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It has been hard to get on my blog since I posted about David Bone and Andrew Child’s accident. There have been hundreds of inquiries for each man, many from this area, but most coming from Texas inquiring about Bone and from various Air Force bases inquiring about Child.  They have found the link to the accident report helpful for ascertaining the correct information surrounding the collision.  It was tragic.

It’s 106 degrees with the heat index of 110 and climbing.   It’s already hotter than the projected high and the hottest part of the day is a couple of hours away.  Tomorrow is supposed to be slightly cooler with a possibility of rain.  How glorious a good rain would be. In other weather related news, wheat prices shot up today.

Daughter Ally is on her way home from Boulder where she spent the weekend with her ‘phew, Drew.  They had a great time together, played a couple rounds of golf at Coal Creek and enjoyed some good food.  I hope the AC in her car holds up coming home as it didn’t the last time she made this trip.  She was whipped from the 102 heat and it showed.  It’s just not good to be outside for long stretches in this heat.

I’m having stew tonight for dinner.  Yeah, yeah, I know….why would I want it in this weather?  Well, I’m tired of eating cold stuff that falls out of the refrigerator and freezer.  Something out of a crock pot sounded good.  I cut into chunks and browned a small roast and have it simmering in the crock pot with onion, garlic and lots of seasonings.  Later I’ll add all the veggies I have from the 3C’s gardens….Claudia, Cathy, and Caleb.  That would include: carrots, potatoes, okra, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes, banana peppers, jalapeno, and onions.  With some crusty bread on the side, it will be good.  A plate of veggies is always a good thing, hot or cold.

Tyler should be heading to Ellsworth one of these days.  He doesn’t know when that will be so we don’t know and can’t plan.  I’ll just get up some morning….or turn around in my chair…and there he’ll be with a big grin on his face.  He loves to surprise me.  It  makes me smile.

Mackenzie has started her second week working as a computer engineering contractor for Rockwell Collins in Richardson.  She loves her job and the people and will soon be living five minutes from her work.  The one-hour commute each way now makes for a long day.  It seems everyone is our family shuffling around where they live…but that’s okay with me.  I still know how to find them.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends, Vahalik, Deli — Peg Britton @ 11:58 am


Frontier was still flying yesterday.  Mackenzie’s flight from Wichita to Dallas stretched from 3:00 to 10:30 p.m. Layovers in Denver aren’t the best.

We stopped at one of the many Gaeddert corn kiosks in Wichita.  The Gaeddert’s plant 120 acres of sweet corn near Buhler and in all the years I’ve purchased it, I’ve never had a bad ear of corn from them.  Here’s what it looked like after I cleaned it this morning.  Each ear was perfect and will be sweet, tender and delicious if history repeats itself.  One of Deneen’s squash is close by.


Ally keeps up her tradition of Sunday morning breakfast with her dad even if their usual choice for breakfast…KCs…was closed due to a death in the family.  Our thoughts are with their family.

Brit’s favorite breakfast is anything that doesn’t include eggs.  Ally fixed sausage gravy on biscuits this morning, hash browns and orange juice, one of his favorites. It was delicious.

Her special at the deli today is 24-hour pot roast for $6.99.  That incudes two sides.  She has roasted veggies, creamed peas and pearl onions, corn and other choices for sides.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: political musings, Vahalik — Peg Britton @ 4:00 pm


Mackenzie and Luke voted and took in the caucus in ultra-conservative Royse City TX. Here’s her report on the events:

So we got to City Hall around 5:30ish I’d say. They had 2 separate lines set up, one for Rep and one for Dem. It was pretty funny because they had obviously set it up to expect longer Dem lines than Rep. And sure enough, there were probably 20-30 of us in line to vote Dem and ZERO, count that - ZERO in line for Rep. IN TEXAS…. in super-duper-barely-passed-beer-and-wine Royse City, Texas.

We had stood in line about 10 minutes when all of a sudden the 2 ladies working the republican “check in” point said very loudly “YAY! A Republican here to vote, you’re the first we’ve had in a long time!” After that a few more trickled in but never enough for a line to form. Meanwhile the Dem line kept getting longer and longer and longer and we were having to wait for booths to open or electronic voting.

I took a glance at the paper ballot holder and it said something like 125 Dems had voted, then glanced at the Rep one on the way out and it was at 118. That doesn’t count and plus all the electronic voting. So I’m sure it was about 50/50 but even that is a huge deal for a little town like Royse City.

The general attitude of people in line was excitement and everyone was chuckling about the lack of republican votes. Lots of “All it takes is Bush to turn a republican into a democrat” etc etc. Luke and I both voted electronically, after we were finished a guy very enthusiastically said “Be sure and come back for the caucus at 7:15!” (you could tell he was a dem).

So we went home and waited. Got back to City Hall round about 7:10ish. Were in line with some of our friends and had to wait quite a while, it was probably 7:40 before we got inside the building. They had to allow anyone that was in line by 7PM vote and then had to gather the ballots and remove them from the building. None of us really had any idea how the caucus was working or why we were allowed to do both - Texas Two Step - all those different gimmick type names were thrown around.

The African American population was probably 50% of all the people there. I don’t know how many people were there but I’d guess at about 100? So once they opened the doors you stood in line and when you got to the front you put your name and address on a piece of paper, wrote which candidate you wished to Caucus for, then had to answer a few interesting questions - Male or Female? Under 35? Gay, Lesbian, or Transsexual? And Race?

