Monday, January 30, 2017

Sixpence Program

Daina CepureSain and Katie Radcliffe  presented the program at Kiwanis this noon on the Sixpence program. Sixpence is part of the Blue Valley Community Action Partnership and located at Seward Elementary School.  The program is designed to provide parents the opportunity to develop strong relationships with their Children. The learn to be their child's first teacher, promote learning within the home environment and encourage and support curiosity within the child's play. There are 24 families participating in the program in Seward County. Eligibility is based on need and includes home visits of at least 180 minutes/mo. There is also a family meeting once a month where several families come together with the children to help with the building of life skills. This purpose of the program is to help reduce the wide range of learning capabilities that are apparent in youngsters entering kindergarten. Studies have shown that many students who start out at a level below their peers, see that gap widen as they proceed in school and in life. The attendance of our Kiwanis Meeting this noon was tempered by the Kitone group singing at the Milford Senior Center this noon.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Schweitzer Auctin in Seward

Schweitzer Auction drew a big crowd to the Seward Ag Pavilion today with the first sale of the year. I understand that this was a collection from several parties and the amount of "stuff" was beyond description. This Organ was an example of the age of much of the stuff including a solid oak chair that would last for another 100 years. But it wasn't all this nice. There were rusty old out-board boat engines that looked like they should have been collected in the scrap metal drives during WWII. Auctions like this are interesting events. I went directly from taking things to our recycling center and recognized the comparison. It certainly bears out the old adage that one persons junk is another's treasure. Elaine wasn't feeling well so I didn't stay very long but the bidding was very active. She feels better this evening knowing that I didn't bring home any more collectibles.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Jack watching Change

Jack was at our house again today but listening to Polka records and playing with plastic wind-up toys hardly compares with watching the helicopter take a former President away and see the new President take over. Jack is only 2 and my first memory of a Presidential election was when Franklin Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the fall of 1931. In some ways, this inauguration has some similarities to that one. We had just come through the stock market crash of '29 and the country was looking for change. I don't know how Roosevelt ranks in the list of "our best Presidents" but we can only hope and pray that historians will someday be able to say that President Trump brought about as much change for the good of our Country as Roosevelt. There is no doubt but what Jack will someday, have some ideas about the changes.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Food and Fellowship at the Senior Center

We went to the Senior Center Potato Bake this noon. It's the first time we had been there  for the past couple months. We got down ahead of the crowd which was above average. We appreciated the extra workers who helped carry things to the table. The potatoes today were exceptionally large plus being very good. Now that they serve them in Styrofoam, carry home containers, we don't overeat and finished it for supper. As usually happens, we were able to learn about a meeting next week in which the notification had gone astray. It's also always an opportunity to visit with old friends. It's amazing how many people in this community are like family. I have known several of the people we were with today, that I have known for 70 years. While some people move to where their Kids and Grandchildren live, it's nice to be near both old friends & family.
While Elaine's Coconut Cream Pie shows on the first picture, It seemed a close-up was needed. Elaine chose a piece of Pecan Pie for me that wasn't as picturesque, but tasted excellent. We are fortunate to have our Senior Center which is utilized by a number of people on a daily basis. 
After being afraid that my old HP PC had bit the dust yesterday, I was able to resuscitate it today after considerable effort. In fact these pictures were processed on it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Time with Jack and Our Governor

We got up this morning to a light covering of snow, sleet and ice. Elaine cancelled an eye examination in Lincoln. Some areas in the state got up to 18-20 inches of snow so we were quite fortunate. Jack came to spend some time with us but wasn't feeling up to par. He sat on my lap and I showed him drawings and told him the story of "Silent Spring". We really enjoyed the 2-hour, PBS presentation last evening. He came in his PJ's and brought along a little JD tractor with a front end loader that he held while we talked. After a while he went out in the kitchen looking for a cookie. As noon approached, Elaine fixed him a little dish of strawberries which he ate with a spoon. He was happy to see his Mother when she came but always enjoys his time with us. And, we enjoy it as a highlight of every day that he visits us.
Governor Pete Ricketts was in Seward this afternoon for a  briefing of budget and administrative priorities. He spent well over half of his scheduled hour answering questions from a good sized crowd. I was very favorably impressed by his positions on reducing state expenditures and not raising taxes. I was able to ask "his position on Ag exports in light of recent Administration positions". He went into the details  of a conversation he had with President Trump on the subject and how we can negotiate better individual deals than TPP . In visiting with a friend later, who had also attended the session,  agreed that if we were asked to edit everything he said and how he said it, we wouldn't change a word.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rachel Carson and"Silent Spring".

