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March 13, 2013     Walsh County Press
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PAGE 4 PRESS PERSPECTIVES MARCH 13, 2013 By Extension Agent-In-Training Kim Nelson F ROM TH E EDITOR'S DESK... BY ALLISON OLIA4B EDITOR, IIMALSN COUNTY PRESS Being'a mom is lik being a ser- vant for a very demanding albeit tiny aristocrat who pays you in snuggles and reprimands you with ear piercing shrieks of anger. You often find yourself one step for- ward one moment and eleven steps back the next and then the next day it starts all over. The dishes were clean. The re- mains of snow from boots that had been kicked aside had been mopped up. The toys were m their bin. And it was another day. I had gotten two cups of coffee in before the little man had gotten up for the day. I was feeling pretty good. The snowfall from the night into day into night before had piled up and the city crews were out scraping the streets• I had time before I had to go to work, so I made the kid a rfice balanced meal -- peanut butter toast, French toast sticgs, and some scrambled eggs with a sippy cup of milk. He was up to his eyebrows in breakfast and grinning. I was pretty proud ofmysel£ He ate most of the feast spread before him -- as far as I could tell. He was pretty good at slipping the dog a bite or two. Then as he finished picking at the bits on his tray he shook his head as if to say: "Mother dear, that was delightful. However I am no longer famished and wish to be released from this chair, which is ever so high. Do be so kind as to remove this tray so that I may roam free." Were "Downton Abby" to be recast with tiny chil- dren playing the uppercrust, my lifewould be complete. I unlocked the tray, get it on the ground, and lifted him out of his highchair. The dog sauntered out from his spot under the tiny child and be- gan to slop up every last crumb from the breakfast's remains and that was when it dawned on me. • i I don't remember washing the tray from the ravioli spread the night before. I could almost see the dog smile. I gagged a little. Forgive me, child. I will try harder next time. Like" the Walsh Count), Press on Face- book and check out our blog at http://walsh- coun(vpress, wordpress.com Hello, Well, we are officially in calving season. The snow is falling from west to east at about forty mph across the yard. Ice under the snow. Cold, wet cows',.' Our fii'st heifer had a calf the day before yesterday. The rest are waiting until tonight when the barometer and tempera- ture go down and'the wind and snow come up. They do that you know. But, as they say, "Back in the day"! Now, you know we haven't had enough snow to make a difference the past ten years. Oh, a skiff now and again, but not much. And I know you know that a skiff is just a tad over a smidgen• It didn't look to me like we had more than a skiff the other day. Maybe a skiff and a half. But the wind was whistling about fifty miles per and you couldn't see much past the hood of the pickup. The weatherman was so excited he was about wetting his pants. This was the storm he was born for. Rain, sleet, snow, and wind. School c!osings and bus delays• Highways blocking and no travel advised• The weatherman was gleeful in his long awaited impor- tance. Ten years on the job, with nothing to report, gets a bit boring. Hat But he was making up for, it. I could have choked him. Well, you know how Shirley is. We had to feed the mares. I looked out the window. You couldn't see beyond the porch railing. The wind gusts were rattling the windows• I was setting in my well-used easy chair with a cup of, hot chocolate and a good book. Suddenly, Shirley jumps fiom her chair and declares, "We have to go feed the mares!" I made a casual comment, like, "They're alright until tomorrow." After several decades of wedded bliss, I should have known better. After a brief, but enlightening dis- cussion, I too decided we should feed the mares. So, we tied ourselves together with ropes to avoid getting lost in the storm and made our way to the pickup. With a little help from the ether can, I got the tractor running and set a bale on the pickup. Now, I know you recall that I Tips was the Four-Wheel Drive Driving Champion ten years running. But over the past ten years, with no snow, I must have lost my edge. And besides that, if I take a good nan at a drift, my co-pilot would scream. With the blowing snow ham- pering my vision, I hit a drift. Big drift. That dually pickup stopped. One turn of the wheels and it was stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck. I called Alfred. He came with his big Dodge pickup. He backed up, hooked up his towrope, and hit it. Hard. One spin and he was stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck. I called Will. Thank goodness for cell phones. Will came with his pickup and hooked up. The wind was still whistling. He hit it. One turn of the wheels, and he was down to that slippery stuff where the snow meets the thawed ground• Stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck. There we were. Stranded. $100,000 worth of pickups hauling a thirty-dollar bale to nine mares that could have made it fill tomor- row. Our