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Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:49 pm


Maggie, the Australian Shepherd above has been missing since last evening.  She has grown a lot since this picture was taken. She was at the farm with Ally (who was working in her yard) and the two other dogs playing back and forth across the road as they usually do.  When Ally called them, Sam and Haley returned, but without Maggie.  Ally has searched all over the area of Avenue “O” (about 5 miles south of town just off highway 14) and contacted the neighbors, Kelly Rathbun and Mike Olson.  Maggie has a collar and tags.  If you see her, pick her up if you can and please call 785.472.3844, 472.7065 or 493.1517.  Thank you for your help.  We all love this little girl.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:30 pm

I’ve learned that pneumonia can whip the socks off you.  I’m feeling better today… like I might be getting better. I still pant and gasp for air, but the pain is gone.  I managed to go to town to do a few things that needed doing, then came home and sat on the front deck in the sun.  Sun and fresh air help everything, imo.  Tomorrow will be a better day and I may get back to blogging.  In the meantime…thanks for your continued good wishes.  They have helped.

Pat Harms was working at the art gallery today when a Chinese man and woman from Lyons came in looking for Meredith.  Isn’t that a kick?  Meredith has managed to become everyone’s friend in the oriental community in Lyons.  How cool is that.

Ringo has a birthday coming up soon.  He’s picking out party favors, as we speak, for Maggie, Haley and Sam.

I was rather out of it when I heard that Dr. George Tiller was found not guilty on all 19 charges against him that were part of Phill Kline’s personal vendetta against  him.  I’ll blog it when I can review the details as I’m sure this is not the end of it.

Thanks for tuning in…and watch the weather.


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

The annual spaghetti supper has been rescheduled for Saturday April 4th from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Senior Officers Quarters at Fort Harker.  Carry out orders are available from 4:00 until 7:00.



Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 7:56 pm

Todd picked me up yesterday morning at the hospital and brought me home early to avoid the blizzard that was predicted.  I just didn’t have the energy to make it downstairs to get on my computer and blog that I was home. You know from that I was a sorry bag of rags.

The storm didn’t actually make it’s mark until last evening and by this morning, we had 12 - 14 inches of snow and five foot drifts.  It was a mess.  People had trouble getting to work…the only place, so I hear, to get meals was Paden’s.  Everything else in the food line was closed except for the grocery store. Ally had snow drifts so high the entire back end of her truck was covered.  She had a terrible time getting to work, but did.  Some people who lived in town could have walked to work but didn’t.

The skies cleared, the sun came out this afternoon and much of the snow has melted.  Now we’ll have mud to contend with for a couple of weeks, but the moisture is most welcome.

Without boring you to death with the details, I can only say on Saturday I was planning to have anyone who wanted to come to my house and watch the KU game on Sunday.  But, I was awakened during the night and could barely breathe and had a lot of pain that had moved from my neck to my chest and back up to my shoulders.  I hoped it would go away, but it soon became apparent it was only going to get worse so I called Ally to take me to the hospital.  A quick evaluation there was that my blood enzymes were good, chest X-ray indicated pneumonia and ….did I know I was anemic?

Ron Whitmer came to the emergency room and gave me the news and said he didn’t think it was a heart attack but it wasn’t anything to take any chances on so he sent me on to Salina to see a heart specialist.  They did a heart cath on Monday and reached the conclusion I had a heart like a race horse but I must have some kind of internal bleeding because my red blood count was dropping precipitously.  I still was having a lot of trouble breathing.  No fever, no cough.

Well, after a lot more scoping and prodding, they concluded there was nothing wrong except for pneumonia, which was worse than imagined. So, they are treating that, I’m getting better and will be on top of it one of these days.  The said the infection from the pneumonia was inhibiting the production of red blood cells, or something like that.

So, I’m weak as a kitten and look like I’ve seen a ghost  BUT…I passed my 80,000 mile check up with flying colors.  No ulcers, great GI system, strong heart….so the transmission parts are working fine.  I’m a lucky gal.

I want to thank all of you who sent me emails to the hospital.  They are really nice and I enjoyed them so very much.  They use paper with interesting, colorful backgrounds, large type and all those good things.  And I appreciate very much the phone calls, the friends who stopped by the hospital to visit and the contacts with my family.  Thank you very much for your thoughtfulness.

I’ve had a couple bad experiences at Salina Regional in the past, but I couldn’t have asked for better care than I received while I was there.  The response at the Ellsworth Hospital was excellent, as I’ve always found it.  When I told them I thought I might be having a heart attack (that was the only thing I could think it might be) they responded immediately…took blood tests, X-rays, made me more comfortable, made the contacts with doctors in Salina and had me in an ambulance in about an hour on a Sunday morning.  We’re very fortunate to have such wonderful facilities, doctors and staff here in Ellsworth.

