Deadlines come, and deadlines go.

Have you ever went to a job interview and one of the questions is “how do you handle deadlines?” The first time that happened to me, I had to really sit and think about it. And, I’m quite sure I answered “Oh, I’m good at them.” Or something along those lines. I had NO IDEA. None, zip, zilch. I came from a credit union background. Quite literally grew up in the credit union environment, so to speak. My grandmother was the manager of a credit union in Lewiston, Idaho for many years. She actually helped form it with the support of other nurses and doctors at St. Joseph’s Hospital. I remember quite fondly spending time with her in her ‘closet’ at the hospital way back then. That was the space alotted her when the credit union was formed. But, hey, that is a story for another day, so it will have to wait.

The day I walked into the Clearwater Tribune in Orofino, Idaho for a job interview was a day I’ve never forgotten. I had left the credit union position I had held for several years for something new and exciting. My aunt literally dropped her jaw when I walked in and told her I had quit. “You are the Assistant Manager of Orofino Credit Union and you have a young daughter, you quit your job???” Yes, ma’am. I did. She was an employee of the Idaho Employment Department, so I had no doubt she would find me a job. And a job, she definitely found me.

Cloann McNall owned the newspaper back then. She was raised in a newspaper family, but had recently taken over the Tribune full time after getting it in a divorce. She asked me a few questions, but the one that stuck out was about deadlines. Well, heck, I can handle deadlines. I managed to get the monthly deadlines done at my previous job and had for years. She told me “I guess you can try it and see if you like it.” I was hired to work one day a week typing up the newspaper. On an ancient computer that only showed you four or five words. Once it returned to the next line, there was nothing you could do about it.

I sat there that first day, cutting out lines of type to ‘paste’ over my mistakes. And I had to get it done quickly because we ‘had a deadline.’ Oh my. I learned a couple of things that day, but the biggest lesson was to not make mistakes. That deadline looming line didn’t mean so much if you weren’t sitting there cutting out lines of type while others waited on you. I also learned that a weekly newspaper deadline was ALOT different than a monthly one. And that one day a week job I took? That one day might be 8 hours on a slow week, or 23.5 hours on a disastrous week. Believe me, over the course of 30 plus years – I’ve done both. I’ve had pressmen standing over my computer telling me they would run a blank page if I didn’t get something figured out. And yes, it actually happened one time at an Oregon newspaper, but thankfully I wasn’t working that night.

I can’t tell you how many deadlines have come and gone in my publishing career. Way too many to count I’m sure. But one thing is for sure. It’s deadline week again here at All Things Country Magazine. I guess you could say I kind of like deadlines since they are still are part of my life. If you, by any chance, would like to be included in the November edition of All Things Country Magazine, just let me know. I’d love to include you!

Have a great Monday, wherever you may be.

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Volunteering in your Community

I reflect back on things I learned from my grandmother while she was alive during the month of October, her birth month. This year is no exception as I’ve been doing it all week. She taught me many, many things in my life. Growing up in the Air Force, it means you don’t spent great amounts of time with your family. I left for Japan when I was eighteen months old and didn’t return for four years. From about 1967 to 1974, the only time I saw my Grandma Alice was when my dad went to war or off to some type of training. So, I learned at a young age to appreciate every second you have to spend with your loved ones.

After our fire in 1974, we returned to Idaho again. My mom had a broken back and we literally owned less than a small u-haul full of belongings, so I guess it was a good time to migrate west for my folks. I was crushed, moving again. But, the one exciting part … to be able to learn from my Grandma again. So, although I cried all the way across the United States – from Woodbridge, Virginia to our first ‘family’ stopping point in Spokane, Washington, I was excited to see my ‘Idaho Grandparents’ again.

