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4/4/2015

SPRINGTIME IN THE PALACE…AND ASSORTED DIVERSIONS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 1:55 pm

Spring has attached itself to me and I’m loving it.  It’s not that there is any measurable difference among the four seasons within the walls of the Palace, thanks to hands- on temperature controls,  but now that spring is here and the  sun  shines gloriously through large, all-encompassing windows  revealing the awesomeness of the world beyond, it is wondrous to behold.  It puts a spring in my ‘springless’ legs, fresh air in my tired lungs, and contentment in my heart.

That’s it.  I’m content here. Comfortable and content. I don’t know how I could make my life better.  And, I am in full control of it, for the time being.

The serendipitous events that resulted from moving here nearly  two and a half years ago are the rewards I’ve reaped in my continuing effort to reinvent myself.   Along the way, I find I’m discovering wonderful new things to explore and interesting people with whom to exchange ideas on a regular basis.  It’s been a journey that has evolved out of my lifelong nagging curiosity about almost everything.  It’s part of my genetic makeup and not one generally shared by others who find it aggravating, I’m sure.  Many are too fearful living the routine of life itself to be curious and adventuresome  enough to discover the hidden treasures around them.  I think they spend so much time concerning themselves about the hereafter that they fail to enjoy the rewards that  each day offers.  That’s where openly secular people have a definite advantage over religious folk.

Speaking of rewards…the other evening I went to the lobby to mail my absentee ballot and I heard beautiful piano music emanating from the Ivory Keys Cafe.  I knew it had to be my neighbor across the hall, Dorothy Carmichael as she’s the only one living here who plays that well.  So, the music called and I followed its charm to the nearest chair next to the piano where I remained until she stopped playing over an hour later. Then we came to my apartment where we listened and watched YouTube concerts of some famous pianists playing Beethoven and Ravel Concertos for another two hours.

Dorothy’s specialty is religious music and I rarely hear her playing anything else.  She has some beautiful arrangements that I really enjoy.  Music is her passion and her husband was a Lutheran minister.  And, I like religious music…I just don’t want to have to go to church to hear it.  So, as an example, I have access to almost every requiem ever written on my computer, and 50 or 60 different arrangements of Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (which isn’t even one of my favorites), dozens and dozens of Gregorian Chants and all kinds of other liturgical music.  For, not holding any religious beliefs, I clearly enjoy the music that has sprung from various religions.  Likewise, I’d fail miserably if asked what the lyrics were to any hymn.  I’m not interested…in fact they are just an unpleasant distraction for me.

Religious beliefs should be closely held, I think.  I think Jesus said so too. People here love to  talk about church, going to church, thinking about church, who was in church, what was said at church, what music they sang at church, when the next service is, and so on.  I don’t have a problem with that but   I have do have difficulty keeping my eyes from rolling backward when I’m hear what some people actually believe to be true.  It’s as if Newton and Galileo never existed not to mention half the members of the National Academy of Sciences, the brightest people in the world.  It’s okay to believe whatever you want but it just bears out the stupidity factor when one doesn’t pay attention to lessons in science.  It also  explains the cognitive dissonance they express and the stress they feel because of it.  It’s a simple fact: some folk encase themselves in superstitions and fairy tales for so long that they are afraid to find out they may have been mistaken so they surround themselves with like-minding individuals.  They are truly afraid…of everything.

On another topic:    I love it that Obama is going to Kenya because it will reignite the crazy  “birthers” and radical right wing conservatives like spontaneous combustion.   It’s so ridiculous (think borderline insanity)  to believe Obama was born anywhere other than Hawaii.  His mother was born in Wichita and I’m not sure she ever left the US. I am positive Barack  Obama was born in Hawaii. I have a photocopy of his live birth certificate.  That’s aside from two different newspapers published in 1961 both announcing  his birth on Aug. 4th long before anyone thought he might be the future POTUS.  I guess one has to remember there is a need, after all, to fabricate conspiracy theories for the Fox Entertainment Channel.

So, I digressed.

Thanks for tuning in…

2/11/2015

TRYIN’ AGAIN…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 5:04 pm

I had a blog almost completed the other day then hit the wrong key and sent it to neverland.  It’s exasperating to have that happen as I can’t duplicate what I said.  It’s never the same the second time around. So…to start again…with new topics.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed is well worth the time it takes to read, which isn’t long, as  I had trouble putting it down even though I knew while reading it that she made it through the solo trek along the Pacific Crest Trail alive or I wouldn’t be reading a book she wrote about it. I don’t know how she endured the pain of her tortured feet or the intense heat and lack of food and water, which would have been major obstacles for me back in the days when I was in good shape.  Add to that the rattlesnakes and bears and other imponderables, and it was a superhuman accomplishment on her part.  I had to relate the various episodes to my lunch mates…Hazel, Margie and Ivy… to keep them abreast of the author’s progress.  They just shuddered in disbelief.

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) is a treasured pathway through some of the most outstanding scenic terrain in the United States. Beginning in southern California at the Mexican border, the PCT travels a total distance of 2,650 miles through California, Oregon, and Washington until reaching the Canadian border. I think it encompasses the John Muir Trail which is a challenging task of its own.  The scenery is some of the most beautiful in the world.  It’s a far more difficult and longer challenge than the Appalachian Trail which is also more heavily populated with adventurous souls.

Another interesting book I just read was Gone Girl.  Gillian Flynn, the author, has an amazing head on her shoulders and comes up with material I’m sure never enters the minds of most of us.  I’ve also read Sharp Objects that she wrote.  Read at your own peril. Gone Girl is a fantastic read.
Now, I’m reading Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World.  In nominating Judge Sotomayor to the highest court in the land, President Obama pointed out that her life story was the embodiment of the American dream. She grew up poor in a Bronx housing project at a time when gangs were carving up the neighborhood, learned she had juvenile diabetes when she was seven and lost her father a couple of years later. She would go on to Princeton (where she won the prestigious Pyne Prize), Yale Law School, the Manhattan district attorney’s office and ultimately the Supreme Court, where she became the nation’s first Hispanic justice.   If I had the opportunity to have dinner with anyone alive (other than family), she’d be one of my first picks.  She’s an amazing woman.

Right off the bat she wrote about something I really could relate to:  She had been writing about achieving our dreams though challenges and why does adversity spur us on rather than knocking us down? She said: ” A student recently posed another question that gave me pause:  Given that there are only nine Supreme Court Justices, each with life tenure, can anyone realistically aspire to such a goal?  How do we hold on to dreams  that, statistically, are almost impossible?”  …she goes on to say that becoming a SCJ would invariably elude the vast majority of aspirants…and although she wanted to be a judge, being a SCJ  never occurred to her except as the remotest of fantasies.

And here is the good part I thought… “But experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire.  That will, wherever it finally leads, does at least move you forward.  And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you’ve closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you’ve done today.”

Next up:  Girl on the Train
So much for my love of books.

