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Category Archives: Faith

LTE: Help House needs help stocking winter food pantry

Dear Editor:

Help House is experiencing the rise in food cost as everyone is. Harvesters, where we purchase most of the food for the emergency food pantry is not receiving the quantity of donated foods that they were just a couple of years ago, leading to a “trickle down” effect.

The foods Harvesters was receiving from their suppliers that Help House could order for “free” is down by about two thirds. This helped to fill the shelves without breaking our monthly food budget of approximately $2,500 a month.

We ordered from those options as much as possible. We started seeing a decline in those options a couple of years ago. That coupled with the increase in families needing assistance to put food on their tables is creating a need to make the public aware of the situation. Your monthly financial support and donations of non-perishable shelf stable foods are even more important at this time.

For the deer hunters, there is a program called “Hunters Feeding the Hungry”. If you harvest a deer or two and your family is not able to use all the meat, Lazy J Custom Meats at 1039 Laing St., Osage City, will help facilitate your donation of what you can’t use to Help House. The deer must be processed in a locker plant, but through this program USDA does not require it to receive the USDA inspection stamp. If anyone has beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, they would like to donate it must be processed in a plant that does receive the USDA stamp, such as Santa Fe Trail Meats, Overbrook.

Other pantry needs would be for any shelf stable nonperishable foods, such as canned meats, fruits, veggies, cereals, peanut butter, crackers, pancake mix, soups, canned fruits, vegetables, pastas, instant potatoes, toilet paper, laundry and bath soap, toiletries, diapers (size  4 and 5).

If your church or organization would like to collect food items to be donated, it would be welcomed.

We also have a volunteer, Ted Hazelton, who is available to present a short 20 minute program on Help House to any club, church, or civic organization in Osage County. Just call the office during our business hours to schedule: 4-7 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

For more information, call 785-828-4994, email, or visit Secure donations may be made on the “Donate” link there.

Thank you for your financial support and prayers for this ministry.

Raylene Quaney

A Cowboy’s Faith: No place like home

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The ranch home is a cowboy’s castle.”

While there are various sayings about homes being castles, nothing is more important than a good, safe, secure home.

The home is even referred to as a mansion, but it’s not of size and elaborateness to fit such definition. Even when a home isn’t that fancy, it still feels like a mansion because everything of personal importance is there.

People enjoy being rulers in their own homes, and others have no right to enter without the householder’s permission.

“A man’s home is his castle” was referenced in a 1500s’ proverb as well as the Bill of Rights. “The right of the people to be secure in their houses against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.”

Disagreement over the extent of personal privacy and over interpretation of unreasonable has brought many cases before the Supreme Court.

Some people live in one home their entire lives, where they were born and where they die. They have no desire to live anyplace else.

Contrastingly, other people have lived in dozens of different homes as their professions call them to various locales forcing relocation.

Changes in life and philosophy also find people having home diversity whether location or structure quality. Even a tent or a pickup camper can become home.

Sacred Heart Altar Society to host women’s retreat in Emporia

The Sacred Heart Altar Society, in Emporia, Kan., is sponsoring a women’s retreat. The society is inviting all women to attend the retreat 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in the Sacred Heart Parish Hall, 102 Exchange St., Emporia. The theme of the event is “Pig Wallows & Stardust.” A free will donation lunch will be provided. For reservations, RSVP to Paula Roper by Oct. 9 at 620-343-4088 or

A Cowboy’s Faith: ‘Old’ farmer gives advice

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.When a farmer’s wife previously provided advice, a number of readers men and women nodded in general agreement. It seems only fair to let the man of the farm share a lifetime of wisdom, give his two cents worth.

Again, unsolicited but received several times on the computer, here’s one “old” farmer’s tidbits for improved living:

  • Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight, and bull-strong.
  • Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
  • Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
  • A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
  • Words that soak into your ears are whispered – not yelled.
  • Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
  • Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
  • Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
  • It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
  • You cannot unsay a cruel word.
  • Every path has a few puddles.
  • When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
  • The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Zion Lutheran Church celebrates its heritage with annual Germanfest

Zion Lutheran Church, Vassar, Kan., will celebrate its German heritage with a special event planned by members 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. The community event is open to the public.

