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Columns

  • A lesson learned in being prepared

    Tiller saved the farm. It started out as a typical evening. I came home, fed the dogs, loaded and started the dishwasher and then went out and dug sweet potatoes. I came in about dusk, changed into my lounge pajamas, loaded a DVD and ate a bowl of chili. That’s when Tiller started talking.

  • Teen’s friends can have positive, negative impact

    The teenage years can be rough on teens and parents, as young people strive for independence and parents learn how and when to let go.

    One of the most common stresses teens feel is influence from their friends. While teens want to be independent, they also seek acceptance and advice from their friends.

    As children move from middle elementary into pre-teen years, they begin to devote more time to their friends than their family members.

  • Proud of my wife and teachers just like her

    I probably don’t tell her enough, but I am beyond-words proud of the lady that looked me in the eye on that July afternoon and said, “I do.”

    She’s a teacher.

    She’s a public school teacher at that. And she is part of the most under-appreciated, misunderstood and wrongly maligned profession in the world today.

    Obviously, there are some people working in classrooms who probably should be doing something else. That’s true with any profession. But don’t lump the vast majority in the basket with the bad apples.

  • Better mousetrap? Try duct tape, steel wool

    I love the way Mother Nature adapts us to her weather with a cold one day and hot the next.

    We’ve entered the all-season month. October gives us time to adjust to the coming cold and get all those outside chores done, before we start to hibernate, and we’re not alone. Lots of four legged critters are looking for their warm winter home.

  • Don’t dismiss potatoes as a healthy meal choice

    Potatoes are not fattening. They are an inexpensive source of carbohydrates and fiber plus they are fat free. Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6.

    Potatoes have gotten a bad name from the company they keep. If you fry potatoes and add lots of butter and sour cream, then they aren’t a healthy choice. There are many healthy ways to prepare the ordinary potato.

  • Beware prussic acid poisoning as frost nears

    Although prussic acid poisoning can occur anytime during the growing season, the greatest risk is usually associated with the first frost in Kentucky.

    The primary cause of hydrocyanic (prussic) acid poisoning in domestic animals is the ingestion of plants containing this potent toxin. Cyanide-producing compounds (cyanogenic glucosides) occurring in living plant cells are converted to prussic acid when cells are crushed or otherwise ruptured.

  • Using old wives’ tales to predict winter

    Welcome to October. Let the leaves come tumbling down. Our leaves have started to show their true colors and while they do look beautiful hanging from the trees, the sooner they make a carpet the happier I’ll be. Weather folklore says the longer they hang on the tree, the worse winter will be.

  • Might be a good year for creep feeding calves

    With record-high cattle prices, many Kentucky beef producers might look to creep feeding to put additional weight on calves before weaning.

    Beef specialist’s at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture usually are very cautious of the recommendation that we creep feed calves however, they believe creep feeding may provide an opportunity this year. If producers are careful, they could cash in.

  • Time to ensure your vaccines are up to date

    Interesting health and illness statistics arrive weekly in my email. The Centers for Disease Control issues a weekly report on notifiable diseases and mortality tables. One of the reports is “provisional cases of infrequently reported notifiable diseases” (less than 1,000 cases reported during the preceding year.) A few of these are diseases that were once eliminated in the United States.

    Work is progressing worldwide to eliminate diseases such as polio and measles but total eradication hasn’t happened yet.

  • Shorter days mean winter is on its way

    The slow roll into winter has begun. The sun is rising after 7 a.m. and dropping before 8 p.m., and we have already started to adapt our lives. How many times were you just coming inside to eat dinner at 9 p.m. this summer? Surely I’m not the only one.

    We adapt our lives to fit each season. Besides cleaning out our closets to make room for the bulky clothes of winter, we’re probably cleaning out our sheds to make room for tool storage and lawn chairs.