Tuesday, June 13, 2017


As many of you know, I have had my share of dogs over the years.  When I was a little girl, I think I asked for a puppy every year for Christmas. Finally, after what seemed like years and years, my wish came true.  There he was. A Blue Merle Collie that I named Duffy.  He was my companion on the farm growing up.  A friend that I have never forgotten. 
Since that first friend, there has been very little time that my family has not had a dog.  When I got married I gave my husband a Black Lab for Christmas one year. We have had more than one Lab over the years.  They are great dogs.
One of the best dogs we ever had was a Blue Heeler (Angus) that we got my daughter as a puppy for Christmas when she was around 6 years old.  He was with us all the time.  He went with us when we went horseback riding, 4wheeler riding, mushroom hunting, you name it he was there. He never let you out of his site and was as loyal as they come.  As he aged he became diabetic.   His vision became weak and he had arthritis.  For a few years, it was insulin shots twice a day and pain medication and a soft bed on the back porch.   Despite his condition he always wanted to try and come along, whatever we were doing.  We lost Angus a year and a half ago, tough day.
I wasn’t sure we needed another dog or had the time for a puppy with all its energy and the training it would require. My daughter kept showing me pictures on Facebook of all the cute Blue Heelers and was certain we needed another.  She showed me an Australian Cattle dog rescue from Illinois, and we started following their page on Facebook.  They had dogs for adoption daily.  It was amazing how many dogs needed homes.  Months passed and I watch dog after dog on their page come up for adoption and be adopted.
One day last September there was a dog on the page named Bolt.  He was a young male, approximately a year old, a stray from Oklahoma and quite the looker!   Against my better judgement I filled out adoption papers and sent them in.  Not as easy as you might think.  There were a lot of questions and specific requirements and a day later I got denied. Shocked, I called the rescue and asked why.  They require that these dogs be a part of your family, that means they live with you in the house. They felt very strongly that since they were being given a second chance, they wanted it to be with someone who wanted them to be a full-time part of the family.  There was one question that they did not like the answer to and once I clarified what I meant they agreed to approve my request to adopt Bolt.
The Rescue held meet and greets almost weekly in Chicago at a Petco or you can go to the rescue. It worked best for us to go to Chicago. So early one Saturday morning my husband, son Miles and I headed to meet Bolt.  He was a beautiful, energetic and athletic young guy. He rode home very well and to my amazement settled in nicely.  He was basically house broke and had received some training as he knew some basic commands. Six months later he is a special member of our family.  He is still full of energy and needs his exercise daily, but is full of love and makes us laugh. He often thinks he is a lap dog and has his place on the couch. 
For anyone who doesn’t think they are up to a puppy and what comes with those cute littles guys, I would highly recommend adopting a little bit older dog from a rescue. It was a great experience, and saved a very special dog that was just lost and wanted to be loved.      

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Surviving My First Year Of College

In my last blog, I talked about Zach deciding where he was going to go to college, scheduling college visits and how I was feeling about that whole process.  Now a year has flown by and he is home for the summer after his first year of college.  It is hard for me to believe that this school year is over already. It seems like just yesterday we were dropping him off in Iowa City.  I remember that day vividly as I was dreading leaving my oldest son to begin his future.
The first few months were very challenging for me. Although Zach seemed to have adjusted rather quickly.  I found myself texting him just to check in to see how his days were going and usually I would get a one word reply, which was fine, because then I knew that he was alive.  I did make it through the first semester without any major breakdowns and got used to not worrying about him being out until God knows when.  Then came the month-long Christmas break.  I was so looking forward to him being home.  Funny how you forget in just four months all the extras that accompanied him being home.  (Extra laundry, extra food, extra worrying about him being out late with friends.)  Sending Zach back to school in January was much easier than I thought it would be.  I could see that he was excited to get back into his routine.

