Saturday, September 21, 2013

Recording Re-Surfaced

My daughter Juli, who is organist at the First Lutheran Church in Blair and the Tekamah First Baptist Church in Tekamah, played this piece, Taccota and Fugue in D minor by J.S. Bach, for a spring recital while in college back in 1996 I believe. She was majoring in Organ Performance. She is pictured here with a niece.
It was originally recorded on a cassette tape and then digitized and tweaked by some friends at American Gramaphone.
Marilyn recorded this and I didn't attend as I was trying to catch up planting corn. It is likely one of the biggest mistakes of my life to not have witnessed this in person
Turn up your volume and especially the bass on your speakers, click on link and sit back and enjoy. They cut the applause short at the end but it went on for some time. The organ was in the balcony of a large cathederal and at the end of the recording, you can her professor encouraging her to take another bow.
The Hendrickson Opus 78 Organ Used In This Recording
St Joseph Cathedral, Sioux Falls, SD

Click this link:

Car Show

The largest carshow in the region was held last weekend in neighboring West Point, NE. They stop all entries at 750. The event draws an estimated 10,000 spectators each of the two days of the event. Our son Dan entered his 1968 Camaro Convertible he had restored. It is pictured below. This little gem will pin you in your seat when he releases all of the horses. It's as shiny underneath as it is on top. The mirrors lying on the ground displayed that for the crowd.

 He also entered his 1948 Indian Chief. He also restored this one. The pic below was taken at a rare moment. One when there wasn't a crowd gathered around it.

The picture below is of  Dan and his girls. His wife and 4 daughters. They are pictured in front of his enclosed aluminum trailer.
The tall trophy was a sponsors choice trophy for his Camaro. The other trophy was for 'Outstanding Motorcycle' at the show.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Grandma On Phone With Grandson At Bedtime...

visiting about going to school tomorrow:

Grandma: Cooper, are you in Pre-School now?
Cooper: (with a 'you should know better tone) No Grandma, I'm at home right now.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


16 0Z Old Spice Body Wash. $2.97
Beside that were 2 packaged together, again 16 OZ. 
The sign said:  SAVE. Buy 2 in one box. $6.97
There were a lot of the singles left but only one of the double package.
Knowing your customer base well, is the key to marketing.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Summer Time...And The Livi.....

Champion Grandaughter, with her Champion Dog. Bailey doesn't no what to do when Casey goes into another room.

Leftover pic from corn day. Training starts early in these parts.

Children of the corn.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Transient workers who came to help freeze sweet corn. Two daughters in-law and two sons. The brown and blue shirts go together and one of their 4 daughters they brought is in the truck. Black and grey shirts go together and the little red head boy is one of 3 redhead boys they brought with them. Dan (in the blue shirt) is actually having fun. He likes to have a serious look on his face in all pics.

There are certain times of the year that are the "pay-off" for living in rural America. For me, it's when the stars align and there seems to be an aura that illuminates the land. I speak of that time when the tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, onions, beets, peas and new potatoes all ripen. A time when a well-stocked kitchen dare not run short on vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, butter, bacon, mayo, spices or toast. Remember, it's August and time to lock your car doors when you park in town, for fear your backseat will get filled with zucchinis.
Many families, the Morrows included, have had a tradition of preparing sweet corn for the freezer. There are as many ways to get the job done as there are raccoons in my sweet corn patch. From my first remembrance we picked, shucked, cleaned, blanched, cut and froze endless numbers of pints and quarts of the delicacy. The corn was not even close to being as good as it is today but it was all we knew.We each had our job. The youngest kids helped pick the corn and then we pulled the wagon up under the shade of some giant cottonwoods and commenced shucking. Shortly after we began this process we usually had someone on the cleaning committee send a runner out to report, "Mom says you guys are doing a lousy job of getting the silks off." Not knowing that removing silks was in our job description, we doubled our efforts.
Being the youngest of seven children, I began to reason that possibly I had the toughest job of them all. I helped pick the corn early in the morning and then got stuck shucking. Often, all alone it seemed. My older siblings would go to the house with a five-gallon bucket of clean corn and never come back. Well, they did come back and usually carrying another five-gallon bucket of empty cobs for the pile. I didn't have the reasoning ability to know it best to just sit in the shade of a tree and shuck corn.
Years passed and I began to climb the ladder toward the ultimate, Dad's job of slicing the corn off of the cob. The trouble was, all of my siblings left for greener pastures and eventually I was left with the whole operation. Marilyn does do a better job than most at cleaning and blanching the corn, but I do the rest. And that ultimate job wasn't all that hot either. I needed a band-aid every time I cut corn the first few years. Dad made cutting corn seem very quick and easy. Other folks would borrow the cutter and bring it back saying they couldn't make it work so they had to use a knife. It was a tricky thing to master which I eventually did but I too have let it go to a friend only to have the "worthless machine" brought back a day later. Everyone who ever used it for the first time needed to bandage the right ring down near the finger nail.
When one gets up into their 60s and are fairly swamped with farming and grooming dogs, it becomes imperative that you begin to triage the garden. The decision to "Let's not grow this anymore," is based on whether the reward is worth the time spent. Recent victims to this thinking are our strawberry bed which succumbed to pressure from the neighboring asparagus, and our raspberries will be mowed off but not because they didn't do well but because we could never find the time to get them picked.
Our focus is now on growing tomatoes for the table, canning and BLTs. We are also going to keep raising green beans, early and late season spinach, onions for salsa, and sweet potatoes.
Oh yes, we do raise cucumbers to watch them reach the age of production, and then we watch them die. Cucumbers will also cross over the line into the world of "not worth the effort" very soon here at the Morrows. They do, however, prepare you for life in general because they look good one day, not so good the next and then they're dead. The other factor is the disagreement they always spark in our home. One of us likes a sweet vinegar dressing and the other of us likes them fixed the correct way with vinegar, water, salt and pepper.
Please excuse me now while I sharpen my cutter and try to beat the raccoons to the patch.
Tip: (I've cheated this year, I now have a double electric fence around the patch) The neighbors still got into it.
Second Tip: Roundup can be used in place of a hoe in the garden.
Third Tip: Have plenty of excuses ready when the wrong plants start to die. ie: "It must be the drought." (Or try some kind of 'wilt,' or better yet, 'Phytophthora Root Rot' will work every time.)

