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Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 8:18 pm

The annual Ellsworth Hospital Auxiliary spaghetti dinner is right around the corner. Dr. Kepka is gathering the ingredients to make his famous Italian spaghetti sauce; the long-held secret recipe is always a big hit.

The bake sale starts at 8:00 am, the supper begins at 4:30 and goes until the sauce is gone.  The charge for adults is is $6.00, children $3.00.  They appreciate donations.  The activity takes place at the American Legion building next to ALCO.  See you there.


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Tyler Britton USAF — Peg Britton @ 4:58 pm

Humorous header with Halloween right around the corner…right? Well, when you donate blood at the Ellsworth Blood Mobile, you don’t get a store donut like they hand out at most donor locations. No sireee. You get wonderful Sloppy Joe’s made by the Presbyterian ladies, homemade cookies prepared by our 4-H kids and a huge scoop of Pete Donley’s homemade ice cream….your choice of three flavors. You just can’t beat that. Makes me wish I could donate again. The blood mobile was the 15th at the Presbyterian Church. They would appreciate your attendance the next time around.

It’s slow going but the bathroom light is in place and we finally have decent light in that room. The ceiling is high and with the new fixture, I’ll be able to see the cobwebs when they inevitably form again. Ken hung it with a lot of care. He does good work.

We’re down to two rooms that need painting. Don Panzer delivered enough Hy-Tech thermal additive to last through our last 5 gallon tub of Valspar paint. This NASA spin-off additive works. Our house seems a lot quieter and more comfortable. I don’t hear the highway traffic as I have in the past. I used to always hear trucks going over the rumble strips and I don’t hear that now. The sirens on emergency vehicles are hardly audible. And, we’re getting reflective heat off all those little ceramic beads in the paint. Don told me today that his furnace runs about 25% less than it did before he used the additive both inside and out.

Kerry “the bug man” came today to spray and bait. He does good work. We live in the middle of a little forest by a creek that attracts all kinds of creepy, crawly things. When it gets cold, they head for the nearest warm place they can find. With workmen in and out constantly, I will be guarding against mice with a vengeance.

Brit has a life-time supply of spaghetti and meat balls in the freezer, thanks to Ally. She vacuum sealed it in one serving parcels just for him. He’s happy as a clam. She’s going to treat me to the same with chicken and noodles. It doesn’t take much to make us happy.

I finally had to break down and buy a new Timex, $29 bucks at that W place. I buy exactly the same kind each year or two when the old one shoots craps. The battery was still good in my old one, but I was losing about 4 hours a day and I either had to get up earlier or buy a new watch. Throw away watches make sense to me even though they aren’t very stylish. I can easily see the time and never worry about losing it. Timex: It takes a licking and keeps on ticking. I’ve been a fan since the early 60s.

I wish I lived closer to Wichita Falls TX as they have planned for a year to have a spectacular celebration showing off all the planes in the Air Force. I’m sure it will be a gala event with lots of pomp and circumstance. Maybe Airman Britton will be able to attend. I don’t know.

Thanks for tuning in.



Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 5:42 pm

Today was perpendicular day. I wasn’t sure I was going to see that again after the weekend, but here I am, alive and well. I sent Brit on a banana run last night before the store closed. I figured he’d do better with that than IVs. He just laughed and said he hadn’t had to do something like that for me since the last time I was pregnant. Geez, but I was in bad shape yesterday. I’m sure I had a “touch of cholera”, but my good friend Rose will assure me I didn’t.

Ally and I, a mere shadow of my former self, headed for Salina today as I had to get things finalized with flooring before all the oil hikes take their toll on shipping, padding etc. And, I want to see an end to this project during my lifetime.

We ran into Mark and Josie who were buying masks and spooky things for their “Underground” Halloween party the 27th. It’s going to be a dandy as John Stoltz is going to do some of his magical tricks and make it really spooky. The young kids can visit between 7 and 9 pm and the older ones after that. It will take a $1.00 to get in and that will be a bargain. When I get all the details from Mark, I’ll blog it. You might want to mark you calendar.

