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10/31/2003

THIS ISN’T HARD TO FIGURE OUT

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 3:33 pm

Here’s something to think about.

Most people who’ve lived in one place for a number of years have done so because they like where they live. We think our town is the very best place in the world to live. I think that and I believe many others who live here would agree.

Some individuals are trying to convince others they are mistaken not to love our town just as much as we do and more than the one they have chosen to live in. We love it so why shouldn’t you?, they ask.

The thing is, as the people who have researched these issues for years maintain, everyone thinks the town they live in is the best, better than ours, better than yours, better than any other. We who live here think that. The people in Lindsborg think their community is best. The people in Geneseo, Wilson, Holyrood and Lorraine think theirs are the best communities in which to live. We are all possessive of the towns in which we live. People don’t change loyalties easily and they are not inclined to relocate without good reason….especially if they are employed.

Some of the people at the prison have worked there ten years and commuted from elsewhere…Salina or wherever. The same goes with the employees at Cashco. Some of them have been commuting for 20 years, many of them to and from Salina every single work day. When they built the Maico plant, how many of those new employees chose to relocate and live here?

We have people living here who commute to Salina every single day…not just the husband or wife, but both commute. It would be easier for them if they moved to Salina, but they don’t choose to do that. I assume they could afford to buy a house and live there and save on the cost of commuting, which is significant, but they choose to live here instead. Now don’t you think if these people were unhappy commuting to work every day, they would have moved closer to their work years ago? Just because we choose to live here, that doesn’t mean it will be the choice of others. I don’t think this is a complex issue to understand.

People aren’t going to be lured with free land, free hookups or free anything else. Certainly they don’t want to leave where they are unless the situation here is a whole lot better or other reasons come into play. There are plenty of houses in town already on the market…too many, in fact, according to the people trying to sell their homes. Those who chose to come here and live are able to find housing. Anyone who has lived here long enough to have observed this will tell you this is so.

I can almost guarandamntee you that if a new plant came here tomorrow and we had “affordable” housing for all of them, a large percentage of them, maybe most of them, would choose to live somewhere other than here. That choice has nothing to do with housing. It has to do with preferences…personal preferences.

There is more to this thought and who to target to move here, but that involves economic development which this isn’t. This is housing, pure and simple. Economic development is an entirely different concept. I wonder how many times I’ve said this? Fortunately, I’m not the only one who believes this is true.

UNITED METHODIST WOMEN ARE COOKING AGAIN

Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 11:34 am

Tuesday ….November 4th….the Ellsworth United Methodist Women will conduct their annual soup supper and bazaar in the church basement. The bazaar starts at 2:30 p.m. The soup supper begins at 4:30 p.m. There will be a free will offering.

FLU SHOTS

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 11:30 am

Just a reminder: it is recommended by health authorities an it seems a good idea to get a flu shot.

WORLD-RECORD PUMPKIN

Filed under: print news — Peg Britton @ 11:26 am

The new world record for heaviest pumpkin was set this month in Oregon: 1,385 pounds.

PORCELAIN DUST

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:11 am

A cloud of porcelain dust has settled in our house. It has infiltrated everything.. a layer of it coats everything, it’s in the closets and drawers. I don’t know that we’ll ever get rid of it. Most of it seemed to have happened yesterday. They are doing the cutting/sawing outside so I don’t know what happened. The area they are working in is shut off from the rest of the house. I suppose “someone” turned on the heat yesterday and the dust was sucked through the house. It’s going to be a real bear to get rid of it.

It appears take today and Monday to finish cutting and putting the tile in place and that mess will conclude. Then we start with the epoxy. Does anyone out there have any tips about working with epoxy?

CARDINALS WIN OVER BEARCATS

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 6:57 am

The Bearcats played well last night, and it was a good game, but they just couldn’t squeak out a win to end their season on a positive note. The cold weather (I’d like to think that was the reason) kept many fans away. Or maybe they forgot it was one of those unusual Thursday night games to allow for Halloween tonight. The Bearcats lost 26 to 6, or something close to that. I forget.

