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Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 11:10 am


Ringo started doing this to my sofa downstairs when he realized I didn’t go downstairs very often and he thought he could get by with it.  I suppose when I couldn’t take him with me in the car, he decided to express his displeasure.  He didn’t damage anything…he only rearranged the cushions.

Now he’s doing the same thing with the sofa that is now at Ally’s farm house.   She came to Salina yesterday to see me and when she returned home, she found Ringo had been fluffing the pillows.  That Ringo.  I miss him.

I might mention, too, that Ally is making her famous mustard sauce today for your Christmas enjoyment and gifts.  She’s making the original plain mustard sauce, one with whole seeds, jalapeno mustard sauce and a new one this year, horseradish mustard sauce.  It’s $12.00 a pint.  Give her a call at 785.472.7065 or email her:  ally at rhelectric dot net/

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Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Ringo, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 4:09 pm

Life is good.  This morning I talked with Audrey and Bev from home.  Bev and Mark P. called from Nebraska to check in and up.  John Levra called from Pittsburg to say hello.  He was Dane’s football coach at NM Highlands and Stephen F. Austin St. University and always keeps in touch. The gas company called me back. YAY.  I also checked in with B&K  about rebates on my Rollator and found a clarification to my question in literally seconds.

Lunch was about the same, neither good nor bad. The salad bar is always a life saver and everyone seems to stock up on that.   I’m still trying to sidle into understanding why the food is what it is.  I would imagine that all the people here know what good food is and have enjoyed a lot of it in the past.  Certainly the way it is served is very pleasant…linen table cloths and napkins, nice dinner ware and stem ware.  Polite waiters.  There is nothing at all about it to suggest we aren’t all part of the mainstream dining experience.  The food could be better with a little more attention given to detail.  I’ll just observe for a time and see how it plays out.  The first meal I had here before I moved in was quite good.  If they have a food committee, I might even volunteer for that.  I do know they have a lot…maybe 4…dining rooms they have to service other than Ivory Keys.

During lunch, I sat at a table by my new friends from Abilene, Nellie and Jason, Gib from Salina and Jean from Beloit.  I gave a quick wave to George and Myra from New York.  Jean has the system down pat, as many do.  They bring their small covered containers and fill them with snacks for later.  That doesn’t appeal to me yet, but maybe one day it will.  I’d rather forage for something in my well-stocked kitchen.  Tonight is covered as I’m going to LaCasita with my friends, Kim and Randy.

I think there are about 90 people, mostly women, who live in the apartment complex where I am.  The Ivory Keys dining room serves this building plus about 50 people who live in townhouses.  They don’t all eat here.  My friends, Katie and John, live in a townhouse and I have yet to see either of them.  I have seen Barbara and Don from Ellsworth, but I haven’t seen them in the dining room. Many of them come here to one of the floor lobby areas to play bridge.  I think this place must be a bridge lovers paradise.

There are Christmas trees adorning the lobby and each floor lobby has decorations as well.  It’s starting to look very festive. I have my “stick chair with the bird house tree” with new lights on it. Ally fixed it and the remote control for me this afternoon. Parties are starting.  There is always something going on.  I received notice of a 12-12-12 at 12:12 Eastern  time party and there is a Christmas dinner with entertainment planned as well.

Todd, Karen, Ally and Claudia are working on my house, ridding it of all those little odds and ends.  Mosaic always comes to the rescue to relieve us of all those items we can’t place elsewhere.  Rob was going to the house today to get Dane’s big chair and ottoman.  Dane’s chair needs a big guy and it will fit Rob perfectly.  Patti is coming for another of Dane’s chairs for her cabin that she has for women’s rehab.  Dane would be very happy knowing where his furniture is.  Marci is coming for Dane’s couch for her barn and special Power Up meetings.  The only two big things that are left that I can think of are the TV from my bedroom and a filing cabinet.  The house is void of furniture. Then, after it’s clean, our realtor Jessica Decker from REMAX will be having open houses for those who have asked to see it and others who may be interested.  We’re right on schedule according to what we established about six months ago.  I just didn’t know if I could meet my own self-imposed deadline.  It looks like I’ll make it:  Clean, empty house by January 1.

