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12/12/2014

CHRISTMAS DINNER AT THE PALACE…

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

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

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

Thanks for tuning in…

10/27/2014

PALACE FRIENDS AND HAPPINESS TIME…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for tuning in

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9/14/2014

A GUY AND HIS DOG BY THE CAMPFIRE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Drew Britton — Peg Britton @ 11:56 am

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Drew and Sarge

photo by Christy Beckman

7/13/2014

SERIOUS CLIMBERS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Drew Britton — Peg Britton @ 6:54 am

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Here are three of my favorite mountain climbers…Christy, Drew and Sarge…atop Shavano.  Five  Colorado summits in two weekends.

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Sarge, 100 pounds of solid muscle is the luckiest dog alive.  He gets to climb mountains every weekend and carry his own personal saddle bags with his water and food and other supplies.

7/8/2014

FRAGMENTS FROM THE PALACE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Drew Britton, Mackenzie — Peg Britton @ 7:00 pm

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.

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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.

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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.

Thanks for tuning in….

5/26/2014

MEMORIAL DAY DEPARTURE SHOTS…

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Family:  Ally, Karen, Christy, Drew, me, Todd

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Family:  Ally, Karen, Mackenzie, Drew, me, Todd

It was a wonderful weekend with family….

5/25/2014

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND AND PALACE ACTIVITIES…

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Left to right:  Pattie Kitchen, me, Nancy Morrison and Ginny Frederick at the Salina Country Club enjoying Bloody Mary’s before Sunday brunch.   Picture taken by Ally Britton.  Ginny and I are Palace inmates.  Nancy and Pattie have been visiting me over the weekend.  You can’t imagine what a special treat this was…wonderful food and the most delightful company anyone could hope for.

Yesterday I had a very special visit from my grandson Drew and his girlfriend Christy Beckman.  We had a delightful visit topped off by a good supply of Mexican food at La Casita.

And, my granddaughter, Mackenzie, arrived from St. Louis Friday night and is staying here with me at the Palace in a guest room a couple of doors from mine.  It’s a great arrangement.

Tomorrow we’re getting together for breakfast before Mackenzie, Drew and Christy have to head home and resume their normal activities.  Todd and Karen, Ally and I will converge on the north IHOP to give everyone and warm send off.

It has been a wonderful weekend.

Thanks for tuning in…

12/2/2013

GRANDSON DREW DOING SOME SERIOUS BOARDING…

Filed under: prairie musings, Drew Britton — Peg Britton @ 10:46 pm

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10/13/2013

MORE OF THIS AND THAT AT THE PALACE…

The weather this weekend has been gorgeous and inviting so it has been difficult to stay inside when it’s so invigorating to be outside.  Yesterday Lynn, Margie and I drove to McPherson for “lunch”.  We had hoped to eat at the Courtyard, but it is closed on Saturday so we ate across the street at Neighbors.

Neighbors is an interesting and very popular place, particularly on Saturday morning where they serve only breakfast until 1:00 PM.  Every hungry big guy in McPherson was there. The place was packed to overflowing.  It’s a long, narrow building where there is only one aisle from front to back and it was so narrow that I couldn’t get down it with my walker.  On one side of the aisle is a counter with stools, all occupied by very big guys, who wouldn’t fit in booths, and whose backsides hung overwhelmingly out in the aisle.  On the other side of the narrow aisle, customers hung out of the booths so I gingerly made my way down the aisle clipping well-filled blue jean backsides and leaning on whatever there was to lean on. I was best friends with everyone before we made our way to the back and grabbed the only remaining place to sit…which was a cattywampus booth into which I didn’t fit.

Being a western Kansas gal and familiar with such dives, I knew the food would be good and plentiful.  And it was.  The platters of food arrived hot and overflowing.   They are famous for their cinnamon rolls and I intended to bring one home with me….but I forgot.  I bet their biscuits and gravy would be top of the line.  Their biscuits are huge and homemade.

This morning Drew and Ally came to Salina and we went to the north IHOP to eat.  Jamal is there and he is an old friend so we like to eat there.  Drew doesn’t get home very often, but he always squeezes in some time to see me.  It’s always good to see him and hear his latest adventures in hiking or snowboarding in the high country of Colorado.

I took Drew down to meet Dale Anderson, who was a banker, so they could know each other.  We all talk about our kids and grand kids to one another so it’s nice putting faces on those names.  I’ve known Dale’s two daughters for a almost a year and recently met most of his grandchildren.  I’ve met more people here at the Palace during the past year than I did for the previous five years at home.

And, last week Ally was here a couple of times so we had lunch elsewhere…burnt ends at the Hickory Hut and onion soup and salad at Longhorn’s. I take advantage of those opportunities whenever I can as the menu here is very repetitious and a change is always refreshing.

