Hazel’s 95th birthday party pictures…
Tyler and and his Aunt Ally…
Tyler and his proud mom, Karen…
Moi, Ally and Hazel…
Hazel Beggs and I, just hangin’ out…
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Hazel’s 95th birthday party pictures…
Tyler and and his Aunt Ally…
Tyler and his proud mom, Karen…
Moi, Ally and Hazel…
Hazel Beggs and I, just hangin’ out…
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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.
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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.
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Roy P. Britton, Army Air Corps corporal WWII radar observer with grandson, Tyler J. Britton, now a tech sergeant/respiratory therapist in the US Air Force. Missing is a picture of my brother, Bruce H. Baker, a captain and fighter pilot in the US Air Force and my father, 1st Lt. US Army Bruce H. Baker, WWI.
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
My grandson, Tyler, does a lot of traveling and, from time to time, he asks me to tell him where I’ve been, or about one of my favorite destinations. That’s hard as every trip had it special highlights.
There are many places in the US I haven’t seen, but I’ve also had the opportunity to see and visit many places, some many times. The only two states I haven’t visited are Rhode Island and Delaware.
I thought it might be convenient for Tyler, and interesting for me if I could list the places outside the US where Brit and I, Ally and I, Dane, Mackenzie and I or I alone, have visited…not just passed through on the way to some place else. The journey brought me back many memories.
Brit and I went to Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Taxco and Aculpulco on our honeymoon. We also drove to Mexico randomly just because we loved it so much. One trip was to Tampico to meet Vera and Reuben Sparks. We went to Aculpulco again with Karma and Paul Aylward and stayed at Tres Vidas, which may have been dissolved by the salty ocean water. It was a magnificent place.
We also made four trips to Hawaii which were wonderful, but they don’t count in this list.
Brit was the People-to-People leader for a group of Kansas bankers we took to China for an extended visit. We took numerous tours with other groups…and by ourselves. Many were trips that Dane arranged.
Ally and I drove 7,000 miles during our trip to visit Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. We ate only at locally owned restaurants and slept in locally owned motels/B & B’s. Ally played golf with a group of guys we met over a sack of garlic we happened to have and that they desperately needed. No fast food/franchise patronizing. We stayed in Baddeck for a week or so and loved Lunenburg where she took the helm of a large sailing vessel and was invited by the captain to stay and sail for him. She’s that good. I love Nova Scotia.
Ally and I also took a 17 day trip through the Panama Canal on the Norwegian Wind and racked up some wonderful memories. Another time we spent 10 days in Cancun where she spend her time cave diving and I luxuriated at the Grand Mayan Resort.
Another memorable trip was one that Mackenzie and I took to visit Dane in Hungary when he was there working for the Eisenhower Foundation assisting Hungary to return to a democratic government. That was a wonderful trip and holds special memories not only of Hungary, but other countries as well. . Mackenzie lost a tooth while we were there so we launched it in to the Danube and figured some day it would be inside a big fish in the Black Sea.
I didn’t list a family cruise we took in the Caribbean or the bucket trip the family took with Brit before he died. Of course, we didn’t venture out of the US for that.
Brit and I had three trips to London/England and I went another time to visit my friends, Ann Harrison, and John and Geoff Spearman (Ally and I met them on the Panama Canal trip). I remember one flight to from New York to London where we were served 7 full meals before we landed in London and we didn’t go to bed until our return flight home two days later. We were young then.
I don’t have my passports with me which would give me a better idea of what I may have missed, but for all practical purposes, this list will cover most of my travel destinations. I’ve always had an itch to travel…Dane, Todd, Mackenzie, Tyler, Drew and Ally all have the same gene. Before he’s finished, Tyler will put my list to shame. He’s already way ahead of most 26 year old travelers who have to do it on their own.
My Travel To Non-US Destinations (more than just passing through):
San Blas Islands
New Zealand, Rotorua
New Zealand, Queenstown
New Zealand, Christ Church
Indonesia, Jakarta, Jawa Barat
French Polynesia, BoraBora
Japan, Tokyo x2
Malaysia, Jahore Bahru
Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Canada, Lake Louise
Canada, Medicine Hat
Canada, Quebec City x2
Canada, Nova Scotia, Kentville
Canada, Nova Scotia, Baddeck, Cape Breton Island
Canada, New Brunswick
Canada, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Mexico, Puerto Vallarta
Mexico, Mexico City
Mexico, Tres Vidas (where is it?)
