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10/31/2013

HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN….

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:35 am

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10/26/2013

THE FAMILY

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:13 am

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I so love family gatherings and I missed this one, as I am prone to do these days.  Karen’s photo of my grand kids helped mitigate my feeling of absence.   In the rear are Todd and Karen’s sons, Tyler and Drew.  In front are my brother’s grandchildren, Demi, Nick and Benji on the pumpkin.  At a family gathering this weekend in Denver.

Thanks for tuning in…

10/25/2013

MY PALS IN THE PALACE…THE GIRLZ IN THE HOOD….

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:12 am

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From left: Margie, Joy, Amy, moi and Hazel.  We do have fun.

Thanks for tuning in…

10/20/2013

TOMORROW, TOMORROW, TOMORROW A SPECIAL GUY HEADS FOR KANSAS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Todd & Karen Britton — Peg Britton @ 2:35 pm

I took the post down about my grandson…he’s safer if I don’t post pictures and information about him.

Oh, I did get stirred up a bit this morning when I did a load of dark clothes and they came out all covered with white lint.  That’s aggravating to say the least.  Usually the residents are very careful, as they always were when I lived on the 4th floor.  Someone on 2nd floor did their laundry last night night and tried to wash a box of Kleenex or something similar.  It could have been an employee or “imposter”.   I’ll now take a different approach to my laundry and nose around to see who is doing laundry in the middle of the night on Saturday.  I can work around this.
A week from tomorrow night I’m going to another International Dinner at the Korean Restaurant.  They (Joomi and Tim Bobbit)  are closed on Mondays so that night we have free rein of the restaurant.  There will be 44 of us as that’s all the fire marshal will allow. Tasneem will be doing the Indian-style cooking…or the major portion of it, and it will feature appetizers of samosas, green chutneys, tamarind sweet chutney and green salad.  The Main courses include butter garlic rice, paratha, fish Manchorian, chicken Karachi and shami kabab. For dessert we’ll have halwa or kheer.  It will either be very good, or it won’t.  We take our chances and love the experience.  They always ask for four volunteers to do the dishes and there are those who always do.  I’ll take a bottle of wine for the Headrick’s and me to consume as we wait.  Maybe two.

Friday is the soup supper. It’s a very big deal around here. My long-time friend,  Leo Lake, is the head volunteer here and he and my other volunteer friend, Lynn Taylor, head up the pie department for the supper.  They’ve enlisted my help so that starts in the basement at 9:00 am.   I bought scissors yesterday, one of the tools of my trade, so I’m ready to roll.  I unwrap the pies and Pete Peterson, also a long time friend, marks them with a form for cutting.  I also want to land a piece of gooseberry pie.

Next week I go see Linda Lawrence who will check my eyes…and we’ll visit.  She’s become a good friend after all these years.  I was one of her first patients when she came to Salina to practice and everyone in my family has been to see her.

Wednesday the 30th Ally and I are going to Abilene for the Benjamin Edwards and Co., “Investments for Generations”, open house.  Patti O is my financial adviser so she’s having the grand opening at the Abilene depot since the numbers outgrew her new facilities.  That will be a fun gathering and I’m looking forward to it.

A temporary item on the Longhorn menu is harvest apple salad.   It has greens, toasted pecans, cranberries, apples, and paper thin slices of fried or roasted sweet potatoes or plantains…I’m not sure.  It looks like bacon but isn’t.  I’ve had it twice and it’s really good.  I have them make it with spring greens (no iceberg or romaine…or spinach) and order extra dressing that is made with apple cider.   It was worth two trips out there to enjoy it. Karen had it, too, yesterday and loved it.

I got the oil changed in my car and new wiper blades put on. They are tricky.  If you know how, it takes about 10 seconds to change a blade.  If you don’t know, it takes an hour to figure it out.  Ask Todd.  Now I know just to drive to the auto parts store and buy the blades which the sales clerk will then install for me.

And…there are exercise classes next week.  I still attend the daily sittercise classes at 10 am and the twice weekly yoga classes.  They are helping, particularly my upper body strength.  My legs are still giving me fits.  I don’t see any hope of ever getting rid of my walker and it’s exasperating, but things could be worse.  I feel great so that’s the main thing.

I have great neighbors who live by me in the “hood” and I love living here.  My apartment is perfect for me…very comfortable, quiet, offers solitude or company, which ever I want.  It’s a very good life and I couldn’t be happier with my surroundings.  There is never any shortage of laughs…the side splitting type.

Thanks for tuning in….

SALINA PRESBYTERIAN MANOR 33RD ANNUAL SOUP SUPPER…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 9:54 am

PRESBYTERIAN MANOR 33RD ANNUAL SOUP SUPPER FRIDAY SEPT. 25TH…

Please join us for our 33rd Annual Soup Supper on Friday, Sept. 25th from 4:30 to 7:00.

Soup, relishes and pie are served in the Manor or carry-out is available.

There will be a crafts and food sale.

Special donation drawing tickets will be sold the day of the soup supper with special items being sold, including a resident crafted quilt.

Tickets are $6.00 in advance for adults and $7.00 at the door.

Children 10 and under are $4:00 in advance and $6.00 at the door.

All the proceeds will benefit residents in need through the Good Samaritan Fund.

Presbyterian Manor is located at the east end of east Crawford in the “tall building”.  You can’t miss it.

For more information call the office at 785.825.1366.

10/13/2013

MORE OF THIS AND THAT AT THE PALACE…

The weather this weekend has been gorgeous and inviting so it has been difficult to stay inside when it’s so invigorating to be outside.  Yesterday Lynn, Margie and I drove to McPherson for “lunch”.  We had hoped to eat at the Courtyard, but it is closed on Saturday so we ate across the street at Neighbors.

Neighbors is an interesting and very popular place, particularly on Saturday morning where they serve only breakfast until 1:00 PM.  Every hungry big guy in McPherson was there. The place was packed to overflowing.  It’s a long, narrow building where there is only one aisle from front to back and it was so narrow that I couldn’t get down it with my walker.  On one side of the aisle is a counter with stools, all occupied by very big guys, who wouldn’t fit in booths, and whose backsides hung overwhelmingly out in the aisle.  On the other side of the narrow aisle, customers hung out of the booths so I gingerly made my way down the aisle clipping well-filled blue jean backsides and leaning on whatever there was to lean on. I was best friends with everyone before we made our way to the back and grabbed the only remaining place to sit…which was a cattywampus booth into which I didn’t fit.

Being a western Kansas gal and familiar with such dives, I knew the food would be good and plentiful.  And it was.  The platters of food arrived hot and overflowing.   They are famous for their cinnamon rolls and I intended to bring one home with me….but I forgot.  I bet their biscuits and gravy would be top of the line.  Their biscuits are huge and homemade.

This morning Drew and Ally came to Salina and we went to the north IHOP to eat.  Jamal is there and he is an old friend so we like to eat there.  Drew doesn’t get home very often, but he always squeezes in some time to see me.  It’s always good to see him and hear his latest adventures in hiking or snowboarding in the high country of Colorado.

I took Drew down to meet Dale Anderson, who was a banker, so they could know each other.  We all talk about our kids and grand kids to one another so it’s nice putting faces on those names.  I’ve known Dale’s two daughters for a almost a year and recently met most of his grandchildren.  I’ve met more people here at the Palace during the past year than I did for the previous five years at home.

And, last week Ally was here a couple of times so we had lunch elsewhere…burnt ends at the Hickory Hut and onion soup and salad at Longhorn’s. I take advantage of those opportunities whenever I can as the menu here is very repetitious and a change is always refreshing.

My new computer is working like a charm, thanks to Mackenzie.  Technology is amazing.  The computer arrived here…thanks to Kenz ordering it and knowing after years of experience what I liked in computers.  The maintenance men brought the boxes to my room.  Todd and Karen assembled it.  None of this took much time.  Then Kenz took all the information off my external hard drive and put it on my new computer.  That didn’t take her long either, but then she is extremely good and efficient at what she does and knew what she was about.  It’s amazing she could do all that remotely without setting eyes on my computer.  And, I didn’t skip a beat as it was just like I was back on my old computer with every thing in its place.  It is truly amazing and wonderful.

