Author: admin

How To Become ‘Food Secure’

Years ago, I discovered that the cheapest and easiest (well, sort of–canning is hot, hard work) way to have a full pantry was to raise/grow and can, dry or freeze as much food as possible for my family so that we were ‘Food Secure’. By doing this, not only did I know that I had enough feed to feed my kids but I’ve always known exactly what was in the food my family consumed. It’s a late afternoon in July as I write this.  The multitudes of birds in the shelterbelt and backyard trees are singing their evening songs as a gentle breeze cools my face after the heat of the day.   Tonight, the sky is clear blue and quiet without the distant rumble of black clouds and the crackle of streaks of white lightning zigzagging across the horizon. The two latest batches of baby kittens have come out of their hiding places among the peonies and roses to race and tumble as they play games in the front yard–well away from Miss Maggie, the Shetland sheepdog. I hear our pair of wild Canadian geese talking to each other as they pass overhead, en-route to their nighttime resting place on the big dam below the house.  I haven’t seen any little goslings this year, and I’m afraid that the snapping turtles may have made lunch out of the baby...

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Time for a LTC Game Plan

Dear Michael: I am a person who has been retired for some time now. During my lifetime, my husband and I worked hard. He farmed and I worked at a good job where I have a pension and was able to accumulate some retirement savings. My husband died about three years ago and now I live alone–except for my son who lives nearby on the family farm and now does the farming. Back in the day, my husband and I took long-term care insurance… Dear Michael: I am a person who has been retired for some time now. During my lifetime, my husband and I worked hard. He farmed and I worked at a good job where I have a pension and was able to accumulate some retirement savings. My husband died about three years ago and now I live alone–except for my son who lives nearby on the family farm and now does the farming. Back in the day, my husband and I took long-term care insurance, but only for one hundred dollars per day. We did take compound inflation at the time, and now I’m insured for about one hundred and eighty dollars per day. How do I make certain that my son keeps the farm and my daughter gets my savings and I don’t spend it all in a nursing home? –Home Alone.   Dear Home...

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Dr. Farmer Expresses Appreciation For Rural Life

Rural folks understand and appreciate community life. Not only does it take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to sustain people and families. A village contributes to a high quality of life. People pitch in to give support and leadership in order for vital community functions to continue to exist. The importance of community with its institutions, celebrations and traditions helps define who people are and what they stand for. They cherish a common history and look forward with hope to a future together. They understand and support community events and traditions that make a community a community. Rural leaders.  I stand in awe of community-minded local leaders who are unselfish, visionary, inclusive and skillful at organizing themselves. They have a gift of social and political skills to balance the interests of those who depend on each other over a lifetime. They trust each other. They cooperate. They put in long hours behind the scenes. Their example of civic responsibility inspires subsequent generations of leaders who know how to work together for the good of the whole. Rural leaders cut through obstacles and red tape with a “can do” attitude. In the process, they enjoy light-hearted fun, friendships and camaraderie. They do it because it needs to be done and their hands are needed. They are the glue, the vision and the life-blood for the...

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Is the bag half-full, or half-empty?

Download Related File Does the old “principled” adage about the glass being half-empty or half-full have as much application to groceries as it does about attitude? In-spite of those that took umbrage with me after reading my last column, I believe it does… Is the bag half-full, or half-empty?  (Groceries, that is.) Does the old “principled” adage about the glass being half-empty or half-full have as much application to groceries as it does about attitude? In-spite of those that took umbrage with me after reading my last column, I believe it does. Commodity prices are still high and there is uncertainty about a late spring and forecasted growing conditions. But the argument about high commodity prices having much affect on our grocery bill, still doesn’t hold much water; especially pre-packaged, fabricated product. As pointed out in my last article, meat is still the exception. Livestock producers don’t have the luxury of pseudo economics. The price of feed is still his biggest expenditure. The ratio of grain input in his cost of production is totally upside-down in comparison to that of producing a box of corn flakes. Consumers should be more concerned about things like the drought in Texas cattle country, and high grain prices forcing livestock producers out of business. The pennies involved in the cost of a bag of groceries are inconsequential compared to that of the farmers...

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Is The Glass Half-Full Or Half-Empty?

My daughter (Pam) and I were sitting in the Doctor’s office waiting for her name to be called. As we sat there visiting, we made a point of acknowledging the gentleman sitting next to us. He was a gregarious sort of guy that seemed to have more than a passing interest in our conversation. We were commenting on a magazine article that was focused on “Is the glass half-empty or half-full?”. He had a unique take on the concept and didn’t hesitate to expound upon his theory. He was quick to point out that if you ever look at the glass as half-empty, you may as well as haven’t even looked, as you will see no hope. A half-full glass would give no more hope than one that is empty. And if your perception of fullness is based on an illusion, it will crash on the emptiness of reality. Taken to another level, it has since helped to explain the trouble I got into when I was a little boy – sent to get a bag of groceries. The bag was half-full, half-empty, full, and empty – all in the same trip. The trip to the grocery store was most unique, as part of our farm was located in the city limits. This wasn’t a very big town, and my Dad (Harland) was mayor. So it wasn’t like walking...

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