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Valley News and Views
Drayton , North Dakota
December 19, 2013     Valley News and Views
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December 19, 2013

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Valley News & Views Features alert Page 5 December 19th 2013 Nasty Letter to the Editor? Just Kidding... Sorry to disappoint everyone. No dirt. Actually got a very nice letter from Mr. McCollum, who was quite appreciative of our writers and Kelly's sausage. So, what were you thinking? Part of the letter, which is kind of long follows. No, I didn't leave out the bad parts. Still need room here for Helen Volk-Schill and Lauraine Snelling. The Letter: Dear Mr. Ritzo, This is a belated letter of gratitude and appreciation for your Sisyphean labors in keeping the Valley News & Views alive. Belated because I've been a subscriber for two years now, thanks to your old friend Dick Conway. (While I can't claim Dick as an old friend he's been a new friend made in my old age, and all the more precious for that.) I grew up just north of Chicago, and have since lived exclusively in large cities, but I harbor much love small towns - a love that probably began in Green Lake, Wisconsin, where my cousins' parents owned the hardware store. So it's a weekly delight and comfort to read of the doings in and around Drayton. It's so wonderful to know that such places still exist, in which the achievements of the kids are considered important (as of course they are, anywhere), and the people live in a rational relationship with nature (in other words, in awe of its power). I also invariably enjoy K.C.'s Column - a man who appreciates Frost is a man after my own heart, and for a musician, the top song lists are often evocative. Lloyd Omdahl, however, is my particular favorite, a writer who honestly tries to see both sides of the questions he considers, and to think beyond current passions and platitudes. I thin his recent "Homeland Committee Considers Hate Center" should be up for a Pulitzer. But it's been your recent "cognitive distortions" columns that have finally gotten me off my butt to write. They've coincided with some other books I've been reading recently in their attempts to get people to put aside their received "wisdom" and take another look at what they think they know all about. I'm sure you know James Lowen's books Lies My Teacher Told Me and Lies Across America. I've also been reading some of Marilynne Robinson's essays. The letter continues for a couple more pages and it's most important to note that it ends with "may Kelly's sausages sizzle for many years." I think that's similar to the Vulcan expression, "live long and prosper." Maybe redneck Vulcan or Klingon could use it .... "may your sausage sizzle long-time!" As a small town out in the middle of nowhere, it's kind of nice to be observed by an outsider who brings to light some of the positives of this lifestyle, that we often take for granted. We forget sometimes when it's twenty-five below, windy and we're trying to shovel the car out, hoping it will start, just how great it is. But where else, except maybe Siberia, can warm and cozy mean so much. I just thought it would be kind of fun to use Ace's letter to play with some the ideas I've been babbling about for weeks and at the same time bring him into the game, so to speak. Get Your Business Ready for 2014 Helen Volk Schill NDSU Pembina County Extension Office How will you make plans and set goals for your business in 20147 Or will you? "If you are typical of most people, you start the newyear by making some resolutions that you want to achieve in the next 12 months," says Helen Volk-Schill of Pembina County. 'knd typically those resolutions are forgotten in a very short time." We do not put our good intentions into practice for several reasons. The biggest are momentum and habit. Continuing to do what we are doing is easier. Habit keeps us on the same path. You can overcome habit, however. Research shows that if you repeat a behavior for 21 days, it will become a new habit. Yet before that can happen, you must recognize that something needs to change and be willing to take action. This means stepping back and taking a look at the big picture. Another reason why future plans are not carried out is that they are built on little or no data or data that does not reflect reality. As the business owner, do you know what is working, what is not and what your audience desires? Often plans are made using relatively current anecdotal information. It is flesh in our minds. Forgotten are the events that occurred nearly 12 months ago. A reflection on the memorable events for the year is helpful. And if you haven't captured those during the year, doing so may be one of your goals for next year. Additional information can be gleaned from financial statements and other key metrics. Information on the marketing efforts you used and the results each achieved is useful. Plus, the beginning of a new year is a good time to update an understanding of the broad, competitive marketplace and current and potentially future customers. "For many business owners, it is a busy time of year," says Glenn Muske, the North Dakota State University Extension Service's rural and agribusiness enterprise development specialist. "Thinking about planning for the future is not high on the agenda." "Yet it is a time when some rarely seen customers come by and additional new customers also come into the store," he adds. "So it's a great time to understand those two audience types." You may not have time to analyze data, but you can do some simple research. If your business does some substantial marketing and is making substantial sales during this time-of year, you need to capture what is working and how well each marketing effort is doing. This also is a good time to jot down resources you will need as you make plans for 2014. Maybe you already have one, but put a file folder on your desk, and as ideas andAnformation come your way, drop them in the folder for later use. You soon will be making those resolutions for what you would like to achieve in 2014. Find a few moments to do some work done now. This will ensure that your efforts point you in the right direction and focus on your key targets. For more information, contact your local Extension Service office at 265.8411. Also visit NDSU's small- business support website at smallbusiness and sign up for the monthly newsletter. Or check out Facebook at NDSUextsmallbiz or Twitter at @gmuske. Another online resource is www.eXtension. org! entrepreneurship. You also can get help from your local chamber of commerce, aswellastheSmall Business Administration and its related organizations, such as the Small Business Development Centers and SCORE. protection ....... up to S emaii accounts * monthly enewsletter * 5rob of space for a personal website * 24/7/365 technical support - 888.700. 