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Never too old

24 Jun

I believe that age is just a number, and everyone is young at heart. No one should ever tell you, “Oh, you’re too old to do that.” I especially live by this credo when I go with my friends or family to frequently see children’s movies. They’re lighthearted, always have a happy ending and (in my opinion) the humor appeals not only to children but to adults as well.

This past weekend, my friends and I went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. For those who are not familiar with the series, it is an animated film set in the days of the Vikings. A young Viking named Hiccup wants to join his town’s fight against the dragons that continually raid their town. However, his macho father and village leader, Stoik the Vast, will not allow his small and clumsy, but inventive, son to do so.

Regardless, Hiccup ventures out into battle and downs a mysterious Night Fury dragon with his invention, but can’t bring himself to kill it. Instead, Hiccup and the dragon, whom he dubs Toothless, begin a friendship that would open up both their worlds as the observant boy learns that his people have misjudged the species.

The sequel is essentially about Hiccup and Night Fury having to save their village against an evil dragon trapper (I won’t let out any spoilers about the movie).

I was very excited to see this movie, but I was surprised at the reaction I got when I told people I was interested in seeing it. Some of the top lines I heard were, “Isn’t that a kid’s movie?” and “Aren’t you a little old for those movies?”

I believe that I am never too old for kid’s movies. The themes and lessons in them are something I think everyone can relate to. I’ll admit if there were people older than me in the theater they were escorting kids, but the movie was lined with lessons of courage, bravery and love. Plus, it’s a movie about pet dragons — c’mon, that pretty much sells the movie itself. It was a cute and lighthearted, and I was laughing right along with the kids during the funny parts. My friends and I, whose age ranges from lower to upper twenties, all loved the movie and thought it was a fantastic sequel.

So for all you young at heart folks: don’t be discouraged when people say you’re too old for something. Just keep doing what makes you happy, and remember — age is just a number.

 
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To reunion or not?

12 Jun

High school. You remember it, right? Basically a John Hughes movie full of cliques, epic love stories, fast paced montages and possibly a musical number thrown in somewhere.

Surprised I made an 80’s reference? Yeah, me too.

Ok, so maybe that wasn’t everyone’s experience of high school, but nonetheless mine was a positive experience. I’m still friends with some of the people I went to high school with, and I was, in my opinion, in the perfect spot in high school: right in the middle. I was friends with everyone, and avoided many high school qualms that so many of my former peers were involved in.

Even though I had a positive high school experience, does that mean I want to return and reminisce at my five year class reunion? I’m not so sure.

Here’s the situation.

Every time I go home it’s basically a high school reunion. My town has a population of 1,400, and my graduating class size was a whopping 60 people. I know everyone in my town for the most part and, to be frank, a lot of my high school classmates have not left the lovely town of Lewiston. Getting together seems a bit redundant.

However, I do appreciate and understand the spirit of things, since my class size was so small we were like a little family. We literally spent the last 18 years together. Like Worthington, our elementary, middle and high school were in the same town, so we all just transferred to each school with each other.

Also, due to the lovely invention of social media, I basically already know what’s going on in my former classmates lives. Like so many people my age, we love Facebook, and we love talking about ourselves online. Some of my classmates do so more than others, but it’s not unfamiliar for me to see many of my former high school buddies do what I like to call “over-sharing” on social media sites.

I’m still mulling it over in my head, and I do have two more months to consider whether or not to go, but who knows, maybe I will suck it up and return to my high school days. Or I can go back and pretend my high school life was like a John Hughes movie. Time will tell.

 
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Shufflin’ off to Buffalo

23 May

Don’t panic! Another Daily Globe staff member is not leaving, but I am jetting out of the state for a five day, much needed, vacation back to my old stomping grounds in Buffalo, New York on Wednesday.

It’ll be great to visit with my old friends, and return to some of my favorite places in the city, but most of all it will give me time to prepare for my new role here at the Daily Globe, where I will be covering the city beat, at least in the mean time.

As most readers know, our Community Content Coordinator, Aaron Hagen, is hanging up the notepad for a career in investing. In his absence, I will be taking over covering the news in the city of Worthington. While I am very excited about this next step in my journalistic career, I am also very nervous. Most readers see my byline in the crime and education stories, but now you can add city news to the list, for now at least.

