Thursday, March 31, 2005

I Can't Take This

Stress is trying to write blogs and having to wait 5 minutes until the stars or 2 modems or something align. Stress is trying to figure why, no matter what you do, you can't leave a comment on someone's blog. Namely Terah and Johns Blog. I would link to them here but my 'links' and all the other stuff that usually comes up on the right side of my screen is gone. I think my computer or blogger may have had some sort of cyber stroke. Percussive maintainance is my next step so before I start whacking my monitor upside da head, I'm going out to kick a tire on a John Deere tractor and maybe haul some corn if it' dry enough.
One more thought, I'm sitting here wasting 3 minutes thinking that what I'm typing will actually end up on my blog. Silly me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Sweep Auger

When I was young, my Dad still moved a lot of grain with a scoop. We had corn cribs to put 'ear corn' in. Then we got grain bins (for corn already shelled from the cob)
We were all so impressed that we didn't have to scoop grain out thru the door and into a wagon, that we celebrated only having to scoop it to the middle of the bin where there was hole for the grain to fall into a horizontal auger.
Even though the oldest bins we have were built in the late 50's, they were still 24 feet in diameter, so we scooped the last 1500 bushels the 12 feet to the middle.
Then my Brother borrowed one of these puppies. A 12 foot sweep auger. It travels in a circle around the bin and brings the corn to the middle where it falls in. All that's required is that someone clean up behind it. My Dad was 'agin' it when he first saw it. After all, how lazy can you get when you can't scoop 75000 pounds of corn to the middle of a bin. Dad used it once and he bought one.
Only drawback is that the dust in a soybean bin is usually so bad that you can't see your hand in front of your face. Here I have the aereation fan reversed to draw the dirt down and out.

Why babies won't smile for pictures.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Our three kids were home for Easter. It's always a treat when they come home. The young lady is our church organist. The boys are running their own collision repair shop.

Tom 'Catfish' Morrow

This is our now 23 year old youngest son. Marilyn took this picture on Harlan County Reservoir in Southern Nebraska. He still loves to fish. He was 5 at the time. Sorry the pic didn't scan all that well.

Easter Sunday

Our lane is 3/4 of a mile. At least thats what we always call it. Actually it's a bit longer than that. When I was a small child, and living here, the lane was a formidable foe. At that time it didn't have the nice crushed rock base that it does now. And in the spring, there seemed at times to have no bottom to it. As the frost 'went out', we would begin the 'process'. First we would park the cars up on the main road. Then we began driving the jeep up to the cars. The jeep was about a 1945 Willy's with a cab. The heater put out about the same amount of warm air as I do during normal respiration. Dad always carried the spare tire in the back. This means the back seat passengers sat on little ledges on the side of the jeep facing each other with their feet on the tire. The top of the spare was almost as high as the seat you were on.
This is often the way we started to Easter Sunday Church. We weren't the type to miss a service. We went every Sunday. I have a 'perfect attendance pin' that goes for 14 years to prove it. But Easter Sunday sticks in my mind. There would sometimes be Mom, Dad, and 5 or 6 of us 7 kids in that jeep, plowing thru the mud up to the main road. We were all in our "finest". The jeep we were getting in to was coated with wet, fresh, mud inside and out. And we were expected to stay clean.
Now here's the good part. The road would reach a stage that made it impossible for the jeep to go up the lane. Did we stay home? No. Dad would get out the Allis D-14 farm tractor chosen because of its' wide front end. (The tires were 4 feet apart as opposed to a narrow front with the tires together, also called a tricycle front. Tricycle fronts would immediately clog with mud and start to slide) Dad would hook the D-14 onto a small 2 wheel trailer. There we went, 7 well dressed people, in a trailer with 12 inch sides, Dad with his suit and tie driving the little tractor, on our way to Easter Sunday. Slowly. Any speed at all and the tractor would start to sling chunks of gumbo (our local name for crappy soil) into the air and they would land on the people in the trailer. Gumbo builds up on the outside of the tires if it is in the right stage. (about half dry) It will then peel off and go airborne and you don't want to be under it.
Getting home from Church was the same process in reverse. Only on Easter Sunday we had a lot of company who had to be picked up at the end of the lane with the Allis. (the cooks got to go first)
Today my two son's, a daughter in-law and a granddaughter, and Marilyn and I, will walk out the front door, get in the minivan, and drive the all weather roads to Worship. After Church we will come back and eat the dinner that is cooking on time bake.
This all seems too easy.

