Link to KansasPrairie.net

3/31/2006

MORE ON CSA

Filed under: friends — Peg Britton @ 5:46 pm

Peg,
Oh, and I saw the premiere of CSA in New York in February when it was picked up by the Independent Film Channel and it is really amazing. I was so impressed that it was made here in Kansas by a Kevin. It is thought provoking and delivers a really powerful message. I hope you get a chance to see it.
Samantha

110,285 hits and counting.

ELLSWORTH KANSAS 1948: RASCAL FLATTS. THE TOWN IS BUZZING.

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth, Symphony in the Flint Hills/music — Peg Britton @ 3:03 pm

Many thanks to Jeff Fischer for sending this link. It’s good music. If someone knows who this song was written about, please let me know.

Mrs. Britton,
If you haven’t heard that song about Ellsworth yet, you can hear it here(link at the bottom). It’s a video of the group in the studio. That’s pretty cool that Ellsworth would be in a song. I’m going to buy the CD next week when it comes out.
I’m glad to hear Dane is doing better. I doubt he’d know me, I was 10 years younger than him. I hope he keeps on making progress. I enjoy your blog, keep up the good work.
Jeff Fischer
(Clay’s oldest)

Click here to hear “Ellsworth Kansas 1948″

I listened to this a dozen times. There were some difficulties, but I let the system run it’s course and I could listen to it. I downloaded something required so I could hear it, and it worked. It has good harmony and good melody. It was written about someone who lived in Ellsworth, but I don’t know who. Now, we need to use this someway in promotional material. Maybe we could get the group to come here to perform.

Peg
They are a number one Country Western Group. Wonderful. Thanks for sending it to me. I will get it also.
We should play it all over town. Just in time also for the cowtown days and the cattle drive. Super.
Thanks again.
Shirley —–

Peg,
We already found and listened to it.
Sharon

Went to Wichita today to the doctor. While I was there I thought I’d try Wal-Mart just by chance Rascal Flatts CD would be out. Of course not just like they said Tuesday. I emailed my daughter-in law who lives in Shawnee to try and get me one on Tuesday in Kansas City area. I am sure around here everyone will try to buy it. Haven’t heard it yet, just got home but will try later tonight. It’s funny this CD is really causing people to get excited in Ellsworth. It’s kind of cute, the town is buzzing. Linda

From Cheryl Unruh: I thought the song was good–it tells an interesting story. To get publicity–I guess it might be worth a shot to start hammering away at Rascal Flatts, begging them to come and play a gig at Ellsworth.

Or maybe suggest to area papers (Hays, Salina, Wichita, Topeka) that they write a story about the songs origins.

It’s really not too far-fetched of an idea that the group would come and play in Ellsworth. It would be good press for them, too.

Cheryl

More of the Rascals music!

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA

Filed under: friends, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 2:25 pm

From my second cousin Bernadette Rogers in Lawrence:Hi Peg,

I try to catch up with Dane’s progress via your blog and really do enjoy hearing about the rest of the family, too. As I was reading today, I saw your reference to the movie CSA, “Confederate States of America”. I thought you’d find it interesting that my brother John did a couple of voice overs for that movie. He said he did the voices for several of the commercials in the movie. Although I’ve not seen it yet, apparently his name is in the credits, so you might look for John Jury Drees if you see the movie and wait for the credits to roll.

I’ve always found the credits interesting but I’m sure most people wouldn’t. Sometimes it pays off to be observant -when we stayed for the credits of a comedy one time we noticed that right after the “Best Boy” credit, they had a “Worst Boy - Adolph Hitler” listed too, which I found very amusing. Anyway, hope all is well and we can see you and yours again sometime soon.

Boonie

My cousin, Boonie, who is one of the most humorous women in the world and her letters are priceless. She is just now getting back in circulation. She was out walking their dog months ago and fell, breaking both her elbows. She was a mess for a long time, but is doing well now…and is back to work at the KU campus hospital in Lawrence in case you Ellsworth kids need some special help.

Dane was in fine form today when I got to the home. He was leaving a message on Rose’s phone and had a list of other people to call…Mary Lou Wamhoff who had written, a client who’s been very nice to write a lot…etc. He’s enjoying his mail and receiving calls.

We sat by John’s pond after his lunch. It’s a nice place to relax and we like the sound of the water. Dane’s trying to figure out a place where we could put a pond at this house, but the best spot is full of cables, wires, pipes etc. and definitely not a possibility. But, and I agreed if we build another house, we’ll sure have a John Pond. Then…the wit started coming out. Dane said, “I’ve thought of some memorials I can get for you…a pond with a plaque, a coat rack like the one by the front door, or I’ll make a donation to the Right to Life group in your name and get a plaque”. I cracked up over that. He’s an avid Pro Choice advocate too! It’s so nice to know his sense of humor has returned. I was afraid it never would and it has always been a big part of his personality. He’s tracking.

