Friday, April 29, 2005

Busy, busy!

Well the poison ivy is about ankle high, which brings the mushroom season, effectively, to a close. The corn is going in the ground. Hope to be half done by tomorrow night. If I can get someone to take some pics I'll try to post them. See ya'll later.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

(click on picture to enlarge) Okay Magz, here's yer liver chestnut. His name is Sarge, and they tell me he is the one horse that is being boarded here for a friend of the family. Interesting thing about this horse is that he and his owner have traversed more than 11,000 miles since they got together in 1994. Most of it leading wagon trains and trail rides.
Quoting from a story in a magazine here, "Together, Leger (owners name) and Sarge have led thousands of modern-day pioneers across the plains to Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Calif., and the Canadian province of Alberta. The duo have also traveled by themselves from Nebraska to California and to Texas. Last summer, Leger and Sarge led 18 wagons across Ohio to commemorate the state's bicentennial.
A horse that works for a living I'd say.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

View From the Pasturecam

Part of the"MORROWBORO' herd. Poor things, nothing to eat. Here's the deal. We have the two women in our family who ride horses. Does this make sense...I think not. THIS ISN'T EVEN ALL OF THEM!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2005


C'mon, try a bite. Okay everyone here does like them but we have some actors in the family. I'm surprised the actors guild hasn't made them pay union dues.

Convincing Juli to try one.

Tom 'making himself' try one. Okay he really does like them. (joke)

How'd they taste?


Washed and ready to cook.

Dipped in egg wash, soda cracker crumbs and fried. Almost ready!


Marilyn, about to bag the next one. Notice the cold, steely stare of this executioner.

Any last words??


Four morels in their natural environment. Patiently awaiting their demise.

The prized Morel Mushroom.


Being Stealthy doesn't really help when mushrooming. Tom thinks it might.

Marilyn and Tom hot on the trail.


The sacred Morel hunting gound. What awaits the hunters??

This is the same timber. It is the trees I've mentioned in earlier pics when looking east from the porch. The picture is taken facing northwest. Our house is on the other side of this stand of trees. This is the old Missouri river bed. It is likely that Lewis and Clark traversed this water and land. They came by August 8th and 9th so likely the mushrooms were gone.

Morel Madness...Part One

This and following posts will tell a tale of the deceit and treachery involved in the seemingly innocent pastime of 'shrooming'. (Mushroom hunting) The pursuit of the illusive Morel Mushroom.
There is nothing else I can think of that will make an otherwise forthright person, clam up like the morel mushroom. I've had people ask me if they could go into our timber, or go down by the lake and hunt deer, squirrels, racoons, rabbits, pheasants, quail, ducks, and geese. Or could they go fishing. Sure, why not. No one in my fifty five years on this farm, has asked if they could go mushroom hunting, unless forced to do so by having run into me on their way to the trees. I conclude that it must be perceived as either a God given right, or it is, as I highly suspect, the highest form of espionage. If I were trying to recruit for the Secret Service, I would start with mushroom hunters. The "we'll take the info to the grave" mentality is what we're looking for.
If I meet someone in our trees while we are both hunting for mushrooms, they will ask me at that point, "is it okay if we hunt mushrooms", or "Cliff, I didn't see anybody at home so I was hoping it was alright if I came down to see if the mushrooms were out". Of the people who had to ask permission, I've always said, "sure go ahead, but remember, I don't have time to go my self, so if you find too many, you can just leave them on the porch". (mostly kidding)
In all these years I've had venison offered to me cut and wrapped, processed, jerky, salami, breakfast sausage, brats, catfish, carp, white bass, homemade wild plum jelly, and on and on. Nobody, NOT ONE PERSON, has offered to leave a sack of mushrooms. (In case anybody locally ever reads this, the reason I don't hunt deer is I've always been afraid I might get one. So please, no more deer meat unless it's mixed with 100% prime rib of beef.)
Mushroom hunters should be believed, well,,, never. They will intentionally mislead, lie, fib, tell half truths, whatever it takes to conceal the location of their last good spot.
There are different ways to report how many mushrooms you have found. A handfull. They disappointedly cup their two hands together trying to make you think that this is a line of questioning not worth pursuing. A half a bread sack. Again not even worth asking me where I found them. The next size is the brown grocery sack full. This story will be recounted only when the snow is flying. Never during mushroom season.
Where did you find them? "Oh, up in the hills". Now that's precision. Or "down on the bottom". I once met someone carrying a garbage bag half full of mushromms in our trees, here on the bottom, and asked, "where'd you find them?" (Meaning where here in the trees did you find them) The response, "up in the hills". I should've ask why they didn't leave them in the car when they got down here.
So, we have gone hunting, and will post the results of this hunt in the days to come. The above picture is of a 'half a bread sack full'. Uh,,,I got them up in the hills.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Two Views From the Front Porch

