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Hello and Happy Monday, gang!
I seem to be incapable of holding a thought in my head these days, so you’re getting another “Random Thoughts” blog from me this week.

I can’t remember anything lately without writing myself a note. I have lists and sticky notes everywhere. For this reason it’s funny to me that I can still remember all of the words to 80s songs, and I have vivid recollections that go along with them. For instance, every time I hear “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore” by REO Speedwagon I remember shooting hoops with my dad in our driveway with my boom box sitting near by, tuned in to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40.

Speaking of my dad, since retiring to Arizona one of his favorite topics is the weather. He got a big kick out of me writing about Season Affective Disorder and that I’m way past SAD. To him, rotten weather is fifty degrees and cloudy.

I also talk to my dad about food a lot. He is a great cook and Michael has him interested in buying a smoker. Yum. I’ll just have to make sure he buys Iowa pork to put in it! Last night we also had a conversation about making sauerkraut. Out of curiosity I did some googling last week and found out there are only two ingredients. TWO. I also had no idea making your own sauerkraut was so labor intensive. My dad says he only make it once and after reading several different blogs about how to do it – I’m not surprised. Something my dad makes every year is corned beef and cabbage. I’ve never prepared this, but I think I will for St. Patrick’s Day.

New recipes can always be a gamble. Sometimes I have whipped up some really awful meals. To Michael’s credit, he’s always eaten them. When we were dating I made Schezwan Chicken (spicy) because he’d mentioned in passing that he likes it. I got a little carried away with the seasoning and this stuff was snot running down your face hot. Michael was sweating bullets a few bites in and chugging water – but he ate it. God bless him.

Trying and learning new things are always a combination of challenging, frustrating and fun to me. Our “Workout of the Week” segments are a prime example of this. On a few occasions I’ve been embarrassed and irritated because what we’re doing does not come easily to me. But it’s forced me to get outside my comfort zone and push myself, and every time I’ve ended up feeling really good about what I’ve accomplished (or at least what I’ve tried). This also applies at work. We’re transitioning everything here to HD and the new equipment is foreign to me. When our photojournalists try to explain how to do things, they might as well be speaking Swahili because I don’t understand a word they’re saying. Thankfully, a few of them have gone out of their way to help me. Jeff Felton even wrote up a detailed “how to” list for me. Guess what? I’m getting the hang of it! Last Friday I even managed to do what I needed to without consulting my cheat sheet. Yay! It’s a small victory, but it makes me feel good about not giving up easily.

Finally – I keep meaning to share this you, but it keeps slipping my mind – shocker! A friend forwarded it to me a few months ago and it cracked me up. Enjoy!

Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about Nebraska….

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from
September through May, you live in Nebraska.

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance
and they don’t work there, you live in Nebraska.

If you’ve worn shorts and a parka at the same
time, you live in Nebraska.

If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a
wrong number, you live in Nebraska.

If “Vacation” means going anywhere south of
GRAND ISLAND for the weekend, you live in Nebraska.

If you measure distance in squares of farm land,
you live in Nebraska.

If you know several people who have hit a cow
more than once, you live in Nebraska.

If you have gone from “heat” to “A/C” in the
same day and back again, you live in Nebraska.

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow
during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Nebraska.

If you install security lights on your house and
garage, but leave both unlocked, you live in Nebraska.

If you carry jumpers in your car and your wife
knows how to use them, you live in Nebraska.

If you design your kid’s Halloween costume to
fit over a snowsuit, you live in Nebraska.

If the I-80 speed limit is 75 mph — you’re
going 90 and everybody is passing you, you live in Nebraska..

If driving is better in the winter because the
potholes are filled with snow, you live in Nebraska.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter,
winter, still winter and road construction, you live in Nebraska.

If you have more hours on your snow blower than
miles on your car, you live in Nebraska.

If you find 10 degrees “a little chilly”, you
live in Nebraska.

Have a great week!