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


This is footage of Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis, Long Beach Mississippi. It’s about 35 minutes and worth the watch. Skycooper footage of the coastal areas


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:51 pm


I blogged Mary Mahoney’s and since then, in a matter of a few hours, 18 hits to my blog indicate others were thinking about Mary Mahoney’s and seeking information. I wish I knew more. I just know it isn’t there anymore. How tragic for the people in that entire area. They have no where to go. What they once had is gone. If every community in the nation would take one family and give them a new start, there would be more than enough to go around. We just know it’s very hard to leave “home”.

88,106 hits to my website and blog at 4:30 with several hours yet to go in August. It’s been a very good month. Thank you.

I haven’t heard back yet on what determination has been made about the fluid in Dane’s head….shunt or no shunt. I talked with my friend, and Dane’s caseworker, Beverly H. this morning at the hospital, but she hasn’t heard either. She did make some headway on Dane’s bed, on what Hill-Rom will and will not sell us. She does good work. As soon as Ally gets the official refusal from BC/BS of CA regarding his wheel chair she will start the appeal process and perhaps contact the State Insurance Commissioner to intercede for us. The problem is: if Dane lived in California, or elsewhere, there would be no question that they would supply him with a wheel chair. We contend it shouldn’t matter where he lives, but in KS, there is a regulation stating you can’t be provided one until you are either home, or have a plan for returning home. That makes no sense. He needs a chair built to fit him right now. We have no idea when he might be able to return “home”.

Tomorrow I’m going to Salina to get things I need for the family reunion this weekend. They (28 in all) will start arriving on Friday morning. We are soooo excited. We haven’t been able to make arrangements to bring Dane home so everyone will go see him.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:35 pm


When I passed the Conoco station on my return trip from Wilson, I noticed they have jacked up the price for premium to $3.01. Monday it was $2.75. No customers at the pumps at the time I passed. In Atlanta, a newscaster reported it’s $4.99 and going up.

One of the aides at the nursing home told me there were gas lines yesterday in Salina like she recalled from the 70s.

Linda and Teasha visited with Dane this morning, took him outside for a walk and generally gave him some tender loving care. We appreciate that so much. Other recent visitors: Don Kozicek, Don Zvolonek, Alan Jilka. I’m not there all the time so I’m not sure who his visitors are.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:14 am


From Linda K:

“Just seen on TV what was once Mary Mahoney’s. The whole ordeal is so sad !!!!!!”

I’m sure all the other old, wonderful places we visited in Biloxi and Gulfport are gone as well. There was a “Garden Restaurant’ and I recall having eggplant Parmesan that was excellent but more than I could eat. We had a wonderful evening there and enjoyed that area so much.

We found a place we found that packed shrimp and oysters for our flight home. When we were boarding the plane, they said that if it had any dry ice in it, they couldn’t fly with it on board as it would throw off all the controls of the plane. I know we got home with the treasure, but I can’t recall the other details and why we were allowed on board with it. That has always been puzzling to me.

My niece in Houston said premium there is $2.69 a gallon. Quite a difference from $2.95 here.

Time to head west to Wilson.



Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 3:40 pm

August 30, 2005

Religious Right evolves tactics to fight Darwin
By Tom Baldwin

A creationist with a lurid past is putting up a more subtle case to win over children at US schools
CONNIE MORRIS took LSD at her high school graduation, posed nude as a model and frolicked in free love before suffering sexual abuse and descending into drug addiction. Then she found God.

“My life would have been better…anyone’s life would have been better…if I had committed to Christ earlier and followed His way,” she said.

Mrs Morris has positioned herself firmly on the front line of the latest battle being waged by America’s religious Right against the forces of secularism and liberalism. Her lurid account of how she escaped from a personal hell is relevant because it gives a flavour of the born-again passion with which the war is being fought.

United Kingdom Times on Line for the rest of this story.

