Saturday, December 31, 2005


May your troubles in 2006, last as long as your resolutions.
Stay safe.
New Years day will be the norm here at the Morrow's, which is Chili simmering all day. Lots of iced tea and football. The local family will come out to the farm and we'll visit. Nothing will be decided. But we wll discuss it. There's the possibility that we may even discuss you. Come visit, stick up for yourself,,we'll bake a cake.

Friday, December 30, 2005


Look! They've finally quit drooling, hitting each other on the rear, and going potty in their diapers. They no longer need help eating, drinking, and they don't need entertained anymore.
We no longer have to tuck them in or put them to bed, or tell them to be nice to strangers.
And as I get older, I hope the roles don't get reversed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Another Christmas!

We had a treat yesterday. Our Grandson couldn't be with us on Christmas day and so we got to watch him open his gifts from us, yesterday. Here, he is sporting his new bike and helmet from Grandma and Grampuh.
This brought back a Christmas morning memory. I was at that stage where I was pretty sure there wasn't a Santa but I was afraid to ask for fear of not getting a present. I came downstairs and went right over to my stocking and found four walnuts and an apple. That was normal in the bottom of the stocking back then. There were usually little trinkets and toys on top of that. Not this year. I looked at Mom and she was getting a scolding look from Dad. She said she was sorry, she had forgotten.
Well, I was more than a little upset, I remember going out and getting in the car I was driving to high school at the time and then going for a long drive. Err,, no that was a different day. Okay, I was checking to see if you were awake. But I'll keep this in here to see how many people are really reading.
In defense of my Mom, she was 44 when I was born.
After that incident, I didn't believe in Santa for a while. Now I do.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Local Paper

The first pic, on this page, was on the front of our local paper. It's one of my Grandaughters, trying to choke another present out of the big guy.

A Big'un

Here's an old one.
A small town preacher was in the city for a conference. He called his wife to ask her if she would find out what the youth minister wanted printed on the new sign. If she would leave a message with the desk clerk at the hotel, he'd stop and get the message after his morning session and then order the sign on his way home. "Be sure to find out the dimensions of the sign as well as what is to be printed on it", he told her.
At noon he went to the desk to see if there were messages. The wide eyed clerk told him to sit down because he wasn't going to believe this. The clerk cleared his voice and nervously said, "Your wife called, and I am to tell you For unto you a child is born, five foot tall and three foot wide".

Sunday, December 25, 2005

From the Tenor Section

We had a Christmas Eve service at our church. It was a beautiful 'light' ceremony. Our choir sang at the event. In keeping with the solemnity due the occasion, just before the beginning, one of my tenors asked me,"Do you know why Chicken Coops have two doors?"
Not having an answer for him, he explained with a kind of 'duh' in his voice, "Well if they had four doors, they'd be called Chicken Sedans.
Note: The above story was carefully told in such a way, so as to divert blame, away from me.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve Thoughts

I went to Omaha shopping yesterday.
I've done a lot of Santa work in years past, but not any more.
Both of these, have brought me joy, concern, sadness, a desire to reach out and help, or to give a pat on the back, and in a couple of cases a desire to slap the face of a few parents. As Santa, I've had to tell Mother's that their screaming child with stark terror on their little face "doesn't want to sit on Santa's lap, maybe next year, or maybe you could talk to me from over there where the child feels safe". And I've wanted to say "why don't you put that cigarette out and spend what little money you have on food and clothes,,,,, or soap",,, "or if you don't quit yelling at those kids, Santa's going to step on your toe with his big black boot".
I've had to ask Santa's little helper to find out who those people are, and their address, to see if I could help, or round up some help.
I've had little eight year olds, who were showing signs of really needing some parenting, (soap, food, clothes, toothbrush and instruction on how to use it) ask Santa not to bring them anything but could I please bring her little brother and sister some things to wear.
Yesterday I saw couples staring at each other while shopping with pure 'HATE' for each other, in their eyes.
Parents threatening kids by yelling at them in front of fifty strangers. We've never even yelled at cattle like that, when we were trying to herd them to a new pen.
Easy folks, it's Christmas. Find someone to listen to, to help, to counsel, to love, to buy food for, to buy gifts for, to share the story of Jesus with. To be quiet with. To mourn with. There are many people, in each of our lives, with pains and sorrow. To help a little, will mean so much, and the rewards will be many.

I have the best of the best, regularly reading my thoughts here. Thanks for letting me share with you in the past. I look forward to the future.
Merry Christmas.
See you Monday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

"Now when you get up there Sunday, talk real loud and slow"!!

My Dad road horses to grade school. Well I think usually just one. (circa 1915) He spoke a few times about the Christmas program at school, and what a huge event it was to a country school, and how he was so embarassed the night they had him start the program by holding two ears of corn by the side of his head and repeat the Bible verse, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." The crowd roared with laughter and he was pretty sure they were all laughing at him and not with him.
For generations now, kids have been learning their 'Piece' for the program at Church or at School.
This is my seven year old Grandson, "Saying his piece", Sunday at Church. The program was a good one. As you can see it had a cowboy theme that ran throughout the program. There were rave reviews and no corn or corn cobs were involved. I don't think that Dad had a microphone back then and he was probably lacking the drop down screen and the media person running the power point.
Kids need goals like this. Something they don't really want to do but must, that everybody witnesses, and then when it's over, they did it better than they thought they could. Then everyone gathers round to congratulate them. And guess what, they'd like to do it again.
Adults are the same way. We'd just like someone to pat us on the back, smile, and say "you did a really good job".
Okay folks, practice your piece and say it loud and slow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Some short thoughts.
How come Santa can't find my place anymore, but he knows my Visa Card number?
I need to find out what 'Gay Apparel' is. What it looks like. Am I accidentally 'don' ing some of it.
My four year old Grandaughter, already had her soda at a fastfood restaurant today. She doesn't seem to know any strangers. She watched a forty something man fill his cup. She announced in a loud, very matter of fact tone, "Okay, that's enough". She's going to make a great mother.
I've been wondering why people seem to be picking on me so much, here in blogland. Marilyn says I get 'picked on', because I look too much like a nose.
And lastly, my Mother in-law, claims in her Christmas letter, that getting old, is the same in people as it is in old tires. They both get bald, soft, and leaky. Amen and Amen.

BIG TURKEY! (Story Below) Sorry about the quality, I scanned this from an old slide.

Christmas Past

The above picture was taken in the fall of 1958 or 59. Early in the spring of that year, one of my older brothers came home from college with 5 baby turkeys. He worked part time in a hatchery. The other 4 birds met their demise one at a time over the year from one malady or another, but this one survived.
All turkeys have one breast feather that hangs down out of place. My brother pulled that feather and this turkey took exception to that. As a matter of fact if turkeys fly thru the air and hit the windshield of a parked car, with you in it, you can be assured the bird doesn't like you. This bird hated my brother.
We had the bird, uh, prepared for the table. A big problem arose. He was 44 pounds, dressed, and wouldn't fit in the oven. Well the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were always huge, but not big enough to eat the ham Mom always fixed plus the big turkey. We cut him in half and had two, 22 pound birds. One at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas.
Note: this pic was taken just north of our house. The red corncribs, on the left were taken down to make room for grain bins. The red shed in the background is still there, but needs taken down. The two hog sheds were just temporarily sitting there. My Dad pulled them around the farm as needed.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Confession

I have a confession to make. I've chosen to make a clean break, you know, come clean, and not just write a private message to Ralph to apologize.Instead, I'm am letting the whole world know of my underhanded tactics. I have just a few more strands of hair than Ralph. I think secretly, he has been very jealous of my (ahem) full 'looking head of hair'. Well Ralph, ol Buddy, I have a secret and this is it. I've been using this (see photo),Big Sexy Hair Spray. You'll have to go to a salon to get it. I'll warn you that when you first put it on, it resembles the snow you buy in a can for frosting windows and Christmas trees. But Ralph, you too can have a big, full, head of hair like mine. I should have told you sooner. Sorry. Warning: the ladies really like 'Big Hair'. So don't use it before going to work. No use worrying Char about this.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Retirement Party!!

