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Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ally Britton, Todd & Karen Britton, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 10:29 pm

Sleeping in!  My friend, Ivy, just loves it here.  One of the best things for her is that she has the opportunity to sleep until 10, if she chooses.  After managing five children for years, and having a very busy adult life, she has earned the right to sleep until noon.  I think most people here are up about 5 and rarin’ to go.  There aren’t many lights on after  8:00 p.m.

Two days in a row the fire alarm has gone off.  Now, let me tell you, there is no mistaking what this is.  It’s deafening and whoever burns the toast has to be very embarrassed as they shout out the room number and there is no mistaking who the culprit might be.  The smoke detectors are very sensitive and I can only hope no one decides to pop corn in the middle of the night.  My particular apartment is built like a concrete bunker and rejects all noises except the fire alarm that is imposed by necessity.

I’ve had an adventuresome time since I moved in.  Last night Frankie Zeman’s daughter, Judy I think, popped in with a big smile and welcome while inquiring about my C-PAP machine and order from B&K.  I’m not sure what her role is here, but it was nice of her to stop by.

Then a B&K delivery man hand delivered an antibiotic to me from a script written by my Ellsworth doctor, Jerzy Slomka.  It cost $22 and I didn’t have to leave my room as I really didn’t feel like it.  This morning, another B&K man brought me $12.99 from insurance rebate.  So my script cost $9.00 including the personal delivery.

I picked up my mail downstairs and found another order of antibiotic from Clelands…same thing, also $9.00. Miscommunication on my part.  Better to have two than none, in this case. I’m feeling better.

Clide from maintenance fixed my living room air conditioner.  It’s tricky and now I know how to fix it myself…shut it off, count to ten and turn it on.

I missed the ladies’ monthly breakfast this morning as I’m not yet up to speed with the activities that they offer….well, beside the on-going effort to work a jigsaw puzzle in the lobby.  There are lots of things to do here,  if I choose to participate, but right now, I want to get settled in.

My friend, Shirley, who is in assisted living, came for a trip around my apartment and a short visit.

Then my realtor came by and we made plans for staging an open house in January, as we scheduled last July. My house is on the market and available for purchase, contrary to local rumors.

Cunningham Floral brought me a beautiful bouquet of daisies from Ally.  Deliveries come straight to my room which I find very nice.  If I want to subscribe to the Journal, they will place it in a spring-loaded device on my door since picking up objects off the floor is difficult for most of us. Management thinks of everything to make living here as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

Dan, the Cox man, came to connect my phones, TVs and computer.  He had a lot of challenges with all my equipment that would have caused an ordinary installer nightmares.  He was great. He even helped me with my Christmas chair tree.

Todd and Karen took me out for dinner and I think a plate of good food was what I really needed.  My appetite has been “off” for a week or two and I felt a lot better after dinner tonight. Another three days of pills and I’ll be fit as they come.

We have a box of things that is missing from the move.  It had my family pictures, the Christmas ornament from my first Christmas tree that belonged to my paternal grandmother, my favorite “gabberoffthefloorthingy” that I use with regularity… and who knows what else.  It just isn’t here, or at home, or in my car, or in the moving van.  They will look for such things among the boxes I sent to Mosaic, but I don’t think it’s there.  I wish it would step forward. It’s confusing how it could be missing.

My move is complete.  Cindy, Meredith and Claudia put everything where they thought best. I could not have managed without all their help.  I’ll do a small amount of rearranging and a lot of discarding.  I love my apartment and it will be even better once I get all my paintings hung. My apartment is very comfortable, airy, light and so sound proof that the only discernable noise is the flow of air from the air conditioners and my sighs of contentment.   I have a nice view over the entry and to the southwest over Salina.  I’m a very happy camper.

