Talk of Iowa

DIY Deck Improvement

Jun 21, 2017
Fogarty Court / flickr

 

The summer months are a popular time to make improvements around the house—deck building included. Home improvement specialist Bill McAnally says that regular inspection and repairs are critical to a deck’s longevity but are often overlooked by homeowners.  

 

Lisa Dondlinger

In high school and college, Lisa Dondlinger was seriously involved in music and academics, and at first, she hesitated when asked to participate in the Miss Iowa Pageant in 1998. She did so and won that competition. Later, she says she turned down offers to work as an orchestral violinist and instead moved to L.A. where she became a studio musician. She is included in recordings for many movies, and she has played with musicians like Celine Dion, Paul McCartney, and the band Kiss.

Vivian Chen / flickr

The way women communicate with their friends can be subtle but powerful. Georgetown University professor of linguistics Deborah Tannen studies interpersonal relationships and communication patterns between women and the ways in which they differ from those of men. These differences can often be frustrating to those involved.

Lynn Greyling

Mother Nature can be pretty inconsistent when it comes to watering the yard or garden, but it's not hard to make up the difference. However, some watering techniques yield better results than others. Iowa State Extension Program Specialist Linda Naeve suggests watering plants in the early morning.

What's the point of a family vacation? Every family is different, but there are some things people can do to better ensure success. In this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks about how spending time on a vacation together can be healthy and meaningful. 

Joining the program is Karen Melton, an assistant professor of Child and Family Studies at Baylor University in Texas. Melton says that time with family should be intentional time together, but that doesn't mean every moment must be together. 

Ben Stanton/IPR

Farm toys can be toy tractors, harvesters, plows, and other equipment.  Some are meant to be played with, and others—the "precision models"—many people take great care to keep in good shape.  During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe explores what farm toys mean to collectors. 

Guests include Kate Bossen of Bossen Implement in Lamont; Amanda Schwartz, the manager of the National Farm Toy Museum in Dyersville; and Chuck Steffens from Sherrill, who makes custom parts to add to the farm toy models.

Chad Pregracke, president of Living Lands and Waters, a river clean up and educational organization, has a different kind of project that's going on display at the Figge Art Museum this month.

For nearly 20 years, he’s been traveling along the Mississippi and other rivers around the United States to clean up waste. During that time span, he’s collected a lot of things, like bowling pins, bowling balls, claw foot tubs, and a hand full of messages in a bottle.

IPR’s 2017 Summer Book List

Jun 12, 2017
Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

The summer months can be a great time of the year to crack open a new book. During this hour on Talk of Iowa, Jan Weismiller and Paul Ingram of Prairie Lights Book Store in Iowa City and Kathy Magruder from Pageturners Book Store in Indianola join host Charity Nebbe to discuss both their new and classic book recommendations to add to your summer reading list.

FICTION:

Jan's picks:

Do Not Become Alarmed—Maile Meloy

Bruce Marlin / Wikimedia Commons

Arthropods have a lot of legs. It’s easy to want to kill them when you find them in your house because they look creepy. But Iowa State University Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis says most often, these animals are friends not foes.

“They’re not insects. They are closely related. These are  animals that have an exoskeleton and have jointed legs. Millipedes, centipedes, and sowbugs are important to our gardens. You’ll see these critters, and it’s like pulling weeds, it’s satisfying to be able to call them by their right names,” says Lewis. 

Ddryden87

Every once in a great while, a caller on Horticulture Day will ask a question that the Hort Gang just can't answer. When our experts are stumped, we turn to the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with members of the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic and takes calls from listeners, 

The Timelessness of Feed Sacks

Jun 1, 2017
Terry Eiler

Feed sacks have played an important role in American history. Other than holding flour, seeds, and animal feed corn, feed sacks were often fashioned into clothing by women from before the Great Depression, all the way up to the 1960s. The use of feed sacks as clothing had a direct impact on the way that companies marketed their products.

"One of the first things that happened was that they did figure out a way to make wash-out inks," says Linzee Kull McCray, Iowa City writer and author of "Feed Sacks; the Colorful History of a Frugal Fabric."

Breanna Walton

Returning from three combat tours in Iraq, native Iowan Alex Sutton forges a new identity as a farmer, hatching chicks and raising goats on 43 acres in North Carolina. While he finds at least partial relief through farming, he cannot shake the lingering traumas of war. His life after war and subsequent struggles with PTSD are documented by director/cinematographer Alix Blair in her documentary Farmer/Veteran: A Combat Veteran's Fragile Struggle to Overcome Trauma and Transition to Life as a Farmer.

Baycrest

If you're visiting another country and disaster strikes, U.S. Consulates are there to help you. They can also help answer questions like: How should you contact your relatives if you end up in the hospital abroad? How can you keep your passport safe? What should you do if it gets stolen?

Phee/Wikimedia Commons

Until six years ago, Kelly Garrett says she’d never experienced real panic.

“In December of 2011, I was working at a local bank, and we were held up at gunpoint toward the end of the day. At the time, we got through everything, but that night, I got what I called my first real panic attack. It blind sided me, and it was completely incapacitating,” Garrett says.

Garrett is part of the 18% of Americans currently living with an anxiety disorder. Although they are highly treatable, only about one-third of those who have issues with anxiety are being treated for it.

szjeno09190

With summer just around the corner, strawberry season is upon us. The impending warm weather raises many questions for Iowans about how to care for their own strawberries. Whether you're searching for the perfect berry at the market, or trying to figure out how to properly manage the runners on your strawberry plants at home, our horticulture experts are here with what you need to know to keep your summer filled to the brim with fresh strawberries.

