Archive for May, 2011

Teacher, Mentor and Friend…Rembered

Everyone can probably remember that “one” teacher that greatly impacted their life. For me, it was my Kindergarten teacher, Jane Cassidy. She was more than a teacher. She was an educator, a mentor and a friend. I was so fortunate to have Mrs. Cassidy as my first teacher. Because of her care, compassion and energy, I started off my school adventure with a love of the subjects…all of them…art, English, grammar, history, language, math, music, science, writing…I couldn’t get enough. She instilled upon me the importance of learning and developed my appetite to gain knowledge in all forms, throughout my years of schooling.

It is thinking about Mrs. Cassidy that I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum,


All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

[Source: “ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN” by Robert Fulghum.  See his web site at  ]

Mrs. Cassidy did not stop impacting my life after that first year. I continued to stop in and talk with her through my elementary years and would stop in and say hello at least once a week through high school, at lunch. During my brief time as a teacher, I thought of her as a mentor, remembering her passion for educating, ability to connect with all of the students and stressed the importance of thinking about answers and options to reach understanding.

Yesterday, I learned that my favorite teacher, educator, mentor and friend, Jane Cassidy, had passed away. I will never forget the impact that she had on my life and others. My prayers go out to her family. Mrs. Cassidy…you will never be forgotten.

EHV-1 Information

UPDATE – May 24

The CDFA has posted current cases by county and status of those horses on their website

UPDATE – May 21

As of Saturday, May 21, 10 horses in California have been confirmed, two in Colorado, one each in Washington and Alberta. In Colorado there are also six horses that have shown the symptoms of the virus.

EHV-1 is most commonly spread by direct horse-to-horse contact, but can also be carried on contaminated tack and clothing.

It is believed that horses that are current on their vaccination are likely protected as flu-rhino includes EHV.

I am providing this letter of guidance, from Colorado State,  for horse owners whose horses may have been exposed to horses with EHV-1. Read more…

A Time To Spray

During my check on the alfalfa today, to my dismay, I spotted several plants that show signs of the dreaded alfalfa weevil. The first picture is of healthy alfalfa.

Alfalfa Without Weevil Damage

This second picture, shows what an alfalfa plant looks like that is being consumed by the alfalfa weevil.

Alfalfa Plant Being Eaten By Weevils

Right now, there is approximately 2 ton of alfalfa per acre. With the current weather conditions, days not reaching 70 degrees and nights in the 20’s and 30’s, growing has stopped and the forecast for the next 8-10 days shows the same. These temperatures do not equate to growing days, so the alfalfa is essentially stalled.

Alfalfa Weevil Larvae

Additionally, this weather will not allow for me to cut the hay as it is not warm enough to cure. If we were to have 8-10 days of day time temperatures over 74 and no rain, I could cut now and be fine. However, this is not case and the weevils will continue to eat the plants, causing them to stop growing and reduce the tonnage per acre by as much as a half ton over the next two weeks, which is the soonest I might be able to cut.

On 130 acres, that half ton per acre equals 65 ton, which at current prices would mean a loss of over $12,000, not to mention a reduction in quality that would likely result in a loss of more than $15,000. With that potential loss, I will be spraying tomorrow or Wednesday, providing the wind is not blowing, to save what I have and hopefully allow for an additional increase of a quarter to a half ton more growth. This will be the first time in three years that I have had to spray for weevils. Got caught in a cycle.

2011 Irrigation Starts

2011 pivot turned on

Day 1 of Irrigation for 2011

Due to nice spring rains, we were able to hold off turning on the water until May 3 this year. Long range forecasts had shown another front coming in, but was adjusted on Monday to show upper 60’s and low 70’s without chance for rain.

While the alfalfa could have made it another five to six days without irrigation, I made the decision to stay ahead of the draw down and lay down an inch of water now to make sure that I was ahead of the water level for second cutting, so the plants do not get stressed. The master plan calls for starting 1st cutting in 12 days. We’ll see if the weather cooperates. 🙂

It was a pleasant morning flushing the mainline and discovering that for the first time in years, no risers were cracked or broken due to winter wear, livestock and wildlife.  Not so pleasant is knowing that the power bills are going to start coming again…

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