Thanks for tuning in…


Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ally Britton, Todd Britton — Peg Britton @ 5:12 pm

I wrote this Wednesday, November 28th:

My belief in our youth and their ability to put in a hard day’s work for an employer was reinforced when three men and a van arrived from Meier’s Moving and Storage at 8:30 this morning.  Shane, Tyler and Bill started to work immediately and didn’t stop until eight and a half hours later.  They know how  to work.  They were careful with my things and knew how to pack and move everything from a delicate China cabinet to a very heavy roll top desk and all that fell in between. They moved a full van load of my furniture to Ally’s farm…huge heavy pieces… then returned to my house and picked up all the “stuff” I wanted with me at the Palace.  After the move today, my house is virtually empty. I definitely live at the Palace aka Presbyterian Manor.

So  here I sit in front of my computer in the Palace with no internet, TV or phone service until Friday when the Cox tech is coming.    I will have three times the speed of internet service that I had at home in Ellsworth, about the same unlimited phone service and I hope better TV pictures for about 1/3 the price I was paying for 6 months at home.  After that it will be about ½ the price I have been paying.  In fact, it may be less as I sort of recall a conversation about free cable being available here.

Todd and I had two visitors…Kim Fair, the Palace marketing director and friend, arrived to see if I had settled in then Ginny Frederick came with a welcome greeting and free tickets in hand for a pre-party and the Salina Community Theater showing and asked me to go with her.  Had I felt like it, I would have tagged along. Someone passed on a miserable sore throat, cold, stuff nose to me and I really didn’t feel like venturing out tonight.  It has been a very long day and tomorrow will be more of the same.

Claudia, Meredith, Cindy and Ally are coming tomorrow to deal with the dozen or so boxes of stuff that need to be unpacked. I imagine they’ll know exactly where to put things.  Claudia wants to be in charge of my refrigerator and clothes.  Cindy and Meredith can take over my kitchen.  I have way too much stuff for the space I have, but they’ll figure it out.   We’re going to have lunch here tomorrow so they can experience that too.

What am I to do …I came with four pair of look alike Merrells, 3 bottles of 26 year old balsamic vinegar and 22 assorted bottles of leftover booze.  I  also have my bottle of Tito’s and 2 bottles of ancient Balvenie single malt.  You can see where my priorities are.

I have cold beer in the refrig and no bottle opener.  I finally found my tea pot so I could have a spot of tea.  Todd found all my bedding and made my bed and unloaded a dozen boxes for me. I am surrounded by boxes almost to the ceiling.  It’s best just to leave them alone and head to bed.

I like it here.  I like my little apartment especially since it’s full of things I love….Dane and Todd’s dressers from their youth, book shelves from Ally’s Breckenridge days, the park bench Ally gave me for Christmas last year, an ancient ranch oak desk the we’ve all used for years…my special birdhouse tree and large hand-carved bear…my bugle for unexpected renditions of Taps and Reveille.  The list is long.  Everything around me is old, used, and bears the fingerprints and memories of my family members.  I’m in a good place…it’s a good place for me to be.

There will be updates once the Cox man connects me with the virtual world again…

Thanks for tuning in…


ROY PORTER BRITTON NOV. 23, 1925 - NOV. 30, 2008

Filed under: prairie musings, Dane Britton, Roy P. Britton — Peg Britton @ 7:52 am

Today is my main squeeze’s birthday.  Turkey Day.  Turkey was about his least favorite dinner item in the world, but he loved all the trimmings.

I wonder what he would have thought about having a turkey that Ally raised from a small poult on her farm? I know he would be very proud of her success in  taking on this challenge. My guess is that he would have liked her free-range turkey better than the usual since those who have reported back after cooking one of Ally’s Heritage birds is that “it was the best turkey we ever had!”  But….turkey is turkey and he wasn’t fond of fowl in any form.

Happy Birthday, Brit… we miss you and Dane enormously.  Ally, Mackenzie, Ty and I will enjoy our last Thanksgiving dinner in my home today. We’re “shuttin’er” down on Wednesday as that’s moving day for me.  The rest of the family is absent ….Drew had dinner with my niece Andrea and her family in Denver; Tyler was invited to a friend’s house in Cincinnati, Todd and Karen basked in the Hawaiian sun over the holidays.