Thanks for tuning in…

2/9/2015

HAZEL’S BIRTHDAY PHOTOS…

Hazel’s 95th birthday party pictures…
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Tyler and and his Aunt Ally…
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Tyler and his proud mom, Karen…
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Moi, Ally and Hazel…

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Hazel Beggs and I, just hangin’ out…

Thanks for tuning in…

1/3/2015

YOU TAKE YOUR BOW AND LEAVE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 12:25 pm

Stan Hayward, Film/TV/Book writer

I am really old, and I know death is imminent
Most of my friends have passed away, and of those remaining, they suffer from health problems in some way
I am myself totally deaf and partially blind. I live by myself

I am writing this at 6am in the morning
Today, if the weather is fine
I will go for a walk
I will chat with friends
I will do my shopping
I will do my laundry
I will feed the cat
I will tidy up what needs to be done
I will put out the garbage

I will do what most people do who are not really old and know that death is imminent
Because there is no feeling of being old

There is a feeling that you can’t do what you used to do
There is a feeling that you might lose your independence, or if you already have, a feeling that you should try and do as much as you can by yourself
There is a feeling that you should spend as much time as possible with those you like to be with

There is a feeling that time is precious. Of course it always was, but one becomes more aware of it
There is a feeling that many things one does will be done for the last time

There are passing thoughts about those who respect you because you are old, and about those that dismiss you because you are old

There is the aspect that life is changing fast with all the new advances that inundate us daily
There is the aspect of life that nothing changes

Mothers still smile at their babies
Children are still enthralled with their first pet
Learning to ride a bike is still as much fun as starting a company
Blowing out your birthday candles is still as satisfying at eighty as it was at eight

It is not that death is imminent that is important, but that when the curtain comes down, the audience leaves with a sense of satisfaction

As someone once said
The World is a stage
You played your part for what it was worth
You take your bow
and leave

12/31/2014

YEAR END AT THE PALACE…WITH THE GIRLZ IN THE HOOD…

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Todd & Karen Britton, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 11:16 am

Another good year is drawing to a close and as I reflect on it, I’m more grateful than ever that I’m living here at the Palace.  Although my kids and grandchildren are very attentive to my needs and wants, and share an endless amount of their love, I don’t want them to be unnecessarily inconvenienced or think they are responsible to supply me with attention.  Living here takes almost all that stress off them and since they know I love it here, I don’t get lonely (it’s not my nature)  and I have everything I need to be comfortable.  That includes my computer, stacks of books, good music, The Wall Street Journal, and most of all…I’m surrounded by good, helpful, kind, pleasant people.   The family comes to visit as often as they can and I love every minute they spend with me.  That goes for friends too.  When I’m with my kids and grand kids, that is life at its best.

I really, really, really miss my Ellsworth friends and friends elsewhere, but that’s what happens when you get old and life situations change.  I can’t “get” to them and most people aren’t inclined to visit people in retirement centers.  I know about that.  I was in that position too for a long time.  I miss them but can’t do much about that.  I’ve learned that I’m physically uncomfortable when I leave the Palace, except when I visit Todd and Karen.  Their house is user friendly for me and I’m  comfortable there.  I can’t do steps and it’s generally hard for me to “get around”.   It’s best if I just stay “home”.

Since I moved to the Palace, Ally and Karen have changed my sheets.  For months now Karen has been changing my bed and washing my sheets.  I want to make it easier for Karen.  Previously I have been doing all my own laundry as the facilities here are nice and convenient; however, the process just wears me out.  Sometimes it thoroughly exhausts me so yesterday I sent all my clothes to the laundry here and am ecstatic with the results.  They  picked it up at 8 and by 10 it was returned neatly folded or on hangers.

They washed all my clothes in one 55 gallon load, containing only my clothes,  and, I’m told they rarely lose anything as they label the washer as containing my clothes.  When they move them to the dryer, they move my name tag to the dryer.  That load can include my queen size sheets and pillow cases, large bath towels and wash cloths and almost the entire contents of my closets.  They charge $10 for doing that, folding/hanging and returning them to my room…and putting them where they belong.  It just took me this long to figure all this out.  There are many kinds of service the Palace offers like this to make living here carefree.  It’s perfect.

Sharon helps me for an hour every two weeks with my housekeeping.  She’s marvelous and most helpful.  That’s about  all I have needed as my apartment is all new and not that large. She’s going to change that to include more time for me so that she can make my bed and tidy my closets, kitchen and refrigerator.  She agreed I could scream and yell at her until she makes my bed perfectly as Karen does.  No one can make a bed as perfectly as Karen.

I use a lot of distilled water in my humidifier and C-Pap machine.   It’s about $1.00 a gallon at Dollar General just down the street.  Todd and others would stop and get me as much as they could carry until I called Key Rexall and asked what they charged.  I can’t recall exactly, but  think  $1.13 a gallon…and they deliver anything, or a truck load of stuff, for $1.48.  So, once I figured that out, I order a case of six gallons quite often.  Sean delivers it to my apartment, takes it out of the case and distributes it for me where I need it.  And I give him a nice tip for doing all that for me and we both are happy.  Todd is happy too.

Salina Public Librarian, Lori, comes to the Palace once a month and brings a random selection of books and ones I special order from her.  I send her an email with what I’d like.  She brings them here to the Palace, I keep them a month and she retrieves them.  There is also a very nice well-stocked  library here at the Palace.  You just take a book and return it when you’re finished.

There is something new every day to learn about living here.  It just takes time to make all those adjustments.

Shannon called me yesterday and we visited about his new driveway.  What a wonderful improvement it  is.  I just love it that Shannon, Lindsay and their boys live there.  They use the house just like Brit and I did for our family and friends.   The house is still filled with company all the time.  They love it just as much as we did.  That makes me feel really good about living here and leaving it behind for his enjoyment.

We’re having a Noon Year’s Eve party shortly….baked potato bar and special things.  I have to join my friends now and see what alligators are circulating the moat.

And, the “girlz in the hood” are gathering any time after 3:30 at Joy’s to put a dent in the New Year. They include Amy Hoffman, Hazel Beggs, Maybelle Mase, Dorothy Carmichael, Carolyn Eland, Margie Wilson, Joy Mansfield… and moi. Yay!
Thanks for tuning in…

12/20/2014

PALACE FRIENDS…SOME FOR LIFE…

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Dane Britton, Mackenzie, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 10:09 pm

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Here’s my neighborhood baseball captain, Jack Gillam.  I was always on Jack’s baseball team when we were in grade school.  We’ve been friends since that time.  Jack, his wife Betty and their boys, Jack, Jeff and Jay have been our family friends for….ever.  Our kids grew up together.

Jack graduated from K-State with a degree in architecture and I graduated with a degree in architecture from KU.  He learned a lot more than I did and he was instrumental in getting our house put together in Ellsworth that I sold only after moving here. He and his son Jeff, also an architect, are responsible for hundreds of school buildings, hospitals, nursing home, houses and other outstanding buildings across Kansas and elsewhere. They have done outstanding work and made significant contributions in their field.  Jack and Betty’s oldest son, Jack, is my dentist and keeps me smiling.

