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Filed under: prairie musings, ECMC — Peg Britton @ 1:26 pm

Several of the trees located near ECMC are decorated yearly with the names of friends and family members you wish to remember.  There is no charge.  It’s a nice thing to do.  The following is from Doug Stefek:

Peg, I would greatly appreciate it if you would put on your web site that the ECMC Christmas Remembrance trees will once again be decorated for the Christmas season. No cost required, if anyone would like to make a donation to ECMC, that would be fine. The information that I would need would be; the name of the person remembered, and who submitted the name. Thanks for all of your help in the past.

Mail your names to:
Doug Stefek
Community Outreach Coordinator
Ellsworth County Medical Center
1604 Aylward Ave
Ellsworth Ks 67439
785-472-5028 Ext 307



Filed under: prairie musings, Sam Brownback — Peg Britton @ 3:20 pm

The governor will apologize to you now.

From the Maddow Blog.
By Laura Conaway

Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:19 PM EST

Emma Sullivan of Prairie Village, Kansas, will not be apologizing to Governor Sam Brownback for tweeting on a school trip to the capital that he’s not her kind of guy. Instead, Governor Sam Brownback has said he’s sorry for his staff’s overreaction to the high school senior’s tweet. “I also want to thank the thousands of Kansas educators who remind us daily of our liberties, as well as the values of civility and decorum,” Governor Brownback said, in a statement.

The prize for clarity goes to Jezebel for getting why a high school kid in Kansas might object to having Sam Brownback in charge:

Sullivan points to his veto of the Kansas Arts Commission’s entire budget, which makes Kansas the only state in the country to eliminate arts funding and Brownback the living embodiment of Sue Sylvester. Plus, he believes homosexuality is immoral and has consistently voted against gay rights, and signed into law a number of insane anti-abortion measures in the state, including a “fetal pain” ban on abortion after 21 weeks and the attempt to make Kansas the first state with no abortion providers due to inadequately sized janitor’s closets. To be fair, we’ve never met the Governor, so we can’t confirm that “in person #heblowsalot.” However, we’re willing to take Sullivan’s word for it.

Think of it as Emma Sullivan’s second draft. For those not in Kansas, the thing about the Arts Commission might seem obscure. Producer Rebekah Dryden, a Kansas native, points out that in many parts of her state, the Arts Commission is the only cultural anything around.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:25 pm


This is the last year for this little baby.  We’ve pampered it for years and this will be its last appearance.  Gone will be the eccentric, weird and strange decorations that we love so much….the naked Santas, wheat weavings, little animals, the pink bauble from my first Christmas.  The Haviland collection and the White House decorations have been given to the grandchildren, who are now adults.

It really doesn’t feel right to have a symbol that represents the joy of Christmas for children when  so many  today are forced to live on the streets.  Christmas is for children.

All of this will be replaced entirely by my birdhouse chair made of sticks.  I know.  It’s hard to explain.  Picture to follow.


There she be!


If it weren’t for Todd and Karen, the Christmas tree would still be stored in the garage.  It didn’t take long for the two of them to assemble and decorate the tree, but would have taken me a week..or two.    The decorations are ones given to us by family and friends as well as those collected by Brit and me on our travels.  I’ll let the “kids” take back the ones they gave us then pick and choose the ones they want from those remaining.  It’s called “downsizing Christmas”. The tree is shedding needles like dander off Ringo and it’s time to send it back to the universe of molecules.

We’re looking forward to Christmas, a time when all the grandchildren will be here together for the first time in several years.  It will be the best of times.

Thanks for tuning in…


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:41 pm



Filed under: prairie musings, Artists — Peg Britton @ 8:40 am


The Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, Kan., is selling this “Untitled (Still Life), painted in 1919 by leading American modernist Marsden Hartley. Sotheby’s estimates the painting will bring $700,000-$900,000 at its Dec. 1 auction of American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture. The gallery will use the proceeds to pay for gallery renovations…

… The Sandzen Gallery’s sale of its Hartley painting follows on the heels of Bethany College’s recent sale of 11 paintings by Birger Sandzen and a 100-plus piece Pueblo pottery collection to raise funds for scholarships. The Aug. 13-14 sale by Manitou Galleries in Santa Fe, N.M., raised $1.15 million, including a record price for a Sandzen.

His “Summer in the Mountains” (1923) brought an unprecedented $632,500, topping the 2006 record of $492,800 for the artist’s ‘Autumn Symphony.” The college was so pleased with the sale that it put out a press release touting the exposure it gave Bethany.

Although the auctioned works had been displayed at the gallery in a 2005 exhibit, they belonged to the college, Michael said. The Sandzen Memorial Gallery is a separate entity, located on the campus but not owned or operated by the college.

