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Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends, Jesse Manning, dogs, Drew Britton, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 6:02 pm

I wish everyday were like today…with lots of people in and out of my house, visiting and having fun.

Eddie Jilka arrived yesterday from Silverton CO a day earlier than expected, but that’s okay.  He always comes to see us when he is in Kansas visiting his mother and other relatives.  Sometimes he stays overnight, as he did last night, and at times he stays weeks which hasn’t happened for a long time. He lived with us for several summers and ran the swimming pool.   This morning we had breakfast at KCs where Ally, Todd and Karen joined us.  He would have been disappointed had he not been able to visit with them.  As he was nearing his car to return to Salina, I asked if he had everything…his computer, and meds specifically. “Yes, yes, yes”, he said…as if he could forget those things.  After he arrived in Salina he realized he didn’t have his computer so he called to say he was heading back to Ellsworth.  Alas.  He almost counts as two visitors.

Ally was in and out during the time she was mowing my yard and spraying weeds.  That’s always very nice.  She also made a laundry run for me and hauled my clothes upstairs.  I barely get by dragging myself up and down the stairs without the addition of something that needs to be hauled from here to there.

Then, as totally anticipated, Jesse Manning popped in for a couple of hours.  It’s always wonderful catching up with him in real person; however, since his parents left Kanopolis that has become more difficult.  We stay connected.  He’s been a good friend.  I was delighted to see him and his new Caddy.  It’s an amazing vehicle and he’s an amazing young man.

Drew and dog Sarge passed through this afternoon, returning to Boulder from K.C.  To make it easier for all of us to talk with Drew whose time was very limited, his parents brought taco pizza to my house where we partook while quizzing the heck out of him as to what he and his high school buddies did in Kansas over the weekend during Tyler Bailey’s bachelor party.  They were sworn to secrecy, he said with a smile.  We didn’t expect to learn much, or really want to.  We did want to see Drew; he’s always so positive and cheerful.  He has a very long drive back to Boulder.

And…to bring a close to the day, Karen misplaced her set of keys.  We suspect they are somewhere in Drew’s car heading toward the mountains.  Ooops.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, dogs — Peg Britton @ 7:41 am

Ringo was missing from noon yesterday until this morning.  It was the first time he pulled an all-nighter.  I was prepared to post a missing dog alert this morning when I spotted him running across the yard from parts unknown.

When he appeared at the door with one of those big toothy grins on his face, I’ll swear there were traces of powdered sugar and Pronto Pups in his whiskers and a little drool of fried butter from the side of his mouth.

Maybe he bummed a ride with friends to the State Fair and spent the night at the Lucky U Motel.  Given the opportunity, why wouldn’t he?   He sure wasn’t home where he was supposed to be.  I was so happy to see him again it didn’t really matter.  He wasn’t going to tell me anyway.

He enjoyed his special home-cooked breakfast of rice, chicken, mixed veggies and dry dog food and is now making slumber sounds and dreaming about his night of freedom.   It would be nice if he’d remember that not everyone will take care of him as I do and he’d stay home.  After all he was homeless for a long time and did a tour at the correctional facility before he came to live with us.

But…Ringo is a strong-willed opportunist, so the two of us just go from day to day with me anguishing during his periodic absences from home and welcoming him and his toothy grins when he returns.

That’s Ringo.  I’m just glad he’s home.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, dogs — Peg Britton @ 3:35 pm


Here’s my faithful companion and watch dog, Ringo.  He’s relaxing here by me waiting for someone to approach from afar…or…keeping note of my whereabouts in case I decide to invite him to go for a ride.


The CSB & T new exterior with the faux door has been completed and is far more attractive than it once was.  The trust department of the bank can be entered from the next building north of the faux door building.  The main building is on the right.


Downtown Ellsworth is looking better with each passing day.  Come take a look sometime as there is a lot to see and do that you’ll find very interesting.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, dogs — Peg Britton @ 4:20 pm

My friend, Sandra, told me of a mixture she makes to feed her dogs.  Today I put a large batch of it together knowing Ringo would love it.  Ringo is a hero, after all,  and deserves good rations.

I cooked a couple of chicken legs and thighs, discarded the bones and chopped the meat and skin. I’ve been told by my chicken authority friend that raw chicken is fine for dogs as his dogs eat whole raw chickens all the time.  The bones won’t hurt them, but once the chicken is cooked, the bones get brittle and hard …and they shatter… so it’s not wise to feed them to dogs.

I used the chicken broth and added to it the juice from a large can of Veg-All that I got for a buck at Dollar General.  I also added some additional water.  To the boiling  liquid, I added generic, cheap rice and cooked it until it was done.  The mixture was thick with all the liquid absorbed by the rice.  Then I put the chicken and veggies in with the rice and gave it a good stir.  It’s a pretty cheap mixture and should keep in the refrigerator for a week or so.