Flora Sparks (Paula Schneider’s mom) and I used to dress up every Halloween and have a great time trick or treating. It was something to do. So did Carolyn and Dr. Clair O’Donnell, Mona Prochaska and Carol Larsen, Jean and Pep Shanelec, Jimmy and Dorothy Novak, Charlotte and Bob Nichols, Karma and Paul Aylward, Bon Berkybile and Naomi Bosworth. Brit made a great Richard Nixon. The list is long. We had a wonderful time visiting each other in our outlandish costumes. The trick was to dress so no one had a clue who you were. And you carried signs for what you wanted. Mostly they said “Scotch and Water”! I think we had more fun back then than they do now. But, that was at a time when we welcomed adults dressed in costume in our houses without fear and trepidation. Times have changed.

My mail server didn’t work this morning, but it worked fine two days ago when I shut down my computer. That always perplexes me. All my good mail has been bouncing, so said my granddaughter who watches such things. I have my junk mail stored on the eaglecom server, but that’s also a mess. They enlarged my spam box to 30 megs but over the weekend I didn’t get it emptied. I couldn’t send mail. The eaglecom techie was sure it was AVAST!, my virus protection. They tend to blame problems they can’t solve on your virus protection…Norton, McAfee, Avast, etc.  Mackenzie said it couldn’t be, and it wasn’t. I went back to some default settings with my mail and now, I think, everything is working fine. “IM” (I’m “prairiennui”) me or give me a call if your mail isn’t reaching me.

Now that winter is approaching, we’re getting some wonderful winter dishes from Ally’s kitchen for our freezer. Brit would eat spaghetti almost every night (not I!) so tonight she’s making a batch of sauce and will put it in vacuum sealed freezer bags in one-serving amounts for him. He has chili for tonight that she made. I’m always good for chicken and noodle soup or boiled egg on toast. We don’t eat the same things or at the same time, generally speaking. That happens when you get older, I think. I spent too many years in the kitchen to want to be there any longer.

Thanks for tuning in. And thanks to those of you who called to see if I was still kicking. I appreciate that.



Filed under: prairie musings, Wilson Musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 9:54 am


October 31, 2007
12:00 noon – 5:00 PM

Medicare, Medicaid, Healthwave, BC/BS. All Others -$20 cash or check


Ellsworth County Health Department
November 2, 2007 1:00pm – 5:00pm
November 8, 2007 1:00pm – 5:00pm
November 16, 2007 1:00pm – 5:00pm
November 19, 2007 8:30am – 12:00noon

Wilson Senior Center
November 7, 2007 10:00am – 11:30am

Holyrood Senior Center
November 7, 2007 1:30pm – 2:30pm

Ellsworth Senior Center
November 9, 2007 10:30am – 12:00noon

First Bank Kanopolis
November 2, 2007 8:30am – 10:30am


Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 7:34 am

Many of you have told me that you read my blog, but I couldn’t tell because everyone from here who logged in was shown to be from Hays or elsewhere. The only exceptions were the hospital and school. Friends tuning in from USD #327 were from Ozawki. Go figger.   My friend Jesse ’s ISP indicates he’s in Victoria TX. The long and short of it, I don’t know who any of the people are who log into my blog except for my granddaughter, Jesse and a friend in Wakeeney. I haven’t a clue as to whom all those ISP’s belong to and  I can’t tell where anyone else actually is situated.

In the last few days a lot of changes have occurred indicating that people may actually be shown by the location where they are actually logging in. It makes sense it should be that way.  The school folks are shown as “USD #327″ instead of Ozawki and the eaglecom folks from Ellsworth are now shown as being from Ellsworth, Holyrood, Lincoln, etc. I still don’t know who any of you are, but I thank you for being here.

As a reminder, you are free to comment any time.

Isn’t anyone going to come and get Mrs. Hoya and take her home? I really don’t know what to do with the lovely lady and one of these nights, when the temperature drops, she’s going to give up the fight. I also have a huge cut-leaf philodendron that some might want. It’s also in a big Mexican pot and was repotted recently by my friend Caleb.