This is our beautiful Thanksgiving Day… bring on the turkey.



Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 4:39 pm



A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.

Every word out of the bird’s mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.

John tried and tried to change the bird’s attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to ‘clean up’ the bird’s vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even more rude. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.

Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he’d hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.. The parrot calmly stepped out onto John’s outstretched arms and said “I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I’m sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior.”

John was stunned at the change in the bird’s attitude.

As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird spoke-up, very softly,

“May I ask what the turkey did?”




Filed under: prairie musings, Heritage turkeys/chickens, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 8:43 am


Ally Britton rinsing a turkey before wrapping it for a customer.  Her largest turkey was just a few ounces shy of 20#.  These turkeys were raised  free-range, on a diet of locally grown grains especially mixed for them at the Ellsworth Co-op.  They led a good, chemical free life on the farm.


Rich Stinnett showing off one of the prize turkeys…thanks to the Co-op for loaning Ally the trough for the day…


Charlie Robinson and Rich Stinnett ….lending Ally helping hands at Turkey and Dressing day… it took a village to get the job done.   In addition, the village team included:  Ryon, Sandra, Becky, Greg, Ozzie, Mark, Les…who can give you a first hand account of how really hard this kind of work is, especially, for those who must do it every day.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Women's Rights — Peg Britton @ 9:25 am

NEW DELHI The parents of an Indian woman who suffered a miscarriage and died after being refused an abortion in an Irish hospital slammed Ireland’s abortion laws Thursday.

Savita Halappanavar was 17 weeks pregnant when she miscarried and died last month. Ireland’s government confirmed Wednesday that Halappanavar suffered from blood poisoning and died after being denied an abortion, reigniting the debate over legalizing abortion in the predominantly Catholic country.

Ireland woman denied life-saving abortion?

“In an attempt to save a 4-month-old fetus they killed my 30-year-old daughter. How is that fair you tell me?” A. Mahadevi, Halappanavar’s mother, told several Indian television stations. Her daughter actually was 31 when she died.

“How many more cases will there be? The rules should be changed as per the requirement of Hindus. We are Hindus, not Christians,” she said.

Savita Halappanavar’s father, Andanappa Yalagi, said the combination of medical negligence and Irish abortion laws led to his daughter’s death.

For the rest of the story….



Filed under: prairie musings, Sandra Stenzel, Ally Britton, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 10:15 am

Yesterday Claudia and I took some of the apartment goods to Salina Presbyterian Manor, aka “The Palace”,  that Todd packed in my car earlier this week.  There are some household items that are hard to pack and if you are going great distances with a move, you usually pitch them as they’re too expensive to box and it ends up costing more than they are worth.  Not so with short moves when you can move like a vagabond, toss stuff in a tub, tie it on the top of your car with the rocking chair, wrap clothes in a blanket…and off you go.

Ernie and Clyde  unloaded my car at the Palace and took all the “stuff” to my apartment.  They were super nice, accommodating maintenance men who soon will be my best friends and ever helpful in the future.  All I do is call the office, schedule a work order and they do their magic.  Meantime, Claudia and Meredith applied their skills and put stuff in what we collectively thought might be the best place.  I have a lifetime supply of Kleenex, paper towels and soap…enough to supply every able bodied person in east Salina.

I met Fern, one of my neighbors, in the laundry room.  She said, “Welcome to the Manor.  The 4th floor is the best!”  Everyone seems to relay the same message of warmth, sincerity and friendliness.

My lifelong friend, Ivy Marsh, stopped by to meet Claudia and Meredith the “Crystal Queen”.

Now I’m at a standstill with my move.  My packer-helpers either are on vacation or busy with other Thanksgiving duties…like dressing turkeys for holiday platters.  Once I get their help again and the movers come in 12 days, I’ll be heading eastward to a new life.  I think the transition will be smooth, but I’m going to feel the strangeness of it. Misplaced.  I’ve never really lived alone in the strict sense of the definition…as alone somewhere in a city and not having any family nearby.  My family has always been at arm’s length, coming and going, in a house that was also theirs.

