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Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 8:25 pm


Ally and Todd ponder what the Halloween party is all about.  I remember well the clean up detail.


Ally, Todd and Dane.  Kevin Jones in back.


Filed under: political musings, Video — Peg Britton @ 8:30 am



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:49 pm

When: November 2nd, 2010, 6:00 am - 7:00 pm

Kansas Equality Coalition has endorsed the following candidates for the General Election on November 2, 2010.  Endorsements are based on several factors, most important of which are an incumbent official’s voting record.  Absent a voting record, a candidate’s responses to KEC’s questionnaires, mailed to all declared candidates in June, are considered.  We do not endorse in all races.  If you live in a district with no endorsed candidates, it is because we have no voting record on the incumbent, or there were no questionnaires returned, or the answers on the questionnaire were in opposition to our legislative goals.

Please note that Kansas Equality Coalition is non-partisan, and Republicans and Democrats, along with third-party candidates, will all be considered and evaluated according to identical standards.

If you do not know your districts, enter your address at


United States Senate:  Lisa Johnston

United States Congress, 3rd District:  Kevin Yoder (Qualified endorsement.  See note at end of this message.)

United States Congress, 4th District:  Raj Goyle

Kansas Governor:  Tom Holland

Kansas State Senate, District 7:  Terrie Huntington

Kansas House of Representatives:
District 1:  Doug  Gatewood
District 2:  Robert  Grant
District 3:  Julie  Menghini
District 4:  Shirley  Palmer
District 10:  Tony  Brown
District 16:  Gene  Rardin
District 17:  Bryan  Cox
District 18:  Cindy  Neighbor
District 19:  Dolores  Furtado
District 21:  Kay  Wolf
District 23:  Milack  Talia
District 24:  Mike  Slattery
District 25:  Barbara  Bollier
District 28:  Pat  Colloton
District 29:  Sheryl  Spalding
District 31:  Stan  Frownfelter
District 35:  Broderick  Henderson
District 41:  Nancy  Bauder
District 43:  Kevin  King
District 45:  Tom  Sloan
District 47:  Jim  Faris
District 52:  Lana  Gordon
District 53:  Ann  Mah
District 54:  Scott  Seel
District 55:  Annie  Kuether
District 56:  Annie  Tietze
District 57:  Sean  Gatewood
District 59:  William  Prescott
District 60:  Don  Hill
District 62:  Steve  Lukert
District 64:  Vern  Swanson
District 66:  Sydney  Carlin
District 67:  Tom  Hawk
District 68:  Tom  Moxley
District 69:  Gerrett  Morris
District 71:  Charlie  Roth
District 72:  Amy  Schumacher
District 80:  Vincent  Wetta
District 81:  Zach  Ketteman
District 83:  Sean  Amore
District 86:  Judith  Loganbill
District 87:  Om  Chauhan
District 88:  Jim  Ward
District 91:  Dan  Manning
District 92:  Nile  Dillmore
District 97:  Dale  Swenson
District 98:  Geraldine  Flaharty
District 105:  Jane  Byrnes
District 112:  Christina  Stein


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth Art Gallery — Peg Britton @ 4:23 pm


A light lunch was served to the many volunteers of the gallery and guests.  Vern Brejcha visits with Joyce Kraus and Allie and Linda Denning.


Vernon Brejcha was reared on a farm near Holyrood.  He explained some of his glass blowing techniques to the gallery volunteers and visitors.


A group of 40 or more listened to the presentations.


Jim Black explained the finer points of making the Ansel Adams prints.

The exhibits are still on display.   Stop in for a viewing if you can.  You won’t be disappointed.


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth Art Gallery — Peg Britton @ 8:56 am

The Ellsworth Area Arts Council will hold a reception today at the gallery beginning at noon.  The public is encouraged to visit with Jim Black who owns the Ansel Adams’ posters that are on display and Vern Brejcha, famous glass artist who was born in Holyrood and now lives in Lawrence.  The council members work hard to bring these artists and their work to Ellsworth for our enjoyment.  It behooves us to respond by showing our appreciation.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Barack Obama — Peg Britton @ 8:16 am

Ringo looked plaintively at me this morning with whiskers covered with icy dew and wished for a little heat in the house.  I had to agree it was as cold inside the house as it was outside.  It’s time for a little heat to take the chill away.  Today is the first time I’ve fired up the furnace.  Last year was a very different story.


Jean Campbell always has beautiful flowers in her yard.  Her handiwork is easily recognized as you drive on east 3rd Street.


There are some interesting Halloween decorations around town.  This is part of the Pennington display.


A drive around town brings many nice displays in anticipation of the holiday.  Lynda and Ryan Webber have been busy decorating.

Claudia has a lap full of Ringo dog.

