by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Having read several Broadcasters this past week, I can assure you not only school, but life was very different in 1940. The school was apparently the center of everything social in Grain Valley, as every issue mentions at least one school dance or party. There was the school dance, the hayride, the school carnival, the Pie and Box Social and the Halloween Party, all within the first two months of school.
Also, school assemblies are mentioned frequently. From the back-to-school assembly during the first week to marionettes, the junior play, and a musical presentation, there was apparently an assembly every week.
During American Education Week, held the first week in November, there were daily topics which included the following: Enriching Spiritual Life, Strengthening Civic Loyalties, Financing Public Education, Safeguarding Natural Resources, Perpetuating Individual Liberties, and Building Economic Security. As I perused the topics, I found that although the topics are 80 years old, not much has changed. Or has it?
On spiritual life --“America was founded upon a spiritual foundation by earnest pioneers seeking to govern themselves and to worship God in their own way….great teachers of all faiths in schools, public and private, encourage religious feeling and practices as the foundation of moral conduct. The schools guide pupils to enriched spiritual living thru the development of character, the encouragement of right conduct, the opening of minds to new horizons, the practice of tolerance, a steady emphasis upon the sacredness of human personality, and a constant leadership in the search for truth, goodness and beauty.”
On civic loyalties –“Although government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not solved all our problems, who would exchange it for the tyranny and force which prevail today in so many parts of the world?”
On financing public education –“The public elementary and secondary schools of the United States cost 2 billion dollars a year (an average of $75 dollars per pupil).” Okay, so times have changed.
However, the final statement might still be applicable, “…millions are unemployed; hunger exists amid plenty; crime takes a vast toll; ill health ravages the underprivileged. These conditions need not exist in a wealthy nation. They can be corrected by improving the individual and promoting the general welfare, which the schools seek to do.”
On safeguarding natural resources –“There is still time to safeguard resources so that we shall have plenty if we consistently strengthen the conservation movement. The schools will be a mighty factor in this vital educational campaign.”
On perpetuating individual liberties –"Education perpetuates individual liberties by developing a people able to govern themselves and determine that America shall remain the land of the free and the home of a people unafraid of the duties that liberty entails.”
On building economic security – “Certain broad objectives are generally agreed upon as necessary, including (1) conservation of natural resources, (2) upbuilding of human resources, (3) extension of taxation according to ability to pay, (4) fair play between capital and labor, (5) social security, and (6) unemployment insurance….to help develop these qualities in all the people is the task of the schools.”
Learn more about the Grain Valley Historical Society at www.grainvalleyhistory.com.
by Denise Sullivan, Nutrition & Health Education Specialist, MU Extension-Jackson County
During the cold winter months, turning to canned, dried or frozen vegetables and fruits is still a good way to get more plants on your plate. In fact, many dried legumes or their canned counterparts often make their way to hearty, cold weather meals.
Legumes are a unique food, which includes beans like kidney, pinto, lima, garbanzo and black beans, black-eyed peas, split peas and lentils. Legumes are an excellent source of plant protein, as well as iron and zinc, making them an excellent alternative to meat for meeting protein needs.
However, legumes also count as part of the vegetable group because of their abundance of dietary fiber and nutrients like folate, magnesium and potassium. Regardless of which food group you classify them, legumes are a good addition to anyone’s diet.
Protein found in legumes is beneficial in building and repairing muscle tissue. Legumes are also rich in complex carbohydrates, containing both insoluble and soluble fiber, beneficial in digestive health, heart health and insulin resistance.
Beans also contain complex sugars called oligosaccharides, which are non-digestible, fermentable fibers, which research is revealing to be beneficial for gut health and other health conditions.
Certainly, the most economical way to purchase legumes is in the dried form. A ½-cup serving of dried beans is about one-third the cost of canned beans. Preparing dried beans is a simple process, but does take some lead-time.
First, spread beans on a large tray and pick out any foreign objects like small stems or stones, as well as any broken beans. Next, place in a colander and rinse under cold running water. The third step is soaking, either with the cold-water overnight method or a hot soak, which involves boiling for two to three minutes before soaking for four or more hours. Whichever soaking method is used, the water should be drained and fresh water added for the final step of cooking.