Sunday, July 21, 2013


We were raised with baling wire. I know that sounds as if I had a 7th sibling made of wire but it is close to being true. The wire was an integral part of our everyday farm life.
In the 1970’s the wire began its exodus as most of the hay balers went to using twine. Before that, all of our alfalfa, brome and straw bales were held together with wire. The wire allowed some of the straw bales to be packed so tight that they would nearly explode with the mere nicking of the wire. A four foot straw bale could end up bursting to ten feet long as we cut the wire.
We used bales of straw for bedding the pigs in the barn and we also fed the feeder cattle with wire tied hay bales. We used bales in the barn one or two at a time. That meant that we would have 2 or 4 wires in our hand after bedding the sows. We would then begin to fold the wires in half enough times so that the result was about a foot long and then toss the wrapped strands into a pile in a vacant stall. Out in the feedlot we would sometimes feed 40 bales at a time that meant we had a pair of pliers in our right hand and a growing supply of wires in our left. When the load in our left hand got so big that we couldn’t carry it, we’d stop, fold it in half, wrap a wire around it and then take it to our outdoor pile near the end of the row of bales.
Those two piles of baling wire then became the supply that kept the rest of the farm running.
Wire had an almost unlimited number of uses. One use was to wire the hog panels in the barn. Right here let me interject that hog panels were to be double wired and tightened clockwise. If we did otherwise and my Dad had to unwire the panel in the dark to fence lock in a sow that was ready to farrow, we heard about it. “Who wrapped this wire the wrong way?” We always thought we were too young to have to do chores so we’d reply, “You need people working our here who are old enough to tell time and know which way a clock runs.”
We used the supply of baling wire for fencing repairs, emergency cotter pins, and our hitch pins always were wired in. (Clockwise I might add.) I don’t believe that we had a tractor, harrow, disc, combine, corn picker, truck, seeder, drill any other piece of equipment that didn’t have several pieces of wire wrapped or twisted around it.
We could fix the exhaust system on the old jeep or the Studebaker without going to town. Dad would simply hand us his pliers and tell us to go get a piece of baling wire.
We’d run to the mountain of wire that was so large that it wouldn’t have fit in the box of a pick-up and cut off a length of wire that ended up being about 2 inches two short. We’d get back to Dad, he’d try the wire and ask “Are we getting short on wire?” “Now go back and bring enough wire to go all the way around this.” 
Almost every temporary fix on the farm was accomplished with the aid of baling wire. Even if it ended up being a forever fix. My Dad once fixed the metal frame on a chair from our daily dining room set with baling wire. That was the day Dad found out that baling wire wasn’t coming into the house.
Other times the wire became a curse when someone would run into a pile of used wire with a shovel type cultivator.  A pair of side cutters and 1 hour will usually be enough to correct that mistake. Single strands of baling wire laid carelessly about were always the scourge of our lawnmowers.
We still have horses on the farm but I’m not sure where the used baler twine pile is kept. I do however know exactly where to find a piece of twine if I need one.
There’s probably one wrapped around one of the three spindles on my lawnmower deck right now.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Never Before

I've lived on this farm 63 years. I've made or been a part of the drive from town down our country roads the 9 miles to the farm, countless times. But I have never, ever, seen this many lightning bugs. The corn fields, which are now all about chest high, are well lit. Marilyn says they're the males of the species trying to attract the girls.
So...I had to try but the flash light I took to bed didn't attract anyone. As a matter of fact, I now have to see if it can be fixed.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Colton- Just Horsing Around

I have been avoiding talking about our local grandson for fear of sounding like I was bragging.. He is a pleasure to be around. He'll do anything we ask of him and with a smile. He has a good sense of humor and cares not what others think. He's very comfortable being himself.  Colton is 14 years old, 6'1 1/2 and weighs about 210. He's a pretty good athlete as well and a Boy Scout.
He used some of his money from working on the farm to purchase a horse head mask a few months ago. No particular reason, he just wanted one. He gets it out from time to time, but not often.  I saw him walking down our main street with it.  Everyone, young and old alike were honking and laughing and waving at him. He just waved and kept walking. He made their day and vice versa.
A month later he was standing along the fence at our rodeo, wearing it. I can't help but laugh when I see him wearing it because it happens so seldom and it always seems to be at the right time.
He recently had a friend over and they went out by Mom's horses and he had his buddy take a picture. He captioned it and I got it as a text this morning about 6 AM. He was lifting weights at school and sent it between sets.  I had to pull off of the road until I quit laughing. This kid has a great sense of humor.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How High Up is Up?

How can you  tell if knowledge of a scandal (or 3 or 4 scandals for that matter) goes all the way to the top? It's easy. No one gets fired, because firing is the only sure way of making people talk. To think something is 'OUTRAGEOUS' is admitting that you don't really want to find out what happened. To fire someone, knowing they'll begin talking as soon as you fire them, is to be serious about finding the answer.
I doubt anyone will lose their jobs. Just reassigned to a higher paying position.