Reflecting on a year in Nevada…

Happy 2017! I cannot believe how quickly 2016 came and went. So many people talked about what a terrible year it was. I thought it was a pretty great year. I thought I would take a moment to reflect on some of the 2016 adventures.

In December 2015 I announced in The Book of Life I had accepted a job with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and would be moving back home closer to my family.

We had some time in-between leaving Nebraska and when my new job started, so naturally we stayed with my parents. We were involved daily with the chores and animals on the ranch. And boy did it get cold, caring for baby lambs in freezing temperatures was certainly a priority.

The weather actually ended up delaying our moving truck, and needless to say we had to camp out in our apartment for about a week until our stuff arrived. It was kind of awkward to come home and night and not have anything (nothing) to sit on. But we survived and spent the next months unpacking…

We spent much of January and February settling into a new normal. The Hubs looked for work, and was actually able to get employment with the same security company he was with in Nebraska. We went to the ranch when weather permitted and enjoyed being able to help out my folks.

IMG_0279
Because who doesn’t need a sheep selfie?

After almost six years to the date, the Hubs became an American citizen. Whew what a process that was. If it wasn’t for a fantastic immigration lawyer (and money, and time) we could not have done it. Hindsight is always something, but we put together a list of 10 immigration tips in case you ever need to go through the process yourself (or know someone who is), as knowing some of these things upfront would have been helpful.

Tony
Becoming an American!

I became an aunt! My Mom and I made several trips to Wyoming to help my sister get ready for his birth, then to meet the little guy, then to spoil and cuddle him. He is seriously the most adorable kid ever… ok, I am probably biased, but he is pretty great, and cute. The whole family was able to spend Labor Day (for the folks’ 40th wedding anniversary) and Christmas together. We are eagerly anticipating the big cake smash birthday coming up.

Untitled design (1)
He was so little here…

In March, we headed south and took advantage of the Death Valley Super Bloom. Neither of us had ever been there, but enjoyed the few days we had. Not only was it an excellent place to visit, but one we certainly will return to. Next time we go, we decided we would camp in the park instead of driving to the motel in a nearby town. We would also watch all of the sunrises and sunsets, as the ones we saw were fantastic. And we probably wouldn’t try to see every.single.thing in the park in one visit.

Death AValley Super Bloom

If you know anything about me from social media, you know I like to cook (and eat). I experimented a lot with clay pot cooking, and tried cornish game hens, meatloaf, and chicken with 40 cloves of garlic.

In July my office hosted the first-ever youth summer day camp. We spent a week highlighting some of the projects youth can do in 4-H and explored the great outdoors. We had so much fun that we will continue this camp and talked about adding a winter one as well.

Living in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range gave us the chance to hike, swim, and explore areas near us. We didn’t make near enough time to enjoy as much scenic beauty and we wanted, but have been building our 2017 list of places to visit.

IMG_2509
Lake Tahoe

In the fall I had a ton of travel. I was fortunate enough to attend meetings and conferences where I could catch up with friends, as well as make new friends and learn new skills from events like BloggyCon and Top of the Class. I also was able to squeeze in a couple of fun trips too.

We bought a house! Apartment living was not for us. So we bit the bullet and bought our first home. Surprisingly, the process went much, much better in real life than I had imagined it would go. Yes, it seems we ended 2016 much the same way we started 2016, packing and moving. And let me just say that going through a move twice in one year is way too much. Two months later I am finally at the stage where I am hanging stuff on the walls and decorating.

2016 was a year of change and challenge, new beginnings, exploration, and family. I saw my family more in the past year than I had in the last six years. It was great being able to go 4-wheeling in the mountains, celebrate life events and holidays, and just hang out. On the work front, getting adjust to a completely new and different system has taken time, but we are once again full-staffed and everyone has learned their roles and responsibilities. I look forward to what 2017 will bring, and wish you all the best.


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

Are you prepared for a flood?

There has been a lot of talk this week about the 1997 flood. Twenty years ago, on New Year’s Eve (1996) my Dad and I went goose hunting. We had set out our decoys and had a good early morning hunt, however, it started raining so we packed everything up, leaving the bags of decoys in a dry irrigation ditch. The next day we went back to get the decoys, as it was still raining. Three days later the rain finally stopped, but left massive destruction in its wake. I will never forget that flood and all of the unfortunate circumstances of those in its’ path. Now, as talk is recirculating about another flood, it may be time to familiarize ourselves with some good tips during floods. Information below has come from the Red Cross, FEMA, and the National Weather Service.

How do I know if my home/business is in a flood plain? The best local resource for information on flooding is Nevada Floods (you may have something similar in your states) Under “know your risk,” and then “will you flood?” you can put your address in, and the map will indicate your risk of flooding.

1-carson-rain-storm-1-4-17-006-002_edit

Flood watch means that flooding is possible in your area. You should be prepared to move to higher ground upon short notice. A flood warning means a flood is occurring or is about to occur. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

But do I really have to leave my home? If the danger is significant, local authorities may issue an evacuation notice to alert residents in an area that flooding will be or is occurring and it is important to leave the area. Evacuation orders vary by community and by state, and may range from voluntary to mandatory. When authorities issue a mandatory evacuation notice, leave the area immediately. If you have pets take them with you. If you cannot take them with you make arrangements to board them at a facility well away from flood danger. Keep in mind the Five Ps of Evacuation: people, prescriptions, paper, personal needs, and priceless items (these are more clearly defined below).

