Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Collecting Drugs on 29th and Van Brunt

If you are familiar with Kansas City you are fully aware this address is typically an area of town you want to avoid. You may be wondering then, what I was doing in this part of town, and why was I collecting drugs there?

In April a prescription take-back day was held and students from the pharmacy school had the opportunity to work with local law enforcement throughout the collection process. The prescription take-back day ensures the proper disposal of medications and keeps them out of the hands of people who may want to use them for purposes other than what they were intended for. Prescription medications are also collected to keep the drug waste out of the environment. The total amount of prescription drugs collected on this day was a little over 1100 pounds.

If you are interested in how to dispose of your medications and why it is important to do so you can click here. There are several days throughout the year when prescription take-back days are held. Look for future posts to inform you of when those days are and how you can find a location near you.

The medications brought to us are put in these containers.
The KCPD then collects these containers and sends them to
a facility to be destroyed.

James and Tristin worked the early shift.

Angela and I waiting for some drugs to be dropped off.

Working with local law enforcement to collect
the medications.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day Tribute to our Farmer Dads

Father's Day provides us with time to reflect on the things our dads have done for us as we have grown up. Both of our dads are farmers and have harvested many crops during their years spent working in the fields. I'm sure the seeds they are most proud of planting are those sown in their children. The seeds of determination, hard work, integrity, offering a helping hand to those in need, optimism, a love for agriculture and family are planted in each of their children.

Adam about his Dad:

My dad's not the typical one you see on the TV commercials that is playing a board game with his son and is encouraging him and then they go eat a bowl of cereal together and the dad rubs the kid's head and says something real corny. That's not my dad at all-he's pretty much the opposite. Well, that's not entirely true. I was just being funny. Growing up my dad would help me with sports and we would play catch and stuff like that. But my dad is not the type of person who tells you, "Good Job, I'm proud of you." It's just something I've gotten used to, even though I know he is proud but he just doesn't say it. I've learned so much from my dad and grandpa as I have grown up. They have been role models and teachers I have turned to when I have questions about farming. I am very grateful for everything my dad has done for me and how he has helped me get started farming. I'm very lucky to be farming with him and following in his footsteps and even though we have our disagreements there isn't anyone else I would rather be working with everyday. Thanks for setting a great example for me, Abby, Sara, and Jamie. Happy Father's Day!

Melissa to her Dad:


I inherited several things from you, my dimples, my love of ice cream, Mountain Dew, Life cereal and K-State. Growing up I was your combine girl and always loved riding along with you in the tractor. You are a man of actions rather than words and it was your actions I observed and learned from as I grew up. Watching you take care of a newborn calf for most of the night instilled in me my love for cattle and animals. Seeing you help others made me want to help too. Sitting next to you in the church pew every Sunday allowed me to learn there is someone we can turn to in our time of need, and that we are not alone in this life. Watching you persevere through hardships and adversity with an optimistic attitude allowed me to see the good and positive in every situation. Seeing you make jokes and be ornery helped me learn life should not be taken too seriously and laughter is the best cure for what ails you. You are a man of honor, integrity, a steward of the land, a caretaker to the animals and someone Dan, Kate, and I are proud to call our Dad. We love you very much and Happy Father's Day!

Wedding photos courtesy of Erica May Photography.

What we failed to put into words ourselves is said in this video.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flooding Update

In a previous post I wrote about the possibility of the Missouri River surpassing the levees at Atchison. This possibility is becoming more and more of a reality. The river is the highest I have ever seen it, and it is not far from reaching the street at the Riverfront Park. Governor Sam Brownback visited Atchison and Leavenworth today to check out flood preparations taking place in these two cities.

Piles of sandbags are appearing along the river and a concrete blockade has been set up to hold back the flood waters. We are still holding out hope the flood waters will not reach the crops Adam and his dad have planted in Missouri.

The view of the river looking south.

One pile of sandbags.

The concrete wall to hold back the flood waters.

