Link to KansasPrairie.net

8/30/2004

ELLSWORTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERSHIPS

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 8:52 pm

Nick Slechta has done a super job bringing Chamber memberships from a small handful to the following totals. It’s very impressive. You’ve done a super job, Nick!

Membership totals to date are:

Full 74

Friend 12

Associate 27

In-Kind 7

WE PROBABLY DO NEED MORE PUBLIC LANDS

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings — Peg Britton @ 1:56 pm

If you mention “public lands” to Kansans, it raises their ire like it does talking about wind generators and water resources. The argument falls between the users and usees!

For 100 years the Great Plains have been losing human population and there are only a few people who have come up with positive suggestions for enticing people back to our flat lands. Those include Buffalo Commons researchers Frank and Debra Popper, and of late, their supporter Mike Hayden. These three people are far more knowledgeable about these matters than most of us. That doesn’t automatically bestow on them the ability to be “right”. It is their suggestion, however, based on solid research, that we develop public lands to lure people back to hunt and fish…and traipse around in the wilderness. It certainly works elsewhere. National parks do draw people to live in them and who work to maintain them.

Private land ownership is not working very well to attract people back to live on the land. It is, after all, private land. We thought we’d learned a lesson after the 1930 dust bowl days, but apparently we didn’t…not when people are still being killed on our highways because of blowing dirt resulting in zero visibility…not when we’ve sucked the water out of the ground to dangerously low levels while trying sustain a type of agriculture that was never intended to survive here.

If there were nice grassy parks instead of center pivot irrigation, at least there would be less dust and it would be more livable for people.

This country just looks as if it were designed to be covered mainly by native vegetation…short grasses, forbs and shrubs and a few trees here and there. The Poppers and Hayden might be right. If we return some of our lands to the way it was over 100 years ago, maybe the people will return.

DIDYA KNOW?

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 12:39 pm

Did you know there are over 11 million blogs? When I first started, there were about 3,000,000 bloggers, as I recall. I’m surprised there aren’t more. If you have a penchant for writing, it fills a need. If you have something you want to say, you can. You have the freedom to write what you want; plunge ahead and talk about almost anything you want to. There are some rules, of course. I employ far more than most. Then it’s left up to others to read it or not read it. It’s been an interesting road to travel.

EULENSPIEGAL PUPPET THEATER

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:32 am

It looks like our grade school students will be entertained tomorrow by my puppeteer friends, Monica and T.J. They’ll be performing “World Tales” and I know the kids will love it and learn from it. Me too. I intend to go. I haven’t seen one of their shows in a couple of years and I need a puppet fix. Their puppets are all hand made, come in all shapes and sizes and are so cute and charming. It was a wonderful of Dr. Moeckel to make these arrangements on short order…especially on Sunday. He does very good work.

I also added a P.S. to the letter Gil sent me…that’s down a few blogs. The one he wrote about marriage. He has a chance to add more too, if he likes. We just look at things differently which doesn’t mean either of us is right or wrong…just different. He’s young, I’m old, we have religious differences and I grew up in the “Midwest” while he is an east coast guy now living in Jerusalem. Although I’m sure we view many things in the same way and on the same plane, we differ on this issue. No problem.

We had a lot going on here over the weekend. A friend stopped by as she was passing by on the Interstate going from east to west. She had to go 16 miles out of her way to do that, so that made me feel good. It’s always good to see her.

The Olympics are over and I’m “done in” watching TV. I doubt the Republican convention will draw my attention, but I will try to catch the major speeches.

Don’t forget the Wilson Chamber breakfast Wednesday morning. It would be nice if there were a big turnout. The food part starts at 7:30 if you want to fuel your furnace for the day. The talking part starts at 8:00. Josh and Tim will each get 15 minutes to pitch themselves, then the audience will ask questions. It’s no debate. It’s pretty laid back and fun. I always enjoy seeing and visiting with my Wilson friends.

Stay tuned, please. And thank you again for reading my blog. You know you can contribute comments if you like. I usually post about everything I get unless it’s too long. Gil’s letter was an exception…long, but worthy. I like to share thoughts with you other than my own. I do appreciate Gil’s letter.

