Sunday, July 31, 2016

Keep Your Dauber Up

A Facebook friend put the attached item on this afternoon which struck home. We had 0.30” of rain this morning and the wind broke off the top 3’ of the tomato plant that I pictured yesterday.  Church this morning was an uninspiring service. Plans for next summer’s family reunion has presented considerable challenges. And, the Royals lost all 4 games of their series against the Rangers. After the last out, the expression “Keep Your Dauber Up” came to mind. It was something my boss would tell me back in our early days in Washington. I hadn’t thought about it for years and have always tried to maintain an optimistic outlook. I did some research and found that it can be traced back to Artist who used a brush called a “dauber” and if not held up, would drop the paint causing a problem. The expression has been interpreted as referring to “morale” or “spirit”. 
However, my spirits were brightened considerably when Elaine fixed a supper of “Frosty Flakes” with fruit and Apricots for dessert. We also got an eMail from Janice with further progress on our reunion. We enjoyed watching Jimmy Walker win the PGA championship with Jason Day in it to the end. There is no measure of what Elaine and I do for each other in “keeping our daubers up”. The time that Great-Grandson Jack spends with us is also a big help as is any family contact. Jack has never known us any way other than how we now are. In reality, most people accept us as we “now are”; it’s ourselves that sometimes have a problem with our “dauber”.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Quiet Day at Home

The Tomato plant in our backyard has reached the sofit under the roof overhang, butt has yet to produce any fruit. We have traditionally had a climbing Black-eyed Susan climbing against the trellis but with the loss of sunshine on our "tomato area" we tried this set-up. We also have a Tomato plant growing in the front of the house which does have a green tomato set-on. Our back yard and deck area are all covered with shade from trees which we have planted over the years. We enjoyed some relaxing time out on the deck this afternoon with the temperature at 80 degrees and a light south breeze blowing. This was after I had used the hedge trimmers to clean up some of the volunteer growth that had come up under the trees and shrubs out near our composting area. 
After setting on the deck for a while, we came back into the house. I reflected on my late brother-in-law Eddy, who would say, "It's 5:00pm somewhere" as I brought out a couple Windsor's. We sat the camera on the coffee table and recorded this happy occasion. In addition to my work in the back yard, my "mission" for the day was to trim the Barberry hedge in the front of our house. I try to do something outdoors every day for exercise as much as for regular maintenance. Our next task will be digging Iris bulbs that have been taken over by grass and trees in the back yard. We will replant the bulbs in an area on the north side of our driveway up near the garage. It just doesn't take very much to make an old man happy and keep him busy.

Friday, July 29, 2016


We are back to watching the Royals play the Rangers down in Texas tonight after having watched the Democratic National Convention for the past few nights. We did the same thing last week during the Republican National Convention, and there were parts of both of them when I had the same feelings that I have when Alex Gordon watches a 3rd strike called without his moving a muscle.  But, for the most part, I found them both interesting. We will be bombarded with campaigning between now and the general election in November, but I wonder what may come out on either side to change voters' opinion. I wonder how many of us would be willing to subject ourselves to the scrutiny that has become routine for those running for higher offices. Campaigns require an enormous amount of money and even a greater amount of ego. There was a time not too long ago (Kennedy Administration) when the press and political opponents felt some restraint, but now it seems that everything is game.
We used to believe that " seeing was believing" but we can no longer even believe what we see. How a women who will be 69 years old before the election can appear as attractive as Hillary did last night is hard for me to imagine. She might be an inspiration for ladies to spend more time and money in facial remedial treatments and make up because she has been very successful at it. Donald Trump has already had an impact on our TV weatherman. He often wears a Red necktie with a dark suit and brown shoes. He ties the tie so it hangs down to the lower level of his zipper. Back in my day, the challenge was to tie it so the ends were nearly equal with the narrow end, just a little shorter. It was also taken for granted that if you wore a dark blue or black suit, you wore black shoes. I wish these things were the only problems I see with our choices for President of the United States of America.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Full Day of Activity