My apartment  with square rooms and an elevator will take some adjustment, but not for long.  It’s a change I’m welcoming with eager anticipation. I like living alone…as I enjoy my solitude, books, music and computer…as long as my family and friends stop by and call often. Remember that my email address is britton.peg at gmail dot com.

Meantime, a loud deafening whine fills my surrounds.  City Plumbing is pumping my septic tank, a requirement before I can sell my house.  I don’t know if, when or to whom that will be, but this part is out of the way.

A good friend is stopping by tonight for a visit and dinner.  We’ll let someone else do the cooking so we can concentrate on conversation.  She’s a major player in Ally’s Turkey and Dressing Party tomorrow.  That’s a good friend.

I’ll be listening to Ally’s interview this afternoon at 3:00 on KMUZ 88.5 FM.  Since her cell phone seldom works because her house is in a hole and made of tin, she’s coming here to use my land line for her interview.

We’re having another beautiful day…a good day to be out and about.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, family, Ally Britton, tea — Peg Britton @ 8:19 am

Ally will be doing a radio interview with her friend, DJ Sloan, this Friday on KMUZ FM 88.5 in Salem, Oregon. They will be discussing her mustard, turkeys and grassroots projects. Air time is at 3:00 CST.  You can pick it up on your computer at  Click on “listen live”.

Today is my mother’s birthday.  Hardly a day passes when I don’t think of her … the hardscrabble days of her youth, the homesickness for family she endured while teaching on the lonely plains of eastern Colorado, the hard times of rearing three children during and following the years of the depression …the joy she shared with her children and grandchildren. She was the kindest most giving person I’ve ever known.  At the end of the day I’m always left with the feeling of “I wish I could have done more” for her.  Happy Birthday, Mom.

Today my challenge, beyond pushing and shoving “stuff” around for the move, is to make a kettle of beef veggie soup.  I’ll start out with 5# of lean chuck cubes from the packing plant.  Somewhere in emptying refrigerators and freezers I lost my beef stock that took all day for me to make…starting by roasting bones and veggies….arghhhh….

Yesterday I ordered a new supply of tea to enjoy at the Palace with my friends — Indian Mocha Chai,  Roasted Mate Chai, Young Ripened Puerh Tea and Organic Darjeeling Black Tea.  Two pounds of tea is a lot of tea.  It’s on its way to me from a company called Enjoying Tea.  I’ve had good luck ordering tea from them. They provide a wide variety of choices and good prompt service in case you enjoy tea as much as I and want to browse their website.

It’s going to be a beautiful day in Central Kansas…sunny, windless with nice clear skies.  Now for another steaming mug of roasted mate chai.  Here’s what they say about it:

Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis), introduced to the world by the Guarani Indians of South America, is from the subtropical highlands of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina. In South America, the morning and afternoon beverage of choice is Yerba Mate and not coffee. This drink will energize our body and bring many health benefits. Yerba Mate is known as the national drink of South American countries, and is consumed by millions of South Americans as a healthful alternative to coffee.

This delicious tea includes roasted yerba mate, ginger, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, and black pepper. When brewed this full body tea produces a spicy aromatic flavor.




My tree house in the woods is almost empty except for the things I’m taking to Salina or have given to others. Todd and Karen carried out tub after tub of treasures again today to enjoy themselves and store for their boys.  Almost everything has found a happy home including many items passed on to Mosaic that they can use or sell. Ally has a lot of furniture to move after her Turkey and Dressing party next weekend.  Claudia and I are taking my loose items and clothes to my apartment in Salina next week.  We’ll rattle around in an empty house for Thanksgiving when granddaughter Mackenzie and Ty are here for the weekend then the movers will come the 28th and take my bed and other belongings to the Palace. Once my bed goes out the door, I’ll be in hot pursuit.

Thanks for tuning in…


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 12:33 pm

The reach of Roger Barta extends beyond the football field

By JOE DRAPE New York Times, Guest Column for

November 9, 2012
Let’s get the numbers out of the way: Roger Barta retired this week as the head coach of the Smith Center Redmen after 323 victories, eight state titles and a streak that included 79 consecutive victories, which remains a Kansas record.

