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2/28/2006

ANTIQUE MALL’S MAYPO DELI

Filed under: family, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 6:14 pm

Tyler came by after school to do a couple of chores for us, but suggested we hit Maypo’s for ice cream first. Yummm. I had strawberry, cinnamon and black forest…three scoops, since I’d already had my one meal of the day. Tyler had strawberry and oreo cookie. That is such good ice cream. It’s homemade and just wonderful. If you haven’t been there, do give it a try. They have great coffee, sandwiches, soup, cookies…all comfort foods.

CASINO NIGHT IN WILSON

Filed under: family, Wilson Musings — Peg Britton @ 6:06 pm

The Wilson Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual meeting on Saturday March 18th, 2006. Back by popular demand is Casino Night. Please mark your calendars and come out and enjoy a fun filled evening with friends and neighbors. There will be a short Chamber business meeting at 5:30 pm. We hope to see you there.

Saturday, March 18, 2006 Opera House, Wilson, Kansas
Social Hour ~ 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Gambling ~ 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Drawing for Prizes ~ 10:00 p.m. (Need not be present to win!)

Chance to win iPod, Savings Bonds & A Glider Rocker
Donated by Miller’s of Claflin

AND OTHER GREAT PRIZES!

FOR ONLY $20.00 YOU WILL RECEIVE $10,000.00 IN FUN MONEY OR 4 PRIZE TICKETS AND ENJOY A FINGER FOOD BUFFET!
Must be 21 or Older

Todd, Karen, Linda, Brit and I went to this three years ago and had a blast. We had a great evening. The food was very good, and Karen won a beautiful china cabinet. It’s a good thing to support our neighbors and it’s a fun thing to do.

DREW HAS BIRDS IN HIS AIR CONDITIONER

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 4:43 pm

Drew called today to ask if I knew how to get birds out of his air conditioner. Moth balls? I couldn’t think of anything else. They don’t have an extension ladder to get to the outside to access it. It’s full of bird doodoo and other things so I told him he really needed to clean that out before he turned it on. My last recommendation was that they hire someone who knows how to clean it out and get it working for them. It might be money well-saved.

Dane simply isn’t doing well in therapy. He moans and groans and really doesn’t try like he should. Maybe he just wants to spend the rest of his life in bed. I don’t think so, but today he had a lot of people yelling at him to get off his rear and try harder. Everyone is getting upset with him, including me. I know he is depressed as anyone in his position would be. But he could do so much to build up the strength in the right side of his body and get on his feet so he could leave that place during the day. We can’t do that until he can stand and pivot and help himself. I can’t lift him or help him in and out of a chair or the car. I can’t carry a lift around with me even if I had one. He has a daughter who is going to get married one of these days and she wants him to be there. I don’t know what to do to get him motivated to leave that place. He seems content to do nothing. We’re running out of time.

We sat outside with George again today. It was such a beautiful day. If I’d had a reclining wheel chair I would have napped and basked in the sun all afternoon.

Josh, the bed man, came this morning and thought he was there to train the aides. He soon learned otherwise and why the bed simply isn’t working. He has his instructions so we’ll see where it gets us. His boss needs to be Dane’s advocate with BC/BS and explain the options on frames is too limited and they need to approve and pay for an appropriate frame for Dane. We have no problem with the air mattress. It’s the frame that won’t work with the lift they use to get Dane in and out of bed.

I think I hear Tall Boy approaching!

85 DEGREES IN ELLSWORTH

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


TWO OF THE THREE GRANDSONS

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 7:38 am

Drew and Tyler have always confused people as they resemble each other. When they were younger, people never could keep them straight. Even now, I’ll get asked which is which. Drew is two years older than Tyler, but Tyler has been for the most part through the years, as tall or taller than Drew.

So, here they are so you can tell the difference.

Tyler aka Tall Boy aka Twigs aka Whooper is the one on the left in the red shirt. He’s 17, a junior in high school. He just finished basketball season, not a good one, and will soon be out for track. He does the tear sheets at the INDY and along with his parents, addresses and mails the INDY each week. He’s active in the Presbyterian Church and a host of other things.

Drew is the handsome dude on the right. He’s also known as Stix. He’s a freshman at K-State, an ATO and works in the financial aid office. He was very active in athletics in high school and was on the selection committee at the Presbyterian Church to find a new minister. He made his mark.