The fine print on most things elude me. Yesterday I discovered I could watch free movies from Netflix on my computer. I have the minimum Netflix subscription that has been reduced to $8.00 something a month. That entitles me to about 8 hours of free movies on my computer. I started with a foreign film from India that was very old. I knew I wouldn’t last through it so I picked a documentary. It was so-so, but some of the movies are fine and I’ll pick one now and then when the notion strikes me.

I moved more wall “stuff” to the back room today…the one that used to hold the now Kepka hot tub. Fortunately, there is room there for a lot of family artifacts I need to sort through…Brit’s gallant effort at bull fighting, his awards from the Cherokee Nation and banking establishments. They accumulated over the years and meant something back then. Now…well, they just are there. I hate to throw them away, but no one else would have any interest in them. I’ll give Brit’s State Bank Commissioner’s certificate that is nicely framed to Drew. He’ll like having that from his grandpa. I’ll keep Brit’s great-grandfather’s Kansas State Medical License, for Tyler. There is still a roomful of stuff.

When the Kohls “boys”, as they were boys 30 years ago, built this house, they did one heck of a job on it. It’s rare not to have some settling and cracks, but we have had next to none. Their concrete work was excellent. The house has enormous flinch plates, 2 x 12 joists throughout and and 2 x6 studs inside and out. With all the angles, it’s as solid as a rock. While inside, we never know when the wind is blowing or from what direction as it just wraps around the house.

Speaking of building, the Kohls men and all….reminded me that Ken and Alice Robson’s two sons are doing extensive stone work on the house of friends of ours. They are excellent craftsmen…stone masons…and their beautiful work will be around for a long time for others to enjoy. I just found them and their exceptional craftsmanship a renewal of hope for the building industry.

Time to get to work. Tommy Zouzas brought us okra so we’ll have that for lunch. It is a favorite of Dane’s and mine. We’ll also have one of Caleb’s winter squashes baked and topped with Splenda brown sugar and butter that Brit also likes…and the last of the cucs, onions and tomatoes in balsamic vinegar dressing. I’ll fix some lean meat of some kind on the side.

Thanks for tuning in.



Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:16 pm

A soup supper will be held preceding the EHS and Sacred Heart football game October 25th from 5 TO 7 p.m. at the Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Homemade soups, pies and ice cream will be served for a free will donation.

For further information, call 785-472-4045.



Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 10:24 am

Tuesday there will be a Heritage Trust Fund Workshop held in conjunction with a Tax Credit Workshop. It will be held in the Underground below the Ellsworth Antique Mall, an interesting and fun place to talk about Ellsworth’s history.

The Heritage Trust Fund Grant Workshop will be from 9:30 to noon and the Basics of Tax Credits for historic preservation will start at 1:00 with a question and answer session to follow.

Please help us to spread the word on these workshops as we would love to have a great local turnout. Thanks for your help in advance.

Call Ellsworth City Administrator, Jonathan Mitchell, for details. 785.472.5566



Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 4:30 pm

Here’s where you want to go to see Jeff Cooper’s photographs of the three-day Great American Cattle Drive. You’ll love the journey.


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 4:22 pm

Is it just Brit or do other people experience someone lifting their handicapped parking permits?

I insisted he get one since he has difficulty walking distances…and there is some occasional distance walking for him in Salina. It helps him get through the day when he’s going to the doctor and running errands in Salina. He doesn’t drive out of town to any other place.

He lost the first one a couple months ago and got a replacement for it. He’s never used the replacement but it disappeared in recent days. He keeps the card on his console between the seats so someone just opens the door and rips it off.

I guess the lesson to be learned is that someone here in Ellsworth is taking them. Maybe it’s the same person who ran into the back of his truck and didn’t tell him. He only goes to a few places here in town where he isn’t within watching distance of his vehicle. I guess he’s going to have to start locking up or taking his toothy, smiley dog, Ringo, every place is goes. Pity.


Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends, Ellsworth, Tyler Britton USAF — Peg Britton @ 1:01 pm

Out of habit I drove to the farmers’ market to see if Caleb might show with the last of his summer harvest. Alas, nada. Rich and Bev brought us some of their last garden produce and to me it’s the best of the season even though it’s usually not the prettiest. I prefer the last pickings as I think the tomatoes and red bell peppers are distinctly sweeter and more flavorful. I have one more tomato to eat over the kitchen sink, with a shaker of course Kosher salt, and there will not be another until next summer. Locally produced vine-ripened tomatoes, to me, are the most perfect food and my favorite.

