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Thursday, July 19, 2012

IT's HOT..But My Feet Are Cool!

7:29 AM 2 Comments
It's hot , miserable triple digit HOT. Heat is dangerous and disabling for people living with MS. Many people with MS have problems when the temps start to rise, in  a nut shell; when our body temperature goes up  the few signals that we have scooting up and down our nerve pathways get even more squirrelly. Things go awry pretty quickly, nueropathy gets worse, vision  gets all  blurry or a temporary blindness can result, difficulties walking, difficulties with speech, the list is endless. I liken it to turning into a bowl of melting jello. ( i think that's a little what I look like too) The good news is that these symptoms usually don't hang around after a person with MS gets properly cooled down, and can often be circumvented by using any of the various cooling products and garments that are available.

I've become an ace at battling the heat. I know my limits, utilize a cooling vest and  hat, and make sure I stay hydrated.

The problem that I had never been able to solve adequately though was that of hot feet. When my feet get hot, it creates problems with strange tingling, burning, sensations that will segue into a rapidly painful case of nueropathic pain that will bring my hot weather outdoor activities to a screeching halt.

Because I'm outdoors and afield in hot weather, I need to wear good sturdy boots.  Regular boots like sturdy hiking boots and protective snake boots are  simply  too hot to even consider, so I wear military issue desert boots.

But there was this pesky sock issue. My usual hiking socks were just plain too hot, too heavy duty, too miserable.

So, I did what I always do when I have a question about  outdoor apparel, gear, or other outdoor needs; I called my friends Jeff and Shelly Ray at HerCamoShop. They know their products, they are quick to help a customer figure out what the best selection would be , and offer a huge selection of gear and clothing at a variety of price points to suit any budget. 

HerCamoShop to the rescue!

I explained my problem, because I have such altered sensation my feet, very similar to those living with diabetes, I needed socks that would be protective of my feet, yet not melt them. HerCamoShop was quick to recommend the WigWam Silver Liner Pro, and were generous enough to send me a pair to try and review.

The Wigwam Silver Liner Pro provides an organic union of the superior moisture control with the elemental odor elimination qualities of X-Static Silver Nylon. X-Static for odor control, combined with a comfortably snug, foot hugging fit. They contain Chitosan for natural odor protection, are very lightweight in lightweight design, and sport cooling  breathable mesh air vents. The seamless toe closure prevents any chafing, rubbing or irritation during wear.  The Silver Liner Pro socks are . 45% stretch nylon, 30% X2O acrylic, 15% acrylic, 6% polyester, 3% spandex, 1% X-Statc Silver Nylon, and are available in sizes to fit women's  sizes 6-10.
As added bonus, they are made in the USA! 

I donned the socks as soon as they arrived and set out for the dove fields with Willie. We did land training , water training, we hiked along the horse trail and my feet were cool and comfortable. I wasn't getting those little prickly feelings that signal it's time to head back home a ditch my boots. . They were comfortable and sturdy enough enough in my boots to offer protection to my feet but without a feeling of big bulky hiking socks.  Willie was impressed when I took my boots off; the odor stopping abilities worked like a charm, and Willie no longer crinkled up his nose and rolled his eyes when he carried my boots to the rack for me. 

Just to be sure this wasn't a fluke, I've worn them on every outdoor excursion since. This unbearable heat wave and drought have given me ample opportunity! They continue to perform as well after repeated washing  as they  did on the first trip out! 

Given the lightweight, thin feel and snug fit I'm looking forward to wearing these under my more bulky  hunting socks come those cold mornings in the goose pit. 

