About SgtEstes

I served in the US Marine Corps for eight years after high school including a combat tour in Iraq in 2004-2005. In 2013 I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the University of Kentucky with a major in Secondary English Education. I am currently working on my Masters degree from Georgetown College in Special Education. In my free time I enjoy hiking, mountain biking, traveling, playing music, and working on my first book, "Marine Among Us."

WANTED: Good Pastoral Woman

DWM seeks kind, “simple” woman who’s “easy” on the eyes with plenty of “country” charm to share many “nostalgic” moments.

Must enjoy “relaxing” and the “simpler” things life has to offer, and be free of “complex” drama.

A love of rustic, green pastures, clear, cool brooks and gently, rolling hills is a plus.

“Controlling” women need not reply as I enjoy being “free” spirited.

Respond to: 1-888-EASY-GUY

Pastoral Melodies

Any time I get out into the wild, aka the Red River Gorge, I always have to listen to my favorite old country tunes to get myself into the “easy-going, fresh mountain air” mood.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy other types of music, I’m just at a genetic disadvantage being from Kentucky – where the love of country music is inbred into my DNA.  As I listened to the classics of George Jones and the Judds, I couldn’t help but notice, thanks to what I’ve learned from class, that there are many pastoral themes in country music.  Even the genre name, “country” implies to the listener that you might expect to hear about easy going times of a simpler style of living. Continue reading

Unnatural Nature

Natural Bridge Sky-lift

This weekend I enjoyed a pastoral retreat away from the urban hustle of my downtown Lexington apartment.  It was nice to get away from the concrete jungle of the city and see something besides grey and red brick buildings and black asphalt for a change.  Pulling off of Mountain Parkway near Slade, Kentucky I immediately rolled my windows down and enjoyed the fresh air of the mountains – a nice change from the stale, coal-sulfur mix I am used to around west campus.  As an avid hiker, camper and health nut, I try to frequent the Red River Gorge area as often as possible throughout the summer.  I parked my truck in the farthest lot from the main trail to the Natural Bridge attraction and began my hike.  There were several other tourists enjoying a pleasant Saturday morning as well.  Most were also hiking enthusiasts such as myself, and had no problem traversing the one mile path up the mountain side to see the attractions.  What really caught my attention once I was at the top, however, was the number of people actually using the sky-lift. Continue reading

Green Make$ Me The Green!

XS Energy Drinks boast no sugar, no carbs, only 8 calories and no contain no artificial ingredients such as aspertame! They are also available in thirteen delicious flavors!

Over the past few years the “green” trend has really started to spike here in the U.S.  More and more consumers are flocking to products that advertise being natural or organic.  The other day we read an excerpt from “The Omnivore’s Dilema” in which Michael Pollan argues that people buy natural and organic products to “engage in authentic experiences and are imaginatively enacting a return to a utopian past with the positive aspects of modernity intact.”  This recent trend has provided a pastoral gateway to provide consumers with the types of natural and organic products which they desire.  Pollan claims that just the word “organic” has “proved to be one of the most powerful words in the supermarket” and organic products are an “11 billion dollar industry that is one of the fastest growing sectors of the food economy.”

As an entrepreneur and business owner, I am constantly seeking products to market and ways to reach the consumers who want to buy them.  Health, fitness and weight management is one of the fastest growing industries in America right now with nutrition and diet supplements.  The marriage of this industry along with the newly popular “natural” industry has proven to be the best combination since peanut butter and jelly collaborated into one jar!  Sometimes I feel like I’m riding the gravy train with biscuit wheels!

Continue reading

Going Green – I Can’t Afford to Not be Cool!

In 1997 Toyota launched its hybrid car, the Prius in its Japanese market despite a low demand for hybrid vehicles.  Around this time gas was still less than $2 a gallon, and “going green” was just starting to pick up as a movement amongst the “tree-hugger” community.  Even when the vehicle was released in the US in 1999, there wasn’t a lot of demand for it.  Some people went ahead and made the switch simply for the “feel good” of going green.  After 9/11 in 2001, and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, gas prices began to rise and the economy in the US plummeted.  Our attitude in America switched from just “being cool” to be green to “I need to save some money.” Continue reading

Are You Proud?

This past Saturday evening I found myself amongst a group of friends whom, like myself, met the minimum degree of heathenism to not be worthy of the rapture.  I was indulging in one of my few vices for raunchy, toilette humor better known as Family Guy and Robot Chicken, when my show was abruptly interrupted by the famous “Kentucky Proud” campaign commercial, featuring prominent members of the 1992 “Unforgettables” Kentucky basketball team.  If you are unfamiliar with the commercial it begins with Ritchie Farmer, Kentucky’s current Commissioner of Agriculture, explaining the campaign (which suggests that Kentuckians, should buy produce from growers and producers right here in Kentucky) and how to find the Kentucky Proud label at your local grocer.  This is followed by John Pelphry explaining that it makes sense because, “it’s fresher and just tastes better.” Finally Ritchie takes back the reigns and suggests that we should join their team and buy Kentucky Proud produce.  Continue reading

Easy Like Sunday Morning

I was having a difficult time narrowing down the particular area of pastoral I really wanted to focus on.  Mostly, I think because there are so many things I want to touch on and when I get ideas in my head it just keeps going and going! I suppose, however, that as it pertains to writing, that’s not always a bad thing.  I’ve always been slow to make decisions anyways; it used to drive my family crazy.

I think what I would like to focus my first paper on is a longing for simpler times. I lived in Lexington but spent a lot of time venturing to Winchester on the weekends. When I was young, each Sunday morning after church, my parents would take me t the farm in Winchester, where my dad’s parents lived.

Continue reading