Ringo has habits I have been unaware of.  Ally said she knew she made her bed this morning but she noticed later the bed was messed up.  She fluffed the sheets and there was Ringo’s chew bone.  He’d hidden it between the sheets for safekeeping since her bed is off limits to the dogs.  He’s getting accustomed to life on the farm and likes taking rides with Ally in her truck.  He’s playing well with his cousins and getting more much needed exercise than when he was with me.  He’ll come stay with me one of these days while Ally runs errands.

It has been another gorgeous day.  Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 5:17 pm


When you raise turkeys from tiny poults to 20# gobblers, you have to maintain a good sense of humor.  Turkeys are not the smartest critters in the world and they give most farmers good reason to avoid them; however, in an effort to preserve the breed, Frank Reese, the God Father of American poultry and owner of the Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch, has raised Heritage turkeys as long as he can remember.  Frank’s efforts caught on with Ally who decided to convert her 100 year old dairy farm into a turkey farm.

Ally started with about 500 poults and sent about 250 full grown turkeys to market.  She also has an additional 50 for prepare for customers who will come before Thanksgiving to pick up the dressed turkeys they have ordered for Thanksgiving dinners.  She has also sold a few to breeders.

The turkeys are free-range who have lived on a 100% mixed grain vegetarian diet developed over the years by Reese and purchased locally. Their diet is free of antibiotics and growth hormones.   For her first year in the business, she would feel good just to break even.  She may come close to that. Your patronage to purchase turkeys directly from her has helped her obtain that goal.


Ryon Carey, James Baker and Ally Britton push the turkeys into Al Vanek’s trailer.  Rich Connally is wisely looking on from outside the fence.  They loaded 2,010 pounds of turkey.


Several varieties of pampered, well-fed organic Heritage turkeys are waiting to be loaded onto the truck. They were saved from the coyotes, bob cats and other wild predators that are a constant concern.  Ally’s three dogs did a good job protecting the turkeys.  Ringo will soon join Haley, Sam and Maggie and learn the ropes of turkey guarding.


Ryon and James encourage reluctant turkeys into the trailer.  The turkeys were taken to Frank Reese’s turkey ranch to be a part of 4,000 turkeys that were loaded on semi-trailers to take to a processing plant.


Ally and Michelle Vanek discuss the operation.


Audrey Hankins, Michelle Vanek and Bev Connally stand by to offer assistance. It was a drop dead gorgeous day for all involved.


These are Frank Reese’s turkeys that Ally’s turkeys joined to be shipped to market.
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Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 7:01 pm


Photo by Ally Britton

My  Ringo.  What a loveable puppy.  He posed for Ally when she said “cheese”  and offered a captivating smile and showed all his teeth.  He has a winning way about him.

He may be 12 years old but we’re not sure as he was adopted from the prison…from all the rest.  He has the heart of a puppy yet he’s unaware he’s the size of a small baby elephant.  Inside, he believes he’s still a puppy and climbs on laps asking for hugs and love from all who come to visit.

Ringo is invited to come visit me at the Palace on a lease, but he can’t spend the night.  I don’t imagine we’ll do that often as it will be hard on him.  I’ll just come here to visit him on the farm.

I’ll miss his night time companionship, the strange sounds he’s acquired over the years when he’s sleeping, and the protection he’s provided all these years.  He won’t understand why I’m not in the bed beside him but in no time at all he’ll get used to sleeping next to Ally.  And, he’ll be most happy on the farm frolicking with Hailey, Sam and Maggie…and assuming his position to keep guard over the turkeys.

I’m sure he’ll call me from time to time, just to chat.

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Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 5:45 pm

Ringo is a pretty savvy dog and has figured out that it isn’t just my housekeeping skills that have gone awry, but that something else is in the wind.  He roams around downstairs looking for the sofa he lies on when he knows he’s not supposed to.  It isn’t there.  It’s in the garage.

The living room is a royal mess with card tables full of “stuff” to pass on to others, stacks of tubs, boxes and boxes and boxes and he knows it hasn’t looked like this since he’s lived here.  The car isn’t in the garage (because it’s so clean after Tyler worked on it that I refuse to put dirty car shoes on the floor) so we go out “the front door” to find our car somewhere in the driveway for our daily outings.  That’s confusing to him.

He’s also keeping a sharp eye on me, always aware of where I am.  When I leave, he wants to go so I usually always take him.  “Before the Mess”, it didn’t matter all the much to him as I left him in charge and he rather enjoyed that and his solitude. Now he sleeps with a packed suitcase by his side just in case I make a quick exodus.

