Saturday, December 30, 2006

John Goerzen has written a 3 part Memories of Christmas blog. It's worth reading and you need to read them in order. Go HERE and go down to number 1 first and work your way up. Great stuff John. Number 3 got to me. I really think you'll like these.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Are You Going South For The Winter?

All of my life I've heard that question asked of retired people, or of those who aren't old enough to retire but have the resources (money)to put things on hold and be gone for two or three months. I am being asked more and more, "Going south this winter, Cliff?"
I don't fit either profile so I'm hoping they think I have the cash to do that. I don't. I know the real reason they ask me is that I look old enough to retire. I'm not.
Today at our county board meeting I was asked again. I said, "I'm as far south as I'm going to get." "This is better than Minnestoa or Canada, if I lived there, I'd like to come to Nebraska to spend the winter." It's all pretty relative isn't it. I'm a Nebraska snowbird. I came to Nebraska to sit in the snow.
Wait, I might travel the 50 miles south to Omaha this winter to see my brother. I'll take my clubs.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

I Hope You Can Spend Christmas Morn With A Small Child!

I'm just guessing but I'm willing to bet that your favorite adults in the whole world have a 'child like' quality about them. They've never lost their enthusiasm for the world, or wonder, or their wide eyed thirst for the unknown. The last few days with my Grandson have been a pleasure. His excitement for life, and Christmas, and Santa, and the gifts he plans to give, and get, are so very heartwarming. It makes you want to protect these young people so that they never find out everything about life.
I asked him if he knew what tomorrow is, and with great anticipation in his voice he said, "Tomorrow is Christmas Eve when Santa comes and then we get up on Christmas day and celebrate the Birthday of our King."
If that doesn't get you excited, then you're officially old.

As for me, I'm good either way, I have a pot belly stove with a 'coal burning' grate in the bottom.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sunday at Church

Our Christmas program was Sunday at Church. Here, the three 'Wise Guys' have just arrived on scene bearing gifts. The gold king on the left is my Grandson. I think the extra King isn't a King but is maybe 'Event Security'. He was bearing a bottle of Enlish Leather...I think.
The Grandaughter below (picture was taken at dinner after church) might be the next Bette M. She can sing and has a tad bit of 'over' acting in her blood. She is a little drama Queen.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Our vacation stop at Bariboo, Wisconsin and the origins of the Ringling Bros Circus continues. Probably the most striking thing about the stop was being able to see their collection of great, old, circus wagons. The collection isn't entirely of the Ringling line but of many different circus companies. It filled a huge building. The collection was growing even while we toured, they were bringing in more old wagons for restorations. The parade from the railroad to where the circus was to pitch their 100 plus tents, must have been something. Over a thousand people, and over 2500 animals, were in the entourage. They carried along all of the amenities of a small town. Grocery and clothing stores, a bank, a barber, a doctor, and on and on. I read a list of the rules and terms of employment and they ran a very tight ship.
I think you'll find the bottom picture of particular interest and worthy of 'clicking on' to enlarge. It is a close-up of one of the wagons and it shows the exacting craftmanship and, well, 'the beauty' of their work.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I have sat down at my computer, 3 times in the last 2 days. Each was a time I thought I had the time to visit your blogs. I did. I was not successful at leaving comments. So I will now give you all a comment. "Stinkin Blogger."
I have no reason to think that this blog will work but here goes anyway.

Can anyone guess one of our vacation stops
from last summers trip?
That's right!! Smart people out there.
It was the original home and winter quarters
of the Ringling Bros circus.

Finally, a picture where I look normal.
Camera's always seem to add about
100 pounds to me.
At least I've always felt that way.

They were looking for a replacement
for the Human Canonball.
They said however, that they weren't
exactly looking for a man of my caliber.
This was a neat place. I will post some
more pics from there with better subject

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Why Can't A Woman Be More Like A Man?

That song that is discussing the way women think, in My Fair Lady, is a back and forth between Prof. Higgins and Pickering. The thoughts of that song and our high school production of it, recently got me in trouble.
Marilyn and I went shopping in Omaha last week. Something I will normally avoid like the plague. Especially since she was going to buy fabric for curtains. Let me say here that fabric, still on the bolt, in large quanities, has the same effect on me as kryptonite has on Superman.
BUT, she was going to buy some lumber to add to the window to aid in the curtain hanging and I wanted input on that part because it would surely involve me.
So we came out of the store and I was totally drained. I crawled to the car on my hands and knees to begin my recovery. As we got in and headed toward the interstate Marilyn made a movement with her hands and arms that indicated to me that she had forgotten something. And she had, then she said, "But just forget it I'm coming down next week and I'll get it then." Frustrated with herself she continued, "Man, I'm getting stupid-er as I get older, what am I going to do about it?"
So the above song hit my mind and I thought this was an opportunity to have a little fun. "You need to learn to think like a man." I confidently advised.
Turns out that the preceding statement was akin to firing across the bow of the U.S.S. Constitution. Not wise.
We drove silently for about 3 minutes and as we merged onto I680 North I could feel her eyes boring a hole in the side of my head. So I said what any intelligent man would say.
"Oh nothing," she said, "I'm just undressing you with my eyes." Then she said, "Wanna take a shower with me when we get home... I'm just trying to think like a man?"
Here she stares again and then continued, "There, I feel smarter already, do I sound smarter?"
Upon further review I think she could have selected the lumber by herself.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A View From The Freightliner

