Monday, September 21, 2009

"Queen Of Our Crop"...

and what a fine crop to be the queen of.  I made my way back down to Union County this weekend for the annual Corn Festival in my hometown(in which 'queen of our crop' was the theme)...this time as the Grand Marshal!  This weekends events began in Lexington at the POW/MIA ceremony at the VA Medical Center.  They set me up at the registration table to sign autographs, but any person who knows a veteran knows that they don't just want an autograph...they want a embrace!  I gladly gave many.  These are some of the greatest men and some of my greatest fans(and I am proud to call myself a fan of theirs as well).  As I travel the state as Miss Kentucky I am free to take on any cause, pursue any dream, and set an example to children that they too can do the same...all because of these men.  Thank you for my freedom.  I also sang the National Anthem(one of two times I belted out the tune that day).  

I then jetted off that slippery stage and rushed to the airport in the pouring down rain to catch a flight to Western Kentucky that Mr. Joe Craft so kindly invited me to crash on(ahh crash, wrong plane lingo, hop on?).  We (we being Coach Calipari, Mr. Joe Craft, House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, Mr. Craft's 'sharp as a tack' assistant Kelly, and I) made our journey from Lexington to Union County for the grand opening of the River View Coal Mine. Mr. Craft took on yet another business venture in the face of the coal industry controversy, to provide over 600 jobs and to continue to power our state and country.  I am proud of this project and to be a part of making sure this industry is understood, by helping people to realize the good that the coal mining industry brings to our economy and the people of our state(we're cleaning it up in the process to make it more environmentally friendly of course).  I sang, Coach Cal spoke, Governor Beshear joked about only coming to see me again and then spoke.  Several politicians, and of course my friend, Mr. Joe Craft made their way to the podium as well.  Mr. Craft's  passions for providing opportunity and for giving back is contagious...I caught it.  Coach Cal disappeared underground to tour the mines momentarily, upon emerging he said that he would share something with his wildcats that he heard from a miner down there..."we go down together, we come up together".  He nailed the hard working people of this industry perfectly.  Then...for my favorite part...we all cut the huge blue ribbon with huge blue scissors...and no one cut off my ponytail!  I was so proud to be a part of this event that will bring jobs to the good people of my county.

Slid out of that one then went on to my Alma Mater UCHS to drive my little brother Gabe(a freshman and homecoming candidate) in the ceremony.  I helped with the crowning...a task that I still find emotional, even if I am putting a cardboard royal blue crown on a boy's head in the middle of a football field.  Something else funny that I experience nowadays, I'm just sitting there(in this case in the football stands) and I feel someone rubbing the back of my hair.  I sit there for a second, thinking maybe someone was walking by and accidentally brushed it, but it continues.  I turn around and there is a PACK of the cutest little girls(one whom has been stroking my hair) wearing t shirts with my name on them and little crowns.  They are my favorite little things in the world.  

Next morning...Corn Festival.  I was the Grand Marshal of the parade(which is quite the event in our town).  I've been on about every float in the parade at one time in my life, but never even close to the GM.  I realize that I may not be made for parades as I try desperately to have conversations with onlookers from atop the convertible...they can't hear me, I know this, but I just want to talk to them so badly that I do it anyways...maybe I'll throw candy next time(no, I can't be around candy).  Then my mom and dad met me at the end and we raced to a local business for a costume change from formal to FRINGE!  I wish I could wear complete fringed outfits all day every day...but I know I can't.  I sang, in my fringe, for an hour.  It is quite surreal standing on that stage in my town(that was once only a flat bed truck) singing to those same people who have been listening to me since I was 6 years old.  I did Tina Turner and Reba songs, along with my grandma and papa's old favorites like 'Blue'.  I told stories and invited all the little girls in the crowd to come up and sing 'Tim McGraw' with me.  And of course, as I was wrapping it up with 'Famous In A Small Town' I can't help but cry...again...and I am so not a crier.  There is just something special about that song and singing it at home.  Oh my gosh I almost forgot!  The Mayor of Morganfield(Mr. Jerry Freer) gave me the key to the city...the first he has given in his 11 years as mayor!!  This was one of the greatest surprises and honors I have ever received.  

