What's your kitchen personality?

My first full-time paid position post-graduation took me to downtown Oklahoma City where I promoted Oklahoma’s pork farmers. Although checkoff programs can be a hot button issues for some (looking at you non-internet using Grandpa Compton…), I was grateful promote the state as a whole instead of one specific farmer. The impact was greater.

Commodity research and promotion programs, also known as checkoff programs, are established under Federal law at the request of their industries. Checkoff programs are funded by the industries themselves, with the goal to increase the success of the businesses and farmers that produce and sell certain commodities.


These programs allow farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders to pool their funds and develop a coordinated program of research, promotion and consumer information to improve, maintain and develop markets for their products. They also yield many additional benefits for public health and nutrition, local and global economies, as well as humanitarian efforts.
— USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

In that first position I learned to lean in before leaning in was a buzzword. My boss[man] pushed me to do more by pretty much throwing me to the ocean and seeing if I was going to sink or swim.

I also learned to work with like-minded humans in similar positions in other states. Queue the most significant professional relationships of my career.

When I joined Charleston|Orwig I tapped those friendships and professional networks because promoting hog farmers is important to me. I’ve seen firsthand how they care for their animals and how their presence in rural America makes communities richer by their contributions to programs and initiatives.

Also, bacon. 

#PinkPork Pinterest Sweepstakes

How can you truly encompass all that is great about perfectly-cooked pork? By perfectly-cooked pork I mean pork that is cooked to 145° F before removed from heat and allowed to rest for three minutes before slicing. Cooking to 145° results in tender, juicy pork that has a blush of pink in the center. (After 5 years, I have this elevator speech on lock.)

Let's cut to the chase. Have you ever wondered what type of kitchen you would be if you were to be a kitchen? Sure you have! Well, you would if a quiz were to exist on site like Buzzfeed. 

It's simple. Take the quiz, pin your results and enter the sweepstakes. For every entry, Ohio's hog farmers are donating one meal of pork to a local food back (up to 25,000 meals!). 

Personality results

I'm a sucker for personality quizzes and assessments. I'm ENTP, Di, Orange and now a rustic kitchen. 

Rustic interiors have a sense of connection to the past that's hard to resist. Which is good, considering that heritage is important to you and you find unique ways to incorporate family heirlooms into your everyday life.
The aroma of Apricot-Glazed Ham radiates from your oven, bouncing from the exposed beams. This, of course, causes your heart palpitations. The love affair you carry on with dinner is evident in each and every serving, filled with love, passion and commitment.

recipe: apricot glazed ham (serves 20)

Not only do you help make a donation to a local food bank and learn about your personality you also receive a corresponding recipe. 

Ingredients
5 pounds full cooked whole boneless ham
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup apricot nectar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

How-to
Place ham on rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 325°F oven for 1-1/4 hours or until meat thermometer registers 140°F (about 15 - 18 minutes per pound). 

For the glaze, in a small saucepan combine brown sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and cloves. Stir in apricot nectar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.

Brush ham with glaze. Continue baking 15 - 20 minutes more, brushing occasionally with glaze. 


Full Transparency

I worked with Ohio Pork Council on behalf of Charleston|Orwig for this project. I gave this project real-estate on Rural Gone Urban because of the impact the pork industry has made in my professional career. I was in no way encouraged or compensated for this blog post. Although, I wouldn't mind if someone sent me a gift card to buy a few pounds of bacon. 

You're My Superhero.

How great is this iStock photo? So many of y'all have shared this post I thought I'd give you an image to help populate those link previews. :-)

How great is this iStock photo? So many of y'all have shared this post I thought I'd give you an image to help populate those link previews. :-)

In a world where being busy earns a badge of honor, I’ve found myself striving to be the first person at the office, the last person to leave and the person sending emails on the weekend, which, by the way, is a Millennial’s way of saying, “look! I’m working on the weekend!”

I’m the girl using app after app to organize my life often telling my husband, “Did you put it on the shared calendar?” Because heaven forbid something in life happens that isn’t planned and documented on a Google calendar. 

Try as I might, I can’t turn off work and turn on life when I leave the office. No such switch exists. There is only one 24-hour compartment: life that includes work. It’s blended – good or bad. 

After set work hours, I spend my evenings preparing for upcoming projects and staying on top of industry news and current events (thank the sweet stars for you, theSkimm). 

Those are in addition to attempting – unsuccessfully, I might add – to see the inside of the gym three to four times a week, talk to my parents, at least one aunt, my sister, friends comprising at least seven states, have real conversations with my husband, take the dog for a few walks and make new friends in Austin.

To be fair, for me – in this stage of life – working significant amounts is the only way I’ve been able to keep my to-do list from depriving me of oxygen. This is what you’re supposed to do in this stage of life, I tell myself. Pay your dues. 

Why?

Maybe I see the mom balancing work, leadership roles, her marriage and children Instagramming her perfect marketing-term-of-the-month dinners.

