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Showing posts from 2013

Thanksgiving Survival Story

So, I bet everyone is wondering if I made it through my first hosting.The answer is YES!If you know me well enough, you know that I am a very organized and over analyze.So, I worried for nothing.Everything went off without a hitch.I learned that my family’s favorites are banana cream pie (made from scratch) and little smokies wrapped in bacon.Seriously, who can resist pork fat wrapped in pork fat?We all got to sit as a family and enjoy dinner and each other’s company, and to me that is what the holidays are all about.

Here is my Banana Cream Pie recipe:

You will need one pie crust blind baked.

For the filling:
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
5 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 medium bananas, peeled and sliced
Making the filling: Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a heavy saucepan off the heat.Gradually whisk in the milk and place over medium heat.Cook and stir constantly, until thick…

Gratitude

A group of us from work started gratitude journals a while back, daily entries for a year.It’s become a habit for me now, and is one of the first things I do every morning.I never have a problem coming up with my entries. I was raised to show thanks, appreciation and gratefulness to people.As my late mother would say, “No one gets through this life without some help and support along the way”.One of my recent entries caught me by surprise.

This past summer, I was officially diagnosed with a “life altering” auto immune disease.This shouldn’t have come as a shock to me, as I have been dealing with auto immune issues for a while now and there is prevalent family history, but it hit me like a rock.There is something about being officially diagnosed that I wasn’t prepared for.The hardest part for me was learning how severe my condition was.My levels were off the chart.I have a ton of support from family, co-workers, and friends, but I knew that the mental and physical endurance of this dise…

Rookie Thanksgiving

As I sat down on my sister-in-law’s couch, my husband says to me, “Great news! I volunteered you to host Thanksgiving this year!”  My first reaction was, “great”! I love cooking and hosting!  This will be awesome.  But as the days went on, I felt a twinge of anxiety setting in.  What are you thinking?  You have never hosted a huge family holiday?  What are you going to make?  Where is everyone going to sit?  What fun activities could I have for the kids?  What have I gotten myself into?  So as the days approach faster and faster, I am trying to get organized and make a master plan of what I will create for my first Thanksgiving dinner.  Do I stay traditional or go untraditional?  Do I put the turkey gizzards in the dressing like Mom or rely on Stove Top to make my stuffing?  Do I attempt to make a homemade pie or just stick to the freezer section at Hy-Vee?  I pride myself on always making my kid’s birthday cakes from scratch, so why am I freaking out over a little Thanksgiving dinne…

My Halloween Story

Halloween had never been a big deal to me until I became a mother.Then it took on a whole new meaning.My child’s costume had to be perfect!I spent hours and hours on it.Every little detail was so important, because it had to be the most “spectacular” costume ever created.One year in particular stands out in my memory.My sister and I always took our children out together trick or treating so we decided to have one of them dressed as a devil and the other as an angel that year.I purchased the pattern for the devil outfit, and got busy sewing it.When it was finished, it was cute but it needed something to make it “spectacular”.I decided I would put a wire in the tail so it would curl up instead of just drag on the ground.

Trick or treat night came and I dressed my little darling in his devil outfit.I was so proud.He and his cousin looked so cute!My sister and I couldn’t wait to take them to all the relatives and show them off.We hopped in the car and started on our annual trek to all th…

Alabama

When the bank was talking about adding new compliance software, I was ecstatic.That is, until I found out that I had to fly to Birmingham, Alabama for training on the software.I love to travel, don’t get me wrong.Flying just isn’t my thing!!!I have flown in the past, but in the past year and a half, I have flown twice for work.The time before that was my honeymoon 23 years ago.Unfortunately, turbulence and being sick made my honeymoon trip home a bad experience, one that I still carry with me.

My nervousness began the minute we hung up the phone with the software representative 9 months before the trip was to happen.As training time grew nearer, my nerves started working overtime.I wasn’t sleeping.I was eating like I was pregnant again.I was breaking out like a teenager.I was a grumpy mess that wasn’t able to focus on anything, but my flight.My friends tried to console me, but I still couldn’t shake the anxiety.Our flight left St. Louis airport on a Sunday evening at 7:50 pm.Never ha…

Pekin Alternative School

I went to visit the Pekin Alternative School kids earlier this month.When I called to make the appointment, my old friend of 30 years and the teacher, Lori, asked me if I had concerns about it.That, I found very interesting, but I suppose some would have inhibitions.I was totally looking forward to it; the chance to influence a youngster whom had already been positioned against the odds.Awesome!