This is a picture of my cell phone. It is being held up in front of an aerial photo of our farm. The antenna is crossing our ('it's bleeding me dry' 3/4 of a mile) lane. The little black square at the end of my lane is our farmstead. The little black dot in that black square is me, but you may not be able to see that. The black winding ribbon at the top is the Missouri River. I'll explain.
Today, I am getting a new phone. I am also getting a new cell phone company. One that has a tower right by town. I will be able to use a cell phone, well, where I am most of the time. Currently I must travel 25 miles to use my cell phone. It kind of defeats the purpose. Did I mention that I loathe my phone. I use it about 5 minutes a month. That's because it has never worked.
The cell phone pictured above has dropped so many calls over the last three years that it has changed my speech pattern. How, you ask? Well I will be talking, face to face, with someone and say something like, "so the only health care options, our county has, at least that make any sense are, hello, hello, are you there, hello, well @#$% @#%^%!!
I often hear the same thing from people I'm talking to. I'll say, "Hi Marilyn, I think I'm having a heart atta.." Marilyn interrupts with "Hello, hello, Cliff, your breaking up, hello Cliff, oh well, call me back".
Here's where you come in. Today I will be handed my new phone by my son from Lincoln and I need to do something with the old one. You will say "carefully recycle". Sorry, I just can't. I point to the black ribbon on the top of the map say, "how about the river". How do you know if you can throw a cell phone across a big river if you haven't tried it?? I don't know how wide the river is. I do know that neither of my son's can hit a golf ball across the river so it must be over 300 yd's across.
I'd like to see if an old farmer can throw 300 yards.
Another option would be to place it on the anvil in my shop and apply blunt force trauma to it. OR I could risk a ticket, get the old van up to 90 MPH and let it slip from hand, onto the road way. I am unwilling to do the last one. Next summer, it's likely some 'litter control group' would turn it into the sheriff, who would hold an investigation, and eventually bring it back to me with a smile, "SO Cliff, been missin this?
I need your help. What can I do for my phone's retirement party?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

In Defense of My Good Friend Ralph..if it please the court,

This picture of Ralph, who has just listened to Cowboy Poet extraordinaire, Dr Les Morrow, (Brother Les) recite one of his poems, has a mouth full of food. This picture was taken just prior to or just after the one on Ralphs blog, and just prior to the Hiemlich maneuver. As you can see, cameras DO lie. This is the view Ralph sees in the mirror each day and is why he thinks he has hair. (plural) The aerial view from Char's camera shows a shine that resembles that of a Ford Focus and confuses birds and is the main reason Ralph always wears a hat. Ralph, you've got plenty of hair. But how about a perm? I'll go with you and we can both get it done.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Artificial Intelligence

I've heard that a blonde dying her hair brunette, is just a feeble attempt at artificial intelligence. I've never really thought that there was such a thing. That is until Word Verification came along. Have you ever noticed how they will put two V's together and you can't tell if it's VV or W. Same goes for a lot of combos. Seems like about 20% of the time I have to guess and I ALWAYS, always, guess wrong. When I do guess, I will have messed up 'zwwklmqazxq', or something like it. However, just like Ron Popiel, word verification says, "But Wait". I can see you're not the sharpest knife in the drawer, "I'll give you a second chance". What do you get the second time? Three widely spaced letters that spell...bob or chuck or joe.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Short Stories

First about these two.
1. My daughter has friends who clear a major company's parking lot of snow. She helps them do that by driving one of their dump trucks. That is if it's at night and doesn't interfere with her various jobs of playing the piano for hire and managing our kennel. She says driving a truck makes her feel like a WOMAN. (She always strikes a weightlifters pose when she says that) She had to go, in advance, to the security people and fill out info and get a badge. She said her blonde hair had an affect on the smart aleck guard at the gate. After examining the contents of her Super Duty four door, he came to the window and said. "Do you have any contraband on board". And without drying a breath."Do you even know what contraband is?" "Please open the hood of your truck, do you even know how to open the hood of your truck" He has no idea who he's dealing with. Fortunately the guard will still be able to sire children.
2. My four year old grandaughter (also pictured above)was here for lunch today along with my brother. He asked her, "What's that?" She said "A stick horse". He said "What's his name"? Her voice and her face had that, I can't believe you just said that look. She said, "Stick". There was a full body, silent, laugh from her great uncle. As she walked away he mumbled "Well, if you ask a stupid question..."
3.I was talking to my son Dan today. "How ya doin son?" "Oh we just had a Team Meeting Dad". I replied, "Are you busy". (Thats Dads way of asking if he has enough business to keep the doors open". "Yeah, REAL busy". I said "What was the meeting about?" Right here I'm thinking "Team Meeting", is probably a concept he picked up at college or one of his various continuing education conferences or schools he attends for collision repair. Yes, a management technique.
"How long did the meeting last Son"? "Oh, about thirty seconds". "What'd you say to them." "I said we're really busy, and that we have a lot of work to get out the door, and we don't have time for team meetings". "Bye Dad". "Later Dan".

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I Went Christmas Shopping Yesterday!

Yes, I'm a slow learner. It brought memories of this short blog I wrote about a year ago. It still applies. This Blogland Re-Premier is brought to you by Cliff Morrow Blogs where we like to say.. just about anything as long as it has a lot of letters in it. And now...The Show (Sorry there will be no Coming Attractions, because I never know what I'm going to write until just after I'm done writing it.)
Young Ladies and Other Thoughts
I have just completed my first shopping trip of the holiday season to Omaha. I have two thoughts on the subject. The first was that years ago when my boys and I would see someone with their pants being magically suspended in the half moon position and the bottom of the jeans were dragging in the dirt or a young lady wearing something that should have been worn by someone 40 pounds lighter or heavier than they were, I would simply say "no mirror". The boys would say "what", I'd say "no mirror, that poor person has no mirror or they wouldn't wear that".
Well the lack of an adequate supply of mirrors has reached epidemic proportions.
Secondly, while strolling thru Sams Club tonight, it dawned on me. Nothing says Christmas like a well lit, white wire, Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Ancient Keyboarding

I had one other kid in my class. Well actually two at one time. I attended our country school that was about 2 miles from here. District nineteen. First thru the eight grades.
I didn't have pre-school or kindergarten. I know, you're thinking, well that explains a lot. Until I went to school, it was me, Mom, and the Captain. Well and Mr Green Jeans. Oh, and Mr Rabbit or Bunny or something like that. I knew nothing. There are those who will still say that.
I graduated from there and went to town. Holy Cow! Fifty Five classmates. GIRLS! Football!
My freshman year I took typing. All year. Two semesters. I started out on one of those new fangled "electric" machines. IBM Selectric. Sixty words per minute. Got an A the first semester. Since we only had enough electrics for half the class, at midterm we all switched. On the manuals, my production went down to about thirty words per minute and my grade went to a D. I think I finally eked out a C-.
I got to sit by the cutest girl in the whole school. A blond. We didn't have anything that resembled that in the country. I had a hard time concentrating. She used to like to pull my book off on the floor right when our teacher would say "Begin", on our timed typing tests. I loved it. She knew I existed.
Once while scrambling to get my book back up off the floor and continue my timed test, I untied her shoe that was right by book she had toppled. I thought it was a clever thing to do. My teacher never saw her pull the book off. The first I heard was a shouting teacher. "CLIFF, DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT WILL HELP YOUR GRADE"!
I was cool, I didn't say a word. Or type many for that matter. Man that girl was cute.
This blog is about that teacher. She kept harping on us to be proficient with all of our fingers, even the little fingers, and all of the keys. And why? We had to know, and know well, the location of z and q and jj and i and w and x all of those letters you would never use. She said it was to prepare us for the future.
My question is: How did she know that someday computers, and the Internet, and blogging and then word verification would all be invented and I would, at the age of fifty five, be able to use the z and x keys.
Well at least I don't get a big red check mark for overstiking a mistake. (man she hated that) I now have a backspace key.

Friday, December 09, 2005

A View From Our Lane

Marilyn and I were half way up our lane, and it was almost dark, when I took this picture last night. My Canon corrected for available light.
We are almost giddy here in the Tekamah area. The forcasted highs for the next seven days are all in the thirties. That my friends, is above the freezing mark. A bikini watch has been posted. We've put away the Christmas (er,,I mean Holiday) catalogs and are thumbing thru the garden catalogs. Is it too early to put in peas?

Thursday, December 08, 2005


MIKES blog and then follow his link to Sandys blog. They get it. These blogs help explain my unequivocal, and total disdain for a little under half of the politicians in this country.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

At the risk of having you miss Char's picture below, (where she's holding Ralph on the ground at gun point) I must call your attention to John's Blog about, (I will say right here I've never put these two words together before) Underwear Rotation. Go look and come back to see Char's write up.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Go Ahead, Make My Day!

This lovely lady is Char of Char and Ralph fame. Being a former D.I. in the Air Force, she always has an aire of quiet confidence. However, I've never seen her any more confident than the day this pic was taken, out on our farm, where she had just put a Lincoln Nebraska phone book to death with a 40 cal glock. A woman with a pistol never has a bad hair day. Really Char, it's never looked better.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I'm So Old That I Remember..

trying to round the gas pump up to the next dime. Last night, after the pump clicked off, I rounded it $2.70 up to the nearest $5.
I remember when the 'gallon' wheel went faster than the dollar wheel on the pump.
When I was on my way across the state to college back in 70 & 71, I'd usually stop in Kearney, NE for gas. They always had a gas war going by I-80. Usually sold for 30 to 35 cents/gallon. Besides that, I was cool back then.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

And The Winner For Song of the Year Is...

I've never met Terah and John from Kansas. I will next month. The connection is that John used to work with Marty Morrow. If you've been reading about the Morrow get togethers, You may smile when you click on TERAH'S BLOG. She is a social worker turned talented song writer. The picture below of the four bloggers, apparently has left someone feeling,,, well, left out. Sorry Terah, we shall attempt to remedy the situation. Also Terah,,, Thanks!