As impressive as those are, they are nothing compared to the hundreds of lives Coach Barta changed in his 35-years as an educator in north central Kansas. His biggest achievements are measured by the doctors and lawyers, teachers and farmers and Moms and Dads he had a hand in raising as a math teacher and coach.

For the rest of the story, click here…



Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 12:00 pm

I’m severing my umbilical cord to Eagle Telecom  on the 27th and am already suffering withdrawals.  Overall, through Mark Gwinner and a few others, they have provided me with very good service for many years.  Can I get that from Cox in Salina?  I think not, but it appears my only other choice is AT&T and I don’t want that.  Now to entice Rich Redeye to come lend me a hand to get hooked up and back on line again.  He’s a wizard with computers and it will save me a lot of stress to have him at the Palace working on my lifeline to the outside world. Cross fingers.

Thanks for tuning in…


Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 8:58 am

The other day I stopped by the Palace aka Presbyterian Manor to sign more papers and pick up the keys to my apartment, mail box and front door in case I miss closing hours.  There was a lady sitting at the reception desk whom I didn’t know and I thought I might as well start right here introducing myself and getting acquainted with my new neighbors. Her name was Doris Wyatt.

When I introduced myself I received far more than the perfunctory “nice to meet you” response.  She spoke more as if I were an old friend renewing a friendship of years past. Right off the top she said, “I remember Bruce so well. I was his first grade teacher at Franklin Grade School and he and my daughter were good friends all the way through grade school and high school…although I don’t think they ever dated, etc.”

Now, my brother died 20 years ago and after this passage of time, for the most part, the only ones who mention him are family members.  I was a little taken back and certainly pleased about the sudden interjection of my brother’s name into a conversation in this caring manner. It’s nice when someone remembers someone I loved so much. She must have a memory like a steel trap.

It turns out that Doris is 102 or 103, I’m not sure, but they say she remembers  her every student.  When they celebrated her 100th birthday at the Palace, more than 450 guests came to her reception…and…it was on a KU-KState ball game day. The Palace rented a big screen TV so Doris could catch up on the game now and then. I find that amazing. It gives me pause to think about the vast number of other friends who would have liked to have been there but couldn’t make it for one reason or another.

Slowly, I’ll learn who lives in the Palace…in independent living, assisted living and in the townhouses.  I’m sure most will be friendly and welcoming like Doris.  I hope they are all patient as I try to process the names and faces of a whole new neighborhood.

Next week I’m going to start moving some “loose stuff” into my apartment just to lay claim to it.  I’ll probably bring half the “stuff” back home again as I’m sure I’ve over-packed. Meier’s Moving will come the 28th to move my bed and once it and my toothbrush are somewhere other than here, I’ll know I’ve been permanently relocated.

Thanks for tuning in….there will be more about life at the Palace in coming weeks.



Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF — Peg Britton @ 6:05 pm

Inspiratory Limb Carbon Dioxide Entrainment During High-Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation: Characterization in a Mechanical Test Lung and Swine Model. Adam W. Bostick MD, Gregory A. Naworol RRT, Tyler J. Britton RRT, Timothy R. Ori MD, Shawn K. French DO, and Stephen Derdak DO

I haven’t the expertise to interpret what this scientific paper is all about, but I do know it is important research and my grandson, Tyler Britton, was involved in the research and the publication of the paper.  If you would like a copy of the paper, I’ll send it to you.


In summary, this research confirms that retrograde CO2 entrainment does occur within the inspiratory limb of the 3100B HFOV circuit, and can be altered by manipulating HFOV parameters. Future research should address the incidence of this phenomenon in patients and its clinical implications.

Drs. Bostick, French, and Derdak are affiliated with the Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine; Mr. Naworol, and Mr. Britton are affiliated with the Department of Respiratory Care; and Dr. Ori is affiliated with the Department of Internal Medicine, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

This research was partly supported by the Clinical Investigation Directorate of Wilford Hall Medical Center. Dr Bostick presented a version of this paper at the International Conference of the American Thoracic Society, held May 13–18, 2011, in Denver, Colorado.