Lori indicated that her class didn’t necessary follow the rigid schedule of the “standard” high school, but I was sure to get there before our agreed upon time.I went into the main office, where a very friendly young woman explained, “Oh, Mrs. Eads teaches the alternative kids (as if maybe I didn’t know that).Do you know where they are?”Of course I had no idea, but she continued to direct me back to my car, to the other end of the property to a mobile home tucked in behind some other Morton-type buildings.I pulled my car around back and the P.E. students stared quite inquisitively from the ball…

Change

“If we don’t change we won’t grow, if we don’t grow we are not really living”. Gail Sheehy

I never thought I was adverse to change until the software upgrade that our bank just went through. Maybe it is true the older you get the worse change effects you.I actually am embarrassed at how I responded to the stress of this change, handling it poorly to say the very least.Our boss wrote a blog about watching how all the employees handled this change, some still came to work with great attitudes others not so much. So according to the quote above we should have made a lot of growth and lived life to it’s fullest these past few months.If you would have asked us that first month, we would have still been shaking our heads “this is reallymaking us more efficient?"I asked some banker friends that had been through a new upgrade how long it took to feel comfortable with the new system, they said give it 6 months. Well I can say we are ahead of schedule in that regard we actually got all our …

Nothing Compares

I just love going to the Iowa State Fair.Only for a few days….not for the entire Fair….that’s just not for me.One day can work as a fix, but probably shouldn’t choose the first Saturday when it’s going to be 80 degrees and severe clear.That’s what we did, headed up the first Saturday morning and found my sister-in-law’s camper at about noon.Cindy’s husband is from Clearfield and the Clearfield Lions drive the new John Deere tractors that pull the shuttles back and forth from the campgrounds to the Fair.Cindy stamps hands when you get off the shuttle or get on to ride back up.She makes sure the strollers, scooters and wheelchairs get on safely and she makes every person feel special.She’s gifted that way.Anyway, they get to camp for free as consideration for their volunteerism.All of their work is volunteered and the Clearfield Lions have been doing it for 50 years!Pretty cool.Cindy got to ride at the front of the parade on opening day.She said it was absolutely awesome.

Anyway, it was …

Software Upgrade:

Life presents all of us with learning opportunities, sometimes when we least expect it. As a leader of an organization, I am always looking for ways to improve my skills and learn about human response.

During the past 90 days I have seen the gamut on the human response to extreme stress and challenge. Now when I say extreme – I am not talking about a marine being sent into battle, but individuals being sent into a new world of software with limited training. So while it seemed very stressful and challenging at the time – we are not talking life or death decisions. I can tell you I am amazed at what I learned.

My own experience was one which my body physically responded to the hours I spent tolling over my computer.My arm got to the point I could barely stand to move my mouse. I tried the chiropractor, moving my computer and a different chair. Finally after multiple weeks, I decided to just relax, and it got better.I can honestly say I can never remember having a physical reaction to…

Getting Ready for the County Fair

My sisters and I were never in 4-H when we were young so going to the county fair to me was nothing more than watching the pig show and maybe eating a corn dog. Now that I’m a parent of 3 4-H youths, I realize that it’s not that simple. There’s a lot of time and effort expended to put on a County Fair!

Just at our house alone, the list of things that need to be done between now and Fair time is unbelievable. The sheep need washed and slick sheared, the goats hooves need clipped and 14 chickens need to make a visit to the vet clinic for their disease free certification. All of the associated equipment needs to be located and organized in the show box according to species. We need to order more feed so we don’t run out halfway through the fair. Fair clean up day is this Saturday so the entire family will spend the morning sprucing up the grounds. The list goes on and on and we’re just one family!
The Fair Board members, the County Director and the group leaders have been working for month…

Part 2 - So you think you want to build a house and other crazy ideas you might have..........

For those of you who read my previous blog, you remember we had just purchased at auction, a house and some land in the country.The auction was a rush and my wife managed to not pass out.The plan was to remodel the house and move out there.We had contractors look the house over and they all told us we would be spending too much money for what we would get so we were left with the question of building a new house or possibly selling what we had just bought.
Life sure can change in a hurry on you.One minute you’re comfortable with all your surroundings and the next………..well, let’s just say scared, confused, excited all at the same time.The decision was made…….. sell the house in town and build in the country.
So the timeframe is October 2010 and we would like to break ground, spring of 2011.The thinking is we have some time.Well for those of you who have built a home you know that you start with building plans.Seems simple enough, there must be hundreds of thousands of them online to look…

What I Love About Springtime

Fall has always been my favorite season; warm days and cool nights with winter approaching.But, over the last weekend, I pondered springtime.There are a lot of things I love about the spring.Guess it’s a good thing I live where the seasons so drastically change!What I love about springtime….

Green grass
Crickets chirping
Dogwoods blooming
Tulips
Blue Birds,
Purple Martins,
Ginny Wrens,
Wood Ducks and
Humming Birds
Morel Mushrooms
Crappies spawning
Fox kits at play
Planting the garden
Baby calves
Turkeys calling
Thunder Storms
Rivers flowing
Vidalia Onions
Track & Field
Shorts & Sandals!
What do you love about springtime?
Amber

Chores

When I was a kid, we did chores. Now the dictionary defines chores as 1) the regular or daily light work of a household or farm. Sounds almost pleasant, doesn’t it? It’s also defined as 2) a difficult or disagreeable task. I chose definition #2. When you’re 12 even the most mundane assignment becomes terribly difficult and agonizingly disagreeable.

