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Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:50 pm

During Art Rush in Salina a few months ago, I was introduced to Wild Blue Lager by Boon Vidrickson.  It’s now a mainstay in my refrigerator.   It’s brewed by Blue Dawg Brewery in Baldwinsville NY.  It’s really very good, in my opinion.

Crafted for beer enthusiasts, Wild Blue is brewed with a complex blend of two- and six-row barley malt, classic Aroma Hops from the Willamette Valley in the Pacific Northwest and German hops from the Hallertau region in Bavaria.  Hops are difficult to come by these days and are very expensive.  Something happened to the hops crop…but I don’t know precisely what.

Wild Blue is blended with all-natural blueberry syrup made from real blueberries, giving the beer a balanced blueberry flavor and pleasant aroma.  It probably isn’t a guy kind of beer, but it’s a beer that women who don’t care for beer usually enjoy.  I suspect it’s the mild fruity taste that is so pleasant.  I just happen to enjoy good beer…dark lagers in particular.  Wild Blue isn’t a dark lager, but it’s very smooth tasting.  I’m not particularly fond of light beers as I find them tasteless.  They are the ones that get mixed with tomato juice.

Wild Blue contains 8 percent alcohol by volume and is best enjoyed in a tulip-shaped glass to fully note the wonderful aroma which is reminiscent of fresh ripe blueberries. This method of drinking also highlights its beautiful color with a slight pink tinge.  Frankly, I have never seen it in a glass.  I enjoy beer right out of the bottle … or the glass has to be freezer frosty.

It seemed a good idea to have a Wild Blue before we have Ally’s pork green chili  and burritos for dinner.  Just in case you wanted to know…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 5:48 pm


The soccer field and play ground equipment area of the grade school are adjacent to the business district and were seeing action today. This playground area has long been the gathering point for students of all ages to engage in basketball games, relaxation and social contact. It is taking on the look of a park and place for adults to relax from walking in downtown Ellsworth.


And, the basketball court is at the north end of the soccer field.  It’s not completed as yet.  Work was delayed because someone/s stole the keys out of the Bobcats the workmen were using.   It wasn’t elementary students during school hours as they were closely supervised while on the playground.  The grade school improvements greatly enhance and complement the downtown streetscape improvements.


And, south of town, the 6th Annual Mid-Kansas Indian Wars Rendezvous continued through today. That’s a cannon in the foreground that fired as we passed by.

It was a beautiful day in Ellsworth, albeit windy, with early temps for farmers’ market shopping in the 60s and afternoon temps in the 80s.

You ex-pats who haven’t returned to your home town in awhile, should plan a trip back here soon.  We could use financial help, support and suggestions from all of you to keep the town growing.

Thanks for tuning in…


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 11:00 am

There are still tickets available for tonight’s production by the Kinsey Sicks at the Steifel.  If Phred Phelps and clan picket them, as they do, you can be assured they are one funny group of entertainers.  Friends of mine are coming from Wichita for the event.

America’s Favorite Dragapella Beauty Shop Quartet!
A Sensation at last year’s Smoky Hill River Festival! With a phenomenal performance record that includes an Off-Broadway show, an extended run in Vegas, two feature films, six CDs, and appearances throughout the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe, the Kinsey Sicks hardly need an introduction. For over 15 years America’s Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet has served up a feast of music and comedy to audiences at performing arts centers, music venues and comedy festivals in every kind of town you can imagine, in over 40 states! Their award-winning a cappella singing, sharp satire and over-the-top drag have earned the Kinsey Sicks a diverse and devoted following. This show is R Rated. $15, $25, $35 (the $35 ticket entitles you to a private party after the show with the artists!)

Or, tonight you can enjoy a street dance in Lindsborg where King Midas and the Mufflers will be playing.

There are several events on Saturday,  September 4th you might want to mark on your calendar. Three of them are:

The St. Ignatius Church in Kanopolis will have its annual Mexican fiesta starting at 11:00 a.m.  They serve tacos, tostadas, tamales, bean dip, enchiladas, soft drinks, etc. in the basement of the church. They will have food available until they run out, usually around 7:00 p.m.  Outside, on the church grounds, you’ll find hamburgers and homemade pie.   Don’t forget to buy a raffle ticket and play a game of bingo.