Filed under: prairie musings, Rachel Maddow, GOP — Peg Britton @ 8:50 am

Rachel’s reality check for Republicans…



Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Mitt Romney — Peg Britton @ 12:07 pm


Breaking: Did Romney Pay Zero Taxes From 1996 To 2009?

Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:09 AM PST

Using a tax shelter called a CRUT (charitable remainder unitrust)   that was held by the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), along with foreign tax credits and deferred capital gains losses, Mitt Romney was theoretically able to pay zero taxes (legally) every single year from 1996 to 2009.  Why did he stop after 2009?  Because he would make public his 2010 tax return, that is why.

This tax loophole was  killed by Congress in 1997. However those including Romney that were already using it were allowed to continue it.   The way it works, is that Romney makes a “charitable” contribution to the Church of Latter Day Saints and it goes into a trust.  Since the trust is held by the church, the money is tax  deferred.  Any capital gains, are non taxed because of the charities status.  Like an annuity, the donor gets a charitable tax deduction and an stream of cash payments.  When Romney dies, the church accepts full ownership..

Bloomsberg’s attorneys estimate as the Romneys have received these payments, the money that will potentially be left for charity has declined from at least $750,000 in 2001 to $421,203 at the end of 2011…..

Romney has refused to answer any thing on this topic.  His campaign puts out that it was all legal….

Legal perhaps.  Ethical for the president of the United States?  Well, only if you want a crook running the country….   Imagine!   Legally stealing from your church!.



Filed under: prairie musings, recipes — Peg Britton @ 8:35 pm

I posted this recipe in January 2010 and readers have sought out the recipe ever since.  I thought I’d post it again as it is very good chili…and I haven’t posted a recipe lately.

My good friend, Jesse Manning, appeared recently for a visit and brought me some of his famous chili.  He made it in preparation for a party yesterday for his father and other relatives.  He sent me the recipe so that I could share it with readers.  Jesse is a good cook and admits this isn’t an original recipe, but one he really favors.  If you like hellfire chili, you’ll love this. Jesse said this is very hot as you eat it, but the minute you finish the “hotness” stops and you don’t have that left-over burning sensation as you do with some hot dishes.


Serves: 8

1 pound of ground beef
1 pound of ground pork or sausage
Either 1/2 or 3/4 pound of bacon
6 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
6 habanero peppers, seeded and chopped
8 Anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 ounce Thai garlic chile paste (found in the Asian section of most larger grocery stores)
1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 and 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 14.5 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained
3 oz tomato paste
2 16 oz cans chili beans, drained
1 12 oz can of beer (Bud Light or equivalent … nothing too fruity or too dark!)
2 cups water

1. It’ll pay off to prep a lot of the ingredients ahead of time so you’re not scrambling to get the peppers chopped up while the meat is cooking. Split all of the peppers and take out the seeds. (You can leave the seeds in one or two peppers, but the more you leave in, the more unbearably hot it will be … it’s warm enough without the seeds!) Finely chop all the peppers, including the bell, and do the same for the onion and the garlic. Mix all the chopped ingredients into a bowl and add the red pepper flakes, chili powder, Thai garlic chile paste, cumin, bouillon granules, crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes and the tomato paste. Mix all the ingredients together well and set the bowl aside — you’ll need it later!

2. Cooking everything in a large stock pot works best. Cook the bacon at a medium-high heat in the pot until it’s evenly brown; remove the bacon from the pot, let it drain on paper towels and set it aside for later, as well. Drain MOST of the bacon grease from the pot, but be sure to leave some at the bottom of the pot for flavor.

3. Brown the beef and pork in the pot over a medium-high heat.

4. Return to your large bowl of ingredients and put in the beer and the water. Mix well and then stir everything from the bowl into the meat in the pot. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for an hour, stirring every 10 or 15 minutes.

