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12/31/2014

YEAR END AT THE PALACE…WITH THE GIRLZ IN THE HOOD…

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Todd & Karen Britton, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 11:16 am

Another good year is drawing to a close and as I reflect on it, I’m more grateful than ever that I’m living here at the Palace.  Although my kids and grandchildren are very attentive to my needs and wants, and share an endless amount of their love, I don’t want them to be unnecessarily inconvenienced or think they are responsible to supply me with attention.  Living here takes almost all that stress off them and since they know I love it here, I don’t get lonely (it’s not my nature)  and I have everything I need to be comfortable.  That includes my computer, stacks of books, good music, The Wall Street Journal, and most of all…I’m surrounded by good, helpful, kind, pleasant people.   The family comes to visit as often as they can and I love every minute they spend with me.  That goes for friends too.  When I’m with my kids and grand kids, that is life at its best.

I really, really, really miss my Ellsworth friends and friends elsewhere, but that’s what happens when you get old and life situations change.  I can’t “get” to them and most people aren’t inclined to visit people in retirement centers.  I know about that.  I was in that position too for a long time.  I miss them but can’t do much about that.  I’ve learned that I’m physically uncomfortable when I leave the Palace, except when I visit Todd and Karen.  Their house is user friendly for me and I’m  comfortable there.  I can’t do steps and it’s generally hard for me to “get around”.   It’s best if I just stay “home”.

Since I moved to the Palace, Ally and Karen have changed my sheets.  For months now Karen has been changing my bed and washing my sheets.  I want to make it easier for Karen.  Previously I have been doing all my own laundry as the facilities here are nice and convenient; however, the process just wears me out.  Sometimes it thoroughly exhausts me so yesterday I sent all my clothes to the laundry here and am ecstatic with the results.  They  picked it up at 8 and by 10 it was returned neatly folded or on hangers.

They washed all my clothes in one 55 gallon load, containing only my clothes,  and, I’m told they rarely lose anything as they label the washer as containing my clothes.  When they move them to the dryer, they move my name tag to the dryer.  That load can include my queen size sheets and pillow cases, large bath towels and wash cloths and almost the entire contents of my closets.  They charge $10 for doing that, folding/hanging and returning them to my room…and putting them where they belong.  It just took me this long to figure all this out.  There are many kinds of service the Palace offers like this to make living here carefree.  It’s perfect.

Sharon helps me for an hour every two weeks with my housekeeping.  She’s marvelous and most helpful.  That’s about  all I have needed as my apartment is all new and not that large. She’s going to change that to include more time for me so that she can make my bed and tidy my closets, kitchen and refrigerator.  She agreed I could scream and yell at her until she makes my bed perfectly as Karen does.  No one can make a bed as perfectly as Karen.

I use a lot of distilled water in my humidifier and C-Pap machine.   It’s about $1.00 a gallon at Dollar General just down the street.  Todd and others would stop and get me as much as they could carry until I called Key Rexall and asked what they charged.  I can’t recall exactly, but  think  $1.13 a gallon…and they deliver anything, or a truck load of stuff, for $1.48.  So, once I figured that out, I order a case of six gallons quite often.  Sean delivers it to my apartment, takes it out of the case and distributes it for me where I need it.  And I give him a nice tip for doing all that for me and we both are happy.  Todd is happy too.

Salina Public Librarian, Lori, comes to the Palace once a month and brings a random selection of books and ones I special order from her.  I send her an email with what I’d like.  She brings them here to the Palace, I keep them a month and she retrieves them.  There is also a very nice well-stocked  library here at the Palace.  You just take a book and return it when you’re finished.

There is something new every day to learn about living here.  It just takes time to make all those adjustments.

Shannon called me yesterday and we visited about his new driveway.  What a wonderful improvement it  is.  I just love it that Shannon, Lindsay and their boys live there.  They use the house just like Brit and I did for our family and friends.   The house is still filled with company all the time.  They love it just as much as we did.  That makes me feel really good about living here and leaving it behind for his enjoyment.

