Category Archives: Notions

A Cowboy’s Faith: A time for everything

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It never was that way before.”

The comment rang appropriate truth not just subject at hand but seemingly everything nowadays.

Conversation related to several dump truckloads of creek gravel in a big yard pile for spreading on the driveway.

Ruts and potholes in the barnyard entrance needed filled and smoothed again. Be interesting to know how many times that’s been done in a half century, nearly 48 years home place.

Simpler than days gone by as the ranch manager son is talented operating tractor with frontend loader leveling the roadway.

What brought the subject up was cleaning old hay out of the pole storage barn, coupled with downpours.

The barn held standing water with big ruts in front. Even deeper water bogged furrows in the lean-to where the square baler is stored. Gravel will make a base again.

Winter cow lots don’t have a bottom without gravel for solidity. However, those bovine, their calves, sometimes other cattle and horses year around leave droppings accumulating to necessitate regular cleanup.

With loader tractor and manure spreader, wastes go on nearby brome field. That again leaves low spots in the corrals and accompanying pens which must also be filled with gravel and smoothed out.

Never before, at least in lifetimes, have some seen so much rain causing such havoc in so many directions. Likewise, when Mother Nature wields additional detrimental acts hopefully one has not experienced and never does again.

Help House News: Volunteers bring success to spring benefit sale

By Raylene Quaney

Help House’s benefit garage sale June 14 and 15, 2019, was a success thanks to more than 30 volunteers under the planning and organization of Lois Shuck. Help House would like to thank the Osage City Fair Board for renting us their big tent once again. With the rain and wind Friday morning, it would not have been possible to hold the sale without it, we’re so grateful for shelter from the storm.

Mobile food pantries

Mobile food pantry dates: Melvern mobile pantry, 12:30 p.m. on the third Thursday, July 18, at the Melvern Community Center; Burlingame, 10 a.m. third Thursday, July 18, at Burlingame Federated Church; Lyndon, 12 p.m. third Friday, July 19, at Jones Park on East Sixth Street. Those participating in the mobile pantry are asked to be in line 15 to 20 minutes before starting time to be counted to determine how much of each item each family will receive. Osage City will not have a mobile pantry this month.

Help House assists with SNAP application

Help House volunteers are available to provide assistance for those who apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Applicants need proof of identification, social security information for each member of the household, income verification each member of the household (a most recent bank statement will be copied and sent in with application), also required, any owned vehicle information, and if 60 or older or disabled, any medical expenses including health insurance and Medicare premiums and prescription costs or bills due. Please call the office at 785-828-4888 to make an appointment.  Appointments need to be scheduled between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Allow at least one hour for the application process.

Summer Fan Club

The Summer Fan Club has been giving out fans to those who have signed up. We still have several families in need, so if you have a used fan in good condition or would like to purchase a fan to be given away, you may drop them off during our regular hours. Please do not leave donated fans in the shed out back. If you would like to make a cash donation for us to purchase the fans for you, checks may be made out to Help House and sent to PO Box 356, Lyndon KS 66451. Make a note in the memo section “Fan Club”.

Eat Well to Be Well: Why choosing cow’s milk still matters

Going to the grocery store to “get milk,” is not always what it used to mean. Open up the refrigerator in many homes, and the “milk” might instead be a nondairy milk alternative. From soymilk, almond, coconut, rice, cashew, oat, hemp, quinoa, or hazelnut, just to name a few, cow’s milk has competition.

Traditional cow’s milk still dominates the milk market, but research shows that U.S. nondairy milk sales are growing, causing cow’s milk sales to sag. Nondairy milk alternatives have gained popularity among consumers. But are nondairy milk alternatives as healthy for us as cow’s milk and why are consumers dropping dairy milk for plant-based alternative milks anyway?

Reasons for the switch to nondairy milk alternatives

The consumer consumption switch on buying more nondairy milk alternatives is being fueled for several reasons:

  • People with a milk allergy have a safe alternative to cow’s milk.
  • People with lactose intolerance – however, dairy milk manufacturers make some varieties of cow’s milk with the lactose already broken down.
  • People who are vegans and consume no animal products.
  • People who have health concerns over consuming dairy milk believing it is fattening or unhealthy.
  • There is public perception that nondairy milk alternatives are healthier than dairy milk.
  • Some consumers question modern milk production practices.

