Saturday, November 29, 2008

December Days

December signals the beginning of many different celebrations, holidays and observances in the United States and around the world. Starting with World AIDS Day on December 1st and culminating with New Years Eve the month offers a diverse journey through awareness, cultures, belief systems, history and many opportunities to give of oneself to others.

Below are some links to resources and information on some December events with an emphasis on Kansas:

The Winter Holidays
(Information on December holidays and events provided by the State Library of Kansas)

Diversity Calendar
(The University of Kansas Medical Center offers up a calendar with information on special days around the world)

"World AIDS Day is December 1st"
The Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment urges people at risk to be tested

Kansas Travel & Tourism
(For Kansas events around the state click on EVENTS and put in a search term: winter, christmas, snow, etc. Site is part of the Kansas Department of Commerce. They also provide a short list of Featured Events.)

Candlelight Tour at Fort Scott, Kansas (December 5th and 6th)
(U.S. National Park Service)

December books for children provided by the Kansas City Kansas Public Library
---Celebrate With Reading: December Books
---The World of Holiday Books
---December Holiday Fiction
---December Holiday Picture Books
---New Winter Holiday Books
---Hanukkah Booklist
---Old Fashioned Christmas Picture Books
---Kwanzaa Favorites: Picture Books
---Reading About Kwanzaa
---Christmas Books From Europe

and also from KCKPL, how to say Merry Christmas in different languages:

Christmas Cookie Recipes
(Brought to you by the Girard Public Schools)

Decorate with care!
(Advice on the use of candles, lights, trees, food, decorations from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment)

Inspect Christmas Trees Often
(Kansas State University Research and Extension)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

'Tis the shopping season

Beginning this weekend the shopping season will be in full swing. While some may already be well on their way with this task there is no question that many will be hitting stores, both online and in-person in the coming weeks. This post will provide you with information on selecting the right age appropriate gift for those youngsters on your list, store shopping safety tips, charitable giving information, online purchasing information, and also reminders on how to correctly ship packages.
Consumer Reports has a very timely article about after Thanksgiving shopping and provides a shopping guide for all those individuals who will get an early start Friday morning.
The Kansas Attorney General Office provides many consumer brochures with topics ranging from mail order shopping, charitable giving, and checking account fraud.

Store shopping
Provided by the Federal Trade Commission this list provides holiday shopping tips to help you navigate sales, and special store policies.
Brochure offered by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation providing information for women but still applicable to all, while shopping, traveling or at home.

Online buying
This informational site, created by the American Bar Association, will help you order safely when shopping online.
Provided by the Federal Trade Commission this site offers information to help you shop safely and wisely online. You can learn, for example, how to use online payment services, participate in an Internet auction or resolve a complaint with an online dealer.

Selecting the right gift
Toys"R"Us, Inc., in collaboration with Safe Kids Worldwide, has developed a list of Safe Holiday Toy Shopping and Play Tips.
Toy safety shopping tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Kansas Charity Check serves as a great resource for those wanting to make an informed decision when giving.
The Better Business Bureau website has what you need to check the standing of a business or charity. You can also receive advice on giving, and receiving, pre-paid bank card. Be sure to check out their News Center which has recent posts dealing with shopping safely online and avoiding dangerous or toxic toys.

Mailing packages

Information for many of the major package carriers are provided below. Each provider lists a holiday shipping schedule and tips on how to best package your gift.
USPS- United States Postal Service
UPS- United Parcel Service
FEDEX- Federal Express

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kansas 100 Years Ago

Tabor College is celebrating its centennial this year. One hundred years ago a group of people with a shared faith and vision came together and opened an educational institution they hoped would shed light into a future they knew nothing about giving young adults the opportunity to prepare for that future.

It’s important to look back and recognize the lives that built up the world around us. We can learn from their mistakes, benefit from their successes, celebrate their accomplishments and reflect on their losses.

So what was Kansas like 100 years ago? Computer technology as we know it today was an unknown. The automobile was relatively new. Like 2008 it was a presidential election year. The wild days of cattle drives and bushwhackers were past. Kansas agricultural and small town society was at its zenith with many counties peaking in population in the 1910 census.

The Internet offers us a wonderful opportunity to look back at the past. Below are links to a mix of online books, gleanings, graphics and a even a bit of poetry…. glimpses of Kansas in 1908 as we leave 2008. The resources below come from government, educational and private sites.