Selling off artworks, or deaccessioning as it’s known in the museum world, is a common but often controversial practice among museums.

 ‘Crown jewel’ on the block
Gallery at Bethany College is selling Marsden Hartley work to fund renovations.
The Kansas City Star

For more about the out-flow of precious art works from Lindsborg, click here…



Filed under: prairie musings, Sam Brownback — Peg Britton @ 8:48 am

Governor Brownback’s staff members are now going after high school students who use Twitter to criticize the Governor on their personal Twitter accounts.

Emma Sullivan, a senior at Shawnee Mission East, is in trouble after mocking Gov. Sam Brownback during a mock legislative assembly for high school students.   Sullivan, 18, said she posted the comment because she doesn’t agree with Brownback’s policies, particularly recent cuts in state aid to schools. She is a registered Democrat.

Most people in the state don’t agree with the cuts Brownback is making to education.

Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said her office had forwarded a copy of Sullivan’s tweet to organizers of the school-sponsored event “so that they were aware what their students were saying in regards to the governor’s appearance. “We monitor social media so we can see what Kansans are thinking and saying about the governor and his policies,” Jones-Sontag said.

You’d think the Governor’s staff would have better things to do than pick on a dissenting high school student who only has about 60 followers on her Twitter account.  It’s unacceptable for the Governor to be censoring the personal Twitter account of a high school student.  But then, that’s the kind of Governor we have.

Emma is going to be spending the weekend writing letters of apology.  She hopes to go to the University of Arkansas to college.  Which reminds me, the last I heard, all of the Governor’s children attend universities outside the state of Kansas.

Big Brother is watching all of us.

For the rest of the story…



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:07 pm



Filed under: prairie musings, Eat, Wilson — Peg Britton @ 5:43 pm


Ally and I went to Wilson today and had lunch at Made From Scratch.  When we walked in Jane Reilly’s restaurant we saw a cream pies cooling on a table…chocolate, banana cream, peanut butter, coconut cream and raisin cream.  This is only a small sampling of the 180 pies she had baked since yesterday afternoon.  Most were special orders and only because of a stroke of good luck did I land the coconut cream pie pictured above on the right with the toasted coconut on top.  I’ll take it to Karen and Todd’s tomorrow.

Jayne makes excellent pies…her crusts are brown and layered-flaky, the fillings excellent.  Her meringues are sky high which doesn’t show up too well in this picture.  She also baked Dutch apple, three berry, gooseberry, rhubarb, pecan, pumpkin, cherry…and I can’t remember what else.    I splurged and had a piece of chocolate pie for dessert today…still slightly warm.


Ally had homemade (as everything is at Made From Scratch) ham and bean soup for lunch.  And, I had one of her famous hamburgers made from 3/4 pound of fresh 90% lean ground beef, with cheese, trimmings and homemade chips.


It’s by far the best cheeseburger in the county, in  my opinion.  It’s the only thing you’ll need to eat for two days.

This is pomegranate season and here are a couple Karen found for me in Salina that are really something to write home about.  It’s hard to capture the size of these with a camera, but  they are huge in comparison to most that are available.  Oh, to live in California during pom season.


Thanks for tuning in…and…have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.


Filed under: prairie musings, Roy P. Britton — Peg Britton @ 10:08 am


Brit would be 86 today.  He’s still very much with us.

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 10:03 am



Filed under: political musings — Peg Britton @ 8:51 am

Study Shows Fox News Viewers Less Informed on Major Stories

University Prof: No news better than Fox News when it comes to information.
By Josh Voorhees| Posted Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, at 3:57 PM ET

Quick, were Egyptian protesters successful in their bid to overthrow longtime president Hosni Mubarak earlier this year?

According to a new poll (PDF) from Fairleigh Dickinson University, if you watch Fox News you are significantly less likely to know the correct answer to that question than if you mostly avoid news shows and newspapers all together.

After controlling for factors like partisanship, education, and other demographic factors, the pollsters found that Fox New viewers were 18 points less likely to know that the revolt was successful than their non-active news consuming counterparts. Fox News viewers were also 6 points less likely to know that the Syrian uprising has yet to succeed.

“Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News,” said Dan Cassino, a Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor who took part in the analysis of the PublicMind data. “Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

The poll surveyed 612 adult residents of New Jersey (insert Snooki joke here), asking them where they got their news from in the previous week and then a handful of questions about current events. (The survey was taken last month, so the current Egyptian protests that broke out in recent days could not have added to the confusion). Respondents were given 12 possible news options: NPR, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a Sunday morning political news show, a national newspaper like the New York Times or USA Today, a political blog or news website, a national news broadcast, CNN, MSNBC, a talk radio show, a local newspaper, a local television news broadcast and Fox News.