How does the nutritional profile of cow’s milk compare to plant-based milks? This is where it is very important for consumer’s to read the nutrition facts label on all types of nondairy milk alternatives. While it’s tempting to follow the trend of drinking plant-based milk alternatives, before deserting cow’s milk, know the nutritional differences between them.

Let’s be clear, cow’s milk is still the gold standard with a high nutritional profile for several reasons:

A Cowboy’s Faith: Rains bring more intruders

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Ample moisture is better than a drought. Yet with continuing downpours come forever increasing problems.

Of course, flooding is the horrific detriment with such extensive physical and financial losses.

Rainfall is essential for crop production if seed gets planted, doesn’t rot or wash away, and remaining growth cycle cooperates. All things considered, water at the right time in appropriate amounts is the biggest attributing factor to yields.

Grasslands are green, lush and already stirrup high on a stocky ranch horse with promise of ample grazing and hay. Enhanced conditions for desirable plants also have intruders growing at record pace. Every kind of weed imaginable is popping up out of nowhere.

The list is extensive but most apparent in recent days has been musk thistle abundancy. Big purple blooms blowing in the wind might seem pretty to lay people not realizing detriments of the noxious weed.

Right out the office window one five-foot-tall thistle glowed in the sunlight. Fortunately, the yard keeper sprayed poison, and the “pretty flower” wilted away. However, the sticky weeds are rampant not just on agriculture ground but everywhere.

Dozens of thistles blooming brilliantly were all around the arena fence at a recent horse show on state property. Evidently, managers don’t understand thistles are weeds that government regulations prohibit to the extent of fines if not controlled.

A Cowboy’s Faith: A celebration of freedom

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Don’t blow your finger off.”

For many decades that’s been advice typically said in jive at this time of the year.

Yet it really is a legitimate concern as children and young at heart are excitedly lighting firecrackers and other fireworks.

Without exception every year there are major body injuries, even fatalities, from carelessness with the explosives.

Interesting how big a thrill so many people get from fireworks, both setting them off and watching colorful night shows.

It was exciting and profitable operating a fireworks stand six decades ago in the grocery store window corner.

That opinion has completely changed these days such that those noisy fiery pyrotechnics seem like a hazardous waste. So many dollars just go up in smoke when they could be put toward many other worthwhile endeavors.

Reason for celebration is still most important although many people don’t even realize what it’s really all about.

Yes, the Fourth of July is a federal holiday for family reunions, parades, picnics, concerts and obviously plenty of fireworks. However, it’s really Independence Day, although seldom called that anymore. The Declaration of Independence of the United States was signed on July 4, 1776, two days after voting approval.

The Continental Congress declared that the 13 American colonies were no longer subject and subordinate to the Monarch of Britain. They were now united, free and independent states.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Ample grass for hay

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Make hay when the sun shines.”

A familiar saying for generations since the beginning of time most likely, its meaning has certainly come to life again.

Fortunately with all of the overly abundant rainfall, there is hay to make this year; at least right now. That’s sharply contrasting the situation a year earlier when lack of spring rains held back tame and native grasses alike.

Short grass, whatever the variety, means short hay and inadequate feedstuffs for livestock. Insufficient hay supplies coupled with harsh wet winter again hampered cattle profitability on many ranch and farm operations.

While those combined inclement winter days stalled fertilization so critical to tame grass growth, Mother Nature lent a helping hand. Despite nutrient application much later than management desired and scientific recommendation, there appears ample brome and other domesticated spring pastures.

Problems always seem to continue in one form or another. Getting those abundant spring grass supplies wrapped up into bales or into other feed storage methods is being hampered.

One sure feels bad ever complaining about moisture, but continuing small showers will not allow grass to dry into hay. Hay process requires mowing the grass and letting it dry sufficiently to be baled for storage. Moisture must be out or the feedstuff will spoil in the bale. Not only is the feed strongly devalued but sometimes harmful to livestock that consume it. Added to the worries, spoiling damp hay can continue festering causing bales to become flames of destruction.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Outreaching helpfulness for devastated

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Mother Nature has wielded a wicked hand to agriculture and many others in the Midwest this year.”

