Friday, September 30, 2016

Presidential Election Discussion

Elaine baked some chocolate chip cookies for Verlon to take along when he went to coffee with me this morning. We began the discussion with a review of the nights rescue and police calls. The harvest underway during our beautiful weather was mentioned. Verlon told of his experience in Richmond, VA with Tim Kaine, and how when he was on the City Council, helped Verlon with a problem. That led into a discussion of the Presidential campaign. It was recognized that we not only elect a President and VP but also over 3,000 political appointees that come with them, to provide "leadership" to the thousands of  Career Civil Servants. While there were some strong opinions expressed, one fellow made some comments that made sense to me. He said that there is always a certain amount of risk involved in every Administration change, and probably more this year than average, in light of the candidates. Like much decision making, the risk should be equated to the rewards, the potential benefits. It was his opinion, that the risk of a Trump administration would be greater than they would be with Clinton, but the potential benefits would also be much greater. Clinton's risk as well as the benefits, would be less dramatic, in his opinion.  That is why some people bet on the 20-1 horse and others on the 2-1. Someone else commented that, supporters of the winner will probably be disappointed after a year or so because things aren't as good as hoped, and supporters of the loser, will be happy that it's not as bad as feared. The most certain prediction is that the sun will rise in Seward, NE on November 9th.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Happy Days & Library Program

We are having some interesting conversations with Verlon back here. He is the "big boy" here with Tim setting up and Carolyn looking "bright eyed" and happy. Jon was still to come onto the scene. In addition to enjoying the expressions of the kids, I wondered why we picked out wallpaper with such a large pattern for a small room. Verlon has an excellent memory of things that happened when he was very young. He was able to get a lot of good yard work done today. He mowed the lawn, did a lot of plant, shrubbery,  tree trimming, etc.  The weather was perfect for yard work today and is expected to be equally nice tomorrow. Carolyn, Elaine and I enjoyed a Nebraska author's presentation at the Library this evening. Karen Gettert spoke on her One Book One Nebraska novel, "Behind the Meaning of Names". It included discussion about the tension and experiences of German immigrants in Nebraska during World War I as well as the influenza Pandemic of 1918. A large crown enjoyed the presentation and light lunch.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Verlon's Welcome Reception

Verlon had a good flight from Richmond, VA in to Lincoln this afternoon, and was met at the airport by Carolyn. Elaine and I were in Bryan for her hearing aid appointment. We all got together following  supper and after I took a couple pictures, Sadie borrowed my camera and took this one of Verlon. She went on around the room and got each of us individually. We have several pictures of Jack setting on my lap, and his pushing the button to take a laptop picture with photo booth. However, we didn't have one of Sadie until tonight. She sat on my lap and we got a couple of the two of us. By that time, she had caught on as to how it worked, and started sitting with others to get their pictures.
Since she could see herself 
on the computer screen, she decided to enhance her appearance by holding Mickey Mouse on her head while moving the cursor to the "shutter" button and pushing the key pad with her right hand. The next stage was sitting on her Daddy's lap, with Mother close by,  and taking a few more shots. I think her Daddy may have helped with some of the special effects. They got Jack talked into joining the fun and came up with this family picture. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Good Day for Old Folks

Elaine and my lifestyles have evolved over the past few years to where we spent more time in a seated position. I am shown here in my "man cave" going through old City Council files. It has been nearly 4 years since I completed my tenure and time to clean out the files. They could just be dumped into the recycling tub, but I find it interesting to go through most of them. I even save some of the material for "historic" purposes. And, save some of the blank, back side sheets for draft computer paper. The cardboard box that I'm working on, makes an ideal "desk" for the project since I don't set up as high as I once did. It is also handy while working in some of my big binders and can easily be moved out of the way. Elaine has moved some of the things in the Kitchen Cabinets to a lower level to make them more accessible.
That may have helped in the process of making the apple pie that she did this morning. She also brought in a few tomatoes from our 2 vines. Our trees in the back yard have grown to where they shade the area where earlier, we raised some really nice ones. Our oldest son is scheduled to fly into Lincoln tomorrow afternoon and the pie will be part of the welcome. We bought groceries at our local Pac n Sav store this afternoon and she notices the little 9" fruit pies for $7.00. She figured her big, deep dish one, would be worth at least $15. Her real specialty is Cherry pie. We had one of those while Tim was here and really enjoyed it with an ice cream topping.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Kiwanis Induction of New Member & Installation of New Officers

We had a great Kiwanis meeting this noon that started with a chicken dinner and continued on a high level. President Josh reviewed a bit of Club history and the many activities carried out during his tenure. Don Fritz, Division 22 out-going Governor, conducted a 90 second visioning exercise, inducted new members, and distributed copies of the new vision statement: "Kiwanis will be a positive influence in communities that one day, all children wake up in communities that believe in them, nurture them and provide the support they need to thrive." President Josh recognized all out-going Officers and Board Members and presented Awards.
The Service Award was presented to Teresa Dredge, not only for her contributions this past year and the past several as she headed up the Back Pack program, served as a Foundation Officer, and demonstrated a "passion" for achieving success. In-Coming Div. Lt. Gov. Steve, installed the In-Coming Officers and Board Members. This included our new President Al Schmidt who took the podium to thank Josh Fields for his great year as President and welcomed him to continue on the Board as Immediate Past President. Al gave a brief statement of expectations and closed the meeting as New President by the symbolic "striking of the bell".

