Wednesday, November 2, 2016

30 Day Blog Challenge: days 1 and 2

I realized recently that this blog has lain dormant for too long. I never know what to write about. Of the thousands of words I have written, I have done very little creative writing since college. My life at the keyboard has been spent presenting the facts. So, I went to Pinterest and found some blogging pins.  I searched blog ideas. I found a few. I am now getting emails about starting a blog; I've had a blog for years, I don't need to START one, I need to give it CPR. I also found this challenge. It is quite introspective, something I tend to shy away from. I will definitely be moving out of my comfort zone.

Since this is coming to you on the 2nd of November, I have obviously already "failed" at the 30 days. So today will be a double topic. I actually think it will get easier as the month progresses. Days one and two are to 1. Describe your relationship and 2. Where do you see yourself in 10 years.
Weighty subject matter!

I am not in a relationship, unless cats count? I also am not sure how I sit here 48 years old and have never been married, have not even been close since my 20s. So, I guess it is time for some self inspection. I work. I have a full time job and a couple side jobs. I have almost all my adult life worked multiple jobs, and early mornings, both of which make it easy to say no if someone asks you out, and I have witnessed enough relationship foul a workplace that I would not date a co-worker. Layer one of the protective circle.

In your 20s, even with a grueling schedule there were many other singles, so there were opportunities for socialization, that got harder and harder as I got older. I also look at the many moves my career took me on, it seemed every new community it was harder to make social friends, versus work friends, until I just gave up and stayed home with my cats and  a book.
I also feel that while I am back in my home town, and know just about everyone, social circles are set, and no one has invited me in. I'm too socially awkward to invite myself. So I do feel envious when a group of ladies come in for a girls night when I'm bartending.

Wow, this has really turned into a pity party! So time to stop! What it boils down to, is that I am NOT happy with my relationship status, but damned if I know how to change it. I have tried on line dating. Thought I met a decent guy, dated for a year and caught him cheating.  That is something that I have zero tolerance for. If you are unhappy in a relationship you have two clear choices. The first is the hardest, FIX THE PROBLEM, many people apparently don't understand that a good relationship takes two people, working hard to keep it good. The second choice is to get out. If you are unhappy, chances are your partner is too. That is the easy way. The slimy way is to cheat. I guess another reason I'm still single is that I feel NO relationship is better than a BAD relationship. I don't understand otherwise strong women who stay with guys who are verbally or physically abusive, the need to not be alone overwhelming their self preservation. Just don't get it.

I'm going to shush on the day one topic, obviously I can get wound up! Day two's topic is even harder for me to write about. So many times in my life I have made those long term plans and goals, and then a few months down the road ownership change, mass layoffs and all my hopes and dreams get shattered and I am looking for the next gig. So sadly, at my age, I have become a superstitious old hag and hate to dream or plan a future more than a few months to one year down the road.

Your thoughts and experiences? Advice for how I can get out of my rut that has become as comfortable as a favorite sweatshirt?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

2015 Crop Outlook

This is the time of year when farmers are spending time learning and planning for the coming crop year. Last week farmers gathered in Paullina to hear  three speakers talking about topics ranging from the outlook for ethanol, transitioning the farm to the next generation and the price outlook for 2015. There was good news and not so good news.
Randy Ives, the ethanol services director for Gavilon, told the audience that ethanol exports may be the key to supporting corn prices.

Check this out on Chirbit

David Baker, Farm Transition Specialist at the  Beginning Farmer Center shared the keys to transitioning the farm operation from one generation to the other. He also is working with an organization to bring the new generation of veterans into agriculture.

Check this out on Chirbit

And the final speaker was Chad Hart, Extension Economist with his outlook for farm prices for 2015. His outlook was not optimistic. His figures and Extension Climatologist Elwin Taylors forecast point to a 2015 corn crop identical in size to the crop from 2014, 171 million bushels. That will put pressure on corn prices,

Check this out on Chirbit

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Crop Fair will have timely information for producers

This is the time of year where farmers and ranchers are busy not in the field, but at meetings, trade shows and seminars. As the business of food and fiber production becomes more complex, continuing education becomes a vital part of a solid business plan. Farmers and ranchers will spend a considerable amount of time over the next 2 months learning. One of those opportunities is on Wednesday, February 4th. The Iowa Corn Crop Fair will be held at the American Legion in Paullina. Doug Ebel of Iowa State Bank to talk about the event,

Check this out on Chirbit
Here are those details again:  February 4, 8:30-12:30 American Legion, Paullina IA.
Contact the bank by end of day February 2nd so they can get a good count for lunch.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Please be safe in the field

#Harvest2014 is underway across rural america. Here in Northwest Iowa, there are some early beans coming out, and silage chopping is somewhere in the middle of harvest. This has not been a good year for farm safety.