7652 * free webmail 701,284.7221 / 800.284.7222 \\; Today is the first day of December and the final day of Thanksgiving weekend. Those two things aren't usually so close together. We have snow on our mountains and sixty-three degrees with glorious sunshine here in Tehachapi. And I am supposedly getting ready for Christmas? But I did do my annual visit to a bookstore and browsed around for the latest children's books to share with you. I not only share about them with you, I of course bring them home. Every year I say that I love picture books and that never changes. I now have quite a collection of them, even though my youngest child is over thirty. The first of four books that caught my eye is Santa Claus and the Three Bears by Maria Modugno and charmingly illustrated by Jane and Brooke Dyer. The cover shows three polar bears out for a walk with the tallest one holding a lantern and Santa and reindeer flying across the moon. I was hooked before I even opened the book. Everyone needs at least one three-bear book on their shelf. I know your little kids will ask you to read it again and again, probably long past Christmas time. The second book is Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer. I thought I had all the Olivia books. This little piglet with such a big heart, who always messes up so badly, endeared herself to me many books ago. Baking cookies? You guessed it--a mess. Setting the table? Oh she is trying sooooo very hard. Perhaps you have little ones like that, be they your children or grandchildren. By the way, Olivia's mother has the patience of a saint make that two saints. As always the art is fun and funny and reading aloud is always a delight. So pick up a book and let your voice ring out. This year I skipped the bookstore section on chapter books and went right to books for middle readers, the eight to twelve year old group. Three different kids, one former librarian and a complimentary review that I'd read somewhere, convinced me that I had to read Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. What a great story about a boy transplanted from Montana to Florida who loves the out of doors and is not impressed with Florida's flatness and weather and .... Besides being the new kid, he is under attack by the school bully, especially on the school bus. But when Roy sees a boy running barefoot, he is intrigued and thus the adventures to save burrowing owls, befriend another boy, who never fit in, and stop the bullying begins. Wild and wacky characters will entertain not just the kids but adults, too. This adult sure loved it. My eleven-year old granddaughter, who loved Hoot, vehemently insists that I must read Flush next. My fourth recommendation is written by Susan Fletcher and titled Falcon in the Glass. I have read all of Susan's books, starting with Dragon's Milk, which is still one of my all time favorite YA books. The hardest part of Falcon was that I did NOT want to put it down and I can only read right before I go to sleep because I have to finish the book I am currently writing. A young boy in Venice, son of a master glassblower, wants to follow in his deceased, possibly murdered father's, art but first must leave his position as a drudge and find an apprenticeship to a new master. Enter a bird girl, with a kestrel. Intrigue, suspense, all the ingredients of a compelling tale, are in this story. After this book you can go back and find Dragon's Milk. I do so love the draclings. Just a reminder: My S.A.V.E. Squad series for middle readers is available in local stores and online. Four gifts, four adventures. Dog Daze has a basset on the cover, much like my very own Sir Winston ob de Mountains and involves the girls' attempts to save one little basset puppy and track down the person, who threw it into the lake. I will admit reading this story always makes me laugh. InThe Great Cat Caper the girls devise a plan to save some feral cats, while Second Hand Horses stars a miniature horse, along with several other boisterous animals including a goose" and a goat. The final book, No Ordinary Owl, leads the girls on an adventure to save two small owls. These four books make a marvelous Christmas gift; charming readers from eight to... well the oldest I know so far is eighty-five and she said she laughed herself silly. My two other series, The Golden Filly and High Hurdles are perennial favorites, along with What About Cimmaron?. If you have a horse lover in your life, these books will bring hours of delight. So, as our year comes to a close, I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a new year filled with adventures. And perhaps you might even try your hand at storytelling. Happy readin' and writin' from Lauraine You can only be young once. But you can always be immature. -Dave Barry iiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiii!ii!ii ii!!i!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iliii iliil iiiiiiill i!i iii!!i i iiiii ii i iiiiiii iii#  i Your Children Value Of Money Children are not born with money sense. They learn by example. What you say and do as a parent is what your children will learn. Iris best to start teaching them about money at an early age. Explain how money is earned and why it's important to save. We encourage you to bring your child into the bank and we'll help them open their first savings account. Check Out Online Banking - KodaBank Call Us 701-454-3317 i