Mexico, San Angel ?
England, London x3
England, Southern England Petworth and Pulborough
England , Stanley, County Durham
The end. My traveling days are over.
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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.
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What have I been doing?, you asked. It boils down to doing a bit of this and that everyday with no real demands on my time or brain.
Well, we have the usual new people who move into apartments that we have to meet and become acquainted with. As with any such migration, there are those that we enjoy and have more in common with than others. But they are all nice folk and it’s good to have their company.
We’re still down to one elevator which has its downside although we work around it. They haven’t even started working on the malfunctioning one so I don’t know when in the near future it will be operational. I can’t imagine what would happen if the only good elevator shot craps, as it’s been on the fritz from time to time. I could manage to walk one flight of stairs once a day, I think….not really sure how that would be….but there are those living on the 6th floor and that is not an option for them. None is young, and while some are far more physically able than others, it would pose a real nightmare.
I sat outside for a while tonight and visited with Jason and Nellie who always sit quietly side by side holding hands. They are in their late 80s and have been married a very long time. Bob and Anita were there too…they weren’t holding hands but rather engaged in a lively conversation.
I loved The Secret Lives of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and just finished “The Invention of Wings,” her newest novel that was inspired by the lives of abolitionist Sarah Grimké and her young slave. The setting is in Charleston so I passed it on to my friend, Doris, as I think she would like it. Her daughter lives in Charleston so we talk about that area of the country from time to time over lunch.
I’ve made a slight den in The Little Friend by Donna Tart, author of one of my all-time favorite books, The Goldfinch. In this book, “a nine-year-old boy is found hanging from the branch of a black tupelo tree in his parents’ garden. The sudden, unsolved act of violence - the inexplicable murder of the universally adored young son - becomes the unreferred-to catastrophe which sends a whole extended Baptist family of grandmothers and great-aunts into displacement and grief.”
Standing by, is Tartt’s other book The Secret History and I may jump to it. I think as much as I love Tartt’s style and order of words in spinning her tales, I’m getting a little weary of young boys dying.
So, while trying to keep up with reading, I also have to wander around Netflix to find the next exciting adventure I want to watch. My grand kids, and several younger friends, have long talked about how much they liked Breaking Bad. When the series first started, I watched a couple of episodes and discounted it as another drug deal gone wrong. But, a couple of my friends were over the other day and we talked about it again and since they were so hung up on it, I decided to give it another try. Voila! I liked it and watched all five seasons of 16 episodes each back to back on Netflix. That’s what I did last week. I don’t like watching weekly episodes on TV…at all…and much prefer taking the whole series in one swipe.
They give free manicures here to anyone who wants one every month. I’ve never gone to get one and I doubt there is anyone who needs one more than I. I did take about a dozen pair of reading glasses to Stacy Munson last week for her repair and cleaning. She works at WalMart and once a month they provide eye glass service. It’s very nice.
Sandwiched in with all of that was my 86th birthday which was filled with friends, phone calls, emails and greeting cards to last me forever. It was quiet and very enjoyable. My friend Lynn took me to Longhorn’s for a great steak dinner and my kids did the same the next night. They make great “from scratch” margaritas. It was a good event becoming a year older.
My grandson, Tyler, was here for about 24 hours to attend a friend’s wedding reception. We had a good visit. He never gets to spend much time in Kansas, but that’s okay. He’s doing exemplary work elsewhere. If you scroll down from this entry, you will find pictures of him and his friends on their latest trip to Peru. He has more exciting trips planned for this fall.
This concludes the end of the first year my granddaughter has worked as a developer at Asynchrony in St. Louis. I’m very proud of her. She made a bold move from Dallas, a job and a lot of friends to move to St. Louis a few years ago…where she didn’t know anyone. She’s done very well. Now, I can only hope she works her way west. Wouldn’t it be nice if all my grandkids lived in the Denver/Boulder area? I think so.
