by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
As a nearly lifelong resident of Grain Valley and one who attended twelve years of school in the same two-story brick schoolhouse where my parents graduated in 1932, I am astounded. But then, as I think back over those past many years, I realize that like our community, most of the growth has occurred in the past twenty-five years.
In January 1996, the high school moved from Main Street to the present location on Eagles Parkway. Many of you will remember the first phase of that building housed the middle school. The second phase included athletic facilities and by the fall of 1996, the high school plus eighth graders, about 475 students attended school there. The middle school campus on Main Street housed fourth through seventh graders, about 480 students and Matthews Elementary was used for kindergarten through third grade. In total, the district had approximately 1,400 students, doubling the number just 10 years earlier. In 1996, more that 200 housing permits were issued.
Twenty-five years ago, in April 1996, the bond issue was passed to build the second elementary school. Sni-A-Bar Elementary was, of course, built on the campus with the high school. Since then the Early Childhood Center, two more elementary schools, two middle schools, and numerous additions to the senior high school have been added. And enrollment has increased by more than 300%.
Twenty-five years ago baseball, softball, and wrestling were “new” sports. Grain Valley was playing nine varsity sports in the Show-Me West Conference with Butler, Holden, Pembroke Hill, St. Mary’s and Sherwood. Today, Grain Valley is one of the 27 schools in the Kansas City Suburban Conference and they participate in 17 varsity sports, band, choir, cheer and dance, speech and debate, and Scholar Bowl. And, they have their own broadcasting studio with GVTV!
Twenty-five years, in the fall of 1996, all of the classrooms throughout the district were air conditioned for the first time. The district has a “vision” for an aggressive program in the future to make the internet available to all high school students. I can only imagine what a COVID-19 outbreak would have looked like twenty-five years ago!
A few years ago, my brother and his wife were visiting from Florida. I drove them around the district to see all of the new additions. From the Pink Hill Campus on the North to Stony Point on the South, we saw the administration building (originally the home of my high school classmate Nancy Norris), North Middle School, the Early Childhood Center, Prairie Branch, Matthews, Stony Point Elementary and Middle School, Sni-A-Bar, Moody Murry Stadium, the tennis courts, the softball and baseball complex, the greenhouse, the athletic building, and the Transportation Center.
But only once did he ask me to stop and take a picture. He was “blown away” by the two semi-trailers that haul the equipment for the Marching Eagles! In 1961, the year he graduated there were 11 members in the band. Times change!
Our fascination with having a space all our own and getting away from it all begins when we are kids, when we still have little reason to even escape the world. And yet at those early ages we are fort fanciers, treehouse seekers, and bolt-hole builders (more on this fascinating term to come…).
One of the best memories I have of my dad was him crawling through a tunnel of boxes with my toddler daughter, completely forgetting the back troubles that had hounded him for years. They rested somewhere deep inside the boxes and requested snack deliveries from us peasants around them.
Just a short few years later my daughter cried when I sold some old ladder back dining room chairs with knobs that were perfect for making a beautiful canopy from a filmy opaque curtain I had tried to discard. “Where will I hook the clothespins?” she said desperately.
She typically built her fortress right in front of the television and declared it off limits to the rest of us. That pieced together palace hosted many a tea party.
I can’t say that I blame her. I myself have been a refuge seeker, way back into childhood summers. New appliances meant joy for mom, and for us it meant the best tunnel and hideout ever, as we toppled the boxes to their sides, filled them with expensive throw pillows and grabbed flashlights to enhance the mood. I draped sheets off the edge of the bunk bed my sis and I shared to enclose myself when it was my week for the bottom bunk.
In our back yard, a chain link fence was the perfect start for our lean-to tents and hideaways. My dad’s old army blanket was the best ground cover, and then all we needed was a quilt, a sheet, even some plastic to create the triangle into which we would burrow ourselves for hours, hiding away from the world, fortified with Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries.
I was fascinated with movies where there were hideaways, like Swiss Family Robinson and Blue Lagoon. To this day, one of my favorite movie scenes is from Step Brothers when Brennan and Dale retreat to their treehouse to escape a mean brother.
If you have seen Step Brothers you get it, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s a good laugh at the end of a lousy week. Truthfully, I am still mad at Greg, Peter, and Bobby for not letting their Brady Bunch sisters share the club house. I hold grudges.
By the time I was a pre-teen, you would think the hideaway fascination would have stopped, but not for me. Across the road from my grandparents’ farm lived Natalie, a friend we only got to see on our twice or three-time yearly visits. She and Sally were our best buddies away from home, and while they might have enjoyed visiting us in the city, we thought nothing was better than a trip to the farm.