Making Jerky

This pic of Marilyn, Julie my daughter in-law, Cliff and Ralph and Char, was the beginning of some questions Ralph has in his humorous, and latest post. It's a must read. We were finishing up making 12# of beef jerky. Okay, we started with 12#. We finished with much less.
Also, two pics of my grandaughter are on Dan's blog.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A View From the Porch

Taken last nite at about 6:00. Like some practical joke, it's not funny. I have four locations to use my snowblower on, so every time I awoke in the night, my mind was busy, what to wear, will it start, how shall I load it in the pick-up, will Marilyn run it for me. She is a year younger than I. UPDATE: I just asked Marilyn if she'll run the snowblower. Apparently I'll be running it. Something about "life as I know it".
And God said to the farmer. "Thou raisest no livestock, and have so little to do in the winter, I shall send cold and snow to keep you uncomfortable while you and the ground are at rest AND to give you something to do". And the farmer replied, "Thanks, thanks alot". Cliff chapter 4:v.1

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Morrow Bloggers!

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, we invited about thirty relatives to the farm. We had a lot of children here. I guess all of us were children that day. It was grand. We made a bon fire to sit around and work on. It's amazing how many men it takes to keep an open fire burning correctly. Some of us watched Nebraska unexpectedly beat Colorado on TV. I asked one of the children late in the day what he had done. He said he rode a horse, shot a bow and arrow, shot a shotgun at blue rock, shot a pistol at a Lincoln NE telephone book, ate 2 hotdogs and 3 s'mores. He was worn out and I'm guessing the smile is still on his face. If I had known they were having that kind of fun outside, I should have stayed out there.
The picture, you ask? Well it took about 40 hotdogs and so we loaded the contraption in the picture up with 20 dogs twice and then we all stood and gave cooking tips to the one who was doing the actual holding of the dogs.
The picture is of "The Kill". The men you will recognize as having links on my blog. On the left is Dan. (my son) Next is Marty. Marty is my nephew and Blog Father. Marty started all of this cursed blogging in the Morrow Clan. Next is me, Cliff. The good looking one on the right, Ralph, is not actually a blood Morrow but was recently adopted by the family for being a friend to humanity, and darned handy to have around. That's the story we've told him anyway. Really we wanted his lovely wife in the family and thought about how embarrassing this would end up being if we didn't include him.
So this is a special edition of blogs. Please drop by the others and see if their version of the same picture is better than mine.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Last Friday

I've always lived here on the farm. Part of my years were spent up the lane at the smaller house and the rest here at the home place.
When Mom and Dad invited everyone here for Thanksgiving and other holidays, my siblings and their children would come. At least the ones who could make it. The group usually ended up at about 40 people.
A niece and nephew, who used to come and spend the day on the farm back in those days, are no longer with us.
Both have been killed in car wrecks. The passing of my niece was oh so sad in that she was home on Christmas break from her first year at college. She didn't get to experience what those of us who have grown old, have gotten to taste of. She would have made a great Citizen, Wife, and Mother and Grandmother and the list is endless.
The other, who is no longer with us is Marty's brother Steve. Most of you know how recent that was.
We met at Marty's parents in town on Thursday and came out to the farm on Friday. It seemed surreal. The activities were the same as the old days but the kids from way back when,, brought their own kids. Steve's kids were here along with their Mother.
Marty's family and his Sister and family were here. Our good friends from Colorado were here.
I guess there is no organized group of thoughts here. Just some points. My parents, aunts, uncles, a niece, a nephew, all exited this world, and yet we go on. We must.
Can we be Thankful! YES. Even though Steve couldn't be here on the farm, he sent a couple of replacements. The next generation. Excellent young adults who have been so positively influenced by Mom and Dad, that I have no doubt as to their successful outcome. Steve was so young to have made such a huge mark on life. His accomplishments were far reaching and so very worthy of note. His greatest achievement however, came to the farm Friday along with their Mother. I look at my children and all of my nieces and nephews, and their children, and the farmer in me can say without reservation, "it looks like a bumper crop on the way".
I gain a great deal of pleasure and sense of calm knowing things will continue 'on course' well into the future, with or without me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Light In The Kitchen Is On
By Cliff Morrow

As children we'd rise, when first we were called,
Our life back then wasn't charmed.
We'd stretch, and scratch our way down the stairs
Time for chores out here on the farm.

We'd turn to the left, and then down the hall,
To the bathroom, relief met us there.
Then a bend at the waist, and a splash on the face
As our reflection came up, we just stared.

Then it was back down the hall, we squinted a bit
The smells were both subtle and bold.
The bacon sizzled, the coffee perked
"Hurry up or the eggs'll get cold".

I often think back, on Novembers of yore
Filled with the good smells at dawn.
That drew us down stairs in anticipation
To where the light in the kitchen was on.

Soon after school, on cold winter nights,
We'd head to the barn to do chores.
To 'pail' the cow, and feed the sows,
We were frozen right down to the core.

Inside it was warm, where a pie had been born,
And Mom pounded steaks so tender.
And diced potatoes to swim with some peas,
Oh the smells that woman could render.

We'd leave the barn, milk pails in hand,
The warmth and our daylight were gone.
To the welcome sound of silverware spread,
For the light in the kitchen was on.

I now live in that house, it's been fifty plus years,
Since I first had occasion sit,
And dine on the food that was second to none,
It wasn't fancy, with candles lit.

Mom just knew how to cook, and make folks feel welcome,
It's an art that's been lost by most..
Sometimes without warning, visitors would come,
"Have you eaten"? She'd ask as their host.

We've since raised our family on that same fertile farm,
They too have been heirs to good food.
We've gathered together around table spread,
With love, that's well understood.

The kids have moved on and so has life,
And the chilly winds still blow at dawn.
But I smile to myself, when I look at the house,
And the light in the kitchen is on.

I wrote this a while back and have been saving it for Thanksgiving. We are thankful for many things and hope you are as well. Have a Blessed day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I love the internet. I just got my email this morning. In just three emails, I got very exciting news.
One, I can buy a cream that will eliminate wrinkles and sags. I keep my wrinkles 'filled out' but I sure do have sags. Only $35 for a month supply.
Two, I can get another credit card. Man, finally, someone offering a low interest credit card.
Three, is some kind of pill that will grow body parts by two inches in a month.... I have been thinking of getting bigger ears. But, what if there's some kind of trouble and the wrong thing gets longer by mistake. That's exactly what I was thinking, my nose is already too big.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Holiday Gone Bad

I'm inviting the bloggers who read here, to give us your best, Holiday Gone Bad story. Here's my first.
About ten years ago we invited relatives to Thanksgiving dinner here on the farm. We probably had twenty invited. My bride was going to be in Denver with her family and so I was going to entertain 20 people and run the kennel.
The plan was to smoke one fifteen pound turkey and bake one.
I was up and at it early. I needed to put the two turkeys on and get to the kennel to do about 45 minutes worth of chores and get back to watch the turkeys and work in the kitchen. What a great day. I love Thanksgiving.
I was set with the smoker. Water, chips, rack, turkey, put the lid on and plugged it in. (it's electric)
It kinda sounded like someone was welding underneath the bird. The heating element burned in two. Butterball, we have a problem. What to do?? I'll put it on the grill. Good thinking. I used a lot of coals. No time to mess around outside with all that company. Okay, coals on one side of the Weber, turkey on the other. The recommended 'indirect heat' method. (The pamphlet comes with every grill)
I went to the house and slid one turkey in an oven bag, and put it in the oven.
I went to the kennel. Did 45 minutes worth of chores in, oh, about an hour and ten minutes and raced back home to make sure the coals hadn't gone out. They hadn't.
Note:Cut back on the coals, or air, or something.
The turkey was done. One hour and fifteen minutes. It had diminished in size a bit. Okay, at least the bones hadn't fallen thru the rack.
Note: a fifteen pound turkey will yield approximately six pounds of jerky when cooked in this fashion.
Now how to keep it warm for three hours while waiting for dinner. Note: if I open a restaurant, as I've always wanted to, I need to work on timing.I took the jerky to the house, where the relatives are starting to get up. I try to act like I'm in control. The next 3 hours are spent putting my finger in various dikes that had sprung leaks. Finally dinner time was near and the turkey in the oven in that new fangled oven bag surely must be done. It was. As a matter of fact, it had apparently gotten done about the same time as the one outside, three hours ago. I slit the bag open to discover what looked like an archeological find. My proud robust turkey was done. So were the bones. It stood at least 3 inches tall in the pan.
Note: When Marilyn's going to be gone over a holiday, practice the following line, "I'd love to come over, can I bring anything"?
This is why men always cook the meat. We can't handle the other forty things our wives usually do and cook the meat.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Yes Deer