This picture was taken about 5 weeks ago during harvest. It is the 'two mile road' aka County Road E. I've taken it 9 miles to and from town for 56 years now. Sometimes daily, sometimes many times per day. I'm heading east here with a fairly strong south wind it would appear. It looks like another truck a half mile ahead stirring up dust. Marilyn's kennel operation is ahead and on the left. Our home is 3/4 mile south of there down a private drive that looks similar to this road.
Mostly I wanted to show you what I must battle during rush hour. I hate it when someone else uses the same road that I do.
Conference time for county officials, see you late in the week. Stay safe!! I took a count just before I left and hope you're all here when I return.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Self Important At It's Finest!!

Danny Devito has been on theView and thus Rosie O'Donnell's lap ( they claim that could be??). As of late. I don't/and would never consider, watching that show (The View that is because of O'Donnell).
Then Danny was on Letterman. I crossed that show on the way to watch Jimmy Kimmel. I caught DeVito walking on stage to a warm greeting by Letterman who of course would be Very Impressed by this tiny little man. I quickly changed the channel before they started their little lovefest.
Did you know that Letterman, Rosie, Devito and myself all have something in common. Well here it is. In the grand scheme of life,,we are all totally, completely, and without equivocation, very insignificant people. The problem is that 3 of us don't know it.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Before reading my blog below, go read something with some substance. Read Merry Christmas-And No Apology. It's worth your time. Someday I hope to grow up and be like Mike.

Low on Good Dogs

We've had a string of really nice, worthless farm dogs. Andy started visiting here as about an 8 month old pup. He belonged to the neighbors. He resembled a yellow lab but as is the case with all of our farm dogs, he was a mixed breed. His head looked just like a polar bear. The neighbors named him 'Bear'. Bear wouldn't stay home and kept coming to our place. This started about one day after I had told Marilyn that I thought it was about time to start breaking another dog. Our last one was getting old.
We kept calling the neighbors to report that their dog was here and they would keep coming over with the pickup to get him. On the last trip over the neighbor said "Do you want that @#$% dog, he seems to like it here? Without hesitation I said "yeah, I guess he can stay."
We renamed him Andy and he turned out to be the perfect farm dog. He kept his feet on the ground, loved people, and hated racoons and skunks. And we were able to break him of running the cats. (that would be okay with me except the cats keep the rats and mice under control)
He won the Ne State Fair Novice Obedience class with son Tom at the other end of the leash. The silly dog wouldn't work off leash however, and so that's as far as he went. The next level in 4-H is off leash.
Andy loved to ride in our van. He didn't care for it unless he was in a crate. We had a deal there. We don't let dogs ride in our van (we're in the kennel business remember) unless they're in a crate.
The reason I write this is to tell you of this incident. We had the side door open on the van. Just inside the door sat a small cat crate. The crate was so small that a football would have just about filled it. Andy saw his opportunity to go for a ride. All of the stars were in proper alignment for him. The van door was open, the crate sat there on the edge with it's door open and he decided to jump. That's when we realized he was not a good judge of space. Someone yelled "LOOK". We all turned to see Andy with his two back feet on the ground, and his two front paws and his head, filling the crate in the van. You could tell he was hopeful that this was good enough and that we hadn't noticed that he wasn't all the way in.
Right here you're asking what did we do?? Well we did what any farmer would do. We put a large crate in the van and took him for a ride. We didn't want him to be embarrassed.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's Over

We have had a fantastic holiday.
Char and Ralph were here. It takes a lot to drive out here from Denver but I must say that the laughter makes it all worth it. (of course I wasn't the one driving) Here is a "View From The Porch." It was taken early one morning while Ralph was here. The grass was crunchy with frozen mist. It shows some of my equipment that is just about to disappear into machine sheds for the winter.

Some notes on the weekend:Ralph made homemade cranberry sauce. Really good stuff.

Both turkeys were excellent. The cooks decided that the fried one was superior. We also decided that putting the turkey in brine is the way to go.

My kids were here with the grandaughters for 3 days. What a treat.

Pictionary with my three grown children and their spouses almost cost me my life. At the last second I was able to quit laughing long enough to get a breath. I hate that feeling but man we've raised some funny people.

We held a book signing. Ralph and I each have a book out. We signed them for the guests present. We visited about being authors. We decided that since we had personally purchased all of the books that people went home with, there was going to be a limit to this activity.