(Click on Photo to Enlarge) Looking's WET!

Looking East... The timber is starting to green up. The water puddle indicates our current need for warm, dry, windy weather.

Friday, April 22, 2005

No Confusion

Just to be clear, the little girl pictured below is one of our Grandaughters. The blog below that, is telling about the neighbors grandkids.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

We call her Doll Face!!

Family Proliferation

Our next door neighbors and dear friends are just a bit older than Marilyn and I. So are their kids. (a bit older than ours)
They have three children. All married. I believe all in their thirties. One son and two daughters. If you would have asked me one week ago I would have said they have three grandchildren. Well one of the girls gave birth to twins last week, (a boy and a girl) and their son and his wife gave birth yesterday to a little boy, and the other daughter is pregnant with twins to arrive before Christmas. In the parlance of a cow/calf operator, " three on the ground and two more to go".
Yep, from three Grandkids to eight in less than a year. Yep, Grandpa's a twin.
Congrats Neighbors!!

Noisy tree. In person, the tree appears to be all white. The photo doesn't do it justice.

The crabapple tree, outside of our house, is laden with blossoms. I'm somewhat hard of hearing, but if you stand near the tree, you'll think you are in a beehive. A bee-man has hives just a quarter mile away but I think most of his bees are visiting our place. They're very 'beezy'. The close-up was an attempt to catch several of the little critters but there is only one, that I can find.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


My friend from Angoon, Alaska (an island in Southeast Alaska) sent me the above pic and the following email. He's the one who sent the Bald Eagle pictures and awesome scenery photos. I thought you may find this interesting. I have edited the email.

You mentioned that you got rain yesterday and I thought that I would send you these pictures. We get so much rain up here that just about everyone wears rubber boots called "Xtratuf's". You see people from all walks of life wearing these boots just about any place that you go. My wife and I have even seen women wearing them with dresses on. Someone told us that it would be acceptable in southeast Alaska to even wear them with a wedding dress. :) We would call the boots "irrigating boots" in Nebraska and Montana, but they are pretty much standard issue here in southeast. (Don't need much irrigation here) I just thought that I would give you a little trivia from up here. If the rain keeps up down there, I will see what I can do about sending a few pair that way. :)