8/29/2004

LET’S THROW EGGS AT THE OLYMPICS

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:07 pm

Do Greeks have a word for egg-throwing? It’s a worldwide sporting activity sadly overlooked in Athens. In 1978, in Texas, Johnie Dell Foley threw a fresh hen egg 323 feet 2 inches, and his cousin, Keith Thomas, caught it without mishap. No one has yet broken that record. To learn more about this great sport, see
“Let’s Throw Eggs at the Olympics”

ASSORTED OTHER THOUGHTS

Filed under: prairie musings, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 1:18 pm

The Lawrence Virtual School expected a first year enrollment of 30 and, instead, had about 130. As they provide high school courses and AP courses, we can expect the students in our small rural schools to look to those types of schools to provide courses we can’t provide. It’s filling a niche that may change the face of public education in our small communities. It will be interesting to watch the development and expansion of virtual schools as it becomes increasingly difficult to fund public education.

Four of us had a very relaxing morning at the Farmer’s Market in Salina and following in Caper’s. I love our farmer’s market in Ellsworth and would never take anything away from them as all those who contribute to it do a fantastic job. But…it was interesting to experience the one in Salina. They had perhaps 8 identical kiosks with different vendors in each. They had produce very much like what we get to purchase here only theirs was displayed a little differently. There was a display of honey, hand milled soap, and a couple of local farmers who produce organic meat. They had a harpist who played “market” music in her own kiosk. It was very classy and fun. I didn’t buy much as I asked Brit to get our tomatoes from Caleb. But I did buy a small piece of ham, some sausage and jars of extremely hot salsa and pepper jelly. I’ll serve the jelly on Philly cream cheese today for our gathering. We had the sausage for breakfast and it was so-so.

Caper’s was fun. Eldest son joined us and we had a leisurely visit over special coffee and gooey rolls. Caper’s is always a delight. I guess they are changing their format and converting to fine dining.

There wasn’t a movie we could agree on and none of them looked particularly inviting. I have two scuba divers in the family. I once had nightmares about them being left at sea so I didn’t want to see that movie, although I hear it is excellent.

Brit has been working in the yard this weekend doing all the fall maintenance projects…aerating, seeding, mowing, fertilizing and watering. Not in that order. He and I don’t see eye to eye on such things. I’ve always wanted prairie that required no fertilizer or watering. . In fact, this was beautiful prairie land with lots of wild flowers and grasses before we moved up here. He likes his yard to look like a well-manicured golf course. I can’t object since he does all his own work. Drew is coming to help this afternoon. Our yard is a huge project and is getting to be just too much for Brit to do alone.

I’m still working on getting the Eulenspiegal Puppet Theater here for a show. My friends will be here tomorrow and Tuesday. They’re performing today (and did yesterday) in Garden City at the Tumbleweed Festival. They will next perform in the schools in Hope, Solomon and Abilene. They have a public show Wednesday evening in Abilene. Then they go to Lucas and on to KC for multiple performances. They are terrific entertainers and I know our grade school students would love to see their “World Tales”. It’s just late notice. I didn’t know they were coming. They just wrote Friday and told me they were in my neighborhood and wanted to see me for a visit. Maybe we can work out something. I hate to see them be so close and our kids not be able to see one of their shows. You can look them here.

Marathoner De Lima survived a clash with an intruder who dashed on the course after about 23 miles of the race and bundled Lima into the crowd. He’s the same religious nutcase, who calls himself a “Catholic priest on sabbatical”, who stood in the middle of the track last year in the British Grand Prix with cars going 200 mph around him. Cornelius Horan needs to be under house arrest in Ireland. Here’s an account from his Grand Prix escapade: Click!

HERE’S AN OPINION YOU PROBABLY THOUGHT I’D NEVER POST!

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings — Peg Britton @ 11:05 am

I think I should probably come out of the closet (so to speak) regarding my political views. I’m kind of on the other side. I consider myself a moderate, and generally oppose each extreme, and I feel that recently that has landed me closer to the Republicans generally.