They are both great kids.

Now, if I had a picture of Rod, you’d think there were triplets. The boys look very much alike.

There you have it! Thanks to Mackenzie for posting their Christmas picture.

2/27/2006

TYLER AND DREW

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 9:22 pm


HOLCOMB 78, ELLSWORTH 30

Filed under: Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 8:01 pm

The season is over and not too soon. What else is there to say?

The girls play tomorrow night in Medicine Lodge. Good Luck, Lady Cats.

GLORIOUS DAY, WILSON, COLLYER FISH FRY

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Dane Britton, Wilson Musings — Peg Britton @ 6:03 pm

The first night of the annual Collyer fish fry is this Friday. I’ll get the particulars, but I’m hoping to be there for a plateful of good food. I know the cook! It’s a very good cause. Details to follow.

Today Dane was still talking about the dinner he had last night. He loved it! He’s looking forward to another surprise one of these days. He reminded me there were hot tamales in the freezer with his name on them that Georgie Rodriguez made for him. He’s right about that. And, he wants to try the bierocks that Karen’s group made for a fundraiser for the After Glow party. He said they had bierocks at the home the other day and they were pretty good. The food there is better than most places. It would be better if they’d let the cooks prepare everything from scratch. And the food gets monotonous after several months.

Dane’s done his own cooking for a long time, but we all agree that what he prepared wasn’t always the most nutritious food. He loves salads, veggies and fresh fruit, but he ate a lot of fried things too. Now, he eats what is put in front of him and it is far more nutritious for him. He’s healthier than he was in many ways.

We sat outside today for over an hour just shooting the breeze with George G. and watching John’s fish swim around the pond. Our conversations centered around, “What happened to…” Verna Spratt and her three sons, Dennis, Steve and Roy? If you know about the sons, let me know, please. “Where are the Welk kids?” Dane and George remembered all their names and George filled in most the blanks of where everyone was living these days. Those are good conversations for Dane and George to have, and I enjoy them too.

Dane said he’s going to drive to downtown Wilson one of these days. He’ll have to find someone other than me to chase him down the street and push him back should his battery die. He says his battery is good for 12 hours or so between charging. Any volunteers?

I stretched the gas in my tank today. I forgot to fill up before I left town, then figured…hey, I can make it! I think I must have had about two tablespoons when I got back to town. It was enough, but I pushed it. Had I been in East St. Louis it would have been another matter. But between here and Wilson, I’m the same as home.

My friend Linda Mc stopped by this afternoon just after I returned home. She’s one of my favorites and I don’t get to visit with her as much as I’d like. It was good to see her again. She does very good work as PEP enterprise facilitator. She’s top rung!

I had a wonderful letter today from Dr. Charles Marsh, a KU Journalism prof who received his BA in English, his MA in English and his PhD in English from KU. He’s an associate professor who teaches message development, public relations, editing and media ethics. He’s a splendid man. Among other things, he said: “Our website address is here. There’s more information there than you’d probably ever want. The bottom line, I guess, is that it’s a very good school. We’re actually rated #1 in the country right now in the national writing contests. But we also pride ourselves on individual attention to students. We have our own little community within the bigger university.”

Some of you may want to take a look at the KU William Allen White School of Journalism website. Chuck is the son of very close friends, plus, he and Dane participated in scouting activities long ago. I’m taking a renewed interest in what he does, and what the journalism school has to offer.

Our EHS boys team is in Holcomb or Lakin tonight playing basketball. I’d love it if they could win a couple of games. That would be terrific. I’ll post the results if they call after the game.

It was a gorgeous day today. Perfect days in Kansas are perfect days. I just love living here, I love Kansas.

That’s all for the moment. Thanks for staying tuned.

P.S. From Linda K.: Dennis is in Lawrence and is a financial advisor; Steve is in Indiana, an accountant for the government; Roy is teaching in the Denver area. I’m not sure where Verna is. There you have it.

2/26/2006

ISRAEL KAMAKAWIWO’OLE

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 7:27 pm

The other day I said: I recognized a little of Jake Shimabukuro’s “Over the Rainbow” as background music on an Olympic program. A month ago I didn’t know who Jake was. I like knowing things like that. “Over the Rainbow” is my favorite song. I’m not sure Jake’s version of it is, but I like it too.

