Saturday, March 17, 2018

Building a Wall

We have heard a lot about building a wall lately and when Google used this image on St. Patrick's Day, it reminded me of a wall that Elaine and I built some years ago. It was a "dry" limestone  retaining wall built in front of our first house. The native Greenhorn limestone came from the old house on the family farm where I grew up. The house was rebuilt in 1950 with the limestone walls replaced with cement blocks. Elaine and I had bought our first house about the same time.
It was a little house here in Seward and their first home when my folks were married. The front yard had a drop-off of about three feet to graveled Bradford street. We had no garage and parked our car out front on the edge of the street. The wall widened our parking area, and we built concrete steps to get up to the stepping stones in the yard. It made the house much more attractive. The house changed hands many times over the years but the wall remained until a couple years ago when it was replaced with concrete parking. During this past week, we brought a chunk of the Greenhorn Limestone up to our patio area here at Brookdale from out house where we had kept it all these years.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Jon, Mary and Anna's Visit

Jon, Mary and Anna flew in to Omaha last Sunday evening, drove out to Seward and have spent a lot of time with us all week. They are staying down at the Cobblestone and will fly home to Virginia tomorrow. They ate a French Toast supper with us here at Brookdale this evening. We have utilized Jon's technical knowledge and Mary's medical know-how throughout the week. Jon continued to stay in touch with USDA back in D.C with messages. One of his final jobs here this evening was removing the hard drive from the old PC that "went dark" a couple weeks ago.
Jon brought a new Computer and Printer-Scanner home early in the week and has them set up and operational. He is familiar with Windows 10 but I find it most difficult. I spent as much time as possible working my way through programs that I will use most frequently, making notes and asking questions. I even dictated the scanning, processing, mailing steps to Elaine. After we finished eating tonight, Jon sat down at the nearby piano and played Scott Joplin's "Entertainer". It went over big with the few remaining diner's and the staff. When he finished, one lady asked him if he knew any others. That gave him the lead to tell the story of how he plunked away on the piano when he was about 10 years old. I suggested to him at that time, to pick out one song and learn to play it correctly. He did just that but went on to be an accomplished musician on a variety of instruments. But he never misses the opportunity to tell the story. We really enjoyed their visit.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Czech Pictures for Learning

These pictures were taken in the fall of 1993 when my sister, Vivian and Ed; brother Don and Gladys; joined Elaine and I on a trip to Europe. We went to Chaslov in the Czech Republic where our Vrana Grandparents had migrated from to the USA. A lot of planning went into the trip. Each of us brothers and sister had relatives or friends over there that facilitated the trip. Ed being able to speak Czech fluently was also a big plus. I had met Miroslav on a USDA mission a few years earlier, and he had been over here on business. The other two couples had been over to Prague earlier and met "Uncle Nick" who was a great host who insisted that we see "Old Town" at night with the old buildings all light up.
This picture was taken at the home of Miroslav and his wife (in the foreground). Now fast forward 25 years and find that these pictures were scanned on the new HP computer, printer set up that Jon is providing us to replace the one that he helped us get set up 10 years ago. While I was able to process pictures routinely with the old  computer, this new one with Window's 10 is totally different. I spent a lot of time  getting these two processed and made some notes along the way. I may even go through the several steps tomorrow and dictate them to Elaine. And, may do that with each of the programs I use.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Our Old House

The new shingles are on and the gutters and down spouts are scheduled to be installed tomorrow. Fortunately, there will be insurance help on the roof. This is just part of what has been done to complete the sale. We have really appreciated the help of our Realtor, Chuck Kotera with Woods Bros. here in Seward. Chuck has worked back and forth with us, the buyers and contractors  toward completing the sale. This is the 6th house we have lived in and sold since we have been married and has been by far the most difficult. It seems that many regulations have come into being since we bought and sold. A good Realtor is a necessity these days.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Making Sausage

Dave Oates calls Bingo here at Brookdale once/week and stopped by to visit with Elaine about Sausage. Dave is a Kiwanian involved in many volunteer activities and a long time sausage maker. He and Elaine established a lasting bond a few years ago with her sale of the "Flowerday Family" sausage grinder to Dave. She wrote a story about the grinder's history and her memory of its use when she was a little girl. Dave treats the Seward Kiwanians to sample a variety of his sausage creations and will bring the samples up for the Brookdale Bingo players and others in the near future. He wanted to make sure that Elaine would be in the audience to hear his comments and to add her story. While Elaine's family made sausage with beef and pork, Dave has gone exotic using everything from snake to buffalo. Elaine is also writing a story to go with a little wooden "knife" for Dave,  that her Dad made and used to clean casings which he filled with sausage.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Brookdale Dinner/The Kitones

Jon, Mary and Anna flew out last night from Virginia and spent the day with us. They are staying down at the Cobblestone Motel and have a rental car. We all ate together this evening here at Brookdale. The Kiwanis Kitones sang to a full house here this evening. Rev. Andrew Ratcliffe was honored in his last performance with the group as he leaves to fulfill a call to Minnesota. He sang a couple solo parts and had their little daughter along. I sang with the group when he brought her as an infant. People like him are our citizens best hope for this country's future.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Tiger and Big Bucks

I watched the Velspar Invitational with Tiger Wood all afternoon and suffered with him as a putt lipped out and others fell short.  But his long game was great. We go to supper early and I missed his 44' birdie putt that put him  9 under and just 1 behind the winner, Paul Casey. Watching golf was a pleasant diversion from all the basketball we've seen lately. It was also disappointing that Nebraska didn't get a wild card bid to the NCAA, 68 team Basketball Tournament. I may fill out a bracket again this year and will root for Duke. While they may not be among those teams favored to win it all, if they play as will as they have on occasions during the season, they could. I understand that Bagley might be the #1 draft pick which will end his college career.  With the short number of years that Professional Basketball players are able to make the "big bucks", it's hard to criticize them for grabbing them when they can. I didn't get my first college degree until I was 41 but wasn't distracted by the wealth that they are if they go back.