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8/20/2014

THE PALACE ON THE HILL…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 12:44 pm

The Ivory Keys Cafe is a bevy of activity from 11:15 until 12:30 when things come to an abrupt halt and it  becomes nappy time for the inmates.  You can then walk up and down the deserted halls and feel the pulse of the building’s breathing patterns and what one might describe as close to a waxing-waning pattern of tidal volume and Cheyne-Stokes rhythm.  It’s a little like that game we all played as children when we would run around frantically flaying arms and legs and upon command, freeze in position, however awkward it might be.  For the most part, it remains stone silent with nary a creature stirring until 11:15 the next day when the buzzing of the hive commences again.

Speaking of lunch, we’ve had good lunches two days in a row.  Yesterday we had hamburgers that had been grilled outside, good broccoli/cheese pasta, baked beans and fresh fruit.  Today we had chicken stir fry, wonderful marinated green beans, and egg rolls.  Our new director, Brad Radatz joined us for lunch both days.  I don’t know if the two incidents of his presence and good food are a coincidence or fortuitous accident.   Either way, both are nice and I hope it continues.

This morning was library day at the Palace.  A librarian from the Salina Public library, brings a cart full of books and checks them out in our lobby area.  I ordered books last week which were delivered today:  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller that my grandson Tyler read and recommended; The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano, a new-to-me author; and Donna Tartt’s The Little Friends that I hope to finish reading.  It’s a wonderful service to us readers and ever so convenient.

I signed up today for another International Night of good food and frivolity at the Korean Restaurant.  They have a special night once a month and you work your way on to their list in order to get an invitation.  Tim Bobbett will be the chef next month preparing more Sicilian food according to his family recipes. The dinner will be on September 15th and will include:
Appetizer: Beef Stuffed Artichoke with Potato.
Black and Green Olives with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes, and good Italian Bread and butter.
Soup:        Wedding Soup - Chicken, Vegetables, Little Macaroni.
Pasta:       Macaroni, Italian Sausage (Hot and Mild), Meatball, White Potato, Sweet Potato, Fried egg, and Onion all in a Tomato based Sauce.  The dessert is yet to be determined.  I vote for Italian Wedding Cake.

I missed the last Sicilian night and don’t want to miss this one.  Todd will join me for the evening as he’s always good about trying new and different cuisines and loves pasta.We usually go with Ann and Terry Headrick but they will be on a bus adventure and can’t make it.

We’re starting to gear up here for the Annual Soup Supper.  I volunteered to unwrap pies again this year.  I have the process down to a science now and can do dozens in nothing flat.

Joy is getting a lot of play out of her official duties as Palace Elevationist.  She’s in charge of all the elevator buttons and was told by Brad the director that when she lets people out on the Club Med floor, she is to remind them bathing suits are required.  I’m sure half the people here don’t “get” it, which makes it all more humorous.  You just don’t know how humorous some of our activities are.

I wandered downstairs to try to find Jack Gillam who lives in assisted living on the floor below me.  I can’t call as assisted living phone numbers, and many others in rehab and health care, aren’t listed in our monthly handout directory.  I don’t like to drop in around here as I find it better and easier, as it is in the outside world, to call first.  Well, I enlisted Kim’s help and we headed to Jack’s apartment after learning he wasn’t with Betty at the moment.  He was sound asleep so we didn’t disturb him.  I wanted to tell him about my recent visit with Sybil Scales and relay messages from Tad Scales.  But the trip wasn’t all in vain as we ran into Letha Haist, a lovely person for certain, who shared fresh garden tomatoes and cucumbers with us. There are so many nice things that happen around here accidentally. I love living here.

That’s about all I have to relate from the Palace for today.

Thanks for tuning in…

COURTNEY TRAIN LETTER…

Filed under: political musings, print news, GOP — Peg Britton @ 11:29 am

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From The Salina Journal
Train letter 8-11-14
Friday, August 15, 2014 2:00 AM

Train letter 8-11-14

Name changes create more voting hoops

Kris Kobach’s new voting restrictions are imposing serious obstacles and should be a cause for great concern for women across the state.

I’d like to encourage my mom to vote in this election, but she has never registered and her current legal name does not appear on her proof of citizenship. It has changed as a result of marriage. My mom is not alone. Recent figures indicate that 34 percent of voting-age women lack proof of citizenship with their current legal name.

With new voting restrictions requiring proof of citizenship to register, women who’ve changed last names as a result of marriage have to provide supplemental documents along with their proof of citizenship. My mom is not in a financial position to provide these necessary documents. For my mother and the women of Kansas who lack proof of citizenship with their current names, there is a disproportionate burden imposed on exercising their right to vote.

This law is an infringement on the rights of all Kansans, especially women and the poor. If you value the right to vote, if you value gender equality, cast a vote against Kobach for my mom on Election Day. I know I will be.

