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At first glance, a notice in a recent issue of The Spearville News looked like an ordinary sale advertisement for Kelly’s Corner Grocery. Instead, the ad revealed discouraging news about the store from owners Kelly and Kayla Persinger: “With yearly sales spiraling down for the last three yea…

Blog Posts

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The last entry in the list above of the most awe-inspiring places I’ve ever visited may seem a bit out of place. But after seeing the Great American Eclipse from that location on Aug. 21, I think its inclusion on my list is well deserved—and I didn’t even need a passport to get there.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hey, Kansas 4-H alumni! Stanion Wholesale Electric Co., a partner of 4-H in Kansas, will donate $2 each (up to $10,000) for 4-H alumni who raise their hands for Kansas 4-H by registering at 4-h.org/raise-your-hand. In addition, Kansas is competing for a $20,000 1st place prize through the na…

Monday, May 01, 2017

The 28th—and final—Kansas Sampler Festival is set for May 6 and 7 at Island Park in Winfield, Kansas. Don't miss your last chance to attend and discover all you can see, do, hear, taste, buy and learn in the great state of Kansas. The festival will be replaced by The Big Kansas Road Trip beg…

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cargill caused a stir recently when it posted the following tweet announcing it works closely with the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is "to preserve and build a non-GMO food supply." 

Friday, March 10, 2017

As part of HPJ's online coverage of the devastating wildfires in Kansas and other states this week, I've been scouring social media posts and emails for updates and information to share with readers on our wildfire updates post. Along with the astonishing statistics and records broken that n…

Friday, February 24, 2017

Actress Aubrey Plaza, who is known primarily for her role as the sarcastic, perpetually eye-rolling April Ludgate-Dwyer in the sitcom Parks & Recreation (which just so happens to be one of my favorite shows ever) and currently stars in Legion, recently appeared on The Late Show with Step…

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Friday, December 02, 2016

The "teapots" in this blog's title, Teapots and Tumbleweeds, are a reference to my teapot collection (which unfortunately grew smaller after I had kids) and the fact that I'm a bit of an Anglophile. As the tumbleweeds tumble by outside in the southwest Kansas wind, I enjoy sipping hot tea wh…

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Were you in 4-H as a kid? This year's National 4-H Week theme is #4HGrown, and it focuses on you, the former 4-H member! The National 4-H Council encourages 4-H alumni to remember their experiences in 4-H and share how the youth organization helped them responsibility, leadership, compassion…

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Today is National Teach Ag Day, which aims to "recognize and celebrate the positive and vast impact agriculture teachers across the country make in and out of their classrooms, and encourage others to consider a career in teaching agriculture." This is the seventh annual Teach Ag Day celebra…

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

At the beginning of 2016, I wrote down a modest exercise goal in my bullet journal: Work out at least three times per week. I intentionally didn't specify what type of workout I would do because I wanted to include a variety of exercise activities. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Feb. 20 to 27 is National FFA Week. This year it is being celebrated by 629,367 members from 7,757 local FFA chapters all over the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. 

Monday, February 01, 2016

I previously wrote about some of my family's experiences visiting our state's attractions while exploring Kansas. Kansas Tourism recently released its Kansas Bucket List, compiled with the help of suggestions in 2015 from Kansas visitors. The list includes well-known Kansas locations like Bo…

Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Thursday, October 15, 2015

If you do a Google search for "GMO corn squirrels” or a similar phrase, you will find claims that animals can tell the difference between genetically modified corn and organic corn and will avoid GMO food if they have a choice.

Friday, October 09, 2015

While watching my 11-year-old daughter give a demonstration at the state fair last month, I remembered seeing her give her first Cloverbuds* show-and-tell during a local 4-H club meeting several years ago. In only a few years' time, she went from reluctantly showing club members a craft proj…

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Like many others, my family and I watched the super moon total lunar eclipse on Sept. 27. In our area it was a beautiful, warm night for the celestial show, with clear skies and unusually little wind. In an era when so many people focus so much attention on our electronic screens—myself incl…

Friday, September 25, 2015

In April I wrote a story about an effort to bring Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op to Ford County. The Spearville location has since then been added to the delivery route for Bountiful Baskets' produce basket distributions every other week.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Yesterday, hundreds [update: make that thousands] of visitors to the Denver Botanic Gardens were waiting in line for hours to see—and smell—a large exotic plant: the Amorphophallus titanum, or corpse flower. According to the Denver Botanic Gardens' website, "The plant’s first bloom occurs af…

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bullet Journaling involves rapid logging of daily and monthly to-dos using bullets, tasks, events, and notes. The basic Bullet Journal system involves making bullets or checkboxes for action items and logging notes and events on numbered pages so that the pages can be tracked in an index.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

If you're a fellow Kansan, you may remember the state tourism office's "Kansas, Land of Ahs!" campaign from the 1980s. The slogan played off our state's well-known connection to L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." (If you're feeling nostalgic, you can watch a 1988 commercial featur…

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I've been reading Andy Weir's The Martian, a sci-fi thriller novel that will also be released in movie form later this year. During a fierce dust storm that rips through a days-old manned-mission landing site on Mars, astronaut Mark Watney is knocked out and knocked down a steep hill by a co…

Thursday, April 02, 2015

When I saw the Southern Cross for the first time, I was in the back of a ute that was traveling through a paddock in Queensland, not too far from the outback. Using an enormous spotlight, our guide pointed out kangaroos, an echidna, and a koala with her joey. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My Grandma Stites had a green thumb—or perhaps green hands. Her flower beds, vegetable gardens, and cherry and pear trees provided nourishment and beauty to many for many years. Though she passed from the earth years ago, some of her perennials still bloom every spring at my grandparents’ ol…