Natalie’s four wheeler took us down dirt roads on the bottom land, and one day I noticed a house off in the distance, a bit dilapidated but intriguing. A family that worked for Natalie’s dad on their farm had once lived there.
We headed over to it, and opened the door, despite the fact that looking back, just like I am 110% certain that leggings are not my best look, I am also 110% certain we were not supposed to have been in it.
Some pretty dusty and ragged furniture and rugs were still in place. My vivid imagination had us all wearing head scarves, sweeping, mopping, and dusting until it was spic and span, and then spending the night there.
A racoon or some animal that had taken up residence ran from a closet we pulled open, scared me enough to scream, and quickly snapped me out of my daytime reverie. But for a blissful moment, I thought we had found our bolt-hole (still promising more on this later…is the anticipation building?).
It is possible that desiring a hideaway is a family trait. My mom recalls wishing her father would build her a playhouse when she was a girl, but alas, the months to relax are few and far between for the farmer, and he never got it done.
He chose instead to build beautiful walnut clocks, which have been a much more transportable and lovely memory of his carpentry skills than a roughed out playhouse would have been. But when I talked about a little hideaway for my daughter, Mom was just as excited at the prospect as we were.
My nephew may have inherited a little of the bolt-hole desire (there is that funny word again… I wonder when she will explain it, readers are surely thinking…). My sister has a lovely back yard, filled with all things blooming and green. When we visited one day, they had added a garden shed.
Sis is happy with her hands in the dirt, and I think she imagined the shed filled with shelves of pots and trowels and other garden necessities (I am out of descriptive words here because gardening gives me metaphorical and physical hives…). But my nephew had other ideas.
The next time we saw the shed, it had a bunk bed built in to the side, and he had officially claimed it. At first, it was furnished with a leaking bean bag and an old rug. The following time, they had gotten it wired for electricity, and he had plugged in an old lamp, quite the ambience.
What followed were some serious decorating gaffes, like a Kansas Jayhawk banner (he is adorable but has terrible taste in sports teams), and some LED lights tacked around the ceiling to wall joist.
He and his buddies had countless overnights there, their suburban camping experience, escaping their tyrant parents, and no doubt eating junk food until they fell asleep, LED lights blazing.
My poor husband appeared to have outgrown the need for a bolt-hole (see now, you are just used to seeing this crazy word…) much earlier than the rest of us. When I asked him to construct a three poled tee-pee looking contraption for our daughter for the yard one summer, he thought I had lost my mind.
“She has her whole room to herself,” he said. When I tried to explain that it needed to be a little smaller and cozy, her offered her closet. Not the same, I protested, and after I purchased the lumber and brought it home, pretending I would just build it myself, he caved.
When he climbed inside the finished tee-pee with her, his feet sticking out, my heart melted. When summer ended, we couldn’t part with the tee-pee just yet and brought it inside. She was at a friend’s for an overnight once, and I came home to find he and the dog sound asleep in the tee-pee.
I made enough noise to allow him to pretend to be awake, and he claimed he was looking for a flashlight they had left in there, but I still believe he was stepping back in time to his fort building days for just a moment.
Maybe right when some of us adults were ready to let go of the whole hideaway thing, She Sheds became the rage. Moms all over the globe were claiming a space in their back yard and decorating that space in outrageous ways, lighting up Pinterest and home improvement magazine covers. Sheryl’s She Shed was even the subject of a funny insurance commercial.
If you are driving behind me as I pass a lot where they are selling tiny homes and sheds, please move on by. I will be rubbernecking until I cause a wreck.
I am busy visualizing what shrubs or perennials I will have my sister plant around my new She Shed. But big girl dreams die, too.
My homeowner’s association prohibits me from having a fine looking She Shed. But the one in my mind has a big window that looks out over the acreage we don’t own, and my easel, where I use acrylic and other mediums to paint, never has to be folded and put away.
In another corner, I have a cozy day bed for when I tire of my artistic pursuits and take a nap, from which no one wakes me and asks me if we have any pretzels or cheese or milk (wouldn’t you know where to look for milk, for Pete’s sake?) or where I put their one good pair of black athletic shorts.
When I was watching the adorable series Grace and Frankie, even Frankie, who lives in a beautiful beach home that is another of my dreams had her own bolt-hole, which I suppose it is finally time to describe.
The English coined the word bolt-hole, and used lovely Englishy sounding words like nook, and harborage and sanctuary and refuge and lair to describe it. I first read about a bolt-hole in a flowery gardening magazine that my sis probably subscribed me to, hoping to convert me.