– COURTNEY TRAIN, Salina

8/18/2014

WE DON’T NEED THIS IN ELLSWORTH…OR ANYWHERE NEARBY….

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 10:15 am

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Walmart Strikes Again With A New Attempt To Further Destroy Small Businesses
August 17, 2014 By Allen Clifton

Walmart is a bit of an enigma, isn’t it?  I rarely meet anyone who enjoys shopping there, and the company itself has an atrocious PR imagine, yet it still manages to be an absolute corporate powerhouse.

But when it comes to Walmart, most of us picture their massive 24-hour “supercenters” that sell everything from groceries to semi-automatic rifles and even swimming pools.

Heck, in many of them you can even do your banking, get your haircut, and buy a Subway sandwich for lunch.

But one of the biggest drawbacks to these supercenters is their size.  Most people don’t just “pop in” to a Walmart.  If you happen to need 2 or 3 items that might be on opposite ends of the store, you’re probably going to end up walking nearly a half mile before you get back to your car.

Which is one of the main factors leading to a continuing decline in sales.

Only this decline in sales isn’t actually threatening to bring down Walmart as the unheralded retail leader.

Oh, no.

It’s actually created an entirely new beast altogether.

See, what Walmart is doing now (in addition to their multitude of supercenters) is building smaller versions of Walmart.

The Walmart Neighborhood Market isn’t all that uncommon, at least not here in Texas.  It’s essentially just a version of Walmart that mainly focuses on groceries. Amid Walmart’s declining overall sales, these locations have actually shown rising earnings.

Another new layout they’re rolling out is called Walmart Express.  It’s smaller than the Walmart Neighborhood stories, basically the size of a CVS pharmacy.  They’re referring to these as their “small-footprint” retail stores.  Here in DFW we’re actually getting Texas’ first one in the town of Palmer.  A tiny town about 25 miles south of downtown Dallas.

Oh, but Walmart hasn’t stopped there.

They’re also testing out a store called Walmart To-Go.  A store that’s described as an upscale version of your local convenience store.  Right now they only have one of these types of stores, near their home office in Bentonville, Arkansas.
The Walmart Neighborhood Market isn’t all that uncommon, at least not here in Texas.  It’s essentially just a version of Walmart that mainly focuses on groceries. Amid Walmart’s declining overall sales, these locations have actually shown rising earnings.

Another new layout they’re rolling out is called Walmart Express.  It’s smaller than the Walmart Neighborhood stories, basically the size of a CVS pharmacy.  They’re referring to these as their “small-footprint” retail stores.  Here in DFW we’re actually getting Texas’ first one in the town of Palmer.  A tiny town about 25 miles south of downtown Dallas.

Oh, but Walmart hasn’t stopped there.

They’re also testing out a store called Walmart To-Go.  A store that’s described as an upscale version of your local convenience store.  Right now they only have one of these types of stores, near their home office in Bentonville, Arkansas.

So, soon it might be theoretically possible that your neighborhood might have a giant Walmart Supercenter, a smaller Walmart Neighborhood Market, a CVS pharmacy-sized Walmart Express and a Walmart To-Go convenience store.

In places where it wasn’t economically feasible to build one of their giant supercenters - towns where small businesses often thrive – they can now build these trimmed down versions of Walmart to really hurt just about every small business in any town where they feel like opening shop.

But it’s not just local businesses in small towns that will be hurt by these stores.  Companies like Walgreens and CVS will also be hindered as Walmart is now venturing into their realm of retail sales and will almost certainly deal a blow to their revenue.

Not to mention many convenient stores are operated by local business owners, who undoubtedly won’t be able to compete with a scaled-down Walmart next door directly competing with their store.

Because whether it’s a national company like CVS, your local small town grocery store or that corner gas station owned and operated by a member of your community, none of them will be able to undercut Walmart’s prices.

And as much as people will say they’ll be loyal to small businesses, it’s indisputable that revenue will be drastically impacted by these new Walmart brands.

At some point enough has got to be enough, right?

I fully believe if Walmart had its way, it would try to put just about every single potential competitor it possibly could out of business.

And with these latest moves, that seems to be exactly what they’re trying to do.

8/14/2014

ELLSWORTH COWTOWN DAYS AUGUST 15 >>>>

Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth — Peg Britton @ 2:36 pm

Ellsworth Cowtown Days
Friday, August 15, 2014
Sweet Repeats Consignment Sale Opens at 5:30
Don’t miss the premiere night of the Elkan Western Riders Rodeo!
While we honor our Cowtown heritage, this year we take pride in the strength of our community and
acknowledge our Veterans

