Friday, December 29, 2017

Baby, it's COLD outside!

Cold weather is here, and it can be as dangerous and uncomfortable to your pets as is it to you. Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s health, please heed the following advice from our experts:

Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.

Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.

Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.

Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.

Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.

Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.

Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.

Remember, your pets are part of your family and rely on you to keep them safe and warm!

Oh, Those New Year Resolutions!

Well, we are getting ready to wrap up the year 2017, and with the New Year come new resolutions. In a recent survey, only 32 percent of people said they weren't planning on making New Year's resolutions — meaning most people do plan to set themselves new goals for the coming 12 months. According to the same survey, these were the top resolutions:

  • Eat better
  • Exercise more
  • Spend less money
  • Self-care (e.g. getting more sleep)
  • Read more books
  • Learn a new skill
  • Get a new job
  • Make new friends
  • New hobby
  • Focus more on appearance
  • Focus on relationship
  • Cut down on cigarettes/alcohol
  • Go on more dates
  • Focus less on appearance

While resolutions are a good thing, too often we start strong, but falter after a few days or weeks. Here are some tips to help you keep on track for the long haul.


1. Start small. Make resolutions that you think you can keep. If, for example, your aim is to exercise more frequently, schedule three or four days a week at the gym instead of seven. If you would like to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with something else you enjoy, like fruit or yogurt, instead of seeing your diet as a form of punishment.


2. Change one behavior at a time. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work toward changing one thing at a time.


3. Talk about it. Share your experiences with family and friends. Consider joining a support group to reach your goals, such as a workout class at your gym or a group of coworkers quitting smoking. Having someone to share your struggles and successes with makes your journey to a healthier lifestyle that much easier and less intimidating.


4. Don’t beat yourself up. Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up completely because you ate a brownie and broke your diet, or skipped the gym for a week because you were busy. Everyone has ups and downs; resolve to recover from your mistakes and get back on track.


5. Ask for support. Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress caused by your resolution. If you feel overwhelmed or unable to meet your goals on your own, consider seeking professional help. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies as to how to adjust your goals so that they are attainable, as well as help you change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues.


Here’s to a Happy, Healthy and Productive New Year!  - Riley



Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dog vs Cat

Are you a cat person or a dog person? Most people have a definite preference, but did you know each has different personality traits? Here are some of them.

1. There are more dog people than cat people. About six percent more US households own dogs than own cats. In survey after survey, people who say they love dogs outnumber cat-lovers by as much as five to one. About a quarter of all respondents say they love both dogs and cats—we will refer to such people as “bi-petuals.”

2. Dog people are far more sociable and outgoing than cat people. Dog lovers are friendlier and more extroverted than cat lovers, who prefer to be alone. Dog lovers also tend to be more confident and dominant than cat people.

3. Cat people are more intelligent than dog people. And they will never let you forget this, nor the fact that they think cats are also far more intelligent than dogs.

4. Cat people are more neurotic than dog people. Cat lovers tend to be more prone to anxiety and neurotic disorders than dog people. This may be because their pets are far less likely to constantly reassure them.

5. Cat people are more likely to live alone and in apartments than dog people. One study shoes that cat owners are a third more likely to live alone than dog owners and twice as likely to live in an apartment rather than a house. The most likely individuals to own cats are single women.

6. Dog people are more likely to live in rural areas than cat people. The East and West Coasts are much more likely to favor cat owners, while dogs rule the American South. Overall, dog people are 30 more likely to live in the country, while cat people are 29 percent more likely to live in the city.

7. Dog people tend to be more conservative than cat people. Owning a dog correlates strongly with having traditional values. Dog owners are also generally more rule-abiding than cat owners. Dog owners tend to skew Republican, while cat owners lean Democrat.

8. Dog people are more obedient—just like dogs. Cat owners tend to be nonconformists, while dog owners generally follow the tide and obey all rules.

9. Cat people are more open-minded than dog people. Cat lovers generally score higher on thing such as open-mindedness, imaginativeness, creativity, adventurousness, and holding unconventional beliefs. Dog owners, much like dogs, will pretty much believe anything you tell them.

10. Cat people are more sensitive than dog people. Often times, people see sensitivity as a bad thing. This isn’t necessarily the case. Cat people were found to be more sensitive in this study, while dog owners showed fewer signs of sensitivity in provided tests.

11. Dog people are more masculine than cat people. It has been said many times that all dogs look like males and all cats look like females. Although there are exceptions, dog owners both male and female tend to view themselves as more masculine than cat owners do.

12. Dog people tend to tolerate cats; cat people hate dogs. Studies have shown that people who love both dogs and cats—the so-called “bi-petuals”—have personalities almost identical to those of dog owners. In general, dog owners are more willing to tolerate the idea of owning a cat than cat owners are of owning dogs.