So we are now looking back at nearly six months of abrasive conditions and in harm’s way.  Winter was “like never before,” according to some descriptions. Yet, others quickly reflected tougher cold, wet, snowy conditions. Still this recent winter had additional detrimental impaction from short feedstuffs due to the previous dry summer.

Native grasslands are likely forever scarred from continually deepened mud ruts created by ranchers moving nourishment to hungry cowherds.

Seriousness was more extreme as unceasing pour downs caused flooding of the nation’s richest cropland. Much of that will never approach quality of previous lifetime. Yet, worse is the loss of human lives, accompanied by livestock deaths, homes, buildings and equipment valued in the multi-millions.

Staggering are the acreages reported with extensive damages from earlier rainfalls fortunately prompting government financial assistance. Money is essential for livelihood but cannot replace lives, topsoil and family heritage of centuries.

Add to terribleness, rainfall has continued, with flash flooding frequent in many locales earlier not harmed. Major overflowing remains in almost daily warnings as occasional reprieves are soon replaced by worst threats.

Those missing high waters soon got humongous hail stripping trees, grassland, fences and homes. Sprouting leaf growth was gone, pastures appeared burned, and fence posts flattened. Some homes completely destroyed while others extensively, expensively damaged.

Use ancient technology to explain about new technology: Talk to your kids

Submitted by Kari Wedel
SOS Community Relations Coordinator

As the school year winds down and summer begins, kids will be spending more time unsupervised. Evolving technologies present new challenges for parents with children of different ages. But no matter the age, all families face a similar dilemma when dealing with young adolescents on digital devices. The internet and online gaming platforms are now so accessible that many parents are struggling to shield their kids from inappropriate content. Therefore, developing and maintaining clear boundaries becomes paramount to your child’s safety.

Having constructive conversations about the negative impact of social media and sexting are crucial in a digital world where our youth are virtually surrounded by dangerous influences and perverse behaviors. When adults are not fully aware of their daily activities, kids will often follow their peers or even seek attention from complete strangers to better “fit in” by using popular forms of modern entertainment.

Smart phones, tablets and laptops are unfiltered opportunities for kids to make choices that may cause irreparable damage. There are numerous harmful behaviors that are now synonymous with using the internet, such as sexting, sending pornographic images or cyberbullying. Sexting occurs when multiple individuals are sharing suggestive images or messages that may seem innocent but can result in long-term dysfunction or legal consequences. Furthermore, private pictures or messages meant for a single person can quickly become widely dispersed among thousands, creating embarrassment and emotional trauma for years to come.

Mission: Rescue victims of human trafficking

By Sue Anderson 

The number of juveniles, both girls and boys, entrapped in human trafficking is growing in the United States, and Kansas is not immune.  Libby Adams, representing the Topeka Rescue Mission, brought this powerful message to members and guests of the Osage County Republican Women last week at the group’s regular business meeting held June 6, 2019, at the Lyndon Community Building.

Adams emphasized that most citizens are unfamiliar with the signs of human trafficking and don’t realize it can happen in our own communities. Yet, it is citizens themselves that can help by reporting unusual or suspicious activities to local law enforcement or the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 888-373-7888.

Unlike a drug commodity that can be sold only once, Adams said, a person entrapped becomes a commodity of trafficking and can be sold again and again, thus being more profitable for the trafficker. It is estimated that human trafficking is a $150 billion per year industry. The traffickers are driven by money, and they use force, fraud or coercion to increase their profits.

Adams presented an overview of not only the situations of those exploited, but also steps being implemented to disrupt the trafficking networks and restore hope to the thousands ensnared. On the local level, this includes facilitating human trafficking awareness training, and enabling volunteers with training to be of assistance to those who escape or are rescued from trafficking rings.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Enjoy cheeseburgers and fries

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Don’t eat bread or potatoes; they’re harmful to the health.”

Just wait a minute. The human race has lived on those two foods likely since the beginning of time.

They’ve done pretty well all things considered. History studies indicate that’s about all there was at certain times, and it sure beat going hungry.

Yet, opinionated eating hazard philosophy has been going around for some time now, too.