I was intrigued by the title, and then more intrigued by the author’s words. She actually purchased a home with a little secret passageway about which her husband knew nothing.
As they renovated and refurbished their country estate, she saved scraps of wood and building materials to shore up her bolt-hole. She worked on it when the kids were at school and her hubby at work. She presented it to them with great fanfare one rainy afternoon and announced she was spending some time ensconced there while they all stayed away.
It was the best piece of non-fiction I had ever read, though not enough to keep me subscribed to the magazine. I was teaching English at the time I saw the article, and I shared it with my students as a writing prompt.
After we got past the muffled giggles when I discovered that bolt-hole sounded a lot like butthole to them, we talked about personal space. What would your retreat look like? Why do you need one? I received some of the best writing I had read from them, all of us just wanting our own space.
I think as a writer, I will likely need a bolt-hole to escape with my thoughts. Stay tuned for the reveal, if I ever emerge from it.
Cathy is a retired public school English teacher and Public Information Officer.
by Megan Callahan, Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitian
Spring into healthy habits by making Tilapia Tacos this week! Stop by your Hy-Vee seafood department for sustainably raised Rainforest tilapia.
Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice program ensures top-notch, quality seafood where the best aquaculture practices are used to protect seafood ecosystems. Tilapia is a versatile, mild-flavored white fish, making it a family favorite. It’s easy to bake, grill, pan-sear or air-fry.
Four easy ways to cook Tilapia:
Bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Pat tilapia fillets dry and season tilapia as desired. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork and reaches 145 degrees F.
Grill: Brush fish with olive oil and season as desired. Place on greased grilling screen and grill over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork, turning once halfway through.
Pan-Sear: Pat fish dry and dip in seasoned flour mix. Sear in a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until crust is golden and fish flakes with a fork.
Air-Fry: Coat fillets with seasoning as desired. Air-fry at 375 degrees F for 5 to 10 minutes or until fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, turning once halfway through.
With your health top of mind, eat seafood at least twice each week and connect with a Hy-Vee dietitian to enroll in programs to help you reach your nutrition goals.
Programs include virtual or in-person nutrition store tours about heart-health or diabetes (more topics available) or individual nutrition counseling to discuss your personal nutrition needs or Healthy Habits menu program, all with weekly accountability check-ins. You’ve only got one body, so take care of it and keep it a top priority.
Try this recipe for your next taco night.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
by Denise Sullivan, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, MU Extension
Outside of lettuce or other types of leafy greens, peas are one of the early season garden goodies I look forward to every year. While some people might find the shelling of peas a tedious task, I prefer it to snapping beans and find it rather satisfying to ‘zip’ open the pod to get to the treasure inside.
For most purposes, peas may be classified as garden or English peas, snow peas, and sugar snap peas. English peas are further divided into smooth or wrinkled seed varieties. Smooth-seeded varieties are starchier, while wrinkled varieties are sweeter and are commonly used for home and commercial growing.
Snow peas are meant to be harvested as flat, tender pods before the peas inside develop at all. Sugar snap peas have been developed from garden peas to have low-fiber pods that can be snapped and eaten along with the slightly mature peas inside. The starchier smooth-seeded varieties are used to produce ripe seed kernels that are fractured to be used to make split-pea soup. The Southern pea, or cowpea is an entirely different vegetable that is planted and grown in the same manner as beans and legumes.
In the mid 1900’s, studies by Gregor Mendel working with seven characteristics of pea plants (plant height, pod shape and color, seed shape and color, and flower position and color) laid the foundation for modern genetics by identifying dominant and recessive traits in organisms.
Peas are the seed of the Pisum sativum plant, which originated in the Mediterranean region of Greece, Syria & Turkey. They are a frost-hardy, cool-season vegetable grown wherever a cool season of sufficient duration exists. Today, most production occurring outside of the United States is in colder regions like Canada, Russia, England, and France. The highest producing states in the US are Washington, Montana, and North Dakota.
No matter how you roll them, peas are nutrient-dense packages of carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals (especially iron, potassium, folate and vitamins A and K). A half-cup of cooked green peas contains 4 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, 12 grams of carbohydrate, and 641 IU of vitamin A.
On the flip side, peas also contain phytic acid and lectins, which are often referred to as anti-nutrients, that may interfere with nutrient absorption and promote bloating in some people. To minimize these effects keep serving sizes to around 1/3 to ½ cup, eat them fully cooked instead of raw, and try sprouted or fermented preparations.