I couldn’t begin to explain to you everything I learned from my mom’s mother. Some of those things aren’t even suitable for public reading, and may be the ones I remember first. But, here is the number one thing she taught me. To volunteer in your community. If you do nothing else, make sure you volunteer in your community. She did that, and I spent years watching her do that. Heck, I spent a great deal of time helping her volunteer, which meant I was volunteering!!

She was involved in EVERYTHING, from hospice to voter registration. From church committees to hospital committees. She was at one time President of the Idaho Credit Union Association, along with just about every community group she was involved in. At the time of her death, days before she was admitted to the hospital, she spent the night with the family of someone who was in his final hours. On top of that, she made a few Avon deliveries that week, a ‘job’ she took after retiring. (She stayed with Avon for 24 years).

I’ve always tried to volunteer in any community I’ve lived in and have tried to be involved in any way possible. Estill County has been no exception. Dave and I do our best to stay involved in as many organizations and events as we can. We’ve donated to many, many fundraisers and tried to help as much as we could over the years. And that will not change in my lifetime. I will always strive to carry on my Grandma’s legacy of volunteerism the best I can.

So …. reach out, see where you can be of help in your community. Do what you can to make the world a better place. Visit a nursing home, volunteer at the Food Bank, help with school fundraisers. It’s all to better our world, and we can sure use that!

Have a Blessed day. 

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This Election!

Yikes. You are in publishing …. don’t talk about politics. That is something that Cheeta Brown, my mentor, told me very, very early in my publishing career. Of course, in my twenties, in a little town in North Central Idaho, politics weren’t exactly something I cared much about anyway. I was a single mother raising a child on very little money, even though I was working three jobs. And that one job involved making ads up for politicians. Back in the day when we actually hand-pasted ads, political season meant more meticulous work.

As my career progressed on to bigger newspapers, political season just meant alot more work. Now, as computers became more common – the ads started coming in camera ready, so it just meant processing them for newspaper printing. It got easier. But, let’s face it ….. ads have only gotten uglier over the years and once you spend a political season setting political ads, you are quite convinced you don’t want to do that again. Now, I was just an employee who earned a check. You know, it was a JOB for me. In another words Just. Over. Broke. The owners of said newspapers were the ones reaping the ‘checks, not me.

I read a story online this week that said everyone is tired of the media and this political season. They are tired of newspapers, television, radio and magazines because of the ads for the current election. Really, you just can’t get away from it right now. It seems about right. But I guess they’ve just got so many ads to run, in addition to their normal advertising, that things do seem like non-stop political ads. Well, maybe not non-stop – but every other one. Ha ha ha.

When I was reading that article, I had to get a big ole’ grin on my face. You see, I DO know of a publication you can look at right now without all the politics. Not one political thing on a single page. The latest edition of All Things Country Magazine. Or any edition of All Things Country Magazine. Yes, the income from the advertising would have been nice. I might have even gotten to take a decent vacation with my husband this fall. But, no, in the long run – that isn’t even enough reason to about accepting an ad for either candidate. There are enough other avenues for them to use for their advertising – and I will continue to keep my political opinion to myself.

Have a great evening!

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October brings our Kentuckyversary!

What, you’ve never heard of a Kentuckyversary? I guess the Dave person and I invented it then, ha ha ha. We have referred to our Kentucky arrival date as our Kentuckyversary for almost 14 years now. We arrived on Halloween day 2002, after driving across the states from Lewiston, Idaho in a big yellow truck. Dave came to Estill County sight-unseen, again having enough faith in me to follow me across the country.

We arrived on a somewhat nice day, but there was a weather system following us clear across the states. We made it to about Billings, Montana that first leg – and stopped to sleep [in said yellow truck] for a few short hours. There was snow coming and we couldn’t afford to spend too much time stopped. And that continued to happen for another two days. We finally stopped somewhere in Indiana on the 30th to get some much-needed rest and showers.

