Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nothing is Easy

Our oldest son carved this Eastern Bluebird some years ago and gave it to Elaine. He also put together the total display. We have enjoyed it over the years and occasionally see a Bluebird in our back yard. I have never tried may hand at carving. Like all farm kids, I carried a pocket knife, would do some whittling and could even make a whistle out of a willow branch. Some of my friends have taken up carving birds, turkey calls, duck decoys, etc. during their retirement years. I have been more inclined to the Photography hobby in the past. However, after dropping a carousel full of 140, 35mm selected slides from a Globus Tour of Great Britain, and seeing them scattered all over the floor, I wondered if I shouldn't take up whittling. I don't know if I could ever carve anything but if I tried and messed-up, I could just throw it away and start over. I wouldn't have to have Elaine help me  spend all afternoon like we did trying to get those slides  back in order. Fortunately, she had typed up a list of what picture went is each numbered slot. Unfortunately, trying to  identify the pictures after not having looked at them for several years is what made it difficult. Nebraska's opening football game against Wyoming is a bit more difficult too than what many people expected. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mistaken Identity

Our Nebraska Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society holds an annual golf tournament at the Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln. I asked my cousin Ted to join us in the event a few years ago and am shown here pointed at the license plate on his Lexus SUV. Many of my friends play in the event, but few of them knew Ted. Since they all know me as "Tony" they took it for granted it belonged to me. People my age are not judged as much by the vehicle they drive as when we were younger, but I still felt a bit more respect from my friends that day than normal. Ted has had a very successful career as a lawyer and judge, and I'm pleased to see him enjoy such a vehicle. We grew up during the drought and depression days of the '30's, and he deserves any of the luxuries that may come his way, he's earned them. Meanwhile, I got in my old Buick La Sabre and headed for Seward without even winning a flag prize. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sadie & Granddad

The girls (Carolyn, Julie & Sadie) came to visit this afternoon. Sadie had on her red canvas shoes  and enjoyed walking through the grass in the backyard. She likes to set on my lap to get to the things in my shirt pocket. The wastebasket and Kleenex box are sitting on my desk to keep them out of her reach. She is constantly on the go and gets into everything within her reach. Our house isn't real "toddler" protected. But we really enjoy having her come to see us. One of her favorite activities is flipping pages in a book. And, she is really very good at it. She has excellent control of those little fingers and thumbs. Go Sadie.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Champion Twins

This picture was in the Omaha World Herald this morning. It is of the twins that were named Champion Town boy &  girl, ages 27-38 months at the 1938 Nebraska State Fair in Lincoln. It was of particular interest to me because of having had twins in our family compete in the contest at about the same time. As I recall it was referred to as the "Better Baby Contest" in those days. There was a special "Class" for twins but I don't remember any distinction between "Town" and "Country". Our twins were born in January of 1937 so according to this criteria, they must have competed at the 1939 contest. They didn't win the Championship, but we were very proud of their having competed. I didn't start writing in my Diary until 1940 so have no way of knowing the year for sure. I remember very distinctively of sitting outside what we referred to as the old "hospital" near the south entrance where the event was held. The Ford Tractor company had just come out with the small little tractor with the 3-point hitch for hydraulically controlling machinery. It was set up to run continuously in a circle, which I watched for what seemed like hours. 

This is my sister and brother dressed as I remember they were for the contest. My mother sewed the matching outfits and they were a beautiful blue. I expect Janice may remember hearing enough about the event to comment on this blog and add details. Brother Jerry died two years ago. My folks were very proud of the twins. Vivian was 13, I was 11 and Don was 7 when they were born. Their birth was an exciting event because of a Blizzard that hit the area. Mother was scheduled to go to the hospital in Seward but the roads were all blocked with snow. It took equipment from Garland, neighbors scooping snow and Dad going with a team of horses and wagon to get the old Doctor from Garland out to our farm house. A couple neighbor ladies helped with the delivery and until further help was obtained. The twins were very close and often spent their birthdays together even though one lived in California and the other in Wisconsin. They both had good marriages with fine families. I enjoy following their Grandchildren nearly every day on Facebook. They didn't win the Fair contest but were Champions in their own right. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

