Adventures on the Farm

150 Years of History —
         Gone in a few days!

Our farm has been in my husband Joe's family for 90 years. When Joe's mom was a baby, her parents moved here.

We're not exactly sure how old our barn was but it's older than the house and the house is nearly 120 years old.

So when Joe decided to take down the barn so he could build a new, heated shop, I was a bit skeptical. What would it cost? How much work was involved? And was he sure he wanted to demolish all that history?

He contracted with Rick Bartelt of Bartelt, the Remodeling Resource to do the demolition and clean-up. Bartelt will use the nice, old beams in his future construction projects. The rest was ours to keep so Joe offered the floor boards and beams to our neighbor Francis.

It's done now so there is no looking back. However I did make sure to take dozens of photos and some video so I could preserve it in our memories.

Here is our week
Tuesday, June 30 — Sunday, July 5, 2015.

barn before June 30, 2015
Barn before June 30, 2015

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Attitude is Everything

I recently read Attitude is Everything, a book by Jeff Keller Attitude is Everything book coverwhich has led me to realize why I can't run and have never been good at sports. Well, I at least now know part of the reason why. In his book, Mr. Keller explains the impact of self-talk on our attitude and thinking.

I was told at a young age that I ran funny, so all my life I told myself I can't run fast and I'm not good at sports. Of course being picked nearly last for any team at recess or in phy ed class didn't help matters either.

Okay - I get it. Physical ability does play a role and some people are more gifted than others. But what if I had told myself I'm a good runner and I can hit the softball and make it to 1st base before the ball? What if I had someone to encourage me and help me believe I could do it?

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The Farmer's Spirit

It was a great day! But it was also an uncertain and scary day. It was April 16, 1997. Our cows walked out of the barn for the last time; we were no longer dairy farmers. We had just made a life-changing decision. Would it prove to be the right choice?

My husband Joe and I managed our dairy farm and milked cows for 20 years. For the latter half of those years, we struggled with stray voltage, an insidious phenomenon that has destroyed whole herds and their owners. Our case wasn't quite that bad; it didn't kill our cattle or cause health issues for us. It did, however, cause health problems in our cows, which resulted in lower milk production. Because our income was based on pounds of milk produced, it hurt our bottom-line when any cow did not produce to standards. 

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Make Your Website Friendly for Mobile Users

Plymouth Chamber of Commerce mobile site

According to 2013 Pew Research, 56% of American adults have a smart phone and 63% of those adult cell owners use their phones to browse the web. Furthermore, more than a third of those people do most of their web browsing on their phones rather than a computer or tablet.

I could go on and on with statistics about mobile phone and mobile web usage, but I think you get the idea. Even if you don't have a smart phone and you're not part of the stats cited above, surely you know someone who is. The numbers are impressive, but they may be surprising if you haven't been paying much attention to the mobile craze.

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Get Your Website on the First Page of Google

Google Place Pages. Google+ Pages. Google Places for Business. Google+ Local. Have you seen all these names and been confused? You're not alone. Google hasn't made it easy for local businesses to understand. I'll try to clear up the confusion.

A Google Place or Google+ Page helps your potential customers sift through the noise on the Web and helps your business stand out from the crowd so you can be found when your prospects are looking for you.

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You Don’t Need to Travel to Exotic Lands to Find Great Adventure!

Our vacation started off great! Everything was going according to our plan. It was 7:45 a.m. on Monday, September 9 when my husband Joe and I hit the road, heading west. Weather was beautiful and as we drove southwest into Iowa and then Nebraska, the temperature continued to rise. Our car thermometer hovered around 100º most of the day. 10 hours later we found a motel in Grand Island, NE. It was still very warm so we took a little walk over to a nearby park and walked around the lake just before sunset.

Tuesday started out very much the same as the day before. We pulled out of the motel parking lot at 7:45 and soon after entered Mountain Time Zone. It’s always nice to gain that hour! By 2 p.m. we arrived at our destination, our daughter Andrea’s home in Fourmile Canyon, west of Boulder, Colorado. Andrea just moved into this house with her boyfriend Aaron 10 days prior to our arrival. The back of our Escape was loaded with things Andrea couldn’t fit into her car for the move.