And, my grandson Drew, and his constant companion Sarge, just climbed three more peaks in Colorado last weekend. This picture was taken atop Redcloud. He must be close to reaching his goal of climbing all the 14,000 footers in Co. I’m so proud of all my grandchildren.
If you have some spare time when you are in Salina, I’d love to have you stop by to visit and see the Palace. It’s a good place to be.
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Grandson Tyler and his roommates, Chris and Bret, left today from Cincinnati for 11 wondrous days hiking the Inca trails in Peru and , oh…climbing Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountains. That’s quite an undertaking for flatlanders.
Arrived Plaza de Armas Cuzco - Perú, June 12, 2014
“I’m not a hobbit. But the people here are.”
Getting acclimatized…alpaca and guinea pig and chicken oh my!
Karen stopped by last night and we ran a couple of errands then went to Freddie’s for a double steak cheeseburger and a small Hawaiian sundae with fudge sauce. That’s what I had. It’s nice to get out and about. Previous to moving here, the last thing I ever ordered when we went out to eat was beef. Now that good beef is a scarce item on our menus, I look forward to a burger or steak when the occasion arises. I’ve seen enough chicken to last me a life time, but mine isn’t over yet so I know there will be more chicken in my life and some of it will be dry and sometimes inedible. Next week a group of us are scheduled to go to Abilene to eat at Joe Snuffy’s, a place made famous for their hamburgers, sirloin steak and homemade cinnamon rolls. Things get canceled around here often so it’s a wait and see what develops.
They do have issues with the food here, and consistency. I really can’t put my finger on the reason for it, but I have my eyes open. Most of us in independent living choose the noon meal as our one meal a day that comes with our plan. It’s the most extensive, but even those choices have narrowed. It’s the one opportunity during the day that we all get together and engage in social intercourse. It’s the one thing we all look forward to. What we have to eat and how it is prepared and presented in a large part determines on how satisfied or restless fellow inmates are.
The best news I have to relate is that my Air Force grandson will be stateside in a couple of weeks following his third deployment He has given years of his life to the military to protect our freedom. Enough is enough.
We’ve had some different events lately: a beer tasting party, a flute ensemble performance, a Founders Day celebration, a gathering to honor our volunteers, a cowboy serenade, Wii bowling, and Art is Ageless display. I don’t attend everything, but I do try to make all those things that interest me…and are good for me, like exercise classes.
I’ve been sitting outside to read my kindle. The wind is blowing too hard to read a book with pages to turn.
I always enjoy meeting families of my neighbors. My friend, Ivy, had one of her daughters visiting today. I haven’t seen her since she was about 5, so it was very good to see her again. She even endured “Trivia” with us today. That is always a funny experience.
I don’t have any plans for the weekend. Maybe the wind will blow in something tomorrow.
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One of my constant nightmares is gone for the first time in about six years. Thanks to Affordable Health Care, every member of my family has health insurance.
Over the weekend a delicious “brunch of the decade” at Lynn’s house, in honor of her mother’s birthday, was my highlight of the week. We started out with a generous supply of mimosas which brought on smiles of good things to follow…a fresh vegetable frittata, blueberry and peach French toast, two kinds of muffins…one savory and the other filled with English blood orange marmalade… and two kinds of plump link sausages, a gorgeous bowl of mixed fresh fruit….and special hot tea. Leftovers followed me home and I had the same thing for dinner. It was wonderful.
Another highlight came yesterday when my youngest grandson surprised me with a call from Germany where he had just delivered a CCAT patient from Afghanistan. It was a turn-around flight so he didn’t have much time on the ground, but we did have time for a short exchange. Those are very precious moments. He’ll be stateside, we think, in May.
I also had nice visits with my granddaughter in St. Louis and my sister-in-law in Denver. A good friend who lives back and beyond WaKeeney also called in with the news of the day. I love her calls. In other pasttimes, I finished the Jeffrey Archer book that followed his “trilogy”. The next book won’t be found at better book stores everywhere until next year. Now I’m reading the Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Tyler just finished reading “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story”. I’ll put it on my “to read” list as I enjoy reading what my grandkids read. They are way ahead of me.