We watched the two-hour PBS American Experience tonight on NET that detailed the life and work of environmentalist Rachel Carson. The program covered her early life and family after her father died when she was a teenager. Her mother taught her to love nature and after receiving an MS degree she worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of Interior. After WWII, DDT was widely used throughout the world to eliminate Malaria and insect control even in household products. The USDA sponsored a Fire Ant control program in the south where some 20 million acres were sprayed with DDT. It became apparent that while it killed fire ants, it also had many side effect on other desirable creatures of nature. The offspring of birds that had eaten effected earth worms were even killed. Nuclear testing during the early 50's also added to the unrecognized hazards of "fall-out".  Synthetic Pesticides had become widely used and their production promoted as a way of feeding a growing world population. It helped bring prosperity to agricultural producers at a time when it was changing. She did considerable
research, interviewed scientists, and collected scientific papers to document the effects of the hazardous materials.  Her book "Silent Spring", that is said to have ushered in the environmental movement, was published  on 9/27/62. It led to considerable controversy between economic interest and the environmentalist. Monsanto tried to counter "Silent Spring" with a book detailing how crop failures and disease would spread without modern pesticides. Time has proved that Carson was right, that agricultural spraying of DDT reduced the bird populations and that the widespread use had increased pesticide resistance among many targeted insect species. Unfortunately Rachel Carson was affected by cancer and died on April 14, 1964 at the age of 56. It has been recognized that "Silent Spring" changed the world. It was a great story and very well presented.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rick Weatherhold and the Outdoor Education Camp

Rick Weatherholt, Seward Middle School Counselor, presented the program at Kiwanis today. He told of an "Outdoor Education Camp" that has a 30 year history. The program had its start in the Milford Campground and is now held at a site near Ashland, NE. It is a voluntary, 3-day program for 6th graders held a few weeks after the beginning of the fall term. For many of the students, this is the first time they have spent overnight time other than with family. Many High School students who experience the program are chosen to serve as counselors to the 6th graders in carrying out the many activities. One of the interesting things that was shown on a short video involved a competition between rows of some 10 students. They held hands and passed a Hula Hoop down the line in an attempt to do so more quickly than the competition.
The campground includes cabin type facilities for bunk beds with a newer, more private building for the girls. In additions to the HS Counselors, many of the former teachers voluntarily serve as instructors. The have a "family dinner" the 2nd evening of the Camp which gives the parents a first-hand view of the facilities and a feel for the activity. Bruce Dickenson was the Counselor ahead of Rick and he brought in a speaker from the Lakota Tribe to speak at the parents event. It proved very popular and Rick has continued to do so. All indications are that this continues to be a very vital part of participant's education. There is a $25.00 registration fee/student with much of the expense being covered by local contributions. The school provides some in-kind help like bus service, but no direct funding.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Memories of Ruth Raymond Thone

The Lincoln Journal Star publishes a "neighborhood EXTRA" on a weekly basis as a supplement to their paper. Ruth Thone often writes a piece for it. This week, it was on "memories" and her headline was, "Do we find our memories a joy or a burden". She wrote of our obvious memories and those that "reside in my brain, and wait patiently for some current happening to call up their presence". She quoted Marcel Proust who wrote: "Involuntary explicit memory occurs when cues encountered in  everyday life evoke recollections of the past without conscious memory". And, "Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were". 
We have known Ruth for many years having first met when we lived back in the Washington, D.C. area and her husband Charles served in Congress as a Nebraska Representative. We enjoyed the relationship of the "Nebraska Society". After serving 3 terms in the House of Representatives he was elected Governor of Nebraska in 1978. We moved back to Nebraska in 1980 and I worked for the State's Natural Resources Commission. We had become involved in local politics and in 1982, hosted a "Down of the Farm with Charlie Thone Day" as a Seward County Republican Party rally of support for his re-election as Governor. 
Last evening I sent her a copy of this picture that was taken our at our farm the day of the rally. It was a great day with a silent auction, food, speeches, music, etc. Along with the picture, I alluded to her piece on memory and asked if she had any memory of that event. She wrote back right away and said, "ah, the memories. My, we were young then!" Cheers, Ruth.  It was great hearing from her. Ruth was a very popular 1st Lady in the Governor's Mansion and even agreed to letting a picture be published of her sliding down the stairway banister. She has continued to write and has been recognized as the 2014  Nebraska Press Women Communicator of Achievement.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Family Reunion 1980

