Friday, September 30, 2005


That Time of Year

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

Flies for sale! You vacuum.

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

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

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


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

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Great Day On The Farm

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

Home Grown Help

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

Friday, September 23, 2005

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

Tennis Shoes and Wives

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

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

Thursday, September 22, 2005

My boys on vacation last winter.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

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

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Out to Dinner

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


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

A View From the Porch

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

Monday, September 12, 2005

Jill! Show Him Your Pa.

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

The Main Thing

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

Friday, September 09, 2005

Marilyn's Pole Beans

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

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

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Must Read

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


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

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Battle of Cliff Run!

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

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Kids Say The Darndest Things!

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