Well, it wasn’t Jake Shimabukuro, it was Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. I know because he’s one of Ruby’s favorites, she knows all his music, and she just gave me a gift of his CD that has it on it. So, I have straightened that out. And, I’ve played it over and over…it grows on you.

We gathered the family together today to celebrate Karen’s birthday. It was fun. Drew made it home from college for the occasion, left right after dinner with a pocketful of leftovers for his dinner. He isn’t eating much these days, but says he eats more often than he used to. He’s still very thin, but in this family, thin is good. Tyler got up from the dinner table and got a call they were having basketball practice, an hour earlier than he thought. That’s going to be hard on him.

Ally and Ruby went to visit Dane this afternoon and said he was in top form, feeling well, but in bed. Getting him out of that bed is a major challenge; he lies in bed and reads his newspapers. He was full of chatter, talked about the prison and prisoners (remember they’re all cons, he said). He’s very knowledgeable about those things. They talked about a wide range of things and enjoyed it a lot.

Todd took dinner to him this evening and I’m sure he will enjoy it a lot - baked ham, baked potato stuffed with goodies, creamed fresh corn, green beans, tossed veggie salad, rolls, birthday cake. I’ll hear all about it tomorrow.

There was a quarter on his bedside table yesterday. I asked him where he got it and he said he won it for figuring out a mental challenge contest they had posted.

Tomorrow we’ll get things settled about Dane’s bed. It will be good to move on to something else. There is always something else.

I’m going to watch the final ceremonies of the Olympics and will be happy they are over. I’ll look forward to the summer Olympics in China in four years. They’ve built some remarkable buildings there and things have changed enormously since Brit and I were there in the early 80s. I’ll watch with great interest.

Thanks for tuning in. We have some very warm weather to look forward to in the next few days, 75 tomorrow and 80 on Tuesday. It’s shorts weather!

Dane just called to say he loved his dinner and ate the whole thing, except for the cake. “It was really, really good”. He ended by saying, “I love you, Mom”. Yes, I love you too.

Thanks for tuning in.

2/25/2006

DANE WASN’T HAVING A VERY GOOD DAY

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

Dane was still in bed when I got there about 11 and went back to bed at 2:00. He said he just didn’t feel well…tight chest, cough, malaise. He said he called the nurse at 4:00 this morning and asked for Tylenol and Robitussen.

He had a good dinner, one of his favorites: smoked sausages, mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. I took a salad and sliced strawberries.

Dane is just so sad and I don’t know what to do about it. He needs more stimulation, but his physical ability doesn’t invite it. They do have activities that he could participate in, but he needs encouragement to do it since he doesn’t do it on his own. They can’t make him participate. When the weather improves, I’ll see that he sits outside and soaks up the sun. We need a way to transport him out of there to other places of stimulation. For that, we’re looking at $30,000 or more for a vehicle unless we can find a real bargain. Keep your eyes open. I’m looking for a van with a ramp in the sliding door side so that he can just scoot right into the passenger side beside me. If you can stop by to see him, that would help.

Gene’s has beautiful fresh green beans. They are 99 cents a pound. I bought 5# to cook for dinner tomorrow. We all love them and these are the best I’ve seen in a long time. I ate several of them raw, so that says a lot. I also splurged on some fresh Brussels sprouts. I love those dudes.

Toby Young is going to come to her senses about now. She’s needs to be dealt with just like Manard. She wasn’t a hostage although she’ll start claiming something of the kind. She was an accomplice and planned the escape. Bye bye, Toby!

That’s about all for now. Thanks for tuning in. Everyone is coming after church tomorrow, so I need to move along with my mise en place.

DR. MCGILLICUDDY’S MENTHOL SCHNAPPS

Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 5:32 pm

Brit has a terrible cough. Lately, he always seem to have a terrible cough.

Concerned about “the cough” as we all are, my d-i-l called this morning to say the word about town on how to cure those strangling coughs that hang on forever is found in a bottle, Dr. McGillicuddy’s Menthol Schnapps. Has to be Menthol flavored.

That came as very good news to Brit who has a cough that certainly qualifies for some of Dr. Mac’s libation and he was happy to have open approval to check it out.