You can contact Morris at:


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:55 pm


Yesterday I finally saw someone getting gas at the Conoco station on 40. I’ve driven by there twice a day for months now, but in the past few weeks, this is the only car I’ve seen at the pumps. Yesterday premium gas was $2.75 a gallon. Today it is $2.95. I imagine the same gas is still in their underground tanks today as was there yesterday. I’m not sure, but I do think Conoco is one of the oil companies that does not import oil from the middle east.

Something is going on. The emergency vehicles are flying by our house.

Today Patty fried chicken, made potato salad and cole slaw so I ate with Dane. It was very good. If they’d just let Patty do her own thing, the food would be enormously better. For some reason, the Beverly people who run the place think they save money by buying packaged frozen food stuffs. They’re not and the packed stuff tastes a lot like the boxes it comes in. They are also required to give everyone bread every day. Or a roll, cornbread, muffin etc. Usually it is a roll or biscuit out of a box. They aren’t all that bad, but most of it goes in the trash. The unclaimed bread would make great bread pudding, but that’s something they never serve…or chicken and noodles, the things old people like. When they serve those old folks taco salad, they just look at it in utter disbelief. That was never on their tables at home and they don’t know what it’s supposed to be. Dane likes it, of course, but he’s the only one.

Every month there is a resident’s council meeting where they propose and vote on a menu for the month. This month they had homemade bierocks. They also request dishes like chicken fried steak, from scratch, as they all like it. As it is now, it comes from a box and would be so much better if they bought their meat locally, seasoned it and pan fried it, all the time instead of a couple of times a year. Seems a shame they don’t let Patty have a free hand in planning and preparing meals. They’d be very much better.

The devastruction from the hurricane is just horrendous. So much suffering.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:30 am


It doesn’t surprise me that an article in the Journal today quoted Phill Kline as refusing to do anything about Connie Morris’ apparently fraudulent taxicab vouchers, and other expenses that are definitely out of the ordinary. I doubt he’s even read her write up of her expensive conference/vacation to Florida.

Kansas Families United for Public Education, a grassroots advocacy group from Johnson County, wrote to Kline earlier this month requesting an investigation.

“We’re aware of the letter and we’re taking no action at this point,” said Kline spokesman Whitney Watson.

Asked whether Kline’s office ever would investigate the matter, Watson replied, “We have taken no action at this point.”

“I think it sounds like they’re not planning to take any action unless or until the people of Kansas force them to,” said John Martellaro, board president of the advocacy group. “I expect him, as the state’s highest law enforcement official, to put his politics aside at least once in a while and focus on the law. But he doesn’t seem willing to do that - ever.”

Get this. Morris reported hearing from two motivational speakers at the convention, Sonia Manzano and Carl Boyd. Ms. Manzano appeared on Sesame Street for decades. Morris’s report said that “she was still cute and will always be ‘Maria’ to me.” The only other arbiters of whether or not the state got its money’s worth from her attending the conference will be the voters next year.

I think the ball has landed with the Department of Administration. The Department of Administration does have review responsibilities related to all state expenditures, including travel reimbursement of state employees. They don’t seem to be addressing the fact Morris appears to have submitted fraudulent vouchers when she claimed to have hired a taxicab while we know her husband rented a car (which she only admitted after being confronted) and they drove side by side down the highway, stopping along the way to eat.

The $75 and $72 taxicab rides are filled out exclusively in Mrs. Morris unique handwriting, alleged to be from the Ft. Lauderdale airport to the Fontainebleau on the 16th of April, and then to the airport from the hotel on the 22nd. She charged the state for a cab ride to the airport on the 22nd after checking out of the hotel at 11:00 am; however, she didn’t fly out to Denver until the evening of the 23rd from Ft. Lauderdale’s airport, 30 hours later. Her receipt clearly does not seem to represent a description of any imaginable reality. Morris continues to deny the receipts were fraudulent.

It’s another classic example of the “conservative element” of the Republican party wanting to save the taxpayers money while lining their own pockets with it. If you take a look at the KSBOE travel expenses, those running up the highest bills that far exceed the others are the conservative members.

It’s time the moderates in this state, both Republicans and Democrats, wake up and band together to get the boat floating again.