Farm life will be an adjustment for him, but he loves Ally and she is wonderful with her dogs, turkeys and other assorted life forms that frequent her farm.  He’ll adjust.  She has a special place where he can sleep next to her that will make the transition easier for him.  He’s a special dog and I will miss him enormously.  He can come see me…and I know he will…but he can’t spend the night.  He can meet and visit my friends.  I’m sure he will win the hearts of the Palace People.  He’s a special Ringo.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 2:58 pm

I would love to see The Book of Mormon. A good seat, which I’d want, can run close to $600 so that’s one reason I won’t be going.  The main one is:  you’ll never get me on another plane to go anywhere, no matter how attractive the destination! Even NYC  If I were to go, which we’ve already established I’m not, they’d have to peel me off the floor after the introductory Hello!  Geezzzz…it’s hysterical so it’s no wonder they are playing to a full house month after month, year after year.

Since I won’t get to Broadway to see it,  I do the most convenient thing and listen to it on Spotify, over and over. “The hip new All-American profit Joseph Smith went to that spot on the hill where he was told and dug a hole….and found a whole new book about Jesus Christ….” etc.  It’s very, very funny.  I love Spotify.  It has opened a whole new world of music to me that people without computers (and are adamant about not wanting one) will never experience.  And it’s free…a whole wide world of any music ever recorded anywhere…and it’s free.  Life can’t get any better than that.  Especially if you live smack dab in the center of Kansas.


Ringo’s toothy grin…

Ringo and I just returned from a swing through town.   He loves to go on “errands” with me and is full of grins when I jingle my car keys alerting him to the prospect of an outing.  He does three high leaps in front of the garage door in anticipation of what is really a very dull trip to town.  His enthusiasm is contagious and it makes me eager to get my mail just because he loves it so much.  That tells you how exciting my life really is.

We stopped at the post office to pick up fliers and a few pieces of mail.  He particularly likes that stop as people are inclined to stop by the car and offer him a friendly word and a pat on his head.  With his head hanging out the window and that silly toothy grin on his face he is just asking for a hug.  And he gets them.  Ringo has lots of friends.

We rounded the corner to the bank and Ringo waited patiently while I visited with Karen a brief moment.  She’s one of my personal shoppers and recently found some slacks for me to replace the shreds I’ve been wearing…and loving them, btw.  They have lots of big pockets after all.  Some of the new one’s fit and are okay (but I miss the big pockets),  some didn’t so I returned the unfit ones to her. My good friend, Cindy, offered to shorten them.  Anyone who offers to do that is a dang good friend.  Anytime I try to sew I end up being sewed to it.

Our final stop was the grocery store.  There is not much activity when I shop as I try to avoid going when busy people are trying to get in and out in a hurry.  Ringo still likes to see who comes and goes.  Occasionally,  he gets to see the lady who has a half dozen super humongous St. Bernard’s in the bed of her truck.  That is a special treat for him as he dreams of romping with them, or so it seems.  At least he doesn’t bark at them or other dogs.

His favorite stop is the bank drive-in where he’s assured a doggy cookie every time the teller draw opens.  We didn’t stop there today and I’m sure he noticed.

Ringo’s really uncomfortable in my car right now…and confused.   He usually sits in the back seat with the windows down so he can stick his head out, eat bugs, see oncoming traffic and stay alert for impending calamities.  Back in the days when he was Brit’s pal, he rode in the front seat of his truck.  When he lost his best friend and had to change his allegiance he had to adopt my rules and sit in the back seat.  After a time, he liked it there and learned to respond to “BACK” very quickly.  It’s a good arrangement for us. But recently my back seat filled to the headliner with books for Ad Astra.  I’d put them in the far back, but that’s loaded with trash bags full of clothes for the What Not Shop in Kanopolis.  So, Ringo has to sit in the front seat with me for the time being. He remains in the car while I do my errands then he immediately jumps into the driver’s seat and is in charge.  Then I have to work my way back in again as he really prefers to sit there, regardless of what I think.  It’s not the best arrangement, but will do until I can get my car cleared of things to share. I keep thinking the local gendarmes will stop me as he is without a seat belt and ours is not the safest arrangement.

I’m going to miss Ringo when I move and he’s going to miss the only home he’s known since he was adopted.  He has visitation privileges at the Palace and Ally will bring him to see me.  He just can’t stay overnight. He’ll miss the peace and solitude of the only home he’s ever known since he was adopted.  He’ll miss his comfortable bed next to mine. And, he’ll miss the special groceries I prepare from him from time to time.  I’ll miss him enormously.  He will adjust to his new surrounds.  He loves Ally and will love all the activity on the farm.  He’ll have a good life with her and Hailey, Sam and …especially…Maggie.  We all move on.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 7:01 am

Ringo is one fine companion…he’s always there for me and keeps the house free of invaders….he doesn’t expect much out of each day except a bowl of homemade vittels and loving hugs. He came to live with us on April 1st so we consider that his birthday.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 2:38 pm

Springtime brings an awareness of many repair and cleaning projects that remain dormant and barely noticeable during the winter. Don’t you know? Believe it or not, we built this house 36 years ago and even the best stuff we used in construction eventually wears out.

So it is with doors. I’ve lost track of how many windows are in this house without triggering a recount, but there too many to ever have them all clean at any one time.  Doors are easy — there are six “regular” inside doors, with hinges, leading to three bathrooms, two bedrooms and the utility room while there are eight double  doors leading outside.  Escape routes.  Except for one “regular” door to the garage and a double front door, the others are six or eight-foot double sliding doors leading to decks and patio.  These doors were easy to open in my youth.  Not so much now.  I can say without equivocation that if you’re old and arthritic, shoving open an eight-foot sliding glass door  to allow an anxious, leaping 50 pound dog who wants outside “right now” to pee,  can be a challenge.

Ringo and I, as the only inhabitants of this special place, are constantly coming and going though one door or another on the main floor. Nonetheless, we want better and easier operation from doors than we now have.  Actually, we’ve been discussing the possibility of replacing some with French doors.  In addition to ease of operation, it will increase cross-ventilation, which will be delightful on nice days like today.

Today, my friends, Sam and Greg, came from K.C. to assess the problems and will return with all the necessary doors, grab bars, intermediate steps, etc.  in a few weeks to make the place more elderly accessible.  Sam works construction with his brothers.  Greg Connally helps with the “go for” and “hold this” chores.  They are really great and I’m lucky to have them do the work for me. They are working me around Ally’s remodeling project to house her commercial kitchen, which is pretty exciting.

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Filed under: prairie musings, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 3:19 pm


This is one of Ringo’s favorite places for lounging while being “en guarde”.  He has a particular stair of choice so he can rest his head, peer out two tower windows and keep an eye out for whomever might be approaching his domicile.

He does have four legs but I’m not altogether sure of the location of the one that appears to be missing.  He crosses his front feet in a gentlemanly fashion no matter where he lies.

He has a big toothy grin for everyone, especially Ally, who took this picture.

No one gets past Ringo without my approval.  Good dog, Ringo.

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Filed under: prairie musings, family, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 8:06 am


We rescued Ringo from the Ellsworth Correctional Facility six years ago on this day, so we celebrate today as his birthday.  Actually, Todd and Karen bought him for a pricey amount to give to Brit as he was trained to assist the hearing impaired.  We don’t know exactly how old he is or where he came from.  He’s quite a Ringo.

When Todd brought him to our house he made a bee-line to Ally.  They recognized each other…a complete surprise. Ally had previously encountered him at a rescue home for mastiffs in Salina where he was not a good fit.  Ally took him home to Abilene with her as a possible dog for her dad.  She tried to convince Brit what a wonderful dog he was, but Brit’s beloved Jack had just died and he wasn’t up to a new dog.  Ally wanted to keep him but she already had two dogs so she returned him to the mastiff home and we lost track of him.  Somehow Ringo entered the prison’s dog training system in Washington and ended up in Ellsworth.  A year or so later Todd learned of a wonderful Aussie who had come their way and purchased him after he was trained to help the hearing impaired.  A perfect dog for Brit.

Brit and Ringo were constant companions after that.  He rode in the front seat with Brit everywhere he went. After Brit could no longer play golf, he’d take Ringo out to ride in the golf cart with him and watch his golfing buddies play a round.  He followed him everywhere. It took awhile, but Ringo is now adjusted to my routine.  It’s not the same for him, but we get by.

Ringo has his morning routine that I find rather humorous.  His bed is beside mine and he never stirs during the night and only awakens when I take off my C-CAP mask in the morning.  The rush of air out the hose brings him to my side of the bed for his morning hug. Then he makes a mad dash for the front door and eventually arrives at the deck door jumping up and down and begging for his breakfast.  He gulps it down then retreats to his bed by the tower window where he works in a quick nap before settling in to his guard dog duties.