With this being Janice's birthday and pictures of her as a little girl were on Facebook, one of the nephews said he would like to see more such pictures. This was taken in 1980 in the Seward Park. It was a Florence and Tony Vrana family reunion with family getting together for the first time in several years. Janice is the lady in the back row next to Larry, her husband who has turned to look at the fellow trying to get up into the picture. The nephew asking for more old family pictures is the dark haired youngster, second from the right in the front row. Florence and Tony are seated in the front row, Mother is holding Julie, Elaine and my Granddaughter, Vivian is next to Mother along with Eddy, Elaine and I round out that end of the seated row. Our 4 kids are all standing behind us. Brother Don and Gladys are at the right end of the second row with much of their family in that area. Jerry is the tall fellow in the back row with Sondra in front of him. I hope that a large copy of this picture will be available at our Family Reunion this summer. A lot of changes have taken place in those 37 years. I don't even wear plaid pants anymore.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Inauguration of President Donald Trump and Vice-President Pence

Here is the view from the Capitol balcony this morning as crowds gathered for the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States. The Washington Monument is shown at the far end of the Mall and the tower of the Trump Hotel (Old Post Office Building) is also shown in the distance on the left side of Pennsylvania Ave. I went down to coffee at 10:00 and watched the formalities with friends but got home in time to see the "swearing in". Jack was here and wondered why he couldn't watch "Big Bird". His highlight was watching the helicopter leave to take the Obama's to Andrews and on to Palm Springs, CA. Melania Trump held the Bible and Chief Justice Roberts administered the Oath of office making Donald John Trump President of the United States. His address was along the lines of his campaign.  "We are transferring power from Washington to the people"; "This movement belongs to you"; "A nation exist to serve its citizens"; and, "We will eradicate Radical Muslim Terrorist".  He concluded like he began 16 months ago by saying, "We will make America Great Again".  He went right to work by signing documents including those of Cabinet appointments. Having seen the Inauguration Parade on three occasions during the time we lived in the Washington, D.C. area, I don't believe I ever spent as much time watching the event as I did today nor have I ever faced a new administration with more apprehension. My prayer is: "May his actions and decisions be pleasing in the sight of God". God Bless America

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Presidential Inaugural Parades

The old Post Office building in Washington, D.C. that is being remodeled into a luxury hotel by the Trump organization, has interesting memories for me. It is located on Pennsylvania avenue at 12th street which is on the route of the Inaugural Parade from the Capitol to the White House. The steps of the building were our favorite spot for watching the parades. We would drive down to the USDA parking lot and take the short walk across the mall to the building. Our oldest son, Verlon, and I watched the 1965 parade from these steps when Lyndon B. Johnson was inaugurated as President. Tim and I went down in 1969 to see Richard Nixon and appreciated the protection from the cold wind by being up high on the entryway steps under the arch. By '73 I went down alone for Nixon's 2nd parade by myself. I was in Williamsburg, VA, at
a Brookings Institute, 2-week session on government at the time of Lyndon Johnson's inauguration in 1977. It was very timely and enlightening since the speakers included several Nixon and Ford, White House insiders. By the time of Ronald Reagan's inaugural we were back in Nebraska. This lower picture is a closeup view of the steps in the recent Trump remodeling.  We were back visiting family during the Bill Clinton Presidentcy and were able to tour the inside of the building that had been remodeled to allow commercial businesses. I had a picture taken shaking hands with a cardboard likeness of the President. It looked very real and was tacked up in my den room. I would like to have used it on this blog but believe it must have fallen off the wall about the time Bill had his downfall.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Winter in Nebraska