Jack lives here at the Palace and his wife, Betty, is here too in health care.  I went to the Ginormous Instrument Concert today and Jack was there too…so we sat together. His son, Jack, was there as well.  The room was packed with what I think is the largest audience since I’ve lived here. Many people came especially to watch Nathan Zimmerman, young son of Carolyn Hofer and Mark Zimmerman, who was one of nine stand-up bass players. Mark and Carolyn and family join John Zimmerman  here for Sunday dinner so the residents  have gotten to know their children and enjoy following their activities.

I didn’t know John Zimmerman when I was young, but his wife, Patsy Davis, and I were playmates…then friends for years.  Now, John takes the Wall Street Journal and delivers it to me when he’s finished with it.  That paper gets a good workout from the two of us.

It’s especially nice living here at the Palace since so many of my friends from the days of my youth living in Salina are here too.  They include:  Jack and Betty, Margie and Loren Walter, Marsha Stewart, John and Katie Weckel, Margie Eberhardt Wilson, Ivy Marsh, Shirley Drawbaugh, Mary Beth Engleman, Ginny Frederick, Pete Peterson, Amy Hoffman, Leo Lake and Louie Reynolds. I imagine I’ve failed to mention someone.

After my granddaughter, Mackenzie Britton, was born at Asbury Hospital on January 27th, 1983, a huge blizzard occurred on the day she was to leave.  Traffic was at a stand-still and Dane, Julie and Mackenzie were stranded at the hospital…with no place to go and no hope of getting home to Ellsworth.  Jack Gillam found a friend with heavy equipment….the only thing moving in Salina… came to the hospital and took the three of them to Jack’s house where they spent the next several days.  Here’s what Julie had to say about it:

“What a great friend Jack was on Mackenzie’s first night out of the hospital. We were trapped in a huge snowfall and Jack rescued us and took us into his home and kept the fires burning. His sweet wife made a crib from a study Mead paper box and lined it with Betty approved flannel sheets and mattress.”

Jack and Betty really were life savers.  We’ve talked about that Mead paper box and how happy Mackenzie was in for the first few days of her life.  They have been good friends in many ways for many years. It’s nice to still be close after all these years even if it’s not in a way any of us envisioned back in our youth.
Thanks for tuning in…

PALACE HONORARY PRAIRIE GODDESS….THAT’S ME…

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 8:48 pm

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Goddess activities: I was recently anointed Honorary Prairie Goddess by real Goddess Carolyn Carter who gave me the accoutrements to prove it. Note the official miter, magic wand and name tag. Carolyn and her husband Steve spent the afternoon visiting with me and I enjoyed every minute of it.  They hail from Bel Aire.

There are five real Goddesses…Carolyn, Bev, Carole, Donna and Kim… who have been Goddesses for years and years and years.  They worked together as Hospice administrators for a long time  and since I moved in the Palace, I’ve had the opportunity to know them.   They get together for mini-reunions about three times a year….and sometimes they meet in Salina.  That’s how I met all of them.

They have very finely tuned senses of humor.  They crack me up.

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Steve Carter and I…photo by Carolyn Carter.

What wonderful fun they are.

Thanks for tuning in…

12/12/2014

CHRISTMAS DINNER AT THE PALACE…

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My good friend for a life time, Ivy Marsh, leads the way into the dining room accompanied by a SHS basketball player/waiter. I’m following with that look about me like I don’t know exactly where I am or why I’m there.

It was actually a nice evening, better than most special functions, with decent but not exceptional food and entertainment.   Ivy and I sat with Hazel and a town guest of hers so the conversation was lively. Brad Radatz, in the green shirt on the right, is our new executive director and, like his predecessor, is good about attending events.  Kim Fair took the picture. The dining room was packed and everyone seemed to enjoy the evening.

It doesn’t seem possible that Christmas is just around the corner…like we’re down to the last 12 days.  It’s a good thing I have nothing to do to prepare for it as it wouldn’t get done.  Thanksgiving leftovers are still on my mind.  I am looking forward to spending Christmas in Ellsworth with Todd, Karen, Ally, Drew, Christy, Mackenzie and Tyler.  It will be a long winter after that, but since I rarely have to fight the elements, it’s not a concern.

Thanks for tuning in…

12/6/2014

LIFE IS CRAZY GOOD AT THE PALACE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 8:26 pm

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Life is crazy good at the Palace. The flag hanging outside my front door says so.

Today some of our inmates decided to go to a local church located a few miles from here for one of their annual Christmas festivals involving children, music, food and fun.   What better way to spend the day.

There were five ladies who participated in the all-morning affair.  One of the ladies was there with her daughter who had driven everyone to the event but was not feeling well and the mother-daughter team departed.  I’m not sure what they left in, but the car belonging to one of the two was left for the others to come home in, since that’s the way they got there in the first place.

So, much later, the three stranded participants gathered together around the set of car keys that had been left to them and  pondered their next move.  Since they had the keys, they decided to use the car and come back to the Palace; however, they weren’t sure where the car was parked as none of them had driven…and you know how little attention you pay to such details if you aren’t going to be held responsible for misplacing a car.

After some searching and pondering, they found what appeared to be the right car…at least a couple of them thought so.  One was decidedly uncertain and she got in and out of the car several times expressing her doubt over it being the right car.  She had the keys that seemed to carry with them a lot of responsibility.  She  got in the driver’s side and sat there awhile, pondering what to do.

Filled with uncertainty about the car’s ownership, she expressed more hesitation  about trying the keys in the ignition. She finally said she didn’t think she ought to drive, that her husband always did the driving.

So she got out of the car and traded places with another passenger who, after pondering her position as driver of the vehicle responsible for two other passengers,  said she hadn’t driven a car in “YEARS” and didn’t think she should be the one to drive.

They shuffled positions again so my neighbor who shared the story with me volunteered to drive everyone back to the Palace.  She’s very active and drives all over Kansas and Colorado just on a whim so everyone was in safe hands.  I’m not sure how they would have resolved their dilemma without her, but being a resourceful group, they would have found a way.  I’m sure they had interesting tales of their dilemma to relate to their spouses. Or maybe not.

Thanks for tuning in …

11/26/2014

MY FRIENDS….THE GIRLS IN THE HOOD…SOME OF WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM LIVING HERE….

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 2:00 pm

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My neighbors on 2 west…(from left) Margie Eberhart Wilson, Joy Mansfield, Amy Hoffman, me and Hazel Beggs. Missing a good party are Mabelle Mase, Carolyn Eland and Dorothy Carmichael. The picture was taken in Joy’s apartment because she has the largest, nicest kitchen that is never used for meal preparation.  I think she uses it for storing clothes.