There were many friends and relatives who graced our humble abode over the past week. We have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. We are Thankful for all of them and count them as blessings.

The weekend is in the past. We have thunderstorms, rain, and 54 degrees upon rising, on the way to the mid 60's. Thursdays high is going to be in the mid 20's with the low about 10 degrees. It will soon be time to make friends with someone living south of here.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I wish for you and your family a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.
I've read that you can't outgive God and that if you think you can, just try it.
That's true. And today is set aside to be Thankful. I am, and for so many things we are given in this life to make it so fulfilling.
We're are going to have family here today. Our family from Colorado is here too. Ralph and Char came in last night. Ralph made cranberry sauce. We are going to cook two smaller turkeys. We're going to fix one using Mike's method. I expect great things from that.
We are going to fix one in the deep fat fryer. Neither Ralph or I have experience doing this. I shall report how that went. We plan to do it far enough away from the house so as not to make national news with the resulting fire.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I Have Deep Pockets

It's my khaki's. I bought them from a big and tall magazine. No. I'm just six foot tall.
I think when they make khaki's bigger than normal, they use a ratio. The bigger your pants, the bigger your pockets.
The folks in charge of my pockets, are doubtless heirs of the same people who made Captain Kangaroo's coat.
I keep my billfold in my left, rear, pants pocket. I always have. Well...except for that year my pants didn't have pockets and my favorite song started with the words, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. Neru jackets don't go with pants that have pockets. I digress.
Well now with my khaki's, I must stick my left arm in my left, rear pocket, up to about, oh, the ELBOW in an attempt to retrieve my wallet. And it's not that easy. The wallet turns sideways and gets stuck. (they need to look at the width ratio one more time because one should have room for War and Peace on it's side) If I'm standing it's not too bad. The problem comes when I'm seated. I'll jump in the car and my wallet is near the back of my knee. It's uncomfortable under there. So I lean over to the right, stick my left arm in like I was helping a Veterinarian pull a calf, and start to dig. I had one of my boys with me a month ago while performing this procedure. We were driving down a Lincoln street, I'm digging, and he nervously looks left and right for acquintances and says in a yelling whisper, "Dad, what are you doing?" I replied, "Trying to get my billfold so I can buy us dinner at McDonalds." "What's it doing up there?" "Doctors will do that for you Dad, but they'll use a glove" Then he said "Dad, stop it, I'll buy and for crying out loud get a money clip."
Well that's my problem but I don't have time to worry about it. I'm headed back to Lincoln. The boys want me to come down. They said "Dress casual Dad, you know, jeans and a golf shirt." They must need help in the shop. I can tell by the way they want me to wear jeans.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Customer Appreciation Party at the Body Shop!

This was during the 2nd quarter of the Ne vs Texas A&M game. The game is being projected onto the wall. The flash from this pic washed it out. You're looking at about half of the people. It looks like a quiet bunch of folks. Pictures can be deceptive. I was stationed all day near where Marilyn was standing when she snapped this picture.

Two of our kids. Dan owns the shop and his sister came to help with the party. Dan has a look in his eye that indicates he's up to something. It's because he usually is... Unless he's asleep.

This is me slicing meat. I cooked it all, the day before,(all 70# of it) refridgerated it over night, and then sliced it and dropped it into hot, thickened aus jus, just before making the sandwiches.
I have found that if cooked correctly in the most basic of manners, a top sirloin roast or smoked salmon, will evoke questions like, "Wow, is this prime rib?" or "Do you have a secret?" or "Tell me exactly how you did this." I'll guarantee you that if I did it,,,there wasn't much effort put into it.

My daughter came over to relieve me of my duties late in the afternoon. As it turned out it was just in time for me to watch the most exciting 2 minutes of football in about a decade of Husker football. She may take an increasing role in this annual event. I'm pretty good at sharpening knives. I'll do that. She can slice and serve the meat. I'm guessing we'll need more meat if she slices. Which of these two would you rather get a sandwich from??

Dan and Tom have this business on a roll because they do good work and they know how to treat customers. Good party!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


At yesterdays board meeting, two of our members who are both from the Swedish Capital of Nebraska, (a neighboring town) were visiting about a mutual friend who had dealt them both fits over the past few weeks. One of the men said, "Well you know what they say, you can always tell a just can't tell him much."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

