Kum Join Us Extension Homemakers Club gathers

By Karen Hendrix

The Kum Join Us Extension Homemakers Club January meeting was hosted by Linda Guinn at her home.

There were nine members in attendance and three guests, Karen Brigdon, Erin Otte and Kayla Franke. Kayla is the granddaughter of Linda Guinn, who assisted her grandmother in hosting the meeting.

Olga Otte opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and the club creed. She asked members a very interesting roll call question: “If you could go back to one particular day from your childhood, which day would it be?”

There were some surprising answers, such as a backyard roller coaster built by Linda’s brother that all of the neighbor children got to ride on. Ruta May remembered riding in a horse-drawn wagon and seeing beautiful flower fields in Lithuania. Michelle Wood carved an igloo after the blizzard of ‘78. Mandy Otte seemed to always be in trouble with her little brother and remembered one specific time of running on the dock with a recently toasted marshmallow and mistakenly hitting him in the eye.

Olga liked to drive around town and look at Christmas lights every year after the children’s program at Borchers. RuthAnn Hendrix took a trip to Hawaii at age 7 and decided she wanted to become a stewardess. Karen Brigdon and Misty Stuckwisch both enjoyed family reunions with their grandparents whom they both miss very much.

I remembered a grape fight with all of the kids from the neighborhood and having to pick up every grape from three yards when her mom found out what mischief they were into. Kayla Franke let a friend’s snake slither around her arm and liked it while on a camping trip. Erin Otte couldn’t decide on days at church camp or Gatlinburg trips. All in all, fun was had by all in many different ways.

Minutes were read from the December meeting, and Wood gave the treasurer’s report. Olga Otte announced the volunteer community support hours are due by the March meeting along with the yearly dues of $14.50.

She also read a wonderful quote from Benjamin Franklin: “The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to others, charity.” These are all things that should guide us throughout our lives.

Ruth Ann Hendrix reported on the Pocket Heart campaign and is following up with other clubs to get their total pocket hearts made and distributed. Our club has made approximately 600 pocket hearts to date. Ideas of where to distribute hearts were discussed.

She also reminded everyone that Jackson County will be hosting the district meeting March 21 at Cornerstone Community Church, 1088 Sarasota Drive, Seymour. Times will be announced later but will run from approximately 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mandy Otte presented a very informative lesson on how to deal with cold weather. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends insulating water lines, servicing heat systems, inspecting chimneys and having an alternative for heat and fuel. If using a generator, do not use it in a basement or garage and keep at least 20 feet from your home.

She said to be sure to check smoke detectors and make a plan to change batteries yearly. Also, everyone should be aware of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headache, vomiting and confusion, just to name a few. You can purchase carbon monoxide detectors and install as directed. Be sure to check those batteries also when checking your smoke detector batteries.

Vehicles should be checked for antifreeze and winter washer fluid. Car kits should include blankets, cables, a first aid kit, batteries and cat litter.

Realsimple.com has great tips on how to dress for cold weather. Layering is one of the most important factors, wearing a wool or microfiber hat to keep your heat in and mittens instead of gloves so that your fingers are close together and stay warmer. Water-resistant outerwear, wool, silk and polypropylene should be worn to reduce loss of body heat.

Knowing the signs of hypothermia are extremely important. Slurred speech and lack of sweating are adult signs, and babies’ cheeks become red and exhibit loss of energy. You should remove extra layers when sweating.

Guinn read from the book “Generation to Generation, Devotions from the Past.” In the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, scientists experimented to see if by shutting down nuclear rods they could safely control the reactor. Although alarms were sounding, the scientists ignored them and continued their experiment. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed or displaced, and many have died since due to radiation poisoning. This could all have been avoided had they listened to those alarms instead of ignoring them.

It is not easy to receive a rebuke. Ask the Lord to give you a ready ear for wisdom.

Anyone interested in attending or joining our club or other homemakers clubs in the county can contact the Purdue Extension Jackson County office in the courthouse in Brownstown at 812-358-6101.