MLK "I have a Dream"

Tomorrow is the 50th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King, "I have a dream speech" at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. I had been transferred to the USDA National Office of the Soil Conservation Service in the summer of 1962. We were living in the Fairlington Apartments which had been built for military families during WWII. There were numerous 3- unit buildings in the development located at the intersection of I-95 and King St. We had a very nice 3 bedroom unit with a kitchen and combination dining/living room. It was about 5 miles southwest of downtown D.C.
Non-essential Government workers were encouraged not to go into the District to work on that day of King's speech because of the large number of protesters expected to assemble at the Lincoln Memorial/Reflection pool area. I stayed home and the kids and I rode bikes over to the edge of our development during the early morning and looked over the fence to I-95 (Shirley Highway). The two incoming lanes were filled with vehicles bringing people in from the south to participate in the event. Elaine had only been home from the hospital for a couple weeks following major surgery so we had a quiet day at home. I was helping Elaine with supper as we listened to King's speech. When he began the "I have a dream ..." iteration, we stopped, stood still and listened. As he finished, I knew this was something special. I have a picture in my mind of that precise moment. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

It's For the Birds

This picture was taken during the summer of 1956 when we took Elaine's folks, Verlon, Tim and Carolyn and drove our new Pontiac station wagon to California. We visited many places including the San Juan Mission at Capistrano where the Swallows return every year on March 19 (St. Joseph's Day). The open court-yard was filled with the birds shown in the picture. Small packets of seeds were sold for tourist to feed them. It was the first time our youngsters had an opportunity to be that close to birds of this size. We had read the story of the Swallows 6,000 mile annual migration from Argentina which made this a very special event. For 57 years we have thought of this picture and our memory of these beautiful white birds when we heard of their "return". Only by coincidence, I said something at coffee last week about having been to Capistrano and seeing the birds. Unfortunately, I mentioned they were white and about the size of a Pigeon. I have always prided myself in associating with people who are more knowledgeable than I am. Though he had never visited the Mission, one of my knowledgeable friends knows birds well enough and showed sufficient evidence to convince me that these white birds are not the American Cliff Swallows that visit the Mission at Capistrano. I wonder how many other things that I thought I knew or believed for years are not correct. We have heard of being dumb and happy but I appreciate being corrected and will still enjoy the picture for what it is, not what I thought it was. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

1994 Revisited

Elaine and I, along with other members of the Seward Grange, visited the Blue Bird Nursery in Clarkson, NE during our '94 Grange trip. The Nursery does a lot of wholesale business and has an excellent "demonstration" area. We went on to visit the Muscatine Reservoir & Arboretum and the "Square-turn" Tractor at Norfolk. The next morning we attended Church, had lunch in Plainview and visited the Ash Fall, pre-historic Dinosaur burial site. We also visited the historic Neligh Mill on the way home. The Seward Grange was a small organization by the time we got involved but there was a lot of camaraderie. I am continuing to read my 1994 Journal and we are both enjoying many of the things we did in those days. It is even amazing the things we have forgotten such as our "manning" the Soil and Water Conservation Booth at the State Fair as SCS Volunteers. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Maximizing Energy

When one realizes their strength and energy have diminished due to advancing age, they begin to look for ways to compensate. Even though they may be able to do the task at hand, the look for, and try little techniques that may be necessary as time goes on. One such example is demonstrated in this picture. Our lawn mower's Briggs and Stratton engine, is started with a pull cord. Our driveway has a slight incline and quite by accident, I discovered that it could help me start the engine. Now when I bring it out of the garage, fill the tank with gas, check the oil and push the "prime button", I set the accelerator, turn the mower to roll "downhill" as I pull the cord. It's about a 50-50 split between the energy provided by the mower rolling forward and my pulling the cord. It usually starts on the first pull, but if not, I pull it back and try again. It worked this morning, and Elaine and I mowed all of our lawn. She helped on the back yard by trading off on the pushing. We catch the clippings and put them on the compost pile. I have also learned that it is easier to dump them on a "ripped open" burlap bag and then dump them in the compost enclosure than it is to dump them directly from the "catcher". So far, the best compensation for declining ability, that I have found, is Elaine's help. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Flag Pole Committee of Seward Kiwanis