Tabor College Centennial Celebration

History of Wyandotte County Schools
(Includes maps of school locations in 1908. Wonderful graphics of old school buildings. From a site created by the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools.)

Haskell Indian Institute Panorama
(American Memory website, Library of Congress)

Haskell Institute, Lawrence, Kansas, Regimental Parade
(American Memory website, Library of Congress)

Kansas State University [i.e., University of Kansas, Lawrence]
(American Memory website, Library of Congress)

Information on Graduates, KANSAS STATE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE (Kansas State University) 1867, 1871-1913 (from a book published in in 1914)
1908-1910 GRADUATES
(What were the 1908 K-State grads up to four years after leaving school? From the KSGenWeb Project)


The Mound-Building Prairie Ant
(Some cool graphics and information of this insect from a publication issued by the Agricultural College. Part of a large archive of online publications held by K-State Research and Extension)

The Pocket Gopher
(The drawings of the pocket gopher make it look like a creature suitable for a 21st century science fiction film. Great artistry and information on an animal that still irritates plant growers)

Winfield Raspberry
(Received in June 1908 as Providence seedling from Winfield Nursery Co., Cowley Co., Kansas. Appeared as plate V in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Yearbook, 1909.)
watercolors in the USDA collection at the National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Maryland.


The Great Dream
(A photo of a 1908 attempt at flight in Girard, Kansas. Part of the Henry Laurens Call Collection at Pittsburg State University)

(Glimpses at life at the turn of the last century)

Riley County Ramblings – 100 Years Ago
(Gleanings from Manhattan newspapers provided by the county government of Riley County.)

Tihen Notes From the 1908 Wichita Eagle
(Research notes kept by Dr Edward N. Tihen, gleaned from Wichita newspapers he perused. They read like a diary of daily events that caught the eye of this reseracher)

McAdam's Rambler automobile, Dorrance, Russell County, Kansas, 1908 (A photo from the L.W. Halbe Collection supplied by the Kansas State Historical Society)

Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Team, 1907/1908
(part of a short history of basketball page)

Ninth Street, Coffeyville, Kansas 1908 (postcard)

Belleville Kansas, 1908 (postcard)

Decoration Day, 1908 (poem)
(Now known as Memorial Day Decoration Day began soon after the Civil War as a way of honoring those who have died in War. From the Poetry of Kansas website, part of Blue Skyways)

Little Sweden (Prelude to the Future: Multiple Faces of the Lindsborg Legacy)
("Local Legacies" from the Library of Congress. Includes a 1908 photo of Lindsborg residents in folk dress)

E. L. Feagan's Drug Store, Norwich, Kansas, 1908
(From Kansas State Historical Society Kansas Memory site)

Independence Day Parade, Fowler, Kansas, 1908
(From Kansas State Historical Society Kansas Memory site)


Kansas Governor Edward Wallis Hoch’s 1908 Message to the Legislature
(Transcribed by State Library of Kansas staff. Banking, transportation, taxes and crime… things haven’t changed much in 100 years)

1908 Presidential General Election Results - Kansas
(So how did the Sunflower State vote in the 1908 election?)

Kansas Delegation to the 1908 Republican National Convention
(Information on some of the movers and shakers in Kansas politics 100 years ago)

Breweries versus C.W. Trickett
(An account of how the brewers and saloon keepers caused the arrest of Assistant Attorney General C.W. Trickett, charging him with having "received a fee before it was due," and the subsequent clearing of these charges after an investigation was conducted by the Attorney General of Kansas. From Kansas State Historical Society Kansas Memory site)


1908 Deaths - Brown County, Kansas
(Genealogical information from KSGenWeb, part of the State Library’s Blue Skyways website)

Souvenir History of Lincoln County, Kansas / by Elizabeth N. Barr
(Transcribed from the 1908 edition, Farmer Job Office publisher, Topeka, KS, by Joan Stevenson. From the KSGenWeb Project)


ATLAS books about Kansas published in 1908

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kansas Helps Grandparents caring for their grandkids

Caring for your child's children can bring joys and burdens both emotional... and financial. The Grandparents as Caregivers Assistance program can provide adults who are providing in-house care of their grandchildren financial assistance from the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. It provides cash benefits to grandparents or other relatives raising children. See below for more information on this valuable program as well as other available assistance from the state of Kansas and the Federal Government.

