Over the weekend, my seven year old granddaughter, Calyn, excitedly told me, "Grandma, I'm going to join the Walking School Bus when it starts April 1st." "That's wonderful," I replied. It truly is wonderful to see two communities in Barton County, (both Great Bend and Hoisington) adopting this successful program and modeling it to other communities.
4-H Day is an annual event in each county in Kansas. It gives 4-H members an opportunity to share their talents in public speaking, music and talent. Barton County 4-H Day is an event equally as important as the county fair!
In a few short months our youngest grandson will be mobile and that means we will need to child proof certain areas of our home. Children should be curious, but curiosity can turn dangerous if kids are getting under the kitchen sink or into the medicine cabinet where hazardous chemicals and adult medicines are kept. In recognition of National Poison Prevention Week, I want to use my column space today to remind you about storing hazardous materials out of a child's reach.
When I learned on Thursday that John Keenan had passed away, Uncle John to me – though we were actually first cousins – there were many thoughts that came to mind. Foremost was the trip in August 1971, I took with John, Ersa, and their son Mike to the American Legion National baseball championships in Billings, Montana. I was 12. John was a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and if there was young talent playing somewhere, someplace, John was usually in the stands, stop watch, pencil and program in hand.
National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The theme for 2015 is "Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle" which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.
Get a jump on the growing season by starting your favorite or hard to find plants indoors from seeds. Starting hard to find plants, like many of the heirloom or newly introduced varieties, from seed may be the only way you will be able to add these to your garden. Plus, you'll be extending the growing season and bringing the fun of gardening indoors.
February may be the shortest month of the year but it is an especially good time to recognize the importance of making lifestyle changes related to heart health. Is it true that you are what you eat? When it comes to heart health, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Eating the right way is not about dieting, which is really a temporary change in your eating habits to lose a few pounds; it is about making better choices every day so that they become second nature.
From time to time, my wife tells me I'm not like most other husbands. Some men, she points out, know how to do things like use a hammer, work a saw and build things around the house. I've explained that I've built stuff. In fourth grade I built a birdhouse in Cub Scouts.
It is fairly common that my educational programs and workshops emphasize a common theme of health and wellness. The annual Walk Kansas program is just around the corner, so it is time to start rounding up your team members for that successful program. Packets are ready for team captains to pick up at our office and the Great Bend Recreation Commission. I also plan to deliver some packets to the recreation commissions in Hoisington and Ellinwood.
Maybe you heard about the parents in Britain who billed another family for not attending their son's birthday party after they said they would come. The bill was equal to $24 - described as a "no-show fee" after their son skipped the party held at a local ski resort.
Anticipating spring at the Extension office means getting Walk Kansas packets ready for teams to pick up, plus a chance to dust off those walking shoes. This roller coaster weather we have had lately gives us a taste of warmer temps and makes us anxious for the 2015 Walk Kansas campaign. I returned home from our agent update in Manhattan with sample tee shirts for this years' health challenge. Color choices for 2015 include coral or gray with a slightly different logo than previous years, including the words "Walk Tall" and "Walk Strong."
Every Hero Has a Story is the theme for the Summer Reading Program at Ellinwood School/Community Library. Students are enjoying hero-based activities as they continue to read to meet their goals. Our participants are beginning to earn prizes; our 4th, 5th, and 6th graders made blankets for the Humane Society to use for the pets that are waiting for a good home; and all are being led by Shatlyn Thomas with the assistance of Michele Martin and Julie Blakeslee.
Harvest is here. Combines, trucks, chaff and grain. Kansas big heart is beating in the hot sun and wind. The heritage of history to support our families and validate the wisdom of our forefathers who risked everything to come here is palpable and visible in the faces of our farmers. It is religious to watch this process draw families, neighbors, custom-cutting visitors and friends together to process the harvest. It was nail-biting to get the rain and risk not getting into the fields in time. Kansas seems to grin at that possibility and solved the problem with 100 degrees and ...
Next week marks the beginning of my 26th year as your Barton County Family and Consumer Science Agent. The old adage "Time flies when you are having fun" is definitely true. It does not seem like a year has passed since I was ordering bread for the 4-H barbecue or lining up roasters for preparing the baked beans. Hopefully you have connected with a 4-H member to purchase your barbecue ticket. Prices do increase after July 1st.