Jack spent some time with us this morning and rode his rocking horse while insisting that Elaine rock in the rocking chair. He also fed me some of the chocolate chip cookie that he had found in the kitchen. I was also on the phone trying to get reservations at Mahoney State Park for a Family Reunion being planned for July of 2017. Janice has done the "heavy lifting" in planning the reunion and has now picked up the task of getting reservations for the whole family. She has no idea how much we appreciate her doing this after considerable frustration and stress of our trying to do it. We also did "Home Delivered Meals" today and after completing the task, took part in the Senior Center Potato Bake. I didn't hear a count but believe they must have served most of the 200 potatoes that Merle told of washing yesterday. Our table conversation included the need for rain but the amazement of how well the corn and beans look out in the countryside. While we have been short of rain, we have had very high humidity which has helped the crops. Farmers also do a better job of conserving moisture through reduced tillage and residue management. Much of the corn and soybeans in Seward County is irrigated by water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer. The current issue of the National Geographic magazine that has an article on the rapidly depleting Ogallala Aquifer in the states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Nebraska is so fortunate in that our portion of the Aquifer is being recharged from the Sandhills Grasslands and the waters of the Platte River.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dr. John Rudersdorf, MD

I had an appointment with Dr. John Rudersdorf at the Seward Specialty Clinic this morning as a follow up to my "shortness of breath" that has been evident over the past year or so. Dr Rudersdorf is a Pulmonary Specialist from the Bryan LGH Med Center in Lincoln who comes out to the Specialty Clinic regularly. We are so fortunate in having several such specialists who provide their services to our local community. I have been through a series of CT scans over the past several months which have been reviewed by Dr. Rudersdorf, and this morning he gave me an appointment for seeing him a full year from now. I will have another scan just before seeing him again to assess possible changes. I took that to be "Good News". He had earlier explained some of the things that show up on the scan what effect the amount of oxygen that our lungs are able to extract from the air we breath. I spent part of the afternoon writing up the process that I learned when son Jon was here over the 4th of July Holiday, for being able to print out the reports of medical data available on the Hospital and Clinic Portal. While this process is not real simple, it is certainly an example of how technology has strengthened our ability to better understand the condition of our health.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meet and Greet

We participated in one of the Seward Methodist Church "Meet and Greet" session last night at Virginia's house. Several such events are being held throughout the congregation as a way of welcoming Rev. Robert and establishing closer relationships. There were 15 of us who each had an opportunity to introduce ourselves, tell of our "background", family and relationship with the Church. Rev. Robert was first and told of his life story that involved being born in California and living in several states on his journey to being called into the ministry. It was interesting to learn more about each of the participants as we went around the room. 
 We have know some of these people for many years and yet we learned new things about them. Very few had been Methodist all their lives including the Pastor. Elaine and I were among the few who actually "grew up" in the Seward Community. While having lunch, we filled out forms with information to help further guide the Pastor in learning more about the congregation and people's interest. I put in a "pitch" for the importance of Virginia playing the organ for Sunday morning services. In my opinion, organ music provides a link back to the more formal Church services that many of us appreciate. Just hearing the organ music as you walk into church establishes a climate of worship, respect and dignity in my mind.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Text Box Codes

Josh has provided excellent leadership to the Kiwanis Club of Seward during his year as President.  I am not aware of whether he meets the criteria for being a "Distinguished President" but he certainly has done an outstanding job. He was able to fill the void when our scheduled speaker was unable to be there this noon. Josh told of the Swim Party sponsored by our Club that treated some 650 kids and adults to a dip in the City Pool on one of the warmest nights of the summer. He told of other matters being discussed in the Board Meetings and of our continued participation in the International Kiwanis Eliminate project. He asked Marv to talk of our annual recruitment drive for bringing in new members before the beginning of the Kiwanis Year on October 1. 
Josh's involvement with the Seward School system provides a ready link to the Kiwanis Mission of working with children. An example is a project he presented today that involved Ken and others is putting text box codes on the lower area of each pole in the Kiwanis Parade of Flags. He demonstrated how the codes can be read with a smart phone and information provided right on the phone. This is another example of how technology is able to put information at our finger tips that a few years ago could only be found in an encyclopedia, and it was probably "out of date".