About 2 years ago, we had to cut down the last 10 cottonwoods, (circa 1917) that surrounded our house, . We've spent a lot of time and money and water on their replacements this summer. It's been a record long, hot, dry summer. The trees made it thru the summer, lost their leaves, and have wet soil to sit in going into winter. Success, UNTIL whitetail breeding season. Two nights ago, a buck apparently came to visit our yard. The fifty acres of trees and forty acres of wetlands, on our farm, isn't BIG enough for him. He comes to our yard and rubs the bark from one of our young red maples. From the bottom up about four feet, bare, on a six foot tree. He was marking his territory. He doesn't know it's already mine. The tree will die. So hopefull will the deer.
The deer take the first thirty feet of our fields, fine. They get hit by our cars because they stand there like deer in the headlights. (sorry) They eat big holes in fields and then lay down to make a mini-crop circle. But this is war.
I have eaten venison. It is okay but I'd rather have some sort of beef. For this reason i've always said I don't hunt deer, because I was always afraid I might get one. These 'timber rats', as I call them, are very destructive. They all have twins and many have triplets.
All of this brings me to the joke of the day. What do you call a deer with no eyes??
Answer: No eye dear.
My favorite sound, a knock at the door. "Mr Morrow, would it be okay to hunt deer on your place"? "Yes, but I have a new policy, shoot two and pick one". Oh lighten up folks. I'm just trying to cut my herd to about two hundred.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Veterans Day

Friday evening there was a Veterans Day program in our little town. About four to five hundred people filled our auditorium. The reason they all came, was to witness a production of Bob Brodersons Diary. Bob is a highly regarded local farmer, who by the way, has had to reside in a 'care home' for the past couple of years, and who had piloted 37 missions over enemy territory in World War II. The Brodersons, (pronounced as broaderson)are an old Burt County family and you'll not find their enemies here. There aren't any that I know of.
The show consisted of period songs sung by a quartet, mixed with readings from the diary he kept during the war. An actor played his part. They carried on five or six large black and white photos of him from the combat zone, during the show.
When he went over, he was promised that all he had to do was fly twenty five missions, and he could go home. When he was more that half way to that number, they extended the number to thirty. At about the twenty five mark they extended the missions to thirty three. When he got over thirty missions flown, his commanding officer 'asked' him if he would fly four more missions out of Russia. "No hard feelings if you won't". Part of his crew were to finish with him, and part needed the flights out of Russia to finish. His crew begged him to fly with them so they could all get done together. They had no desire to fly with someone else. So he did. They finished.
There is no bravado in the diaries. There is none in Bob's life. He is plain spoken, quiet, and if you'd ever talked with him you'd get the idea he hadn't done anything in particular worthy of note in his life except to raise a fine family and become a good farmer. In my book, both worthy of note in these times.
The diary just told of the struggle of keeping a B-17 bomber in the air that was continually being shot at and hit. It told of the planes from his squadron they lost nearly everytime they went out. Of constantly being under attack as they flew. Of one of his buddies who began as the pilot but had a sort of mental melt down and couldn't take-off or land the plane anymore.
Of he and his buddies who had a job to do and just did it. Of the first plane they lost. "She was a good ship" Bob said. Of some humorous things that happened like the night he and buddy won a lot of money playing poker and bought a horse and buggy to take back to the base. These same two dated a couple of local gals from near the base in England. Only to find out they were dating a mother-daughter combo.
We laughed with him as he tried to divert his mind while off duty, we struggled with him to endure all of those missions he detailed so eloquently, and we cheered and cried for joy when the plane crossed the channel into English territory after the thirty seventh mission. He described the jubilation in the plane as they shook up a bottle of beer and sprayed it around. He wrote that it was the end of what he knew would be a part of his life he would never forget.
In the end he simply wanted to come home to Burt County and farm. He did.
A lot of his friends never made it back to America alive.
The frail little man was there in a wheelchair. I'm not sure he knew why he was there, but we did. He represents the men from Burt County, from Nebraska, and our Nation,who went to battle, in this war and others. Without these plain spoken heros, America doesn't survive. Thanks to you Bob, and to all the others. We too must never forget that part of Bob's life.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sweeps Week

A combination of Rachel feeding birds in 'Just Call Me a Knothead', and Paul asking us to rerun some of our favorites, has started me down this road. I'm going to rerun one of my favorites from last January in an attempt to get in the running with Paul AND maybe get you to look back thru the archives at what was shakin before you met me. From last January, here's Birdseed.
Ralph's latest blog about "it wasn't funny at the time" got me to thinking about an incident that happened in our home when my youngest son was still attending high school. Like now, we had bitterly cold temps and the ground was covered with snow.
It was supper time (dinner time to you city slickers), I was in my Lazy Boy reading the paper when my wife walks in, half frozen, but gleefully holding a large, empty birdseed sack. She dangled it a while and I said "what". She said,"I felt so sorry for the poor birds that I bought this big bag of birdseed and all the way from the highway to our house, (some 7 miles), I kept throwing out a handful at a time, all the way to here. Ten pounds, gone". I thought that it sounded like a noble and generous thing to do for these little creatures. Not something I would do, because I think that as a farmer, I already scatter corn and bean millings and weed seed over a thousand acres. I not only support the birds but about 250 head of deer. Her effort was never the less, noble.
Thirty minutes later, my son drove in from basketball practice. He burst through the door, slammed it and half yelled, "Stupid Birds"! I lowered my paper and said "What"?
He said, "they wouldn't move tonight, they always move when a car comes along, it's like they all decided to die today". "I must have hit 10 of them"!
I said, "go find your Mom, I think she's in the basement, she'll want to hear this story". He went down, and then they both came up and entered the living room and stared at me like this was somehow my fault. I lowered my paper and said "what"?
Today, you will find the birdseed in two large feeders, in our yard. It wasn't funny at the time, but, well... yeah, it was funny at the time, that's why they both came up to stare at me. I was laughing. Okay, I'm a sick person.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

New Driver. Story Below!

Dragon Slayer

My Grandson above, is as big hearted as they come. You couldn't make him say anything bad, about anyone else. He overheard Grandma once, who was looking in a mirror at the time, say she "looked auwful". He immediately jumped up and got in her face to scold her. "Grandma you are pretty, don't say that".
He's a big kid. He's a first grader who looks like one of the fourth graders. That will get you picked on at school because you look big and tough but your mind is still only 7 years old. Eye-hand coordination is just now starting to take off. I'm his male influence here on the farm and we've been working on trying to ride a bike. All of his classmates have been for a year now. We've had a lot of obstacles to overcome. The threat of stitches, if you fall over, being one of the leading ones. And of course whether or not stitches really hurt when they're put in.
We had maybe ten sessions. It started out hopeless. But after about a month of alternately trying and then letting it rest a few days,, SUCCESS!!! All he needed to do now was practice.
I was working on a tractor last evening. It was just about dark but I looked up to see him over by the barn riding this way for a bit, and that way for a bit. He was getting good.
He'd gotten off the bus last night in a bad mood because of what an older kid had said to him. But after doing something he'd never been able to do before, ride his bike, he was on cloud nine. I took him home for dinner. He jumped in the car. Clicked his belt without being told and asked, "Where we goin Granpa?" "Your Mom wants you home for dinner now". Big smile now "Yeah, pizza, I can't wait to tell Mom about riding my bike". He continued, "I like your daughter,,,she's my Mom."
He jumped out and started to the house skipping. I'd never seen him do that. It's hard to break into a big smile and still have tears running down your face.
Yesterday I had chaired a county meeting that was packed with concerned and some agitated citizens. It was the end of a lengthy process we had started to change our zoning and increase economic developement. The meeting had me worried for weeks and it turned out the way we had hoped. Possibly the most important thing to take place in my first four years as a supervisor. A major milestone. But however important that meeting and the events leading up to it were, they pale in comparison to seeing my Grandson on his bike. He slayed a lot dragons that day the bike finally stayed up.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Day is Done

The Nebraska plains. Weeds and dust rejoice in this 'sailors delight'. OR it so dang dry the earth itself may be on fire. (It's really hard for me to wax poetic for more than a line.)

Blogger of the Week

This is my new weekly, and possibly never to be seen again, Blogger of the Week feature. This week RACHEL has been nominated, seconded, and after a bit of discussion, has been elected. She is faily new to the blogging world (or at least this blog is) and meets my standards of a good blogger. She pays attention and isn't just diving around for readers. You can bet I look forward to her comments and she is interesting to read. She follows the discussion from blog to blog and is very clever. The best part is where she lives, it's a lovely area near a lake, I know that, not because I've been there but because I read her blog. You'll be missing one of life's pleasures if you don't start reading Rachel. Good job girl.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


For those of you faithful readers who got so worried about my wife Marilyn when that young lady came for a sales call, I have a message. Really an analogy.
Marilyn didn't mind me meeting with this sweet young thing for the same reason she would let me stop at a Ferrari dealer in Kansas City. Even though I couldn't afford one payment and I certainly would never fit behind the wheel, she'd pat me on the head and say "you go look at your cute little car, I'll just wait here in this Dodge Caravan until you're ready to go home".