It appeared I was “overdressed” last night…an unusual occurrence if read the way most would interpret it…but in this case I had on so many clothes I could hardly walk….but I didn’t get cold. I layered and layered and topped it all with my North Sea jacket plus the ugliest black down jacket you ever cast your eyes on. But I wasn’t cold! I was ugly all over and warm. It was football weather, the way I like it, and stimulating.

10/30/2003

STUFF!

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Wilson Musings — Peg Britton @ 3:53 pm

I wandered around last night trying to get a glimpse of the aurora borealis but had no luck. I probably should have driven east on old 40 to the “big hill”. Maybe I could have seen something from there. Fatigue set in so I just came in and looked at one of the pictures of same that my friend Pedrito sent me from Yellowknife many years ago. There are very good pictures on the web too…they are really fascinating.

The tile work is progressing so well that we’ve had to move everything out of the bathroom altogether. My tooth brush and I have been relocated.

“If we are all thinking alike, no one is thinking.” Bill Walton. That’s a good thing to always remember. There is always a point or respect in which things…people…differ. I’ve never figured out why people get so angry if everyone doesn’t agree with them.

The last football game is tonight. I wish the boys could have had a better season as they tried hard to win games. I’ve known years when they didn’t put out much effort, but these kids seem to really want to win. And, as one of the coaches told me, if they weren’t in such good shape, their losses would have been greater. I think there is some very good talent coming up from the Middle School so evidence of that should surface in a couple of years. Maybe we can look forward to winning some games. We could use some “beef” and speed.

Meantime….we can look forward to basketball season. With grandsons on two different teams, I’ll be on the road a lot.

If you haven’t been to Wilson lately, you could have a nice outing by going over there and browsing around. Check out Made from Scratch, La Shiro’s Boutique, Wilson Family foods for great home-smoked bacon, hams and meats to take home, Das Borell Haus B & B, Sincerely Yours Gifts and Sportsman’s Lodge, Ollie’s Antiques, the Opera House Museum, the old jail and water tower, Czech Cottages (Dave Criswell’s straw bale construction), Kansas Originals, the Smoky Hill Winery and, of course, The Midland Hotel. You can check on my website splash page and find our more about most of those things. I like Wilson…it’s a nice place and many of their residents have done a lot to make it that way.

Remember you can eat at Castle Rock Bed and Breakfast. Just make reservations. It’s a nice place to go and they treat you well.

A NOTE FROM KAY HUNTER GRONEMAN

Filed under: friends — Peg Britton @ 1:41 pm

It always pleases me when people who grew up in Ellsworth discover my website and find it is a way to stay in touch. Today I received a nice note from Sam Weinhold and this one from Kay. Tell Laverna her daughter says “hi” :)

Peg,
I know you won’t remember me, but I do remember you. And you may know my mom, Laverna Hunter. I happened upon your web site a few months ago and just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it, and your blogs. It kind of keeps me up with stuff going on in Ellsworth, in addition to the info I get from my mom.

I live in Kansas City now, have for nearly 30 years. My husband Tom is retiring as Register of Deeds for Wyandotte County, actually tomorrow, after 28 years. I graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1967, I think (it’s been a long time ago and the memory goes), and I also went to high school with Dane, although I think he was a few years younger than me.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you what a cool web site you have. It is absolutely wonderful. Take care and tell my mom hi if you ever see her.

Kay (Hunter) Groneman

MESSAGE FROM KRIS THOMPSON REGARDING OPERATION IRAQI PENCIL BOX

Filed under: friends, political musings — Peg Britton @ 1:36 pm

From his mother, Cindy McAtee:

Kris called today. We haven’t talked to him for three weeks, so we were so excited when the phone rang at 4:30 a.m! The call was frustrating to us both, as we were cut off several times. We didn’t have time to finish our conversation with a goodbye or an “I love you!” He said he was dusty and dirty, as the wind had been blowing constantly the last two days. He has been involved in a few more combat missions. Camp Speicher, the post on which he’s stationed, has been attacked a few times lately, but luckily no one was hurt. They arrested some involved in the attacks, but have not found all responsible. The soldiers are looking forward to moving home, but it will be a long process with all the equipment, gear, etc. that has to be transported. He received two packages so far for Operation Iraqi Pencil Box. When I told him Lew and I had mailed 12 more and had even more supplies to pack up at home, he couldn’t believe it! The two packages he received, have already been taken to the schools. The kids, parents, and teachers at KMS and EES have been more than generous.