Peas can be enjoyed alone as a side dish, or added into soups, stews, or salads. Green peas can even be baked (tossed with a little olive oil and spices) on a baking sheet for a healthy, crunchy snack. Combining fresh peas with grape tomatoes, the pasta dish below can be served warm as a hearty main dish or chilled as a salad by thinning the cheese mixture with lemon juice.
Denise Sullivan is a Nutrition and Health Education Specialist for MU Extension in the Urban West Region, serving Jackson and Platte Counties. For research-based nutrition and food safety information and programs, visit https://extension.missouri.edu/counties/urban-west-region
by Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Instructor, University of Missouri Extension- Jackson County
I’m always looking at other people’s yards and admiring their gardens, trees, and flowering shrubs. If I see an attractive plant that is new to me, I try to figure out what it is, if it will grow in my yard, and where I can get one.
This spring, take some time to enjoy the flowering trees and shrubs in your neighborhood, nearby parks, even in the woods and green spaces around you.
If you see some you like, now is a great time to figure out what they are and if they will grow in your yard. Spring is also a good time to plant new flowering trees and shrubs to enjoy for years to come. Here are several spring-flowering trees and shrubs that grow well in western Missouri:
Serviceberry- (Amelanchier arborea)
Serviceberry, native to Missouri, is an attractive small tree with smooth gray bark, that grows on wooded slopes. The snowy white flowers appear in early spring before anything else in the woods has leafed out. Tasty berries appear in June and leaves turn pink and orange in the fall. Unfortunately, invasive, non-native Callery Pears (Bradford Pear being one type) are moving into Missouri natural areas. Do not mistake the white flowers of Bradford Pear for Serviceberry!
(Photo credit: Pixabay by deniseellsworth)
Flowering dogwood- (Cornus florida)
The flowering dogwood is a popular native flowering tree. Johnson County, Missouri is its nearest natural range to the KCMO region. It can be grown in our region, if it is put in a protected, partly shady site in the yard. Growth is fairly slow. Their branching is open and horizontal, with a rounded mature shape. They can get up to 30 feet tall.
Their spectacular white bracts appear before leaves. Small, red fruit persist in fall and attract songbirds. It has lustrous, scarlet foliage in fall, too.
They can be used as specimens, in masses or naturalized under larger trees, preferring moist, humus rich, slightly acidic soils. Avoid planting in hot, dry exposures. Use an organic mulch under the tree. Dogwoods need water during drought. Old or injured specimens are subject to borer damage.
(Photo credit: C.Bylinowski)
Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Redbuds can get up to 30 feet tall. The clusters of purplish pink small flowers clusters appear before leaves emerge. Heart-shaped leaves turn yellow in fall. Plant redbuds as specimens, in masses, or naturalized at edge of woods. They are hardy in sun or part shade and tolerant of a wide range of soils.
(Photo credit: C.Bylinowski)
Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
Lilac is one of the best known and most commonly planted of all the introduced, flowering shrubs. Lilacs are worth having in your yard or garden for their once-a-year display of incredibly fragrant flowers. For the classic lilac fragrance, plant Common Lilac or one of its hybrids.
Lilacs get up to 9 feet tall.
Lilacs perform best in well-drained soils in full sun. Plants should receive at least six hours of direct sun each day for maximum bloom.
Proper pruning is necessary to keep the plants attractive and to promote flower production. After the plant becomes established, about one-third of the old stems should be removed each year. Older lilac stems may be attacked by borers.
(Photo credit: Pixabay by deniseellsworth)
Flowering Magnolias (Magnolia soulangiana)
These magnolias look like beautiful pink clouds in the spring. The only drawback is that the flowers can be damaged by spring freezes. You might enjoy the scented flowers so much that you are willing to take the of risk flowers turning brown some years, after a freeze. There are cultivars that bloom later in the spirng with pink, purple, or yellow flowers. They are worth investigating. Some magnolias can get to 30 feet tall. Plant in protected parts of your yard away from southern exposures.
(Photo credit: C.Bylinowski)
These are some of the many ornamental trees and shrubs, native and introduced, that offer beautiful spring color. Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want more information on flowering trees and shrubs.
You can also explore University of Missouri Extension’s website for more information on gardening- https://extension.missouri.edu/.
by Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert
Cyber attacks are at an all-time high and hackers are always looking for new ways to get access to your devices. Criminals know there's important data stored on your gadgets.
Think of all of the passwords you store on your tech devices, as well as the sensitive sites like your bank you use your devices to connect to on a daily basis. It makes sense that you want to keep that information out of prying eyes, if you don't, you risk cyber crooks stealing your personal and financial information.