Ringo knew I was up to something so I mixed a large spoonful of it with his IAMS dog food.  He displayed his usual “toothy grin” in anticipation of food and licked his bowl clean.

Sandra said she also uses inexpensive cuts of pork roasts instead of the chicken.  Whatever is on sale works.  Green beans must be good for dogs as the Greyhound breeders in Abilene buy them by the gallon to feed their dogs.  If Ringo tires of the mixed veggies, I’ll switch to green beans as I know he likes them.

I’m going to start feeding Ringo two small portions a day so he won’t be begging for “cookies” all the time. Every time I, or anyone else, pass by the basket where his cookies reside, he starts doing all his tricks, spins and turns like a one-show circus act until you give in an he gets what he wants…a cookie.

Frank Reese, the turkey man, is making commercial dog food and will be marketing it frozen at Kreibel’s Market in McPherson. It will be a good thing.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, dogs — Peg Britton @ 5:15 pm

I’m so proud of Ringo coming to the aide of a friend in distress.  He’s a special companion.

Ringo knows more than we give him credit for.  He knows when I intend to take him in the car with me and when he has to stay home.  He knows when I tell him he has food in his bowl.  He knows when to alert me someone is close to the house.  He knows what to do when I tell him to go to bed…and how to stay there when I tell him to.  He knows how to go upstairs and get a specific toy.

I’d say he’s pretty smart.

If I end up on the floor and can’t respond, I hope he knows how to jump on my chest and push my Lifeline alert button!


Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends, dogs — Peg Britton @ 8:19 am

When I was gone over the weekend Ringo stayed with friends, Mr. and Mrs. X. He’s been there for the night only three times that I recall.

Mr. X is a severe diabetic.  Since there were several dogs in the house that night, Mr. X went to a back bedroom where Ringo chose to sleep with him.  Mrs. X was in the front of the house with the other dogs.

During the night, Mr. X’s blood sugar bottomed out.  Ringo, apparently sensing something was wrong, went to the front bedroom and awakened Mrs. X and led her to Mr. X.

Ringo is a smart dog, but I wouldn’t have thought he was capable of doing that. Do you suppose that was one of the 49 commands he learned at the ECF during his training for the hearing impaired?  That’s a joke really, because we haven’t yet discovered any of the 49 commands he is supposed to have learned.  Well, he knows them.  I just haven’t learned them.

My friend Robin is stopping by for coffee and a chat this morning.  I’m looking forward to that.

Ally shot a 40 yesterday at the Ellsworth course and today is playing Sand Creek Station.  It’s a new tough course that may eat her lunch.  A normal person would be wiped out from the heat, but she thrives on it.

It’s miserably hot and humid. 86 at 9:00. A heat advisory is in effect until 8 pm.  Temps will reach 100 degrees and with humidity figured in, it will soar above that.  There is wind that helps a little.  I’m going to pick up my mail at the post office and spend the rest of the time in front of a fan.

Stay cool…and thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, family, dogs — Peg Britton @ 8:29 pm


This is Sarge, Drew’s rescued puppy.  He’s going to be a big boy.



Filed under: prairie musings, dogs — Peg Britton @ 9:41 am

Ringo doesn’t know everything about city life.  He doesn’t get to do many of the fun things that city dogs have available.  He prefers country life.

One city doggie I know gets to attend Camp Bow Wow when her owners are out of town. It’s of the same stature as Camp Cheley or Camp Minnetonka with all kinds of activities…hiking, games, good camp food, sing-a-longs and the good Kum Bay Ya life.  Ringo would love it.

Other hotels offer modern designed luxury suite boarding;…from standard BowWOW suites which include doggie beds and flat screen TVs, all the way up to  uber double suites with pure elegance and comfort… including modern queen size beds, extensive room décor and 42” flat screen TV’s for your distinguished dog’s viewing pleasure.  Too, too much.

Another city friend of mine recently had to apply for her dog to be boarded over the weekend.  The application was much like filling out an application for a college dorm room, she said. Alfie’s Poochie Playlot has a 24/7 operation complete with doggie cams so I could log in and see Ringo happily at play.

But, before Ringo could be accepted, he would have to undergo a through temperament test to see if he fits in. Ringo could pass this with flying colors.  He would have to fit in with an existing play group before he could be approved to spend the night.  The attendants have real beds and Ringo could sleep with them, if that’s what he’d prefer.  Or he could have a private suite.  Since it’s camp and not home, he could sleep in bed with the attendant as long as he doesn’t get the idea he could sleep with his full time attendant when he returns home.