Ally and I had lunch yesterday at Timberline’s in Salina.  We agreed the French onion soup and tossed salad with balsamic vinaigrette were  excellent.  On another occasion, a friend and I ordered their prime rib and found it to be very, very good.  I love their family-size iceberg lettuce salad with sugared bacon, tomato, bleu cheese topping.  I don’t get to Salina often, but I believe it is one of the best places around for good food and enjoy eating there.

My oven was rarely on this summer as it was easier to throw the hamburgers on the sidewalk to seer.  Now I wouldn’t mind a little extra heat in the house that the oven generates.  I have a big, fat baking hen, dressing, pea pods and green beans, and fancy tossed salad planned for dinner.  That is, with Ally’s help.  I do what I can and when I “play out” Ally comes to my rescue.

My trips to one doctor or the other are done with regularity…about every four months….just to stay on top of “things”.  My friend, the ophthalmologist, said yesterday all my test results were good, field of vision, pressure, vision, etc.  I only need “readers  when I sit down with a newspaper or book.  Otherwise, my vision is okay.

And, I did the half mammogram test and I’m good to go for another year.  My lupus seems to be asleep.  Life is good.

The President and John Stewart engaged in some quick, entertaining, insightful  exchanges last night on the Daily Show.


Sunset south on 14.  Nothing beats the colors found in Kansas sunsets.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Pro-life/Pro-choice — Peg Britton @ 10:01 am

A documentary called The Assassination of Dr. George Tiller narrated by Rachel Maddow will air tonight at 8 PM Central on MSNBC. The film will cover the life of  Dr. Tiller and the undercurrents of the extremist anti-choice movement that he repeatedly faced. recently interviewed Rachel Maddow about the documentary. Click here to read about why she chose to take on this project and her thoughts on reproductive rights.

Rachel has interviews of Tiller that have never before run on television, and you see him, coming back to his clinic the day after he was shot and the day after his clinic was bombed, saying, “What we’re doing is legal. What these people are doing, these terroristic tactics and this anarchy, is illegal,” and putting up the sign outside his clinic: “Women need abortions and I’m going to do them.”

I’ve followed Dr. Tiller for many, many years.  He was a good man.  For those who think otherwise and sympathize with terrorist activity, there is much to be learned from this documentary.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:09 pm

EAAC will hold a reception on Friday, October 29, beginning at noon.  The public is welcome to come in and visit with Jim Black who owns the Ansel Adams’ posters, and Vern Brejcha, glass artist.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 3:00 pm

A long-standing and very popular social event held each fall is the Episcopal Women’s Coffee.  It will be held October 27th from 9:00 to 11:00 at the Parish Hall.  A free will donation is requested.


Filed under: Kanopolis Musings — Peg Britton @ 2:36 pm

It’s soup and pie on the menu tomorrow night at the Commanding Officers Quarters in Kanopolis.  A $5.00 donation is requested by the Ellsworth County Historical Society to help with their preservation work.  It starts at 4:30 and runs until about 7:00, or when they run out of food. This is a good project and deserves your support.


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 2:16 pm

This is how to fix Congress…

1. Term Limits. 12 years only, or possible options below.
Two Six-year Senate terms; Six Two-year House terms; One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

2. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

Author anonymous



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 2:39 pm

This is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month so I did my part by having half a mammogram.  I don’t have the official results back, but the screen image looked okay to me.  That wasn’t the case the last time and I ended up having a mastectomy, which was smooth and easy.  It was good to have  detected and removed before it had spread to my lymph nodes.  I opted out of any treatment and at my age, wouldn’t opt in for it.

The hospital here has at its disposal a new mobile digital mammogram machine they bring here from Salina. It belongs to Dr. Ray House and his radiology group and, I hear, set him back a million bucks.  It’s a wonderful thing for small community hospitals like ours that really can’t afford to keep up with technology and replace mammogram machines as often as need be.   Having one to share with other community hospitals is certainly an appropriate solution.  They have a bone density testing machine in the same mobile unit to provide additional services.  I had tests on both old machines last year and these are much improved pieces of equipment. The digital mammogram is less painful than the other.

I’ve had it with the raccoons.  Last night they had a convention and ended up breaking my chimenea by knocking it off a stand.  It is huge and heavy…and takes two people to move it.  It crashed on my deck and broke around the fire opening.  Brit loved that piece of art and we dragged it all the way home from New Mexico in the back of our car.  The weight of it had the front end of our car pointing skyward.

I understand they have good traps at Harbor Freight in Salina.  I thought I had a good one and it has lured raccoons in before, but one of these guys who is hanging out here is big enough to get the food out of the trap, have the door slam down on him and still have enough of his body outside so he can scoot out unscathed.

Tina and Rick Davis have bought Crossroads Restaurant and are busy cleaning and remodeling the place.  They had all the tables and chairs outside today and were giving them a good scrubbing.  They are peeling off flooring, picking out new items, planning menus and forging ahead.