Dane’s tailbone wasn’t an issue today. He’s thinking Rita’s acupuncture must be helping. Nothing else has helped. And, the bedsore is so much better. Everyone can take credit for that. It’s sure possible the acupuncture got it going the right direction…as it was in the same condition for weeks until just recently when Rita started throwing darts at him.

It’s a perfect day today…70 degrees, slight breeze and very comfortable in the sun.

Bill Self, the KU basketball coach, was in town today on personal business. He had lunch at Maypo’s!

ANN HARRISON OF WHITE-LE-HEAD, SPAGHETTI SUPPER, POLITICAL QUIZ

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, political musings, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 8:19 am

Art and Kathy Kohls sent their usual Friday greetings along with a reminder to attend the Spaghetti Supper at the Commanding Officer’s Quarters in Kanopolis, Saturday April 1st, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is sponsored by the Ellsworth County Historical Society and a good way to show your support for their efforts.

This really is pretty cool so I’m posting it again, in case you missed it. Click Here: Check out “World’s Smallest Political Quiz”

AND THE WINNER IS: Ann Harrison of White-le-Head England. She wins the prize for finding the author of the message on the scrap of paper listed below. Rose says: I’d like to communicate with Ann Harrison. She wins the prize. I’ll send her some lavender soaps. That scrap of paper kept me going for 6 months during chemo. Would you kindly send her my email address? I’ll get her mailing address from her and send her a thankyou. Maybe even some cards. What fun. Rose.

Rose sent the following info as I try to decide which way to go with a new computer. It makes sense. Also, I know I can get a much better deal on a computer before Christmas with XP, if Dell performs as usual: Several geek friends say that vista is going to be absolutely queer at first…will be a long time before Msoft works out illions of kinks. XP is going to be as popular as 98 once was, and so I’m gonna run it until it won’t support my programs any more (5-10 years maybe.) When you do get your new system, you can trust XP ain’t going anywhere, and you can get your PPT, Excel, and Word and Outlook for $125 if you purchase the 2003 Student and Teacher version. It comes with 3 licenses, too. PPT (powerpoint) is very useful for opening long programs with pix and music that one often gets in email. Word is necessary for life, like breathing. Excel…great for making charts and stuff. Also, glad you didn’t leave your cable folks. My DSL is a teeny bit faster than dialup, but it’s sure as hell not as fast as “they” claim. However, I can still use the phone and the computer at the same time, and my house is totally wireless. Albeit somewhat slow. Just a thought.

Time to move along. Dane is expecting some fresh asparagus for lunch today. I took some yesterday and it turned me into his favorite mom.

Tomorrow is Ringo’s birthday, so says Ally. I really don’t know. He doesn’t seem to know either, or where he came from. He’s just a happy puppy to be here. If we had a PetSmart, I’d hustle to town and get him a surprise since all his other toys are buried in the carpeting, I guess. Maybe that’s why it’s so lumpy!

Spring ahead on Sunday.

3/30/2006

Rascall Flatts

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Symphony in the Flint Hills/music — Peg Britton @ 8:27 pm

From Linda Kohls who received this from her cousin John Markam:

Received this from my cousin about Rascal Flatts. Thought it was interesting will have to find this CD. He emailed me again and said he heard the song was track 12. Wonder who the lady was they talked with? Linda

From: “John Markham”
Subject: Rascal Flatts

Hey guys,

I don’t know if you guys have heard, but Rascal Flatts have a new CD coming out and has a track called Ellsworth. From what I heard, they passed through Ellsworth, and ate somewhere in town, (I assume McAtees… Crossroads… ) and met a lady there who inspired the song. Something to the effect that she couldn’t remember yesterday, but could remember 1948.

My mother in law called me this morning at 730 to let me know about it as she heard the song on the radio…

Thought you all may want to know.

The CD drops on Tuesday. (like the slang? It comes out that day…)

John

(If you track this down, let me know. pb)

TEST YOURSELF. IT’S INTERESTING

Click here!

NETFLIX.COM

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 7:47 pm

Dane was pleased when I told him about netflix today. He already knew about it, but he was pleased I had joined. I went with the minimum program…$10 a month for unlimited movies…one at a time. They pay postage both ways and get you the movies in a day or two. That seems great to me. It will be fun to watch movies with him. The first one they are going to deliver is “Wedding Crashers”. I can leave it with him to watch in the evening if he doesn’t want to see it after lunch. He wants to see CSR…the Confederate spoof. He also wants to see Brokeback Mountain. He knows more about movies than I do and that is good. I think he’ll like the Wedding Crashers too. Dane has always been a news junkie and he is that now and more so.

Small things mean a lot to Dane and always have. I took some fresh steamed asparagus today and it was like I took his paralyzed arm and made it work. He loved it. I’ll take more tomorrow. It’s sad in other ways in that such small things mean so much to him.