Tomorrow I’m “goin’ home” to Ellsworth to see for the first time my new great-grandbaby, Emma. My friend, Lynn, and I are making an afternoon trip west to include some Mexican food in Ellsworth and visiting the rels. It should be a wonderful day.
There are lots of things going on today so I need to move on to sittercise class then lunch and exposure to art.
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Most of my friends here are not into technology. They don’t want a computer even though they have an idea of the world that would open to them if they had one. I just can’t imagine my life without a computer and thanks to my granddaughter, Mackenzie, I can rest assured she’ll keep me provided with one that will probe the universe. I love this one that she got for me…another Dell with all the bells and whistles. If I go to a Mac, I will have to find a new granddaughter and I’m not about to do that.
Years ago I told her I was buying my last computer and that I’d take it with me when “they” put me in the nursing home. It would have racing stripes. I don’t know how many computers she’s bought for me since then, but I would guess 5 or 6. I’m in the “nursing home” now with a room equipped with all the latest technological gadgets at my fingertips. There are wires strung around like you see pictured in Indian (spot Indian) call centers…a mass of wires of all shapes and sizes with surge protectors all cluttering the floor. The maintenance guys here just walk in and smile. They know there is nothing they can do about it. They put in a new generator and I think it was just for me.
>>>>>>>those wires lead to my apartment…
My grandson called me from Afghanistan this morning. Well, he Skyped me which is even better as I got to see him fit, healthy and smiling. I could see the hairs on his neck and his beautiful smile. We talked as if he were in the same room together. I find that just incredible…after all, I’m 84 and this wasn’t possible even a few years ago. If some of my friends here had persevered, they too could be having the same kinds of conversations with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren who live far away. It isn’t fun getting old because the world passes you buy before you know what’s happening. It’s a struggle to keep up with friends and family….not entirely possible, but with some effort, it can makes a difference if you have a computer and long-distance service…and use them.
I don’t get to see some of my friends as often as I would like, but thanks to Cox services, I can talk with my kids, grandkids, Sandra, Joyce, Susie,Betty, Shirley, Nancy and other friends as often as I like. Yea for more technology.
Tomorrow I’m getting my hair cut. Marsha has a shop on the first floor so it’s convenient. She’s good and charges $16.00. I don’t have to get in my car and go any place and I love her service. Her son works at the Correctional Facility in Ellsworth so we always have a lot to talk about.
Ally came today and we had lunch…a burger at Bogey’s. I don’t go there often but I’ve decided I don’t like their shakes. I liked the ones Melinda Svaty liked, but they can’t seem to make it like that anymore. I do like their sugar free cherry limeades. We ran into the Tomans and Connie and Mark Martin, which was nice. Ally ran some errands for me and best of all…she hauled my trash to the dumpster. I don’t know how I accumulate so much refuse and it’s a pain for me to carry down the hall. I really do appreciate it when she or Todd does it for me.
Life is good in the Palace. Thanks for tuning in…
I’m glad I moved, otherwise, I would have been kept awake all night with the snow plow’s endless, steady, scraping-screeching noises in the parking lot which was right below my bedroom windows. Someone who lives on “that side” said they started clearing the snow about 3 a.m.
I don’t miss that sound at all. The only “slight” sound I hear is that of of church music emanating from Maybelle’s apartment next door on Sunday morning. That’s okay as Spotify is supplying me with some wonderful Laura Fygi music that drowns out the organ music. The fact that Laura sings in French makes it even better. When they built this complex they really gave serious thought to sound insulation which is good for those of us who still retain most of our hearing ability.
It appears from all the reports that Salina got about 12 inches of snow last night. I’d guess that to be about right. We were dumped on. I just visited with Pete in the laundry room and he said there was crew enough to serve breakfast this morning so it wasn’t a cornflakes meal. Many of the people who work here live elsewhere and I’m sure many couldn’t make it to work.
If no one manages to get to work, that’s okay with me. I have a good supply of grapefruit and gorgeous Oregon pears. Todd also delivered Christmas treats that he and Karen make every year….beautiful hand-dipped chocolates, white chocolate pretzels, spicy hot pretzels, party mix, caramel corn….yummmm.
