Mar 052012

"Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes." ~ Author Unknown (Photo by Dale Jackson)

Any gardener worth their salt is already longing to get back into the garden.  Each day of blue sky and sunshine makes most green thumbs itch for the opportunity to dig in the soil.

You don’t have to wait until spring officially arrives.  You can begin your gardening chores by starting seeds indoors.  Then when mild weather and temperatures arrive, you’ll be ready to transplant your young seedlings into your garden.



Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

Check out this MU Extension publication to learn more about starting seeds.

 Posted by on March 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm
Feb 272012

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." ~ Benjamin Franklin (Photo by Thomas Picard)

Just about anyone can hang out a shingle that declares them a financial adviser.  There are a myriad of financial consultants that are eager and willing to invest your hard-earned money, but you should never choose financial advise causally.  Shop around, ask friends and family, and do your homework. You need to know what conflicts of interest a financial specialist might have.  Find out how they are compensated and who they work for.  It’s a good idea to check to see if any disciplinary action has been taken against a potential planner.  When choosing a financial consultant the old adage still holds true: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.



Today’s guest is Robert Weagley, Associate Professor Personal Financial Planning and Chair of the Personal Financial Planning department for the University of Missouri.

Visit the MU Personal Financial Planning site for more information.


 Posted by on February 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm
Feb 132012

"In college, you learn how to learn. Four years is not too much time to spend at that." ~ Mary Oliver (Photo by Piotr Lewandowski)

Competition for jobs today is global. That means a solid education is nearly mandatory for career success. With the cost of college rising, just like everything else, long-term planning is necessary to fund an education today.  Fortunately, there are many resources available to help both today and tomorrow’s students.



My guest today is Ryan Law, Director of the Office for Financial Success for the University of Missouri.

For more information, visit MU’s Department of Personal Financial Planning


 Posted by on February 13, 2012 at 10:07 pm
Feb 072012

"One of the very nice things about investing in the stock market is that you learn about all different aspects of the economy. It's your window into a very large world." ~ Ron Chernow (Photo by T. Al Nakib)

Every family has their own unique financial goals. It could be saving for retirement, putting money aside for a college education, or buying a house.  Whatever your goals, you should seriously consider investing.  Why?  It’s necessary if you want to reach your financial goals.

Three things can help you become a successful investor.  Having the discipline to make a saving and investment plan and sticking to it.  You also need to make sure to diversify your investments across a wide range of products, and you need to start as young as possible, so your investments have time to grow and improve.



Today’s guest is Robert Weagley, Chair of the Personal Financial Planning department for the University of Missouri.

For more information, visit the University of Missouri’s Office for Financial Success.

 Posted by on February 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm
Jan 302012

"Anything that we can do to raise personal savings is very much in the interest of this country." ~ Alan Greenspan (Photo by Laura Leavell)

Money is so easy to spend that it can slip away before we can set some aside for saving.  But, there are some simple and painless ways to lay aside a little extra money each month.  One great place to start is with your income tax refund.  Use some or all of it to open the road to a lifetime of saving.



Today’s guest is Brenda Procter, University of Missouri Extension Instructor and State Consumer and Family Economics Specialist.


There are more tips for getting started saving on the Missouri Families webpage.


 Posted by on January 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm
Jan 242012

"On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away." ~ Tom Lehrer (Photo by Darren Shaw)

It’s tax filing season once again, and that means that as January comes to a close employees, companies and investors will be busy getting needed documents filed with the Internal Revenue Service.  Armed with forms, internet web sites and tax software, taxpayers will work diligently to keep the taxes they owe to an absolute minimum.



Today’s guest was Andrew Zumwalt, financial planning specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

Feb. 20-26 will be designated Missouri Saves Week by Governor Jay Nixon. Contact your local University of Missouri Extension office to learn of scheduled activities in your area.

 Posted by on January 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm
Jan 182012

"I've had a few arguments with people, but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you're carrying a grudge, they're out dancing. " ~ Buddy Hackett (Photo by Peter Suneson)

Of all the multitude of human emotions, guilt and resentment can break your spirit and crush the enjoyment out of life.  You can carry both for a lifetime, and never recognize the weight that you’re dragging with you.

Guilt is a sense of inadequacy and self-reproach for feeling you have failed the “should’s,” “could’s” and “would’s”…”I should have done…”, “I could have done…” and “I would have done…”  Carrying guilt is not only physically and mentally harmful, it’s unfair.   No amount of guilt can undo a deed, or correct an error, so learning to forgive yourself is one of the healthiest ways to move on with your life.

Grudges, too, are ugly and self-defeating. While it’s human nature to want to strike back at someone who harms you, grudges zap your energy and cause little or no harm to the person who hurt you.  For both guilt and grudges, learning to forgive can set you free.



Today’s guest is Vera Massey, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist for University of Missouri Extension. She is also co-creator of the MU Extension Taking Care of You Program.

To find a local “Taking Care of You” program, go to the MU Extension website and search for “Taking Care of You.”

 Posted by on January 18, 2012 at 12:01 am
Dec 192011

“…you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skillfully, mysteriously)her first rose…” ~ e e cummings (Photo by Vladimir Fofanov )

Amaryllis, with its large blooms and wide variety of colors, can be an excellent gift for the green-thumb members of your family and friends. It’s also a great gift for children.  Amaryllis is so easy to grow it offers a great “hands on” learning experience for youngsters.

Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.  We’re going to chat about all things Amaryllis.



For more information about Amaryllis, check out University of Missouri Extension’s webpage.

 Posted by on December 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm
Dec 132011

"Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles." ~ Author Unknown

Ornamental plants are a great way to make your home festive for the holidays. Stealing a kiss under the mistletoe or hanging a holly wreath to welcome guests are both traditions, and both plants are toxic. These plants can cause harm if they are eaten or handled. If you plan to decorate with mistletoe, holly, Jerusalem cherry, bittersweet or yew use caution and place them well out of the reach of small children and pets.



Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

More information on holiday safety is available from University of Missouri Extension.

 Posted by on December 13, 2011 at 12:22 am
Dec 072011

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly. ~ Andy Rooney (Photo by Mike Johnson)

There are two factions when it comes to what to do with poinsettias after the holidays. One group breathes a sigh of relief that the holidays are over, and tosses the plant away. The other group, the keepers, wants to care and nurture the plant so it can re-bloom the following winter. It takes more than just water and fertilizer to get the poinsettia’s bracts to turn color. Only diligent endurance will reward you with colorful leaves.


Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

More information can be found on the MU Extension website.

 Posted by on December 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm