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Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 12:10 pm

We’ve shifted Peg’s Blog from to Greymatter, a new and more reliable home for new blog entries. Now that you have landed here, you can stay and browse my archives OR you can go to my new blog spot by clicking on the following address. You can always return here from from my website: You can adjust your browser to accommodate the new greymatter address. I’ve provided a wide variety of links on my blog for your perusal. I’ll be on a constant lookout for new and different items to include. I do appreciate hearing from you and what you think about what I’ve written, so drop me a note by clicking on the appropriate link. I’m always open to suggestions.

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” Gandhi

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:49 am



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:40 pm

Tomorrow we’re heading west to Hays, Wakeeney, Nicodemus, Bogue and all the neat places in between. Linda and I always take the longest, most out-of-the-way route to “any place” so we can explore, stop and talk with people, get slightly lost, etc. An hour’s drive can take two or three the way we go. We’ve been known to take half a day just getting to Hays. There’s so much to see along the way, so many diversions. The farther west we go, the longer it takes. John-the-Englishman will be going so we’ll stop for any and all excuses tomorrow to show him what we’ve seen many times. It will be an all-day backyard adventure. He’ll love it as he’s so eager to learn about Kansas and Kansans. He will be taking pictures of trucks and crops and everything imaginable that his friends back in Northumberland will want to learn about. Linda will be gathering information for articles for the paper. I suppose I’ll drive and point. We’re going to track down the flour mill business that Verl Switzer and his friends started. Maybe we’ll accidentally find Verl. He’s a very nice man and we’d all enjoy visiting with him. We like Nicodemus and the people who live there. The nice thing about Nicodemus is that it stays the same in many ways. You can count on most people being home. We’ll stop at the drug store in Wakeeney for a chat and maybe one of their famous cheeseburgers. Everyone in that area goes to the drug store…it’s a gathering place for all the latest news. Artist/musician Michael Boss might even be there. I hope he is carrying his stand up bass for an impromptu performance. And the delight of the evening will be a feast of lip-smacking barbeque at Ernestine’s in Bogue. Linda and I drove out for the grand opening of Angela and Barry’s restaurant so it will be nice to go back. It will be a very busy place as it’s actually going to be a “gathering”…a “party”… at Ernestine’s with a with lot of people and lots of barbeque and peach cobbler. Eat your heart out. It’s a long drive, but worth every mile of it.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:28 pm

In my next life… I wanna be a female bear…. If you’re a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that. Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that, too. If you’re a bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that. If you’re a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. I could deal with that. If you’re a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat. Yup … I wanna be a bear



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:09 am

The trap door was down this morning and Brit was sure we caught another critter. I didn’t hear anything in the night, and it would be hard not to if something were in the trap, so I think Larry came early, saw nothing was in the trap and put the door down so Jack doesn’t eat the bait. That’s what I think. Today I’m going to take John on a backward run to Lucas. Usually, I head north to Lincoln and go west from there to Denmark and Lucas, then down to Wilson, but today there is a basketball game at 5 in Lincoln and I want to see that since I have a grandson playing. I’ll reverse the trip and abbreviate it. We’ll go to Extra Innings for barbeque before the game. I’ll take the back road to Wilson (and save Wilson and Kansas Originals/Smoky Hill Winery for another day) and then head north on the scenic byway and a leisurely drive past Wilson Lake to Lucas. If they have a tour guide this time at the Garden of Eden, we’ll take the tour. If they are going to turn on a tv like they did last time I was there with Ann from England, then I’m not even going to bother to take him inside, except to buy a book and some postcards. I wrote a blog about what I thought of their new approach to Kansas tourism, but then I cooled off and forgot it. If they can’t figure that out, they don’t need any suggestions from these quarters. But, I’m encouraged. A friend went through a month or so ago and said they had a great tour guide and there wasn’t any tv…so I’ll hope that is the case today. Maybe they haven’t even noticed that the mere presence of a television in the house, with all its history and eccentricities, turns the place inside out. There is no one like Jean Mettlen to show you around the Garden. We’ll stop at the Grassroots Museum, and Doug Brant’s Grocery for some jerky and pepper sausage. We’ll see what else he has we can pop in the cooler that I carry with me for such emergencies. A stop in Denmark is always a necessity. Elsie Driscoll probably will not be around today and her shop will also be closed. But, who knows? Maybe we’ll find her wandering around doing something about town. She’ll be easy to find if she is there. Meantime, John can at least see the church and we can drag main street. In Lincoln we’ll cruise around so he can see all the stone buildings. We’ll stop to talk with Jim at Biggie Biggs and get something cold to drink and see how his business is going. Will have to check out the assortment of his wife’s pies. I hope he branches out and brings a Biggie to Ellsworth. I’ll go to the park to give the big cottonwood tree a hug and take John’s picture by it. We’ll stop in to see Julie, walk across the street to see Marilyn Hellmer at Village Lines. And if our timing is right, we can have some bbq then go to the game at 5 and meet the rest of the family. I’m really looking forward to basketball season this year…for varsity, junior varsity and 8th grade ball. I have a special interest. That sounds like a full day for showing the English gentleman around. He’ll like it. He’s enjoying everything about Kansas. He will take all his stories and pictures back to his friends and family at home. That’s what this is all about….letting one person at a time know how wonderful life is here in central Kansas.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:09 am

Another critter wandered into Larry’s trap last night. It didn’t make the same kinds of sounds as Roberta Raccoon while trying to get out…sounded more like a possum. We’ll see what he says when he comes back with the trap tonight. He’s decided we have more than enough wildlife here and some of it probably needs to be reloctated. I like having critters around, and certainly we have our share of them, but the nocturnal variety play all over the house and that is pretty annoying when you’re trying to sleep. One never knows when they’ll decide they’d prefer being inside. Let’s see. Over the years we’ve had deer, quail, peacocks, something that is huge and screams like a cougar, red fox (currently there are three), bazillions of rabbits and squirrels, skunks, raccoons, a variety of snakes, possums, big ole turtles that smell very bad, and all manner of birds including two horned owls that sit on our deck. Those are the ones I can think of, off hand.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:58 am

Websitesyes, my brainy webmaster person/friend, and I have determined blogger is a little unstable for me. Hah! Isn’t that a crock? Anyway, today sometime, websitesyes is moving everything to Greymatter which is more to our liking. It doesn’t fall apart, lose your archives and templates, etc. Well, it hasn’t yet. And we hope it won’t get hacked as easily, or at all. Websitesyes has been using it for quite some time and likes it. I am familiar with, find it very easy to use when it works, and I like the guy who owns it. Greymatter will take some adjustments on my part. I wonder if it has spell check? You probably noticed more than once that blogger doesn’t. Well, the premier edition does but then I wasn’t really anxious to pay for that. I should know how to spell by now. I don’t know all the intricacies of this, but my archives will still be on Blogger, as I understand it. If you want to search my archives for something you’ll probably never know the difference. The means ot getting there will be different, but you won’t know that. Graymatter entries will be on my server so it won’t be subject to the whims of others. If I start to get 5,000 hits a month again, as I did for the first three months when I first cranked this up, I may have to increase my bandwidth (that costs extra) with Metapros. If the County Attorney starts filing more motions, that may happen. I expect that to happen. My blog will have a little different look, particularly with different browers, but you’ll recognize the content. I set my brower view to “smaller” on IE. With Mozilla you get a little different view. Just remember you can set the font size to your own liking with any browser. We’ll see how it goes. Don’t forget all the Veterans Day activities today starting at 10.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:54 pm

They just announced on television that a “dead body” was found in Cheney Lake. If you find a “body” in a lake, don’t you just figger it’s a “dead” one ? You wouldn’t find a “live body” in a lake…you’d find a live person maybe. That’s like announcing, as they always do, that someone or some group of someone’s “opened fire”. I’ve never heard them say they closed fire after the firing ceased. They opened fire and then they closed fire ? Can’t someone just fire his rifle? Nah…he has to open fire these days. Well, I think there were a lot of hunters out there who “opened fire” on a bunch of pheasants this weekend. There used to be a tv reporter who always said, when reporting an accident, that the car was “totaled beyond it’s value”. I always missed the story because I got stuck on that comment. Oh well….


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:35 pm

Larry came by to set the trap again and said it was Roger Raccoon who wandered in the trap last night. They’ll have a happy home some place else. I took my English houseguest, John Spearman, to visit the Eisenhower Museum today. They’ve changed many of the exhibits since I was last there. That’s the neat thing about that place. As often as I go, it’s nice to have a variety of exhibits. Dan Holt does a great job administrating the Museum and Library. But…my favorite painting is not on display right now. I always look forward to seeing it. John’s quite an historian and very interested in Eisenhower’s involvement with his English counterparts so he found the current displays of particular interest. I’m not sure what we’ll do tomorrow after the Veterans gathering in the morning. Enjoy the day outside as much as we can. Tomorrow night we are invited to a friend’s home for ham and beans and cornbread. She has invited us to partake of a real American kind of meal. She really puts a good scald on them. I know…as I’ve had them before. Mighty good. John will really enjoy the evening and meal.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:02 am

Another critter wandered into Larry’s trap last night. It didn’t make the same kinds of sounds as Roberta Raccoon while trying to get out…sounded more like a possum. We’ll see what he says when he comes back with the trap tonight. He’s decided we have more than enough wildlife here and some of it probably needs to be reloctated. I like having critters around, and certainly we have our share of them, but the nocturnal variety play all over the house and that is pretty annoying when you’re trying to sleep. One never knows when they’ll decide they’d prefer being inside. Let’s see. Over the years we’ve had deer, quail, peacocks, something that is huge and screams like a cougar, red fox (currently there are three), bazillions of rabbits and squirrels, skunks, raccoons, a variety of snakes, possums, big ole turtles that smell very bad, and all manner of birds including two horned owls that sit on our deck. Those are the ones I can think of, off hand.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:58 pm

State Representative District 108 Results From Saline County with 53 of 53 precincts reporting Total Votes Percentage Jerry Aday (R) 1843 39% Joshua Svaty (D) 2849 61% Results From Ellsworth County with 25 of 25 precincts reporting Total Votes Percentage Jerry Aday (R) 603 23% Joshua Svaty (D) 1994 77% Results From Dickinson County with 1 of 1 precincts reporting Total Votes Percentage Jerry Aday (R) 172 36% Joshua Svaty (D) 303 64%


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:22 am

They counted the Ellsworth County provisional ballots yesterday. There were 28. Three were disallowed. Of the 25 counted, Jerry Aday got 2 and Josh 23.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:12 pm

It was a perfect day to go to Rolling Hills Zoo. I was surprised that more people didn’t have the same idea. John loved it and I always look for an excuse to go there to look around and visit with Robbie the orangutan. We spent most of the day walking, riding the tram, visiting with the volunteers, eating buffalo burgers and enjoying the day. We had the place almost to ourselves. The Zoo is the best thing that has happened to Central Kansas, imo, and I silently thank Charlie Walker every time I go there. If I happen to see him, I tell him even if he doesn’t know me from Eve. The people at the Zoo are the nicest, most accomodating you’ll find anywhere. From there we went to Central Kansas Flywheels Museum (now called the Yesteryears Museum). It’s a non-profit organization to collect, restore and exhibit antiques that pertain to our American heritage. If it’s old, they have it….trucks, cars, farm implements, telephone equipment, printing presses, school house, tools, …it is endless. It’s located on 20 acres, indoor and outdoor displays include agricultural and industrial machinery, plus, a large variety of antique collections. The largest display building is 33,200 square feet with two levels. Peggy, their first employees in all these years, showed John how to make rope, shuck corn and generally showed us around. The museum work is done entirely by volunteers. It’s been there over 25 years…and I just visited for the first time today. Being a farmer, John loved it. I was impressed by the massive number of items, but I’m not very interested in antiques/old stuff. Guess it’s because it looks so familiar. It was reminiscent of the Hodgden House Museum only much larger…and not as large as Pioneer Village. To get there you go to the 9th street exit off I-70 in Salina and head north. On the left, across from McDonald’s, you’ll find Diamond Street that goes west past several motels. You’ll think you’ve missed it, but keep going past the KOA campground area and look right…you can’t miss all the old farm machinery surrounding the place. Admittance was $4.00 each.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:38 pm

On Josh’s tour of the 21 towns in the 108th on Nov.4th, he talked about a wide range of topics, mostly dealing with the budget, education, health care, etc. But in one of these towns, a tall, angular confrontational man walked straight up to Josh without even greeting him and said, “What are you going to do about ‘talking’ American? If people want to live here, they can talk American or go back where they came from!” He kept ranting on and Josh had the answer phrased just right and began by saying very few of us were native Americans and that we all descended from ancestors who came from all parts of the world to live here. Not being deterred the man continued …not getting the message at all. Just then, an old man, perhaps in his late 80s, came through the door, bent over and walking carefully but with a huge smile on his face. He walked up between Josh and the other man, stuck out his hand and said, “Jak se mache?” (How are you?….I know I didn’t spell that right in Czech). That was soooo beautiful. I don’t think it registered with the confrontational guy, who wasn’t getting the answer he wanted and left…. but it sure did with us. Those three words were so familiar and beautiful to the rest of us….they said so much.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:26 pm

There were 22 people who dropped in to visit with Josh on Nov. 4th. Josh said: I love Assaria. It shows that this town is proof positive if you put effort into a town, it pays off.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:20 pm

Seen on the window of the Lorraine Cafe on November 4th: “Josh Svaty will be here Nov. 4 at 3:30. We will remain open.” That was terrific.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:16 pm

It was Roberta Raccoon…not Roger. She was one big raccoon.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:47 pm

John was slightly lost after he landed in Kansas City. He knew where he was, he was where he was supposed to be, but the Road Runner driver, for some unknown reason, couldn’t see a Brit frantically waving his arms trying to get his attention. I called after the time they should have picked him up and the person at Road Runner, who admitted being new at the job, said…”We have a small problem. We have lost your friend from England. We don’t know where he is. We lost another fellow from England once”. Well, John is an adult and not the kind who easily loses himself, but that information was enough to prompt a talk with the “supervisor”. The supe, had a great sense of humor, and I knew he was safe in her hands. She said they’d find him for sure for the next run (2 1/2 hours later…not good when you’re tired) “even if we have to call airport security to find him.” Then she added, “we lost another fellow once and he was also a Brit.Maybe it’s in the genes.” It had been ages ago, but she still remembered his name. Alistar someone. Indeed a Brit. Well, that wasn’t a problem as John was always where he was supposed to be so I don’t know where the driver was. After he got on Road Runner, I must have had a call from everyone who worked there alerting me he was safely located and deposited in the van. I think they thought they were dealing with a man with dementia who had wandering habits, er sumpin’, but that’s hardly the case. Finding him was a celebration for them. It was all humorous to John as well. Ally picked him up in Junction City after a scramble there. The driver had taken him to their office instead of the Days Inn drop off place. After going in the office, John told them it sure didn’t look like a motel to him, so, upon checking their records and recognizing another mistake, they shuttled him to the Motel where Ally was waiting and wondering. They were headed this way and were west of Abilene when Brit called her to say Road Runner had called and they had lost John again. Ally assured her dad she had John in the car with her and all was well. I spent a good part of the evening in Salina waiting to make the passenger switch and wishing I had a cell phone so I knew what was going on. Poor John. When the time comes for him to leave, I bet they get him back to the airport with less difficulty.


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

Happy Birthday, Josh …may you have many, many more birthdays as happy as today must be for you.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:03 pm

My friend, John Spearman, the Brit, is on his way to invade Ellsworth. He’ll soon be delivered to Junction City by Road Runner and I’ll go there to pick him up. He left home about 11:00 pm (our time) last night and it will be after midnight before he settles in here. Let me tell you that’s a long hard trip for old people! It’s hard to find Ellsworth sometimes, especially if you start out in Northumbria. Tour agents tend to ask…”Ah, Kansas. Where would that be?” “Let me suggest the Canary Islands for this time of year”. Or …”Maybe you’d prefer New Hebrides for isolation?” Well…no one ever leaves here without wanting to come back so eventually the word will get out worldwide. This is his first trip to Kansas…and to Ellsworth…so give him a warm welcome. He’s been to Florida. He, his cousin, Ally and I spent the day at the San Diego Zoo. I think that’s about his range of experiences in the US. He has been to Canada to visit relatives. Brit’s always go to Canada first to see the relatives. They must like to view first hand how they became less British and more Canadian. He lives on the Moors in northern England (Northumberland) outside Hexham, about 20 miles from the border of Scotland and just a little west and north of Newcastle. He’s a sheep and cattle farmer. The terrain around his home is not so different from our homes on the prairie, except there are a lot more sheep, and an abundance of heather and gorse and enough rain to make the ground continually spongy like peat bogs. And it takes a lot longer to get to a town of say….of three families. It’s very remote. Very. I love it…the isolation of it. One of our first stops will be to Drovers Mercantile. Jim is of English heritage and from an area near Hovingham which is not too far from John. We’ll explore the shops downtown and he’ll like just wandering around and seeing what there is to see. We have a couple farmer friends who are going to show him their “spreads”. And there’s the high school play. We have plans to go to Ernestine’s in Bogue for barbeque with the Hays Daily Newspaper crowd. We’ll go to the Sternberg Museum and Rolling Hills and about everything inbetween that represents the Amazing 100 Miles. We’ll take in the Eisenhower Museum and Library. He’ll be experiencing my “famous” backyard adventures…better than “Mrs. Bucket’s candlight buffets”, I say. He’s interested in many things and is an excellent historian. We’re looking forward to his visit and I know it will be a pleasure for all of us having him here.He really was an excellent tour guide for me when I visited there so I’ll try to do the same for him.

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