Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer... Relaxing or Stressful

When you think of summer what do you think of?  Laying out in the sun, going for a dip in the pool, enjoying a nice frozen drink...  Or does reality sink in and you find yourself nearing the end of July like me and you aren't really sure what you can show for your summer except a lot of this and that.  I've been thinking about this a lot after I heard about a recent survey that said a third of Americans find themselves more stressed during the summer months than any other season of the year.  You hear about people getting the winter-blues, but could the new thing be the summer-rundown?

Now don't get me wrong, my family and I have been having a great and fun summer checking things off our bucket list, playing outside and simply enjoying each other.  But at the same time, with just a 3 year old and a 13 month old I will admit that I have possibly started over-scheduling ourselves.  Each Monday and Wednesday the kids have activities that we travel to, and it seem like I have some sort of meeting at least once a week, plus then trying to get stuff done on the farm and at home, all while trying to stay up on laundry and dishes and whoosh - my week is over and I've marked maybe one or two things off my to-do list it seems.  So does this mean that I am maybe in that one-third of stressed Americans?  Ummm, maybe, but I don't think quiet yet.  But to be on the safe side I'm going to start or reinstate some habits to help me combat the summer stress:

  • Wake up at the same time, every day, all week long AND go to sleep at a decent time to ensure I'm getting plenty of rest.
  • Keep up on my laundry and house cleaning routines.
  • Drink plenty of water all day long.
  • Get up and move!  Go on a walk or have some type of physical exercise daily.
  • Enjoy the little things with my family.

It seems with longer days I just want to fit as much as possible into them, but I need to remind my self to enjoy and relax.  Has the summer heat gotten to you this year or have you been enjoying your summer?  What are some tips you can share on how to beat summer stress?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Latimer, Iowa Little Free Library

If you are ever around Latimer, Iowa be sure to check out our Little Free Library in Downtown.  We have a large selection of books for babies to adults - check out some of the titles circulating through the Library on my blog's new Little Free Library tab.

What is your favorite book of all-time?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Knee High by the 4th of July

I do have to admit, I was a little worried that our annual "Knee High by the 4th of July" photo this year was going to show corn that wasn't knee-high, but half-way surprisingly, it was higher than I expected.  In a "normal" year, we'd like to see our corn shoulder or head high (see previous year's photos for examples - 2013 & 2012), but this year, due to the extreme wet conditions, our corn is only waist high.  We are actually planning on getting into the field today to do some work which would be the first time in several weeks because it has been too wet to get into the field.

Knee High by the 4th of  July
And if you are curious what an ear of corn looks right now, below is a photo.  After our family photo we did some crop scouting and peeled a corn stalk all the way down to the ear of corn.  Pretty neat right?  It is amazing that that will cob of corn will grow 8"+ in length in just a couple of months.

Ear of corn on the 4th of July
I hope you all had a great Independence Day!  Do you have any 4th of July traditions?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Comments for a Cause - Little Free Library

It is the first of the month and time to give an update on my Comments for a Cause program.  In the month of June I couldn't get over the local support for La Luz Hispana.  During the month 258 comments were made, equaling a donation of $129 to this remarkable program that is helping and so many families and individuals in Franklin County.  I am very proud that my community provides these resources and support to our community members.

In the month of July I'm looking forward to donating $0.50 for every comment to the international Little Free Library program.  As some of you may know, I worked throughout this year to bring a Little Free Library to Latimer, Iowa and I'm happy to say that we installed the Little Free Library at the beginning of June.

"Take A Book, Leave A Book" today at the Latimer Little Free Library
You can even take a seat and enjoy a book while visiting our location
Latimer, Iowa's Little Free Library
So, what is a Little Free Library?  The Little Free Library movement began in Wisconsin five years ago and now has nearly 12,000 locations world-wide, over 100 of which are in Iowa.  I first read about Little Free Libraries through the "Parade" insert in our newspaper a few years ago and in the last couple of years I have started seeing them in the communities of a couple of my family members.  The traditional Little Free Library is a free-standing structure that kind of looks like an over-sized bird house that is then filled with a collection of books for members of the community or neighborhood to access.  The Little Free Library works by the "take a book, leave a book" philosophy.  When someone goes to the Library and picks out a book, they are asked to replace it with another book.

My love for my community and passion for childhood literacy is what drove me to set up a Little Free Library in the community of Latimer.  Reading is really important to me and raising my kids.  My kids and I read every day and always have books around.  The town of Latimer doesn't have a library and I know there are many kids in town that don't have an opportunity to go to a library, especially in the summer.  So I thought bringing a Little Free Library to Latimer would be great for all the youth of the community, and for the adults who love to read too.

And through this month's Comment for a Cause program I hope to help other small communities that don't have libraries of their own bring a Little Free Library to their town through the Little Free Library Small Town Initiative.  I was very fortunate to receive support from Post Alpha-Bits cereal and the Latimer City Council when setting up my Little Free Library, but I know every small community might not have access to those resources.  So that is why I'm supporting the Small Town Initiative this month.

If you are ever in the Latimer, Iowa, stop by and visit our community's Little Free Library.  It is located in Downtown Latimer on the west-side of Akir Street.  Do you have a Little Free Library in your community?  Be sure to Comment for a Cause all month long to help out this world-wide cause!