I’ll be slow blogging for awhile as my energy level is so low…but I’ll be here off and on.

Thanks to all of you….and many, many thanks to Mackenzie for her blogging; and Ally and Karen for all their help with Ringo and things on the home front,  and to Todd who hovered over me every day, all day, in the hospital, providing support and extra ears.  There is nothing that compares to love from family and friends.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:19 pm

Probably going home tomorrow! Stomach scope was normal.  Doctor is confused but thinks maybe it was an acute infection from the pneumonia causing the blood cell abnormalities.

She feels pretty good… her lung still hurts but kidney function and all blood tests have come back in normal ranges.

Basically they think everything came from the pneumonia and once that gets cleared up she will be fine.  Will go home tomorrow hopefully and she’ll have check-ups to make sure everything is clearing up as expected.

So things are going well!



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 6:50 pm

Just talked to grandma and they have decided the shortness of breath and pain is due to pneumonia.  The pneumonia that they thought was minor to begin with is actually a little worse than they thought.

Her red blood cell count is also going lower and lower (I think that’s how I understand it).  They tested it in Ellsworth then in Salina several times and it keeps going down.  So tomorrow she’s going to have an Upper GI and they’ll see if they can find anything there… if not they will look at her spleen which could a culprit.

The doctor said she’ll be in Salina at least a couple days still.  And it’s supposed to snow in Kansas on Friday so hopefully she doesn’t get trapped there. :)

She had horrible pain last night but they finally found some pain meds to keep things in check.

AND she’s getting to wear the marvelous air leggings that my dad loved (ha ha)… they help keep blood clots away.  She’s been walking the halls too… said she’s gotten in a lot of walking.

I think that’s all I know.  Sorry it’s a little confusing, I just went by what bits and pieces I could gather from the conversations… she’s doing well and in good spirits, just has some stuff to still figure out.  Thanks everyone for their well wishes!


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:52 am

Just got a voicemail from grandma, tried to call her back but she must be off doing something.  She said she’s feeling a lot better today and that things are going ok.  Like I said before, her heart is strong and has been ruled out as a problem.  Yesterday they ran some tests on her lungs and I think they found that she has a slight case of pneumonia but that still doesnt account for the shortness of breath.

She also has a slow bleed somewhere in her body as indicated by her red blood cells… they’re investigating that.

Otherwise she sounds MUCH better and is in good spirits… just sounds ready to be home instead of in the hospital… who wouldn’t be? More after I talk to her :)



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:48 pm

Talking to grandma on the phone now… she sounds much better than yesterday.  She said her heart doctor reported that everything was really good with her heart - that he would even trade arteries with her if he could, they were so good! The muscle is fine, etc.

She is still slightly short of breath, and there is some pain if she pulls herself up out of bed or something like that.

She said the heart cath was not really uncomfortable at all, and was over before she knew it.  She said she could feel it inside her heart as it was scoping around.

She’s got her dinner in front of her but isn’t very hungry from all the stuff that has been going on.  The wind was blowing 60-70mph today she said, power lines down in Salina and Dairy Queen roof partly blew off.  She lost power for a little bit but it’s back on.

She said she’s got a “dang good heart” for an old lady, and it’s not a gland problem.  The Queen of Clean (Meredith) is on call if needed.  And she’s excited about the KU game on Thursday.

She said thank you to everyone for their get well GRAM’s and for all their kind words.

More as I know it… starting to feel like a news reporter :)


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:48 am

This morning they did a heart cath on grandma and everything came back fine from that so they have determined it is not her heart causing the problems.  Now they will be moving on to the lungs to see if there is something there.  She has been moved out of ICU and is in MUCH less pain than yesterday, and has her appetite back.  More to come once we find out more… thanks for all your well wishes.



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

Just heard from Todd.  The heart doctor came in and said that her heart muscles look good and that there may be some scar tissue likely from having Rhumatic Fever as a child.  There *might* be blockages in her heart but nothing has shown up yet.  They are going to admit her and run more tests tomorrow.  So for right now she’s doing fine, still in some pain when she takes a breath, but overall ok and in good spirits - happy that KU won :)

So for now we can send Patient Grams - I dont know her room number but I’m sure just putting her name in will be fine… they’ll find her.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:24 pm

This is Mackenzie.  Today grandma was feeling really badly - a lot of pressure in her chest and having difficulty breathing… so she went up to the Ellsworth Hospital and they transported her to the Salina Hospital.  So far blood tests have come back fine but an EKG showed some abnormalities.  I just talked to her on the phone and she sounded good, just really tired.  Family is with her and as we receive updates I’ll update the blog.  On the phone one of the first things she asked was that I update the blog - so she’s still herself.