5. After an hour, add the drained chili beans to the pot and chop or crush the bacon and add it to the pot, too. Stir the contents of the pot together well and continue simmering for another 30 minutes.

As is, this recipe is very spicy. You can adjust the heat of the recipe by either removing peppers (particularly the habaneros) or leaving in more seeds. When refrigerated, the bacon grease left in the chili will turn orange and rise to the top of the chili; don’t remove it! Stir it in when reheating, as it adds a lot of flavor to the recipe.


Oh … and wear gloves when handling the peppers. Trust me, rubbing your eyes or visiting the bathroom after handling habaneros without gloves is not recommended!


Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:24 am

Cost of Regulation?

In the last five years the rate of new business formation has declined by 24% (U. S. Census Bureau, Center for Economic Studies). Some blame the financial crisis, others that falling home values have made home equity loans, often used as equity for new businesses, much more difficult. However, I’m becoming more convinced that increasing regulations and the complexity of starting businesses is to blame for this fall off.

Last week that point was hammered home to me at our industrial real estate annual conference. For 15+ years I’m met with a small group of fellow industrial developers and have learned a great deal from them over that period of time. One of them, Ed Hulbert, is from the small town of Colusa, CA in northern California. He runs a farming and industrial park operation that is mostly aimed at food and energy related businesses.

Ed recently wanted to develop a boat ramp into the Sacramento River about ½ mile from Colusa, because the closest similar facility was about 30 miles away. Now, a boat ramp is essentially a concrete ramp that is about 30 feet wide and goes down to the water’s edge to allow boats to be loaded into the water. Building one is not exactly rocket science. However, the permitting of doing so is!

Ed started the process in January 2010 with an application to the local county. Since then he’s had to get permits from ten different (Federal, State and Local) organizations:
•    U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
•    U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service
•    National Marine Fisheries Service
•    California Department of Fish & Game
•    California Regional Water Quality Control Board
•    California Department of Water Resources
•    California State Lands Commission
•    Colusa County Planning Department
•    Colusa County Public Works Department
•    Colusa County Environmental Health Department
Ed told me, “These various agencies don’t interact with each other. They are very hard to find and are not very responsive. Because of the redundancy in effort, applications and engineering, our costs were driven upward.”

By the time that he gets this ramp built, he will have spent over $100,000 for a business that only collects $15 for each boat launch.

He HOPES….HOPES to get all approvals sometime in 2013, three years after his first application was submitted. And, we wonder why more businesses aren’t started?

What are you doing to make it easier, not harder, for new business formation in your town?

By Jack Schultz is the CEO of Agracel Inc., an industrial development firm majoring in rural America.


Filed under: prairie musings, ECMC — Peg Britton @ 8:30 am

Jingle Bell Shop & Sell -The Hospital Auxiliary presents their “Jingle Bell Shop & Sell Event”. Come shop for one of a kind gifts while helping the Hospital Auxiliary raise funds to purchase equipment for the hospital. Doors open at 9 am at the Ellsworth County Medical Center Administration Building.



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 8:04 am


Photo by Art Kohls…. fall in the Smoky Hill River valley of Ellsworth County KS  …



Filed under: prairie musings, EKCC — Peg Britton @ 1:29 pm

Upcoming Events - November
November 2 - Advance Voting -  The Ellsworth County Clerk’s office will be open from 8 am to 7 pm for those wishing to cast their ballots for the November 6 General Election. Voters must present photo ID when voting.

November 3 - Jingle Bell Shop & Sell -The Hospital Auxiliary presents their “Jingle Bell Shop & Sell Event”. Come shop for one of a kind gifts while helping the Hospital Auxiliary raise funds to purchase equipment for the hospital. Doors open at 9 am at the Ellsworth County Medical Center Administration Building.

November 3 - Young Eagle Flight - Ellsworth’s Smoky Hill FAA Chapter conducts its annual Young Eagle Flight Rally from 9 am to 1 pm at the Ellsworth Municipal Airport. Young people, ages 8 to 17 are invited to experience demonstration flights with licensed pilots in FA approved aircraft. Participants must have signed permission forms from their parents or guardians. For more information call Larry Farmer 785-825-1256.