Using fresh water for cooking reduces much of the gas-causing carbohydrates. As the beans rehydrate, additional water is often needed during cooking. Herbs and spices can be added anytime during cooking and some studies show that bay leaf reduces uncomfortable gas.
Acidic ingredients like tomato products or wine should be added near the end of cooking, as they can interfere with the tenderness of beans.
A pressure cooker is another great alternative to preparing dry beans quickly. Combining pressure and heat dramatically reduces cooking time by about one-third. Check your appliance manual for specific directions.
Lentils and split peas are great choices for beginners, because they do not require soaking before cooking. With these legumes, simply remove any foreign debris, rinse and cook according to recipe directions.
If you do choose the convenience of canned beans, it is a good idea to look for low or no sodium options to help stay in line with current general dietary recommendations of 2300 milligrams of sodium per day. If there is not a reduced sodium option, draining and rinsing the beans can reduce sodium amounts significantly.
A 2009 study conducted at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, showed that draining beans removes, on average, 36% of the sodium in canned beans. Draining and rinsing removes, on average, 41% of the sodium.
The recipe below is tasty with any type of bean; however, black beans and black-eyed peas are my favorites. If you missed your ‘good luck’ dose of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, go a head and sneak them in now!
by Tracey Shaffer, RDN, LD
We have all seen that friend, co-worker or relative that has recently dropped a lot of weight and fast. When we ask what they did to lose the weight they tell us the latest fad diet and we begin to wonder if that isn’t the way to go.
It’s easy to get caught up in the promise of popular diets but it’s also easy to get confused. Unfortunately, nearly all of those who follow a fad diet with quick weight loss gain all, and sometimes more, of the weight back. The worst part is that because quick weight loss plans tend to cause you to lose muscle, the weight gained back is fat, not muscle, and you end up worse off than when you started.
Fad diets are flashy and they sound easy. But unfortunately weight loss is not easy and most fad diets fizzle. If you want to be a successful loser, evaluate weight loss plans carefully and look for these red flags.
Magic or miracle diet – There are no magic foods or miracle diets that magically melt away fat. What works for one person is not guaranteed to work for another.
No need to exercise – The key to successful long-term weight loss is regular exercise. Simple activities like walking or biking are important for healthy weight and for overall good health.
Easy – Weight loss is not easy. Successful weight loss requires making positive changes to both eating habits and physical activity patterns.
Eat specific foods – No individual food can cause weight loss. Weight loss means sticking to healthful eating habits that include a variety of foods.
Quick weight loss– Studies show that gradual, steady weight loss increases your chances of maintaining a healthy weight. Aim to lose one to two pounds per week.
Lists good and bad foods – There are no good foods or bad foods, just good diets and bad diets. All foods can fit into your weight loss plan in moderation. Look for a plan that you can realistically follow for the rest of your life.
Ultra low calories – Diets with less than 1200 calories don’t have enough nutrients to be healthy. And, a diet very low in calories leads to binge eating and muscle wasting.
You can succeed at losing weight. The key is to be patient and do some research before jumping into the latest fad. Healthy eating and exercise are the only tried and true strategies for losing weight and keeping it off.
A healthy diet begins with breakfast. Get out your slow cooker and have a healthy breakfast waiting for you in the morning.
Tracey Shaffer, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian at the Blue Springs Hy-Vee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The information is not intended as medical advice.
Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
I was concerned about Joey (that’s not his real name). Joey came into my public speaking class and announced sheepishly that this would be his fourth time! I smiled and said, “Well, I’m not sure what happened the other three times, but I’ll help you get through this class. Perhaps the fourth time will be the charm. After all, no one wants to take public speaking more than once!” Joey looked unconvinced.
Joey was a good student; he just had a few tough breaks. Like many kids, he had come to play sports. Getting an education was secondary. Unfortunately, the sports thing didn’t work out. He was drifting. He lacked purpose.
Joey was a little timid, but he surprised me. He was pretty sharp and was completing his work. I imagined great things for him. He wasn’t much of a talker and was a closed book. He approached me at the end of class in week three saying, “I’m gonna need you to sign this.” He gave me a form and a pen. I had seen this form several times before and it was no big deal. It was a validation that a student was coming to class. I tried to make light of it, “Just the date and my name so that they knew you came to class?” I asked. “Yeah, I just got in some trouble,” he said. “No need to elaborate,” I responded. “I’m just glad you’re here and you’re doing well.”