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Neighbor Larry

We are pleased to have had Larry as a next-door neighbor for over 15 years. He lives alone and works at Walmart after his computer related job was transferred out of the country several years ago. He does a good job taking care of his place and is a good neighbor. He was out this afternoon doing some yard work and pruned an old rose bush that is near our property line. We have had many neighbors over the years and have had a full range of relationships with them. In our current status and with our mid-town location, you appreciate neighbors who take care of their property, know that you can call on them in time of need, watch out for your property when you are out of town,  and don't bother you on a daily basis. It was a good day for doing some yard work since we had a high temperature of 89 late this afternoon. We are certainly in need of rain as is evident by our lawn on which Larry is standing. We have only used our lawn sprinklers twice this summer  so the blue grass is in a "holding status" ahead of going dormant. It appears that we may get some rain during the coming week with temperatures forecast to be at least 10 degrees cooler than what we lived through last week.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Schweitzer Auction

Schweitzer's conducted an auction at the Seward Ag Pavilion today of material that had been collected for many years by a lady realtor. She had been divorced for some 40 years and lived alone in a big house that provided room for considerable storage. As a realtor she obviously had access to considerable "stuff" but also never missed a bargain at an auction or a garage sale. This picture of ironing boards and step ladders are just an example of how she collected things in "multiples". She collected almost everything that came her way and apparently, never threw anything away. 
It was surprising to me how well most things sold. I don't suppose her son, nor former husband, will have any idea how the final return will compare with the purchase price but I suspect it compares favorable with many investments. This canvas covered decoy brought over $100.00  and the little beer keg over $200.00. I doubt that she paid more than $5.00 for either of these items and it might have been much less. I would be happy to get my money back from the Model  farm tractors, trucks and cars that I collected during the past 30 years. I had gone down this morning and Elaine and I went back down this afternoon for her to see some of the kitchen things that brought back memories. We understand that this is just the beginning of this collection and that additional auctions will be scheduled.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Donald Trump, etc

I watched a lot of the Republican Convention and all of Donald Trump's acceptance speech last night. It was the major topic of discussion at coffee this morning. Within our group, we have a range of opinion but also a lot of agreement. We all believe in law and order though some of us recognize that enforcement has occasionally been extreme. We all agree that our rapidly growing national debt is a major problem as is ISIS and terrorist in general. There is room for considerable discussion on NATO and NAFTA.  It is through these discussions that Trump's ideas are those of  a "developer" with an eye on the bottom line who can "push with a stick" to achieve a profit on a specific project.  The President on the other hand has a longer time frame, and broader perspective , in which to "push with a rope" his agenda.
There is no disagreement on the  respect of the Trump children. Donald Jr, Ivanka and Eric were all outstanding in their presentations before the Convention. While their Dad has every right to be very proud of them, some credit certainly is due to their Mother. Ivana was from the Czech republic, a swimming athlete prior to her career as a 6'0" Model. Tiffany is the daughter of the Marla Maples marriage and Barron the son of Melenia, the current wife. I personally thought Ivanka was particularly outstanding and that some of the Czech genes shown through. My cousin Ted told of having met Donald and Ivana at a party in New York back in the 80's and being able to visit with her in Czech. Ted was more impressed with her than with Donald as I remember the story. He always enjoyed telling it at family reunions.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