The Flagpole Committee of the Kiwanis Club of Seward had a Potluck and Recognition event this evening at the Isaac Walton League Cabin. The Committee was celebrating the occasion of having topped the 700 mark of Flagpoles sold and installed in the area. Marv Taylor was instrumental in establishing the committee back in 1998 with the hope of selling 50. Following 9/11, sales skyrocketed and have continued to be brisk. The group pictured includes several of us who were on the committee at one time. The current crew consist of 6 individuals, each of whom has a specific skill to apply in the installation process.  Marv recognized Dale as construction Superintendent for the past several years. Dave and Eileen did an excellent job with the food and facility preparation.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Old enough to Work

This Bill and Jeff Keane cartoon which appeared in this mornings papers generated a lot of conversation at out house and down at the Senior Center Potato Bake this noon. It was difficult to compete with Elaine as she told of milking old Pet at the evening milking when she was 5 years old. I questioned how she was even big enough to hold a bucket between her legs and she said old Pet was so gentle that she just set it down under her. I told of herding cows, cutting weeds, and pumping water as a youngster. I started milking cows in the evenings when I was about 10 years old. My twin Brother and Sister were born during a January blizzard when I was 11. Mother was scheduled to go to the Hospital for delivery but the blizzard blocked the roads and a local Doctor was brought to the house through community efforts. I helped milk the cows that morning and continued to do so until Elaine and I got married and moved to town. I was 15 when I worked for a neighbor shocking wheat and running a rack in our "thrashing run". I got my SS Card on my 16th birthday and went to work on Highway construction. Some of my jobs, like working in the Omaha Swift & Co. packing house helped me really appreciate working for the USDA Soil Conservation Service when that opportunity became available. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sadie and Company

We got out to visit "The Girls" this afternoon. Every time we see Sadie, she has changed. Her two front teeth continue to come down and she is much more stable walking now than even a few days ago. While she can't say any words, she consistently makes unique sounds that mean certain things. She is pretty adept in waving her arm as making a sound like, "Wats at?" She also makes movements with her arms that indicate certain things. She has a little music box she carries around and "dances to" occasionally. She is always willing to set on my lap to play with the things that I carry in my shirt pocket. She puts her hand in my glasses case and waves it like a paddle. My pen and small spiral notebook are further attractions. She will hold the pen and touches the notebook knowing that there is a connection between the two. I call the little notebook my "auxiliary memory" to help me remember things.
Sadie's parents are having a local business work on establishing a lawn at their new house. There is a lot of native grass in their Development and they too will have some around the outer border of their yard. It is easy to identify the Indian Grass, Big Bluestem, and Switchgrass this time of year since they have "headed out".  The area that will be seeded to lawn grass has been graded and a sprinkler system is being installed. It is a large area which makes it a significant project. Back in my younger days, another SCS fellow and I did some lawn work on Saturdays and evenings. We even installed a rather crude sprinkler system on a very small lawn, but it made the customer happy. Our biggest project was seeding the lawn at the County Courthouse. The extra money helped to keep the kids in shoes. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beautiful Old Downtown Buildings

Here are a couple of old Seward Business buildings that contribute to our historic down town. The Zimmer building with the Anvil on top was the Rupp Hardware and Plumbing store for many years. The building across the alley was the Gass Furniture store for years. Mr. Gass not only sold furniture but he had several people involved in making little stools  and some other small wooden items. I show this partially to point out the beauty of the old buildings but also to show the attractive 2nd story window treatments. We have a lady in our First Impressions Committee who is providing Business owners the opportunity to have their 2nd story windows treated with attractive drapes. She moved back to Seward a couple years ago and has replaced her Mother in conducting downtown tours on the 4th of July pointing out the history of the buildings. Note the water tower peeking in between the buildings. It is actually a couple blocks away. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jonathan Jank & Economic Development