On the way to town, he stopped at the library to return a book and, as he was coughing his head off, the librarian suggested he go around the corner to the liquor store and buy…yes, Menthol Schnapps. It only comes in small bottles, she said. I’m not sure why.

Doubly reinforced, he proceeded with hidden motives poste haste to make his purchase. I’ll let you know how the story ends.

From a dear friend:

“Peg,

If the schnapps doesn’t work, have Brit try a banana.

One of my friends, who has Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and is unable to take most medications, says that a doctor recommended bananas for coughs. She swears it works.

Of course, schnapps sounds pretty good…. Hmm, do they make banana schnapps?

C”

I want my friend to read this here so I can share it with everyone.

My dad loved my mother’s cooking, and his mother’s and grandmother’s (they owned the Baker Hotel here in Ellsworth at the turn of the century and were famous for their food). I don’t recall anything he didn’t like if it were well prepared. I’m the same way.

Well, my dad loved a variety of things and one “salad” we grew up looking forward to was mom’s banana, peanut butter and mayo salad on lettuce leaf. She’d split a banana for each of us (which was a rare treat) and put it on a lettuce leaf. Then she’d combine creamy peanut butter and a little mayo and sort of dollop it over the banana. It was so good. I can still remember it.

Well, as you might expect, my balloon burst when I proudly fixed this favorite of my dad’s for Brit. He ate it, chewing “that way” that later became a very familiar signal to me. When dinner was over, he thanked me as he did then and has for 55 years. Then he said, “Sweetie, you managed to get three of the four things I absolutely cannot stand on one plate. I don’t know how you did it, but I’d really appreciate it if you never did it again. And, by the way, the fourth thing is jello!” And, I haven’t!

So, my friend, I won’t share your suggestion as I know it won’t fly. I have never seen him eat a banana since those early days of our marriage. It’s sad…as I love bananas and continue to eat them as they are one of nature’s most perfect foods. It’s hard to understand why everyone doesn’t just love them. The next time I have a cough, I’ll love eating a banana or two. And, before then I’ll eat them too. Thanks.

DANE BRITTON APPOINTED TO THE INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE OF THE NATIONAL DRUG POLICY BOARD

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 5:18 am

“Dane Britton, Director of Security and Drug Enforcement for the U.S. Department of Interior, Washington D.C., has been appointed to the Investigations Committee of the National Drug Policy Board.”

Well, that article appeared in the INDY in 1988, I think. They dropped the header in this week’s INDY “From Our Files” article so I’m not sure of the date. Mackenzie was five when they were there, so that’s about right. Given where he is at the present time, I’m sure he’d opt to be back in D.C., or working somewhere, if that were possible. Dane was a Reagan appointee to the position in the Interior Department. I wonder how many people remember all the things Dane has done in the past.

My friend, Ann, who lives in England said they are burning the Moors, either gorse or heather, she’s not sure which. The sun is up over there so we’ve been chatting on IM. I love the Moors and enjoyed my visit with her and her family so much. And my friend, John, who lives smack dab in the middle of the Moors is probably very busy with lambing right now.

I ordered a case of dark roast Community coffee over the phone. The operator answered, I told her who I was and what I wanted. She asked what my zip code was and if my mailing address were the same as in the past. Then she gave me the last three numbers of my credit card and asked if it were correct and what the new expiration date was. Then, she said my order would go out the next day. The whole transaction took less than a minute. Wouldn’t it be nice if Community Care RX could take some lessons from Community Coffee?

I recognized a little of Jake Shimabukuro’s “Over the Rainbow” as background music on an Olympic program. A month ago I didn’t know who Jake was. I like knowing things like that. “Over the Rainbow” is my favorite song. I’m not sure Jake’s version of it is, but I like it too.

I got a razor cut the other day. Brit mentioned three times how much he liked it. It’s short. He likes my hair short, so do I. When I told him it was a razor cut we were reminded of his singe cut where they used a flame to cut his hair. It was a short-lived fad. He looked like he’d stuck his finger in an electrical outlet after all was said and done.

It will be in the 40s today. A tad cooler than yesterday. The middle of next week is going to be very warm.

