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Chickens, kudos and cowboys

I never thought my wife would be such a fan of chickens.

But after just a few minutes in the exhibit building at the fairgrounds Saturday, I knew she was hooked.

Not "I can't wait to raise those" hooked, but "Look how pretty that chicken is!" hooked.

She was actually a little giddy, calling a couple of friends and encouraging them to bring their children to the poultry paradise.

The road to Saturday's poultry show for Miriam and I actually began a year ago. I spent part of a Saturday there and couldn't stop talking about it for weeks. I had no idea there is such a diverse chicken community.

There was only one downside. After spending and hour or so walking through the cages and cages of chickens, poultry was certainly off the menu for Miriam for the day.

Me? I had a chicken burrito for lunch Saturday and baked chicken for supper Monday night. But it should be obvious that I rarely have trouble eating anything.

Which leads me to Sunday. Since the sun was out and the rain wasn't falling, I was in the yard, armed with a rake and a weedeater. (By the way, I'm convinced pine cones reproduce as soon as they hit the ground. There just can't be that many of the prickly things in the trees.)

Anyway, back to yard work. In the last six months or so, I've put on quite a winter coat. Actually, I just put the coat I lost last summer back on. I'm hoping my forays into the yard will help me work off some of those extra pounds. Or at least convince myself that I'm making an effort.

And while I'm on the subject of fitness, I can't say enough about Maxwell Elementary's Family Fun and Fitness Duffle Bags program.

The program -- funded by an $8,000 grant -- allows students to check out duffle bags filled with fitness equipment in an effort to encourage them to be active outside of school. School leaders also hope the program will encourage more interaction between students and their parents.

With the renewed focus on childhood obesity across the nation, the program could serve as a model for other schools.

After all, who can argue with encouraging tighter bonds between parents and children and making kids healthier?

One bit of news that was largely lost in the shuffle last week was the death of one of my favorite voices. Country singer Chris Ledoux was just 56 when liver cancer claimed him at his Wyoming home March 9.

A real cowboy, he competed on the rodeo circuit, building a fan base by selling cassettes at the events. He eventually turned to music full time, recorded 37 albums, and was -- in my opinion -- the best country singer you've probably never heard of.



Web posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2005











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