When I first started dating Marilyn, she was different from every girl I'd met to that point...she would go out with me.
The party was a success. 70# of meat was just right. Ten smoked salmon was three too many. Four big sheet cakes was two too many if there is also several pans of bars. Eighty five chairs was about right with all of those tables. Having Nebraska come from behind to win with 20 seconds left in the game. Priceless.
Maybe later on the pictures. I haven't even had time to download them.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Tomorrow is Veterans Day. It's being commemorated in our hometown today in two different programs. We owe all of our freedoms to these brave men, past and present. A great big Thanks to them and to YOU if you are one!!
It is raining, and 36 degrees right now. Think about that.
A deer hunter drove in a few minutes ago and parked and got out to go sit in a tree in this rain. Think about that.
I will pack away my bikini later today. You probably shouldn't think about that.
Tomorrow is the annual Morrow Collision Center customer appreciation party. Food, drinks, fellowship, and the Nebraska vs Texas A&M football game projected on the large north wall of the building. You are invited. The down side to this is that in the likely event that A&M wins, it will effectively shut down the party.
I have 10 salmon laying on the kitchen counter waiting to see what the inside of my smoker looks like. They have also been invited to the party.
I am going to town in a few minutes to pick up 70# of steak blocks for tomorrow's party. I will cook them today. If you're coming to the party, don't eat before you come.
Farming will have to wait till Monday.
Yes I'll have some pics of the party.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Eleven months out of the year I complain to Marilyn about this overgrown bush. It obstructs the southern view from our closed in deck/sunroom. I often threaten to pull the loader tractor up and throw a log chain around it's base and drag it out of there.
The color the bush turns in the fall... is the bush's way of telling ol shove it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Views From Around the Farm

This is my oldest Brother pulling in the last load of corn for 2006. Notice the extreme ruts we've made by pulling corn down a soft field road. This land was irrigated and then added to it were the late season rains to make the field more or less like running heavy equipment on a water bed. This unit was only stuck in the mud one time. This good record due to a good operator at the wheel.
Marilyn shot this a couple of mornings ago. The harvest is over and the machinery is getting a bath before being stored away till next season. That's our combine on the left, the grain cart in the middle, and the tractor and disk on the right.

Brother Ed is on the combine and that's me on the ground. Ed has run the combine for me since time immemorial... Okay, at least since I've been farming.
The two Brothers above (the one in the top pic and Ed) both live locally and the one not pictured is from the Omaha area. He comes up when called and can operate everything on the farm including the combine.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated!

With apologies to Mr Twain for the theft of his wording........
Yes it's been a while since I last had time to post. We have been oh so busy with harvest. I have some corn to move around yet but it's 'all on wheels'. That's a farmer term meaning the crop has all been picked but as yet has not been unloaded from the vehicle it is in, ie, a truck, combine, wagon or what have you.
Yes we're done. It's officially 'too late' to be picking corn.
The weather is glorious. I love this weather and it is the main reason we stay in Nebraska. October and November weather is the reward for staying here year after year and letting nature take her little pot shots at you like drought, too much rain, heat, cold, rain, sleet, snow, ice, humidity, tornados, and on and on and on.....
We are getting to thirty something at night and about 60 for a high during the day. It's 'where's my sweatshirt?' weather. Every morning you must rerun yesterday's activities to try and remember where you were when you suddenly got too hot and shucked your coat.
The grass is still green, the fields are reduced to light brown stubble, and the leaves are all changing colors and the air is so very crisp in the mornings. It's hard to get enough of it sucked in when you first step out in the morning. The air, and the way it smells, strikes me and makes me think the same thought each morning. "It would appear I've gotten away with it." 'IT', being living on the same farm since I was born and being able to see nothing but land and trees and crops and family members and those blasted deer...and little else.
Except for deer season, Marilyn and I get up and walk to the door to see who drove in. We will sometimes go weeks at a time with no traffic at all by our house. It is a long private drive with little to draw folks down to our house, except hunters, who help us control the population of the little hood ornaments.
I'm mostly saying that we are blessed. It's been a good harvest, everyone finished with the same number of appendages they started with, and I was lucky enough to have 3 brothers who come back (or out) to the farm for harvest, to help me each year. The stories abound, the food is good, very good, thanks to Marilyn, and we set a record for this farmer, getting his crop out this early.
There is a lot of field work and record keeping to do, but for now, the sun has set on the great crop of 2006.

As you were.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Performance Underwear!

I received an e-mail today from Cabella's. They have put their 'performance underwear' on sale. They wanted me to know that. I thought that I should probably go look. But what kind of performance would ensue. Am I obligated to do something. A song and dance maybe? What if I bought my wife a pair. Or better than a pair...just one. Now we're talking. I could stand a little excitement out here on the farm. We really haven't had anything to get the ol' heart started since, well, since we burned the barn. And we did that on purpose.
Okay, I chickened out. I didn't go look at the website with performance underwear. I just can't take on another obligation right now. Yup, too much pressure here.
I wonder if they come in brown.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Rats Are Smarter Than People

We (my Brothers and I) got into a discussion a few days ago about the effects of rats on farm buildings. We don't have trouble with mice or rats around our home farmstead because of the 30 or more cats we feed out by the barns. I do have 3 remote sites, one with a machine shed, that have rat problems. I have spent a small fortune buying different kinds of baits in an effort to plan their demise.
Rats are hard to kill with bait because when the first rat dies from the poison, the entire colony quits eating whatever it is that they've been eating. And I mean they quit eating it forever. That's why rat killing formula's are slow acting in an attempt to get them all to eat before they learn about the problem.
That's why I said to my Brothers, "Rat's are smarter than people, when rats figure out that what they are eating is killing them, they stop eating it."
I was going to give you an analogy here but I don't have time, I need to go fry a Twinkie for breakfast.