Jonathan Jank, Executive Director of  Seward County Economic Development Corporation, spoke to the Kiwanis Club this noon.  The SCEDC was formed in 2011 to create and expand economic opportunities throughout Seward County. His Board consist of 6 elected officials and 6 private citizens from throughout the County. Jonathan came to the organization soon after it was formed. One of the interesting prospects that has been under way for some time is a Seward/Lincoln Rail Campus. Seward was selected for this development as the best location in the State of Nebraska. It would be located on 300 acres adjacent to the Mainline of the Burlington National Santa Fe Railroad line and within the Seward City limits. There are other projects underway as well, and Jonathan is doing an excellent job in representing the County and the City of Seward.
Jonathan is also a member of our Kiwanis Club of Seward and sings with our Kitone group. He has an excellent voice and brings tears to the eyes of some people when he does his rendition of "Danny Boy". He graduated from Concordia University here in Seward and went on to get his MBA at Concordia's Fallbrook campus. He is a Lincoln native, a Lutheran HS graduate, and he and his wife have their home here. They are great assets to Seward and the community, and we are confident that he will be bringing in industries that will add to the quality of our area.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Julie at the Mac

Julie had just celebrated a birthday and was at the new computer. It was a Mac like she and Carolyn were familiar with from school but to Elaine and I, it was a whole new world. We couldn't have asked for better "tutors" to help us along. While I had taken typing in HS, my keyboarding even needed some "brushing up". This is one of the pictures that surfaced in my organizing our 1994 pictures. We did a lot of traveling that year, took a lot of pictures, but never got them put on a DVD. I have scanned some and have taken others down to Walmart where they scan and put them on a disc but it still takes some organizing. While it is all time-consuming, it is enjoyable to work with pictures like this one and relish the happy memories they provide. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Groundwater Guardian 1994

The National Groundwater Guardian program was getting National attention in the early '90's and representatives from several states met in Omaha, NE on March 6, 1994. National Geographic President Gilbert Grosvenor was the featured speaker. Elaine and I along with Richard & Karen Eberspacher represented our Seward County efforts. We along with other Designated Groundwater Guardian Communities presented a program at the noon Luncheon. along with Founder Susan Seacrest and Bob Kuzelka. This picture was taken of Elaine and I with Congressman Doug Bereuter who is a native of Seward County. In fact, when Elaine worked for the Extension Service she registered him for 4-H activities. I had the opportunity to visit with Gil Grosvenor and ask him, "How can we maintain the current level of interest in Water Quality long enough to institutionalize it for sustainability?" While he didn't really have an answer, The National Geographic Magazine has continued to include articles on the issue.
I have gone back and am processing many of my 1994 pictures and activities. It's very interesting to observe not only the change in physical appearance but also my perspective. (Pardon the halo-like glow over Doug's and my head, It was caused by the overhead lights.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Marv Taylor Seward Kiwanis

Here is Marv Taylor in the Kiwanis Booth at the recent Seward County Fair. We have around 100 members in our Club and Marv has recruited many of them. He has also been the driving force behind the Flag Pole Committee. That group has sold and installed over 600 Flag poles. He initiated the idea during 2010, just ahead of 9/11 and the sales really took off. He now leads a flag repair and replacement operation as part of the committee. The latest "accessory" is a solar powered light that fits on top of the pole. It has been a good project "To Help The Children of The World. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Brinkmeyer Popcorn Wagon

This is Louis Brinkmeyer and his Popcorn wagon in downtown Seward in 1918. Louis was a man of many talents and began this operation following his service in the Navy during WW I. He and Elaine's Aunt Lydia were married in 1921. Louis worked as a auto mechanic, painter, and brought the Popcorn wagon out every Saturday night. He upgraded as times changed and for a number of years had a Wagon mounted on a Model T Ford Chassis. It was that setup that I remember as a youngster. For many years, Saturday night was when all the farmers came to town to do their weekly shopping. Louis' Popcorn Wagon established the festive climate for the whole area around the town square. It was parked near the 5 & 10 cent "Racket Store" where everyone would need to shop  for something. We actually bought very little popcorn since we raised it at home and popped it frequently, but I can still recall the aroma of the whole area around the Popcorn Wagon. Years later, Louis' Daughter wrote that he stayed open until after the last movie was out at the Rivoli Theater. He had the dedication to polish the Wagon to where it sparkled and made buying a 5 cent sack of popcorn an event. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hair Today