Members of Zion Lutheran Church from left to right, Toni Wendling, Donna Silver and Larry Wendling dressed in authentic German attire for the church’s Germanfest celebration. Courtesy photo.

German bierocks, potato salad and strudel will be featured menu items during the event. Live polka music by “The Alpen Spielers” will be provided during the day with a beer garden touting authentic German beer. Hand-crafted items will be offered for sale by local vendors. Also, a children’s area with German themed activities will be available.

There is no admission charge at the celebration, which is held on the square block area to the west of Zion Lutheran Church in Vassar.

The church was formally organized almost 130 years ago in 1893 as “Die deutsche evangelishche lutherische Germeinde ungeaenderter Augsburgischer Knfession zu Vassar, Osage County, Kansas,” translated to English, “The German Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of the unaltered Augsburg Confession.”

However, the beginnings of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church were in 1884. Several Lutheran families in the area of the not yet organized town of Vassar, which was platted in 1886, requested that the Lutheran minister Rev. F. Pennekamp from St. John’s Lutheran Church, in Topeka, Kan., come to preach God’s Word and baptize their children.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Purpose for detour signs

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Detours are a common aggravation for highway drivers, seemingly more commonplace today than ever.”

As much as drivers dread seeing a detour sign and attempting to follow confusing directions, no detour sign is worse. That became apparent when major highways were barricaded off to and from the ranch headquarters.

Signs indicated “No Through Traffic,” but there were no detour signs. Drivers were given no directions on how to get from the main highway to other locations. Hundreds of vehicles, including semi tractors pulling heavily loaded livestock and grain trailers drove right around the barricades.

They were sorry for doing so when realizing through traffic on paved highways was impossible. Cars and pickups were able to make U-turns and head back to figure out some way to find their destination.

For the 18-wheelers, getting turned around became a major ordeal. Several truckers jackknifed their big rigs and spent considerable time and effort getting turned around. There was damage to certain trucks which remained stranded for extended time with their hoods up.

When headed back in the direction they came, drivers still didn’t know how to get where they wanted to go. While there were gravel rural roads, no signs pointed out which ones to take to get to any certain locale.

In urban areas, there are always detour signs which are often perplexing, but better than no driver guidance whatsoever.

“Why aren’t there detour signs posted several times along the highway before the no through traffic barricades which people ignore?” That question was asked dozens if not hundreds of times before any answer was provided.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Grain bin to texas

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It hadn’t been used for original purpose in many years and had become a junk catchall.”

When moving to the ranch 52 years ago, the what-then-appeared high-quality steel grain bin seemed an asset.

It served for a few years as storage for the always-very-small milo crop produced on the uphill gumbo land. Before long, farming costs were more than was being produced so the land was planted to tame grass brome.

Hog and horse feed corn-milo mixture was purchased from the elevator, hand-scooped off, and stored in the bin. That became too much work, so a trailer was acquired for hauling feed where it stayed until fed to livestock.

After being empty for a while, the bin became a storage unit so to speak. Soon, everything on the ranch that wasn’t being used was pitched into the grain bin. The grain bin became so full it was nearly impossible to shut the door.

A friend looked in the grain bin and saw something he wanted and asked what it’d cost. “Free, if you’ll take all of the rest of the stuff in there,” was the response.

He agreed and had two pickup loads before everything was cleaned out. But the bin soon filled back up with things “to be used later.”

After a half century, it was decided the bin was in the way and should be removed. Several attempts to sell it locally failed. One farmer said he’d take the bin free if he could figure out how to get it moved.

Eventually, the grain bin was consigned to an online computer auction without much optimism for any bidding. But surprising, it did sell to somebody in Texas.

“Do you know how to move it?” the buyer was asked when calling about getting the bin.

Help House celebrates 20th anniversary as service projects continue

Help House celebrated 20 years of service to Osage County Aug. 5, 2023, with a congregation of volunteers, donors and other interested people at First Baptist Church, at Lyndon. Courtesy photo.

It has been a busy summer at Help House, which on Aug. 5, 2023, celebrated 20 years of service to Osage County residents in need of food or clothing, and many other services.