You can contact Morris at:



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:07 pm


“I thought I’d let you all know that Jack, Monique, Annie, and the children evacuated New Orleans early, early this morning (the 28th). They’re safe in Texas at a fun campground close to the LA/TX border. I guess the kids are having a blast.”

It’s nice to know they are safe.

I also hope my friend in Vadalia LA is alright and that their sons are safe.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:56 pm


August 30, 2005

Religious Right evolves tactics to fight Darwin
By Tom Baldwin

A creationist with a lurid past is putting up a more subtle case to win over children at US schools.

CONNIE MORRIS took LSD at her high school graduation, posed nude as a model and frolicked in free love before suffering sexual abuse and descending into drug addiction. Then she found God…

…Mary Viveros is the principal of Sumner Academy in Kansas City, which was rated one of the 100 best high schools in America by Newsweek magazine. “This is a thinly veiled attempt to impose a literal interpretation of the Bible on the wider world. I was a biology teacher myself and I can’t ask other teachers to do this,” she said. “It’s ludicrous. It might be part of our theory of knowledge lessons but intelligent design cannot be part of a science lesson.”



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:38 pm


Dane’s wound is definitely better; it is granulating and is less deep than it has ever been. That is very good news. Now to keep it going in that direction. We keep telling Dane it is the protein powder that is helping, and staying off his back. I haven’t tasted the powder but everyone says it is terrible tasting stuff. To take the equivalent in pills would require a huge fistful. So, I have them put Crystal Lite lemonade mix in with it (after trying everything under the sun I could think of) and mix it with cranberry juice. He’s been drinking it regularly now and it’s helping. They mix protein in his oatmeal for breakfast. We haven’t bothered to tell him.

He’s been feeling better the last three days than he did most of last week. He still has way too much fluid in a pocket on his head; the doctors are consulting over this. Dane needs to initiate more therapy on his own. We’re trying everything and he’s not doing as required if he is to walk again. Once we know his head is okay, he’s going to be pushed hard to do more.

The wildlife experiences are better going to Wilson. I have not only the goats and sheep to keep an eye on, but there is a flock of prairie chickens and a nide of pheasants I’m keeping track of. There was a lone heron leaving a small pond by the side of the road as I drove by, probably off course for some reason. Some of the milo is taking on that beautiful rust color, heading toward fall. It’s a lovely scenic drive.

I wheeled in the Boisvert driveway leading to their home as I was coming home today. I spotted Robin sitting on her front porch, enjoying a little peace and quiet after a very eventful month, or four, preparing for a wedding. I had to josh her a bit about all the trash they had out by the highway for “trash pickup”. I size up the size of their trash pile every time I drive by and have to remind her she’s doing too much cleaning for the rest of us housewives. Brian did an excellent job bagging it from the wedding party and stacking it by the side of the road. You could hear a “sighhhh” coming from both the the front porch and the black plastic bags waiting to be hauled away. Whew! The reception in their yard was a wonderful occasion, perfect everything, that required a lot of effort on Robin’s part. She has so many talents!

When I walked in the door at home Ringo was doing his usual handsprings for me. I don’t get it. He leaps in the air with the kind of enthusiasm that escapes my comprehension. Brit said, “You’re lucky he isn’t in doggy heaven or the doggy hospital!” Why? “He and I were on the back deck and he decided to jump off and run into the woods!” That’s a good 12 foot drop. What’s with that dog? He spends so much time in the air jumping up in front of me, and up and down the stairs, he thinks he can fly. He’s airborne most of the time. We need to get him a Batman outfit.

“Mary Mahoney’s” is one of our favorite restaurants. It was. We spent a couple of evenings there years ago as we were driving leisurely through that part of the country. We really enjoyed the food, drinks and atmostphere… and our visits with Mary and her husband. We’ve reminisced about it over the years. I use her bread pudding recipe and find it’s the best. Mary Mahoney’s is on the coast in Biloxi and probably was demolished in the storm. Then again, it is possible it hasn’t been there for years.


Could future Kansas students possibly be rejected for admission to University of California campuses?