Shawn Hellebust showed up today at the home and it was very good to see her again. She’s “with child” and ordered to stay in bed most of the time. She’s really bored. She should be back in circulation in May. She poses such a positive mark at the home. They have great people who work there. We are very fortunate for all of them. Dane is in the right place. He can only advance by learning to transfer himself and participating in therapy. Right now, he’s not doing that.

From Rose about my computer dilemma: Geek friends say that vista is going to be absolutely queer at first…will be a long time before Msoft works out illions of kinks. XP is going to be as popular as 98 once was, and so I’m gonna run it until it won’t support my programs any more (5-10 years maybe.) When you do get your new system, you can trust XP ain’t going anywhere, and you can get your PPT, Excel, and Word and Outlook for $125 if you purchase the 2003 Student and Teacher version. It comes with 3 licenses, too. PPT (powerpoint) is very useful for opening long programs with pix and music that one often gets in email. Word is necessary for life, like breathing. Excel…great for making charts and stuff. Also, glad you didn’t leave your cable folks. My DSL is a teeny bit faster than dialup, but it’s sure as hell not as fast as “they” claim. However, I can still use the phone and the computer at the same time, and my house is totally wireless. Albeit somewhat slow. Just a thought.

Thanks, Rose! I need to know those things, and maybe others do as well.

YAY! YAY! YAY!

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 3:26 pm

Today I was greeted with grins and joy at the home…”Dane’s bedsore looks better than I’ve ever seen it. It’s almost closed and healed!”, his nurse, Lori Steinle said. She and Janine Eschbaugh have really worked at healing that hole in his backside! It has been a monumental challenge and they are so conscientious about their bedsore “nursing” skills. We’re so fortunate to have them at the home. They have worried and researched his bedsore, suggested different treatments, and concentrated on healing it. It’s the most difficult bedsore they have ever encountered and they are on top of it now. They are very special.

Dozens of people have been trying to heal that bedsore since he got it at Salina Regional in November of 2004. It has been a nightmare for him and everyone else, and should never have happened in the first place. Dane told me Dr. Slomka had recently DC’d (discontinued) his protein supplement. They give protein supplement as an aid in helping to heal bedsores. He’s consumed buckets of it for a year or more. It’s yucky stuff. He’s glad he doesn’t have to drink it with each meal any longer.

And, he said his tailbone didn’t hurt so much, he thought. He’s never very sure about it, what hurts and doesn’t hurt in that area. It all hurts.

I wonder if the acupuncture has helped the bedsore heal? It does wonders for horses. It’s amazing. My friend, Rose, has an acupuncturist friend who treats horses and says it amazing what her friend has done to heal horses. And, I’m on my third day of feeling really great, so I’m giving Rita credit for it. I don’t know who else to give the credit to, so it goes to Rita. Acupuncture has to be a postive thing. Think Chinese!

Part of the Dinah Shore Classic is going to be televised soon. Ally called and said she’d be there, along with a bazillion other followers of the sport. I’ll look for her in the crowd. I find watching golf about as exciting as waiting for Brit’s grass to grow. Ally and Brit love the sport, love playing. I just wish Brit could play…it’s his true love!

We’ve had a lot of wind and weather blow through here today. A dab of rain, a dab of hail, the threat of tornadoes…and wind, wind, wind. I had trouble opening my car door at the home today. I parked facing west. Ooops.

Thanks for tuning in. March is going to be a very good month for hits to my website and blog and I thank you!

WILSON CHAMBER BREAKFAST APRIL 5TH

Filed under: Wilson Musings — Peg Britton @ 2:14 pm

Please plan to join us at the Wilson Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Business Breakfast on Wednesday, April 5th. Our featured speaker this month is Erika Nelson a local artist from Lucas. In addition to being a great artist in the 3D visual art world, she is a promoter of local tourism. Erica’s talks are both informative and entertaining. Erika was a recent recipient of the Kansas Arts Commission 2006 Fellowship in 3D visual Art award.

The Breakfast will be held at Made From Scratch on Old 40 in Wilson. The program will run from 8:00 am - 9:00 am. Doors open for breakfast at 7:00. We hope to see you there.

Brian Boisvert

A Tale of Two Landscapes Date: March 29, 2006

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 8:05 am

From KPR:

When non-Kansans speak of Kansas, (scroll down) their first words often invoke the state’s topography. “Flat,” “barren” and “dusty” are some of the more common descriptions. None of this, of course, comes as news to Kansans…some have spent a lifetime listening to outsiders dismiss their state as “dull” and “boring.” Commentator Cheryl Unruh is one native Kansan who finds nothing to apologize for in her defense of the Kansas landscape. In fact, perhaps its time folks in some other states start acknowledging the problems “their” views can create for a visitor from Kansas.