It was a beautiful 36 degree day in Seward, NE but schools were cancelled because of remaining ice on the streets and sidewalks this morning. These pictures were taken after I had been down to the Bank about 10:00am. After being in the house since Saturday noon, it was good to get out in the sunshine and see some beautiful ice scenes. I continue to spent time on the computer while listening to national news. There was some discussion this afternoon on the lack of a nominee for Secretary of Agriculture. It was indicated that the Cabinet appointment group realized the appearance of lack of diversity in the Cabinet and realize Agriculture would be the last chance to influence that perception. 
The small picture to the right shows our house (to the right) and our Maple and Linden trees on either side of the driveway. We had a few small branches fall off but nothing serious. The other small picture was taken of 1st street looking south from near the front of our house. While there was till a coating of ice on the street, people seemed to drive and walk very cautiously. The weather forecast is for 40 degree temperatures for much of the next week along with some more moisture. After all, it's Winter in Nebraska

Monday, January 16, 2017

An Icy Holiday

This picture was borrowed from Micheal Forsberg, but Elaine and I witnessed a similar sight in our back yard while eating lunch this noon. The Cardinal flew from our Blue Spruce over to the ice covered clump River Burch. It sat there for some time and then flew to the base of our feeder; then on up to the feeder where he ate  his fill. I would like to relate this picture to Martin Luther King Day but can't seem to find the words. My personal appreciation of the reason for the Day, came from watching news while working at my computer much of the day. We didn't leave the house yesterday or today. The exchange between President elect Trump and Congressman John Lewis (D) GA makes me wonder what will happen in the future with the broad brush that the President elect  uses in his tweets. Since such tweets were important in getting him elected, it appears he will continue to use them as President, to communicate directly with his supporters. He may be recognized as a successful business man but was bailed out on several occasions by bankruptcy laws. I know of no comparable  "bail out" of Presidential failures. Even beautiful birds have to cope with unpleasant surrounding at times, and we must continue to have the dreams and faith of Dr. King.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Computer Data and Flash Drives

These little flash drives don't look very sexy but they figure in to what I spent much of the day working on, since the ice storm has confined us to the house. It's the time of year when we bring "up-to-date" many of our files like Highlights, Pictures, Narratives, and "Over-the-Years Items". These items include how we spent our Birthdays, Wedding Anniversaries, Thanksgivings, Christmas letters and Christmas. My Daily Diary (Journal) is the basic source of information for the annual update of all of these items. I started developing these "records" some 25 years ago when I retired from a full-time job and began using a computer. While I have put many things on CDs, DVDs, etc it was after starting to write blogs that I put them on Flash Drives. The Red one was my first and now holds 7 annual folders (2010-2016) which contain the 2150 blogs that I've published. It is a 2GB drive and still has 1.31GB space available after loading all the blog pages. The Lexar Jump Drive only has 256 MB capacity. (1 GB = 1,000MB). It contains 59 items including several folders of pictures and lengthy papers I've written on "My Career in SCS", "My Presidents", "Grandparents", "Anniversary in '09", etc. It still has 7.5MB available. The black SunDisk Flash Drive has 8GB capacity. It has been loaded with very little data but will be the recipient of a considerable amount as I move data from my 8-year old HP PC. There is a lot of information on it that I would hate to lose. These stormy days help me get the old files "cleaned up" and transferred.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Winter Storm Warning

This weather information was released by the National Weather Service this afternoon. It appears that the freezing rain will hit us here in Seward around noon tomorrow. The forecast is for it to be serious  and continue through the night tomorrow and on into Monday morning. It is fortunate that Monday in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday so many people can stay home. It is a wide spread storm extending over several states. We did some additional "stocking up" this morning after taking our two week accumulation to the Recycle Center. We could "hole-up" & stay in for several days is necessary. Our major concern is the possibility of ice building up on the power lines and knocking out our electricity. It controls our heating and literally everything in the house. Our cell phone of course, operates on batteries so we could call for help if necessary. We do have the gas tank filled  but it appears it may take a tank full of gas to drive out of the storm-warning area. The Hospital is only a couple blocks away and I'm sure they have an auxiliary power system which may be an alternative. We hope that we don't have to take such drastic measures.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New PJ's