Big tech has stepped in recent years to keep your computers and smart devices are safe from most of the cyber attacks out there. 99% percent of all cybercrime requires user interaction. which means if your device ends up getting hacked, it means you fell for a hacker's clever trick to get you to click on a phishing link or tech support scam that gave them access to your devices.
The firewall and anti-virus protection in modern operating systems can stop most attackers. Even though it's rare for someone to just force their way into your device, there are some vulnerabilities that allow them to get directly into your gadgets that you need to be aware of.
1. Tech Companies Won't Call Out Of The Blue To Alert You To a Problem With Your Device. It's important to understand big tech doesn't care what happens to your devices. Sure you will get the occasional reminder for device maintenance or updates, but you will never get phones from Microsoft, Apple, or your Internet provider informing you of problems with your devices. I know there are some of you reading thinking "No one falls for these scams", but in reality a good percentage of the population does.
My company Integral is constantly bombarded with calls from people who have fallen victim to the "Tech Support" scam.
If a tech company calls you out of the blue, simply hang up the phone. If you're surfing the web and alerts appear telling you there is a problem with your devices, simply turn off your device and turn it back on to disable these fake alerts.
2. Keep Your Devices Up to Date. Cybercrime is always evolving which is why you need to make sure you update your computers, smartphones, and tablets. Updates are a pain in the "you know what", but downloading them helps keep your devices safe from the latest operating system vulnerabilities from viruses and ransomware.
Your mobile devices and computers are designed to automatically download updates. When you're asked to install them, resist the urge to prevent them from installing. When you use devices that don't have the latest updates, you open your gadgets up to hackers gaining control of them.
3. Watch Out When Installing Programs. Don’t just download any old apps to your devices. Apps in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and the Microsoft Store are normally checked before they are uploaded to the store. Sometimes a malicious app can slip through. If these apps get on your gadgets, they can create havoc.
4. Not all Websites are Safe. Criminals are aware you spend a lot of your time surfing the web and have set up bogus websites that are designed to trick you into thinking there is a problem with your devices and ones that are designed to hack into your gadgets. Watch the spelling of your favorites as a misspelling can get you into trouble.
Pay attention to those ads and popups as well. Criminals actually spend money to take out ads to get you to click on them in order to trick you out of your money or gain access to your computer and related devices.
5. Use Strong Passwords. I know you hate passwords, but it's best you create strong passwords to keep your devices as well as your online accounts safe. If you struggle at creating passwords, use the password creators built into most password keeper software such as LastPass or the one built into your web browser.
Change your passwords at least twice a year. Also, practice the art of cyber lying and don't give truthful answers to those security questions you're asked when setting up online accounts.
6. Keep Your Mobile Number Secret. Just like you didn't give out your landline phone number to anyone who asked, use that same practice with your mobile number. The more people and apps that have access to your mobile number puts your devices more at risk to SMS text scams that can give criminals access to your mobile devices.
The above steps can help you safeguard your personal and sensitive data from criminals. When you have protective measures in place, it makes it less likely that thieves will be able to steal your identity, delve into your personal life, steal your money, control your computers and devices, and make your digital life miserable.
Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to email@example.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone.
Need computer or technology help? If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. Reach out to us at www.callintegralnow.com or phone at 888.256.0829.
I have been laughing lately at the memes about the lies we tell ourselves. One showed a book titled, “My House is Not That Dirty and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.” Funny, not funny in my case.
Some of the lies I have told myself have to do with food and eating habits, two of my very favorite topics. A recent fib is, “If I buy this huge water jug with the clever hourly markings and sayings on the side, I will drink all the water I am supposed to in a day.” Not only was it a lie, but now my bladder is talking about leaving home to find different work.
The one day I drank all the water I was supposed to, a work meeting ran a little long, and I was due at school to pick up one impatient 15 year old. I dashed for the car without first considering a visit to the bathroom. Statement of fact: 1-70 during rush hour is no place to desperately need to pee.
I saw a recipe this week that is for sure a lie people are telling themselves: you can take really ripe banana peels, coat them in myriad spices, and fry them to taste like bacon.
Besides the original fallacy that anything would ever rival bacon’s sumptuous flavor, there are few ripe bananas around. I think most folks got used to being forced to eat all the bananas before they became overripe, so they did not have to eat one single more bite of mom’s Covid-19 Homestead Banana Bread.
Three additional favorite dieter’s lies are 1. Fish tastes good (which just requires incredible gullibility to believe), 2. Anything fried in an air fryer is as good as pan fried (which I saw on a commercial I was watching while wiping REAL fried chicken grease from my chin), and 3. No one can tell the difference in skim and 2% milk (except that one looks like murky water and has absolutely no taste).