So, I am taking this mini vacation for some recovery time before my work life becomes full of new changes, and most certainly some busy times.

While I know I could never replace Mr. Hagen, and it will take me some time to get my feet wet in this new portion of my job, I’m excited to take on the challenge. I begin my new city reporting duties covering the next city council meeting on Tuesday.

I am familiar and actually have an interest in city council meetings and city reporting, my mother is currently on the city council in my hometown of Lewiston, so the inner workings of city council has always been something I’m familiar with and find interesting, to which I have my mother to thank.

So readers will definitely see my byline in the paper more often, and I’m hoping that’s a good thing!

Until then, I will be soaking up the sun on the beaches in Buffalo, and by beaches I mean the tiny plots of sand near Lake Erie, and I’m sure you can find me eating chicken wings at my favorite restaurant.

 
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Derby day

07 May

Watching the Kentucky Derby has always been a family tradition of ours. Every year myself, my parents and our close relatives who live in Kentucky place our bets, compare the odds of each horse and then eagerly watch the most exciting two minutes in sports; at least in my opinion it is.

This year, I won the bragging rights in choosing the winning horse, for those who don’t know, California Chrome a three-year old colt out of California won the roses.

California Chrome’s win broke a couple records, he is officially the first California bred horse to win the derby in 52 years, and his trainer Art Sherman, 77, is the oldest trainer to have a Kentucky Derby winner.

Once California Chrome crossed the finish line, I immediately called my parents to shamelessly rub in their faces that my pick won, but as we were talking they brought up another of their harebrained ideas.

My parents are famous for these kinds of ideas, they are usually pretty sensible for the most part, but every now and then an idea pops in their heads and they just run with it, sometimes it actually pays off, and others, well, not so much.

This one, was of course involving Faith.

My mother explained to me that my dad was researching online, which if you knew my parents always means that one of these crazy ideas are about to come up, anyway, they were looking at sires for Faith to make our own racehorse just like California Chrome.

For those who don’t know the story of the Kentucky Derby winner, one of the reasons why his win is also so famous is because his owners did not pay an outrageous amount of money to purchase him; he was actually bred from a mare that the owners only paid $8,000 for, and from a sire whose breeding rights only costed about $2,000.

In the horse world that is very cheap, most thoroughbreds you see in the derby cost between $30,000 to $100,000, and to pay for a sire depending on how many and which races they have won can cost thousands and even millions.

So my parents thought, if they can do it so can we.

They found a sire named War Champ whose breeding rights cost $7,000, to breed with Faith and train the foal to be racehorse.

Faith is a registered thoroughbred, and so it could be done, but seriously? Training a racehorse is a full time commitment.

Fun fact: To see if a thoroughbred is registered to race they will always have a tattoo in their upper lip. This tattoo is known as the Jockey Club Tattoo and each tattoo is applied by technicians licensed through the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau.

Anyway, I digress.

I laughed at this idea and said, “OK, if you want to pay to board the baby, pay for a trainer, move the horse up near Canterbury Park to actually be near a track so it can practice and be trained properly, then go for it. You can breed Faith.”

They joined in my laughter, and admitted it was a crazy idea, but fun to think about.

Who knows, maybe in a few years you’ll see a little colt or a filly from Minnesota on the track, but for now I think I’ll just watch and see if California Chrome can win the Triple Crown and see if his story will have a fairy tale ending.

 
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New Home

24 Apr

After many months of searching, and even placing an ad in the Daily Globe, I finally found a new home for my thoroughbred Faith that is only a couple miles outside of Worthington so I can now see her every day.

I think Faith will be much happier in her home, as she will be a more spoiled horse than ever before.

She will have a large 12 x 12 foot stall all to herself, as well as her own pasture to graze on that she doesn’t have to share with anyone else, talk about one lucky horse.

We haven’t made the move quite yet, but the planning is in the works.

Right now I’m just happy that I will finally be able to be with her every day, and I won’t have to drive over an hour anymore to see her.

I also wanted to thank everyone who reached out to me in offering Faith a new home. I was really surprised at how many calls I got once I put the ad in the paper, but I appreciated every one of them.