 Do a Google search for 2014 Farm accidents, and along with the humorous (for us) failures of common sense that got caught on video, you will find these headlines:
That's too many lives lost on the farm.  And too many YOUNG lives lost.  It is difficult to keep safety top of mind, we all get in a hurry, stressed by the pressures of the job, keeping an eye on the markets, the weather, the monitors.... everything.

Remember please, if something gets jammed, turn the machine off, take the key out, put it in your pocket, and only then start to work on the problem.  When I had John Hansen here to talk about Creekfest (which was AWESOME!) I took the opportunity to chat about farm safety.

 John can speak to farm safety from a couple different angles... He's a farmer and a truck driver, hauling livestock all over the region, and he's a Paramedic, who has responded to many farm accidents. John is also one of  the most requested trainers in the country to talk about responding to agricultural accidents. I've taken his class.... he truly is one of the best!

So, please take a few minutes to listen to our conversation.

Check this out on Chirbit

Download it, share it with your neighbors, and please, please, please, be safe this harvest.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Logistics and Lifeguarding: Really Living with Cystic Fibrosis

 In November 1992, The Paullina Times featured 11 month old Ethan Pauling, and his recent diagnosis with Cystic Fibrosis. His Parents Craig and Susan were just learning how to manage his medical needs. In  the mid-90s the family moved to Texas. Ethan is now  in his 20s, and in his 5th year at University of Texas, Austin majoring in environmental science. He works as a life guard on a beach in Galveston.
Looking at Ethan, and talking with him,  you wouldn’t know he spends hours of his day managing his medical condition.  Google Cystic Fibrosis and this is what it tells you: “Cystic fibrosis is a disease passed down through families that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body. It is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults. It is a life-threatening disorder.” Treatment involves a strict routine of nebulizers and medications to keep the symptoms at bay.
Ethan says he hasn’t let that stop him from doing what he wants to do, well, it did keep him from playing football, there was too much risk of dehydration. “I played soccer, and swam in high school, and was good at it. I’m pretty happy with my life right now. I don’t get disappointed or depressed, really about anything. Sometimes I think it would be nice to not have to worry about going off camping somewhere and not worry about waking up and having to feel better. But I have been able to go camping.”
He says he has inhalers that work really well for him, but the nebulizer needs electricity, which makes it challenging to go backpacking.
Ethan does have advice for parents whose child is diagnosed with CF: “My parents never really discouraged me from doing anything… if I had a kid with CF I would let him do what he wants to do and find a way for him to be happy. That’s mainly it.”
He says the logistics of managing CF are always in the back of his mind, but he doesn’t let it keep him from having fun with friends and pursuing the things he wants to do. “It’s time consuming.” He says if he stays with friends he takes a backpack full of his medications and nebulizer, but he still goes and has fun.  “always in the back of my head I have to think about my treatments and medicines.”
He also plays on the club water polo team at UT, noting that exercise is very important to help keep his lungs clear. He says lifeguarding has been a good job for him, they have mandatory workouts where they might have to run 3 miles or swim as far. He says Galveston Bay is fairly calm, but they do have to keep swimmers away from the jetties and the sea wall.
To learn more about Ethan, listen to our interview!  

Check this out on Chirbit

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Time for a party in the pasture

From humble beginnings, to a premiere music event headlined by one of the hottest bands in the country, Creek Fest has come a long way in 5 years. I sat down recently with one of the organizers, John Hansen to talk about the event coming up this weekend.

Check this out on Chirbit
You can also get the details at the event website. If you go to the show after hearing about it here, stop at the EMS tent Friday night and say hey.