Still others of my tall tales have to do with my talent and abilities. Lie number one is on display every day in my house, as I apparently once told myself I could mix patterns when decorating. I boldly tossed a striped pillow next to a floral one on my plaid chair. The result is sort of a Coat of Many Colors feel, and while one of my favorite Dolly songs, the mix I have created is not a good look in suburbia.
I have also deceived myself about my ability to bring consensus to family discussions and decision-making. We have resorted to drawing straws or playing Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide even small things like dinner menus far more often than I care to admit.
I have tried everything from having a list of meals to select from, to printing out my Pinterest recipe board, to suggesting only meals whose ingredients can be purchased using that week’s coupons.
“One of you JUST CHOOSE!” I scream when no one wants to decide anything, and my lie about being a consensus builder is exposed. Decisions about college ought to be a lot of fun in this consensus-builderless home.
Other half-truths about my ability can be lumped into living too far in the past. I still peddle fiction about myself about being able to bend down without pulling a muscle, shoot three pointers, apply lotion to all parts of my back without my husband’s help, and remember people’s names.
Another genre of lies has to do with health or appearance. They can be very common ones like, “Next spring I will be able to fit into those pants again” or “Tunic tops and elastic waist pants are not only comfortable but also stylish.”
I have lied to myself over and over about getting in shape. And where did that phrase ‘getting in shape’ even come from? People need to learn their shapes a little better in pre-school. I mean round is a shape, right?
Perhaps the biggest appearance lies have to do with makeup and hair. The cosmetic companies promise us there are lipsticks and eyeliners that will not smudge, but plenty of sweaty menopausal women will attest to clown-like lips and racoon eyes.
A lie that ran rampant during Covid-19 quarantines went like this: “I can go another week without touching up my roots.” What remained in my hair after two missed hair appointments was a color that would best be called River Bottom or maybe Greige. Not pretty. When my stylist finally saw me, she wept with joy. Or maybe despair.
Some lies I tell myself have to do with habits: I can watch just one more episode, eat just one more piece, read just one more page, hit the snooze button only once.
I spout the falsehood, “I don’t need to write that down, I will remember it,” with full confidence, even though as I age this isn’t even a near truth. Today I didn’t even know it was today. Sad.
As a serial shopper, I have lied about my habits. “There is no such thing as too many pairs of black pants or shoes,” I mumble, as I reach for a perfectly cropped pair from the rack.
I am a night owl by nature, and an early riser by necessity. In my 30’s, I was not lying when I told myself, “I can stay up late and still wake up early.” Today, that would be like a Christmas miracle.
Once after supervising my daughter’s slumber party, I fell into a Rip Van Winkle snooze from which ringing phones and shouting family members could not rouse me. I am still tired just writing about it.
Oh, I can ring in the New Year, alright. But then I might miss St. Pats’ day because I am still asleep. And no one wants to miss St. Pat’s Day, because…get ready for the lie…green beer on top of corned beef and cabbage is actually good for the digestion and not at all nauseating.
Finally, there are some whoppers I have told myself that are just so outrageous, each is in a category of its own. For instance, “I can live without chocolate” should maybe be rephrased to say, “ I can live without chocolate on my scrambled eggs” or “ I can live without chocolate for 15 minutes,” both of which are far more accurate.
Perhaps one of my least believable lies is about my aversion to some animals. If you ever hear me say, “I like bats because they eat mosquitos, and I like possum because they eat ticks,” move out of the way before my Pinocchio-like nose hits you. Can’t. Won’t.
On some dusky summer nights, bats fly near our street lights. Not sure if it is my connection to Dark Shadows’ Barnabas Collins that has forever spoiled me on bats, but we had to move the master bedroom to the back side of the house, free of street lights and bats.
The only problem is now our bedroom faces a ravine which narrows into a little trickle of a stream, one that is just the perfect spot for a mama possum and her 637 babies to get a drink and then scamper back across my yard to hang by their tales from a tree I promised to trim earlier, yet another piece of fiction. I would just stay up all night to avoid these nocturnal animals, but we discussed earlier my need for sleep.
I would like to write a book about all these fabrications, as I believe I would have a best seller on my hands with all you perjurers hanging around. I have selected the title, “My Academy Award Speech Will Fit Within the Time Limit and Other Lies I Tell Myself,” soon to be available at counterfeitcopies.com
Cathy is a retired public school English teacher and Public Information Officer.
The other day a lady came into my pharmacy and during our conversation mentioned she has high cholesterol but is not taking anything for it as the side effects of the medications were too much for her.