WigWam Silver Liner Pro - the perfect hot weather hiking sock, hunting sock,  and one that can pull double duty as a liner sock in the cold months. At HerCamoShop's most reasonable price of $9.99 these socks should be a must have for any lady who has her boots on the ground in hot weather conditions!.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Governor Quinn Expands Drought Relief Effort

5:36 PM 0 Comments
It's hot here, it's dry here, and it's sad here. At no point in my lifetime can I recall a drought of this magnitude nor a prolonged heat wave such as we are experiencing. We're a farm family. We are watching everything burn to crisp, wither, and die. The taste of dust seems permanent now in our mouths. We are starting to find small dead creatures, watching the ponds fill with deadly blue green algae blooms that are deadly to animals, we cringe with the sight of the first floating fish that signal an imminent fish kill, but mostly right now, mostly, we are praying.

Governor Pat Quinn today announced state assistance available to farmers and residents in drought impacted areas after meeting with farmers and viewing crop damage resulting from persistent, widespread drought conditions in Southern Illinois. Joined by Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Bob Flider, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Acting Director David Vaught and Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller, the governor called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to grant a disaster designation to a total of 33 Illinois counties, up from the 26 determined eligible for emergency support by the USDA last week.
Through a request to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Governor Quinn requested that seven additional counties (Bond, Champaign, Greene, Monroe, Morgan, Stephenson and Washington) be declared eligible for emergency USDA support. He also announced a set of four agricultural aid programs offered by the Illinois Finance Authority.

“Agriculture is the backbone of Illinois’ economy, and as we’ve seen today, severe drought conditions are devastating crop production throughout the state,” Governor Quinn said. “As this drought continues, we are committed to using all the tools we have to help impacted farmers and communities bounce back.”
Governor Quinn’s letter to Secretary Vilsack notes that the seven additional counties have demonstrated crop reduction losses of 30 percent or more, which is the USDA threshold for triggering disaster relief. In addition, Governor Quinn called for the federal Congress to finish its work on the Farm Bill which includes assistance for crops and livestock that will help Illinois farmers.
“We will continue to identify every resource possible for producers who have been impacted by this drought,” IDOA Acting Director Bob Flider said. “We are working closely with the agricultural community of Illinois and the USDA to continually evaluate conditions throughout the state.”

Farmers in USDA disaster-designated areas can seek assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including emergency loans. Those in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for assistance.

In addition to the USDA relief, Governor Quinn announced that the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) will partner with local banks to activate four programs statewide to accelerate support to eligible farmers:
  • Agricultural Restructuring Debt Guarantee Program provides an 85 percent guarantee with a term up to 30 years on a local bank loan up to $500,000 used to consolidate existing debt and spread payments out over a longer period
  • Working Capital Guarantee Program provides an 85 percent guarantee with a commitment up to three years on a local bank loan up to $250,000 used for input costs related to planting and raising agricultural crops
  • Agricultural Loan Participation Program provides IFA purchase of up to $500,000 of a customer’s bank loan to reduce interest rate with a loan term up to 10 years
  • Rural Development Loan Program provides loans under a relending program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development from $50,000 to $250,000 for economic development financing in communities with less than 25,000 population
The Governor also launched, a web repository for information on drought conditions, disaster declarations and related information. The website includes quick access to resources like the Department of Agriculture’s “Illinois Hay Directory” which can help Illinois producers locate hay to feed their livestock. Many pastures have been badly damaged this year, making the Hay Directory especially important. Printed copies of the Hay Directory also are available by calling (217) 782-4925.
Today’s announcements build on the recommendations of the Governor’s Drought Response Task Force, a group of state, federal and university officials called together last week to report on the conditions of the state’s water resources. They will continue to gather, monitor and report on all local and statewide water issues. They will continue to offer recommendations and update as weather conditions change.
The 26 counties in Illinois that have received Secretarial Disaster Designation include: Alexander, Clark, Clay, Crawford, Edwards, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, Union, Wabash, Wayne, White and Williamson.
A combination of extremely hot and dry weather in Illinois made the first half of 2012 the sixth driest on record, according to the Illinois State Water Survey. Statewide rainfall averaged just 12.6 inches for the period of January through June, nearly seven inches below normal. Every month this year has had above normal temperatures and the statewide average of 52.8 degrees for the past sixth months is the warmest on record.
For more information, please visit