I sent him 24 little stockings, a tree, ornaments, and Christmas lights. He received those and loved it. He will put the Christmas lights in the palm tree behind the barracks! I also sent him a KU blanket and pillow. Of course, his guys have given him plenty of grief over those gifts, but he loves them! He heard on TV the score of the last game KU played against KSU. He didn’t know the quarterback was hurt and wouldn’t be returning. How disappointing! Again, thank you for your support and prayers. Love, Cindy

10/29/2003

YEAH NICK!

Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 5:19 pm

Nick Slechta continues to bring in new members to the Chamber of Commerce. He’s doing a fantastic job.

WILSON CHAMBER BREAKFAST NOTIFICATION

Filed under: Wilson Musings — Peg Britton @ 5:15 pm

The Wilson Chamber breakfast is November 5th at Al’s Bar and Grill. John Thaement, President of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, will be the speaker. John will discuss farm and food policy, its impact on rural Kansas and national economy. Doors open at 7:30 for those who want to have breakfast. John will speak at 8.

These are always good gatherings…and it’s fun to visit and stay current with our neighbors to the west.

AURORA BOREALIS

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:42 pm

There are some indicators afloat that because of the solar storm it may make it worth while for us to stray outside tonight between 11 and 12 P.M. as we have a slight change of viewing the northern lights.

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE PERFORMANCE LAST NIGHT IN THE PAC

Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:43 pm

The vocal music department concert consisting of middle and high school students was excellent once again. Not only that, the place was packed with patrons who were there not only to see their children perform, but were there because the reputation of the music department is close to legendary. We are always guaranteed a very pleasant evening of good music. (The elementary school has a concert next week, so try to attend.)

There were only a handful of empty seats on the aisles, those being available since everyone was asked to scrunch to the center. It takes a lot of cooperation among teachers and students to stage a concert of that outstanding quality. Certainly, it was near perfection for students of that age group. Unlike large schools where they weed out the poorest singers, our school programs include anyone who wants to participate whether it be music, athletics or forensics, etc. That is one of the best aspects for students who attend small, community schools. They are treated as individuals and don’t fall between the cracks.

YEAH, YEAH!

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:59 am

The boxes of tile lay at the ready and the glue can is open. Yeah! Soon we will have our shower rebuilt and it will look so nice when it is finished. And it won’t fall apart during the rest of my life time. Materials have improved a lot to insure waterproofing. I love technology!

Kenny, Delmar, Ralph and Harold (along with Chick and Clarence) cut every board and pounded every nail in this house with care. It is as much theirs as mine. They do everything as if they were doing it for their own homes, and that process is important to me. With them pounding and sawing, I never have to worry.

SUSAN CROWE

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 9:03 am

Anyone who has heard her will remember the voice and presence of Susan Crowe. She was here a few years ago and gave concerts at the PAC. She was accompanied by John Reichman, whose mother grew up here, and Linda Kidder. She and Heather Bishop returned for a concert at the Abilene County Club.

Since that time Susan has worked on the music for a new CD and it has just been released by Festival Distribution in Vancouver. I ordered a stack of them for my family and am compiling a list of others who live here who also want a copy of “Book of Days”. Let me know and I’ll order for you at $16.00 each.

If you live elsewhere, or prefer to order your own, call this toll free number: 1.800.633.8282. Paul Norton may answer the phone and you’ll find him delightful.

Susan’s new CD is magnificent….same wonderful voice and haunting, searching lyrics. John accompanies her again on some of the numbers and there are three other female vocalists who also are found on some of the numbers. It’s a beautiful, professional recording.

The part I like best is that a little tiny bit of it, the instrumental into to Love’s Pure Gold, was created here under our roof when she and Heather were here for a week.

Each recording that is sold helps Susan enormously. She is a professional musician whose entire source of income comes from concerts and recordings. It takes a great deal of time to put together a CD of this caliber and I realized that after seeing each note being born.