I don’t think that I hate gays. But I do think that society has a right to promote the relationship between one man and one woman as something special. Yes, society must stand up against any kind of verbal or physical violence against gays, should eliminate sodomy laws, and should generally make every effort to make sure that MLK’s dream that “people be judged not by X but by the content of their character” includes sexual orientation. But marriage (including heterosexual marriage) is NOT natural, as man (in general) by his nature is most certainly NOT monogamous. It’s a value that society chooses (correctly, I think), to promote, just as it promotes (or should promote) its values against smoking and racism, and for education and tolerance. The fact that some people cannot benefit from marriage as currently defined does NOT obligate society to redefine the value. I had the same feeling watching a Murphy Brown episode (I’m not just Quayling, this was an episode that I thought was significant) where she “showed” how all families were equal — one mother, 2 mothers, a father and grandparents, etc. NO! Obviously if a marriage breaks up for any reason we then come together to do the best we can. But to state that a mother & a father is just one of many equally good (or equally bad) arrangements? No. I’d like to play shortstop for the Mets. I can’t. I’m not asking the Mets to redefine their standards so that I can live my dream. Rather “shortsop for the Mets” remains a model that I admire, and draw strength from. Once we take “one man, one woman” out of the definition of marriage, we’ve significantly changed the model of marriage, in my opinion for the worse, even if were to be able to stop the redefinition there. I think many (certainly not all) proponents of gay marriage are just unhappy with the biblical definition of marriage being taken as a value, and are happy to chip away at it from any angle.

Last point. Yes, some people think that G-d is a murderous sadist and a pimp who will give a man virgins if he kills enough innocents. Religious fundamentalists who refuse to consider ethics are dangerous. But people who hate religion can also be quite dangerous. The greatest killing of the 20th century was done by anti-religionists who considered themselves rationalist-secularists. Worst were the Communists who killed hundreds of millions in Russia, China, Vietnam, and elsewhere. (I’ll leave the Nazis out of this). I bring this up because one of the pillars upon which marriage stands is religious belief. Most Americans accept marriage as a biblically ordained commitment between a man and a woman. Yes, people can be married by various secular or religious institutions. But one should be careful when one chips away at religion, and particularly at the religious institution of marriage.

Last (really) point: Something has happened to “liberal” society. Freedom of sex has replaced freedom of opinion as the ultimate value. Actions (and consequences) relating to sexual urges are considered sacred. I’m expected to respect others’ sexual tendencies. But others are not expected to understand or respect my values. If I called a gay a name, I’d be (rightly) criticized. But if one calls me a bigot, gay basher, homophobe, neanderthal, zealot, prude, etc. for opposing gay marriage, that’s considered fine, even liberal & enlightened. Reasonable people can differ over gay marriage, and over whether or not a court has the right to force elected officials to alter their definition of marriage. But people who oppose gay marriage are often condemned as “homophobes” or “gay bashers” inaccurately.

OK, that was a long enough rant. And I don’t know Kansas politics, I might find myself supporting the same moderate Republicans and opposing the same Republican extremists as you do. Though I must confess, I’m an admirer of President Bush. Sorry.

Anyway, be well, Peg,

Ah, my friend, Gil. We are world’s apart. I don’t see one word about “love” in your letter. Two people join together because of love and it’s love that keeps them together. It’s about love! There is nothing “unnatural” about gays. It is a fact of nature that some people are born with both female and male sex organs. With hundreds of millions of genes, sperm, eggs and chromosomes joining to become offspring, how could we possibly think we will all be born heterosexual? We are born having no choice in how our genes have been intermingled. It only makes sense to be aware that a certain percentage will be homosexual, bisexual, asexual or a combination of all the above. This is a fact of nature that one cannot deny. Because of an accident at birth, why should you and I be entitled to more rights than they?

It is my opinion that those who are not heterosexual are every bit as natural as heterosexuals and are entitled to the same rights and privileges. I believe there should be civil unions and privileges accorded to all couples, gay or straight. It maintains the rights accorded to separation of church and state. Denying equal rights to some Americans because they were not born heterosexual is beyond the pale. Brit and I enjoy civil rights that other “couples” who also have been together for 53 years and are not “heterosexual” are denied. That just plain isn’t right.

I won’t be around in 30 years, but I’ll bet the farm that people will look back at this argument in shock and horror…the same way some people thought 30 years ago that blacks were genetically inferior. Poppycock!

In addition. The “religious marriage” issue really isn’t important to me. That’s a personal matter between a “couple”, their God and their church. But I do have strong feelings that “gay couples” should be entitled to a civil marriage with all the rights and privileges of law that are now accorded to het couples.