Anyway, round about 1/2 through everyone filling out these pieces of paper, they announced how it would “work” - basically each precinct was allowed 15 delegates. So they asked for 15 people willing to be delegates to go to the county level. Basically all our caucusing “votes” would be added up and then figured into percentages - if 60% voted Obama and 40% Clinton then there would be 9 delegates representing Obama and 6 representing Clinton. I didn’t dare ask what happened if it was 50/50, that poor sole who would be cut in half to even it out. Anyway, we didn’t volunteer (enough on our plates) but 2 of our friends did so it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

Everyone was kind of annoyed with having to wait but not a single person was leaving because it meant so much to everyone.

It was a really neat experience and will be a part of history for Texas - we never matter and this one time we actually got to show some blue and make a difference.

Oh, and it was just like yours - had the fire marshal shown up I have no idea what they would have done. And it was a cold night so the standing outside thing was really crappy.

I also heard about a disabled woman who managed to get in her car and have someone drive her to City Hall but there was no way she could get into City Hall (not sure why) and the people in charge of voting brought a ballot out to her so that she could vote. They attested to the fact that she was disabled and accommodated her so that she could participate. She was back at the caucus too - her car was parked right in front of City Hall in the no parking zone but she wanted to make sure her vote could count. So there was certainly the “we’ve got to make a change” spirit that I had hoped for.



Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Ellsworth, Tyler Britton USAF, Vahalik — Peg Britton @ 9:55 am

In a note from Brian Boisvert he says: There will not be a monthly Wilson Business Breakfast in February. Also, the monthly Chamber Board of director’s meeting date has been changed. The date is Wednesday, February 13, 2008 , 5:30 pm at City hall in Wilson.

The weatherman says to expect 8-12 inches of snow today. That could be a spoiler for our plans to attend the Democratic caucus in McPherson this evening.

From a reader in the K.C. area:

I think Obama is going to do surprisingly well here in the Kansas City area. He had over 6000 people at the rally when he was here, and the amazing thing, I’ve been calling Johnson County voters, the majority are Republicans, and they are going to go to the caucus, change their registration at the door, caucus for Obama, and then the Obama campaign is giving voter registration cards when they go out to change their registration back to Republicans. I’ll bet he’ll get more votes in Johnson County than any of the Republican candidates do when they caucus on the 9th. He seems to have amazing cross-over appeal. And I live in Wyandotte County, which has a large African American population. Hillary and Bill (the team - another thing I worry about with her) have always had such support in our black population, but I think the idea of a real minority president, instead of a pretend one like Bill, is just too tempting to pass up.

Mackenzie and Luke Vahalik will be here Thursday for the weekend. It’s their first visit since they were married here in August.

Tyler heard officially that in August he’ll be returning to Lackland Air Force base for a couple of years or until the Air Force reassigns him. He thought he was going to Eglin AFB but that appears not to be the case. He didn’t have a very good opportunity to get acquainted with San Antonio when he was there for basic training so maybe this time around being stationed there will be better. At one time they had the best hospital in the Air Force, but I don’t know now how it is. He continues to do well and loves what he’s doing.


Our tree trimming operation has been concluded, for the time being. Larry Griffith did excellent work for us and I highly recommend him. He has all the equipment to do tree removal and trimming. He’s done a lot of work for us over the years and we’ve found him dependable and reasonable in his charges. He cheerfully does things the way we want it done and he leaves the area neat and tidy.

When you look at the Craft World building from this angle, you realize how big it is. Soon, we’ll be referring to it simply as “Great Plains”.


My friend, Mark Seitz, long time writer, and currently the assistant editor of the Ellsworth County Independent Reporter newspaper, is returning to work at the Ellsworth Correctional Facility as a correctional officer. I’ll miss his quick wit in his column…and his nature photos. He’ll still be “around”. He owes me a batch of armadillo eggs.

For the few people out there who seem to still think gayness is a “phase or choice” (who would ever chose that abuse?), take a look at this photo. It says a lot.


These are exciting times in Kansas. With the involvement and effective efforts of Kansas Equality Coalition, discrimination is on the run and equality is on the march. In 2007 KEC successfully worked to pass a school anti-bullying bill. Members were instrumental in the passage of this important bill by lobbying the legislature during the First Annual Kansas Equality Day. KEC also worked with Governor Sebelius to make an unprecedented Executive Order to ban discrimination in State of Kansas employment based upon sexual orientation and gender identity.



Filed under: Vahalik — Peg Britton @ 6:48 pm

A friend of Mackenzie and Luke from Dallas had this to say on her blog. It is sweet and well-spoken:

This past weekend was the roadtrip to Kansas for Luke & Mackenzie’s wedding. I never realized how boring Oklahoma was, but there’s really nothing to look at as you drive through it accept billboards for churches and their anti-abortion agenda. Kansas isn’t very interesting either, but the “Beef it’s what’s for dinner” billboard next to the area where cows are grazing is quite funny. The wedding was lovely; I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mackenzie in a dress before, but she picked a great one. It was more fun watching the two of them whisper during the ceremony to each other and make faces than listening to the readings–it makes me think that no one else existed at that moment except them, which is fitting.

Brit and I were all dressed up…and having fun. If I knew how to resize this, remove creases and bulges, we might pass for Joan Woodward and Paul Newman….maybe. You can tell we stayed out very late as the sun is rising over Brit’s shoulder. The photo was taken by Linda (Ralph) Kohls.



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