past, present, and future
Saturday, August 16, 2014
6:30AM 5K Registration. Run to follow at 7:30AM
7AM
-
10AM Ellsworth Senior Center Breakfast
8AM Farmers Market Opens
9:30AM Kids Free Fun Run
9AM
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1:30PM Sweet Repeats Consignment Sale
10AM
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6PM Craft vendors and fun shopping experiences! Don’t forget to visit our local merchants!
10AM
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6PM Paint ball trailer fun
10AM Cowtown Parade “Ellsworth Strong” featuring past, present, and future Veterans of Ellsworth County
10AM
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4PM Theatre Tech Productions live entertainment provided by Paul Craig
Following Parade
-
“Shooting of Sheriff Whitney” historical reenactment
11AM
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Registration for Dodge Ball Tournament and Tub Run. Dodge Ball Tournament to begin at 1:30PM.
12PM
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4PM Kids Game Corral (proceeds benefit the Boy Scouts), Bouncy Houses, and Apples on a String
12PM
-
6PM Food vendors, live entertainment, and beer garden. Official Cowtown merchandise available for purchase!
Enjoy music by Hell Creek Bridge, Plains, Ray Smith, F 5 Band, and Courtney Sue Irwin and Mike Benish
12:30PM Stick around and enjoy the comics of our new event
-
the
TUB RUN!!!
1PM Tractor Pedal Pull Registration. State sanctioned pull to follow.
1PM Washer tournament
2PM & 4PM Ping Pong Ball Drops
-
win a $100 ball!
7PM
-
Elkan Western Riders Rodeo
9PM
-
Live Entertainment and Street Dance at Paden’s Place. Dance to the tunes of “12 Years Coming”

8/13/2014

JOY, JOY, JOY, THE PALACE ELEVATIONIST…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 3:52 pm

We need an “in-charge” person for the elevator.  I’m thinking maybe an old-fashioned elevator operator…the kind who sat on a stool and called out the floors…would be good….maybe wearing a dark navy suit trimmed with gold braid and lots of gold buttons…and a cute little cap.  Given the clientele, a police whistle on a rope would be appropriate for her station.

Cheerily, she could call out the floors so that everyone would have a clear understanding of what each floor contained:

Basement…chair sitting and stretchy band activities…

First Floor….harp and accordion music, ice cream sodas, birthday cake, and lobby squatting…

Second  floor… Frederick’s of California…the world’s most breathtaking lingerie.

Third floor… Aldi’s outlet

Fourth floor…Club Med…

Fifth floor… Cosmetic surgery…

Sixth floor…Leading Edge batwing suit sales and base jumping…

I say “her” as I feel Joy has reestablished her position as our most efficient elevator conductor… or vertical destination enabler… or elevationist.  She is more than a plain button pusher.  She can deliver people to their destination with class. She knows which residents have elevators that don’t stop at all the floors.

She can also pile as many people on an elevator as can fill a London phone booth on a rainy day.  One day that included people with walkers and wheel chairs and on foot, Terry with his enormous carpet cleaning machine, the new Environmental Services guy, all of Gladys’ exercise group and strangers who just happened to walk by and were drawn in the black hole by the forces of gravity.   Dozens.  At one time. Some with oxygen tanks whose lifeline supply of oxygen was jeopardized from the squeeze.  She gets them all in so they don’t suffer the interminable wait for the next lift.  She has the load limits memorized and numbers are her game.  She knows how much each person weighs, what a wheelchair weighs, bra sizes and she never exceeds the maximum weight limit…ever…but only by ounces.  Gurneys excluded.

But, should she be allowed to beat mercilessly the people who push the elevator call button after she does?

Should she allow atheists to push the button more than once?

Do those who push the elevator button more than once  really believe it makes the elevator travel faster?  How should she deal with people who fear riding in an elevator?  Should they always walk the stairs?  Is there anyone who has received an electrical shock from pushing elevator buttons?  Has anyone known an elevator to fall to the basement? Is she in charge when the lights go out?

Probably she should pass a Palace litmus test before rushing ahead.

Since this isn’t full-time employment, it would seem appropriate for her to deliver groceries and flowers during nap period when everyone disappears into the doldrums of their apartments. She also is good with lullabyes and foot massages.

All in favor of Joy running the elevator, say “Yes”.  Yesssssssssssssssssssss.

Thanks for tuning in…

MY PALACE WORK STATION…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 12:36 pm

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Take a gander at my clean desk.  This is the only time in recent memory I’ve had a spotlessly clean desk.  Kim took my picture for the September issue of Community News and this is the result.

This is one corner of my bedroom where all the wires that keep me in contact with the outside world converge.  Sometimes it resembles an Indian call center but I know what’s what and work around the maze of confusion.  When Sharon comes to dust, I just give her the high sign to let the dust settle where it may.  There is no need to sweat the small stuff.

I hope Tyler notices his Delacroix tiger in the background, the weed-smoking tiger.  You have only to look at the eyes to capture his docile demeanor.   I gave the painting to him many years ago…as it is one of his Leroy Neiman favorites…then I borrowed it back when I moved to the Palace.  The walls here are large and need big paintings  so I confiscated it for the time being.  I’m really enjoying it more than even since it’s in view almost constantly. Tyler has accumulated quite an extensive art collection which I think is very cool.