Mackenzie’s gift of Harry and David Riviera pears is a special treat. Dane ordered them every year and she’s continuing with the tradition. And, I have a freezer full of ready to go items and my pantry is also well-stocked. The extra large Jiff crunchy peanut butter jar is almost full. I’m good for the winter.
Mackenzie is also continuing the Christmas tree tradition to show off the many tree ornaments she and her dad collected on their many travels. She also has many from the tree Brit and I had over the years. Todd and Karen have a number of them too…as do the grandsons.
Today is laundry day for me. We have a sign up sheet to reserve the machines. When I arrived no one was doing their laundry on Sunday so I picked it. Now everyone is joining me laboring on Sunday. I miss my nice washer and drier I had…front loader water savers. These aren’t so nice, but get me by.
I chatted on line with my grandson who is in Qatar … waiting. It doesn’t look like he’ll be spending Christmas with his friends away from home and I wish that weren’t so. He has learned well the lesson of life in knowing what is important and what isn’t. He’s missed very much.
Time to start another load and get back to my book.
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I sat outside this evening and visited with Anita and Bob Thackery. It’s the first time I’ve had an opportunity to visit with just the two of them. Bob is retired from the Air Force where he was a flight tower controller. He was in the Air Force for 30 years and has been retired for 30 years. Anita is from Lindsborg and lived in base housing with other waiting wives when he was overseas on one tour. They have traveled extensively and it was interesting to visit with them. I’ll have to introduce Tyler to them when he comes to visit as they were interested in his assignment in Cincinnati and upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
We had great crispy fried chicken today that Lynn prepared. I told her so and she’s going to use her new recipe in the future. Lynn was married to Jerry Paden years ago and it has been nice to see her again here. She’s the best cook they have, in my opinion. Finding meals that please people here is really difficult. Most of the ones I know are appreciative that they don’t have to cook and do dishes any more and are generally pleased with what is put in front of them. There are those you couldn’t please under any circumstances, but fortunately for the rest of us, they are few in number.
People have been flocking to the Rolling Hills Wildlife Center to see the penguins. I’ll get a report tomorrow from Margie who went today. It was a beautiful day to be outside. They are taking a bus load of inmates there for a tour and a meal this week before the penguins leave. No one can tell me where they are going….just leaving. Maybe they are on loan from another zoo. There is a lot of “vagueness” with life around here.
Since I’ve moved into my new apartment on second floor I’ve found everything that was temporarily misplaced except for my camera charger and extra battery. They are still hiding someplace….but I know they are here. I moved a mass of cables and wires, but they aren’t with them. Once they are located, I hope to post photos of my new digs and some of the activities we have going on around here. I wish I’d had my camera for the wrinkle box concert.
I’m still going to the 10:00 am sittercise exercises on a daily basis. It’s only for half an hour but it’s helping….slowly. I’m getting stronger and more able to do some things. That along with yoga twice a week is proving to be beneficial. I got a good report from my cardiologist…my pig heart valve and pace maker are working perfectly so I’ll keep doing what I have been doing since early April. I still can’t walk without my walker, but I can contend with that and hope eventually I can put it aside.
Having my computer in my bedroom has its rewards…I can have my music playing softly all night long. I enjoy it so much and it doesn’t bother anyone. These walls are 18″ thick and almost sound proof. I’m about the only one in this wing who can hear anyway. Everyone lip reads and wears hearing aids so I’m good to go with my music. Tonight I’ll listen to Jane Monheit…quiet jazz.
I love living here and can’t think of a place I’d rather be.
Thanks for tuning in…
It’s difficult for me to keep up with my blog when so much is going on around here. Today Karen came by early to help “settle me in” my new apartment. The big move went well, thanks to family and friends, but stuff and things needed to be rearranged and dispersed. We tossed a few items, but most things were intended for a place here and now they have found their proper niche.
Karen and Todd picked out a wonderful quilt for my bed that Karen delivered today. I just love it and it fits to the floor the way I could only hope that it would. A dust ruffle wouldn’t work so this is perfect. It’s light weight so I can manage it…and it lends a feminine touch to my brass bed and the room. Once I get the LeRoy Neiman Delecroix Tiger hung above my desk, that is on loan from Tyler, my room will it will be just the way I want it…desks, computer, MUSIC, dressers, clothes, and the most comfortable bed in the world, all next to but apart from my living room.