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:29 pm


“University of Calif. Sued Over Creationism
Published: August 27, 2005

Filed at 2:03 p.m. ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A group representing California religious schools has filed a lawsuit accusing the University of California system of discriminating against high schools that teach creationism and other conservative Christian viewpoints.

The Association of Christian Schools International, which represents more than 800 schools, filed a federal lawsuit Thursday claiming UC admissions officials have refused to certify high school science courses that use textbooks challenging Darwin’s theory of evolution. Other rejected courses include ‘’Christianity’s Influence in American History.'’

According to the lawsuit, the Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta was told its courses were rejected because they use textbooks printed by two Christian publishers, Bob Jones University Press and A Beka Books.

Wendell E. Bird, a lawyer for the association, said the policy violates the rights of students and religious schools.

‘’A threat to one religion is a threat to all,'’ he said.

UC spokeswoman Ravi Poorsina said she could not comment, because the university had not been served with the lawsuit. Still, she said the university has a right to set course requirements.

‘’These requirements were established after careful study by faculty and staff to ensure that students who come here are fully prepared with broad knowledge and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed,'’ Poorsina.”

Click here.

Grand Canyon to Get Glass-Bottomed Walk

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:21 pm


Fri Aug 26,12:23 AM ET

PHOENIX - Great views — and plenty of goosebumps for those afraid of heights.

An American Indian tribe with land along the Grand Canyon is planning to build a glass-bottomed walkway that will jut out 70 feet from the canyon’s edge. You’ll never find me on this walkway!


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:58 pm


Lawrence Journal World
By Scott Rothschild

Sunday, August 28, 2005

“Topeka — The political winds of moderation are starting to pick up force through conservative Kansas.

At least that’s what a new bipartisan group of Kansans are hoping for as they organize themselves to launch an effort to unseat conservative State Board of Education members in the 2006 election.

“We think there is a portion of the State Board of Education whose philosophy is not in tune with mainstream Kansans,” said Don Hineman, a rancher and farmer from Dighton.

Hineman is a lifelong Republican, longtime former commissioner in Lane County and a past president of the Kansas Livestock Assn…..”
Group seeks to stem tide of ‘extreme’ conservatism

You can contact Morris at:


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 12:00 pm


“Katrina” is a category 5 hurricane and heading directly toward New Orleans and Gulf Coast communities. It’s huge, 175 miles across, with winds of 175 miles an hour. Only three category 5 hurricanes have ever hit the US; Katrina has the potential of massive destruction. New Orleans is below sea level and the levees aren’t designed for the kind of danger and storm surges of 20 to 30 feet that Katrina poses. They are ordering immediate evacuation for everyone except emergency personnel. It is predicted the hurricane will hit New Orleans and the surrounding area early tomorrow morning. The rains that precede the storm have already begun.

I can’t imagine the panic and desperation one would feel who had a loved one in a nursing home or hospital in the New Orleans area. If I were there, I’d have no possible way to get Dane out of there. What would one do?

Taking shelter in the Superdome is the only place some people have to go. They don’t even know if the Dome can withstand the winds of the storm. They expect the floor of the Dome to be covered with water, leaving only the seats for people to take refuge. It’s an effort to save lives, so one can’t think too much about the fact the air-conditioning, water fountains and restrooms won’t work. It will be a terribly desperate situation for those folks, and others who couldn’t leave the area, for a couple of days.

Gas stations are closed, people are running out of gas on the highway. It’s getting to be a desperate situation. It’s not reasonable to think there will be no loss of life.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:21 pm


One of my favorite places in the county is the 7 acre Boisvert tract, the old Alfred Vodraska home place, across the road from Black Wolf. It’s also where two of my favorite people live. Robin and Brian have refurbished the old farm house, keeping much of the flavor of the original home, but opening it to the outside like it was on the Maine coast, where they came from before they became land-locked in Central Kansas. They put on an addition, added a large wrap-around porch…it appears as though it really could sit on the craggy coast of Maine. It is so very comfortable inside, with country breezes wafting through the house. The kitchen is every cook’s dream, very well equipped. The out-buildings are taking on unusual character and compliment the property.