If the boys would get up, I could go to work. I hate to rattle around the house and awaken them especially since Brit doesn’t feel at all well. Ringo sleeps by Brit’s bed and snores. A duet. The coffee is made and good, (strong!) but I’ll hear complaints about it. Drinking weak coffee and tea seems so pointless to me.

2/24/2006

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 4:36 pm

For the past 10 years, Glenn Greenwald has been a litigator in NYC specializing in First Amendment challenges (including some of the highest-profile free speech cases over the past few years), civil rights cases, and corporate and security fraud matters.

He has a very interesting blog that you might want to follow. You can find it here.

ANOTHER NICE VISIT WITH DANE

Filed under: family, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 4:19 pm

Dane is doing so well with his wheel chair. He knows if he runs down a resident in a walker they’ll ship him out. He is being very careful. I like it because it turns on a dime and you can’t hear it at all. The chair needs some fine tuning and a few extra doodads - like a drink holder and a book bag for the back. The controls need to be on a swivel and one arm rest needs to be about 3″ higher. We’ll get it right eventually.

He stood between the parallel bars, but he can’t stand long. Gloria, the therapist, said she feels much better responses in the muscles of his left leg and she is sure he can do better standing than he demonstrates. Dane disagrees, but he will have to do better or they will drop him from therapy.

We keep telling him he also has to do better to ever leave that place. It is a goal for all of us for him to leave the nursing home and move to a place where he’ll be happier. If any of you have suggestions on places to look, please let me know. I suppose we’ll direct our attention to the Salina area.

Dane said Vicky Farney visited him this morning and the two of them sat outside. He enjoys visiting with her. I should have taken him back outside after lunch as Eddie Boyle and George Grill were having a good visit. Dane could have joined them.

On the way home I stopped to see Darlene and Ernie Mattas to get farm eggs. As I drove into their yard, there was nary a chirp or a hen to be seen. Alas! Ernie said he sold them all and cleaned out the chicken coop. He didn’t wear a mask and his chest is loaded with “chicken particles” from sweeping the coop. He’s buying his eggs elsewhere and gave me a lead on a couple places in Wilson where I can get eggs. There is not another Ernie around and I prefer his hen eggs and conversation. Since I didn’t want to leave empty handed, I bought fresh Czech dinner rolls and kolaches. I know how to pronounce the dinner rolls, but I haven’t a clue as to how to spell it.

Dane is going to Hays to see a wound doctor on Tuesday and I’ll be there to go with him in the home van. Jerzy Slomka recommended this particular doctor as others have had success with his treatments. It’s worth a try. Apparently they don’t have a lift to get him from his wheelchair to the examination table. Dane maintains a couple of nurses can lift him…but I doubt it. They’ll have to figure it out.

Dane has had a bedsore since November of 2004, if you can imagine. It just won’t heal completely. Certainly, it is much improved, but it just won’t close. When I think about that, I wonder what happened to 2005. I have a whole year in my 5 year date book where there is not a single entry.

The family is gathering here Sunday to celebrate Karen’s birthday. Rod, Mackenzie and Luke won’t make it, but the others will. I always look forward to being surrounded by family. We’re having Black Forest ham with chipotle jam glaze. I have several other things in mind so Drew will have left-overs to take back to K-State.

It is a perfectly beautiful day today. Tomorrow is forecast to be cold again.

THE ROOTS PROJECT, LETTERS ON CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT

Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:48 am

From Josh Rosenau:Two stories have divided people in recent weeks, the warrantless NSA spying and the legality and propriety of selling control of our ports to a company run by Osama bin Laden’s hunting buddies, and both revolve around the rule of law and Congress’s place in standing up for the law.

In both cases, a lot of questions raised about the technical details and whether formal rules were followed, but both ultimately boil down to a debate about the role of Congress in overseeing the Executive, and the need for more public information.

Some of you have been writing about the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping, others of you have been silent, and that’s understandable. Many liberals and conservatives have come together to condemn the program, but the secrecy around it leaves many questions about what safeguards exist, what new safeguards are possible, and what harm or help the program has offered the nation.

The divide is even apparent within our own Congressional delegation. Senator Brownback has called the warrantless wiretapping illegal, while Senator Roberts has declared FISA unconstitutional. Since he chairs the committee responsible for oversight of intelligence collection, this is a worrying stance. FISA is a tissue-paper thin guarantee of civil liberties at best, and Senator Roberts needs to know that people want some protection against some abuse, whether by President Bush or a hypothetical Democratic President.