I also heard that after a long delay, the Portales families have their forces together and are buying the old Chicken Roost and will be serving Mexican food.  That building will take major remodeling.  Soon we will have more options for food.  That’s a very good thing.

Ally has aerated, seeded and fertilized my yard, and hers.  She’s still trying to do things that her dad would want done.  That’s okay. Let’s hope something grows.

Last week I lost a bet to Claudia over the KU vs K-State football game.  That’s not surprising since I hadn’t seen either team play and couldn’t even put a name to the KU coach.  So, I told her I’d buy her a tomato beer at Paden’s.  She, in turn, invited Meredith, Ally and I’m not sure who else.   I’m buying for whomever shows up.  Girls night out. Come join us.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Kanopolis Musings — Peg Britton @ 4:57 pm

Saturday, October 23, 2010
4:30 to 7:00 P.M.
Commanding Officer’s Quarters
Kanopolis, Kansas

Ham & beans, vegetable beef, chili, and homemade pie.
$5.00 donation


Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 9:25 am

Explosive sexual harassment allegations that nearly derailed a Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation 19 years ago returned to the headlines Wednesday with the justice’s wife calling his accuser to ask her for an apology.

Anita Hill’s allegations against then-nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991 sparked a national debate about sexual harassment in the workplace. Thomas, who denied the allegations, was narrowly confirmed by the Senate. Hill was alternatively hailed for her bravery for stepping forward or villified as a politically motivated liar.  Read more here.

When the nomination moved to the floor of the Senate, it took a sudden and dramatic turn when Anita Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, came forward with accusations that Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her. Hill had worked for Thomas years earlier when he was head of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. Hill charged that Thomas harassed her with inappropriate discussion of sexual acts and pornographic films after she rebuffed his invitations to date him. A media frenzy quickly arose around Hill’s allegations and Thomas’s denials. When Thomas testified about Hill’s claims before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he called the hearings, “a high-tech lynching for uppity Blacks.” The incident became one person’s word against another’s. In the end, the Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Clarence Thomas as associate justice of the Supreme Court.  Read more here.

After hearing all the testimony, I sided with Anita Hill.  Back then you believed him or you believed her.  That was 20 years ago and the workplace was an entirely different situation than now. Why would anyone make up that stuff? She was wrongly portrayed from start to finish.

I find it interesting that on the day of the swearing in of Thomas (which the administration quickly pushed through), three reporters for the Washington Post appeared almost simultaneously (hoping to arrive before the swearing in) with information confirming that Thomas’ involvement with pornography far exceeded what the public had been led to believe.  They had testimony from eyewitnesses and the manager of a video store where Thomas rented his pornographic videos.  By then, Thomas had already been sworn in and the Washington Post decided not to pursue the issue and dropped the story.  I’ve regretted them making that decision all these years.  Justice Thomas is just what Anita Hill says he was.

The reason why Justice Thomas’ wife is asking for an apology from Hill is very strange. Hill has maintained throughout that she testified truthfully and has nothing to apology about.  It’s weird.  My take is that the wife has reason to suspect her husband might have been guilty all along and an apology from Hill might nullify her fears.

Anita Hill’s accusations heightened public awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace and women’s unequal representation in the political sphere.  She’s a fine woman.

If you want to read in detail about these procedures, I recommend Jeffrey Toobin’s book, The Nine…Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:42 pm

A friend of mine who has six large dogs had a disastrous experience after feeding three of his dogs Sam’s Club Members Mark dog food that was purchased yesterday in Salina.  After being fed, the three dogs became severely ill with violent seizures, excessive vomiting and diarrhea.  One dog died on the bathroom floor.  Remarkably, the other two survived.  The three who were not fed any of the dog food were not ill.  There is no question in his mind but that the dogs were poisoned by some ingredient in the dog food. Vets are doing an autopsy and other lab tests, but they said the dogs were poisoned.  The dog that died has been taken to K-State for further tests.


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 4:32 pm

An Opportunity for Kansas: Transfer of Wealth Research

What is the Transfer of Wealth in our Community?

In the next 12 years, the wealth transfer estimate for our community is $162,199,672. Over the next 50 years, the estimated transfer of wealth is $925,670,459. Using the conservative goal of capturing just five percent of the likely transfer of wealth between now and 2020, $8,109,984 could be realized for our community endowment or local nonprofits. Using our five percent payout rate, a remarkable $405,499 would be available for community betterment projects and that number would continue to grow over time, providing sustainable resources for many generations to come.

How can you participate in the Transfer of Wealth?

We encourage individuals, families and businesses in our community to give together.

* Designate the community foundation as the beneficiary of your retirement account.

* Designate the community foundation as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
* Ask your professional adviser to add the community foundation to your estate plan.