One outbuilding that is probably 10×12, at most, was insulated and finished off on the inside to “sleep” some overflow from the main house, friends who came from the east coast for the wedding. Outside, it has a fence, shutters and looks like the perfect dollhouse. Brian did the work on it and said there wasn’t a straight stud in the frame construction and all the spacings were irregular, leaving it a sheet rocker’s nightmare.

The yard was the site of a lovely, family and friends reception tonight following daughter Ryan and Bryan Pfannenstiel’s wedding in Wilson. It was casually elegant, (China plates, no less!) friendly, warm, loving…and Robin’s food was wonderful. She knows her kitchen, caters, cooks, and serves delicious meals. Brian is the perfect host.

It was a grand evening and we really enjoyed it. We left before the dancing started, or they played our songs we requested, as we don’t have the staying power we once did. It was a very special occasion for us.

We stopped to see Dane before the celebration. He seemed to be feeling better and looked better to me than in previous days. Knowing that will make me rest better tonight.

Oh…you’ll like to know that I pulled out some dressier than usual shoes to wear and the back half of both shoes just disintegrated on the walk up the Boisvert driveway. Shoes just don’t hold up like they used to! Everyone was looking at the bride and didn’t notice. Isn’t that what they say?

Morris’ race is one to watch

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:50 pm


Associated Press Writer

You can contact Morris at:


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 11:12 am


It was a beautiful, clear, cool night for watching the EHS Bearcats assemble on the football field for the first public display of their talent. They did well. They had a good running game and one pass from Ryan Manes to Austin Seitz was spectacular. Austin was going full speed, put his arms out in front of him, looked skyward as he headed for the goal line, and the football came right down before his eyes, as it’s supposed to…but rarely does. Austin grabbed it and headed north with all the stops pulled. It was a good evening. The kids are excited and there was a good crowd of parents, friends, students. We hope they can sustain that for the season.

Brit bought a flat of tomatoes and some cucs from Caleb this morning at the market. It takes a flat a week, and then some, to keep up with our fresh-off-the-vine tomato appetites. I take a couple a day to Dane in salad, so that’s a big part of it.

I’m gradually adding sliced peaches to the freezer for Dane and us for the winter. The Colorado peaches off the Wednesday night truck have been excellent and perfect with no waste.

Dane hasn’t had a good week. We’re working on it, but I’m inclined to think it might be his Dilantin level along with the pressure to his brain. He needs a good dose so that we keep his seizures under control, but not so much he is sluggish. His neurosurgeon is evaluating his scans and other reports from Dr. Slomka. We should hear back from him soon. Inserting a shunt is not simple surgery so I hope that’s not the case, but if that’s what we have to do, we’ll think really hard on it.

It’s wedding day for friends Ryan and Bryan. We’ll be having fun with them this evening in a beautiful outdoor setting on the farm.

Next week will be a busy one for us…the family is gathering for Labor Day. I’m going to have to get out the cookbooks and learn how to put some meals together again!



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


The EHS soap scrimmage at 8:00 tonight will give football fans an opportunity to preview the football team for the season. The boys are enthusiastic, think they have some good talent and are greater in number from previous years. They are also a very close group which eliminates the problems from last year. They gained experience at football camp at Pittsburg State, played together well and feel they have a chance to win some games this year. If I can stay awake, I hope to go. I have a new K-State stadium seat I need to try out. I can’t believe it, being the KU fan I am.

Dane has not had a good week. He seems excessively tired, not very responsive and just doesn’t feel well. He had a good lunch today and we put him right back to bed. Once again, he fell asleep in a matter of seconds. He just seems to be exhausted and there is no reason for it. I don’t know if it’s the increased Dilantin, depression or the swelling in his head that is causing it. He’s spending most of his time in bed these days, but I hope it doesn’t continue much longer. The flip side: his bed sore seems to be getting better, it’s shallower.