WOMEN ACHIEVING EQUALITY

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:29 am

A heart-warming story of the advances of women in achieving equality throughout the world ….

Barbara Walters of 60 Minutes (USA) did a story on gender roles in Kabul several years before the Afghan conflict. She noted that women customarily walked about ten paces behind their husbands.

She returned to Kabul recently and observed that the men now walked several paces behind their wives. Ms Walters approached one of the Afghani women and said. “This is marvellous. Can you tell the free world just what enabled women to achieve this reversal of roles?”

“Land mines,” said the woman.

A THOUGHT FOR READERS

Filed under: friends, political musings — Peg Britton @ 8:23 am

We have millions of young families living in poverty paying hundreds of dollars a year out of their little bit of earned income to provide Medicare benefits to seniors. We have young families of modest means paying as much as $800 a month to provided medical insurance for their families. Yet, our political leadership is fearful of raising Medicare Part B insurance premiums from $58.50 a month to $81.90 a month on seniors with annual incomes in the range of $80,000 to $100,000. They fear a senior backlash. I just cannot believe that seniors are that selfish. If someone is looking for a sad commentary on our economic and political priorities, I would nominate this one. See Wall Street Journal, 10/28/03, page A2.

Jerry Marsh

10/28/2003

HOUSE PASSES IMPROVED FUNDING FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 10:49 am

This week, according to Congressman Jerry Moran,the House passed legislation that reauthorizes and expands the Economic Development Administration. It also creates three new programs to provide additional grant funding to small communities in Kansas and across the nation. Finding new ways to improve economic development and keep our rural economies energized is essential to maintaining our small communities and our way of life.

This week, he sponsored legislation to help level the playing field for American manufacturers who struggle to compete against unfairly priced imports from China. The legislation, H.R. 3058, would impose tariffs on Chinese imports if the Treasury Department finds that illegal currency manipulation has been taking place.

Some economists estimate that the Chinese currency, the yuan, is undervalued against the dollar by as much as 40 percent. Essentially, this amounts to a 40 percent discount on all Chinese exports to the U.S. and a 40 percent tariff on all U.S. exports to China, including agriculture products. In addition, China imposes import tariffs averaging about 15 percent on U.S. goods.

This legislation would direct the Secretary of the Treasury Department to analyze and report to Congress whether China is manipulating its currency to gain a trade advantage. If the Secretary determines that China is undervaluing the yuan, the Department is required to levy tariffs equal to the percentage of manipulation found.

The artificially valued yuan has allowed Chinese products to be sold in the U.S. for well below the cost of production, hurting our manufacturers and agriculture producers and costing Kansans jobs. If we’re serious about participating in a global trading system that helps, not hurts, American workers and farmers, we need to ensure that our trading partners do not manipulate their currencies to gain an unfair trade advantage.

YEAH!

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:41 am

The tile is in, the Kohl’s brothers and Harold are here and we’re moving ahead. Yeah. Maybe we’ll be able to shower indoors sometime this winter. I’m back to my 6 am rise and shine schedule. The “rise” part isn’t difficult as I’m usually up by then anyway. But the “shine” part is another matter. The only part of retirement that has come my way, that I’ve noticed, is that I don’t have to rush around in the morning and get ready for the day. Now, absent curtains and drapes, I need to be ready to greet the guys by 7 am. Oh well…it won’t last forever and it will be really nice when the project is finished. We’ll have a shower that will last through the rest of this century.

My “patient” is doing much better. He’s more ambulatory today and even went down to get the mail and some eggs. We had eggs, but I forgot and left them on the counter before we went on a hurried doctor run to Salina. In our absence, Jack managed to get them down on the kitchen floor and make a scrambled egg dinner for himself. He should have a beautiful coat in a few days. That Jack! If he could put a message on the answering machine to let everyone know this is his house, he would.

10/27/2003

Hi to Janis

Filed under: friends — Peg Britton @ 9:17 pm

My friend Janis is down by the big water with Lyman and Lucy. Gulf Shores I think. She took a new laptop that Lyman bought, but the email connection isn’t working all that well. Ah…that sounds familiar. Janis has a good blog that I always enjoy. Have fun, my friend.

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