Just think how good a piece of bread with peanut butter and jelly tasted after school. Bread with butter and thick sugar spread on it also hit the spot. Those kids grew up just fine.

So what are people supposed to eat these days? The advice heard last week was quite contradictory to nutritionists’ information not really that long ago either.

“Eat lots of meat and it’s okay if there’s fat on it.” That’s good news for red meat producers.

Remember when fat was supposed to be bad? Well cattle and hog breeders got their livestock too lean. Not only were the animals too skinny to efficiently produce, but their meat was tough without appetizing flavor.

Fat really is an important part of meat. Now nutritionists as well as livestock growers seem to have come to senses of that fact.

Eggs have had their share of bad rap through time as well but now get praise for nutritional eating. Vegetables are perfect eating complement it’s proclaimed. “Oh corn is so good.” Nope corn is a grain; that’s bad, ugh?

Teeing off: Osage City golf course open to all

By Richard Burkdoll
Osage City Golf Course President

The question I get asked most is how is the golf course since Greatlife took over. The answer is the golf course is in great shape and is still Osage City Golf Course! Greatlife doesn’t run your golf course. A board of directors elected by the members of the golf course has run the course for many years. Elections are held each year in October for six of the members. The other three members come from each of the clubs – men’s, women’s, and couples.

The city of Osage City has always owned the course. Originally it was a semi-private course. The course is public, open for anyone to play, and has been for years. The agreement the city has with Greatlife allows Greatlife’s members to play here and our members to play any of their courses for free or for a reduced cost.

Melvern 4-H club honors those who have served

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members Braelyn McNally and  Gradey McNally place flags on the graves of a veterans at Oak Hill Cemetery, Quenemo, in preparation for Memorial Day. Bella Reeser photo.

By Bella Reeser
Club Reporter

Memorial Weekend means something special to each person in their own way. The Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club wanted to show what it meant to them. A few club members spent the evening of Thursday, May 23, 2019, honoring those who served our country by placing flags on the graves of service men and women at the Oak Hill Cemetery, in Quenemo, Kan.

Help House News: Summer garage sale to help pave parking lot

By Raylene Quaney

Help House continues to raise funds to resurface the parking lot, and will be holding a huge garage sale on the front patio and under a big tent 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, 2019. This is the weekend of the Lyndon car show and citywide garage sales, so be sure to stop by while you are in town. There will be a lot of new and unique items for sale and great deals.

Sunflower Days Silent Auction

On June 22, Help House will be at the Melvern Sunflower Days with a silent auction. You will have from 4-8 p.m. to get bids in. This is one of our two largest fundraisers. There will be some great deals on the tables.

Clinic competition helps fill food bank

Stormont Vail held a competition during the month of May. Stormont-Vail CEO Dr. Rob Kenagy took a pie to the face to celebrate Stormont staff collecting more than 10,000 pounds of food for Harvesters. The Cotton O’Neil clinics in Osage City and Carbondale donated 275 items, with their portion of the effort going to the food pantry at Help House. Thank you!

Mobile food pantries

Mobile food pantry dates in June in Osage County:

  • Carbondale – Carbondale Church of Christian Fellowship, 12 p.m., second Tuesday, June 11.
  • Osage City – Osage City Community Center, 10-11 a.m., third Thursday, June 20.
  • Melvern – Melvern Community Center, 12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20.
  • Burlingame – Burlingame Federated Church, 10 a.m. third Thursday, June 20.
  • Lyndon – Jones Park, East Sixth Street, 12 p.m. the third Friday, June 21.

If participating in the mobile pantry, please be in line 15 to 20 minutes before starting time to be in the counted numbers when it is decided how much of each item each family will receive. Help House sponsors the Lyndon and Carbondale mobile food pantries.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Those were good times

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Everybody is so old.” “Who is that old woman over there?” “That old man looks familiar, but he’s older than he used to be.”

Well, semblances of those comments were whispered more than a couple of times. Yet, the words went through minds much more often.

“Are these really the golden years?” That was the most frequent sounded question.

Okay, it was a golden party, the 50th high school reunion. Everybody there was still alive since walking across the Ole CG High stage with a sheepskin in 1969.

Not all of the diploma recipients of graduation day for the largest class ever at that time attended. Less than 40 percent of the 100 members were there, some traveling halfway across the country.