winter survival kit consisted of one Salted Nut Roll candy bar I bought for the grandkids. We were at least three hundred yards from help. Shirley and I quickly ate the candy bar before Will and Alfred could see it. We had been stuck for nearly an hour. Tess came with a pickup and her and Shirley got the chains on it with very little advice. They saved the day. The mares made it until evening and when the wind abated, we found a way around the drift. But that reminds me of another story. Thanksgiving. Bob, Butch, and I went to the river. I made a se- rious, mistake in judgment and be- came stuck. Stuck. Stuck. Stuck. Eight miles home. "I'll tell you one thing. I didn't know our old hired hand, Jimmy, had a bottle of Gold Bell wine • stuck under the seat. But by the time I walked home eight miles, up hill, and returned with another pickup and chain, you never saw happier stuck men in your life. Later, Dean The first time I heard the word sequestration, I knew it spelled trouble. I thought they were saying that we should see Quester, as if it were the latest horror show. It was, This sequester was supposed to happen at midnight on March 1. It rrminded me of the night we crossed the Year 2000 and every- one stayed up to see'if the comput- ers in the world would explode and humanity would have to start col- lecting data all over again. Having been a planner for the 'North Dakota Civil Defense Sur- vival Project, I thought anything called sequester meant the Rus- sians were coming and we needed to head for some underground shel- ter. Our house has storage space un- der the front steps, designed as an emergency shelter back when the Russians were frisky. I felt the safest thing to do about sequestra- tion was to take cover in this un- derground space• I didn't know if sequestration was radioactive or not. To make room, we had to throw out 30 years of Christmas decora- tions. We had enough to decorate Waiting for Sequestration in a Basement Bunker Sheridan County because every auction sale seemed to have at least three boxes go for two dollars or less. It was an offer I couldn't re- fuse. During the cold war, under- ground shelteis were stocked with water and crackers. We finished our crackers in 1997 during a bliz- zard so now we needed fresh food supplies. When President Obama and the Congress drew the middle class line at $400,000, I thought that put me in a group eligible for food stamps. To a poor country boy like me, $400,000 seemed rich but Washington has a funny way of drawing lines. None of them are ever straight. Well, I had.my argument over food stamps down at the social service office and they won. They said food stamps would be cut by the sequestration and they only had enough for the chronic poor. Be- sides, I would need to be tested for drugs to get a card. If they had done that, CVS pharmacy would have repossessed me.. Our little shelter didn't have room for food, water and beds so we surrendered the beds and slept in a stuffed chair in 2-hour shifts• We went on sequestration watch at 8 p.m. February 28. We have a 35-inch basement TV that I saved in 1997 as the flood waters were creeping up the stairs. I creeped faster. We could see TV if we left a little crack in the door. CNN was covering sequestration damage in their usual style as it moved across the country. They did three in-depth inter- views - two elderly ladies in an Idaho rest home and an illegal im- migrant being deported back to Chicago. It just so happened that Turner Classic Movies was rerunning Dr. Strangelove and that brought back frightening memories. Maybe this sequestration was like the fail-safe bomb that could not be Stopped. Sequestration could be doomsday all over again. CNN was now interviewing one of the producers who made Dr. Strangelove.. In his opinion, se- questration was a fraud concocted to divert our attention from a fake moonshot from New Mexico. (He had just finished watching Con- spiracy Theory.) When it started to get chilly in our bunker, I thought I should be el- igible for fuel assistance since I was so far below the middle class line drawn by President Obama and the Congress. No such luck. Well, the sequestration deadline came and went and wo're stillcalt- ing for doomsday. Maybe our kids will get to see it. It may turn out to be their fail-safe. 1 Great (and free) opportunity for teen suicide awareness It's not always easy to get something for nothing, especially if what is being offered has great value. But North Dakota has been presented with such an opportunity and all that is required is for the Legislature to take action and claim a free gift that has potentially life-saving powers. • " " a A heanng was held and presentatmn was made to the House Educ - tion Committee last week on SB 2306. The bill originally mandated, but was amended earlier in the Senate, to "allow for" training on youth sui- cide risk indicators and related matters, in an effort to help prevent young people from taking their own lives. The House now has a chance to return the bill to its mandatory status, and pass it into law, which would seem to be a good thing. The opportu- nity to keep the bill moving forward will be discussed Wednesday, March 