Talk to you later,

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Want to know what I hate?? Companies that start sending you their free magazine, completely unsolicited, and then send you threatening letters saying that if you don't fill out the enclosed survey, YOU MAY HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED YOUR LAST ISSUE!!!
Isn't this like the newscaster who said "the gunman has barricaded himself off from police, is said to be suicidal, and is heavily armed". You know, a problem with a solution. I feel like Dirty Harry, "Go ahead, don't send me anymore magazines, Make my Day".
If you promptly pitch said survey(s) in the burn barrel, you will be rewarded by being sent two (2) of their magazines every month instead of one. And a telephone survey that goes like this.
"Hi I'm Julie with 'Worthless Magazine' company, you haven't returned your survey and so we'd like to ask you a few questions to enable us to send 'Worthless Magazine' to you, free of charge." "You wouldn't want to miss an issue would you"?
I say, "Yes,,, and by the way, I'm getting two of your magazines every month".
"Oh, I'm sorry sir, which one is the duplicate"
Silence on my end, I just don't know how to answer that.
"Sir, which one should we cancel"?
"Both of them, I don't want your magazine, they don't burn well".
....Now I get three.
This is like trying to teach yourself to juggle using the only dozen eggs in the house. After the first three hit the floor, you think 'uh, I think I'll just leave it alone.
What I really need is a paper shredder capable of doing magazines.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Don't miss Marty's and Ralph's newest blogs. Ralph's on tree plantings and Marty on baseball. Both are great.
This may not be a good day. The tee shirt I put on had a 'cling free dryer sheet', clinging to it.
I don't know why but that reminds me of the night my son tripped over one of our "useless" solar powered sidewalk lights and commented, "shouldn't we be able to see those at night"?
Okay, all of the quarterly reports except 941's and 943's are in the mail. Now will you people leave me alone. I hate the end of quarters.
I should be ready to start planting corn by tonight. So rain is predicted this afternoon.
Marilyn and I ran to town late yesterday afternoon and bought 1 clump river birch, 1 white birch, one Gala (Dw) Apple, and a nondescript red flowerdy plant (not the real scientific name) for one of our piles of dirt. (berm) Planted them all and then cut the limbs off of a couple of trees in observance of Arbor Day.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

If I Were A Fish......

If I were a fish, this is what I would look like. (pic by Marilyn, in Dallas, Tx)

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Target

Taza visited to remind me that it was my turn to be the dartboard. I had told Maggie that, a few days ago. Yes, I am the target, at least this week. Another way to put it is "Somedays you're one of the pigeons, Other days you're the Statue".
Besides the dentist appt, which by the way I survived thanks to the aide of modern science and novacaine, I also had my annual check-up and refill my thyroid medicine script visit to my Medical Dr.
He has a dry wit. After answering the usual questions for the nurse, it's time for the face to face with the Doc. "I see you're down 10 pounds from August, are you counting calories"? "No". "Do you excercise"? "A little". "How much do you try to do"? "I guess 20 minutes, 3 or so times a week". Doc says, "you know, walking a mile will burn 100 calories and there are 3500 calories in a pound, might think about not puting the calories in your mouth to start with". He continues thru a list in his mind of the top 8 or 10 things that are going to kill someone of my age and weight, "I'll order a PSA, cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid level, uric acid, and beta HCG, I'll get a phone call on the last one". It's the 'tumor' marker test they run for my now 9 years past bout of testicular cancer. "Doc, why will they call you"? He says "they'll want to know why I'm running a pregnancy test on this gentleman, it's the same test".
He goes on "do you wear your seatbelt?. "Usually". "What, you wear it only when you think you're going to crash"? I smirk and say "I gotcha". "Okay" he says "stand here at the end of the exam table and put your elbows on the table and I'll check your prostate". I start to comply and say "I guess I should drop my pants", he says, "you don't have to, but it will make it easier and I think you'll find it more comfortable". Turns out a digital exam has nothing to do with the read-out on a machine.
I've always said, bedside manner isn't important, I've had some of the worst. Those same Doctors saved my life by not letting things pass like I was asking them to. "No Cliff, you need to see a specialist about this". Turns out I did. One once told me in a waiting room full of strangers that "well I think you've got cancer, can you come down next Monday for an operation". (closest I've ever come to fainting)
Another said "we need to stop your thyroid, it's gone crazy". I said "wait, I've lost 50 pounds, can we just let it go". That Doctor said "your life is similar to a pop bottle rocket on the fourth of July, unless you want to make a ZZZZip sound with a pop at the end, we need to stop your throid, it's decided to run the show by itself". We did. It worked. I hate to admit it but I'm alive because of Doctors.