Our new executive director, Brad Radatz,  is on the job and cutting teeth here and there.  If everyone told the truth all the time his job would be a lot easier, but as is the case, he has to sort through a lot of information to boil it down to its essence.  It’s not that people aren’t well-intentioned, it’s that memories fail, intentions become cloudy and distorted and self-interests prevail.  I think he’ll do well here.  If he likes it only half as well as I do, he’ll be happier than a tornado in a trailer park.

They served my favorite meal today …. taco salad.  In itself, it isn’t the best, but when I add my “fixings”, it’s pretty good.  I took a homegrown tomato (diced), a hot pepper from Ally’s garden (diced) and then added some sliced olives and lettuce from the salad bar and topped it all with a lot of hot El Zarape salsa.  I wish they served Mexican food more often.  I’d like it even better if they learned how to make it properly  so that it was “stand alone” good.

Several new people are moving into the Palace.  I think all the units are spoken for except for a one bedroom apartment on the 6th floor.  The townhouses are all contracted.  The big hold up, so it appears, is the refurbishing of the units.  They upgrade everything for new residents…all appliances, new counter tops, paint, new carpet and kitchen cupboards, so it takes an extraordinarily long time to redecorate a unit.  There has to be a better way to get the job done faster.  It will be interesting to meet our new neighbors.

They haven’t made any apparent headway on repairing the elevator.  Maybe they are waiting for parts, but there has been no activity that we’ve noticed.  I can’t even begin to imagine the hell that would erupt if the one good elevator should to expire.

We’re gearing up for the annual soup supper, a huge event here in the Palace.  I hope to be on the pie detail again this year that is under Leo Lake’s supervision.  I need a job where I can sit and work.

I had a nice visit with Janice Thomas (Ray) yesterday.  We’ve known each other for many years and it was fun to catch up again with her and her family. Janice volunteers a lot here at the Palace.

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I’m expecting new pictures of my great-granddaughter, Emma Grace, as her grandparents are baby sitting at the moment.  Isn’t she a cute one?

Thanks for tuning in…

8/10/2014

EARN $$$ IN YOUR SPARE TIME AND BECOME A PROFESSIONAL SOCIOPATH…

Filed under: political musings, print news — Peg Britton @ 5:15 pm

Too good to pass by…
DAILY KOS
Fri Aug 08, 2014
Earn $$$ In Your Spare Time Become A Professional Sociopath

by LaFeminista

Do you like to spout your hatred to all and sundry?

Do you wear your bigotry as a badge of honor?

Do you feel persecuted?

Do you want to lash out for no reason at all?

Then you too can earn $$$$$$$$$

Join the Republican Party today and we will send you free of charge the following.

Rush Limbaugh’s “Hate speech for beginners”

Erick Erickson’s  “How to be a Christian Martyr”

Ted Cruz’s “How to say stupid shit without being embarrassed”

Sara Palin’s “Ignorance is bliss, a bigots guide”

Michelle Bachman’s “Woo, Woo, Woo, Tick Tock The Mouse Ran Around The Water Fountain” we haven’t worked out what it is about yet, but it’s a book.

Steve King’s “Neener Neener Mr President” a guide by one of the world’s foremost ignoramuses.

Louie Gohmert “A Guide To Nonsense As Fact” with a totally incomprehensible introduction by the author, the rest was written by mice on LSD running up and down a keyboard.

John Boehner’s “Patriotic Crying, Crocodile Tear Making In Public” Tissue Edition.

Mitch McConnell’s ” How to say one thing, then claim you said another” and any quoting from the book will be treated with denial by the author.

John McCain’s “Bombing the world, a tourist’s guide to the world’s hotspots”.

The Koch Brothers “We have lots of money, we own your ass” a guide to buying an election

Bill Kristol’s “How to get others killed for your ideas” coupled with his “How to be consistently wrong all the time” a guide for the advanced fool.

Alex Jones’ “They are coming to take me  away” advanced paranoia, not for the beginner.

Why continue to throw beer bottles at the TV when you too can become a professional screamer?

Send $100 today and we will send you copies of each of the above free of charge. If they do not arrive within two weeks please send another $100 to expedite the delivery.

KANSAS LOSING OUT BY NOT EXPANDING MEDICAID…

Filed under: political musings, print news, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 1:45 pm

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The Wichita Eagle Editorial Staff We Blog
Kansas losing out by not expanding Medicaid
July 29, 20145:59 a.m.

How much is Kansas losing out by not allowing a federal expansion of Medicaid? About $820 million over the next three years, according to a study by the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Kansas is also losing out on 3,800 new jobs over the three-year span. And up to 100,000 low-income Kansans are losing out on needed health insurance. Expansion also would save the state money by moving some adults the state now cares for, such as those with mental illnesses, onto Medicaid and by reducing other costs. But neither the financial nor moral arguments for expansion seem to matter to Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature.
By Phillip Brownlee

VOTER-IMPERSONATION FRAUD IS NEARLY NONEXISTENT…

Filed under: political musings, print news, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 1:36 pm

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Wichita Eagle Editorial Department Blog…
Aug. 10, 20146:02 a.m.