Lucas celebrates its 37th Annual Adam’s Apple Festival starting at 7:30 am.  There is always something to do and see in Lucas.

Ellsworth Farmers’ Market. There last day of sales is Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

Sunday, Sept. 5th is Sunflower Day at Kansas Originals from noon until 4:00.

If you’d like a nice Kansas road trip,  I suggest a drive to Council Grove on Sept. 17 and 18th to see the Voices of the Wind People.  The history of the Kanza People comes to life in historic Council Grove, Kansas.

The Colorado Peach sale at the ALCO parking lot occurs on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m.  The last night to buy peaches to eat, make jam, or freeze for the winter is Sept 15th.

Save Sept. 18th from 5:00 until 9:00 p.m. for the Mozaic celebration.  They will provide free food and entertainment in their parking lot to celebrate their 25 years of being in Ellsworth.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:09 am

Do you remember Leila?   The wonderful singing Amazon gone patriotic singing God Bless America?  The one I falsely attributed to my friend, Janis?  Remember?  Well, the following is from Starr, the owner of Leila.  This is what she had to say:

Just wanted everyone to know that Leila belonged to Kathy Starr.  Leila was in fact in a southern household in Georgia but, of northern owners. Her southern accent was her own doing that she “chose”.  Leila was posted on YOUTUBE until of late when somehow the posting was deleted.  Leila was our love and had a uncanny vocabulary of a known 600 words.  As you may have noticied Leila is no longer with us thank to the errors of the Athens, GA school of animal carelessness. Thanks for taking the time to appreciate our lost love.

Kathy and Denny Starr

I don’t know how things like that get deleted from YOUTUBE.  If you want to delete an entry it’s almost impossible to do.  I must have listened to her sing at least 20 times…and am sorry she’s no longer loving her life with the Starrs and singing with such style.



Filed under: prairie musings, friends, blogs — Peg Britton @ 12:23 pm


My book is ordered and in the mail, and you may want one too. If you love Kansas, you’ll want her book.   You can learn more about it, and how to order, here.

Reading Cheryl’s placement of words is like listening to very well-composed music.  There is beauty in every essay.  It is a treasure.

You can also learn what Marci Penner, Dave Kendall and Kevin Rabas have to say about Cheryl’s book on the Quincy site.

Cheryl’s brother, Leon Unruh, edited her book.  It’s what he does.  He and his sons were the topic of several of my blogs a few years ago when they participated in the Bike Across Kansas tour.  His son Nicolai  was the youngest cyclist ever to pedal every inch of the way across Kansas, and he’s still setting records as you can learn from Leon’s blog, Too Long in the Wind,  which is a wonderful read.

The Unruhs, sister and brother, are wonderful folks…and write from their hearts in ways few others are able to do.  If you haven’t visited Cheryl’s blog, Flyover People, you can do that here.  It’s the best!


I know you will love Cheryl’s book.


Filed under: prairie musings, family, Dane Britton, Artists, Ellsworth Art Gallery — Peg Britton @ 10:49 am


There is a very good exhibit at the gallery.  It’s composed of photos by Jeff Cooper, Doug Donely’s collection of spurs, paintings by Charles Rogers, sculpture, etc.  Stop in and take a look.  The next exhibit will be a wonderful collection of Ansel Adams prints.  You won’t want to miss it.


Take a look at the detail on this rose.


In case you haven’t seen one, as I hadn’t before I was forced in the direction of buying one, here’s what the tankless hot water system looks like.  It frees up a lot of floor space and is easier to maintain than the tank type.


Here’s a brick that Mackenzie had made for her father for the new sidewalks in down town Ellsworth.


And another….I think they are still available if you want to buy a brick for someone.  This lists a few of the Brittons who worked at CSB and T…and there are Todd, Karen, Drew and Tyler Britton as well.


