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6/30/2005

WILSON CHAMBER BREAKFAST AND DANE’S MEMORY

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:29 pm

WILSON CHAMBER BREAKFAST AND DANE’S MEMORY

The Wilson Chamber of Commerce will be having its monthly Business Breakfast on Wednesday, July 6th. This month’s featured speaker will be Steve Skiles, General Manager of the Midland Hotel.

This will be a great opportunity to meet the new manager and hear his thoughts on the hotel and restaurant.

The meeting will be at Made from Scratch on Old highway 40 in Wilson. The meeting will begin at 8:00 and conclude at 9:00am. Doors open for breakfast at 7:00. We hope to see you there.

Dane is surprising me from time to time. Today he remembered that Kim visited him yesterday and precisely why she was there. He was right on the mark saying, “She was here to have me sign some papers regarding Mackenzie’s custodial account”.

Shaun told me Dane did a fine job participating at the Residents Council Meeting Tuesday. He sat at the end of the table, straight and tall, paid attention and participated in the conversation. He made a point of saying they should serve more fresh salads, “which means lots of fresh chopped vegetables on top of a bed of good lettuce!” Some one even suggested he should run for office. Well, I think they meant council office. I guess he lit up with that idea.

Everyone says he looks 10 years younger with his new haircut. Ada did a good job and it does look good. He had a shower this morning and later Denise used electrical stimulation on his leg. He’s lost most of the muscle tone in his left leg. It’s responding well. He stayed up until 2:30 waiting for therapy and finally told me he really needed to get back in bed. He doesn’t have any energy and very little staying power. He told me he felt feverish. They will check that.

It was cooler today. John Griffith came to remove the dead trees and leaning limbs in our yard. He does a good job and is a hard worker. We lost the maple tree that Mackenzie picked out as “her tree” when she was about four. She and her grandpa went to Salina to get it and a lot of it was in her lap coming home. They giggled all the way home. They had a good time and planted the tree together. We were sorry to see it die, but something got to it. It was a beautiful 30 footer, but is no more.

I loaded some casino games on Dane’s computer today. All but one loaded easily, but I need to work on one of them. It’s not performing as it should. I also bought Scrabble Complete for him, but I’m having so much fun with it that I may have to buy another for him. It’s a good version of Scrabble, which is about the only game I enjoy playing. I’m playing against Maven, the computer wizard. She is patient! I buy them from WorldStart where the price is right.

ROCKET SCIENTIST

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:25 am

ROCKET SCIENTIST

One of our long time friends is a rocket scientist and designer of stuff that hovers in space. He’s as normal as can be, or so it seems from our side of the table…young, handsome, witty, clever, mannerly, nice, a joy to be around. He just can’t talk about his work. But, he’s a terrific brewmaster and sausage-maker and he will talk about that so he can join conversations. He makes the best beer I ever drank.

Well, he does all this stuff he can never tell us about. But, I just learned he was one of the major designers of the rocket that is going to crash into the comet on Monday. Well, let’s hope it crashes when and where it is supposed to. I’ll look at the event with renewed interest…it is a big deal…since Jim is deeply involved with it. Or was. It’s been out of his hands for a long time now, traveling in space as it is.

6/29/2005

DANE BRITTON, A TALL GUY

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:04 pm

DANE BRITTON, A TALL GUY

Dane stood up straight and tall today, so I was told. He tucked in his behind and was standing almost to his 6′ 2″ height…and…he did it for a minute and 40 seconds. That’s a record too. I didn’t arrive there in time this morning to see that or Ada give him a haircut. Dern! He had a good lunch but was spent afterwards and anxious to get back in bed. I got him tucked in and in as comfortable a position as possible, and came back home. He was ready for a nap and I was ready to sit. Ally will stop by and see him later today on her way home from Denver.

It’s 101 at 3:00.

If anyone wants a decorative, fish pond built, I can recommend John Griffith, and so can others for whom he has built decorative ponds, with waterfalls, rocks, plants etc. We don’t have one, but he did a good job on the one by the front door of the Wilson Nursing Center and he just completed a large one for a customer in Hays, who recommends his work. He’s one of Dane’s aides and does such a good job caring for him.

6/28/2005

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN KANSAS?

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:18 pm

ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN KANSAS?