Even though I’m not a Worthington or Nobles County native, I was very touched by how many called and said they had an open stall available, and would be more than happy to take Faith in.

I know how tough and expensive it is for people with horses to take another one in, so I thank everyone that called and was willing to do that.

Right now, I am working on getting her tack moved over to the new place, which is almost as exhausting as hauling a horse due to the fact that I think she has more stuff than I do.

As always I will keep everyone updated on Faith’s journey from South Dakota to Minnesota, I think she will transition a lot better to her new home since it’s a smaller farm, but time will tell.

 
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Awareness

01 Apr

Normally my blog is full of laughs or just my random ramblings, but for this edition I’m taking a more serious approach, so bear with me.

Over the weekend, like many of you, read about the 15 dead horses discovered on a farm in Reading.

I’m sure many people were just as upset as I was, but as a horse owner, it hit close to home because Faith (my horse) was a rescue and she too was discovered on a farm emaciated and very ill.

I can’t attest as to why these horses were not given the proper care, but I can tell you the reality of being a horse owner, and some of the possible reasons why things like this happen.

The reality is: It’s expensive, and most people think they can handle it, realizing later that they can’t.

Just like with any type of farming the cost is stressful.

I realize horse ranches or owners get over looked a lot, and not considered a true farmer, but the truth is we put in the time, money and effort just like everyone else.

For an individual to even just own one horse it costs about $318 a month, and that’s just your standard one horse, if you have your own property and don’t have to board, one 130 pound bale of hay, trimming by a farrier, and basic health care.

However if you board a horse and don’t have the luxury of owning land, your price could be in the thousands each month, and many other factors make that cost go up.

Education is key.

For example, when I purchased Faith I was responsible for putting weight back on her.

I fed her twice a day, with a weight gain supplement (another added cost), and when she wasn’t eating grain she was put in a pasture to eat hay all day she did that for about six months.

It took about nine months for Faith to weigh the proper amount, and she gained roughly over 250 pounds from when I first bought her.

My rant will conclude with, before you or anyone you know is looking into buying a horse/s, educate yourself on the cost, time and work that goes into it.

If you can afford it and have the time, being a horse owner is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have.

Before.

After.

 
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To selfie or not to selfie

20 Mar

Here at the Daily Globe office, we tend to strike up interesting conversations among ourselves.

        It’s usually about local news or even interesting topics that are in the national news, but Wednesday’s topic of conversation happened to stray from the usual and landed on pictures, and not just any pictures, but ‘selfies’.

For those who have not heard of the infamous selfie, these are photos that you take, normally with a cell phone, of yourself or with a group of friends, but they must be taken by you, otherwise they’re not considered a selfie.

You can usually find selfies plastered all over Facebook or any other social media website, and yes I’ll admit I am a taker of selfies.

In attribute to this popular trend, there is now a song on the radio called ‘The Selfie Song’, yes it’s real, and in my opinion, garbage.

It makes that other trendy song ‘The Fox Song’, look like a Grammy award winning musical production.

This conversation first got started when our Community Content Coordinator, Aaron Hagen, asked me if I had heard the song, and being a happening twenty-something, of course I’ve heard it.

This sparked a few conversations, first off, how could a song like this make it to the airwaves?

In all fairness, I believe Hagen was more disappointed that ‘The Fox Song’ was never played on the radio, so I think there was a little bias on his part.

Another popular remark was, “What is wrong with American society?” or “What is wrong with today’s generation?”

I’ll admit some of our generation’s ideas are not all winners. We’ll take responsibility for twerking, Justin Bieber and the term ‘swag’ but selfies, in my opinion, are harmless.

Studies have shown that taking selfies actually has improved, especially girls’, self-esteem. If someone takes a picture of themselves that they think they look good in and post it to a social media site then I see no issue. If it boosts your confidence, then I say go for it.

However, I will take this time to apologize for the awful selfie song. Just because I agree with the act, does not mean I agree with the song, but I’ll let you be the judge.

 
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Spring is shedding

06 Mar

I think everyone has their certain telltale signs about when spring will arrive.

Sometimes it’s seeing that first blade of grass pop up out of the snow, for others it might be the slight rise in temperatures, but my sign is shedding.

Yes, shedding, not me personally, but my horse.