As we were taking in all the sights on our trip through of the Gyp Hills, we came across the largest field of bales I can ever remember encountering.  It went on forever and ever…and I could only think of what it would have been like long ago, had they been 80 pound square bales,  when every high school boy in this part of the world spent summers  loading them on the back of a trailer.  Boys then didn’t need athletic training equipment to keep or get in shape.

They are washing the high windows on my house.  They are ones no window washer would attempt to reach.  They haven’t been touched by anything except natural forces in years.  Ralph said he even had to use a razor blade on a couple of them to remove the years of accumulated grime.   The sun will shine inside in new and exciting ways.

Thanks for tuning in…


Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 8:35 am

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway — and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre — and scary — rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants — with no need for a search warrant.

For more, the story continues here…


Filed under: prairie musings, family, Tyler Britton USAF — Peg Britton @ 7:55 am

Earlier this week, multiple forces came into play at the same time.

The shingles and siding on our house have needed “refinishing” attention for well over a year.  It’s not easily done and requires a lot of worry time for me. Our roof is not an easy one to work on and it’s wayyy up there.  I know.  I’ve been there.

From years of experience, I’ve determined a year is the average waiting time for those who know what they are doing to appear following the first contact. Sometimes they never appear and you never know during the process whether they will or won’t.    It’s just a waiting game to have your name finally fall at the top of their “to do”  list.

Since it didn’t look like anyone would ever appear to do the work on the house, Ally and Tyler started refinishing the decks.  They definitely needed attention.  Tyler, who has finished them before for his grandpa,  was busily manning a pressure  washer when “the well went dry” and nary a drip of water appeared from the nozzle tip.  Alas!   They had also made a Lowe’s run to pickup a couple of five gallon pails of Cabot’s stain, so they were ready to go when suddenly progress stopped.  I really don’t like dealing with all these problems.

As I was trying to solve the problem of not having any well water, I thought briefly about letting them use city water.  After all, they weren’t doing the entire house.

Then the door bell rang and Ralph Doubrava, the wait-for-a-year guy, was standing there ready to refinish the house.  A couple of hours later, Joe,  another fixer person, arrived to take a look at the house and submit a bid.

Now I had help but no water.  It takes a lot to scrub a house. A lot.

It was apparent we were at a standstill until the water issue could be resolved and if it weren’t resolved quickly, I’d lose Ralph to another job.   And, Tyler and Ally couldn’t continue.

I figured either the well went dry, the pump shot craps, or there was an electrical problem.  Rick assured me my well was not dry and didn’t think anything was wrong with the pump.  Good!  Those were big problems.   Randy usually always responds quickly to an emergency situation.  He took a look in my well hole and saw the problem:  a very small garter snake had wrapped itself around the electrical connection and somehow a shrew also became involved.  They were fried and so was the electrical box.  A replacement solved the problem and water flowed again.

The past several days Ralph and crew have been cleaning shingles and since our roof is way up there and slick as the proverbial you-know-what when it’s wet, I’ll be glad when they resort to lower altitudes for their work.


That’s water spraying off one roof level where Ralph and Kyle Seiler are working.  Matt was replacing a few shingles on another area of the roof.


I’m not sure where this ladder comes into play, but the orange thingy in the background solves most of the problems created by the height of the tower.  When we built this house, I was here everyday during construction, and in my small way helped and cleaned up the area every night.  Delmar and I also stained the house and the scaffolding they put up for the tower came loose as we were on it.  I’ve never frozen solid so fast ever before or since as we waited for Kenny to come put in a few more shingle nails on our segment of the scaffolding.


Matt is replacing shingles above that small window.

Work continues today with power washing the rest of the roof so they can continue with the siding.  Then they cover all the windows, curtilage  and and anything that isn’t supposed to be stained with plastic. I’ll be living in a cocoon for several days.  Fifty more gallons of Cabot’s is on the way and should arrive at Lowe’s next week.   I’ll figure out how I’ll get that here when the time comes as Ally is heading to Colorado, Tyler is returning to San Antonio and Todd is working on his newly acquired house.  Oh well…Ringo and I can handle almost anything.