National Political Conventions

Governor Mike Pence is addressing the National Convention of the Republican Party in Cleveland and the Television audience as I write this.  It has been an interesting night with Eric Trump, Ted Cruz, Newt Gingrich, etc. Some years ago, I started a chronology of "Memories of My Presidents". I was able to get considerable amount of information off the Internet but also utilized the information from  my Diaries, Journals and my memory. I reviewed the 33 page document this evening which extends from the election of 1932 through the inauguration of President Obama. The election of 1952 was of particular interest because of television. Included in my story is of Elaine and I visiting the home of Arnold and Sue Davis that had television at the time of the National Conventions. We were able to watch General Dwight D. Eisenhower nominated as the Republican party nominee for President with Richard M. Nixon as VP.  Estes Kefauver of Tennessee was the leading candidate going into the Democratic Convention in Chicago with Illinois Governor Adlai E. Stevenson giving the welcoming address. However, a groundswell of support emerged for Stevenson and he and Senator John Sparkman of Alabama were nominated. President Truman came through Seward on a "whistle stop" tour in support of the Democratic ticket and spoke for a few minutes from the back of his RR car. I was among a small crowd who gathered near the Burlington Depot to hear him. By the time of the General election we had our own TV and had friends in to watch Stevenson concede  at 1:15am and Eisenhower give his acceptance speech at 1:30.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Keep on the Sunny Side

Jack spent some time with us this morning and he took this picture of us on my  laptop just by touching the button. We visited about the situation in the world today and the Republican National Convention. I assured him that we are going to get through these difficult times but that there will be some bumps along the way. I mentioned to him of the confidence that I gained by hearing President Roosevelt say: "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself".  I haven't had a chance yet to tell him of my adage that: "Nothing is as good, or as bad, in reality as perceived in expectation".  It may be a while before he would understand that one. He is already well aware of the need to respect authority. When his Mother or others in a responsible position, give him "an order" he understands what it means and, the consequence of non compliance. While we may appear "stern" at times, he seems to have the inherent knowledge that discipline is necessary and for his own good. The more we know about nature, the greater our understanding of the connectivenes of all things. We as humans are a part of that system, and our chore is to help its sustainability.  Jack will learn about all of these things in due season.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Celebrating The 500th Reformation Anniversary

Larry Noack and Ken Block presented the program at Kiwanis this noon on "Celebrating The 500th Reformation Anniversary" at Concordia University. Larry and Ken were asked by President Walz to head up this celebration which will extend from October of 2016 through October of 2017. The have already prepared a Master Schedule with 6 Guest Lectures as well as nearly weekly programs throughout the year that are open to the public; a tour to the "Cradle of the Reformation in Germany" is scheduled for late October 2017. They have also developed a web site at
The Seward "Crossmakers" have developed  a special "hand held cross" with the celebrations logo which includes a cross and the letter "D". The letter D is the Roman Numeral designation for the number 500.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

'47 Chevy 5-passenger Coupe

Our Seward 4th of July parade included a '47 Chevy, 5-passenger coupe like the one shown in this picture. The one in the parade had been lowered, painted a gold color and was "sportized". It brought back the memory of one we had as a 2nd car back in the late '50's. We only had it for a couple years until I damaged a bearing in the drive train pulling a trailer load of sand for a sandpile at our new home in Lincoln. When I found that it would cost more to fix it than what I had paid for the car, I took it to the Singer Bros. Auto Salvage and sold it to them. 
We replaced it with a '53 Chevy,  2-door Coach at a surplus, sealed bid sale. It was a great 2nd car, and I never thought much about the little coupe over the years, until seeing the one in the parade. My first thought was to find a picture of it since we were taking a lot of them of our four little kids. I did find one of Tim and Carolyn standing by our old iron butcher kettle filled with flowers, and the car parked on the street in the background. However, the kids blocked out a good portion of the car.The best we could find is this picture with the very front of the car showing in the bottom right corner. The only reason an old man would spend as much time looking for a picture that apparently doesn't exist, is pure "stubborness" and the fact that I didn't have anything else that demanded my attention.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Dad in his New Ford