Apparently Frank Smith is gathering quite a following of fans out St. Francis way, according to word that is filtering back this way. He’s the one who blew the whistle on Connie Morris, the State Board of Education rep who took a family vacation to Florida to visit her daughter, Jessica, who lives in the Keys. The folks in Cheyenne County seem to agree it’s time to curb her ways. She has the bad habit of calling people names and accusing them of things they haven’t done and it’s catching up with her. But then we know God tells her what to do and to babble in tongues, according to the book she wrote about herself. That’s an eye-opener.

Thanks for tuning in.



Filed under: prairie musings, Wilson Musings — Peg Britton @ 3:40 pm

I saw Corky in Wilson Family Foods this morning and she told me I could post that her bed and breakfast is for sale. It’s a nice one, with lots of character, if anyone who reads this wants to snap up a business in Wilson.

Sharon “Corky” Holloway is the owner of the historic Das Borell Haus built in the late 1800s and completely refurbished. She is making an effort to sell it herself before it goes on realtor listings. The property also includes the apartments that she built on the property and the land the original water tower for Wilson is on. It’s a dandy for anyone wanting to get into the business. And, the price seems reasonable. If she sells it before the realtor does, you can save about $20,000.

She recently applied for and received a $90,000 grant to start the restoration of the Old Shermerhorn and Lang Building building which houses her Ollie’s Antiques.(Scroll wayyyy down.) It’s too much work for her to try to keep both the bed and breakfast and the antique store going so one had to go. Receiving the grant made that decision easier for her.

Give her a call if you are interested. See the information I have on my website about her Das Borell Haus Bed and Breakfast by clicking here.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:29 pm


On my way to see Dane, I pass the Conoco station twice a day. It has been days since I have seen any cars at their gas pumps. Maybe it’s that way elsewhere as well, but I don’t travel many byways except old 40 to notice. Filling my tank takes my breath away. I go see Dane and not many other places.

Dane weighed 239.5 this morning. They weigh him when he has his shower. That’s down about 100 pounds since November and a good thing. One of the few good things since November, but helpful to his recovery. He just isn’t feeling very well. I’m wondering if his lethargy, inattentiveness and general malaise might be attributed to the increased amount of Dilantin he’s taking. Once his appetite starts to fail, then I’ll start to worry. We put him to bed after his lunch today and he was out like a light before I could get his computer fired up to read his mail to him.

The wheels are turning for us to take Dane back to Wichita to see his neurosurgeon. Dr. Slomka is sending all the scans and other pertinent data for Dr. Gorecki to evaluate.

My new eyes arrived today, one blue, one green, but not enough tint to notice once I get them in. They do that just so I get them in the right eye. It’s nice to see again.

My five year daily planner I ordered from Viking hasn’t arrived. If it doesn’t come soon, I’ll have to chase it down. I got my $99 rebate from KitchenAide for my no bells, no whistles dishwasher, but I have not received the $40 I was supposed to get from buying McAfee Security System. The check was issued the 17th, so a bit of hope remains. That has been a hassle.

Brit and Ringo just returned from Morford’s Greenhouse. He wanted to replace some plants on our deck. They have a cat named “Ringo”. Our Ringo didn’t seem impressed.

I can’t seem to catch up on my sleep. When I’m sitting in the lobby of the home and everyone is asleep except for Dane and me, I’m tempted to nod off. But I don’t. I’m afraid they’ll check me in and getting out isn’t easy!

Dane now has his own small dorm style refrigerator in his room. It was Mackenzie’s when she lived in a dorm at SMU, then Drew had it in his bedroom but doesn’t need it in the ATO house at K-State, so I put it in Dane’s room today. The home loaned him one, but took it back as they needed it themselves, mostly for Dane’s things he uses for other meals such as a variety of salad dressings, BBQ sauce, steak sauce, deli mustard and pickles. Those are things the home doesn’t have and it helps Dane to have a little variety and some choices for his meals. It helps John in the morning to have Dane’s jam, yogurt, Pace’s salsa, juice and other breakfast items in his room. Dane’s room is a long way from the dining room.

We’re all excited about the big family gathering next weekend. It’s going to be a peck of fun. A friend of mine said she hoped ours turned out better than a friend of hers who had a family reunion and almost had to call the law to break up the fights! Nah…not in our family. We just have fun.

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