The purpose of voter ID requirements, such as the one in Kansas, to is prevent someone from showing up to vote and pretending to be someone else. But how often does that actually happen? Almost never. Justin Levitt of the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles documented every known allegation of voter-impersonation fraud nationwide since 2000. Out of more than 1 billion votes cast during that 14-year period, he found only 31 alleged cases of impersonation fraud. That’s less that 0.0000031 percent. What’s more, it’s unclear how many of the 31 cases were actual fraud; several may just be computer or data-entry mistakes. To stop this nonexistent problem, 34 states have passed voter ID laws, potentially disenfranchising thousands and thousands of voters.
By Phillip Brownlee

7/30/2014

COLYER TRIES TO FOOL KANSAS TWICE…

Filed under: prairie musings, print news, Sam Brownback, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 2:28 pm

Colyer tries to fool Kansans twice
July 29, 201412:03 p.m.

It’s hard to believe that Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer tried the same trick twice. On New Year’s Eve last year, the last day of the campaign finance reporting period, Colyer loaned the Brownback campaign $500,000 – the largest campaign loan in state history. Several days later, reporters asked Colyer and Gov. Sam Brownback about the loan, which looked suspiciously like it was aimed at inflating the campaign’s fundraising total to match the fundraising of the Democratic challenger, House Minority Leader Paul Davis. Colyer told the Lawrence Journal-World that the loan represented his commitment to making a better future for Kansas kids. Brownback told the Kansas City Star that the loan would allow him to take his message to voters this winter and spring. Neither of them disclosed that the campaign had already repaid Colyer for the loan, on Jan. 2. Now, Colyer has done it again. On July 23, a day before the latest reporting period ended, Colyer again loaned the campaign $500,000. And again, the campaign claimed that the loan was merely a sign of Colyer’s commitment to the campaign.
By Phillip Brownlee

A Wichita Eagle Editorial Blog…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALLY….

Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton — Peg Britton @ 7:39 am

My youngest just turned 60 today.  How can that  be?
Happy Birthday, Ally.  I love you bunches and wish I could be with you to celebrate.

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You can always pick Ally out of a crowd.

7/28/2014

BILL TAYLOR…KING OF THE PALACE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 2:02 pm

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Bill Taylor joined the Salina Presbyterian Manor…oft referred to (by me) as “The Palace”…  in November 2010 as the chief executive officer.   Two years following that,  on November 28, 2012, I moved in as a new resident and have been able to observe first hand Bill’s many skills and accomplishments.

Sadly, Bill is leaving next week.  The happy note is that he’s moving up the ladder in the Presbyterian Manor administration and will be here from time to time working within the framework of his new job.

During the almost four years Bill has been the “in-charge” man here, wonderful things have happened.  Some are very obvious; others more subtle.

I remember when I first arrived he sought me out and welcomed me to the Manor. His feelings were genuine and warm and  the occasion, which I remember well, stuck with me.  I have an open door policy in my apartment on the second floor and I soon noticed Bill  did as well.   I’m the only resident whose door is always open, and it goes without saying not all chief executives leave their office doors open as a sign people are always welcome to enter and talk about matters of mutual concern.  Bill is sincere about his open door policy.

Bill is a people-centered person which comes naturally to him.  He’s comfortable around people and you sense that quality about him right away.  I mention it because he’s leaving and I’m going to miss him for many reasons most of which is that he’s done a wonderful job of keeping this place at the top of all the retirement center/health care charts.  This is a highly rated, outstanding facility in every category and operated by top-notch, well-qualified people.  You sense that if you live here because you experience a smooth, trouble-free living style that can only come if the place is well-managed.  There aren’t any sharp edges to be found.

During his tenure here there are noticeable changes that have occurred that have made the Palace an even better facility.  He made a game room in the basement out of a series of small cubby hole offices.  The room has a TV, pool table, lounge chairs, popcorn and vending machines.

One of the things that sold me on moving here was the restaurant-style dining that Bill instituted.  There is open seating at tables for four or six, linen table cloths and napkins, nice dishes and table ware and comfortable chairs.  Diners, with menu in hand,  are waited on by  a trained wait-staff just as you’d find in a fine restaurant.

One of Bill’s recent changes has been the addition of  the Salina Activities and Movie Network (SAMN) communication system and in-house TV channel.  There are daily postings to the system that include menus and activities, notices, birthdays, anniversaries, movies, etc.

When I moved to “the hood” and a larger apartment on second floor, it was completely upgraded and renovated.  As people move out of the apartments and townhomes, they are being completely renovated for the new resident, thanks to Bill.

Bill also saw the necessity to repave the front parking lot and upgrade the concrete slab around the entry.  He included additional outside seating under the main entry canopy.