Joey missed a class, but no big deal. He told me in advance. Then, at about week ten Joey missed two in a row. He was still on track to pass, but he missed a couple of vital assignments.
I sent him an email saying I missed him in class and to let me know that he was okay. I promised any type of aid to help him get back on track. No response. He missed the next class too—it was now three in a row. I sent him a desperate email pleading for information assuring him that, although it was late in the semester and he was way behind, he could still pass the class. Silence.
In frustration, I contacted the head of the Communications department and explained my dilemma. “I’ve never really had this happen,” I complained. “I’m not sure what to do.” She gave me some great advice. “It’s a tough thing to deal with, Wayne, but students have the right to fail.”
She was right. His absence was hitting me hard and I was taking it personally as if I had let him down. I am passionate about education now and a perpetual student, but, it hasn’t always been that way.
My mind went back to my senior year in high school. I was always just a mediocre student in school. Things really went downhill the last couple of years. I just barely skated by in eleventh grade and then tanked as a senior. I wasn’t unintelligent, I just didn’t get it and didn’t want it.
As a senior, I just decided to skip school. Not just days, but weeks. In fact, I missed more than a month. I wasn’t sick. I just didn’t want to go and hid it from my mom.
“Who needs an education?” I thought. As a senior in high school, I was a lead guitar player in a band and my future was already laid out. I was going to be famous. I was also into drugs and the party life. I could care less about school.
Several dramatic events changed the course of my life. First, I was busted for not being in school and my mom found out. The school allowed me to enter a work program where I went to school half a day and worked half a day. In addition, I would have to go to summer school. I ended up graduating with my class, but on the day of graduation, they handed me a blank piece of paper. My diploma would not come until after the completion of summer school. I begrudgingly finished.
The second dramatic event was being taken home in handcuffs by the local police for possession of drugs. Because I was seventeen, I was taken home and not to jail. I was in big trouble and had to go before a judge and perform community service. The final life-altering moment was recognizing my need for a savior and entering into a relationship with God through Jesus and getting involved in church.
Some years later, something clicked. I believed God was calling me to become a pastor. Now, I actually wanted to go back to school and get an education. By now, the educational fires had been lit and I was passionate about learning and excelling academically. A switch had been turned on.
It was called a “mishap”. On January 24, 1961, a U.S. B-52 bomber carrying two hydrogen bombs broke apart over rural North Carolina. The two bombs fell into a field. Thankfully, they didn’t detonate. The results would have been catastrophic as the bombs were 250 times more destructive than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Finding the two bombs became priority number one for our military. The first bomb was routine. A safety parachute deployed, and the weapon landed safely and remained in one piece. Crews were easily able to find, deactivate, and haul the bomb away. The second bomb proved more troublesome.
The major problem with the second bomb was that the parachute did not deploy. The bomb catapulted to earth at 700 miles an hour. Although it did not go off, it was deeply buried in a swamp. Crews worked frantically to find the component that contained the arm safe switch and the 92 detonators burrowed in the swamp.
When they found the arm safe switch, they were horrified to find it was in the “on” position. They deactivated the device. It then took the crew 8 days to find and remove all the explosive material. The core, however, was never recovered. It is still buried in rural North Carolina and believed to be about 200 feet below the ground. The best that workers could was to encase the area in concrete.
Most of this information was a mystery and hidden from the general public. The details about the “mishap” were not fully known until 2013 when the information was declassified. The story is unbelievably frightening. The event could have been devastating.
I wish Joey’s story ended differently. Joey never came back to class and I never heard from him again. With him went a piece of my heart. Maybe because I saw part of me in him. Joey failed the class. He chose to. I couldn’t force him to care or force him to pass. He was one of the ones that got away.
But, Joey’s story is still being written. It’s his story and it’s classified. Every semester I look to see if he’s on the roster, but it hasn’t happened yet. One day, perhaps, he’ll be there, and who knows, maybe the fifth time will be the charm. Success is up to him. The switch just needs to be turned on. When it does, I’d like to be there to see it happen and I’d love to be a part of the process.