Next day, back to Lexington.  My mom had to drive me back while I slept in the car, revving up for my next event with Eddie Montgomery (from Montgomery Gentry) and his wife Tracy.  This event benefited a camp called Horsin' Around, for sick children with everything from cancer to diabetes.  It was a bikerish theme.  I am such a poser and of course tied a bandana around my crown before jumping on the Harleys and signing autographs for my new biker friends.  It is a style that I think every Miss America contestant should practice at least once during their reign.  It makes you so much cooler.

Sorry for the photographic overload, but there was just so much to show you!!

P.S.  I love my mom and dad...thank you for carrying my 100 lb fringed costumes, making sure the microphone is turned all the way up, and loving every single song I have ever sang on that stage.  I wouldn't be here tonight writing this Miss Kentucky blog without your love. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rupunzel Rupunzel Let Down Your Hair...

...then try not to be upset when we chop it all off. I know that I can't have hair down to the floor during my reign, but as soon as it gets a little bit long again, I fear that someone is about to come up behind me with hedge clippers and chop off my ponytail(Kim Canter). Rapunzel, you are so lucky...maybe I could be RUPPunzel...more at the bottom on the hair...

So...weak week...NOT! Nutso week! Let's see if I can recap in order. Here are the schools from Tuesday to Friday(not to mention from Eastern Ky to Western Ky). Robert B Turner Elementary(Anderson Co.), Sturgis Elementary and Union County Middle School(Union Co.), AB Chandler Elementary(Corydon), Jefferson Elementary, Niagra Elementary(Henderson Co.), and Holy Spirit School(Evansville). These schools stepped it up a notch with questions like, "What do you think about President Barack Obama?", and when I asked the 1st grade class about what their dream was I had a family rights attorney and an astronaut vs. the usual princess and baseball player. I run 100 miles per hour from one school to the next and am sometimes stopped dead in my tracks by a really funny child. So, I’m at Niagra and this little girl with thick pink glasses looks up at me (I am immediately reminded of myself when I was little). First I tell her how special she is because she has glasses that make her eyes big and pretty just like mine when I was little(which I made the mistake of saying in front of several other little girls who are now hoping for eye problems in the future…). She gets really confident after that and I could see her little mind working, and as I'm walking away she yells out, "Miss Kentucky, I'm going to think of you every night before I go to sleep and then every morning when I wake up and I never want to think of anything else except for you ever again!!". Then her friends got really brave shouting after me as well with ones like, “Can I have your crown?” and “Will you marry my dad?”. This is the joy of being Miss Kentucky.

Mixed into the miles from mundane madness was the Trimble County Apple Festival(I tremble when I think of how many apple dishes I sampled) where I judged the Little Miss Apple Festival contest and the Apple Pie Contest. Also, the MacKenna Foundation, where I sang a song(that I learned in the car on the way over), such a wonderful event and cause. I also threw in a two day Dale Carnegie marathon course in Louisville.  MARATHON.

So, I must touch on the hair once more. I believe that once you've found a hidden treasure you should share name s Rebecca Martin...She highlights my hair and rejuvenates my soul. She is a miracle. Noone in the whole world should ever go without her. We spent ten hours together Sunday and I quickly am reminded of what a find she really is. I will share her...8593611566.

And thank you thank you thank you to Tops in Lex magazine for making me their cover girl! I attended the release party last night(where I was greeted by my face blown up the size of a mini van upon entering). Tops people are top of the line!!

Can't wait to share the events from this weekend with you...I swear to you I won't slack off again...See ya latah...

P.S. This blog is dedicated to my best friend and number one fan Alden Knowlton(who will crush anyone who ever tries to harm me...).