Find out more about this program at:

Brochure to hand out about the program

Online application form

Relatives as Parents Program from the Kansas Department of Aging

Health Assistance

Guide to Food Assistance resources

Info on Kansas Vision Cards (used to be called food stamps)

Child care subsidy information from the state of Kansas

Childcare referral help from Kansas Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies

Factsheet on Grandparents caring for grandchildren in Kansas

The Grandparents as Caregivers program is made possible by the Kansas Grandparents as Caregivers Act under Kansas Statute 38-142 through 38-148. These statutes can be found at

Funding from the U.S. Office of Family Assistance and financing through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families can be found at

Monday, November 10, 2008

U.S. Presidential Transition Resources

The workings of government are tested most when one administration hands over power to the next. The peaceful process currently underway in the U.S. is a wonder of sorts being watched by many around the world. Below are links to information from various government sources as well as a few non-government websites on the current presidential transition as well as a few glances back at past transitions.

Presidential Transition Act of 1963
("An Act to promote the orderly transfer of the executive power in connection with the expiration of the term of office of a President and the Inauguration of a new President.")

Office of the President-Elect
(Information from President-Elect Barack Obama's pending administration team)

Information from President George W. Bush administration on transition

Executive Order: Facilitation of a Presidential Transition
(Issued October 9, 2008)

Fact Sheet: Ensuring a Smooth and Effective Presidential Transition
(Issued by the President Bush Administration)

Report of the Administration Transition Task Force
(Homeland Security Advisory Council)

The Plum Book
(Just what is this book that the news media has been talking about?)

Presidential Transition Guide to Federal Human Resources Management
(A guide to Federal jobs, appointed and civil service)

2008-2009 Presidential Transition Resources
(Information supplied by the U.S. General Services Administration)

"Presidential Transitions"
by Stephanie Smith (Congressional Research Service, February 2008)
(Information on some past transitions and recommendations on what will be needed for a smooth transition in 2009)

2008-2009 Presidential Transition Resources
(Information supplied by the U.S. General Services Administration)

Presidential Transition of Barack Obama
(Wikipedia article)

United States: Presidential Transition and Implications for National Security in 2008-2009
by Raphaƫl RAMOS
(September 2008 : European Strategic Intelligence Security Center. Europeans observe the transition in the U.S.)


U.S. Constitution Annotated, 20th Amendment
(Commencement of the terms of the president, vice president and members of Congress, etc. From Cornell Law School)

2001 Presidential Transition Documents Online
(The American Pesidency Project)

"Abrupt Transition"
by C.L. Arbelbide (Prologue Magazine, vol. 32, no. 4, winter 2000)
(Read how administrations have dealt with sudden, unexpected presidential transitions in the past)

Presidential Libraries
(Storehouses across the country with information on U.S. presidents and their administrations)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Veterans Day

November 11 is Veterans Day. Emporia, Kansas has the distinction of being the founding city for Veterans Day and has many murals downtown to honor all veterans both domestic and foreign. Listed below are resources to help citizens honor those who have fought for our country. Also listed are resources to help current Veterans receive health and other services for their service to our country.

Veteran’s day events across Kansas

Kansas Commission on Veteran’s Affairs

Quilts of Valor- providing quilts for war wounded for generations

U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs

University of Kansas Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) is an educational and skills program designed specifically to serve the needs of today's veterans

Kansas Military Distinctive License plates

Online news source for Veterans

Kansas Veterans of Foreign Wars

All Veterans Memorial at the Great Overland Station

Resources and Phone numbers for local VA offices

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Resources

Happy Thanksgiving! It's a bit early but we thought we'd share some information on this day and the celebration of food, football, friends and family.

Thanksgiving Resources from USA.GOV
(Air travel status, food, How to send presents to military personnel overseas, etc.)

Thanksgiving Facts from the U.S. Census Bureau
(Which U.S. state is full of the most turkeys?)

Thanksgiving History
(From the Smithsonian)

Thanksgiving Memories
(From the Library of Congress' Memory Project)

Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1861, by Kansas Governor Charles Robinson
(From the Library of Congress American Memory site)


Native American Heritage Month
(Library of Congress)

American Indian Heritage Month
(U.S. Department of Defense)

National American Indian Heritage Month
(University of Kansas Medical Center)


Classic American Recipes

Poultry Preparation
(U.S. Dept of Agriculture)

Thanksgiving dinner safety


Involving children in Thanksgiving meal preparation

Countdown to Thanksgiving

Thawing a Turkey

Holiday Cooking Recommendations

Suggested Thanksgiving Recipes for Vegetarians
(Organic Consumers Association)


Public Service and Volunteerism

From:, a commercial site)