My new computer is working like a charm, thanks to Mackenzie.  Technology is amazing.  The computer arrived here…thanks to Kenz ordering it and knowing after years of experience what I liked in computers.  The maintenance men brought the boxes to my room.  Todd and Karen assembled it.  None of this took much time.  Then Kenz took all the information off my external hard drive and put it on my new computer.  That didn’t take her long either, but then she is extremely good and efficient at what she does and knew what she was about.  It’s amazing she could do all that remotely without setting eyes on my computer.  And, I didn’t skip a beat as it was just like I was back on my old computer with every thing in its place.  It is truly amazing and wonderful.

The monthly pot luck supper is Tuesday evening.  I went to one of them, but haven’t been back….not for any reason in particular except that I’m in the camp that prefers not to go. There was a day when everyone cooked and prepared homemade dishes.  That no longer is the case as most people here don’t cook much anymore…with some rare exceptions.  So, the food isn’t anything to really go for as it’s usual Palace food for the main dish  with some of the people paying others to make their dishes for them, which generally isn’t homemade, or particularly good.  I guess you either like it a lot and look forward to it, or you don’t.  I happen to be in the latter group.

The trip this month for our Taste and Travel is to Fat Boyz Bar and Grill in Little River on the 23rd.  I’ll sign up for that just because it’s an outing and fun.  I’ve never been impressed with their steaks, but it’s a change from  the food here (where steak is never an option) and an opportunity to get out and enjoy the sights along the way.   The Soup Supper is the 25th and that’s a really big deal around here.  I have to report for duty at 9 that day to take the cellophane off the pies….under the leadership of my friend, Leo Lake.   If you can come for the supper, I think you’ll find it interesting.  It’s from 4:30 until 7:00 on Friday the 25th.

Thanks for tuning in ….

9/7/2013

MOUNTAINEER STEAK AND TRIMMINGS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Drew Britton, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 8:15 pm

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That looks like a 24 oz. Porterhouse steak that Drew is cutting into.  I bet there is nothing left on his plates when he is finished.  He’s very lean and tough as a result of climbing all those 14,000 footers.  He burns an incredible amount of calories and you just can’t fill him up.  See how correctly he holds his knife and folk?  YAY…years of training came through. 

That’s a steak he’ll remember, Ally.
Thanks for tuning in…

THIS AND THAT FROM THE PALACE…

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.

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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…

7/21/2013

GRANDSONS DOING WHAT THEY LOVE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Drew Britton — Peg Britton @ 5:07 pm

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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.

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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.

7/10/2013

HAPPY 60TH BIRTHDAY TO SON, TODD….

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Drew Britton, Todd & Karen Britton — Peg Britton @ 7:50 am

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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.

6/29/2013

BIRTHDAY SURPRISE AND OTHER FAMILY AND FRIENDS…

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Drew Britton, Ally Britton, Rod and Genn Helus — Peg Britton @ 7:48 am

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My good friends from Ellsworth arrived as a birthday surprise bearing balloons, beer, dips and spreads and fresh veggies from the garden and canned green tomatoes. Now, how perfect is that?  From left behind me:  Cindy McAtee, Claudia Hochman and Meredith Vargo. They unpacked all my boxes from my move and put everything away. The best of friends.

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Shannon and Lindsay…loving the house they’re in…it makes me happy knowing they love it so.

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My cousin, John Drees, and Ally….on a trip to Orozco’s for lunch.

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Bernadette Drees Rogers with Ally and me (and her brother John) at Orozco’s Mother’s Day weekend.

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Bloody Mary in a quart jar for the birthday boy…27 big ones.  He looks very much like his grandpa…

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Drew was in the wedding party of hosts of friends this summer….he was more often than not found in formal attire.

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Grandson Rod and wife Genn ….Roman Coliseum…
Thanks for tuning in …

6/11/2013

HAPPY 27TH BIRTHDAY, DREW….AND, MANY, MANY MORE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Drew Britton — Peg Britton @ 4:58 pm

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Here’s one young man who lives life to its fullest…loves every minute of it and makes the most of his opportunities.  Have a great day tomorrow, Drew…I couldn’t be more proud of you and your many accomplishments.

5/28/2013

I’M BACK….COMPUTER HAS A NEW MOTHER BOARD…LIFE IS GOOD….