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Someone's Gotta Do It

Yesterday, I was discing and also helping my brother who was cleaning and winterizing my combine. I had told him that Cargill was sending a 'grain merchandizer' out to go over some of my old contracts and sign me up with some new ones. I said "It's just something I have to do every year".
I hung around helping Ed because the meeting was here on the farm at 9:30.
The meeting happened and went well. We talked about the future movement in the basis, the corn futures, and a lot of subjects I don't understand completely. I listened but it was hard to concentrate. This merchant has a wealth of information and easily swamps my brain when the talk turns technical.
Did I mention it was hard to concentrate. Did I mention the grain merchant was a young lady. Did I mention she looks like Kelly Ripa of Regis and Kelly fame. Did I mention she could be Kellys 'better looking' little sister.
I think I retained some of what she said.
We stood in front of her SUV with papers spread over the hood. After she left I heard my brother waggle his head and mumble "just somthing I have to do every year".

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A Pane

I've posted a picture or two of myself. Most of you know I'm,, well, "fully developed" as a suit salesman tactfully once said. So tell me why, the one fly in the house, can't see me. It's as though I were a pane of glass. Invisible.
The only light in the house, is on, here in the office. It's past my bedtime. I'm ready to write something witty, and bam. Attack of the housefly. He's trying to fly through me. He hits me in the cheek, nose, ear, forehead, gets behind the lens on my glasses, then tries my lips. I swat, regain my train of thought, then round two. Last night I got so angry I started trying to swat him in mid air. I think I tore a rotator cuff AND knocked my glasses off and they hit the fax machine before they hit the floor. I've seen flies act this way in a window. WARNING TO FLIES AND MICE. Build your own %#@%& house to get into in the fall.
Any guesses on why our wire handled fly swatters have bent handles? I suppose picking on a fly makes me a bully. But while I may still have the strength, I'm going to continue trying to drive them thru tables and chairs. I've never done it yet. But I'll keep trying. If flies could communicate, they'd say the same thing my kids used to tell their friends. "Just don't make him mad".

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Hey Grandma, get your face down here real close

The Kids in Kansas

I have some young friends that I haven't had occasion to meet yet. I will meet them someday, I am confident. My nephew Marty got me started reading them. They are John and Terah Goerzen from Kansas. Marty and John worked together at one time. Terah blogs about many and varied topics. She's a social worker, and her husband John is a geek. At least by Terah's standards. I can't tell you what John does for a living. Not because it's Top Secret, but because farmers can't explain this kind of stuff. He works with computers and programming. Go take the GEEK TEST on Johns site. I scored 2.something.
John probably isn't a geek as I think of them. He is able to talk down on my level. Some of John's blogs go right over my head however. When I say right over my head I mean I never even saw it, it was going so fast. John is famous in the computer world. (google John Goerzen)
My point here is John gets lots of readers on his blog because of his expertise. He has a 'reads' meter on each blog and when he writes stuff I can understand it may only hit 100 reads, most of his tech stuff gets hundreds and one I saw got up over 5000 reads just on one blog. Check them out. You'll enjoy.

Monday, October 31, 2005

You Know You May Have...

a redneck family when you ask, "anyone have a knife?", and both your wife and daughter pull out pocket knives.
And to top it off, today I asked Marilyn if this was her Swiss Army Knife and she said "Well, it's what I've been carrying but I've lost that slender silver one I had, I loved that knife".
All this in a voice that used to be reserved for me when I'd been gone to a meeting over night. I'm glad there's still some'passion' left in her life.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Visitor From The East!

This summer, fellow blogger Jerry (on left) stopped for a visit and to meet us. We had lunch and did a lot of visiting. It's strange how growing up on a farm seems to put one in a fraternity of sorts. Here, I'm passing the time honored, ceremonial 'cornknife' to our visitor from the east. It signifies interstate friendship between farmers.... Okay,, we made the cornknife thing up, but it sounded good at the time. Thanks for the visit Jerry.
If you haven't been reading Jerry, give it a try. He does a wide variety of topics. Good Stuff!!

Friday, October 28, 2005


Sunday was a beautiful, brisk, fall day here in Nebraska. One of those days that keeps us from moving away. We had visitors from Lincoln that turned it into an even better day. (Story continues Below)

This was a great day for ol Dad. The boys came home from the city to help harvest. It's turned into kind of an annual event that helps them to clear their minds and I just kind of help and smile and try to let this day burn, permanently into my memory. One of those things you don't ever want to forget. In this pic, Dan is holding the camera and got a shot of himself, his brother Tom and Dad. It was kind of chilly that day. As you can tell.

Tom on the left running the combine and Dan on the right pulling the grain cart. Man, I love this. It's like old times. No instructions needed. They just jump on and go.

The bin is full as well as the semi. Time to quit. Here the jubilant, victorious team smiles for the camera. We have been to battle and won.

And then I had a great idea. "Lets make a "farmer" calendar and get rich, who's first?" Dan went first and no one would follow. He wanted to be Mr October. We need eleven more farmers or he'll have to be Mr Jan thru Dec. Day is done.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Smart Chicken for Sunday Dinner!

Doesn't this beg a question.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Pastoral Setting

One of my favorite places on the farm. I sometimes stop my pick-up here and... (as my Dad used to say), "sometimes I like to just sit and think,,,but most times I just sit".

Monday, October 24, 2005

View's From The Combine

A view thru a dusty window. No the windshield wiper isn't broken. It's designed that way.

Looking from the combine toward the bin. My brother has taken the grain cart (orange wagon) over to the bin to unload it into the auger.

My oldest brother is driving the grain cart beside the combine. We unload the combine "on the go", so as to speed harvest. My brother is retired and has moved back to Tekamah. It's been a smooth harvest. At times I've had three brothers woking with me at the same time.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I took this photo at the party yesterday. This may explain why our Tom doesn't make it home to the farm much anymore.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

I've Always Wished...

that I had a house and yard to take care of. Just a house and yard. I could be so very organized. I'd love to walk out of my house and see little projects to do. Like mowing. Trimming. Gardening. Get the mail. Paint a room.
I'd do a project and then run up to the club and play 9 holes before 9:00 A.M. Get back home and mow the lawn by noon.
The reason I bring this up is because I'm going to do something today, mid October, harvest time, that my Dad would never have done. All of my machinery is sitting idle today while we go to Lincoln to a customer appreciation party. Our boys and my daughter in-law are inviting all of their customers and friends to what has become an annual event. This will be the 2nd annual Morrow Collision Center's Customer Apprecitation Party. Nebraska game on the wall, food and drinks including Cliff's smoked salmon. Ya'll come.
Last year we helped by cooking 50 pounds of meat and then making sandwiches as we carved off thin slices. The food was great but what I enjoyed was talking to the people. I'd ask, "are you customers or friends of my boys"? The answer was always the same. "Both". That told me the kids know some stuff about running a business, if their customers feel that way.
The point,,, although I've got a lawn that needs mowed, a house that I need to help clean, I also need to finish picking 40 acres of corn, run a stalk cutter over 500 acres of corn stalks, rip the rest of the bean ground, disc the 500 acres of cornstalk ground, pay bills, deposit some checks, clean two large farm buildings, paint the garage, build two large horse pens, .....
On second thought, my Dad would have done this. He liked to say, "Well, if this is the last day we have to do this,,, I guess it doesn't need to be done".
Work can wait. Party time.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


They've begun adding Great Americans to Mt Rushmore. Now known as Mt Ralphmore.
Ralph is as close as I get to knowing a VIP.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tonights Episode: What's That Smell

Screen Play by Cliff

Marilyn= M

Door bursts open. Grandma enters with gleeful four year old. (should be dressed in pink and all smiles)
girl-Hi Gampa
C-Hi (from office-he is anxiously awaiting loving greeting from wife)
M- What stinks in here.
C-I don't know.
girl-Gampa, can I have a piece of paper to paint on?
C-Sure, here ya go.
M-(exits out door and re-enters a short time later) What stinks in here.
C-(thinking he should now defend himself because of the accusatory tone of the last statement) Well it's NOT me. i don't think ( his voice trails off)
M-(Puts groceries away and speaks) Something really stinks in here!
C-(almost a shout)WELL IT'S NOT ME!
C-Maybe it's the broccoli we had for lunch, where's the pan you cooked it in?
M-It's not the broccoli we had for lunch. That's gone. Something really stinks.
A short time later.
M-Found it.
C-What was it, the broccoli?
M-Yeah, from three days ago, it was still in the microwave.
C-At least it wasn't me.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Farmer Speak

I've been hauling corn out of the field to the local grain elevator. We get out of our trucks while we're waiting and talk to other farmers. It was pointed out to me today, that a farmer I've know all my life uses the word roont. I shall use in a sentence for you.
"My kids borrowed my chainsaw and when I got it back it wouldn't work. It was roont."
Roont': render useless. 2. to make something of value into something of no value. 3.insolvent. 4.broken. derivitive from 'upity speech' meaning ruined.
Just so's ya know.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thanks To All

