Tag Archives: college

Allan Nation tips for Young People

We just received the new issue of Stockman Grass Farmer magazine and inside is a small feature entitled, “Allan Nation‘s Journal Jottings.”  This is a little section to share some of the many notes Mr Nation jotted down while reading.  Allan Nation died last November and thankfully, his wife, Carolyn, and friends are bravely moving forward with his vision of helping farmers become better graziers.  Check out Stockman Grass Farmer.  News, events, books, DVDs, CDs, and all sorts of archived information.

Guidelines for Young People

  1. Find out what you really want to do before you go to college.
  2. Go to work for a small, fast-growing business at any level.
  3. Show up for work on time, look, and dress sharp
  4. Keep fixed living costs low.  Rent, don’t buy.
  5. Where does the money come into your employer’s business?  Get to that spot as close as possible.
  6. Don’t be overhead.
  7. Don’t go into business for yourself until you are 30.
  8. Work in your career field at any level while you are going to college.
  9. Consider getting a general business degree.
  10. Make sure you understand the core business model you are working in.

Good thoughts!

Shalom!

tauna

Salamanca: Language and Intercambios

Can a mom’s heart burst with pride, frustration, and worry at the same time?

Enter Wonderland

Only two weeks late, here’s an update on my life in Salamanca!

Today marks the end of my first month in Spain.  Thus far, it’s been a rollercoster of emotions, which is uncomfortable to hear from a guy, but whatever.  Honestly, there are many days where it’s hard to find the will to get out of bed and face my roommates (who are Mexican, though they speak excellent English).  The largest barrier is language: no amount of mental exercises can prepare you for the difficulty of live in another one.  Living here is giving me a peek into the daily life of an introvert, I do believe.

We’ve all heard those stories, the ones where the stupid American says something funny in another language by accident.  Unfortunately for me, I’ve become the stupid American in too many of those stories.  They started before I left the States, when I told…

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Salamanca: One Day More

I take Nathan to Kansas City airport in the morning. Will i cry? yup, can’t help that, but i’m excited and thrilled at his hard earned opportunity.

 

Enter Wonderland

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

– Matthew 6:34, NIV

“One day more! Another day, another destiny. This never-ending road to Calvary.”

Jean Valjean, Les Miserables


Sometimes I wonder if this icestorm isn’t a godsend. I would probably be much more stressed about leaving for another country if we weren’t blockaded by horrific weather. Instead, I’ve been worrying about whether or not I’ll be ableto leave.

All kidding aside, people often ask if I’m scared or excited for this semester, and since I hate to disappoint, I feed both their vicarious travel dreams and inate fear of the unknown by saying, “both, really.” The more accurate, but far less interesting answer would be neither. Although I am a worrier, I worry about things right in front of me: where’s my next turn to…

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A Great Place To Raise A Family by Dave Pratt

Dave Pratt, owner of Ranch Management Consultants (formerly known as Ranching for Profit) hits it on the head again with another great blog entry.  Although his niche is specifically ranching, the ideas he shares are often for any business.

 

Home > A Great Place To Raise A Family

A Great Place To Raise A Family

I occasionally lead workshops I call Hard Work and Harmony: Effective Relationships In Family Businesses. In it I like to ask participants to explain to the person next to them why they ranch.  Some say they love being their own boss, or love working outdoors and with livestock. Almost all of them say something about loving the lifestyle. Near the top of most people’s lists is, “It’s a great place to raise a family.”

I agree. I grew up on a small place. The biology lessons I learned from tending livestock were more influential than any I ever had in a classroom.  I learned other lessons too. I learned how to work hard and how to be resourceful. But it wasn’t just about work. Our place was a great setting for any adventure my imagination could conjure up. My mom sold it when I was in college and it just about broke my heart.

A ranch can be a great place to raise a family, but it isn’t always. I worked with a rancher shortly after my son, Jack, was born.  When we broke for lunch he asked about my new baby. I told him that when they placed Jack in Kathy’s arms for the first time, I could hardly see him for the tears of joy streaming down my face.  Tears welled up in his eyes too, but they weren’t tears of joy. Trying to hold back a flood of emotion, he told me how he had worked sun up to sun down to build a place “for the generations to come.”  He said that he hadn’t been as involved in his children’s lives as he should have been. As we sat on the hill, he told me that now he rarely hears from his adult children, who want no part of the ranch. A ranch can be a great place to raise a family, but it is not a substitute for our active involvement in family life.