We headed out for the final leg and there are a few things that stick with me to this very day. Dave hitting the traffic in Louisville. It was pretty crazy getting that truck through there, especially for an Idaho guy that hardly ever drove on interstates growing up. We managed to hit all the lanes needed to continue on to Lexington on I-64. We were about to the Shelbyville area before the ‘Louisville’ conversation came up. It went something like this: Dave, “it’s spelled Lewisville, that is how I’ll pronounce it.” My reply? “Give it time, honey, give it time.”

The next big memory is heading down Highway 89 between Winchester and the Estill County line. Dave: “Boy, the road is narrow.” Me: “Just wait.” We were about to Trapp at this point, which is actually pretty wide by Kentucky back road standards. As we neared Puckett’s Cliffside Market, I told him “your cell phone probably won’t work beyond this point.” “WHAT??” At this point, he’s starting to question my sanity. But, he does that quite often anyway!

We finally cross into Estill County after going across the very narrow bridge across the Red River and start climbing the hill up to Harris Ferry Road. Of course, I’m warning him “we have to turn off this road at the top.” “And it’s narrower than this road.” Again, the crazy word came up. We just hoped that we wouldn’t meet another vehicle before reaching the driveway of the C2H2 Farm. And I was pleasantly surprised when he stepped out of the truck, looked at me and marveled at the beauty surrounding him.

We’ve now been marveling at the beauty that is Kentucky for longer than we have been anywhere together in our marriage. Whoa. In fact, 14 years is the longest I’ve spent anywhere in my entire life. Does it mean I’ve finally found my ‘home’? Yup, I think so. I truly have loved Kentucky my whole life … the people, the places, the view!

And even the narrow roads! We stayed on Harris Ferry Road – only road we’ve ever lived on in Estill County. And in case you were wondering, Dave pronounces it “Lou – a – vulle.” I guess we’re turning into Kentuckians after all! Have a Blessed day! Remember to share some kindness in your world today.

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October 17th and 80 Degrees

It’s October 17th and supposed to be 80 degrees outside today. What a beautiful fall day it’s going to be. But I can’t help and wonder what all the critters in the world think when the weather stays so warm into the fall. You know what I mean? It’s getting darker earlier and earlier, so their internal time clocks must be telling them that it should be cooler as well.

Yes, I know what you are thinking. This girl is crazy. Why on earth would such thoughts even run through her mind? That’s me though. I grew up trying to learn at least one thing every single day. I instilled that in my daughter as well. She was always to tell me what she learned at school each day. Just one thing. The day she told me ‘nothing,’ I informed her she couldn’t go back to school anymore. She broke out in tears! Literally sat there and cried.

I continued our conversation by telling her that I didn’t care if she told me the teacher had pink hair and that was it. At least it was SOMETHING. So, it was ‘our thing’ each day to learn what she had learned in school. I guess I might have went too far with Jen though. She graduated from high school in June of 2000, and continued her college career through last year. A full 15 years. And, no, she isn’t a slow learner. She’s a Special Education teacher for grades 4-6 at Orofino Elementary School in Orofino, Idaho – the very school I told her that she couldn’t go back to if she didn’t tell me what she’d learned. She’s also got two Master’s Degrees under her belt, and probably has plans to further her career even more.

I guess I owe my curiosity to my parents. To this day, my dad doesn’t give me an answer to anything. He’ll give me the formula to figure it out, but its my job to do the work. And my mom? Well, she was a teacher in her early days. And we grew up in the military, where there were long periods of time we didn’t go to a school. Traveling as much as we did, I remember doing many, many school lessons in the back seat of our car as we would travel from base to base. So, essentially, every day was a learning experience growing up.

And I surely haven’t lost that desire to learn, even at 55 years old. So, I guess that is why I would stand on my back deck and wonder what the alpacas were thinking about the weather. And wonder if the trees want to continue growing as their leaves turn wonderful shades of red, yellow and orange. Always strive to learn something, it builds our brains. And our hearts.

Have a beautiful day y’all. Let me know what you learned today!

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