Billings, Birthdays and Brands.

My eyes have seen some of the most beautiful scenery they’ve ever seen these last three days of me being a 29-year-old.

That’s right. Today is my 30th birthday. And I don’t feel any different— except for this raging sore throat that is taking my voice away. Thankfully, today is a day off in Pocatello, Idaho. Perhaps I can rest my vocal cords for the next two days: we have 13 readings of Pete the Popcorn in just two days!

Something funny happened today on the way from Billings, Montana to Pocatello. We were nearing the state border when we stopped for gas. In front of us was a nice local gal with this license plate on her Chevy truck:

So Joe tells the woman that he loves her license plate and asks for a photo. She said no problem and asked if we were from around the area. After explaining what we were up to, she told Joe that she has the license plate because that’s her brand. Joe asked what the brand was… and she said it was a half circle with the number 44.

At this point, listening from the driver’s seat, I caught on that this lady was talking about a brand for cattle. So there I sat…. with a look of wonder and amusement on my face. Oh how I was waiting… waiting for Joe to ask what product the brand was or what the brand consisted of or where he could purchase her brand. To my chagrin, he didn’t.

When he got in the car, Joe looked at me and said, “she was super nice… but what the hell is a brand?” Obviously, Joe isn’t a cattle rancher. But his unique ability to talk to anyone at any time can bring about such amusing interactions. If you’re the lady with the license plate— thanks so much for teaching Joe something today!

Now, here is today’s video update. Watch it all the way through— there is a surprise at the end.

And, if you’re new here… On August 22nd, co-author Joe Kelley turned 40. For his birthday and my birthday, we both asked for people to sponsor a child on our Encouragement Tour. For as little as $10, you can provide a child a copy of our book— which teaches encouragement. All you have to do is visit 

We’ve done so much for children this year– giving away 5000 used books. Handing out 500 new books in a parade. Reading Pete the Popcorn free of charge to over 20,000 kids. We want to continue these efforts, but can only do so with your sponsorship.

Normally, on a 30th or 40th birthday, folks would buy us a drink or dinner or get us some gag gift. We never ask for gifts… but this year, could you consider sponsoring a child?

Have a great day, everyone!


Thanks for visiting this blog! As you see, it is not supported by advertising. If you would like to personally support this blog and its authors, please visit Amazon to purchase our Children’s Book, Pete the Popcorn! If you don’t have a child in your life, donate a copy to your local school or library! Also, we LOVE it when people LIKE us on Facebook. To learn more about our books, please visit 


2 comments on “Billings, Birthdays and Brands.

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