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Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 6:55 pm

Brit and I made a Salina run today to deliver our tax material to Kennedy and Coe. The IRS form is one where we don’t want wrong entries to appear so we don’t do it ourselves.

We stopped by the Top Shop, which is an interesting place. It’s off of west State Street, west of Broadway, at the dead end of Cherry St. Getting to and in the place is a challenge. It’s where Rich Young, his son A.J., Leo and others put together counter tops made of Corian, Granite, Zodiaq and the like.

It’s more a factory than a store as they only deal in wholesale transactions with Lowe’s, Salina Appliance (my choice), and other dealers. You have to work your way through a maze of cables, saws, and a variety of counter tops in the process of being completed, ankle deep water, two big dogs and a cat. I wanted a larger piece of Zodiaq to see if the colors are going to work in my kitchen and came home with a good sample.

Zodiaq® is very heavy stuff, beautiful material…about 93% pure quartz crystal and 7% resin. It is also incredibly durable and resists both heat and scratches and is virtually maintenance free. If you want it to, it will last forever.

With normal treatment, nuttin’ will hurt it and it’s impervious to everything, which makes it a level better than either granite or Corian. I was told they’d been in the business a long time and had lots of challenging orders, but none like the challenge of my kitchen and all its angles!

We had lunch at Gutierrez’ off Crawford. There was a very nice write up in the Journal about Jerry Gutierrez recently. He gets a lot of national publicity for his food. His thick, tasty mango margaritas are what made my car head that way. You can get them alcohol free and they are fruity and wonderful. I like the buffet offerings but Brit always prefers to order from the menu. He just is not, never has been a buffet, picnic, potluck, hors ‘d oeuvres, eat standing up, or with a plate in his lap kind of guy.

Tyler called this morning before he headed out to work. He’s one very happy young man, happy with his life and work. I asked him to write about what his life in the Air Force involves, for my blog, and what the Air Force has done to and for him. Maybe he will.

Thanks for tuning in.


Filed under: print news — Peg Britton @ 6:13 pm

The year 2008 is a leap year. If you look at a 2008 calendar, you will see that February has five Fridays–the month begins and ends on a Friday.

Between the years 1904 and 2096, leap years that share the same day of week for each date repeat only every 28 years. The most recent year in which February comprised five Fridays was in 1980, and the next occurrence will be in 2036. February 29, the leap day, has been associated with age-old traditions, superstitions and folklore.

In the Gregorian calendar, the calendar used by most modern countries, the following three criteria determine which years will be leap years:

1. Every year that is divisible by four is a leap year;
2. of those years, if it can be divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless
3. the year is divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.
Leap years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the earth’s revolutions around the sun.

If you want to know more, click here.


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 6:04 pm

The halcyon days of the Ell-Kan business were brought to mind in this week’s INDY, when in February 1974 plant manager Bill Humes announced an energy crisis had caused a slowdown and there would be temporary layoffs. From the peak employment level of Nov. 1973 when the plant employed 835 workers, the numbers were down to 670 after the layoffs.

Those were wild and crazy days in Ellsworth.


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, History — Peg Britton @ 5:51 pm

The renovation of the historical Insurance Building may begin in the next 30 days.  The low bid for the project was offered by Medina Construction Company, Inc. of Salina. Their base bid was $289,950. In addition, Medina also submitted bids for the alternate jobs, which were approved by the Drover board:

  • Refinish and clean thecast iron and sheet metal, $5,709.
  • Remove  and reconstruction of metal caps, $33,123
  • Reconstruct and tuckpoint masonry, $108,128
  • Restoration of the oriel, $25,910
  • Replacement of the windows and doors, $82,025
  • Repacement of 14 limestone window sills, $22,760

The total amount of the base project and alternate jobs is $567,585.

Mark Roehrman, chairman of the Drover board, said it was an exciting time for the board and the vast number of supporters to be able to see that something is going to happen within the next month or so.  Before construction can actually take place, the board will make application for tax credits.  The group that approves the tax credits also gave approval on the Heritage Trust Fund Grant.

The plans for the overall project also include a 200-250 seat community theater that will be addressed in the future.

The Drover board is soliciting donations for this project and contributions in any amount would be greatly appreciated.

Checks can be made to the Drovers National Hall of Fame and sent to president, Mark Roehrman, 210 N. Douglas, Ellsworth KS 67439.