Elaine went to the beauty shop this afternoon and got a permanent after spending the summer with out. She has always had a certain amount of curl in her hair, but it was cut so short a couple months ago that there was very little curl left in it. She came home in much better humor and fixed a good supper so that alone made it all worthwhile. I don't think she will ever try to let it go natural again. As an interested "Observer", it seems that ladies are inclined to stay with the hair style that was popular when they were young. Whereas us men are resigned to accepting the inevitable  loss of hair even though we may lower the part and have a bit of combover, ie "The Donald".

Monday, August 12, 2013

Grandmother Carolyn & Sadie

What more could a young Grandmother wish for her birthday than to have a Granddaughter like Sadie to hold in her arms. Carolyn's birthday was yesterday, Ben's on the 9th and Sadie's on the 6th of August. She and Sadie already have the close relationship that we wish every youngster could enjoy. Parents have a primary responsibility, but there is something about the Grandparent-Grandchild relationship that is very beneficial for all concerned. I realize such relationships are not always possible because of distance but when they are, it's a real privilege. Carolyn's education and experience continues to make her a pretty special Grandmother. She continues to read, discuss and learn more about how we develop. My friend Roger told an interesting story at our table at Kiwanis this noon. They adopted a son at birth from a couple from Sweden. When the youngster began to talk, he mumbled words that were definitely Swedish. Roger said they even had recordings to substantiate the fact. Sadie does a lot of "jabbering"but I haven't understood much of it. She is pretty consistent in pointing at things and saying something like: "What's That??" A little Great Grandparent imagination may help. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013


The postponed Seward Kiwanis Club Golf meet was held this afternoon at the Seward Country Club. The team shown here of Tony, Charlie, Frank & Del were singled out for recognition. We had the highest score on the 9-hole scramble and were awarded a can of SPAM. We also had an excellent Broasted Chicken Dinner so it was an enjoyable event. None of our foursome golf very frequently anymore. This was only the 3rd time I'd been out this year. I did play better than the last time which was encouraging. The course is in beautiful condition; however some of the young trees planted a couple years ago are not going to make it. The Blue Spruce that I planted about 10 years ago looks good. It is a beautiful tree.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday in Seward

The United Church of Christ had a Garage Sale this morning with the doors opening at 9:00am. We didn't get  over till 10:30 and didn't buy anything. This is the Church that Elaine grew-up in and where we were married. It was where all four of our children were baptized and where we were members before moving to Lincoln. We get back occasionally for funerals and anniversary celebrations. It is always nostalgic because of the memories, both happy and sad, associated with the place. Elaine not only went to Sunday School there but was Confirmed and then taught Sunday School for a number of years. I sang in a Church Quartet and even played a few softball games with the Church team. There were 2 softball trophies still available when we got to the sale but they were for 1973 which was after I had played, so I did not buy them. Carolyn was there when the doors opened and was able to get one of the little Sunday School chairs which pleased Elaine. 
Julie and John rode their bikes over this afternoon. They got the little "trailer" for Sadie to ride in at the time of her birthday last week. She likes to get "strapped in" and enjoys having her Daddy pull her around. We plan to be together again tomorrow when we have a "Birthday Dinner" for Carolyn. John and I will also be playing in the postponed Kiwanis Golf Tournament. This will only be the third time that I have been on the Course this year. We will be playing a 4-person scramble so there is not too much pressure to excel. We just plan to have fun and enjoy it all. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Backyard Flowers

Flowers have always been a source of pleasure not only because of their inherent beauty but also for the memories they evoke. We have a picture of Elaine taken a year or so after we were married and living in the Maltby Apartment. She was visibly pregnant with our first born and standing in the back yard next to a beautiful Phlox. We have generally had Phlox in our flower beds ever since. We must have planted this one at least 10 years ago and have been surprised by the way it has spread. They are great plants requiring very little care and bloom over an extended period this time of year. We have a Black Eyed Susan growing as a companion to the Phlox which is visible in the picture. It is another plant that has received very little care and continues to show it's color every year.