As an equestrian, and if there are others like me out there who read this will know, you can always tell when spring is upon us when clumps of hair start to fall while grooming your horse.

All winter long we wait for the day when our furry friends start to shed that winter coat.

As for my horse Faith, this is furriest she’s ever been, so much so that her bridle doesn’t fit over her head, and her saddle is a bit tighter than usual, but the colder it is, the furrier they get.

I compare it to the whole Groundhog Day rule; you know if a groundhog sees his shadow, we’ll have six more weeks of winter.

Well, for me, as long as Faith isn’t shedding then I know that spring isn’t coming yet.

Luckily, the other day when I was grooming her, she was starting to shed that winter coat, and other people at the barn were also saying that their horses have been shedding as well.

Now, I don’t know if this is a legitimate sign if spring is coming, but I figure it’s just as promising as what the weather man says.

 
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Quit complaining

24 Feb

Unfortunately as reporters sometimes we have to be the bearer of bad news.

Lately, the bad news has been the weather, with bone chilling temperatures and snow falling at least every other day.

Trust me when I say, we are just as tired reporting it just as much as you are hearing it. It feels like this winter weather will never let up.

However, my spirits were brightened when a woman from Brewster gave me a call to simply tell everyone to quit complaining, because there had definitely been worse winters than the one we’re experiencing this year.

This woman informed me that while going through old boxes she came across clippings from the Daily Globe dating back to the 1800’s

These clippings weren’t just at random, they were all articles about blizzards that have happened spanning from the late 1800’s all the way up to the 1990’s.

For example, the blizzard of 1936 lasted for six weeks, with snowfall ranging from two to four inches, with restricted visibility and slippery roads.

The Armistice Day blizzard, occurring in 1940, was a two-day blizzard resulting in snow accumulation up to 27 inches in some areas, winds of 50 to 80 mph and 20 foot snow drifts.

The Armistice Day blizzard ranks number two in Minnesota’s list of top-5 weather events of the 20th century.

A blizzard that struck southwest Minnesota in March in 1870 also made headlines with up to 16 inches of snowfall hitting the area.

It was very refreshing to hear that this definitely isn’t the worst southwest Minnesota has seen, and that if others can make it through tough weather, so can we.

Hopefully our winter woes won’t extend into March, but I think if anyone can handle bad weather, it’s us.

I mean c’mon, we’re Minnesotans, we got this.

 
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Child vs. Horse

13 Feb

I’m fairly used to people asking about Faith, my 10 year old thoroughbred; most of the time people ask how she is doing before how I’m doing.

I take it all in stride though, it is partly my fault since I refer to her as my kid, but I figure she has tantrums like one, eats like one and definitely costs just about as much as one. So, I think it’s a fair assessment.

Anyway I’m happy to report that she is doing much better, and I think is getting adjusted to her new Midwest home.

On my Tuesday night visit she was particularly in good spirits, and I even saw her eating hay with the other horses.

I now have some knowledge of what it feels like for parents who move and have to transfer their kids to a new school and hope they make friends.

The first words out of mouth were, “Faith, you made a friend!” Of course I was talking to a bunch of horses that just looked up at me briefly before continuing to eat, but needless to say I was happy that she is finally being included in the herd.

When I brought her into the barn she made no fuss about grooming, and even let me pick up her feet to clean them.

Since we’ve moved her not letting me pick up her feet has always been tell-tale sign that she was mad at me.

That may sound strange to some people.

How would she know if a horse is mad at her because it doesn’t want to pick its feet?

For one, before we moved she always let me, I never had a problem with this, but what really confirmed my suspicion was how she acted with the farrier.

For those who don’t know what a farrier is, it’s a person who specializes in treating and trimming horse’s hooves.

I was continually being told by the farrier that Faith is just “perfect” and she stands and lifts up her hooves like an “angel.”

She has hardly been acting like an angel for me, but as they always say about kids, they’re always nice to strangers and save the bad attitude for mom.

However, on my Tuesday visit there may have been some angel like behavior.

So for her especially good behavior I of course rewarded her with some treats, and even an apple. I can’t say enough how much Faith loves apples.

I’m hoping Faith is finally adjusted to her new home, or maybe it was the apple, either way I’m happy about the new attitude.

 

 
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