Monday, February 28, 2005

Name Change

I've decided to change the name of my blog again. Although the number of people visiting the blog is flattering, I couldn't help but notice that 5 to 15 per day were looking for a different version of Cliff's Notes.
The original "Cliff", with his Notes, was from Nebraska also, but this 'Cliff' is against making money. And I can, and have, proved it.

Sunday, February 27, 2005


Terah and John have been talking about life in the country and small town America. Terah talks about small town auto repair shops and John did a nice blog on How to Tell You're not from the Country. All of this got me to thinking that maybe I should ask you, the readers of this blog, of ways you can think of, on how to tell you live in (or near) a small town. A lot of you at least grew up in a small town or you have close relatives that do. I'll start, you guys leave a comment: (remember, on Blogger you don't have to sign in, just comment anonymously)
You live in the country if:
You slide in the ditch on the way to town, and the news of the event reaches town before you do.
You think a 'brown out' is what happens when you hit a mudhole at a high rate of speed.
You dial a wrong number, and talk to the person who answered, for thirty minutes anyway.
Every store has a message for you, "your wifes trying to get ahold of you".
Your town has a rush minute. (ours does, from 3:30 to 3:31 when the school lets out, it's impossible to get on main street)
You can't park your car on mainstreet and leave the doors on your car unlocked, in July, for fear a neighbor might give you some Zucchini.
They can tell you who the 'jerks' in town are. They're the ones who have to 'buy' their sweetcorn.
The UPS man knows your automobiles, and regularly flags you down in town to avoid driving on the muddy roads.
In July, they begin judging the 'wealthy farmers' by how much mud you have hanging from your 4x4. (irrigation induced mud while the rest of the farmers are burning up)
You have one stop light in town, and someone needs to push a button to make it work.
You know the phone number of almost everyone on mainsteet. And if one slips your mind, just ask the next person you see, they'll probably know it.
And my favorite, you make a call and before you get to the 'this is' part, they call you by your first name.
Okay folks, now it's your turn.

The Best Actor on a Farm

I was reading Marty's K-9 problems with odors and it reminded me of our farm dog Winnie. Winnie was one of our more popular farm dogs. She was friendly, barked when someone drove in but was not interested in the people who drove the car, just the car. And most importantly for a good farm dog, she was completely worthless.
She was old the day I set a large hogshed down on top of her. (didn't know she was there) Even though she survived, it slowed her down.
One morning I was timing cattle feed into our feed wagon. I petted her, she went out the door, and came back about sixty seconds later for another stroking. Problem being that in the time between leaving and coming back she had taken a direct hit from a skunk. I indicated to her that she should leave. She did. We left for a few days, and my brother accidently hit her with a pickup the next morning,(remember she was slow) and killed her. He got out of his pickup, to load her up and take her to a burial site, but couldn't get close because of the skunk residue.
His hired man drove up, and in what has now become known as an Academy Award winning performance, my Brother, now almost in tears, told George "I just ran over our old farm dog, that dog has been a part of this family for fifteen years, she was an old family pet and I just killed her, and now I just can't stand to bury her, she's over there by those trees". (technically not a lie) George put his arm around Ed's shoulder and in that tone reserved for those who have just had a death in the family, George quietly said, "Ed I'll take care of it, it's the least I can do".
When we returned, Ed told us about the dog and that he had 'taken care of the burial'. It wasn't until later that we learned the rest of the story.
"And the Oscar goes to....."

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Market

Beans were up twenty eight and a half cents today.
I shall keep the news to myself. Good Night!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Girls in 'Boys' Sports

I've not been a fan of girls playing traditionally boys sports. You know, boys play baseball and girls play softball. There was no way a few years ago that I would have been for girls in coed wrestling. Now I don't know.
Well, we have a set of twin girls who attend Tekamah-Herman Schools. They are little, serious, hard working dynamos. sp They wrestle at the national level in womens wrestling and were on the local high school team. Mind you it's hard to get on our local team, at least as a varsity wrestler. Witness the STATE CHAMPION banners that line one entire wall of our Gym. Tekamah Herman is a wrestling school. I invite you to read on Lisa's trip to the State Tournament. Qualifying for that is a tremendous feat. (boy or girl) The following three articles will give you an idea of the incredible amount of hoopla that went with her on her journey. First, Second, and the Third article.
I've been around these girls some and can tell you they are as serious as a heart attack and completely sincere. Very polite little girls.
Our local sports editor was in Lincoln when Lisa won one of her consolation matches and as our editor put it, an idiot from a television station stuck a camera in Lisa's face after her victory and asked if she felt like Brittney Spears. (owing to all the attention she was getting from the mob of sport writers following her around). Lisa stared at him with a 'what the heck kind of question was that' look and said "No, I don't want to be like her".