Those of you who really know me are aware that I didn’t give up and move here to die.  It is unfortunate, I believe, but some people do that when they go to a nursing home.  They wait around until their spouse is really sick or dies and they move into a senior place or they wait around until their kids drag them to a care facility feet first.

For me it was quite the opposite:  I moved here to get more out of life than was available to me two years ago when I lived alone in a large house in Ellsworth.  And, that’s exactly what has happened.  More is a good thing when you are older and I found it by moving here.  The Palace is different from most places and you have to visit it, or talk with my kids,  to get the idea of how great it is. It is my happy place.

It has been two years since I moved here November 28, 2012.  That does not seem possible.  I guess the adage that time flies when you’re having fun applies to me.  Now.  At age 86. At least I believe it to be a general truth and has gained credit over the years to be worthy of repeating.  Some of my friends have been here a very long time, since this place first opened,  and I’ve not heard anyone say they made a bad choice.  In fact, it’s a choice they made without any regrets.  I count my lucky stars every day that I had the foresight to realize a good thing when I saw it.  That hasn’t always been the case with me.

Since I’m old and wiser now, I will pass on a bit of advice for anyone who might be interested in the subject.  And those of you who still have parents to look after might take note.  My observation during the past two years of living among old people, is that they, for the most part, don’t plan ahead. Almost never.   Even though they know they are going to get older, be less able to do things they’ve done throughout their lives,  show early signs of falling victim to Alzheimer’s or dementia or Parkinson’s or a myriad of other problems that plague  older people, they still don’t plan for those eventualities.  It’s the biggest mistake I see that some here have made.  They waited too long to come investigate the possibilities, opportunities and get on the waiting list for a spot of their own.

For some reason they want to stay in their own homes.  That works on occasion, but for most people that turns out to be a very lonely existence with very little stimulation from outside.   Their circle of friends gets smaller and smaller and they have to rely more and more on children or friends to help them out.  They become more prone to accidents, less able to summon help and more dependent on others outside the home.

The Palace is a different kind of home that fills in all the gaps that living alone doesn’t have. The Palace is different  from other retirement centers/nursing facilities in this part of the country.  Once you move in here, they will take care of you until you die.  For instance, if you go to another  independent living facility here in Salina and you need nursing  care, you have to move to a nursing care facility.  If one spouse develops memory issues, you can be separated.  Here, one person may live in independent living while the spouse may live down the hall in secure Memory Center or Health Care.  They can visit back and forth, participate in meals and activities with one another so it’s very much the same as living together. They are under the same roof.  You get help here so one person doesn’t have total responsibility for caring for their spouse.  The idea is to move and get settled in a new place while you have plenty of time to meet new people, become familiar with the opportunities available to you and adjust to new surroundings.  People tend to wait too long to sell their houses, dispose of possessions to prepare themselves for a new direction they’ll be taking.

And, one of the best features of the Palace is that the “outhouses”, as I call them, are gorgeous townhouses, very spacious with two car garages, and equipped with all new “everything” before you move in.  They are nearby on the Palace grounds. They are the best kept secret around here.

I have a very active friend who is 71 who just moved in a townhouse and another couple the same age who will move when one is available.  They are all very active in the Salina art community.   Their move is just plain smart on their part.  If they want to eat meals here they can, but most don’t except on occasion, and they have available all the services of the Palace…maintenance takes care of their yards, snow removal, mail delivery and any upkeep they might need.  Nursing care is available within minutes.

So, if a resident wants to leave for the winter they can head to Cap d’Agde that is set on a small spur of land west of Beziers and south of Montpellier. It’s the best known naturist resort in France, possibly in Europe. It’s large, with a whole village where you can shop naked, bank without any clothes on, and take to the naked lifestyle big time. All they have to do here is close the door and leave.  Everything here is secure and well-tended to.  (I got your attention with Cap d’Agde, didn’t I?)  The point being, you can leave any time, on the spur of the moment and be away as long as you like and everything here will be taken care of so you  can have a worry-free vacation.

I’m a self-appointed cheer leader for this place because I’m so happy here, but the person you need to talk with about particulars is Kim Fair at 785.825.1366, marketing director of the Palace.  She’ll show you around, let you see every nook and cranny, have a free lunch with her and decide for yourself.  If you tell her I sent you, I think they might even do something nice for me…if you move in…and I pass it forward.

If I can answer any of your questions, please call me 785 then 826 followed by 3668.

And, thanks for tuning in…

11/24/2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS…

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Ally and I are missing our home in Breck. It was always a fun place to be on Thanksgiving where our family gathered and Ally brought all the orphans from the ski area where she worked to join us. The mountain on the right between the trees is Quandary. The front railing on the porch held the turkey roaster with the carcass and scraps for the Canada and Stellar jays to pick clean while we enjoyed our dinner. Those were very happy times.

Ally and I are looking forward to being “home” in Ellsworth with all the family we can muster together this year…Todd, Karen and Tyler.  Karen is fixing her famous Butterball turkey dinner with all the trimmings and we’re all looking forward to it.  It’s always lip-smacking good.  Tyler will be the only representative of the grandchild generation and we’re very much looking forward to having him home and hearing about his recent trip to and experiences in South Africa.

Some of my neighbors here at the “Palace” will be heading to the homes of their children and grandchildren.  Others, lacking any family, will have a nice Thanksgiving dinner here “at home” with friends.  No one will be alone at this time.

I hope everyone has a very happy holiday weekend with family and friends.
Thanks for tuning in…

11/3/2014

INTRODUCING THE NEW KING AT THE PALACE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 10:55 am

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From left:  Amy Hoffman, my neighbor across the hall; Brad Radatz, the new executive director of the Palace; Leo Lake, a new resident, but previously, a long-time volunteer at the Palace.

Radatz’ first job was a certified nursing assistant at the hospital in his hometown of Lindsborg. It’s not a big town, and it’s not a big hospital, which meant Radatz was often idle or sent home.

But Radatz, who was about to start college, wanted more shifts and more experience. He was surprised when that put him on the path to working in long-term care. “I liked the learning curve with hospitals,” Radatz said. “I didn’t think I would get that same learning curve medically in long-term care, but I learned quickly that was not the case.”

He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in life sciences from Kansas State University in 2010, with a secondary major in gerontology and an emphasis in long-term care administration. In July, he was named executive director of Salina Presbyterian Manor. Previously, Radatz had been lead administrator with Frontline Management, responsible for the day-to-day operations of Garden Valley Retirement Village in Garden City.

The appeal of long-term care, Radatz found, was in building relationships with residents. He also wants to make it easier for residents to develop stronger relationships with each other and with employees. “We really want to develop our environment to be more of an actual neighborhood,” he said. “We want people on a particular hall to feel like they’re part of a smaller, close group.”

That means giving residents and employees more opportunities to interact, Radatz said, and listening to their ideas. He hopes they’ll be able to develop more family-like relationships instead of the traditional caregiver-patient dynamic.