The State Board of Education will go into executive session tomorrow - Wednesday, June 29th - to decide who will become the new Commissioner of Education, replacing Andy Tompkins.

The choice is now between Dr. Sharol Little and Dr. Alexa Posny, current Assistant Commissioner.

Dr. Little’s curriculum vitae was NOT amongst those originally put forth by the Review Board to the Board of Education for consideration in filling the position of Commissioner. Based on feedback from the districts where she had previously worked, it was deemed that she was unfit for the position of Commissioner by the Review Board.

Conservative members of the Board requested that Dr. Little’s application be included for final consideration. According to sources, it was her affiliation with Westview Community Church (a fundamentalist mega church in Manhattan) which has gained support for her nomination from the conservative members of the Board; not her record.

Once again, the conservative majority on the Kansas State Board of Education has chosen to circumvent the process designed by the Board itself to replace its most important employee. The Review Board was empowered to screen candidates just as the Science Standards committee was empowered to revise the standards. This is becoming an habitual problem.

Our Board of Education has been hijacked by people who would get an “F” in “Listens to and follows directions.”

PLEASE TAKE ACTION:

PHONE/FAX: the State Board Members expressing your outrage at the circumvention of the process in order to favor a non-qualified candidate for the Commissioners position. Express your disgust with the politicalization of the position and the Board demeanor and handling of the whole process.

Board Members’ Addresses, phone numbers, and emails are available HERE!

You can register your complaints with Penny Plamann, Board Secretary at: (785) 296-3203 or email her at pplamann@ksde.org

CALL: Governor Sebelius’ Office and inform her of your outrage concerning the Board’s actions and procedures in the process of hiring a new Commissioner.

Voice 1-877-KSWORKS (1-877-579-6757)

For the Hearing Impaired 1-800-766-3777

Governor’s Office of Government Affairs

Voice 785-368-8500 Fax 785-368-8788

Please share this with others who are concerned for the future of public education in Kansas.

DANE’S DAY, DOWNTOWN AND THE 4TH

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:14 pm

DANE’S DAY, DOWNTOWN AND THE 4TH!

My friend, Jesse Manning, went with me to Wilson today and saw Dane stand with the help of his therapists. He did just fairly well, but it’s an improvement over a month ago. Jesse and I visited with Dane during lunch. Eating is no longer a problem for Dane. After having difficulty initiating following his surgery, he now goes right after his meals, needs no help unless it’s with cutting or spreading, and he’s getting those operations down so he can manage many with one hand. Jesse visited Dane while he was in Wichita and at the Ellsworth Hospital and has followed his progress. He definitely sees improvement.

As an aside, Jesse has accepted a splendid job following his graduation from K-State and will be heading to DC in August. He’s going to blog it on his site, so I’ll let you know when he has it posted.

They had “Residents Council” today at 2:00 and Dane thought he would like to attend. It is a time reserved for residents to express their concerns, complaints, requests or whatever. They take notes but they keep no names of who said what. I’ll be anxious to see what Dane had to say. I suspect if he says much at all it will be to voice some concern about the lack of fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains. And, made from scratch food. Most of the residents can’t chew raw fruits and veggies all that well, so I think they are going to make a point of adding some of those things to Dane’s plate.

Driving home from Wilson was a trick. The wind was blowing like fury from the south, some spots on fields were blowing and at each country road, the wind and dirt pelted my car like mini dirt storms. I’m glad my wheels are heavy and sturdy. The temperatures topped 100 today. Not a good day to be outside.

I need to spend some time downtown, and will, when we have a cool day. I haven’t been in the new Trading Post or the store where La Prairie used to be. Or Rita Gwinner’s new antique store. I haven’t seen the Stoltz’s in their new quarters or what is new in the bakery. I definitely need to go through the car wash and hope the new owner will scrub the bugs from my car as faithfully as Don did. Don is now the state distributor for Hy-Tech “Thermal Insulation Product”, the product that will insulate your house as you paint. There seems to be a lot of activity downtown these days. That’s very good.

Don’t forget the big 4th of July celebration on Saturday. The Star Spangled Spectacular is that night and it’s always a thrill. It’s my favorite holiday!