He was one happy guy to see his birthday breakfast …leftovers, but still.  He had fried liver, steamed broccoli, carrots, yellow squash and zucchini….and dry dog food.  Maybe he’ll get a scoop of ice cream for dinner as a special treat.  He’s a very special Ringo.

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Filed under: prairie musings, family, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 5:23 pm


Todd provides a resting place for Bentley.  Bentley can be a shoulder dog or lap dog and Ringo remembers how it once was, when he was very small, to occupy a lap.  Now it’s another thing.  He doesn’t understand that he’s much to big for that.


Ally tries to accommodate both dogs. Ringo has a birthday April Fool’s Day.  That’s the day we celebrate his birthday as that is the day we brought him home from the prison.  We’re not sure how old he is.  It will be a special day.

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Filed under: prairie musings, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 11:06 am

This is nothing from “official” sources, but I have had a couple of friends living in Ellsworth who very recently have had their houses “invaded” when they weren’t at home.  Someone broke into their homes by forcing/shouldering entry through a locked back door.  I am unaware if anything was taken.  I don’t know how prevalent this is.

It would be a good idea if we all kept our doors locked and maintained a close watch over our neighbors houses.  This has been going on in the rural area for some time and now it’s happening in town.  We need to catch these culprits and hold them accountable for their actions.  Don’t you think?

Ringo!  On guard!



Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Wilson Musings, Sam Brownback, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 8:20 pm

After going through the pains of starting up a business, the Midland now has a another chef, a good one this time.  The reports I’ve had from several people who have eaten there are that the food is very good.  Now, that’s what we want to hear.

Republicans always vote for things that are not in their own best interest.  This time they may get what they voted for.  Let’s see what Brownback does about closing small schools, county consolidation, etc. He’s going to bring jobs to Kansas, he says.  Let’s see how that goes. Kobach will be a show to watch.

One overhead fan I have has needed cleaning for a long time. I don’t know that it has ever been cleaned and I’ve had it for over 30 years.  It’s much older than that…a year older than I am, as a matter of fact.  It was built March 3rd, 1929 and spent most of it’s life in the doctors’ office above the CSB and Trust.  Greg Nece Electric cleaned it from stem to stern and polished the wood blades.  It looks like new.  He reminded me that fans need a yearly cleaning. Three more overhead fans to go.

Those small frozen mugs of tomato beer are a buck each Thursday at Paden’s.  Claudia, Ally and I checked it out early this evening.  They do serve the best tomato beer ever.

When the next round of redistricting — the decennial re-drawing of all 435 House districts — occurs next year, Republicans will have complete control over the process in four times as many House districts as Democrats do, districts that comprise nearly half of the entire House, according to a review by The Fix.

Freeze warnings are out for tonight with the expected low to be 27 degrees F, the coldest so far this fall.  Ally finished winterizing my sprinkler system.  She disconnected hoses and rolled them up for the winter.   Daylight Savings time ends and Standard time begins each year at 2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November, with clocks moving back one hour.   That means people will be early for church on Sunday.

It’s a good night to turn on the electric mattress pad and turn in.  Ringo seems ready for bed too.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 2:42 pm


Here is one of Ringo’s favorite relaxing places.  He rests his chin on the stair and can see anyone who approaches from the north. His left leg apparently won’t fit on the tread with the rest of his body.  Well, it would if he’d wiggle back a bit.


He’s on alert, as you can see …. waiting for a visitor who will provide a lap and hugs.  He thinks he’s still a puppy.



Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 1:01 pm

My hot water tank did indeed shoot craps, so what is one to do?  My house guests opted for sponge baths this morning and showers when they get home.  I opt for cold showers.  Actually, the cold water isn’t all that cold since it’s been simmering in the heat, close to the sun in the local water towers.  It’s only slightly cooler than tepid.  The true test is yet to come.

I had a dishwasher full of dishes and then some, so I resorted to the way we used to do dishes…boil water and go from there.  At least I didn’t have to boil water on a wood stove as my ancestors did and some Amish still do.