“Ten years ago, health care was more physically focused,” Radatz said. “Now we want to make sure we’re also caring for their emotional, psychological and social needs.”

Radatz and his wife, Amy, are excited to be in Salina – partly because they have season tickets to K-State football and basketball, and now they’re closer to Manhattan. The couple met in college and married in 2012.

from PMMA Community Matters…

10/27/2014

PALACE FRIENDS AND HAPPINESS TIME…

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Living here is like a nice bowl of cherries or attending Korean summer bible camp…however you look at it.  It’s all cherries and happiness time for me.

In recent days I’ve had wonderful friends stop by for chats, some bearing good things to eat. It’s always this way.  If I were still living at home alone, I would not experience this kind of activity.  Family yes, but my friends at home work and I couldn’t  get out and about to see them except infrequently.  Everyone is busy and I understand that.  Moving here separated me from lifelong good friends who I didn’t see all that often, but it put me in a position here where I am surrounded by people, some have become good friends.

I have an open door policy here so anyone who wants feels welcome to enter anytime.  Most often, they just walk down the hall and wave as they go by, but even that is better than sitting home alone, as I would be if I were still living in Ellsworth.  There are people working on the jigsaw puzzle in the lobby or having coffee at the coffee bar all the time…day and night.  So, if I had a spell of loneliness, I could always find someone to chat with at any time.   Insomnia goes with old age so someone or another is roaming around.  I really do like the people who live here as they come from all walks of life and are interesting in their own way.

The main highlight of recent day visitors was Tyler who was able to come from Cincinnati for a short weekend.  He was here Friday night for our Five-Hundred-Thousandth Annual Palace Soup Supper, a day of football with his dad in Manhattan on Saturday and back to Cincy on Sunday.  That’s a lot of road time for such a short time here, but he doesn’t seem to mind.  We love it that he can be here, even if only for a few hours.  Tyler does good work, good things.

Todd, Karen, Ally, Jan Paull, Lynn Taylor, Ann and Terry Headrick were all here before we split up and went downstairs to eat chili and chicken noodle soup.

Other friends have been in and out:  Ellen Morgan came by for green tomatoes and a visit, Lynn Taylor stopped for a glass of wine and a break from working pie detail for the soup supper.  My neighbor,  Carolyn Eland, was here for a wonderful afternoon of chatting about family, music, ballet, travel, politics and other topics of common interest.  She loaned me a couple of books her PhD brother wrote which I’m enjoying reading.  Faithful friends, Ann and Terry, we in and out a  couple of times, once bearing beer and hard cider.  Yum.

Dalene Anderson and her daughter, Leah, came by to deliver a case of Two Buck Chuck’s wine from Trader Joe’s.  I really appreciate that.  Dalene, whose dad lives here, is a peck of fun and I love it when she’s here visiting.  She and her sister, Karen Collins, and their kids and grandkids are frequent visitors and delightful/fun folk.  They’ve become wonderful friends.  If I weren’t living here, I never would have met any of them.  That’s one of the special things about living here.  I’ve made so many wonderful friends just by living here and being part of the big family of friends of other inmates.

Jovita Christensen who lives up on the 6th floor by Ivy, stopped by with a pan of homemade cinnamon rolls and my neighbor, Hazel, arrived with a bowl of wonderful baked apples, warm from the oven.  Jovita and Hazel both have reputations for being excellent cooks…and are famous for their baked goods.

Margie dropped by with two Harry and David pears that were wonderful and stayed for a glass of Malbec.  I go through a lot of wine.  Red wine is especially good for old people, they say.  No one here argues about that.

I was downstairs when Barbara Houdek arrived with one of her famous Dutch apple pies, so I bought it at the food sale.  It was fabulous.   I shared some of it with Hazel, Ivy and Margie.  Barbara still makes angel food cakes from scratch…no mixes for her…and beats those egg white with a whip by hand.

Last week Ally was here running errands so I had her drop me off at the Korean Restaurant where I  had a wonderful bowl of Korean Ramen chicken veggie soup that was both steamy hot and spicy hot.  It was wonderful.  I spent the afternoon at the restaurant visiting with Joomi and Tim and reading a Lee Childs book that was easy to absorb in bits and pieces. The restaurant is light and airy, the odors that waft through are wonderful and I just blend into the wall paper. Later in the afternoon Joomi made bananas Foster with scoops of ice cream that she, Tim and I devoured. They are very nice and treat all their customers like the family we are. I love that place. It’s my home away from home.

Mabelle Maes, another neighbor of mine, stopped by for some of Ally’s tomatoes. She accidentally dropped one on the floor and it rolled under a table and a couple of chairs where it lodged up against the wall.  In a jiff she was down on her hands and knees and under the table retrieving it even though I insisted she leave it where it was. I can’t pick up stuff off the floor and do periodic pick ups with one of the half dozen picker-upper tools I have strategically placed around my apartment.Mabelle is agile as a fox….and 96 years old. She’s another good cook. The other day she brought me a plate of monster cookies she’d baked.

Amy Hoffman left a bowl of white chili in my kitchen that was wonderful.  Ally arrived with potato soup, chili and other good things.  Somewhere in the mix Karen came and changed the sheets on my bed. She keeps me in a clean bed and runs lots of errands for me. Without help from her, Todd and Ally, I’d have a difficult time living where I do. They do wonderful things for me.

I also caught up with Mackenzie yesterday as she came to my rescue on a computer problem I was having. As usual, she sorted through it in short order and walked me through a fix. It was not a common problem and should have only happened if I were using two monitors. Kenz loves living in St. Louis, works for Asynchrony where she’s a senior web developer learning new things all the time, lives in a wonderful complex, has good friends who do interesting things.  Tyler spent the night with her Thursday on his way home so they had an opportunity to catch up on cousin news.

I’m looking forward to this weekend as grandson Drew and his girl friend, Christy, will be here from Boulder for a quick visit. It’s always fun to catch up with them as they lead very busy, interesting lives. Since that is the weekend of the KU vs K-State rivalry everyone around here will be drawing up sides for their team and donning all kinds of very old, worn out college shirts and hats. We’ll have special gatherings for the game.

The same is true for Halloween Happenings, which is the 31st. There will be a “Draculas Diner” the 31st. I’m not sure what that is…is it a dinner in a diner which maybe should be Dracula’s Diner Dinner…or it is supposed to be a dinner for many Draculas…as in Draculas’ dinner…or are there lots of Draculas in a diner? Grammar is grandly abused around this place which doesn’t help the split-infinitive-challenged crowd. It will be an evening filled with Bloody Marys, spookghetti and eyeballs, Frankenstein fingers…etc. But, the best thing is that the employees bring their children to the Palace after dinner so we can pass out candy and see them in their cute costumes. That is always fun.