At Christmas time, Bill hosts his annual Christmas holiday open house with Christmas drinks and treats.  I’m really going to miss that as it was a special occasion.

There are many other things he’s done that I’m not remembering…or aware of…that have made us all feel more like we are part of a neighborhood where we care about our neighbors.  I’m enormously grateful the Palace is here and I’m living in it.  And, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Bill for all he’s done to make this a perfect place for me to be.  And, my family members thank him too.

Thanks for tuning in…

7/25/2014

JOAN AND AUSTIN…

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 11:49 am

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If you attended school in Salina in 1946, you’ll quickly recognize this couple….Joan Britegam and Austin Stedham.  They’ve been married 61 years. The thing is…they have changed very little in appearance and look just the same, only slightly older.  I’d bet their wedding attire would still fit.

Thanks for tuning in…

7/23/2014

RECIPE: HOW TO SLOW COOK TOUGH, OLD PEOPLE….

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 12:03 pm

Now, don’t read this if you don’t have a sense of humor.  It’s not for cranky people. I’m not throwing aspersions on the Palace where I live as I KNOW this is the best place in Salina for someone like me to live and I love every minute I’m here.

While holding this in mind, just know that there is hardly a day that passes that my friend, Joy, and I aren’t rolling on the floor laughing our lungs inside out at something funny that has happened here.  If you have a six story building, and several outhouses,  loaded with old folks, you better know there is something funny happening every minute of the day.  Joy and I try not to miss out on anything.

We have a new “head of maintenance” guy…with a fancy title, “Head of Environmental Services…”, something or other.  He couldn’t get to work yesterday because he didn’t have a key to the front door.  Don’t you just love it?

And, one of our residents who is usually very mild mannered, called a townhouse resident where she used to live…but hasn’t for over two years…and was mad as hops because she hadn’t brought her wheat check to her.  The townhouse resident was absolutely clueless about a wheat check or anything associated with it and more puzzled about getting wrung out like a rag over it.

And, yesterday one of the yard maintenance men was mowing around the pond and somehow drove the mower straight down into the pond.  Blurp, blurp…

But the best laugh of all occurred at “Travel and Taste”.  I opted out of the monthly “eat out with the inmates” which last night was a trip to Junction City.   We all load onto the Palace bus and go someplace different for dinner.  It’s fun, we all enjoy it and usually always something happens on the trip to bring us to tears in laughter.

Last night I didn’t go for several reasons, one being it was 110 degrees and that is “hot as hell” to me.   I can’t tolerate extreme heat like that gracefully.  The bus is air conditioned but no matter what seat in it I choose, the AC seems not to reach that far.  It’s a good thing I didn’t go, as it turns out they ran out of gas coming home when they were about two miles west of Russell Stover’s.  They pulled over by the side of the road and waited, and waited, and waited…an hour according to those being slowly cooked in the heat of the bus.

Eventually a highway patrolman came by and gave them some gas.  They continued on west and tried to buy gas in Solomon but nothing was open so they continued on west…and they ran out of gas AGAIN.  The same highway patrolman came to their rescue again and went for more gas to help them along.  Eventually, they got back to the Palace but they said they were all soaked through and dripping wet from a constant stream of perspiration.  I never would have managed…

Anyway, the stories going around today are really very funny…I just love this place.

Thanks for tuning in…

7/22/2014

ADAM FOSTER…FLYING SPECIALIST EXTRAORDINAIRE….CO-OWNER LEADING EDGE FLYING SUITS…

Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 1:17 pm

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My cousin’s son, Adam Foster, and his girl friend, Gina, were here visiting.  They had been in Cushing OK doing what they both love to do best…wearing bat wing suits and jumping out of airplanes or from he top of some cloud-shrouded precipice in the Alps …and were on their way home to Colorado.  Flying is what they “do” and they teach others the intricacies of the sport and sell the suits you need for it. Adam has tallied about 1,500 jumps like this so you know he must love it. Gina, not so many, but a commendable number that draws a lot of respect.  Todd, Ally and Karen joined us for dinner last evening at Tucson’s and an evening of catching up with each other.  That’s the best kind of visit.

I ordered baby back ribs for dinner last night at Tucson’s.  They are wonderful, well-seasoned and fork tender.  Guess what we had for lunch here today?  Baby back ribs for the first time since I moved here.

My friend, Ann, invited me to go with her to hear Jill Docking tonight and I bailed…but only because I’m “walker” dependent and the facility where it’s being held is more than I can manage.  Dang it.  At least I can still get around for most things I want to do.  Sitting in a theater seat is no longer on my user friendly list.  I simply can’t extricate myself from it.

Life in the Palace is going very well and I’m still gloating over my decision to move here.  I could not have made a better choice. I have all the freedom I want to come and go…despite my joking referrals to being an inmate….and I have some very good friends here to visit with whenever I want.  It’s the best of two worlds.  My bedroom is full of all the technological gadgets I need to stay connected to the outside world, I have a stack of good books I rotate from the Salina Public Library, and far more options for places to go and things to see than in my previous “life”.