Wayne Geiger is the Pastor of First Baptist Grain Valley, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Speech, and freelance writer.
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
I love Christmas! I love everything about Christmas, from the beginning of Advent marking the awaiting of Christ’s birth to the Christmas cookies and Santa Claus —I love it all!
For the past several days I’ve been decorating my house to prepare for some holiday hosting. Sunday I participated in the Hanging of the Greens at Faith UMC and Monday I helped decorate the Christmas tree at the Grain Valley Historical Society. All of this, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!
While this is not an old-fashioned Christmas for those who put “N/A” on the “place of employment” blank, in the not so distant future it will the an old-fashioned Christmas for the millennials.
The best deﬁnition for old-fashioned might be our memories from childhood. Growing up in Grain Valley in the 1940’s and 50’s, those memories might be cutting down a cedar tree growing at the edge of a pasture or buying a Christmas tree from the front of Frantz’s grocery on Main Street.
At my parents’ hardware store there were no trees, however, you could buy a box of ornaments or a string of lights. There were 7 bubble lights in one box or a second box of lights was the deluxe string of 15 regular colored lights. At the store you could also purchase shiny icicles in a package of 100 strands for 25-cents.
“Real” trees were only up for a week or 10 days before Christmas and a few days afterward and you had to water them daily. Hot lights and dry trees were a disaster waiting to happen. Young people growing up in the 1960s and 70s will no doubt cherish their memories of the beautiful (lol) silver foil trees!
The foil trees were usually adorned with pink and turquoise ornaments —no red and green on those fake branches!
While artificial trees have grown in popularity, through most of the 1980s and 1900s Grain Valley families could cut down a live tree at Greene Acres Christmas Tree Farm just north of Grain Valley.
Dorothy and Frank Greene started the business in 1976 as a way for their children and grandchildren to make extra money for holiday shopping. They began selling the trees in 1984. After selecting a tree, visitors would head to the Christmas House to pay for their tree, buy a hand made tree skirt, a wreath or pine garlands and, best of all, a cup of hot chocolate!
Fortunately, the smell of fresh pine and the beauty of a “real” tree is still popular. In fact, like fire works on the 4th of July and pumpkin patches at Halloween, a trip to a Christmas tree farm is becoming a popular weekend family event. Janie and Rich Wilson’s Whispering Pines Farm on Brown Road south of Grain Valley is a great place to insure an “old fashioned Christmas” memory for today’s children to look back on with fondness.
In addition to cutting down a tree, you can go on a hayride, visit the bee hives or buy some honey when you visit the craft shop.
So while we may not go over Sni-a-Bar Creek in a one horse open sleigh and the candles on your trees have been replaced by cool, safe lights, we can still enjoys an old-fashioned Christmas. As I always say, history is what happened yesterday.
Today is a good day to make some history with your family and celebrate an old fashioned Christmas!
This article was first printed in The Voice, the monthly publication of the Grain Valley Historical Society. Read past newsletters and sign up to receive the historical society’s monthly email by visiting www.grainvalleyhistory.com.
by Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Instructor, Nutrition & Health Education Specialist, MU Extension-Jackson County
December is definitely a slower gardening month. The shorter days and colder temperatures put a stop to above ground plant growth. There is still plenty to do if you need a dose of winter gardening. Here is a list of gardening tasks and new projects to try during these winter days and nights, gleaned from MU Extension publications and the Missouri Botanical Garden’s website:
1. Rake leaves!
Yes, some leaves are still falling. My neighbor’s pin oak dropped most of its leaves last week and the wind from the west conveniently (for the neighbor!) blew them into my yard. I rake them up and drag them back to my slow, low-tech leaf compost pile. The 3-foot high pile becomes a foot-high pile by the following spring. Tree leaves can be a gardener’s best friend when used correctly.
The decomposed leaves are a great addition to clay soil and improve growing conditions for many plants, including vegetable gardens and many ornamental perennial flowers. Consider using leaves to start a compost pile. For more information on composting in general, review MU Extension’s guide sheet on composting- extension.missouri.edu/p/g6956.