A short video to display how rapidly the water is moving.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Father's Day Gift Ideas for the Farmer Dad

A dad who is a farmer can be a difficult person to buy a gift for. The "typical" Father's Day gifts just won't do for a dad who has chosen farming as their profession. When I say "typical" gifts I am referring to tools, golf clubs, Polo shirts, cologne, dress shirts, and ties. A farmer dad probably has every tool under the sun, and if they don't already have it, they will more than likely be purchasing it in the near future. The golfing attire and equipment are not good gifts for a farmer dad either. There is a high probability a farmer has never set foot on a golf course and would not know what to do with a 9 iron or a pitching wedge. Cologne would be a nice gesture, but I don't think my dad has ever worn cologne. Dress shirts and ties would be a nice gift, but the likelihood of them being worn more than once a year would be slim.

So, what do you get a dad who has everything and doesn't have any use for "typical" Father's Day gifts? I put together a short list of a few things I believe would be viable options to get a farmer dad for Father's Day.

5. One option is a Bluetooth headset. Farmers are constantly needing to use their hands throughout the day to perform various tasks. Freeing up one hand with the addition of a Bluetooth would give your dad the ability to work and talk on the phone at the same time.

4. If your dad is an Agnerd and has an iPhone you might want to consider purchasing a Life Proof Case to protect it from all the elements and hazards farming can expose a phone to. The Life Proof Case offers protection against water, dirt, snow, and shock. I'm patiently waiting for them to come out with a case for a Blackberry and a Droid.

3. If your dad enjoys reading there are a few books I would recommend purchasing for him. The American Farmer is a compilation of farmers and ranchers across this great nation. It has fantastic photos and provides a story about each farmer in the book. Cowboy Values and Cowboy Ethics are books that offer insight into the cowboy code and way of thinking. These books also have wonderful pictures that capture the western way of life.

2. Offer to clean out your dad's pickup. If your dad is like mine and is constantly on the go, he doesn't have time to give his truck a good cleaning. I have done this for my dad a few times and it is amazing what you will find in a farmer's truck. The layers of dust and grit can get pretty thick, a good detailing would be a great gift for a dad who doesn't always have time to give his vehicle some TLC.

Drum Roll Please..........And the number one gift you can get your farmer dad for Father's day is....

1. Quality time. Yes, it may be simple, but most farmers (and dads for that matter) are simple men and all they really want is to spend time with their kids and family on this day. If Sunday rolls around and you still have not figured out what to get your dad, I encourage you to simply spend time with him. This time of year is busy for farmers, but then again what time of the year is not a busy one? The quality time you spend with your farmer dad could very well be spent sitting in the cab of a tractor while he finishes up planting or while he is mowing and baling hay. This may not be the most ideal setting for spending time with your dad, but it is the life of a farmer and they don't take the day off because it is Father's Day. If a farmer can be working in the field, then that is where he will be regardless of what holiday it is. Even if your quality time is spent in a tractor just remember your dad will appreciate you taking time to visit with him, learn about what he is doing, and enjoy your company. The gift of quality time is a gift that will not be stored away in a toolbox, or in the back of closet, it will be stored in your father's heart, and this is the best place for a gift.

Have a great Father's Day and don't forget to tell the father in your life how much they mean to you!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kitten Rescue

Adam and I were able to tame a barn cat a few years ago, we name the cat Hank. We later learned Hank is a Henrietta, due to the fact she had kittens a little over a month ago. Yesterday was the first day the kittens had ventured up to the house from the barn. Adam noticed them through the window of the door before he stepped outside to leave for the day. He came back to the living room to tell me the kittens were outside. We walked to the back door to look at them and they were gone. We didn't see them anywhere, we looked under my car, around the house and couldn't find them.

Adam left and I got ready for work. Before I left I checked under the car to make sure the kittens were not under there. I drove the 35 miles to work, and then back home again once my 8 hour shift was over.

When I got out of my car I heard meowing, and it sounded like it was coming from the engine of the car. Several things went through my mind at this point. Things such as: oh my goodness I have to save this poor little kitten; the potential possibility of finding a dead kitten once I opened the hood; holy moly a cat has been in my engine all day and it didn't fall out while I was driving??!!