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Seward HS Girls Basketball Dynasty

While cleaning out old files, I came across this newspaper clipping of the Seward High School Girls Basketball team celebrating their 49th consecutive victory by defeating Omaha Scutt and the chance to play Gretna the next day for the State Championship. The next picture shows the “first team” waiting on the bench, for the final horn, to celebrate their second Class B State Title and their 50th consecutive victory. I was among a group of “Old Guys” that had seen all the home games during their “streak” and didn't miss any of the State Tournament games. While I didn't save clippings from all of their continuing victories, I recorded their streak in my daily journal. On March 5, 2011, they beat Elkhorn to win their 3rd consecutive State Championship and their 75 straight game. They extended their winning streak to 101 and another State Title by beating Beatrice on March 4, 2012. Their 4th consecutive Championship may have been the sweetest of all since it was won by several of the players who had never lost a game. It was also evident that it would be doubtful if they could continue the streak through another season. They opened the 2012-13 season with 3 victories but on 12/7/12, with the streak at 104, they lost to Lincoln Pius X 40-38 on a last second shot. The streak was over and us “Old Guys” acknowledged that we had enjoyed a “once in a lifetime dynasty”. It is ironic that I participated in my last City Council Meeting on 12/4/12 after serving for 12 years. Charley and I had played golf that afternoon (my 217th, 9-hole round of the season) but the weather turned bad, other factors came into play, and I never played golf regularly again. It was the end of a era, but Great- Grandchildren have helped fill the void.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Tom Wake's Hereford Dispersion in 1956

This afternoon I pulled out a box from our storage area that came from Elaine's family. We are not sure of the route that it took to get to our "lower level", but it contains some very interesting material.  This 60 page booklet was included. It list the 213 lots at auction, along with their pedigree information. Tom Wake's personal announcement of the sale, in the opening pages, tells of his starting the registered herd in 1940 and how he has improved the herd with selective purchases. The bull pictured was imported from England. My Uncle Clarence Walker worked for Wakes with their cattle at this time and would have helped with this sale. He was also involved with the pasturing of many of them at the ranch near Taylor, NE. While this was their dispersion sale, my Dad and I attended their first auction back in the late 40's. Wake's also had some Polled Herefords which was what my Dad raised. He bought his start with a Purebred bull, a cow and bred heifer in the early 40's and continued to buy purebred bulls until my folks retired in 1975. I checked my old 5-year diary for October 1, 1956 and found that Albert and I laid out terraces for Edmund Kantor, and a dam and terraces for Joe Suchy. I went to our Toastmasters Club meeting that evening. It was my first meeting as Club President.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Family Fun

Tim was on his way to the Lincoln airport after having spent a few days with us. We not only had some "personal time" for discussion but also some interesting "special events".  These included Fish Dinner's in Bee, the  trip to the National Homestead Monument, a Sunday Dinner at Owens', a visit to the "Princess Prairie Flower" memorial, etc. The coffee group enjoyed Tim's presence at a couple sessions and he was able to attend a "new member orientation" at Kiwanis. It was an opportunity for him to learn about the many projects in which the Club is involved. But best of all was just having him here to talk about the past, present and future. 
Jack spent some time with us after the trip to the airport. His cheerful personality was appreciated to brighten our spirits after seeing Tim leave. He is such an interesting "study". His limited vocabulary doesn't hinder his communication skills and is saying new words each day.  He certainly has a grasp of what is being said and seen. His "eye-hand" coordination is demonstrated in building towers with dominoes. (Elaine may have helped a bit with this one). We laughed at his walking in my big SAS shoes but it was even more humorous when, in his own shoes, he demonstrated how Great Grandad walks.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Jak se mas

Here is Granddaughter Julie with Jack and Sadie and me, setting on the "Jak se mas" bench in Wilber while on our way to the Nebraska Homestead Monument yesterday. Wilber was on the way and has been given the title of "Czech Capital of Nebraska". We were still eating Kolaches today that were brought home from there. It can be linked to the Homestead Monument in that many areas in Nebraska were settled by Czech immigrants. My Great Grandfather Jan Milacek was one of those. My Irish Great Grandfather (on 
my Mother's side) also came out to Nebraska and homesteaded after having fought in the Civil War. There are still some 30 farms in Nebraska that are owned and operated by descendents of Homesteaders. One of them is the Hawley family,  recognized recently for having ownership and management of a Nemaha County, 160 acres homesteaded by their Great Grandfather in 1863. It was a wonderful opportunity for immigrants and for the "development" of the country, but the rights of the native Indians should have been given more respect.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Homestead National Monument

