• Holly Spangler

    The Aftermath of Suzanne

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 31, 2011

    So last week, I posted a blog letter to Suzanne Somers, hoping to shed light on the many agricultural inaccuracies she shared on national television. And you might say, it struck a chord. Oh, did it ever. I am humbled and awed. As of this afternoon, more than 600 people have shared it on Facebook. Other people are sharing it on Twitter. (I am new to tweeting – twittering? – and I don't know how to measure this exactly, but it seems to be happening.) And as for the blog itself…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Dear Suzanne Somers

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 27, 2011

    Dear Ms. Somers, I am writing this letter on a Thursday, having understood through various social media outlets that you appeared on the Today Show a couple times late last week and over the weekend. I used to watch the Today Show faithfully, but then I got tired of being frightened into believing my kids were going to huff something, be kidnapped at birth or be eaten by sharks. For awhile, I tried to catch the headlines during the 7 -7:30 a.m. half hour, just to see what happened in the…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Give Me a Break!

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 25, 2011

    I wanted to pass along a little video I came across today. And yes, I know it's two months old and yes, I'm just now seeing it. So perhaps you, too, have seen it already. Regardless, I think there are some good points to be made here. First of all, it's John Stossel, the guy I grew up watching on 20/20 because it wasn't a Friday night in the Hinderliter household without 20/20, but apparently now he's on Fox Business. Again, I'm aware I'm behind. See previous paragraph. Anyway. Stossel…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Sometimes, It's Tough to Be an Illini

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 24, 2011

    In the heat of Saturday's game against Ohio State, I zipped off the following email to my colleague, Tim White, editor of our Ohio Farmer magazine, who once tried to drown me:  From: Holly Spangler Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2011 To: TWhite@farmprogress.com Subject: oh yeah             Now THAT's a game. Take that "the" Ohio State!! This was, I should note, well into the third quarter. Illinois was on fire, they had…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Health Insurance. Bleck.

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 21, 2011

    So, we got the letter this week. No big surprise: our health insurance premium is going up this year. Again. Just like last year. And the year before. Certainly, I shouldn't complain. We're healthy, so we don't have any major medical costs. But here's the thing. We're paying $3,600 a year in premiums for a policy with a $5,200 family deductible. That means we'll pay out $8,800 in a given year before we get any coverage whatsoever. To date, the only time we've ever met our deductible was…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    What Was Your Best Decision?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 19, 2011

    Several years ago, I came up with a handful of questions I like to ask Master Farmers. Through their nomination/application process, they submit virtually every shred of information regarding their farming operations, so I try to use the interview to learn a little bit more about them as a person. This isn't rocket science, believe me, but one of the things I like to ask is, "what's the best decision you ever made?" And I will say that nearly every time, often without hesitation, the Master…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Rural School Research

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 11, 2011

    Things I am learning about school districts in Illinois: 1.  We have a lot of them. 868, to be exact. Iowa has 372, and they'd like to cut it to 144. The state of Delaware has so few that every superintendent can gather in the state superintendent's living room. 2.  This is not all Chicago's fault. There are a lot of districts up there, but there are a whole lot more one-school districts downstate. 3.  We have a lot of areas with "dual districts" where there are separate…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Recovery

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 7, 2011

    I mentioned last week that our New Year's Eve plans included lots of teenagers and very little sleep. Oh, did it ever. In some fit of excitement late last fall, we decided to invite our high school youth group over to spend the night on New Year's Eve. They put together a little coffee house that night at church, which involved them serving and entertaining, then we returned to our house for the big sleepover. And pizza. You can't have a youth group sleepover without pizza. A few…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Girl Scout Cookies: Now HFCS-Free?

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 6, 2011

    The Girl Scouts of America have taken heat for a lot of things regarding their scrumptious little cookies. First, that they’re full of fat and calories, that they’re bad for people, that they encourage little girls to peddle unhealthy products. Now I love a Thin Mint as much as the next person, but obviously, the word moderation should come into play here. As my sister-in-law wisely says, “One Krispy Kreme won’t make you fat. Six will.” Anyway. Last summer…

    Continue Reading


  • Holly Spangler

    Redneck Sledding

    My Generation

     by Holly Spangler
     on January 4, 2011

    Check out this merry band of sledders! Slightly frozen, very snowy, and soon to be very sore. They are, give or take, most of the aunts, uncles and cousins on my husband's side. Also, see that big round thing in the middle? The thing that resembles the top of a poly tank?  Technically, it was the top of a poly tank. Then it became a giant sled. And it's amazing. I should also add, it may not look like an instrument of torture, but my sister-in-law's arm tells a different story…

    Continue Reading