I have a new phone number that I changed rather suddenly.  The Palace has 100 in house phone lines that are used for business purposes, health care and all their related services.  That leaves a few that are free for resident use, as they become available.  After waiting almost two years,  one became available yesterday when my name rose to the top of the list. I grabbed it and ran.  It’s cheaper by about $100 a year than Cox.  I retain my unlimited long distance service.  The only drawback is that I have to dial 9 first, which isn’t a problem as I fed it into my bank of speed dial numbers. Another plus is that my message machine now works the way I want it to and I don’t have to dial up my messages from Cox.  Life gets easier day by day.  Life is very good.

Thanks for tuning in…

7/20/2014

SCOTT STROEDE HAS BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED BY PASTOR PHILIP HOPPE AND ST. PAUL’S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH’S CONGREGATION FOR BEING GAY…

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:07 am

I pass this along with permission from Scott who outed himself and was excommunicated.  It’s another example of picking and choosing.  I wonder how long it has been since Pastor Hoppe and church members have violated the prohibition against mixing fabrics (Lev 19:19) or eating shellfish (Lev 11:10–12) and pork (Lev 11:7–8)?
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7/16/2014

#NERDY

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:07 pm

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7/14/2014

NEW YORK TIMES…KANSAS’ RUINOUS TAX CUTS (IS THE PATIENT DYING?)

Filed under: prairie musings, Sam Brownback, Kansas — Peg Britton @ 7:54 am

Kansas’ Ruinous Tax Cuts

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD JULY 13, 2014

There was a windstorm of hasty excuses in recent weeks after Kansas reported that it took in $338 million less than expected in the 2014 fiscal year and would have to dip heavily into a reserve fund. Spending wasn’t cut enough, said conservatives. Too many rich people sold off stock in the previous year, state officials said. It’s the price of creating jobs, said Gov. Sam Brownback.

None of those reasons were correct. There was only one reason for the state’s plummeting revenues, and that was the spectacularly ill-advised income tax cuts that Mr. Brownback and his fellow Republicans engineered in 2012 and 2013. The cuts, which largely benefited the wealthy, cost the state 8 percent of the revenue it needs for schools and other government services. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted, that’s about the same as the effect of a midsize recession. Moody’s cut the state’s debt rating in April for the first time in at least 13 years, citing the cuts and a lack of confidence in the state’s fiscal management.

The 2012 cuts were among the largest ever enacted by a state, reducing the top tax bracket by 25 percent and eliminating all taxes on business profits that are reported on individual income returns. (No other state has ever eliminated all taxes on these pass-through businesses.) The cuts were arrogantly promoted by Mr. Brownback with the same disproven theory that Republicans have employed for decades: There will be no loss of revenue because of all the economic growth!

“Our new pro-growth tax policy will be like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy,” he wrote in 2012. “It will pave the way to the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs, bring tens of thousands of people to Kansas, and help make our state the best place in America to start and grow a small business.”

But the growth didn’t show up. Kansas, in fact, was one of only five states to lose employment over the last six months, while the rest of the country was improving. It has been below the national average in job gains for the three and half years Mr. Brownback has been in office. Average earnings in the state are down since 2012, and so is net growth in the number of registered businesses.

The experience in Maine has been similar. Cut taxes, cut funding to public education, watch the economy falter as a prosperous future for…

With less money to spend, Kansas is forced to chop away at its only hope for real economic expansion: investment in public schools and colleges. While most states began restoring education funding after the recession, Kansas has cut K-12 spending by 2 percent over the last two school years, and higher education by 3 percent since 2012.

The evidence of failure is piling up around Mr. Brownback, whose re-election campaign is faltering because of his mistake. Yet he continues to cling to his magical ideology, pleading for more time. “It’s like going through surgery,” he told The Wall Street Journal last month. “It takes a while to heal and get growing afterwards.”

But it’s not clear the patient can recover from this surgery — the reserve fund, in fact, is likely to nearly run dry next year. As Kansas has clearly shown, states cannot cut their way to prosperity. They need to use every tool of government to nurture growth, and those tools require money.

7/13/2014

PALACE REFLECTIONS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Presbyterian Manor — Peg Britton @ 1:45 pm

I knew this was coming:  I miss talking with the “young professionals”, as I like to think of them, who  are now between the ages of 30 and 50, ambitious and well-informed who appear to be on the cutting edge of life, the best ever period in one’s lifetime.  They are my grandchildren, my nieces and nephews, and young friends from Ellsworth and “around”.  They are bright, intelligent, well-educated and moving ahead with their mental GPS systems pointing them in the  direction they have chosen.  They have boundless amounts of energy and use it to the fullest.  They operate off multiple spread-sheets and have their futures planned years in advance.  They give serious thought and consideration to lifetime issues that my generation let “just happen”…like   saving and preparing for retirement, life time health care and family planning. They all know who they are and I hope they know they are missed.