Commentator Cheryl Unruh is a columnist for the Emporia Gazette. Her writing and poetry have appeared in numerous publications, including The Christian Science Monitor. You’ll find more of Cheryl’s work at her website — Flyoverpeople.net. That’s fly-over-people, dot-net.

COMMUNITY CARE RX, K-STATE BB, JILL CARROLL AND ASSORTED ITEMS

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Dane Britton, recipes — Peg Britton @ 7:48 am

We have two weather alerts: 1) Severe thunderstorm watch until 10:00 am 2) Non-precipitation advisory; wind advisory from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Interesting. The wind hasn’t stopped blowing since the Iron Age and rain is a foreign object in western Kansas.

Rose’s K-A coffee is wonderful. A great way to start the day!

From my friend, Dorothy, who also loves good food: For someone who enjoys cooking, this web site is fun to browse. The Cook’s Thesaurus is a cooking encyclopedia that covers thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools. Entries include pictures, descriptions, synonyms, pronunciations, and suggested substitutions.

So far, our Medicare Part D Plan…Community Care RX…is working beautifully. We had accumulated credit since the first of the year before our plan kicked in. The thing that puzzles me is that I can’t find out what CCRX is paying on a script…or why the pharmacist doesn’t know either. CCRX tells the pharmacist what to charge us for the script based on our plan. You’d think the pharmacist would say…”Okay, this script costs me $X and your insurance company CCRX will pay $Y so you owe me $$.” I imagine we will find out, eventually.

In women’s basketball, Kansas State advanced to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament title game. The Wildcats defeated Western Kentucky Tuesday night in overtime, 57-56.

The newly-released Kids Count Data Book shows that poverty remains not only a persistent problem for children in Kansas, but a growing one.

Negotiators in the Kansas House and Senate have agreed on a bill that could open the door to increased competition in the cable television business. Final votes on the bill could come in the next few days.

American reporter Jill Carroll was set free Thursday, nearly three months after she was kidnapped in an ambush that killed her translator.

The U.S. Probation Office has recommended life sentences for David Wittig and Douglas Lake, who were convicted of dozens of felonies in connection with looting Westar Energy while they were the company’s top two executives.

Federal health officials expect the avian flu virus to arrive in this country’s bird population soon. Whether it’s this virus or another, experts believe it’s only a matter of time until the next flu pandemic.

I hope Dane’s acupuncture kicks in the way mine has…if that is what it is. I don’t know what else it could be. I feel great again today. Hey Rita…bring a big bag of needles…

3/29/2006

WE ARE ALL ELIGIBLE FOR LIFE’S SMALL PLEASURES:

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 9:21 pm

Most of us won’t come home with one of life’s big prizes - a Pulizer or Nobel, and Oscar or an Emmy.
But we are all eligible for life’s small pleasures:
A pat on the back.
A kiss behind the ear.
A four pound bass.
A full moon.
A crackling fire. A great meal.
A glorious sunset.
Hot soup. Cold beer.
A basket full of puppies.
Life is full of grand awards as well as small delights.
They await our discovery.

The author is unknown. My friend, Rose, found it on a tattered piece of typing paper, stuck on a bulletin board in a doctor’s office. It had been xeroxed and thumbtacked so many times it was almost illegible. A reward is offered for anyone who can find the author.

P.S. From my friend, Ann Harrison, in White-Le-Head England:

Hi Peg, Was reading your blog about life’s little pleasures,I decided to investigate these quotes and I found them on a web site, www.dale-miller.com, if you look at quotes of the day for April 2000 you will find what you had wrote on your blog, no author was mentioned, the piece was a United Technologies Corporation Advertisement. thinking maybe this info will win me a prize. Ann

AND THE WINNER IS: I’d like to communicate with Ann Harrison. She wins the prize. I’ll send her some lavender soaps. That scrap of paper kept me going for 6 months during chemo. Would you kindly send her my email address? I’ll get her mailing address from her and send her a thank you. Maybe even some cards. What fun. Rose.

RITA DAWSON

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 6:09 pm

I have felt better today and yesterday than I have felt in months. I don’t know why, or what to attribute it to, but since I need something/someone to give credit to, I’m giving it to Rita Dawson, my friend and acupuncturist. It was such a dramatic change, I couldn’t help but notice. I really don’t know what else it could be. After months of lumbering around, languishing, lingering from chair to chair, it has to be something new in my life and well being. Brit even commented without me saying anything to him. I’m sticking with Rita and her needles! I want it to last.Ally left a message on my cell phone: “I’m picking grapefruit off the trees in the back yard…we’ve gone for walks of several miles and I’m invigorated.” Everyone needs a break. Now, if she can just get invited to Aneka’s party, we’ll have something to talk about when she returns home. She can still talk about her BMW golf cart with air-conditioning. Can you imagine?

Fresh asparagus is on the menu tonight…plus ham, baked potatoes with special topping, and salad. I haven’t cooked, really cooked, in a long time. And, this isn’t serious cooking, but it’s better than cold cereal. When I feel energetic…I feel like doing something…anything at all. I feel like someone put new batteries in me.