Saturday, November 3 - Annual Turkey Bingo - Kanopolis Sunflower Civic Club Fall / Turkey Bingo at the Community Center (former Legion) in Kanopolis. Concession opens at 6:00 and Bingo at 7:00. If you can’t make it to Bingo but would like raffle tickets, please contact Linnea Beebe at 785-472-5888  $1 each suggested. All civic club members also have tickets.

November 6 - VOTE - 7 am to 7 pm It is your right, privilege and responsibility.

November 6 - United Methodist Women’s Annual Soup Supper and Bazaar - The bazaar starts at 2 pm and the Soup Supper starts at 4:30 pm. They will be serving Chicken Noodle, Vegetable Beef and Chili with homemade pies and angel food cake for dessert. Free will donation appreciated.

November 6 - Kanopolis Library Bake Sale - The Kanopolis Library will have baked goods for sale from 7 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 6:30. So after you vote in Kanopolis come enjoy a sweet treat. Proceed benefit the Kanopolis Library.

November 6 - Health Care Info -  Seitz Drug and F and M Drug co-sponsor Medicare Informational meeting at 6 pm at the Ellsworth County Medical Center’s Administration building. This information will include discussion of the impact of health care reform on Medicare.

November 9 - Chamber Luncheon - The Ellsworth-Kanopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheon  will be at noon at the Ellsworth Golf Course Meeting Room. Lunch will be catered by Ellsworth Steakhouse.

November 10 - Hunter’s Breakfast - Come to the Ellsworth Senior Center for Scrambled Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy with Coffee or Juice starting at 5:30 AM. Fill up before heading out. Free will offering.

November 10 - EHS Godspell - Dinner and a Show- Dinner and a Musical is offered at 5:30 pm in the Commons, tickets cost $20 for adult, $18 for students. Dinner menu is Chicken Cordon Bleu, rice pilaf, green beans, salad and a roll with cheesecake for dessert.

November 10 - EHS Godspell - This musical performance will begin at 7:00 PM in the Preforming Arts Center. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students. Tickets are available from any Kiwanis members or EHS office at 472-4471.

November 11 - EHS Godspell Matinee - This musical performance   will begin at 2:00 PM in the Preforming Arts Center. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students. Tickets are available from any Kiwanis members or EHS office at 472-4471.

November 19 - Chamber Meeting - The Ellsworth-Kanopolis Area Chamber of Commerce will meet at 6 pm at the Chamber office at 114 1/2 N Douglas. All members are welcome.

November 22 - Thanksgiving - Enjoy time with your family and know that we are thankful for you our members.

November 26 - An Old Fashioned Christmas -  The Chamber’s Ambassadors will be kicking off the Christmas Shopping Season with a full day of activities on Monday, November 26, 2012.
•    11:00 am to 6:00 pm - Holiday Vendor Show at Mosaic at 124 W. 3rd Street
•    4:30 pm to 7:00 pm - Strolling Carolers - downtown and at Soup Supper
•    4:30 pm to 7:00 pm - Soup Supper at the United Methodist Church at 322 N. Douglas. Soup and pie will be served. Free- will donation.
•    6:00 pm - Christmas Light Parade - Santa will lead a parade of lit floats down N. Douglas
•    6:30 pm - Santa will visit with children at the Post Rock Water District, 103 N Douglas.
There will also be free carriage rides and hot chocolate for sale. Come browse our local stores for Christmas gifts. Save gas and support you town.
November 29 - Mosaic “Discover the Possibilities” - Mosaic will be sponsoring a breakfast and lunch informational meeting to introduce you to the great work being done at Mosaic and how you can become a part of the wonderful organization in Ellsworth. Breakfast is from 7:30 am - 8:30 am and lunch is from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. Reservations can be made by calling Lindsey Kepka at 472-4081.

Carol Kratzer
Ellsworth-Kanopolis Area Chamber of Commerce


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