The monthly pot luck supper is Tuesday evening.  I went to one of them, but haven’t been back….not for any reason in particular except that I’m in the camp that prefers not to go. There was a day when everyone cooked and prepared homemade dishes.  That no longer is the case as most people here don’t cook much anymore…with some rare exceptions.  So, the food isn’t anything to really go for as it’s usual Palace food for the main dish  with some of the people paying others to make their dishes for them, which generally isn’t homemade, or particularly good.  I guess you either like it a lot and look forward to it, or you don’t.  I happen to be in the latter group.

The trip this month for our Taste and Travel is to Fat Boyz Bar and Grill in Little River on the 23rd.  I’ll sign up for that just because it’s an outing and fun.  I’ve never been impressed with their steaks, but it’s a change from  the food here (where steak is never an option) and an opportunity to get out and enjoy the sights along the way.   The Soup Supper is the 25th and that’s a really big deal around here.  I have to report for duty at 9 that day to take the cellophane off the pies….under the leadership of my friend, Leo Lake.   If you can come for the supper, I think you’ll find it interesting.  It’s from 4:30 until 7:00 on Friday the 25th.

Thanks for tuning in ….

IRAQ WAR COST 2.2 TRILLION

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

A new report by the “Costs of War” project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies finds that nearly 200,000 people, including soldiers and civilians, were killed in the war in Iraq President George W. Bush launched 10 years ago.

The report also found that American taxpayers will ultimately spend roughly $2.2 trillion on the war, but because the U.S. government borrowed to finance the conflict, interest payments through the year 2053 means that the total bill could reach nearly $4 trillion.

“Nearly every government that goes to war underestimates its duration, neglects to tally all the costs, and overestimates the political objectives that will be accomplished by war’s violence,” said Boston University professor of political science and project co-director Neta C. Crawford.

Indeed, the war devastated the Iraqi health care system and allowed militants to hone their skills and export them to neighboring conflicts:

Terrorism in Iraq increased dramatically as a result of the invasion and tactics and fighters were exported to Syria and other neighboring countries.

Iraq’s health care infrastructure remains devastated from sanctions and war. More than half of Iraq’s medical doctors left the country during the 2000s, and tens of thousands of Iraqi patients are forced to seek health care outside the country.

The Watson Institute project — which involves “30 economists, anthropologists, lawyers, humanitarian personnel, and political scientists from 15 universities, the United Nations, and other organizations” — comes on the heals of the Special Inspector-General for Iraq Reconstruction’s final report released last week finding that the U.S. spent $60 billion on reconstruction efforts in Iraq and that $10 billion of it was wasted on fraud and abuse.

Reuters reported that Steven Bucci, the military assistant to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the run-up to the war and today a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, didn’t dispute the report’s findings but said the U.S.’s post-invasion battles with al-Qaeda in Iraq — a group that did not exist prior to March 19, 2003 — made the war worth it.

“It was really in Iraq that ‘al Qaeda central’ died,” Bucci said. “They got waxed.”

Meanwhile, the AP reported this afternoon that “a string of explosions tore through central Baghdad within minutes of each other on Thursday, followed by what appeared to be a coordinated assault by gunmen who battled security forces in the Iraqi capital.” The AP said the attack — which reportedly killed 12 people — “bore the hallmarks of Al Qaeda’s Iraq arm.”

10/9/2013

THESE ARE BUSY TIMES AT THE PALACE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 2:54 pm

Today I had lunch with Pete, Dale and Margie.  As usual with that group, it was a bundle of laughs.  Pete turned red several times; Dale was the only one of us who was feeling poorly and Margie was still waiting for an opportunity for an appropriate retort.  Dale’s arthritis has kicked up and lunch in any form just didn’t appeal to him.  He packaged his usual diet of chicken fingers and tater tots and took them “home” with him, like the little old ladies who do that routinely….so we reminded him.  I ate his strawberry ice cream.

There are clusters of us that keep track of one another, want medical reports when appropriate, view the latest pictures of the grand or great grandchildren and generally spend a lot of time laughing about something going on in  the Palace with someone or another.  Everyone’s eccentricities are exaggerated when he/she gets older and become more obvious. Some people are so predictable we can anticipate most of their actions.  A few people are down right cranky and don’t play well with others.  They have their own sandboxes. The nice things about the “girls in the hood” and those we “hang with” is that everyone has a very sharp and quick sense of humor.  It’s a great group to “hang” with and I really enjoy them.