We have had a busy day and it doesn't take a whole lot to make old folks busy. Yesterday we mowed both the front and back yards as well as other yard work. We were busy today but with more enjoyable and less demanding activities. I participated in a Chamber of Commerce, First Impression Committee meeting this morning,  went directly to coffee from there, then Elaine and I did some shopping downtown and went up to Carolyn and Ben's. Today is Ben's birthday so we had a good visit. We watched quite a bit of Golf during the afternoon and went out to visit with Julie and Sadie. Among Sadie's birthday presents was a little toy xylophone with a wooden hammer to tap the "keys". She likes it and recognizes the connection between where she "hits" it and the sound it produces. I've never seen a Blacksmith wield a hammer with any more enthusiasm than what she demonstrates.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac”  was copyright in 1949 by Oxford University Press, Inc. It was published some years later in paperback by Ballantine Books of New York and included Essays on Conservation from Leopold’s “Round River”. I bought the paperback version in the mid-70’s but never finished reading it. After so enjoying Louis Bromfield’s “Pleasant Valley” this summer and seeing a PBS program on Leopold, I decided to again read Leopold’s “…Almanac”.  The two authors lived and wrote back in the immediate post WW II era. I enjoyed reading Bromfield’s book more than Leopold’s because of the need for greater concentration. The “…Almanac”  has been quoted by Conservationists since it was published. Some of my favorites are:
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
“In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homosapiens from conqueror of the land community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.”
“The art of land doctoring is being practiced with vigor, but the science of land health is yet to be born”
If Leopold were alive today, I believe he would be pleased to learn  that “land health” has been born and of the progress that has been made in recognizing  and doctoring soil and land health.
His book is a Classic and everyone who considers themselves a Conservationist should read it.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mother's Birthday

Here is a Wax Begonia plant that won a purple ribbon recently at the Seward County Fair. We have Begonias in our back yard every year. I like the plant and they do very well in shady locations. But the real reason we have at least one every year is because they were my Mother's favorite plant. August 7th was Mother's birthday. She was born in 1900, had a stroke in December of 1990 while addressing Christmas Cards and died the next day.  Mother had many virtues and one of them was her sense of humor. Until I was able to read nursery catalogues did I learn that Begonia was spelled with a "B". Mother probably was imitating her Irish Mother by describing her favorite plants as: "Wax Spegonias".  I gave ours an extra drink of water this afternoon and thought about Mother. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sadie's 1st Birthday

Today is Sadie Elizabeth's 1st Birthday. Her parents, John and Julie hosted a Dinner Party that included Grandparents Bev & Jerry and Carolyn & Ben along with Great Grand-parents Elaine and I. She received numerous gifts and seemed to appreciate and enjoy each of them. Some her Father enjoyed and Grandpa Ben even demonstrated a Bubble blowing toy. Sadie wasn't able to figure out what happened when the bubbles disappeared before her eyes. For Dessert she enjoyed the Cup Cake that held her birthday candle after the Birthday song was sung. She liked the candle but didn't seem to understand why everyone was looking at her when we sang Happy Birthday. 
This was a very "Social Day" for Elaine and I. After my usual coffee klatch, we went to Lincoln where we met Brother Don and Gladys for lunch at The Olive Garden. The Waitress assured us that the "Tossed Salad" was O.K. but the Manager would visit with us about it if we wished. We accepted her assurance and enjoyed our usual soup, salad and bread sticks special. After a good visit with them we went nearby to the home of Elaine's Brother Dale and Marlene to visit and exchange some stuff. Elaine even brought home some Tomatoes from their garden. It's been a busy Day and a Great One for Sadie. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Does that Feel Good or What