Stay tuned…with refinishing news I hope is very uneventful.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 7:35 pm


Todd and Karen Britton have their house at 306 Kunkle Drive for sale.

The house was built by Kohls Construction in 1977 for Larry and Sarah Soukup.  Dane Britton bought the house from the Soukups in about 1980 and then sold it to Todd and Karen in 2000.   The house has been well-maintained since being built.

The overall dimensions of the house are 51 feet long by 28 feet wide, plus garage and fenced wood plank deck.  The house is constructed with rough cedar siding and native stone finish.

The house is on four levels.  Three of the living areas consist of an approximate total of  2,100  square feet.  The lowest level is an unfinished basement of approximately 700 square feet.

The main entry level off Kunkle Drive contains the formal living room, dining area, kitchen, wall pantry and kitchen eating area.  A two-car garage and fenced deck are accessed from the dining area of the kitchen.

The upper level of the home has a large master bedroom and bath with shower, walk-in closet; two additional bedrooms and full bath with tub and shower; and laundry facility area.

The lower sub-floor with ample windows contains a family room with stone fireplace and bar;  large bedroom with egress windows and bath with shower.

The unfinished lowest level  contains the furnace, hot water tank and dry storage space of approximately 700 square feet and also serves as an excellent storm shelter.

The house is carpeted throughout except for the kitchen that is ceramic floor tile with grout.  Bathrooms are tiled.

The back yard has a wood privacy fence and has a basketball goal and court with a 3 point line on a concrete court.

The yard is well-maintained with fescue grass, full sprinkler system, flowers, shrubs and adult shade trees. The house also has a termite control Sentricon system.

The house is located in a well-established neighborhood within walking distance of Ellsworth schools and the downtown business district.  It is only three houses away from Krizek Park where there is playground equipment, a disk golf course, tennis courts and wide open spaces.

For further details, or to see the home, call Karen at 785.472.3852 after 6:00 p.m.



Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 8:31 pm

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq is the size of 80 football fields.

I missed the entirety of the Cowtown Celebration because the heat is more than this body can handle.  I stayed inside all day.  All reports indicate Shannon Mog and crew did a great job with planning and implementation of all the activities.

Until 1833, when Oberlin College opened its doors to women, no women were admitted to any college or university in the nation.

“The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.” ~Mark Russell, American political commentator, comedian and satirist born August 23, 1932

This has been one of those days.  Tyler offered to power wash and stain the decks.  I’ve been on Ralph Doubrava’s list for a year or more to power wash and stain the house.  They all converged today.  Tyler started to power wash and suddenly the well  water ceased to flow through the hydrant. Ducky!  I figured it had to be one of the following, in descending order of replacement costs:  well drained dry, motor on the pump burned out or faulty breaker. Randy Kempke came to the rescue and said it was a tiny garter snake that coiled its body around the vital connection in the electrical box contained in the well hole.  The tiny creature came in contact with a tiny mole, and fried himself, the electrical box and the mole.  Box replaced, snake and mole removed.  All is in working order again.

I’d like to be in Martha’s Vineyard on vacation.  Or anywhere cool.  We’re supposed to have relief tonight from the sweltering heat.  It might drop to 65 tonight and 55  the two nights following.

My lone tomato plant that produces cherry tomatoes has been a joy.  To me the best tomato is one that is eaten right off the vine, full-flavored and warm from the Kansas sun.

Todd just called to say that severe storms passed through Hays and are heading this way.  A cold front is coming as well.  My computer needs to be shut down.

Thanks for tuning in…


Save Sunday October 24th for a very special event to be hosted in Ellsworth. You won’t want to miss it. Take my word for it at the moment and save the day. More will be announced later. If you decide it’s something you don’t want to participate in, you can adjust your calendar. Save the day for some competitive fun.

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 2:48 pm


Filed under: prairie musings, family, Tyler Britton USAF, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 1:40 pm

My grandson, who is home from a tour in Afghanistan, said he’d like to take a trip to Greensburg to see the new town and visit his old high school basketball coach.  Visiting Greensburg is something I’ve had in mind for a long time and I wanted to work that into a trip through the Gypsum Hills and have a cold beer at Buster’s Saloon in Sun City, population 40.  Yesterday, we did just that.