Friday, October 13, 2006

My Troubles Didn't Start Until I Was Born!

When I started to attend our little country school, the girls all made fun of my big ears and the way they stuck out.
Now that I've gotten old, they're still big...but now, as you can see, they hang down.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Deer Hunting

Marilyn went deer hunting Monday night.
With her car.
She got one.
If the impact hadn't killed the deer...the twenty foot fall from the sky would have.
Marilyns fine. Mad.
The van isn't fine.
Morrow Collision Center will take care of the van.

Harvest pics from our farm?? Dan has one on his site.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A View From The Back Porch

Marilyn snapped these two pics a couple of days ago. The fall flowers have taken over her berms. Below is a close-up of the Aster. It is usually full of butterfly's and honey bees. It's a fairly high resolution picture so if you look closely you can see all of the bees at work.
In the background of the above picture you can see the corner of one of the horse barns, the blue tarp protecting bales of hay and the corn that is nearly ready for harvest.
I suppose I should try to get a couple of shots of harvest. We're about 1/2 done harvesting the soybeans.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I have been to two concerts this year. One was a local concert that drew some big name country stars to right here in Tekamah.
Last night we were treated to the River City Roundup rodeo and the concert that followed. The River City Roundup in Omaha is similar to the Denver Stock Show and is better in many ways. We saw Jennifer Nettles and Sugarland. Unbelievable talent this girl has.
An observation of mine from both concerts. Loud music makes some women in the audience stand up at the beginning of the first song, raise their hands into the air and move them from side to side and they sing and sway with the music as well as moving their hips in a suggestive circular manner. They do this from the start of the concert, all the way to the end.
I want to state here and now for the record, that if loud music made my wife stand up, wave her arms from side to side and move her hips in a circular, suggestive motion... I would buy one of those big, loud stereos.

Friday, September 29, 2006

These Two Pictures Go With Story Below

A Friday Night at Grandmothers

Never look at the trombones... it only encourages them.
Ricard Strauss- Noted German composer, conductor, and bandman.

Okay, back to the trip in reverse. I mentioned that we decided to make Lincoln, NE the last night of our trip. We needed to retrieve one of our autos and one other thing needed to be done. Visit Grandmothers.
Our son Tom had called me a while back and said "Dad, you and Mom need to come down here on a Friday night before a home game and we'll go to Grandmother's Restaurant." "Sounds fine to me but what's the attraction on that night?"
Turns out the attraction is that at 10:00 pm and again an hour later, the Nebraska Pep Band rolls in and does a twenty minute performance of every kind of music. Mostly music that makes football fans, and the marching band groupies that are with them, go a bit crazy.
We arrived with our boys and their wives at 8:00, ate in the bar side of the establishment, visited and waited.
At about 9:30 the place began to fill up. When I say the place I mean the area between the tables which had been full of people like us who had planned to stay for the performance. Our waitress offered to give us refills at 10 minutes till and warned us there would be no more service until after the performance.
Now folks, we are talking major excitement here. As with any major college band, each individual is very accomplished and confident. Such was the case here. The first thing we heard was a cadence pounded out by a distant drum. That started the screaming and singing and the waving of arms and the hand clapping and every other ceremony imaginable that came with each song.
The band began playing and plowed their way through the crowd on the perimeter of the room to stand in their usual location at the far west end of the bar. Every other band member was standing on a chair. They were talented, loud, and having more fun than most college kids can find on a Friday night. On a few songs they would split up and traverse the room to return again to formation.
I am envious of anyone who is really good at playing a musical instrument. I am also aware, that their talent came disguised as hard work. The fun these kids are having in this bar every home game Friday night (and other divisions of this same group in other bars across Lincoln) is to be admired. A reward for hard work. Even old farmers can enjoy this stuff.
We were seated near the back left. (I was going to tell you about the pictures here. I have been unable to post them on Blogger or Picasa)
Nebraska has 'sold out' their 80,000 plus seat stadium every game since November 3rd in 1962. That's an ongoing national record. The traditions surrounding that football team and 'the show' are numerous. This is just one of them.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Detour Ahead