I have not been able to buy a full pair of flannel pajamas for some years. The best we could find were bottoms, but I preferred  a matching top. Elaine solved the problem by finding an old pattern that she hadn't  used for years. She bought flannel material, elastic, and buttons down at Walmart. And, has spent her spare time during the past several days turning out the pictured product. She even washed the material before starting anything to take care of any shrinkage. The Chinese people apparently didn't do that with a flannel shirt I bought recently which lost about 2 sizes in the first washing. Elaine has done a lot of sewing over-the-years but not much lately. She had almost forgotten how to attach the button-holer.  While she has been sewing, I have been working on our end-of-year inventories. I had about as much trouble working with the Treasury Department calculator to find the current value of I-Bonds as what Elaine did with the Button-holer. We  challenge ourselves by continuing to do these sort of things, even if it does take some extra time. After all our time is not as valuable as our ability to do some of these things that we only do once a year or so. I do have a pretty good set of written instructions for several computer task, but on several, the program has changed to where they need to be modified. But I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep tonight with my new PJ's

Thursday, January 12, 2017

By the Grace of God

Two beautiful young ladies dressed in hats, gloves, etc. to attend Easter Services at Fairlington Presbyterian Church in Arlington, VA. Carolyn would have celebrated her 9th birthday soon after we moved from Lincoln, NE to Arlington, VA. This was taken a couple years later, soon after we purchased our home on Arlington Ridge Road. At the time of this picture, we still thought we might be transferred back out to a State Office of SCS (USDA) but it turned out to be an 18 year assignment. During those 18 years, our 4 kids graduated from HS and 3 of them had obtained college degrees. After a few years we began to realize that we would not be transferred but would finish out my eligibility for an early annuity . We considered it a "leap of faith" when we moved east and my career exceeded any expectations but continue to wonder the impact on our kids.  
We were all impacted by the experience and I personally, couldn't have dreamed of what it did for me professionally and financially. I won't speak for Elaine but she worked in the Pentagon and had a successful experience in the management level of the Forest Service. The experience led to 2 of the boys being in Virginia today after having been back in Nebraska for a few years and elsewhere. The other son is in Indiana after having worked in Virginia and Kentucky.  After graduating from college in North Carolina, Carolyn worked there, got married, had a baby girl and moved to Seward a few weeks before we moved back. Their decision to move back has had a greater impact on our lives than we could have imagined. Her daughter Julie, became like our "5th kid" and today lives here with her husband John with our 2 Great Grandchildren. They are a joy to have near by and little Jack spends a few hours with us 2 or 3 times a week. Our decision to move to Virginia may have been a "leap of faith" but the move of Carolyn and Julie back to Seward was a measure of God's Grace for our retirement years.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Jack was here this morning and brought his Bowzer along to set on my lap and take selfy pictures. I had just come home from an early appointment with our Family Doctor to have my ears irrigated. Water remaining in my ears still limited my hearing so I played with Jack instead of going to coffee. I did turn on the TV and caught part of the Trump news conference. I was favorably impressed with the written report that was read on his company business activities being turned over to 2 sons. However, when he took the podium to answer questions, we were right back to the same old Donald Trump. It is apparent that he has little respect for the news media and very pointedly refused to give some the opportunity to ask a question.  Former Presidents have relied on the media to present andt lean one way or the other. But they usually use op-ed columnist to present perspectives on both sides of the issue. It is one reason we subscribe to both the Lincoln Journal Star and the Omaha World Herald. Past Presidents ideas were often a major force in establishing Administration positions. But, it appears that President Elect-Trump will use Tweeter to communicate his thoughts and positions directly to millions of people without their having had much meaningful discussion. I hope his son-in-law will be able to influence the President on what, I believe, most citizens expect of "Our President".  Incidentally, Jack insisted he get to turn the TV off before he would let his Mother take him home.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Californis in '56