 The second semester went by way faster than the first semester.  Zach was definitely at home at Iowa, making new friends and deciding to rush a fraternity.  When I first heard this news, I had a small panic attack, as I remembered the movie “Animal House”.  My husband, Jeff, was quick to calm my nerves, stating that not all college fraternities are like the movies.  He made it through being a pledge and will be inducted into fraternity the first week of school this fall.

 He is now home for the summer and working part time at LSB.  I can tell that his first year away from home was a good experience as he has grown up and not afraid to share his opinions (especially concerning his younger brother and sister).  All in all, I would say our first year of college was a success and I am looking forward to his accomplishments in his second year. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

What brightens your day?

     Have you recently thought about the many things in life that brighten your day?  How often do you think about your daily routine and what brings excitement to your otherwise ho-hum world?  Well, maybe you don’t ever have a ho-hum world, but if you do, what are the things you enjoy in life that re-charge your batteries?  Sharing time with family and friends is a common thread in all of us that is unbeatable.  So what do we all share with family and friends in day to day life that makes it special?  Maybe you like to go fishing, hunting, biking, golfing, gardening, farming, attend spectator events, cultural events, listen or play music, go on vacation, volunteer to help others, eat, sleep, aggravate someone, and the list goes on and on.  If you re-read the previous sentence, you will find some things that are toward the top of the list for me.  Of those that I enjoy, it’s kind of a toss-up on what is the greatest, or maybe not.
     One of my favorites is golf.  Everyone knows that the golf game is not exactly a great sport to keep you in shape.  I ride in a golf cart even though walking would be a better way to get exercise.  My heart doctor would praise me if I would walk.  The problem is, if I walk, I can’t play nearly as many holes in an afternoon as when riding the cart.  Case closed.  As a practical matter, golf does not do much for society other than keep us golfers pre-occupied.  When in high school, my aunt and uncle purchased a membership to the local club for our family to enjoy.  Before swinging a club for the first time, I thought golf was the worst, most boring sport in the world.  After playing on the high school golf team my senior year, it started to grow on me.  I quit the game while attending college, then picked up the clubs after graduation and never looked back.  The golf game has allowed me to meet so many great people along the way, which has been a never-ending opportunity to connect with others.

     Anyone that has been around me knows I have a tremendous weakness for chicken wings.  I have two brother-in-laws that raise cattle on the farm and they both snarl when I say chicken wings are the best.  A rib-eye steak on the grill during golf season is truly hard to beat, but a basket full of chicken wings are really, really good.  The wings need to have honey barbeque sauce coating to be the best (very messy to eat).  If you too are a chicken wing lover, I am one of those people you get mad at when eating at the Pizza Ranch, because I take more than my fair share of wings at the buffet line.  Anyway, there is no sign on the buffet line that says you are limited to one wing per customer.  So now, I ask you, where do you find the tastiest of all wings that make you feel like you are in wing heaven?  It isn’t Pizza Ranch, Buffalo Wild Wings, or Applebee’s.  I’ll give you a hint.  It rhymes with scooters.
     And then there is music.  Since grade school, singing and playing the trombone have been a constant for the past 53 years.  As a youngster, I never could have imagined the amount of fun music could be.  In high school, I struggled with playing the trombone, but teachers and parents kept me motivated.  I kept playing and singing while in college so it really became a fun way to meet people and share music.  The phrase to share music is my favorite, because, without others to play music with, or others to make music for, the passion to create music fades.  When sharing music, you see others are tapping their toes, or dancing to the tune, that’s when music is really fun.  I play and sing with two musical groups, sharing music with residents in care facilities all around the Keota area.  We play old songs that help bring fun memories to the listeners.  That makes the experience of sharing music as good as it gets.
     We all have things that we love to do.  For me, it helps change a ho-hum day into a day to remember.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Clues From Cash

KnowBe4 Security Tips - Unexpected Emails
When you receive an email from an online service or business partner that you are not expecting, proceed with caution.
For example, if you receive an email from eBay stating that you have just won an online auction, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself.
  • Are you a member of eBay? (This goes for online banking as well. If you receive an email from a bank you do not have an account with, do not click any links)
  • Did you bid on any auctions recently? (If you did not bid, you cannot have won)
This does not apply to eBay alone. The bad guys can use any online service such as banking, shopping and social networking to try and trick you.