She said the flashing lights and fast ambulance on the way to Salina was exciting.

Anyway, in all seriousness - I will keep you updated and feel free to leave comments, I will pass them on to grandma.



Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 12:49 pm

The Wall Street Journal tried to calculate whether millionaire college basketball coaches are earning their money. It ranked each coach based on his salary compared with his school’s Ratings Percentage Index — or the team’s winning percentage against the difficulty of its schedule. The paper arbitrarily based its Elite Coach Value Score on how much the coaches are being paid for each point their schools’ RPI is above 50. The University of Kansas had a three-year RPI index of 65.2, the fourth highest. But coach Bill Self’s $3 million guaranteed salary gave him a coach-value ranking of 20th. The coach with the highest value ranking was Bruce Pearl of Tennessee. North Carolina coach Roy Williams was No. 8.

From Phillip Brownlee on We Blog.


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 12:37 pm

When someone asks for an atheist license plate, or a flying spaghetti monster license plate, or a “Kelly Clarkson is hot” license plate, let’s hope everyone is Kansas is willing to chip in.

For the rest of the story on “In God We Trust” license plates that we’ll all be expected to pay for, check out what Bagyants has to say here  about HB 2134 that passed the legislature by veto-proof margins and will be on its way to the governor soon.

And…continue reading what Bagyant reports from the LJW about the coal bill.  The votes aren’t there to support it.


Filed under: Eat, Area Sites, Deli — Peg Britton @ 9:36 am

Today Ally is serving open-faced hot turkey sandwiches with dressing and corn for $6.50.

Speaking of food, as frequently I am…Ally and I went to Lyons to chase down the Chinese Restaurant.  It’s on the main floor of the LyKan Hotel and pretty dern good. They had a buffet last night but you can also order off an extensive menu.

There wasn’t any beef on the buffet, but plenty of chicken, shrimp and fish dishes.  I always enjoy the boiled shrimp…and they had crayfish as well…and I can make a meal on them.  They also had some interesting pickled veggies that I really liked.

These are the folks that Meredith chased after in Ellsworth so I thought I’d mention that to the young girl who was taking my money…but she spoke no English.  She had not a clue what I was talking about.  Our young waiter who looked like a native of Lyons interestingly enough spoke some Chinese.  Hard as he would try, he couldn’t get her to say they had been visiting in Ellsworth.   She kept saying “Salina”,  but there was no mention of Ellsworth.

Finally, they called in the reserves and another cute young oriental woman came to the rescue.  She couldn’t speak English either but the three of them, with a lot of help from the young man, finally realized what I was saying.  Meantime, Ally is trying to drag me out, knowing I’m not giving up on this, and is saying over and over…”Mom, it doesn’t matter.”

Then….Voila!   They jumped with joy, grabbed my hands and with smiles galore said “yes, yes, yes”.  They loved that woman (Meredith) and their visit to Ellsworth.  So, I told them how much we appreciated them coming to Ellsworth and that brought more jumping for joy and grabbing my hands and arms across the counter.  They are delightful people and soooo cute.  I wish they had settled here instead of Lyons.  I want to go back just because they are so nice.

Thanks for tuning in….



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


KU will face Dayton in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:01 pm

Here’s a game with increasing difficulty that’s a lot of fun.  You are given a city and you pick its location on a map with your cursor and try to land the plane in the correct location.  The plane will always land where you say, which may or may not be accurate.  If your location is wrong, it will pinpoint the correct location and give the distance of your miss in miles.  The closer you get, the more points you accumulate. Then, at the end of the three sections of the game, if you want to know how well you did in comparison to others, fill out the blank and get your results.

Click here to play the game.


Filed under: prairie musings, energy — Peg Britton @ 1:45 pm

Now, we’re talking:
Gallup’s annual Environment poll finds 59% of Americans saying they favor the use of nuclear power as one of the ways to provide energy for the United States, surpassing the previous high of 56%. A majority of Americans believe that nuclear power plants are safe.


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 1:06 pm


FINAL: Bison have no answer for Aldrich in KU’s 84-74 victory

KU’s Collins: 32 pts, 8 ast. Aldrich: 23 pts, 11 reb. ND SU’s Woodside: 37 pts.

Here’s the Paden’s Place group that lasted through the entire game.  Other fans came and went and added their support as well. It was good fun.