When we read of the Giant Sequoia crushing down during Sunday's storm, we immediately assumed it was the tree pictured during a trip to California back in 1956. In an attempt to verify our assumption, I began a research project that involved the Internet, our pictures, my Diary and other personal documents. I am about 90% sure that this is the tree. The other possibility was a tree destroyed in a 1969 similar storm. Our 1956 trip involved taking Elaine's parents, Albert & Flora; and kids Verlon, Tim and Carolyn (Jon was under 2 years old and stayed with my parents). Flowerdays had just retired from farming and moved to town, we had bought the new Pontiac Station Wagon and planned a 10 day trip that included visiting National Parks, going to 
Disneyland, seeing relatives, and doing some camping and picnic meals.
We had a luggage rack built to carry all our gear on top the wagon. I was still using a 5-year Diary at the time with little space for much comment and all I wrote each day was one live. This picture was taken on June 29, 1956. Learning that the tree that fell Sunday was in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park, helped my confidence since it fits our travel route better than other alternatives. I hadn't remembered any traffic jams but Elaine says we had to wait a while and there was a car behind us even though I got out to take the picture. My research brought back many more happy memories. It was a "once in a lifetime" trip.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pray for our Leaders

We braved the weather and went to Church this morning. As a part of the opening portion of the service, after "passing the peace", Rev. Henre asked the congregation to share their "Joys and Concerns". We learned of members health problem, concern for the victims of the Florida shooting, and the joy of dear friends 42 wedding anniversary, among others. These joys and concerns are expressed for congregational knowledge but also to elicit prayers for those in need and prayers of thanksgiving for the joys. I was tempted, but didn't express my concern for the change of leadership that will occur within the next few days. While I didn't express my concern, I do pray that President Trump's actions and decisions will be pleasing in God's sight. While I single out  the President as our Nations leader, I also include everyone in political leadership positions. Amen

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2009 Happy Memories

It hit me today that the reason I'm spending the time and effort on the project of organizing the pictures on our old HP PC.  I realized that, I enjoy doing it. I mentioned that to Elaine while eating lunch and she said, "I knew that all along". Why else would have I spent over 8 hours today working on the project if I didn't enjoy doing so. The best guidance that a young person can receive in selecting their life's work is to choose a field in which they have a deep interest and commitment. If they do, they will undoubtedly enjoy their work. This was one of the pictures that I enjoyed when it appeared in my efforts. It was taken back in Washington D.C. where we gathered our family over the 4th of July extended week-end to celebrate our 60th Wedding Anniversary. The event also included son's wives and 5 grandchildren. We did a lot of sight seeing that included seeing our old homes and attending a Nationals game in their new Ballpark. within the next few weeks we had a Florence and Tony family reunion in Colorado, a Joseph and Antonia Cousins reunion in Seward. Carolyn and I went back to New York City to visit Julie and attend baseball games in the new Centi Field and Yankee Stadium. It was a great year with outstanding family memories.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Prosperous Times in the Late '40's.

"The snow began in the gloaming and busily through the night" gave us some 2 inches. With temperatures down in the single digits and strong winds, it was not a good day to be out. I used my snow pusher to clean off our double driveway. Then I went to coffee and got a haircut.  The rest of the day, we stayed inside the house. While we have the new computer set up, I'm using days like this to sort out things on my old HP PC to save any old pictures.  Here are a couple that go back to the 1948 era when we were farming north of Staplehurst as well as still farming the old Vrana farm north of Garland. 
Dad, Don and Jerry are shown on both pictures. I took the pictures but was very much involved in the process. Dad and Jerry have passed on but it will bring back memories for brother Don. Not only thinking about the number of zerts that needed to be "hit" with the grease gun, but also seeing both "flair box" trailers.  Following the drought and depression of the '30's and WWII, the late 40's were very prosperous years for people like my folks. It was not long after these pictures were taken that Don and I both got married. Dad got rid of the old pull-type combines and got a self-propelled John Deere. He and Mother continued to farm and raise cattle until he was 75 years old-then had a good retirement in town. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Challanges: Mental wiith Computer-Physical with Great Grandchildren

