Home on the range, with buffalo.

The first couple weeks of September signal fall for me more than the solstice does. Kids have been going to school a while — thankfully, this is true for our district, knock on wood — and the week of Labor Day often is host to the last super hot days of the summer. At ourContinue reading “Home on the range, with buffalo.”

Summer already.

Ah, summer. Summer is my jam. Never have to grab a jacket, hands and feet always warm enough, plenty of daylight — perfect. This particular summer came in on little cat feet, I think. We know by looking at our phones that the numbers assigned to days are still advancing, yet most activities that defineContinue reading “Summer already.”

All Laura, all the time.

The seed for this column is one flattering social media comment from my college friend Chrissy Mullender: “Karen Nelson, you simply must read this. If you, I, and Laura Ingalls Wilder were on a group Facebook chat, I would have to pay special attention to which of you were responding.” The comment was under aContinue reading “All Laura, all the time.”

Slow down. You move too fast.

I stand in awe of the people who seemingly can do it all. Yep, I’m looking at you — the people who can balance home, family and work with church, sports and community and still manage to comb your hair. Intellectually, I realize that each of you who can do it all invariably stands inContinue reading “Slow down. You move too fast.”

“Taking care of you makes me happy, too.”

“Taking care of you makes me happy, too.” People who spend time with little kids and PBS most likely know those words sung by Mom Tiger on “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” The show, the successor to my childhood favorite, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” is an animated and updated version of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. “Daniel Tiger” isn’tContinue reading ““Taking care of you makes me happy, too.””

Corn nuts and soynuts.

Summer and fall play host to a perpetual string of harvest seasons. Most of these crops are building blocks for the human food supply. I’ve read time and again that farmers don’t eat the corn and beans they grow. The implication is that we’re scared of the food we raise. A little bit of mysteryContinue reading “Corn nuts and soynuts.”

I’m a harvest kid.

School’s out. Days are long. The air is hot and golden. My innate urge is to go somewhere and cut some wheat. My family has custom harvested for farmers since 1974. Summer, for me, is inseparable from wheat harvest — time to load the combines, get in the trucks and follow the wheat as itContinue reading “I’m a harvest kid.”

If a farmer(‘s wife) answers a question …

My family recently experienced an agvocacy win. These wins are rare and special. All too often, a non-farming person’s interest in crops or livestock is limited to a couple hours, maybe some social media interaction or a couple “likes” on Facebook pages. I’m a volunteer for Ask the Farmers, a group that answers agriculture questionsContinue reading “If a farmer(‘s wife) answers a question …”

Safety for farm kids.

Farm kids have unique opportunities to learn the value of hard work and a job well done with equipment or animals that many of their peers have never seen. The risks of living on a farm are different than the risks of town life, and safe risks and unsafe risks are defined differently in everyContinue reading “Safety for farm kids.”