Brit said that Dane loved his salad today. He should have. It had enough variety to meet all his daily dietary needs. I hope he’s feeling the effects of Rita’s needles. She’s pretty amazing when it comes to spinning those needles.

I signed up for netflix today…the lowest membership at $9.99 a month and unlimited movies. It is almost impossible for me to get to a theater. Mackenzie told me about netflix some time ago and I forgot about it. Today during a long conversation with my friend, Rose, she mentioned the website again. I think I’ll enjoy it a lot. We dont have HBO or the like as it doesn’t appeal to me. Picking my own movies and viewing them at my pleasure does have appeal. I particularly like foreign films so I should get my fill of them. I’ll let you know.

I peeked at my numbers on Metapros and they are “over the big hump”. I’m really pleased. I’ll post them the first of the month when the totals are in.

I’M STICKING WITH MARK AND CABLE

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 11:51 am

Mark Gwinner has given us good service for many, many years, and he continues to do that. I’m sticking with Mark and whoever he’s with. They have “incentives” to stay with them that are attractive. Things change so fast in this industry that it’s hard to keep up. I don’t want to sign up with SBC for a year because the minute I do, Cebridge will be offering some other great deal. Fav Granddaughter uses their service with no problems, but others do experience some, and several have returned to cable.

Someone said they may have taken down the highway signs “because of the wind!” Hello? When isn’t the wind blowing a gale in Kansas? If they took the signs down every time there was high wind, they’d be laying on the ground most of the time.

Brit is going to see Dane today, take the INDY, four salads and two containers of fruit. He’ll love his salad today….romaine, green peppers, tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, carrots, onions, broccoli, cucumbers, pickled beets, pickled okra, and artichoke hearts. He’ll top it with his favorite Hendrickson’s sweet-sour dressing. Then he has fresh blueberries and strawberries for dessert.

Mackenzie is computer shopping for me, as she has time. She’s looking for “deals”. I don’t know if I want to wait until next year for Vista or just go with XP. I know I can get a good deal on a computer before Christmas with XP and since I’ve used 2000 for so many years (I have a machine full of patches), XP should work better on a new machine. I need an update on Outlook as it’s glitchy. I’ve had this machine for about 6 years…so my grandkids say. That’s old for a computer, but it’s big, pretty fast and when it works, it’s fine. I thought about putting XP on this machine, but that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Ringo has a birthday April 1st, so Ally reminded me. We’re not sure how old he is. We’re guessing four. I supposed he’ll want a big party with all his neighborhood friends…Megan’s cat, Brownie, etc. Maybe I could talk him into being satisfied with just a cake, family and special friend, Sunshine. She is such a lady.

Hi Ally….tell Dinah Shore and Aneka hello! I bet the weather is better in Palm Springs than it is here.

Moving right along…

PALMDALE, Calif. - Four burgers at his neighborhood Burger King cost George Beane a whopping $4,334.33.

Beane ordered two Whopper Jr.s and two Rodeo cheeseburgers when he pulled up to the drive-through window last Tuesday. The cashier, however, forgot that she’d entered the $4.33 charge on his debit card and punched in the numbers again without erasing the original ones - thus creating a four-figure bill.

The electronic charge went through to George and Pat Beane’s Bank of America checking account and left the couple penniless. Their mortgage payment was due and they worried checks they had written would bounce, Pat Beane said.

“We were thinking, ‘No, not now!’” she said of the overcharge.

Terri Woody, the restaurant manager, said Burger King officials tried to get the charge refunded. But the bank said the funds were on a three-day hold and could not be released, Pat Beane said.

The hold is designed to prevent customers from spending money that no longer is available in their accounts and to let the bank confirm a transaction is legitimate before transferring funds, said Bank of America supervisor Joel Solorio.

Burger King did not charge the Beanes for their meal, and the couple got their $4,334.33 back on Friday.

“For those three days, those were the most expensive value burgers in history,” Pat Beane said.

Information from: Antelope Valley Press, http://www.avpress.com/

3/28/2006

IT’S DSL NOT DIAL UP

Filed under: prairie musings, Dane Britton, Wilson Musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 4:54 pm

From your blog: “More and more friends of mine seem to be changing to swbell…sbcglobal.net. The new AT&T will give you three months free service if you change from cable and after that, it’s $12.95 a month. It’s still dial-up and I’m happy to have a cable modem. Those old dial-up days still give me nightmares. Someone let me know how well it works.”

From Mackenzie: “It’s not dialup… it’s DSL. It runs through your phone line but operates at roughly the same speed as cable. And it doesn’t tie up the phone line…”

It’s too much for me to figure out right now. My drier isn’t working and Brit just had two tires go out (rim cuts) on his new to him truck.