Before a flood:

  • Water: At least a 3-day supply (one gallon per person per day and extra if you have pets)
  • Food: At least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare foods
  • Medications: At least a 7-day supply
  • Medical items: Hearing aids and batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, canes or other walking assistance tools, items for people with disabilities
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Rubber boots and rubber gloves
  • Copies of personal documents (medication lists, important medical information, deed/lease to home, birth and/or marriage certificates, insurance policies, etc.)
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Extra blankets, clothing, and shoes
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, water, carrier, bowl, blankets, toys)
  • Extra sets of vehicle and house keys
  • Priceless items or valuables
  • Rain gear
  • Camera for photos of damage
  • A NOAA weather radio which receives broadcast alerts directly from the National Weather Service

During a flood:

  • Listen to the TV and/or radio for flood warnings and reports of flooding
  • Check web sites (for example, National Weather Service)
  • Be prepared in case there is a power outage, have electronic devices charged
  • Take advantage of sandbags if your home/business is in a flood prone area – be prepared, as these take longer to fill than you might think. See Sandbagging Techniques for information about how to fill and place sandbags
  • If you have a basement, make sure your sump pump is working, consider a backup battery operated one if necessary
  • Clear debris from gutters or downspouts
  • Cautiously clear small items out of waterways, anything bigger than a tumbleweed should be removed by an emergency service person
  • Anchor any fuel tanks and outdoor furniture
  • Move important documents and valuables to a safe place
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice
  • When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there
  • Do not try to walk in flood waters, just six inches is enough to knock you down
  • Do not try to cross a flooded road, turn around and find an alternative route. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of water
  • Keep children out of the water
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize potential dangers
  • Know your evacuation routes (several may need to be identified) and have a place to stay
  • Ensure your vehicle has a full tank of gas and is ready to go if you need to leave an area quickly
  • If you do not have a place to go, contact the city to determine where evacuation shelters are located
  • Establish a communication plan with family – determine ahead of time where you will meet or go if you should get separated
  • Use text messaging or social media to let friends and family know you are safe

If you should happen to get trapped in a building, vehicle, or outdoors during a flood, get to the highest spot you can and try to signal or call for help.

After a flood:

  • Only return home when officials have declared the area safe
  • Shut off utilities until it can be determined that they do not pose a risk
  • Use flashlights, not lanterns, torches, or matches to examine buildings, as open flames may cause a fire or explosion if gases have been leaking
  • Before entering your home, look for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks, or other damage
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department
  • If parts of your home are collapsed or damaged, approach carefully
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, rubber gloves, and rubber boots
  • Be especially cautious of mold, asbestos, or lead paint contamination
  • If food or water have come into contact with floodwater, discard these items
  • Work with your insurance company if you have flood insurance
  • Let people know you are safe

Unfortunately we cannot prevent floods, but we can prepare for them. Having a plan in place and communicating that with people closest to you will help ensure peace of mind and safety.


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

Creating lifelong learners: Summer Day Camp

August 12 is International Youth Day. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will be celebrating by highlighting the accomplishments of 4-H, a program that provides positive youth development by promoting citizenship, healthy living, science education, leadership skills, and more. Coincidentally, last week my office held its first ever Youth Summer Day Camp. We have actively been working on creating awareness about 4-H and Extension, and what we can provide to both youth and adults in our community. While this will take time, I am excited about how our camp went over. We are exploring the idea of hosting two to three of these annually.

The goals of the camp were that it had to be educational and it had to be fun. Judging by the youth evaluations we achieved both of those components! We hope that by introducing the youth to a variety of things, we are helping to create lifelong learners.

On Day 1 we did a hike around Spooner Lake, which is near Lake Tahoe. It is just over 2 miles, so perfect to do with kids. On this day the youth learned the differences between trees, shrubs, and forbs, as well as how to identify several within each of those major groups. We grilled hotdogs for lunch and rounded out the day talking about our forests and waterways.IMG_3609

On day 2 we went to the Library. They have computers on which each youth can learn how to code and program on, all of the skills learned resulted in a maze competition later in the day. They built mazes and the other teams had to solve them by writing in the code. We had circuit challenges, they learned how to create designs, and everyone got to have something printed by the 3D printer. IMG_3380

Day 3 was photography day. They learned how to take a good photo, how to work their cameras and change the settings depending on what they were trying to photograph. To hone their skills we visited Silver Saddle Ranch and the river. At the end of the day our instructor gave them tips on the photos they took and encouraged them to look for youth photography exhibits. For more check out Silver Saddle Ranch… Wordless Wednesday.IMG_3465

Day 4 was STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Day. My colleague taught the youth how to make little cleaning robots which had to clean up an “oil spill” (aka rice). Youth also learned about polymers and their ability to absorbs and hold water in things like diapers or soil. The big hit of the day was learning about CO2 and dry ice, which provided endless fun. IMG_3533

Rounding out Day 5 was entomology, or the study of insects. We visited a bug and butterfly house where one of my colleagues taught the youth how to catch insects. The youth then learned how to identify what they caught based on wings, legs, and other distinguishable body characteristics. The youth learned how to euthanize an insect and how to pin it. They were able to start their own collections. Undoubtedly, we now have some youth who are home insect collectors. IMG_3590

I would say that our first day camp was a huge hit. All of the youth loved it, as did their parents. We are looking forward to future camps which encourage youth to become lifelong learners, ask questions, and have fun!