2. Mulch with a mower!
Mulching with a mower saves time and money: Adjust your lawn mower to its highest setting and mow in a crisscross pattern. Mow twice to cut leaves to the size of confetti. These small pieces of leaves will filter into the lawn, decompose and release nutrients for the grass. Use the following tips for mowing and mulching leaves:
Use a sharp mower blade.
Maintain normal mowing heights.
Mow at a height of 3-4 inches.
Mow before leaves pile up too high.
Do not let a dense layer of leaves lie
on turf more than four days. Rake
after an extended rainy spell.
Dry leaves chop more easily than wet ones. However, dry leaves make dust, so wear a dust mask over your nose and mouth. Always wear safety goggles. Do not mow wet leaves.
3. Mulch new bulb beds and perennial beds after the ground freezes.
Stiff leaves and crumbly leaves that do not form mats make great mulch. You can also use compost as mulch. Be sure the root zones of azaleas and rhododendrons are thoroughly mulched.
Any organic material will do, but mulches made from oak leaves, shredded oak bark, or pine needles are preferred for these woody ornamental plants.
4. Try an amaryllis this winter.
I encourage you to try growing one from a bulb. It takes 6 to 8 weeks for it to bloom, so if you plant one soon, it should bloom by late January to mid-February, 2020.
Many garden center stores still have bulbs for sale. Plant the bulb in a pot that is about two inches wider than the diameter of the bulb. Choose a container that has a drainage hole. Use potting soil that drains well. Place in a warm spot and keep the soil moist. When a green leaf starts to sprout from the top of the bulb, move it to an area with bright, indirect light, near a south facing window or under grow lights.
Amaryllis are tall and vigorous plants. You might need one or more bamboo or wire supports to help hold the apple green leaves and big flowers stalks up.
I challenge you to keep it growing and have it bloom again next year! This article includes instructions on how to do that- https://extension2.missouri.edu/news/amaryllis-a-showstopping-holiday-bloomer-2958
Have a relaxing holiday season!
Feel free to call our MU Extension office if you have questions about gardening projects for 2020. Our office is at 1600 NE Coronado Drive, Ground Floor, Blue Springs, MO 64014, 816-252-5051.
Cathy Bylinowski, Horticulture Instructor, email@example.com
Growing up, Christmas Eve was always spent at Noni and Papa’s house. Growing up, I was told, Noni is what Italian families called grandma. And that’s what we were—an Italian family—at least on my mother’s side.
My grandparents, who spoke Italian and broken English, came over from the “old country.” They didn’t have a refrigerator. They had an ICE-uh-box.
On Christmas Eve, the whole family would gather in their humble, but comfortable Florida home. It was an annual requirement, but I didn’t mind. It was tradition and it was fun and I always got to see my cousins.
Despite my fear, my parents assured me that we would be home in plenty of time for Santa to come. I enjoyed this annual get together my family, consuming delicious treats, talking at loud volumes, having fun.
Our Christmas Eve meal was a little different—at least that’s how it appeared to me as a child. All the food was not served at once like normal, but we ate one thing at a time. I learned later that these were called “courses.”
Also, while my friends talked about having turkey or ham, we did not. Our traditional Christmas Eve meal included various kinds of pasta, of course, but also baccalà (dried, salted cod), lobster, sardines, shrimp, mussels and clams.
It wasn’t until I was an adult, and doing some research, that I read about the “feast of the 7 fishes” Italian tradition. It clicked for me, “so, that’s what we were doing!”.
So many delicious and delightful memories came rushing in. As a family, we were celebrating tradition and creating memories.
When I had my own family, my wife and I developed our own traditions. For example, on the day after Thanksgiving, the Geiger Gang would cram into the station wagon and head out on an adventure. Our goal was to purchase new ornaments for the tree.
Each of the four kids was allowed to pick out one special ornament. This ornament would represent their nature or character or just be something that they liked. Every year, without fail, I would get the Grinch. I should probably say that they Grinch was gotten for me. A tradition within a tradition.
Searching for these ornaments provided a fun, family event and gave us a great opportunity to enjoy laughter and conversation. These trinkets also provided our kids with a sense of pride and accomplishment as they would show their friends and exclaim, “Look at my ornament.”