There is sauerkraut simmering upstairs and occasionally I get a whiff of it. Brit is going to cook some brats on the charcoal grill tonight to go with the kraut. I’ll toss a fresh green salad, and hum…that should do it. Oh yes, Brit wants corn on the cob. Maybe I’ll make a fresh peach cobbler. I still have some frozen Colorado peaches that are soooo good. I hope they bring the peach truck around again this year.

THAT MISTER RINGO!

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:03 am

THAT MISTER RINGO!

Ringo is slowly getting us to obey. What a dog.

Just when we think he’s here to stay and isn’t going to run off again, there he goes, like a bolt of lightning. He’s just a streak in the wind when his mind takes over and he decides to run.

This morning he was “gagging”, (probably he’s figured out we know what the aftermath is from gagging and let him out quickly) so Brit let him out. The minute he was out, he was gone. Normally, he will go out and come right back in as he knows he gets a cookie for behaving. But then gagging is different from pee-peeing.

Brit scoured the town, looking for him. Finally, he came back home and waited for a phone call from someone who had him in tow. This time, it was from Todd at the prison who said Ringo was trying to break in the north security gate. He wanted to return to see some of his pals who trained him.

Jack was so good never to leave the yard that I assumed all Aussie’s were that way. Well, Ringo came into our lives, not as a pup, but older with predetermined ideas. And, the need to run. I’m not sure he’s an Aussie. He does appear to have some Aussie in him, but I think he’s 95% Border Collie. He’s a gorgeous, loveable Ringo…and back home again. Resting! Planning his next escape and adventure, no doubt.

6/27/2005

GOOD THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:39 pm

GOOD THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN

It has been almost a month since we moved Dane to the nursing home in Wilson. I never wanted him to end up in a “nursing home”, and did everything I could to prevent it, but we finally ran out of options. There were no other alternatives available to us, unless we won a mega multimillion dollar lottery to build an in-house recovery center with four 24/7 nurses, aides, and equipment. That just isn’t possible for us.

I’ve always felt good about Dane going to Wilson, that it was a good choice, as opposed to so many homes I visited that I found would be disheartening, depressing and demoralizing for him. Wilson was a very good choice.

Even he said he thought it was a good place to be. He’d rather be on his own as before, but that isn’t possible and he must be aware of it. He likes his “apartment”, as he calls it, and all the people who help him. They are good, competent people who have worked there for a very long time…most have been there for years and years…and that tells me a lot about the operation of the home. Employees like working there and I can see why. I never hear them griping.

The home is demerit free and has been for two years. That’s a very difficult record to maintain, but they make every effort to keep their patients safe, comfortable and happy. They are constantly working to maintain a safe environment for residents. There is a concerted effort to get those who can, to stand up and walk again so they can return home. They have an excellent record for that.

The nurses, aides and other employees understand Dane and his abilities far better than they did in rehab in Wichita. The Wilson Center is such a good place and I’m very appreciative of everyone’s efforts to help Dane in his recovery. He will be there a long time, but he definitely is making progress. It’s not as fast as I’d like, but we have to remember that Dane is not the same Dane we once knew and his response to working in rehab is different from what we might expect from the old Dane.

Today he didn’t do very well with his physical therapy. He works against them as he has everywhere he has been previously. They try to get him to stand, and he works against them by trying to stay in his wheelchair or sit back down. Once he gets the idea it’s okay to stand, he will. It’s just a very slow process. He told me today, when we discussed why he wouldn’t stand, that… “Mom, it’s not just standing. It’s very complicated. You have to stand in a certain way.” We just want him to stand.

I can only think of one downside to where he is…they could do a lot better with their menus and food service. The Ellsworth Hospital spoiled us as they serve such good, nourishing, food…but most places don’t. Today Dane had a terrific fresh veggie salad I took to him, as I do every day, then he had two veal patties (out of a box) with gravy, hash browns that I thought was rice, and canned carrots. He had a small bowl of watermelon. He ate it all and it was okay but could easily be so much better and healthful. That’s the only downside that I see. I understand why they want to control the food supply and want it safe. I say…buy some thermometers and cook fresh food. They are very short on fresh veggies, green salads, whole grain foods, and fresh fruit. It’s a project to work on!

So…Dane is doing much better, looks good, is still confused, but improving in that department. Stop in to see him if you are in the area. The brain takes a long time to heal.