For comparison, other media sources appeared to boost respondents’
knowledge. From the PublicMind report:

[P]eople who report reading a national newspaper like The New York Times or USA Today are 12-points more likely to know that Egyptians have overthrown their government than those who have not looked at any news source. And those who listen to the non-profit NPR radio network are 11-points more likely to know the outcome of the revolt against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. However, the best informed respondents are those that watched Sunday morning news programs:
leading to a 16- point increase in the likelihood of knowing what happened in Egypt and an 8-point increase in the likelihood of knowing what happened in Syria.

One more interesting conclusion from the report (conducted Oct. 17 through Oct. 23 before Newt Gingrich’s recent rise):

Only 55% of New Jerseyans are able to name correctly either Mitt Romney or Herman Cain as the Republican candidates most recently leading in the polls, with 37% saying that Romney is ahead, and 18% saying that Cain is. Watching Fox News didn’t help or hurt respondents on this question. MSNBC, however, helped: Watching MSNBC was associated with a 10-point increase in identifying Romney as the leader, and a 5-point drop in the likelihood of identifying Cain compared to those who got no exposure to news at all.

“Given the amount of time and effort the media spent covering these candidates, the fact that only about half of the public can name one of the front-runners is embarrassing,” Cassino said. “The fact that Fox News, the preferred media outlet for many of the candidates, doesn’t do better in informing viewers is very surprising.”

Fox News, however, wasn’t the only cable news network to confuse some of its viewers. Watching MSNBC, for instance, was associated with a 10-point increase in the likelihood of misidentifying the Occupy Wall Street protesters as predominantly Republican.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:20 am

Google the word askew.  I love those very clever folks at Google.



Filed under: prairie musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 9:08 pm

Le Grande Thanksgiving
Art Buchwald for The Washington Post

EDITOR’S NOTE: One of the most popular columns of longtime Washington Post humorist Art Buchwald involved his attempt to explain Thanksgiving to the French. We’re keeping alive a Post tradition by reprinting his classic column here. Happy Jour de Merci Donnant!

This confidential column was leaked to me by a high government official in the Plymouth colony on the condition that I not reveal his name.

One of our most important holidays is Thanksgiving Day, known in France as le Jour de Merci Donnant.

Le Jour de Merci Donnant was first started by a group of Pilgrims (Pelerins) who fled from l’Angleterre before the McCarran Act to found a colony in the New World (le Nouveau Monde) where they could shoot Indians (les Peaux-Rouges) and eat turkey (dinde) to their hearts’ content.

They landed at a place called Plymouth (now a famous voiture Americaine ) in a wooden sailing ship called the Mayflower (or Fleur de Mai ) in 1620. But while the Pelerins were killing the dindes, the Peaux-Rouges were killing the Pelerins, and there were several hard winters ahead for both of them. The only way the Peaux-Rouges helped the Pelerins was when they taught them to grow corn (mais). The reason they did this was because they liked corn with their Pelerins.

In 1623, after another harsh year, the Pelerins’ crops were so good that they decided to have a celebration and give thanks because more mais was raised by the Pelerins than Pelerins were killed by Peaux-Rouges.

Every year on the Jour de Merci Donnant, parents tell their children an amusing story about the first celebration.

It concerns a brave capitaine named Miles Standish (known in France as Kilometres Deboutish) and a young, shy lieutenant named Jean Alden. Both of them were in love with a flower of Plymouth called Priscilla Mullens (no translation). The vieux capitaine said to the jeune lieutenant :

“Go to the damsel Priscilla ( allez tres vite chez Priscilla), the loveliest maiden of Plymouth ( la plus jolie demoiselle de Plymouth). Say that a blunt old captain, a man not of words but of action (un vieux Fanfan la Tulipe), offers his hand and his heart, the hand and heart of a soldier. Not in these words, you know, but this, in short, is my meaning.

“I am a maker of war (je suis un fabricant de la guerre) and not a maker of phrases. You, bred as a scholar (vous, qui tes pain comme un tudiant), can say it in elegant language, such as you read in your books of the pleadings and wooings of lovers, such as you think best adapted to win the heart of the maiden.”

Although Jean was fit to be tied (convenable tre emballe), friendship prevailed over love and he went to his duty. But instead of using elegant language, he blurted out his mission. Priscilla was muted with amazement and sorrow (rendue muette par l’tonnement et las tristesse).

At length she exclaimed, interrupting the ominous silence: “If the great captain of Plymouth is so very eager to wed me, why does he not come himself and take the trouble to woo me?” (Ou est-il, le vieux Kilometres? Pourquoi ne vient-il pas aupres de moi pour tenter sa chance?)