My next door neighbor, Hazel, and I ran errands after lunch.  I was having trouble getting my test strip issue sorted out with B&K so I went to Key Rexall Drugs which is more convenient now that they have relocated to east Crawford.  There I reconnected with Pat.  She quickly sorted through the issues and now, after an hour,  has my tester and strips.  I’ve waited weeks on B and K.  I’m sure it was just a glitch in their system, but I have a contact in Pat and find her most helpful and efficient. While I was at Key, I got my flu shot.  They offered and it was quick.  They are giving them here too, but this seemed to be more convenient today.

Yesterday Ally and I ran errands and I managed to get to the back of Kohl’s for the first time ever to pick out some new towels that were on sale. We also made several other stops and I did what I could.  It was a beautiful day to be out and about and I enjoyed being with Ally getting things I needed.  She carried everything in the Palace for me (using one of the readily available grocery carts) and put things away.  I could manage living here without help from family but it wouldn’t be so convenient…or as much fun as it is.  I’m getting stronger because of the exercise classes I participate in  but I’m still not able to walk without my walker and that complicates my activity and mobility.

I  have lots of things in the wind…   Dale’s daughter, Dalene, will be here tomorrow so we’re all looking forward to seeing her.  I’ve inherited a lot of family members from friends who live here like Dalene, who like her sister Karen is a  hoot.  I first met them in health care where their mother and I became friends. I’ve made more new friends during the past year living here than I have in years.

I’m very much looking forward to Tyler’s and Drew’s visits, going to McPherson for lunch with Lynn and enjoying Tasneem’s Indian food at the next international dinner at the Korean restaurant. Later this month Ally and I are going to Abilene for Patti O’Malley’s opening extravaganza for Ben Edwards.  There are lots of things to do here, something is always going on. I really don’t participate in many of the activities yet there is always something to do and someone to do it with, if I choose to.   I love living here, the simple, quiet life, relaxed and peaceful.  I can’t think of any place I’d rather be.

I haven’t posted any  pictures of my new apartment as I can’t find my camera battery and charger.  They have to be here someplace.

Thanks for tuning in…

10/6/2013

MORE FROM THE PALACE….

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 9:18 pm

I sat outside this evening and visited with Anita and Bob Thackery.  It’s the first time I’ve had an opportunity to visit with just the two of them.  Bob is retired from the Air Force where he was a flight tower controller.  He was in the Air Force for 30 years and has been retired for 30 years.  Anita is from Lindsborg and lived in base housing with other waiting wives when he was overseas on one tour. They have traveled extensively and it was interesting to visit with them.  I’ll have to introduce Tyler to them when he comes to visit as they were interested in his assignment in Cincinnati and upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

We had great crispy fried chicken today that Lynn prepared.  I told her so and she’s going to use her new recipe in the future.  Lynn was married to Jerry Paden years ago and it has been nice to see her again here.  She’s the best cook they have, in my opinion.  Finding meals that please people here is really difficult.  Most of the ones I know are appreciative that they don’t have to cook and do dishes any more and are generally pleased with what is put in front of them.  There are those you couldn’t please under any circumstances, but fortunately for the rest of us, they are few in number.

People have been flocking to the Rolling Hills Wildlife Center to see the penguins.  I’ll get a report tomorrow from Margie who went today.  It was a beautiful day to be outside.  They are taking a bus load of inmates there for a tour and a meal this week before the penguins leave.  No one can tell me where they are going….just leaving.  Maybe they are on loan from another zoo.  There is a lot of “vagueness” with life around here.

Since I’ve moved into my new apartment on second floor I’ve found everything that was temporarily misplaced except for my camera charger and extra battery.  They are still hiding someplace….but I know they are here.  I moved a mass of cables and wires, but they aren’t with them.  Once they are located, I hope to post photos of my new digs and some of the activities we have going on around here.  I wish I’d had my camera for the wrinkle box concert.