I see emerging career leaders knocking down walls, being overly-prepared for meetings and quoting scholarly articles and case studies released within the past 48 hours.  

Everything looks so perfect from the outside. I see you nodding your head, reader. It’s just smoke and mirrors, they must be struggling like the rest of us, but are they? 

While filling my soul with today’s sermon, my mind was anywhere else. I was creating to-do lists, referencing my short-term career goals and analyzing my current work performance.

In that moment I realized I am not a superhero. I cannot – and will not – be able to do it all. 

I want to be known as the woman who is deliberate with her time – not busy.
I want to be successful at work – and at home.
I want the moon.

Most of all, I want all women to know you don’t have to be a superhero. Superhero mom most likely has a village to help and support her. An incredible, selfless village. Emerging career leaders are making sacrifices and feel uncertain about their decisions – just like you. 

You’re good enough.
You’re making waves and changing lives.
You’re my superhero. 

The Underdog.

Growing up I thought the Beach Boy’s hit Kokomo was about Kokomo Grains. You know, the one in Indiana. That song was followed by Aaron Tippin’s There Ain't Nothin' Wrong With The Radio, which was followed by Hal Ketchum’s Small Town Town Saturday Night. Add in Conway, Prince, Whitney, Ian, Michael, Suzy, George and Garth and you’ve created the foundation that is my support structure for all things creative in my life.

Music is intertwined into every memory – past, present, future – of my life. 

Because of this, I’ve learned to trust those behind the fm channels. They’re playing the best songs – as voiced by the people. Or are they?

I’m not saying there’s a conspiracy happening in Nashville, but I’m not saying something fishy isn’t happening. Aaron Watson debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard’s Top Country Albums, but isn’t given airtime on local radio? 

Quick. Someone grab the DeLorean and tell Loretta Lynn if she were in 2015 Honky Tonk Girl could climb the charts without jukebox and radio play.

To be fair, I’m not sure how exactly I feel about this. The people are putting their money behind their voice – Aaron’s The Underdog is currently sitting at 16 on iTune’s overall chart – but the radio execs aren’t playing the songs.

That just seems like a bad business model. 

Bluebonnets

To me, Texas country is the rain on a tin roof, taking lunch to grandpa in the field, learning to drive on rural route three - it's the raw, undeniable truth that is rural America. Aaron gets that.

Bluebonnets is a bare-all, intimate track depicting the loss of his daughter, Julia. I can't imagine a better way to cope - and honor - the loss of a child. 

"Arron Watson can out pick, out sing and our pray anyone in country music." - Josh Abbott, this past Saturday at the San Antonio Rodeo. 

What others are saying

The Rest of the Story

While the rest of the country was (is) dealing with white tundra that is winter in February, the weather in Austin turned from perfect and sunny to non-so-perfect and a little bit rainy. *sad trombone*

Rain in Texas? It’s because I’m wearing my moccasins e’rday, obviously.

Because of the rain, I fell into my rainy-day habits that are everything that is unreasonable and first-world of exploring Dillards. A girl just needs something new to wear to a work event, am I right?

While perusing the Vince Camuto dresses, my grandma called to inform me had stumbled upon my Instagram and did I want to know the rest of the story

Of course, Paul Harvey. Lay it on me. 

"Ahhh, I could really use the Dodge about now."

A photo posted by brooke clay haney (@thebrookehaney) on

While loving everything that is Johnson County, Indiana, before AgChat's National Collegiate Conference, I drove past this big, red Dodge taking residence in an iconic rural barn. To be honest, to me it was nothing more than a 'grammable moment a few football fields away from my mother's childhood home.

To my grandma, it was more. 

This Dodge was one of a pair she drove during harvest near the time my family purchased a grain elevator on the south side of the county. 

Oh, hey family heritage.

Also, my grandma has Instagram? No way. 

Dreaming of a Grand Canyon Adventure

Me: “So, is it cool if I spend some paper to book a mule excursion at the Grand Canyon?”
Travis: “Sure.”

Hashtag marriage.

Photo: Mary Kate Pedigo 

A long time ago, back when ripped jeans, A&F hoodies, trucker hats, layers and layers of tank tops were in style my dad and I started joking about riding mules into the base of the Grand Canyon and camping overnight. Well, I was joking. He was dead serious.

My dad is a denim-on-denim, cowboy-hat-wearing, John-Wayne loving man of America. He was born to do things like ride mules into the Grand Canyon, and I was genetically modified to seek adventures. 

That conversation has been buffering for quite some times. That's what happens when you graduate from college and enter the workforce. Your PTO becomes a hot commodity and you'll protect it with your life. 

Last night while enjoying an Oregon Pinot (a celebration for finishing a 21-day food challenge), it occurred to me there was no reason this couldn't' happen. 

Google.
Text dad.
Send screen shots.
Consider Dave Ramsey's budget concerns.
Text dad.
Cross fingers you can get on the waiting list. 

Turns out, there's a 13-month waiting list for mule excursions. It's a thing, people. 

This is happening.