So, Mackenzie, I have a phone by my computer but it’s only a phone line. I’d need another to carry the DSL to connect to my computer? Right? Maybe wrong. If I have to pay for another phone line, I’m probably better off with cable.

Brit and I drove to Salina today (took my vehicle or we’d still be flagging down someone for help with two flats). We rounded the corner at our intersection about 8:30 and the highway crews with trucks, signs, poles and plenty of men were busy putting up all the 156 detour signs. I came home from Wilson at 4:30 and all the signs had been removed and things were back to yesterday’s “normal”. So much for a full day’s work!

Skyler Bartels, a sophomore at Drake University, decided to see if he could live inside a Wal-Mart. He wondered - could the store really meet his every need? Bartels spent 41 straight hours inside the Windsor Heights Wal-Mart during his spring break. It turned out to be quite the experiment. You can read Marc Hansen’s column, if you haven’t already, for the full story.

I stopped at Swanny’s Drive in to get a shake for Dane before a meeting I had in Wilson this afternoon. Jeff’s son Brent and Brandy were there cleaning up the place from a break-in they had last night. The front door window and the drive in window were broken. Individuals were inside the shop again as before. This is the second break-in for them and it’s activity like this that drove them out of Kansas City to the quiet life in Wilson. They said the DQ in Ellsworth also was broken into last night.

BRIAN HOUSTON

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 7:53 am

Brian Houston, 47, was killed in a motorcycle accident near Grand Junction CO last Saturday as he was returning home to Steamboat Springs on a new Harley. He was a longtime teacher at the Christian Heritage School in Steamboat.

Houston’s wife, Christel, said a strong gust of wind blew her husband into the other lane of traffic where he sideswiped a semi and was pronounced dead at the scene. Two of his children, Jessi and Tyler, were following Houston in the family’s van and saw the accident. Jessi, 18, is a senior at Christian Heritage. Tyler, 17, is a junior.

Christel Houston said a funeral service is being planned and may be held later this week. Call Yampa Valley Funeral Home at 879-1494 for more information.

Ellen Barta sent me the information and added: This was our good friend Brian Houston. He was in my class….played the piano wonderfully….played with in the group with Jim Sperry, Curtis Krizek and Kent Gaston. Now he and Jim and both in heaven…His dad Fred just passed away this past year..

The story.

3/27/2006

SBCGLOBAL.NET

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Dane Britton, Wilson Musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 7:07 pm

More and more friends of mine seem to be changing to swbell…sbcglobal.net. The new AT&T will give you three months free service if you change from cable and after that, it’s $12.95 a month. It’s still dial-up and I’m happy to have a cable modem. Those old dial-up days still give me nightmares. Someone let me know how well it works.

Dane looked pretty snappy today in the new blue washed canvas shirt we gave him for his birthday. He likes his new clothes. He has been trying to deal with another resident who comes in his room all the time, especially during the night. It annoys him, but there isn’t a lot anyone can do about it except put him back where he belongs when Dane alerts them of the problem. The man doesn’t know or remember. I also wouldn’t like waking up to find someone peering over me.

We still need to get Dane’s noon meal worked out…again. He relies on it as there isn’t that much for breakfast or supper. He’s supposed to get double meat, but he didn’t today. We talked about someone from the kitchen offering him “seconds” before they throw them out. They had tater tots the other night and he would have eaten more, but they had already tossed them. He’s the only one who needs a little extra food so it shouldn’t be a big problem. Today, had I not taken him a large tossed salad and a bowl of sliced strawberries, he wouldn’t have had enough to eat. Their servings are geared for older people who eat very little.

Eric the chair man arrived later this afternoon. It didn’t seem necessary for me to go back over to watch him adjust arm rests. They will help Dane sit more erect in his chair. He loves his chair.

Tall Boy came by after track to plant bulbs for Brit and tote a big bag of dog food. He’s always so willing to do chores that have gotten beyond us. So is Drew, but he’s a college boy now and not around much. He’ll be back this summer and I suppose will do the mowing for us. It’s the pits to be physically unable to do those things that once were so easy and routine.

The box of Doctor Krackers came. Tall Boy took some home for dinner. They are so good.

And, I received the most beautiful box of surprises from my friend, Rose. What a delight. K-A coffee, some CDs (I hooted at Lily Tomlin all the way to Wilson and back), some of her special hand lotion and soap that she makes…yummmm. How much fun!

Brit and I are going to Salina in the morning, a quick trip. Then I have to be in Wilson at 2:00 for a committee meeting. They hope to discuss ways of improving food “serving” and will entertain all ideas. It’s going to be a squeeze for me to get there on time, but I will. I appreciate being asked to serve on the committee. It’s a good place for Dane to be and I appreciate all their help. They are fine people.

Thanks for tuning in.