I informed her that there are new formulations of the old and completely new classes of anti-cholesterol medications, and of course there are supplements that either mimic medications or provide relief through different pathways. So, I figure there may be more than one more person who could benefit from this conversation and this article will hopefully help others.
I will not spend words justifying the need for the maintenance of cholesterol. But I will detail why it is needed, where it comes from, which levels of each part are good, moderate, and bad, and provide a summary of the different ways to lower the body’s cholesterol.
Cholesterol is an essential part of every cell structure, is needed for proper brain/nerve function, is the backbone to the creation of sex hormones, and helps transport fat soluble vitamins. The body gets cholesterol from not only its diet, but also from its own liver. This allows two pathways for us to reduce the body’s influx of cholesterol and thusly reduce the total cholesterol in the body.
To measure if your body has too much cholesterol, we measure three things in the blood: the LDL-Cholesterol, the HDL-Cholesterol, and total Cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty substance, so it does not move through the mostly water-based blood in the body. Due to this, other molecules are necessary for its transport to the areas of need in the body; Low-density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) are these transports.
LDLs are the major molecules that transport cholesterol throughout the body, the issue with them is the LDLs seem to encourage the binding of cholesterol to the atrial walls which builds up a plaque that hardens the walls of the arteries.
HDLs carry unused/unnecessary cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver for destruction (hence nicknamed “good cholesterol”).
Below are the levels for LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol:
Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal
100 – 129 mg/dL Near Optimal
130 – 159 mg/dL Borderline High
160 – 189 mg/dL High
190 and above Very High
Less than 40 mg/dL Low, major risk factor for heart disease
60 mg/dL and above Considered protective against heart disease
Less than 200 mg/dL Desirable
200-239 mg/dL Borderline High
240 and above High
So, the options to reduce or maintain the body’s current cholesterol levels are changing your diet, exercise level, adding supplements, or prescription(s). It is good to discuss with your care provider which one, or combination, would be a good start.
Diet – adding (or increasing) the intake of the following foods have been shown to decrease the cholesterol levels in the body: raw almonds, apples, bananas, carrots, cold-water fish, low fat dairy products (instead of whole), dried beans, garlic, grapefruit, margarine (based with plant sterols) oats, olive oil, raw pecans, salmon, strawberries, raw walnuts, soybeans, and water-soluble dietary fiber.
Decreasing the amount of the following foods have shown benefits as well: Saturated fat, fatty meats, dairy (whole), and fried products. How much of each item and how often should be discussed with your care provider, nutritionist, or knowledgeable pharmacist to make sure you gain the best effect of these changes.
Exercise – The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise or activity 3 to 4 times a week to get the best gain on cholesterol reduction.
Supplements – adding these following supplements to your daily regimen have also been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the body: Chinese red yeast rice extract, apple pectin, CoQ-10, Fiber (soluble), Garlic, L-Carnitine, Lecithin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Cayenne, and Cinnamon.
Prescriptions – There are several different classes of cholesterol lowing medications and each one has its own benefit/risk factors (just like all the other options). It is best to have an honest discussion with your care team to find which variation of these options best suit your needs, capacity to maintain, and reduction of detrimental side effects.
Remember to always include all supplements, vitamins, dietary regimens, etc. in your listing of medications for all your care providers.
Sean M Crosetti, MBA, PharmD, is Pharmacist in Charge and Owner of Crosetti Health & Wellness in Grain Valley. Crosetti Health & Wellness is located at 510 N. Main in Grain Valley. www.crosettis.com
by Megan Callahan, Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitian
If you have diabetes or know someone with diabetes, you may think you need to spend a lot of money on healthier foods and compromise on taste. Not true! There are many great finds all over your Hy-Vee grocery store that fit your budget and your need to control blood sugars.
You don’t have to purchase special foods, create complicated recipes or only seek out labels that boast “sugar-free” to eat well with diabetes. Here are the best 5 budget-friendly foods that are appropriate for managing your diabetes while still finding joy in the food you eat.
All foods fit when living with diabetes. These healthy picks by your Hy-Vee dietitians can help take the guesswork out of trying something new, provide a new twist on something familiar and still be budget savvy.
Try Full Circle Power Bowls if you are looking for a fast lunch or dinner idea.
“These bowls are a convenient plant-based meal, a delicious way to get your veggies, protein and healthy fats, and help you feel confident about your meal choice. The simple goodness with market-inspired flavors is a great source of fiber and protein – the perfect combo when it comes to blood sugar control,” Shannon Muhs, RD, said.