I think we sometimes forget that not everyone is married in a religious ceremony. You can go to the court house, pay your fee to the judge and get married. Many couples do that. That right should be open to all, it seems to me, to Jim and Bob and Mary and Jane ..not just Peg and Roy. Maybe we need to call it something other than “marriage”. Civil union works for me. And, it will happen, when the pendulum swings.

Well, Gil and I expressed our opinions, hitting only the surface of the subject. Certainly there are many.

STEVEN LOPEZ…THE HANDSOMEST MAN IN THE OLYMPICS

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:19 am

I watched Steven Lopez win his second gold medal in taekwondo. There will be Lopezes in the Olympics for years to come as the whole family is involved in the sport.

My personal assessment is that Steven is the handsomest Olympian in the fold. He is one good-looking, charming young man. He will go far! I guess he already has.

8/27/2004

HEADING TO SALINA TOMORROW

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 8:51 pm

A friend and I are heading to Salina in the morning to go to the Farmer’s Market and have breakfast at Caper’s. We’ve been talking about doing it for four years…or maybe longer. I’ll have Brit go to the market here for me. We need tomatoes and I’m sure Caleb will have some.

We might even take in a movie, if there is a good one to see. The Japanese film at the Art Cinema won 12 awards. That’s a possibility.

I need a battery and tapes for my video camera. Finding those won’t be difficult or take much time. The grandsons will want some of their fall athletic action on film so I need to be prepared. And there are other activities coming up that warrant filming.

I spent some time on the phone today talking to long-time friends who are celebrating birthdays…76 and 77. We were 18 when we met at KU. That seems a long time ago in many ways. Time does fly. We’ve all lived longer than we thought possible in our younger years. It’s all a matter of chemicals. If we keep the chemicals balanced in our bodies, we can last a few years longer. That’s about all we’re made of…a pile of chemicals. A handful a day keeps me going.

My friend from Pawnee Rock popped in today. She has a key to our house and is welcome all the time. She couldn’t raise us from our digs and noise in the basement so she just came on in, as she knows she should. She and Brit bumped into each other in the kitchen and giggled in surprise. She had an evening meeting with Prairie Enterprise clients and needed a place to put her feet up for awhile.

I am Olympic volley balled out. There was way too much of it on prime time, imo, especially beach volleyball. But then some of my male friends commented that apparently I haven’t seen nude beach volleyball. Nope…haven’t, don’t wanna. They should not ask Paul Hamm to return his gold medal. If there was a question about his performance or score, it should have been challenged on the spot…not later. Judging has been questioned throughout the games. With over 10,000 athletes competing, it will always be a problem and unfair decisions will be rendered. We need to import some impartial aliens to serve as judges.

Two of my friends are arriving Monday for a couple of days. The are the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theater, Terri and Monica. I just wish I’d had prior warning so I could have worked out something at the grade school for one of their presentations. They are a professional troupe and have performed regularly at the Salina River Festival. I’d give anything to get them lined up at our grade school for a show. The kids would love it. I just love their shows. I hope I can put it together…but I have to find the women on the road first. I’m hot on their trail.

SVATY APPOINTED TO ENVIRONMENT GROUP

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings — Peg Britton @ 7:53 pm

Rep. Josh Svaty, D-Ellsworth, has been appointed ranking minority member on the special legislative interim committee on environment.

“Rep. Svaty has quickly established himself as a leader in the Kansas House and a strong advocate for the needs of our rural communities,” said House Minority Leader Dennis McKinney of Greensburg. “Josh has an in-depth knowledge of the land use and water issues that are so critical to the economy of rural Kansas.”

The 11-member committee of House and Senate members is scheduled to meet three times during the interim between the 2004 and 2005 legislative sessions.

THE DE-KLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZAION…AS IN PHILL KLINE.

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings — Peg Britton @ 4:39 pm

There is a printer friendly version of the Nathan Dinsdale article in pitch.com. It’s seven pages and might be something you want to print and read. Click Here.

We work our tails off trying to sell Ellsworth to the world and one article like this can set us back miles. Well, we just keep going! This is only one person’s opinion. Phill Kline sure hasn’t helped us.