They, both men and women,  are waiting until their 30s to get married, usually after they have finished their education (at least the basic BS) and after they have a career path in view.    They plan the arrival of children very carefully, sometimes well before they are married.  They are not judgmental and take people for who they are. They speak properly as if HR people were constantly on duty.  They know not to cross personal boundaries. Color, disabilities and gayness don’t enter their minds. They want equality for all. They understand the Constitution and Bill of Rights and have a much better understanding of what they mean than their elders.  For the most part, they understand the truth behind the plethora of political lies that are spewed over the airways.  Truth and honesty matter to them. Religion doesn’t play a major role in their lives, if at all.

All in all: the young professionals “get” it.  The older generations I mingle with don’t get it.  It’s neither good nor bad: it’s just the way things are. We all grow older and more set in our ways, largely because we aren’t exposed to new thoughts and ideas. There are a lot more older folk in the world than we ever expected. The young professionals are our future.  They will lead the way and I am confident they will do a better job than we can even imagine.

Our paths cross infrequently since I moved to the Palace, and I expected that they would, so the conversations that once took place regularly have been put on hold.  It’s not a negative thing; it’s  the way life is.  That’s the one thing I really miss about living here, but I’m learning how to fill the void.

Sadly, there is nothing here at the Palace to take the place of those conversations, nothing like them to stimulate our minds.  It’s likely that I and a small handful of others are the only ones who’ve noticed.  Programs and parties need to include everyone…memory unit and health care…. and they are always designed and based on the lowest common denominator, which I think is a disservice to everyone.  There are few exceptions. But…people here are happy and love living here, as I do.  It’s just all part of the adjustment to a new life style.

So, one then relies on other pockets of stimulation:  computers, books, the arts, and conversations, etc.  There are lots of reasons why conversations among the elderly are limited.  We’ve reached an age (65 to 105) where we aren’t planning vacations and trips to exotic places because travel is too difficult and tiring; we aren’t looking for jobs or spouses as most of us have already had them and lost them; we aren’t starting a family or building a house  so those aren’t topics of conversation of the elderly.

Older people get riled up over subjects such as  politics and religion, or anything controversial,  and can’t talk about them in a rational manner.  That’s because older people, in my opinion, tend to seek consistency in their beliefs and perceptions and they don’t want to be confronted with something that conflicts with another previously held belief.  We all knows that monumental progress has been made in STEM.  Young people understand.  Older people are still hanging on to creative design, deny global warming and can’t accept science. The term cognitive dissonance comes to mind when that feeling of discomfort  overwhelms one from holding two conflicting beliefs at one time.  You can see it when the “shade” is lowered and eyes get squinty. No one wants to even think about something that might cause them to slip into this quagmire.  One treads lightly around here.

Even current events are deeply infused with politics and are subjects residents avoid just as they do religion and politics.   So, in my opinion, conversations that do occur don’t require a lot of thought or information and they take place  over lunch where only pleasantries of the day and the latest spin on who is stealing the fruit cups and flatware or some thing dealing with the weather are mentioned.  I guess you call that having respect for others.

When spontaneous utterances do occur, it’s usually because someone has spent way too much time watching Fox News and is all riled up over things that probably aren’t true, or only partially true.  The inmates are overwhelmingly conservative Republicans, but the Rs who aren’t tea party folk  don’t understand how the litmus test system works now that the tea party has taken over.  For some reason I can’t figure out, they believe the Eisenhower Republicans will somehow reappear on their white horses and come to their rescue.

I particularly miss my young friends now that there is no one I live among who even comes close to filling this self-imposed vacuum of conversation-less living.  Fortunately, I still have good friends who like to have phone conversations so I can rely on them to fill my empty spaces.

This situation is one I expected when I moved here…it is, after all,  the “Presbyterian Manor” with religion infused at every turn.  And, since most people in Kansas are Republicans, you can imagine that most who live here are as conservative as they come.   Eisenhower died a long time ago and I don’t ever expect him to return.  I hate to break the news to others.   That is not to say that I don’t enjoy the people around me, as I do. Very much.  Some have become very good friends.

BUT…..there is a bright light on the horizon, which was my real reason for the blog.  Three of my good friends, who are in their early 70’s and lean the same direction I do on most things,  are moving to the Palace grounds.  It will be a joy to have them near.  That makes six of us, as far as  I know, but I’m still looking for sleepers.  Change comes with baby steps.

Thanks for tuning in…

SERIOUS CLIMBERS…

Filed under: prairie musings, Drew Britton — Peg Britton @ 6:54 am

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Here are three of my favorite mountain climbers…Christy, Drew and Sarge…atop Shavano.  Five  Colorado summits in two weekends.

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Sarge, 100 pounds of solid muscle is the luckiest dog alive.  He gets to climb mountains every weekend and carry his own personal saddle bags with his water and food and other supplies.

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