Posts tagged with Kansas Politics

Go Fly A Kite The kite was tucked at the back of the garage, forgotten. Spring cleaning has its surprises.

Today the sky is crystal clear with a slight breeze--great for outdoor work but perfect for flying a kite. So we do. Forget the flu, economy, and cluttered shed.

The red, white and blue delta wing is up in a minute. Tethered to a post, it bounces around with its tail wagging.

And, as we watch, the stress of the day floats away.


Last Minute Gift Wrapping Tip

Finally finished shopping--now to wrap the gifts. Here is my suggestion for a green Christmas.I am wrapping individual gift (gifts) in Lawrence Journal World newspapers and placing them in shopper bags available at supermarkets. Several days ago, HyVee had Holiday bags in red, green and blue for $1 each. I am hoping to use a wood burning tool to make little wood labels for each but there are many possibilities of ways to identify the bags.We will arrive at our Christmas celebration with ten shopper bags in hand, ready for grocery shopping another day. The wrapping will go back into the recycle pile.Merry Christmas!


Where Is That Recipe?

Wouldn’t you know? I can’t find a recipe. The search has been fun, though.Recipe cards are like old pictures or clothes. They bring back memories. Here and there are a few retro ones that look good but a bit out of fashion. Personally, as a kid, a meal would not be complete without Jello containing upside down half pears, fruit cocktail, or strawberries and bananas. I see in my card file, layered Jello salad recipes containing pistachio pudding and Cool Whip but pull out the cabbage salad with crunchy noodles and fresh vegetable salads that are popular with us now. My Mom always made sweet rolls as well as regular rolls. The regular rolls were made by putting three little balls in each hole of a cupcake tin. She only did that during the Holidays. Bread machines have simplified these recipes, however, we still have cloverleaves. Green beans & mushroom soup as usual. Desserts haven’t varied much from pie--pumpkin, pecan, cherry or apple—although here are tasty pie-like desserts. Over the years, Mr. Turkey has made his presence at our dinners dressed formally to casual, the only recipe is how long it takes to fix him up. In the fifties, mom placed the bird on the table whole with stuffing inside. When I began having the meals, he was baked early, sliced with defatted juice poured over. Recently, our kids deep fry or smoke him. Personally, I don’t care how he is dressed, just so he shows up.Well, wouldn’t you know, here is that dog-eared, stained recipe card filed under “Christmas.” No wonder I couldn’t find it, that makes too much sense.Scalloped corn and oysters—no holiday family dinner is complete without this dish. It could be a developed taste because newer members are slightly less enthusiastic. Something about finding a whole oyster hiding in corn. This recipe is my grandmother’s. I am sure she told it to my Mom, though, as grandma never used recipe cards. Enjoy!Scalloped Corn and Oysters
3 cups soda cracker crumbs
1 t salt
¼ t pepper
1 stick melted butter (not oleo)
Mix above ingredients together & put 1 ½ cups in the bottom of an 8 x 8 glass dish. Over this arrange drained oysters (two cans if you really like oysters) reserving the liquid. Add another light layer of crumbs then whole corn (frozen is better than canned). Over all pour 1 cup milk and oyster liquid (add additional milk if you can’t see liquid around the edges). Sprinkle a few crumbs over the top. Bake 350 25-30 minutes.


Uncle Sam Needs You

Economic news has become an obsession. I hang on the advice of "experts," while listening for stock market quotes and news of bailout legislation. The stock market continues to fall with only modest rallies. It is too big for me to fully understand or do anything personally. Then I had an idea.Savings bonds. a beginning as "baby bonds" during the depression, they grew up to become the popular war bonds during WWII. Savings bonds gave people with modest incomes the ability to help in the war effort while accumulating a modest savings.What if each individual purchased a savings bond. They are available for as low as $25. How about a reduction in our taxes for the bonds we buy. Series EE are easy to purchase at any financial institution or online. It is something we can do to help our country right now. This is too simple-more than a little naÃive. On the other hand:


Kansas Small Town Needs Votes

Wilson, Kansas, population 800, has pride.With declining school enrollment and more than one-third the commercial downtown buildings vacant, David Criswell, President of Wilson PRIDE, Inc. decided to write a grant to the Case Foundation, an organization committed to helping cities achieve sustainable solutions to complex social problems.Recently he was informed his city made the Top 20 out of 4,641 applications. Not only is Wilson the smallest community in the Top 20, but the only one in the middle of the US. Other finalist cities include Denver, Colorado, Vancouver, Washington, Chicago, Illinois and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Placing in the Top 20, awarded the city of Wilson $10,000, which Criswell says, "We will use to do an aggressive community outreach, visioning and goal setting project."If the grant entitled "Wilson For The Ages" gets enough votes to make it to the Top four, they will get an additional $25,000, a significant achievement for the small town midway between Salina and Russell on I70.Wilson needs our on-line votes to compete against the big cities in the competition.Voting is simple. Click here on Case Foundation, vote for four, placing Wilson first, and follow the commands. To record your vote go to your email in-box and click on the link sent to you by the Case Foundation. Hotmail and gmail type accounts might not work. Your internet carrier issued email address is best. Votes must be confirmed by April 22, 2008.After last week, the Lawrence community appreciates the pride that comes with hitting a goal. Help Wilson Kansas hit theirs.


Insights from the Rail

Health Care, Agriculture, and Utilities. Just a regular Monday at the Kansas legislature.Admittedly, I am not a Kansas political junkie. News media and occasional casual conversations are the extent of my participation in the legislative process. Perhaps it is time to learn my way around, so I accept the challenge to take a day off to watch and listen. The Capitol building itself is familiar. The dome, rotunda, and renovated chambers especially the senate with its ornate art work, are a Kansas treasure. Eight o'clock Monday morning finds me at the lower east entrance where a guard assesses me harmless. I locate the press room and Lawrence Journal World's Statehouse reporter Scott Rothschild. We pick up a Senate and House Calendar from the Document Room on the first floor. These may be downloaded from the internet at Kansas Legislature I scan the calendars of both chambers, circle the committee meetings of interest, and then fit them into the day.Scott is off to the no smoking debate while I attend the meeting of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. There are at least fifteen interested people waiting with me. At the stated starting time, there is an unexplained cancellation and they quickly disburse. I slip up a floor in time to catch the Senate Utilities committee meeting before it is on to the House visitor's area to wait for the call to order. Following opening formalities, there appears to be general disorder on the floor. I happen to sit next to a person who knows the procedures well. He informs me much of the talking is in fact a way of getting things done even if a person is up front is formally reading a bill or amendment. It is obvious from the debates legislators spend many hours working in committees before a bill or amendment comes before the entire house. They speak persuasively either for or against, often quoting constituents of their district. The House session spends a great deal of time discussing a bi partisan health care bill that includes a program to fund insurance for poor families, a plan that enables workers to deduct premiums, longer interim insurance in a job change, and dental care for pregnant mothers. Politics are present when members point out for the record they are making compromises for the good of the entire bill and the people of the State. Listening to the debate lets me know the state is seriously looking at this important topic. The House works through the lunch but at their adjournment, I still have time to rush to the House Budget Subcommittee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. From there it is on to the formalities and business of the Senate. My assessment is the political health of our state is good. While I feel a little impatient with the procedure, our elected officials talk and work together-and apart, but that is the process. Certainly if I feel strongly about an issue, I can speak. On the other hand, if I write or call, they listen. Young people were present in the halls and chambers the entire day. They are there as Pages and groups on tours. Their participation is encouraging for the future of Kansas as well.Click on picture for slideshow of Kansas Capitol

A view from the Rail