Wilson Nursing Home is a nice place. I enjoy driving there every day. I love the countryside between here and there. There is something new every day. I love this part of the world. I’m getting to know the residents and care for them. There is humor and love everyday that is a part of my life…a station where you only do what you can and love what you have. My life is very different from last fall, but I’m happy with it and what I do everyday to be with Dane and the rest of my family. Change sometimes is very good. I’m a happy camper.

6/25/2005

“THE HAPPENING”, A PRODUCT OF THE KANSAS EXPLORERS CLUB AND JAY YODER

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:31 am

The “Happening”, the first of its kind, is Saturday July 9th in Marquette. It will be a gathering of Kansas Explorers Club members (you know…the Kansas Sampler Foundation aka Marci Penner) from across the state. Everyone who is interested in the preservation of rural culture in Kansas is invited to join the fun.

Explorers will come from every part of the state to converge on the city park about 11:30. The idea is to bring some attention to the tiny town of Marquette by giving it a boost, let everyone see for themselves what a nice community it is, and maybe pump a little unexpected activity and money into their community.

Jay Yoder, KE #108, a veteran Explorer from the early days of the inception of the Club (along with help from local Ellsworth Explorer Jim Gray #15) has mapped out a plan for this experience and the yearly “Happenings” that are designed to follow.

We are asked to bring picnic makings that are purchased from stops along the way for the pot luck lunch. We’re also asked to bring $5.00 worth of non-perishable groceries to donate to their local food bank. It would be nice if everyone bought at least $5.00 in non-perishable groceries at the small locally-owned grocery store in Marquette. Keep receipts so that we can tally the totals at the Happening.

You can see that the purpose of the “Happening” is to make a difference by shopping and exploring along the way to the specified site. The intent is to follow the dirt roads and explore the off-beat places as we take a circuitous route to the “Happening”. Along the way, we’ll purchase a few items as true Explorers do to help make a difference to the shop owners. If 5002 Explorers did this (this is the membership goal of the Club, to establish a “tipping point” that makes a difference in the state), you can see the impact this would have on rural Kansas.

The great thing about the “Happening” is that no one will be taxed to do anything…well, except eat, visit and perhaps keep the potato chips from “blowin’ in the wind”. We can gather ourselves together with little thought or planning and explore the back roads on the way to Marquette.

If you aren’t already an Explorer, you can click on the cute little button on my website splash page to join or Click Here!. It only costs $18.61 a year and the benefits are a treasure. Marci’s newsletter alone is worth the price of membership.

Everyone is welcome. It’s going to be an experience to remember. The energy we’ll share at this event will be “electric”, according to Marci Penner, the Club’s guru.

The main event will flow from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the city park of Marquette. The pot luck graze will be from 11:30 until 1:00…and then we’ll start whatever it is that might HAPPEN. In addition to the pot luck supplies and groceries you buy along the way, bring your own eating tools and plates, something to drink and a chair or blanket. Everyone is welcome.

6/24/2005

YAAAAY! I HAVE GOOD NEWS TO SHARE.

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:53 pm

YAAAY! I HAVE GOOD NEWS TO SHARE.

When I arrived at the home this morning, Dane greeted me with his usual “hello”…then, he said, “I had my physical assessment this morning and did the best I’ve ever done! I stood up several times for a long time.”

Well, after having such a bad day yesterday and being very confused, as he was, I didn’t have a baseline yet for today. Right after that, everyone converged telling me what a great day Dane had in PT…and that “he stood up a lot for a long time.” The PTs were so happy with what he had done. Apparently he stood up 5 or 6 times for about a minute each time. He grinned and joked about it with everyone. He was very pleased at what he did.

And, he was right on target with everything he said today. Nothing was spacey. He had a good lunch then wanted to stay up for the Hawaiian party at 2:00 even though he was hurting. I asked several times if he wanted to go to bed and he said he did, but “not yet”. It was nearly three before he decided to give his back end a rest from sitting.

He showed me the letter he wrote to Mackenzie. He wrote several lines himself then dictated the rest to Gloria, who wrote it exactly as he spoke with no corrections or alterations. He wrote a few additional sentences at the end and signed it. His writing is barely legible, but he’s making the effort. At best, his penmanship has always been deplorable. It was a good letter and Mackenzie will be so pleased to get it. Brit just popped it in the mail to her.