In Just 60 Minutes From Now

This post is to make all of you feel better. (As though you need an excuse on a Friday)
In Sixty Minutes, 8 AM Standard DLST, I am going to have the biggest filling in one of the 8 biggest teeth in my head ground out and rebuilt. Also the tooth next to it will be be ground away to a point to begin the capping process.
Whenever I play golf with the Dentist, I like to point out (to others in the foursome) that because of my family of 4, his garage, on his beautiful home on our golf course, actually belongs to me. Because I paid for it. I don't do that anymore, last year he tried to get me to come paint the inside of my garage.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Trying to Keep the Kids on the Farm

My youngest son helped start this tradition 5 years ago. Something you might not see in Denver or Atlanta.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The View From the (back) Porch

(Click image to enlarge) Looking out the back door during a downpour Monday afternoon. That's my garden tractor behind the pole, recently planted raised beds in the foreground (fortified with wire to make it harder for the dogs to excavate) and the berm on the right that I tried to burn down last week with a run-away fire. On the far right is the old barn that we hope to level in the next month or so. Ralph, how'd I do dehorning that apple tree??
Would you say someone needs to clean the gutters on back porch?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Hanky-Panky on the Farm

Friday started out like any other day. My Brother from Omaha came up to help me. We had been picking up and arranging trash, for burning.(on the farm trash usually alludes to some kind of foliage, in this case tree branches) A regular springtime job for those of us with miles of tree lines. We quit about 7 pm and Marilyn had dinner ready for us. I was going to say spaghetti, meat sauce, and garlic toast but I don't know how to spell spaghetti.
We watched the first game in the Nebraska-Texas series on ESPN-2. After the regulation 9, it was tied and my Bro left for Omaha. It was after all, past 10 p.m.
OKAY. Now let's skip to Sat. morn. I walk out of the house to begin loading a truck and what do I see but 2 of my Daughters ponies out of their pen. I do a U turn and go back to the door, "Marilyn, the ponies are out".
OKAY. Skip to noon. My brother calls, "I've called to confess", I say, "why". "Do you have any horses left". Right then I put 2 and 2 together and figure out he saw some horses out last nite and didn't say anything to us.
"Well when I left last night, I backed out and had to pull around your semi (which was sitting in the middle of the farmstead road) and when I pulled back on the road I saw them". "What the horses"? "Yes, and I stopped at your daughters house on the way off of the farm and knocked and no one answered the door, so I drove home and called your house about midnight and no one answered". "Don't worry about it", I say but he interrupts. "No you don't understand, I haven't gotten to the good part yet, when my headlights swung back to the west, you know, so they were shining on the grain bins, I saw it". "Saw what"? "The cat riding the horse".
Not in fifty five years has my Brother given me any reason to doubt his veracity. But I was waiting for the punch line. "Really, one of your cats was standing on the back of one of your horses". I of course believe what he says to be true, he isn't on any medication or prone to a weakness for stiff drink.
I laid awake last nite and wondered just what the heck is going on out side as we lay here snug in our beds. Are horses running in circles and cats doing somersaults thru the air and landing solidly on the galloping steeds.
Is this where they got the term 'hitching post'. Do animals hitch rides on horses from there? All of this time I admired circus animal acts. I didn't know it came naturally. They just walk around zoo's , with flashlights, at night, and catch the future stars of the Big Top in the act.
The horror of being caught. The Dr Doolittle conversation goes like this. The cat says "Wow, so this is what it's like being 12 hands tall, Awesome"! "Do that 'canter' thing again before one of the dogs catches up and wants back on"! "Headlight's!!! Freeze, NO, keep walking, pretend like everything is normal, he won't even notice me up here".
I have finally come to realize that everyday, when I look out across the farm, the dogs, the cats, and horses are always laying around, asleep, exhausted. Well, is it any wonder?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Redneck Family??