SVATY HAS TIME TO DEBATE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:37 pm

Although not “furious” at my opponent’s refusal to debate me on the most widely viewed debate available to us, I am very disappointed.

Debates are central to a campaign because they give voters their best opportunity to compare and evaluate the candidates. I make time for televised debates, because few people can attend nontelevised forums, while many voters can watch one. Ultimately, a good legislator is one who makes time for constituents.

Being a public servant takes time. A good legislator must be able to serve both in Topeka and at home. During my first term, I have attended and spoken at scores of local events. I do this as a public service to inform my constituents regarding government issues and to listen to their concerns.

I can devote this much time to the district, in part, because I have chosen not to have another full-time job, and in part because I am not yet married. I live and work on the family farm, and I work part-time at St. Francis Academy in Salina. I enjoy both jobs, and both give me the flexibility to attend many events throughout the district.

As to marriage, I certainly have every intention of someday having a wife and raising a family, but I have yet to find the woman I would like to marry and can therefore focus my efforts on better serving the district.

I have made time for the televised debate, just as I make time for my constituents.

– JOSH SVATY

Ellsworth
� Josh Svaty represents District 108 in the Kansas House of Representatives.

(The Svaty letter was published in the Salina Journal Friday August 27, 2004. It was in response to a letter-to-the editor written by Tim Null’s spokesperson from Bennington whose reasons given for Tim’s lack of time to debate on PBS were: “…Josh was furious with Tim because he chose not to debate him …Tim is very busy. He has a full-time job, a wife, two children and four grandchildren… a very busy man”…etc.)

USA LOSES ANOTHER BASKETBALL GAME

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:00 pm

The US team has no chance for a gold. Since 1988 we’ve won the gold. They lost today to Argentina 89 to 81. They’ve lost four times in three weeks!!! That is down right humiliating. Basketball is a team sport. Our players didn’t seem to understand that.

I hear they had the women’s softball final game on at 2:00 am. It’s too bad they didn’t choose to show women’s soccer and softball finals on prime time. They had sensational teams, unequaled in sport.

Some of the “sports” in the Olympics leave me puzzled. I’m inclined to think at the present trend in four years the new sport will be paper-rock-scissors. Our so-called “professional” basketball team might want to try that.

Have you noticed how many of our Olympic athletes passed through Barton County Community College? I heard there were 16. For those of you who don’t know, BCCC is about 40 minutes south west of Ellsworth. They heavily recruit track and volleyball athletes. The college got a lot of good publicity that you couldn’t buy.

A NOTE FROM KATHY CAMARENA (HANSON) REGARDING PITCH.COM

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

Peg, I read the blog every morning to find out about the happenings in my hometown and also read your views on life and other things. So I immediately followed the link this morning to pitch.com to check out their view on Ellsworth. Whenever we are in Kansas City, we grap The Pitch so I was interested to see the full article.

The Pitch article could be construed as negative toward Ellsworth and “small-town” Kansas, but the mere mention of Paden’s Place and the Cowtown Festival brought a smile to my face.

The author states, “There is generally no good reason for you to be in Ellsworth unless you live there, break down there or are incarcerated there. You just pass through like the trains that clack past downtown.” I now live in Osage City (another town that there is no reason to be in unless you are on your way to Topeka, Emporia, or Ottawa) and when people find out I’m from Ellsworth, they say “Oh, we always stop at that Dairy Queen on the way to _________.” Then they add, “Seems like a nice town.” And that is the real key to life in Ellsworth, I think. It seems like a nice town to people who never spend more than a brief time there; residents know that it is a nice town.

I think it’s fine for an author from the “big city” to breeze through Ellsworth, declare it stale and “ghost-town” like and breeze back up to his “big city” life. Because what he’ll never know is that Ellsworth is the kind of town that when you leave (and many do), you will long to recreate that life for yourself regardless of where you go.

You will want your kids to grow up in a place where they can ride their bikes all day long in the summer, where they can be involved in any sport or activity they want to be in, where they will meet friends they’ll have for life, where they can go bowling and get some awesome Italian cheese sticks in one place, where neighbors are friends and helpers, and where it’s okay to disagree and still be friends.