I plan on doing several posts about our little jaunt to Wisconsin. That will have to wait.
The detour is because this day, Sept 26th, is pretty special to me. It's kind of the reason we took our little trip. To celebrate our 35th year of marriage.
The following story will show you how I am held in high regard here in our family. About two weeks ago our oldest son was here and looking through some of our old photos. Some pictures were of Marilyn and I, taken back in college where we met. He stared as his Mom for about thirty seconds until I said, "What?" "What are you staring at?" He replied, "Man Dad, you must have had a good personality when you were young, to attract a babe like Mom."
I held my tongue and didn't ask the obvious question like "What's wrong with the way I looked, and what's wrong with my personality now?" I took the high road. I said, "Go to your room." He replied "Sorry Dad, I don't have a room here anymore, I have a wife and kids and live in Lincoln." "Good idea." I said.
Well folks, here are a few pics of when we were young. The first one was of when we were first married and my bride is in a horeshow near Omaha. She is a very good rider/trainer. She doesn't have time to do much of it anymore.
The other is of her taken with our eldest. That little girl is now 30 something and the big smile on Marilyn's face is because of her new saddle she got for a Christmas present. Guys with lousy personalities must try to win favor with fine gifts. I guess.
She could have done better than me but is nice enough to claim otherwise.
I couldn't have done any better than her. She left the city of Denver to live life near the Missouri River with me. She became a farm wife. She claims to have never looked back and I believe it. We've had a blast and I would do it all over again.

Both pictures indicate how much she likes to horse around...
So do I, the only difference is that I don't like horses.
If I were in grade school again, I'd carve 'I Love Marilyn' on my desk. I might get in trouble but it would be worth the risk if only she'll notice me.
Hey Babe, lets try for 35 more!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Our Vacation in Reverse Order

The last day of our vacation we decided to divert thru Lincoln to spend the night with the kids and pick up one of our cars. We had left it there to be repaired while we traversed the country side. When we got there we found out that the local airbase was having an air show the next day and that planes of various descriptions had been flying over all day practicing for the show. Before we got to Morrow Collision Center our boys just about had the pee-water scared out of them when these guys flew over at about 200 feet above the shop. The big doors were open so they ran to the door to see them. They are the Blue Angels and they conveniently turned around and came back over the shop for an encore. When it was over the boys went back into the body shop, picked their wrenches up off of the floor and continued repairing cars.

Then we arrived and got to see the latest improvement to the bodyshop. This is a spot welder capable of factory quality spot welds and of knocking several hours of labor off of some of the bigger jobs. Our youngest, the one who was just married, is demonstrating it to us. The gal in red is his Mom and is a poser.

Next: How we spent that night. It was funner than fun.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Discovery

Have you ever set a cement block or something as equally flat and heavy on the ground? And then a few weeks later a weed that was sprouted when you put the block there, forces it's way out from underneath the block.
I've been wearing a cap my whole life.
After about forty years of this, the cap won't let the hair grow on top of my head anymore so the hair is being forced out my ears, neck, back, and the inside and outside of my nose.
This hasn't been a carefully monitored, double blind study. Just an observation by me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I've been running two calenders,one in my office and one in my briefcase. I've told other people to not do that. Marilyn also runs a calender for her scheduled clients. It is a full sized appointment calender and is usually almost black from the number of names and notes written in it daily.
We've been wanting to go on vacation all summer but farming, irrigating, our son's wedding and any number of other responsibilities have prevented us from lining up more than 2 days in a row to go do something. We finally got it done. We were going to leave Saturday and come back Wednesday night. A short pre-harvest jaunt. Refreshing. The calenders were cleared. My wife has had a little lilt in her limp (knee surgery) since we got this arranged. She was to say the least, excited.
Yesterday was four days from leaving and I'm sitting at our county board meeting. Someone asks the Chairman, (me) what time is the public hearing for the budget on Monday. "9:00 AM" I say, then I think to myself "We're supposed to be golfing in Wisconsin on Monday at 9:00."
My mind has a 'turbo' setting. When in turbo, I am capable of running 3 or 4 different thought patterns all at the same time. So while I was saying something like "Hearing no discussion we will proceed to vote." I was actually thinking the following all at the same time.
1. That can't be right, we won't be here Monday, I promised my wife a vacation, we were going to rent a room with a jacuzzi, go golfing, tour a cheese factory, where's my calender? (the little one I carry in my briefcase to meetings so I can bring home the dates to my big calender) (don't do this...use just one calender)
2. Hmmm, sure enough it says Monday, 9:00 AM, Budget hearing. "All those in favor say Aye."
3. Maybe I could just skip the meeting. I'm chairman. You can't skip the most important public hearing of the year. That's why I'm Chairman. For times like this. "Those opposed say NO."
4. Which one of these gentlemen seated at this conference table would be willing to go into the next office and call my wife and make up a story that made it sound like Cliff is so depressed by what he just learned about an emergency meeting next Monday that he was just too distraught to call her personally. (I know it's been on my calender for 2 weeks but now it's an emergency) They could tell her "Cliff said don't come in to the courthouse, he'll be alright.....he thinks."
5. The kids have borrowed my shotgun. Good.
6. Yep...I'm in trouble.
Sooo all of this is virtually racing through my brain and I do what any man would do, I say, "Okay, it's break time, we have a hearing scheduled at 10:00 this morning so be back in your seats by then." Aside to our County Clerk, "may I use your phone?"
My side of the phone call: "Hi Marilyn." "How's it going?" "Good" "Uh we have a problem." "Well yes, as a matter of fact we can't go on vacation, how'd you know that." "Oh, I guess we have been married a long time." "Uh, we have the annual budget hearing on Monday that I didn't have on the big calender at home and I can't miss it." "Sure we can reschedule the trip." "Yes we can talk about this when I get home."
"Why yes I do have my little calender with me." "You want me to do what with it?"
We deserve each other. We've deserved each other for almost 35 years now.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It's Sunday Night and It's Raining