Filed under: prairie musings, Wilson Musings — Peg Britton @ 5:28 pm

Tomorrow the city of Wilson will begin a year long celebration commemorating the 125th year of its founding. The first event will be a hog roast from 1:00 to 5:00 at the Senior Center. Everyone is welcome.

Then to finish off the day with a little more food, you can enjoy a chili feed in Dorrance at the American Legion post, an event that signals the effort to reorganize a Boy Scout troop for the Wilson-Dorrance area. Everyone is welcome.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:52 pm

Barack Obama is who he says he is and not what some radical extremists are trying to lay on him. The information contained in the two books he has written is documented fact and has not been disputed.

I tend to grab the hand of the person who is being maligned. He’s being accused of being what he isn’t by people on the net who are just grabbing a label and running with it rather than looking at the facts. Radical right wing talk show hosts are slinging innuendos when they know better than to do that.


Chris Hughes works at Barack Obama’s presidential campaign headquarters at 233 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago. Hughes, one of the founding members of online social networking site Facebook, holds the title of “online organizing guru” for the Obama 2008 campaign. (Tribune photo by Phil Velasquez / September 20, 2007)

Obama is neither an Arab nor Muslim although I find no fault with either categorization. He just has never been either one.

The false links to Islam are fanned by rumor, innuendo and association. He has rejected the wingnut racist Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan and refused his support in his presidential race. Of Farrakhan, Obama said: “I live in Chicago. He lives in Chicago. I’ve been very clear, in terms of me believing that what he has said is reprehensible and inappropriate. And I have consistently distanced myself from him.”

Obama is neither an atheist or agnostic as some have claimed although his parents were. He did not attend a madrasa, an Islamic theological and legal place of instruction, while he was living in Indonesia. He lived in Indonesia, a populous Muslim county, for four years as a child from age six to ten with his mother and step-father. Except for those four years, he resided in a very strict Methodist household while living with his grandparents in Hawaii.

For 20 years, Obama has been a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. The church calls itself “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian”. There are non-black congregants including Rev. Jane Fisler-Hoffamn, Illinois Conference Minister, who is white and has been a member of the congregation for years.

“My grandfather, who was Kenyan, converted to Christianity, then converted to Islam,” Obama said Sunday. “My father never practiced; he was basically agnostic. So, other than my name and the fact that I lived in a populous Muslim country for four years when I was a child, I have very little connection to the Islamic religion.”

It would be a good thing if people would read his two books that are based on fact and those facts have not been disputed. They are both excellent books and give a clear view of this man’s background, beliefs, dreams and hopes. His two books are: “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” and “ The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream”.

So, I hope that whenever readers receive e-mails containing the radical, inaccurate assertions being made on the net about Obama, they return the information contained in this post to the sender.

More information and pictures of Obama and his family can be found by scrolling down on the right to “Categories” and clicking on “Barack Obama”. And, if you connect to this link and scroll down, there are numerous articles from the Chicago Tribune about Obama.


Filed under: prairie musings, political musings — Peg Britton @ 3:11 pm
  • 1 of 5 girls and 1 of 6 boys will be molested before their 18th birthday.
  • 90% of all sexual assaults against children are committed by someone whom the victim knew.
  • The typical sexual predator will assault 117 times before being caught.
  • The re-arrest rate for convicted child molesters is 52%.

These shocking statistics come from recent studies on the epidemic of sexual assaults that plagues our society today. The goal at Family Watchdog is to provide you with the information you need to protect your loved ones. Ther service allows you to view known registered offenders and predators in your area. Knowing who these people are and what they’ve done provides you with your best defense to protect your family.

Watchdog invites you to use their free service to locate registered sex offenders in your area.  Click here, fill in your address and zip code. A map will appear of your area. Click on the squares that appear and see photos (where available) addresses, convictions and other information about the offender.



Filed under: prairie musings, family, Tyler Britton USAF — Peg Britton @ 9:23 pm

This has been a trampoline day. I accomplished a lot but it wasn’t always easy to juggle phones and activities.

Todd is sporting a black, navy blue and yellow eye today that resulted from a strange encounter with a paint ball during training at ECF. He’s such a gentle man that it seems strange to see him with an eye that one would assume resulted from hostile confrontation.

After my visit to the hospital lab today, I wandered down the hall to see what was for lunch….homemade veggie beef soup and build your own sandwiches. I opted for the soup which was very good and visited with friends who have a way of making everyone feel better. We are so fortunate to have excellent facilities, doctors, nurses, aides and support people in our community. The addition and remodeled facilities will make it even better. A lot of good things are happening in Ellsworth and the ECMC is one of them.