Ringo could probably use a city vacation.  Meantime, an occasional run through the cemetery is the highlight of his life.



Filed under: prairie musings, dogs — Peg Britton @ 8:14 pm

Slumdog Millionaire is a very good movie.  It’s at the Art Cinema in Salina.

” The story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost…”  Read the rest here.

I haven’t driven around Kanopolis Lake to see all the houses that are there for… well…probably 30 years.  I suppose the last time was when our kids were small and maybe another quick time or two.  It goes without saying there are some beautiful homes there….and lots of them.  I’ve never had any occasion to go there and usually just zoom on by as I’m passing over the dam.

We drove by Rancho Milagro, Jesse Magana’s place, to check the progress he’s made since our last visit. I guess he’s going to have an open house soon.  I’ll try to find out when and take a look at the inside.  He and his family have spent a lot of energy on his project.

Ringo is so funny.  I came in through the garage when I came home and let him out.  He walked to the garage door, turned around and came back inside and went to the front door and stood there.  That’s his sign he wants out.  He has this thing about going out the front door and usually he comes in through the deck door.  If I let him outside in the morning through the deck door he just stands there until I let him back inside and then he dashes to the front door to go out. Strange Ringo.

I don’t think we can tell the rest of the world we’re sorry we disobeyed all the international agreements and tortured prisoners because someone high up in our government wanted to and said it was okay because he said so.  It doesn’t seem right to me to just say….we’re sorry and we won’t do it again…then go on our merry way.  We wouldn’t accept that from another country and we can’t let people who disobey the law and the constitution to just walk away without some kind of justice being served.  It’s a cloud over our country and the kind of people we say we are to let this slide by.
Time to find Ringo and my feathers.  Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, dogs — Peg Britton @ 1:17 pm

Ringo forgot everything he was taught, except how to grin and be lovable. He needs a refresher course in where the bathroom is, not to jump on people to get their attention so they will stop everything and pat him for hours and to quit wandering away from home and trying to run the school district office. He loves it there.

So, Todd is taking him back to the prison for a refresher course. It will probably take a couple of weeks for him to remember the fundamentals. We’ll miss him while he’s gone. He’s a real charmer.



Filed under: prairie musings, Dane Britton, dogs — Peg Britton @ 11:16 am

Do you, or anyone you know, have any recent experience with the Minneapolis KS brain injury rehab? I’m going to take a look at it tomorrow, but it would be helpful to talk with someone who has personal knowledge of the unit. It’s a 12 bed unit and they have one bed open now. I have heard good things about it, but nothing directly. I’m going to see it tomorrow with a friend who has good eyes for such things; Ally visited yesterday.

Another alternative is Mid-America Rehab in Overland Park. Know anything about it? We haven’t talked with them, as yet.

I’m looking for a “long term” (where he can stay two months, at least) acute brain injury rehab unit for Dane. I personally don’t think he is ready for or able to fully participate at the present time at Lady of Lourde in Wichita. Their patients stay a week to 10 days, maybe two weeks. They “had a patient who stayed a month” a long time ago. It costs $1,400 a day so they want them “in and out”. I’ve been there twice to visit and I just don’t think he is ready. There will be a time when he can benefit from their program, but I don’t believe he can right now. Others think he can, but they haven’t visited LOL. Dane doesn’t think he can handle it from the way I have described it. Not now.

So, any information would be helpful. You know how to reach me… prairie_at_classicnet_dot_net. (Take out the underlines and transcribe the “at” and “dot”) or call at 785.472.3844.

Kip, Kurt and Kyle (three generations of Kippes relatives) were here to visit Dane yesterday and today. Ally was also here for the day. Dane enjoyed his company. The K.C. relatives were very pleased at how good he looks. He does! He improves slowly day by day. He has a lot more movement in his left leg that I attribute some to therapy but mostly that his brain is making new passages to make things work in new ways. There is still nothing happening in his left arm. I keep asking him to shrug his shoulders hoping I will detect some movement in his left arm, but so far there isn’t any. It will be the last to come around and behave.

Il Divo is a great new CD. A gift from Ally. They are four very handsome young men with great voices who appeared on Oprah and the Today Show. Ally saw them and knew I would love their music. I haven’t seen them so now I’m going crazy trying to figure out which voice goes with which handsome face.

Dane said to me this morning as I was leaving: “Mom, you know Dad goes out on his errands each morning. I was wondering if he could….(long pause, and I’m thinking he wanted the Sunday Journal…or what???)…well, (another pause)…do you suppose he could bring Ringo by for a visit?” So…Ringo just returned from a visit to room 107. Dane misses Skunk, his cat.


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