I'm back from my meetings and convention, and expect my rear to assume it's original shape soon. After all that has happened in the past week, I'd like to occupy my recliner and stare at the wall for the rest of the day but the combine is running and I feel like the tractor's in 'road gear' and someone has pushed me off the hayrack. I'd better hit the ground running or I'll be in trouble.
One thought from the convention. I heard an extra Beatitude a few years back that would apply.....Blessed is he who has nothing to say, and doesn't say it.
Thanks so much for all of your thoughts and prayers, the Morrow's truly appreciate all that was said. You folks are the best.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Life Goes On

My brother and I were going thru the motions of picking corn yesterday. I kept looking at my watch and thinking about what the rest of my family was doing down in Florida right now. They were all gathering for my nephew Steve's funeral. Then finally, I looked at my watch for the last time, 6:00. 7:00 Florida time. It must be over. They are all back at Steve's and beginning to say painful good bye's. We kept picking until past dark. I started to feel some relief for the end of the 'formal' activities down there. Now time for reflection, laughing, crying, pain and on and on.
When we came in from the field I heard "Dan called". We've been keeping their baby so they could attend the funeral. Marilyn relayed to me that there were over 700 people at the funeral. That doesn't surprise me. They are so very active and highly thought of in their church, community, and the business community.
Dan said Steve's high school aged daughter stood up front and spoke for ten minutes about her father. Never a crack in her voice, complete poise, conveying her thoughts and memories concisely. That doesn't surprise me, it's the way she was raised.
I won't worry about the two kids. Feel sorry for them for losing a great father much to soon, yes. But I won't worry about them. They have a very strong parent left and the foundation for a successful life has already been laid. I don't believe it will crumble or cave. The kids come from good stock on both sides. They will be fine. But I'm still sorry for the thought process they still have to go through.
My point,,, read Dan's blog about family and take it to heart. Dan is still in his twenties but has a good grasp on what life is all about.
I'll head to my County Board meeting now, and then on to the state convention. Dan's will be back to get their precious child this morning. I must try to get my brain home from Florida and engaged in my own life. I know that's impossible but I will try to concentrate when I must. In times like these, I like to say I've slipped into neutral. Well I've put it back in low and will start the climb.
Life goes on.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I'd had the most aggravating of all rounds of golf. It was our family reunion, a few years ago, and I abruptly announced that I was going to the driving range. "Cliff, mind if I go with you?" "That's fine", I said to my nephew. He was only seven years my junior, and an incredibly good golfer. We went to the range and in the first five minutes we were there, changed the way I golf forever. He took 8 strokes off of my game that have stayed off since that day. Funny thing is I kind of forced him into helping me. I'm sure he didn't think it was his place to give advice to an uncle. You see he is a very humble, very successful, very likeable man. Best of all a great father. He, along with his siblings, and for that matter, all of his cousins are good solid people with great senses of humor. He and his family have helped many less fortunate in his church and community . I know this, but not from anyone in his family. They've been taught to just do it and keep quiet. His company and his employees have spent many days working to help the poor recover from hurricanes. Any parent would be proud to call him 'son'. He is Marty's older brother.
He was killed in a one car wreck thursday night. He leaves a lovely family, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless personal friends, feeling a deep personal loss.
I hesitated to blog this. I know Marty will have such a hard time, and will be absent for a time from his blog. But I wanted everyone to know that I thought the world of his brother. I'll talk of him often. His whole family will. That's the way the Morrow's do it. Storytelling in our family, always includes the living and those gone before. I guess it's a good way of letting people know we haven't forgotten. We won't forget. Even if you've left us, you're still going to make a difference.
I've had some trouble making sense of all of this. Until last night. The seven year old grandson who lives here on this same farm said, "God just needed another good angel".
I'm going with that.
Farewell Nephew. See you on the other side. I'll bring my clubs.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Reason Dogs Are Friendly!

"I've never told you this", my brother related, "but I think you might have a cancer sniffing dog". "You know, there really are dogs that can smell if there's something wrong with you". I nodded. Ed has survived a bout with the Big C
He said "last year, before I got sick, I would come out here, early in the morning, and service the combine". "If I laid down underneath of the machine, the dog would always get right in my face". "She'd never done that before, it was like she was trying to smell my breath and it bothered her". "I wonder if she knew I had cancer?"
We faced each other for a moment and Ed searched my face to see if I was agreeing with the possibility of a 'gifted' dog.
I thought for a moment and then the analytical part of my mind took over. I said "well, she also likes to carry dead skunks around".
"Remind me not to bring stuff like that up to you again....." his voice trailed off.
"Where'd you put the grease gun?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Mother In-law

Some people think I pick on my Mother In-law. I'm not. I'm always trying to catch up. I've been on the road with a truck and called her to look up a phone number for me. She said "well this number is so easy,,,even you can remember it".
We were returning from a family get together about two hours from home. At the half hour mark, I pulled into a McDonalds Drive Thru to get Iced Tea. From the backseat she said, "I wouldn't think you'd be hungry after the load you took on back at the dinner".
Last spring my bride took her mother to Ash Falls. They are unearthing many skeletons of pre-historic animals. I said "so, you went to Ash Falls"... before I could finish she said "no, they didn't try to keep me for a display, wiseguy".
I stood up to speak at her 80th birthday celebration, a couple of years ago, and said, "We went out to Denver and moved my Mother In-Law out here to be with us, in the same town". "That was ten years ago, and 95% of the time since then,,, it's been a good idea".
I was chastised for being mean. I don't think so.
Yesterday, Marilyn took her Mom out for a birthday fling. A casual conversation yielded this touching admission from a Mother to her Daughter..."You guys have done such a nice job with raising your family. I'm really proud of you....... I even like Cliff".
Your honor, the defense rests.



Sunday, October 02, 2005

This view from the porch was taken by Marilyn as I headed up the lane with the combine. I'd been down to the shop to fix a breakdown. You'll notice the corn has turned brown but the trees in the background are still green.

Friday, September 30, 2005


That Time of Year

It's darn near cold at night here in Nebraska.
It stays cool much of the day.
The Grandkids have been here.

Flies for sale! You vacuum.

It is good for the soul if you try to drive them thru the kitchen table with the fly swatter. I have no trouble bringing myself to kill flies, I enjoy it. I like to hit them hard. REALLY HARD. Some farmers carry a pair of pliers. I carry a fly swatter.
Warning to all flies. I'm going to bed now. I have a gun. A twelve gauge. Leave me alone. Good Night.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Story Below!! A small part of Tekamah Volunteer Fire Departments equipment, Here they are in Fourth of July Parade mode.


We are tinder dry here in eastern Nebraska. When harvesting in these conditions, one must be careful of fire. One small spark can do a lot of damage. Yesterday, either my tractor or combine set a fire in some bean stubble (already harvested soybeans). The fire quickly spread to the unharvested crop in the field. About 3 to 5 acres of beans were destroyed. Part of our hail insurance, also covers loss from fire. The covered financial loss isn't what this story is about.
The wind was very high, and it kept the smoke low to the ground. So, soon after it started, it was simply amazing how that many of my good neighbors, could have seen the smoke and responded that quickly. A couple of them plus my wife called 911. Within 10 minutes, 4 'attack' fire trucks arrived and went to work. These trucks are designed to drive thru open fields and dispense water from water cannon's mounted on the back. Also arriving were tank trucks to help feed water to the smaller, more mobile trucks.
One of my neighbors 'borrowed' a tractor and disc from a close neighbor and tilled a path around the fire to cut it short. The tractor manuever and the firemen, knocked the fire down in a few minutes. As I watch this volunteer fire department work, it was as if they had rehearsed the procedure to fit my field. They are well trained, well equipped, and keep the fire insurance rates for this rural community, as low as they can be. The neighbors and the fire department kept the fire from jumping my lane and into an adjacent corn field, they knew, that would be the beginning of a fire that could involve a lot of land owners and several thousand acres.
There was a potential for a disaster, that was stopped at maybe a $500 loss. Tekamah is so very fortunate to have the Tekamah Volunteer Fire and Rescue. They have several EMT's among their ranks and their response to accidents and health problems is just as impressive. If we ever have a local disaster, these will be the men whom we can, and will count on. They won't quit or leave their post until it's over.
Thanks men!
I am also blessed with the best neighbors in the country. They came and did what they could, and just as fast, left to continue their own harvest before I could thank most of them.
Thanks men!
To top this all off, my insurance agent called me today. She said "Cliff I understand you had a fire. I've turned in your claim". "The adjuster will be out tomorrow". You gotta love small towns.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Great Day On The Farm

Tom and Dan set another irrigation pipe in the pile. Their Uncle Fran is assisting. Story below!

Home Grown Help

The irrigation pipe was still laying in the field. With corn harvest drawing near, that was a problem. It took me several days, (with the help of a couple of high school boys) to lay it out. My two son's from the city, showed up this morning announcing they'd come to help pick-up pipe. In three hours and fifteen minutes we were done. I'd forgotten how good these two were. They could lay it out in the field just as fast. AND the job would be done right. It was kind of like being on a high school baseball team and having a couple of professionals come and play a game for you. Boys, as far as I'm concerned, you're the best there is.... well at irrigation pipe hauling and a lot of other things. Home grown help is definitely the best. I love you Dan and Tom. THANKS!