Lunch was especially good today…nice fresh fruit, good cheeseburgers with warm buns and good toppings, potato salad, and much, much better than usual baked beans.  I took some of Ally’s mustard sauce, a sliced jalapeno pepper and fresh tomatoes to top my burger.  Hazel, Ivy and I  enjoyed our lunch and lively conversation.  Doris wasn’t there at “her” table and we all miss her enormously.  She has something contagious so we can’t visit her.  She is one very special lady.

Thanks for tuning in

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10/5/2014

MORE PALACE MUSINGS….

Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Todd & Karen Britton, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 2:32 pm

Palace life is wonderful…

This is perfectly stated: True equality for every human should be something liberals, conservatives, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, men, women and people from all races, backgrounds and ethnicities should support. And anyone, or group, who opposes that should never be shielded from criticism for doing so.

I’ve not been satisfied with my news sources since I moved here.  I like to be able to stay abreast…or at least try to stay abreast of the news and that has been an overwhelming challenge. There is too much going on in the world to just breeze past it.  It needs study.  I rarely watch TV and local newspapers are not the answer.   I decided to subscribe to the WSJ.  Ginny Frederick passed on a copy to me last weekend and I really enjoyed it.  Brit and I always liked it and the format has improved favorably over the years. So, the very day I decided to subscribe, one of my fellow inmate friends, John Zimmerman, approached me and asked if I read the WSJ.  I said I was just planning on subscribing and he offered me his.  So, every day after he’s finished reading the paper, he leaves it at my door, just like a real “paper boy”.  I’m loving it.  It fills the big news “gap” that previously existed in my life.

John’s a very nice man.  I grew up with his wife and knew one of his sons and a daughter-in-law was Brit’s VA doctor for many years.  Now I count John among my friends, as well as all four of his children and numerous beautiful and very talented grandchildren.  Another thing:  when John moved into the tall building from one of the outhouses, he was not in good health.  He was on a very slippery, downhill slide…but through determination and lots of exercise, he brought himself back to the real world again.  Living among us and being challenged made the difference. That’s what I love about this place.  It’s all family and we do help each other.  You don’t have this level of full time help and support when you live alone.

I had a wonderful dinner last night…designed just for me by me.  I removed more leaves from that perfect head of bib lettuce Ally got me and wrapped them around paper thin slices of smoked ham, pepper jack cheese and slivered onions.  The three rolled sandwiches looked beautiful on my place especially after I added a few of Ally’s cherry tomatoes and a small bunch of red grapes.  That and a glass of red wine made it a perfect meal.  That would  cost you a small fortune in a five star restaurant, if you could get it.  Tonight I’ll have some of Ally’s chili.  It’s always delicious.

There are a few people who live here who can’t find anything nice to say about anyone or anything.  We just look at them with amusement and wonder when they’ll grow up.  We avoid sitting with them during meals. Fortunately, they are few in number.  Today…as we were going through the salad bar, one of the grouches was grumbling that the table cloths weren’t ironed.  Ironed?  They’re made of material you don’t have to iron and look quite nice. I’ll admit they tend to wrinkle a bit if you don’t pull them out of the drier right away, but the kitchen staff isn’t in charge of laundry and that’s where the complaint was registered. Can you imagine?   That guy has a prickly pear in his shorts and gripes about anything and everything.  When I meet him in the hall and say hello, he just glares, doesn’t speak and walks by.  If I had lain in bed all night long dreaming of stuff to complain about, I never would have come up with that one.

Sunday is the day I do my laundry.  I did a couple small loads and am ready to go for the week.  The machines aren’t top of the line, but they do a good job and are clean and available for our use…and free.  There are machines on each floor, but more people live on the second floor than any other.  Even at that, we all manage to get our laundry done.  Some who have trouble sleeping do theirs in the middle of the night.

I haven’t signed up for the dinner trip to Solomon on the 16th and I need to do that.  It’s another Travel and Taste bus trip that always has unintended consequences…like running out of gas, near misses of getting stuck on muddy roads or lasting over two hours with a busload of women who by then have long extended necessary trips to the ladies’ room. Those are always interesting trips although not always the way intended.

The annual soup supper is  Friday November 24th starting at 4:30.  You can eat in or carry out.  The place is packed so it’s a good opportunity to say hello to people you probably haven’t seen in ages.  Tyler is coming all the way from Cincinnati just for it along with his parents and Ally.  I’m excited about that.

Thanks for tuning in…

9/27/2014

I’M A LIBERAL LIVING IN A RED STATE…IN A RED CITY…IN A RED PALACE…JUST SO THERE ISN’T ANY DOUBT…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 1:43 pm

I’m a liberal.  I live in a red state, in a red city, in a red Palace.

I stand for liberal principles:

…free public education K-12 for all, and affordable higher education

… the decision to have an abortion is a personal choice of a woman regarding her own body and the government must protect this right. Women have the right to affordable, safe and legal abortions, including partial birth abortion

…the freedom to practice any religion or no religion without threat of violence

…the death penalty should be abolished.

…free speech

…church and state should be completely separate. The rule of law is different from and better than theocracy.  Religious expression has no place in government

…respect for and equal rights for all minorities including LGBTs  Marriage is the union and right of two people who love each other.

…equality for women in every walk of life as men now enjoy

… free or low-cost government controlled health care

…a market system in which government regulates the economy.  Government must protect citizens from the greed of big business

… the use of embryonic stem cells for research

…euthanasia should be legalized

…Individuals do not need guns for protection; it is the role of local and federal government to protect the people through law enforcement agencies and the military.  Additional gun control laws are necessary to stop gun violence and limit the ability of criminals to obtain guns

… The government must produce a national plan for all energy resources and subsidize  alternative energy research and production…

…Welfare is a safety net which provides for and protects the needs of the poor. Welfare is necessary to bring fairness to American economic life.

Thanks for tuning in…

9/24/2014

PALACE MUSINGS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Todd Britton, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 12:52 pm

Life at the Palace continues to be interesting, fun, restful,  worry-free, calming, easy, and pleasant.  I checked in here as a new “inmate” nearly two years ago and haven’t found anything here to worry about since my arrival.  I hardly have to turn a finger except for doing my laundry, a little light house work and occasional meal/snack preparation.  Since I have my main meal in the dining room at noon, there is little I have to do in the kitchen.  Sharon from housekeeping comes every two weeks and cleans my apartment.  I’ve also been fortunate to be surrounded with people I like very much and many have become close friends.

My apartment has everything I need or want in the way of comfortable amenities.  It is spacious, bright and airy, with good temperature control.  When a light bulb burns out, someone from maintenance comes promptly and replaces it.   They repair anything that needs fixing, at no charge.

I rarely shut the door to my apartment.  I like having it open so people feel free to come and go as they please and it gives me a feeling of being better connected to the outside world.  I feel very safe here, safer than anywhere I’ve ever lived.  I try to remember to close my door to the hall at night, but I tend to forget rather often.  I trust people who live and work here.  There is no reason why I shouldn’t.

