Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blogs I read

Iowa's just sitting here this morning like a duck stuck in pond ice waiting for the next storm. You never know with the weather, but the latest forecast predicts a major ice storm across the south of Iowa and major snow across much of the rest. Merry Christmas from Mother Nature. I guess we'll just wait and see.

While waiting, I'm going to start replacing the "Blogs I Read" list over to the left. It'll take a while. A big problem with lists like this is that bloggers often stop blogging and links become dead ends. I went in several months ago to remove one of those dead ends from the previous incarnation of this list and accidentally removed the whole thing, then never quite got around to putting it back.

I read a lot of blogs and a lot of my favorites turned up as links on other blogs, so that's the reason for this list. Many of the blogs I read are rural. I've never farmed, but am in the first generation of my family not to (and now hardly any family members do), so I still think in farm/ranch terms much of the time and get up way too early in the morning even though there are no cows to milk or horses to feed. I think the world would be a better place if more people farmed or ranched, but on the other hand get cranky when city folks buy that little (or big) place in the country and clutter up the scenery with their outlandish houses.

I hardly ever read the blogs of people obsessed with politics (who seem to write the same thing over and over again) or of people who are angry all the time (ditto). Sporadic anger is fine, however. Many of my favorite blogs are written by people who share neither my political and religious convictions nor my sexual orientation. You never learn stuff if you only associate with people you agree with all the time. The point of the exercise is to learn how to get along amicably with people you disagree with.

So here starts the list, and if I carry through with this, "Blogs I read" will keep popping up on this side of the aisle as I add favorites over there.

Riverbend Journal: Ed Abbey (not that Ed Abbey) is a southern Iowan, too, although of a slightly more eastern persuasion. He's a native of one of the Iowavilles and you know how I feel about Iowaville. Ed started blogging as "Recycled Thoughts," but the problem there was that his thoughts tended to be original rather than recycled and quite intelligent and perceptive, too, so he closed that blog out and began again as "Riverbend." We share an interest in family history. It's hard to characterize Ed's blog, so you'll just have to see for yourself.

Sugar Creek Farm: Kelli Miller along with husband, Matt, and their children, live on a small farm not far from Osage in far North Iowa's Mitchell County. Since lots of what they produce on the farm is sold at farmers markets in the region during the season, you're liable to run into them. This is one of the friendliest, positive presentations of life on a smallish Iowa farm that I've come across, always a pleasure to read.

The Beginning Farmer: Like I said, I like to read about farming and ranching. Ethan Book and his family (wife and two young children) recently bought a farm with no buildings on it out there somewhere southwest of Knoxville toward Melcher-Dallas and built a simple home where they live now and are establishing a herd of Dexter cattle (I prefer black Angus). He also is associate pastor of New Covenant (Baptist) Church in Knoxville (that's Marion County in God's country --- southern Iowa).

1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

Thanks for the mention and the link. I'm with you on blogs that I enjoy reading. I tend to enjoy those that talk about things other than politics simply because they tend to have less anger involved.

On a side note, I am a first generation non-farmer too. I haven't given up on perhaps being a farmer on a small scale sometime in the future so my daughter may be the first non-farmer after all.