3/26/2006

HARPOONED

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 5:58 pm

Rita, Lois and Sunshine arrived early this morning, fully fed, so we went directly to Wilson so Rita could work on Dane. I’m hopeful it will help him. Then it was my turn to get harpooned. I’m hopeful about how her treatments can help me too. Lois has had wonderful results from Rita’s treatments, as have many, many others. She’s been at this for a long time and gets referrals from doctors in 17 states.

Drew and one of his roommates popped in for a short visit. Then we joined them at T and K’s for a wonderful dinner. Brit and I were starved, well, very hungry. Not only was the food delicious, it was fun being with family. It’s always entertaining and challenging to visit with college kids. They return to K-State today with this semester ending the first part of May. Drew will return home after that to work at the bank for the summer.

According to my computer, the temperature is 66 degrees, well above the 61 that was predicted. The wind is blowing relentlessly. It’s no fun to be outside.

I’ve been looking on the net for assisted living for Dane, something for him to look forward to. What I think would be best for him is an adult home for men closer to his age (not elderly), who are physically challenged, not mentally challenged. Rita told me of one in Hutchinson that has 10 male residents, full time nurse who administers meds and CNA care. It would be similar to where he now in the way of services he requires, but there would be places he could visit, day trips he could take and other challenges that would come his way. I’ve never heard of such in a home in Salina, but if anyone knows of a living arrangement such as this, please give me a call. And, it would be my guess there might be a similar home in Lawrence. I’d appreciate your help. Salina, of course, would be the most convenient and closer to family, which is very important.

Tall Boy just stopped by for a chat. He just returned home after spending the weekend in Sterling at a church retreat. Now he’s off to youth then to play basketball for the rest of the evening. He’s a busy guy. He said he was going to run a 10k with his older brother in Wichita the Saturday before Easter.

The day is about over for me. Thanks for tuning in.

3/25/2006

MEAT LOAF RECIPE, DANE, SUNSHINE, ETC.

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Dane Britton, recipes — Peg Britton @ 4:32 pm

My friend, Janis Gore, said she was in the mood for comfort food and made a meat loaf using a recipe from a 1964 Good Housekeeping cookbook. It sounds really good. You can find it here. I’d love a meat loaf sandwich from leftovers, if there are any.

Dane didn’t have much to say today. He was pretty low so I just let him wander in his own world. I turned the pages of the Journal for him before dinner, and watched him eat. He seemed really hungry and had seconds on ham, cabbage and mashed potatoes, on top of the usual salad. Some of the residents were on a terror with conversations today like their potatoes had been loaded with something. The Alzheimer’s patients were wired and I know it bothers Dane because he hears it constantly. I tell him he knows what he can do about it: get back to his physical therapy and move on with his life. It’s up to him. I’ve done everything I know to do to help him heal.

Rita will be here tomorrow to ‘puncture us again. She’s bringing “Sunshine”, her shiatsu….nah, her Shih Tzu. I hope Tall Boy can give Ringo a bath today so he looks and smells better for his guest. I’m going to fix omelets in a bag before we go to Wilson tomorrow - diced stuff: ham, jalapenos, yellow bell peppers, green onions, grape tomatoes and shredded cheese. You just can’t ruin them.

Texas and LSU are tied at half time, 26-26.

Brit had Mexican food in Salina for lunch. Guess what he wants for dinner? A burrito! I don’t understand men. Not at all. After 55 years under the same roof he’s still a puzzlement and love. Three minutes into the Shocker game last night, he knew who would win…and wouldn’t let well enough alone and kept talking about it. I asked why he would continue watching if he were so sure this early in the game who would win? It’s really a man thing. Now, in the LSU vs TX game, the score is 65 to 57 with 35.7 seconds to go in over time with LSU on top and he says, “Well, Texas has had it!” That’s pretty obvious. Actually, Big Baby and team won by 10…70 to 60. It was a great game from the few glances I took. Garrison Keeler interests me more. My solution to all of this is to watch the last 10 minutes of whatever game and forget the rest. Especially that is true of pro football. But that is a woman thing.

Life is one dang thing after another! If you don’t believe me, just ask your mother!

3/24/2006

FRANNIE’S OF YATES CENTER

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 8:54 pm

Chery and Dave of Flyoverpeople.net visted Frannie’s in Yates Center today. They visit very small towns and take pictures to preserve the history and character of the town. You can visit their website to see some of the small communities Dave has photographed. If you love Kansas, you’ll love their website.Cheryl has this to say about their visit: “Frannie’s has lunch for a dollar. And a dollar extra for pie. It’s a small restaurant up 31 stairs above an old hardware store in Yates Center. You make change yourself at the cash register. Of course, we left a lot more than $4, cause it just didn’t seem right not to. She served taco salad today. A bowl of it for a dollar–and that includes tea/coffee. She’s been doing it for 20 years and has gotten all kinds of national TV press. Great lady. Warm and friendly. Everybody loves her.”