Friday, March 25, 2005


How come you can't go to one of this country's leading purveyors of fine foods, (those with drive-up windows and fast talking, mumbling teens, with 10 cent microphones near their mouth) and order a hotdog?

Missouri River Throw Lines

Blogging is like running a group of Missouri River throw lines. When I was younger, I would walk down to the river and run 'set' lines or some called them 'throwlines'. Every morning you would go down and see if you''d had any bites, reset the bait, and then come back twelve hours later and see if you've had any action. Blogging, is fishing for us 'computer potatos'.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

This pic is titled Cool and belongs below. (between the two other pictures)

Angoon, Alaska

The three pictures that follow are my buddy Greg's way of making us feel jealous. These are of the Island where he and his wife live. He is the one who sent the pic's of the Bald Eagles further down in my blog. What a beautiful place. Greg, if I have mislabeled something,,, just let us know. If anyone has questions, Greg reads this blog regularly, so ask away. Thanks Greg!!

Front Street

Angoon Boat Harbor

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

City Sweetcorn

While in the Denver area, Marilyn and I and Ralph and Char traveled to Loveland to eat lunch with Marilyn's Dad and his wife. They guided us to the Black-Eyed Pea. We don't have those where we live and it was my first time. When trying to pick a 'side' to go with my entree', I picked Fried Corn.
You see when you grow up in a farm community, sweet corn is a science. Many farmer gatherings will turn into a discussion of who has bragging rights to having raised the best sweetcorn. It's not uncommon for farmers to pay in excess of $100 for sweetcorn seed. It's doesn't seem extavagant when you've just ordered $25000 worth of other seed. When the corn is ready we all eat sweetcorn with butter and salt and pepper. We (the Morrow's) freeze 50 to 100 bags of 'cut-off the cob' corn. When we near the end of the season and we've just about enjoyed as much as we can stand, we cut it off and kind of saute' or stirfry it with a pat of butter. I think it actually is pretty good, especially if you fry it until it starts to turn a light brown.
So there I was, anxiously awaiting my sauteed' corn. They brought everyones food, including mine and then said, "your fried corn will be out in a bit". I'm thinking 'how long does it take to stir a little corn around in a skillet'?? Then they bring me a plate with a cylinder shaped object that had been DEEP FRIED. All six of us looked at it. I looked across the table at Ralph and He was smiling and looking at me, then the corn, and then me... My fork wouldn't go in when I tried to stick it. Someone said, "it's a dipped in batter, deep fried, ear of corn". And I started laughing. They looked at me as though I was losing it. Someone said "maybe you'll like it, maybe you're on to something". I said I don't care how it tastes, I think slathering an ear of corn with Real Butter and too much salt is bad enough. In my eyes I had just ordered the equivalent of the deep fried Twinkie.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Marilyn loves to travel and take pictures. I know she enjoys it by the way she was laughing when she took this photo of me while I sat on a bench near one of the scenic areas in Bryce Canyon. She even had me lean to my right. (it was probably an attempt to catch my 'good' side)

Some Thoughts

Micheal Schiavo is smarter than O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake in dealing with estranged wives. Quite the technique, start a new life with a new woman and yet retain the right to come back and starve your ex to death.
Also Terri Schiavo's attorneys are guilty of an oversight. If they could have had her somehow kill 10 people, every Federal and Supreme Court Judge would be staying awake at night trying think of ways to keep her alive.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

To Alvin and Vic

Terah, John, and Ralph, all linked on the right, have lost loved ones in the past 48 hours. I didn't know John's Grandfather but feel as though I knew him a little by reading their blogs about him. I did know Ralphs father-inlaw Vic, but I knew Vic's wife better. They were gracious people and always made us feel welcome.
I guess the point I'm wanting to make here is that it's not easy to be the patriarch of a family and have the respect and love of those you've been nurturing over the years. Both of these men indeed died with the respect and love and admiration of their families. I don't think there can be more to ask of a parent than to be able to say they lived respected and died regretted.
Marilyn and I visited Vic for a brief time on Saturday morning. Ralph and Char took us. As Char asked questions of him about his eating, and did he want to go out to supper, He held his head still and moved his eyes left and right. His words were carefully measured. (But then as far as I know his words were always carefully measured.) I think he was concerned about the trouble he would cause them because of having been put in a wheel chair.
As I sit here and type, I weep for my friends and their Fathers and Grandfathers but am also happy that they will miss these gentle men because they were loved and respected and their parting is regretted. Farewell.

What's Happening on the Farm??