As the years rolled on, the ornaments served as signposts and reminders of past Christmases. Each year, while decorating the tree, these objects remind us of where we were when we got them, sometimes reminding us of extremely joyful or even unpleasant times. Like portraits held together by Christmas glue, these ornaments rekindled old thoughts and feelings and served as kindling to discuss the past, present, and future.
Generally, I stay out of the kitchen—except during the holidays. My wife is extremely talented and loves to cook and decorate. Things go much smoother if I just stay out of the kitchen so, I just stay out of the way and beg for samples. However, many years ago, I took notice of how hard she worked and decided that, if nothing else, I could prepare breakfast. This would help the family out and allow her to focus on the main event.
There were only three requirements. First, it had to be quick. I couldn’t impede progress in the kitchen. Second, it had to be easy. Finally, I did not want to make an additional mess.
I stumbled upon a recipe for a French toast casserole that fit all of the above. Our entire family loved it! In fact, even though they’re no longer living here when they come for Christmas they ask, “Hey dad, did you make your famous French toast?” I generally reply, “Yes, but you don’t live here any more and I ate yours.”
As I look around the home, I see trinkets and traces of the ghost of Christmas past—and they make me smile. There’s “Kim’s Village” that is front and center in the dining room. We’ve been collected the pieces for years and it’s a family favorite. I just carry the boxes in. There is also lighted garland strung over every pathway and window, lights illuminating the outdoors, and several Christmas trees. Evergy sends us a Christmas card of “thanks”.
One of our trees is the “family tree” which holds the ornaments we’ve collected over the years. We have the ones with the kid’s picture that they made in school, the prized Hallmark ornaments, and special ones from friends over the years--like the homemade one that has the sign language, “sign for love” given to us by a dear friend who taught sign language.
And, of course, there are my grinch ornaments. As my grandson and I hung these on the tree he asked me “why” I had so many. I had the chance to share some of the stories and the reasons. Maybe one day, he will inherit them.
The most important Christmas tradition in the Geiger family is focused on the real meaning of Christmas. As Christians, our goal has always been to make sure that we attended church services on Christmas Eve. We always wanted our kids to understand that Christmas was about giving and, at Christmas, we celebrate the fact that God gave His one and only Son. The greatest gift of all.
Dressing for Christmas Eve was always fun, too. My wife and I had mutual goals, but different ways of getting there. For her, she wanted us all to attend church in matching outfits. She worked diligently to weave some cohesive theme or color that told everyone we were a family (or in a band). This made for some great pictures.
For me, I just wanted to get to church on time. This ensured harmony within the family and made for great pictures. Being on time makes me smile.
For both of us, attending services on Christmas Eve was essential and deeply spiritual. These services gave us opportunities to worship and celebrate and to have some deep conversations about faith and family.
Traditions are extremely personal and important. Like ancient hieroglyphics, they are the glue that remind us of who we are, where we came from, and where we’re going. Some traditions are strategically planned and programmed. Other traditions seem to bubble up naturally.
Either way, traditions can conjure up deep emotions and take on a life of themselves. They are purposeful and powerful reminders of who we are and, sometimes, the glue that holds us together.
Wayne Geiger is the Pastor of First Baptist Grain Valley, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Speech, and freelance writer.
by Mike Russell, City of Grain Valley Building Official
I have served as Building Official for this fine City for the last six months. The amount of growth in this community makes it an enjoyable and exciting place to work, for sure. We have issued more than 100 residential home permits in 2019. Taco Bell and Temp Stop opened their doors last week. QuikTrip has broken ground and will be open sometime in Spring 2020.
I’d like to take this opportunity to address a pretty “hot topic” amongst citizens. I’ve worked in municipalities for more than 15 years, and across the board, there’s a common misunderstanding about the work that our Codes Enforcement officer does.
I supervise this division and think it’s important for you to know that the purpose of codes enforcement is to protect citizens and safeguard properties throughout the city.
The majority of code infractions that the Code Enforcement Officer checks into have been reported to him from other concerned citizens. We are not out to get you or picking on you, but serving you by ensuring that properties are kept to the standards as specified in the municipal code.