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Drew Britton, Mackenzie, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 2:05 pm

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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…

3/18/2013

AUGUST…WELCOME TO THE CROW’S NEST, THE MAGICAL TREE HOUSE AND DEEP DARK FOREST…FROM YOUR FRIENDS, MACKENZIE, DREW AND TYLER …

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Drew Britton, Mackenzie — Peg Britton @ 2:00 pm

2/18/2013

PHOTOS FROM THE VALENTINE’S DAY PARTY LAST NIGHT…

Filed under: prairie musings, Drew Britton, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 8:05 am

Dr. Bill provided the entertainment last night.  He has a very delightful voice, picks his selections with care and sings just the right amount of time.  Dorothy Carmichael is a very accomplished pianist and accompanied his selections.  It was a very nice evening…and on top of that, we had a good meal of steak, shrimp, really hot and good baked potatoes, good veggies, salad, rolls and cheese cake.  The champagne punch was way too sweet, as were the dessert and salad but most people seemed not to care. I’ve learned just to pass them by. The special events don’t cost any more…we just exchange our noon meal for the event.  It’s a good thing.

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Former Ellsworthites, Don and Barbara Smischny, attend many of the functions in the main Palace building.  They live independently in a townhouse on the Palace grounds and enjoy many of the activities offered here….especially bridge and special events.They haven’t changed a bit…except maybe to look younger from being rid of a demanding job.

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I sat at a table last night with Ginny Frederick, Joy Mansfield and a long time bestie, Margie Eberhart Wilson (above).  If there is humor to be found in something, the four of us will find it.

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Joy Mansfield, a new good friend who was my mentor through my surgery and recuperation.    She had serious by-pass and valve replacement/aneurism surgery  prior to mine.  Without elaborating, I know for a fact that the two of us are the luckiest people in Salina to have picked the right surgeons for our operations. We came way too close to falling into the wrong hands and most likely would not have survived.  Lucky us, we say. The table decoration should have disappeared.

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Hazel Beggs.  I’m waiting for her to offer me free range of her wardrobe.  She always looks so nice.

Ally is returning home today. She has helped me since Friday trying to figure out the safest way to shower and take care of other daily necessities. Today we’re going to try to rustle up a shepherd’s crook for my bed and a shower chair.  Those things will help me long into the future so I’ll try to add them to my apartment  .I’m almost walking alone and can manage independent living well.  It takes me longer to do things than before, but they will get done. I’m getting stronger each day and ready to move on.  Spring is here, or so it seems, and I’m ready to enjoy being out and about.

And, my misplaced phone charger, and kindle charger have surfaced.  I knew they would.  This is the safest place in the world to live…I’m convinced.  I never feel the need to lock my door…and I usually leave the front door open.  Nothing has ever disappeared…and my neighbors are welcome to come and go….and borrow something they want.  I’ve not always made good choices in my life, but I was right about deciding to move here….my last move. I love it here and have everything I need

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And, since I have such cool grand kids, and this is such a good picture of my mountain man, I’ve included it to give some balance to the age issue of my postings.  Here’s grandson Drew doing what he loves most…looking down from mountain tops.  He’s pointing at the next challenge…that peak in the distance. Or, maybe he’s letting us know he climbed that one last summer.
Come see me when you can….and thanks for tuning in…

1/7/2013

DREW BRITTON DID IT AGAIN….

Filed under: prairie musings, Drew Britton — Peg Britton @ 2:02 pm

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My grandson, Drew Britton, who works for Vectra Bank in Boulder CO, just gave me his year end totals.  Once again he’s at or near the top of the heap of 18 senior bankers and 25 regular bankers in production.  He was #3 in the company  for the year and #1 in December.

He showed production totals of $13,247,233.00 for new loans and deposit accounts for 2012.  He self-funded his own loans so that his totals for loans were the same as his deposits.  His grandpa always looked at those numbers and would be extraordinarily proud of him.  We all are very proud of him.

Congratulations,  Drew.

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Drew, second from left, top row, and his friends who snowboard every weekend in the Colorado mountains during the winter.  He spends the summer months climbing the 14ers.

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One of the highlights of Drew’s life…meeting the President.

Thanks for tuning in…

12/24/2012

FUN WITH THE FAMILY…WITH CHANGES THIS YEAR…HAPPY HOLIDAYS…

The grandsons are home and this is the first year for them that it hasn’t been “over the hill and through the woods to grandma’s house”. Instead, they came to the Palace to check out my digs.

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From left:  SSGT Tyler Britton, Drew Britton and their dad, Todd Britton.  There was the usual rough-housing going on while I was trying to take a picture….then we all went to a movie and out for dinner.  There will be more pictures tomorrow that will include their mother and more Christmas cheer.

Tonight Ally, friends and I are heading to the Japanese restaurant, Daimaru, for an evening of knife-throwing and dinner. That’s a change for us as we always prepared Christmas Eve dinner at my house… King Crab was always a favorite.

It’s pretty quiet around here as most of the residents have gone to spend the holidays with family and friends.  Today’s scheduled activities include a grocery shopping trip to Dillon’s that is usually a Tuesday weekly activity and chapel services.

Wishing you very happy holidays…

Thanks for tuning in…

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