Last year we ended up dangerously low on moisture. The sub soil type. We had enough rain this past spring to bring up the crops and then it basically didn't rain for a couple of month's right there when it would have been handy for those us needing to have a crop to survive financially.
At the end of the season the corn that wasn't hit by irrigation water had given up the ghost and it appeared that the rains wouldn't ever come to help the soybeans. Beans can use late summer rains. They will wait for moisture to fill their pods.
The rains came in time to help the beans. In the past three weeks I have dumped my gauge to the tune 3. 8 inches. (an accumulation of several 1/2 inch type rains) Then 1.8 inches and's been raining for more than 24 hours. The gauge said 2.7 just before dark tonight but I didn't dump it out.
The beans did finish filling out and have already started to turn from green to yellow on their way to brown and eventually dropping all of their leaves. So they are done. The big news is that we actually have water standing in low places for the first time in a long while.
I have an 18 foot I/O sitting in the machine shed that hasn't been in the water for two years. If need be, I'll free it from the trailer just in case it keeps raining for forty days and nights. Marilyn and I can sit in the boat and just float out the doors. I've had a dream that told me to take items in the boat with me in PAIRS. So I'm going to take a pair of fishing poles, and a pair of propane cylinders, two cookers, two gallons of veggie cooking oil and a pair of packages of my favorite fish breading.
And my old School Bus Drivers License just in case I need to drive a bus to help evacuate Tekamah residents in case the Mayor gives the word. This isn't likely, even though they all work for a living they will find the time to see that their own family and their neighbors get to higher ground. (No we are not in danger of flooding...this is one of those PHOR's)
I'm going to get up in the morning to see how much it rained and to remember those who died 5 years ago. I will slowly get so worked up that I will think about arming myself with large guns and doing bodily harm to the cowards who are bent on killing children, women, and men because they aren't Muslim.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Cliff's Excellent Adventure

We went to the Nebraska State Fair this weekend. It afforded us the opportunity to see the boys and their families. Dan and family and his Mom (my Bride) surprised me with this.
A 366 page paperback filled with the first two years of my blog. A company in Lincoln did the 'code' for it and had it published. The neat thing is it can be purchased and they'll print and ship it within 5 days. This one made it in just 3 days. Dan had one of my blog pictures put on the cover as he is aware of my love for horses. Not.
I suppose that if I had known they were going to do this I would have frantically gone back and tried to fix all of the errors and may have changed some content and then I guess it wouldn't have been a copy of my blog.
It thrilled me. It cemented my belief that anyone can write a book. Of course Al Franken had already proven that. And I think this is at least as insignificant as anything he ever wrote.
I then went to the State Fair the next day, saw a vacant picnic table, and had a great idea.
I held the first Cliff Morrow's Blog...Book signing. The only signing that went on was a smart alec high school kid when I asked him if he wanted me to sign something for him. Dan found out from Marilyn what I was doing and he said, "Uh Dad, there are only two copies of that book, one is in the showroom of the guys who did the work here in Lincoln. The other is in the car. Let's do this later."
SO...I went in search of someone who may have heard of me. I couldn't believe that someone hadn't recognized me. Where were the paparazzi?? I'm a published author for crying out loud! I went into the beef barn and asked 'Ol Heat Seeker.

"What's a Blog? Cliff Who? Nope, can't say as I have."

I went into the Cabella's tent and asked 'Spot' if he'd ever heard of me. Nope. By the way, not a very nice Zebra.

My Grandaughter was eating some University of Nebraska Food Science Department ice cream. No she hadn't heard of my book and further more "If you come one inch closer to my ice cream you're going to be eating that camera Grandpa!" She didn't want to hear about my book.

Well I guess you folks who read my blog have heard of me. Most of you are mentioned in it from time to time. It was a quick 2 years and a lot of fun. I told Marilyn that I would love to be able to read a document like this, written by my Great-great-great Grandpa. Someday I guess that might happen. Thanks for sharing my life to here all you Blog Kids. I hope to meet up with someday.

Okay Everyone...All skate.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

We Take Prevention Magazine....