Saddest part of the first event of the three-day celebration was that 20 classmates have gone to the great beyond. They were solemnly memorialized with inner thoughts of each as they looked 50 years ago.

Half a century is a long time, longer than some who passed lived. Yet, it was like only yesterday when memories of high school days were recalled.

Remember the twins’ car? What teacher liked certain girls only on the front row? Who was it who ran through psychology class that day? How many jumped out of the biology room window?

Honoring their service: Our pleasure

A Memorial Day weekend tradition, Lyndon American Legion Post 125 ensures that flags line the drive at Lyndon Cemetery.

By Geri Schuler

Memorial Day can be rough for some people.  Maybe they lost a loved one in war time, or maybe their loss is more recent. This is where American Legion Post 125, Lyndon, and the Decker family found themselves this Memorial Day.

They had lost a beloved member, volunteer and role model to the people around him and to his family. He was a father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and a best friend.  They lost Elton Decker at age 86 on May 15, 2019.

Nathan Decker, his grandson who is a fellow Legionnaire and veteran, saw him not just as his grandfather, but his best friend. This past weekend was the first time he didn’t wake up and go out with his grandfather “supervising” him and his family while putting up flags at Vassar Cemetery during Memorial Day weekend.  This was not just hard for his family, but for his friends and fellow post members to not see his loving face on the sidelines or helping with honor guard.

Elton served nearly 40 years with the Kansas Air National Guard.  He was associated with the Korean War, Vietnam War and Desert Shield. He is a lifetime member, assisted in starting, and was a contributor to the Kansas National Guard Museum, at Forbes Field, Topeka.  He was the Senior Crew Chief of the B-57 that can be found at the entrance of Forbes field. He took part in the retrieval of the plane from overseas and assisted in rebuilding it to its current state.

When asked why there was no hesitation in the family’s decision to continue with the flags at Vassar Cemetery, Nathan simply said, “It’s the family tradition.” The tradition will carry on with him, his father and his uncle, with plans to teach his five kids the same qualities to keep this Memorial Day tradition alive.

Post 125 is fortunate to have many members who maintain such traditions. They make sure the flags fly in both Lyndon and Vassar over Memorial Day weekend. They perform a Memorial Day honor guard at three cemeteries, Lyndon, Vassar, and Oak Hill, and join with other posts from Osage County for a shared honor guard at Pomona Dam. In addition, the Lyndon post maintains flags at five cemeteries. All of this happens with the help members of the post, Sons of the American Legion, and Legion Riders.

One of the best ways to describe why they do this was overheard after the last ceremony on Memorial Day, at Quenemo.  As our long day neared the end, a sweet man came and thanked the post for the ceremony and honor guard. He said he had recently lost his father, who had grown up in Quenemo and served in the military. Danny Roush, Post 125 commander, thanked this son of a fellow veteran. Then he said simply that it was our pleasure.

It is truly all of the Legionnaires’ and fellow veterans’ pleasure to honor the fallen, not only in war time, but any who ever fought for our country. We honor our own.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Day for remembering, honoring

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.It’s time to remember and honor those who’ve passed on. Memorial Day, Monday May 27, is a federal holiday in the United States.

Businesses will be closed and special events will be hosted at many cemeteries.

Yet, likely majority of the population will not visit gravesites. Even sadder they will not even give perhaps a single thought to family and friends gone to eternity.

Oh yes, it’ll be a day at the ballgame, on the lake, long awaited road venture, whatever weather logistics permit. A day without work to catch up on rest is always appreciated.

That’s not what it’s all about. Memorial Day, known as Decoration Day by forefathers recently as the 1960s, is for remembering and honoring those who’ve died.

It was originally for recognizing those who died serving in the United States Armed Forces. Now, the day is set aside to honor all those who’ve gone to the great beyond.

During cemetery visits, memories are reflected and typically flowers placed at gravesites. The practice of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers is an ancient custom.

Soldiers’ graves were decorated in the United States before and during the Civil War. Volunteers also often place an American flag on graves of those who’ve served in the military.

It is now older generation who visit cemeteries and take part in Memorial Day programs. Millennials, those born between 1977 and 1994, sometimes follow family tradition paying respect to deceased family and friends.