We’re having a Noon Year’s Eve party shortly….baked potato bar and special things.  I have to join my friends now and see what alligators are circulating the moat.

And, the “girlz in the hood” are gathering any time after 3:30 at Joy’s to put a dent in the New Year. They include Amy Hoffman, Hazel Beggs, Maybelle Mase, Dorothy Carmichael, Carolyn Eland, Margie Wilson, Joy Mansfield… and moi. Yay!
Thanks for tuning in…

12/20/2014

PALACE FRIENDS…SOME FOR LIFE…

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Dane Britton, Mackenzie, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 10:09 pm

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Here’s my neighborhood baseball captain, Jack Gillam.  I was always on Jack’s baseball team when we were in grade school.  We’ve been friends since that time.  Jack, his wife Betty and their boys, Jack, Jeff and Jay have been our family friends for….ever.  Our kids grew up together.

Jack graduated from K-State with a degree in architecture and I graduated with a degree in architecture from KU.  He learned a lot more than I did and he was instrumental in getting our house put together in Ellsworth that I sold only after moving here. He and his son Jeff, also an architect, are responsible for hundreds of school buildings, hospitals, nursing home, houses and other outstanding buildings across Kansas and elsewhere. They have done outstanding work and made significant contributions in their field.  Jack and Betty’s oldest son, Jack, is my dentist and keeps me smiling.

Jack lives here at the Palace and his wife, Betty, is here too in health care.  I went to the Ginormous Instrument Concert today and Jack was there too…so we sat together. His son, Jack, was there as well.  The room was packed with what I think is the largest audience since I’ve lived here. Many people came especially to watch Nathan Zimmerman, young son of Carolyn Hofer and Mark Zimmerman, who was one of nine stand-up bass players. Mark and Carolyn and family join John Zimmerman  here for Sunday dinner so the residents  have gotten to know their children and enjoy following their activities.

I didn’t know John Zimmerman when I was young, but his wife, Patsy Davis, and I were playmates…then friends for years.  Now, John takes the Wall Street Journal and delivers it to me when he’s finished with it.  That paper gets a good workout from the two of us.

It’s especially nice living here at the Palace since so many of my friends from the days of my youth living in Salina are here too.  They include:  Jack and Betty, Margie and Loren Walter, Marsha Stewart, John and Katie Weckel, Margie Eberhardt Wilson, Ivy Marsh, Shirley Drawbaugh, Mary Beth Engleman, Ginny Frederick, Pete Peterson, Amy Hoffman, Leo Lake and Louie Reynolds. I imagine I’ve failed to mention someone.

After my granddaughter, Mackenzie Britton, was born at Asbury Hospital on January 27th, 1983, a huge blizzard occurred on the day she was to leave.  Traffic was at a stand-still and Dane, Julie and Mackenzie were stranded at the hospital…with no place to go and no hope of getting home to Ellsworth.  Jack Gillam found a friend with heavy equipment….the only thing moving in Salina… came to the hospital and took the three of them to Jack’s house where they spent the next several days.  Here’s what Julie had to say about it:

“What a great friend Jack was on Mackenzie’s first night out of the hospital. We were trapped in a huge snowfall and Jack rescued us and took us into his home and kept the fires burning. His sweet wife made a crib from a study Mead paper box and lined it with Betty approved flannel sheets and mattress.”

Jack and Betty really were life savers.  We’ve talked about that Mead paper box and how happy Mackenzie was in for the first few days of her life.  They have been good friends in many ways for many years. It’s nice to still be close after all these years even if it’s not in a way any of us envisioned back in our youth.
Thanks for tuning in…

PALACE HONORARY PRAIRIE GODDESS….THAT’S ME…

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 8:48 pm

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Goddess activities: I was recently anointed Honorary Prairie Goddess by real Goddess Carolyn Carter who gave me the accoutrements to prove it. Note the official miter, magic wand and name tag. Carolyn and her husband Steve spent the afternoon visiting with me and I enjoyed every minute of it.  They hail from Bel Aire.