Get a vegetable side ready fast with Hy-Vee Short Cuts Grill Pan Asparagus.
Amy Cordingly, RD, likes to take the guesswork out of meal planning with already prepped vegetables that are high in fiber, which can help you feel full longer after a meal.
“Short Cuts asparagus is already washed and trimmed – no prep work needed. Just bake or grill for a quick side dish. By including non-starchy vegetables at meals, it helps with blood sugar management. They are low in calories and carbs, so make sure they fill up half your plate,” Cordingly said.
Yes, you can have something sweet with Zoet Dark Chocolate. Cordingly is also a fan of dark chocolate.
“Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you have to eliminate all sweets. Dark chocolate tends to be lower in sugar than milk chocolate. Look for 70% or higher cacao and add-ins like nuts rather than dried fruit. The key is portion size. Enjoy one to two squares of dark chocolate for a sweet treat after a meal.”
Level up your breakfast with Hy-Vee One Step Original Bite Size Shredded Wheat. A well-rounded breakfast is important for people living with diabetes, including whole grain and produce.
“This cereal is a good source of fiber to help slow the rise of blood glucose and keep you full longer. I like to top with fresh berries and pair with a few scrambled egg whites for a well-rounded diabetic-friendly meal choice,” Ashton Ibarra, RD, said.
Power up your snack with Soiree Pearl Mozzarella.
You don’t have to give up cheese when living with diabetes; however, it is important to choose ones to better meet your lower fat nutrition needs. Cheese has protein but is also may be high in fat and sodium.
“Mozzarella cheese is protein rich and pairs well with carbohydrate foods for better blood sugar control. A 1-ounce serving of Soiree Pearl Mozzerella (about 8-9 pearls) is low in sodium and is naturally a reduced-fat cheese. The best part? It still has great flavor, texture and melts well,” Anne Cundiff, RD, said.
Another nutrition bonus: Mozzarella provides calcium and vitamin D, which may reduce your increased risk for osteoporosis as a diabetic.
Your Hy-Vee dietitians enjoy sharing all things delicious in the grocery store and are available to schedule your personal nutrition tour in-person or virtually. Go to https://www.hy-vee.com/health/default.aspx and find your dietitian.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Megan Callahan is one of your Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitians. She is dedicated to helping people live healthier and happier lives. Megan received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Missouri State University. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she also received her Master of Science degree in dietetics and nutrition. Megan has been working with Hy-Vee full-time for 10 years. Megan lives in Lee’s Summit with her husband Matt, and their 2 children Kennedy (4) & Carsyn (2).
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
I don’t know when Harris Street got its name, but I do know that according to the 1930 U S Census it was South Main Street.
At some time after 1930 it became Harris Street, named for the family living on the tiny street. It was then, and remains today only two blocks long; one block on the east side and one block on the west side of Main Street, two blocks south of the railroad tracks.
Charles Warren Harris was born in Perry Township, Ohio in 1868. He and his older sister, Annie, moved with their parent, Elisa and Sarah Harris, to Iowa around 1870. According to the United States Census of 1900, Charles and his first wife were living in a boarding house in Columbus, Ohio. However, on November 4, 1903, Charles married his second wife, Louiza “Lulu” in Jackson County, Missouri. Lula was the daughter of George and Melinda Stillwell.
According to the 1920 US Census, they were living on Capelle Street in Grain Valley. By the 1930 US Census the Harris family included six children and they had moved to South Main Street. All six children grew up here, attended school here and married a local resident.
All six children continued to live in Grain Valley where they raised their own families and sent them to school here. Mabel (1904), the eldest married Ronnie Peal. Ina Jane (1907) was next and she married Bill Mitchell, a Scotsman working at Sni-A-Bar. Clara Belle (1908) married Bill Shippy and Veneda (1910) married Hamp Smith. The boys were Carl (1913) and George (1917). Carl’s wife Velma (Robinson) and George’s wife Gladys (Smith) were local girls.
Their Grain Valley relatives include family names many of you will recognize; Peal, Davis, Coleman, Affolter, Danner, Mitchell, and Todd, to name a few. And that great, great, great grandson I mentioned last week, Miles Bell. He and sisters Payton and Laney are descendants of Mabel Harris Peal, Evelyn Peal Affolter, Dennis Affolter, and Jennifer Affolter Bell!
Former Mayor Mike Todd is also a great-grandson. Charles and Lula Harris had 6 children, 11 grandchildren, and more than 20 great-grandchildren.
So while Harris Street may be quite short, the list of Harris Family members is quite long. More than 100 years later, their impact on Grain Valley is still going strong.