“Your grandchildren will not visit cemeteries,” a good friend insisted when relating annual cemetery stops on parents’ birthdays. The thought hadn’t occurred but it’s likely a fact.

Don’t those young people have any respect for their relatives? They wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for earlier generations.

Yet, what seem important customs are definitely going wayside. Traditional funerals and burials have become less common. More than half of deaths result in cremation with that number increasing annually.

Urns of deceased are sometimes buried, but as frequent put on a display shelf or cremains spread over nature.

Too often there is no memorial or any honor of the deceased gone and forgotten forever. Even with spiritual beliefs assured, that somehow seems an eternal gloom.

Fortunately reminded of John 11:25: “Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Him may die, yet shall live.”

Hidden History: Osage County monuments ‘perpetuate the memories of fallen heroes’

Burlingame Cemetery soldier’s monument, date unknown, but photo possibly taken the day of the monument’s dedication. Photo thanks to Burlingame Schuyler Museum.

The Civil War was the bloodiest war in United States history, claiming the lives of about 620,000 individuals. After the war, veterans organizations were created to help those who survived the war to band together and honor those who were lost and the battles they fought. Largest among these groups was the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), established in 1866 for those who had fought for the Union army. General John A. Logan of the G.A.R. first proposed a decoration or memorial day in 1868 as a day of remembrance. This day was not one of any particular battle, and one in which the flowers would be in bloom to decorate graves. Observance of this day was determined by individual states, but by 1890 each of the northern states had made Decoration Day a state holiday.

Another group that arose during this time was the Woman’s Relief Corps (W.R.C.). This womens’ group had evolved out of the Christian and Sanitary Commission, whose mission had been to care for wounded soldiers. The W.R.C. was created to aid Union veterans, in particular the dependent ones. This group eventually became the auxiliary of the G.A.R. and was established in Kansas in 1885. Along with aid for veterans, this group aimed to “invoke a spirit of patriotism, respect for the nation’s flag, a love of country and reverence for her defenders in the minds of the youth of the present day, [and erect] monuments to perpetuate the memories of fallen heroes.”

Around the turn of the century the W.R.C. began seeking to memorialize those who served in the Civil War, because those that had remained were quickly disappearing as a present reminder of their service.

In Osage County, Kan., the first major monument to be erected was the soldier memorial at Burlingame, in 1905. The women of Burlingame’s W.R.C., consisting of 70 members under the leadership of president Lucy Jennings, commissioned Nettleton Marble & Granite Works, of Ottawa, Kan., to do the work.

L.H. Nettleton had been creating marble masterpieces for the area for 21 years. In 1904, he bought out his former partner, M. K. Ferguson, and became the sole proprietor of the business. Nettleton’s company had previously created war memorials for Baldwin City, in 1896, Garnett, in 1899, and Peabody, Kan., in 1900, but Burlingame’s monument was to be his greatest achievement yet, working in a grander style than before.

In order to secure the contract and gain the chance to showcase his abilities, Nettleton cut the W.R.C. a significant discount of the original $1,250 cost. The granite monument stands 15 feet, 8 inches tall, with a soldier standing atop keeping watch over the cemetery’s sleeping heroes. The monument was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1905, with exercises starting at Sumner Park including orators and band performances, and a visit by Governor E. W. Hoch.The veterans joined the procession to the cemetery for the dedication, following the local Kansas National Guard company, and only had “to look ahead to be reminded of what they were when they went first to battle for their country in their hour of need.”

A Cowboy’s Faith: Foggy days deserve respect

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Visibility zero.” “Visibility one-eighth mile.” “Visibility one-quarter mile.”

Any of those forecasts are time for alert. Actually best just stay home until the report changes. A quarter-of-a-mile allows some vision, but one-eighth is treacherous.

Zero visibility means there’s no way to see. Like the dark of night with cloud cover, no moon, no stars. A person can’t see anything period. It’s essential to stay off the highway for personal safety and well-being of any dumb one driving in the fog.

Needing to fill up with gas before heading to work, turned right to town, roadway ahead could hardly be seen. Not very far. By the time came out of town heading north, there was fog, but could see enough to feel safe.