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



Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends — Peg Britton @ 4:11 pm

From Terri in Texas:
A Bold Statement for the Earth—
On March 28, 2009 at 8:30 p.m., tens of millions of people in more than 240 cities around the world will come together once again to make a bold statement about their concern about climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. Earth Hour symbolizes that by working together, each of us can make a positive impact in the fight against climate change. Here in the U.S., it sends a message that Americans care about this issue and stand with the rest of the world in seeking to find solutions to the escalating  climate crisis.

This afternoon two of my fave artists from Salina, Dick Bergen and his son Richie, stopped by for a visit. They were here sizing up our new art gallery as they will have a display in the near future. Dick is the sculptor whose Indian is on the Capitol dome. He and Richie combine their talents in many interesting ways.  I’ll soon blog the original Kansas  Jayhawker they have for sale.


Speaking of the art gallery, as I was, reminds of a funny story about our prolific volunteer Meredith Vargo.  She is constantly working on someone else’s project that requires extra hands and a willing heart.  She’s the kind who has a lot of follow through and does the actual work, picking up after others who say they’ll do something but rarely do.  One of her latest efforts has to do with work at the art gallery and getting it cleaned, locating volunteers, running errands and getting it ready for art displays.  She called me to do a blog with pictures.  She’s always rounding up people to go see the gallery.

The other day Meredith was downtown and spotted a group of orientals wandering in and out our shops and proceeded to chase them down.  She knew they weren’t locals and she was bound and determined to get them to visit the gallery.  Willingly, they followed her even though only one could speak a little English. She took them in the gallery and explained everything there was about it leaving nothing to chance.  Finally, she learned from them that they owned the oriental restaurant in Lyons (which I hear is very good, btw) and the young girl who spoke English said, “Since we have so many customers from Ellsworth, we thought we would come visit to see what it’s like”.  Now isn’t that something?  Can’t you just envision Meredith running down the street in hot pursuit of a group of Chinese visitors? She’s a national treasure.

Tuesday evening we celebrated St. Pat’s Day at Ally’s farm with a special dinner she prepared. It was Todd and Karen’s 25th wedding anniversary so that made the occasion very special.  Here are the “eaters”…Sandra, Karen, Todd and chef Ally.  I took the picture! If you’re curious about the background…it includes an Ansel Adams print, the stove pipe from her wood stove, and a wooden pitchfork from the old Britton place ca early 1800s in Virgina. Karen has a firm grasp on Todd.


The Senate passed the statewide smoking ban but it was tabled in the House Health and Human Services Committee which means it’s hit a stumbling block to eliminate discussion.  The chairperson only represents a small fraction of the people in Kansas yet can prevent the discussion of an item that effects everyone.  I really don’t like this part of the legislative system or chairpeople who strong arm others.

Barack Obama will be on the Jay Leno Show tonight.  That should be interesting.

From the KDP:

Kansas Republicans Todd Tiahrt and Lynn Jenkins voted against recovering taxpayer funds used to award $165 million in bonuses for AIG employees.

The measure passed the house 328-93.

Yesterday, Rep. Lynn Jenkins said, “We need to focus on repaying the taxpayers.” But when the time came to ‘walk the walk,’ Jenkins turned her back on taxpayers to help greedy Wall Street executives.

Yesterday she wanted us repaid…today…well, her out-dated and out-of-touch “Government shouldn’t do anything” rhetoric won out.

On a higher note,  the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee endorsed a bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations.  It passed with a vote of 5-3.

Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee Chairman Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, voted with the majority in favor of the bill. He said that in this day and age, there’s no reason that people should be discriminated against because of their personal characteristics. “It just affirms the obvious,” Brungardt said of the bill.

This makes the bill, SB 169, eligible for a vote on the floor of the Senate. If passed by the full Senate, it would have to go through the same process in the Kansas House. There aren’t many in the legislature like Pete Brungardt who believe in fairness for all, so we’ll see how far ths bill goes….and how legislators vote on it.

A good friend called today to see if I had some Grand Marsala as she was cooking Indian food and couldn’t find that ingredient. I thought she was talking about Marsala wine.  She said it was a common spice in Indian food and I thought…strange, all I use is curry, etc.  It was a puzzler to me until I looked it up on the net and learned Grand Marsala is the same as curry…and, of course, I have some good curry she can have.  Just thinking about it makes me hungry for some good Indian food.

There was a front page article yesterday in USA Today that made several referrals to our ECF.  I passed it on to Todd to read and he can share it at the prison with others.

Thanks for tuning in…

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