School supplies were collected and taken to schools in the county that do not have an organization or their school meeting their needs. Help House delivered to Scranton preschool and kindergarten, Lyndon Elementary School, Osage City Elementary School, and Quenemo Elementary School.

Stocking the Coat Closet

Help House is now collecting coats for the Coat Closet, which will be open Oct. 2 until Oct. 31. For more than eight years, the organization has given out more than 200 coats per year. Everyone is asked to advise their congregation about the coat project at Help House. Children’s coats of all sizes, and larger men’s and women’s coats are always in short supply.

Help House presentation available

Help House has announced that Ted Hazelton, a Help House volunteer, has put together a 20-minute presentation to share with all of the churches in the county. This is an outreach effort to inform congregations about the work Help House does and who it serves, and to let people know of the need for more volunteers.

“Giving others who are not familiar with Help House a glimpse of who we are and what goes on there, maybe there will be someone who will catch the vision and want to visit and possibly volunteer to serve Christ as they serve others,” said Raylene Quaney, Help House volunteer coordinator.

Those interested in having Hazelton present the program, or to get more information, can contact him at 913-927-8344.

For more information about Help House, stop by at 131 W. 15th St., Lyndon, Kan., see, call 785-828-4888, or email

A Cowboy’s Faith: Poison ivy causes misery

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Be careful, that’s poison ivy on the old rotten dead tree you’re cutting down.”

Grant Carson stopped his Ford 8N tractor to advise a teenager about hazards of the green leaves encompassing the tree.

A long time ago, the community garden tiller and weekend town marshal counselled a naive tree saw operator.

The advice was never forgotten, and similar comments are heard frequently every year when people are around thriving poison ivy.

Sure enough, the next day back then there were red itchy spots all over the arms with seemingly uncontrollable scratching.

Medicated salves didn’t help one bit, but Dr. Bowers, a story himself, gave the kid a backside vaccination with red serum. The problem cleared up shortly afterward, and the same needle poke was requested on similar itchy occasions years later.

Several people in the area are now suffering from poison ivy and wonder more about the scratchy problem.

A weed specialist said poison ivy has three leaves with the middle leaf longer than the others. Edges can be smooth or coarsely toothed while the surface can be glossy or dull.

One dermatologist said about 75 percent of the population is allergic to the poison resin found in poison ivy.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cowboy and stallion influences

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Most little boys were inspired to become cowboys decades ago when Westerns dominated theatres and television.

For the majority it was a passing craze soon forgotten as sports, girls, and other ventures dominated lives.

That was not true for everyone as there were a limited number who still “always wanted to be a cowboy.”

There are countless who must be credited for providing continued inspiration for life’s goal.

Foremost were parents who were lifelong horse enthusiasts insisting their son always wear cowboy boots. When they finally gave in to acquiring his own horse when he was 11 years old, the “real cowboy” goal enhanced.

Everyone with a horse was a hero as opportunities expanded through training for and becoming close friends with working cowboys.

Recent passing of world-renowned cowboy acknowledged Quarter Horse breeder-elite Duane Walker brought reflections of his many positive influences.

Tribute to Duane and his gray stallion Jackie Bee are in the syndicated “For The Love Of Horses.”

“Everybody’s friend” is the best description of Duane Walker, yet national notoriety came through Jackie Bee. He was “ahead of his time” in color, size, quality, and disposition carried into offspring.

Jackie Bee did not have showring or performance genes, or even local popularity, but importantly Duane Walker’s insightfulness of potential.

First impact of Duane and Jackie came when acquiring a mare bred to a son of Jackie Bee. The brown foal called Fella was a winner in every competition, climaxing as champion at a regional fair. As a gelding, he was gentle, pretty, and a nice riding horse.

Osage City ministers host back to school fair

Osage City Ministerial Alliance is hosting a Back to School Fair, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 19, 2023, at Lincoln Park, 101 S. Topeka Ave., Osage City.

The event is held to help everyone get ready for school and fall activities at local churches. There will be snacks, games, and fun for all ages and families. Everyone is invited. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the festivities. Each participating church is responsible for a snack.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Gathering Flint Hills cattle

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s summer roundup time in the Flint Hills.”