The author talks about teenagers and how they discover different types of music in a town like Ellsworth, with little or no live music, not a lot of radio station variety, etc. That’s the wonderful thing about Ellsworth and small towns like it — not everything is handed to us on a silver platter — rather, we are taught to seek out new experiences, ideas, and cultures. We are given a comfortable place with people who have confidence in us that allows us to want to experience new things and learn more. Ellsworth is the kind of town that by being low-key and even a little “boring” nurtures our creativity and desire to learn more.

That’s my thoughts on the subject…

Thanks,
Kathy Camarena (Hanson)

(…and I thank you for sharing your thoughts…pb)

ANNE PIPER AND KEVIN LUNDY

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:24 am

Hi Peg!
I was told today by an associate at work (ECF) that we made your web page. Kevin and I are very grateful that you noticed our work. We just wanted to thank you for your write up about the mural. Also, this was our first introduction to the kansasprairie website… really neat. We’ll be visiting again on a regular basis. I did want you to know, that I’m not only Kevin’s ‘friend’, but his wife. I just go by my maiden name. Thanks again!
Sincerely,
Anne Piper & Kevin Lundy

(If you haven’t been by their mural that is on the east wall of Downtown Liquor and Spirits, you might want to do that. Drive west on 2nd to get the best view of it. Murals can add so much to the beauty of a town and this one certainly does that. It was the ideal “blank” wall that now sends the message that someone cares about how our town looks. Thanks Anne and Kevin. )

8/26/2004

THE DE-KLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION

Filed under: political musings, Ellsworth, print news — Peg Britton @ 10:13 pm

From “The Pitch”, pitch.com, Published Aug 26, 2004. The part about Ellsworth starts on page 3.

“Ellsworth is a small town — fewer than 3,000 residents, including the occupants of the county prison — but it’s not too small. It’s close to the freeway but not too close. It’s located in the heart of the heartland, but the nearest “big” cities — Salina, Hutchinson, Great Bend — are a solid 45 minutes away. The morning papers are filled with the prospects for the corn crop (could be a record year) and letters to the editor weighing in on homosexuality (Jesus wasn’t a big fan) and the theory of evolution (ditto). In short, it’s the place.

There is generally no good reason for you to be in Ellsworth unless you live there, break down there or are incarcerated there. You just pass through like the trains that clack past downtown. ..

…The competition for tallest structure is a draw between the two water towers with “Ellsworth” emblazoned on their sides and the farmer’s co-op grain silo that touts the town as “Home of the Bearcats.” The place and its inhabitants are resilient but sagging a little. The sidewalks are dotted with metal silhouettes of period figures — cowboys and schoolmarms — intended to add nostalgic charm but serving instead as an eerie reminder that this is a town of ghosts, if not yet a ghost town.

Paden’s Place is a rare oasis of life. The restaurant portion of Paden’s is the kind of greasy spoon where plastic flowers rest on the booth partitions, portraits of geese in flight line the walls, and men named Chuck and Harold wear mesh hats without irony and talk quietly between bites of steak and Texas toast. A dog wanders lazily through the dining area. Elton John tells anyone who’ll listen that sad songs say so much…

You’ll not like this article about Ellsworth at all.

A GOOD DAY

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Wilson — Peg Britton @ 10:05 pm

My good friend from Trego County arrived, then another good friend arrived and it was just that kind of wonderful day. I love to hear that knock on our front door. We spent the afternoon visiting about what was going on in western Kansas…or what isn’t going on that should be.

I made a large peach cobbler and pulled it out of the oven just in time for us to do serious damage to it. One friend left. Another friend joined us and three of us headed to the Midland Hotel for dinner. There we joined a friend from Russell. Have you done the math to know how many of us ended up at the Midland for dinner?

The special was liver and onions and we all chose that for dinner. The liver was really good, loaded with sauteed onions and topped with crisp strips of bacon. Mashed potatoes and gravy were at the side, a necessity with liver and onions. The buttered baby carrots were very good but with all the other food to work around they sort of died on the plate. The meal started with the Midland tossed salad and before that, the chef had us sample her special marinated and broiled Angus beef on a stick. It was wonderful. We were all very full, as you can imagine.

So, the four Musketeers had another great day today. We’re a very good support system for one another, and we all need it from time to time.

8/25/2004

ANOTHER GOOD DAY

Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 10:19 pm

It was another meter spinning day…way over 100 hits. Some lingered a long time. That’s nice and I thank you. The hits on my website were also good.

