've talked about this. But sometimes, I wish everyone else appreciated them as much as I do. I understand it's a time constraint thing. It's a "I have messy handwriting" thing, or "I don't even own notecards" thing. But seriously people, this act gets noticed. But, let me assure you - that's not why I do it.

A friend of mine, who appreciates my letters and thank yous, passed on this article from the Today Show. The article, called "Teens ditch texting for 'old school' ways of communicating" seriously made me smile.

A 14-year-old girl, Maggie Tugend, said this -
"You really have to spend 20 minutes, at least, concentrating. It’s pretty impossible to talk to someone else when you’re working on a real letter. “

You know what? She is so right.

Tugend & her friend Cydnee Ellis decided to stay in touch with letters - snail mail, people - instead of the usual Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, texting. You know what I say - You Go Girls!!

[caption id="attachment_408" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Image courtesy of CBS Image courtesy of CBS[/caption]

I wish I were better at being "unplugged." Sometimes I don't have my phone for 20 minutes and I feel lost. Other times, I go all day without even thinking about it. My life is funny that way. Part of it is my job, yes. I am a social media manager for heaven's sake. Even people's obsessive need to be on their phone gets to me occasionally. (I can think of one specific internship instance.)

But, I figure if these 14-year-olds can stay friends that way - why can't my friends and I?

So, maybe I should make a vow to "unplug" for so many hours a day? Or try to send more letters? I'm definitely open for suggestions.


Monday, June 3, 2013

When You Become a Doggy Parent

My dog, Cougar, is the sweetest thing. I love her to pieces, and I may or may not talk about her like she is a person.

I am aware that she is not human, but she has got a killer personality. I think we would be really awesome friends, but she would be way cuter than I am ... that's for sure.

I've decided to start a list of things I never thought I would say to her. Cougar is so well behaved, sometimes I forget she is a puppy. Puppies make messes and do silly things.

[caption id="attachment_402" align="alignleft" width="300"]Sometimes I share my veggies with her though. Sometimes I share my veggies with her though.[/caption]

1. Don't eat the carpet. When Cougar gets bored, she thinks the carpet tastes good? Nick's solution ... He vows we will never have any carpet in our next house.

2. Doggies don't drink margaritas. Because Cougar is practically human, she thinks she should drink out of glasses too. Water, margaritas, beer, rum and coke, juice, milk ... she's not picky.

3. Don't drink the pee water! Our toilet flusher thing is broken. While this is semi-annoying, it's not too terribly inconvenient to lift the lid off the back of the toilet, pull the string and flush ... until you're in a hurry. Someone (ahem, Cougar) thinks the toilet is a large water bowl and pays no mind to urine.

4. Stop growling at the ceiling. A while ago, Cougar spent hours growling and barking, something she never does. Turns out there was a teeny, tiny spider on the ceiling. Someone (me) had to put their big girl panties on and kill it.

5. You can't fold socks. Cougar's daddy taught her to jump on the bed. Cute at 6am, not at 6pm when you're trying to put on clean sheets. Or do laundry. Instead of helping, Cougar tries to snack on these aforementioned socks.

[caption id="attachment_347" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Who could resist this face? Who could resist this face?[/caption]

Of course, I wasn't quick enough to capture any of these moments with my camera or phone. One day, I will. Maybe I can make my job being Cougar's personal photog? I promise to keep you updated of Cougar's happenings.

Does anyone have any suggestions of how to break her of these bad habits? We are new to puppy training in our house.

Until next time,