 Carolyn, Tim, Elaine and I left Seward this morning on our way to visit the Homestead National Monument near Beatrice. We met John and Julie with Sadie and Jack, in Wilber where we visited "Frank's Smoke House". The Museum there was closed but we enjoyed setting on the "Jak se mas" bench at its front door. We then went on to visit the Education Center which is the original location of the Daniel Freeman cabin. It was one the the original homesteads following the 1862 Act. The Center contains a collection of antique farm machinery which was most interesting.  I had actually used some of it
The Heritage Center building is of a unique design and is symbolic of the plow which broke the prairie sod as the result of the Homestead Act. We ate lunch under the canopy which is on the back side of the building. Sadie was full of questions about the many things that were new to her. Jack  tried to say some new words and couldn't figure out why a "stuffed chicken" wouldn't peck at him. We drove through DeWitt on our way home and saw the former "Vice-Grip"  manufacturing plant. We also visited Doane University in Crete. It was a great one-day family trip.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Elaine on the Keyboard

I spent considerable time cleaning up the Documents file on my HP, PC yesterday afternoon. The PC is 9 years old and does some thinking for itself at times. For some reason, it seems that Document files have multiplied over the years and in my efforts to "clean them up", I deleted some important information. Son Jon put a Toshiba backup portable drive on the PC some time ago, which I've downloaded to periodically, but was unable to pull out the information I lost. We have printed much of our information that needs to be updated at least annually so this afternoon, I scanned some of the printed files back into the computer files that were lost. I had difficulty doing this with one file and recruited Elaine to type one page. She had been to the Beauty Shop this morning for a cut and permanent, so this is an opportunity to show her new hair "do", and that her typing skills are still "in-tact". 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Maggie at Eleven (some years ago)

As we opened the book to September 10 for our morning devotional, Elaine and I looked at each other and asked, why is this date so special. I even went through the column in the Omaha World Herald which lists events that occurred in history on this date, but didn't find anything to resolve our question. With my laptop in for repair, I slipped a flash drive in our PC, pulled up my blog page from a year ago, and here was a tribute to Maggie for her birthday. I went up to tell Elaine who had bought a special card a couple months ago, that was just perfect for Maggie. I was able to post a greeting and apology on Maggie's face book page and  Elaine  got the card ready to mail. We took it down to the drop box at the Post Office and got it on its way. But, for the record, Happy Birthday Maggie!!!
We watched the Nebraska Huskers defeat the Wyoming Cowboys by a score of 52-17. The Huskers intercepted several Cowboy passes and scored 4 TD's in the 4th quarter but got pretty close at 24-17 after leading 17-0 earlier. I'm sure Coach Riley has a list of things to work on during the week in preparation for Oregon. Elaine and I walked around the block after supper as a contribution to our physical fitness. It was a beautiful cool, sunny day that barely got into the 70's.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Jack's Training Program

Jack and I wern't together very long before he took me by the hand and lead me to the stairway door to the lower level. As soon as I opened the door, he assumed the position of going down, feet first on his belly, step by step. I got the Polka music going while he selected models from the shelves. He first set them on the coffee table, then raised his arms for me to take his hands, and dance to the music. He returned to his "toys" while still enjoying the music.

After a few minutes playing "cars & trucks" he was ready for "shop". He is in all his glory when sitting on my stool at the bench. The strength that he has in his arms and hands is amazing. He likes to wrestle with a regular size hammer but this small one lets him try to drive a tack into a board. It was refreshing to have him here after reading our morning newspaper. It told of how Republican leaders were struggling with how to respond to the GOP Presidential nominee's (Donald Trump) claim that, "Russian President Vladimir Putin was a stronger leader than Obama."

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Don & Gladys Visit

Don and Gladys drove up from Syracuse this morning. He and I had a 10:00am Tee time at the Seward Golf Course. We were most pleased by the condition of the course. It was the first time we had been on it under City Management. Carolyn was having lunch with friends in the Dining Room and took this picture of Don and I walking off the last green. This is the 3rd year since I quit playing as a member. This was my first time out since Don and I played once in Syracuse last year. There are some skills like singing, playing a musical instrument, key boarding,  that stay with us but golf isn't one of them. My enjoyment was our visit, being able to see the trees I had planted and enjoying the beautiful setting under ideal weather conditions. Elaine and Gladys came out and we enjoyed a very tasty lunch in Nate's Dining Room. They had not seen the Nebraska National Guard Museum so that was our first stop after lunch. Jerry Meyer was there to take us into the Theater for the presentation and to show them around. We are more impressed every time we visit the place. We than came back to our house to catch up on family happenings.  It was a great day but I'm dog tired. I have written about not knowing when we do things for the last time but this picture of walking off the final green may become a classic.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Travels and Tomatoes

