Things have been extremely busy and exciting this summer.  My “regular” full-time university job continues to bring me great joy and satisfaction.  As I prepare for my 29th fall semester, I look forward to the returning students and faculty as much as I did many years ago!  And there have been some very exciting moments for me in my “other” jobs that I enjoy just as much.

The last blog gave an update on the entries at the Heart of Illinois Fair.  Allison and I also entered a number of cookies in the State Fair.  Although they did not place, it is always exciting to compete the in State Fair.

The good news is my blackberry jelly placed second!

bowl-of-berriesRead More »


As farmers, we tend to spend a lot of time listening to weather forecasts, watching the sky, and playing in the dirt!  Even though we have officially retired from the physical labor of farming, we will always remain farmers and have farming in our blood.

Our land and crops, flowers, grass, and bushes are still recovering from the harshness of this past winter.  My blackberries are very slow to recover and I fear the harvest will be very small.  Hopefully they will come back stronger next year.  The same is true of the ornamental grass.  I am not sure it is going to make it.  We have already dug up two clumps that were on either side of the garage door and replaced them with rose bushes.  We will see how the others progress after the 5 ½ inches of rain 10 days ago and temperatures this week in the 90’s.  (There’s that farmer in me!)Read More »