Denise is a relatively new member of our Kiwanis Club of Seward and presented the program this noon. She has had extensive training, passed a National Certification exam and is a Nebraska Licensed Massage Therapist. She has an Office here in Seward and also works out of a couple Lincoln locations.  After briefing us on the virtues of Massage she opened the program up to questions. My friend Jack asked her about the "chair" that was setting on the stage. He was immediately invited up to help demonstrate its use.
 A pamphlet she distributed contains the following information: "In these busy times, massage is a solution to stress that takes a heavy toll on your health. A major health benefit of massage is a deeply relaxed state. This activates positive hormone responses in our Parasympathetic Nervous System. In a deeply relaxed state, muscles relax more fully, and several important hormones are released into the bloodstream that help us maintain a balanced and more healthy life." It was an interesting, informative program but I haven't scheduled an appointment. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Sadie has little teeth that show when she laughs and enjoys playing with the little toy in her left hand as a "cell phone". She will hold it up by the side of her head and "jabber" a streak of sounds and then listen. She has also learned to press the button on the music box in front of her, to make it play. She reacts to music with all sorts of body and leg movement. She will have her 1 year birthday in just a few days and "rate of growth" both mentally and physically has been fantastic. Our own kids may have progressed as she has but we were so busy with our work that we took it all for granted. By the time you have Great Grand-children, you have time to really appreciate every new development. We have also learned  how important these early  years are in Children's mental development.              We shouldn't miss any opportunity to stimulate their learning.   


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Polka Jamboree at The Seward County Fair

We were back down to the Seward County Fair this evening for the Polka Jamboree at the Ag Pavilion. There were 10 Button Accordions, a Guitar, Drum and Tuba. Franklin Hronik (standing) led the group that entertained from 5:00-7:00pm. They attracted a large crowd. Many of us sat on metal folding chairs for the entire two hours. While we thoroughly enjoyed the music, the chairs got a little hard toward the end. They are an interesting group that comes together from locations within about 30 miles of Seward. There is usually a couple new members each year and about that same number are not back. They play many of the same songs that my Dad played years ago on his accordion. Our son Jon plays it now but if he were to play with them, it might take him a while to recognize all the songs that these people play from memory.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Seward County Fair

We visited the Seward County Fair this evening and came across this "Pheasant" display made up of Zucchinis, potatoes, beans, Milo heads, cauliflower, carrots, corn, etc. It stands about 8 ft. high. We didn't attempt to take in all the exhibits but went through the Ag. Pavilion and walked up to the 4-H Center where we ate at their Foundation Hamburger Feed. We received 1.50 inches of rain last night which brightened every one's spirits. Any rain in August in this area is a blessing. To us old timers, the County Fair is mainly a "Social event". We spent more time visiting than we did looking at exhibits. I was able to introduce Elaine to a new Kiwanis member whose Granddaughter is a Freshman recruit to the University of Nebraska Women's Basketball Team. Hannah has had her Athletic Scholarship for over a year and will be following her Mother by playing basketball for Nebraska. They should have a great team this year and will be playing in the new Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Soil Conservation-Terrace Layout

During  my first 7-8 years of Federal employment with the USDA Soil Conservation Service, I walked many miles carrying a "Philadelphia Rod" as shown in the picture. While this picture appears to have been taken just for showing the vegetation in the drainage area, we spent much of our time surveying gradient terraces. It required a 2-man crew (Yes, that was prior to women doing survey work). I usually carried the "Rod" and my helper would "read the David White Level". The "Level" was a telescope with a "cross  hair" that enabled the "Instrument Man" to determine whether the "Rod Man" needed to more to higher or lower spots on the hillside. The sight of the "target" on the Rod would need to be exactly on the cross hair in the Level when the desired spot was found to put in a marking stake. The Rod Man would step off 50 feet and the process would be repeated. The Target on the Rod would be moved up 2 tenths of a foot each 50 feet to provide the gradient in the terrace. The Terrace would be constructed along the line of the stakes "laid out" by this process. And to think that many years later when I took up the game of golf, a Buddy told me that Golf wasn't as simple as Soil Conservation.