Our first stop was in Pawnee Rock to visit a friend, who wasn’t home, as I suspected she might not be.  We enjoyed her yard to stretch our legs.

Our next stop was in Greensburg at the Pueblo Nuevo Restaurant where we had some very good Mexican food.  Mine included a chile relleno, beans, guacamole salad and a taco, all for $5.95.   I don’t know that there are very many, if any, alternative places to eat in Greensburg. Everyone in town appeared to be eating here.


The first day of school in Greenburg…in their brand new sensational $52 million dollar building…was yesterday, and thanks to Travis and Heather Powell, a tour of the school was made available to us.  If it weren’t for them, I’m sure we would not have had the opportunity to visit this outstanding facility…the first in the nation LEED Platinum school.


Front entry to Greensburg’s high and junior high schools, and grade school.  They are all one building but separate from each other through the use of angles in the building so each grade level is apart from the others.  We met Heather Powell in the office and she took us on a personal tour of the entire building.  It was a wonderful experience.


All the wood in the school was reclaimed after Katrina and other such natural disasters.  The cafeteria area is on the right.  I don’t know who the fellow is who joined us except that he said he was born in the Ellsworth Hospital by Dr. Clair O’Donnell.  Weird encounter.


This is on the second level of the school.  Student lockers are  made from recycled products.  People come from far and wide to see this school.  Newscasters were there too on this day as they have been through the whole building process.  Both the architects and contractors…and the workers…all came from Kansas City for this project.


This shows the water collection system from the school roof that flows into several huge tanks and is used for watering plants, filling ponds, etc.   Their roof is designed for horticultural purposes, but they haven’t decided and what direction they will go with that.


The outdoor classroom area, as you might expect, is one of the most popular areas in the building.


They have two large gyms that any school district would jump through hoops to own.  Like everything throughout the school, the gym is fully automatic.  There are no light switches in the building as the light is determined by available outside  light and need.  This is one incredible building.  It makes you wonder why we keep patching, fixing and pouring money into old school buildings instead of starting over and just doing it the right way.  Maybe it takes a tornado or other natural disaster before that can happen.


Tyler is a willing subject for Travis Powell, his EHS teacher and coach, to explain to his students how Tyler couldn’t see any point in taking anatomy or physiology when he was in high school as he said he’d never have any need for it in the future, and now, in his work, he finds a need for it all the time.

If you have an opportunity to visit the Greensburg school, you could probably take advantage of their next open house.  It would be worth your time to do so.

Downtown Greensburg is a vision of the future and built “green”.  It’s a conversation piece and has consumed a lot of my thoughts since we were there.  We didn’t visit all the stops, but for the most part, they seemed to be geared for tourists. We saw a sign that said “Butt Wax” so we had to check that out…and ended up buying some.  The store owner was delightful and had some nice gift items in his store…leaf lamps and the like.

Dillon’s grocery store was interesting, but not to my liking.  It had a huge, huge stock of frozen processed food item and canned items, a very small produce, meat and dairy section.  I imagine they do their regular grocery shopping in Medicine Lodge or Pratt.  I’ve never seen a store quite like it.


You’ll also find other city buildings and homes that are green from top to bottom as well as the very attractive Kiowa County Hospital.  We’re not accustomed to be surrounded with so many new buildings in one location such as these.

Buster’s Saloon is a destination that can’t be denied.  I could rattle on a lot about how unique it is, and how much fun, but take a look at this video instead.  It’s about as unique as any place in Kansas and exemplifies Kansas spirit of entrepreneurship that includes transplated Floridians.  This part of Kansas is like no other part of Kansas.


The town of Sun City was founded around gypsum mining.  The 40 people who live in Sun City work at the mine.  It’s in the middle of absolutely nowhere and for prairie loving people, it’s a wonderful place to be.  Buster’s Saloon (newly remodeled) is the only business in town.  There is a small post office, as you might expect. Sun City is north off highway 160 about seven miles and is a beautiful scenic drive without any official designation.