Cowboys and cowgirls throughout the area have had alarm clocks going off at 4 o’clock in the morning. They catch, saddle, and load horses into trailers in order to be ready to gather short season yearling grazing cattle at 5:45 a.m.

There were 16 horseback riders, cowboys and cowgirls, along with two mechanical carts when about 600 steers were rounded up. No stampedes or other problems that morning so the steers were penned in steel fence corrals in less than two hours.

A couple steers had been left behind as lameness wouldn’t allow travel at pace of the remaining herd. They were loaded in pickup stock trailers driven out to their pasture location later in the morning. It’ll take some time for recovery from their health issues.

Nine semi tractor cattle trailers waiting a few miles away were called upon penning of the herd. They arrived at the cattle pens within minutes and the steers were loaded for distant feedlots and additional growing.

Grazing programs nowadays are sometimes different than several decades ago. Native Flint Hills grasses are highest in protein for increased yearling grazing cattle gains early in the season.

So, cattle are often double stocked on pastures for half the season to get the best gains possible. However, other cattle are grazed full season for roundup in early fall. They will weigh more at gathering time but will not have put pounds on as efficiently as the short season cattle.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Not everyone likes cardplaying

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Most people enjoy playing cards and some folks seem to live for the next card game. But that is not everybody.

A friend sat down at the horseshow supper table and started shuffling a deck of cards. Without comment, she began dealing out the cards automatically assuming the three seated wanted to participate in the card game.

“I really don’t care to play cards,” seemed ignored with a response, “This is an easy game anybody can play.”

Rules were explained as the game proceeded forward with little attention from the bored forced participant. Shortly, it became apparent there was not mutual interest in cardplaying and the deck holder moved to another table.

Nothing wrong with playing cards for those who enjoy the varied games, but others find it boring and too complicated.

Most family and friends are cardplaying enthusiasts, although the game never carried through here. It always seemed there was something more entertaining and time better spent than playing cards. There were horses to ride, books to read, and stories to write.

Still, Grandma always insisted on playing Old Maid, which must have burned out any cardplaying desire. Grandma often played the game solitaire, which evidently can be played by one person competing against themselves. It seems they can’t find anything better, more enjoyable, and worthwhile to do with their time.

Interestingly, certain people that one wouldn’t think of as a cardplayer have been seen playing solitaire.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Suntan lotion is important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The sun is both a healing agent and yet can be very harmful to the skin.”

Speaking from experience, protecting the skin from the sun’s rays is essential.

For decades, jeans, t-shirt and cap were common summer attire riding horseback in the hot sun.

No consideration was given to protection from the dangerous rays that the sun generously distributes, but it did catch up.

Visits to the dermatologist (skin doctor) verified pre-cancerous spots on the face several times. There wasn’t too much concern as the doctor treated each spot with a killing freezing medication.

Return visits to the doctor every three months showed that the previous treatments were effective. However, each time new pre-cancerous spots appeared and received freezing agent squirts.

Then worst news on the next visit. “Skin cancer is so severe on your left ear that surgery is essential to remove the ear lobe.”

Fortunately, the doctor could remove the cancer and did reconstructive surgery so there has not been an ear cancer problem.

However, in another appointment, cancer was found in the lower left lip requiring surgery removal.

That was more serious, necessitating a different doctor’s appointment for reconstruction surgery and lengthy healing time. Scars do remain but are not generally noticeable when conversing with others as most are inside the mouth.

A few months later, the skin doctor found serious cancer in the lower right lip requiring surgery removal. It was another ordeal like the first time and fortunately ended up with the same positive outcome.

Scheduled appointments to the skin doctor are followed stringently and pre-cancerous spots are always found and treated. There have not been additional skin cancers requiring removal by surgery.

Help House celebrates 20 years of service to Osage County

Help House is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, having opened its doors for the first time on Aug. 5, 2003. The public is invited to attend the celebration on Aug. 5, 2023, beginning at 2 p.m. with short Help House tours.

Following at 2:30 in the of the Lyndon First Baptist Church sanctuary will be special speakers and other dignitaries attending. The past, present, and future of Help House will be presented. A reception will follow at 3:30, and tours will be available again.

For anyone who has wondered what goes on at Help House, now is the time to check it out.

“We hope to see you there as great things are happening and there are exciting plans for the future.”