The vacation is over and it's back to work. Ol Yeller fired up okay after a couple of months rest. These Soy Beans are headed for Council Bluffs, Ia in the morning.

The San Rafael Swell

This is the San Rafael Swell in Utah. The picture I tried to send 10 times wouldn't go so this is kind of an experiment that worked. Marilyn uses an antique 'Stereo Camera' for scenes like this. The 3-D outcome does the subject much more justice.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Rhodent wrote about how she was 'miserable' and sick and tired of being sick and tired. Then her husband had a mishap on an outing and he was now miserable.
I wasn't successful at leaving a comment so my question is this,,, when a woman says "My husband is miserable",,,, is that the same as when she starts a phrase with "My miserable husband".... I was never that good at English, so I'll assume they mean roughly the same thing. The reason I ask is that Marilyn always uses the latter.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Home Again

Yippee! We're Home. Twelve days on the road and we have made our final destination, home. I won't bore you with all the details although many of them will be brought out eventually. What a great time with relatives and friends. Tulsa, Dallas, Clovis, NM, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Hayes Center, NE, and then Lincoln and Tekamah. The old farm lane did look good though. I've got a lot of catching up to do in reading blogs.
My first observation surrounds my habit of ordering Iced Tea in a restaurant. When you get into the 'south', which I realize we weren't on this trip, you have to be careful to ask if they have sweetened it. (ruined it in my estimation)
Two of the nicest restaurants we were in, on this trip, I ordered Iced Tea and the waiter/waitress quickly said "It's passion fruit iced tea". I said without hesitation, "water please". "lemon"? "No water".
I ordered water because my wife has indicated on more than one occasion that I already possess an adequate amount of 'passion'. And I also said water on principle. Why must we change a basic to something else. It must be the 'classy' thing to do. But come on!!! Whats next??? Will it be... "I'd like the ribeye medium rare". "Sir it's the 'salmon marinated' ribeye". "What". "Yes sir, they delicately squeeze the juice out of raw salmon and then marinate the ribeye in salmon juice until it obtains that delicate bouquet that only salmon juice and prime beef can produce".
"Check Please".

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Cliff's Travel Tip #1

While on the road and living out of a suitcase, and confined in a car with your wife for long stretches of Interstate, be very, very certain that she has not fixed her hair before you say "Why don't you start the coffee before you 'do' your hair".

Monday, March 14, 2005

114th Birthday

Marilyn and I recently traveled a couple of states away to visit the sibling closest in age to me. One of my 4 brothers. Our wives share the same birthday. The two times we've done this we add their ages together and celebrate that. Seven years ago we did the all important 100. Last week 114. They bake their own cake and plan the party and guests.
My Brother announced to me that his son and his new bride would be traveling the eight hours to come to this party.
Later that day I was sitting in the kitchen of their house, with my sister in-law. Just the two of us. Making conversation I said, "So,,, when's Jon and his wife going to be here?? (her son and daughter in-law) In a very excited tone she said "Oh, are they coming? I knew in an oh-nosecond that this was to have been a surprise. (an ohnosecond is that moment between when you press the 'enter' key and realize you shouldn't have)
I did what every good God fearing Baptist would do, I lied. I said "No"! "I mean yes they're coming week, maybe, I didn't actually talk to them myself, I shouldn't have said that, that was supposed to be a surprise." "Do me a favor, act like you didn't hear that". I looked out their back window, onto the patio where my Brother was placing a piece of prime-rib on the rotisserie. He was probably thinking that in about 60 minutes, his loving and faithful wife was going to get the surprise of the year. While I was sitting inside, staring at him, and ruining the surprise.
I suppose this is why I don't get invited to many surprise parties.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


My wife Marilyn and I have been gone for a few days. I have let my bald head, grow a little hair. Now, instead of combing my hair with a wash cloth, I've been using and actual brush. (fine bristled)
We got to our first night stay and I asked where the brush is. She said she wasn't used to packing a brush for me so she had forgotten. Yes ladies, it was my fault, I know packing my brush is my problem. BUT, she offered a solution. "I brought a comb, do you want to use that". "Absolutely, where is it".
She pulls out a 'pick' comb. Five teeth. I have ten hairs. Yes she has stopped laughing. And yes on the road the next day, while she sat beside me, I had thoughts of the movie 'Driving Miss Daisy'.