Ally and Tyler…ready for a frosty fish bowl full of that sudsy stuff.  Me too.


The food Buster’s serve is BBQ….pulled pork, brisket, ribs and rib eye with sides.  There are no hamburgers, sandwiches or the like.

From Sun City, we drove south to highway 160 to finish the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byways trip.  It’s a beautiful part of Kansas which we all thoroughly enjoyed.


The Gyp Hills……………..miles of unusual topography…


My two companions on the tour…Grandson Tyler and daughter Ally. This was taken at the scenic outlook on highway 160.   We had a great day together immersing ourselves in Kansas.


Sunset north of Pratt on the way home.  The trip took 13 hours…and was worth every second except for dinner at the 160 Cafe in Medicine Lodge.  Truck on by. For more, and better photos, check Ally’s Facebook page.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, family, Tyler Britton USAF, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 3:13 pm

Tomorrow I’m going on a road trip; it’s one I’ve long put off for other things.  It was brought on by Tyler who suggested he’d like to visit Greensburg: Stronger, Better, Greener, and see his high school basketball coach with whom he has maintained contact over the years.  There is the deepest hand dug well in the world one has to peer at…and that huge meteorite.  Their school must be amazing as well.  The new Greensburg is very much worth spending a day to get there.

And, I’ve never been on the Gyp Hills Scenic Drive or Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway (two different roadways) so we’re going to be off and running tomorrow morning to Greensburg and Buster’s Saloon in Sun City.  Depending on when we leave Greensburg, we’ll decide on the longer trip to Minneola and Ashland or just go south out of Greensburg  to Coldwater then east to Medicine Lodge with a side trip to Sun City and maybe Lake City.  The way we’re bound to tarry along in order to see everything, we’ll probably opt for the latter route.


Photo by Jaime Green/Wichita Eagle

Buster’s Saloon in Sun City  is open so we’ll stop there for something to eat and a cold one. Their new hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 to 8:00. At last count, 81 people live in Sun City, if they are all home at the same time.

I called this my “bucket trip” so Tyler and Ally couldn’t turn down my invitation for a road trip. I feel fine, but you never know!  As Ally said, “Tyler, we better go tomorrow ’cause you never know what Friday might bring.”  I hope to have some pictures to post after the event.

The good news is my house has turned into a Way Station again since Tyler is home and it’s more fun if we can all eat together.  So we do.  Karen fixed her famous ham and beans last night, BLT’s were served for lunch and Ally made Italian sausage spaghetti  and sides for tonight.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: political musings, print news, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 2:12 pm

Taken from the McPherson Sentinel
Little River, Kan. —

Kansas Department of Agriculture Secretary Josh Svaty will be the guest speaker for the Upper Little Arkansas River Watershed Joint District No. 95 (ULAR) annual meeting Tuesday, August 24, in Little River.

Svaty was appointed agriculture secretary in July 2009 by Governor Mark Parkinson. Prior to his appointment, he served as the State Representative for the 108th district. During that time, he served on the committee for Energy and Utility and was the ranking member on agriculture and natural resources. Svaty is the fifth-generation on his Ellsworth family farm and has advocated for the agriculture community and worked to find ways for young people to return to the farm and make a living in the agriculture sector.

The 36th annual meeting will begin with a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Congregational Church building, 410 Clinton Street in Little River. Following dinner, a brief business meeting will be conducted. During the meeting, four directors will be elected and the state of the ULAR Watershed district will be presented along with a five-year construction plan.

The public is invited to attend.

For questions or more information, contact the ULAR office at (620)897-5595               (620)897-5595      E-mail


Filed under: political musings, Sam Brownback, blogs — Peg Britton @ 12:33 pm

U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback wears his religion on his sleeve. He once washed the feet of a staffer at a farewell party, and he’s been known to hang  with the likes of Lou Engle, a homosexuality-fixated evangelical who rocks back and forth when he speaks, in the manner of a true kook.