Friday, September 23, 2005

One of my favorite pics of my bride, taken a few years back. Thirty four years of wedded bliss,,,Story below.

Tennis Shoes and Wives

I always feel a bit melancholy this time of year. Nature starts her retreat for winter. And fall, the season I love most, will too quickly run from the chilly north winds. It's the busiest time of year for Marilyn and I. Then to top things off, we got married September 26th. Thirty four years ago monday.
We never seem to be able to do the things we'd like to do to celebrate. We'd love to travel this time of year but it's just not to be. Sometimes we go out to supper on the next 'rainy' day after our anniversary.
I've been giving a lot of thought to our marraige and the resulting family that followed. It's been a great time and I wouldn't change a thing.
I bring this all up because last Wednesday night we had choir practice and went out to eat and then home to bed.
I had taken a shower before going into town. Clean clothes, top to bottom. It was an air conditioned church. I never came close to breaking a sweat.
The incident I'm about to relate to you, has never happened before. The subject has never even come up.
First, I don't have smelly feet. Never have. But, my bride of thirty four years and my tennis shoes, both turned on me at the same moment.
Marilyn had made her nest in bed and left the little light on, beside the bed, so I could find my way. I sat down, took off one shoe, and thought 'is that my feet that stink'? I took off both shoes and both socks and started to get in bed thinking, 'Man I gotta do something about that'. And then it happened.
Half alarmed, ol Precious Moments says "Whats that smell". Followed by, "GET OUT OF HERE, YOU STINK". I tried to lower the level of hostilities by saying "it's those tennis shoes, they've started to smell, I took a shower and had on clean socks". She replied, "then take them with you".
Well I stood my ground (well, laid my ground actually) and it quickly subsided. She went to sleep soon after that, or passed out from the smell, or possibly a lack of oxygen from having the covers over her head. Yep, dismissed like a dog. Does thirty four years of wedded bliss not count for something? How about a dainty "sniff, sniff, what's is that disagreeable smell, dear"? Or "boy, remind me to take the garbage out in the morning, it's starting to go south on us". No,,, just "you stink, get out".
This did get me to thinking. I should probably look into some nursing home insurance.

Why farmers shouldn't go on vacation. And if they do, why they should stay in the motel room.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

My boys on vacation last winter.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

(Click Picture to Enlarge) Thought you might enjoy a pic of my boys on one of our bigger chickens. We're getting ready to start harvest so there may not be a lot of brain power injected into my next few blogs. I know, why should harvest change anything.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Out to Dinner

The crispy honey shrimp at P F Changs, is outstanding. As a matter of fact, all six of us in the dinner party, were very pleased with our orders. I had the kung pao scallops and hot lips. No she wasn't on the menu. My lips were stinging a bit. Probably shouldn't have added the hot mustard.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Please come back later to read my new post below. First go read Ralphs blog about Flag 2172. It will be time well spent.

A View From the Porch

It's been a while since I did a view from the porch. This is my daughter and granddaughter horsing around. Pic was taken about a month ago. The animals they're sitting on are part of the herd that is eating my retirement. The one on the left I call Stocks and the one on the right is Mutual Funds.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Jill! Show Him Your Pa.

About 10 years ago, I was asked to take a bus load of kids to Oakland to play basketball. Oakland is 14 miles west of Tekamah. It was a Jr High basketball game.
As the kids were loading, the coach said "Dean said you'd be able to handle the team and the 8th grade cheerleaders by yourself, the other coach will be there when you get there". Dean was the Superintendant and has been a friend of mine since he moved here in the early 70's. I thought that sounded okay. I never did have any discipline problems as a bus driver, and didn't expect any then.
I had to drive the fully loaded 48 passenger bus, west, into the setting sun. The highway was very narrow at that time. I had noticed a truck behind me all the way to Oakland. I was so carefully concentrating on not letting a tire slip off the edge of the pavement, and trying constantly to not be blinded by the sun, that I didn't really notice anything abnormal happening behind me in the bus, and the few times I looked in the big rear view mirror, things were fine.
I heard some comments from the boys like, "Do you think he saw it, Jill"? (Jill is not her real name) or "Jill, show him your pa". What the heck are they holding up back there. It must have something to do with the truck driver. But I've got about 48 Million Dollars worth of school kids on this bus, I thought, and musn't break my concentration. "Jill, show him your pa again". Several times over "Jill, show him your pa again".
Well I finally made it. The ball team was met by the coach, who escorted them into the building. The cheerleaders also went single file into the gym. I sat there a few minutes, reflecting over the battle I had just won with the sun as well as to let the diesel cool a bit. Then I thought I may as well watch these 7th and 8th grade boys play basketball. I went to the far end of the gym, away from the cheerleaders and the grandparents. Sat there thru 3 quarters. At the 3rd period break, the cheerleaders spread across the gym for the 'Two Bits, Four Bits, Six Bits... yell. Jill was in front of me and as she twirled and swung her cute little figure in a circle,, "All for Tekamah stand up and Holler". Her flippy little dress flipped up in back to reveal her shiny gold, cheerleader issue, undies, with the symbol of the Fighting Tigers embroidered on her rear. A Tigers PAW! Jill, show him your Paw!
It's truly amazing how just a little more information can make your mind race back over the events of the day. I had wondered, right up until that moment, why that truck driver didn't just pass us. I was only going 50. The cheerleaders rode home with their parents. Good idea.

The Main Thing

I've always tried live by the old saying, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing".
However, regardless of how busy you are, or what trajedy has over taken your life,,,, a grasshopper landing on your face, will become your new top priority.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Marilyn's Pole Beans

We bend these 4 X 16 foot panels in a hoop and stake the ends to the ground. Marilyn plants her pole beans along the bottom. The beans grow up the panels and connect at the top. One of our granddaughters is pictured here, sitting with a kitty in the shade of the beans. See the pic below for the result.

The results. Beans hanging down at eye level, ready for harvest.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Must Read

For anyone interested in the Hurricane and it's coverage, you should read this blog by Rhodent. She lives in Florida, is well educated in hurricane and disaster preparedness, and will give you straight up info that you won't get from the networks who are trying to guide your thinking instead of just reporting.
Rhodent is one of my regular stops and will be one of yours after you read this.


Unlike some charities, The American Baptist Convention is asking for specific items to be sent. I believe they send different lists to different areas. Our State is collecting them at the Ne. State Convention next weekend and trucking them to affiliated churches in the Katrina ravaged areas, for further distribution.
My wife wanted me to take the list and go to the store to pick-up what we could afford to donate. I looked at the list and recognized it immediately. I needed to buy three of everything. Two to send and one to bring home. We too, were out of all of these things.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Battle of Cliff Run!

Dateline, Tekamah
In what some are calling a battle to the death and others a show of cowardice, Cowboy Cliff and his band of cowboys were virtually wiped out by Grandson Chief Colton, leader of the eastern Nebraska tribe.
It was a warm, but humid morning, a day like many others, here in the path of the ancient explorers, Lewis and Clark. The cowboys were innocently watching TV when the waring Chief C said those words every cowboy dreads. "Hey Grandpa, wanna play cowboys and indians"? "Okay".
Historians will record that the word 'OKAY' was the turning point of the battle.
The cowboys were in fact, armed with only guns, and what Chief Colton would allow them to have,,, A John Deere tractor and baler.
The savvy Chief retained control of the U.S Army tank and the wrecker.
The battle raged for minutes and when all of the cowboys had been assaulted and had succumbed to the hand to hand combat of the Chief, their plight seemed hopeless. Then there was what seemed to be 'A Miracle'. In the sky was a streak , a real life Heroine to save the day! Grandpa had summoned WONDER WOMAN. She was on target, flying at a speed faster than Grandma drives, when she was stopped with the powerful hand of Chief Colton who brought the battle to a close with the words,,,"she didn't come with the set Grandpa".
The cowboys then summoned a miraculous storm that blew over some of the indians. But the indians were set back up immediately with a stern warning from the Chief,,, "And no 'funderstorms' Grandpa!
All of the wranglers lost their lives in the above clash. Not one Indian was injured, and they never even had to use the tank or the wrecker.
Cowboy Cliff survived and promised to round up some more cowboys to fight again. Chief Colton, showing the kind of class we've all grown to love, showed no ill feelings toward the cowboys when he said, "Wanna play some Lego's now"?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Kids Say The Darndest Things!

My first grader grandson has been working on a diary at school.
Yesterday, his mom asked "So, how's your diary coming"?
He replied, "Oh, I was loose yesterday, but I'm okay today".