I’m still going to the 10:00 am sittercise exercises on a daily basis.  It’s only for half an hour but it’s helping….slowly.  I’m getting stronger and more able to do some things.  That along with yoga twice a week is proving to be beneficial.  I got a good report from my cardiologist…my pig heart valve and pace maker are working perfectly so I’ll keep doing what I have been doing since early April.  I still can’t walk without my walker, but  I can contend with that and hope eventually I can put it aside.

Having my computer in my bedroom has its rewards…I can have my music playing softly all night long.  I enjoy it so much and it doesn’t bother anyone.  These walls are 18″ thick and almost sound proof.  I’m about the only one in this wing who can hear anyway.  Everyone lip reads and wears hearing aids so I’m good to go with my music.  Tonight I’ll listen to Jane Monheit…quiet jazz.

I love living here and can’t think of a place I’d rather be.

Thanks for tuning in…

CCATT INSTRUCTOR, TYLER BRITTON, IN HIS CHEMICAL GEAR…

Filed under: prairie musings, Tyler Britton USAF — Peg Britton @ 1:13 pm

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10/5/2013

NEW COMPUTER IS UP AND RUNNING…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 5:43 pm

Drew, most of all, will appreciate this posting so he’s no longer at the top of my blog.

My absence from blogging is due to the latest crash of my previous computer a month ago.  When the warranty expired after the final crash, I thought it was time  either to invest in a new computer or give up contact with the outside world.  That wasn’t a hard choice for me so I appreciate your patience in waiting for the arrival of a new Dell.

Granddaughter Mackenzie who has ordered most of my computers over the years and kept me up and running has heard me say with each purchase that it was my last computer, ordered this new one for me.  Todd and Karen made all the cable and wire connections last night  and Mackenzie downloaded all my data off the old computer to the new one today.  I’m fortunate to have them do this for me as I can’t do what Mackenzie can, even to the slightest degree.  With their help, I’m now in business again.

With each of the last few computers I’ve bought I’ve said I was going to put racing stripes on it and  haul it to the old folks home with me.  Well, now that I’m in a home for old folks, I told Mackenzie this was my last computer.  She just laughed as she’s heard that story many times.

“Inmate” activity during the past month has been surging ahead as everyone wants to be outside  enjoying the nice weather before it turns cold.  Earlier this week Palace guards had a fall festival for us outside by the front entry.  The accordion playing group of  four silver-haired ladies wearing look-alike bejeweled caps from Hutchinson made a return visit here with their “wrinkle boxes” and played for us in hurricane gale-force winds while we clung to our styrofoam plates which held apples, pretzels and generous amounts of runny caramel dipping sauce to munch on.  It was the dipping sauce that was hazardous, but we survived unscathed.  I was sure the wind would slap those plates around and everyone would be covered with webs of gooey goo before the event ended. A cold beer would have been good to go with it.  Margie Wilson and I both commented that Calvin Trillin could have made a wonderful story out of this event with its side show attractions for The New Yorker readers.

The Korean Restaurant had another international dinner…Korean BBQ this time…that was great fun.  I sat with the same group of friends as during the Cajun dinner and had a light and carefree evening.  Ann and Terry Headrick are very nice to haul me to and fro for these gatherings and great to be with.  The menu included: three kinds of pancakes (zucchini, fish, and seafood) and ballbab for appetizer; from the grill: beef galbi (beef short rib), pork galbi (pork back rib and country style rib), beef bulgogi, chicken skewer, giant shrimp; whole tilapia; calamari and vegies. There were homemade almond cookies for dessert and Clementine cocktail that was fabulous.  I really enjoy these gatherings although I don’t know a soul there other than the owners, Headricks, and of late our table of friends.  It’s great fun.

We’re gearing up around here for the annual soup supper and fund-raiser.  It is the 25th of this month from 4:30 to 7 and everyone is encouraged to participate by helping in some way, making crafts, baking pies, serving, etc.  I’m helping Leo Lake in the pie department.  I’ve been assigned the job of taking the cellophane off the pies and reapplying the labels.  I’ll have more about it when I catch up with myself, but I hope you reserve the day and try to attend.

Meantime, I have lots of catching up to do.

Thanks for your patience and for tuning in…


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