13. Dog people and cat people have a different favorite Beatle. Dog lovers prefer Paul McCartney; cat people prefer George Harrison.

14. Dog people and cat people have a different sense of humor. Cat people enjoy sophisticated, ironic humor that’s built on clever wordplay. Dog people laugh at fart jokes and videos of people accidentally hurting themselves.

15. Cat people are more independent. As already noted, dog owners tend to be more sociable and obedient. The flip side of this is that cat owners, much like cats, have minds of their own.

16. Cat people are more likely to be atheists. Some research data that suggests that more cat people than dog people are atheists.

17. Dog people are seeking companionship; cat people are seeking affection. Dog lovers are looking for a four-legged little buddy, while cat lovers want something that will purr and rub up against them and knead their paws into their fleshy folds when it’s dark and cold and lonely at night. 

Of course, all of this is very tongue-in-cheek! We know that all animal lovers are the most awesome people in the world.


2018 Grammy Flyaway

Our 2018 Grammy Flyaway Contest has kicked off! Be listening Monday thru Friday until January 14th at 9am, noon and 3pm for the keywords! When you hear the word, text it to 67760 for a chance to win 2 tickets to the 2018 Grammy Awards on January 28th in New York City! It's a different keyword every time, and you can only get the word by listening to KLIR 101! The Grammy Flyaway is sponsored by Norfolk Memorials.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Heritage in Cooking

My husband's mother came to the United States from the Netherlands as a teenager, and he is very proud of his Dutch heritage. He has lots of awesome recipes from relatives in Holland, and this is one of them.

Olie Bollen

2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (110-115 degrees F)
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups chopped apple
1 cup raisins
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
white sugar for decorating

Warm oven on lowest possible temperature setting. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small mixing bowl. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the eggs, yeast mixture and milk; beat with an electric mixer until blended. Turn off the oven. Cover the dough with a greased piece of plastic wrap and place the bowl of dough on the lowest rack of the warmed oven. Allow to rest and rise for 1 hour. Heat the oil for frying to 350 degrees F in a heavy bottomed, deep skillet. Mix the apples and raisins into the dough. Carefully slide the dough by heaping teaspoons into the oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry the fritters until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. They should turn over on their own when they are ready to brown on the other side, but keep an eye on them and flip them as necessary. Remove them to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining dough. Dust with sugar while warm. Makes 12 servings.

Do you have a favorite heritage recipe? Share it with us!  - Riley


Is Your Car Cold Weather Ready?

9 Ways to Winterize Your Car

Check your battery. Cold weather is tough on your car’s battery. The chemical reactions required to generate power in a car battery slow down in extremely cold temperatures. At 5 degrees F, a fully charged lead-acid battery has only half its rated amp-hour capacity. On top of that, during cold weather, your engine requires more current from the battery in order to get the engine started. Combine less power output with more power requirements and you get a car that won’t start on a cold winter morning. So have a mechanic run a battery load test to see if you need to replace the battery. Even if you don’t, he’ll check for and clean up any corrosion he finds on your posts and connections. The mechanic might also fill your battery with distilled water if needed.
Change your wiper blades and refill your wiper fluid. You need to see the road to drive safely, but the build-up of winter precipitation and salt on your windshield can greatly reduce visibility. Working windshield wipers and a solid supply of wiper fluid will ensure that you have a clear line of sight even in the nastiest snowstorm. Wiper blades are only good for a year. Replace yours if they look frayed or worn. If your neck of the woods gets hit by hard winters, you might consider buying wiper blades designed for winter weather. Top off your wiper fluid reservoir with a brand that has a lower freezing temperature.
Consider getting snow tires. If you live in an area that’s covered with snow for most of the winter, you should swap your regular all-season tires out for snow tires. Snow tires are made of a softer rubber than all-season tires which allows them to retain flexibility in the bitterest of cold. Snow tires also have tread patterns specially designed to grip into snow and ice. Don’t get the wrong idea about snow tires. They won’t magically remove the chance of you slipping and sliding in your car, but they do provide more traction than the regular variety.
Check your tire pressure. If you don’t replace your regular tires with snow tires, at least keep them properly inflated during the winter. Cold weather causes air pressure in your tires to drop. For every 10 degree drop in temperature, your tire’s air pressure will drop about 1psi. A properly inflated tire ensures the best possible contact between the road and the tires which is essential for safe traction when driving in wintry conditions.
Check your four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive can provide better traction when driving on snowy and icy roads… that is if it’s working correctly. Have your 4WD checked by a mechanic before winter weather sets in. They’ll ensure the system engages smoothly and that the transmission and gear fluids are at their correct level. Also, if you haven’t used your vehicle’s 4WD in awhile, now’s a good time to review how to operate it. 
Check your anti-freeze mixture. The mixture of anti-freeze and water in your radiator should be about 50:50. This will prevent the coolant in your radiator from freezing. If you want to check the composition of your radiator’s fluid, you can pick-up an inexpensive anti-freeze tester at your local auto parts store.
Stock your car with emergency supplies. You never know when you’ll get stranded on the side of the road in a hellacious blizzard. Be prepared by having your car packed with emergency supplies. It could save your butt one day.
Change the oil and adjust the viscosity. In order for your engine to run, it needs proper lubrication from oil. Unfortunately, cold weather reduces the oil’s effectiveness. The colder it is outside, the thicker the oil gets, and thick oil doesn’t circulate through your engine as easily as thin oil. Consequently, your engine doesn’t get the lubrication it needs during start-up and you’re left with a car that won’t start.
Check your belts and hoses. Cold temps can weaken the belts and hoses that help make your engine run. Check them for any signs of wear and tear and have them replaced if needed. If a belt snaps while you’re driving, you’ll have to wait for a tow truck to come pick your cold butt up.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