Back in July, Andrea and Aaron found the mountain home for rent and were very excited when they learned they had been accepted. Soon after we arrived, we unloaded the car and took a tour around the home and yard. The house was originally a mining cabin 150 years ago and looks like it has had several additions over the years. I described it as amazing and weird at the same time. The bathroom is built around the mountain rock. Yes - the rock is part of the wall and part of the bathroom!

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Make Sure Your Mobile Site Is User Friendly

Smart phones are everywhere!

We just can’t put them down! We feel lost without them and will drive miles if we leave them behind. We take them everywhere and do much more than make phone calls with them. Yes, our phones are as mobile as we are and they seem to get smarter with each passing year.

Over the last few years smart phone usage has increased dramatically. And why not? 4G (generation) technology and improved phone functionality have made web browsing from our phones much easier and faster.

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Is Your Website Smart?

A mobile website is not the same as your desktop website scrunched to fit your smart phone screen. A mobile website is much smarter than that!Exotic Tans and Spa

To have a successful mobile website it must be designed for the small screen. That means buttons are made larger so they are easy to tap and information is limited. The mobile site must be streamlined and concise, with a professional, business-like look. A clear view of information and ease of navigation are paramount.

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Beware Phishing Spam!

I Better Business Bureau logorecently received an email from the Better Business Bureau which naturally sparked my interest, especially considering I had never received one from them in the past. The email told me they had received a complaint against my business. I found that particularly odd because this BBB was from New York. Furthermore, who would dare to complain about me? :)

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What Is a Mobile Website?Webs by Wagner mobile site

Web history is repeating itself — in the early days of the web when everything was new it was acceptable to have a somewhat shaky, experimental website. Many sites were crippled by misguided design advice and most companies didn't know any better. Now, people simply expect websites to work and to look professional.

In comes mobile. Last year, it was cool to simply have your desktop website show up on your smart phone. Now, expectations have gone up. It's time to improve your mobile site's usability and load time.

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How Can QR Codes Promote Your Business?QRCode

Quick Response (QR) codes are similar to barcodes used by retailers. The biggest difference between the two is the amount of data they can hold or share. Bar codes are linear one-dimensional codes and can only hold up to 20 numerical digits. QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alpha-numeric characters of information.

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7 Ways to Find New Customers On LinkedIn

If you own or are part of a business to business (B to B) company or even if you run a business to consumer (B to C) type business and you're looking for leads, there's likely more new business for you on LinkedIn (with its 161 million+ members) than you ever thought possible. The following tips may be helpful:

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The Two Steps You Must Take to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

I often wish I could reach out to everyone using LinkedIn because so many are missing these 2 simple, quick steps. There are many steps to setting up an optimized, useful LinkedIn profile and most users are missing many of the steps but these 2 are so fast and easy, why would anyone not take the time? I suppose the answer is they just don't know. So share this with your friends and connections on LinkedIn who need a little help.

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Adventures on the Farm

Our farm has been an exciting place this summer. We have had record-setting heat and drought in Wisconsin, like so many other states. That's the downside. The upside is my garden looks great (I watered a lot) and I'm canning vegetables like I haven't canned in years. More on that later.

I decided I want to share my farm adventures on my blog even though it's way off topic. I could start a new blog and maybe I will in the future, but for now I will share my stories here.

I will begin with our chicken adventures. If you are an experienced chicken farmer, you will find these chronicles silly and a waste of time so please go to the other links on this site so you can learn about web design or blogging or LinkedIn. For those of you who don't know very much about chickens, I hope you find my adventures mildly entertaining and perhaps learn something along the way.

Chicken Adventures - A Little Background . . .2 hens & 2 chicks

We are not strangers to raising our own chickens for meat. Both my husband Joe and I have helped our parents butcher chickens and Joe's parents had chickens for laying eggs on the farm for many years. However we had no experience actually hatching our own eggs. Our families always bought 100 - 150 two-day old chicks and raised them from that point. We had a few things to learn!

A few years back Joe's brother bought eggs, incubated, hatched, and raised them. A few of those chickens ended up on our farm. So for the last couple years we had 2 or 3 laying hens and 2 roosters. Several weeks ago we had an over abundance of eggs in the house so Joe decided to stop collecting eggs and let nature take its course. What the heck – let's see if we get babies. If not, it's only a few eggs lost.

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