There are five real Goddesses…Carolyn, Bev, Carole, Donna and Kim… who have been Goddesses for years and years and years.  They worked together as Hospice administrators for a long time  and since I moved in the Palace, I’ve had the opportunity to know them.   They get together for mini-reunions about three times a year….and sometimes they meet in Salina.  That’s how I met all of them.

They have very finely tuned senses of humor.  They crack me up.

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Steve Carter and I…photo by Carolyn Carter.

What wonderful fun they are.

Thanks for tuning in…

12/16/2014

HERE ARE A FEW THINGS YOU CAN BLAME ON BARACK OBAMA…

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Barack Obama, GOP — Peg Britton @ 9:11 am

Job losses were cut by more than 50% within his first 4 months in office.

He saved the American auto industry.

Has cut our deficits by more than half.

Killed Osama bin Ladin.

Got Syria to give up their chemical weapons without firing a single shot.

Presided over record breaking stock levels (with the Dow closing over 17,000 for the first time in its 118-year history).

Reduced unemployment from 10% to 5.8%.

We just saw the best year of job growth in the United States since 1999.

The quickest drop in unemployment in 30 years.

57 straight months of private sector job growth.

Over 10 million private sector jobs created.

Over 8 million people signed up for health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Millions of Americans have gained, or kept, health care coverage thanks to Medicaid expansions and being able to stay on their parents’ insurance longer.

He hasn’t started a single war.

He hasn’t tried to confiscate a single gun.

12/15/2014

ELLSWORTH IS ONE OF THE SAFEST PLACES TO LIVE IN KANSAS…

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 6:54 pm

30 Safest Cities in Kansas

Check this out: 

Rebecca Edwards+ | Dec 15, 2014

30 Safest Cities in Kansas

Finding the right place to call home can be overwhelming. Sorting out economic factors, job prospects, educational opportunities, and overall safety is a lot to consider. That’s why, when it comes to finding a safe community, SafeWise did the hard work for you. We compiled the 30 safest places in Kansas for you to to raise a family, purchase a home, run a business, or whatever else your heart desires.

We used stringent reporting standards along with strict population criteria and the most recent FBI crime data from 2012 to identify our 30 featured cities. In order to be considered, we looked for cities that completely reported every element of crime data in 2012, giving us 134 cities that warranted a closer look. By adding a population requirement of more than 2,500, we narrowed it down even more to 91 cities that were ultimately considered for our list.

30 Safest Cities in Kansas! Did your hometown make the list?

From there, we examined the number of reported violent and property crimes in each city. Property crimes reviewed were larceny-theft, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and arson. When it came to violent crimes robbery, forcible rape, aggravated assault, and murder were considered. Next we leveled the playing field by determining the chance out of 1,000 that you’d have of falling victim to either property or violent crime in each city.

But identifying the right community isn’t where your diligence and commitment to safety should end. In order to make sure you can keep your home, family, or business protected once you find the perfect Kansas city, check out the comprehensive resources at our Kansas Safety Directory.

23. Ellsworth

It’s not uncommon to see a cattle drive going straight through the town of Ellsworth. This former frontier town takes the struggle and sacrifices of its pioneering founders to heart, honoring their rich traditions with the annual Cowtown Days celebration.

But this proud city does more than put on a great party to acknowledge its history. Ellsworth is currently in the process of establishing the National Drovers Hall of Fame. This will be an interactive museum housed in the restored Signature Insurance Building that honors “America’s real cowboys,” the drovers. For a taste of the old west and the “cowboy way of life,” there’s no better place to visit than Ellsworth.

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.95
Property Crimes per 1,000: 17.89

12/14/2014

HAS EDUCATION BECOME AN UNINTELLECTUAL PURSUIT?

Filed under: prairie musings, friends, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 1:34 pm

This was written by a friend of mine, Dawnae Urbanek Bunch, who has been a teacher/educator in Ellsworth for 26 years.  She was exceptionally instrumental in the education and personal development of one of my grandsons during his high school years and continues to be involved in his life long after his graduation.  So it has been for many others as well.  I really don’t know how she does it, but she is a rare individual and exceptional human being.  In the following, she explains how “unintellectual” teaching is:

“If I had to name the one thing that surprised me most about teaching, it would be how utterly unintellectual it is, or becomes, when you have so many students with so many needs all coming at you at once, and you don’t have the time each of them deserves.”