I opened up my hood and found not one, but TWO kittens stuck by the car battery. I managed to get them untangled and set free. I examined their bodies and didn't see any signs of burns, I let them walk around and from their movements it looked like they did not have any broken bones. I was concerned the kittens would be dehydrated after being stuck in there all day. Thankfully it was not hot yesterday like it had been earlier in the week, otherwise things might have turned out differently. I tried to get the kittens to drink water from a bowl, but they didn't seem interested. Then I tried putting them in a cardboard box with Hank to let them nurse, but Hank kept jumping out.

These two guys were stuck by my battery.
I think I'm going to name them AC and DC.

I soon realized why Hank wouldn't let the other two kittens nurse. She kept going over to my car, then she started meowing, and that's when I heard another meow from the engine. What?!!? Another kitten was stuck in there ALL day?!! I searched and searched and did not see the kitten. I kept listening for it, and narrowed the search area down to the right side of my car. I then looked under my front wheel and saw a tail sticking out by the strut. I tried to pull the kitten through the gap, but it was too big, I was able to peel the plastic back and set it free. The kitten was then able to climb into the engine part of the car. I found it and reached down and pull it to safety. This kitten was also free of any burns and broken bones. Thank goodness!! Once all three kittens were reunited with Hank she allowed them to nurse. I was relieved and glad they were getting some fluids in their body.

Momma cat, AKA Hank, assisting with the search and rescue.

This little guy was stuck up under the wheel well,
by the strut of my front tire. I was able to pull the plastic
back so it could get free. It then managed to crawl in
this tight space and I was able to get him out of here. This
kitten's name will probably be Strut.

Reunited with momma cat. She finally let them
nurse once all three kittens were set free.

She doesn't look too pleased. I think she might have enjoyed
her day of freedom.

After the kittens nursed for a little bit I was holding them and playing with them. Then two of them got away from me and CLIMBED RIGHT BACK UP IN THE ENGINE!!! Sheesh!! These cats must have a death wish or something. I was able to get the orange one out right away. The black one climbed up in a spot I could not reach. I spent about 30 minutes trying to rescue it. Then Hank decided to step in and offer some assistance. She climbed up in the engine and moved the kitten my way a little bit. I was then able to reach the kitten and set it free for a second time. My car is now parked away from the house to try to prevent the kittens from using it as a kitty condo.

These little kittens experienced the ride of their lives yesterday. I'm so thankful they were not injured, made it home safely, and I was able to free them from their predicament.

All three kittens were rescued and unharmed!

Saturday, June 4, 2011


With all of the rain the past few weeks I'm starting to think we live in Seattle instead of Kansas. The rain gauge has been emptied too many times to count and seeing rain in the ten-day forecast has made both of us cringe. The worry has gone from the possibility of hail damaged corn to the possibility of entire fields of corn being flooded in Missouri.

In the past sixteen days we have had just about equal days of rain and sunshine. Flooding has taken place in the area and we can only hope the Missouri River does not break through the levy and reach the farm ground Adam and his dad farm in Missouri.

Here is the breakdown of the rain amounts we have received.

May 19th - 0.5 inches- slow rain
May 20th - 0.5 inches- slow rain
May 21st - 3.5 inches- we received this amount in an hour and a half.
May 24th - 1.5 inches
May 25th - 1.6 inches
May 30th - 1.0 inch
June 1st - 2.25 inches

Grand total: 10.85 inches.

The pictures below show the flooding in the area and the standing water in the fields. The Missouri River was expected to crest in Atchison yesterday. As of right now, it is within the banks and has not exceeded them. We hope the flood waters will recede and the rain will take a break for a few weeks so things can dry out and the farmers can finish planting.

We are not the only ones who are dealing with standing water in the fields and flooding in the area. Flooding is taking place across much of the Midwest and our thoughts and prayers go out to the people who have been affected by flooding this spring.

The creek between our house and Adam's grandparent's house.

The terraces are full with water.

The Missouri River at Leavenworth, looking south.

The Missouri River at Leavenworth, looking north.
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