To me, the best stop for coffee is the Ellsworth Antique Mall so I pulled in there for a little de-caf (doctor’s orders) and a visit with Mark and Josie. Everyone who participated and enjoyed the Great American Cattle Drive owes Mark and Josie Roehrman a huge pat on the back for a job well done. They didn’t do it all, but they had their hands on everything to see that it all coordinated and came off as planned. They did a tremendous job to make it a most successful weekend.

Mark and Josie said the reports coming in from the Great American Cattle Drive and associated activities have been very positive. Everything was considered a huge success. I was particularly pleased the beer sales at the social pavilion caused no difficulty at all. I hung around there late Saturday night and Mark was there watching the activity until it closed just so he could see what anyone else might be observing. All the conversation and warnings about it being a potential problem and the end of the good life in Ellsworth were highly exaggerated. It was a non-issue. It was a one day birthday party for Ellsworth and those who wanted to celebrate had the opportunity to do so. No one was out of line.

Ann Deming called with the EHS score last night so I could post it in a timely manner. My cell phone didn’t ring…or something…so I didn’t get the score posted until today. Sorry.

Kansas is leading the Cats 21 to 14. Then 21 – 17 at the end of the third. Kansas is 5 and 0 after winning this game 30 - 24. This was the 105th meeting of these two teams. Dane wishes he could be there. He loved going to the K-State games.

The Air Force is doing some new advertising that is interesting. You can see the videos at “Do Something Amazing”. It concentrates on the various career opportunities that are available, mostly those dealing with flying and support services. The more I learn about the new Air Force, the more confident I’ve become in Tyler’s early decision to enlist. He loves it!

Brit and I, along with a lot of help from Ally, have decided we’d like to spend our remaining years clomping around on hickory plank floors on the main level of our house. We should have done it years ago, but I never gave it much thought. We finally reached a point in maintaining our house in good shape that we had to do something. I’ll love it when it’s finished, but getting there is going to be challenging.

Marian Jones was running Olympic times and was an exceptional athlete when she was in high school. Why would she cheat when she didn’t have to? She lived with those lies for eight years…what will she tell her children?

Back to work. Thanks for tuning in.


Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 10:40 am



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 7:33 pm

The Varsity Boys Cross Country Team took first place at their home meet held at the Ellsworth golf course yesterday. Other teams participating included Abilene, Victoria, Hesston, Sylvan Grove, Beloit, Smokey Valley and Lincoln. EHS team members are: Kristofer Bailey, Derek Jensen, Josh Rankin, James Winston, Josh Hawks, Talon Rice, Billy Canaan, Matt McCasland, Nick Andreson, Trevor Lang, Mason May, Zach Olson, Kevin Rhamy, Weston Wilson and Levi Frees.

The girls took 4th in the competition. Their team members are: Gracie Orozco, Tasha Svaty, Elizabeth Kepka, Silje Bakken (exchange student), Whitney Steinike, Kara Svaty, Jordann Bell, Ashley Habiger. Team managers are Candice Bowie and Lucas Ranker. Coaches are Ron Davis, Sr. and Eric Coonrod.

Jake Svaty is going to trap our raccoons. GIVE THREE CHEERS FOR JAKE. He arrived this evening with a friendly trap large enough to catch a heffalump. When the herd of raccoons have a new happy home, I’ll get a good night’s sleep.

We’ve had mixed reviews on Dane’s foot….from two broken bones, a lot of osteoporosis and sprained ankle. He’s not going to be walking on it, so it’s recommended that he wear his protective boot for a few weeks and let it mend itself.

Todd was blasted with a laser today that seems to have disintegrated his kidney boulder. It was the size of his little finger down to the knuckle. Some people have multiple kidney stones and he’s one who has had more than his share of them.