Senator Brownback is working on legislation that would establish a legal basis for the program, and he needs to know what assurances the public wants, and what safeguards we feel are necessary.

Congress is supposed to provide oversight of the executive branch, to act as a check and a balance on executive power. Our Senators are in powerful positions to exercise oversight, and it isn’t clear enough that they’re following through.

Starting today, a bunch of national and local bloggers are coming together to bring the national conversation that bloggers and others have been having for the last few months about the NSA surveillance and the broader issues of Congressional oversight in national security into local communities.

I’ve put up my thoughts on where we are and what we should be doing at Thoughts from Kansas:

Basically, I’d like those of you with blogs to blog about this and encourage your readers to write to a local paper in Kansas about their take on the surveillance, their concerns about privacy, their concerns about safety, their concerns about the rule of law, etc. Those of you with good mailing lists of concerned Kansans should activate those.

Different people see this controversy in different ways, the lines aren’t partisan, and even our Senators are on opposite sides of the issue. Letters to the editor in the big and small papers of Kansas will help our Senators and Representatives move past trite talking points to really address the issues that bother Kansans, and the nation.

I’m (hopefully) being intentionally even-handed about what the concerns might be, and I hope you’ll do the same. Provide some background and simple suggestions that will keep people away from silly or unproductive arguments, link to a few papers’ letter to the editor links, and offer some simple suggestions on LTE etiquette (short, to the point, personal).

This will be getting national blogospheric attention, and I’ll be sharing the link love freely, so let me know when you have something up.

RICKY HOUSE, ONE OF AMERICA’S SEXIEST VEGETARIANS

Filed under: friends — Peg Britton @ 9:22 am

Ricky House is a very cool, talented young man. He has his own band and travels the country playing gigs from San Francisco to New York City during the summer months. He’s smart as they come and just a heck of a good kid.

I know all this because he is the son of good friends, Dr. Linda Lawrence and Dr. Ray House, of Salina. He’s a Central High School graduate and was class president. He’s running for the title of America’s Sexiest Vegetarian and would appreciate your vote.

Vote here for Ricky House On the right side of goveg.com, there is a box that says “More Features” and “Vote for North America’s Sexiest Vegetarians”. I don’t know what he might get if he wins, but it doesn’t take long to vote or take away your desire to eat Kansas beef.

“Ricky, 19, lives in Lawrence, Kansas. A student at the University of Kansas, Ricky often travels to Latin America to do volunteer medical work in poorer communities. A big fan of Burger King’s BK Veggie and Subway’s Veggie Delight, Ricky enjoys soccer and playing music. Ricky cites great vegetarian peacemakers Gandhi and the Dalai Lama as inspirations for his switch to a more humane, healthy diet.”

He’s been a vegetarian for several years. He decided on his own it was the right thing for him to do.

2/23/2006

2006 KSPA Winners

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 9:07 pm

The Ellsworth High School students were in Manhattan today to participate in KSPA. You can find the list of participants and winners here.

20504 Tyler Britton Ellsworth 3A/4A Newspaper Design 3rd
20504 Tyler Britton Ellsworth 3A/4A Newspaper Sports Writing HM
20504 Tyler Britton Ellsworth 3A/4A Advertising 2nd

CONGRATULATIONS TALL BOY.

GRAMMAR POLICE

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

From Jesse: “Oh, Peg, you know we’re on the same page when it comes to basic spelling and grammar! Well, we’re both fans of Lynne Truss, anyway. I came across this website a couple of weeks ago and have found it to be an interesting and amusing reference tool.

Those are “Common Errors in English.” One of these days I’ll tell you the story of how I stumbled on the site. I think they’ve got just about every common goof-up and blunder there is listed right there. Call me crazy or bored or someone who is in desperate need of a hobby, but I privately get a kick out of common spelling, grammatical and punctuation mix-ups, like the sign that is up at K-State every summer, proudly announcing the arrival of “Boy’s State.” I never could find out to which particular boy the state belongs …”

The website that Jesse mentioned is one I’ve had fun with for years. I can spend hours browsing through it. Take a look at “I me myself”. I gathered together a lot of websites similar to this for Vickie Jewell to use in her classes. All my grandsons benefited from her English classes and still maintain she’s the best in the system. Students in her classes learn and remember.