We would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you personally about how you can join us in securing the future of our community forever.

The Smoky Hills Charitable Foundation is operated by a 11‐member volunteer board. Their dedication, collective knowledge, and passion for the community are what drives the Community Foundation.

Please contact one of our board members:

Sara Soukup, Chairman
Vern Schepmann, Co‐Chairman
Eleanor Hunter, Secreatary
Heather Barta
Pat Bender
Amy Branda
Marvin Bush
Pat Mollhagen
Kimberly Svaty
Frank Toman
For more information, click here.

Click here to see the list of generous donors for 2010.

Honorariums. A charitable gift is a wonderful way to honor someone you love or admire. The foundation received gifts made in honor of others throughout the year. This year, gifts were received in honor of:
Carl Bettenbrock
Rosemary Dlabal
Bill Finke
Rick Halibut & Gena Samuelson
Opal Stroede
Melinda Svaty
Sandy Urbanek



Filed under: energy, print news — Peg Britton @ 7:43 pm

Thanks go to one of my friends for sending me this link.
The New York Times
Published: October 18, 2010

SALINA, Kan. — Residents of this deeply conservative city do not put much stock in scientific predictions of climate change.

“Don’t mention global warming,” warned Nancy Jackson, chairwoman of the Climate and Energy Project, a small nonprofit group that aims to get people to rein in the fossil fuel emissions that contribute to climate change. “And don’t mention Al Gore. People out here just hate him.”

Saving energy, though, is another matter.

Last Halloween, schoolchildren here searched for “vampire” electric loads, or appliances that sap energy even when they seem to be off. Energy-efficient LED lights twinkled on the town’s Christmas tree. On Valentine’s Day, local restaurants left their dining room lights off and served meals by candlelight.

The fever for reducing dependence on fossil fuels has spread beyond this city of red-brick Eisenhower-era buildings to other towns on the Kansas plains. A Lutheran church in nearby Lindsborg was inspired to install geothermal heating. The principal of Mount Hope’s elementary school dressed up as an energy bandit at a student assembly on home-energy conservation. Hutchinson won a contract to become home to a $50 million wind turbine factory.

For the rest of the article, click here.


Filed under: prairie musings, Artists — Peg Britton @ 3:22 pm

Photographs by Ansel Adams and glass works by Vern Brejcha are currently on display at the Ellsworth Area Art Gallery.

Ansel Adams posters, with the authentic Ansel Adams seal, are on loan from Jim Black, Cedar, Ks.  Black worked with the famous photographer, Ansel Adams, for 14 years, and has many stories to tell about his association with the artist.



The EAAC will hold a reception on Friday, October 29, beginning at noon.  The public is welcome to come in and visit with Jim Black who owns the Ansel Adams’ posters, and Vern Brejcha.


Artist Vernon Brejcha was reared and educated in Holyrood.  It was his Holyrood farm life and the prairie that have given rise to and inspired the themes for his blown glass work.

His glass work has been exhibited from Europe to Japan. It is also in collections and museums from Russia to Australia.   His exquisite blown glass, which is taken from his rich Kansas heritage, is on display at the gallery.

There is a paperweight on display from his student days at the University of Wisconsin in 1969.  Other pieces are from the 70s through the 90s.   He has been producing art objects for over fifty years.

He taught at the University of Kansas and following his retirement, built a shop on the outskirts of Lawrence where he still creates his masterpieces.

The Ellsworth Area Art Center, 223 Douglas St.,  will host a new display starting November 1.  It will be a showing of mixed media paintings by Rebecca Drach and Carol Long’s pottery, both of St. John, Ks.

The Smoky Hill Pickers will meet at the Ellsworth Area Art Center, 223 Douglas, on Sunday, November 7th, at 6 p.m.  Everyone is welcome.

Help support area arts by visiting the galleries in downtown Ellsworth.


Filed under: prairie musings, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 2:42 pm


Here is one of Ringo’s favorite relaxing places.  He rests his chin on the stair and can see anyone who approaches from the north. His left leg apparently won’t fit on the tread with the rest of his body.  Well, it would if he’d wiggle back a bit.


He’s on alert, as you can see …. waiting for a visitor who will provide a lap and hugs.  He thinks he’s still a puppy.


Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 10:57 am

I wanted to remind you of the Ellsworth County Housing Forum this Wednesday, October 20th.
We will be meeting at the Ellsworth Golf Course at noon.
Lunch will be provided.
Please RSVP by 4:00pm today if you have not done so yet.
This will be a great opportunity to come share your ideas on current and future housing in Ellsworth County.

Rob Fillion
Executive Director
Smoky Hill Development Corporation
P.O. Box 321
Ellsworth, KS 67439
785.531.2479 (cell)
785.472.4136 (work)

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