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The Greenbo Christmas brigade
Years ago, Greenbo Lake State Resort Park in Greenup County shut down in the winter. Knowing there had to be a way to keep the park open and entice winter tourism, local Cooperative Extension Homemakers put their heads together and devised a plan.

In the mid-1980s, Greenup County Extension Homemakers offered to decorate the Greenbo lodge for Christmas. The park welcomed the idea and has never been closed for the season since.

“The 15 Extension Homemaker clubs in Greenup County have been working since January to get handmade ornaments, ribbons, and various tree trimmings ready for this occasion,” says Rita Spence, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension agent for family and consumer sciences in Greenup County. “The park furnishes trees and lights and then we transform this place into a winter wonderland.”

The Homemakers’ clubs are each assigned a tree in the lodge. There’s also a very large main tree close to the fireplace that is decorated with ornaments from all the clubs. They must stay within a theme and decorate that tree with homemade ornaments. This year the theme is “Christmas through the eyes of a child.”

The decorations are not limited to trees. Homemakers also decorate the mantle, make gingerbread houses, and hang garland, bows, and lights on the outside of the lodge.

By the time the 2003 holiday season is over, Homemakers will know the theme for next year’s event. That way they can start making their crafts for next year as soon as January. For some Homemakers it really is Christmas all year.

Greenbo Lake State Resort Park Superintendent Cary Lyle appreciates the efforts of Extension and the Homemakers.

“Other state parks are very envious of us because we’ve got the Homemakers doing all this for us,” he says. “It brings in a lot of business from around the community and even from outside Kentucky. People like to have their parties here because of the beautiful surroundings. It’s really boosted business here.”

Spence says the Homemakers plan an open house the first weekend of December to showcase crafts, music, and festive food. Once the holidays are over and the new year has arrived, Homemakers return to the park to take all the decorations down, but the work is not over then.

“In the past people have purchased all the decorations from a tree after the season is over,” Spence says. “Some of the decorations are sold at craft fairs and bazaars throughout the year. We also try to be involved in one event every month at the park whether it’s our quilt show, a creative arts fair, or railroad days.”

Spence went on to say the projects are very good for the Park, but they’ve also been a good way for Homemakers to share their ideas and expertise and come together for fellowship and cooperation.

“This really brings our groups together,” says Claudine Williamson, Extension Homemaker from Greenup. “We’ve never run out of ideas in more than 16 years of the event.”
Aimee D. Heald, UK Extension Office

A better headline
One of our sharp-eyed readers called in noting a mistake in the headline “Who Would Make the Best Governor?” pointing out the grammatically correct version would read, “Who Would Make the Better Governor?” We stand corrected, and are thankful for interested and involved readers.

Books of Kentucky
Here are a few books for your holiday giving or getting lists. Ask for them at your local bookstore:

Kentucky State Historian James C. Klotter takes an in-depth look at a story of a man and his times, the times being the late 1800s, in Kentucky Justice, Southern Honor, and American Manhood—Understanding the Life and Death of Richard Reid. The book is published by Louisiana State University Press of Baton Rouge.

It’s tough to find a Kentucky connection for It’s the Cowboy Way! The Amazing True Adventures of Riders in the Sky. The group that carries on the western music traditions, humor, and styles of The Sons of the Pioneers was formed in Nashville and from 1990 to 1995 recorded a radio show in Cincinnati. But fans will enjoy this story of each member of the group and their performing history. The book, by Don Cusic, is published by The University Press of Kentucky in Lexington.

Don’t forget the cookbooks
The Tea Table—Soups, Savories & Sweets from the Elmwood Inn by Shelley and Bruce Richardson is the third book of tea recipes from the noted Elmwood Inn in Perryville. The book published by Benjamin Press of Perryville includes more than 75 color photos and 85 tea-time recipes.

LaVece Hughes has collected recipes she’s made in Cooking With My Friends—Kentucky Recipes Tried and True. Its more than 350 recipes cover the categories from appetizers and breakfast to drinks and candies. It’s published by Wind Publications in Nicholasville.

Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley collected recipes from 45 of the leading Kentucky cookbooks for Best of the Best from Kentucky Cookbooks—Selected Recipes from Kentucky’s Favorite Cookbooks. It’s published by Quail Ridge Press of Brandon, Missouri.

And Lexington residents Patti B. Geil and Tami A. Ross have put together Cooking Up Fun for Kids with Diabetes. The book contains information for both children and adults on food facts, nutrition lessons, meal plans, and recipes such as Stuffed Green Eggs with Ham and Flaky Fish Fingers. It’s published by the American Diabetes Association of Alexandria, Virginia. American Diabetes Association books can be ordered by calling (800) 232-6733 or through the Internet at

Winterproof your car
Winter is hard on your vehicle. With some precautionary steps and assistance from your mechanic you will help your vehicle stay in top condition.

Fill your windshield washer with fluid and keep your wipers in good working order. If your wipers are leaving streaks of water on the windshield, replace them. Don’t try to use your wipers to remove adhered ice from the windshield; keep an ice scraper in the car for frosty mornings.

To help prevent your windshield from fogging up, run the air-conditioning system at a comfortable temperature to dehumidify the air.

If you drive a lot in slippery conditions, it’s a good idea to replace your tires with a set of winter tires. These have tread patterns and rubber compounds specially designed to grip snow and ice, for optimum traction on slick roads.

Let the engine fully warm up before driving off. Revving the engine won’t warm up the engine any faster than letting it idle. Also be sure to let the car idle outside or in the garage with the garage door open, to prevent any carbon monoxide poisoning.

Have a mechanic check the following so you can travel more safely on winter roads: battery, heater, brakes, spark plugs, oil and oil filter, cooling system including the antifreeze levels and the freeze line, tires, and treads on the tires.

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