Ally and I spent the entire day doing what I detest the most…shopping. The experience wasn’t too bad as she’s such a big help and fun to be with. We’re looking for hardwood flooring…real hardwood…and finally found the Canadian hickory we like in Homerwood. We ruled out the engineered hardwood floors even though they are more highly recommended than solid wood. We’ll take our chances with buckling and shrinkage…and just stumble over the bumps or fall through the cracks, if they occur. That’s the direction we’re heading so the flooring in this house should last as long as the house which is rock solid.

Brit mowed and raked leaves today with an attachment on his mower. He’s pooped.

I’d hoped to go to Salina tonight for a movie and dinner…just to unwind, but my timing was way off so that didn’t happen.

Next Tuesday there is going to be a Heritage Trust Fund Workshop held in conjunction with a Tax Credit Workshop. It will be held in the Underground, so that will make it interesting and fun. I’ll let you know more about it later…as a reminder. The Kansas State Historical Society is coming to Ellsworth to put on these workshops. It would be great to have a large local turnout so mark your calendars and save Tuesday for “learning day”. If you want to know more, give Jonathan Mitchell a call.

Time to wind down. Thanks for tuning in.


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 6:08 pm

When John Thaemert isn’t sporting a suit and sitting behind his desk at the Citizens State Bank & Trust Co. in Ellsworth, Kan., he’s wearing jeans and working on his wheat farm a few miles down the road near Sylvan Grove.

For the rest of the story from, click here.



Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 7:22 pm

The raccoons are back in full force. There were at least three of those big puppies on our deck and roof last night cavorting around to the extent there wasn’t any way for me to sleep. They awakened me from a sound sleep at 1:30 and kept at it despite my efforts to get them to leave. I hope fish and game will come to my rescue.

The mess is getting deeper and deeper around here with painting and cleaning up after the mess. I have so much stuff to move, no place to put it…and no energy to carry all the heavy books and “stuff”. I’m thinking about getting a burn permit and setting fire to half of it. (Not really!)

In recent days I’ve learned more about engineered flooring and solid hardwood flooring than I hoped to know. It’s “flooring”. Laminate and carpeting are “floor coverings”. Laminate is a “picture” of flooring glued on a backing. I didn’t know it but when some people move they take their flooring with them. That’s why they don’t glue it down.

Everyone in the business recommends engineered flooring over solid hardwood, for several reasons. I still like solid hickory but the problem with solid wood is that it tends to warp or buckle with changes in the humidity. So they say. I just know we need new flooring which I’d prefer to floor covering. The basement will get floor covering. It’s not anything I really want…but after 30 years, we need to make some changes.

Dane’s foot rest fell off his chair yesterday morning and his foot fell under his electric wheel chair. Then he proceeded to drag his his foot under his chair for 50 feet, so it was reported, and he has a couple of broken bones to contend with. He didn’t mention it when he was here yesterday, but by evening it was causing a lot of pain so I was informed.

There weren’t any incidents over the weekend that were cause for concern that I can determine. The social pavilion went well; the beer drinkers there and in the other two drinking establishments didn’t cause any problems. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time and enjoyed all the entertainment that was provided during the weekend. The “Shooting of Sheriff Whitney” and “The Hanging” were well attended. There was something for everyone. It was a huge success.

Time to find my feathers and hope for a quiet night. Thanks for stopping by.



Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:43 pm


Photo by Peg


Filed under: family, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:27 pm


Photo by Ally Britton…her brother and nephew can’t decide where to sit.


Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:20 pm


Photo by Ally Britton…Mark Huseman on right. Herd managers on left.
The Hutchinson News featured a story about the cattle drive. You can read it here.

There was nary a word about the cattle drive in the Salina Journal today even though the population of Ellsworth was at least 6 -8 times greater than usual yesterday. you’d think that would warrant a little attention.

Ellsworth County residents dump a lot of money in Salina. If it were not for all the satellite towns around Salina that feed their economy, Salina wouldn’t begin to be the city it is. I’ve often wondered what the doctors, hospital, retail store owners, etc. in Salina would think if everyone within 100 miles would boycott Salina for two weeks. I think they sometimes fail to consider our contributions to their well-being.


Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:12 pm


Photo by Ally Britton


Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:04 pm


Photo by Ally Britton


Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 11:38 am


Photo by Ally Britton

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