We got rid of all the boxes and arranged my spare computer table that is now a desk for all desk stuff. Marian Adrian, the previous resident in this apartment, left the table and a chair for me. It’s perfect for all my desk gadgetry, stationery, cards, note papers, scratch paper and odds and ends. Lynn gave me her old computer table that is too small for my computer but is perfect as a med dispensing table. It is perfect for that and very convenient. With it, I’m not inclined to be tardy taking my meds.
Ann and Terry Headrick stopped by yesterday for a chat and to take a peek at my digs. They have several shops with old and new merchandise scattered around Salina and Abilene so they are on the alert for a living room chair for me. And, I have friends here who are on the lookout for a chair or two and a like-new dining room table that is slightly larger than the one I now have. That should round out my furnishing for #218. My friends have been most helpful with very good suggestions.
And…my neighbors, the same above mentioned friends, have stopped by to watch the progress…Hazel, Mabelle, Amy, Margie, Dorothy and Joy. I have great neighbors. Mabelle just came by to tell me how much she likes my apartment…and my art work…but added, “I don’t understand it at all…but I like it”.
Karen and I went out for lunch. I was hungry for “burnt ends” so we went to the Hickory Hut, which has great barbecue. Last night Kim and I went to Jalisco’s Mexican restaurant, which is also good. I like their combination plates, particularly #21 which is a tamale, 2 chile Rellenos and a guacamole tostada. I always bring some home for the next day, which comes in handy. This time of year I have no shortage of things to fix for my dinner…good tomatoes, little cucumbers, onions, peaches, pears and you can’t beat the roasted chickens from Sam’s for flavor and price.
Grandson Tyler is visiting friends in CA and is driving the coastal highway from Sacramento south. Drew is visiting Ally in Vail right now. She’s fixing him a steak for dinner…after a swim. Todd is attending the K-State football game. Karen is off to KC and a very special baby shower tomorrow. Everyone is busy, and happily so.
It looks like granddaughter Mackenzie and Ty are attending a gathering of Asychrony employees at the City Museum in St. Louis.
I’m reading Hitch 22 and it’s due back to the library next week so I have to get busy and finish it. It’s one I can’t renew so I better get to it. For anyone who likes the writings of Christopher Hitchens, I highly recommend it. It’s not an easy read but very good and worth the effort.
Thanks for tuning in…
Grandson, Drew Britton, in green shirt with his constant companion, Sarge, and his hiking buddies atop one of the tallest peaks in the US. I’m thinking Elbert. With Allen Reid, Andrew Scallon, and Ben Duvall.
Grandson Tyler Britton, second from left, working on a Habitat for Humanity house in New Orleans…with Cincinnati crew members Josh Stevens, Bret Kolkebeck and Jensen De Nijs.
This says it all…Todd and his wonderful family….Tyler, Karen and Drew.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TODD…. MAY IT BE A VERY SPECIAL DAY AND MAY ALL YOUR BIRTHDAY WISHES COME TRUE.
My computer bit the dust last Wednesday and left me fearful it was something really serious that would take ages to repair. I called the Geeks who came Thursday to retrieve it. They took it to their geek workshop, called Dell and had a new motherboard installed on Friday. They were unable to deliver it Friday so I suffered the usual withdrawals over the weekend. To distract myself, I read Dan Brown’s new book that was lingering on my end table demanding attention. I absorbed enough Masonic symbology to last a lifetime. I think that includes Dan Brown unless he finds another subject matter to offer readers. So, I’m back in the real world again, one that no one else in this complex understands or enjoys. I’m surrounded by loveable luddites.
Grandson Tyler has been in and out to visit. Wednesday night the family went to the Swedish Crown in Lindsborg for dinner and I can report from all fronts that the food was excellent and the dirty martinis and lingonberry margaritas were top rung. I think the five of us tried everything on the menu and were very happy with all of it. Todd ordered the chicken breast, Ally and Karen had shrimp linguini, Tyler opted for a steak and I had Swedish Pancakes. We sampled all the appetizers and desserts. It was a very pleasant evening overall and I highly recommend their food. The only thing about Kansas restaurants is that you better go early on as they seem to descend into oblivion in short order. It was wonderful to enjoy a rare evening with everyone although we missed Drew, Mackenzie and Ty. It’s not easy to get all their feet under the same table at the same time.