If Brit had been Amish, I never could have married him.  Cute, nice man that he was, the marriage never would have taken place let alone lasted.  Aside from the religious factor,  I don’t see how some of them manage with no refrigeration for food … let alone other comforts … no electricity, no indoor plumbing or running water.  They have passels of children who are all home-schooled and get a bath and clean clothes once a week.  The thought of getting a wood fire burning in the cook stove to prepare meals when it’s probably 110 degrees in the house would be the ultimate challenge.  And, the Amish don’t buy much so I suppose we’d have cornmeal mush for each meal.  Nope, I’d never survive that.  I thought about that as I washed the dishes and time just flew by.

I think I’ll get a tankless hot water heater this time, that is,  if they can figure out how to vent it in my utility room that is already a mechanical nightmare of equipment, pipes, tubes, ducts, vents etc.  Usually, I’m the only one here and keeping a 35 gallon tank of water hot at all times just for my convenience is insane.  I was going to change it out a few years ago and the cost was prohibitive.  So, I decided to wait until I HAD to do something and that time is NOW.  We once had a lot of demand on the system which is no longer the case.  I should hear tomorrow what the bottom line might be.  It won’t good news for the pocket book.

Speaking of water, as I was, I’m mystified by people who buy bottled water when tap water is usually a much better option.  They seem to believe all the promotional hype that is printed on the labels, claims of purity, images of mountain springs when there is little verification of those claims.  What they put in their bottles doesn’t include the source and and quality of the water and it’s not regulated like tap water.  People buy it and drink it without even knowing what’s in the bottle.  Nearly half of all bottled water, in fact, comes from the same source as the tap. However, bottlers like Coke (Dasani) have refused to acknowledge this simple truth on their labels.  And, it’s terribly expensive.  I just don’t get it. Using refillable containers is the way to go.  Stainless steel is best.

One of my friends who was here this weekend is a Viet Nam vet.  He was particularly interested in Tyler’s medical evacuation work since he underwent a similar experience during his war. I exposed him to one of the CNN links that showed the CCATT work I posted and sent the others for him to view later.  I wish Tyler could have been here to listen to some of Mark’s experiences as I know he would have found his descriptions of being on patrol in Nam and a ship’s medical hospital most interesting.  They would have had a good visit.  When I’m engaged in a really good conversation, I’m usually always reminded of someone who experienced similar situations that I wish could be there too as the ties were so strong.  I guess you call it networking.

Along these same lines of my conversation with Mark about wars, vets, injuries, compensation and supporting our troops, or lack thereof,  is a very interesting article today in Daily Kos called “Supporting” the troops by Joan McCarter.  It is a very, very good article that speaks with authority on the raw deals that are being shoved at our servicemen by some who  would prefer to save money by freezing military pay and scaling back benefits, rather than by eliminating waste in defense contracting.  You should really take a few minutes and read it.

Following the Vietnam war, our service members got a very raw deal. I’m not talking about the urban legends  about them being spat upon and called babykiller when they got home. I’m talking about how their government–for 12 years run by those great patriotic Republicans Reagan and Bush the elder–betrayed them. How so many had to fight a mostly losing battle to have the actual physical and psychological damage done to them even recognized, much less compensated. How the most psychologically damaged of them were left to fend for themselves, leaving a crisis of homelessness and addiction. I will never forget the shock of finding out how shoddily our government treated the people who were compelled to sacrifice everything. Nor will I forget the frustration of being utterly incapable–even with the weight of a congressman’s name behind me–to do anything to help those individuals.

Ringo loves the dog food I make for him.  When it’s mixed half and half with his dry dog food, there is never a morsel left in his bowl.  In case you want to make it, here’s how I do it.  Boil some chicken parts (like a couple of thighs and a leg),  remove the bones and dice the rest.   I use the broth and juice off canned veggies and add water so I have enough liquid to cook two cups of regular rice.  Not the instant kind.  When that’s cool, I add canned veggies…two or three cans total of mixed veggies and green beans.  I buy whatever is cheap.   When it is cool,  I stir in the chicken and store it in the refrigerator.  It usually lasts about ten days.

The “everything except the kitchen sink” ice cream Ally made for me is top of the line wonderful.  That is if you like fruit and nuts in your ice cream.  I do. It has crushed pineapple, cherries and tropical dried fruits hydrated with Kirsche, toasted coconut chips and nuts (sliced almonds, pine nuts and pecans…all roasted), and folded in this very creamy, custardy, vanilla  ice cream base.  Lucky me.  Bev and Mark loved it too.

Thanks for tuning in…


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