The social event of the day is the noon meal which most of us attend with anticipation and regularity.  We sit with essentially the same group of 15-20 people every day. As in every society, you gravitate to those with whom you share common interests and enjoy being around.  It doesn’t take long to become good friends with one or another of your choosing.  Whereas it is common to see friends occasionally, or with planning in the “outside world”, here I live on the same wing on the same floor with my besties and see them every day.  Life is very good in the Palace and I don’t wish to  live anywhere else but here.

There isn’t a lot I find to blog about. It’s not as if I were involved in numerous  activities as I once was that would be of interest to readers. The kind of news I deal with these days is  “stuff” like “both elevators are finally working at the same time” which is a relief as it shortens the wait time to be elevated from one floor to another.  It’s a big deal if you live here and can’t walk the stairs, but hardly interesting.

Having family and friends come to visit is wonderful.  Monday evening Todd and I went to the Seoul USA Korean Restaurant where we had an authentic Sicilian dinner prepared by Tim Bobbit..with help from wife Joomi.  It was the 13th “International” night and those who attend are regular diners at the Korean Restaurant.  You have to work…or eat… your way up the ladder to get invited to attend.  They can only serve 45 people so it’s a pre-pay deal to get a spot reserved for you on International night.  They are mostly “regulars” we see every month.  We join Ann and Terry Headrick, Martha and Kent Buess, Marsha Stewart and Mary Lemon at the back table that we reserve every month.  We frequently see Denny and Connie Helvey, Danee and Travis and David Helvey as they love eating there for the International dinner too.  As the restaurant is closed to other diners, we take our beverage of choice, which is usually a bottle or two of wine.  Joomi usually treats us to one of her Korean drinks too which are fruity and good.

Next month will have a typical Indonesian dinner prepared by Chef of the Night, Venny Afianti Baily.  The menu hasn’t been finalized (and that doesn’t make any difference to those of us who attend), but Venny thinks it will probably include appetizers, vegetable pancake, avocado smoothy, chicken stew, fish of some kind, Joomie’s special drink and dessert.

The Presbyterian Manor Annual Soup Supper is Friday October 24th starting at 4:30.  We serve chicken and noodle soup, chili, relishes and pie either to eat here or carry out.  Pre-purchased tickets are $6.00 and slightly more at the door. The proceeds this year will go towards the purchase of a van designed to transport our wheel chair-bound residents to various activities.  That is not possible now, so we’re all hoping for a good response to the dinner to assist in this worthy cause.  Had this vehicle had been available yesterday, some of our residents who need wheel chair transportation could have made the trip with others to Rolling Hills Zoo and Museum.

We had a nice, generous rain last night, but now the sun is shining brightly…and I need to go run some errands.

Thanks for tuning in…

9/4/2014

STUDENT OF LIFE…PRESBYTERIAN MANOR AKA THE PALACE

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 1:30 pm

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photo by Kim Fair
STUDENT OF LIFE

Peg Britton embrances new experiences
by Erin O’Donnell, free lance writer and editor
from Community Matters a publication of Salina Presbyterian Manor

Posted September 2, 2014 HERE.
Peg Britton embraces new experiences
Peg Britton’s Internet connection has taken her all over the world.

The gift of lifelong learning is that you’ll never be bored. That’s what Salina Presbyterian Manor resident Peg Britton discovered even as a child. “I guess it’s because I have a curiosity about how things work. I always have,” Peg said.

As a young adult, Peg pursued her education with vigor even as discrimination threatened her goals. She attended the University of Kansas, graduating in 1950 with a degree in architecture that many male students and professors didn’t think she should have. “They came out and told me it was not a place for women, and I told them they better find a place for me, because I’m staying,” Peg said.

After school, Peg embarked on her career, beginning with Edward Tanner Architects in Kansas City. In 1976, she and a friend designed and built her 4,256-square-foot modern home in Ellsworth. She lived there for more than three decades, before moving in 2012 to Salina Presbyterian Manor – or, as Peg fondly calls it, “The Palace.”

No matter where she is, Peg says she’s never far from the Internet, keeping in touch with friends and current events around the world. She has been sharing her own “back road adventures, community commentary and essays” via her blog, KansasPrairie.net, for more than 12 years, far longer than most bloggers on the Web today.

Peg’s 5-year-old granddaughter was the first to introduce her to computers about 20 years ago. “I realized she had a computer and I didn’t. She said, ‘Grandmother, I think you’d enjoy a computer. We could do things together.’ And I thought, that sounds wonderful.”

Peg said she made countless friends online from around the world, some of whom have come to visit. She especially likes getting to know young professionals and says they learn a lot from each other. “I’ve always had a lot of younger friends because we had more in common,” she said. “They’re going to be our leaders. I place my hope in those people.”

Recently, Peg said she heard of a retirement community where residents taught English to foreign students online using the Skype video chat application. That’s something she’d like to try. “I’ve just never stopped,” Peg said. “I’ve always helped wherever I could.”

Your Comment:

Ann says:
“A lovely article. An incredible woman and one of my favorite people on the planet!”
Austin says:
“Same Peg I have known since high school.”

Francis E. Carr says:
“I’m so happy and proud to say I know and love Peg Britton.”

Roger Novak says:
“Peg, you are a remarkable lady. Never afraid to take on a challenge. Always proactive. You should be very proud.”

Mackenzie Britton says:
“I was that young granddaughter encouraging her to get a computer! Knowing she tackled a male-dominated field helped inspire me to earn a degree in computer engineering. Such a role model and amazing grandma too :)

Greg says:
“Peg’s a wonderful lady who’s a bundle of fun! Her wit and intelligence are inspiring!”

Shirley A Turner Raney says:
“Go get it girl. Learning and helping are good for you and good for those helped. I love to learn and respect you for that. We must help those who will be telling us what to do. LOL Nice article.”

Ginger Kippes says:
“Enjoyed reading all about you, Peg. I know what a super person you are because, of course, I am your house-mother! Love you, Gin”

Jennifer Byer says:
“Go, Peg! By a stroke of good fortune, I stumbled across Peg’s blog a few years ago. She had posted an entry about my great-uncle Hat Barofsky, whom I’d never met. She put me in touch with friends who knew some of my Ellsworth relatives, and rest is history, as they say. Thank you, Peg!”
Deb Divine says:
“Wonderful description! Did not know you are the architect of your fabulous house! Love it.”

Veda Hoffhaus says:
“You go, girl!”

UYF6U says:
“You go girl………….and you have!!”

Ally Britton says:
“I’m Peg’s daughter, Ally
I can’t begin to say what a wonderful mother, best friend and idol she is.
She passed on her great genes to her three children and taught us so many things.

She taught me to be an individual and to love life with morals and respect  for others.

At 86, you couldn’t ask for a cooler mom that has kept up with the times and has supported me in my endeavors.

Because of her, I’m a fee spirit. Love you bunches, mom.”

