Friday, February 28, 2014

Red Dirt Friday, Vol. 14

Today we're going to dig a little deeper into the red dirt genre.

The guys of Whiskey Myers have done it again with their album "Early Morning Shakes." Buy it here on iTunes.

Photo courtesy of

I heard the title track from their latest album on XM 60 (Outlaw Country), and loved it! It's a great song to jam to while cruising down the interstate. Plus it makes me feel pretty sassy - uh huh!

The last verse is definitely my favorite, if not a little raunchy [sorry mom]! Lyrics found here.

"Jack Daniels in her coffee
Ice water in her veins
Bleach blond hair with a rose tattoo
Maybelline and White Rain
I took her back to the woods
Listening to “When the Levee Breaks”
I reached over and took her hand
Then I gave her the early morning shakes"

Of course the first thing I did when I got home that day was go to iTunes and purchase the newest Whiskey Myers album, released on February 4th. They've already gotten some great praise for the album here from and "Early Morning Shakes" was the #1 selling country album on iTunes.

Author Trigger says, "But the real star of the show are the pipes of Cody Cannon. The guy’s voice is built for Southern rock. Without a hint of fake inflections or put-on’s, he sings effortlessly and straight from the heart, growling and confident when he needs to be, and willing to express emotion and vulnerability when it’s called for." This is why I love the whole Red Dirt / Americana / Southern Rock genre.

What have you been listening to lately? Please share below.


P.S. - If you're looking for a good "party" song, I recommend "Kyle Hope" from Whiskey Myers' first album - "Road of Life." I just love singing along to Cannon and crew to this one!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Middle Child Syndrome

Yes people, this is a real thing. Not just some pop-psychology bologna. And in our house, between me (middle child) and boyfriend (the baby of his family) ... you can often hear these words come out of my mouth -
"Gah! You're such a youngest child!"

A prime example of boyfriend not doing something simply because he "doesn't want to"
I'm a compromiser, an eternal people pleaser and I get an intense feeling of joy when someone tells me they're proud of me. And apparently, so do other middle children. But because of the 13 year gap between my older sister and me, I have some qualities of an oldest child as well. Regardless, sometimes when boyfriend and I squabble, I can see his needy, youngest child ways coming out. And I like to bring up this bit of information, while he rolls his eyes.

Not that it's our parents fault ... Birth Order Psychology is serious stuff folks. I've read that every child is parented differently, and I think that all of my siblings would agree that happened in our house. How about yours?

Here's a nice article from Parents called Birth Order & Personality. Author Jocelyn Voo breaks down birth order and their respective personality traits for us here -

Information from Jocelyn Voo
I see parts of my personality in both the firstborn and middle children lists, and I specifically see "manipulative" in boyfriend's personality profile. I think that's an awful scary word for his need to get me to do things, like lace his boots or make him nachos for breakfast ... he always says please and thank you folks. Fun-loving and uncomplicated are also great adjectives for his personality. I just think the science behind our actions is interesting!

One part of the middle child syndrome I personally identify with is this bit from Everyday Family - "Middle children often feel left out and invisible, a contrast from their older and younger siblings. While older children get the benefits of all of the “firsts” a child accomplishes, younger children benefit from the emotional impact of being the baby of the family, often being spoiled and coddled. Middle children, however, often feel as though they have nothing special that is just “theirs.”

Sometimes at *family events I feel like I have no "home." I can't keep up with the farming talk going on with the old men, I'm too old for college talk with my cousins, sports don't interest me, I don't watch any popular television (unless Food Network counts) ... so unless someone is talking about livestock or online shopping or food, I just stare and try to participate.

*Family: this is not an insult, just a fact. I'm trying to work on getting better at small talk. Please help me.

Another disclaimer, I may have started writing this blog as part of my perpetual need to be "right" in our relationship (and no, I didn't find anything about that particular quality in my research), but I decided to hit publish for another reason. I think this philosophy applies to our interactions with others and may help you understand personality differences among your peers and co-workers.

This is a perfect example of #birthorderissues - Joe is mad about something and my mom is concerned about him. I am clearly in pain and no one cares. Deana is just wondering when we're going to get this show on the road. The dudes on the end (my step dad and brother-in-law are just wondering why they ever wanted to be a part of our family..)

