Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve!

Here’s a short and sweet post about some of the Christmas fun I’ve been having…
 1. I WON! I’m a repeat winner of the AGCO holiday photo contest. A huge thanks to AGCO for sponsoring the fun contest and also a really big thanks to all my friends and all the others who voted for me in the contest!! I’ll just let you read about it and check out my photo at AGCO’s blog site:

2. I’ve been baking… a LOT… but rather than re-blog about it, just check out my blog from last year. It’ll give you an idea of the variety of cookies I produce, though this year’s assortment does vary a bit from last year’s.

3. Yesterday I made my annual Christmas wreath for the barn at the family farm. Pictures of this year’s are included here, but to check out the step-by-step process of creating it, check out my pictorial how-to from last year:

4. Now I’m headed over to the farm to meet up with Mom and Dad. Today we’re having the Grott Farm company Christmas party to celebrate a great year in agriculture! (In other words, the three of us are going out to lunch!)

This was the quickest and easiest blog post I ever wrote!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

VOTE FOR ME! Polls close on 12/17.

Just over a year ago I was introduced to the AGCO Corporation’s Facebook page through an ad I saw on Facebook that promoted their first-ever holiday photo contest. I went on to win that contest last year, and now I’m in the running again and could use your vote! Wouldn’t you love to take pride in one of your Indiana  neighbors winning a global contest?!  Read on...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Running Update

I guess it’s been awhile since I last posted a blog, since my last one was about my 4th of July 5K. Anyhow, I’d like to provide an update on my running activities…

Disneyland 5K

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Run for Riley 5K

My home county seat of LaPorte, Indiana takes the Fourth of July pretty seriously. When I heard that the LaPorte Kiwanis Club was coordinating a 5K “Run for Riley” (Riley Children’s Hospital) prior to the big parade, I decided to sign up. I didn’t decide to sign up right away, because I knew it’s always a million degrees and humid on the 4th, so I wasn’t so sure. But alas, I signed up… and wouldn’t you know it, at the time of the event, it was 80-some degrees and humid.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

4-H Camp

That's me!

As the 4-H Extension Educator for the Porter County (Indiana) 4-H Program, one of my favorite times of year is 4-H Camp! Our county camps with neighboring LaPorte County (my childhood home), and we always have a great time at 4-H Camp.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kent's Run 5K

Saturday May 29th I participated in the third annual Kent’s Run 5K ( in Boone Grove, Indiana (a tiny dot on the map south of Valparaiso). It was an absolutely fantastic event, and I will definitely be participating in Kent’s Run in the future! Kent Ribordy was a local 16-year old who enjoyed running and farming and lost his battle with leukemia in 2007. The race is held in his memory with proceeds benefitting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Without going into great detail, here are some of the reasons why Kent’s Run was awesome:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Making Turkey Hunting Look Good!

Is one sign of becoming a seasoned turkey hunter that you start ending up with fewer and fewer pictures of your victories? My first turkey back in 2005 necessitated that my hunting mentor, Randy, shoot a whole roll of 35mm film in a post-kill photo shoot. Yesterday, which was Indiana’s opening day, I was hunting solo and I took three pictures using the self-timer on my camera…the third one was good enough and then I put the camera away.  (Read on...)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Back on the Wagon and Ready for Turkey Season!

As I last reported, I fell off the fitness wagon. Well, I’m happy to report that I jumped back on the ol’ wagon and I’m ready to forge ahead. I met with my trainer last week, and we talked through what I had been going through, and she said it’s natural for that to happen, so I felt better about it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

HELP! I've Hit a Wall!!

It’s been nine days since I ran the “Ringing in Spring” 5K, and I’ve skipped workouts more frequently in those nine days than I have since I started on my “fatty to 5K” quest seven months ago.

Let’s take today for example...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ringing in Spring 5K

Photo: my sister Anne and I after the race!

The Valparaiso YMCA’s “Ringing in Spring” 5K was last Saturday and, despite the rainy morning that only saw temperatures in the upper 40s at best, was a great time!  This was just my second 5K, my first was last month at Disney World, and it was a "fun run" without official times and placings, so this was kind of my first "real" 5K!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's Almost Time to Ring in Spring!

My second-ever 5K, and first actual “race” (as opposed to a “fun run”) is a week from yesterday; it’s the Valparaiso YMCA’s “Ringing in Spring” 5K.

Yesterday I went and ran the course just to check it out…it seemed long, but that’s just because I do most of my running on the 0.75-mile track at Fairgrounds Park or on a treadmill at the gym. I’m not used to “stretching out” the 3.1 miles!! It’s a nice course, there’s some inclines, but they all seem to be greeted by declines, so that’s good. There was one incline mid-way through that seemed REALLY LONG…gradual, but long. I finished in 30:45, but I hope to do better in the competitive event setting with other people around to keep me motivated!

The current weather forecast for Saturday is calling for highs in the upper 60s and lows in the lower 50s. I think that sounds just perfect for a 5K! Hopefully the forecast holds true and it’s a beautiful day. Oh, and I should also mention that my sister and bro-in-law who got me into running will be home for Easter weekend and are going to be running with me on Saturday. Well, I’ll rephrase that; they won’t be running with me, they’ll be running behind me. They can do longer distances, like the two half-marathons they’ve done, but I do my miles a bit faster.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My First Walt Disney World!

It’s been nearly three weeks since my first-ever 5K at Walt Disney World. I guess it’s time that I take a few minutes to blog about it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First Race Jitters

My Disney World 5K is this Saturday. Last Saturday morning I awoke from a traumatic dream which involved missing my race and not realizing it ‘til later that afternoon.

Another “jitter” is that I’m worried about whether or not I can function when running “for real” as opposed to on a treadmill.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Six Months of Hard Work

I’m totally psyched for my trip to Disney World for my first-ever 5K (The “Princess and the Frog Royal Family 5K” on March 6th). It’s going to be legendary.

Monday, February 1, 2010

5K Training Update

Here’s what’s been going on…

My “long run” each week had been as long as 5 miles to-date. I’ve been more or less able to maintain a 10-minute per mile pace on the two 5-mile runs I’ve done so far, despite having to take about three short speed-walking intervals during the 5 miles. It’s a killer and I wonder if I’m pushing myself too hard, but no pain, no gain, right? It doesn’t leave me with any post-run pain, it’s just agony getting through the run at the pace I push myself to.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A New Record & New Shoes!

Oh my goodness! I won AGCO’s Christmas photo contest! I had a lot of fun with the whole experience and was so happy when the voting finally ended and I had a solid lead. I thank my new friends at AGCO for sponsoring the fun contest and I’m looking forward to receiving my prize in the mail. (The prize is a limited edition book entitled "The Proud History of AGCO.")

Now that the most exciting news is out of the way, let’s review my so-called “resolutions” for the new year:  calendar managment, fiddle, and exercise...

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I generally don’t get into the whole “new year’s resolutions” craze. I mean, what’s the point? Who really sticks with their half-baked resolutions anyhow? And what’s the big deal about a new year anyhow…we don’t celebrate each day, each week, each month (maybe we should). However, this morning I decided that maybe I should approach 2010 with a more positive attitude and perhaps even resolve to do a few things differently this year. (Or at least start out the year with that mindset and see if the resolutions become habit.)