For two reasons I think. One, it 'prevents' us from being bored while in the bathroom and two, we like to read about people who exercise. I guess.
This morning I read a short article with the lesson that if you really want to lose weight during a walking program, you absolutely need to step up the pace to 4 miles per hour. So...Speed up.
The second article I read said that some researchers have found that increased exercise can increase your appetite so much that you begin to inhale too many calories and thus you slowly gain weight.... From exercising. Their answer is to slow down your exercising you fool. It will cut your appetite and thus your weight gain.
This points out why education is such a wonderful thing. If I hadn't been able to read at the rate I do, I might have read just the first article. As a result I might have accidentally started an exercise program. And gained more weight. And besides that...I hadn't even consulted my Doctor before starting this alleged exercise program.
"Uh...Doc...Hi this is Cliff, my magazine says to consult a physician before starting any exercise program and well, I'm thinking about doing a sit-up so I need to schedule an appointment."

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

At Least Two Possible Captions

A: "Grandpa, do I look pretty?"
B: "If I give you a good headbutt, will you quit following me?"

Monday, August 28, 2006

Too little temptation kin lead to virtue....
Savvy Sayins (from the old west) by Ken Alstad

I've spent the winter, spring, and most of the summer waiting for just one ripe tomato from the garden. I laid in a supply of 'on sale' bacon and mayo (sorry Jamie Dawn) a while back, based on the sighting of a blossom. And then TA DA... we finally got one...a red, vine ripened tomato! And then a week later we're overrun with the little critters once again.
Our phone conversations in late August always end the same..."Do you have tomatoes?" "NO we don't need any of yours, we're trying to give some away ourselves!"
There's an old saying around small towns that I will paraphrse. 'You can always tell the horses (pa-tuties), they're the ones who have to buy their sweetcorn and tomatoes.'
This was half of yesterdays picking and in about a week, when we've canned all we're going to, you can stop by and load up the truck. If'n you need some for the table stop out today.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Prince Charming

We ventured into the soggy morning air at 5:15 to pickup Marilyn's Mom and go to the hospital to have Marilyn's knee joint scoped. They scraped away some arthritis and did some other things to her knee that sounded foreign to me. After some trouble with slight nausea she was released into my care. That thought scared her a bit. Her appetite has returned and she is mostly following orders to keep her knee above her heart and on ice for the weekend.
Well Marilyn's Mom has had two knee replacements. From those surgeries she had a neat-o little jacket that goes around the knee joint and then pumps icewater thru the jacket. All you have to do is add about 6 pounds of ice to the cooler type box that it's connected to every half day or so. It did get her leg so cold she started having cramps. We backed off a bit on the cold.
Concerns I have are:
1. The hydrostatic transmission on our riding lawnmower with the 60", front mount deck, requires that you push with your right foot to make it go forward. The harder you push the faster you go. I'm afraid that the force with which she is able to push on the pedal will be so minimal that she will spend so much time mowing the lawn that she won't get inside in time to fix dinner.
2. Some things we have on the floor by the stove, (soft drink 12 pack and etc) might trip her while she's cooking. I've cleared them away. I figure she shouldn't stand for more than an hour at the range. She's supposed to keep her knee above her heart for crying out loud.
3. I need to figure out some way to get the washer and dryer up here on the main floor. She shouldn't be climbing stairs but on the other hand I'm running low on golf shirts. And I do like to smell 'fresh' when I play golf.
4. Marilyn's knee is supposed to be in the 'non-weight bearing mode' for the next three weeks. I've rigged up an office chair so she won't have to stand very much to load and unload the dishwasher.
5. Dusting. I've told her that it's okay to wait a few weeks to do the dusting. I can put up with a little dust.
6. And lastly the gardening. Late summer and early fall always bring rains and lots of weeds to her vegetable gardens and the berms covered with lovely flowers. I've told her I will be happy to put her on the loader bucket on the front of my John Deere 4020 tractor and hold her over the gardens so she can lay down and still pull weeds. She won't even have to stand up to garden. I am concerned that she has 5 full days of grooming next week and she may want me to put her on the loader over the garden too late in the afternoon. I do sometimes play golf in the late afternoon.
But if I'm not golfing I'll be happy to do that. What kind of husband would I be if I couldn't help out a little around the house.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Must Show You This

Every farm needs a little girl around. This is my little farm girl's...little farm girl and she lives on our farm.

She recently had her 5th birthday. One of her gifts was this screen porch for butterflies. She wanted to paint it all by herself. No help please. Little Miss independent she is.

She got the paints from Grandma and came back with this finished project. We think it is fairly remarkable for a 5 year old.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


"My name's Cliff...I'll be here all week. Thanks for being a great audience."
I was trying on my tux and asked Marilyn what she thought this would look like with out the vest and tie. I needed a microphone not a camera.
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Monday, August 21, 2006

The story that goes with these pics is below the last photo.
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