The Airman reported in last night and we had a long, chatty conversation. He calls us on his way back to his room after his workday at the hospital. It takes a long time as traffic is bad. We have one interruption as he clears the gate, then we continue with our conversation. He is very enthusiastic about military life, specifically the Air Force, and the opportunities it provides.

Tyler is in the process of testing for ten basic courses for which he gets college credit, he says, including freshman math, English comp, public speaking US history part 1 and 2, ethics in the US, principles of supervision, human resource management, analyzing and interpreting literature and principles of management.

He and friends went sledding in the mountains over the weekend, so he does get away from the base and have some fun. He’s reading some good literature in addition to his classroom studies. He runs every night after work then plays basketball. He is watching his diet carefully and eating almost no carbs. He gave a stress test to a major general which was a very supportive experience for him.

The Jane Austen Book Club is a delightful movie. I had to watch it twice as the first time around was plagued with interruptions. It’s my kind of movie.

The world would be a better place if Pete Seeger could begin anew.

My boys have headed to bed and I’m soon to follow. Thanks for tuning in…



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

Another way I get around.



Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 8:42 pm

If you want to listen to a woman filled with hate and insanity, you can listen to Shirley Phelps-Roper in this radio interview. Washington, D.C. radio station HOT 99.5 interviewed the insanely judgmental Shirley Phelps-Roper whose church vowed to protest the funeral of the late actor Heath Ledger. She comes up a little short when trying to explain she had a child out of wedlock. This is the spokesperson for the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka.

It’s not for children although her own are subjected to this all the time.


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 7:59 pm


Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 6:53 pm

Dane was able to come for lunch today so that was nice for the three of us. He’s counting calories so I was especially careful to serve something good for him. His favorite was fresh spinach and Mandarin oranges tossed with light raspberry vinaigrette that I made. He was feeling better than he was a couple of weeks ago.

I do know it feels as though another winter storm is upon us. It’s cold and blustery, as it has been for most of the winter. Factoring in the north wind, it feels like 15 degrees. Brit has a cozy fire burning downstairs so that helps transfer thoughts away from the miserable weather outside. Spring weather will return, eventually.

I also know I should buy a new stove top before Brit burns the house down. The temperature indicators are worn off, as are the other parts, so unless you “remember” which way the dial should go, you’re in trouble controlling the heat. He isn’t all that familiar with the stove or kitchen in general. I arrived in the kitchen in the nick of time tonight as he was brewing a batch of spaghetti sauce that was on it’s way to becoming charcoal. It’s hell to get old.

Ally said it’s beautiful golfing weather in Denver, but in the mountains they are expecting 20″ of new snow tomorrow.

The Jayhawks are among the most popular in the nation. KU is ranked 18th in the nation for ….no, not basketball….just overall a good place to go to school.

Last night I was cleaning up things on my computer and watching the “Oscars” on the side. That wasn’t much of a diversion as the picture on Channel 10 was dismal and I haven’t a clue as to who won what. It just so happened that Kent Gaston, who works for the Fresno Bee was also at his computer. We had a nice exchange of letters throughout the evening. I was able to get caught up on his family and he with mine. It was delightful. I reminded him that the INDY had a notice in the last paper this week that he was named Sports Editor of the K-State Collegian about 30 years ago.

Thanks for tuning it….


Filed under: energy, political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 4:55 pm

The situation with our declining world grain stores is getting serious enough that the CEO of the world’s largest fertilizer company is now basically saying we’re going to have famines.  Of course, it won’t affect us as much in the U.S.A., but it will seriously beg the question whether we should continue trying to extract fuel for our SUVs from food crops.

A friend sent me the following link that I recommend you read. From
By Christopher Donville

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) — Grain farmers will need to harvest record crops every year to meet increasing global food demand and avoid famine, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. Chief Executive Officer William Doyle said.

People and livestock are consuming more grain than ever, draining world inventories and increasing the likelihood of shortages, Doyle said yesterday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Global grain stockpiles fell to about 53 days of supply last year, the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1960, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“If you had any major upset where you didn’t have a crop in a major growing agricultural region this year, I believe you’d see famine,'’ Doyle, 57, said in New York.