And from my Houston friend: “I don’t know where this stuff comes from. I’m just weird.

Been thinking all morning about your grammar blog. Here’s what makes me absolutely NUTS: Folks who don’t bother to hit the shift key when they refer to themselves. Thus you get: “i love you.” Or, “i think you’re right.” I don’t know about you, but this evokes in me approximately what would happen as a result of Aggie foreplay (”SueEllen, Brace Yourself!”) e.g,, jump from the truck/desk/bed screaming.

Other things: Ken Hoffman, one of my favorite writers for the Houston Chron (now a Hearst paper!) and the only newspaper in Houston, keeps me giggling on a regular basis. Today he writes:

“And then there was the exchange this week between Martha Stewart and a 10-year-old who was showing photos of himself with former presidents! . He mentioned how much he enjoyed meeting with President George H.W.Bush (the first father). *

Stewart asked, what did you say to him?

The child said, ‘I asked him how it felt to be the only man who ever spanked the current leader of the free world.’

That got a laugh from the audience.

Stewart asked, what did he say?

The child said, ‘He said that he never spanked the president.’

Stewart said, ‘Maybe he should have.’ ”

***
*Yeah, I saw that misplaced period, as well as the tense confusion over daddy’s unwillingness to spank –once? twice? a hundred times? –but the piece was just too delicious to bother over any of it.

“Peg -

Saw your rantings about the total slaughter of our written and spoken language. I couldn’t agree more. The folks at Yahoo! must also be idiots. I did a Yahoo! search on “Bunny with a pancake on its head.” When the search was complete, at the top of the page it read, “Did you mean: Bunny with a pancake on it’s head”.

Sheesh. A Google search was just fine.

Later.

Mark”

Ginger uses Yahoo mail and for some reason, she is no longer receiving my letters. We’ve tried to figure out the problem, but nothing amiss is surfacing. It reminded me that I haven’t cleaned my Yahoo account for a long time. I had 3,738 pieces of mail, which I immediately deleted. I use Yahoo mail when I travel as it’s very convenient, but I haven’t traveled for a long time. And, if I ever sign up for anything on the net, I use that account to try to eliminate spam to my classicnet mail.

“I am a bit nerdy about grammar. They’re/their/there is the one that just sends me over the edge. I was a student of Ms. Jewell and I still know all 89 of my prepositions. That stuff is stuck in my head forever. I also still know how to diagram a sentence. These have been very valuable skills in my adult life. Not the diagraming specifically, but the ability to put together an intelligent sounding sentence.

I saw your grandson in the Ellsworth newspaper sports cards section - he is sooooo cute! And tall, my goodness!

Love your blog.

Lisa (Reed) Weber”

“P,
I thought I axed you a question about those astericks we use to denote things like footnotes ekcetera, ekcetera, ekcetera!
G”

2/22/2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KAREN BRITTON

Filed under: family — Peg Britton @ 6:04 pm

Today is my favorite daughter-in-law’s birthday. Happy Birthday to a very special person!

It’s hard for us to get together because of jobs, school, etc. but we’re planning a gathering for those who can be here on Saturday to celebrate the occasion. Drew will be home from K-State and Rod will be home from his worldly travels so her three sons will be here. We’ll gather here at our house with something on the menu I can handle. It’s the gathering that counts and she’s so very special to all of us. Lots of love from all of us, Karen!

WHAT’S GOING ON?

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:30 pm

“Peg, have you ever run across “Ladle Rat Rotten Hut?” Well, if you haven’t, you might want to Google it and start reading it out loud. Your blog regarding grammar is getting much attention, I see. I suppose if we’re going to tackle grammar, we might as well give to those who have mastered Anguish. R.”

This story, believe it or not, is the very familiar fable of Little Red Riding Hood. This curious version was written in 1940 by a professor of French named H. L. Chace, who wanted to show his students that intonation - that is, the melody of a language - is an integral part of its meaning. The words here are all common English words, but not the ones you’d expect to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

Click here to start listening to the story of Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. Listen to the sounds and intonation, don’t try to interpret each word. You can read along below.

“Peg…Trying to read that makes my teeth hurt. C.”

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