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Visiting the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home

Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home in Mansfield, Missouri Like countless other parents who grew up reading and watching the Little House on the Prairie stories, I’ve treasured my little set of books by author Laura Ingalls Wilder and looked forward to sharing them with my girls.  The Little House way of rural life, full of […]

Continue Reading By on April 5, 2013 in education, family, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Midwest, Ozarks, parenting, pioneer

Modern Seed Pioneer Champions Non-GMO Food

Baker Creek Headquarters in Mansfield, Missouri Walk into the wood-planked Seed Store at Baker Creek’s Mansfield, Missouri headquarters, and you’ll likely find a dozen different varieties of cabbage seeds for your vegetable garden, even more melon  than you could imagine, and the beginnings of a globally diverse flower garden.  What you won’t find are genetically […]

Continue Reading By on March 26, 2013 in agriculture, eating better, education, family, farming, food, garden, GMO, heirloom, Midwest

Visiting Bakersville Pioneer Village

We crossed Baker Creek or its tributary three different times along the dirt road drive to the old Rippee homestead.  At first, Bakersville looked like any other busy farm that happened to preserve several wooden barns.  Up close, more details likened it to the popular Silver Dollar City attraction just a few miles away in […]

Continue Reading By on March 25, 2013 in agriculture, eating better, farm, food, garden, heirloom, Midwest, Ozarks, seeds

Handmade Laundry Soap Mission Touches Lives

When my dad sent the clipping from the local newspaper, I knew I had to cover this story. I was amazed at the way one woman had connected with hundreds of families by focusing on a mundane, everyday necessity:  laundry detergent. She realized the need was great, every week, for hundreds of families still awaiting […]

Continue Reading By on April 4, 2012 in faith, Midwest

Ministry for Joplin Tornado Victims Continues

It was not a particularly busy day for shoppers when I visited the Distribution Center behind College Heights Christian Church on the northern edge of Joplin, Missouri.  It was a busy day for staff and volunteers.  Shrink-wrapped goods were in the process of being organized, the phone was being answered at the area set up […]

Continue Reading By on April 3, 2012 in faith, Midwest

Missouri Stream Team Clean Water Refresher

Mark Smith Using Catch and Release Fishing Valley Water Mill Lake Mark Smith showed off his morning’s catch of crappie before he released it back into Valley Water Mill Lake.  He and several other Springfield, Missouri-area residents were spending the morning at the popular fishing hole that also contains largemouth bass, catfish and bluegill.  The […]

Continue Reading By on March 27, 2012 in clean water, environmental, Midwest, natural, outdoors, Ozarks

Ozarks Watershed Center

Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill Park Nearby resident Judy Cousins was walking her dogs at the Watershed Center when she encountered Executive Director Mike Kromrey.  She’d been wondering what those interesting chains were that hung down from the new building, and Kromrey was able to explain how they carry water down to filter boxes […]

Continue Reading By on March 26, 2012 in clean water, education, environmental, green, Midwest, outdoor, Ozarks, sustainable

Preserving One-Room Schoolhouse in Ozarks

Linda Smith-Johnson at Bunker Hill School My dad says he broke his left arm playing jumprope outside the one-room Bunker Hill School.  He told me this story the summer after my mother died from cancer, when he asked me to come along to an old-fashioned gospel singing on the lawn.  The outhouse was the only restroom facility on […]

Continue Reading By on August 24, 2011 in community, education, historic, Midwest, Ozarks, quilt

Back to School in Joplin, Missouri

Many of us are grumbling about the price of school supplies these days, or fretting over the details of lunchboxes and backpacks. For the families of more than 6,500 public schoolchildren in Joplin, Missouri, filling a backpack with the right school supplies is one task they don’t have to worry about this fall. They’ve already […]

Continue Reading By on August 10, 2011 in education, Midwest