How to Battle a Cold

Tis the season...for colds! If you have been battling one, and many are this year, here are a few home remedies that you might try to help lessen the severity and duration of your cold.

1. Chicken soup may not be a cure-all, but it's a great choice when you're sick, helping to reduce the symptoms of upper respiratory infections in particular.

2. Ginger. A few slices of raw ginger root in boiling water may help soothe a cough or sore throat. It can also ward off the feelings of nausea that often accompany influenza.

3. Honey has a variety of antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Drinking honey in tea with lemon can ease sore throat pain and reduce severity of cough.

4. Garlic contains the compound allicin, which may have antimicrobial properties. Adding a garlic supplement to your diet might reduce the severity of cold symptoms.

5. Native Americans have used the herb and root of the Echinacea plant to treat infections for more than 400 years. Taking Echinacea may lower your risk of developing the common cold by more than 50%, and may reduce the length of a cold.

6. Vitamin C plays an important role in your body and has many health benefits. Limes, oranges, grapefruits, leafy greens and lemons are all good sources of vitamin C. Adding fresh lemon juice to hot tea with honey may reduce phlegm when you're sick.

7. Probiotics are 'friendly' bacteria and yeast that are found in some yogurts. They can help keep your gut and immune system healthy and may reduce your chance of getting sick with an upper respiratory infection.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Christmas memories

Most of us have childhood memories or traditions surrounding the holidays.  At my house on Christmas Eve, my mother always made something called foujens (and I totally don't know the actual spelling of the word, that is phonetic), which are small dough balls filled with raisins and dipped into cinnamon sugar. Then we would drive from the farm to town to see all the Christmas lights, but every year, before we left, Mom would have to go back into the house to check to see if the stove was off. That was when Santa delivered the presents! When we got back, we would open all our presents and get to stay up as late as we wanted. It was also the only day of the year that our dog was allowed the run of the house. On Christmas Day, we would go "over the river and through the woods" to Grandma's house for a wonderful goose dinner. What are some of your childhood memories of the holidays?  - Riley

The 12 Days of Christmas...

Do you know how much it would cost to give the gifts in the song "The 12 Days of Christmas"? Each year, PNC Financial Services Group puts out an estimate. This year, the estimated price of all the gifts would be $34,558. The breakdown for each day is as follows:

12 drummers drumming  $2,934
11 pipers piping  $2,708
10 lords a-leaping  $5,619
9 ladies dancing  $7,553
8 maids a-milking  $58
7 swans a-swimming  $13,125
6 geese a-laying  $360
5 golden rings  $825
4 calling birds  $600
3 French hens  $182
2 turtle doves  $375
1 partridge in a pear tree  $220

So, your best gifting value is milking maids. Cows not included.  - Riley

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pets and Christmas

The holidays are upon us, and we hope that everyone has a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. This includes our family pets! With that in mind, here are a few safety tips for keeping our furry family members healthy and happy.
1. If you have a traditional Christmas tree, make sure it is securely anchored so climbing pets can't knock it over. Change water daily to prevent bacteria, which your pet may drink.
2. Avoid mistletoe, holly and lilies, all of which can cause severe sickness and even death if ingested by pets.
3. Kitties love tinsel, but if eaten, can cause an obstructed digestive tract. Brighten your tree with something other than sparkly tinsel.
4. Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or start a fire if they like to investigate. Use battery lighted substitutes.
5. Keep wires and batteries out of reach to prevent potentially lethal electric shock or burns. Put away fragile glass or plastic ornaments, as broken shards can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.
6. Christmas time is special and the food is divine, but definitely not meant for your pets. Chocolate and some sweeteners are poisonous to pets, while fatty and spicy foods can make them very sick. Bones can splinter and cause damage and even death.
7. Don't let your pets imbibe alcohol. It can cause illness, coma or death.
8. Give your pets an extra healthy treat or new toy to play with, and they will have a Merry Christmas!  - Riley