Author Loretta Ellsworth has written a number of books for young adults. This is her first novel aimed at an adult reader.  The reader is taken back and forth in time as the main character recalls her life and cherished memories.  The historic Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake is part of the setting weaved together with a 1940's World War II backdrop.  Ellsworth grew up in Mason City and her own parents met at the Surf Ballroom.

MrTinDC

It was not very long ago that eagles, osprey, peregrine falcons and other raptors were a rare sight in Iowa. One of the people who worked hard to bring these species back from the brink is Pat Schlarbaum. In this Talk of Iowa with Charity Nebbe, hear from Schlarbaum as he retires from a thirty-three year career with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  Also joining the conversation is Bruce Ehresman who has worked with Schlarbaum on many of his projects.

McGhiever / Wikimedia Commons

Here in Iowa, we know all too well about what happens when a major local employer leaves a community. That is what happened in Crosby, Minnesota in the early ‘80’s. In 1982, the mining industry left the area, took most of the jobs, and some felt, the future with it.

Aaron Hautala is president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew. He has been a driving force behind an effort to rebrand the area and the community.

“When the mines were closing, mountain bikes hadn’t been invented yet. The industry was still that fresh,” says Hautala.

TheeErin / Flickr

Comedian Kumail Nanjiani is a Los Angeles-based writer, actor, and comedian; and he’s conquering Hollywood as the writer and director of the new romantic comedy, The Big Sick, coming out this July.  

Before his film debuts, he's headed back to Iowa to speak at Grinnell College's commencement ceremony on Monday, May 22nd.

Fairfax County / Flickr

We’ve been seeing a lot of stories about the incoming deluge of ticks this season. Iowa State University Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis says despite some of that reporting, “nobody should panic.”

“There is no census of ticks. There is no systematic survey. What we have are people’s memories of how good it was last year or how bad it was last year, or how good or bad it was 10 years ago,” says Lewis.

Matthew Robey / Flickr

On this Talk of Iowa segment, host Charity Nebbe talks with Keith Lesmeister, author of We Could’ve Been Happy Here, a collection of short stories that all take place in Iowa. They are intimate, personal stories that give glimpses into what may be going on below the surface.

Lesmeister grew up in the Cedar Rapids area, and he now teaches at Northeast Iowa Community College and lives near Decorah.

River Lights Bookstore in Dubuque will be hosting Lesmeister for a reading on Friday, May 19th at 5:30 pm.

Carl Wycoff / Flickr

Cayson Irlbeck is 10-years-old, and until a few months ago, he'd never seen the green of the grass or the red of a stop sign. That all changed one afternoon when his parents surprised him with a pair of Enchroma glasses, which allow some people who are red-green colorblind to see in full color. He says it's been life changing for him. 

"Stoplights. Stop signs. The grass," he says. "My dad will wake me up really early, and I'll see the purple and orange in the sunrise. The sunsets are awesome too." 

Wikimedia Commons

Iowa has been through a lot of change in the last 40 years. The farm crisis set off a chain reaction that continues to impact rural Iowa today. While some rural areas are doing well, others are still struggling and trying to cope with ever dwindling populations. 

Public Gardens are "Hidden Gems"

May 12, 2017
Jason Mrachina / flickr

The Friday before Mother’s Day has been named National Public Gardens Day, which creates a wonderful opportunity to visit and celebrate the many public gardens in Iowa. Public parks like the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Reiman Gardens in Ames, and the Bickelhaupt Arboretum in Clinton are just some of many across the state. Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens, Aaron Steil, says that what sets these organizations apart from private counterparts is their dedication to educating the public about beautification and conservation of plant ecosystems.  

Pat Blank/IPR

There are lots of resources about co-parenting after a divorce, splitting your finances…. maintaining a civil relationship with your ex… but what about you? During this hour of Talk of Iowa – a conversation about your life after a divorce. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Cat Cantrill, who owns Vitality Vertical Fitness in Cedar Rapids, runs an online empowerment program called Secret Wardrobe and found a whole new identity after her marriage ended.

The new documentary I'm Not Racist... Am I? shows the journey of 12 teenagers from New York City who meet over the course of a school year to talk about race and privilege in a series of workshops and in conversations with friends and family members. The film's director, Catherine Wigginton Greene, hopes the film will inspire others to recognize and interrupt racism in their own lives.

Salim Virji / Flickr

When building a shed, do you shell out the cash for a prefab, or do you build it yourself? What about that garage you’ve always wanted?

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with home improvement expert Bill McAnally about best practices for building a shed or garage.

McAnally says that step one is to figure out the boundaries of the property to avoid accidentally building on a neighbor's property.

Harvard Square Press

This hour, we hear about the life of Michael Majok Kuch, a featured "Lost Boy of Sudan" from the PBS documentary "Dinka Diaries," as described in the poet Harriet Levin Millan's first novel "How Fast Can You Run." (Harvard Square Press). 

Pat Guiney

There is no single authority on single and plural pronouns, but our regular grammar expert always has practical advice.  In this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Patricia O’Conner, author of Woe is I and other books about the English language. O’Conner says "they," "their," and "them" can (sort of) be singular.  

Screenshot: Iowa Public Television's "Greetings From Iowa"

Iowa Public Television has unveiled their new digital-first series "Greetings from Iowa."  In this Talk of Iowa conversation, host Charity Nebbe talks with IPTV Producer/Director Tyler Brinegar who developed the series and IPTV's Digital Content Manager Taylor Shore.  

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