I read this quote in an article this week about a woman who, for many reasons, got out of teaching. This is SO true. On a regular basis, in just my classroom, I encounter students who not only want to publish a newspaper or yearbook or take photos (those are sometimes the least of their concerns), but ones who need a safety pin to remedy a wardrobe malfunction; ones who need something to eat; ones who need school supplies; ones who need some attention - any attention - because they don’t get it anywhere else; ones who need a shoulder to cry on (literally); ones who need someone to talk to because they’re having drama with friends or family; ones who don’t know who turn to you to talk about life issues they’re experiencing such as sex, drugs, abuse, coming out, and a whole host of other things that are important to them, because they trust you. After 26 years, I feel like I should have an honorary counseling degree. It’s also part of the reason I will be ready to early retire in five years, if possible.

12/12/2014

CHRISTMAS DINNER AT THE PALACE…

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My good friend for a life time, Ivy Marsh, leads the way into the dining room accompanied by a SHS basketball player/waiter. I’m following with that look about me like I don’t know exactly where I am or why I’m there.

It was actually a nice evening, better than most special functions, with decent but not exceptional food and entertainment.   Ivy and I sat with Hazel and a town guest of hers so the conversation was lively. Brad Radatz, in the green shirt on the right, is our new executive director and, like his predecessor, is good about attending events.  Kim Fair took the picture. The dining room was packed and everyone seemed to enjoy the evening.

It doesn’t seem possible that Christmas is just around the corner…like we’re down to the last 12 days.  It’s a good thing I have nothing to do to prepare for it as it wouldn’t get done.  Thanksgiving leftovers are still on my mind.  I am looking forward to spending Christmas in Ellsworth with Todd, Karen, Ally, Drew, Christy, Mackenzie and Tyler.  It will be a long winter after that, but since I rarely have to fight the elements, it’s not a concern.

Thanks for tuning in…

12/6/2014

LIFE IS CRAZY GOOD AT THE PALACE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 8:26 pm

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Life is crazy good at the Palace. The flag hanging outside my front door says so.

Today some of our inmates decided to go to a local church located a few miles from here for one of their annual Christmas festivals involving children, music, food and fun.   What better way to spend the day.

There were five ladies who participated in the all-morning affair.  One of the ladies was there with her daughter who had driven everyone to the event but was not feeling well and the mother-daughter team departed.  I’m not sure what they left in, but the car belonging to one of the two was left for the others to come home in, since that’s the way they got there in the first place.

So, much later, the three stranded participants gathered together around the set of car keys that had been left to them and  pondered their next move.  Since they had the keys, they decided to use the car and come back to the Palace; however, they weren’t sure where the car was parked as none of them had driven…and you know how little attention you pay to such details if you aren’t going to be held responsible for misplacing a car.

After some searching and pondering, they found what appeared to be the right car…at least a couple of them thought so.  One was decidedly uncertain and she got in and out of the car several times expressing her doubt over it being the right car.  She had the keys that seemed to carry with them a lot of responsibility.  She  got in the driver’s side and sat there awhile, pondering what to do.

Filled with uncertainty about the car’s ownership, she expressed more hesitation  about trying the keys in the ignition. She finally said she didn’t think she ought to drive, that her husband always did the driving.

So she got out of the car and traded places with another passenger who, after pondering her position as driver of the vehicle responsible for two other passengers,  said she hadn’t driven a car in “YEARS” and didn’t think she should be the one to drive.

They shuffled positions again so my neighbor who shared the story with me volunteered to drive everyone back to the Palace.  She’s very active and drives all over Kansas and Colorado just on a whim so everyone was in safe hands.  I’m not sure how they would have resolved their dilemma without her, but being a resourceful group, they would have found a way.  I’m sure they had interesting tales of their dilemma to relate to their spouses. Or maybe not.

Thanks for tuning in …


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