Modern technology has eliminated a lot of the chores I did. For example, we now have a clothes dryer. No more trips to the clothes line with a basket of wet clothes. We also have a dishwasher. Add a little soap and hit “start” and that chore is complete. We now own a riding lawn mower, no more pushing one around in the hot sun. The list goes on…
My kids look at chores much the same as I did when I was their age. Gathering the eggs was fun the first two times they did it but the last 1000 days it’s just been a chore. It’s the same way with feeding and watering the outside pets or running the vacuum. Kinda’ fun chasing the dog with the vacuum t…

Dena's Blog

I have been asked to write a blog for our website. They must not know that I have never written very well and was even used as an example of bad writing in one of my high school classes.However, I told them I would give it a try.The first problem I had was deciding what to write about. Most of my fellow employees have written some funny and very interesting stories.I started to write about the night I went in the ditch during our first major snowstorm this winter, but I just didn’t like the story after I got done.

So here goes on a completely different topic, volunteering.The Libertyville Savings Bank has been committed to encourage their employees to volunteer in their local communities. Did you know that the bank as a whole volunteered a total of 443 hours in 2012? One of the things I enjoy about the Eldon community is the “Git R Done” attitude. The way they have accomplished several projects in this community is by volunteering. Everyone steps up and helps out.If you have not been t…

Talented and Gifted??

2013 marks the start of my 20th year at LSB.During those 20 years, I have become notorious for entertaining my fellow employees.Am I a great joke teller?I wouldn’t say so.Can I impersonate famous people? Hardly……. my great talent is that I am clumsy. I have a great knack for tripping myself as I am walking across the lobby. Once I even ran into a closed door at a high rate of speed (that one left a goose egg on my forehead for a week). Actually saying I am clumsy is probably an understatement.

As if being clumsy isn’t enough of a curse, I have also tried my hand at acting during my LSB career.I was Michael Jackson once (I even had the sparkly glove) at one of our annual meetings.And in case you’re wondering………yes, I can do the moon walk!!My most famous acting moment came during an employee meeting where I was going to sumo wrestle our CEO, Jill Burnett.Jill and I were acting out a skit when all of a sudden I took a pretty good belly blow from Jill.I started for the floor and hit my …

So you think you want to build a house??? And other crazy ideas you might have…..

Step 1: Buy the ground Step 2: Sell your house in town before you even break ground Step 3: Buy a camper to live in onsite while the house is being built Step 4: Live in your “good friends” basement once too cold for campers Step 5: Move into your unfinished basement for 5 months Step 6: Host your son’s graduation party prior to counter tops and furniture Step 7: Avoid divorce court, move in and enjoy!
It all began back in September 2010.  I was driving around in the country with my dogs in the back of the truck as I often did.  I noticed a sign advertising an upcoming auction so I turned in the driveway and proceeded down the lane.  As soon as I got back there a feeling came over me which I can’t explain, other than it just felt right.  There was an older ranch home, garage and some out buildings.  In addition, the person in charge of the upcoming auction was there.  As it turned out, I knew the gentleman and told him I had not heard about the auction, but the property looked beautiful and …

Resolutions

I’m not a New Year’s Resolution guy, never have been. I know my weaknesses and I’ve become attached to them over the years. Chewing tobacco, too much coffee and an elevated cholesterol level aren’t nearly enough to get me to commit to even one New Year’s Resolution.
I did hear and interesting concept on the radio on January 1. What if you could make resolutions for other people? Now you’re speakin’ my language. I could really sink my teeth into something like that. Wouldn’t it be something if we could assign a resolution to someone else and actually expect them to carry through with it? I could create my own Eutopia right here in southeast Iowa. Ralph, you need to lose some weight.Joe, you need to change your hair style. Alex, you need to stop that annoying throat clearing habit you have. The possibilities are endless.
I spent a fair amount of time thinking about this New Year’s Day. Then it occurred to me, I’d probably wind up with everyone looking and acting like me. Wouldn’t that b…

College visit

I went to my first “college visit day” a couple weeks ago with my 16 year old daughter who is a junior in high school. Oh my, how things have changed yet stayed the same from when I attended college 30 years ago.
First I must say, I was proud that the first school she picked to visit was my alma mater Iowa State University. She started out as a huge Hawkeye fan as a young child, but after years of brain washing, I finally got her on the right track. This is what I call good parenting. J
After registering on line for the visit day, we proceed to receive several phone calls prior to the actual day from ISU students. They were just calling to make sure we knew where we were going and had the agenda for the day, etc.
We visited on a Friday arrived at the ole Memorial Union at approximately 8:00 am. I was a little surprised to find a line out onto Lincoln Way waiting with cars to get into the parking ramp. Come to find out, there were at least 150 to 200 students and families attending th…