Monday, September 7, 2009

I've Got Lightning In My Veins, Thunder In My Chest...

...or at least I would have if I had left my crown on while demonstrating a safety procedure to 300 fifth grade students in Union County (that procedure was how touching a metal object to a telephone line will electrocute you...I could have been quite the example with the lightning rod atop my head).  Safety Day was one of the many things I got to do this week in MY HOMETOWN!  I snuck into Morganfield the night before I was supposed to...I just couldn't wait.  I love my home and I hadn't seen a bit of it since the day after I was crowned(when I was still extremely delirious, in shock, and cross eyed with disbelief).  All the people I ran into reminded me with every congratulations and thank you that I am the one who should be thankful...for being born in this town.  

Upon my arrival I woke up my entire household(which only consists of my mom, dad, and gabe since jade, luke, and I left for college).  We sat around on the couch and talked about how we still can't believe what's happened.  The next day was the Farm Bureau Safety Day!  Only a Miss Kentucky would give her first big speech in an open field to 300 children sitting on hay-bales, ultimate.  I kicked off the festivities with a speech about dreams/gifts/small town-big dreams/health/tomboys/tim mcgraw etc. to the most attentive little corn fed kids around.  After my speech I took my first live question and answer session...a daily part of my year that I am certain will keep me on my toes moreso than my 5 inch heels.  A few of the good ones..."Have you ever picked a peanut plant?(my talk said nothing of the sorts about peanut plants)"..."Have you ever met Taylor Swift...followed by...oh, well, then have you met Barack Obama?(Taylor Swift is now not only topping the charts, but apparently now the president as well)..."Are you dating a famous person?"..."Are you healthy?"..."Have you ever been in a pageant and won?"...etc.  I spent the rest of the day in first class Union County style, being chauffeured from one outdoor station to the next in a Kabota.    

The next day came bright and early with my mom's intercom wake up call that reminded me of high school days, and presented me with yet another great group of children and an opportunity to inspire again, this time indoors.  Uniontown Elementary sat like little angels as I entered into their gym...quickly turned into miniature megaphones for a second when I said "Hey Uniontown Elementary...are you excited to be out of class?!"...then right back into angels.  The first question I asked broadened the generation gap between my generation and theirs from about the size of the gap between my little sister's two front teeth growing up to more like the grand canyon.  I'm standing there in ruby red slippers and I say, "Ok boys and girls I want to start today by singing a song for you from a movie called 'The Wizard of Oz'...can you guess what it is by these shoes on my feet...?"  In unison they all yell, "Red High Heels!!!!!"  Oh well.  I guess Kellie Pickler has officially replaced Dorothy, and 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' is now  only a place where Skittles come from...but oh well, they'll be ok...Then on to Morganfield Elementary where 500 more of the best kids around sat indian style and refrained from turning into wild indians for the entire assembly.  Questions from this bunch got even better, with ones like, "What's your mom's name?" and "Are you country?"  The children I've seen so far have been perfect(though I could be partial).  Someone needs to inform the world that the future is going to be just fine judging by what I've seen so far here in Kentucky.

And amidst my time at home I found myself trying to catch up on sleep, only to be quickly reminded that it is in fact dove season...and there is no way to nap or sleep in when your brothers and cousins are shooting shotguns right outside your bedroom I joined in for a spell.  I also got to see baby Daylee!

Flew back to Lexington and jumped right into the (all day long live tv) Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon doing interviews, answering phones with callers on the other end, answering phones with prank callers on the other end, etc.  I was happy to be a part of this great cause...Go Jerry!

And finally...for the bad news.  Sianara Sugar!  Labor Day marks the beginning of many days laboring on the treadmill for me...or else I will be looking like this photo of me in my very first swimsuit at Miss America...and you thought you were a fat baby...WRONG!  Please say a prayer...I live right beside Dunkin' Donuts.
P.S. Thank you Union County for making me who I am...