Are you ready?

I gave my Disaster Preparedness students a challenge.  The challenge was to use rubber ducks about town to remind folks about the importance of being prepared for emergencies and disasters – to get their ducks in a row.   As a part of the challenge they were to encourage folks to go to and learn more about what they could do to keep themselves and their families safe.  They were asked to take photos of their ducks’ travels and post them on Facebook in a group called Do you have your ducks in a row?

Tonight I share some of my students’ posts from the Facebook group.  You may see some folks you know. I hope you will take a moment to check out all the photos they have posted on Facebook.  And mostly, I hope you have your ducks in a row. ;-)





Day one thousand five hundred and forty-six of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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The longest day…

They say the longest day of 2014 was June 21st, but I know that cannot be right.  I know the correct answer is September 26, 2014.  I know this because I lived through the longest day of the year on the 26th and am just now barely recovering after a full weekend has passed.

On September 26, 2014, I traveled with seven of my students from my Advanced Business Continuity (ABC) class back and forth to Dickinson.  We traveled from Fargo (6 AM) to Bismarck for a meeting, and then on to Dickinson for meetings and tours, and then back to Bismarck for a late dinner, and then home.  I was the driver of one of the vehicles on this day long tour and I have to say that by the end of the day my wagon was seriously draggin’.  I was up at 4:30 AM on Friday and hit the bed with a thud the next day a few minutes before 1 AM.

But I have to say – having shared how exhausting such a day was on this old body – that my students that went on this excursion were fabulous.  They made me proud as we moved through our flurry of engagements.  They also made me laugh  an awful lot on the trip and I was reminded of how good it can be when you get to work with a great group of students.

I wouldn’t readily agree to have that long a day again, but I would not think twice about taking other outings with my ABC class.  This is a great bunch and they will go far.  I can only hope they remember me for more than my poor driving skills when they are rich and famous. ;-)

Day one thousand five hundred and forty-five of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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What is happening here?

I found it very sad when Tommy Bearson’s body was found.  When I first heard he was missing I was sure that he would turn up at a friend’s house and be startled at all the efforts that had gone into searching for him. But as time went on it became more and more concerning – where was he?

After his body was found the question became – what happened?  This evening one part of the puzzle has fallen into place as the police released preliminary autopsy results – Tommy was murdered.

Murdered.  I am so unsettled by this.  I cannot imagine his family’s anguish. I keep thinking that I have heard this word uttered more frequently in the Fargo/Moorhead area than I have in the past.  Perhaps it is just that I am paying more attention.  I knew one of the two victims that David Stevens savagely murdered this past November from my days in Kindred (Samantha Wickenheiser). Sam’s murder brought to the forefront of my mind that horrible things can happen here.  Then there was the guy who was stabbed near Cashwise back in March (allegedly over drugs) and the guy who was killed by his roommate in June…now it is Tommy.  That is five people in less than a year that I recall being murdered in this area.

When I add in some of the other unsettling things that have happened – like the recent attempted abduction at the mall and the crazy looking fellow who assaulted someone with a hammer, I begin to wonder aloud – what is happening here?  What happened to the North Dakota I love where I rarely heard about such crimes?

I have not looked recently, but I wonder, if our violent crime rate in the area increasing.  Or perhaps it is that I am just more attuned to the reporting of this type of  crime.  I am not sure, but I can tell you one thing for sure – the thought of this community suffering with this kind of violence makes me sick.

Day one thousand five hundred and forty-one of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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Maui – part three.

Maui is a beautiful place.  It is especially beautiful as a vacation spot.  But make no mistake, it does not come cheap.   It was a fabulous vacation – a once in a lifetime vacation for me and my family.  I don’t know that I will return to Maui in my lifetime, but I am happy that I got to experience it.

I should note though that should I win a huge lotto jackpot I would be fine watching happy couples getting married on the beach by my house (and having Oprah, Cher, and Clint as neighbors).  A life on Maui would be a nice life if money was not an issue.  But money is, in most folks’ lives, a fairly big consideration.

If you are planning to go to Maui I strongly encourage you to go to the Old Lahaina Luau and the Aloha Mixed Plate.  You should try and experience all the adventures Maui has to offer (from snorkeling to shopping).  We stayed at the Royal Kahana Outrigger condos and we found all the units we rented to be very nice (we also got a great rate). I do feel I should warn you about the Hana Highway.  It is a beautiful drive and not too nerve-wracking on the way to Hana, but coming back was horrifying.  I was sure we were going to be killed in a head-on collision.  Thank goodness Mike was driving or we would have never made it home. I would not do that again if you paid me.

And as for making it home, one of our pieces of luggage did not make it home.  Hawaiian Airlines lost it somewhere between Maui and Phoenix.  I have learned a great deal as of late about what items are not covered by the airlines claim process – in summary, most everything that isn’t apparel or basic hygiene items should not be in a checked bag because if it is lost you will not be compensated for the loss.  So there went many things – to include some fabulous souvenirs (not covered) and my patience for the whole baggage loss claim process.

Lost luggage aside, who am I to complain?  My entire family had a lovely vacation in Maui, Sarah and Dusty got “Mauied”, and I know exactly where to buy a home in Maui if I do hit the big jackpot.  I live a charmed life, this I know.