Saturday, January 15, 2011

Food for thought

I wouldn't change my background for anything in the world. It's not "easy" to live on a farm, financially, but the trade-offs reap multiple benefits throughout one's life.  Responsibility, hard work, and commitment are just some of the values one learns.  You have to show up to work, or the animals don't eat.  A lot of farm families understand the meaning of sacrifice as they sacrifice time and effort to ensure the welfare of the animals before their own.

One drawback of being a farm kid is being in a minority, and when you're in a minority, your voice is not often heard among the shouts of the majority. Misinformation, myths and stereotypes permeate the media regarding agriculture today. Traditionally producers have shied away from the media, but thankfully there is a shift in the advocacy for agriculture.

I am fortunate that my experiences provide me with greater appreciation for the daily contributions of farm and agricultural workers to our nourishment.  If the general population could experience such a lifestyle, it would understand animal behavior, crop science and  a multitude of other complex issues that affect food production. A greater understanding would lead to a greater support network for the agricultural sector, ultimately bolstering industries and protecting the American food supply.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow way, Jose

We've got ourselves a bit of a nor'easter here in Maine today.  With the wind, snow and slippery road conditions, my mother and I decided that it would be best not travel down to the Maine Ag Trade Show in Augusta today.  So, I've spent most of the day on the couch, playing games on the computer, checking email, Facebook, and so on.  Basically a lazy snow day.  So there was no excuse for me not to write at least a little something in the old blog.  Hopefully, we won't have issues going to Augusta tomorrow, and if that's the case I may very well not have an entry.  Yesterday, I was exhausted after the 8 to 5 work day. But today, even just do nothing, I still feel t-i-r-e-d. Maybe it's the weather. Blah...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pass the ham, hold the stroke

I LOVE ham.  Even though I ate sliced-honey-ham-on-wheat-with-mustard sandwiches five days a week for most of my college career (well, sometimes I went really crazy and opted for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches), I still love, love, love it.  That's probably why I was extremely disappointed to not have it for Christmas dinner this year, but with the dramatic change in family dynamics, combined with an abundance of turkey and my elders' eating preferences, I had no choice.

Tonight my mother cooked up a beautiful ham for our meal.  She noted that it was quite salty, and I had to agree but I think that goes back to my original point. I have always been a fan of the salt shaker and using it to "make it rain" all over my plate but recent health concerns have led me to breaking up with it - I haven't picked it up since November 2.  Naturally, since ham has so much sodium, I think that's why I crave it and love it so much. Yet, when you've been eating foods that are relatively low in sodium for two months, ham really puts a smackdown on the tastebuds.

Furthermore, while tracking my nutrition on the SparkPeople web site, I noticed that I had consumed WAAAAYY too much sodium. Like three days worth of it. Not cool.  And it pretty much all went back to the ham.  I'm not going to trash it as a food and denounce it from my diet, since I do still like it and it's a good source of protein. It is just another example of the importance of moderation and how it allows us to enjoy things we like without paying too high of a price. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I got case of the munchies!

No, I'm not high. Just totally in the habit of "grazing"/eating constantly from 8 p.m. until, oh, about midnight.  I don't know if it's boredom or what, but if I could get it under control, I'm pretty sure the battle of the bulge might take a significant swing in momentum towards yours truly.

And on a completely unrelated note, why am I so obsessed with the movies The Fifth Element and Twister?  They're both on television tonight and I've seen both movies at least five times. So why am I drawn to watching them again? On second thought, maybe I am high.

Friday, January 7, 2011

One thing I never learn

I keep wondering when I will learn that I always regret purchasing an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine off the newsstand.  Forget the fact that it's overpriced, it's the articles that make me angry.  Overall, I have to say it reinforces some of the worst traits in people in our society.  The advice columns usually aren't bad but the feature articles that focus on such things like "how to stop your man from cheating" just piss me off. If someone cheats, why is it the other person's fault? What happened to accountability? But I digress.  I will admit I've never been "fashion-forward" in any sense of the word, so I do find some useful information on make-up techniques, wardrobe tips and the like. Overall, though, the magazine gets a big thumbs-down from me.

So why buy it? Probably because a fool soon parts ways with her money. In this specific case, I can tell you exactly why I purchased the January issue: the bedside astrologer. I'm a total sucker for my horoscope. I guess I just have to check out what's in store for me in the next 12 months according to whichever staff member was responsible for the Taurus section.  Apparently May and August should be great for my love life, so perhaps I'll have some great blog material then. Ha!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Technical difficulties - grr!

Irritated is a good way to describe my state of mind at 11:53 p.m. last night.  I know I was irritated at this time because I had just realized I had not yet blogged for the day, and I did not want to miss another day.  Yet, technical difficulties prevented me from posting a blog before midnight.  Now, I believe I could manipulate the date/time it's posted, to some degree, but it's not the same so I just waited until...well, 11:38 p.m.

Nevertheless, I'm not going to get discouraged about the fact that I missed a few days of blogging, or that I have not been exercising. Or drinking enough water.  I'm sure I can change all that tomorrow.  Even though I had every intention of going to bed almost two hours ago. Ooops.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Layoff is just a Layover...

Spent most of my day traveling to and from a second interview.  Overall, it went okay.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate it a 7, I think.  I definitely had a better connection with the second interviewer, who was more relaxed and informal than the first, but overall there were only a few times I felt that I stumbled in responding to questions.

Now comes the hard part: waiting for the response.  I should find out in a week or so if they are going to extend a job offer.  There are so many emotions that come with this stage of the process, but I've already begun planning for the next step regardless of their decision, and that makes me feel more in control which eliminates some of my anxiety.

To date the job search has taught me a lot.  I've learned to recognize and appreciate my good qualities, my career goals and the steps I need to take to achieve them, and the importance of confidence.  As I prepared my most professional look, I started to doubt little things (the makeup, the fit of my jacket, the style of my pants, even the worn appearance of my purse and shoes!) before I told myself that to fully look the part, I had to act the part, too.

Successful phone interviews (okay, THE successful phone interview) are like a B-12 shot for my self-esteem.  Interestingly, interviews are similar to tests  - there is a direct correlation between the quality of an interview and the amount of preparation time.  I do think I could have spent a bit more time preparing for the second interview, however, I do think it was adequate and know I'd bring a lot to the company if they choose to hire me.  If that is not the path I'll be traveling on, though, then I look forward to making a different connection elsewhere.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Good day!

All in all, today was nice. I attended church with my mother (who always giggles because I haven't gone to church often enough to not flub the "debts" version of the Lord's Prayer), and purchased some nice professional clothes for my interview tomorrow.  It is my second interview, and I hope it goes well.  If it doesn't, I know everything will be okay because I have a back-up plan. In fact, I don't have much of a plan should I get the job and that scares me a little.  It's a "good" scared, more like being excited than anxious.  My confidence received quite a boost from my phone interview - in other words, it really is an honor just to be nominated. Today is also good because I'm keeping up with better habits, so there's no need for me to feel guilty about not having exercised, right?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

What better time for me to pick up the keyboard and type a new blog entry?  Actually, I almost didn't do one at all. I thought, yes, I resolved to write more this year (including REGULAR blog entries). But then I got comfy under the covers and was about to say "the heck with it" for today.  That kind of attitude, however, is not going to fly with the writing. I'm saving my lack of commitment and inconsistent routines for my exercise and diet resolutions. Although, if I had to choose only one area of success for me this year, I would have to opt for the health thing.  Let's face it, if I get myself in shape now, I can be around a lot longer to produce material that the world must not be deprived of experiencing.