Here is Dad "in his new 1917 Ford". This was probably the car that was he and Mother's "courting vehicle" though I've heard him tell of riding a horse home from where she lived south of Garland. I don't remember this car but do recall a Sedan, Model T that we had ahead of our new '29 Model A Ford.  Dad always had a special interest in automobiles and probably soon after this picture was taken, attended an auto mechanic school in Kansas City.  We had a picture of Dad along with his fellow students in front of the "Sweeney Auto School". The folks never admitted it, but I believe their courtship had something to do with his "cutting out" of the course early and coming home. It seemed that the "tuition" was paid with the understanding that the student could come back and retake the course at any time. While Dad never expressed any interest in going back, my Mother  said she wished they had named me with Dad's name, and maybe they would have let me take the course. Mother inherited a lot of that kind of thinking from her Dad, and it served her (and us) well. Dad, on the other hand, would go out of his way to tell a prospective buyer everything that was wrong with a product. In   their later years raising Herford Bulls, she would always get more for them than would Dad.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Electric car Windows

I would venture that few would recognize what this picture represents. It is the "regulator" for the right-front window on our 2002 Buick Le Sabre and is the mechanism that raises and lowers the window. We came home from Lincoln yesterday,  unable to put the window back up after lowering it when we got back to the car after having had lunch with Don and Gladys.  We have had a similar problem earlier in the left-rear window; but at that time, Roger at R & H Body Shop was able to "lock the window in the closed" position when I found what it would cost to have it repaired. However, since this is a front window, we went ahead and paid the over $200.00 to have it replaced. The problem was the little white plastic pulley at the right end of the arm. A piece of the pulley had broken off and is shown just below the remaining part. Roger says this is not an unusual problem and often involves the plastic pulley. He referred to our extreme temperatures here which seems to cause the plastic to become brittle and break. It would appear that just the pulley should be able to be replaced but what do I know; that is not the case. We have complete confidence in Roger and if there was another alternative, he would have suggested it. I don't remember which was our first car with electric windows, but know we never had to replace one of the window cranks in the older ones.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Lunch with Don and Gladys

Elaine and I met Gladys and Don for lunch this noon at Jimmy's Egg at 6440 "O" St. in Lincoln. It is a relatively new place specializing in a "breakfast type" menu near the southeastern corner of the Gateway Shopping Area. Elaine had a BLT and I had Blueberry pancakes with bacon and sausage patty. Our lunches are always more about visiting than about food and today was no exception. We went all the way from old neighbors out at the farm where we grew up, to family news, and looking ahead to the family reunion at Mahoney Park in 2017. We covered health issues and all of us felt fortunate to have reached the Senior status in our good condition. Facebook has been a big help in keeping up with the activities of all of our family. We especially enjoyed the pictures from the Sorge and Vercilleno family trip to Alaska. They invited us down to Syracuse some time this summer where we could have lunch, Don and I play golf, and the ladies spend some time at the Thrift Shop where Gladys volunteers. We may just have to do that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Unveiling of Seward County Legacy Painting

We participated in the unveiling of Seward County's official painting for the Legacy of Nebraska Collection which is being done as a part of the State's Sesquicentennial celebration in 2017. Virginia Fraser and family have sponsored the painting of the Seward Country Courthouse by Nebraska Artist Todd Williams as a Rev. T. J. Fraser memorial. The Legacy project has been underway for some time and involves the Artist doing paintings representing each of the State's 93 Counties. Plans are for all 93 paintings to be displayed as a collection at Art Galleries in  Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island during the Sesquicentennial year.  A book containing pictures of all 93 paintings will be published. 
 The Seward County picture will eventually be returned to our Memorial Library for permanent display and Memorial . It was a great program which included Clark Kolterman as MC, Mayor Josh Eickmeier, County Commissioner Roger Glawatz, Library Director Becky Baker, and the Artist-Todd Williams. It also included comments from Virginia and the unveiling by family members. The event was filmed by the Nebraska NET station and refreshments were provided by Friends of Seward Library.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Baseball in PETCO Park