Jean said that Kilometres Deboutish was very busy and didn’t have time for those things. He staggered on, telling what a wonderful husband Kilometres would make. Finally Priscilla arched her eyebrows and said in a tremulous voice, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, Jean?” (Chacun a son gout.)

And so, on the fourth Thursday in November, American families sit down at a large table brimming with tasty dishes and, for the only time during the year, eat better than the French do.

No one can deny that le Jour de Merci Donnant is a grande fete and no matter how well fed American families are, they never forget to give thanks to Kilometres Deboutish, who made this great day possible.



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




Filed under: political musings, print news, Sam Brownback — Peg Britton @ 11:24 am

Kansas Citizens for the Arts, an advocacy group that has been around for more than two decades, is hoping to launch a widespread grassroots movement to restore state funding for the arts. Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed nearly $700,000 in state funding for the Kansas Arts Commission and laid off its staff. The move also cost the state about $1.3 million in matching federal and regional arts grants. Kansas Citizens for the Arts plans to hold small-group meetings across Kansas in which neighbors discuss the loss of arts funding and its economic impact on their communities, the Hutchinson News reported. “Every community will have its own message,” said Henry Schwaller, one of the group’s board members, who was also chairman of the Kansas Arts Commission until Brownback replaced him. Unfortunately, the Arts Commission recently missed the deadline for submitting an NEA funding application. So even if the Kansas Citizens for the Arts and its allies can convince lawmakers and Brownback to restore funding, it may be too late to qualify for federal funds in 2012.

By Phillip Brownlee, We Blog, Wichita Eagle.



Filed under: prairie musings, Carneiro — Peg Britton @ 8:39 pm

One of my favorite events is the Carneiro women’s bake and craft sale.  They are famous for their breads, hand picked fresh black walnuts, jewelry and crocheted items.

It will be tomorrow, Saturday Nov. 12th in Carneiro from 9 to 3.  You’ll want to be there at lunch time for their soup…usually chicken noodle, chili and veggie…and an assortment of wonderful pies and kolaches.  They serve lunch from 11:00 to 2:00, or until it runs out.

Carneiro is listed as a ghost town of Kansas,  but you’ll find it anything other than that tomorrow.

Thanks for tuning in…


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:41 am




Filed under: prairie musings, Ringo — Peg Britton @ 3:19 pm


This is one of Ringo’s favorite places for lounging while being “en guarde”.  He has a particular stair of choice so he can rest his head, peer out two tower windows and keep an eye out for whomever might be approaching his domicile.

He does have four legs but I’m not altogether sure of the location of the one that appears to be missing.  He crosses his front feet in a gentlemanly fashion no matter where he lies.

He has a big toothy grin for everyone, especially Ally, who took this picture.

No one gets past Ringo without my approval.  Good dog, Ringo.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 12:51 pm


14-20: Operation Christmas Child, Ellsworth Methodist Church drop off.18: Ellsworth-Kanopolis Chamber Noon Lunch

27: Ellsworth Purple Power Catbacker’s Holiday Tour of Homes, soup & pie supper. 1:00—5:00 p.m. 472-5005

28: Ellsworth-Kanopolis Chamber Board Meeting, 6:00pm.

Dec. 3: An Old Fashioned Christmas Celebration, downtown Ellsworth. Wreaths remain at the Ellsworth Area Arts Council for bidding until 5:30 p.m.

Chamber Schedule Saturday Dec. 5th:2:30—4:30, Santa and Mrs. Santa will be greeting youngsters at the Post Rock Rural Water District. Sacks of treats will be distributed

4:30—6:00 p.m. a Chili Fest held at 117 N. Douglas served by Ambassadors and Chamber Board of Director  Members.

3:00—5:00pm Street Singers and entertainment at Chili Fest6:00pm Parade of Lights downtown

Nov 15-Dec 3rd Ellsworth Area Arts Center Christmas Wreaths on Display for silent auction.  Wreaths may be picked up after the parade.


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:42 am

The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service has announced a one-cent increase in the cost of mailing a letter, starting in January 2012.    A first-class postage stamp will cost a penny more.  The new prices lift the cost of a first-class stamp to 45 cents starting on January 22, 2012, the first increase in more than two years.

The Postal Service is facing a financial crisis because mail volumes have declined as more people use electronic mail or the services of private sector competitors such as FedEx and United Parcel Service.

I’m aware it’s not a good “investment”, but I find it very convenient to lay in a good supply of “Forever Stamps” before the price hike.  We need to use our local postal services and do whatever we can to keep our post offices up and running.

Thanks for tuning in…

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