I don’t know how his days can be so different, but they are. Rotten one day and then we get a great day like today. He said he would like to get two good days back to back. Wouldn’t that be wonderful for him?

My day started in Kanopolis with my pals Cindy and Meredith hovering over a big platters of huevos rancheros and lots of very hot sauce. It’s what we do for birthdays. We always have great unrepeatable conversations. I love those occasions. Gabe treated me to a birthday cake, complete with one candle. It was a great big, wonderful iced cinnamon roll that his brother made. We devoured it too.

Everyone always wants to tell me about Jesse Manning’s new job…or job prospect…as Gabe did this morning. I put my fingers in my ears and did the DADADADADA thing so I couldn’t hear. Gabe was so excited he was sure I knew about it. But I told him Jesse wanted to tell me personally so I was waiting for him to finish his work with harvest and we’d be back for breakfast when I expect to hear all the details. It’s the plan we have.

It’s about time to wind down with the birthday celebrations. It’s been a good birthday to remember.

P.S. In the two family pictures we took that Mackenzie put on my blog (below), you can see a cardboard box and “stuff” on the floor to the left. Just so you’ll know, that’s Dane’s computer and peripherals waiting for Tyler to set them up in Wilson.

I think you’ve figured out who all of us in the picture are…Brit, Mackenzie and her b/f Luke, Todd in the white shirt (he’s Dane’s brother) and Ally in the front (Dane’s sister) with Ringo. I’m in the red Standford shirt, dressed to the nines, as usual. Dane is holding Skunk, who came from Dallas for a visit.

Noticeably absent in these pictures were Karen and Todd’s sons, Drew and Rod (in Europe touring), Karen and son Tyler (on their way to Lawrence for Tyler’s basketball camp).

6/23/2005

THE BIRTHDAY SONG AND ASSORTED OTHER NOTES

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:24 pm

The birthday calls started with Todd, then Betty Blincoe, Ally, Karen, Tyler, Mackenzie, etc. Tyler is at church camp near Fall River and they aren’t supposed to use their cell phones. He hid behind a tree and we kept the conversation short. It was nice. A beautiful red rose was delivered from my friend, Eleanor, and a peace plant, that I thought was from Kenz, but isn’t. I’ll have to trace down who from Texas sent it to me.

Brit had a lovely card which he strongly edited to make it entirely appropriate and had it on my chair waiting for me when I fell out of bed. He’s a sweetie.

When I walked through the security door at the nursing home, the buzzer when off and all the residents and staff who were gathered in the living room sang to me. It was a big crowd with lots of voices which made it really nice. They were bringing Dane down the hall as I arrived so he got to hear it…and he wished me happy birthday. That was good as he was having a bad day and I’m surprised he remembered.

And, I received so many cards and greetings both snail mail and email…it’s been a good birthday day. Brit and I are fixing steaks out tonight that our kids gave him for Father’s Day. He has onions ready to throw on the grill as well…and corn on the cob. I’ll toss a salad and we’ll have a meal fit for royalty.

Mackenzie said things are falling into place for her at SMU. They are allowing her a schedule with some flexibility on courses so she’ll graduate next semester. Some classes were closed, but they allowed her in anyway, due to her unusual circumstances. Now, if they are just as understanding at the financial aid office.

Dane just isn’t having a good day and really feels rotten. It’s those spasms again. We don’t know what causes them but they are very painful and frequent. They seem to originate around the area of his hematoma. He didn’t make it through lunch as he was so uncomfortable and I had resorted to feeding him, so I just thought it best to get him back in bed. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day for him. The swelling in his head persists.

We had a delightful visit last evening with our house guest, Tom Eblen, and dinner at Linda’s for her staff that doubled as a birthday gathering for me as well. It was nice to get out again among the living!

Drew stopped in for a quick overview of his European visit. He was tanned, happy, full of energy, and glad to be back in Ellsworth. He brought us a lovely bottle of olive oil, one of my treasures, and a wonderful bottle of wine from France. He enrolled at K-State yesterday and showed us his class schedule. He’s ready to head out into the world. Tom asked him what he wanted to major in at K-State and he said he was going to major in finance and wanted to be a banker. He comes by that naturally. He works at the CSB and Trust and loves it.