The Yates Center website offers this: “Frannie serves noon meals with friendly conversation and a warm atmosphere. The two room restaurant is located upstairs in the corner of a restored 100 year old building in downtown Yates Center, Kansas. You order from Frannie as soon as you enter the door, and as you leave you pay and make your own change - $1.00 plus tax per meal, or $1.00 for a slice of good pie, always three or four or more choices of Frannie’s morning-made pies!”

Open Monday through Friday. 620-625-3235

TOUR GROUPS WELCOME. Please call. If you are unable to climb stairs (there are 31 steps to climb) please call for special arrangements.

P.S. The following is from Libbi Ploutz, Jodi Dobrinski’s daughter, and wife of Bret Ploutz. Libbi lives in Yates Center and has this to say about Frannie’s:

“Now on to Frannie’s! In the years that I have lived here, I would hear my family talk about reading about it in magazines but yet I really didn’t have a clue where it was. I finally asked one day and to my surprise it is only about 4 blocks from our house on the SAME street. I have ventured up there only a couple times, each of the times I have been there it was packed and the food was incredible. I have a fellow co-worker that eats there every day for lunch. He once told me that if you catch Frannie in a good mood in the mornings while she is baking her pies that she will even make you an egg, two pieces of toast, and coffee—all for a $1. He has been going there for years and enjoys the good company that you can find while dining there. It’s always a friendly reminder that it’s Friday when you see Frannies truck pulled up on the sidewalk near the building~ they throw their trash bags out of the windows into the back of her truck rather than hiking them down the 31 stairs!!!!! :) At any rate, I would highly recommend anyone traveling down Highways 75 or 54 to take a little detour and stop in and see Frannie!

Again, I enjoy reading your blog and was pleasantly surprised this morning to see Yates Center in the headline….we are just a little map dot you know. :)

Libbi Ploutz

Friendly environs: KU architecture students build Earth-minded home

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:29 pm

FRIENDLY ENVIRONS: KU ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS BUILD EARTH-MINDED HOME

It’s not what one would expect in a prefabricated home.

A movable wall. Bamboo floors. Walls made almost entirely of glass.

“You can’t find a home like this anywhere else,” said Amanda Langweil, a Kansas University student who is helping build a modular house for a Kansas City, Kan., neighborhood.

The house is the product of Studio 804, a KU School of Architecture and Urban Design class of about 20 students that annually designs and constructs a house. The entire project takes about five months.

“Over the years the projects have turned heads, and the class has garnered national praise. In 2004, the class project won Architecture magazine’s Home of the Year. Both the 2004 and 2005 houses won Project of the Year awards from Residential Architect magazine.

Click here to read the full story.

The School of Architecture at KU has come a long way since I graduated in 1950. They send me invitations to return each year for their annual awards program, but I never have. I won the Lawrence Schmidt senior design award still have fond memories about that. I would have loved being in Studio 804.

College graduates are facing one of the rosiest job markets (jobs bringing more than $60,000 a year) since the dot-com collapse in 2001, according to a report released this week by an employment consulting firm. The outlook is particularly sunny for those with degrees in engineering, business, computer science, education and health care.

“Dolph Simons Jr. says KU’s declining rankings should concern KU and state officials.

Why is Kansas University dropping in the U.S. News and World Report annual rankings of America’s Best Colleges?”

Not too many years ago, KU was ranked among the top 20 or 30 public universities, but in recent years, the university has been slipping and, according to the latest U.S. News and World Report analysis, KU now is tied with four other schools in 45th position among the “Top 50 Public National Universities.” The other universities tied with KU are the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Arizona, Nebraska and the University of New Hampshire…

…Oklahoma is in a tie in the 109-114 bracket. Kansas State, along with Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, is in the so-called “third tier” of schools, listed alphabetically from 125th to 180th.”

My friend, Cheryl Unruh, has a neat new splash page for her website Flyoverpeople. Her sister-in-law, Margaret Unruh, designed it. Check out the cute pictures of Tiger under a laundry basket (under “Daily News”) and all wonderful photos on her website. Husband Dave Leiker has wonderful artistic talent and Cheryl writes. Does she ever write!

Tip off time for tonight’s Shocker vs George Mason game is 6:27. It would be such a sweet victory for Kansans if the Shockers win this game. We need 70 points from the Shocks. I’d wear a Shocker shirt if I had one! The last of the veggie soup is on hold for half time. Go Shockers!

Freedom of religion or from religion is a fundamental principle of our democracy. That principle is always being challenged by religious extremists. So you can imagine how the Afghan, Abdul Rahman, will be very fortunate if he’s released instead of being executed for converting from Islam to Christianity. It has taken a lot of diplomatic intervention to get their government to consider releasing him. Afghanistan now has a constitution that embraces democracy rather than the autocratic mandates of the Taliban. Top Afghan clerics urge Muslims to kill Rahman if the government frees him. Religion aside, the poor man probably just wants to go home to his family.

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