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Dogs can make life less complicated

Thursday, November 26, 2009

“For the simple things, I am grateful. We complicate our lives to the point of total distraction from that which is most sacred, and that distraction keeps us from experiencing deep gratitude.” – Helen Hooven Santmyer When life gets a little too complicated, I like nothing more than to hang out with my dogs. Channing […]

Try to be a little Pollyanna-ish

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oh how my sister and I hated Pollyanna. Pollyanna — the heroine of a long-ago children’s book — was a symbol of relentless cheerfulness. No matter how dire the circumstance, the “little glad girl” managed to find something cheerful about it. The author who gave her birth — Eleanor H. Porter — in 1913 created […]

Meatless by choice, or by design?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Earlier this fall, Baltimore City Public Schools initiated its “Meatless Monday” menu that includes a cheese sandwich or cheese lasagna or a bowl of vegetables, but no meat options. None. “We hope Baltimore will become a national model for each school system in the nation to follow,” said Robert Lawrence, director of the Johns Hopkins […]

Grain harvest struggles to its conclusion

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

When prices go up and down, sometimes without reason, we call it “volatile.” When we can explain it, we describe cycles and retracements and corrections. We have a basket full of adjectives to describe the chicken-entrail sketching on our charts. This market we just describe as erratic.

A new favorite bird to monitor: Saw-whet Owls

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I have a new favorite bird — the northern saw-whet owl. Until last week, I’d never seen one in the wild. But on Wednesday, Joey Herron invited me to his banding station at Valley Falls State Park, just east of Fairmont, W.Va. “That storm on the East Coast,” he told me, “is going to push […]

Hazard A Guess: Week of Nov. 19, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Each week Farm and Dairy challenges readers to identify a small tool or gadget (or at least ‘hazard a guess’ as to its use).

One devil’s advocate thoughts

Thursday, November 19, 2009

If idle hands are the devil’s workshop, idle thoughts are, what, the product of a devil’s advocate? Maybe, but one election result from early November leaves plenty of room for thought, idle or otherwise. On Nov. 3, Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 2, a statehouse-directed ballot initiative to create a “Livestock Care Standards Board.” The […]

Critical responses to mandatory national service

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last week I suggested that mandatory national service in one of many different fields would be a good way to bridge the gap between high school and the real world. Furthermore, I suggested that FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) be resurrected as a form of national service. My perspective was to provide a work force […]

Life puts us where we are supposed to be

Thursday, November 19, 2009

“The bright sun filtered through the clouds, warming the fields of alfalfa that my father was mowing. Within a day or two it would be put into bales of hay, gathered from the field, stored in the hay loft and used to feed our livestock. I stood at the fence line with the lunch my […]

School trip is growing experience — for me

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Our sixth-grade son, Wonderboy, has gone to camp. Camp being yet another thing the school district cooked up specifically to test me. Much like the whole “Fifth graders totally belong in middle school with big giant huge children who look like they eat fifth graders for mid-morning snack!” They have helpfully decided that in sixth […]

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