It’s been a long, difficult, turbulent day so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. A good friend is coming from the west to visit and I’m very much looking forward to that.

Todd came by to visit tonight and bring my video camera that I’ll be needing. Brit asked if he’d bring Jack’s brother, Smoky, by to visit once in awhile. He’s a lap sitter too, once he finds a willing lap. We do miss having Jack to keep us company and amuse us. It won’t be the same, but Smoky will like it too.

Linda and I went to Lorraine today for lunch at the new cafe. It’s opened under new management so we wanted to give it a try. The special was a hot beef sandwich, mashed potatoes and gravy and carrots. It was good and there was a lot of it. Linda McCowan ate there yesterday and said it was excellent…ham steak, scalloped potatoes to die for, green beans, etc. We need to support her efforts in getting her new business established. It takes time.

If you haven’t been in the new INDY office yet, you might want to stop in to take a look at their new digs. And, buy a newspaper! It was nice to see another article by Mark Seitz in this week’s issue. I love reading what Mark has to say. And Bob Day had a Prairie Writer’s article. He’s my pal. He wrote “The Last Cattle Drive”, and you probably recall my blog about meeting him in Osborne. He’s an interesting fellow. I have one of his essays (and a picture of the two of us) on my website under “Authors”.

I won’t be around until later tomorrow night. I have plans with friends. But…please stay tuned. Keep the meter spinning.

COOKIES AND COFFEE

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 10:35 am

Donna Behrens, owner of the Potpourri Bakery in Ellsworth, stirred up several batches of cookies for me yesterday. Well, not me in particular, but sort of. She was baking cookies anyway so I was able to suggest what kind she make….peanut butter with chocolate kisses on top, chocolate chip with nuts, pecan sandies and oatmeal raisin with nuts. I bought eight dozen to pop in the freezer for emergency purposes. That and the fact I have the usual group here on Sunday evenings every week and I need some tide-me-overs for them.

All this is to suggest you might want to stop in and buy a dozen cookies from her. They really are good. I’m not much of donut lover so I’ll leave the assessment of those to the next person. I also bought a couple servings of her sour cream blueberry cobbler and it was quite good. Brit loved it warm and loaded with vanilla ice cream.

Donna works full time at the hospital and also keeps her bakery going. I don’t know how. She must go without sleep most of the time. She’s a hard worker and I think we should offer our support. She’s providing Ellsworth with a wonderful business and we’ve all known what’s it’s like around here without a bakery.

Linda McCowan will be at the Ellsworth Antique Mall from two until four today for introductions for the Prairie Enterprise Project, enterprise facilitation. If you or you know anyone who doesn’t know what Linda does, stop in and ask her. She’d be thrilled to tell you.

Gotta dash. Company just came through the door.

8/24/2004

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION IS DOING COLLECTIVELY THAT WHICH CANNOT BE SO WELL DON INDIVIDUALLY…

Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 3:56 pm

– Twentieth-century communications have brought about a “revolution of rising expectations” whereby the people of traditionally poor countries realize just how poor they are relative to industrialized states. Similarly, the citizens of these rich states benefit from programs that they increasingly resent paying for. Senator Ernest Hollings of South Carolina often tells this story of a veteran returning from Korea who went to college on the GI Bill: bought his house with a Federal Housing Administration loan; started a business with a Small Business Administration loan; got electricity from the Tennessee Valley Authority and, later, clean water from an Environmental Protection Agency project. His parents, on Social Security, retired to a farm, got electricity from the Rural Electrification Administration and had their soil tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When his father became ill, the family was saved from financial ruin by Medicare and a life was saved with a drug developed through the National Institutes of Health. His kids participated in the school lunch program, learned physics from teachers trained in a National Science Foundation program, and went to college with guaranteed student loans. He drove to work on the Interstate and moored his boat in a channel dredged by the Army Corps of Engineers. When floods hit, he took Amtrak to Washington to apply for disaster relief, and spent some time in the Smithsonian museums.

Then one day he got mad; he sent his congressman an angry letter.

“Get the government off my back,” he wrote. “I’m tired of paying taxes for all those programs created for ungrateful people!” –

–taken from Jay Shafritz and EW Russell’s “Introducing Public Administration”

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