The Community Development Department did not write the codes that govern the laws of Grain Valley. However, we have been tasked with enforcing them. We do not get to handpick the code that we enforce.
All suspected violations are investigated with equal diligence to ensure resolution. If you are cited for a code violation, you will be given written notice and a specific time frame in which you are expected to correct it.
If you are unable to correct the issue within the requested amount of time, simply contact the Codes Enforcement Officer to request an extension. We are here to serve you and will work with you whenever possible, as long as you are maintaining open communication with us until the matter is resolved.
We encourage citizens to submit complaints and questions regarding city code to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-847-6227. The municipal code can be viewed at www.cityofgrainvalley.org.
I’ve never been a huge fan of peppermint. I think it’s the mint part. I blame a friend of mine in middle school. He invited me to dinner, and they had lamb. His father insisted that I try it with mint jelly. It was an extremely unpleasant experience.
However, over time, I learned to appreciate a little mint. I especially enjoy the free Andes' Crème de Menthe mints which are specially made for Olive Garden. Keep the bread sticks and, instead, give me a handful of those bad boys. They are a simple mint comprised of two equal layers—one with chocolate and one with mint. It’s not overpowering and just a hint of mint.
When it comes to eating candy canes, I will generally pass. I do find them beautiful in color and love to see them hanging on trees, but I’m just not a huge fan of the taste.
Candy canes are considered to be a seasonal treat. It probably doesn’t surprise you that ninety percent of candy canes sold each year are purchased between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. They are the number one selling non-chocolate candy in the month of December. Many are used for decorations, but many are actually eaten. You should try them with lamb (just don’t invite me).
If we saw someone eating a candy cane in mid-July, we might assume that someone had some leftover Christmas candy they needed to dispose of.
According to the National Candy Association (yes there is such a thing and no they are not hiring), making candy canes is quite the detailed process. They are made by heating sugar and corn syrup in large kettles and then vacuum cooked.
After heating, the candy mixture is poured on a cooling table and peppermint and starch are added to hold in the flavor and prevent the mixture from becoming too sticky. The mixture is then placed in a kneader. At this point, the mixture is a brownish color. Then, it is placed into a puller and, during this process, the candy turns bright white.
Next, the circular shape is formed, the stripes are added, and the candy is cut and placed in wrappers—still warm. Last of all, they are bent into the shape of a shepherd’s cane.
As difficult as they are to make, determining their history and purpose is somewhat of an intriguing mystery. Candy canes first appeared as a straight piece of candy and were entirely white in color.
According to some sources, the candy cane underwent revision in the late 1670s. Tradition says, a choirmaster in Cologne Cathedral in Germany used the hard candy to try to keep the children quiet during the long service (good to know that even that long ago children were appeased with sugary treats). He even gave it the bend at the top to form it into a shepherd's staff.
The candy cane did not make an appearance in the U.S. until the mid-1800s and underwent little change. By the 1920s, a man named Bob McCormack of Albany, Georgia began making candy canes as special Christmas treats for his own children and other friends around town.
It was quite the undertaking for McCormack as the mixture had to be pulled, twisted, bent, and cut by hand. Most believe it was in the 1920s that the red stripes were added although no one really knows why.
In the 1950s, McCormack’s brother-in-law, Gregory Keller, a Catholic priest, devised a process to automate the production of the candy cane thus opening up the opportunity for them to be created and consumed on a larger scale. The rest is history. Well, I guess all of that is history. Because of the ability to mass produce the candy cane, they went viral—and that was before the Internet.
Candy canes are a cute, fun, and to some people, are a tasty treat. They’re relatively inexpensive and make a great decoration on the tree. But they can also be used for something more beautiful and meaningful.
Although no one really knows exactly why the candy cane was created, there are some cites out there that claim that they were created to teach children about Jesus. I’m not sure if this is truly historical, but I would suggest that, entirely accurate or not, candy canes are a great way to teach children—and others—about Jesus.
Most candy canes are in the shape of a shepherd’s staff. The Bible says, “The Lord is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1). Psalm 23 is a great reminder that God is a heavenly shepherd who takes care of His flock. In addition, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
Jesus is the Good Shepherd who leaves the 99 to rescue the wandering or missing lamb. Another interesting note, for English speaking people anyway, is that if you turn the candy cane upside down, it’s the letter “J” which stands for Jesus. It’s a great way to teach the little ones about Jesus, the Great Shepherd.
