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7 posts from October 2015

Is pumpkin for pies being hoarded because of an anticipated shortage?

Are people hoarding pumpkin for pies?
This is the pumpkin shelf this morning at Meijers on West Saginaw.

Is the news starting to get around about an anticipated shortage of pumpkin for pies and similar delights this winter?

A news story this morning from told about how pumpkin production around the country has been slashed by half because of bad weather during the growing season.  Hence, the shortage.

During a shopping trip to Meijers on Lansing's westside, this shelf of pumpkin was getting  pretty thin.  Are people starting to hoard the fruit?

How about your local grocery store?  Got enough pumpkin?

Could Michigan become a national hub for growing hops for craft beer?


Michigan's craft beer industry is needing more hops.
What do you know about hops?

Could Michigan add another food item to its list of money-making crops?  There's corn, sugar beets, soy beans, navy beans and several more.

How about hops?  They are used as a sweetener in beer production.  And the Great Lakes state has become a hotbed for craft beer production where hops are needed in massive quantities.  

Google has a whole list of links about hop production in Michigan and how it's starting to get noticed.  Check this article from the Detroit Free Press about how a few guys in Eaton Rapids just south of Lansing took a half an acre and turned it into hops production.  

Then there's this piece on about how U.S. Sen. Gary Peters says Michigan is a natural place to grow them.

Are you prepared for the national canned pumpkin shortage?


Do you like pumpkin pie?
Are you prepared for a national canned pumpkin shortage?


Is pumpkin a food group for you during the late fall and winter?  Pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes?

If you are, you might want to read this story from Michigan's about the national pumpkin shortage and how its canned version will disappear from grocery store shelves after Thanksgiving.  

Weather is key pumpkin producing states is the culprit and has cut production down by half, according to the story.

Check for canned pumpkin and wince at the prices being asked for by those who sense some easy profits.

Are you going to stockpile a few extra cans for the winter?

Forming my thoughts about the life and death of my Uncle Ron Anderson, a father figure to me

My Uncle Ron and me.
This is an old picture of my Uncle Ron holding me when I was less than two-years-old.


Did you have a father figure?  A birth dad?  An uncle?  A pastor?  A character from a television show?

I never had a dad that I can remember, but I had a couple of uncles who in my mind filled that role.  They were important to me in my life as a young boy, a young man, a middle-ager and now a senior citizen.

During those times I desperately needed a pattern that I could follow on how to be a man.  You know what I mean?  I had a great mom who loved me unconditionally, but she was not a guy.  I needed a man's perspective on life and how to interact with the world.

One of those guys, my Uncle Ron Anderson died early this morning at the age of 92.  

I wonder if he ever knew that as a young guy I watched his every move to see how he handled every situation life threw at him.  I saw how he interacted with his wife, my Aunt Aileen and with his kids.  And I observed how he interacted with God in his everyday life.

He was a World War II vet who served in the South Pacific.  He married my aunt when she was still a teenager.  He was born with a fascination for radios and that carried through the rest of his life.  He had one of the first two-way radio businesses for Motorola.  He was one of the first dealers for Apple who sold their original brown box computers.  

Like my Aunt Aileen, he gave freely to those they could help and that included my mom.  They would ask for nothing in return.  

They experienced deep personal hardship, including the loss of their son and other challenges that would sink the average person.  They faced all this together for the 70 plus years that they were married.

I could say much more.  His life made a difference for a lot of people including mine.  

He knew he was loved by God and he reflected that in his life.  He knew that love gives and that love receives.

Uncle Ron and me.
My Uncle Ron and me talking at their home in Florida.



Check out this Gary Vaynerchuk post and video on aging and accomplishing your dreams

Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuck

As a member of the first class of baby-boomers who will turn 70 next year, this video from Gary Vaynerchuk resonated with me.  It's about seniors with dreams of things they still want to accomplish in their lives.

I've gotten caught in the trap of thinking that my life is quickly sliding along on a non-productive path.    Gary has had stunning success as an entrepreneur who caught the social media wave and has ridden it to great success over several years.  Click here for his blog post and video.

I'm going to read the post and watch the video again.  Gary, I'd love to hear examples of senior types who got back into the game.


Can you name one thing you've learned for each year you've lived?

A selfie I took while in Bosnia for a family reunion.
I learn stuff everyday, I think. You?


Are you over fifty?  

Here's a challenge:  Describe one thing you've learned for each year that you have lived.  I challenge you to try it.  Maybe, it's something simple that affected you, but won't change the world.  Or maybe, it's something that's really consequential that could touch a lot of people.

I tried it.  I turned 69 on the last day of August and in the middle of the month, I challenged myself to come up with 69 things I've learned.  They ranged from the importance of flossing to my latent desire to be a photographer.  I got stuck in the mud in my quest at number 23 and then I stopped.

I know that my life had been filled with lessons.  I've learned a lot.  But, right now, it's not jumping to the top of my personal radar.

How about you?  What have you learned from living life daily?  It could be anything.  It just needs to be important to you.

My quest to list my "69 lessons" has not stopped, it has just taken a pause.  I'm thinking about it.