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

Life Update: Nebraska to Nevada

I cannot believe June is wrapping up! Where has the time gone? I have been terrible at blogging over the last few months, and for that I apologize. My calendar is freeing up, and I am going to get back in the routine. Until then, I thought I would give you an update on how the big move and career change from Nebraska to Nevada is going.

In case you need a refresher, I announced in The Book of Life: Closing and Opening Chapters that I had made the big decision to leave Nebraska Extension and head west to start a career with Nevada Extension. A main reason for making this drastic move was getting back close to the family ranch and my family here. It has been a lot of fun to celebrate holidays and special occasions with my family again. We have probably seen each other more in the last six months than we have in six years!

We (the Hubs, the cat, and I) left Nebraska mid-December(ish). We picked my Dad up in Denver on day 2, and made our way across Colorado and Utah. We continued to have great weather, so on day 3 we took Nevada’s loneliest highway (Highway 50) across Nevada. When you have a roadtrip of ~1,600 miles you hope it is uneventful, and it was. We were blessed by the travel Gods.

Our belongings and their transportation to Nevada weren’t so lucky. We knew when we planned the move that it could take our stuff three to ten days to arrive. Little did we know that storm after storm across the country would derail those plans. In the end it was about 20 days later when our stuff arrived. Since I had to start work in that time I had to buy a few pairs of slacks and blouses, and we camped out in the apartment for about a week. We were sure glad to see the movers arrive.

Once we got our stuff and got unpacked we hit the ground running. A long journey finally came to an end when the Hubs became an official American citizen. You can read more at My story: 10 Immigration tips when marrying a non-American. Almost six years to the date of when he arrived on his fiance visa, he was raising his right hand and swearing allegiance to the USA. It was a great day, and one that we have waited for for a long time.

Tony

Meanwhile, back at my office… My office manager retired about 10 days after I arrived and our part-time office assistant went on vacation. It was a little stressful to not only learn what I was supposed to do, but to also learn about our budget, how to pay bills, and the other 749 things these great ladies had been doing. Happily, we have since hired a new and fabulous Office Manager and our part-time office assistant is back. It feels great to have all of the pieces in place and to be moving forward again. I immediately partnered up with the Chamber of Commerce to offer Social Media classes to local businesses, and it has gone over very well.

At the ranch, there was another great lamb crop born. Even though we had several large snow storms our family was prepared to handle them and to provide the best care for all of the animals. Read more about how we Care for baby lambs in freezing temperatures. My Mom sold several lambs to the 4-H members, and they did a great job raising them and showed them in May at the Nevada Jr. Livestock Show.

This past spring was a busy one as my Dad had a knee replaced. Considering the extent of the surgery, his recovery has been great. Just weeks after the replacement he was driving the skidsteer again – hard to keep a good rancher down. And even more exciting, my nephew was born. My Mom and I have made several trips to go visit him and his parents, and we anxiously await for their visit here at the end of the summer. I think it is safe to say he has all of wrapped around his chubby little fingers.

Untitled design (1)

 

As for fun… Well the Hubs and I took advantage of the nice weather and took a long weekend to Death Valley Super Bloom… A photo journal. Neither of us had ever been there, and it was fantastic. We are already planning our next visit – when the cooler temperatures return. We are also less than 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe, so we have been enjoying that scenic beauty and all that the lake has to offer.

Death AValley Super Bloom

As far as Cali cat, she handled the drive like a champ. However, the entire moving experience traumatized her. My parents have two indoor cats that are not welcoming to other cats, so Cali stayed with my Grandpa until our stuff arrived and we got unpacked (about 3 weeks). He loved the company, but she was not happy with me at all. Once we brought her home it took another month for her to get settled in. She is finally back to her old self now and is not looking forward to moving any time soon.

While there was a lot of other things that happened in the last six months, these are some of the major highlights. I look forward to getting back into a regular blogging routine. As usual, it will be a mixture of current research findings and events, interesting ag stories, and introductions to the people who grow and raise our food.


Dr. Lindsay can also be found on:

– Twitter/Instagram (agwithdrlindsay)
Facebook
Pinterest

 

Champions… Throwback Thursday

I was fortunate enough to raise two Nevada State Fair Champion steers (“Red” and “Sisco”) as a 4-H member. The Nevada State Fair always made mugs with the name of the youth that raised the Champion animals and the buyer of the animal. My parents still have and use their mugs!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/3f7/60140387/files/2014/12/img_5965.jpg