Potash, the world’s largest maker of crop nutrients, has more than doubled in market value in the past year as record crop prices allowed farmers to spend more on fertilizer to boost yields…


Filed under: Wilson Musings — Peg Britton @ 2:35 pm

Please join us Wednesday, March 5th, 2008 for our monthly Business Breakfast.

This month’s featured speaker is Sherry Johnson, Executive Director of Golden Living Center in Wilson. Sherry will introduce their new expanded therapy services, discuss new renovations and out patient services.

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

Brian Boisvert


Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 9:36 am

By Justin Webb
BBC News, Washington

There is an American expression for something that is utterly obvious but not, for some reason, noticed.

“Hiding in plain sight”, the Americans call it, and the expression came to my mind as I sat in Kansas City airport waiting for an ice storm to pass.

Hiding in plain sight in this state is a revolution in American Christendom, a change of heart that could see American Protestant churches looking increasingly like their European equivalents.

The state of Kansas gets a bad press. It is huge and empty and mostly flat.

For the rest of the story, click here.



Filed under: energy, political musings — Peg Britton @ 3:12 pm

Rob Bremby, the Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment, said Kansas cannot afford to wait for the federal government to address the state’s environmental problems.

“Washington never comes to the rescue in time,” he said. “I’m not waiting for Washington.”

While Bremby didn’t expect his decision to refuse the coal-fired plant expansion to be popular, he didn’t realize how many legislative leaders say they don’t believe in climate change.

“I’ve been stunned,” he said. “I understand that people have their own individual beliefs, but what about the National Academy of Sciences?”

He listed some of the other organizations that agree humans are accelerating climate change — the Geological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Physics, the American Meteorological Society.

“These are the top scientists in the nation,” he said.

I don’t see how anyone can argue this point.

All of the Salina area legislators seem not to believe in global warming, except for one.

The exception is Rep. Josh Svaty of Ellsworth, who has taken the time to inform himself of the issues. He is representing Kansans who have clearly stated they don’t want the expansion at Holcomb that has been proposed by Sunflower Electric.

Josh is suggesting other positive solutions to this problem and he should get a good pat on the back for standing firm.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:51 am



Filed under: recipes — Peg Britton @ 10:18 am

BBQ Beef for Sandwiches from Patti O

4 – 5 # lean beef roast, like eye of round
One quart whole kosher dill pickles, juice and all
One jar chili sauce
1 can extra hot Rotel tomatoes (optional)
one jar favorite BBQ sauce (optional)

Place roast in Dutch oven. Don’t brown, just plunk a roast in a heavy Dutch oven.
Pour entire jar of pickles over roast - whole pickles and all the juice
Pour entire jar of chili sauce over roast
(The recipe didn’t call for it, but I added a can of extra hot Rotel tomatoes as we like it spicy hot)

Seal top of Dutch oven tightly with two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil then put lid on top.

Place in 300 degree oven for 8 hours or overnight. I usually do this before I go to sleep and it’s ready in the morning.

Remove roast from pan and place on tray. Break up meat with a couple forks, and if the pickles need it, smash them. Put the oven juice on the shredded beef and stir it well. It’s ready to go unless you want to add barbecue sauce.

Serve on hamburger buns.

This recipe sounds crazy but I think it’s about the best oven-style BBQ beef I’ve had. Certainly, it was the easiest of all to make.

P.S. Patty throws out all the pan drippings and the pickles and mixes bbq sauce with the shredded meat.  I used all the drippings and chopped pickles and mixed it with the shredded roast. Her hairdresser who gave her the recipe does a little of both.  I guess it depends on how much you like pickles and where you want to find them.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 5:06 pm


We lost our spring-like weather of the past few days and it looks more like the above today. The photo was sent to me by Kathy and Art Kohls as a part of their Friday series of greetings to friends.

And, looking west from our front porch…


And…our birds were feeling as though spring had arrived and have been establishing nests all week The good thing is, the snow won’t last long.


Filed under: energy, print news — Peg Britton @ 1:25 pm

“SWEETWATER, Tex. — The wind turbines that recently went up on Louis Brooks’s ranch are twice as high as the Statue of Liberty, with blades that span as wide as the wingspan of a jumbo jet. More important from his point of view, he is paid $500 a month apiece to permit 78 of them on his land, with 76 more on the way.”

“That’s just money you’re hearing,” he said as they hummed in a brisk breeze recently.

Texas is making wind energy work.  Read the rest of the New York Times story here.

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