And best of all today, the message below from Dane that came from his heart through Mackenzie. He always remembers my birthday and he didn’t forget this year. He couldn’t do it alone and will long rely on one or all of us to to be there for him when he needs our help. We’ll be there!

BIRTHDAY WISHES

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:57 pm

BIRTHDAY WISHES

A son can thank his mother for many things like: a knitted sweater, a home cooked meal, words of encouragement in a rough time, or always knowing what is right. However, it’s not everyday a son can thank his mother for doing things like you’re doing each day. Here’s to a mother who gives before she takes, helps before she rests, and guides before she follows.

Thank you for always believing and loving; and thank you for doing these things each and every day.

Love, Dane

Now, before you start to tell me I haven’t been to a computer to blog this, I’ll agree but just this once because it’s your birthday, Mackenzie helped. But I did read the paper this morning, gosh darn it. :)

HOME, SWEET HOME

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:32 pm

HOME, SWEET HOME


Dane and Miss Skunk


Dane & Family at Peg’s House


Dane & Family (Peg & Mackenzie swap camera duty)

6/22/2005

RELIGION HAS NO PLACE IN BOARD’S SCIENCE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:00 am

RELIGION HAS NO PLACE IN BOARD’S SCIENCE BY JESSE MANNING

The Kansas State Collegian
COLUMN: Child-like discussion
Religion has no place in board’s science
Published on Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Jesse Manning

The 10 members of the Kansas State Board of Education may well be deciding how science is taught to children across the state, so perhaps it’s fitting that they’re acting like children in the process.

The debate taking place between the board’s six conservatives and four moderates has turned into a sort of sideshow with an increasing amount of rancor between the scientists and the religious. It would be almost comical if it weren’t so serious.

Last Wednesday’s meeting featured plenty of name-calling and talking out of turn. Board member Bill Wagnon called the conservatives “dupes,” which managed to bring out the worst in the fire-and-brimstone breathing Connie Morris.

Morris accused fellow board members of being arrogant and rude, and she declared last month’s pseudo-hearings on science standards a success that proved evolution to be false. Morris additionally attacked moderate board members in a constituent newsletter and declared evolution a “fairy tale.”

Though it’s hard to tell because of all the mudslinging and stubbornness, evolution and “intelligent design” — the idea that mankind was created and did not randomly evolve — really are legitimate subjects that could be adequately approached by reasonable people.

If intelligent design were to be taught properly, the “idea” that some sort of a creator may have had a hand in the formation of the world would be mentioned within a much broader classroom discussion of evolution.

Teachers would merely have to suggest to students that there are other theories available, but evolution is taught in public schools because it is grounded in hard science. But that’s not what conservative members like Morris and Kathy Martin want.

For them and many other Kansans, the debate is no longer about science. Teaching scientific fact in public schools has become an attack on their faith. Instead of strengthening their own religious instruction at home, they’re seeking to push their personal beliefs on all students as a way of retaliation.

The conservatives on the board aren’t interested in teaching a well-rounded intelligent design theory — they’re interested in bringing Christianity to the classroom. Morris has told her constituents that she takes the biblical account of creation literally — that the earth was created in six days.

When Martin, a Catholic who makes no bones about having a Christian agenda for Kansas schools, was confronted by Fred de Sam Lazaro on the PBS program “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly,” she scoffed at the idea that Catholic schools teach evolution and that the Pope accepts it.

But de Sam Lazaro is right. As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI presided over the International Theological Commission, which found, “all living organisms on earth genetically related,” and that, “it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism.”

Sounds like an endorsement of evolution to me. It’s funny that in her efforts to be so pious, Martin is ignoring her own church.

In the end, Ratzinger’s commission simplifies the intelligent design argument to a level that is far beyond the likes of Connie Morris and Kathy Martin. It describes God — or for the purposes of a public school classroom, a generic creator — as “the cause of causes.”

As far as a science classroom is concerned, that’s all that would need to be said about intelligent design.

When so-called intelligent design proponents like the board’s conservative members realize that the debate is about science and not forcing religion down students’ throats, a reasonable discussion can take place.

Until then, hard science needs to reign supreme in the classroom, and matters of faith need to be kept out.