No, we didn't raise these tomatos this year, but still have hopes for more to ripen. Carolyn got home from her week-long "Road Scholar" trip to Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula last night and was over this afternoon to tell us about her trip. She and her traveling companion Shelly, a fellow retired school teacher, had a great time. They saw so many interesting things that made us check pictures and notes from out trip to Seattle in 2003. I was President of our SCS/NRCS Retirees organization that year with our annual meeting in Spokane. We hadn't seen the Seattle Mariner's play in Petco park so it was an opportunity to "kill two birds with one stone".  Elaine and I drove our new '02 Buick La Sabre and enjoyed the drive to Seattle. We had a great tour of the ballpark and saw a good game. We tried, but were unable to get reservations to go to Victoria but did get up in the Space Needle.  We went on to Spokane where we met son Jon and many old Soil Conservation friends at the meeting. After passing the Presidency to Rich, we visited more friends in the area. We came through Yellowstone National Park on our way home. It had been a great trip without realizing how many things we "missed seeing". We got home in time for Elaine to harvest some of the best tomatoes we have ever raised. The site where these were raised, next to our deck is now shaded by our Red Oak tree, which has grown faster than anticipated.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Happy Birthday Elaine

Elaine is shown down at the bank with her name on the marque wishing her a Happy Birthday. She was up early this morning to start the celebration. When I got up a few minutes later and had just set down to read the paper, I felt a sensation of motion but having just gotten up, thought it was my own lack of stability. It was only a few minutes later that Facebook began to have stories of the Earthquake in eastern Oklahoma and it's effects being felt over a wide area including ours. This was our Saturday to take things to the recycle center. The Kiwanis crew was working there today and all sang Happy Birthday to Elaine. We went to lunch out at "Nate's on the Nine" and had a great Ham and Cheese sandwich along with Sweet Potato Fries. Carolyn called this morning from Seattle, WA; Jon called from Burke, VA; and Tim called from Marquette, MI and was watching the Nebraska-Fresno St game after being up  there to watch Tony run a Marathon. We received about 3/4 of an inch of rain during the afternoon on a day that didn't get above 70 degrees. This will be a birthday that Elaine will remember, and it isn't over yet.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Elaine's Birthday eve.

We had some excellent "home made" chili for supper and it was topped off with Chocolate cake that Elaine baked this afternoon. Since her birthday is tomorrow, it seemed appropriate to have a lighted candle on it. No, I didn't sing "Happy Birthday". She did already get some nice cards. I justified the one candle by saying it signified the one year since she had her last birthday. I did some work on our old pictures and came across this one of Elaine and Carolyn going to Janice's Wedding Shower at the "B" town hall with Vivian waiting for them at the door. Elaine has matured very graciously since that picture was taken. Sadie is about the same age now as her Grandmother was walking with Elaine. 
This next picture was when Sadie was little but is a very nice 4-generation picture; everyone looks happy. We haven't made any special plans for Elaine's birthday tomorrow. I've got something in mind but will surprise her with it. We typically go for a drive in the country past the farms where we each grew up but decided to wait until Tim gets here. We have already talked about how happy we are that we don't have to attend the Nebraska-Fresno St. football game in Lincoln tomorrow evening. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jack, Sadie and Temptations

Julie and Sadie spent some extra time with us this morning when they go back to pick up Jack who was dropped off earlier. Jack and I had gone down to the lower level earlier to listen to some polka music and play with model trucks. When Sadie got here, she too wanted to hear some polka music so we turned the Ernie Kucera record over and played it. It's amazing that the record is still in good shape after some 40 years. Our old radio/ record player is seen in the background. We bought it from Davissons 35 years ago. It not only plays the 12" stereo records but also cassette tapes. It also has the capability of enabling tapes to be made from a record, the radio or even another cassette tape. Jack likes to have someone hold his hands and swing back and forth to the music but Sadie likes to move around while "dancing". Her moves seem to be just normal reactions to the rhythm of the music. The two kids play together nicely despite their difference in interest. Jacks favorites are "trucks" of any size, shape or description. Sadie is much happier painting (even if it's with water) and hearing stories. She knows her numbers to 20 and the alphabet. They have a little "puzzle" here at our house with all the plastic letters in "slots" on a board. She has been real helpful is Jack's being able to name many of them. I am much happier watching them play with plastic toys than the Model trucks and tractors that Jack insists pulling off my display shelves. Some day he will learn to avoid things he shouldn't have but at this stage it's my responsibility to remove the temptations.