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

"I Love You"

There is a big grey area in marriage. At least for us men. An example is, I could say "I love you", exactly the same, 3 times, and get 3 entirely different responses.
Having lunch with my Wife, I could put down my sandwich and say "I love you". She would rise, kiss me on the forhead and with a voice usually reserved for infants say, "Oh, I love you too".
If I said "I love you" during her favorite television show, she might quickly say "well I love you too", and then turn her attentions immediately back to the tv.
If I shut the light out and get in bed, "I love you" will likely get this response "huh, I was asleep". I say "no you weren't, you just laid down". She says "well I was asleep, I'm tired".
I bring this up because last night, as I laid down with her I said, "Beans were up 24 cents today". "Wow", she says. I said "I have them in the Property Statement at $5.15 per bushel and they're at $5.60 right now, a couple more good up days and we'd have about ten thousand dollars we hadn't planned on". Now she's awake. "Really"? "Yeah" I said, "it would help offset the fifteen thousand dollar increase we're going to have in fertilizer and fuel". My pessimistic words completely dampen her mood and interest, now suddenly half asleep she mumbles "we just can't get ahead". I said "we're already ahead". She asks "we are"?
"Yes" I said, "we have each other".
Now my hearing isn't perfect, but I'm sure she mumbled (almost asleep at this point) "oh puke".
I asked "What....oh puke"?
And then as she faded completely away I heard a faint "oh did I say that outloud"?
There is obviously something about a bed that makes married men very, very, boring.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Way We Were

Cliff and Marilyn twenty six years ago, All Smiles! Our youngest is 3 years from being born and the baby in the picture owns his own Body Shop now and has a baby of his own about that same size. The little girl has a little blonde girl of her own about that size. The more things change the more they remain the same. Since this photo was taken, our family has grown. And I mean in everyway. And yes, I used to have hair.

My Parents

These are my Parents, Art and Dorthula Morrow. Art 1905 to 1988. Dorthula 1907 to 1977. They raised seven children of which Cliff was one. This picture was taken in 1976 Mom died a year later. Dad farmed his entire life and moved the family to this farm in 1948. I joined him in farming in 1971. Mom and Dad are both buried in the Tekamah Cemetery.

My Grandparents

These are my Grandparents, Edmon and Margaret Morrow. Edmon 1875-1928 and Margaret 1875-1947. I was the youngest of seven and born in 1950, so that's how close I came to meeting a Grandparent. Greg, this picture was probably taken near your parents farm. They lived a mile North of the Riverside Church and 3 or so miles East. By the looks of the pic I think they were on their way to Church. They are both also buried in the Tekamah Cemetery.

My Great Grandparents

My paternal Great Grandparents Rozzel and Adella Morrow. Still nothing funny. Scarry maybe, but not funny.
Rozzel 1847 to 1917. Adella 1857 to 1930. They had 9 children one of which was Edmon.
They are both buried in the Tekamah Cemetary.

Monday, February 21, 2005

My Great-Great Grandparents

My Great-Great Grandparents Andrew and Sarah Morrow. Marty, just add a Great. Your boys will need to add Great X 2. Nothing was funny back then. At least not when a camera was present. It seemed to stay that way for a couple of more generations.
Andrew was the son or grandson of James who arrived here in 1774 from Ireland, with two of his Brothers. Andrew 1814 to 1895. Sarah 1815 to 1900. They had 15 children from 1837 to 1861. One of which was Rozzel. With 15 kids I'm guessing he didn't have to milk the cows himself. At least not often. They are both buried in Modale Ia.

Do You Remember These?

