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Columns

  • Difficult decisions help maintain fiscally stable school budget

    Every year, just a few months after a new school year begins, the Anderson County Board of Education begins its financial planning for the next school year.
    In the fall, the district begins planning by making projections for student enrollment and average daily attendance (ADA).
    ADA is the foundation for each districts’ SEEK funding, as public school districts receive a flat rate per student based on ADA, not enrollment.
    For 2012-13 the rate, will revert back to 2008 levels at $3,833 per student in ADA; this amount is less than the previous year.

  • Cleaning, playing will help burn unwanted calories

    It’s time to weed the garden.
    I like being outdoors but weeding isn’t my favorite activity. I’d rather be walking or hiking somewhere else.  At least I can count it as part of my daily physical activity.
    So I don’t have to walk three miles every day to stay physically active. Here are some activities that you may have on your “to-do” list and approximately how many calories you will burn while you are doing them.

  • Clover in yard keeps pests out of garden

    This Sunday is the full flower moon and Mother Nature has gone all out to decorate. I simply love watching all the wildflowers show their colors on the farm and along the roadside.
    While most of the wild phlox purples have faded, hairy vetch still offers its royal colors.
    The snow white blossoms of the brambles are hanging all for all their worth. Add to that the fields of white clover surrounding the wild roses, all in a sea of green, and my canvas is complete.

  • Eating smart this summer will help control your diabetes

    Summer is just around the corner, and it seems as if everyone is thinking about getting in shape, hitting the pool or beach and buying those sandals and sunglasses.  Just remember, with all those summer barbeques and family reunions coming up, you have to keep your eating habits in shape, too.
    Making healthy food choices, even while on vacation, is a key step to staying healthy, feeling better and most importantly keeping your diabetes in control.

  • Extension offers information for weather-watchers, too

    I work with weather watchers. Farmers need to watch the weather to produce good outcomes for crops and protect livestock under certain conditions. Decisions in agriculture are based on many factors including the weather, genetics, and economics.

  • This tree hugger now has six new trees

    I have trees in my kitchen. Yes, I know it’s not what you’d expect to find, even on a farm, but the mower can’t get to them inside.
    Since Earth Day, I’ve acquired six new trees, and they’re all babies. You knew I was a tree hugger, right?
    They’ll go into the ground just as soon as I decide where they’ll be happy. I will also put a little mulch and wire around them, to ensure that I don’t drive over them with the mower.

  • When food is sugar free, look more closely

    Last week I met with the group at the Senior Center to discuss carbohydrate counting, diabetes management and sugar free foods.
    The big question was if sugar free foods are really good for you.  
    The true definition of a sugar free food is that it has less than .5g of sugars. Some manufacturers are not complying with the FDA regulations that any sugar free food that is not low or reduced in calories should disclose that fact.  

  • Offense is worst defense

    We’ve perfected the art of being offended.
    Correction.
    We love perfecting the art of being offended.
    People stumble all over themselves — and their computer keys — to be the first to offer their shock, disgust and outrage.
    Pick a war, any war: the war on Christmas, the war on women, even the ridiculously hyped presidential election doggie wars.
    Pick a side, and get your fake rage on.  
    I suppose it’s how you can remind yourself of your own humanity, that at least you’re not as bad as that guy.

  • Too chicken to fight fires, but at least firefighters aren’t

    Sweat stinging my eyes and breathing super-heated air, I exited a burning house last Saturday morning with a long-held belief firmly intact: Firefighters are absolutely out of their ever-lovin’ minds.
    Anderson County Fire Chief Mike Barnes invited me to a house burning that morning near the Four Roses Distillery, saying that I could get a taste of what it’s like to be inside of a burning building.

  • Gardening is good way to combat food prices

    May is just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but my engines are revving and it’s about time to let the clutch out.
    I’ve been working outside every possible moment, trying to get projects done before I get busier than a three-legged cat in the sand box.
    The frost nipped my beans on the night before we were supposed to get frost and killed off most of my early squash. I really wanted the beans to make it and they may yet, but I’m replanting.