13, as testimony continued so as to allow advocate Clark Flatt to travel from Tennessee to tell his story. Flatt's 16-year-old son, Jason, took his own life on July 16, 1997• Since that time Flatt hhs started and developed the Jason Flatt Foundation from which grew the Jason Flatt Act. In 2007, the Act was passed and mandated youth suicide awareness qd prevention legislation in Tennessee. It required as part of state licensure that all state educators complete two hours of in-service teacher training on youth suicide awareness. Nine state legislatures have since followed including Louisiana, Cal- ifornia, Mississippi, Illinois, Arkansas, West Virginia, Utah Alaska and South Carolina• The bill in the House committee reads: "Annually, each school district may provide to middle school and high school teachers and administra- tors at least two hours of professional development relating to youth sui- cide risk indicators, appropriate staff responses, and referral sources ... The superintendent of public instruction shall collaborate with the state department of health to obtain and disseminate information and training materials to school districts and non-public'schools, free of charge." Training materials would be made available for free from the Jason Flatt Foundation• Asthe bill was passed out of Senate, only one chan.ge was made -us- ing the word "may" instead of "shall." Senate committee rationale was reportedly a lack of comfort in mandating any additional training for staff. But it seemed near consensus in the first House debate that if the bill moves to a chamber vote it should include the word "shall." A strong case for support was made last week starting with Sen. Joan Heckaman, D-3, New Rockford. "While this bill seems,mighty small (just over 60 words), its benefits would be mighty large," she said. She quoted statistics to underline the importance of educators being aware of potential signs of suicide. She said suicide is the third-leading cause of death in ages 10-24 and second-leading cause of death for col- lege age youth. Heckaman stressed the importance of early intervention in helping to prevent youth suicide and said: "(statistics show) ... more teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and chronic lung disease com- bined." The committee also watched a short video sent by Flatt in preparation for his Wednesday visit. He cited a 2011 youth behavioral survey in which about one in four North Dakotan teens said they had experienced the feel- ing of hopelessness and/or sadness for a constant period of two weeks or more in the past 12 months. He added that one of every seven teens said they had seriously considered suicide in the'past 12 months; one out of eight compiled a plan; and one out of nine attempted suicide. "The Jason Flatt Act - North Dakota ... should be passed.., because it is the right thing to do in helping save young lives in North Dakota," Flatt said. Greg LaFrancoise, chief executive officer of Prairie St. John's Hospi- tal in Fargo, testified the bill, if passed, "will ensure teachers are skilled at identifYing signs of concern and elevated risk for suicide in our stu- dents." North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem also testified in sup- port of the bill pointing out the high number of suicide attempts in North Dakota. He concurred with others that the training would help educators identifY risks so that individuals could be referred to properly trained counselors- potentially saving lives. Committee discussion centered on how often training would be held. The bill calls for annual training, but some felt that might be too often. Others pointed out the annual requirement was only two hours, a small commitment, which could be included as in-service training. Another concern centered on taking on liability. It was discounted in response by suggesting the liability is greaterby not providing training. John lrby decided to retire earl)" inelate 2011 as • editor of the Bismarck Tribune. He is now a free- lance writer, private investigator and management consultant. He can be reached at johnrober- tirby@hotmail.com. _. Exte Exchange Have You Talked to Your Teen Today? Have you f0hnd yourself tex- ting your teen more than talking to them lately? Sometimes keep- ing the lines of communication open with, the young adults in our lives can be frustrating. Trans- mitting our thoughts via texts of- ten gets the message across, but does it always get the "true" mes- sage delivered? By keeping com- munication lines solid adults can play an important role in shaping teenager behavior. Talking en- courages family togetherness and increases the likelihood teens will share parents' values. The following are some tips to help keep the face-to-face com- munication lines open with the teen in your life: Grade 7 - 9: Listening vs. Lec- turing: Encouragement Which is easier? Saying, "You're late. You know you are supposed to be home at 6:00 for supper. You're grounded," or "Your curfew was ½ hour ago, what happened?" As parents sometimes we jump to conclusions and lecture our child, which closes the door to communication. The second ex- ample is a better way to open com- munication. It gives