Just like the Statler Brothers song, Do you Remember These? The 1963 Studebaker Hawk. My boys at Morrow Collision Center just finished the body and paint work on this classic. I was fourteen when this car was introduced. Since we had Studebakers, I just couldn't understand why Dad wouln't spring for one of these. After all, we had the '50 champion that we could have traded. This particular car is really pretty nice. If I remember correctly, it has a red leather interior and bucket seats. I think this is the first Hawk I've seen since the 60's.
My taste's have changed since I was fourteen. Also, my kids'favorites are as far away from mine, as mine were from Dad's.
But never the less, nice work Boys.

It's Official

I'm Old. After all of those years of wondering why old people can't eat a normal plate of food, Marilyn and I split a dinner at Applebee's last nite and we couldn't finish it.
There's a bit more to it. We ate at a new place in Omaha, earlier in the day. Kona Grill. We asked the waiter if an order of onion rings was large. He said "there are only six". Good, we each ordered a salad and we would share one order of the onion rings.
He failed to mention that the onion rings were the same size as those rubber safety boots they put on the hooves of Grand Prix jumping horses. They were huge. The plate was piled so high, with six rings, that we had to move them to the side so we could make eye contact.
Now I know that I will begin to start complaining about restaurants putting out too much food. And I know they haven't really changed how much food they put out. But I've officially reached 'senior' status in some diners, 55.
It's my right to complain. I've made it. I'm old.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Close Enough

Bob Newhart says he wasn't a very good accountant (his profession before comedy) because he always thought "within a few cents" was "close enough".
For the same reason I will never be a computer programmer. I've just spent 20 minutes trying to add Terah to my links list. The preview showed her name, right there under her husband John's name. I clicked save changes and ta-dah! Nothing. Well I'm hoping that one day I will open my blog to find Terah listed.
This is why I farm. When the bales fall off the wagon, it's obvious what needs to be done. On my computer I find myself talking to an object, outloud, and half yelling and half begging "Ah com'on. That's close enough isn't it??

Chickerace. Doing 20 to Life.


Chickerace, rhymes with Liberace.
He is an exotic chicken. I now have full ownership of him. He lives in a spacious pen in my shop. He is about 2 years old, large, beautiful, and very aggressive. Every morning he crows wildly.
How does an otherwise normal seeming farmer, end up with an exotic. Besides roaming the beaches of a Caribbean island, this is how you do it. Buy 100 or more baby chicks, you know, the 'fryer' type, and get one exotic chick, "FREE". This has happened 3 different times. The trouble is they all grow slower than fryers and they are left behind as a pet.
Jeez I wish they wouldn't do that.
The other 100 fryers are well on their way to the grill when this little, slow growing feller is just getting started. And since we don't want one cornish game hen, and since we need to load the others to take them to the butcher,we keep him for a pet. (not my idea)
Our exotics are rich with history. There was Sparky who spent his summer here on the farm sleeping in one of our buildings and running to the handrailing on the front porch to crow every morning. We started calling him a 'dumb cluck'. His demise came one night. We don't know how. All we had left of that early morning riser was a circle of feathers. We were glad to see him go, he had taken to trying to make babies with an old deflated basketball that was out in the yard.
Then there was Dweezle, who slept in the barn and fell prey to our dog, we think. That bird would attack anyone and everyone.
That brings us back to Chickerace. He began as a normal, slow growing chick. He got taken to Lincoln where he was raised a 'Body Shop Chicken'. Customers and suppliers alike grew to love the chicken. He had the run of the place. However, he started to show tendencies that possibly would land him in chicken penitentiary. He began attacking certain people. The ones that were moving. He began crowing loudly from daybreak to noon. Lincoln passed a Chickerace law about no roosters in the city limits. (Okay, they didn't really know about Chickerace, but did pass a law. They didn't want crowing in town)
He became a beautiful, multi-colored, HUGE chicken. He reached the age of puberty. How can you tell, you ask. Well I'll tell you. He started growing a beard and trying to have sex with something. Anything. He was on the attack one day and someone kicked a sandal at him to scare him off. So he bred the sandal. Well that right there, will get you thrown out of most body shops. And it worked here. My son caged his novelty chicken, turned sex offender, and brought him to the farm where I check his feed and water daily. (okay, weekly, usually) He's been here 2 years, doing 20 to life, for sexual assault of a sandal. They never learn.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Early Faxes

