Santa’s Helpers prepare for Workshop

Courtesy photo Santa’s Helpers from left to right are Judy Dickens, Carolyn Davis, Diana Wilcoxson, Carol Stroud, Faye Wright, Jackie Hammons and Pearl Beaty.

The Van Zandt Extension Education Association met on Oct. 17  and began designing one of kind cards, gift bags, tags, boxes and ornaments with the guidance of the talented scrape booking and card creator Cathy Cummins. 

Under the guidance of Mrs. Cummins the group created a one of a kind collection that will be available at the 2nd Annual Santa’s Workshop to be held at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 15. in the Farm Bureau Meeting Room. 

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent Melisa Rhodes of Van Zandt County along with County Extension Agents from Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, and Rains Counties will present a wide variety of items that will demonstrate how to survive the holidays on the budget with budget friendly gift ideas, recipes, and decorating tips.

Tickets to the event are $5 and can be purchased at the Van Zandt Extension office. Tickets will be on sale at the door; however, pre-purchased ticket holders will be guaranteed a seat at the event.


Baa ,baa black sheep

Courtesy Photo

During Storytime at the Van Zandt County Library  Ms. Rhonda read ‘Guess Who’s on the Farm’, ‘The Noisy, Noisy Farm’ which included meows from the cat, quacks from the duck, baaas from the sheep, mooos from the cow and even a cock a doodle doo from the rooster. 

The last book was ‘Hound Dawg’ which was a play on the classic Little Red Hen; however, in this story all the animals help make the cornbread except the dog. He later redeems himself by saving the cornbread from a raccoon trying to steal it while it’s cooling on the window ledge.  The children made a paper chicken during craft time.  Storytime is held at 10 a.m. every Friday at VZC Library.

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It’s Halloween at the VZC Library

Mimi Sherwin's the scary time of the year! Per, “straddling the line between fall's plenty and winter's scarcity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.”

During Storytime at the Van Zandt County Library, Miss Rhonda will be reading books about Halloween. At 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 28, prepare to be spooked!

Mimi Sherwin is the subject of this week's Volunteer Profile. She feels that libraries are a vital part of a growing community and has volunteered five years in an effort to help keep the library progressing.


Texas State Library event held at VZC Library

Courtesy photo

Thirty-six libraries across North East Texas came to the Van Zandt County Library to attend a Texas State Library and Archives Commission training session on the TexShare Database programs.

The state library offers 69 free resources online to local accredited libraries so that they can offer these to their patrons. Some of the online resources available are: Legal Documents, Job and Career tests and resume builders, GED and test prep help, ESL classes, Crafts and Hobbies, Language Learning Software,


Falling squirrels at VZC Library

Courtesy photo

Ms. Rhonda read stories about fall during Storytime at the Van Zandt County Library.  One book was about a squirrel that did not want to leave his house and was always prepared for any emergency until he discovers that he is a ‘flying’ squirrel and can jump into the unknown and return home.  One of the books told about all the fun things to do in fall like jumping in leaves, apple picking, the county fair, hayrides and carving pumpkins.  The last book was titled ‘Those Darn Squirrels’ which was a story about a man that loves birds and hates squirrels. However, after the birds flew south he was lonely and the squirrels held a meeting and decided to give the old man a present.  Storytime is held at the Van Zandt County Library 317 First Monday Lane, Canton at 10 a.m. every Friday. 

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Redmond celebrates 35 years

Courtesy photo Mary Redmond and Scott Hyde

Mary Redmond of Van began working with the Van Zandt County Appraisal District in 1981 and has been a dedicated member of the appraisal district’s staff for 35 years. Redmond continues to serve as the collection clerk for the district. An engraved desktop clock was awarded to her on Sept. 21 by Scott Hyde, Chief Appraiser.

Hyde conveyed his deepest appreciation, which was echoed by the district staff, in show of their sincere support for Ms. Redmond’s continued service and dedication to the Appraisal District as well as the community of Van Zandt County, organizers said.

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The Wednesday Study Club news

The Wednesday Study Club held their monthly meeting at the Blackwell House in Canton, Sept.28.

Vice-President Lisa Goode announced this year’s upcoming programs. “The group will enjoy a Christmas Tea at Roseland Plantation and a 1950s Party with Elvis,” Goode said.

Study Club officers served as hostesses and furnished a salad luncheon, member said.

Club officers are Wendy Horton, president; Lisa Goode, first vice-president; Jill Godwin, second vice president; Shirley Cockerham, secretary; Jean Griffith, treasurer; Marilyn Brockman, historian; Peggy Walden, reporter; and Mary Ann Eblen, parliamentarian.

The next meeting of the Study Club will be “A Fashion Show by Daisy’s” and will be held at the Van Zandt County Country Club on Oct. 26

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Tips to Prepare a Holiday Budget

It’s the holiday season and you know all that it entails, so don’t let the expenses catch you off-guard -- from traveling to see family to throwing your massive annual party to simply completing your holiday shopping.

Even though retailers cut prices last year, according to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales increased 3 percent from the previous year.

Early planning and smart strategies can help you end the year on a positive financial note.

Plan Ahead

In the run up to the holidays, put some extra money aside from each paycheck and earmark it for holiday spending. A bit of padding in your purse won’t hurt and can only serve to make you feel more secure all season. Making this happen may require pinching a few pennies on daily expenses -- whether it’s bringing lunch from home rather than eating out or skipping the designer latte for a cup of coffee at work.

Create a Budget


Therapy Dogs wag tails at fashion show

Courtesy photos

The Therapy Dogs of Van Zandt County participated in a fashion show at Canton Oaks Oct. 4.

The dogs modeled outfits with themes of beach fun, country and western, life at large, superheroes, make believe and bling. Dogs participating in delighting the residents were Baci the Bichon, Boomer the black Lab, Hobo the goldendoodle, Maggie the pit bull, Ladybug the giant schnauzer, Princess the pom and Zoey the Great Pyrenees.

The dogs delighted the residents of Canton Oaks. There was a lot of laughter and fun throughout the whole show,” said Vickie Ragle, VZC Therapy Dogs spokesperson.

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Animals receive blessing

Courtesy photo Father Studenny gives Alicia the dog a blessing during the Blessing of the Animals held Oct. 1.

The Van Zandt County Humane Society participated in the annual "Blessing of the Animals" Oct. 1. 

Carol Whatley, president of the organization, was in attendance.  "We had such a great time, and the weather was gorgeous.  There were quite a few dogs, and a horse named Easter was there for a blessing too.  Father Studenny seems to enjoy the celebration as much as we do.  He blesses the group and then each animal separately.  We took a deaf puppy, Alicia, and the picture shows how she feels.  I think we all wanted to kiss his forehead."

St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of all animals; his life is celebrated each year during the first week of October.

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