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Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. --Anatole France

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I am an animal lover.   Yes, life would be “easier” daily if I wasn’t so smitten, but I can not imagine a life without a furry friend.   Dogs were my first creature of choice, cats a close second and about 7 years ago I was introduced to a new four-legged friend, the African Boer Goat.   A relative mentioned to my daughter that she needed to get a couple to show at the fair.   My son already had a flock of sheep as his 4H project.   I had been raised on a cattle farm, but cows are big, and we wanted to have something that was smaller and easier for our daughter and younger son to handle.   If you’ve ever been around a Boer goat, you learn quickly that each one has its own personality, much like a dog or cat.   They can easily become a pet. So began my relationship with goats.   We now own 39 head of Boer Goats, 28 of them will kid this winter and I am planning to increase our herd.   My family is becoming more involved in the industry all the time.   I am a member of the Iowa Meat Goat

It’s a reminder that our freedoms weren’t free

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 It’s probably been close to a year ago when local veteran Bob Waugh was the guest at our Keosauqua Rotary program.  He spoke about the American Legion and mentioned that he was going to be installing flag poles as a fundraiser for the Legion over the coming months.  I didn’t think a lot of it at the time, but 1 by 1 I started to notice new flag poles popping up across Jefferson and Van Buren County over the course of the past year.  As flag poles popped up at a couple of my neighbor’s places, I started to feel like our place looked bare without the flag.  When Bob installed our family’s flagpole a few weeks ago, he told me it was number 78 that he had done, and he had several more yet to install. I really appreciate Bob for the work he is doing.  Not only is his work aesthetically pleasing, but there was an educational element to the project at our house.  While installing our flagpole he took the time to discuss flag etiquette with our young daughter and teach her a few things she di

KnowBe4 Security Tips - Protect Yourself Against Card Skimmers

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    With the convenience and seemingly secure way of paying at the gas station pump and using drive-up ATMs, cybercriminals are now targeting these locations. They are using this technology called Card Skimmers to read and record your card information in a matter of seconds. With each Card Skimmer being able to hold details on about 80 cards, protecting yourself at gas station pumps and ATMs should be a priority now more than ever. How Does It Work? Card Skimmers are physical devices that cyber criminals attach to the credit card reader. The card skimmer then reads the magnetic strip on the card to gather your full name, the card number and the expiration date. Once the skimmer reads your card information, the cybercriminals can then sell your information or use it to gain access to your bank account. These skimmers are designed to fit tightly over the real card reader at

Always a Horse

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If you have never ridden a horse this might be hard to understand, but there is a power, a freedom, and peace about it.   On the back of my horse is one of my happy places.   Since the age of around five I have had a pony or a horse. Starting with my pony General, the beginning of love for the soul and the spirit of a horse.   A fter G eneral came Satin, my Welsh pony.  I spent so many hours with this horse. H e could pull a cart that my parents bought for me. I taught him to lay down and sit up. We barrel raced at Douds Field Day along with all other kinds of events. We swam across ponds, camped out in old barns, rode thru parades, moved and worked cattle. We were trusted friends. I was blessed to have had the opportunity as a child to have a horse. When we bought our farm in the early 90s, I had to have a horse and then came Jewel.  She was a kind soul with a beautiful spirit. We had a lot of good years together. We did hours of trail riding, rode to the Ft Madison Rodeo and camped i

Wow...10 Years!

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As I sit here and ponder what I should write about, something my mom told me when I was a teenager crept inside my thoughts.   “Never wish your life away.   The years go by so much faster the older you get.”   I remember thinking, no way was that going to happen to me.   I couldn’t wait to go to college, get married, and start my family, but as much as I hate to admit it, she was right. I started working at Libertyville Savings Bank in September 2010 as a teller.   My daughter Shelby was twelve at the time and my son Zach was only seven.   Not only am I now celebrating ten years at LSB, Shelby is now a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Genetics and Zachary is going to be a senior at Fairfield High School with plans to also attend ISU to study Electrical Engineering. As my kids have grown and evolved in their lives, I have also grown and evolved.   Within the first year of being at LSB, I became the Deposit Compliance Officer as well as being a teller.   Five years ago,

For the Love of a Dog

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  I have owned my fair share of dogs over the years and have loved them all, but what I have seen develop between Blake and his dog, Gunner, is something special.   Our youngest son, Blake, who is 11 years old, got his first puppy, Gunner in July of 2019. Gunner was about 8 weeks old when we brought him home, an English Chocolate Lab, the last of a litter from Ryan and Randi Troutman. It didn’t take Gunner long to settle into his new routine.   Between Blake and our older beagle, Bluegill, Gunner learned the ropes.   Blake taught him to sit, stay, lay down and go up and down a loading ramp.   He taught him to load into the ranger and kennel into his kennel.   They wrestle each other, jump in the creeks and ponds, and play keep away daily.   Then COVID hits, and Blake is home more than ever without baseball or school.   Gunner is his go-to playmate.   They travel miles through the timber, down the old dirt road, and through the pastures exploring together.   Whenever Blake is outside, G

No Place Like Home

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  I’m a home body…always have been.    The farm is my favorite place to hang out, and I’ve never been more gr ate ful for it.    With the world slowed down, I’ve spent more time enjoying my favorite  past imes. I like working in my flower beds, on landscaping projects and on my never ending “to-do” l ist.   It’s a great feeling to cross something off that list.   The problem is, I’m usually adding to it faster than I’m crossing off.   I always love spending time with my pets.   They put life into perspective.   Their favorite evening is when I read a book on the patio.   You’ll find them right beside me…a contest of which one of them can get the closest.   Cooking and b aking are also a favorite.  I’m trying new recipes; including my first attempts at key lime pie and homemade strawberry ice cream.  Some recipes are more successful than others.  I cons ider myself an amateur, but I enjoy the creative outlet.  Hope you’re finding ways to enjoy the “silver linings” in these wonky times.