your child the opportunity to talk. When you lecture, you may miss some important event that happened in your child's life that they really needed to talk to you about. Having a conversation with your child does not mean that he or she avoids the consequence; it just gives you the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your child. Listening communication means you treat each other with respect, be willing to hear the oth- er person's point of view, negoti- ate to reach common ground, and really listen to the emotions under the statements your child is mak- ing. Having a strong connected re- lationship with your child is a pro- tective factor that increases the chances that your child will feel better about themselves and make better choices. And better choic- es means they might be able to re- sist peer pressure to use alcohol. Tonight pay attention to how well you really listen to your teen and if you find yourself doing most of the talking; just smile, close your mouth and give your teen your full attention. Grade 10- 12: Opeh commu- nication Talking to your teen some- times sounds easier than it really is. You may find your teen want- hag to spend more and more time with friends or alone in her room. Btlt your teen still really v£ants and needs to have conversations with you. Remember how Charlie Brown's teacher sounds? Wha, wha, wha wha. Yes, that is how you sound to your teen too when you lecture. He isn't listening and you are not developing the rela- tionship that builds protective factors• When your teen tells you some- thing in confidence, keep it be- tween the two of you. If this se- cret includes information about someone that needs help, talk to your teen about how both of you can help. Teen's views and ideas can be very different than your own. This may even include how they feel about drinking. As you listen to your teen and truly try to understand her point of view, your teen may follow your ex- ample and begin hearing and lis- tening to your ideas too. Even though it may be hard to let go, your teen needs to learn to start making decisions for himself and taking responsibility for choic- es made. Don't underestimate the power of spending time with your teen and letting her know that you love her. Telling your teen that you noticed when he is making good responsible choices by will be welcomed and go a long way. Tonight, make a date with your teen to spend some quality time to find out what is on his or her mind. Need more help? Check out http'//www.parentslead.org. Resources'." Dworkin, .Z (2011). A survival guide for parents of teenagers." Have yo talked with your teen today? Regents of the University of Minnesota. www.extension, umn.edu/familieswithteens Around the County Walsh County Extension Office Park River - 701-284-6624 Chickens and children: A good lesson on responsibility So your child wants to raise chicken's. This is a great way to start teaching them responsibility around the farm. There are a few basic items you'll need and a few basic things you'll need to know before you start. Things you'll need include a chicken coop or somewhere for the chickens to have shelter. When the chicks are young a cardboard box with a heat lamp and some wood shavings will be sufficient. The best time to get chicks and start raising them is around April 1. The heat lamp will be needed for the first few weeks.. You'll want to start the temperature at around 95 degrees F and then reduce it by 5 degrees F each week for about three weeks. When the chickens are about a month old and have out grown the box or are able to be outside in the elements, they will need space where they can move around. Each chicken will require 2 square feet. This is also impor- tant when you build youchicken coop. Chickens will require feed and water each day. It's a good idea to get a starter feed for chicks from your local feed store. Then after about three weeks to a month switch them to an adult chicken feed, this will help them gain weight, and give you a bigger bird when it comes time to butcher. When selecting chickens there are a couple things to consider " breed and maturity are two of the major ones. Depending on when you start your chickens will de- pend on if you want a fast matur- ing one or if?)ou want one that will take longer. 10 to 12 weeks is a common maturity time period for market chickens in this area. Egg laying chickens will reach matu- rity at about 18-20 weeks of age. Breeder chickens will reach ma- turity around 30-35 weeks. There are many breeds you can choose from some that will do well in this area include Barred Rocks Cornish Cross are good for meat produc- tion. Good breed for laying eggs include Leghorns and Rhode Is- lands. This is a great way to teach your kids about raising livestock, they will learn about animal hus- bandry, feeding, and the respon- sibility of caring for animals in general. Dates to Remember: March 13 9:00 Am pesticide certification at the city auditorium March 18 6:00 Pm Pesticide Re-Certification ONLY at the Extension office April 6 1:00 Demonstration on pruning apple trees at the Extension office (weather permitting) IYour source for Happy Happenings. Walsh County Press 284 6333 ]