Friday, my two “third cousins” from Lawrence wheeled to the Palace, gathered me up and off we went to Orozco’s in Kanopolis to meet Ally for lunch. That was a special treat. We always enjoy visiting with Boonie and John as they are sharp, funny and very smart. We giggle all the time we are together and that’s a good thing. Collectively we had very funny relatives.
Following a plate of very good Mexican food, I went to stay with Ally and visit Ringo until it was time to join friends for dinner. Ringo is a case. He’s leaner and looks very healthy. He’s better off at the farm with Ally and her three dogs, and you can tell how much he loves being there. Last night Ally said her dogs were in bed with her during the storm, but Ringo opted for the dark closet. Ally had to remove all her shoes from the closet to make room for Ringo. He’s a closet dog during storms. That was the only place in my house to offer shelter from lightning flashing through all those windows. I wonder if August also sleeps in the closet some nights. It’s pretty comfy for a little guy.
Friday night my friend Lynn from here called to see if Ally and I would like to join her, her mom and Jane for dinner at Pretty Boy Floyd’s. I’ve shied away from there since my surgery as I have been almost as certain as one can be that I couldn’t get back up the stairs on my own…and I was right. Greg joined us for dinner and provided a strong arm for me to hang on to mount the stairs. It was a challenge, but it all turned out well. The food was excellent as always, and the company was delightful. If you haven’t yet eaten there, you are in for a real treat when you do. I talked with Karen Larsen, the activities director here, and she said she’s offering a trip for Palace residents to Pretty Boy’s on June 23rd. That will be a good excuse for me to go, too.
They are working on the concrete apron around the entrance of the Palace. While my friends who live on the “west side” (where I’m going to be living eventually) weren’t at all aware of jack hammers at work this morning, I was in the shower, with all my windows shut and the ACs on and I heard the first crack of concrete. I even felt the reverberations from it. My hearing is pretty darn good and that is a rarity in this place. I do need to move to the quiet side of the beyond.
My niece’s son and wife may pop in during the night and crash on my floor. I hope so. He’s experiencing car trouble right now and is running late. He and Heeran have been in India to study yoga and mountain climbing from the masters. They are very experienced at both. Maybe they’ll talk in their sleep so I won’t miss anything. There is also a chance they might be back in July.
Tomorrow we are having Dillon’s fried chicken for lunch. I guess it’s sort of a big deal. I’d rather they’d pick almost anything other than chicken to bring in from the outside as the cooks here do a pretty darn good job on frying chicken. The kind they “sauce” up is so tough sometimes you can hardly eat it, but they can…and have …turned out some very good fried chicken. I don’t know. Maybe the cook left who prepared the fried chicken.
I wrote a blog the day my computer crashed on the crisis situation here (not really!) when you have 100 old people on Lasix (C12H11ClN2O5S, used as a diuretic) and they shut the water off. I had an appointment with Linda Lawrence that day so my eyes saved the day. Others still have homes here which they visited. They are still working on water issues, which is a good thing, and most of us know to store water in the refrig until service is restored. Maybe when they fix everything, they will start working on my apartment …218. They will renovate it from wall to wall…new shower, new carpeting and flooring, new closet doors and trim, new carpeting, paint…the works. I guess they know I’m staying until the bitter end.
Andy from maintenance just wandered through to see if my living room heat pump was leaking. Nope. Seems water is coming from someplace and dripping down on the floor below me.
Tyler should be through here tomorrow on his way back to Cincinnati. Back to work, and back to Afghanistan. He’s been in Boulder where he and Drew ran the Boulder Boulder 10K yesterday. I heard that Drew finished in an hour and seven minutes, which was his first attempt at 10K, and Tyler finished just a few minutes later. Tyler had an altitude adjustment to make. Even in my best days, I could not have done that.
It’s so good to have my computer back.
Thanks for tuning in…
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