Brownback would like to see America get tighter with Jesus. At the same, he is blocking the appointment of a diplomat he feels has not done enough to promote secularism.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Brownback outlined his reasons for placing a “hold” on Frank Ricciardone’s nomination as ambassador to Turkey. Brownback believes that Ricciardone was soft on human rights and too cozy with the Mubarak government while stationed in Cairo.

Brownback, in his letter, goes on to warn that the Turkish government “is moving away from its secularist roots.”

Over the last few years, secular opposition parties have complained that they received less access to the U.S. Ambassador than the ruling party, and based on his record to date, I am concerned that this situation will not change under Ambassador Ricciardone.

The funny thing about Brownback’s concern about religiosity and Turkish politics is that he complains the U.S. has wandered too far away from God. When he put himself in a position to run for president in 2008, Brownback spoke of “cultural renewal.” It was his way of telling social conservatives that he was their guy without scaring the bejeebers out of everyone else.

Brownback dropped out the presidential race on October 18, 2007. Nearly finished with his second term in the Senate, he is seeking to become the next governor of Kansas, a job that seems to bore him already.

From The Pitch

By David Martin, Tue., Aug. 17 2010


Filed under: prairie musings, Video — Peg Britton @ 8:12 am

Leila doesn’t belong to my friend, Janis. She belongs to “starnurse” and Janis picked up the video from Youtube for the 4th of July. My bad.

Janis said:  Lucy, the eclectus, and Charles, the African Grey, are mine. Another bird, even one as charming and talented as Leila, would drive us all nuts.

If you haven’t heard her sing, you’re in for a treat. She just cracks me up. Scroll down to the video.



Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends, Tyler Britton USAF — Peg Britton @ 5:27 pm

There is a lady who lives in the Claflin area who was born and reared in Poland.  Her home was fifty or so miles from where Jerzy Slomka (Ellsworth physician) grew up.  They didn’t know one another in Poland but became acquainted half way around the world when one became the patient of the other in Ellsworth.  Small world, eh?

I’ve often wondered what happened to the young man who allegedly killed two women whom he found through advertisements on Craigslist.  At the time, he was a Boston University medical student and engaged to be married to one who appeared to be a lovely young woman.  He pleaded not guilty to murdering two women in Boston hotels within four days but video cameras at the hotels and evidence collected from his apartment pretty much nailed him to the murders.  Now, we’ll never know as he committed suicide in a Boston jail where he was awaiting trial. His name was Philip Markoff and he was twenty-four. It was one of the most puzzling stories I’ve heard.

It’s interesting to me to see the wish list the astronomers put together every ten years for the following decade.  They have plotted their astrophysics agenda from 2012 to 2022 and seem ecstatic about it.  In the next decade they plan to discover alternate Earths and figure out the origins of the first stars, galaxies and black holes. For openers, their plans for a $1.6 billion space telescope ought to have everyone in the field running forward to use it.  It’s a really, really big deal and very exciting.

Everyone seems to be relieved to have a break from the oppressive heat.  Temperatures in the 80s felt actually cool today.  Ringo even got up some speed to chase squirrels.

We were supposed to have ham and beans and cornbread for dinner tonight at Tyler’s request.  No wonder, his mother makes better ham and beans than anyone I know. Tyler decided to spend an extra day in Denver visiting my niece and family and other relatives.  So, tomorrow night we’ll have ham and beans.  For dessert, Ally is making a batch of her famous bread pudding with vanilla cream sauce.  Yum.  And, we’ll get a report from Tyler about his trip and what he thinks of Colorado University.

I have a  very special hand-crafted bracelet that Brit gave me early in our marriage.  It was crafted by a relative who was a jewelry major at KU, long ago.  He’s exceptionally talented.   I’ve long wanted to give it to Ally, but it’s silver and turquoise and the silver was badly tarnished. I’ve been reluctant to turn it over to anyone else to clean.  The silver is full of deep groove ornamentation and difficult to clean.   My friend Ryon told me to clean it with tooth paste.  I put an old head on my electric tooth brush, covered it with tooth paste,  and had it sparkling in no time at all.  Tooth paste works like a charm.  An electric tooth brush works wonders on the grooves.  She loves the bracelet, but it’s slightly large.  Now we need to figure out how we can safely make it smaller for her skinny wrist.