Do you have a Redneck family if you ask "does anyone have a knife", and both your Wife and Daughter pull out pocket knives? (with the easy 'one thumb, flip out blade action')
This may be why I blog. It gives me the freedom to express my feelings with out risk.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The View From the Porch

Looking up the lane. Spring is sprung. Someone needs to get the riding lawnmower out and blow up the tire. Corn planting will start out there behind the old shed. Very soon. More updates to follow.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Economic Developement Corp.

After about a year of getting our ducks in a row and lining up financing by the County and 3 of our county's towns, we are up, up, and away.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Fifty Pound Bags

Terah’s dislike of wind has reminded me of a poem I wrote last year. I had a five hour lay-over in Wichita, waiting for a load of caustic soda, and the Kansas wind was blowing and this came to mind.

Fifty Pound Bags

In the month of May in Nintey Six,
When the dogwoods were still in bloom,
I was planting beans on a windy day,
I need more seed, this I assumed.

I was walking back to check the planter
When my Wife drove up with a ton,
Of certified seed, in Fifty pound bags,
And hamburger wrapped in a bun.

I gulped the sandwich, started pouring in seed,
My wife was holding onto the sacks,
But one got away, ripped from her grasp,
By Mariah, then came the attack.

It circled the pick-up, then hit the dog,
Then Marilyn got one more pass,
Then it started climbing, It was up and away,
Soon a half mile high, then Alas,

The winds aloft took it straight east,
Into Iowa, and then at last sighting,
Twas climbing higher and higher and as far as I know
Is a star, part of our night lighting.

I don’t like to litter, and the loss of the sack
Had me feelin clear down on my luck,
The bag had no value, but the beans inside,
Were worth at least, Thirty Bucks!

Friday, April 01, 2005

I'm In a Daze

Last monday morning, I dumped a load of corn at the Cargill Sweetners plant located about 25 miles south of here. I unloaded and then stopped at the mini-mart/truck stop and bought a bottle of Diet Pepsi and a Nebraska pick 5 lotto ticket. The drawing was last night and I just now got on the pick-5 website and see that I picked all 5 numbers. My birthday actually. The website says there was one winning ticket sold in Blair NE and the winner will receive 2.4 million. This changes things.
I'm sitting here kind of numb wondering if I should call my kids from 90 miles away so they can be here when I drive up the lane to tell Marilyn. The other question is whether to call friends or keep it quiet. Should I try to live life as I have been,(in which case I could just keep on farming til it's gone) or should I have a farm sale, and move somewhere. I'm not sure I like that option because I like it here. My belief has always been that there is something wrong with every place you could choose to live. Too hot, cold, wet, or dry. Too many people, too many bugs, too much sand, not enough sand, no lake, all lakes, and on and on. So I kind of like it here in Tekamah, I think the thing to do is try to pretend it never happened. I could use the point 4 million and get out of debt and buy a minivan that has less than 100K miles on it. I currently have 2 in that category.
We could build a house on the golf course in Tekamah overlooking the Missouri River Valley. But the problem there is I'd get tired of playing bad golf (several times a week) and quit doing that (golfing) then I'd be imprisoned by golfers playing golf around my house everyday and me hating the sport. I'd probably end up with a house on the right side of a fairway about 200 yards from the tee box and then I'd get grumpy and stand in my yard and pick up all of the 'sliced' balls that end up in my yard and I'd refuse to give their balls back and everyone would hate me. That and the golf course is out of my district so I'd have to resign my post as County Supervisor.
So...I'm going to call my boys now and tell them to stay in Lincoln. My daughter is outside feeding the horses and I'm going to tell her nothing about this. I've decided to try to keep this from Marilyn, if at all possible, (I'm tired of having to ask her for money everytime I want to go to town shopping)
And probably the hardest of all decisions I've had to make,,,I'm going to quit blogging, I'm sick and tired of you people. First I leave comments and they don't show up, then I leave comments and my computer won't send them. Then I write a good blog and no one leaves a comment. NOT ONE COMMENT!!! So to all of you out there. (insert your own raspberry sound here) Farewell. Oh and I just looked at the calender, Happy April Fools day.