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Worst words of 2017

Are there any words or phrases that just drive you crazy? That make you think, "If I hear that one more time, I'm gonna lose it!" We all have them. And a recent poll has found the top 5 most annoying words or phrases for 2017. They are:

5. You know what I mean
4. Literally
3. No offense, but...
2. Fake news
1. Whatever

Now I have to be honest, I do sometimes say, "Whatever!" And yes, it is annoying. That's why I use it. I should probably stop, right? Maybe a New Year's Resolution...

- Riley

Monday, December 18, 2017

Special meals

Special meals seem to come back to the table for the holidays. What are your favorites? Some of the ones around our family include a tasty spread for crackers. It's pretty simple take braunschweiger and blend it up with hot sauce. The marinated herring is a good one, too.  How about oyster soup, but you gotta use real butter. That's just the munchy stuff. 

For a main meal, I'm a little more traditional with ham or turkey, and the assorted veggies.

For dessert, if there's any room left traditional Christmas cookies. The heck with sugar substitutes and such. Go for the gusto. 

Just remember, if you have to work the next day, make sure you can handle going back to the regular menu.

Just a note about Christmas Dinner, the  Federated Church in Columbus has a community dinner on Monday. It's free, and they offer transportation if needed.


Hey! Do you all like Christmas cookies? Here is a recipe for you to try. Hope you like it!

Peppermint Holliday Cookies

1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, beaten
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy canes
3/4 cup powdered sugar
5 teaspoons warm water
2 tablespoons crushed peppermint candy canes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the butter and white sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Beat the egg into the butter mixture until completely incorporated. Mix the flour and salt into the butter mixture until just incorporated. Fold the 1/2 cup crushed candy canes into batter, mixing just enough to evenly combine. Roll the dough into balls 1 tablespoon at a time and arrange on baking sheets. Bake until firm, about 8-10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Whisk the powdered sugar and warm water together in a small bowl until you have a smooth icing. Dip the top of each cookies into the icing, then sprinkle with the remaining crushed candy cane. Set aside to let the icing dry for at least 5 minutes. Makes 36 servings.  -Riley

Thank you!

I am lucky enough to love my job, and one of the big reasons is our listeners! They are wonderful, smart, fun and interactive people. They are also very compassionate. I would like to thank everyone who asked about my absence, and sent condolences on the passing of my father. It warmed my heart to realize I was missed, and welcomed back with calls and cards. Also a huge thank you to my co-workers here at Alpha Media, who uncomplainingly covered for me for three weeks so that I could be with my family. I am truly blessed to be a part of this company and this community!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Columbus is definitely Something Good!

I have lived in Columbus for 24 years; and yet, I am constantly amazed at the generous and giving spirit of those who make up this community. Two more examples of this were highlighted on KLIR this morning. Annette Alt (State Farm) was on the air to promote her open house, which is coming up on Tuesday, December 19th from 5-8 pm at 3220 19th Street. She will be serving cookies, cider and coffee to anyone who wants to stop by, and is asking for donations of paper products for Youth For Christ (paper plates, napkins, cups, bowls, plastic silverware, toilet paper, etc.). You can also drop off donations at the office now thru Tuesday. We also talked to Gayle Bonnes from Slumberland about their program donating twin beds to children who have nothing to sleep on. On Wednesday, December 20th, volunteers will be delivering 60 beds to children in Columbus, Grand Island and Kearney, along with sheets and quilts. If you would like to volunteer to help deliver the beds, please come to Slumberland at 5 pm. They will even feed you supper! They are also looking for donations of pillows to complete the beds for these children. So kudos to Annette and Gayle, and a great big thank you to all the donors and volunteers in Columbus for proving again that the Christmas spirit is alive and well in Columbus!  - Riley

Gift Ideas!

So, do you have all your Christmas shopping done? Only 9 days until Christmas! I plan on getting mine done this weekend, but just in case you are stuck for those last minute gift ideas, we have some suggestions for you, all under $50! Keep listening for details at 6:50 a.m. on KLIR 101.1!  - Riley

True Sportsmanship, Part 2

With the Olympics going on in South Korea , it is a good time to share some stories of true sportsmanship from Olympics past. Here is an e...