The feel and smell of the candy cane:
The candy cane is hard like a rock. Similarly, the Bible reminds us that Jesus is our rock. He is the foundation upon which we must build our lives and is also our fortress and protection. The Bible says, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2). In Matthew 7, Jesus reminds us to build our lives upon the solid rock.
The colors of the candy cane:
Although originally white, candy canes are now generally red and white. The white reminds us of Jesus’s purity and holiness. The red represents the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross. Interestingly, many candy canes have 3 thin stripes. No one knows when these were added. However, these 3 thin stripes have been used to talk about the “stripes” that Jesus bore.
As Isaiah said, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed” (Is 53:5). The stripes can also be used to illustrate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Candy canes have a long, veiled, but interesting past. They can be used to express holiday cheer and make wonderful decorations. Candy canes are a part of the season and will likely be around for a long time. In addition, the candy cane can be used to bring glory to God and illustrate the true reason for the season—the true Lamb of God.
Wayne Geiger is the Pastor of First Baptist Grain Valley, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Speech, and freelance writer.
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Four years after the Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1804, the federal government established an Indian outpost at Fort Osage to protect and promote trade with the Indians. Early pioneers began to settle in this area. Missouri became the twenty-first state on August 10, 1821 and in 1825 Jackson County was bought from the Osage tribe and divided into 9 townships. In 1834 Sni-a-Bar township was organized.
In 1842 Robert St. Clair brought his wife and 6 children from Kentucky. He was one of the first to record ownership of land in the area. In fact, he built a 12-room house on a 1000-acre farm in the area which became Pink Hill in 1854. In addition to the farm, Robert and his sons, Hasten and Charles, ran one of three general stores at Pink Hill
In 1854 a post office was established in the store and Charles St. Clair carried the mail from Independence. That same year the first school house was built on the north end of Main Street.
Later the post office was moved to another general store owned by J.W. Mann. That post office existed until 1903 when it was destroyed by fire. After that time, Pink Hill residents, depending upon their exact location, got their mail from Grain Valley, Oak Grove or Levasy.
By 1854, when Pink Hill was chartered, several other families had come to the area, mostly from Virginia and Kentucky. As mentioned in the previous issue of Valley News, George Love and David Neer had the 10 acres surveyed when the town was established. Of course, R. G. Pinkard was there, along with Rosamah Sanders and Asa Booker and it is assumed that most were married men with families.
In addition, Squire William Wells had a woodworking store and brothers Lee and Michael Womacks were the blacksmiths. The Historical Atlas of Jackson County also included Phillip and Tobe Starns’ woodworking store, A. G. Knight’s drug store, and three salons, one owned by Pinkard.
Residential homes were owned by James Adams, Joseph E. W. Kabrick, Al and Lin Kent, Charley Phillips, George R. and Ann E. Carlyle, Mertie Blackburn, Jim Ed Mundy, Dr. J. D. Wood (later founder and president of the Bank of Independence) and Dr. O. C. Shelby
The Chicago and Alton Railroad surveyed Pink Hill land, but the railroad never came. The Civil War came instead. Most of the citizens came to the area from Kentucky or Virginia. They were southern sympathizes making Quantrill and his men feel at home in Sni-a-Bar Township. The region had so many bushwhackers that Union forces never ventured into the area. On August 25, 1863, Union General Thomas Ewing, Jr. issued Order No. 11 forcing the evacuation of rural areas in four counties in western Missouri. Northern soldiers marched through Pink Hill, taking livestock, grain and food; burning homes and forcing everyone to leave.
Virginia St. Clair Clarkson, one of those forced to leave, was quoted as saying “I stood on the front porch of the house and counted 13 chimneys, all that was left of 13 homes.” Residents moved to Lexington and other location to await the end of the war. Some returned to build tiny cabins to replace what had been plantation-like homes. Others never returned.
The town existed for 24 years, from 1854 to 1878, the year the Chicago & Alton Railroad complete tracks to Kansas City. Grain Valley was established in 1878.