Jesse is a graduate in history and political science. Please send your comments to opinion@spub.ksu.edu.

6/21/2005

Garden of Evil

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:12 pm

GARDEN OF EVIL

A Kansas school board member lurks in the slime.
By C.J. Janovy

The Pitch had something to say about Connie Morris last October. It’s worth reading.

JIGSAW PUZZLE PARADISE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:26 pm

JIGSAW PUZZLE PARADISE

How much time do you have?

Here’s an online Jigsaw Puzzle website where you choose the level of difficulty from a simple 6 piece cut to a challenging 247 piece cut.

You can pick your puzzle, size, shape, difficulty and time yourself. If you give up, you can click on “solve”. It’s for the jigsaw junkies…pretty neat. But not for me.

Click here for some fun! It’s pretty neat the way the pieces “click” together when you get the right fit. They have a wide assortment of puzzles to pick from plus a daily puzzle.

HOLY COW!

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 6:08 pm

HOLY COW!

Roberta Raccoon and her six babies are in our yard! Good grief. What are they doing out at this time of day? Looks like they are finding something to eat under our shingle oak tree.

Well, ordinarily I’d call my friendly trapper person, but I can’t do that now…the babies need their mama and visa versa so we can’t separate them. I doubt there is any way to get her, her bags, bottles and babies to hop in the back of Brit’s truck to move to a safer place. Dern…they’ll soon be all over our house playing their hopscotch games. At that point, they’ll have to go.

Our always alert Ringo spotted them while wiling away time and keeping watch on the outside world. He didn’t bark…he just sort of GURRRRRED and pressed his nose against the window. He’s trained to be friendly toward little critters. Or so they said. His “training” is pretty questionable.

Raccoons are so cute…but by gosh, they have nearly driven us nuts at times. We’ve relocated a hundred…I’d bet. They love living here and get big as horses…or so they sound like when they play on our roof.

WOOHOO

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:22 pm

WOOHOO

WOOHOO! Mackenzie found out today she has enough hours for a BA in Mathematics. She intended to take another 3 hour math course next semester (something I can’t even pronounce) to get a BS in Math, but what difference does it really make? A BA is fine and quite an accomplishment. Now she’ll only have 15 hours to take next semester to graduate, instead of 18. She’ll get a BS in Computer Engineering. It will be her hardest semester so I’m happy she’s satisfied with the BA and will move on. We’re mighty proud of her. Dane will be very happy to hear that in the morning!

Congratulations, Kenz!

IT WAS A SCORCHER IN SALINA

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:38 pm

IT WAS A SCORCHER IN SALINA

Ally and I checked out the van that Teasha told me about. It was really nice of her to do that. It was immediately apparent Dane would fry in it within the first five minutes in the back end with no air-conditioning. And there are no windows. No place for anyone to sit with him. The really good thing about it was the lift. It’s a Braun and a very good one. It would be perfect. And it is a back end load! The other downside is that it has 125,000 miles on it.

My toe passed inspection! Yay! I’m on a roll.

The appliance section at Sears was a surprise to me. I haven’t been in that area of Sear’s “forever” and didn’t realize their inventory was so expansive. I found a Kitchenaide with a lot off the regular price. They will bring it over and install it toward the end of this month. They will also dispose of the dead one. Things were so simple for so many years with Erhardt’s and then Sipp’s…I miss them.

Ally and I bought vitamins and protein for Dane, then had lunch at Red Lobster. Neither of us had been there in a long time and soup and salad sounded just fine. Their cheesy biscuits are wonderful.

Brit has a bowl of Braum’s ice cream almost every night while he is watching TV. I stopped to get him a couple of tubs of his favs, French Vanilla and Pistaschio Almond, and he was pleased. I bought some sweetened with Splenda for me to try. Braum’s dairy products are about as nutritionally good as they get.

Lori, Dane’s nurse, gave me a full report since I didn’t get over to see him today. He didn’t do as well with his standing as he did yesterday. He was very tired and somewhat confused. I know he’s not tracking very well. Some days are like that. His wound is healing but is still deep and narrow. He ate all his meals. I’ll be there tomorrow morning as he’ll have therapy at 10:30 and I’d like to see how he does. We’ll work on a journal to help him with his short term memory. I think a tape recorder will help and I just happen to have one. He can record what he has for meals and write it down later. Same with guests, events, therapy, etc.

