Adding Christmas spirit to your home






Decorating the house with fresh greenery is one of the oldest winter holiday traditions. There are many ways to brighten up our homes for Christmas, and give them a festive look. Debbie Wharton, from Wharton's For Every Bloomin' Thing, will present the program "It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas." She will show ideas about how to decorate your home for Christmas, and add some festive Christmas spirit to your home.

The public is encouraged to join the Knowledge At Noon program, held the first Thursday of each month. for some quick tips for this season. Be inspired by the simple designs and cost-effective ways to refresh your Christmas decor.

The noon program will be presented at the Finney County Public Library, 605 E. Walnut St., from 12:05 to 12:55 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunch. Drinks will be provided.

Celebrate your health

While the holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, they can also be the most stressful. 'Tis the season for shopping, decorating, parties and cooking. So how can you prepare a healthy holiday meal for your friends and family?

"Mealtime Inspiration — For the Holidays" program will be presented Nov. 15 from noon to 1 p.m. at the 4-H Building, Finney County Fairgrounds, 501 S. Ninth St.

Let us show you how to make your favorite holiday meal more nutritious. We will be serving lunch along with sharing recipes on how you can make old, traditional recipes healthier by focusing on the "starts" like fruits and vegetables, and show you ways to reduce fat, sodium and sugar in your favorite holiday recipe.

The program will be presented by Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agents from Scott, Wichita, Kearny and Finney counties.

There will be a meal cost per person, collected for the program, to cover the expense of the holiday meal. Please direct all RSVPs and inquiries by noon Nov. 7, by calling the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670 or email

Any questions or concerns, contact Léhisa de Fornoza at 272-3670 or

Dog project

The 4-H Dog Care and Training Project is for youth who are interested in learning more about dogs, how to care for a dog and how to train a dog in basic or advanced commands.

Any kind of dog may be used in this unique project that is not designed to conform to AKC or other professional standards.

Members without dogs may wish to participate in Quiz Bowls, conferences and other activities that do not require dog ownership.

Project curriculum for the project are to help youth learn to choose the right dog for your family, dog behavior, body language, grooming basics, nutritious dog foods and more.

Join 4-H, the club of families who share in teaching kids practical things like pet care, growing gardens or horseback riding, and important values like responsibility. Whether you're in the city or boonies, join 4-H and we'll tackle life's little questions together.

Helping youth set goals

Perhaps you as adults have set some goals for yourself this year and for 2014, but what about your children? 4-H is one avenue of encouraging youth to set goals.

A 4-H project is planning and experiencing activities around a topic. When 4-H participants select projects, it helps them explore topics they are interested in and to set goals. 4-H has lots of fun materials that help youth explore many different topics, from woodworking, electricity, animals to photography and more.

When kids glance through a project manual, they may see lots of things they would like to do in the project. Setting a goal can be as simple as stating, "I want to learn about..." or "I want to make..."

As youth get older, they have more and more 4-H areas they can set goals in.

Different ages are at different stages with goal setting. For a 5 to 8 year old, exploring possibilities is more important than reaching a goal; 9 to 11 year olds are setting short-term goals; 12 to 14 year olds are planning strategies to reach goals; 15 to 18 year olds are implementing strategies to meet goals and looking toward life planning.

One key to helping youth set goals is to help pick an area your child is excited about. One model that is fun to explore is the idea of sparks. Everyone has something that provides a spark for them, something that excites them and that they are passionate about. By age 11, youth are starting to develop a spark for something.

Check out the 4-H project list at the Finney County Extension Office for ideas on areas that may provide a spark for your tween or teen.

For 4-H inquiries and questions, contact Barbara Addison at 272-3670 or

Deer seminar

Deer hunters, wildlife enthusiasts and land managers are invited to attend a Deer Management Seminar at 6:15 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Grandstands Meeting Room on the fairgrounds in Garden City.

The program will be presented by Charles Lee, Kansas State University wildlife specialist. Topics to be covered include biology and nutrition for white-tailed deer and mule deer, aging white-tailed deer on the hoof and tooth wear, habitat evaluation, surveys or herd monitoring and harvest management.

A minimal registration fee will be charged to pay for the evening meal. Pre-register by calling 272-3670 by Nov. 19 to ensure that enough meals will be available.

Watering plants

Plants still need regular amounts of water even though the calendar says most landscape plants should be going into dormancy. During the summer months, landscape areas need about one inch of moisture a week. Plants can get by with less than that now, but if it has been three weeks since receiving an inch of rain, supplemental watering should be provided.

Young trees, shrubs and perennials planted this past year are particularly vulnerable. Watering perennial plants will also protect them from winter damage. Although all perennial plants will benefit from watering during a dry fall, it is especially important for evergreens because moisture is easily lost from the foliage.

A good, deep watering with moisture reaching at least a foot down into the soil is much better than several light sprinklings that just wet the top portions of the soil. Deep watering ensures that the majority of roots have access to water. Roots that actually absorb water are killed when the soil temperature reaches 28 degrees. Roots near the surface do not last long in our Kansas winters. We must rely on roots that are deeper, and provide moisture for them to absorb. Check depth of watering with a metal rod or wooden dowel. Either instrument will easily penetrate moist soil but will stop when dry soil is reached.

If you have any questions about watering plants or any other concerns, contact David Coltrain at 272-3670 or

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