Sunday, July 15, 2018

resolution-ing in 2018[changes in latitude, changes in attitude]

I just wanna go on more adventures.
Connect with good people.
Learn new positive things.
Grow strong.

So it was a Tuesday and I was sitting at my desk with a pretty bleak outlook on the day, mainly because of the state of my to-do list. I was talking with an Oklahoman co-worker when he said...."They need CEDs in Puerto Rico to work on hurricane programs." Four hours later, yes four, I was tentatively signed up to go to Puerto Rico on a hurricane detail. So for future reference, the government can move quickly when they want to. 

Since those first four hours, planning has slowed quite a bit. I haven't received my temporary duty location, so I'm still not sure where I'll be headed, but I have its pretty official. 
I'm really looking forward to working in Puerto Rico and being able to help the agriculture community that was ravaged by Hurricane Maria last year. I've been warned that the work is long and hurried, but I'm hoping to sneak away and see some of Puerto Rico while I'm there and not just the touristy stuff! With 12  hour workdays, 6 days a week....I might need some vacation to recover when I get back, just so I can make sure to get some fun Puerto Rican sights taken in.

Stay tuned for reports from my Puerto Rican adventure!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

the world needs more cowboys

When I moved here 9 years ago, I quickly realized I was amidst avid fans who love their Cowboys. and I mean LOVE! Being a Cowboy, of a different color (Go OSU Pokes!), I can appreciate enthusiasm, but I still said that my favorite activity was watching Wyoming football fans watch Wyoming football.

I'd been somewhat unplugged for a few days when UW rolled out the new marketing campaign complete with a new slogan, which when I heard it said....YES! The World Needs More Cowboys! I instantly loved it. In my 9 Wyoming years, I've been to a couple football games and I even jumped out of my seat and cheered a few times! For those of you who know me, know that I'm not a huge sports watcher and therefore, don't even call myself a fan. But this UW gig is starting to grow on me.

When I started reading the comments and complaints (which there was plenty because I'd been unplugged while this unraveled), I was speechless. I mean seriously.....the new slogan is racist and sexist??? I couldn't quite get my head around this reasoning and then I read the below response and Marty....well Marty nailed it.

Dear disgruntled faculty at UW,

Guess you missed something.

I am wondering what drew YOU to our beautiful state. Because of your current statements, it obviously WASN’T Wyoming’s culture and heritage. I can only surmise that you landed here on your way to somewhere else.

My advice is continue on to that destination. 

Wyoming is not going to ‘change’ because you brought with you some crazy idea of what this state SHOULD be. She is what she is. 

She is the COWBOY state.

Which, by the way, is a state of mind.

Surrounded by mountains as old as time itself and prairies as far as the eye can see, Wyoming is not so much about a place on a map but a place in your soul. Her streams and rivers weave themselves into your psyche. Her vast blue skies are the pallet for all your dreams. Her crisp, clean air will make your lungs drunk.

Of course, she’s not for everyone.

She can be harsh. In an instant, those same blue skies can be filled with a thunderhead that reaches Heaven but is full of Hell. And her gentle breeze can turn into gale force in a nanosecond. She can bury you in a foot snow before you can even swear. She can destroy all that you have worked for in a two minute hailstorm. She can forgo rain for months at a time and turn your world into dust.
All that in one year. Easy.

It’s her way of testing her inhabitants. She chooses you; not the other way around. If you can handle her at her worst, you will be rewarded with the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Your breath will belong to her because she will steal it with every perfect blanket of new fallen snow. And when she gives it back to you, it will have the fresh smell of rain, sage, lilac, pine and Russian olive. Her perfume will sear your soul and her beauty will brand your heart.

That’s how cowboys are made.

But I guess you’ve missed that sitting in your little cubicle tucked inside a building on the campus.
Wyoming brings out the best in folks because you have to be tough to live here. And perhaps you’ve discovered that fact living in Laramie. But it’s not just the freezing cold and the bitter wind that toughens our skin, it’s the lifestyle that toughens our souls.

Cowboys endure broken limbs and broken hearts. Nothing like trudging out in the dead of night during a May blizzard to carry a newborn calf to a warm mudroom. Or watching your field of beautiful hay get beat to death with a three minute hailstorm.

While one has to be quite dependent upon oneself in this state, we are even quicker to rally around each other. Cry for help and we come a- runnin’.

So if a bucking horse and rider is going to be slapped on your chest, we here in Wyoming are going to expect you to pull your fair share. And personally, we could not care less whatever your gender, your skin color, your religion. Do the work; reap the rewards.
My suggestion is that YOU ‘cowboy up’ and sweep the snowflakes from your front stoop and your persona. And if you are still unsure as to what that means, come on up and we’ll show you.

 “Once a Cowboy, Always a Cowboy”

Marty Ertman
BS Animal Science, College of Agriculture 1988

Thursday, March 22, 2018

resolution-ing in 2018 [5]

I just wanna go on more adventures.

Fishing...not so much, I'm the one that won't be caught with a rod and without a book....just in case. Now catching? Count me in!

My 30-something 29th birthday fell on a Thursday this year. Repeat after me...lame! I desperately wanted a reason NOT to go to work on my birthday well because its my birthday and I shouldn't have to go to work, so when I got invited to go fishing, I grabbed my book and I went!

Turns out, not a page was read and even though it was a little chilly it was a super fun day! I jokingly said all I wanted for my 29th birthday was to catch a 29 lb fish....check!

Everything we caught was 20+ lbs and I insisted on pictures with every single one of them, even the "babies". While I'm not too shabby at reeling 'em actual setting the hook and catching could use some work.

We polished off my birthday with some bowling......where I got one strike....the very first frame. They were scared for a while, until my true bowling skills showed up after that. Junk food was had by all, followed by a belly ache for me., but I wouldn't trade any of it!

I had a great birthday and was blown away by the number of texts, messages, snaps, calls and gifts that I received on my birthday. I have the best friends and family ever!!! Bring on another year!