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9/2/2014

PRESBYTERIAN MANOR ANNUAL SOUP SUPPER FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24TH

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 5:11 pm

We’re gearing up for the Soup Supper.  People are selling tickets by the dozens and residents are signing up for various work details that go in to the preparation of the what is known around Salina as the place to be on Soup Supper night.

“October” at Salina Presbyterian Manor means one thing: Soup Supper. Our 34th annual Soup Supper will be held from 4:30 to 7ish p.m. on Oct. 24th.   We hope you too will come to eat in or carry out.

Chicken noodle soup, chili, relishes, pie and cinnamon rolls are on the menu for this event, a tradition as old as the Manor itself. You won’t leave hungry.
This year, the baked goods and craft sale promises to be larger than ever.  If you are able to donate pies for the dinner or baked and canned goods for the sale, please call the Manor for details.  Residents have again crafted a quilt that will be offered as a special donation item. Items will be donated for the silent auction.

Residents, volunteers, artists and donors work together to make this event a success.  It is truly a civic event.

This year, in a slight change of direction, the proceeds will be used to buy a bus that will transport our wheel chair residents.  All other proceeds and donations go the Good Samaritan Fund that  underwrites our mission of providing lifelong care to our residents even should they outlive their financial resources.

We hope to see all of you here.

Thanks for tuning in…

8/22/2014

PALACE, DOCTORS AND TRIVIA…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 6:04 pm

The weekend couldn’t come at a better time.  I’m plumb tuckered out, as my grandma Fannie Belle used to say.

Yesterday I saw a new dermatologist who I really like.  She practices in the Heartland Dermatology and Cancer Clinic on Elmhurst with Matt Schaffer, a doctor I’ve seen on previous occasions.  His practice has grown so much since I last saw him six years ago that the wait time was longer, by months, than I felt I could be patient with the ever-present boil-red spot on my face, so I took an appointment with one is his PA’s, Christine Elsasser.  She’s very good, thorough, and has a very nice personality.  I’ll return to see her in a year if something doesn’t grab me by the bootstraps before then.  If you need to have a strip search for those pesky cancers that appear out of nowhere, do yourself a favor and make an appointment to see Christine.

This morning I returned to see Dick Bradbury, who takes care of my feet, trims my nails, gives helpful advice on keeping my diabetes at bay…and is just a very nice guy.  He and Todd were classmates in the old days at Marymount and he is the out and out favorite podiatrist among the inmates here at the Palace.  Brit and I had gone to another podiatrist for years until he retired.  After trying his partner and being totally turned off by him, I switched to Dick, and am very happy with my decision.

So, if you are looking for a good foot doctor and/or a dermatologist, you have my recommendations. Good doctors are difficult to see so when you do find one, see them on a yearly basis.  If you go six years without seeing them, they consider you a new patient and you’ll have to start all over again with your doctor search.

After running around all day with appointments, flaying my legs and arms about in our free swinging exercise class, and tending to other things like trivia with inmates, I’m exhausticated.  Ally and I went to the Coyote Canyon for dinner and now I’m out of commission for the night.  I’m looking forward to tomorrow when I’m attending a real old-fashioned tea party at my friend, Lynn’s house.  She’s going to a lot of work to make this perfect so I know it will be a special occasion for Dorothy, Jane, Janie, Lila and me.

Thanks for tuning in …

8/20/2014

THE PALACE ON THE HILL…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 12:44 pm

The Ivory Keys Cafe is a bevy of activity from 11:15 until 12:30 when things come to an abrupt halt and it  becomes nappy time for the inmates.  You can then walk up and down the deserted halls and feel the pulse of the building’s breathing patterns and what one might describe as close to a waxing-waning pattern of tidal volume and Cheyne-Stokes rhythm.  It’s a little like that game we all played as children when we would run around frantically flaying arms and legs and upon command, freeze in position, however awkward it might be.  For the most part, it remains stone silent with nary a creature stirring until 11:15 the next day when the buzzing of the hive commences again.

Speaking of lunch, we’ve had good lunches two days in a row.  Yesterday we had hamburgers that had been grilled outside, good broccoli/cheese pasta, baked beans and fresh fruit.  Today we had chicken stir fry, wonderful marinated green beans, and egg rolls.  Our new director, Brad Radatz joined us for lunch both days.  I don’t know if the two incidents of his presence and good food are a coincidence or fortuitous accident.   Either way, both are nice and I hope it continues.

This morning was library day at the Palace.  A librarian from the Salina Public library, brings a cart full of books and checks them out in our lobby area.  I ordered books last week which were delivered today:  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller that my grandson Tyler read and recommended; The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano, a new-to-me author; and Donna Tartt’s The Little Friends that I hope to finish reading.  It’s a wonderful service to us readers and ever so convenient.

I signed up today for another International Night of good food and frivolity at the Korean Restaurant.  They have a special night once a month and you work your way on to their list in order to get an invitation.  Tim Bobbett will be the chef next month preparing more Sicilian food according to his family recipes. The dinner will be on September 15th and will include:
Appetizer: Beef Stuffed Artichoke with Potato.
Black and Green Olives with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes, and good Italian Bread and butter.
Soup:        Wedding Soup - Chicken, Vegetables, Little Macaroni.
Pasta:       Macaroni, Italian Sausage (Hot and Mild), Meatball, White Potato, Sweet Potato, Fried egg, and Onion all in a Tomato based Sauce.  The dessert is yet to be determined.  I vote for Italian Wedding Cake.

I missed the last Sicilian night and don’t want to miss this one.  Todd will join me for the evening as he’s always good about trying new and different cuisines and loves pasta.We usually go with Ann and Terry Headrick but they will be on a bus adventure and can’t make it.

We’re starting to gear up here for the Annual Soup Supper.  I volunteered to unwrap pies again this year.  I have the process down to a science now and can do dozens in nothing flat.

Joy is getting a lot of play out of her official duties as Palace Elevationist.  She’s in charge of all the elevator buttons and was told by Brad the director that when she lets people out on the Club Med floor, she is to remind them bathing suits are required.  I’m sure half the people here don’t “get” it, which makes it all more humorous.  You just don’t know how humorous some of our activities are.

I wandered downstairs to try to find Jack Gillam who lives in assisted living on the floor below me.  I can’t call as assisted living phone numbers, and many others in rehab and health care, aren’t listed in our monthly handout directory.  I don’t like to drop in around here as I find it better and easier, as it is in the outside world, to call first.  Well, I enlisted Kim’s help and we headed to Jack’s apartment after learning he wasn’t with Betty at the moment.  He was sound asleep so we didn’t disturb him.  I wanted to tell him about my recent visit with Sybil Scales and relay messages from Tad Scales.  But the trip wasn’t all in vain as we ran into Letha Haist, a lovely person for certain, who shared fresh garden tomatoes and cucumbers with us. There are so many nice things that happen around here accidentally. I love living here.

That’s about all I have to relate from the Palace for today.

Thanks for tuning in…

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