We received another fax at 4 in the morning today. Since our fax number rings the house, I found myself scrambling to get the phone before it woke the kids.
At 4 in the morning it's hard to remember you don't have kids at home any more. Also I've always had this thing about answering the phone like I've been awake for hours. I would hate to think that anyone would form the opinion that I couldn't get my lazy rear out of bed by 4 AM.
These faxes are advertisements for stocks that cost about 22 cents per share but are anticipated to be woth $22 in a few weeks. They come about once a week, at 4 AM.
I got up this morning and found the FCC's web page for filing complaints about this sort of thing. I told them I didn't care if they stopped the faxes, I just needed the home phone number of the CEO. There are some nights that I can't sleep and I could use some entertainment.

My friend Greg, who comments regularly, lives in Angoon Alaska. My latest blog about the eagles prompted him to send a few pictures. This one is of Hood Mountain taken from Favorite Bay. Hopefully Greg will leave a comment about this beautiful area or each picture. Some of us have felt sorry for him, up in Alaska, in the winter, Up until now. Wow. His view from the porch (below) is a stark contrast to what we have to look at.

This is Gregs "View From his Deck". (Click Pictures to Enlarge)

This one is of a bald eagle. Greg took it from his bedroom window. Thanks Greg for sharing these.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Eagle's Have Landed

Our annual influx of Bald Eagles is underway. They have taken to sitting in the trees overhanging the road East of the kennel. For today at least. Marilyn and I took the grandkids down there tonight, in the pickup, and watched for a bit. They were feeding on the carcass of a dead white tail. There were 3 baldies and one more Eagle that was even larger than the three black and white birds. He/she was more brown than anything. Does anyone know, is that a male or a female or another species of eagle.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Just One Regret

Way back in 1969, I was with about ten guys in a dorm room, trying to get to know my new classmates in the Ag-Business class out in Curtis, Ne. It was the Univ. of Ne School of Tech. Ag. A stir was caused by one of the guys coming into the dorm room, (there was about ten of us in there just talking), he announced,"man you gotta see the girl sitting down in the office." The girl was a pretty brunette from Colorado. We all non-chalantly strolled by the office.
He was right. She was very attractive.
Dr Phil says men fall in love with their eyes and women fall in love with their ears. This is fortunate, I've always been a good talker. If women fell in love with their eyes, I never would have been able to talk that girl from Colorado into spending her life with me.
I've written and erased this part twice. It's difficult to put into words, what she has meant to me and our family. Like any marriage, we've had problems, but not serious ones. Finances have been tight more than a few times, (that goes with the farming game)but for the most part, it's been a great life with Marilyn. We've raised three wonderful kids and now they are raising kids. Life gets more interesting everyday. Thru all of the basketball, baseball, and football games, dog shows, horse shows, vacations, recitals, programs, planting seasons, harvests, and on and on, Marilyn and I have been together and cherished every moment. Raising our family has been our 'Job One'.
So to a great Wife, Mom, and Business Woman, I want you to know that given the chance, I'd do it all again. I'm glad you're my Valentine.
I have only one regret. We knew each other about a month before we started dating and fell in love. What were we waiting for?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Sunday Morning

It's not time to take a shower and put on my 'duds' for church. The ritual is the same. "Are we singing this morning?" "We should get there early". "We're Late".
So in anticipation of that event, I've decided to blog and thereby have a reason for being late.
I know that I have presented you with pics of cold weather. But it's gotten worse. When I awoke this morning, I opened my eyes and looked on the ceiling to see 43 degrees. (our time and outdoor temp is projected on the ceiling, I find it gives me 2 more things to worry about in the middle of the night) 43 degrees, and it's been raining since noon yesterday. Okay, frozen ground, 3 inches of mud on top and gaining, and now rain and lots of it. By the time we get to church (remember the 7 miles of rock road to the highway) and get done plowing through 40 large mudholes in the road, you will be able to use our van for a duck blind in an open field. Good idea actually. We would even have the big doors on both sides to fling open to attack our prey. Ducks who are in the air, out of the mud, and don't have the brains to stay up there. Or at least the brains to land somewhere on concrete. I at first thought there was little hope but I have now gained control of my senses and now have the answer.
Let us pray. Dear Lord, please stop the rain and bring a dry, hot south wind to dry up my road. I know we need moisture to raise our crops. But...Well it's two, maybe two and half months till we start planting. How about one good rain after the frost goes out. Or how about giving me the fortitude to stand up in a county board meeting and say "uh, as your chairman, I think it would be a good idea to forsake the one and six year 'road plan' and instead spend the money to pave County Road E". And then Dear Lord, give me something to say when the questions start about where I live in relation to County Road E. Like "well I'll be, that is close to where I live". Oh Lord, please answer this prayer, I know you will, You always do. Amen
I truly believe that God answers prayer but seldom this quickly. I just found out they forecast 12 degrees here Wednesday night. My hard surfaced road is on the way. Thank you Lord.