Monday, March 07, 2005

This is the end of Winter for this blog. The snow has melted and we hope for good, but we know there could be several feet yet to come. This Picture is taken from the Kennel looking Southeast toward our house, across our farm. It gives you a good idea of the lay of the land. You'll notice the gentle 18 inch rise from the driveway up onto the main road. That's our sledding hill. It's a thrill a minute out here on the farm. Farewell to winter. We hope.

This Pelican and baby are a cement version of what Lewis and Clark discovered a few miles north of our place at what is now a state recreation area called Pelican Point. Named in honor of that event. Lewis and Clark noted a large flock of large birds the likes of which they had never seen. These two are at Morrow Kennels and they, along with the husband of the owner are hoping for warm weather. There is no snow here now. The kennel is located on the banks of the Missouri River, at least as it was located then. The river has since been moved about a 1/4 mile east as a result of the effects of time and the Pick-Sloan Act from back in the '50's.
Lewis and Clark and their men noted eating about 190 dogs on their 2 year journey. If my wife's kennel had been there then, they could have stopped for lunch. Just kidding. We only eat hotdogs, and all buildings at the kennel are air-conditioned.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

'Nebraska Morn' Photo by Marilyn Morrow- March 2005

Why I'm having trouble attracting birds!

The Principles of a Farmer

Marty's blog about the Lunatics in the grass, and their attempt to get unstuck, took me back a few years. I've always had a hard and fast rule (ok, it's a rule I kind of adhere to) that I don't take money from people who need me to fire up a farm tractor and extricate them from a high centered predicament. Exceptions would be, it's the middle of the night, it's raining, I'm on a tractor with no cab, and some guy, (it's always a 'guy')is a smart butt, and yeah when he holds out a $20 bill I'll probably take it. But, generally, I don't accept anything because I'm thinking that maybe some day I'll be in the same position. You know, lost, stuck on a road I have no business being on (remember I still have dementia to go thru) and I will need help. Also I would never, in a million years accept anything from someone local or a neighbor. It's a principle.
About 3 years ago, in the spring, my neighbor called. They own an acreage on the banks of the Missouri River. She had contracted with some landscapers out of Omaha to come up and work around her house. She instructed them not to back their big tandem axle truck into the veggie garden. The ground was soft. They did. It was.
She called, "could you come over and pull them out? It will take a big tractor".
Well my big tractors were busy so I got on my John Deere 4020. An old reliable, no cab, but big enough to do the job. Turns out it was just barely big enough to do the job. They went on their way. My neighbor wanted to pay me which I refused, then she said wait I've got something you might like. Before I could stop her she ran into the house and came back carrying a box. I thought, 'oh good', fruit cake. She opened the box and there lay, in all their glory, 6 frozen, Omaha Steaks, filet mignon's.
Remember I have a hard and fast rule about not accepting gratuities from neighbors.
I had to hold the steaks on the tractor with my feet, while I drove the 2 miles back home.
I have more than one principle.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Martha's Out!!!

I am sooo happy. Martha is out. Seriously, given the nature of the crime, wouldn't a really big fine have been better. Her county or some charity could have used the money, and the taxpayers would have been spared the expense of incarcerating a criminal.
Our county does not have a jail. Our County Board is presented with a bill, every month, for 10 to 15 thousand dollars for incarcerating our prisoners in the next county. (which by the way is a bargain)
At our last board meeting I asked our county attorney if we could start a new 'fund' to bail our prisoners out of jail. You know, our County Sheriff arrests them, the judge throws them in jail, and the county board bails them out. Okay, a board member can't be saying stuff like that. I'm sorry. I was kidding. Sort of.
ps.. my boys down at the body shop have just called me on the phone and filed a protest of my use of the word 'muchly' in the last blog. Sorry, but you would think that with all of the words that have been invented, I wouldn't have to make some up. What do those folks at 'Websters' do all day.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Horses Are Out!!!

When my Wife says,"the horses are out", it strikes, ...well fear isn't the right word, maybe helplessness, in my soul. If you've ever tried to re-pen some horses, you will know it's close to impossible. It's like trying to put two magnets together. They see the pen and run the other way. In a group. Heads held high. Tails straight up. All running, away from where logic should tell them to go.
The way to get them in is to stand by the gate and wait for them to run back in. (this they will eventually do if you can guard the gate a bit and make them think you don't want them to reenter.
Well Marilyn waited them out last night and got them in, then she politely asked, "CAN YOU FIX THE FENCE IN THE MORNING"???
So I did. With pleasure. Did I mention how much I love horses. I believe that if God had wanted us to have horses on a farm, he wouldn't have allowed the Power Take-off shaft to be invented for farm tractors. And why are we still racing horses. Look at the Indy 500. Those cars go much faster than horses. I was grumbling a bit. Okay, muchly. But I found where the fence was down. It was behind the barn. I had a flash back while I was fixing it. I thought, 'I've been here before'. And then I started thinking back to last fall and my buddy Ralph who came to Tekamah, from Denver, to help me. He helped me put the fence back up the last time it was knocked down. We think a deer may have hit it this time. Single strand electric fences are prone to being knocked down by deer, that are in a hurry. Last fall it was knocked down by a Deere.

