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Banning the Word “Strategic”

We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.                                                             ~Herb Kelleher

Strategic is one of those words that stop most people in their tracks. It’s a wow word, as in powerful, especially when used in conjunction with other words: strategic plan, strategic advice, strategic research, strategic communication, strategic marketing, strategic management, strategic innovation, strategic goals, strategic direction, strategic leadership, and my personal favorite: strategic partnership or alliance (what is so novel about working with other people, teams, or companies?). Read more »


Paul’s Grains

Paul’s Grains is a hidden gem in a land of few jewels. Most farmers in Iowa grown genetically modified corn and soybeans but Paul’s Grains has been growing a variety of grains (spelt, barley, buckwheat, oats, corn, soybeans, millet, flax seed,quinoa, and more) without chemical fertilizers since 1964.

Going against the grain, Wayne and Betty Paul purchased 160 acres of land in a small town in central Iowa called Laurel. After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in agriculture, Wayne was introduced to chemical-free farming using healthy, natural fertilizers for weed and insect control, which is how it’s been done for 51 years. Read more »


“The Widow’s Children”

But once in the world, she learned everyone’s lesson – families were not as they seemed, she grew artful in spotting the cracks in domestic facades. Wasn’t everyone damaged….

For many years, a book – The Widow’s Children – sat on a shelf in my bookcase untouched because I had read that the author – Paula Fox – tended toward the somber although many critics consider Fox one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Most of Fox’s works were published in the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, so many of her books are out of print which means Fox is not as well-known as she was 30 years ago. Read more »


Harvest Grains Summer Salad

Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe’s is a quick cooking blend of couscous, orzo pasta, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. Combined with fresh vegetables, sweet Marzano plum tomatoes, avocado, a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, and dill, the cooked grain blend is the perfect base for a light and refreshing side dish for summertime meals. From stove to table in 20 minutes, the Harvest Grains Summer Salad is a delicious blend of textures and flavors that goes with nearly any dish placed on the table. Read more »


Gummies without the Gelatin

Never trust an adult who doesn’t like gummy bears, worms, or sour crawlers.

There is something special about gummy candy that brings out the kid in all of us. When a friend asked me “What do gummy bears, worms, cinnamon hats, sour crawlers, jelly rings, jelly slices, and hundreds of other gummy-type candies on the market have in common?,” my answer was “sugar,” which is not necessarily true (there are sugar-free gummies). Read more »


Ithaca Farmer’s Market

The Ithaca Farmer’s Market is a cooperative with 150 vendors who live within 30 miles of the city named for the Greek island of Ithaca. Most vendors fall into one of four(4) categories: agricultural, livestock, food, and arts/crafts. What distinguishes Ithaca Farmer’s Market from other farmer’s markets is the total commitment to locally grown, raised, and manufactured goods, which is an omnivore’s dream market. Read more »