To be a person is to have a story to tell. --Isak Dinesen

Storytelling is an ancient art and still at the heart of most meaningful relationships we have, be it with our families, our friends, our colleagues, or even companies. I love hearing other people’s stories, and I love telling stories about all the things I see around me. I think life is pretty darn hilarious . . . and heartbreaking . . . and everything in between, and often all in one day.

A Garden View

Posted by on Aug 18, 2013 in Iowa, Life | Comments Off

A grandmother's love

Grandma Phyllis with her great granddaughter in 2010

I cannot imagine many people on this planet have had the good fortune to have all four of their grandparents live in such close proximity to them as my brother, sister, and I did. I can’t imagine that any of them had finer people for grandparents, either. The two couples were as different as night and day in many respects, but we loved them all fiercely and their legacies in our family are powerful. (more…)

Simply Edamame

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 in Agriculture, Arkansas | Comments Off

I like my food simple, in part because I was raised in rural Iowa where our foods were very uncomplicated (except for a handful of truly strange jello “salads”) and partly because I don’t cook that much. I just don’t have the time. A few weeks ago I was a part of a great group of Arkansas bloggers who participated in the annual Bean2Blog event at P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm, sponsored by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. One of the things I learned was just how simple it is to incorporate soy, especially edamame, into a very simple eater’s diet. (more…)

Always Ride the Big Slide {Rogers Aquatic Center}

Posted by on Jun 22, 2013 in Arkansas, Life, Travel | Comments Off

My family loves water, and we frequented all of the local lakes, ponds, rivers, and swimming pools in our vicinity when I was kid. I was a scaredy cat, though, and I didn’t like diving from the high board and I often looked on as my brother and my friends did the fun stuff. My former in-laws cured me of all that. Because of them I learned to jump from the cliff at Lake of the Ozarks and to do lots of other stuff my mom would have gasped about (I will go ahead and confess here, Mom, that I also climbed the fence at the Shenandoah pool and went swimming many times at night as well as going swimming in the Nishnabotna River off the sand bars even though you warned against it. You were right, by the way.) (more…)

Losing Ground

Posted by on Apr 21, 2013 in Agriculture, Iowa | Comments Off

Loss of family farms meant changes in farm policies, especially for corn growers in the midwest.The moment I can’t escape, that our family farm story must start with, took place on a quiet summer evening in my rural Iowa hometown in the mid 1980s when I was 18.


Help for the Easter Bunny!

Posted by on Mar 30, 2013 in General, Parenting | Comments Off

Are you tired of spending hours hiding Easter eggs only to have the kids find them in a few minutes? Have you run out of creative ways to deceive your children and frustrate their fun on Easter morning?

Your troubles are now over! Just in time for your family Easter celebration comes the most exciting Easter innovation since colored plastic grass. (more…)

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