Remember to Stop, Look, and Think before clicking on any email links.
When in doubt, open a web browser and visit the company website of the person who sent you the email. From there you can log in to your account to verify any activity that has taken place.
Do not click a link in the email to visit the site... Open a browser and type in the address of the company.

Stop Look Think - Don't be fooled
The KnowBe4 Security Team

Friday, April 7, 2017

Thoughts for Spring

As I write this it is raining and April 5th, 2017. It appears things are pretty soggy right now. The weather is cold and gloomy out and most people are longing to see the sun shine. Some years at this time the farmers are running hard and some of the early birds already have tried planting a little corn. Two weeks ago it looked as if this could be the case this year. It is interesting how things can change essentially overnight! It appears that it could be a week or two before we even have the opportunity to get in the fields! Right now I am thinking about the Rye that I need to kill on my farm and how it is getting taller than I want. How much will this affect ground temperatures? How quickly the corn will be able to emerge? Will the corn act sluggish on emergence like it did last year? How will the markets react to the threat of delayed planting? So many questions with so many different outcomes! As farmers, there is one thing that we can count on and this is the fact that everything is constantly changing! Just when you think you have it figured out, Mother Nature changes the plan!  I feel so fortunate that farming is an industry where there are so many different paths that an individual or a business can take to get to the same outcome. It is a very rewarding feeling being able to plant a crop and help it grow to its fullest potential. No matter what the prices are it is always a rewarding feeling when you get to the field and have the opportunity to harvest a bumper crop!  I feel very fortunate that I get to share this experience with my customers and understand the challenges that they face with agronomics and marketing. I would like to wish all farmers luck in this coming year and please be safe!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Culture, in business, is one of those new terms that is fuzzy, warm, and challenging to define.  LSB has spent the last decade developing, celebrating, measuring, and preserving our culture.

It started slowly, approximately 10 years ago, when we began to write and define standards for different areas of the bank.  One by one these standards were developed, practiced, shopped, and celebrated. Our culture team experimented and learned through success and failure.  The staff created a code to live by at work.  

Each year this culture team creates their own strategic plan on how to improve and maintain the LSB culture. They meet regularly to move projects ahead and are relentless in their vision.
LSB has been selected a “Top Places to Work in Iowa “three years running. We have also been ranked as one of the top culture banks in the nation through independent 3rd party surveys.  I am proud of our staff, culture team, and leadership team for their dedication in making LSB a fantastic place to work.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Live Your Life A-Z

Live Your Life A-Z

Attitude-is half the battle

Believein yourself and others

Change accept and embrace it

Dreamdream big; the opportunities are endless

Exerciseyour mind and your body

Funhave fun with everything you do

Gratefulshow appreciation and be grateful for what you have

Healthtake good care of yourself; it all starts with you

Independent –don’t depend on someone else to take care of you

Joy–always find joy in your life

Kindbe kind

Live, Laugh, Love –live every moment, laugh every day, love beyond words

Manners–always use good manners

Natural–excel in what comes natural to you

Optimistic – be and think positive

Productive accomplish things in life

Quiet –enjoy some peace and quiet

Responsible –be responsible

Successful–make good things happen

Toughbe able to handle adverse or difficult situations

Unique–make yourself different

Valuevalue your life; you only get one

Wisebecome wise, keep learning

Xanadulife is really a place of luxury and contentment

Yourself–don’t be someone you are not

Zanybe eccentric


God knows my life is not perfect, but I strive to live my life with these thoughts in mind.