With the All-Star baseball game being played at PETCO Park in San Diego, it seemed appropriate to bring out our 3-ring Binder with information on games. Elaine and I flew out to San Diego in August of 2005 to see the Padres play the Rockies in the 2nd year of PETCO Park. We  had some expiring miles from earlier "frequent flyer" mileage and felt this was a way to use or lose. We were also motivated by this again making me current on seeing major league games in all 30 parks. I have since continued to keep  current by seeing: the New Bush Stadium in '06, Nationals Park, Citi Field and Yankee Stadium in '09, Target Field in '10 and Marlins Park in '15. Our flight got us to San Diego in time to check in to our Motel and get to the park in time for a 12:30 tour. A unique feature of the stadium is the inclusion of the 95-year old "Western Metal Supply Company Building" into the stadium. It has been renovated to include the Padres Team Store, Museum, Party Suites and a Restaurant. We spent some enjoyable time  there after the tour and checked in for the game at 5:00pm when the gates opened. We were among the early birds who received a "Jerry Coleman" medallion, who was honored during opening ceremonies for his 33 years as the voice of the Padres. Coleman's playing career was with the Yankees during their glory years. The Rockies won the game 4-2 on a Todd Helton Grand Slam Home Run. We took the trolley to the downtown terminal and a cab back to our Motel. It had been a long day, an interesting experience, and we flew home the next day.

Monday, July 11, 2016

School Bus Driver +++

Kiwanis Club member Jayne Jensen gave a very interesting program on her experience as a School Bus Driver for the Seward School system. That includes the St. John's Child Development Center as well as the Public school. She has been driving for a number of years and seems to really enjoy her passengers. It appears that she develops a "family type" relationship with the students and their parents. She went through all the safety regulations and told of the on-going discussion of seat belts. She arranged to have a school bus parked out it the lot for tours following the meeting. The newer buses seat back rest are much higher than those of the past as a safety feature. When she began driving, the buses were equipped with two-way radios for emergency communication. Now she says nearly everyone carries a phone which facilitates such communication. It's heartening to hear someone talk about a job in which they find so much satisfaction while being a "role model" for our children. Jayne also provides leadership to several Kiwanis Club Youth Projects. Thanks, Jayne, for all you do.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dressed Up

While we normally have 8:30 and 10:30 Sunday morning Church services, we had a combined service this morning that included "the passing of the mantle of leadership" from Rev. Dale Lambert to Rev. Robert Henre. It was followed by a Congregational Pot Luck Welcome Lunch for Rev. Robert and family. We didn't stay for lunch but came back home and took this "selfie". It is shown as an example of how people used to dress for Church, particularly for a special service.  I didn't see another man  in the congregation of over 200 wearing a coat. Even the two Preachers "passed the mantle..." in shirtsleeves. Our Church is air conditioned, in fact on our way out of the sanctuary, I heard a comment about the cold air. We all greive for the recent tragic events.  I realize there are a multitude of forces and factors that have led us to where "hate" has become a popular attitude. But, I can't help but wonder if our relaxed standards of dress plays a part in this change. I learned early in life that you not only dress appropriately for the occasion but that you do so out of  respect for those you are with and for your own self respect.  Even our Country Club had a dress code for golfers. Our son tells us that the 7th District Court of Appeals in Chicago has a dress code he and other attorney's must follow in presenting oral arguments before the Court. If "dressing up" helps our self respect, maybe it also shows more respect for "fellow beings", and we certainly need more of that.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Neat Letter Opener-Great Guy

Bill C. Heidbreder began employment with Rupp & Co. here is Seward as a High School student. Rupp's was a general hardware store with many years of history. It was also a place where young Billy would listen to the stories exchanged by Seward Businessmen as they gathered there to drink coffee. Bill was close to my age and I first knew him as one of the best skaters at the Seward Roller Rink. He never married and had a knack for "thinking outside the box". He had a house built in his later years and asked that a door  knob not be installed at the front entrance. His reasoning was that if he wanted someone to come in, he would open the door from the inside. They sold rope at the hardware store,  and he kept it in the damp basement with a hole in the floor to display it near the cash register. Customers thought it was to save space but they sold it by the pound. He was a great source of information and involved in various businesses during his Diabetes  shortened life. An example is the little letter opener shown on an envelope in the picture. They are excellent "letter openers" and don't damage the envelope. I use them for taking notes, scratch paper, and reminding me of many things. The sharp little blade in the letter opener is a reminder of Billy's sharpness even after he lost his eyesight. Let me know if you would like to have one of the openers. Billy left several of them to me.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Blessings of Living in Seward