Ralph wrote about "carriers" on Feb 4th. I attended a training conference for County Officials the 10th and 11th. While sitting through what seemed to be a 3 hour speech. (it was actually 45 minutes)It dawned on me that I was listening to a carrier.
The man giving the speech wasn't bored himself, but he was a carrier.


Does it mean you are a redneck if you always receive the 1400 plus page, hardbound, annual, 'Limited SPECIAL Edition' copy of Cabelas Hunting, Fishing, and Outdoor Gear catalog??

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Cream

I just got back from our annual training session in Kearney NE. It's for Nebraska's County Officials. It was great to get home to Marilyn, and it was great to be able to see 'the boys' and my daughter in-law and the "little girl" on my way out and back. I've been basking in the glow of my house, up until I read Marty's blog. I must say, it fairly knocked me up against the wall, but I know Marty and know he'll be just fine. But It's hard never the less.
The good news is that I'll bet that Marty's 'top 5 most important things in my life' list, haven't and won't change.
No matter how hard you shake the jar, if you let it 'set' for a bit, the cream always rises back to the top.

Monday, February 07, 2005

This "View From the Porch" has been brought to you by Cliff Morrow. My effort to make you happy to be living where you live.

Good Show

The NFL obviously regained control of the Super Bowl that they had unwisely given to others, over the past few years. At least from twenty minutes before the game until it was over, it was a Good Show. The NFL learned the important lesson that all must learn, that 'Responsibility' doesn't go away. You can't sell it or give it away. Once it's yours, it yours.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Sun Came Up, I Think

Marilyn and I have had cold and/or flu symptoms, severe ones, for a few days now. We spent yesterday sitting, and staring at the wall, and not really caring if anything got done. I awoke this morning, early. At 5:01 AM. Early you ask, why didn't someone who feels like you do, sleep in?? Well my 3 yr old granddaughter, whom we 'lovingly' refer to as "our little angel" apparently sabotaged my alarm clock. I say apparently because, as per her M.O. she wiped the crime scene clean of any evidence that could implicate her of any wrong doing. Anyway, after a restless 5 and 1/2 hrs of sleep, my alarm went off, on 'radio', no station in particular, several actually, and on FULL VOLUME. I shut the alarm off, which is on Marilyn's side of the bed, but She had spent the night in the half upright position, in her chair in the living room. I then took my c-pap mask off of my throat. (no, you're right, they are normally worn on the nose.) And then picked up the c-pap machine itself, which of course followed me to the alarm clock.
The point here is that despite the plot launched by the Angel, it was great to see that the sun came up today. At least we assume it did. We can't see it because of the clouds that have brought us a layer of ice and now snow. But never the less, it's light outside and we have survived to cough another day.
We had a Super Bowl party planned for today, but have called that off. Now all that is left to do is sit and wait in wild anticipation of another stellar performance, put on at half-time. The NFL really has its' hand on the pulse of the football fans of this country. Nothing says entertainment like a well executed 'buttonhook', and rap music sung by a guy grabbing his crotch every 4.2 seconds.
At halftime, I think I'll pretend I'm at the doctor. I'm going to turn my head and cough.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

As we wait for spring here in Nebraska, just a reminder that we have this to look forward to. Marilyn shot this picture last year, about a quarter mile west of our lane, looking west.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Question for You

I was watching the goings on at the beginning of the Michael Jackson trial which had a clip of his group (including the umbrella man) entering the courthouse. My question is this, is willies spelled willies or willy's like the Jeep?