In this post from Babble about Middle Child Day (Aug. 12 - who knew?), author JulieMinor says of middle children - "You are flexible, empathetic, innovative, and successful - basically the most awesome person in your family. All the characteristics that make being a middle child hard as a kid also make you an independent, resourceful and happy adult." -- DUH :)

JulieMinor also says, "It turns out that middle children make awesome parents, being more likely to value the balance between rules and structure with permissiveness, promoting independent, happy kids"

Things are looking up for my non-existent children. [One thing at a time people.]

How do you feel about birth order in your family? Think you fit the mold? Do some of these findings align with your own experiences?

Until next time,

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

24 Things Recap

Regular readers of this blog, you've seen this list before - "24 Things I Want to Do Before I turn 24."

I posted this list originally on May 1, 2013. I've done a lot of these things. But not all.

Domestic Things
1. Start a garden - check. Success rate, debatable.
2. Go 1 month without shopping (food and healthcare items excluded)
3. Craft with my old 4-H ribbons
4. Make chocolate oatmeal cake - check. Always delicious. Note to self, use cocoa instead of flour in the pan.
5. Put all of my CDs onto my iTunes account 

Career Things
6. Fix my rkkcommunications website
7. Book 5 human photo sessions (not family) - 3/5
8. Judge a show - check.
9. Enter a photo contest - check.

Good Citizen Things
10. Help out a 4-H or FFA judging team
11. Get a library card - check.

Family Things
12. Take Cougar to a dog park
13. Ride in the tractor with my Dad, just like 6 year old Robin did - check. I rode him while combining soybeans and picking corn this past fall.
14. Teach Cougar how to play dead
15. Introduce my family to Nick's - check.

My most recent visit to Manhattan, Kan. We bleed purple!
Traveling Things
16. See Stoney LaRue (carryover from my college list)
17. Go fishing
18. Visit Joe in Stillwater, Okla.
19. Return to Manhattan, Kan. - check.
20. Go to a baseball game

Personal Things
21. Read 3 non-fiction books - check.
22. Lose 20 lbs.
23. Buy a new laptop - check.
24. Watch The Hatfields & McCoys - check.

Part of me feels like a failure, but then I remind myself that I have a job. I have responsibilities. These are just mere suggestions of what to do in my spare time. And I think they're still pretty good goals, even if they happen after I turn 24.

Well, I reached that 24 year old milestone on Jan. 26th. I think birthdays have considerably less meaning once you turn 21. So, the day itself was rather nondescript.

But since that day more than two weeks ago, I've been thinking about a new list of goals.


So here goes -- "25 Things to do Before I Turn 25."

Domestic Things
1. Go on a spending freeze. [Go 1 month w/o shopping (food and healthcare items excluded)]
2. Craft with my old 4-H ribbons [I've been collecting ideas on Pinterest at least]
3. Put all of my CDs onto my iTunes account
4. Make a budget [and stick to it for at least 2 months!]
5. Volunteer to babysit for one of our friends. I need to get over my fear of children

One of the photos I took for Lambright Club Lambs this past fall.
Career Things
6. Fix my rkkcommunications website
7. Book 12 photo sessions [not being picky - livestock or human]
8. Blog at 4 times/month for 6 months

Good Citizen Things
9. Help out a 4-H or FFA judging team
10. Donate clothes two times [once in the spring and again in the fall]
11. Shop for a church in or around Rensselaer.

Family Things
12. Take Cougar to a dog park
13. Teach Cougar a new trick
14. Host a family event
15. Take more pictures, not on my iPhone

I have my eye on this beauty.
Traveling Things
16. See Stoney LaRue (carryover from my college list)
17. Go fishing
18. Visit Joe in Stillwater, Okla.
19. Have a girls only weekend, not in one of our current zip codes
20. Go to a baseball game

Personal Things
21. Make 3 recipes from Saveur, a magazine subscription I bought in 2014.
22. Lose 20 lbs.
23. Buy a new camera.
24. Watch The Godfather movies. These are apparently classics I am missing in my life?
25. Get Nick to eat Chinese food at least once. His hatred of rice is ridiculous in my eyes.

What are your goals? How do you measure their success?

Until next time,