We got up to Carolyn and Ben's this morning for a tour of the backyard garden. Jack was there also spending some time with Grandma. Their backyard garden is an example of how much can be grown in a limited amount of space. It wouldn't take much for Carolyn to qualify for being a Master Gardener. Ben is also involved in building anything needed to support her passion. It is an excellent opportunity for Sadie and Jack to learn so many things while they are at "Grandma's house". Their composting operation is interesting, too, and now have a volunteer tomato plant growing in one of the bins. 
Today is also Elaine's sister Joyce's 97th birthday. We got up to Ridgewood this afternoon where Elaine spent some time with her.  She was just awake from a nap and wanted to know about the family.  I spent some time in the care center's snack-lodge area while Elaine visited with Joyce. I read about the Vetter's and their commitment to providing high quality care for residents in their facilities. I was very impressed by an elderly lady's ability to control her wheel chair with a "Joy stick". It was capable of turning 360 degrees on the spot. The lady seemed to enjoy it. The quality of care has certainly advanced during the past few years.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Gardening after a Rain

We were down to Walmart yesterday and bought some "end of season" bargain Petunias. The Dianthus in this plot at the base of the birches bloomed beautifully earlier but shut down during our hot weather. It seemed like a good place to plug in some of the new plants. We put the bulk of them on the west side of the house where Verlon had spread some compost when he was here recently. It was where we took out a large Pfitzer a year ago. We also put a couple of them in front of the house near the Black Kettle.
 We have a tomato plant at that site with one  beginning to turn color.
 When Jack saw it this morning, he said "Ball". That word is one of the first in his expanding vocabulary. Our Clematis at the front entry are past their peak but sill have beautiful purple color. The 1.75" of rain received during last night helped to make our planting more enjoyable.  We are tending more toward perennials as we reach further heights of maturity. We believe this to be a "Black Eyed Susan". We have had the vining variety in the past but believe we planted this one a year ago.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Careers in Soil and Water Conservation

The visit of Jon's with us last week prompted me to pull out some of the old pictures from when we moved back to the Washington, D.C. area in 1962. This picture was taken that fall when Jon was 7 years old. He was scheduled to be in a school play on the day that President Kennedy was shot and school was dismissed early. We had anticipated sending only a few years in the USDA headquarters office of the Soil Conservation Service and then being transferred back out to a State Office. However, we spent the next 18 years in the area.  The kids completing High School there and went off to college. Carolyn is the only one of the 4 that came back to Nebraska  for a teaching career. Jon went to work for SCS right out of college.
  He worked in Virginia, several locations in North Carolina, New York state,  Lincoln, NE and back to the Washington, D.C. office in 1996. During our years in the D.C. area, we did a lot of sightseeing, especially during the first couple years when we didn't know how long we would be there. We also enjoyed having family and many friends back to visit.  While we went through some difficult times during out 18 years but all-in-all, it turned out pretty well. We have been able to enjoy many years of retirement back here in our home town as a result of both Elaine and my successful careers in USDA. It is also interesting that Jon has followed in our footsteps and built a very successful career there as well. It was a "leap of faith" when we made the commitment, but it was done as a "calling" to help in the conservation of our God-given Natural Resources.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Post 4th of July in Seward

Jon, Mary and Anna left for home this afternoon. They drove their rental car back to Omaha and flew to Dulles airport from there. The picture looks a bit foggy since the camera was inside the house until going out in the heat and humidity where the lens fogged over. We enjoyed their visit here. I always learn a few things about computers when Jon is around. Seward appeared to return to normal as I went downtown for coffee.  The estimated crowd in town yesterday is 43,000. The whole town was in a cloud of smoke last night with all the fireworks. It wasn't only the City Display but the competition which seemed to exist in every neighborhood. I certainly feel for anyone, physically or mentally affected by the extremely loud noise. Elaine feels strongly that she has lived with Tinnitus since a large, illegal firecracker exploded in our neighborhood several years ago. I question whether our current City Ordinances are being enforced very aggressively. While on the City Counsel, I attempted to further restrict fireworks but had very little support. There must be a better way to celebrate our Independence and Democracy than igniting dangerous fireworks.

Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July Parade

There are more people in Seward on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. Nebraska 1st District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry walked the parade route as did Governor Pete Ricketts. We were pleased to see Suzanne Kolterman riding in the parade with Senator Mark Kolterman. Our house is on the Parade Route so we have front row seats for family and friends. It is also located near the beginning of the parade route so the kids get a lot of candy from people on the floats tossing it from full buckets. Our day began before 7:00am with Jon going to the anvil firing.
He had a very full day by going to the National Guard Museum, singing in my place with the Kitones, playing the accordion, etc. Mary and Anna also took in the quilt show and several other downtown attractions. The only time Elaine and I left the house was when we gave Jon a ride down town with the accordion. We enjoyed many "regulars" being here to watch the parade and always enjoy some new friends. Roger and Sharon came down early to get settled. Roger is a good friend from Kiwanis and has Parkinson's;  we had a good visit. They were appreciative of being able to visit with Mary.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Word of God and Nature's Glory

Rev. Robert Henre conducted his first service this morning at the Seward United Methodist Church here in town. Our first impression was very favorable. He, his wife and daughter, come to Seward from Washington State after earlier having served congregations in Missouri.  We wore name tags this morning as a first step in helping him learn the names of our 275 regular attending members. "Meet and Greet" sessions are planned where he will have an opportunity to meet in private homes with a small number of people. His sermon title was "God's Call and Mission Continued". He paid appropriate tribute to Rev. Dale Lambert who has retired.  
I took this picture on the way home from church. It is a Butterfly Milkweed that has grown along North Moffiitt St. It is on the property of a friend who has worked on the staff of the Lower Platte South NRD in Lincoln for a number of years. While Butterfly Milkweed is native to this area, they typically grow on Native Prairies. They are available in some of the Nurseries that feature Native Plants but are considered quite rare.  We have seen them out in the Garland prairies but believe this is the only such plant in Seward.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Garland HS Alumni Pluggers

Our Garland High School Alumni Reunion was held two weeks ago with 41 alumni and 23 guests . The 50-year graduates were honored along with others. The 50-year group were the last students to graduate from our small High School. We have always combined all graduates for the reunion since individual classes probably averaged about 8-10 members. The first class to graduate from the 12th grade was in 1923 and the last was in 1966. The "event" has been called an "Alumni Banquet" for several years but at one time it did include dancing. It has been a catered, evening meal in the Legion Hall for some time and "Reunion" seems to be more appropriate than "Banquet". I thought it ironic in seeing the Plugger" this morning, that one of the major decisions made this year at the business meeting, was to have a "noon luncheon" next year. It may be appropriate to incorporate this cartoon in next years invitations.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Interesting Afternoon & Evening

Elaine and I got Jon, Mary and Anna over to the Nebraska National Guard Museum this afternoon. They are having a USO show tomorrow evening and a big dedication event on the 4th. This helicopter in the parking area, is new to the Museum. Col. Jerry Meyer has provided  excellent leadership in bringing in a Curtiss Pusher aircraft that hangs above the Cattle reception area; the Captain Erle Smiley display; and, an Airborne and Firefighter exhibit in the Learning Center. We were able to see an introductory movie of Seward and the Museum that was filmed with drones. It was shown in the Jones National Bank and Trust Co. Theater.  
We went up to Bee this evening for fish dinners at Lou and MaryAnn's. Our waitress was one of their Granddaughters who demonstrated her skill and ability by carrying 8 plates of fish dinners to serve an adjacent table. We drove around Bee a bit afterwards, and I told of having delivered Kolterman 10cent store fliers, along with my sister, to every house in Bee and Garland. Fred Kolterman "hired" us to do that when we were pre-teen's, saying he would rather pay us than the cost of postage. I'm sure he knew where we would spend every penney he paid us.