I've Got Her

You've heard me talk about our 'Little Angel' who lives just up the road. She is my three and half year old Grand Daughter.
She spends most days around the kennel. She has a big play room in the building where Grandma grooms and she sometimes goes to visit Mom in the other building. Mom is either bathing dogs or grooming also.
They have an intercom system and let the little Missy go back and forth as she pleases. But of course she has proven herself completely untrustworthy. So when she leaves to "go see Mom". Mom will get a call, "She's comin over". When she goes the other way Mom might say, "ya got her"?
Yesterday she left Mom to go see Grandma. Mom called over, "got her"?
The Angel answers herself, "yeah, I got Grandma".

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Chef Roger'

I attended a customer appreciation night for a local crop insurance firm last night. They invite their customer base and hire a local farmer to cook the food. His first name is Roger. But when he cooks, everyone calls him Chef Roger'. (row-jair)
He cooks for various local events and his biggest asset besides the obvious cooking talents of He and his Wife, is the big smoker-grill he pulls behind his pick-up. I get hungry just looking at that big, black, motorized trailer. He can cook meat. And I mean he is good. I've had his prime rib several times, and last night it was the cut of meat that the New York strip comes from but I don't know what they call it. The green beans were good, the baked potato with every topping you can think of was good, and a great salad.
The conversation is funny at one of these. I sat down with the next door neigbors (they live about a mile west of me) and talk about the price of corn, beans, combines and on and on. UNTIL we get our food and everyone is silent. Except for an occasional "wow" or "thats the best meat I've ever had" or "how does he do it" or "are you going to eat that".
Well I've made my decision where to buy my crop insurance again this year and as for Roger' and Mrs. Roger'. Somehow they get better everytime out. It seems impossible but they do. I must eat breakfast and run. hmmm I wonder how Roger would cook a frozen sausage patty?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Piano

I took piano lessons for 24 years. At least that's what I thought at the time. I think it must have been maybe 2. My Mom played the piano for us, and the church, (and organ for the church) and was the choir director for 2 choirs for as long as I can remember. She had a small studio spinet piano that said Acrosonic on it. It was fairly new when I was young but I don't think it was top of the line.
In Mom's later years, she would say to me "I want you to have that piano". Which didn't mean much to me at the time. Mom got sick with kidney failure in '76 and asked me to direct her choir and finish the Christmas Contata we were working on.
I don't recall anything, anyone has asked me to do that I wanted to do less. But she said, "just this once". "When I come back I'll take over again". Well she didn't get better and passed away the next spring. I'm still directing the choir. I know virtually nothing about music but we've had a continual 18 to 25 people in the choir since then. The secret to pulling that off is a very fortunate string of extremely talented accompanist's.
The piano sat in Dad's house until he died 11 years later and we moved down the road to the big house and the piano. By then I had a young daughter, that my Mother knew for 3 years and they adored each other. My Daughter wanted to take piano lessons and learn to play Grandma's piano. She did. She became quite, no very good at the piano and organ. She has had 2 years of college training in 'Organ Performance', and our little church couldn't be more fortunate. She directs the choir when I'm not there and when I am there she still is in charge of most of the important things like recognizing our problem areas. She will be playing a difficult accompaniment and I will begin to hear a singular part being played a bit louder than the rest of the notes. It could be the tenors off a bit and she heard it and is playing their part, along with the rest of the song.
She has the piano up at her place now. We miss it because our daughter would play Mom and Dad to sleep almost every night beginning at about the eight grade. Our piano tuner said "man, someone has really used this piano, the hammers are about shot". They are, it's beginning to sound a bit like a honky-tonk piano where they've put thumbtacks on the hammers.
Marilyn was up to stay with the kids for a few hours the other night. She was to put them in bed as their Mother wouldn't be home till 11:00. Grandma tucked them in bed. The oldest said, "Grandma, Mom always plays the piano until we fall asleep, will you." I know why Mom wanted me to have that piano.