Before leaving to go home, Jon told me that he had ordered a book for me to use in learning the operations of Windows 10 on the new DELL computer. It came this morning and contains 950 pages of instructions that must have all the answers. I use the computer on a limited basis each day but am still looking for the questions. It does work great for mail and Face book. Windows Mail is very similar to what I was familiar with on my old HP PC. I like the "wireless mouse" but needing to turn off a very small switch while not in use, is a bit of a nuisance, almost worse than a cord. We have used the old HP to update many of our "end of year" records. It has worked very well since not opening it up on  the Internet.  We hope it will continue to do so since Elaine has used it as a "word processor", and we still have many folders of files on it. 
Jack and Sadie were both in to visit us this afternoon. We had some little toy tractors, trailer, cow, etc. that I had to help Jack get out of the box. He had a little "big wheels" car that would propel itself all the way  across the linoleum floor in the kitchen by just backing it up for a couple feet. After being down on the floor playing for a while, I needed to set down. After showing Jack some of the 2016 picture collages that we had just put in a binder, Sadie decided to join us. They were both interested in picking out pictures of themselves but even Jack was able to name every member of the family. Neither of them have any need for a "Dummies" Book.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Working Pleasures for "Old Folks"

Prior to "shutting down" our old Gateway 2000 computer, we put many items on 2 disc. At that time we were busy with many things and didn't take time to write an index of what was included. 3-day Holidays are good for going back and doing things that were not high priority under normal times. Activities such as developing this index is something that "old people" can enjoy doing as a couple and also produce a usable product. There is literally no cost involved and it provides an opportunity to refresh dormant skills. I even learned some new things about 2-column listings. Elaine honed her shorthand skills by taking my dictation as I read the various folders from the disc and what was in each of them. She then typed up a listing and I took it from there with her help getting it cut down to fit in the case. It is neat to see the old pictures. 
Both of these pictures were taken nearly 10 years ago. Verlon was back from Richmond, VA for a visit and Carolyn was showing him a scrapbook she had prepared. This other picture was taken about the same time at a Vrana Cousins Reunion. Ted and Muffy did the planning for it to be held in the old Village Gardens on "O" street in Lincoln. Each family providing a quilt block which was one of the projects. It was one of our best reunions and the picture is most precious. To think that all of these memories can be stored on one disc.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Rose Bowl Parade & Game

Elaine and I "celebrated" the New Year's Monday Holiday by not leaving the house. We didn't see the sun all day with a low temperature of 32 this morning and a high of 36 in the afternoon. There was heavy fog to the west of us and moved in here in late afternoon. I was watching the Rose Bowl Parade while working on other "end of year" items. I had just taken a picture when the Kiwanis International Float came along. Jane Erickson from Papillion, NE is the International president this year and the annual meeting will be held this summer in Paris.
We are making plans to send a member of our Club to the meeting as is often done. Jane is well know in our Club and has attended our meetings. Elaine and I finished our "Highlights" of 2016, wrote captions for picture collages, and listed the files moved to DVDs that I had dictated to her some time ago. Elaine did her usual Monday washing and also some house cleaning with the Christmas decorations taken down. I didn't watch much football but did see the end of the Penn State-USC game in the Rose Bowl. USC tied the game at 49-49 and after intercepting a pass, made a field goal to win 52-49; an exciting finish.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

In with the New, but Hold on to the OLD

This was the scene on TV last night from Times Square in New York City. As the "ball" was about to drop, Mary poured some sparkling grape juice and we all wished each other a "Happy New Year". We went to bed soon after but were awakened by fireworks at midnight. I didn't get anything written last night with wanting to spend as much time with Jon, Mary and Anna as possible with their leaving today. They had taken Elaine and I down to LaCarreta for lunch yesterday since we thought it better than being out after dark on New Year's Eve. 
 They were packed up and  getting ready to leave when Carolyn came back down and took this picture. We enjoyed their visit. Jon gave me a lot of tutoring on the new Dell computer and Windows 10. He has also ordered a "Dummy's" book for me to help meet the challenge of learning a new system. I was able to do a couple things on it today that I couldn't have done on my old HP. The end of the year is a busy time in my record keeping system but maybe it's a good time to be able to close out the year with the old system and then have a fresh start into the new year. I couldn't do it without my old Mac laptop.