Many ranchers are addicted to work. I’ll bet you’ve even heard some of your colleagues brag about how long and hard they work, proudly proclaiming things like, “I haven’t taken a vacation in 20 years.” They say it as though it is something to be proud of.  When I hear things like that I shake my head wondering, “Are things that bad?” You can’t run a sustainable business on unsustainable effort.

Intentional or not, work can become an excuse to avoid working through the issues every healthy family faces at one point or another.  When work consistently takes precedence over family needs, we set ourselves and our families up for trouble. Engaging in what may be uncomfortable conversations when issues first come up can keep them from growing into big problems.

In the last few months I’ve met a number of people who are learning that lesson the hard way. After decades of avoiding uncomfortable family issues they are facing extremely difficult challenges regarding succession.  Now, without any experience working with one another to resolve small issues, they are hoping to work through the most difficult challenges many of us will ever face. The conversations are made even more difficult because of the hurts that have gone untended and the resentments that have grown from not taking care of the family in the family business.   It’s a tough way to learn that success has more to do with healthy relationships than with conception rates and balance sheets.

I don’t mean to suggest that the physically demanding work that ranches require can be ignored, but it doesn’t have to be all consuming. Many Ranching For Profit School alumni have discovered that the ranch was all consuming only because they allowed it to be that way. After the school they restructured the business to increase profit and liberate their time to put more life in their work/life balance. They still work as hard as anyone, just not as long. Their ranches are great places to raise their families, andthey actually take the time and make the effort to be directly involved in raising them.

To hear how one RFP alumnus decreased the work required to run their ranch while increasing profit and improving their quality of life, click here.

Second Hand Saves

A child after my own heart!  Youngest son, college-bound Nathan, scored well at the second hand shops in Chillicothe today.  He has decided to spiffy up his wardrobe from jeans and t-shirts to a bit better dressed these past months.  Although his shoe purchases were high, there’s not much to be done with that.  He still did well buying new.  Honestly, he was in a shoe poor situation – everything he had is worn out and will be thrown away.

One dark blue classic styled 100% worsted wool, fully lined suit coat - $5.00.  The other is half lined and not as fancy at $3.00.
One dark blue classic styled 100% worsted wool, fully lined suit coat – $5.00. The other is half lined and not as fancy at $3.00.  Both made in the USA!
Three dress shirts: Calvin-Klein, Van Heusen, and Hathaway.  Cost of all three totalled $6.00.  Like new, maybe never worn.
Three dress shirts: Calvin-Klein, Van Heusen, and Hathaway. Cost of all three totalled $6.00. Like new, maybe never worn.
New backpack - $3.00
New backpack – $3.00

Nathan’s Graduation!

Our youngest has graduated from high school.  He has plenty of credits to do so and has managed Summa Cum Laude status with a 4.0 GPA, including, his nine hours of dual credit college courses in College Algebra, Psychology, and English Writing course via internet with North Central Missouri College at Trenton.  He has only a few modules and a couple of lab projects to complete for Physics and his mom is insisting on finishing Human (advanced) Biology (both Apologia courses, but this curriculum has changed hands since we purchased).

Sunday afternoon (7 June) is the big day of visiting and thanking friends and supporters of his 12 year home education career.  I’ll have some old photos displayed and we’ll grill some beef dogs and burgers along with picnic type food.  It’s planned for outdoors at our house, so hope the weather allows.

In preparation, the house needs spring cleaning top to bottom.  Though I have a good start, only one room is completed, and that is daughter Jessica’s room.  She is scheduled to arrive at Kansas City airport Friday night having completed her 2-year contract of teaching Kindergarten at The American School of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  We haven’t seen her in person since October!  Thank Yah for Skype and all the modern technology which allows family and friends to keep in touch.

So, the windows are shined inside and out, sills and sashes washed, wood frames, furniture, floors, floor trim, doors are all washed and dusted.  Bedclothes are washed and in order, chandelier polished.  Next room…..

With dear Pierrette too far away to help me with this massive undertaking (yes, it is a big job for me – i’d rather be building fence than cleaning house!), I’m grateful my husband has freed up our sons and Rick Tate a bit to help me not get too far behind in my farm work.  It seems they, too, are likeminded about house cleaning!  😉

Cheers!

tauna