Watching television is low on my list.  My friend, Janis Gore, mother of Leila the talking Amazon, had this to say on her blog, gone south:   “I rarely watch television anymore, and I despise the din. I don’t watch CNN, I don’t watch Fox, I don’t watch Oprah or morning shows, I’ve lost interest in HGTV, and a battle between young chefs doesn’t hold me.” I couldn’t agree more.

Meg Whitman has spent $1.4 on her campaign for Governor. Too much. Too much.  She was fired as CEO of HP when her demands to join with Compaq failed financially.

This August has 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays, all in one month. It happens once in 823 years.

Thanks for tuning in…


Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 12:30 pm

My friend, Janis, who lives down south, has feathered friends that are most interesting to watch and listen to when they sing and talk. Here’s a video of Leila the singing Amazon getting patriotic. You’re going to love it

Janis adds: Thank you, Leila.

Why do I think Leila lives in a Southern household? Maybe Texan.
“…through the niiiiight, from the liiiiight up abuv…”

Leila, sweetie, I’m not making fun. I’m a Texan in the Deep South.

Check out


Filed under: prairie musings, Area Sites — Peg Britton @ 8:02 am


Doug and Tracey Palen own and operate Palen Family Farms located east of Tipton in North Central Kansas. Doug is a mountain bike enthusiast and has established 13 miles of private trails winding through the creeks, pastures, native grass, and croplands of the farm.

On Saturday, August 28th, 2010, the Palens will host their 7th annual Cruise the Blues festival. The day starts at 11:00 a.m. with the race and continues with concessions and raffle drawings for cool prizes donated by our generous sponsors. The day’s festivities conclude with an awards ceremony including 50 trophies and $2,400 in cash prizes right before an exciting live blues concert!

Cruise The Blues is an event in which riders of any age or ability can participate. All riders start at 11:00am and continue to ride laps until 4pm. Participants complete as many or as few laps as they like. You simply check in at the end of each completed lap. There are two divisions for which riders can register and race:

The JOY DIVISION is for the racers riding for fun and good sport. The Joy Course consists of 6 miles of trail winding primarily through the timber, pasture, and cropland of the farm. Its design is open and gently flowing, making it enjoyable for riders of any skill. One 6 mile lap takes between 40 and 60 minutes to complete, depending on your abilities. Riders can race individually or as a team. Joy categories are divided by age.

Click here for a great video of the event.  You really need to take a look at the video and see the magnitude of this event.
Read Dena Stoltz’s account of the race here.

The general schedule of events is as follows, although changes in weather or other happenings may alter these times on the day of the event:

Trails will be open for pre-ride August 21st - 22nd.
Friday, August 27th

7:00pm to 9:00pm     Registration
Dusk - Done     Night Ride Poker Run! (Bring your lights) Prizes!!!

Saturday, August 28th - Race Day!
8:00am to 10:00am     Registration and check-in (ALL Cruise The Blues participants MUST be registered by 10:00am!)
10:00am to 10:30am     Mandatory rules meeting for all participants
11:00am     Start of the official Cruise The Blues Races!
4:00pm     All riders must have started their last lap
5:45pm     Cruiz’n Kids Race (Parents are encouraged to arrive early to register their little racers)
6:00pm to 8:00pm     Dinner - hog roast (must have meal ticket) and refreshments served under the shade of the big oak trees
6:30pm     Awards ceremony
7:30pm to 10:30pm     Barn burnin’ live blues music with the Doghouse Daddies!
8:30pm        NEW!     Costume Parade!!
9:00pm     Musical Bikes and Gigglefest!!
Sunday, August 29th
Sunday morning     Clean-up and Ride Trails

Click here for all the information.



Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 4:26 pm


This is my young friend, Lola, who lives in England.  She  planted a sunflower  seed at school then took it to her Auntie Ann’s house  in County Durham where she planted it in her yard.  She took loving care of it all summer and watched it grow.  She’s very proud of the results.  I’m sure it must be a Kansas sunflower that found its way to England.

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