Cow Appreciation Day

Hi all,

As a fan of food, I’ve come to appreciate anything fresh and high-quality. This rules out most fast food, though I have a few favorites like Qdoba and Panera. But, folks, my all time favorite fast food chain is another level of delicious: Chick-Fil-A. I don’t eat there very often, because a) it’s kind of pricey and b) it’s not very healthy. But when I do, man do I savor it.

That’s why I continue a personal tradition I began with a few friends in 2011. Every year in July, Chick-Fil-A hosts their annual Cow Appreciation Day. This year, if dressed like a cow, you received a free entree. In years past, you received a free meal if you were fully in costume, and a free entree with just a cow accessory. I suspect they changed the rules this year to avoid arbitrating the difference between an outfit and an accessory. But don’t get me started on that…

Last year, I was working in Evanston and completely forgot about Cow Appreciation Day. That is, until my mom texted to inform me she’d already hit two locations (did I mention obsession runs in the family?) Ask my coworkers, but I shrieked out loud. Even if I’d had time to plan it out, there were only 2 locations nearby, and both were a good hour away in the city.

This year, the one highlight to moving home was the idea that I could regain this old tradition. In 2014, I hit 9 locations. Since then, another location opened and I was determined to beat my old record. There are 11 locations within a reasonable distance of me, and the plan was to go to all of them.

This morning, armed with a full tank of gas, an empty cooler and a cowbell, I set off. Eighty-six miles later, I’m proud to say I did indeed make it to all 11 locations. Here are a few highlights from my day, along with some photos.

  • An old man asked to take a photo of me to send to his friends. I was in full cow attire; how could I say no?
  • I took a photo of three moms with their kids, who were all mooing. You better believe when I have kids, we’re going all out.
  • An elderly couple at another location said, “You must either be a daycare worker or a pediatric nurse!” I said, “No, I’m unemployed…”
  • I lost my car key leaving one location. I turned my purse inside out looking for it, asked the store manager if anyone had found a key, and even looked in the trash before my friend found it in the trash on the second go-around…. Go figure.
  • I had to explain to people at several different locations why I was dressed as a cow and wearing a cowbell. Better step up the advertising next year, Chick-Fil-A!
  • But employees at every location told me “Great costume!” I think it was the cowbell that did it.
    Cow outfit
    Before the day began. Sorry you can’t see the cowbell

    CAD sign

    Laguna Hills CFA
    Breakfast was this chicken burrito.

    Costa Mesa CFA

  • Foothill Ranch CFAIrvine CFA option 2
    Laguna Niguel CFA
    Lunch was this Cobb salad.

    Marketplace CFA

    Newport CFA
    Fashion Island folk are too cool to be seen in cow couture.
    Newport Cow
    The only location where no one was dressed as a cow and they had a cow mascot. Go figure.

    Santa Ana CFAUCI CFATustin CFA

    Aliso Viejo CFA
    My final stop. Not pictured: the sandwich. I actually had to pay for the milkshake.

Hope you enjoyed my strange adventure and the chronicling thereof.
Until next time,

Some of my writing/rambling thoughts from finals week

Hi all,

I thought I would gradually begin posting some of the things I’ve written over the years. Although I aspire to be an investigative writer and reporter, I once thought of majoring in creative writing or English. I turn to writing when I have too many thoughts floating too fast through my head. Here’s something I wrote during my finals week last fall quarter. It was a tumultuous time, full of work and anxiety about achieving my goal GPA. While it was an admirable goal, I learned a bit about the difference between meaningful and meaningless standards. And I’ve since learned that many of the emotions I was feeling at that time came from separation from God.


I can only type in Times New Roman.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the goings-on of the everyday. The problem is you forget what matters most, the drumbeat within your soul. You get caught up in the doing so much that you lose the feeling. It’s a scary realization. Terrifying, actually.

Damn I’m lonely. There’s no reprieve for the weight of the world’s emotions: loneliness; love lost; love gained, but not by you. Deep, deep darkness filters out all the light. You are lost in it. And sometimes you don’t want to find your way out.

I switch tenses, pretending it’s YOU that’s lost, not ME, not I. If I am lost, it is because I wasn’t following directions. Maybe sometimes I want to get lost. Explore in the wilderness, instead of following the route to my destination. A side trip, if you will. What always comes of these side trips is a mediocre revelation, or a vision of interest. It’s never the beautiful vista I’d expected, though. It comes with a tinge of sadness, having an expectation of something more that is never fulfilled.

I like to start paragraphs and sentences with I. These are my words, my thoughts, so I am allowed this liberty. It feels good to write, to get my emotions, daily suppressed, down onto the screen. I don’t do it enough because I know there are other more important things I should be doing, productive, means to an end. But what is more productive than pouring your tears and sorrows out, letting them flow like blood from a wound so that you may be healed?

When I do this, I feel a tingling that seems to originate from my heart, but maybe it’s deeper than that. It’s the feeling pouring back into my veins after a long hibernation. My heart is raw, my soul sliced open, no longer numb to emotions. In this moment, I feel the weight and depth of them, which cannot be measured by any traditional method, and take in the sensation: I am alive.


xx, Brooke


So I decided to start a blog…

Hello there,

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Brooke Wanser, and I’m a recent college graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where I received my Bachelor of Science in Journalism. Now, I’ve moved back to my hometown of Mission Viejo, California, where I am anxiously applying for jobs and learning to trust in God’s timing.

Why am I starting a blog? I’ve never felt comfortable with the idea of sharing intimate details of my life on social media. In the type of journalism I’m attracted to, the writer is in the background, not a character in the story. After the promptings of several people, however, I finally decided it might be a good idea to step outside my comfort zone. Other reasons are: it seems like fun, I have too much free time and I probably need to “brand myself” (what am I, livestock?)

What will this blog be about? Things that interest me, and maybe you too. Some topics that might come up: my love for country music and my notion of the country lifestyle, God, probably social policy, definitely coffee, food, fitness and living a balanced lifestyle, beautiful places, some of my writing and my wanderings around Orange County. When I created this account, WordPress prompted me to choose which category I wanted to put my blog into: fitness and health, or writing and books, or education, or business. That seemed silly to me, because I don’t want to box what I have to share into one category. And that just about sums me up.

More content to come…

xx, Brooke