Next morning, another group of cows and calves to work before grass, crew was to be ready at 8 o’clock. Barely seeing the road, arrived in ample time, but the gate couldn’t be seen let alone any cows with calves.

Starting time delayed an hour, and it was still foggy, as cowboys horseback headed east to gather the pairs. Somehow everyone was accounted for when the makeshift panel corral gate closed.

Wasn’t long before sun was shining bright, no inkling that one could barely see minutes earlier.

Whenever the fog is that bad, can’t help but remember many years ago driving to Concordia for a farm show. It was foggy for sure, but driving slow carefully, wasn’t worried about hazards.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Powers of floodwaters devastating

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“It’s better to have too much rain than the opposite.”

That’s the comment heard reflecting dry conditions of a year ago compared to now.

Obviously local opinion is legitimately countered with disagreement from those suffering irreplaceable, financially devastating flood damages.

Deepest heartfelt condolences are expressed to those experiencing terribly dramatic forever life altering acts of nature.

Vastness of loss remains incomprehensible to outsiders despite vivid news coverage of extensive flooding horridness.

Worst loss is human lives taken by uncontrollable, no escaping raging high waters.

Everybody in the nearby flooding region has been lifetime diversely harmed. Farms of generations destroyed, never to be replaced. Richest soils of the world were stolen by rampant overflowing.

Entire livestock operations morbidly were taken with no reprieve despite distinct natural instinct and owner-operator management assisting tactics.

Even with government programs and broadest generous financial assistance, life as was never again, no matter how evaluated.

Money cannot buy what has been lost. No way to start over, begin again. Life goes on in an entirely different direction, never expected or imagined in the scariest dream.

No actual semblance, yet cowboys are experiencing dilemmas with local flooding now, too.

Hidden History: Proud chief forever claims home in final resting place

The year 1869 marked the removal of the Sauk (Sac) and Fox tribes from Osage County to Oklahoma, all resigned to their fate except those under the leadership of a man named Mokohoko. This chief among the tribes had come to love this land that he had been forced into and adopted as his own. His fight to preserve his people’s rights to their land became one of the last stands of the American Indian in Kansas against Euro-American expansion.

Mokohoko, whose name means “He who floats visible near the surface of the water”, was the principal chief of the Sauk tribe. He belonged to the Sturgeon Clan, a clan designated for leaders of the Sauk. Mokohoko was a key supporter in the Black Hawk War, a brief conflict in 1832 that took place when the Sauk leader Black Hawk tried to reclaim tribal lands in Illinois that had been ceded in a previous treaty. Mokohoko was stubbornly traditional, holding tight to the culture of his people. This often put him at odds with another Sauk and Fox leader, Keokuk, who tended to be more lenient towards the white man’s ways.

In the winter of 1845-46, the Sauk and Fox tribes were removed to a reservation in Franklin and Osage counties consisting of 435,200 acres located at the upper reaches of the Osage River. The first Sauk and Fox agency was in Franklin County, and later, in 1859, moved near Quenemo.

Mokohoko and his band settled on the banks of the Marais des Cygnes River, stretching for 10 miles upstream and downstream of the area that would become the town of Melvern. This land contained 500 acres of rich farm ground used by the Sauk and Fox for farming. This prime ground produced so much corn that the tribe was able to sell the surplus to the government and early settlers of the area.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Good sides of weeds

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Favorite flowers on the ranch are dandelions.”

At least that must be the case as the entire yard has been covered with the colorful yellow blooms.

Interesting the response for roll call at a recent meeting when members were asked their favorite flower. More than half of those attending said: “dandelions.”

Evidently, everyone’s weed control methods are identical. Nothing was done and the little pretty yellow flowers thrived.

One time years gone by, a broadleaf herbicide was spread over the lawn when green started showing. Believe it or not, hardly one dandelion lived.

Even worse than the lawn flowers are the white fuzz balls replacing pretty blooms and now intensely seeding dandelions. If it’s possible, next year’s yellow flower bloom crop will likely extend the present one.

Now just wait one minute, perhaps instead of complaining entrepreneur business enterprises should be started.

It’s been contended that dandelions can be used to make wines not generally available at most places selling alcoholic beverages. Promoters proclaim the prolific yellow lawn weed is easily crafted into a “tasty true elixir of health.”

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