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

To Donate

To donate to the AMERICAN RED CROSS, click HERE. You can designate hurricane relief, or other programs.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Marilyn was in the big town twenty five miles south of us last week. It was one of her pick up and delivery days for the kennel. She usually picks up 8 to 10 dogs in the morning and takes them back all groomed and dolled up that evening.
One lady who was a little over nine month's pregnant, met her at the door with the dog. She shoved her dog at Marilyn and said, "Boy, am I glad to see you. This dog is a mess". They agreed that Marilyn would return the dog about 6 P.M.
That evening, she met Marilyn at the door with a rather sheepish look. Seems that after handing her dog to Marilyn, she took the kids to school and came home to find her dog missing. She was frantic that the dog was nowhere to be found and reported the disappearance or possible abduction to the pound, the city dog catcher, the Police, the neighbors and everyone else she could think of.
I'm sure her forehead is a little flatter from that moment when she 'remembered'. Hormones are a wonderful thing.

New Blogger in the Family

My son Dan, bodyshop owner and all around funny person, is trying his hand at blogging. His premier post is about my two boys, trying to break into the upper crust of society. Go HERE to check him out.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Can You Multiply?

Our neighbors and very good friends, had three kids, all now married and in their 30's. (1 boy and 2 girls)
A few months ago they had 3 grandkids. As of yesterday, they now have 8. Two sets of twins and a single, all born this summer.
The new kids are fortunate. They'll all be raised with good parents and grandparents.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

This little four year old calls me Grandpa. She is bold, precocious, and engaging. She introduces herself to everyone she sees and always smiles. She spends all of her waking hours chasing farm cats and trying not to get caught doing things she isn't supposed to be doing. The consensus is, she's a good little girl if you don't take your eyes off of her. But then again, why would you want to.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Our Newest Morrow

This Picture is from our Morrow Family Reunion. Our newest inductee, Ralph, with a couple of the Morrow's. We think this recruit into our family, will significantly increase the family's speed, agility, and overall quickness. We don't, however, think it will help our basketball team, well, at least not in the paint. If he can shoot like his daughter who plays college basketball, we'll let him play anyway.

Monday, August 22, 2005

An Observation

This is the time of year that crickets and grasshoppers invade the heartland. When the ground gets so dry that it begins to crack (sometimes 1 inch wide) in the fields, lawns and along the foundations of buildings. These insects use these cracks for a home or a respite from the heat. They cover our country roads and then the low hanging bumpercovers (learned that term from our bodyshop boys) on our minivans, become heavily speckled with black, green and brown. Insects who have given their lives to make sure I never run out of something to do. If you bother to look at crickets or grasshoppers closely, which I have done on a couple of occasions, you will notice one common malady. Their back legs are never the same size. One big and one small, or one missing.
I believe that is why you always see them walking around. If they hop, they don't have a clue as to where they are going. I call it the 'popcorn effect'. When they hop, they must get the same thrill I used to get, as a child, on the 'Tilt-A-Whirl' at the County Fair. There's an inaudible (to humans) bug yell "SOMEONE'S COMING" and then ooowwwhhheeeee. Or maybe not.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Hitchhiker

Last April 10th I posted Hanky Panky on the Farm. It was about one of my older brothers seeing one of our farm cats riding on the back of one of our horses.
It's getting spooky now, here on the farm.
We have a lot of cats on this farm. Maybe twenty to thirty. Part live here at our house, the rest up at the end of our mile long lane at my daughter's house.
Last week, my daughter checked for cats, in the box on her big diesel pickup, and being none, she drove down to our place. She parked in the open, away from any buildings. It was just her pick-up, and her, out in the open. She jumps out and three cats, who were up at her place, walk out from under her truck, at our place. They were riding underneath, they caught a ride.
This morning, I drove Marilyn the twenty five miles to the town where she picks up dogs and then brings them back to her shop to groom. We get to the first stop, I put it in park, and one of our farm cats, nonchalantly strolls out from under our van.
The following is my take on this. When the cat stepped out, it was the third time I'd stopped the van on the trip. The other two were stop signs. (not in town) I think the cat hung his head down low enough from under the hood, or maybe looked thru the grill and thought, 'hmmm, this isn't a stop sign, it's a nice place' AND Marilyn's taking the dog! A nice cololnial yellow two story with attached garage. As the cat strolled away from the van toward the garage, he didn't act like he had escaped from a terrible and frightening ride but rather he had the same demeanor as someone stepping off of the State Fair Shuttle. He casually walked with his head on a swivel. "Let's see, the rides are over there, the grilled pork chops over there, and then there's the Quarterhorse Show in the colliseum. What to do, what to do".
Since we had seven or eight dog crates in the van already, Marilyn had plenty of room to let him ride in air conditioned comfort back home.
An old farmer told me once, "Cliff, on a farm, you're either gonna have cats or rats. Cat's are better cuz they don't eat wiring off of tractors and such".
Yeah, but with rats I wouldn't lay awake at night wondering what's going on outside.

Monday, August 15, 2005

What A Weekend!!

We're back from the Morrow Family Reunion! We do this every other year. Each of my siblings takes turns producing the event, and we move it around the country. Estes Park, Colorado, was this years venue. It was beautiful, and so was the weather. Mother nature had tried to kill off those of us who are Nebraskans, with heat and humidity, the past month, so the cool dry air was really welcome.
Several families rent large rooms and have impromptu party's. We were celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary in one room and the host couple and their kids were hosting another party in their room.
If you were bored, and with no one to talk to, you could just walk the hotel and find a gathering of people whom you knew, and hadn't seen for about ten years. I hadn't seen my cousin from Iowa, for a few years. We have kept in touch but we're both busy, busy, with our own families. She ran into Ralph who was standing outside of my room, (he is no relation but since my brothers and sisters always ask if the Ralph's are going to be there, I invited them) , and asked, "are you one of the Morrow's"? Ralph said "yes, I'm Cliff's younger brother". He'd been had. He ran into a first cousin who knew that I was the youngest in the family. Her eye's narrowed and said "Oh no you're not, Cliff was the youngest in the family". I stepped into the hallway just in time to say, "I see you've met Ralph". How appropriate, that she should meet Ralph under these circumstances. Trying to have some of his fun.
It seems that my brothers and sisters have taken to Ralph and his wife as Marilyn and I have. At our banquet Saturday night, each family had sent a representative to come to the front and introduce themselves and their immediate family, and how they were related to the Morrow Clan. I had the microphone in my hand to introduce my three children and their families and/or friends they had come with. I pointed to Ralph and his 'lovely to look at' wife, and said their names and said, "They've endeared themselves to"...and before I could say "this entire family", one my brothers inserted "the enire hotel". No truer words have ever been spoken. One of the lawyers in the crowd reported the 'juris prudence' committee had found the Ralph's eligible for adoption and in fact recommended it. I said all in favor say aye. A resounding and unanamous ballot made it official.
Ralph's college bound daughter sums up their family's attitude better than anyone. She was standing in a large group of Morrow's who were trying to decide who was going where, and in what vehicle. We asked her, "do those plans sound okay with you"? She replied the same way Ralph would have, "as long as I get to eat a couple of times a day, I'll go along with anything".
Over the last decade, my family has gotten together a lot. Reunions, funerals, holidays, Nebraska football games, golf tourneys, or just traveling thru. Whatever the occasion, whatever the excuse, we think family is most important and worthy of our efforts to cultivate that unity. Our youngsters come and play. As they get older they come and ask "who is that"? And then finally, as they age, one morning you ask them "where were you last night? "Oh we were with Uncle this or in Aunt that's room or with some of the cousins playing cards or we went swimming and then to a movie". It keeps the family strong and most of all teaches our kids by example. The questions will start in about a month. "Dad, where's the next family reunion gonna be, and are the Ralphs going to be there"?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


A few years ago, our family was preparing for a wedding. As the time drew near, our good friends from 600 miles away, kept emailing and calling about when they would arrive to help. Did we need them for a week, days, hours, what? We settled on them coming out on Wednesday before the Saturday wedding. One of our main duties, as the parents of the groom, was to be in charge of the rehearsal dinner which we cooked ourselves (cooked some and purchased some) and served it in the community room in the little town where the wedding was held.
Our friends worked tirelessly. They drove after stuff, cooked, made mints, paid for things they shouldn't have, learned everybody's name in my family,(the ones they didn't already know), hauled chairs, hauled tables, hauled food, carried food, cooked some more, and were always right there to say, "stay put Cliff, I'll go get it".
They seem to have done this many times over. When we needed them, they have driven out and helped. They came last year to help get Tekamah ready for a Cowboy Poetry show that my brother from New Mexico gave and I produced. And they helped the following night at our "Lonestar" concert we had. The next day he stood by the keyboard and held the music for my daughter for our community concert in the park. He even came out last fall to drive a tractor for a week during harvest.
Our connection with them is our wives were school buddies in the Wheatridge and Jefferson County schools in Denver.
So,,, Here's to good friends we love, and love to spend time with!!
OH Yeah, I forgot to mention. They did that four days of work for the wedding even though they didn't get an invitation. They never made it from our list (grooms) to the final list. I asked why on earth are you here if we didn't have the courtesy to send an invitation. "Oh we knew you meant to send us one, besides we wanted to help".
We're headed to a family reunion and our friends will attend part of it because they have become friends with our entire family. Your connection with these great folks is Here!!!