Christmas in July

Beginning this week through July 28, Help House is having A Christmas In July. Holiday decorations and various other items that need to be cleared out of storage to make room for donations to the Christmas Store, have been unpacked and are available to those wanting to get an early start on their shopping, or just to think about Christmas and being cool.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Corn field for soccer

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Bolton Soccer Complex used to be a corn field.

One of Council Grove’s popular youth recreation facilities is located near a park, the aquatic center, and several baseball fields.

A project was needed for a vocational agriculture class freshman as part of his Future Farmers of America (FFA) membership.

The seven-acres alfalfa field owned by Phil Bolton at the edge of town was being overtaken by wild grasses. An adjacent two-acres horse and hog operation within the city limits was ongoing, so opportunity to learn more about farming developed.

Privileged to assist Mr. Bolton with cattle work previously, he agreed to rent the tract on a “share” basis. “Go to the bank and get a lease agreement we can both sign,” Mr. Bolton recommended.

With paperwork in hand, a wannabe cowboy-carryout grocery boy was going to be a “real farmer.” Yet, farming requires machinery, which was in short supply, although Dad did have some antiques called into use.

The 1939 John Deere B tractor was hooked to a two-bottom pull-type plow for tilling the field. An old wheelless pull disc whacked the clay gumbo clods into a seedbed roughly suitable for planting.

Somehow, someway, a manually operated two-row lister was found and attachments adjusted for operation. Two seed and fertilizer boxes were filled with ingredients purchased from Council Grove Elevator up the road.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Swallows take over barn

Barn swallows nest in barn stalls ceiling and rafters. Frank Buchman photo.

Barn swallows have returned in full force, sometimes seeming to completely take over the barn and ranch.

Uncertain when the unique birds started arriving this spring or when they left last year.

When barn swallows come, their presence is made most aware. As many as a dozen will swoop out of the barn nests and into the yard. They can give the feeling of wanting to attack but then glide right back up into the air.

The barn swallow is the most abundant and widely distributed swallow species in the world, according to bird specialists. It breeds throughout the Northern Hemisphere and winters in much of the Southern Hemisphere.

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Barn swallows once nested in caves throughout North America, but now build their nests almost exclusively on human-made structures.

Horses are cautious of barn swallows initially and hesitate to move forward until becoming accustomed to the birds’ flight patterns.

Perhaps the little birds don’t feel secure around the horses either at first either. They can act territorial around their nests and will dive-bomb making alarm calls if feeling threatened. Fluffy the ranch cat was a target of one.

Nests really do make a mess on barn stall rafters and ceilings. Because it takes around two weeks for a pair to build a nest from mud, hair, and other materials, old nests are highly prized. So, there are old nests from several years with new ones added each year.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Time to make hay

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Nearly every farmer and rancher in the Midwest had the same philosophy during the second week of June.

Hay harvesting equipment of all sizes and shapes was in the fields. Enthusiasm dampened when weather forecasters predicted rain and morning showers forced machinery back into storage units.

Indecisiveness replaced excitement as farmers didn’t know whether to mow the forage for hay or wait for a dry day.

Certain first cutting alfalfa fields have already been wrapped up in bales. But most tame grass fields are just showing enough yield to justify harvest.

While farmers are anxious to get hay harvested for winter feed supply, they sure don’t want it to get wet. Quality of feed rapidly deteriorates, and most livestock don’t like or readily consume the lower quality feedstuff.

While harvesting forage to make hay for livestock operations is necessary, it’s not one that farmers and ranchers anticipate doing. Still harvesting forage to be made into winter feed is considerably easier than it used to be. As recent as six decades ago, making hay was a six-step process.

The grass had to be mowed typically with a cycle bar mower, and then raked into windrows for baling. When grass was thin, sometimes two or three small windrows were raked together to improve bale dimensions.

Most farmers pulled a hay wagon behind the baler, so the bales could be stacked for hauling to the barn. Nobody liked to stack bales on the hay rack. But it was a lot easier than dropping bales off into the field behind the baler.

That was a common scenario for beginning farmers who couldn’t afford to own a hay wagon. The bales were picked up off the ground and stacked in the back of a pickup truck.

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