Now, I’m in out of the heat and staying put. Vickie Farney brought me some material to read about brain injury retraining. She’s one, like so many, who keeps Dane in the front of her mind. That is so nice.

6/20/2005

ONG FATT. A SIX LEGGED PUPPY LEFT AT TEMPLE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:22 pm

ONG FATT, A SIX LEGGED PUPPY, LEFT AT TEMPLE

The Curious: A puppy with two extra legs and a second penis is drawing curious stares at a temple in Pandamaran.

SAMANTHA FINKE, LUPINI BEANS, DANE AND ASSORTED THINGS

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:16 pm

SAMANTHA FINKE, LUPINI BEANS, DANE AND ASSORTED THINGS

HAPPY 25TH BIRTHDAY TO MY FRIEND SAMANTHA FINKE! She’s 52 years and 3 days younger than I am. Ouch!

In all the years I’ve been cooking, I can’t recall having a disaster with food such that I had to throw it out. Maybe friends who’ve been subjected to meals at our house think differently. I donno. My kids would say that my Halloween dinner featuring “Owl’s Nest” when they were little was a total disaster and complete turn off. It tasted fine, it just looked like an owl’s nest, full of owl eggs and owl goop, like it was supposed to. I had the Halloween spirit!

The Lupini Beans were unsalvagable…that bitter taste never left. They were hopeless. They looked great, the texture was perfect…but they were so dang bitter I couldn’t eat them. They slid down the PVC to enrich our septic tank and will sprew out to make our cottonwood trees grow big and tall. That, to me, is guilt free disposal.

Ally thinks she brought the Lupini’s to me from the Jerusalem grocery store in Denver. Maybe so. It’s one of my favorite places to shop so I rather think she thought to surprise me with beans and such. My favs. Next time, I’ll search out a recipe before I try to cook a strange bean. Until I met Lupini’s, I thought a bean was a bean was a bean…and all good.

Brit and I had a car mix up today, it’s that “hearing” thingy we go through, so I missed Dane’s PT. He stood up three times and had the best day yet with standing. It was also bath day, and they are giving him two a week now. They’ve had to adjust some things for him as he’s the youngest one there and can’t be treated the same way as the others who are nearly twice his age who have dry skin and little appetite. He needs more protein, more food in general, more frequent showers etc. They are doing a good job adjusting to him, and he to them. I really like the people who work with him. Most have been there a long, long time. They are good people.

Saddam Hussein’s favorite snacks, according to his guards are Doritos and Raisin Bran Crisp cereal…and he says Bush will never find WMD’s in Iraq. He intends to return to power.

Linda and I went to see “Millions” which was a British adventure, children’s fantasy. Seven year-old Damian (Alex Etel) was well worth the $7.00 admission at the Art Cinema. It was interesting, enjoyable, but I really didn’t “get it”. We didn’t want to see anything stressful, and it wasn’t. I really enjoyed my visit with Mary Anderson before the movie. That was nice.

Tomorrow I’m going to Salina for a toe review. It’s doing fine after some minor nail surgery, maybe because a wheelchair rolled over it accidentally.

Ally is going to meet me to go see a van that is for sale. It’s a 3/4 ton 2000 Chevy with 125,000 miles on it. Too many miles. It’s a rear load with a Braun lift and a raised roof with 6′ headroom, which would be perfect for Dane. They want too much money for it, well, way more than we can afford, but it sure would be nice to have to transport Dane here from time to time. We think it is important to get him home with some frequency. A good friend has been very generous in loaning us a vehicle, but we can’t keep borrowing it.

And, my dishwasher shot craps. It’s very old and I’ve grown dependent on it. You know how that goes. They are pretty inexpensive now so I think I can find one that will work.

Tyler left for church camp at Fall River and will be gone for a week. Drew and Rod should be on their way back to the US. They arrive back in Manhattan sometime tomorrow. Drew enrolls at K-State on Wednesday. Mackenzie is enrolled and will finish her last semester at SMU this fall. We all need to move on and keep a close eye on Dane. His recovery is going to take a very long time. We love our Dane enormously, but he is not even close to the Dane we once knew. He may never be. We love what we have.

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